[Flashback to 4 Kythorn 1372]
Having escaped the wolf pack, Markus finds a campsite sheltered from the winds and rests for the night.
[10 Kythorn 1372]
After a successful escape from the peril of undead trolls, the adventurers continue heading west towards Nesme. The air begins to get cooler and cooler as they travel, and snow begins to fall heavily. The group sets up camp at a concealed site. Mellia takes Fargrim and Cain aside for an important talk. Mellia says that they are the only ones who know about her daughter, and that if something happens to Mellia no one else could rescue and raise the girl. She asks if Cain and Fargrim are willing to stand in her place should the worst occur. Cain offers to place the girl safely in his religious order, while Fargrim says he is honoured by Mellia's trust in him. Mellia provides the two adventurers with details of her arcane order's location and legal documents that will shore up their claim in the event of Mellia's death.
Later, Sha'dar approaches Fargrim and asks if he can have some of the arrows the dwarf carries. Fargrim replies that he needs to think of the welfare of the group overall, and says no. Sha'dar mutters something about a "stupid dwarf" and proceeds to work on crafting his own. During watches that night, Fargrim catches Aloysius attempting to stealthily sneak away for some unknown reason; the gnome claims he was only going to relieve himself.
[11 Kythorn 1372]
Mellia awakens with a start, mildly annoyed to realize that Cain's horse has chewed a large hole in her bedroll. Cain compensates her for the loss. As the group starts to continue their journey west, Sha'dar and Fargrim disagree on the correct direction to take. Cain persuades the two to compromise and take a route roughly in between the elf and dwarf's divergent directions.
Snowfall becomes heavier and heavier as the group continue west, forcing the adventurers' mounts to trudge through deep drafts. Extreme cold becomes a real problem, even as Aloysius warns of another: he states he saw frost giants and clerics of Auril when last he passed this way. The group continues very cautiously and very slowly, and as darkness falls decide to set up camp. With the horses starting to falter from the cold, Terreck builds a partial wall of snow to provide them some protection from the cold. Meanwhile, Mellia reports success in a spell she's been working on for situations just like this one: she conjures access to a small extradimensional space that the adventurers can rest in for the night, free of concerns about temperature and wandering monsters. Although the horses have to be left below (and Aloysius' magical backpack left buried in the snow), the group enjoy a restful, if cramped, night's sleep in the formless pocket dimension.
[12 Kythorn 1372]
In the morning, the adventurers leave the safety of the extradimensional space created by Mellia's magic. One of the mounts (Aloysius' pony) is near death from a night spent in the freezing cold, but Sha'dar manages to get it back on its feet with a healing spell. The group discusses whether they should push forward through the cold, turn south and then west to approach Nesme from a different direction, head north for the Surbin River, or head straight back east towards Silverymoon. A long discussion ensues, as continuing into the cold seems potentially suicidal, the south is known to be crawling with undead, Cain has important business in Nesme, and Mellia urges Silverymoon. Eventually, the group decide to head north until they reach the Surbin and then follow it east towards Silverymoon, skirting most of the Evermoors in the process.
After a few hours journey north, Fargrim's mount collapses from the cold. As the group halts to tend to it, a huge icy boulder flies through the air and strikes Terreck right in the back, knocking him to the ground. A second boulder smashes into Mellia, and the wind carries the sound of angry shouting. Whirling to face their foe, the adventurers realize Aloysius' warning was apt: a massive frost giant, along with two winter wolves, is primed for battle.
Cain reacts instantly, surrounding the foes with a raging wall of flames. The frost giant and his wolves leap through the flames, but are badly singed in the process. Aloysius and Mellia quickly hurl massive balls of fire, slowing the attackers further. The giant manages to take a swipe at Mellia with his enormous axe, but the magical onslaught continues when Cain shoots rays of blinding light and Aloysius finishes the hapless giant with a scorching blast. Sha'dar's skill with the bow drops the one wolf who survived the flames. Terreck, who had disappeared during the fight in a cloud of black and purple smoke, eventually re-emerges. Meanwhile, Aloysius quickly searches the frost giant's corpse and pockets several gems.
The group hurries north and soon leave the cold and frost behind. Reaching the northern edges of the Evermoors as night starts to fall, the adventurers can see the Surbin River winding through a valley some miles distant. Sha'dar finds the group a sheltered campsite in a copse of trees.
Having emerged victorious against a dreaded frost giant, the adventurers rejoice in their success. One of their number, however, knows that the consequences of turning away from Nesme could be dire . . .
Director's Commentary (August 10, 2015)
This session saw the PCs crossing the extremely dangerous terrain and having a random encounter against a frost giant and its winter wolves. The PCs' teamwork (or sheer individual power) was in evidence, as they handled the attackers expertly. The idea with the western area of the Evermoors being covered in ice and snow, and the encounter with the frost giant, is to build further one of the major subplots of the campaign: an alliance between the Aurilites (worshippers of the goddess of cold) and a frost giant tribe to establish a new base of power outside their usual domains.
Mellia shows off her new spell (Rope Trick), which is one of those ones that makes perfect sense to use in character if you have it, but actually makes the game a lot less fun because it completely eliminates any chance of random encounters at nightime. Soon, the PCs will get other spells (gaseous cloud, teleport, etc.) that eliminate all random encounters for cross-country travel. In other words, we're getting to the part where a lot of people, and I think myself included now, find that D&D starts to break down and become less fun.
Some interesting and very divergent views on what the group should do. Having six PCs, each with their own personalities and goals, is going to create some excellent RP and some extremely challenging scenarios for the director in the near future!