Having seen the shadow of the icy spire from off in the distance, the party began a trek in that general direction. The group halted behind a set of hills, hearing some goblin chatter from off in the distance behind them.
The decision was made to form a scouting party, made up of Beef and Melthos, the two stealthy members of the party. Unfortunately, they were not stealthy enough as the goblins heard them coming and ambushed them from atop the hill and the fight was upon them all. According to Beef’s estimates (made later after several pints at the Green Tankard), somewhere between five and one thousand goblins then attacked, including somewhere amongst them three sharpshooters with crossbows, and a hexer. Gord immediately charged one sharpshooter atop one hill, while Melthos and Beef began to dispatch the sharpshooter on the other. Yaffa and Pel weaved in and out, dueling with the hexer, and taking out many of the lesser goblins at the same time. In the distance could be heard muffled, angry words sputtered in an elven dialect. Yaffa, who speaks Elven, knew them to be of a particularly vulgar nature. Eventually an Eladrin appeared from behind the the backmost hill and began assaulting the minds of the goblins who attacked him.
Despite all the enemies seemingly focused on killing Beef, the entire group emerges from this conflict relatively strong and somewhat unharmed. Much of this is due to the hexer’s near obsession with attacking but not actually hitting Yaffa. The Eladrin then initiated formal introductions (his name is Immeral), a common cause is decided and his presence is tolerated (and later appreciated) for the further assault upon the icy tower.
The path immediately in front of the tower was lined with many fearsome statues vaguely resembling mechanical dogs. A proper inspection of these statues revealed that four of these statues weren’t statues at all, but actually subtly placed canine-shaped defenders of the tower, who would attack upon attempted forced entry. While the idea of forced entry enticed some, more level-headed members decided upon a more defensive and strategic positioning, enabling the group to burn down the dogs before any of them could successfully damage the party.
Flush with success, and blinded by pride, the party approached the front of the tower, and a burning spray by Pel successfully melted away the door’s icy shell for all to enter, but before anyone could move inside, a large clay golem stepped outside, and began to lay waste to the party using their own attacks against them. Gord, suddenly acting oddly, as if an obnoxious dullard was suddenly in control of his actions, delivered a harrowing avalanche strike on the innocent, helpful Beef, nearly knocking him unconscious. But Beef battled back, breaching the golem’s defenses and ensuring victory in the toughest battle this group had yet faced. It would not by the last time that Beef would put himself in harms way for the greater good of his friends and colleagues.
As soon as everyone stepped foot inside the tower, the icy fortress sprang to life, its very furnishings providing powerful defense. Intricate shardling-shitting fireplaces were present in nearly every room, and everyone split up, so as to dismantle the fireplaces from shitting out further enemies. As the last fireplace was destroyed, two larger shardlings shambled down each set of stairs, and were also defeated after a breathtaking and suspenseful battle upon the stairs. More icy defenders came barreling down the stairs, and four more creatures were defeated before too long.
The party crept cautiously up the stairs, and used a floating platform to ascend to the third floor. They briefly investigated a finely preserved library, frowning slightly at the decidedly infernal nature of most of the books, before finding a secret passageway leading to another floating platform that took them all to the roof. The sent Posket to investigate, but he did not return. Fearing the worst, they proceeded. On the roof was a glowing crystal emanating waves of cold and frost, and clearly the source behind advancing winter that has plagued Loudwater and emboldened the local goblins. Also, there was Posket, fascinated by the shiny crystal and seemingly unharmed.
Upon attacking te crystal, a large yeti-like creature called the Spirit of Winter emerged from the gem, and the battle atop Draigdurroch’s tower began. The yeti first knocked Beef and Pel off the side of the roof, where Beef was only barely able to hold on and hoist himself up. Yaffa was able to protect Pel with a featherfall spell, and Pel made the laborious journey back up while the battle on the roof continued. Attacks were made, spells were cast, and eventually the yeti was beaten down to about half his original strength, which triggered a bestial wave of frost, forcing poor, persecuted Beef off the side of the tower. There would be no returning from this, as Beef knew, and his final words to his friends as he plummeted to his death were “I haaaaate yetiiiiiis.”
No doubt influenced and inspired by Beef’s noble, selfless sacrifice, Pel looked deep within himself and unleashed his most powerful attack, crippling the yeti with a critical hit, and throwing him off the tower, where he landed not too far from the corpse of the dearly departed Beef. It slowly rose, and began to make his way back to the top.
During that time, knowing full well that the yeti was attempting to ascend back to the top, everyone left alive pooled their power, channeling each attack into the crystal, and shattering it before the yeti could make it back up to the apex.
The triumphant few gathered their gear, investigated and perused the library, removed a lock of Beef’s hair for resurrection purposes, and began to make their way back to Loudwater, victorious. On the way out, a gnome made entirely of blue mist confronted the party and scolded them (especially Immeral, whom he’d warned before) for disrupting his countermeasures. He explained that Draigdurroch had unleashed potentially devastating magic, and the tower’s delicious, frosty coating was a protection from that. Yes, it had the unfortunate side effect of opening gateways to an elemental plane, but he’d considered it a small price to pay. He said that, while the rumors of the death of Karsus were close to the truth, Krasus had actually survived his ritual, weakened beyond imagination, and sauntered off to who knows where. He left with the warning that he was very disappointed in them, they should be ashamed of themselves, and they’d be expected to make it up to him in the future.