Orginally Emailed 3/4/2013
Following the incident with the goblins, the party manages to travel another day without significant event. The second day, they spot what appears at first to be another lake monster but then a sail clearly unfolds atop it. The druid transforms into an arctic bird and flies overhead to get a closer look.
Upon returning she informs the party that the boat is manned by several large men. The party quickly goes about the process of building a fire and tosses damp moss on it to generate smoke.
The boat does change course and approaches the shore. The men who step off are very large and appear to be exceptionally well equipped. Sporting large bear coats and some of the most elaborate and well crafted armor and weapons that the party has ever seen.
When the leader speaks, no one can understand him. It seems that these people have not been exposed or do not know the common tongue of men in the south. Val casts a spell so that he may speak any tongue. The men identify themselves as Valnir, and they are returning from a raid. They hear the party’s story and of their quest, but are reluctant to help although they do agree to take them to their leader.
They are also somewhat reluctant but accommodating of Afton’s cat.
Of course once the party board their vessel, they are each handed an oar to work.
After 2 days of travel on the enormous lake, they come to the mouth of a river marked by a large statue of a bear. Further into the mouth of the river they land and tie the longship off to a carved post and find themselves in a hidden, fortified camp.
That night they meet and converse with a dwarf who exlaims that the treasures of Nargothil belong to his people although he’s never heard of the sword they are seeking.
The following day they depart upriver again and travel for 2 more days. The lands are very boreal and the forests and mountains are beautiful, there are patrols and habitations of humans here, though none dressed so well as the men on the longship.
At last they come to a dock, the party notices many other longships simply lined up on the shores of the river away from the docks and others being built. before them is a massive stair. The stair moves up a large hillside through several walls and gates, inside each is a community of humans, some dwarven homes as well. Till at last the stairs come to a valley that drops and forms a massive bridge which arcs to the lowest peak of the mountains behind.. atop which sits a sturdy stone fortress. The party has arrived at Valla.
The party is taken to the great hall of Valla, a man summons the king and an audience is given as the Valnir said they would. The king hears the same story and is also skeptical and reluctant. But then Maehdra enters the room, apparently having already introduced herself to the king’s court. Our adventurers are immediately uneasy, but Maehdra then vouches for the party, insisting that they are capable dragon slayers and heroes. She suggests that they might be successful in recovering the scroll of belphegor from either the succubus Xinxi or Gruumesh and return it back to Valla so that she can properly destroy it.
Given the import, the king agrees to outfit the party with any supplies they might require and have his men drop them off as close to the pass of Nargothil as possible.