Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Skadi Encounters, Part III

Quests of Skadi
Freedoms shows clear upon the mountain expanse. Roll 1d20.

Honor the cold and highlands: A dream comes to a chosen party member to cast off their winter gear. A cold snap comes too, but if the dreamer and others they notify oblige, they will be quite chilly for 1d3 hours, but will receive a blessing from Skadi along with a natural and comfortable warmth in the interim, not needing to beg the frost giants for protection.

3-4. Find freedom through rugged independence: A group of Franks has taken up residence in a mountain cabin. That they wish to not serve another might be understandable, that they insist on calling it a "chalet" might not.

5-6. Hunt & ski: ‘tis the way of life: Certain hunters range in the area, outcompeting all others. Though skilled, their harnessing of the snowy slopes has given them a great advantage, until one of their number has gone missing. Those who search will well find that thurs frost giant has taken exception to their use of the wintry ways.

7-8. Avoid the sea
: Clerics of Poseidon (or his local equivalent) are recruiting adventures in eliminating a rampaging giant. Those who challenge him will find him not only to be mighty, but also greatly missing his cold, mountainous home, and a fairly reasonable follower of Skadi to boot.

9. Choosing mates
, Having an icy heart: A breathtaking Norse priestess is in the area looking for a husband. That she bases her choices on the cleanliness of one's feet shows who her patron is. That she does not always 'kiss them deadly' shows her heart might not be entirely frozen.

10-11. Setting things right: The next foe the party faces, when they are resolute and ready for battle, will offer them suitable spouses instead. Depending on who the foe is, fighting might be preferable. 

12. Noble giants, Risir: A giant slayer dwarf wishes to enlist aid in defeating a trio of mountain giants. The dwarf turns out to be evil though, and the giants, goodly risir, though the party might realize that all too late.

13. Scandinavia: A traitorous king wishes to replaces his people with a foreign ilk. The depths he will go to triggers not only the followers of Skadi, but of that of all the Aesir and Vanir who would seek such an atrocity to be remedied, and avenged.

14-20. Reroll twice.

See also Mountain encounters in Volume I.

The Last Resort
Rumors of a mountain draw adventurers here, one where green-clad little folk are said to have a giant problem on their hands. Follows of Skadi would want to find out what that means exactly.

Roughly .7 of mile uphill from Location 1 to Location 5, vertical drop of roughly 1200'.
White is snowy slope; Yellow is snowy slope that is strangely illuminated at night; Green is coniferous, snowy forest; for Black Lines, see Location 1 below

Location 1
The likely entrance to the mountain, a snowy, sloped trail slants up the mountain's peak. Interspersed roughly every 40 yards are strange, massive, metal poles standing 40' high, on which are suspended cables (indicated by the black lines on the map). Upon the cables look to be suspended chairs. What purpose they serve, few could guess. Those with great mechanical or teleportative expertise may realize that they were once used as 'lifts' for easy travel up the mountain.

In any case, sounds of talking up the slope can be heard (at Location 2).

Location 2
Two green-clad halflings converse underneath a 50' tall, metal pole. An assortment of skis and poles are located a little further up the trailhead. If encountered at night, the mighty object somehow illumes the trail below. No matter the time, Kipper and Skipper are angry at a giant who has taken up residence at the mountain's peak, preventing them from expanding the trails. They also wear skis and challenge any strangers to compete before they will be of further help (the assortment of skis and poles are nearby.) Those who are novices and do so must make difficult Dexterity checks (DC 20) to not only try to keep up with them, but to also not take 1d20 damage each attempt from collisions with trees and others.

Kipper & Skipper, Green-Clad Halflings
MV 35’/ ski 80', AC 8, HD 1-1, Atk 1, Dmg: 1d6 (ski pole), SP: halfling traits, SV: E3, Mor: 7, AL: C

Once down the mountain, The pair will show any party members who remain how to utilize the lift to return to Location 2. If the party shows interest (or promise) in challenging the giant, then Kipper and Skipper will recommend the party speak to their associate at Location 3. If not, they will happily chat with them about turning the mountain into a 'resort' where thousands can come to race up and down its slopes.

Location 3
A red wooden sign with a white cross emblazoned upon it can be seen at this intersection. As the party notices it, they might not notice a red-clad halfling hurtling down one of the upper slopes straight towards them (roll for surprise). And though he might call himself a 'leprechaun-on-patrol', Ludmudun McGee is in fact just an experienced halfling, albeit with a great amount of luck.

Ludmudun McGee, Red-Clad Halfling Patrolman
MV 35’/ ski 90', AC 8, HD 2, Atk 1, Dmg: 1d6+1 (+1 ski pole) or 1d20 (ski collision), SP: halfling traits, can reroll a roll 1d3 times per day, has a pack of healing (cures 1d6 hit points of damage when applied), SV: E5, Mor: 9, AL: C

Those who avoid colliding with him (save vs. paralysis/ make a Reflex save DC 15) can then explain that they heard about the giant. He can then escort them down this trail and then back up the lift to Location 5. Those who don't may be forced to make the red-clad halfling even redder. A 50' tall, metal pole, like at Location 2 is positioned here as well.

Location 4
A palpable sense of quiet and peace is present at this place. The snow shines bright, yet pleasantly, while the trees look on, serene. For those who favor Skadi (or at least don't disfavor her), a mountain nature spirit will manifest to assist. It will have abilities according to its nature, appearing as snowy oread if need be. Treat as a berg huldra (from Part II) or see Volume IV for additional mountain spirit options. 

Further down the slope can be seen a small village, the likely home of these strange halflings, for further adventures.

Location 5
The mountain peak offers a commanding view of the surrounding area, revealing what is present at the other Locations. A  comely woman soon lumbers into view. She will watch the party and respond to any actions they take, her spear ready, growing to a giant size of 14' if need be.

Jölfá, 2nd level Frostris cleric of Skadi
MV 40’, AC 4, HD 9, Atk 1, Dmg: 3d6 (spear), SP: giant size, frost immune, can assume human size after 2d6 rounds at will, but HD and Dmg are reduced by 1/2 until they return to full size again, cleric of Skadi abilities, spells prepared: 1st Create Water (as ice), Cure Light Wounds, Sanctuary, SV: C9, Mor: 11, AL: N,  Items: holy symbol, light furs, giant spear, 39 gold pieces. Main Emphasis: Honor the cold and the highlands. Appearance: platinum blond hair, medium build, pale complexion.  

A follower of Skadi, Jölfá has little patience for what the halflings wish to do to this mountain, nor any mercenaries they might send to dislodge her (i.e. the party). If they realize the halflings are at fault, a battle with her can be avoided, though Kipper, Skipper, Ludmudun, and 3d6 other halflings of the green- and/or red-clad types will then harass them as they travel all the way down the mountain again.

Next week: our series on divinity encounters continues with Thor!