Our jungle temple went so well that I decided to make a trio of such temples in the style of Pokemon starters; grass, fire and water. This is the “water” one, the Ice Temple.
Hunt for the Obsidian Skull of Karturgg, King of Giants
Journals of Lord Bernard Islington-Wellerby
Ice. So much ice. When they said ‘ice temple’, I was not expecting a temple actually made of ice. But no, it’s an ice temple, made of ice, on an ocean of ice. Between the bitter cold and the gleeful ramblings of this squire I am forced to travel with, the price on Karturgg’s skull seems less and less appealing. No matter my efforts, the boy will not stop monologuing about how amazing it is to serve under Lady Hellermont. The same Lady Hellermont, ‘hero of legend’, whose assistance I paid good money for! Instead, I am stuck with her eager apprentice,
Trip Track Chick Trick. His eponymous ‘trick’ is clearly not silence.
We will enter the site tomorrow. I can only hope my sanity survives that long.
The dwarves I hired to assist me seem uneasy about the temple doors already being open. I don’t see the issue. The doors being open only makes it easier for us to get in.
Fortunately, their complaints about the doors have ceased, as we managed to spot an opening to a room in the depths of the icy fissure beside the temple. Were it not for one of the dwarves slipping and falling in, and for the mess he made on the way down, we might have not spotted it. Days would have been wasted trying to avoid traps.
Unfortunately, the men are now demanding we mourn for a day. They claim that it is a matter of respect in Dwarven culture. I suspect it is a sign of a lesser work ethic, and thus their pay will be reduced to fit.
It seems the one that fell was a brother to one of the others. Or perhaps all of them. The intricacies of Dwarven culture do not interest me.
The squire stopped talking for a few hours at least. He may have succumbed to the elements. I will check tomorrow.
Progress! We have reached the bottom of the frozen canyon, which does indeed seem to be a chamber of the temple. A temporary camp has been erected while we investigate the immediate area.
The men took time to burn the body of their friend/relative. They removed his valuables, only to put them back when they collected his ashes. I tried to object, and suggest that they could still be sold. They would not hear of it.
My ample experience in the exploration of ancient structures allowed me to immediately spot a series of traps near our camp. Time must have rendered them defunct, as they did not activate when the squire merrily skipped across their triggers.
The dwarves seem further panicked by more broken doors. As I should not have to reiterate, fewer doors mean fewer locks. I gather that they understand that fewer locks mean less time getting through, resulting in less pay for them. They are frustrating to work with, but I applaud their acumen.
The giant. Is. GONE.
Breaching the temple’s largest hall has revealed that the giant’s prison tomb has been opened and robbed. Whoever beat us here must be resourceful, as they have taken the entire body. The doors to the tomb had been pulled from their enormous hinges and Karturgg’s binding chains were broken. The thieves must have been in a rush. Did they know I was coming?
Further study of the room suggests that my competition was aided by another giant. We found a set of tracks leading away from the tomb, and believe that they climbed out via the fissure. They are clever, but not nearly as clever as the man they have now made enemies with!
The dwarves’ panic has elevated to rabid hysteria. I am being met with demands that we leave and find someone that can scry for the skull. The squire is as confused as ever and wishes to make contact with Hellermont. I too wish to have a word with her.
Paying my compatriots without the gold garnered from selling the skull might have been difficult, but I have managed to find some gems and trinkets in a set of urns while they weren’t looking.
My search for Karturgg’s obsidian skull will continue once I have spent time bathing and resting in civilization…
– by Troy McConnell
More content by Troy
This map begs for some tricky concentration checks on the ice, and perhaps something a little more deadly should anyone attempt to slide and jump the gap! I suggest lobbing some spells or arrows at them from the platform above too, just to hurry them along. 😉
After they make it to the icy platform, their troubles are not over. Besides our theoretical ice-archers, I recommend a brutish snow-golem or another foe with a pushing attack. Wallop your players and have them slide right back down for a smooth ???d6 extra in falling damage!
Besides an array of enemies, the door itself must be opened somehow. Whether this requires an offering at the altar, interactions with the runes, or some other puzzle, I leave that to you. Do let us know your suggestion in the comments!
Big thanks to everyone who participated in the drawing stream and helped nurture these ideas. I look forward to continuing the process in the comments below.
Next up, the fire temple…
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