Not needing any light, the group crept forward following the tracks in the snow that led into the mountain. A distal flickering of light could be seen over 300 feet away. As the snow gave way to stone covered in a thick frost, the group decided to press against the left wall as they continued. Carden quickly noticed and pointed out large gaps across the ceiling of the huge passage. A whispered discussion revealed that additional gaps were seen and Carden checked for any mechanisms that would release the large blocks likely suspended to fall. When no trap was found, Carden took point as the group passed two such 20-foot wide blocks than ran the width of the 40-foot hallway. A few noticed that the ceiling now sloped to 60-foot high and that on each side of the 40-foot wide hallway was ledges recessed at 20 feet above the floor. The walls were still covered in ice and a climb would be difficult, even likely to announce the group’s arrival to whatever was near the flickering light beyond.
Aelith called forth magic and a rope fell from a suspended dimensional hole some 30 foot above him. He nodded at the group and climbed the rope until he could step over to the ledge above. Cautiously, everyone climbed or was lifted to the large ledge now known to be recessed 20-feet into the walls with additional hallways leading further. Large iron sconces radiating conjuration magic according to Dyan’ette was between each niche and the ledge ran almost 200 feet above the hallway below. Curious to what lay beyond the four hallways from the ledge, the Wardens investigated to find that all connected to another hallway running parallel to the entrance hallway. A large 60×60 foot room was back toward the outside with only a single large iron lever frozen in the up position some twelve feet up on the wall. The group believed that it could possibly control the large blocks to seal this place if needed. Following the 20-foot wide hallway beyond the openings to the ledge ended in a 20-foot wide by 30-foot tall iron portcullis with bars close enough to prevent entry by any but the smallest of creatures. A layer of ice rested on the ice-cold bars and beyond could be seen an enormous room that even Dyan’ette’s vision could not pierce far into it. The drow did see a few feet of what appeared to be a 40-foot tall statue of giant resemblance.
Satisfied with their reconnoiter of the hallway, the Wardens returned to the ledge to investigate the flickering lights. They witnessed a gathering of heavily furred humans speaking in an unknown language at the top of giant stairs that ascended 20 feet high and ran 40-feet back just beneath the ledges corner. It appeared as if the group of humans were building fires before two massive granite doors carved with images of giant gods in battle with dragons. Even with the flames licking at the bottom of the doors, the heavy ice upon them was not being effected as if their leader apparently wanted. Dyan’ette cast a spell to understand their language and shared that they were arguing as their leader wanted to reach beyond the doors and plunder the temple. They were apparently Uthgardt from a Great Worm tribe according to their discussion. Just then, Dyan’ette saw a glimpse of a large scaled white tail move into view. Leaning slightly outward, the drow viewed a large dragon with white scales accompanying the barbarians. The dragon’s head turned to look directly at Dyan’ette and everything started to happen quickly.
The barbarians rushed back down the stairs leaping from one to another when Dyan’ette used one of their torches to fuel his pyrotechnics spell. Thick smoke quickly surrounded most of the barbarians while the others tried to flank the smoke and descend. Droom told Aelith to hang on and then leaped from the ledge to feather fall to the floor below. Almost as soon as they landed, the dragon flew from the smoke and released a cone of freezing breath that engulfed Droom, Aelith, and Carden on the ledge above. Battle ensued as Dyan’ette called forth a banishment and used his manipulation of the weave to overcome the dragon’s will and the dragon simply vanished. Tamnai called forth a tower of flame that scorched many of the barbarians with flame and seared them with holy radiance. Rhogar unceremoniously joined Aelith and Droom on the hallway floor after an attempt to slide down the icy wall with his ice axe. The barbarians surged forth in a rage trying to overwhelm those on the ground. Carden remained on the ledge and fired eldritch energy at them while Dyan’ette retreated further away to ensure his concentration remained on the banished dragon. The barbarians quickly discovered that the Wardens were not easy prey as a few fell to melee prowess. The leader surged forth to engage Rhogar and a female shaman targeted Tamnai. As a few more barbarians fell and Wardens were received minor injuries, Tamnai approached the ledge to cast a spell. It was then that the shaman summoned a long wall of water behind the priestess that crashed toward her. Carden found himself in the spell effect but nimbly avoided being washed over the edge. However, Tamnai was caught unaware as the tidal wave surged about her and swept her to the ground below. The Wardens doubled their efforts and fell the barbarian leader followed by his last remaining warriors. As the shaman ran for the entrance, she was slain as well.
Hastily, healing was applied after Dyan’ette announced that he would have to release the banished dragon soon. The group spread out and prepared. The dragon reappeared only to receive a flurry of strikes. Rhogar’s javelin of lightning struck true opening a large gash in the creature’s chest. Aelith and Droom struck with thrown handaxes. Tamnai, Dyan’ette and Carden lashed out with magical spells. Witnessing such the formidable opponents and the lying corpses of the barbarians, the dragon chose to escape. As it disappeared from view, the Wardens cursed its escape and returned to their own wounds. A few moments later, Harshnag approached holding the dragon’s neck and asked, “Did you lose this?” The frost giant dropped the dragon’s corpse in the hall and explained his departure. The avalanche struck him fully and caused him to fall some distance before he was able to reestablish a grip. Feeling that the route up the cliff face might not hold his weight any longer, he chose to search for a sturdier path. It took longer than expected, but he evidently came at just the right time.
The Wardens searched the Uthgardt and removed any wealth, a sack containing seven chrysoberyl gems and a magical amulet the leader wore. Carden appraised the gems at 100 gold coin each. A short discussion ended with the group taking a long rest in the upper room with the giant lever. It was defensible, out of the wind, and Dyan’ette could establish his magical hut to help the group thaw and recover their health as well as their strength. The drow identified the amulet as an amulet of proof against detection and location. Harshnag leaned against one of the cold walls snoring loudly while the group took solace in the warmth of the hut.