Part 43: Update 41.5: The Ice Dragon- The Ice Dragon
The next morning I spent some time training with Kerolath. He was rather impressed on my skill and deemed me now beyond his skill.
I left the castle and headed west. I went to check on Marcos, the paladin guarding the ore behind Cavalorn's hut. It seemed as though the promised reinforcements had finally arrived. At least someone was still in good shape.
From the hut, I headed south. I chose to take the long way so that I could assist Angmar in finding his necklace.
A short distance down the road I caught a glimpse of the iced over area.
Somehow a Troll had snuck up on me. I was all out of shrink monster scrolls and escape was not possible. He had me cornered.
I engaged it in melee. His blows hit me like a sack of bricks, knocking me back and down. I eventually prevailed, but only due to the magic of the Claw of Beliar. Otherwise, I'd never have pierced his thick hide.
After tending to my wounds I made my way further down the road. I could now see the rock formation that Angmar told me he'd be waiting at.
He was standing atop a nearby hill. He looked perturbed.
"Is something wrong?" I asked.
"Do you hear that? Never in my life have I heard such a dreadful noise."
"What do you mean? I don't hear a thing!"
"The whole area here stinks of death and destruction. The putrid creatures guard the rocky entrance to the crypt in front of us. Something ghastly is concealing itself in there and sending its henchmen to the surface of the world. I am almost certain that my amulet was lost somewhere here."
"Have you talked to the dragon hunters?"
"Yes, but I had expected a fellowship like the one we had in the swamp camp. The boys are nothing but a wild, motley collection of idiots. It's nothing for me."
"What's hiding in the cave in the rocks?"
"Something will not let me get close to the entrance! It is guarded by a magical creature. I have seen it at night, searching the area. A disgusting thing. It glides back and forth between the trees and you get the impression that it sucks up all life in its surroundings like a sponge."
"Let's go together."
"I shall try it. But be careful."
The former Templar and I headed inside the cave. A half dozen skeletal soldiers awaited us, with a floating skeleton mage launching spells in the corner. I concerned myself with the mage while Angmar handled the others.
Like living mages, the years of magic use had taken a great toll on its body. It crumbled into dust on the first blow. I sifted through the dust and, sure enough, there was Angmar's amulet.
Angmar had retreated to the surface and I took this time to improve the Claw. I felt some strength leaving me, but at the same time the sword had become even more improved.
I found Angmar on the surface. "I found your amulet." I told him, handing it to him.
"Thank you. I thought I would never see it again."
"What are you planning to do now?"
"Get out of this accursed valley. Perhaps we shall meet again. Farewell."
Angmar wandered down the road in the way that I'd come. I took this time to look over my map. If I was reading it correctly, the northern path would take me directly to the entrance of the New Camp where the Ice Dragon now resided.
It seemed that a small family of Dragon Snappers had made the cliff side road their home. A group of four of them had nested inside a nearby cave. I cut my way through the dangerous, hostile creatures and finally saw the end of the path.
Unfortunately it was guarded by a duo of Ice Golems. These golems were perhaps the most dangerous of all, as evidenced by the set of dragon hunter corpses that surrounded them.
I had to be very careful around them. If I was not careful, I'd find myself encased in a block of ice and shattered by the power of their immense, icy fists.
My tactic was risky but fortunately ended up working out just fine. I darted up to the golems and cast a spell of fire storm. The fiery rain immediately destroyed them, soon reducing them to puddles.
I followed the trail of corpses away from the entrance and came across another small dragon hunter camp.
"Hey, you, paladin! Go back to your ore mine. There's nothing here."
"Understood. Nobody likes to part with his booty."
"You said it. Disappear."
"And what if I don't go?"
"Don't play the big man here, squirt, otherwise you'll wind up just like those poor swine lying dead back there in the snow."
"Those were your people?"
"Not any more. No big loss. Those idiots weren't worth much anyway."
"What happened to them?" I asked, despite already having a good idea.
"They weren't able to get past the big ice giants back there and got stamped out by them. If you're such a tough guy, why don't you give it a try?"
"Your path is clear! Your ice giants are no more."
"Good work. Let's see what we have here."
Sylvio and his buddy, Bullco headed toward the entrance.
At the entrance, Sylvio stopped me.
"What next?" I asked.
"Well. I'd say it looks pretty bad. The best thing is you go ahead and I'll just follow you."
I laughed. "I won't do the dirty work for you." I walked on.
"Coward!" Sylvio shouted to my back.
The rice farms of the New Camp were long gone, covered now by ice and snow.
I continued through the former penal colony camp. I was surprised to see that most of the structures were standing, despite being covered in snow.
The area that had once been the living area of the New Camp was now filled in with snow and made into the dragon's lair. The upper buildings of the new camp were even still partially visible.
I cleared the lair of lizardmen and ice wolves, placed the Eye of Innos around my neck, and approached the dragon.
"Why do you disturb my rest? Must I bury myself still farther, just so you annoying little mites will finally leave me alone? You humans are curious creatures. Swept away by the icy winds of death, there will always be at least one who rises from the ashes, thinking he is destined to be a hero. But that will soon be over. I shall personally see to it that none of you will rise again any time soon."
"Silence!" I commanded. "With the power of the sacred Eye which has been bestowed upon me, I order you to answer my questions."
"Ha ha ha. Ask away, then. Your knowledge will not help you."
"Who are you?"
"I am Finkregh. Lord of Ice and snow, Guardian of the Congress and, ultimately, your death."
"Which god do you serve? What accursed god could ever allow despicable creatures such as you to walk this earth?"
"Do not trouble yourself trying to understand the meaning of our gathering, little hero. Beliar has not only permitted us to be here - he has even commanded it. Inspired by his holy words, we shall not rest until his will is made deed."
"How can I find your Master?"
"He has established his hoard in the solid rock of the Halls of Irdorath and waits there for his destiny. Until he can restore this world to the order which it has deserved, he waits there in deep meditation and-"
"Spare me the details. Just tell me where I can find these sacred halls of Irdorath."
The Dragon's deep laugh echoed throughout the chamber. "You disappoint me, little man. So you have withstood all the dangers and overcome almost all of us, and now you fail in your inability to use the higher knowledge. If Irdorath means nothing to you, then you had better go to your magicians and ask them to be allowed to take care of their worldly needs. For quite obviously you are not yet ready for the heavy burden of higher knowledge. The power of the Eye is extinguished and your time has run out.
As I had done with the fire dragon before him, I immediately conjured a demon who attacked Finkregh. While the dragon was busy with my demonic friend, I chipped away at him with arrows and then sliced at his backside with the Claw. Eventually he succumbed to our combined attack.
His heart was then cut away and hoard looted. I teleported away to the castle where I recharged the amulet and reported the good news to Garond.
"I've got news about the dragons." I told him. "I went to the western ice region and did away with the dragon there. All the dragons are dead."
Garond was in disbelief. "All of them? So evil has been vanquished forever?"
"No, alas not. Their leader still remains."
"Weren't the dragons the leaders of the orcs?"
"Yes, true, but they also have their own master. We must get rid of him as well."
"I damn well can't go. I have to guard the ore and the cursed orcs are still about, too. You'll have to take care of it yourself. I can't help you. May Innos protect you."
I walked around the castle a bit more. The knights and dragon hunters were in good spirits, the news having spread fast throughout the camp. A bit later I retired to bed. Tomorrow I'd return to Khorinis.
Other: Sorry about the weird angles of the Dragons. Whenever I got too close to them, they'd go invisible. Completely invisible. You can imagine how fun this made the fights and why I opted to use demons for the final two. Sorry, but I searched and just could not find a solution anywhere short of reverting to drivers from 2004. This is from the disc version, by the way. No clue if this affects