Far Secrets, Northern Visions

Session 5: Traveling Winter Skin Waste

The Winter Skin Waste is a broad, open expanse of ice and snow. About halfway across, a giant glacier spans the entire region, creating a vertical cliff. There is no way around it. Dvalinn leads the PCs to a section of the cliff that is 50 feet high. At the top of the cliff is a cluster of ice-covered tree trunks, and massive nests are visible at the top of them.

Encounter 1: Cliffs and Crows

All climbing of the cliff should be done by turns. In Round 3, sensing the impending threat, the crows attack. Any player on the cliff gets a -2 circumstance penalty to attack, and must pass an Athletics check (DC 15) or fall. Likewise, if a character is hit, they must also make an Athletics check (DC 15).

Characters using Climber’s kits gain a +2 to all climb-related checks.

Characters must have at least one hand to hold onto the cliff. Therefore, characters cannot use two-handed weapons while on the cliff.

Fall Damage
A fall from 40 feet or higher is fatal. (In the case of a successful check, the character takes 2d8+4 damage.
A fall from 30-40 feet deals 2d8+4 damage.
A fall from 20-30 feet deals 1d10+4 damage.
A fall from 10-20 feet deals 1d6+3 damage.
A fall from 10 feet or lower deals no damage.

If a character falls, they can make a second Athletics check (DC 20) to slow their fall, reducing damage to half.

Before beginning the ascent, Dvalinn points out the tree trunks and says they are giant raven nests. He mentions that the mages of Frostfell often use giant ravens as mounts and familiars, but those are the ones raised from birth. He also says the eggs are extremely valuable (1500 gp).

Giant Raven (5)

CR: 2
XP: 125
Large Magical Beast
HP: 20
Initiative: +4
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), fly 70 ft. (poor)
Armor Class: 16 (–1 size, +4 Dex, +3 natural)
Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d8+3)
Space/Reach: 1
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., evasion, low-light vision
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +2
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 19, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 10
Skills: Bluff +3, Listen +4, Sense Motive +4, Spot +7, Survival +4
Feats: Flyby Attack, Multiattack
Environment: Cold mountains

Total XP: 800 (675 +125 Situational)

This black-feathered bird is the size of a riding horse. It has a sharp, black beak, and its dark eyes seem to project an eerie intelligence. Giant ravens are intelligent, mischievous scavengers that dwell among the high places of the frostfell. They are sometimes domesticated as aerial steeds by barbarian tribes. The giant raven is a willful bird, prone to crude practical jokes such as stealing its rider’s helmet or weapon and hiding it someplace where the rider can’t reach it. Giant ravens born and living in the wild rarely attack other creatures unless they feel threatened or their nests, young, or eggs are endangered. Young ravens can be trained as aerial mounts, though they are less prized than giant eagles, giant owls, or pegasi. Giant ravens speak Common and Giant.

When fighting without a rider, a giant raven prefers to harry its enemy by swooping close to strike and then quickly retreating, rather than enter a stand-up fight. The bird is capable of diving onto targets from a great height, using its sharp beak and daggerlike talons to slash at an opponent’s face. A mated pair attacks in concert, fighting to the death to defend their nest, young, or eggs. Several giant ravens sometimes band together to defend their nesting grounds against predators or egg raiders.

Evasion (Ex): If exposed to any effect that normally allows a Reflex save for half damage, a giant raven takes no damage with a successful saving throw.

Skills: Giant ravens receive a +4 racial bonus on Spot checks during daylight hours.


Although intelligent, a giant raven requires training before it can bear a rider in combat. To be trained, a giant raven must have a friendly attitude toward the trainer (this can be achieved through a successful Diplomacy check). Training a friendly giant raven requires six weeks of work and a DC 25 Handle Animal check. Riding a giant raven requires an exotic saddle. A giant raven can fight while carrying a rider, but the rider cannot also attack unless he or she succeeds on a Ride check. Giant raven eggs are worth 1,500 gp apiece on the open market, while hatchlings are worth 2,500 gp each. Professional trainers charge 1,000 gp to rear or train a giant raven.

Carrying Capacity: A light load for a giant raven is up to 152 pounds; a medium load, 153–306 pounds; and a heavy load, 307–460 pounds. A giant raven cannot fly with a heavy load.

Icy Tree Trunks

The characters can climb these trunks to steal eggs from the nests, if they wish, or they can ask Dvalinn to do so. There are a number of eggs equal to the number of spellcasters in the party.

Encounter 2: Howl of the North

On the top of the glacier, the wind is very strong. When the PCs are about halfway across, the wind picks up to a severe Howl of the North.

Howl of the North:
Lasts 4d4 rounds. Deals 1d6 sonic damage per round. (Fort check DC 10 reduces damage to half.) This is for ALL creatures in the Area of Effect.

Gray Wolf (3)

Medium Natural Beast
XP: 125
CR: 2
Init: +5
HP: 38
AC 16; Fort 18 Ref 17 Will 16
Speed 8
Attack: +7, 1d6+2; 2d6+2 if target is prone
If an attack succeeds and the wolf has combat advantage, the target is knocked prone.
13 14 14 13 2 10

Dire Wolf (2)

Large Natural Beast
XP: 200
CR: 5
Init: +7
HP: 67
AC: 19; Fort 18, Ref 17, Will 16
Speed 8
Attack: +10, 1d8+4; 2d8+4 if target is prone
If an attack succeeds and the wolf has combat advantage, the target is knocked prone.
19 16 19 14 5 11

Total XP: 900 (775 + 125 situational)



I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.