The small township of Frostvale is the last outpost before the Endless Tundra. A bitter cold constantly blows down from the north. When winds push the clouds away The Bitter Peak can be seen. The only change is on the northern horizon. A frozen mountain that is said to contain an ancient relic.The legends say that Demonsbane, a weapon forged in the Abyss and capable of unspeakable carnage, was hidden inside the mountain. In years past, adventurers have tried their luck in finding it.All have died.The most recent fool hardly reavers who have attempted it call themselves The Ice Guard. They’ve been gone a month and there’s been no word or sign of them since.Frostvale is cold.

What is this?

This is an adventure for 5th Edition It uses the basic rules of that game, which you can access here or here for free.It is designed for a party of 5 levels 3 to 5 adventurers. However, you can always throw in a few more monsters to make the combat a little more challenging.All monsters and NPC stat blocks are linked to the DnD Beyond basic f rules, so this will make it super easy to access. Just click on the link and it will open up.This adventure is not connected to any setting in particular but could fit anywhere. It's your classic far north region where the snow has taken back the land-only the hearty or foolhardy ever make their way here.You might like this soundtrack while you play. I listened to it while I wrote this.This was made for #AdventureJam and the title comes from the Random Adventure Title Generator.

Hooks

1. A strange note in a strange land. The party is given a letter addressed to no one. It outlines the brainwashing and mind control of a young dwarven adventurer named Briggs Moltenaxe. It is requesting whoever reads the letter to visit Elanor Rainsbird in Frostvale and assist in finding her missing nephew.2. Gone are the Ice Guard. While staying at the Wooly Stein in Frostvale the party is asked if they had heard of the Ice Guard, a party of young adventurers who had recently formed. They marched into the Endless Tundra a month ago in search of Demonsbane. And glory. Elanor Rainsbird was in the tavern the night before making a fuss, scared for their safety, she said she was willing to pay to ensure they were safe.3. A friend in need. Briggs Moltenaxe is a close friend of one the party and they had heard he was in Frostvale. Upon arrival, he is nowhere to be seen. The locals tell them of the Ice Guard and their attempts at fame and that Elanor Rainsbird had been speaking to them before they were last seen.

Frostvale

Frostvale is cold and desolate. It existed solely as a place to stop on the way to somewhere else. There was a time that it was rich with adventurers and travelers, but with the new southern roads, it has become much quieter. The tavern is rarely full, and the general store has become even more general. But as is with all places on the fringes of the world, it holds its secrets and wonders.The Wooly Tankard
If you are not sleeping or working, you are probably here. It is warm and there is beer. And food. It is little more than a wooden hall with a fire pit and some tables, but it is a bastion of hope against the cold and loneliness of the tundra.
The tavernmaster, Marcy Longfeets (female, halfling), is relaxed and jovial. However, she also acts as the town guard when she has to. She is a formidable opponent and keeps a big sword behind the bar. She is a veteran with a small size.If the players want to hire some help they can do so here, the following are some examples but NPC up to CR2 would be suitable.

d6Hirelings
1Carlosi Magnax, a bandit captain
2Hungo, a berserker
3Baden, a cult fanatic
4Lucia, a druid
5Felden, a priest
6Rik, a wererat

The Trading Post
A general store of sorts. You can find almost anything from the Adventuring Gear list here , as well as most mundane weapons . Whatever the party wants, offer them something a little worse than that.
This is general store, so it is obviously run by a Gnome.The Mess Hall
Lodgings for travelers. It costs 1sp per night to sleep here. There are always strange and interesting folk staying here.
Roll 1d6 each day for a new guest.

d6Guests
1Three Bandits on the run. They act suspiciously and will threaten anyone that questions them too much.
2Luvis Hubbard, a cultist disguised as a cleric. They have 2 Potions of Healing (greater), a +1 weapon, and 2 Spell Scrolls (2nd level) for sale.
3Maximus Rigimus, a retired gladiator, talks loudly about their exploits as a warrior in the arena. Carries a +2 mace.
4Lord Sharbles, a human noble, is thoroughly disgusted that they have to stay in ‘such a common' place. Carries too much gold with him.
5Gloria Genne, a werewolf in human form. Quiet and answers questions with questions.
6Jukk Jukk Winko, a goblin of incredible intelligence. Knows how unusual they are, doesn’t care. Will come adventure with the party if asked.

Other places in town
Frostvale is far from bustling. But people still live here. The following tables will give you some inspiration for the people and places the party might find here.

d6Person
1Maggie Drummond
2Grayem Jons
3Pyper Fjord
4Jims Loctan
5Reggy ‘Racket’ Ribbles
6Heighlee Highbury
d6Place
1A well
2One room shack
3Stone barracks
4Chapel
5Stable
6Blacksmith
d6Descriptor 1Descriptor 2
1OldAbandoned
2RuinedBurning
3Recently builtSnowed over
4RamshackleFilled with people
5SturdyFor Sale
6FlimsyOccupied by bandits

Elanor's House

As the party approaches the house read or paraphrase the following.Elanor’s house sits alone on the outskirts of town. A small dark shanty with a single chimney releases a light trail of smoke from it. The wind blows the cold straight through to your bones. There is a single window shuttered tightly. The door is painted crimson red.The only way into this building is through the door, or perhaps breaking the window. When the players knock on the door read or paraphrase the following:The door creaks open revealing a dimly lit room. Peering around the door is the face of a dwarven woman. She looks you up and down suspiciously before quietly saying, ‘You have arrived… this is… good.’ She opens the door wider and beckons you inside, ushering you to the random array of chairs that are spread around the room. She sits down on the bed in the corner of the room. She stares blankly at the party and says, ‘You’ve come to help find my nephew?’The room has the following details:
• A small table littered with various mundane utensils and three chairs around it.
• There is a small fireplace that warms the room, a small pot of food bubbles away next to it.
• A small bed covered in furs in one corner and a small chest of drawers next to it.
Elanor Rainsbird is a dwarven druid and has lived here for a long time. She had spoken to her nephew many many times about Demonsbane but never through he would go off into the tundra to look for it! She is wracked with guilt does not want anyone to know it's her fault he’s gone. Even though, really, it’s not her fault. Elanor is tightlipped about telling Brigss about Demonsbane and that she thinks it’s her fault he’s gone. However, should the party pick up on her strange attitude she will open up about it after a successful DC12 Charisma based skill check.Roleplaying Elanor. Elanor is vague and distant. She watches the party closely while they enter the room. While she does seem sincere, there is something off with the way she speaks, her eagerness to get the party out into the tundra to find Briggs. As the conversation around Briggs Moltenaxe continues, she will reveal the following information.• The Ice Guard are an upstart group of adventurers, reckless and dangerous.
• The young dwarf in the party is Briggs Moltenaxe, her nephew.
• Asks the party to find Moltenaxe and bring him back, he should be back by now.
• She explains that the tundra is treacherous and will require a great amount o skill to navigate.
• She warns of yeti that will be roaming the land between here and The Bitter Peak

Rumour Mill

Demonsbane

The people talk but they probably know nothing.

d8The Word
1It’s a sword that forged in the black flames of the Abyss and cut through any demon’s armour.
2It’s a dagger made from the tooth demon that died coming through a portal to the Abyss.
3A staff made from mammoth bone that starts to grow strange flesh, and wooly when held by wizards.
4Demonsbane was put on the top of The Bitter Peak by a raging barbarian who died in the process.
5If you touch it, and you’re not a magic user you die instantly.
6On clear nights a light can be seen flickering from The Bitter Peak, folks think there is someone living there.
7It was used to kill kings and queens of old, it’s a horrible violent tool of destruction.
8It’s hogwash, there’s nothing out there but your death.

The Bitter Peak

No one has been out there, but they have plenty to say about it.

d4The Word
1It’s a mountain covered in snow.
2There used to be a castle out there somewhere, it’s probably a part of that.
3No one has ever made it back from the peak.
4There are horrors that guard the peak. You can hear them when you get out into the tundra.

The Endless Tundra

They call it the barrier at the end of the world. A freezing cold wasteland that roars with the winds of ice. It is dangerous to traverse, the party must be prepared.

Moving through the tundra
Players should be given the Endless Tundra Map or something that resembles it. This will help them to keep track of what they are doing and where they are going. When they decide to move forward, they will have to roll.
Movement. To move forward the party must choose an adjacent tile and select someone to be their navigator. The navigator makes a DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) check, on a success the party can move to the chosen tile, on fail they are lost. It takes 24 hours to travel between tiles. No roll is required when returning to tiles already discovered, but it still takes 24 hours to travel.Getting lost. If the party is lost, they will move in a random direction and may not know which tile they have ended upon. Assign a number to each side of the tile, roll on a d6, and players move to that tile but they don’t know which tile they are in.Walking off the grid. Should the random number send the party off the map it will take them 24 hours of travel to return the same tile. Alternatively, they might re-enter the map via another tile they have already discovered.Getting help. Another player may use any skill to help the Navigator to give them advantage on their Survival check. However, they must be proficient in the skill they choose.Weather. The tundra’s weather is unreliable and ever-changing. Roll on the Weather table at the start of each new day.

d6Weather
1Blizzard, if will become lost if you travel today.
2Heavy snowfall, you have disadvantage on survival checks.
3/5Cold and windy, no impact on survival checks.
6Clear skies, you have advantage on survival checks.

Entering a new hex. When the party crosses over into a new hex they discover a new, random event.- 1 is the Sea of Ice, the cast flat expanse that is the territory of the yeti.
- 2 is the Frozen Prairie, a place of wild strangeness.
- 3 is The Uncharted, bitter cold and death are what waits for them here.
- 4 is The Bitter Peak, where questions will be answered.

1. Sea of Ice

This place is desolate and unremarkable. The ice stretches out in every direction, only The Bitter Peak varies and even that is difficult to find when the weather is bad.Things live here. There are tracks in the snow and carcasses of dead animals.Roll on the Encounter table below. Every creature out here is a survivor. They attack because they are hungry, they do not fight to their death. The Gamemaster can choose to have them retreat and continue to follow the party.

d6Encounter
11d4+1 Saber-Toothed Tiger.
21d6+1 Polar Bear.
31d4 Manticores fighting 1d4 Griffons.
41d4+1 Veterans, they don't speak a language the party knows and are extremely aggressive.
51d6 Winter Wolves.
61d4+1 Yeti, refer below.

The Yeti. This encounter uses Matt Colville’s Action Oriented Monsters to create more challenging and engaging combat for the party. Below outlines the Villain Actions that the yeti should take on each turn. Remember, the Yeti can take the Villain Action for that turn and their normal actions and movements. This will make this challenge significantly more challenging.The yeti is sneaking but a successful DC 20 Wisdom (perception) check will alert the player to the yeti’s presence. Have the party roll for initiative.Villain Actions
Round 1 – Snowball. The Yeti throws a snowball 6ft in diameter at the party. All creatures within 10ft of the snowballs impact point must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 1d10 bludgeoning damage and is knocked prone. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn't knocked prone.
Round 2 – Leap. The Yeti leaps forward at the characters. The impact of its landing sends a shock wave through the area. All creatures within 10ft of the impact must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, they are knocked prone.Round 3 – Bite. The Yeti charges at the closest character grabbing them and biting them. The targeted creature must succeed DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 1d8 bludgeoning damage and 1d6 piercing damage.After Round 3 the Yeti has no more Villain Actions, only use the standard actions from the yeti’s stat block.Ending combat. Combat ends when all the yeti are dead, or when the Gamemaster decides they will retreat. The Yeti are hungry and will follow the party as long as they are alive.

2. Frozen Prairie

The ground is still cold. The Bitter Peak is closer, much closer but you are far from it still. This place is filled with a strangeness that cannot quite be understood.Roll on the Encounter table below. Every creature out here is a survivor. They attack because they are hungry, they do not fight to their death. The Gamemaster can choose to have them retreat and continue to follow the party.

d4Encounter
1A herd of mammoth.
22 Trolls.
31d6+1 Manticores.
42 Young White Dragons.

Courtship of the Dragons. The two dragons circle high above for quite some time before they begin to descend. It is mating season, it is unusual to find two white dragons together. These two are extremely aggressive and attack.They take turns in attacking. Swooping down one at a time to attack the adventurers while the other stays above and circles.Ending combat. The white dragons are more interested in mating than in killing the adventurers, for now. However, they will like to toy with them as a show of power.
- After six rounds, both dragons fly away
- If one dragon dies before the 7th round, the remaining flies away and does not return.
- The Gamemaster may choose to have the dragons reappear in other hexes until at least one has died.

3. The Uncharted

The flat ground gives way to low undulating mounds and hills covered in snow. The Peak can be seen, looming above, and a faint light illuminates it in the evenings. An Unforgiving Land. In order to survive in this region of the tundra it takes wits and determination. Every day spent in this region requires each character to make a successful DC 15 Skill check to navigate the region. The character must be Proficient in the skill they choose to roll. On a failed check they lose or damage a random piece of equipment.The Wandering Giant. There is a 25% chance that a solitary Frost Giant, called Doonak, will wander into their camp at the start of the day. They will stand and watch the party for a few minutes before attacking. Should a character, who speaks giant, succeed a DC 25 Charisma (Persuasion) check Doonak sits down in the snow and talks to them about his old clan, and how he misses them. If asked about The Bitter Peak, he says it's a mountain and something lives at the top.

4. The Bitter Peak

It is a mountain, and it does glow at the top. You stand before a single mountain in the depths of the snowfield. Nothing can is visible in any direction. You can just make out a faint trail that winds down from the top to the base, where you see a small camp set up. There is a fire. And someone sitting beside it.Briggs Moltenaxe. Briggs is the sole survivor of the Ice Guard. He arrived the day before and has rested the night, as he wanted his full strength to face the climb and whatever awaits him at the top. He is wary at first, but so long as there are no ill intentions toward him he is grateful for the companionship. He gives the following information before suggesting they climb the mountain;- The Ice Guard died at the hands of the tundra's inhabitants. Dragons, wolves, trolls, and yeti.
- He has been alone for the last week and only arrived yesterday.
- He saw the lights atop the Peak in the evening, they glowed warmly.
- He is determined to discover the Demonsbane.
Climbing the Bitter Peak. This is a skill challenge that requires 4 successes before 3 failures against a DC of 15. The party will make it to the top of the mountain regardless of how many successes they get but for every failure, they suffer one of the following setbacks.- The journey takes longer than expected and you arrive as the sun is setting.
- Each character suffers a level of exhaustion.
- A weapon or magic item is lost.
To run a skill challenge, describe the situation and ask players how their characters will assist in climbing the mountain. Each time a check is failed, the party experiences a struggling hardship while trying to climb. With every successful check, the Dungeon Master should ask the player how their skill has helped them climb the mountain.The Bitter Peak. At the top of the mountain is a large wooden door, closed but not locked, and a number of small round windows that have a light glow from them. When the party enters the room read or paraphrase the following:As the door opens it reveals a large open room that is dominated but a black and purple swirling portal. The portal is set into the wall and bordered by intricate runes. On the western wall is a scrying pool, and a bookshelf that seems to be humming. On the eastern wall are a large armchair, a writing desk and chair, and a rack of weapons, armor, and clothing. Sitting in the armchair is a powerful-looking woman with thick black hair, and rich brown skin, she wears worn but quality armor. She smiles, stands, and picks up a greatsword that glows with black and purple energy. 'You've come... Are you here to enter the abyss or relieve me?'Genesia the Demonsbane. Genesia is a deva who has been given the task of protecting the portal from demons who seek to enter the mortal realm while ensuring it doesn't close completely. She has been here for centuries. The party has three options which can be described by Genesia;1. Enter the Abyss. - They can choose to enter the abyss, the realm of the demons. Should they choose to do this the Gamemaster will need to find and prepare an adventure for it.2. Relieve Genesia. - One character or NPC may choose to take up the mantle of Demonsbane. By doing this they are bound to The Bitter Peak. Whoever takes this option will become deva however, they cannot leave until another chooses to take their position.3. Attempt to leave. - Genesia will tell them that they cannot leave. If they attempt to the door slams shut, locks (DC 25 Dexterity check to open), and she attacks. She will warn them first.The Gamemaster might choose to have Briggs Moltenaxe offer to take up the mantle of Demonsbane, giving the party an easy way out. This should be judged based on the players and party, they may want to try and fight a celestial. Be sure the party knows that killing a celestial will have consequences. The Gods of the world may come asking questions, so might something much worse.

From here it is up to the party and the Gamemaster to decide what happens and where the story goes. I cannot guide you further in this.

About

Hey! I'm Stuart! I'm an Australian writer, podcaster, and RPG designer. I write mind-bending dangerous adventures, with a touch of the apocalypse.You can find more of my work here: www.stuartwatkinson.com
You can support me on Patreon.
The art assets used for this adventure are from Grey Gnome, check out their work here: greygnome.com
The map was made using Inkarnate.
All legal 5th Edition stuff is here