(Warning! This post contains spoilers about Icewind Dale. If that bothers you there are certainly other interesting things in the web to read about. Also this post is brought to you by... Alladin! He thinks this might give some XP so here it is)
When we last left our heroes they were playing detectives and solved a murder mystery! Ok, they weren't really playing detectives. They just got lucky to find the evidence they needed. Also it wasn't really a murder mystery as much as a case of forgery.... *clears throat* In any case, there were still mysteries to be solved. Much bigger ones at that. It was to find the evil that has been plaguing Kuldahar. The only clue they had was given to them by Arundel who said they might find some answers in the Valley of Shadows. So that is where they were heading next.
As soon as they tried to go out of town though, a man came running at them shouting something about being chased by yetis.
This was starting to become a pattern.
Since they are brave adventurers they didn't run away, they just went on to meet the yetis face on and fight then. Once again the fight was of such epic proportions that I could not take a screenshot of it. It was totally not because my couple of screenshots of it are terrible and really uninteresting. Nope, no siree!
With the yetis dead they went up to talk with the man. His name was Mirek and he was thankful that they saved his life. Unfortunately his brother, Silas, wasn't so lucky. This is what happened, according to Mirek's story. He and his brother went to the Valley of Shadows to pay respect to their ancestors like they do every year. The valley felt different this time though, cursed even. Yetis were roaming throughout all the roads, attacking travellers and one of them, "the largest yeti I've ever seem" in Miriak's words, killed Silas. If the loss os his brother wasn't bad enough Mirek also lost his family heirloom as it was in the possession of Silas. At this point the party did what any goodie two-shoes worth their salt would do and promised to retrieve the heirloom.
Mirek was grateful for their offer to retrieve the heirloom, told them that Arundel could tell them a safer path to get there (been there, done that, buddy!) and that they could bring any yeti pelts they got to Conlan the blacksmith who would pay well for them. The party thanked him for the tip then continued on their journey.
During the trip Gretel wondered if they were going to help someone being chased by monsters every time they tried to leave a town. The party quickly agreed that was very unlikely, those two attacks they had to deal with were purely coincidental. Alladin however hoped it would happen more times though since he needed all the XP he could get to survive this campaign. The others just ignored that remark, chalking it up to his usual mystic giberish.
They arrived at the Valley of Shadows at night and soon found out that Mirek wasn't kidding that the placed felt cursed. As they were exploring one of the paths they were attacked by Lesser Shadows.
There were other unusual things too, like crypts protected by all manner of undead
By the decor of the crypts, they certainly were not family ones (or at least harmless family ones) like the one Mirek and his brother Silas did a pilgrimage for.
If the crypts weren't creepy enough there was also this giant statue of robed figure in the middle of the place that just happened to be just like the ones in the crypts:
Oh, there were yetis there too, of course. In fact they even found the yeti who killed Silas pretty fast. I also didn't even notice it was that yeti after he was dead! I guess Merik just has different interpretations of what a big yeti is since the murdering yeti was the same size as all his other cousins.
Near they found the entrance to a cave which not only contained more yetis but also some human-made tents. Apparently they were recently placed too since they haven't decayed to dust or something yet.
With everything put together it certainly looked like they were on the right path to find the culprit of all the problems in Kuldahar. There was a lot yet to investigate in the Shadow of Valleys though. And we'll get to that in the next post of this series!