Now that the last of the powerful cold fey had been killed off or scattered, what would our heroes do next; cross over into the land of eternal winter, or return home and forget this entire event ever occurred
After a brief discussion among themselves, our heroes decide to return to the town with their spoils with hopes of selling off the items and procuring new weapons, armor and/or magical gear to further assist in their quest.
Once again, the return trip to Heldren is blissfully uninterrupted. The only difficulties the group has relates to the freezing temperatures and their affect on their bodies. However, thanks to the three horses the obtained from the bandits, they managed to make the return trip with only a few minor cases of hypothermia.
They reached the town at sunset and immediately proceeded to the tavern for a drink and a hot meal, that they didn’t have to cook. They met with Councilor Ionnia Teppen first thing and relayed the most recent events. Toby slipped out during the discussion to visit with the temple’s high priest. He thanked the aging priest for the wand and requested that they create a new one for them. The priest agreed and told the halfling that it would be completed by mid afternoon the next day.
By morning, each of them were feeling worlds better. However, the early risers of the group hear the sounds of heavy wagons and horses outside. Looking outside they spot two large wagons and a half-dozen riders. The first wagon looks rather normal with a canvas top with a driver and two horses pulling it. The other is quite different. First, the wagon is huge like a wooden house on wheels. Second, it is being pulled by a single donkey. And lastly, it has no driver nor a place for one to sit.
One look at the wagons and the word gypsies comes to mind. They ride right into the center of town and stop near the well. Three eccentrically dressed women exit the back of the covered wagon and they assist with setting up the wagon. The wagon in question seems to transform before their eyes into a store.
The gypsies have a wide variety of goods to sell. Our heroes go inside and look through their wares. Toby seems to have gotten it into his mind that the gypsies are thieves and want to go and hid the money that they acquired in their quest by burying in the ground behind the apothecaries places. Nidhwen and Six try to calm him down, but sometime during the debate, Toby pulls Six’s mask off. For the first time, most of the group see the numerous injuries that his face has sustained:
- numerous slashes to the throat
- Burns over his entire scalp, ears, neck, and cheeks
- A mutilated nose
- A rather deep Glasgow smile
- Lack of right eyelids
Six freaks out and dives for the cover of the room to cover his mutilated visage. Toby stands in shock holding the mask before apologizing and handing it back to him. Qari moves to his side and tries to comfort the fighter.
After a few minutes, they continue to shop around Qari starts talking about the odd snow and the mission that they were sent to complete. One of the gypsy girls goes to speak with the caravan’s master. She is gone for a about thirty minutes and when she returns informs them that he would like to meet them, and more importantly, he will grant each of them a single purchase at 1/2 price. This surprises the group, and they each find something they want to buy.
Following this, they are taken to the larger wagon and allowed inside. If the last one was impressive, then the insides of this wagon were beyond belief. It was as if they had be transported into a castle, complete with marble floors and stone walls and far too large to have been contained inside the dimensions of the wagon.
A well dressed kobold butler met them at the door and offered them a seat around a long table. Drink and fresh bread was presented to them by several other kobolds that looked disturbingly identical to the butler. Once they placed the offerings of the table, all but the butler winked out of existence.
A few moments later, a white haired old human entered the room. He introduced himself as the master of the caravan. He listened to their story of the cold fey and the winter portal and the Black Rider with an unreadable face. Once the story was over, he was silent for a several long moments before speaking again. He explained that he had heard tails of other portals to the frost covered land.
Qari and Toby showed him the spellbook and unholy symbol that they found on the human bandit leader. He offered to trade the book and symbol for a minor magical rod that he had. They happily agreed as it would grant some extra fire-power to Qari’s spells. He also offered them some snowshoes that would assist them in moving across the snow when they traveled through the portal.
Following this, he bid them a safe journey and went upstairs. The kobold butler offered them food, but they politely declined and returned to the Silver Stoat tavern to discuss their plans for the upcoming trip into the frozen expanse of Irrisen…