Reign of Winter

Session 13
The Pale Tower (part 4)
The white witch used a spell from an odd blue ice wand to drop a huge icicle on top of Six before he retreated to the doorway. Slowly, the party managed to kill off the wolves, but the witch and his familiar managed to escape into the room beyond.

Six rushed after him, but when he opened the door the room was empty…

Our heroes search the bed chamber and found another ice teleporter and a door on the south wall with a tapestry covering it. Nidhwen moved into the short hallway and examined the door beyond for traps. It didn’t have any, but it was locked. This was perhaps the most difficult lock she had ever encountered and it proved difficult to pick. Eventually, she managed to open the lock.

Several crates, urns, decanters, and storage boxes fill this small room. A mirrored vanity and chair sit next to the east window. An ice statue of a tall, imperious woman stands in the center of the room.

As soon as the threshold was breached a glyph of warding trap was sprung which attempted to bestow a curse on those foolish enough to enter. Following this, they searched the room and found a trove of treasures that had be placed here by the winter witches. It take quite a while to search and sort through this bounty, but once they do they discover a magical white gold ring with an emerald set into it. Qari and Nidhwen identify it as a ring of regeneration. This item is a very potent magical device that continually restores wounds to it wearer. Six puts on the ring, and they collect up the loot and carry it downstairs to rest up from their last battle.

They rested that night in the rooms below, and in the morning they started to leave through the main door to the courtyard. However, as they opened up the door, they saw the Winter Witch standing in the archway with the battered and beaten form of former captain Hestrig Orlov kneeling on the snow in front of him. She was stripped and bound hand to foot. The woman’s skin looked almost blue with chill as she weakly groaned. Behind them, the winter-touched forlarren bard, Mierul Ardelain, hovered meekly near the wall.

The Winter Witch glared at them as they exited the tower. He accused them of ruining his mistress’s plans and claimed that they would not get away with it. With that he slid his icy blue blade across the tender skin of Hestrig’s throat. Crimson liquid spilled out in a veritable waterfall across her breast to pool upon the ground. The Winter Witch began a incantation in his rough voice that caused the giant ice dragon statue in the middle of the courtyard to shudder and shake. With a roar that sounded of glaciers scrapping together, the dragon rose to life!

Chaos erupted as the dragon engaged the allies in combat. The Winter Witch used his spells while four guards slid down the chutes and began flanking the front line warriors.

Things were looking very bad for our heroes until Nidhwen noticed a familiar blue glint in the dragon’s eyes. It reminded her of the compulsion effect that the captain was under back in the library. Taking a great risk, she used her bardic talents to attempt to reach the woman. Against all odds, she was successful and she managed to free her spirit from the witch’s control.

With this, the flow of the battle shifted dramatically as the ice dragon turned on the guards, the bard, and the Winter Witch. Eventually, the Winter Witch’s guards were taken down and he was over powered by the allies. Mierul was given a summary trial and executed. All that was left to handle was the Hestrig in the ice dragon’s body. After discussing the situation with her, they agreed to leave her here to taken custodianship of the Pale Tower and help protect the innocent villagers from the wrath of the witches.

Following this, they gathered up several teams of sled dogs and began the trip back to Waldsby. For the most part, the villagers were glad that the heroes had struck down the local witch tower, but they were terrified of possible reprisals. That being said, the villagers began to pack up many of their possessions to move away.

Nadya volunteers to guide the adventurers to Whitethrone, the capital of Irrisen, were Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut has been imprisoned. She only asks that she could bring her twin boys along but only as far as the village of Ellsprin and promises that they will not be a burden. Ellsprin is about a week away. After this she will continue to escort them to the capital.

Nadya recommends that they resupply in the village and get some rest before the long journey. Six takes this opportunity to return to the warehouse that they imprisoned the mistress of the tavern. She gives her a note that when summed up tells her that he is sorry for the fate of her husband but with the events that have occurred she should collect her belongings and go in peace. She doesn’t know quite what to make of this development but leaves quickly none the less.

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Session 12
The Pale Tower (part 3)
The leave her tied up on the table while they move to check a small room to the southwest. This turns out to be a small bedroom with a locked chest. Nidhwen begins to work at picking the lock. Eventually they discover a bag of coins, a light crossbow, a strange frosty blue potion bottle (Qari and Nidhwen identify this as an Ice Floe Elixir), and a common white hooded cloak. Nidhwen showed the others the items and some of them instantly recognized the cloak as being identical to the one that was worn by Meirul the forlarren bard that happened across their camp on their first night in Irrisen…

Qari expressed that she was running short of spells for the day, but that she could proceed onward if the others wanted. So, they continued counterclockwise around the tower. Toby and Six move up to open the door.

Several cabinets line the narrow walls of this oddly angular room. A chopping block, water barrel, and cauldron stand near the room’s only door. The tantalizing smells of fresh baked bread and meaty stew fill the air.

Immediately after the door is opened, a angry spriggan roars out in rage, “Get out of my Kitchen!” It seems to emit some form of scare spell that causes Toby to run away. In the next moment, it increases in size to fill the kitchen. Six keeps him from entering the room while Colt and Nidhwen give him support. Together, they drop the strange creature. A search of the room yields nothing much of interest of than a strange cookie in the shape of a white dragon. It radiates a faint aura of transmutation magic. Qari and Nidhwen determine that it is a spiteful cookie.

As that battle wasn’t to difficult, they continue on to the other locked room on the north side of the tower. They find that the key they took from Hestrig opens up this door.

A bed, desk, and storage chest furnish this small bedroom. A large mirror hangs on the wall opposite the room’s only door, and two windows look down on the tower’s courtyard.

Nidhwen moves to the chest and uses the key to open it. Inside, she found a small hoard that the dragon-blooded woman had secreted away. An elixir of truth, three potions of feather fall, a pair of silver bracers traced with figures of dragons, a jeweled scepter, an agate, three blue quartz crystals, and bags of gold, silver, and copper coins. She scooped up the items and made a quick search around the rest of the room for anything else of value, but she found nothing else.

Moving around to the last door on this level, Nidhwen noticed that it looked like this lock was different from the others. It appeared that this lock was keyed from both sides. It took her a couple of tries, but she eventually managed to open the door. She backed away so that Six and Toby could move in and open it, and when they did, they all got quite a surprise.

The scent of perfume fills the air of this small bedroom where several dresses styled for a Taldan noblewoman lie neatly arranged on the bed. A mirrored vanity and chair sit by the door next to a wooden chest, and a larger mirror hangs on the wall between two windows.

One figure stood against the far wall from the door. It was a figure that they had all seen before, but thought was safely returned to Heldren. It was Lady Argentea Malassene. As the adventurer’s stood there staring in shock at the woman before them, she spoke to them. “You don’t look like any of the guards that I’ve seen before, who are you?” Eventually, the heroes rediscover they powers of speech and warily confess with this woman, however, it seems that all their suspensions were wrong and that this was the real lady that was captured and one they discovered back in the cellar of the lodge was an imposter. She claims to be hungry, so, Toby moves to the kitchen and gets her a bowl of the stew. As they converse with her, she claims that she thought they brought her here for ransom at first, but now maybe they have bigger plans for Taldor. She claims to know nothing else about the White Witches plans.

Eventually, she finished and Toby offered to bring her down to Nadya for safe keeping. She is told the pass phrase and goes ahead of him. Toby tells his friends that he’ll be back in a few minutes.

Downstairs

Toby appears on the ground floor of the tower, but before he can look around for Lady Argentea, he feels an incredible pain in his back. He opens his mouth to scream out a warning, but the only sound that parts his lips is a strangled gasp as the blade’s tip penetrates his right lung. He falls unconscious to the floor below, doomed to slowly die…

Upstairs

Qari went to get several bowls of the stew for her companions. She could still barely believe that she was traveling with other people now. For years she had lived alone. She ladled the hearty stew into the stoneware bowls and thought about the only other person that was ever nice to her. The woman was an old, half-blind, hedge witch that lived about two hours walk south of Heldren. A slight tear came to the corner of her left eye at the memory that followed, but she quickly shoved it aside. She picked up the bowls and return to her friends.

Several minutes later, Toby came walling back into the library room where the others had taken to eating. He claimed to have taken the lady , “down to the others”. A couple of the others look at him strangely as, but the halfling tends to have a odd way about his mannerism, so, they ignored it. However, just before they picked up to move onward, Toby did something else that seemed too different from normal. Colt attacked the halfling with his blunderbuss. Everyone was still trying to figure out what had possessed the halfling ranger as he violently struck back at him “former” companions.

Six seemed to be conflicted with the whole encounter, but fought for his, and his allies, lives. Eventually the halfling tried to retreat down the hall. But Qari ran around to block him with her long spear outstretched. Nidhwen moved to join her while Six and Colt closed in on him from behind. Colt fumbled around in his bandoleer for his last normal bullet and shot it at Toby. The halfling turned toward the sound of the shoot and took it right in the chest. A glassy-eyed expression came upon his face as he seemed to fall to the floor in slow motion. Behind Six’s full face helmet was a pained look as the halfling died in front of him.

As the gravity of this event settled upon them, the inanimate form of Toby on the ground suddenly started to shimmer. His form started to elongate and his skin color seemed to drain away until he looked nothing like himself. The figure before them was a grayish humanoid creature that seemed almost unfinished, with a narrow head, gaunt limbs, and a sinister, noseless face. Qari and Nidhwen both realized that it was a doppelganger.

Six’s helmet creaked sharply as his head jerked up, and he had already knock aside three chairs to get to the icy teleport pad before anyone could say more. As he arrived at the bottom, he noticed a large spatter of blood at his feet. Crimson drag marks marred the otherwise clean floor leading to the southern privy. He quickly moved to open the door. In his haste to get inside, he almost knocked to door off it’s hinges.

There, in a pool of blood next to the chamber pot, laid Toby. He was deadly still and already looking unhealthily pale from the blood loss. Six quickly moved to his side to check on him. The little halfling seemed to be stable, but in desperate need of healing. Luckily, Nidhwen arrived to use their healing wand to revive him. Qari and Colt followed down with Hestrig (who had by now woken up) in tow.

As the others finally arrive in the steamy entrance hall, They see that Toby is being doctored up by Nidhwen and Vrixx with Six standing nearby. Nadya and Hatch are sent for to witness the using of the potion of truth on captain of the Pale Tower Hestrig. Hestrig admits to being taken in for training in the arcane at a very young age because of her draconic blood. She goes on to state that she recently discovered that the mother of the current lead of the Pale Tower killed a powerful white dragon, named Auburphex, to claim this land as hers to rule, and that this dragon is a direct ancestor to her blood. At this point, she is unsure of what she should do now…avenge her draconic parent or keep it a secret.

Under the effects of the potion of truth, the allies tend to believe the former guard captains words, however, they are split in their determination as to what to do with her. Nadya takes the opportunity to move in and slam the already weakened woman to the wall and demand to know about her daughter. Hestrig relays that the White Witch Nazhena Vasilliovna was angered by the girls insolence and turned her into a guardian doll.

With this admission, Nadya lost it. She gripped Hestrig tightly around her throat and lifted her off the ground. Hestrig didn’t even seem to be trying to fight her off. Colt, Qari, and Toby all seemed content to let the grieving mother exact some vengeance on the guard, but Six and Nidhwen seemed to take a higher moral ground and stepped in to stop the eventual execution. Nadya looked furiously between the two of them as Six gently stepped between the two women. He held his hands up for a moment before producing a scrap of papper and a charcoal pen. He hastily scribbled a small message to the enraged Ulfen woman.

In this short time I have
come to care for you and
your family.

I do not wish for your
son’s mother to kill another
in Anger.

But I swear we will punish
the real party responsible.

Nadya slowly read and re-read the note before she looked back up into the eyes of the man before her. In her memory, she flashed back to the the way it looked when he was playing with her little twin sons. Tears came to her eyes, and she cried on his shoulder for several minutes. She then shocked everyone when she shifted his helmet and mask silently and kissed him upon his horribly scarred cheek. Following that she left the hall and returned to the battlements.

It was a tense few minutes as quite a heated discussion about the eventual fate of the guard was decided. In the end, Toby and Six came to an agreement that Six would remain here after the others returned to the floor above to end her live. Slowly the others went up until only Six was left with Hestrig still crumpled on the floor where Nadya dropped her. Hestrig stood and watched as the fighter produced a knife. She looked at him for a moment before she raised her head and closed her eyes. However the killing slash didn’t come. Instead, he cut the rope that bound her hands and handed her a note.

Leave now, live your life in peace
But if you ever hurt innocent people again,
We’ll finish this.

The former captain of the guard looked completely confused by the message, but slowly backed away to the hall before turning and walking away.

As six returned upstairs, the others were getting settled in for the night. Nothing more was said about the fate of the captain. The divided up the watches among the ones that didn’t need to regain spells. Nothing happened that night.

In the morning, they used the small key they took from Hestrig to activate the teleporter to the Aerie. Like usual, Toby and Six lead the way.

A triangle of crossed steel wires runs between three wooden posts in this crescent-shaped room that smells strongly from the bird droppings scattered across the floor. Along the south wall, open windows look down from a dizzying height, admitting a brisk, cold wind. Two doors exit this chamber, one next to a large mirror to the west and another standing between a pair of wooden chests to the northeast.

Sitting on one of the chests is a rather beautiful sylph woman. As it turns out, this girl is Jairess Sonn. and she has been chained here to take care of the ravens. The chain grants her just enough length to travel into a small bedroom and take care of the ravens. Qari examines the chain and reveals that the magic on it is a type of binding that harms the wearer if attempting to remove it. While this is going on, Toby and Six search the two rooms.

Dozens of stacked crates fill this angular storeroom. Several miniature dollhouses stand atop high shelves.

These look just the right size for those accursed winter-touched sprite to use and Toby takes great pleasure in destroying them after the search. They find a jeweled +1 dagger (whose hilt resembles the head of a blue-eyes winter wolf), a jade bracelet of a Tian Sovereign dragon, a pair of porcelain dolls, a silver medallion decorated with sapphires, a gold signet ring, and three blue quartz crystals.

The other room is little more that a cells with a straw bed and heavy winter blankets.

They try several things to remove the chain from her leg, but it always end up hurting the barely of-age sylph. Eventually, they attempt to damage the icy wall that the chain is attached to. That seems to work and she is freed to leave the aerie. She shows the heroes a small key with an “R” on it. She states that a man named Radosek dropped it when he was up here the other day. The way she stuttered slightly, lead several of the party to believe they knew the reason for his “visit”

They took her down to Nadya and returned to the deactivated teleport pad. With everyone gripping tightly to Six, they all stepped onto the pad. As they were all cramped on the the small pad, when they arrived in the ritual chamber all but Qari and Nidhwen fell onto the floor.

A translucent image of a globe hangs suspended in midair slowly rotating in place, above a summoning circle in the blue-tiled floor of this large chamber. Lines of arcane energy glow across the globe’s surface, faintly humming with power as they connect multiple endpoints in a radiant glow bright enough to illuminate the domed ceiling overhead. Many tables and shelves covered in books, maps, and large scrolls line the room’s circular walls, and a large ornate mirror hangs between two open windows to the west. Twin ice sculptures of demonic fiends flank a bubbling cauldron in an archway leading into a deep alcove in the southern wall.

Ah, so you have finally made it up to the ritual chamber you fools. Well let’s see how you like the company! With that, he summoned six wolves from the cauldron. These wolves and a wicked looking goat all attacked the party. With several of the group still on the floor that wolves managed to tear into several of them. However, the allies managed to regain their footing and counter attacked. The goat was a far more deadly opponent though. The witch was casting his spell through the goat and it was laying into Toby. However, Six managed to drop several of the wolves and Colt backed him up with his blunderbuss. The white witch used a spell from an odd blue ice wand to drop a huge icicle on top of Six before he retreated to the doorway. Slowly, the party managed to kill off the wolves, but the witch and his familiar managed to escape into the room beyond.

Six rushed after him, but when he opened the door the room was empty…

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Session 11
The Pale Tower (part 2)
Six, Toby, and Colt search the two barracks, but they find little more than empty beds and weapons lockers. Regrouping in the entrance hall, they use wand and spells to heal up the wounds dealt by the guards before turning to look at the icy teleport pads…

Six was the first to step onto the teleport pad and after some effort, he was able to grunt out the necessary phrase to active it. Everyone watch in almost horror as his body was quickly covered in ice from toe to head and shattered. Toby picked up a few pieces of the ice and tried in vain to fit them back together.

- -

A crescent-shaped dining table occupies this Y-shaped chamber, while two large mirrors on the north and south wall create the illusion of an even larger space. Twenty feet overhead, an immense chandelier of ice crystals hangs from the ceiling. To the east, rounded steps access a short hallway, flanked by twin ice sculptures of dryads holding ice-carved tree limbs, creating an elaborate archway. Translucent, glasslike double doors are set in the hall’s north and south walls. To the west, two alcoves stand between three windows providing an amazing view of the wintry landscape outside the tower.

As Six blinks away the slight disorientation from the icy teleportation, he is attacked by cold energy. He moves out from behind the table in into the center of the room. One by one, each of the others start to use the pads to move to the floor above. Eventually, Qari made it into the room and with the application of detect magic was able to point out the two invisible atomies that had been attacking the fighter. While the diminutive fey weren’t causing substantial damage to the allies, they did manage to reduce both Toby and Six to half their normal size before they were beaten.

After waiting several minutes, the two adventurers returned to normal size and continued onward. They took the northern door and found themselves in some type of conservatory.

Several table, covered in flowering plants and decorative figures both large and small, occupy the corners of this brightly lit large room. A large mirror hangs on the northern wall, while double doors lead further north.

As soon as six and toby opened the doors a filthy creature resembling a small, wide-mouthed fat child made from leaves, vines, tree bark, dirt, and pallid tubers managed to break free of a chain that was holding it in the eastern corner of the room. It let loose a shriek and charged into six. The mandragora’s shriek caused Qari to become nauseated for the rest of the battle. Six and Toby managed to pull it into the hall to make better use of flanking attacks, but it managed to score a good hit on Nidhwen. The elven bard was poisoned by the attack, however, the plant creature was quickly dispatched.

Nidhwen then slammed her head into the ice statue for no reason. Six tried to disable her to keep her from harming herself again, but she pulled a dagger from her side and stabbed at him. Luckily, the dagger didn’t penetrate his armor. After that, she seemed to come to her senses and not remember the last few seconds of the battle.

Moving on, they discovered the northern hallway and a teleport pad that Hatch had explained lead to the Aerie. They bypassed this teleporter and found their way into a large hall.

A long red carpet extends from the western doorway of this mirrored hall between ice sculptures of twin nymphs, ending at an open alcove to the east. Passageways continue north and south, following the contours of the tower’s outer wall, where windows look out over the open courtyard below.

As they moved into the room, they discovered another teleport pad in the eastern alcove, however, this teleport pad looked a little different from the others in that it wasn’t glowing the pale blue light. They moved to a single door on the southern side of the room and opened it.

Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves line the walls of this sprawling chamber. An ornate wooden table, covered with open texts and lit candles, and six chairs sit in the middle of the room. A massive mirror hangs on the western wall.

As Six and Toby are about to enter the room, they see a woman walk into view and sit in a chair next to a bastard sword that has been leaned against the table. She doesn’t appear to notice them, so, Six backs out of the room. He points to Toby and gestures for him to go left while he goes right. Colt holds fast at this door while Qari and Nidhwen move to the double doors in the dining hall. Six and Toby meet back up at the door immediately behind were the woman sat down and open the door and move in. Colt used his goblin size and natural stealthiness to slip into the room and remove the bastard sword from the space beside her and back away to the corner. Eventually Nidhwen and Qari join the others in the room and attempt to get her to surrender.

Their efforts seem to be going well, and Qari realizes that she was reading about dragons. She also recognizes the spark of magic in her as originating from a draconic ancestor. She seems all set to give up when a strange flash comes from the mirror behind them and an icy blue glow comes to the woman’s eyes. She forms a magical shard of ice in her hands not too dissimilar to a flame blade and attacks with it. Nidhwen quickly realizes that she is being controlled and tells Six, Toby, and Colt to try and subdue her. With shear numbers they manage to contain her and knock her unconscious. They tie her to the table and sprinkle an oil of protection from evil on her body, hoping that it’ll remove the charm.

The leave her tied up on the table while they move to check a small room to the southwest. This turns out to be a small bedroom with a locked chest. Nidhwen begins to work at picking the lock. Eventually they discover a bag of coins, a light crossbow, a strange frosty blue potion bottle (Qari and Nidhwen identify this as an Ice Floe Elixir), and a common white hooded cloak. Nidhwen showed the others the items and some of them instantly recognized the cloak as being identical to the one that was worn by Meirul the forlarren bard that happened across their camp on their first night in Irrisen…

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Session 10
The Pale Tower (part 1)

After a brief discussion, our heroes decided to make the trip to the Pale Tower in the morning. Nadya informed them that the trip would take about two hours if they used the guards dog sleds to aid their travels.

A little over halfway to the tower, they hear the greeting call of a female voice. Looking off to the side, they spot a crow. Unlike the normal crows this one is about three feet tall with bright green eyes. She talks with them briefly, but end up stealing Qari’s pouch and flying away. Incidentally, this pouch contained the two keys to the Dancing Hut that the Black Rider entrusted them with. Toby and Colt tracked the sneaky creature back to a tunnel and found her nest. Nidhwen identified the bird as a witchcrow, a strange bird that needs magical items to procreate its species. The crow was a formidable foe, but in the end it was no match for our adventurers combined might. Qari reclaimed her pouch while Toby and Six searched the other small tunnels off of the main chamber. Finally they returned to the surface and continued the rest of the way to the tower.

Sharp winds whistle across this stark white plain, stinging the eyes along with the near-blinding rays of the reflected sun. A great eruption of frozen ice rises in the distance—an imposing pale tower crowned with icicles spearing into the sky. Seemingly born of the land itself, an unbroken circular wall of ice guards the tower’s base, with no means of entrance visible. High above, a large gash opens in the tower’s bowl-like crown, ringed in icy spikes and split by a massive plane of ice resembling an inverted crescent moon.
A trampled path of snow, heavily tracked by footprints and sled trails, ends abruptly at an opaque wall of ice. Carvings and ancient glyphs depict only the semblance of a gateway on its surface.

Several guards at the top of the wall demand to know their business. The adventurers pretend to be returning the errant dog sleds to the tower and are let inside.

A massive ice scupture of a dragon dominates this open courtyard, standing with raised wings upon a dais of solid ice. Seven squat shacks sit along the inner wall, with several dogsleds stored outside. Between them, four ice chutes descend from the battlements of the outer wall. To the west a large double door studded with icicles lead inside the Pale Tower itself, just beneath an overhang of sharp icicles dangling from above.

As soon as they enter the courtyard, the dogs are let loose, however, one dog is thrown across the yard as a large ice troll charges at the newcomers. Like all trolls, it is very resilient to damage, but with the proper application of fire magic it is killed for good.

The heroes then begin to search the area. They look in the different kennels for anything of value, and find a large stash of gold pieces. As their attention is diverted, the four guards from the wall uses a series of slides to quickly flank several of the party. They manage to deal several hits before the allies turn the tide and put them down.

Having handled the welcoming committee, our heroes turn their attention to the door. For all the apparent danger that the icicles present, they are harmless and Nidhwen pick the lock on the tower door. As she does this Toby and Six break a pair of large mirror nearby.

Steamy air fills this inner gallery, emanating in lazy wisps from a bubbling pool recessed into the floor of a raised dais surrounded by six pillars of ice. Four foggy mirrors hang from the walls near ice sculptures of helmeted pike-wielding warriors.
Glassy patterns of striated, crystalline ice covers the tile floor in the open alcoves to the north and south, illuminated by a soft, blue light.

Hatch points out the teleport pads and explains that the only way to navigate the levels is by way of pass phrases and special keys. He gives them the ones that he knows and withdraws into the northern stairwell to wait for them. They start to look in other rooms finding another set of stairs and a pair of privies before Six moves on to the doors on the western wall.

As he opens the top door, he is struck by crossbow bolts and five guards rush in to attack them. Six does an excellent job of blocking them from his weaker allies, but several of them move through the other door and attack Toby and Colt. One of them also wakes the water elemental sleeping in the hot springs so it can join the fight. After several of them have been put down, the other doors open up and five more soldier rush to attack. One near the back seems to retreat threw the ice crystal teleporter, however, she reappears seconds later beside Qari and attacks. Little by little the foes are dropped and the room is made safe once again.

Six, Toby, and Colt search the two barracks, but they find little more than empty beds and weapons lockers. Regrouping in the entrance hall, they use wand and spells to heal up the wounds dealt by the guards before turning to look at the icy teleport pads…

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Session 9
The Land of the White Witches (part 2)

With Toby’s eyes feeling loads better thanks in large part to the haphazard healing genius of the gun toting goblin, the allies kicked back and enjoyed the warmth and comfort of Nadya’s modest home. To everyone’s surprise, Six was getting on quite well with Nadya’s twin sons, and he constantly played at arm wrestling with them.

Eventually, Nadya returned from depositing the good in Waldsby’s fortified storehouse. It was at this time that they learned more about the rather young mother and village “VIP” (see her entry for more details).

After their talk, Nadya invited the females of the group to borrow her missing daughter’s room while the men beded down in the living room. With the coming of morning, Each of them discovered that all of their possessions and clothing that was not being worn had been spirited away during the night. A full search of the various cabinets, dressers and chests of the rooms turned up their items, but they were all immaculately cleaned.

Nadya explained to them that she had rescued a Domovoi and it had since adopted her house and family. It was likely that he was responsible for the strange event. Nadya gave each of the adventurers a set of native cold weather gear to help them blend in better with the locals. She also gave Six her pair of Showshoes of Northern PursuitFollowing this, she took them to the various shops and acted as a translator for their purchases.

Toby gets into an intense conversation with Verana Stolya, the owner of Verana’s Sundries. She agreed to sell him a magical belt for a reduced price if he managed to convince one of the Pale Tower’s guard to not court her daughter. Toby agreed and took possession of the potent belt, which seemed to instantly buff up his physique.

Later that evening after they had returned to Nadya’s place, Nidhwen set about to try and speak with the reclusive domovoi. She left him out a gift of warm milk and food and waited. During the middle of the night, she awoke to find him drinking the gift. She discovered that him name was Hatch and that he used to work at the Pale Tower. To her horror, she also learned that the white witch had used Nadya’s daughter, Thora, to create the strange doll they fought with back in the Border Wood. Hatch revealed that he had told the young girl of the witch, but never did he think that she would say those things to her directly. He suddenly sobs and vanishes. In the morning the discover that the house has went unclean, likely for the first time in months.

Nidhwen and Qari relay the stories of the guardian doll to their friends and Nadya. Nadya agrees to go with the heroes and guide them to the Pale Tower once the storm passes. Later that day, the snow stops and the allies got to make preparation to storm the tower.

Toby, Qari, Nidhwen, and Colt head to the White Weasel for some food and drink. During their lunch, Katrina Goltiaeva slips Toby a strange drink which causes him to stand up and loudly proclaim that he doesn’t belong here and that he is returning to Taldor. Qari and Colt rise to give chase on the halfling. Eventually, Toby is wrangled up and secured by a rope by Six.

Wanting to know what happened, they return to the tavern. After a brief and tense conversation with Katrina, her husband, Emil, suddenly attacks Qari with a heavy crossbow. Emil is eventually killed by Six and Colt while Katrina is knocked out. She seems to be a spell caster is tied up before they wake her for interrogation. As it turns out, she was had made a deal with the white witches to put up the big mirror in the tavern to allow them to spy on the town. But in return, the town would gain a tax credit and reduced guard presence. Nadya has her taken to the storehouse until they can determine what to do with her.

An hour or two later, the sounds of dogsleds start coming from the town square. Looking out they discover about a dozen guards moving into the tavern. Then six of them peal off and go door-to-door searching. Nadya and the heroes briefly discuss their course of action. The children are sent upstairs to the loft while the adventurers take a defensive position around the room and windows.

Nadya answers when they pound of the door, but they jerk her from the room and slam her against the wall. A fight immediately starts as the ones inside house take advantage of the windows to fire magic, arrow, and bullets at the guards. Six and Toby move outside to give Nadya support. All in all, the fight is over quickly. The last of the guards seemed to still be inside the tavern, so, they began moving toward it quickly.

As they arrived, they discovered that the tables had been overturned and two of the local girls that cleaned up the floors had been tied up and left barely conscious. Colt and Qari fought from the window with spell and shell. Nidhwen and Nadya used bows from the next one, while Six and Toby moved to the door to charge inside. The battle was intense as the tables made the use of ranged attack more tricky, but eventually, the last five guards were downed with the heroes combined might.

After looking around at the wreckage of the tavern for any more enemies, Six and Toby frees the two girl so that Nidhwen healed them. Nadya looked to her new friends and allies, and asked “When do you want to head to the Pale Tower?

Join us next week to learn their answer.

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Session 8
The Land of the White Witches (Part 1)

With the rising of the sun, our group of local heroes had left the village of Heldren, likely for the last time for the foreseeable future. The return trip to the Lodge in the Border wood passed without any more than a few cases of the chills. The next day, they kept moving toward the portal. They had to stop once more before they managed to reach the swirling vortex of wintry power.

PZO9067-Portal.jpg

Each of the took a long look at it and each other, each trying to steel up their nerves for the long road ahead. One by one, they passed through the portal. The trip through wasn’t exactly painful, but it was far from a pleasant. Once they made it to the other side, they each instantly realized that it is significantly colder here that in the Border Wood. Fortunately, they were deposited on a forested hillside. Looking around they could see lights in the distance, likely from a village some miles away. As they each collected their bearings, Colt pointed toward the sky and suggested they hurry, else they be overwhelmed by a coming snow storm.

Using their new snow shoes to good advantage, they made pretty good time. It was just short of an hour later when they started hearing the unmistakable sounds of combat. They moved toward the source and discovered a group of four humans with spears trying to chase off a ravenous giant mantis. The mantis was aggressively defending a prize that it was clutching in its mouth, another human. Reacting quickly, the group moves to assist the humans. The mantis drops his prey and tries to fight off its new attackers, however, it is soon overwhelmed by the more coordinated attacks.

The leader of the humans walks over and introduces herself to the heroes.

My thanks you for your timely assistance with that damned-able creature. My name is Nadya Petska. It’s not often we see foreigners in Irrisen.

She also invites them to share her tent as shelter against the coming storm. Nidhwen uses some magic to ease the wounds of both her friends and the wounded humans. Nadya’s men set about preparing some food for themselves and their rescuers.

A few hours later, the storm hit outside and an unexpected visitor arrived at the camp.

Mierul.jpg

Nidhwen recognized the creature as a forlarren (a product of an unholy union between a fiend and a nymph). She identified herslef as Mierul Ardelain. She claimed to be a traveling minstral and offered to perform in exchange for a meal and the company. Nadya seemed nervous about the visitors presence, but agreed. As they all conversed during the meal, Nidhwen almost gave away their plans, but Mierul seemed to not notice it and she left as the storm passed.

The next morning, Nadya made good on her promise to lead the heroes to the village and they were soon under way. However, about an hour from the town, a large swarm of raven was spotted in the sky. Nadya informed them that they ravens were a minion of the White Witches and begged them to hid. A large white tarp was pulled over the sleds and people, however, Nidhwen was spotted and the swarm moved in to attack. The swarm tore the tarp to shreds and managed to severely claw at Toby’s eyes before Qari and Colt managed to disperse the possessed birds. Nidhwen tried to heal up Toby’s eyes, but it seemed that the extent of his injuries had left him blinded. Hopefully once they reached the village of Waldsby, they would be able to more effectively treat his wounds.

They arrived at the town at nearly noon. The heroes were drawing plenty of attention from the locals. Nadya greeted several residents that were concerned for her safety, but many of the villagers stare and point at the newcomers before whispering concernedly and leading their children away. Nadya’s home is a stout, unassuming cabin on the edge of town. Once there, they were introduced to her twin five-year-old boys (Orm and Mjoli) and an old woman (Kashka) who,looks after them while she’s away. She asks the to make themselves at home while she deals with her merchandise. She gave Nidhwen a almost spent healer’s kit to assist with the halfling’s eyes. However, Colt ended up being the one best able to help the young ranger’s eyes.

As we leave our heroes, I’ll leave you to think about the sight of a Goblin Gunslinger performing a heal check on a set of eyes…

Grinning Goblin: [In a high pitched voice] Now this might sting. More than a little, but less than ‘OH MY GODS MY HAIR IS ON FIRE!’…
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Session 7
Intermission
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:


  1. numerous slashes to the throat

  2. Burns over his entire scalp, ears, neck, and cheeks

  3. A mutilated nose

  4. A rather deep Glasgow smile

  5. 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…

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Session 6
The Depths of Winter (part 3)
As they prepared to set off the next morning, they were ambushed by four small air elementals. For all the damage they did, the elementals were quickly dispatched.

Moving onward, the trail they were following as it takes a northern swing. The temperature continues to drop the closer they get to the center of the Border Wood. The snow piles get deeper and deeper, until at the edge of the clearing they currently find themselves at, it’s an average of 2 to 4 feet deep and crusted over with a layer of frozen sleet. It looked like nothing has disturbed the snow here for some time.

Four low igloos stand here in the snow. A well-packed trail of large footprints passes between them, heading both north and west.

Heavy snow blows from the northwest obscuring all distance vision. as Six moved carefully into the clearing. He moves toward the first of the igloos to look inside. At that exact moment something slams into the side of Six’s head and the sound of a massive peal of thunder echos from the small object. Six is effectively deaened, but the others managed to fight off the effects.

A moment later a vial of icy blue liquid smashes into Nidhwen’s chest causing her to take cold damage. Then a large moss troll comes running from the barely visible cavern entrance and charges into Six. Colt moves to range and starts blasting at the creature, while Qari uses her fiery magic. Toby is then attacked by several of those tiny icy arrows being shot from winter-touched sprites. As Nidhwen was about to get involved in the combat another sprite leveled a color spray spell at her and she fell into unconsciousness.

Toby could see that the damage being done to the troll wasn’t as effective as it should be as it started regenerating anything that wasn’t fire based. Six was overpowered and fell to the trolls might and it turned his attention to the annoying goblin with the blunderbuss. Toby took the chance to rush to Nidhwen’s side to shake her awake and get the wand of cure light wounds from her pouch. Toby then moved to the fallen warrior and used the wand to bring him around.

For all his might, the troll was having incredible difficulty hitting the small goblin gunslinger. So, by the time it was about to turn its attention toward the fire slinging sorceress, Six was back on his feet with Toby for back up. The troll fell, but due to his regenerative abilities, he keep trying to get back up. At this time the winter-touched atomie, that threw the thunderstone earlier, and the pair of winter-touched sprites began to attack the weaker party members. Eventually the troll was killed and the rest of the party managed to put an end to the other flying cold fey.

The party takes a few moments to use the, now well worn, wand to sooth a few new hurts. They searched the bodies and found a few scrolls , several bottles, a thunderstone, a magical spear, and a key. They then turn their attentions to the igloos. Three of the igloos contain a winter blanket, a pile of furs, and a small wooden chest. They take up most of the floor space in the cramped igloos. A small hole has been cut into the low ceiling to allow smoke to escape, but no fire has been lit. A brief search of the chest reveals that it is empty.

The last igloo’s interior is bare. Several ice blocks extend from the igloo’s interior walls, forming small shelves and recesses. Toby moves in to get a better look and end up falling threw a hidden thatching and into a 20 foot deep pit. With Six’s ear temporarily useless he didn’t hear the halfling cry out , but he did head that way after he saw Nidhwen move away quickly. With nothing really hurt but his pride, the ranger searched the bottom of the pit before using a rope lowered by Six to climb out.

Following this, Nidhwen, Six, and Toby moved to look into the cave entrance.

Two bearskin rugs cover most of the damp floor in this cave, surrounded by crates, barrels, and other supplies. The ceiling rises fifteen feet overhead, where icicles of frozen condensation hang from sharp stalactites.

A thorough search of this area yielded enough supplies for almost a month of common meals and a locked box. Using the key from the troll, they discovered more potions, four blue quartz, a silver diadem, a near flawless diamond, a jeweled necklace, a painting of a city, three sapphire rings, a decorative filigree longsword scabbard, a scrimshaw sculpture of dancing sprites surrounding a piping satyr, 2457 gp, 3313 sp, and 1760 cp.

A bank of quill-like icicles spear outward in a ring seemingly grown from a heavy sheet of ice covering the ground. A second ring of giant icicle-shaped monoliths stand inside the outer ring, surrounding a swirling cylindrical vortex easily ten feet in diameter. Icy winds and driving snow blast from the vortex, creating the wintry weather in the clearing.

While the others are inside, Colt and Qari stand watch near the igloos. Suddenly a surge of wind blasts from the swirling vortex in the ring of icicles, gusting outward in a stinging spray of snow and ice. The sounds of the vortex seem to subside then as a gaunt horseman with curling ram’s horns and wearing coal-black armor lurches through the portal astride a black warhorse, surrounded by tendrils of cold, dark mist. The rider slumps in the saddle, a shard of blue ice jutting from his back. As rider and mount come to a halt in the snow, the horse suddenly dissipates into black smoke, and the horseman falls to the ground with a groan.

Not thinking twice, Qari moved as fast as she could through the thick snow to get to his side. As he sees her, he calls out to her Come please, I have knowledge of great import to share with you. With that the sinister appearance of his form drops away and his true form appears, that of an old human man, exhausted, pale from blood loss, and close to death.

Qari helps he sit up and looks at the shard in his back. It doesn’t take a cleric to know that he isn’t long for this world. She asks for help to heal him, but he informs them that it’ll be no help, for a curse also affects his body.

The following is a list of all he could tell our heroes:

Who are you?

Once I was called Illarion Matveius. Now I am known as Black Midnight. I am Baba Yaga’s Black Rider, harbringer of the Witch Queen’s return.

Who did this to you?

The servant of Queen Elvanna, ruler of Irrisen and betrayer of her own mother.

Why were you attacked?

Something has happened to Baba Yaga. Every hundred years, she returns to Irrisen to place a new daughter on the throne. But Queen Elvanna has other plans, it seems. Baba Yaga has not appeared as planned, and Elvanna intends to slay everyone loyal to her mother. She hunted down those of us who would herald Baba Yaga’s return and slew my associates. I am the last of the Three Riders and a threat to Elvanna’s plans.

What are Elvanna’s plans?

To take Baba Yaga’s place, and claim all of Golarion as her personal kingdom. Irrisen is a land of endless winter, created by Baba Yaga’s magic. Elvanna seeks to cover the entire world in ice and snow, using portals like this one.

How do we close the portal?

You can find its source in the Pale Tower, on the other side, but this portal is but one of many, Through them, Elvanna will spread a new ice age across your world, consuming it for all eternity. Closing this portal might save your kingdom, but Golarion would still be doomed.

What can we do to stop this from happening?

You must find Baba Yaga. Only Baba Yaga can defeat Elvanna. Only the Queen of Witches can undo what her daughter has done.

How do we find Baba Yaga?

You must use her Dancing Hut to follow her. The hut is a powerful artifact that can cross great distances, even travel between worlds. If you can control the hut, it can take you to Baba Yaga.

Where is the Dancing Hut?

Elvanna stole the hut and put it on display in Irrisen’s capital, Whitethrone, as a symbol of her power. You must go through the portal to Irrisen and find the Dancing Hut.

How do we control the hut?

The hut has many keys—objects attuned to the hut—that can take it almost anywhere. I managed to secure two of these keys, but Elvanna stole their power to prevent anyone from using the hut to find her mother. Once they are reactivated, placing the keys in the hut’s cauldron will retrace Baba Yaga’s path.

Feeling weaker and fearing his time is growing short he brushes away other questions. He explains that he is no longer able to carryout his mission and assigns it to them. He then produces the two keys to the Dancing Hut—a lock of white hair from a frost giant’s beard and a plague doctor’s mask. These two objects appear perfectly normal and mundane in every way.

Now that he has said his piece, the rider sits up and looks into the eyes of each of them for a moment. Each of the heroes feels something akin to a connection forming with the rider. Then with a sudden movement, the rider brings a dagger up to his throat and baths the two keys in his life’s blood. Even those that cannot see magic were almost blinded by the power that radiated off both the blood and the two keys. When the light dissipated the rider’s magic robes had melted away like ice in a fire leaving only an old man dressed in a simple black tunic. The two keys glowed silently with magic for a few more moments before they two faded away, their power now restored. Six picked up the man and lowered him into the igloo with the false bottom and collapsed it upon his withered body.

The Black Rider’s worlds seemed to grant each of them a boon, a +2 untyped bonus to one of their ability scores, but it also seemed to carry an effect similar to a geas-like effect to guide them alone the path to fulfill the fallen rider’s mission.

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…

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Session 5
The Depths of Winter (part 2)

After having cut down the frost firs, our heroes turned their attention to the large area of disturbed earth. Six and Toby dug into the ground for a time and found something that resembled a huge acorn, easily as big as a watermelon. After a moment of thinking, they realized that this must be a seed from the tree they just killed. Six didn’t want to take any chances of it growing up and hurting people, so he raised his earthbreaker hammer high over his head before bringing it crashing down onto the acorn. A sickening squelch sounded off as the hard outer shell collapsed. They saw what looked like a tiny plant-like infant lying broken in the little seed. Nidhwen almost became sick and retreated away several feet.

Continuing onward, they eventually arrive at a small clearing in the forest.

More than a dozen boulder-sized chunks of ice litter the clearing ahead where a strange hut sits perched on tree trunks atop a raised mound of snow-covered earth.

As they enter the clearing, our heroes notice a shivering young ulfen girl amid the boulders. As they approach the girl she speaks in a panicked voice, “I’m sorry! Don’t hurt me! I never meant to call you names!” She quickly darts away and disappears into the boulders.

Looking around, she is spotted again. This time her voice isn’t panicking, but pleading, “Please don’t keep me here. It’s so cold. I miss my mother.” She immediately winks out on the spot.

She appears yet again, this time with a voice filled with anger, “I don’t want your stupid doll! I want to go home! Take me back!

Then she seems to have gone for good. They look around the boulder filled clearing before they see her standing in plain sight a short distance away. This time, she is looking directly at they and speaks with a grim realization, “I have to get away! And you should, too, before they see you. Run” With that, she fades from sight and doesn’t reappear.

Our heroes look back and forth between themselves in confusion about the strange apparitions words before they push onward. Moving to the south toward a path that wraps around the mound to the hut, they come to a stop at a large boulder that seems to come to life. Toby, Six, and Colt all see horrifying images of frozen dead manifest inside the transparent ice block. Each of them screams out (in their own way) and turn to run from the clearing. Nidhwen and Qari look at each other in confusion for a moment as whatever was affecting their companions seems to wear off.

Six moves back over tot the icy block and pounds it into pieces with his huge hammer. In the mean time, Toby moves on ahead and climbs up the mound to get a better look at the hut. Eventually the others follow him.

A small hut stands here on four legs, each one a single tree trunk whose gnarled roots resemble the toes of a giant chicken. The hut is constructed of heavy logs with a patchwork roof of shaved bark shingles. Inside the hut’s open doorway, a small figure sits on a carved wooden chair, staring across the clearing at the trail on the other side.

Six climbs inside the hut and attempts to reach for the doll. All at once a glowing orb of ice rises up behind the others and field of extremely cold energy envelopes several of the party. With that the doll strings to life and jumps out the window. The doll lands near Colt and she connects with her tiny frost-riddled knife. Colt freezes in place and seems to have been paralyzed. Toby and Six move in to assist the beleaguered, while Qari and Nidhwen provide magical and ranged support. The doll seems to shrug off much of the damage of the melee and ranged attacks as it levitates away. Qari, however, seems particularly effective with her spells and fiery rays. With the last hit, the glow in the dolls left eye winks out, and the doll collapses to the ground and rolls down to the bottom of the snow mound.

Nidhwen realizes that the small construct is a guardian doll and that the little girl’s soul must have been used to animate it. She explains that to free the trapped spirit, they would need to break the soul focus. This turned out to the the large blue sapphire in the dolls left eye. Six beats on it repeatedly until it breaks into several pieces. Toby picks up the dolls tiny frost covered knife and presents it to Vrixx, saying that it’ll help her protect herself. She seems extremely surprised at first, before giving a slight smile to the “relatively” big halfling in front of her. They move on after patching up a few hurts.

The trail continues through a narrow pass, descending south and east into an icy valley. An unusual pattern of lines is scratched into the fresh snow covering the trail at the edge of the clearing.

Toby and the others move in closer to examine it. The scratches are a warning written in common, ‘Turn back before the winter devours you.’ Toby scoffs at it and kicks at it with his boot. Immediately after, the glyph of warding explodes in an icy burst, hitting many of them. Six gives the halfling ranger a withering look that is mostly lost behind the mask he is wearing, before they move onward.

A cold wind blows through the valley, bringing a spray of sleet and broken ice. The sky ahead rolls with thick, gray clouds and the sun is only a dim glow somewhere in the mist.

As they move into the valley, Toby is jumped by a large white weasel and dropped. The halfling’s allies rush to his aid. Six sees to it that the halfling’s attacker is quickly put down. Nidhwen used the extremely valuable wand of cure light wounds to revive their fallen companion.

With the halfling ranger back on his feet, they continue into the valley. It only takes them a moment to realize that the valley they find themselves in now is the Somir Valley. Dryden Kepp’s journal mentioned that he hid bear traps in this area to try and catch the weasel. Colt seemed extremely good at spotting these traps and the triggered all four of them, thus ensuring the way forward would be safe. However, the cold weather seemed to have an ill effect on some of them again just as an ice mephit breathed a cone of icy shards on them. Six becomes sickened by the attack, but the creature is quickly killed by the party.

Having used many of their spells and also needing to rest to shrug off the effects of the cold, they decided to camp here. watches were set up, but fortunately, nothing happened that night.

As they prepared to set off the next morning, they were ambushed by four small air elementals. For all the damage they did, the elementals were quickly dispatched.

Stay tuned as our heroes continue their journey into the frozen bowels of the Border Wood

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Session 4
The Depths of Winter (part 1)

As our heroes laid down for the night, Nídhwen discovers a locked trap door hidden beneath the large bear skin rug. With only a few moments of work, she managed to disable it and open for her companions. Six volunteered to go down first.

A half-dozen boxes and barrels take up the majority of this underground cellar. A rough blanket lies spread on the floor in the southeast corner next to a bowl of half-eaten food.

A half frozen and disheveled figure of a woman was lying, almost unconscious, on in the blanket. Six managed to rouse her awake and assist her upstairs with the vocal aid of his allies. Once upstairs, she was given fresh hot food and allowed to warm herself in front of the roaring fire. She seemed very arrogant and proud, as only Taldan noble can be, but she was very grateful to her rescuers.

Resting for the remainder of the night, our heroes used the three horses to get the still weakened noble woman back to the safety of the village of Heldren. Thanks to the horses, they barely managed to make the town by nightfall. Councilwoman Ionnia Teppen, saw to it that they received a heroes welcome and their meal was on the town. She also fulfilled her promise and granted each with a small pouch of 50 gold pieces. In the morning Lady Argentea gave them a single purse of 500 gold pieces as an expression of her gratitude.

Toby wanted to know more about why the cold fey were terrorizing this region and the allies set out to return to the snow covered forest. However they were only able to make it to the lodge before the effects of the extreme cold forced them to stop and warm up.

in the morning they make their way to the bridge.

A bridge made of rope and wooden planks spans a narrow ravine. It’s already covered in ice and snow. and it sways alarmingly in the icy winds blowing through the gorge. The turbulent waters of a fast-moving creek surge through a couple of waterfalls far below.

Being the lightest, Toby was tied to a length of rope and proceeded to gently pick his way across. About fifteen feet onto the bridge a strange blue skinned creature flew up from beneath it and belched out a cold of icy shard at the small ranger. Toby slipped and fell over the side of the bridge and slammed into the side of the gorge. As he did, his grip on his short sword dropped and the blade fell into the water below.

Colt hefted his blunderbuss and charged, rather gracefully, onto the bridge and blasted at the malicious creature, while Qari use her magic missiles and Nídhwen used her crossbow. Overwhelmed by the combined attack, the creature retreated.

Six pulled while Toby climbed up. Fearing his sword was lost, they contemplated trying to get it back. Nídhwenasked if the Vrixx would be able to go down for it. She agreed and was successful in looping the rope around the hilt of the weapon. Toby and the others were quite thankful to the little winter-fey and she seemed to smile for the first time since they had meet her, although the smile only lasted for a split second.

Shortly after they cross the bridge, they are jumped by three more of the frosty skeletons, but they don’t last very long. Colt drops two with a single shot. The other is quickly taken down after that.

The rocks and snow along this part of the ridge are stained a reddish brown, and many tracks, both human and animal cross the area.

Toby takes a look at the tracks and discovers a dead body. The body is that of Dryden Kepp, one of Heldren’s more esteemed hunters and his corpse has been mutilated by a large creature that seems similar to a weasel but very much bigger. They locate his bag and discover two magical arrows (Qari identifies them as +1 animal bane), a half-full hip flask of strong applejack, about three days worth of rations, and a journal detailing his efforts to track a “giant weasel”. It mentions that he has placed bear traps at the head of Somir Valley. They also find his short bow although it has been snapped in half and as such is useless.

A cold wind blows through the forest atop the ridge. Heavy snow burdens the boughs of the evergreen trees, but someone has appently cleared the snow from a large patch of ground to dig in the pine-needle-carpeted soil.

As our heroes close to investigate, they are attacked by two frost firs. They manage to deal a fair amount of damage to the allies, but they managed to given them a good pruning before they killed them off.

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