Reign of Winter

Summary 21: Into the Howling Storm

Chapter Four: The Frozen Stars

SHANG-TSUNG and PHARAMOL engaged in another round of banter whilst the other Horde members’ futility watched on.  The Commander sent one of his soldiers within the keep and the man returned with several potions, Snapleaves, and a hand-full of trinkets.  Before flying off into battle, PHARAMOL blessed the Samurai with a prayer so that he may tolerate the extreme cold.  Both UPANIX and MIYUKI helped themselves to a potion providing similar protections against chills.  Four Dragonkin, eager to join the fray, patiently awaited the Horde’s command.  OTAK shooed his hated foes away and was dead serious about hitching a ride via catapult.  The Horde reunited with IMP atop a south-eastern tower and made the Dwarf aware of their intentions.  By the time the Firedrake was moved into position, a burning hand was spotted on the battlefield down below.  T’was a perfect depiction of SHANG-TSUNG’s Glowing Hand, thought to be the Horde’s insignia by the Skyfire Mandate.  Assuming the pyrotechnic display was their target; IMP made the necessary adjustments and fired the Golarion torpedo.
The Horde found themselves Feather Falling several meters away from the burning hand.  YRAX’ forces were in utter disarray, the Dragon Legion picking them off one by one.  Suddenly, a Drakeland Barbarian was spotted sprinting toward a nearby cave.  Flanking the opening were a pair of burning enemy banners.  SHANG-TSUNG fired a shot and hit the rock face to the left.  After the blunder, no, warning shot, the Samurai fired a volley and put two in the woman’s chest.  As she screamed in pain, a Wall of Fire was placed to block access to the cave.  Enraged, UPANIX charged the Barbarian and pierced her fullplate with a well-placed greasword strike.  By the time OTAK, KRUSH and MIYUKI arrived on scene, a bead had been tossed over the wall and the thing erupted in a Fireball near everyone save SHANG-TSUNG.  After patting down the flames, The Horde disposed of the Barbarian and charged through the blazing wall.  OTAK found himself surrounded by three Barbarians wielding readied javelins and rammed one of them as they unsheathed their bastard swords.  Meanwhile, an Ice Seer imprisoned KRUSH in ten inches of ice but the Animal was able to retain some of his mobility.  MIYUKI targeted the Triaxian Oracle in retaliation and put a missile in his shoulder.  General MALESINDER, a Silver Dragonkin, took a step and hastily unleashed her Rimeblade upon the Half-Giant who ventured a tad too far within the cave.  She cut UPANIX five times but the frozen blade had little effect against the Specimen’s natural and magical defenses.  The Samurai was the last to penetrate the potent wall and tagged the Dragonkin with a Dragon Bane Arrow.  The Sorcerer hovering on the left-hand side of the cave lined up the Horde and channeled a lacklustered Lightning Bolt.  As KRUSH slowly froze to death, he, OTAK and UPANIX traded blows with the Barbarian forces.  MIYUKI perused the Ice Seer whilst SHANG-TSUNG sent his barbs at the General.   MALESINDER hovered to the cave’s center and breathed cold upon the Horde.  Entangled, KRUSH still managed to jump out of the way as the others Resisted the Energy.  Meanwhile, the Sorcerer passed through the wall after launching another futile Lightning Bolt whilst the Oracle closed some of her allies’ wounds.  The Horde continued to wear down their foes, victory was imminent.  MALESINDER switched to her glaive and dealt a significant blow but t’was too little too late.  The Drakeland soldiers fell one by one, no thanks to their Sorcerer ally’s inconsiderate Cone of Cold and Fireball placements.  The magic user found himself  singled out and was shot down to officially end the siege at Spurhorn.

By the time the Wall of Fire dissipated, the Horde had mounted MALESINDER’s head upon her glaive and raised the thing to the stars for all to see.  Having laid waste to YRAX’ armies, the Skyfire Mandate had already begun celebrating and joined with their new Horde allies.  Wanting to return to Spurhorn on their own accord, both OTAK and KRUSH began ascending the mountain path by foot, the parade followed.  Two hours passed and the carnival made their way straight to the grand dining hall to partake in a heroes’ feast.  Still wounded and using adrenaline as a pain suppressant, the Legionaries stood before a wide variety of Triaxian delicacies dominated by a severed War Hydra head.  Though strange and alien to the Horde, the meats and legumes proved to be far more pleasant than the slop serve to them the day prior.  Invigorated, IMP joined the festivities and shared a glass with his rescuers and congratulated them on yet another impressive display of power.  The room erupted the moment PHARAMOL entered the hall, but the Horde had their sights on something od more importance.  SHANG-TSUNG had his gaze locked upon a golden birdcage in the far corner, the Two-Headed Eagle glowing gold through the Ochki.  After exchanging pleasantries, both the Samurai and the Commander began negotiations for the bird’s acquisition.  The exotic thing had been presented to PHARAMOL as a gift several months ago by an Elven diplomat from Castrovel; another creature and palace alien to TriaxusPHARAMOL had grown fond of the bird of prey but quickly came to the realization that the animal was a small price to pay for the Horde’s services.  Having acquired BABA YAGA’s first breadcrumb, the Horde turned to the Drinking Glass and Elephant Tusk, clues to their next destination.  When the Horde confirmed the tusk was made of ivory, PHARAMOL made a connection, Ivory-Glass.  Ivoryglass was rumored to be YRAX’s stronghold deep within the Vahara Glacier to the west.  Juxtaposing the Karta’s yellow marker with a Triaxian map, the Horde confirmed Ivoryglass to be their nest target.  After filling their bellies with all sorts of gastronomic marvels and potent ails, The Horde was granted proper resting chambers and retired for the night…, or day.
After sufficient rest, MIYUKI made sure to close the Horde’s wounds before venturing forth.  Before leaving, SHANG-TSUNG had requested extra supplies but none were available, the next shipment to arrive in two weeks’ time.  The Horde pondered taking a long and merited vacation to pass the time, but to do so would give YRAX more than enough time to fortify his forces if word of his defeat reached his ears.  Little did they know, the Black Rider’s Mantle of Responsibility would have punished the Horde if they had slacked off.  Having regained some of his power, IMP Plane Shifted away to run a few neglected errands and looked forward to his next meeting with the Horde via WhistlePHARAMOL offered yet again several of his Dragonkin to double their speed but OTAK wanted none of it.  When confronted by SHANG-TSUNG, the stubborn Half-Orc insisted that his allies act like men (and woman) and use the muscles God gave them.  After a brief farewell, the Horde left Spurhorn’s walls, made the tedious climb down the mountain and entered the howling storm.

Three days of cold, wind, snow and discomfort passed before reuniting with the Dancing Hut.  As the hovel walked around aimlessly, the thing was commanded to take the Horde westward.  The Hut kneeled down and opened the door but would go no further.  The caged Two-Headed Eagle was placed upon the table next to the pair illusionary Eagles to be kept safe.  SHANG-TSUNG issued a warning to the Kikimora ZORKA not to harm the bird lest the loathsome Fey wished a swift death.  Opting to remain in her hidey-hole, the House Spirit had no intentions to rebel.  And with no way to operate the BABA YAGA’s construct, the Horde continued westward.
Midway through day five, a canine-like creature in distress was heard from afar.  The Horde readied their weapons and gazed upon the wall of snow before them.  Suddenly, a wounded Wolf with piercing blue eyes came into view and began picking up speed.  The animal ran though the Horde’s ranks unmolested, her attackers however had just found themselves a new meal.  Two huge insect-like creatures covered in white fur and armed with glossy black claws slowed to engage the Horde, their three-part mouths dripping with vicious fluids.  UPANIX charged and cut one of the things legs off and boy did that make the Ursikkas mad.  The pair sliced into the Specimen twice and bit hit hard, sending gore and freezing viscosity in all directions.  Severely lacerated and one lash away from Valhalla’s gates, the Half-Giant cried out MEDIC.  Though their razor sharp claws and their paralyzing viscosity were potent, their exoskeleton and protective tissue was soft and unremarkable.  The remaining Horde members entered the fray, overwhelmed the insects within twenty seconds and salvaged what was left of UPANIX
Whilst MAIN was “keeping a wound from bleeding out”, MIYUKI administered several healing hands to sooth the Specimen’s punctures.  Meanwhile, the injured Wolf, now standing on two legs, cautiously approached her saviors.  With the power of Tongues, the Adlet Shaman known as BAKNARLA bowed before the Horde and expressed her thanks.  As she looked upon the Golarions, she was in awe and addressed the apparent aliens as “The Destined Ones”.  The canine claimed that the stars spoke of ones from beyond the sky who would give her people back their lands.  The mention of the White Dragon YRAX only confirmed her theory and pleaded that the Horde fulfill the fated prophesy.  She went on to explain that the her people inhabited the frozen wasteland near the Vahara Glacier, but the tyrannical Dragon Warlord YRAX has harshly oppressed her kind and driven them out of their tribal grounds nearly three centuries ago.  Sadly, BAKNARLA's tribe did not share her beliefs and has shunned her as a result, that was two decades ago.  Yet the Shaman persevered and now sees hope on the horizon.  BAKNARLA promised to guide the Horde to the glacier and to the Rimekeening Crevasse, a path leading straight to YRAXIvoryglass.  The offer had been accepted and the Horde was led to a great fissure within the glacier within a day’s time.  The entrance t’would as far as BAKNARLA would take them however as the crevasse was taboo to her people.  Before parting ways, the Shaman recounted the tale of the Adlet warrior SARNOK, rumored to have entered the Rimekeening Crevasse to battle YRAX some years ago.  BAKNARLA had hoped that, if the Horde were to come across SARNOK’s grave, one of the hero’s holy relics may be recovered.  If she could return to her people with such a treasure, t’would restore their resolve and her position within the tribe.  As an incentive, she made reference to SARNOK’s spear, a potent weapon against Dragons.

Freezing winds whistled through the crevasse producing an eerie wailing.  Starlight pierced though the ice covered ceilings in several areas and thus negated total darkness.  The Horde took great care to navigate the narrow, cluttered and jagged pathway dropping down nearly two-hundred feet.  Once on level ground, Glowing Hands had been summoned and the Horde followed the path leading west.  Off in the distance, a family of Frostcrawlers had made their home on a plateau several feet off the ground.  The parent monstrosities took offense to the Horde’s close proximity to their eggs and made a stand.  After breathing lighting upon the trespassers, the Frostcrawlers were slaughtered.  Now destined to die alone, the eggs were destroyed and the hatchlings killed to ease their eventual suffering.  The Horde patched their burns and continued westward.  Suddenly, a great pillar of ice stood before them and the Horde circumvented it to the right.  The ensuing path led to a wall of shear ice, the path continuing to the left and right.  Without hesitation, the Horde followed the latter deeming it the right way to go.

The passageway led the Horde to an open cavern, another path leading west in the distance.  Suddenly, the ground began to shake violently.  As everyone steadied themselves, an immense White Worm busted though the ground and blocked the path beyond.  Wisps of icy fog danced around its mandibles, its single circular eye gazing upon the Horde.  The Frost Worm unleashed a polar cone of intense cold with enough power to freeze muscle solid.  The Horde launched a counter assault but the vermin endured.  The Worm managed to close its crush jaws upon both OTAK and MIYUKI before unleashing its most devastating attack, triggered by SHANG-TSUNG's seventh arrow.  The barb caused the Worm to shatter like a broken mirror and the thing detonated in a massive blast of cold and razor sharp shards extending one-hundred feet in all directions.  T’was similar to the Frost Skeleton’s death throw experienced back in Taldor’s Border Wood, only this time, the pain was tenfold.  Once the ice and ringing ears settled, the Horde slowly picked themselves up off the now snow cleared stone to assess the damage.  A first wave of healing had been channeled blindly but offered little relief.  Suddenly, the ground began to shake again and the Horde looking to each other in dismay.  MIYUKI managed to channel another blast of positive energy before facing yet another Frost Worm.  Like the one prior, The Frost Worm bathed the Horde with its breath weapon and sent OTAK to the brink of death.  SHANG-TSUNG wanted none of it and ordered the retreat.  The remaining Horde members scurried over to the path leading west and watched the Worm break off pursuit.  The Elder summoned OBEY-MI and his Rope of Climbing and had them engineer a solution to retrieve OTAK’s frozen body.
4 Drakeland Barbarians
General Malesinder; Silver Dragonkin
Drakeland Ice Seer
Drakeland Sorcerer
Bonus: Recovered a Two-Headed Eagle
2 Ursikkas
Baknarla; Adlet Shaman; rescued
2 Frostcrawlers
2 Frost Worms
Session total 43200
Campaign total



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