Reign of Winter

Summary 22: Behind Enemy Lines

Chapter Four: The Frozen Stars

OTAK’s remains were recovered and his body thawed.  All suffering from critical wounds, the Paladin was hard at work to undo the Frostworm’s outburst.  Whilst MIYUKI applied her warm healing hands, SHANG-TSUNG pulled out his brand new Cure Moderate Wounds Wand and…, turned it off, rendering it useless for twenty-four hours.  To conserve resourced, a wand pillaged from an Ice Seer was handed over to the Healer and was drained of all charges, the smoking rod tossed aside.  Feeling more or less whole, the Horde continued down the path to another open cavern.  The path continued to the left and right but the grotto before them was eerily similar to the last.  Unwilling to step foot on the grounds and springing forth yet another calamity, OBEY-MI was summoned and the Horde flew to the other side.  Nearly a metric ton above the Broom’s capacity, KRUSH was left behind.  Impervious to physical attack, the Dinosaur braved the ice and snow by paw.  Aside from slipping on a patch of ice, the ground below him did not collapse, nor did a vile Stormghost arise to feed upon his flesh.  The Horde continued to the right, followed the path several minutes and found themselves one-hundred yards away from an imposing palace made of solid ice, YRAXIvoryglass.

The walls surrounding Ivoryglass rose some two-hundred feet , an open starry sky shining through the gaping hole.  Arial patrols made their rounds several miles above and posed little threat, the ground patrols on the other hand, spotted the visitors and unsheathed their blades.  The two armored Barbarians stood their ground, next to their respective stone guardhouse, whilst another pair defended the palace gate.  SHANG-TSUNG initiated pleasantries by placing a Glowing Hand upon an arrow and firing the missile at their feet.  The Barbarians misunderstood the Samurai’s olive branch, took cover and summoned reinforcements.  SHANG-TSUNG mounted OBEY-MI and approached one of the guard towers whilst the hidden Ice Seer Blessed his fellow Drakeland allies.  UPANIX ran into danger and MIYUKI followed but stopped short.  The Barbarians entered a rage, awaited OTAK and KRUSH to enter the fray, and breathed corrosive acid upon the Horde.  As the Barbarians and the Horde traded blows, the Ice Seer Oracle managed to detain both SHANG-STUNG and OTAK within an Icy Prison, the latter helplessly entrapped.  As the two began freezing to death, UPANIX whirlwinded whilst the Archers fired their missiles.   KRUSH disengaged his foes, deflected several bastard swords and broke his master free.  Meanwhile, a loud hissing sound filled the air as the battle raged on.  OTAK found himself imprisoned in ice yet again but managed to retain some movement.  Suddenly, a large Dragon freak broke through the place gate, exposing a frozen indoor garden.  Hovering a few feet off the ground, the thing hissed and blew cold air on friend and foe.  Two Barbarians fell and MIYUKI touched the Specimen so that he would not follow suit.  IANTOR, the Half-Dragon heir, filled his surroundings with destructive harmonics, the sonic energies ravaging those within earshot.  OTAK and KRUSH focused on their hated foe as UPANIX continued his assault on the ground troops.  SHANG-TSUNG fired at OTAK’s prison whilst hacking at his own prison with his bladed boot.  The Ice Seer cured the masses as did MIYUKI with positive energy.  As the Barbarians rose from the dead IANTOR’s sound wave negated the healer’s efforts and more.  As the healers countered the Dragon’s bursts, both OTAK and the Samurai escaped the ice clung to their bodies.  The Horde then focused on the hovering mass of flesh and dropped the thing after a final blast of ear-piercing noise.  The Ice Seer fell to a single cluster shot and the remaining Barbarians, dazed, were blown away via whirlwind.  After salvaging all of value, stretched, frozen and lacerated flesh had been sufficiently treated before progressing further.

With the gate reduced to rubble, the Horde entered the atrium and followed the wide flagstone path.  The large chamber contained all variety of Triaxian plant life, most of it dormant in winter’s chill.  The roof, supported by slender ice pillars, was set with several translucent crystal blocks providing dim lighting.  Also of note, six grand Draconic statues, three on each side, lined the path towards Ivoryglass’ inner sanctum.  The gardens were searched and nothing, save IANTOR’s empty nest, was found.  The Dragon monuments remained still the entire time and the Horde made it to the pentagonal passage unmolested.  With tree paths to choose, the Horde traveled to the right, ignoring the path straight ahead leading to a dark chamber and the one to the left.  Three new options presented themselves a short stroll later, the path continued on, a door to the right and a path to the left leading to the dark room.  The door to the right was opened revealing a modest library; OTAK was unimpressed.  The foreign texts without pictograms revealed knowledge on military tactics and historical battles, nothing really worth the Horde’s time.  The path leading to darkness was ignored yet again and the Horde stayed their course straight ahead, the path splitting again in thrice moments later.  To the right, a shrine dedicated to DAKAH, the god of Chromatic Dragons and endless destruction was been found.  The irregularly shaped room had a high ridged ceiling that sloped smoothly down the side.  Huge skeletal designs were carved on the floor walls and ceiling conveying the sense of being inside a massive winged beast.  OTAK offered to lay waste to the temple but MIYUKI frowned upon desecrating holy places, no matter how disturbing.  The path to the left leading to an immense hall was ignored and the Horde continued straight.  As SHANG-STUNG rounded the bend, a huge Fossil Golem patrolling the halls was spotted.  The two-headed T-Rex skeletal remain honed in on the Samurai’s position and gave chase.  Wanting none of it, the Horde retreated to the atrium to reassess their situation.

Bearing arms, the Horde awaited their aggressor, but the thing delayed its charge.  Several minutes passed and the Golem appeared in the dark room ahead.  SHANG-STUNG fired an arrow and the Dinosaur moved out of sight as a result.  Both OTAK and UPANIX charged down the central corridor and sprung the trap.  A second and third Golem had posted themselves in the left and right passages and lashed out at both warriors, twice, each. Their jaws locked, crushed bone and peeled flesh.  The pain was substantial but their paralyzing venom proved far less effective.  The Horde retaliated but met heavy resistance.  Both fossils had another taste whilst the third Golem supported his counterpart against the Specimen.  MIYUKI made certain to counter affect the Golem’s progress with positive energy whilst the Horde continued to wear down the constructs.  With two fossils in his midst, the Half-Giant was wavering and cried out to his combat medic.  Wanting to keep ZAPADA safe, MIYUKI put herself in harm’s way, touched the Specimen and mended his forearm before receiving two massive bites.  The fossils continued to apply pressure but none succumbed to petrifaction.  Without access to a mechanic, the Fossil Golems were outlasted and the Horde quickly reached for their med kits after the grueling contest.  To conserve energy, another healing wand had been consumed to restore skin tissue and torn muscle.

Having patched themselves up, the Horde resumed their course down the right path, round the bend and to a pair of doors midway through the corridor.  Both were locked and the one to their right was opened via a roundhouse kick.  The door however met heavy resistance and fell to the ground slowly, cushioned by a Solid Fog within the chamber.  The mist obscured all sight but SHANG-TSUNG’s Habit of the Winter Explorer pierced the smog with ease.  The room appeared to be guest quarters of sorts, its furnishing all pushed aside in a heap.  The giant Polar Bear standing on ten legs however, drew the most attention.  The Samurai described the peculiar scene and ordered his troops to fall back and ready their weapons.  Suddenly, the beast charged, but the Major Image didn't fool anyone and the Horde found themselves in a standoff with the figment.  UPANIX ignored the thing to pursue the door to the left.  The Half-Giant charged but the portal endured.  From across the hall, the Kokogiak emerged from the fog and bit the Specimen on the shoulder with its long reach.  Annoyed, the Horde backtracked to the bend and took the path on the left.
 
The corridor led the Horde to an audience chamber.  Intricate mosaics of draconic forms spiraled up the hall's thick stone buttresses and flowed across the tall arched ceiling, giving the place an air of grandeur.  To their right, two sets of steps ascended to a raised dais with a grand throne in the center.  To the left, a path led to darkness whilst the path in front of them was sure to lead them to the complex’s western wing.  Lacking YRAX’s Arcane Mark, the Horde was attacked by four crystalline statues posted in the room’s corners the moment they stepped in.  But alas, the Glass Golems, all portraying the form of mighty Drakeland warriors, shattered within seconds as the Horde had countless experiences with mirrors.  A thorough search revealed nothing of value but their keen eyes spotted a disruption behind the throne above.  SHANG-TSUNG’s hand passed right through the Illusionary Wall and revealed a staircase leading down, the next path they’d decide to follow.
 
The short descent led the Horde to a circular chamber, a layer of gleaming ice covering every surface.  Aside from two exits to the left and right, a frosty obelisk of murky ice stood in the room’s center, its faceted sides incised with runes and symbols.  Beyond the pillar showcased an imposing set of double iron doors depicting a powerful and ancient Dragon.  T’was clear that YRAX was near but the room’s guardians would test the Horde’s mettle before the final battle.  Suddenly, the obelisk cracked in two, parted and formed two huge Elder Ice Elementals the moment the Horde set foot in the room.  Like the battle against NAZHENA and her two ice columns, the Elementals slammed into the Horde with overwhelming force.  Unable to distance himself from his foes, the Samurai felt firsthand what his allies had endured in past battles.  A traditional adventuring party wouldn't have stood a chance but the Horde’s skin proved much tougher than most, their bite more vicious and their resolve, infallible.  With precise strikes, shear power, the Horde pierced the Elemental’s defenses and scattered their icy husks all over the floor.  MIYUKI did her very best to remove the frostbite and repair dislocated joints whilst MAIN mopped up the blood-stained floor.  Now deep behind enemy lines, rest was not an option, a fact that prompted the Horde to bear arms and approach the doors.  Rather that warn the Lord of the Howling Storm of their presence, the Horde opted to open the doors via their Chime of Opening.  As the low pitched sound echoed throughout the complex, the doors parted and freezing mist escaped through the crack.  UPANIX struggled to push the doors through the obscuring Freezing Fog and SHANG-STUNG got a glimpse of the Horde’s next challenge.  Five very old White Dragons danced about beyond the haze, their piercing blue eyes staring right back at the Samurai.
 
CHALLENGE
XP
6 Drakeland Barbarians
4800
Drakeland Ice Seer
1600
Iantor
4800
3 Fossil Golems
12800
Kokogiak; bypassed
4800
4 Glass Golems
4800
Session total 33600
Campaign total
255320

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