Reign of Winter

Summary 04: No More Parley

Chapter One: The Snows of Summer



SHANG-TSUNG
was blunt, NADYA’s daughter, THORA, was dead and her ghost, exorcised back in Taldor.  The Horde’s host was shocked and immediately refused to see any truth in their claims.  The doll mentioned made little sense, but NAHZENA’s description was spot on and THORA’s name calling crime was also accurate.  NADYA did her best to serve her rescuers under the circumstances but later retreated to her room to mourn.
 
The Horde remained several days to get acquainted with the spoils they had collected.  To keep a low profile, NADYA bartered off all recyclables and managed to get a good deal on TEB’s Man Hunting Spear.  With the aid of strong companions, MIYUKI made adjustments to everyone’s composite bow, granting them more performance.  SHANG-TSUNG attempted to familiarize himself with Waldsby, a settlement nearly identical to Heldren.  Sadly, the town’s hospitality proved to be harsher than the weather.  UPANIX was on the market for a fierce looking cloak of his own.  The Winter Wolf cloak made available to him was a perfect match.  MIYUKI made a small donation to the local church as OTAK was quite content staying indoors, away from the cold.
 
It was dinner time, on the second day, and a knock at the door interrupted everyone’s meal.  Guards from The Pale Tower had come and NADYA had been selected for questioning.  She was to head over to The White Weasel and meet with sergeant VOLENNADYA insisted that the Horde leave the room to avoid an altercation, but they weren’t going anywhere, they were eating.  The guards entered and lost all interest in the Ranger as the ones they were looking for were sitting at the table.  OTAK waved.  The lead guard asked Tian-Xia and his comrades to surrender their weapons and make their way to The White Weasel.  Everyone laughed and after a few more jeers, the Horde was placed under arrest.  UPANIX offered himself to be shackled first.  Suddenly, Misery made first contact with the guard’s face, knocking him out cold.  Six seconds passed and six motionless bodies were laid out on the floor.  The Horde resumed dinning as MIYUKI and NADYA took a step back with a traumatized look on their face.
 
The situation was grim; the Horde’s actions would not go unnoticed, unless they finished the job.  NADYA, outraged and broken, spoke to SHANG-TSUNG in her native tongue.  She asked him to kill them, kill them all.  Her life in Waldsby was over and NADYA’s plan was to retreat to Ellsprin.   There, she would reunite with her boys, but she agreed to await news of her daughter’s fate before making the trek.  After dessert, the cleaners made their way to The White Weasel to face off with VOLEN.
 
It was dark and the tavern had been emptied of its patrons.  All that remained were a handful of guards, the barkeep and a serving wench.  The Horde entered and the Doomsayer KATRINA welcomed them with a cold stare.  Sergeant VOLEN was pleased to see that Tian-Xia had given himself up willingly, or so he thought.  He had orders to place the invaders in shackles and to present them to The Pale Tower White Witch, RADOSEK, for questioning.  The Horde expressed their interest in the tower but made it clear they’d visit the monument on their own accord.  Speaking against the Queen and her Winter Portals did not bode well with the law either.  VOLEN ordered his men to unsheathe their blades and offered the Horde one last chance to yield.  Parley had solved nothing yet again and the bar brawl that ensued was short lived.  The Horde emerged victorious.  KATRINA cursed at the Horde for the loss of her husband and the chaos they’ve brought to a peaceful town.
 
SHANG-TSUNG disposed of the bodies in secret and the Horde began their journey to The Pale Tower the very next morning.  Beyond The Hoarwood Forest was a great plane of ice and snow.  A great eruption of frozen ice rose in the distance, an imposing Pale Tower crowned with icicles spearing into the sky.  As they approached, a swarm of Ravens bled through a gash within the tower and circled above the Horde before reporting back to their master.  Four guards upon the courtyard battlement awaited the Horde.  With no entrance in sight, both parties engaged in parley.  The tower had sent a dozen men, none whom had returned with their quarry.  Suspicious, the guards made it clear that access to the grounds required the surrender of all weapons.
 
The Horde complied.
 
Suddenly, a section of the wall disappeared and the frozen gate beyond was lifted.  Within The Pale Tower courtyard stood a giant woman wielding a greatsword.  Captain HESTRIG motioned the Horde to enter.  Behind her, stood a menacing Dragon made of ice, but twas just a sculpture.  And behind that, a fearsome and frustrated Ice Troll, his eyes locked upon KRUSH.  The gate closed and the wall reappeared behind the Horde, caging the declawed animals.  The aggressors lowered their arms and HESTRIG, who had shrunk to normal size, fetched the White Witch RADOSEK.   With two simple questions, RADOSEK learned of the Horde’s intentions to seek out Queen ELVANNA and to stop her plans to encase the world in ice and snow.  Resistance from Taldor, sent by BLACK MIDNIGHT, had arrived and needed to be eradicated.  RADOSEK, member of the infamous KAIJITSU family, ordered the Horde’s execution.
 
BORDEGGA the Ice Troll was the first to obey his employer and focused entirely on KRUSH, a worthy meal.  His attacks upon the Horde were one blunder after another.  Aside from cutting OTAK and rending UPANIX in hopes of reaching the Ankylosaurus, it was UPANIX’ devastating blow and SHANG-TSUNG’s vile of Alchemist Fire that felled the beast.
 
UPANIX was player number two.  The Half-Giant breached the Wall of Ice in order to retrieve the Horde’s weapons.  The deed had cost him much of his energy as he crossed the wall’s freezing aura twice.  He then unleashed his wrath upon BORDEGGA and HESTRIG.  He delivered a crippling blow to the Troll and The Pale Tower Captain harassing him with magic fell after another perfect strike.  UPANIX then turned to the Dragon but was tail slapped before making his attack.  With the strength to perform one final exploit, UPANIX cut the Construct badly before falling to the ground.
 
MIYUKI followed UPANIX’ lead and aided in the retrieval of her family’s weapons.  She too had suffered the wall’s effects in doing so.  She watched her friends suffer at the hands of The Pale Tower and tried to keep them whole with her healing hand.  Her final application was of much concern though.  A cut on OTAK had closed as one opened on MIYUKI, nearly dropping her.  Drained of positive energy and surrounded by fallen allies, MIYUKI looked to RADOSEK, enraged.  She let loose an arrow, enhanced in radiant light, and robbed the White Witch of his False Life.  Sadly, she fell soon after by a crossbow bolt.
 
RADOSEK was in charge of controlling the battle field.  He made full use of his Icicle Wand by creating Ice Spears to do harm and to impede the Horde’s movements.  An attempt to Blind his Samurai rival failed at one point but his Flurry of Snowballs proved more effective.  When the battle began turning against him, he Animated the central ice sculpture to support his ailing associates.  When his meat shields BORDEGGA and HESTRIG fell, the wounded RADOSEK retreated to the aerie and initiated plan B.
 
Captain HESTRIG opted to use her Magic Missiles upon the Horde before engaging in melee.  Unfortunately, the Sorceress was forced to do battle with OTAK’s net.  She eventually found the strength to break free but wasted much time doing so.  During her struggle though, OTAK had pulled her into the ice spears near the statue’s base, causing great pain.  Her skill in close combat was admirable, but a single strike from the Half-Giant was too much to bear.
 
OTAK, meanwhile, was the Horde’s shield.  After giving SHANG-TSUNG a Spider Climb potion, the Half-Orc stood his ground and endured the countless crossbow bolts sent his way whilst deflecting BORDEGGA’s futile attacks.  KRUSH was like a rock, impenetrable.  The Dinosaur was commanded to flank his foes and to swing his mighty club.  OTAK used his secret weapon and effectively took Captain HESTRIG out of the fight with his net.  When the Sorceress fell, most of the Half-Orcs attacks were focused on the Dragon harassing him.  Unfortunately, his foes were relentless and OTAK, a sitting duck, was the first to drop against immeasurable odds.
 
After acquiring a potion of Spider Climb, SHANG-TSUNG climbed atop the southern battlement to face off against four Archers.  With his hidden bladed boot, the Samurai delivered four roundhouse kicks, sending the Archers off the wall down below whilst dogging point blank crossbow bolts and RADOSEK’s Ice SpearsSHANG-TSUNG then targeted BORDEGGA with a fire bomb, burning him to ashes.  SHANG-TSUNG watched his allies drop one by one, but with KRUSH’s aid and a Pale Tower crossbow, the Samurai carefully picked off all remaining threats.
 
The Pale Tower guards were the last ones to act.  All fell victim to the Samurai’s resolve, but not before weakening the Horde’s reserves.  OTAK had been pierced by several of their barbs and dropping MIYUKI was their only exploit.
 
The battle was over and much blood had been split on both sides, joining the Horde was truly MAIN’s greatest accomplishment.  Wounds have been bandaged and potions were consumed.  After gathering anything of use, what was left of the Horde opted to exit the courtyard via rope and grappling hook in order to avoid the breached Wall of Ice.  They made camp several miles away to recover, luckily, The Pale Tower was silent.
 
One thing was certain; the Horde swore never to engage in parley again.
 
CHALLENGE
XP
6 Pale Tower Guards
200
Sergeant Volen Sertane; Human Ranger
150
4 Pale Tower Guards
150
Emil; Barkeep
200
Katrina; Doomsayer
100
Hazard: Wall of Ice
200
8 Pale Tower Guards
300
Captain Hestrig Orlov; Human Sorceress
300
Bordegga; Ice Troll
300
Animated Ice Dragon
400
Session total
2300
Campaign total
8250

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