Reign of Winter

Summary 08: Heralds of Summer's Return

Chapter Two: The Shackled Hut


SESSION THEME

RIGNEIRR
was bound and asked to play the role of thief, skimming off the top to feed his family, his cart of fish, confiscated.  KRUSH provided the horsepower and the Winter Guard took position at all four corners.  The target was The Howlings, Whitethrone’s slum district, an unprotected area due to a breach in the outer wall and watched over by lazed Winter Wolves.  The Guard ascended the rise, avoided the main path and took the road leading to city’s northern sector.  From a distance, vagrants could be seen entering the city, some paying off the guards to do so.  The Horde approached and readied their bluffs.
 
AGILUR, a Winter Wolf in Human form was standing guard at the breach.  As the Winter Guard crossed the portal, AGILUR poked fun at them for being demoted to escort duty.  SHANG-TSUNG explained to the pest that they had confiscated the harvest and charged RINGEIRR with theft.  Satisfied with the Guard’s reply, AGILUR inquired about the Black Rider manhunt.  The Winter Guard claimed that they had found and defeated the Queen’s quarry but the body froze in a lake several miles to the South.  The story peaked AGILUR interest but advised the party to keep their embellished tale to themselves.  If word got out that the body had been lost, the ones responsible would surely be put to death for their incompetence.  When the small talk began to wear thin, both parties went about their own business.  Four encounters and counting, MIYUKI was keeping track.
 
RINGEIRR directed the Winter Guard West, then North and over a bridge.  A small hut stood at the end of the wooded path and RINGEIRR made preparations to contact his associate.  Suddenly, the Ranger froze in place, his face white as a Ghost.  Standing to their left was a dark cloaked figure, one of the Queen’s Mirror Men.  Hearing whispered voices in their heads, the Winter Guard was asked why they had brought their cargo to an invalid drop zone.  The Samurai told the thing that the Queen had given the order to show mercy upon the less fortunate.  The Mirror Man was obligated to confirm the order and asked the Guard to wait a moment.  The spy simply stood there for a minute when suddenly, two more Mirror Men entered the scene.  Their bluff had been called and the Winter Guard was ordered to leave the premises and to take their cargo to the market, the Guard complied.  The three constructs followed and observed.  RINGEIRR then made the Guard aware that a Mirror Man could be used as a scrying device and thus, endangering the mission at hand.  With only several minutes before establishing a link with their masters, the Mirror Men were turned upon.
 
SHANG-TSUNG rapid fired a foe with adamantine tipped arrows but did not have the desired effect.  UPANIX sprung in and out of melee, but the Mirror Man was ready for the Half-Giant.  With lightning speed, the Construct drew his magical bastard sword, attacked, but did not anticipate the Specimen’s superior maneuverability.  UPANIX dodged aside and dealt a minor blow.  Both OTAK and KRUSH advanced and rammed a Mirror Man with full effect.  The Three opponents converged on the Half-Orc as his weapon posed the greatest threat.  They each swung twice and nearly dropped the Gom tribesman.  MIYUKI focus on keeping OTAK whole as the others continued their assault.  The Mirror Men slowly fell one by one, but not before dropping OTAK to the mat, twice.  Unimpressed with UPANIX’ new combat style and having been criticized about trapping foes within a net, OTAK spoke his mind and heckled the Half-Giant.  UPANIX simply reminded the Half-Orc who had fallen and who remained standing.  That put aside, wounds had been healed, the cargo was successfully delivered to the poor, the cart chopped up to burn as firewood and three magical blades were added to inventory as payment for the Winter Guard’s noble deed.
 
RINGEIRR led the party to The Howlings Eastern sector; there he would make contact with the criminal and master forger, MORTIN.  Minding their own business, the Winter Guard was confronted by a pair of drunkards.  The two men took offence at the Guard’s presence within their sector and made it clear they didn’t need their help policing the area.  One of the men shouted out and demanded to know why the Guard felt the need meddle in their affairs.  Impatient and looking for trouble, the man violently shoved SHANG-TSUNG.  Seeing the anger in the Samurai’s eyes, both men got their wish, a battle to the death.  The streets cleared as three Ice Trolls watched on, curious to see what would unfold.  OTAK launched his net and the man to the left stumbled into it as KRUSH clubbed the alcoholic.  YARGIN and SCROBE let their guise down revealing two large Winter Wolves.  Entangled, YARGIN bit KRUSH and tripped him whilst SCROBE blew out a cloud of freezing air harming those within.  The Guard retaliated and YARGIN fell within seconds.  Meanwhile, SCROBE reverted back to human form and opted to stumble away to live another day, but the Guard would not have it.  SCROBE made it one-hundred feet before dropping to arrows and OTAK’s immediate pursuit.
 
Surprised, yet entertained, the Ice Trolls acknowledged the Winter Guard’s exploit in their own untactful way.  Still with bloodlust in his eyes, SHANG-TSUNG challenged the three brutes.  The Trolls dropped their axes and motioned to Guard to engage.  MIYUKI had gotten used to the peaceful resolutions as of late but was a fool to think it would last, MAIN on the other hand, was ecstatic.  The battle that followed was quick but left quite a few scars, OTAK walked away several inches wider and a rip running down his torso.  The Troll husks were in a state of regeneration and the Guard broke out their Alchemist FireRINGEIRR strongly advised against burning the bodies out in the open as it would attract the Queen’s armies.  It was then decided to drag the corpses to MORTIN’s house so that they may dispose of them behind closed doors.  Just before putting the plan into motion, UPANIX spotted the Mirror Man who had witnessed the entire scrum.  The construct was quickly dispatched and the Guard pressed on rapidly.
 
MORTIN’s hut was locked and RINGEIRR’s hails went unanswered.  UPANIX kicked the door open and frightened the Gnome within.  RINGEIRR scolded the midget whilst the Winter Guard hauled in the Troll carcasses.  Horrified at the sight and faced with the local authorities, MORTIN immediately pleaded not guilty to whatever crime he expected to be charged with.  Ignoring the Gnome’s banter, the Guard minus a disturbed MIYUKI whom had stepped out, chopped the Trolls into manageable pieces and burned them in the fireplace.  The next order of business was to acquire a meal accompanied by fine wine and the Winter Guard was offered slop and dirty water.  Counterfeit credentials were then discussed and the Guard was given three options.  The first was to acquire no credentials and relying solely on their disguises.  The second and hardest to pull off, to be identified as Stilyagi foreign guests, granting no restrictions to armor and weapons.  The third, to roam the streets as slaves.  Option two was approved and the Guard was given access to a section of the floor to rest whist the magical documents were being fabricated.
 
The Winter Guard followed RINGEIRR into the main city the very next morning.  The Mirror Man checkpoint at The Howlings limit allowed the party to pass without harassment.  The city, under martial law, was relatively quiet and no one acknowledged the four Winter Guard as they traveled south to a local bathhouse.  The man behind the counter was stunned to see four Guard enter, but settled down when they removed their helms revealing four outsiders.  After a quick bath and several explanations, RINGEIRR led the party out back, down a secret passage, through a tunnel and to a hidden shrine of MILANI.  There, they met with SOLVEIG, leader of the Heralds of Summer’s Return, enemy to BABA YAGA’s 14 century old winter and protector to the oppressed.  She was also the first to learn of the Horde’s entire story, including BLACK MIDNIGHT’s involvement.  Impressed with their tale, SOLVEIG reluctantly agreed to cooperate with those favored by her enemy in hopes to end ELVANNA’s reign.  BABA YAGA’s Dancing Hut was currently on display in the market square, the Red, White and Blue Riders hanging from pikes before it.  But just recently, a thick forest sprouted up around the artifact and has claimed a good portion of the Merchants’ Quarter.  And to make matters worse, the forest was under heavy guard and access within was extremely limited.  Both parties came to the conclusion that a distraction was in order and one had been implemented.  The Winter Guard was to travel to general LOGRIVICH’s clock tower and slay him.  With the White Dragon out of the picture, BABA YAGA’s Iron Guard would launch an assault upon ELVANNA’s Winter Guard in hopes to reclaim their lost authority.  The ensued chaos would surly deviate ELVANNA’s forces away from the Forest.  The Horde was provided a hardy meal, cots, healing potions and a Skyrocket Firework to be used once the deed was done to signal the uprising.
 
RINGEIRR stayed behind as the Winter Guard tested the market before poking the bear.  Unwanted trinkets were sold off and the search for proper footwear became top priority.  When UPANIX got his hands on a pair of Boots of the Winterlands, he bought another pair for the woman in his life and advised the other two to follow suit.  Now unimpeded by ice and snow, the Guard marched to the tower, confidant.
 
The tower’s courtyard was dominated by two statues, statues that animated and attacked once UPANIX tried to acquire a rare adamantine sword from one of them.  The Guard’s weapons proved to be less effective against the construct’s marble surface and began dulling out upon contact.  Alas, the Caryatid Columns lacked significant fire power and fell to shear strength and precision.  The Guard entered the tower and found themselves in a dark room accompanied by a ratcheting sound at regular intervals.  SHANG-TSUNG placed a Glowing Hand upon an arrow and the Guard opened a set of doors to the right.  The Barracks beyond housed an Ice Troll sharpening his battleaxe alongside his Trollhound THUCKRORGURT was not expecting company and called out to his ally minions.  The Guard presented the brute with orders to terminate the Dragon LOGRIVICH, by order of the Queen.  Unable to read and finding the order highly irregular, the Troll opted to pummel one of the Guards in hopes to satisfy his craving for man flesh.  The Giant and his mutt were dropped but the commotion altered the Trolls in the room to the left.  The door opened revealing four more Ice Trolls.  OTAK was the first to make a dent but fell when his foes ganged up on him.  Trolls apparently had the Half-Orc’s number but not those of pure blood.  The Humans finished what OTAK started whilst battling through those who have regenerated and rerisen.  The bodies were burned and the Guard took a moment to catch a breath and heal.
 
CHALLENGE
XP
Agilur; Winter Wolf Fighter; bypassed
600
3 Mirror Men
1200
Bonus: Delivered fish safely
300
Yargin & Scrobe; 2 sickened Winter Wolves
600
3 Ice Trolls
800
Mirror Man
400
2 Mirror Men; bypassed
800
2 Caryatid Columns
400
Rorgurt; Ice Troll
300-Lv6
Thuck; Trollhound
200
4 Ice Trolls
1200
Session total
6800
Campaign total
24680

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