Reign of Winter

Summary 14: Age After Beauty

Chapter Three: Maiden, Mother, Crone


Four invisible stalkers converged upon SHANG-TSUNG, three of them penetrating his skin with their needles.  The pain was negligible at first, but the Lurkers had targeted sensitive areas as the wounds began bleeding profusely.  Having caught the Horde off guard, the Lurkers made a second pass leaving the Samurai a bloody mess.  UPANIX grabbed the Elder like a sack of potatoes and both men found themselves before the door.  SHANG-TSUNG charged the door and bounced off it.  OTAK shielded the Paladin as she laid a healing hand upon the Samurai.  Meanwhile KRUSH had picked up a scent above him and chased the stench as the Lurkers continued their flyby attacks upon their primary target.  Pain and Misery slammed into the door, reducing it to splinters and launched the old man down the corridor beyond.  One by one, the Horde members retreated down the corridor as the Lurkers tickled the Half-Giant one last time before allowing their prey to escape.

Flickering lights filled the cavern at the end of the tunnel, emanating from the eye sockets of ten skulls hanging from chains and spiked to the walls.  Huge stone menhirs formed a ring in the room’s center, surrounding a large pile of withered flower pedals.  Two gutted corpses of Frost Giants were chained to a menhir, one to the east and one to the west, both facing each other, their blood flowing to the pile of wilted  blossoms.  High above, a mist scaled the ceiling, flashing lights dancing within.  Fearing the blood was fueling some dire contraption, SHANG-TSUNG approached one of the corpses with a torch in hand.  Suddenly, a large Ettin was Summoned within the room and attacked with a pair of heavy flails.  The head to the left swung wildly as the right-hand side cleaved into SHANG-TSUNG and OTAK.  The Samurai retaliated and downed the beast with an overwhelming cluster shot.  An eerily beautiful and nude Devil-like woman emerged from the peddles, her arms coated in blood.  KRUSH was the first to succumb to her blinding beauty as he lost the use of his eyes.  With a snap of her fingers, all but MIYUKI were bathed in unholy fire.  The Paladin closed one of the Half-Orc’s wounds and informed her protector that her healing powers had been exhausted.  SHANG-TSUNG, UPANIX and OTAK diverted their eyes and initiated a full scale attack, KRUSH followed suit using his sense of smell.  KYRISJANA laughed as their weapons bounced off her skin.  As OTAK swung his mighty club, he accidently got a glimpse of the Fey and was Blinded.  The debased Nymph dug her claws into the Half-Giant’s face but failed to rip it off.  The Horde continued their futile assault but the Samurai exposed the Fey’s weakness with a cold iron arrow.  KYRISJANA sent SHANG-TSUNG a stunning glance and the Elder dropped his bow.  Luckily, the cold iron arrow had left quite the mark and the Horde was successful at slowly wearing her down.  The Fey had lost and her lighting clouds above dissipated.  MAIN molested the bloody corpses just before they were burnt and the Horde took the opportunity to rest.

The Witchdaughter’s Nightmare began creeping into the Samurai’s mind as he slept but failed to penetrate his resolve.  For the first time in days, the Elder dreamed about rainbows and butterflies, the Curse had run its course.  MIYUKI prayed, reached out with her healing hands and mended the most grievous of wounds.  Another attempt to channel positive energy was made and again, flesh fell to the floor.  Having exhausted her reliable healing powers yet again, MIYUKI and the Horde made their way back to the Daylight chamber.  To avoid bloodshed, it was decided to run across the room, towards the other path.  UPANIX and KRUSH made it to the other side unscathed.  SHANG-TSUNG, meanwhile, was distracted when the Ochki picked up a magical aura coming from a six inch hole in the ground, leaving him vulnerable.  As OTAK and MIYUKI crossed over, the Lurkers turned their attention to the Samurai and reopened two old wounds.  The Elder exited the room ending the threat but expressed his desire to investigate the trinket in the ground.  Having noticed that the Half-Giant excelled at repelling those who were unseen, it was suggested that UPANIX reenter the room to fetch the item.  The Specimen agreed and followed the Elder’s directions to the hole.  Meanwhile, the Lurker swarm proved far less effective against an alert opponent.  UPANIX reached in the opening and grabbed a gem.  Doing so casted a great shadow within to room as the Half-Giant’s hand blocked most of the Gem of Brightness’ glow, revealing four small fey.  With their cloak down, the Horde had their revenge and fell the little bastards.

The westward tunnel was followed and a solid oak table was eventually intercepted, an inlay of a crescent moon on the ground before it.  A bowl filled with flower peddles and four polished wooden figurines was placed at the table’s center.   Upon closer inspection, the miniature figurines depicted nude women.  One washing her hair, another holding a bouquet of flowers, one sitting and staring to the sky, the last holding a strange symbol.  Whilst playing with the things, OTAK linked the figurines to the decor found within the very first chamber they had visited.  The Horde backtracked, noted the positions of the maidens upon the walls and returned to the table.  The figurines were placed in proper sequence upon the table, but nothing happened.  Annoyed, the Horde simply continued on down the corridor.

Suddenly, the figurines quadrupled in size, animated and attacked SHANG-TSUNG.  The things slammed hard and unleashed splinter storms but a well coordinated assault coupled with a might whirlwind attack, the constructs fell quickly.  Shortly after their defeat, the figurines reappeared in the bowl as a beautiful nude woman appeared on the other side of the table.  The woman giggled playfully and teased the Horde as she pointed out what they had done wrong.  She placed the figurine sitting and staring to the sky to face the crescent moon inlay whilst placing the others in conjunction with the first.  Finally, she scattered the flower peddles on the table top, disabling the trap.  All the while, the Samurai was staring at her just above her mid section, the Ochki viewing her amulet as yellow.  Impressed with the Horde’s attempt, the Maiden flirtingly questioned their presence within Artrosa.  She was made aware of BABA YAGA’s situation and the Horde expressed their desire in her and the thing around her neck.  The woman agreed to relinquish the Gold Nugget given to her by the Witch Queen herself, but only on one condition.  A Centaur and his band of Frost Giants had made themselves at home within her domain and wanted them dealt with, the Centaur’s head in exchange for the gold.  All but MIYUKI agreed to her terms as the Paladin had a hard time trusting the diva.  SHANG-TSUNG read a page from her own book and scolded the Healer for judging the woman unfairly.  Frustrated, MIYUKI backed off.  That being said, the Maiden sent “a look” towards the specimen and vanished.

The Horde returned to the circle of stones to rest and recover.  SHANG-TSUNG used the Ochki to Identify one of the hanging skulls as a Grim Lantern.  Seeing value in the thing, twas stored within the Ryukzak for safe keeping.  They backtracked to the table, disabled the trap and continued down the corridor.  Suddenly, the way became dark and cold.  The Gem of Brightness was put to use revealing a new decor.  Lifeless trees and ravens, under a starry night in the bitter cold of winter were depicted upon the stone walls.  The tunnel ended at a door decorated with wreaths of goat skulls, woven together with catgut and corn husks.  The door was ripped off its hinges revealing an impossible  withered cornfield extending in all directions beneath a waning moon.  A bent and aged crone stood in the center of the cornfield, leaning heavily on her staff.  Surprised, the old hag asked if the Horde had already retrieved the head.  It took a moment, but the Horde determined that she and the Maiden were one and the same, their fantasies, tarnished.  She looked to UPANIX and winked.  Suddenly, the Crone and MIYUKI engaged in a staredown, the latter placing her hand on her shortsword.

Kyrisjana; debased Nymph
4 Lurkers in Light
Trap: Wooden Maidens; triggered
Session total
Campaign total



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