Session 14 Numbers
We picked up the journey with the heroes preparing to set out from Myrellsward. After an invigorating debate over whether it would be Meryl-sward or Meryl’s-ward, the PCs wisely deciding they should take whatever steps they could to avoid getting lost in the increasingly colder climate, they found a guide at the local meeting hall. Tyrol was—recommended, cheap, and only partially drunk (at 10:00 a.m.) so he was hired for 3-days of the trip.
The first day was uneventful but the second brought a tense confrontation with a group of Rangers who assumed this second set of rare strangers in their lands were connected to the group of Winter’s Children (and others) who landed on the coast 3 weeks before. Vimalk called forth an ancestor of the ranger-leader which was certainly a strong enough spokesman to convince the rangers of their intent to stop those villains. The rangers departed south to track 2 owlbears which sent Arweal racing north
- perhaps he’s met them in another life :) He is very old after all. That night brought another notable event - Vimalk sharing part of his history. Unable to sleep, Vimalk spoke of the terrible, never-healing wound on his left forearm and hinted at how he received it all those years ago. While the two spoke, Ketu had another of his visions of a shimmering figure in the woods. Or did he, since did not feel like the others?
Tension mounted as the heroes approached the suspected location of the dark pit, but there was one more frozen night before they could reach their destination and determine what exactly the Children of Winter were up against. Awakening from a terrible dream of the world’s forest’s destroyed, Vimalk let out a cry that alerted everyone. While checking the immediate area for any signs of danger, the group heard unnaturally loud snaps in the distance coming closer. Once again utilizing the scouting skills he honed during the war, Arweal slipped off into the night to find the source. While he was gone, Vimalk & Ketu were surprised by a flood of small animals that rushed through there camp, fleeing to the South. Arweal was shocked to see a very large, very dead tree crashing through the forest and destroying everything in its path. Knowing the power of a Treant, the heroes hesitated but Vimalk realized just how much forest was being destroyed (a 20m swath for kilometers and kilometers) and had to do something. The heroes caught the (very) strangely behaving Treant to find an even stranger situation, it had a massive shambling mound trailing behind it and gorging (as well as thoroughly killing) all of the flora the Treant knocked door. The scenario was becoming worse and worse for Vimalk’s beloved Eildeen forest. They battled the mound for a few rounds before even attracting the attention of the corrupted treant and were also attacked by a mourner spirit that had latched onto the two agents of destruction and was enjoying soaking up all the killing. In the end the monsters were dispatched and Vimalk received a few shattered images from the Treant about what had happened—dark energy had animated the long dead Treant and but it only had enough intelligence to head South to seek the sun.
Following the path of destruction they found the spot that the corrupted Treant had clawed its way out of the ground. Not far beyond a Children of Winter camp was setup near a large, deep, mined-out hole in the ground. Observing the camp for awhile they saw it was populated with not only children of winter but also skeletal and zombie animals being used for pack animals and guards. As Vimalk’s wound began to irritate a surprise emerged from one of the tents—Demise was here. She was the treacherous elf who had pretended to help with researching the Ashen Crown while, all the while, was secretly a skullborn looking to possess it. Eventually she was stopped (she fled) in an epic battle under Sharn but not before she had killed one of Mabu’s close friends and turned her into a vicious undead. And now, here she was on the frozen steppes of the Demon Waste mountains with the Children of Winter … wtf? Ketu heard the amateurish stealthing of a Children of Winter patrol and, duly alerted, the group killed the four in seconds before an alarm could be raised. The heroes then opted for the very direct approach and attacked the camp in a frontal assault after firing some exploding arrows at three of the tents. The battle raged but began to look hopeless. Calling upon the power of a mysterious master, Demise had ripped a dead frost giant out of the ground to do her bidding and Children-of-Winter and zombie-beavers streamed from the camp (too quickly I’ll admit, but I was caught off-guard by the whole thing …). Despite heroic efforts, in the end, the damage (mostly rained down by the two mages and their bodyguard), the 3 would-be saviours fell.
But it was not their last breath … they awoke to breathe … quite painfully … again. Stripped, tied, and laying on the frozen earth the shrill voice of Demis and Savannah (the winter witch) roused them from unconcisousness. Savannah wanted to simply kill them while Demise, obviously the alpha bitch, had other plans. She wanted to use their powerful essence to feed whatever lay in the pit and, apparently, her master has great interest in one of them. However, all is not as dire as it seems. Neither Sy or Puck have been captured
- I would greatly appreciate if someone would think of a reasonable thing they were doing at the time - and it is certain they will attempt to rescue their companions … but how?