As the members of the Half-Shadows debated what to do about Sir Corliss and the fate he had in store for Ohrana, a simple investigation by Saerid Turquoise and Suriveth Varune, led them to believe that Ohrana may have been falsely accused or, at the very least, could have had some kind of relationship with Una Helta, the Winter Witch. Either way, when Sir Corliss and his men went to bed, Suri cast a spell that ensured everyone stayed asleep so that they could speak with Ohrana without interference.
Speaking with the accused witch was somewhat frustrating and cryptic, as Tomorachian soon discovered. All she would say was that she was certainly not a witch but that she was forbidden from speaking about what she was, what she was doing and what her plans were, leading several others to conclude that it would be more trouble than it was even worth to release her. However, the group did remain intrigued by her story and freed her when she admitted that while she was not a witch, she was, in fact, headed towards the frozen wastes, directly to the lands of Una Helta. However, once she was freed by Wolfram Delmanse, the group had to depart, quickly, lest Sir Corliss and his men chase them down.
While traveling west towards the town of Heldren, during one of the stops, Ohrana approached Tomorchian and expressed her gratitude, as well as apologized that she could not say more about her situation but she was forbidden. She did, however, present him a gift – an amulet (Amulet of Araponda) which was the symbol of Araponda. The amulet, while displaying magic properties, was an older symbol of the goddess and extremely valuable.
Eventually, the group came into the small town of Heldren where they resupplied on equipment that was needed for the coming trek into the cold wastelands to the west. While in the area they heard the rumors of bandits increasing their organization and efficiency as well as see that the weather had turned deeply cold, again uncharacteristic of the area and time of year. Further, they noticed a knight in the service of the Crusader but suspected he had no relationship to Sir Corliss or even knew they had freed the witch. Still, avoiding the knight was thought best. However, while resupplying their provisions, Saerid noticed some of the gold coins with the merchant were coins that had been minted by the Sons of the Mountain King. When asked, the merchant stated that indeed, dwarves had come through and based upon his description, it sounded like they were members of the Sons.
The following day they set out on their path and came across an ambush scene with overturned carts and deceased elven rangers. Upon getting closer, they discovered blasts of snow and ice which had led to the deaths. However, in investigating the overturned cart, ice-covered undead attacked as the bodies, prompted by the nearby warmth of the living, wanted the flesh of the living. It was a short battle and afterwords they noticed that there was likely one body unaccounted for based upon the number of horses and corpses. Quickly scanning for clues, Glaedwin Longclef found tracks that led into the nearby mountains. They chose to see if this is the hideout of the bandits as well as whether the missing individual was with the bandits as a hostage.
Eventually the group came to a ranger’s lodge across an icy river. Upon investigating, one of the rangers emerged but seemed hesitant to let the heroes come closer. When it became apparent that they were going to enter, the ranger retreated back inside, presumably to warn his associates.
Surrounding the lodge and forcing their way in, it was clear that those inside were not rangers, but most likely the bandits that had been plaguing the area. The leader of the bandits, Rohkir, was in the middle of discussions with a dwarven agent who ended up being a formidable foe with skills in not only martial weapons but also devious incendiaries.
Once the fighting was over and Rohkir and his men as well as the mysterious dwarf were killed, the group scanned the lodge for more clues. Naturally, they found the goods that had been stolen from the travelers but also a massive chest of gold coins containing 100 of the coins minted by the Sons of the Mountain King. Why the Sons were involved was a different matter – it was a mystery. Upstairs in the lodge, they did, however, find the prisoner – a female elven ranger named Vyper.
Vyper explained that the bandits were going to attempt to ransom her back to agents of the Elf Queen, for whom she was an emissary. When asked what Vyper was investigating, she stated that the Elf Queen wanted answers about the strange weather patterns that had been plaguing the area. After resting and cleaning themselves up, the group pressed on, with Vyper going with them for a couple of days until they were closing in on the Northern Colossus. Before she left, however, Vyper promised that the Elf Queen would repay their kindness and loyalty.
Icon Relationships for Next Session:
Glaedwin: Prince of Shadows (positive) 7; Lich King (negative) 1
Suri: Elf Queen (conflicted) 7
Tomorachian: Archmage (positive) 7
Saerid: Archmage (conflicted) 7; Lich King (negative) 1