As Tomorachian settled into his changes that had to be performed due to the disease, Sarvass, he still needed time to recuperate. However, time was still an issue for the rest of the party and it was agreed that Brimley Oxheart and Ohrana would stay with Tomorachian while Suriveth Varune, Saerid Turquoise, Glaedwin Longclef, Koldrag and Wolfram Delmanse moved on. Ohrana indicated that she would be able to find them later.
As the larger group pressed forward they quickly encountered strong, violent weather that was clearly the work of Una Helta. After an hour of trudging through the ice and snow, they were beset upon by a strange force, a powerful magic that formed a woman’s face in the snow and she spoke to the heroes, demanding to know who they were. They began to introduce themselves as they realized they were speaking to the Winter Witch, using powerful spells in which to communicate with them. In explaining who they were and what they were doing, seeing Blackrazor, Una Helta took great interest in Saerid, especially when he mentioned his wicked ancestor, Mezzilen, the traitor to his clan and a current servant of the Lich King. At this point, Una Helta’s avatar agreed to meet with them and asked for them to cross the ice towards a cave that would lead to a tunnel and she would speak with them.
Upon arriving at the cave, they noticed a floating light which seemed to gesture to them and drawing them deeper into the tunnels, leading, presumably, to the lair of the Winter Witch, her castle, Everwinter.
As they pressed on, they were waylaid by a group of demonic frost giants and a demonic ettin, clearly the work of the Diabolist. The fight was brief and had the potential to be very deadly as the frost giants were able to summon a purple worm, adding to the potential lethal encounter. But the heroes prevailed and were left wondering if the frost giants were enemies of the Winter Witch or if they were somehow her servants. Had they walked into a trap?
In one of the next chambers they entered, they found a sacred fountain which had numerous decorations, as well as fine murals on the walls, seemingly showing the great life that the Winter Witch had lived. However, the true purpose of the room was unclear. It seemed to be an unusual location for some kind historical chamber as its location was so remote that nobody would see it. However, it was left alone as the heroes did not want to risk offending their host.
Eventually, the lively light brought them to an underground throne room, again, another unusual location. Ahead, they saw a woman who seemed vaguely familiar as the face that had appeared in the snow storm earlier. On either side of her was an attendant. Una Helta welcomed them and beckoned Saerid to come forward. When they explained their plight, she agreed that she would give them Blackrazor, in order to allow them to better fight the forces of evil. However, she would want Saerid to agree to be marked by her as she wanted to ensure that they completed the quest and would make good on their promise to do good works. But as Una Helta was about to use her ice dagger to make her mark on Saerid’s hand, Suriveth heard some of the strange words Una Helta was using, identifying them as incantations to the Lich King. At this point, Suriveth warned Saerid who recoiled in horror from Una Helta. But it was soon revealed that Una Helta was not the Winter Witch, at all. When she dropped her illusion, it was revealed that she was Mezzilen, the dwarven lich in the service of the Lich King!
The fighting was fierce as Mezzilen had special necrotic worms, an eldritch slave and some skeletal hounds. Saerid, furious over not just being tricked, but specifically being tricked by his clan’s traitor, this battle would be a personal matter for him and the stakes were extremely high. Valiantly, they fought and even though they came out victorious in the end, destroying Mezzilen, they knew they had not seen the last of him as they had not found his phylactery, an item likely in the hands of the Lich King.
Searching the caverns, they did find the real Una Helta who was grateful for her release. She explained that for several weeks agents of the Lich King had taken over her palace and had been using her magic to torment and harm the people around her in her domain. Her gratitude included handing over the true Blackrazor to the heroes so that they may continue on their quest, as well as wisking them away to wherever they needed to go. For this they were thankful and vowed to stop the agents of the Lich King and find the secrets of Darkveil.
And thus ended Part I of the story . . .