The Reign Of Winter

An Adventure Begins...

The adventure begins on a warm summer day, the birds are chirping and are settled in from their winter break and the farmers crops are already growing nicely and the harvest this year in the kingdom of Taldor looks set to be a good one. All seems well. That was until a few weeks ago when a strange chill crept into the forest near the sleepy Village of Heldren. The local lord has sent his son Benedictus Caleo and his friends Hermann Fruktawyrm and Giorgio Coronado to investigate this strange event. Word of this magical winter has reached the ears of the high priest of Sarenrae in the capital of Oppara, finding this portent worrying and confusing, the church has dispatched one of it’s adventuring investigators Lazarus to accompany the nobles son.
Meanwhile in the harsh frozen north of the Land Of The Linnorm Kings a local druid Kjell Thundersturm discovered these early portents and along with his friend Idrin Truetemper they have followed the ancient lay lines into the heart of Taldor and it is in Heldren that our fated heroes meet. Finding that they share a common goal in searching out this unnatural weathers source, they decide to band together and pool their resources and aid each other in this quest.

Whilst asking around the village for any information concerning the forest and it’s new winter climate our heroes hear of a coach that has been ambushed near it’s edge. The only survivor was an Ulfen bodyguard who explained that he was escorting a Taldorian noble woman named Lady Argentia to Oppara when they were set upon by bandits and strange wintery fey. Whilst understanding the urgency of finding out the cause of this magical winter, the party couldn’t stand by whilst an innocent woman lay in the clutches of bandits, and so agreed to venture into the woods to rescue her. Detailing all the information that he could remember from the battle the Ulfen warrior gifted the Cavalier Sir Coronado his blade and explained it’s effectiveness against the fey creatures. Thanking him for the gesture Giorgio took the blade and organised the party into leaving, and so they readied themselves and headed to the site of the coaches ambush.
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Upon arriving at the seen it was clear that a very one sided battle had been fought here. Corpses of the lady’s bodyguard lay strewn across the frozen floor their bodies slowly sucumbing to the chill and snow. finding evidence of Necromancy the party was even more determined to find the person responsible and put an end to his crimes, after a quick skirmish with some Zombies left as a trap, the party started to follow the easily ladden foot prints of the bandits and their prize.

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A walk in the woods...

Following the heavy footprints in the snow our party of adventurers wandered cautiously into Border Wood. As they Wandered down the trail they passed through a small clearing. Next to a crop of the taller trees the party noticed a large half buried chest laying in the snow, apparently dropped or discarded by those who passed this way. Eager for treasure and quite frankly, curious, the group moved to the chest to investigate this surprise find. Eagerly the group opened the chest only to discover that the bandits they were tracking had left a little surprise for them. Activating a rope hidden under the snow, a large spiked log came sweeping down from the trees above, frantically the party dived for cover but Idrin was a little slow and got clipped by the crude but effective trap. Digging themselves out of the snow the party looked at each other feeling a little embarrassed, each taking note of the enemy they were up against and vowing to be more cautious in the future. Continuing on trail towards the bandits and Lady Argentea, the path that the party was following moved through a wind swept gully, scouting ahead Lazarus noticed that the falling snow was hissing and melting as it touched the ground. Finding this odd and not wanting to risk any more surprises the inquisitor made his way back to the party to report his findings. As the party closed in on the location Lazarus described a mighty Tzatalym worm burst from the snow and attacked. A grueling battle ensued and thanks to a series of mighty blows from Giorgio the beast was eventually dispatched and the group was victorious.
Concerned with the time it was taking to pursue Lady Argentea’s captors, the party pressed on through the thick snow and freezing wind. Whilst the group had taken steps to protect against the cold it was soon proving not enough against the unnatural weather, luckily Benedictus’s recent friend and convert Hermann seemed to have the answer and was able to summon up some arcane power to help the party endure the elements that were railing against them. Winter_touched_sprite.jpg As our party of adventurers moved further along the trail, tracking the slowly diminishing footprints of their prey, they chanced upon a group of feathered bundles and strange fetishes hanging from low branches among the trees, slowly swaying and shifting in the wind. Kjell found this to be very intriguing and whilst investigating, three sprites attacked from their hiding places in the deep snow. The sniping sprites had planned their attack well and the party found it difficult to spot them in the blinding snow and sharp wind. As soon as the party spotted one they began there attacks, Idrin raging at being shot at, the ill tempered Dwarf stomped through the chest high snow. It was a hard slough and as he neared the creature a crossbow bolt shot fired by Lazarus whizzed by him striking the sprite and killing it. Not to be robbed of a kill Idrin dug through the snow towards a sprite he spotted on the opposite side of the clearing, as he neared the other members of the party had brought it down. Spotting the last of the creatures Idrin realised that he was the closest to it, hurriedly he stomped across the heavy snow when a lucky shot from Hermann took the creature square in the chest, dropping it, dejectedly Idrin threw his axe to the floor and sat down for a rest.
As the party took stock of their injuries Kjell noted that he had seen sprites like this in his wintery homeland far to the north, Giorgio mentioned that he had been on campaign throughout Taldor and had not seen creatures such as this, wondering if this had something to do with the strange weather the party decided to push on. oddly Kjell picked up one of the tiny dead sprites and placed it in his backpack. White_Stag.jpg As the party moved further along the trail Lazarus spotted a large white stag happily digging at the snow to get at the grass underneath. Kjell approached the creature with calming words and gestures, blankly it looked at the Druid, it was Kjells turn to look surprised, when bold as you like the creature asked him what he wanted. The party, a liitle taken back by the talking animal, proceeded to ask if it knew anything of Lady Argentea or the strange winter that had fallen over this area. helpfully the creature mentioned that the he was at the edge of the woods when he saw the Lady they described leaving and heading towards town, Fearful of the party’s ability to survive in the cold it suggested that they head back themselves. As to the strange winter the stag had no idea what had caused it and was sure it would probably pass. Worrying that they may have missed Argentea but unsure whether to trust the stag the party voted on following the tracks until they finish and to decide what to do then. Thanking the strange stag the party headed on, looking back they noticed the stag was watching them as they walked out of sight and then they heard it’s bound strides carrying it deeper into the winter stricken woods.
Thinking to themselves that this day couldn’t get any stranger the party came across a frozen ford, they could see the trail and tracks continuing on the other side, but standing before them brazen as you like was a human sized snowman holding a crude wooden sign bearing the words “Trespassers Turn Back.” Thinking who would build this thing in the middle of the woods the party moved closer to get a better look. As they did, to their surprise, the snowman’s mouth began to moved and it said “Can’t you read? The sign says turn back!” The party turned to each other looking a little worried and confused…..

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