Reign of Winter — Game Session — 001

Game summary for September 6, 2016, Reign of Winter campaign, for Phoenix Gaming Club. Session included: All Might (Human Warpriest played by Andrew Renfrow), Deska Starseeker (Half-Elf Druid played by Kaliegh Belda), Tiswichtt (Orc Witch played by Casey Scruggs), and Tulvur Xandersen (Dwarf Fighter played by Taylor Averdick). Game Master for this session was Charles Plemons.

The party is a group of fri-hal soldiers of the Iron Axes of Jomsborg, a company of Viking mercenaries.  The team’s drengr, or leader, is Tiswichtt.  They were dispatched to the village of Heldren in southern Taldor to relieve another team in their guardianship of Lady Argentea Malassene.  When they arrived, they learned a bizarre unnatural pocket of winter had claimed part of the forest and the Lady’s caravan had been attacked.  The team went about the town talking to several people getting the latest rumors and information.  They discovered a farmer’s son had plunged into the icy creek supposedly following a talking white stag.  Farmers near the woods reported crops being frozen or stolen.  Local hunter Dryden Kepp claimed to have witnessed a giant white weasel, and he went to trap it to prove its existence and has not been heard from since.  They found Lady Malassene had called off her engagement and was ambushed on her return home.

The team talked to their fellow Iron Axe, Yuln Oerstag, the only guard to survive the ambush.  He was suffering from severe frostbite, and the party was able to help somewhat with his injuries.  He described the ambush claiming they were attacked by human bandits along with tiny winter-touched fey able to unleash powerful icy attacks.  He claimed the winter-touched must be in league with the White Witches of Irrisen and doing their bidding.  Yuln knew his days of fighting were over for some time, but he gifted the team with his cold iron longsword, Icebiter, to strike down the fey.

The team discussed what was known of the White Witches and the frozen country of Irrisen.  Exactly 1,400 years ago the Queen of Witches, Baba Yaga, arrived in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings in her Dancing Hut leading an army of monsters and winter fey.  This sparked the Winter War, and Baba Yaga conquered Raemerrund and the Djurstor Confederacy to form Irrisen, which she locked in a permanent icy winter.  She enthroned her daughter, Jadwiga, as the first Queen of Irrisen and disappeared in her Dancing Hut.  Exactly 100 years later, she returned and took Jadwiga with her, leaving another daughter to rule in her place.  This has happened 13 times, and it is time for the 14th queen, Elvanna, to leave with Baba Yaga and a new queen be crowned.

The team bundled up in their cold-weather gear and traveled to the ambush site.  They investigated the intact carriage and found two zombies within!  These were the animated corpses of fellow Iron Axes, and the team had to fight against their own brethren!  Tiswichtt stepped up and cast burning hands, receiving a staggering punch to the face for her troubles.  She spit the words of the spell out around the blood and broken teeth, unleashing burning fury over the zombies and All Might!  Tulvur and All Might repositioned and began to hack at the zombies.  Deska firmly entangled one with her druidic magic.  Tiwichtt disemboweled the zombie that hit her using her fine orc double axe.  All Might and Tulvur then succeeded in cutting down the zombies.  The team searched the intact carriage and found a jewelry box filled with treasures and the Lady’s signet ring.

The team then walked past the wrecked carriage to look at an ice statue.  They discovered it was the frozen body of a fellow Iron Axe missing an arm and deep gouges from its flesh!  Looking around, they found his severed arm still grasping a masterwork longsword.  The team claimed the sword and pilled all the bodies of their slain companions into the intact fully-functional carriage and lit it of fire as a makeshift pyre.  They then walked by the wrecked non-functional carriage over to a trail.  Deska channeled her animal focus to take the muzzle of a wolf and confirm by scent the direction the bandits took the missing Lady Argentea.

The group heading down the trail for a bit and discovered a large wooden chest lying in the snow.  Tiswichtt walked up and opened it triggering a trap!  An enormous log spiked with sharpened branches swung from the trees and impaled the orc, shattering bone and spraying blood.  It crashed into All Might as well but did not harm him quite a badly.  The team pulled the perforated unconscious witch off of the log and let Deska do some healing.  Then, All Might cast cure light wounds on Tiswichtt and Tulvur.  The group dug up the chest to take with them and found all the stolen weapons and armor from the slain Iron Axes!  The team outfitted themselves and returned to town to rest.  There they purchased a massive pavilion tent and returned to the trail.  They finally found a clearing in which to camp and setup their tent.  Drained of all healing magic, the team decided to rest again before proceeding.