Against the Ice Queen

Session 3: Black Rider Responsibility Club

Lifeblood, ewwwww.

The mercenary who escaped with his life when Lord Douglas’ entourage was attacked greets us. He looks like hell, still very bruised and bandaged up. He thanks us for rescuing Lord Douglas. He tells us his name is Yuln. We ask how Lord D is doing, and Yuln says D is acting like nothing ever happened. Lord D is betrothed to marry Carlotta and almost called the wedding off, but the whole kidnap ordeal has changed him. He’s going to go through with it and marry Carlotta, the pig with ribbons. Yuln tells us that Lord D would like to meet with us at the Silver Stoat to talk to us.

We meet him at the tavern where the owners are fawning all over him, large platters of food set on the table in front of him. He chats with us, sharing his food, and then offers us 500gp each if we bring Rohkar back, dead or alive. This unseasonably cold weather has everyone worried, and though Lord D isn’t from this area, he’s still concerned. We persuade him to play darts with us, and Constancia whips everyone’s ass. It embarrasses him, so he decides to retire for the night. The town has put him up at Old Man Dansby’s farmhouse, thus effectively kicking us out into the cold.

Rosaline, who has an enormous crush on Lord D, slips out of the tavern and stalks him at the farmhouse. Back in the tavern a halfling named Perkin approaches Constancia and challenges her to an arm wrestling match. A big crowd gathers around, and he easily whips her. While Rosaline is watching Lord Douglas undress, Yuln catches her steaming up the window. She’s not very good at explaining herself, and he tells her to leave, though he promises not to mention the event to Lord Douglas.

The next day we go back to the woods to find Rohkar. We fight some frost skeletons. As we are resting up we’re ambushed in our sleep. A man in dark attire with a fine looking cloak and a longsword, accompanied by some fey creatures, attacks us. It’s Rohkar the necromancer. We fight and are victorious.

We continue through the woods and come to something that looks like an ice maze. A little girl is stuck shivering in the large chunks of ice. She tells us that the minions of the Ice Queen will see us because the Ice Queen sees all. Then she disappears.

We come up to a small hut on four legs in the middle of the ice maze. The doorway is open and inside we can see a carved wooden chair. A creepy looking porcelain doll sits in the chair; the doll is wearing the same dress as the little girl, but it has the face of a withered old crone. The eyes are mismatched, a blue gemstone and a small silver mirror. Naturally — or rather unnaturally — the doll comes to life, and we have to fight it.

Soulbound guardian

Just past the hut is a warning carved in ice: “Turn back before the winter devours you.” Well, we’re not about to heed any warnings, so we continue on our way. The weather gets hella worse. We find a portal is the source of the winter weather. There is a campsite around the portal. There are also enemies to fight: a troll, sprites, and an atomie.

The battle does not go well. Constancia snuffs it. We manage to kill the enemies. As Rosaline goes to check out the portal to figure out how to turn it off, a gust of wind comes out along with a gaunt horseman wearing rams horns and kohl black armor. He is astride a black warhorse and surrounded by tendrils of cold, dark mist. He’s slumped forward in his saddle and a large shard of blue ice sticks out of his back. The horse dissipates, and the horseman falls to the ground. He beckons us to come over to him.

Baba yaga black rider
He says his name is Illarion Matevious, also known as The Black Midnight. He is a Black Rider, Harbinger of the Witch Queen Baba Yaga’s return. Except that Baba Yaga is missing. He tells us that the only way to close the portal is to go through it and shut it down from the Pale Tower. This portal is one of many. Queen Elvanna plans to spread a new ice age across the world. Closing the portal would save the kingdom, but the rest of Hyspero is doomed. Queen Elvanna resides in Bludfrost (umlaut U) in the Ivory Wastes. We have no chance of defeating Elvanna without her mother’s return. We have to find Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut, which is a very powerful artifact in the multiverse. It can help us travel long distances and even between worlds. If we can control the hut, that is. Many key objects are attuned to the hut, and we have to find them. Black Midnight has two keys but Queen Elvanna has taken their power. If we reactivate the keys, place them in the cauldron in the Dancing Hut, we can retrace Baba Yaga’s path.

Every 100 years, Baba Yaga returns to the Ivory Wastes to place a new daughter on the throne. Elvanna has other plans. She’s slaying everyone loyal to her mother. Black Midnight is the last of the Black Riders. He offers us the mantle of the black rider as he produces two items — one looks like a plague doctor’s mask and the other is the hair from a frost giant’s beard. They are keys for the Dancing Hut. We accept the mantle of responsibility. He slits his throat in order to reactivate the keys. Some of his blood floats over to us and enters through our mouth, ears, nose, and eyes. His armor melts and leaves behind the body of an old man dressed in a black tunic. The lifeblood of the Black Midnight also brings Constancia back to life.

We must find the Dancing Hut and rescue his/our Mistress. We gain a permanent increase of +2 to an ability score and we are marked as Baba Yaga’s favored servants, which allows us to pass through certain wards and traps she has placed.

Loot:

studded leather armor
longsword +1
light crossbow
10 bolts
dagger
keyring (high sentinel lodge)
hot topic skull necklace 15gp
thieves tools
cloak of the yeti
Whispering Way spell book
sapphire 600gp
1 unidentified potion
potion of extra healing
potion of speed
potion of agility
potion of cold resistance
13 frosty sling bullets (detect magic)
troll’s spear (detect magic)
keyring
jeweled necklace 400gp
4 blue quartz ice diamonds 100gp each
near flawless diamond 500gp
painting of Bludfrost 100gp
3 sapphire rings 75gp each
decorative longsword scabbard 125gp
satyr and sprite statue 50gp
2457gp 3313sp 1760cp

also need to detect magic on the two daggers we found in session 1

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hallion

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