The Jade Regent

The Hungry Storm: Across the Crown of the World

...or: The Caravaner's Guide to Off-Season Arctic Travel

Ashik Fawkes – Tiefling Bard
Jambro “Battlestout” Winchester – Dwarven Wizard/Priest
Johnny “Courage” Winchester – Dwarven Avenger
Kryspin Kwikstryke – Kender Monk
Warlug – Half-Orc Ranger
Ameiko Kaijitsu/Amatatsu Ameiko – Human Aristocrat
Sandru “Whiskey” Vhiski – Human Caravan Master
Jack Burton – Human (Half-elf?) Caravan Master
Mogmurch – Goblin Rogue/Alchemist

These sessions took place over a course of seven months; from 15 Leaf-fall (October 15th) to 17 Melting (May 17th). In this time, the Wayward Sons and their caravan trekked from Kalsgard by way of the Cold Road to the Ice Rim Mountains. From there, they began their journey over the Crown of the World.

Across the Ice Rim Mountains, they experienced trouble from the hardy terrain; broken axles, landslides, and a creeping rot in their food stores. After 18 days in the pass, they made it to the Giant Downs of Urjuk. A voice in the wind warned them not to trespass, but the Sons pressed on. When the frost giant guardians of the Downs came upon them, they negotiated at first, but the prickly giants were not satisfied with the Sons offer for safe passage. The Sons prevailed, finding a map of the High Ice on the body of the giant’s leader.

After traveling on further, the skies darkened preternaturally, winds intensified, and soon a morozko (called a “hungry storm”) descended on the Sons caravan! They were driven east, toward the refuge of the Rimethirst Range. The Sons pressed their caravan at a grueling pace, enduring 32 hours of the storm’s fury! Once they were clear and the storm passed, the Sons took a day to rest and recover.

They pressed on further, to a place called Gaarjuk. From the mountains, a band of Ice Trolls had stalked them. Once they saw their opportunity, the trolls attacked, pressing the Sons near to their limits again. After the grueling battle with the Trolls, the Sons moved into a forest, for the village of Rimakak. They were running short of food, and needed to resupply.

When they arrived, they found the village all but deserted. A Qallupilluk, a strange fish-woman witch, lived in the village with her children. Johnny negotiated with her for fishing rights. Once a suitable offering of treasure was made, the Sons were free to salvage and fish enough to press on.

Out of the forest, they moved into more mountainous terrain. It was here that the caravan suffered another setback: An avalanche! The devastation from the snow-slide killed Vankor (Whiskey’s driver) and all of Jack’s men. Morokei, the blacksmith/enchanter was nearly killed, though Ashik saved him. As the Sons were gaining their feet, they were attacked by the creature which had caused the slide: an arctic chimera!

Despite being on their back-foot, they managed to bring down the creature and save what remained of their caravan. They dug out what they could, and rebuilt one wagon they lost from the pieces they could find. They set off again, with their spirits definitely muted. They were forced to more strictly ration their food, although Warlug was able to hunt for some food. He also managed to capture and break some reindeer to pull their remaining wagons.

They pressed on and found a small tribe: the Silver Martens. The tribesmen were willing to share food with them (though were not-specific as to it’s origins) that the party was all-too-happy to eat, having been on half rations. They traded for some more food and stayed the evening. With more friendly advise from the cannibal tribe, the Sons were told about the safest place to cross the frozen river ahead.

The next month went by uneventfully, from Deepwinter into The Claw (January to February) they traveled toward the High Ice and the village of Iqaliat, where Torstein was a tribe-friend to the Hearthmistress.

Once there, they found Iqaliat in a tense situation: The village had been attacked several times by a white dragon, Vegensundvaag. Once the Sons had managed to convince the people of the village that they meant well, despite the shaman’s belief the Sons would bring further misfortune, the Sons set off to hunt a dragon.

With help from a local Erutaki guide (who Johnny realized was possessed) the Sons found the lair of the dragon. Inside, the Sons battled with the creature. Despite the dragonfear’s hold on Warlug and Ashik, the rest of the Sons were able to bring down the cornered dragon. After the battle (and looting the hoard) they exorcised the quasit possessing their guide. The guide told them that the village shaman Tunuak was a disciple of Sithhud, a displaced demon prince of winter and storms. Upon returning to the village, they wasted no time confronting Tunuak.

Once he was slain, and with the testimony of their Erutaki guide, the Sons were hailed as heroes: both for slaying the dragon and revealing Tunuak’s treachery. A feast was held in their honor. However, once the Chief and Hearthmistress had a chance to examine the cave paintings in Tunuak’s secret chamber, they had bad news for the Sons: The hungry storm they encountered was one of many that had plagued the High Ice this season. In the past, such storms were rare occurrences, with as many as fifty or one hundred years passing between them. They had already seen several this season, and the cave paintings indicated that Sithhud was going to gain a foothold on the Prime Material. His disciple, Katiana, worked her vile sorcery from the Storm Tower at the Pole. With more and more hungry storms heading south, the Sons’ caravan would surely be caught up in one before it made it safely to Tian Xia. Further, the storms could continue further and further south, terrorizing all the villages of the arctic and maybe even into further civilized lands. Not to mention the devastation that a demon prince on the Material Plane could cause.

The Sons had little choice but to head to the Storm Tower and confront Katiana. Once they made it further north, now deep into the High Ice, they encountered armies of undead: Hoarfrost spirits, skeletons, and wights. They made it past and into the Storm Tower. Running through it’s guards and figuring out the strange, ancient machines, they found themselves at the top of the tower. Katiana and her undead minions were preparing to unleash another hungry storm. A protracted battle ensued, with the Sons pressed to new limits. Fighting off hordes of undead and dealing with the potent spellcasting of Katiana proved to be within their capabilities. Once they had defeated her, they dismantled the machinery as best they could and began to head south. South!

While the weather had cleared up, and most of the undead had scattered, one of Katiana’s other disciples remained alive. The cleric of Sithhud rallied undead into a small warband and chased the Sons. Torstein’s advice was to take shelter at Dead Man’s Dome. They made a mad dash to the fortifications that remained. There, they held back wave after wave of undead, fighting for hours in the frozen ruins of the fortress that once stood there. After a full night of fighting, they proved victorious, slaying the cleric and almost all of the undead.

The Sons made their way on the Road of Agenhei. They were received in the town of Ul-Angorn well, treated with a feast. They spent three days there, to rest and bolster the caravan’s moral. They were preparing to leave, speaking with the town’s Headman and chief business operator, when things devolved somewhat. Johnny took umbrage with the Headman’s political/economic rule of town and tried to pay with graffiti’d coins: he’d written something insulting to the Headman on some of the coins. When Johnny refused to pay with different coins, the Headman refused to accept any money and told them to be on their way. Words were exchanged and tempers flared. Townsfolk began throwing rocks at the Sons, telling them all to leave. After leaving, Johnny returned to speak with the town’s spiritual leader, a Druid, and offered a half-assed apology. The Druid said “thanks, but no thanks” and told them to be on their way.

Everyone has bad days, sometimes.

After a few more weeks traveling south toward the Wall of Heaven Mountains (the border to Tian Xia), the Sons were confused to find that a hungry storm blocked their path through the pass. This morozko was at least five times the size of the one they first encountered, and a fell feminine laugh could be heard on the wind. The storm was expanding rapidly, and seemed like it would overtake the caravan. Koya, however, remembered a legend of an underground city with a pilgrim’s path that came out on this side of the mountains: The Path of Spirits. With little else to go on, the Sons found their way their, navigating by the legend.

There, they entered the Necropolis. They spent three days navigating the outer paths to the city proper, seeing spirits both hostile and benign. Magical wards blocked their way through the city, which Jambro was able to handle with some degree of difficulty. After defeating the shades of former priests of the Fumiyoishi, the Sons recovered the Sword of the Nine RIngs, a potent weapon against spirits. They then found their way deeper in the Necropolis and into the territory of the Yetis. Bormung, the Yeti King, held court there. With the caravan following behind the Sons; guided by Torstein, Jack, Whiskey, and the others; the Yeti King bellowed in rage and ordered the Sons attacked! Simultaneously, the hidden places of the Necropolis emptied of Yeti warriors, who began to the attack the caravan! Intermixed with all of this, the Sons heard again the fell female laughter, and realized that Katiana was not truly defeated.

The Yeti battle-ragers proved dangerous in combat, forcing the Sons to fight conservatively as a unit. A summoned demon tried to take advantage of the Sons formation and attack their flank. The Sons gained relief from Jambro’s highly effective confusion spell against some of the reinforcements they might have faced. Mogmurch proved his worth in the battle, dropping at least one Yeti and charging headlong against their King!

As the battle began to tilt to their favor, the Sons pushed back against the Yeti King. Warlug severed the King’s hand, driving out the spirit of Katiana! Then, despite Katiana’s spirit taking to the air, Warlug was able to run and leap up after her, attacking with all his might and the dismissal magic of the Nine Ring sword! His blow struck true, forever destroying Katiana and her threat to bring Sithhud to the Prime Material. Once Katiana was defeated, the Yetis stopped their attack, looking to their King. He negotiated with the Sons, thanking them for banishing the spirit from him. He even allowed them to reconsecrate the alter to Fumiyoshi back to Selune. However, once they had spent the night to recover, he wanted them gone from his kingdom.

The Sons continued on the Path of Spirits, emerging on the other side of the Wall of Heaven Mountains and into Tian Xia! After seven months of grueling travel and facing numerous dangers at the Crown of the World, the Sons had succeeded in bringing Ameiko and the Amatatsu Seal to Tian Xia. Now, the Sons have to find their way to Minkai, avoid the Frozen Shadows, and see what must be done to depose the Jade Regent and prevent the permanent reign of the Five Storms Oni Clan!



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