10th of Highsun
We leave Villeday, with Illarion, Nadia and her sons. Nadia has organized it so that we are travelling in three dog sleds across the frozen lands.
We are followed by giant flocks of ravens. The ravens attack, bombarding from the sky, as soon as the village fades from sight. We defended ourselves, killing all but a few. They took flight, but two hawks came down from the sky and greatly reduced the survivor’s numbers.
Faufine learns that the lord of the Hawks asked them to watch over us. Wanderroot detects that a fae gate has been opened recently and closed.
12th of Highsun
On the evening of the 2nd day of travel we arrive (mid morning) in the town of Ludovny. It is a squat little berg. Nadia tells us it’s a trading town, so it’s use to strangers and foreigners.
Mellifluere joins us to go into town. Near the centre is a castle, covered in icy rhyme. The populace is mostly craftsmen and visiting folk selling wood, furs, and the like. Most villagers are similar in appearance to those in Villeday, short-squat-and dark. Many of the local nobility are tall, blond, and white haired. Lidiya can pass as a noble quite easily.
The Dajiqua are the noble cast, they are descendants of the queens of the kingdom. Every time there is a new queen, the descendants remain and become lesser nobles. Every 100 years the nobles should change-out along with their queen. This tradition is now long overdue. Nadia notices that there are a lot more guards than when she last visited.
Lots of people don’t wear winter clothes as the ability to withstand winter is a sign of power. There are a lot of witches in the city and their familiars. There are also foreigners and dwarves.
At Nadia’s suggestion, the party rents a room at a local inn, in which Lidiya borrows various bits of gear from other party-members to make her look more like a Dajiqua. Then go to a money changer where Nadia “oversees” an exchange of 4000 gold for 40 blue eye gems. The merchant is obsequious, believing the deception.
After removing some of the jewellery, they go to the foreigner’s market. The merchants sell of blankets, spread out on the ground. Nadia goes to find Junie. We buy a scroll of Remove Curse and the Wand of Resist Energy (49 charges).
In the market Mellifluere notices a moustachioed man is being threatened by some local toughs. She wanders away to deal with it. Only Rustan notices it, and he follows from a distance. Naturally, the nearby friendly merchants flee from the region. Soon the whole group gets involved (as much to try and support and protect Mellifluere as a reaction to the local tough’s … demands on Mellifluere’s person.
Nadia recognizes our opponents. She calls out “Mordros! Let her go!” She draws her weapon.
In the fight the local toughs (later identified by Nadia as The Bavadir Clan) lets loose their wolf. It rushed up and no stops before Lidiya, staring at her.
The leader motions with his hands, and the Moustachioed gentleman is thrown into the mud behind them.
Moustachioed gentleman gets up and engages the enemy as he slaps the enemy with his rapier demanding he unhand the lady (that would be Mellifluere). At the end of the combat (after many blows are traded between our group and the toughs) Rustam freaks out over Bragga spewing up spiders at her enemies. The spiders and eagles pursue the fleeing toughs.
The Moustachioed gentleman presents himself as Sir Erethol Tintel of Uthmir.
Nadia manages to get the wolf to follow us away, even though his human is dead. We take him to the edge of town where Nadia sends him off into the wilderness.
We leave civilization behind. And we travel across the wide open plain. Nadia informs us that we’re following a travel route.
We eventually find a spot and camp overnight. A small snow-fall will slow-down travel the next day.
13th of Highmoon
Nadia takes us along a side-path that is better packed. It’s another trade route. We come to a close of trees. The Hawks are aggressively keeping other birds away. In the cops of trees is a little wooden hut. It is surrounded by a little picket fence. The posts are carved to look like they have skulls on pikes. There’s a plume of smoke coming from the chimney.
A woman opens the door as we approach. She is a beautiful red head and seems to be crying. Mellifluere identifies her as a fairie – a houldra. A hollow wooden fae (no back) with a foxes tail. She identifies Mellifluere as a tree spirit. She identifies herself as Sylgja.
Sylgia’s house is snug, but well organized.
To hide what she is, she married. Her sister, however, stole her husband (Fingarth) in the hopes that what protections Sylgja had by marrying a mortal would protect her too. She’s turned Fingarth against Sylgja; he attacked her as he is charmed.
When Babayaga conquered the winter thrown, she cast spells over an area of the city in which winter wolves could become like men. They call this area the howling.
We learn that Sylgja’s sister is a green hag (8’ tall) named Rigja of the pond.
After some discussion with the hawks; Faufine comes back and asks if Mellifluere is asking. We all go out onto the porch.
Sylgjia and Bragga discuss the art of magic.
Outside is a winter garden with plants that are at least trying to grow. One hawk lands on Mellifluere, but the other stays aloft, keeping watch.
Faufine explains that Mellifluererequests a boon from their master to see Rigjag granted sanctuary from the frost fiends of this place.
One of the hawks come back after talking to their master, they return with the message that he will do anything for his beloved. This points to Mellifluere being a beloved.!!!
We take out our snowshoes and walk across the field.
We travel an animal path towards the pond. We sing along the way.
We hear someone splashing in water nearby. She calls out “Fingoth attend me my dear.” As the trees clear, we see a green hag in the water. Large rocks stand frozen nearby. Over them all are giant trees that weave a canopy of branches.
Fingoth is naked and pink from the water. He is a strapping man of middle age. He is holding a battleaxe in a quite steady hand. Behind him is a tall veiled figure, helled up by a diadem of river stones. The veil covers her face and upper torso.
She demands we leave as we are unbidden.
Milliefleur starts negotiating for Fingoth’s release.
When Rigja takes off her veil and smiles at us. Her ugliness makes Faufine ill.
Milliefleur awkens Wanderroot who, once he’s filled in, opens a pathway so Ragja can see the place where she is offered sanctuary. The pathway appears within his trunk.
She falls back into the pond and then returns with her gear. She orders Fingoth into the realm beyond, but Wanderroot objects. She touches the bark and the tree envelops her and then pulls her through.
A minute later, she comes back through. And breaks the glamour.
Along the way we learn that Fingoth is 94. He admits his love for his life.
Their reunion is a joyous one.
We spend one or two days with them before heading out.
Fingoth thanks us enthusiastically.
17th of HIghmoon
We travel on for two days before encountering a dumbfounding sight. In the far distance is a large patch of green.
It’s a large big green open spot of summer. In the centre of all of this is one large tree.