It all started when Alistra came by asking for help, which she doesn’t normally do so I knew this was important to her. I didn’t really ask for many details, I just knew we’d be going to the ice and that the rest of the girls (Tahli, Caeladyn, Mac) would be coming along.
We left the Landing on an upgraded Tears of Quartz ship, an icebreaker, now named “Horn of Lingo”. I saw Alistra’s small smile at the name and I felt my heart break a little. I’d never gotten to know Stor, but from what everyone’s told me he was well loved by the folks of Mariner’s Landing.
It was a long trip to the ice river aboard the “Horn of Lingo”. I stayed busy by getting my workouts in; as my old mentor used to say “a strong body can lead to a sound mind”. Tahli spent her time trying to get the sailors to arm wrestle her zombie friends. At one point the zombie’s arm nearly fell off, scaring the sailors. Mac on the other hand was working on her ‘cannons’ as she called them. Not sure what they really were exactly other than they were some sort of loud magic. And of course, Alistra was having fun shooting fireballs at icebergs.
Around the 11th day of sailing we spotted some whales, damn those things were big. Someone said something about being able to hunt whales for their blubber for oil? Didn’t really know that was a thing, but sure, whatever floats your boat Captain Rocksalt.
Finally, after 12 days we made it to the river. We split off into 2 rowboats; with Mac and I in one and Caeladyn, Alsitra, and Tahli in the other. It was pretty fun rowing the boat down the river, taking in the scenery, until these polar bear wolf things (which Caeladyn later told me were called Mahoru) showed up and tried to sink the other boat. Caeladyn summoned octopi in retaliation, but one was killed by the Mahoru. I guess the Mahoru was a sushi fan since it took the octopus corpse and ran off to eat it.
Ok back to the calm, cold beauty of the winter landscape. Or so I thought. One of the girls said we were being followed. Great. Mac, still kinda spooked from earlier, attacked the thing preemptively. Turns out it was a Frog Hashar (again, according to Caeladyn) named Krillex. The little guy gave us some good info along with a bit of a shocker. He said that Alistra was a winter elf?? I didn’t know there were multiple kinds of elves, so yeah. It surprised everyone, most of all Alistra. Krillex said to go more upriver and talk to the Queen of Ice and Snow at the head of the frost flow as she would have more info for Alistra. Oh yeah, this was all said in Sylvan so I didn’t understand a lick of it until the ladies translated for me.
We continued our journey upriver, past some grasslands and glacial rocks, for about 2 hours until we came across a small structure. We knock on the door and are greeted, again in elven, by two elves named Malornis and Kiara. Well, according to the ladies (all of who spoke elven by the way) they’re not elves they’re Eladrin. Not too sure on the difference as they look similar to elves to me, just kinda gloomy. So maybe that’s the difference. And there are different kinds/courts of Eladrin?? Like fall, winter, summer, spring. I don’t know, you’d have to ask the other girls on that one.
Anyway, Malornis and Kiara were pretty chill and gave us a lot of useful information. Or rather, they gave Alistra, Caeladyn, Tahli, and Mac good info. The girls translated some of it for me, and what I picked up on was that this land was a part of the Feywoods, which melds into the Feywild somewhere. Also, that these Eladrin were a part of this alliance that fought the ascendant elves way back when. Then they said something about the “desert-lands of the crystal flame”, whatever that is.
Malornis and Kiara run this place as a small trading post, and had some pretty fun stuff like these awesome little snowglobes. They didn’t want money for them, just sad stories. Ok it was a little odd. But they were some pretty cool snowglobes. Everyone told a sad story and I felt like hugging them all, but reigned it in. Didn’t really like talking about mine, but I did it for the globe. Not gonna repeat any of the stories; personal stuff that happens on girls trips stays there.
Kiara offered to be our guide to Aurora, the main city out here, and we happily accepted. Along the trek there, we saw a Bheur Hag scowl at Caeldyn. Wonder what her deal was. We came across a trading outpost, this time it was owned by some fall Eladrin. I have come to call them Falladrin, which Mac seemed to find pretty funny. We learned that Lieutenant Roth’s men attacked this outpost, killing many Eladrin. There was a mound of corpses belonging to his men that was supposedly haunted. So we decided to take a look. Yup, definitely had some ghost shit going on. We fought 14 shadows and 1 male banshee. It was a tough fight as the banshee continued to sap our strength, shrinking my muscles and destroying my gains in the process. Thankfully Caeladyn, Mac, and Alistra were able to deal damage to the thing and kill it. Upon inspection of the bodies, there was an Eladrin in the mass grave that mistaken for one of the Lieutenant’s men and that’s why he became a banshee. I swear I turned around for 5 seconds and Tahli’s army of skeletons has increased in size. She probably raised some of the corpses from the mass grave, but that’s cool with me. She usually has it so they get hit instead of me when we’re in a scrap so I’m all for it.
After that was dealt with, we continued on towards Aurora. It took the five of us 3 days to get to the Emerald wood and another day to come across a burnt Gnome village. It looked as though it was attacked by werewolves, or maybe the Bear King to the south. We didn’t investigate as we were on a mission for Alistra.
From there it was another week to Aurora. It was a beautiful town the size of Blainsport filled with Wood Elves and Eladrin. We saw some of the Eladrin on these long pieces of wood called skis. There were three paths to the Ice Queen, we chose the one with mountains going northwest to southeast. As we were climbing, three of Tahli’s skeletons fell! Tahli looked pretty sad about it so Alistra sighed and climbed down to retrieve them. Despite all her complaining, I think Alistra didn’t mind helping Tahli out. I think she’s got a soft spot for all of us, though she’d deny it.
We followed the path along a forest edge that went west and then turned south. We came across a shed containing a dwarf that seemed to freeze to death. Poor little guy. We also found some skis and a sled and had a lot of fun trying them out. Continuing on, we heard a pack of wolves wanting to ambush us. Thanks to Caeladyn we were able to understand this and hide in the trees for an ambush of our own. Surprise, there was a werewolf and a white dragon too. Alistra caught like half the trees on fire while Mac was able to yell at the werewolf to run away. I had some awesome acrobatic moments in this fight; swung from tree to tree with a rope and was able to Tarzan swing/kick at the dragon. We ended up killing it and getting its horn.
Finally Alistra spots the path to the Ice Queen’s tower. This whole trekking in the snow bit was pretty exhausting. Once inside, the tower was freaking gorgeous. I’m talking mithril plate, automatons, lot of cool decorations, and a rotating throne with a giant glass lens near it. Apparently the Ice Queen uses the giant magnifying glass to watch literally everything going on around her. I had planned on hitting on her, and while she was beautiful she was super intimidating. So I definitely did not do that. She explained to Alsitra that her contact with the Queen’s snow had caused her to become a winter Eladrin. She also told us that this dragon called the Onyx Queen has reawaked…well…shit that sounds terrifying. Other scary news includes something evil stirring and gaining a following at the far southern edge of the continent. Coincidentally this is where Lt. Roth is. Yay. ANOTHER bloody dragon (Stataugh) is around here somewhere. Specifically in our desert moving north to giant lands and followed by a few dozen gnolls.
Other info of note:
• Fey were exiled by green and realtra faith
• Ascendant Elves leadership tomb, nothing grows for miles
• Dragons came to Drochtredia first
• Willow spawn of Witherwing who’s lands are NW of desert
So yeah, that was our trip. We learned a lot and helped Alistra figure out what was going on with herself.