Rise of the Runelords

Whispers in the Wind

The Spires of Xin-Shalast, Part 9

Oathday, 19 Erastus, 4734

During his brief period of rest within Marcus’ rope trick, Zavian has a disturbing dream of himself cannibalizing Nualia. He quickly ascertains that this is some sort of supernatural imposition, but still he has trouble resisting the urge to lick his lips.

Fireday, 20 Erastus, 4734

After waking and taking a cold breakfast in the extradimensional space, the Rune Wardens return to the Vekker brothers’ cabin. No spirits emerge to menace them, but the snow storm continues outside without pause. Over a foot of snow has fallen since they camped out, making travel outside rather difficult without snow shoes.

The party sets out into the storm to seek out the body of Karivek Vekker and return it to the cabin. As they struggle along the mountainside, Marcus comes up with the idea of using the ring of x-ray vision to see through the snow. Testing it, he discovers an old trail, which leads them to the ledge where Karivek’s body awaits.

Of course, the body is also buried in the snow. Marcus and Amelia use their weapons to jab through the white snowdrifts in search of the body. Lea gets the ring from Marcus and discovers how revealing it is. She quickly casts her gaze to the ground.

Lea and Marcus hit upon Karivek’s frozen body at the same time. Unfortunately, their investigation has draw the interest of an enormous frost worm that bursts out of the frigid earth. The worm belches forth a breath of cold that washes over everyone save Marcus.

Karivek’s angry ghost soon joins the fray, getting drawn into battle with Lea. Meanwhile, Marcus and Zavian douse the frost worm with fire magic. Amelia lands the killing blow on the beast, which then explodes in a shower of cold energy and shrapnel. Lea brings down the dwarf’s ghost.

As they gather up Karivek’s body, whose legs end in charred stumps, they hear an eerie howl on the wind and resist the chill that runs through them. Zavian recognizes the sound as the call of an evil extraplanar entity called a wendigo.

Lea is ready for a fight, but the rest of the party is keen on returning to the cabin. They grab Karivek’s body and begin the dangerous trek back along the narrow trail. Around them, the snow storm escalates into a blizzard, obscuring sight. Amelia insists on tethering everyone together with rope, and Zavian casts mass air walk to help them move through the mess.

Amelia’s tether proves crucial as a wendigo suddenly swoops through the blizzard at incredible speed and tries to carry her off. It lacks the strength to drag the tethered lot of them and instead just zips off. The wendigo continues to buzz them as they move along, while the adventurers ready spells and attacks to blast it with. Marcus uses a locate creature spell to keep track of its location as it vanishes into the blizzard with every pass.

Upon returning to the cabin, they barricade the door and then lay out the body of Karivek Vekker. The remains disintegrate and re-form into Karivek’s ghost, which gets into a psychic battle with Silas Vekker’s spirit.

The Rune Wardens’ attention is drawn away from the test of wills by a pounding on the cabin door as the wendigo attempts to batter it down. They are unnerved when a second battering sound starts up from a wall on the other side of the cabin and they realize that there is more than one wendigo!

The first of the horrors smashes down the door and is drawn into battle with Lea. The blizzard starts to blow into the cabin through the open entrance. Lea makes short work of her foe, even as it afflicts her with lingering wounds that sap her strength of personality.

The second wendigo flits over to perch on the roof above the doorway and claws down at Lea. The paladin air walks up to face it, but the creature snares her sword in its antlers and hurls Lea over its shoulder and across the building.

Marcus and his eight mirror images decide to take the gloves off, launching a fireball that burns a big hole in the cabin ceiling while scorching the wendigo. Zavian, empowered with righteous might, strides over to the creature and attacks it through the hole in the ceiling with his flaming scimitar.

Badly burned, the wendigo attempts to flee into the blizzard, quickly moving out of sight. Marcus, however, uses locate creature to sense its position and hit it with another fireball. The monster makes one last unsuccessful flyby attack on Lea before fleeing into the mountains beyond the reach of Marcus’ magic.

The ghosts completely ignored the battle and continue their mental fight, until finally Karivek is put at peace and disappears. The ghost of Silas then, reluctantly, provides the party with the missing pages from the brothers’ ledger before vanishing as well. On the pages is a detailed account of how the Vekker brothers found the location of the lost city of Xin-Shalast.

The Rune Wardens retreat back downstairs to Marcus’ wagon to review the documents and recuperate.

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