After many weeks of many battles, Kaan and Zot found themselves in a modest village, enjoying pint after pint of refreshing ale and sharing their tales with the locals. As the revelry continued, a commotion could be heard outside the tavern and as Zot moved to peek out the window, a fireball came in through the door and exploded, killing all in the establishment but the sorcerer and his barbarian friend. Kaan picked himself up and ran outside, Winter’s Fury at the ready. Zot reluctantly followed. The scene throughout the village was horrendous. Mounted warriors oozing green mist rode about, killing anyone in their wake with sword and spell. Many others set each and every home ablaze as they went. Furious, Kaan flew into battle, charging the nearest band of marauders. Zot worked his magic, loosing bolts of lightning and black tentacles at their enemies. A pair of large, green misty wolves joined the fray against them as they fought. Then the sorcerer was struck suddenly in the back by a thick, forceful arrow that sent him reeling. He visually traced the arrow’s trail to a hilltop just outside of town. There stood a tall, dark sentinel crowned with a pair of antlers and holding a sizable longbow. The stranger drew another arrow and loosed it at Zot, a blow that nearly laid him low. As the pair began to sense that all hope was lost, the warriors withdrew and the wolves rejoined their master on the hill. As they watched, the destroyers slowly faded away into an emerald mist.
In the aftermath, the companions searched the village for survivors and found that not only did no one live but… there were no bodies to be found either. Not a trace of man, woman, child or animal remained in the burning town. Confounded and horrified, Kaan and Zot decided to leave this place and seek vengeance for the fallen, but as they did, they noticed a horse entering town, a rider slumped over it’s back. Upon closer inspection they found that the rider was dead, but he bore the crest of Sir Osric the Just, a King who ruled a southern land. The rider was carrying a sealed scroll as well. Presuming this man to be a messenger, the pair decided to take him, his horse, and the scroll southward to Osric himself and they went southward.
As they camped in a southern forest, Zot and Kaan were suddenly awoken by the sounds of laughter. As they roused, they each noticed that they had been bound and most of their equipment was missing. Kaan looked to see Winter’s Fury being dragged into a nearby shrub. The pair wriggled free of their bindings and began to shout threats and warnings at the unseen thieves. Continued observation revealed several sprites and pixies zipping about and Zot saw what at first appeared to be a large bee hive, but upon closer inspection seemed to be a housing unit for tiny fey creatures. Kaan threatedned to set the woods ablaze and Zot unleashed scorching rays at the hive, destroying the residence and burning one sprite to death. Kaan sighed. As the forest creatures rose up and prepared to respond with deadly force, an enormous, armored unicorn burst forth from the trees. The creature shined like pure daylight as it case its glare over the intruders. “Stop this.” he roared, and the forest settled, as did Kaan and Zot. “I am Gannis, ruler of these lands. Forgive my friends. They enjoy toying with any who enter here.”
Gannis led the companions deeper into the wood, to an ancient elven ruin where the unicorn held court. Kaan and Zot had their possessions returned to them and Gannis revived the sprite that was murdered by the sorcerer. As they rested, the pair heard the fast-paced plodding of some creature’s footsteps and from atop one ruined structure an armored velociraptor leapt, landing in the center of the court. On it’s back sat a feral-looking halfling with wild green hair, covered in wraps of holly vines. Gannis introduced the halfling as Phen (“Phenwick Thistleprick” the halfling declared). After a bit of revelry and sarcastic remarks, it was decided that Phen would accompany the pair south and lead them through the mountains (the only other option was to meet with the Lich Marzell, who was controlling the foul southern weather, and beg passage beyond).
The following morning the trio set out. They made it to the mountains and, to their dismay, a foul storm began, piling snow over the countryside. As they approached the group was set upon by wereboar frost giants, whom they readily dispatched in a brutal conflict. Phen identified markings on the giants’ corpses that indicated they were soldiers of the Jarl Woden. In the skies, many more frost giants could be seen riding huge reptilian beasts, keeping watch over the mountain pass. The storm worsened and the snow thickened, forcing the party to take shelter in a nearby ruined watch tower. By morning the storm had passed, but the companions were faced with another problem: Zot had contracted lycanthropy from the giants they had killed the day before. Unable to nullify the disease, Phen used his magic to transform the sorcerer into a frog, so that he would not become a threat. Kaan and the druid decided that trying to pass through the mountains was likely a fool’s errand, and made their way back to Gannis in hopes that he could cure Zot (which he did) before heading out to visit with Marzell.
Several days later, the party approached Marzell’s forsaken island home, using the magical dust that Gannis had gifted to the halfling to form a bridge across the sea. Kaan bargained with the lich for passage. Marzell agreed to allow the group passage, but only if they would deliver the princess Oksana (daughter to a wicked southern Baron) to him as payment. The terms were agreed to: The trio would deliver the princess to Marzell, but only if the was indeed evil (as Marzell claimed) and King Osric wished her gone. Seemingly pleased with the arrangement, the lich allowed the companions passage south.