Sing, Muses of the cold in the night.
Of a beauty in desperate need.
Of 4 strangers who would become legends.
As rosy-fingered dawn broke upon the world, they came by the grace of all the gods from the four points.
To sleepy Heldren they came by the grace of the good gods.
On the winds of strife they came, by the grace of Gozreh in his corruption.
Well met upon the market dais, in the shadow of the frozen lady of Heldren, were heroes of an age yet to dawn.
The bringer of the axe, scion of the mountain, son of the reaver-slayer, Narvi stands steady and implacable against the doomsayer.
Leader of tigers, whisperer to the green, son of winters, Zarzuket has no ear for the harbinger of fear.
Mystery of the north, wielder of wild-magics, son of fire and ice, Morthimon heeds the crone not.
Made welcome in the bless’d hamlet, the heroes take rest, long-earned. To an ale and a bench and peace they cleave.
But peace is not long in the lives of the great, for great needs require great deeds.
Ionnia, wise governess of Heldren, comes in distress to to seek aid. A fighting man of the north, burdened with great wounds, she brings.
With thoughts of peace aside, and with charity in his heart, Zarzuket’s tears fall upon the rent flesh, mending and soothing.
Morthimon brings the fighting man some measure of respite, drawing his tale from him as water is drawn from a well.
Hear tell now of the plight of Lady L(Name needed), assaulted and taken by dark forces. Beset by fey creatures, who bring with them the blizzards of winter.
The Lady, bravely defended, has been carried away leaving naught but the steam of lifes blood escaping through the north wind’s icy fingers.
left for dead, but spared by the grace of Iomedae, who favours honourable warriors in her mercy. The warrior’s tale is all that now gives the lady hope.
Narvi the bold, speaking words from the hearts of all.
“No man or woman born, coward or brave, can shun his destiny. Would that I could spend my days in tranquillity but that is not to be.”
“Aye,” spoke Zarzuket the wise, “Let us not tarry, for destiny waits upon no man”.
Their words spoke to the heart of the warrior, who made a gift to them of his mighty sword, “etlh tin” saying;
“Great Heroes, take this sword, given to me by my father, who was gifted it from the Captain of Drezen when he dined in his hall.
May it please the gods that you do what I could not, and bring my lady back"
Bearing down on the site of the vile attack, the brave trio pass from Autumn’s warm embrace to the heart of winter in a single step.
Battle-leavings strew the snow. Here a fallen northman, there a sword buried in a drift, arrows fallen from bows yet to sing.
Speedy upon the trail, wise Zarzuket reads the tale of the battle in the ground-sign, for none live who surpass his wood-wise.
Leading deeper into the blizzard, watchful Morthimon feels a dread portent. A shiver, not of the cold, but of the soul.
Hoards of foulness, twisted creatures offensive to the gods, spill forth into our hero’s path, wreaking destruction and undead corruption.
Bold Narvi charges into the fray, seeking no shelter, feeling neither pain nor fear, striking here and there with his mighty axe and the sword Etlh tin.
Foes falling like snowflakes in the blizzard to his blows, he brings the peace of the grave to those wretched things denied death’s embrace.
Those who flee from him are struck down by watchful Morthimon with bolts of eldrich fire.
Mad Gorum rages amid the snow, till all lies still, covered by the blizard so no mark remained to mar the world.
Pressing on, led by wise tracker Zarzuket, beset by traps and signs of fey magics beyond that which created the un-dead filth, the heroes plough deeper into the unnatural winter.
At the last, weary and frozen, our heroes still fight through the drifts, not ceasing their search.
Without warning, moving through the snow as a bird in air, The White Dragon strikes!
A fearsome creature, teeth and claws without mercy, bitter cold as its life blood.
Lo! Wise Zarzuket is taken, dragged into the snow bank! Taken by the wyrm in the blink of an eye.
Seeing his companion’s fate, bold Narvi steels himself for the fray and cries;
“Let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.”
Launching forth, blade whirling like death given form, he locks the wyrm in mortal combat over the still form of wise Zarzuket.
His companions struck down or matched with the great beast, watchful Morthimon’s heart was rent.
Calling forth power from the depths of his soul, he lets forth a great gout of flame and light.
Blessed by the gods, his strike hits true, severing the beast’s head from its form and driving the light from its eyes.
Thought of the battle feeing, watchful Morthimon and bold Narvi shelter the body of their fallen comrade.
His wounds lapped by his faithful tiger, all seems bleak for they will have no tracker to follow the imperilled lady(Name needed).
Wise Zarzuket, roused by the attentions of his erstwhile companion, opened his eyes to the sky and spoke his last;
“No one can hurry me down to Hades before my time, but if a man’s hour is come,
be he brave or be he coward, there is no escape for him when he has once been born.
I pray only that I may live to serve the wild-wood and see the fair lady in safety"
Hearing his prayer, Sarenrae the carer for the fallen, mistress of compassion, reached out her hand to wise Zarzuket and he did not fall into darkness.
Being humbled by their companion’s piety, and by the grace shown to them, the heroes returned to seek blessings at the Temple of Heldren and to set out strengthened once again.