In the aftermath of the Astrid Steele’s crash, the party found themselves and 17 crew members stranded in the heights of the Alor Mountain range. The group was shell-shocked and sorely ill-equipped for a night spent in subzero temperatures, Eligor managed to get his bearings quickly, directing the group to a nearby cavern where they could take shelter. Eligor and Sitka went to explore the hole in the mountain while Aurianya created a shelter and Rael directed the crew members.
While in the cavern, which Eligor thought to have been made by a tunneling Ice Worm, Eligor and Sitka heard a sound echo through the caverns and in their minds, speaking as though a chorus of icicle chimes and quiet gusts. When the pair couldn’t discern words from the sounds, the voice tried again, speaking in Common Bezerali this time, which they could respond to. The voice identified itself vaguely, speaking in the way of royalty as it questioned their presence. Eligor stayed quiet as Sitka spoke with delicacy, hoping to stop any conflict before it happened. Impressed by his decorum, the voice invited the two to enter her abode, implanting directions directly into their minds in a less-than-comfortable way.
While they were gone, Rael and Veronica saw something deeply distressing pass by the cliffside: the leg of a spider that was just unnecessarily large. Aurianya identified the creature as an Irlgaunt, a creature somewhere between a spider and a squid that normally inhabited mountainous or subterranean environments. Aurianya was all for hunting the creature, if only to know where it was, though Rael and Veronica were not in favor.
The pair returned quickly to the others, finding the shelter up and usable, if somewhat cramped. They decided to spend the night in the shelter before going out to find the Voice’s home, as the night would bring out the more deadly predators. After some quick discussion as to the watches and who would keep them (plus Rael maintaining his illusion to hide the shelter), Veronica and Rael ended up keeping a watchful eye over the night. The Irlgaunt did not show up again, though Aurianya had sent her Familiar out to scout for it. It didn’t find the Aberration, though it did chance upon a pair of Frost Drakes that chased it back to camp. Aurianya hurried to wake her companions so they could prepare, and they managed to set up a quick ambush while the Voidworm lured the Drakes close enough to strike.
One quick ambush later, the drakes lay dead on the ground. Aurianya and Rael harvested their bodies for alchemical ingredients while Eligor and Sitka harvested them for cooking ingredients before retiring again for the night.
The following morning, the group roused their crew to follow the path that most certainly did not exist the previous day. The path was easy to walk, though periodically the cliffs were populated by large, spindly creatures of ice with heads decorated by three-foot antlers. The figures, though well-armed and dangerous-looking, did nothing more than watch them, and would not respond to any attempts at communication.
The path culminated in a massive portal, with a door made from magical runes and white space. Sitka pressed his hand against, feeling for resistance, and was met by magical feedback that nearly turned his entire arm to ice. As Rael was pressing him to do it again (for Science, of course), another of the antlered figures walked out from the portal, stating that their arrival was expected, and they were welcome. The runes on the door spun, collapsed, and pulled to the sides as the door opened, allowing them into the massive hallway of ice within.
Built like a palace, the hallway stretched out before them. Lined with pillars and filled with dancing sprites of frost, it looked like the portrait of a Fairy tale. As the group reached the end of the hall, they learned that their first impressions were exactly correct. A mighty blizzard of frost and wind raged above a throne of crystalline ice, speaking with the voice of the woman from the cavern. She quickly coalesced into a form of a woman, albeit a seven-foot tall woman, garbed in a cloak of ice and light. It was notable that her dress glowed with the same light as her throne, the back of which was an eight-pointed star with the top-right point glowing a blue so light as to almost look white.
She spoke with them, exchanging stories and answering the questions they posed to her. Her name, or more accurately her Title, was Whispering Blizzard of Ages Past, and she both was the protector of the mountain, and the mountain itself. She also had a task for the group: to locate an object on her range that had created a void in her senses, and disable or destroy it. This object had been brought to her by Bezerali troops, and she guessed that it had something to do with the group’s mission, allowing their causes to intersect. She promised rewards for a successful job, as no true Fae likes to be in someone’s debt.