Wishes in Winter

Letters Home to Irrisen, Part 7

Piety:

We are on the road to Whitethrone and have stopped for the night. It’ll be one more night before we get there so I thought I’d update you now, while everyone else is off meditating or praying. It’s official, by the way, Athelryn can cast magic too. She is proud of a magical focus she owns and can use it to do some minor magic things. Her focus is a stick, however, and it looks like something she picked up off the side of the road. She likes it so who am I to judge. I think I, too, might of gotten some sort of magical effect from the Black Rider. I bit someone in half. I’m a little nervous about it but I seriously snapped my fangs into one of the Winter Guard’s spine and, well, tore him in half. I got blood everywhere. I mean everywhere. Walls, floors, myself and other people. The poor little old lady the guard was threatening was drenched in it. Still sorry about the mess I left in Waldsby. Maybe not that sorry.

As we run towards Whitethrone, the witch Nazhena Vasilliovna has sent some more crows to report on what had happened at her tower. At least that is what we are assuming. We figure that once her Apprentice didn’t report back and she found all of her scrying mirrors stacked facing each other, she’d start looking into things. Especially after we closed those portals. The crows tried to attack us as a flock and we killed them. Crows aren’t the greatest snack for the road but they’ll do. Athelryn shot into the cloud of crows and skewered four of them on the same arrow. She’s keeping it as a trophy!

We found a small cabin on the side of the road. The woman inside, Sylgja, was frantic because her husband, Fingarth, was just taken by an ice troll. We were surprised to hear that there was even an ice troll in the area, after The Draft had claimed so many others, so we volunteered to go and look for poor, probably dead, Fingarth. We found him pretty quickly. Turns out Sylgja doesn’t know what an ice troll looks like because we found Fingarth sitting by a cave with some weird mind controlling plant on his head. After a quick discussion we decided that the plant (Mold. Sorry, Temerith just told me it was some sort of mind controlling mold) might be able to effect Durzak but not the rest of us. Our plan was simple, I jump in and pull it off Fingarth’s head, Temerith and Athelryn kill it. Wouldn’t you know it, that damn mold was on his scalp pretty good and I couldn’t just pull it off without breaking Fingarth’s neck or tearing his head clean off. With Temerith’s help, we pried it off and Athelryn was able to put arrows into it before it hit the ground. The cave was full of the same kind of mold so we threw a torch in and burned it out. I hate fire but sometimes it’s useful. We got a grateful Fingarth back to his pretty, but dim, wife and they gave us a magical bear trap. Just in case we need to hunt bears. You never know.

We ran some more and found a patch of unnatural summer in the middle of the road. I have no idea what it was doing there. Maybe someone learned of the Winter Witch’s plan and was countering it with pockets of magical summer? It was random and stupid. Not as stupid as the two worgs we met inside of the pocket. They were chasing an huge elk and didn’t want to share with us. We kicked them and killed the elk. I feel so bad for worgs. They’re trying so hard to be like us but they fail so much. It’s just tragic. When Temerith injured one, it just up and abandoned it’s pack mate that Durzak had almost killed. It actually cried out “You’re on your own” when it turned tail. Durzak healed the poor fool and let him go. Worgs need to stop hanging around goblins. The elk was delicious, though. Had the worgs been nicer, we might of shared. Stupid worgs.

Durzak spent last night explaining to Temerith his religion. It was very hard to follow and, as I pretended not to listen, I tried my best to understand. He follows something called The Lurker at the Threshold or Yog-Sothoth. It is some sort of thing that exists in all places in all times. He claims it’s beyond understanding and that it’s secrets are vast. I don’t understand half of what he said but the half I do understand is keeping me awake at night.

Speaking of nightmares, we are spending the night in an abandoned temple to some goddess named Desna. We found a ghost town from the days of the Linnorm Kings and decided to explore before camping. The only building we found mostly intact was this old temple. As we approached through the front gate and into the courtyard, we were met by two undead priests who admonished us to be quiet, like we were children, then attacked. As I leapt to confront them, I was hit by this force that sounded like terrified and crying children. It was staggering. I was the only one affected, luckily, and we killed the monsters. I am really starting to hate all of the child murder we’re finding. Athelryn called them “Hecuva” and said they are normally created when a follower dies blaspheming their God. Ghost children and undead blasphemers. Lovely. We found something valuable behind a loose stone in the altar so it wasn’t a total lose. Now we just have to sleep in this awful spot. I hope the snow falls so hard here that it buries this place so deep that only the dead and Baba Yaga can find it!

We will be in Whitethrone soon. I feel that we will met some more of the Winter Guard on the road. It’ll be nice to encounter something with real blood. Like the elk. That was nice. I need more of that.

I hope to see you soon and keep safe,

Valour Get of Heartseeker and Black Rider

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