In this episode, our heroes meet with the Frostwalkers of the Spire of Winter and are having a formal dinner with them. Trouble at the gates interrupted the occasion, however, when the citizens of Hallow accused the Winter Spire for attacking their people.
- A blanket of white snow covers across the land, dotted only the occasional green hills of coax of pine trees
- Tall, grey mountains serve as a backdrop
- Air is cold and bitter, forming puffs of steam as one exhale
Spire of Winter:
- The spire appears after the convoy consisting of the adventurers and elven dignitaries crest a small hill and pass a small pine wood
- Spire's Wall
- A wall of thick solid snow surrounds the spire, with elven scripture engraved on it
- Elven guards in blue and silver armour patrol the walls
- The guards open the ornate metal door for the convoy
- Spire's Settlement
- Unusual round buildings
- Constructed by woods of bluish hue and stones that sparkle in daylight
- Spire's Exterior
- Its architecture is like an enormous, jagged icicle rising up to the pale blue sky
- Balconies of silver railings and shiny windows poke out at varying intervals
- A circular platform surrounds the tip of the tower, with guards on it keeping watch of the surrounding
- Spire's Interior
- Beautiful foyer of ice and sparkling stone
- Comfortable room temperature
- On shelves around the tower are glinting decoration of silver and glass
- Portraits and tapestry covers the frosty wall
Nalistri plays host to the adventurers and brings them to a lounge where the elven dignitaries, Lord Alfadon and his wife Aletha, Queen Shalana and Commander Payla, are resting. Alfadon, in particular, is seen taking a nap on a long chair. Nalistri then excuses himself to retreat to his room and rest.
Cam immediately goes for the steaming hot bread on the table at the centre of the room. Also on the table is a bowl of fruit: fairy apples and snow pears. Cam is disappointed that there are no grapes, a fruit he loves. Elora goes to eat a fairy apple.
Cam cradles the loaf of bread and munch on them. Jiǔtóu is feeling peckish, so she picks up a bread knife with the intention of slicing a piece of loaf to eat. Cam is oblivious to this though as he examines the wall of snow, amazed at how sturdy and solid like stone.
Alfadon is awoken by the noise generated when the adventurers enter the lounge and claims he was not sleeping. His eyes light up upon seeing his daughter Elora. He then comments on how the Frostwalkers are inviting as host despite their cold personality. Cam though questions on how the wall does not feel cold despite being made of ice. Aletha explains that elven spires are made of materials connected to the respective fey realm. For this instance, the Winter Spire, having a connection to winter realm, is made of snow and ice. Meanwhile, Jiǔtóu is still trying to get a slice of bread from Cam.
Commander Payla asks the adventurers if they successfully sent a message to warn them about the Broken Sky. Elora replies to say that they did, though she wonders of the greenish tint on the sparrow when sending to Falk, a half-elf, half-orc. Queen Shalana says that the connection between Falk and his clan of orcs with the Feywild has grown significantly stronger since the peace they and her Spire of Eternal Autumn forged months ago. She shares that many of the orcs now possess magic elven magic, even becoming druids themselves. Wondering if this would have it likely for the message to be successfully sent to Falk, Shalana tells Elora that if would not have worked since he is not a full elf, but with his connection to the fey, it may work now.
Cam now notices Jiǔtóu but is in shock to see her holding a bread knife. Initially worried that she plans to stab him, Jiǔtóu tells him that she just want some bread. With a small piece of bread left, Cam breaks off a small chunk and gives it to her. Jiǔtóu takes it and gives the bread knife to Cam. Cam takes it but drops it on the floor, creating a loud clanking sound.
Elora asks her father if he has spoken to Lord Selandris. Alfadon says that he did, though they did not speak upon as Selandris is busy. He also learns from the attendants that he is still in grief over the loss of his son that died recently. The last conversation Alfadon and Selandris had was that they will see each other again over dinner.
Elora's mother, Aletha, asks if the adventurers are alright from their several day's journey to the Winter Spire. Elora and Trellimar say that they are fine. Jiǔtóu remains silent. Cam, however, shares that Trellimar's splitting the manticore in half via the creature's rectum still keeps him up at night. Alfadon laughs and is amused on hearing the word "rectum", saying that he never heard any other race calling it as such. Cam and Trellimar then have a conversation on Trellimar's choice on aiming for the rectum. Elora also briefly joins in the conversation. Aletha just distracts herself by grabbing a fruit to eat.
At this point, a young adult female elf appears at the doorway of the lounge. She has long black hair, bright blue eyes and sharp facial features. She is wearing a long tunic engraved in silver details and trimmed in fur, leather leggings and thick boots. She also carries a slender silver rapier inside a scabbard hanging by her side.
The female elf greets the guests and introduces herself as Sylval, daughter of Lord Selandris and Queen Malisendal. On behalf of her parents, she invites them to a formal dinner later in the evening as honoured guests. She will also escorts them to their guest chambers and gives a tour of the Winter Spire.
Cam is wowed at the sight of a beauty. He steps forward while brushing off the breadcrumbs off his chest and gives a deep bow, not noticing that Sylval extends her hand out, so she retracts it back. Cam introduces himself as Camulus Buckland and says that retiring to the guest chambers would be preferable due to their tiredness from their nine days journey. Sylval says that they must have had an eventful journey based on what Nalistri’s two bodyguards told her. Cam claims he killed a manticore all by himself, causing Trellimar to give him a withering stare. Sylval gives a serene smile.
Elora moves into purposely stand in between Cam and Sylval, then greets her. Sylval returns a respectful bow and extends her greetings to Elora, saying that, since they themselves are daughters of their respective spire, they should catch up with one another. Elora then gives her apologies for the loss of Sylval's brother. Sylval becomes solemn and appreciates Elora's gesture, saying that the Winter Spire will persevere during this difficult time.
Sylval looks at Trellimar and greets him, at the same time commenting that she had never expected a drow within the spire. She extends her hands out, which Trellimar gently grabs while introducing himself. She thanks him for assisting Princess Elora and her family. She also comments nicely on Granamyr, though the pseudodragon is wary of her as he considers her a stranger.
Looking over at Jiǔtóu, Sylval comments that she has never met a tiefling before. Greeting and thanking her for assisting Elora, Jiǔtóu greets back with a nod of her head but remains silent, so Elora introduces Jiǔtóu to Sylval. Jiǔtóu finds nothing suspicious of Sylval while noticing that she carries herself in a noble manner.
Cam suddenly asks Sylval if she would like a snow pear. Sylval regrets his offer, saying that she has already eaten. With that, Cam just drops the snow pear onto the floor. A servant hurries over to pick the pear up and place it on the table.
Tour of the SpireEdit
Sylval brings everyone to their guest chambers. Along the way, she gives a simple tour of the Winter Spire. Walking into the grand hallway and up the grand staircase, there is an alcove of a portrait of Daphemir, wearing a guard's armour and looking regal, with a wreath of white and red flowers placed neatly below the portrait. Sylval stops briefly to look at the portrait of her elder brother before moving on. Elora druidcrafts a bunch of white roses and places them amongst the flowers. The guards who noticed this give a nod of respect.
The group are now inside a grand gallery, full of beautiful scenery paintings of winter landscapes and the Feywild, as well as portraits and family pictures. At the centre is a large globe. Sylval shares that the Frostwalkers are fond of paintings and works of arts. Cam boldly claims that he can point out Sylval's favourite painting. He points to a painting of aurora lights waving across the night skies of a winter landscape. Sylval comments that it is an excellent painting but the moment she says that it is not a favourite of hers, Cam quickly points to a painting on its left, which shows a portrait of an elder male elf sitting on a chair. Cam claims that the portrait speaks to him, saying that it shows the beauty of age. Sylval just smiles and not say anything.
Trellimar also gives a go to point out Sylval's favourite painting. This time, amongst the portraits of the gallery, he notices a pedestal with a flower vase deliberately covering a lower right corner of a grand portrait of a family. The portrait also seems not well-taken care of compared to other paintings. He asks Sylval about this painting. She asks back if he is guessing that it is her favourite painting. To this, Trellimar points out a portrait of a female elf dressed in regal armour, guessing that the portrait may be Sylval's role model based on her athletic build.
Sylval shares that the female elf on the portrait is one of her ancestors, her grand grandmother who is a warrior during her younger days. "Well spotted," as Sylval compliments Trellimar. She adds that she and her elder brother follow their father's footstep as a warrior. On the dusty family portrait, however, Sylval tells him to not mind about it. Meanwhile, jealous of Trellimar, Cam claims he is now bored of the gallery.
As the group moves into the next room, Jiǔtóu sneaks behind to observe the dusty family portrait since she noticed Sylval being dismissive about it. She moves the flower vase out of the way. Amongst a family portrait of seven elves, the vase is obscuring a young female elf. Also, two of the younger elves in the portrait looks similar to Lord Selandris and Lady Malisendal. Based on the looks, the female elf seems to be a younger sister of Selandris. Unlike the other elves in the portrait who are looking prim and have polite smiles, the female elf has more vibrant clothing of green, lilac and purple and a wide grin.
Jiǔtóu joins back the group as Sylval introduces the next room to them. It is the duke's hall, with two glass-like ice thrones in the middle, facing the benches in the room. Its walls are lined with tapestry of the Frostwalker. On the wall behind the thrones is a portrait of Lord Selandris and Lady Malisendal. Sylval explains that, even though the duke's hall is generally off-limits, they are allowed to walk through the room being guests of the spire. She only has one request, which is that they are to have a servant with them while travelling through the hall.
Cam asks Sylval on the type of entertainment the Frostwalkers have, particularly if they have snowball fights and building snowmen. Sylval gives a chuckle before saying that snowball fights are entertainment for children. She also says that they build snowelves than snowmen. She shares that the Frostwalkers enjoy music, crafts and storytelling, as well as the creation to bring life into the cold, winter landscape. Cam asks if she has used daggers before. Sylval shares that she once killed a winter wolf with a dagger in an ice cave during her younger days. Cam comments that it just melts away. Sylval says that it is very uncomforting for him to know that, though Cam brushes it aside.
Sylval believes that the next room would be more suited for Cam. It is indeed as Cam gets excited with all the food in the spire's dining hall and kitchen, located down a corridor connected to the grand hallway. In the middle of the dining hall is a long, beautiful glass-like ice table, as well as its chairs. A chandelier hangs above in the hall. The kitchen is large, yet well-maintained. Amongst the cooks currently making food in the kitchen is Palto, a satyr, which Sylval introduces him to the group. Trellimar leans to Cam to say that they should not have the goat cheese. Palto hears this and laughs, saying that Trellimar is a funny guy, though he assures them that he does not make any cheese. Cam does not get it.
Noticing that Palto's hooves clopping with the ice floor, Cam asks one of the cooks on how they can handle the sound. The cook tells him that they will just get used to it.
Cam asks for grapes, so Palto says that it is in a bowl on the other side of the kitchen. Palto then tells the rest that, if they need anything to eat, he will gladly provide some food. Jiǔtóu asks for noodles but Palto says that he does not know what it is. When she explains it is a type of thin pasta in spicy broth, Palto says that he does not know what pasta is, though he can make spicy broth. Jiǔtóu just looks away disappointed. Palto ensures that she will have spicy broth for dinner later.
As Sylval leads the group out of the kitchen, she explains that Palto was once a slave to the centaurs of the Feywild. A scouting party led by Lord Selandris rescued him several years ago. To return the favour, Palto cooks a meal for the scouting party. Due to his excellent cooking skills, Selandris offers him a job as the army's chef. He eventually serves as a chef for Selandris and his family.
Mystery, Dead Son and Chasing SkirtEdit
After walking down several hallways, the group arrives at the corridor of guest chambers. All five elven dignitaries, including Elora, are given their own rooms. Cam, Jiǔtóu and Trellimar, however, will have to share a room as the Winter Spire did not expect their arrival. Cam asks Sylval if she or her family members could extend the room out by using ice magic. Sylval tells him it is not possible. At the same time, Alfadon laughs, while Aletha shakes her head and tells Elora to teach Cam when not to speak.
The rooms are filled with furniture made of bluish white wood. The beds are laid with mattresses filled with goose feathers. Jiǔtóu finds all of these luxurious though and questions Sylval if the servants are given the same level of comfort. Sylval assures her that all servants are well-treated as most of them have served the family through many generations. The spire also ensures to provide security for the families of the servants, as well as anyone living within the spire's walls.
Sylval tells the group that she will be eager to help should the adventurers require any assistance, particularly looking at both Cam and Trellimar. She then informs them once again of Selandris inviting them for dinner, which will take place in four hours’ time. Elora asks about Nalistri's whereabouts, to which Sylval replies that he is in his room, resting from the journey. Cam asks of where she will be, to which Sylval replies that she will be in her room. On wondering where her room is, Sylval says that she could bring him there. Cam gladly accepts. Trellimar also tags along despite Cam's attempt to have him shooed off. As this conversation takes place, Jiǔtóu rudely but deliberately shoves her way through them. She then retreats into the guest chamber for the adventurers sans Elora.
Both Alfadon and Aletha tell Elora that they will be resting in their rooms. Separately, Payla tells Shalana that she wants to tell her something, so they head out into the garden.
Sylval brings Cam and Trellimar to the elven gate stone. She lets them know that they will need a servant to activate the stone to access the higher levels of the spire. Upon activation, the three walk through the portal to a hallway with four doors. Sylval tells them that Nalistri's room is to the right; her parents are at the front with two guards stationed by the door; Daphemir's is to the left; hers is beside Daphemir's. She also tells them not to access the rooms of her parents and Daphemir's.
After excusing her guard, Sylval invites Cam and Trellimar into her room. It is generally plain inside, with a double-sized bed and a weapon rack on the wall fill of swords hanging from it. There is also an armour stand with a chain mail armour on it. There is also a bear rug.
"Let's get down to the chase," Cam looks right at Sylval's eyes as he says that, "you want to hunt, don't you?"
Sylval looks a little bit confused. Cam asks if she would like to go hunting someday, which Sylval replies that she does enjoy a good hunt now and then. Cam says that they should go hunting someday but says that Trellimar is not good at hunting after Sylval says that she would like to see how well Trellimar hunts. Both Cam and Trellimar then try to show off how well they can hunt to Sylval, as she continues teasing them to see who is better at it.
Meanwhile, Elora and Jiǔtóu are having a conversation about the Frostwalkers. Jiǔtóu tells Elora that she knows Elora might be happy to be with her parents and another Spire. However, Jiǔtóu cautions her to be wary of the Frostwalkers as she suspects they are hiding something. Elora too has a similar feeling, given on her witnessing first hand of their treatment towards Nalistri. Jiǔtóu talks about the dusty family portrait back in the gallery, telling Elora that a young girl in the portrait hidden by a vase might be Selandris' sister.
Elora recalls her memory from her childhood days, remembering that the Winter Spire to quite distant from the other elven spires. Her father would often claim that the spire is as such as they have to actively defend against the archfeys. This resulted in them generally emotionless but logical and tactical in their thinking. Elora also remembers from during her childhood days that her father had to urgently leave the Moon Spire to attend to an emergency meeting in regards to the nobility of the Frostwalkers.
Elora relays what she could recall to Jiǔtóu. Jiǔtóu tells Elora to just be on her guard since the Frostwalkers are not like Elora's family. Elora says that she will ask her parents about this.
Going next door to her father's chamber, Elora asks her father about the girl that Jiǔtóu pointed out in the portrait. Alfadon's eyes widen as he rubs his temple, trying to recall an incident that happened a couple of years back. Giving a backstory, Alfadon shares that Selandris once had a brother, who died during a patrol as he was attacked by the archfeys. Alfadon also shares that Selandris has a sister, vaguely recalling that she may have married into the Summer Spire. This caused a scandal as inter-spire marriage between nobility had never happened before. A meeting amongst the Council of Elves was called, one which Alfadon had to attend being one of the council members. Ultimately, the Council decided that the marriage was purely out of love and that they should not interfere with it.
Elora asks her father if Selandris is mad about the inter-spire marriage enough that he does not want to talk to his sister. Alfadon shares that Selandris is a good friend, having fought together side by side before, and has done whatever best he can to his elven kind. Also, being a leader of the spire and taking care of it is a difficult task, which is why Alfadon respects Selandris. Selandris is tactical, logical and thinks before he feels, so Alfadon does not think that Selandris would allow angry to corrupt his judgement, though Alfadon believes that he might be upset about the marriage.
Alfadon tries to recall the name of Selandris sister but can only remember that it starts with "Vel". He says that, with so many elven nobles, it is hard to remember everyone's name.
Elora voices out that Jiǔtóu seems to be suspicious about Selandris and his sister. Alfadon tells her that Jiǔtóu can be a jumpy person, calling her a firecracker. With him and his wife knowing the Frostwalkers, Alfadon assures Elora that Selandris is just in a difficult position now with the recent death of his son. He also tells Elora that every family, including their own, have their own secrets that they do not wish to reveal so as to not have other parties be worried about it.
Alfadon gives Elora a hug, telling her not to worry too much about it. On another topic, he advises Elora to tell Cam on behaving well later during dinner, saying that Selandris may not find humour in the word "rectum" unlike himself, laughing at the word once again. He also wonders on how to probe Selandris on the circumstances behind Daphemir's death. Before Elora leaves, Alfadon lets her know that he and his wife would like to endow a family heirloom to her once they return to the Moon Spire.
Back inside Sylval's room, Sylval tells Cam and Trellimar that they should return to their friends, as well as having a rest before dinner. "True, true," as Cam replies, walking backwards as he leaves the room. Trellimar gives a bow and then turns around to leave. As Cam tries to trip him, Trellimar felt a pinch on his buttocks. Cam sees this as Sylval grins back at him, giving the look of Cam missing it out.
The adventurers all gather back inside their guest chamber. Cam is sulky and jealous of Trellimar, so he is not talking to him. Trellimar asks him on why he is being unusually quiet. Instead, Cam says he need more grapes, so he walks off to the kitchen to get some.
Jiǔtóu talks to Crownrend via her mind, asking him of his opinion of Sylval. Instead, Crownrend just warns her of the opulent palace the Frostwalkers live in. Jiǔtóu agrees with him. Crownrend adds that these nobles are egotistical and believes that they are greater than everyone else. He even says that Elora will be captivated by it and be like them. Jiǔtóu disagrees and even tells him off to not speak ill of Elora.
Jiǔtóu asks Crownrend if he can see what she cannot see in regards to the mystery behind the Frostwalkers. Crownrend explains that his vision and understanding is limited, only able to sense what is around her. Still, he believes that there are secrets and unspoken lies amongst the family.
Crownrend tells Jiǔtóu that, when she needs him, their power will grow stronger together. "Soon, we will achieve true unity," as Crownrend finishes his sentence before remaining silent.
Cam returns to the room. Trellimar cheekily tells him that he will take a rest to keep his strength up. Cam, still sulky, says that he will need it. Jiǔtóu, not aware of the indecent meaning behind Trellimar's word, tells him that it is wise to be on his guard.
Elora talks to Cam about dinner, particularly on how he should behave during dinner. Cam tells her that she is looking at the wrong guy and points towards Trellimar. Regardless, she tells both of them that what they did just a few moments ago must not happen over dinner.
"Nothing's going on," Cam says.
"Nothing's going on," as Cam repeats, this time with his head down and cries briefly. Jiǔtóu wonders why he is crying. Cam claims that it is the sweetness of the grapes that caused him to cry.
Elora tells Cam of the difficult situation the Frostwalkers are in but before she could say any further, Cam figures out that he should bring up about their dead son. Elora sighs. When Cam asks her of the name of the son, she tells him it is Daphemir. Cam says it sounds like a stupid name but refrains from saying anything further. Jiǔtóu asks how did Daphemir die but Elora tells her that no one knows yet. Jiǔtóu says that she can probe the question, though Elora would prefer them to tread with caution. Jiǔtóu reasons that death is a part of life. Still, Elora prefers to err on the side of caution and not want it to result in Selandris getting aggressive.
"Discretion is the better part of valour," as Trellimar says. Both Cam and Elora agrees with him. Jiǔtóu, however, calls out both Cam and Trellimar for reasoning with Jiǔtóu, saying that she knows the two are more interested in chasing skirt. Cam, simple-minded as he is, says that Sylval is not wearing a skirt as he recalls her wearing leggings.
Cam says that, since he is good at talking to people, he can bring up the topic. Elora is still concerned if the topic should be brought up at all. Nonetheless, she believes that it is good to know about the circumstances of Daphemir's death. Elora says that her father may bring it up, though he too prefers to do it with caution. Trellimar wonders if they should ask Nalistri about it since he may know the circumstances. Elora too wishes to treat the subject cautiously even to Nalistri as well. In the end, the adventurers decide that they will bring the matter up if an appropriate opportunity presents itself during dinner.
Awkward Dinner Turned SolemnEdit
Night falls early across the lands. The stars and moon shine brightly through the beautiful frosted-rims of the windows. Torches of magical light illuminate the spire with a gentle glow. The servants lead the group to the dining hall.
Inside, the dining table is covered with platters and dishes, all heated by a glowing stone below them. A chandelier hovers over the table. Lord Selandris has seated at the head of the table, with Lady Malisendal by his left. The chair next to Selandris is empty, though it is set for dinner. Beside it sits Nalistri, who is having a solemn and sad expression on his face. Sylval sits next to her mother.
Sylval looks at both Cam and Trellimar, signalling both of them to sit beside her. However, as Cam and Trellimar are about to make their move, Jiǔtóu takes the seat beside Sylval. Sylval greets her formally, though she gives a glance at the two guys for screwing this up.
Elora sits beside her mother, who is sitting with her husband. Cam sits between Alfadon and Shalana, who has Payla seated by her side. On the other side, Trellimar sits beside Jiǔtóu.
As the servants begin pouring water for everyone, Selandris stands and formally welcomes the elven nobles and honoured guests to his spire. Wishing them to enjoy his spire's hospitality, the servants take their cue and bring out the food: braised beef with poached pears and ginger; smoked salmon; baked sweet potato; assortment of cheeses, smoked sausages, vegetables, breads and oils. Wines and juices are also served. Palto personally serves a big bowl of hot, steamy soup with a fiery, yet fragrant aroma to Jiǔtóu. The soup consists of tomatoes and onions, as well as a good amount of peppers and spices. Jiǔtóu is happy with her soup. Everyone begins eating and conversing in small talks at the same time.
Selandris expresses his gratitude to have members from the other elven spires to finally meet up after having been apart for some time. Alfadon likewise expresses his gratitude, adding that it could not have been possible with the help from his daughter, Elora, especially in reconnecting with Queen Shalana's Spire of Eternal Autumn. Selandris gives his thanks to her, saying that she has done well for the elves. He also says that he has heard that she assisted the Autumn Spire repel against the forces invading the spire. Elora explains that it is the works of an archfey, the green hunter, that corrupted a clan of orcs. Selandris says that such is the behaviour of the archfeys as his spire, together with the Summer Spire, has fought their kind for many years now.
Selandris extends his thanks to Elora's allies, referring to Cam, Jiǔtóu and Trellimar, for assisting her and the elven kind too. Selandris also hopes that they will enjoy the food, saying that he is very fond of the food cooked by Palto, a long friend of the spire. Malisendal shares the same sentiment of her husband.
Knowing that Trellimar is a spellcaster, Malisendal shares that she too is trained in arcane magic. She also tells him that his pet pseudodragon, Granamyr, is a rare creature and that he is fortunate to have one. Granamyr though is wary of her as she is a stranger to him. He is consuming a piece of grape, which is similarly sized in comparison to its head.
Cam feels something touching his foot. Looking at Sylval, she gives him a subtle eye raise though at the same time looking annoyed that Jiǔtóu is sitting next to her. Jiǔtóu is also aware of Sylval engaging in a footsie with Cam. To show off, Cam starts twirling the knife he is holding with his fingers. However, it slipped off and lands into a pot of stew. There is an awkward silence, while Alfadon is trying to contain his laughter. Cam silently asks Alfadon if he can retrieve his knife. Alfadon refuses. A servant walks over and slowly takes out the knife with magic. He wipes it clean and returns it to Cam, who embarrassingly takes it back.
To what just happened, Trellimar telepathically tells Sylval that it shows that Cam is not good with his hands. Sylval replies to Trellimar, saying that it must have been interesting to travel with such unusual companions. As the two engage in a conversation, Jiǔtóu constantly moves her body back and forth to deliberately block their view of one another.
Alfadon gestures to his daughter, prodding Elora when she would ask Selandris about his dead son. Elora remains hesitant. Cam looks at the two of them and asks them in a lowered tone, "Do you want me to bring up the dead son?" Alfadon instantly gives out a loud, but fake, cough, while Elora places a finger on her lips, gesturing to Cam to not say a word. In spite of this, Selandris did not hear what Cam said.
Selandris addresses to his fellow council members, Alfadon and Shalana, of the state of the elven spires. Given the fact that all elven spires that returned to the material plane have come under attacked by the archfey, Selandris says that they must find a way for the six spires to reconnect with one another. Shalana shares his thoughts. She also commends Elora for her work for the Autumn Spire. Shalana also adds that her spire has also forged a friendly relationship with the people of the Dawn Republic. Elora replies similarly, also adding that Falk, a half-orc, is assisting the Autumn Spire too.
Selandris commends their effort but relays his thoughts that he prefers the Elven Council should look after their own kind first since news of the return of the other spires are yet to be heard of. Once the six elven spires are reconnected and their borders secured, then they can work to forge a relationship with the people of the material plane, as Selandris suggests. Elora says that her non-elves companions are loyal and proven worthy in battle, so she thinks that they should not be ruled out. Selandris does not reject her thoughts but he believes that such conversation should be taken further up to discuss amongst himself, Alfadon and Shalana, as well as the other council members. Still, he hopes that their kind should be well taken care of first.
To what Selandris says about bringing people together, Shalana stands up to make an announcement. Taking Payla's hand, Shalana announces that, after Payla proposed to her earlier in the evening, they are engaged. Alfadon grins and congratulates the two. Cam looks bewildered at first but now he gets the picture, considering the hints both Shalana and Payla tried to drop to him in the past. While Selandris is glad to know that the Autumn Spire will continue to reign, he is concerned about the continuity of heirs to the Spire. Shalana and Payla look at each other awkwardly, then Shalana assures Selandris that the elven nobility of the Autumn Spire will continue nonetheless. Payla composes herself and shares that they will host the celebration at the Autumn Spire once other issues have been settled.
The dinner continues as small talks are being exchanged around. Alfadon, in particular, asks Selandris of the Winter Spire's defence here in the Troubled Lands.
Elora, in saying to Selandris and Malisendal, comments on the beautiful portrait of Daphemir earlier during the tour of the spire. Selandris goes solemn. Malisendal gives her thanks to Elora for her kind words. She confirms the news of their son's death, believing by now that "others" must have told them about his death, looking at Nalistri as she says "others". On the circumstances leading to Daphemir's death, Malisendal shares that he was on scout patrol with his soldiers when they got attacked. Elora gives her condolences for the loss of their son.
Selandris says that his son lost his life upon the spire's return from the Feywild. Scouting parties were sent out upon the return to investigate the area. Unfortunately, Daphemir's party got attacked and everyone died. Selandris says that they were ravaged by some beasts. Knowing that Daphemir is a fine warrior, Selandris is worried on what kind of beast could have killed him, since such beasts could also prey on his people too. Elora asks if similar attacks occurred afterwards, to which Selandris replies no.
Jiǔtóu wants to clarify if the bodies were present upon discovering the scouting party. There is silence, Selandris feeling hurt in his heart. Nalistri, who has been quiet throughout dinner, speaks up and answers Jiǔtóu that the bodies are still present, though with throats torn out and limbs ripped off. Nalistri examined the wounds and determine that, whatever beasts that killed the party, did so with no intention to consume them. As Nalistri speaks, Selandris' eyes narrow, though he remains silent. Selandris confirms what Nalistri says is true.
Trouble at the GateEdit
A guard bursts into the dining hall. Everyone looks as the guard apologises for his intrusion. He informs Selandris of a mob from a nearby frontier town who are causing a commotion at the main gate, saying something of their people getting killed. He also adds that some of them are carrying strange weapons. Selandris excuses himself from dinner to find out what is happening. Alfadon and the adventurers also head out to investigate.
At the gate, looking through the metal bars, there is a group of 20 people, mostly humans but also dwarves, orcs and half-orcs present, each carrying lit torches and varied weapons of spears and pitchforks. Leading the mob is a dark-skinned male human (Mark described him similar to Idris Elba ) with a grizzled face, wearing a thick, long duster coat with a furred interior. He is also wearing a brown-coloured cowboy hat, thick trousers and thick leather boots. He holds a torch on one hand and a metal device on the other. The person beside him is wielding a long, thin wooden club with a twin-metal tube stretching to the end.
The guards and mobs are threatening one another.
The man wearing a cowboy hat walks forward and demands to speak with the person-in-charge of the spire. Lord Selandris walks forward, then demanding the man on his purpose here. The man says that several of his townsfolk were killed by wolves. Sending his scouts out, they reported to him that wolves are seen loitering within the vicinity of the Winter Spire that appeared out of nowhere months ago. Therefore, the man suspects Selandris' spire may contain such wolves and let them out to kill people.
The situation is getting tense as the Winter Spire guards get riled up for the man's disrespectful tone when speaking to Lord Selandris. Selandris himself is also getting furious, scolding the man for making such accusations when in actual fact, Selandris' people have been defending themselves against the hostile environment.
There is a loud bang! All of the guards reach for their swords, getting ready to fight back. The man wearing a cowboy hat reacts by chiding one of his folks, the person who fired an ammunition from his hand weapon.
The man goes back to converse with Selandris. Since Selandris claims that he is not responsible for killing his townsfolk, the man wonders if Selandris would know who could have caused such acts. Spotting Cam, a human, the man calls out to him, asking if he knows what is going on around here. To this, Cam claims he is the human ambassador for the Winter Spire, so he tells the man that no one needs to bear arms. Elora asks what has happened, as they are as confused.
The man asks his people to calm down. He introduces himself as Sheriff Macklin from the frontier town of Hallow, a few hours' journey from the Winter Spire. Macklin shares that, for the last couple of days, some unknown creatures have been killing his good people. As mentioned earlier, Macklin says that his scouts tracked wolves from the vicinity of the spire. Given the fact that the spire popped into existence, he is being suspicious of it.
Though not speaking for the people of the Winter Spire, Cam shares that Lord Selandris also had a tragedy amongst his people, especially a family member of his, who were attacked by similar wolf-like creatures. Macklin takes off his cowboy hat and gives his condolences, then apologies for his tone earlier to Selandris as he is also looking out for his people. Selandris appreciates and accepts his apology. To what Cam said, Selandris briefly shares how his son died. He adds that he would not be able to spare men to assist Macklin, saying that he needs them to secure his Spire. Macklin understands his intentions.
Jiǔtóu says she could help, so does Elora as, being a druid, she could understand the animal prints left behind. Macklin appreciates their help, since none of his folks know magic. Nalistri steps forward and says that he can also help, telling his father that he does not need him here anyway. Selandris gives his permission to Nalistri, saying that he would do great service to the people of the spire.
Jiǔtóu asks Selandris on why he would not provide aid to the people as she believes that they will be stronger together. Selandris says that his people are limited, though she argues that Macklin has people that could join his forces. Selandris does not disagree, though he insists he should protect his people first before being able to assist others. Still, he tells Jiǔtóu that he will be grateful should she goes to assists Macklin and his people. He bows his head and starts to leave, returning back to his Spire.
Macklin appreciates Nalistri and the adventurers for helping out. Cam asks him about the explosion earlier. Macklin replies that it was from one of his hecklers. Telling Cam it is not a spell, Macklin tells them that he can explain along the way, especially about black powder, as they return to Hallow. Cam asks Macklin if he has a spare cowboy hat. Macklin puts it back on the head and replies that he does not to Cam.
Nalistri informs the guards that they do not need to escort him. This makes them surprised since Nalistri rarely talks to them. Nonetheless, the guards obeyed his order and allow Nalistri to travel with the adventurers. Cam, speaking loud enough so Lord Selandris is able to hear, says that they will be alright as long as Nalistri is leading them. Nalistri cringes as Cam continues to compliment him. He even asks Cam to stop talking about him.
Elora tells Nalistri that they could use some of his illusion magic. Nalistri says that he is assisting just to be distracted from the spire. Cam tells Elora that her parents should not be involved. Elora agrees. Nalistri asks Macklin on how long it will take to travel back, to which Macklin says that it could take up to three hours. However, given that the hostile environment such as wild bears and snowdrifts, Macklin says that his folks can help to protect them should they decide to tag along.
Elora heads back into the spire and speaks to her parents. She sees Alfadon comforting Selandris, so she tells her mother to ensure her father does not follow them. Aletha assures her that her husband will not be going anywhere. Telling Elora not only to take care of herself, she also hopes that she would be able to solve the mystery, hopefully bringing peace in mind to Selandris and that he may be more accommodating. Aletha believes that Selandris' current attitude may be the result of the loss of his son Daphemir.
With Selandris no longer around them, Jiǔtóu mutters under her breath that Lord Selandris should be grateful that he still has a living son and that he still has a family. Cam agrees with her.
In regards to Nalistri and the adventurers travelling to Hallow, Sheriff Macklin asks them if they would like to travel with them now or have them return in the morning. Elora prefers not to travel in the evening. Cam too prefers to travel in the morning, claiming he has plans at night. However, both Jiǔtóu and Nalistri wish to travel to Hallow now, with Jiǔtóu saying that she does not like living around with luxury. Elora thinks it is not wise to split up, so she is fine in travelling now, though she prefers to travel in the morning as it is safer.
Jiǔtóu says that not only will there be Nalistri but also the people of Hallow with them. Cam points out that they have only just met the townsfolk and the first impression is that they storm to the spire in an aggressive manner. Sheriff Macklin says that it is just a misunderstanding. Cam retorts to ask if the earlier behaviour is how they do diplomatic negotiations. Macklin explains that it is how such matters are settled in the Troubled Lands. Cam then asks Jiǔtóu if she wants to go with these people. Jiǔtóu says that it is her kind of people.
Macklin says that he should just have Jiǔtóu and Nalistri come back with them or the townsfolk can come back in the morning. In either option, Elora insists that they should stay together. It is obvious both Cam and Trellimar prefer to go in the morning. However, not wanting to take any risks, both of them choose to travel now.
The group is travelling back to Hallow through the bitter cold night. Along the way, Sheriff Macklin shares on how things are run in the Troubled Lands.
Hallow and the Troubled Lands: Hallow is one of many frontier towns in the Troubled Lands. As there is no formal government in the region, each town has its own laws. The person with the most guts run the town. The region is rich in metal resources: copper, gold, iron and silver. Black powder is another common resource in the region. These resources are rarely farmed or mined since most people rarely leaves the Troubled Lands.
Weaponry and the Black Powder: It is not known who discovered black powder, though it is distributed throughout the region. Frederick Heckler discovers that he could make weapons out of it, so firearms are invented. So far, the adventurers have seen two kinds of firearms: firehands (similar to a revolver, Macklin has one) and rifle (a weapon that a heckler fired earlier). However, because firearms are expensive, the common folks still wield weapons such as crossbows, spears and swords. Projectiles discharged from a firearm travel faster than a crossbow bolt or an arrow. However, firearms are not very reliable, as some men had their hands blown off. Firearms are also prone in jamming.
After about three hours of travel, the group reach Hallow, a frontier town nestled in a hilly area covered with small patches of pine trees. In addition to the corner saloon, rows of houses, stores and workshops, all constructed mostly out of pine wood, line the L-shaped main street. Campfires and stoves pump smoke into the air. Its people wear thick coats and furs to keep themselves warm.
Macklin brings Nalistri and the adventurers to the saloon, one of the few places where there are rooms for visitors. He will cover the lodging fees. He also advises them to stay out of trouble as the townsfolk tend to be rough. In the morning, Macklin will bring them to investigate the dead bodies. Regarding firearms, Macklin tells them that, if they have the money, he can bring them to an arms-smith for him to make one. Elora makes one request for Macklin though, and that is to tell his men not to attack any polar bear as she may shape-shifts to the beast form.
Inside the saloon, Macklin heads to the barkeep regarding accommodation. At one corner are a few drinkers. At another corner are four dwarves, all stained in soot, playing a game of cards. Macklin tells the group to stay clear of them, for they are part of the Powder Beards, a local gang, and known to carry around firearms.
Macklin got two rooms for the group (later retconned to three rooms as Mark may have forgotten about Nalistri ). He hands then the keys and left the saloon. It is currently around 11 at night.
"Well, look what we've got here," one of the four dwarves call out. He demands the group to pay a stranger fee. Cam experienced such extortion tricks before, so he says that they will not pay such fee. The dwarf stands up, knocking over his stool. He then walks towards Cam.
As the dwarf approach, Cam whips out his dagger in defence. However, the dwarf is not threatened by it as he slowly takes out his serrated knife, which is longer than Cam's dagger. The dwarf says that his blade is the biggest but not for long as Jiǔtóu takes her guandao and positions it in front of Cam to protect him. Reacting to this, the other three dwarves also stands up. One of them takes out his long firearm with a funnel-shaped muzzle, aiming it at Jiǔtóu. This dwarf warns the adventurers to back off and pay the fee.
Cam casts Invoke Duplicity, positioning his duplicate to stand behind the dwarf in front of him. This startles the dwarf. Cam warns the dwarves to back off, claiming that they have powerful magic at their disposal, as Jiǔtóu takes her cue to have her eyes glow red and fiery through casting Thaumaturgy. Elora creates a breeze via Druidcraft to make Jiǔtóu's robe flutters in the wind, making her more demonic. Cam now demands the dwarves to pay a "stranger approaching" fee. With these, the dwarf in front of Cam feels intimidated, so he backs off but not before telling Cam that they have crossed a line they should not crossed, saying that their leader, Dulgrim, will have his way once he arrives in the morning. The dwarves then resume their game of cards, this time glaring at the adventurers.
The adventurers are now sleeping in their rooms. Cam and Trellimar in one, Elora and Jiǔtóu in another.
Cam is awakened by a sound. He hears footsteps coming from the door. The doorknob turns slowly but the door remains shut. Fearing that it is the four dwarves of the Powder Beards from earlier, Cam urgently wakes Trellimar up. Trellimar is still groggy but eventually head to the door with Cam. To two stand by the door frames and listening to what is behind the doors.
Cam can hear muttering sounds. Trellimar puts on his mask, the Shroud of Eyes, to see through the wall. It is two of the dwarves from earlier. One of them is standing by the door frame with a knife in hand, waiting to pounce. The other places a metal canister, with a long wick sticking out from the top, by the door.
Trellimar fires Eldritch Blast through the door, aiming for the dwarf who is about the lit the wick. This sends the dwarf flying over the banister and landing onto the ground floor. Both Elora and Jiǔtóu jolt up due to the loud explosion. They knew it is Trellimar using his Eldritch Blast.
First Round of Battle
Both Elora and Jiǔtóu jump out of bed and quickly put on their gears, getting ready to fight back.
Trellimar witnessed the dwarf he blasts at flying off the banister. Also seeing the other dwarf, he fires Eldritch Blasts at him, which injures the dwarf greatly. Trellimar then steps out of the room.
Cam, who just witnessed Trellimar firing a blast through the door, shakes it off and steps out of the room too. After scolding the now injured dwarf for disturbing his sleep, Cam digs his dagger right through the dwarf's chest, killing him.
The injured dwarf on the ground floor weakly tells his other two dwarf companions to get Cam. Cam and Trellimar look at the direction of the staircase 10 feet away and now see two dwarves, one of them aiming his long-barrelled firearm at them. He fires his weapons but Cam and Trellimar dive back into their room in time to miss the projectiles. The other dwarf lit a metal canister and throws it down the corridor. Cam quickly kicks the canister away, sending it flying down to the ground floor. It causes an explosion, effectively killing the injured dwarf on the ground floor.
Second Round of Battle
Elora pokes her head out of her room to see two dwarves wielding a firearm each on the staircase. She casts Moonbeam on the two of them and smiles back before hiding inside her room.
Trellimar pokes his head out and fires Eldritch Blasts from his hand, both shaped like a pistol. Only one blast hits a dwarf and injuring him. Cam steps out of the room and throws his dagger Nimbus at the same dwarf, which also injures him.
The dwarf with the firearm fires again. It still causes no injury as both Cam and Trellimar protect themselves with their armour. The other dwarf takes out two axes and charges towards Trellimar. The first axe misses but the second axe causes a deep cut on Trellimar's thigh.
Jiǔtóu angrily steps out of the room, yelling, "Who dares disturb my slumber?" Seeing the dwarf wielding axes and attacking Trellimar, she takes her guandao and attacks the dwarf. She easily kills it.
Third Round of Battle
The Moonbeam injures the last remaining dwarf. Elora takes out her bow and fires an arrow at the last dwarf, injuring it. Trellimar fires Eldritch Blasts at the dwarf, injuring it further.
Knowing that the dwarf is on his last few remaining health, Cam asks the dwarf if he really wants to die. The dwarf replies no, so Cam orders him to drop his weapon. Cam approaches him and grabs him by the collar. Asking the dwarf on why he would want to do this, the dwarf replies Cam that they wanted to kill him during sleep. However, the dwarf now says that he does not want to do it anymore.
Cam steps out of the Moonbeam with the dwarf, then asking him to tell everything about the Powder Beards. The dwarf, however, only says that Dulgrim will come to kill them upon knowing that the adventurers killed his men. He also says that Dulgrim has his eyes set on the town.
End of Battle
Elora tells the dwarf that he should now know what she and her companions are capable of. This leads the dwarf to say that he will not fight anymore. Cam tells the dwarf to go back to Dulgrim but the dwarf cuts him off before he can finish his sentence, saying that he does not want to go back as he fears that Dulgrim will kill him. Cam tries to finish his sentence but as the dwarf keeps cutting him off, Cam gives a slap across the dwarf's face.
Cam tells the dwarf to report back to Dulgrim and says that their mission to kill the adventurers is complete, adding that the other three dwarves are dead but gave a good fight. The dwarf agrees to do it, since he told Cam that he will receive a reward. However, the dwarf will need Cam's ear to prove that the mission is a success. Instead, Cam cuts off an ear from another dwarf, cleans it up a bit and gives it to the dwarf.
At this point, Sheriff Macklin budges into the saloon. Blurry looking around as he has been awoken from his sleep, he wonders what has happened. Cam replies to say that the situation is now under control. Macklin chided the adventurers for getting into trouble, though Elora explains that the dwarves tried to kill them in their sleep. Macklin looks around and comments that the dwarves are not that smart in attempt to kill them.
Meanwhile, a shocked and terrified barkeep looks in horror at the sight and the state of his saloon.
Seeing a dwarf captured alive, Macklin prefers to lock him up. Elora agrees, with Cam eventually decides to have the dwarf locked up instead. Jiǔtóu asks if they can be rewarded. However, Macklin could not provide it since the Powder Beards are not wanted as they have not committed a crime yet.
Not wanting to handle the dwarf anymore, Cam pushes him off from the first floor. The dwarf falls down to the ground floor, yet he is fortunate to be alive, though severely injured and now with a broken leg. Macklin just shrugs it off, saying it makes it easier to handle the dwarf, so he grabs him by the collar and drags him away.
None of the dwarves drop any cowboy hats, leaving the adventurers disappointed. However, Jiǔtóu grabs the firearm (later known as the boomstick) and a belt of ammunition worth eight shots that Macklin took off the dwarf, while Cam takes the unexploded metal canister with little care. The adventurers also pillage 51 gold pieces from the dead dwarves.
The adventurers resume their rest, though Sheriff Macklin had to convince the barkeep to not throw them out. Macklin also agrees to pay for the damages. Despite costing up to 300 gold pieces for the damages, Macklin does not seems worried about it. The adventurers overheard this conversation, so they guess that the town must have been prosperous.
The adventurers wake up in the morning. The barkeep refuses to serve them breakfast, so they consume a portion of their field rations. Sheriff Macklin greets the adventurers.
Nalistri steps out of his room and is greeted, also shocked, by the mess created from the battle that happened in the night. Elora wonders how Nalistri cannot be awoken by the loud explosions. Nalistri explains that he used a meditative trance to allow him to learn his spells in his sleep, so that he cannot be disturbed by any rackets. Cam and Elora find it dangerous, though Trellimar comments that Nalistri would not have been of much use during the battle. Trellimar's comment makes Nalistri very sad, even admitting that he may not be useful during combats. Elora and Jiǔtóu are both astounded by Trellimar's comment. Jiǔtóu even stomps on Trellimar's foot to teach him a lesson to not make such comment again. She also has to stomp on Cam's foot too since he agreed with Trellimar.
Macklin leads the group to the mortician's office, where the dead bodies are preserved. Walking through the bustling frontier town and passing by several general stores, they arrive at the office. The moment they step in, they are greeted by walls full of cuckoo clocks.
A young adult female gnome, with bright orange hair, wearing big pair of spectacles and a doctor's outfit, welcomes the group. Introducing herself as Doctor Cellandra Whisperfoot, she asks if anyone is sick. She particularly asks Cam if he has any problem with his genitals. Cam says no but points at Trellimar, saying he does.
Likewise, Trellimar says he is alright but says that Cam will need his prostate checked. Cam, not knowing what prostate is, goes over upon the doctor's request and bends over. He drops his trousers as the doctor tells him so. Cam now receives a quick rectal examination. Doctor Cellandra declares Cam has no problems with his prostate, though Cam remains in shock. Cellandra then washes her hands.
Returning back to the topic of examining the dead bodies, Doctor Cellandra leads the group down to the chiller, an old stone cellar with big blocks of carved ice to keep the room cooled. There are also four bodies laid out onto the long stone table, all are terribly mutilated. Some make claw and bite marks all over the throat and upper body. Other have their limbs torn off their sockets. Cellandra says that the victims were found in such a state.
Elora examines the marks and knows that creatures larger than wolves must have done such acts. She guesses that dire wolves would fit the description, but later rules them out as she notices that the bodies are not fed on. Rather, they are just killed, ruling out natural beasts since they would feast on the bodies. Nalistri examines the bite marks closer and notices frost burns. He tells Elora that magic must have been used to cause such a mark. However, Nalistri only knows that white dragons are capable of doing such magic.
Jiǔtóu notices that, on two of the bodies, are wounds that indicate that the victims may have been attacked by bladed weapons. Because the wounds she discovered are masked by the claw marks, Cellandra is not able to spot it initially. With the new discovery, she wonders if frost giants are involved. Upon this, Cam has heard stories about giants in general. Giants are socially ranked according to the Ordning. Hill giants are ranked the lowest, followed by fire giants, stone giants, frost giants, cloud giants and storm giants. On frost giants, they are warrior types and also horde gold and treasures, so they love to pillage. Cam also knows that leaders of the frost giants, jarls, have war horns that could summon blizzards and shoot ice from it.
Cam relays his knowledge of frost giants in a form of a children's tale. He reckons that, since frost giants do sound their war horns, it can be used as a sign that an attack is imminent. However, the group believes that the frost giants may also have animals based on the bite marks. This makes Elora believe that dire wolves could still be involved too.
On where the bodies are found, Macklin tells Jiǔtóu that they are found in the woods as the victims are either foragers or woodsmen. The bodies are also found on different days and times. They are also looted. Cam wonders if they were hunted just for game or with intention.
Macklin shares that the other evidence found are trails of large paw marks left imprinted on the snow. He sent scouts to track them down but all of them eventually lost sight of the trails. Still, he points back to the wolves found within the vicinity of the Winter Spire. Nalistri insists that the spire does not involve wolf-like animals, only birds such as falcons and owls. However, with this thought, Nalistri now fears that the frost giants may be planning an attack on the Winter Spire. To this, he says that they should return back to the spire.
Elora says that they should follow the tracks, though Cam believes that the tracks should lead back to the spire if an attack is going to happen. Cam also thinks that they should warn the Lords and Ladies currently in the Winter Spire of an impending attack by frost giants and wolves. To send words back to the spire quickly, Nalistri proposes that he could send his owl, Whispers, to deliver the message. With all in favour, Nalistri does so.
Seven Dwarves and a TrailEdit
Nalistri asks the adventurers on their next step. However, he says that he does not wish to return to the Winter Spire until there is some success on their current quest, though he apologises for involving them in his selfish indulgence. Elora says that the new information from the bodies is something that had not have before. Nalistri shares her view but says that it will not be enough for Lord Selandris. Elora understands his point of view, though she believes that it is best that they investigate the track marks and cut the foes off before they could launch their attack. Nalistri will do as the adventurers so wish. They all agree on following the trail first.
Jiǔtóu asks Sheriff Macklin of the firearm she recovered from the attack during the night. Looking at the firearm, Macklin instantly recognises it as a blunderbuss. She asks if he can show her how to use it. Macklin says that he could but Jiǔtóu will need to keep on practising it in order to gain proficiency in using it. Nonetheless, he can teach her the basics in the span of about one hour. However, he did warn her of the scarcity in obtaining ammunition for it, especially once out of the Troubled Lands.
Macklin worries about the frost giants. Cam says that they will investigate how many of them are there. He then asks if Macklin could spare them some men. Knowing that his people are largely weak in combat, Macklin says that he could assist the adventurers. Jiǔtóu thinks that him helping them could also create a good rapport with the people of the Winter Spire. Macklin agrees with her, though he understands why Lord Selandris do wish to put his people first.
Everyone heads back upstairs. However, they hear a thundering of hooves. Seven giant boars arrive in the town of Hallow and stop in front of the saloon, each with a black-bearded dwarf, wearing a dark-coloured cowboy hat, on it. The leader of the pack wears an eye patch and an iron chestplate. He also wields a long firehand.
Macklin, Nalistri and the adventurers hide inside the doctor's office. Elora asks Macklin if there is a way for them to get out of town unnoticed. He says it is possible, though he will have to stay behind and deal with the new visitors that he suspects is the Powder Beards gang. Macklin tells them of an alleyway they could sneak into to.
Sheriff Macklin exits the doctor's office and greets the visitors. The dwarf with an eye patch recognises the sheriff and assures him that they are just dropping by to get some supplies. Macklin is pleased to hear that there will be no trouble. Still, Macklin leans against a building with a hand over his holster, while keeping his eyes on the group. On Cam's advice, Trellimar telepathically informs Macklin for him to catch up with them once everything is settled.
To sneak into the alleyway, Nalistri and the adventurers cast various spells to try to remain stealthy. They manage to creep into the alleyway without getting noticed. Trellimar, however, knocks into a barrel, causing it to tumble onto the ground, which makes a loud noise. The seven dwarves turn to the source and see Trellimar.
The dwarf with an eye patch comments that the drow, referring to Trellimar, seems to be up and about way above the Underdark. Trellimar claims that he is just out on his travels. The dwarf gives Trellimar a caution for Trellimar to watch his step as he may never know who he might bump into.
"I've seen worse," Trellimar responds.
"I bet you have, boy, I bet you have," the dwarf calls out, giving him a look with an enlarged eye on one side and a narrow gaze with the other.
Trellimar safely makes his way out of town and rejoins with the rest.
Walking through small valleys and woods, the group are exploring around in the wilderness for track marks. Both Jiǔtóu and Nalistri spot occasional animal paw prints and broken branches, signs that someone has walked past the area. The two then lead the group. They eventually found a trail. As they continue to follow it, however, the trail seems to be leading away from the Winter Spire. It is heading further north.
The group discuss if they should continue to follow it or head back to the Spire. Jiǔtóu wonders on how Sheriff Macklin would be able to find them. Both Cam and Nalistri believe that he may not have given the situation back at Hallow. Elora thinks that they should return to the spire, fearing that the frost giants may have already be near the spire. Cam and Trellimar kind of agree with her. Nalistri adds that they might find such trails again back at the spire. And so, the group make their way back to the Winter Spire.
It is around midday. Nalistri and the adventurers all make their way back to the Winter Spire. The walls are fine. The guards are on patrol. There are no signs of giants as they make their way back. Everything seems normal. With this, Nalistri wonders if the frost giants are still waiting to attack.
Upon entering the spire itself, the servants go up to them to take off their coats. One of them whispers something to Nalistri. He conveys the message to the adventurers, saying that his father, Lord Selandris, has retired to his chamber after the events that occurred the day before. His mother, Lady Malisendal, is busy going through her studies. He also informs Elora that her parents are in their own rooms, awaiting news to see if Selandris gets better. Still, Jiǔtóu thinks it is wise to warn them of potential dangers. Nalistri agrees, so he says that he will let his sister Sylval know.
Cam tells Nalistri that they need to have a chat with him, which makes Nalistri nervous. The group enter the quest chamber where the adventurers are staying at.
In the room, Cam invites Nalistri to take a seat. Nalistri wonders if this is an interrogation as he sits. He even tells Trellimar to not read his mind, to which Trellimar assures him that he will not.
Cam asks Nalistri on what his family is doing, given the fact that Jiǔtóu feels shaken by them. Nalistri is not sure, saying that his father had always been devastated by the death of Daphemir.
Trellimar asks Nalistri of the dusty family portrait in the gallery. However, Nalistri is not aware of the portrait since he rarely spent any time in the gallery. Jiǔtóu asks Nalistri is he knows of an aunt but Nalistri does not know as no one mentioned to him about any aunts. He only knows of an uncle, Selandris’ brother that died during an incursion in the Feywild. Jiǔtóu asks if Selandris even spoke about his sister. Once again, Nalistri has never heard of her, insisting that Daphemir would have told him about it if there is such person.
Cam wonders if Daphemir would even tell him of such things. Nalistri shares the personality of his brother and sister, saying that Sylval, though friendly and polite, is cold towards him. On the other hand, Daphemir is much more kind-hearted and nice towards him. Nalistri also says that he is an idealist and has similar thoughts like Elora's in regards to helping the people of Dawn Republic. It is Daphemir that makes Nalistri's stay in the Winter Spire tolerable. Now that he is gone, Nalistri could not stand the cold treatment he received from his family.
Cam voices out that he is wary of Nalistri's father. Nalistri understands on why Cam may felt that way but assures him that Selandris do care for his elven people, saying that Elora's father will say similarly. Cam wonders of non-elves. Nalistri believes that Selandris also wish no harm for any other races, just that Selandris would want to prioritise resources for the elves first. Nalistri strongly does not believe that Selandris will harm anyone, given that he fought against the archfeys to protect his people. Though Nalistri understands why the adventurers may feel as such, he says that it feels like the adventurers are asking him to believe in something that it not the case.
Cam says that it is worth to investigate all options, which Nalistri understands. He is now interested to know more about the aunt they have mentioned. To this, Cam is worried of secrets kept hidden amongst the family. Elora says that his father is aware of the aunt, though not in details. Still, she does not want to bring it up to Selandris as she is not sure how he will react. Nalistri thinks it is not wise to ask, since the loss of Daphemir is a huge blow to him at the moment, because Daphemir is his favoured son.
Cam asks Nalistri if his father has had enemies. Nalistri could only think of the archfeys in general. Cam then asks if there are tensions between the spires, to which Nalistri says that rather than tensions, there are opposing characters, giving the example of the Summer Spire is opposite of the Winter Spire, just like the seasons. The Summer Spire attacks the archfeys at their stronghold, while the Winter Spire defends against them to keep them at bay. The Sun Spire are frivolous and carefree, while the Moon Spire cares very much about the land in a thoughtful and generous manner. None of these would have cause any strife between the spires, as Nalistri thinks.
Now that the group are back at the Winter Spire, Nalistri wonders what they should do next. Jiǔtóu thinks that they should warn Selandris of an impending attack first, before heading out to investigate the frost giants further. She also says that it is best to have Sheriff Macklin and the people of Hallow to assist, thinking that they could be stronger together. Cam says that they could scout ahead first to find any sort of information that could be helpful to both Hallow and the Winter Spire.
Nalistri says that he will go and make the necessary preparations before continuing their investigations.
- Behind the Scenes: During dinner, Sylval attempts to flirt with both Cam and Trellimar. The High Rollers D&D crew then have a break during the dinner scene. It is during this break that Mark passes some notes to both Matt and Trott in regards to Sylval flirting with their characters.
- Boner Rating: By AwkwardDogBoner. Rectum out of 20: Cam got that dick but Trell got ass. Raging Hard-on Moment: lots of men with long exploding shaft. Erection Rejection Moment: Jiǔtóu with true erection rejection on Cam's and Trell's boomsticks.
- ↑ The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 0:15:13
- ↑ The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 0:26:42
- ↑ The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 1:07:16
- ↑ The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 1:46:24
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 1:58:50
- ↑ The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 2:02:34
- ↑ The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 2:01:40
- ↑ The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 2:32:03
- ↑ The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 2:31:11
- ↑ The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 3:01:42
- ↑ The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 1:43:39
- ↑ The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 3:20:58
- ↑ The Wild Wild North - HighRollers D&D: Episode 33 at 3:29:48