The Throne Room
As you make your way along the vast, empty corridor, the frigid air seems to get colder with every step you take. You won’t be able to go very far in these conditions without suffering the ill effects of the biting cold.
Players will have to find a way to stay warm in order to make it more than 6 squares in without taking ongoing 5 cold damage
After walking for what seems like hours (~50 squares) through the frigid hall, you feel a slight rise in temperature coming from the right side of the hall.
Perception DC25 – Through the icy fog you are just barely able to make out the outline of a door.
The heavy wooden door doesn’t appear to be locked. You are unable to see more than a few feet beyond the threshold through the thick mist swirling around the doorway.
You hear a voice call from within:
“Get in here and close the damn door unless you want us all to freeze!”
The room feels like a sauna compared to the hallway, though the temperature within must still be well below freezing.
As the fog clears, you see you are standing in what appears to be a small bedroom. A fire burns at the back of the room, and furs line the wall to keep the warmth in. A small bed lies against one corner covered in more furs. In a chair in the corner lies another thick bundle of furs. As you look closer, you see that these furs have an elf buried beneath them. He seems to be lacking the ubiquitous youthful features you expect to see on an elf. In their place are deep wrinkles and a white, bushy brow. “It’s about time you got here. Dreadfully rude to keep an old man waiting like that.” He rises from the chair with considerable effort, leaning his gaunt frame heavily on a walking stick. “Come along,” he says, pulling three heavy cloaks their hooks by the door “You’ll need these.”
Players each receive a Cloak of Winter Warding
He doesn’t seem to mean you any harm. He appears more tired and annoyed than anything else.
Possible Dialogue Options
Who are you?
“I was once the Red Wizard’s most trusted adviser, though he hasn’t listened to my advice in centuries”
Where are we going?
“Indulge a mysterious old man his flair for the dramatic. You’ll see soon enough”
As he leads you down the hall, the old elf seems to become more youthful with every step his tired shuffle giving way to a brisk, almost urgent walk. After a while, he stops and turns to what appears to be an empty wall. Placing both hands against the wall, he mumbles something in elvish under his breath and the wall melts away, revealing a staircase. He beings to descend, motioning for you to follow. After a while, the elf begins to speak. “He wasn’t always like this, you know. The man I knew was kind and gentle. But after his wife was killed, something inside him changed. He locked himself away in his chambers for days at a time, pouring over ancient texts and obscure scrolls, desperately searching for a way to bring her back. He became obsessed, and in his obsession, he turned to a powerful artifact he did not fully understand. An ancient gem, shrouded in mystery and possessing unspeakable power. He believed it would provide him with the magics he so desperately sought. And it did, in a way, but at a terrible price. It fed on his grief and anger, whispering in his thoughts. It corrupted the Wizard and everything he touched. It twisted his mind until there was nothing left but rage. In the end it consumed him.”
You reach the bottom of the stairs, stepping down into a large room containing nothing but a single raised platform. Floating above the platform and taking up the majority of the room is an enormous sphere of ice.
“Behold, the Eye of Winter. From here the Wizard sees all. Or at least, he used to. The power of the gem has perverted the Eye just as it polluted the mind of the Wizard.”
As the elf presses a hand to the orb, images begin to swirl and form within. Images of war and death, subjugation and conquest.
“Where once it showed the best and the worst in all of us, it now shows only the most wicked and cruel actions of everyone alive. The Wizard has come to believe this world and it’s people are beyond saving. He plans to use the power of the gem to cover the world in ice, wiping it clean in order to begin anew.”
With a wave of his hand, the scenes of torture and sadism floating in the sphere vanish, leaving nothing but ice.
“He no longer listens to me. He won’t even come out of the throne room, but I can feel it beginning already. As we speak a wave of icy death spreads slowly and inexorably from the Winter Fortress. You have to stop him now, while there is still a world left to save.”