As peace began to return to Harken, The Shirker was contacted by a druid of the second circle of his order, informing him about an immensely unnatural occurrence…
The area around Fallcrest was overcome by winter-like weather, but in the middle of the summer. Crops were become devastated, as well as other local plant-life, which in turn began starving the animals and people in the area.
A request was made to return to Fallcrest to find the source of this problem, and try to stop it, if possible.
Travel through the Harkenwood via the King’s Road was uneventful, but upon exiting the woodland area, the signs of the wintry disturbance became apperent. Outlying farms lay bare and snow-covered, failed crops dotting the white and icy landscape. Storms brewed overhead, bringing heavy snowfall.
The heroes entered Fallcrest without a normal welcome; all the locals were locked up in their homes for warmth and protection, but some had begun to gather in a camp by the riverbank, where the Turnfin halflings brought dire news that the unseasonal weather had been spread as far south as the Witchlight Fens.
Some disruption broke out among the citizens about plans to deal with sustenance and supplies, but before anything could happen, a strange sound came from above…
Eerie chanting, like that from a ship’s crew rowing, came from a longship floating in the sky and slowly descending upon them. The ship landed in the river, and the crew of zombies and skeletons rushed forth and began attacking the people of Fallcrest.
After the heroes defeated the undead, the ship’s figurehead spoke to them. The icy dragon-like head boomed. “Return the ice scepter to the grasp of the Winter King, or this shall be a forever winter, and the cold and the dead shall feast upon the warm and living.”
The townsfolk knew nothing of the ice scepter, but explained the history of Winter King. Someone in the crowd tried to slip away among the confusion, but was pounced on by Rusty.
The attempted escapee confessed his story and introduced himself as Marko Lancet, a traveler who happened to come upon the scepter and planned on selling it. After some pressing, Marko revealed he was a common criminal and that he found the scepter while running from guards at his home.
Marko wanted nothing to do with returning to the cave where he had found the scepter, but gave in after some intimidation.
The companions boarded the ship and took off into the snowy sky to return the scepter, but the voyage was not without incident. Heavy storms of ice and hail rocked the boat, and the party managed to make through, but not without taking damage from the weather.
Marko, upon seeing the entrance to the cairn, was overcome by a near madness, had to be talked into entering the cairn once again…