As the doors to the Cairn of the Winter King opened, the heroes were greeted with the delightful aromas of delicious food. They proceeded inside, where a large room awaited them with a long dinner table filled with the most succulent foods and drinks they had ever seen. Across the table from them sat a large man in furs, definitely a barbarian in appearance, and a young woman.
He introduced himself as the Winter King, and invited them to join him in feast and tell him about what has passed during his icy slumber. He also asked for the icy scepter to be returned, but the companions weren’t fooled.
The Shirker tried to make a bargain, for the scepter the Winter King would have to atone to the druids of the Vale for the winter’s disturbance to the natural order.
Elucar noticed a rising anger on the barbarian’s part, and knew that this man was not the Winter King after all. Engraged, the barbarian assaulted the party, along with two large dire wolves that been part of an illusion to appear as sleeping hunting hounds. The woman also joined the combat, her true identity revealed as a gnome wizard,
During the battle, the tides were turned against the party, and the druid and cavalier had been knocked unconscious. Soqadana and Panor were able to defeat the barbarian and the remaining wolf, but the gnome had escaped, likely attempting to alert the Winter King to their presence.
After delving a little further into the Cairn, the party heard a voice calling for help on the other side of a door. Upon entering the room, they found a prison, with one of the cells occupied by a middle-aged woman in shambled clothing and in distress. She said her name was Alanna, and that she was the Winter Queen, and was imprisoned there by her wrathful husband because of the loss of his scepter.
However, the eladrin druid, scholarly in his knowledge, knew that there was no such identity as a Winter Queen. Her story failing, the woman revealed herself as a gnome, who bore a close resemblance to the one they had met earlier.
The illusionist shouted some commands, and the corpses in the other cells rose to their feet. A heap of fur in the far cell rose as well….an owlbear!!