After a long respite at Helga’s Hoppy Haven, and over many pints of ale, the once more victorious group, presumably while completely blitzed, decided it was time…to find the legendary, and awful, Remorhaz- the dreaded ice centipede, from which, Queso’s sword could be completed. Specifically, from its intestines, which would serve as the strings to the musical greatsword. They ventured forth into the Odemark, the icy tundra that expanded into the North of Avarkall, recovering from their hangovers and cursing the day Queso ever heard about this thing. For his part, Queso merrily skipped along, aided by the wide snow-shoes the party had (wisely) purchased prior to this little side-adventure. Hofniel had resistance to elements as part of his divine repertoire, and Dobby was a nature-savvy druid. Everyone else was just plain cold. Despite this, the group seemed to make good time through the icy conditions, that is, until the wind picked up on the 4th day. The howling sound was almost mind numbing…almost. The group felt an unnatural presence, becoming more on edge than they usually were. Is something calling my name?…they all thought, at once. Unfortunately, Dobby seemed transfixed, taken in by whatever dark magic was in play, and within moments, bolted into the blizzard. Thankfully, Dobby is very short, and the group was easily able to overtake her. As they did, they witnessed a truly horrifying vision in the distance- a gaunt, pale, lurching, vaguely humanoid figure with an elk-skull as a head and stumps where its feet should be. In a brief moment, it sped forward on the wind, whisking the stunned Dobby up into the air. It didn’t get far before Queso sped forward and unleashed a wide swipe, cutting into the entity with his fire-enhanced blade, narrowly missing Dobby and causing it to drop her to the ground. Gregor quickly landed several blows on it, causing the being to turn on him with a horrific bite. It was then that recognition dawned on Sriracha, the party’s resident know-it-all. She didn’t know much about Odemark monsters, but she DID know many stories, and recalled the tale of the Wendigo, a hellish spirit borne of desperation and cannibalism. The signaled to the group the fire should be most effective, and right on cue, Elora whipped out a scorching ray that engulfed the monster, followed quickly by a flaming sphere that burned it further still. Gregor pummeled the wretched beast with his fists, and Queso eventually finished it off, ending the flesh eating menace forever.
Deeper into the wastelands they trudged, often glaring at Queso for having dragged them into this frigid mess. As luck would have it, the troupe eventually came across the Kallfodd, or “cold-borne,” the only sane humanoids that lived that far to the North. The group gave a friendly wave, which was returned, and so they met up. The group elder wondered what the heroes were doing so far north, to which Elora grumbled something unspeakable. Hofniel pressed the wanderers for information regarding the dread Remorhaz. It turned out that the Kallfodd were intimately familiar with the wyrm of the wastes, and kept several “effigies” on hand in case of such an encounter. These “effigies” were essentially scarecrows wrapped in leather and seasoned with aromatic effluvia; becoming irresistible to Odemark dwelling monsters. At the behest of the group, Hofniel (reluctantly) attempted to bargain for as many effigies as they could get; the people could spare 2, plus some advice on “optimal” placement. They also made it very, very clear that the creature was, in fact, very much a fire based monster, rather than ice- a simple fact that meant the death of many potential hunters. The heroes thanked the noble nomads and continued on their journey-as it turned out, it wasn’t much farther until they encountered a vast, frozen lake. The team scoped the area carefully, while Hofiel placed his ear against the ice to listen. He thought he heard…scraping? Shifting? He wasn’t certain, but they figured this was as good a place to start as any, and so Queso began pounding the pommel of his sword on the ice. After several minutes, a subtle vibration emanated from the frozen water below them, and they all knew that SOMETHING was on its way. They quickly set up battle positions, with the effigies placed just as the elder had told them. The vibrations increased, culminating in tremendous crash- the horrible, huge Remorhaz burst through the ice and swallowed one of the effigies in one massive gulp, leaving the adventurers scrambling to deal as much damage as possible before it slid back into the water. Magic missiles abounded, and Queso was rapidly enlarged by the quick-thinking Hofniel. The creature slid back into the water and, a few tense moments later, burst through to smash the other (and last) effigy. Queso whirled into action, dishing out massive damage to the fiery menace. Dobby kept Norbert safely out of the fray and did what she could with her Druidic spells, somewhat hampered by the monster’s immunity to fire. When the horror burst back through the ice, it targeted the biggest, juiciest piece of meat in the vicinity- Queso, of course. Our bardbarian fought valiantly, but was ultimately swallowed by the giant insect. Thankfully, Hofniel had prepared for this contingency, casting energy resistance on both Queso and Gregor. Queso thus suffered only modest damage being squished in the beasts esophagus, while slowly attempting to carve his way out with his blade, simultaneously admiring the fine gut that would be used for his musical sword (his face was planted against it after all). The wizards Sriracha and Elora continued pummeling the monster with magic, culminating with Elora unleashing her ace-in-the-hole, the lightening bolt. This caused damage to both Queso and the Remorhaz, though it did provide some extra amusement when Queso’s skeleton become visible briefly inside the beast as they were electrocuted. In the meantime, Gregor punched with impunity, also protected by protective energy resistance. The creature eventually took notice, snatching up the silent monk in it’s jaws. Gregor’s tenacity knew no match, however, and he forced his way out, falling to the ice and immediately retaliating with a strike. The Remorhaz was looking quite ill by this point, having been slashed, zapped, blasted, and punched repeatedly. The final straw came with Queso, still struggling in its guts. He used his blade as an awl, forcing an exit in a most dramatic (and disturbingly birth-like) fashion. The monster gave one last rattle and fell crashing to the frozen lake surface, and the team cheered in victory. Except for Gregor, who felt it was warranted to mount the dead wyrm in a most inappropriate fashion as a last “victory dance.”