On a cold Roarkian day in the year 654 CE, a roar echoed over the foothills of the Northern Mountains, drawing the attention of those in the forest nearby. Soon, Qistrel, Veara, Huskii, Lendren, and Llani of the Serenwilde all gathered around Adasser and Caedir, two young warriors from the commune who were warily watching a cave mouth that was sealed shut with unnatural ice. They were understandably on edge, with Caedir’s leg impaled by a large ice shard like the ones studding the icy wall.
The intrepid Serenwilders tried hard to melt the ice wall – suggesting enchantments, creating campfires, even considering enlisting the help of a Pyromancer – all to no avail. The ice remained solid, though noises continued emanating from within. In the meantime, Adasser and Caedir shared what they had learned on their journeys: that Gromagh the Hag was enacting a nefarious plan with the Frost Spite, resulting in some new type of spawn that was hatching in the cave before them. Indeed, Gromagh had already publicly claimed the creation within as her own, and Xenthos and Esei of Glomdoring quietly met her to try to learn more about her plans.
An unexpected guest joined the group in front of the cave. One Theone Natharian, who took no time to introduce himself, but immediately began studying the ice wall himself. When asked to state his interest, he said he merely wanted to study the creature, one born of such anomalous circumstances. The gathered were deeply sceptical that the creature could be peaceably studied, while Theone advocated for calm and not jumping to any aggression or conclusions.
That approach would be quickly put to the test, for the ice wall was shattered from within, and a dark, swirling abomination emerged. The icy creature stepped out and blinked curiously at those around him, while the Frost Spite and Gromagh crowed about their creation and ordered it to attack the Serenwilde. After attempts to pacify the creature failed, Theone stood back and made no further effort to defend the nightmarish beast’s right to live.
Growing more agitated, the icy abomination finally did attack – but not before sinking its miasmic legs into the ground and flash-freezing the surrounding area. Galaphyrae and even Shango of Magnagora joined the fray and, at first, it looked like the beast was being held back. But the beast had a trick up its sleeve, creating a torus of icy rage around it that burst forward, instantly killing all around it.
With no defenders of the forest in its way, the abomination began slowly advancing towards the Serenwilde, giving the land frostbite in its wake. Those of the Serenwilde threw themselves at the abomination again, only to be batted down, forced to reassess their approach. Pits and more creative weapons were suggested, but ultimately the abomination took its first step into the forest, and Veara, Huskii and Qistrel felt they had no choice but to engage it again head-on. After a brutal fight, it was Qistrel who finally slayed the beast.
Qistrel and Veara brought the shards of the abomination to Huyana, the centaur herbalist in Hifarae, who was concerned about Gromagh’s scheming but knew nothing more of the icy abomination. Queried further, Theone, who had returned to the cave to study the black ice left behind, was seeking answers himself about the abomination, but admitted that such an aggressive creature was best put down. He also revealed that the real subject of his study was Gromagh herself and he now had to report to some enigmatic “fellowship”.
With the creature slain and Gromagh’s plans foiled, the Serenwilders breathed a sigh of relief, though newly wary about the potential threats on their home. Would there be more abominations coming at them? Could Gromagh and the Frost Spite – or any other unlikely ally – conjure up an even graver threat? And what conclusions did Theone take away from his brief study of the abomination? Only the passing of more seasons will tell.