“My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in
You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to howl”
-Florence and the Machine “Howl”
While refreshing themselves at the Frozen Goblin Saloon outside of Kalach, our heroes found themselves in the company of a boisterous group of trail guides, apparently toasting the death of someone they’d abandoned to the tundra. Griangi joined their revels briefly, gathering enough information to rescue their victim. In retribution for their cruelty, the witch, Marigold, placed a curse on their food, putrefying it, and put an Arcane Mark on the back of the worst of them’s clothing, branding the poor bastard as ‘veedma’. A bar fight broke out, which may have led to a riot — the Champions of Yerth did not stay long enough to find out.
They fled Kalach, taking a detour through the wastes in hopes of finding this lost traveler they’d heard of. They found a man named Fletcher, nearly dead from exposure. The party tends to his ailments and takes him with them to find shelter from the oncoming blizzard, wolves howling in the distance. Our heroes settle in a snow cave, following Evgeni’s instructions on how to prepare themselves for the winter’s elemental onslaught; all save Griangi, who considered the death’s icy hand to be a minor inconvenience, and decided to go wolf hunting.
Mounting his trusty steed, the gnomish warrior road out into the snow in search of the source of all this howling, only to determine that they came, not from wolves, but from worgs — giant, cunning canines known to savor the flesh of humanoids. Realizing that he was outnumbered, Griangi used his gnomish magic to confuse the creatures with lights and then high-tailed it back to the cave. The worgs, however, were not so easily shaken off.
The party set watches. The blizzard grew in intensity as the evening progressed. An hour or so before dawn, the watch spotted a pair of worgs in the distance, and roused their allies from sleep. They attempted to set up an ambush for the creatures using Griangi as bait, but to no avail. Our heroes, realizing that the worgs may have bypassed them entirely and gone after Elvira, Evgeni, and the horses back at camp, rushed back, only to stumble across two worgs who had crept past the party. Two of the monsters breathed blasts of cold at the gnome and his wolf, barely hurting Griangi but incapacitating Ragnar. The party pounded the worgs with spells, but, despite seriously injuring one, they both escaped.
The storm’s fury grew, trapping our heroes in their cave for the next three days.