Icewind Dale

Session 34

Cold Comfort

Rystall leads the Trespassers, blindfolded, through a snowy wood. Miles they go before the blindfolds are taken off. They arrive at Suntop, a settlement of the Elves of Irythil that overlooks the Lake of Dreams. They are introduced to Mistress Holone, ruler of the greatest of Suntop’s longhouses. They are told their audience with Nesterin Irythil will occur the following day. The Trespassers, though met with some suspicion, are not kept as prisoners. Nevena relaxes in the warm lodging—eating and drinking her fill—while regaling her cousin-folk with the magnificent tales of her journey. Søngberg spends the resting day in prayer, though he is shown outside to the cold to conduct them, as his prayers to Tyr offends the ‘Seldarine’ sensibility of the Elves. Eira is overwhelmed at the wondrous lives of the elves, even in the face of their winter curse. Evergreen trees have been planted in handsome rows to beautify the snowscape. She visits jewelers and bakers and weavers, each working on a version of their craft that surpasses what she has seen in the rugged lands of her upbringing. She also visits archers practicing their shots and spies a wyvern-rider patrolling the skies around the hills.

During this interlude, Eira and Søngberg both struggle with the language barrier until the evening. Holone throws a feast in their honor. A bard arrives who casts a spell which allows the ears of the guests to understand the tongue of the elves. Eira smiles and Søngberg’s laughter returns. Ballads are sung and tales are told. Praise for Eira and homilies for dead Othorian are recited. The elves listen with sadness to hear of the wailing banshees in the frozen spire in the north of Faerûn known as ‘The Hand of the Seldarine’. In turn, the elves tell their tales of glory and tragedy in the ancient Crown Wars, of star-crossed lovers in the Moonshae Isles, of fallen Myth Drannor, and more, until the fires down die down.

The next day they are ferried across the Lake of Dreams which flows unfrozen, despite the endless winter upon the land. The ‘Summer Palace’, once the home of Queen Amlaruil Moonflower, appears to float over the lake on a cloud of mist. The Queen is gone and so is the summer. Lord Nesterin Irythil resides here now, it is the seat of his House. He hears the tale of the Trespassers and they shock him, like Meliadoul before him, with their news of the death of Raindream. Even more shocking is the announcement by the dwarf, Søngberg, of the appearance of the Royal Moonblade, ‘Save The Queen’ and the crossing through the Fool Curtain. Søngberg’s faith overcame Meliadoul’s command to tell not a soul about the sword and here he makes this known. This story is believed, despite the gasps it brings, for he who wrought the curtain, the magus Eltargrim stands in the room as well. It was Eltargrim’s magic that enacted the Fool Curtain and he announces that “only that blade could have cut the barrier”.

Nesterin adjourns to seek the counsel of his magus. He returns offering magnificent gifts; the finest cloaks of his weavers, magic rings, and a suit of armor made of golden dragonscale, shed by the great Mormianeth herself. In exchange for these gifts, he requests only Eira’s hammer, saying he is not fool enough to merely steal from a god’s champion. Eira looks to nearly to accept the offer, but is convinced not to by her companions.

And so, disappointed, a second elven Houselord unsheathes a moonblade before their eyes. He too issues a command that they go to the lands of his enemies, the Neldor and retrieve for him ‘The Kingstone’. They are to be exiled from his lands lest they return with this prize.

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Straw_Dog

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