As the adventurers (you really need to think of a name for your party) pulled on the oars, the sentient ship rose into the sky. The ground fell away rapidly, becoming obscured by the snow and fog very quickly. Hours passed. Elena’s golden hair became encrusted with snow and ice, and the dwarf was no better. Arms turned to lead as they pulled on the oars. Time became immeasurable and there was no way to determine the direction of travel or how far they had gone.
Then. It got bad.
Ice had turned the mainsail into a solid sheet, and the lines were now three times their normal size, encrusted with the heavy frozen snow. The main line holding the sail snapped! Elena and Kiava climbed the mast, struggling to hold on for their lives, while Xanthe tossed them the broken line. Fumbling and cursing, they were able to make the line fast, stopping the downward spiral of the ship, but Kiava slipped as she tried to climb back down, slamming hard into the bottom crossbeam, knocking the wind out of her and bruising ribs in the process.
Then. It got worse.
Storms loomed on the horizon, and the cold became unbearable. As the party struggled to row, one storm broke away from the rest and bore down on the ship with clear evil intent. Battle ensued! Never before had they faced a living storm, but dealing with the lightning strikes and crashes of crushing thunder was nearly insurmountable. On top of that, the ship was plummeting to the earth, as the party had to abandon their oars to fight of this foul “creature,” if that is what it could be called. With only seconds to spare, they managed to defeat this evil and retake the oars, halting the fall and regaining their path.
But the storms weren’t done.
Hail began to pummel them from above, causing many cuts and bruises. One very large hailstone smashed into the dragon head at the prow and the ship began to buck and tumble. As Bob endeavored to “fix” this magic vessel, Duric was tossed overboard, and was just able to catch the rail as he flew wildly through the air. The party struggled to pull this now MUCH heavier dwarf back to safety, Bob was able to intone a spell that cleared the muddled ships “head,” which righted their vessel and they continued to row.
Hour after suffering hour, they knew not how long they rowed into the frigid blowing wind and blinding snow. Then, suddenly, the ship began to lose altitude, the clouds broke, and their were faced with a frozen mountainscape, harsh and cold, with no discernable wind whatsoever. The ship turned and dove towards a dark impression on the side of the tallest visible peak and came to rest at the mouth of a cave, gaurded by a 40 foot pillar of frozen skulls and ice.
“Behold the Cairn of the Winter King. Return the Ice Scepter to the king or be face with a forever winter.” The ship spoke, and then fell still.
More to come…