Our heroes began their most recent adventure at the entrance of the ancient temple, wherein they first encountered the Goblin known as “King Asshole.” Unbeknownst to them, the goblins and necromancers they vanquished were not the temple’s guards, but rather the stragglers from a battalion of goblins that had converged on the temple to attend the dramatic recounting of some dreadful goblin battles. There was also a comedic retelling of the time a group of idiots got hit by King Asshole’s stick.
Having interrupted the performance, with mockery and violence, the group retreated into the jungle, encountering an abandoned and still blinded Azzamestos feeling around for familiar medicinal plants. Finding themselves between a horde of goblins and a treacherously high waterfall, the team employed their individual strengths to make their escape, resulting in substantial injury to Bingbo the bard’s face and, more notably, their mystical transportation into a wintery forest land.
They were greeted by Hildi the Gnome, and invited to the first-day-of-packy-snow festival, which was being held later that day. While learning about the festival, the team was made aware of a terrible crime that had befallen this Gnomish village.
Some fiend had stolen the filling to their festival’s traditional strudel. Offering their services, in hopes of doing a good deed, looting some treasure, and possibly finding a map that would lead them home, the team was told the tale of the great explorer and the terrible fiend that preyed on his kindness.
Outfitted for their journey in borrowed winter clothes, save for Bingbo, who was being attended to by Gnomish healers, the team set off into the frost fields, wherein dangers lurked. Dangers such as Snow Sharks, Lost Spirits, Sinkholes, and a being known only as “Jarrod.” With a stroke of ingenuity, the Inspector let loose a powerful blast from his souped up pyromatic propulsion rod, melting a path and revealing any precarious holes and crevasses.
Unfortunately, the blast was so successful that it awoke and alerted a dozen slumbering spirits. They rose from the permafrost as shining, flittering lights. Thinking quickly, L entreated the spirits to offer guidance in exchange for avenging their deaths.
The spirits revealed themselves to be lingering essences of slain elves. Accepting L’s offer, they warned the group not to trust a word the fiend uttered, and they lead them to their frozen earthly remains.
With the blizzard intensifying, and no clear path, Azzamestos, the reckless science wizard, unleashed a powerful pulse of flame, revealing another portal, angering the spirits (whose bodies he destroyed), and announcing their presence to a pod of Snow Sharks, which closed in quickly in the deep snow. After pleading for forgiveness, the team was shown the path to safety by the elven spirits, but before they could follow, they were reached by the first Snow Shark.
Using something not unlike teamwork, Azzamestos revealed the Shark’s location, L struck the beast with a poison dart, Zena diverted it’s attention, Jimmothy wrestled the beast from the safety of the snow, and the Inspector, having ingeniously positioned himself in the beast’s mouth, obliterated it with a powerful propulsion blast.
After passing through the portal, the team discovered the lair of the fiend, a small cabin in a mild, though still snowy valley, encircled by a beautiful green aurora. Scouring the fiend’s scattered possessions, each member gifted themselves a magical item before disturbing the fiend’s quiet evening alone with his ill-gotten cherries.
Amidst some freaky portal shit, resulting in the sudden disappearance of Grimdolyne, the fiend said some ominous things to the group, revealing deep and significant character motivations (fixing a mistake, finding a lost child, changing oneself, remembering forgotten pasts, finding a place to belong, etc.). The team responded by first breaking, and then removing one of the fiend’s arms, which, in the moment, seemed reasonable.
Threatened by a big, scary dog, and subject to the fiend’s attempts to sow distrust among the group, by implying someone, or some-ones, the Inspector knows might have been involved in the abduction of his daughter, the team persevered, mainly by distracting the fiend as Jimmothy burst through the cabin wall and crushed the shit out of him.
With his magic jacket torn from his shoulders, the fiend confessed he had little time left of his natural life, having been born with a heart condition and saved only by the jacket’s power. He pleaded with the team to allow him to accompany them to the Gnomish Village. Though nobody believed him, he insisted he wanted to set things right.
After a whirlwind journey through the past several month’s worth of adventures, reuniting the giant friendly dog with his owner’s spirit, and the revelation of a threat far greater than any they’d seen before, the team returned to Gnomish Village’s town square as the final preparations for the night’s festival were being put in place.
Despite their strong suspicions that they should have let the fiend bleed to death, armless and alone in his dingy cabin, they allowed him to address the gnomes, hoping to offer them the chance for some kind of justice. In his final act of betrayal, the fiend grabbed Hildi the Gnome’s arm and froze it solid.
Zena struck a decisive blow with her sword, freeing Hildi, but shattering her arm in the process.
Azzamestos cast a powerful, and situationally relevant spell. The fiend was encased in a giant cherry tree in the Village town square, where he would remain, awake and aware of every nightly Gnomish festival. It was a profound and unending hell.
Also, Jimmothy put a sword in him.
With the day mostly saved, the team experienced their first Gnomish festival, save for Grimdolyne, as her whereabouts remained unknown. It was a kickass party.
In the morning, the team was seen off by a now one-armed HIldi, who was a pretty good sport about the whole thing and seemed genuinely grateful for their help. She arranged a guide for the group, a travelling adventurer named Svedka, a faun with a tenuous grasp on reality, and loaned them a pair of reindeer.
There was much to discuss, as they descended the winding mountain roads.