"In Cold Blood" Plot Recap
Winter is harsh and merciless in the North. All that is cruel and cold is embodied in Auril the Frostmaiden. She is devoid of compassion and her frozen heart knows nothing but cold hate. The wise fear her; while the foolish follow her.
Late in the Year of Wild Magic, High Lord Kalahar Twohands decided that Otar, the orc of the High Forest who was the current Green Regent, needed to be brought before him. One attempt was already made to trap Otar, and Kalahar feared what might happen if the mysterious Green King succeeded in capturing the champion of Mielikki.
Kalahar’s agents reported that Otar had gone to Waterdeep in search of a tome entitled Legacy of the Green Regent. This book was reported to hold the secret history of the Green Regents. The Jade Blade had just recovered it, but the tome was stolen before Kalahar’s sages could unravel its secrets.
Kalahar asked the Jade Blade to find Otar. On the road to the Sword Coast, winter arrived from the north. Snow fell thick and heavy and was covering the City of Splendors when the Jade Blade arrived. They made their way to the Inn of the Dripping Dagger, an establishment made famous by the Company of Crazed Venturers.
The Dripping Dagger lived up to its reputation as the birthplace of many adventures when the Jade Blade were approached by Felgan, the stablemaster of House Eltorchul. Lady Arus Eltorchul, the matron of the house, was in need of some adventurers and wanted to meet with them the next day.
Having no leads for Otar yet, our heroes agreed and met with Arus at her villa. The Eltorchul House was troubled recently by a series of deaths. Over the course of the past three days, Chassie the Chambermaid, Silas the cook, and finally Cargull, captain of the Sea Lion, were found frozen to death. In Cargull’s hand was a small locket that Arus gave to her daughter, Errya. That locket was buried when Errya went missing two years ago; she was presumed dead after she was not found for months.
Although she tried to hide it, Arus was scared and wanted something done quickly. Arus suggested that the adventurers begin their investigation at the Eltorchul tomb in the City of the Dead, since that was where Errya’s effects were entombed. She gave them a writ granting them permission to enter the tomb and a signet ring that would open the door.
The Jade Blade made their way to the tomb, bypassing the City Watch. A shrine to Mystra and Azuth filled the center of the tomb while crypts lined the walls. Strangely, the inside of the tomb was covered in ice. Our heroes ventured deeper into the tomb, and a small white dragon emerged from one of the crypts. It flew about, breathing frost, while biting and clawing at the adventurers. Even after the dragon was slain, two questions hung over the Jade Blade: why was the tomb coated in ice, and how did a dragon get into a tomb in the City of the Dead in Waterdeep?
The answer lay within Errya’s crypt. The sarcophagus bore the likeness of a beautiful, long-haired woman with a stern expression, but it was empty when the freeswords opened it. Through magical divinations, the Jade Blade realized that the interior was actually a portal. With some lucky experimentation, they discovered that the portal was activated by spells that used cold, but their experimentation triggered the portal and the adventurers were whisked away.
Our heroes found themselves standing in heavy snow in the middle of a blizzard. The wind howled around them, but over the noise of the wind they could hear the bellowed cry “Trespassers!” and a giant charged them through the snow. The frost giant was not a simple brute; he had learned the secret of hexes. His study of curses did not save him, however, and the Jade Blade cut him down to size.
Nearby was a cave coated in ebony ice that ran deep into a cliffside. The adventurers were ambushed by a pack of winter wolves. Having dealt with the wolves, the Jade Blade met Silas and Chassie who were now frozen vampiric spawn, driven to attack the adventurers by the command of whatever had created them, but they too fell before our heroes.
Winning their passage forward, a narrow path opened into a large cavern where a raven-haired woman stood whose likeness matched that on Errya’s sarcophagus. She was far too pale to be alive, and she radiated cold. “I should have expected Arus to send adventurers to deal with her dirty laundry,” she said, revealing pointed vampiric teeth.
The Jade Blade charged into the cavern, and Errya summoned wolves and a displacer beast changed into a creature of ice to defend her. During the course of the fight, our heroes drew out of Errya why she was killing the members of the Eltorchul family. Arus had disapproved of Errya’s choice in lovers. With cold ruthlessness, Arus had Errya’s lover killed and her own daughter left for dead in the wilderness. Though she survived, Errya gave herself to Auril who granted her the gift of vampirism so that she could enact her revenge on her mother.
The Jade Blade defeated Errya and her servants, but the vampire turned into mist and seeped away through a crack in the ice. Unable to follow, they returned through the portal to Waterdeep. Arus refused to speak of her family affairs when our heroes told her that she was being stalked by her vampiric daughter. Instead, Arus left for the warm lands of Sembia before the sun set. I suppose she is still there, haunted by the thought that somewhere her daughter is out there and her hatred will last as long as there is snow on the Spine of the World.
©1995-2008 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.