Reign of Winter

The Price of Power

A bardic tale as told by Seph'endrell

With the winter wight defeated the Horsemen were free to loot her treasure room. Among its bounty was an elaborate crown, the symbol of Baba Yaga’s power bestowed upon the former ruler of that decayed queendom.

Upon Dusk touching the crown, all the Horsemen had a vision showing the crown on the head of the creature they had met outside of keep when they first arrived. The friendly being who had told them about this place. His head was crowned…and in a box. Then the vision changed to a road and then to Vigliv. The meaning was clear: in order to return to the Vigliv and continue their quest, the Horsemen needed to put the man’s crowned head in a box.

Once again the Horsemen faced a cruel decision in which there would be no victory for anyone. In order to return from where they came, they would have to compromise their moral character and murder someone. If they didn’t they could be trapped on that desolate steppe forever while Golarion fell to eternal winter. Baba Yaga plays the most wicked games even with those holding her fate.

Midnight recommended simply ambushing and killing him as they needed his head and he wasn’t going to willingly part with it, but Dawn convinced him and the others that the only way to preserve honor would be to allow him to know the situation. Thus the Horsemen came to the creatures tent, and magnificent Dawn did speak such honeyed words that if they could be repeated here would surely convince many of you to give unto her your lives and limbs willingly. Oh the beauty of her soliloquy on the necessity of heinous acts in service of the greater good!

Alas, a div and his head are not so easily parted by words as they are by swords, and when it became clear that he would not acquiesce, the Wolf bore down on him with her blades. The divs allies assailled the minds of the Horsemen, but were fought back by Midnight’s glory. Midnight turned there own trickery against them, enchanting them so that they were unable to even attempt to cause the Horsemen further harm. However, it was too late for the div managed to escape after taking grievous wounds and magically reducing Dusk to cinders after the fiery horseman had unleashed a storm of lightning.

The Horsemen did not even mourn for their lost rider as they knew that death was but a short reprieve and nothing but the completion of their quest would allow any of them to finally be free.

Without the head, the Horsemen tossed into the box the crown and the div’s scattered gore scraped from the ground. It was enough to transport them back to Vigliv. Once again, the Crone had the last laugh. All that bloodshed was unnecessary as only some of the div’s blood was necessary to complete the ritual.

And that was how the Horsemen retrieved the Crone’s power. Her life, death, and blood remained.

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electriccat Dbreker

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