Day of the Parrot (11th), to the morning of the Dove (12th), Seed Moon, Year of the Burning Mountain
As the storm raged outside, the heroes raced to stop Khaakht’s sorcerous ritual!
Beyond the door at the top of the stairs, three floating hooded figures with cold claws and pulsating colours instead of faces guarded a door to the rooftop. They were immune to metal, but staff, mace and magic did the trick.
The door led to steps down to the roof, beneath a huge water tower. Pulsing lights and chanting could be heard from the door on the other building. The wind howled and almost blew Aranduil away. Fortunately he was roped to the others.
Ghostly Khaakt stood over the headless bones of a long-dead Mingol warlord, flanked by two Aurora Wraiths. Ice Gnomes guarded the door while two more held down a prisoner and prepared to grow an avak tree through him, Christian and Ockasiola fought the Ice Gnomes while Yucta and Aranduil faced off against the wraiths with their cold heart-stopping claws. Cunelas jumped over the gnomes and brandished his weapons. Gaining advantage, Christian pushed through the guards and sliced one of the gnomes holding the prisoner. He pulled the man free just as the other gnome started to sprout the fast-growing avak.
Aranduil tried to punish Khaaakht, only to find It was a ghost or projection. Instead he transformed into an eagle, grabbed the skeletal torso in his talons and flew into the blizzard. Khaakt’s ritual was ruined. Its ghost vanished. The last Aurora wraith also escaped in a glowing sphere of colours. With a huge tearing of timbers Khaakt’s icy black sphere launched into the air, destroying the water tower in the process, and sped off to the north. Immediately the blizzard ceased and an unnatural (or maybe natural) silence filled the air.
Dawn of the Dove
Khaakht was gone, and the unnatural winter was suddenly gone too, as Aranduil observed in eagle form high above the city. Stars peeked out from formerly impenetrable clouds.
Next day, pasty Lankhmarts staggered into the streets to greet the sun for the first time in weeks.
Christian interrogated the surviving Ice Gnome, who admitted to serving Khaakht in all things, but he didn’t know much about Its plans. Christian let the gnome go after swearing never to return to the frozen north.
The prisoner’s name was Wurhul; he didn’t know why he’d been chosen as the final sacrifice for icy Khaakht’s ritual. Ockasiola suggested he pay his respects to Storm Bull’s temple in the Street of the Gods.
Aranduil stayed in eagle form all night, and returned to the destroyed water tower, where he gathered a few scrolls in his claws.