Ninjas were leaping out of alcoves hidden up near the ceiling of the room. The party soon found four ninjas coming at them. Elsa, her eyes still enhanced by Suishen, saw an invisible Thorborg Silverskorr flying up to another alcove in the room.
Rehoofa fired off arrows and Elsa and Ulf went in swinging their weapons. Marcel held back, tossing off insults and threats to throw the ninjas off-balance. Elsa went up under the alcove Thorborg had taken cover in, Suishen telling her that it could give her the power to go up and fight. Elsa challenged Thorborg to come down, and Thorborg snickered. Moments later Thorborg’s shed human skin hit the ground, while Thorborg’s voice overhead became deeper and more sinister.
Elsa and Ulf were wounded by the ninjas, but Rehoofa shot them down. Elsa, imbued with the ability to walk on air by Suishen, ran upwards to the alcove Thorborg had flown up to. She saw what Thorborg looked like under her skin: she had transformed into a giant, orange-skinned beast, which Marcel would identify as an Ogre Mage. The party had found Kimandatsu, the true leader of the Frozen Shadows.
Kimandatsu fired giant arrows, badly wounding Rehoofa. When Elsa came into melee range, it took out a giant studded club and pounded her mercilessly, while Elsa struggled to wield Suishen. Elsa was battered into unconsciousness, and Suishen ended the air-walking spell, allowing her to fall to the waiting arms of Ulf underneath her. Spivey, hiding in Elsa’s backpack with the fresh healing wand, worked quickly to heal Elsa back to consciousness. Rehoofa tried to shoot down Kimandatsu, but she revealed her ability to bat arrows out of the air.
Kimandatsu, sensing victory at hand, discarded her bow, took up her club, and leapt down to fight the party in melee. Her enormous body and long arms let her reach almost anywhere in the room. The party found itself in a tight spot.
Marcel’s insults and intimidation kept Kimandatsu off-balance, however. Kimandatsu tried to take out Rehoofa, but found that his martial training and dwarven anti-giant training made him nigh impossible to hit. Frustrated, she turned her attacks on the others, battering them around while Spivey struggled to keep them on their feet. She was impressed the party had gotten the sword to awaken, but also said that it didn’t have to be like this: any of them, especially Elsa, could join the Frozen Shadows instead. The party was not swayed by this offer, however.
Kimandatsu was not only strong, but also heavily armored, making her difficult to land blows on. She was also able to regenerate, healing damage almost as fast as the party could deal it through her armor. As if that weren’t enough, after days of combat, Rehoofa was running very short of arrows. However, Kimandatsu’s luck began to run thin: bit by bit, the party wore her down. She was considering pulling back to heal up, but then by chance Ulf, Rehoofa, and Elsa with Suishen all hit at once, cutting her down.
Elsa quickly made sure Kimandatsu would stay down, using Suishen to slice off the Ogre mage’s head. The party secured the rest of the room and healed up, and Rehoofa investigated for the secret door they’d heard about. Eventually his dwarven stonecunning tingled, and he spotted a part of the wall that could be swung away. He pushed the wall open, revealing a cold hallway beyond.
The party went down the hallway, finding one door behind which was a large, surly, cold-infused wolf. The wolf was intelligent and able to speak, suspecting the party as the latest trick by Kimandatsu. It began to believe the party when they showed it Kimandatsu’s head, and when they unshackled its chained foot.
The party noticed that the wolf only had one ear, and they remembered the town of Wolf’s Ear, worshipping a one-eared white wolf named “Sky’s Knee” in Druidic. When they brought this up, the wolf groaned, asking if they were some other batch of humans searching for whatever wisdom it supposedly had. It said that some time in the past it had fought off hunters, only to find it had unintentionally saved a group of werewolves, who saw it as their savior. It also corrected the party on its name: Skygni.
Elsa was enthusiastic about Skygni joining their caravan, but Rehoofa was worried about what a giant frost-wolf would do in a caravan full of horses and other animals. Skygni, tired and still surly, said it would think about it, and left. It mentioned that it had smelled an elf getting dragged past its cell, and so far no dead body had been taken away.
Emboldened, the party went on to the last cell, where they found Kaellara chained to a wall, half-submerged in a puddle of icy water. The elf was half-naked and shivering, having clearly been kept there for a long time. She looked around blindly when the door opened. The reason for this was clear shortly afterwards: disembodied helmets rose up out of the walls, blasting the party with blinding light. Rehoofa quickly found himself blinded. Elsa fought with a Flaming Sphere while Rehoofa shot blindly. The helmets were a nasty surprise, but ultimately went down.
The party freed Kaellara, Rehoofa saying if they were anywhere else he’d be challenging her to a blind archery contest. He was a bit upset at not being able to gloat over her; it was hard to look superior when blindly fumbling down the halls.
The party pulled Kaellara back to the furnace room the trolls had been working in, where the fire helped warm her back up. Marcel turned to his kitsune form and cuddled up to her, lending his body heat. After a time, Kaellara had recovered enough to put her gear back on. She signed – translated by Ulf – that the blindness would pass in an hour or so. She also thanked the party, and asked if Maia was all right.
Suishen was impressed that the party had recruited a snowcaster elf, remarking that she would be helpful in a journey over the Crown of the World. Suishen also seemed accepting of the party being full of shapeshifters, Marcel and Elsa both being able to change their appearance. It said that it has seen many combat styles over the years, but so long as it is wielded by a warrior, it should be happy.
The party wanted to investigate the rest of Ravenscraeg, but Ulf decided that he had what he’d come for. Ulf escorted Kaellara away, leaving the party to look around.
The party looked around thoroughly, looting Kimandatsu, the ninjas, and the entire upper levels of Ravenscraeg, which they hadn’t looked at yet. They found a few trinkets and treasures along the way, and also found the nest of Wodes, now abandoned. There was no sign of the giant raven himself, however.
The party made several trips, filling up their horses and cart with loot from Ravenscraeg, then set out for Kalsgard, ready to finally set things to rest.