A Cold Welcome (XP: Pending)
- Continuing the search of the new layout of the hut, the party find another door. Entering, they find a lush garden and another raven flies down and asks that they find the answer of what the inhabitant in the next room wants. Entering, a simple bedroom is found with a blood splattered bedspread. Rising from the stain, a strangely formed, incorporeal figure that resembled the precious Queen of Irrisen lashes out in pain and ire. It is but a mere echo of the Queen, a dream turned real that suffers at its situation. With a deadly touch, it strikes into Traiel before turning its more insidious powers onto the others. Frustrated by its continued failure, it starts responding in rage to the questions thrown at it. She / it only wants freedom from Baba Yaga’s torment, revenge and fear long gone, only the release of freedom driving her on. The party are rewarded with another amulet and clue after dispatching her.
- Back at the main room, they finally realise that the hut’s corridor subtly turns and creates a tri-cornered loop. The door that was previously locked opposite now stands slightly open. Inside, a man can be seen waiting with his back to the party, guarding the sole entrance and exit to the hut. He is very surprised to see people come from inside the hut and her introduces himself as Ratibor the Bold, an old Iobarian warlord before he made an unwise pact with Baba Yaga. He is now cursed to stand guard here and prevent anyone that is not Baba Yaga from entering.
- Stepping out, the party find themselves in a snow covered forest, the morning cold but bright. As Traiel looks for a sense of direction, several Frost Giants are spied preparing to assault the hut. Suddenly more emerge, a large ambush force and the party scramble to retreat to inside the hut but find their path blocked by Ratibor, who pushes back both Traiel and Greta before succumbing to one of Solveig’s spells. With Sir Wyran and Moss holding the line until all the rest are inside, the party successfully enter the hut and neutralize the held barbarian. With Zorka’s guidance, Katarina awakens the Dancing Hut and it charges into the attacking giants with great velocity. The giant force fall quickly to the powerful bite, claws and abilities of the hut.
- With the area secured, the party decide to ride the hut through the forest. After a short while, several bands of centaurs are seen keeping pace with the vehicle and come forward once it stops. They are suspicious of the party as they know well the symbol of Baba Yaga. Still, they are convinced that the party are not hostile and agree to lead them, not the hut, to the camp so that they may speak with their chieftain.
- Hidden away under the giant boughs of Hoofwood, a camp of centaurs are found, numbering almost one hundred. Welcomed by the chief, they are given recognition for the destruction of their hated enemies, the frost giants. They are given information of the lands of Iobaria, from the great cliffs to the East, the white dragon and his frost giant minions to the North. Artrosa, Those Who Watch are well known to all the centaur clans but they do not go there out of superstition. They know they were built by Baba Yaga after she cursed Kostchtchie and destroyed his armies. They forever watch to make sure he does not slink into Golarion and try and rise to power again. It is well known that the three enormous structures are riddled with dungeons. He agrees to offer the party the service of one of one of his scouts to lead them there safely, a youthful but energetic female centaur who shows great interest in their exploits.
- Welcomed to train, drink and share stories with the centaurs that night, the party are given their own tent to sleep in. During the early hours, Katarina notices three strange shapes circling the tend before they cut their way in and attack. The three creatures are a rare type of demon, commonly known as misogyny demons, great, white furred ape like beasts that are feral and brutal. Some slow to awake, the party find themselves being overrun before fighting back and slaying the creatures. Outside in the centaur camps, fighting can be heard and it seems these were not the only ones. The centaurs have never seen them before and the three had snuck past a lot of centaurs to get to their tent.