Our story begins with the players being members of a small Aquilonian mercenary company known as the Red Knightmare. The 3 party members have been in the company for over a year and have become firm friends, despite being assigned to different sections of the mercenary company. The Red Knightmare has been slowly working its way north, taking various contracts. Currently it is in the employ of the Vanir in raiding settlements in Asgard with a contingent of Vanir warriors. This is going well so far and the next morning the mercenaries are going to raid one last settlement before the mountain passes back to Vanaheim close for the deep winter. Kulgas, the company commander, plans to winter in Vanaheim and then travel back to the south the following year, hopefully to find a good profitable war to join…..
The three players are sitting around a campfire in Asgard. They meet a Vanir guide Heimdul and introduce themselves before sharing a skin of mead with Kulgas himself, who arrives and shares their fire for a brief time.
In the early morning, just before dawn the PCs form up as the band prepares to assault its final target. The PCs have been assigned to a reserve infantry unit, designed to plug gaps in the battle line if necessary. As the mercenary band and a contingent of Vanir close on the settlement the players notice something is wrong, but before they can shout a warning the village huts begin to disgorge large numbers of warriors and more ambush them from the sides through the trees and snow. Horribly outnumbered The Red Knightmare begins a fighting retreat but it is unlikely many will escape the tide of northern warriors. It seems the Aesir grew tired of being attacked and several settlements banded together to punish these ‘soft’ southern raiders.
The PCs, realizing they need to avoid death or capture, fall back to the baggage train to find horses and salvage equipment that they will need to survive the cold climate. They have a small scuffle (introduction to combat system for the PCs) with Aesir warriors already raiding the baggage and manage to escape with winter clothing, food and much needed provisions.
The Aesir warriors are likely to hound any surviving mercenaries and Vanir tribesmen back to the western mountain range with Vanaheim and so the party decide to set for the south towards Cimmeria. On horseback they swiftly outdistance their on foot pursuers and head into the mountains.
The party travels into the mountains through one of the few passes that remain open. They maintain a swift pace as they have to get clear of the mountains before nightfall as the temperature will drop rapidly and its already late afternoon! As they continue on they come to a giant glacier over which the path crosses. Taking care they barely manage to avoid falling into a snow covered crevasse and eventually cross to the other side where the path turns and goes between the steep mountainside and glacier.
They continue on for a half hour or so. As they come to a curve in the glacier they hear a scream off to the left. Through the falling snow they manage to make out a beautiful woman in white furs surrounded by 9 wild hillmen….