Glacial Wastes Mission Report 9: The Heroic Battle of Mt. Sandspire


The mountain seemed to have much larger amounts of sandstone than the surrounding quartz that made up much of the nearby mountain range.

At the top of the mountain was a hole going deep into the top of the mountain. From that hole issued a nearly constant spire of swirling sand. Like a sandstorm held in position it was quite a sight as travelers approached the mountain.

It seemed hard to believe that such a magestic spire could be naturally occurring, but none knew about its origins or its cause. And Grim was deeply worried about attack by subterrainean foes. His tunnel rat training told him Pelonious’ army couldn’t break through the walls of the citadel, they could tunnel beneath them.

As a result, Crackler Watt, administrator of Mt. Sandspire brought the bastard hero to the lowest depths, beyond secret doors and past enough K’iorn soldiers that Grim wondered if they had a full wartribe here.

It was odd. Many of those K’iorn he saw in positions of power were all Greyfalcons. Their grey skin and pallid look at odds with the many hued skin tones of the other K’iorn. The other K’iorn had facial features and other characteristics that made Grim wonder if they had at once point been serving under the Icewyrms or closely related to those K’iorn who currently served the Icewyrms.

Crackler Watt introduced Grim to a Greyfalcon K’iorn who was the final guard at the door leading to the lowest levels. Crackler Watt said, “Grim allow me to introduce you to Dra’khan Valdessa Nar’an, our last surviving Dra’khan. She has faithfully defended us from the caverns below for a long…long time.”

This piqued Grim’s interest, why would these people need a Dra’khan to protect them from below?
He gave a deeply respectful set of handgestures and bows to the impressive warrior-diplomat, trying to remember many pleasantries that he rarely used from the ancient days.

Some seemed to be lost on Valdessa, but Grim did not she responded quite favorably to his gesture wishing her the blessings of Lord Falos. She smiled suddenly, and Grim was nearly bowled over by how her face lit up.

“Grim, may the blessings of Lord Falos be upon you as well. I have heard a little of you from those who emigrated from the warring aeries in the last few months. They speak of your bravery, and character,” said Valdessa, “I am very pleased to meet you. It is rare for a daggagoa to have such a reputation. But I must caution you, the floors below are not safe for most travelers.”

“What dangers reside there?” Grim asked, noting that Valdessa’s leyas aura showed she had some genuine concern for him.

“Nightmares, Falsewyrms and Fleshworms mostly,” said Valdessa, “But they are protected from light down there. An unfortunate side effect of the artificings that keep the Sandspire in motion.”

“So artifacts keep the sandspire in motion?” asked Grim, pleased to hear this news.

“Yes, I will show you, but you must make sure none of your explosives detonate down there,” said Valdessa with genuine concern, “Any damage to the artificing array that keeps the Sandspire in motion could cause the spire to shift occilation and shear right through the walls and floors of the citadel, killing everyone above us.”

Grim looked down at the cigar he was about to light, shrugged, and put it away unlit.

Valdessa shaped the wood of the door open, and she and Grim went down the stairs into the darkness below Mt. Sandspire.


Part 1: The Battle of Mt. Sandspire

The IceGuard army smashed against the walls of the citadel time and time again. Their steam waves washing up, and forced the Greyfalcon archers back behind their ramparts. As the waves of steam finally pased, the archers stepped out. Each of their arrows had a shaft made of shaped wood and a tip made of artificed crystal. As one the archers fired, their discipline quite amazing. Their arrows streaked down, the artificed crystals at their tips igniting them into incinerators which melted row after row of IceGuard. The incinerators also broke the Leyas shields held up by the IceGuard. A few IceGuards had held, and fired up at the archers who were momentarily exposed.

But it was not with steam, like the previous attack. Instead the IceGuards called to the water in the bodies of the archers. In that one moment twenty of the archers were struck and burst like blood balloons. The water in their blood flowed down to the IceGuard, and the IceGuard began weaving the blood into a lattice armor above them to set off the arrows before they reached them.

A Greyfalcon Dra’koon stepped out and commanded, “Out of line of sight.”
And the archers dived back behind cover. And the waves of steam continued.

From his position up on a high armored balcony, Vadim looked down in disdain, and said, “This is unacceptable. I will not have my citadel disrespected by these IceGuard. But more concerning, I cannot send my soldiers against them in close combat. The Ice-Heart Worms that Pelonious has been sprouting makes any attacks quite dangerous.”

Nuria smiled at that said, “Actually we have cleared an entire mine of those Ice-Heart Worms. And I know we can kill them with fire. The question is how do we destroy so many IceGuard?”

“If only I had my old Cult kit from my airship,” replied Vadim, firing off a pair of fireballs to clear out the Ice-heart Worms spawning from Pelonious’ chest.

“Why?” asked Nuria, suspicious of the strange K’iorn due to what Nereel Pyreen had told her in her dreams.

Vadim leaned in close enough only she could hear him and he said, “I’ve done a lot of jobs, honey. I’ve done deep cover work with the Warmonger Cult and with the Cult of the Horned Dog. All my old cult relics and undercover gear was hidden on my old bosses airship. He was a real deal true believer Warmonger Cultist, but he is long dead and believe you me he deserved it.

In my deep cover kit there was a rod, it was given to my boss by Warmonger for taking out the lesser evils serving the other Ancient Evils. When I arrived on this planet the Ancient Evils were virtually unknown here, it was idyllic in that way. So I left it along with some other less than savory relics.”

Nuria smiled a half smile and replied, “What if I were to tell you I may have discovered your crash site?”

Vadim backed away with a look of concern. Then seemed to calm down looking at her aura.

“You are clean of the taint of the Warmonger,” he said matter-of-factly, “So…the rod?”

“Yes,” she lifted it up and showed it to him, wondering if he was going to try and steal it. Her other hand lingered on the holdout springshot.

“Excellent news, Nuria,” he said with a genuine smile, “You must take the rod and press it to Pelonious. If you succeed it should drive all of his IceGuard army from this dimension and return them to the frozen styx of V’crios.”

“So one touch and we win,” said Nuria, “That seems easier than defeating the whole army in combat. Where are Eli and Lurtor? I could use his help delivering this weapon to the target.”


Part 2: The Secret of Mt. Sandspire

Grim and Valdessa were standing in a chamber that was large and had been built by hands far larger and older than humanity’s. In fact looking at the familiar strange stone brick, made from what seemed to be a hardened ooze, Grim recognized it as the same building material used at the Transit point. Grim was impressed again to see how extensive the Nightmare Lord settlement of Refuge had been before the K’ias Wars.

This location was some sort of orbital defense weapon. Or at least that was what Grim first thought as he saw the many varied artifacts set up around the chamber. Some shaped the sandstone from the ground. Others ground it up, and yet others took that material and hurled it upward. Further up the channel in the ceiling there were artifacts designed to catch the airborne sand, grit and rock and make it truly fly.

Grim was amazed, and a little surprised when Valdessa shared her own investigations, “The Sandspire is a production tool. On the levels of this structure closer to the surface where this structure meets the Citadel that Vadim had us build, there are old chambers. Chambers where bodies of animals of all sizes could be restrained while the sandspire scoured the flesh from their bones. It seems the ancient builders of this place used it to cut metal as well. There were forges here when we first arrived that were moved from the basements to the upper levels. The ancient builders of this place would gather metal ores and melt them into large sheets. Then use sections of the sandspire to achieve different cuts in the metal. Whoever the ancient builders of this place were, they were not knowledgeable about even basic Earth Leyas use. Which seems strange.”

“You don’t know who built this?” asked Grim, not surprised. If he hadn’t experienced this material used in bricks at the Transit Point he would have never recognized that material here.

“No unfortunately. For hundreds of years I have studied the artificings that cause the Sandspire to oscillate but other than being able to direct its force into the sky above this location, and the skies above the mountain range, I have found little meaningful use to it.
Though the Sandspire did protect us from IceWyrm attack when we first moved here,” said Valdessa.

She brought Grim to a chamber that clearly had a control crystal tied into the walls with some obviously Nightmare flesh technology. He knew it and recognized the control crystal as one that could target the Sandspire.

He turned to her knowing any action he did there might be testing his luck.

“Well these wall will prevent the IceGuards from coming in through the ground, which is good, but what if you could use the Sandspire to make a strike the IceGuard army…
I think we can disrupt their formations and get a direct shot at Pelonious. Is there a way we can call up to Vadim and Crackler Watt?” he asked.

Valdessa lifted up a commcrystal and activated it. There was a momentary hum and what sounded like music from the High King’s court which Grim had only heard once in his youth. Then it switched and Crackler Watt’s voice could be heard.


Part 3: The Firing of Mt. Sandspire

There was a sound like a roaring storm, and the Sandspire fired off a swirling cone of sand, rock and grit that looked like a Sandstorm and that cut deeply into the ranks of the IceGuard. There was crackling ice, and melting water everywhere, but Nuria was single minded. She knew that Valdessa’s activation of the Sandspire had bought them precious moments.

In the aftermath of the faux -andstorm ran Nuria. As IceGuards began reforming around her, she watched as one after another was blasted down by magi cannon fire from the shadows. Lurtor was watching out for her, and each time an IceGuard was close enough to attack Lurtor fired first.

Nuria leapt between rubble, finally fire leaping directly towards Pelonious. The General looked up at her in confusion and then bellowed with laughter, “You cannot hurt me, soft fleshling.”

But Nuria didn’t seek to hurt him, and her rod connected with his chest.

There was a popping noise, and the sound like all the air had been sucked from the area. And Nuria nearly held her breath for a moment, but then sound returned and she saw she and Pelonious were now alone in the field.

Pelonious looked around awestruck and grimaced, “Nicely done, Fire General, though I expected you to wait until we had each gathered our armies before beginning this.”

Pelonious raised a hand and Nuria found herself frozen. She focused on melting herself free as the IceGuard General advanced towards her. Pelonious formed a pair of claws of sharpest ice and raised one back to behead Nuria then thought better of it, remembering the moment back at the Frozen Homeforge.

But he never noticed a white boulder, fake of course, made from paper mache. In fact had it been any Leyas User, then Pelonious would have easily seen the hiding figure. But the man inside the fake rock was none other than Eli McGraw. The immutable was invisible in the Leyas, and therefore not even a single bit of aura leaked out to reveal his deception. In a world where people regularly altered reality, that was what Pelonious was looking for and never noticed the practical art effects that Eli had used to make the disguise.

Eli watched Pelonious hesitate over Nuria and didn’t make the same mistake. His revolver bucked twice and the IceGuard’s head exploded into hundreds of shards. At that moment the ice in Pelonious chest tried to form into a face, and Eli’s other gun hand came up and the gun bucked twice striking Pelonious’ chest face and exploding that.

The ground near Pelonious was covered in the writhing of dangerous Ice-heart Worms. From the shadows fired the Magi Cannons of Lurtor, cooking Ice-Heart Worms and popping them. By the time the magi cannon blasts stopped, not a single Ice-Heart Worm remained.

Looking at the shattered and melted body of Pelonious IceGuard, Nuria felt no sadness at his destruction. The IceGuard was no more, and in her Leyas sight, Nuria could see the icy image of the Warmonger Cult symbol floating over his corpse. It cracked and sparked for a second before fading away.

From what she had learned in her dreams, Nuria knew that this meant the Frost General would select a new person. She wondered would it be someone out here on the Glacial Wastes or someone from the distant shores. With her luck it would be someone nearby, but she had no way of knowing.

Maybe Nereel Pyreen had a way to track down the new general. She knew he didn’t want to see the Frost General exceed his own successes.



Grim, Lurtor, Nuria and Eli McGraw all stood proudly before the assembled leadership of Mt. Sandspire. At their lead was none other than Vadim, and at his side was a young Greyfalcon female that looked vaguely related to him. He reached into a box she carried and pulled forth a Crown adorned with a small Falcon iconography.

He placed the first one on Grim’s head, then another on the heads of Nuria, Eli and Lurtor. Vadim turned first towards Crackler Watt with a nod, and then said, “Today we honor the heroes of Mt. Sandspire. Nuria, Eli, Lurtor and Grim. They stood by our side and helped defend us from an army of planar beings whose powers far exceeded our own.

The people of Mt. Sandspire have served honorably and bravely for more time that I care to recount, but never before has an army of planar beings put our people at risk. The many defenses of Mt. Sandspire kept us safe in the past, but a new threat comes our way.

The Armies of Warmonger sail their vessels towards us. Pelonious IceGuard was the first of the Warmonger forces to reach us, and far from the last. We will stand beside Lurtor, Nuria, Eli and Grim as they defend this coastline from the Armies of Warmonger.”

Vadim cleared his throat and continued, “Our nation of Mt. Sandspire recognizes Lurtor and Grim as Princes of Jemison Post, and recognize Eli McGraw as Prince of McGraw Harbor, and Nuria as Princess of the Mines of Nuria. This nation also recognize the sovereignty and independence of these settlements.”

Buffy waited until after Vadim finished his speech and asked, “So other than the beautiful crown, are there any other benefits for this rank of Prince?”

Crackler Watt answered her, “Back on the Prison Dimension, a principality under the Falcon tribes meant you had their protection. I doubt the Falcon tribes would recognize it, but any traditionalist K’iorn and K’iou on this planet would recognize the sigil of the High King’s honor on your husband’s brow and give him the respect normally only given to a Dra’koon. He will of course have to show the respect worthy of his rank.”

“And when they ask where he got it from?” she quipped.

“He would be better served saying he received it from the Government of the Great Hec’ath, than mentioning my master Vadim,” said Crackler Watt, tapping a finger on his own nose, “Technically, my master Vadim should only be granting these to Princes who serve the High King loyally. But I think your husband’s display of heroism today might be considered enough. If they ask any probing questions just tell them he killed off one of Warmonger’s Generals to earn it.”



Eli, Grim, Lurtor and Nuria gain a Crown of the High King’s Favor. This crown will allow them access to diplomatic and ambassador meetings with the Falosini and any Children of the Falosini settlement (except the Aerie of the Doomwyrms). While this crown is worn it will prevent the wearer from being possessed by any Mind Control ability from any creature. Works for both Leyas Users and Immutables. Crown has an A.R. of 2 while worn. This A.R. cannot be combined with other helms.

They also gain an influx of resources to build one building at their settlement. They may choose between A) A new Hotel (has 100 rooms) or B) A new Caravan Depot building (includes four caravan vehicles that can bring trade goods to and from other settlements) or C) An Airship Depot (this comes with No airships, but is a trade hub that can dock up to seven Airships) or D) A Vault (like a bank except it holds items for the settlement and the player’s character in a secure way.)


After the Credits roll…

Belinda Frost walked out from the igloo. She was dressed in fur robes and carried a heavy bundle of firewood towards the fire pit. She laid it down, and lifted up the first of the pieces of wood. Dropping it down, the fire pit crackled to life again.

From across the snow a single mound moved through the snow towards her with the speed of a predator. It weaved past obstacles coming to a stop a few feet behind the former merc. Finally a white fur head popped up, giving her a greedy looking smile.

Belinda Frost looked over and smiled at the little face in the snow.

“How goes the hunt, Snowy Touch?” asked Belinda throwing another log on the fire.

“When I lived among the Hobtla Mag’ol I always dreamed of seeing wood like this,” said the white fur Olgog, “But I never imagined burning it for heat.”

“Unless you know some Fire Leyas,” said Belinda, “Its the only way we are going to cook dinner.”

The white fur olgog lifted up a corpse of a Tsoga. The beast had a head very similar to a crocodile with eyes and ears that looked more wolf-like, with a wolf-like body with webbed paws. It was massively muscled, and Snowy Touch had a wound on his shoulder that bled freely.

“A Tsoga? Aren’t these creatures sacred to the Baribur?” asked Belinda.

“They hunt Snowy Touch, so Snowy Touch hunt them,” smiled the white fur showing teeth filed to points, “They stay away, Snowy Touch stay away.”

“Yes, indeed,” she said, converting her own life force to heal the wound. Flesh was restored, fur had grown back, and the broken bone underneath knitted.

“Thank you,” said the Olgog. Using his now operable opposing hand to to begin stripping the flesh and fur from the Tsoga there was an odd irony to his action. Finally with a pile of steaming hides next to him, he began passing Belinda strips of muscle meat. She stuck them on sticks and planted the opposite end into the snowy soil so they hung out over the fire pit.

She waited while crouching, smelling the wonderful smell of the cooking meat and licked her lips. Meanwhile, Snowy Touch was merrily munching on the uncooked entrails. She saw him wipe away a combination of intestines and other darker materials from his lips and she nearly gagged.

While Snowy Touch busied himself with working with the hides, Belinda enjoyed the smell of the cooking meat. In many ways it was her closest connection to civilization. It had been months since her Merc gang and family had been wiped out by Nuria, Grim, Lurtor and Eli McGraw.

She had discovered Snowy Touch hiding in the woods months ago and had crafted the little Olgog a fine spear with a tip made from the clippings she collected so long ago. She viewed the white fur like a little brother crossed with a pet. Belinda and Snowy Touch had found a good compromise and lived well together, but they were not alone.

Always off in the woods was the brown and blue bestial. Its eyes on them. Watching and menacing.

Belinda finally got annoyed, “Blizzard Blue, get over here you big doof. There is at least a pair of raw legs that Snowy Touch won’t be able to finish. Snowy…Snowy…cut them off. Toss 'em to Blizzard Blue.”

The white fur ripped off one leg after another and tossed them in the general direction of the bestial in the woods, but close enough it was within the clearing. The bestial loped from the treeline, picking up both legs in one hand and plopping down onto its knees.

Blizzard Blue said, “Thank you Belinda. And thank you Snowy Touch. I have spent the day watching for the signal lights of the fleet. Tiordane says they are on the way. And we must prepare.”

Belinda wasn’t sure if she could trust Tiordane, but Blizzard Blue seemed to worship the Illuminated. She smelled the meat and it was ready. Pulling out the cooked skewers, she dropped a little sea salt on top of the meat. Then she let them cool watching Snowy Touch and Blizzard Blue reduce the corpse of the Tsoga to nothing more than bones. Snowy Touch formed a helmet from the Tsoga Skull and some sinew. Blizzard Blue was using bits of sinew and leather to bind the bones together into armor for the little guy.

Belinda picked up the skewer and smiled. For a moment, she felt at home for the first time in a long time. She took a bite. It tasted a bit gamey but tastier than she expected. Like a cross between steak and fish.

Since moving to the forests it had been easier than out on the ice sheet. Snowy Touch had a good sense for ambush hunting and he had kept them all well fed. Blizzard Blue had kept away the Wild Giants, Devourers, and other large predators from their camp.

She chewed and enjoyed the pleasure of the bite.

Then Blizzard Blue’s eyes went up and settled upon an approaching Illuminated dressed in blue-black knight’s armor. The Illuminated seemed familiar and then Blizzard Blue grew concerned as he recognized her.

“Good to see you again, Blizzard Blue,” said Unixah Kal Hobtla Mag’ol.

“My lady,” said the bestial pressing his head to the floor.

Belinda Frost got up from where she sat, angry that her enjoyment of a family moment was ruined.

“Who are you and what do you want?” asked Belinda.

“I am Unixah Kal Hobtla Mag’ol,” said Unixah.

“I have heard of the Hobtla Mag’ol but they are all Olgogs,” said Belinda still unimpressed.

“I am the true ruler of those lands, and my grasp will extend even this far before I am through,” said Unixah, “But you are no fool. And I did not trek to the middle of nowhere. I did, to meet with you. Belinda Frost, you have suffered deeply, and you have faced a great many losses.
What if I could offer you vengeance on those that wronged you?”

“What is the price? Everything has a cost,” countered Belinda.

“The price…there is no price you would not pay,” said Unixah, “But the price is simply the death of our mutual enemies. But I need them taken off the board and you and your friends here may be the perfect method.”

“So how will offer me vengeance?” asked Belinda as she suddenly felt dizzy.

She stumbled down into the snow, trying to say something as she felt a spasm moving through her body. It was accompanied by wracking pain. Then she sat up, and saw a symbol of Warmonger had appeared on her aura. She concentrated and the symbol disappeared, but before fading to ice and then entering the center of her aura.

Belinda Frost felt like she was touching a live wire. There was so much energy running through her body. Finally it disappeared, and Belinda fell to her knees.

She raised a hand and the Igloo began to change and grow. Instead of a simple igloo, she artificed a full stronghold out of ice and snow. Then she turned towards Blizzard Blue and Snowy Touch and raised both her hands. Energy flowed outward from herself to the two other beings. There was a flash of light and all three were blown off their feet.

Belinda Frost got up to her feet shakily.

Unixah said, “I am pleased to declare you the Ice General of Warmonger.”

“What is a Warmonger?” asked Belinda with an odd look of confusion.

Blizzard Blue said, “He is the coming storm. He will wipe these Glacial Wastes clean of all life before moving onward to the rest of this reality.”

“I only want the shitheads that killed off my family to die,” said Belinda, “I don’t want to kill everyone.”

“Then serve as Warmonger’s General until the four are destroyed,” said Unixah quixotically, “Then you may relinquish your battle standard.”

“My control over the Leyas seems to have increased,” said Belinda not trusting it.

“It is just one of the many blessings of Warmonger,” said Blizzard Blue. Noting his own claws had doubled in size and his mane of blue fur now sparkled with chill.

Unixah said, “And your powers will grow, Belinda Frost. Go forth and bring destruction and war.”

Placing the Tsoga helm on his head, the little Snowy Touch said, “I think we are finally ready to avenge your family, Belinda. Retribution will be swift and ice cold.”