PrinceCon 27 : The Curse of Winter

Director: Shantanu Saha
Dates: March 15-17, 2002

The Endless Winter

Glorious sun rays break over the horizon, bathing the hillside in life-giving light. Twelve hooded initiates throw back their cowls, raise their arms, and welcome the day, praising Gaia for the passing of Winter and the coming warmth of Spring.

It is the Equinox — that holy time where night and day stand in perfect balance. Villagers crowd the mound to receive Gaia’s blessings, anxious for the coming feast. And yet as the sun rises into the sky, the air grows colder… as it has every day for a fortnight. The fierce chill of the air gives lie to the promise of Spring.

An old woman pushes forward and pelts the gathered clerics with snow. “Hypocrites! Ye’ve angered the Gods! Even now Our Lady punishes your blasphemy!” Will this cursed winter never end?

A kingdom away, in the Sacred Grove, the Handmaiden answers. “Brave adventurers, I call you here today to promise you that Gaia has not forsaken her children. Yet be warned. A sinister force stirs in our midst, a terrible power which will not rest until every warm breath is stolen from the land. Seek out the source of this evil. Seek it out and destroy it, ere this bitter winter consume us all.”

For twenty-seven years, Pangaea was at war. The forces of evil, under the command of the Dark Lord, Imbefuin, plagued the Land with war, famine, pestilence, and death. The War Council of the Free Peoples of Pangaea barely held off the darkness. Despite their power and wisdom, Queen Althea of the Elves, Mayor Heather Appledore of the Hobbits, King Ragnar Stonebender of the Dwarves, Champion Hawkeye Duskwind of the Fey, and the wizard Lord Othnal of the Humans, could not pierce the veil of Shadow. Then Othnal fell in the Battle of Lachrymosa, our darkest hour. Lord Blue, his lieutenant, was appointed to the Council in his place.

What can be said of Lord Blue? It was as if he were heaven-sent. Before he came into our counsels, all our efforts were uncoordinated and futile. But Lord Blue gave us order and discipline, and at once the war began to go better for the side of life. He divined the enemy’s dark designs in time for our forces to thwart them. Finally, last autumn we faced the undead legions of the Dark Lord in one great battle, and we had the mastery. The Dark Lord fell, his forces were defeated and scattered. We celebrated the Solstice with new hope, that a new year would bring an end to our long twilight, a spring to our long winter.

But it is now long past the Equinox, and Spring has yet to rear her fair head. The bulbs still lie dormant in the soil, the trees have not come into new leaf, and the world is getting colder. Snow is falling, the glaciers are expanding, and creatures of the far north are drifting into settled lands. Is this one final design of Imbefuin, his last cold laugh at the peoples who defeated him? Are we who have escaped the chill hand of the Dark Lord now to endure a winter without end?

Lord Blue, leader of the War Council, has summoned us. We who have soldiered in the wars, battle-hardened Adventurers, are now gathered in Hireling Hall, to essay one more campaign, one errand of mercy, to save our world from the perpetual snow. Will we prevail in this final test?