The Heart of Winter is our holiday release for the 2020 solstice. In it players are transported to a distant part of Faerie in the domain of the Winter Court where two powerful entities contest the fate of the solstice.
Jokul, the embodiment of Winter, has captured Kringle, the embodiment of the Winter solstice. With Kringle out the way, who will stop Jokul from unleashing an everlasting winter upon the worlds of Faerie and men?
Jokul and Kringle are both Icons, a concept we first introduced in The Black Court. Here we expand on the mythology of icons, revealing that some Icons were once mortals that have taken in the power or Mantle of the icon, becoming a living personification of it.
Attack of the Snow Goons
The adventure begins in the Frosted Bucket, a modest and friendly tavern, during a festival, but joyful merriment does not last. The adventurers find themselves transported to Faerie, arriving in the town of Rivenstoorp with a dangerous fight engulfing them.
After the fight with Jokul’s minions the adventurers can explore the town and learn about the conflict in the region. Rumors in the town suggest Jokul may have captured Kringle as well as pointing them towards a crystalline structure sighted in the Eisgrund, the frozen domain of Jokul.
To free Kringle, the adventurers must travel out of the mountains and though the Frostweld to the edge of the Eisgrund. Traveling through the heart of Winter is easy or quick. The cold itself is an obstacle and the journey is diversified through exploration tables and encounters.
Players are presented with to major choices on routes they can take, each with advantages and disadvantages. While the road through the Frostweld is quicker, it is patrolled by more of the forces that attacked Rivenstoorp. Traveling the wild is longer but offers less chance of combat. These options broadly allow groups to enjoy a journey tailored more to combat or exploration.
The Crystal Prison
Finally arriving at the open ice of the Eisfrund the party discovers a prison of ice. The area is patrolled and even once they have gained entry challenges await.
The interior of the prison is a crystalline maze. Icy rooms are connected to each other by a series of portals designed to confound any intruders. Once the maze is solved the group will free Kringle and learn the extent of Jokul’s plan, but any celebration is short lived as Kringle is lost protecting the party from a terrible threat.
The Mantle of Kringle
In order to stop an everlasting winter, the party must flee from Jokul’s forces and find the Yule Tree. Their journey takes the party back into the depths of the Frostweld, always shadowed by the forces of Jokul. Eventually they will find a clearing and the Yule Tree itself. This giant conifer and the altar at its base are where Kringle’s power can be concentrated to initiate the solstice and continue the cycle of the seasons.
Without Kringle, the party is faced with the option for one of their own to take up the mantle and become a fledgling icon. Even so, the ritual takes time and the forces of Jokul are determined to destroy the tree even as his own ritual pushes against the power of Kringle. Will you party survive the onslaught and save the solstice?