Reign of Winter
One of Baba Yaga's Three Riders
Through the portal astride a black warhorse, surrounded by tendrils of cold, dark mist the Black Rider appeared. He slumped in the saddle, a shard of blue ice jutting from his back. As rider and mount come to a halt in the snow, the horse suddenly dissipated into black smoke, and the horseman fell to the ground with a groan.
Image from the past
One of Baba Yaga’s Three Riders who herald her return to Irrisen every 100 years. The only one of the three to have seemingly escaped death at the hands of Queen Elvanna, the Black Rider fled into the snowy wilderness of Irrisen. Harried by Elvanna’s armies and mortally wounded, he came upon the winter portal and staggered through in the hope of finding someone to whom he could pass on his mission.
Questions posed by the heroes
Who did to this to you? “The servants of Queen Elvanna, ruler of Irrisen and betrayer of her own mother.”
Why were you attacked? “Something has happened to Baba Yaga. Every hundred years, she returns to Irrisen to place a new daughter on the throne. But Queen Elvanna has other plans, it seems. Baba Yaga has not appeared as planned, and Elvanna intends to slay everyone loyal to her mother. She hunted down those of us who would herald Baba Yaga’s return and slew my associates. I am the last of the Three Riders and a threat to Elvanna’s plans.”
What are Elvanna’s plans? “To take Baba Yaga’s place, and claim all of Golarion as her personal kingdom. Irrisen is a land of endless winter, created by Baba Yaga’s magic. Elvanna seeks to cover the entire world in ice and snow, using portals like this one.”
How do we close the portal? “You can find its source in the Pale Tower, on the other side, but this portal is but one of many. Through them, Elvanna will spread a new ice age across your world, consuming it for all eternity. Closing this portal might save your kingdom, but Golarion would still be doomed.”
What can we do to stop this from happening? “You must find Baba Yaga. Only Baba Yaga can defeat Elvanna. Only the Queen of Witches can undo what her daughter has done.”
How do we find Baba Yaga? “You must use her Dancing Hut to follow her. The hut is a powerful artifact that can cross great distances, even travel between worlds. If you can control the hut, it can take you to Baba Yaga.”
Where is the Dancing Hut? “Elvanna stole the hut and put it on display in Irrisen’s capital, Whitethrone, as a symbol of her power. You must go through the portal to Irrisen and find the Dancing Hut.”
How do we control the hut? “The hut has many keys— objects attuned to the hut—that can take it almost anywhere. I managed to secure two of these keys, but Elvanna stole their power to prevent anyone from using the hut to find her mother. Once they are reactivated, placing the keys in the hut’s cauldron will retrace Baba Yaga’s path.”