The five men traveled east for two days before reaching a small Hearth Knight outpost under the command of Shield Knight Horacius ap‐Schell. Ap-Schell informed them of the status of the nearby travel towers. The Roadwardens stationed at the three nearest along the road to the east had gone missing. Each tower was spaced about 50 miles apart, so it was two days’ travel between each one. The Roadwarden from the central tower, a Frostborn called Aaron Frostpicked, had disappeared in mid-Hegmonan, nearly two months previously. One after another, the other two Roadwardens went to look for him. When none returned, volunteers from the scant local villages formed search parties and went in search of the missing. The groups that returned told tales of shapeless flying creatures that were black shapes against the night sky.
After staying the night and enjoying the hospitality and thin meals of the Hearth Knights, the League headed east towards the first travel tower. They found the place nearly empty of the standard provisions. They searched the tower top to bottom, and came across the journal of the missing Roadwarden who had been stationed there. The last entries in the journal confirmed the villagers’ tales – the Roadwarden wrote of strange shadows overhead on particularly dark nights.
Determined to make good time and increase their chances of finding survivors, the League marched through the night to the next tower. Looking in the same hiding spot they’d discovered in the first tower, they found Frostpicked’s journal. The last entries, nearly two months old, held accounts of a strange nocturnal screeching sound from the north-west, and indicated that Frostpicked was going to investigate them.
With a heading in hand, the group immediately headed north-west into the craggy forested foothills of the Icebarrier Mountains. Following a disused game trail, they came across a scrap of torn cloak, which reassured them of their direction. Nearly a mile into the forest, they were able to spot a cave opening partway up a steep hillside. Investigating, they found that the cave was nearly ten feet across, and went deep into the rock, sloping down and widening as it went. Sliding down a slick drop-off, the heroes found themselves in a large cave strewn with bones, human remains, and huge quantities of guano. Looking up, they discovered the culprits – over a dozen enormous bats. The creatures spread their wings, nearly a man’s height across, and attacked. Their fangs left wounds and frostbite, and Chillhollow soon realized his icy attacks had no effect on them – these creatures were frost bats, native to the frozen peaks and icy woods much further to the north. Luckily, they proved susceptible to the attacks of The Mighty Storm’s captive fire elemental, and though many of the League were wounded by the beasts, the bats were all killed in the end.
The group found the remains of the search party members, as well as those of the two Roadwardens. Surprisingly, they found that Aaron Frostpicked was still alive, though in some kind of catatonic state – his inborn resistance to the cold had apparently saved him from death at the icy fangs of the frost bats. They carried the Roadwarden back to civilization, and headed back to the Hearth Knight outpost to update Shield Knight ap‐Schell on the situation. He was very interested to hear of the frost bats, and wondered at what might be forcing them south out of their typical habitat. He also revealed that a message had arrived for The Mighty Storm in the group’s absence – an urgent missive from Brightstone Keep. The league had solved a problem for their neighbors, but what new trouble might be brewing at home?