The Savage North is the seventh quest zone, and the first half of War in the North. It is unlocked by defeating High Priest Tibur in Madness & Magma. Defeat Chieftain Kveldulf in Chieftain of the Bold Wolves on Normal difficulty to unlock Orange Eyes.
"The snows of Nordent are red with blood. A fitting place for your destiny to unfold."
Way of the WolfEdit
- 2. Way of the Wolf 1
- 3. Way of the Wolf 2
- 4. Way of the Wolf 3
- 5. Way of the Wolf 4
- 6. Way of the Wolf 5
Frost Wyrm SagaEdit
- 11. Frost Wyrm Saga 1
- 12. Frost Wyrm Saga 2
- 13. Frost Wyrm Saga 3
- 14. Frost Wyrm Saga 4
- 15. Frost Wyrm Saga 5
- 16. Frost Wyrm Saga 6
- 17. Red in Axe and Claw 1
- 18. The Huscarl's Offer
- 19. Chieftain of the Bold Wolves
- 20. The Voice from the Graveyard
Optional Boss Encounters
Boss Card RewardsEdit
- Overwhelming Onslaught (Yeti Cave Leader)
- Obliteration (Chieftain Kveldulf)
- Wrath of the Red Baroness (Werewolf Pack Leader)
- Banshee Bard (Lich)
"I'm a prince!"
The boy puffed out his chest. His gold-embroidered tunic expanded into a vaguely perceptible bulge, a charitable concession to the movement of his juvenile muscles. He held the pose for a moment, his brown eyes fixed on yours in evident anticipation -- perhaps waiting for you to gasp at his high-born magnificence. Then his torso deflated, as though punctured by your unimpressed, impassive stare.
Sounds of merry chatter drifted into the passage, billowing through the uncomfortable air as they escaped from behind the double doors on your right. There an azure dragon stood in profile across the two halves of the closed portal, above a pitchfork in the same hue. The fabulous beast and mundane farming implement -- at other times subject to woeful bisection -- seemed at that moment to conspire and contrive to bar you from the joviality within. The orange jewel that served as the sculpted drake's eyes mocked your discomfort with in the full weight of its artificial draconic wisdom.
Your mother and father's voices crested the wave of merriment, coupled with those of the honored guests who'd arrived at your family's keep and been ushered into the grandest of its reception chambers but a moment before: King Robert and Queen Josette, the rulers of East Kruna. Old friends of your parents, introduced to you for the first time.
You hadn't been impressed. They weren't even wearing crowns. In your books the painted kings and queens always wore crowns. Nor had either of them brandished a scepter. And they didn't have anyone beheaded, which seemed an almost disgraceful waste of regal power. All in all, they'd seemed suspiciously like normal people. A tremendous disappointment.
And as for their son...
"My father is the king!" he said, as though your nonchalance was based on incomprehension of titles and their significance.
He was even more disappointing. Storybook princes rode around the countryside slaying monsters, or bandits, or traitors, or evil wizards, or varlets. You recall that at the time you hadn't been quite sure that a 'varlet' was -- though you'd suspected that it was some form of rodent. In any event, you knew that princes slew things. Some of them won battles as well. Other ones rescued maidens. Or stole them from foreign lands, which was sort of like rescuing if you didn't like foreigners. They did things. Heroic things.
You stare nonplussed at the specimen of flesh and blood princeness in front of you. He didn't look like he slew things. Or rescued anyone. And he was sort of annoying...
"My family once suffocated West Kruna!"
That one made you frown, until you recalled a word one of your tutors had used.
"You mean 'subjugated'."
Again his chest deflated, and the silence that enveloped you was almost tangible -- as though the two of you had fallen into a pong of treacle, a cloying demise which would have seemed a blessed release from awkwardness. Another wave of happy conversation punctuated with tittering laughter (what self-respecting queen tittered, when she would have been commanding or declaring?) washed over you from the sealed room, making your quietness even more awkward.
It wasn't the first time your parents had done that to you. For some bizarre reason they persisted in believing that similarity in age would suffice to make you relish the company of whichever of their friends' offspring they chose to foist on you. Thus you stood in the corridor, having been ordered forth -- instructed to find and share some amusement or entertainment with the prince.
You sighed. He did the same. Your gaze roamed around the passage, alighting on each of its adornments in turn but finding no inspiration in any of them. The prince's left hand clasped and unclasped around the hilt of the toy sword that hung from his belt inside a plush scarlet scabbard.
Then a hopeful expression crossed his young face. His eyes brightened, as though he'd just discovered some hidden treasure. Your attention fell back on him, a portion of his anticipation infecting you in turn.
"When I was born they named me after my father," he said.
You signed once more, your interest depleted in an instant. You already knew he shared his father's name. He'd been introduced to you as Prince Robert...
However, the prince was undaunted by your unconcealed disappointment. His eyes retained their illumination. The edges of his mouth twitched in the beginnings of a proud but unpleasant smile. Thus you found your attention remaining fastened upon him, curious to see what would come next.
"But my mother started calling me Felendis because she said I was a little monster. That's what everyone in the palace calls me now."
Felendis... You'd heard that name before.
The prince's smile widened, as though its edge had worked its way into a chink in your armor of disinterest and now sought to pry it open.
"He was one of my ancestors. They say he was so wicked he turned into a monster. He bashed people's heads open with a big hammer and ate their brains. With beans."
You mouth twitched in turn. Brain-eating... Now there was something to appeal to the heart of any child raised on tales of heroes and monsters. Moreover, you remembered where you'd heard the name...
"My ancestor killed him!' you said.
"Your ancestor killed Felendis?"
His voice was tinged with disbelief. But something in your tone or expression must have convinced him, for an expression of childish awe crossed his face. You remember how gratifying that felt.
"My ancestor killed everything! Beastmen, kobolds, djinn, harpies, werewolves, dragons-"
"My ancestor was the Dragon-Rider of Burden's Rest! Everyone knows that!" You gestured at the crest on the double doors. "We're the Kasans!"
He seemed impressed by the force of your words, but no recognition dawned in his eyes.
"Don't you have a tutor?"
"I did... But he tried to teach me mathematics, so I hit him with a book."
"My mother wanted to get a new one. But my father said we would wait til I was older."
"You parents never told you the stories? About the Dragon-Rider?"
"Mother said bloody stories were making me violent, so she made my father stop telling them. I only knew what Felendis did because one of the servants told me. Then my mother yelled at him."
"Come with me."
You ran along the passage, Prince Felendis at your heels. The two of you leapt and scrambled your way up the broad staircase at the far end, then dashed across the upper hall with its great vaulted ceiling and tall, arched windows.
There the prince stopped in his tracks.
"A goblin!" He pointed an accusing finger towards the other end of the hall, where a member of that green-skinned race had just emerged from one of the doorways.
The goblin raised a hairless eyebrow and pursed his lips.
"What? Oh... That's just-"
The prince tugged the toy sword from its scabbard. At least you assumed it was a toy sword... Then its blade flashed in the sunlight.
"Death to goblins!"
He darted forward. You grabbed at his arm a moment too late to stop him. Prince Felendis sprinted across the hall, screaming an unintelligible war cry. You ran after him, trying in vain to grasp his tunic and pull him back.
But the young prince remained deaf to your entreaties. He lunged at the goblin, his little sword driving at the fellow's abdomen. Your eyes widened, anticipating a scene of bloody murder.
You needn't have worried, however.
Green fingers grabbed Felendis' wrist in a gentle but unbreakable hold. When the prince began to kick at the goblin's shins, a second green hand pressed against his forehead -- keeping him at bay.
Like many of your keep's servants, he'd done his fair share of adventuring in his youth.
"Begging your pardon, young master," the goblin said, his features calm and deportment unmarred as he met your gaze, "but I'm afraid I can't permit His Highness to disembowel me. Your mother's quite fond of this carpet."
"Stop!" You tugged on Felendis' shoulder. "He's our butler!"
The prince drew back and the goblin released his grasp.
"Sorry... In the palace we don't have any goblin servants."
"I can't possibly imagine why," the butler murmured. Then he bowed, excused himself, and glided away.
After favoring your royal companion with a frown and a roll of your eyes, you completed the journey which his goblicidal tendencies had interrupted. The two of you arrived at the thick wooden door that led to the most important chamber in the keep. It was a place you'd only ever been permitted to enter on rare occasions, in your father's company -- but had transgressed into numerous times besides.
The door opened at your touch, smooth on its hinges in spite of its weight.
"This is who my ancestor was," you said, almost the same exact words your father had spoken when the two of you first crossed that threshold together.
Felendis' gasp was like music to your ears. Pride swelled in your breast. Your ancestry, your proud lineage, was enough to steal the breath from even a prince's throat.
You led him through the great chamber, as you had once been led, presented each spectacle as they'd been presented to you.
His mouth almost watered when he feasted his eyes on the weapon racks that bristled with tools of war from the commonplace to the exquisite and exotic -- each of which the Dragon-Rider had wielded centuries before. Beside these was the row of armor stands, displaying some of the resplendent panoplies that had protected his flash from his enemies' blades. You remembered your own amazement when you first saw so much fine armor, each set worthy of one of the heroes in your storybooks. You'd asked your father how one man could have carried so much equipment on his adventures. He'd merely laughed.
Next you showed Felendis the fresco that dominated one of the room's long walls, a sweeping depiction of your ancestor's most famed deeds. At the leftmost end it showed him working the soil as a farmhand, pulled turnips from the ground with his pitchfork and piling them into a barrel -- an illustration that made up in elegant brushwork for whatever it might have lacked in agricultural verisimilitude. But then the pastoral beauty yielded to scenes of war and dead, horror and heroism. Brutal battles and savage monsters were depicted in turn, scene after scene recording and exalting the Dragon-Rider's victories.
The prince cried out in delight when he spotted a little portion of the painting devoted to his monstrous forebear, wielding his great hammer as he did battle with your ancestor and earned destruction at the hero's hands.
Glorious slaughter, magnificent butchery... It was like milk and honey. The two of you reveled in it, innocent children celebrating carnage as though it were the most wonderful thing in the world.
"I'm going to be just like him," you said.
Pride, perhaps even arrogance, coursed through your veins like a mischievous spirit -- urging and inspiring, deluding and deriding.
"I'm going to be like the Dragon-Rider!"
Tessa's voice draws you from your reverie. The past disperses like mist driven before a gust of wind, parting into insubstantial tendrils of memory that flit around your senses for a second longer before withdrawing into the recesses of your mind.
Your vision returns to the here and now, and the tankard in front of you comes into focus. Foam froths at the top of its wide mouth, dribbles down its metal body in little brown-white rivulets that wind their way between the embossed depictions of Stonebound warriors in full battle attire.
You glance up. A dwarven woman's smiling face beams at you from above a pitcher not much smaller than her torso.
"You were empty, friend."
"Oh... Thank you."
Tessa catches your eye. For some reason she's standing behind the dwarf, making what appear to be obscene gestures with her hand and mouth. It's only after a moment's contemplation that you realize she's miming the act of raising a tankard to her lips and drinking from it.
You lift the tankard and proceed to quaff, letting the strong ale burn its way to your stomach. When you set the vessel back down it's half empty -- sufficiently drained to satisfy the customs of Stonebound hospitality but not so much so that it will invite another refill. Sure enough, the dwarf woman nods her approval before bustling away to replenish tankards elsewhere in the dining hall.
A few fellow drinkers further down the table express their appreciation for your quaff by cheering, banging their cups on the table, or in one case by headbutting the dwarf next to him.
Drinking... Another skill you learned back in East Kruna, just like swordplay and spellcraft -- and for much the same purpose. Who would respect a hero who couldn't handle his liquor? Heroes revel with their companions, drink with their followers and devotees. It's expected of them, part of their tales. So you learned to hold your ale, just one more talent among a myriad others designed to make your worthy of your thrice-damned ancestor...
"You should sleep," Tessa says. "Early start, remember?"
You murmur something that only the familiarity of friendship would interpret as an affirmative. She's right. According to the dwarves, you're not far from your goal. A few hours' subterranean travel will bring you to the end of the drakes' tunnel, the path you've been following since you left the abandoned lair in your wake. One night's sleep -- or what passes for night in this underground realm -- then tomorrow you'll be walking the snows of Nordent, throwing yourself deeper into fate's abyss.
There's a burst of protest in your hindquarters when they leave the stone bench, as though the sudden parting has reminded their alcohol-soothed nerves of just how uncomfortable a berth it was. You were sat there for far too long. But the Stonebound insisted that you drink with them, and they would have been insulted if you'd refused.
"Should we wake them?" Tessa asks. She gestures behind you. "There are beds waiting for us."
You follow her gaze to the nearest corner of the room. There Rakshara sits propped up against the wall, her eyes closed and her expression tranquil. Hugh's flabby body sprawls beside her orange frame, his head in her lap. His face is just as peaceful, his mouth forming a slumbering smile that's broken only by the soft snore which flutters his lips.
"Leave them. They look comfortable enough."
Tessa waves over one of the barmaids. After a short conversation in which she obtains directions and declines a three-pint tankard offered to each of you as a nightcap, she leads you to one of the numerous corridors that branch off from the hall.
Well-cut stone blocks flank you on either side, giving way here and there to doors made of the same material and fashioned with equal expertise. In a world without much wood, stone is conscripted for many a task. It's at one such door, which looks no different from any of the others, that she deposits you -- before crossing the passage to her own bedchamber.
The slab-like door opens with surprising grace. There isn't even the slightest sound of grinding against the floor below, though there's no discernible gap between the two. The room beyond is equally pleasing. Whilst the bed appears to be made of stone, like everything else, someone's taken the trouble of piling it high with softer materials in deference to the human flesh and bones that will lie upon it.
Stonebound dwarves are relentless foes, but good hosts to those they welcome into their territory. And when you arrived here word had already reached them of the assistance you rendered their kinswomen earlier on your travels. Another suspicious coincidence? One more thread of fate winding its way around your throat? Perhaps. But as you tumble onto the softened bed and pull your boots off, you can't muster up any outrage. You're just glad you found hospitality instead of hostility.
These past days have had their share of troubles. A tribe of deep gnomes fell upon you when you strayed through their domain, and such was their ferocity that you had no chance of reasoning with them. When you left their caverns and tunnels behind, they were splashed with blood and littered with bodies. Once you would have reveled in that victory. But now...
As sleep closes your eyes and shrouds your inebriated senses, you imagine yourself standing atop a pile of the dead. You're skewering corpse after corpse with an azure pitchfork, before flinging them into an incandescent inferno. More fuel for the fire of destiny.