Seeking to return to civilization, but avoid blizzard conditions and roaming barbarians, our heroes traveled through a cave system within Mount Alban. Along the way they discovered the body of a dead explorer and a locket depicting his beloved, as well as mention of a previous unexplored shortcut to the base of the mountain.
Following their new directions, the party stumbled on a giant cavern with a pair of strange towers at its center. After exploring them, they discovered the structure had once housed a demon cult dedicated to their old enemy, Illyria. The cultists had sought to use the power of the Abyss to ward off a coming event known as the Long Night, but were transformed into wretched slimes for their trouble.
After killing the tormented cult-leader, the party was assaulted by a small army of demonic slimes. In order to save her companions, Shanequia drew her new shining sword- and discovered that it contained a trapped couatl (quickly named Coually). With the sword’s radiant power, Shanequia bought the party enough time to escape from the collapsing structure.
Emerging into the light of day, the heroes made good time reaching Winterhaven, only to find the city covered in an early blizzard. Worse, they were visited by an image of the Old Man of the Snows, who appeared in the form an aged Evandor who merely pointed back at the mountains they had just departed.