(this follows a previous post summarizing the first session)
After resting overnight in the cave, Corwin and Fate donned their snowshoes and went outside. A group of airborne crows drew their attention. They headed in the direction of the circling murder and came upon the headless corpse of a huge black bear. The beast had been killed by a huge javelin, too large of a weapon for a normal man to wield.
As they examined the corpse, Fate’s eye was drawn by a motion in the trees. He saw a small, filthy, wretched looking creature watching them. Corwin called to the creature and it cautiously came near. It was humanoid, about the size of a dwarf. The filthy rags it wore looked like they had once been a jester’s costume. It said it was very hungry and asked if Fate and Corwin would share the bear’s meat. When they assented, the jester quickly hacked a frozen hunk of flesh from the corpse, and ate it raw.
When the jester’s hunger had been sated, it told the heroes its story. Its name was Mendax, and it had served as the official jester of the Horn King until recent times. About a month earlier, a Sorceror Giantess had seduced and bewitched the king. Her tribe of giants had killed the entire court—Mendax believed himself to be the only survivor, and he’d been living rough in the frozen wilds since escaping the conquered castle. He was eager to liberate his king from the Giantess's sorcery, and would gladly show Corwin and Fate a secret entrance to the castle. With his Second Sight, Corwin discerned that the jester--though apparently half-mad from his recent hardships--was also telling the truth.
After filling their bellies with raw bear meat, Corwin and Fate set off with the jester. Unfortunately, Mendax was so eager to return to the castle he began to run wildly down a sloping hill. Corwin and Fate ran to keep up, and Fate stumbled in the descent, tumbling down the mountainside, triggering an avalanche. Just before being buried by the cascading snow, he found a cave and ducked inside. The snow covered the cave’s entrance, but Corwin and Mendax quickly dug their way in, following the sound of Fate’s voice.
The cave turned out to be Mendax’s secret entrance to the castle. They followed it deeper into the mountain and came upon a frozen waterfall ascending 60 feet to another cave. Fate tied a rope to his magic trident and hurled the trident upward, lodging it in the ceiling above the waterfall’s upper level. He climbed the rope and reached the top, only to discover two giant frost toads lying in wait. One of them quickly swallowed him. As Corwin made the summit, the other frost toad lunged forward, but the cleric dodged and the evil beast tumbled off the edge of the waterfall. Unfortunately for Mendax, the toad survived the fall, and the mad jester was quickly eaten.
Fate, meanwhile, had accomplished a mighty dead by hacking his way out of the toad from inside. Corwin healed the half-frozen fighter, and they went down to save the jester. Fate killed the second toad, but Mendax was nearly frozen, and Corwin’s efforts to save the jester proved futile.
The two heroes climbed the waterfall again and followed the passageway onward. They came upon a metal gate along the side of the passage. Beyond the gate they saw several pairs of red eyes glowing in the darkness, and they heard menacing growls. They decided to leave the gate closed and to continue onward down the corridor.
They came upon a large cavern with bear pelts and other hunting trophies. Corwin claimed a white bear pelt, cutting it into a crude poncho and covering himself with it to stay warm. Just then, from farther back in cavern, some unseen creature bellowed and threw a giant javelin. A group of giants were coming, rushing into the cavern to attack Fate and Corwin.
The duo turned tail and ran back into the corridor. Choosing what they believed to be the lesser of two dangers, they opened the gate and entered the area where they had seen the glowing red eyes, assuming the eyes had pertained to wolves. But the creatures weren’t wolves—they were giant hounds, and something in their aspect gave our heroes the sense that they weren’t entirely natural beasts.
Fighting for their lives, our heroes struggled with the hounds. Corwin tried the spell of command, but his God Choranus chose not to imbue the word with power. A wolf savaged the cleric’s arm, holding the limb in its great maw. In desperation, Corwin tried the spell of Binding—the same spell that had saved the cleric in his encounter with the Efreet back in White Doom Mountain. Once again, his God favored him in the casting of the spell, and Corwin realized he had succeeded in binding the Alpha Hound of the pack, a massive female, to his will.
Corwin entreated the Boss Bitch to stop attacking himself and Fate, and to instead turn its wrath on the frost giants. Then he threw open the gates, and the Alpha hound raced out of the kennel and flashed down the corridor toward the giants, her pack following on her heels.
It was then that Corwin and Fate realized the identity of the hounds. They were the legendary Hounds of the Wild Hunt, loyal to the Lord of the Wild Hunt (the currently-bewitched Horn King). Just beyond the cavern where Corwin had claimed his bear poncho, the heroic duo found themselves within the Horn King’s castle.
The castle was in a state of chaos, magic hounds locked in battle with frost giants on all sides. Fate and Corwin rushed through the first doorway they came across, a set of massive bronze doors, and found themselves in the Horn King’s throne room.
The air was thick with mystic mist. The king was on his throne in a state of stupor, the sorceress giantess performing a hypnotic dance before him. Wrapped around the king’s throat, a giant frost salamander leered at the two heroes. It rushed forth to attack, opening its giant maw to breath forth a cone of frost. Fate dodged out of the way, slashing at the foul beast, but Corwin was caught by the cone. Injured, but still alive, the Cleric cast Snake Charms, summoning three massive, unwordly snakes to the battle—though the beleaguered Cleric had to use three points of spell burn to do it. The giantess joined the fray, catching Fate in her mighty hand and drawing him near for a bewitching kiss. The warrior managed to fight her off, and between his martial prowess and the attacks of the Cleric’s snakes, both the frost salamander and the giantess were slain.
Fate used Re-Vivify to cure the Horn King’s enfeebled mind. The King thanked the duo for freeing him, awarding them each a magic item as a boon, and promising to come to their aid once a month, when requested.
Whereupon the heroes found themselves transported back to their homelands, possessing now of new magic trophies, as well as new tales to tell.