Makimo: Delicate Oriental scholar with a pistol.
Eduardo: Jaunty gambler.
Pepper: Primordial Ape with aviator goggles and a very heavy wrench.
Kumiko: Low profile ninja.
Battlin’ Bill of Baffram: Incognito swashbuckler.
Makimo came into possession of some secret information on a tomb hidden in the mountains, and she hired a raiding party and Effson with his Skyglider to help get to it and check it out; that’s all they knew.
During the 12 hour dirigible ride to the mountains, they discovered Bill’s fellow pirate crew had been hung, so he escaped on this mission (avoiding detection by trading his magnificent hat for an open-faced helm). Eduardo was lucky, then unlucky (in that order) in love and had to flee—still wearing his stylish brown fur-lined hood. Pepper wanted to build his own dirigible fleet somedway. Kumiko didn’t have much to share, but she did put on her hunter-safety orange ninja hood.
Because they were a bunch of lightweights, Pepper agreed to carry bundled fur robes so they could huddle in them and warm up to rest and heal as needed.
They found a roiling wall of storm in the mountains, high above the snow line. And, on a promontory, a shrine with a rope bridge leading into the storm.
Before they all rappelled down, the sharp-eyed Makimo spotted carnivorous snow apes blending against the snow, patiently waiting for their prey to come within reach. She blasted away with her pistol, the soft lead ball pulping the corded muscle of the apes. Hot lead and Kumiko’s terrifyingly dangerous shuriken, as well as Eduardo’s well-flung daggers, raked the furious mass of carnivorous apes below.
Pepper slid down and engaged the carnivorous snow apes in vicious ape-on-ape battle. It didn’t go too well, as the charging apes caught him off guard and tossed him around. Only his profound inhuman vitality kept him alive. In sliding down the rope upside-down, Bill got a bit tangled, and as the carnivorous snow apes tried to play piñata he fired upon them with gristly results. Eduardo slid down to help Pepper, only to discover much to his dismay that the snow apes were a lot bigger from close up. By the time everyone was down, a bloody Pepper roared a challenge to the snow apes that successfully encouraged them to re-think frontal assault as a successful tactic.
They took some time to bind up wounds Bill and Pepper took in the fight, and Eduardo found some mosaics in the shrine, indicating it was for people who climbed the mountain and needed somewhere to rest. Also, pictures of a magnificent barbarian archer king, and wizards.
They headed for the rope bridge, sending Pepper across first. He hooted the all-clear, and everyone traversed the bridge with no significant problems. Once on the other side, they were confronted by strange mutters and wailing from the vents where concentrated storm would sometimes gush out, and a falling boulder inspired adrenaline-spiked reflex scrambles to keep from pulping the whole group.
As they crossed the hazards of the pass, Pepper headed up to a doorway in the rock, noting it said “Restful Dead.” On a whim, he broke it open and sniffed inside. Skeletal remains attacked him, trying to pull him into the tomb as he flailed at them, their bony fingers colder than ice.
By now, the rest of the group was at the base of an icy stone bridge leading into the fog. Pepper retreated with Makimo, and they all headed across the bridge, leaving the disturbed dead behind.
They reached the grand entrance to the tomb itself, and as they peered up into the vast dim of the open antechamber, chill balefire lights ignited some ten meters up or so, then a frost giant stepped into view! As they quickly consulted on what to do, the giant lifted his axe and glowing orbs spilled from it, dropping into snow and creating snow warriors animated with the gristly spirits of the dead.
There were ten of the warriors blocking the way up the stairs to the giant, who told them to go away in the ancient elemental language Vetchiu. Then battle was joined!
As Eduardo and Pepper smashed into the skirmishing mass of dead ice warriors, Bill and Makimo opened fire repeatedly with their pistols, from the cover of the statues ending the bridge. Kumiko used her remarkable throwing expertise to inflict horrific carnage with shuriken.
As the giant prepared to enter the fray, Makimo snapped off a shot that hit him right between the eyes, and Bill followed with a shot that vanished into the beard in front of his throat. The massive giant tottered, then crashed down dead, and all the snow warriors dissolved.
The raiders cautiously examined his chambers, finding big tables with samples of cold influenced by magic (Makimo told them the labels included such odd elemental titles as Secrecy Storm Wind, Snowsoul Extract, Vault Ice, Enchantment Dandruff, Guardian Breath.) The fire pit was next to a pile of snow ape bones, and the bed was snow ape hides.
Exploring further, they found an ice throne against the wall. Pepper climbed up and proudly prepared to hold court. Eduardo saw through the throne to the passage it blocked; ever accommodating, Pepper climbed down and shoved/broke the throne until they could get through.
On the other side, they found a 6 meter across glassy tunnel going up at a 45 degree angle, with a heap of bones at the bottom. To the side, a hole to outside had been hacked by a giant axe. The first 2/3 of the tube were marked up by the giant using the axe and greaves to try to climb to the top—and bloodstains on the ice.
Pepper looked up the long tube, and an animated statue with a longbow thudded an arrow into him for his trouble. He stepped back and plucked it out with a shrug.
The group wrangled best tactics, some thinking a run up the tube covered by fire support would help, others all for going around outside. Eventually, Makimo and Bill traded fire with the statue, Kumiko crawled over the harsh broken mountainside clawed by icy winds, and Pepper carried Eduardo over the outside path too.
Seems the giant had gotten fed up with the challenge and made a way around, and some of them took it. As musket balls and feathered shafts whipped back and forth down the glassy approach, the intrepid climbers managed to get to the top and climb down through a hole hacked in a stone dome by a giant axe.
Kumiko darted across the round room, flinging shuriken at the stone statue, knocking chips off. The statue moved out of line of fire of the glassy approach, intending to finish Kumiko off, when Pepper and Eduardo joined the fray.
The statue had suffered from repeated gunshot wounds, and been cracked by cunningly-placed shuriken. Pepper leaped at it and shattered its head.
Panting and victorious, the group looted the tomb, carrying away a set of evil books, some giant chests of money, and the longbow and quiver set. They won!
(Happy Birthday, Mom!)