After concluding their business with the Vel, the heroes begin their journey back to Stambrecht in search of information on the dragon Malathraxis. Two days into their journey, Kaz begins to see signs of a powerful snowstorm gathering. With several of the heroes being experience northerners, the group decides to hunker down and weather the storm.
When the heroes emerge the next morning, they discover that Nacu has disappeared. A search of his earthen shelter shows that his possessions remain and Kaz notices frozen drops of blue liquid near the entrance. Utog searches the area and discovers barely visible marks in the snow indicating that something was dragged northwest toward the mountains the Arai call the Drengvel Belgan. The heroes resolve to follow the trail, though Kur-Dan is on edge from the cold and weeks of sobriety.
After traveling for a few hours the heroes are met by a aelthen named Thelaedrass the windseeker. Thelaedras indicates that their friend Nacu has been taken by a mad aelthen by the named of Ilthanar Frostheart, who was taken by madness when the Vel constructed Mal-Khata. He says that Ilthanar has taken Nacu to his lair atop the mountain the Vel call Tarachtash and that he is draining Nacu’s power.
After traveling for another day, the heroes eventually arrive at the base of the mountain. Guarding the trail up the mountain is a giant that Thelaedras names Alfar. Thelaedras tells the group that Alfar is known to do favors for Ilthanar from time to time in exchange for food and other treasures, but that the heroes may be able to get around him without a confrontation. As Shir steps forward to converse with the giant, Utog begins to prepare for battle, assuming the worst. As Shir mentions to Alfar that they come seeking Nacu, the giant yells, “Ithlanar say some puny folk may come asking for Nacu, me stop puny folk!”
As the battle ensues, the heroes are battered and thrown about by the mighty swings of the giant, even when they manage to block the swings with their shields. Utog stands back, using his healing powers to help keep the others on their feet. After a drawn out battle, the bloody giant tosses Kur-Dan into Kaz, sending both to the ground, but Shir comes up behind him and finishes Alfar with a wicked flurry of blows.
Proceeding up the mountain, the heroes are faced by increasing cold and thick snow. As they make their way across a snow-covered ice bridge, they are accosted by frost elementals. Kur-Dan, Kaz, and Utog nimbly make there way across, fighting the elementals as they go despite the buffeting winds, but Shir finds himself severely hindered and making slow progress. With relative efficiency the heroes dispatch the elementals.
After a long climb the heroes eventually reach a plateau covered in the frozen bodies of Vel, Arai, and a smattering of other races arranged like a garden of statues. In the distance they see a cave with a flickering light within, which lures Kur-Dan with the promise of warmth. The others, much more cautious, stand back and prepare for a fight. Kaz stabs a corpse in the head, and immediately they animate and begin attacking the heroes. Kaz finds himself quickly surrounded, suffering a grievous wound to his groin from a frozen zombies clawed hand. Realizing the danger he is in, he falls back to Utog and Shir’s position where they take down the zombies as they come in waves. Meanwhile, Kur-Dan fights alone near the cave entrance, surrounded by a horde of the undead. As the others come to join him, they dispatch the last of the zombies.
Standing at the cave mouth, which is colder not warmer than the outside, they parlay with Ilthanar, who is sitting on a throne of ice and flanked by wolves. In the corner floats Nacu encased in an ice crystal. After the discussion proves to be futile, the heroes rush into the cave and attack Ilthanar. Utog, in dire bren form, charges down the hall and tears off Ilthanar’s left arm. After an exchange of blows, Kaz cripples Ilthanar’s hand and the fight quickly ends as the heroes fall upon him. Seeing their master dead, the wolves flee out of the cave and the heroes let them go.
Unable to free Nacu from the ice, Thelaedras says that there is an elementalist named Garstwulf who lives in the southern mountains who might be able to free Nacu.