Most sane people avoid traveling in winter. Most sane people also avoid travelling through the lost lands at any given time of the year, for different reasons. Some say the ghosts of the only dragon-lords ever slain haunt their homes. Some say the demons run free in the lost lands with nothing to hunt them. Others say bandits and other lawless scum make the lost lands thier home. Most of them are right.
And yet, here you are, traveling through the heart of the lost lands in winter.
After a sniveling fruad took almost all your money for a map that led to a disreputabel tavern rather than the ruins of another world, you found yourself out of funds and supplies. Needing to eat as well as make money, you took advantage of a caravan master. The deal he offered was what you hoped for: food while you worked, and a little change for your pocket. You almost drove him away by demanding personal supplies up front and a larger payment on arrival at his destination, but the deal was struck.
You had thought to live off his coffers through winter and escort him after the thaw, but he told you he was setting off just two days after you hired on with him. The caravan master left out his haste to travel when he hired you. The village he makes his home and starting point of his travels was attacked by a demon, and he is anxious to check on his business and more anxious to check on his family.
And now you find yourself and eight other men breaking a way through the snow for the wagons.
The caravan was making good time, even considering the snow, untill last night. When the wagons regrouped to make camp, the trailing wagon was missing. No one had seen or heard anything. You and two other men were sent back to look for it and found it just before you were going head back in the failing light. The wagon was intact, but there was not sign of the driver. The wagon was recovered in the morning and it’s load redistrubuted, but the mystery remains.
Today, with a man riding each wagon and just 4 breaking the way through the deepening snow, less progress was made, and when camp was made, one of the men breaking the trail was gone.
Now the fire has been made larger and a watch formed, but no one knows what to look for, or where to look.
The driver of the trailing wagon fell to a demon called Mes. It loves the cold and the pain heat brings to those who find warmth. The driver was exposed to the ministrations of Mes and died from freezing to death. Mes lifed the corpse off the wagon and has made it into a snow zombie.
Snow zombies are frozen carcasses with a chill touch. They hunger for the heat of living things and are drawn towards them, intent on bathing in the heat of spilled blood.
The man that was breaking the path actually was warm, but slipped on a rock and knocked himself out. The rest of the carvan didn’t see him in the knee deep snow and drove over him, killing him unawares.
Mes would rather have had him for a meal.
Mes will continue to use what powers it has to make it difficult to stay warm for long periods, but will let them get warm occasionally so the stinging of feeling returning to flesh feeds it. He hopes his snow zombie attacks the horses to slow down the caravan even more, but anything it does benifits Mes in some way.