The town of Frosthaven has an annual tradition for the Cold Season: Winterfest. Winterfest is a large celebration where the entire town flocks to Haven Hall, as well as various taverns, to enjoy feasting, drinking, games, and the company of friends, family, and strangers. During this celebration, it is tradition for everyone to buy a drink for at least three different people in the spirit of wishing warmth and happiness to others, as well as share at least one item on your dinner plate with someone you care about. After the partying is done, the town gathers around the “Opsida” (a large pine tree that is cut down and brought to the town square every year, as per tradition) and offer gifts and say prayers to the Winter’s Knight, in hopes that he will bring a temperate, light Cold Season next year.
A month before Winterfest, Ilim Jostin, Captain of the Guard, takes about a dozen of his men, as well as a few members of the Carpenter’s Guild to journey out into the Deepwood: several miles of hilly pine forest that connects to forested mountains in the north. They journey to the very edge of woods to harvest the Opsida and bring back to Frosthaven to prepare for Winterfest. Traveling to the Opsida takes about a day, assuming weather is favorable, however the trip back usually takes about twice, and maybe even three times, as long.
This year, however, a mysterious fever has struck the town of Frosthaven. Though there have yet to be any casualties, at least not a large enough number to cause a fuss over, many men are unable to make the journey through the Deepwood, having to stay behind to look after family. And Ilim is uncomfortable about removing even more guards, or any of the Warg Brigade, from the town, as the Yetis and Ice Trolls that make their homes in the caves and outcoves further up the mountains tend to get a bit courageous this time of year. So he is recruiting any able-bodied characters, as well as any skilled survivalists, woodsmen, and carpenters, to join him in his expedition to the base of the Icepeaks to harvest this year’s Opsida.