"Grenth's forces have located the snowmen's secret base and are staging an attack. If they are successful, there will be no snowmen to defend the just and the innocent. The grentches will be unopposed in their capers! Dwayna beseeches you to defend the snowmen and save Wintersday... for the children.
For the children!"
Accept: "For the children!"
Reject: "For eggnog!"
Intermediate Dialogue (Rift Warden)
"Are you ready to defend the Secret Lair of the Snowman? You will be separated from your party for the duration of this task. You must protect the snowmen at all costs. Are you ready?"
Accept: "I am ready."
Reject: "I need more time to prepare."
"The Grentches have been routed and Wintersday is saved! Please take these gifts to spread joy and happiness around the world this Wintersday."
As you walk through the dungeon, you will come across small groups of Grentches and Snowmen fighting each other. You will also occasionally have to face one or two Grentches on your own. After you meet up with Freezie and his allies in the last room of the dungeon, five waves of Grentches will attack.
Wave #1 consists of two groups of 3 grentches.
Waves #2, 3 & 4 consist of two groups of 4 grentches.
Any snowmen that die will revive after 30 seconds. When Grentchus Magnus and his accompanying grentches have been wiped out, the Wintersday Chest will spawn.
For an easy time, you can simply stand at the closed doors at the end (behind Freezie) and wait out the battle. The resurrecting Snowmen will eventually kill off all the Grentches, although this approach can take more than 10 minutes.
This part includes very detailed information for running the quest quickly to get the most chances at getting a Miniature Polar Bear from the end chest.
Run past everything until you reach Freezie and friends. The only enemies that must be defeated are Grentchus Magnus and the 5 grentches that accompany him.
Most of the grentches you encounter will be fighting snowmen. Very rarely, one of them will attack you after the snowman it is fighting dies, but if you keep running it will ignore you and switch to another snowman.
Some grentches will appear by themselves. Do your best to dodge their snowballs and use "Mmmm. Snowcone!" when you need it.
If you're not good at dodging, you can use Hidden Rock before encountering a grentch, then throw a Snowball to aggro them. This will daze the grentch, doubling the time it takes to activate all its skills.
You can take 10 hits from the standard Snowball skill before you die. The grentches typically only follow you long enough to throw 5 snowballs, and you can regenerate naturally in between, so dodging isn't all that important anyway.
While it only takes about 10 seconds to kill a grentch (4 Snowballs @ 1s activation + 0.75s aftercast, additional time if you get knocked down or the grentch dodges or heals itself), killing all four solo grentches that you encounter will add almost a minute to your run time.
If you aren't worried about collecting Candy Cane Shards, you can save even more time by not accepting the quest reward after completing a run. Simply abandon the quest before speaking to the Rift Warden, and he will offer it from the beginning. Otherwise, you will have to rezone after accepting the reward before the Rift Warden will offer it again.
Your skills and profession
Your choice of profession doesn't make a whole lot of difference, as the profession-specific skills aren't especially powerful. The best choice is probably ranger, and the worst is necromancer.
Hits target+adjacent foes (up to 5) for 50 damage. Has a quicker activation time than Snowball for the same base damage, but does not give any adrenaline. Spam this instead of Snowball if you aren't worried about throwing Mega Snowballs.
Interrupts and causes blindness. Experienced interrupters may find this skill useful, although the condition is mostly useless as only a few types of grentch use standard attacks (Snowball is a spell and thus isn't affected by blindness).
Initial chamber: 4 vs. 4 - you'll hardly even get in range of this group.
Second chamber: 3 vs. 4 - run right through, snowmen should win this one so nothing will follow you.
Long passage: Solo grentch.
Across bridge: 2 vs. 2 - the grentches will usually kill at least one snowman before the snowmen start to fight back, so these grentches might chase you a bit.
Through door and around corner: Solo grentch.
At end of passage: 2 grentches off to the side. Be careful not to aggro them while dodging the previous grentch's snowballs.
Big chamber: 4 vs. 5 - easy snowman victory.
In front of exit door: Solo grentch, with another solo grentch around the corner. You'll probably take quite a few hits from these two, so save your Snowcone.
Final battle. Four waves of two groups, followed by final wave of Grentchus Magnus and friends. There are four spawning points: at then end of the passage to the north, on the hill to the south, against the wall to the northwest, and down the passage to the west. The spawns are not random, but always contain the following grentches:
Wave 1: North and west (identical): Flashy, Frozen, and Icy.
Stay to the east of the snowmen, near the closed doors, so that you don't draw the initial aggro from the grentches. Try to target grentches that the snowmen are not targeting, to avoid wasting a Mega Snowball or Hidden Rock because your target died before it hit. If you do get attacked, run away and the grentch should re-target to a snowman. The worst-case scenario is all snowmen dead, your Ice Fort interrupted, and you've used your Snowcone - if this should happen to you, zig and zag like a kitty on catnip and pray that you can dodge enough snowballs to stay alive until some snowmen resurrect.
Deaths in this quest do not count against the survivor title, although at only 1,000 XP every 7 minutes, it's not worth farming.
Any snowmen that survive the fights against grentches before the final battle will run back through the dungeon and disappear at the dungeon entrance.
If you die at the end but the snowmen manage to kill Grentchus Magnus, the quest will update as having completed.
Since Ice Fort is an enchantment, using a weapon of Enchanting +20% will give 2 extra seconds of protection.
When you finish the quest, pick up the Candy Cane Shards first; once you open the chest, you will only have 15 seconds before being teleported out, and the Shards will not appear in an Unclaimed Items box.
Bug! Rarely, one or more of the Grentches at the northern spawn point will actually spawn behind the wall of ice. If this happens, that group of Grentches will not move to attack the snowmen. This will not affect the quest, as only Grentchus Magnus and his group must be defeated to finish the quest.
Bug! Any Grentches that follow you to the last room will be hostile to the Grentches that spawn as part of the final battle.