It’s been a harrowing, awful and fruitful day. Rox and the Captain are dead, we’ve made friends with a Cloud Giant and promised to help him get his children back from the cult, there is a white Dragon on the loose and now we are floating over Bahamut knows where, in a Giant’s flying ice castle. I’ve also suffered several concussions and been unable to contact Onthar.
I should probably start my story at the beginning of the day.
We began by discussion how we would go about finding, approaching and entering the castle. We have the hand signal and the two passphrases, but we unfortunately also have two banners to choose from. I thought it would be the multi-coloured flag and thankfully everyone else agrees.
We start heading toward the direction of the castle all the while I’m thinking we don’t stand a chance and that I need to update Onthar.
After a while Aloysius said he heard something like a snapping branch. I drew my weapons but continued the march.
Before I see anything further Jojo announces that we are surrounded by 4 white drake dogs and a large 4 armed troll. All I could think about was how much I loathe both these creatures. Trolls had already taken my good friends lives and the drake dog always put up one Tiamut of a fight.
There are tails whipping around and spells going off all over the place. There are white streaks about the forest as the drakes move around. It all happens in a flash.
The troll makes a huge, highly successful attach at me. Completely knocking the wind out of me. If this fight is ours it will be sorely won indeed is all I could think as I smash my hammer into an approaching drake. The party seem to be handling it ok. They are able to dodge the drakes enough to remain on their feet.
Out of nowhere a fireball goes off and Alissa shows up; then everything goes black.
Suddenly my eyes open and I turn to see a giant troll facing away from me. I stand as quickly as I dare and hit it as hard as I can. Being a little unstable on my feet I miss it the second time.
Aloysius seems to have lost his focus and misses the troll three times with fire. Suddenly I remember that Troll are especially susceptible to fire and acid damage. How could I forget? How could I let down Vestri, Opal, Efram and Melody like that? Fire. I try to ready a smite.
The captain shoots his tentacles at the troll and seems to hit. While I watch this I’m momentarily distracted and everything goes black again.
I open my eyes again, feeling worse than I have in my entire life. Aloysius helps me stand and I can barely move on my own. This is a terrible position to be in just before we hope to enter the Castle. How on Faerune are we going to do this?
We limp our way south and make a spot for a fire and a bit of a rest. Aloysius heals me (again I think) with his new wand and I feel much better for it and the rest.
We continue south very carefully and come across a small town, of no more 20 buildings with a large town square that’s clear of snow and has some deep wagon tracks.
I suddenly remember Crowe and Efram and ask about snow berries. Rox says that the bushes nearby are snow berries, so I actually take the time to fill a vial that Jojo gave me. I silently swear to myself that will make it back to Eltural to give these to Crowe on Efram’s behalf.
We walk into the town and past some stables in disrepair as well as 5 people standing outside some town buildings. They appear to be keeping a look out for something so I ask them what they are looking at. Two of them refuse to answer and I don’t want to push my luck.
We go into the warm tavern and purchase some food while asking some questions of the tavern guy. He confirms that the castle we can see is Sky Reach Castle.
After some time we get inundated by the locals asking us about our travels. To humour them we tell them about an 8 armed troll. Then we see the tavern guy return and all the town’s folk scatter and won’t talk to us again. Suddenly outside the tavern door, across the square I see someone gesturing to me. Trying to think on my feet I convince Rox to be sick and we walk outside to follow the guy. He tells me that we are in immediate danger and we need to follow and leave immediately.
After some serious thinking and questions I decide to trust him and go back to get the others. I find Jojo with Rox and I tell her to get the other two and bring my food.
Once we are all together we walk into the forest and I pin the guy against a tree. Eventually he explains that he’s a normal person from the town and that the town is full of the cult. Apparently they have been here for over a year now, Resmire came through yesterday morning. Well it’s the only half dragon that he’s seen. The castle appeared 2 months ago. We offer Gundalin the wheel write the opportunity to be turned into foam and pushed through the ring to maybe live and be somewhere else. He declines and I am unable to contact Onthar. I hope he’s ok. I write a quick note to him, explain where we are and what we need to do next and re-join the others.
After a lot of discussion we go and check out the stables. We find that the door is barred from the outside and I presume that it’s to keep something inside. I pull out my shield and hammer preying to Bahamut that Rox or Jojo do not open that door. Rox does and I see nothing inside. I assume that there is definitely something there and that not being able to see it is worse than seeing it. Suddenly we hear a roar like a lion and Aloysius says that there is something in there. The Captain suggests that they are dragons and all I can think and pray is, please don’t go in there; please don’t go in there. I’m getting ready to crash tackle Jojo or Rox if they go to enter. I wanted nothing less than to go into that stable to ‘see’ what is in there. We had enough problems without adding another fight to the day. Eventually we decide to leave well enough alone and approach the Castle.
After some frustrating stuffing around to attach the banner to a spear we approach the castle. We drop down a small drop to a draw bridge and walk across it. There were ballista’s pointing at us but none fired. As we walked along the bridge I saw a male giant and a female giant eyeing each other off. After a moment I think they are statues.
The Captain entered the castle, then Rox, Aloysius, Jojo then me. We each say the pass phrase and by some miracle we don’t die.
The Captain knocks on the giant door and tries the hand signal. No one comes to open it but we push through to see an entire courtyard and castle made of ice.
We head east and see a human sized spiral staircase. Aloysius suggests that we got up as that looks like where the officer’s lounge is. I have no idea where he comes up with these things. We head upstairs. Round and round we go. Eventually we get up to a landing and find a long corridor. Aloysius says we should keep going up, so we do and enter another courtyard. We see no one except an ogre.
We open a door and see 4 ogres with fancy plumed helmets. Unfortunately a chime sounds as we open the door and the ogres draw clubs. Thinking quickly the Captain hails Teamut and Blagothkus and tells them to put their weapons away “you fools”. T tells us that no little ones are allowed here. Remembering that I have a potion of Giants Growth I force the Captain to drink it. He grows to about 12 feet tall, which is not quite as tall as an ogre.
The Captain tells him that we need to see the security. The ogres say that Blagothkus is upstairs and there is an alarm. Eventually the ogres let us go upstairs and believe Rox when he says we are big ones in disguise.
As we head upstairs The Captain goes back to him normal size. I was really hoping that it would last longer. We climb up the giant stairs and see a (presumably) cloud giant.
He says something and I turn and look at Jojo. She says she heard him say “who are you and why are you here”? Then asks in common.
I hear the Captain say that we are there to crash the castle!!!!!!!!!!!!! He asks where Resmire is and apparently she will be in her chambers in the glacier. Out of nowhere the Captain asks if the giant knows how to make someone a dark mantle. I don’t know why or what’s he’s talking about.
Blagothkus (the cloud giant) says that the castle will leave when Esclarotta (his wife) says so. He won’t tell us where she is and tells us to leave her tomb alone. Turns out that she has passed.
He asks for our names and we tell the whole truth, it seems the best bet now. I tell him that we are here to stop the cult of the dragon and he says that he seeks the freedom of his children.
I also find out that he revers Stronmaus, whose domains are chaos, protection, storm and war and good. he is impressed with me and i bow in respect.
The Captain tells him that Talis sent us there and I ask where the castle is going. He explains that he does not know and that the Cult have his children. He doesn’t know where his children are. He and they are cloud giants and apparently cloud giants are born about my size and he last saw them when they were 10 ft tall.
It turned out that some of the ogres are on his side and some are with the cult. He also asks us to kill the white cloud chasing dragon while we are here. We agree and say that we will do what we can to unite him with his children.
The Captain asks if there is somewhere we can rest. Blagothkus suggests his bed and he puts us up on the bed to rest.
As we are dozing off we hear a voice saying that we are about to take off and that more instructions will come soon, for now we are just going up. 1000 ft up.
The Captain wants to kill the guy that came in, apparently he is a former crew member called Finn.
Blagothkus tells us to hang onto something so I grab the bear skins bedding and close my eyes. We felt a take-off and then it’s smooth.
After a rest we give Blagothkus his bed back. I hadn’t even considered that if we were there he couldn’t sleep and I apologise for keeping him up. It was very kind of him to let us remain there. I truly hope that he is Good and that we might be able to reunited him with this children. He says he told his guard that we can come and go as we please. So we head out into the castle looking for Resmeer.
We passed some sleeping ogres in large arm chairs and work out way through the castle to find Resmire.
We decide to head towards the glacier. We walk through a corridor that ends with an ice door (with no handle) or a wall. Rox starts feeling around and suddenly the door disappears in front of us. Beyond is a wide tunnel slide. It goes up and down.
Rox steps in and slowly moves his way up. After not long (actually longer than I expected) he loses his footing and slides back towards us and the door. He tries again and seems successful then disappears from view.
After an anxious while he yells that there’s nothing up there as we hear a loud clatter from below. He says he’s ok and Jojo decides to go down after him. Aloysius pushes her to help her on her way.
She lands and I ask down after her. She says that something is down there and we shouldn’t come down; that they are going to try to come back up. Then Rox calls out that there is a dragon down there and wants us to come down. jojo yells out that she wants to leave.
I couldn’t believe it. There is a Dragon down there. But in the name of Bahamut were we going to do. I ask the Captain and Aloysius what we should do. After some discussion we decide that live or die we need to go down and join them so we ready our weapons (I give Aloysius my spear) and we slide down hoping to land on the Dragon and surprise it.
I cast fire smite as I fall. I lad on the dragon and miss with two hits. Oh no! We can’t afford to make any misses. It’s a white dragon and it grabs me with it tail and pulls me. It hurts a lot and I worry that the fight is already lost. We need to get out. I hear Jojo saying she’s sorry but that she needs to get out of here.
Suddenly the dragon flies for a bit and settles down. It takes the Captain and with it the Captain was able to break free.
I start smashing it with divine fire. Hit then miss. More misses we can’t afford. The Dragon then moves us to the other side of the room and puts us down.
In a bellowing dragon voice it says that we brought this on ourselves. I’m not sure what we’ve done. I assume we’ve entered her lair and therefore we deserve to die. We continue to try to defeat her or but may we should be trying to talk our way out of this. I hit it again and miss and it uses her tail (still holding me) and smashes me into the ceiling.
It breathes its freezing cold breath on me (like I could do to it) as well as others. Rox and the Captain go down and it throws me across the room and everything goes black.
Suddenly I awake with Aloysius standing over me. I appeared to have suffered another concussion and knock out. I couldn’t see anything except a hug pile of gold and a small cliff. Apparently the dragon had gone and I had been through across to the far end of the room and off a small cliff. Thank Bahamut that it was small. I turn to look at the cliff and feel that though it’s not high that it is insurmountable. Aloysius gives me fly again and I wobbly hover-fly up the cliff after him.
Once back on ground level I can see that something in wrong. Neither Rox nor the Captain are moving. Aloysius goes towards the Captain and I go to Rox. Neither of them wake. After all my healing, Aloysius’ new wand and some healing kits they still don’t move. I realise with a sudden and crushing sadness that this Cult has claimed more of my companion’s lives. They are dead.