Spring arrives in the far north.
Valeriya’s birthday coincided with our gathering, and in celebration of such, we found ourselves hip deep in Thai food. Thanks to Valeriya for acquiring, and thanks to Terredon for picking up and delivering. Everyone ate their fill, except Brokk, who was overwhelmed with duties in the alternate dimension known as real life and thus absent. Raynard even made it – flying from far away Kentucky, following the sun for an extra long day to arrive just in time to fling death at attacking dragon cultists. Another dramatic arrival for Raynard!
As a reminder – here’s our cast of heroes:
We picked up where we left off. Our heroes stood beaten and bloodied, while cultists encroached on several fronts! Raynard opened up with some Eldritch Fire on two cloaked figures as they climbing onto a nearby roof. The knockback sent them falling twenty feet to the muddy courtyard below.
A pale one and some white-dragon masked thugs tested the stairway beneath our heroes’ rooftop redoubt. Still more foes, including the high elf Dralmorer Borngray, took up rooftop positions across the courtyard and began a steady hail of arrows. They were driven off with Eldritch Fire and returning shots. One Eldritch Blast caught Borngray in the chest and sent him flying backwards.
From the courtyard below, two cultists wearing especially long and billowy capes, with especially ornate dragon masks, took a running start and leapt to attack the group on the rooftop – only to be smacked down by a heavy round of missile weapon fire and still more Eldritch Fire. Their smoking bodies crashed into the mud of the courtyard with a wet smack.
Valeriya used her shield for heavy cover and just peeked over the parapet. Four heavy arrows hammered shield and helmet in rapid succession. Now spread out and behind the wall, everyone debated what to do next. Down was the decision.
Terredon sent his Flaming Sphere rolling down the steps to greet those waiting below with fiery death. Knowing that a pale one lurked in the darkness beneath, our group was hesitant to pursue. But reluctantly, they left the security of the parapet and ran for the stairs. Garr moves slowly however and got nailed in the back with four heavy shafts, nearly sending him falling unconscious down the stairs.
The battle below was brief. The Flaming Sphere burned the foe – but they were unhindered by their growing blisters. “For Tiamat!” the white masked thugs shrieked, and were cut down. The scimitar wielders worked in consort, slashing furiously for their dragon queen. But, it was the pale one that everyone feared. Initiative rounds consisted of moving forward, taking a blow or two, and then retreating behind the ranks of allies. But a full round of focussed damage brought the bitch down. Just to be sure, Valeriya spent a round hacking her still more. Himo strode in and attacked the two wounded and beaten thugs, smashing them to the ground as well.
And all was still. The Flaming Sphere expired leaving only smoldering foes and and some guttering flames on floor and staircase. All was silent.
The group quickly and quietly searched the tower and adjoining stables. It appeared as though some rooms were inhabited by the lizard men. Those rooms were cleaner and better kept, with dry straw palettes for bedding and clean floors and several of which had finely oiled hinges. The bullywugs were housed in adjacent chambers; fetid, muddy, reeking places with bones, trash, and the acrid smell of frog waste. There were at least two places where it appeared large chests or crates had been removed. The smithy had some crude attempts at weapons – as though handicapped children had tried their hand at the forge.
Shouts from Borngray echoed in the quiet. “What is it you seek? …Are you the ones they call The Hunters? … You’ll never take Castle Naerytar, you know! I’ve many more behind these walls to serve your death! … What is it you want, exactly?” The group refused to answer. Quiet settled again.
The group quietly and hurriedly discussed what to do next. Badly wounded, many needed time to bandage their wounds. They retreated to a quiet room in the tower and took what care time and place allowed. Raynard had some furtive, quiet discussions, apparently with himself. Whatever was said, or done, after a small rest, Raynard in particular seemed greatly refreshed.
Now the group looks to advance into the remains of the keep. But how many cultists are left and mostly, how many pale ones are left? What is Borngray up to? Where are Rezmir and Azbara Jos? What is going on with the observatory atop the central keep? Where did the bullywugs depart to? Where did those chests or crates bugger off to? And where is all the loot the dragon cult has been ferrying out to this castle?
Lastly, will Raynard make it back in time for the game?