Entry begins as we discovered the teleportation circle in the underground caverns (I started to write this out in Valeriya’s voice, but gave up to save time)…
Damn. We have once again failed to prevent the escape of a wanted enemy, or in this case several enemies. We had hoped to corner Frulem and her lord, Rezmir, Azbarra Jass, and this demented elf Drawlmore Borngrey. In the end we killed only Frulem while the leaders of the dragon cult slipped out through a teleportation circle to some place called the Mountainridge Portal Nexus and someone called Tanis the White. We read of this in some cult papers which also revealed the portal command word of Drayzir, but it gave no idea what we might expect to find there.
Once we arrived late to the teleportation circle there was some debate as to whether we should pursue immediately or not, we took stock of our injured condition and depleted arsenals and decided that it would be foolish to follow into whatever trap or ambush lay beyond the mystic circle without regaining our strength.
We deemed it wise to fight the degenerate frog-like swamp denizens into their innermost sanctum and put a merciful end to their depraved existences. I pray that they may find peace in the next world that they were denied her in this one.
Therefore we spent the last magic at our disposal for healing except only that I reserved enough holy power to cure a single disease or poison. We were not at full strength, but neither was anyone in our group near to death and we deemed these malformed spawn of dark sorcery to be pathetic, weakly creatures.
There were two potential caverns that the bullywugs could have fled into. The first led to a large underground lake with a couple of small islands and many giant toads or frogs. I never learned the difference. But while we debated what to do one of our party scouted the other passage and heard chanting as if from a casting ritual or something from the other cavern so I laid out caltrops and ball bearings in the first passage to protect our rear in some small way, then we moved swiftly to the attack.
Our undisciplined charge met little resistance as we quickly found ourselves spread across the chamber fighting and killing many slack-jawed man-frogs. Their depraved leaders, in white wedding dress and gaudy jewelry would occasionally pop out of a passage at the end of the cavern and cast a spell at us, but to little effect until he threw a clay or stoneware pot into the middle of the room.
The pot released a cloud of poison or drug that affected our druid in the most alarming way. He became crazed and deluded. One minute he seemed to believe he was a frog and begin running for the watery lake behind us. The next he was himself but perceived all about him to be frog-like foes and struck out randomly causing us harm. Soon after the first pot came another and another. I succumbed to the second pot and remember no more until I woke up fully ten minutes later, tied up and drooling at the edge of the lake.
The final tally was that the bullywugs all died, that Terradon the druid had died in the lake before the party finally came to his aid. I had struck down two of my companions (although not to death) before being subdued, and our barbarian friend Brock had also succumbed to the poison and been subdued. Of the shameful acts of greed and stupidity that took place after I was taken by the drug I will say no more than they were of a scale calculated to stagger humanity. Enough said and we shall let bygones be bygones. Let me only say that we found a magic scroll in the treasury of the frog-men that returned our druid to life.
So we rested, indeed we slept, underground to restore our energies. Then we tore through the rest of the caverns crushing swarms of centipedes, frogs, and a few stray bullywugs before returning to the surface to secure the last of the aboveground parts of the castle.
At the surface we met with a small party of lizardmen led by Snapjaw, our ally of convenience against the bullywugs. They began collecting bodies and conducting some idiotic lizard rites. We ignored them and went to the garbage tower. We barely poked a toe in before a filth-wallower attacked with many tentacles. The thing was huge and horrible that lasted mere seconds in toe to toe combat with us.
Further up the tower were some ghosts that we were able to mop up in a hurry. I put magic protection from evil up and charged the stairs. Several ghosts appeared the moment I set foot on the floor. The dwarf warrior charged directly after me, passed me, and stood between me and the undead. The fight unfolded in this fashion with nearly all the foes pounding the dwarf, but it was over quickly and he didn’t take any permanent damage. This left us with only the gargoyles unresolved.
The gargoyles seemed to protect the uppermost floor of the observatory rather stupidly. We decided that ignoring them was not an option, and we wanted to see what Borngrey was using it for. It was our hope that we could orchestrate the fight to make it easy. We rigged a huge weight at one of the arrow loops on the floor below, and connected a rope. I rushed the stairs again, and as anticipated the gargoyles animated. We roped the first gargoyle and retreated down the steps. Before it could react, we pushed the weight and dragged the gargoyle down the stairs and crushed it by trying to squeeze it through the arrow loop. It worked perfectly, and thankfully the remaining gargoyles came down the narrow stairs one at a time. We pounded them to gravel at very little risk to ourselves. Hooray for tactics and discipline.
The observatory was complicated. We gained a rudimentary sense of how it works. It was initially set showing a steaming cave in the swamp somewhere. We adjusted it and watched Baldur’s Gate for a bit. We enjoyed it, but felt that it was more likely we’d break the damned thing.
Then we took a long rest. In many cases we profited from our experience. We became stronger. And we got the idea to interrogate Frulem’s corpse using a Speak with Dead spell inside a Zone of Truth. We had to convince Snapjaw that we needed the body temporarily, but he was okay with it once we told him he could have her back. We got five questions.
Who are the leaders of the Dragon Cult?
-Five captains, five kings, serve the bearer of the black crown.
What are their names?
-Wormspeaker Severin the Red.
-Galvan the Blue.
-Nerin Vein the Green, son of Melondrak, king of the misty forest
-Rezmir the Black
-Verrandath the White
Where is Tiamat to be summoned? (3 questions)
In a cave in the southern mountains, nearest city is Baldur’s Gate, 300-400 miles East.
So, feeling strong, we charged the teleportation circle, yelled “Drayzir!” and were instantly transported to a snowy circle of standing stones in a forested area. There was a mansion or large building with stone lower floor and wood uppers.
After a short scouting mission by Terredon, a peryton attacked us from its nest by the chimneys. They don’t turn out to be scary in numbers of one.
The scouting mission showed footprints of many sorts going to the front door and also to the right to an outbuilding that looked like a barn. We decided to conquer the outbuilding first. The bulk of us amassed by the front door while Terredon (druid) and Reynard (warlock) covered the rear, making it a perfect pincer attack. The Garr knocked on the door to see what would happen.
What happened was this, the door swung open wide and Garr was greeted by a giant, four armed humanoid monster who declared Garr his new best friend, but that it was unfortunately that he preferred pulling arms off to having a best friend. Then he tried to pull off Garr’s arms. There were also many hound sort of things in the barn, but they were much weaker.
We pounded on the monster and hounds for a while before a couple more, similar but two armed and smaller, monsters came running up the trail behind us. Around this time we noticed that the big one wouldn’t stay dead, and we decided he was some sort of troll. The troll was fixated on tearing Garr apart, and Garr got fixated on the idea that decapitation would kill the troll.
Meanwhile, at the back door, Terredon and Reynard, having failed to close the pincer, found themselves under attack from the rear and now we were fighting trolls on two fronts like idiots. Fortunately we were pretty tough and we stomped the hounds quickly and finally decapitate the troll to little effect.
The rest of the fight was pretty much summarized thus- we’d keep the trolls pounded into the dirt as much as possible while Reynard burned them unto a permanently lifeless state. Reynard is pretty much our only source of weaponized fire. The monk, Himo, threw in some flasks of oil too, most of which he got from Garr who was apparently prepared to illuminate a church or something.