Wet, acid-stained, and smelling like smoke and mud, we finally found our way back to the warded path, where we were able to rest.
In the morning, we decided to send Shen and Grontina on a Starbucks run while the rest of us went back to the castle. Who needs melee capability when sieging a fortress, anyway? Waknona put a couple of bullywog guards to sleep, and then we walked across the moat again. I gave Waknona my spider climb scroll and she scaled the wall. She threw the rope down and Anastasia and I both messed up our climbing, which of course attracted a gargoyle.
We dispatched the gargoyle and distracted the drakes in the courtyard below by throwing down some of our rations. We shimmied down the rope on the inside and approached the tower where the observatory was. We didn’t find interesting on the ground floor, but on the second floor we surprised that awful elf who was yelling at us when we were in the tower. Waknona actually did something awesome and stabbed the hell out of him. Anastasia got all in his face with these lunar looking wolves. I have to admit it was kind of cool, until he hit her in the face. Finally, Sassay whispered carelessly to him and he died. We found a tiny key in a pocket on his belt. And then in the next room, Sassay found a chest under some floorboards, and inside the chest was the dragon scale onyx ring we were looking for! And some money and gems (chrysoberyl) and stuff.
We went up to the top floor, and what we thought was going to be a telescope was actually a really weird looking device with a big gem at the end and a smaller gem in the middle. And when you grabbed the handles and looked into the gem, you could see into the swamp! It was pretty cool, actually. We futzed with it for a while until somebody broke it and we couldn’t see any more. We left it alone and went back down to try to sneak across the courtyard into the nearest tower. I swear Anastasia must have tripped me because I totally fell over and suddenly the three drakes rounded the corner and attacked us. We took them out pretty quickly, but then the door we were headed to opened, and we could see all kinds of cultists inside…