Miss Victoria's School for Girls

Save the Statue!

At the top of the stairs was a really swanky office with these humongous onyx dragons. Probably worth a fortune. But then these jerks saw us and didn’t believe we belonged there. So we had to kill them. Unfortunately, one got away and sounded the alarm, so we barricaded the staircase and kept going up. Anastasia found a drawing of a ring labeled ‘Draezir’ which she seemed to think was important or something.

In a nearby bedroom, Grontina opened a wardrobe with a dragon carving on it, which immediately bathed the entire room in disgusting-smelling acid that burned everyone and everything in the room. Fortunately I was smart enough to be standing far far away from that mess. Then we opened a chest that had this beautiful dragon statue made of real black dragon scales and rubies and diamonds (worth 4800 gold if we can get it back in one piece; 1200 if not), lying on a bed of 1000 gold pieces. So much shiny.

We found a room with nothing in it but a wall painting of Tiamat. We tried everything to get it to be a secret passage, but no luck. We had to get out the way we came in. We went back down the steps, collecting some books and pulling apart the barricade we created. When we opened the front door, we got instantly fireballed. And some lame elf-guy told us we needed to lay down our weapons or get killed. He had about 30 people with him, so it was a credible threat. We hemmed and hawed a bit, and closed the door, which they took to mean we weren’t surrendering. So they started to burn the tower down. Fuuuuuu.

We thought about shrinking ourselves to fit through the arrow slits, but Grontina decided to make the hole bigger instead. We sent our captive cultists through first (Grontina insisted) and then all went out the hole…

…into the crocodile-infested moat. Crap. Grontina and Anastasia got surrounded by reptiles, so I had to do the unthinkable. I dropped the gorgeous statue into the moat and hasted them. We got away (all except the hot guard captive) and sprinted past the gatehouse full of bullywogs and down a path through the swamp, where we at least got a short rest before trying to make our way back to the warded road.

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If at first you don't succeed
just keep banging your head against that castle wall.

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…

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Blood, bugs, and unexpected travel

Thankfully, just as the cultists spotted us, Grontina and Shen appeared scaling down the walls, weapons and coffee cups in hand. Waknona somehow vanished, but we didn’t even need her stabby abilities, because Grontina cut a bloody path through them, and Shen created a wind wall that pulped about 6 of them. One of the remaining ones (Jeffrey) must have been a ninja or something, because nobody could hit him, but finally we killed all his friends and he surrendered.

Not even a minute later, a bunch of bullywogs stormed into the bloody room. They zoomed past us through another door, and the surrendered cultist said they were probably going down to warn Farblex. Shen ran ahead and shut the door on some gross noises she heard, but then Tina knocked it down to find a room full of bugs! Ugh! Shen was having none of that, so she wind walled the crap out of the room until it was basically a centipede smoothie, and then she and Grontina were ready for a nap, so we took a short rest to the tune of Enya’s “Sail Away”.

After our disco nap, we went downstairs, making sounds like bullywogs all the way. We got to the bottom where there was a stinky pool, so of course Sassay immediately climbed into the hole the stink water was coming out of and let us into a cave where the ground bitch-slapped her in the face. We laughed at her and then killed whatever it was, and got some gorgeous gemstones for our trouble. I really need to re-open my etsy shoppe and sell some jewelry. We head back to the main cavern, down a set of misty stairs, lowered ourselves in a winch, and then turned right into a room where we found a big stone ring like in the picture we found. Anastasia foolishly decided to say “Brassiere” and we suddenly found ourselves outside in a wooded valley! We can’t get back using the word, but maybe we should check out that house on the hill…

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I think this place is trying to kill us.

Upon arriving in this strange and mysterious place, we set about exploring. Brit noticed that the pylons where they arrived said “Unquiet swamp of mournful croaking” in an ancient elvish dialect. There were a couple of other sets of pylons, but we couldn’t read what they said. We figured they might be portals to other places.

Then we approached the house, which looked like it might have seen a recent visit from something dragon-y? Then when we went in, we got attacked by some gargoyles. They started to beat up on Sassay pretty bad, but we took them out and then headed back out to the forest to take a rest before fighting anything else. There was some armor in there, but it didn’t look very good, so we left it behind.

After we set up camp, some asshole fraternity trolls tried to wake us up and party with us, so I set them on fire. They didn’t like that and came over and beat the crap out of me. I must have passed out for a second, because I thought for a moment that Waknona actually hit something. The stupid trolls wouldn’t die until we threw them into the fire, so we did, and finally got some damn rest.

The next morning, we made another run at the chalet, this time by the back door. We looked in a window and saw that there were some cooks in cultist robes in there, so we put most of them to sleep, opened another door and found some more people, put them to sleep too, and then questioned one of them. His name was Angrath the groomsman (formerly the huntsman) and he told us that we were in the Greypeak Mountains about a day’s ride from Parnest. He warned us about the lady of the house, Tallis the White, who is a dragon fanatic. Her right hand troll is Trepsin, who has four arms and is her hunt master. There were also Gaston the butler and Linda the housemaid. He said to make sure if we go to Parnest to bring the Dragon banner. He also told us that there were prisoners in the basement, so we went down there next.

There were three of them, a male human named Brother Camran, who was the priest in Parnest, a dwarf named Kragnor who was investigating a mine in the nearby mountains, and a beat up human female named Myrcella who apparently saw too much in the back room in the Parnest Inn. The dwarf was lying, so Caeman told us he was being questioned about Varram the White. Grontina made a zone of truth, but Kragnor was veeeerrrry cagey still, so we decided to leave him chained up but we released the other two and sent them up to guard the room full of cultists. We also found what looked to be a set of magic torturer’s tools. Creepy.

We went upstairs to check things out and almost immediately found Tallis, Trepsin, and 3 more guards. Tallis said that she considered us her guests and hoped we could do business…

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Damn, these dragon people have nice stuff

Tallis sounded pretty evil and was trying to convince us to leave and sabotage her rival Reznir’s treasure truck. Shen apparently knew her from when they were kids, so she tried to chat with her, but Grontina got bored with that and stabbed her pet troll in the wang. It was pretty freaky, but then what was more freaky was when Sassay crushed a bloody chicken heart in her hand and freaked Brittanya, Waknowna, and most of the bad guys the fuck out. It was creepy, ok?

We eventually got over it and fried the troll. Tallis jumped out the window and got away, and the guards surrendered. We took their stuff, including a fancy wolf skin cloak, +1 chainmail, and a really awesome wand of winter. We found a room with amazing dragon tapestries depicting different dragons in different environments, including black and white dragons in a swamp, so we thought they might depict reality. In another room, we found a magic spear named Dragongleam, which when you say “Tiamat shines brightly” it casts daylight.

Downstairs, there were a lot of parlors. In one, a suit of armor attacked us and made black tentacles crawl up our legs. We killed it and discovered that the tapestry near it was a portal. We also found an arrow-catching shield. And finally, we found the linen closet where we found the dragon banner that will help us get into town. And there was a room where kobolds had clearly been hanging out. Where they are now, nobody knows. The people we saved talked about a red wizard that passed through recently, and that there’s some kind of army in the Sunset Mountains. Also Tallis was talking about Glazhael the Cloud Chaser – maybe it’s a dragon?

Rezmir is apparently at Skyreach castle, which is supposed to be near the town of Parnest, though nobody there knows about it. So I guess that’s where we’re going next.

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Omigod you guys

We rest up before making the hike to Parnast. Shen became a horse, and Sassay, Waknowna, and Anastasia rode her, while Britanya had to ride with Grontina on her steed.

We get into town and sort of poorly bluff the guards, forgetting that we have a dragon banner to show them. The locals tell us that they never go into the fog, which is where the castle presumably is. Captain Othelstan is apparently busy, so we go in to the sad little tavern. We chatted with some locals for a bit, and the Captain came in. We thought we bluffed him but good, but then when he led us outside there were a whoooooooole bunch of cultists out there waiting to kill us.

It took some doing, but we killed them. And Brittanya found some very compelling loot on one of the bodies…

And then there was a big rumbling noise and a ice castle popped out of the fog and flew away. What the heck was that about?

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Let it go, let it gooooooo

This guy motioned us into a barn where they had three wyverns cooped up. He hooked us up to ride them, since they knew how to get to the castle that just floated away. With a couple of mild adventures, we fly into the bottom hole cave of the ice castle. We wandered into the lair of a white dragon, which we tried to bluff, horribly. So instead we killed it with fire and stabbings. We cut its head off and threw it out of the castle. It had a bunch of loot. We took the magic stuff and left the gold.

We wandered through a bunch of twisty little passages until we found a stairway up. It took us into a mist-filled passage. We walked down it until we had to roll initiative…

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Head like a hole, black as my soul

We continued exploring the floating ice castle. We found a bunch of those Dragon Cultist crates, but when we tried to open them, Rezmir came out! Turns out she was a dragon born! And then mages and gargoyles popped out of every orifice in the castle! We killed Rezmir and the gargoyle, but the arcane types were sneaky. One turned out to be an illusion, and the other walked into another room that had a wall open to the open air which then suddenly reappeared. We couldn’t figure it out.

Then Shen stepped on a rug that enveloped her and almost smothered her. She eventually dispelled whatever magic was on it, and then we struck up a conversation with Rezmir’s sword, who was actually kind of a brat.

Inside a chest we found a bunch of stuff: a gold necklace with peridot stones (400 gp), silver torque (200 gp), 6 moonstones (50 gp each), set of 20 loose pearls (3000 gp), 600 sp, 200 gp, 50 pp. Also there was a big depression in the chest that looks like there used to be something big and heavy there. The sword was a sentient neutral evil great sword (+1, deals 1d6 necrotic, also probably does more cool stuff if you attune), and an insignia of claws (it empowers your natural weapons). But we’d have to put it on Shen after she turned into an animal. We find three casks – one of cinnamon, one of nutmeg, and one of pepper. We also find a tome in a language we can’t understand that had some creepy demony kinky illustrations in it, as well as an illustration of a dragon with 5 heads and a summoning circle. Lots of letters and journal stuff in Rezmir’s chamber – some references to collecting the masks at the Well of Dragons. Rezmir was in possession of the Black Dragon mask, and she was supposed to report to the Well with mask and treasure. And scrolls! Dimension Door, Fireball, Feather Fall. And letters addressed to Rath Modar. There’s a connection between the Red Wizards of Thay and the Dragon Cultists. The letters were signed by Severin. Also some other letters that make it sound like not all the Red Wizards are happy about the alliance.

We rested, and had to unmagic the door to get back out, so we did. In the other room, every time we touched the one wall, it disappeared, and was exposed to the elements. There was a platform out there that looked like you could park a wyvern or a helicopter on it. So yeah, who knows if that mask is still on this boat.

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There is a Castle on a Cloud (And it's filled with ogres)

Continuing our exploration of the castle, we walked into a room where there was a giant couple trying to cast some kind of augury spell. They hit hard, but we killed them. It took us forever to open the chest, in which we found some weird tools and gems worth 16,000 gp. Also a weird tuned cauldron that is clearly magical. We continued on to a fancy bedroom, then through the courtyard to a stable with wyverns in it, then around to the barracks where we apparently fought a bunch of soldiers. After a short rest, we headed upstairs to the top level of the castle. We find a bunk room full of terrified kobolds, and then some giant-sized bedrooms. Finally, we wander into a tower and trigger a bunch of ogre guards and their leader, Blag Othkus. We suddenly remembered how to hit things super hard, so we did that a bunch of times.

Britanya banished the cloud giant king, and while he was gone, Annie had a vision of an cloud giant woman crying and saying “He means well”, so when he came back Annie wanted to parlay with him. We did, and he told us that his wife’s spirit (Escarlotta) controls the ship, and took us to the jewel-encrusted control room, where these cool dwarves-ish runes were controlling the ship. We discussed an alliance, and Blagothkus agreed, so we steered the ship back to Miss Victoria’s and leveled to 8!

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