Talos sends us to Parnast, and we run into Auric. We take a beautiful 5 mile walk and we just get really refreshed by it, since we have been in bogs and the like. We come to a logging camp in a rabine and we can see an ice tower. Some villagers ignore us and the like. We find a well and meet Mikeas, a 'humble villager' (Wearing armor under his clothing). He leads us to Ocelot, who is immediatly stabbed by Vadania, who disengages and gets back in line with the rest of the group. After a pause, Auric uses flame hands to burn three of the guards, killing them. Oghren smashes the veteran in the face, and Vadania stabs Ocelot again. He shouts "release the castle" and the group runs out, trying to jump on the castle. Unfortunately the castle lifts off quickly, and they can't quite get on.
Unable to do so, the group turns and Osthen manages to stab Vadania. Ohgren smacks him and we kill Ocelot. He has some sort of second wind, however, and stabs Vadania. A guard who was hurt earlier by the fire runs over to open some stables, revealing two Wyvrens. The adventurers go on the wyvrens and
Auric goes through the portal before everyone else, and upon following him we find ourselves surrounded by pine trees, two stones and a large house nearby. A patrol of two trolls and two drakes are circling the house. Vedania and Kerri sneak into the house, and upon seeing no one, grab their friends. Exploring the house, the group finds nothing until Vadania enters a room where there are some enemies. They ask what up and Vadania makes up a story about how she is a starving traveler and they tell her to get out quick. She backs up and they explore around upstairs a bit
Upon exiting the room they see two heavily armored men. We briefly engage the group, but realize that we should meet with Talos, the owner of the house. As it turns out, our views on Rezmir align and we get help from her in leading us to Rezmir at Skyreach castle.
I love DMing for this thing. But playing Kerri, the absolutely RIDONKULOUS barbarian, is my favorite part.
In Episode 5, she responded to a guy's negative comment in a bar by picking him up with one hand (remember, Gauntlets of Ogre Power(ed)), punching the daylights out of him, and throwing him out of the bar.
Later, we found out that all the jobs for caravan guards were taken. She walked up to the caravan master and told him to fire all his guards and hire her instead. Why? Well, because she could easily take on three of his men - unarmed, which she quickly demonstrated.
Finally, the caravan was ambushed by a troll, which started ripping through some wagons. Kerri chased it down, grappled it, hauled it away from the wagons, pinned it down, and worked together with the other characters to finish it off. She then held it down and pummeled it to prevent it from regenerating as the other characters built a bonfire.
Kerri is the best. I'm really looking forward to playing her in Rise of Tiamat and grappling some real dragons.
Upon exiting the tunnel we hear loud creatures speaking in draconic, far far ahead. We run into Auric, who flew with magic to find us. We go down a mucky side trail, covered in claw marks of possibly the lizard men the cultists were mentioning. We reach a small campsite with a campfire and canoes on a swamp. Hearing some draconic coming closer, Oghren alerts everyone and we retreat and lay in wait to ambush them. They land, and Auric hears them talking about leaving, signaling us to move back. As this happens, they hear Zashier, and one lizardman moves to check out the noise.
The Group launches a group surprise attack; Auric launches a cone of fire and Vadania mostly kills one lizard folk. A fierce battle ensues and most draconic are dead. As soon as they have an opportunity to attack they surrender, and we begin to talk to them. Auric approaches in a friendly manner, which completely freaks them out even more. He changes moods to interrogate them. We find out that two are talking to Snapjaw, a more intelligent lizardfolk, who reveals that he is coming from castle Naerytar, to transport treasure. Snapjaw hides a message in his speech, asking Auric to speak alone with him. Auric, understanding, has Vadania, Oghren and Zashier move away, and it is revealed that Vadania asks everyone to remember her name because she has difficulty remembering it herself.
Auric finds out from Snapjaw that the lizardmen were being oppressed by the cultists and bullywugs, and he holds resentment towards them. As they continue creating a plan, a man runs up the trail, huffing and puffing. Huor is his name, he is a human paladin we met back Elutral when we met Orthar Thruum. We greet him with happiness and joy. We take a long rest and hop into the canoes, Vadania disguised as a cult leader.
About halfway there we run into a bunch of lizard folk, who Snapjaw recognizes as cult loyalists. Vadania acts as if she wouldn't deign to talk to them and they pass by without much diffiCULTy. We approach the castle and meet some lizardmen who are loyal to Snapjaw. Snapjaw informs them of our group's prowess and convinces them to come with us. Snapjaw leads us into the castle and shows us some water that is super deep and some crocodiles. As we are lead into the castle we are greeted by A large procession of Bullywugs, cultists, Dralmorrer (A high ranked half elf dude), a Red Wizard, and Rezmir (a black half dragon). Rezmir immediately recognizes the cloak that Vadania is wearing and begins to retreat into a tower. Auric creates a fireball incinerating the bullywugs closest to the adventurers, and they retreat to the opening of the hallway. The adventurers break into formation where Huor and Oghden defend against a gnarly flurry of blows. Dralmorrer jumps and teleports over to Auric and attacks, dealing a blow and follows up with thunder wave, pushing Huor back into the courtyard. A bullywug shaman creates spikes on the ground, and bullywug warriors shower the group with javalins. The heroes dodge the javalins.
After an incredibly dexterous display of dodging, Oghren mauls Dralmorrer, destroying his shield and breaking his arm. Huor calls attention to himself, taunting the bullywugs and Auric Dralmorrer calls for the shaman to dispell the spikes, to which the shaman responds in a deep voice "No" and hops away. The elf promptly surrenders to the group and Snapjaw marshalls up a group of lizardmen who clear the first and second floor of the keep. On the third floor, the group finds Rezmir's room. Looking out of the window, Vadania sees an adult black dragon.
The adventurers run down to the basement but Huor stays and combats the dragon, landing a nasty blow before being killed by a tail whip acid breath combo. In the dungeon lizardmen lead us to a room with a teleportation portal, which the adventurers run onto.
And nothing happens
The lizardmen reveal that Rezmir usually uses a keyword to activate the portal. We enter another room which has a chest and some mud. Vadania opens the chest, finding nothing of importance, but is ambushed by the frog sorcerer from before, taking much damage. Oghren smashed him to bits, and stole his crocodile hat. They learn the secret word, and Kerri barrels in excited to see everyone. The adventurers go through the portal.
I DM'd episode 5. In it, the characters had to travel farther up the road, easily dispatching a troll on the way.
This ended up being about 80% of the whole thing.
It was SUPPOSED to be an awesome series of stealthy, sneaky, information-gathering missions performed by the characters to figure out where the cultist supplies were being sent. It also potentially involved a couple awesome duels for Kerri or Oghren to take care of in epic ways.
Sadly, the characters essentially rolled natural 20s on their "plot-finding" checks, and somehow took the SHORTEST POSSIBLE ROUTE TO THE END OF THE ADVENTURE. It was unstoppable. It was amazing. It was even sadder than the instant-kill of the boss that Vadania performed in my previous stint as DM.