Chasing the Hoard

Flying Ice Castle

Ogres and Giants and Dragons, oh my!

Standing in the presence of the Cloud Giant who ruled the castle, the team decided to bluff him by pretending to be cult members who had lost their way, but the giant was far too smart for that. Threatening to turn them over to his ogres for sport, he admonished them to be truthful, and Dame Alkwin decided to reveal their purpose in part. To their amazement, the giant was unconcerned that they were planning to stop the treasure hoard from reaching the cult’s summoning location. His only desire was that his castle be unharmed. “I made a promise to the Cult to allow them to use my castle to deliver the treasure, but no promise to help them to do it, or to prevent other small folk from stopping them,” he said. He had decided to help the cult in their endeavor only to help create a foe that his fellow giants could unite against, since he felt they had grown soft over many years of infighting and there was no enemy for them to war with. He vowed to bring the group to his army of giants and fight the cult with them if they could eliminate the cult leaders and the dragon. With a final warning to avoid the upper courtyard, he dismissed them with a wave of his huge hand, and they were escorted back to the icy staircase leading to the lower courtyard and the castle’s frosty foundation below.
They decided to explore the foundation, a huge block of magical ice, rimed with frost and containing entombed creatures and treasures all it’s own. They passed kobolds, shields, coins, mugs, and animals near the surface of the tunnels, and other unidentifiable shapes buried even deeper in the ice as they progressed lower towards the center of the mass. Eventually the tunnels led to a large cavern, where a massive treasure hoard was laying below a 10 foot drop and covered with ice! Before they could assay the hoard, they noticed a large white dragon clinging to a stalactite on the ceiling, observing them silently. “Have you come with food?” it bellowed. Pierre told them that they did not, and Talon added that they would return with food shortly. “Stupid insignificant creatures, how dare you come in my presence without a gift of flesh me – when you return, bring Rezmir, so that I may discuss a punishment for this insult with her!”, he huffed at them as they left. The group returned to the lower courtyard, glad to have escaped the encounter with their lives!
Entering the castle proper, they passed a locked door and entered a further door that was unlocked to find a wizard’s chamber, with horse skulls hanging from the ceiling, arcane tomes spread upon tall lecterns, and two bald-headed wizards arguing. Their blue tattoos revealed that they were Red Wizards of Thay, undeniably evil and one bore many more markings than the other, obviously a senior wizard. The group remembered the younger wizard from their recent long caravan trip, and he recognized Pierre immediately, yelling, “What are YOU doing here? Stop!” and launched into a spell, firing rays of fire at Pierre, 3 of which he nimbly dodged, only being glanced by one. The senior wizard cast a spell of confusion that affected Talon and Dame Alkwin, although they were able to fight through the effects rather luckily.
After a few tense exchanges, including Galoshti dropping his club, the younger mage went down in a pile of limbs, and the senior wizard summoned a huge ball of fire to descend on the heroes! They were all seriously wounded, and Pierre fell unconscious from his wounds, slipping towards death! Dame Alkwin revived him with the power of Chauntea, and was then attacked by the wizard directly by magical missiles, herself falling unconscious! Talon dropped his scimitar as Galoshti revived his comrade just in time for her to land a few massive blows on the wizard’s person, and he decided to abandon the combat, turning invisible and flying out of the castle through a false wall he had set up for just such an occasion!
Searching the room, they found no treasures, but some books detailing summoning rituals for bringing a being out of the Nine Hells and into the Realms bodily – undoubtedly this was how the cult planned to release Tiamat, the dragon queen! Pierre paused to jam a candle up Azbara’s rear end and tossed him out of the false wall, to fall and land unceremoniously upon a random place…
Leaving the wizards’ study, they entered another nearby room that was reserved for humanoid guests and stopped to rest. Pierre finally attuned to the longsword he had acquired in Castle Naerytar earlier, finding it to be a weapon that caused bleeding in its foe – a powerful weapon, indeed…

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