20th Eleasias, 1490 DR (contd.)
Climbing back down the tower, Turin suggests searching Borngray’s rooms one more time. Crake lets the cult leader’s raven out of its brass cage, and gets pecked in the eye for his trouble before the bird flies off. Crake finds a sapphire hidden in the sawdust at the bottom of the cage; Ug and Gwastdyn move the heavy object to one side to reveal a loose floorboard and Borngray’s strongbox.
Returning to the bailey, the party realise the surviving cultists are holed up in the chapel. Gwastdyn turns himself into a red squirrel and climbs up the outside of the tower, peering through the arrow slits. He spots four cultists on the first floor, but no one else. Crake picks the lock on the chapel door and Ug boots it open. Inside, Sivash and a group of dragonclaws and cultists are ready to attack. There’s some fighting in the doorway, then Rosie casts hunger of Hadar which fills the room with eldritch darkness and squirming tentacles. The PCs kill the dragonclaw at the entrance, then Crake slays Sivash as he emerges from the dark. Rosie dispels her spell to reveal several dead bodies. Moving forward cautiously, the PCs peer into the corridor to the east and are shot at with crossbows. Rosie casts shatter and then the others move in and finish off the survivors.
With the ground floor secure, the party climb the stairs to the first floor where four cultists wait. The PCs enter melee. Gwastdyn remembers he knows the thornwhip cantrip and casts it for the first time, killing one of the cultists. But then the door opens and seven dragonwings appear. They surround Ug and their attacks take him down. He fails his first death save. As Crake, Rosie and Jamna retreat, Turin grabs the unconscious paladin and throws him down the stairs “to safety”. Ug rolls another death save and gets a 1. He tumbles down the stairs, lying in a crumpled heap at the bottom, his neck twisted at a horrible angle. Things get even worse when Turin also falls as the cultists close in on him at the top of the stairs. Fortunately, Gwastdyn is able to administer a potion of healing to bring him round and the PCs are able to make it back down to the chapel. They barricade the door and flee out into the courtyard.
Rosie finds Snapjaw and asks him if there is a lizardfolk shaman who can cast gentle repose on Ug. They take the half-orc's armour off in readiness, only to discover that the paladin has a woman’s body underneath. They discuss this surprising revelation and agree it would probably be best not to say anything to Ug once he has been raised. They take a long rest.
Turin casts invisibility on Gwastdyn, then Rosie casts fly so the druid can fly up to the first floor and conjure a pack of wolves among the cultists through the arrow slit. The plan works, but when he orders the wolves to attack, he is visible again. One of the cultists shoots him with a crossbow bolt, he loses concentration, and the wolves all vanish. As the others come up the stairs, the dwarf flies back up and casts a second conjure animals spell to call more wolves. Battle is joined and this time the PCs are victorious without any casualties, with Crake knocking out the last dragonwing. They tie him up to interrogate later. Or not.
The party search Rezmir’s rooms, finding the command word to activate the teleportation circle. Rezmir’s notes reveal that the portal heads to a hunting lodge under the command of Talis the White – could this be Crake’s childhood friend? Crake triggers the trap on the half-dragon’s wardrobe, and everyone in the room is sprayed with acid. Unfortunately this ruins the valuable statue and fancy robes inside. In the library on the floor below, the PCs look through the books, then Rosie decides to set them on fire (“no good can come from books”). Turin shows his thoroughness by insisting the party return to the bullywug quarters and find Spattergoo’s room. Here they loot a sturdy chest filled with tarnished silver jewellery and art objects. At this point, Rosie remembers they had left the bound cultist in the library which is now burning brightly.
The group talk to Snapjaw again, telling him they had seen two black dragons through the farseer in the Observatory. Snapjaw is confused – the only black dragon in the Mere he knows about is Voaraghamanthar. He agrees to guide the PCs through the Mere to the High Road.
The PCs arrive in the mining town of Leilon with Ug’s body. The half-orc paladin is raised from the dead at the temple of Amaunator, following a 1,000 gp donation to the church. When the PCs go to leave, they realise Jamna has disappeared.
The party arrive back at Castle Naerytar. Entering the dungeon, Gwastdyn conjures four crocodiles to kill the gray ooze Turin has discovered in a side cave. There is a small hoard of precious stones in the water. With no stone left unturned, they head for the portal.