S06E22 – The Glacier

The group survives the white dragons, meets Ada’s mom and Dave’s true self and finds the dwarven mines.

After leaving their wingsuits behind the heroes start skating over the frozen sea towards the cliffs. The young white dragon and her ten wyrmlings are closing in on them. The heroes reach the cliffs and try to find cover between the rocks. Mara-kai starts shooting at the dragons and manages to kill one of the wyrmlings from more than 300 yards away. This unexpected artillerywoman forces the pack of dragons to make a ninety degree turn, break through the ice and disappear into the water.

The heroes climb on top of their previous covers and prepare for the attack. Suddenly the white dragon emerges through the ice and throws herself upon Markhan and the nearest samurai. The wyrmlings follow suit and spread in all directions. Several rounds later the group finishes with the dragons and Albrecht, convinced that the dragon must be full of gold jumps into the water following the dragon’s dead body as it sinks and spots a sunken Gromsson viking ship which actually contained a rusty treasure chest.

The group starts to climb the cliff while Spike, the adult white dragon, roars in the distance. Mara-kai and Albrecht reach the top after a few seconds of flight, right on time to see Spike furiously charging at them. Albrecht skirts the attack but Mara-kai takes the bulk of the dragon’s breathing attack and is rendered unconscious. With no more sources of lift the paladin and the unconscious Mara-kai start a 500 feet free-fall. Albrecht, in a creative display of problem solving skills, shoves Mara-kai inside the bag of holding and then enters the bag of holding himself keeping his hand out. A few hundred feet down, Fenna, in giant spider form sticks herself to the wall and jumps away from the wall and grabs the falling bag.

Spike flies past the group, loops near the bottom of the cliff and starts flying up to do another deadly pass over the group when, out of the top of the cliff a gold dragon emerges ridden by a female elf. The dragon shoots an immense fireball that forces Spike to change course. Its rider jumps with easy onto the wall very close to Ada and kisses her cheek. The rider happens to be Lilian, Ada’s mom, and she reveals that the dragon is Dave who got free from his I’m-a-yellow-gnome-curse after his first night of passion with his Gromsson girlfriend where he gave and received true love. Lilian promises Ada to spend more bonding time with her after the group is over with the demon and she jumps into Dave’s back and continue fighting Spike.

Lilian and the two dragons plunge underwater as the group continues their climb and eventually reach the top of the cliff and continue their journey. That night Heihachi, the last samurai, gets intimate with Ada while Markhan discusses with Fenna pros and cons of living in nature vs living in civilization.

The next day they group starts their ascend to the glacier where the mines entrance lies. That night they find tracks of cultists and they manage to keep an abominable yeti away with a combination of thunderwave spells and fireballs and elite hiding skills.

Scrap of paper with runes positions that they found in the cave.
Scrap of paper with runes that they found in the cave.
Entrance door to the mines.
Entrance door to the mines.

Finally, the following morning the heroes reach a glacier with a large crevasse in it and, inside it, a door with the shape of a dwarven god. After struggling and sweating over the door runic mechanisms the group makes it through it with all their limbs intact and enters the mines.

S06E21 – The Ice Kingdoms

The heroes explore the Ice Kingdoms and head towards the mines that hold the demon.

After recovering from the attack the heroes spend a few days in Nifleheim recovering. Mara-kai takes this chance to study the book of demons she snatched at Olga’s sex dungeon and finds various ways of sending the demon they are looking for back to Hell. Gudmundur also reveals that the Palace of the Thousand Stories that the heroes are heading towards was built by earth genies and is supposed to exist in the Elemental Plane of Earth, not in the material plane.

The Ice Kingdoms
The Ice Kingdoms

Meanwhile Markahn the druid confesses that she’s more than a hundred years old and that she was part of the expedition that imprisoned the demon centuries ago. The only other person who came back from the expedition besides the human leader, Daiki, and herself was Old Grim, a dwarf who now lives at Niflheim. The heroes try to communicate with him but besides having no tongue he also shows no interest in them.

The group decides to head towards the Palace by first visiting the three nearby human towns starting with Satoru’s clan. As they enter Satoru’s house Cairn reveals that Satoru probably felt insulted years ago in front of Satoru’s sister and other northerners because of him. Adding to that the group reveals that they are hunting down a demon and whoever is trying to control it. Unbeknownst to the group Satoru is the one who hired the cultists who are now trying to free it. Miraculously Ada saves the day by convincing Satoru that with “demon” they actually mean “white dragon”. Fearing more mishaps and the mounting number of samurai around them the group excuses itself and leaves the village. Once outside the village, though, a group of ninjas ambushes them and leave Cairn unconscious and his life hanging by a thread. The heroes, after putting the forest on fire, scare the remaining ninjas away and revive Cairn.

The group pushes through mist and snow and reach Takao’s village before dawn. There Takao gives them a more hospitable welcome and offers them a reward in exchange of destroying the demon which the group readily accepts. Takao also offers six of his samurai to help them complete their mission.

The group’s final stop is Himeko’s village. The northern lady is furious at Satoru and Takao because the first is putting them all in danger and the second is doing nothing. Himeko’s lustful desire for Cairn appears to remain intact since they met years ago and both her and Cairn in private and the rest of the group separatedly spend a relaxing evening inside soothing thermal baths. The next morning an augur gives the heroes personalized words of wisdom before wishing them the best in their journey. Himeko tries to get Cairn to commit to marry her but he’s postpones the decision until they are back.

Before heading towards the mines the group first pays a visit to the cultists base in a nearby island to cut off the bad guys’ reinforcements route to the mines. Once there they wait until night time and then Mara-kai, Albrecht and Fenna fly to the snow covered peak that crowns that island, they all cast their thunderwave spells simultaneously and the resulting avalanche silences the thirty or so chanting cultists that were minding their business below and sinks their ships.

The group then heads to the main land where the samurais accompanying them bring out wingsuits for everybody and teach them how to use them. They all then jump off a really high peak and start flying across a frozen inland water part of the North sea. While they are flying they stumble upon one of the white dragon mates and 10 of its wyrmlings. The heroes swoosh through them at full speed but the dragons take down two of the samurais with their breathing attacks. The rest of the heroes manage to land safely hundreds of yards away and start skating towards the cliffs.

S06E20 – Resurrection

The heroes make a pact with Zabha, revive Albrecht and arrive to the Ice Kingdoms.

The session starts with a flash-back where Cairn, a tiefling warrior, and Albrecht are trying to capture the leader of a cult. At some point Cairn gets surrounded by enemies and Albrecht saves his life.

Back to the present Abh, Zabha’s subordinate, offers the group who just came back from Arren’s adventurer’s death trap to bring Albrecht back alive in exchange of them killing the demon in the Ice Kingdoms. He gives the group one day to decide. Abh also brings Braga back from his coma. The cultist and Louis decide to leave the group while Albrecht is still dead.

At the inn Cairn approaches the heroes after overhearing them talking about Albrecht. He happens to be heading to the Ice Kingdoms and, after some consideration, the group invites him to join them.

That night Negoth tries to coax Ada for information but after the incident with the burning symbol on her arm she’s a bit cagey and noncooperative.

Meanwhile Albrecht’s soul, still lingering in the Plane of Death, receives a telepathic offer to join The Undying Court but, even though the paladin yearns to be back, there is something about the whole undead process that puts him off.

The next morning the group meets Abh again. The heroes accept his offer and they pick Albrecht’s sword as a focus for Abh’s resurrection spell. The spell works and the paladin is brought back alive, albeit with a more centered temperament, less charisma and more wit. Abh also gives the group a magic battle axe created to destroy the demon. He then opens a magic portal to the Ice Kingdoms and wishes the heroes farewell in their mission. They cross the portal and a snowy mountain slope receives them.

Seconds after landing a skying deva woman smashes into Cairn propelling both of them more than thirty feet in the air and landing inches away from a hundred feet tall cliff. Behind the skier three dozen demons come running or flying down the mountain slope. As the heroes fight off the demons the woman presents herself as Markhan, the druid that asked Fenna for help in dreams. The skirmish with the demons escalates and turns into an avalanche that buries most of the monsters. The heroes, though, manage to escape: Albrecht and Cairn sledding off the cliff on their shields, Mara-kai flying, Fenna and Markahn climbing down the cliff in rat form and Ada jumping off the cliff using her poncho from Rar’am as a parachute.

After the avalanche Markhan leads them to Niflheim where they all meet Gudmundur. The group finds out a bit more about the three clans living in the nearby island. All three villages are lead by the descendants of Daiki, the human leader who helped the dwarves imprison the demon. The village leaders are: Satoru the younger brother, Takao, the older brother and Himeko, their sister. The heroes also find out there is an adult white dragon with two younger female dragons between them and the Palace of the Thousand Stories.

S06E19 – A Macabre Zoo

The group escapes the deadly valley after fighting zombie sharks, poisonous snakes and evading rolling boulders at Arren’s zoo.

The heroes continue through the aqueduct until they reach the tall rock structure at the end. A middle-aged ghoul with a wooden leg chewing a humanoid bone welcomes them. The undead lisper called Corpzgrinder informs them that they are about to enter Arren’s Zoo and that he is the zookeeper. During the conversation Fenna casually mentions that they just killed the black dragon that roamed the valley and the suddenly cheerful ghoul suggests them to, once inside the zoo, look for the hidden exit on the bottom floor, not the official one on the top floor. He then hands them a map, tickets and wishes them a happy day at the zoo.

Arren's Zoo Tower.
Arren’s Zoo Tower.

The heroes leave Corpzgrinder behind and enter the first exhibition room. Rows of terrariums containing undead spiders, snakes and bats take up the center while pedestals holding the taxidermic corpses of many adventurers decorate the walls. The last of our heroes to enter the room triggers a trap that locks all doors, covers the room in magical darkness and releases all the undead beasts. After a few rounds of shouting directions and fighting blindly the group kills all the critters.

The heroes fighting snakes and bats surrounded in magical darkness.
The heroes fighting snakes and bats surrounded in magical darkness.

The heroes descend to the next level and find an aquarium so large that it extends above and below the room. Inside it hundreds of zombie fishes in varying states of decomposition swim despondently. Anchors, crow’s nests, rudders and more dead adventurers cover mossy walls. Near the aquarium two empty barreled cages hang from the ceiling. After the last hero crosses the door a clink echoes throughout the room followed by a large whoosh as the aquarium glass walls slide down and the water submerges the whole room. Louis puts his comatose friend inside the bag of holding and seeks cover, along with Ada, inside one of the barreled cages. Fenna transforms into a shark and Mara-kai swims to the aquarium’s ceiling, now the only area with air. An instant later a thirty feet long zombie shark emerges from the depths of the aquarium and charges Fenna. A tense skirmish follows but the group puts an end to the giant shark’s miserable life before anyone has enough time to drown.

At the aquarium level fighting a giant cookie shark.
At the aquarium fighting a giant zombie cookie shark.

The group descends into the bottom level. After burning herself with a red hot door handle, Ada opens a door that reveals a room with a lava pit and barely any oxygen in it. A slightly slanted ramp circles the pit and rises tens of feet into a dark ceiling. Near the top a very dry zombie beholder hovers around minding his own business. Ada casts a spell engulfing the whole group in a veil of shadows and they start climbing the ramp. On their way up they successfully skirt three fireball spitting skulls and the undead beholder. However, they get overconfident and accidentally trigger a trap that releases a boulder near the top. The rumbling rock attracts the attention of the beholder who starts firing at the heroes. At that point the group had split into two: on one side Mara-kai who is carrying Louis under her arm, Fenna in rat form on her shoulder and the comatose Braga inside the bag of holding and, on the other side, Ada who is squeezing on the outside of the ramp hoping to weather the boulder. Seconds later Ada finds out that her calculations were a bit off as the boulder crushes her shoulder. Meanwhile Mara-kai creates illusory funny voices at the bottom of the pit distracting the beholder long enough for the group to reach the exit door at the top.

The maintenance room they enter eventually leads them back to the valley. As they clamber towards the exit they spot Arren, the sadistic gnome lich who owns this place, flying towards them, shooting fireballs and screaming like a maniac. The heroes reach the exit before Arren, start running and don’t stop until they are back at Woodchurch hours later.

While the group is having some margaritas at the only tavern in town an elegantly dressed man approaches them and announces that Zabha has an offer they won’t be able to refuse.

Memorable scenes:
– “We can’t get all in, there is no space,” announces Fenna. “What? We only have Albrecht in the bag of holding!” says Mara-kai. “No, we also have my crate of sacred druidic wood. You wouldn’t expect me to leave the crate behind back at the castle, right?”
– Mara-kai rolling three 20s in a row, a 1/8000 event.
– The vignette at the start with baby Ada in her crib and Enya’s Orinoco Flow in the background.

S06E18 – Rahmulaag

The group suffers a terrible loss amidst undead triceratops, water weirds and a black shadow dragon.

While the rest of the group is trying to find an alternative escape route Ada decides to expand her flower collection with roses from the nearby garden. However an instant after touching the bushes she falls flat on her face. Albrecht and Fenna come to her rescue but a black shadow dragon springs out of the rooftop, opens its mouth and nearly kills the three of them with its necrotic breath. The dragon then introduces itself as Rahmulaag.

Louis, the fugitive that the group just captured, decides that this is not his fight and runs off towards the nearest palace door still shouldering his comatose friend Braga. Mara-kai turns invisible and follows him. The door they reach has the wreathed skull of the Undying Court bolted to it and a sign next to it revealing that ‘The password is “backdoor”.’ The skull starts talking about food and questioning Louis about the legendary dwarven worstebrotjes it has heard so much about. Mara-kai, still invisible but impatient, tries to force the door open accidentally triggering a trap under her feet. The trap sucks her in but misses Louis who steps aside in the nick of time.

Albrecht buffs himself up preparing for the dragon's next attack. Ada and Fenna lie unconsciously by his side.
Albrecht buffs himself up preparing for the dragon’s next attack. Ada and Fenna lie unconsciously by his side.

Back at the rose garden the fight with the dragon continues. Fenna tries to appease Rahmulaag by singing “Ma Baker” but the big reptile has apparently faked its interest in music and renders Fenna unconscious with an attack of its vicious claws. Albrecht buffs himself up and prepares for the dragon’s next attack.

Louis, still at the door, realizes that his chances of escaping from a black dragon while lugging a full grown man around are pretty slim. After sort of calling a truce with Albrecht through shouts Louis leaves Braga hidden and joins the paladin. Albrecht brings Fenna back to consciousness but right after that Rahmulaag fires another beam of necrotic energy at Albrecht. The beam of darkness pulverizes his armor and kills the paladin straight away. A deadly shadow rises immediately from his corpse and starts to attack the group. A shocked Fenna and a considerably relieved Louis strike back furiously.

After sliding over a long tube Mara-kai ends up in a small cell with a barred window on the ceiling. After several attempts she breaks free and rises several feet into the sky. Once outside she finds herself over the palace main courtyard where a couple of zombie triceratops are roaming around. In the distance behind the east wing she spots Rahmulaag preparing to fire his necrotic breath again. Mara-kai draws her long bow and fires two consecutive arrows at the dragon sending it to dragon hell. With the big threat out of the way Fenna and Louis have an easy time putting Albrecht’s killer shadow to rest. Minutes later Ada wakes up from her magic sleep, confused but still on time for the loot.

The shocked but pragmatic heroes put Albrecht’s corpse inside their bag of holding, a magic container they own that is bigger on the inside, and head towards the aqueduct on the other side of the palace. Half-way through the aqueduct a group of vines come alive and attacks them throwing Louis and Braga into the lake. The heroes deal with the vines swiftly but two hungry large serpents made of water jump on Louis and his unconscious friend. The snakes continuously try to drown Louis but the rest of the group keeps peppering them and soon the threat is over.

Without further interruptions the heroes reach the entrance to the tower at the end of the aqueduct where two pitiful undead monkeys idly walk around.

Memorable events:
– “Freeze! I’m Ma Baker,” Fenna singing to a young shadow black dragon.
– “You’re just an overgrown chicken!”, Albrecht talking to Rahmulaag.

S06E17 – Louis Lemerre and Braga Clift

The heroes track down the two cultists they were after but they all end up in an eerie valley in the Shadowfell.

The assassin that the group just captured magically remembers that Fenna is his friend. He reveals that Zabha, the machiavellian rakshasha demon behind most of the heroes’ troubles, ordered him and his now dead friends to kill them because they were starting to become really annoying.

The next day the group splits. Albrecht spends some quality time with his father who still sees him as barely more than a sentient mass of muscle. Mara-kai scours the market district in search of a headband of intellect that she eventually finds at a bargain price. Lastly Ada, convinced that her mother is somewhere in town, decides to go looking for her. Fenna, reasonably concerned about the wild elf, transforms into a mastiff and follows her. The couple ends up locked in the guest room of one of the city castles but they manage to escape before the sick punishment that awaited them is delivered.

Days later, after Albrecht’s birthday party and Sahyeh’s execution, the heroes leave Crockport in the company of Dumas, a Red Hand Squire and the last person who saw the two cultists that the group is hunting down. Once they arrive at Woodchurch, the little town that Dumas is in charge of, the heroes find out that FatLargo Highhills and his halfling bandits are hiding in a ruined manor nearby. Dumas believes that the two fugitives are with them and the group decides to investigate the manor.

When they reach the ruined structure they find the halflings, still with their loot on, rotting away in the ruins. After taking care of the indecorous loot issue the group discovers a cave inside the cellar that leads them to the Shadowfell, a plane of necrotic energy and a sinister mirror of the material plane. The cave portal opens up to a valley holding an abandoned city, a dark lake and a palace. Tall peaks and two towers connected with an aqueduct flank the west side of the valley.

valley

The heroes descend into the abandoned town where they finds tracks that lead them to a warren in the east mountain slope. The deserted underground labyrinth ends in a corridor with hatches leaking a black necrotic seepage that Albrecht exhorts the group not to touch. The group attaches a rope to Albrecht who courageously tests the corridor’s safety. After making sure it’s safe they all follow it. At the other end and at the top of some stairs the group finds itself in a rose garden feet away from the palace and surrounded by the dark lake. They also spot the two cultists crouched down inside the garden.

Louis Lemerre, the fugitive who isn’t unconscious, explains that he has been carrying the other fugitive, Braga Clift, since he went into coma during their skirmish while escaping from prison. The burly man reveals that although Braga is a cultist, he isn’t. He was a member of the Red Hand who took the law into his own hands when the Red Hand released from prison his girlfriend’s killer because of the guy’s family influence. After a tense argument Albrecht ties up Louis and they all decide to go back to the underground corridor and to continue the discussion in a safer plane. However, as soon as Albrecht steps into the corridor plates the hatches near the top open and start releasing a deadly necrotic liquid that quickly fills the corridor. The group, reluctantly returns to the rose garden.

Memorable events:
– “When your foot touches the first plate of the corridor you hear ‘click’,” the DM to Albrecht.

S06E16 – Crockport

The heroes survive the typhoon and reach Crockport. There Albrecht finds a way to recover the two decades that the Wand of Koyss stole from him.

After helping the confused ex-slaves get out of the tempestuous waters and seek cover from the typhoon the group meets the newcomer. The elf with the ibex horns who just came out of the water presents himself as Yalagaddien, druid from the south. Fenna asks him about Markahn, the druid she met in dreams days ago, but the druid hadn’t heard of her. As a consolation he offers Fenna to partake in a private druid ritual to soothe the body but she refuses. Ada, on the other hand, accepts.

The next morning, with the typhoon now far from the atoll and the beach covered in dead sirens, Yalagaddien invites the group to try to reach the inaccessible druid Akachi to find out more about Markahn. Yalagaddien performs a ritual to allow the spirits of the heroes to visit the astral plane. There the group meets Akachi’s sphinx who poses them a riddle. The heroes, however, fail to guess correctly [1] and are chased out of the plane by the deadly creature.

Back on the beach the heroes wish farewell to Yalagaddien and take off leaving the atoll behind.

The night before arriving to Crockport, and after attending to Phinneas’ goodbye feast, Fenna dreams about The Singing Forest, hounds and a creature who reminds her of Ururl.

The next day the group finally arrives to Crockport and meet Vaynor, Albrecht’s uncle and head of the Red Hand order. Caelynna, while still tense with her cheating husband, surprises the group by not starting a stabbing frenzy right there.

After bringing their loot, rides and freed friends to Albrecht family’s castle the group splits. Albrecht updates Pelor’s high priestess on their adventures and asks her for help regarding his age issue. Horven, the vengeful wizard that joined the group recently, searches the streets for information about the whereabouts of the bandit group that enslaved him. Mara-kai and Ada take the unwanted party’s loot and manage to sell it for 6.5k ingots of gold. Fenna, overwhelmed by the city, turns into a frog and disappears into the castle gardens.

The next morning the group attends a Red Hand meeting where Dave is officially inducted into the order and becomes a Squire. Vaynor, out of the blue, invites Albrecht to join the order in front of the high command of the order who, enthusiastically, accepts and is also inducted right there.

After the meeting Vaynor offers Albrecht a way to recover the two decades that the Wand of Koyss took from him. If he brings back, dead or alive, two cultist fugitives that recently escaped from the city prison the order and the church of Pelor will pay for the expensive spell that can restore his natural age. Albrecht accepts the mission and convinces the rest of group to join him.

With Albrecht’s birthday party a day away and with a way of recovering his youth the cheerful paladin invites the group to some beers downtown. Many rounds of alcohol later, while the group is trying to find its way back to the castle, a group of assassins attacks them. Despite the beer the heroes manage to dispose of them thanks to judicious doses of chain lightning and hold person spells.

At the dark alley. The heroes are dealing with the  assassins who are shooting at them from the rooftops.
In the dark alley with the assassins still perched on the rooftops.

Memorable moments:
– “The answer is ‘poop’,” Ada’s guess for the sphinx’s riddle.

[1] The sphinx riddle:

I hide in plain sight but I’m utterly black.
Humans create me and humans I take with me.
I’m already dead but people keep gutting me.