Three weeks of downtime ensue!
It’s been two days since the group left with Zephyros. The party finds itself camping on the first floor, and are told to stay out of the second floor (not that they are able to easily reach it). The ceiling height of the first floor alone is already at a hundred feet tall, and is 80 – 90 feet in a wide hexagonal shape. The tower travels at a cloud’s pace, and it stays above the clouds to avoid rain. They are given another houserule — don’t piss off the griffins roosting on the roof.
Deni asks Zephyros to reach her magic on the second day. Zephyros agrees or thinks about it and disappears to the second floor — by noon the next day, he still hasn’t reappeared.
Deni and Garonne bicker about cantrips, Valkur, and religion, but this is interrupted by Alara calling them outside. Up on the second floor window, Zephyros seems slumped over the window sill, visible from the outside. Deni tries to send him a message to wake him up; the giant startles awake and meets them downstairs. It appears that he had been trying to talk to the voices again, but he doesn’t remember that they said.
It’s at this point that Deni asks to be brought upstairs. Zephyros insists that he does not want them there because it has magicks, which Deni refutes by saying she “dabbles”. This interests Zephyros, but before they can pursue their argument too far, suddenly says, “This must be where the visitors come in.” Silas seems nothing outside, however.
Alara offers to keep watch, and she is joined by Garonne.
“How do you know what to do?” she asks, and Garonne responds that it is all instinct. She tells him that she had been a willful child growing up, but Moraq had set her straight so that she uses her head more.
During their conversation, the griffons become agitated. From underneath the cloud they are floating on come large bird shapes that fly up. “We seek Zephyros!” The newcomers are Amarath and Nuval, and they desire to speak to the old man. They are accompanied by nine gigantic vultures and their riders, humanoids wearing bird-like helms and head dresses. They say that they come from the mountains; Garonne chats them up while Silas hides behind a large suit of armor.
Zephyros lets them in. Deni identifies that these people are cultists of Yan-c-bin, a religion of the elementals of evil. Garonne starts sending messages in their head to bother them.
The group gives Zephyros a present of pixie dust from the Prince of Air, in exchange for help, although they don’t want to share what the help they need is. Garonne, not wanting Zephyros to agree to such terms, begins to message the giant in his head to confuse his already addled mind, which confuses and appalls the cultists. Garonne tries to persuade the cultists that since Zephyros is very forgetful, they should just tell him and Denithione their business. Zephyros goes up to the second floor of the tower thinking that the voices want to talk to him, but soon returns lamenting at their silence.
The cultists camp outside, and Zephyros contemplates what they want. The party, meanwhile, tries to persuade him not to ally with them, and upon being persuaded, shooes the cult away. He gives the pixie dust to Deni, who identifies that once sprinkled on a person, they will be given flight… or get knocked out… or become confused… or be invisible… and whatnot.
As the days go by, Deni tries to befriend Alara, who is a rather tall northerner, who might be from am Uth-gard or Glacier Barbarian tribe. She has a magical bear amulet, which seems to be the identification of the tribe. She’s rather anxious to meet them, and Deni cajoles her into befriending the rest of the party.
Meanwhile, Garonne befriends the griffins roosting in the tower’s hat, and Deni learns the spell Sleep from Zephyros. She also teaches Alara and Silas giant-script, although it doesn’t take as well yet. Garonne dreams of the northern cold. Some time in all of this, Garonne accidentally summons a Tressym, a winged, elven cat sacred to some gods.
By the tenth day, the party finds itself passing by the Sword Mountain, and they realize that Zephyros’ constant casting of Contact Other Planes seem to be slowly sapping him of sanity.
On the eleventh day, the tower enters the skies above the Neverwinter Woods. They wake up to large wingbeats outside, where a giant, silver dragon flies. Deni is beside herself with excitement, as a dragon fan, and Garonne notes the humanoids it carries in its claws. It lands on the cloud outside the tower and sets down four heavily-armed dwarves. As Deni attempts to communicate with them in Dwarven, they turn into mist and seep into the doors of the tower, investigating. They head up to the second floor, where the dwarves cry out “Moradin!” their dwarven god and set about attacking Zephyros. With great urgency, the party uses the pixie dust on themselves to fly up to the second floor.
Up in the second floor, Zephyros is trying to hold the dwarves at bay from getting to an orb in the middle of the floor. As the party attempts to intervene, the dwarves renew their attack on the orbs thinking that the party has been brainwashed by the giant. The party is eventually able to convince them to hold their weapons down, after much skepticism.
“I’m on a mission!” a dwarf shouts. Their crest is that of a beer stein, and are identified as from the Clan Battlehammer, from the Citadel of Mirabar. They say that the Swordcoast is being attacked all over by floating castles and towers like this, so the had attacked as well. The party tries their best to explain that this tower in particular is benign.
The Lord’s Alliance has mobilized, and utilizing the services of creatures like the silver dragon outside (who owes Queen Dagnabet), have been sending strike forces up against the giant threat. It seems that the orb controls the movement of these floating castles and towers, and so the dwarves had endeavored to destroy it. The leader of the dwarves they are speaking to is Voldric Firehammer.
Garonne inquires if other relics have been taken. Triboar was attacked by giants from under the ground. Silas proposes that the dwarves should sign on a banner to indicate to other strike forces that this tower should be left alone. The other dwaves, Griswald and Dana, help him with that task.
Outside, Deni tries to talk to the dragon, Clarion, in dragonic. “The vermin speaks now, too,” it says, and appears beleaguered at having to help the Lord’s Alliance. It sulks, in general. The dwarves talk about sending reports to the green, but are likely to run into more trouble. Icewindale to the north has been attacked by Frost Giants. Silas and Deni ask the dwarves to send some letters for them — Silas to Arize, and Denithione to the Harpers.
Upstairs, Zephyros shows the party how the org works, but otherwise doesn’t make a fuss about the events of the day.
Twenty days later, the party finally arrives in Icewind Dale. In the span of those twenty days, Garonne has been casting spells to test his new powers. The Tressym familiar is named Blackie, despite its white fur. Sometimes, it speaks to them in Garonne’s voice. The days become longer as they approach the north. Garonne’s dreams increasingly focus on the mountain of ice.
A day away from Bryn Shander, Zephyros prepares their party for their parting. They ask how to contact the giant, but there doesn’t seem to be a way. They go their separate ways.
As the party approaches Bryn Shander, they note the long queue of wagons and merchants lined up at the gate. Bryn Shander is a fairly large settlement surrounded by stone walls, 20 – 30 feet tall. The wagon they come up behind of is full of fur, from the south. The man is amazed at their story of covering that distance in three weeks.
As the party enters the town, they are greeted by a cheerful dwarf named Ogric, the deputy sheriff. She’s in charge of directing people about where to go, much like an infomercial. Alara asks for Markum, her uncle and also the sheriff of Bryn Shander, and Ogric leads them through the market to get to his the city hall, where he is currently inspecting the jail.
The jail is in the basement of the city hall, and made of walls of frozen earth. Markum is a large, bald, dark-skinned man. He welcomes Alara warmly, but become saddened at news of her adoptive mother/his sister’s death. The party explains what happened in Night Stone, and are given some money to make themselves comfortable in the in, the North Look. Hopefully, they are able to find work there.
The party checks into a tavern, which is full of mercenaries and adventurers. Garonne approaches the bar, where the owner, Scramsacks, offer them the last room in the inn. The rent is 1 silver per person per day. The serving girl, Belldora, tells them that adventuring here is fairly lucrative and there are lots of yetis to kill. Silas finds a Waterdavian copper coin in one of the pallets, and opts to sling a hammock over Garonne and Deni’s heads instead.
Eventually, the party heads down to grab some of the elk on the spit, and chat up a Knight of Tyr, Baric Nylief. The man is looking for some friends. Interested in the good work of the Triad and offering their services as an investigative team, the party is invited into the House of the Triad and look for Devlan, to the Southwest gate of Bryn Shander.
It’s at this point that Deni finds another Waterdavian coin in her pocket, and finally realizing that the coin is a Harper sign, sets off to the market to look for her fellow agent. The duke on the coin is grinning, and so she connects it with the stall The Grinning Duke. The stall is being run by Gemet, who takes the copper for some wine. As payment for their silence, Garonne and Silas also innocently purchase some wine for one copper from him, much to his chagrin.
Gemet tells Deni to tip their waitress in the North Look, and that “the knight is closer than he thinks, and he will pay the price for it. The weevil draws ever closer.”
Bothered by this warning, the party moves off to the temple of the Triad, and find Father Devlon. He’s a kindly looking old man who entertains their inquiries on Baric’s activities. It seems that Baric is after the a dwarf who is of interest to the Order of the Gauntlet. The dwarf is called Weevil, but his real name is Warvil Forkville, and a bandit. There is some involvement of the Zenths, and sabotage may be involved given that witnesses have been going missing. Baric is rooming in the Golden Stag’s Rest.
For now, Baric seems to be at the Speaker’s mansion. The Speaker, Duvessa Shane, is a young girl who is now leading the town. They are also interviewed by Sirac, an apostle at the temple who is eager to hear of their adventures. Sirac takes them to the Speaker’s mansion, which is located south of the market. On the way, they find out that Sirac is from Suzale, all the way in Cormyr.
As they are walking, they hear a horn bugle blast and feel the temperature drop further in the town. Unrest brews and a troop of guards rush past them. In the distance, they hear a bellow: “Surrender Artus Cimber!”