This will be brief info. Nothing too descriptive and flowery so I can get through all of this without writing a book.
Leaving Carnath Roadhouse where 30 lizard folk porters were killed in the tunnel before retrieving treasure. The team headed into swamp towards Castle Naerytar.
Wanting to know where the treasure was going once it left the roadhouse and to the castle and beyond. Also, Crispus and Barbie had scores to settle with Rezmir and Frulam Mondath.
It took 2 days to reach the castle. On the way lizard folk were seen leaving the castle doing some ritual in the woods. Zaxxonox talked to them. Found they were reaching out to the spirit of Suncaller their slain shaman leader. Killed by Pharblex Spattergoo the witchdoctor-like leader of the bullywugs.
The lizard folk said they would join our side during the castle raid — if it looked like we were going to win. They’ve been so oppressed by the bullywugs and the cultist — they were trying to just survive the current situation. They also mentioned the black dragon in the swamp by the name of Voaraghamanthar. The cultist had a working relationship with the dragon, but they were hoping their “prayers” would change the dragon’s mind and have it clear the swamp of these intruders.
Observing the castle before the raid — we saw that Rezmir and the red wizard Azbara Jos were present and giving orders to the bullywugs to find us in the forest swamp.
The raid on the castle began with creating a magical illusion of a mighty warrior stepping out of the swamp forest edge to challenge the bullywugs. They raced to attack and then a fireball wiped out most of them in one blow. While this was going on the rest of the team made their way into the castle. Lizard folk had taken out some of the bullywugs in the entrance and taken out the ones that would use the signal drum in the 2nd floor of the barbican.
First Level of Castle
The team rushed in. Bullywugs were throwing spears from the 3rd floor of the back tower down onto the entryway bridge and court yard. Upon entering the base of the back tower, the team encountered some lizard folk. Tusk had a brilliant idea of saying to them "For Suncaller!’ as a battle cry to the lizard folk — they were immediately on our side. Rushing up the back tower stairs, took out the bullywugs firing down into the bridge and courtyard. After clearing them out — opened 2 doors — 5 giant spiders come out — battled them.
Third Level of Castle
During the spider battle. Some of the team split off to take out someone using the drum to signal reinforcements. Jamna and Hale went to do that — during this time Bairon (Jared’s character unknown to us) — was in the castle doing a mission on his own. He saw Jamna, and followed her — asking what she was doing here. No time to explain — had to silence the drums. Bairon, having been in the castle for the past couple weeks knew the drum signals and he was able to use the drum to signal “all clear” and stop bullywugs from rushing to the castle.
Coming down from the back tower, the team headed into the bullywug barracks looking for Pharblex Spattergoo. Taking him out would shake the ranks of the bullywugs and maybe disrupt their ability to respond with organized force. The team went through and killed about 20 bullywugs. Cleared the place. No Pharblex. Found some treasure in a chest (filled with lots of “lady things” — mirrors, brushes, cosmetic boxes, etc. — valuable but all things typically found in bedrooms of rich women — weird).
Second Level of Castle
Bairon was able to give us info about the castle layout — who might be where and such. Jamna vouched for him, saying she knew him from some previous encounters. Didn’t explain any more than that.
Team moved across the court yard and into the kitchen connected to the main dining hall. Dwarf cook Tharm Tharmzid yelled at everyone for tracking mud into kitchen and not having any game for him to cook. Shouted everyone into the dining hall with a meat cleaver waving.
Entering the dining hall, the team saw 4 dragon claws and 12 cultist. They are all working on going through loot. Polishing, cleaning and putting loot into new boxes. Zaxxonox was able to bluff and get the dragon claws to believe he was there to see Rezmir with the rest of this unknown team. They bought it, and sent someone to talk to Rezmir. This cultist came back after a few minutes and whispered to one of the dragon claws. The 4 dragon claws move into position and draw swords telling us to surrender. (Obviously Rezmir said she didn’t know us and gave orders for us to be captured.)
The battle begins. During the battle, one of the team witnesses the red wizard Azbara Jos leaving his tower and heading for the main hall. The cultist and dragon claws are pretty quickly taken out — right before the wave of lizard folk came in and their noisy approach signaled to Azbara something was up and he cast an invisibility spell.
The team goes after the red wizard and quickly have him killed. Crispus says we need to not let him die. Crispus seemed to be reacting to voices again. Barbie throws Azbara over her shoulder and down the stairs into the dungeon where the team hoped to find Pharblex and maybe Rezmir. Bairon said that the loot does go into the dungeon and that he heard there’s a portal down there. He’s not been allowed down there yet. Rezmir might be trying to escape through that portal.
During the battle in the main hall — Zaxxonox went invisible and then headed off to find Rezmir. He snuck up into a library area. Doors open. Cultist and dragon claws in that room saw the door open and suspected something. They moved towards him and Zaxxonox ran back to join us. AND also during this battle the drum started up again with some sort of alarm rhythm according to Bairon. Jamna and Hale left to take out the drum. Destroy it. They returned as the team was ready to head down into the dungeon warning us all that hundreds of bullywugs were coming out of the swamp forest and headed for the castle. There was no way out of here without wading through lots of bullywugs!
The team headed down into the dungeon with the wizard’s body — Crispus poured a potion down Azbara’s throat. He was revived. Interrogation began. Not much is learned. The wizard said he had “such surprises in store” for Crispus and then tentacle-like vines poured out from under his robes and consumed Azbara Jos and battle began against the Shambling Mound now in place of the wizard.
Dungeon Level of Castle
The shambling mound was defeated and it fell into vines, leaves pieces and parts. Azbara was gone. Huh? Crispus apologized for bringing the wizard back to life and started handing out healing potions to everyone that needed one. Strangely generous.
The team moved into the rest of the dungeon cavern. Wanting to not only find Pharblex and Rezmir but also find the portal to make an escape out of the castle. Making their way down into a frog-theme’d temple, found Spattergoo with 12 of his bullywug inner court. Another quick battle and they were all taken out.
Spattergoo had on him the star sapphire that belonged to Suncaller and it held a lot of the slain shaman’s powers. Howard knew upon handling the gem that this belonged to a powerful druid and that Suncaller was the tribe’s connection to the swamp and the life in the land of the Mere of Dead Men. Howard felt a calling within himself and within the sapphire. He knew what he needed to do. Howard decided to stay find within the tribe someone that could be trained to reconnect the lizard folk tribe to the land and to the power of this gem.
The team explored a bit more of the dungeon cave system. Found off the frog temple area, Pharblex’s chamber with a powder hallucinogenic trap over a chest with a few treasures. Then into another arm of the caves found a chamber with pools of low fog and below the fog were inscriptions in the stone. Crispus was able to figure out it was a permanent circle of teleportation magic. For the circle to activate and teleport us away to some unknown location, it merely takes the correct activation word. He began to study the writing to see if he could figure out this secret word or phrase.
Stay tuned for next week ….