Episode 126 - Ring Wrath, Part I
Miranda in the Shadowfell
Miranda and the shadar kai made their way to Gloomwrought. She was certain that the shadar kai were sociopaths, and she ditched them. She met up with a band of nuns who had taken a vow of silence. After a month, stifled by life in the convent, she stole a book and hid in a house. She was overcome with the innate despair of the Shadowfell, she became lonely. She used the ring to create an ice person named Gwyneth. The ring of winter imbued Gwyneth with sentience and life. Miranda didn't fall for the ring's deception, but fell for Gwyneth, who is immune to the Shadowfell's despair.
They wanted to steal more books from the library. They recruited Zolto Mingrazi, a spellcaster, to help them do this. Miranda wanted to destroy the ring, but doing so would kill Gwyneth. Miranda's despair got worse and worse. They feared that the Raven Queen's agents would soon be upon them.
They decided to flee the Shadowfell. In the cemetery of Gloomwrought, they dug up a grave and turned it into a portal. All of this happened under the watchful eye of a blood red wolf moon. Zolto betrayed Miranda. He stole the ring and disappeared into the portal. Miranda and Gwyneth chased him through, and the portal closed behind them.
The Waffle Crew in Waterdeep
Strix is making a pie, staring off into space. Albie, Strix's tiny albino beholder-kin, does as well. She goes to Fala's and gets goodberries for her new pie. She comes back to the manor and makes a goodberry pie. Holly makes a WIS check and gets an 18. She tries to sell one to a customer, but they're not interested. People don't buy the pie because they don't need healing. She makes a sign and advertises the pie to adventurers.
Diath is in his room, looking at the treasure chest that he looted from the sunken ship. He noticed an etching in the chest's iron reinforcements: "Poor thieves, try as you might, this chest will remain sealed tight." He studies it and doesn't see any traps.
He pulls out some lockpicks and tries to pick the lock. Jared rolls a 29. It destroys his lockpicks.
Evelyn is dreaming of her childhood, cradled in the arms of her father. She awakes with a start. She's on a ship, in a bed with silk sheets. Jarlaxle is nowhere to be seen. He armor is on a chair. Someone left her muffins. She writes a note: "So sorry I fell asleep. Loved chatting about Lathander last night. Isn't Lathander the best? Glad we're friends. See you at the temple. Love, Evelyn." She snoops in his wardrobe. She leaves the room and hears the captain, Tarwyn Arryhook, talking to someone, saying that they want to go ashore and do some gambling. The ship is docked in the middle of the harbor of Waterdeep.
Evelyn uses her flying boots to fly toward the city. She casts a parting glance at the Eyecatcher. She spots something huge underwater, directly beneath the ship. She does a wide circle around the ship and skims above the water. Some of the crew members are watching her.
She sees that there is a vessel underneath the ship. She asks the crew what it is. The crew of humans speaks elvish. One of them says to the captain: "She knows too much!" The captain responds, "We can't touch her."
The crew tells her it's nothing, and asks her to go back to shore. She says OK, and then dives into the water. The vessel is a submarine in the shape of a massive manta ray. It is lit from within. Evelyn peers into the windows and spots some drow as well as some gnomes. The gnomes are scurrying around working on mechanical devices. Evelyn thinks the gnomes are engineers, performing maintenance tasks.
She thinks that the purpose of the ship is stealth, a way for the drow to get around without being detected.
Evelyn flies out of the water and waves. The crew does not wave back.
The City of the Dead
Miranda and Gwyneth emerge in the City of the Dead, the big graveyard of Waterdeep that doubles as a park. Miranda runs up to the nearest person and asks if they've seen a magician. The woman has not. Miranda asks if the old lady knows the heroes. The woman recognizes Paultin's name. She explains that Paultin is a musician and that he has many performances. Miranda and Gwyneth head into the city proper, stopping to buy a hooded robe to cover Gwyneth.
Paultin is performing a show at the Yawning Portal for adoring men and women and other creatures. Durnan, the owner of the Yawning Portal, is pleased. Other musicians are envious, not wanting to follow his performance.
When he's done, Paultin is approached by Zolto, who shows him that he has the ring of winter. Paultin shoos away his groupies. Zolto says that the ring is meant to be Paultin's. Zolto calls himself the Great Mengrazi. "The Raven Queen says you are funny." Zolto puts his top hat on the table and hands Paultin his card.
Paultin picks up the ring just to see if it is real. It immediately attunes to him. His eyes glow blue.
The Return of Manshoon
A metallic hand grabs him. It's Manshoon, the powerful wizard the group battled back in Gralhund Villa. Paultin summon's Bigby's icy hand and uses it to punch Manshoon in the face, hitting for 16 points of damage. Manshoon maintains his grip on Paultin. Simon crawls under the table. Handrew leaps onto his face, forcing him to lose his grip on Paultin's wrist.
Manshoon points at Zolto and says, "Kill him!" 8 invisible creatures suddenly become visible. They are demonic creatures with green skin, their wings folded tightly behind them. Each is wielding a great axe. Paultin can see that some of these demons are mirror images.
It turns out that the waffle crew that just arrived is, in fact, doppleganger agents of Manshoon's. Doppleganger Diath attacks Zolto.
Paultin summons an ice dragon. The windows blow open, the sky outside becomes dark, and there is a roar from outside the inn.
The magician turns into a flock of ravens and flees.
As the dragon appears, it begins to snow.
Durnan draws a black-handled greatsword and he points it at Manshoon and says, "Release him."
Doppleganger Diath attacks Durnan. The Ice Dragon crashes through the roof of the Yawning Portal. Dopple Evelyn and Dopple Strix are crushed by falling rubble. Manshoon is hit by debris as well.
The dragon lands next to Paultin and attacks Durnan. Then it swats Manshoon with its tail, sending the wizard careening across the bar into a wall. His spell is broken, and his Bigby's hand disappears.
End of Session.