Travelling together, but not yet unified as a group, the five primal champions of the Great Bear Clans of the North saw smoke rising in the distance from the settlement towards which they were headed. While Gunnar and Lithael considered their options in addressing the problem, and Thalia readied herself, Larissa said, innocently, “Do we just charge in?”
Thar was only too happy to do so.
Heading into the village, the party saw only a slew of burnt huts intil they got to the center of the town, where thy saw the piles of corpses being played with and mutilated by a hag and her two small cronies. The party was prepared to charge in, but to their astonishment, one of the cronies charged them first, speeding across the village at great speed. While the companions dealt with the quickling, they were flanked by invisible displacer beasts, as the hag and her spriggan crony advanced on them. The companions reacted ably, but in an uncoordinated fashion. Thalia held down one of the displacer beasts while Gunnar and Larissa dealt with the cronies. The hag and Lithael traded ranged attacks while Thar sent the second displacer beast into a retreat and charged after it around a burning hut. The battle turned when Thar dropped his foe, then promptly charged the retreating quickling, and made a final swing at the hag. Larissa and Thalia created a gauntlet of pain for the remaining displacer beast while Gunnar and Lithael rained death upon the mass of the hag and her spriggan crony. Vengeance having been gained for the slaughtered village, the companions attempted to interrogate the spriggan, who swore not to talk. He soon changed his mind after the loss of a few digits, however, and the party was off to the Southwest without having noticed the unusual nature of their foes.
Two days of running later, they came in sight of a long abandoned, but recently re-fortified castle nestled in the crook of some mountains. Taking a more measured approach this time under Gunnar’s direction, Lithael and Larissa scouted ahead, noting two large, one-eyed sentries on the ramparts, and finding both a path to the mountains above the castle and an area of wall which was unfinished and could likely be knocked over by a few stiff blows. Some arguments arose among the different involved parties about which path would be more effective, owing to their different strengths. Thar was intent upon rushing the front gate, while Thalia was more convinced that the weakened wall was the best option. The remaining companions preferred the high ground in the mountains for their ranged attacks. Finally, deciding to split up into two separate groups, they led an assault on the castle. Thar and Thalia took the weak part of the wall, while the other three attempted to go by the path in the mountains. Unfortunately, not all the heroes were quite as stealthy as the others.
While Thar and Thalia went unnoticed approaching the rear flank of the castle, Gunnar and Larissa both slid down the steep path, drawing attention to themselves. The remaining two cyclops guards and the Firbolg mercenaries hurled spears at the exposed companions on the cliff while they shuffled down to a more stable area. Seeing the signs of trouble, Thar attempted to knock down the wall, which proved more durable than it had seemed. Only after putting a shoulder into it twice did he finally knock it down with his axe. Unfortunately, this alerted the drow arachnomancer to their presence, so she was ready for them when the wall did crumble, trapping Thar in her web, and blocking Thalia’s approach with a sticky, poisonous mass.
Having regained their footing, the heroes on the mountain started their counterassault. Gunnar sent his spirit leopard to trade blows with the Firbolgs and their winter wolf while Lithael peppered the area with arrows. Larissa slid the rest of the way down the path to assault her foes with artic bolts and blasts. Meanwhile, Thalia pushed through the webs to tie down one of the cyclops guards as Thar freed himself and charged by. The cyclops proved a canny foe, but was easily dispatched once the two took his measure. As the firbolgs continued their assault with spears on the companions on the cliffs, the drow hindered and poisoned them from behind the corner of one of the buildings in the courtyard. The winter wolf gleefully assaulted Larissa until Thar came and chased him away. As the forward guard cyclopses abandoned their posts to join the fray, the remaining cyclops went down, and Thar charged and took down the drow sorceror. The winter wolf pursued him, though, as the rest of the party finally took down the Firbolg hunters, and as the battle appeared to be turning, the last Firbolg cried out to the cyclops guards who were eagerly throwing javelins, “Pull the failsafe!”
This started a mad dash to pursue the cyclopes, and one was taken down in the chase. The last remaining cyclops did make it to the fortified building in the keep, however, and smashed a small crystal sphere, drawing the castle into a bubble of force in the Feywild. Though the companions crushed the remaining cyclops and brought low the bloodied winter wolf, they remained trapped within the bubble of force, lured by a fey trap.