As the party set out for Nightstone Morak took stock of the losses the village had suffered and asked 3 things of the party as they were well experienced travelers
The Xelbrins were killed in their home when the giants bombarded the village. Morak recalls that the elderly couple had a son, Miros, who lives in Goldenfields. Morak asks the characters to visit Goldenfields and let Miros know what has happened. If the Xelbrins’ tressym is still alive, Morak asks the characters to deliver it safely to Miros.
Morak’s friend and neighbor, Darthag Ulgar, was eaten by giant rats. Darthag ran the Lionshield Coster trading post in Nightstone, and his ex-wife runs a similar trading post in Triboar. Morak asks the characters to travel to Tri boar and deliver the sad news of Darthag’s passing to Alaestra Ulgar.
Morak’s friend and neighbor, Semile Southwell, was killed in the giant attack. Although she had no family in Nightstone, Semile spoke often about her brother, Markham. Morak knows that Markham is the sheriff of Bryn Shander and asks the characters to travel to Icewind Dale and deliver the sad news of Semile’s passing.
The Party agreed that they would try to head back north after delivering the villagers back to Nightstone and they would try to stop by those villages along the way.
As the party approached Nightstone they noticed the village was being guarded by a sizable force of Zhentarim. It seems as if the Xolkin’s backup had arrived and occupied Nightstone. the party had Prim hang back with the goblin children as they didn’t want any altercations with the Zentarim who were originally sent there to exterminate the goblins from the area. The party approached and saw some of the original guards from Nightstone guarding the bridge. They welcomed the party back and informed them that they found their pay missing from Lady Nightstones quarters and having no other option they joined forced with the Zentarim and allowed them occupation of the city so now at least they have work to provide for their family and they are glad to see the villagers returned safe. The party met with Xolkin and Kella in the middle of the city and they congratulated the Crimson Mercenaries on a job well done and he said if they ever considered working for the Zentarim to contact him as they could use more mercenaries of their talent. The party remembering Sister Garaelle’s warning about them being a more selfish organization more worried about profit and power they declined for now but were offered a room in the temple to stay the night as thanks for their work. The party accepted and took a long rest and patched up their wounds from the Dripping caves.
Rowan and Zuriel woke up very sore the next day still not fully recovered but the party decided to head out. They met up with Prim who camped out for the night with the goblin children entertaining them and set out upon the road. About a half hour on the high road and the party spotted an enormous tower floating on a billowy cloud a thousand feet overhead. The tower must have been hundreds of feet tall, and its spire looked strangely like a pointy wizard’s hat. As the tower drifted closer, stairs made of clouds begin to form underneath it and descend toward them.
The party tested the stairs which were made of firm cloud stuff and spiral downward, stopping just short of the ground. They are sized for humans and upon testing were found safe to climb. After climbing the stairs for 1,000 feet, the party stood in front of the tower’s entrance, on a cloud that feels as firm and safe as solid ground. They entered the Tower and were greeted by an eccentric cloud giant with windswept white hair, a wispy white beard, and a billowy purple robe adorned with gold stars. He introduced himself as Zephyros and claimed that the party were the small folk he was looking for that he saw in his vision.
The party asked him to explain what he was doing here and did he attack Nightstone? He looked surprised and denied attacking Nightstone saying he is not a violent Giant and he has always liked and appreciated small folk. He tell the party he knows terrible things are happening in their society ever since the ordning shattered and all of the Giants want to push themselves higher in their caste system. He tells the party he knows storm giants were always on top on and Hill giants on the bottom and everyone else in between but now with the Ordning shattered they are all trying to prove their worth and move up in their society so they are taking extreme measures to show that they are worthy of their place. He stated he has been using using contact other planes for advice on how to stop both of their societies from falling into ruins and the planar beings have shown him visions of small folk restoring order to their society but cautioned him about direct interference in the Giant’s jockeying for position. They showed him a vision of Goldenfields being razed to the ground and stripped of its crops so Zephyros offered to take the party there in his tower which would get them there twice as quickly as they could go by caravan. The party agreed and they set off.
Zephyros enjoyed the company of small folk on their journey and even pet Yue’s Tressym with his pinky finger stating he loved kitties and offered to show the party his. He cast levitate on anyone who wanted to and showed them the Aerie of his tower which had 4 griffons in him which he was keeping in there as his pet cats. As the party got comfortable rowan was looking out the window of the tower and saw 9 vultures land on the cloud they were ridden by lightly armored humans with steel helms that cover their eyes and resemble stylized bird heads. One of them is equipped with a shoulder bag adorned with a smiling face. They entered the tower and called out for Zephyros who came down to greet them excited to see more small folk than he ever has in his life.
Two of the riders introduced themselves as Amarath and N’von and they offered him a bag saying that if was a tribute to him and they were hoping he would help them “return the world to its primordial state, as it was at the dawn of history.” Zephyros looked a little confused and asked for a brief recess to think about it and called the party to the 2nd floor of his tower where he asked the party what that meant and if they thought that would be a good idea to help bring peace to the small folk. The party advised against him accepting that offer and Zephyros returned to the 1st floor and declined their offer. They seemed to begrudgingly accept his decision but chastised him as they left for being "foolish and shortsighted” and they took off.
Zephyros looked at the bag they left and said he felt guilty for keeping their present and gave it to the party as he thought they might be able to use it more than he could. The party cautiously opened it and found 4 pinches of pixie dust in the bag. The party setup camp for the night.
The party reached goldenfields without further incident and Zephyros dropped them off saying he would await their return and hovered on the outskirts of the city with his tower. The party entered the city and walked past a farmer named Zi Lang. She cautioned to the party to avoid stepping on the plants. the party asked her where they could find Miros and she directed them towards the tavern in the north east part of town. As the party headed there they passed by a tree which the goblin children began to play around and the tree spoke with them stating his name was Lifferlas and he was a guardian of the village and the children were no bother he loved kids and exists to keep the people and plants of goldenfields safe. The party left the goblin children with him while they headed to the tavern. There they were greeted by the owner who introduced himself as Miros.
The party delivered the sad news that his parents were killed on the attack on Nightstone and he seemed like he was in shock. Yue showed him that they found the Tressym Rillix but Miros seems still too much in shock of the news that his parents passed and asked that the party take care of him as he didn’t feel he could right now but he was glad to see him again. Pokeman Jones were getting a drink at the bar and a halfing named Oren Yogilvy got into an argument with Zuriel and they stared each other down but Zuriel blinked first and walked away from the confrontation.
The party noticed a shady character in the corner of the bar speaking to a hooded figure and Pokeman and Zuriel followed them outside. Listening to their conversation they learned their names to be Shalvus Martholio and Nalaskur Thaelond. and that Nalaskur hired Shalvus to watch goldenfields and find a way for the Black network to make its way and get a foot hold in goldenfields just like how they took advantage of the situation in nightstone. With this information Zuriel and Pokeman headed into the bar to inform their party but as trhey were explaining the situation the alarm bells in goldenfields started ringing incessantly. They were under attack.
As the party ran outside they saw a horrible site as goblins and ogers were being hurled over the walls by Hill Giants and defenses of a goldenfield were caught off guard. the ones over the wall began rampaging through the town stealing crops and attacking any who got in their way. The citizens who were capable of fighting began grabbing arms to fight back. The party charged out to engage the attacking forces. Yue began hurling fireballs while Prim tried his bard magic to command several to about face and march towards the village exit. the rest of the party engaged in melee combat with the invaders. The ones that slipped through the citys initial defenses made it deep into goldenfields until they ran into Naxene Drathkala who was a powerful human spellcaster who fried several waves of goblin and bugbear invaders with her lightning bolts proclaiming that they needed to “get off her property”. Lifferlas protected the goblin children and wrestled with the ogers invading the town. Unfortunate after fighting through several ogers they struck true and splintered the tree with their maces and he fell in battle.
Miros crushed one of the ogers in a giant bear hug as Oren fought with him driving his daggers into those he had distracted. The party fought through wave after wave and their seemed to be turning the tide when they heard repeated loud banging on the walls and cracks began to form. Then Pieces of the wall started to crumble. The Hill giants were beating down the wall of the city with their clubs like giant battering rams. The assault continued until The party noticed a beach form in the wall to the south and they saw huge lumbering creatures start to file into the city and they steadied themselves for an even more fierce battle to come.