90% of diplomacy is levitation. (Storm King’s Thunder #11)

Since we’ve got a bit of time in Waterdeep, we went shopping for necessary stuff. Rothe got a suit of armor for way less effort than Bardalph is putting in, Svela picked up some decent healing potions, and Redfang decided to check out the floating castle…like you do. Despite having very little idea of what’s going on, and no invitation, Redfang confidently levitated right on up to the front cloud-gate and knocked. AND then got an audience with the owner! Whaaaaaat.

The owner turns out to be (ok, I wasn’t taking notes. I have no idea what her name was. She was a giant duchess or something). She was polite to Redfang, but clearly didn’t value an elf-giant alliance. She also was very coy about what the castle was doing floating above the city. We suspect it has more to do with the giant war than anything with the small-folk. Redfang got teleported back down to the ground and reported all this to us. Honestly, we were all a bit surprised to see him alive again.

After Bardalph returned from his own armor retrieval mission, we decided to portal directly to Mirabar and meet Harshnag outside town. We didn’t want to make a fuss in Mirabar, where Harpers (and Harper-adjacent people like us) are not exactly beloved. Harshnag arrived on time so we headed into the mountains toward the Eye of the All-Father, the secret giant shrine/oracle place. This time we made it all the way there without getting sidetracked by a side quest. Great job, us!

We reached the outside of the shrine, which is huge and ice-encrusted and generally pretty impressive. But oh, no! There are fresh tracks of humanoids, and we hear voices coming from the interior! Harshnag is very upset — non-giants are not supposed to be here without a giant escort. It seems this group may be up to something nefarious.

Svela offered to sneak into the long hallway of the shrine to see what’s up (Redfang cast invisibility on Svela for extra sneakiness). She goes to the end of the long hallway, to the base of a big staircase. At the top, she sees a number of barbarians or berserkers trying to break open a large, LARGE set of doors which are covered in a thick layer of ice. The workers are being directed by a boss, his shaman/witch sidekick and oh, yeah, a WHITE DRAGON.

Scuse me, what. No one said anything about more dragons. Svela silently left the scene to report this development. We’re all quite convinced that the barbarians and the dragon can not possibly have a legit reason to be here. Harshnag says he’ll take care of the dragon. We’ll all focus on the barbarians.

We move down the hall and then we storm up the stairs. Harshnag begins wailing on the dragon. Svela shoots some berserkers in the face with arrows. Redfang gets all magic-y, and Bardalph and Rothe slash away at whoever is in range. We are also #blessed, which seems to help, since we manage to kill some of the berserkers and scare away the few survivors after we kill the boss and the shaman lady. Also, Harshnag took only about three seconds to kill the dragon, which suggests it was a crappy dragon or Harshnag is not someone to fuck with, or both.

Having defeated the gang of would-be thieves, we looted what was there (not much aside from an amulet that might be interesting). Harshnag then pushed open the big, frozen-shut doors with little effort. The space beyond is dark, but this is where our path leads…

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