The Beastmasters

DGRB #7 Fistful of Dwarves AKA Get Me Offa This Crazy Thing!

Flamerule 21 - Shieldmeet, DR 1492

Here we go!  

Bran was stretching his legs on the spongy cloud-like ground around the flying tower when he saw the silver dragon.  The metallic beast held several dwarves in each of its front claws, stubby arms and boots dangling precariously.  The dragon flew towards Zephyros' tower and Bran and Smoke hurried inside to tell the others and make a plan in case they were hostile.

The adventurers shouted up at Zephyros, who seemed to be confused as to what exactly was happening.  The dragon dumped the dwarves in a heap in front of the tower, and flew up to the aerie, where Stark was attempting to tame the three unruly griffons.

The heavily armored dwarves charged the front doors, and gulped down a potion of gaseous form, turning into a misty cloud.  Mal stood guard in the vestibule, his tower shield pressed against the crack between the two doors. Aera and Bran made themselves ready for anything.  The dragon reached the aerie, his draconic presence sending Stark into an awestruck panic.  Before the dragonborn could flee, the silver breathed a mist through the open windows, paralyzing him and the four griffons.

The cloud-like form of the six dwarves pushed through the cracks in the entryway, and floated into the first floor of the tower.  Stark tried to fight off the magical effects of the silver, but was unable to pull himself together.  The dwarves circled the room and then began floating up to the second floor.  The party kept calling for Zephyros, who seemed unfazed by the whole situation.  Mal leapt into the air, trying to fan the cloud back down to the first floor with a mighty swing of his shield as Bran called upon Mielikki's sacred flame to stop the misty invaders.  

The dragon looked through the portal in the floor of the aerie, his serpentine neck uncoiling into the giant wizard's bedroom.   Grabbing a journal from his bookshelves, Zephyros shouted "I know what kind of dragon you are!" and began flipping through his handwritten notes in order to confirm his theory.  Mal shouted back, "It's a silver dragon," but the wizard was engrossed in his research and did not respond.

Mal continued to jump and fan his shield, trying to force the dwarves to ground but was unsuccessful.  Aera sprinkled Mal with a pinch of the magic dust obtained from the air cultists, giving him the ability to fly.  Mal grabbed Bran and Smoke and flew up to the second floor.   Aera, her claws making handholds in the hard spongy material of the tower, climbed up and across the ceiling.   Bran continued to cast sacred flame on the dwarves.

The goliath reached the giant's bedroom and tried to reason with the silver dragon, despite having to steel himself against the dragon's fear aura.  The silver told the barbarian that he serves the dwarves of Mithral Hall and is at their command.  Stark finally shook off the fear that gripped his heart and shouted for Zephyros to catch him as he jumped into the hole in the floor.  Zephyros started to grab for him, then thought better of it, as he cast levitate on the artificer.  Stark floated slowly down, the edges of the floor portals, tantalizingly out of reach.  

The misty forms of the dwarves started floating to the control sphere, located in the corner of the bedroom.  Aera jumped into the air and tried to use her wings to force the misty forms of the dwarves away from the floating control sphere, but couldn't generate enough wind.  Stark reached out and managed to grab the edge of the gap before he floated down to the first floor.  Mal pleaded fearfully to the cloud giant wizard, trying to get him to do something to stop the dragon and the dwarves.  Zephyros' head seemed to clear for a second, but the silver noticed the breathed a mist over Mal and the giant, paralyzing them.  

The gaseous forms of the dwarves floated up above the control orb, then suddenly coalesced into six dwarven warriors.  Each of the dwarves whacked at the orb with their battle axes as they fell, causing a small crack to appear on its surface.  The dwarves had been commanded by their Queen to attack and disable as many floating giant structures as possible.  Mal and Bran pleaded with the dwarves to cease their attack, showing them exactly how dotty and harmless Zephyros was compared to other giants.  Finally, the party was able to get the dwarves of Mithral Hall to see some reason, and a truce was struck.  Suddenly, the tower began to drift slowly down, as the orb began to show signs of breaking down.  After some discussion, the dragon got Zephyros to use some of the magical energies stored in his staff to juice up the control orb enough to get the tower to dry land.  Additionally, the wizard discovered how to put the tower into a high gear and would be able to get the adventurers to Ten Towns faster than anticipated.  The dragon and the dwarves left the crazy wizard and his traveling companions to their own devices.

Several days later, the tower reached the western edge of the Spine of the World.  A treacherous staircase made of clouds appeared, and the adventurers disembarked, happy to be away from the eccentric wizard.  Zephyros' mind seemed to wander as the group exited, and they wondered if he would forget about them after they left.

Everyone except for the goliath felt the biting cold as they set foot on solid ground.  They decided to head southwest to Fireshear so that they could buy gear and supplies for a trek into the mountains and to the tundra covered hills of Ten Towns.  Just outside of the town, the group spotted several large mountain cats attacking a herd of sheep.  The young shepherd boy tending the flock was panicking in the chaos.  The party, seeing a source of warm fur, attacked the large predators, killing them, with Stark taking a lot of them out with Serenity, his thunder cannon.  As they skinned the fur from the animals, the group noticed a single barbarian adorned with a crown of elk antlers, watching them from afar, then disappearing into the hills.

The adventurers headed into Fireshear, a small mining community with a large dock and warehouse along the shoreline. On the main thoroughfare, two taverns stood out: a small run down taphall called the Drunken Dwarf, and a large bustling business called the Singing Manticore.  All of the town's miners and workers seemed to prefer the Manticore, as the Drunken Dwarf was bereft of customers.  Mal took the pelts to a local tanner and asked if he could have them made into winter wear for the trip north.  After the barbarian told the tanner where he had obtained the pelts, the craftsman appeared panicked and refused to work on the pelts.  

"Those pelts are from crag cats that belong the Elk Tribe of Uthgardt barbarians," the tanner told Mal, "and if they find out that I helped you, they would come into town and kill me and my family!" Mal returned to the Drunken Dwarf.  As the sun set, the same Elk tribesman entered the bar, strode up to Stark, slapping him full across the snout.

"You desecrated and massacred my trained hunting cats. I have been wronged, and under the laws of the Uthgardt Elk Tribe, I challenge you to a duel."





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