Frost Giant's Lair; "Fight" with a Copper Dragon; and Mufasa's New Home
After being unwittingly teleported via a hag’s blizzard spell into the Faewild (specifically, an area belonging to the Winter fae) the party meets Sinaaq, a snow leopard tabaxi from the Snowshadow clan
Creepy crystal dryads convince Anvrik to pick a blood-red mushroom and eat it under moonlight, but Thorik nat 20’s a sleight of hand check to steal it back and toss it aside
The party makes it to the Frost Giant’s cave to rescue the lost girl from the bard college, with Sinaaq educating them on ‘maat’ vs. ‘maug’ along the way
A recently-hatched white dragon wyrmling is tied up at a shrine to the Thrym, god of Frost Giants. It asks to be freed, but the party is distrustful. (It won’t make it out of that cave alive.)
Through clever use of grease and a charm arrow from Anvrik, instead of fighting the giant, they manage to convince him to cut down each and every gem from his beautiful ceiling and kindly show them the way out, along with all his valuables.
The party passes through the portal back into the Material Plane, and ends up unwittingly interrupting a coming-of-age ceremony by the Great Wyrm tribe of Uthgardt barbarians. The party decides to take part in the admittedly dangerous ceremony — the goal is to retrieve a scale from a gargantuan ancient white dragon, revered by the Great Wyrm people,, who is sleeping in the middle of her lair. Thorik and Meowser manage it deftly; with a natural 1, Kalesis wakes the sleeping dragon, but manages to placate it with apologies and lots of money.
The party triumphantly returns with the missing student, and headmaster Cal (who, as it turns out, is a copper dragon) is not excited about them leaving, ensuring that they’re safer with him here. The most awkward speed-walking battle, filled to the brim with bad puns, is fought, and Cal decides the party is strong enough to let them go.
The party sets off on the next leg of their journey: Luskan, the pirate town.
They avoid the main road, as Soros’s men have set a sizable bounty on their heads, and stick to the hills instead. They come across a hill giant and some strange monster fighting over territory, and quickly kill off both of them, as it was clear that the hill giant had killed and eaten a traveler (judging by the pair of legs under a half-destroyed cart they found). Unfortunately the creature was a neutral earth elemental. Lessons were learned.
There was a beautifully-crafted dresser in the cart with a receipt indicating it was bound for Luskan. They also found some sort of enchanted door knocker, but they were unsure what it did, so it went back in the dresser, currently in the wagon. (Kalesis later snuck the knocker into the bag of holding.)
Continuing through the rolling hillside, the party takes a rest in a little copse of trees. On Anvrik’s watch that night, a hawk alights nearby. It seemed harmless enough at first — until it lit the RV on fire. Turns out it was a druid mercenary sent by Soros’s men to assassinate the party.
They defeat the druid and extract as much info as possible. His name is Scaldris; he is the caretaker of the Crossroads, a temple dedicated to helping souls flow from this life to the next via the Plane of Water. The temple has been corrupted, and Soros’s men promised they had the solution if Scalris took out the party (who were all terrible murderers, Soros promised).
The party promises to check out the Crossroads themselves, and Scaldris flies off, promising not to harass them again.
Another interesting stop along the way was a monastery to Selune, goddess of the moon, good lycanthropes, and second chances. It’s shared with astronomers as a makeshift observatory. There, they meet Brother Borgen, a werebear in charge of the rehabilitation program. Kalesis drops off Mufasa, the young manticore she rescued (and brought back from the dead), and is confident they’ll be able to help.
Brother Borgen also introduces them to Ian (short for Iakxozz) a gnoll granted the power of speech and gift of intelligence thanks to a Headband of Intellect infused with the soul of a paladin of Lathander. The spirit of this paladin has convinced the gnoll to live a life of charity and love — so he says, at least. He’s still kept bound in a padded room, just to be safe. The party is skeptical. Ian provides grisly details regarding Soros’s island, which is crawling with gnolls who are very, very hungry.