Morak Ur’gray, the dwarf who runs the inn in Nightstone, came to the group with a problem.
“I’ve been giving this some thought,” Morak says. “I figured if we managed to escape, someone was going to have to let survivors know of the family they lost in the cloud giant attack. I’d convinced myself back in the caves that it was gonna be me that did it. I’m really not a traveler any more, though. And without the Nandars, someone needs to help out around here, and folks seem to trust me. I don’t suppose you all are up for a little traveling?”
“Semile Southwell has a brother. He’s the sheriff up in Bryn Shander. That’s up in the Icewind Dale, so I’d understand if you didn’t want to travel that far.”
“Melantha and Lathan Xelbrin have a son, Miros, who lives in Goldenfields. The Xelbrins have some paperwork that ought to be delivered to them, and that Tressym hanging out in the windmill probably ought to find his way there, as well.”
“Darthag Ulgar, the guy who ran the Lionshield Coster trading post, has an ex-wife who also runs a Lionshield Coster out in Triboar. She might be sad to hear of his passing, and she’ll probably want to do something about the trading post here. I think she’s still a part owner. She may be able to offer some coin to help out with that.”
Gilraen noted that she is carrying a legacy of the Southwell family that she had originally come to Nightstone to deliver to Semile Southwell. With Semile dead, she said that she will eventually make it to Bryn Shander to deliver the object to Markham.
Kessa felt the best course of action was to go to Goldenfields, to allow Baronne Alton to know that Nightstone no longer had a lord to protect it.
Kanut’s only suggestion was that any quest they took on should involve more boats.
The group decided to go to Goldenfields first, if only because it’s close. They set out in the morning to head back to the High Road. As they followed the path up, they cleared a ridgeline, and it was shaping up to be a beautiful afternoon. The sky was clear with only a few puffy clouds. The more eagle-eyed of the group could even make out some details of Waterdeep, all the way out here. Hey, what’s that in the clouds?
A strange tower floating atop a cloud drifted toward the group. The tower was hundreds of feet tall, its roof shaped like a wizard’s hat perched at a jaunty angle. It was about a quarter mile above them as a stair case of clouds began to descend from the tower, ending right where the group was standing. A short debate ensued as to whether or not to accept this invitation.
“If the intent was to kill us,” Kessa noted, “There are much easier ways than to dematerialize a staircase from underneath us.”
“But not many ways that would be as funny,” mused Tijala.
After a long and arduous climb, the group reached the top of the staircase and met the master of the tower. “I am Zephyros!”, the cloud giant rumbled. “And who might I have the pleasure of speaking to?”
The group introduced themselves, and Zephyros stuttered. Zephyros explained that he’s been casting contact other plane trying to determine the reason that the Ordning was gone, and that these names were relayed to him as instrumental in restoring the Ordning.
Nobody but Ptahmin had ever heard of the Ordning, so the two of them explained that it was the hierarchy of giants. All giants have a place in the Ordning, and without it, giant civilization could turn to complete chaos. Nobody knows why, but the Ordning disappeared a couple months ago.
Zephyros explained he was coming to Nightstone to determine if the Nightstone itself might have something to do with it. He was distraught to hear that his cloud giant kin had smashed the town, killing some of its residents, and taken it. He then asked what the Nightstone was, and the group responded, “We were hoping you could tell us that…”
While Zephyros doesn’t want to get too involved with the group, he felt bad that his cloud giant brethren had smashed Nightstone, and offered the party a ride to wherever they wanted to go. Kanut suggested that with the services of a flying tower at their disposal, they should go all the way to Bryn Shander. The rest of the group wanted to stick with the current plan: go the short distance to Goldenfields. [Editor’s note: I forgot to mention that the horses could hang out on the cloud, but there’s no forage on a cloud, so the multi-day trip to Bryn Shander would probably require leaving behind the horses]
Zephyros asked the group to stay on the first floor, then retired to his study above.
Around midnight, a group of cultists arrived on giant vultures. Their leader, a short man named Amarath, wearing light armor and bearing a haversack with a smiley face on it, demanded to see the master of the tower. His companion, N’Von, carried a bag to give to the master of the tower as a gift. They led four mooks. When Zephyros did not come down, or even show his face, the cultists got belligerent. They demanded that Zephyros come hear their offer from Yan-C-Bin, the Prince of Evil Air.
Deciding that the group were in his way of talking to the master of the tower, Amarath reached into his haversack and threw something across the room, and the cultists attacked our heroes. The group noticed that across the room, there were two footprints in the swirling mists on the floor of the tower. [Editor’s Note: In canonical Fifth Edition, Invisible Stalkers aren’t humanoid in form anymore, and they don’t walk, they fly. I kinda split the difference on this, and made it a flying sort of humanoid. This will probably be forgotten next time Invisible Stalkers come up.]
Gilraen, and Tijala made quick work of the cultists, while Kanut did battle with the stalker. Kessa wisely attacked the stalker from afar, while Ptahmin split his efforts between ensuring the rest of the party could see the stalker using a guiding bolt spell, and keeping the cultists from coming further into the tower.
Amarath and N’Von were the first to fall, and three cultists went down quickly after that. The fourth cultist figured he’d take his chances calling his vulture back to him as he jumped from the tower. Meanwhile, the stalker grabbed Kanut and started to fly upward with him.
Kessa’s magic turned out useful for more than just beating on invisible stalkers, as she caught Kanut with a well timed gust of wind. That spell also made it tough for the stalker to return to the fray, as every time it got close, it was blown back upward.
When the invisible stalker was destroyed, everyone finally relaxed. In the new quiet, they could hear Zephyros still snoring.
As it would be good to find out what was going on, the party talked Ptahmin into reluctantly using his magic to keep the cultist leader, Amarath, from dying from his wounds. Unfortunately, Amarath had little to tell them.
When Zephyros woke and returned downstairs, he saw the results of the battle. Seeing the cultists’ equipment in the corner, he spoke a few words of magic and in the pile of gear, N’Von’s offering, Amarath’s satchel with the smiling face, and one dagger began to glow.
The group left Amarath in Zephyros’s care. The eccentric cloud giant noted that Yan-C-Bin was one of the outsider entities he had contacted looking for information on the Ordning, but hadn’t expected that he’d get company.