The next morning dawns as most mornings do, and suspicion lurks in Valour’s suspicious suspiciometer. He and Zanzibar are beginning to doubt Xandala’s true nature since she was dropping 5th-level spell slots into her fireballs the previous day.
Something ain’t right…
Something ain’t right one little bit.
Valour declares to the party that he’s going to cast zone of truth, and Xandala needs to be in it for questioning.
Dur-Dur-Dur rejects this idea. "All she wants to do is find her daddy!"
"She lied," Valour says.
"All she said is that she had little combat experience," Dur-Dur-Dur says. "Just because she knows a bunch of spells and is powerful doesn't mean that she's seen combat."
"Hey, let's stop speculating. She's right here. Tell us the truth!" Valour shouts at her.
"You don't have to!” Dur-Dur-Dur argues.
"What are you guys trying to figure out from her? Because I'm lost as hell..." Argus says from the back of the cave after getting lost in the woods the day before and finally regrouping with the party.
I bet he’s the one up to shady shit!
Dur-Dur-Dur grabs Xandala and drags her away from Valour’s communist zone of truth.
"Xandaaaaaaala! You need to come over here and stand in the zone of truth," Valour calls after her.
"You can stand in your zone of truth. We're going to kill more frost giants,” Dur-Dur-Dur shouts back.
"She lied to us!" Valour says.
"I lie to you all the time, and I'm not standing in the zone of truth," Durdurdur says. "You can stand in your own zone of truth and tell your own little lies!"
"Xandala needs to tell us the truth,” Valour says, planting his feet. “Or she can go her own way!”
Dur-Dur-Dur gasps. "You are a follower of Tyr! I thought you were a religious man. Hey, how about we go find these frost giants then go to my tavern and sit on my couches and have a good ol' conversation about all of this."
Dur-Dur-Dur then snatches Valour's scripture bible thing from him and starts quoting verses from the Tenets of Devotion and how Valour is threatening to leave a little girl in the woods, which is not cool with Valour’s one-eyed Viking Jesus. "Here have a beer!" Dur-Dur-Dur says and throws a beer in Valour's face.
While Dur-Dur-Dur and Valour have their domestic squabble over whether or not they’re returning Xandala to the Chultan jungles to fend for herself, Zanzibar almost poops his diaper because he sees a dragon turtle scooting through the ocean surface several miles out. He puts the two spyglasses together and sees that the dragon turtle has a small town on its back.
A town on it's back!? Them's some fancy barnacles if I say so myself.
Even more intriguing is that the dragon turtle is headed north... where the Bay of Chult is...
Everyone starts bickering about going after the dragon turtle town or more frost giants and how there are too many damned side quests going on for them to keep a strong focus, Dungeon Master! Why not just run shit out of the original sourcebook!?
Zanzibar, however, knows that dragon turtles are territorial, and if Aremag still lives in the Bay of Chult...
"WE GOTTA GET BACK TO TOWN TO WATCH THE DRAGON TURTLES FIGHT!" Zanzibar shouts.
His hopes are dashed when the party decides to find more frost giants instead of going to see the dragon turtles fight.
While this other debate is happening, Xandala steps into the zone of truth. "It's okay..." she says, willingly failing her save.
Valour stands in front of her, ready to begin his interrogation. "Why did you lie to us?"
Xandala chooses her words carefully. "I believe people will be much more likely to help a girl who looks like she’s in distress instead of a high level sorceress."
Valour nods. “Do you need the Ring of Winter?”
“Nobody really needs it,” she says.
“Who does need it?” Valour says.
“If anyone needs it, it’s the Archfey Summer Queen, Titania. If she wears the ring, it will melt and finally be destroyed,” she says.
"Is Artus Cimber actually your father?" Valour says.
Xandala stutters. Then she goes invisible OH NO SHIT'S GETTING REAL!
Dur-Dur-Dur tries to grapple Zanzibar, then shouts “Run!” at Xandala. A fight breaks out on the beach, with Argus trying to throw a dagger where Xandala was just standing. He misses.
Zanzibar noticing that Xandala cast misty step. She then runs into the jungle, casts fly on herself, and disappears through the trees just like that other mage with the red robes that none of them could catch. You know, chasing and killing witch-hags seems to be the party's strong suit. Catching run-of-the-mill spellcasters? Them damn trees keep getting in the way.
Speaking of trees…
And speaking of speaking trees…
Way the fuck off somewhere else,🌱finds some frost giant doodoo guano while searching the jungle near the beach and has no idea about the issues going on with Xandala. He then casts speak with plants so that he can talk to the grass. "Hey are there any frost giants this way—where did they go please thank you?"
"Yes... many... and ice wolves..." the plants say.
🌱 takes note of this predicament, then talks to some mushrooms.
Back on the beach, Valour shouts, “What the fuck, Dur-Dur-Dur?”
"You made all of our friends run away!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, crying. "And this one didn't even leave an egg behind!" He chases after Xandala, "Wait, wait friend we can work this out!"
"I don't know WHAT is going on," Azaka says to Argus.
"... How do you see me?" Argus says.
"I am a tiger." Azaka says.
"Ah, that explains everything,” Argus says.
Dur-Dur-Dur charges at Valour "You took away my friend!" he shouts, then swings a fist at Valour.
Valour uses a readied action to slap Dur-Dur-Dur with the flat end of his sword. Dur-Dur-Dur punches Valour a couple of times and his fists cling off of the paladin’s armor "You hurt my hand... but not as much as you jurt my heart!" He then goes off to cry some more.
"I really want to take that hat..." Valour says, eyeballing Dur-Dur-Dur’s circlet of intellect.
"You can't take his hat away! Then it will be Flowers for Dur-Dur-Dur!" Zanzibar says.
Now nobody know what is going on.
"She had evil motives," Zanzibar says, backing up Valour. "We asked if Artus Cimber was her father, and she ran away. The reason we are hunting frost giants is because they want the Ring of Winter. If we bring her to Artus Cimber, she would kill him and take it for herself."
"That's what we're going to do," 🌱 says, rubbing his hands together.
"NO!" Zanzibar shouts. "We're the good guys!"
After deciding who they’re going to kill, some hours pass by. A troupe of lizardfolk emerges from the forest line, eyeballing the party curiously.
"Where did the big men go?" the shaman leader of the lizardfolk hisses.
🌱 waves a severed frost giant hand at him.
"We took care of these, but there are more in the jungle." Valour tells the lizardfolk.
"... Good!" The leader says, then turns to leave.
Dur-Dur-Dur chases after the lizardfolk, tears streaming in his eyes. "Hey, hey, hey! You're going to pay us for that or give us XP."
"Noooo we can't do that," Valour says, not wanting another morality debate with Dur-Dur-Dur.
Dur-Dur-Dur tries to hug the lizardfolk, but it swats him away.
"Where are the frost giants?" 🌱 asks the lizardfolk.
"South..." the leader hisses.
"Want to come with us?" 🌱 says.
"No,” the leader says, then the lizardfolk leave for real this time.
Dur-Dur-Dur walks back to Valour and kicks a rock into the ocean. "Can't even make new friends now!"
"You were trying to fight them!" Valour says.
"I don't know what I want! I'm mad and sad!" Dur-Dur-Dur says, then hugs Zanzibar super tight.
A day passes on the beach, and the party sets off the next day to look for the remaining frost giants.
They go south, and with a few good checks from 🌱, they find evidence of the frost giant’s tracks. After several hours, they come across three frost giants accompanied by two giant wolves with bright white fur.
Time for a surprise round!
Zanzibar casts firebreathing on his owl. Argus leaps from the trees and shoots a frost giant in the butt while Valour charges with his mount then beats the giant with his sword.
Azaka runs up and shifts into weretiger form as Dur-Dur-Dur brings his axe into the fray. A frost giant steps up and swats at Azaka, his axe dealing no damage to the woman because the party keeps choosing Chultan guides who are overpowered as hell.
Zanzibar drops a fireball on two giants while his owl breaths fire on them. Argus gives a “time out” gesture with his hands and applies poison to arrows all careful-like. 🌱 casts conjure animals and summons two tigers. Meeeyow! But a winter wolf runs up and breaths frosty air all over 🌱’s brand new tigers. Meee-oh-no!
… maybe rethink these cat puns in the future…
Valour stabs the frost giant near him and kills it. He then hops on minion and charges into the winter wolf. The horse knocks it over and Valour beats it in the face with his sword some more.
The second winter wolf runs in and breathes ice all over the party’s make-believe animals.
A frost giant brings its axe down on Valour and drops him to zero hit points with a critical hit. He then chops Valour’s pretend horse into a poofy nonexistence and stands there looking like a total badass.
Zanzibar drops a fireball and hits two of giants while his owl backs him up with fire breath.
Argus does what he can with what he's got, which isn't much and isn't much.
🌱 casts healing word and tells Valour to get up and fight the frost giants or Xandala will come back.
"XANDALA!?" Valour shouts while getting up.
🌱 then chill touches the wolf.
Valour casts sanctuary on himself and rubs his hands on himself too, healing 25 hit points. He breaks combat from the frost giant, who Zanzibar uses a portent to make it fail its sanctuary wisdom save… so instead the frost giant eliminates the pretend tigers like a pretend-Joe Exotic.
Zanzibar then gives his portent of a natural 20 to Dur-Dur-Dur, who proceeds to paint the jungle red with his greataxe as he goes Paul Bunyan on the giants. Zanzibar then finishes off a giant with a fireball and slays the last one with a magic missile.
He is very proud of himself.
The party decides that Argus should loot the random weirdass items from the frost giant’s bags of random shit. Argus goes digging and finds:
a Giant sized bone tooth comb.
a handaxe blade.
a wooden statue of a life-sized halfling.
Dur-Dur-Dur skins a winter wolf pelt, then the party camps out. Zanzibar shows off his fancy new spells by casting Leomund’s tiny hut, and everyone hunkers down in an invulnerable little shield for the night. Valour then burns the tent that had Xandala’s stink on it.
The next day, the party sets off and finds the leader of the frost giants. Once again, they get the upper hand and brutally massacre the giants, this time with much more ease since they know how to engage the giants better.
Such memorable moments from this fight involve:
🌱 summoning two giant eagles named Crime and Punishment who claw the everloving shit out of everything they find.
Valour abandoning his pattern of naming his horses after Minion, this time naming his new mount “Friendship.” I can only suppose the next horse will be named "Fatality" and the one after that one being named "Animality."
Valour downing a Soren juice wild magic potion and healing Argus for some hit points.
Valour using a wrathful smite on the last frost giant and vanishing himself from existence.
No for real we need more bullet points!
Back up a bit!
The party annihilates the last frost giant, then gathers up the weird loot: a dwarf statue made of stone (Dur-Dur-Dur kills it), two dead trout, and another bronze gong. Argus levels up to level 5, which is good and all.
But where did Valour disappear to?