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"Jiǔtóu's Apology" is the thirty-eighth episode of the Lightfall campaign for High Rollers D&D. It was broadcast live on the Yogscast Twitch channel on February 12, 2017.

In this episode, Jiǔtóu struggles with her emotions against Crownrend. Our heroes then venture out to the frost giant lands to seek a solution in hopes to cure those still affected by the curse from Fenris.

Campaign SummaryEdit

RecapEdit

Following the successful foiling of the Fenris' plot and the defeat of the corrupted King Selandris Frostwalker and his Queen Malisendal, the adventurers (consisting of Cam, Elora, Jiǔtóu and Trellimar, as well as Nalistri) were left at the top of the Spire of Winter. They realise that fighting were still ongoing between those loyal to King Selandris and those against him, as well as Spherior and the people of Hallow.

Jiǔtóu breaks off from the group, claiming that she needs some time to think about something and sat down to meditate in deep concentration. However, Cam tried to play a prank on Jiǔtóu and sneaks up to her. She is unaware of this. As Cam approaches, a burst of flame emanating from Crownrend erupts around Jiǔtóu and scorched Cam, knocking him unconscious. Trellimar, noticing that the gemstone of Crownrend flared up, tries to communicate telepathically to Jiǔtóu but Crownrend told him to leave her alone. Luckily, Nalistri rushes over and administers first-aid, bringing back Cam to consciousness.

Jiǔtóu is left in her deep meditation as the rest of the adventurers use to bronze griffin to fly down and rally the people of the Winter Spire now that Selandris is dead. They manage to convince Ural, one of the elven captains, to stop attacking Spherior and the people of Hallow. Nalistri later accompanies him to rally the remaining people as the adventurers go deal with Commander Valen, Selandris' most loyal adviser and the military force's commander. They then encountered Lady Reyan, a magic captain of the Winter Spire, and convinced her to help them. They come up with a plan to trick Valen but it quickly went awry as Trellimar was not able to keep up the act of disguising as King Selandris. During the battle, Trellimar found three potions and drinks one of them, not knowing its effect. After the battle, they realise that Trellimar has become younger considerably, to which the annoyed Reyan reveals that it is an expensive Potion of Longevity that she made specifically for herself.

Once things has calmed down, Nalistri and Ural manage to subdue the rest of the people. However, a group of soldiers chose to remain loyal to Selandris, so Nalistri exile them as he refuses to imprison or kill them. The adventurers take a rest and later gets visited by Salah Balan, the genie who trades in powerful magic items. They did little trading though. However, Salah did tell them about that the frost giant community to the north who might be able to help with the cure for lycanthropy that affected King Alfadon (Elora's father), Queen Shalana and Sylval Frostwalker.

CrownrendEdit

Following the events in Episode 36, Jiǔtóu excuses herself from everyone and sit down near the edge of the platform on top of the Winter Spire to meditate on recent events that has happened to her. The world around her fades away and the sounds of battle becomes quieter, then gone, as she focuses her energy on meditation.

Jiǔtóu appears hovering in white mist and stillness. A figure then begins to form amongst the mist. It eventually forms into a tall and fiery humanoid shaped creature with large curved horns, curved satyr-like legs and a whip-like tail. Jiǔtóu can feels intense heat emanating from the creature but it does not cause pain.

"Little demon," as the creature calls out, revealing to be a manifestation of Crownrend, "these allies of yours are holding you back. They almost prevented you from killing that wolf woman."

Crownrend questions Jiǔtóu for continuing to ally with her companions despite none of them holding to her ideal, or so Crownrend claims. Jiǔtóu argues that had they not assists her, she would not have been able to allow Crownrend to consume the heart of King Selandris. Crownrend though says that though her companions have proven their use, they are holding her back.

Crownrend felt trepidation within Jiǔtóu, so he asks her if she is not committed to vengeance in spite of him showing her its power. However, Jiǔtóu says that his power scares her, though Crownrend assures Jiǔtóu, addressing her as his friend, that she should not feel scared by it as they are aligned.

Jiǔtóu asks Crownrend on what he would want her to do next. As he has said before, Crownrend wishes to see the Council of Guilds crushed as they are tyrants, then head to Bresseras to eliminate the dragonborn that enslaved her. However, Crownrend also worries about Elora, Jiǔtóu's friend and princess of the Moon Spire, believing that she will eventually become a tyrant just like all people under royalty like King Selandris. In response, Jiǔtóu says that Elora is different from those corrupted royals and is a powerful ally that can aid them in bringing down tyrants. Yet, Crownrend firmly states that no one is different beyond him and Jiǔtóu, and that no one can be trusted, even Elora.

Following Cam's attempted prank on Jiǔtóu that Crownrend defended her from, Crownrend warns Jiǔtóu that her friend attempted to harm her. To that, though, Jiǔtóu chooses to believe that Cam is just up to buffoonery and have no intention of harming her. Crownrend disagrees, claiming that her friends will try to take her down because they fear that she, with Crownrend, will become too powerful. Jiǔtóu believes that her friends are just fearful of Crownrend himself, though Crownrend puts an idea that they might be tyrants-in-waiting. Crownrend's humanoid form then flickers and fades away, leaving Jiǔtóu in her meditation.

Jiǔtóu comes to her senses and finds that she is left alone on top of the Winter Spire, not knowing how long she has been meditating for. All debris and bodies have been cleared, leaving only the scorch marks and dents left behind to mark the battle that occurred prior.

Jiǔtóu attempts to somehow communicate with Master Guanyin. She closes her eyes and focus on trying to reach to Master Guanyin but, try as she might, is unable to reach her. Also, instead of seeing the view of Arborea, where Guanyin resides, Jiǔtóu sees the same white misty scene as when she talked to Crownrend moments ago. Jiǔtóu then stops trying to reach Guanyin. For the first time in a long time, Jiǔtóu is now feeling scared. She also feels conflicted in either continue adventuring with her companions or that venturing on her own would be the best for her.

Aletha and NalistriEdit

Cam, Elora and Trellimar leave Salah Balan's thermal bath after concluding the trade business with him, though Cam is naked as he left the spa in a huff.

Cam suggests that they should check on Jiǔtóu as she has been away for the whole night. Elora though wishes to check on Nalistri instead, partly because she is still wary of her after what happened the day before. The two then decide to do their own thing, with Trellimar accompanying Cam.

Elora goes to look for Nalistri. As she walks around the Winter Spire, she sees the elven servants cleaning up the mess caused by the battle earlier. Guards are also patrolling the Spire. There are also elves going around to assist the wounded civilians and soldiers, all receiving treatment in guest chambers that turned into makeshift infirmaries.

After asking around for directions, Elora eventually finds Nalistri in the throne room together with Commander Payla. Payla is teaching him on how to be regal, since, for the first time in his life, Nalistri will be assuming leadership role of leading the Winter Spire following the death of the previous king, Selandris.

Upon seeing Elora entering the room, Nalistri gets distracted and hurries over to her. Payla stops her lessons for the time being and joins the two as all three exchange greetings.

Elora first asks Nalistri is everything is under control within the Spire, to which Nalistri tells her it is so as ensuring the safety of his people is his top priority at the moment. He shares that Lady Reyan and Captain Ural have been very helpful to him in returning normalcy to the Spire. Nalistri also thinks that allowing Selandris' loyalists to leave the Spire might have also helped in the current state of the Spire. Repairs for the damaged section of the settlement walls is also underway.

Nalistri then asks on how well she and her companions are doing, especially with their battle against Commander Valen yesterday. Elora replies him to say that she and her companions are now alright, then goes on to briefly share her thoughts about Valen, of how he is fully aware of Selandris' plans and that he will not surrender.

Nalistri tells Elora that he intends to give a small reward to her and her companions as a form of appreciation of their service to the Spire. Elora kindly rejects his intension but Nalistri insists on rewarding them, especially for the sake of Cam and Trellimar, knowing that the two are more material oriented.

Nalistri then asks Elora if she and her friends will continue their stay at the Spire so he may prepare meals and services for them. Elora says that she will be, sharing that she and her companions are planning to visit a frost giant community for potential leads on obtaining the cure for her father, Queen Shalana and perhaps Sylval too, whom all three are cursed by Fenris with a rare form of lycanthropy. Commander Payla is excited to hear this, given that Shalana is her bride-to-be and that Shalana is suffering to cope with the curse. Nalistri then comforts Payla upon noticing that she is struggling to hold back tears. He also tells Elora that he is willing to pay the frost giants should they requests any form of payment for the cure.

Nalistri then asks about Jiǔtóu as he tells Elora that he told his servants to clean up the mess on the platform while not disturbing Jiǔtóu. Elora replies to say that Cam and Trellimar have went to check with her, adding that it is best that no one of royalty should be in her presence for now.

HighRollers S38 Letter snippet

A snippet of Nalistri's letter. Source.

Before allowing Elora to go on about her business, Nalistri tells her that he has something for her. He excuses himself to fetch something, then returns about five minutes later with a small pouch and a sealed letter. He gives both of them to Elora, saying that it is a small token for her, while telling her to open them later preferably when Cam is not around. Nalistri then says that he needs to leave as he is busy with stuff, so he turns around and awkwardly says his goodbyes to Elora. On this, Elora quietly tells Payla that she should work on his awkwardness, to which Payla agrees. Yet, Payla comments that Nalistri is at least honest and has a good heart.

Elora then tells Payla to continue to keep watch on the people within the Spire, especially to those who used to be loyal to Selandris. Payla promises to keep a look out, particularly on Captain Ural just in case. Before leaving to see her mother, Elora also requests Payla to keep her mother safe, to which Payla promises on protecting her too.

It takes a while for Elora to walk to the room where her mother, Aletha, is resting at. As she enters the room, Elora sees her mother looking well-dressed and tidy in appearance, though having a sad expression on her face as she looks out into the wilderness through the ice-glass arched window.

Elora approaches her mother and gently takes her hand. Aletha turns and shows a smile on her face, hiding the sadness underneath, like how a mother would assures her child during difficult times. Elora tells reassuringly to her mother that she will resolve what had happened to their father and husband, Alfadon. Aletha knows that but expresses her wish to at least know where he had fled, given how good he is in the wilderness. Elora expresses the same, saying that she also tried but failed to look for him during her search yesterday.

Elora then lets her mother know of a lead to a possible cure for the curse, of which Aletha tells her that she tried to dispel the same curse that is also put on Shalana but failed. Despite being capable of dispelling lycanthropy, given how they had to defend their Moon Spire from creatures like shapeshifters, the curse is of a rarer form of it. Aletha then offers to accompany Elora in her search for the cure but Elora disallows it, explaining that she wants her safe in the Winter Spire. However, Aletha then reminds her that their Moon Spire would need at least either herself or Elora to continue to lead their people, since King Alfadon is not in a state to lead. Elora agrees with her but still prefers that her mother remain in the Winter Spire till, at least, she has investigated the lead of the cure.

Aletha agrees with the compromise. She also tells her daughter to return as soon as possible, as she does not want to lose Elora as well. Elora assures her mother that she will not lose her, then shows the Moonbow, saying that she have it now to protect her. Regarding about it, Aletha lets Elora know that it is suppose to be inherited to Elora only once she has taken leadership over the Moon Spire. Nonetheless, Aletha tells Elora that she shall have it. She also explains that the Moonbow was passed through generations since they came into the Surface and was a relic taken from a defeated fey to inherit the Moon Spire.[1]

Aletha says that she will now go to take some rest and perhaps help out Nalistri in managing the Winter Spire. Elora agrees with the idea, given that he does not have anyone else to rely on. However, Aletha recalls Selandris gloating about her sister who died with the Summer Spire, reckoning that Nalistri may have some family left there. Though Elora agrees with this, she points out that, for now, Nalistri is on his own. She too add that Commander Payla will also be here in the Winter Spire

Both Aletha and Elora embrace each other once more. Elora then lets her mother rest and heads off to look for Cam and Trellimar, and possibly Jiǔtóu.

A Struggling JiutouEdit

Meanwhile, Cam and Trellimar have reached the top of the platform, where they see Jiǔtóu still meditating. At the same time, Trellimar urges Cam to put on his clothes. Showing defiance at first, Cam eventually wears back his clothes as he does not want to be nearly killed by Jiǔtóu again. Unknown to them, Jiǔtóu heard their conversation but ignores it and continue to meditate.

Both Cam and Trellimar cautiously approach Jiǔtóu, though Cam walks behind Trellimar as he still fears that Crownrend might attack him again. Trellimar then asks her if she is under control of Crownrend. Jiǔtóu assures them that she is currently herself. Cam, now feeling somewhat at ease, goes over and tells Jiǔtóu that he will warn her first before pulling any prank so as to avoid being attacked by Crownrend again. He even shows the burn marks he got from the attack, as well as the scorch marks on the ground.

Remembering on what Crownrend claimed to tell her about Cam attempting to attack her, Jiǔtóu is appalled by what had happened to Cam. She then assures him that she was not the one to call the attack on him, though Cam replies to say, "Where does the arm stop? When does the Jiǔtóu start?" Trellimar goes to clarify what Cam said, in saying that they are concerned that such incident might happen again should anyone accidentally hit her. However, Crownrend warns Jiǔtóu that they are trying to get rid of Crownrend himself.

In all seriousness, Cam lets Jiǔtóu know that everyone is worried for her, on how Crownrend is affecting herself in ways never seen on her before. Crownrend responds to this by telling Jiǔtóu that she is weak without him. Coincidentally, Cam tells Jiǔtóu that she is a strong person before Crownrend. Now with Jiǔtóu relying on Crownrend, Cam feels that she has become its lackey. By now, Jiǔtóu can feel Crownrend becoming warmer, which she knows that it is becoming agitated.

Cam continues to try to convince Jiǔtóu by saying that her personality, ever since after her resurrection, has changed for good, in the sense where she gained foresight and self control in a way that Cam never seen in her before, as well as being able to assess the situation before acting. Ever since donning Crownrend, however, her aggression returned and, to Cam, it feels like she is carrying out orders from something, as if someone is doing the thinking for her and not herself.

Jiǔtóu reminds Cam of the time he left her, outside the Frostwalkers bedchamber, when she needed help as she struggles to control her emotions that are being stirred by Crownrend. Cam, who was the only one aware of Jiǔtóu in a struggle at that time and told everyone to give her some space before tending to other matters, admits that his decision is probably not well thought of, given how he is in a panic during a tense ongoing confrontation. Jiǔtóu though reminds Cam of her choosing to help him in times of need, recalling a particular moment where she stood in between him and the revenant to protect Cam from further harm. To this, Cam admits that Jiǔtóu is stronger than he is. Yet, as Cam continues, he asks Jiǔtóu if it is still not too late for him to interject now and help her out in dealing with her troubled state regarding Crownrend.

On the mention of Crownrend, Jiǔtóu tells Cam that she is weak before it, remembering the time she got killed by an animated armour.

At this moment, Crownrend has grown hotter and hotter, to the point where Jiǔtóu begins to feel uncomfortable wielding it. She also hears telepathically of it letting out an angry growl in response to Cam's words. Jiǔtóu then tells telepathically to Crownrend that he is hurting her. However, Crownrend replies back to say that his anger is fuelled nothing more than what Cam said and then tells her to embrace the pain and discomfort she is feeling now.

"You are killing me," as Jiǔtóu cries out telepathically to Crownrend, "And if you do not stop, if you do not work with me, there will be no messenger."

"You are part of me, little demon!" as Crownrend defiantly replies telepathically to Jiǔtóu, "You and I are bound now. I am yours as much as you are mine. We have a mission!"

Jiǔtóu yells out loud, "And if you kill me, then you die too!"

Both Cam and Trellimar clearly hear this. Cam takes a step back and tells Jiǔtóu that he just heard what she had said. Jiǔtóu finally reveals her deepest concern she has, that she no longer knows what is her purpose now. At first it was to seek the freedom of her enslaved tiefling kind but, ever since the reveal of the true Korak, Jiǔtóu has become lost in life. She also tells Cam that she does not want to hurt any of her companions.

Cam replies to Jiǔtóu that she do not need to hurt anyone but, to do so, she must seize control of herself and not be weaken by Crownrend, whom he refer to it as just a weapon. He even says that Crownrend will be useless without its wielder. Crownrend, as he hears what Cam said, stops heating itself up and Jiǔtóu now feels comfortable to wield it. Its grumbling also stops. Jiǔtóu is uncertain of why Crownrend reacted as such to Cam's latest words. In her mind, she apologises to Crownrend and then says, "You have have such a fool for a bearer."

Jiǔtóu, who is still sat down on the platform, turns to face her companions and prostrates herself to them. She first apologises to Cam for failing to control Crownrend and allowing it to harm him. She then says that she is struggling to carry herself on, given how her life is full of being in violence, and that Crownrend gave her strength whenever she needed it. She also adds that her companions, Cam included, also gave her strength when she needed it. She then says that she no longer knows her purpose anymore and also no longer remembers the faces of her parents. She is afraid that she is failing to her friends.

Redenvelope

The contents inside the red envelope. Source.

Still in a kowtow state, Jiǔtóu reaches into a pocket in her robes and take out a red envelope and hands it to Cam. She explains that she intended to give it to him back during the Golden Light Festival but, for some reason, she has forgotten to give it to him. Seizing the opportunity now, Jiǔtóu gives the red envelope to Cam as a form of a token from her as described, "from a fool of a tiefling, before I am lost." Cam takes the envelope and takes a look inside it.

Cam asks Trellimar to pick Jiǔtóu up. Trellimar then goes to her and helps her to stand on her feet. It is now visible to both Cam and Trellimar, as tears run down her cheeks. Cam walks towards Jiǔtóu, though being cautious of Crownrend, and gently places his hands by her arms. He then tells her that she is far from being weak and adds that it is Jiǔtóu herself that makes her strong, not the weapon. He also fears that Crownrend will turn Jiǔtóu into the same thing that controls her tiefling kind. He says that she will need her friends more than ever, then gives her a gentle hug.

By being this close to Jiǔtóu in a form of a hug, Cam is finally aware that Crownrend has gained power over since they first saw it. It has grown more evil.

Cam hides that he just discovered and pulls back from the hug. He then looks at a teary Jiǔtóu in the eyes and says to her that she should stop fighting against huge problems by herself and allow people to help her. Jiǔtóu can take Crownrend off, as Cam affirms, and she will be as strong as ever.

As Cam says that, Jiǔtóu remembers the blood oath she swore to her companions and the tears shed with it. Crownrend can sense this, however, and desperately tries to persuade Jiǔtóu to not remove him by emphasising that she is weak without him. Yet, the more he speaks against the removal, the more Jiǔtóu thinks about it.

"No. No!" Crownrend shouts in her mind as Jiǔtóu places her hand over it, "Do not take me off! I will destroy those that you love if you remove me."

Jiǔtóu, with all her willpower, begins to slide Crownrend off.

"You need me. You n—"

Crownrend goes silent as Jiǔtóu, visibly shaking, successfully removes Crownrend off her arm. Even with it removed, a part of Jiǔtóu does not want to let go of it. Cam reaches out to stabilise the trembling arms, while Jiǔtóu quietly apologises to Crownrend since she is not able to communicate telepathically to it. With that, she lets go of the bracer and it falls to the ground. It thuds and does not bounces upon contact.

It Will ReturnEdit

Cam lets go of Jiǔtóu and takes off his Raven Cloak, using it as a protection while he tries to pick the bracer up. However, Cam has to retract as bits of the Cloak singes upon touching it. Cam then gets back up and suggests Jiǔtóu to take some to perhaps meditate, as he believes that it has been a long while since Jiǔtóu last does a reflection of herself in peace without Crownrend interfering in some way.

"Drow," as Crownrend calls out telepathically to Trellimar, "do not leave me here." It is trying to convince Trellimar to be its next master. Trellimar walks over and looks down at it. He then lifts his legs and attempts to crush it under his heel. It did not break. Trellimar tries it again but the bracer does not budge. Try as he might, Trellimar later gives up as Crownrend remains in place, also because he can feel the heat it is giving off. Crownrend then says that he cannot be destroyed and that he shall have his revenge.

Both Cam and Trellimar agree that Crownrend should be destroyed, with Trellimar fearing that it could bring disaster if fallen into the wrong hands.

Cam prays to his deity Avandra to try to get her to use her powers to destroy Crownrend. However, when Cam manages to establish a communication with her, Avandra tells him that he does not have any form of power to destroy such powerful object. Also, Avandra cannot channel her powers through him. Her voice them fades, leaving Cam with no choice but to find a way for them to contain it safely away from anyone else. Jiǔtóu then suggests having Elora to try to move it, since she reckons that Elora's incorruptness might allow her to safely touch it.

Elora then emerges from the stairwell and steps onto the platform. She spots her companions, with Jiǔtóu looking exhausted and holding onto Cam for support. She then sees Crownrend on the floor, no longer on Jiǔtóu's arm. At that, Elora just dashes towards Jiǔtóu and gives her a big hug. Jiǔtóu is surprised at the suddenness and then awkwardly returns the hug.

Jiǔtóu tells Elora that they need some help in containing Crownrend to ensure that it does not fall into the wrong hands. However, despite being told that she is incorruptable, Elora remains uncomfortable in touching it since Crownrend seems to hate her just because she is of royalty.

Elora contemplates for a moment before deciding to use her Moonbow in an attempt to destroy Crownrend. She first tells the rest to stand back, then fires an arrow at it. It strikes the bracer. However, the impact is strong enough to cause it to flies up into the air and sails off the end of the platform. The adventurers just look on in horror.

Elora takes her bronze griffin figurine out as fast as she can and activates it. The figurine transforms into a bronze griffin. She then flies down the Spire to try to catch up to the bracer, grabbing Trellimar along the way to accompany her.

The bracer lands heavily onto the ground within the compound of the Winter Spire community. Elora tries to fly towards it as fast as she could but she was a few seconds too late, as the bracer landed near to an elven soldier, who turns around and sees the bracer. Elora shouts at the elf to not touch it but the warning came a little too late, as the soldier picks it up.

Just as the soldier looks up towards the direction of where the warning came from, almost instantaneously, the bracer erupts into flames, which consumes the soldier whole. He screams in pain. The flames then, all within a split second, collapses on itself and seemingly disappeared, as if it has teleported into another plane. Elora stops the griffin as she and Trellimar look on in horror, especially now that Crownrend is gone.

Elora and Trellimar fly back to the top of the platform, where Elora then tells both Cam and Jiǔtóu of the bad news. Cam becomes upset, while Jiǔtóu believes that Crownrend have gained power overtime, from consuming hearts, to allow itself to go back into an infernal plane. Trellimar then declares that no one shall possess any artefacts that have sentience, though he have to make a claim that his mask is not of such item. He also lets then know that Crownrend attempted to bond with him.

As the adventurers bicker away, an elven servant has come up to the platform and asks the group if they will either be staying in the Spire or not, explaining that Master Nalistri is transforming more guest chambers into makeshift medical centres. Cam confirms that they will still be staying in the Spire and requests for more grapes. The servant ensures that refreshments will be provided for them in their chamber. He then takes his leave.

Trellimar asks Jiǔtóu to take a good look at him. She does so and realises that he had become slightly shorter and visibly younger. She then asks him in confusion if he died too, recalling the similar effects that happened to her as a result of her death. Trellimar replies to her that he simply drank an unmarked potion, causing him to become younger.

Frost GiantsEdit

It is now noon. The adventurers went to the kitchen and grab two sackful of food, as they intent to dine with Spherior. They find him within a treeline outside of the Spire's wall, where he made a small shelter for himself. The humans from Hallow are no where to be seen though.

Both parties greet one another upon seeing one another. Spherior then asks if the battle has concluded, to which the adventurers assure him so. Spherior also calls Trellimar a fool for consuming a magical item that caused him to become younger.

Cam puts down the sacks of food and tells Spherior that they intent to have a picnic with him. Spherior sees the food and comments that it will all suffice as a small snack for him. He then picks up the two sacks and consumes it whole, unknowingly eating the adventurers' lunch. Jiǔtóu remains hungry since she has not eaten for nearly a day now.

Elora asks Spherior for information about a cure that might be within the frost giant community, explaining the curse brought upon her father. Spherior shares that his community have a soothsayer that may know something about it, though he tells them, in sadness, that he is exiled from the community. Elora wonders if they are willing to help them, though Spherior tells her that they would probably need to prove them of their strength worthiness first. He suggests that perhaps they could tell their tale on how they defeated Fenris.

To help Spherior redeem his worth to the community, Cam wonders if the tale of defeating Fenris could also help him out. Spherior appreciates the kindess but lets him know that, being a frost giant, it is part of a culture where a frost giant prove its worthiness by through its own strength. Yet, Cam still thinks that Spherior could redeem himself by the means of how he defeated King Selandris. Elora adds on to say that their task would have been impossible if not for his help. Spherior thinks about it, then agrees to give it a try. He also agrees to guide the adventurers to the community, which he says will take about two days.

Before they begin their journey to the frost giant community, the adventurers head back inside the Winter Spire to stock up on supply. Along the way as they walk through the Spire's community, they see civilians resuming their daily activities as much as possible. Once in the Spire, they find Nalistri in the throne room. Both Aletha and Payla stand on both sides of him. They enter just in time to catch the last part of the speech he gave to his Spire's staff, of him assuring them that his only intention is to ensure that his people will be well cared for and that the Winter Spire shall forge new alliance with the other five elven spires.

The speech ends. The staff give a round of applause, then disperse off to resume their role. With no one looking, Nalistri rushes off to behind the throne, where he starts puking as he never gave such speeches before. Payla goes to him and aids him by patting his back. Once he feels well, Nalistri comes out from the back and sees the adventurers standing by the entrance of the throne room, which he later finds out that they did catch the last part of the speech and him throwing up.

Nalistri asks if Jiǔtóu is feeling alright, to which she says she is feeling better. By now, Jiǔtóu notices the ice foreman that took the place of Nalistri's blown off left forearm.

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The adventurers restock their supplies and later rest for the night. In the following morning, they begin their two days journey, with Spherior guiding them, to the frost giant community, which is located further north of the Troubled Lands.

The community is now within view, with walls surrounding their lands. The adventurers head closer but not before Spherior telling his pet winter wolf to hide in the wilderness and keep clear of the community, given that the community at large distrust winter wolves.

To the adventurers, the walls majestically rise up high into the sky. As they approach closer, two female frost giants standing guard on top of the walls order them to halt. The two guards also demand Spherior for his reason of returning, which he explains that he wish to prove himself worthy once again to the community. It takes some time to convince the guards, who then allows Spherior and the adventurers to enter.

Once inside, the adventurers meet up with the jarl, who demands their purpose for coming into the community. The adventurers explain that they are looking for a cure for curse caused by Fenris, whom they claimed that they have managed to defeat her. In order to convince the jarl, the adventurers share with him on how they defeated her, as well as giving a huge credit to Spherior, claiming that it would not be possible without his help. Though the jarl informs them that they had only defeated her physical form but not her true form, he is nonetheless satisfied with for their capability to defeat Fenris. As such, he allows the adventurers to meet with the community's soothsayer for information about the cure. He also asks Spherior to follow him to prove his worth in rejoining the community.

The First BucklandEdit

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After meeting the soothsayer and explaining their situation to her, the adventurers are then brought into a dark and void surrounding through a ritual, similar to the one performed by Ral'Ma a while back. A spirit figure then appears within their view. He prances around the void while playing his fiddle. The figure sees the adventurers, so he approaches them. He then almost immediately recognises Cam for being a member of the Bucklands just by looking at his clothes.

The figure introduces himself as Roland Buckland, the very first Buckland. He then goes on to give a brief history of the Bucklands, as well as a way to break the curse, which is essentially a bond. Roland then lets them know of a nearby ancient monastery, which he explained got wrecked due to the War of the Claw, a war during ancient times where the dragons and demons fought with one another. A female dragonborn cleric devoted to Bahamut was researching a way to break the bond between demon-like humans and demons in the monastery, which is where Roland believes a solution could be found there.

With the new information, the adventurers return back to the frost giant community and heads off the the monastery, with the soothsayer guiding them there part way. It also happens to be the same monastery that a frost giant scout was sent to investigate some days ago but never returned.

The Ancient MonasteryEdit

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It takes a day for the adventurers to travel towards the monastery built into the rocks of a mountain pass. Once there, however, they see a sight of multiple skeletons of both dragonborns and tieflings, strewn all over the front of the monastery, including fresh and frozen corpses of human travellers and a dead frost giant. Also, they spot three yetis devouring on the fresh corpses.

With the yetis unaware of their presence, the adventurers decide to sneak into the monastery by using Granamyr as a distraction. They almost got inside the monastery when Trellimar accidentally kicked some stones. One of the yetis turns around and starts to attack him, resulting in a battle betweent he adventurers and the three yetis. Eventually, two yetis were killed and the last one flees, though Trellimar becomes momentarily frozen in ice by them and is dangerously close to being killed.

War of the ClawEdit

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Trellimar becomes unfrozen and is back to normal. However, a skeletal figure of a dragonborn enters from a door and into the hallway of the monastery. Unable to speak, the figure gestures to Jiǔtóu to come forward so it can arrest her. Jiǔtóu, fully aware of the ancient war between dragonborns and tieflings, chooses to surrender herself to the skeletal figure. However, Cam decides to attack it, eventually breaking the skeleton into bones.

A female dragonborn ghost rises up from the pile of bones and immediately draws out her sword. Finally able to speak, she demands all of them to surrender for be prepared to fight. Both Cam and Elora, though, try to reason with her, saying that the war has ended thousands of years ago. and that Jiǔtóu's kind no longer serve the demons anymore. Still, the ghost does not believe them but is willing to talk only if they put down their weapons, which they do.

Noticing that Jiǔtóu is not like the demon-like humans she used to fight against, the ghost demands Jiǔtóu on who she is. Jiǔtóu explains that the pact between her kind and the demons has thinned out over several centuries so much so that all that remains are just some demonic features and limited demonic powers. She also shares with the ghost that, in present day, the dragonborns enslaved the tieflings. The ghost, however, does not believe what Jiǔtóu said as she says that the Metallics would not allow slavery to happen. Jiǔtóu then reveals that the Metallics are no longer in power as they have been taken over by the Chromats.

To determine if what Jiǔtóu said it true, the ghost requests her to subject herself to a test. Jiǔtóu agrees, so everyone heads into the next room and Jiǔtóu places her hand on a draconic altar as instructed by the ghost. The altar, which is designed to react upon the presence of a demon, does not do anything. This leads to the ghost now believing in what Jiǔtóu said, though she is now bewildered.

The ghost apologises to Jiǔtóu, then introduces herself as Siliska, the fang captain of the monastery and is in charge to protect Lady Amirilith who is researching a way to break a bond. After hearing the adventurers' situation and finds it similar to Amirilith's works, Siliska shares with them that just as the Lady managed to find a method, two demons came to attack the monastery. All three of them are still entrapped in the main chamber deeper into the monastery. Siliska then leads them into the main chamber to give them a better picture of what has happened. In there stands three hulking figures. One of them is a majestic silver dragon glowing with power, clutching and guarding a metallic sphere. The second is a demon that is like a shadow, with claws and black wings. The third is a gorilla-like demon in red fur, with two huge fangs protruding out upwards from its bottom jaw.

Siliska points towards the sphere Amirilith is clutching, saying that it is that device that allows bond to be broken. The reason why all three of them are frozen, as Siliska explains, is because that it is the only way to prevent the demons from snatching the sphere.


Featured CharactersEdit

The AdventurersEdit

NewEdit

Appeared

Mentioned

ReturningEdit

Appeared

Mentioned

Notable MomentsEdit

TriviaEdit

  • First!: There are several firsts that occurred throughout this episode:
    • The first playable character to multiclass in the series is Cam Buckland. Trott added the rogue class on top of his character's cleric class, mainly to enhance his dagger attacks from Rogue's Sneak Attack feature.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Jiutou's Apology - HighRollers D&D: Episode 38 at 0:43:17
  2. Jiutou's Apology - HighRollers D&D: Episode 38 at 0:04:46

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