Dungeons & Dragons Online

Icewind Dale: Sending the Yeti to Boarding School and Other Stories

Through a contrived series of events I won't recount, I wound up on a 5e Spelljammer server which also happened to be the stomping grounds of a certain greentext youtuber, and started running an (increasingly homebrewed) Icewind Dale campaign there. This is the ongoing story of a band of savage cannibals trying pretending to be heroes, and a GM trying to make sense of it all. Here’s where the story goes nuts

This is the Almost-All Goblinoid Party’s Best Hits, Chapters 9-12

> Be me, GM, loving this train wreck

> Be not me, Avar the Human Enchantment Wizard, semi-accidentally commits mass murder

> Elton John the Goblin Celestial Chain Warlock, worshiper of the Horny One

> Neddie Elyeti the Bugbear Arctic Druid, post-ironic Frostmaiden worshiper and simp extraordinaire

> ORK the Half-Orc Zealot Barbarian, still pisses on everything

> Stughok, Bugbear Assassin Rogue, with a Big Iron on his hip

In Soviet Russia, You Probe Aliens

> With their business in the northern towns sorted, they set out towards the crashed spelljammer. Past the southern towns, across the tundra’s dunes, and into the mountains. They stuck to the valleys, and Avar’s owl helped them swiftly locate the downed craft

> It was like the shell of a colossal snail, with slimy tentacles out the front. Stughok stayed by the sled, well away from the ship. On their approach, the party got jumped by gooey, many-legged centipede-like monstrosities, which took a chunk out of a few party members before they got taken down

> Forcing open the ship’s doors, they came into a cargo bay, and encountered a trio of diminutive, floating creatures with mouth-tentacles almost to the ground. And their guardian, a humanoid stitchwork of meat

> ORK lunged at the monster, digging his greataxe into its shoulder. It didn’t move. It didn’t flinch. It headbutted the barbarian to the ground and punted him into a storage crate, spilling alien tech all over the floor
> As the party was shitting its collective pants and the squidlings were laughing their tentacles off, a tinny, gooey voice called off the golem. A mind flayer. An extremely short mind flayer with a bad head injury, which waved its arms around and carried a little box in its hand. The box was chirping steadily, faster and faster as it approached the party

> The party settled down, as it seemed non-hostile at the moment. It spoke, but none of the party could understand it, until it was reduced to miming. It seemed especially interested in Avar

> So the wizard decided to hypnotize it. No problem, it’s going to make its save

*rolls dice*
> fuck
> He initiated his rhythmic Mongolian throat singing, and the tiny aberration gradually nodded off and fell under his control.

> They searched the mind flayer, taking the clicking box (which intensified as Avar grabbed it, and even more as he held it closer to the psi crystal), plus a strange weapon. It resembled a hand crossbow, but there was nowhere to put a bolt. Similar weapons, resembling full crossbows were recovered from the broken storage crate

> The party declared this a victory and promptly fucked off, running away from the ship and the terrifying creatures within. The dazed, naked flayer could do little but watch them run
> Just when the party thought it was clear, the snow nearby moved, and a bulette leapt into the group. They tried to run, but it was no use. It down a couple of them, and it looked to be sure TPK… until Stughok rushed in, slaying the monster with well-placed crits

> Seriously, how does that happen every session

> On their dash back to civilization, the party stopped to examine the weapons they’d stolen. Ned and Avar, the resident brains, almost blew their feet off with energy blasts

> Then Stughok tried his hand with it, threw some switches, and blew a hole in a cairn at ten paces

> Well would you look at that

The Minithids Strike Back

> The party settled back in Bryn Shander, with the mummy outside the walls in Ned’s igloo, watching over the yeti. A proper inn stay for the first time in a week. Still, they were awake well into the night, discussing and planning. Especially about what to do with Dzaan once they saw him again

> As they were about to head to sleep, a knock came from their door. Stughok opened it and saw the mummy. They asked why it was here

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> “Give ussss the cryssstal”
> That wasn’t normal

> Inside the mummy’s mouth, Stughok saw a rat. It glowed with a soft blue light, and its scalp had been cut away to show its brains

> More rats appeared, from the stairs, from the corners, from the rafters, all glowing softly. A whole swarm

> It repeated its demand, but Avar played dumb. It served the mind flayers, who were already here. Right next door in fact

> Next door was the innkeeper’s room. Time to fight

> Stughok succeeded in freeing the mummy from her domination, but not before both were severely damaged. ORK did his best to crush the psychic rats, but axes aren’t the best tools for dealing with swarms. Avar and Elton John opened the window and jumped onto the roof. Elton John dropped to the street, running for reinforcements from the gate … and saw the flesh golem in his way, several unconscious guards slung over its shoulder like sacks of grain

> He figured the next best plan was to run through the streets shouting “MONSTER! MONSTER!”

> Once the swarm was dealt with, ORK, Stughok and Ned rushed downstairs. Snow blew in through the open door. They rushed up to the innkeeper’s room, with Stughok invisible. They found him lying dead, two gnome-sized mind flayers on either side, their tentacles dripping with brain fluid

> They were hit with a psychic scream, stunning them. Stughok fell unconscious on the stairs, still invisible and slowly bleeding from the ears

> Ned was held at laser point, and one of the mind flayers spoke into his mind, insulting and reprimanding him for their behavior on the ship, when his companion had tried to be friendly. Now they had come to take the psi crystal they needed to repair their ship, and some prisoners for good measure

> Ned held up his hands and tried his best to be diplomatic, all the while Avar spied from the window, Stughok was an invisible tripping hazard, ORK was waiting for his moment, and Elton John was waking up the whole town

> When the mind flayers nudged Ned down the steps, ORK lunged forward in ambush. Avar summoned a python and threw it through the window, while Ned brought his fellow bugbear from the brink of death. Lasers and psychic screams tore up the room, ORK was joined by the spirit of an orc chieftain, and the action economy did its work. One mind flayer fell, and the other was wrapped in the python’s coils

> That was when Avar jumped into the room, pressed the psi crystal to the illithid’s forehead, and then slammed his own head into it

> He saw stars. Actual stars. He was lost in an eternal void. Was this how a psychic connection felt?

> Then he sensed the brain. Its psionic presence was colossal. He had tried to create a psychic link with the mind flayer, but had wound up going directly to the Elder Brain it served. Even brushing against the surface of its cognition threatened to engulf him

> So Avar gave it his best salesman pitch

> “I know how this must look, but we did yous a favor so we did. You don’t want to have your will being done by those kinds of servants honestly they’re a bit trash. How bout yous do us a favor and we help yous out, sound like a deal?”
> The Brain responded by stripping his mind down to its base components, undoing his ego and rationalizations, his identity, going all the way down to his very essence. It compared its values to his, and Avar experienced a psychic handshake

> **YOu’Re HiRed**

> The wizard rocketed back into his body, now staring into the eyes of an impotent mind flayer abandoned by its creator. To everyone else, the whole experience looked like he had a seizure for a few seconds

> **kiLl IT**

> ORK took its head clean off. By that point, Elton John had riled up a huge crowd, including the sheriff, who was hopping forward with his pants half on

> The party met him and the crowd at the door, showed them the remains of the mind flayers, and told them all to stay back, they would handle the golem

> They unleashed their flashiest magics, while ORK and Stughok went in for round 2 with the monster, finally bringing it down. These things are tough to dispose of, they told the sheriff, we’ll take it out of the city and do this properly

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> Of course, with the aid of the Elder Brain, they had gained limited authority over the golem. It had made a big show and fallen to the ground without hurting the party or being hurt much at all. It set out for the ship, and the party prepared to fulfill its end of the bargain

> They were celebrated in Bryn Shander, the heroes of the city, and with the death of its owner, the Northlook got torn apart by revelers. Stughok wound up stealing Old Bitey the magic fish for himself

> When the dust cleared and they actually got a chance to sleep, the new heroes of Bryn Shander nobly set out to ensure the aberrations left the Dale for good, waved off by an adoring crowd

> It was half true, at least

> On their return to the ship, they met with the squidlings, which now regarded Avar and the Giantslayers as colleagues of a sort. They took the psi crystal, which would serve as a backup power source to repair the ship, which would take a week. The party explored the inside of the ship unhindered, and picked up some useful loot from their stores

Interlude: The Lottery

> They returned to Bryn Shander as victorious heroes, on the eve of the lottery. Ned was at the head of the crowd driving a naked dwarf into the blizzard that night, to be sacrificed to the Frostmaiden. The whole town heard screams and saw strange lights that night. Nobody said anything

Chilling with a Cold One

> Newly enriched and admired, the party had a laundry list of objectives out in the tundra, which they decided to complete in one expedition

> First to meet with the frost giant sage Geluvicken, and learn the cause of the Everlasting Rime

> The days passed peacefully enough as they journeyed far to the west. They found their destination, a tall hill ringed by the colossal stone thrones of the ancient frost giant jarls. Meditating at the center of the ring was the giant sage, stripped to the waist and perfectly content in the cold

> He sensed the party’s approach, and Ned made introductions. The giant allowed all members of the party Ned trusted to be present … which turned out to be everyone but ORK, who left to piss on some snow

> It picked Ned up by the scruff on his neck and set the bugbear on his lap. Elton John then jumped into Ned’s lap, while Avar sat nearby and Stughok hid behind a throne

> The giant pulled a handful of herbs from its pouch and rolled them up daintily. “This is the good kush,” he said, lit the joint, inhaled deeply, and passed it around

> Then it told the party what it had learned. The eternal winter started at the same time that Auril’s daughter, the empyrean Nalkara, disappeared, apparently slain by adventurers invading the Undermountain. Soon after, he heard a horrible scream of anguish from Auril, and then silence. Even he, one of Auril’s most devout followers, had not heard a single word from his goddess in two years

> The winter was Auril’s mourning and desire for isolation. It was unlike her to mourn, yet this was all he had gathered

> Ned was devastated to learn that all the signs he thought were from the Frostmaiden were really coincidence. The party strategized, wondering how she might be broken out of her gloom. Stughok put forward his theory that the Frostmaiden just needed a good lay

> The giant then got the munchies and swallowed the peryton carcasses the party had brought him, and invited them to return on the full moon

> “What shall we bring to you, wise one?”

> “SNACKS!”

> “Of course o wise one”

> “AND THE LARGEST HERRING IN THE REALM!”

> “It shall be done”

> “MMMMMM, SHRUBBERY”

How the Yeti Went to Boarding School

> Their next destination was the wreck of the Dark Duchess, a ship run aground on the ice which might have some rum they could sell back in Bryn Shander. They found an ice troll in the cargo bay, which they demolished (did I mention bugbear assassins with laser guns are broken?)

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> The troll was after a trio of kobolds, which surrendered when they saw a naked half-orc eat an ice troll’s heart whole. They told the party that the ship was used as a hoarding site by the white dragon Arveiaturace, and she might be back from hunting any minute

> The party immediately got to melting the magical ice pile to get at the treasure within

> Meanwhile, Elton John absconded to the upper deck. He knew exactly where he was going, and reached the captain’s quarters. He looted the remains of his former captain, including a swanky hat

> The process of melting the ice was slow going, and the goblin decided not to be around when the dragon returned, taking the sleds and all the animals half a mile out from the ship and burying himself up to the neck in the snow as camouflage. A few hours of waiting later, he heard the beating of heavy wings, and saw a colossal white dragon flying straight for the ship

> Back in the ship, the party was recovering layer after layer of treasure, by far their biggest haul since they arrived in the Dale. They had just revealed the bottom of the hoard, which included a creepy-looking wand, when the timbers of the ship trembled above them

> Stughok was on lookout. The dragon was ancient. It could have plucked a whale out of the sea. In a saddle rode a black-cloaked figure. The dragon should have seen him immediately, but it didn't

> The dragon was so old it had cataracts

> The party was scrambling to hide. Ned had shifted into goat form to pass himself off as the kobold’s next meal. Stughok was holding the kobolds at swordpoint to keep them quiet. ORK sliced open the ice troll’s corpse and hid inside its guts

> The dragon sniffed about through the hold, and saw its hoard was all but gone. As it raged, Avar had a bright idea

> With the power of the Elder Brain, he spoke directly into its mind, pretending to be an extraplanar being. He told it that the people of Dougan’s Hole (a run-down, inbred town they had saved from winter wolves) had stolen the treasure. Oh, and their leader was a jackass wizard named Dzaan that lived in Easthaven

> Of course, his check succeeded

> The dragon swore vengeance, and flew off to annihilate the town. Elton John saw it fly away, and said a little prayer to his patron for his dead friends. Much to his surprise when they showed up a while later loaded with loot

> The party needed to get out of dodge fast. Luckily for them, the illithid ship had just finished repairs

> Avar summoned the spelljammer, which picked them, their treasure, and their caravan up with its tentacles. Then they were off, flying through the blizzard and away from the Dale. It dropped them off near the port city of Luskan, and prepared to leave the atmosphere and return to the Far Realms

> Well, it didn’t drop all of them off. The party wasn’t confident in their parenting abilities, especially dealing with an aggressive yeti cub which they had permanently traumatized. So they sent it off to boarding school, to the Far Realms Institute for the Psionically Challenged

> They all figured it would return one day as a cyber-yeti to murder them all, and they were fine with that

> They’re now back in civilization with money to spare, but their story must continue in the Dale. A story of false heroism, of massacred goblins, and baneposting. But that must wait for another day

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