Following from last session’s explosive revelation that Larion’s long lost sister is the cultist Talis the White, the young half-elf quickly learns that his family has a long history as senior leaders in the Cult of the Dragon. Talis herself is a traditionalist, who would rather be creating dracoliches than trying to summon forth Tiamat. She is also unhappy that the cult’s leader Severin chose to give the White Wyrmspeaker Mask to his crony Varram the White rather than her.
Talis explains that the cult was plundering the Sword coast in order to amass a treasure hoard worthy of a god, which they intend to offer to Tiamat to curry favor once she is summoned into Faerun using the dragon masks. Talis offers to help the party strike a blow against this plan and also conveniently eliminate Severin’s ally Rezmir. She explains that the last of the treasure is being held in the nearby village of Parnast, where the cult is loading it into Skyreach Castle, a flying fortress that belongs to the cloud giant Blagothkus. Talis gives the party a rough sketch of the castle defenses as well as the pass phrases needed to enter.
Talis asks to speak with Larion alone, but the half-elf insists that Garrett remain present as well. Talis catches up with Larion, and seems to be genuinely concerned for his well being. She also pitches him on rejoining a reformed Cult of the Dragon. Garrett not-so-subtly gets out his clockwork goldfish, which had such meaning from their conversation earlier that day.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party gathers in their luxurious quarters to discuss next steps. Hurk believes that Talis’ information, if true, presents a tremendous opportunity, but warns that they should be prepared for her to stab them in the back. Jamna points out that she’s already told them everything they need and suggests just killing her now, avoiding the backstab fears entirely. Beryl and Raeyanne ultimately side with Hurk however. The conversation quickly devolves from there into innuendo about the uses of Jamna’s over-sized wrench.
After Garrett and Larion rejoin the group, they decide on their next move. They will try to get into the castle. Larion is shocked and confused about the revelations about his family, but wants to continue with the adventurers.
The following morningTalis speaks to Garrett before the party leaves, urging him to look after Larion and warning him of deadly vengeance if any harm comes to her brother. She gives Garrett a silver raven token that can be used to send a message to her if needed and she will be able to come to their side within two days.
After leaving the lodge, Garrett questions Larion about what he intends. Larion is confused about how to react to his sister, who believes some crazy things but who he hopes can be talked out of them. But the young half-elf is determined to do what he can to thwart the cult that he and his family had done so much to support. Larion also reiterates his desire to stay at Garrett’s side, which means a great deal to the older rogue.
In Parnast, the adventurers run across an old friend: Green Imsa, the verdant woman from the Waterdeep caravan. Although they are initially suspicious of her, they adventurers realize that she is cheerfully ignorant that the town is under the cult’s control. Imsa arrived in the area via airship to collect rare herbal components for another attempt to cure herself of her green complexion.
A friendly wheelwright manages to get them all into his shop and (unnecessarily) warns them about the cult. The wheelwright reveals that the cloud giant’s castle is getting ready to leave the area. The party quickly throws together a plan to infiltrate the fortress by posing as cultists delivering supplies. Unable to go with them, Green Imsa gives Raeyanne a farewell kiss and address to look her up in Waterdeep later.
The rogues hide in the back of the wagon, while Hurk and Beryl sit up front. They are challenged at the gates of the castle by a folksy ogre watchman. Hurk provides the pass code and the wagon rolls on through the gates of Skyreach Castle.