When we left off last week, the group had just finished off a party of four ettins, and were deciding what to do. Before making the long climb up the chain to the prariemote above, the group took an extended rest, making camp amidst the rocks near the top of the mountain.
The next day, after packing all the unconscious party members into the bodybag of holding, the party began their arduous climb. Blaze, Tempest, McGruff, and Ella started up the chain, with Ella on Blaze’s back. For the first couple of hundred feet, there were no major accidents, and even though McGruff fell, Blaze and Tempest were there to catch him. From there, the journey went downhill. Both Tempest and Blaze stumbled and slipped on the chain so much that Blaze decided to tie a rope to them both, as well as the chain, just in case. There were many “just in case” moments, as the two of them (literally) could not hold onto the chain to save their lives. Since the rope was not strong enough to support both Tempest and McGruff falling at the same time, there were some tense moments, most of them ending with Tempest ensnaring either McGruff or the chain with his weapon to keep one or both of them from plummeting to their death. In the end, the four adventurers made it to the prariemote, and McGruff began furiously kissing the ground in thanks.
When the group arrived on the prariemote, they first noticed the Sunite compound spread out before them. Facing East, there was a semicircular arena to the South, a large raised temple in the middle of the ‘mote, and some hot springs to the North. In the background, near the east edge of the ‘mote, was a grove of cypress trees, where two large storm giants were, ah, performing a sacred Sunite rite. The group stood staring, dumbfounded at this sight, until finally the male giant let out a groan and finished. After rolling off of his partner and slapping her rear, he suddenly changed to an average-sized half-elf and donned an almost transparent robe, then addressed the group. He introduced himself as Kenesaw, the high priest of Sune for this temple, and bid them welcome. McGruff immediately took advantage of his hospitality by asking where he might get a massage, after the harrowing journey up the chain. To the group’s surprise, Kenesaw laughed and informed them of the enchantment at the bottom of the chain that would teleport any seeker of the temple directly up to the top of the chain. He then pointed McGruff in the direction of the hot springs, and complemented Ella and Blaze on their fine features (pointedly ignoring Laquel, McGruff, and Tempest), and offered the remainder of the group a tour of the compound.
After the tour, Kenesaw offered to retreat with Ella and Blaze to more private quarters, which Ella accepted and Blaze refused. An hour later, both Kenesaw and Ella emerged from their private liason, and a few priestesses bade the group to join the rest of the worshipers in the arena for the marriage of Kenesaw and Draega, the wife of Joenar.
Just before the two were to be married, Blaze and McGruff stepped up to the dias and objected. Kenesaw was nonplussed, and asked them the reasons for their objection. They both stated that she was already the wife of Joenar the Shoeless, but he just shrugged and said, “Through Sune, all other vows are sundered. Nothing else matters, as long as there is love.” They still insisted on stopping the wedding, so Draega explained that Joenar only wanted her back for the alchemical secret that she had. Without giving away the exact details of her secret, she said that if he had it, it would allow him to raid and destroy the temple and attack Kenesaw.
Someone in the group then suggested that they broker a truce between Kenesaw and Joenar, and either try to get him to forget Draegar or accept something else in trade. Kenesaw said that was unlikely unless they were able to enlist one of his allies and longtime friend, Kiniro Okimasa, who lives in a topless tower on the way to Feyshadow keep. Since the group had heard about Kiniro from the other group, they knew where to find him. With that settled, Kenesaw turned into an ancient gold dragon and flew the party down to the base of the mountain.
At the foot of the mountain, the party pulled out their portal stone and went back to Loudwater to retrieve their mounts. Ready for their journey, they started the two day ride to the tower. While resting that day, the group was attacked by a party of shadowscale lizardfolk, who attempted to ambush the party from the swamp. The party easily repelled the lizards and went back to sleep.