Note to readers: This is a session re-cap of an ongoing D&D 5th edition campaign set in a loosely adapted version of N. Robin Crossby's Hârn. A journal of sessions 1 through 54, beginning in February 2015, can be found here.
The Dream, part IFLASHBACK to the night of 2-3 Ilvin 720 TR
You spent the morning meeting with Aranath the Elf Queen in the palace in Elshavel and have subsequently traveled swiftly to the western borders of her realm to investigate an anomalous zone of wintry weather that is slowly expanding, bringing with it dangerous creatures that threaten elvish lives. As you prepare your camp for the night you recall the queen's parting words, uttered as she looked at each of you in turn, her penetrating gaze seeming to plumb the very depths of your souls:
"I thank you for investigating this threat to my people. Your path will be a perilous one, but I sense that you will find help from unexpected quarters. This you should know: when outsiders first come to my realm, they are frequently visited by vivid and compelling dreams—often ones in which they are required to face terrible dilemmas. Do not be afraid! These visions are not real; they reflect what you have experienced in the past as much as what you fear in the future. But there is more: these dreams may also explain things about the world that your mind has not fully realized. And remember: what we do in our dreams is an important as what we do in our waking lives. Good luck to you."
As predicted, the dreams come. You "wake" to find yourselves no longer in Leomund's Tiny Hut, but in a strange built environment constructed of ice and snow. Your bedrolls are arranged about a pool of water in the middle of which stands a fountain. There are no lamps that you can see, but a pale blue glow emanates from many surfaces. And just as strange: Maslorius is not there, but in his place is another gnome you have never seen before. Not only that, but Klor is with you as well, though you are certain that he is hundreds of leagues distant in Azadmere. The strange gnome identifies himself as Wizdale and seems as nonplussed as you regarding these odd surroundings.
Four corked bottles float in the pool beneath the fountain; each seems to contain a roll of paper. Cade pulls one forth and unstoppers it; inside is a handwritten message:
Help me! I am being held prisoner. Go north from the fountain to find my cell. You will be richly rewarded!But which way is north? There are seven exits from the room: five passages (one very narrow) and two archways. From one direction you hear howling, as of a wolf; from another, you hear a distant scream. You opt to head toward the source of the scream. As you advance, Gil'Doren advances the theory that this is some kind of communal dream through which Baba Yaga seeks to communicate with you.
— Baba Yaga
Scouting ahead, Wizdale and Juan (who seem to be forming some kind of rogue-ish bond) discover a pantry; on a table within lie four freshly baked pies. (It was, indeed, the intoxicating smell of fresh baked goods that drew them in this direction.) Without further investigation, a pie is shared: mincemeat, and devilishly good. The sound of singing attracts their attraction, and they sneak carefully up a flight of stairs, motioning the party to follow. Not all the others are as skilled at stealth, however, and their noise causes the singer to pause and call out: "Malevix, iz zat you?" Dracul is stunned to hear his father's name.
The singer is revealed to be a yeti chef (with a French accent to boot), busily preparing some kind of stew in a vast cauldron. With an enormous cleaver, he is hacking pieces from what could be a giant's bloody thigh and tossing them into the pot. His inattention is such that it is no problem for Juan to approach and deliver a mighty thwack from his crowbar to the back of the chef's head. He turns, regards you quizzically, and collapses like a (huge) sack of potatoes.
Meanwhile, Wizdale eats another pie and nearly breaks a tooth on a metal object within. A key! But to what lock?
Taking a door that leads to the north, you find another pool, fed by a spout set high in the north wall, and another surprise: Cade! Or rather, a female version of Cade. She looks displeased to see you, and attacks. A vicious druid vs. druid battle ensues, at one point involving two giant crocodiles locked in struggle. The gender-swapped Cade falls to your spells and blades, yet Cade feels lessened, somehow, by the victory. (A greater restoration spell from Klor helps him get over it.)
In the pool, you see a massive egg, apparently made of gleaming silver. Retrieving it, you find it to be non-magical and non-organic.