Against the Giants: Liberation of Geoff

The Vault of Fire
Session 145

Leaving the two fire giant zombies behind (as they are too big to squeeze past the door) the heroes pass through the secret door into a tunnel with a stream of lava cutting across it. On the other side is a pit. Xellos flies over, and from the lava a molten fire elemental oozes forth: it strikes Calibos, who strikes it back in turn– his sword of vengeance is pretty powerful– while Ungrid hastes himself and Halmary summons his spiritual weapon. Xellos and Ungrid attack, joined by Sidni, but before Halmary can even use his hammer, the dwarf delivers the killing blow and the elemental plops back into the lave, defeated.

Between them, Halmary and Calibos manhandle the lid of the ornate coffin and position it over the lava, and everyone crosses the crude bridge. On the other side they use Halmary’s ever-useful rope ladder and descend the pit, entering a cavern with more lava flowing under a bridge, and a wall of hardened brick and stone on the other side, an obsidian door visible in the dim glow of lava. Across the bridge they go, finding the door wizard locked. Ungrid uses his other hammer, smashing open the door with a mighty blow: some spell goes off, and from the lava a much larger fire elemental rises up and charges into battle! This, despite being larger and tougher and meaner, lasts no longer than the other one did. In quick succession everyone attacks it, diminishing it bit-by-bit, and Xellos ends its life. It dissipates and the heroes enter the vault. Inside they find an altar with a sculpture of the Seal, valuable enough to bag, another wizard locked door, and a cavern dominated by more lava with stone buildings in side caves, and a fourth on an island in the middle of a lake of lava. The land buildings all have wizard locked doors as well, and with the spell-casters low on magic and unable to dispel them all, they retreat back to the catacombs, rest for a few hours, and head back down after some healing, sleeping, and eating.

The inside door is dispelled by Halmary, and inside is a flaming ball of fire: they suspect a trap, and leave it for now. Outside they head to the first of the stone huts, bypassing the door to find a quarter of an obsidian sphere, which sits on a bed of coals. Halmary and Ungrid enter, grab the segment, and a fireball explodes, singeing them. Halmary tends to their wounds and they bag the segment. They head to another hut, Ungrid smashing open the door with his knocking hammer: inside is another sphere, on obsidian shards. Suspecting that it too may cause an explosion when removed, they loop rope around it and pull it free: lightning strikes, but no one is inside. They bag that one and move to the third: Xellos dispels the lock, inside is a third segment, on a bed of ashes. Again they loop rope around it, pulling it free. Three ashen wraiths materialise and attack: Xellos slays one easily, and Halmary turns the others, allowing Calibos to step in and send them to their final deaths.

One more segment remains, no doubt in the hut on the island. Xellos flies over, knocks open the door and sees the fourth segment sitting on a bed of diamonds. He loops rope around it, turns himself invisible and pulls: the segment topples off, and a deep bell tolls loudly. The lava lake begins to bubble and something huge rises from the molten rock: a ten-headed hydra!

End of Session

Kills: 2 fire elementals, 3 ash wraiths.

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The Temple of Fire
Session 144

Behind the walls of fog the giants gather, while Calibos and Ungrid retreat to join the others at the bottleneck by the cave mouth. The paladin gets knocked by a boulder as he withdraws, but it is a mild irritation to the tough fighter. The leader of the giants shouts for them to surrender, and Ungrid replies by hurling grontdrengi at a giant poking his head around the fog. As soon as everyone is back together, Xellos throws up an illusion of more fog and Halmary creates a globe of darkness, blocking the view of the cavern from both sides. Beyond it the giants can be heard gathering, their hell hound pets getting closer. The leader again shouts for them to surrender, but the heroes don’t bother replying.

Sidni quaffs down a potion of growth, doubling her size and strength and she drags one of the dead giants out of the zone of silence so that Halmary can animate it. Xellos throws up a_ wall of ice_ just behind the darkness, hoping that anyone passing through it will walk straight into the ice barrier. Two hell hounds do exactly that, smashing throw the ice, sliding to a stop in front of the heroes’ shield wall: Ungrid and Xellos take them out before the hounds can get their bearings.

Seconds stretch into minutes, and the heroes get the impression that the giants are stalling. Xellos thinks that maybe there are giants sent to flank them, and is proven right as a group of giants– who left by a tunnel to the surface and circled round– charge at their rear: at the same time, alerted by the war cries of the giants, the remaining hell hounds are sent in, the other giants advancing as their priest cancels the darkness with a light spell; battle is joined.

The battle is decidedly one-sided: a hell hound falls to Calibos’ sword as the beasts hurls out of the dark; it doesn’t even get a chance to flame the paladin. The other hound does burn Sidni, but she just stabs it back, leaving it open for Calibos to cleave it in two. Ungrid proves himself the most capable of dwarven giant-slayers and slays a giant as it charges into the battle. He then takes out another, then a third in quick succession. Halmary proves he is more than just a cleric as he takes out one too, albeit with the help of his pet zombie. Sidni blasts a pair of giants with her lightning bolt shield, then charges it and stabs one through the heart, spinning around and striking the other, leaving that one for Calibos to finish off.

Ungrid charges in: another giant falls to his giant-slaying hammer; Calibos takes out a second, leaving the path open to the giants’ leader and priest. That priest blesses his allies, but then an invisible Xellos cleaves it from behind, killing the giant. Calibos and Ungrid charge the chief, the last giant now standing, and the paladin badly wounds the giant, leaving Ungrid the honour of the killing blow!

With the enemy slain, the heroes check that there are no more lurking in the shadows, leaving the various buildings for later, and then head straight for the temple. Inside are old statues, an altar, steps leading below. On the altar is a warm sphere of semi-molten lava, which they– at first– believe to be the Seal of Fire. They wrap it up in wet cloth, bag it, and after a brief discussion head down the steps, looking for loot. Stone sarcophagi and caskets lie below, each looted in turn: they hold the skeletal remains of giants, fire opals in their eye sockets. The caskets are heavy obsidian, valuable too, so they too are looted. One last coffin is more ornate and inside is another skeleton, more gems, along with a ring, a cloak and a rod that is so large that for the heroes it is more of a staff. Calibos discovers a false bottom to it, opens it to find a lever and pulls it.

In the wall a secret door slides open. Beyond that, a passage, a stream of lava cutting across it, and a pit at the far end going deeper below the earth…

End of Session

Kills: 10 fire giants, 1 fire giant priest, 4 hell hounds.

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The Cavern of Fire
Session 143

At the mouth of the cavern of fire, an invisible Sidni scouts out the huge cavern and finds an old temple, watchtowers, and several stone building with giants inside. Bridges cross rivers of lava, and the whole cavern is warmly lit by the lava flow. She reports back to the others and they decide to retreat to the fort above the cave, hoping that more giants will come out and talk to the– now dead– giants in the fort. Everyone but Sidni heads up and takes turns sleeping, whilst Sidni settles down for an uncomfortable night by the cave, with loose stones scattered around to alert her of anything approaching.

The night passes uneventfully, and no giants turn up. That morning the heroes head back down, their zombie with them, and send the undead giant into the cavern, just so it is visible to those on watch. A giant hails it, gets no answer, and draws closer. Halmary has it back off, and another giant comes out to see what is going on. Shouts ring across the cavern, and not long after– as Halmary prepares for battle and blesses the party– another giant comes across the bridge, several very large hell hounds with him. Halmary places a globe of silence across the narrow pathway between the cave and the lava; Calibos enlarges himself; Halmary casts striking on Ungrid’s hammer; and Xellos hastes them all as the giants approach and spot the intruders; battle is joined!

Calibos and Halmary fell the first hell hounds, drawing others in, as a fire giant moves in to attack. One of the hell hounds breathes fire on Calibos, singing the paladin; Ungrid hurls his hammer across the floor, smacking the giant; and Xellos shoots a hound between the eyes and drops it. Another hound falls dead as Calibos cleaves it in two, but one of its pack flames him again; he, Halmary and Sidni gang up on the fire giant; Sidni delivers the killing blow, and the giant drops like a stone. Other giants are see approaching, alarms sounding. Another hound falls down, and as the fighters begin to back off, hoping to draw the giants into the narrow cave mouth, Halmary cures some of the paladin’s burns by laying on hands. Meanwhile, Xellos summons a pegasus and Ungrid leaps on its back, taking to the air. The dwarf hurls a hammer at one of the giants in the towers, but then the other giants hurl boulders at them: the horse is hit again and again and again, breaking its bones, ending its life. It disappears and Ungrid plummets, rolling as he hits the floor, bruising his pride as much as anything. He climbs to his feet, and spins his hammer through the air, taking out one of the hounds moving in.

The party withdraw, Xellos covering their retreat with walls of fog. Another giant falls dead as Ungrid bludgeons it with his hammer and Xellos shoots it between the eyes. Sidni lets loose with some of her magic arrows, badly wounding the giants. Calibos charges into the middle of the cavern, straight towards the giant’s sub-chief: he slays him with a single blow, and Halmary tries to give him cover from hurled rocks with a globe of darkness. Then, from inside the temple, an unseen giant dispels the magic: the darkness vanishes, as does Calibos’ haste and enlargement, but Xellos conjures up another wall of fog and Calibos ducks behind it, quickly joined by Ungrid.

The others prepare to advance, Xellos improving his defence with a mirror image, as the giants gather…

End of Session

Kills: 5 fire giants, 5 hell hounds.

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Valley of Fire
Session 141

11th Coldeven, 594 CY

After a month’s rest and scroll scribing, the heroes follow the directions given to them by Malachi and head deep into the Crystal Peaks in search of the final Seal, to a secluded valley known as the Valley of Fire. Lava bubbles up from chasms in the earth, and a river of lava flows from a large cave mouth, eating its way through the rock. Dotted around the valley, three forts, manned by fire giants keeping watch on the valley.

Invisible Sidni scouts them out: in each are three fire giants, two on duty, one asleep. There is enough cover from the sloping mountain sides and various rocks for a cautious party to get close. They wait for darkness, and make their way to the first of the forts. Under cover of a silence spell, Sidni climbs in through a window unseen and manages to drag a crate over to the door, lifting the heavy bolt to let the others inside. As they sneak in, one of the giants, alerted by the sudden silence, wakes up to find himself all but surrounded. Halmary, Ungrid, and Calibos hack and slash at it, leaving Xellos to finish it off before it even has a chance to rise. They then turn on the other, waking it up with a broken nose; Calibos drives his sword through its heart. Up the steps to the tower an invisible and silenced Sidni creeps up and surprises the giant: it manages to whack her, staggering her back against the battlements, as the others climb up and finish the giant off; Xellos again delivers the final blow. They loot what they can (several valuable fire opals) and then cross the valley under cover of darkness to the eastern fort opposite the one above the cave mouth.

As they hurry across the open ground, the fire giant on the tower spots Ungrid and hurls a rock at him. He retaliates by hasting himself and hurling Grontdrengi, the mighty hammer making short work of the giant. Meanwhile, the others enter the fort– again with Sidni climbing in through the window to open the door– and wake the sleeping giants inside by whacking them with mace, spear, sword and axe: Sidni kills the first, and they wound the second badly enough for Ungrid to walk in and deliver a killing blow to its head. More gems are looted, and they head off to the final fort, this time unseen. Sidni again climbs inside, but as she lifts the bar from the door, the giant nearest to it wakes up, spots them and rolls out of bed, picking up its giant-sized sword.

Outside, Ungrid hangs back so he can hurl his hammer at the giant on the tower: a few throws and the giant falls down dead. Inside, the other two giants are quickly cut down, Sidni and Ungrid again finishing them off. A few more gems are looted.

Halmary animates on one of the dead giants, and they make their way down to the cave mouth. Somewhere inside there should be a temple, below which the vault holding the Seal of Fire can be found. They enter the cave: inside lava lights the vast cavern, revealing watchtowers and stone buildings, and across a bridge that spans a river of lava stands an old temple…

End of Session

Kills: 9 fire giants.

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Seal of Water: Part 2
Session 141

After further discussion, the heroes finally decide to rest the night in the damp, but no longer flooded chamber. Before they bed down, Halmary communes with his goddess and asks questions: “Do we have to go back through the east door to complete the quest?”, “Can we disable the lightning room by smashing the statues?”, and “Will opening the south door flood the room we are in?” Yes, Yes, and No are the answers whispered to him as he sleeps.

In the morning (or whatever time of day it actually is) they memorise their spells, tend to their wounds by laying on hands and head south. The rooms they pass through, leaving first Xellos, then Halmary and then Sidni behind the doors, Calibos and Ungrid reach the third of the levers: they pull it, releasing the third bolt. The rooms, free of water, have a rune to summon elementals, defaced by hammer and chisel; and three skeletal fish, that they smash. Nothing attacks them, and feeling more confident they head back through the east door. They quaff potions of water breathing and Xellos puts a spell on Sidni again, and they shrug off the brief lightning flashes from the statues (too solid and iron to actually smash) and Xellos uses a Passwall spell to bypass the gate into the partially flooded room of the tentacles. Now faced with dwindling time, they leave Halmary and Xellos behind, and the others hurry through into the chamber where the ruins of the statue sits in the few feet of water. They head north, opening another gate and releasing water elementals that surge forth and attack: Calibos enlarges himself and Ungrid hastes himself, and Sidni backs them up with her Biter spear. They engage the elementals, taking a couple of hits, but dispatching them with ease. They leave Ungrid and Calibos behind the gates as Sidni finds the last lever and pulls it, releasing the final bolt.

And in the room of the tentacles, where Xellos stands alone, more tentacles suddenly erupt from the holes and flail at him, slapping him. He grabs his shield and sword, defending himself as best he can as he quickly opens the door. Ungrid, Calibos and Sidni hurry in and join the battle, cleaving through the tentacles, until the oily black things are no more. With time ticking away, they hurry back through the passwall and make their way back to the first chamber, shrugging off the lightning, and rejoin Halmary.

The gem-studded gate is now open, revealing a domed room full of water; at the bottom sits the sphere of water that is the Seal of Water. They lower Sidni in; as soon as she enters the water, two water elementals erupt: they pull Sidni up, the elementals following: and everyone gangs up on them and dispatches them more swiftly than anyone expects.

They net and bag the Seal, flood the chamber by opening the main gate, and swim/wade out and back to land. They head home and leave from Malachi that he has located the last Seal, in the Crystal Peaks, beneath a temple guarded by fire giants.

End of Session

Current Date: 11th Readying, 594 CY.

Kills: 4 water elementals, eight tentacles.

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Three Down
Session 140

The statue advances and Halmary hurries back through the gate, getting clipped by the statue’s fist before he manages to pull the lever and shut the gate. With Ungrid, Calibos and Halmary separated from Sidni and Xellos by intervening gates, they hammer on the gate where Sidni is trapped to get her to open it. She pulls the lever: water floods into the room, and at the same time the four statues with their lightning bolt symbols generate more lightning, burning everyone in the chambers!

Thankfully no one falls down. They tend to their wounds, look for a way to disable the trap– but can’t find one– and decide to take on the statue as best as they can. They leave Sidni behind, now stood on the coral altar and a wooden board taken from Halmary’s incredibly useful bag of holding. She closes the gate, gets shocked by more lightning but not as badly as before.

Ungrid, Calibos and Halmary open the other gate and take the fight to the statue: Ungrid hastes himself and Halmary blesses them as they go in, the room still flooded. Between them all, but mostly Ungrid’s speedy hammer blows, the statue swiftly topples: but as it does so, it is torn apart and releases a huge water elemental that was powering it. The elemental pummels them: Ungrid is taken out, knocked backwards into the wall, where he collapses. Calibos and Halmary manage to hold it together long enough to take it out, but suffer for doing so. They quickly look to Ungrid, but he was just out cold and is back on his feet with a bit of healing magic.

Meanwhile, Xellos has been left in the first chamber for a while now and uses telepathy to communicate and get an update from Sidni. In the other rooms, Ungrid takes himself out of the chamber and shuts the gate they came through, leaving Halmary and Calibos to investigate the other two gates out. Halmary opens one, finds himself confronted by water elementals and quickly shuts the door again. He tries the other gate, and more water elementals form out of the now flooded chamber and attack. They slay one, but the other whacks Halmary in the face and the cleric falls to the floor, out cold. Calibos finishes the other one off, and checks on the fallen cleric; thankfully he too was merely knocked out and a round of healing brings him back.

Through that chamber Calibos goes, to another gate. Halmary shuts the other, trapping Calibos inside. He enters the next room, finds a lever, pulls it and Xellos sees the next bolt of the gem-studded gate unlock. Calibos retreats, closing the gate behind him, but finds that the water elementals are back! They batter the paladin and knock him out!

Halmary waits for a while and when Calibos doesn’t come out the cleric heals himself, opens the gate, sees Calibos on the floor and wades in to fight the elementals. Halmary fights and backs away, closing the gate; he takes a potion of speed, casts striking on his mace, then reenters the rom; they exchange blows, and he backs out again, seals the room, heals himself, and then goes back in: this time he stays, and slays the elementals before they can do him any harm. He drags Calibos out, seals the gate, and tends to his wounds. The paladin comes round, but is in shock and needs a night’s rest if he is to recover.

He helps Calibos walk and they return to Ungrid, and the three badly wounded adventurers discard their armour, use a ladder to rise above the water, then get Sidni to open the gate. More lightning crackles through the water, but they avoid the worse. They rejoin Sidni, uses the same wooden insulation to help protect them from the lightning and ensure Calibos is safe by having him quaff a potion of gaseous form. They open the gate to the first chamber, taking minor damage from the lightning and rejoin Xellos. They seal the gate and rest.

By now their potions of water breathing have all worn off, but the chamber they are in is no longer flooded, and they have spare potions and spells at hand; even so, they discuss and end up arguing about whether to rest the night here, or get out while they can…

End of Session

Kills: 1 iron statue, 1 huge water elemental, 4 medium water elementals.

KO’d: Ungrid and Halmary (just knocked out), Calibos (in shock, 1 night’s rest needed).

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Seal of Water (Part 1)
Session 139

5th Readying, 594 CY

Following the directions given to them by Malachi, the heroes head off to the bank of the White Oyt river, where the gate to the next vault lies. According to Malachi this vault contains the Seal of Water, and the gateway is under the surface of the river. To aid them he gives them each a potion of water breathing.

Sidni is sent to scout: imbued with water breathing cast by Xellos, and armed with a light coin supplied by Halmary, the invisible woman half-swims and half-wades along the bottom of the river, weighed down by rocks with a rope tied around her waist. The gate is a rusty circular portal, a lever sticking out. Weeds obscure it from the surface. She pulls the lever and the gate opens: the inrush of water into the dry chamber beyond pulls Sidni inside, almost yanking the others in who are holding the rope back on the surface. She sees a large chamber, some depression or pit in the middle, more gates leading out, but drags herself back along the rope and out. The water has more or less filled the chamber now, so she closes the gate on her way put and rejoins the others. Ungrid deduces that the chamber will be full of water, so they agree to all head in and see what lies within. Quaffing their potions of water breathing and blessed by Halmary, they make their way to the gate, pull the lever and swim/climb inside. They close the gate behind them and find themselves in a square chamber, three gates leading off, and in the centre a conical shaft, at the bottom of which is another gate, studded with gemstones, four large bolts fixing it in place and no obvious way of opening it.

They head north. The gate opens, flooding the chamber beyond: another room with another gate, and the added threat of a skeletal shark that catches Sidni by surprise and takes a bite of her before Halmary can turn undead and allow the others to smash it to pieces. They move further in, discovering that only one gate can be opened at a time. Another chamber has a depression that unsettles them and they lead it alone. A smaller one has a lever and no gate. Trapping Sidni inside, as that lever doesn’t budge as long the gate to the room is open, releases one of the bolts on the gem-studded gate in the first chamber. It takes some time to figure out how to open it with the others gates, and what it actually does, but once they’ve deduced it, they head back to the main chamber, closing the gates behind them.

Now they head east: the gate opens into a shrine or temple, with a coral altar in the middle of the room and four statues holding lightning bolts in their hands, all facing to the centre of the room. Another gate lies opposite. They leave Xellos outside, shutting the gate. Halmary pulls the lever to the other gate: as soon as he does, lightning surges through the flooded chamber, electrocuting everyone, especially those wearing metal armour (Ungrid, Halmary and Calibos); all are injured but still standing. Halmary tends to their wounds. They pass through the gate, into a long chamber that has a mural of an octopus-like creature on the floor. Along the walls are holes, with one blocked by a copper screw. Another gate and lever stand at the opposite wall. Halmary unscrews it: water starts bubbling forth, swiftly adding to the water already there. At the same time, black oily tentacles erupt from the holes and attack: Ungrid hastes himself and starts crushing tentacles with his hammer; Calibos cuts through more with his sword; Halmary crushes yet more with his mace; and Sidni ducks and dives through them, stabbing them with her spear. Soon the tentacles are all sliced apart and the remains slip away back into the holes.

Halmary struggles and eventually gets the screw back in; but the chambers they’ve just passed through are now full of water again. Sidni is left outside this time, closing the gate. Halmary, Ungrid and Calibos approach the next gate and Halmary pulls the lever: they brace against the water as it floods the chamber beyond. A large room, with a giant statue in the middle, gates leading off.

As soon as the water reaches its knees, the statue animates and strides forward to attack!

End of Session

Kills: 1 skeletal shark, eight tentacles.

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The Ice Tunnels
Session 138

22nd-28th Fireseek, 594 CY

With a freshly animated zombie giant, a coin illuminated with continual light, and bracing themselves against the howling and bitter cold wind, the heroes venture through the Frost Maw into the tunnels. They explore the side caverns, finding and quickly defeating a frost spider and a lonely troll, neither which poses much of a threat. A few gems are looted from piles of bones, but the main cavern holds their interest: four ice tunnels sloping below the ground, the wind howling from each. The air is so cold here that it cuts them to the bone, and Halmary has to cast resist cold on himself and Sidni, while Xellos finds a use for his long held Cube of Frost and conjures a cube to protect the others. Leaving their giant at the top, the heroes nail pitons and ropes in place after Sidni does a quick scout: below are tunnels of ice, the wind a gale. The going is slow, the cold enough to freeze the blood, but the heroes push on.

Hammering more pitons into the ice, securing ropes as they go, they move down a sloping tunnel and are immediately attacked by a whirling air elemental: it is dispatched far too easily. They carry on, using the ropes to stop the wind blowing them back. The tunnel ends at a large domed chamber, in the centre of which is the Seal of the Air, a spherical blizzard and the source of the wind. They hammer in more spikes and tie more rope and slowly, so so slowly, make their way nearer. Sidni goes round the back, and as the others near the sphere, the wind suddenly creates half-a-dozen whirlwinds: two medium, two large, and two huge air elementals that fly into attack, separating the main part from Sidni, who finds herself facing off against two of the elementals; one large, one huge.

The heroes are caught off guard, still hammering in spikes, and the elementals pummel both Ungrid and Sidni, almost knocking the dwarf off his feet, and badly bruising Sidni. She staggers under the blow and the wind. Halmary decides to quaff a_ potion of speed_ and wades into the fight. Calibos finds himself beaten up, but a timely lay on hands keeps him in the fight. Xellos evens the odds with a cone of cold that freezes and dissipates some of the whirling wind. Sidni finds herself in trouble as the elementals break bones and bash her against the wall. She ditches the lit coin she was carrying and goes invisible, but the elementals are not fooled and lash out: unfortunately for Sidni, they hit and she goes down! Worse, the winds blows her along the floor, and she tumbles out into the tunnel and is blown all the way back to the tunnel entrance.

Meanwhile, the fight is turning against the elementals as Halmary destroys one, and with his extra speed_ lays on hands_ on the weakening dwarf, allowing Ungrid to swing his hammer and destroy another, then cleave into and vanquish a third. Xellos disintegrates the huge one that felled Sidni, and Ungrid takes out another, leaving the last for Halmary and Xellos to finish off.

With the elementals defeated they use a net and their bag of holding to capture the Seal and hunt for Sidni, easier now that the winds have ceased and using magic to locate her. Thankfully, turns out she was just knocked out and suffering from shock. A night’s rest is all she needs, although her scars are much worse.

After spending the night in the giant’s hut, the heroes head back home to_ Pest’s Crossing_, to learn that Malachi has found the third Seal: the Seal of Water.

End of Session

Kills: 1 frost spider, 1 troll, 3 medium air elementals, 2 large air elementals, 2 huge air elementals.

KO’d: Sidni (but just in shock, suffered a few more scars).

Levelled Up: Halmary is now level 9!

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The Frost Maw
Session 137

With the immediate threat over, our injured heroes plan their next move: using a wall of force conjured up by Xellos and while Sidni is still flying, they enter the room via the portal and erect the forcefield so that it forms a tunnel between the portal and the Seal of the Earth. As soon as Sidni picks it up and stuffs it in the bag of holding, the gemstone mosaics form into elementals: but they cannot bypass the wall of force, and Xellos and Sidni exit quickly, shutting the portal behind them by removing the spheres. They take them too and hasten out of the vault, across the Spires by means of flying and dimension door, and safely make their way back to Pest’s Crossing with their prize.

Back home, Malachi tells them to keep the Seal safe and informs them that the Seal of the Air lies in a vault that lies beyond the Frostmaw, a sacred cave at the base of the highest mountain in the Crystal Peaks. Frost giants are said to guard it. While they go and fetch that one, Malachi will research and locate the other vaults.

Meanwhile, the party rest and recover in Baron Calibos’ fortress. Sidni has herself a functional peg-leg prosthetic, complete with secret compartments, while Ungrid gets a fancy prosthetic arm made that can also hold a couple of potion bottles and a retractable dagger. Halmary just covers his missing eye with a patch, then goes out and paints the town red with the gold that still lines his pockets. Halmary and Xellos (via Philor) try their hands at brewing up some potions too, but both fail in their attempt. Seems that there are no other potions to buy on the open market, and other high-level mages and clerics seem to have been drafted by the Duke for work on the walls that he wants to surround his realm. He increased taxes too, and grants Calibos the title of Defender of the Hornwood, with the responsibility of building and maintaining, as well as manning the wall on his side of the border.

Finally, they head off and embark on their next adventure.

15th-22nd Fireseek, 593 CY

A week’s journey finds the party approaching the base of Mount Rungnirheim, across icy gullies and snowdrift paths. It begins to lightly snow as they reach the cave, Sidni scouting ahead and reporting back to the others: a huge cave entrance, with icicles like jagged teeth, forms a mouth from which a howling gale blows, gathering snow and ice in its wake. Just below a path that curves up and pass the maw, is a stone hut. Inside a pair of frost giants sleep. Guarding the cave are another pair, armed with a huge axe and sword, and standing close to a pile of boulders that look perfect for throwing at adventurers. A plan is formed and Sidni, invisible, sneaks off to flank the giants on guard. The others sneak up under the cover of an illusion of snow and mist conjured up by Xellos and his wand. The giants see it approaching, and don’t quite believe their eyes, but before they can do much more than point, our heroes attack!

Halmary starts it off with a well placed flame strike that is followed by Sidni and a lightning bolt from her shield, which is followed by a fireball from Xellos. Ungrid tries to follow that with his hammer, but the gale blowing from the maw is so strong it knocks the hammer away. Instead, Calibos uses his shield to enlarge himself and charges in, fighting against the wind: he hacks one badly burned giant down, then cleaves into the other, taking it out too.

They move to the hut, Ungrid hurls his hammer through the window and kills a sleeping giant, waking the other inside, and as he exits to see what the commotion is about, Xellos and Sidni hack at its legs, leaving it open for Ungrid to whack with his hammer, and Calibos to run it through with his sword. Inside the hut is a chest of loot, which they take. Then they approach the maw of the cave and Sidni carves herself out a thigh bone from one of the dead giants, while Halmary animates the other as a zombie.

End of Session

Kills: 4 frost giants.

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Seal of the Earth: Part 2
Session 136

As the heroes descend further into the caverns of the vault, Halmary blesses them again, as the original prayer has worn off with all the looking for traps, secret doors and loot that they engage in after every fight. In the middle of the cavern (#6 on the map), Sidni hovers over the plinth with another sphere and everyone else positions themselves around the piles of rubble they expect to turn into elementals. They are not disappointed and make short work of the three earth elementals that form: Ungrid takes two out by himself after activating his Ring of Haste, leaving Xellos to take out the other one. They collect the sphere, bind their wounds and lay on hands on the more injured party members, then head back to the first room.

In the main hall, after some heated discussion, they decide to wait for Ungrid’s ring to recharge, then Sidni quaffs a new_ potion of flying_, Halmary blesses them all, adds some sparkles to his mace with a striking spell and quaffs a potion of speed himself. Calibos doesn’t want to be left out, so he quaffs a potion of growth before they place the spheres into the arms of the plinth in the centre. As each sphere is placed the amethyst stone in the middle begins to glow brightly. As Sidni places the last sphere, the gemstone opens up a glowing portal above it: a doorway that they can easily climb into… however, as soon as the last sphere is placed, the mosaics on the walls shatter and reform into elementals: this time including a huge and a giant one!

The battle is fierce and although Xellos manages to smash the medium elemental to pieces, the larger ones deal heavy damage to Calibos and Ungrid. Then the giant one stomps on Ungrid, crushing the dwarf beneath its feet! The vaultguard does not stand back up.

Halmary flame strikes a couple of then, allowing Xellos the time to back off and read aloud a scroll of Ward against Elementals. Sidni takes the huge elemental out, cleaving into another; but then the giant one stomps Halmary, the cleric is down!

Xellos moves towards Calibos and Sidni, bringing them into the safety of the ward. The elementals move to block the exits, allowing the still standing party members to gather their fallen comrades: Ungrid’s right arm is crushed, and although the dwarf lives he is in no fit state to do anything other than moan. Halmary comes around too, but he has lost his left eye, his face crushed on that side. Both need bed rest before they can continue on. Sidni takes the opportunity to fly through the portal: on the other side is a smaller chamber, more mosaics on the walls, and the Seal of the Earth floating above a plinth of stone. She reports back. Calibos activates his own Ward against Elementals as Xellos’ wears off. Then Xellos conjures up his own elemental, which he sends in to pulverise the enemy. Their ally manages to smash two of the enemy to pieces, but the giant one in turn shatters Xellos’ summoned monster.

With their exit blocked, the three survivors decide to risk a confrontation. They take plenty of potions of healing and position themselves to attack. Sidni releases a lightning bolt form her shield, angling it to avoid hitting anyone other than the elemental: the monster is rocked and pieces of its marble hide fly everywhere; Xellos follows immediately with a flurry of fiery magic missiles, and then all three charge into attack!

Sidni is stomped, but stands standing; Xellos badly wounds it, but is stomped in turn, but he too remains upright.

And then Xellos swings: he hits: the giant earth elemental shatters!

End of Session

Kills: 2 small earth elementals, 2 medium earth elementals, 2 large earth elementals, 1 huge earth elemental, 1 giant earth elemental.

KO’d: Ungrid (crushed right arm, 2 weeks bedrest); Halmary (lost left eye, 1 weeks bedrest).

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