Against the Giants: Liberation of Geoff

Another Ambush
Session 64

3rd Flocktime, low summer, 592 CY

As evening approaches, the resistance fighters lay in wait, prepared to ambush the next supply/tribute caravan, in the shelter of a ruined and abandoned village between Pregmere and West Town. With poison glyphs of warding in place, and several of pits, the heroes hide themselves in trees and the skeletons of barns. A few hours ago Corvin and Sidni scouted ahead using the flying carpet and took note of the escort: it looked like they were more cautious than last time, with an extra fire giant joining the ranks, together with a robed cloud giant, and with a pair of orcs driving the six wagons. Six hill giants, twelve ogres, three fire giants, a cloud giant, and at least 12 orcs in all. Although worried about the larger giants, there was not too many nerves, since every giant that they had gone up against had been slaughtered with a minimum of casualties. What were a couple more?

The wagons rolled down the road, aiming for the centre of the village, no doubt expecting to draw up and make camp. As they reached the crossroads, the lead fire giant walked straight into the first of the poison glyphs, sending up a flash of blue light that did nothing but startle the giant. Seeing that it was not going fall down dead, Corvin raced out from the trees and let loose one of his deadly arrows, but the giant shrugged it off as well; but it could not ignore the hurled hammer Grontdrengi as Ungrid hurled it through the air, smashing into giant’s chest, crushing its ribs; nor could it ignore the trio of magic missiles that stabbed into its flesh as Phildor’s spell slew the monster, which crashed down to the ground, nearly taking the front wagon with it.

The rest of the party broke cover, Sidni shooting an ogre with a finely aimed arrow, and Mim– quaffing a growth potion as he ran in– and Elgir advanced straight into the enemy’s midst, hacking away.

However, despite the ambush, the giants and their allies didn’t seem all that surprised and like a well-oiled machine they swarmed towards the immediate fighting. Then, from the front and rear wagons, orcs flung down and pulled open iron chests, out of which great whirlwinds poured forth: deadly air elementals that swirled and moved to attack.

On one side of the road, where Ungrid, Mim and Elgir attacked, the warriors dove into the battle: Ungrid’s hammer flew through the air, smashing into another fire giant, while Mim struck a hill giant and with a boom of thunder his sword knocked the giant down to the ground, and Elgir leapt over the prone giant and slashed at an ogre. On the other side, Corvin staggered as a rock thrown by one of the fire giant’s smacked into him; an ogre charged towards the thief, but crossed one of the glyphs and fell dead. Sidni shot an arrow into one of the orcs, killing it instantly, and as Halmary moved up so that he could join the battle, and the two arcane spell-casters moved into a better position, from the rear of the line of wagons, the cloud giant cast a spell: a fireball spat from its fingers, soared through the air and exploded amongst the trees, scorching Sidni, Halmary and Corvin. As the flames died, Xellos cast his own spell, making the earth’s teeth explode from the hard ground, stabbing one of the fire giant’s in the leg, and slaying a hill giant as it ripped through its chest. Then Phildor cast his own spell, and a trio of hill giants, the wounded fire giant, and four of untouched ogres were suddenly confused.

The battle seemed to be going well for the heroes.

Ungrid slew his second fire giant, his hammer smashing through its chest and cracking a few ribs of the hill giant behind it. Halmary tried to dispel the air elemental, but it had no effect, so instead Xellos shot it with a flurry of magic missiles and Mim hit it with his sword, the magic cutting through the ties that bound it to the plane; but the whirlwind stayed put and buffeted Mim back, but the dwarf stood his ground as well. Another rock was hurled through the air, but this time struck Phildor, making the mage stumble to his knees. He retaliated by placing an illusionary wall in front of the spell-casting cloud giant, hoping to delay its attacks– a trick that worked, and forced the giant to move around it; but then it cast haste on its allies, and suddenly eight of its allies speeded up! Arrows flew from Corvin’s bow, wounding an ogre, and Sidni drew Lord Quench and charged one of the large brutes. The wagons vomited orcs, as two dozen of the crude humanoids joined the fight.

Another giant fell to Grontdrengi, and another was almost knocked down as it doubled-back and returned to Ungrid’s hand. Xellos made more of the earth’s teeth stab at the enemy, one shattering an elemental and sending it howling back to its own plane. Mim, now free from the wind, hacked away at the nearest orcs, leaving Elgir to take care of the approaching ogres. Another ogre stumbled and fell into a pit, and an orc followed his example, breaking its neck as it landed.

Then the battle turned: Mim took a heavy slash across his chest as a fire giant swung at him then took another blast of wind as the other elemental attacked; a hill giant broke through the line of attack to whack Ungrid on the head, and another rock struck Phildor, sending the mage back into the trees for cover. Across the field, he spotted the cloud giant weave a spell and promptly disappear from view. The ogres, speeded up, struck Elgir, Xellos, and another stabbed Mim in the arm. Halmary retaliated with a well-placed Flame Strike, incinerating a hill giant and the ogre nearby. In the wave of heat and smoke that followed, Xellos took advantage of the distraction, and decapitated the ogre that had fallen into the pit.

And the battle turned again: Mim gave a roar and sent the remaining elemental back to where it came from, and Phildor summoned up his own earth’s teeth and slew a few orcs and stabbed the foot of a hill giant, while Elgir slew an ogre, catching another on his backswing.

But the battle was far from over: orcs moved in, flanking with their hasted-ogre allies, and the remaining giants closed ranks; and the cloud giant was nowhere to be seen…

End of Session

Kills: 2 fire giants, 3 hill giants, 6 ogres, 6 orcs, 2 air elementals.

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One Down...
Session 63

7th Planting

The battle continues as the remaining giant-kin and ogres entry the chaotic fighting, and in the brief moment before they engage the surrounded resistance fighters, Halmary lays on hand and mends the wounds Sidni suffered.

Corvin lets loose an arrow, wounding one of the advancing verbeeg, then takes a glancing blow from an ogre-hurled spear; one of Phildor’s smashes its former brethren to the ground and stamps on its head; another verbeeg is knocked to the ground when Mim’s Sword of Thunder sends it sprawling with a thunderous boom that rocks the village; Sidni and Xellos hack into the tough flesh of the giant-kin; and Elgir proves himself a capable fighter by felling an ogre and cleaving into one of the giant-kin. It’s not all so easy though, as Elgir, Xellos and Ungrid are all belted by their opponents, the dwarf especially so.

Halmary steps up to the prone verbeeg and bops it on the head; Corvin sends another arrow into the guts of the giant-kin, but the poison tip fails to kill it; Xellos absorbs some life-force as he slays a verbeeg and drains its soul; and Phildor’s earth’s teeth spell proves useless. Another verbeeg charges through the battle, stabbing Phildor with its spear; thankfully the mage’s robe absorb most of the impact. The same cannot be said for Ungrid, who takes a spear to the head; Mim kindly cuts the attacking verbeeg down, but it turns out that he was only dazed. Corvin suddenly finds himself in close combat as an ogre steps up, and across the field, Sidni takes down another verbeeg with his mighty two-handed sword.

Shaking off his dazed condition, Ungrid swings and hurls his warhammer, and Grontdrengi smashes the skull of an approaching verbeeg, killing it outright. More blows are exchanged, and another giant-kin falls, but so does Corvin! The thief takes a spear to his chest, puncturing his lung and heart, almost killing him. Only a quick intervention by Halmary prevents him from dying, but even so, Corvin is in a bad way.

Others are starting to suffer: Phildor takes a couple of more blows, then manages to break out of the fight and sends a flurry of magic missiles into an ogre; Elgir takes another hit, but shrugs it off and hacks back…

…and then the fight is suddenly over: Mim takes out an ogre; Elgir chops down a verbeeg; then Xellos and Ungrid cut down two more giant-kin, wounding more with well-aimed cleaves, and the final ogre has it skull crushed by the swing of Halmary’s mace.

The dust settles, the houses and bodies are looted, and a stretcher made for Corvin. They head back across the plains and rolling hills, arriving safely at Hocholve, where Corvin is tended to and restored to life & limb, suffering only night-terrors from henceforth. As the elves complete the last details of the ritual scroll and send out scouts to their former city, to find the quickest and safest path to the portal at its heart, the party of mighty heroes plan their next move.

It is decided that another attack on the supply/tribute wagon is called for, this time with an ambush in the ruined and abandoned village that was a possible site before. They pack their bags and head off, arriving a couple of days before the wagon is due in. There they plan and prepare their ambush, and wait for the caravan to arrive…

End of Session

Kills: 11 verbeeg, 4 ogres (but seemed like so much more).

KOs: Ungrid (just dazed), Corvin (critically wounded, restored to life & limb, but suffers from night terrors now).

Current Date: 25th Planting, 592 CY.

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Liberating The Lea
Session 62

7th Planting, 592 CY

After escorting the liberated wagons and drivers back to the elven temporary town, the party of resistance fighters hike overland to the settlement known as The Lea, a collection of farms clustered around a few buildings at the junction of the roads to the other major towns of the Duchy. After scouting out the area under cover of darkness, using their flying carpet, they note where the giants and their kin are housed, then make their way to where a lone verbeeg wanders around the outlying fields, half-heartedly herding sheep while quaffing gulps of wine. A couple of verbeeg camped on a hillock, watching the area, spot the creeping party and intercept them: both fall in a matter of seconds as Elgir, Corvin, Sidni and Halmary cut and stab and crush the giant-kin into the ground.

With no one having seen or heard the quick fight, the party continue on, flanking the lone verbeeg and several more camped out on a hill, guarding the village. Sidni gets too close to the sheep, which baa and bleet, alerting the giant-kin; one runs off to the centre of The Lea, shouting that they are under attack, while the others move in to take care of the small morals that dare to attack them.

Ungrid proves that Grontdrengi is a deadly magic hammer, as he takes out a verbeeg with a single hit: his hammer smashes through the giant-kin’s chest, then tumbles back through the air into the dwarf’s outstretched hand. Hill giants and ogres hear the alarm and head to intercept the enemy, while more and more verbeegs spill out of the houses and barns, as messengers run from building to building, waking them up and sending them into the battle that wages on the edge of town.

At first the battle favours the party: Phildor lets loose with magic missiles and earth’s teeth, sending harm amongst the giant-kin; Corvin shoots poisoned arrows into the larger monsters, paralysing one, killing another; Ungrid slays a hill giant with another strike of his flung hammer, and Mim and Elgir prove themselves to be capable fighters, hacking away at ogres and verbeeg; Sidni hacks and cleaves flesh, while Halmary crushes bones and bruises flesh with his mace; Xellos alternates between magic missiles and his sword, Hewer, killing and wounding more of the giant-kin. The combination of his and Phildor’s magic missiles slay a dire wolf, a pet of the elder verbeeg who finds himself battling Mim, and they follow up with a confusion spell and one of the giant-kin they animate as a zombie; Ungrid takes out an ogre with his hammer, then finds himself in close combat with a verbeeg, forcing himself to swing his hammer rather than throw it; but Grontdrengi has proven its worth by killing several of the giant-kin and a giant to boot.

By now the entire village is alerted and a dozen or so giant-kin are swarming towards the party, surrounding them, getting between them, engaging them with giant-sized spears and clubs. Sidni staggers under a couple of blows, and Xellos takes a glancing blow, as does Ungrid; and for a second it looks like the battle is about to turn…

End of Session

Kills: 15 verbeegs, 2 hill giants, 1 ogres, 1 dire wolf.

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Ambushing the Giants
Session 61

While the elves prepared the Ritual Scroll, the party scouted out the nearest towns– The Lea, Pregmere, and West Town– and decided to ambush the monthly tribute caravan and take out some giants and their allies. They found a gully that was suitable for an ambush, and got ahead of the caravan by a couple of days. While they waited, Halmary laid several Glyphs of Warding along the road, while the others set up piles of boulders to roll down onto the enemy as they passed along the road towards West Town. Then they waited until the caravan came into view, positioned themselves around the gully, and got ready to ambush the giants.

26th Coldeven, 592 CY

As the sun rose higher in the cloudless sky, casting its warmth down upon the road, the caravan trundled along the worn road: six laden wagons, escorted by four orcs, two ogres and a hill giant each, with a pair of fire giants in command– one at the front, one bringing up the rear– all unaware of the ambush they were walking into. Hidden in the rocks of the gully, the party waited for the signal to attack: as soon as the lead fire giant walked into the unseen glyphs, sending an arc of blinding white lightning into its hide, the party attacked!

Sidni swallows a Potion of Giant Strength, vastly increasing her strength, and she rolls one pile of boulders down into the road, blocking the way and killing an orc in the process.

Corvin let loose with a poisoned arrow, but the added weight of the deadly poison made the projectile fall short.

Ungrid threw the mighty Grotdrengi, smashing into the rear fire giant with a heavy thud that brought it to its knees!

Halmary prayed to his goddess, and a tower of flames poured from the sky, incinerating an ogre and several orcs, singing a giant too.

Phildor and Xellos command the Earth’s Teeth to rise up, skewering more orcs and an ogre, while Elgir shot an arrow into the eye of a hill giant, slaying it!

Mim quaffs a P_otion of Growth_, and doubles in size. Hefting his sword, he charges down the side of the gully, followed by Sidni and Halmary, and Elgir too.

Atop the slope of the gully Corvin sent arrows into the enemies midst, killing ogres, poisoning and killing a giant, felling the already wounded fire giant; while Phildor and Xellos repeat their arcane attacks, stabbing more orcs and ogres with the splinters of the rocky ground; Halmary and Sidni hack and slash at the surprised hill giants, and Elgir stabs the ogres that engage him. Ungrid finds himself facing several ogres at once, but none are his match, and they fall heavily to the ground, their bones crushed under the weight of his magic hammer. More orcs fall, and others try to flee, but are cut down by arrows and swords; giants fall one after the other as maces, spears and swords batter and cut, thrusting into vital organs and spilling blood over the thirsty ground. Magic Missiles speed across the gully, cutting down more orcs, felling a hill giant too. Phildor manages to capture an orc, levitating it into the air, as the battle wages around them.

The last giant falls to Sidni; the last ogre is taken out by Ungrid; and Corvin takes out the last orc with his sword.

The battle is over swiftly*. The wagon drivers, all enslaved humans from the towns, are rescued and delighted to be freed. They help the party loot the bodies, and drive the wagons across the countryside to where the elves are holed up. There they interrogate the orc and learn more about the towns nearby; and the party plan their next attack, this time on one of the towns…

End of Session

Kills: 24 orcs, 12 ogres, 6 hill giants, 2 fire giants.

*the whole fight took 7 rounds from start-to-finish, just over an hour in real-time.

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Mission Completed
Session 60

With the Demon Boars dead and their charms broken, the party explore the tower, looting what they find. In a library that find what they were looking for, namely a book on how to seal portals, and Corvin opens up the Bag of Holding and starts shovelling the entire contents of the library inside. In another room they find and eventually free a man called Elgir, who stumbled into the claws of the Demons and has been tortured and imprisoned since then. Another room holds the ghost of the dead wizard, who possesses Corvin long enough to cause some mischief, but thanks to a combination of Hold Person and Turn Undead, Halmary manages to force the ghost out and away from them. Xellos drags a chest out, to loot later, and they re-seal the room and head downstairs.

In the cellar of the tower is a huge steel door with runes and wards, which proves impossible to pick or break, but falls to a disintegrate spell cast from Xellos’ scroll. A wealth of treasure is looted from inside, and while the others investigate a cavern Corvin gets into the chest from the ghost room, bypassing traps by cutting in from the bottom. In the cavern they find a jet of high pressure water keeping a magical crown aloft, and which Sidni grabs without any harm coming to her. They also find a wheel– like a ship’s wheel– protruding half out of the wall, shuddering from where it has an iron bar jammed in. No one is willing to shift it, but guess that it is why the tower keeps shifting from one plane to another.

They head out, picking up the tied-up and no longer dominated mage– Phildor– and bringing him with them. Then they head back to the elves, their mission a success.

End of Session

No kills.

Level-Ups: Corvin (now L8 thief), Xellos (now L6 Ruinguard), Ungrid (now L7 vaultguard), and Halmary (now a L7 cleric); and Sidni is already L7 Explorer.

Notes: it will take six weeks for the elves to inscribe a scroll to seal the portal in their city, allowing the party to head off to do some ambushing of giant patrols and supplies. Elgir and Phildor now join Mim as henchmen of the party.

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The Shifting Tower
Session 59

After spending a week buying supplies, recuperating, and gathering rumours, Hurin is escorted back to his people in the Dim Forest. The remnants of the elves have temporarily taken up residence in the abandoned town of Hocholve, and there the party are welcomed and honoured as heroes; they are also asked to further aid the elves. Hurin wants to reclaim the elven city of Derelion, which was ravaged by an gigantic Shadow Dragon and a host of Shadows that came out of a portal to the Realm of Shadow. His sages have discovered the means to seal the portal, an act they hope will banish– or at least weaken– the monsters. Deep within the forest a mage once lived, in a tower where he experimented with arcane & planar magic. Long dead, the sages believe the key to sealing the portal lies inside the tower. Hurin asks the party to enter the tower, find whatever it is the sages believe is inside, and return. The only problem is that the tower only appears during the light of the full moon (either one), and remains only during the night, for three days. The party agrees, and after waiting for the next full moon, they are guided to the tower as the moon rises, by the elf Fingolfin, who goes with them.

11th Coldeven, Spring, CY 592

A squat, three-storey sandstone tower sits with a ring of grey monoliths, a garden within the fence. After Corvin scouts the perimeter, finding no other way inside except the gate at the front, they decide to use their Flying Carpet to fly over the monoliths. Beyond lies a garden with oak trees and a junk yard. As they land and approach the tower, walking towards the trees, a swarm of Stirges flies out of them, and attack!

In a matter of a mere two rounds, 15 Stirges are wiped out: Sidni, Fingolfin and Mim hack one of the fluttering blood-suckers from the air, but one latches onto Sidni. He smashes it with the butt of his spear, then skewers another as it darts towards him. Corvin wounds one, leaving it to Fingolfin to slay it, while Ungrid and Halmary cleave their way through the ret of them. They move on to the junk yard, and Corvin starts searching for anything useful– he finds a copper and silver rod topped by a green crystal– but as he rummages, some of the junk starts slamming together and builds a giant humanoid junk-golem, that stomps over, sweeping its arms to smash the intruders: between Corvin, Halmary, Xellos and Mim, the golem falls to pieces; proving once again that the party are rather tough.

Into the tower they go, discovering a robed man who chatters away and pretends to be lost, but runs off onto a teleporter pad; they follow him, upstairs to where a demonic boar-man is discovered in a laboratory. A fight ensues, with the demon boar charming Mim, who attacks but is disable when Fingolfin hits him with a levitation spell, sending him to the ceiling. The robed man, trying to hide, is hit by a poisoned arrow from Corvin’s bow, which not only wounds him dearly but paralyses him too. Xellos, Ungrid and Halmary wade into the demon, and it falls to their combined attack.

Then, as the fight ends, another demon boar– this time a bloated woman– appears from another pad, from the upper level of the tower and attacks. Sidni wounds her when he throws her spear, and Xellos, Ungrid and Corvin wound her further, sending her fleeing upstairs. While Halmary ties up the robed man, the others follow the demon and corner her in a library; Corvin sticks her with an arrow, then Ungrid lops off her head.

End of Session

Kills: 15 stirges, 2 demon boars, 1 junk golem.

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Back to Hochoch
Session 58

After Ungrid bashes in the wall, the party find another vault with yet another bronze statue of the dwarf god, surrounded by six locked iron chests inscribed with runes; and in an alcove rests another warhammer, fancy but not as ornate and clunky as the one Ungrid picked up. Expecting the statue to animate if the chests are tampered with, Halmary attempts to tie the statues arms with rope, but that actually triggers the statue’s animation and it wades in to attack: everyone retaliates, Xellos getting scorched by spraying molten rock as the bronze is cut, but even with that hazard, the statue falls to the floor in a puddle of melting metal; all over in a matter of seconds really.

Corvin checks the warhammer and chests for traps, disarming those he finds, breaking open the locks on those he’s unsure about; one chest’s trap catches him: a choking grip that almost kills him before he manages to shake it off, aided by a timely cure light wounds from Halmary. He piles the loot in the now bulging Bag of Holding, and everyone filters out and makes their way back to the broken corridor, intending on checking out the cavern. They use the Flying Carpet to get down, with ropes spiked into the floor of the corridor as a back-up, and spread out to explore. They find a river, with a giant catfish, and a ‘wood’ of coloured mushrooms: and a chimera that charges Ungrid, but is again easy prey to the combined efforts of the party: the multi-headed beast falls to a series of blows from Corvin, Hurin, Mim and a final stab from Sidni.

They leave the temple, cavern and mushrooms and head back out into the snow-covered mountain valley. They decide to head back to Hochoch, before taking the king back to the Dim Forest and his elves. They pack their bags, and hike for 43 days, taking the safer and well-trodden paths, arriving at the city towards the end of the first month of Spring in the new year.

And before the next session, this is what I sent to the players, as an update as to what has been happening during the months they’ve been away:

23rd Readying, CY 592,

It has been nearly five months since you left the Dim Forest to seek the elven king and bring him back to his people. Hochoch is crowded with soldiers, mercenaries, adventuring parties, and refugees. You manage to find a dormitory that you can rent for a few weeks, mainly because you have gold to throw around. Your drinking and merry-making has not gone unnoticed and there is a bit of bad feeling towards you from the other adventuring parties, and they shun you.

Here is what has been going on with regard to the war-effort:

  • After allying themselves with the elves of the Oytwood the armies of Liberation, Retribution and their attached mercenaries liberated Preston, and with the aid of adventurers have managed to rout the giants and their allies from the forest. Preston was being rebuilt before winter fell;
  • Midwood, a mist-shrouded fishing town, has a ‘friendly’ fog-giant that protects it in exchange for silver. After the townfolk warned adventuring parties off from killing him, the Duke has declared it off limits– for the time being– and has left them to it;
  • The armies loaned to the Duke from the neighbouring countries Keoland and the Gran March have now left, sent back home to deal with their own matters. This has reduced the size of the army the Duke can muster to a rather pathetic number;
  • The winter was harsh. Many more refugees managed to escape and found their way to the city, crowding its streets and putting pressure on the dwindling resources of the city;
  • Last month, as the army was training on the edge of the city, getting ready for a Spring offensive, a mass of clouds that were overhead started raining boulders, decimating the army. The clouds moved off, against the wind, and divine prayers and wizardly spells say that it was a retaliation for attacks against the giant leaders…

It is near the end of the first month of Spring. Rumours abound that the giants are fortifying the towns they hold. The Duke’s army has been reduced to a mere 2,500 men (infantry and cavalry), and the mercenaries are starting to drift away, the gold the Duke pays them is running out, and the adventuring parties are heading off for pastures new, finding little profit in the slaying of giants.

Posters and notices, town-criers and heralds, are putting the word out that the Duke is looking for allies in the war, and that he is seeking people who are brave and willing to scout out the towns held by the giants, and report on the forces stationed there; so that a campaign against the giants can be planned.

Meanwhile, Hurin– the elf king– has sent word to his people, and a message has come back that they are now occupying the deserted town of Hocholve, awaiting his return. He has kept a low profile while in the city, not yet willing to form alliances with the Duke or anyone else.

A week has passed since you came back to the city, giving you a week to buy supplies, craft a level 1 potion or scroll; if you want to spend more time in the city, you can do. Hurin is willing to wait a month before he will leave for the Dim Forest to be reunited with his people.

He has also asked for your help: he wants you to act as his escort to his people, and might have a mission for them too, if they are willing…

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Party 1, Dragon 0
Session 57

After escaping from the Hill Giants’ Steading, the party spend a few days in a cave tending to their wounds; with a brief flying carpet excursion to Loftwick to purchase scrolls and potions, sell goods and buy supplies. They go through their loot and discover a map that seems to point to an abandoned temple where the giants were meant to investigate; believing something there might be useful in their fight against the giants, the party hike for several days into the mountains and come across a shaft that descends into what appears to be an abandoned dwarf temple.

Together with Mim (dwarf) and Hurin (the elf King) they climb down into the long tunnel, checking for traps along the way by a mixture of Corvin’s ability and Halmary’s Find Traps spell; they find an empty and disused dormitory, a collapsed section of the corridor that opens into a large cavern with the sound of fast-flowing water; missing flagstones with water 80’ below; and through a pair of dented, shredded iron doors is an old dwarf temple dedicated to Clangeddin Silverbeard, god of battle. They cautiously enter, spotting a pile of treasure heaped as if used as a bed– comments of ‘dragons’ are heard– and a couple of broken pillars. A statue of a dwarf, hand stretched out, stands at the back. Whilst the others stand guard or look for secret doors– the map indicates a magic hammer is to be found inside the temple complex– Corvin starts to go through the treasure, shovelling loot into their Bag of Holding, while Xellos casts Detect Secret Doors and finds one behind the statue.

Before anyone can investigate further, Sidni– guarding the entrance– spots a large (juvenile) blue dragon coming round the corner!

Ungrid quaffs a potion of growth and is bestowed a spell of resist fire by Halmary, and Hurin proves useful when he casts Haste on everyone; meanwhile the others move into cover. The dragon conjures up a pair of Mirror Images, which are quickly dispelled by an arrow from Corvin and a hail of Magic Missiles from Hurin. The dragon manages to let loose with a potent line of lightning, sizzling into Ungrid, who more or less shrugs off the burning and walks right up to the dragon, and slays it with a pair of well-placed thrusts!

Corvin loots the rest of the treasure, while Ungrid smashes open the secret door to reveal a room with another statue– holding an ornate and gold-plated warhammer– and a pair of chests. The chests turn out to be empty, the hammer looks nice and Ungrid pulls it free: causing the statue to animate and attack, but before it gets to swing its fist, Hurin pelts it with more Magic Missiles and turns it to slag. Mim spots a section of the wall that looks odd: turns out it is a thin layer of stone, a bricked up doorway. Ungrid smashes it with his giant-sized strength, revealing another chamber beyond…

End of Session

Kills: 1 animated statue, 1 juvenile blue dragon.

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Escape from the Steading
Session 56

With bodies behind them, the party engage the ogre that stands alone and stunned at what it’s just witnessed. As Xellos and Sidni slay the ogre, the doors to the Great Hall burst open, revealing a Hill Giant and a Bugbear, and coming through the doors at the other side of the Hall more giants arrive– the Chief, his Sub-Chief, and the Cloud Giant– while from the corridor to the south, more ogres are spotted.

Ungrid gets nearly crushed by the Hill Giant, but a quick Lay on Hands from Halmary brings him back up to fighting strength, and Sidni wounds the giant by charging it with his spear. Hurin, the elf king, takes care of the bugbear, and as the giants advance, the party hurry down the corridor, forming shield walls at either end, the freed humans, Mim and the elf king in their midst.

A dire wolf joins the giants, but Ungrid cuts it down. One of the Hill Giant’s steps back, lobbing a boulder at Ungrid and bruising the giant dwarf. He and Sidni take the fight to the giant, and their combined thrusts fell the monster; whilst Xellos slays an ogre, using his channelling magic to finish it off, Halmary engages another giant, and Corvin lets loose arrows back and forth up the corridor, wounding ogres and giants. One of the giant’s overrun’s Xellos, but the warrior chases after it. The Chief Giant takes up position at the end of the corridor, his Sub-Chief with him. The Chief has a giant crossbow, and orders them to surrender. Mim answers for them, shooting him with a bolt, then again, further wounding the giant; the Chief falls back into the Hall, bellowing for his men to take the adventurers out. Xellos, meanwhile, starts hacking away at the giant he chased, aided by more arrows from Corvin’s bow; a final arrow takes the giant in the eye, and it falls to the floor with a thud. Another giant falls as Halmary proves himself as capable as the others, and Mim takes a boulder to the shoulder.

The party move further down the corridor, closer to the exit they are aiming for: the tower. Knowing that they need to keep Hurin alive– since that was the main reason they travelled to the Steading– Xellos gets him to quaff an invisibility potion, and with another giant felled, the party hurry towards the stairs, ducking as more boulders are flung across the entry hall, two of which crush the freed– nameless, red-shirt– humans, wound Halmary and further wounds Mim. Up the stairs they go, giants closing behind; at the top of the stairs stands a final giant: Ungrid takes it out with a single stab through its heart!

At the top of the tower, Xellos, Halmary and Ungrid quaff flying potions; Mim swigs a diminuation potion and Corvin picks him up, and with Sidni and Hurin, he jumps on their flying carpet and everyone takes to the air, avoiding a few final thrown rocks, and speed away to the cave where they sheltered not all that long ago.

The adventurers are tired, covered in blood and gore, badly wounded, but alive and free! Against all odds, they have managed to fight their way out of the Hill Giant’s Steading, losing only a pair of nameless men, and taking out an astounding number of giants, ogres and their allies. And leaving behind a bunch of rebel orcs who spill into the Steading, and find a bunch of angry giants…

End of Session

Kills: 1 dire wolf, 1 bugbear, 3 ogres, 6 hill giants!

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Mowing Down Ogres
Session 55

The ogres hurry down the stairs, only to be blocked before they exit by the adventurers, their freed dwarf Mim and the rescued elven king, Hurin. Ungrid, still giant-sized, wades into the ogres, felling one after another after another, while Corvin and Xellos loose arrows and bolts, Sidni stabs with his spear Werebane, and Halmary slings rocks. The ogres fall swiftly, then a dire wolf is hacked down, and the Hill Giant pushing the ogres on falls to Ungrid’s sword, but not before it bruises Sidni.

With the rebel orcs holding back for now– one of the bosses follows the party, ready to report back when it is safe– the adventurers head upstairs, finding the pantry where the stairs exit, empty of giants. Corvin listens at the door, hears the heavy breathing of giants, and after Halmary blesses them, Ungrid pulls open the door and takes the battle to the two Hill Giants and ogre that stand guarding the doors into a large kitchen. Corvin, backing against another door, and firing into the melee with his Heart-Seeker bow, is surprised when a third Hill Giant opens the door and takes a swing at him, and is almost knocked to the ground by the heavy blow. Xellos and Ungrid swing axe and sword, cutting into the giants, while Sidni and Mim lend Corvin a hand, with Halmary backing them up with his mace. Corvin shoots a giant in the eye, taking it down, and then wounds an ogre with another; it falls to the combined blows from Halmary and Mim, while Corvin takes out the injured ogre in the kitchen with a well-placed arrow. Two dire wolves run into the battle, but a quick command animal sends one attacking the other, and the final giants fall down dead as the wolves continue to fight.

Leaving the wolves to fight, the party start heading down the corridor, hoping to find a way out before they are overwhelmed…

End of Session

Kills: 5 Hill Giants, 15 ogres, 1 dire wolf.

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