Against the Giants: Liberation of Geoff

The Chalice
Session 104

The party of bold tomb-robbers continue to explore the catacombs, cracking open caskets and urns, lifting the lids on sarcophagi, looting what they can, fighting off wights and wraiths, skeletons, and moving on.

One tunnel opens into a cavern, where the tunnel has fallen into; giants rats swarm up, but are dispatched with ease. Ghouls pop up at the same time, but are also easily cut down; skeletons follow, smashed, then more tombs are robbed and undead destroyed.

They come across a throne room, loot a chest, and continue on through more natural tunnels, where Almahid says he got captured after following the ‘aura of great evil’ he sensed. Calibos and his mentor use their powers to track the strong sense of evil that permeates the catacombs, leading down a spiralling tunnel that opens into a cavern with an altar to Nerull, god of death, on which rests a blood-stained chalice that reeks of evil.

They all gather around…

End of Session

Kills: 4 wight, 1 wraith, 13 giant rats, 4 ghouls, 6 skeletons.

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Back into the catacombs
Session 103

24th Fireseek, 593 CY

After resting up for a couple of days, long enough for everyone to recover from their wounds and drained strength, they venture back down into the catacombs, this time by using the other stairs that they found in one of the pyramids.

Torches and lanterns lit, Sidni scouting ahead, the begin opening sarcophagi with the intent of looting whatever they can find while also looking out for the ‘great evil’ that Almahid came looking for.

One coffin has coins, another gems, some are empty or have fragile and long-dead skeletons; one has a ghoul, which leaps out to attack, but is immediately turned by Halmary, wounded by Sidni and ran through by Calibos’ sword.

[And unbeknownst to them, a raiding party of sword wraiths and ghouls has returned, heard the party and are approaching along the tunnels]

Another coffin has an animated skeleton wearing an elaborate and well-crafted death mask, quickly dispatched, but before they venture into a domed tomb with a beautifully carved sarcophagus, Xellos spots the sneaking wraiths and their ghoulish minions and incinerates a ghoul with his fiery magic missiles.

Once again the party find themselves fighting in cramped tunnels, ofttimes unable to move past each other or engage the enemy, leaving Sidni, Medmyr and Calibos at the front-line to start off with. A sword wraith charges down the tunnel, slashing Medmyr across the leg, who then destroys it with help from Sidni’s magical spear and a flurry of magic missiles from Phildor’s arcane fingertips. Then a ghoul breaks through, paralysing Medmyr and shoving him aside to get to the others, but is cut down by Sidni who then leaps over its body to cut down another ghoul that rears up out of the shadows.

Calibos advances, kills the last ghoul, allowing Phildor to tend to Medmyr and remove his paralysis with a handy potion of healing.

One of the sword wraiths upends an urn, releasing a wraith, but it is destroyed and the others injured as Halmary releases a flame strike that lights up the catacombs brightly.
Phildor hastes the rest of the party, and they surge forward, allowing Xellos to wound one sword wraith and kill another with more magic missiles, and Ungrid to finish it off with a perfectly aimed throw of his hammer. The last sword wraith is taken on and then taken out by Sidni, and the dust settles.

With the enemy obliterated, they return to the domed tomb and loot it, finding a bejewelled tiara, ring and a necklace that radiates a protection from evil, and makes Xellos uncomfortable. Sidni takes the necklace, the rest goes into their bag of holding, and they move off deeper into the catacombs.

End of Session

Kills: 1 wraith, 1 skeleton, 5 ghouls, 3 sword wraiths.

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Lots of Slain Sword Wraiths
Session 102

The battle continues in the narrow tunnels of the catacombs, as the party find their way out blocked by more Sword Wraiths coming from the side tunnels.

Ungrid wades in with his mighty hammer swinging, felling one of the wraith’s with ease; he hurls it at another, bashing in its breast plate. As Sidni and Medmyr keep another one busy, the still invisible Phildor reads a Scroll of Ward vs Undead and creates a barrier for the undead: just in time, as one of the sword wraith’s hurls an urn, which smashes and releases a wraith, which is quickly turned by Halmary and then obliterated by Xellos’ magic axe. Another pair of sword wraith’s are dispatched, and their leader, wielding a red-hot sword and mirrored dagger, engages Ungrid, draining some of his strength, but the wraiths are losing: one-by-one they are destroyed, first by Ungrid, then Sidni, Xellos, Medmyr, and the leader falls to Ungrid’s axe.

As soon as the battle is over, they loot what they can easily grab, and retreat out of the catacombs, fetching their zombie cyclops from above and make camp in the ruins. They pass the night safely, tending to their wounds, and hoping that their drained strength will return with the dawn… some of it does, but for some of them it will take a few days to recover and no spells seems to help.

As the sun rises, they take stock of their situation and debate what to do next.

End of Session

Kills: 1 wraith, 9 sword wraiths.

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Wraith Attack
Session 101

The party stand by the bronze door, hesitant to enter in case it is a trap. Then Xellos is sure he spotted movement further down the tunnels, and they follow the sounds of clanking bones down into a wide cavern where training posts stand; and six skeletons are training, bashing the wooden posts with their antique swords.

Halmary, Sidni and Ungrid venture into the room, catching the skeletons by surprise: Halmary turns them, then the three adventurers (tomb robbers?) smash the skeletons to pieces.

As the fight is going on, Calibos and Medmyr hear the sound of a gat opening, and head down a tunnel to find a cell, wherein none other than Calibos’ mentor lies battered, tortured and unconscious.

Then, out of thin air, a leather-clad sword wraith materialises near to Xellos and fires off a dismember spell that thankfully misses, and as Sidni races up the tunnel to help, after hearing Xellos shout out, them are both hit by the wraith’s burning hands

..and then, from the tunnels next to them, a pair of sword wraiths turn round the corner and attack, one narrowly missing an invisible Phildor. The spell-casting wraith quickly falls to a Sidni’s spear and Xellos’ axe, the ruinguard expends his stored spell energy and finishes it off, then absorbs its energy to heal his burns.

Calibos, meanwhile, brings his mentor around with some curative magic, and helps his back into his armour. They return to the party, finding a fight going on, and lend a hand. The wraiths are dispatched by spell, sword and spear, and the bodies looted.

As Calibos introduces his mentor– Almahid– to the others, they return to the bronze door, passing through another tunnel that is a row of seats looking out over an empty arena-like cavern. Almahid warns them that the wraiths will return at dawn, but as they open the bronze door, the wraiths return early… the door opens and a pair of statues on the other side animate and attack; at the same time, Phildor spots the approaching wraiths and warns the others, throwing down a haste spell on the rest of the adventurers.

Ungrid and Calibos smash a statue, wound another, and Calibos destroys the other while Ungrid hurls his hammer at the approaching wraiths… there are more wraiths, some ghouls, and the enemy split up, moving through the tunnels to flank the party: a wraith engages Ungrid as he and Xellos block a tunnel, draining some of the dwarf’s strength. Halmary turns one of the ghouls, but another slips past and manages to paralyse Almahid, before Medmyr– proving his worth again– kills it, and starts to drag the paralysed paladin away.

As the wraiths approach, the party start to retreat, moving into the catacomb tunnel [see map above] as a wraith charges past into their midst…

End of Session

Kills: 6 skeletons, 1 ghoul, 2 statues, 4 sword wraiths

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A Century of Adventuring
Session 100

…draining the strength from Xellos, before they are both destroyed. The finals couple of gnolls falls to his axe, and they party rejoin further in the tunnels, exploring a chamber with a sarcophagus and two stone statues of Kord. Another wraith manifests when Calibos opens the coffin, but that is turned by Halmary and dispatched by Xellos.

However, back down the passage, where Medmyr was standing guard, gnolls suddenly charge in to attack, driven by a sword wraith. The fast-learning fighter holds his own as the other front-line fighters squeeze past and engage the monsters. Ungrid cleaves his way through several gnolls, Sidni kills another, and as Halmary dispatches the wraith, Medmyr earns his pay by cutting down the last of the gnolls.

The party move on, entering a more natural set of tunnels, with a cave where the gnolls slept on crude straw beds. Tunnels lead in various directions, one sloping down, and then they turn a bend and find a bronze door.

End of Session

Kills: 3 sword wraiths, 1 wraith, 16 gnoll slaves.

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Into the Catacombs
Session 99

Leaving Medmyr and the zombie cyclops on guard, the rest of the party approach the second of the three obsidian pyramids and make their way inside. They discover more steps leading down, and several bronze statues of the deity Kord, surrounding a sarcophagus bearing the likeness of an eagle at rest.

Calibos shoves open the coffin, and the four statues naturally animate and attack: they barely last a few seconds, as the fighters and cleric bash them to the ground and step out their life-force.

They move on to the smallest of the pyramids, which turns out to be a temple: as soon as Calibos enters the room he feels evil all around, and immediately a pair of wraiths materialise. One is turned by Halmary, and dispatched by Xellos; the other manages to rise out of the sarcophagus it inhabited but is then smacked out of existence by a combination of magic missiles from Phildor and the powerful hammer of Ungrid.

They have a look for secret doors, then head down the stairs where the statues where, and find themselves in a cramped catacombs, with tunnels branching off, sarcophagi and caskets, urns and jars in niches and alcoves. The very air feels wrong, and the shadows out of the corner of the eye seem to move of their own accord. One tunnel ends in a cave, where the earth has collapsed. Giant carnivorous flies swarm out and attack, but are swiftly dispatched and a few loose gemstones looted from the debris of the cavern. A casket is upended and releases a wraith, but it is destroyed by a flurry of Xellos’ magic missiles. Another coffin holds a simple ghoul, who is surprised and held at bay by Halmary’s faith, and pulverised by Sidni, and another a skeleton that is smashed into splinters.

They start moving along the tunnels, and discover enemies coming from two fronts: gnolls, and sword wraiths; battle is joined and gnolls are slain, and then the wraiths enter the fight…

End of Session

Kills: 7 giant flies, 1 skeleton, 1 ghoul, 3 wraiths, 5 gnolls.

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The Obsidian Pyramids
Session 98

21st Fireseek, 593 CY (winter’s end)

After hiking through the low hills of the Stark Mounds, the ruins marked on their map come into view over the hilltops. In the daylight the ruins look like little more than a shell with a large mound overlooking it, all barren with scattered rocks.

Sidni, using her Ring of Invisibility, goes scouting and quickly finds that the ruins have become the lair of a group of cyclops; they seem weary, dirty, even frightened. She also finds a tunnel leading into the mound, blocked by boulders. Outside the blockage is a gallows, from which hangs a dead naked elf, with runes of warding and other trinkets carved into the flesh or hanging off the limbs.

She reports back to the others and they make the decision to storm the ruins at night. As the sun sets they approach the ruins, while Sindi sneaks inside, after they are all hasted and in position. Halmary triggers their attack by throwing a light spell into the ruins; Sidni follows that with a lightning bolt from her shield, blasting a couple of the giants. Then the others move in, Halmary and Calibos riding in on the paladin’s horse, the rest running behind.

Halmary lets loose with a flame strike, and Ungrid hurls his mighty hammer, breaking a few bones. Xellos, Calibos and Ungrid all attack, wounding giants; Phildor blasts away with his magic missiles, killing the first cyclops. The next falls to Xellos’ axe after being wounded by the others, and as the remaining pair of cyclops are starting to panic, Ungrid fells the third with a hammer to the head. He then steps up to help Sidni, who has been exchanging blows with a cyclops, and finishes it off.

While the others loot the cyclops’ treasure (stuffed into sacks, backpacks, and a stolen cart), Halmary animates one of the cyclops and uses it to remove the boulders blocking the tunnel. When the treasure has been sorted and shoved into the party’s bag of holding, they pass through the tunnel, the zombie leading the way– although it has to duck to get through– and discover the interior of the mound is one large cavern, with three obsidian pyramids standing there, bronze doors leading into each, all engraved with the coat-of-arms of Keoland. They open the doors to the first pyramid, finding a tapestry depicting the battle of Gorna, three empty sarcophagi, and stairs leading down into musty darkness.

End of Session

Kills: four cyclops.

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Calling it a day
Session 97

As the dust settles and the zombies are defeated, the party decide to retreat back to the edge of the forest and make camp; leaving watchers and guards to keep an eye on the castle.

In the morning, Xellos– on the dawn watch– sees the giants (nearly two dozen in all) exit the castle, packs laden with supplies and treasure. The cloud giant levitates back to the cloud high above, and the fire giants head off into the forest, abandoning the castle.

The party decide to follow them, sending an invisible Sidni and Halmary ahead, to track them down and maybe lay a trap too. They move ahead of the giants when the tall fellows, their women and children rest for the day. Halmary lays down a_ glyph of warding, b_ut when the giants get up to go, the magic has no effect and merely makes the giants worried; the giants stay where they are and stand guard. Sidni and Halmary are almost discovered, but manage to slip away before the giant’s shaman detects them.

They report back to the party. An invisible Phildor and Halmary are sent ahead. The magic user tries to confuse the giants, but the spell proves in effective, and only a timely darkness and silence spell allow the two spell-casters to escape.

So the party decide to call it a day and make their way back to Pest’s Crossing, to discover that not only has the cloud moved on, but boulders have been dropped from a great house and destroyed the castle and ruined what remained of the town.

They report back to the Duke, telling him that the giants have been sent packing. The Duke thanks them, gives them leave to go about their own business, and asks them to return in a couple of months time to help ensure that the county is free at least from the giants. By then the army will have been resupplied.

So the party ponder what to do next. Calibos mentions that he was looking for his mentor, a paladin who had a vision of a great evil and went off in search of it: someplace called the Obsidian Pyramids; and it just so happens that the treasure map that they found in the dragon’s lair showed where a ruin lay, of the same name!

Coincidence?

The map points to the Stark Mounds. They set off, and as the first month of Spring marches along the calendar, the ruins come into sight…

End of Session

Kills: None.

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Starting the new year with blood and fire
Session 96

After the cloud giants disappear inside the castle, Sidni turns herself invisible and borrows Caliboshelm of teleportation; as the rest of the party wait on the edge of the forest, Sidni sneaks over to the castle and spies on the giants. She repots back by teleporting amongst them, startling the party.

Then, from out of the castle, giants emerge: a pair of fire giants and one of the cloud giants make their way towards the forest and seem to be aware of the where the party are hiding. The giants stop just in range of their rock-throwing and start hurling boulders at the supposedly hidden party, smashing trees and unending bushes. Medmyr takes a glancing blow from a stone, but the rest of the party remain safe.

Deciding to take the fight to the giants, Phildor hastes them all and they spread out, with Ungrid, Calibos and Sidni moving out into the fields, followed by Halmary after he heals himself when a rock splinters a tree and smashes into him. Xellos plunges a darkness globe in the giants midst, forcing them to move out of it, allowing the fighters to close. He is then surprised– and incredibly lucky– when a fire giantess suddenly appears over him, her sword narrowly missing as the Ruinguard ducks a rock; her sword skewers the tree.

Xellos manages to move out of the way, long enough to lob a fireball at the cloud giant, who is also struck by a lightning bolt that Sidni lets loose, which slays the cloud giant!

Ungrid and Calibos engage the fire giants, Halmary joining in, and the cleric lands the killing blow on one, felling it. Meanwhile, Phildor hurries across the field invisible and animates the dead cloud giant as a deathless minion. The other fire giant falls to Ungrid’s magic hammer, and Halmary animates its corpse, and then the other; they send the zombie giants to attack the castle.

Sidni follows and watches, again invisible, while the rest of the party take advantage of the distraction and hide in the burned ruins of the town; the zombies manage to kill a fire giant on guard, wounds others, but they are ultimately put to the sword.

Sidni watches the fight end, then hurries back to the party and lets them know.

End of Session

Kills: 4 fire giants, 1 cloud giant.

Current date: 2nd Fireseek, 593 CY.

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Unexpected Arrivals
Session 95

The battle begins…

Calibos blasts a fire giant with several magic missiles, and Halmary tries blinding it with a targeted darkness spell; it then collapses as Ungrid’s hammer smashes through its chest, arcing back to his hand via a cyclops, giving it a hard thwack on the shoulder, enough to dislodge the boulder it’s about to throw, and crack a few bones. Sidni then pops up from cover, shoots the confused fire giant with a poisoned arrow– killing it instantly– then following up with a well-aimed arrow straight between the cyclops eyes, killing it too.

On the other side, the giants disbelieve the illusion, and turn back to see what is happening with their allies. The party start to cross the river, using the ruins and the smoke and fire as cover. Xellos creates darkness over one of the towers, hiding the giant on watch. Phildor stops by the corpse of a cyclops and raises it as a deathless minion; he sends the giant zombie after the approaching giants. Halmary copies him, and that zombie follows the next. As the zombies and giants close, Xellos lets loose with fiery magic missiles, Ungrid hurls his hammer, catches a glancing blow by a rock, and Sidni pelts the cyclops with arrows, leaving it badly wounded; enough for Calibos to charge in and cut it down.

Phildor fires off more magic missiles at one of the giants in the towers, which is then hidden from view by a darkness placed by Halmary. The zombies and giants clash, Ungrid’s hammer batters the fire giant, and with aid from Sidni’s arrows and Calibos’ warhammer, a zombie crushes a fire giant into the earth.

Halmary throws down another darkness over the gate, blocking all views from the castle, and Ungrid drops another fire giant who is being bashed by the zombies.

With the immediate threat over, Halmary raises another zombie and Calibos heals Ungrid of his wounds. Then they send the zombies to the castle, pounding on the gates until they break. Halmary dispels the darkness and the zombies attack the giants inside: the giants are slain, and the last zombie falls apart as the spell wears off. Sidni scouts the immediate hallway behind the gates, hears giants on the other side of the doors, and returns.

The party retreats to the forest and make camp, keeping watch over night. The town continues to burn throughout the town, and flames are still flickering as the sun rises the following day.

Then, overhead, a cloud of great size moves against the wind and comes to rest over the castle. From the cloud so high above, a pair of levitating cloud giants float down, and enter the castle.

End of Session

Kills: 2 cyclops, 8 fire giants.

Notes: Xellos is now a level 7 Ruinguard, and Medmyr earns his stripes by reaching 2nd level.

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