Against the Giants

Fort Assault, Pt. 3

With the sublevel cleared and the party recuperated, the party returned to scout the fort and finish the deed of taking care of Chief Nosnra. After the fire elemental wrecked the place, it seemed like the fort was on much higher alert than before…there were guards on watch at every post, and it would not be an easy thing to approach.

The party was able to sneak up to the wall of the fort, and Tyrin planted and armed the bomb at the base of the watchtower section of the fort. With seconds to spare, he rejoined the party at the front gate, and they busted in as soon as the bomb went off. Clearing out the few guards at the front, they entered Nosnra’s great hall, where he was joined with two hill giant guards, his wife, and a stone giant earthcaster. The party took care of the guards, but the fight with Nosnra and his giant crossbow was gruesome. However, the party managed to capture his wife, at which point he surrendered. Nosnra agreed to take his wife, family, and the rest of his followers east of the river, and the stone giant was left to return to his Thane with the message that we were coming.

After the giants left, the party looted the fort, and came across the temple of the Elder Elemental Eye in the sublevel. Tyrin placed the holy symbol that was found, and out came a hand that was grasping an object, but the object was missing. Puzzled, the party left and returned to Ash and Vanguard, where there was much cheer and celebration. The party then set their sights south, to the realm of the stone giants, who had captured more of the dwarven party that needed to be rescued.

Fort Assault, Part 2

After a deal of discussion and planning, the party managed to maneuver and fell the orcs at the gongs without much trouble. They then were able to break out a few dwarves and Zandor Caskerhill. While they were clearing out the next room of its giant and orc denizens, the Warden came out and began asking questions. Vargen captured an orc who told it to take care of the Warden and pretened nothing was wrong, but instead, the orc rang one of the gongs! Disappointedly, Vargen chopped off the orc’s head as the party turned to face the Warden.

After the Warden fell, the party continued exploring the sublevel, and came across the torture chamber. An orc named Krull was being stretched out on the racks with some more giants. As the party went to work on them, the commotion from the next room, and steady banging, suddenly stopped. The party looked at each other grimly as they realized their death-dealing had brought them the attention of the fire giant next door who was in charge of the forge!

Luckily, the party was able to kill the other giants quickly so they could focus their efforts on the fire giant. It was a gruesome and tiring battle, but the party managed to win the day! After looting the area, they found that a fire elemental was bound inside the forge. Through some elemental magic, Tyrin freed the elemental and it rushed upstairs and began wreaking havoc, leaving charred and bloody corpses in its wake. The party, spent and exhausted from a long day of fighting, slipped out of the fort and back to the castle with the distraction provided by the fire elemental.

Fort Assault, Part 1

Having recovered from the grueling battle with the moon calf and reunited with Vargen, the party finished the bomb and put it in their bag of holding which Tyrin held. They stealthily approached the fort and tried to explore it. They first found an empty bedoom, and then the kitchen, which had several hill giants and ogres, and was loaded with orcs bustling about.

Not wanting to fight so many at once, the party went back and explored another door, in which they found a lot of small, hill giant children being tended to by several hill giants, including what may have looked like the queen.

At Tyrin’s suggestion, the party retreated and waited for the cover of night to try and reapproach the giantlings’ room. After a quick exploration, Vargen found a secret room off of it with stairs leading down. The party decided to go down first, so they went and found a stone hall with portcullises on several sides of it. In one of the rooms off of the main hall they found a lever which seemed to control the portcullises, but at that moment a corrupted iron dragon attacked them!

The iron dragon was tough and wily, frequently turning invisible and blasted the party several times with its lightning breath. In their typical fashion, the party was eventually victorious, although Vargen and Vondal were quite injured.

After the battle with the dragon, the party found a room with a chest which appeared to be some of Chief Nosnra’s personal belongings, including several magic items which were quickly reappropriated by the party. They then found an underwater river with several craters which also had loot in them.

They continued their exploring, to find a chamber with to orcs beside gongs, and a one-eyed giant pacing back and forth down a corridor as if he was patrolling it. The party decided they would assault this area next, although they would have to be careful and not let the orcs ring the gongs and warn the whole fort…

Explosive Accident

Tyrin and Vondal decided to spend the next day working on a bomb that could open a hole in the walls of the fort…no small task considering the walls were 10 foot thick logs that were resistant to fire. Vondal thought it necessary for an escape plan or distraction. He constructed the housing for the bomb which was a metal box as big as a duffel bag.

As Tyrin began channeling his primordial magics, something went horribly wrong. There was a fluctuation and something otherworldly took a hold of the summoning power.
“Meat…fresh meat…”

Tyrin and Vondal saw a tentacle trying to worm its way out of the box, but Vondal tried to seal it tight.
“This meat wants to fight?”

The horrific moon calf rogue broke free from the box and changed the atmosphere around us to that of the Far Realm. What proceeded was a very long and bloody battle. Vargen was gone, having been disgusted about the idea of the bomb and not wanting to be present. Vondal held his own as always, and Tyrin kept trying to blast it, but it was quite difficult, for it had many tentacles that could reach out to 30 feet, and when Tyrin tried to attack it beyond that it was invisible.

Vondal hacked, Tyrin blasted, it grabbed and squeezed and did much damage with its tentacles. Vondal and Tyrin were eventually able to weaken it and it started dripping black ichor from its putrid flesh. At that moment, it took us back to the castle and tried to take off and fly away. Tyrin quick jumped in the pilot’s seat and took the whole castle after it, following the trail of ichor it left. Vondal and Tyrin came upon a clearing where two giants were being suspended in midair.

Furious, the moon calf hurled one of the giants right into the windshield of the cockpit, and then dropped the other on top of the castle. Vondal moved up to the roof of the castle to finish off the giant and the rogue, while Tyrin blasted the giant out of the windshield and began trying to hurl his magics through the hole in the glass at the moon calf.

It was a long, drawn out fight, but in the end, Vondal and Tyrin were near-death but victorious.

A Down Day

When last we left our heroes, they just had defeated the were-giant. After only taking a short rest, the party decided to scale the wall by the same northern entrance, and to their surprise it was unguarded. After surveying the courtyard inside the fort, they decided to enter what would have been the were-giant’s quarters. They found three giants inside and should have made short work of them, but alas, luck was not in their favor that day.

After a gruesome and taxing fight in which the majority of our protagonists encountered near-death experiences, the party finally managed to rid the room of its denizens and loot it before escaping back to the safety of the castle to regroup and recuperate.

Tyrin's Journal - Entry 03

After a heal/craft/upgrade/level-up montage, the party returned to Vanguard, presenting Ash with some of the spoils of their conquest from the Obsidian Tower. Ash was thoroughly amazed, having previously warned our company to avoid the tower because of the number of adventurers who had previously fallen trying to secure its secrets. We gave the ancient giant book to Ash’s rival, Gary the wizard who said he would begin translating it.

Having convinced Ash that our company would try to begin doing sudden strike raids on the hill giants’ fort, we set out at once. Upon coming to the fort, we approached from the north after having parked the castle a safe distance away. Vargen approached the north door, saying that he was a guest of Chief Nosnra’s and that he should be allowed to enter, despite the giant’s commands for him to use the main eastern entrance. After being annoyed for several minutes, the giant issued Vargen an ultimatum, saying he would give him 10 seconds to run and then he would let his wolves loose on him.

We immediately ran into the forest, being pursued by what turned out not to be just wolves, but dire wolves. The pack leader turned out to be afflicted by lycanthropy, as he transformed into a werewolf-giant as he charged us, targeting Vargen who was of course pressing the attack. I moved forward and turned him and one of his wolves to stone, thus saving Vargen’s life! Through my powers, we were able to take out the wolves one by one without much retaliation, until the were-giant was all that was left. Having him thus subdued, we got what information we could from him, and then sent him on his way to leave, never to return to the west of the Obsidian Tower.

Having thus dealt a significant blow to the hill giants’ strength, we turned our eyes back to the fort, and pondered what new havoc we could deal to them…

Tyrin's Journal - Entry 02
The Lich is dead!

After we scouted the hill giants’ fort, we returned to Ash with some information…there were several hill giants there, as well as <#> dwarf hostages, with <name> among them. While Ash started devising a plan of attack, our company headed out to the Obsidian Tower. I had a feeling there would be giant artifacts there, objects we could either learn from or use as a bargaining chip in the upcoming negotiations.

After awhile it seemed the tower should’ve been in sight, but we didn’t see anything until the castle ran into it. It turns out the tower had a device that was magically camouflaging it. We were able to enter the tower…it seemed simple enough. It had numerous worn cracks in the floor and a spiral staircase leading to the top floor. Well, it turned out that it wasn’t that simple, because ghouls started crawling out of the cracks in the floor and attacked us!

The ghouls were tough, biting and weakening us and trying to drag us down in the cracks with them. We managed to survive the fight, but at a great cost, and Vargen was significantly weakened.

We then climbed the spiral staircase and found a lich sitting at a giant table with a bunch of giant bones and several skeletal companions in front of him. He tore some pages out of the ancient giant book in front of him before we managed to engage him. We quickly dispatched his companions, but he was another matter. Vargen and I teleported up onto the giant table and surrounded him, much to the chagrin of Vondal, who began cursing magic. After a few minutes we had him retreating, and he jumped off the table onto the pile of bones. However, he transformed them into a giant bone golem before teleporting up to the windowsill. I gave chase and kept blasting him outside as he tried to climb up to the roof of the tower. With a great burst of magic, his body eventually disintegrated as he and his possessions turned to dust. It turned out he was trying to escape with a magic broom he had stashed at a table on the roof of the tower. As Vondal and Vargen dealt the final blow to the bone golem, the tower began crumbling and shaking. I quickly jumped on the broom and glided down, followed by Vargen and Vondal.

After a narrow victory, the company was able to secure the ancient giant book, two gemstones that were similar to speaking stones used in the ancient times, and much loot and dragonshards. We were even able to salvage the device and retrofit the Castle with it, so that when it is parked it will be near-invisible to the naked eye! I’m sure Calcifer will be pleased with that! Then he can stop whining about the animals pooping on the castle’s feet…

Attack on Vanguard
The Giants Come Barging Through

Bullhorn’s Journal:

…All of a sudden, we heard a large crashing through the trees. “Giants!” someone yelled out. We heard commotion and a battle coming from the gate…I don’t know how many giants there were, but after a few minutes it seemed sorted out…but just when that battle finished, more came crashing through the East Wall. Bullpaw started barking and howling; I tried to get him safe inside but I tripped and fell, and my horn got stuck in the wall of our house. I tried to free myself, but I just couldn’t quick enough… one giant got through, and was eyeing me up as an appetizer. He was so big and disgusting smelling that I couldn’t even think straight to keep freeing myself.

Then those newcomers showed up! The one quick rushed in and saved Bullpaw, which helped me to focus on trying to free myself. They were amazing! They took down the two giants in the east by themselves! The one was like slice-hack-chop, and the other that looked like a walking armor suit didn’t even look scratched afterwards, and I think there were maybe one or two others throwing fire or something from the back. I am so glad people like that also showed up in Xendrik! We can rebuild all we want, but we haven’t been able to stop the giants from just taking our things!

That night, after a tiring day of already getting supplies to try and rebuild, climbed into bed with Bullpaw and held him all night. Living here is a scary place, but I managed to not have nightmares because I still had Bullpaw, and those people were still here to fight off the giants…

Off to Xendrik!
The Teleportation Debacle

Tyrin’s Journal: Entry -01
As we had arranged, we went to the ruins where we had been told we would meet with Bryon “The Blinkdog” to secure passage for us and the Castle to Xendrik. We found them with no trouble, but there was a small party of goblins at the ruins who put up a fuss, so we quickly dispatched them.

Out of nowhere it seemed, we heard a slow clapping behind us. “Just what I’d expect from adventurers such as yourselves.” The Blinkdog was bald, with a giant Dragonmark of Passage on his face and neck. He told us that he had found a good open clearing to send us to in Xendrik, and after some small talk that Vargen forgot immediately, he began prepping the teleportation spell. I moved the Castle onto the teleportation circle he had prepared (which he said would immediately disappear and was untraceable), and as he created a poultice out of reagents. Swiftly, he teleported all over the castle, slapping it on to various parts, and finished with dabbing a little on each of our foreheads. He began to cast the spell, but as he did so an arrow pierced his shoulder. “A deal’s a deal…” he gurgled and slapped his hand to the ground as he slumped down, and immediately we were spirited away from there.

I came to at the edge of a cliff, looking over the jungle and a coastline. As I got my bearings, I noticed the castle was teetering off the edge of the cliff a short ways away! I rushed over and found Calcifer’s connections to the ship had been scrambled, and after a few tries of pulling back on the joystick the Castle steadied itself. I couldn’t find the others anywhere though.

Unbeknownst to me, Vargen found himself in the jungle below, being accosted by two dark elves. As one was about to blow a primitive horn, he snatched it out of his hand and smashed it. The two immediately launched an attack at him, but he dispatched them in short order. Hearing a dwarven call for help in the distance, he ran off, leaving the bodies behind, only to find Vondal knee-deep in quicksand! Vargen helped pull him out amidst Vondal’s curses about not trusting magic. Immediately they were attacked by another party of dark elves led by a poisonous blowgun-toting brute. During the commotion of the ensuing fight, a large T-Rex-looking creature roared and headed towards them.

I had seen some commotion in the trees below the cliff, but I assumed it was Vargen, and when that happens I never know to come to help or stay away from him. After I heard the roar, though, I thought he had probably tangled with something too big, and so I got on the castle’s megaphone and imitated the roar to confuse or draw away the beast. Vargen and Vondal don’t like to admit it, but I’m sure that’s what saved their lives.

When they had managed to scale the cliff, we trekked north to where we saw signs of a settlement. After parking the castle and trying to disguise it, we approached and entered Vanguard, a small town with all manners of humanoids. Ash had just finished a speech encouraging fighters in the apparent war with the neighboring giants. Looking for work, we headed off to the taverns in the area, Klimpy’s and The Waystone Inn. After having insufficient funds to patronize Klimpy’s, I waited outside while the others entered the Waystone.

As I was waiting, I heard a commotion from all around, and somebody screamed “The Giants! The Giants are coming! We’re under attack!”

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