The heroes began the day contemplating there arduous flight from Sandpoint upon air Roc to the strong hold of the Giants “Jorgen Fist” strong hold. Not wanting to be unprepared like the previous night, where Krolmn and Twitchy were brutalised by a pack of scouting Giants and Dire Bears, the group decides to rest for the night and prepare to enter the Wyvern’s cave. Out of the two options that we spied it was decided that the Wyvern’s cave may be the best place to begin, as the other cave opening did not seem so easily defendable, if we again needed to recover from the upcoming battle.
So after the nights rest we went in well prepared knowing that the Wyvern’s sting would put any of us in a bad way, we imbued each of us with some poison defence and a well thought out plan.
Unlike other times though when our plans seem to blow up in our face, this one went as best as could be expected. After sneaking invisibly into the cave 3 of us threw in a grenade, that Krolmn had assured everyone wouldn’t blow up in there face, into each alcove where the sleeping Wyverns were resting. After they went off the Wyverns then came out to try and find out what had rudely awoken them. Since all party members were unseen the confused Wyverns screamed and roared since they could smell something but not see anything, till Twitch unleashed some lightning upon one of the beasts, followed up with a giant sized fireball from John. The Wyverns then began to focus their attack at the Druid since he was at the forefront of the battle and now well in their site, but luckily he was nimble enough to avoid the attack from the oncoming beast. Belor then sprang into action eager to test himself on the unsuspecting Wyverns, crashing down with his blade with tremendous force half cleaving it’s head in two. Jon fired off another fireball and along with some further attacks by the chivalrous Tevan the Wyverns were defeated.
Even though we prepared for the deadly poison which could be inflicted by the Wyverns we were efficient enough with our plan to finish them off before they could even use them. So much so that Krolmn was still invisible, if it wasn’t such a pressure packed moment, I am sure the gnome would have had a lot of fun with this.
A quick search of the cavern revealed a few items of value, notably the staff that Twitch had identified in his initial scouting. Closer inspection determined it to be charged with druidic magic. Twitch felt that it was not going to be the most beneficial thing for him to carry; after all, he was already able to summon the magics contained therein, and while in his other forms he would not be able to use it. His companions, however, suggested he carry it for now as it may still come in useful, and he could always recharge it before selling it for them to split th eprofits when they could get back to markets of Magnimar.
The search did not, however, identify any secret way into the stronghold of Jorgenfist; if there were any hope of such a way, it must be through the cave of the spider above. Thinking quickly, Krolmn scaled to the cave mouth above while still covered by Jon's spell of invisibility, taking one end of a rope with him and securing it so that his less dextrous companions could join him more easily. It made sense for them to combat the spider as soon as possible; undoubtedly it would be venemous, and they were still under the protection of the spells they had cast for the wyvern encounter.
"Erm, I thought you said there was only one spider?" the gnome asked the druid as they all gathered at the cave mouth."I'm pretty sure there are more."
"Well, one big one." the druid replied "With lots of smaller ones on it. You really should pay more attention when I talk." he admonished.
"Well, I'm pretty sure there is more than..."
"Here, I'll show you!" Twitch spoke over his companion, summoning a ball of fire into the web at the far end of the cave. Sixteen fist-sized orange points of light appeared, reflecting the flames, along with countless smaller reflections that seemed to flicker with the movement of the smaller creatures.
"That's strange." the druid frowned "I'm sure that big one only had eight eyes..."
Twitch pushed the fiery globe forward toward the centre of the mass of eyes, rolling it neatly, but harmlessly, between the two large arachnids in the web.
" 'Ware the roof!" Tevan shouted, noticing more points of reflected light above.
As Twitch and Krolmn turned their attention skyward, one of the spiders scuttled quickly forward and unleashed a mass of sticky strands at the group. Jon and Krolmn, attention still focused on the original spiders, managed to dodge aside as their companions became entangled in the webbing.
Their foes now revealed, the heroes sprung (or slowly waded) into action, and soon sorcery and blades were pummeling the spiders. Two were dispatched quickly,while Belor was unpleasantly surprised as the third spider latched its long fangs onto him. As he did so, its cargo of smaller offspring scuttled onto him, finding gaps between his armour plates to crawl in and bite. A less robust man would have succumbed to the pain and horror or the situation, but Belor Stairmaster simply bellowed and hacked at the spider with renewed vigor.
As the final spider curled its legs in death, Twitch's fiery orb rolled into the webbing at the back of the cave, burning it away to reveal further darkness behind. The group made their way through, with Krolmn expertly scouting ahead. He returned to tell them that after several smaller caverns, an opening in the rock led to a larger cave. In this was slung a small hammock, and bones and worthless trinkets were stacked in neatly ordered piles on the floor. The heroes decided to retreat back into the smaller caverns to rest and recuperate, and move forward come morning.
The following morning when the heroes made their way back to the fissure and peered through, the cave was no longer unoccupied. Within was small reptilian creature, clearly the usual occupant of this cavern, its stature a perfect match to the hammock slung within.
"Kobold." Jon stated with distaste.
"Should we try to talk to it, or attack?" Twitch asked.
"Attack." Belor stated. The fact that their attempts to talk in such situations usually ended poorly would have been enough to justify this response. However, given that it was essentially always Belor's response, it was not regarded with the wisdom it perhaps should have been.
"We could try talking," Jon said with a frown "But I don't think any of us speak draconic."
"That thing's a dragon?" Krolmn asked, scoffing.
"Distantly related." the sorcerer replied ."Very distantly."
"Perhaps Krolmn should approach it." Tevan said "His more, er, equal stature may be less likely to scare it. Although the language may still be a problem."
"No problem!" the gnome exclaimed enthusiastically "Everyone likes me, even people who claim they don't understand what I'm talking about."
"Most humanoids do have at least some understanding of common." Twitch stated expertly "And much of communication is non-verbal anyway.
"I still say we attack." Belor stated, the warrior loosening his sword in its scabbard."Talking always ends badly." he mumbled "and then it's always 'Belor step up, Belor take the hits, Belor save us'".
Krolmn had already stepped out from the fissure.
"Phew, am I glad to see you. Those spiders..."
An ululating scream rolled forth from Enga the kobold's mouth as she leapt forward with her spear, intent on skewering the gnome.
"Belor!" he yelled, quickly fumbling for his first arrow.
"For fuck's sake!"
The warrior began to push his way to the front, no easy task in the confined space of the crevice. Eager to clear the way, Twitch called upon the elements and his body turned to rock, a series of cracks and fissures mirroring the scarring on the humanoid form's face, even as lichen grew down one side of its head, approximating his hair. two dull amber stones glistened briefly where his eyes has been, before he turned and stepped into the rock face.
With the druid out of the way, Belor barged his way out to save the day, only to find that Tevan was already engaged in combat with the small but deceptively deadly foe.
The paladin winced in pain as another nasty spear-thrust found a gap in his armour, scoring a deep wound. The savage little beast was proving far tougher than he had anticipated, but he was now finding his rhythm, parrying another blow with his shield and scoring Enga with his sword in return, though the wound cut less deeply than he had expected. Seeing Belor charging into the fray shouting something about the new boy not getting the glory, Tevan tried to shout a warning that this was no simple tribal warrior, but was too late. Belor's reckless charge was met with another quick spear-thrust, opening a deep wound in his flank.
Jon quickly shot off an arcane burst at the kobold, which Twitch stepped out of the rock and landed a minor blow with his stony fists. But as usual once close combat was joined, it was up to the true warriors to fnish the job. Krolmn fired a pair of arrows into the kobold, the sizzling acidic energy he had imbued in his weapon making up somewhat for Enga's natural hardiness. Further sword blows from Tevan and Belor brought her down, and a moment of peace reigned. Taking advantage of the lull, Twitch exhausted his healing abilities and the warriors' wounds, while Krolmn dragged the kobold's body back to the fissure fro hiding, after first stashing her spear, which Jon had identified as strongly enchanted, within his magical quiver.
"What was that?" Jon asked, suddenly, upon hearing a light scraping sound from the darkened northern exit to the cavern.
The heroes stopped to listen, hearing the sound again. They quickly made their way back to the crevice through which they had emerged, their attempts at stealth made difficult by two members in plate armour.
A deep woman's voice vame from the darkness, reassuring thtem that she was a friend. Suspicious, Krolmn used his fey talents to throw his voice to a far corner of the cavern in reply. Soon thereafter a stone giant woman emerged from teh darkened tunnel opposite, initially seeming confused as she turned toward the perceived source of the gnome's voice and finding nobody there. Seeing that she was indeed alone, and with Tevan's divine probing sensing no evil intention from the woman, the group emerged into the cavern.
The giant introduced herself as Conna, and explained that she had been expecting them, though admitting she has assumed they would be bigger. She would speak no further in their current location, fearing she would soon be missed, and the heroes agreed to follow her back to her Shrine.
The journey to the shrine took them past a mess hall filled with giants, as well as the chamber of one of Mokmurian's lieutenants, but all were too engrossed in their own endeavours to notice the group creeping past. Upon reaching Conna's shrine, she told her story.
Her husband had been the leader of her tribe, but had been overthrown by Mokmurian and ultimately sacrificed to his powers. She was fearful of teh direction in which Mokmurian was taking the giants, remembering tales of their enslavement by the Runelords in times past. She also reported taht the giant leader had been heard muttering the name "Karzoug". She wished to aid the heroes in killing Mokmurian. Tevan explained that their primary goal was freeing the prisoners from Sandpoint, but that they would deal with Mokmurian if the opportunity arose. Conna explained that some of the surviving prisoners were held above in the fortress proper, while the remainder were under the control of a giant named Lokansir. This giant was highly dangerous, and had power over elemental forces. He was to be found in his own chamber to the east and north. Conna provided further information about the fortress and its running, including an overview of this area which included two lamia priestesses and their red dragon guards, and Mokmurian's second-in-command Galenmir, who they had passed on the way here. She also informed them that Mokmurian spend most of his time in the library, the entrance to which was to teh east but she had never dared go close to it. Also down here were the mess hall they had come through already, and the forge, where ogres ruled over dwarven slaves. Conna also provided information on the clans outside, detailing their degrees of loyalty to Mokmurian and how they may be infkuenced away from him, and revealed that the red dragon Longtooth that Tevan and Jon had drivn off in Sandpoint had been denied healing by Mokmurian in his fury at the failed attack. She mentioned that perhaps he could be turned against the giant, although stressed that she would not trust him.
After considering this information, the heroes decided that their first task would be to defeat Lokansir and free the slaves he was overseeing. Taking into consideration Conna's warnings, Jon cast hastening magics on the group, while Twitch prepared several of his spells in advance, nefore taking on the form of a great Storval lion.
Coming to the great stone doors to Lokansir's chamber, Belor wasted no time forcing them open, though it took several attempts to swing the great slabs that had been designed for the stature of the giants. Within were a series of huge stone pillars carved from stalagmites. Attached to these pillars were chains, and many of these held residents of Sandpoint, familiar despite their deprevation. There was, however, no sign of the giant himself.
Tevan, Belor, Krolmn and Jon began freeing the prisoners from their shackles while Twitch, reluctant to abandon his animal form, prowled around the perimeter of the room, sniffing the air for signs of Lokansir but sensing nothing.
Suddenly, the giant erupted from the earth in front of the druid. With less than fond memories of the last time he was forced into melee with a giant fresh in his mind, the druid determined to break away as quickly as possible. His previously prepared casting of a lightning storm allowed him to quickly bring a bolt down upon the giant, and haing imbued the casting with metamagic power he was confident that it would daze the creature for long enough for him to break from melee combat. However, as the bolt came down on the giant, it fizzled rather than sizzled; the giant was resistant to magic!
Seeing this Jon realised that his own magics, while more penetrating than the druid's, could be similarly affected. As Lokansir began swinging his great club toward Twitch-lion hte sorcerer thought quickly, using his magic to make the giant weapon slippery, adn was rewarded as slipped from his grasp.
As the giant fumbled to pick up his still greasy weapon the others took advantage, Krolmn launching arrows at it while Belor and Tevan closed with blades flashing, the deep wounds they scored seeming to do little but enrage the beast. Twitch abandoned magical attacks, instead opting to tear at the giant with teeth and claw. Shaking the druid off, Lokansir abandoned his attempts to retrieve his weapon, instead smashing a mightly fist into Belor's chest. Seeing that this could still go badly for them, Jon pulled ot a scroll he had been saving and read quickly, hoping it would penetrate Lokansir's defenses.
Luck, it turned out, was with them, as the mighty giant was held fast in magical chains. Grinning as he picked himself up from the blow he had just taken, Belor rammed his sword up to its hilt in the defenseless Lokansir's chest. Nothing happened for a moment, presumably due to the magic still holding the giant immobile. Momentarily however the sorcery expired, and Lokansir collapsed to the floor in a pool of blood.
The heroes quickly finished freeing the prisoners, and Tevan gathered them around, using his healing energies to restore their vitality. Amazed at how well they had come through the encounter, the heroes considered their next move.