Having defeated the lamia priestesses, the Heroes made thier way back to down the corridor toward the southeast, keen to find the stairs descending to the lower levels, and hopefully put an end to Mokmurian. They had, however, travelled only a short distance when they heard the sound of a weapon tapping on stone from whence they had come, and a deep voice called out tauntingly.
"Come and play, little men. Galenmir grows bored with this game."
Deciding the face Mokmurian's lieutenant rather than continue in their way with him at their back, the group stopped at the intersection of three tunnels. As they did so, they became aware of voices from the west; ogres. Not wishing to fight on two fronts at once they made quick preparations, with Twitch sharpening the stone floor of the tunnels in all three directions, leaving only their own position free of the magical impediment.
Galenmire strode into view, a great dire bear at his side. Both stepped a little gingerly on the sharpened floor, but were undeterred. The bear quickly charged toward them, even as Krolmn let fly with two arrows simultaneously from his bow. The giant, who had grinned initially as the gnome raised the tiny weapon toward him, quickly changed his attitude as the missiles struck deep into his chest, damaging vital organs while spreading an acidic burn around them. With a roar of pain and rage, the giant hurled a rock toward the group, but it smashed harmlessly into the stonework by the druid's head.
Meanwhile, Tevan and Belor each intercepted the bear's charge, and the two of them quickly cut the beast down. Several magical bolts from Jon slammed into Galenmir, before another of Krolmn's deadly darts finished him off.
The giant and bear dead, the heroes turned their attention to the approaching ogres. These three were far better trained than the average brute and put up a stronger fight than expected, but were unable to prevail against the the blades, arrows and spellcasting of the heroes.
Taking but a few moments to recover, the heroes made their way down the third corridor to the east, eager to quickly find the stairs and descend. In their haste, however, they did not notice the trolls hiding behind the hangings in the corridor, and found themselves once again in combat.
The fight against the trolls turned out to be far tougher than those preceding it. Jon and Twitch tried to conserve their remaining spellcasting, aware that they would need something in reserve should they face Mokmurian, and used only weaker attacks against the trolls. Bereft of the support of the spellcasters against their regenerating opponents, it was a long, grinding battle before the warriors were able to wear the trolls down. Eventually, however, they prevailed, and continued on to finally descend the stairs to the lower level.
Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs, it became apparent that parts of this level were in ruins, with rockfalls sealing off corridors. Twitch took the form of an earth elemental to scout ahead, his ability to move through the rock an advantage in case of sudden attacks or cave-ins. Krolmn chose to accompany him, keen to see for himself what lay ahead.
A short distance down a corridor, the druid saw a large room, with great double doors opposite him. Stepping into the room he experienced a moment of vertigo, as the dimensions of the room seemed to stretch around him. Further into the room he observed a stone golem, however it seemed far further away than he knew was possible given the dimensions of the room he had seen before entering. Disconcerting, but no great concern. The golem stood unmoving, and showed no reaction to his presence. Turning to return to the others, Twitch saw Krolmn enter the room behind him, still appearing weirdly far away. The gnome, for his part, found the experience of the room far more disconcerting than did his companion. Not only did everything appear far away for him, but also far bigger than it should be. In fact, based on the scale of things, the druid appeared a great distance away.
"Twitch!" the gnome yelled loudly, trying to make his voice bridge the distance "What are you doing way over there?"
"I'm right next to you." Twitch rumbled in his earthy voice, flinching at the gnomes shrill yells. "At least, I think I am. You look further away, but you can't be."
"I am!" Krolmn continued to yell "I'm nowhere near you. And what's that statue doing?"
The druid turned back to the golem to see it moving ponderously toward them. Ponderous, yet closing the exaggerated distance far too quickly. Calling on some of the magical power he had hoped to save for the giant king, the druid hoped he was judging the distance correctly and send a snake of intesnse lightning toward the construct. Dispite the skewed distance, the trail ran straight throuhg the golem. The golem, however, seemed completely unaffected.
"That's not good." he rumbled to himself.
The golem continued to close, and Krolmn let fly with several arrows toward it. They pinged off its stony facade, althought the acid that wreathed them did seem to eat into it. So, magic it seemed did not harm the creature, and regular weapons bounced off, but other forms of elemental damage did seem to hurt it. This in mind, the druid stepped toward the golem ,a swirl of electricity and frost enwreathing his giant rocky fists as he attempted to go punch for punch with the creature.
It quickly became apparent, however, that the golem punched a lot harder and more effectively than the druid. With the physical blows largely negated, it was only the cold and lightning of the druid's hits that did any damage to the creature, while the same went for Krolmn's acidic arrows.
Help, however, was on its way. Alerted by the yelling, Belor, Tevan and Jon also ran into the room, all three affected by the room's enchantment to varying degrees. The two warriors closed quickly with the golem, their greater martial skill allowing them to penerate its stony being more effectively that Twitch and Krolmn had managed so far. The druid yelled out to Jon not to waste his spells on it, given its apparent immunity to magic. With attacks now coming from all sides the golem fell, though not before badly injuring Twitch and also damaging the warriors. Now free of the distraction of the golem, they made their way back out of the room, finding that those who had found the room most disconcerting had in fact been reduced in size. Using the bracers that Twitch had made for himself and the warriors prior to the giant attack on Sandpoint, they were all able to restore themselves to normal. They reentered the room and made their way to the great doors.
Hearing nothing on the other side, they pushed the doors open, and Krolmn scouted ahead. After several minutes he returned to report his findings. Ahead was a room containing giant-sized suits of armour, one of these at least containing a headless body. It had not reacted to him, but whether that was because he had hidden his movement succesfully or because it was truly dead he couldn't say. Beyond that were further corridors and rooms, and traversing this area he had seen a strange construct wandering the area, belching fire. Again, it had paid him no heed, and had walked through the walls as if they were not there.
Keeping these things in mind, the heroes progressed toward the room with the armour suits. Extending his senses into the room, Tevan was quite certain that the headless one, and possibly others, were indeed undead. Not wishing to risk a protracted fight, Jon conjured a great ball of flame into the room, encompassing most of the armoured figures.
With battle joined, the armoured undead wasted no time in approaching the heroes, though two stood motionless, smoke pluming from the steel. The headless one gestured, and several small zombies appeared among the heroes. These, however, were little threat, and were quickly dispatched. The heroes then attacked the remaining giant zombies, making relatively short work of the creatures, wounded as they already were from Jon's sorcery.
They continued onward cautiously, mindful of the strange construct that Krolmn had described. They did indeed sight the creature again, put it seemed uninterested in them. As they progressed further, they came to another great door, though this had nothing to indicate how it may open. A small flap in the door stood closed. At a loss for what to do, they knocked.
There was the hissing of steam and clanking of metal from the other side, before the flap opened and a mechanical eye appeared. An equally mechanical voice demanded to know the password. The heroes resorted to guesswork, which was of no use, and the flap closed.
Taking advantage of his earthen form, Twitch stepped through the wall to find himself in a great library. A pit in the floor apparently led to the storage place of the books, but there was no other way in and out of the room, all entrances having been sealed. Now that he was in the room the clockwork librarian was more helpful, asking the druid what knowledge he was seeking. His answer of "runelords" resulted in him being given a section and shelf number to find information. Having no desire to search the shelves, he returned to his companions.
There was but one other path for them to take, and they did so. Making their way through one empty room, they entered another. Great pillars streched from floor to ceiling, and at one end a raised dais contained a throne, on which sat Mokmurian. Arrayed around him were three hounds, though Twitch and Krolmn could attest that they were no natural beasts, and even Jon seemed at a loss as to their nature.
The giant king initially conversed with the heroes, trying to convince them that the attack on Sandpoint was a tragic error, and the plan had been to peacfully acquire a stone. However, Mokmurian had clearly not counted on the fact that Tevan had overheard the advance parties discussion their attack on the way to the town, and they were not fooled. The heroes retorted with their own views of the giant betraying his people for the sake of his own power, returning them to the slaver they had escaped only with the previous fall of the Runelords. After several barbed insults, it became apparent that no further ground for discussion was available.
Mokmurian launched his attack by giving an order to his dogs, which immediately vanished, only to reappear an instant later alongside the heroes' positions. Tevan and Belor immediately attacked, while Twitch did the same, with casting while so close to enemies posing too great a risk. Krolmn let fly at the hounds with his arrows, while Jon used his magic to speed his and his allies' actions. Mokmurian himself, meanwhile, threw sorcerous beams of energy at the heroes, wounding several.
One of the dogs let out an other wordly cry, which somehow negated the extra speed with which Jon had gifted them. Meanwhile, perhaps seeing that the beasts would last only a short time against the heroes, Mokmurian brought forth an area of fog, so thick it made movement difficult. While the others fought on against the dogs, Tevan became concerned at their lack of mobility, and called on his own powers, successfully banishing the fog. And just in time too, it turned out, as the giant called forth another cloud, this one deadly poisonous.
The group immediately began to cough and choke, and fled from the cloud as quickly as they could. All had been weakened by the noxious vapours, but it would have been much worse had their ability to flee the fumes been limited as Mokmurian had clearly intended. Twitch, free now from the hounds, responded by creating his own fog cloud; while not poisonous or restrictive, it would prevent the giant seeing them to cast further magics while they finished off the dogs, which were failing fast. However, it quickly became apparent that Mokmurian's vision could penetrate the cloud, as he sent more sorceries toward them. Clearly angered at Tevan's dismissal of the solid fog, the giant chose the paladin as the focus of his next conjuring. Tevan later reported he had felt like his entire fabric was being torn apart, but just when he felt he had breathed his last ,he managed to miraculously throw off the worst effects of the spell, leaving him injured but alive.
Keen to make further spellcasting as difficult as possible for the giant, Twitch cast a spell to call forth a giant of his own. An ettin appeared in front of the giant standing a head (or two) taller than the stunted stone giant. It swung at Mokmurian with two mighty clubs, but its lack of finesse made the clumsy blows easy for the giants to avoid. Still, it kept him occupied, and as he responded in like, the heroes were saved from any further spell casting.
Under the barrage of blades and Jon's sorcery the hounds all fell. Krolmn sent arrows at Mokmurian, and Belor charged up the stairs toward the dais, even as Twitch's ettin fell to his great club. Seeing that such combatants (at least those his skills could bring forth) were not up to the task of battling Mokmurain, the druid instead called forth much smaller creatures, sending a swarm of stirges at the giant. Given their ample target these latched on easily, beginning their task of weakening him. Mokmurian was now also engaged with Belor and Tevan in combat, and had to contend also with Jon's sorceries. The sole focus for all of the heroes, things went downhill for him quickly.
In a clear sign of his desperation, the giant pleaded with the heroes to abandon their fight and join him, aiding him in spreading Karzoug's rule. Tevan replied quickly, giving the proposal all the consideration it deserved. Mokmurian opened his mouth, presumably to argue the point further, but was not given the chance; Krolmn had nocked two arrows to his bowstring, and the ranger's accuracy as he let fly held true, with both projectiles lodging deep in Mokmurian's throat. The giant gasped, gurgled, and fell. Dead.
As the heroes began looting the room, Mokmurian's eyes opened once again, glowing green as he began speaking in an otherworldly voice that was unaffected by the damage to the mortal brute.
The voice claimed to be that of Runelord Karzoug, and he mocked the heroes, taunting them with the knowledge that their slaying of Mokmurian only hastened to add to his own power, even while daring them to come after him. Shaken, they quickly finished their task and decided on their immediate course of action.
There was debate about whether they should now journey up the mountain to slay the red dragon Longtooth. However, in the end they decided against it; the threat of the dragon may be the best deterrent to others coming here and continuing Mokmurian's research, and the beast itself would never fit into the tunnels to do so, should it desire. Besides, they felt it was best to get moving as quickly as possible; the survivors from Sandpoint were in no condition to move with any great haste, and once Mokmurian's death was discovered they had no idea how the remaining giant tribes would react. But whether they moved away peacefully, or fought one another in retribution for rivalries born during their time under Mokmurian's rule, it seemed unlikely they would stay here at Jorgenfist. And running into wandering bands of possibly angry giants was certainly something they didn't need while trying to escort civilians. No, they quicker they could be away from here the better.
With that in mind, the hurried back to the caves, to collect the Sandpointeans and take them home.