Greyhawk (Against the Giants/Tyranny of Dragons)

What's come to pass at Oytwood Pass?
Oytwood Gnoll more!

The party arriving at Winterhaven (formerlly known as Steryn) began seeking information of their new surroundings. Rook engaged two of the city watch who yearned for battle. Poor fools wouldn’t survive a night beyond the walls Rook assesses. Hobson fumbles his way through a conversation with Delphina in the marketplace and learns his wits are no match for hers. Heian meets with the shoppe keep Bairwin and peruses his wares. The most fruitful discover is that of Amerith who visited with Lord Pardraig. The Lord commissions Amerith and his party to travel to Oytwood Pass. Traders due back have not returned. Lord Paradig explained that the Pass has served as a buffer between Winterhaven and the raids of the outside world. If the Pass has fallen he will need to know immediately. The party accepts the quest and heads out the next morn, to Amerith’s dismay without mounts or a beast of burden.

Day 1 – Heian tries to rest the party on top of a hidden ant hill but the party assists in providing better lodgings for the night. Otherwise the day passes uneventful.

Day 2 – The party arrives at the proverbial fork in the road. A recent shallow grave has been haphazardly made not far off the path. Hobson and Heian can’t resist and upturn the burial site. A brother of Heironieous is buried within, the life recently smashed out of him. No other clues are left as to what occurred. The party reburies the fallen and Amerith adds a few words of prayer. Otherwise the day passes uneventful.

OytwoodBlaze.jpg

Day 3 – The party arrives on the outskirts of Oytwood, the town engulfed in wisps of smoke. Carefully the party approached the walls of the town. The first discoverer was the remains of a camp, the inhabitants mutilated within one of the tents. Amerith barely holds his mornings meal at the macabre scene and a sense of dread comes over him. Heian scensed the smell of burnt dog hair in the air. Still quietly the party approached the city’s outer watch tower. It was then the pack of gnolls launched their attack. A couple ogres and a crew of mercenary kobold sharp shooters already roosted in the tower assisted the gnolls in their assault. The God’s favored us that day. Our weapons repeatedly guided with critically accuracy against our assailants. The turning point was a moment of genius by the psyonicist V. She utilized her newly acquired card from a Deck of Many things and sent the Pack Lord into another dimension. The ruse threw the pack into utter chaos and the party made every advantage out of the packs hesitation. In the end the gnolls that weren’t killed, ran off. Two of the kobold’s remained alive, beged for mercy and pledged their service for a mere GP a day. Hobson quickly agreed and mockingly told Amerith the beasts of burden had been procured for far cheaper than the donkey would have cost in town. V scoured Outwood with her psyche and quickly assessed Oytwood had no survivors. The group decided to make back for Winterhaven with their new found knowledge. By the way the fire continued to spread as the party battled on, odd!

The trip home – The party made camp and the first four watches passed quietly. That changed during Hobson’s watch. Another pack of gnolls quietly approached the campsite. Somehoe Hobson managed to pull off something he never does well. He sensed the camp was under attack. Quickly the party was hastened from their slumber to combat their ambushers. The battle waned back and forth but seemed to take a tide for the worse when Amerith was brutally struck. Rook heroiclly took the brunt of the blow for him and immediately dropped unconscious. Hobson noting the swing in the tide of battle resorted back to setting the forest on fire and manipulating the arcane powers that had become so unstable. His storm wind thundered around the gnolls and scattered the pack apart. Quickly the pack turned on the halfling leaving him a heartbeat from death’s door. Once again the God’s took favor on the party. Hobson critically eviscerated the gnoll’s chief again throwing the pack in chaos. The battle was over almost as quickly as it began. The next morning the party said goodbye to Jeak and Beak, their Kobold mercernaries, and returned back to Winterhaven.

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Rescue at Rivenroar

RESCUE AT RIVENROAR

PARTY – Hobson (Rogue), Heian (Druid), Gauthak (Brawler), Anamander (Templar), Vieva’Wyss (Psion)

1st Day – While in a tavern in Preston, the party is besieged by goblins, hobgoblins and an Ogre, who try to sack, pillage and set the town to flame. The party is able to defeat the mauraders and learn from one of the party members, Hobson, a halfling rogue about a possible quest.

The Oytwood forest has been teaming with activity in the past moons. A new presence with an old name, “Red Hand of Doom” has entered the Oytwood led by a hobgoblin named Sinruth. His marauding army of orcs, goblins and hobgoblins have been sacking town and villages around Hochoch. They have recently stunned all those in Hochoch by raiding the city. They took seven prisoners and stole an artifact from the Hall of Great Valor and are residing in Castle Rivenroar, which is deep in the Oytwood forest.

With the assassination of Owen I, the city of Hochoch has been dealing with political turmoil. The knights of the Gran March, who provided service and protection to Owen I and the refugees of Geoff have returned to their homeland. The monastic of order of Knights Watch has taken power in Hochoch led by Grandiose Imperial Wyvern Darwyck of Hookhill. Grand Imperial Darwyck has disbanded the splinter sect the Knights of Dispatch after a traitorous band of Dispatch members tried to usurp the order by killing Hugo of Geoff. Wyvern Darwyck had the band of knights executed and disbanded the order. This turmoil has created a perfect opportunity for an attack by the Red Hand of Doom.

Knights of the Watch have made no effort to track the Red Hand of Doom down. They have instead spent most of their resources fortifying the city. Contrary to the Knights Watch lack of an offensive, the elves in Preston have left the city to combat the Red Hand of Doom.

You are fascinated by the prospects of finding this castle Rivenoar, but you have no idea of its whereabouts or who or what resides there.

Day 2 – Party leaves to find Castle Rivenroar. Led by Heian the Druid, the party is led in the wrong direction and into a Kruthik lair where after suffering major wounds Anamander and Gauthak are left unconscious. Party members are able to revive Anamamder, but the Goliath Gauthak is unable to regain consciousness and is buried in the woods of Oytwood.

Day 3 – While traveling in the woods of Oytwood, the party runs into a Paladin named Amerith and an elven warrior named Bren who Amerith found in a hangman’s noose. They continue towards Rivenroar Castle.

The party finds a castle in ruins and discover tracks that lead into a catacombs. Moving down the stairs into the catacombs, the party combats hobgoblins and goblins who guard the entrance. Bren, the elf is stuck with bolts and dies in the first minute of combat. The party is able to regain the battle field as Heian brings locusts on the hobgoblins. The goblin snipers run away as the party decides to let them go.

The main entrance room has three doors, one to the north, east and west. The party decides to go through the door labeled Rivenroar family. This leads to stairs that go down into the catacombs. This leads to a room full of mushrooms. Amerith decides to explore the room and encounters a sleeping Rage Drake. As he returns to the party to explain what he has found, Hobson checks out a mushroom that begins to screech, alerting the Rage Drakes. The party has much more success against the Rage Drakes.

In another adjoining room, the group finds an old woman in a magic circle. She is one of the prisoners and her name is Zerriska. They group also finds in a niche in the ground in the mushroom room, a holy symbol +1, Magic Orb +1 and Plate Hero Armor +1. The group decides that they will take an extended rest.

Day 4 – Rested the group moves back to the entrance room. As Hobson listens at the door, he hears the moaning of the undead. The group opens the door to find that the two hobgoblins and Bren who were killed in the room are now Zombies. The group slices, dices and psionically blasts the undead very quickly moving to the door, the goblins escaped through the previous day.

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New Heroes of Greyhawk
Rescue at Rivenroar

Oytwood

Although the elves of the Oytwood have long maintained cordial relations with the humans of Geoff, and even helped build the capital city of Gorna, these relations cooled considerably in the aftermath of the giants’ depredations. The Olvenfolk of the Oytwood survived only by retreating into their hidden halls to regroup and recover.

With no help coming from beyond the woods, the elves began a guerrilla war against the invaders that has met with modest success. Although the Oytwood has not been under giant control since 588 CY, sev­eral of the brutes still roam the forest. That fact, in addition to the threat of wandering fey beasts, has kept the elves from joining the larger effort to reclaim Geoff, and from helping their sylvan cousins fight the Shadow Dragon. If the folk of Hochoch can win the elves’ help, the Oytwood could serve as a direct route from Hochoch to the giant-occupied capital of Gorna.

Preston
Population: 50
At a Glance: An elven outpost, recently reclaimed
Established before the formal founding of Geoff, Pres­ton has long served as an outpost from which the high elves of the Oytwood watch for invaders. Its first such use was against the Suel and Oeridian migrants, and more recently, against the giants. Despite the best efforts of the elves, half-elves, and humans who lived there, the invading giants captured Preston, forc­ing its residents to flee either to Hochoch or to deep within the forest.
In recent months, the elven forces have expelled the giants from Preston. Currently, the treetop ruins of Preston serve as a base for a small garrison of stoic elves tasked with holding it until more forces can be spared to rebuild it.

THE FIRST ADVENTURE PROLOGUE

The Oytwood forest has been teaming with activity in the past moons. A new presence with an old name, “Red Hand of Doom” has entered the Oytwood led by a hobgoblin named Sinruth. His marauding army of orcs, goblins and hobgoblins have been sacking towns and villages around Hochoch. They have recently stunned all those in Hochoch by raiding the city. They took seven prisoners and stole an artifact from the Hall of Great Valor and are residing in Castle Rivenroar, which is deep in the Oytwood forest. Liberation_of_Geoff.jpg

With the assassination of Owen I, the city of Hochoch has been dealing with political turmoil. The knights of the Gran March, who provided service and protection to Owen I and the refugees of Geoff have returned to their homeland. The monastic of order of Knights Watch has taken power in Hochoch led by Grandiose Imperial Wyvern Darwyck of Hookhill. Grand Imperial Darwyck has disbanded the splinter sect the Knights of Dispatch after a traitorous band of Dispatch members tried to usurp the order by killing Hugo of Geoff. Wyvern Darwyck had the band of knights executed and disbanded the order. This turmoil has created a perfect opportunity for an attack by the Red Hand of Doom.

Knights of the Watch have made no effort to track the Red Hand of Doom down. They have instead spent most of their resources fortifying the city. Contrary to the Knights Watch lack of an offensive, the elves in Preston have left the city to combat the Red Hand of Doom.

This is where the adventures will start in a tavern in Preston. It has been a few days since the group left to Rivenroar castle. You are fascinated by the prospects of finding this castle Rivenoar, but you have no idea of its whereabouts or who or what resides there.

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Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (Epilogue)

592cy Season of Growfest on Earthday, the 13th day of the month of Planting

THE EPILOGUE
After making a deal with the Giants and the Fire Giant, Smolderheart the party leaves Kargyraa Fort (the Steading) bandaged and bruised. As they venture outside toward the back exit of the fort, the fire that the wizard Malador created is still burning. Next to the fire, two large Ogres, work as a team as one slowly tosses bodies on a cart while the other removes the bodies, placing them on the fire. After spending a day in the dungeons of the Fort, the newly orinated Knights of Dispatch can’t imagine that there could be a smell so hideous and vile, notwithstanding the burning of Ogre, Orc and Hill Giant is much worse. Soft hearted Cur, sees a few remains of Hill Giant children amongst the pile of bodies and wonders if the atrocities of war is something he can stomach much further.

The parties trek is slow and long up the hills of the Crystalmists as the badly tortured Half-Orc Javok and Zorn Ironbeard have to be carried along with the deceased Delita. Each person focuses on their movement and barely speaks as they forge their way up the mountain. Flavious scouts to see if the Giants are following the group, but they seem to pay no interest to the party exiting the fort. Fortunately, after an hour up the mountain, they are not met by any aggression and make it to the rendezvous point without any great difficulty.

Inside the cave, the two Dwarves Benij and Rynij are not to be found as well as the Hypogriffs they used to journey here. The pot that the two dwarves left over the fire is still hot, but they are nowhere to be found. Where the two have gone as well as the four Hypogriffs is a mystery to the group. However, minds and attitudes are changed when Malador casts a delightful spell that brings sustenance and warmth to the cave. A thick venison-barley stew, snails in honey and garlic, fresh trout baked in clay, pigeon pie, and lemon cakes are devoured by the tired giant slayers.

As the mood of the room changes dramatically as each person is satiated by the feast. Zorn Ironbeard and Javok, who were less than communicative, begin to express their gratitude to the party. They comment that there lives were in great jeopardy and if it wasn’t for the parties intervention they would certainly be dead.

Javok tells the party how he was part of a scouting that was gauging the giants movement. His commander Arco Iris, a large stubborn human of a man led them deep into this region. He continues and laments how his scouting party was ambushed by a stealthy blue dragon and a band of trolls a season ago. He was knocked unconscious by the dragon’s wings and left for dead by his scouting party. He was discovered by orcs and disguised himself, enlisting himself in their ranks. Javox has discovered that the orcs were actually under the yoke of the very Hill Giant his scouting party was looking to find, Chief Nosnra. A few days ago he infiltrated the Steading and found Zorn Ironbeard was a prisoner. He tried to free Zorn, but was discovered by the Bugbears as Zorn was too badly beaten and hobbled to run.

As Javox drowns on and on about the failed escape, Zorn interrupts him suggesting that we can laugh and talk about our mistakes later. Zorn insists he must return to his homeland and hopes the party can assist him. He does not like that you were adventuring with a Suel, as his eyes look to the your dead comrade Delita and sees no reason why you shouldn’t bury him and get rid of his kind. Venix defends Delita’s presence as a dutiful member of the group and sees no malace or evil in his heart. All Venix has experienced is a skilled warrior who has put his own life in danger time and time again and should be remembered as a hero, if they should not be able to find a way to bring life back in his body.

There is an unsettling silence among the group over the discussion of Delita. Halldor breaks the silence with a belch and begins singing an old Dwarven ballad about about the history of the dwarves in this region one thousand years ago. The dwarven kingdoms were destroyed in the Evoke Devastation in -422 CY. The last High King of the dwarves perished during that cataclysm, the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords lost, and the dwarven people have not been united by any king since. Legend has it that if the Axe is ever again found, the Age of High Kings will return.

Zorn Ironbeard explains that his clan the Ironbeards are the descendants of the High Kings and the fortress of Argent Tor is where he needs to go to reclaim his lordship. As Halldor informs him that when the Dwarves return with the Hypogriffs, we may begin that quest. The other party members are not so certain. Malador and Flavious are not interested in venturing from their mission. They have found the maps to the Giants strongholds and assisting Zorn is not part of the mission. Zorn laments that they are correct. The mission should be to cut the head off the Giant leadership. However, his returning to Argent Tor and regaining that citadel is important strategically for this region. They can restore Argent Tor as a base for operations for future rebel operations.

In the morning, after they rest, the party awakes to see that Benij and Rynig have returned. They tell the party that they were flying around watching the Steading and waiting to help anyone that had to escape. They are pleased to see that you all are safe and inform the group that since this mission has been accomplished they agree with Zorn and his mission, taking back Argent Tor should be our next mission and they will accompany them to Ironbeards stronghold in Argent Tor. They are extremely pleased that the group has acquired the location of the Giants lairs and ask to make copies of the maps immediately.

As the party begins their ride to the fortress of Argent Tor, they see a large plume of smoke coming from the valley of the fort. Malador is insistent that they take a closer look. As they fly closer, they see that Kargyraa Fort is ablaze. It looks as though the remaining survivors have put the wooden fortress to the torch.

SIEGE OF ARGENT
In Argent Tor, the party assists in its liberation. The forces of orcs, hobgoblins and ogres are easy foes for the likes of this party. Cur and Flavious were able to sneak in and defeat the Ogre leader, causing chaos in the humanoid ranks. While disorder ensued for the forces of Orcus, Malador was able to bring down wind and lightning upon them destroying their will to fight. The siege only lasted a few hours and Zorn Ironbeard was once again lord of Argent Tor.

In Argent Tor, priests of Moradin would not raise Delita from the dead. To them he was an agent of the Scarlet Brotherhood and no priest was going to raise his Suel soul from the dead. With no transport out of Argent Tor, as the Hippogriffs that brought them there were discharged immediately after the party had arrived, Malador spends this time rummaging through his books. Malador’s years of research and extraordinary knowledge of the arcane has led him to an ancient scroll which used Shadow magic to return those from the dead. He informed the party that he is working on a way that he could return Delita back from the dead. However, it may be very dangerous.

WARRENS OF THE STONE GIANT THANE
Of all the giant lords, Thane Arnak of the stone giants seems the least likely to rally behind the banner of Snurre, king of the fire giants. Until recently, the stone giant thane maintained a steady truce with neighboring clans of dwarves, and stone giants rarely ventured far from their warrens in the craggy foothills of the Crystalmist Mountains. But something has changed. Stone giants have emerged from Howling Crag to join the rampaging hordes, providing needed artillery to Snurre’s growing army. Dwarves are convinced that Arnak still commands the giants of Howling Crag, but they fear that a dark influence has persuaded the thane to act against his better nature.

In addition to convincing Thane Arnak to break his alliance with the other giant lords and King Snurre, Stone giant marauders attacked the Gray-Beards, an ally of the Ironbeards, dwarven military encampment and stole a battle standard, atop which was a golden falcon. The dwarves take it as a sign of ill omen that the falcon was lost. Return it to them if you can. Lastly, a Sterich delegation sent to negotiate a truce with Thane Arnak never returned. The group included a human noble named Merlian Saar, his two human bodyguards, and their guides—a pair of goliaths. Find and rescue any survivors.

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The Dragon in the Pit

592cy Season of Growfest on Earthday, the 12th day of the month of Planting, 592 cy….Still
Would this, the longest day of my life, not end?!? _

If it were not for the bounty taken in that dungeon the giants who sued for peace would have paid this very night. After negotiating for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, the Hill Giant King Nosnra informed us that his prisoners were located below his keep in a dungeon. Our group descended the stairwell into darkness our way lit by my wisp some fifty feet down ancient step that ended in a long stone hallway. Our concerns for the safety of the walls were soon of no concern as the giants above began tossing boulders and dirt over the entrance and down the stairway sealing us within. Fortune was however on our side briefly as all managed to round the corner at the end of the hall safely save some minor bumps and bruises to Cur.

Yet this was small condolence as the room lay open before us. We stood in the Southwest Corner entrance to a eighty by eighty hall with four giant columns spaced equal distance from each wall and the other columns. One can only guess that this was once the subterranean storeroom for a long forgotten keep that lay above. Floor of rough stone and the walls, once magnificent stonework, lay now covered in bones and dried blood, deep scorch marks burned into the floor as if dwarf hammers had been unleashed in a vain attempt to destroy this place. This was but a backdrop to the real horror of the room.

Protruding from the walls and columns, from floor to ceiling, were five foot long iron spears jutting out like dragon teeth with bones and remains of numerous victims stuck within as foot scraps between so many thousand teeth. The stench of rotting flesh hung heavy in the air and from the north could be heard a howl of wind turning up the dust of long dried out blood and broken rock. All was quiet as Delita entered and moved deeper lead by the light of the wisp and the sunrod that he had produced from his pack. Light flickered shadows on the walls and the wisp moved around and through the columns, sometimes just out of sight casting long shadows of columns toward us. To the far southern corner and far northern corner could be seen a raised portcullis’ and in the west side of the room the wall had been broken down creating a large entrance to a cavern.

As our group began its slow walk through the room, as if from nowhere was a sight of unimaginable horror, an adult iron dragon who announced its presence with a burst of lightning sending Cur into a wall of spears and knocking me to the ground. As my ears rang from the blast I stood dazed and in hast cast out my Color Orb spell which struck the mighty beast and then in a flash of light deflected back knocking me to the ground stunned. Venix reacted quickly and called upon the power of Pelor to send divine healing into Cur saving him from near death for a second time in the past 15 minutes.

Honestly, I worry that the little munchkin will not long survive at this rate. Perhaps it is the price he pays for the curses he throws and this shall just be his fate for many adventures to come. I wonder just how long will Cur’s magic armor hold up under this constant assault. But that discussion shall be a topic of much conversation at a later time.

Dragons are impressive beast to watch and thankfully, I can say this as the last two we encountered were unable to defeat us. The beast began snapping out with its jaws and prepared to launch a second blast of lightning when Flavious launched several arrows at the beast. His first arrow struck true as it entered the dragon’s nostril causing it to collapse to the ground snorting and growling, momentarily stunned. Taking maximum advantage Delita and Halldor leapt to the dragon raining blow after blow sending it off balance to fall on the ground at the monk’s feet. Realizing its predicament, the dragon teleported away whoever it re-appear next to Venix who struck with the light of Pelor and shot the beast in the heart weakening its blows at the same time I called on the elemental forces sent forth protective energies to my company. Combined these two forces ensured that the dragons blows landed as not more than scratches upon us, yet we continued our relentless pursuit of the beast as it vainly attempted to teleport away. Delita pursued the beast to the southern hallway yelling for us all the location. As we converged the dragon teleported out of the hall and appeared nest to me ready to breath but as fortune would have it I was able to use the power of the thunder through my staff and hurled the dragon backward 40 feet causing his breath to harm nothing but the walls. Sadly, this was the second time the dragons protective magic responded and blasted my staff out of my hands and sent it skidding under the wall of spears.

Then we lost the beast again for a moment but Delita once again managed to locate it in the cave to the west of the great hall hiding in rubble and the remains of the many long dead adventurers the dragon had devoured. The beast sent blasts of lightning into the ceiling attempting to bury us, but as fate would have it, the dragon was to be entombed within the resulting ceiling collapse.

When the dust cleared, we all entered the southern room to find much treasure spread about and more importantly to the cause, maps and information outlining the enemies plans. I can only assume at the very same moment King Nosnra was finishing putting out his fires and may have felt the earth tremble and heave and must believe that we had all met a violent end. Little was he to know that day was the day Cur decided the Giant King Nosnra would suffer and die a painful death at his hands for his betrayal of our good faith by sealing us in a tunnel with and angry iron dragon. As any good merchant knows, it’s the rats in the cellar that hurt your business the most, a lesson Nosnra going to be taught at Cur’s hand.

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The Battle Continues, Part Three

Nosura


The next minutes was pure chaos. I find it hard to imagine that anyone, even our foes survived. Flavious took a second arbalest bolt throwing him backward from Nosnra and then fled into the burning outbuilding followed closely by Vaarg and a hill giant hunter. Moments later that building exploded into flame the roof falling caving and the hill giant hunter burst out covered in flame near death. Flavious managed to flee through a chimney deep in the building and began to circle around to the front.

In the meantime, I continued to toss giants into the wall of fire who were fool enough to stay within range of my windstorm. Several met their end in those fires, including the hill giant matron, shouting all the while that “I shall get you and crush your bones to dust for what you have done”. Although, the last sound she would make was a screech as she was tossed one last time into the middle of the wall, the magic flames searing the skin and muscle from her bones, followed quickly by the Stone Giant Emissary who met the same fate.

Inside, Cur and Venix had a much tougher time of it, as several ginats converged on them, with one leaping off the roof to land directly on them as Nosnra began running along the roof edge toward us. He was shouting in human common “I demand that you surrender to ahhhhhhhhhh” as the roof under him collapsed sending him plummeting to the floor inside. Getting up he rushed forward to help his giants kill Cur and Venix. Delita slipped behind the giants into a chimney and began searching the last rooms for what we came. Venix fled from under the hoof of the giants, slipping through a hole in the walls into the room Delita was hiding as our short companion Cur was struck by a near fatal blow from Nosnra sending him flying across the main hall landing hard against the giants’ dinner table.

Nosnra’s giants advanced upon Cur, lifted his unconscious body, tossed it on a table and began to remove his belongings. Nosnra, mistakenly shouted that we were to surrender or he would kill the gnome. But Venix was not to hear of such nonsense and, calling upon the powers of Pelor, summoned Curs to him and administered a life saving healing. This was the final loss for Nosnra and he began shouting for parlay.

Knowing that his mighty keep and forces of arms had been mightily reduced and hearing in his desperate plea that we could take his prisoners with us we listened. As it turned out, unbeknownst to us, the giants were holding many dwarf prisoners, who were in bad shape. Knowing that If the battle continued, the prisoners would likely be buried alive under the keep, we agreed to allow Nosnra to live. He and his giants laid down their arms and retreated to the furthest corners of their keep as we entered the dungeons and claimed his prisoners. Seeing caves in the back of the dungeon and with our dwarf allies in tow, we headed our of the keep by underground caverns.

And in those tunnels, we would be tested again.

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Battle for Karagyaa Fort, Cont..

Firbolg

592cy Season of Growfest on Earthday, the 12th day of the month of Planting, 592 cy

As the battle continued I entered the second bedchamber in hopes of finding leads to who was driving the giants to such order only to find more gold tossed around as if it were but pebbles in a rock garden but no information as to who or what drove these beasts to such “civilized behaviors. Upon returning to the roof I was confronted with the sounds of battle in the courtyard. Running along the rooftop I arrived to witness Delita on the ground facing two hill giant avalanchers, two hill giant guards, four giant worgs, and Vaarg transformed into worg form as Cur, Flavious, Venix and Haldor looked on in amazement.

Taking a moment I reached into the eather and cast forth a firewall providing Delita with cover and trapping his enemies within, immediately followed by an ice storm that, when combined, proved to difficult for the hulking beasts to move through enabling my companions to begin killing this mix of beasts as they burned to death. Haldor leapt off the roof striking the nearest giant with his axe rending open its flesh on his way to the courtyard ground nearest Delita. For several minutes the battle raged but slowly we killed off these giants and worgs leaving Varrg the sole standing beast, and even he fell befor our onslaught. Though he was not to stay down for long as his lycanthropic regeneration kicked in and to our amazement and concern he began to rise again.

Nearly ready to celebrate our small victory, we were quickly faced with yet another problem, for from within the keep could be heard the pained screaming of the mother of the giants and her personal guard and the stone giant emissary as they ran toward the building exit intent on slaying all of us. The mother screamed that she would kill and eat whoever slew her babies. With much bravado in giant I yelled back that it was I who dealt her this blow and she would be next. In her madness and anger I was able to trap her, her guards and the emissary in a mirage of pain and sorrow causing them to become confused and stand about in the entrance unable to act while my friends finished off the remaining giants in the courtyard.

Thinking quickly, Venix summoned the power of Pelor and created a wall of blades across the open main doorway forcing the giant mothers guard to pass through a terrible barrier. Cut slashed and hacked, they began bursting through the blade barrier only to be tossed back into it by arcane winds and a steady rain of blows from Delita. Mean while, Flavious swung from the roof into the out building and began searching for any information as we continued our assault.

And then the giants regrouped for their king had come into the courtyard after having set his ogre minions and smaller giants to come around the back of the fort and onto the roof. Charging those of us on the roof, several of the giants fell through to the ground below, never to rise again, while others moved close. The giants mother then ran in madness through the bladed barrier and climbed up the wall to get ot our position. It was then, I called upon the thunder powers in my staff and blasted her back off the roof edge to land flat on the ground in the middle of the firewall, where she began to burn alive.

At the same time the giant king entered the courtyard, Flavious returned from within the out building creating a target for the kings arbalest that he carried as a normal man would carry a crossbow. Blessedly, his shot went wide as he then leapt toward the roof and began climbing to the top. It was was at that moment a crazed ogre charged at Venix causing the roof to cave in dragging them both into the fort and nearly killing our healer. Cur realizing the desperate situation for Venix leapt in after him, crawling down the rubble to aid Venix with a healing potion.

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Battle for Kargyraa Fort
The battle begins

http://cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets/202338/Steading.jpg(Steading)!

592cy Season of Growfest on Earthday, the 12th day of the month of Planting, 592 cy
Early morning and the remnants of our meal lie scattered around the embers of the fire that kept the cave warm trough the night. Halldor and his kin spent much of the night burping, laughing, drinking, head-butting and farting. Not necessarily in that order, nor with equal frequency. Were the cave not large, I am sure rest would not have been possible for the rest of us. But, I must admit, the ale was warming and the food fresh. Our group headed down the mountain toward the Kargyraa Fort located in a clearing in the valley below. From our mountain perch one could see the massive damage to the surrounding woodlands done by the giants and their slaves in building this massive fort. Kargyraa Fort was created with one large building with a watch tower and a smaller building with stockades connecting the two, creating a large courtyard holding giant worgs as watchdogs. Were one to observe this fort it would appear as any a human would make, save the fact that the doors were twenty foot tall with walls standing thirty foot high.

We take our time traveling off the mountain, wary of giants and for good reason; We manage to avoid several patrols before arriving near the giant structure just past midnight. We cautiously approach and Delita and Flavious clamber up the wall near the chimney and throw down ropes. One by one we scamper quietly up the rope until all that remains is Venix on the ground. As luck would have it, this night, Venix was leaving his hiding spot behind a tree when we slipped on a pile of worg dropping, slipped and crashed hard to the ground. The noise created a huge disturbance within the fort as the worgs began to bark and claw at the gates in a vain attempt to chase down the intruders they smelled. Fortune was on our side in the end as Venix was able to recover before the two hill giant guards were able to exit the fort.

Perched on the roof I was able to hear the hill giants concern for waking Varrg, who came into the courtyard yelling and revealed that he was in fact a lycanthrope. As one would imagine concern for anyone unlucky enough to be on the ground mounted. Crafty Cur was able to distract the animals and our group slipped to the highest roofs of the structure and out of site. Looking within the building we were surprised by the fact that there was a formal banquet underway, I assume celebrating the arrival of a stone giant emissary. We learned from up there the hill giants had a king named Nosnra and the emissary Laerthar the stone giant. Along with a dire bear pet and three hill giant hunters the party was partaking of much drink and neared passing out (if such a thing was possible). We took the opportunity to quietly slip through a chimney into the king’s bedchamber. Within we found many items of gold and gems and a famous Shield of the World tree. Halldor was much impressed when we gifted it to him as he would have need of it later. Looking back later should have been very soon.

Beyond the doorway of the bedroom was what can only be described as a barracks. Within lay eight hill giants and a massive guard wearing chainmail. Cur slipped through the sleeping giant’s beds as I returned to the roof to make my way to the opposite end of the fort where a separate room and chimney lay. I know not what drove Curs actions next, but, he leapt up in the middle of the room and ran for the closed door. Halldor, hearing the ruckus, flung open the door for Cur to flee through, but was not fast enough to close it. As fortune would have it, I was able to get a Thunder-fire ball spell, I had only recently mastered, cast into the middle of the waking giants through the fireplace as the hill giant guard hit the door. That was our unwanted signal to begin, for Flavious and Halldor began battle with the hill giant and outside, Delita leapt from the room to the midst of the worgs and battle began. Delita flipped, spun and kicked his way about like an angry dervish on fire and around him animals whined and bones broke. while inside, Flavious and Halldor fended off blow after angry blow from the hill giant.

After a few moments of swift blows, combat settled in and the first hill giant fell as a second guard arrived in the bedroom doorway. Outside, two giant avalanchers joined the battle with little effect on the monk who continued to duck and dodge always appearing just removed from where one expected to see him. The giants grew confused if they had begun the battle with order, it swiftly broke down and the dogs and giants began clawing over each other in a useless attempt to grab hold of the flying monk.

As the battle continued I entered the second bedchamber in hopes of finding leads to who was driving the giants to such order only to find more gold tossed around as if it were but pebbles in a rock garden…..

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Into the Dragons Storm
Taking the blue from the sky

592cy Season of Growfest on Waterday, the 11th day of the month of Planting, 592 cy
Early morning, sitting in yet another dwarf cave, watching them slather on meat dripping with fat, swilling on ale, our new friend Halldor appears as happy as the troll we encountered last night eating one of our hippogriffs. You may wonder what I am talking about, and that is fare. Kemp Consum rushed us out of his tunnels and quickly onto the backs of hippogriff mounts, which had been trained by a Baraka the Halfling. Baraka was kindly enough and helpful is getting us all mounted and strapped in so we could fly through the night in relative safety to the forward scout base deep in giant held territory. For several hours we flew through the air uneventfully, following our guide, and, for me, enjoying this form of travel greatly. I have never had the opportunity to ride such a mount I felt more connected with the sky and free, exhilarating. But I digress, as darkness crept upon us we flew below storm clouds, the powerful beat of the hippogriff wings sending us forward when with a flash of light to the right of us unnatural lighting left from the clouds, striking Flavious’s mount, killing the beast instantly and sending him tumbling toward his death.

With lightning like reflexes, almost as if he felt a tremor in the dark, and some deity reached his hand down through the night guiding his actions, Cur banked his mount hard to the right and dove toward the earth coming below the falling Flavious, who was able to at the last moment flip through the air landing behind Cur on the mount as if it were part of a traveling circus act. Rest assured, I was stunned by what I had just witnessed, and this was the cause of late entrance into the insanity that followed, for insanity is the only way to describe it.’

As Flavious pushed off the falling mount, propelling himself forward, from the dark cloud above burst a blue dragon, its powerful wings folded along its body, head thrust forward, mouth open with many rows of teeth as long as dagger glistening in its mouth, snapping deliberately at Flavious. But to the creature’s dismay, its mouth slammed shut on nothing but air. With a roar of anger the dragon snapped its wings sharply outward and with two beats and a hard turn of its body showed the true agility and power of these beasts. The young dragon hovered momentarily in the air looking for its next meal, spotted Cur and Flavious on a hippogriff and began to run on them. And that is when the unexpected happened.

Diving in with Delita behind him, Baraka swept passed the dragon hopeful that he could distract the dragon from its prey. This action, unbeknownst to Baraka, provided Delita the opportunity to out due the actions of Aerix and Lord Drysdale in the defense of Restwell keep, for Delita leapt off the mount, tumbling through the air, and landing on the great beasts back. As he landed, he drove his fists between the creature’s scales forcing roars of pain and thus locking onto its back.

As the dragon lashed out in the air attempting to dislodge the man from his back, Halldor to the left and Cur with Flavious to the right began to attack taking several shots at the beasts head stunning it while the beast lashed out in response. The dragon let out a several blasts of lightning at the harassing enemies as Delita clawed his way up the beast’s powerful neck. Halldor then swung his great hammer in a great arc, bands of magical energy building around it and struck the beast in the head, wrapping it in crackling energy and causing it to be unable to build enough energy to move away, swiftly followed by Delita striking the beast in the top of the head, providing the final stunning blow that caused the two of them to begin a tumble to the ground. As it began to fall, a final blast of lightning burst from its mouth in a roar catching Cur’s hippogriff in the face, killing it instantly, and he and Flavious joined the dragon and Delita in a fatal plunge toward the ground.

As fate would have it, and to Cur’s surprise, in that moment, I was able to reach out with my magic and catch the small gnome, teleporting him to the back of my mount. Sadly, I was not able to do the same for Flavious and Delita. With a loud crash the Dragon, Delita, hippogriff and Flavious hit the ground. Thankfully the beasts dampened the fall for my friends and stunned they were both able to rise. As the dragon turned its hungry maw toward Flavious the mighty Halldor swooped past striking the great beast in the forehead with his mighty hammer.

The dragon lay dead at Flavious’ feet with Delita standing on its back. Halldor and the rest of us landed to pick up our friends when from the tree line burst a pack of hungry trolls. As we had far yet to travel and were deep in enemy territory, we chose to depart as having the armies of the invaders close on our position was, while somewhat desirable, not our purpose here.

After several more hours of nervous flight we arrived in the cave. None the less worse of save the loss of two hippogriff mounts. A greater loss for Baraka than us, but time may prove that even to be false. So here I sit, watching Halldor feast with his fellow dwarfs, our company settling in for some much needed rest, wondering, what could possibly top today? I am hard pressed to come up with an answer, save; only the gods can know. What I do know is that on the morrow, we go in search of giants. As for now, that meat looks tasty, and the ale looks cold, so I think I shall partake.

Mallador Stormwind.

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Leaving Hochoch
Is that an obelisk protruding from Cur or a spear?

From the Diary of Mallador Stormwind
592cy Season of Growfest on Waterday, the 5th day of the month of Planting, 592 cy
Appropriate, we could suppose, that we started our journey as new life is being planted and begins in the fields around Hochoch. For we go forth, by all appearance, as seeds of a new beginning in the war to bring order and life back to the lands so harmed by the Giants just as a storm would destroy the fields and homes of those in its path.

After traveling south from Restwell Keep on the long road it is a great relief to be sitting in this fine home, sipping the finest wine as we listen to Sir Wassmuth introducing his guests; Lloyd Kopper from Gorna, the dwarf Breggo of the Ironveard clan, Delanna the Councilor of Hochoch, and two locals that will act as guides for our quest, a ranger, Flavious the Yunger and Sir Halldor Aegisvegg dwarf of the Kinghts of Dispatch, and Sir Roja a local Cavalier.

Venix Reepi, Cur, and I listen to the plans of these nobles with a keen ear. If what they propose is true, we should be able to drive a swift steak into the heart of these invaders and create the opportunity for the peoples of Geoff to retake their lands. I am sure the benefit would be great to all in this room, although if we fail, I suppose our hosts have little skin in the game at this point, and would likely find other companies to help drive the giants from their prior homes. But, since our home, Restwell Keep, owes allegiance to the Geoff, we but uphold our duty to our lords by attending to this matter.

Oddly, as we sit here listening to the most powerful of the City, our friend Delita has been arrested as a spy. Not only must we now deal with the giants, but we must break our friend the monk from the gallows and flee as wanted men. Odd how these things tend to drive one to action, so we prepare to depart, when the door flies open and in bounds Delita. It would appear that the city dungeons have no better ability to hold him than does the claws of the spawn of Shoth-Gorag.
592cy Season of Growfest on Moonsday, the 9th day of the month of Planting, 592 cy

Ships, boats, water. I so have enjoyed the journey down the Javan River on this small vessel as I have spent much time on the bow feeling the wind in my hair and the power within the winds. I have always had an affinity for storm powers, and here I can feel the flow I was taught to harness move constantly around me. It is sad that we must depart this part of our trip, although, it has been uneventful and quiet, save for the ever louder snores from Cur keeping us all awake at night. I think perhaps he enjoys this shipboard grog overmuch for one so small. But time to move on…

592cy Season of Growfest on Godsday, the 10th day of the month of Planting, 592 cy
Having spent the night encamped in the hills of the Stark Mound, we are glad that, so far, we have travelled without encountering any of the foul beast who have taken these lands for their own. Breakfast on the road is always such fun, as the food is dry, the coffee over-hot, and the pains of sleeping on the ground in a tent keep one aware of the hardships yet to be had. With luck, by tonight we will find this Halfling hideout and some measure of safety and find out the final details of the plan.

The events of this midday took a swift and exciting turn. As we crested a small hill we caught site of the Obelisk. A large ancient stone thrusting from the ground sitting atop a mount sloping fifty feet above the surrounding country side. Along the base of the mound could be found deep trenches excavated by some unknown defenders with numerous large boulders scarred throughout. We dismounted and began searching for clues to the area and soon discovered the remains of a battle between dwarves and giants. Under some of the boulders could be found remains of the poor dwarves who had been too slow to move from the giants hurled stones. Cur, Venix and Delita all found camp equipment and I found on one body an idol to a dwarf god.

As I said a prayer for these fallen defenders, I hoped that this gnome encampment still existed. Then, on a-sudden, Delita shouted that from the west enemies approached. We all mounted our horses and headed toward the obelisk in hopes of finding a defendable position, as these trenches did not save the last group of defenders. Within moments, galloping onto the flat could be seen, mounted on giant worgs, four Goliath Knights with armor and lances and stranger yet, they were lead by a hill giant an immense worg the likes of which I had not believed possible. Surely, these giants must be lead by some sinister and powerful cabal or leader to have some so far as to behave almost like civilized people. It reminded me much of those circus monkeys dressed as people sipping coffee as part of a show, but these monkeys were giants with spears long as a knight’s lance.

Cutting between my friends as they headed to the obelisk, I moved forward and dismounted, placing myself between the oncoming attackers and my company. With care, I raised up my orb and summoned up the powers of the storm blending in the fires of the earth and sent fourth a ball of fire which quickly expanded into a burst of thunder within their midst. Having only just mastered the missing of fire and storm magic I was taken by the power and beauty of the result, when my horse pulled back on its reins causing me to lose my footing in the rocks and fall.

At the obelisk, Delita and Cur shouted that they found a secret entrance and that we all must hurry before our foe was too close. As the giants recovered from the shock of the blast and regained control of their scared worgs, I stood and slapped my horse on the butt sending it fleeing for its life, I then turned my attention back to the giants.

Realizing the peril they had run toward, the giants split off, one to the right and one to the left, while the hill giant leader and two more ran straight toward us. I drew from the sky a storm of ice that rained down on the leader and the two goliaths riding nearest him causing the ground to freeze locking the worgs paws to the ground and freezing the hill giant to the worgs seat. The rest of the company located a way into the tunnels as the goliath to the right neared and threw his spear at me.

Seeing the large spear headed my way, I swiftly waved my hand and in a puff of smoke, I vanished, his spear falling harmlessly to the ground behind where I had been. As I reappeared next to the obelisk amongst my friends, I noticed Sir Roja on a rope with magic all round, as the hole was in fact a trap for the giants. To the left of Sir Roja was a side tunnel hidden from site and with faith in his gods and companions, Sir Roja swung himself through the false image landing in safety.

I followed Sir Roja down the rope and into the tunnel as Cur moved from the entrance advancing on the giants. Was he still inebriated from the boat ride? One wondered, but he cast forth his magic, briefly causing the giants to delay, as my last bit of magic was sent forth blasting the Hill Giant leader form his mount with a bolt of lightning. Delita climbed down the rope as Cur stone alone against the giants, suddenly, he took a spear the chest throwing him off his feet landing him hard on his back.

The goliath and its warg advanced on Cur, knowing its first meal of the day was but moments away when Cur vanished, only to reappear at the edge of the tunnel. Grabbing the rope, Cur flung himself within and onto the ledge with the rest of us. Looking up, he observed that we were all looking to the rear of the cave, for standing there were several fierce looking dwarves chattering at us. After some time and with help of a little magic we were able to talk with them and convince them of our good intent. They lead us to their leader, the Gnome Kemp Consum,
592cy Season of Growfest on Godsday, the 10th day of the month of Planting, 592 cy

Early afternoon, and we sit within the hole Kemp Consum calls home. Reunited with Flavious the Yunger and Sir Halldor Aegisvegg we are informed that the next leg of our journey must begin immediately, with little to no time for rest. Events are moving faster than we anticipated. Swiftly, Venix patched up Cur and we prepared to depart after a quick meal of gnomish make and a sip of stout dwarf ale.

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