The Zen Game Master

Meditations on the games I play and the things I geek.

Against the Giants: Chapter 1, Part 5

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  • Kargarn listened at the door to the marshaling room and heard footsteps. He estimated there were two or three individuals in the marshaling area and he motioned for the rest of the group to keep quiet.
  • Suddenly, Shadow was enveloped by smoky dragon wings and disappeared as well.
  • Chunt and Theodin appear into a well-lit circular chamber with a natural pool filling the center of the room. A few albino tadpoles swim lazily in the water. The ceiling is a poorly hewn stone dome that goes up 35 feet.
  • Chunt had once heard a worrisome story from a bard about tadpoles so he used his loincloth to protect his posterior.
  • Shadows appeared and Chunt nearly took his head off with one of his axes.
  • Chunt drank deeply of the water and it did not have any adverse effects on the minotaur. While partaking of refreshments, he noticed a tunnel at the bottom of the pool leading away from the room. Chunt tossed a rock into the pool and discovered there was a current strong enough to tumble the stone out of sight.
  • Theodin remembered he had a potion of water breathing and wondered if they should investigate the current. He asked if they should do that or look for their friends. Chunt wondered if they were still in the same dungeon and Theodin confirmed from the cut of the stone in the wall he thought they were still in the same place. So they decided to look for their friends.
  • Kargarn heard the footsteps in the marshaling area disappear to the north. Kargarn and Cara barricaded the door from the bugbear warren to the marshaling room and then went to check out the doors to the south. They did not know where their friends were but they were determined to find them.
  • Through each of the three doors in the hallway, they found whimpering orcs who were too scared of the PCs to do much of anything. The orcs were slaves of the hill giants and as far as the PCs could tell, their spirits had been broken. Cara left them with these words of encouragement, “You belong to no one. Don’t hurt humans.” Stephen earned inspiration for stumping the DM.
  • As the group moved farther west, Cara spotted a pair of burly hill giants. They were mumbling about torturing someone to get them to talk.
  • Meanwhile, the other PCs were trying to figure out how to get back to their allies. Theodin checked the floor for tracks and realized there was a lot of traffic between the pool they had appeared by and the hallway leading away to the south. They decided to follow the most heavily trod path. Shadow stealthily scouted ahead while Chunt breathed heavily in Theodin’s ear. Shadow quickly realized this hallway led to the marshaling area.
  • While Shadow had been silent, Theodin and Chunt were not as quiet and the two hill giants (seen by the other PCs) heard them enter the marshaling area. They moved to investigate and the battle was joined!
  • Unfortunately, the two hill giants did not provide much of a challenge and both of them went down before Chunt could even reach the battle. The minotaur warrior was NOT happy!
  • Fortunately, another battle was not far off. Around the corner were jail cells and four bugbears were guarding them. More battle!
  • In the cells were more orcs but these had not been broken like the ones the PCs found earlier. The PCs learned these orcs, along with their leader, Herzog, who had chosen not to be enslaved by the hill giants. They fought back and managed to escape into caves which connected to the dungeon under the steading.
  • Cara (and others) proposed an alliance and warned the orcs what would happen if the orcs betrayed them. The orcs insisted Herzog would need to decide on an alliance and offered to take the PCs to him.
  • The orcs took the PCs to the rubble in the hallway. They called to someone on the other side and rocks were pulled away until there was room enough to pass through.
  • Beyond the blocked hallway, the PCs were escorted into the caves and found a large number of orcs and a pair of orog, one of which was Herzog.
  • Cara proposed an alliance but Herzog said he was more interested in finding a way out for his people. They discussed fighting their way out of the steading but Chunt suggested using the pool with the underground water flow. Although this was a clear path, Herzog knew the waterway was at least a couple miles long and his people would not be able to hold their breath long enough to traverse it.
  • Draeven realized he would cast water-breathing on all of the orcs which would enable them to use the waterway as an escape route. Herzog asked what the PCs would want in return and Cara [basically] said Herzog and his people would owe her a boon. Now possessing a plan, the group decided to proceed.
  • The PCs escorted the orcs to the pool.
  • In route, the group ran into the source of the footsteps Kargarn had heard earlier. The PCs threw themselves into hill giant and ogre who blocked their path and destroyed them.
  • At the pool, Draeven used his magic and the orcs escaped. Although the PCs could have left as well, they decided they still had work to do.

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