The Zen Game Master

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

Against the Giants: Chapter 1, Part 9

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The PCs had found Chieftain Nosn’ra treasure vault but it was protected by a pack of catoblepas. They knew nothing of the creatures and had lost all advantage when the PCs accidentally chased the beasts off before they could be dispatched. The portcullis raised, the PCs suddenly found themselves without the protection they had enjoyed only a moment before.

  • Cara quickly dashed into the lair of the catoblepas and the game session began with combat. The group rushed the creatures and managed to keep them mostly pinned despite the death rays and horrid stench of the monsters. Once the catoblepas were destroyed, the PCs laid claim to Nosn’ra’s treasure horde.
  • The PCs tore through the chests they found a horde of coins of all types, gems, jewelry, and a couple of magic items. Two of the chests were trapped and Chunt set both of them off with little regard.
  • Throwing caution to the wind, he smashed the seventh and final chest. He immediately regretted it. Minotaur horns scattered across the floor and Chunt was devastated. A minotaur’s horns are a symbol of their personal honor and to claim those horns as a trophy is a vile crime against all of minotaur-kind. Chunt felt this even more keenly as he had lost his horns when he faced the cyclops. He was filled with rage and quickly became consumed by it. He collapsed to his knees and burst into tears. The group quickly moved to console him. From the markings on the horns, Chunt knew them to belong to one of the herds which patrolled the edge of the Wasted Wests and protected more civilized worlds. The group gathered them up and vowed to return the horns of the fallen to their people.
  • Kargarn tended to the group’s wounds and they decided to take a short rest. Theodin identified the magic items they found in the treasure horde which included an Amulet of Health (Callie) and a Temple Sword +2 (Cara). Kargarn also channeled the divine nature of Ninkash and transformed the liquid in his waterskin into holy brew. Everyone partook of the spirits and was blessed by Ninkash. The PCs were buzzed.
  • The group finally decided to finally take Callie’s advice and backtracked to make sure the hill giants were not hiding in the rooms behind them. They made their way to the pool and then down to the room where they found the cowardly orcs but all of the rooms were empty. They speculated on where the giants and their servants had gone but no one knew for sure. They retreated to the false treasure room and Shadow worked the gears in the first trapped chest to reverse the portcullis in the northeast corner of the room.
  • The portcullis opened into a hallway. At the beginning of the hallway, Theodin and Kargarn spotted the telltales signs of a dwarven crafted secret door. They easily found the mechanism to open the door which revealed a hidden storeroom. Shadow moved into the room and did not notice a pit trap at the entrance to the storeroom. He fell into the pit and after he picked himself up he freed himself by stepping through the shadows.
  • The hidden storeroom appeared to hold two crates and a broken barrel. Shadow also noticed the southern wall was covered with yellow mold. In fact, the room was filled with illusions, one last defense against would-be thieves. Theodin dispelled the illusions and found 1) a small black metal box where the barrel was, 2) an ancient elven quiver hanging on the wall with finely crafted arrows, 3) a long spear of impeccable craftmanship, and 4) a short sword with a blade formed to resemble a flame. Shadow claimed the short sword, Chunt claimed the long spear, and Cara collected the remaining items to be divvied up later.
  • In the black box was a smaller cask which held a pair of scrolls and a long, circular chain. Picking up the first scroll Shadow realized it was crafted from human skin and Theodin refused to touch it. Kargarn examined the scroll (without touching it) and discovered the chain was a magical device which could teleport one giant-sized individual or 6 medium-sized creatures to a single location far to the north. He explained to the group how to use the item and cast a sacred flame to destroy the scroll. The second scroll was a map which marked a location in the kingdom of Jotunheim in the north, deep in the Blodejord Mountains. They surmised that was probably the location the chain would take them to. In the crates, they found gold and platinum coins, 15 gems of various sizes and colors, and 7 pieces of jewelry.
  • The group decided not to take time to identify the items. They needed to know what the hill giants were doing.
  • At the end of the short hallway, they found a second staircase going up. A storm had broken over the hill giant steading and the group could hear nothing above so they proceeded carefully. At the top of the stairs, they found a small room with no exits. In the southeast corner was a concealed door. They stealthily opened the door.
  • Beyond was a dining hall occupied by a single hill giant. Cara, Chunt, and Shadow quickly assassinated the hill giant, tossing its body into the fire.
  • They spotted three doors on the eastern wall. They heard a noise through the northernmost doors but the southern door was quiet. Through the southern door, they found an armory. Most of the weapon and armor was crafted for hill giants but they did find a javelin of lightning. Chunt also possessed one and recognized the make of the item (no identification necessary).
  • Through the northern doors (which both happened to open into the same location) was a long hallway which turned to the south. At the end of the hallway, Shadow spotted a hill giant on guard and dropped back into hiding before he was seen. They could hear more giants in a room beyond the guard. Also at the end of the hallway was another pair of doors, these leading to the north, and a single door leading to the east. Shadow heard multiple voices in the distant room speaking in giant. He used his racial abilities to mimic the voices he heard and tricked the guard into following the PCs into the hallway they ambushed and killed it. Chunt dragged the hill giant back into the dining hall and threw him into the fire.
  • Shadow carefully approached the room where he heard the voices. Nosn’ra was arguing with a female hill giant while others milled about the room (a stone giant, a storm giant, and a flab giant. A large brown bear rested between the chieftain and his wife and resting by a hearth was a medium-sized humanoid wearing a mask. Callie listened through the double set of doors in the hallway and believed she heard wolves on the other side.
  • The group was debating what to do next when they heard Nosn’ra’s voice rising above the rest. Shadow mimicked what he said to Kargarn and Kargarn translated. The chief had noticed one of his guards missing and had ordered others to find him. The PCs quickly retreated to the dining hall and closed the doors.
  • The stone giant, storm giant, and flab giant opened the doors and the battle began. The PCs were not familiar with the abilities of the flab and storm giants (and took a good hurting from them) but they managed to bring them low. The stone giant bellowed that he had no interest in dying for Nosn’ra and he retreated through the doors to the north.
  • Cara moved to the doors through which the stone giant fled and threw them open. A pack of dire wolves surrounded the stone giant and howled at the sight of her.


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