WORK IN PROGRESS…
Moira kneeled over Trisoll, rubbing his hand as she waited for him to come back to full consciousness. The spider’s bite had left him reeling, but between summoning some much needed blessings from his deity and Moira’s own holy touch, Trisoll’s recovery looked to be a speedy one. The bite wounds that once weeped with steaming venom had all closed shut, leaving only traces of dried blood and a tattered tunic in its wake. Moira herself was doing her best to keep her composure though. While her healing hands had certainly helped purge the poison and seal the wounds shut, the confrontation with the spiders had suffered another casualty. In the heat of battle, Lyssa’s wild flames had affected both friend and foe alike. Gone were her flaxen tresses, now replaced by a crowd of jagged, burned ends. The smell still clung to Moira as a horrible reminder, but vanity had no place on the battlefield. She steeled herself and quietly watched over the mending cleric while the others gathered up their things and rummaged the corpses of the spiders.
As Moira sat engaged with Trisoll, she could feel the air around her head begin to buzz with faint energy. Almost a ticklish feeling. Unremarkable at first, but slowly the warmth of the energy began to increase. Trisoll’s weary head turned to Moira and smiled. Moira herself was all the more confused, especially as scarlet threads of light began to cascade down the side of her face and form into pieces of champagne colored hair. Moira quickly turned around to see a strange sight looming over her. She saw Lyssa, her hand and eyes aglow, orchestrating threads of red energy that followed Moira’s head and seemed to mend the burned ends. The strange sight was Lyssa’s expression. Moira and the others had only know Lyssa’s signature gaze to be an extension (or warning) of a fit of rage. This time though, behind those glaring red eyes, her expression was placid and concentrated.
”Thank you,” Moira said as she stood, handling her newly mended hair between her fingers.
Lyssa nodded in acknowledgement and began to retract the magical mending threads of chaos magic back into her hand. ”Of course. I had no idea my power would surge with such an intensity back there, I hope this makes things a little better.”
”I know you didn’t. Cortox’s blessings to you.”
The last of the magic withdrawn, her eyes snapped back to their normal brown hue. ”Shall we?”
Moira smiled and nodded. Trisoll stayed laid on the ground, the exchange between the two women — though mildly awkward — a sign of hopefully better times to come. It was something that warmed his gentle heart a great deal.
They cross dusty, barren plains covered in shrubs. Trisoll takes a look out and sees horses and a wagon. He can’t make out any more than that.
“We ought to head them up.” Gr
Moira and Vetnik take the front, just in case the caravan proves to be hostile. They see that it’s a wagon and a single horse. It’s tipped over, a crash and a puff of dust with a bunch of men trying to push it up from a mini ravine. They appear to be fighting men. A couple are very short in stature. They appear to be dwarves and gnomes with 2 humans in company.
“1…2…3…” they call as they try to hoist the wagon up.
“Can I help you?” Vet
“HO! Who goes there? What knight are you? I don’t believe I’ve seen that armor before. “
“I’m not from around here.”
“Well, I’m Galrim.”
“Vetnik, Earl of Granrud.”
“Well, Earl of Granrud, come give us a hand.”
They all, except Galrim, do their best to push their weight, and slowly the wagon is lifted back onto the road. They all give thanks.
“Thank you very much, Xosten Wilcryn the gnome.”
“Thank you very much.” His tone is measured and not as frenetic as Burbis. He carries a spell book as well as a sword sheathed at his side. The others introduce themselves.
Half-elf: Alwyn Ayen, a ranger with a holy symbol of the forest god (XXXX)
Half-elf: Galather Eldrin, a ranger
Dwarf: Flurmin Bromdrak
“We’re on our way to the games right now.” Gal
“Where are they?” Vet
“I’m heading from greyhawk” Ve
“What are you doing out in the Cairn hills.”
“Dealing with Hill Giants.”
“Tell me more” he says with a snarl
“We’re following up on a rumor of treasure to be found in the hills.”
“What do you think boys, ya wanna throw in with these lot?” Gala
“I’m in, we’re in! Let’s go!” Flur
“Before jumping in, there is a curse supposedly.” Ve
“What dya think about that, boys?”
“As long as you’re not a suspicious man—“
“Gelwyn Thordoor is no suspicious man! The word of a Raven’s Claw is law. We’re good men.”
Vetnik sees a Raven’s claw brooch on Flurmin, Galather, and Galrim
“What say you, Lyssa?” V
“I suppose it can’t hurt to have extra help against Hill Giants.” Ly
“Of course. Just wanted to make sure you’re ok with bringing strangers.” V
“As long as they don’t get in my way.” Ly
“What about you, Thom?” V
“As long as we figure out our shares.” Th
“We can figure that out later.” V
“No, we should figure that out now. Keeps everything out on the table.” Tr
Thom approaches Flurmin, who’s calculating the cut. “You’re the smart man?” Flur
“No, just the only one who bothers to keep records.” Th
“You don’t keep track of treasure, and that’s when stabbing begins!” Flur “We propose we follow you. My group aren’t fans of the Hill Giants. Nay, they’re mortal enemies. 50/50 split?”
“How about 70/30” Gr
“I was thinking something a little more…” Flur
“What you finds you keep?” Ly
“11 part share on all coins, round robin on all items. Our find, we get first pick.” Th
“Let me takes these terms to my men.” Flur
“Let me tell ya about my men. Flurmin & Gala, we’re all Raven’s Claws. Like brothers.” Gal
“Who are they” Ve
“Small association of men, most demi human. I know it’s strange to hear a Dwarf claim a half elf as brother—“
“I don’t actually” Ve
“Alwyn is a cleric ranger, and Xostin the gnome is a fighter illusionist.”
Jep gets the reigns at the cart. The crew jeer “Take it easy this time!” and they follow the party on the way to the Cairn Hills. They come upon 18ft tall statues. One of a hill giant with a necklace of tusks holding a club. The other a hill giant, bearded, holding two maces low and high. Thom burns Strength on he and his brother. The cleric blesses the party while the Gnome begins to intone some unknown spell. Thom also puts invisibility on Grum. Just ahead they see a crypt entrance over the hill at the north, and a southern most crypt low in the valley. Further on are a series of barrows, huge burial mounds for the giants. Grum heads south to the crypt. It is unguarded. Inside, he sees a crudely made tomb. Mud hammered into place with clubs. Down in there, Grum sees that someone has been inside. A tomb has been opened and tossed and plundered.
“How long ago was it plundered?” Gel
“Not within the past day.” Gr
“Continue to scout out.” Th
Grum scouts ahead and sees a group of 4 hill giants moving up the hill. Grum darts aside. Grum sneaks up with his longsword and slashes, returning to visibility. The giant cries out and howls, the wound gushing! Galrim, when he hears the giants, throws out a Hill Giant insult which incenses them.
Lyssa sends forth Magic Meteors. All make their targets except one, which whizzes past the group of oncoming giants and explodes around Grum’s attacker. Flurmin steps up with an axe but misses. A hill giant swings at Thom with a tree, knocking him off of his horse. A second giant swings down at Lyssa with a giant hammer but she is nimble enough to evade. Moira jumps in to defend the mage at the attacker but misses her attack. Vetnik rides up with his spear and longsword between two of the undamaged giants and sticks them both. Thom casts Burning Hands over 3 of the giants. One of the giants’ loincloths are set ablaze. Another giant attacks Trisoll, slamming a large boulder into him. Grum quickly switches to his bow from his blade and fires two arrows at his giant but both miss. A 4th giant takes Moira to task with a tree but misses her. Galather the Ranger sends out two arrows but misses. He misses so bad he smacks himself in the face with his firing arm. Xostin casts a quick spell and he and all of his gear become Wraithform. Golrim blasts on of the giants with a war hammer embellished with copper gilding. Trisoll, bleeding from the face, looks up at the grey skies above and enters what appears to be a trance. His eyes roll back and suddenly the skies begin the crackle with thunder and lightning. Suddenly, a bolt crashes into the leader giant.
Thom throws Lyn to Grum and allows him to wield both Lyn and Sla. When both are held, the blades glow electric blue! Grum slashes twice and hits. As both hit, a lightning bolt erupts out of the blades and enters the body of the giant. The bolt sends such a shock through its body, its heart bursts and falls to the ground.
“Holy shit!” Gr
Galdriel the dwarf swings with his battle axe, glowing with an indigo glow, and slays the leader of the hill giants. Cutting it from shoulder to belly. Vetnik slashes at a giant with his longsword, cutting into his torso with great severity. Moira sees Vetnik take a chunk out of it and goes in to press her attack. Her first hit misses but the second she hits with Starstrike. Alwyn comes over and heals Trisoll who remains in a trance. Galather fires two arrows into a giant while Trisoll also cures himself with heal light wounds. Lyssa manipulates the giant with the flaming loincloth to turn into flames choking smoke that climb his body and choke the giant. Flurmin tries to swing but falls. The staggered giant attacks Grum but misses in his stumbling stance. Thom fires an arrow towards the face of the staggered giant and screams out in pain as its blinded. Xostin, in wraithform, casts a spell and summons a Storm Giant carrying a huge boulder. The choking giant runs as fast as he can away from it.
Vetnik gallops behind the remaining giant, misses with his spear but jams his sword into it and fells it. The running giant realizes the smoke is tied to its loincloth and tears the burning fabric off. Grum aims his arrows to the giant and lands one of them. Lyssa focuses her powers once more and rains down 5 magic meteors on the giant. Alywin adjusts himself and fires off two arrows expertly. One arrow lands in the left leg, breaking his knee. The shock is enough to fell the giant, dying from blood loss.
“Keep it down!” Galrim orders his cheering men. “There’ll be more time to celebrate later. Let’s strip the bodies.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Lys
They find 120 cp, 100 sp. Lyssa offers up the idea of possibly making some enchanted items from any hill giant armor they’re able to recover and return to Greyhawk.
Flurmin “I was hoping for a better return, but there crypts and barrows yet to be explored.”
They gather themselves together and head towards the southern crypt. Grum goes ahead and scouts alone, slipping in the shadows becoming untraceable. The crypt is unguarded and laden with treasure. Grum sees a single bottle peaking out from a pile of coin. He grabs it and makes his way out. Thom reveals that the bottle is a potion of healing. Grum salivates at the thought of going back in for more treasure.
Inside, 5000gp, 300ep, 300pp, 12gems. Lyssa casts detect magic over the space but the party’s presence only serves to dilute its potency.
Flurmin “I like the way you operate. It’s honest and builds trust.”
The party turns their attention to the Barrows in the center of the field. There, they come upon 4 more hill giants. One of them heaves a boulder at Grum but Grum evades, just barely. A second boulder flies and heads towards Alwyn and crashes into him. He’s thrown to the ground, bow thrown out of hand. Grum responds with Lyn and Sla but sees they are not longer glowing blue. He misses with Lyn but delivers a shocking stab with Sla. Trisoll blesses the party again. Galather shoots a pair of arrows, one misses the other just barely makes it. Moira rushes and slashes with Starstrike. Lyssa summons a radius of Darkness on the giants, enveloping their heads. “Use your arrows wisely!” she calls out. Vetnik sees this and rushes up, stabbing at the wounded giant and cuts into its leg. Thom fires off an arrow with great precision and shoots into his left leg, and brings it dying to the ground. Galrim leaps forward with his blue glowing battle axe, grazing a giant’s thigh the first time and slashing into his belly with a second swing. Flurmin swings with his hammer, smashing his right hand and dropping the giant’s weapon. Xostin unsheathes his sword and cuts into a giant.
Moira sees the example lead by the Raven’s Claw folk to attack a single giant at a time and aims to attack the injured giant, but misses. Vetnik manages to bring the injured giant down with a cut of his longsword. Grum leaps in to backstab a blinded giant with his shocking daggers and delivers a mighty blow. Lyssa attempts to throw a dagger at the shocked giant but it misses it. Xostin slashes at the shocked giant with his long sword. Alwyn fires 2 arrows but misses. Galather fires an arrow into his left leg and knocks the giant down. Galrim looks at the fallen giant and dismisses it. He swings twice, misses first but the second cuts into the giant’s leg. Trisoll hits with his shellalegh and puts the fallen giant out of his misery. Flurmin hits with his first arrow. Galrim is targeted by the last standing giant and is hit, but not enough to knock him down.
The last giant strikes out at Thom and hits with a tree trunk. He is in grave condition but still standing. Lyssa conjures a wave of burning hands while Vetnik stabs at the giant with his spear. Grum jams his shocking dagger into the giant and fells it.
“Those daggers are quite the find, my friend!” Alwyn to Grum “They carry the power of the storm.”
“I know!” Gr
Lyssa requests Moira’s assistance in carving up the body of one of the giants and she raids its organs for later use in potions and spells.
Alwyn burns cure light wounds on Galrim. Trisoll rushes to Thom and Moira follows, both of which heal him considerably.
“I told you to be sparing with the brooch, not too sparing” Lys to Th
“We should rest for a moment.” Ve
“Where are we going to rest?” Gal
“What about the abandoned crypt.” Gr
“What about the bodies?” Gal
“Ah, but there aren’t any bodies!” Xostin casts vacancy over the bodies and conceals them. “If you will allow me 30 minutes I can cast another spell to conceal our presence. The will appear unplundered.”
“I don’t see why not, if it keeps us out of harm’s way.” Lys
Xostin casts successfully. “If we’re to rest, now is the time.” Meditation and healing spells take place as they rest in the concealed crypt. While waiting in the crypt, Lyssa has a flash of a memory: Modius meeting a being called Quantus Lightbender, he sees this person and says “the pieces are coming together.”
The party rests for another round of healing. Lyssa watches as it gets darker outside but hears nor sees anything out of the ordinary.
They head towards the ridge. They see another giant statue, 4 feet taller, a giant with a fur pelt and necklace of skulls of various races. In one hand a tree, another is the corpse of a man. Invisiblity is cast over Grum and he tip toes down into the crypt. This one is larger and more ornate. In the middle is a mausoleum and mounds of treasure guarded by 4 armored hill giants.
“Big giants, but do we wanna talk about risk v. reward. There is reward!” Gr
“Illusionist, what can you do?” Ve
“I can try and conjure the image of a hill giant chieftain.” Xo
“We send Grum for a backstab, then Xaustin goes in with an illusion.” Th
“Vetnik was it? You’re a wise tactician.” Ga
“How much time to get into position?” Xo
Xostin finishes his casting and the party can hear the illusionary hill giant march in. The 4 giants are startled, as the illusion is modeled after one of their own standing in the room, a duplicate as it were. Grum slashes but his backstab but misses. The party empty into the tomb and a giant attacks at Galather, but misses him. Moira jumps in and slashes at the lead giant with Starstrike. A second giant lunges at Thom and smashes him with a war hammer. Vetnik slashes with his spear and sword, both of which hit. Galather fires two arrows, first hits second misses. Flurmin hits with his hammer while Trisoll casts a blessing. Alwyn fires two arrows both of which miss. A third giant comes for Trisoll and smashes him with a hammer. Thom swings but misses. The forth giant smashes into Galather. Galrim sees his man take a blow and cuts into the giant twice. Xostin slashes but misses. Grum breaks invisibility and jams his shocking dagger into the giant and shocks it to near death. Lyssa calls out to her comrades to stand back as she sends a fireball down the crypt. The leader of the pack is burned to death while the other three endure severe burns.
A giant slams his hammer down upon Galather and puts him down but not out. Thom summons a color spray and stuns one of the giants. Xostin slashes and misses. Lyssa aims her burning hands at two of the giants, the dazed giant and a 2nd. Grum retreats into the shadows with ease. Galather tries to fire a pair of arrows but is too weak to aim. Flurmin hits with his hammer. Vetnik slams his spear into one giant and hits. He jams his sword into a second. Moira slays the first giant she hits with her sword and takes a good chunk out of the second. Trisoll whips his shillelagh around but misses. Alwyn fires two arrows but misses. The last standing giant retaliates against Moira and bashes her with his hammer. Galrim slices with his axe and draws blood.
Xostin swings his sword but misses. Alwyn fires two arrows but misses again. Galather takes his revenge and drives his arrow through the chest of a giant, goring it. The giant sees Galather’s attack and swings but misses much to ranger’s relief. Moira slashes with Starstrike and cuts. Flurmin hammers and smashes the giant. Galrim cuts into the giant and forces and is finished off by Lyssa’s magic missiles.
The haul is grand. Thom deduces some of the items.
Philter of Persuasiveness – Leg
Potion of Flying – Rav
Elixir of Youth – Leg
Potion of Healing – Leg
Potion of Giant Control – Rav
Potion of Giant Strength – Rav
Potion of Climbing – Rav
Potion of Gaseuos Form – Rav
Dagger +4 – Leg
Spear +1 – Leg
8 Arrows +2 – Rav
Warhammer +1 – Rav
Leather Armor, human sized +1 – Leg
Gem of Seeing – Leg