Rise of the Runelords (Candy)

Jorgenfist

13th of Abadius of 4708 AR
Upon the trail through the iron peaks, the heroes come across a party of 6 stone giants and their pet dire bears. Gilgamesh casts his Tiny Hut spell making an opaque gray sphere that they hide in as the place the horses behind the sphere. They begin to cast spells at the giants and bears and a grueling battle ensues. Volo chases the last giant around a bend and finds that he is running and trying to yell at a tower on the outskirts of a large building that he assumes to be Jorgenfist. He runs back in the other direction. Calach continues the chase and casts a fireball, slaying the last giant. He notices smoke coming from the top of the watch tower, and he begins to flee as Nia rounds the bend. They all retreat, meet up together and withdraw to the Storval Stairs to discuss what their next step is on the journey. Volo climbs the surrounding ruins to take up watch, to ensure they were not followed. He informs the party that he will use the light from the compass as a signal to warn the others if something is spotted.

After some time, Volo flashes his light. A few members mount their horses and speed away to await the worst. Calach flies up to Volo, who takes him to a cave to show him a dead harpy. He states he saw one those creatures spying on the party from above. They fought, as Volo shows his wounds. She however flew off. Volo was unsure if she was allied with the giants. They catch up with the others, and find that the bend that was stone shaped into a narrow ledge was returned to normal. The party decides to ride back to Gilgamesh and Henry Alberto to inform them that there were no giants there. The travel an hour away from the Storval Stairs and make camp. Calach, studies the camp for an hour while Bruiser and Nia set up camp. Com sets up his table and begins work on his magic items. Calach, Gilgamesh and Volo teleport off while invisible to do some reconnaissance. When they are within line of sight, Gilgamesh casts arcane eye. He uses it to look around the building to find some sort of sewer entrance but found none. He looked around the interior of the courtyard to try to find the same, but found none. When the spell ended, Calach teleported them back to camp. Gilgamesh explains what he saw. They sleep for the night.

14th of Abadius of 4708 AR
When the party awakes, the clerics and wizards study or pray. Calach and Com bathe as others eat and agree to spy upon the camp for some more time. There is then some argument as to whom should go, as Volo states that Gilgamesh could magically spy upon them safely alone.

Gilgamesh, Bruiser and Calach teleport away while invisible so that Gilgamesh could cast another arcane eye spell. Bruiser hears the sound of running water from a river further out and directs Gilgamesh to look in that direction. He finds a running river, and explores 2 caves in that area. He finds one crawling with a multitude of insects, but could not view the back, as it was unnaturally dark and full of webs. The other seemed to be the lair of 5 wyverns. He spots another cave on the other side of the valley on the face of a sheer walled cliff filled with treasure. He takes time to view some of the tribal camps and get an idea of their numbers.

They return back to camp and Gilgamesh shares all that he learned, as the others try to formulate a plan. Calach teleports back to the camp. He uses all his stoneshape spells to create a bridge from one side of the river to the other and handholds from the bridge up to the wyvern cave. He spends some time studying the area on the other side of the river to add to his repertoire of teleport spots. He returns to the party, and Gilgamesh informs him that the wyvern cave had no possible entry point to Jorgenfist.

15th of Abadius of 4708 AR
Bruiser divides a number of silver coins among the party. The heroes argue as to whom shall enter bags of holding to reduce the number of teleport spells to use to make to the wyvern cave trip. Gilgamesh hands his bag of holding to Bruiser to hold. Status and Shiled Other is cast by Com on Bruiser and then heroes hop into bags of holding to begin the process. They all are teleported to the area across the river. Henry Albert casts Status and Shield Other on Nia when they appear. They travel across the bridge and climb the stone ladder to the cave.

A battle ensues with 5 wyverns as they roar when the band of heroes emerge from the mouth of the cave. The heroes emerge victorious. Volo stealthily walks out to check if any of the giants above heard the commotion. He notices 2 giants above looking down pointing at the bridge. A few more join them and they look to be ready to throw boulders at anything that comes out of the mouth of the cave. He informs the others using hand gestures. Calach turns invisible and flies out of the cave to survey what is going on above. Gilgamesh searches the cave and finds: a fire opal (200gp), a chest with a Staff of Heaven and Earth, 1,435gp, and 2,987sp.

Calach returns to the cave. Informs Volo, still waiting at the entrance hidden from giant sight, that he will be addressing the party. He discussed that he saw 8 stone giants seeming to wait to throw boulders at what leaves the cave, as well as one strange giant that was able to see him while invisible. The all discuss different options as to what to do next.

The giants begin to lob giant boulders at the bridge and then the entrance of the cave. Calach in consultation with Bruiser begin to cast stone shape spells to tunnel to the cave above them. They then make small air holes at the entrance to the cave. The heroes then settle in to camp for the day.

Gilgamesh casts arcane eye and sends the sensor out of the cave through an air hole. He notices 3 stone giants and 2 dire bears on the other side of the bridge outside the cave. Above, the strange female giant, harpies and some stone giants remain watching the bridge and cave. His eye is sent to the cave of treasures far to the northeast, but found it too dark to observe anything inside. The eye is then sent to Jorgenfist, to view what appeared to be a large mess hall full of supplies, long tables, benches and casks of ale with a large cave grizzly bear 14 feet tall. The black tower had 3 harpies perching at the top, while the nearby guard tower had 2 stone giants with a pile of 50 stones at the ready for each. The spell then ends.

The heroes turn in. Calach, Nia and Henry Albert notice smoke coming into the cave from the air holes. Calach uses a stone shape spell to close the air holes. Nia escorts Calach through the tunnel and he shapes air holes into the other cave above. He also casts dancing lights in the cave. Com casts status (at around 11 pm) on Gilgamesh, Bruiser and Calach.

16th of Abadius of 4708 AR
The party awakes. After praying, studying, eating rations and picking up their personal belongings, they head off up the tunnel. Status is cast by the 2 clerics on Nia and Bruiser. Calach casts mage armor, mirror image and then stone shape on the last portion of the tunnel as he is covered in crawling bugs. Bruiser pulls him back and enters the cave first. The cave seems to crawl. Countless bloated, many-legged insects trample one another as they carpet the floor and climb the walls, creating a susurrus of a million clicking bug legs. The deepest part of the cave seems to be unnaturally thick with fallen webs and darkness. The rest of the party enters from the opening below. As they continue forward using dancing lights from Calach, they are assaulted with sprays of web and a movement of some well-hidden hideous creatures catches their eyes. The creatures resemble stocky, partially decayed spiders the size of horses. The battle ensues. Calach and Gilgamesh fling spells at the beasts. As Bruiser meets one head on, he becomes poisoned by the small swarm of arachnids that seem to be oozing from the large decayed spider. After a few more spells and sword hits from Bruiser and Nia, the beasts are slain. Upon closer inspection of them, the horrid truth is revealed – they are animated shells of giant spiders that were infested with swarms of equally undead arachnids. As the others look around, Volo stealthy approaches the opening of the cave to look out. He finds stone giants and dire bears on the bridge below trying to clear some stone. As he looks up, he sees 2 harpies (one that stares in his direction and points), 2 stone giants, and a strange female stone giant.

He informs the others that he believes he was spotted. As the others continue to search the area, Gilgamesh casts Tiny Hut and then Detect Magic to watch the front of the cave. He is the only one to see an invisible flying harpy approach the cave entrance to look in. They hear her yell to those above, “They have spellcasters and I do not see the master’s pets!” She flies off for the time being. The party begins to make their way to the webs (Gilgamesh ends the Tiny Hut spell as soon as he leaves it). Com and Bruiser use Freedom of Movement to reach some areas that were glowing under the detect magic spell and retrieve some magical weapons from withered spun bodies (+1 longsword, +2 Halbred, a druid staff containing the spellstaff spell having a rusting grasp spell stored in it (CL12)). Nia and Calach continue to use torches or acid spells to make a tunnel through the web to the back. After some searching, a secret door is found in the back of the tunnel behind the webs. As Volo searches it for traps, he opens it. Bruiser begins to walk in with Calach’s Dancing Lights behind him to look around.

At that moment, a harpy appears at the opening and begins singing. Gilgamesh becomes captivated by her song, and begins to walk towards her. Nia runs after him, attempting to grapple him unsuccessfully. Gilgamesh reaches the harpy, who begins to unleash a flurry of blows as he stands there seemingly entranced. The others begin to travel to his direction and the battles ensues. Gilgamesh eventually ends up flying at the lip of the cave while following this harpy. Spells are slung, swords are swung, but the harpy remains in flight. Another harpy joins the foray, and begins to sing. The 2 clerics become captivated by her song and begin to travel towards the ledge. One harpy attempts to grapple Henry Albert at the lip of the cave. Nia grapples Gilgamesh and pulls him into the cave, as he receives a fist from the harpy that seems to stun him now as well. The clerics come out of their trance right before they step off the lip of the cave. It was a grueling battle, but at the end the harpy falls from the sky below.

The heroes pick up what they can and move towards the secret door. They continue to have conversation near the open entrance. Com casts light on his morning star and Calach casts dancing lights above Bruiser before walking in. As everyone walks in Calach casts mage armor on himself. As they enter the maze of tight, dark tunnels they hear the clink of metal and varied whispers in the darkness alongside the echoes they make themselves as they continue to yell their conversations. As they come across the first intersection, they encounter 3 miniscule, wicked old men with metal boots and a blood-red pointed cap. A battle ensues. The fight is arduous as these stubborn creatures continue to arrive around corners. Gilgamesh, during battle, attempts to cast mage hand to remove the hat of one of these creatures, but the spell fizzles away. The heroes are eventually victorious. As a fatigued Nia take a knee to rest, they review the bodies and take what spoils they can. Gilgamesh making sure to take some putrid caps into his position that appear to have been given their red color by being smothered in dried blood, of what or whom it is unknown. After traveling the maze-like tunnels for some time, they come across an entrance to a larger cavern. The members yell back, as their message reverberates from the cave system that they found perhaps an exit. They group back up and decide to continue forward after Calach casts a protection from evil spell.

As they enter the cavern they see, with the help of dancing lights sent ahead, that the cave is cluttered by tiny mounds of carefully sorted junk – bones, scraps of armor, broken weapons, stones, dead rats, and sections of chitin harvested from large vermin. A net hammock hangs from a pair of stalagmites in a corner. The glint of something shiny catches your eye in the middle of the cave – it seems to be a necklace of some sort. Bruiser and then Nia approach it as the others begin to walk in. Gilgamesh casts detect magic, and sense it is magical, but also senses a presence further in the room that is magical as well. All this in time to see the glint of a bead fly through the air and hit the necklace near the warriors. A series of explosions fills the room as Bruiser and Nia are caught in the fireballs. A female kobold in the corner, begins to foam at the mouth and attacks. Shortly after 2 ogres enter the cave as well from another direction. Gilgamesh turns invisible and stays in the back of the cave watching another entrance as the others fight the battle. After the enemies are defeated, a female stone giant approaches the entrance that is being watched by Gilgamesh and he yells a warning ahead. She approaches Henry Albert with her arms raised and begins to speak to him in a language he does not understand. She seems to gather there is no understanding between them and begins to speak in common tongue, “I don’t have much time, but know that if you are here to slay Mokmurian, I am your ally. Come with me to a place where we can speak in peace, for I would aid you in your quarrel here — without my assistance you might find only your graves below Jorgenfist.” Henry Albert approaches the others with her and relays the message.

After taking what they could from the kobold and ogres, they quietly follow her to what appears to be a small shrine. The walls of the cave are painted with red, yellow, , brown, and black figures, among which are apparent images of giants, mammoths, elk, deer, and wyverns. Others are harder to figure out: ogres, perhaps or giant children, or even humans. The dwarves are very clear, with beards and tiny axes being crushed under enormous giant feet. A simple oil lantern lights the small alter at the far end of the cavern. A modest offering of antlers, hooves, and patches of fur are piled up on the alter. The paintings seem to dance in your peripheral vision, but when you turn to look at them they are still.

She tells her story. When Mokmurian first came to these caves, he set up this small shrine dedicated to his people’s ancestral spirits. As he became more and more obsessed with Thassilon, his interest in religion waned and after he returned from a place he called Xin-Shalast, his first act in this chamber was to sacrifice Vanderrec, the father of his old tribe and my husband. I am the deposed mother of his tribe, Conna the Wise. I have tended to this shrine since his blasphemous sacrifice. The others have steered clear of this cave, as they know it is haunted by my husband’s spirit. After answering some questions, she informs you that Mokmurian spends almost all his time in the library level below this one. She cannot accompany you, as tradition mandates she cannot. Once a giant elder has been deposed, that elder must not directly oppose the new ruler. She draws a crude map for you of the area and only asks that of the heroes encounter any more stone giants, you defeat them without killing them if possible. She understands if you cannot, as her kin have brought this doom to themselves through their actions or inaction. She only hopes to save what little she can of her tribe after Mokmurian is slain. She should be able to grant them safe passage after taking control of at least her clan, however if she cannot she knows they have the ability to teleport out. Word of this has spread to their ears here by others. She warns them that she fears the perhaps Mokmurian has fallen under the influence of a powerful evil spirit. She heard him whisper a name when he felt he was alone. The name is “Karzoug, a name she recognizes from secret myths shared by the elders. Karzoug was one of those who enslaved her people, and if Mokmurian has fallen victim to this Ancient Lord’s influence, the danger facing her people and all of Varisia may be greater than anyone knows.”

The heroes make an alliance with Conna, take refuge and rest here while they can to discuss what direction they should head.

17th of Abadius

After some argument is to what direction they should approach the library entrance from, a portion of the group believes they should pass the imprisoned dragons. Gilgamesh makes mention that he can take care of them, as he practically killed the red dragon a Sandpoint himself. Conna informs them that although the dragons are imprisoned, waiting to be sacrificed to Karzoug, they do not fight. They have been charmed by the Lamias.

They approach the pens of the dragons, where they are chained to the walls. Gilgamesh approaches their area, casts a cold fireball spell and then retreats into the tunnel. The now enraged dragons unleash their fire breaths into the tunnel the heroes are currently in. One of them seems to send a warning to the lamias in the next room. There is some argument as to what to do next. Bruiser and Nia wait for Gilgamesh to sling his spells to kill the dragons as he had suggested earlier. He refuses and yells that he and should enter the fray themselves now. There is a battle of words between the heroes as the dragons continue their barrage of fire. Eventually, the warriors enter the cave and battle the dragons head on, eventually slaying them.

Rounds we left off with: 1. DM, 2. Gilgamesh, 3. Volo, 4. Henry Albert, 5. Bruiser, 6. Nia, 7. Com, 8. Calach.

Jorgenfist_fortresse.jpg

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