Watch the game on YouTube at https://youtu.be/XWWk1pXhq1E.
Shadow Walker, the raven-folk rogue, emerged from the shadows along the street and criticized the group’s performance in the battle. Not everyone was happy to see the rogue but Chunt and Theodin quickly maneuvered to smooth things over… for now. Theodin asked how Shadow had been and Shadow’s answer was elusive. His life had been interesting (without revealing details) and he had spent much time in the rookeries (without saying which one) but he did feel honor-bound in his own way to respond to Draeven’s letter. Theodin’s greeting was warm but the conversation quickly turned to their common connection, Theodin’s sister, Alaina, who had passed during their earlier adventures together. Shadow was sorry to hear that Theodin had not been able to raise her from the dead and Draeven commented on how this troubled him as well. He admitted he was only just a sorcerer and while he could call on arcane powers, he did not understand them like a wizard did.
Draeven commented the raids had come farther this direction than he had thought. He instructed the group would leave Neuraddel by midday and dismissed himself. The group looked the bodies of the giant and the ogres over for more clues but could find none.
Callie, Cara, Theodin and Kargarn found their way to the apothecary/alchemist who was an old woman who lived in the back of her small shop, surrounded by pots filled with herbs of all kinds. She was a kindly old woman who greeted them and told them her name was Deera (by way of introducing her shop). Her prices were a bit on the high side although not uncommon along the King’s Road and the PCs left with healing potions, sickroot herbs, and components for Theodin to craft some alchemist’s fire. The dwarven wizard retreated to his room at the Leaky Flagon to complete his work while the rest of the group gathered in the common room to partake in some last-minute libations before their journey began.
The group set out into the hills west of the town of Neuraddel. Draeven doesn’t push the group very hard the first day. He had noted how “out of form” some of them had been and did not want to wear them out before they had a chance to build up their stamina. He secretly worried if calling on his old allies had been a bad idea. Callie summoned a magical tiny hut that evening to keep them hidden and safe while they rested.
Draeven led the group into the hills until he reached a point where he needed the group to help find the path the rest of the way to the giants if there were any more to find. Callie used her magic to communicate with the trees in the area and learned giants had indeed passed through and recently. She and her sister, Cara, scoured the landscape and managed to find giant tracks heading northwest, almost parallel to the King’s Road (even if a day away from that ancient highway). They followed the tracks.
Later in the day, the group spotted a dragon in the distance flying along the horizon. It was too far to tell for sure but they thought it might be a red or yellow dragon. If dragons were roaming this far north, that did not speak well of Magdar’s efforts to keep the Mharoti Empire at bay. They briefly discussed what to do and decided they already had enough on their agenda for the day. The dragon would wait. As evening set in, Thor opened up the heavens and rain began to fall.
In the morning, the giant’s tracks were harder to pick out but Callie and Cara were about to follow them. Not long after picking up the trail again they spotted a pair of hill giant raiders, an ogre, and three dire wolves at a small camp in the distance under a rocky cliff. After some debate, Callie cast the Pass Without Trace spell and the group easily snuck up on the raiders.
I won’t recount the blow by blow of the battle because it was really a massacre. Between the surprise round, some really bad initiative rolls by the monsters, and some decent tactics, I (the DM) never got to make a single attack roll with the monsters. They were decimated before any of them got a chance to act.
After the battle, the PCs realized why the hill giants had picked this spot. Hidden from them in the distance, there was a small save entrance beside the road and under the rocky cliff. They explored the cave and learned it was once a beast’s lair but whoever lived here died long ago and it had been uninhabited since.
Moving to the edge of the ridge, they spotted their destination. In the distance (about an hour down the path) they could see a massive steading built to accommodate creatures the size of giants.
The group decided to move closer before they formed a real plan of action. They stalked towards the steading and got close enough they could hear festivities going on inside. As they had approached, they noticed no patrols of guards outside the steading. Shadow Walker moved ahead to scout the outside of the steading for the group. He identified two gates into a courtyard in the northeast corner and a third giant into a courtyard in the south. The southern courtyard had a tower alongside its outside and Shadow climbed it. Inside the tower, he saw a drunken hill giant passed on and two more slumbering giants in the lower courtyard.
Shadow returned to the group and informed them of what he had found. They choose the southern courtyard with the tower as their “in” and pressed forward. When they reached the courtyard, Shadow climbed the tower again while Cara hoisted Kargarn on her back and flew over the wall (using her flying boots). The pair quietly removed the beam which barred the gate and let the rest of the group into the courtyard (with help from Chunt to open the large gate).
Quietly coordinating an attack, they slew the three giants as they slept. Along the northern wall of the courtyard were three doors, two smaller doors on the left and right and a double door in the middle. The sounds of the festivities were loudest at the center door so they decided to enter through the left door.
The door opened into a hallway with lit sconces lining the walls. The group moved quickly and quietly and Shadow used his magical abilities to snuff out the illuminating flames in the hallways (everyone in the party had darkvision and did not need the light). In the first section of the steading, they found a trip of common rooms filled with beds. They only took a small amount of time to search the rooms (and found a box with rotting ears and an earring in one of them), opting to move quickly while they could.
At the end of the long hallway between the common rooms, they found a final door leading into the next session. They threw open the door and found a kitchen filled with giants, ogres, and orcs.
END OF SESSION