DGA9.02: Stronghold of the Wood Giant Shaman, part two

The Long Roaders for this session

Cat, level 9 warlock with his familiar Dis;
Phoenix, level 9 barbarian in totem pact;
Seck, level 9 rogue;
Vir, level 9 ranger in pact with Erzlie

Ably assisted by the NPCs:
Kuiper the horizon walker, Jahia the paladin, Gwen her squire, Tastra her hunter, and Elderberry her messenger;

The Long Roaders begin 190 below level 10 and end on 183

Wood giants!

Shambling and more peaceable cousins of hill giants, now spilling from their fastness to slay and pillage! And now their doom approaches! Jahia and the Long Roaders, with help from their allies, waylay first one, then two of the great greenish monsters. How will the nearby stronghold of the wood giant shaman react?

Strategic realignment

While others stand watch, Seck collects facial ornaments from the three dead giants. It’s a nifty little haul. Then it’s time for a little planning, and planning to rest, kind of a discussion!

The arguments against just staying in the little woods, or retreating all the way back up to the pass, are strong.

The best alternative idea appears to be, pulling away north and west, seeking a good ambush site. And why ought they expect the giants to chase them into an ambush? Why, ’tis the stench from Phoenix and Kuiper! All others give them a wide berth… the very air around them throbs with pong.

Party order: Phoenix and Kuiper setting a strong scent down, then Seck; Cat with Jahia, and Gwen leading mounts and keeping close to Jahia; then Elderberry with the other mounts and mules; and finally Vir and Tastra as rearguard.

The night is dark but clear as Phoenix reaches water’s edge. He has been thinking about trying to bathe off the stench, in between planning hijinx like sleeping on the riverbed to surprise a giant. But Kuiper thinks there could be giant catfish in such a river?! He sees only seven stars: an omen?

XP: lvl10-188 for good roleplaying.

Loot: Seck noted it down. The two pearls are probably Identify-worthy. Other items are worth beer money, but may be useful as trade goods or curios.

A blind and a blindside

This is what they have been searching for: a decent piece of dead ground within 600′ of the river’s edge. The plan is to let the scenting pursuers believe that their quarry has taken to the water, then ambush them from cover.

It all begins so well… Vir casts Lesser Restoration on Kuiper and lo! The stench leaves him. They hand the party’s last Elixir of Health to Phoenix and lo! ….half the stench leaves him!

Still and all, that’s all part of the plan. The rest of the party head for the couloir – no doubt perilous when it rains – that has been chosen for cover. Gwen guides the mounts up further, ready to retreat toward the peaks. Tastra, who has been weaving flax into the beginnings of a hide or blind, carries on with that work, and she is joined by Vir. Elderberry supervises anyone who needs to know which weeds are flax. Jahia lies back against the side of the gully, feet away from danger, and rests.

Meanwhile Phoenix decides to improve the plan. He walks away from the place the trail is supposed to lead, and lays a thick trail of stench all the way to within about 120′ of his friends, then sets about building an indefensible lair. The mighty odor spills out upon the quiet night.

XP: lvl10-187, because although there were plenty of startled looks, no-one tried to teleport into Phoenix’s work.

Cut-scene: searchin’ searchin’ for a heart of gold

“How’s it going up there Dis?”

“I see a light my lord, and it reminds me of the Lady, and not in a good way.”

“Whereabouts?”

“It hangs above the wood we came from my lord.”

“Ah well, let me know if anything changes…”

Onset!

Tastra, Kuiper and Gwen all have longbows to support Vir with. Seck opts for his hunting bow, since it has decent range.

Jahia’s plan, or is that “plan,” is for Gwen to pass her Beastslayer once she hammers a giant with her sword. So yep, that does not work at all. But she does have a good

Long Rest

The action begins with a hoot and a howl and an attack by a demon hound! It leads no fewer than six great wolves, directly towards Phoenix. Kuiper throws down his master-stroke, Spike Growth. Cat hammers the Demon Hound with violet blasts of Repelling Blast – alerting everyone.

Off higher away from the river, two giants come more or less together. The longbows concentrate on them. Kuiper takes his life in his hands, races out to lay Cordon of Arrows down, then Misty Steps to safety! Kuiper! Cordon of Arrows is a trivial effect! Cat has much more success with Synaptic Static!

Finally, as Cat uses the second go-round of Synaptic Static, Seck gets the kill with Maelsauga. The second giant sends on a great snow-ape, and retreats. But they can’t chase him, because four squatches (late to the party) arrive, midway between the now-dead hounds and the retreating gaint.

And as Jahia defends desperately against the mighty ape, the session ends.

XP: lvl10-183

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