DGA9.05: Stronghold of the Wood Giant Shaman, part five

The Long Roaders for this session

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

In service with Jahia, level 9 paladin NPC; and assisted by Tastra and Gwen, both level 3

The Long Roaders begin on 172xp below level 10, and end on 140

THE BATTLE THUS FAR

The Long Roaders gain a lodgment on the stronghold’s eastern fighting platform. Jahia is with them: and in her hands, just as they hoped, Beast Slayer is devastating.

But both the western fighting platforms are held by giants that are well aware of the danger, and inside the compound, wolves set other creatures on guard! Cat suggests a quarter-arsed plan which is 1/4 more arse than anyone else thinks of, so he and Jahia follow that plan while everyone else attempts to get themselves pointlessly killed. Kuiper has the most success with this, he has his spine shattered by a giant club.

As the session ends we find Cat and Jahia have made a leap of faith inside the wood giant lodge, and Seck has gained the lodge roof.

We pick up the action in the compound, and necessarily it is a summary!

Part one: In the Compound

Gwen and Tastra manage to drag the screaming, helpless Kuiper away from danger – at first west while Phoenix whales on the befogged Marrjik and ape, then back east to the east tower’s foot. Tastra then joins Phoenix to play spoiler (using her bow as a staff) so he can avoid being flattened. As the rounds tick past ten he finally downs Marrjik and is free to act! Gwen chips in with Zephyr Strike, which also boosts her land speed, though she ends up guarding. Tastra has Farstrider going, so is 8/15 as fast as Phoenix!

Vir eventually Misty Steps his way onto the lodge roof from where he can support Seck and Phoenix. His longbow has an indifferent day, but comes in strong as the three picket giants, locked out of the compound, attempt to boost one of their number over to open the gate! He Conjures a Barrage and with Phoenix and Seck chipping in, the attempt to open the gate fails. The assault giant Lotok falls dead, though not before Vir takes a foul bone curse from his eye. The two remaining pickets head in opposite directions to see if they can use the landing or the east gate.

Tastra and Phoenix help at the south gate as noted then race round to the west gate. It is unbarred. Phoenix, with Tastra helping, hauls the bar slowly to one massive bracket.

On the roof, Seck works out that if he stripped down, he has a good chance of slipping through one of the several vents, which are gaps of about 2′ by 1′ under the eaves. But he’s kept busy racing about, hurling Maelsauga in support of his comrades. And Tar Tar tosses both wolves onto the roof, so Vir and Seck deal with those as well!

Vir and Seck pick up the communications once they are together on the roof, and as a result, pick up some xp!

XP from the compound fight over the two sessions: level 10-150

Once able to descend (Tar Tar, Kartu, Kiktu and Kotik retreat into the lodge to either rally or for succour) Seck plays another important mission: he discovers that there are four living prisoners in the deep chill of an outside jail.

From left: lady Beula, The Maw, Ramdor, Fichte

Mawmin “The Maw” Grampus, super-trustworthy thief out of Dalton’s Peak, tells Seck how to free them all, and he, Ramdor the emaciated dwarf, Fichte the shepherd, and Lady Beula of Dalton’s Peak retire east to Gwen’s care. Seck chooses to provide Grampus with a spare handaxe, though by the session end he has upgraded from Kuiper and Gwen’s equipment…

All three heroes have a level of exhaustion, until Seck kindly gives Phoenix his potion of Vitality.

XP for rescue: none yet, but if the party gets them to either Dalton’s Peak or Avari, there will be.

Part two: inside the lodge

Jahia hauls open the door from the armory and finds a cross-passage and a door directly across. The fug of the lodge grows a little stronger but Dis is distressed by other darker matters. As she fails a CON SV Cat gets a visual overlay of skeins of red miasma roping across floor and ceiling, and clots of terrified bogles cowering away from it.

As to the door: Cat says why not, and Jahia pushes open the opposite door. Oopsie! A giantess and a giant (fashionably clad, hill-giant style, in a compromising position!

With dual roars the in flagrante couple pursue as Jahia and Cat retreat forward, rightward! The pursuit wedges in the door! Then Tar Tar is heard approaching! The adventurers whip back to the armory, spearing Barkala the Queen on the way.

She uses her whip to attempt to disarm Jahia as her dapper suitor Karkartan, now wielding a huge axe, brutes his way in. Not a wise decision, Karkartan falls dead on the second round. A pair of bears that some giant – presumably the giantess Barkala – conjures fare no better.

“I had a feeling defending a doorway was a good option,” Jahia explains, easily batting aside Barkala’s whip. As the conjurations fade, she kicks the fallen giant’s battle-axe across to Cat. Frost crystals glint along its blade.

Meanwhile Cat – who has helped significantly by pounding the giants with Repelling Blasts to keep them off balance – allows Dis to hide down his throat, and Investigates the armory for useful implements. He spots a golden thread. What do you know? It’s wrapped around a longbow arrow! Yoink!

Cat attempts to lift the huge battle-axe. Its haft conforms to his hands. Hey! Magic!

“At least we know it’s of use,” Jahia comments wryly as Cat staggers about with a halberd size weapon.

“I think she’s rabbiting,” Cat says. They head out, to a fierce fight where Jahia shrugs off Tar Tar’s deadly bane-eye and kills him. Cat feels quite confident: Jahia has activated a spell that gives boldness to allies and extra radiant damage to her strokes. Also, you know, Jahia.

The passage Barkala fled to has the full resonant fug and reek of the poorly-ventilated lodge. They push through it, choking a little. Barkala has fled across a dorm, and Jahia pauses here: eyes a heap of stinking furs suspiciously.

Cat investigates, and finds that aside from what smells like a century of farts, and some minor vermin, it’s clear.

What’s more, he can hear the giantess conspiring with what sounds like relatively few giants, just beyond. One voice is distinctive.

The DM essays his best Palpatine voice…

“Guide them north. I shall be waiting in my throne room.”

Left to their own devices the giants seem unsure. The giantess Barkala is joined by a severely hurt Kiktu, a badly hurt Kartu, and Kotik. Her front line, Loman, advances and finds that Jahia and Cat have used one of the great furs to create treacherous ground at the doorway. He slips and is dealt with. Cat mocks the giants…

“Lure him to the one in the chain circle,” Kotik suggests. “Yes, we shall,” Barkala agrees. She “cunningly” parlays… Jahia is very ready to seize this bait.

And as the session ends Jahia and Cat advance across the bodies to the main lodge hall.

XP for the lodge: lvl10-140

DM Notes

The team outside did a lot better than I expected – the key may have been me rolling the two unoccupied giants to “do nothing” stances repeatedly. And other than two squatches that Kartu forced to fight, there were little in the way of opposition left once Marrjik was down.

As I half-expected, a giant inside the lodge is less dangerous than a giant able to move about freely. Those doorways turned into favorable ground for the tinies. And until a giant advances right into the doorway, full cover against their gaze. So the odds have tipped very strongly in favor of the party. Stay tuned!

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