Dec 2, 2018

5th day of Brewfest, CY 580 - Now to pay those frost giants a visit. . .

The party had to decide what to do with nearly 100 freed orc slaves, an elf and human prisoner, and a ton of paperwork - evidence of what the giants have been up to. They also knew that some of the hill giants escaped, and could be on their way to frost giant jarl to warn him. They estimated the giants would get there in a couple of days and the party had no way of catching up to them, but they could beat them there if they used the teleportation device they found. Doing so would leave the prisoners at the mercy of the orcs, who could not be trusted, and no one reporting back to Lashton in Istivin about what was found. They toyed with the idea of sending the orcs after the escaped giants, but again realized that not being able to trust them was problematic and they didn't want to replace raiding giants with raiding orcs. In the end, they talked to the orcs, who agreed to return to their tribes, and decided to send the elf and the merchant prisoner to Lashton to report. It turns out the elf prisoner, whose name is Oaklock Gilderlief, is a capable fighter/magic user and the party had plenty of extra equipment to give him, including a spellbook for which he was forever grateful and indebted (its good to have allies in the world). With Oaklock on his way to report to Lashton, the party used the magical chain they found to teleport to the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl Grugnir. They hoped that getting there before the hill giants arrived would allow them to sneak in unexpectedly.

The plan seems to have worked. They found themselves high up in the southern Crystalmist Mountains standing on an ice shelf with cold wind whipping through their hair, but otherwise nothing around. Giant tracks were obvious in the snow on the ground, telling them they must be in the right place. They followed the ice shelf as it sloped down along a fissure. This must be what was meant by the Glacial Rift on the map they found. Speaking of maps, among the papers they found in the hill giant chief's war ready room was a map of the rift itself. (The map didn't tell the players much, but it sure made the DM's job easier).

When the party realized that any one of them could slip and fall on the ice and potentially fall to their death, they decided to tie ropes around their waists and connect themselves to each other. At least several of them would have to fall in order to for the whole party to go. Pontus, who was used to these conditions, pulled out a pair of manticore spikes to use as ice picks should he slip. The only one who had trouble was Dalron, and after several slips and the party struggling to get him to his feet, Luapan decided to cast levitation on him and pull him along like a balloon. That worked fairly well.

The shelf continued down some stairs near, but not quite all the way, to the bottom of the rift. From there, the shelf continued around the rim of the rift and led to a series of caves to be explored. Sarril cast Invisibility 10 ft radius and they all went, invisibly, still tied together, into the first side cave. They found a total of seven frost giant guards, not quite on duty. Four in one room, three in another. Guessing that fireballs and other massive area of affect spells might cause a cave collapse, they decided a sneak attack by the melee fighters was in order. They wanted to see what the drow could do. Unfortunately, the drow, even with his attack bonuses for backstabbing, couldn't hit the first frost giant. He was, however, now visible, and the rest of the party had to cut the ropes connecting them and leap into battle. Of course, Dalron is still a giant-killing machine and Pontus can still take a ridiculous amount of damage and, between the two of them, they soon took out the three giants in the first room.

The noise brought the other four, but Sarril and Cadwin were ready with lightning bolts, which seemed safe enough with the ice. It wasn't enough to kill them all, but it did enough damage that Dalron finished them off in short order. Seven 14 HD frost giants down - easy peazy.

Exploring further they came across a winter wolf mated pair and their three pups. Cadwin sprung into action, casting Animal Friendship on the male and asking it to communicate to its family that the party are its friends. It worked, and the party now has a whole family of winter wolves for now. Around the corner were eight bodies frozen in ice blocks, each holding something of potential value. They understood the breaking or melting these blocks could cause a cave-in. Not only that, but the chance of collapse would be cumulative for each block destroyed. If the party wanted something, they needed to prioritize the order. Luapan cast Detect Magic to determine which blocks contained magic and Pontus used his newly acquired flametongue sword to melt those first. One body looked like a cleric, but with a holy symbol no one recognized (a hand clutched around an eye), and was wearing a ring of fire resistance. Another body had a wand and another a scroll. The party had the smart idea to have the smart idea to have the winter wolves re-freeze the bodies after the melted them to restore the ice column and fill in the cracks that were forming. That actually worked and reset the percentage chance of collapse after the first two bodies were recovered, after which the winter wolves had exhausted their breath weapons for the time being. The last body they were able to recover was wearing a full suit of magical plate mail, but just as Pontus got the body out (he was sliding the bodies out of the room), the room collapsed on his. Pontus took considerable damage, but the party was able to dig him out.

After this, the party headed back to the stairs and crossed over to the other side of the rift. They entered a cave that had a foul, musty smell. As they moved closer to explore, a horrifying creature carrying a magical longsword leapt at the party to attack. This foul beast was intelligent, had white fur and piercing blue eyes drove fear into everyone who looked at it. But no one had to look at it for
long as Dalron quickly dropped it where it stood. It's tremendous howl, however, brought six more from the other room. These were not carrying swords, instead swiping ferociously with their claws. Pontus soon learned when these things got both claws on someone, they grabbed and squeezed, doing both physical and cold damage. The cold damage was reduced, thanks to a Protection from Cold that Luapan had earlier cast, but that was little comfort when being crushed to death. But the party was soon victorious again, though starting to burn through healing spells.

And there it was that another session reached its scheduled end. It is the morning of the 6th Day of Brewfest, CY 580 and the party just killed 7 yetis. This fun is just getting started.

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