Feb 10, 2019

1st Day of Patchwall, CY 580 - Finishing the Glacial Rift

We had a nice extended session today to finish the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl. It was an exciting day filled with joy and more tragedy. It is unclear if there were any true "winners" today.

We left off with Jarl Grugnir and his consort, Lady Amgroth, flanked by four elite Frost Giant guards and two huge winter wolves, confronting the party. Jarl Grugnir addressed the party, demanding information about what they were doing. Dalron answered, stating that they were here to stop the raids on the human lands and if the Jarl agreed to do that, they won't have to kill him (I'm paraphrasing a bit). The Jarl, feeling he had the upper-hand in this situation, laughed, then told the party that they were only alive because he is allowing them to live to explain themselves. The fact is that both the Jarl and the party were stalling for time. While Dalron was speaking, Bukro, the drow assassin, was hiding behind Dalron, Luapan and Cadwin, drinking a potion of invisibility. While the Jarl did not see the potion drinking, one of the elite guards to his right noticed it, and reached for a throwing hammer he had at his hip. This triggered an initiative for everyone and the fight began.

Bukro won the initiative and managed to go invisible before the hammer throw. Lady Amgroth pulled out a scroll, but had a late initiative and didn't start to read it yet. The party recognized that magic scrolls are bad and immediately focused all of their attention on her. Dalron threw four daggers at her, nearly, but not quite killing her. Sarril followed up with a Boccob's Rolling Thunder that stunned two of the guards (though not before they threw hammers with devastating effect at Dalron) and knocked the lady unconscious - just one segment before she read her scroll. An invisible Bukro tried to move into position to backstab one of the giants, but was set upon by both winter wolves who sniffed him out and gave away his position. The Jarl immediately attacked Dalron and the other two guards threw hammers at Luapan. They mostly missed, but at least one connected for a lot of damage (they threw two hammers per round, for 5d4+8 damage per hit). Cadwin, who had held his action up until this point, realized the party wasn't likely to survive to the end of the second round, and cast an Obscurement spell over the entire area, which reduced visibility for the party and giants alike to just 3 feet. His goal, which succeeded, was to eliminate ranged weapons from the fight.

At this point, things turned chaotic. A bit more fighting took place, with severe penalties as everyone had to guess where their opponents were. Then Sarril got hit with a devastating Cone of Cold spell from somewhere just below him (he was flying in the air at the time). Cadwin transformed into a giant eagle and made a dive attack at a retreating Jarl while Luapan decided to cast True Seeing on Dalron, to allow him to see through the obscurement and continue his devastating throwing dagger attacks. What he saw were 5 Ogre Magi closing in on the party. One was visible, having just cast Cone of Cold on Sarril, and the other five were still invisible, spreading out trying to find opponents. Dalron immediately began shouting "Ogre Magi! Bug out! Bug out!"

Cadwin grabbed Luapan and Sarril grabbed Dalron and they both flew straight up and away. Unfortunately, that left Bukro still on the ground, where the giants finished him off before the one remaining winter wolf (he managed to kill the first one) began ripping him to pieces. And just like that, in only three rounds, the fight was over. A single winter wolf was the only true casualty, as Lady Amgrath was seen being hauled away by two of the giants and they, presumably, had the means to heal her.

The remaining party retreated back to the secret cave hideout they previously waited in. They spent a entire three days healing and replenishing spells. Sarril fiddled around with a ring he had found earlier, and to everyone's surprise, a naked, but very much alive, Pontus appeared in the cave. The ring was a Ring of Three Wishes, and there were now two left. Pontus, very happy to be alive again, gave everyone a great big hug.

On the 4th Day of Patchwall, the party readied for a return to the glacial rift. The plan was similar to before. Using invisibility, flight, protection from cold and detect traps spells, they headed back to the rift. This time, they floated high above the rift and slowly spiraled down to the bottom to check things out. By all accounts, it was now deserted. The party checked all previously unexplored areas and, other than getting attacked by some ice toads, which the party was able to fly away from without breaking their invisibility, there was nothing interesting. They decided to explore one of the two large tunnels going south, which recombined and sloped downward, opening up into a very large cavern. The cavern was covered in carvings and tapestries depicting symbols and images of the frost giant clan and of Jarl Grugnir. A large boulder acted as a door covering a passageway to the west, while another boulder that was previously covering a passage to the east was moved aside. The party explored the passage to the east and found the lair of the two white dragons they had previously slain, along with an enormous pile of treasure.

A Detect Magic spell revealed there were magic items spread throughout the pile, but it would take hours to sort through it all. The party decided this was a good place to camp out and do just that, so Sarril cast Wall of Ice to cover the entrance, and the sorting began.


From a magic-item perspective, there turned out to be less than what everyone was hoping for. Some armor and potions, primarily. They grabbed as many valuable looking gems as they could, and left the coins where they were (there were well over 100,000 coins of all types - but no chests to put them in). They decided to spend the rest of the day and overnight here. In the morning, they replenished spells and continued their journey, using a Shrink spell to remove the boulder covering the west passage.

After exploring a number of empty passages - most of which appeared to be living chambers for frost giants and their guests, and finding most items of value having been taken, the party came to another boulder that Sarril used Shrink to remove. This room appeared to be a prison, and chained to the wall with massive manacles and chains, was a storm giantess. Once the party convinced her that they were not hostile and, in fact, were trying to hunt the Jarl and his remaining clan, the giantess offered to help. She introduced herself as Olgani, an ambassador from her own clan who was summoned by the jarl in order to solicit their aid in the attacks on human lands. When she refused, the jarl imprisoned her and has been using various means of torture ever since to persuade her to change her mind (ineffectively). Sarril was able to free her by casting Enlarge on her manacles, allowing her to slip out of them. Olgani offered to assist the party with the remainder of their search of the rift and defeat any remaining enemies they may find. Pontus decided he was in love with the 24 foot tall exotic woman, and spent the rest of the day trying to woo her (and, as unlikely as it may seem, actually made some progress on this front).

Continued searching revealed a room full of ogres that the party chose to ignore and a holding pen for four hungry polar bears that the party carefully released before running away (thinking the polar bears would likely find the ogres and the strongest would survive). The Jarl's great hall was completely abandoned, and the party left the jeweled throne alone. Searching north, they found a trophy room full of treasures from various conquests. Sarril determined that several of the items were magic and, upon collection of said items, and alarm was sounded. There was no one to respond to the alarm, and it was quickly silenced. Olgani was able to recover her personal armor and weapons here as well.

Further searching to the north of the Trophy Room revealed a concealed escape tunnel. Sarril had Detect Invisibility, Detect Magic and Detect Traps spells all operating together. Detect Traps was indicating a trapped object along a high shelf, completely invisible. Despite being obviously invisible, neither Sarril's Detect Magic nor his Detect Invisibility spells revealed the object. Whatever was hiding it was powerful magic indeed, and, possibly, the Jarl wasn't even aware of its existence. They decided to have Pontus open the trapped box, since he can generally just take anything a trap throws at him. The trap was a poison gas cloud that enveloped everyone within 30 ft. Save or die. Everyone but Cadwin made their save. Luckily for Cadwin, Luapan had a Slow Poison spell readied, which held the poison off long enough for Cadwin to cast his own Remove Poison spell, and avoid death. There's one more wish that Sarril doesn't have to spend.

Next, they found a hidden lever high off the ground. The party asked Olgani if she would pull it, and she did, which caused everyone in the immediate area to teleport away. They now found themselves in a hot, volcanic area. The smell of burning sulfur all around. Before them were a pair of massive iron doors. This must be the entrance the Hall of the Fire Giant King, and possibly where Jarl and the remaining frost giants escaped to.

It is the afternoon of the 4th Day of Patchwall, CY 580, and the party is wondering where they can find shelter to rest before they venture into the hall (hint: they don't call these the Hellfurnaces for no reason).

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