Session 65 Summary

March 12th, 2011

Heroes: Caelan (+6 PLPs), Donner (+6 PLPs), Lysandros (+7.5 PLPs), Mariska (+7.5 PLPs), Prometheus (+6.5 PLPs), Kebi Dabu (+7.5 PLPs), Thiranus (+7.5 PLPs), and Thorgan (+7.5 PLPs).

Game Date: Niledain, Newsky 20, AD1017

The Fate Seekers are on a very important quest, they are looking for the pieces of a Divine Engine that has the capability of freeing a Primordial, one of the ancient powerful beings that fought the gods during the Dawn War. They followed the trail of the piece to a fomorian king’s lair, but in the end it slipped through their fingers. They followed the magical trail left behind by the human wizard known as Breven Foss, but following these kinds of magical residue is not easy. They ended up short of their original goal. The heroes fought their way out of a lot of trouble in Drakkhorn and finally made it across the sea to the land of dwarves and giants, Jerhelheim. They are now resting in Earthhome, the human port city on the west coast of the island. They await their next death defying adventure that will lead them up into the mountains to face giants.

The Morning After

Morning came to the inn where the heroes stayed and they all gathered in the common room for breakfast. It is Niledain in the third week of Newsky. Another year is coming to an end, but what end will the year have? Thorgan knows where the hill giant steading, the Earth Forge, is located. Now the group is making their plan of attack over a morning meal. They really only had two choices; climb the mountain or fly up to the steading directly. It is a day’s climb, but only a couple of hours by flight.

Thorgan explained there are other things in these mountains that can be just as dangerous as the giants. The mountains are home to all sorts of creatures like rocs, drakes, and griffons that will see the adventurers as a hardy meal if they are spotted. Flying to the steading will most certainly give them away faster than climbing, and with the phantom horses being very fragile, it was decided that climbing the mountain was much better and possibly even safer, as strange as that sounds.

The Fate Seekers left the Inn ready for their trek up the mountains; though their next task was a bit of shopping before their journey began. Thorgan and Thiranus lead the group to a magic shop and apothecary to replenish their arcane supplies. Their ritual components were dwindling and they needed to restock. They took everything Earthhome had to offer and headed out for their mountain destination.

Up the Mountain

Thorgan took the lead as the heroes reached the mountains and started their climb. The dwarf was once Captain of the Guard in Earthhome and knew this area quite well. The city of Earthhome is positioned in a very dangerous spot with raids from the steading giants on a regular basis. Thorgan found the best spot to start their ascent; oddly enough it was the same path the giants took during their attacks.

The dwarf knew this area very well and had very little trouble traveling the mountains. Being Captain of the Guard meant knowing the tactics of your enemy, which meant knowing the trails and paths the giants took when they came down from the mountains. The earlier the city was warned the better. Unfortunately, Thorgan was not a mountain dwarf. He had great endurance to withstand the rough climb, but he did not have the mountaineering skill to help the rest of the party make the trail.

The climb up the mountain was treacherous and tiresome. Thorgan could handle the climb but could not help the others with their climb. Caelan and Mariska tried to point out trouble spots or good footholds, but Thorgan continued on his own path, and the rest of the team followed. The Fate Seekers did make it the path up in the mountains that supposedly leads directly to the steading, but not without consequences. A few of the party members, like Caelan and Mariska, were tired and short of breath, half their strength depleted. The climb took its toll on everyone, except maybe Donner, but their travel from here should be better, even if it is all up hill.

The Steading… and Orcs!

The Fate Seekers had a long climb and finally reached the path up in the mountains, but they are still only about half way to the steading. The rugged path winds up the mountain, leading directly to the hill giant steading the group is looking for. As the adventurers pass the first bend in the road, a log structure comes into view; though still far up the mountain.

The heroes continued traveling up the road until they could see a large camp outside the wooden structure. It is made up of tents, lean-tos, and other crude structures. Pillars of smoke can be seen rising up from the camp from many different spots, telling the group that it’s probably a sizeable camp up there. It actually looks big enough for a good size military camp.

The group continued until they could see the large camp a bit better. It was as they feared; it was a large camp of orcs and ogres. Thorgan explained that the giants, especially hill giants, use orcs, ogres, and even trolls as slaves and grunts for their army. When they inspected the camp they found that it circles the entire front of the mountain just below the hill giant compound. If they want to get to the giants, they will have to get through the orcs first.

YOU WANT ME TO LOOK LIKE WHAT?!?

The Fate Seekers pondered the situation before them. They could see the large hill giant compound up ahead sticking out of the mountain. The path they are on leads right up to the front door, which looks closed from this distance. First they will need to get through a rather large military camp of orcs and ogres, slaves and mercenaries to the giants.

Thorgan pulls his axe and decides they will fight their way through them, they are orcs after all. Donner was ok with the idea and Lysandros was willing to follow but was hoping for a better way. “I can make us all look like orcs,” Kebi explained. It was the same trick he used in the palace while they were in Drakkhorn. He could weave an illusion from a ritual that will cover the party in a disguise of orcs. “I ain’t lookin like no darn orc!” Thorgan protested, “I’d rather kill ‘em first!”

Looking over the camp, Thorgan and Lysandros noticed by the size and number of tents, there could be a hundred to two hundred orcs and ogres in that camp. If they could waltz right by them without fighting them, it might be the best way. Donner suggested to Thorgan they could fight them on the way out, and Thorgan accepted, with a wide dwarven grin on his face.

Kebi Dabu readied his ritual, prepared the components, and summoned the magic that would hide everyone’s appearance. When it was all done, in a soft glimmer, everyone suddenly had the visage of an ordinary orc. They were all very plain, but that was the plan, to keep a low profile.

As they made their way through the camp, the orcs were busy, but it didn’t look like it was with any special orders. There were orcs repairing armor and sharpening weapons, doing menial chores, some were gambling, and others were fighting. It looked like a typical military camp that was standing by waiting for orders. The group waltzed right through the camp without a problem, or at least that’s what they thought.

The group finally reached the edge of the camp, where the last bit of the path ahead lead up to the compound itself, but the way was guarded. Two large ogres flanked the passage the group was on. Strangely enough Donner was able to talk his way past a group of orcs just prior to meeting with these ogres. He wove a story about their leader Thosk and they believed him and left the party alone. The ogres were not as easily duped.

It turns out only the masters up in the compound, or Thosk himself, can give permission to head up the path to the Hill Giant Compound. Donner tried every trick he knew to get them to let him and his friends to pass, but they would not budge; when the heroes tried to go around, the ogres attacked. It might have been an easy fight, but the ogres warned the camp that the adventurers were tricksters in disguise.

The Fate Seekers quickly eliminated the threat of the ogres, but a large group of orcs were already heading their way. Orc archers came up first with their deadly volley of arrows. The ogres were able to stall the heroes long enough for reinforcements to arrive, but shortly after that they fell. A large fight broke out between the adventurers and the orcs. The longer the heroes fought, the more orcs there were to fight.

The Fate Seekers have had very little true experience with orcs. They are usually exclusive to the Island of Dwarves, Jerhelheim. They were not prepared for the sheer ferocity and brutality these creatures brought to the battlefield. The arrows rained down from above as the orc warriors closed in for a close melee. An orc earth mage appeared on the scene, lending his magical power to the fight. The heroes decided a tactical retreat would be wise. Thorgan and Lysandros held of the orc forces until everyone was heading up the path. As the two veteran warriors broke off and retreated up the road, they discovered that the orcs would not pass the two flat stones where the ogres were guarding. They were more worried about the giants than the heroes.

The Front Gate

The Fate Seekers moved as fast as they could up the path and to the compound. Once they got close enough they could see that it was a well built log structure, more like a lodge than a fort. It had a slanted roof and it looked like it could actually continue back into the mountain face itself. The great gate at the end of the path was closed and the area was guarded.

As they approached the compound the heroes discovered a group of guards, or a sentry at the gate. There were two groups, each comprised of a hill giant and two ogres. One of the hill giants was yelling at two of the ogres and the others were simply watching. They were paying no attention to the road as the adventurers came up.

The Fate Seekers launched their assault against the guards and the giants were caught by surprise. They had a great advantage and they exploited it to the fullest. They continued to beat on the giants and it seemed as though they would finish them with little trouble. Unfortunately the Fate Seekers do not have that kind of luck.

The gate opens just wide enough to allow a pair of large red drakes, rage drakes, to join the fight on the giants side. They leapt over the battlefield and onto their target, ripping flesh and bone with all four claws. Their attacks were precise and very deadly. Suddenly the fight was not as decided as the Fate Seekers first thought.

Even with the reinforcements, these adventurers do not give up that easily. They fought on until they saw light at the end of the tunnel. One of the giants broke off its attacks and ran for the compound. He went through the gate and closed it, throwing a bar across the other side after he got the doors closed. That was one less giant to worry about, even if he was able to warn the rest of the compound.

The rage drakes continued their ferocious assault, leaping from one target to the next. The giant finally fell and the ogres soon followed. Caelan and Donner moved off to scout another location, possibly getting more information about the complex itself. The battle seemed to be going in the favor of the heroes; the giants were nearly done for. One last leap from a rage drake caught Lysandros while he was already wounded. The rage drake was wounded also, and he knew the creature was even more dangerous while wounded. The beast slashed with all four claws and Lysandros went down in a heap, blood flew everywhere.

For a second, time seemed to stop, the eladrin wasn’t moving and blood was pouring out of his body. Time seemed to start up again, but moved very slowly. The beast was brought down, killed swiftly and decisively. Mariska dashed over to Lysandros and found him to be barely alive. She put her healing skills to the test as she worked frantically to bandage the eladrin warrior. After what seemed like an eternity, she was able to stabilize her friend. He would live through anther one.

The battle was over and the group was due for a much needed rest. The front gate was closed and barred so Thorgan decided to cut a magical door into the gate. The adventurers shuffled through and hunkered down for some sleep. When they awaken, they will show the giants exactly who the Fate Seekers really are!

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