The Acts of The Lords of Rannick, XLI

We stopped play last week, pretty much as the Jotunblood’s head hit the floor. Picking up from that, I wasn’t sure where any of this stuff would go. None of the following stuff was planned for in the Adventure Path: the fact that the adventurers have access to an amazing treasury of knowledge that STILL has an army of Giants surrounding it is never really addressed, so I just had to wing how the army would actually disperse. Fortunately the background for the Stone Giants lets you know what kind of people they are and how Mokmurian manipulated them. The character of Conna is a pretty good one too, so it isn’t too difficult to imagine what she’d do given the disintegration of an army she never agreed with anyway. It was entirely possible that the party could have sneaked out of Jorgenfist, but I thought they did the right thing by trying to resolve the situation to a satisfactory end.
This was also the first week that the Fate cards saw a whole lot of action. They are a mixed bunch, but like the Critical cards, in some situations they absolutely change a fight. That definitely happened in this fight. I don’t really have a good way of explaining most of them, especially the more impactful ones, so I just have to make something up. Anyway…
Finally out from under Jorgenfist.
The chained up hostages were attended to and they were questioned about their treatment so far. Obviously, they didn’t give the Underground Torturing Giant Spa and Resort glowing reviews, but of the 12 Sandpointians abducted, several had already be tortured, branded and taken from the chamber. Of the seven now chained up, three had died during the torture, with the four remaining weakened considerably. Gaven Deverin, brother of Sandpoint’s mayor and therefore the upper-class guy who made sure everyone maintained a stiff upper lip, is a Cleric of Abadar (as well as being a brewer) and gave them most of their information.
Listening distractedly to the testament of the hostages, Dagfinn and Tersplink also cast Detect Magic and ascertained that the giant’s Greatclub, Lokansir’s Backscratcher, was a magical… um, tree trunk. Nobody was too keen on it, so it went into the Bag of Holding.
After healing the hostages as much as was feasible at this point, a team was assembled to go talk to Conna on the surface. Dagfinn, Tersplink and Don made their way outside the huge vaulted chamber and ran into some apprehensive guards from Conna’s camp. The guards were genuinely surprised to hear that the Jotunblood had been defeated and described the scene on the surface: the army of Mokmurian had split. Conna led a faction, mostly comprised of older and more traditionally minded Stone Giants, that believed the army should disband and resume their previous way of life. Teraktinus led the opposing faction, made up mostly of hot-headed younger giants, who wished to keep the army together and follow through on the plan to invade the softer, squishier parts of Varisia. The rest of the army waited to see which faction would prevail.
So appraised of the situation, they headed up into the blinding glare of daylight which they hadn’t seen for a few days. The inner courtyard of Jorgenfist was vastly different than the last time they had seen it. Someone had hauled the Roc away, for a start. But now it was packed with giants from both factions who glared angrily at each other as their leaders debated the best course of action. Teraktinus, a tall giant, conferred with his advisors as his faction choked the single gate and southern half of the walled compound, effectively beseiging Conna’s smaller contingent.
Approaching Conna, they confirmed that Mokmurian was dead and when asked, told her that he died relatively quickly. Dagfinn espoused the theory that Mokmurian may live on in some other place because his body was possessed by something. Don, who has a better ear for plot exposition, countered that Mokmurian was definitely dead and in the end had been killed by Karzoug with whom he had some kind of link. The name Karzoug struck Conna because in the secret rites of the Stone Giant elders, Karzoug is the name of one of the tyrants who enslaved giant kind in aeons past. Tersplink had dragged Mokmurian’s head in a (rather large) bag and when Dagfinn and Tersplink offered to display the head to Teraktinus’ camp to prove the sincerity of the badassitude. She declined and when they pressed, she declined more forcefully and when they continued to press, she revealed that she did not want to see Mokmurians head because she was his mother. Awkward.
Don further relayed what Karzoug had contemptuously revealed about his plans for return and that the Sihedron-marked souls of the giants (and others) were fueling his return. At about this time, the rest of the party began making its way to the surface, which was fine because they were about to be sent for anyway.
Conna, recovering from this onslaught of really awful news, addressed the assembled giant-kind. Mokmurian had been misled by their ancient slavemaster who yet treated giant-kind as chattel to be sacrificed for his own good. In turn Mokmurian had misled his followers about the true motivation for assembling an army and vastly inflated their chances of success.
Teraktinus responded, pooh-poohing Conna’s caution when the soft southern human lands lay ready for plunder. Mokmurian’s motivations were beside the point because this wasn’t his army any more. As for the Karzoug business, he had only the word of two humans that this was the case. He contended that such an assembly of giant-kind shouldn’t go to waste when they could all get fabulously rich by raiding human cities.
Conna countered that eight members of the “soft” civilised parts of Varisia had kind of done a number on this big army of Giant-kind and why should they expect an easier time when they took the fight to the cities.
They went back and forth a bit, Conna arguing for disbandment and a return to their old ways and Teraktinus keen to exploit this unprecedented gathering. Eventually Teraktinus invoked his right to settle this by combat. Conna agreed, but invoked her right to have proxies fight for her. Namely, the party. Thus, she said, would all those assembled see those they had considered weak because of their unusual skills and diminutive stature prove their true strength. It was a message lost on almost everybody, but it meant a lot to Conna. Everyone else saw it as a micro-scale giants vs civilisation.
As Conna assembled her Champions, Dagfinn began yelling at Teraktinus. At first, his rant was about the mistreatment of the human hostages and laid blame at the feet of the giant’s policy of aggression. Teraktinus wasn’t fazed by this. He even sneered at this point. But as Dagfinn’s stream of angry consciousness continued, the long buried trauma of the giants spoiling Sandpoint’s festival in his honour came to the fore and Dagfinn ended up bellowing at the assembly that they had ruined his parade – his special day. That would have taken months of therapy to come out, but it exploded with vehemence from such an unusual angle that Teraktinus was genuinely taken aback. His lip quivered at that point and he developed a twitch in an eyelid as he pondered that these lowlanders had laid waste to nigh-on everything in their path… because of a spoiled festival.
Conna presented Don, Tersplink, Kerplak, Dagfinn, Albedon, Arradin and Halvard as her champions in the fight to decide the fate of the army. Torgor stood with Conna, protecting Wheezy and the four Sandpointians in case everything went udders aloft. If they hadn’t learned that thing about aiming for the balls by now, well, Torgor probably couldn’t help them. As the fight drew closer, the giants backed away, clearing an area.
Teraktinus, having recovered from Dagfinn’s cathartic verbal flaying, announced that he himself would fight, alongside his sworn protector, at which he sounded a giant hunting horn. A few moments later Longtooth circled overhead before alighting on the Bear temple building that had once housed the Frost Giant. The Red Dragon flexed and roared. The terrifying sight of even a juvenile Red in full fury made it an exceptionally bad day for the party’s undergarments.

Everybody put one in the chamber when Longtooth arrived.

With that, combat was joined. The juvenile dragon hopped down from his perch and engulfed the party in a gout of flame, only the gnomes entirely escaping it although Halvard did some fancy footwork to get away from the worst of it. Tersplink made sure as many people as possible at the time were hasted. Teraktinus, meanwhile moved around the other side of the pit, scornfully swatting at Tersplink but finding the gnome harder to damage than he had thought.
Don cast Call Lightning, bringing down stroke after stroke on the Dragon. Halvard healed himself really, really well. At this point Gorum, Our Lord In Iron, god of battles, looked down and saw that this fight was good. On reflection, Halvard could probably later deduce that Gorum would be in favour of a Giant invasion of Varisia, but only if they went for the sake of battle, not because they were being manipulated into sacrificing themselves for some limp-wristed spellcaster to re-enter the world. His favour divinely empowered Arradin and robbed the Dragon of his sense for a few seconds.

In hoc signo perite!

Arradin and Dagfinn, who began singing a song to bolster the party’s courage in the frightful presence of the Dragon, moved to engage Teraktinus and protect Tersplink. The gnome backed off and Arradin knocked the scimitar out of Teraktinus’ hand, then slashed him across the throat, creating her trademark fountain of blood. Dagfinn had changed his song from helping everyone to inspiring Arradin to do great things.
Meanwhile, Kerplak took the Dragon’s momentary torpor as a chance to run past him and climb on the Bear shrine’s wall, above the dragon. Halvard meanwhile took advantage of the docility to get into position and struck at the dragon, rousing it from its confusion only enough for it to get angry at him. Kerplak leapt off the Bear shrine and onto the back of the Dragon, unable to get purchase on the beats and sliding off to the ground. He nailed the dismount though. The dragon lashed out at its attackers with claws, wings, its powerful tail and bite attacks, wounding both gnome and the Ulfen. Don bird-bamfed to safety and healed himself and then Halvard, bringing down strokes of lightning all the time.
Albedon, after casting Mirror Image on himself, cast Rock to Mud on the rock beneath Teraktinus’s feet at the edge of the pit. The giant was surprised as the ground gave way beneath him and slid into the pit along with the mudslide, unable to halt his fall. He fell, still spraying blood, to the pile of corpses at the bottom of the pit. Recovering, but still choking on his own blood from his ruined neck, he retreived his scimitar and started back up the ramp.
Arradin the Increasing Blood Drenched, freed up and still hasted, rushed to Halvard’s aid and began hacking at the dragon. However, Halvard landed one decent blow on the beast’s jaw, causing the dragon to flip over to avoid a broken neck. Tersplink cast Stinking Cloud over Longtooth, who lashed out at Kerplak as he attempted to put distance between himself and the dragon. Still confused, the dragon stood up from his prone position and both Halvard and Arradin struck at it, Halvard was knocked back, but Arradin struck at the creature’s shoulder, crippling its wing in a shower of blood. This was too much for the dragon and it was overcome, dying at Arradin’s feet.
Albedon, his killer now vanquished, ran to the edge of the pit where Teraktinus could be seen running to rejoin the fight and cast Lightning Bolt, frying the would-be general where he stood.
Tersplink clambered on top of the dragon and then dismissed Stinking Cloud, to let Teraktinus’ camp witness his splendour. (You can’t do this, btw, I forgot about this. You can only dismiss a spell if it the Duration line has a (D). Effects that don’t have to be maintained over time often don’t have this, clouds and fogs being common examples. Don’s Call Lightning also continues going until the end, even though he is directing the bolts). Dagfinn went to Teraktinus and tried to heal him; but it was too late, he was already gone, his body utterly soulless.
In the aftermath of the battle, Conna chastened the younger giants and formally disbanded the army as that was clearly the wishes of the spirits. Dagfinn began insisting that they remove their Sihedron brands but whether many did or not is not known. What is know is that Longtooth was hacked to pieces for souvenirs. Don carefully removed the skin, getting enough to create 17’x 17′ stretched skein of high quality dragon leather. Others pulled scales, teeth and in Halvard’s case, a thighbone.

You can tell which one Don was...

Teraktinus’ corpse yielded a magical hide shirt, a scimitar named Minderhal’s Fury, a ring of protection that everyone laughed at and a Light Pick of Dwarf Bane. Longtooth, when he wasn’t being torn apart hyena-style was found to have an Amulet of Mighty Fists.
Souvenirs in hand, the party conferred with Conna about their next move. The dragon’s lair, in the peaks to east of the valley, was there for the taking and an utterly unprecedented source of knowledge about the world 10,000 years ago lies beneath Jorgenfist. Regrettably, the 8 best volumes about who Karzoug was and where Xin Shalast might be had turned to dust in the extra dimensional space, so it will require a bit more digging to piece together the ancient lore. Given the extent of the valuable resource in the Thassilonian library, the party was reluctant to leave Jorgenfist unattended and negotiated with Conna for some of her people to remain in attendance there. They are reluctant to do so, given their experience here and the touch of Karzoug that now lingers about the place in their minds. However, with winter fast approaching and a summer spent wasted assembling this army, Conna and many members of her tribe view the ample food and shelter of Jorgenfist as tolerable, if not desirable.
There is, of course, civilization to return to as well. Wheezy and the Sandpointians are anxious to leave this place and begin a proper recovery, the Sandpointians in Sandpoint with their families and Wheezy, wherever. The party is eager to leave so that they can turn their hard-earned spoils into hard currency/upgraded gear.

Moah mahney, moah praablems.

Decisions, decisions.

For Albedon and Don, two of the party members who were not present on the original Goblin Day or even the aftermath of the original Goblin Day, Teraktinus and Longtooth’s death marks a closed chapter. For Albedon, his death at the hands of Longtooth embarked him on a new and fascinating life of looking up at people as a dwarf, even as he inwardly looked down on them as an elf. For Don, who joined the party to defend Sandpoint after the Goblin Day Festival that job is now done, having brought the two beings directly responsible and one being indirectly responsible to justice of a very swift and final kind.
Mokmurian’s crimes extend beyond that, however. It was he who initiated the sack of Fort Rannick and the end of the Black Arrows. It was he who sent Barl Breakbones to brutalise the fort and he worked with Lucretia the Lamia to make sure that happened, while she wasn’t busy making sure the residents of Turtleback Ferry had a special VIP tattoo for discounts at her floating casino…

2 Comments on “The Acts of The Lords of Rannick, XLI

  1. I may not be able to make it next week on account of work bullshit. It seems like we rapped up the module last week and will be selling stuff. Here is the list of treasure we have. I’ve removed stuff that I know people have laid claim to.
    Amulet of might fists +1
    Bar of Holding (someone took this right?)
    Bag of rocks (agates, ingots, onyx) – 100 gp
    Breastplate (MW)
    Breastplate +1 (this was Aroden’s trade in when she upgraded to +2)
    Breastplate +1
    Breastplate +2 x2
    Chain Shirt x6
    Coins – 24269.3 gp (We had 1,000 more but it was used to raise Dagfin)
    Diamond Powder – 1,500 gp (I think someone took this)
    Dragon loot – LET’S FIND IT!!!
    “Dwarf Bane Heavy” +1 – this is clearly priceless as I took so much time to carefully record it
    Exotic Shells – 60 gp
    Fire Opal – 180 gp
    Flail +2 x2
    Furs – 50 gp
    Gauntlet, ghost touched, +1
    Greatclub (Giant sized)
    Greatclub +3, lokenspear’s backscratcher, shrunken to gnome sized and shoved in a bag of holding/haversack
    Half Plate (tiny)
    Hide (Giant Sized)
    Hide +2
    Mokmurians Spellbook
    Mokmurians spell components
    Necklace (amber and sapphire) – 3000 gp
    Pick +3
    Ranseur +2 x2
    Ring of Protection +1 X2 (I think these are trade ins from when people upgraded to +2)
    Ring of Protection +2 (I know a cleric who could use this)
    Ring, silver, mundane, holding dwarf beards – 10 gp
    Runestones, ivory – 1,400 gp
    Scroll, contact other place
    Schimitar +3 “minderhal’s fury”
    Warhammer – Unkown gp value/Unknow “K” value

  2. As an impartial force in the universe, I’d say that switching a ring of featherfall for a ring of protection +2 would be a savvy move.