DM When last we left our heroes, they had cut down two frost giant guards with little fanfare, the mighty giants being ill equipped to deal with the blitz of Dragonfyre’s lords. Now we find them, heading deeper into the frostfell rift, seeking out the frost giants’ jarl. Does he hold the key to stopping the giant assaults upon human lands? Read on!
Shael Shael motions across the way — “There’s another alcove on the other side, we should check it out…” — after they’ve finished searching this area.
Kryss Kryss shudders, “Shael? Can anyone do anything about this cold?”
Julian Julian nods and investigates that alcove after they are done with the guards’ areas.
DM On the floor of the cave are a pile of sleeping skins and two bags. In the tunnels to the east of the guard caves, massive crates and sacks of food and ale are piled up, the loot from the human and dwarven regions that are being preyed on weekly by the giants.
Julian Julian also makes sure they investigate any other alcoves Shael points out before moving on.
DM As they are investigating the northern cave, an icicle comes hurtling out of the snow, seeking to impale them.
DM It shatters against Julian’s armor.
Julian Julian rushes the giant, seeking to close in before it can get another shot off.
DM The giant pulls its massive axe out, but the diminutive human is too fast for it.
Kryss Kryss charges the giant a half a beat behind Julian as though they had been fighting alongside one another for years. Shatterspike flies at the Giant’s face and past, while Kryss agilely slides between its staggering feet. He catches her on the other side and launches her again and again.
Julian Ju-hal springs lightly over the snow to surround the foe while Goldemar wades up to it. Hengist moves to cut off its retreat while Horsa sounds a battle cry.
Kryss Kryss takes the opportunity to slam Shatterspike down deep into the giant’s foot.
Shael Shael moves around the ground, looking for an opening in the raw melee, and calls for Serra to blind the giant.
DM The giant is absolutely overwhelmed. It doesn’t even have time for a condescending look of confusion as it dies.
Kryss “Well fought, everyone.” Kryss says.
Shael Shael motions down the tunnel behind them and says, “That leads to a larger antechamber — we might want to explore the other side before heading that way…” he shrugs uncertainly.
Julian “You often know best.” Julian agrees.
DM Ju’hal pauses. “Is our intention not to wipe them all out?”
DM “The rift will be easier explored when the giants are all dead.”
Shael “There’s a key somewhere — if I’m not mistaken, it’s closer to the entrance rather than further in — and it will aid us.”
DM Ju’hal looks bemused. “A key?”
Kryss Kryss taps the side of his head, “Shael Knows Things.”
Julian “Perhaps we might take prisoners at some point, but I think they will not easily surrender before their leaders are beaten.” Julian muses. “And you did say something about a key, Shael…?”
Shael “More of a token, I suppose…” he checks the arm of the giant they just slew.
Julian “Maybe we should keep looking here on the eastern half of the cavern.” Julian suggests as they review Shael’s revelation.
Shael He agrees.
Julian “We should keep a watch on that other path, though, to make sure we don’t get surrounded…” Julian makes his dispositions and then the party presses on.
DM The tunnel curves around and forks, soft west and hard west.
Julian Julian moves to investigate the hard-west passage first.
DM Various pieces of frozen meat, some bales of cloth, piles of hides, and a few odd boxes and barrels of foodstuffs are stashed in an out-of-the-way cave.
Julian Julian satisfies himself that there is nothing of critical importance here and then moves on to the other passage.
DM While he’s satisfying himself, he moves a box and reveals a hole full of gold, gems and a silver tube.
Julian “Kryss, will this all fit in your pants?” The party collects it one way or another before moving on.
Kryss “There should be plenty of room in my pants, Julian. Did you want to stick your tube in here?” Kryss asks.
Julian “Definitely. But be gentle with it.”
Kryss “No promises. All kinds of stuff will be banging around in there with it. I’m still looking for my best hammer.”
DM The tunnel opens back up onto a cliff face, the snow swirling around the bottom and concealing the rift floor from their sight.
DM Another cave looms to the south and east.
Shael “Oh, here it is.” Shael says, suddenly confident.
Julian Julian heads that way.
Julian He checks out the first side (?) passage they come upon.
DM Entering the eastern fork of the cavern tunnel suddenly darkens the outside light that had been streaming through the ice. In the dimmer light, ice formations fill the cave. Ahead, a dozen or so furry hides cover the floor of the place.
Julian Julian wills his sword to brightness as the natural light dims.
DM As the light brightens they find themselves in a cavern full of snow ogres, nearly invisible against the icy floor and windblown snow drifts within. A bellow goes up as the creatures converge upon the lords.
Julian Julian dashes across the ice to cut the knees out from under the nearest, then puts his back against the northern wall.
DM The ogres swipe ineffectually at the paladin, who nimbly avoids them.
DM His blade cauterizes the wound it inflicts upon the ogre’s thigh.
Shael The Shield Golem unleashes an enchantment stored within it upon Shael and he moves forward into the fray – calling again for Serra’s aid to smite the creatures.
DM The enchantment shreds the ogre in holy light, the creature nearly collapsing from the burns.
Kryss Kryss cover’s for Julian as he advances, working Shatterspike furiously to hold off the impending rush as long as possible.
DM He nails the ogre right in the fuckleberries, exploding it into bloody mist on the cavern wall.
DM The snow ogres charge, swinging massive axes and chucking full on longspears at the lords. Kryss takes one of the spears as a scratch on his arm. The rest bounce off their armor.
Julian Julian smiles as they converge.
Julian He reaches for his definitely-not-a-fireball javelin of lightning as they line up.
Shael Taking his cue from Julian, Shael lines up for a similar shot across the bow and then follows up with another blast of holy light.
DM The ogres stagger under the assault of lightning, and the stench of ozone begins to overpower that of ogre.
DM The lords hear the howling of more ogres heading up from the south.
Kryss Kryss scrambles backwards straight up the wall behind him with his magic shoes, throwing Shatterspike repeatedly into the ogres’ soft abdomen as he climbs away from his friend’s fireworks.
Kryss “Don’t let them surround you!” he says to Julian.
DM One ogre falls, its head split in half, a second clutches a torn throat spurting blood onto the ice.
Julian “Back to the ice.” Julian agrees, and he does keep his back to it.
DM The ogres to the far south are armed with a motley of strange weapons, flails, modified ballista, even a battering ram.
DM They are too distant to engage however. The surviving ogres in the fray are being quickly decimated. One gets a lucky blow in, scratching Shael with a spear.
Julian Once he has a feeling of where to aim, he invokes a spell.
DM The blast of flame catches the ogres and they scream in rage. Thankfully, the rush of water as the ice on the ceiling and floor is vaporized helps ease their pain. In a way only super heated steam can.
Julian He observes the results with satisfaction, though it does not slow him from cutting the nearer ogres to pieces.
DM Somewhat surprisingly, the entire cave does not collapse upon them, and the reason for the darkening of the light becomes clear. This cavern is a natural cave, covered floor to ceiling in ice.
DM Still, tens of thousands of gallons of water wash over the snow ogres.
Shael Shael carefully moves from his engagement with several of the ogres to gain a better vantage for his next lightning bolt.
DM Ogres drop like flies.
DM Snowy, ugly flies.
Kryss Kryss launches himself away from the wall directly into the face of the nearest ogre, locking his legs around its head and bringing Shatterspike down onto its head.
DM Over half a dozen dead ogres in less than a minute. Two ugly scratches on the lords of Dragonfyre, once the Bane End boys. This seems to be an even match.
DM Kryss’s initial rush kills the ogre he’s wrapping his legs around, and Shatterspike flies out to claim two more of the wounded savages.
DM The only remaining initial ogre joins with one of the newcomers to take down Kryss.
DM They fail dismally.
DM While the other ogres struggle to regain their footing on the slick ice, the one with the ballista opens fire again.
DM The missile goes horribly wide.
Julian Julian works his way around the enemy’s flank while Kryss gets in their face.
Julian Like old times…
Shael Shael moves out into the middle of the room, prepared for the ogres to attack with his katana at the ready.
Kryss Kryss quickly dispatches the remaining ogres nearby while Shael faces down what will surely be another legion of foes.
DM One of the ogres collapses sans head.
DM The other staggers, its leg pumping blood onto the slippery ice.
DM Four elite ogres rush Shael. One attempts to flatten him with a battering ram, two flank him with flails that appear to be made of spinal columns, and the final one is mounted with platforms carrying what appear to be pale white goblins on its shoulders. It carries a massive pike, while the goblins fire arrows.
DM The attack would have brought down an ogre. It does not bring down Shael.
Shael “Siege ogres…” Shael ponders to himself, possibly audible to his keen companions over the din of battle. It is clear the sage is more fascinated than worried, even with the mighty attacks. It is clear he is not taking all the damage he should, even beyond his direct enchantments.
Shael “…which of you is the strongest?” Shael challenges them in Giant, looking at each in turn as they attack in a coordinated rush.
DM “Rugshrek is strongest!” boasts the one before him with the battering ram.
DM None of the others gainsay him.
Shael Shael nods, “Your friends can keep helping —” he permits in Giantish, but he squares off directly with Rugshrek. The UnMetal glistens blackly across from Khionesoul.
Julian Julian cuts into the tired ogre and then abandons it to move and guard Shael’s flank. “That battering ram is going to be a lot slower than you are, Shael.” he observes.
Shael Shael giggles happily in response.
Shael Shael lunges forward with Khionesoul lashing fire and ice through the air and its mate bending around the battering ram to carve into the ogre who challenged him.
DM The attack nearly brings the massive ogre to its knees, but somehow it remains on shaky feet. The unmetal blade sinks into its flesh…then explodes out, a starburst of metal, working its way through the ogre leader’s body. It hungers for the ogre’s blood, and Shael cannot extract it from his victim’s body. The cold, somewhat predictably, is not as effective against the ogres as it could be, though a sight better than if he had employed it against the giants.
Kryss Kryss finishes off the remaining ogre next to him and rushes to join his companions.
DM The flail wielding ogre near Shael is treated to a vicious Shatterspike super snack, right in its jaw.
DM Its severed tongue flops out of its gaping mouth, right onto Kryss’s head.
DM The ogres attack, Shael taking the brunt of the battering ram to the chest, which sends him flying. A bone flail wraps around Kryss’s legs, knocking him to the ground.
DM Shael manages to keep his grip on the unmetal, and his flight from the blow ends suddenly.
Shael Julian wades in with his shield forward against the flail-wielder, Lightbringer piercing through the darkness.
Shael Shael uses the momentum of the dolorous blow that knocked him into the air to vault wide and bring Khionesoul spinning like a buzz-saw into the battering-ogre. Stepping through its collapsing body, his magic wicks fire and ice against the neighboring ogres.
DM Rukshrek is torn apart by the hungry unmetal and his corpse explodes into blood drained chunks of meat.
DM The other two ogres stagger as Shael begins to move through them like wheat…it becomes very clear that he did not struggle to demolish their leader.
Shael Kryss follows behind with Shatterspike summersaulting through the air more acrobatically then Shael has ever managed. He catches it and throws again, and then a third time at each of the remaining ogres.
DM The axe swings out in a scything arc, catching each of the three ogres. Two of them fall, the goblin tower staggers.
DM Trying to back up, the ogre lashes out with its massive spear
DM The goblins fire an unending stream of arrows at their attacker.
Shael Julian lunges forward with Lightbringer to gut the final ogre and as it collapses Shael leaps up, climbing into the basket to begin laying waste to the goblins. As the last few guttering breaths escape those trying to crawl away from the carnage, Shatterspike spins through the air decapitating them on the way to eviscerate the ballistae-ogre.
Shael Kryss catches Shatterspike on its return journey just as the first ogre hits the ground; Shael steps lightly out of the basket with several goblin heads rolling out after him. He looks back when he hears the last ogre collapse and smiles, “Warm ya up yet?” he wonders.
DM The carnage of a dozen and half snow ogres, their bloody corpses lying on the ice, in the water, sprawled across their furs, is a portrait of justice. These ogre mercenaries left similar scenes behind them in the human villages they attacked.
DM Of course, the lords of Dragonfyre haven’t raped, eaten or violated any of the ogres’ corpses yet. Will they? Find out next week!