July 23

Against the Giants: Homeward Bound

title for campaign
Against the Giants: The End

Our intrepid band of adventurers, escorting the failed expedition of scholars and their hired help, spend a week trekking through the jungle. It’s hot work, but uneventful. Nothing bothers them. Predators avoid such a large party; intelligent ones take one look at their armour and weapons and decide the risk is too great.

On the 5th of Fireseek, 595 CY at the start of the new year, they arrive at Port Sanguine, a small trading port catering to merchants and traders. They bid farewell to the scholars, and also to Eshan, who is happy to have made it back to some sort of civilisation after everyone else who escaped the Stockade perished. As for the Heroes, they spend a few days cleaning themselves up, booking passage on a ship to Keoland, and spending some downtime before they set sail.

On the morning of the 9th, they board the Fond Farewell, and set sail, homeward bound…

End of Campaign


And that’s it. After over 4 years and 214 sessions, the Against the Giants campaign comes to an end. Interest was starting to wane, the characters had reached a peak in most of their abilities, and everyone wanted to try something different. And to be honest, keeping it fresh and coming up with new ideas and adventures to keep everyone challenged was getting more and more difficult. I think it’s amazing that we got this far.

Next up, we start playing The One Ring, and see where that takes us. Stay tuned.

 

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July 12

Against the Giants: Session 214

The heroes regroup back at the ruined foundry, where Halmary unpacks mundane weapons and armour from his bag of holding and distributes them to the rescued explorers (a couple of scholars, a guide, and mercenaries). They are looking for a lost city, but after losing much of their equipment and several men, have decided to return to the port they came from so that they can resupply and hire more men. The heroes suggest that they all go together, but only after they’ve checked out the ruined temple Calibos was almost sacrificed in, and the shipwreck they passed while rescuing him. The explorers agree, and tag along.

They head to the temple, leaving Eshan to guard the explorers, while the rest levitate down and explore the catacombs below. The offerings left for the abomination are looted (coins, gems, various trade goods, some potions and possible magic items), then the catacombs raided: most caskets are already open and empty, but they find one sealed with the bones of a child inside with a crushed skull, and a horn carved with symbols of wind; Halmary pockets that. Two sarcophagi are looted of the diamonds resting in the skeleton’s eye socket, but there’s no danger and it is uneventful.

Back to the shipwreck, which seems to be an odd ship, buried nose-first in the earth, too big for the small river that runs by it. They explore the upper deck, finding little of interest (water-damaged charts, a journal, and a brass telescope), a stone chair with a skeleton of a hippo-man sat in it, with vines and yellow flowers sprouting from its ribcage. Sindi and Calibos descend into the hold, where ripped cargo webbing hides crates and other goods. Flowering vines curl around the interior, and as the two begin to fan out, and Halmary and the others get ready to join them, Sindi spots a zombie (also with vines and yellows flowers sprouting from its body) lurking behind a crate. It rears up to attack an unsuspecting Calibos, but is speared by Sindi and cut down.

Then things get interesting as one of the flowers sprays a cloud of pollen in the air, the spores entrancing Sindi but having no effect on Calibos. Sindi heads straight to the aft of the hold, where a think plant writhes and latches onto Sindi’s head with brain-sucking tendrils. Another zombie and a skeleton head into the hold, straight for Calibos. Ungrid, then Halmary, followed by Xellos after a few rounds, all come down to join them. Calibos charges past the flowery dead and goes straight for the plant, hacking it into pieces and freeing Sindi before any harm comes to her. Ungrid takes care of the other zombie, crushing it under his heel. Halmary tires and fails to turn them, since it appears that are not undead. He is about to use a ring of plant control, but Xellos cuts down the skeleton and then turns when he hears Eshan (on deck with the explorers) cry out as the hippo-man skeleton from above shambles down; this skeleton is smashed by Xellos’ axe.

They shred the plants, loot what little there is left in the hold, and retreat from the shipwreck. They discuss what to do next, and agree to head to the port in the morning. Halmary brings out a treasure map he found, and the explorers help him determine that there is a ruin of some sort a few days out from the port, and may provide a side-trek while they wait for a ship home to book passage on.

Camp is struck and everyone settles in for a night in the jungle.

End of Session

Kills: 2 Yellow Musk Zombies, 2 Yellow Musk Skeletons, 1 Yellow Musk Creeper.

July 10

Against the Giants: Session 213

With the loss of his most powerful weapons and armour, Ungrid levitates into the air out of reach of the metal-eating beasts.

Meanwhile, the battle continues around him, while the lizardman carrying Calibos runs off into the jungle.

Halmary takes out the lizardfolk shaman with a hefty whack to the head, then backs off as more rust monsters come towards him. He finds himself cornered and the king of the rust monsters looms over him; but before it has a chance to do anything, Xellos fires off a ray of paralysis, freezing the big beast in place. Halmary tries to escape the smaller monsters by climbing on the king’s back, but something about its hide doesn’t like metal either, and Halmary’s armour starts to rust; he jumps off before it is damaged, but is then trapped against the wall by three of the rust monsters are eagerly try to eat his plate armour.

Xellos joins Sindi and Ungrid in the air as he too downs a potion and levitates up. Eshan, down below, finds himself losing weapons quickly as a rust monster takes a shine to him and he is soon defenceless. Those explorers inside manage to break out, and join the fight outside, but they too are missing their weapons and armour and starts grabbing the stone and wooden implements from the dead lizardfolk.

Speaking of the lizardfolk, those left, fanatically fighting on despite their losses, savagely tear into the explorers, killing a couple before Xellos (by magic missile) and Ungrid (with a dagger, after dropping back down to the ground) end their lives. The final champion almost survives as a prisoner, after Xellos commands him to freeze, but Ungrid just slits his throat.

That leaves just the rust monsters. Sindi lobs down the grenade from a while back, creating a devastating explosion that blasts half-a-dozen of the monsters to pieces; Xellos takes a couple more out with a lightning bolt, freeing Halmary and allowing him too withdraw. Sindi kills another with a well-placed arrow, and the last two scurry off, finally driven away. Halmary then goes back in and bludgeons the rust monster king to death with his staff.

While Halmary deals with the king, and Ungrid gathers the surviving explorers and Eshan together outside the foundry, Sindi and Xellos hurry after Calibos. They quickly find a trail and hack their way through the jungle, passing a ship wrecked on the bank of a small river (but Xellos’ sword of locate person doesn’t detect Calibos, so they leave it alone for now) and soon coming across all of Calibo’s items, including his clothes, thrown on the ground. They make a note of where to find it, and hurry on. Before too long they come to a clearing, where a ruined temple stands. From inside they hear chanting.

map of ruined temple

Sindi and Xellos approach, both invisible, and Xellos’ sword detects Calibos inside and down. The temple has a pit inside, and the lizardman that carted away their friend is kneeling down, praying, chanting, intent on whatever is in the pit. Sindi tries to barge the chanting lizardman into the pit, but slips on some leaves and instead collides with a pillar. The lizardman spins round, spots the now visible explorer and claws her across the chest. Xellos comes up behind him, and decapitates the lizardman.

Below, the pit has two arches leading off. A trail of slime leads into one. They both levitate down and follow the slime into a cavern, where they spot an abomination of undulating flesh wrapped around a naked Calibos, many mouths latched on and beginning to tear at his flesh. Quickly hasted, Sindi and Xellos charge in, stabbing and hacking away at the creature, killing it and saving Calibos from being eaten. They leave the cave and lots of loot for now, grabbing Calibos and make their way back to the foundry, collecting Calibos’ belongings on the way back.

When everyone is back together, they introduce themselves to the explorers they rescued; an expedition looking for a lost city, and who know think it better to return to port to resupply and hire new men, having lost much on their journey so far. The heroes then open up their bags if holding and bring out various magic weapons and armour to replace the ones they lost, rearming and quickly back to their unstoppable selves.

End of Session

Kills: 1 lizardfolk shaman, 1 lizardfolk champion, 2 lizardfolk warriors, 1 rust monster king, 10 rust monsters, 1 abomination.

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July 9

800th Post

Map of Monastery

This is my 800th Post, although granted 212 of them are just my play reports from my Against the Giants campaign (when did they last fight a giant?)…

This was almost just another report, 213th to be exact, but that’ll come out tomorrow instead now. For this post, here’s an adventure (SanctumoftheFirstBlade, maps below). It’s written with ACKS in mind, but works well with others.

Hope you get some use out of it.

Thanks,

Simon.

monastery of the first blade
monastery of the first blade
sanctum of the first blade
sanctum of the first blade
July 3

Against the Giants: Session 212

map of 1/2 mile high shaft

As the rest of the party stand at the bottom of the shaft, Sindi grabs a light and flies up and up and up, half-a-mile straight. Two hundred feet from the top, where a glimmer of daylight filters through, a mass of cobwebs block the passage. She spots a spider lurking in the cracks of the shaft’s wall. Then she heads back down, levitating all the way to the bottom, taking a couple of hours to rejoin the others. The others stay put, resting their weary feet, tending to their weapons and armour, as Sindi levitates up again, and burns through the webs and the spider with a crackling lightning bolt; two more spiders scurry out of a cave, but she just spears them and sends them plummeting to their doom.

Down below, Eshan is covered in spider gore as the two bodies splat next to him.

They rest for the day, then using a mixture of diminution and levitation potions, boots and fly, they ascend the shaft and come out in a cave that overlooks a steamy jungle. From their vantage point they can see a river winding through the nearby trees, and a clearing with some wooden structure. A trail of smoke wafts up from the building. They head towards it, hacking their way through the jungle undergrowth until they suddenly come out right in front of the building; inside, there are snarls and hisses, voices raised in concern, and looking through the gapes in the walls, the heroes see a group of explorers trapped between savage lizardfolk and a dozen or so Rust Monsters!

Old Iron Foundry

Sindi wastes no time coming to their aid, stepping inside what appears to be an old iron foundry, and lightning bolting three of the lizardfolk, grabbing everyone’s attention and enraging the dead creatures allies!

Ungrid hurls Grontdreng through the opening in the wall, crushing the skull of a lizardman, and Calibos charges past him, leaping over the obstacles in his way, and decapitates another. Those inside shout, and from the surrounding jungle more lizardfolk emerge; and several drop down dead as Xellos unleashes a death spell. Even that doesn’t stop them, as they snarl and shout, raise their spears and axes high, and attack!

Meanwhile, the Rust Monsters sense fresh new metal to eat. Several attack the trapped explorers, destroying weapons and armour; the others move towards the heavily equipped party. Halmary suffers the first loss as he whacks one of the armoured beasts, but is aghast as his magical mace Crusher is turned to rust before his eyes. Ungrid turns to face the newly arrived lizardfolk, taking down another and catching a champion with the return of his hammer. Sindii finds herself momentarily surrounded, but then Eshan proves himself capable in a fight and backstabs one of the lizardmen, freeing Sindi from being trapped. Xellos lets loose with a flurry of his fiery magic missiles, taking out another champion and wounding the Rust Monster facing off against Halmary.

Ungrid finds himself facing a Rust Monster, and grabs Mountain Sledge to use instead of his favourite weapon. He smashes the armoured hide of the monster, but does not kill it. Worse, the warhammer’s metal parts rust away and the magical weapon crumbles. The monster retaliates, its antenna slapping against the dwarf’s plate armour, turning it to rust as well!

Calibos finds himself in a similar situation, his armour disintegrating as he finds a Rust Monster rearing up behind him. As his armour turns to red and falls apart, the shaman lizardman casts a spell, and Calibos is held! One of the shaman’s allies grab hold of the former paladin and heaves him over its shoulder; it starts to make its way out of the foundry. The shaman tries to follow, but is blocked by Halmary, who was freed from fighting his Rust Monster after Xellos slew it with another burst of magic missiles.

Sindi levitates herself up out of reach of both Rust Monsters and Lizardfolk, pulling her bow free and taking aim at one of the Rust Monsters. She sticks it with a magic arrow, right between its beady eyes, killing it outright.

Ungrid and Xellos engage the reinforcement lizardmen, and a couple of Rust Monsters. It seems to be going well, with the lizardmen staggering under their blows. Then things take a turn for the worse, as the Rust Monster leaps at Ungrid, grabs hold of Grontdrengi and eats it!

End of Session

Kills: 3 giant black widow spiders, 17 lizardfolk, 2 rust monsters.

Losses: two sets of magical plate armour, Mountain Sledge warhammer, and the mighty Grontdrengi.

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