Against the Giants: Session 117


Calibos, Sidni and Halmary approach the corridor with its walls covered in gears. At the far end is a great thick door solid with gears large and small. As Calibos stands guard, the rest of the party waiting at the mouth of the tunnel, Sidni and Halmary start trying to turn the gears, looking for a loose one that will open something. Halmary also casts Find Traps, which reveals nothing. He finds a loose gear, which opens a hatch, wherein a lever hides; pulling that opens the door, and a crossroads beyond.

In the centre lies a charred skeleton dressed in some sort of rubbery leather armour, its skeletal hands wearing a bracelet and a ring. A rod of strange metal hangs from its belt. Attached to the side of the walls of each passage are large metal boxes, humming and flickering with arcs of lightning. Ahead the corridor opens into a large chamber, from which blue light shines forth.

They explore. Phildor finds he can easily pass through the corridors with the metal boxes, and does so while invisible, but the others find that the boxes create an barrier, preventing anyone wearing metal armour or carrying metal weapons from crossing; this they bypass by using their bags of holding to hide their stuff while crossing. To the north Phildor, and soon the others, discover a large metal man, a Guardian that speaks to them and demands to be freed: it tells them the source of the boxes’ power is down a corridor, and that all it wants is to be free; they agree to free it, Ungrid follows Cailbos, Halmary, Xellos and Medmyr down to a box with levers; inside the box fierce lightning crackles and writhes like it is alive. Halmary pulls the levers, and the lightning dissipates; the force field falls, the Guardian is freed and tramps its way out into the cave; it is heard smashing through the stalactites; cries of frustration soon follow as it finds its way blocked by the chimney: it starts to return, hell-bent on destroying the party for betraying it!

Everyone gets in position for battle, Halmary races down to the levers, hoping to turn the force fields back on; sadly it is now powerless. Meanwhile, Phildor has wandered about, finding workshops and dismantled lesser Guardians, now inert. He also finds a gear, looking like the missing piece from the dungeon door back in Bloodwater Bay! He pockets it, as the Guardian attacks.

Sidni unleashes her shield of lightning, which has no effect on the Guardian at all; in fact, it seems to increase its power! Worse still, the bolt rebounds and burns Sidni before she can move out of the way. The Guardian whacks Xellos, Calibos and Medmyre; then Ungrid smashes it to the ground, and it explodes!

Sidni falls, but is just dazed and is quickly tended to. The others dust themselves off, and they explore the rest of the dungeon, looting a bedroom and a library/workshop, finding a spell-book made of gears, the components for a ritual of some sort, and enough pieces to start a library or workshop, depending on what they take.

They leave, heading into the caves, down the fissure and find a ruined stone hut and a wooden rowing boat on the bank of an underground lake. Calibos rummages in the boat, and a spectre is summoned; it attacks, thankfully missing, and although Halmary fails to turn it, the magical weapons of Calibos, Sidni and Ungrid manage to send it back to whatever realm it came from, and Xellos lands the killing blow.

They retreat back to the stone chimney, and decide that it is time to leave…

End of Session

Kills: 1 Guardian, 1 spectre.

KO’d: Sidni, but only dazed and a bit scarred (-1 initiative in the cold or rain).


The Fortress: Area B

Map of fortress area B

Area B

  1. A double bunk room for four of the bandits, 1d2 of which are here, sleeping (2 in 6) or resting up between raids. They have a stash in the corner: a keg of ale, a couple of bottles of wine, and a box full of figurines of elven maidens [25 gp].
  2. A bunk room for a couple of bandits currently stationed elsewhere.
  3. A shrine dedicated to the deity of blood, murder and war. A secret door is behind the altar, opened by sitting down on the stone altar. A tapestry showing more battle scenes hangs from the wall, and a sarcophagus with a brittle skeleton rests nearby, its contents already looted.
  4. This is another storeroom, holding jars of oil and spirits, urns of miscellaneous equipment, boxes of spare lanterns, backpacks, rope, and mining gear stolen from dwarves. A locked chest holds some treasure: 35 gold, 345 silver, and 765 copper pieces.

This Concludes the Fortress of the Crimson Blades

The Fortress: Area L

map of fortress area L
Rats Nest

Area L

  1. The end of this corridor ends in steps leading down into a cold cavern. A rack holding three spears, a net and a crossbow with a case of ten bolts, sits next to a full lantern. There is a 2 in 6 chance that the bandit leader is here, watching his ‘pets’.
  2. The cavern is littered with rat droppings and bones. Amongst the debris are 2d6 silver and 2d6 gold pieces, plus 2d8 coppers.
  3. This partially manmade tunnel has a pair of mated giant rats and a dozen baby rats.
  4. A deep pool of fresh water, fed by an underground stream.
  5. A rats’ nest of 3d6 giant rats.

The Fortress: Area K

map of fortress area K

Area K

  1. Another guard area, with 1d2 bandits on watch.
  2. A storeroom, full of rations, kegs of ale, lamp oil, a shelf of clothes, rolls of linen, assorted ornaments and pottery, all not particularly valuable but useful for the hideout. The door to area L is bolted on this side.
  3. A double bedroom, for the current favourites amongst the bandits. There is a 2 in 6 chance that they are here asleep, with their weapons on the rack.

Against the Giants: Session 116


With the mob trussed up like roasting pigs and the strange spider slain, the party fetch the Father from the church and show him the strangeness; he doesn’t like it, but is happy that whatever it is has been dealt with, he also wants to go with the party, and they are happy to let him join them.

They threaten and taunt Magda, finding out from her that she believes that the Cube can be ‘fixed’ by halting Time. They also lean that she came to the village, five years ago according to her, in CY 568; which was 25 years ago!

The party decide to cut their losses and get the hell out of the village, before anything stranger happens. With the good Father in tow, they head off into the marshes, heading towards the rock chimney that they believe is a dungeon from of their treasure maps. The mob and Magda they leave tied-up.

It takes a day to leave the perpetual twilight of Dunnsmouth behind. They make camp amongst a dry patch in the marsh, and at night a horde of skeletons attacks them, climbing out of the bogs around them, catching them by surprise: the skeletons are quickly dispatched, but their ally, the good Father saved from the terrible and strange village, is sadly killed. They bury him in the morning, and head on.

They reach the chimney around mid-morning: a natural pillar of rock, a hole leading through to a cavern below. Using a collapsible ladder commissioned by Halmary, they scale and descend the chimney, leaving Rolad outside (she wants to stay alive). Xellos dons Infravision on an invisible Sidni and she scouts ahead: a cavern of stalactites & stalagmites, a cave of thick webs (with giant spiders), and a fissure leading to a cave below; there is also a tunnel, man-made, with gears covering the walls.

Sidni throws a lit torch into the webs, and the spiders attack: Sidni is poisoned and almost dies, but Halmary drags her to safety and chugs a potion down her throat. Phildor pummels them with magic missiles, and then Xellos finishes them off.

With the immediate threat dealt with, the party turn to the gear-covered tunnel and explore further.

End of Session

Kills: three giant spiders, thirteen skeletons.

Ko’d: Father Iwanopolous, slain by skeletons on his first night of freedom.

The Fortress: Area J

map of fortress area J
Dining Hall

Area J

  1. This grand hall is warmed and lit by a roaring fire. 1d3 bandits are eating here. A cupboard holds plates, cutlery, and mugs; a barrel of ale stands in one corner, along with a side table with dried meats and fruit.
  2. This well-stocked kitchen is looked after by a bandit who has a knack for cooking. There is enough food stored here to last the bandits a couple of weeks.

Against the Giants: Session 115

The party arrive at Magda’s cottage, and the old Gypsy-like women greets them from her porch. They ask her about the cube and she offers to show them her notes from her research on the mysterious object, but only if they deal with a problem for her: there is a mad old hermit, calling himself Uncle Ivanovik, who has desires on her. She wants him dead, or warned off at least; the party agrees to warn him off and cross the marsh, arriving at the home of the mad hermit: an under-construction cottage of brick and timber. Inside a tough looking man is seen sitting at the table, a rusting old axe at hand; Sidni and Xellos (both invisible) keep and eye on him as Halmary shouts “hello” from outside. Uncle Ivanovik invites him, but doesn’t rise to open the door.

Halmary strides in, triggering a trap: a wheelbarrow full of bricks clobbers him, and then Uncle Ivanovik charges the cleric, swinging his axe. The hermit proves pretty useless against the more powerful party, and flees, only to be tripped up by Xellos. He surrenders to them, and is interrogated: he insults and threatens them, tells them Magda is his wife, and vows revenge. Halmary attempts to put him under the power of a Quest, to prevent him from going near or harming Magda. They leave him then, and return to Magda, taking his axe as proof.

Back at the cottage Magda is pleased to have Ivanovik dealt with, even if the party didn’t kill him. She offers to show them her work, but only a couple of them, since her cottage is small and she is nervous around some many tough adventurers/murderhobos. Halmary and Calibos go with her, as does an invisible Xellos; the others stand watch outside, Ungrid patrolling by the front door, keeping an eye out for trouble.

Magda leads them into the cellar. She takes out a book full of notes and sketches; she pretends to ‘dispel’ some wards on the journal, but Xellos identifies it as a Charm Person spell, aimed at Calibos. It fails, and Halmary hold person‘s her. They look through the book, but much of it makes no sense and would require time to properly study. They search the place and find, behind a door behind a curtain, a damp cubby-hole in which a fat, pig-sized spider sits in a web.

Meanwhile, outside, Medmyr spots a mob of villagers approaching, crudely armed. One of them has the face of a spider! Ungrid hurries down to warn the others, and they head out, to confront the villagers. When Rolad sees the spider-faced man, she screams, prompting the villagers to attack!

Calibos slays one, then has a change of heart and proceeds to pummel and knock out three of the better armed villagers. Halmary knocks out another, while Xellos and Sidni kill several, Xellos decapitating the spider-faced man. The pretty girl from the boathouse surrenders and is tied-up. They take her down into the cellar, Ungrid, Calibos, Halmary and Xellos, and stick her with Magda.

Halmary casts tongues and talks to the spider: it tells him that it is a god to these simple folk, and that it has created a stronger, better community, a family, and that the party can join them… Xellos doesn’t like that idea, and blasts it to pieces with a flurry of fiery magic missiles, thus ending the spider threat. Zillah breaks free as he attacks, clawing him in the face, and is promptly knocked out by Halmary.

End of Session

Kills: 1 strange spider, five villagers.

The Fortress: Area I

map of fortress area I

Area I

  1. A guard area that has 1d3 bandits stationed here, busy with games of dice or cards. 3d6 silver coins and 1d6 gold coins are laid out for bets.
  2. This is the bandit leader’s bedroom, who is here on a 2 in 6 chance. The door is usually locked. Inside is a rack for his weapons, and a locked chest holding 234 gold pieces, 576 silver pieces, 27 coppers, a Potion of Healing and a Potion of Growth, plus a dagger.
  3. The bandit’s wizard lives here, and the door is usually locked. She has a small bookcase with half-a-dozen books [250 gp], her spell book, and a brass scroll case with 1d6 wizard spells of levels 1-4. A locked chest holding 45 silver, 90 gold, 23 coppers, and 23 platinum coins, as well as a pouch of assorted gems [500 gp]. She is found her on a 2 in 6 chance.
  4. A secret door leads to the wizard’s real treasure: an urn of 457 gold coins, a casket with three scroll cases, each with 1d6 spells of levels 1-3. There is also a locked chest that has a Wand of Cold, a pair of Elven Boots, and a small ruby [275 gp].
  5. The floor here is a chequered tiled floor of coloured tiles, each with a sunburst pattern. It is trapped, and if the wrong tile is trod upon a burst of magical fire explodes up from the tile [2d6 fire damage]. The correct path is following the wall to the left, to the last but one tile.
  6. The bandit’s secret vault. There are (i) two jars full of gold coins [250 gp], (ii) three urns full of silver coins [750 gp], (iii) caskets of coloured silk, linen, dyes and powders [total 2,500 gp], (iv) a locked chest with 2,300 silver, 34 gold, and 57 platinum pieces, (v) a locked and trapped chest (needle, poison, save or die) with dozens of small gems [1,000 gp], (vi) and a locked chest that is Wizard Locked and holds three Potions of Healing, two Potions of ESP, a Rod of Cancellation, and a suit of magic Chain Mail +1.

Against the Giants: Session 114

map of scenic dunnsmouth
Scenic Dunnsmouth

After rowing down the river for most of the day, a dilapidated old wharf comes into view. Roald points to it, “That’s Dunnsmouth,” she tells them, and the party row up and tie off the boats, climbing up on the old wooden planks. It is twilight now, and a mist ebbs across the marsh. A boathouse stands near the banks of the river, a pathway of stepping stones and rotting rope leading deeper into the poor excuse for a village.

Sidni, invisible, scouts ahead. They meet Zillah, a young mostly toothless pretty young woman who agrees to look after their boats for a few silver; Calibos declines the offer of a kiss, and she seems rather disappointed. They head up past a sorry looking colonial-styled house, towards a church; Sidni heads off by herself, after spotting an old fort nearby. There she discovers an old soldier, all alone in an empty barracks. She– once visible– talks to him, discovering that he’d been there for years, even since the other soldiers went off to fight some enemy that he can’t remember the name of any more.

Meanwhile, while Xellos and Phildor keep watch outside, the others encounter Father Iwanopolous in the church: an untidy, probably unstable man, muttering something about spiders and cubes that glow in the night, and can’t get a lot of sense out of him. He does, however, allow them to use the church as a hostel.

Sidni returns to the others and reports back, they have a quite look around outside, and in the middle of the village see what looks like a glowing cube, floating in the air, the mists thicker around it. Sidni lobs stones and shoots an arrow at it, and all seem to slow down and then stop before they reach it. They decide to leave it alone, and retreat to the church. It must be night, but the village seems stuck in perpetual twilight. The strange Father retires, leaving the party to the church: they barricade the door, set guards, and investigate the catacombs below, which are quite ordinary; they block the trapdoor that leads down though, and Ungrid sleeps atop it.

In the morning they follow a faint trail leading out of the village, stopping at a grounded fishing boat that a potter now lives in. Erik von Kaus offers to sell them pottery, and gives them directions to the local sheriff (Mace) and Magda, who the Father said might know something of the mysterious cube. The party bid him farewell and head off back into the village, stopping by the sheriff’s (who isn’t in), and make their way up the sloping hill to the cottage and barn of Magda…

End of Session

No kills this week either. That’s two weeks of nothing but role-playing. The players are getting itchy for a fight :)