November 19

Against the Giants: Session 182

10th Reaping, 594, morning

The Duke’s army is on the move again, several days march away and showing no signs of stopping. Scouts report back that the Duke and his commanders have spread the word of the Heroes treason, attempted assassination, and murder of the former commanders. Even ordinary folk in the towns and villages of the Grand Duchy are beginning to question the actions of these so-called Heroes. Back at Pest’s Crossing, the falsely-accused– well, of treason, they’re certainly guilty of killing– Heroes decide flight is better than fight, and decide to evacuate the town and surrounding land, sending the families under Calibos’ lordship off to Tika Town, accompanied and escorted by their small army. Meanwhile, the Heroes head off to see if the real Duke is imprisoned in the hunting lodge where they encountered him previously to the march of his army.

On the 12th Reaping, the evacuees begin their long march, while the Heroes ride off towards the Oyt Wood, where the Duke’s lodge is located. They skirt around the approaching army, taking care not to be seen, and after three days of hard riding they arrive at the lodge and make camp as night falls. Xellos flies off to scout the place out, and discovers that the lodge has been burned to the ground! He reports back to the others, carrying a skull of a dead soldier for Halmary to speak with dead: he learns that there was a surprise attack, balls of fire exploding in the grounds. Sidni goes back with Xellos and they deduce that there was indeed a short-lived and one-sided battle, with tracks of a single rider leaving the ruined lodge.

In the morning, the 16th Reaping, the Heroes explore the ruins, looking for any sign of the Duke or for what happened there. Using their swords of seeking they find a faint trace of the Duke, coming from underground. They unearth the stairs to the cellar and descend. Whilst Ungrid and Xellos stand guard, Halmary uses his magic mace to search for secret doors and discovers one behind a barrel. Calibos opens it, triggering a glyph of warding that strikes him with a lightning bolt. Inside the hidden room are two broken statues: one of the Duke, the other of his wife. They seem incredibly life-like, and also smashed. Obviously someone had turned them to stone and then destroyed them, killing them. They take a few pieces from each, with the intention of somehow bringing them back to life at a later date. There is also a chest inside the room, which Halmary finds traps on and dispels another glyph of warding: inside are coins and gems that are looted.

Back outside they find horse tracks leading away from the ruins. They break camp, mount up, and start following them into the forest and down the path that leads out.

End of Session

November 8

Against the Giants: Session 181

map of TARDIS console room

Once again the lever is pulled and the central column rises and falls, accompanied by a wheezing, grinding sound like the air itself is being torn apart. Sparks fly from the console. Peering out, they find themselves in the cave again, but at a point prior to their first arrival; another attempt, and even further back they end up; then one more time, and it appears that they have landed exactly where they left, with the book Sidni had placed by the door still there, intact and showing no sign of wear.

Unsure as to what approach to take (stay pressing levers inside, or head to the demon-infested tower and try to use that to get home) Halmary communes with his goddess and asks three questions:

  1. Can the tower take us home from our current location? Yes.
  2. Can this machine take us home from our current location? Yes.
  3. Will the portal take us home from our current location? No.

First off, Sidni and Xellos– both invisible– fly off out of the cave to scout out the tower: more demons are coming through the portal, so they report back to the others and decide that perhaps the tower is not the best way forward. Instead, they travel down the Ship’s corridor to the prison, where the bearded prisoner waits in manacles. They interrogate him as best as they are able, with Xellos reading his mind thanks to a potion of ESP: he tells them that he can pilot the Ship and will return them home if they free him, but that he does intend to exact his revenge on the world at large for his imprisonment. They decide to leave him, again, and once more he curses them as they head off back to the console room. There they once again try the lever, and the Ship travels and arrives on the slope of a mountain: a range they recognise as they are looking over the Grand Duchy of Geoff, their home, and spot several landmarks. No idea whether they are in their own time or not, Xellos and Calibos volunteer to find out by teleporting to Pest’s Crossing, in the hope that it is still there. They first rest for the day, recovering their spells and tending to their last wounds, and then off they go: they arrive in the town and quickly locate and convince Medmyr that they are all right and that Calibos is still himself, despite now being a dwarf. They also discover that they have only been gone two days.

But it has been a busy couple of days: they Duke has returned, appearing in Gorna and accusing the Heroes of treason and kidnapping, and murder by assassination of several high-ranking lords. He has rallied some of the troops that had previously deserted and the army is on the march again, heading for Pest’s Crossing. The Duke’s army will arrive in five days time.

Using teleportation and requiring another day’s rest, the others are brought back to the town and all are reunited back at Pest’s Crossing. Xellos scouts out the enemy army, and reports back that they are greatly outnumbered, and that they army is now only a few days away.

End of Session

Current Date: 9th Reaping, 594 CY.

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November 1

Against the Giants: Session 180

Relatively safe inside the strange dungeon found inside the mirror, the Heroes notice that the interior has repaired and reconfigured itself. Before they rest up and tend to their wounds, they decide to quickly explore the immediate vicinity. Xellos imbues Sidni with Infravision, and she heads off down the southern corridor, while the others check out the console room and retrieve some scraps and pages from damaged books.

Sidni disappears into the dark corridor, quickly losing sight of the console room, and is gone for longer than the others are comfortable; they follow, arriving in the next chamber, the room with the multiple mechanical arms hanging over a bed that seems more sized for a giant than normal humans. Not long after, Sidni arrives, much to everyone’s surprise. Turns out she had arrived there nearly an hour ago, saw ghost-like figures in the dark and quickly headed back, only to find the others had disappeared. She turned back, and somehow arrived after the rest of the party arrived… timey-wimey.

Down one of the corridors they hear the staccato screech of the metaltron, that creature that exterminated Calibos, forcing him to reincarnate as a dwarf. Also, coming out of the darkness, ghostly figures start to approach. Quickly, the Heroes head back the way they came, arriving together a few minutes later in the console room.

There they finally decide to rest and regain their spells, tend to their wounds, and catch their breathes after a long night of fighting and fleeing. Halmary creates glyphs of warding across the corridors, and they drag bookshelves to make further barricades. Guards are set, and Halmary sits down with some of the papers and finds one that looks like it is a translation guide between the Common tongue and the sigils and glyphs that decorate the console and the keystones of the arches into each room. He identifies some of the symbols on the console as belonging to travel and teleportation. Sidni convinces the others to test out the controls and presses buttons: each time the room shudders, and central column on the console rises and falls, a blue light pulsing in time, and a deep, wheezing, groaning noise drowns out conversation for a minute or so. When it all stops, they peer outside: they first end up in a forest, with ruins scattered throughout; then at the docks of a bustling port with several strange humanoids walking amongst the sailors and crowds; then an alleyway, demons passing by; then into the cave they were originally, but with the bones more weathered; then back to the cave again, but seemingly just where they were before; then the cave, but without the junk and bones; a ship’s hold; and finally a morgue, bodies on tables shrouded and still.

They close the doors, unsure whether they can now get back home, and wonder just what on earth they are going to do now.

End of Session

Timeline: it is now the 7th Reaping, 594 CY, relatively speaking.

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October 25

Against the Giants: Session 179


Gathered outside the entrance to the tower, demons surging towards them, others already engaged in combat, the Heroes struggle to hold the tide back and escape into the tower. Sidni flies over the heads of the demons, dropping Halmary into the tower’s doorway, allowing the seriously wounded cleric to heal himself. Calibos and Ungrid suffer a few wounds, but cut back a few demons as well. Then Sidni grabs an also badly wounded Calibos and hurls him into the tower, dodging blows from sharp claws, while Xellos hacks away with his axe, killing one of the hounds but finding himself against another; and his magic is still neutralised. Ungrid levitates into the air, allowing Sidni to drag him down and into the tower too, leaving just Xellos outside surrounded by demons. He barges past them, fighting his way to the tower, where the others are battling demon eye-creatures that are inside. As that battle wages on, Calibos turns his attention to the front door and tries to slam in shut in one of the demon hound’s face, but the hound shoves it back open. Xellos swaps places with him and manages to slam the door shut, and Sidni leaps to join him, throwing her weight against the door. Halmary starts hammering spikes into place, while Ungrid finishes the last of the floating demons and tends to his own wounds.

A temporary respite. The front door shudders as the demons throw themselves against it. In their minds the demon leader again demands their surrender, and for a moment it seems like most of them are willing to do so. A side door leads to a room with a cage, inside of which is a dead elf, maul and mutilated. His meagre belongings are taken by Xellos.

While the Heroes debate whether they should surrender or not, playing for time, Sidni checks out the inner door and peers through: beyond the chamber is also full of demons! They swarm towards the door as Sidni slams it shut and tries her best to hold it closed. The front door also shudders, one of the spikes flying loose. Again the demon lord demands them surrender; Halmary adamantly refuses to do so, the others consider it, even if only to buy a little time. The demons carry on slamming against the doors regardless. Another of the spikes flies free, and the inner door splinters along its side.

The Heroes decide to retreat as Xellos tells them he has a plan to escape. He hurries into the cage room and turns the stone to mud but sadly the rock is solid all the way down (missed the cavern below by several feet). Instead, he suggests that Calibos teleports out with Ungrid, back into the cave with the bones with the blue box that came out of. The former paladin-turned-dwarf does so, and both dwarves find themselves back in the forest, slightly off target. They manage to trace their steps back to the pit and climb back into the cavern, waiting by the blue box and hoping that the others return. Xellos then calls the others to him, and uses his own scroll of teleport to send Sidni and Halmary back to the cave; they arrive on target, moments before the two dwarves.

Xellos, left alone in the tower, finds demons smashing through the doors… but quickly dimension doors away, appearing dozens of feet in the air; he immediately flies over to the cavern and joins the others.

And back at the tower the demons howl, enraged.

End of Session

Kills: 6 demon scouts, 1 demon soldier, 1 demon mage-hound, 1 demon blasphemous hound.

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October 19

Against the Giants: Session 178


Exiting the inside of the Mirror-entered dungeon, our Heroes find themselves in a junk filled cave strewn with hundreds of bones; which, naturally enough, raise as animated skeletons to attack the party: they are easily dispatched by Ungrid’s hurling hammer, Xellos’ swinging axe, Calibos’ cutting sword, and a lightning bolt from Sidni, followed by Halmary’s turn undead vaporising the rest. They climb up out of the cave, to find themselves in a forest at night, and the Shifting Tower visible through the trees. Also through the trees are the sounds of large creatures moving, and the lights of bonfires.

Sidni scouts ahead, spotting some sort of army camped outside the tower. Everyone makes their way through the trees under cover of darkness, and Xellos carries them over (by flying) the ring of stones, into the courtyard, but a creature (a demon!) spots them and the others are suddenly aware of them, and the demonic creatures start moving in!

The demons swarm in, through the gates that they barge open, and the heroes suddenly find themselves engaged in a fight for their lives. Ungrid hastes himself, as Xellos carries Halmary over the fence (the last one to be carried over, as loads of demons move decamp and head straight his way), and Sidni and Calibos engage the demons, cutting away demonic flesh. Ungrid gets injured in return, and the a fireball explodes in their midst, burning Ungrid and Calibos. Halmary utters a prayer, but finds himself unable to communicate with his goddess, as a strange demon hound moves close and cuts him off! Halmary instead activates his giant strength shield and wades into the fight, but finds himself beaten up as he struggles to cut down the hounds. Ungrid takes the first kill though, but avoids being struck by a lightning bolt from another snake-like demon from the doorway to the tower: that creature finds its demise as Xellos charges in and kills it. Another demonic hound gets close to Xellos, cutting off his arcane magic, but it doesn’t stop him cutting down a demon. Ungrid cleaves into another demon, felling it, and hurls his hammer at demonic floating eyeballs, taking out several of the monsters.

The gates show more demons advancing, and the Heroes decide to retreat, heading to the tower’s doorway, Sidni grabbing hold of Halmary to save him from the hounds, and Calibos cuts down another demon as everyone heads for the tower…

End of Session

Kills: 18 skeletons, 4 demon soldiers, 4 demon scouts, 1 executor demon.

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