Cleric’s Log, Astrological Date 12-16.12
Finishing our bath, we finally mustered the willpower to leave, and headed back to the last two doors (white and green) which seem to have some Zodiacal properties.
We hear the tinkle of coin as we approach a corner, and we see thin cracks at the juncture of the walls. There is a narrow peep-hole into the next room. Hrolf wields his stone magic to widen it a bit and allow us a better view. Inside we see two giant creatures cooking up some kind of recipe, and an elven male languishing in cage 20’ off the floor suspended by a 3’ icy chain. The guy in the cage seems to by trying to liight a fire to stay warm… I set off down the corridor to find another door as Hrolf prepares to widen the crack into a passable portal. I suggest we enter through both passages simultaneously to confuse the giants and save the caged elf. Kalli likes this idea, and calls out a pincer strategy. Blake somehow turns both Kalli and Hrolf invisible, and they and stealthy Reynard determine to sneak in through the hole as the rest of us barge in through the door. First I pray over all of us, then cast magical stone to enchant 3 small rocks… now Blake, Stefan, and I wait for a few moments by the door so Kalli, Hrolf, and Raynard can make their hole, infiltrate under the bed, and get in position.
The two giants finally notice the elf trying to make a fire, and turn to regard him, marveling at his ability to speak… each giant is wearing a hemisphere of black agate as a pendant.
The door does not seem to be locked, but is chilly for some reason. Stefan rears back, and smashes his mighty foot into the door, which violently bursts open and a chill wind wafts out… the giants turn to regard us as Kalli darts out from underneath the bed, behind one, to hamstring it with her sword… she instantly appears at this point, and is covered with blood and ice. Hrolf appears an instant later, but his blow merely bounced off the giant’s tough skin.
Reynard boldly charges out in front of the other one facing him, brandishing a longsword (“Fox’s Bite”) like a frontline fighter, and laying into the giant. Kalli continues to hack with her sword, slicing and dicing the legs of the first giant. Stefan now charges the second giant, burying his axe in its leg.
I sling a magic stone from the doorway, conking the second giant upside the head. It seemed to hurt, but the giant did not immediately collapse like I had been lead to expect from the stories of the Swiftfootian canon.
The elf in the cage seems to realize his liberation may be at hand, and quickly fires an arrow point blank range into the first giants head – but it bounces off harmlessly.
Meanwhile, Kalli continues hacking her way through the giant’s leg, nearly severing it “like a civil war surgeon,” whatever that is. Suddenly the leg begins to jitter and bursts into a whirling gust of wind that violently buffets Hrolf, Kalli, Stefan, and Reynard! Kalli loses control of her scimitar, which whips past Hrolf slicing at him. Kalli and pulls out her second one. Stefan drops his axe but clings to his now kite-like shield, which pulls him strongly, wrenching his arm.
The elf turns his attention to the chain holding up his cage, and fires. Suddenly the cage itself transmutes to ice, shatters, and falls into the whirlwinds, now being whipped around as dangerous shards…
Many of us continues to strike at the whirlwinds, seemingly able to affect it only with enchanted weaponry! I begin summoning a Dust Devil, reasoning that one must fight fire with fire.
Kalli’s strike penetrates to the heart of the whirlwind, but is yanked from her hand and sucked up into the center of the whirlwind, where it seems to become lodged into the giant’s heart! That whirlwind dissipates as the giant dies. Blake casts Slow on the other giant, reducing the lethality of the buffeting wind and whirling, icy debris (which brutally hammers Reynard as he attempts to retreat).
Stefan grabs Reynards enchanted short sword, and dives back into the fray, stabbing and chopping and crying: “I want my battle axe back you son-of-a-bitch!” Now the wind and ice coalesces back into phsyical giant form, and he appears uninjured! But his arms have now been converted into giant clubs of ice!
The Dust Devil is ineffective, but Blake charges in with his spear, burying its point in the giant’s leg. Stefan continues to hack, as the giant ponderously brings his icy club-fists down, then the rest of him follows as he collapses in death. Phew!
The battle having drawn to a close, we collected the agate pendants, and turned to inspect this elf. Blake introduced us all, calling me the only one of our party more long-winded than himself! Ha! What a joker. The elf introduced himself as Derringer the Ranger.
We place the hemispheres together, and they suddenly link together and fuse, dislodging from their respective pendants.
I heal Stefan and Derringer, while Blake and the strongest of us open the dresser, rummage through the giants’ smelly loin cloths, and find a bone scroll tube with a blank scroll in it. Out in the hallway, the pages fuse into a solid page, giving some kind of instructions for mixing a protective poultice against demons… In the top drawer, a silver and a pewter colored vial of metallic liquid (referred to in the scroll?) are found.
Now we decide to open the large double-doors at the other end of the giants’ chamber. Reynard assures us there are no traps, and we open them… it leads to another junction of many colored doors, and Derringer suggests we try the blue door.
The archway on the other side is covered with blue flecked stone and mother-of-pearl. the floor is covered with sand, and we see a 40’ square room. Sea shells are scattered throughout, There is a large pedastal with an immobile crab atop of it. In the stone crab’s claws is a giant pearl. A cratered, pitted, gray sphere hangs from the center of the ceiling, slowly rotating like a corroded disco ball or lunar object.
Hrolf mutters a prayer to Moradin on our behalf, and the fighters advance. The hanging moon rock begins flashing and a beam of light spears into Stefan’s eyes – he appears transfixed for a second then shakes it off. Kalli begins scaling the pedastal. Suddenty a large venomous crab erupts from the sand! It grabs Stefan and begins crushing his armor like a tin can! It backs up and begins descending back into the sand, hauling the stalwart half-elf with it. Kalli sprints around the wall, grabs Stephan’s arm, hacks the crab’s claw, and it releases him and she hauls him away as it disappears beneath the sand.
Blake summons a horde of orcs!
Now the hanging disco moon pulses again, striking Hrolf, who looks transfixed for a second before shaking it off too. If you’ve ever seen an orcish disco, you know why.
Kalli runs up the ceiling and cuts down the orb, which falls to the sand harmlessley – but Hrolf immediately begins pummeling it, until it cracks open and disintegrates into a pile of dust. I head over the pedastal and the crab erupts near Blake and his orcs. It grabs him and an orc!
Kalli runs over on the ceiling and swipes down at it, and the orcs come and beat it to death.
In the statue on the pedastal there is a 3’ hole beneath it, which goes down and then leads away from the room. We lift the pearl out of its claws, and all snake down the tunnel, to find more branching corridors. We choose a red door next. But halfway down the hallway, Stefan and Reynard drop down a pit full of spikes! Ouch. Hrolf and I heal them. On to the red door!
Runic script around the door way reads, “lose all hope of return, ye who enter here.” Reynard thinks this is a demi-plane of hell…
We go back into a green door and see many cubicles with circular nozzles shaped like sunflower heads. It seems to be an ordinary shower room. Blake steps up over the slippery floor to pull the shower chain, and slams down on his coccyx. He painfully climbs up and pulls the chain… a spray of luke-warm water comes out. We leave and go find a green door, which opens into another large 40’ square room, in which we see 2 dark winged statues. Do we need the potion of demon protection? Too late! The statues immediately leap forward into flight!
Blake quickly reacts with a paltry fireball, singeing us all in the small quarters but giving the creatures pause. Then Kalli jumps up and charges, slashing into one. Stefan follows suit, and I also charge into the fray – I haven’t seen enough action lately! Whirling my enchanted flail, I smash into the gargoyle right after Stefan. It savagely claws me back, shredding through my armor. Hrolf hurls his hammer, knocking the first one’s block off. As Stefan stumbles and misses, I strike again with my flail, giving Stefan the chance to regain his composure and make a killing blow. So much for the demon gargoyles.