Feb 4, 994 ~ 5:00 pm
Group is awarded a milestone for bypassing the gargoyles successfully.
Kissandi confronts Dmitri, a shadowy humanoid who serves Merlian Saar. Kissandi notices markings on Dmitri and asks him if he serves the Raven Queen. Attempting to pull rank on him, Kissandi draws the attention of both of the tenebrous humanoids.
The group decides to have Glint wear the cap of disguise to pass Merlian Saar, who he would recognize, in hopes that Merlian will not recognize him.
Tegan and Glint join the group.
Glint informs the group that the Stone Giants suggested one of two paths, either sneaking by the throne room on an open-faced ledge or going through the gardens and trying to befriend Shoggo and Zorsa.
In an attempt to be fun guys, the group goes to the gardens. Quickly hearing shriekers piercing shrieks the group huddles in the doorway and notices a riot of fungi filling the cavern. Colorful glowing fungi grow on the walls, and heaps of refuse have given birth to towering mushrooms, broad toadstools, and carpets of thick, moss-like mold. Tiny cave crickets and beetles skitter around the garden, and fireflies flit about in great numbers. The cavern is dimly lit by the fireflies and glowing fungus.
The group initiates talks with Shoggo, a hunched male stone giant who wields a moldy great-club, carries a bulky sack, and wears a curtain of black mold as a cloak. Shoggo has various breeds of fungus growing on his head, face, arms, and shoulders. An enormous beetle with wicked mandibles and a large bell-shaped protrusion on its head follows him around as though it is his pet.
After Bui and Tyzzer diplomatically encourage Shoggo that they are there to help, while Kissandi and Bui notice the amazing plant life in the cavern, Zorsa, a female stone giant wielding a glaive, her flesh encrusted with fungus, wearing a breastplate and greaves made of insect chitin enters the conversation. She carries two small crates filled with carrion crawler hatchling swarms.
The stone giants are quickly convinced that the group’s intentions are not to harm the thane, but in fact to help. Shoggo and Zorsa put their lives on the line and give information to the party that provides two options. The first is to convince the thane that they serve the Elder Elemental Eye, because the thane believes he is a champion of the Elder Elemental Eye. The second option is to try to destroy the stone that was unearthed that seems to be controlling the thane.
The group chooses to go into the cavern and try to destroy the stone.
Before the party leaves, the party accepts the giants offer of Deathwort, Spore Bombs, Gorgonband, and Dragonheart Pods. The Deathwort is eaten right away, giving all a 5 poison damage and target is slowed (save ends); exploding bomb creates a zone that lasts until the end of the thrower’s next turn – any creature that ends its turn in the zone takes 10 poison damage. The Gorgonbane, when applied to a petrified creature (standard action) restores the creature to flesh after 5 minutes. The Dragonheard Pods are eaten right away and give 10 temporary HP that last for 24 hours.
The group enters the cavern behind the throne room. It is brightly torchlit. Bubbling pools of hissing liquid surround massive columns of rock that support the 50-foot high ceiling. Dangling above the pools are wooden cages, some of which have been eaten away, as if by acid, others of which hold coughing, malnourished prisoners. Curtains conceal exits to the north and west, and 15-foot high ledges overlook the cavern to the north. To the south, the floor plunges into a jagged pit. Four skull-faced phantoms fly above the pit, their ghostly tentacles trailing behind them.
Kissandi uses and action point to charge and obliterate one of the spectral terrors. She notices in the 20 foot deep pit below, a large egg of smooth purple stone with black veins. Rubble surrounds it. Images reflected in the stone’s polished surface are horribly deformed. The stone immediately replaced the spectral terror Kissandi destroyed.
Tyzzer hurries to the rescue of one of the prisoners, leaping across the acid onto the wall, swinging the hanging cage to safety.
Kissandi gracefully tumbles into the pit to damage the Stone of Madness, the Ghal-Thrad. She calls upon the Raven Queen to help remove the power from this stone.
Tegan is ordered to help Kissandi. Ja’Elle scouts the ledges and then hustles to help Kissandi. Bui goes to help Kissandi, too.
Feeling the Ghal-Thrad being attacked, Arnak and those who served him entered the cave from the throne room. Five galeb duhrs were summoned. Bui tossed a spore bomb that slowed all five of them. Over the course of the fight, Tegan destroyed many of the galeb durh, once sliding down into the fissure to smash one.
Arnak threw rocks and did some heavy damage to the party.
Thundergore, the steel gorgon, charged in and did tremendous damage to Bui/Tyzzer. Bui quickly made it so Thundergore could not attack.
Then, Bui significantly reduced how much damage Arnak could do.
With Kissandi and Ja’Elle in the fissure for most of the fight, the spectral terrors tried unsuccessfully to keep them away from the Stone of Madness. With the power of the Raven Queen, Kissandi did immense damage to Stone and helped Ja’Elle find vulnerable cracks in the surface of the stone. Eventually upon Tyzzer’s battle command, Kissandi dealt the final flow to the Ghal-Thrad. The stone exploded damaging all near it, obliterating all the spectral terrors, a couple galeb duhr, and knocking Ja’Elle unconscious.
This couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, as Thundergore was finally going to be able to attack again, and Kissandi achieved the 12th success in the skills challenge while perched precariously with two failures. Another failure would have meant restarting the skills challenge, but this time in the midst of a difficult fight that was going in the wrong direction.
The thane came to his senses and called off his allies from the fight. Ja’Elle was healed.
The group gathered and tried to convince Thane Arnak to fracture the alliance he held with the fire and frost giants. Reminding him the alliance with these evil giants could not be trusted and that living in harmony with the surrounding creatures was important was convincing, but not quite enough to overcome the threats of repercussions from the other giants for fracturing the alliance. Coming very close to convincing him, the party couldn’t quite close the deal. Thane Arnak did make vague promises about limiting the number of stone giants he sends to bolster Snurre, the fire giant chief’s army. He did promise to reconsider his position if Jarl Grugnur, the frost giant leader, is eliminated. The death of the frost giant jarl would be enough to make Arnak sever his alliance with Snurre.
Thane Arnak thanks you for freeing him from the control of the the Stone of Madness and rewards you with his personal treasure. This includes:
- +4 flamedrinker plate armor (LVL 19 item)
- golden drinking horn studded with obsidian (value 5000 gp)
- bejeweled alabaster pyramid (value 5000 gp)
- 10 100 gp ignots stamped with imperial emblem of an ancient and ruined dragonborn empire (value 1000 gp)
He also tells the group that the ignots in his hoard are part of a larger trove hidden in the mountains. He divulges the location of this lost dragonborn trove.
The group asked Thane Arnak if it would be okay to destroy the tenebrous ones serving Merlian Saar. Arnak said that Merlian was coming to warn him of the party’s entry and attack on the Ghal-Thrad and likely were watching the whole thing, probably having fled at this point. Arnak said your dealing with Merlian and the shadowy figures serving him were yours, and he would not stand in the way.
The players level up to Level 15.
Current Date and Time: Feb 4, 994 at 10:00 p.m.
Current Party Gold: 62,350 g.p. (owe Glint 6,000 g.p. more after Feb 12; owe Ja’Elle’s taylor 500 g.p. more when receive final product)