Second generation, first edition adventures

A Fiery End
A final showdown with Eclavdra

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The Handmaiden of Lolth
From the darkness to the Abyss

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The Hall of the Fire Giant King
The final chapter of the Giant saga

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The Sea Ghost finally arrived at the desolate lands that were the foothills to the Hellfurnaces. The mountains were well named. They brooded and smoked on the horizon ominously.
The journey had not been without incident, the seaways around Monmurg are thick with pirates, but less so after a pack of three were sunk after trying to catch the unassuming Sea Ghost in a pincer movement.

The adventurers made their way deep into the mountains by magical means. The gryphons of Gervontis and Gurhana could ferry an extra person each, but better still, Gurhana transformed members of the party into marvellous pegasi, and they could swiftly carry their compatriots for as long as the polymorph spell lasted.

This still left a long walk through the mountains, as the air became thinner and sulphurous, and flying difficult.

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They travel across this hellish expanse to the foot of a steeply rising hill about three hundred feet high. Smoke poured from numerous vents atop the hill, and occasionally some of these holes spurted jets of flame as well. Beneath this mound of slag and black rock lies the Hall of King Snurre. Obsidian doors set into the base of the hill were the only visible entrance.
Apart from the adventurers, there was no sign of any living thing in this desolate wasteland, save the massive footprints leading to and from the huge doors.

Ravaaga avoided the wide, well-trodden path that lead up to the door, as she sneaked for a closer look. The doors were two great slabs of black obsidian set into the base of the hillside. Each portal was thirty feet tall, nine feet wide, and smooth as glass.

After several days of watching and searching, the team realised that the only way in was through these doors. That was unless they could make their own way it, that was. The party had picked up some jars of Nolzur’s Marvellous Pigments, and on the third night, they painted their way to a secret door and tunnel into King Snurre’s Halls.

Their tunnelling led them to a curtain of metal plates. A peak though the gaps in the plates revealed a hall.
The floor of the hall was covered with five-foot-wide tiles of polished black obsidian. The vaulted ceiling was fifty feet high and supported by a row of obsidian pillars that ran along the middle of the hall. The pillars were carved with the faces of angry giants, their mouths agape.
More curtains of thin iron plates hung at regular intervals along the red and black basalt walls, and scenes of victorious fire giants in battle were etched on these iron tapestries. Between the tapestries, torches in iron brackets set the hall ablaze in a hellish light. Two stone braziers stood in the corners near the entrance, providing additional illumination.
To their right, the hall bends toward the east. Rising up from the floor of this elbow was an enormous, crackling fire surrounded by a ten-foot-diameter ring of raised obsidian.
Standing by the brazier were two ettins. Each was armed with a huge black metal morning star and a spear. They appeared to be using their twin heads to keep an eye on both directions of the hall.

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Liberation

As the party worked their way around the Halls, the plot thickened. They liberated prisoners, who told tails that suggested all was not all that it seemed. Tales of dark shadowy figures hinted at a power behind the throne of King Snurre and the alliance of the giant-kind: the legendary dark elves, or drow.

The prisoners the party liberated included, dwarves, an elven rogue adventurer, an elven princess and her escorts, two centaurs and a comatose Titan.

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The centaurs were called Kelralir and Geronlaron. They had been captured by a fire giant raiding party in the Kamph Mountains in south east Berghof. They had been tortured and were very ill, but responded well to healing from Gervontis and Isabeau.

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The elven princess was called Emilaer Moonshadow. She was due for sacrifice in the Temple is shackled to the wall and has a sack over her head. Emilaer Moonshadow haD been badly beaten by her drow interrogator. She had been captured with the remaining eight of her escort of twenty-four warriors.

The elf rogue went by the name of Fonkin Hoddypeak. It turned out that she had been a member of an adventuring party that was all but wiped out by the giants.

“Two of my comrades, Flerd Trantle and Beek Gwenders, perished in the Glacial Rift of the Frost Giants. The rest of us – Gleep Wurp, Cloyer Bulse, and myself – were captured and brought here. Only then did we learn the truth – Gleep, our leader, was working for the giants all along!”

“Apparently, we weren’t the first group of adventurers he had led astray to be captured or killed. Cloyer and I were imprisoned. A couple of days later, Gleep paid me one last visit to let me know that Snurre was promoting him. He said that Snurre needed a new emissary – someone smart to work closely with the dark elves. He was making plans to travel to a drow city in the Underdark. I haven’t seen the treacherous bastard since.”

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They found another prisoner in terrible circumstances. They entered a one-hundred-foot-high cavern, which was filled with lava at the bottom, casting a hellish glow upon the black basalt walls. High above the lava, a wide bridge spanned the cavern. Dangling from the bridge were four iron cages.

As Ravaaga and Romar carefully approached the cylindrical cages, one of them moved and they they heard a croaking sound. As they edged closer, they saw a ragged gnome staring urgently at them. “Help me!” he croaked.

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The party drew the cage up to the bridge and, picking the lock, they rebased him. The dirty, exhausted gnome collapsed at their feet.

After Gervontis magically healing the gnome, he announced himself as an adventurer named Keak. When the party asked him how he came to be in the cage, he told them his story.

To make some money, Keak joined an adventuring party of elves and led them down into the Underdark to hunt drow. Unfortunately for him, he was scouting ahead when a tunnel collapse separated him from his elf comrades, and before he could reunite with them, drow captured him. Stripped of his gear, Keak became a slave.

When the drow arrived at Snurre’s hall, they left Keak to slowly bake in this prison. Over the past few days, he has concluded that fighting drow isn’t for him.

In response to their questioning, they discovered that the drow in Snurre’s Hall were led by a priestess of Lolth named Eclavdra. Eclavdra is also the matron of House Eilservs. Attending Eclavdra are a male drow consort (called Virchiln), the captain of her house guard (Nalice), a pair of sycophantic under-priests (Raeme and Sziraz), and a spy who keeps an eye on Snurre (Taz’zt).
He learned that Eclavdra and her fellow drow came from the subterranean city of Erelhei-Cinlu to help the giants conquer the surface realms. Without the drow’s advice and behind-the-scenes manoeuvring, the giant alliance would almost certainly collapse. They are the true power behind the throne.
By observing them from the cage, Keak discovered that Eclavdra had a secret agenda: She had learned about a temple in Snurre’s Hall dedicated to an ancient force of evil called the Elder Elemental Eye. The drow priestess sought to learn the temple’s secrets.

Another prisoner

One prisoner turned out to not be what he seemed. ‘Guarded’ by a group of hideous gnolls:

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was a mysterious ‘prisoner’ who claimed to be a dwarf prince named Malak Thunderhelm, who had been recently captured by King Snurre and forced under threat of torture to divulge information regarding nearby dwarven strongholds.

When questioned about the presence of drow, the Dwarf mentioned that “A small group of drow is paying Snurre to study a temple that the fire giants unearthed years ago on the second level of the hall.”

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The party allowed him to reclaim his armour and weapons from a locked neighbouring room. He agreed to help them and revenge himself against Snurre.

However, as the team investigated the main hall and throne room, the dwarf made a run for it and all hell broke loose, quite literally, as two hell hounds bounded down the hall. After a struggle with the now visible Ravaaga and Horgoness, they dragged the dwarf back behind the iron curtain..

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The party escaped, but not before a shadowy figure behind the throne disappeared into the shadows.

Questions and Answers

The party returned to the cellblock with a recaptured prisoner. The other prisons recognised the dwarf as king Snurre’s advisor fact Obmi Ironwhisper.

Who or what is behind the giant alliance?
“I was Snurre’s advisor, but the alliance was the king’s idea. I simply helped with the negotiations.”

How are the drow involved?
“A small group of drow is paying Snurre to study a temple that the fire giants unearthed years ago on the second level of the hall.”

What do you know regarding the drow in King Snurre’s Hall now?
“Their leader is named Eclavdra, but she is interested only in the temple. She paid Snurre a king’s ransom for the chance to study it.”

How can you betray your own people by helping the giants?
“My people abandoned me long before I abandoned them.”

What is Erelhei-Cinlu?
“A drow city in the Underdark.”

Where did the drow come from?
“A tunnel in the lowest depths of Snurre’s Hall leads to the Underdark, and the territories claimed by the drow.”

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The Lost Tomb of Martek
Will Martek's prophesy be fulfilled?

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The Oasis of the White Palm
Who kidnapped the sheikh's daughter?

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The Curse of the Pharaoh Amun-Re
Across the Crystalmyst Mountains to the desert lands beyond

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Cagilhiir's Keep
What force lurks in the mountains west of the Yeomanry League

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The Keep on the Borderlands
On the borderlands at the south of the Yeomanry League stands a Keep, but what lies beyond?

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Up in the Clouds
Horgoness and Gurhana encounter a cloud giant

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The ogre collapsed to its knees and fell at Horgoness’ feet.
For a moment, she caught her breath while she surveyed the battle. Ynaanul and Romar were to her left, their swords weaving an intricate pattern around the ogres’ clumsy attacks. To her right was Gervontis, stocky and grim faced as he pressed his shield into the ogres and swung his warhammer, dwarfed by the storm giant princess – Elektra – to his right. She stood twenty feet tall and caused chaos among the grunting beasts, as she wielded the defeated Vaald’s magical staff of storms.

Suddenly, Horgoness felt two arms slip under her armpits and clutch her chest. One held a staff and the other a scroll.
“I think we’re needed up there” whispered Gurhana in her ear.

She read some magic words from the scroll, which dissolved into wisps of smoke as she read them aloud. Horgeness felt Gurhana’s arms press up under her armpits, and soon she was rising into the air, in arms of the young warlock.

As they rose up, Horgeness surveyed the scene below. A dozen or so ogres poured out of their quarters into the main hall. Ynaanul, Romar, Gervontis and Damonel hacked into the roaring beasts as they pressed against them. In the middle of it all, towering over all, was the purple-skinned, beautiful storm giant princess. Lightning cracked in the air around her as she kicked and swung with abandon.

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Horgoness and Gurhana rose the twenty feet from the cavern floor to the ledge. As they drifted and spun to their left, Horgoness saw the reason for Gurhana’s intervention. Twenty feet away, on the other side of a natural pillar of stone, a huge giant stood arrogantly surveying the battle beneath. Though not as tall as Elektra, he stood fully three times the height of Horgoness, who was herself six feet tall. He had pale blue hair and bluish purple skin. Not as violet as Elektra, but darker than the skin of the frost giants.

“I’ll distract him,” whispered Gurhana, gently pushing Horgoness behind the rocky pillar that stood in front of them and to their left.
With little warning, apart from the scroll falling to the ground, four bolts of energy pulsed out of Gurhana’s outstretched hand, one after the other. They thudded into the creatures chest as Horgoness crept to her left.

As she emerged, Horgoness looked into the disdainful eyes of the giant. Rather than pained, he looked angry and dismissive.
“Puny humans” he growled in broken Common tongue. “You think your cantrips can fell me?”

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Another four missiles slammed into him from the other side of the pillar to Horgoness’ right. She took this moment to charge, bringing Wyethe arcing towards the giant’s middle.

The Giantslayer struck. Momentarily stunned by the second quartet of magic missiles, the giant’s massive club swung too slowly, as he plucked it from the floor, where it stood on it’s flat head. The sword struck the giant and Horgeness jumped back and out of the way as the swung its club.

Reversing the arc of the club, the cloud giant swung it back across. The gigantic force of the blow shook Horgoness’ shield and numbed her arm, but the magic shield held true, and her skilled reactions caused the blow to slide off the shield, rather than hit it square on.

This was her opportunity. As the club bounced and slid off her shield and plunged into cave floor, Horgoness stuck again. This time Wyethe plunged under the giant’s unprotected ribs.

The giant bellowed with pain and Horgoness used her body weight to ram the sword home. Three feet of magical hand-and-a-half sword slid in up to the hilt. Horgoness rammed her shield against the staggering behemoth’s right side and she wrenched the sword from its ribs.

The cloud giant’s face no longer looked disdainfully upon the human woman. It’s look changed from disbelief to pain as it collapsed to the ground.

Gurhana rushed to Horgoness’ side.
“You got it” she exclaimed.
“We got it” Horgoness breathlessly replied. “A lucky strike, or two. And a few magic missiles to help out!”

“Let’s check out his cave” continued Horgoness. “There may be more of them.”

Horgoness creeped into the cave, sword in hand, Gurhana following, her staff in one hand, the Wand of Frost in the other.

The passage curved slightly to the left and opened into a larger cave. It was a torch lit, tapestried place, with skins and hides covering the floor, and a bed heaped with pelts. Horgoness, crept to the bed and prodded it with her sword. She had been surprised enough by sleeping giants awakening from beneath their animal skin covers, thank you very much!

Her prodding found no sleeping giants, but her attention was caught by an alcove to her left. Filling the alcove was an enormous wooden chest.
Seeing nothing or no-one else in the cave, she moved to the chest. It was locked. A swing or two of her sword soon fixed that. Within was an enormous amount of gold. The chest was eight feet wide, two feet deep and rose three feet off the ground, and full of gold pieces. Horgoness and Gurhana gasped. There was probably over ten thousand pieces of gold in there. Too much to carry, and even too much for Ravaaga’s bag of holding.

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“Boccob eye!! We’ll have to come back for that!” remarked Gurhana.

“I wonder what Ravaaga found in the other chest?” replied Horgoness.
“We could find out and help Isabeau with the dwarves at the same time.” said Gurhana. “We’ll check with the others on the way through, but with a magic staff-wielding storm giant on their side, I suspect they should be OK.”

They jogged out of the cave and trotted along the ledge to the stairs. Gurhana looked out over the cavern floor, where the rest were making short work of the ogres. Horgoness, nipped into the cave where Elektra had been imprisoned, to see what was in there.
Several torches lit the place dimly. A fur rug in the middle of the place bore a table and two chairs. Upon the table were heaps of food on golden platters, in silver bowls and two huge flagons of ivory set with gems. ’though she was a prisoner, someone felt she was worthy of good treatment. Or was trying to impress her. Seeing little more of interest, Horgoness returned to Gurhana at the top of the stairs.

“How are they faring?” asked Horgoness, nodding towards the melee in the middle of the cavern.
“Well enough” replied Gurhana. “I am worried that someone might come through the stone doors where Ravaaga said the fire giants went, and leave her and Isabeau and the dwarves in a fix.”
“Let’s go then” responded Horgoness, running under the wooden portcullis and into the 50-foot high torchlit cave where Isabeau was helping four dwarves down from some ropes, from which they were suspended in order to carve a huge pillar of ice atop a dais into the form of a mighty frost giant.
To her right, Horgoness saw a wooden winching contraption, attached to a chain that went into the northwestern wall of the cavern. A movement to her left caught Horgoness’ attention. As she looked, a tapestry on the eastern wall, fluttered shut. Ravaaga, she thought.

Horgeness and Gurhana joined Isabeau on the dias with the four dwarves. Wiry and strong though they appeared, they also looked exhausted and underfed. The adventurers gave them food and water, for which the dwarves mumbled thanks as they ate greedily.

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The dwarves had been captured by a group of frost giants, when moving with a larger group across the mountains where the Crystalmists met the Stark Mounds. They were put to work carving rooms out of the rock and now were carving this tribute to the Jarl Gunthar. Vaald had until recently been the Jarl’s trusted advisor and most likely successor. However, a fire giant by the name of Hasskarth had recently replaced him, and now Grugnur suspects that Vaald is potting against him. This is why the Jarl has relegated Vaald to overseeing the creation of a statue in Grugnur’s honour (according to the other giants, when Vaald is not present).

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The dwarves told of others in their party who had collapsed with exhaustion being taken away by ogres, and were delighted to hear that the adventurers had rescued them from torture in the ogres’ pit. They would be happy to be reunited with their peers. ’though only armed with hammers and chisels, they would happily pay for their freedom in battle. The adventurers said they could furnish the dwarves with other weapons, which they kept at the cave above the entrance to the rift.

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The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl - Part 2
Into the rift

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Ravaaga crept into the icy darkness. The passage was either a natural crevice or roughly carved out of the clear, blue glacial ice. After a brief time, her eyes became accustomed to the low light and she realised it was all lit by a bluish-green light.

As she continued along the passage, Ravaaga came to some stairs. They were carved out of the icy floor, and descended into the gloom. She waited for the others to catch up with her. She crept down the stairs and saw a clear passage ahead.

After another twenty feet or so, she came to a fork in the passage. Both passages contained stairways continuing southward and downward. She tried the right hand path.

The path levelled out after a while, and then descended down a third flight of stairs.

At the end of the third flight of steps, the tunnel emerged into the open air. Ravaaga entered a huge cleft in the glacier. To her right was an enormous crevice, at least 200 feet deep. She could not tell how deep it was, as the valley floor was covered in an icy mist. Pillars of ice and stone emerged out of the mist like dead trees in a swamp.

On the other side of the rift was another path, mirroring the one Ravaaga stood upon. To her right Ahead of her, the pathway she had come down continued, carved out of the cliff edge, with the icy wall rising up to the left and down from the right hand side. It curved to the right where it disappeared around the corner.

To her right stood a cave entrance. She listened carefully and heard distant sounds. Senses heightened, she crept in.

The entrance opened out into a cave, with two other exits, to the north and northwest. However, what is most remarkable was a floating cloud of luminous blue mist. The globe illuminated the whole room with its faint glow. Ravaaga slowly walked towards it, ready to turn and run at the merest hint of danger. As she closed in, she noticed the temperature dropping. As she got within 10’ of it, it started getting painfully cold. She pulled back and felt the blood returning to her nose and fingers. She worked her way around it and peered through the first of the exits. She could see another of the glowing clouds at the end of the tunnel, where it opened out into another ice cave. She crept further in and discovered the source of the sounds she had heard earlier.

In a cave to her left, Ravaaga could see large icicles hang from the ceiling, and several ice stalagmites rise up from the floor. Mounds of snow formed near the walls. Sitting on the mounds of snow were six vaguely humanoid figures. Shaped like white, shaggy-haired gorillas, with curled horns on their heads, they were. Yetis.

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She crept into the right-hand cavern and found what she took to be the leader of the yetis. Thrust into the snow to its side was an ice-blue scimitar. That is going to be mine, one day thought Ravaaga. She briefly thought of trying to steal the clearly magical weapon, but thought better of it.

The adventures spent several days in the rift, with Ravaaga in the lead, using her ring of invisibility, spotting the way, and the others following.
Occasionally, they would come across frost giants, and used surprise to strike and withdraw.
Several times the giants sent hunting parties out to search for previous groups. The adventurers would hide in wait, using Ravaaga’s ring and the tried and true ‘arrow of silence’ ploy, with an arrow from Damonel’s quiet enchanted with a silence spell from Gervontis

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When the third search party emerged, they also brought the yetis and their snow leopards as huntsmen. In the end, Ravaaga got her scimitar.

The party continued to make forays, deeper and deeper into the rift. They focussed first on the eastern side. Here, they found a fissure in the ice where they could hide. The fissure was one of many crossing a long passageway, chiselled into the glacial ice. The three-foot-deep crack cut into the western wall of the passage and curved southwards and then northwards into ice, where eventually it met with dead-end passage. This they used as their home base.

All that glitters

At one point, the party discovered what appeared to be a trophy cavern. It was a thirty-foot-high cave, carved out of solid ice and cast in a blue glow as light filtered through the ceiling. The cavern held a ghastly display – eight blocks of ice standing on end, each containing a mutilated humanoid corpse.

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Gurhana pulled out a wand and scanned the morbid trophies, discovering that some of them contained magic items. Despite Isabeau’s protestation, this led to some furious chipping by the others, while she stood in the passageway outside, ostensibly looking out for frost giants or other foes, but in reality quietly fuming.

Perhaps Hieroneous heard her silent prayers because suddenly their was a huge rumble followed by a “Shoosh!” and a “Whump!”, as the ceiling of the cave collapsed on the floor.
Isabeau and Damonel immediately rushed into the room to find Horgoness’ head and shoulder poking out of the snow, and Gervontis and Gurhana staring in disbelief from the other entrance.

Horgoness struggled out with the help of Gervontis. The others scabbled into the ice and snow to dig out the forms of Ravaaga, Romar and Ynaanul. Fortunately, all were alive – battered and bruised, but alive. They carried the injured adventurers back to their hiding place to recover.

The frost giants appear to have thought the intruders had been caught by the landslide. Their patrols lessened as a team of giants dug into the ice.

A Close Shave

Ravaaga had previously discovered a base for a number of frost giants when she took a fall on a particularly icy tunnel and nearly ended up in the lap of two frost giant guards. Fortunately
she managed to escape when they went to investigate the source of this mysterious sound. Her ring of invisibility and small size helped her keep well out of their way as they pounded past.

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On returning, the whole party were covered by Gurhana’s Invisibility 15’ radius spell. The four frost giants in the room were caught completely by surprise, and the adventurers quickly held the upper hand. What they had not counted on, however, was the further four giants in the raised are that was adjacent. Two enraged frost giants emerged from each end of the dividing wall of ice.

They hurled huge blocks of ice and closed in for battle. Suddenly the balance shifted and it was the party that was hard pressed. At one point, Gervontis was staggering back from a strike and another giant closed in for the kill. When all seemed lost, Horgoness stepped in front of the attacking giant. Horgoness was rather more well-armoured and skilled and soon the tide turned back again.

Ghosts in the Rift

The party continued to foray out from their hiding place in the fissure, exploring more of the caverns and returning to the safety of their hiding place. At one point, they found four tired and starving dwarves in a pit, being taunted by jeering ogres. The ogres were less happy when the tables were turned on them, and the adventurers came to the dwarves rescue. The dwarves were grateful for their freedom, but equally glad to be fed, rested, and in some cases healed of their wounds.

They found an interesting part of the puzzle in a cave on the other, western side of the rift. This 40-foot-high cavern was carved out of solid ice, like the others around it. Enough light filtered through the ceiling to illuminate the area. A giant-sized table and four large chairs carved from ice stand in front of a steaming pool of clear, bubbling water. In the northwest alcove is an 8-foot-tall pedestal of ice, atop which rests a large crystal globe.
Around the table were four frost giants, playing dice and gossiping. Ravaaga used her magic ring and the sentient sword Wyethe to eavesdrop their banter.

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She learned of the dissent within the ranks of the frost giants. They spoke of Slydi, the older frost giant at the other end of the room. The wizened frost giant was leaning heavily on a long staff that ended in a flail, her clear blue eyes burning with malice. Draped in a thick mantle of furs and chainmail, she clutched a sparkling orb of purple glass and cackled to herself, as though fondly remembering a horror inflicted upon a bygone enemy.

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Slydi was the mother of Svarhilda, the jarl’s consort, and one of the most influential giants in the Glacial Rift. Syldi and Jarl Grugnur have no love for each other, and Grugnur keeps the old harridan at a distance by assigning her to frequent raids.

Descent to the chasm

Once the northern half of the rift was explored, and many of the denizens disposed of (literally into the chasm below), it was time for the adventurers themselves to investigate the misty depths. They descended the staircase from the eastern side of the rift. At the bottom they saw a number of icy mounds to their right (the north). As they peered closer they saw that the mounds were in fact alive and devouring the bodies of the ogres and frost giants that had been deposited there to hide the evidence…

Discretion suggested going in the opposite direction.

There was a white dome in this direction too, but this one was much larger and made of ice. Infravision suggested heat within. The source of the heat was a remorhaz, a polar worm, and this was its lair. The creature resembled a twenty foot centipede. Its body was segmented, jagged and heavily armored. The lower segments of its body bore legs, while the uppermost ones had webbed spines rather like a cobra’s fan. Protruding from its back, were big, red, jewel-like lumps which radiated extreme heat. The creature was bluish-white in color, but had a reddish glow caused by its extreme body heat. It reared up into the air and towered over the adventurers, but was soon brought down.

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The glassy-smooth floor of the den is littered with the skeletal remains of young frost giants sent to obtain some of the fiery blood of the remorhaz as a rite of passage into adulthood.
Using Gurhana’s wand of magic detection, they discovered two magical items in the detritus in the floor: a magical ring and an icy battle axe.

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A United Nations of Giants?.

The final part of the western half of the rift appeared to be made up guest quarters, and contained a number of giants of different types. Emissaries sent by other giant lords.
At the end of a long north-south corridor, Ravaaga crept past two frost giant guards. In the first room to his left were three, twelve-foot high fire giants. The cave was slightly warmer than the others and illuminated by a flaming pyre in a shallow pit. Across from the fire pit, a 5-foot-high shelf had been carved out of the ice and heaped with bearskins to form a crude bed. Tucked in an alcove was an ornate iron chest.

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The largest of the three fire giants was pacing back and forth, grumbling about how he’s ‘forced to wait for eternity while that blazing idiot, Hasskarth, whispers nonsense in the jarl’s ear!’ The sword Wyethe later translated the words as Reavagaa remembered them.

The fire giants appeared to be preparing to leave. They were packing, including unloading the contents of the chest in the alcove – a solid silver statue of a bear, rampant, with topaz eyes and ruby fangs – into the bag at the belt of the swtrongest fire giant. In the confusion, Ravaaga crept through to peer through the passage at the north end of the cave.

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In this cave were five stone giants. They stood or sat very still. Indeed, when Ravaaga first saw them, she had initially thought they were statues, carved from stone themselves. It was only when one stirred, as she edged through to peer into the next cave, to the north of this one, that she was aware they were in fact alive. She instantly froze. Had they heard her? Or, worse still, seen her? She checked her ring of invisibility. It was still on her finger. The moving stone giant walked towards the piles of skins and produced a huge jeweled platinum crown, which he unwrapped and ran his hands along lovingly. He rewrapped the crown and stood once more. When he had remained motionless for some time, Ravaaga continued creeping norward and peered into the next cave. This contained five hill giants. Smaller than the stone giants and the fire giants, but altogether fatter than the other, leaner giants.
They were sitting around, apparetly waiting for something. They wrapped their fur cloaks around themselves and grumbled.

Ravaaga went back to collect the others. When they returned, the fire giants were leaving. They left out of the sourthern entrance and turned left, to the passage going east and south. The invisible party crept behind; it was time to explore the southern half of the great rift.

It appeared that the southern passages from both sides of the rift led to the same place. Following the eastern passage, the giants led the invisible group into a huge cavern.
This place was obviously meant to be impressive, as its walls bore carvings of battle and hunting scenes in bas-relief.

G2_-_Entrance_Cavern.png

Enormous icicles clung to the ceiling of this massive cavern, and torches festooned the rough-hewn walls. Jutting from the walls sporadically were 10-foot-high ledges that serve as perches for ice toads. The floor in the middle of the great cavern fell away into a gaping crevice.
Set into the western wall were two 30-foot-tall double doors carved from slabs of glacial ice and decorated with frozen bas-reliefs. These carved scenes showed giants slaying enemies, hunting dragons and other fearsome monsters, and so on. Torches burned at intervals along its length.

Flanking the doors, stood two 30-foot-high ledges of smooth, ice-covered stone. Perched atop each ledge was a frost giant.

The frost giants disappeared, and shortly afterwards, the double doors began opening. It was time for a quick choice to be made. They decided to follow the fire giants into the heart of the frost giant’s lair.

They entered a large stone cavern more than fifty feet wide, and more than seventy long. It was tall as it was wide. Stone winches were set into the floor control the chains and counterweights that opened and closed the great ice doors. By each stood one of the frost giants. After the party had nipped through the doors, the giants began closing the doors once more. The fire giants did not even acknowledge the doormen, and continued through a fifteen foot wide doorway at the western end of the cavern, where a heavy wooden portcullis is raised to reveal an even larger cavern beyond.

The walls of this torch-lit cavern are painted with murals depicting frost giants waging war against their enemies, riding on the backs of mammoths, and dragging chained slaves behind them.

The party followed, carefully, with Ravaaga well in the lead. It was difficult moving so fast, when everyone was invisible. The main party shuffled in a loose ring around Gurhana, with a hand on her and one on a colleague. Ravaaga moved stealthily ahead and followed the fire giants under teh portcullis into the cavern beyond.

This was a sprawling, torch-lit cavern with many exits. A roughhewn staircase led up to a 20-foot-high ledge. A passageway led northwards and a doorway stood to the left into a room full of ogres.

The fire giants continued through the cavern, avoiding two of the mysterious luminous ice clouds as they went through. At the far western end of the cavern, the giants strode past the base of the stems and headed south into another, smaller cavern. This was not much more than a wide passage, and ended in a doorway, again with a wooden portcullis above.

Going under the raised portcullisthe fire giants led Ravaaga into a 50-foot-high torch-lit cave. The stone winch that lowers and raises the portcullis stood nearby, and icicled cover the domed ceiling. Stone steps formed a dais at the far end of the room, atop which stood a half-finished statue of solid blue ice carved to resemble a mighty frost giant. Dwarves hung from ropes off the 20-foot-tall statue, carving it.
Behind the statue stood a pair of heavy stone doors carved to resemble two halves of a giant snowflake. Chunks of broken ice form a pile near the west wall, and to the east Ravaaga could see a giant-sized ice chair and a hanging tapestry.
A frost giant with an ice-tipped staff and fur-lined armour and cloak presides here, with four frost giant guards. Atop its head was a helmet with two curved horns from some giant creature, each tipped with a metal tip.

G2_-_Vaald_the_Winterlord.png

None of the frost giants seemed particularly happy to see the fire giants, who did little more than grunt acknowledgement. The standing frost giants reluctantly parted and allowed them through as they alighted the dias and walked towards the double doors. Two of the frost giants strode forward to open the ice doors. Afraid perhaps of the damage the fire giants might cause it.
As the fire giants went through the door, the fifth frost giant sat in his ice chair, seething with barely-surpressed anger. His knuckles even whiter than usual, as he gripped the ends of the arm rests.

Ravaaga saw the fire giants enter an enormous cavern, which appeared to contain tables and chairs, but the doors slammed shut before she could see any more. She returned to her compatriots in the previous cavern and they pondered their next move. The party decided to investigate this are before continuing into the cave with the statue and the frost giants.

Ravaaga clambered up the stairs. They were clearly not designed for a five foot elf. Ahead of her at the top was a wide platform, overlooking the main part of the cave and an exit to her left. Straight ahead of her was another winch for an unseen portcullis.

She crept through the wide tunnel to her left, which turned northwards. At the far end was a portcullis, blocking entry to another cave.

A Prisoner of the Jarl

Trapped behind a heavy wooden portcullis was an 18-foot-tall female giant with purple skin and hair as dark as a thundercloud.
She wore heavy iron manacles on her wrists and had a large ball-and-chain clamped to her right ankle, belying the finery of her garments.

G2_-_Elektra_1.png

“Hello?” whispered Ravaaga.

The giant looked up.
“Did my father send you?”
“Finally!” she said with a sneer, stomping her chained foot. “Get me out of here!”

G2_-_Elektra_2.png

With that display of arrogance, Ravaaga was tempted to leave her there, but she continued to question the giant, much to the latter’s frustration.

Eventually, Ravaaga discovered that the giant was a the daughter of Krombaalt, a powerful unaligned storm giant lord who inhabits a castle deep in the Crystalmist Mountains. Krombaalt sent his daughter Elektra to meet with the frost giant jarl. However, by the time she arrived, Grugnur had talked himself out of forming the alliance, fearing that King Snurre might be offended. Instead, he took Elektra prisoner and plans to ransom her.v

Elektra had assumed that the characters have been hired by her father to rescue her. She was obviously angry at her father for sending her to negotiate with Jarl Grugnur and looks forward to informing him about her ordeal.

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