(IC) Against the Giants PBP Group 2

FitzTheRuke

Legend
OOC Chat Thread
Rogues' Gallery Character Archive

Against the Giants

Part One: Steading of the Hill Giant Chief

Group Two Players:

@Kobold Stew playing The Colonel, Air Genasi Tempest Cleric Soldier
@Snarf Zagyg playing Doc Vileweir, Reborn Warlock/Rogue Gunslinger
@JustinCase playing Duvrael Oolo, Yuan-Ti Diviner Wizard
@Tonguez playing Kahru Karavetra, Human Druid Barbarian
@Maxperson playing Kaligan Wainwright, Human Psi-Warrior Fighter
@Steve Gorak playing a Tortle Sorcerer?


Introduction

Giants have been raiding the civilized lands in large bands, visiting death and destruction upon villages, towns, and farmlands. Entire militias have been conquered, whole crops wiped out. These marauding bands consist of mixed groups of hill giants, stone giants, frost giants, and fire giants, as well as ogres and other monsters allied with the giants.

Determined to repel the invaders, local lords have begun hiring brave adventuring parties. The first few groups didn’t fare so well. Some were crushed beneath the boulders and boots of rampaging giants, while others fled into the wilderness and never returned.

The closest giant stronghold — and the greatest immediate threat to the safety of nearby settlements — is a great timber fortress populated by hill giants, known simply as the hill giant steading. Nosnra (pronounced noz-en-rah), a grossly fat and thoroughly despicable hill giant chief, rules from this stronghold. Sly and vicious, the hill giant chief routinely plunders farms, ambushes merchant caravans, and threatens trade roads. He has gathered ogres and other vile creatures to his banner and uses them as fodder during his brutal raids.

Nosnra’s alliance with more powerful kinds of giants, such as frost giants and fire giants, is a matter of grave concern. Many suspect a sinister influence at work, a secret motivational power behind the unusual
banding of different races of giants. Civilized authorities seek answers and they are willing to pay.

A new band of adventurers has assembled to punish the marauding giants and banish them from the civilized lands!

Day One: Culligan's Cairn

Lord Falldur coughed and waved to his squire, who helped him to his feet. He made his way down the long, intricately carved passageway of the dwarven tomb that he had used as his base - his home - for the past week. Had it only been a week since he had lost two-thirds of his men, and most of his supplies, on his way to the steading? He had retreated into the hills with what was left of his forces, hiding from roving bands of giants in an ancient burial mound, hidden from the giant's view.

All he could do now was wait for reinforcements to arrive, and to send his scouts to spy on the steading. Wait, gather information, and heal. The old knight, veteran of the War of the Fallow Fields, had been badly injured when a rock had struck his knee - a rock the size of his head, thrown by a fourteen-foot Hill Giant.

He nodded to the guard at the mouth of the cairn, and peered out across the rolling foothills. The skies were grey, with a light rain, leaving the furthest hills (and the mountains beyond) obscured by mists. Still, his heart rose with a renewed sense of purpose, when he saw a figure coming along a worn animal trail.

An adventurer - the first of many, he hoped - had arrived.

GM: You have arrived at Culligan's Cairn, where you can meet your allies and get some information off of Lord Falldur before tackling the Hill Giant Steading. Good Luck!
Cairn.jpg

OOC: Feel free to introduce your character and say a word or two about their journey through the hills.
 
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Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
He doesn't like like a holy man, though the symbol on his shield proclaims him as such. The uniform he wears shows the dust of the road, but is well-kept, and the cluster on his collar marks his rank for those who care to read it. A backpack over his shoulders is tied tightly, and he sets it down at his feet before he speaks.

"My Lord Falldur," he says, clicking his heels.

"Colonel." The man returns his salute. They have never met before, though each has a reputation to warrant at least name recognition.

"I received your... invitation. I hope I can be of service."

He's an older man, and the walk from the wagon station that had brought him here had been more than he had expected. He wipes his brow. The Colonel carries no weapons, and the service markers that would normally be on his sleeve have been removed, carefully, stitch by stitch.

"The wasgon I had hired broke down on the way here; we had to mend the axel. I expected others to be here before me. Surely the call went to others as well?"
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
"Oh yes, yes." replied the old Knight, "I am expecting more. Welcome to Culligan's Cairn, abandoned by the Dwarves a hundred years ago when they disappeared into the mountain. Not much left inside after all the looting, so if you're worried about disrespecting the dead... well, you shouldn't."

Lord Falldur wanted to appear optimistic, and to make the best showing of his command, but the Colonel could tell that he was tired. He knew the look, just behind the eyes, of a man that had seen too much death. He knew the knight's reputation as a fair and capable commander (a rarity among the noblemen of the Fallen Kingdom). He should have retired long ago, but his reputation suggested that the old man did not see anyone to take his place.

After showing the Colonel around, Lord Falldur took him aside and said, "I have a favour to ask: My squire, Donnell, shows promise as a leader of men. Take him with you and show him what it is like. Try to keep him alive, of course, but he needs to come into his own. Can you do this for me?"

OOC: The Colonel's Quest: Teach the Squire
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I will walk up to the nearest person and say, "My name is Kaligan. Please point me to the person that is in charge here."
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Kaligan had arrived at the cairn with little warning to the guards. They bristled, then relaxed when he made his demands, and pointed him into the cairn, saying, "Lord Falldur is our commander, sir. He's speaking to the Colonel in the burial chamber."
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Kaligan had arrived at the cairn with little warning to the guards. They bristled, then relaxed when he made his demands, and pointed him into the cairn, saying, "Lord Falldur is our commander, sir. He's speaking to the Colonel in the burial chamber."
I nod to the guards, ignoring their bristling. "My thanks to you. " After I finish speaking to the guards I will make my way to the burial chamber and head over to the two men who are speaking to one another. "My lord Falldur, my name is Kaligan Wainwright and I have come to answer your call for aid." I will then bow in the general direction of the two men, since I'm not yet certain which one is the lord.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
"I have a favour to ask: My squire, Donnell, shows promise as a leader of men. Take him with you and show him what it is like. Try to keep him alive, of course, but he needs to come into his own. Can you do this for me?"
Hurm, the Colonel grunts.

"I'll do what I can, my Lord." He turns and stares at Donnell, who is standing off to the side looking expectantly. "He looks raw."

It's not a criticism from the Colonel. But it is an assessment, and one tinged with a note of regret. He's lost soldiers Donnell's age before, and it doesn't get easier. But the Colonel accepts the obligation and introduces himself to the squire.

"Donnell, is it? Hurm. We'll see this through, shall we?"
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Both men were old soldiers, but the elder, injured-looking one nodded as the new arrival bowed and offered, "Welcome, Kaligan. I am much obliged to you for your aid."

He took Kaligan aside as the Colonel spoke to his squire, saying, "I am sure you will all work together on this, but I have a particular charge for you, if you please. These giants of the hills have some sort of alliance with the mountainous stone and fire giants. I have seen them. I have heard that there might be giants of the northern glacier as well, but what fears me most is that they may ally themselves with the giants of the skies. The world will tremble. I need you to find evidence of a possible alliance with the cloud or storm giants. I don't know how you might prove that there is none - but if you can find that, well... that would be all the better."

OOC: Kaligan's Quest (if he wants it): Find evidence if the 'sky' Giants are involved or not.
 
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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
An eagle soared in the grey morning sky, its sharp eyes scanning the hills below seeking signs of life; a pair of rabbits scurrying back to their burrow, the dessicated carcass of an elk, a she-bear and her satisfied cub, and there, inevitably, a wagon, brokendown on the wayside, a sign of humanity.

“Kaaah -ruu” the druid called his own name, his eagle cry sharp and piercing as he darted forward following the path of a uniformed traveller below him, no doubt another who had heard the call for aid.

What Kahru had not seen yet was sign of the loathsome ogres that he had sworn to destroy. Kahru Karavetra, Warrior of the Storm Bear Clan, hated Ogres and he wasnt much for distinguishing between Ogres, Hill giants and others of that kind either.
Fortunately for him Kahru wasnt an orphan yet, and his village hadnt been raized by ogres either. Nonetheless he did have cause to join this battle and ensure his homeland remained unmolested.
12 years ago he had been a young warrior guarding his icy homelands from the encroachment of some outsiders war when his life path had been changed forever. As the full moon reflected its ancestral fire and lightning rent the distant skies, an ogre raid had crossed the border and suprised a Storm Bear patrol as they camped. Kahru was struck hard by an ogres spear and left wounded and bloody in the snow while his kin were slain. He may have died in the snow that night but had managed to drag his raging body to shelter and somehow found himself in the den of a hibernating she-bear. Whether it was the drowsiness of her long sleep or the intervention of spirits, the bear did not kill the warrior outright, she let him stay, her warmth sustaining him as he healed.
The encounter changed him, his life now belonged to the spirits, the Ancestral Storm Bear and he would be their champion.

Finding a rock upon which to perch, the eagle descended and with a shudder transformed back into the form of a human man, tall and weathered, with heavy brow, thick moustache and thick flowing dark hair that was showing signs of grey. His armour was beaten and edged with white fur. Around his neck hung the claws of a bear and at his side a greatsword and axe.

Walking the rest of the way to the Cairn, the Barbarian sniffed as he passed the guards and gazed around the camp. He wasnt much for unnecessary talking but paused and nodded respectfully at the old knight who had come out to greet them…
 
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FitzTheRuke

Legend
"You have travelled a long way to be here and are most welcome," Lord Falldur said to Kahru, recognising his clothing and stylings to be from the north. The old knight introduced the others, and told them, "I would offer you all food and drink, but for our supply wagon was taken when we were attacked. We have enough to hold out for three or four days, if hunting stays as sparse as it is."

Kahru was on something of a hunt himself. When ogres had attacked his people, a warleader's son had perished; his head knocked in like an egg. The ogre had taken a trophy - the young man's Eagle Whistle. Carved from the breastbone of a giant eagle and inscribed with runes, the magic whistle could allow a person to fly.

It had taken Kahru many months just to discover the ogre's name - Mudsmuck - and many more to discover where the giant-kin had gone. He had travelled south, following signs, asking plants, animals, and occasionally people, what they had seen or heard. He now hoped to find Mudsmuck among the Hill Giants. If he were lucky, he would find him at this steading. If not, he would bash any ogre he did find, which would hold him over until he did.

OOC: Kahru's Quest: Find Mudsmuck and the Eagle Whistle
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I have a few good berries that I can share” the Barbarian-druid replied without further explanation. The knight Falldur appeared to be a worthy man, respected by his followers and knowledgeable of lands and peoples beyond his own. Kahru could see that he had sustained injury, and spoke candidly of his predicament, so the Barbarian assessed him a capable enough warrior, overwhelmed by his enemies and concerned now for the welfare of his charges rather than personal glory.

I can lead a hunt too, if you have men to spare. Has the area been scouted? We can hunt for enemy raiders as easy as we can meat.

After making his offer, Kahru fell silent and turned to assess his companions. The elder, uniformed man looked competent enough, the bearing of a military man, though without weapons, whilst the other, younger man was harder to read though his bearing and movements indicated some grace

Whether they were good in the wilds or with an ogres breath in their faces was another story. The barbarian was keen to get back out and find the ogres and giants who were plaguing these lands. It had taken Kahru many months just to discover Mudsmuck name and now if he were lucky, he would find the ogre at this steading. If not, he would bash any ogre he did find, which would hold him over …
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Doc Sentenza had been in this strange land for some time ... a year, perhaps? He was laconic in his dealings, but his steely demeanor was always searching out for the small details, the understanding that the people here didn't believe in the righteous ways of the gun and the noose, but in wizards and magicks. Doesn't bother me none; call my pistol a gun or a spell, it's still the peacemaker in these parts.

Over time, Doc had realized that those screaming souls within him could be of use; sometimes, Doc would bring one to the surface, let that tortured soul see out for just a moment, so Doc would know what the soul knew. Other times, Doc would release those tortured souls flying on the edges of his bullets, so that others would share in his pain. Sometimes the dead can be more useful than the living. But the one thing Doc realized most of all was that he no longer felt the pull of the Nameless Sheriff. It was a freedom, of a sort.

So it was that Doc wandered from town to town, setting up shop in one inn after the other, drinking and gambling and meting out justice as he saw fit to make the lives of the common people just a little better. Usually, Doc would move on from each town after a little while; he could tell when the people began to become more afraid of him than grateful, and Doc knew better than to overstay his welcome. While drinking in yet another nameless village, he heard the people talking about some type of reward, some call for heroes or adventurers or the like. A bunch of tall rustlers threatening some rich ol' robber barons. Doc pulled the brim of his hat down lower and looked at his hand. None of my business; they can hire their own Pinkertons. But just then, he felt that feeling again. That pull....... what type of justice is the Nameless Sheriff requiring now?

The Lord Falldur looked up as he felt a cold wind blow through the cairn and thought he heard a faint whistling sound. As he did, he saw a figure framed in the way, cloaked in shadow with the light framed around him. The figure appeared to occupy some liminal zone between light and shadow, reality and madness, and Falldur could see only a strange hat and what almost appeared to be glowing flames where the eyes would be. The figure walked in, and there was a distinctive sound of the boots against the dwarven stone, and as the person crossed the threshhold into Culligan's Cairn, the features resolved. He was wearing some sort of leather vest and strange pants, with a belt slung over his hips and a container of some kind on his belt; his shoulders were covered by some kind of fabric that hung low to his waist, but not as low as a cloak. His head was not adorned by a helmet, but instead by some sort of exotic hat, with a wide brim all around. But what drew Falldur's gaze was the man's face; Falldur thought that his earlier view, backlit by the sun, must have tricked his senses, because now he saw this man's visage clearly. It was stoic and weathered, and keen, hard blue eyes stared at Falldur , as if the eyes were judging Falldur but necessarily finding him wanting.

Reckon you have a problem. Doc looks around and sees the others already there. Must be a lot of rustlers to need a posse like this. Doc tried to assess the others; none of them had guns, because of course they didn't. A year, and it still surprised him. Still, he could tell that the other three would be of some use. One was clearly a military man; Doc knew that the military men had the training to be useful, but sometimes lacked the .... flexibility ... to get things done. Another looked a little green around the edges; he hadn't yet learned that it's a hell of thing to kill a man. The last one, he had trouble getting a read on. He appeared to be another of those magic warriors Doc had seen.

Doc approached Lord Falldur, slowly and deliberately. I fix problems. Doc stared hard at the old knight. Permanently. Name is Doc.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Both men were old soldiers, but the elder, injured-looking one nodded as the new arrival bowed and offered, "Weclome, Kaligan. I am much obliged to you for your aid."

He took Kaligan aside as the Colonel spoke to his squire, saying, "I am sure you will all work together on this, but I have a particular charge for you, if you please. These giants of the hills have some sort of alliance with the mountainous stone and fire giants. I have seen them. I have heard that there might be giants of the northern glacier as well, but what fears me most is that they may ally themselves with the giants of the skies. The world will tremble. I need you to find evidence of a possible alliance with the cloud or storm giants. I don't know how you might prove that there is none - but if you can find that, well... that would be all the better."

OOC: Kaligan's Quest (if he wants it): Find evidence if the 'sky' Giants are involved or not.
Kaligan seems troubled at Lord Falldur's words and glances up involuntarily as if hoping to catch sight of sky giants. After a pause to consider what he has head, Kaligan says, "If there is any information about this to be discovered, I will find it and deliver it to you."

Glancing at the Colonel and the squire, and then turning his head to look back outside, Kaligan is quiet for another long moment. "You mentioned other working with me. Who are they? I would like to meet them." Then Kalgin turns his head back towards Lord Falldur and smiles.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
As Kaligan asked to meet his future companions, there came suddenly a breeze that flickered the lanterns. The guards at the entrance startled and stepped away, some drawing weapons. A stranger strode in, outlandish in appearance. Though Lord Falldur was visibly shaken by the stranger's gaze, he said, after a pause where he calculated that the stranger would likely rattle the giants as much as he did those here, "You are welcome here, Doc."

Introductions were made of the four who had arrived, as they waited for what wold hopefully be a few more...
 

Steve Gorak

Adventurer
Gimlak had left the safety of the mountains a few days ago. He hadn’t felt the sun for so long for perhaps a hundred years. The air felt dry, full of smells that tickled his memory of times past. He had followed the map given to him, making a few annotations here and there when necessary, modifying the odd stream that had changed course.

The dwarven burial mound was a reassuring sight. He was eager to step into it, back into the safety of a familiar structure made by his kin.

Unceremoniously he walked in, and dropped his bags, proud yet down to earth. “I am Gimlak Silverbeard, son of Thorbin. I hear you have a problem with giants. The dwarves of the mountain have answered your call, to honour the ancient treaties and reclaim our land.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
"By the gods! A dwarf!" exclaimed Lord Falldur before he could catch himself. His eyes glanced about. If he had felt no shame about lodging in a dwarven tomb before, it came upon him now. "I... I beg your pardon, Prince Gimlak. We have taken refuge in the tomb of your great-grandfather, for it makes a strong base that the giants dare not enter."

Gimlak was suprised by the human knight's knowledge of dwarves, though he had one thing wrong (Culligan Silverbeard was, in fact, his great-grandfather's brother). He had assumed that the short-memory of humans would have them nearly forgotten. Their presence in the tomb mattered little: Culligan's bones (and those of his immediate kin, who had shared the mound in death) had been transferred to under the mountain long ago.

While the knight explained what brought him and his men to this place, Gimlak thought of his own mission: He was not the first dwarf to leave the mountain. A small group had left ten years ago, to be sure that what the dwarves had left behind was safely buried. They had not returned. He was to find out what had happened to them, and complete their mission. So secret was this mission, that he had come alone.

OOC: Gimlak's Quest: Discover the fate of the Dwarves
 

Steve Gorak

Adventurer
Answering earnestly, "No pardon needs begging, the safety of your troops is what matters now. And please call me Gimlak; I am here as an equal."
 


Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
The Colonel appears impatient, and he's standing by the entranceway, looking out to the hills. "If there are no signs of anyone else, perhaps we should leave?" he asks the group. "The matter is urgent, and if more arrive, they can catch up. As it is, this group seems to be a workable strike team. What say ye all?"

He looks for assents.

"Donnell here has directions from Lord Faldur." He motions to the boy beside him, who appears scared, despite his armor and preparations. "I would say a prayer before we leave, for those who wish to join me. The Skyfather will be with us regardless. There is no escaping Him."

He looks for those who wish to come into the open air with him, but if he's alone, that's fine.

He's ready to depart after that.
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Just in time, Duvrael thinks to himself as he hears one of the people proclaim his readiness to depart. He would smile, perhaps, if he were more human than serpent, but no.

"You will need my help," he says out loud, entering Culligan's Cairn accompanied by the guard he met outside. Dressed in layers of fine silks and carrying a bandoleer with some potions and pouches, the tanned man sports a small wellkempt beard and with his chin up, scans the area and the people with a haughty air.

"My name is Duvrael Oolo, and I am a wizard," he introduces himself simply. He does not feel the need to explain his presence, nor the divination magics that have guided him here. The yuan ti pureblood has been on adventures before, even though that has been a long time ago. He has a hunch there will be interesting books and magics to be discovered on this particular quest, although he doubts it can be found with the hill giants.

OOC: Duvrael AC12 HP 56/56 HD 9/9 PP15* SSdc17 4/4 3/3 3/3 3/3 1/1 P 4,17

Rolling for today's Portent (P X,X in the summary above):
1D20 = [4] = 4
1D20 = [17] = 17
 

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