Session 31: A Prelude to the Journey
[Nov 3rd, 2020]
The heroes have each separated to deal with their own affairs over the next couple days.
Kiltro speaks with the two mercenaries, whom he recognizes as agents his mother has hired before, particularly Brangoff, a man who has looked over him since his father disappeared. Kiltro also thinks back to what might have happened to Brevelia. She was not one to make any enemies and her family was in good standing in Hopesdawn. However, it suddenly dawns on Kiltro that Brevelia and him had accidentally activated an ancient Xaya artifact left at the academy’s archives the morning before he left.
Kiltro: The Box
Kiltro convinces the mercenaries to return to Hopesdawn without him, saying he’ll be reasonably safe from any pursuing bounty hunters where he is headed. Kiltro then speaks with Duke about the box, and Duke only conveys what little he know about the artifact. Duke checks his notes and compares it with what Kiltro can tell him about the incident. He is able to determine that the the creature contained within was something the Xaya called a Spellscar, a strange beast that was said to devour magic itself, particularly spellcasters. Little is otherwise known about these beasts, as no one has any record of one being seen in modern times. Duke agrees that it was likely this beast that hunted Brevelia, as the trap upon the box was made for the Spellscar to target whomever may have opened it. It was also likely that this beast was now hunting Kiltro.
Meanwhile, Esderal meets with his birth mother, a woman named Ferana Ceraditus. They have an awkward meeting and Esderal is somewhat suspicious of Ferana’s intentions. However, they seem to get along well enough and Ferana makes an effort to spend time with Esderal over the next few days. She even promises to travel with him to Jarnby and introduce him to his birth-father.
Agandar spends this time reconvening with nature and tapping into the growing reservoir of power from the Vault of Thorns. He chats much with Silvermane, Droja, and Katrezra. It seems that their oracular powers are enhanced when they can compare and contrast their visions together to find commonalities. Agandar tries to piece together these visions, hoping to find some guidance for the journey to come.
Arngeir spends the first night back in a fitful sleep. He has a vision of Hethroth showing him the halls of Valhasa and warning of agents of the dark gods working against him. He then sees an army of giants coming upon him and a strange woman peering to him from afar, someone eavesdropping on the dream itself. He awakes in a fit and seeks the wisdom of Katrezra, Droja, and Silvermane the next day. They believe that the woman is an agent of the dark gods as much as Arngeir is an agent of the gods of light. The warn him to be wary and cautious as the dark gods will be actively working to make his quest fail.
Arngeir: The Dark Dream
Duke spends the next few days spend quality time with his brother Almrin. They find that the rivalry and animosity that once stood between them has seemingly dissolved as their father, the driver of much of that conflict, rests on his deathbed.
Brango and his cousins, Ingrahild and Umlo, spend the next few days in elated celebration. Not only did they help successfully conquer Redlake Fort, but they found definitive evidence for the location of their long lost ancestor’s tomb. The ale flows quiet liberally as the dwarves feast and drink to excess.
The second day of their return, Halgra speaks before a large crowd for the public execution of Urnsul. She notes that this is a symbolic death, for the enemies of Bolvirk and for the heroes that rose to defend their town.
Halgra: The Execution of Urnsul
The heroes then have a meeting with the Council of Defenders. The council offers whatever help they can provide. Almrin agrees to carry letters of any news that must reach the south about the giants on his return to Hopesdawn. However, Jagrin Grath insists that the heroes need to find real evidence of this giant camp before it will likely convince anyone in the south of what is going on. The heroes all agree to the journey, but the council recognizes that this is now out of their hands and it is up to the heroes to make the right choices in the time to come.
The heroes set out to leave the next morning, with a trade caravan arranged by Halgra. Haf Jojurin leads the caravan and is quite delighted that Arngeir and his friends will be joining the expedition to Jarnby. The journey takes nearly ten days and the heroes spend the time working on their skills and discussing their future expedition. When they reach Jarnby, the merchants say their farewell and the heroes check into an inn. Arngeir decides to stay with Haf, hoping to get to know his fiance’s father a little better.
The next morning, Ferana and Esderal head over to the north end of town to meet with Vuignur Durdre, Esderal’s shadmar birth-father. Farana offers to speak with him beforehand, saying that Vuignur will likely just want to gives them money and may not want to meet with Esderal. As she heads in and talk to Vuignur, Esderal sneaks over to the window and listens in. He learns that Ferana has been extorting Vuignur this whole time, trying to get coin from him for the chance to see his lost son. When Ferana leaves the home, she lies and says that he may not want to meet with Esderal and offers a fraction of the gold that Vuignur gave to her. However, Esderal takes it and lets Ferana leave with what she really wanted.
Esderal then heads into the house and meets with Vuignur. He finds his mild-mannered birth-father to be a kind and respectable man. He was a former diplomat for the shadmar city of Valraen, trying to improve the percetion of the shadmar people in the surrounding lands. He explains what really happened with Esderal’s disappearance, believing that Ferana had hired a mercenary to steal the wagon and then she lied about which direction it had gone. He says he looked for 5 years before settling in Jarnby.
Vuignur joins Esderal for a nice dinner that night with the others. Almrin and Duke say their farewells, both feeling good about resolving their disputes. Kiltro still worries about the dangers of the Spellscar, but Duke promises to look after him. The heroes spent the day gathering supplies and purchasing a sure-footed mule to help carry the supplies they’ll need in the mountains of the Heropeaks.
Session 32: The Spellscar
[Nov 10th, 2020]
On the 7th of Traderide, 692 G.R., the heroes continue their climb high into the Heropeak mountains, saying farewell to the mountain town of Jarby, nestled in the valley below them. They wind their way up and down following the winding trail that leads eastward towards the many small mining and gold-panning villages along the mountain streams.
Brango and Arngeir lead the troupe, then Esderal and Kiltro, followed by Duke and Agandar, then Ali and the mule Bagoff, with Umlo and Ingrahild holding the rear. The excitement of the dwarves is contagious as they are quite eager to set their eyes on their ancestors long-lost tomb.
After a couple days of mountain hiking, (Traderide 9th, 692 G.R.) the heroes clilmb up a ridge along the trail. Esderal then spots a large reptilian beast sulking behind a large boulder. He shouts out a warning as the beast leaps upon the tall rocks and unleashes a fury of frozen energy that explodes in an icy blast. The heroes survive the blast and prepare themselves as an entire roost of the deadly frost drakes swoop down and attack.
There are now four of these beasts assaulting them. Brango, Arngeir and Umlo fight one as Ingrahild and Esderal fight another. Agandar and Duke are forced to fight the last two. Agandar is able to keep the mule alive and sends it off down the mountain to safety. Duke then summons one of his newest remembered spells, and forces the drake to envision a fiery inferno engulfing it. The drake is so succumbed with fear that it falls over dead. Duke then rolls his eyes as another drake flies down to replace it.
The heroes fight for their lives as these powerful beasts nearly fells them. They blast with powerful spells and cut with deadly maneuvers and techniques. Eventually the drakes are slain and the heroes barely survived the ordeal. The decide to rest for the night there on the hilltop, as Esderal is interested in extracting their frost glands to craft a few alchemical bombs.
The next day (Traderide 10th, 692 G.R.) the heroes set out and continue down the trail. As the evening nears, the heroes come across a corpse in the road surrounded by carrion birds. They shoo away the birds and Agandar and Arngeir examine the body. It seems as if some unnatural beast burst forth from the man’s body, exploding outward from the inside. The heroes continue on, wary of what this might mean.
The next day (Traderide 11th, 692 G.R.), around noon, the heroes come across two middle-aged men walking down the trail. One man is helping the other walk, with his hand around his shoulder. The heroes call out to them and the man immediately calls for help. As the heroes charge in, they find that the injured man is bloated and pale, like his body has too much blood. Arngeir sets him down and examines him. He quickly determines there is something inside the man that needs to come out.
Arngeir and Agandar then attempt to cut out this creature from the man’s body and slice down his abdomen. Immediately, yellow bile oozes out of the wound. Then four small clawed arms push out and then a massive circular maw surrounded in teeth. The aberration flies out of the wound and immediately slashes and fells the other man. Kiltro screams out, believing the creature is the spellscar he has so greatly feared.
Brango, Umlo, and Arngeir surround the creature striking at it, finding its magical defenses hard to penetrate. Kiltro calls out for them to use non-magical weapons to better harm the aberration. The beast then blasts Brango with a powerful mental assault then pincers him with its poisonous stinger. The spellscar then raises one of the dead men as a walking corpse. Duke quickly burns out the corpse as the others focus their attacks of the spellscar. Eventually the creature tries to flee from the onslaught and Ingrahild gets a lucky arrow right into its body. Its body then scintillates with a shimmering rainbow of colors before disappearing entirely.
The heroes catch their breath as Duke and Kiltro argue over whose fault it was that this creature was lose upon the world. They also realize that this was a newborn juvenile spellscar, so the original one from the Xaya box was out in the world, reproducing itself. The very notion of this truth brought quite a bit of fear and trepidation in everyone.
The heroes pressed on towards the tomb, knowing that the spellscar was still likely to be hunting Kiltro and is likely getting nearer. After a couple more days of travel (Traderide 13th, 692 G.R.), the heroes reach a relatively flat plateau on the side of a hill covered in shimmering golden aspen trees. Based on their map, copied from the geode, they know this is the location of the long lost tomb of Nargym Steelhand.
Session 33: Spiders in the Woods
[Nov 17th, 2020]
The heroes continue along the marked trail of the aspen-covered plateau towards where the map indicates the location of Nargrym Steelhand’s tomb. They find that the trail becomes more pronounced round a bend. It is then that Arngeir’s foot trips a spider web. The web seems to be connected to a plethora of young saplings, bent to the ground, with numerous shards of slate rocks attached. As the sapling all spring upright, the stone shards are launched in various directions, scattering the deadly slices of slate towards the heroes.
Esderal and Agandar take deadly blows as the shards slice their necks. Many of the others are greatly injured as well. Before the heroes can react to the trap, they are assaulted by a group of giant black-widow spiders and spider-like aberrations known as web lurkers. A burst of healing saves Esderal and Agandar from certain death as the enemies close in. However, they heroes find that the slate shards were also poisoned and they find they bodies responding slowly and some of them become paralyzed.
Through much effort the heroes are able to band together, as Arngeir and Brango, who were left untouched by the poison, help defeat the spiders and web lurkers. They all tend to their wounds and patch up as best they can before proceeding. More aware of the dangers, Esderal begins searching for more of these devious webs and soon finds evidence of many more along the trail. He starts to disable them one at a time, but finds this tedious and eventually he accidently sets another set off. Duke then proceed to blast the webbings with a magical ray of freezing energies, setting them off intentionally from a distance. This course seems a much safer choice and soon the heroes can proceed after disabling the rest of the traps.
The heroes then reach the end of the trail, coming to a tall, stone obelisk. The obelisk wears a curtain of thick webs that appear like a silk cloth draped over the structure. The hint of dwarven runes can be seen on the structure and Duke rushes towards them, momentarily forgetting the possible danger. Sure enough, he is assaulted by more spiders and web lurkers and the heroes are accosted by a powerful cloud of poisonous gases. They see a spellcaster, a strange dwarf-spider hybrid aberration hidden in the shadows of the obelisk’s entrance.
More spells blasts back and forth as the heroes deal both with the effects of the poisonous gas and an extensive network of webs set to block their path. Eventually, Esderal blasts the way forward with fire bombs that lets Brango and Umlo rush in to the fray and face this aberration directly.
Session 34: The Tomb of Nargrym Steelhand
[Nov 24th, 2020]
The heroes continue the fight against the half-spider/half-dwarf monstrosity known as Stilgrit. Brango and Umlo push against the beast in the upper portion of the long shaft that heads down into the depths of the obelisk and Nargrym’s tomb. Brango leaps to the other side of the stairwell, trying to surround Stilgrit as she retreats to a corner, throwing spells as the dwarves. Then Esderal leaps in as well to help corner the beast. Eventually the Mother-of-Spiders is slain, he body falling down into the depths of the obelisk, only to be caught by her own webbing.
The heroes tend to their wounds before proceeding. Brango is able to translate the Dwarvenrunes on the outside of the obelisk for Duke, finding a prayer known to the dwarves as Lagmud’s Epicede. The heroes then descend, one at a time, down the long stairwell into the depths of the Dwarven obelisk. They find a series of Dwarven runes along the stairs. They seem to tell a story about Nargrym. Brango reads it out loud as they descend.
Here lies the pride of our clan, Nargrym, son of Torgrym. Called Steelhand, he was laid to rest with utmost honor in 2844 TG. May he be known forevermore as the Giantslayer. Nargrym Steelhand was a famed giantslayer from the dwarven city of Grimholdur. He slew many giants to defend Grimholdur ‘s mining interests in the Heropeak Mountains – even the fire giant Gunderoth, called Dwarfskinner, who scorched the living flesh from nearly 30 dwarven miners. But though Nargrym’s legend remains strong, the circumstances surrounding his death were grim and mysterious. After Gunderoth’s defeat, Nargrym’s own squire and kinsman, Lokmorr Edergun, cravenly stabbed Nargrym in the back out of spite and jealousy. Lokmorr took credit for slaying the giant himself, claiming it had killed Nargrym, and was heralded as a hero. But a priest of Puln named Byrim Forgepride discovered Lokmorr’s crime and confronted the kinslayer about his betrayal and deception. Believing he might still pull off his ruse, Lokmorr turned upon the priest and slew him as well. Although Lokmorr tried again to cover up his dark deeds, he was unsuccessful, and the ruling council of Grimholdur branded his forehead with the mark of the betrayer, struck his family name from the dwarven histories, and sentenced Lokmorr to be trapped alive in the tomb of the hero he had murdered.
At the bottom of the shaft, the heroes find two webbed cocoons of the spider-monster’s victims. Agandar recognizes the open mouths and bellies of the webbed corpses as a shrine to the demon-lord Mazmezz, Lord of Vermin. The way is blocked by a massive disk that seems to serve as the entrance to the Dwarven tomb. There is a Dwarven phrase at the top that reads, “Rest here until mine kin touch upon thy blessings“. There are also three Dwarven runes in the center of the disc, Var (Loyalty), Bond (Duty), and Kar (Strength). The heroes experiment touching the door with the blood of their kin, Umlo, Ingrahild, and Brango, but nothing happens. They find that the runes glow whenever they are touched. Eventually, they realize that the door is asking for the kin of the Dwarven creator god, Puln. They then touch the rune and correctly say the names of Bodain for duty, and Rolk for strength. However, Brango incorrectly guesses for loyalty. He is then branded with a powerful spell-trap. The Dwarven word for thief [Skazi] is permanently burned into his forehead. The heroes then guess the correct deity for loyalty, Kodak. The disc pulls to the side and the way is opened.
The heroes step into a large cathedral chamber covered in dust. They clear the dust from the floor where a thick sheet of glass separates them from the open sarcophagus of Nargym Steelhand, his desiccated body on display below. They also notice that an iron cage is broken near the tomb, which they suspect once belonged to Lokmorr the Betrayer. The heroes observe a room filled with murals dedicated to Nargym’s deeds, but the hero’s eyes are all chiseled out. The final scene is covered in dried feces, showing the betrayal of Lokmorr. The next chamber shows some statues of the Dwarven deities and the heroes find a secret door left ajar.
The heroes then climb down into the tomb of Nargrym. It is here that Brango feels the brand upon his head glow bright with pain. Lokmorr then appears in the glass above, taunting the heroes about being trapped. They rush up towards the door, but find it locked. Esderal takes a look to get it open, but Brango is impatient and breaks the door open with sheer strength. The heroes then clamor into the main chamber, looking for Lokmorr. Eventually, Brango finds him hiding behind some debris as Brango is struck with a poisoned crossbow bolt. Battle breaks out as two shadows strike at Agandar and Duke as the others are preoccupied dealing with Lokmorr.
Lokmorr wears Nargym’s steelhand and wields the Giantslayer’s spear. Brango and Umlo charge at the betrayer as Kiltro and Ingrahild assist with ranged attacks. Duke, Arngeir, and Agandar desperately try to defeat the shadows, but find them to be quite powerful. Duke’s shadow is stripped from him and it soon attacks him, the same happens for Arngeir. Lokmorr then pierces his spear deep into Umlo’s skull, killing him swiftly. In a rage, Brango slices and tears down Lokmorr, felling the cursed dwarf. The heroes then move to fight the shadows, eventually destroying them as well.
The heroes are shocked with the death of Umlo, and Ingrahild takes it hard. They decide to prepare and lay Umlo to rest in the tomb with Nargrym. Brango then sacrifices his own hand to wear the magical steel-hand of Nargym. The heroes begin to gather the treasures of the tomb, knowing they’ll need each and everyone to help them defeat the Jotun and their gathering armies.
Session 35: Hinderson’s Fortune
[Dec 1st, 2020]
The heroes lay Umlo to rest alongside his famed ancestor. They gather what treasured items they can from Nargrym’s tomb, and decide to spend a couple days to repair and restore the tomb as Esderal, Duke, and Kiltro transfer magical runes and scribe spells.
Brango: Brother Warriors
Ingrahild and Brango say farewell to Umlo as they leave the tomb behind. Ingrahild takes Nargym’s famed giant’s nail armor and platinum beard clasp to return to Grimholdur with honor. She parts ways with the party at the junction in the road. The heroes continue onward heading deeper into the Heropeak Mountains.
Three days after leaving the tomb (Traderide 18th, 692 G.R.), the heroes come across a long swath of trees knocked over, like overturned grass. Agandar studies the path of destruction, but is uncertain what could have caused such devastation. The heroes follow the trail somewhat, wary for the way ahead. After some time, they come across a gigantic centipede eating spruce trees. It spots them and surges towards their movement. The great beast tramples over Arngeir and Brango, biting and tearing at them with uncanny speed and strength. The heroes quickly decide it is too powerful and dangerous to fight such a force of nature. Duke surrounds the centipede in obscuring mists as Agandar pelts it with a magical storm of ice and snow. Kiltro then surrounds it in a wall of burning flames.
The series of powerful spells blind the centipede, allowing the heroes to escape, even as the venom of its bite slows and disables Brango. Soon the heroes reach a safe distance and begin to treat their wounds before continuing onward. After four more days (Traderide 22nd, 692 G.R.), the heroes reach the outskirts of a small prospecting village. The come across a lone stone cottage, nearly destroyed and wrecked by thrown boulders. The heroes have little doubt that giant were responsible for the damage.
The heroes then hear the sound of a baby crying as more destruction ensues in the building. Esderal rushes over to the cottage and clamors up the wall to the second floor. He sneaks into the building and finds an infant baby girl crying and alone in a basket. He takes the girl and brings her towards the window. Meanwhile, the heroes find a massive two-headed troll and two normal trolls strike at them. The heroes prepare a defense, blasting them with fire and acid as Brango and Arngeir cut away at them. Esderal hands the baby off to Agandar, who uses his magical to fly away from the danger of the trolls. Soon the beasts are slain and the heroes are able to continue onward. Before they leave, Agandar passes the baby to an ill-equipped Duke as the elf soars into the air to scout ahead. He finds a village stretched out along the river on their path and evidence of more damage.
The heroes continue towards the village, finding many cottages broken and damaged along the way. They are then approached by a group of villagers pleading for help. They are led by the village’s alderman, Straya Kraum. She recognizes the baby as her grand-daughter, Abria, and takes it from Agandar, most appreciative. She then explains that giants attacked their village just recently and ran off with a number of their people as captives, promising to return for more “tribute”. She is particularly worried about the capture of Tarram Hinderson, the town’s leader.
The heroes agree to try and rescue the townsfolk and they follow the path of destruction down the path eastward. Not far outside the village, they see a number of people trying to flee through the woods. Upon seeing the heroes, the people rush out of their hiding towards them. However, this attracts the attention of the two cyclopes and troll perusing them. The troll rips two of the people apart, but the other two escape as the heroes step in and protect them. A grand battle ensues as the heroes strike at the mighty giants. After a long and arduous fight, the heroes prevail with the enemies slain and the remaining townsfolk safe from harm.
Session 36: The Valley of Gigas
[Dec 8th, 2020]
The heroes look about the destruction of the cyclops and trolls. Esderal thinks about Abria and all the orphans that may be left by these giants. His mind drifts back to his childhood and the story of his founding by his fathers.
Esderal: The Orphan
The heroes speak with the rescued villagers and learn that there is another group of giants up ahead that captured more villagers. The heroes grab a few of the magical trinkets carried by the cyclops before heading off down the trail after the giants. After a few hours, they find evidence of a campfire up head as the sun begins to sink below the mountains.
Esderal sneaks towards the fire and finds five large ogres watching over five humans, all bound, gagged, with bags over their heads. He overhears the giants bickering about eating the people, however, the lead ogre says they need to bring the slaves as tribute to someone named Gristlecrack for their chance to join the “great army”. The rogue returns to the others, but accidentily alerts the ogres to his presence as he leaves. Thankfully, he is invisible. The heroes then prepare an attack plan. But Kiltro then stumbles while hiding and he is seen. A battle breaks out as the ogres charge at the heroes.
Agandar summons the plants to slow them down and wrap around their feet as he pelts them with a storm of ice and wind from the sky. Duke and Kiltro blast them with fire and lightning as Esderal, Arngeir, and Brango cut them down. Soon the ogres are felled and the villagers are untied. The confused villagers say the giants were heading to “Midas’s Valley” to bring them to the Storm Tyrant, named Gristlecrack. Duke thinks they might mean Gigas, the Jotun deity of creation and therefore Gigas’s Valley. The heroes take the villagers back to the ruins of Hinderson’s Fortune. They spend the night huddled in the village’s hall with the other survivors as they make a plan. Straya Kraum tells them they can follow the river for a day before they enter a valley that some legends have called Gigas’s Valley.
Brango and Duke tell of the legend of the Cathedral of Gigas, a mighty temple to the giant god that was built during the height of the Braelheim Empire. It was believed to be lost in the Heropeak Mountains in a legendary valley known as the Valley of Gigas.
The next day, (Traderide 23rd, 692 G.R.), the heroes hike through the mountains towards this hidden valley. Soon they are surrounded by high peaks, covered in snow, following the winding river through a narrow valley. They travel the rest of the day as they enter the valley. Agandar and Duke use their magic to fly to a great height and see the way forward, however, they soon see a large rift drake in the air and descend to avoid certain death. The heroes then hike towards the western valley wall and camp nestled in two branches of the mountains.
Near the end of the night, Duke hears the sound of a young woman calling for help. Mesmerized by the voice, he wanders out into the darkness, only to find a large beast ready to devour him.
Soon the heroes are assaulted as a gang of leucrottas attack them. They scramble to defend themselves as Arngeir summons a great light as bright as the sun. They heroes blast them with magic and blade, barely fending the beasts off. Duke manages to confuse and frightened the beast that lured him away, and eventually the creature ran off into the night as the heroes slaughtered the other leucrottas.
After the dangerous battle, the heroes decide to held elsewhere to finish resting. They move downwind of their previous location and rest for a few more hours before setting out into the valley.
Session 37: The Wandering Viator
[Dec 15th, 2020]
The heroes put up their camp and set out for the valley. Arngeir thinks about his past, the attack on Bolvirk, the loss of Rodrick and Svien, and how he found his faith in his youth.
The heroes continue onward, following the wide river upstream, enjoying the wide meadows and copse of woods. Eventually they come across the sound of something coming around the bend, behind some rocks. It sounds like giants approaching. The heroes charge around the bend, ready to strike. They find two large two-headed ettins with their cave bear pets. The ettins release the cave bears and charge forward to strike at the heroes. Brango and Arngeir hold the front line as Duke, Kiltro, and Agandar blast them with spells. Esderal sneaks in for some tactful strikes and thrown alchemical bombs. Soon the ettin giants are slain and the bears felled.
As Agandar and Arngeir tend to the wounds of their comrades, Kiltro pulls a few treasures and trinkets from the pockets of the giants. Esderal begins cutting large slabs of bear meat. The heroes then hear the sound of a roar above them. A great rift drake soars down towards them. The heroes take off running, knowing they are too weakened to face such a fell beast.
They rush through a series of obstacles as the great drake chases them. With some good teamwork, the heroes are able to get past a thicket of brambles and into the cover of a nearby woods. The drake seems to have given up on them and flew off to feast upon the fresh corpses of the ettins and cave bears.
The heroes continue onward after a quick lunch break. They head into a wide valley of meadows and woods where two smaller streams join with the river. Agandar helps the team get past the river and they begin to find signs of giant camps. It’s hard to tell how old the encampments are, but they know that many groups of giants have stayed in the valley. The heroes continue, heading north and east, following a series of old campsites.
As the day nears its end, the heroes find themselves entering a narrow valley along a small stream. The high walls of the mountains tower around them as they press foward. They then find a large ash-filled depression where a great fire was once held. It seems to be a giant encampment as they find the blackened bones of a human in the still warm ashes.
The heroes then find a man hiding in the bushes. He introduces himself as Lucias Viatorius, the famous writer of “Viator’s Traveler’s Guides”, a series of documentary writings filled with adventures throughout eastern Ularin. The old man explains that he and a band of Ridders of Krungar, called the Wolfervein, had camped here last night, but were waylaid by a band of giants. Lucias fell off his horse when the battle began and awoke to find the giants and knights gone. He fears the worse.
The heroes promise to continue eastward in the morning and search for these giants. In the meantime, Lucias is quite eager to travel with the “Redeemers of Redlake Fort”. He promises to tell their tale of adventures in his latest book, assuming he survives to write it.
The next morning (25th Traderide, 692 G.R.), the heroes head out and east. After a few hours, they see the signs of smoke and camp where two streams meet. They move forward and Esderal sneaks towards the camp, using his magical cloak to disappear. He finds a dust-gray giant and two trolls over a campfire, there are many bones of horses and men. It seems the giants feasted on the Ridders of the Wolfervein. He returns to the others and shares the news. They believe the dusty-skinned giant to be the Gristlecrack the villagers told them about.
The heroes devise a plan and spread out. They then charge towards the giants as Duke and Kiltro throw great blasts of magical fire upon them. However, a moss troll appears behind Kiltro claws at him. As Kiltro runs, Gristlecrack throws stones at him. Brango and Arngeir hold the western flank, fighting off two moss trolls as Agandar’s summoned dire wolf faces off against the others. Esderal watches from the protection of his invisible cloak. Meanwhile, Lucias shouts and cheers for the heroes from atop a nearby rock.