Earthday, Harvester 13, 552 CY (50 AN)
Bezaldooz, Torinn, and Valna return to Guardian’s Tower. They are greeted by Rrowthar, who immediately notices Bosabrieln and Peren’s absences. The remaining Shields explain what happened, and he goes to see if there is anything to be done. He returns with Zortharr and Tarthraa, two of the freshly-returned torrian leaders. They indicate their willingness to help repel the giants’ forces. The group then sets out for the south gate of Argent.
As they approach and climb the wall, they see a full army of giants attacking the magical curtain encompassing the city. A section of wall briefly sputters and fades out, and three attackers — a hill giant, accompanied by a humanoid made of rock and an enormous, lightning-fringed lizard Bezaldooz recognizes as a behir — rush in before the rent seals. The giants cheer and continue battering the energy barrier. Zortharr recognizes that one of the giants has a large earthen sphere — perhaps some kind of jar — strapped to his back.
Tarthraa, Torinn, and Zortharr move to descend the wall to engage the attackers, while Bezaldooz and Valna stay on the wall to sling spells at them. They decide the behir to be the biggest threat, and so move to engage it. The behir closes the distance to the wall and breathes lightning upon it. Meanwhile, the hill giant throws the earthen sphere at the gate; it explodes, and while the gate holds strong, the giant moves forward to finish the job of smashing the gate with his club.
The stone man stays out of the thick of battle, instead gesturing and causing the earth to violently shake in the midst of the combatants. The earth around him turns to thick, sticky mud, dissuading any from approaching.
Torinn and the two torrians move to engage the behir, but the behir wheels around to face Torinn and swallows him whole. The behir’s painful grimaces and distending belly suggests that the armor-clad fighter is still alive and trying to cut his way out of the creature’s stomach while the giant lizard attempts to crush him in its gullet.
Bezaldooz activates his portal gun, creating a portal from the top of the wall to the ground. He hops through to better engage the behir and giant on the ground; after Bonatos moves to attack the giant, the giant smashes the quasit to a bloody pulp. After taking another potshot from the wall, Valna follows suit.
Ignoring the giant and the earthen humanoid, the group largely focuses on the behir, trying their best to avoid its thrashing legs and crackling lightning breath. After sustaining several grievous wounds, the beast suddenly lurches forward as Torinn rips free from its gullet in a shower of gore. The beast topples and falls, and the group moves to deal with the earthen humanoid.
As they engage the elemental, Obanar’s preparations appear to be complete, as the energy field around the city flares and begins throwing fireballs into the approaching giant army. They turn and retreat in the chaos. The attackers at the gate continue their assault, and with difficulty, the group finally slays the elemental.
Finally, exhausted and bleeding, the Shields and their torrian allies turn on the giant who has been steadily battering the gate. Under attack, the giant turns and defends himself, swinging wildly at his attackers, but to no avail. Despite their overwhelming fatigue, the defenders manage to defeat him and successfully defend the gate. Having consumed essence from the behir during the fight, Bezaldooz spills some of his blood to summon Bonatos again.
Returning to Guardian’s Tower, the Shields find Obanar in the map room, having fully engaged Argent’s defenses. He gives them the opportunity to rest, and assists them in procuring the incense and unguents necessary to enact the raise dead ritual. Valna begins the ritual with Bosabrieln, then Peren. After a long and harrowing sixteen hours, with the rituals lasting well into the night, an exhausted Valna falls into a deep sleep.
It is the following afternoon when everyone has convalesced enough to return to the trials at hand. Obanar suggests the Shields follow the giants’ supply lines to their commanders to retrieve the stolen piece of the divine engine and determine who is behind these attacks. The Shields agree to do so, and head out through the south gate.
The Shields successfully track the fleeing giant army, once running into a hill giant patrol but managing to successfully convince the patrol to let them pass. It takes the better part of a day to arrive at the camp, with night falling as they approach; the Shields successfully circumnavigate the camp and arrive at the wooden compound at the far end, built into the side of a hill.
The Shields try to sneak to the main door, and while Bosabrieln, Peren, and Valna manage to stay in the shadows, Bezaldooz and Torinn make a bit too much noise. The ogre guards and the hill giant by the door hear them and the ogres move to engage. The hill giant throws the door open and a large rage drake comes bounding out to engage the party. Bezaldooz quickly disengages so he can fling spells from a safe distance while Peren moves out of the shadows to engage the ogres.
Battle is swift. One of the ogres falls before sword and spell, and the second ogre and the rage drake fall within seconds of each other. The hill giant looks ready to retreat inside and warn the others, but the Shields move forward and slay him before he can alert the compound.
After resting, the Shields move into the compound. Finding nothing of value on the guards or in the entryway, they approach the door. Hearing voices beyond, the Shields decide on a plan: to catch the giants within off-guard, Bezaldooz will summon a demon to possess the hill giant they just slew, send him into the room, attack whomever is closest, and use the confusion to leap into the room.
Once they drag the giant’s corpse to the door, they ready the preparations and Bezaldooz and Bonatos summon a demon, raising the giant as Peren and Torinn open the door. This chamber is much larger, featuring braziers in the corners of the room and a large, inscribed magic circle on the floor. A large curtain dominates the back portion of the room. A rage drake sits near the door, and three hill giants crowd in the room, talking and eating. The giant staggers into the room, interrupting the conversation, and Bezaldooz uses ghost sound to mimic the giant’s voice. He staggers at one of the giants, swings at him, and then collapses, dead again.
In the confusion, Peren and Torinn rush into the room to engage the rage drake while Bezaldooz, Bosabrieln, and Valna position themselves to sling spells at the giants. A hill giant, dressed as a shaman, suddenly appears in the magic circle, causing an earth tremor before disappearing. As the chaos of battle strikes, two of the giant soldiers fall quickly. The group keeps the savage rage drake in check so that it may be quickly slain. As the curtain swings aside, revealing the giant shaman, the group largely ignores him to make short work of the giant wielding a sling.
Turning their attention to the giant, he finally says, “Please, no hit.” On guard in case he becomes aggressive, the Shields stop attacking and wait to see what he has to say — he makes a beeline for the door, opens it, and shouts in the Giant tongue that intruders have breached the compound. As Peren and Torinn rush for him and Bezaldooz, Bosabrieln, and Valna pelt him with spells, he orders the giants inside to shut and bar the door, then turns to face his attackers. He is quickly slain.
The Shields rest, then search the area. Finding nothing of value on the giants, they search the shaman’s room, finding a potion of vitality and 2,000 gp hidden in the furs upon which he slept. Ignoring the north door they now know to be barred, they check the door to the west. A small room leads to another western door, but Peren notes the middle of the room contains some sort of hanging jaw trap. To test it, the Shields move the giant shaman’s table, pushing it into the room and seeing this bear trap-like contraption drop from the ceiling and chew at the table.
Once they’re satisfied, Peren tells Torinn to start chopping down the door so they can move further into the compound.