Chronicles of Khaldun: Crux of Eternity

Revenge of the Giants, Part 20

Freeday, Patchwall 28, 552 CY (50 AN)

Bezaldooz, Bosabrieln, Peren, Torinn, Valna, and Torinn’s shield guardian arrive in Obanar’s chambers, and tell him of their success in retrieving a piece of the divine engine and foiling the frost giants’ plans at Frost Spire. He notes they now have two pieces of the divine engine, while the giants’ forces hold three — in addition to the two they have managed to steal, while the Shields of the Sorrowfell were in Frost Spire, the remaining vestige of giant forces attacked and sacked the city of Breelton, which was holding another piece.

The Shields also indicate that they also know the fire giant forces are gathered at Flamefall Tower. Obanar has similarly heard that agents of the giant forces have captured Torugar, exarch of Moradin, and one of those with the knowledge to repair the divine engine; he is likely also being held in Flamefall Tower. Obanar indicates he can use the plaque retrieved from Breven Foss to transport them to Flamefall Tower when they are ready. The Shields agree they are prepared, so Obanar says the words, modifies the magic circle, and the Shields are suddenly elsewhere.

The Shields appear in a magic circle on a large balcony atop a massive basalt tower. Four fire giants stand guard, three armed with hammers and one bearing two shields, steaming with lava. Bezaldooz casts a protection spell on himself as the shield-wielding giant charges into the throng. Bezaldooz, Peren, and Torinn all manage to avoid the worst of it, while Bosabrieln, Valna, and the shield guardian are all caught by the shields and shoved to the edge of the platform. The trio manages to catch themselves against the railing and avoid being thrown over the side. The shield-wielding giant is unable to withstand the combined onslaught of the Shields of the Sorrowfell, and is quickly slain. Turning their attention to the other three fire giants, Peren is surprised when a stone gargoyle on the side of the building comes to life and swoops at him, although he is able to slay the beast. The Shields are able to take down two of the giants — one of which Bezaldooz banishes to the Abyss — and wound the third before he tries to run, managing to get just inside the door to the tower and shout before Peren catches up to him and slays him.

Surveying the landscape, the Shields surmise this balcony is some manner of landing pad for flying beasts or possibly eldritch vehicles. The surrounding mountains appear to be dark and volcanic, and the temperature suggests they are somewhere in the south. With nothing further to investigate, they head inside and down the stairs.

The Shields come to a room with several tables and a large throne at the head. A dragon mosaic dominates the floor in the central meeting area. As they round the corner, they see a group of four dark elves — one, a noblewoman with the staff and robes of a magus, while the other three males are equipped as warriors — and three giants, apparently waiting for them. As the Shields emerge into the room, the drow warriors move to attack; two engage in melee while the third launches crossbow bolts at a distance. The Shields quickly kill one of the drow, and Peren moves into the room, diving behind the throne and noticing a hidden panel. He opens it, activating some mechanism that blasts him with a gout of flame, but he notes there is an ornate rod in the compartment, and he takes it. Seeing they are likely outmaneuvered, the two drow warriors move to retreat. One manages to escape down a flight of stairs with heavy injuries, while Peren chases the other down and kills him. The drow noble barely manages to cast a spell before she is attacked and frozen solid by Bezaldooz — Peren takes great pleasure in shattering her as he passes — and the three fire giants are quickly slain. They find gold and a treatise on magic in the noblewoman’s belt pouch, and also find two switches on the back wall. They are unable to determine what they do through experimentation, but after Peren agrees to stay behind while the others go to another room, they determine that the levers control the two towers beside this one, raising and lowering them to change the arrangement of rooms. Unsure what to do with this information, they make a note of it and descend.

After descending into a guest room of some sort, the Shields descend into another guest room attached to some manner of smithy. Another one of the fire giants armed with two shields resides in the smithy, along with several serpentine creatures made of fire; they appear to be assisting his crafting endeavors. The fire giant notices the Shields as they approach and sounds the alarm. He opens the portcullis between the two rooms and begins to move inside the guest rooms, while the Shields move to greet him. Torinn and his shield guardian hold the line, as they often do, while Valna prays for sanctuary to render Torinn even more invulnerable than his prowess usually enables. The combined might of the Shields leaves the fire giant dead, and they find the fiery, spear-wielding serpents far less robust than he. As they kill the last one, with Bezaldooz unsuccessfully attempting to hex one of them, a drow patrol comprising a drow priestess, accompanied by two mages and three warriors descends the stairs. The Shields immediately agree to capture the priestess. As they move into position, one of the mages casts cloudkill, but is attacked and her concentration disrupted so quickly that it barely has an opportunity to take effect. Torinn enters the fray and dispatches the magic-users, while Peren manages to knockout the priestess. The warriors are quickly dispatched, and as the Shields are about to determine what to do next, the injured drow warrior from the meeting room upstairs quietly descends the stairs. He doesn’t have time to run before they knock him out. Bosabrieln conjures Mordenkainen’s magnificent mansion and the Shields enter, dragging the priestess and the warrior with them.

After taking them to separate rooms and tying them to chairs, they decide to interrogate the warrior first. Bosabrieln and Torinn awaken him and question him about occurrences at Flamefall Tower. Completely terrified of them, he doesn’t know much, indicating that they’re allying with the fire giants as part of some ritual, some holy quest for Lolth or some such. An exarch of Lolth is here with a priestess and the other mages, engaging in ritual preparations; all told, there are fourteen drow here, not counting the exarch. He asks if he will be allowed to leave for cooperating; in response, Bosabrieln and Torinn leave, allowing Peren to enter and execute him.

Bosabrieln and Torinn next interrogate the priestess, who may know more but is far less impressed by them than the warrior was. She indicates she is here on a diplomatic mission, trying to broker peace between her people and the fire giants. Of course she has armed warriors here, as she needs to protect herself. She further claims that Bosabrieln has unfairly targeted her, simply for being a dark elf. Once he is certain he won’t get much out of her, Bosabrieln hollers for Peren to let him know he’s done. As Peren enters, the priestess remarks, “I have made my peace with Lolth, have you made yours with—” before Peren stabs her in the throat.

Bosabrieln has the ghostly servants remove the bodies and deposit them back in the guest room where the other bodies lay, and then proceed to clean the guest rooms. They examine the objects they’ve captured, as well. Bezaldooz determines the magic treatise contains the scrolls for the spells mislead, passwall, and scrying. Peren determines the rod he stole is a rod of security, a device capable of transporting companions to a demiplane paradise for a period of time. People in this demiplane have enough food and water to sustain them, do not age, and heal at an accelerated rate. The plane lasts between one and two hundred days depending on the number of inhabitants, and needs to recharge ten days after use, but can be used instantly, unlike the minute required to cast Mordenkainen’s magnificent mansion.

With the excitement finished, the Shields sleep for the night.

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