Chronicles of Khaldun: Crux of Eternity

Revenge of the Giants, Part 21

Waterday, Ready’reat 12, 552 CY (50 AN)

Bezaldooz, Bosabrieln, Peren, Torinn, and Valna awaken in Mordekainen’s magnificent mansion. They prepare for their respective days, and once they have had breakfast, Bosabrieln opens the door to the mansion.

The Shields of the Sorrowfell stop their advance when they see the room has been cleared of corpses and partially cleaned. More threateningly, a humanoid sits on one of the beds. It appears to be finely dressed in the regalia of nobility, and bears a tiger’s head. Most disconcertingly, its hands are backward with regard to those of a typical humanoid, with its palms on the backs of its hands. It sits with one leg crossed atop the other, smoking a pipe, and evidently expecting the Shields to arrive.

It gives greeting in a throaty purr, and after some negotiation as to whether the Shields will come out to greet it or it will enter the mansion (it refuses), the Shields — along with Bono and Torinn’s shield guardian — decide to exit the mansion to speak with this creature. Introducing himself as Rahu, the creature appears to be well aware of the Shields’ reputation, and indicates he was here on diplomatic business. However, knowing that the Shields are here, he strongly suspects the deal is off, and everyone in this tower is dead, they just don’t know it yet. As such, he is willing to give them information regarding the tower and their operations, if they’re willing to deal with him. He doesn’t particularly need anything, although he would be very pleased if he could have five minutes or so of their wizard’s time. The Shields discuss this matter before agreeing to these terms. Rahu takes Bezaldooz aside to speak with him.

Rahu indicates he operates on behalf of a foreign power whose constituents have, perhaps, bloodlines in common with Bezaldooz. He asks if Bezaldooz is part of an organization, which he affirms, and Rahu asks whom he would need to contact so that his organization could cooperate with Bezaldooz’s cabal. Bezaldooz directs him to Remegni the Stoic in Duchy Jepson, and Rahu thanks him.

Rahu and Bezaldooz return to the group, and Rahu explains about Flamefall Tower. The drow exarch Lolestra is preparing a ritual to release Piranoth from his prison. The remaining drow in Flamefall Tower are assisting, but the bulk of it is being performed in the Elemental Chaos. The fire giants have three pieces of the divine engine, but have managed to build replicas of the missing two pieces, and they anticipate it will be enough to release the primordial. The Shields have, at best, twenty-four to forty-eight hours to stop this ritual. The fire giant king and his associates lair in the basement, where they have been trying to extract information from an exarch of Moradin they captured. While they haven’t received much information from him, they have had weeks to study what intelligence they have gathered.

Rahu refuses to speak on specifically why he’s here or what he was attempting to negotiate with the fire giants or drow, indicating it is no longer important. Once the Shields are satisfied, Rahu performs a brief gesture and incant and disappears. The Shields proceed to head downstairs.

After passing through another barracks below, the Shields wander right into the aforementioned ritual chamber. Peren dashes across, the room, sighting a fire giant overseeing a ritual with two drow communing over a magic circle. A total of five magic circles are inscribed in this room, and two drow are performing some ceremony by the center one. The flickering, illusory image of a drow matron appears in the circle, communing with them. On the far left side of the room, there is a portal open to another portion of the tower, revealing a fiery titan and three fire giants crowded around a bloodied and battered dwarf on a table. Peren also spies two drow warriors, hiding in alcoves in the room. He quickly attacks one of the mages and speeds to the other side of the room. The rest of the Shields quickly filter behind him, and the battle is joined.

The drow matron disappears, and when she does, the portal on the far wall begins to shimmer and flicker but does not fully disappear. One of the warriors moves after Peren while the other moves to engage Torinn and his shield guardian. The mages continue their ritual work, while the fire giant moves to engage the attackers. Bosabrieln manages to enthrall a drow warrior and the fire giant with a hypnotic pattern, giving the Shields breathing room to slay the two wizards before they can finish their ritual, as well as the one unencumbered drow warrior. Stupefied and surprised as they are, the drow warrior and the fire giant are swiftly dispatched.

The Shields briefly consider their options and vault through the portal. Peren takes cover behind a column and spies a portal to a realm of roiling flame and ice, probably the aforementioned portal to the Elemental Chaos. As the others enter, the fire titan bellows in Primordial, telling Lolestra to close the portal and King Snarr to kill the intruders. Bosabrieln enthralls the fire giants with another hypnotic pattern, but the fire giant moves to engage. As he does, he fires a bead of fire that Bezaldooz recognizes as the seed of a mighty fireball. He quickly performs a countersign to dispel the spell before it can harm the Shields, and Valna prays to Pelor, banishing the titan back to the Elemental Chaos. As the three remaining fire giants are hypnotized, the Shields pick them off one by one. The first is dragged to the Abyss by Bono, while the other two are summarily slain. Valna frees the dwarf exarch in the melee, and once the giants have been dispatched, she prays for healing for the battered dwarf. The exarch, introducing himself as Torugar, indicates that the giants have been trying to extract information out of him regarding the use of the divine engine. The drow have completed their ritual preparations and crafted replicas of the missing divine engine components, and will be ready to free Piranoth within the day. The Shields have time to prepare, but not much. With that, he utters a prayer ro Moradin and disappears in a flash of light, leaving a strange adamantine device in his wake, looking like a very complex spanner.

The Shields collect it. They then search the slain giants, finding a vial of fluid on one of the giants. The king holds a pouch with three rubies, a runic stone bearing intricate sigils, and an ornate iron drinking horn bearing the images of fearsome warriors in horned helmets. Bezaldooz recognizes the runic stone as a focus for a teleportation ritual, probably leading to the spot in the Elemental Chaos where Lolestra’s ritual is taking place. He then performs the rites to return to Argent.

Appearing in the circle in the Grand Mall, the Shields ascend Guardian’s Tower to find Obanar, looking grave and significantly older. They explain what has transpired, and give Obanar the runic stone. He says he will be ready to transport them after they’ve rested. He then presents them with the Implements of Argent, forged from the starmetal they recovered from Acererak’s tower: the champion’s ring, the controller’s staff, the defender’s plate, the leader’s helm, and the striker’s longsword. These will aid them in their battle in the Elemental Chaos. They then go to rest.

While resting, they examine the goods they’ve found. The vial of liquid is a potion of cloud giant strength, evidently unexamined by the giants they fought. The drinking horn is not a drinking horn at all, but a warhorn with a cap crudely attached. It is, in fact, the horn of Valhalla, capable of summoning a small force of berserkers from Ysgard when blown, so long as the bearer is well-trained in force of arms. The Shields then prepare to rest so that they may face the drow ritualists on the morrow.