Monday, January 24, 2011

Session 26: Stone Giant Negotiations and More

This session was played 1/17/11 with me [Carter the Labyrinth Lord] participating IN PERSON in Eugene, Oregon.  Hazel's player had to miss the session due to prior travel plans.

Before this session even got underway -- in fact, last session -- Innominus used a new spell, Conjure Familiar (from Ancient Vaults and Eldritch Secrets) to call forth a dangerous bobcat from the mountains to act as his familiar.  This dangerous bobcat, named Beastarr, finally saw some action during Session 26, a point I will return to shortly.

The session opened with the PCs standing atop a mountain south of the Stonehell box canyon, having just routed the vast majority of the Hobgoblin forces previously encamped there.  Uncle Junkal charmed the captured hobgoblin general, and, pretending to be his friend and liberator, asked him a few questions about the "Black Oil" operation and the location of the hobgoblin's nearest allies.  The wily rodian bard  learned that the Black Oil is harvested from Level Four of Stonehell, then teleported by two wizards-for-hire up to the second level, where the Hobgoblins have a well-defended base.  He also learned that there is an alternate entrance to the dungeon via the bandit caves to the south -- the same caves the PCs tentatively scoped out during Session 23.  When asked who he was working for and delivering the black oil to, the General mentioned "the Baron," whose full name he apparently did not know.

Meanwhile, Dak searched about for any buried loot in the General's command tent, and it did not take him long to locate and unearth a coffer filled with 765 gold pieces and a couple of potions, Plant Control and Super-Heroism.

Near the end of the interrogation and tent looting, the PCs were approached by three Stone Giants, whose temporary home base sat atop the same hill to the east of the Hobgoblin encampment.  The Stone Giant leader, Eegah, was able to speak with the PCs in hobgoblinish, with NPC Marko acting as translator.  Eegah told the group he was happy they had killed the hobgoblins, as their black oil operation was polluting the hills with vile smoke, lots of noise, etc. He and his stone giant minions had been helping the hobgoblins for a cut of the black oil profits, but were now tired of the operation and ready to get rid of the intruders.  So he offered his assistance in routing the remaining hobgoblins out of the bandit caves and plugging that entrance to the dungeon for good.   The PCs heartily agreed.  Eegah himself remained up top while the PCs and two other stone giants descended the hill to the south and marched down the canyonside road toward the bandit cave entrance.

As the party entered the bandit caves, Innominus cast Animal Growth on Beastarr, transforming the bobcat familiar into a fearsome big cat predator.  With Beastarr's help, and thanks to critical hits scored by Beastarr and uncle Junkal, the group made quick work of the remaining hobgoblins in the caves, most of whom fled down the well just before the stone giants came in and sealed it up with rocks torn loose from the cave walls and the well itself. 

The party did some cursory searching of the other areas of the caves, but shied away from a section that was immersed in an uncanny darkness that neither infravision nor Innominus' Continual Light spell could penetrate.  The PCs also searched a cave piled with seemingly useless junk and found a treasure map depicting an island lying approximately one week's sail southwest of the central Blintian Coast.

Before leaving the caves for good, Innominus scrawled a message on the cave wall -- "Ugluk sucks!" -- in regurgitated offal.  [This is a running joke started way back in the orc gully adventure that kicked off the campaign in Session 2.  My notes do not indicate where the regurgitated offal came from.]

Then the PCs gave the Stone Giants a parting gift of 200 gp and a few gems, then headed back up and over the mountain to their war wagon, with recently rescued dungeoneers Gark and Korak in tow.  The war wagon had been vandalized in the PCs' absence, camouflage coverings stripped and the words "Fuck you! - signed, Ugluk" written in feces on the side.

The PCs returned to Fortinbras without significant incident, to find newly arrived troops dressed in saffron and red liveries standing guard on nearly every street corner.  These soldiers, who served Prince Arkus of northern Minoch, had arrived in town three days earlier, paving the way for the arrival of the Prince himself within the week.

Sending ahead the party's dwarves, Yor and Dak, to spread the news of the triumphant rescue of beloved local hero Gark, the PCs rode into town, displaying the captured Hobgoblin General in their (cleaned up) war wagon.  They were met in the town square by Gareth Rotwanger, Sheriff of Rogaland, the chief law enforcement official in the entire region.  The sheriff demanded that the hobgoblin general be turned over to him in the name of Prince Arkus, who had assumed provisional rule over Fortinbras since the death of Baron Kaminster over a week ago.  The PCs, unwilling to have credit for their deeds usurped by the power-hungry prince, killed the captive general on the spot and branded him with Yor the Dwarf's family rune.  Then they turned him over to the sheriff, who was officially displeased but personally admired their guts. 

Much revelry followed that night at the King Hargon Inn, the local dwarf hangout.  Gark's family, the Steelsnouts, presented the party with a reward of 800 platinum pieces for the safe return of their favorite son.  Much dwarven ale was drunk, the PCs partied all night, and Yor ended the session by suggesting that the next day he would go see the sheriff to discuss the recent political developments. . . .

1 comment:

  1. Another great session, and made more great by the physical presence of Mr. Soles!

    A few more Beastarr details:

    1) Beastarr is named after Bobbi Starr, in memoriam of Zak's "I Hit it with My Axe". The familiar's a bobcat, she's old school, they go together like chocolate and peanut butter.

    2) Beastarr was shot with a crossbow by a stupid hobgoblin while doing recon in dangerous bobcat form, and then in GIANT form killed and devoured the guts of one of the other stupid hobgoblins.

    3) The offal for writing "Ugluk Sucks!" was thence regurgitated by Beastarr so Innominus could defame their stupid cave.

    4) Beastarr can cast Hold Grudge at will, so don't mess with him!