Saturday’s Group 7/11/2015
Before heading into the light, the group decides to rest. Searching for food, nobody finds anything except for Kipp the Firebrand, whose impressive fishing skills net him a pale-skinned fish the size of Harsk. The group eats well and journeys on after a full day’s rest to complete Gullycloak’s recovery.
As they travel into the light, the group (Dale, Harsk, Kipp, Karoatch, and Gullycloak) sees a large creature land in the water near them, having fallen from a cliff above the nearby docks. The group investigates, with the exception of Dale, who stays behind to guard the boat. The group comes upon a grisly scene: giant corpses surround the area and one giant charges Kipp before being magically enchanted to sleep. After seeing the area littered with Slirnbase potions, the group begins to formulate an idea of what happened. Harsk takes the opportunity to kill the giant as he sleeps, earning the ire of Karoatch, a half-giant himself.
As the group explores further, they stumble into a grand hall with giant guards at the far end. They also learn that the giants had kept sex slaves of multiple races, including humans, elves, dwarves, drow, and even halflings. All of these poor women were naked, traumatised, and heavily pregnant with the giants’ children. Gullycloak and Kipp distracted the guards and Gullycloak followed one of them (who decided to report the distraction to his king). Karoatch saw the trapped women and believing that he may have been a result of such a union, charged the remaining guard. Harsk and Kipp came to his rescue, but the giant’s might defeated Karoatch and left Harsk heavily wounded. Hearing the commotion and not seeing Gullycloak return, the group feared the worst, their friend had been captured or more likely, dead. Harsk, Karoatch, and Kipp fled to another room just as a search party came to investigate the noises.
Gullycloak covered for them by summoning a frog near the dead giant, leaving the wit-starved search party to assume the guard had been done in by a tiny amphibian, which they took hostage. Gullycloak followed them back into what appeared to be a grand courtroom (if we’re being polite) where the Pale Giant King presided over his court. He was holding what seemed to be a party where a wizard and a cloaked woman were in attendance. Surprisingly, the wizard revealed himself to be a spokesperson for Ocular Superiority. Gullycloak revealed himself and “admitted” that his pet frog had gotten loose and killed the guard. He was immediately arrested and put to a trial by combat for his life against the giant guard. Upon being ignored for a silly trial, the wizard began insulting the king and was assaulted by guards. Several of the guards were shot with lightning or turned to stone by the cloaked woman, who was revealed to be the Medusa, Brighteyes, the group’s target for many a week.
As they fled, Gullycloak was busy with his own problems, fighting for his life.
Meanwhile, Harsk, Karoatch, and Kipp attempted to find a way back to Dale to escape through a smoky fungi-filled room, eventually coming upon a trio of deformed, stupid (even by giant standards) giants who were guffawing and chortling as they tortured a Grimlock for their own amusement. Karoatch and Kipp, attempting to avoid a battle, accept their invitation to kick the grimlock as well. Unfortunately, it was a trap, as fire shot from the floor beneath the two and killed Karoatch in short order as Kipp, saved only by his Moonrider jacket, attempted to cradle his fallen friend in his grief. Kipp, barely standing himself, could do nothing but quiver in rage as the giants roared with laughter at Karoatch’s death, as Harsk watched in sullen silence, powerless. With no time left to grieve and no way to transport Karoatch’s body for a proper burial, Harsk and Kipp retreat the way they came in silence.
Gullycloak, in the meanwhile, has been fighting for his life against a vastly stronger opponent. However, his judicious use of darkness, stealth, blinding attacks, faith in Ashava, and sheer ingenuity in the face of certain death, managed to keep him alive long enough to whittle the giant down until Gullycloak managed to miraculously prove his innocence via trial by combat. The crowd and the king are so impressed that they ignore the wizard and the Medusa’s attacks completely and are highly entertained at the Grippli’s gumption. Gullycloak sees this as a rare chance to become allies with the Pale Giant King.
As Harsk and Kipp reach the hall with the cages, another commotion occurs. They attempt to make their way to the exit when Kipp decides to free the pregnant slaves. Brighteyes and the wizard rush into the hall straight through the exit, ignoring Harsk and Kipp. Though Harsk realizes that the chance to kill Brighteyes will likely not be so close again for a long time, he has to let her go, knowing that he and Kipp would not likely survive the battle in their condition. Using some left-over Slirnbase, Kipp manages to empower the women to escape from their cages with brute strength, as they rush towards the exit.
Brighteyes manages to fight through the pregnant women, petrifying many of them, and coming upon the search party that investigated the giant guard’s death from earlier. The search party had been stacking the other giant corpses that had occurred from all the Slirnbase-induced fighting. Not willing to talk, Brighteyes and the wizard attacked the search party, resulting in massive wounds on Brighteyes and the wizard, as well as the wizard using up many spells. With the pregnant women also running wild, the search party is defeated and Brighteyes escapes, only to find the pregnant halflings have tried to steal her boat. She petrifies them for their insolence and pushes them into the water as the wizard uses a spell to keep anyone else from getting into the boats. Luckily, Dale had managed to notice the commotion and pulled the group’s boat away from shore and protected himself from Brighteye’s gaze.
Harsk and Kipp, having followed close behind, manage to get Dale to come pick them up. Kipp easily gets in. Harsk, however, had been sprinting in full-plate armor for what seemed like hours, and his exhaustion momentarily caused him to lose focus, causing him to slip into the water. As he began to sink, Harsk began to accept that he would not be able to swim with the armor on and would be unable to get it off in time to survive. But Kipp, with Dale’s help, managed to pull Harsk back into the boat, against all odds. With Gullycloak believed dead or gone, Harsk and Kipp relayed the heartbreaking tale of Karoatch’s death.
With the party split and broken, the group is now faced with a choice: leave Gullycloak to certain death and chase Brighteyes with the wonderful chance they had been given? Or would they let Brighteyes go and attempt to rescue their comrade? Or would they do neither and simply attempt to retreat, lick their wounds, and formulate a new plan to destroy Brighteyes as they mourned their fallen friends? Only time would tell.
Short version: Karoatch dies, tons of giant corpses, splitting party with Gullycloak on trial (he wins), tons of pregnant women get freed, Brighteyes and Ocular Superiority Wizard flee, and Harsk, Kipp, and Dale are in a boat behind them.