Monday, 29th May 1511Edit
The party scout around, trying to find a way up to the Giant's Temple to Nerual. Pharis spots a dragon on top of a mountain top so the south. Grimes gauges the size of the dragon. Body is 50 feet long, tail is another 40 feet. Sleet was 30 feet, tail was 20 feet.
The party scout around to the south before returning back to the crypt.
Tuesday, 30th May 1511Edit
Grimes climbs the mountains alone. He uses the spyglass to look around. He a spots an artificial pillar and finds an easier way to climb up. He sets up a rope for the rest of the party on the way down.
Wednesday, 31th May 1511Edit
Light Weather. The Dragon is still sleeping in the same spot.
The party leave Nimrod and the Dogs behind with some food, then they climb up the rope Grimes left. They start climbing up switch backs to the top. Grimes is ambushed by an Ice Elemental and knocked out. Kel William Marshal & Pharis kill it with their magic swords. Jaromir looks around and sees there are no other Ice Elemental around, then heals Grimes.
They camp on the switch back. The ice elemental starts moving again, and Kel William kills it again. They then burn the remains to prevent it from reanimating.
Thursday, 1st June 1511Edit
Light Weather. Grimes wakes up. He drinks the magic healing potion.
At the middle of the day they reach the 20 foot tall pillar. Kel William sees it isn't man made, but supposes it was probably giant made. Grimes spots signs of traffic, but no one around. They believe it is a Shrine, not a Temple. Jaromir abandons his Stone Tablet he was trying to use to contact his dead daughter with, at the Neural Shrine.
The party then then notices 3 giants sleeping under the snow. One giant walks up. Grimes speaks with him. The giant's name is Clifford.
Clifford reveals that Sleet had been neutral with the giants. The Dragons Squall and Gale are their enemies, and confirms that Frostbite sleeps still. He also confirms the nearby sleeping dragon was Gale.
Clifford then carries the party to his leader, a trip that will take around 24 hours. On the way the giant points out the Giant's Graveyard to the south, as well as Gale's territory.
Friday, 2nd June 1511: The Hall of the GiantsEdit
- The giant scales the mountain at night. Eventually he gets to a flattish region which you realise is the entryway into a temple or a hall that's built into the ground. There are four pillars out front with a larger gap in between the middle ones than the side ones. A bit of an overhang, maybe thirty feet or so and then a 30-foot wide just 40 to 50 foot high passageway that just leads into the mountain.
Clifford strides down the hall quickly not really allowing the party to see the murals along the walls, depicting historical events of the Frost Giants. At a glance they see one about there being different groups of giants, then there being only 1 group of giants, there are some dragons, some little people, then a big wall, then a goddess. No chance to see if there were Scrags in the depictions in the limited time.
- The tunnel that you enter in through opens into a larger room. It was originally 30 feet wide at the tunnel, now it's maybe a hundred feet wide and 200 feet deep, with a set of columns running down 25-30 feet in from the walls on the side. You get into the Great Hall where there is a fairly large chair that is built out of the mountain itself. All of this looks like it's been excavated and nothing has been added back in, so it's been very carefully pulled out. In this very large chair that the back of the hall on a slightly raised dais. Sitting in the chair is what you presume to be Gordoth the Frost Giant King. By the throne is a massive hammer, head down, shaft up, with the head made of raw ore.
Clifford places the party on the ground, then speaks loudly to awaken his king. William and Grimes kneel on the ground before Gordoth. Gordoth speaks in giant, with Grimes translating, saying that Lydia had mentioned the humans arrival before. Kel William, though Grimes, greets the King, explaining they are emmisaries from Princess Sella of Drekis to the north. King Gordoth sends Clifford to collect a history book.
Grimes reports in on the locations that Lydia the Giant had given them, explaining they were crypts to old Human Kings or a Mine. Kel William gifts the magic paper lanterns to Gordoth. Gordoth accepts them and places them on a a corner of his throne.
William offers an alliance with the Giants to combat the Dragons. Gordoth says he has no need for the humans help to defeat the dragons. Even if they killed a dragon, that would just invite new dragons to take their place. In the past few thousand years dragons have come and gone, with every newcomer bringing war and death with it. The current dragons have entered an equilibrium with the giants, they each stick to their own areas and do not interfere with one-another. For every new dragon means they have to make a new peace and fight in new wars until things calm again.
William tries to establish trade with the Frost Giants, first offering weapons, but Gordoth explains the Frost Giants have been at peace for the past 600 years and need no new weapons or armor. Kel William offers food, but the Frost Giants require no food to survive since the Goddess Nerual saved them. Nerual transforms the ancient giants into their current form of Frost Giants to survive when Caldonia froze over. The ancient Giants had been servants of the "Mountain Demons" aka the Scrags, but their sire Crannis the Great broke free from them.
William, realising that King Gordoth desires nothing, then asks instead for knowledge of the history of Caldonia. Gordoth offers to trade lore for lore. One of his stories for a story from the party.
History of the GiantsEdit
William first request a story of the Scrags. King Gordoth calls them Mountain Demons. The Scrag are still around, most are dead or sleeping. They are few in number these days. King Gordoth considers them cowardly, and no longer a threat since Crannis the Great broke free from them.
William asks about how Caldonia froze over, but that isn't known to King Gordoth, but he does know his ancestors came from a distant land, forced here against their will. After breaking their chains, they were then saved by Nerual when the land froze over.
Clifford returns to the hall with the history book by Crannis the Great. King Gordoth consults it and finds an entry on Drekis, a southern land in the world of Arcadia. Arcadia is the Giant's ancestral homeland, coming from a Mountain Range outside any of the Kingdoms that existed at the time in Gromhaul (likely the Draken Ridge). They were from separate hill or mountain giant tribes when they were called to Caldonia.
King Gordoth then asks for a story and asks for Jaromir to cast a spell. Jaromir creates Fireworks with his magic. Gordoth applauds the show. Grimes speaks of Wikkthronrarenta & the nearby mountain of Wikk Lamdo to Gordoth, also explaining that the lands are mostly without ice & frost in Arcadia. King Gordoth finds the description of Arcadia inhospitable and lacking of nutrition.
The Zaratan DruidsEdit
King Gordoth tells of the elves who live on the floating island who come once a year or so and go about planting trees. King Gordoth has no idea when they are expected to return.
Grimes asks about the ancient elven kingdom that once rules the land, but King Gordoth has no new information. Grimes tells King Gordoth the official story of the Breaking of Arcadia, that humans grew arrogant with their magic and the clerics asked too much of the gods which brought the curse down on the lands.
Gordoth speaks again of King Crannis, who arrived here with his small family against their will, forced by the dark magics of the "mountain demons" to do their bidding some decades before the freezing of Caldonia, with that time period being a blur in his mind, the exact time-frame is lost to history as such. Gordoth says the Scrags here in large declining numbers, living in the mountains, waging war on the humans below, a war they were losing, and had been losing for some time.
King Gordoth, having been told the objective of the party is to recover lost human & elven treasures, that the Scrags probably have most of it. They have been here long before the "winds changed" and long before the dragons came. Frostbite didn't arrive until some 100 years after Caldonia froze. The lair is hidden is hidden deep within the mountains, but they know of some locations where the Scrag have been seen. King Gordoth points to some locations. NE (under Frostbite's Lair) and SE in the area the Kobolds warned them to avoid.
Grimes suggests that they can hunt down the Scrag, but the King Gordoth says they are too powerful for the party to handle. The Scrag command wild & powerful magics, and very accurate with their bows. The scrag are typically in groups between 4 or 8, usually with one magic user for every 4 scrag. The scrag are unusually nimble, using stone or wood as a gateway or portal, they disappear into the earth, and reappear in a tree, very hard to catch.
Jaromir tells some Mahtavan folklore how tortoise got it's shell.
- A long time ago a terrible famine hit the kingdom. It not rain for 2 years, and all crops were dying. The animals hoped and prayed for end of drought, but sky was no longer able to gather clouds. So the cunning Tortoise lived outside the village, with wife and 2 sons. Famine was very bad, already devastating all the inhabitants. So the Tortoise could no longer trick them into parting with what little rations they had to sustain family.
- One day, very tired and hungry, Tortoise left his house with the intention of searching marketplace for food scraps. There was no food in the market so the tortoise remained hungry. However, just he was about to return home, he saw the rabbit hopping towards the marketplace. There's something strange about the rabbit, he looked well-fed and full energy.
- So the tortoise approached the rabbit, with his head bowed as if he would mourning, and begin to cry. When the rabbit saw he rushed to meet him "What is it my friend?"
- The Tortoise answered "My father is ill, he's being tended by medics, wife is expecting our third little tortoiseling. She is so hungry I fear for her health, Only last night I heard that my mother-in-law is dying of starvation because she too does not have food to eat, I feel terrible because there is nothing I can do."
- Rabbit was suspicious because it was well known that Tortoise was very sly and could not always be trusted. But Tortoise was an excellent performer and soon won Rabbit's sympathy.
- "Meet me at the brook after dark, "said the Rabbit, "I will help you in spite of my doubts. I just hope that I do not regret this."
- Soon it was night and the Tortoise set out in the darkness to find the Rabbit waiting at the brook. Once they said their hellos, both animals made their way deep into the forest; Rabbit leading the way while Tortoise followed closely behind. Before long they came to narrow paths that led to an open clearing among the trees in the middle of forest.
- Rabbit stopped and pulled the Tortoise aside, "What you are about to see must be kept secret you understand?"
- Tortoise nodded in agreement. Rabbit cupped his hands around his mouth and began to sing beautiful song.
- Suddenly a long white rope descended from the sky. The Rabbit grabbed the rope began to climb. After hesitating for just a moment Tortoise also took hold the rope and followed the rabbit up into the sky. The Rabbit & Tortoise climbed and climbed until they got to the very top of the rope where there was magnificent fluffy clouds shaped like door. The door opened and there stood kindly Old Rabbit with smile on her face.
- "Mother" cried Rabbit in joyous voice as he embraced Old Rabbit, "This is my friend tortoise who has come for supper"
- "Come in and eat with us," they say after giving warm handshake to Tortoise.
- The sight that met Tortoise's eyes made him gasp, there was a large table laden with most sumptuous foods ever seen, exotic fruits and fresh fish of all types.
- "Don't eat too much," the Rabbit warmed, "or you will not be able to climb back down rode all the way to village."
- Tortoise did not listen. He continued to eat and eat every delicious morsel, ate until he was so full his stomach was distended.
- "Aren't you going to take some food back to your family?" the Mother Rabbit asked.
- "Oh No thank you I am so full with food in my belly I cannot carry any more."
- So the Rabbit let down the rope and Tortoise began to climb down. Eventually down the rope his grip slipped for he was too heavy and full with food, and he fell down the rope, crashing into the ground, shattering his back. But fortunately for him the rabbits noticed and were concerned, so climbed down the rope and picked up all his pieces and glued them back together, before sending Tortoise back on his way.
Jaromir explains the message of the story, pig get fed, hog gets slaughtered.
The Haunted WoodsEdit
Kel William asks about the Haunted Woods. Gordoth had been taken there by Crannis before it had been Gordoth's turn to be come the leader of the giants. In the centre of the woods Crannis showed Gordoth an unusual tree surrounded by stones. Crannis explains that these stones and this centre tree was a gateway used by the Scrags to move between one place and another place. The other trees around it were it's defenders, trees that should have died but but refused to and now fight anything that brings them disruption. It is believed the ancient humans built the wall around the woods.
Before the party leave, they are warned about younger giants that may attack them along the river. They are hot headed, and may attack them for sport. Grimes asks if there is a way to peacefully dissuade the giants, and Gordoth says tell them the Gnolls of the north have learned to fight have have killed Bertha (Bertha was the Frost Giant that the party killed in FroFro 16). If they do not care for their actions, they too shall find the Gnolls of the north coming for them next.
Sunday, 11th June 1511Edit
The party return to Swampside in the evening. They see that there is a group of scholars and slaves at the camp.