Posted on July 15, 2011
The Acts of the Lords of Rannick, XXV
This was a fun little session – we didn’t get going for quite a while, and really it was just one fight and a little bit of clean-up afterwards. Still three grand+ in XP is still a good net. We started off with the hostage rescue going pear-shaped and ended up returning to base camp to decide what to do next. If that decision could be discussed on here, that’d be great, because it will let me know which area to prepare for next week…
Watchtower at the entrance to the Valley of the Black Tower.
We left off after Albedon and Corwin had just Dimension Door’ed into the upper level of the watchtower. There they were faced with a huge giantess, peering out of the narrow slits on the second floor of the tower. Stark white scars and tribal patterns covered the dusky skin of this towering brute. Brutess? At twenty-feet tall, she was festooned with all sorts of skulls, fetishes and crude trinkets.”Conna?” called Corwin, hoping that this was the stone giant elder they had heard about and that she would be friendly to them. Albedon made some solicitous introductions, but the giantess whipped around and bellowed a few words in giant, surprised but not happy. They weren’t friendly words. Albedon cast Dimension Door again and transported them 470′ from the tower, which was a nice safe distance for Albedon to cast spells from but a sucky distance for a rogue-fighter to find himself from the action.
Dagfinn recognised the deep throaty bellow as that of a female taiga giant. He, Kerplak and Tersplink (oh yeah, Tersplink was there) stayed ready to move within their sphere of invisibility, Tersplink casting Bull’s Strength on Dagfinn, as though expecting him to do all the fighting. They heard resounding thumps coming from the tower and then two Ettins rounded the corner, looking for something to murder. The two-headed sub-giants couldn’t see anyone nearby, with Albedon being quite a distance away and Corwin having started to run an interference route to keep the tower inhabitants guessing.
Tersplink cast Bestow Curse on the first Ettin and then ran around the side of the tower. The Ettin charged forward, causing Kerplak to throw a smoke bomb to the ground and retreat. Pursuing Tersplink around the corner while his cursed buddy just stood there staring into space, one Ettin moved too close to invisible Dagfinn and as he hurtled around the tower, Dagfinn pincushioned him with his rapier. Each attack of opportunity landed a critical hit, taking out one of its four eyes, opening up some horrific bleeding wounds, showering Dagfinn in more blood and otherwise shortening the Ettin’s life span.
Now Albedon began support fire in earnest, throwing in a fireball that caught both the giantess and the Ettin. Anything Albedon can do, Kerplak can do with a lower margin of safety, so he sent in a fireball from his necklace of fireballs. Tersplink cast Spectral Hand on himself and began passing out the Shocking Grasps, but also Displacement on Dagfinn since hea was tonight’s front-line fighter. The second Ettin fell, and the giantess moved up to engage Kerplak and Dagfinn.
And by engage, I mean flatten. There was little chance of getting out of the way her huge greatclub, and even less chance of trying to parry it. She smote Kerplak to the ground. Dagfinn hastily – so hastily he clean forgot about his arcane spell chance failure, again – cast Invisibilty Sphere on himself. But after a quick invocation to her ancestors (which Dagfinn understood again with perfect clarity) she stepped forward and unerringly beat the shit out of him too, her swing with the club not being fooled by Displacement either.
The fallen party members were attended to, but had at least stopped bleeding all over the place. Corwin sneaked to the corner of the tower and spotted the brazier that was sending up a thin column of smoke. Albedon came over and put the fire out with a ray of frost. When they were on their feet, Dagfinn, still under the effects of Bull’s Strength, hauled the bodies into the tower while Kerplak began searching the tower. Corwin took up watch on the top floor, keeping an eye on the camps. There was no particularly starting developments down there, but after a while he spotted giants standing at the edges of their camps peering up the road towards the watchtower.
Tersplink and Kerplak found a small pile of 80gp under some hay in the ground floor of the tower, but became convinced that the upper floor must hide more treasures and so spent an hour tapping and pushing every brick. Alas, they were unable to find anything. A search of the giant and Ettin bodies revealed no magic items at all, and all of the gear was oversized.
Eager to leave, the party returned to their base camp to decide what to do next.
The Compleat Adventurer Award: Went to Dagfinn for his triple-trouble AoO critical bonanza. Normally, Dagfinn wouldn’t be able to make three attacks with one weapon, his BAB isn’t high enough. However, because he had Combat Reflexes (and decided not to use Stand Still) he received an AoO when the Ettin moved through his threatened area and additional AoO equal to his Dex bonus as the Ettin continued through his space. If the Ettin had been smart and stopped, Dagfinn would just have hit it once with an AoO. But because the Ettin doesn’t alter its plans (it was of two minds, wakka wakka) and kept provoking new AoOs, it took all three. Then all three were rolled as criticals and all sorts of awful things happened to that Ettin.