The Cliff Alcove
- The PCs sail the silt estuary to a very low-traffic area to dock on the island of Ledo
- The party rests safely for the night in the rugged alcove.
- When they awaken, Dalamar feels slightly ill, and it appears that Veloc’s spell effects cast weeks ago to temporarily relieve the PCs of their curse are beginning to subside. Dalamar isn’t substantially affected, but his skin becomes pallid and his eye circles appear darkened.
- The party splits the next morning, leaving Captain Volrouak and Awakanak to guard and tend to his silt skiff while the others (Asis, Dalamar, Hanibaal, and Kathaalis) venture out into The Jagged Crags to search for the village of Gigus.
- Before the party can exit the natural tunnels behind the alcove, they encounter several people.
- A Mul by the name of Xhanyon speaks to the PCs, asking if they were part of the merchants they were seeking to trade with.
- Hanibaal implies that he is an overseer of trade in this area, even though he doesn’t know what Xhanyon is talking about.
- When the group reveals themselves to be rangers of the Winged Mantles, they ask that they trade with the PCs, who oblige.
- Back inside the docking alcove, Xhanyon expresses disdain when he realizes the vessel the supposed merchants brought is only a silt skimmer AND the PCs have no flint and not enough water to trade.
- The Winged Mantles are a bit irritated but willing to exchange information for 500 ceramic pieces when Xhanyon learns that the party is heading through the Jagged Crags to Gigus. This exchange occurs and the party learns of Tuoc, a giant priest of Ovo Cajaka. They also learn that the priest has supposedly placed malicious runes throughout the Crags, and that passage has been disrupted and limited to only a few pathways. They learn that the runes are capable of summoning guardians that are hostile to outsiders.
- Xhanyon tells the PCs that the giants leader only goes by the title " The Great Ruler of Giant-kind "
- Hanibaal had already known the leader’s name and that he is a one-eyed giant augmented by divine magic. However, the crag ranger also speaks of a voluminous and old religious center called the Prophet’s Citadel, which still stands below an equally huge tower where the giants’ leader is rumored to reside.
- The Winged Mantles depart but not before suggesting that they wish not to be sought out or followed.
- The party respects this wish and allows them to depart before they leave the alcove.
The Jagged Crags
- The PCs (excluding Capt. Volrouak and his remaining crewman Awakanak) emerge from the tunnel behind the alcove, and stand in a narrow valley in the Crags.
- The Crags passage is fairly narrow (no more than 20 feet wide in traversable areas), as the rangers said. The party finds a pathway but it’s apparent that at certain points along the way intervention has been placed in the form of collapsed and stacked rocks and mountain faces.
- Along the way, the party spots a mountain spider waiting very still in a hard-to-reach hole in the side of one of the rock faces after finding a couple dead humanoids in a small dip below.
- The party also encounters a handful of runes along the pathway to Gigus. The runes appear in narrow chokes, and seem to trigger based on proximity and movement. The runes summoned various-sized earth elemental guardians which immediately attacked the PCs. These guardians were dealt with by the party with blade and spell.
- Dalamar was able to disable a couple malicious runes.
- The PCs eventually reach the village of Gigus, which appears to be massive stone slab homes and giant embossed rock faces from a distance. They spot huge giants walking throughout the village, some carrying weapons the length of an elf or longer.
- The group decides to climb a nearby cliff face with rope and attempt to find a flank to approach the village without alerting any of the giants.
- Kathaalis leads the group through the rocky ridges and along even narrower passages before reaching the base of the Prophet’s Citadel. Hanging very high above the citadel (and partially embedded into one side of a mountainside) is a large tower. Some birds flock around its pinnacle and the rising sun makes the mountain and the tower a partial silhouette.
- Hanibaal assesses the base citadel, which is large but does not seem to be made for giants.
- The citadel itself is ancient — centuries old at least — and wracked with crumbly fissures.
- The PCs spot a large enough crack near the back end of the citadel to crawl through. A single dead tree creeps out of the hole in the exterior.
- Darkness awaits within.
- The party enters the gape.
- end -