Descent Into Giantshome
|Status||Explored May 829 TA|
|Campaign||Dark Lord Campaign|
Far in the southern Reaches, an evil race of giants, known as the Darksouls, have allied themselves with Valdemar. The giants are thought to be mutant descendants of a race of Sea Giant that were marooned on the island of Giantshome many centuries ago. The giants are few in number, but they are very great in strength. For protection from the elements, the Darksouls have built a great structure on the island. The unusual nature of that structure has led the Darksouls to delve deep into the earth's roots.
Recently, the giants have discovered two strange artifacts: Earthsheart and Tophet's Demise. Earthsheart is a gem that has the power to create magic. Among the relics of the Realm, very few can create magic - most merely rearrange its powers. Knowing this, Valdemar seeks to possess it for himself. The giants have another purpose for their stone. The onyx coffin know as Tophet's Demise lies in the tomb where it has been buried since the Second Age. According to the inscription on the lid, only one who wields a primal source may open the coffin. Once opened, the wielder must face Tophet in a battle of wills. Defeating Tophet will enslave him forever. Tophet's victory, however, would restore the devil to his former power.
The Darksouls are now attempting to open Tophet's Demise. They must be stopped, and both Tophet's Demise and the gem Earthsheart must be save from the hands of Valdemar. King Gregory the Even-Handed has gained some information though his seers as to the artifact's location. They lie beyond the bellows of the Soulfire. Through the always-southern passage. No more is known.
The party appears on a tall pillar of stone. From it, the entire island can be seen. The following landmarks are noted:
- The Dome (SW about 1 days travel) - A large cage-like structure that is built in the middle of a grassy plain. The spacing between the bards seems fairly wide. Nothing can be seen within.
- The Pass of Boulders. A narrow valley running a fairly straight course through the mountains. Surrounding either side of the pass is a sheer cliff.
- A source of black smoke. It seems to come from the end of the Pass of Boulders. (Giantshome)
A cast-out of the Darksouls lives on the top of the spine. He has a pet spine serpent to protect him. The spine serpent will attack on sight, but the giant will not show himself unless discovered.
Sweetbreath is a sea giant out-cast. He has the ability to blend into stone. He can also throw tar and cast spells. Sweetbreath was exiled by the Darksouls for questioning the building of Giantshome. Emanations of evil have been getting stronger as the giants continue to dig. He will give the party a general outline of the structure's setup, warn them against the keepers, and tell them about the construction of the Dome. He will not leave for fear of death. His treasure includes a healing gem (since he was a healer in the Darksouls). He also has 50 gp.
The spine serpent can bite and constrict. In addition, its blood is acid that pours freely from sword wounds.
The Keepers are human monks who are aligned with the Darksouls. Their only purpose is to defend the plains of the dome. They will question and escort any trespassers out of the plains. They will not allow anyone to visit the dome.
The Pass Master
The party must answer his riddle to pass.
Stones. Treasure is a 1000 gp diamond for his heart.
- 10 harpies
- 3 xorn
- 6 stone giants and 3 cave bear guardians
- 5 cockatrice
- Leprechaun - O'Mallard's the name. O'Mallard is caught under a rock. He will throw and illusion of an orc (with an Irish accent) to challenge the party. If good, he will enlist for help. Go along with the party. His party was captured by giants. He has 13 luck coins.
The Dome Dragon is imprisoned in his dome because he cannot answer the riddle which holds the spell of binding. He will try to get the party to answer the question for him. If they are unable, he will attack. The presence of the Keepers will make him immediately hostile.
The riddle of the Dome:
The Outer Caves
Only living utensils can be found in the outer caves. A pyramid rises from the floor of the valley. It is of recent construction, but the surrounding caves appear to be very old. Two Darksouls are hidden on either side of the entrance. A glowing sword is driven deep into a rock blocking the pass. Inspection shows that the sword might be removed. Touching it will set off an alarm. The sword screams until the command word is given. (Kaara) The camp is noteworthy because the Darksouls do not seem to need food, sleep or heat, but a fire is burning nearby.
There are 28 Darksouls here.
Room 1: The Treasure Vault
A large 200x200 foot square room with vaulted ceilings. On the walls are murals depicting scenes of ocean life and sailing. In the center of the room stands a gnarled old oak tree. Beneath it lie several skeletons still dressed in their armor. Large piles of coins are littered about beneath the tree. Several chests, swords, and even a rod can be seen.
The Guarding Tree has sticky branches which shoot out 20'. A hit causes weakness for 1d3 rounds. Breaking the branch is the same as opening a door. It pulls its victim in 20' per round.
Small unadorned 30x30 foot rooms. Door on far wall. Far door triggers teleport to Room 9. Only those inside the room.
Stairs are leading downward. A magic mouth appears and speaks in Sea Giant:
If a party member understands giantish, they catch the following words: ...entering....games....stand quietly....conclusion.
20x20 unadorned. Pressure plates teleports all the food to the prisoners. If a party member steps on it, they will be teleported to the food stand in Room 9.
Room 7: The Prison
The O'Mallard clan has been captured by the Darksouls when attempting to rob Room 1. Their leader is under the rock int the Pass (thought dead). Giants found them no good in the games, so they are being saved for supper. Their gear has been destroyed.
Room 8: The Prison
Ogre. Does not speak. Will attack when let out.
Room 9: The Holding Pen
A large stone room (90x100). It is musty and smells of offal. A large group of creatures sit on the benches that line the walls. In the center is the food pedestal. The far wall is a giant stone gate. On the gate, written in common, are the following instructions. The creatures within will tell of the game. No explanation.
The Game: Duel
- Stand where directed.
- If another creature enters your square, kill it.
- If you enter another creature's square, kill it.
- Never leave your square undirected.
- Do not interfere with the battles in other squares.
Get 12 moves in a segment.
- 3 x 2 forward
- 2 x 3 forward
- 1 x 4 forward
- 3 x 2 diagonal
- 2 x 3 diagonal
- 1 x 4 diagonal
You may set up your side as you wish. You must attack with everything which lies in your path. You may not help another player.
For players, win is freedom (or to play on the Giant's team). Lose is death.
For captains, win is free piece of treasure from Room 1, 1000 sp each. Lose is to become a player.
- 2 orcs
- 2 minotaurs
- 2 bugbears
- 3 human fighters - these fighters are friendly to newcomers. Their names are Jahna, Barth, and Relay.
- kobold - Jagra the Flamboyant
- rust monster (Jagra's mount)
Game In Progress: It is the 10th segment. The Giants move. The giants use a diagonal 2 and a knight kills the last two harpies. The harpy captains are now on the giant's team as players.
The Giant's Team
- 7 harpies
- 9 knights
The Gamemaster Giant holds the Staff of the Duel. This staff may throw: Silence, Hold Persons (1d10), Petrification, Mass Charm, Summon the Vulture, Teleport to Room 9.
The Vulture is responsible for clearing all the dead bodies off of the field. It eats 25%, and it saves 75% for its mate and young. They are found in Room 18. One mother and two eggs. Mother will ear 50% of the time. Others are piled in the corner for the young. The mate will respond if hurt (80%).
These are unfinished, empty staterooms. Construction is very recent.
A rough-hewn room. As the party crosses it, a nymph appears in the hallway to Room 19. She tells the party that her magic dulcimer has been taken from her. It lies in an air pocket behind the pool in which she lives. It is charmed so that she cannot touch it. However, if a party member is to touch it and present it to her as a gift, then she may touch it again. The pool is actually poison. The nymph is Rachel.
Roughly-hewn. A pile of bodies (mostly harpies) lie in the corner. At the far end is a nest. On it, a large vulture is sleeping (10% father will come in). Under the vulture are two eggs. No ceiling. In the pile of bodies on may find: 60 sp, potion of fire resistance.
The vultures will attack any predators. Also, they will respond to mate's cry for help. Also, can get help with a screech.
Rachel's Room. Roughly-hewn. A pool of what seems to be water (actually poison). She uses the bodies for food. Treasure (at bottom of pool): 4 x rubies (500 gp each).
Roughly-hewn. This is a temporary burial vault. It was constructed as a storeroom, and it will be used as one when the complex is complete. The giants bury their dead without items. Nothing of value.
Roughly-hewn. High ceiling. A single Darksoul guard is sleeping on the ground. He will not wake up unless much noise is made.
This room is filled with large mushrooms. If touched, they will shoot off deadly spores in a 10 foot radius. Spores will cause characters to choke (no fighting, no spellcasting) for 2 rounds. Unable to run for one day. The character will have to rest every third battle round. No cure.
A large pool of black slime lives here. It will follow any heat source at 6" for about 2 rounds. Afterwards, it will return to its home.
This room has two exits. One is through a locked portcullis. Above the portcullis is an inscription in sea giant, "Beware the home of the Stone Lady. Her bite and looks are fatal." The other exit is open. From this exit, sounds of stone construction can be heard. Nothing can be seen (darkness) through the portcullis.
Rooms 25 and 26: The Lair of the Stone Lady
Roughly-hewn. The Lady is a medusa. Her three pet lynxes are her food. She has a small treasure chest located in Room 26. She will attack anything on sight. The entrance is darkened by a spell.
The Lady's treasure: 400 sp, 10 pp, potion of water breathing, dagger +5
This room is the beginning of another constructed part. Three Darksouls are busy at its construction. They will not notice a silent character entering the room.
Room 28: The Prayer Path
This is a hallway (30' wide by 30' tall). It is painted pitch black. Niches in the wall contain altars. In the wall, at human eye level, is a hole. In this hole, is a roaring fire. The fire is immense, but the window provides only a small glimpse of the flame.
Two altars. A flaming window faces the party. A stone wall seems to be behind the flames (actually a drawbridge). If the code word (nuku) is yelled, the drawbridge will lower. A small crack can be seen at the top of the bridge.
A priest stands guard over the lowering mechanism. Periodically, he pumps the bellow to keep the fire going. He will only lower the drawbridge on command. Speaks common.
A large ledge encircles this huge room ten feet from the floor. The eastern wall has a window which allows the sunlight from outside to focus on a crystal. Ten priests pray around the pit of fire. Above the pit is suspended the crystal Earthsheart. The sunlight focuses the rays of Earthsheart onto a small coffer. It will take until sunset for the power to break the seal and set Tophet free.
Tophet's Demise - A stone coffer of great weight. It was sealed by a primal power to keep the devil within. If released, Tophet will flee to his witches. To release: primal source, rune weapon, or a wish spell. These will reseal or open.
Earthsheart - A primal source. Able to create magic. The stone does not have any magical properties, but it is all powerful in knowledgeable hands.
The priests are actually Valdemar's minions. After the coffer is opened, Tophet will destroy a priest and flee. The head priest will take the Earthsheart and then teleport to the castle. He will leave the other priests behind.
The priests are dressed in black robes. They carry maces and wear plate beneath. The are all loyal to their leader. The leader (10th level0, 3 x High Priests (6th level), 7 x Priests (4th level). The leader has a Staff of Giant Control, a Necklace of Teleportation, and a Scroll of Spiritwrack.
The other treasure in the room is: 2 x chain mail, chain mail +3, chain mail +2, 2 x plate mail, shield +1/+4 missiles, 5 shields, 4 swords, 1 sword +2/stone cutter, dagger, rod of continual light, 4 arrows +3, 1 mace +4, ring of magic missiles, scroll of stone to flesh, potion of healing, potion of longevity, 20000 cp, 90000 sp, 500 gp.