1 Sunsheat to 10 Sunsheat, 960 RM
Prelude: Gray Haven 929 RM
Link du Clef looked at the five people standing before him. They had answered his call for help fighting the giants attacking the outlying villages and mining camps. The leader had introduced himself as Dragun, a paladin of the Trinity. The Baron felt as if he should know the young man, but could not quite place from where. The big warden was called Balph. The Baron had never met an Osiran before; the extremely tall and thin man wore a hawk mask and his skin was as black as ebony. The man calling himself the Black Rat came from Kidbod and was apparently a Jack. The woman said her name was Bri O’Derry and she came from Kalon. The Baron was not sure if she was a fighter or a spell user, or perhaps both.
“The trouble started when a giant chief named Nonsra started gathering together the different tribes.” Link explained. “Before him, they would group together in family tribes, were mostly nomadic and kept to the far hills. The reports tell us that Nonsra is a fierce fighter and very intelligent. He has made the more powerful chiefs his lieutenants. He has built a stronghold in the Valley of Steading that is far more advanced that anything we’ve ever seen the giants construct before. He also is reported to collect magical items, although I’m not sure how much stock I would place in that.” Link added seeing the expression on several of the faces of the adventures. “I have already lost several good men and Demorian soldiers in this fight. I fear if Nonsra is not stopped, Foxton and Crow’s Head Mountain will be destroyed.”
“We will not let that happen.” Dragun assured the Baron. And so the heroes joined the fight and eventually took the fight to the giants themselves. They attacked the stronghold at night, killed Nonsra, and burned the fortress to the ground. With Nonsra dead, the giants disbanded and returned to the far hills, leaving the people of Foxton in peace.
Gray Haven, 1 Sunsheat, 960 RM
“So what do we know about the current situation?” Isobelle asked, looking up from the records.
“As far as can be determined,“ Mathieu du Clef replied, “There are three large clans. The Bearhunters lead by Sinja, the Firelighters lead by Orda, and the Snow Mountain clan led by Zind. Sinja is a young fighter full of fire and said to have many wives. Orda was one of Nonrsa’s subchiefs and lost a hand and eye in the final battle. He’s much respected due to his age and experience. Zind is said to be the smartest of the three and is held in awe as he is rumored to know magic, although how much of that is true, who can tell. If you start with these three, the smaller clans might follow suit.”
“What do you know about their culture and customs?” Isobelle asked.
“Technology wise, they are still pretty primitive.” The Baron explained, “They know how to use metal weapons, but can’t make them. They work mostly in stone and flint. They like our processed foods, like cheese, and wine. Oh, and the leaders are always male and show their status by how many wives they have.”
“What about this magic lute the old bard sang about?” Isobelle looked at Wythri, who was studying another book.
“From what I can tell,” The young elf looked up from the tome she was reading, “The Lute of Doss was created by the founder of that Bardic College. It’s rumored to contain all his knowledge and power, as well as being able to, I believe the quote was charm the birds from the trees. According to the reports, there was a cave system under the stronghold, if the lute was in Nonsra’s possession, then it could be there.”
3 Sunsheat through 8 Sunsheat, 960 RM
Early the morning of 3 Sunsheat, Captain Hawthorne led her group out of Gray Haven. Wythri, Gunn, Quion, and Damien had become the standard troubleshooting group. The Deadly Seven arrived, ready to go, Lucky George the goat in tow.
The trek into the hills was not easy. The roads were not well traveled and the few mining camps the group passed through were far apart. At each camp, the group inquired after Bri and any information on the giants. Bri had apparently passed this way as all the camps reported her presence. All the camps also reported no contact with the giants, which Hawthorne took as a good sign.
9 Sunsheat, 960 RM
The day had begun sunny but changed to cloudy skies, developing later into a dense fog that descending on the travelers, then sleet driven by heavy winds pelted the travelers. Keinan found the group shelter in a large cave just off the trail they had been traveling.
Watches were set for the night with Brandwyn, Benedikt, and Randall on the first watch. Brandwyn started to compose a new song about this current adventure to keep herself awake, but she kept thinking about the Taleweaver competition held during the Baron’s Festival. She should have won; she just knew it, so why had she not even placed?
10 Sunsheat, 960 RM
The fog had cleared by morning when everyone woke. Hawthorne demanded to know why she had not been woken for her watch. Quion reported that the first watch had fallen asleep, although he had not slept and knew no one had entered the cave. Gunn checked their equipment and verified that nothing was missing. Hawthorne ordered Errol to discipline his teammates; she then brushed Night to calm herself down.
Errol pulled Brandwyn, Benedikt, and Randall outside to talk to them. Brandwyn explained that she had not realized she had fallen asleep, her mind had been focused on something else, and then it was morning. Errol admonished the others to start behaving professionally; otherwise their reputation would start to suffer. Brandwyn interrupted Errol to point out that below them in the valley was a large fortified structure. “I think we’ve found the Valley of Steading,” Brandwyn commented, “We’d better tell Captain Hawthorne.”
While the others were packing up, Wythri checked to see if there was any magic in the area and noticed a residue around the cave receding to the valley below.
Keinan and Tatiana were scouting out the surrounding area when they heard loud footsteps approaching them. Investigating, they spotted three giants approaching the cave area along the path. Tatiana warned those in the cave and everyone began preparing for the encounter. Damien, Gunn, and Errol moved out to form a perimeter around the giants and provide backup. Wythri, Quion, Benedikt, and Brictius stayed in the cave with the horses and Wythri concealed the entrance. Brandwyn and Captain Hawthorne went to intercept the giants and talk with them.
Before actually talking to the giants, Brandwyn listened in on their conversations. The three were joking and in good spirits. One of the giants told the others, “The world is agonna change. Chief Baylor will bring back the old days.” Brandwyn relayed the information to Lady Hawthorne. Wythri linked minds with Hawthorne, Brandwyn, Gunn, Damien, Quion, and Errol.
Brandwyn and Captain Hawthorne approached the giants. Hawthorne instructed Brandwyn to tell the giants that they had come to pay their respects to Baylor. The giants seemed surprised that the women had heard of Baylor. Brandwyn tried to flatter them, saying Baylor was known far and wide. The lead giant approached the two women, holding out his hand, but reaching for his club.
Keinan let loose an arrow at the lead giant, hitting him in the head. Tatiana ran past the other two giants, hitting both of them. Damien moved up behind the second giant. As the lead giant swung at Brandwyn and Hawthorne, Hawthorne leaped off night and kicked the giant in the shoulder, but he still hit the two women. The third giant chased after Tatiana hitting her in the shoulder. The second giant attacked Damien but missed. Errol shot the lead giant in the head with a wizard’s arrow. Gunn cast a flash on the lead giant, blinding him for a short time.
Tatiana recovered from her injury. Wythri boosted Brictius, Benedikt, and Quion’s speed and strength. Keinan, Hawthorne, Brictius, and Damien all attacked the giants. The lead giant kicked Hawthorne away, the landing knocking her out. The second giant attacked Damien, hitting him in the shoulder, but he was missed by the third giant. Brandwyn told a joke to the lead giant, causing him to laugh uncontrollably. Benedikt and Randall charged the lead giant. Errol hit the lead giant in the chest with another wizard’s arrow. Gunn and Quion moved to help Hawthorne.
Tatiana leaped over the second giant, hitting him in the shoulder. Keinan jumped out of the tree he was in and shot the third giant, hitting him in the hand. Hawthorne regained consciousness. Brictius did a moving attack on the third giant, hitting him in the vitals. Wythri cast an aid on Hawthorne, helping her recover quicker. Damien rolled under the second giant and hit him in the foot. The lead giant broke out of Brandwyn’s spell and stopped laughing. The second giant attacked Damien, hitting him the chest, stunning him. Brandwyn started chanting a song of strength. Benedikt and Errol attacked the lead giant, Errol’s wizard’s arrow dropping him. Randell and Gunn both attacked the third giant. Quion picked up Hawthorne and threw her towards Damien.
Tatiana did a running attack against the two remaining giants. Tatiana and Keinan attacked the second giant as a team. Hawthorne jumped up to attack the third giant in the chest. Brictius charged the third giant, hitting him in the vitals dropping him. Wythri cast a fireblast in the shape of a dragon at the second giant, dropping him.
While Benedikt tended to the wounded; Randall, Brictius, and Errol looted the giant’s bodies, but were disappointed with what they found.