D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 19 Recap

We reach level 6 and journey south along the Long Road to find Triboar devastated from a recent Giant attack.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

We were tired, hungry, and in T.I.M.’s case, severely wounded when we emerged from the caves of the Zhentarim outpost.

We had cleared the entire outpost. The final attack from a venomous giant spider had humbled our elated mood. T.I.M. showed no pain, despite his nasty limp from the spider’s venom.

We were in no mood when we found the gates of Xantharl’s Keep closed. Bryseis knocked on the door and a voice rang out, “Go away interlopers, we know what you did!”

“Damn it,” I muttered. 

“I told you we shouldn’t have let some go,” Bryseis glared at us, her demonic eyes burning with annoyance. “We should’ve killed them all.”

She turned her attention to the gruff voice beyond the gate. “What is it you think we did?” she snarled.

“Alicia told us – you killed all the Zhentarim. They were our lifeblood, you’ve doomed us! Go away!”

“We freed you from the Zhentarim,” I replied, wearily.

“You think you’re heroes, but a lot of those folks lived here. They had families! You’re not welcome here.”

“To hell with this town,” I sighed. But I thought of Millie, the undercover Harper agent who had helped give us some information.

Bryseis brazenly called out to the guard that we needed to speak to the barmaid. It felt horribly suspicious to me, but money greased the palms of the guard and he went to fetch her.

Millie emerged several moments later and we told her everything, about Xelan’s death, the ledger that revealed all their payments and book keeping, and the letter that revealed the Weevil’s next stop – Neverwinter. She was grateful for the assistance, agreeing to ride north to try and uncover more of the Neverwinter hideout.

We had other plans. The Giant attacks weren’t about to stop so we could follow the damn Weevil all over the country. We saddled the horses and turned south, riding a few miserable miles before collapsing into our tents for some much needed rest. A long road lay ahead of us.

I’m not 100% certain, but if I recall correctly in our two years of playing D&D we’ve never had a session with zero combat – until this week!

After clearing out the Zhentarim Outpost near Xantharl’s Keep we had only three things on our mind – a Long Rest, Level 6, and identifying the spiffy new magic items we found.

Unfortunately the town closed its gates to us. In a unique twist most of the town was under the sway (and payroll) of the Zhentarim. Since we had let a few of the Zhents go, they had fled to town and told everyone what we were doing. That’s what we get for letting people live.

We really wanted to at least get word to Millie, the undercover Harper agent who was our contact here. Bryseis bribed a guard and we told her about the outpost. She was shocked, then thrilled when we showed her the ledger that recorded all their book keeping. She promised to leave town and meet up with Thwip to give him the information.

I tasked her with finding out as much as she could about the Zhentarim hideout in Neverwinter. We know the Weevil will be there in a few weeks thanks to a note Bryseis found in Xelan’s office. Hopefully when we reach Everlund we can formally ally with the Harpers, and teleport to Neverwinter to root him out once and for all.

With nothing else left for us here we packed up the horses and continued our lengthy journey.

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We had gained enough experience for level 6, which notably brought multi-class opportunities to both me (now Warlock/Paladin) and T.I.M. (Cleric/Fighter). Both our sorcerers got massive 3rd level AOE damage spells, Bryseis with Fireball and Korinn with Lighting Bolt. Halfred added Giants to his Favored Enemies, which should come in very handy for both tracking and warning.

Our new magic items included a cool Pokémon-like Bag of Tricks for Bryseis, a Staff of Pain which T.I.M. handed over to Korinn, a Cloak of Protection for Kazin, and some poison arrows that Halfred crafted from the Death Widow’s venom.

The one-road village of Longsaddle offered us no aid when it came to poor T.I.M.’s crippled leg. They’d heard some rumors of Cloud Giant castles flying overhead and Fire Giants marching around the hills to the east.

As we neared the crossroads town of Triboar we began to feel uneasy. There were no travelers for miles. A man trying to rebuild his destroyed home outside of town warned us of the destruction we would soon find: an invading army lead by a group of fire giants had descended upon Triboar, destroying most of the town.

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We learned from a survivor in Triboar that the devastating attack happened two days prior. A large 30-ft deep hole bore witness to their motivations.

The witness described the large armored gauntlet artifact they had excavated from the ground. We remembered the motivations for both the Frost and Cloud Giants were similar; the Frost Giants attacked Bryn Shandar looking for a Ring of Winter, while the Cloud Giants destroyed Nightstone to get the town’s magical namesake.

If I had to hazard a guess, there’s probably two more towns that have been attacked or destroyed from the Storm and Hill Giants. We know the Ordning has fallen apart, so maybe this gathering of ancient artifacts is someway for the giants to establish dominance over each other?

At this point all we could do is help the people affected by the attack. Giants are so damn powerful that an attack is akin to a massive natural disaster. Much of the people of Triboar, 20 in total, were now refugees. They begged to come with us when we turned east on the Evermoor Way towards Yartar.

Of course we agreed. It was nice to do something heroic again.

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Feeding 20 people on the road isn’t easy. We played a mini version of The Banner Saga as we journeyed with a large group that required food, which resulted in several Survival checks per day.

Bryseis and Kazin rode on ahead to Yartar to get help. The city was completely oblivious to the attack. Granted Triboar is two days away but still, you’d think a huge Fire Giant army that destroyed half a nearby town would make the rounds!

They didn’t need much convincing and agreed to ride out with supplies. Thankfully T.I.M., Korinn, and Halfred kept everyone alive with some stellar Survival rolls.

They also found a rather odd man-sized cocoon floating in the Dessarin River. Korinn used Invisibility to snatch it away from the circling Giant Seagulls. Inside the broken cocoon a man emerged. He had slimy, translucent skin and required constant moisture on his skin, like a beached marine mammal.

He remembered who he was, a noble from Yartar, but not how he ended up in this strange predicament. When Bryseis and Kazin arrived with help and food from Yartar, I had Kazin talk to him and use Detect Thoughts to probe his mind, with his consent.

I saw some strange sights: a golden goose, and a beautiful dark-haired woman dressed in purple. The DM teased that I recognized this figure – then the session ended!

We had traveled a solid 250 miles this session, and have another 200 to go before reaching Everlund. I’m continually overwhelmed by the sheer size and scope of this campaign, or least this very sandboxy middle section.

Hopefully we made a good choice by going East. We still think perusing the Harpers is the best call, though I fear we’re heading deeper into Fire Giant territory.

Streamed, recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures. Join us live on Fridays at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern!

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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