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“They’re here,” Halfred said, after snapping out of his trance-like state. I’d seen him do this countless times, but it still creeped me out to watch his eyes glaze over as his senses projected outward several miles. “Just over this ridge.”
We’d come to a large rock wall nestled among the Nether Mountains. We had been tracking the Giants for the better part of the day, and knew they weren’t moving.
Korinn cast Invisibility on Halfred, who immediately took to the air on his new Winged Boots.
We calmly waited as best we could, not daring to speak with enemies so close. We began hearing hammers and picks on the other side of the rocks.
A sudden whispering voice nearly made me fall off my horse, until I realized Halfred had returned.
“A pair of them, armored giants,” Halfred reported. “They’re looking over a gang of goblins who are digging. A Hobgoblin is keeping them in line with a whip. There was also a fiery dog looking on.”
My heart sank; that was more than just the giants. But we still had the element of surprise, and time to prepare. We began drinking potions and quietly casting spells while Halfred kept watch. We formed a plan, and let Halfred take point.
T.I.M. and I crept toward the crude path that ran to the pit, and I got my first glimpse of the giant creatures. Skin the color of ash and metal, hair the color of fire, they towered 15 feet tall, carrying swords nearly as big. T.I.M. stood rigid while I calmed my racing mind and waited for the signal.
I expected the signal to be an arrow, but the damn halfling has no fear when it comes to hunting Giants. Halfred appeared in a sudden flash of whirling steel, striking the nearest Fire Giant directly in the eyes while hovering in front of its face.
The giant roared in agony, and gods help us we roared back, and charged.
We travel over 300 miles and finally take the fight to the Giants in this week’s session.
The journey from Bryn Shander to Everlund has been long and not-quite perilous. We began our crazy road trip back in Session 14 – over two months ago.
We had a few pit stops in places like Luskan and Mirabar. Most notably we stopped in Xantharl’s Keep to root out the Zhentarim outpost. We’d killed Captain Xelan and dealt a major blow to the Zhentarim – or possibly painted a bigger target on our backs. Either way.
We witnessed more Giant destruction in Triboar – a warning to what could have happened to Bryn Shander had we not been there to help defend it.
We brought refugees to Yartar, then helped a noble family investigate a rash of disappearances, leading to a mini-dungeon crawl and a big fight against an aboleth in the sewers.
I think at this point all of us were ready for us to get back to our main quest – getting to Everlund, talking to the Harpers, and jumping back into dealing with the Giants directly.
This we made it all the way from Yartar to Everlund (over 200 miles) with nary an encounter.
In Everlund we did a bit more shopping before visiting the wizard tower and speaking to Harper leader Krowen Valharrow.
Krowen had heard of our various exploits. We confirmed our identities by handing over the Clockwork Dragonling that Thwip had given us back in Hundelstone. He wasn’t pleased that Thwip had spilled the beans about their Harper Teleportation Network, but was willing to let us on as official allies of the group, provided we complete a quest first.
Unfortunately that quest required even more travel. Thankfully our DM wasn’t interested in bogging us down with random encounters right now, so we quickly made the journey North to Hawk’s Nest, and met with a Lord Pylan Cavilos. Our mission: to retrieve some stolen money.
Lord Cavilos was a nice old retired adventurer who bred Hippogriffs. The stolen money was to pay the townsfolk their wages. We get to feel like heroes while also getting a chance to hunt monsters? Hell yeah!
Halfred’s Ranger-ness came in very handy here. With Giants as a Favored Enemy he was able to track them almost immediately once we reached the site of the stolen money on the road.
We found them in a small excavation site among some rocks in the Nether Mountains. Korinn cast Invisibility on Halfred, who used his new Winged Boots to survey the area. He came back and reported a pair of Fire Giants watching a dozen goblins, shackled and digging through the ground with pickaxes. A hobgoblin captain and hell hound helped keep them in line.
That was a lot of Bad Things, but once again we had the element of surprise on our side. We took the time to buff ourselves up for the fight. T.I.M. cast Aid on the party, Korinn drank her Potion of Heroism, and I had Kazin drink his Potion of Invulnerability and cast Mirror Image.
T.I.M. and Kazin approached the main entrance while the Sorcerers climbed up the rock wall to overlook the pit. Halfred remained flying and invisible, and got to deliver the first blow.
He went right for the eyes.
The DM let Halfred approximate a targeted shot to one of the Fire Giants’ eyes. His roll resulted in half-blinding the brute, granting him disadvantage. Korinn Twinned a Haste spell on Halfred and Kazin. Bryseis began raining down Chaos Bolts (Fireballs wouldn’t do much against Fire Giants), and T.I.M. and Kazin strode up to the Giants for some brave tanking duties.
I used my first action to cast Fear on both Giants. They only had a +2 to WIS saves but both made the save, negating my most powerful ability. We ganged up on the nearest giant, with Korinn throwing in a Lightning Bolt spell for good measure.
The Hobgoblin Captain ran at T.I.M. and me, but T.I.M.’s 21 AC came in handy, and it never landed a blow (in fact, T.I.M. would use his Sticky Shield to disarm him).
The hell hound was never a factor thanks to the goblins. In a surprisingly awesome twist, the goblins recognized us! It was Snigbat, the goblin who had betrayed his boss back in the Dripping Caves in order to save the pups.
Now those goblin babies were all grown up. Somehow they had traveled hundreds of miles and been captured by Fire Giants.
As soon as they saw us Snigbat urged his people to help us. Still stackled at the feet and armed with nothing but pickaxes they surged out of the pit and surrounded the hell hound.
Not only did that keep one of the foes busy, but the damn goblins landed blow after blow! Halfred only had to send a few arrows its way and together they finished the beast off. Of course it did murder the shit out of two goblins but hey, still a solid ratio.
I was incredibly frustrated with my Mirror Image spell. With three duplicates I only need to roll a 6 or higher on a d20 to deflect a blow to a dupe. The first time the giant attacked I rolled a 4; the second time a 1. God damn it!
Thankfully my Potion of Invulnerabily gave me resistance to all damage, which probably ended up saving my life (each hit did 25+ damage). Still, it meant that both my spells were completely useless in this fight. That’s really painful since as a Warlock I only have up to two spells to cast in any one fight.
But hey, I’m building more towards a martial build anyway. In a later round I dealt almost 40 damage thanks to Korinn’s haste. Our combined efforts downed the Hobgoblin and second Fire Giant.
Once again I’m surprised at how well we handled a much tougher foe. But we had a lot going for us: a surprise round, knowledge of the terrain and enemies, time to buff before the fight, fully rested, and surprise goblin allies. All those elements let us kill our first Giants in a straight-up fight.
We reached a new record for XP earned in a single session, over 4000 per person. We’re close to level 7, and presumably we’ve secured the gold for Cavilos. Hopefully our goblin buddies may have some information about what the hell the Fire Giants are doing around here.