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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

Whispered echoes raged throughout the dark hallways. The air was cold, and despite being underground grass crunched under our feet as we explored the labyrinth beneath the Grandfather Tree.

Halfred had recognized the literal writing on the walls – Stone Giants had built this ancient place. For what purpose we could only guess. Now it seemed to be a tomb for a host of restless spirits. They were not happy to see us trespassing.

Churlish giggling sent a chill through my spine. I turned to see the ghostly apparition of a long dead elf girl rush toward me, as if in embrace. 

I lashed out with my psi-glaive, hoping to cut this one down before it could reach me, as I did the first. But I had hesitated. My mark was off, and I stumbled. My spear bit into the ghost’s side but didn’t deter it.

It seemed to pass right through me. I felt a horrible coldness I hadn’t experienced since I lay dying in the snow from the yeti mauling, and a scream echoed throughout my mind. I wasn’t sure if it was the ghostly girl, or my own. 

Just as quickly, the spirit vanished back into the nearest stone wall. The whispering continued. T.I.M. lay a concerned hand on my should, and I felt his healing magic warm my body. We all exchanged worried glances, and soldiered on through the darkness.

We’re back to dungeon crawling this week, albeit with a fairly short, straight-forward dungeon. I later learned that this dungeon didn’t even exist in the official “Storm King’s Thunder” campaign book. Player characters simply dig under the Grandfather Tree and find the artifact.

Thumbs up to the DM for providing us not only a fun little dungeon crawl, but one that was legitimately harrowing.

d&dWe’d entered the mysterious stone doorway beneath the Grandfather Tree to find a grassy biome. Long, twisting hallways were marked with stone walls inscribed with the Giant language. Definitely Stone Giant work. All that remained now were creepy whispering voices. Then we turned a corner and saw our first ghostly spirit.

The DM did a fantastic job making this whole scenario super creepy. The ghostly figures did all the classic spooky shit, including intoning foreboding warnings, screaming and pointing at us, and running both away and right at us, and through walls.

Instead of traditional combat encounters the spirits acted more like a dungeon trap that we kept stumbling into. Every time we made a wrong turn within the dense labyrinth we discovered another ghostly figure who fled, only later to surprise attack us through a wall. Since the spirits used their movement to come in, attack, and flee, we never triggered a real combat encounter. We did get lots of Attacks of Opportunities, slaying a few of them.

But they did far more damage to us. They only had a +5 to hit but they rolled 20+ on almost every attack, with a solid 3d6 damage. Even worse, they critically hit on at least three separate occasions if memory serves. That was painful as hell and effectively made us paranoid and fearful while we wandered through the maze.

At one point we stopped at a crossroads and no less than seven of them sprang out of the walls to attack us. Korinn would’ve gone down if not for her Shield spell, and she quickly cast Invisibility afterward to prevent another ambush.


I had Kazin use Shield of Faith, which helped prevent a nasty hit, and T.I.M. was definitely using Cure Wounds to keep us afloat. Bryseis summoned an animal army from her Bag of Tricks, and rode atop her brown bear.

Eventually we crawled our way to the central chamber and saw a rune inscribed on the ground. A magical stone orb floated in the middle. Let’s grab it!

Approaching the artifact summoned the big bad leader of the spirits, a cool-looking undead Wraith Giant. The undead fiend had the ability to create more spirits, so we focused our attacks on it while all the spirits converged on us.

Thankfully we still had plenty of spell slots to unload. Korinn and Bryseis flung Lightning Bolts and Fireballs. After realizing the foes were resistant to nonmagical attacks, Halfred put down his shortbow in favor of his silvered darts, which did some impressive damage thanks to his Colossus Slayer and Hunter’s Mark.

d&dI used Mirror Image for defense, then unleashed some Divine Smites upon the Wraith Giant. Two Divine Smites plus my multiattack and Polearm bonus action equaled 64 damage in a single round, huzzah!

Paladins are awesome single-target damage dealers and I’m loving the synergy between bladelock and Paladin multiclass – though I easily burned through all my spell-slots.

The Wraith Giant fell and we quickly cleaned up the pesky spirits. We claimed our prize: the Orb of the Stein Rune. It’s a neat defensive magic item that can also be used as a permanent enchantment on a shield or boots. How very videogamey!

The whispering voices ceased and we got the hell out of there. Back on the surface the centaurs lowered their spears at us, but the Grandfather Tree remained unharmed, so they and the dryad protectors let us go.

We hopped back on our hippogriffs and returned to Everlund. I thought we were choosing which site to go to in order to advance the story, but it looks like we’re just choosing the order, and may need to do them all anyway. If they all award spiffy artifacts we should probably do them all anyway. Next week: Beorunna’s Well!

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