The hill giant army advanced up the walls in front of us. It was now or never.
I glanced at Halfred as a foggy cloud descended upon half the army, blanketing them in darkness.
Just as the cries of surprise rang out, T.I.M. spurred his horse forward at break-neck speed, leaping of it in the middle of a pack of giants, bugbears and goblins.
I could see him in the distance lifting his warhammer, the embedded jewel glinting off the morning sun.
When he slammed it into the ground I could feel the shockwave from over 20 yards away. The ground tore apart and kicked up dust and debris all around him. When I looked up again I saw one of the hill giants topple over, along with an ogre and several goblins.
Hell of a way to start a fight. I charged into the fray.
We’ve had sessions without any combat at all, but rarely do we have a week with nothing but one single combat encounter. That definitely happens this week as we engage a massive hill giant army assaulting the walled farming town of Goldenfields.
We began right were we left off last week – having ridden all night from recruiting Dinayla the Giant-Slayer to reach Goldenfields, at exactly the same moment Gnasher’s army approached the walls.
I don’t have the exact numbers but there were a lot of foes on the battlefield, including five hill giants and at least as many ogres and bugbears, and probably like twenty goblins.
We had the element of surprise on our side, which is always a huge advantage in D&D 5e. We waited until they signaled the attack and began advancing. We buffed ourselves, then charged.
Closing in on horseback was easy for T.I.M. and I, but he had the far more impressive showing. He hopped off into the middle of a group and slammed his Blasting Hammer into the ground. The explosion instantly killed a hill giant, an ogre, a bugbear, and several goblins. It was a hell of a way to start the fight.
The real MVP was probably Halfred’s Fog Cloud, which he pumped up to third level and enveloped on the entire lower half of the army. They were essentially put out of commission for the duration, and Korinn could do a bit of roasting in there with a Wall of Fire.
Kazin and T.I.M. moved up to the northern most grouping, he summoning his Spirit Guardians and I casting Fear. The fear essentially removed an ogre and some goblins but the giant resisted.
That same giant turned to T.I.M. and walloped him good, and we realized that T.I.M. was still vulnerable to bludgeoning damage with his weird risk/reward Flux Plate armor. It would have downed him had he not used Parry to reduce the damage.
It was a humbling reminder that we really needed to take those giants down. I went to town on it with my pike and Bryseis blasted it with meteors. A few arrows from the townsfolk on the walls found purchase, and the giant would fall.
Bryseis would animate a dead Hill Giant with Animate Object just as their leader, Gnasher, emerged from the Fog Cloud. He bellowed out to his army, and over the next round or so the army began to emerge from the darkness.
Bryseis had cast Darkness on an ogre’s loincloth, so when it ran up it blanketed Gnasher. Dinayla had also run up to him, finally scoring a stunning strike with her sling and tripping him with her nifty hooked halberd. She had spent previous rounds missing her attacks and it was nice to see her finally prove her worth.
A few Fireballs, Lightning Bolts, and arrows later and Gnasher was hurting. He nearly killed Dinayla with a large swing of his Greatclub, but when he tried to smash T.I.M., he missed. T.I.M. responded with a riposte, finishing off the hill giant leader with a powerful counter-attack.
With Gnasher dead the southern army began to break apart. Korinn had used the Horn of Blasting to blast them (and the Fog Cloud) back a bit. As they approached they noticed their dead leader and began retreating. Everyone took pot shots at the routed army while Kazin healed up Dinayla.
The battle was won, and it only took us about three hours to do it! None of us were even hit save T.I.M. (who almost went down, naturally). We did end up burning through most spell slots and made liberal use of our magical items, including T.I.M.’s Blasting Hammer, Bryseis’ Crystal Wand, Korinn’s Horn of Blasting, and Kazin’s Book of Shields.
This was a fun chance to prove how far we’ve come since the days of Bryn Shander, and being terrified and awed of giants. Had we come to Goldenfields directly afterward, we would not have been able to employ such a shock and awe strategy. But since we waited so long to do this side quest (level 9) it was fun as hell to prove our collective power and save this town.