Rise of the Runelords

Invigorated with purpose, the group set out to face the Hook Mountain ogres they knew resided atop the pass. Jakardros, Vale, and Shalelu accompanied them to exact revenge on the ogres for their deeds at Fort Rannick and ensure the heroes succeeded against overwhelming odds.

As they climbed higher and higher, the heavy rain turned to thick gobs of wet snow. At the peak of the mountain stood two ogres idly standing guard in the cold. When the group climbed over the ridge, a melee broke out. They quickly dispatched the ogres without incident.

They continued on through the mountainside caverns and found an immense skeleton lining the entrance. Undeterred, they marched through and found an enormous forty-foot tall statue looming over the cavern. He wore majestic armor, gilded and encrusted with gems, and gripped a towering glaive in his armored fists. Around his neck hung a giant medallion of a seven-pointed star.

Seris grinned and began climbing. The others looked on with bemusement. As she reached the top of the statue without incident, she lifted the huge medallion off the giant’s neck. As the loop left his stone neck, the statue groaned and cracks visibly snaked across the stone. With a great crash, the statue disintegrated and Seris floated gracefully to the floor with the medallion in hand.

Jakardros yelled angrily, “Now they all know we’re here!”

They quickly gathered themselves and continued further down into the caves. Vale took point and motioned for them to follow. As he rounded the corner down the stairs, he cursed.

“Fuck. More ogres!”

Another melee broke out in the corridor. As they spilled down into the stairwell to engage the ogres, they noticed a hill giant behind them that lumbered forth. The rangers unleashed arrows upon them and managed to dispatch an ogre. As the other ogre fled, the hill giant stepped in and brought its club down upon Vale. Too slow to twist out of the way, the massive club connected with his face and smashed it into the ground with a mighty swing.

Jakardros’ eyes went wide as he saw his comrade dispatched. Vale’s blood slowly dripped down the floor. A flurry of arrows connected with the hill giant and the fleeing ogre. Shalelu growled and directed her arrows at the giant.

The massive thing fell with a crash, but the ogre fled down the steps into an adjoining room.

They gave chase, but when they rounded the corner they found a forge filled with alert ogres. They picked up their incomplete weapons, shimmering and white hot from the forge and brought them to bear on the intruders.

Lor stepped forward, channeling the destructive power of fire, and unleashed a fireball into the room. Dumbfounded, many of the ogres were incinerated by the blast. Only a few managed to find cover to survive the sudden blazing heat.

They quickly rounded up the remaining ogres and ended their resistance. They healed, regrouped, and forged further down into the caves. As they rounded the corner, they discovered three Annis Hags laid in waiting for them. The hags lashed out from their small hiding place, unleashing blasts of magical energy. One of them landed upon Shalelu, who suddenly transformed into a squirrel. Another blast of energy materialized as a fog cloud and rippled through the chamber.

Confusion and frustration gripped the small grouping of heroes. They pushed through and focused on bringing down the hags. They surrounded and downed one of the monstrous women. One of them grabbed ahold of Krac. Seris darted forward, sneaking among the shadows, and slashed the hag across her arms and head. It crumpled to the ground, with its arm still holding on to Krac.

Rickben mused, “I wish you guys tried this hard when something grabs me.”

“You always manage to wiggle out of things though, Rickben,” Seris retorted.

The remaining hag surrendered, but they failed to notice as she weaved a spell upon the group. Lor and Krac crumpled to the ground in a deep slumber.

Seris stepped forward and threatened the woman. She introduced herself as Briselda, and begged to be spared. Seris indicated her life was only worth the information she could provide.

As the hag poured out information about the plans concocted to sink the village, Seris demanded new information from her to spare her life. The hag stammered, claiming she had no further information for them. They bound and gagged the hag, and the group began scheming their next plan.

Seris asserted they should form a plan to push the giant down the hole further up the cave. They argued over the validity of her plan, until Rickben butted in.

“I still don’t see how we can push a STONE GIANT down a hole.”

Seris asked the hag if there was anything she could share that would reveal information about the stone giant beyond, Barl Breakbones. Suddenly worried, she started grasping at anything she could offer, but Seris was unimpressed. Her only useful information related to the man beyond, Lamatar Bayden, and

Clearly annoyed, Seris just leaned down and stabbed the hag between the ribs.

She gasped, staring incredulously. “You…said…” and then died. Seris shrugged in response and walked out of the small cavern to meet the others.

Krac stepped forward and channeled Sarenrae’s grace to restore Shalelu. The elf materialized before them, and thanked Krac profusely.

“That was awful, thank you!” Krac just grinned toothily and nodded.

She patted Rickben’s nearby head, “And thank you.” Rickben beamed.

They gathered and readied themselves for the two rooms beyond.

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