Crow's Point

King of the Castle

Session 25

The party presses on and finds the ice castle of the frost giants. The castle is carved of pure ice, and stands on a snow-covered rocky promontory. Cliffs fall away on all sides except for the still, white path leading up to the castle’s gates. There are no frost giants in the courtyard outside, so the party approaches the entrance, leaving Onjon behind to hide as best he can under a rocky outcropping. Barlongren flies over the wall in crow form and opens the gates from the other side to let the party in.

They head into the castle, where they find an entry hall filled with statues of frost giants. Swashy investigates and finds the hall is laden with pressure plates to activate the statues to lash out with their axes to strike anyone crossing the hall. However, the traps are currently not set. The party debates whether they should set them to help cover their escape if needed, but decides to just have Swashy jam up the trap mechanisms to make them unusable instead.

Proceeding deeper into the ice castle, the party comes across a room filled with cold-fire forges and they dispatch a couple of frost giants and a winter wolf that they find inside. They then encounter a lone frost giant working in the kitchens. He is a grizzled older giant with a gruesome scar running under an eye patch. The giant says he holds no love for the current ruler of the castle, Jarl Haddicus, or his cronies and will not impede the party’s quest. He does not recognize the party’s description of the Star of Illithor, but says such an item might be held in Haddicus’s treasure room.

He informs the party that Haddicus’s rule used to be more respected when the frost giants were at war with the fire giants. But, since the fire giants were defeated and their threat removed, Haddicus finds it harder to keep his grip on power. Many frost giants have broken away to start their own tribes out in the mountains. The castle chef says that he was punished and relegated to the kitchens for attempting to do just such a thing.

The party continues deeper into the castle, coming upon a grand hall where eight frost giants are feasting and drinking. They surprise the group and unleash a magical onslaught the likes of which the frost giants have never seen. The party’s arcane prowess is on full display, as Flame Strikes, Fireballs, and Confusion spells are rained down on the giants from afar. A Wall of Ice from Swashy’s ring is dropped on the giants’ heads, and even Tortette gets into the action as the party puts Myx’s Wand of Lightning into the tortle’s hands and lets the young druidess fill the room with magical bolts. The giants don’t stand a chance, and the few straggling survivors that remain are easily chopped down by Tharg and Barlongren.

The party finds three prisoners being held in the grand hall as well. Two hill giants – Daar, a female, and Gruu, a male, and an ettin, Laddum, are chained along the walls of the hall. Swashy picks the locks on their chains and sets them free. Tharg recognizes Gruu, and the two share a few short words. The prisoners thank the party for setting them free and are eager to take vengeance upon their captors.

With their three new additions, the party heads up a spiral staircase in the back of the grand hall. They climb several floors to reach the top where Haddicus’s throne room awaits. Entering, they find six frost giants awaiting them, along with Jarl Haddicus and his shaman, Laeta. Myx immediately summons a Wall of Fire, sectioning off Haddicus and Laeta from the battle.

The hill giants and ettin storm forward to attack the frost giants, but they are frozen in place when they set foot in a magical, icy pool. Fortunately, Swashy uses her Ring of Elemental Command to lower the magical water in the pools, which breaks the icy bonds. The hill giants trade blows with the frost giants, and Barlongren and Cham step forward to hack away at their enemies as well. The party’s front line takes many wounds, but it forms an impenetrable wall behind which Myx can launch her spells undisturbed. The wizard rains fire down upon the giants, and they are soon grievously injured.

Laeta eventually summons some kind of ice magic from the pools of water in the room to dispel Myx’s Wall of Fire, but the damage is done. The frost giants begin falling one by one, and Laeta quickly flees the battle. Haddicus tries to rally his troops and manages to cut down the hill giant Daar with a killing blow, but it is not enough. Soon Haddicus is left alone with only one other frost giant and the jarl pleads for his life, shouting “Stay hand and I will offer whatever heart desires!” The party nods grimly and lowers their blades. Tharg, of course, ignores this motion and rushes forward, pummeling the jarl into unconsciousness and shouting, “Tharg king now!”

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