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Campaign Notes - August 8, 2017 Pre-Game Update
The Giant's Artifacts
After recovering from their fight with the huge giant, the group inspects the remains of the colossus. The glowing runic marks covering its body have faded, leaving only sharply cut engravings that extend almost all the way through the creature's inch-thick skin. Paul is able to determine that the carvings were made after the creature had reached maturity.
The Obsidian Torc
It wears a dark torc styled to look like three twisting serpents with wickedly hooked tails. The torc is made of a weird metallic glass that might be some form of dark purple obsidian alloyed with hematite or magnetite through magic or advanced technology. The thing is a little shy of 5 feet across, about 8 inches thick, and weighs about 800 pounds. Dave can get it into the stink hat when the hat is in house form by rolling it through the door, but it won't go in or out in hat mode.
Jewelry for the Sea Toll
Curiously, the giant wears three sets of earrings made of silver and inlaid with various large, semiprecious stones. It's thick, blue white hair is held back in a silver clasp decorated with a serpent motif and symbols that resemble the runes carved into the giant. This jewelry is not magical, and you set all of these aside to give to the sea giants on your way back to the elven lands.
A Giant Hippie Headband
The creature also wears a slender gray-blue leather headband stitched with silver thread in an impressively detailed pattern that resembles the runes that were carved into the creature's skin. And thankfully, the creature also wears a generous loincloth of gray leather. The headband is magical and rolls up small enough to fit in the stink hat. You leave the loincloth and its contents alone, because DM Handwave.
Searching for the Giant's Lair
Reasoning that the giant seemed like a guardian to an evil wizard type, Dave and Darius convinced the group to look around for whatever it might be protecting. You set up a base camp around your battlefield with the giant and begin a methodical search of the area, employing the full might of your summoning abilities, scrying magic, and making use of your various magical items. Zach de la Crowcha, Paul's familiar raven, gets quite a workout, but continues to look adorably rugged in the tiny set of winter clothes he's been wearing on this expedition.
You spend three days searching before Mirja and Paul point out that your food reserves probably can't sustain too much of a snipe hunt, just in case you run into another unexpected delay on the way back to the ship, reluctantly, the group listens to reason and heads back to the ship.
Range of the Search
During your search, Maggey mapped out about 300 square miles of the area you covered. It'll definitely be useful for a return trip.
You also find:
- A vast expanse of ice mountains that would be impossible to navigate for lesser creatures
- No signs of life besides the rare and sleepy spirits of ice and hyperactive, frosty spirits of wind
- A huge ice cave the giant seems to have made its home, about 75 miles from where you fought the creature
In the Lair of the Rune Giant
Disappointingly, the ice cavern seems to have only been recently hollowed out. There is a surprisingly sophisticated bed of ice, a latrine in a crevasse outside, and the giant's enormous gear:
- A bronze breastplate, codpiece, greaves and vambraces, crafted similarly to the ancient greek and roman muscle curiass style. The bronze has been alchemically dyed white. The whole set weighs about 7,000 pounds, and is decorated with winged snake motifs. You get the feeling that the whole set is designed more for making an impression rather than performing as functional armor.
- A bronze dagger - set with the same dark, metallic glass up the center and on the pommel, this white bronze combat knife is about 8 feet long. It'll work as an awkward greatsword in a pinch, but the balance sucks and the grip is entirely too thick to be wielded comfortably by anyone less than 18 feet tall. The hilt has the same twisting snake pattern as the giant's torc. It weighs about 300 pounds. It won't fit into Dave's hat, but would fit in the front door of the cabin.
- A white shortsword of similar construction to the dagger, but made of an alchemically treated iron alloy similar to steel. It is about 17 feet long and about 1200 pounds.
- The largest prize is a gigantic round shield similar to ones you'd imagine the ancient greeks carried into war. The shield is made of thick bronze stretched over a layer of leather and wood, with a pair of leather arm straps and a bronze grip. The thing is more than 20 feet in diameter and probably weighs around four or five tons.
- In a large leather bag (big enough to fit Paul inside) there are three gigantic rods of amethyst, two rods of citrine and two rods of rose quartz. Each weighs about 150 pounds and is smoothly polished but otherwise unworked. You could probably get about 100 for each of the 3' long semiprecious stones.
- Finally, there is the smashed remains of what was probably a pottery ocarina of a scale proportionate to the giant. Its construction is entirely different and much more primitive than the rest of the giant's gear. All together, the broken bits of the instrument weigh about 220 pounds.
All that you find just leaves you with more mysteries. With the exception of the torc and the headband, none of the giant's gear was enchanted. There is no sign of other giants, no sign of anything the giant might have been protecting, and only a series of conjecture about what the giant was doing on a lone ice summit without any of its battle gear. The whole thing has a lingering feeling of sadness to it.
A Gusty Rumor
Your only lead comes from a greater wind elemental that you were able to speak with that heard a rumor that two humongous white humanoids emerged from the ice near the outer ridge mountains about a year ago, did some unspeakable flesh-based ritual with one another that left all the elementals that witnessed both revolted and terrified, and then the giants took leave of one another. The wind elemental thinks that the two had an argument and that the other giant lives, but hasn't heard anything about either giant in several months. No other elementals were able to confirm this story, but it's the best you have to go on.
You're able to pack up the remains of the giant's ocarina, the dagger, the bag of quartz, the torc and the headband, but it's infeasible to bring the giant's armor, sword or shield along without severely slowing your return home. Dave spends a fair amount of time mulling over the logistics of turning the gigantic shield into a sled, but there's simply too much weight and too much material to try to affect.
The remaining weeks of the journey back to the ship pass uneventfully. Darius writes a few songs, Maggey catalogs all of her notes from the trip, Dave experiments with a few spells, Mirja goes over her reports for the Arcanum, and Paul daydreams about visiting a tropical beach with food trucks and tolerable music.
Back on Board
Finally you make it back to the ship. Gustaf and Markku, your crew, are waiting for you and have nearly exhausted the ship's supply of fire wands keeping the ice from encasing the vessel. They are very glad to be on their way again.
Meeting with the Sea Giants
Weeks pass and you make it into sea giant waters. Sian and Hywel greet you, along with three others of their kind. They kindly left their megalodon steeds in the garage, as the observant giants noticed Dave's unease around the 70-foot killing machines.
The three new giants, Delyth, Esyllt, and Mabon, all seem more like dignitaries and less like border rangers than Sian and Hywel do. All five are glad to hear as much of your travels in the Antarctic as you are willing to tell, and are absolutely amazed at the gift of the rune giant's jewelry that you bring back. Esyllt looks a little bit terrified of it, but accepts it gracefully all the same. Sian also cautions you to keep an eye out for hostile vessels. In the past two months, their patrols sank two more orc ships and drove off a hobgoblin warship. It's the hobgoblin ship they're concerned about - hobgoblins have't been seen in their territory for almost 75 years, and the hobgoblins seemed to be looking for something, rather than embarking on a random raid.
You thank the sea giants for their information, and after a few more weeks of travel, arrive in the western port city of Jokipalo.
News from the North
There is much celebration in Jokipalo. Only one of the seven ships that originally departed has returned so far, bearing news from Heligastenen that another of the elemental dragons has recently been destroyed by a combined force of dwarves and giants. The victory was apparently arranged by a pair of negotiators fitting Sam and Erin's description. The air elemental dragon, Mutaventus, is no more, leaving only the elemental dragons of water and fire to hold together the Curse of the Decline on the elven people.
Continue to August 9, 2017 Campaign Notes