Rise of the Runelords

Fortress of the Stone Giants

Begin Book 4 of 6

The story so far…

Commissioned by Lord-Mayor Grobaras of Magnimar, the party left on a scouting mission to Fort Rannick. Charged with determining the fate of the fort and its guardians the Black Arrows, the party was paid 1,000 gold pieces per person up front with another 1,000 gold pieces per person to be paid upon delivering a full account of the situation to the Lord-Mayor.

After a week or more travel following the Yondabakari River, the party arrived in Turtleback Ferry, a remote community built around lumber trade. Proceeding to Fort Rannick, they encountered a clan of inbred ogres living in a dark shack deep in the woods. They confronted and killed these monsters and freed three human prisoners who turned out to be members of the Black Arrows. Following a short rest, the party with these new allies and Shalelu Andosana, a ranger from Sandpoint, traveled to Fort Rannick and finding it infested with ogres immediately attacked with a frontal assault.

During the final fight with Pappy Kreeg and the sinister Lucrecia, Sama was killed by Pappy’s vengeful attack as he slumped to the ground dying. Taking Sama’s body with them, the party explored the remainder of the keep and found Hadren who had been held prisoner since the fall of the fort. They recovered Hadren’s gear from the tunnels beneath Fort Rannick and took some time to rest.

Woken from their rest by a tremor that shakes the ground, the party witnesses a large breech in the Skull’s Crossing dam. Water pours through the break and surges down the Skull River swelling it over its banks and rushing toward Turtleback Ferry. Riding back with great haste, the party arrives in time to see the town flooded and the people crying out for help. They immediately lend aid, pulling people to safety and fending off a huge snake disturbed by the water’s passage.

Tired, spells depleted, and still suffering from their previous encounters, the party is ill prepared as a monstrous Black Magga rises from the Varisian Gulf and begins to destroy the church where many of the townsfolk have gathered for safety. Tammy-Lynn having been swept away by flood waters earlier finds herself at the steps of the church and braves the creature’s wrath to rush people out of the building as debris falls all around her. The rest of the party rushes to her defense and after a brief fight, the already wounded creature withdraws into the watery depths.

Finally, enjoying a much needed rest, the party remains in Turtleback Ferry for a few days, helping with the town’s recovery. A disturbance with Hedge’s squirrel and his communication with his mysterious patron leads the party to venture into the Shimmerglens. In this eldritch swamp they encounter Yap, a talkative sprite who takes them to Myrianna a miserable nymph ghost. She tells them the tragic story of her death and the capture of her lover Lamatar Bayden, the commander of Fort Rannick. The party sets off to find her lost love.

The trail to recover Lamatar Bayden takes them to Skull’s Crossing where they encounter a troop of ogres who have been working to chip away at the structure of the dam. Dispatching the ogres, the party continues along the top of the dam finding an entrance that takes them inside the vast structure. A tribe of trolls called the Skulltakers has taken up residence within and the fighting continues as the party works their way down into the workings of the dam. A last fight with Grazuul the chieftain of the trolls and a guardian skull ripper reveals the power at the heart of the dam, a pit fiend held in a soul trap whose essence is used to power the spill gates. Activating the machine drains the last of the pit fiend, reducing it to dust, and opening the spill gates. The controlled relief of pressure from the Storval Deep ensures Turtleback Ferry’s safety, at least for now.

The last leg of their trek takes the party to Hook Mountain. Here they find the home of the Kreeg ogre clan and the power behind their activity in the area, the stone giant Barl Breakbones. Flanked by his allies, Lucrecia the lamia matriarch, and appearing out of the shadows, Kaven the absent ranger from Fort Rannick. Tammy-Lynn meets her demise during the fight, but the party ultimately triumphs.

Barl Breakbones’ last words pursued the party as they left Hook Mountain and returned to Turtle Back Ferry. “You are too late. Sandpoint is dust and ash by now. Mokmurian…”, the name of his master came out in a dying gasp, any further revelation cut short.

Grizelda has decided to remain at Fort Rannick to help with rebuilding and perhaps fill the void left by Commander Bayden’s death. Potrag and Kichirou, the only remnant of the original Sandpoint Adventuring Company, prepare to return home, unsure of what they will find. Hadren, a relative newcomer to the group, nervously checks his supplies and equipment as crazy old Hedge hops about, waving his arms and speaking the words to an incantation. Momentarily, a shimmering portal winks into existence and after one last wave of farewell to Grizelda, the party of four step into the unknown.

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