Curse of Strahd Part Four: Giantslayer
The party deals with the Lord Protector of Triboar who is somewhat thankful for their efforts, but skeptical. They are approached by Sharkey who claims to be trying to stage a political coups “by the book”. The party is uninterested in becoming involved in local politics. The Lord Protector then tries to hire them to “deal with” Sharkey, and tells them no matter- she will call upon the aid of the Order of Rorik.
The party leaves early, and heads for Frickley. There they find a pile of food and the remaining townsfolk holed up in an inn deciding what to do. They meet Testra Fleetsong who is a huntress. She favors vacating the town. They also meet Grigor Dunham who is a farmer there and doesn’t want to leave. Finally, Pello Stoutpipe (the proprietor of the inn) offers a suggestion: if the party members can find the retired adventurer Jaiha “Giantslayer” to help them, perhaps they might stand a chance. The heroes agree and head towards Jaiha’s hut.
On their way, they witness a massive lightning strike ahead- peculiar for a clear day. Shortly thereafter, they are attacked by a scouting party of orcs but defeat them. Jaiha was also attacked by orcs which she claims is out of the ordinary. She eventually agrees to assist the party, but it does take some persuasion- the party agrees to help her wipe out the crescent moon orc tribe and their shaman leader. On their way back, they find the spot where the lightning struck, and the shaman leader there claiming “the man” is already theirs. The party defeats the orcs after a drawn out battle. At the top of the hill right where the lightning struck, they find a bearded emaciated man hog tied to a branch. They cut him free but he is far too gone to speak; though he is alive. They return him to Frickley.
In Frickley, the trap for Yegor is set. He arrives like clockwork and the hunters under Testra’s command and the party along with Jaiha bring him down quickly. The party are hailed as heroes.
The man they recovered demands to speak to Nithbis (the Witch of Goldenleaf who founded the Order of Rorik). The party, joined by both Testra and Jaiha looking to start new lives as adventurers, return to Goldenleaf. There, they return the man to Nithbis, who is puzzled and overjoyed to meet her old friend: The famous Aesir Zha Zoualla who was instrumental in the destruction of Tiamat’s avatar during the Dragon War.
A day of many victories! Not hollow as with the loss of allies. After beating the ghast of Oswind we went to the lord protector. Between her and Sharky (her shady opposition) the town is near a civil war. We refused to take sides as they are both unsavory. Though if I’m honest, I align more with Sharky. The lord protector is weak and power hungry. We made a note to tell the Order of Roric not to send troops as it would be a culling. Realizing our contract was done, and because the people should know, I yelled of our battle and victory. One town now knows my name.
|Art from http://www.epilogue.net/art/43850-hill-giant|
On the way we fought orcs. They were screaming about finding the “man on the hill”. I have no idea what they meant as Jhaia was said to be a woman. A bit before we reached her house, the sky opened up and a massive bolt of lightning that seemed emanate from the ground cracked. There was a rush of energy and it blew passed us. Is this the work or Jhaia? We reached her house and found a human woman with white to blonde hair. Scarred and anywhere from 30 to 60. I think she is older but I can never tell with humans. Orc bodies were stacked up and she inquired who we were. She was reluctant to help as she said the town was weak. She asked for our assistance to take out the orcs that encroached on her land. Breaking an agreement. This is the first human I’ve ever liked. She is powerful, skilled, respectful of dragons, and abides by her agreements.
We joined her in fighting for the orcs and their shaman. Combined we were able to beat them. They had a starved and bedraggled man tied to log. He was barely alive. I used the last on my healing to stabilize and wake him. His eyes were clear blue then he passed out.
The giant was no match for us. Though this time I tapped into a power I never have of Bahamut. I was able to smite this enemy and burn his insides with the divine. Bahamut smiles on me. Jhaia and testra, the Hunter, joined us to goldenleaf. We spoke to Beishar about triboar and the hill giant. Then presented the man. Who, between speaking in infernal, asked for nithbis. Beishar asked for some of his hair with a shrug. We gave it and in a minute the door swung open and nithbis, the great witch, rushed in. Her power is felt even by me. She rushed to the man, held him, and exclaimed “Aesir!”
So this is the mighty sorcerer? I heard he died and was in hell. How can he be here now. Though I am pleased that I have served another agent of Bahamut and healed him. He would perhaps not be here without the help of a dragon.
Little book, today was the biggest adventure yet. I am weaker than the others in my party, but hopeful that I will only get stronger in the days to come. Seeing all of this hurt and pain in the world has driven me to become the strongest version of myself yet. I must aid. I must assist. I am very impressed with the strange assortment of friends I travel with now. They seem to be more accustomed to dealing with conflict. Ava, a woman with bird-like features, seems almost as confused as I am by what the world entails. This is comforting. I do not wish to feel alone. Caecillius has warmed to the party slightly, and Vrice is so kind to Ava that I am certain he is someone I will enjoy getting to know better.
Journal of Vrice Kilcannon
It seems the people of Tri-Boar are beset not only by creatures of the night but something just as terrible...political machinations. I have seen a lifetime of that bullshit in Impiltur and the corrupt paladins and clerics that vie for power and I have no patience for it here. A local crime boss of sorts approached me and ask me to spy on the leader of the town and I told him fuck off. I admit normally I would not have been so harsh but the lack of sleep that night had me on edge. When we told the Lord Protector of this she tells us she will hire adventurers from Goldenleaf to “deal with Sharkey”. We confront her telling her she is a coward for hiring assassins and that we will have nothing to do with it. We intend to alert the Order of Rorik of her intentions.
There are more people in need of our help and it feels good to leave Tri-Boar and see if we can find a way to deal a giant harassing a local town. When we arrive in Frickley we are welcomed when our intent is shown. I like these people, hard working and honest, it’s refreshing. They suggest we seek out a local giant slayer named Jaiha and request her help. We agree and head towards her cabin. On the way we are attacked by rampaging orcs and find more dead orcs at her cabin. The battle is hard fought but we slay them. The skies open up on our way up and unnatural lightning strikes the mountain top. I have been walking these lands for many years and I have never seen lightning like that. She agrees to help us if we slay the rest of the orc tribe on top of that same mountain which we agree to. After defeating the orcs we find an old bearded man tied up and we take him back to town.
At town we start preparations for the giant’s coming, ditches are dug, scouts are sent out, archers are in position. The people and some of our party seem concerned about this old man and I am not unsympathetic but for fuck’s sake a giant is on its way...we can deal with him later. It annoys me that they are not focused on the threat. When the giant Yegor arrives we make quick work of him with all our coordination. When the old man wakes he demands to speak to Nithbis the witch of Goldenleaf. We agree to take him back. When we arrive we find out he is some powerful Sorcerer who helped defeat the Dragonqueen. I am always cautious of men and women of power as many times the monsters and tyrants they defeat are only replaced by the very “heroes” who defeated them. I am again annoyed at how these people mindlessly fall to their knees around these “heroes”. They are not gods...they are just fallible people with enormous power. They should not be revered but watched closely.