Against the Giants - Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, Part 5
Having dealt with Jarl Grugnur's fire giant adviser, Haaskarth, the heroes explored the cavernous hall of the ice-skull throne. Hornbeast and Ambrie found the back wall was cloaked with an illusion, and what was seemingly frozen rock was actually a frozen hide curtain. Slipping between the heavy folds the halfling rogue and Sindri, the gnome ranger, made their way down a wide cavern passage to another large chamber. The passage branched, but the right side opened on a long cavern filled with frozen statues and crudely-carved ledges holding a variety of trophies - weapons, shields, the heads and hides of great beasts, and so on. As the duo drew closer, they saw the statues were actually the frozen corpses of dwarves. A pair of frost giants guarded an enormous set of double doors at the far end. A second passage led off from this area as well, headed north like the branch they had just passed.

Ambrie and Sindri slipped back to the rest of the group unseen, letting them know what they had seen. Forgoing stealth, they approached the giants - now four in number - and Hornbeast, Orosius, and Krush strode forward. The monk demanded to see the Jarl, and the giants laughed as the door opened. A quartet of winter wolves charged out, followed by the frost giant Jarl and his consort. The battle was on! The giants picked up the frozen dwarf-corpses and hurled them as missiles, while the winter wolves blocked Orosius and Krush. Horbeast darted past them, only to be felled by Grugnur and his mate. Soren, Rurik, and Ella hurled spells (and a hammer) while Ambrie and Sindri darted from cover to cover, their bows singing.


Grugnur, the frost giant jarl. Metal as f***...

Orosius won free, and despite the Jarl's might, a devastating blow from the trident Wave felled him, draining his moisture and his very life! The rest of the giants fell, and the heroes withdrew to the Jarl's chambers to catch their breath, bind their wounds, and search for treasure. They found a locked treasury with four large chests. Overcoming their traps, Ambrie found heaps of treasure - gold, gems, and jewels alike - an an iron box. She realized too late it was trapped, as it unleashed a pulse of anti-magic which stripped some of the group's items of their enchantments. But the treasures inside made up for it! There was an ioun stone that boosted personal magnetism, a mighty Hammer of Thunderbolts, a ring that could make the wearer invisible, and a ring enchanted to give three wishes, though the fact that the symbol of Beshaba (the goddess of ill luck) was on it gave them some pause...

After a few minutes' rest, the heroes pressed on into the next cavern. They heard more giants, yelling to them that they wished to negotiate. Fearing a trap, but bold enough to move forward, the heroes entered the vast cave, which was dominated by a frozen lake with a treasure chest at its center. The ransom the giants offered to pay, the voice bellowed, was there. Ambrie and Orosius moved forward on to the ice...which exploded as a massive frost worm emerged! The battle was on. More giants - two shamans among them - rushed from tunnels at the far end of the cavern, while five, terrible oni appeared from invisibility, blasting the heroes with magical frost.


In Soviet Russia, worm eats you.

The heroes were sore pressed, though a mighty blow from Orosius slew the worm...which froze over and exploded in a spray of icy shrapnel! This changed the tide of battle - for the heroes! In short order, the oni and giants fell, and the day was won.

Vaald, the frost giant they had negotiated with before, came out with a few more guards. He bade the heroes leave, offering them his promise that the frost giants (now reduced in number) would cease their attacks on Mirabar's mines and caravans. The heroes were certain that only their apparent strength kept them from facing treachery at Vaald's hands, but they had done what they had set out to do. With that, a simple teleportation circle took them back to Mirabar, and when their business there was concluded, back home to Phandalin.
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