Against the Giants - Hall of the Fire Giant King, Part 2
Exiting the invisible portal Soren's spell had created, the heroes re-emerged into the fire giant king's treasury cavern. Someone had obviously searched the area, as the fragments of the iron golem had been gathered up and the dead hydra reduced to ash and bone. But they had remained unseen inside the pocket dimension. Figuring their next step should be to deal with the fire giants' queen, who had been mentioned by the surrendering azers in the king's hall, the heroes set about exploring. They opted to head the direction not taken in the secret tunnel, figuring it would likely lead to a bolt-hole in the king's quarters. They were right.

Unfortunately, the queen was waiting and ready for such treachery. A crude alarm had been set on the panel into the royal chambers, and it went off as the secret door was opened. Hornbeast went forth to parley with the hideous Queen Frupy, only to nearly have his head knocked off his shoulders by her flaming mace! The heroes had to fight the queen, her armored maids and bodyguards, as well as a dozen azer slave and her pet dire weasels. One of the man-sized beasts had clinged to Rurik's neck like a leech, trying to chew through the dwarf cleric's armor to reach his throat! The queen even employed a magic mirror on her wall, briefly trapping Krush, Ambrie, Sindri, and Soren in an extra-dimensional prison!

One could go as far as to call the fire giant

Despite the numbers being against them, the heroes felled the queen and her servants. This was in no small part due to the horde of berserkers Orosius had called forth with the iron horn of Valhalla he had recovered from the frost giant jarl's treasure hoard. He sent the berserkers ahead into the throne room, downing several hell hounds and driving off a pair of fire giants while the heroes managed to bind their wounds and loot the royal chambers.

Although the winter witch from Luskan had gotten away from the previous battle with the king, the heroes had no idea where she was or what the current disposition of the giants was for that matter. To that end...they opted to head back to the treasury! A second set of rough-hewn stairs led down to a secret door. As the heroes had learned that an elf princess and her retinue had been captured by the fire giant king during their respite in Phandalin, they decided to try for the dungeon. Ambrie opened the secret door into a partially-collapsed chamber.

Several hill giants and stone giants were there, no doubt guests of the king. Hornbeast attempted to parley, and with some aid from Orosius and Ambrie, they convinced the stone giants to walk. This was, after all, not their fight. The hill giant sub-chief had none of it. He wanted blood and battle, and he got it! He was the first to die. The rest of the giants were cut down in short order, and the heroes followed the stone giants into the hall beyond.

"And that's when the rest of the group realized when Hornbeast said he wanted to parley, what he was really saying was he wanted to murder every monster they came across."

Unfortunately the stone giants had warned the other guests - a band of frost giants - that the intruders they'd been warned of were back. As they made their way out into the hall, Ambrie and Orosius found a huge cart harnessed to a giant yak and several angry frost giants. The heroes fought these giants (despite some misadventures with the yak-drawn cart) and the king's other guests - a rakshasa noble and his three rakshasa guards! The fiends were nearly a match for the heroes, as Soren, Ella, and Rurik found their magic ineffective against the tiger-headed beasts and they were almost a match for Orosius and Krush in melee combat.

Um...good kitty?

With the rakshasas and the giants down, the heroes took a moment to catch their breath before pressing on...
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