Against the Giants - Hall of the Fire Giant King, Part 5
Following Ambrie's lead, the group had reached the massive iron doors of the fire giants' armory. Without any pause, Orosius kicked the massive doors open wide. While the half-orc pirate roared a challenge, the rest of the group rushed past him! Spells and missiles staggered the three giants and sole azer in the room briefly, though the brass-skinned, fire-haired dwarf blasted back with fiery spells and the giants drew their greatswords and engaged the party in melee combat.

They had been fighting metal-skinned dwarves with fire for hair. Can D&D get any more metal?

The azer spoke a command and flames swirled out of two nearby iron braziers, filling two suits of man-sized armor. Beings of living flame clad in plate mail, the two elemental myrmidons each grabbed a pair of scimitars and joined the fray, along with a small pack of hellhounds released from their chain by one of the giants. While Dram Blighthammer, Fonkin Hoddypeak, Orosius, Krush, and Hornbeast held the line, Ambrie and Sindri peppered their foes with arrows. Rurik hurled his hammer, Whelm, at the giants time and again while Soren, Ella, and the warlock's thrall countered the azer's spells and blasted their foes. In moments it was all over, and their foes lay dead or, in the case of the fiery myrmidons, banished.

A quick search of the armory yielded little of value, save an enchanted shield that was given to the dwarf knight they had rescued, Dram. After binding what wounds they had, the group made their way down a nearby ramp to the second level of the fire giants' lair. Passing by the forge, barracks, and prison they had cleared, the group made their way down a long passage and over a basalt bridge spanning a chasm with bubbling magma visible fully 80 feet below. Iron cages hung on winches along the bridge, but the group only investigated one, which turned out to be empty.

...apparently, it can. They were fighting fire. Armed with swords.

At the end of the hall, they saw a stair on the left side (the south wall, in this case) leading up and a massive set of stone double doors about 40 feet ahead on the same side. On the opposite wall, an alcove was set about 10 feet back. The wall there was made of a strange, dark purple stone that was covered in ropy striations, as if it had party melted and re-solidified. As the group took up position in the hall, Hornbeast made his way to the double doors and Orosius crept as quietly as he could in full mail up the stairs. Both heard chanting, and realized there was a large chamber beyond.

Meanwhile, Ambrie had gone to investigate the strange wall. As soon as she touched it, the stone animated, becoming a mass of writing tentacles. She and Fonkin were quickly grabbed and drawn into the wall, as Soren, Sindri, Krush, and Rurik attempted to aid them.

Orosius had been heard by someone in the large hall however, and an alarm was raised. Hornbeast waited by the doors to ambush whoever opened them, only to be caught by surprise as they were flung open by a pair of fire giants. Orosius charged up the stairs and saw a huge, columned temple hall beyond. A pair of Luskanite warriors were there, along with a Northman priest adorned with the swirling symbol of the Elder Elemental Eye. With them were half a dozen drow, two of the female dark elves also wearing the same symbol. Ella and the Luskanite warlock she had enthralled turned to aid the pair.

As Krush hacked at the wall, it opened, revealing a small cave beyond. Four monstrous driders were there, and the centaur-like spider hybrids unleashed stands of sticky webbing and a hail of arrows. But Rurik, priest of the holy light of Moradin's forge, called forth daylight in a shining globe, causing them and the dark elves in the temple to flinch before its awesome radiance.

That's a whole lot of "nope" right there.

A battle on two fronts erupted, with half the group tearing at the living wall as the driders harassed them, while the other half traded spells and blows with the drow and giants in the temple of the Elder Elemental Eye. In the end, the drow high priestess fled using a magical orb that let her teleport away, though her words indicated she would await the survivors below somewhere.

Wounded, the heroes managed to catch their breath and bind their wounds. The altar in the temple had been activated during the fight, becoming translucent purple with swirling, amber eye at its center. Smoky tendrils had grabbed at all nearby. Ella, a servant of the Great Old Ones, recognized a sacrifice was needed. The Luskanite cult priest had been rendered insensate by a spell, and was drug over there. As his body was pulled into the crystal, it blackened and became opaque once more. A flask of black liquid appeared atop it, and the female warlock drank deeply.

Would you really drink anything at this guy's house? I'm just saying...

In a flash, she gathered strange insights. The cult of the Elder Elemental Eye - THARIZDUN - counted Sigryn Stormborn, high captain and war-lord of Luskan as a member. They had stuck an alliance with their compatriots among the drow, and had unleashed the giants to upset the balance of power in the North. They sought weapons of great power - Wave, Whelm, and Blackrazor among them - weapons that could serve as keys to free ancient and terrible primordials chained since the Dawn War. One of the weapons, a dagger named Flame, had been recovered by the drow as a gift for Luskan's war-lord, and was somewhere below. A sword named Storm was somewhere on an island in the Trackless Sea, and the last, an axe named Ice, was already in Sigryn Stormborn's hands. A set of rough-hewn steps off the small cave led down, as did a ramp back at the foot of the bridge on the north wall of the passage. No matter what, their foes lay below.
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