Shadows of the Rift

Session Sixty

Jarlheim

Jarlheim.jpg

17 Awakening 509

As the Northron raiders approach through the harbor in Jarlheim, the longship from Soos carrying the Crimson Cord and the Aethyngs has veered to the east to deposit that smaller team that will be going in to raid on their own. Savaric has felled one of three giants on the shore with a volley of flaming arrows as the ship approached the shore.

Savaric targets another of the giants as they begin chucking stones at the ship. The raiders are not equipped with missile weapons—only Savaric.

As the ship moves inexorably closer to the shore, a stone hits the ship, causing it to shake. Surm comes forward and casts a fireball at the giants on the shore while Savaric continues to fire. Between the two of them, the giants are dispatched and the ship makes landfall.

The four members of the Crimson Cord—Surm, Savaric, Mõrvar, and Rilka, as well as seven hand-picked Aethyng warriors, disembark and head deeper into the city while the ship turns and heads deeper into harbor with its brethren.

As the stone city looms, Mõrvar notes that the architecture is not designed for giants but for human-sized creatures. In fact he believes that it is similar to Ysar architecture.

Rilka takes a high position on top of one of the buildings and scouts the area. She sees a tall building to the northwest—a cathedral, maybe? It’s clearly a landmark and easily distinctive. Maybe the skull is being kept there? She can also see that battle has begun in earnest in the harbor and on shore near a huge amphitheater.

As the party makes their way through the streets, they notice that many of the dwellings are abandoned—most are simply too small for a frost giant. However, they do see some that have been made into make-shift homes for giants. In fact, they see one emerge from such a dwelling and engage with it, eventually dispatching in the street. They leave its corpse—not before Mõrvar decapitates it—and move on, moving northwest through the city.

It appears that most of the frost giants must be on shore fighting the Northron raiders. The streets are quiet.

They eventually make it to the far northwest corner of the city. Approaching the large cathedral quietly, they see that the broad entry way is guarded by four frost giants warriors.

Savaric has Ilona make him invisible and the two head through and around the guards and into the cathedral. Once inside, he avoids another couple of warriors and finds a huge spiral staircase that heads both up into the heights of the building and down into its depths. He heads up.

On the third level, he sees what appears to be a frost giant priest of some sort on the landing. He begins firing arrows into him, eventually taking the giant down. Savaric crosses the landing and peers into the doorway to see a roomful of human thralls chained together. He signals for them to be quiet and he returns to the staircase and invisibility. A frost giant guard starts coming up and sees the dead priest. The guard starts calling for his compatriots.

Savaric uses the distraction to start heading out the way he came in. He eventually makes it back to his friends and reports on what he sees. They decide to assault the cathedral.

The Crimson Cord and the seven Aethyngs advance on the four guards. Between Savaric’s arrows, Surm’s fireball spell, and the force of arms of Rilka and Mõrvar, the four guards are dispatched. The group heads inside the structure.

They check out the bottom floor, secure it, and leave three Aethyngs on the bottom floor while the four members of the Cord and four Aethyngs ascend the staircase.

On the third floor they find the corpse of the giant Savaric slew. They also find the slaughtered corpses of the thralls, apparently slain in retaliation for the murder of the priest.

The group head up the stairs to the eighth floor—the only floor large enough to bear the size of a frost giant. It is single chamber that is apparently been set up as the bed chamber for the priest. Here they take the Viper banner and the priest’s battle axe that is hanging on the wall. They head back down the stairs to rejoin the other Aethyngs, who have encountered no troubles since they were separated.

They decide to head down the stairs and see what is beneath the cathedral.

Carefully they go down and find themselves in a smallish chamber—still large enough for a frost giant, but not grand in any sense.

They follow the old, moldy hall the only way it goes. It winds a bit and then gets into an area where the outer wall falls way into an abyssal pit. The pit is so huge that even Savaric and Rilka, with their darkvision, can’t see the bottom or across it. They move on apprehensively, not knowing if that deep darkness is truly empty.

Eventually they come to a area with three (relatively) narrow alcoves—relatively narrow because they are large enough to contain ambushing frost giants!

A fight ensues between them and the Crimson Cord, who are bottle-necked into the preceding corridor. As members of the party fight their way through to take on the foes, Mõrvar manages to intimidate on into running into the next chamber, clearing a path for more of the Cord to come through.

Surm moves on even beyond the shaken the giant and his brother to a narrow bridge that crosses over a passage heading into the that deep darkness. Their passage heads into another chamber. Behind him, the rest of the party dispatches the three frost giant guards.

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