3rd Nightall - 5th Nightall, The Star Walkers Return
We traveled uneventfully on our trip from Gayntlgrym to the lair of the Fire Giants, located near the Citadels to the North East.
The days have not stemmed the range of emotion that I have felt since taking the life of Hislen. Rage, Anger, Sorryw, and pure Joy have all crossed my mind. Have I truly accomplished what I set out to do after two years ago. The worm had a damn backup body, could he have had more? Was his soul truly sent to whatever misbegotten plane of existence one such lost his soul to upon his true death?
I had the others using their scrying spells to search for him, which is only a small comfort that they cannot locate him. If he truly had resurrected despite losing the body we desecrated, it would be no small feat for him to evade our detection.
I pray to Lathander, in my room on the airship with Morning sleeping peacefully, guarding the door. I had hoped to find peace in my actions but my soul has never been more torn.
I can write no more for now. May my rest bring me comfort.
6th Nightall, The Star Walkers Return
We have scouted and landed near where the Fire Giant lair of Ironslag was located, in the early hours of the morning. A massive door blocked out path directly into the lair, set into the mountainside.
There was no way through without using the airship to batter our way in, at great expense and noise. We promptly skipped by using a cave network that lead to the top of the cliff faces. We pressed on, hoping to make a shortcut through to the lair through the caves, which was a success.
A chimera stood in our way, which we quickly despatched, before coming out at the top of the caves where we found ourselves under the sky once more, picht black with the twinkling of stars. The moon was not full and the shadows were ours.
A yakfolk village stood before us, with little motion to be seen. Stone walls some twenty feet high surrounded large pats of it, with a cleft in the mountain separating it into two halves with a sturdy bridge. Within, Pens of slaves, many naked, surrounded the area, in which the yakfolk had erected crude huts in amongst the open space. The slaves slept as soundly as the yakfolk did at this hour.
I hung back as the group quietly made their way around the village, quietly ending the lives of the yakfolk. I brought up the rear, trying to be as quiet as a man could be wearing full plate armor.
We finished up many of the yakfolk as they slept, freeing slaves as we went. Many yakfolk we had slain carried keys which we cut from them, unlcoking the cages we could find. We rounded up those we rescued and told them to silently make their way toward the cave exist as we continued, but one did not follow the others.
The elf stood proudly up after being freed, graceful and elegant for a naked elf we had just freed from captivity. She walked toward us instead of fleeing with the others. Her long curly hair hung to her waist, the pale blond colour almost blending into her fair skin. She walked with poise that accentuated her figure, and seemed unconcerned with the situation that we had just met her in. She went to speak but was interupted by the sounds of the camp’s cheiftan and his shaman, roused from their sleep. Without a further word, she pirouetted, grabbed the Giant Slayer longsword that hung by my side, and prepared to attack with us, falling into a perfect stance for the weapon. I stood mouth agape and the beautiful form of the elf, cloked in her nakedness, who prepared to fight for the people she was locked up alongside with the vigor of a king defending his people to the last.
The chieftain and his shaman fought in vain, but were pushed backwards and took shelter in a hut to escape our relentless attack. Lilli erected a wall of wind and force in front of the hut, blocking them into it. A plague of locusts surrounded John after some seconds of his concentration, which in short order swarmed the hut. There was a moment of confused grunts and screams from the building before the hut simply exploded into pieces of rubble and lumbar. The yakfolk clambered out of the hut covered on locusts, wounded from our assault. It was only moments later we fell on them and once more the night was silent.
We hurried forward, finding a set of caves which took us deeper into the mountain, which clearly turned into mines on the way. Some salamanders stood briefly before us and were dispatched in short order, except for one which we were able to dominate into serving out will.
Pressing on, we came into a huge forge area, glowing pits of lava, massive anvils, and a huge chain from which buckets lay suspended just off the ground. A group of orcs worked on a significant forging operation as we watched silently from above.
We moved through the huge two hundered foot room from the railings above, managing to move with reasonable silence through those that opposed us. When it came time to lay seige to the giants below Cyke bellowed and jumped down from the railing, landing on the head of the giant be sailed by goblins. Their blows had no hope of penetrating my plate armor, and yet one of the plucky creatures manage to find a gap in my plate not once, but twice. He looked at his weapon in sheer surprise and proceeded to claim victory, holding his weapon up high despite having merely causing the joint to fill up with some blood.
In that moment I saw Sialia, out of position on a giant’s flank get laid low with a vicious blow. She sceamed a guttural scream and went silent as the giant knocked her down.
Wrapping myself in Lathander’s will, I dashed to her side from across the cavern within seconds, ready to block the followup blow meant to crush her skull with my shield. I engaged the wounded giant and patched Sialia up with what was left of the power I had in me to get her back into the fight. We brought the giant down together and turned back to the main fight.
Cyke was fending of giant blows, bellowing as he did, with Lilli harassing the giants from afar with magiks. John’s arrows found their mark on the giants and as I watched one fell to its knees, all but defeated. The goblin that had wounded me stood next to Lilli, and as I watched it seems that she had convinced the goblin that it had been fighting on the wrong side as it attacked the giants alongside her.
As we ended the remaining giants and we recovered from battle I congratulated the goblin on his damage to me, and gave Lilli a look that the tiny thing was her problem if she chose not to end it.
We came into the view of a second room, with the Vonindod standing nearly completed in the middle. Duke Zalto stood there flanked by drow mages, inspecting the giant construct. We chose not to tackle him just at that time, and proceeded to scout the rest of the fortress.
From some slaves that we freed we heard about the countess, busy preparing meals for all in the kitchen. We send the goblin in first armed with our endless decanter, convincing it that we were the side it was best to stand with.
Once the commotion started we burst into the room, taking the distracted goblins and countess unawares. There was water gushing in from a locked door in the room, distracting them as they confusedly tried to mop it up. The goblin had locked himself in and spoke the command word, causing a ruckus of commotion.
With a single fireball blast from Sialia’s wand the goblins were no more. The Countess, stunned, demanded to know of our intrusions. And we told here what we were here to do - get the fire giant’s conch, and end any chance of the Vonindod being finalized for good.
She was not particularly happy with this fact, and was brought down in a blaze of magic and swords. But not before a warning was shouted, a ogre running to alert his lord.
We had hardly caught a breath before three huge giants burst into the room, fiercely armored with huge tower shields. They were nigh impervious to attack, and charged through us like we were not even there.
I was thrown against a wall and clambered shakily to my feet, managing to knock loose a armored joint with one well struck blow. The follow up blow stuck deeply in the giant, IronFang flickering with ripples of Lathander’ light. The sentient weapon relished in the critical destruction of our foe, and the others brought down the other giants as I ensured my foe would not rise again.
When we let the kitchen a second line of defense had been formed, with the drow mages doing all they could to slow our advance. They called up storms of sleet, wind and vines to try and stop our progress, but we persevered.
The duke whilst cornered fought us valiantly, wielding a huge maul coated in pure flame. The end of the maul was in fact a cage, containing a gnome, weakly screaming for a end to his suffering.
Once we showed the Duke the error of his warmongering ways, we retrieved the badly burnt gnome, discovering he had a tattoo that the Zhentarim.
Ironslag lay dormant and silent as we left, fire giant conch in our possession and dragging a pleading Zhent prisoner in tow. The only one we left alive was the Duke’s young daughter, who seemed utterly disinterested and even hateful of her parents goals. We let her leave peacefully.
We left for Citadel Adbar, with a airship full of freed prisoners, a serpent like prisoner trying to lie, cheat and talk his way out of his situation, and releif at the defeat of two enemies that had threatened the residents of Citadel Adbar.
We lost the Zhent gnome over the edge of the ship on the way back to adbar, having proved highly unco-operative when we discussed his fate with him. Apparently he had been sent by his superiors to try and deal with the fire giants and had received imprisonment for daring to make the suggestion.
It was half a day to the citadel to announce our victory and return the freed prisoners to civilization.
I dreamed that night of holding Hislen by his pompous neck over the pits of lava at Gauntlgrym, his faced contort into pain and fear. “My name is Morath Khalid. Prepare to die” I scowled at him, letting go and watching his face scream silently into the void as he disappeared below. He knew shortly that molten lava would soon envelop his body, a warm embrace that would end his life in the most painful way imaginable. His last breath would be a searing hot breath, hot enough to stop his breath within moments.
I felt no remorse at ending the worms life. Lathander calls for me to give new life, seek a new dawn. But in that gnome, as I stared into his eyes in the moment he knew his fate was sealed, I only saw darkness.
I have had my vengeance on Hislen. And it feels good. If he somehow returns, I will excise judgment on him for a second time.