Tragically, Real Life interfered with gaming last week. Sad, really.
And so you all have greeted Kaicl, Momenrech, Kochevnik, and Caboose, had lunch, and have done some (but not all) of your shopping. What will you do next?
Kat, being all prepared, sits around drinking mimosas until everyone else is ready. Kochevnik will stand by to make sure she’s not trying to have another drunk breakdown. Escaflowne, not remembering if he needs anything, sits in a corner nearby and ponders giant killing.
Salach went out and did his shopping. After hearing the trouble Kat is having with Endure Elements, and knowing is pretty frickin cold where they’re headed, he went out and bought a wand of endure elements so we don’t have to waste spell slots.
Dragon also did his shopping, trading various nonmagical things for magical things, upgrading from a crossbow to a composite longbow, a couple of backup curing potions, oh and some Boots of the Winterlands.
Caboose has walked around the market, looking at multiple objects and equipment. He is more entranced by their shineness. “So shiny. Salach! Is this shiny object good for Caboose?”
Salach- “That’s a door, Caboose. I don’t think you need it.”
Caboose looks confused, “maybe I use it for shield.”
Harvey, who is tailing them in cat form for his own amusement, laughs to himself. “This is going to be amazing.”
Salach- “But then how would you use your axe with both hands?”
Caboose - looks into the sky, pondering the question. Drool begins to come out of his mouth. He looks down and smirks at Salach “that is why you is the smart one. Will you aid Caboose get his good shinies?”
Salach- “Absolutely. When we get back from these frost giants, we’ll hire a wizard to make you a shield that will float along in front of you.”
Caboose becomes angry at the mention of giants “WHERE BE UGLY GIANTS?!?”
Salach- “Woah! Not here. We know where some are.”
Caboose - “oh” becomes calmer “I sorry Salach, Caboose hates giants”
Meanwhile, back at the bar, Dragon chitchats with Katreana about goings on back home. She happily tells him all about what Jerele and Iliana have been up to, and the rest of the village.
Harvey slips back to the bar to find Zelda and/or Kacil.
Kaicl is still there. “Right, Mr. Harvey, tell me about this collar you want.”
Harvey describes the collar. “It has the ability to magically shrink a companion animal down to tiny size. And as you can see…” He waves in the direction of the stables where Fluff is kept
Kaicl- “Yeah, I can see how that would be useful. Your lizard is pretty big. Hmmmm, I think I know the right guy, so if you can follow me….”
Kaicl leads Harvey (and whoever else wants to go) off to the portion of the market where all the wizards and clerics hang out. After a little asking around, you’re able to find a dwarf wizard who meets basically every human wizard stereotype: pointy hat, enormous white beard, robes with stars and crescent moons on, etc. Also a stuffed alligator hanging from the ceiling.
Caboose heads to the local establishment to drink mead and eat meat.
Kaicl- “Greetings, Fandango the Magnificent, this is the druid Harvey. He and several close friends of mine are preparing to go invade the Glacial Rift, and he is seeking a magic item that I hear you may have: a collar that can be used to shrink a familiar from the size of a large horse to a house cat.”
Fandango the Magnificent strokes his magnificent beard (magnificently), and some bartering commences. Several diplomacy rolls later…..Kaicl manages to persuade Fandango to drop the price of the collar...10%!
Fandango is full of handshakes and “Give those giants what for!” and some grumblings that the leadership (ie the clan chieftans) have unofficially banned going out and campaigning against the giants until the political situation is sorted out, although there are always rumors of people who ignore the ban.
Kaicl assures him that he will work to find a solution that is mutually beneficial to everyone.
Harvey has shaped back into his normal form, and shakes hands to be polite, thanking both of them. Then he takes the collar, shapes back into a cat and runs to Fluff. The collar turns her into a very small dinosaur who looks rather like an oversized chicken. Then they go back to Esc, Fuff curls up in his lap and Harvey falls asleep under his chair. Being polite and social exhausts him.
While Karla finishes shopping, everyone else can talk strategery.
Kat: “So, the Frost Giant Jarl.”
Salach- “Yeah, so last time we were there, we made two or three forays into various parts of their fortress, which is kind of carved out of the glacier and the mountain it’s sitting on. It’s been three months since we were there, so there have probably been some changes.”
Dragon- “We think we killed nearly 40 frost giants, plus some yeti (which is where we all got these sweet cloaks), but we don’t actually know how far into the place we got.”
Caboose staggers from the tavern smelling heavily of mead and orc urine “HA! Only 40 giants. Caboose *hic* will kill that many. We kill thousand of them this time”
Salach- “Really we ran out of resources, plus they were starting to follow us back to the cave we’d found as a hide site. So this time we have spells like rope trick and a couple of Leomund’s tiny huts, etc, so that hopefully we can just hide right in the middle of them. As far as getting there, we’ll have to teleport to the hide site (and hope they’re not still watching it), wait a day, so we can replenish spells, and then head in. After that it’s all fireballs and swordfights.”
Caboose - “Salach, that sound fun. Caboose the..” Caboose finds random gnome walking around, picks him up and regurgitates all over the poor gnomes face. Smells of dead flesh and cheap mead. “The bloodluster will help you”
Kat, through gritted teeth: “Remind me to change some of my cantrips out.” She speaks up to Caboose. “Caboose, you should take a bath before we leave.”
Cedrik speaks up from behind the bar- “Normally we take him out of town and hose him off.”
Caboose turns to Kat, stares blankly and speaks slowly, “Ok. Caboose bathe”
Salach- “Right, so I can take myself and four other people, Karla can take..herself and three?”
Harvey speaks up from where he’s hiding behind whoever is furthest away from Caboose. “Are we going to foray in raids like before, or is this an all out assault?”
Kat: “I would imagine raids, simply because that will give us the best chance to heal between fights. But whatever works best at the time.”
Salach- “It was raids the first time, but we have one more wizard and druid than the last attempt.”
Karla - “Probably best to plan on raids, and then if we end up going all the way through, well, good for us.”
Zelda - “I like raids! So looking forward to this…” She shines one of her longswords.
Salach- “Anyone have any other questions or last minute business? If not we’ll teleport out there tomorrow.”
Caboose has returned from his bath “Caboose ready for raid. Caboose wants head of giant leader”
Karla - “Kochevnik, do you mind sticking around for a minute? I have something to discuss with you.”
Kochevnik - “What is it?”
Karla - “I have an ability that it would be best for you to know about. I can create a field that allows any curing spell to maximized that’s cast within 60 feet of me. It only lasts about as long as it takes to cast a spell, so normally I just use it for myself, but if you’re nearby at the time, it would affect you too.”
Kochevnik - “That sounds useful. If I have to use a healing spell, that might help. I was planning on using a different healing skill, though. I’m not sure whether your ability would affect it.”
Karla - “Ah, I won’t try to plan around having you nearby too much, then, but I will let you know if you’re using it.” She pauses. “Oh!” She sticks her head down on near floor so she can see Harvey. “Harvey, you’re a druid, right? This aura would affect any healing spells you have as well.”
“Oh!” Harvey says. “Good to know! I’ll make sure to lay in a few just in case.”
“How much snow can we expect?” Harvey asks.
Dragon- “The snow outdoors was a couple of feet thick, but inside it really just dusts the ice and gets in corners. Oh, and speaking of that, it’s really windy inside the rift. Hard to see in any open area, hard to fly around.”
“Oh joy,” Harvey mutters. “Better pull out my mountain notes.”
And so you all adjourn for the evening. Caboose is banished to the barn by Cedrik, but everyone else is allowed to have a room. Kaicl and Momenrech head off to some swankier place because they’re like, diplomats or something. They bid you good luck, and hope that the giants all miss.
In the morning, Day...hang on….177! Everyone has a complete breakfast, full of fruits and fibers and mead. Also roast boar.
Salach pulls out a wand and walks around gently bopping everyone on the head with it...except Dragon, whose boots do the same thing all the time.
Caboose “Salach, Say boop when you bop me”
Salach says “Boop” as he bops Caboose with the wand.
Caboose giggles. Then finishes his mead
Salach- “Me, Kat, Kochevnik, Caboose- boop- Karla, Zelda, Harvey, Escaflowne, and Fluff. So 9 charges done, which gives us four more days, really.”
Salach- “So I’ll take, ummm, Kat, Kochevnik, Caboose, and Escaflowne….Karla, if you can take Harvey and Fluff, that leaves Dragon and Zelda here for me to bring Kat back to.. And then Kat can teleport the four of us to the hide site. So were all there today, but also out of 5th-level spells.”
Kat “If I’m only using teleport once, I still have one.“ She shrugs. “But I expect the lower level spells will be more useful anyway”
Karla - “I’ll still have one as well. I suppose I should keep it as Raise Dead, just in case.” She considers for a moment. “On second thought, that spell takes 10 minutes anyway. I couldn’t really cast unless we’re somewhere safe. I’ll stick with Flame Strike for now.”
Salach- “Okay good.”
Everyone has a drink while they wait for Harvey to finish picking his spells for the day.
Once that’s done, everyone gathers in groups as Salach had mentioned yesterday, and after repeated teleports…..
You find yourselves standing in ankle-deep snowdrifts in the back of a large cave. It’s about 50’ wide, probably 30’ tall, and maybe 70’ long, curving to the mouth. It’s brightly lit outside, but very cold (so it’s a good thing you all have endure elements - and winter clothes - on). And also pretty quiet.
Caboose stares at the mouth of the cave entrance, gripping his greataxe tightly. He lets out a deep breath and whispers “Caboose has waited for this moment for so long. Today, Mother, Father, I avenge you.”
Once everyone is there, Harvey takes the collar off of Fluff, swapping it out for her other one, so that she grows to her normal size. He also sits down to cast lay of the land.
After a bit of casting and concentration, Harvey learns the following: You’re approximately two miles from the entrance to the Rift, which is inhabited by quite a few giants (enough to qualify as a settlement as far as the spell is concerned, but not the exact population). The only other concentration of sapient creatures is about 35 miles to the northwest. The terrain within 50 miles of your is mostly mountainous, getting progressively more rugged heading southeast to northwest. To the north is a large forest, and to the south (past the mountains), forested marshes.
Between you and he entrance to the Rift the terrain is fairly flat and open although it looks like it’s snow covered year-round.
Kat, bundled up in her winter cloak. “Shall we?”
Dragon- “As soon as Harvey is done with his spell, I guess.”
Harvey shakes himself and tells everyone what he learned.
Salach- “Huh. I wonder who lives at the other settlement to the northwest.”
“How are we on movement?” Harvey says. “Anyone need some magic snowshoes?”
Dragon- “Haha, not me, cause I have these fancy boots!”
Caboose - “Caboose no need magic shoes. Caboose lust for giants’ blood will carry me through this snow.”
Harvey casts Mass Snowshoes on everyone just to be safe. Then he flies to his perch on Fluff’s pack and hunches up.
And so you set out! Since four of you have been here before, you know the way, and you have magic snowshoes, and magic protecting you from the elements AND now a +10 bonus to speed, You’re able to cover the ground between you and the rift pretty readily, and in about 30 minutes you’re within sight of the opening to the Rift.
Here the wind is pretty strong, and you can see plenty of snow getting kicked up further up the glacier, as well as near the entrance. From here (about 100’ away), it doesn’t look like anyone has come or gone from this entrance recently.
Just like last time, it appears to be unguarded.