Nothing of interest in the dracolisk…or in his cave. He looks kinda undernourished, but the others didn’t want to wait for me to skin it.
[detailed, sprawling map that runs over several pages]
*Raven found a claw. Elmo thinks it’s a lizard claw.
**Well, now I’ve seen
it all most of it something. We were coming up on a tee in one of the passages, when these two lumps of rock peeled themselves off the wall and swiped at us with their claws.
Heiron and Mikael took them out – and it’s true, when you see them in a different context, they look like big lizards…but they’re still the exact color of the stone, and it’s kinda disorienting.
They must have used the grotto just beyond as a lair, because there was a big pile of money there. Elmo pointed out the claw probably came from one of them…maybe they shed them like people shed excess fingernail?
#Magic portal rune for Fire Node
Well, new experience for me…
We were exploring a side-room when we heard heavy footsteps approaching. Ezekiel went up to investigate, and discovered a huge figure – the exact color of stone! – filling up the entire passageway…a stone giant!
He chatted with Ezekiel a bit (his voice is so deep and rumbly, we heard some of it): Ez told him we are “invaders” of the nodes, and the giant asked how many we were…and then if we wanted to share their fire.
So Ezekiel led us in following the giant, and we ended up in a good-sized cave (it’d have to be) with four other stone giants…and a campfire.
Ezekiel shared out some rations from Raven, and the giants passed around a skin of some liquid (Raven tells me it was alcohol, but he couldn’t tell more than that; they probably made it themselves while here). Elmo told me he wouldn’t want to have to drink it all day long, but that he’s had worse.
Our liaison-giant explained that this place is “earth-not-earth,” and his group (along with others) were magicked here by the Temple cultists. Ezekiel confirmed that stone giants aren’t one of the ones who can change shape into something smaller…so they couldn’t fit through Lydia’s mirror.
Then Ez announced that he was going to spend time meditating to ask the God of gods how we could get the giants out of the nodes (he gave them the brief version of the nodes, and what we were doing there…they didn’t seem really interested, except in the part about us maybe getting them out).
Anyway, he set up the fortress, so Lydia could feel safe to come consult with us, and sat by the campfire for literal hours.
The rest of us tried to find out where the giants were actually from, but it was difficult since only their leader seemed to speak Common, and he wasn’t clear on all the vocabulary. But Mikael’s new scimitar Schakka speaks Giant Common, and they seemed to understand that better…so eventually, we figured out they came from “high in the mountains,” and the Temple sent a raiding party to “magic” them straight into the nodes. So they haven’t been to the Temple before, but it would make sense that they’re from the nearby countryside (unless the Temple’s reach is much broader than we thought!).
If I’m being honest, they are much nicer than any other giants I have ever met…their leader is remarkably chill about Ezekiel’s idiosyncrasies, and he was quite daring in inviting us to their hideout. Could be they’re the kind of giants who could live quietly in their own space, and not bother humans…
They do have some “friends”…or “pets”?… We heard heavy, thumping footsteps coming down the hall, only to see two boulders on legs waddle into the room and sit down between the stone giants. They have two legs each, and the giants call them “galabs’dur” or “children of the mountain”…so I guess they’re not like little giants, they’re like…boulders that have two feet. And can talk to the giants. Again, is this friends? Pets? Friend-pets like Mikael has?
(Speaking of which, Mister Whisker helped us with our mapping…he double-checked the passages that we thought we had already been in, to see if he could detect our scent in them. Raven says he prefers this place to always dropping into the Water Node, although he says the little pocket in my backpack is quite cozy.)
Lydia and Raven took a trip back to town, researching ways we might be able to “magic” the giants back to Orth.
After sitting with his eyes closed all afternoon, Ezekiel went into a trace or something and started starting intently at nothing, which I guess is a change.
After a bit, he started talking to himself…and when he was done he shook his head a little and said he got some answers…although not all the answers he was hoping for.
First, he told the stone giants that “Little Pebble escaped,” then he said the messenger he spoke with said none of us have the skills needed to send the “wayfarers” home (could have been more specific, Ez), but that we do have what we need… Which I guess means it’s not a skill.
At this point, we’ll probably have to wait for the spell-casters to prepare more spells. We’ve had a pretty full day, but as I said to Heiron, this is what life on the adventure road is like…a little bit of life-or-death struggle, mixed with a whole lot of sitting and waiting for other people. He says there’s nothing particular he’d rather do with his life…although having the dragons melt him wasn’t fun. (Note to self: pay him again. Does he need a bonus for the acid scar that Ezekiel couldn’t get rid of?)
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