Celestial Winter – Session Seven, Guests of Giants

At the end of last session, the group surprised me when most of them agreed to hop in a Giantess’ bag and get carried up the mountain. Two characters – Caldus and Kendra – refused this offer and instead started climbing up the mountain themselves.

Caldus’ player missed the session so we left him at the bottom of the mountain. However, we had a guest player – Sloan – who brought us back up to five for some of the night.

The Giantess Uld quickly ascended the mountain. Perched on the summit was a primitive but powerfully built stone fortress. Uld released Bridgette, Edward, and Spazzlethrop from the bag. She then took their horses, riding dog, and carriage to the stables.

The group ventured inside after Uld and found themselves in an entry hall. A worn bear skin lay on the floor and old tapestries of giants decorated the walls. Here and there, torches the size of lambposts shed unflickering light but not heat. The smell of delicious food tickled their nostrils – reminding Edward that he hadn’t had a real meal in days. 

Bridgette’s wolf hurried ahead of the group towards the delicious smells only to encounter a second giant. This one snatched up the wolf between two fingers and strode towards the group with it. There was a moment of trepidation but, introducing himself as Ennel, the giant returned the wolf to Bridgette and invited them to eat.

Ennel led the group back to the table which held – by their standards – a tremendous feast. The main dish was a massive bird – called a Roc – had been roasted to perfection by the giants. Edward and the wolf gorged themselves on the bird meat while Bridgette and Spazzlethrop ate at a more measured pace. They were introduced to another guest of the Giants – a halfling sorcerer named Sloan. 

A second giant, Arl, joined the group and told the story of how he’d taken the Roc with just a spear. Sloan then proceeded to discuss the culinary practices of the giants and encourage them to make more use of spices. Uld returned soon afterwards and the group asked her about “Aengus”. She told them that he had traveled North to the “World Tree”. Edward was surprised to learn this and, between stuffing his face, asked the World Tree was? The giants answered that it was a big mystical tree. Pressed for more information, the giants shrugging added that it was always warm in the vale around the World Tree and that there was abundant food to be harvested there…if one could survive the mystical beasts living there.

The giants did know of Ernhardur but seemed unimpressed noting that they’d interacted with other Dragons. There was also a discussion about the “Punicorn” which confused the giants to no end. The group kept on making the inside joke even after it was clear that it didn’t translate.

After dinner, Uld showed the party to the guest room and left them to their own devices. There was a single giant sized bed-mat in the room. This resulted in a huge argument that almost came to blows; Bridgette wanted to cut up the bed-mat so she wouldn’t have to sleep near Spazzlethrop while the others thought that destroying the giant’s property was a bad idea. Edward pointed out that Bridgette still had her bedroll but she was adamant that she needed more. This almost resulted in physical violence when Bridgette tried to punch Spazzlethrop after she started cutting the giant bed-mat and he cast mend on it. After missing Spazzlethrop, she moved on to trying to take Edward’s bedroll and then waiting in the corner to take it after he fell asleep.

Not entirely trusting the giants the group set watch over the night. Still feeling hungry despite all he had eaten, Edward put himself to sleep with a potion…which Bridgette took advantage of to carefully steal his bedroll. Eventually, Kendra arrived after her lengthy climb up the mountain and loudly demanded to know where the group was. Arl welcomed her and closed the portcullis behind her with a lever the size of a tree trunk – claiming that he’d been waiting to close down for the night. At this, Bridgette asked Sloan to climb up on her shoulders to reach the latch and together they opened the door.

Kendra had run out of rations the day before and was ravenous after her climb. Arl and Uld were more than glad to provide her with a meal of smoked mastodon leg and ale served in cups the size of barrels. Edward woke at Kendra’s yelling and rushed to join in as did Bridgette’s wolf (in disobedience to her commands). While this was happening, Bridgette slipped back to the guest room and cut a section out of the bed-mat.

Kendra asked most of the same questions as the others but also insulted the giant’s stonework and asked repeatedly why they were so hospitable. Sloan asked if the giants had magic and they just smiled knowingly. Pressed further, Uld showed off a magical knife that she claimed to have made.

When the group returned to the guest room Uld was displeased to discover that Bridgette had cut up the bed-mat. She didn’t do anything…but soon afterwards Bridgette heard her talking evenly in the Giant language to Arl.

Later that night, during watch, Edward again felt tremendously hungry. He tried to deduce why…trying to record a bit of knowledge that would help…but each time he was distracted by the thought of food. During her watch, Kendra was so hungry that she grabbed Bridgette’s bag of salted elk meat and started to devour it. Bridgette immediately woke up and loudly demanded to know what was going on. This woke the entire group up. Kendra retreated, eagerly downing the salted elk meat, while Bridgette’s wolf (much to her surprise) started begging for food. Spazzlethrop and Edward (finally managing to push through the thoughts of food) simultaneously came to the realization that there was a magical compulsion to eat at work.

Realizing that the giants had likely put the enchantment on them, the group considered confronting them…but then decided to get a better idea of what was going on first. They slipped out of their room and cautiously started to explore. 

  • Kendra found an exit that led to a steep cliff face. In the distance she could see chunks of rock floating in the air and a castle perched on a massive floating boulder. Later, when Edward fell, she distracted Arl by asking him for food. Back in the dining room, she examined the Giant’s magical knife and asked about the floating rocks.
  • Spazzlethrop creeped through the shadowy halls and found Arl sitting by a large table. Later, when Arl left after hearing Edward fall, Spazzlethrop searched the room and found a giant toothpick with a human finger bone. He hurried back to warn the others that the giants ate humans…and possibly gnomes.
  • Bridgette used one of Edward’s alchemic sleeping potions to put her wolf to sleep – not trusting it while under magical compulsion – and then the two of them explored one of the nearby doorways. Edward tried to open the latch but fell from Bridgette’s shoulders with a crash. This almost ended in discovery by Arl but Kendra distracted him.

Bridgette and Edward opened the door just as Spazzlethrop returned to warn them that the giants ate people. Inside the room were an Orc and a “Fishperson” chained to the wall. Bridgette tried to communicate but didn’t share a language with either.

Edward had a terrible time picking the Orc’s manacles but finally managed to succeed. Freed, the Orc shoved Edward against a wall and stole his dagger before rushing out into the corridor. There was a crack in the wall that Bridgette managed to widen enough to slip through. Inside was a storage room with a pile of humanoid bones picked clean. Slipping back to where Edward was freeing the “fishperson”, she realized that they needed to escape and ventured out into the corridor to retrieve her wolf.

While hiding in the shadows, Spazzlethrop discovered a crack in the wall that a tiny person like him could just squeeze through. Investigating further he found that the foundation of the Giant’s hall had started to erode – Kendra was right about shoddy stonework – and that he could slip below into a gap in the foundation. Not wanting to leave the others he slipped back.

Kendra tried to keep Arl from investigating the noises but failed. On seeing the escaped Orc, Arl backhanded Bridgette (reducing her to negative hit points) and then rushed down the hall to crush the Orc to death with one hand. Hidden nearby, Spazzlethrop had a close up view of the Orc’s grisly demise and decided that leaving the others wasn’t a bad idea after all. He slipped back into the crack and then down into the foundation.

Arl strode back to the dining hall where Kendra was and she evaded by running under the table. While he had been gone Kendra had snatched up the Giant’s magical knife and taken a closer look around the area – this is when she identified a few spots where she could break through the shoddy stonework. 

Ennel stomped into the hall as Edward used a potion to heal Bridgette. She immediately hurried to retrieve her wolf. Edward tried to get the “fishperson” to come with him but it only gave him one of its scales and then wandered off into the storage room. Disappointed – Edward then joined Bridgette in the corridor only to see an irate Ennel heading their way.

The only avenue of flight left to Bridgette and Edward was the steep cliff face… They didn’t have time to consider the consequences of the 1,000 feet drop as they leaped off the edge as Ennel’s fingers closed on air behind them.

Kendra ran into the oven as Arl chased her – having identified the wall there was weak. Arl laughed that there was no rush, she’d be in the oven soon, but Kendra had the last laugh as she knocked out the corner of the oven and slipped into a crevice in the foundation of the Hall.

Sloan’s player had to bow out due to their infant having a rough night but, for continuity’s sake, the halfing had tagged along with Kendra and made his escape with her.

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