Many thanks go out to Curt and Gameplus folks for their hosting the Gameday, Buzz for organizing and Suzi, Mark, James and William for playing in the game.
In to the Forge!
Amidst jokes about Giant Roosters and discussions of Jennifer Connely's "Attributes" we did get some gaming done. Unfortunately, we had to cut it short but we did get tot he Giant King. So, it all starts with the Optio (Played by James), Viritrixa (played by Suzi), Vingo the Red aka Lingus the Red (Played by the cunning Mark), and Cammius (played by William) returning to the Villa Bato and promptly receiving a runner, Brom a plebe from the village of Timeria. He tells a tale of attacking giants and the brave defense the villagers are mounting, however he fears for those he left behind and begs the Optio to bring his men to save them. No sooner had these words left Brom's mouth then Dectus Bato forbids the Optio to leave the Villa undefended. Storming out, his final words are a reminder to the Optio not do disobey him. As soon as he is gone, Elian Bato explains how she will aid both Brom and the Optio by showing them a means to escape the Villa undetected and sets he servants to impersonate them. Impressed, the party forms up and heads out.
They travel quickly and come to the ford over the Lir Fluvius. Deciding to risk the paths through the Collis Ogrum or Hills of the Ogre. The ferry, unfortunately, is still moored at the other side. This is strange since Brom used it to cross and tied it to the north shore, the side the party was now on. It is discussed and Brom, whimpering, is sent to recover the ferry. No sooner has he crossed then a giant pile of animated garbage leaps out from the tree line and charges down, leaping to the ferry as it pulls away from the shore. Brom panics and does his best at dodging and avoiding the foul smelling foe. He leaps to the river and swoms to the other side emerging ahead of the monster. The party fires arrows and spears into the beast but too no avail. As it clears the shore, they engage in mele. Bravely stepping to the fore, Vingo causes the Sword of Lugh to glow attracting the ire of the heap. Trixie, her great Axe in hand, with the Optio deal a series of devastating blows eventually exposing a goblin who seems to be controlling this garbage suit in an attempt to destroy the party. During this exchange, Vingo has nearly been disintegrated by the foul breath of the artifact and Cammius has had the idea of being thrown at the garbage heap in order to deliver a devastating spell. However, Trixie thinks the idea lacks merit or perhaps is insane. Regardless, the goblin is quickly dispatched once he is discovered.
Pressing on, the party crosses after discovering a wine skin on the goblin marked with the goddess Maedb, a Cletic goddess of battle and war. Surel Vingo thinks, this is an ill omen. Once into the hills, the Optio eyes their path moving up into the hills and through a draw that would be an excellent site for an ambush. Vingo, using his Druidic powers, scryes the pass from above seeing several goblins set to trap the party. He uses his powers further to create illusions of the party marching into the draw. This works, springing the trap and drawing the goblins down into the draw. The Optio wisely chooses to avoid an unnecessary fight and press onto Timeria.
Once in Timeria, an empty village greets the party. A search uncovers some 30 dead villagers and two dead giants. Little else is found until Elian and Vingo are attacked by three goblins. Vingo charms two and has them overpower the third. They return to the Optio and question those charmed. The Optio takes the uncharmed one off to be questioned separately. While Vingo asks them to tell him who they work for, the goblin explodes killing himself and his friend and damaging Vingo's armor. Vingo goes out just in time to get another face full of goblin bomb when the Optio tells him of Brom. Before their destruction, the charmed goblins had told Vingo that they had been sent to kill Brom on his return. Cammius, using the spirit points of the dead giants, heals everyone up and repairs their armor with a mend spell.
They decide to spend the day (they had traveled through the night) resting and recovering at the guard tower on the edge of the river and village. Towards evening, Viritixa is on guard and notices the river is glowing. She awakes Vingo who shouts something about big cocks but rushes to the river side where he identifies the souls of the missing 400 villagers. A trick of the fae is to take the souls of a mortal, trap them at the bottom of a river or lake then use the body as a tool for thier evil. Some discussion goes on with how to proceed but then they decide to proceed with a rescue attempt on Pencawr, the Hall of the Giants. Brom, as the son of a silver smith, had been there many times and draws the party a map.
Using the villagers horses, the party arrives in the dead of the night to see Giant Chickens guarding the front entrance. Brom had warned them that the giants use them as a type of guard dog or alarm system. Vingo, using the Fae aspect of his powers, steals all the chickens clucks. Thus quieted, Elian is able to disable the alarms and open the lock on the front door. Vingo scryes and sees the guards are passed out in their drink as are the king and his two guards in the next room. Moving with stealth, they lock the guards out of the audience hall and prepare a daring plan to kill the guards and steal the king's magic key to open the door to the mines. Elian climbs the sleeping king whil Trixie stands ready with a magic axe she gained from a dead giant at the village. Vingo hides under the throne and stands ready to cut the hamstring of the king while Cammius and the Optio slit the throats of the sleeping guards. As Elian makes off with the key to open the door behind the throne, the king awakens kicking out and causing Vingo to miss. The gaze of the king strikes fear into the heart of the Optio but Trixie is protected by her axe and Cammius resists. Dealing a blow to his leg, Vingo reveals his position but not before a mighty blow from Trixie. The king enraged, strikes out at Trixie. Cammius, resisting his fear, leaps into the mix dealing a formidable blow to the king's leg already wounded by Trixie and Vingo. Vingo and Trixie deal a final disaterous attack that lays the king low.
This is where we had to break.
I want to thank everyone who played especially for the new Karma mechanic they thought up right during play. Simply, it allows an attacker to spend 1 karma to add one die of damage. This is damage above and beyond the normal damage of the weapon and does not carry any of the normal pluses to damage that the weapon would deal in a normal attack. This allowed Trixie to deal over double normal damage to the kings leg as well as allowing Cammius to similarly deal more damage than normal. This has given me a lot to think about in terms of karma and I will be expanding it a bit to reflect this new direction.
Thanks again Mark, James, William and Suzi.