The group that I played in consisted of a human Cavalier; played by myself, a dwarven Hunter, and a dwarven Slayer. For months our PCs and their companions have been set on a counter campaign to dismantle the insidious infrastructure of a cabal of giant warlords. From the Hill Giant Chieftess in the south, to the Stone General in the west. My party became heroes of the realm. This army of giants were united totally under the banner of one known as the Storm Tyrant. Whose sole goal was to make all the smaller races bow before him. We had done so much and had gotten so far, since killing Hill Giants. By this time we even had our own fortress! Usurped from the Hill Chieftess herself!
We exposed their plots to the Dwarven Empire and saved its king
Stopped this group from unleashing a new plague upon the land
Slew the Frost Giant Queen who held the northern fortress
Along the way making new allies, including a young red dragon named Alecor. Who informed us that the Storm Tyrant had killed his family and secured a orb of red dragonkind.
Finally we returned home and prepared for the journey east, deep into the Tolgoth Mountains. We were destined for Mt. Vulcahar where a Giant Encampment was stationed to protect the flaming regents inside, generals of the Storm Tyrant. Our mission was to kill the fire giant lords, find out what was inside Mt. Vulcahar and put a stop to it. I have to say this was one of the best sessions of the one the best campaigns I had ever played.
Those who came with us was Alecor a young red dragon, Mikael the half elven cleric of nature, and Nadia who was a half Catfolk/half Aasimar warpriest who during our adventures we found out that she was the child of Calistria the Goddess of lust and revenge. I was playing my cavalier Lanius Blackwall who road his horse Slackjaw. My uncle played a dwarven hunter with a pet snow leopard, and my father played Cinder Red Beard, the dwarven slayer. To give reference my father and uncle’s characters were apart of the same clan until it was attacked by a group of Fire Giants when they were children. The raids not only killed hundreds of dwarves but also took half of Cinder’s face. Forever burned physically and traumatized mentally by the horrors of war.
We approached Mt. Vulcahar to see a ghastly sight. The mountain, a once dormant volcano, was now active and writing with lava and smoke. Mikael said it could blow any day now but what worried us more was the great metal ring above the caldera. Nadia was able to see the arcane runes and informed us of it being a great ring of teleportation. Since their plans to unleash a plague were thwarted by us, they decided to use the volcano's eruption to teleport the uproar of flaming magma to some capital city. Killing millions and weakening the human empires and kingdoms nearby for an invasion. As we drew closer the hunter pulled out an artifact of great power, an earthbreaker hammer of Ice and Wind. This little baby we picked up from a bloodrager half white dragon half stone giant who worshipped the Lord of Ravens. Even wielding this weapon in a normal temperature area would it inflict 2d8 points of frost to its user. But all we got was a cool breeze as we were nearing 400 degree heat. Our plan was to use this weapon of mass destruction to slaughter the fire generals inside!
Lowering down to the ridge we found the corpse of a dead fire giant alchemist, a previous enemy of ours who after reading his journal we found out had went against the Storm Tyrant and paid the price. We found the mountain to be guarded not just by giants but two bronze bull constructs which irradiate the air around them. Burning so hot even fire giants get hurt! With a greater invisibility, massive fire resistance, and the hammer of Ice and Wind, we were able to sneak inside the mountain. There we learned that Mt. Vulcahar’s magma was being used as a massive foundry to make dozens more of these bronze bulls. Anyone caught in its radius would feel like they were in a microwave, the water under their skin boiling.
Cinder irritated and angered helped us sabotage the automated foundry process. Ensuring no more burning bulls would be made while the finish projects were destroyed when with a high strength roll when we tipped over a bessemer furnace and watched as the molten metal liquified magical items costing in the tens of thousands! “Now that’s the way to do a Brazen Bull!” Cinder said laughing as he twirled his axe of dwarvish lords in the air, a gift from the Dwarven King.
We found what we thought were the fire giant generals, three of them angry and full of hatred attacked us as we pulled open a vault door… They laughed at us with flaming red skin and claws! One unfurled its wings and began to fly! I was enlarged and jumped on its back so hr couldn’t get away or rather she, who was rabid! Screaming in giant speech many profanities while Cinder and Nadia used chained crossbow bolts to pull her down as our Hunter’s snow leopard tore her up till he came in bringing the hammer of Ice and Wind down on her head. We thought we won! But then Alecor the Red Dragon and Mikael the Druid pointed out how the Storm Tyrant was all about blood purity while these…These were Fire Giants with Red Dragon’s blood. The original rulers of the mountains before the Storm Tyrant came and took over their lands! It was then from behind us we heard an evil dark laugh, one that apparently plagued Cinder’s dreams and night terrors ever since he escaped the fires of his youth. We turned around to see a large fire giant so old he had silver wisps within his beard. It was there that all the anger and the fury came flooding back as Cinder charged at him with no regard. He rushed trying to kill him only to watch as he slammed down a lever and a dumbwaiter system brought him up to the highest peak of Mt. Vulcahar.
He sounded the alarm and we fought through halls filled with giants. Fire, Stone, Hill, it did not matter….Cinder slayed more than others using his cloak of etherealness the best he could but reserving it for the man who burned his face. They must have known that we were coming as soon as we stepped past the bridge into the Caldera, the catwalk was surrounded in an antimagic field. Mikael and Nadia could do nothing and held back hoping to find a way to shut off the device. The hunter brandished the artifact and we began walking across the metal bridge.
“Do you remember me?” He spoke in the dark tone blended in with the ash and smoke that rose from the volcano. “I remember you… How much I broke you like I broke your parents bodies and threw them on the fire! How I left that ugly burn, my handprint on your face to remind you, you would always be nothing!” From the overwhelming cascade of black smaug he appeared the infamous fire giant general who lead the genocide of multiple dwarven clans. Who branded Cinder’s face. “No matter what happens here remember…THAT YOU ARE NOTHING!” With tremendous and unnatural speed the fierce giant jumped the gap between catwalks rocking the fragile structure which lies above the bubbling sea of lava within the caldera of the volcano.
Suddenly the catwalk bridge I was on gave out as the Fire Giant's blade cuts through the metal joints like butter. The DM asked me to make an acrobatics check. Sadly, I rolled a total of five. I watched in horror as my character the Cavalier Lanius could not jump in time and began to fall into the rising magma. This was my end…
Suddenly I was caught in the claws of a great winged beast, it was Alecor! He dropped me onto a stable piece of the catwalk as his wing beats moved the smoke like the winds of a hurricane revealing the flaming general ready to strike Cinder down.
No longer flat footed Cinder was able to evade the attack, even more so my father wanted to make a point. With force and determination my father had rolled an acrobatics of a natural 20, now he was climbing under the catwalk. As my character, the hunter and his snow leopard closed off the Fire Giant’s exits and prepared for the final showdown. The Hunter passed me the Hammer of Ice and Wind as we all collided to slay this general of genocide. It was the fire giant's turn, he tried to charge at the snow leopard. Hoping his strength and weight could push the animal companion into the lava and give him a fighting chance.
My father smiled as he looked to the DM. “Wouldn’t I roll an attack of opportunity?” He asked his tone holding back the insidious laughter he wanted to add. A look of confusion and then surprise came from the DM’s face. The catwalk had holes in it. Small slits which allowed the smoke to rise which allowed the fire giant to conceal himself previoiusly. My dad rolled and we all watched as it landed on a natural 20, rolling again and confirming the critical hit with a 19. The general screamed in pain as his premature charge was halted by a shortsword that skewered his foot from below.
My father’s character was hanging onto dear life, his enemy on one side of the catwalk and a bubbling heap of lava at the other. “You ruined my life!” Cinder screamed out as the leopard began to tear into the Fire Giant’s forearm while the hunter cleaved him from behind with an axe. I took a chance to charge him and rolled the die. Landing a critical hit. The hammer destroyed his leg and crushed his knee cap. The cracking sound though sickening was a sweet song of vengeance to the dwarves ears. Cinder rose up from the catwalk as this once flaming behemoth now lied crippled before him.
“Now I’m taking yours!" Cinder's shortsword and axe of dwarvish lords crossed around the titanic brute's thick neck. In a cry of wrath and fury, the general's head was lopped off and we took great joy in throwing his lifeless body off the catwalk. Moments later, the anti-magic barrier finally came down. I smiled, taking in the night sky and pulling a try tie to get the full effect of a cure moderate wounds. Then suddenly, the entire mountain shook! We looked down to see the magma pulsating and rising with great alarm. Vulcahar was erupting! The barrier was not installed to halt our magical items but to keep whatever infernal powers form allowing this volcano to blow.
I picked up the artifact hammer once more and threw it down into the caldera. Praying that the magic of ancient dead winter gods would save us all from catastrophe. We watched astonished as the mighty earthbreaker was devoured by the magma and not a second later saw the rapid cooling turn the flaming pyres of Mt. Vulcahar into glass. We climbed down that mountain as champions and leaders of a new world…
For this was the day when the Storm Tyrant finally understood that any man, no matter how big or small could
MAKE OR BREAK A NATION…
Knowing very well that we were on our way to pay HIM A VISIT!