Amaria

Session 10 & 11 - Tomb of the Giants

Or - The Shadow of Genocide

tomb_of_the_giants.jpg

- The party descended into the catacombs below Icehold. The architecture of the entire structure indicated that it was built by and for the giants that called Icehold home prior to its occupation by its current Vishmael occupants. The first floor consisted of a great hall containing a massive memorial statue honoring an ancient giant king.

- Beyond the great hall, the party discovered a smaller chamber with stone mosaics on the walls. The mosaics told the story of the giant king finding a powerful pyramid shaped stone, which granted him power and helped him build Icehold. The next scene showed the giants prospering in Icehold. Next was the Vishmael sacking of the city and the death of the King. The final mosaic showed the king being buried with the pyramid. The center of the chamber contained a giant hole into a dark abyss.

- Climbing down a rope into the hole, the party landed on top of a massive pile of giant bones of varying sizes. The chamber was large enough that the party could not see the sides of the chamber with their torches, but they could hear weeping coming from the darkness. They guessed that the bones were likely the end result of a genocide committed by the Vishmael when they sacked the city and killed all of the giants, tossing their bodies down into this hole. In the distance, the party heard the faint sound of picks and hammers and a faint light. Upon closer inspection, they discovered a crew of animated skeletons on scaffolding near a tunnel entrance, slowly using the bones from the center of the chamber to tile the chamber’s outer walls. The skeletons stopped working and stared at them as they passed, but did not otherwise interfere.

- Next the party entered a burial vault. Although there was a sarcophagus for the Giant King, there was no body inside. There were, however, several trapped chests, including a mimic, which proceeded to wander down the hall with Red Daffel stuck to its maw until the party burned it down. The party found several treasures, including a wand shaped out of a giant’s finger bone and a staff with three female heads carved out of bone.

- The party next proceeded down another tunnel which lead to a small dock at the edge of an underground lake. Here, they met Gaywin, a bard who had been teleported into the tomb after upsetting a powerful wizard. He was engaged in conversation with a hooded ferryman. The group convinced the ferryman to take them across the lake, but the ferryman refused to tell them the cost until they had departed. Once they embarked, the dark water changed to an ethereal abyss of twisting spirits beneath the boat. Closer inspection of the ferryman revealed that he was a massive hunched skeletal bird with a long neck. He told the party that his people had once ruled the northern peaks, but had been enslaved and/or killed by the Giants. He told the party that the Necromancer, a powerful Giant mage, had taken up residence in these tombs, and had enslaved the ferryman by using one of his feathers as his phylactery. He requested that the party locate it and bring it back to him so he could be released from his eternal servitude.

- Upon reaching the far bank of the “lake”, the party found themselves in a natural cavern with icy permafrost walls. They were quickly spotted by a floating sentry “eyeball” and chased it further down into the tunnels to find a small series of rooms dug into the cavern. Here, they discovered a laboratory/library full of research notes into anatomy and necromantic magic. They also located the phylactery. A journal in a room used by workers indicated that the Necromancer was a trusted adviser of the Giant King who had retreated into the crypts below to preserve the King’s body and discover a way to revive him. Unfortunately, the Necromancer was sealed in by the Vishmael and was forced to turn to necromancy to keep his work going since his men would die anyway. The journal indicated that the Necromancer was keeping the King’s body preserved in a deeper cavern, waiting for a chance to escape before reviving him.

- The party entered the main cavern housing the King’s body and defeated the Necromancer and his skeletal guards (who attacked them on sight). Near defeat, the necromancer begged the party to let him finish his work and restore the King to lead the Giants. The party refused and killed the Necromancer. They took the pyramid and the King’s Crown from his body and left it there in the caverns.

- Upon returning to the ferry, they gave the ferryman his feather. He thanked them, then turned into a pile of dust. The abyss of souls surrounding the boat disappeared and the party found themselves sitting on a rotted boat in the middle of a dry chamber.

- Upon finding their way out of the crypts and back into the Vishmael palace’s basement, the party discovered several dead Vishmael guards. Outside the throne room, they found a group of monstrous humanoid mercenaries lead by the same creature that attacked them outside the forest ruins (see episode 2-3). He told them he had been sent by Duke Moorfell to collect the two pyramids from them and offered them safe passage if they turned them over. He also demonstrated that he had captured the Vishmael queen and would order her executed if they failed to comply.

(cue cliffhanger)

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