The Ransom of Princess Teh – A giant in the clouds
The Despair left Shandizar and headed towards the White Orc land. As they flew one of the crew noticed a stationary cloud above them. Vixia shouted to the crew to get ready and made for the cloud. As the ship came above the cloud the crew saw a large keep sitting on it. The keep was owned by a giant and looked like the centre of it was covered by a roof. There was only one entrance to the keep - two large doors with a bank of flattened cloud in front of it. Vixia picked her scavengers to tackle this problem Gul, Kalan, Zaen, Joruus, Nsaar, and Balrog. Birz was to stay on board for this one.
As the crew left the ship Kalan and the rest looked nervously at the cloud under their feet. The ship had bumped into something but they were all expecting to step down and disappear through the cloud. Instead the cloud lay thick around them and came up to their knees, their feet were on something solid. They carefully made their way towards the doors – keeping feather fall on the tip of their tongues. They turned to see the Despair pull away from the cloud.
The crew realised that the doors were locked and barred from the inside and would need a knock spell to open it. Kalan took out his rope and grappling hook and climbed up to the ramparts. After checking around the top he could find no way in. The roof was solid and all of the windows and doors on the four towers of the keep were sealed. He climbed back down and rejoined the party. He prepared himself and cast the knock spell.
As the doors swung open they could see a massive corridor guarded by 3 hell hounds. “Oh great” thought Kalan “fire breathing dogs”. He cast magic missile on the nearest and waited to charge. Some tried to cast sleep but the spell had no affect. A few tried poisoned darts but they did not take. Kalan struck the lead hellhound a serious wound then moved on to the next. He hoped the newbie’s would gain some sought after experience killing it off. Nsaar proved himself and managed two of the hell hounds. Kalan managed to get himself burned a few too many times by the Hellhounds – had to cast heal wounds to get back up to strength. As the last one was killed Gul started to cut out the dogs tongues – each to their own thought Kalan.
The next set of doors were also barred and this time Gul cast the knock spell. As the doors opened they were met with an old crow man and two rather ugly female ogres. The crow man spoke to them saying “The master will be most upset at the death of his pets. Should you kill him though we will be free.” Just as the Drow were considering this they felt the cloud they were standing on lurch. Something big has just arrived. The crow man said again “Kill him and free us then I will show you all of the treasures.”
The Drow turned with their backs to the crow man and the ogres and prepared to defend themselves. They heard the giant wail as he found his dead pets. The giant filled the doorway and glared at the Drow “You will die horribly for killing my pets” he roared. Kalan thought of using his newly learned fire blast spell but wasn’t sure if the confines of the hall were too close – Gul seemed to be considering his new lightening bolt spell but was too hesitant as well.
The giant charged and the Drow fired their vipers, which struck but the poison had no affect. The Drow pulled back and Kalan tried to get to the rear and at least flank the giant. We’ll let’s see if the giant killer works, thought Kalan. The giant struck first and with one sweep flattened Balrog to a bloody pulp. Kalan struck back and cleaved into the giants side like it was made of butter – a huge gout of blood poured out. The giant roared in pain and turned on Kalan – the rest of the crew pulled back to shoot at it. The giant struck Kalan and seriously wounded him – he knew another hit and he would be as dead as Balrog. Kalan pulled out his last reserves and struck the giant with all of the strength he had left. This time the sword bit through the giant’s chest and into his heart. As the giant fell - Kalan sagged back in relief, that was just too close. Nsaar whooped and shouted they should sever the head and mount it on the bow of the ship – Gul calmed his enthusiasm and instead they turned to the crow man.
The crew helped themselves to a good sum of the gold each – Kalan getting some of Nsaar’s share as he had cast heal wounds on him earlier to stop him dying from Hellhound bites. They left some gold and over 60000 silver pieces for the captain and House Kobra. The crow man also had hundreds of books – he was an alchemist of sorts. Kalan cast detect magic and picked out the only magical book on How to increase you Intelligence.
As they approached the Despair the crow man made towards the captain and she and Birz disappeared back into the castle. She came out with another two chests saying “the captains share”. It was decided to delay the ransom at this time and get the crew healed and return the crow man and ogres to be set up in the House of clan Kobra. The crow man was given a section of the laboratory for his research and his books.