At first, most of the party thought the battle was over. The giant behind the wall of stone was taking way too long to break out, so Altei gave up and walked back up the cliff to rejoin Phoof, while Kaito tried punching a hole in it with his admantine rapier so that he could see what was going on inside, at least. Before he managed to punch through, the pounding turned to screaming, and then to an eerie silence...
Inside were some of the not-undead they'd fought in the temple before, which was strange since they'd killed the demon-priestess who'd been summoning them before. Maybe it would be a good idea to go back in and check it out? Kaito tried to brandish his Amulet of the Seven (which he was still wearing because it was useful, even if it was a symbol of the cult they were fighting) and order them to report, but all they did was hiss and try to reach through the peephole to claw at him. Useless underlings!
Meanwhile, June was doing a quick circuit of the town with his fly spell, looking for more giants. He didn't see any, but eventually came down to investigate the town's oracle who was standing over a giant pile of ash. The oracle did a divination, and told him that there were still a few giants in town, and most of them were to the south, with the wealthy.
So he headed south, and eventually saw some giants menacing one of the major estates -- they'd killed the guards and had most of the artwork and treasure piled up in a pair of wagons. Not wanting a repeat of the last battle, he fireballed two of them and then hid in some trees, sneakily acid-arrowing the wagons so that the giants wouldn't be able to haul them off.
Just as one of the giants spotted him, Phoof appeared with Kaito and Altei through a dimension door -- she'd put up a message spell and was able to hear June's reports on the battle. With their support the remaining giants were quickly dispatched and the mansion saved, but they only had a little time to loot the carts of treasure and/or blackmail material before the survivors emerged to reclaim their property.
Survivor: *sees that the desk with blackmail material in it has been fiddled with* "Did you mess with those carts?"
Kaito: *lying* "No."
Survivor: "Well... thank you for saving us. Here's 1000 gold as a reward."
Kaito: "Oh! That's so generous. You know, it's a good thing that you're so generous. Bad things happen to people who aren't generous lately."
Survivor: *giant sweatdrop* "What do you mean?"
Kaito: *launches into the story of the cult collecting greedy souls in Magnimar and Turtleback Ferry*
June, who was the one who'd actually found the blackmail material, mentioned it to Kaito later on in an oblique way. Kaito felt that blackmail was too much work since the blackmail-ee would certainly work to get out from under your thumb. "But it would be funny to spread the information around as a rumor."
Eventually, they got around to wondering where Elyssie had gotten off to, and after hours of searching managed to find her unconscious in the woods -- she'd chased after the giant kidnappers, and had caught up to one and punched him a lot as he tried to run away until he panicked and swung back at her, tossing her into the trees and knocking her out.
Then she'd dreamed that she'd won the fight and recruited all the giants to be her personal army, so waking up with only her old, useless companions around was kind of disorienting.
At any rate, the giants had gotten away with some prisoners and that couldn't be allowed to stand. Phoof had charmed and interrogated a wounded giant in an alleyway before poofing down to the wealthy area, and had some idea where they might be heading? But also, it seemed likely that the giants had already extracted the information they wanted from Sandpoint the day before the fight -- the entire attack was a stupid idea by the leader of the scouting force and wasn't supposed to have happened.
The real attack would come later, once their new ancient lord was at full power -- hundreds of giants from all the clans, with new weapons forged by their ogre and troll slaves.
Ash, after cutting off the dragon's head and mounting it on the Snarrot, talked to the keeper of the ruined lighthouse about what secret thing the giants might have been after, and he had some idea -- but the thing was huge and not portable, so it was probably still there. Maybe they should check?
Maybe they should have. What they did instead was rest the night, replenish their supplies, and then chase after the kidnappers with some of the town guard, to try to rescue the missing citizens.
The chase didn't go so well -- giants were faster than humans, and also tougher and able to force march for multiple days straight. When it started to get too dark to track, they tried to send up arial scouts to zoom ahead and spot them at least, but they didn't have any luck. Eventually, they gave up on trying to catch up by pushing themselves and took a short rest for Shalalu to meditate (they didn't want a fatigued tracker) before reaquiring the trail and following them the slow way.
prev | next