D&DU

The Mountain That Sees All

The group finds themselves in the inn at Kantaria, talking with the innkeeper about local lore. The innkeeper conveniently explains to them the long told legend of the giant in the mountains who awakens once a year at the end of summer to feed before hibernating another year. He also informs them that if they step outside, they will see the tallest mountain in the world. The group decides that these must be related and head to Mount Emihym, leaving the remainder of their crew at the inn and leaving Robert, who has mysteriously gone missing, to fend for himself. They take a 10 day trek up the lush green hills that build into the mountain until they reach a mountain pass that appears to run to Mount Emihym. They can see a small farm in the distance, working the fields just before the lands give way to rock, but decide not to visit and rest for the night before finishing their trek. They find the mountain pass dead ends into one of the peaks, but it looks queer. They reason that this wall is not natural and must have been made, but a huge boulder is hiding what could be the entrance. Jariff, without counsel, approaches the rock and attempts to move it. Upon his touch, the rock quivers and unfolds, rising into a giant that towers over Jariff and quickly strikes him down, unconscious, for waking him. At this, Aranox and Shae spring into action to help their friend. Shae makes her way to higher ground to get an advantage on the behemoth, while Aranox charges him with his great axe. He swing with all his might but has a misstep on a loose rock and slams his axe down to the ground. A second later he realizes he has beheaded the unconscious Jariff. Before he can fully absorb what has happened, the giant smacks him away and starts to move. Gundar, seeing Jariffs body, moves quickly to help his friend and tries to reattach his head under a protective spell. The moving giant is mounted by Shae, who has been waiting on a small cliff, but only for a brief moment as he shakes her off and she falls on Aranox. Decain sends a shocking blast of energy at the Giant to take his focus off his friends and it works all too well. The giant lurches toward him and launches him further and further from the protection of the party with each successive blow. Gundar realizes that his work with Jariff will not work and the chase begins. Decain scrambles on his little legs as quickly as possible toward the nearby farm they saw earlier, while the giant is close behind, and the rest of the party comes after them both. Shae tries to catch the beast and slice its legs and Gundar sends spectral hands at it in memory of Jariff but both fail to slow him. Decain eventually reaches the farm to find it, to his horror, outlined by trees adorned with long dead skeletons. He makes a quick decision to climb past the skeleton and into the tree to hide. The giant quickly catches up and begins to shake the tree out of the ground. At this, all the skeletons on all the trees awaken, their binds magically burning, and swarm the giant. As the rest of the party arrives, they begin to work together to slay the giant and the party breathes a sigh of relief, except Gundar. He focuses his power and obliterates all the skeletons that helped kill the giant, as well as some that were working the fields. The owner of the farm, who has been watching these events transpire, is outraged and begins demanding money from the group to replace his lost laborers. His name is Dalamir, and this is Dalamirs Friendly Farm, a farm tended by the dead and owned by a necromancer. The group eventually talks Dalamir into joining them on their mission to the cave for a portion of the loot. As Shae and Dalamir negotiate a price for the lost labor, Aranox and Gundar return to bury Jariffs body. they place his symbol of Aroden on top to mark the grave. Eventually the rest of the group, with Dalamir, catches up and Shae points out the entrance and writing that she noticed earlier when the giant awoke. Using Decain as a translator, they see it was a warning about the giants awakenings. After some conflict about whether they would keep Jariffs symbol or leave it with the body, and some about whether or not Dalamir could reanimate Jariff, the group heads into the cave, where Aranox has been looking around.They find a sundial missing all its numbers in the center of a large chamber with the entrance at 6 and passages at 3, 12, and 9. They also find a long, cryptic message written on the sundial and decide it must be some sort of prediction of their own adventure. They decide to enter the 9 tunnel and find even more riddles, with Shae being nearly impaled by falling stalactites and full sickened by noxious fumes. Finally they get to a magically dark passage that appears to contain the 9 from the sundial and enter, only to have half the party be frightened of the darkness and run out. In the end, Aranox gets the 9 and they do a bit of scouting before heading back down. They then decide to take the 3 tunnel and find it swelteringly hot, but not so dangerous. At the end of this chamber, they fins a depression in the wall, 6 inches deep and the shape of a left hand. Decain volunteers to insert his hand without fear, and quickly finds himself missing that hand. A stone 3 appears on the wall. With some quick thinking, Shae and Gundar are able to retrieve, and reattach, Decains hand but it is retains no function. The group then heads back down to the 12 passage, where the message leads them to believe they will have safe rest. The sleep and, upon awakening, try to figure out the rest of the riddle and how they will retrieve the 12 and 6 pieces of the sundial. They have already lost a comrade, and one of them has lost a hand, how much further can they go in this death maze? And what will they find at the end? Their riddle implies it will not be good.

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