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Warwick/Cassian Summary: "The Only Good Fire Giant ..." (Fire Giant Citadel Part One)

Prologue: 5-21-2184, near Hoch Och, Cromwell.

After tracking the missing Windsock for 5 months, Warwick and a band of
mighty heroes confront a powerful being known only as "the peddler". This
disguised rakshasa had been wreaking great evil for centuries, and was
barely driven away from Cromwell but not killed. Recovered from the
peddler's wares were the Windsock and a number of other legendary artifacts.
The most bizarre of these artifacts was the Amulet of the Fates, which
allowed the possessor to control the course of the short-term past and
future. The aged Ranger Marriat received the Amulet in return for his
contribution to the quest, and with this magic he began to plan a mortal
blow against the Fire Giants ...

Present: 7-21-2195, Mt. Plur, Capitol of the Northern Fiefdom of Fire

Marriat's plan begins. Departing from the Phaulkonian/birdman sanctuary
known as the Celestial Sphere, a band of heroes speeds toward the center of
the Northern Fiefdom. At the helm of a mysterious Cromwellian flying
vessel, the High Illusionist Al Hoch shrouds the strike force within a veil
of illusion. Marriat is the de facto leader of the party, although his
cooperative Korian nature ensures that all party decisions will be
consensus-driven. As the central figure of the team, Marriat is the only
member with the experience to properly use the Amulet of the Fates. The
muscle in the party comes from two extremes. First, the 18-foot Phaulkonian
giant Branard wields a massive Sword of Sharpness and wears a fantastic suit
of Land Dragon armor. He is matched in strength and deadliness by the
4-foot Shabrundian champion Lupent, who is renowned for his one-on-one
battle against the Tangg Lord. Mordick, High Lordly Chiseler of Shabrund,
serves as the team's most potent stealth weapon. Critical spell power and
spiritual guidance flows from Cassian, High Priestess of Phaulkon. Warwick
complements the team with his tracking abilities, hatred of evil giants, and
his holy Korian bow.

To understand what happens next, a brief explanation of the Amulet is
necessary. The Amulet is actually comprised of three statues, each
representing one of the true Fates. Although Marriat called them by their
true names, Warwick refers to them as "Preview, Test, and Oops." Breaking
Preview and reciting the proper incantation allows the user and his
companions to experience a full hour of time, and then return back to the
start of the hour. Activating Test allows the party to experience the next
5-minute block twice, and then choose which path they prefer. Activating
Oops erases the events of the last twenty minutes. For each of these
effects, the entire designated party remains aware of ALL of the variant
timelines. The vastness of this power is unfathomable, as apparently even
deities are unaware of the events that occurred but were "overwritten".

The party agreed to use Preview as soon as they arrived at Mt. Plur. They
would then descend into heart of the citadel while trying to avoid
detection. At best, they would locate key objectives and engage them to
determine their responses and defenses. At worst, they would flail around
and try to determine as much as possible about the citadel layout. The
actual sequence of events was somewhere between those extreme scenarios.


Invisible, silent, and scent-masked, they land on a balcony guarded by 2
bored giants. Shielded by illusions, they easily slip past the sentries.
However, their success is short lived, as 3 giants "bump" into the party's
globe of silence. A quick but bloody battle left the giants dead with no
alarm sounded. Still, gallons of blood stained a main corridor. They
restored their Invisibility and moved on.

Feeling pressured to make the most of the remaining Preview hour, Cassian
cast True Sight. Then, the heroes started working down ramps and
passageways, targeting the lower levels of the complex. They were unwilling
to open any doors for fear of setting off an alarm, so they dropped further
and further into the citadel. They "Crypt of the Kings" but decided to
continue toward the more central objectives. After about 45 minutes, they
found a heavily-glyphed door guarded by 3 giants and 2 fire hounds.
Obviously, this was important.

One charge from a Wand of Ice Storms and 3 minutes later, the guards had
been dropped without an alarm. Then Dispel Magic x 3 and a single tone from
a Chime of Opening gained the heroes entry into the ... Alchemical and Magic
Workshop! Two humans and a beardless blue dwarf were quite surprised to see
the invaders, but were quick enough to quickly gain their composure.
Cassian's True Sight indicated that the blue dwarf had no special equipment,
but the humans were extremely well-equipped. The first human, apparently a
robed magic-user, quickly cowered under equipment and started blending in
like a chameleon. The second, a thief wearing sharpskin armor, sprinkled
Dust of Disappearance and only Cassian could perceive him. A gargoyle began
to descend from the ceiling to carry the dwarf away.

Lupent and Mordrick charged, Marriat, Cassian, and Warwick fired at the
fading mage, and Branard began closing the door to prevent escape. The
enemies quickly disappeared and/or moved out of range, frustrating the
initial attack. The gargoyle and mage passed overhead, firing a poison dart
into Warwick. (The entire party had Slow Poison in effect, which would last
for the entire mission.) Cassian could see the thief stalking Warwick, but
he was unable to dodge the back-stab. Warwick was ripped apart and fell
instantly (100+ points of damage). Meanwhile, Mordrick finally located the
mage and gave his own mortal back-stab.

Realizing the danger posed by the invisible super-their, Branard activated
the True Sight power of his helmet, and began advancing. With the lab door
still open, the gargoyle/dwarf combo flew out the door, screaming for help.
Cassian downed them with an Ice Storm, while Branard shredded the hapless
thief. Then, Cassian tried to repair Warwick w/ a Raise Dead, but he came
back as a zero-level, nearly crippled wreck. He downed a Potion of
Super-Heroism and instantly became 8th level! (Yes, our heroes are spending
some magic.) A quick inspection showed that there were bits of flesh
floating around in vats of chemicals - they had found the cloning facility
for Obmi! As a test, the party Ice Stormed and Fire Balled the Lab as they
left, leaving behind clouds of poison fumes issuing from the ruined

With only a few minutes left in the Preview hour, the party split up and
began a very random exploration of the lower level. General chaos ensued,
as various members found the lava smithy, a prison, and a horde of trolls.

Then, the party was back above the balcony. Time had never passed.


With prescience, the heroes slipped by the guards, avoided the corridor
encounter with the strolling giants, and they reached the Lab area within 15
minutes. Just like before, the guards were dropped immediately, with one of
the fire giants decapitated by Branard's Sword of Sharpness. Blood was
mopped, while Branard and Lupent propped up the guards in a lazy slouch.

Branard activated his True Sight, to inform Cassian when the entrance was
cleared. The Lab door was Dispelled, removing the glyphs and magic locks
without having to invoke the Chime. Since the party knew the location of
the hapless Lab goons, the entire party got targeted, point-blank shots.
All three enemies were slain and stripped within 3 minutes. Branard
proceeded toward the back of the lab, to inspect two human-sized doors that
adjoined the lab. Behind them lay a wizard's personal quarters, a
storeroom, and a secret room that contained multiple sets of back-up gear
for Obmi clones. One tone from the Chime had been required to break into
the room.

Within minutes, the party secured Obmi's gear, a set of six spell books, and
a library of books describing cloning techniques. It took a while to stuff
all of the non-magical items and humanoid corpses (for later interrogation)
into Lupent's Portable Hole, while Branard shouldered a bag of magic gear
and giant heads (to prevent Raise Dead). Once all of the portable treasure
was removed, the laboratory was blasted by two Ice Storms and a Fireball.
Branard slammed the door shut as the room filled with noxious gas.

The heroes each sipped an Invisibility potion and returned to exploration.
They avoided the chambers on the lower level, and proceeded back up to the
"main" level. They reached a four-way intersection guarded by a 2-headed
ettin, and they were forced to deal with the sentry because all of the other
corridors had been explored. A back-stab from Mordrick downed the monster,
and they quickly threw him into an alcove.

Once past the ettin, the entrance to the temple complex could be seen.
Destroying the clerical power of the giants was a very high priority, to
prevent future Raise Dead's and Healing for the citadel forces. Fearing the
wrath of the High Priest, the party prepared with Flame Walk, and Cassian
invoked True Sight. They entered the temple. Since it was still early in
the morning, the temple proper was completely deserted, and the only magic
within sight was a Glyphed altar. A side door had guardian Glyphs, so the
party approached and Dispelled them. The party burst through the door, and
3 priests died before they could launch a counterstrike.

Unfortunately, the dead priests were lower-ranked; the High Priest was still
alive. A quick sweep of the living quarters yielded some gold, and the
priests were (of course) beheaded. Still under the auspices of True Sight,
Cassian led the team back to the temple, where they found a tapestry which
concealed a side chamber, with another Glyph on the floor in front of it.
Mordrick passed the Glyph by climbing the wall around it, and then he lurked
into the chamber. As expected the room was occupied by the High Priest and
a pet fire hound, neither of whom detected the uber-concealed dwarf.

Again, Mordrick's backstab was incredible. But, the Priest clung to life
and began reading a scroll. The hound breathed fire on the now-visible
Mordrick, but he was nearly invulnerable to the effect. Mordrick struck a
final, killing blow before the Priest could react. The hound was struck and
fell, bleeding. Mordrick dragged the unfortunate dog to the Glyph, and the
hound was obliterated by Death Magic. The scroll library was located and
destroyed, and the Priest was looted and beheaded.

The party had destroyed the Lab and the High Priest within an hour of
landing. Two objectives had been completed.

While the True Sight was still in effect, Cassian searched the remainder of
the temple complex and found an ultra-secure secret door. A quick Augury
implied that it was a direct path, but was not clear whether that was a good
or bad thing. The chime was rung 4 times and the passageway opened ...
beyond was complete darkness. The passage began to close, and the party
pulled back to keep from being trapped or split apart. Perhaps it led to
the King's quarters, or the Treasury?

The True Sight expired, and the party considered its next objective. They
decided to destroy the Smithy and Armory, as they wanted to cripple the
citadel's ability to recover from the assault. They retraced the path
downstairs, sipped more Invisibility potions, and burst into the forge room.
An opening ice storm and missile fire quickly downed the Smith and two
chained trolls, and it forced a half dozen salamanders to retreat back
across the lava pits. Still under the protection of a Flame Walk, Warwick
and Mordrick chased the salamanders while Lupent threw the troll corpses
into the lava. Of course, Branard continued beheading the enemy corpses.

A series of advances, retreats, and Ice Storms eliminated the Salamanders.
The party found their treasure, which consisted of potions and scrolls(?).
Elsewhere in the forge room, they found ingots of platinum, gold, and 400
coin-weights of meteorite steel. The most valuable treasure, however, was
probably the anvil. Of course it was completely immobile, even to 2 heroes
with cloud giant strength. So, a plan was hatched to destroy it. Several
layers of Ice Storms were placed on the lava-hot anvil. Lupent drank a
potion of Invulnerability and then struck it with the Smith's massive
hammer. The anvil shattered, and Lupent was pelted by deadly shards of
steel. Untouched by the blast, Lupent threw the hammer to Branard, and the
whole team set off to find the Royal family.

By this time, almost two hours had passed since the party landed. The
illusory Scent Mask had faded, and the initial Protection from Evil 10'
Radius had to be re-cast. The party returned to the main level, hoping to
find the King and Queen.

As they passed the temple, they encountered a couple of distraught giants
who had just found detected the blood on the temple floor. The 2 wandering
giants were quickly eliminated before they could share their secret with any
of their comrades. Advancing deeper into the halls, they again encountered
a guarded alcove with 2 doors. This time, only one giant stood watch - this
area was important, but not critical. Perhaps the quarters of an officer?
The suspense didn't last long.

The giant was quietly dispatched, and the door on the right was battered
down. A very surprised cloud giant rose to his feet as the heroes entered.
He screamed an alarm to "Lome, you worthless bitch". However, the doorway
was enshrouded by Silence, and no one came to his rescue. The giant wasted
no time as he advanced with a giant mace. However, the party hopelessly
outnumbered him. The battle progressed quickly and ended with a killing
stroke from an invisible Mordrick. His quarters held nothing of great value,
so the heroes took some money and the giant's head. Door #2 was the next

Door #2 housed 3 Realmish shock-troops. Hideously deadly fight, and Marriat
is slain. Last living trooper surrenders; he is apparently not evil.
Marriat is Cured and Raised, with no permanent effects. The surrendering
Trooper is interrogated with a Truth Potion, and he reveals the location of
the throne room. Most of the generals are out in the mountains chasing
gnolls for slave labor. The trooper is stripped and thrown in the Portable
Hole, along with his slain companions. Shock trooper gear is carefully
placed in Branard's bag of loot.

The party uses Dust of Disappearance to sneak past giants. As two stone
giants exit the throne room, the heroes sneak through the closing doors.
Branard doesn't make it in time, so he stays out the room (along with Phil,
Marriat's invisible familiar). The King, his ettin sentry, a massive hound,
and 2 elite guards are quickly slain. The King was dispatched by an Arrow
of Giant Slaying.

As the party is placing the awesome giantish gear into the Hole, the Queen
and her entourage race out. They are trying to cross the throne room toward
a side passage. A Hold Portal is placed on the escape door, and the Queen's
four guards cover her retreat. The Queen's guards, hounds, and a handmaiden
are slain, but the Queen escapes back into the royal chambers. The party
pursues, with Warwick and Marriat tracking the Queen. Phil explores a side
chamber and notices two elite guards (in their pajamas) hiding behind some

TO BE CONTINUED! Will the party catch the Queen? Will they deal with the
guards left behind? Will they choose to Delete time back to the point of
the Queen's entry? Oooo, oooo, oooo!



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