Upon exiting Nargrym’s Tomb our heroes heard the harsh, guttural voices of dwarves arguing. Since it was dark, and since he was the only one who spoke Dwarven, Draken led the party through the aspen woods, towards the voices. Cheerful greetings were exchanged when they found none other than King Knut himself, together with a troop of his dwarven fighters. The party showed King Knut what they’d recovered from Nargym’s Tomb, and the King offered to buy whatever they didn’t want: Heartspit, the statues, the abacus, etc. After some negotiation, the King paid them 8,000 gp.
The King also requested a special favor: laying out a map of the Mindspins, the mighty king pointed to a place where an ancient mausoleum, dedicated to the renowned Stone Giant King, Myanimar. King Knut told them he wanted them to clear the tomb of all monsters, so that he could establish a dwarven base camp there. He promised them a portion of whatever treasure they found there. Since the mausoleum was located along the route to Minderhal’s Valley, the group happily agreed.
That night, Draken’s sleep was interrupted by a vivid dream, in which he was wandering in the mountains. He was dreaming in darkvision: everything around him in stark black-and-white. Suddenly, Nargrym Steelhand appeared to him, surrounded by a golden halo. The figure told Draken that he was destined to be his giant-slaying heir. He offered the fighter-cleric a silver-colored glove. Draken considered it briefly before finally accepting it. He tried on the glove and, upon waking, found that the Steel Hand they’d recovered from Nargrym’s Tomb was attached to his arm, and his own natural (flesh) hand was lying next to his bed! He rose and, realizing he had no pain, wrapped up the severed member. He gripped Agrimmosh tightly in his new hand, and was pleased to find that his grip was stronger. Draken decided then and there that he would complete his transformation into Nargrym’s heir by donning his finger-nail-scale-mail as well. [King Knut later paid the party 1,000 gp for Draken’s existing suit of +1 Chain Mail.] The great dwarven god Torag smiled upon him.
The next morning, the Giantslayers headed southeast and located the path to the ancient Stone Giant mausoleum. [King Knut and his troops were planning on joining them one day later]. Dravis, Silaqui and Asa took the lead, stealthily. At the end of the path they found a double-door in the rough-hewn surface of a cliff. The door was not trapped, but it radiated magic, so the party was wary. Draken tried to push it open, but it would not budge. Gydion then cast Bull’s Strength on the dwarf, and that (together with the combined strength of Asa, Dravis and Silaqui) did the trick. The door opened, revealing a dark, downward-sloping passage, about 10 feet wide. Two suits of armor stood on either side of the passage, about 50 feet away.
Sure enough, the suits of armor sprang to life as soon as the group approached! They appeared to be giant, skeletal warriors—probably undead, according to Silaqui’s magic sword and Asa’s Detect Evil paladin ability. Silaqui shot an arrow into one of them before they could attack, and battle commenced! After the two skeletal guards were dealt with, more began to file into the hallway from a large chamber just beyond their field of view.
Gydion suddenly_Wildshaped_ into an elephant and bullrushed the giant skeletons in front of him, forcing them into the chamber beyond. He then set upon them, eventually trampling two of them to death. Meanwhile, his companions were each met by a skeletal warrior—some were bigger (15 feet high) while others were smaller (12 feet high; about the size of the first two undead guards). While the giant skeletons defended the tomb fiercely with their spears and clubs, our heroes ultimately prevailed (though not without suffering grievous wounds). The skeletons only took half damage from piercing weapons, which prolonged the battle (Agrimmosh caused full damage, however, being a blunt, crushing weapon). Besides Gydion’s shapeshifting into an elephant, these were the highlights of the fight:
- Silaqui downing a Spider Climb potion and shooting arrows from a vantage place on the 20-foot ceiling
- Dravis dealing out substantial damage with his many short-sword attacks
- Kingsley landing critical hits with one claw, dropping a skeleton in one fell swoop
- Asa using his Smite Evil (enhanced with Eagle’s Splendor) to vanquish one of the biggest of the bunch.
Upon vanquishing the final skeleton guard, our heroes explored the rest of the mausoleum. They found a room with four potions (including a potion of Vision, and a magic ointment), and another room with valuable, giant-sized treasures (including a gem-encrusted chariot).
They also found a magically darkened room, which they dare not enter because of the glowing runes (in Giant) they saw in the passage leading to it: Asa interpreted them as saying “Be afraid of the dark. Be very afraid!” The group discussed the matter and decided to camp in the large, 20-foot chamber, where they would heal themselves, before entering the ominously dark chamber.
Next: the Dark Chamber Beckons!