Episodes 38-39: The Secrets of Minderhal's Forge

The Giantslayers followed an underwater passage for 10 miles before finally emerging in a larder, somewhere inside Minderhal’s Cathedral. After a few hours of waiting for darkness to fall, they were interrupted by a giant looking for jerky. Battle commenced, spilling out into the adjacent giant-sized dining hall. Eventually, our heroes prevailed, defeating one frost giant, two stone giants and three hill giants. Unfortunately, a hill giant escaped and ran outside to sound the alarm.

As the battle was ending, the adventurers noticed someone watching them through a cracked doorway. They pushed their way into the room and confronted the spy: a young female slag giant named Ferin. Having never seen such small creatures, the giantess was at first wary and not talkative. But her eyes grew wide when she noticed Agrimmosh. She exclaimed that her mistress’ prophecy had come true, and she excitedly urged them to come with her to meet her. After a brief interruption by some armed guards (during which the party hid), she led the group (hidden from sight by virtue of Invisibility potions) to middle of a huge amphitheater, in which was housed an elaborately decorated, ancient, giant-sized forge. The attraction of the magic hammer to the forge was immediate and obvious, but the players were forced to ignore that as Ferin opened a secret door in a statue of Minderhal and led them down a dark staircase.

At the bottom was an oval-shaped room. In the center, a pillar-like furnace of cemented, soot-blackened stones was illuminated by the waxy lumps of crude candles, and surrounded by a ring of mystic symbols fashioned out of metallic dust sprinkled on the floor. In the shadows they could see an elderly female slag giant watching them intently. Ferin introduced the giantess, Natalia, to them as her mentor and mistress. The old giantess introduced herself as the Keeper of Minderhal’s Forge, and demanded to see Agrimmosh (which she called The Hammer of Unmaking). When the players said no, she backed off, asking them if they knew what they were in possession of. She went on to explain that, with the hammer, they could achieve great things. She pulled some dusty books off of a nearby table and, opening one, explained that the hammer (used with the forge above) could be used to create incredibly powerful magic items; it could also be used to resize giant-sized weapons. This grabbed the heroes’ attention!

Seeing that she’d piqued their curiosity, Natalia continued. All these things are possible, she said, but first, Minderhal’s Forge must be lit! After asking her how to accomplish this, she opened another book and explained that there are four pieces of the puzzle. One was sacred clay, which must be gathered to line the forge. Second, magical fire geodes must be placed inside the forge. Third, a dragon must be lured with a magic horn called Drakesbane. Fourth, the players must compel the dragon to ignite the fire geodes with its fiery breath.

After going off in a corner and discussing this amongst themselves, the players returned and told Natalia that they had everything she needed to relight the forge, save one thing: the sacred clay. Where might we find it? They asked. Natalia opened yet another book and read: the clay can be found in the burial coffin of the great vampire, Lord Kraven. The players exclaimed that they’d been there—in fact, they’d beaten the vampire in battle—and they knew exactly where it was! Natalia was delighted at this news, and demanded they go and bring the clay back at once. They agreed, and within a few hours, the party wizard, Turin began Teleporting them to the old giant chapel (where they’d fought a pack of plant-like guardians). Teleporting the entire party took two days.

The players hiked up to the ancient tomb where they knew Lord Kraven’s coffin was located. After defeating two scarecrows, they delved deeper and encountered the two Vrock demons they’d left behind during their previous visit. The demons, joined by a third, attacked. After a few rounds, Lord Kraven finally appeared, flanked by three female vampire-spawn. Eventually—after a harrowing battle during which Draken was knocked unconscious—all the monsters were defeated. Kingsley ended up slaying the demon that had knocked the dwarf unconscious, and Silaqui killed the other two. Dravis, meanwhile, took out the vampires. After the smoke cleared, Gydion doled out healing, and then the party went to collect their hard-earned treasure: the clay soil inside Lord Kraven’s coffin (which they loaded inside one of their Bags of Holding). After trekking back down to the giant chapel, the party wizard was summoned and began ferrying them all back to Minderhal’s Cathedral.

Next: The Forgeheart !


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