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Chapter Fifteen: The Wayward Wanderers Return to Highwind!

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter

Location: Just outside of the Caverns of Anguish.
Time/Date: Who can say? Last you knew it was mid-afternoon, Monday, 22nd September in the year 1118. Perhaps now it's... Wednesday?
Weather: The sky is filled with multiple layers of clouds and snow. There is no way to see the sun, moon, or anything above them.

( Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus Tag!)

I've been writing Sharseya here in RP Nation for years. From time to time, I change tenses. I think it's time I change back to present tense (and isn't that a funny sentence?). If you don't like it, let me know, and I'll consider continuing to use past-tense. Have fun in Sharseya! =)

Sparkle the pseudo-dragon looks up from Luna's shoulder. Ever careful to keep her sting-tail away from Luna's soft neck, she takes in the great view of the Caverns of Pohjola with its strange, cursed inhabitants and lost history and secrets best kept hidden. All that has transpired has challenged the old dragoness's many loyal decades as a familiar of House Callen of fair Summerset. Count Barathus, the missing merchant-adventurer long thought dead to everyone on Sharseya, was now on his way to return to his home. Tarros, this brazen Neutral-minded barbarian from the Frozen North, would act the count's protector. That she could handle.

But now the Wayward Wanderers followed the nameless Mad Giant to Bahamut-knows-where? Their worlds had been thrown tops-over-tails ever since cruel Loviatar had sprung her trap right there in Ben and Misha's shop in Highwind. So much had happened since then that Sparkle felt soul-weary. Where were they all going to now? What lie ahead in their future?

Sparkle cuddles up again into Luna's warm, soft fur finding further advantage to Luna's transformation from human to Felane. "Fandalwine's wings! Where now are we bound?" she asks softly with her voice instead of giving into temptation and using her mental familiar link with her favorite fire-souled wizard. "Where is he taking us? Can we trust someone whose mind is so far out across the clouds it may as well dance among the very stars?"

All this while, Oscar the Sage, once-human and now reincarnated as a red panda after his untimely, but heroic demise, keeps himself comfortable on Bria's shoulder. There, he glances back and forth between Bria, his dragon-hearted man Otiorin, and all of the good-hearted Wayward Wanderers. "We go to where he takes us. Would you rather we remain here?"

"Of course not," Sparkle replies with half a hiss. "But are we not walking in the wrong direction? From all that has been said, these devilish Dungeons under Castle Anguish are now behind us and with every step the Mad Giant takes, we travel that much farther from our goal - breaking these curses!"

"Have faith, dragonmother," Bria purrs very quietly with a soft feline smile. "The Mad Giant was our opponent. Now he is acting out of friendship. Where he takes us is where he wants us to be. Besides, "could we be better protected?" the peaceful healer stares almost gawking at the 20 foot long bruised stone club the Mad Giant carries easily with one hand.

"There is that," Sparkle concedes.

* * *​

The Mad Giant mutters as he plods along, each of his steps equaling at least six steps of your own. It becomes clear in short moments that he is used to talking to himself.

"HERE!"

As his voice carries mightily down every cavern, the Mad Giant halts. With his free hand, he touches a few seedlike items on his belt and reaches up just above his head. As his fingers touch it, he seems to caress its surface in a very particular way while softly mouthing words in deep concentration. In response, the stone ripples like water to his command. Suddenly, a gargantuan hole opens up above your heads. Looking up, you see a smooth tunnel traveling straight up as far as the green and blue glow of the moss and lichen around you allow.

Then, eyes closed, he murmurs again, tapping a small gold-colored trinket on his belt, and another act of magic takes place. Suddenly, everyone's furry feet are lifted off of the earth! You are hovering inches above it and the Mad Giant's feet are too!

"Arcane magic!" Bria gasps in awe and touches Luna's arm. "Luna! He uses magic like a magic-user!"

Bria uses the aged term of one who has studied the rules of magic and by their knowledge and talent, calls forth sorcery. Luna and the Wayward Wanderers have heard of their share of giant shamans who called upon their various elemental deities, but this particular spell, Passwall, Luna knew by legends alone, belonged only to the most studious of wizards and gifted of sorcerers. Levitate, too, was a spell only whispered amongst the non-divine and there was no such spell that Luna knew that could Levitate multiple objects or people. It was a single-target spell only in every tome Luna had ever perused.

And here the Mad Giant was... just casting away.

Put bluntly, both Passwall and Levitate are Arcane spells. No Divine casters Luna ever read about anywhere can call upon them and not even Bards can make use of these spells.

You rise up leaving the passages you knew below you, perhaps never again to trod their lonely surfaces. Above you, a great circle of brown and then the lights all about you vanish as you leave the moss-covered walls that provided you illumination behind. You are quickly bathed in such a darkness it begins to swallow your sight. All is becoming coal black. There is only the sensation of traveling upward and the gentle whooshing of robes, gear, and fur in the upward wind. The last thing you see is the Mad Giant's hand against the side of the tunnel as you traveled up and up. The lack of light does not seem to bother him in the slightest.

Then, in the darkness, a distant roaring sound reaches your ears. It is one long seemingly-endless sound. Above you, that circle of brown shows itself as the only hint of light anywhere. You travel rapidly and in moments, you find yourselves standing on hard ground again in an enormous cavern shaped like an upside-down bowl where the Mad Giant can fit his hugeness easily. The spells end and you are returned to standing on the earth as your people naturally do. Your only source of illumination is a whiteness that comes from a cavern opening 40 feet away. That opening is 50 feet high and wide and outside, a wrathful blizzard blows and howls ceaselessly.

Here, the Mad Giant, grinning peacefully, his eyes wide and almost tranquil, walks toward the cavern opening. You could swear the many stalagmites and stalactites ringing this cave are slowly moving out of your way as if not to change his mood for the worse! The Mad Giant takes you to the edge of the cavern. Outside, the terrible winds blow obscuring all things distance. A copse of trees, old, grey, and stalwart, stand here like ancient guards. No cursed snowflakes from the sky land under their branches. The trees, in effect, create a safe circular-shaped mass of green grass and small boulders which touch a tiny stream. Here, you can exit the Caverns of Pohjola without the snow touching you. There, at the edge of the cavern, the Mad Giant suddenly pauses. He looks out at the green as if it reminds him of something. He does not take a step toward it.

"HOLY CAT!"

The Mad Giant shouts at Paladin Brendoran while leaning his great club against the cavern wall and producing a heavenly glow of night and stars. That radiance is so peaceful and without troubles as to seem like another plane of reality. The Starry Circlet seems tiny in the Mad Giant's paw. He kneels down briefly and presents his most-prized possession to the leader of the Wayward Wanderers.

"YOOOOOU... ..CARRY... DREAMY-CIRCLE... INTO GREENY-GLADE. STEP NICELY!" he threatens with a snarl, then speaks with something that could be called deep appreciation. "THIS... ...IS ONLY GREENY-PLACE NEAR HERE. NO WARGSES. NO GOBBY-LINS. NO BLOOD. JUST NICE GREENIES. TAKE! GO NOW!"

What do the Wayward Wanderers do?


The Mad Giant 20200425_142632.jpg
The Mad Giant
Image Credit: Erol Otus! =)
GAME DETAILS Location: Outside the Caverns of Anguish
Mode: Exploration
Click Blue Box for Ambiance =)
"D&D Ambiance - Blizzard" by Michael Ghelfi

 
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Psychie

Princess Psychie
As they are walking, Oreleth is briefly pulled aside by Count Varelys and he quietly slips her a scroll case. Before looking at what was inside the case, she says to the man, "My good Count, I did not do what I did in order to get a reward, but I do believe that it would be rude of me to decline your generous offer. I thank you." The transformed elf opens the case and reads the parchment and raises up an eyebrow. "This is most generous of you, sir, and once more, I thank you. This gift has given me renewed hope that someday I will find the focus of my long quest, assuming that I can ever figure out what this means." Oreleth gives off a bit of a chuckle at that. Perhaps I will need to share this with the others. The old saying is that two heads are better than one, especially the members of our party. They are all very wise.

Oreleth then turns her attention to the grove of trees that the Mad Giant has led them to. With a smile on her face, she steps forward and takes a deep breath of the fresh leaves and grass. It was such a wonderful feeling after so much snow and dry caves. Glancing back at the others, she says, "This is a special place. I can feel it."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna walks up to stand next to Oreleth, looking at the greenery in front of them with interest. "Sparkle! Have you ever seen the like of this before? Do you know what might be keeping the harsh elements at bay? Is it more arcane magic, or is it divine in nature?"

In a louder voice to be heard by the Giant, she asks, "Master Giant, is it safe for all of us to approach the trees, or just the Holy Cat with the Dreamy Circle? I do not wish to offend."
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Bren follows the Mad Giant bemusedly, for though he could act at a moment's notice when he was needed, his mind still needed time to process all of what had just happened. He pauses only to offer a bow to Count Varelys, thanking him for seeing Nivirea to safety, then hastens onward, counting heads now and then just in case (they were a fairly large group now, after all...).

The giant calling his name, or something close enough to it under the circumstances, startles the paladin out of his musings and he quickly steps forward, then hesitates. "It is my duty as well as my joy to walk with care within the green places of the world -- all worlds, I suppose," he says. And in truth he feels the grove calling to him as nothing else in Pohjola has, save for the brief moment when the Daughters of Summertime visited him; yet duty and honor compel him to speak further before doing as the Mad Giant bid. "But are you sure you want me to take the circle? We have come to realize how much it means to you, and I would not deprive you of what pleasure remains to you in this place."
 
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Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Sparkle tells Luna. "I cannot tell if it is magic or just the way the trees are placed! They seem to act as a natural barrier to all kinds of snow. That triple-canopy--

But the old familiar is interrupted as the Mad Giant glares down upon Luna and Brendoran. His eyes, red and glazed from lack of sleep, pop wide in surprise and irritation at their questions! He gives one low rumbling growl, puts his gargantuan stone club aside, and impatiently, he shoves his open hand holding the Starry Circlet a second time to Bren. His hamfinger points at all of you as he brutishly stabs out toward the glade, shouting out his single-worded reply...

"BEAAAATIIIINGS!!"
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter

Bren smiles ruefully and gestures to his extended party. "Come, friends. Let us all do as we are bid." He accepts the Mad Giant's gift with a bow, and can't help adding, "And thank you, sir, and may you find all the peace possible to you." With that, he leads the group to the trees, Starry Circlet in hand.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
The Wayward Wanderers cross the soft earth from the caverns toward the refreshing green glade. As you step, the Mad Giant watches you with great anticipation and silence. He cups his ear and tilts his head to the sky as if listening for something.

The moments your feet touch the pretty emerald grass, a sudden cracking sound blasts the air. The power of that sound shakes every branch on every nearby tree and the pines shudder as if filled with fear. The sound of crashing snows is heard all around you, yet there are no other signs of danger. There is no mistake, something powerful and rare has taken place.

In that instant, each of you feels like a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders, a burden that until now you did not realize you were carrying. There follows a strange sensation of liberation as a great burst of sunlight, a luminescent bath of gorgeous rays of gold and orange, falls upon you from the very heavens. The unmistakable, pleasant scent of evergreen is everywhere.

"AHHAHAAAA!" The Mad Giant dances with joy, his hamfists raised in victory. "PAIN-QUEEN LOSES! YOUR CURSES, NO MORE!!"

The Mad Giant takes two steps towards Bren, eyes his Starry Circlet, and with a happy, crooked smile, beckons to Bren for its return.

As if on cue, a face appears magically in the air near you. You recognize it as Shalin of the Broken River, a Sorcerer of many adventures and Bren's dearest friend.

"There you are! Praise Corellon! And changed from when you were stolen from us!" come the silent words scrawled electrically above his face. "I shall send word immediately! It is so good to finally see you all again!"

Warm sunlight in the glade comforts you, and for what feels like a very long time, you feel very much like your own person, free of the dark, powerful magic that first brought you here to the cursed Caverns of Pohjola.

Rejoice, Wayward Wanderers! Loviatar, the Maiden of Pain, has lost her greedy hold on you!
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna feels her heart lift in joy as the curse is lifted, feeling the power of light and goodness in her as if for the first time in ages. She looks to the other members of the adventuring party with a wide smile. "I feel . . . soooo much better now! Mister Giant? Thank you for this precious gift of freeing us from the curse!" The fire mage bows deeply to the giant, hoping that she is able to fully convey her gratitude.

"Mister Giant? In return for this, is there anything that I can do for you before we return to our own home?"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Powerpaw, Sparkle, and Bria happlily celebrate with all of you while Oscar climbs down and is content to simply enjoy the feeling of warm grass under his paws.

It is when Luna speaks that Bria pauses in midspin. Bria's arms fall to her sides as she gazes across the sweet expanse of heavenly grass to the cold and foreboding entrance to the caverns where the Mad Giant stands with a smile of satisfaction across his horrid face while he considers Luna's question.

"Home?"

The peaceful healer falls silent and continues to gaze at the Mad Giant. Her smile falls too.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Following up on her initial question, Luna asks, "Where is home for you, Mister Giant? Is it somewhere that we can help you return to?"
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth is somewhat distracted by the feel of the greenery, so it takes her a moment to have Luna's question to the Giant sink in. In a quiet voice, she asks, "Do you have a plan on getting the Giant back to whatever place he once called home? As much as I hate to see any creature suffer in the grip of the Ice Maiden, what you are asking may be beyond our power to help with."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna shakes her head. "No, not really. I have no idea what I'm doing other than trying to ease the burden on this poor giant. I just hope that there lies within my power some means to do so."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth is silent for a long moment, then smiles. "I like you, Luna. Very stubborn, but in a good way. Very well. I will assist as much as I am able to. Let us try and send this poor fellow home."
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter

In that instant, each of you feels like a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders, a burden that until now you did not realize you were carrying. There follows a strange sensation of liberation as a great burst of sunlight, a luminescent bath of gorgeous rays of gold and orange, falls upon you from the very heavens. The unmistakable, pleasant scent of evergreen is everywhere.
Bren took a long, deep breath, inhaling that lovely fragrance as if it were life itself. He lifted his head to the sunlight, closing his eyes to bask and simply enjoy the moment.

As if on cue, a face appears magically in the air near you. You recognize it as Shalin of the Broken River, a Sorcerer of many adventures and Bren's dearest friend.

"There you are! Praise Corellon! And changed from when you were stolen from us!" come the silent words scrawled electrically above his face. "I shall send word immediately! It is so good to finally see you all again!"
His eyes having snapped open when the Mad Giant began speaking, Bren glanced and then gazed at the image of his friend. "Shalin! Yes! We shall return as soon as may be, with friends." He turned and smiled at Count Barathus and his people, and Tarros. Then Luna and Oreleth's discussion shifted his attention in their direction.

Luna shakes her head. "No, not really. I have no idea what I'm doing other than trying to ease the burden on this poor giant. I just hope that there lies within my power some means to do so."
Oreleth is silent for a long moment, then smiles. "I like you, Luna. Very stubborn, but in a good way. Very well. I will assist as much as I am able to. Let us try and send this poor fellow home."
Bren placed the Starry Circlet back in the giant's massive hand and looked up at him. "Yes," he said. "You have done a wondrous thing for us. Is there something we can do for you in return?"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
(Long post time!)

Bren took a long, deep breath, inhaling that lovely fragrance as if it were life itself. He lifted his head to the sunlight, closing his eyes to bask and simply enjoy the moment.
By basking in the radiance of the elements of his goddess, Paladin Brendoran was gifted with a sense of renewal and piety, for Loviatar no longer had a hold on them. Perhaps it was Maiden of the Forest's wish, perhaps it was a gift from the Pohjolan glade itself, but Brendoran enjoyed a small bonus to his adventuring abilities for a little while.

For the next hour, Brendoran gains a +1 Morale bonus to all Skill checks for Skills he has ranks in.

* * *​

"Mister Giant? In return for this, is there anything that I can do for you before we return to our own home?"

Following up on her initial question, Luna asks, "Where is home for you, Mister Giant? Is it somewhere that we can help you return to?"
Bren placed the Starry Circlet back in the giant's massive hand and looked up at him. "Yes," he said. "You have done a wondrous thing for us. Is there something we can do for you in return?"
Bren and Luna address the Mad Giant with thoughts of home, Bren returning the Starry Circlet to its owner. The Mad Giant replaces the Starry Circlet in a pouch inside his waist instead of trusting his anklet pouch a second time. The questions send the gargantuan fellow into a low tirade of mumbled half-uttered sentences. "WHAT?! HOME?! THERE IS NO-- WAIT... HOME? WHERE IS-- NOT HERE! NOT HERE! BUT WHERE?!"

Deeply confused, the Mad Giant looks around and tries suddenly and frantically to make sense of the flurry of memories and crazed thoughts only creatures as far gone as he have the terrible fortune to experience. He seems to try very hard to come up with an answer, any answer, that brings the merest modicum of sense. Shaking his head and looking about at wisps of thought only he can see, it becomes clear that he will be busy for many moments.

* * *​

"Bren?"

Bria slowly, almost meekly, steps up beside him and says within hearing distance of all of you. "Bren... I... don't think I can leave Pohjola."

Her brown eyes are serious in their determination and filled with emotion. "I mean... here we are - free to return to Sharseya, to Highwind. Warm friends, fine food, comfort, safety, familiarity. And... look where we are leaving him? Back in the very pit we found him in!" Bria clasps her hands. "If... if he remembers where he lives, could we... could I cast Plane Shift to perhaps take him there? I mean," she fidgets, "if we know where his home is? Leaving him here in Loviatar's domain while we roam free entirely thanks to his kindness... well, it seems heartless!"

Oscar narrows his black eyes. "And if we do not know where his home is? What then?"

Bria shakes her head slowly and sadly. "I don't know!! All I know... is that I can't leave him here. Would you allow taking him with us? Back to wherever we are going?"

But before Bren, Luna, or any of you can provide an answer, the sound of flapping wings and the call of some avian creature you cannot quickly identify interrupts your conversation! From above the snow and the trees, the flier comes diving down. It is a huge majestic white owl with fierce eyes and extended claws. Without waiting for invitation, the beautiful bird's dive turns into a grace glide as it swoops low, opens its wings, catches the air, and begins to slow as it reaches the edge of the glade. Yet as this occurs, a strange shimmering overtakes the entire bird and as it lands, the very shape of the creature alters into a large bipedal form - and one you immediately recognize!

Mamapaw, Druidess of Mielikki, softly lands upon the glade and races across on all fours until she is among you. There, her breath rushing and her fur all a'fluff with excitement, she comes to a halt at the edge of your group and beholds you with one large weapon in her paw.

"Ohh!!" she cries as she sees you all. "You! You have become... Kitty-faces!!"

"Aw, mom!" Powerpaw rapidly shakes his head and waves his paws at her. "C'mon! Not here in front of da giant! Not da waterfalls--"

Yes, the waterfalls! Mamapaw bursts into tears of joy at seeing each of you as you would be were you born Felane, Bastet's fiercest cats! Before Oreleth and Otiorin are able to dodge her she pulls them both forth into her motherly grasp and is licking the sides of their faces and snouts and cleaning them as good Felane mothers oft do with their own kits. Thankfully, the wood elf and half-elf do not endure this long as a sudden grumbling shakes the air around you. A long moan erupts from seemingly nowhere. The inhuman sound is as terrible as it is deadly-sounding, but Mamapaw recoils from her fellow Wayward Wanderers and begins a scathing chastisement only an angry mother can give!

"I have had it with you! You stop your grumbling and behave or I will turn us back around and fly us back to Highwind this very instant! Do you hear me?" It becomes obvious she is yelling at a magnificent double-edged great axe of an origin only two of you can guess at. It moans again and Mamapaw's screeches threateningly. "I will do it! Silence!!"

The enchanted great axe does not make another sound!

Mamapaw turns. "Brendoran! They asked me to deliver this to you!" Mamapaw displays perhaps the greatest weapon Brendoran Sarabina has ever had the pleasure and responsibility of carrying into battle - The Cratian Edge! It gleams in her waiting paws and it seems that Brendoran's taking it would be a relief to the carrier as well as the carried.

Years ago, when Kaerri and I decided to bring Brendoran and Bria into this game, they had to be nerfed about 8 experience levels each (they were around 14th, you were all 6th, but we wanted to play these characters so...) This nerf, of course, included their high-level gear. As a long-time played character, Brendoran especially had earned items in life-threatening dungeons that bettered him and those he was with. I could not, in good conscience, allow him to start the game with the Cratian Edge - it, and a handful of other items are only now back in the game since you are all now 12th level.

Mamapaw, however, appears completely unaware that a long-deranged forty-foot-tall demigod-like giant looms above you all. Indeed, her back is to the Mad Giant who, lost in his delirium, seems not to have noticed her arrival. It is only when he shouts out that Mamapaw notices and nearly jumps out of her fur!

"HOME! YES! SHARSEYA! YES! HARD MOUNTAIN! SINGING CHILDREN! GREEN FOREST! CLEAR STREAMS! THAT IS HOME! YOU... GO THERE? YOU... CAN TAKE ME... FROM HERE?"

Mamapaw turns around and nearly faints in realization. "Bright Bastet! What... what in Ra's name is he?" For there is nothing in the ancient Egyptian mythoi that has such a creature as the Mad Giant!

"He's a friend!" Bria eagerly offers to Mamapaw. "The biggest friend we've ever had!"

What do the Wayward Wanderers do?
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth grins in the manner of the kitty faces as she is embraced by Mamapaw and given licks on her head. It was pointless to resist. Once she is released, she joins in with Bria in trying to soothe Mamapaw's fears of the giant. "Yes, he is not an enemy, and we are going to try and find his home. Master Giant? You remember the mountain, and the singing children. Do you remember a name of the land this mountain is in? The name of your homeland?"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Psychie Psychie Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus

The Mad Giant looks down and carefully falls to one knee as he speaks. "WHAT? WHAT? NOT HOME-LAND! JUST HOME! I WAS... ONLY GIANT THERE!"

"Yes, but what was the name of your home?" Bria asks of him.

The Mad Giant closes his eyes for one long moment. Soon he grimaces. The longer he closes his eyes, the worse the grimace becomes. Finally, he opens his eyes. Sadly, he shakes his head. "NO NAME! JUST... MY HOME! ASK THE CHILDREN! THEY GIVE NAME!" His gaze falls softly to the green glade. "LIKE... THAT! BUT MUCH, MUCH MORE! WATERFALLS! WINDY-WINDS! AND BIG UNDERCAVERNS WITH NO EVIL SNOWS!"

Mamapaw staggers back, overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Mad Giant. Powerpaw scampers up and supports her lest she stumble. "Iz okies, Mom! He's all right - just a wittle goofy in da head is all."
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Bria shakes her head slowly and sadly. "I don't know!! All I know... is that I can't leave him here. Would you allow taking him with us? Back to wherever we are going?"
Though he doesn't have time to reply before Events overtake them, Bren is clearly sympathetic and about to respond in the affirmative. He, too, dislikes the idea of leaving someone who certainly isn't an enemy, and might well be a friend, here in this cursed place. They had done more for an undead dragon than they'd managed so far for this poor crazed soul, and that bothers this paladin of the Forest Mother, all the more as it seems the Mad Giant himself has some kind of connection to forests.
Mamapaw turns. "Brendoran! They asked me to deliver this to you!" Mamapaw displays perhaps the greatest weapon Brendoran Sarabina has ever had the pleasure and responsibility of carrying into battle - The Cratian Edge! It gleams in her waiting paws and it seems that Brendoran's taking it would be a relief to the carrier as well as the carried.
Bren's eyes widen. "I did not expect to see you so soon!" he exclaims, though to those unfamiliar with the greataxe it might have been unclear whether he spoke to the druidess or to the weapon he accepted with willing paws of his own. He grips the axe's haft firmly, feeling its familiar weight settle into the hands of his not-quite-as-familiar shape, and smiles, looking up to meet Mamapaw's eyes.
"Thank you, lady druidess! I am most pleased to deliver you from your charge."

The giant's roaring, and the ensuing discussion, draw him back to the rest of the group. For the time being, he holds the Cratian Edge in one hand with its haft resting on his right shoulder, the great axehead projecting up and beyond his back. "Hard mountain, green forest, clear streams, waterfalls, winds, and caves. And the singing children, of course. I'm not sure yet what place that is, but certainly I'd like to help you find your way back. If none of us can recognize it by the description, then I can ask my goddess. As Lady of the Forest, Mielikki may be able to narrow our search for your forest home."
 

Captain Hesperus

Harbinger of the End Times and Apostle of Ghan
Administrator
Supporter
Otiorin Taletreader

So much was happening and so fast, the Half-elf's head felt as if it was spinning like a child's toy. First they exited the frigid depths of Loviatar's caverns into a lovely, placid grove, then Mamapaw herself appeared amongst them. And now he was being groomed. Mamapaw released him and he listened intently to the giant's words. He thought to his own brief travels through the world from distant Waterwind to Highwind, racking his brains for anywhere that might fit the slim details the Mad Giant described.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Unfortunately, neither Otiorin nor Brendoran could think of a single place that matched the realm the Mad Giant seemed to be referring to. Forests? Mountains? Streams? It could have been as far south as the mountain city of Waterwind to farther north past Highwind to the Frozen North somewhere along its warmer climes. The only simple thing about the mystery was where it was not. There were no mountains near Summerset or the Forest Eternal, nor anywhere near the coastal city of Glimmerdawn that towered east of those two long-inhabited realms. The Mountain Dwarves of Morgandir certainly had their fair share of streams and forests in their lands as did the mighty and dull Hill Giants northerly of them in the Hunderhills. Averlund was a continent of many mountains, streams, and forests all in the same place and more about the Mad Giant's home would have to be discovered lest the Wayward Wanderers wander all over Sharseya trying to find it.

Still, the Wayward Wanderers did not lack for allies. For Shalin Riversbane now knew of their location and Melshaef of the Thousand Forms was present and with her own party and family. There were many more, especially because Brendoran and Bria were with them, in the stalwart city of Highwind whence they had come.

All of Sharseya was now at the Wayward Wanderers feet to travel now that the curse had been broken. But how did they use this new-found and sudden freedom? What now do they do in the strange cheery glade of wintry Pohjola?
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Even after further considering the question of the giant's home, Bren can only shake his head regretfully. "I'm afraid nowhere I've been matches that," he says. "But don't lose heart, friends. Why don't we all find our way back to Sharseya together, and consult others of wider knowledge? Someone's bound to know where it is." Or was, he thinks but does not say. Whatever caused the giant to leave his home and come here, the paladin hopes it left his home unscathed.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter

Location: At the Green Glade outside of the Caverns of Pohjola.
Time/Date: Who can say? Last you knew it was mid-afternoon, Monday, 22nd September in the year 1118. Perhaps now it's... Wednesday?
Weather: The glade is peaceful with soft breezes caressing the green grass. It is neither warm nor cold. The sky beyond is filled with multiple layers of clouds and snow. There is no way to see the sun, moon, or anything above them.

( Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus Tag!)

Oscar the Red Panda muses while gnawing on some strawberries given to him by Bria. Despite his intellectual and sagely qualities, he looks like a miniature fuzzy hobbit having a good time as he stands there chewing and thinking. Several times, he seems to gaze off into the beauty of the green glade except that if you look closely, it's not the glade he is seeing, but something else. Something beyond. Nibble after nibble, his free paw will sometimes reach up as if turning a page on a book that isn't there. Or is it? Are the words of authors any less powerful when one has the entire books devoted to memory?

Several times, Oscar gets the Mad Giant's attention and, with the furry little braniac whispering into the Mad Giant's ear, the Mad Giant goes into a series of nods. And chuckles. And more nods.

from the Mad Giant's shoulders, Oscar addresses you all. "This is an excellent opportunity for all of you to train to the next plateau in your adventuring careers. However, this time, I will assist all of you Wayward Wanderers into thoughts and actions befitting a team... worthy of the very idea. Mad Giant? If you please?"

The Mad Giant raises his club in both hands and a shrilly shriek bursts out from his smiling maw. And that word is... "BEEEAAATIIINGS!!" =)

* * *​

For the next few hours, the Wayward Wanderers are subjected to being chased, swung at, having small boulders thrown at, and all number of athletic and mental activities, courtesy of the Mad Giant who is just having the time of his life! At one point, the party is more or less together in a battle formation with the Mad Giant swinging his tower-sized club at them. The entire team has to move one direction together or get "smushed." Or they have to all duck at the same time lest they get "splattered." And to up the ante, Oscar calls out orders like, "Wayward Wanderers! Luna has been shot and is down but you do not have time to cast spells! Luna, go limp, please! Your teammates will do the dodging for you to save your life."

About ten minutes into this, Mamapaw is leaping and swinging and doing every bit her best while yowling, "Yooowl!! What have I done to deserve this?!"

Her grinning son is not about to keep his maw shut. "Ya missed out on all da fun here in da caverns of Pohjola, Mom! Now yer makin' up fer its! Move left! Woooo!!"

While this is going on, Oscar seems to be mentally grading each of you while the Mad Giant is giggling and laughing, always stopping still before one of his massive life-threatening blows lands. Other challenges ensue. "Oreleth! Otiorin! The Mad Giant's belly button is his only weak point! As you dodge his blows, you must aim your own attacks there! Bria, you are Silenced! Bren, you are Blinded! Begin!"

After what feels like an eternity, Oscar finally calls it quits as Sparkle emerges from her draconic camouflage beside him (no way she was going to get her old scales ruffled with all that work!). "Time to rest!" There is a collective "thump!" as the majority of you are exhausted from the training. The Mad Giant gently puts Oscar down into the grass where the little taskmaster appears pleased. "Bren, you can open your eyes now," he chuckles.

"One by one, I will address your options for training. The rest of you? Please get something resembling dinner created, please?"

Most of you have posted what you'd like to get for your Character's 12th level. However, none of this is finalized until after this scene is over. If you want, each of you have the option of chatting with me (in Adventurers' Table) about your Character's progression. I'll go over your Character with you and tell you what I see. Think of it as a little benefit from having Highwind's most-learned sage, Oscar, training all of you. Skill selections, Feat choices for those getting them, Spell selections and questions pertaining to them, Signature Abilities, they're all up for grabs while the Wayward Wanderers proceed to 12th level together.

Pick my brain, if you will. The NPCs certainly are.

As you sit, the Mad Giant joins you just outside of the "greeny glade" which he appears highly reluctant to enter. "FUN! WAS FUN! I LIKE PLAYTIME WITH YOU! YES!"

Glade Sunbeam Grass from Pixabay.jpg
Image Credit: Pixabay
GAME DETAILS Location: In the "Greeny Glade" in Pohjola.
Mode: Exploration
Click Blue Box for Ambiance =)
"D&D Ambiance - Forest Daytime" by Sword Coast Soundscapes

 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
When Oscar finally calls a halt to the training, Luna goes to find a place to flop down and try and catch her breath. Perhaps it is due to all of the hard work and exertion that they have been doing, or maybe it is thanks to her currently being a kitty-face, but it seems that she is not as winded as she should be. It may be a combination of the two, giving me more energy and health. I am not going to complain!

Luna then takes a deep breath, settling in to meditate and let her mind drift where it may. I wonder, with my knowledge of our homeland, is there any legend or story that I can recall that might give us a hint on where the Giant came from?
 

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