After another night in the woods recovering from previous wounds, the party reentered the dungeon through the nearby cave. They now made their way to the north, exploring new areas. In one room, they found three stone pillars; atop them were, respectively, a slice of cake, a pewter mug of wine, and a potted orchid. The party tried playing with these rather uncanny things for a time, without achieving more than a good glass of wine and a piece of cake being consumed. Further on, they found a pile of rust of unknown origin, as they moved into a wide gallery of larger rooms and corridors. At the end they entered, the shattered remnants of some old mosaics were scattered across the floor, what had been depicted impossible to say. There was, however, a clear path through the debris from north to south.
A little further, they came to a pair of doors to the east. Drogo could hear something large behind both, and Rowan detected evil, as well. The party wondered if the two doors opened into the same space, so Aldeberon took a potion of clairvoyance to look behind the doors. With his remote sight, he could see three stone giants and a pair of huge cave bears in a single, large room. About this time, Drogo could hear one of the bears growling, and it was clear they were detected. Without much time to consider, Iban went to the north door and the party waited near the south door. Iban then blew his Horn of Valhalla and summoned seven Maerling warriors to battle. He then burst open the door and sent them in first — and two died almost instantly.
Iban considered following them, but held back, and the rest of the party fell back to the south to a choke point, fearing that the might of the giants and bears was more than they’d bargained for. Torn, Iban fell back, as well, as his warriors fell rapidly to the huge bears and a few hurled tone of the giants. One giant soon came out the southern door, possibly to flank the attackers, and spotted the party to the south; it hurled its stone to no effect, and was met with a hail of arrow fire that slew it, dropping the body in the hall. This heartened the party, who now rushed forward to take advantage of the distraction of the last remaining Maerlings. Aldeberon and Adoward rushed to the southern door to fight another giant who’d came to see what’d happened to his comrade; Drogo and Parker climbed atop the slain giant and fired over the heads of them in support.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party received the charge of the two great bears and the third giant as they bowled over the remaining Maerlings. One bear was soon slain — but it kept fighting on, heedless of its own death. Nothing the party could do seemed to stop it, and its huge claws and teeth were tearing into the party, even as the third giant aided them. Things began to look grim, indeed, as the Giant seemed unstoppable and the bears certainly were unstoppable. But, from behind, a lone figure rushed and struck the giant from behind, distracting it and turning the battle in the great hall.
But the bears were not down. The second grabbed Rowan in a hug which began to crack his ribs and soon had him unconscious and dying; slain, this bear also fought on, though the first finally collapsed. The giant, too, fell at last as Iban exerted his strength to try to break the hold of the bear on Rowan. By good chance, this one dropped much faster than the last one, and the battle in the hall was won. At the door, the others finally slew the third giant.
It was a long, painful battle, but the giants room was soon found to contain a decent enough sum of treasure to make it worthwhile. They also took the time to talk with the strange elf, who named himself Goody, a lone explorer and adventurer. Still, despite the magical ministrations of Havok, and addition of a new party member, the party was in no condition to continue explorations, and thus they slipped from the dungeon to camp once more SW of the cave, where they passed a night and a day uneventfully, and were about to spend a second night before returning to town…
– Experience: 1772 XP each