Fire in the Night

After recovering from their meeting with the dragon Old Gnawbone, the party leaves Red Larch to travel to Triboar and deliver their second letter. They stay over in Westbridge and plan to arrive in Triboar late on the second day. But as they approach, they see smoke in the distance and encounter refugees in wagons leaving the city. Sir Conlan asks a guardsman what happened, the guardsman says the town is under attack by giants, orcs and some kind of fire spirits, they are evacuating the women and children while the rest of the guards and men defend the town. The party rushes to help and finds the attack over, but many buildings are on fire. They stash their horses at an inn and get to work helping. They talk to Darathra Shendrel, the Lord Guardian of the city about the attack.They learn the attackers weren't really after the the town, they were seeking something. The giants dug up a big piece of metal from the center of town while the orcs guarded them and the fire spirits ran around town. When the giants had the piece of metal, they left town, heading to the north east. After the fires are out, the party explores the town. Alaric, Erza and Valfir examine the tracks where the attackers left town and visit a dwarven smith, Skamos and Sir Conlan look at the hole the giants dug and deliver their letter to Alestra Ulgar, a local merchant. Sir Conlan sells her his Potion of Poison Resistance.
Returning to the inn for dinner and rest, Darathra comes to meet them and hires them to pursue the giants. Valfir casts Darkvision on Sir Conlan so he can see at night. They let the monk rest for an hour, then they set out with Alaric following the trail. They find the attacker's camp in a small valley. They see two fire giants, male and female, six orcs, five better armored elite orcs, six carnivorous birds the orcs use as mounts and a dozen of the fire spirits. The spirits seem to be little, kobold sized lava creatures made of molten stone. They sneak up to observe and Alaric is heard, but Valfir covers them with a Darkness spell. Once they know the layout of the camp, they send Alaric and Erza to the left to provide flanking missile fire. Alaric uses Spike Growth on the birds. Astrid opens the battle with a Fireball spell that kills all the regular orcs. Skamos summons a Spiritual Weapon and starts Call Lightning and hits the giants. Valfir, Sir Conlan and Talik open fire with bows and crossbows and the enemy begins coming their way. Alaric and Erza fire from the side, but the wounded birds and some of the other monsters attack them. Talik goes into rage and attacks the male giant, but is wounded. Skamos hands him a healing potion, but he is knocked out first and then healed by Skamos. Sir Conlan and Valfir fight the armored orcs and the giants, Sir Conlan deals out several Divine Smites, is wounded and forced to heal himself, then is wounded again. The fire creatures attack and the party discovers they explode when they die, so they shift missile fire to them, trying to make them explode among the enemy. Vincent tries Crown of Madness on a giant and fails, but gets in a couple of successful Dissonant Whispers and a Cloud of Daggers. Astrid deals out Magic Missiles and Scorching Ray spells trying to help Alaric and Erza, then shoots a close range Fireball behind the armored orcs. Skamos continues dropping lightning bolts into the enemy and his spell hammer strikes again and again. Erza goes down and Skamos helps her withHealing Word, but she is knocked out again. Talik drinks the healing potion and fights the giants again. The male giant tries to surrender but Talik is in rage and takes him out. The female giant offers to surrender if they save her mate, they accept her surrender and they heal the other giant slightly. The rest of the birds, orcs and fire spirits are slain, Erza is healed again.
The giants explain they were sent to retrieve the metal artifact by their ruler, she had a rod that led her to it. They surrender their treasure and arms and are allowed to go in return for an oath sworn that they will not return. The party strips the orcs of treasure and returns to Triboar.
(Note: Up until now, the battle at Goldenfields was our craziest battle. This was much worse. The summary is only a very general description of the battle. It tooks us three hours to play six or seven rounds of combat. Astrid, Vincent and Sir Conlan expended all their spell slots, Valfir was out of ki. Erza was brought to zero twice, Talik once and Sir Conlan was down to three points after healing himself for twenty and being wounded again. I think the rest of the party was all below half health except maybe Skamos. Talik was still below half after being knocked out, healed and drinking a triple healing potion. But we defeated thirty-six monsters and captured another. Eight fifth level characters defeated about 111 hit dice worth of monsters)

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
Callum "There's a fine line between street fighting and assault"

Lee "You have crossed off one of the 164 encounters"
MC "Is there a commemorative magnet I can buy?"

The party sees smoke where the town is supposed to be
Jim "Or was"
Kevin "I'm going to assume they're having a BBQ festival"

Discussing spells to fight fires
Jim, to Kevin "Can you make it rain?"
Lee, Mike and MC all do the 'make it rain' gesture
Mike "Gold pieces everywhere"

Talking about the older but attractive female NPC
Mike "Is she trustworthy?"

The party is splitting up to check the giants' tracks and the hole they dug in the center of town
Lee "Team Hole"
Jim "Team Town"
Lee "Team Town Hole"

Describing the tracks
Lee "Even Callum's 1st edition ranger could follow these track"

Talking to the dwarven smith
Lee, in character "How can I help ye?"
Jim "All dwarves are Scottish"

Discussing Viking Metal music
Kevin "I didn't know they had electricity"

Jim is running Chmiel's sorceress Astrid and casts Fireball
Jim "Badda Bing, Badda Boom… Fireball!" Rolls massive damage, wiping the orcs from the map
Lee, picking up the orc paper minis "I'm glad I made all these orcs up"

Lee is reading his notes and laughs and giggles
Jim "When the game master laughs, it's too late. And I say that from personal experience"
Callum "Am I going to die?"

Lee moving fire spirits repeatedly "Fire, fire, fire!"

Kevin is discussing Callum's wounded character
Kevin "Do you have a potion of healing?"
Callum "No, I have 14 hit points"
Kevin "Those are unrelated"

Talking about Michael's monkey hengeyokai character from our Oriental Adventures campaign Blood Vengeance
Michael "I just wanted to get one more level and go bananas"
Jim "Bananas?"

Lee "It's like throwing a pie in his face, but the pie is on fire"

Callum's barbarian goes berserk
Jim "Get your rage on"

A couple of PCs are down
MC "It's like Weekend at Bernie's"