Hill Giant's Hold

Summary

A Giant Heartbreak
The party confers on where to go next, they decide to follow the oracle's clue to go south to seek the hill giants' lair. They order the dragon cultists to fly them south east to meet the Dessarin river below Yartar. They follow the river down, looking for signs of hill giants. The party decides to land outside the town of Beliard and walks into town along the road. When they arrive at the town's inn, they see a sign that the town is hiring adventurers to drive off the hill giants that are stealing their cattle. The party questions the innkeeper about and decides to take the job, might as well get paid for what they were doing anyway. Reports say the hill giants are seen heading south, which matches up with one possibility from the oracle's clue. The party returns to the ship and heads south to scout.
From the airship, they spot a half ruined tower and decide to land and investigate. When they approach, they hear giant snores or sobs coming from the tower, a rock has been moved across the doorway. Valfir investigates and finds a female hill giant inside alone and sobbing. He makes out the name "Gahk", who is the hill giant chief. Valfir returns, but before the party can move, the hill giant leaves and heads off, apparently hunting. Alaric, Erza and Valfir hustle after her as the fastest party members while Sir Conlan, Skamos and Astrid follow. When the scouts catch up to her, Alaric approaches her and talks to her. He learns that Gahk is female and has driven all the other female hill giants out and is ruling over the men, including this giant's mate. Her name is Moog, Alaric promises to rescue her mate if Moog helps them, but she wants food first. He agrees and tells her to wait at the tower. The adventurers return to the airship and go back to town and buy two cows. They return with the cows and the giant immediately rips into them. After eating, the giant leads them to the hill giants' stronghold. They see a large building on the edge of a dammed up lake. There is a wood watchtower, a smaller secondary building and a circular corral of sheep with several tents of an orc camp in the middle of the pens. Cave mouths go under the building and into the hill.
Valfir goes to scout the side buildings while Alaric and Erza infiltrate the main building. Valfir finds a smithy run by a female hobgoblin in the side building and the main kitchen and that the tower is manned by four hobgoblins. Alaric and Erza sneak past the hill giant door guard and find a guard room with four orcs and the main chamber which is Gahk's throne room. She is a massive fat giant, sitting on an old wagon, surrounded by treasure and discarded bones and trash. Five male hill giants and four ogres are in the room with her and goblins bring food from the kitchen for them.

Burning down the House
The scouts fade back out to the party and Alaric questions their informant and figures out that the guard giant may be her mate. The party decides on a plan and moves forward to attack. Astrid opens the battle by dropping a Fireball into the orcs camp. A few survive, but they are cut down by missile fire from Erza, Alaric, Talik and Sir Conlan. The party moves foprward to close the range and the guard giant begins moving a boulder in front of the main hall's entrance. Valfir charges forward and Skamos hits the area with a Sleet Storm to try to slow the giant down. The party's archers peck at him, trying to wound him enough to stop him without killing him. But he retreats into the hall behind the boulder and the five guard orcs squeeze out to attack Valfir. Valfir melees wth them while the party shoots them down.
With the first wave of bad guys down, the party regroups. Talik joins Valfir and the investigate moving the boulder. From the tunnels below the keep, bugbears chargeout of one and two hill giants come from another. The bugbears spread out and heave javelins at the party, the hill giants drive in and attack Alaric, Skamos and Sir Conlan. Astrid Sleet Storms the bugbears to slow them down, then Fireballs them, killing more than half. In the tunnel behind the giants is a two headed humanoid that watches the battle and laters hides further back in the tunnels. Valfir and Talik charge into battle hitting the giants from behind, Talik goes into rage. Skamos uses Call Lightning and Erza fires her hand crossbow at the bugbears, then draws her rapier to fight the giants. Alaric and Sir Conlan fight a hill giant but Alaric is badly wounded and knocked unconscious. They finish the giants and heal Alaric enough to get him on his feet, then they withdraw to rest, then decide to rest the rest of the night. Alaric talks with Moog and gets more details on the nuber of giants and the layout of the keep. Sir Conlan pushes for plan to take the bad guys out a piece at a time and they return to the giant's stronghold the next morning. They approach from the river side and shoot flaming arrows at the wood guard tower and the smithy's roof. They trade long range missile fire with the hobgoblins in the watch tower. The party kills most as they try to climb down the tower and shoot the last one who is shooting them. The smithy is on fire and the hobgoblin smith and her two goblin assistants flee the area. The party moves closer to the main building, shooting fire arrows into and Astrid hits the thatch roof with Fireball. The party heads back to the doorway and Astrid peeks around the boulder and is smashed by a giant's club. Two giants are guarding the entry way. The party starts to attack and Valfir casts Sleet Storm with the ice rune and both the giants fall. But Astrid thinks one giant is Moog's mate and tries talking to him, but the only thing he understands is "Moog". Alaric steps up and talks to giant and tells him Moog sent them to bring him to her. The giant kills the other giant and they all retreat to see Moog. Moog and her mate have a reunion, then the party questions her mate, about the keep. He tells tham how many enemies are left and will help them get the conch. He suggests he bring some of them back as prisoners so they can attack frominside. The're not sure about a plan that starts with them surrounded by giants and try to come up with an alternative. Maybe send Alaric in with Valfir's Invisibility ring so he can find the conch with Detect Magic and sneak back out?
They decide to send Alaric, Valfir and Erza to steal the conch and the rest of the party will sneak up to the main door and provide a diversion. Talik sends the tressym Snowflake with them and uses Beast Sense to watch through its senses. Alaric casts Pass without a Trace, but ss the stealthy team approaches, they see movement behind a window. Valfir turns invisible and Shadow Steps to the window to see if the giants are watching. The giants appear ready for the players to attack. They have flipped up their tables to hide behind and have a supply of rocks to throw. The four ogres are there and six goblins are on their catwalk with short bows. Valfir moves to the roof and drops a rope. Alaric drinks a Potion of Climbing in case he has any trouble getting away. Erza and Alaric climb the rope, then the three drop it down inside the building and come down inside. They are in a side room off the kitchen which appears to be the meat slaughter house, the walls and floor are covered in blood and bits and there's a trash hole in the floor. They move to the main hall and come in behind the giants. Alaric uses Detect Magic but can't detect the conch, it must be buried in the garbage pile around Gahk…

The Death of Gakh, Queen of Hill Giants
Sir Conlan leads Skamos, Astrid and Talik up to the main entrance, their plan is to attack and cause a diversion to let the stealthy team escape. The boulder blocking the door has been moved. but the inside of the entranceway is still blocked by a heavy curtain. Talik is relaying what he sees through Snowflake's senses. With Alaric unable to detect the conch and retrieve it quietly, their stealthy plan is out the window. Alaric wants to assassinate Gahk and hopefully the giants' morale will crumble. Sir Conlan gives the word to attack. Astrid Fireballs Gahk and the stealthy party attacks her from behind. The giants throw stones at the diversion team and the ogres throw javelins and goblins snipe with short bows from the catwalk. The giants and ogres charge forward. Astrid continues to throw Fireball spells, Skamos attacks with Guiding Bolt and Spiritual Weapon, Talik goes into rage and charges to meet the first giant. Sir Conlan uses the Magma Ring and Summons four magmin and orders them to attack nearby giants and an ogre.
The stealthy team piles on Gahk (literally, actually climbing her bloated body to attack her) and kill her. A goblin squeezes out of one of Gahk's skin folds and runs away, it has the conch!. Valfir dashes after it and catches the goblin and gets the conch. Alaric proclaims that Gahk is dead and some of the nearby giants turn to see. Alaric talks to them and three of them agree to surrender. Erza and Valfir engage the goblin archers while Alaric talks to the giants. Valfir catches an arrow shot at him and throws it back, killing the goblin.
At the other end of the hall, the giants and ogres are too focussed on the diversion to hear what is happening behind them.They manage to slay the giants and ogres and the magmin are dismissed. The survivig giants are ordered to flee this are and not return. The party loots Gahk's treasure and retreats to heal up and decide if they want to explore the caves underneath or continue on their way to the giants' oracle.

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
Lee has his DM shields in a three sided barrier at his end of the table
Jim "I see you have a curtain wall around your position"
Lee "Like our president. Well, your president"
Jim "The president. I don't think any of us want to claim him"

Discussing a route for the airship to avoid being spotted
Mike "The hills may have eyes"
MC "I was going to say that, you jerk"

Arriving at town and seeing the wanted poster for hill giants
Mike "I look down for the railroad tracks"

Discussing the reward money for chasing hill giants who are stealing cattle
Mike "Moo-lah"

Talking about what hill giants find attractive, which seems to be big and fat
Jim "I don't want to see the BangBus episode for that"

Overplanning the attack
Lee "You guys are doing a good job of overplanning and I'm not even involved"

Summing up the last session for Kevin, talking about the werewolf bitten characters
Jim "We took everyone to Neverwinter to be purged, so we didn't have to purge them the hard way"
Lee "Is that what we're calling it?"
The party opened the raid with a Fireball on the orc camp
Kevin, to Callum "Did you know those orcs?"
Callum "I went to high school with one of them"

Lee puts down numbered pennies for bad guys
Chmiel "You'd save money if you used Canadian pennies"

The Sleet Storm spell only lasts for a round
Chmiel "It was over in a sleeting moment"

The party delivers the first hit on the enemy
Kevin "Nice; we're almost done"

Alaric goes to zero hit points
Chmiel "He's only mostly dead"

Astrid taunts the hobgoblins
Chmiel "Motherfucker!"
Lee, as hobgoblin "Stupid elves, you don't fuck your mother? You don't know what you're missing"

Trying to count up the number of bad guys, it was a few days before Christmas
Jim "Four hobgoblins, five ogres… Wait, we're doing this wrong. Twelve goblins…groping, eleven hobgoblins humping… No, that's wrong too"

In the first two fights, Kevin rolled a 1 for initiative both times. So he was concerned about his third roll
Kevin "I got a 1, but its followed by a 3, so that's ok"

Discussing attacking the hill giant's keep
Chmiel "We could pose as SkipTheDishes and bring some cows"

Lee called a goblin she, then changed it to he. There was some protest that the goblin could be female
Michael "Goblin #4, who sexually identifies as a potato"

There were a couple bags of potato chips, blocking Lee's view of the map
Lee <sings> "I can see clearly now, the chiops are gone"

Astrid yells "We killed Gahk!" to try to demoralise the giants
Kevin "They just hear 'Meow meow Gahk' "

Michael spends a Ki point to have his monk catch an arrow and throw it back and kill a goblin
Chmiel "It was a ki play"

One of the magic items is a small glass sphere
MC "A Remembrall"