The Wardens bundled themselves in their winter clothing and armor before the hut’s protective barrier faded. After lowering themselves to the long entrance hall to the Eye of the All-Father, they waited as Harshnag shouldered against the large doors where the barbarians had previously attempted to melt. Several sheets of ice crash to the stone with the frost giant’s effort and eventually he was able to push one of the doors open. Similar ice was piled beyond the door as the cold from this region encrusted everything in a thick sheet of ice crystals.
As the Wardens entered the room beyond the doors, they realized the enormity of it. Frost clung to every surface of the 100-foot-high vaulted ceiling. Its depth and width was nearly 250-feet and seven enormous statues dominated the room. After illuminating one of the iron sconce 15-foot above the floor, it slowly spread to several other sconces along the walls and the vast room was bathed in light. The central statue was at least 80-feet tall and represented a robed giant with a deep cowl and arms outstretched toward a glowing portal across from the entrance. The other six statues represented the giantkind; hill, stone, frost, fire, cloud, and storm. Each kneeled in deference and presented a weapon to the central figure. Only the frost giant appeared to be missing its weapon as its hands were outstretched to hold such, but they were empty. Though the statues were stone, the weapons appeared different and included; a bone club for the hill giant, a rock boulder for the stone giant, an iron greatsword for the fire giant, a mithral spear for the cloud giant, and an adamantine trident for the storm giant.
The group quickly divided and started searching the chamber. Carden discovered a secret door behind the ice coated wall in one of the corners. Aelith discovered that the central statue had no features beneath the hood and Harshnag explained that none would dare to assume the features of Annam when asked about this. Droom exclaimed that two sets of double doors were on the right wall behind the ice settled there as Tamnai found similar doors along the left wall. Harshnag explained that barracks lay to the left and the feast hall lay to the right. He explained that in his youth he was here over two centuries ago with a Jarl seeking the Oracle. However, he spent his time on guard outside or in the barracks and feasthall.
The group gathered around the portal with Dyan’ette as the dark elf used magic to study the runes and the supposed portal. Harshnag recognized one of the six runes as the rune Ise, the ice rune that represents his race. Sic separate mithral runes surrounded the arch as a thick mist filled the arch. After several discussions, the Wardens decided that they needed to find the frost giant weapon so Harshnag, a frost giant, could touch it to the ice rune of his kind. The giant agreed. After Carden informed him of the secret door, Harshnag exclaimed that he would remove the ice from one of the doors leading to the barracks and the feasthall along with the secret door.
The Wardens travelled into the vast barracks to discover a huge stone statue representing a stone giant with arms outstretched toward the central hall that runs the barracks area. Giant stairs on each side of the entrances to the barracks climbed upward into another long hall. Dyan’ette discovered that the lower statue was magical and likely animated when triggered. The group methodically searched the lower and upper halls to eventually discover a magical trap on the floor of the lower hallway almost 300 feet up the slight inclined hallway. Search of the upper quarters revealed a giant bag with some giant rope and an anchor, a 6-foot wooden fence post, some stale and rank cheese, and a smaller bag containing a magical ice sliver and three frozen decapitated dwarf heads. The lower section revealed a natural crack with strange icy filaments in one of the rooms that led into the glacier.
Returning to the main room with the enormous statues, it was learned that two secret doors were discovered and uncovered by Harshnag. Both once slid open by the frost giant revealed identical rooms with a single giant lever in the down position. The group settled on the belief that the levers controlleded the portcullises. They headed toward the feast hall in hopes to find the missing frost giant weapon.
Entering the feast hall amazed everyone as this chamber was equally enormous to the original chamber. Similar lighting from the sconces ran the room along with a huge raging fire leaping high from a central bowl shaped basin in the center of the hall. The hall was 240-feet wide by 440-feet deep, with a 200-foot alcove in the left wall. Six gigantic pillars 20-feet in diameter and 60-feet tall supported the vaulted ceiling. Arranged about the central fire were six granite tables with matching benches and two 9-foot tall stone slabs stained with blood and grease. Before the group could adequately search the room, a heavy scuttling noise was heard approaching from the alcove.
A huge centipede-like creature with sheets of heat shimmering from it hastily charged the intruders. The Wardens rushed to battle the monstrosity and Droom was the first to strike it closely. The dwarven champion’s strikes were incredible as he managed to blind it with critical strikes to both of the creature’s eyes. However, Droom suffered damage from the creature with each hit as his arms seared and burned from the heat’s proximity. An assault of spell, blade, axe, and hammer destroyed the centipede-like creature that Harshnag referred to as a remorhaz. A further search of the vast chamber discovered a hole burrowed into the glacier below as well as a huge steel greataxe assumed to be the missing frost giant weapon.
Returning to the statue room, Harshnag acted upon the groups wishes and touched the axe to the Ise rune. A rolling thunder sounded and the mist shrouded portal sparked with blue lightning and the mist started to roll within. Carden immediately just stepped into the arch and disappeared. Dyan’ette, Rhogar and Tamnai followed. Aelith and Droom looked at each other in confusion at such a trusting maneuver. Harshnag was beyond them and shrugged. After Aelith placed his arm in the mist and then pulled it back intact, he and Droom enetered.
Beyond the thundering archway, a huge hexagonal chamber with walls rising 50 foot to a tapering ceiling was revealed. Each corner of the room had a life-sized representation of a giant holding a lit lantern in an outstretched arm. The cold magical light illuminated a giant corpse lying in the center of the room covered in the same frost covering the chamber. A thorough search and detection of magic revealed that the lanterns were everburning lights while the dead cloud giant in the center wore magical armor and gripped a magical object.
As Carden examined the body, a ghost-like image of the dead giant manifested and spoke to the group. Several minutes passed as the exchange revealed that the ghost was named Eigeron and was slain by his father, Blagothkus, when his father was told by the oracle that he was unworthy of Annam. The oracle suggested that Eigeron step from beneath his father’s shadow and this resulted in the betrayal and death of Eigeron. Discovering a circle of magical runes in the center of the room, the group cleared the ice and the body from the circle. The ghost asked the party to avenge him by slaying his treacherous father and in turn explained the ritual to question the oracle. The group agreed and gathered their questions as Dyan’ette identified the magical items discovered thus far.
After some agreement on questions, Aelith was volunteered to ask the questions. So, the ranger started the process. The ranger entered the runic circle and asked, “Annam, I beseech the, what must be done to end the current rampage of the giants?” A heavy presence pressed around Aelith and answered in a rumbling voice of the giant tongue. Carden had cast comprehend languages and Droom already understood the giant tongue as did Harshnag. The dwarf interpreted for the group. “Find a magic conch of the storm giant king, Hekaton. Use it to visit Hekaton’s court. Root out the evil therein.” After the answer, the lantern held by the hill giant statue darkened.
The group discussed further and decided on their second question. Aelith repeated the process asking, “Where is the magic conch needed to visit King Hekaton’s court?” the answered once interpreted was, “The conchs are in the clutches of giant lords.” Again, another lantern darkened, this time the stone gian’t lantern. Some discussion and some inquiry of both Harshnag and the ghost of Eigeron confirmed that each giant species had a few giant lords. It seemed as if any of the giant lord’s to Hekaton’s court would have a conch to allow travel there.
A third question was discussed to narrow down the closest conch. Aelith added that the group should seek to infiltrate a hill giant lair as opposed to one of the greater giants. Thus the third question was asked, “Where can the closest conch possessed by a hill giant lord be found?” The interpretation was, “Travel south over tree, hill, and vale. Let the great river be your guide. There, on one of its eastern arms, you’ll find Grudd Haug – the den of the hill giant chief Guh. The conch you seek is close to her.” As the third lantern held by the frost giant statue darkened, the group started discussing the location and Droom pulled out his detailed map of the north that he obtained in Gauntylgrym. It was decided that the great river referred to the River Dessarin and an eastern branch was just above Goldenfields where many hill giants were spotted and battled before.
As Dyan’ette finished identifying the icy shard, the warm triangular opal found in Eigeron’s hand, and the armor from Eigeron’s corpse, the drow shared that he thought the portal may be timed and not related to the lanterns or the questions asked. This prompted the group to pick up their questioning.
A consensus was reached to ask about the location of Blagothkus to possibly seek justice for Eigeron’s murder. The fourth question was asked, “Where is Blagothkus located?” and the interpreted answer was “His shadow lies on Parnast.” The lantern held by the fire giant darkened. No one was sure of Parnast, but all felt it was a location they could attempt to find later on their map. Also, the group was worried about the cloud castle moving.
The fifth question was about the dragon scales carried by the party. The question queried the location of another similar scale not possessed by the party. The answer stated, “Deep within the High Moor, sunken with the dead of past, a mossy scale in a field of spore, forgotten by those that last.” And the second to last lantern held by the cloud giant darkened.
Hurrying the group along as nearly 45 minutes has passed since the portal opened, a final question was asked by Rhogar about the Chalice of Bahamut. The answer was: “A vessel lost during a caustic altercation, alongside wealth welcoming temptation, a circle of wood acts as sentry, to gates once stalked by hell’s entry, ever beneath watchful eyes, a symbol for the pure and wise.” The last lantern held by the storm giant darkened.
Everyone rushed from the oracle chamber back into the large statue room and watched to see when the portal would close. A dozen minutes later, the portal flashed again and resumed its misty nature. A discussion on whether the oracle could be accessed again led an attempt by Harshnag to touch the axe to the Ise rune again to no avail. The group decided that it could be based on a time frame and agreed to try after further exploring the area and a long rest.
Eager to see what the trapped area in the barracks hall was, Carden called forth a giant hyena from his bag of tricks and sent the creature down the hall with instructions to go to the end and return. The hyena did not return, but soon after a large boulder rolled down the hall to be stopped by the stone giant statue with its arms outstretched. The statue then animated and started pushing the boulder back up the hallway and the group followed. Determining that the rooms past the magical trapped floor were empty, the group decided to explore the natural crack with the icy filaments. Harshnag returned to the feast hall to await their return.
The narrow uneven passages proved irritating for the party. The giant ice spiders they encountered only seemed to ail Carden as the rogue was not only restrained by their webs, but bitten repeatedly. However, the party slew a half a dozen of the spiders before discovering a room filled with webs. Dyan’ette’s spider familiar imparted that something big nested in the web and a well-placed fireball incinerated the ice spider queen and her eggs. Rummaging to find a surviving potion and a warhammer with a valuable sapphire, the group continued until they discovered a treacherous opening on the outer glacier.
Finishing their search of the uneven spider caves, the group discovered a few husks after the remaining ice spiders fled. Discovering an exsanguinated giant goat in one and a dwarven miner in another, the last held a living being. Cutting the cocoon revealed a terrified female Uthgardt barbarian in heavy furs. The Uthgardt looked at the group nervously. Upon seeing the amulet that Tamnai wore from the slain Uthgardt at the entrance to the Eye of the All-Father, she leaped on Tamnai and attempted to choke the priestess. Dyan’ette and Carden immediately attacked the woman. Dyan’ette blasted her with a firebolt that knocked her from Tamnai and Carden started to jab forward with his rapier when both Aelith and Droom tried to stop him. Nimble as ever, Carden avoided their grasp and turned his sword to strike with pommel at the last minute. Unfortunately, the woman shrieked in pain as the pommel crashed against her head and convulsed with a look of terror upon her face. Tamnai quickly checked the woman for life, but announced that she was dead. Droom bellowed at Carden that he just slew an unarmed, unarmored, woman clearly able to be restrained by the group if given the chance. Carden pointed toward Dyan’ette who had blasted the woman and the dwarf warrior returned his disapproval on Carden as if the drow was acting just like a drow. Aelith seconded the scorn while Droom clearly voiced that Carden had performed such evil acts twice now before him and that a third would give the dwarf cause to strike Carden with equal impunity. Tamnai refrained from adding anything as did the paladin of Bahamut. The lack of the goodly paladin’s support drew equal scorn from Droom and Aelith.
The group returned to the feast hall and settled for a long rest as some reattuned their magic items with the newest additions discovered in the Eye of the All-Father. Droom found Parnast on his map against the western edges of the Anauroch far to the east.