The group prepared themselves as they ascended the giant-sized stairs to the upper courtyard of the Giant Caste. The moonlight illuminated a single tall tower across the open courtyard of rocky ice. To the left was three huge domes against the inner wall with giant doors and a long rectangular structure. To the right was the tall wall of the castle that stretched further out of sight. The group chose the domes and Carden checked each for traps before unlocking the doors. All three were empty of occupants, but appeared to be visitor’s quarters for giants as they held various furnishings to include a giant bed, table, chairs, dresser, and armoire. Also, all three had access to a ledge when the back wall was touched, causing it to disappear and expose the room to the ledge and night sky beyond.
Slinking to the rectangular structure, the group discovered that its giant door contained a smaller wooden door like the barracks on the lower level. After Carden apoened the door, Droom slid into the dimly lit interior to hear gasps of several humanoids. He quickly realized that a score of woman and children occupied the room with most asleep until his startling entrance. The remaining members of the group entered as Droom set about calming the obvious captives. Confirming that these were the woman and children taken from Parnast, the group assured them that they would return them to their families below. Gathering information on the location of the cloud giant and his ogre retainers, the group moved to the single tall tower spied earlier.
Discovering that the lock on the tower was magical in nature, the group discussed whether to risk their spell resources to open it or bypass it. Eventually, the narrow vote to open the door was agreed upon and Tamnai used a spell to dismiss the magic on the lock. Entering the tower revealed a single giant staircase winding the inner walls to a single room some 100 feet above. Entering the eerie room revealed numerous giant runes floating about the room with only one, “anchor” remaining centralized. Additionally, numerous gemstones of various sizes and make, along with copper levers and mithral rods were embedded in the walls. The walls became transparent to anyone standing in the very center of the room. After discussion, a mutual agreement was reached that the room served as the control area for the castle’s movement and defenses. Only Droom felt a sentience in the room and shared it, but since no others felt the same, the group departed to further investigate the remaining structures.
Deciding to assault the ogre barracks identified by the captives, the group easily entered the barracks and quickly slew a dozen ogres as they attempted to rally a defense from their sleep. Further reconnaissance found a dilapidated tower, a tall tower with a blue sheen, and the largest tower housing the cloud giant and his personal guard of ogres. The group decided to take the trail just outside the ogre barracks winded up to the bluish tower. Again, after bypassing the lock, the group discovered themselves in a hollow tower with a giant stair winding the inner wall. Upon reaching the top chamber, four open balconies with thin curtains depicting clouds and clear skies were the only furnishings in the open chamber. Aelith decided to slide one of the thin curtains over the opening to a balcony and then a few members noticed a feint rune illuminated by the moonlight as it pierced the cloth. Sliding all the curtains across the openings, the group discovered runes that likely spelled a name, “Esclarotta”. Aelith voiced the name to Droom to answer the dwarves’ query and the entire group were transported to a sealed domed chamber of glowing blue ice. In the center of the chamber was a solid marble tomb with a carved figure resting upon it that resembled a female cloud giant in flowing robes. Dethek runes were carefully chiseled into each side beneath the figure and each read “Esclarotta”. Not willing to desecrate the tomb, the group set about looking for an exit and settled that magic was the only way to escape the room. Eventually, the group reasoned that the female giant was likely the mother of Eigeron and wife to Blagothkus. After pronouncing “Blagothkus” aloud, they were transported back to the tower top. They descended and skirted the ogre barracks to view the final large tower to see some activity upon the battlements above. Approaching the tower carefully, the group discovered another domed giant visitor chamber similar to the ones found earlier close to the final tower.
Suspecting an alarm similar to the ogre barracks, Carden climbed the wall and confirmed that a set of large silvered chimes were just within the door as the door was slowly cracked open. As Carden held the chimes for the group, Aelith snuck through the door. However, when Droom and Rhogar entered, their stealth was lacking. Two pompously dressed ogres in breastplates and frilled collars yelled out and the battle ensued. The group swiftly dispatched the two armored ogres as well as the two unarmored ones that were aroused from their sleep. But not before one of the unarmored ogres banged a gong suspended in the central table. The clanging deafened both Carden and Rhogar beneath it for nearly a minute and certainly alerted the tower above. Gathering their might, the group ascended the stairs to the floor above and found a locked door. Carden was unable to pick the lock. Droom, Rhogar, and Aelith rotated strikes with their shoulders to force the barred door open. Once the door was disabled, the group rushed the room to find the armored Cloud Giant Blagothkus and two of his ogre retainers. Spells were exchanged and an air elemental under the giant’s control entered the fray. The ogres were quickly slain, but the elemental sent both Tamnai and Dyan’ette flying before it was finally destroyed by Carden and his questionable blade. Realizing that he was outnumbered even after a lightning bolt and shatter spell that injured a few of his assailants, Blagothkus decided to make a break for it after a silence spell surrounded him. The cloud giant used magic to misty step and rush down the stairs stepping over those that tried to bar his path. Dyan’ette polymorphed Carden into a giant ape after the rogue cast some strange spell that leeched his own life force only to be hurled to heal Tamnai. The chase was on as the giant was outpacing the group. As the warriors rushed after the giant, Dyan’ette used a dimension door to transport him and Tamnai before the giant. At that moment, Aelith cast a sleet storm that surrouded the giant, the giant ape and the pair of casters. Chaos ensued as Aelith and Droom caught up to the storm’s edge. Rhogar enhanced his speed with magic and started hi circle of the storm to ensure the giant did not exit the other side. Dyan’ette cursed as his concentration broke but he eventually slid from the storm. Both Carden and Tamnai fared worse as they wandered blindly in the sleet. The giant, though originally hampered managed to levitate above the storm. Dyan’ette spyied the giant and Droom warned the others of his position above the storm. Aelith dropped the magical storm and the group reverted to ranged attacks. Tamnai struck from directly beneath Blagothkus with a series of scorching rays. The pair that hit burned deeply and the giant plummeted to crash on the hard-icy stone courtyard. As the group approached the corpse, a ballista bolt shattered the floor nearby and the group realized the need to eliminate the few ogres still atop the tower.
With no enemies in sight, the group searched Blagothkus to find a magical cloth and then searched the tower. The keys upon the giant opened two chests in his room that held tremendous wealth. The only room giving cause for further study was the third floor above Blagothkus’ chambers. It appeared to be a female’s room, though all the furnishings were covered in sheer cloth with dust suggesting that years had passed since its use. All the furnishings were giant-sized except a large mirror in the corner facing away. After removing all the cloths, the group searched for any valuables while Carden and Dyan’ette searched the mirror. Dyan’ette determined it to be magical with a transmutation property and even suggested that it may be a portal though he could glimmer little more with its current position in the corner. As Rhogar slid the mirror so that it could be searched properly, Carden started his search for traps along the rim. It was then that the rogue simply vanished when he moved before the mirror. Further study suggested that it could have transported him somewhere or even worse, it may have trapped him within. Dyan’ette set about with an identify spell after it was covered again. The drow confirmed that the mirror was used as a trap and was known as a mirror of life trapping.
The sudden shift in the castle suggested that it was moving. This sent Aelith, Droom, and Rhogar rushing to the control tower. Once there, they spoke with the disembodied voice of Esclarotta who was released from her bindings with Blagothkus’ death. She argued that she must find her son and that the castle was heading home to find him. Knowing that Eigeron was dead, the group sensed that his knowledge may not be best shared with his mother while aloft. Unable to convince the spirit to land the castle to allow the captives to depart, the group decided to call the airship to transport the captives to Parnast. Another decision was made to take a long rest before determining the best way to retrieve Carden and whether to inform Esclarotta of her son’s death.