We open by looting the bodies. The wizard, the spymaster, and the king are the only ones with any appreciable treasure. There’s a cabinet full of potions; Azrael suggests that it might trapped. So… we Death Ward everybody with the wand, and then Marshall summons 3 celestial monkeys. Elixir of sneaking, oil of darkness, cat’s grace, cure light wounds, and silversheen get brought over from the shelves. The second monkey tries the trap door, and fails to set off any traps. The big adamantium door doesn’t set anything off either. Once they’re done, two of the monkeys start going at it.
Using the keys we took from the bodies, we unlock the doors. First, we open the trapdoor where the king kept his treasure. It’s… a lot. 18,000 silver, 20,000 G, 1580 pp, 34000 in gems, 19000 in artwork, and a bunch of arcane and divine scrolls. Cloaks of resistance, +2 and +3, staff of conjuration, and a pair of wings of flying which Marshall immediately commandeers.
We then turn to the adamantium door. Inside is a strange-looking man lying on an altar; he appears to be in some sort of stasis. Marshall attempts to dispel the stasis and succeeds; the man sucks in a breath and tries to sit up. “Thank you for saving me from that nasty giant. Please, take me somewhere where I can really stand up.”
We take him out of the cell, and he turns back into a titan once the ceiling is high enough. Then he looks at all the bodies. “Did you do all this?”
Marshall: “We did.”
Azrael: “There’s still something pulling at him..."
Titan: “After they ambushed me, they kept me trapped…”
So, the sundering prevented him from leaving Fanaxia and reaching Asguard. Stuck here, the titan was aging, and the Cloud Giant became a priest and his men ambushed the titan. "In my youth, I might have taken them; but they trapped me, and were draining my power to elevate their followers into giants.”
He looks at Tavros: “I have a geas for you.”
“The grandfather charges you with establishing a church in this land.” He pulls out a necklace. “This necklace, if placed around the neck of a worthy individual, will raise him to the priesthood and make him head of the church here in Fanaxia. If you accept, during this quest you will not be able to detect evil.”
Tavros accepts the necklace. He is now the Sword of Amun, and henceforth wields the Father’s Holy Justice. Ruin asks about Eva, and the Titan suggests that she might have been pulled in many directions. Hyperion the Titan promises that if he runs into her he’ll tell her we’re looking for her and try to help. He then demonstrates Meteor Swarm for Azrael. “You see? Amun is pretty cool.”
Azrael: “Amun is pretty cool…” He immediately moves to go collect meteor fragments.
We stop to rest, and Azrael summons a Magnificent Mansion (which he refers to as the Nine Halls, so that he can be the Lord of the Nine Halls) and we rest for the night.
Azrael’s quite sure he can teleport us to the front porch of the shack that he and Ruin feel drawn towards. So, after a brief conversation with another adventuring party -- four people and a dog -- Azrael teleports us to the hermit’s hut.
The door is open and there are barrels and crates and shit out front, and there’s growling inside and somebody shouting, “Use your noses! That old coot must have hid his treasure around here somewhere.”
Marshall looks at Tavros: “Usual plan.”
Tavros nods, and whispers, “Get her!”
Two dire wolves are sniffing around in there, a long with a large, hirstute man in a cloak, a belt, and a loincloth, and not much else.
Tavros strolls in the door: “I say, sir, I must ask you to take your wolves and leave this place where you clearly don’t belong.” He draws his sword.
Marshall starts enchanting himself for better damage, and move into the house. He makes it all the way to the doorway. Ruin charges in and attacks one of the dire wolves, hitting it very hard but failing to kill it. Also, the wolf has glowing red eyes. Our dude roars and turns into a half-wolf half man. He attacks Ruin, doing a fair amount of damage. A dire wolf follows up, damaging him and tripping him. Marshall moves in and attacks the tripping wolf, which proves harder to hit than the first one, and hits it once.
Azrael fires off a quickened ray of enfeeblement and a ray of exhaustion on the werewolf, weakening him significantly. The werewolf is larger than he was; he reaches out and attacks Tavros. The wolves attack Tavros, rending him; Marshall heals him. Tavros takes that moment to step forward again and tags the weaker of the two dire wolves, taking it down. Azrael follows up with an empowered Scorching Ray on the other wolf. Both the wolf and the werewolf attack Tavros; the werewolf does some damage but the wolf misses.
Ruin starts loosing arrows and sinks two of them, one into each of the wolf’s eyes. (Ironic, since Ruin was the young barbarian who disdained the bow in favor of hitting things at close range with a sword.) The wolf goes down.
The werewolf attacks Tavros again, hitting him twice. Tavros is still up. Marshall moves in, and the wolf turns and attacks him on the way in, doing some damage. He casts anti-magic field, causing the dude to revert to human form. “Oh, you son of a bitch!”
Marshall: “Do you yield!?”
Marshall: “You’re going to regret that when I turn into a giant snake!”
Tavros moves around and flanks him, hitting him; Ruin charges and attacks as well. Marshall steps in and attacks, hitting once but failing to damage. Tavros attacks again, then steps back to avoid his whirlwind attack; Ruin finishes him.
We check the bodies. The wolves have turned back into people; we loot the leader. The cabin is trashed, the trap door is open, and the stairs go gown to a small stone closet. There’s not much here. The cabin actually looks abandoned.
We pause to do Speak with Dead on the super-were leader. The druid who lives here has all kinds of treasure. He doesn’t know where the old man is. The old man’s name was Zilv. Nothing is downstairs. How long were they here? A couple of hours. How did you know he wasn’t here? He hasn’t been here for months - ran away like a pussy. Pansy little elf-man, tree-hugger. The dead were believes the South will rise again and Northern Fanaxia will fall, praise Urgroth. Malwin’s the boss. He’s in his cave. By the waterfall, to the east, here on tooth island.
Ruin and Azrael go downstairs and immediately spot the secret door. We open it and find a basement room overgrown with roots with a masonry stone table to one side, and a piece of natural stone with runes carved on it is setting on the table. Written on the stone is, “Restore balance to raise me from my slumber.” There’s a thick layer of dust, except there’s an outline as if there’s something lying there.
Ruin puts a hand out to see if it’s something invisible.
A voice says, “Welcome, brother,” in Elvish. Everybody except Marshall understand it. Ruin takes Azrael’s hand and puts it on the stone.
It has years since the sundering and the loss of my people. I am a shepherd without a flock. With the rest of the world gone, I am I fear the last True Elf. Brothers, if you be stout of heart, defeat Malwin and free this land.
Azrael: “So… unfortunately, Ruin heard this.”
The compulsion on Ruin and Azrael dissipates.
Back on the boat, Lord Crowe had shared a story about some merchants that had been cast upon the shore and were captured by a race of giant beastmen who lived on this island. Apparently there was some truth to this.
Azrael theorizes that what was happening with the apparently-variable difficulty in hitting was actually something interfering with Tavros’ attacks. Tavros, just as a precaution, drops Cure Disease on Ruin -- in case this giant werething might be catching, as it were.
We think that there's probably a set of scales that need to be placed back on the rocks.
We head east and find the cave, which is surround by tracks of dire wolves, wolves, and humans. Ruin and Azrael have this vision of an unnatural cave, with building and trees and rocks and streams; it's an old Elven magic. When Fanaxia was still part of Povos, this would have been near to the druid's groves. Now, of course, it's been taken over by werebeasts.