Karzoug Rising

Skull's Crossing

Trouble with Trolls...

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Three of our intrepid adventurers made way to Skull’s Crossing, the ancient dam holding back Storval Deep. Wyrenn, Joril and Grinoc trudged up, through the sheets of heavy rain, pummeling them as they made their way through the stair leading to the top of the dam. Water streamed from their wide brimmed hats and foul-weather cloaks, making the trip rather miserable.

At the top of the hewn stone stairs, they sought refuge in a large cave, though a minor bit of rock climbing was involved to get up and in. Once inside, the breeze running through the cave from an egress in the rear brought with it the decaying stench of dead flesh. Without any further warning, a two-headed giant emerged from an alcove charging at them with its knobby club! The fighting was fast and furious, with flashing steel and shadowy spell, leaving the giant one head hanging limp and a gaping hole in its chest!

After a short rest, to catch their breath, the three ancient heroes scaled another sheer 10 foot climb to reach their destination, once again feeling the weight of the foul weather on their shoulders. Looking out into the gloom, they made out shadowy silhouettes upon the walkway atop the great dam. As lightning flashed, they saw that the figures were not men, for they were too large for that, but ogres! They were intent on weakening the dam, and in so doing, flood all of Turtleback Ferry and the surrounding outpost!

Calling upon the thunder, and wresting some control from the storm, Grinoc pulled a bolt of lighting down from the sky! It blasted one of the giant-kin, knocking it over the edge and into the raging waters of Storval Deep! Thinking it a freak accident of nature, the ogres paid it no mind, and continued to bash on the hard walls of the structure, allowing Grinoc, Joril, and Wyrenn to approach unnoticed.

The heroes charged the ogres who were exhausted from bashing on the dam, too tired to notice the coming onslaught! Another lightning bolt flashed down striking what looked like the leader. The towering lummox stood unflinching at the bolt, and stared down at his attackers. Joril charged a pair of the giant-kin standing together, and slashed out laterally, cleaving through one, and continuing on to strike its companion. Cutting through the first ogre stole too much momentum from the blade causing it to bounce of the creature’s tough hide! Wyrenn’s shadowy magicks hammered into the leader, again and again, keeping it off balance as her friends struck true at their opponents. Within minutes, Grinoc barreled into one ogre, shoving it off the side of the dam, sending it to its death at the bottom of the gorge, and Joril finished off the remaining ogres, leaving only the biggest one. It dropped to its knee as the three of them ganged up to finish it, and finally, one of Wyrenn’s Shadowbolts burst its heart…

The three surveyed the damage that they had caused, and that of the ogres upon the wall. Content that it was not too bad, they started toward the central structure, intent on opening the sluice gates to relieve pressure upon Skull’s Crossing. The waters of Storval Deep surged on the other side of the structure, and the heroes thought that they saw this huge wave barrel over the dam… Was there something more than that? They decided that it must have been their imagination and continued on.

They approached the central building to find the doors leading in barred or barricaded. Using brawn, the elf Joril, and shoanti Grinoc hammered at the doors until they gave way, allowing them entry into the shelter of a rather large room. Unburdened by the weather, they looked about the room, lighting a torch to get a better look about the dark, damp place. Ropy strands of mold hung from the ceilings like curtains, obscuring much of the room. An ogre hook, favored weapon of the giant-kin lay in the center of the room, blood staining the floor. Suddenly, there was an explosion of movement as four trolls burst out from behind the moldy brocade!

The heroes had little trouble handling the vile cousins of the ogres once they had the torch available to burn the trolls, putting a halt to their regenerative fortitude. Wyrenn even managed to brain one with its own giant spiked club, before they set it ablaze. One troll, however, managed to escape! It bolted out of the room, deeper into the complex. Putting to a quick chase, Wyrenn leapt after it, unable to strike it down before it was out of sight.

They followed as it led them down a set of stairs, deep into the heart of Skull’s Crossing, until they arrived at a large chamber with a pool of mucky, stagnant water. Remembering something of their past lives, Wyrenn weaved an illusion of a mwangi wizard that was giving a rousing speech at the edge of the pool. In a violent explosion of movement, a fork-like spear pierced the illusion’s chest and pulled it into the pool! In immediate response, Grinoc called the lightning into the pool! Though it was not as powerful, since it was not being called from a natural source, the bolt lit the pool up in a flash, breaking up some of the muck! However, no body floated up…

Wyrenn heard a noise from a room to the East of their position, so they decided to go West. They opened a door and found another room with a pool… this one rippling with recent movement…

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Grinoc turned to check behind them, ensuring their safety, and he saw a water troll towering above him, fork-like spear in hand! Reacting quickly, the shoanti general took hold of the shaft, halting its progress toward his heart! In an inspired burst of strength, Grinoc threw the troll against the wall, pinning it there until Joril and Wyrenn could join in!

Once the initial shock of a puny human manhandling him, the water troll threw Grinoc into the ceiling with such force that the human thundercaller felt several ribs crack under the force of impact. Landing with a thud, Grinoc coughed up blood and tried to stand. Wyrenn acted in an instant, healing her friend and spinning to slam her quarterstaff in its face! The flurry of attacks between Joril and Wyrenn were too much to take and finally the troll succumbed without causing further damage. Grinoc happily set the body on fire to keep it from returning to life!

Searching the place, the adventurers discovered both the control mechanism, and a surviving troll that was scared witless! The creature tried to run away as fast as it could, but once the heroes found that they needed life force to activate the sluice gates, they decided that they would hunt down this troll and use it to open the gates.

Joril and Grinoc intimidated the troll into walking into the device, and once Wyrenn activated it, the screams of the troll pierced through to their souls. Its whimpering, pathetic form was wracked with sobs, and Grinoc felt that after putting it through so much pain, he had to put it out of its misery. Those screams will haunt the heroes’ sleep for weeks…

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