Rise of the Runelords

Meet the Parents

Fortress of the Stone Giants, Part 2

Starday, 30 Kuthona, 4733

Having dismounted from their captured mammoth, Trumpy, Clairian Arrowsong and Flint reunite with their son Marcus. Clairian praises him for crafting his own armor, but chides him for not being stronger with the branding.

“There should be raven designs all over this!” she says, wrapping the mithral plate with her knuckles.

Flint and Clairian also reveal that the giant they brought back is still alive and available for questioning.

A platoon of heavily armored mercenaries return from their post at the Scarnetti manor. Far better equipped than any of the forces that defended the main town, “Alpha Squad” is welcomed back by Viorian Dekanti. They praise the defenses that Zavian laid down at the manor and Viorian gives him a pat on the shoulder. Feeling guilty, the cleric ropes the mercenaries into hauling the giant to a secure location—though Viorian insists on haggling for a fee.

Marcus offers to introduce his parents to his sort-of secret girlfriend Shayliss. They find her quietly trying to break back into her family’s grocery store and Marcus decides to hold off the introductions until later. Clairian uses a bit of magic to help Shayliss get inside.

Lea, meanwhile, takes Trumpy to the Goblin Squash Stables, which have not seen a mammoth in over a decade. However, the proprietor is able to make space for the creature. He gives Lea a bottle of wine as a thanks to the Rune Wardens for saving the town once again.

The paladin then heads off to check on Ameiko at the Rusty Dragon. The bard gets the Lea out of her armor and seats her somewhere comfortable to recover. Lea brags about breaking off Longtooth’s horn, and says she hopes to retrieve the whole head to serve as a new symbol of the Rusty Dragon. Ameiko’s glad she’s taking more of an interest in the business.

Marcus’ next stop is take his parents back to Das Korvut’s house. The blacksmith survived the battle, and he prepares tea while Marcus recounts his adventures. The young wizard notices that Flint seems to ask probing questions whenever the talk turns to Thassilon. Clairian, on the other hand, is more concerned with making sure Marcus got the proper credit for his heroism.

The two senior adventurers mention that their last adventure before returning to Sandpoint took them to the Thassilonian ruin of Hollow Mountain on a mission for the Pathfinders. Clairian explained that the dungeon was unusually active; to make matters worse, they were double-crossed by their companions and Flint spent an extended period mind controlled by a halfling. They retrieved a stone tablet from the ruins they thought might interest Marcus and Clairian presents it to him as a belated birthday present.

Meanwhile, Zavian finishes escorting the captured stone giant up to an open field near Old Light and uses stone shape to carve out a pit to leave the creature in. The cleric, joined by Nualia, goes off to help the townsfolk. He notices that Nualia is able to cast spells once again.

As the clerics travel through the town, they come across the smelly half-orc Gorvi scavenged some half-burnt shanks of meat from a butcher’s shop. Gorvi vigorously thanks them for saving the town and tending to the civilians. He gives them a grimy potion bottle as a sign of gratitude.

Once safely clear of the half-orc, Zavian remarks on Nualia’s renewed divine power, noting that Vivi wasn’t the only one to get something out of the vision quest with Idun. Nualia says that the last step was consecrating the former Lamashtu shrine in the Catacombs of Wrath as a shrine to Desna. Zavian expresses his own doubts about himself and the recent revelations about his history. After everything he has done for her, Nualia promises to stay at his side.

Zavian also checks in on the old woman, Risa, who he sort of rescued during the attack. She has returned to her quiet little tavern and is being looked after by her daughter. Zavian confesses that it was his failure to properly reinforce the defenses which led to the giants getting in. Risa urges him not to blame himself and reminds him that without the Rune Wardens, the town would have been doomed.

Over at the giant’s prison, Astrid and Prince Eldrin question the prisoner. The stone giant says that Mokmurian has learned ancient magics that will allow him to lead his army of giants to victory, driving the small folk into the sea. The prisoner says that Teraktinus sought a stone from the ruins of Old Light, for reasons unknown. Perhaps Mokmurian hoped to use stone giant arts to speak with the stone. The captive also identifies Mokmurian’s general Galenmir as the giant that led the raid on Astrid’s village, but he doesn’t know why.

The interrogation done, Astrid turns the giant over to the Sandpoint authorities for trial.

The Rune Wardens gather at the Rusty Dragon to regroup, where they are joined by Marcus’ parents. Lea confronts Flint over his true history as a Korvosan noble and one of the legendary Crimson Blades, the adventurers who saved Korvosa a generation ago. She asks where the hell he’s been and why he hasn’t returned to help in this time of need.

Flint says that he’s already died for Korvosa once, and doesn’t plan on doing it a second time. He and Clairian also explain that they have not been complacent all these years, having been adventuring across the Inner Sea against multifarious dangers. Marcus is confused by these sudden revelations. He asks Clairian if she’s got any secrets to share, and she insists she doesn’t. Marcus gets the sense she’s holding something back. Ameiko escorts the now quite drunk Lea upstairs.

Shayliss drops by the Rusty Dragon and gets roped into meeting Marcus’ parents. Clairian quickly takes a shine to her, having always known that Marcus would eventually find someone. Eventually, Flint convinces her to leave the poor girl alone and takes Clairian out onto the dance floor to the tune of Amelia’s latest ballad.

Marcus and Shayliss talk, and agree that the time has come to reveal their plan to leave together to her father.

Fireday, 5 Abadius, 4734

Marcus first takes Shayliss down to Magnimar for a couple of days while he has the strange dwarf wizard Kunarv enchant his cart. He runs into Viorian there as well, who has come to pick up a magic sword from the collector.

Upon returning, Marcus and Shayliss finally work up the nerve to talk to Ven Vinder. Marcus explains his interest in bringing Shayliss along to help with the wagon, spinning it as a safe learning experience. He intends to leave it to Shayliss to disclose their relationship, but Ven takes him aside first.

The burly shopkeeper has noticed the half-elf’s interest in his daughter and wants to make sure that Marcus doesn’t plan to make a career out of adventuring if he has any long term intentions towards Shayliss. Ven also reminds Marcus that he will kill him like a chicken if anything happens to the girl. Marcus recalls that the family has already lost one daughter, and feels a pit of worry in his stomach.

Marcus’ unease is not leavened by his father’s insistence that the two have a sparring match. Flint carries no weapons but his gloves, while Marcus is given a quarterstaff. While Clairian cheers him on, the son takes several swings at his father. He lands a coule hits, but isn’t able to press the advantage and ends up disarmed. The whole experience leaves both men frustrated, though Marcus dimly recognizes it as an attempt by Flint to connect with him.

Inspired by the match, Lea challenges Astrid and the two end up squaring off, while Zavian referees and also serves as bookie. Astrid is the heavy favorite, and validates the odds by winning handily over Lea.

Sunday, 7 Abadius, 4734

After a day’s sailing, the party arrives in Magnimar. While the others commission the Maiden’s Folly to once again ferry them up the Yondabakari River, Zavian seeks out a powerful cleric. With the priest’s aid, he is able to dispell a curse from the scrap of parchment he’d retrieved from the old Sarenrite shrine in the Shade District, allowing him to read it fully.

Sunday, 14 Abadius, 4734

After sailing up the river and across Lake Syrantula, including being challenged by both Magnimarian and Korvosan warships, the Rune Wardens arrive at the town of Melfesh. A forest of red and black tents has sprung up outside the town walls and it is there that the party heads. They are directed to the command tent, where a figure in black and gold armor steps out to meet them.

It is Lea’s eldest brother, Crown Prince Telus, who chides Lea for her poor timing. He explains that she is not the only guest at the camp.

Moments later, they are joined by Lea’s mother, Queen Cressida Kroft, who is in conversation with Lord-Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras of Magnimar. Lea awkwardly introduces her girlfriend to her mom and explains she is returning to Korvosa at her father’s request.

Cressida speaks with Lea and Telus alone in the warded command tent. She explains that the Runelord Sorshen is stirring in her vault deep below Castle Korvosa. The problem started five years ago and has only grown worse. Sorshen, the Runelord of Lust, specialized in enchantment magic. In the event that she rises, much of the Korvosan military has been deployed to the frontiers. It’s a show of strength to Korvosa’s neighbors, but it also keeps the army away from any mind controlling powers. Cressida suspects that Lea has been summoned back because her father heard of her exploits and believes she is powerful enough as a paladin to be immune to charm magics.

This is all news to Lea, but also to Telus, who doesn’t like being kept out of the loop. Cressida also confesses that she’s worried about her husband’s state of mind. His recent messages have been cryptic, and by all accounts he is shut up in the palace, obsessing over the risk from below. With an army of giants on the loose, Cressida can’t return to the city to investigate. She has to deal with the problem at hand.

Outside, the Queen’s captain-adjutant Remmy has been regaling Zavian with a long and increasingly implausible story about how she lost her eye. All of a sudden, a Korvosan soldier goes flying through the air. A trio of hulking Shoanti warriors barge through the camp, their leader demanding to see Queen Cressida on behalf of his father, Krojun Eats-What-He-Kills.

The young warrior Sejun dumps a stone giant’s head on the ground. He says that the giants are raiding the Sklar-Quah, during winter when the tribe is at its weakest. The giants are amassing in the Iron Peaks, far too strong for the Shoanti to fight on their own. Sejun demands that Korvosa honor its alliance and come to their aid.

Lord-Mayor Grobaras chimes in to say that he too has come to discuss an alliance against the giants. Cressida invites them both back into the command tent to discuss. On his way into the tent, Sejun tells Lea that losing his earthbreaker to her years ago was a lesson in humility; he tells her to hang onto it until she deems him worthy. Lea finds herself left back outside, where Remmy is wrapping up her winding take about the missing eye.

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