Using some Clairvoyance spells, Father Neil’s party and the Cloud Giants chose the best time to sneak past the patrols and avoid detection by Swarven and the fire giants. The plan was to attack the guards at the cave mouth and then make a stand against Swarven and the rest of the Giants using magic and tactics. The party drank all the potions that the Despot of Melvaunt had sent, and several more of their own, until they felt they had the best defense and offense against the giants.
Using the Cloud Giants’ ability to levitate, they silently drifted up along the shadowy crevice near the cave mouth, reaching within 60 feet of the fire giant guards posted outside the cave mouth. When they were finally discovered, all H*ll broke loose, and the party exchanged missile fire with the Giants, finally engaging them in battle. They defeated two adult giants, five teenage giants (including two who had been invisibly hidden), two Ettins and four Hellhounds. After healing most of the damage that they took, the party moved a few hundred feet into the cave to set up a defensible position before the noise of their battle drew attack from within the cave.
As the horde of young giants, led by the giant clerics, four Ettins and eight Hellhounds thundered towards them, the party used their last preparation spells, including hasting themselves. The giants put up good opposition, including blinding Marielle, the sorceress and doing good damage against Cyrus and Headina Cloud. The party killed the giant clerics, the last adult giant, the last teenage giant and nearly all the ‘tween giants, and began to devastate the ranks of the nearly 50 younger giants behind them, but after less than a minute, their attention was drawn to their rear quarter. SWARVEN had flown into the cave!!! Using his tremendous speed, he bore down on the party and breathed DRAGONFIRE! He also used the Quicken spell feat to cast spells to protect himself and to Enfeeble and Daze members of the party.
After several passes at the party, Swarven managed to kill Marielle and her familiar, Copernicus, as well as the youngest Cloud giant, Seeda, with his infernal fire. Nearly every member of the party took heavy damage. But the party members rallied and pelted Swarven with rocks and missile fire every time he approached. Despite all of his magical protections, the party eventually brought him down and killed him. The dragon could easily have escaped, but his insane thirst for vengeance, coupled with his ego and vanity, allowed the party to finish him off.
Once Swarven was dead, the remaning three dozen juvenile fire giants turned tail and ran, pursued for a distance by some of the party, but the party was so bruised and battered that it eventually let them get away. They headed East into the mountains, presumably to try to find some of their own kind there. The party freed the dwarves from their prison and restored to them the wealth of their Citadel that had been collected by Swarven in his lair and that had been distributed to the giants. They had to use up all of their healing magic, potions and scrolls, and still they were in precarious shape until a night had passed and Brother Clement and Headina Cloud were able to heal everyone’s injuries to a safe level. Fortunately, no further attackers threatened the group that first day and night.
The dwarven Shaman, who had hidden his identity and powers from Swarven, readily identified himself. Combining the party’s magic and the Shaman’s, as well as magical items found in Swarven’s lair that he had stolen from the Citadel, the Shaman and the party were able to revive Marielle and Copernicus from the dead. Using his special powers, the Shaman was able to transfer experience from the grateful dwarves to the party, and the party soon felt his weird magic coursing through their bodies as they all progressed to the next level of power.
The giants wrapped up their dead daughter’s body the next morning; they needed to travel to their homeland to let their own high priests raise her from the dead. The dwarves rewarded the giants for helping to save them with wondrous magical items and gold. The Cloud giants bade a tearful farewell to the party and moved off in haste towards their homeland, justly proud of their contribution.
The dwarves stayed in Swarven’s lair for six days to pack up their treasures and many of them labored hard to reward the party. They gave each member of the party some special magical item or items:
For the stealthy Juno Nim, using Swarven’s hide and Juno’s own gauntlets of dexterity, their most skillful armorers crafted a special set of +3 Red Dragon Leather Armor of Dexterity, that has the following special powers: The total armor bonus is +5; The maximum dex bonus is +8; No armor check penalty; Arcane spell failure 10%; Even though it weighs 30 lbs, when donned, it acts for all purposes as if it weighs only 5 pounds; It grants a +2 bonus to swim and climb checks.
For the brave Tegan Ashmara, they forged a +2 Longsword of the Forest, crafting the blade from the rare native ores found only below Swarven’s lair, which grants the wielder a +5 bonus to Wilderness Lore checks. They also exchanged her old armor for her a +2 mithral chain shirt.
For the beautiful sorceress, Marielle, so recently returned from the other world, they presented a +3 ring of protection to replace her +1 ring of protection. The ring was ripped from the dead talon of Swarven himself. They also enchanted her Amulet with the dragon-like ability of Frightful Presence. If an affected creature has only one hit die (up to 1 die +3) then it becomes Panicked and must flee, with a 50% chance of dropping anything it holds (see DMG, p. 85). If the creature has up to 3 hit dice below the wearer’s level, then it must succeed at a Will save (against the DC of the wearer’s Intimidate skill roll) or become Shaken and suffer a -2 penalty to all attacks, damage and saving throws; if the creature has from two hit dice less than the wearer up to the wearer’s level, then it must succeed at a Will save (against the same DC) but with a +5 bonus; if the creature has from one to three hit dice more than the wearer, their Will save bonus is +10; above that, the Will save is +15. To “activate it”, she needs to 1) be clearly SEEN by the foes, so that they are awestruck by her enchanted aspect (not a gaze weapon; they just need to see her and get a sense of how frightening she is); and 2) take some kind of aggressive action towards the opponents or their friends, like an attack or spell casting or make a credible threat (DM to adjudicate whether action or threat are sufficiently scary – role playing is important). For example, if the wearer casts Hold Person, but the person makes the save, then the action would not be frightening enough to activate the effect against the opponent or its friends. The range of the effect is 60 feet and all creatures in the range who have a view of the wearer’s face are affected. Even if the wearer turns away, the creature is still affected once it has seen the wearer’s face. If a creature succeeds in its saving throw against the frightful presence, it cannot be affected again that day.
For her familiar, Copernicus, the dwarves enchanted his spurs so that, while worn, they grant him +4 bonus to his Wisdom ability and the feat of Flyby Attack. They are now known as “Spurs of the Shaman”.
For the plucky bard Billy Bartholemieux, the dwarves exchanged his old rapier for a +2 Rapier of Melifluous Swashbuckling. The wielder of this magic rapier must be a bard. He receives a +2 bonus to his charisma ability and +4 to his tumble skill and perform skill while within 5 feet of the weapon.
For the pious Brother Clement, the dwarves forged a +2 dagger. They also gave to him a +2 light crossbow and 20 +1 crossbow bolts.
In addition to these magical items, they gave each member of the party (not including Copernicus) 1,000 gp worth of gems and coins and one potion of cure moderate wounds.
After accompanying the dwarves back to their Citadel to begin their long effort to rebuild it and re-establish their community, the party began the trip back to Melvaunt.