After clearing the retinue of hill giants from the parade grounds of the Storval Stairs, the Heroes of the Everflame bedded down for the night and made plans on how to fortify the stairs against invasion in the coming days. The next morning, they set about retrieving lumber and scrap from the wrecked caravan at the foot of the steps and constructed barricades along the length of the great stone edifice.
That night, the party awoke to the sound of singing. Ylderic rose from his bedding and began making his way back down the steps. Several of the other party members realized that he was wandering off and decided to follow him. They were assailed again by the spectral voice on the wind and felt their wills bend and shake with each note.
Ylderic was unresponsive to the questions of his fellow pathfinders, so they assumed and rightly so that he was bewitched by the song of the harpies. He seemed intent on continuing down the steps. Ug, the half-orc, grabbed Daedelon in a bearhug and lifted him from his feet. With a powerful yet fluid motion, he tossed the arcanist to the ground and bound his arms and legs with rope from his pack.
It was then that the harpies began to attack. Ken, the kitsune, had climbed to the top of the wall lining the stairs – fifty feet up. As he rose to his feet, he was smashed in the head by an invisible morningstar and felt the flesh on his arm rend at the touch of unseen claws.
After safely securing Daedelon, Ug began searching the parade grounds for signs of the Harpies. Eletho, the magus, cast spells from the stairs below to help Ken fend off the attacks of the invisible harpy queen. Ug entered the nearby antechamber and was quickly assaulted by invisible harpies. The half-orc survived their attack and deftly swung his greatsword cleaving the bird women into halves.
Ele cast glitterdust to root out the invisible harpy queen only to realize that she had escaped into the night with the use of a dimension door spell.
The heroes gathered their companions and fortified their camp mid-way up the steps before returning to sleep.
18th Kuthona, 4715
The Heroes continued their watch on the ancient stairs. After an uneventful day, the adventurers began to settle in for the night. A few hours after sundown, they heard the pounding footfalls of the hill giants coming down from the Storval Plateau above.
The hill giants wound their way through the barricades set up by the pathfinders. The adventurers secured their positions along the parade grounds of the Storval Stairs. They would fight the giants in the open, where the ground was level. The giants drew closer and closer until Ele gave the signal to Ylderic to ignite the barricades. The arcanist unleashed a fireball on the unsuspecting hill giants, igniting the alchemical fire bombs that the heroes had hidden inside several of the barricades. The hill giants railed in pain as the hair was burned from their titanic bodies.
The hill giants continued their charge until they smashed the final barricade and reached the parade grounds. Eletho and Ken struck from the shadows catching the giants by surprise and cut several of them down before they knew what hit them.
Suddenly, a tiny ball of light shot across the parade grounds and exploded into a fireball setting the pathfinders aflame. Daedelon cast fly and began searching the nearby antechamber for signs of more hill giants or harpies when the area around him was engulfed in the darkness of a stinking cloud. Ylderic flew above the top of the dark cloud to look into the chamber only to come face to face with Formoch, the King of the Storval Stairs.
Seated upon the hill giant king’s shoulder was the lithe form of Agata, the dark sorceress that had taken up with the giant. Agata threw a few more spells at the party before shifting her form and taking the shape of an earth elemental. She dropped to the stairs and used earth glide to sink into the stone.
Formoch squared off with Ug and Ken while Eletho dealt with another hill giant across the parade ground. The King caught Ken and trapped the kitsune in his giant fist. Ug swung hard and cut deep into the hill giant king’s tough flesh.
Agata caught Ylderic with a frigid scorching ray and blasted him into unconsciousness. Luna, the cleric, battled with the sorceress but felt the cold bite of her spells. Eletho rushed into the antechamber and issued a final warning to the sorceress. Agata replied that she’d see him “in Hell” and continued her assault. With one swift stroke, Eletho cut the sorceress’ head from her shoulders.
Formoch smashed his giant warhammer into the trapped kitsune’s head, nearly crushing his skull. Ug drove forward with his blade and pierced the king’s heart, killing him instantly. The fallen hill giant king’s body began to glow with an unnatural light until it disappeared in an explosion of white flame.
Left in his place was a single aged scroll covered with ancient indecipherable script. An overwhelming aura of magic emanated from the parchment nearly causing Ele to lose consciousness when it touched his psyche.
The Heroes gathered their spoils and resumed their watch of the Storval Stairs. The next day, the pathfinder caravan arrived from Magnimar with reinforcements. Valeros, the fighter, accompanied the caravan north and was dismayed at the utter lack of mead on the trip.