Giantslayer

Spoilers for the DM Guild adventure Giantslayer are below, so skip this story section if you’ll likely play it!

The sun shone through the canopy of the leaves above onto an eclectic gaggle of adventurers below. Adventuring often brings together the strangest of people, and this time was no different. Elves of all stripes, mingling with ruffians who made a name for themselves as pirates, and dark eyed gnomish thieves. There was as much kindness mixed in this group as there was darkness. Presumably, when travelling through the woods in these parts its best to go as a group – why else would these mismatched people be with each other?

They shortly ran into one family who did not take that advice. Two beasts cackled and berated the human family up ahead, stopping the family in their tracks. The satyrs seemed not actually to be doing any harm, other than their relentless bullying and fearmongering. The children in the back of the cart sat silent in stony faced fear.

Our adventurers rushed to the aid of the human farmers… at least, some of them did. The dark eyed gnome sulked immediately into the forest out of sight. Whilst the rest of the party helped to defeat the beasts, this gnome sauntered up to the family to “check on their wellbeing”, but not before swiping their coin purse.

A Hill Giant, from the Monster Manual.

A Hill Giant, from the Monster Manual.

Once the battle was successfully won, they gathered around the family to ensure their safety and were told their sad story. A giant had recently ransacked their village, and driven everyone out. With family in Frickley, that’s where they decided to seek refuge. Kindly, the adventurers stayed with the family to see them safely to their destination.

Once they had arrived though, it seemed that the giant – Bonebreaker they called him – had been busy. He had also been to this town and made similar demands: “feed me all your best food, or else.”

There was a mix of thoughts in the town. Should they flee right now, knowing that the giant would return again and again, or should they stay and deliver all they could? After all, with enough time they could send word to bigger cities to send aid. The inn keeper offered a third suggestion: how about they fight it themselves?

This, the populous decided, was a shit idea. Sure many of them were strong of body, but for the purposes of farming, not giant killing. But there was some hope – a legend really, which few knew if it held any truth. Jahia the Giantslayer. Likely an old lady now, but the inn keep remembered great stories about her. Maybe, if she could be found again, she would know the tactics to bring down the giant. Who better to send out to look for her than a hardy group of adventurers, who seem to have arrived as if summoned by fate itself. Also they had nothing better to do, tbh.

The adventurers agreed, and set out into the forest following a trail where rumour indicated the hermit giantslayer might be found. The forest took some time to get through. Dangerous rivers, giant insects, and odd druids (who refused to be mugged) stood in their way. But they did eventually make it to Weeping Rock, where their best guesses lead them. From a top the rock, they spotted a simmering chimney and a sleeping, old lady. As they approached they could see that she indeed was quite old now, but still looked tough in a way only fighters were born to be.

Jahia sighed in frustration at being asked to return to a role she had long since left. The party persuaded her though, reminding her of the thrill of battle, the honour of protecting those who need it, and some other genuinely heartfelt urges which I’ve forgotten.

They returned to Frickley just before the sun began to set. They chose to spend the time plotting how to defeat the giant. All night they had villages dig pits, which they filled with flammable hay, lying in wait of the clumsy giant.

They set themselves up to their satisfaction and held themselves steady, ready for Bonebreaker.

And then, Bonebreaker was killed pretty anticlimactically because we had to leave at 8pm, and I forgot to make him as dangerous as I should have! It didn’t help that he had been mostly blinded and everyone hid so well!

Although we didn’t quite finish the “thank you!” ceremony of the villagers (we’ll get to that next session), rest assured that the giant menace of Frickley has died off… for now. You can’t help shake the feeling that giants this far from their natural homes is a rather bad omen.

I’m pretty sure everyone had fun, and I really hope to be able to carry on the adventure with my colleagues every couple of weeks or so.