Rise of the Runelords 4: Fortress of the Stone Giants Additional Encounter

Rise of the Runelords 4: Fortress of the Stone Giants Additional Encounter

Cloud that Talks (CR 10)
Before arriving at Jorgenfist (page 18).

While approaching the Valley of the Black Tower or scouting its edges the PCs inadvertently encounter a lone Shoanti mystic trying to escape Jorgenfist. The mountainous terrain around the valley is choked in parts by large thorny bushes and trees. This encounter is not intended to be much of a challenge to the PCs but rather to introduce the tribal people of the Storval Plateau, some of their legends about the region and a purpose for why the young shaman would approach and interact with tshameks!

Suddenly the ground trembles, the thorny bushes part and a lone human figure staggers out. He is tall, dressed in leather and animal skins and his head is shaved bare and heavily tattooed, clearly marking him as Shoanti. He carries no weapons and is covered in cuts and bruises.

The young man skids to a halt glancing over his shoulder looking all the more like the trapped animal than a proud tribesman. In broken, heavily accented common he shouts, ‘RUN,’ and a fraction of a second later a war mammoth and stone giant rider burst from trees trampling the Shoanti to the ground.

The Shoanti, a young shaman of the Shundar-Quah (the Spire clan) is not dead but reduced to 0hp. He will regain consciousness after the PCs have dealt with the stone giant hunter.

Creatures: Thacklar is one of a few trained Mammoth riders drawn to Mokmurian’s army. An accomplished hunter and warrior he currently has Mokmurian’s favor for bringing him worthy sacrifices including a pair of young dragons. When the captured Shoanti spy escaped he eagerly accepted the challenge of hunting him down not realizing that this day he may meet his match.

 

WAR MAMMOTH          CR 8

XP 4,800
Male Mammoth

N Huge Animal
Init +2; Senses Low-Light Vision, Scent; Perception +23


DEFENSE


AC 21, touch 10, flat-footed 19   (+2 Dex, -2 size, +11 natural)
hp 115 (11d8+66)
Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +8


OFFENSE


Spd 40 ft.
Melee Gore +18 (2d8+12/20/x2), Slam +18 (2d6+12/20/x2), Trample (DC 27) +18 (2d8+18)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.


STATISTICS


Str 34, Dex 14, Con 23, Int 2, Wis 17, Cha 11
Base Atk +8; CMB +22 (+24 Bull Rushing); CMD 34 (36 vs. Bull Rush38 vs. Trip)
Feats Endurance, Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Iron Will, Power Attack -3/+6, Skill Focus: Perception
Skills Fly -2, Perception +23, Stealth -6


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Scent (Ex) Detect opponents within 15+ feet by sense of smell.

 

THACKLAR, STONE GIANT HUNTER          CR 8
XP 4,800
Male Giant, Stone
NE Large Humanoid (Giant)
Init +2; Senses Low-Light Vision; Perception +12


DEFENSE


AC 22, touch 11, flat-footed 20   (+2 Dex, -1 size, +11 natural)
hp 102 (12d8+48)
Fort +12, Ref +6, Will +7
Defensive Abilities Improved Rock Catching (+4)


OFFENSE


Spd 40 ft.
Melee +2 Frost Dagger +18/+13 (1d6+10/19-20/x2 +1d6 Cold) or Slam x2 +11 x2 (1d8+4/20/x2)
Ranged
rock +11/+6 (1d8+12)
Space
10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks Rock Throwing (180 feet)


STATISTICS


Str 27, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +9; CMB +18; CMD 30
Feats Iron Will, Martial Weapon Proficiency: Greatclub, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack -3/+6, Precise Shot, Quick Draw
Skills Climb +12, Fly +0, Intimidate +12, Perception +12, Stealth +4 Modifiers +8 Stealth in rocky terrain
Languages Common, Giant
Combat Gear +2 Frost Dagger, 4 rocks.


SPECIAL ABILITIES


+8 Stealth in rocky terrain (Ex)
Improved Rock Catching (+4) (Ex) Catch rocks with a successful Reflex save.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.

Tactics: Thacklar will remain mounted for one round and attempt to trample the most heavily armored PC while throwing two giant-sized stones at another. He then dismounts and attacks with a carved bone dagger the size of a human bastard sword. His mount responds to simple whistles and stony clicking sounds and continues to rampage around the battlefield.

Morale: Thacklar is as good as dead if he returns without with the Shoanti prisoner so he will fight to the death. The war mammoth is well-trained and does not abandon the stone giant even if he is killed.

Treasure: The giant’s dagger is carved from enchanted mammoth bone. Treat as a medium-sized +2 bastard sword of frost. A large leather sack tucked into his belt contains his treasured possessions which includes some polished red rocks, 55gp and fifteen silver trade ingots worth 10sp each. The mammoth tack and harness is worth 300gp.

Development: The young Shoanti is at 0hp after being trampled by the war mammoth. Healing magic will succeed in knitting broken bones and closing many of the hundreds of small cuts marring his tattooed skin. Alternatively a Heal check (DC 15) will stabilize him and he will regain consciousness in 12 hours. When he finally wakes he does so with a start, confused and frightened for a few moments before realizing where he is.

He introduces himself as Cloud that Talks, a shaman of the Shundar-Quah Shoanti. Quickly adding that outsiders, or ‘Tshameks’ in the Shoanti tongue should not be here. This valley and the mountains surrounding it are forbidden by tribal law, and have been so for a thousand generations. Cloud that Talks is friendlier than most Shoanti, especially since PCs have just saved his life. Of all the tribes the Spire Clan are considered the most diplomatic.

He tells them that evil spirits inhabit the valley – no doubt the same evil spirits that have turned the usually reclusive stone giants from their path. He warnings against entering the forbidden valley and seems deeply disturbed that after his capture he was taken there. He looks concerned and tells them that his ancestral spirits may abandon him for this transgression – he is too exhausted and weak to try and cast spells. If the PCs explain their mission to enter Jorgenfist to stop the giant threat he tells them that under normal circumstances it would be his responsibility to stop them, but he is not in any fit state to do so. Besides, who better to put an end to the giant menace that some lowlanders!

If the PCs convince him they truly intend to enter the valley he shows appears both impressed and confused. Impressed by their bravery and confused why lowlanders would risk their lives thusly. Even though he is convinced that if the giants don’t kill them they will die from the ancient spirits of the Black Tower, he will tell them what he knows of the valley. He tells them of an ancient building at the heart of the valley which his ancestors were forbidden to approach. He tells them a little if the history of the Shoanti – how they were bred as elite soldiers for wizard-kings and of the horrors perpetrated by them and the giants enslaved to them. He says ghosts of these ancient overlords infest the building at the heart of the valley a place whose name translates to The Black Tower.

The young shaman tells them that the Shoanti are forbidden from entering the valley but the shamans of the Spire Clan have a tradition of watching over it to prevent trespassers. He was on such a scouting expedition when he was captured and taken to one of the outlying giant camps. He heard his captors arguing about his fate, and one of them saying that he was unfit for the ‘marking’. Either way he escaped the oversized cage last night and has been running ever since.

Cloud that Talks knows of the ancient passage in area A4 and that the ancient caves are home to huge Deathweb spiders. He has no knowledge of the Redcaps further into the tunnels. He also knows of Longtooth’s lair and the trained thunderbirds (the Roc’s nesting in Jorgenfist). He does not know of the night wyverns, nor any details of the inside of Jorgenfist adding that thankfully the giants did not take him that far in. He knows enough of stone giant tribal markings to identify several clans camped around Jorgenfist and enough of their culture to say that his behavior is out of character. He feels that most of the giants are impressionable younglings that would return to their elders to beg forgiveness if this strong leader, he heard the name Mokmurian while captive, was destroyed.

The shaman will not under no circumstances enter the valley or offer Shoanti help to the PCs. He may be convinced to act as a decoy to draw some giants away from the valley – he certainly doesn’t lack bravery – if he can be allowed to recover his strength and atone with the spirits first (a process which takes 24 hours). When they part ways Cloud that Talks tells the PCs that he will chant for their souls that they do not become corrupted by whatever evil dwells in the Valley before they are killed.

 

Rise of the Runelords 4: Fortress of the Stone Giants can be purchased at the Paizo Store.
Monster Stat blocks prepared using HeroLab.