John Fighter (Adrian)
Ookla the Mok (Dave)
E.N. Lightenment (Carl)
Tobias the Awkward (Jed)
Chrystos the Assassin (Chris)
Jari the Stonebeard (Eric. G)
Fostra the Archer (Robert)
20 slaves (whom we set free, but gained exp. = market value)
9 Hill Giants
1 Psychic Monkey in a tuxedo (killed by Dave)
For a week the party languished or prospered in the City of the Shifters. Some members of the Grey Company spent their cash renting out classy villas in the more respectable parts of town; several however gravitated to that suspicious neighborhood known as Squidsville, a shady slum that’s accrued on top of the foundations of an ancient ruin.
Perhaps languishing: Tobias’ psychic monkeys got out of hand, so Ookla shrugged and was forced to kill one.
Obscura almost invested in acquiring a magical dagger of antithetical character, but chickened out.
E.N. Lightenment, still looking for a new hand, considered using the affordable services of a student soon to graduate from the famous Fairly-Olde School for Gifted Girls. The cleric decided not to go through with the operation when he learned that he’d have a hand that would turn into a wolf’s paw every full moon.
Jari and his 40 dwarves resided in the City of the Shifter’s undercity, where the dwarven residents prefer to hang; among his folk, there was intrigue. The engineer’s apprentice was poisoned, and a note was left indicating moles among the dwarves. An inquiry was made. Finally Jari made a big speech to his stout companions, but perhaps the mole himself was killed. Confusing business.
Reuniting: Fostra was busking his way through town when he ran into some old friends from the Grey Company; Lotur did the same when he traveled to town with members of a scimitar love cult.
Perhaps prospering: John Fighter rented out a spacious villa built along the spacious avenues on the town’s swanky side; he later hired 60 cavalry in anticipation of the Grey Company’s foray into giant-occupied territory.
Chrystos the Assassin dubbed himself Kodiak-the King of Bears, and set himself up in the depths of Squidsville; from that dangerous location, he ran a wildly successful narco-prostitution ring.
The story finally coheres
A local thug named Dirk was bragging to one of Chrystos’ girls; he was hired to listen in to the conversation of well-known merchants.
The merchants were Richtman & Pelman, a brother-sister team in the City of Shifters; suspected as being giant sympathizers and cultivating the ever-popular shape-shifting mystique, the merchants planned to help the giants launder 100,000 gold pieces in a slave-trading scheme.
Why would giants need to launder such a sum? It’s what happens when your gang of hill giants share a town called Gorna with a pack of ogres, and you’re trying to keep the peace.
Everyone in the Grey Company wanted to get that 100,000, but John Fighter wanted to set the slaves free. Of course, we suspected a trap, but no one suspected the white dragon.
The party decided to ambush the caravan when it passed through a small abandoned town; we’d blow up a bridge just before the caravan passed over it.
Ookla’s eagle was sent skyward for recon; it came back scared: “a freaking white dragon is flying above the caravan!”
The white dragon spotted the 60 cavalry hidden outside of town; the horses panicked and the dragon feasted lustily.
Obscura unleashed a major scroll: the delayed blast fireball; the cold-loving dragon survived the worst of the mighty fire spell.
Ookla and Emurak jumped on the now-giant-sized eagle and went forward in courageous pursuit. Emurak blasted the winged worm with the fire wand; again the snowy reptile shrugged off the flame.
Now the deadly frost fountained from the dragon’s mouth. Eagle and Emurak were frozen solid in the sky and crashed to earth dead.
But not Ookla; he’d drunk the potion of super-heroism. He survived both the breath and the fall. Amazing!
The dragon swooped round to find any survivors; Ookla – invisible - survived a second snow cone of death breath.
Charred, the dragon had had enough; it picked up Emurak’s body and departed. The Grey Company had survived a potential TPK!
(See you in the palm of the Buddha, Emurak!)
The valuable fire-wand was also destroyed in the battle.
Next the caravan: Nine giants circled wagons and threw boulders.
Five dwarves were smashed, but the rest earned their pay by marching on the giants.
Ookla, in superhero mode and with a ranger’s skill against giant-class creatures, himself killed four or five stinky big ones.
The gold was less than expected; we’d been had!
The slaves were grateful and set free.