3rd Sextilis (contd).
After dealing with the crocodiles and quicklings, the PCs continue along the road leading to the ruined fomorian Fortress of Mross-Kagg. Ahead is a guardhouse filled with ugly-looking one-eyed cyclopses. Gil casts the obligatory fireball which wipes out four of them instantly, then Sora’s hurled dragon breath kills the fifth, leaving just one standing. As Hrothgar charges, the three other cyclopses on the roof throw spears at the party. Sora flies on to the roof, followed by the insubstantial Ulthar and teleporting Juma. Hrothgar kills the last minion, then runs up the stairs, while Gil tries and fails to climb the wall. Once the PCs are (nearly) all up there, they make fairly short work of the three cyclops impalers.
The party explore the ruined Great Hall, which is filled with broken chunks of monumental statuary, and search the former kitchen, finding three unseelie candles. Sora flies over to investigate the pantry but there is little there apart from sickly purple fungus. Heading into the overgrown courtyard, the PCs go to look at the great rift in the ground. When they do so, a funny little jig starts up, played by diminutive fiddlers hiding in the long grass. Hrothgar and Gil are unable to resist dancing in time to the music and as they swing each other round, they lose their footing and tumble into the rift, falling 20 feet to the bottom. The music stops and there is a cry of “Sorry!” from a pair of tiny grigs called Alvin and Elvie. The fey explain that the dancing was just meant to be a bit of fun and they didn’t mean to hurt anyone. To make amends, they lead the PCs to some treasure – a doorknob belonging to the hag Morsha that can be used to open a doorway in a wall – and warn the party about the ghost trolls, Skalmad and the stone cauldron down below. Meanwhile, Hrothgar and Gil have discovered a cave entrance at the bottom of the rift; they can hear the snoring of a great beast from inside the cave. The others throw down a rope and haul them up.
The grigs show the PCs the great throne of the fomorian king Grondrak made from the skull of an enormous behemoth. Having explored the upper levels of the fortress, the party then heads down into the rift. Entering the cave, they realise the sleeping creature is a displacer beast pack lord and decide to sneak up on it. They get about ten feet into the cave before it wakes up after someone trips over a loose rock. The PCs rush in to attack but the monster is very quick, slipping past them into the centre of the room. It’s hard to pinpoint the beast’s exact position and it is also capable of using its tentacles to knock its opponents onto weak sections of the cavern floor which collapse beneath them. To make things worse, three ghost trolls appear from the walls, attacking Gil, Hrothgar and Sora. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so Hrothgar spins round, whirling his great axe, striking Juma as well as his foes. Gil, however, has mastered the art of War Wizardry, allowing him to unleash a fire spell without it hitting Sora who is in the blast area. Fire renders the ghosts’ bodies substantial, allowing Ulthar to destroy the first ghost troll with a deadly strike. The displacer beast is already dead by this stage; the two other trolls are dispatched soon afterwards. After a short rest, the PCs search the cavern. Disappointingly, they don’t find any treasure, just two exits.