The party rested and ready to go, brings Rithal, the rescued elven warrior mage, with them to retrieve the staff of the druids. Approaching the hill giant fortress from the North, the party approaches the log walls. Erith uses his scroll of portals which opens a magical circle 10’ in diameter in the outer wall. The party quickly enter and discover that the room is occupied by giants.
One male hill giant and four unarmed female giantesses occupy the sleeping chamber. Corthen and Ayremyr swiftly move to engage the male giant. They make short work of the warrior. The females scream and move about the chamber in terror. Corthen directs the others to help him to dispatch the giantesses. Rehs, Tellazar, and Samira assist him. One female runs for a door left unguarded out into the worg courtyard and Ayremyr quickly slams the door shut to avoid an attack by the foul worgs. Soon a loud horn bellows from somewhere near the courtyard.
The heroes wait for a counter attack of giants but one does not come. Corthen decides that the party should push on, out another set of doors. He has Rehs scout the hallway beyond using his ring of invisibility. The hidden rogue stealthily checks out the area. He discovers a busy kitchen full of giantesses, ogres, and orc slaves being ordered around and he feels bad for them.
A closed door in the hall is locked and Rehs is unable to bypass the lock. There is another door that is unlocked but Rehs calls the others forward to help. Corthen opens the door and interrupts a game of knucklebones by a group of gambling ogres. The party charges the surprised ogres and makes short work of them. Corthen leads a search of the room for treasure and secret doors. Finding only some coins, the group leaves the room and crosses the hall to the locked door.
Corthen borrows Samira’s enchanted hammer which is designed to punch holes in doors and walls. The elven warrior breaches the bottom of the door and the others follow him inside. The room beyond appears to be a food storage pantry which the party gives a cursory examination before locating the descending stairs used the previous day while etheral.
Rehs checks several doors lining the chamber. At the south door the thief hears some muttered voices through the locked door. Working quietly, Rehs picks the lock; the Guardians of the Past open the door ready for combat. Inside the room are a dozen armed bugbears. The party rushes in and engage the enemy. Reinforcements arrive from another hallway and Ayremyr is seriously wounded and falls. Rithal acts quickly and drags the fallen elf through another door and shuts it while the remaining adventurers battle the remaining creatures.
After dispatching the bugbears Erith and Corthen make contact with Rithal and Samira tends to Ayremyr. Her prayers heal the the serious wound to his leg. Once the group is ready, Rehs scouts the hallway that the bugbears had come from. The rogue discovers that the remaining bugbears have fortified themselves in the end chamber with barricades of tables and other furniture.
Corthen parlays with the cornered bugbears. He asks them what their duties are for the giants. The leader informs the adventurers that they are paid to guard prisoners to attempt recapture of the escaped orc slaves that are in another part of the dungeon. Corthen asks about the giants, who their leader is how many soldiers does he have. The bugbear tells him that Chief Nosnra is the leader and that he has many warriors. Corthen offers to let the bugbears go with their treasury intact if they offer no resistance and if they turn over all their prisoners to him.
The bugbear, Gnarhk, agrees and sends a runner to his other troops to give word of the cease fire and to bring the remaining prisoners out. The party learns that the bugbears are of the Ulgdush or Glorious Pride in common tongue. The bugbears bring two men to Corthen and the others. Questioning the men Samira learns that one named Garvis has lost his mind and the other man, Ruddick Freeiron is an engineer.
Ruddick shares that the giants had him working with giants and orcs digging new chambers beneath the keep. Samira uses her powers and cures Garvis. Regaining his mind, they learn he is a merchant from Caer Callidyr. The party also learn from the Ulgdush bugbears that the giant known as the Keeper lairs in a chamber north of the prison cells and that he is rumored to have great treasure.
The party asks Rithal to guard the two freed prisoners while they engage the Keeper. Corthen and Ayremyr lead the others into the Keeper’s room. He is a hideous one-eyed hunchback hill giant. He and his two pet bears batter the invaders but they are no match for the martial skills of the attackers. The wounded heroes gather up his treasure hidden in the floor. They rejoin Rithal and the two men and retreat up the stairs. The bugbears join the party and flee out the opening Erith magically creates in the fortress wall. The Ulgdush run north towards the mountains while party makes their circuitous way back to the base camp in the cave. Corthen and Erith take turns playing the healing harp at the camp while Samira uses prayers to heal the most seriously wounded of the party.