After vanquishing the vampire, the party rested for a time in the town. Baltric suggested that the party travel along the river to his family’s keep, a short boat ride away. So after gathering supplies, the party climbed aboard the Baltric family yacht to begin the trek down the river. Shortly after passing a small, quiet town, they were attacked by marauding orcs. A furious battle occurred on board. Wave after wave of them came aboard the ship. None of the party were killed, though all suffered greatly at the onslaught of the orcs.
When all was over, and the bodies of the dead orcs were heaved overboard, the damage to the ship was discovered. There was no way, according to the captain, that they could make it to the keep. So the ship turned around and headed back to the quiet town a short ways back up the river. After hobbling back down river, the party discovered that the town was curiously quiet. No ships were docked, no harbor master surveyed the incoming ship, no lights were present, and no fires burned in the town.
The party decided to explore the town. Only 6 could fit in the dingy, so Bishop and Baltric hung back and helped to pull the ship to the docks. Meanwhile, the others discovered that no one was around and that blood had been spilled. As they explored the town, they heard a scream. Bishop, who had since joined them, took off running to aid whomever was hurt. The rest followed swiftly behind. But all was not as it seemed, and as the group entered one of the main roads, a huge wooden trap, camouflaged beneath the soil, was sprung and trapped all but Leorin and Lupina. A giant leapt into the trap to attack those inside while two more attacked them from outside. Leorin cowered in fear at the size of the enemies, hiding in the shadows. Lupina was out in the open, but was separated from her friends by the trap walls. Though they were able to injure the giant in the trap, the others pelted them with boulders and rocks from outside. A fourth giant approached and began casting shamanistic spells, causing the trap to erupt in rocks and dust, blinding those inside. Thom made his way out of the trap and began assaulting one of the giants while Leorin aided him from the outside. Bishop fell at the onslaught of four giants, but was revived by Leorin. Arduin unleashed repeated furious attacks on the giant in the trap. Meanwhile, Lashanna teleported herself to a nearby roof, but slipped in the midst and barely caught herself. She slipped uninjured to the ground, just outside the trap. From there she unleashed arcane fury upon the giants. Silver, who had been whaling away at the giant in the trap, suddenly sensed a divine tug and he was whisked out of the trap and into a confrontation with an as yet uninjured giant. Though Lupina stood by him, the assault was too much and he too fell. With that, the giant in the trap was killed and Thom finished off the other one. Lupina revived Silver and the party determined that it was time to attempt a tactical retreat.
Leorin discovered a flaw in the trap’s design and released the mechanism that held the walls up. The party raced through the town and into the nearby woods to regroup and plan their next attack.
The party decided to try to capture a nearby giant using a spell of Baltric’s that would silence the area around the giant. The swift feet of Lashanna led the lumbering giant into the midst of the party which quickly subdued him, tied him up, and began questioning him. The giant was of little help, but the party quickly determined that they needed to change plans. So they set off for the Keep, hoping to get more information from people on the way, or from the residents of the Keep.