Early morning, Moonday the 11th of Neth, 4707 AR
Dispatching Treana and Shiloah up to the keep’s corner tower, the rest of the Sihedron girded themselves for battle while Aubrey wove shadow and light into a likeness of the late Jaagreth Kreeg. Hiding beneath a voluminous hide skirt the illusionary ogre was made to wear, the group carefully moved to the inner keep’s door. With bloody hook in hand and seemingly injured from some great battle, the false-Jaagreth bellowed to all of the milling ogres in the courtyard, drawing their attention. With eyes bulging and spittle flying from his mouth he commanded all of his fellows, in giant, to come and gather near the keep’s entrance. After repeating his command with mounting fury, most of the remaining Kreegs obeyed. Once so assembled the wily spryte invisibly flew out and up above the crowd, read from an arcane scroll and unleashed a blast of bone-chilling artic air down upon most of those gathered below.
As the illusion of Jaagreth faded in the doorway, Elshbeth and Ton moved to engage the half-frozen ogres before they knew what had happened while Kivu and Treana, from her perch in the tower, rained arrows down upon the hapless Kreegs. Undeterred, the Kreegs counterattacked, stubbornly battling even as dozens of them fell in short order. At one point, an ogre at the outer gate attempted to light and launch a signal flare, but the wily spryte magically disguised its explosion as a stroke of lightning erupting from the storm clouds above. Eventually, with only two ogres left standing and three others lying at the bottom of sinkholes opened beneath them by Aubrey, the remaining Kreegs surrendered; though some yet seemed determined to continue the battle.
As they were disarmed and moved to the prisons beneath the keep, an ogre named Jolly, who was able to speak taldan, begrudgingly revealed some of what he knew. Apparently the Kreegs’ clanhold at Hook Mountain had been visited by Barl Breakbones, a stone giant, along with others of his kind to seize leadership of their clan. Although the Kreegs had initially resisted with some fatalities on both sides, the ogres were eventually subdued, their chief killed and the clan’s leadership usurped by Barl. Under duress, most of the clan’s able-bodied males had then been marched down into the Kreegwood to attack Fort Rannick. Aided by Lucretia, whom Barl treated as an equal, and a Black Arrow turncoat named Kavin Windstrike, the attacking ogres and stone giants had had little difficulty in overrunning the keep and decimating its defenders. Having occupied the fort, the Kreegs later repulsed Jakardros Sovark’s doomed counterattack by the surviving Black Arrows. Having ordered the demolition of the Stone Crossing’s dam, Barl had then left the Fort for Hook Mountain where Jolly believed he had the remaining ogres mining iron and smithing weapons for an upcoming stone giant attack on Sandpoint?! It was the ogre prisoner’s belief that the relentless rains might be the nefarious doings of a coven of hags with which Barl might have allied himself. As for the signal flare, the ogres had been ordered to light it to summon aid in the event of an attack; though Jolly claimed to not know its nature.
With the prisoners secure, the Sihedron weighed their options and decided to mimic the effects of the signal flare with glamour so as to lure said aid into an ambush. Putting their plan into action, the group opened the keep’s main gate, hid around the courtyard and waited. Shortly, a stone giant appeared atop the cliff above the keep and climbed down. Met by another glamourie of Jaagreth standing amidst the carnage in the yard, the giant approached cautiously and indicated that he and his fellows, a trio of stone giant yet atop the cliff, had been left behind by Barl to keep watch over the Fort. The false-Jaagreth implored the stone giant to call down his companions, which he did. As two of the giants lowered a rope and began the climb down, the Sihedron launched their attack. A pitched battled ensued with the pair of climbing giants falling the three hundred feet to the yard below once their rope had been severed by the spryte’s glamour. Treana fired arrows from her perch as Elshbeth battled the first giant below while Ton and Kivu raced to engaged the fallen stone giants, who’d recovered and begun flinging boulders at the ambushers. Aubrey engaged the remaining giant atop the cliff, who was likewise raining boulders down on the Sihedron. Soon the four giants lay slain, though not without first delivering a few powerful blows against the Sihedron.