Gyruff (Grand Duchy of Geoff)

Part 4: Bluffing is What I’m Best At

Dandelion

Ambush the giants. Over a hundred Hill Giants; just go out and ambush them.

Who comes up with these plans?

Oh yeah, children playing as nobles.

So despite our stated “mission” I had no intention of getting down and dirty with an overwhelming force of Hill Giants, even though some of my compatriots were telling me I had no authority and they were itching for a fight.

Forget them. I have one chance against that many giants and it is as far away from weapons, spells, and armor as I can get.

So I devised a plan. Not a great plan but Hill Giants are really, really dumb. That bit was to be very important as the plan shifted and changed.

As the giants came through a narrow pass we set up above them to one side while the river was on the other. I created an illusion of myself and spoke.

“Hail giants. You come toward Gorna in force. You must state your reasons!”

The giants continued, but their leader said something about only talking to the Brenin. Now if I’d been thinking I’d have said that I was the Brenin and gone on with things. But almost equally as good, I created an illusion of the Brenin.

So then the giants would talk. Understanding their rather limited speaking capabilities was a challenge but basically they said that they wanted a Cantrev and to be recognized with a noble appointment to represent them.

I asked them who had advised them on this topic and the Hill Giant chief (Horus) indicated their gods had spoken to them in their dreams.

Great, I knew what that meant. Whoever it was working against Gyruff was using magic to influence the giants’ dreams and suggesting that they come make these demands.

Though, honestly, even though they lost the war, this was not a completely unreasonable request. So after a bit of negotiating I came up with a plan. The giants camp here and take their five leaders up to the castle to talk to the Brenin.

This seemed to satisfy them and off we went.

My plan ran into a little snag when we got to the gates. Bran, the High Chancellor and staunch hardline traditionalist was there and said, “No”. No negotiating with the giants.

I was a bit taken aback. This crusty old coot was going to incite war with the giants by not giving them a meaningless bit of land and title. No matter the arguments I presented, Bran would not be swayed. I pushed all of Bran’s buttons and I think he really did understand my arguments, but just could not bring himself to be reasonable.

Bran went as far as to almost have his archers fire at us. I noticed how my compatriots mostly ditched as soon as things got dangerous. Typical.

But at least the crazy lady and some of the others gave me some suggestions. So I quickly recomposed myself and made up a string of lies about how the “Brenin” needed to prepare for such a great and powerful leader such as Horus.

He bought it. So we had a little more time.

We desperately tried to find the actual Brenin to see if he could come out and help but that was not to be. Time for a new plan.

This time we were diving in deep to the lie pool and definitely going into the “completely illegal and probably punishable by death” realm.

Yeah, what could possibly go wrong?

So the crazy lady set me up with a disguise and an official looking writ that granted land and leadership to Horus. I was disguised as the Brenin Rhys ap Colwyn.

As we approached the Hill Giant camp I realized that if anything went wrong, I was probably dead. So I advised my compatriots that this time they may want to stay clear of me. If things go wrong I’m going to die and so will anyone near me.

But Horus bought it. Again, thankfully Hill Giants are very dumb.

Great, now we figured the giants would go home and argue amongst themselves and could fight each other, instead of us.

By this time the Stone, Frost, and Fire Giants had also shown up. Horus went over to the leaders of the other giants and stated he was now the leader of all giants.

That went over really well…not!

There was much argument and we had a front row seat to see and hear it. The Stone Giantess leader was saying that they should vote or come to some agreement in a reasonable way. But as usual with giants, that did not go over well.

Pretty soon a fight broke out. The Stone Giantess was injured and withdrew (smart one she is) and the Frost Giant Jarl and Horus ganged up on the well-armored Fire Giant leader who was soon overwhelmed. The Frost Giant Jarl then finished off Horus and took his head as a trophy to show who was the king of kings for the giants.

So then came the inevitable demands. They said the Brenin had one hour to recognize their claim or it was war. The Hill Giants were sent to start raiding the farms while other giants started making siege engines with whatever materials they could find (including druid circles).

Just when we finally thought we had finally “won” at this little game we were worse off than we were before. I hate giants. And I hate whomever it is that is doing this to Gyruff. Come on people – this is death and destruction they are bringing down!

Fine, we can play at this game too.

We were advised that the way to make this better was to get our own giant representative to “lead” the giants in a more peaceful way. So I concocted a story about the humans having to gather a “moot” to talk about what was to be done. The giants would have to wait peacefully for our return. I managed to get us one week.

Hey, it is better than an hour.

We were directed to an old sage who might direct us to where Aurora was. She was the daughter of the legendary Grukka and was half Cloud Giant and half Fey. She might be able to provide leadership to the giants in a more productive way.

After much discussion with the old sage (who was a bit off his rocker) we learned that because she was Fey we would need a gift. And that she lived on Cloud-keeper mountain. He even provided a map.

So off we went with a cartload of pastries (apparently her favorite treat and an appropriate gift). It was three days each way so we wouldn’t have much time to spare.

The journey went quickly to start with. Our teamsters leading the two horses pulling the cart of pastries were good and we made good time.

However, soon we noticed a disturbance off to one side of the ravine we were travelling. The monk climbed the side and tried to sneak up on them. Hailing them provided nothing and eventually their attack started. They seemed to focus on the horses and wagon; clearly trying to stop our progress.

One of the horses went down, badly injured but we beat down the large fighter and then knocked the spell-caster out.

Turned out the spell caster (who had summoned some fire snakes to attack the horses) was a Druid. A hard-liner like Bran, he indicated that he had received instructions from Bran to stop us.

Not good news when we learn that the High Chancellor of all of Gyruff is actively working against us! So we bound the Druid and took him with us.

I healed the horse and on our way we went. The weather worsened as we gained altitude, slowing our progress and finally we had to stop for the night. We managed to find a cave that made for a good campsite.

Or so we thought.

In the middle of the night we were ambushed by Duregar who slayed the teamsters in their sleep before we could react. We managed to kill the invaders but now we were without our drivers. Fortunately we had a few people with experience with animals and land transports so we continued our march.

Finally we came to Cloud-keeper mountain and Aurora. The pastries went a long way to soften her and the idea of giants basically at her beck-and-call was the proverbial icing on the cake.

So she decided she would come along with us.

It was a quick return trip because, well, who wants to mess with a giant?

So there’s some other details and coordination that happen but the big end result; we weren’t the only group who brought a giant candidate with us. Two other candidates where there as well; a Storm Giant and an Eldritch Giant.

If possible, this just got more complicated and way more interesting.

I hope we can have some influence on the final outcome.

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