The background to this adventure is really quite simple. Up to now, the stone giants up on the Storval Plateau have been a voice of quiet reason, a stabilising influence amonst more hot-headed races like hill giants and ogres. But now they have seemingly gone astray and acting as violently as anyone else...
This has led them to send out scouting parties, one of which has been sent to Sandpoint, and this is where the characters become involved. So if they are not in Sandpoint you will have to get them back there, some suggestions are made or you may have your own ideas. Once they are there, and maybe have time to become reacquainted with old friends, the raiding party attacks. The battle itself is laid out clearly and should be easy for the DM to keep track of, while maintaining a realistically chaotic feel for the characters, who by now are of such stature that they will be expected to take a lead in the town's defence. Whatever happens, the intent is that surviving giants will retreat taking prisoners - and the rest of the adventure revolves around following the giants back to their fortress base and hopefully nipping whatever plans they have in the bud.
To get there, characters have an overland journey of some 15 days, and a few ideas for encounters are provided. The remainder of the action involves getting into the giants' fortress and exploring it and the caverns beneath. While this is pretty much a 'dungeon-bash' it is well-written and interesting - and should the characters survive they will find some interesting resources and clues to further the ongoing campaign arc.
The rest of the book contains a fine article on stone giant ecology (particularly with regard to their place in Varisia), and another devoted to dragon lore. Both these are fascinating, and bring their subjects to life within the alternate reality of Varisia far more than is necessary for the purposes of this adventure. The Pathfinder's Journal continues to follow the adventures of one explorer, from which it is possible to glean atmospheric detail to use should your characters visit the places he does. The Bestiary section describes the new critters encountered during the adventure, including giant undead spiders, the fey redcaps and - fresh from the Cthulhu mythos - the hounds of Tindalos. Hey, they were supposed to come from another dimension, so why shouldn't they visit Varisia as easily as Earth?
This adventure is much more 'dungeon-bash' than previous ones in the series, but it has its place within the story-arc despite having little other than combat to offer. If nothing else, it should make your characters realise just how severe the threat the land faces is, and prepare them to stand against it.
Return to Fortress of the Stone Giants page.
Reviewed: 7 February 2008