Day 5 in Thelanis
After leaving the castle of Blunderbore and Rebecks, the Giant Killers decide to continue along the track of the story of Jack the Giant Killer. They find the Happy Prince on the road, who is out to seek his fortune by slaying the ettin Thunderdell. The party joins with him, and together they go to Thunderdell’s castle, where — following a variant of the story popular among gnomes — they design an elaborate machine to slay the ettin. They then take his teasures.
Rather than pursuing this story further, they then decide to change courses to Jack and the Beanstalk. They go to the beanstalk planted by Samson previously, where they meet a prophet of Saint Derli named Renshaw, who apparently wandered into Thelanis inadvertantly and has been stuck in this realm for some time. To escape the realm, he joins with the party as they climb up to resolve the fairy tale. At the top of the beanstalk they find a solid cloud with the castle of Gogmagog, the Lord of the Clouds. While Vaxin and Renshaw sneak in a convenient side entrance to steal his three treasures — one of the story’s requirements — the others fight Gogmagog directly, trying to pull him to the edge of the clouds and push him off. This is because killing him is also a necessary point in the story.
Though both sides struggle somewhat, they are ultimately successful, and return to Luchair with Gogmagog’s treasure. With this, they have completed the cycle. The archfey of this realm, the King Without Sorrow, regains some lucidity about the reality of the situation, and offers them the chance to keep just one of the treasures they found here. They choose the luck stone. The story then ends, and they can finally leave on their boat of reeds, together with Renshaw and Rogdan, whose courage has been restored by the party’s success.
Day 5 in Thelanis
The party awakens from a fitful sleep in the mountain castle of Blunderbore and Rebecks, the recently-slain Lords of Stone: stone giant brothers who once ruled the giants of the land in the domain of Luchair. They try to loot the castle, but find that the brothers had little of value worth taking. Vaxin finds a treasure chest in a bedroom which turns out to be a mimic, but after beating it into submission (after nearly being slain by it) he discovers only a small amount of money within.
This being the third day of the story, they expect that there should be new sudden developments to propel the story forward. They don’t have Rogdan to consult today, as he is still in Luchair, so they try to recall what will happen on the third day. They know that the matter of the Lord of the Clouds, the giant in the sky, is still unresolved, and Rogdan believes he will be upset by the fact that the party planted the beanstalk, but that story continues Jack and the Beanstalk, and for now they are pursuing Jack the Giant Slayer. The details they remember about this story at this point are somewhat hazy, but they recall that at around this point the Happy Prince comes of age, and joins Jack on his quest to kill the giants plaguing the land.
With this in mind, they climb down the mountain and go wandering through the forest, and sure enough, they find the Happy Prince, who has just come of age and has struck out from Luchair in search of adventure. He joins with the party as the Narrative demands, and immediately begins referring to the others as his subordinates, giving them each rankings based on how obedient they are.
The Happy Prince, it seems, is out looking for a two-headed giant named Thunderdell, who has also supposedly made his home in the woods somewhere. The party helps the Happy Prince search, and not long after, they discover his castle. In the most common version story, Jack and the Happy Prince convince Thunderdell that an army is approaching his castle to slay him, and they all barricade themselves in his castle together. Then, they kill the giant while he sleeps and rob him of his four magical treasures.
Samson, however, recounts a version of the story popular among gnomes, where Jack instead builds an elaborate machine to drop a boulder on Thunderdell’s heads, then knock on his door and trigger the mechanism, slaying him with ingenuity. The party decides to go with this more elaborate option, and set about building a complicated contraption to drop a boulder on Thunderdell’s head. The system, involving candles, ropes, pulleys, and a variety of other devices, works flawlessly, and Thunderdell is slain with the power of science.
They search his castle and find three of his four treasures: his magical sword, shoes, and cap. They cannot find his magical cloak. They distribute the treasures amongst themselves and then discuss the flow of the tale.
They are again foggy on what happens next. They know that there is a devil that Jack meets on the road who ensorcels him, but they are unable to recall the exact circumstances. They do, however, recall that Jack and the Beanstalk is near its end — all that is left is to take the three treasures of Gogmagog, Lord of the Clouds, and slay him. Seeing that the tale they’re currently after has much more distance to go, they decide to change course and climb the beanstalk Samson planted.
The beanstalk, originally planted with three beans of different colours, has grown into three separate beanstalks coiled into one: one red, one green, and one blue. The red one is burning hot to the touch, the blue one is slick and hard to hold on to, and the green one periodically grows and drops thorns. Before they begin climbing, they encounter another traveler not native to Thelanis: Renshaw, a human sorcerer who claims to have received his power by the blessings of Saint Derli, the prophet of Dol Dorn worshipped by some as a demigod. Renshaw claims to be the prophet of a coming “second reformation” of Derli’s faith, which will establish a belief that Derli is not just a prophet or a demigod, but Dol Dorn himself.
The prophet claims to have accidentally stumbled into Thelanis and has been trapped in Luchair for some time, and saw the beanstalk as a potential way out. To this end, he joins the party in climbing the stalk to get to Gogmagog’s castle. Climbing the stalk proves challenging, as they must constantly switch between different sorts of danger, but eventually, all make it up. At the top, they find themselves on a solid cloud, on which sits yet another giant castle.
The treasures they are after are, according to the story, within the castle. There are three such treasures: a singing harp, a goose that lays golden eggs, and a bag full of golden coins. After some scouting around the perimeter of Gogmagog’s castle, the party discovers a convenient unguarded servant’s entrance around the back. Knowing, however, that the cloud giant is vigilant, and that he must die to complete the story, they hatch a plan: Vaxin, who is adept at moving silently, and Renshaw, whose magic can render himself invisible, will sneak in through the servant’s entrance while the others work to slay Gogmagog.
Vaxin and Renshaw wait for the others to initiate the conflict before sneaking inside. They take an extremely direct approach: Kraft hammers on the door to the castle with his maul until Gogmagog opens it, and the party immediately attacks the giant. As soon as the conflict breaks out, Vaxin and Renshaw enter through the side door.
Gogmagog overwhelms the party very quickly — he is considerably stronger than Cormoran, Blunderbore, Rebecks, or Thunderdell. The party adopts a strategy of gradually pulling him back towards the edge of the cloud that supports the castle, intending to pushing him over the edge. Each party member is repeatedly beat into unconsciousness or knocked down with the giant rocks Gogmagog carries, and while the Happy Prince and Peril struggle to use their fey magic to keep the others up, it is an extremely one-sided battle.
Meanwhile, Vaxin and Renshaw manage to locate the golden goose. They leave it at first, deciding to come for it last. They discover the bag of coins as well, which is giant-sized; Renshaw summons a floating disk of force to carry it. The singing harp is playing itself in a room with Gogmagog’s wife, who appears to have been put to sleep by its melody. They steal the harp, and Renshaw puts her back to sleep with magic. They then leave the room quickly, use the harp to entrance the goose, and head out the front door to see the rest of the party fighting Gogmagog.
They join the fray, and their influence is enough to finally turn the tides of battle, allowing the party to push Gogmagog off the edge of the cloud after several failed tries. After he tumbles to his death, crushing a house below, the party descends the beanstalk.
After travelling for what feels like a very short time, they make it back to Luchair, where everyone inexplicably knows of the Giant Killers’ victory, and the whole town is celebrating wildly. The flow of the crowd pushes the party to the castle, where the King Without Sorrow finally comes out to greet them and his son. The story has ended, and the world is about to reset itself for the next cycle. As the town blurs around them, it becomes apparent that the King Without Sorrow is the archfey at the center of this shard of Thelanis.
He seems to have only a vague awareness of the truth of the situation, but regains some lucidity as their surroundings lose structure. The magical items they acquired, he explains, cannot ordinarily be taken out of Luchair, but he will allow them to keep one. They choose the luck stone they acquired from Cormoran’s hoard. As the story breaks down, they get back on their boat of reeds. They are joined by Renshaw, and by Rogdan, who is inspired by their success and wants to discover what happened to his companions.
The Giant Killers continue down the river, which carries them out to what appears to be a vast sea, shrouded in fog.