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Episode 43: Meltdown
Battling the Fire Giants
Paultin is cut off from the foundry by a wall of stone. It is dark. He can hear something big coming up behind him. A big stony hand settles on his shoulder. A voice says: “Abandon your friends and come with me. I will help you, and you will help me.” He's a dao (an earth genie). Paultin agrees to go with him.
Evelyn is flying near a fire giant overseer. She activates her armor of invulnerability, so she takes no damage at all. As she activates it, she calls out: "You can't hurt sunshine!" which appalls the other players.
The overseer attacks Strix. She's in gaseous form but she can be hit. Evelyn summons her horse, Mourning Glory, and orders her to distract the giants. The horse almost immediately destroyed and it is de-summoned.
Strix sees a new giant enter the area, wielding a maul. This is Duke Zalto, the fire giant who runs this whole place. On the end of his maul is a cage with a dwarf in it. Strix flies over to Evelyn, shuts off her gaseous form and is hanging on to Evelyn, who is still flying.
Evelyn flies down to the door on the lower level. The giant tries to dump the dwarf into the molten lava. The poor dwarf is holding onto the cage. Evelyn flies up to him, still invisible, and grabs on to him.
Meanwhile, the dao and Paultin come to a huge room and see massive parts that are meant for a gigantic golem. They pass through the big room, go down to a lower level, and avoid some goblins while sneaking into a war room.
In the room is an inert iron golem with a rune-covered iron ingot embedded on its forehead. The dao wants to steal it. He knows the command word but doesn't want to activate it, because the golem follows the orders of the fire giants. He wants Paultin to use his magic to circumvent this.
Paultin isn't sure what to do. Eventually, they look inside it. In it is a hovering magical flame - this is the spirit of fire that animates it.
Paultin can't figure out how to disable it. He sees a sigil on the side of the armature. Paultin thinks this golem was made by the Bronzefire clan of dwarves. He points it out to the dao, who says he wishes Paultin hadn't noticed that.
The dao grabs his hand more tightly and Paultin lets out a thunderwave. The dao is hit and lets go of him. Paultin runs to the giant-sized door. He needs to make a strength check to open it. He rolls a natural one.
Back in the other area, Duke Zalto tries to shake the dwarf off of his maul and into the molten lava. The dwarf falls and Evelyn slingshots him so he lands on the floor. He takes a bunch of damage, but he is still alive.
Meanwhile, Diath and Strix, still invisible, go down the stairs and start racing across the foundry. They meet Evelyn at the giant-sized double doors. Diath asks Strix to drink the potion of frost giant strength, so that she and Evelyn can push the door open.
Duke Zalto jumps into the molten pool, sending globs of lava onto the floor near the group. They frantically push the doors open and run through. The dwarf is making a run to the door.
The group is still invisible, but the dwarf is not. They grab the dwarf and try to hide him next to the door so that Duke Zalto just walks right by and hopefully doesn't see him.
Duke Zalto comes in, shuts the giant double doors, puts his maul down and sees the dwarf. The group is in a room with three big cisterns full of water. This room connects to another. From that other room comes another giant, a female wearing a gown made of black dragon hide.
Strix uses her frost giant strength to push the maul out of the way so they can go back through the door.
Evelyn suddenly realizes that her harness is empty. Waffles the baby owlbear isn't there. Neither is Mr. Stinky and Juniper, the pet mouse. This must have just happened in the past ten seconds. The animals were spooked.