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At the entrance to the steading (Exit A), Hill Giants will stop you and demand to know why you're there. If you "wait" or "bust the gate," then the giants will throw boulders at you, and you'll take some damage. If you talk, then they'll mistake you for mercenaries and invite you inside.
Your first goal in the area is to reach the inner steading, which will require you to impress the Hill Giant Shaman. For information on how to do this, you should talk to Kardal in the Twisted Horn tavern (#10). He'll tell you that Hill Giants are only impressed by combat prowess, and so he'll recommend that you defeat the Cloud Giants on the southern side of the tavern (#11). After doing so, the gate to the inner steading (#8) will open, allowing you to pass.
Inside the inner steading, you'll discover that Kardal scouted ahead of you but got caught and beaten by the Hill Giants. Before dying, he'll let you know that the "gathering" people have been talking about is actually a gathering of dragons. Past Kardal you'll come to the Hill Giant Shaman (#20). He's the end boss for the area, but he's not too tough. You won't get anything other than xp for defeating him, but his death is required for you to reach the
Fire Giant Cave
(via Exit B).
Note: You'll have to pass through the Hill Gaint Steading and the
Fire Giant Cave
in order to reach the
, where you'll encounter Thorne, once of Bane's lieutenants.
1 - Insulting Giants
Ten Hill Giants here will insult you when you walk by. No matter how you respond, you'll have to fight them.
2 - Guard Rooms
In each of these guard rooms you'll get attacked by a Large Iron Golem, six Ogres, and three Ogre Mages. Remember that spells won't damage iron golems, and fire spells will actually heal them.
3 - Shop
You'll find a shop selling basic equipment here. However, if you tell the shopkeeper that you're not interested in his wares, then he'll rob the character you have selected (if that character has money). Then when you return to the shop, you'll automatically demand your money back, but the shopkeeper will play dumb, and your only recourse will be to attack him -- plus several Hill Giant and Swordsman guards -- to recoup your losses.
Note: If the shopkeeper robs you, then you won't ever be able to use the shop again, even if you don't resort to violence. So if you want the shop to stay a shop, then you should make sure your selected character always has no money when you go inside.
4 - Private Rooms
When you enter these rooms, the creatures inside will demand that you leave. If you defeat the creatures instead, then you'll be able to rest safely in the rooms. Creatures you can encounter in these rooms include Black Mages, Evil Knights, Master Thieves, Rogues, and Swordsmen.
5 - Fire Knife Assassins
When you enter these two rooms, assassins will demand that you leave or die. If you choose to stay, then you'll have to fight eight Fire Knife Assassins.
6 - Fire Knife Commander
In this room you'll have to fight two Fire Giants and ten Fire Knife Assassins. After the battle you'll find a letter on the commander's desk. You'll record it as Journal Entry 83.
7 - Ettin-Ogre Battle
At this spot you'll stumble into a fight between Ettins and Ogres. If you attack one side or the other, then you'll end up fighting both at the same time. If you "duck" then you'll only have to face the survivors of the winning side.
8 - Gate to Inner Steading
This gate will start out barricaded. To get it open, you'll need to impress the Hill Giant Shaman by killing some Cloud Giants (#11).
9 - Training Hall
10 - The Twisted Horn
Inside this tavern you'll meet a "disheveled" warrior named Kardal. He'll give you some background information, which you'll record as Journal Entry 31.
11 - Private Rooms
In one of these rooms you'll get attacked by five Cloud Giants, two Cloud Giant Mages, and two Cloud Giant Shamans. You'll find 300 platinum, 20 gems, and 3 pieces of jewelry after defeating them. Winning this fight will impress the Hill Giant Shaman. Once cleared, you'll be able to rest safely in these rooms.
12 - Kitchen
When you enter the kitchen, the cooking staff will begin pelting you with "reeking bits of garbage." If you try to attack them then they'll flee, and nothing will happen.
13 - Garbage Room
Inside this room you'll get attacked by four Carrion Crawlers, a Greater Otyugh, three Neo Otyughs, and three Otyughs.
14 - Dagger
You'll find Kardal's Dagger +4 on the ground here, and you'll notice a trail of blood leading west.
15 - Kardal
You'll discover Kardal being beaten and questioned by Hill Giants here. If you attack the Hill Giants, then you'll have to battle five Ettins, four Hill Giants, and four Swordsmen. Afterwards, Kardal will tell you about the Gathering, which you'll record as Journal Entry 49. Then Kardal will expire from his wounds.
16 - Rear Guard
In this room you'll encounter a rear guard of Ogres and Hill Giants. If you challenge their authority, then you might only have to fight the Ogres. Otherwise, you'll have to fight both groups.
17 - Dragon Hoard
When you enter this room you'll get attacked by a Red Dragon and three White Dragons. After defeating the dragons, you'll be able to loot their hoard, where you'll find 10 Arrows +2, 20 Bolts +4, a Dagger +3, a Long Sword vs Giants (+2), a Shield +3, 750 platinum, 250 gems, and 25 pieces of jewelry.
18 - Battle
When you enter this room, no matter what you say, you'll get attacked by seven Ettins, seven Hill Giants, and five Ogre Shamans.
19 - Antechamber
In this room you'll get attacked by a Black Dragon and a White Dragon.
20 - Hill Giant Shaman's Chamber
When you enter this chamber, the Hill Giant Shaman will hit you with a spell that will do about 20 damage to your party. Then he along with nine Hill Giants, four Ogres, and six Ogre Mages will attack you. Conveniently, the shaman will start out right next to our party, so you can let your fighters deal with him while your casters take down the mages. You'll gain some extra xp at the end of the battle, and you'll be allowed to rest in the chamber, but you won't find any equipment to loot.
21 - Vault
To enter the vault, you'll need to force the door, pick the lock, or use the knock spell. Once inside, you'll find a cleric scroll, a Flail, a Ring of Fire Resistance, a Robe, a Scimitar +3, 300 platinum, 40 gems, and 16 pieces of jewelry. You'll also discover a copper key and a book. The key is a mystery. We have no idea what it opens. You'll record the book as Journal Entry 52.
- Exit to the
- Exit to the
Fire Giant Cave.