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Stonnish Dens
Crag Mouth #9
© 2023 James LaFond
This is the lair of Big Crag, the Stonnish Giant, inhabited by nine of his grogs, who but visit to bring food and wives, tend his armor, comb his hide [part of the same task] and polish his great sword of ivory. Big Crag addresses each grog, first as “grog” followed by “Son” when pleased, “son of a wench,” when in need or haste and in matter of fact command, and when angry or displeased, “son of a witch.”
Like other Stonnish Giants, he may also communicate in hoots to Skunk Apes and Feathered Contrary. Big Crag is the most powerful of his kind, is surly and uncompromising, reacts in rage to fear of strength and contempt of weakness in the same measure, and should be stat blocked in such a way as to be equal in combat ability to the adventuring party. Fighting grogs and their sire will be a terrible mistake. The grogs should be befriended, outwitted, seduced, charmed or bribed. [0]
Weaker parties might be captured and cast into the lower cavern, [see below] giving them a wit’s chance after Big Crag celebrates drinking contrary berry juice and arguing with his pet grisly. An individual could be given an advantage by Big Crag having just feasted, gotten drunk, or mated with his unfortunate bride, one of which is ever in stock, his grogs devoted to keeping him supplied on threats that he would demote them to wife!
The first chamber is lit by a brazier set in the floor, with the walls literally lined with fire wood. A stair rises into a higher cave, improved with the mason’s art, and winds up to the east.
The eastern wind of stair rises southward, to the right, and empties into an abandoned armory, lit by 2 cressets next to the entrance way. The chamber is vaulted from a natural cavern and is 40 feet wide and 200 feet deep. The north and south walls are each lined with 6 round shields with brass bosses. The west wall has a rack of 12 spears. The east wall is hung with 12 battle axes. The grogs do not use these weapons as they are their sire’s trophies, what formerly armed the ancient garrison. Aim, however, lusts after being armed like a man, and will take a chance for or against his sire to so arm himself and do battle like a man.
A set of double doors top a short stair to the south.
These doors pull open and reveal a widening flight of ten foot high stairs opening into a vaulted cavern. At the top a 20 foot wide open doorway is flanked by two cressets.
The cavern is Big Crag’s throne room, 40 foot deep 20 foot wide vaulted chamber, again an improved cavern.
Two great stacked stone pillars are ten feet in on either side of the doorway.
Big Crag, possessed of acute Skunk Ape hearing, will always make his way to his throne to great a visitor, even one he regards as an invader. The Stonnish Giant reeks terribly, regarding it as humiliating to bathe off blood, gore or the fluids of love. He is a rapacious sex fiend and will seek to capture and rape any female.
His great Mammoth Tusk saber and shield are on either side of his throne. However, if dealing with a single male opponent he will opt to throw these weapons and then close to rend and bite. His greatest joy is to bite the head off of a man and eat it raw while the eyes yet see into his maw!
To his left is chained his pet grisly bear, who he will attempt to throw secondary foes to while he seeks to bite the head from the primary foe.
To the right is his great hanging of mutton, elk and bison, smoking over the hearth attended by one of his grogs constantly. Big Crag has no idea why he coughs so much. Fire wood lines the wall, wood of various kinds for smoking meat.
In the center of the west wall is a carven tunnel of 8 feet in height and 4 feet in width, which is difficult for Big Crag to get through.
At the end of the hall on the left is a fir plank door that opens into a lantern lit chamber only 12 feet high, vented in the ceiling to a natural fissure. This chamber will be occupied by a slave girl, who is not chained, as escape from the mountain is impossible for a barefoot woman. She occupies a bed heaped with hides and blankets, which has been broken by Big Crag’s rude attention to his captives. The conditions are as follows:
-1. fresh caught and raped runaway slave girl
-2. fresh caught and raped slave girl, newly pregnant
-3. 3 months pregnant
-4. 6 months pregnant
-5. giving birth to monstrous child, all sterile males, save 1 in 16 fertile demon apes
-6. broken in and rocking her little monster ape baby in a cradle made of broken chairs lashed together by Toot Grog, who is the midwife in these parts.
The attractiveness of this woman, to a human man should be made on a 2d6 roll, with 11 and 12 re-rolled, for a rating of 2 thru 10. Slave girls who are 1s have their head bitten off by Big Crag after the first date, so they do not exist.
These women will be eager for rescue, except on a roll of 6, in which case they actually love the cruel giant. Various junk, coins and trinkets, treasured as prizes by Big Crag, are heaped in the corner behind the door, before the cradle, the bed taking up most of the small room.
Five paces further down the dead end hall, on the north, or right wall, is a tunnel, not carven, but an extension of the natural cavern complex, which winds down. This debouches into a small cavern with a spring in it, where the bones of various dead wives and unfortunate infants, largely the result of disastrous births, are curated in a touching shrine by one Orl Phane. [1]
Orl Phane is the youngest of Bess Long’s two sons with Old White, the elder, Bee’s Wax, having been killed by Big Crag. He is half brother to and on fair terms with Aim and Spy, he being smarter than either and able to play them off against each other. He has a very wide head, with knobs on his temples suggestive of horns that did not properly grow. His ears are over large and apish and used by his captor as handles while he makes empty threats towards Bess Long and Ranger Jon and lies about Old White not loving him. Orl Phane has atrophied legs which he must drag along, only able to sit on them. His arms are so strong and long he can move as quickly as a human swinging his dead legs along.
Big Crag has trained his pet grisly, artfully named Big Grizz, to hate Orl Phane, and promises to unchain Big Grizz to track him if he should run, not trusting his grogs not to be outwitted by the sly Orl Phane, who is more intelligent than most humans and has a kind voice. He has made a stone knife, which he may use in his right hand as he swings in a circle off of his big, hairy left hand. He has also fashioned a loin cloth and shirt, unlike the naked hairy grogs of “the general herd,” as he calls them, where he hide three stone darts that he fletched with eagle feather. He is the “Royal Tailor” as he says, making hide garments for the wives of his captor.
Orl Phane would like to visit Bess Long and would like to live with Old White. He might assist a party on the verge of defeat, or assist a defeated captive tossed into the cavern, where Big Crag does not enter for fear of being stuck. Orl Phane is fed scraps of food in return for cleaning up after Big Grizz while Big Crag takes the bear for a daily walk on his chain. This would be the worst time for a party to happen by the fort, between dawn and the second hour of the day, when they would have to deal with the giant and his pet bear. They walk up the rock slide just to the north of the crag and look down over the world they resent, afraid of the bullshit magic arrows of Ranger Jon.
This information could be gleaned from a sympathetic interaction with a disgruntled grog or with Red.
-0. Bess Long will know about the poor treatment of Big Crag’s grogs and of course, of the captivity of Orl Phane and be eager to impart this information to the party, though modest about her parentage of Orl Phane, Spy and Aim. Ranger Jon will suggest parlaying with grogs to gain an audience with Big Crag, which would only be attended by one grog, as they are only permitted entrance to his room one at a time.
-1. In the original dungeon, Orl Phane was a gnome played by Randy Boyer.
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