With Iron Woman revitalized, the other Pathfinders caught their breath a moment and recovered from their civil skirmish. Jenkin Dragonsbane, still raging on adrenaline, decided to search for the runaway goblin by heading down the corridor behind them. Deciding to move on without him, the rest continued on.
In the next room, Stark detected high levels of toxic radiation emanating from the abysium in the caverns. Flash was at first struck by the radiation, but quickly overcame the effects. The others were unaffected.
Beyond the irradiated hall was a massive, circular chamber with no floor in the center. Above, the smooth conical walls extended upward twenty-five feet before tapering to a point, while below, a churning cloud of blue-green fog obscured the shaft-like interior after a drop of twenty feet. The group deduced the fog was actually a physical manifestation of mage’s private sanctum, a portal to a pocket dimension. When they recalled hearing rumors of an dark cult, powerful sages and an ancient dragon, the Pathfinders quickly dismissed the thought of jumping in after them.
They moved on to a secret door, detected by Stark, where they heard giants conversing on the other side. Flash bluffed the guards, feigning to be a fellow giant in distress. The guard opened the door, only to be greeted by a lightning bolt by Doctor Strange, a shield toss by Captain America, and another spell by Hyourinmaru. The giant retreated, and another stepped up to attack. The two were rapidly overwhelmed by the Pathfinders, however, who quickly secured the area.
Further down they came to the center of the subterranean spire. There the giant Chief Jubbek held a private celebration, watching two hill giant battle each other while surrounded by concubines and a sabre-toothed Smilodon. Flash, made invisible by Strange, reconned the area and spotted a shard of the Sihedron – the Shard of Wrath – fixed to Jubbek’s morningstar. Devising a plan, the Pathfinders opted to bluff the giant chief. Hyourinmaru, disguising himself as a blue half-dragon, claimed to be an emissary from Cadrilkasta. He claimed the ancient dragon ordered him to return her shard. Enraged at the recall, Chief Jubbek demanded more violence. He called for a fighting tournament, to be civil, and allowed the Pathfinders to pick their opponents.
Strange went first, and called for a hill giant. After getting struck painfully in the opening skirmish, Strange cast invisibility on himself and moved away. He blasted the giant several times with bolts of fire, easily felling the confused foe. Jubbek, furious at the “cowardly” display, decided to change the rules of the next fight. He sent two giants – one fire and one hill – against Hyourinmaru. The Dragon Disciple unleashed a flurry of frost spells, decimating them both. He took a few hits, but soon flew away where his powerful magic finally eliminated both giants.
Even more enraged, Jubbek declared “best four of five. In fact, best four AGAINST five.” Jubbek ordered two of his concubines, a hill giant guard, and the smilodon to attack the party of five. The giants rushed in, engaging the Pathfinders. The smilodon leaped into the air, catching Hyourinmaru by surprise and clutching him in its claws. Slicing into him, Hyourinmaru had few defenses. Finally the furious feline bit onto Hyourinmaru’s neck, snapping it violently.
Doctor Strange rushed over to help, casting a healing spell which brought Hyourinmaru back to life. As the other Pathfinders slowly tried to turn the tide of battle, the smilodon pounced on Strange and – in one violent flurry – ripped him asunder as well.
Suddenly, from a stone Port-O-Potty that inexplicably appeared against the wall, a relieved Deadpool stepped out and warned everyone not to go in there. Upset over missing out on a good fight, Deadpool rushed in. His first act was to draw a strange black disk from his belt pouch. He—
“Ok, I can explain this. See, it was a nifty little Insta-Portal I bought off of the Acme website. Pretty sweet. I threw it under the cat thing and it went Bye-Bye!”
“Yeah, well it’s not the first time you lost a good pus—”
“That will do, thank you. There are minors reading this.”
“Who, Rico? He’s not a minor. Just looks like one.”
“What about Hunter?”
“Anyway, moral of the story? I saved the day. Carry on.”
After the disposal of the smilodon and soon the giant reinforcements, Jubbek himself joined the fray. He wailed on Deadpool several times as his two remaining concubines prepared to fight as well. Before they got the chance, however, the Pathfinders – possessing dragon’s breath bestowed on them by Hyourinmaru – lined up and blasted the area with cones of frost. The concubines fell quickly and Jubbek tried to resist, but was no match for the unified Pathfinders.
The killing blow came from Deadpool, who whipped out his double pistols. Clustering his rapid shots under Jubbek’s chin, he blasted the head off the raging giant. (“Giggidy”)
Having cleared the area, the Pathfinders took stock of who they lost – and gained – and finally took possession of the Shard of Wrath. They scoured the area for whatever loot they could carry, and finally returned to the Watchtower to rest and regroup.