Getting into Jorgenfist


Rise of the Runelords


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So I've been reviewing for our next session on saturday and they are about to hit the Storval Stairs on their way to Jorgenfist. It implies on the map that they approach from the north. With the camps around Jorgenfist and the parties inability to fly. What is Thier best approach to getting into Jorgenfist? There's the river, but in my game it's winter and I am not sure they will risk the cold water on a group that has no wizard, or really any magic focused character anymore. The party makeup is Paladin, Fighter, Ranger (no companion), alchemist/gunslinger, and a rogue.


I thought they approached from the west, according to the map. The distance between the exit of the Storval Steps and Jorgenfist is fairly elastic and aside from patrols and the lookout tower, 60' of darkvision only goes so far.

I allowed my party to stealth at dawn at the edge of the mountains down to the river and gain entrance through the caves. Although in our case a wizard's familiar scouted the area to actually know of the caves in the first place.

I can't think of what your party would do. Maybe capture a stone giant from a patrol and hope to convince it of the error of Mokmurian's plan to throw the giants against Varisia. (Stone Giants are neutral, not evil, and Conna herself says they have been led astray).

Maybe fake the old "prisoners being taken in for Mokmurian's pleasure".

Alternatively maybe the Sihedron amulets might be employed as they could be at Hook Mountain.


On the map the path is in the north western area leading from the Storval Stairs to the valley. Yeah, I am sure they will attempt a stealth, but I am sure it won't go well. Perhaps if they can end Thier battles quickly enough it won't be heard by those sleeping.


There's a cave to the East of Jorgenfist that leads into the lower levels.

Invisibility or illusion spells could get them in. As could charm spells.

The party in the game I'm running started a fight between members of the ogre camp and the hill giant camp (since both aren't too bright and quick to violence) and then sneaked inside during the resulting chaos (I had the general and his men that were normally at the bottom of the pit come out to restore order.)


The cave to the east is home to Longtooth, who they didn't kill or even attack (they played townsfolk during the raid on (sandpoint).

I like the idea of starting a fight between camps. Also they could probably take car of Longtooth fairly easily if they catch him unaware.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As per Longtooth's description, he's about ready to turn on Mokmurian, so I had him know about the secret way into the dungeon levels in the deathweb cave.


This might be well known but some of the dialogue here suggests it might not be. The Storval Stairs are dozens of miles away from Jorgenfist. The Storval Stairs are at the Storval Rise and Jorgenfist is well into the Iron Peak mountain range. It's a trip on foot of multiple days to Jorgenfist from the Stairs.

If the pc's approach from the Storval Plateau - which seems most likely if they are not flying - then they will approach the valley from the west. If they are not flying, seems to me they would have a hard time knowing about the caves by the river. Those would only be visible from the river side of the cliffs. It also seems unlikely they could see Longtooth's cave from ground level, though you could make it easier for them if you let them see Longtooth fly in or out. I'd also point out it's challenging for them to reach - "This cave entrance is difficult to reach except from the air: The entrance is 450 feet up the side of a near-vertical mountain face." (AE p. 202)

Absent flight and invisibility, it's going to be a challenge for them to get to the the Fortress, let alone inside. They could scout the entire perimeter outside the vision of the giant groups and you could allow for plenty of paths/gaps between the various groups to allow a relatively easy approach to the walls. The giants aren't exactly on guard duty or expecting an attack. "The Empire doesn't consider a one-man fighter to be any threat..." Getting over the walls without being discovered may be a bigger challenge.

If they explore along the cliffs they could spot the caves though that puts them closest to the Fortress and the Harpies.

Maybe some kind of caravan arrives with supplies for the Fortress and the group sneaks inside. "If we were to build a large wooden badger..."

What if they were to capture or charm one of the Rocs? That would get them in. Maybe.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

It's been a long time since I played this adventure but I remember my group stoneshaped our own door and actually came in through the rear. I don't remember the details other than we ended up doing the entire Jorgenfist experience in reverse.


I love that your party is so non-magic. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I was planning on having them see Longtooth fly out of his cave. If it came to a fight, they would probably attack him. They aren't so much on the diplomatic side, and the dragon destroyed standpoint. However if I can give them a good enough reason, maybe they will listen. They don't really have a good way up to his cave. So the chances are slim I'd go that route.

If they'd scouted the area, I'd probably have them find a path leading down to the "beach" area, but again they don't really have a way up. The cave I think is 250 feet up. The harpy cave is 50 but leads nowhere.

They might be stuck trying to find a way to sneak in. I'll let you guys know what and how they did after Saturday.


H2Osw wrote:

The cave to the east is home to Longtooth, who they didn't kill or even attack (they played townsfolk during the raid on (sandpoint).

I like the idea of starting a fight between camps. Also they could probably take car of Longtooth fairly easily if they catch him unaware.

Sorry, I was going by "East is the left side of the map" because I didn't have the book in front of me. I keep forgetting that Paizo very rarely actually has the top of their maps be North. :)


Kalshane wrote:
H2Osw wrote:

The cave to the east is home to Longtooth, who they didn't kill or even attack (they played townsfolk during the raid on (sandpoint).

I like the idea of starting a fight between camps. Also they could probably take car of Longtooth fairly easily if they catch him unaware.

Sorry, I was going by "East is the left side of the map" because I didn't have the book in front of me. I keep forgetting that Paizo very rarely actually has the top of their maps be North. :)

I was also assuming that the top of the map is north. :p


My group had fought and nearly defeated Longtooth in Sandpoint, before he managed to fly away. He was still feeling somewhat defeated and licking his wounds when they stumbled upon his cave scouting for a way into the Fort.

One of my players actually managed to bribe Longtooth via coin to drop them into the Jorgenfist pit. The dragon figured best and worst case scenario they die. Either way he got paid for sending them to there certain deaths. Was a lot of fun to roleplay and a highlight of the campaign.

The group used invis, and feather fall to complete the entry into Jorgenfist.


So the group is scouting around Jorgenfist. They saw Longtooth fly into his cave. We ended the session with them finding a cave near the valley. Unfortunately the giants know they are in the immediate area. Because the 2 stealthy guys were fooling around, and a patrol stumbled across they, instead of hiding, one decided he would act like a ghost.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My group has opted to skip the stairs and will be coming in to the Iron Peaks from the East, via a small boat across the Storval Deep and then following the river to the valley.

I suspect they will find the entrance in the deathwebs cave and come from below. Due to this route and access point I don't expect the fortress to be on guard for their first attack.

One thing I'm wondering about is where they can retreat to as I don't see them being able to clear the entire complex in one go.

What have other groups done with this?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

My group used Nap Stack and Stone Shape to create a hideyhole where the troll guards had been staying. As it was only two hours, the whole place wasn't on alert. It helps they had Conna helping out and did come in through the Deathweb tunnels.

One thing to consider is this: most giants aren't allowed into the caves below. If the PCs wipe out all (or most of) the giants in that first level and then rest, the giants above may not even have an inkling anything is wrong.

That said, priests can only regain spells once every 24 hours, even with sleeping or the like.


JDragon_ITTS wrote:

My group has opted to skip the stairs and will be coming in to the Iron Peaks from the East, via a small boat across the Storval Deep and then following the river to the valley.

I suspect they will find the entrance in the deathwebs cave and come from below. Due to this route and access point I don't expect the fortress to be on guard for their first attack.

One thing I'm wondering about is where they can retreat to as I don't see them being able to clear the entire complex in one go.

What have other groups done with this?

My group used the Getaway spell to retreat to a camp they setup in the nearby mountains overlooking the valley. Based on my experience, you are correct - one assault is unlikely to be sufficient. It took my group four tries. The giants became ever more demoralized with each attack. Morale was not improved by Mokmurian turning the casualties into runeslaves.

Silver Crusade

My group came in through the deathweb cave, and cleared the easier stuff on the first level (bunch of stone giants, and the kobold barbarian). They got Conna to help, then went down to face the lower level and Mokmurian, which they cleared all in one day. They were running low on spells, and the party oracle was a pile of dust (M's Disintegration spells), but they did it all in one day, then rested in the library.

They came back up carrying Mokmurian's head, and most of the rest of the 1st level backed off, except for the hill giant whose name I don't remember right now, who was mad at them for killing his friend. But after that hill giant and M were down, the lamias were all "Yes, you're our new masters now. We'll just take these red dragons and leave", then left to report to Karzoug (that's gonna come back to haunt the PCs when they get to Xin Shalast).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for the thoughts all. More than anything I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

This looks like the most recent discussion of Jorgenfist, so I'm hijacking it.

I've always liked overland travel sessions in D&D, so I prepared another map of central Varisia, with a few added details:

http://gdurl.com/IXh2

Folks never seemed able to decide exactly where Jorgenfist was, so here's my solution. Look at that map. Do you see the string of three mountains drawn next to the "L" of "Storval" in "The Storval Stairs"? Follow the apparent valley just above those three peaks, to the two diagonal lines that intersect with the river just above the capital "P" of "The Iron Peaks". That little bare space below the two lines is just about the only place on the map where you have the same orientation of the river as on the map from page 120 of the Anniversary Edition.

My only real question at this point is the scale of the Jorgenfist Fortress map. Seems to me that if the map is to scale at all, then the interior of the fortress could be something like 2 to 4 football fields in diameter (600 to 1200 feet) which would also be about the distance to the watchpost at A1. Alternatively, one could assume that the central fortress area is enlarged (for artistic reasons) and that the watchpost is more like half a mile to a mile away. Does anyone have anything more concrete that these ballpark estimations?

I'm planning on playing up the Shoanti culture angle as soon as my group gets past the Storval Stairs (where we stopped last session) by using an aged Shoanti shaman of the Shiikiri clan who scoped out the whole area be looking through his eagle's eyes (a la "three-eyed raven" <g>) so as to lay an area map on the players. They are underpowered in the spellcasting department, and need a bit of help.


Wheldrake wrote:
My only real question at this point is the scale of the Jorgenfist Fortress map. Seems to me that if the map is to scale at all, then the interior of the fortress could be something like 2 to 4 football fields in diameter (600 to 1200 feet) which would also be about the distance to the watchpost at A1. Alternatively, one could assume that the central fortress area is enlarged (for artistic reasons) and that the watchpost is more like half a mile to a mile away. Does anyone have anything more concrete that these ballpark estimations?

The detailed map of the fortress from page 205 of the Anniversary Edition shows that the fortress has the inner diameter around 300 ft. The walls are described (p. ) to be 50 feet high. The spire inside is supposed te 150 feet high. The horizontal distance of two caves over the river is about 90 ft.

The ratios of those number seem to match the general map of the valley, except for the spire, which is too short. I can't imagine the map to be up to scale though, the surrounding mountains can't be so small.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks, I missed that the map from page 205 was scaled in 10' squares.
Although I gotta say, a total diameter of only 300' seems mighty small for all the giants and mammoths running round in there.

Best thing is to fudge it in my presentation to players, I suppose, to correspond to what seems most workable.

I agree, the mountains can't be to scale, so it's probably best to treat the relatively large size of the fortress shown on the page 200 map as "artistic licence" if I'm using it as a player handout.


The stone giants are only 12 feet tall, so there's plenty of space for them inside. Scaled to human size, the fortress would have aboud 150 ft.

Considering it is a single bailey, it can probably it can compared to motte-and-bailey medieval castles. Such castles were a fortified courtyard (bailey) built on top of a real or artificial hill (motte). They varied a lot in size, the motte was usually 100-300 ft in diameter (at the bottom), and the bailey was appropriately smaller, depending on a height of the hill. Considering that Jorgenfist doesn't actualy have a motte (fatal flaw in the design), just by the size of the abailey it could be compared to some of the larger motte-and-bailey castles. Those were still much smaller than castles built in later times, with multiple courtyards, so Jorgenfist wwould be impressive more beacause of its giant proportions than beacause of anything else.

Anyway, giants wouldn't have problems moving around.


I have created an image of a map of Jorgenfist with tokens on it. It doesn't look cramped at all.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B5g7xvz44pGrZXV0Nm12Y290dDQ


Adjoint wrote:

I have created an image of a map of Jorgenfist with tokens on it. It doesn't look cramped at all.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B5g7xvz44pGrZXV0Nm12Y290dDQ

Correct link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5g7xvz44pGrYzlNeEJMWU1uVDA

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Rise of the Runelords / Getting into Jorgenfist All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Rise of the Runelords