“No,” says Perilous Jack. “I am no kind of fool at all. I will not give up my shield to so simple a trick.”
The Ogre Mage shrugs. “Suit yourself. There are other magic shields to be found and won. As for the secret I might have shared, I care nothing for it. I am weary of this game. All was well when my brother was alive and the Giant alone was our master; we made our plots and fought our battles, gained bright plunder when we succeeded and always managed to scrape our way out when we failed. But now – oh, such grand schemes the master has! And what despicable forces he bargains with! And my brother slain in the name of this mad venture, and myself reduced to gatekeeper, resigned to the dreary duty of repelling a swarm of would-be heroes, expected to care whether one manages to slip inside and cut all the knots my master and his masters have so carefully tied! This is no life for a mage of Clan Ghal! Pass if you will, warrior! For myself, I am finished with the lot of you!”
The Ogre Mage utters the words of another spell, and black wings sprout from his shoulders as they did at their first meeting not far from Jack’s castle. The Ogre leaps into the cold air of the upper atmosphere and is swiftly gone.
Jack pauses only long enough to skin one of the Winter Wolves, and then climbs the great steel staircase up into – The Castle of the Cloud Giant.
Add a Winter Wolf Pelt to the Pouch of Ghrul and turn to 70.