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Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Session Summary 3
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on Yesterday at 10:30:59 AM »
Session #3 notes

Cast of Characters
Theren Moonshadow, a Moon Elf Bard played by Payson
Lutheo, a Halfling Paladin played by Dale
Otep, a Half Orc Fighter played by Nelson
Akronos, a Human Wizard played by Alec
Ceress, a Saurien Monk played by Graham

The party has just escaped the buried ruins and had their first full nights rest under the stars with a full belly of wild game caught by Ceress.

The next day they start traveling through the forest heading towards the Aridorn, the capital city of the Rukemian Empire. This is where Akronos was captured and enslave. He had originally traveled here from Drakkel to learn some specific spells from a sage named Boazman. His spell book and magical chest of book storage was left at Boazman home and Akronos is eager to get them back.

They spend that first day traveling through the forest and rivers and avoiding any paths. In the second day they see what might be a hunters Lodge potentially filled with provisions, soft beds, a good fireplace and spare hunting gear, but out of great caution and wisdom, the avoid it and spend the night sleeping in the dirt instead.

From there they find game trails to follow and the ground they cover picks up. They eventually find a small road and follow that to the east.

Later in the day as evening is getting close they come upon a roadside inn.
They decide that a party of a human, an elf, a half orc, a saurian and a halfling might be too easy to identify if they are followed so they send in just the elf and human to buy dinner as well as more provisions for the road. After eating their warm meal they return to the rest of the party and give them the provisions for a cold but superior meal to anything they have had in the past several weeks while slaves.

This travel continues for several days with the occasional stop in a roadside tavern for provisions. On the fourth day after escape, the are traveling down the road in two groups, Lutheo and Akronos in the lead by about 100 feet followed by Theren, Otep and Ceress in the hopes that they won’t be as identifiable.

Two guards from the slavers dig catch up to the party at this point. They ride past the first group without recognizing them but when they get to the second group they realize they might have found the escaped slaves. The stop and circle back around, dismount and interrogate Lutheo and Akronos. These two stall the guards while the rest of the party catches up, then they attack and quickly overcome the guards. They keep one from dying and hasten the other to his afterlife.

The party questions the guard that they kept alive and he begs to trade any information he has for his life. They find out that the Black Sorcerer Kelvar and his right hand man Delmanakan have sent half of the guards out looking for the escaped slaves. The guards aren’t just mercenaries hired for this job, they are part of the military arm of the Knights of the Abyss of Duthelm. For some reason they aren’t wearing their uniforms on this mission. The guard doesn’t know much but promises to never return to Duthelm if they set him free, he will go to the War Vale and become a mercenary and never speak of them to anyone.

Just to make sure that they aren’t missing anything, the party has Akronos detect magic on the guard and all of his gear. While doing this Akronos sees the green gemstone for the first time with detect magic since it has been carried by Lutheo outside of the protective box that it came in. The power of the stone almost knocks Akronos unconscious but he quickly drops his concentration on the spell before it overwhelms him. He instructs Lutheo to put it back in the box for safe keeping and to shield it from detection. They then swear the guard to silence upon pain of death, strip him of all possessions except some of the scrap slave clothing that they still have with them and then set him loose to go to the War Vale. They are very good people for doing this and the gods will probably smile upon them when they meet their early death for some good deed one day.

They now have the two horses of the guards and their speed of travel improves greatly.

They continue on their way and as the party approaches the great capital city of the Rukemian Empire they start to see the landscape changing. The forest gives way to farmland. The farmland eventually gives way to smaller specialized farms and then to outlying villages as the city comes into view. Aside from Akronos, none of the party have seen anything on this scale.

There is a sprawl of tents and shanty dwellings from travelers too poor or cheap to stay in the city leading up to a cleared area 1000 feet from the great wall of the city of Aridorn. The wall is at least 30 feet tall and formidable. Guards can be seen patrolling the top of the wall. Hawkers line the road leading up to the gate selling meat pies, hats and cloaks, offering their services as a tinker to repair items and selling small toys to occupy children’s attention. The queue of people entering the city at this time of day isn’t very long and it doesn’t take the party long to get to the gate and hear the rules of the city while paying the 3 copper piece price each to enter.   

The guards at the gate inform all that come through the rules of the city of Aridorn and the Rukemian Empire. Bared weapons are forbidden. Fighting is forbidden. Killing is an execution-able offense. Theft will be punished in proportion to the crime. Wearing of armor, carrying weapons or other signs of being ready to fight, kill or cause mischief is highly discouraged. The city guard are to be obeyed at all times. The Empires roads is sacred and commuting a crime on the Empires road is as if you committed the crime in the capital.

The party is informed that they can recognize the Aridorn Guard by their shining silver helmets and shields, their white and purple tunics and the purple padded jerkins.

Once past the city walls the party find themselves in a tight packed city of stone, wood and plaster buildings, mostly three to five stories tall. The main roads are wide enough to pass two wagons while still leaving a space for pedestrians on either side. The side lanes are wide enough for a wagon and a pedestrian on one side and ally ways are only wide enough for two people or a hand cart. At regular intervals are courtyards that are a bustle of activity during the day with farmers and venders selling their wears.

The hustle and bustle feels like it is pressing in on the players that didn’t grow up in a large city, the stench is overwhelming and the sounds make it hard to think. Dirty children in rags and filthy bare feet beg, hustle and steal, merchants walking with purpose, shoppers, craftsmen, messengers and the occasional grouping of Aridorn Guards.

Akronos doesn’t recognize this section of the city from his few weeks here in the past so he finds a carriage for hire to take them to the university district where his friend Boazman lives.

The carriage drops them off in the square just up the road from Boazman home and Akronos leads the party to the door leading to the second story home of Boazman, the sage he was staying with before getting kidnaped while exploring the city down by the waterfront.

Boazman seems genuinely surprised and happy to see Akronos alive and at his doorstep. He invites him in before realizing who his traveling companions are. Unable to retract his invitation and not wanting to be rude, he invites the road weary party into his home. His wife Rezo seems even less pleased with the unexpected company but still offers refreshments to them. Ceress and Otep take the horses and extra great to a inn just a few blocks away called The Kettle to stable the horses and stash all of the weapons and armor that they have collected in their escape.

Boazman returns a small but heavy chest to Akronos. The chest was in a prominent bookshelf in the living room and he assures Akronos that all the contents are as they were when left.

Boazman is a sage working at the local university authenticating written documents. He analyzes the language used (where art tho vs where are you, etc), the ink composition and the paper to put it into date context. He has developed a specialized version of the Identify spell to analyze ink composition.

According to Boazman “A lot can be told just by analyzing the ink. Ink can be made with plant, animal, and mineral inks. Pine sap from trees that were between 50 and 100 years old and then boiled till black is popular in some areas. Ink from mixture of hide glue, carbon black, lampblack, and bone black pigment which was mixed with pestle and mortar. Ink made from burnt bones, tar, and pitch or ink from soot, glue and water. These don’t damage the paper they used on but are not resistant to moist and can smudge. Iron ink made from iron salts and tannic acids. Only problem with this ink was that it is corrosive and damages the paper it is on. Ink was also made from branches of hawthorn which were cut in the spring and left to dry. Then the bark from the branches would be peeled off and left to soak in water for eight days. That water would be boiled until it is thick and black but while boiling, wine would be added to it. That thick and black liquid would be poured in bags and left in the sun to dry. When it is dried, wine (again) and iron salt would be mixed with it over fire. The resulting mixture would be ink ready to use. But I degrees, you asked about...”

Theren asks him to look at the poem that he has been obsessing over for the past 111 years and Boazman take it with the promise of fully analyzing it and providing any information that he can.

The party tells Boazman a little about their adventure but leave out the information about the room with the symbol of Ynthar, the gem, finger on the chain and the map.

Boazman suggests that it sounds like the party found the final battle site of the Demon Wars. He would be interested in any of the books they would be willing to part with. He knows others that might be interest in any other hard artifacts they found.

Most of the party don’t know much about the Demon Wars except that it happened a long time ago in this part of the world so Boazman educates them.

“The Demon War was fought from 2566 to 2570 CY, during which time there was a nine month siege of the city of Myranor. Duthelm fought against the combined forces of Kitar, Rukemia, mercenary companies from the War Vale, the Order of the Drake and the Conclave of Freedom (a group of six very powerful wizards and clerics). In the end, the Conclave managed to setup and spring an elaborate trap within their own stronghold during a climactic battle known as the Battle of the Banishing. Draxorith was banished and the forces of Duthelm were routed. The forces of Duthelm retuned to attack the Conclave but reinforcements of Rukemia and Kitar were there to ward them off. Unfortunately during this battle when the Empires side was winning a volcano in the Snowy Timber range erupted and whipped out both sides in a massive lahar mudslide. It buried the army of both sides as well as the conclaves stronghold where the banishing took place. The only ones to escape were the powerful Conclave Defiant, the hero’s of the war.

With the demon lord Draxorith banished, the war quickly unraveled. The loss of their master was a devastating blow to the Church of Draxorith. The loss of Draxorith left the priests weakened. For the last century and a half, the priests and the Knights of the Abyss have sought a way to re-establish contact with Draxorith.

Duthelm has since had other skirmishes, battles and minor wars with Kitar, but none that quite rival the first Demon War. The Second Demon war is recent history with Duthelm summoning in an extremely organized and almost hive mind Demon force but they quickly lost control of them. Now those Demons live in the Rift Vale in the Snowy Timbers south west of Kitar.”

The party decides to show Boazman the large book that was found in a side room by the final battle, the book that is locked and they haven’t been able to look at yet. With great reverence and care and the white glove treatment Boazman uses spells to check out the book, unlock it and discover that it is encoded and will need lots of time to decipher.

The party mentions at this point that they might be tracked by a Black Sorcerer and Boazman freaks out, making them gather all of their possession and leave his home to continue the conversation at their rooms in the inn.

Once in their rooms in their inn they bargain with Boazman to get the magical ring and cat figurine identified, get a couple extra pearls for their future use all in trade for giving him 8 books on demons, summoning and banishing that they took from the ruins.

Once identified the ring is a ring of fireballs with the two smaller ones used, two medium ones and one large one still intact.

The figurine of the cat is discovered to be a Figurine of Wondrous Powers. It is the legendary Kitten of Purring Health. It can be used once per day to summon a magical cat that will curl up on the bonded owners chest while they rest, purring and doubling the amount that they heal during that time.

Theren takes the ring and Ceress takes the cat figure. The look on Ceress’s reptilian face is hard to decipher, but maybe this small item means more to him that first glance would indicate.

The party sells off the used armor and weapons they gathered, the demon horn they took is sold to Boazman and they entrust him with the large book that is written in code on the understanding that he is to work on decoding it and provide them with what he learns and return the book when they want it back. They have money in their pockets to replenish the gear that was stripped from them when they became slaves. Boazman acquires some lead sheeting from a local components shop here in the university district and wraps the encoded book in a cloth, then bends the lead sheets around the cloth wrapped book to help hide it from scrying and magic detection and then puts it into a large sack.


This is where the third session ends. The party is “safely” in Aridorn with two rooms in The Kettle Inn enjoying soft beds, hot meals and cold drinks for the first time since the many weeks of hardship as slaves and escapees on the run. Next session, do they retire from adventuring life and set up shop in the big city or try to find out what the map, gem and finger are leading them into?
2
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Session Summary 2
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on Yesterday at 10:28:25 AM »
Session #2 was epic.

Cast of Characters
Theren Moonshadow, a Moon Elf Bard played by Payson
Lutheo, a Halfling Paladin played by Dale
Otep, a Half Orc Fighter played by Nelson
Akronos, a Human Wizard played by Alec
Ceress, a Saurien Monk played by Graham
Three human NPC’s Joe, Billy and Fritz (the “locksmith”)

Nathan, the DM


When we ended the last session the players had explored the entire ruins, found the site of a major battle and the circular chamber with the symbol on Ynthar and pit of evil green glowing smoke in the middle of it.

They have a large map, the green fist sized stone with the symbol of Ynthar etched into it, a finger on a chain and other items collected from the site including a magical wand, shield, ring, cat figurine, 2 potions, 3 scrolls, the remains of the dead mages spell book and coins and other small valuables scavenged from the ruins and the dead.

When we pick up for Session #2 the party splits up after a few minutes. Ceress and Otep went back to the flooded cold storage room to see if the location where the water is leaking out could be turned into an escape rout. They would spend the next 30 minutes or so bashing and pulling apart the section of floor that the water was seeping out. When they finally had it large enough to fit through they discovered that there was a natural chamber that the water followed through. They explored it and found that it went quite a ways and would be their best hope for escape without going back to the necromancer running the digging slave outfit. When they checked the collapsed entry hall they could hear the digging crew hard at work trying to get access to them, most likely to kill them all and turn them into zombies.

Akronos sat down in the chamber with the glowing white line around it and all of the dead bodies. He had all of the magic items with him and using supplies scavenged from the wizards lab set about identifying the magical shield and the wand. He discovered that the shield would provide great protection to the one that wears it and utters the word Sumerack. The wand would provide healing but only had 9 charges left in it. During this time he notices that there is a growing pressure on his ears like being underwater but he can’t figure out what is causing it.

Meanwhile, Theren decided to check out the pit of swirling green evil in the center of the symbols of Ynthar. He walked up to the edge and touched the green smokey substance. Immediately his stomach churned and his bowls turned to water. He barely made it to the side of the room to drop his pants and void himself before soiling himself. He decided after that encounter to leave the evil alone for now. He went to the study off the room before the main battle room and found a very interesting book that is close to what he has been looking for for years but doesn’t appear to be actually written by the same author. He lost a lot of time reading this book and trying to figure out why the writing style is different than the author he has been searching for even through it is written under the same.

Lutheo kept watch over different party members while all of this was going on. He too noticed the growing pressure on his ears but couldn’t figure out what was causing it.

The Otep and Ceress came back to tell the rest of the party about the possible exit that they had created. While the party was debating what to do next they all felt a sudden increase in the pressure and then the white line around the battle room flared brightly. Green oily smoke started to pour out of the hole in the banishment chamber and rush towards their room. They backed up into the next room which had two rooms off of it, one the wizards lab and the other the library (each with a dead body in it). When the green smoke hit the white line surrounding the battle room it spread out along the mortar in the walls to go around the room. After passing through that room it rushed past the character and some mist broke off and went into each side room and the remainder rushed past them and down the hall through out the rest of the ruins.

They all looked at each other knowing that bad stuff was happening but not sure what it was. They quickly found out when the skeleton in the next room got up and charged through the door they had left open. Battle ensued and they managed to kill the skeleton without too much injury, pinning it in the door while hacking at it. They heard the skeleton in the next room trying to open its door and realized that all the skeletons in the complex were probably coming alive, except the ones in the room with the protective white line around it.

A running battle ensued. All three of the zero level NPC’s were killed by the skeletons, Lutheo once again was brought to unconscious as well as Otep. The Sumerack shield was put to great use to save the party when they were overwhelmed by skeletons. The scroll of Lightning Bolt was the final key to taking out the last 5 skeletons and saving the party from death.

After the battle the party healed up as best they could. They gathered their possessions and moved to a room near the cold storage room. They barricaded the door leading into that hallway and got an hour of rest before continuing on.

They explored the cavern that the water had been running out and found that it led to the outside after a long, twisting, muddy path. The sun was setting and they used the cover of dusk to make their escape down the hill. They traveled for many hours before allowing themselves to crash for the night and get a solid rest for the first time in who knows how long. A vigilant watch was set to make sure that if pursuit found them they would not all be caught sleeping.

This is where Session #2 ended. They party has escaped with the stone, the map, the finger on a chain, the large locked book and a few more magical items as well as a handful of coins, books and valuables.
3
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Re: Session 1 Summary
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on Yesterday at 10:25:56 AM »
And the final chamber with they symbol of Ynthar.
4
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Re: Session 1 Summary
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on Yesterday at 10:25:12 AM »
The map of the buried complex.
5
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Re: Session 1 Summary
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on Yesterday at 10:18:07 AM »
Here are the handouts the players received as well as the map of the buried fortress.
6
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Session 1 Summary
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on Yesterday at 10:06:24 AM »
Session 1 Summary

Cast of Characters
Theren Moonshadow, a Moon Elf Bard played by Payson
Lutheo, a Halfling Paladin played by Dale
Otep, a Half Orc Fighter played by Nelson
Akronos, a Human Wizard played by Alec
Ceress, a Saurien Monk played by Graham
Nathan, the DM. I played in this campaign under David Rooms masterful guidance back in 1998.


Prelude:
Before the campaign began, each of the characters has been captured by their own series of unfortunate events and enslaved onto a digging team. The two spell caster were fitted with slave collars that have Drellisite crystals imbedded in them to prevent them from casting spells.

This is where the players have come into the picture. They have each been picked up by slavers and brought to a dig in the NW mountainous section of the Snowy Timbers forest. They have been here for varying times but have all witnessed the brutality of the leader of the dig, Kelvar, a Black Sorcerer of Duthelm, his right hand man Dalmanakan a Knight of the Abyss and the rest of the guards. The guards act efficient and organized like a military group but wear nondescript armor and clothing. They each carry a short sword, club and whip and wear chainmail armor.

In the group of slaves are two dwarfs, one of which takes a tool out of the dig site and is killed for his transgression. Kelvar kills him and then animates his body as a zombie to dig. Zombies are good at digging, just stupid about it so not very effective when they hit roots, rocks or just dig themselves into a small hole. Kelvar does away with the zombie after a day but it is a good reminder to the other slaves that their fate could be so much worse than it currently is. Kelvar’s right hand man, Delmanakan is present for this killing and many other evil acts.

On the day the campaign starts the characters are part of a 12 person digging team that has been working a long ramp down into the earth along side a building. This is the fourth building that has been unearthed and each previous one before has been a dead end. This one was discovered due to the chimney becoming exposed by overflowing rivers and water flowing down the chimney. The ramp down has been paralleling the building and they have finally come to a window. The tools are taken away from the slaves and carried out by one of the weaker slaves. Six guards are assigned to them to explore the building and report back. They have lanterns and are a mix of cautiously guarding the slaves while still keeping them as trap and monster finders.


Inside the ruins:
Main Entry Hall
The waters flowed through the grand entry hall (the only section of the building with a strong enough roof to survive whatever caused these building to be buried under 30 feet of earth) and through a door down into the basement. In this entry hall are two dead warriors, tables, chairs, a huge fire place and book shelves with various books on interesting subjects for a noble to entertain their guest with. The head guard sends one guard back to Kelvar with a shield and both swords of the dead warriors to verify they are what he is looking for. They continue to check and see if there is anything else in here worth finding or if like the other buildings it only had a small section survive and nothing of interest in it.

Water is still seeping through the hall as a small stream when they enter, leaking under a tapestry and the door in the SW wall. The doors to the north are busted open with debris pouring into the hall. The doors to the south are barred shut but when opened were found to have a sold wall of earth behind it.

Stairs and Entry Hall
The stairs to basement have structural damage. Signs of water at the entry hall at the top of the stairs to the basement show a high water line a couple feet up the wall. It is cold and there is damp in the air. The stairs go down about twenty feet. There is evidence that this corridor was flooded to the ceiling at one point recently. The support beams along the hall show signs of being water logged from long exposure. There is still about a foot of standing water in the hall that floods out when the door at the far end is opened. Water has slowly leaked under and around the door at the end of the hall.

After the rest of the party has gone through the hall, one of the orc guards bringing up the rear taunts the dwarf prisoner about the death of the other dwarf. The dwarf gets enraged and shoulder slams the guard repeatedly into a support column breaking it and causing a cave in that kills both of them and brings the whole hall down. The party take this opportunity to attack and kill the 4 other guards but their injuries are serious. By the end of the battle Theren is almost dead and lies face up in several inches of water, one of the other digging crew has been killed, Lutheo was brought to unconsciousness and revived to continue the battle and Otep made an epic leap bringing down the last guard with a flying strike by the short sword he acquired off a dead body.

After the battle, one of the fellow slaves, Fritz puts some of his skills as a gear maker before becoming a slave to use. He uses wire pulled from the hilt of a recovered sword to pick the locks on the Drellis crystals slave collars freeing Theren and Akronos to cast spells.

The cave in has cut off the water supply to the hall stream as well as provided the party some security from Kelvar and his crew on the top side.

Room 1
Past the door from the hall is evidence of the past water seeping around it and across the room and through the open door on the other side. This room has two chairs, a small table, cobwebs, and two dead warriors. They have obviously been dead a long time and all of their gear is showing it’s age.

2 - Common Hall
Large clean hall. Tapestries and marble walls. The floor is littered with about a dozen skeletal corpses. Some bloated white spiders about the size of a mouse scurry out of sight when the party enters.The trickle of water leaves out of the open door to the left.

3 - Hallway
The trickle of water goes down the hall and through the door to the left.

4 - Main Storage Room
Empty barrels, boxes, blankets, clothing, boots, cloaks, tunics, gloves, belts, bolts of coarse cloth, pots, pans, cutlery, clay pottery, glasses, mugs, bags, pouches, backpack, rope, chain, saddle, stirrup, bucket, mop, broom, rags, shovel, lots of rotted food and a pack of 12 still edible dry rations wrapped in wax paper.

5 - Water and Wine Storage
Twenty two barrels, 1 large wine rack with 47 intact bottles and several broken ones. Bottle of blue pills. Blue pills are discovered later to be "purify water" pills.

6 - Cold Food Storage
This chamber has 10 feet of steps leading down into it. The chamber is very cold and you can see your breath in the air. This room is 33 degrees Fahrenheit, held constant by magic. This spell is still running. There is 5 feet of water in the room but it shows signs that it has been much higher. The shelves are knocked over and there is a variety of bags, boxes and bottles floating in the water, The water slowly swirls (clockwise) with the debris drifting along. When explored by Ceress it is found to be slowly draining out through cracks in the flooring in the NW corner.

7 - Kitchen
This large room is obviously a kitchen. A large fireplace dominates the west wall. Long tables fill the center running the length of the room. Pots and pans hang from the ceiling. Bread ovens line the west wall. Barrels, boxes, bowls and bags are littered about the room. Stained plates are stacked in the corner on a small table. A huge black cauldron sits in one corner. A thorough search will reveal a barrel of thick dried glue like substance, various intact bottles with colored liquids, a jar of herbs and your standard kitchen gear.

8 - Hall
This is the serving hall from the kitchen to the dining hall. Double doors on both ends swing open away from the kitchen on hinges that are designed to swing close on their own.

9 - Mess Hall
The walls are plastered, the floor covered with mosaic tiles. The paintings on the walls displays scenes indicating that this room was meant for drinking and debauchery. Four long tables flanked with benches fill the room. Cloaks hang on pegs. One chest and one barrel stand in the corner. Two skeletal figures lie on the floor. A deck of cards are scattered about the table and floor. A huge fireplace is in the north wall. The barrel contains lamp oil, about 200 turns worth. The chest is unlocked and holds 10 torches and two hooded lanterns.
There is a table at the east end of the room that is set with crystal goblets, silver dining cutlery and china plates and 6 nicer chairs. The party takes the silverware.

After exploring the mess hall the party takes some of the rope and swords recovered from storage and the dead and work to pull more supports down in the entry hall way. They succeed with causing more of a cave in hopefully delaying the efforts of the necromancer to gain access.

They then take their first real rest since becoming slaves. They get a full 8 hours of sleep and recover from their trials of escaping being slaves. Feeling refreshed after their rest, they decide to continue to explore the rest of the ruins.

10 - Hall
This hall is a mess of death and damage. At the head of the T intersection to your right is all sorts of charred marks and blackened damage. There are what you would guess are burns, lightning, acid and other scars on the walls, floors and ceilings. There are fragments of bones, clothing, armor and weapons sections all over the hall.

11 - Captain's Quarters
Closed door. Very clean, organized and plush bedroom. Small table, chair, bed, chest, book shelf, tall wooden cabinet. Hidden under pillow, large knife. One corpse that looks like it tried to lock itself in after being wounded.

12 - Armory and Stone & Metal Workshop
This room is divided into two sections. The right section has racks of weapons along the walls. Several suits of thick, padded armor are hung on the walls as well. Several tall thin tapestries. Most of the weapons are armor are strewn about in disarray. This room contains: 4 barrels of Greek Fire, 27 sheaf arrows, 1 two-handed sword, 1 Bastard sword, 1 broken long sword, 1 war hammer, 2 clubs, 3 short swords, 1 heavy crossbow, 1 unstrung long bow, 13 heavy crossbow bolts, 1 12' length of chain.

The left section is a cluttered with miscellaneous metal junk, half finished suits of armor and weapons in need of repair. A large table stands in the center of the room. On the table are several books, dozens of small metallic tools, a large hammer, an anvil and several dozen small metal locks in various stages of repair or disassembly. Several books can be seen on a book shelf and on the main central table. In the east wall is a fireplace and bellows. The books cover subjects like engineering, mechanics and architecture.

13 - Barracks
Thirty bunks, moldy blankets. Three skeletal corpses.

14 - Cells
This small dungeon has four stone and iron bar cells, each 10'x10'. In each cell are three orcish skeletal corpses.

10b - Hall down the T intersection
Further evidence of great magical destruction and death show in every step of this hall. Bits and pieces, bone and armor and weapon fragments.

15 - Commander's Personal Quarters
These are larger personal rooms that seems to be part bed chamber and part office. A large woven rug dominates the central floor. Deep plush comfortable chair. Fireplace chamber set in wall. Crossed rapier swords hang above fireplace. Lutheo and Theren each claim a rapier.

16 - Commander's Personal Quarters
These are larger personal rooms that seems to be part bed chamber and part office. A large woven rug dominates the central floor. Deep plush comfortable chair. Fireplace chamber set in wall. Books and scrolls adorn a bookshelf (information about the local politics).

17 - Commander's Personal Quarters
These are larger personal rooms that seems to be part bed chamber and part office. A large woven rug dominates the central floor. Deep plush comfortable chair. Fireplace chamber set in wall. Nightstand by the bed (book of Ynthar in the nightstand). Lutheo takes the book of Ynthar.

18 - Commander's Personal Quarters
These are larger personal rooms that seems to be part bed chamber and part office. A large woven rug dominates the central floor. Deep plush comfortable chair. Fireplace chamber set in wall. Books on nature and morals and philosophy.

19 - Commander's Personal Quarters
These are larger personal rooms that seems to be part bed chamber and part office. A large woven rug dominates the central floor. Deep plush comfortable chair. Fireplace chamber set in wall. Novels about country side and romances and slice of life stories.

20 - Commander's Personal Quarters
These are larger personal rooms that seems to be part bed chamber and part office. A large woven rug dominates the central floor. Deep plush comfortable chair. Fireplace chamber set in wall. Ceremonial Long Sword and Shield on the wall. Books about Duthelm, Caramus and the Citadel.

21 - Conference Room
Long oak table, 8 plush leather, high backed chairs. Nothing of value that the party could find except bits of bodies everywhere.

22 - Wizard's Laboratory
Several large books are open on the main table. These books are filled with hand written notes some of them focused on strange symbols, runes, diagrams, charts, numbers and/or lists. One large and impressive book is on the floor in the grip of a man in plate armor. He has four arrows sticking out of him as well as a deep gash in his waist. The book is bound and locked.

Also in this room are spell components, acids, alchemical equipment, dried herbs, jar of soot, jar of sand, two pearls worth 50 gold piece each and a jar with several dead insects.

23 - Library & Den
This room is very quiet. Its floor is padded with a moldy, but plush carpet. All walls are lined with darkly stained wooden book cases. At the center of the room is a small table, about which sit four chairs. One chair is tipped over. Several dozen books are strewn about the room. A skeleton in robes lies face down on the floor. The room is lit by a soft bluish light that emanates from a sphere set in a mount on the table. This room is virtually dust free. A thorough search reveals 3 scrolls which the part later discovered to be Cure Wounds, Silence and Lightning Bold. They take these scrolls as well as the glowing light.

24 - The Larger Battle Chamber
The doors to this room are blown off their hinges. There is a glowing thin white line that goes across the door and around the whole room.

There is a large amount of dead in this room. Most of the dead are in a semicircle around the far double doors which are open. There are blast marks on both the near and far walls. There was a huge, pitched battle here that has left stacks of dead in the room. There is a blast radius from the double doors and a broken staff in the doorway.

Several dead skeletal corpses lie about the chamber, apparently having died fighting each other. Mostly humans and elves vs. orcs and ogres. Several dead rats lie about in late stages of decomposition.

The corpses littering the floor seem to be of two opposed groups. Some of the corpses are listed below - the good guys (human, elves and half elves) and the bad guys (orcs, humans, half orcs and ogres):

A warrior with a broken blade thrust through his body. A shield lies next to him.
A robed skeleton face down with a dagger in his back.
Short skeletal body - charred black. Carbon burns on floor around it. Fanged skull, possibly a goblin or other humanoid race. Tattered chain mail.
Warrior in black scale armor, jeweled amulet on chain around neck.
Skeleton in chainmail. Sword through rib-cage, clutching a blank scroll.
Large mummified corpse, ugly humanoid, in chainmail and tunic. War hammer next to him. Slashes all over his body. Duthelm badge. (A flat steel and stained black oak brooch bearing a skull impaled on sword).
Human skeleton. Fighter
Elven skeleton. Studded leather.
Upper half of orcish skeleton. Lower half some 20 yards away.
Elven skeleton. Robes. Non-magical silver ring on one hand.
Human skeleton. Studded leather armor.
Twelve foot tall monstrosity. Appears to be a black skeleton with great claws, protruding spikes and bat-like wings. Appears to have suffered massive damage. (Torn wing, cracked skull, broken claw, broken arm). Pieces of dismembered human bodies all around it.
Elven skeleton. Fine chain armor.
Human skeleton. Plate mail armor.
Ogre skeleton with broken leg. Massive hammer beside him. Remnants of cloak and studded armor. Duthelm badge

A man in black leathers and long black jacket. Badly burnt and damaged body. He has his spell book with him but most of the pages are burned out of it. The higher level spells have been burnt out leaving only some 1st and 2nd level spells in the book. He has a small, locked metal box with intricate carvings. He wears the key to the box on a chain around his neck. When opened by the party they find the box contains a gemstone, a folded map and a severed finger on a chain. The gemstone is a fist-sized emerald colored translucent stone which glows brightly with a green energy and bears a symbol inscribed upon it. The symbol is a triangle inside a triangle inside a circle, the symbol of Ynthar, the faith of the monk and paladin.

After taking a few minutes to rummage through the room and find all the magical items and easily collected and carried valuables, they proceed on.

25 - The anti chamber is just 10 by 10 and the doors at the other end are closed.

26 - Hall with symbol of Ynthar around a pit
This magnificent chamber is adorned with the fine marble, silver inlay and intricate carvings in the stone. The entire chamber is built around a large circular pit in the floor. A symbol is built around pit in the tiles of the floor. Odd runes and glyphs run around the perimeter of the pit. The runes and glyphs are glowing and fading in seemingly random patterns. An eerie greenish mist churns about in the pit, illuminated from within as if by lightning. Oddly rhythmical flickering of green light up the room. The symbol around the pit is obviously the symbol of Ynthar, the faith that both the monk and the paladin follow.


The session ended with the party retreating to the room of the large battle, taking the gem, large map of the continent of Ithria and finger on the chain out of the box. The green gem is the size of a large fist and it has the symbol of Ynthar etched into its surface. They played with the map and gem and found out that if they brought the gem close to the map a point on the SE corner of the continent light up red. They played with the finger on the chain and found that no matter where they positioned it, it always swung and rotated to come to a stop pointing to the SE.


Next session: surrender to the necromancer trying to dig them out and hope for his mercy or find a way to escape...
7
Announcements and News / Grimstone
« Last post by David Roomes on August 31, 2019, 09:49:41 PM »
I just posted the initial work on the city of Grimstone. This is one of the new cities introduced on the new map. After Grimstone is done, there will be only one city left to complete... Penketh. Both Grimstone and Penketh are part of the Drakkellian Alliance.

I only posted half of the material for Grimstone this month. I'm going to take all of September to continue working on it and get some good artwork to go with it. Perhaps a city map too. In any case, I like Grimstone and I'm going to spend a little extra time on it. More on Grimstone will be added to its page.
8
The Art of the Game Master / Alchemical Gastronomy and You
« Last post by tanis on August 08, 2019, 02:02:12 AM »
I was watching this episode of Web DM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXNOvuBLTO8, and felt really inspired, and it made me curious to hear your thoughts on the matter, guys.

Have any of you ever thought about eating monsters? What would it mean to eat the heart of a Krallinar? Is there a Teddy Roosevelt or Ernest Hemingway of Normidia? What DOES Emerald Prattle Fish sashimi taste like? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?

The world may never know.
9
Interesting!

First of all, your three stages seem spot on. I've seen both players and groups go through similar evolutions.

As for video games, there are more and more games out there that focus on an "open world" and survival/interaction with the world. No central plot at all. Some games have lots of small quests, but there is no central quest. I personally think that this will be more common in future games. I've seen several new games that get away from the whole idea that the player is special or the "chosen" and there is no central quest or narrative. But rather, it's just a huge open world to explore and be a part of.

Even in Skyrim, lots of players ignore the main quest and just go off and explore and live in the world. Speaking of which, I am really looking forward to the next Elder Scroll release. :)
10
General Discussion and Questions / Re: Where do the Khoras photos come from?
« Last post by David Roomes on July 19, 2019, 08:57:30 PM »
I'm really glad you like the new artwork. Yeah, I'm proud of the new Citadel. It turned out pretty good. I will post more artwork for Khoras and post here when they are uploaded.

The photo of the city of Aridorn is actually a composite of a couple of photos. The main photograph used in that composite is a photo of a medieval village in France. I believe it's called "Gourdes" or "Villes de Gordes". I added a few other buildings, I might have changed the sky too. Anyway, Gordes France is what you're looking for.

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