Recent Posts

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10
31
Pieces of Eight Campaign / Session 29 Summary
« Last post by David Roomes on August 29, 2018, 09:23:11 PM »
Session 29 Summary

The Player Characters  (aka the "Heroes")

Winlock – orc/dwarf barbarian, wearing heavy chain mail armor and wielding a big war hammer
William – the party’s wizard, human male, robed and armed with a broad array of spells.
Belkor – the dashing human swordsmen/mariner wielding twin scimitars
Listig – the elven thief/archer equipped with several different enchanted arrows
Halimir - An elven archer/ranger. Good tracker. Expert archer.


The Current Non Player Characters

"Humble" Almahdi - A likable Padashani beggar with quick wit. Talkative. Funny. Fluent in several languages. Street smart, but somewhat cowardly.
Grim Rigor- A huge ogre warrior. A former slave and gladiator. Extremely tough. Good in a fight. Cured of a zombie infection by Belkor.


Having defeated Lothian, the party searched the bodies. Most of the minions had little beyond mundane weapons and armor, basic adventuring gear and a few coins. The party retrieved the stolen artifacts from Lothian and the Talisman. They made their way out of the mountain as quickly as possible.

Upon exiting the mountain, the party found Greywolf and the body off the shaman gone. The massive clock-work golem was laying back in the shallow pit from which it had emerged, apparently deactivated.

At the base of the mountain by the ruins was their wagon. Grim Rigor and Humble Almahdi were standing by the wagon waving up at them.

The party regrouped at the wagon and reviewed all of the treasure and pieces of Kithdari magic that they had taken from the body of Lothian and his minions.

There was a map of the region showing the location of all the Kithdari jumpgates, a small tapestry, a silver statuette, the Talisman they had been looking for, a carved piece of bone with ancient runes, a journal taken from the body of Lothian and miscellaneous coins and minor pieces of art. Of all these treasures, the only one that the group cared about was the Talisman and Lothian’s journal. They took those two pieces and left the rest for the mandalar.

William paged through Lothian’s journal and found it crammed full of notes about the Kithdari, the ruins, the region and activating the Kithdari jumpgates. William kept the journal for future study.

In addition to these items, the party had found a few magic weapons in the armory inside the mountain. Now that they were outside and safe, William took the time to identify them. Most were magic arrows which Listig and Halimir divided up. The most significant were three enchanted arrows that would, upon impact, unleash a blinding light of positive energy which was destructive to undead, demons, devils and such creatures.

The party discussed what to do next. There was a detailed map of the region in Lothian’s journal. The party thought about heading straight through the Border Clans region to the other side and sneaking across the Anquaran border. But they didn’t like the idea. The rough mountains on either side would channel them into another “Throat” and the likelihood of running into an Anquaran patrol was higher than they were comfortable with.

After much discussion, they decided to reverse course and head back toward Salhanrasha. There, in Salhanrasha, they would make contact with the Bellowguard thieves guild again and have them facilitate an introduction with the Resistance group.

Rather than go through the town of Ikemar again, they decided to cut through the Tanlur mountains. It would take longer, but there was little to no chance of running into anyone at all.

Now that they had the Talisman of the Land, one of them needed to take it and bond with it. Listig decided that Halimir should take it since most of its functions would probably be nature related (stone, forest, etc) and it suited Halimir since he was a ranger.

It would take them ten days to reach the mountains. On the first day, William used his Talisman do unlock the Talisman of the Land. So, almost immediately, Halimir could start using its functions. One of the first functions Halimir used was “Commune with Land”. By sitting quietly on the ground with the Talisman for several minutes, he could attune himself to the land and “sense” everything that was touching the ground within 50 miles – terrain, water sources, artificial constructions, caves, tunnels, animals, plants, people and so forth.

He used this function every morning and in this way, the group was able to avoid mandalar tribes on the long journey out of their territory.

After another nine days of travel, they successfully reached the Tanlur mountains with no mandalar encounters. The Commune with Land feature again proved very useful, allowing Halimir to sense the shape of the mountains and valleys. This would help them to find the best passes through the mountains.

As they made their way from valley to valley, they saw that on the map was a ruin called the Tanlur Rings. They asked Almahdi about it. He told them it was a very bad place and that rumors said it was haunted. This did not deter them. Quite the opposite, in fact. The party decided to head straight for the ruin and see if they could pick a fight with ghosts. Listig and Halimir were both interested to see how their new “undead killer” arrows would perform.

It took them three days to reach the ruins. The ruin was a single broken tower surrounded by concentric circular walls of crumbling stone. Only fragments of the circular walls remaining leaving huge gaps between the stones.

The group spread out and stealthily approached the center of the ruins. A hundred feet from the center, they heard a cry of help and turned to see a gaunt skeletal robed figure attacking Belkor. Belkor collapsed and the creature vanished like mist.

Several more of these skeletal undead creatures solidified out of nothingness and attacked. The creatures would appear, strike and then disappear back into mist.

William was struck by icy cold claws from one of the creature. The icy feeling clutched his whole body and he felt himself paralyzed. He collapsed to the ground, unable to move.

Listig unleashed one of the ghost killer arrows. Upon impact, it unleashed a blinding light. All of the creatures howled in agony and were forced to become corporeal. A fierce exchange of attacks followed as the party took advantage of the creatures being both visible and vulnerable from the magical light.

Williams paralysis wore off and he started firing spells. One by one, the party managed to destroy the undead.

During the battle, Grim was struck by claws and paralyzed. He went down. The undead thing continued slashing at him with claws. Listig noticed that one of the undead was dragging a paralyzed Belkor away.

Halimir, eager to try out another function of his Talisman, sprinted to a nearby group of trees. One of the undead pursued and managed to claw and paralyze him before he reached the trees.

William unleashed a chain lightning spell which killed four of the creatures.

Halimir recovered from the paralysis and managed to make it to the trees. He laid hands on two of the trees and, using the Talisman, animated them. Just as the undead skeleton reached him, he ordered the trees to defend him. The trees complied and attacked the skeleton creature. They pummeled the undead into a pile of broken bones and tattered rags.

Listig ran in the direction that the undead creature had dragged Belkor. A short distance away, he saw several bony arms pulling Belkor’s paralyzed body down into a dark subterranean chamber.

Listig ran back to the group. All undead had been destroyed and Winlock was healing the injured. Grim Rigor who was still badly injured and not in condition to continue the fight.

The rest of the party followed Listig and raced off to save Belkor. One by one they jumped down into the subterranean chamber. They found themselves in a large stone chamber  with three of the undead skeletal creatures standing before a dark altar. One of them was wearing plate armor and a great helm.

Both sides immediately attacked each other. One of the skeletons got a vicious hit on Halimir, who fell to the ground with his chest slashed open. Winlock immediately used one of his Talisman’s most powerful healing functions to restore Halimir to full health.

William fired a witch bolt into the body of another. Listig fired another ghost killer arrow at point blank range into the chest of one of them. It detonated in blinding light and causes severe damage to all three of them. Winlock then managed to kill one of the abominations.

William unleashed a powerful lightning spell at the leader and killed it. The remaining one fell quickly under the combined blows of the party.

Now that they battle was over, they had a chance to look around them. The room was square and stone. It was definitely an altar of some kind and seemed to be dedicated to one of the Dark Lords. There were four decomposing bodies chained to one wall. The freshest one had been dead for weeks. The oldest was a moldering skeleton.

There was a long table draped in burgundy velvet. On the velvet were coins, skulls, bones, a crystal in a wooden bracket, a burning brazier, incense and a wicked looking dagger. On the floor next to the table was a large chest and an iron box that was held down with chains.

They checked on their fallen comrade and found that Belkor was in some sort of deep, catatonic state.
William scanned both Belkor and the area for magic and detected a residual aura on the body and an identical aura emanating from the crystal on the table. After studying the aura for a minute, he was able to conclude that Belkor’s living essence (his mind/soul/consciousness) had been transferred into the crystal. Either by a magic jar spell or something similar. William would not be able to reintegrate Belkor’s soul into his body without time and much more study. They would need to take both the body and the crystal with them.

They searched the four dead bodies chained to the wall. They looked like former adventurers who found an unfortunate end. One of them was a Black Guard stalker. His cordweave armor was badly shredded, but his bow was intact. He had several magic arrows in his quiver which Listig and Halimir divided up.

The wicked looking dagger on the table was curved, serrated and the pommel was shaped like a demon’s head. William sensed a powerful enchantment on it, but when he scanned the magic he found that the weapon wrecked of evil intent. It’s enchantment made it a potent weapon only against those of good – paladins, elves, etc. The party decided to leave it.

They opened the chest and found it filled with Anquaran coins.

While the party was searching the room, the small iron box shifted under the chains. As they watched, it moved again, by itself. It was clear there was something alive inside there.

The party discussed it for a time, but in the end did what all adventurers do. They removed the chains and opened the box. As soon as the lid was open, something leapt into the air. It was roughly spherical, but was composed of dozens of jagged crystal shards pointing out from a central crystalline core. It glowed from within and lightning arced and crackled between the crystalline blades.

The creature hovered in the air for only a second and then immediately flew across the room directly at William. It stopped and hovered in front of the wizard. Electricity arced between the crystalline creature and William. It began draining spells and spell energy directly out of him.

William used his telekinesis to grab the iron box and drag it across the floor to him. He then tried to lift it up and capture the creature in it again. However, the iron box was lead lined and was much heavier than he expected. He put the box down.

Sean, seeing the thing attack William, used a function from his new Talisman. Alter Terrain. With a wave of his hand, he caused stalagmites to erupt from the floor. He was fairly certain the creature was trapped, but the electricity connected the creature and William went through the gaps between the stalagmites and the creature continued to drain magic from William.

Winlock rushed over, grabbed William and began hauling him away. Several members of the party noticed that, as he did that, the crystalline creature fired a lightning bolt at his Talisman and hammer and began draining them as well. Clearly, it could absorb energy from mages and magic items.

Listig fired an arcane disruptor at the wall between Winlock and William, creating a temporary magic dead zone. The creature’s lightning bolts stopped and the creature spun left and right as if momentarily blinded and searching for a lost target.

Listig ran forward, grabbed the iron box, hoisted it up with every bit of strength he had and closed it around the creature, trapping it back in the box. He toppled to the ground and sat on the iron box, calling for help from the others. They wrapped the chains around the box again. The creature was contained.

In the course of a few seconds, the creature had managed to drain two of William’s most powerful spells directly from his mind.  The party decided they were going to take this strange crystalline creature with them. They were hopeful that they could figure out some way to use it as a weapon against Dalmoran.

They also grabbed the chest of coins, Belkor’s lifeless body and the glowing crystal shard that housed his mind. They then left the underground chamber and headed back to the wagon.

Humble Almahdi urged the party to leave as soon as possible “before more of those undead things show up”. The party agreed and left hastily. They put another 15 miles between them and the haunted ruin before they made camp that night.

It was another fifteen days through winding mountain valleys before they finally reached the city of Salhanrasha. Once they were settled in the city, they contacted Radik (a member of the Bellowguard Thieves Guild who was stationed in Salhanrasha – they had dealings with him a few sessions ago).

With the help of Radik and the Bellowguard, the party was able to arrange a meeting with a small group of Resistance members. The Resistance is the loosely knit organization that rebels against Dalmoran in Anquar. The Resistance had dozens of small teams out looking for the party. One team was in Salhanrasha – a team of three men.

It took three days to arrange the covert meeting. During that time, the party took advantage of the city. They stayed in disguise (by the power of the Talisman of Blood). Listig began getting a full body tattoo that illustrated some of their adventures.

Also during these three days, William went to the Salhanrasha wizards’ guild and rented time in a spell research laboratory. He took Belkor’s body and the crystal and, over the course of two days, managed to dispel the enchantment and reintegrate Belkor’s mind back into his body. He seemed none the worse for wear.

When the time came, the meeting was held in a private room in a large tavern. The small team was led by an older man named Pardak. William was able to ascertain their true identity and intentions by the power of the Talisman of the Mind.

Pardak assured the party that the Resistance considered them allies in the fight against Dalmoran. The Resistance had been following rumors about the group and their exploits for some time. Based on bits and pieces of information they had been able to acquire, they strongly suspected that the party had uncovered at least one lost Talisman. Pardak was delighted when the party informed him that they had all four lost Talismans.

The party informed Pardak of their plan to go to Ipotal and assassinate the usurper king, Dalmoran. Pardak warned them about Ipotal’s strict laws. It was a city under constant martial law. Citizens were forbidden to bear weapons or wear armor.

However, he did have an idea. The Anquaran government routinely contracted mercenary companies as for a variety of purposes. These groups were little more than hired thugs on a government payroll used to help keep the citizenry in line. But these groups were given authority to bear arms and armor. Such group were badges and documents to prove their position. Pardak suggested the group might pretend to be such a company.

The group decided they would sail to Tenlay and find a group, kill them and take their badges and papers. Thanks to the Talisman of Blood, they could even assume the likeness of the group.

It was also decided that Pardak and his two men would accompany the group. Once they reached Anquar, Pardak would make contact with other Resistance members and introduce the group to them.

Pardak also told the group that the city of Ipotal was preparing for a festival… one which Dalmoran was throwing to celebrate his own rule. The festivities would be stretched out over several days including a masquerade ball at the house of a Duke, the public execution of several captured Resistance members, a display of fireworks and much more. The culmination of the week long festivities would be the dedication of a colossal statue of Dalmoran which was almost complete.

Pardak told them that the usually reclusive and paranoid Dalmoran would be attending many social events during this festival and there would be many opportunities to strike at him. The Resistance had been planning various assassination attempts for many months. The arrival of the party with the four lost Talismans could not have come at a better time.

The next morning, the party and the three Resistance members traveled to Herota, a three day journey. There, the King was delighted to see them again. When they told of their need to sail to Anquar, he volunteered his own yacht. However, such a splendid vessel would attract too much attention. They needed something less showy. With the King’s help, they got passage on a small juenta merchant ship. Not comfortable, but very inconspicuous.

Belkor used the Talisman of the Sea to give them favorable winds and favorable currents and greatly increase their overall speed. Instead of 40 days of sailing, they made it to Tenlay in 10 days.

By sheer luck, they managed to avoid Anquaran military ships and patrols.

We wrapped up this session with them on the last day of their journey, just about ready to sail into the harbor of the town of Tenlay.

32
General Discussion and Questions / Roads and Dragons
« Last post by David Roomes on August 16, 2018, 10:26:08 PM »
The new map is finished. I'm going to start replacing the individual nation maps (that appear on each nation's page) with the updated versions.

I have some questions...

1. Should those new nation maps include roads? I was originally planning on including a network of roads, but now I'm second-guessing that. What's your opinion? Should roads be marked on the nation maps or should they be left off for individual game masters to place where they want? Are roads on the map useful? Or is that curtailing creative freedom?

2. Same question with dragon lairs. For those dragons who have a known lair, should those lairs be marked on the map? Or is it better to give game masters freedom to adjust the exact lair location as needed? What's most useful?

I'd be interested in hearing opinions or arguments either way.

33
Announcements and News / Re: World of Khoras Map - Version 4.0 - Now online
« Last post by David Roomes on August 07, 2018, 05:38:50 PM »
An interactive version of the map is online now. It's functioning correctly, but it's also very much a work in progress.

34
Pieces of Eight Campaign / Re: Session 28 Summary
« Last post by David Roomes on August 02, 2018, 11:34:00 PM »
Next session of this campaign will be August 25th and the Session 29 summary will be right around August 29.
35
Corrections, Additions and Requests / Re: [REQUEST] About the new worldmap...
« Last post by David Roomes on August 02, 2018, 11:32:36 PM »
Khoras map is now online.  :)
36
Announcements and News / World of Khoras Map - Version 4.0 - Now online
« Last post by David Roomes on August 02, 2018, 11:31:55 PM »
The new world map for Khoras has been posted to the web site. Rather have having three separate continents, I’m just going to treat it all as one unified world. I’m putting several sizes online – ranging from low resolution (and small file size) to ludicrous resolution (and gargantuan file size). I personally recommend either the 10,000 pixel or 20,000 pixel versions, though they will take awhile to download on older, slower internet connections.

This is actually the fourth incarnation of the Khoras map, so I’m calling this version 4.0. I will put the three previous incarnations of the Khoras map online as well for comparison. The Khoras map has come a long way from that initial hand drawn paper map.

Just like newly released software, I will likely discover a few “bugs” in the map that I need to fix. There are also a few things that I didn’t have time to include in this initial release. So, I’m going to tweak the map a bit, add a few things, fix a few things and then publish a slightly updated “version 4.1” later in August sometime.

This new world map has dozens of small changes. A few towns had their name changed. Some kingdoms have new cities and towns. Other things shifted location slightly. For the next few weeks, I will be making minor adjustments throughout the web site to match the changes on the new map.

I’m also going to spend time this August putting new “nation maps” up. These will replace the existing nation maps. The new nation maps will be higher resolution and will include roads and a bit more detail.

Some of the geography in the new map has shifted a bit.
  • The southwest region of Ithria (Karth and Myria) was enlarged and altered. Karth is also a much smaller nation now, which I think makes sense given the small population of the Karthasians.
  • The Border Clans region that lies between Anquar and Padashan has been adjusted. It now lies truly between those two big nations and forms more of a barrier (as it was intended to do).

The Pieces of Eight campaign, which is nearing its conclusion, introduced lots of new things and those have all been included on the map now. Some of those additions include the city of Qazadeen, the city of Salhanrasha, the port town of Pujar, the ruins of Jaruska, the narrow canyon leading into the Border Clans known as “the Throat” and the ruins of Katroda – just to name a few.

The single most significant change is probably the city of Vogue. I have moved the entire city more than two thousand kilometers. It is now down south near Drakkel and it is now a formal member city of the Drakkellian Alliance. There were several reasons for this. Vogue never really made sense where it was and it was a bit of an anomaly in the north. Realistically, a city of wealth, art and culture with little military strength would have, long ago, been annexed by Vorrik or been razed by an orc horde or suffered some similar fate. The wealth and culture of Vogue fit far better with the Drakkellian Alliance. Also, as a member of the Alliance, it would enjoy some measure of military protection. Overall, I think it just fits better as part of the Alliance.

Speaking of that, the Drakkellian Alliance is going to get a bit of a face lift in the near future. It’s supposed to be an economic and military alliance of five separate, independent major cities and several smaller towns. Now that Vogue has moved down into the Alliance, there are two major cities there. The other three towns will get upgraded to full cities one by one.

So that’s it. The new map is finished and online. I hope everyone likes the new map.

Comments, critiques and questions are welcome.

37
To anyone who might be curious... progress on the new world map has been going very well. The main world map is about 98% done.

However, I need to take an extra day or two to fix a couple of things. So, I'm going to miss that deadline. I was really hoping to post it to the site tomorrow (July 31), but now it's looking like it'll probably be Thursday (August 2).

Anyway, it's really close.
38
Pieces of Eight Campaign / Re: Session 28 Summary
« Last post by David Roomes on July 16, 2018, 07:29:53 PM »
I always try to make these session summaries interesting to read and complete enough that you get what's going on without being bogged down by too much detail. However, I completely understand that these summaries can sometimes be confusing. A lot happens in a single session and these summaries don't capture it all. Plus, I don't always remember with perfect accuracy what happened in a session or explain the action well.

Having said that, questions are welcome. If, after reading a session, you have a question about some detail or plot point or apparent contradiction, don't be afraid to ask. I'm happy to answer questions, expand on details or simply clear things up.

39
Pieces of Eight Campaign / Session 28 Summary
« Last post by David Roomes on July 16, 2018, 07:23:23 PM »
Session 28 Summary

The Player Characters  (aka the "Heroes")

Winlock – orc/dwarf barbarian, wearing heavy chain mail armor and wielding a big war hammer
William – the party’s wizard, human male, robed and armed with a broad array of spells.
Belkor – the dashing human swordsmen/mariner wielding twin scimitars
Listig – the elven thief/archer equipped with several different enchanted arrows
Halimir - An elven archer/ranger. Good tracker. Expert archer.


The Current Non Player Characters

"Humble" Almahdi - A likable Padashani beggar with quick wit. Talkative. Funny. Fluent in several languages. Street smart, but somewhat cowardly.
Grim Rigor- A huge ogre warrior. A former slave and gladiator. Extremely tough. Good in a fight. Cured of a zombie infection by Belkor.
Brokenfoot- A mandalar warrior. Formerly a slave in the Padashani city of Ikemar. Horns are sawn off. Bought by the party to serve as a guide.



This session picked up right where the last one left off. The party was standing on a battle field continuing their talk with the group of mandalar. Grey Wolf was the name of the mandalar leading the group. They were a hunting party pursuing Lothian, a human wizard, who had stolen artifacts from their clan. One of the artifacts sounded very much, based on its description, like the last missing Talisman that the party was after.

Most of the mandalar were wounded and in no condition to travel. Only four of them were in decent shape. It was decided that Greywolf and the mandalar shaman would accompany the party on their joint quest to capture and kill Lothian. The others would stay to tend the wounded. Brokenfoot opted to stay with the other mandalar and offer his aid as well.

Before they left, the party examined the bodies of the soldiers who had fallen during the battle. They were mismatched armor and weapons, but had tunics all bearing the same trading league standard. They looked to be mercenary caravan guards. William cast detect magic on them and discovered a faint, residual aura of charm magic on each of the bodies.

The party asked about the tomb that Lothian had plundered. (the battle had taken place right next to a ruined tomb). Greywolf and the other mandalar could only guess that he wished to steal more kithdari magic and artifacts. Greywolf explained that, among other relics in the tomb, were two of particular importance. Both of them were missing and had presumably been taken by Lothian.

One was a “colossus crown” and with it he would be “able to waken a colossus”. There were many colossi throughout the Border Clans region and they guarded the ruins of the kithdari.

The other item was a gate key. When asked about it, Greywolf explained that, among the kithdari ruins were gates – huge structures that connected this world to others. Each gate had a single enchanted key that could be used to open and close the gate. Because each gate had only one key and each key only worked on one gate, the mandalar now knew exactly where Lothian was going. He would be heading to the gate that corresponded to the key he had stolen. Greywolf and the shaman both said that they were afraid that Lothian would open the gate and use it to summon something terrible.

The party asked about the gate that this particular key was tied to. They told them it was called “Katroda” and was only a day’s ride away.

The party, along with Greywolf and the shaman, travelled the rest of the day and into the night. This was, after all, a chase. They rotated drivers while others slept in the wagon. Greywolf showed them the way and William used the Talisman of Dreams to scan for the last missing Talisman and verify that they were, in fact, closing in on it.

Midmorning the next day, they party crested a hill and saw the ruins of Katroda in the valley below them. Dominating the center of the small valley was a tremendous monolithic towering mountain of stone about 2000 meters tall and 1000 meters in diameter. (Similar in shape to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, but larger…).

A steep and crumbling stone staircase ascended one side of the mountain on a ramp of dirt and ended about half way up the mountain. There was a broad landing half way up the stairs and another at the top. Also, at the top was a large double door set in the mountain side.

At the base of the tremendous stair case was the ruins of a small town. Not much more than a few crumbling stone walls and weed-choked, cobble stone plazas remained. A few tents, wagons and horses were camped next to the ruins.

As the party descended into the valley, they saw a group of humans ascending the stair case. This group reached the halfway point landing and stopped. It seemed as though they had spotted the party’s wagon approaching and now stood in discussion.

As the wagon close the distance, Belkor pulled out his spyglass to get a better look. The group consisted of about 20 people. Many of them wore the same tunic as the dead bodies back at the previous battle… the standard of a trade guild. They seemed to be more charmed caravan guards. Among the group was an older human with a grey beard and robes of blue and purple. The party guessed that was Lothian. Following him was a trio of blue skinned zombies. Ju-ju zombies of some type, William guessed.

The group on the stairs split. Lothian, the three ju-ju zombies and a handful of caravan guards continued up the stairs toward the gate further up the mountain. The rest of the group stood their ground at the half way point landing. One of the, Belkor could see, was holding something circular in his hand. He raised it up and set it upon his head like a crown. A jewel at the center of the crowned flared to life with a brilliant purple glow.

The ground around the party began to shake and the ground shifted. Something rose up from ground with dirt cascading off of it. It was a humanoid shaped clockwork golem. A bright purple glow shined through the armor plating of its chest. It stood about twenty feet tall and was wielding a massive Morningstar.

The party rushed forward. The shaman ran forward with outstretched hands, chanting in a calm voice, calling upon his gods to quiet the golem and gain control of it. The golem swung the Morningstar and crushed the shaman dead with a single stroke.

Belkor used his magic boots to close the distance to the group on the halfway landing and Listig closed range with his teleport arrow. A well placed arcane disruptor arrow aimed at the golem shut it down and soon battle was ranging all over.

Lothian led the other group up to the gate where he raised a triangular object above his head. It definitely looked like the last Talisman. Suddenly, Lothian and those with him walked into the side of the mountain and vanished.

The party continued battling those guards who had stayed behind to delay them. Belkor and Winlock fought toe to toe with the charmed caravan guards while Listig and Halimir stood off at a distance firing arrows into the fray. The golem powered back up again and began to advance. The party concentrated attacks on the enemy wearing the crown in an attempt to shut the golem down before it was able to reach them.

The sudden appearance of a scorchhead arrow in Winlock let Listig know that an unseen archer was around. It took him a little while to locate the hidden archer and they began trading arrows back and forth. The other archer was an Anquaran stalker using a camouflage cloak.

The party and Greywolf managed to kill the crown wearing man, the stalker and the rest of them. With the colossus crown in their hands, they were able to shut down the golem.

With the group of guards defeated and the battle over, the party quickly rolled the bodies. The caravan guards exhibited the same faint aura of charm magic as the previous ones did. From the dead body of the Anquaran stalker, they took another camouflage cloak, a suit of cordweave armor and several enchanted arrows, including scorchheads and arcane disruptors.

Standing at the gate of the mountain, Greywolf told the party that he could not venture forth into the ruins of Katroda. As a mandalar, he was forbidden to set foot on Kithdari holy ground. However, based on what the shaman had said after consulting the bones, Greywolf felt the party should go forth in pursuit of Lothian.

Greywolf reiterated that at the center of the mountain was a gate and that Lothian was heading there to open up the gate. It’s the only reason he would have taken the gate key. If he got the gate open, he might escape or worse… summon something to aid him.

The party assured Greywolf that they would apprehend or kill Lothian before the gate was opened and they would recover the stolen relics. Greywolf indicated he would ride out to make contact with his clan and bring them back to Katroda.

Almahdi and Grim Rigor would stay with the party’s wagon to protect it. Only Winlock, Belkor, William, Listig and Halimir would be heading into the mountain to go after Lothian and his minions.

* * *

The party opened the mountain doors and ventured into the ancient ruin within. The stone chambers within were ancient and crumbling. Most chambers were lit by glowing crystals. The party had learned bits and pieces of Kithdari lore from the mandalar over the last few days. The kithdari were a mystical race that had ruled the region thousands of years ago, but they vanished many centuries ago.

As the party moved from chamber to chamber, they saw hundreds of murals and stone and metal sculptures. Amidst the artwork was a language the party had never seen before. It became clear to William that this place was not just a temple. It seemed to have several functions – temple, arcane school, guild of wizards and a place of magical experimentation and research. He copied down various bits of the language.

In some rooms, the party encountered small clockwork golems powered by glowing crystals (similar to the colossus outside). Some of these small clockwork automatons were conducting repairs, others were cleaning.

In one chamber they encountered the body of an adventurer who had died from dozens of poisoned darts. He looked to be dead less than a year. A quick scan revealed he carried no magic. However, amidst his mundane adventuring gear, the party found a scrap of parchment with letters on it, written in Southen. The letters were: C, C, D, E, C, G, C.

Deep in the mountain, the party came across a tall natural cave with a deep chasm. Three stone bridges crossed the chasm, though all three had long ago collapsed. A  number of huge pipes ran through the room. Several of the pipes had collapsed and one of them lay across the chasm. Based on the collapsed bridges, cracks in the cavern walls and collapsed pipes, iet was obvious that this mountain had been hit by a landquake at some point in its history.

The dungeon was laid out in concentric circles and several passageways were collapsed, causing the party to backtrack at certain points.

Another huge natural cave had a single bridge across a chasm. It also has large pipes running through the room connecting to huge canisters that appeared to be filled with a yellow green churning gas. Several of these big canisters had ruptured and the yellow-green gas was hanging in the air in great clouds above the bridge and throughout the cavern. As the party, one by one, moved across the bridge, the gas moved toward them as if attracted like a magnet. The gas, actually a fine dust, settled on their magic items in greater and greater quantities. Once enough had settled on them, it detonated in a fiery explosion. Winlock, the first to cross, took some fire damage. The rest of them ran as fast as they could, dragging gaseous clouds and fiery blasts with them as they ran.

Another huge chamber was filled with trees, plants and flowers… a kind of garden being fed artificial sunlight from glowing crystals above. While following a winding path through the garden, the party was attacked by vegepygmies and a huge animated tree that managed to swallow Winlock whole. Both were defeated and the tree was hacked to pieces to free their dwarven comrade.

At one point the party came across a pentagram and runes of ash in the floor along with a few bits of charred bone and a drops of blood. William studied the evidence and concluded that something had been summoned recently... within the last hour. Lothian had summoned something big and had used his own magic to do it.

The party came upon an armory. Dozens of unusual weapons and suits of strange armor were on display. None of the armor fit. It was designed for tall, thin beings with four arms. Listig and Halimir did find several magical arrows though, that will be identified later.

The party ventured through various alchemical labs, barracks, libraries, antechambers and spell research chambers.

Finally, they came upon a small round room with a huge set of double doors. Etched on to the metal plating of the wall was a dizzying array of geometric lines and curves spiraling and folding back on themselves. Hundreds of nodes and points and intersections were labeled with strange letters and numbers. After marveling at this artwork for awhile, William suddenly realized that it was a map… an interdimensional map showing paths and connection points to dozens, if not hundreds, of other planes of existence.

The huge double gates were made of a strange metal and would not budge. There was no lock to pick and they seemed magically held fast. In a small alcove next to the doors was a set of seven silver bells, ordered in ascending size. After some discussion, it was decided that these were musical chimes and that the parchment taken from the dead adventurer might be a short musical “key” to open the doors. After some experimentation, they discovered the bells were A through G, running from right to left. They played the notes from the parchment and the massive doors swung open.

Beyond the double doors was a huge spherical chamber. The walls were circular and the floor was tiered. The chamber was dominated by eight huge obelisks situated at regular intervals in a circle around edges of the room. Each obelisk had some kind of mechanical bracket at the top facing inward toward the center of the chamber.

Within the stood Lothian with arms raised and in the midst of spellcasting. He was surrounded by a half dozen armed guards that were forming a protective circle around him. The three ju-ju zombies, standing in a group, charged the party. There was also a large stone golem and a bone devil. The stone golem had, no doubt, been summoned by the power of the Talisman of the Land and the bone devil must have been what was summoned through the pentagram earlier.

Floating in the air, out of reach, were several arcane power nodes… the things that the mandalar called “fire crystals”. These were the standard power source for many of the kithdari magical items (and the same type of power source that powered the anti-magic cannon that the party had stolen from the other mandalar tribe during the road battle).

Three of these power nodes had been “plugged into” a mechanical bracket at the top of three of the obelisk. As the party rushed in, the fourth was just sliding into place at the top of the fourth obelisk and the mechanical brackets closed on the power node, locking it into place. It was clear that Lothian was telekinetically controlling the power nodes and plugging them into the obelisks one by one. As each power node was plugged in, a set of glyphs running along the length of the obelisk lit up.

The party quickly realized that once Lothian had all 8 power nodes in place, he would be able to power up the gate and open it… possibly summoning something much, much worse.

The party launched into an immediate attack. Very quickly, arrows and spells filled the air. Listig and Halimir fired winter bite arrows at two of the columns, directly into the mechanical brackets. Each bracket was choked with ice.

Winlock charged Lothian and began trading blows with the five guards around him.

Belkor used the Talisman to summon a massive water golem in which he rode. In water golem form, Belkor grappled with the bone devil and the stone golem. He managed to pick up the bone devil and wield it like a weapon, striking the stone golem over and over.

While the two largest combatants were occupied, the party was able to whittle down the smaller ones. One by one the guards and the ju-ju zombies fell. Listig and Halimir pumped arrows at Lothian while William fired spells and Winlock used his new battle hammer. With every arrow, spell and hammer blow, a glowing shield around Lothian shimmered and absorbed the attack. Whatever spell it was, it was powerful and impenetrable. Listig and Halimiar fired multiple arcane disruptors. It became clear that each attack was wearing the shield down. It became a race between defeating the shield and Lothian managing to plug in all eight power nodes.

Meanwhile, Lothian fireballed the two iced up column heads to melt the ice and free the brackets. He managed to get the fifth power node plugged in. Then the sixth.
When the last of his guards fell, the party was able to focus their attacks on Lothian and his shield. Lothian telekinetically shoved the seventh power node into place and the bracket closed on it with an audible click. Only one was left to connect. Belkor was continuing his attacks on the bone devil and stone golem by himself, keeping them occupied.

At last, Winlock struck a hammer blow and the magical shield flashed brightly and winked out of existence. With his shield down, Lothian was vulnerable and the next few attacks struck home. With four powerful heroes unloading everything they had on him, the wizard didn’t last long. He fell within seconds.

The instant Lothian died, the stone golem and the bone devil vanished and the eighth power node crashed to the floor and exploded.

The battle was over. Lothian lay dead on the ground, surrounded by the bodies of his various minions and guards.

We ended the session here… right at the very end of the fight.

The party hasn’t even rolled the bodies yet. Next session will pick up right here.
40
Pieces of Eight Campaign / Re: Session 27 Summary
« Last post by listig on July 16, 2018, 04:59:44 PM »
Looking forward to the next.
WAR!!!!
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 8 9 10