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61
General Discussion and Questions / Alliance mage Lords
« Last post by Delbareth on September 13, 2018, 07:57:25 AM »
Hi !

I'm currently preparing a session for a WE of RPG. The scene will take place just before (and after) the Sundering.

I have a question about the Alliand Mage Lords. They were incredibly powerful, but why ? I see several possibilities, but I would like to have your thoughts about that :
  • they discovered a new way to do magic, much more powerful than standard magic performed in the other countries
  • the lack of Drellis simply made mage of that time much more powerful
  • the Alliance was funded heavily and it directly led to skilled mages
  • the Alliance true idea was the cooperation between its members : by cooperating instead of competing, mages were able to learn and progress in skill much much quicker than traditionnal mages
  • other ?
Of course the issue is to explain how they were so powerful, but also how it completely disappeared after the Sundering.

(in fact some Mage Lords were still alive after, like Karnus for instance, and were able to do quite good spells. So option n°2 is discarded)
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General Discussion and Questions / Re: Roads and Dragons
« Last post by Delbareth on September 13, 2018, 07:49:12 AM »
Hi David !

It's a long time I've not been here, even if I play on Khoras on a weekly basis.
First, congratulation for your map. It's a great work !

For your question, I have the same opinion than Laurent (a French bias ?). I would like to have as much information as possible as canon. Everybody is free to change anything if they want.
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General Discussion and Questions / Re: Roads and Dragons
« Last post by Laurent MEKKA on September 05, 2018, 09:29:51 AM »
Great !
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General Discussion and Questions / Re: Ogres in Arkalia
« Last post by David Roomes on September 04, 2018, 08:47:25 PM »
Here's how I run it in my campaigns:

First of all, that 1% is a rounding error. I didn't want to get into tenths of a percent, but it's less than 1%. For simplicity, I just rounded everything to the nearest percent.

On the race pages, all descriptions pertain to how that race lives in their home land, when they are the majority race. So, for orcs and ogres, it would be in places like Duthelm, the Coalition or remote wilderness groups. But anytime you're talking about ogres or orcs who live in civilized cities, they would adapt somewhat to the norms of that city.

I tend to run the ogres and orcs as a bit more civilized. Huge numbers of them live in the wilds in their own villages. Lots of them live in Duthelm and Coalition and other "evil kingdoms". But they are civilized and cultured warriors. A bit like Klingons. The percentage of orcs or ogres in a major city like Strathon would be very low and most of them are just visiting. I think the number of ogres or orcs living their permanently would be more like 0.1%. Pretty rare.

I imagine that orcs and ogres do occasionally visit civilized cities in small groups or as part of a mercenary band or with a caravan, etc. Anytime a group of orcs/ogres shows up, I don't think they would be arrested on sight. If a merc company arrives in town with a bunch of orcish soldiers, the merc company is expected to keep the orcs in line. If a trio of ogres walked into town on their own, the city guard would keep a close eye on them, but that's it.

Still, some orc tribes do live in the mountains and raid human villages and provide a good enemy race to fight.

You asked about Arkalia specifically. The few ogres and orcs who live their permanently are either employed in various militias, serving as farmhands in farming villages or working as laborers in remote forestry villages. They are pretty few and far between so they would be scattered about. Maybe a hundred might be in the capital city. Mostly soldier types.

A good historical example might be Native Americans during the 19th century. As white settlers moved across the country, they had various dealings with the natives. Sometimes commerce, sometimes battle, sometimes cooperation, sometimes distrust. Depends on the tribe and circumstances of the area. But even while some tribes were attacking in some areas, you still had individual natives and groups of natives that integrated themselves into the advancing western society.

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General Discussion and Questions / Re: Roads and Dragons
« Last post by David Roomes on September 04, 2018, 08:09:51 PM »
Thanks for the input.

Ok, I think I'm going to create a version of the map that has everything marked on it... roads, dragon lairs, some of the more important villages, shipwrecks, etc. Game masters would be free to use or alter, as with everything on the map. But I'll probably leave the current versions of the map on line as well. Give everybody access to the "marked" version and the "clean" version.
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General Discussion and Questions / Ogres in Arkalia
« Last post by Laurent MEKKA on September 04, 2018, 06:10:47 AM »
Arkalia : Ogres 1%
Strathon : Ogres 1%

Orc and goblyns and not counted in the population of nations, but still present ("They frequently assist travelers, convey messages, arrest bandits, find lost children and protect farms from orc raids and worse. " / Stirling).

What about the ogres ? Their description talk about villages but they seem to live in "human" cities, with elves, grums...
I imagine both can be possible, depending of where they are.

In Arkalia, how are things ?
Are all ogres "integrated" with humans ? Are they seen like "primitive" or "lower than humans" people ? Do they have villages ?

67
General Discussion and Questions / Re: Roads and Dragons
« Last post by Laurent MEKKA on September 04, 2018, 05:46:37 AM »
Yes, and yes :)

Even the cited Villages should be on the maps in my opinion. It's not forbidden to add others, any GM can add anything anywhere, but I like to see all things cited "canon" and placed on the map !
68
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.

69
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.

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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.

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