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Lol, I concur. That's fairly impressive. :D
That's got to be worth at least a full level...   :) 
Still curious as to my XP for 150+
dead with an arrow shot. 
There’s a spot, where you indicate Belkor (ie, KB) as
getting his legs broken. That was Winlock.
Aside from that, WE.ARE.AN.EPIC.
Congrats on an brilliant campaign, with a finish
worthy of a bard’s tale.
Oh, yeah. I've been loosely following the Pathfinder 2.0 playtest, and I've heard good things about Numenera and a few other systems, but I've been toying with the idea of making my own system for a while now, as well. Something with a bit more verisimilitude in combat, and with a bit more rational magic system, among other things.

And if any of the players in this campaign want to add anything, I'd enjoy reading it!

Happy Thanksgiving, btw.
Yes, this was a good campaign. It's been almost exactly three years.

I think one or two of the players are reading these adventure summaries. If any of the players would like to add a bit about the campaign or what their characters are planning to do afterwards, feel free to add a comment.

I'm going to take a break from GMing for awhile. I think I'm done with D&D for awhile too. I've been thinking about making my own game system and perhaps trying out a few other published systems as well.

And during these break, I'm going use the time to create some new artwork for Khoras.

To Tanis and anyone else who has actually followed along and read all of these, thank you very much! I'm glad all this writing didn't go to waste. Hope you enjoyed it.

*1812 Overture blaring, cannons firing, drunken singing, and Cossack dancing; over the din...*

Well! that was a hell of a conclusion! This has been an enjoyable read, and I'm a little sad it's over, but I definitely enjoyed following your players' quest to free Anquar and end Dalmoran!

Champagne, anyone?
Session 31 Summary - Final Session and Campaign Conclusion

The Player Characters  (aka the "Heroes")

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

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 successfully rescued Radik from the prison level of the Black Guard tower, the party made their way back into the city of Anquar. It was early morning. They managed to evade city guard patrols and made it to their inn… they had rooms at the “Hall of the Green Dragon”, an inn/tavern/gambling hall which was on friendly terms with the Resistance.

They delivered Radik to Matthias and the other Resistance leaders, including Hefdine the Fat, Jassan the Bear and Three Fingered Jack. The leaders said that they wanted to have a meeting there, at the Green Dragon, that night, to discuss the battle plan.

For the rest of the day, the party stayed indoors and out of sight. That night, there was a large meeting in a huge hidden back chamber of the hall. The party was present along with all seven Resistance leaders and a few other Resistance members.

Matthias began. “We seven leaders represent more than 2000 Resistance members. However, we will likely only be able to get between 1300 and 1500 fighters here and ready in time for the dedication ceremony.

The dedication ceremony will take place at Hindol Square tomorrow at the mid-day bell. The reason we propose attacking this ceremony is that we will have Dalmoran out in the open along with the entire government. A wide range of dignitaries and officials will be in attendance, along with all of the cabinet ministers, several of the ranking magi from the Tower of High Wizardry, the High Priest of the Church of Anquar and several dukes or barons from throughout the kingdom who support Dalmoran. There will never be a better time to strike and take them all out at once.

This ceremony is where Dalmoran and the other government officials will dedicate the new statue of Dalmoran. This colossus is made of copper and will be the largest statue in the city. It stands at the north end of the square, more than 20 meters tall. That’s where he’ll be standing, surrounded by his bodyguards… the so-called “Eternal Guard”.

This dedication ceremony is quite the social event and, in the weeks leading up to this, the nobles were clamoring to participate. Only the kingdom’s highest ranking officials and wealthiest noble families will be allowed to attend.

Hindol Square is completely bordered by tall stone buildings with only a handful of narrow street exits allowing entrance. These will be guarded. We estimate that there will be between 300 and 500 people within Hindol Square itself. However, about half of that crowd will be non-combatants… nobles, wives, children, servants, slaves, a few personal bodyguards. But those bodyguards will be more concerned with protecting their charges when the fighting starts.

We propose the following… two groups:

The first group is a smaller group. We smuggle them into the crowd inside the square with the help of a noble that is sympathetic to our cause. Perhaps twenty men. I don’t think we can get more than twenty inside without raising suspicions. But they would be our very best fighters. You five men [here he was referring to the party] will led them. Use them however you like. Use whatever magic you have within the Talismans to strike down as many of the soldiers and guards as you can. Our twenty elite fighters will assist you in the battle. Your job… kill Dalmoran. Kill as many other officials and dignitaries as you can.  It would be best if you could kill all eight ministers, the high priest and the arch magus. But most important of course, is Dalmoran.

The second group, a much larger group, perhaps a thousand, will isolate Hindol Square. We’ll storm the street entrances and blockade them. We’ll also flood the streets and take over all of the buildings around Hindol Square. We can effectively isolate the square and control all entrances. We estimate that there are over one thousand Black Guard soldiers and city guards elsewhere in the city. Once the battle begins and the alarm is raised, those thousand and more men will come running to Hindol Square. Our job will be to completely blockade the square and keep them out, as long as possible, so that you can finish your job.

Make no mistake. Our resistance fighters are brave and ready for a fight. But they are no match for the Black Guard. The guard soldiers have better weapons, better armor and better training. These thousand resistance fighters will be buying you time with their lives. So make it count.

Once Dalmoran and his ministers are killed and Dalmoran’s four talismans are secured, the country will collapse into civil war. After all, we will still have some 20,000 Black Guard soldiers to deal with. They are scattered across the continent, but they will march on the city to reclaim it. However, with Dalmoran’s death and his four Talismans, the people can be convinced to rise up and wage war against the Black Guard and take back the country. After all, the commoners of this land outnumber the Black Guard a 1000 to 1.

Now, before we go any further, let’s address one major flaw in the attack plan. One of the Talismans that Dalmoran possesses is the Talisman of Journeys. This talisman gives Dalmoran the ability to teleport at will. He can also teleport others against their will. And he can open up gates and summon demons and conjure monsters. However, we have a solution to this problem.”

Matthias motioned to the man at the door. “Let him in”. The doors swing open and in walked an old man in wizardly robes, leaning on a gnarled staff. Behind him came a brute of a half orc carrying something on a large wooden tray. The object was covered by a cloth. The half orc set the tray on the table.

“Allow me to introduce Yannathar” said Matthias, “a ranking member of the Order of Karnus, a group of renegade wizards. The Order opposes Dalmoran and the Tower of High Wizardry, but they are generally loathe to get involved in assassination attempts and the like. What word from the Order, Yannathar?”

“I was not able to convince my brethren in the Order to join in the fight. However, I was able to bring this. He removed the cloth. Beneath was a strange device that appeared to be a large sphere resting in a cradle like pedestal. The whole contraption was adorned with mystic runes and seems vaguely mechanical in nature. A number of crystals were incorporated into its construction.

“This is the dimensional purge field generator. Something the Order of Karnus has devised. It uses arkulyte crystals as a power source. Unfortunately, arkulyte crystals are not common. We only have enough crystals to operate this device for less than two minutes. During that time, it generates a field out to approximately three hundred paces. Within the field, no dimensional magic will work. Teleport, dimension door, gate, summoning spells and so forth. None of those types of spells will work. This will prevent Dalmoran from teleporting away. Once the crystals are depleted, the device powers down and the field collapses. Once that happens, Dalmoran will be able to teleport away or open a gate to summon a demon. The device requires constant concentration and I will not be able to help you in the fight. I will be needed to keep this device running”.

[DM Note – This is what I told the players… they had 13 combat rounds worth of energy to run this “teleport purge device”. Once this device is turned on, they would have 13 combat rounds during which Dalmoran can’t teleport. 13 combat rounds to kill him. On combat round 14, he could teleport away or he can teleport in additional help or even summon something big and nasty.]

“It’s possible”, continued Yannathar, “that Dalmoran could use some other spell to try to escape. Fly, being the most obvious. Or he could become ethereal and simply walk through a stone wall. We know for a fact that the Talisman of the Sky gives him the ability to fly at will and to turn invisible. These functions have allowed him to escape assassination attempts in the past. When he realizes that he cannot teleport away, he may try escaping using one of these methods.”

The party agreed to the plan. The Resistance, with the help of a noble, would get twenty of their best fighters into the ceremony. Five of the party (Belkor,  Winlock, Listig, Halimir and William) would also be smuggled in. The two NPCs would not be included. Humble Almahdi would stay out of it because he’s not good in a fight. And Grim Rigor would stay out because he’s too big and too noticeable. But he could help with the fight in the streets and then join the party in the square once the battle was underway and the street entrances into the square were controlled by the Resistance.

The next morning, the party and all of the Resistance groups got into position. The party, along with twenty Resistance fighters, got into Hindol Square and mingled with the crowd. Most of the crowd was noble families and middle class craftsmen, traders and so forth.

The mass of the noble crowd was in the southern third of Hindol Square. A line of city guards was keeping the crowd back. The middle of the square was filled with row upon row of Black Guard soldiers standing at attention in polished armor. Common troopers, heavily armored juggernauts and lean, cloaked stalkers. 

Standing at the edge of the arrayed soldiers was a giant of the mandalar race. He was over 20 feet tall and dressed in giant sized, black lacquered scale armor. He was a soldier of the Black Guard.

Toward the north end of the square was a group of infernal knights, two Dread Lords (the Black Guard commanders), a group of mages and a group of ministers and government officials. At the very north end of the square was the colossal copper statue on a pedestal.

The entire square was stone flagstones, surrounded by stone buildings. A straight line of trees, one every 10 meters, lined the east and west sides.

The crowd murmured excitedly while they waited. William had used the telepathic function of the Talisman of Dreams. The entire party were in telepathic communication with Yannathar, Grim Rigor, Matthias, Radik and all twenty of the elite fighters who were mingled in the crowd with them.

One of those twenty was carrying something concealed under his cloak… the lead box that contained the krysalite (the flying, magic eating creature that the party had encountered a couple of sessions ago).

After a while, a hush came over the crowd as King Dalmoran appears with a flash of light at the feet of the great statue. Surrounding him were six heavily armored warriors, the Eternal Guard.

Telepathically, William told the man with the box to go. The man ran forward, broke free from the crowd, sprinted through the line of city guardsmen and charged down the center aisle between the rows of soldiers standing at attention.

William, Listig and Halimir stood next to each other in the crowd. However, Listig and Halimir were invisible thanks to William. Listig knocked the Jhelquinn arrow into his bow and prepared to draw.

None of the soldiers made a move as the man with the box charged past them. They remained rigidly at attention. Dalmoran made no move other than to tilt his head curiously. Two of the Eternal Guards, answering some unheard command, moved forward to intercept the man. An infernal knight moved to intercept as well. The three blocked the man’s advance and grabbed him. Before they could stop him, he opened the box lid and screamed “Death to Dalmoran!”

Listig drew the arrow and spoke the command word.

The krysalite leapt up out of the box and flew straight toward the group of mages. The krysalite fired out multiple lightning bolts at the mages and began draining spells from their minds as the men screamed. Several knights moved to assist them. A hundred hands went to their weapons.

Dalmoran raised a hand toward the flying crystal creature and unleashed a bolt of energy which struck the krysalite and shattered it. It exploded, releasing all of the magical energy it had just consumed. Several people were knocked to the ground.

But before anyone could react, the party unleashed the second part of the plan. Listig loosed the Jhelquinn arrow. It arced high over the crowd, silent and unseen. At the top of its arc, there was a flash of light and ten arrows came down, trailing lightning behind them. The ten arrows struck at various locations in the arrayed army. Each exploded into a ball of fire that expanded. The ten fireballs merged into a single great storm of flame that consumed the central ranks.

The shockwave knocked many people down. The crowd of civilians at the back cried out in terror as the center of the plaza lit up with the firestorm. Even before the flames cleared, the party was moving. Listig knocked the teleport arrow and drew. Winlock was holding its counterpart. At the same time, Belkor charged forward and made a huge leap with his enchanted boots. He flew up and out of the crowd toward the firestorm.

The firestorm had engulfed the ranks of the Black Guard. Some 150 men were caught in the blast. Most were incinerated, but a few humanoid figures, engulfed in flames, staggered out of the burning clouds. The firestorm dissipated nearly as quickly as it had come into existence revealing hundreds of charred bodies scattered across the field.

Belkor landed from his tremendous leap as the flames dissipated. He was half way toward Dalmoran.

Battle erupted across the whole of Hindol Square.

[DM NOTE: Now what followed was a complicated, confusing and chaotic battle. Although the battle, in-game time, only lasted a minute, a lot happened in that minute. Allies and enemies were moving and engaging all over the battle field. At one point, there were more than fifty active combatants fighting and more than a hundred non-combatants running about, screaming and cowering amidst the battle. I may forget a few minor details or mix up the sequence of a couple of events, but I’ll do my best to capture the highlights of the battle and the overall tone.]

The instant the flames from the firestorm cleared and he had a clear shot, Listig let the teleport arrow loose. It flew across the square, arcing low, aimed directly at Dalmoran’s chest. Dalmoran, however, stepped out of the way a split second before the arrow arrived. Despite the miss, the arrow still fulfilled its purpose. It struck the edge of the stone dais behind Dalmoran and Winlock teleported there instantly. He immediately swung his hammer at Dalmoran. Dalmoran, however, uncannily dodged every blow, always seeming to know exactly where the hammer blow was going to land.

William telepathically told Yannathar to start up the dimensional purge generator and Yannathar confirmed that it was running. Dalmoran’s teleport ability would be blocked from this point on.

Belkor used his boots to make another tremendous leap. He vaulted up into the air, over the heads of the infernal knights and the eternal guard and landed right next to Dalmoran. He also used the Talisman of the Sea to activate his ice armor as he landed.

All three of them, Belkor, Winlock and Dalmoran began sword fighting. The six eternal guards rushed in to protect their king, swinging huge blades at Winlock and Belkor.

Halimir and Listig, both still invisible thanks to William, began firing arrows toward the groups of men up at the statue, near Dalmoran. First a fireball arrow detonated near the mages. Then a series of scorch head arrows into the high priest and the arch mage, to prevent any of the spell casters from using magic. William began casting spells and the twenty elite resistance fighters cast off their cloaks, drew out their weapons and began advancing on the line of city guards.

The infernal knights advanced on Belkor and Winlock with their fire staves leveled and ready to fire. But because of the ring of eternal guardsmen surrounding them, and the proximity to their king, none of them could get a clear shot.

The giant began to advance, walking across the corpse strewn plaza with long strides.

Belkor and Winlock both found the Dalmoran was able to anticipate every sword stroke and hammer swing with uncanny accuracy. Belkor also noticed that the central gemstone of one of the four Talismans attached to Dalmoran’s chest plate was glowing brightly and humming. He was using one of its powers continuously and Belkor guessed that this was how he was able to anticipate every move.

Halimir, Listig and William continued to fire into the battle with arrows and spells, taking out several guards and soldiers, including a few infernal knights. Because of the distance, crowd and invisibility, the minions of Dalmoran were having difficulty determining where the spells and arrows were coming from.

Outside Hindol square could be heard the sounds of fighting. Hordes of Resistance fighters were beating back city guards and Black Guard soldiers in the streets and buildings all around.

Meanwhile, back at the feet of the great statue, Belkor decided to switch tactics. He activated the “water golem” function of his talisman. Immediately, tons of water surrounded him and he rode up inside the giant water golem. The sudden transformation from human warrior to 15 foot water golem knocked Dalmoran off of the edge of the dais. Belkor leapt down onto the prone king, pinning under nine tons of water. With one huge water hand, he grabbed Dalmoran to hold him fast. With his other (human) hand, he reached through the watery mass and grabbed the edge of the active Talisman with his fingers. He tried to pry the Talisman out, but the metal latches holding it in place were strong (and possibly magical). He couldn’t get the thing to budge.

The eternal guards shifted their position to deal with the water golem. With a clear shot now at Winlock and the water golem, the infernal knights opened fire with their fire staves. Many bolts of fiery energy blasted out at Winlock and Belkor. Belkor was protected as the water absorbed the bolts. Winlock wasn’t so lucky and got hit several times.

Listig knocked and loosed an arcane disruptor. It arced and landed in the middle of the cluster of infernal knights. On impact it unleashed a pulse of blue light and all of the fire staves went dark and cold. The area around them was now a magic dead zone, at least for a little while.

Halimir knocked and loosed a winter’s bite arrow and hit one of the two Dread Lords. Ice flowed over the armored figure and [thanks to an abysmally bad saving throw roll] within seconds he was fully encased in ice, immobile and out of combat.

The twenty elite fighters continued advancing and fighting as they came. Grim Rigor also came in to the square through one of the street exits (which was now controlled by the Resistance). Wasting no time, Grim Rigor began fighting city guards and Black Guard soldiers, slowly working his way toward the main fight at the statue.

Dozens of ministers, administrators and other nobles rushed to the exits only to find them blocked by battle. Some were cut down. Others fled to one corner of the plaza.

At this point, the giant arrived at the feet of the statue and the main battle. Belkor, already half dead from fighting the eternal guards, was struck by vicious blow that broke both his legs. Belkor collapsed just as the giant loosed a truly enormous hammer. He lifted the hammer over his head and was preparing to bring the huge weapon down on the wounded dwarf.

Seeing this unfold, Halimir knocked a hammerhead arrow, drew and loosed. The arrow darted across the square, enlarging as it went. It was the size and weight of an anvil when it struck the giant in the back of the head. The giant stumbled forward with a grunt of pain, lost his footing, and came crashing down at the feet of the statue amidst all of the eternal guardsmen.

Winlock used those precious few seconds of distraction to heal himself using the Talisman of Blood. He used its most powerful healing function and was back on his feet immediately, fresh and ready for more battle.

The active Talisman on Dalmoran’s chest plate flared brighter suddenly, but nothing happened. Belkor, face to face with Dalmoran, could see that, behind the steel mask, concern clouded Dalmoran’s eyes. A failed teleport function, perhaps? That was Belkor’s guess.

Suddenly, Dalmoran lifted off the ground, as if dragged by some powerful unseen force. He quickly rose up into the air, dragging Belkor (in water golem form) with him. Within seconds, the two were fifty feet above the battle field. If he couldn’t teleport out, Dalmoran was going to fly out of the battle. Belkor hung on tightly, determined not to let the king shake him off.

At this point, William dropped the invisibility spell on Halimir and Listig and cast a fly spell on each of them.

Seeing the possibility of Dalmoran getting away, Listig drew and loosed an anchor arrow. [An anchor arrow has a gossamer thin thread attached to it which transforms into a heavy hemp rope when the arrow hits something).

The anchor arrow successfully struck Dalmoran and bit deep into his armor. [Being grappled by a water golem was neutralizing Dalmoran’s ability to dodge attacks]. Listig then flew over and tied it to one of the nearest trees.

The giant slowly got back up to his feet.

Halimir flew over to the same tree where Listig was and laid a hand upon it. He used the power of the Talisman of the Land to animate the tree. He then ordered the tree to start reeling in rope that was connected to the flying king (via the anchor arrow).

The infernal knights, realizing they had been hit by an arcane disruptor, moved out of the magic dead zone and began firing again at Belkor and the water golem overhead. Meanwhile, the eternal guardsmen were separating. Three continued to fight Belkor while three more followed the flying king.

The giant swung his hammer and brought it down on Winlock, injuring him badly. But he was still on his feet and still fighting.

Listig switched on his stealth ring (which made him invisible again) and flew up to the roof of the nearest building that bordered the square. He landed on the roof with a good view of the whole square. The roof of the building wasn’t empty. Resistance fighters were battle city guards up here. But Listig was invisible and ignored them. He began firing arrows down Hindol Square, hitting multiple enemies.

Halimir animated two more trees with his Talisman and ordered them to pummel infernal knights and eternal guards. The trees crashed forward, swinging their leafy limbs with great enthusiasm.

William moved toward the center of the square, stepping over charred bodies. His eyes were on the flying king and water golem. He wanted to use a disintegration spell on the king. However, it had limited range and the flying pair were too high, out of range.

Seeing the infernal knights below firing on Winlock and Belkor again, Listig loosed a second arcane disruptor arrow at a cluster of the knights. Again, the arrow hit, unleashed a pulse of blue light and expanded the magic dead zone. Again, all of their magic items went dead.

Grim Rigor was cutting down enemies left and right until one remaining Dread Lord advanced on him and the two heavily armored titans began trading sword strokes back and forth.

Seeing Winlock in bad shape and the giant posing a threat again, Halimir used his Talisman of the Land to enchant his next arrow as a petrification arrow. He knocked, drew and loosed in a smooth motion. The arrow struck the giant in the back. From the impact point, his skin began to turn to stone. The effect quickly spread over the entire giant [failed saving throw]. He stumbled forward and, as he petrified, came crashing down onto one of the eternal guards and the high priest, crushing them under 20 tons of stone.

The first animated tree continued to reel in the anchor arrow rope. Belkor, still in water golem form, smashed a giant watery fist into Dalmoran’s helmet again and again. Scoring a critical hit, Dalmoran was stunned and barely clinging to consciousness.

William watched and waited as the flying king and water golem got reeled in. Once they were within range, he cast a disintegration spell and fired a beam of green energy up at Dalmoran. The damage caused by the beam knocked Dalmoran completely unconscious.

As the tree reeled them in, they entered the magic dead zone. Instantly, they dropped out of the air and right into the center of the magic dead zone. Belkor’s water golem form vanished and both men hit the ground hard.

The few remaining infernal knights fired their staves at Belkor. The bolts of fiery energy, however, winked out of existence as soon as they entered the zone.

Grim Rigor managed to kill the Dread Lord that he was fighting.

The animated tree, mindless and obedient, continued to pull on the rope, dragging Dalmoran through the magic dead zone. Belkor, not wanting to lose Dalmoran, grabbed on to him and got pulled along too.

The four remaining eternal guard charged toward their king to protect him. Much to everyone’s surprise, the instant they reached the edge of the magic dead zone, they all collapse into the zone.  William immediately guessed (correctly) that they were some kind of artificial, magical beings.

The animated tree continued pulling on the rope, pulling Dalmoran and Belkor out of the magic dead zone.

Listig’s bowstring broke. Dropping his bow, Listig pulled out his wand of magic missiles and fired a few missiles at the unconscious Dalmoran. The energy bolts slammed into him, jolting his body and further wounding him.

At this point, there were few enemy left standing.

Belkor got to his feet and brought his blade down, stabbing Dalmoran in the heart and killing him. He then swung again, severing Dalmoran’s head.

Thus ended the reign of the Mad King.

Belkor grabbed the severed head and walked toward the cowering noble families in the back. City guardsmen retreated, their mouths agape in horror at the spectacle. Belkor yelled at the crowd, lifting the severed head high, declaring that the mad king was dead.

Several of the enemy, a wounded stalker, a burned juggernaut, an injured infernal knight, seeing their king beheaded, turned and ran. More than a dozen tried to flee through the square exits, only to get caught up in the fighting out in the streets.

The party continued fighting, mopping up the last few elite minions who still had some fight left in them. But most of the few remaining enemy soldiers were wounded, limping away from the battle field or outright fleeing. The animated trees continued pummeling the last of the infernal knights.

A fireball took care of the cowering ministers in the corner. They could not be allowed to live either.

As the battle subsided, William asked Belkor to level his remaining fireballs (from the gauntlet) at the feet of the great copper statue. It took all five of the gauntlet’s remaining fireballs, but eventually the copper was sufficiently melted that the lower legs buckled and the entire statue came crashing down on to its side. A cheer rose up from Resistance fighters all around.

The battle of Hindol Square was over, but the battle for the city was not. Battle spread throughout the capital city as word of the king’s death spread like wild fire. Peasants and commoners gathered into mobs to fight the Black Guard. Meanwhile, Black Guard soldiers were fleeing the city in groups.

By late afternoon, huge crowds of angry peasants and resistance fighters stormed the Celestial Tower, the Black Guard tower and the Tower of High Wizardry. Dozens of noblemen were hanged that evening and Black Guard officers were put to death.

The Battle of Ipotal raged for a full two days. By the morning of the third day, the city had been swept clean. All those loyal to Dalmoran had either fled or been put to death. A temporary government, led by the Resistance leaders, held things together and these leaders asked the party to stay.

The party members were hailed as heroes. The taverns were filled with talk of the “the saviors of Ipotal”. Stories of their adventures, wildly exaggerated, filled the city. Belkor is to be blamed for much of the exaggeration.

So… this is pretty much where we wrapped up the session and this was the conclusion to the campaign. Afterwards, I and the players talked for a bit about what their characters were going to do after this.

Some talk was given to trying to find descendants of the original eight families that held the Talismans some two centuries ago. But for now, the party was going to keep their respective Talismans. William gave the Talisman of Dreams to Humble Almahdi (as it suited his personality). William took the Talisman of Spells for himself.

The kingdom of Anquar was facing a long, drawn out civil war which could easily last many months. The party agreed that they would stay to help defeat the Black Guard armies and restore the kingdom. That would probably take almost a year. After that, several of them thought they would stay and help rebuild and rule the new Anquar.

William decided that he would eventually return to Endroad Keep (the small village next to the town of Riverfort in Mercia, right at the edge of the Barakose Swamp). He would build a tower there and help fortify and strengthen River Fort and the whole area. He was going to settle there.

The lost Talismans have been found and all eight Talismans have been reunited in Anquar in common goal and purpose. The Kingdom of Anquar has successfully thrown off the shackles of a dictator and is now on its way to rebuilding itself to its former glory.

Thus ends the Pieces of Eight campaign.

Pieces of Eight Campaign - 2016 - Run by David Roomes. / Session 30 Summary
« Last post by David Roomes on October 18, 2018, 08:34:13 PM »
Session 30 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.


At the end of last session, the party began a sea voyage, traveling from Herota to the town of Tenlay in Anquar. They were aboard a small Juenta trade ship with their wagon on the deck of the ship, lashed down by ropes and chains.

The party was travelling with three Resistance members led by a man named Pardak. During the sea voyage, Pardak told them about the Resistance… that it was composed of many separate groups of varying size. The largest groups were in the capital city of Ipotal. Word had begun to quietly spread through the Resistance that the lost Talismans had been found and that Dalmoran’s reign would soon come to an end.

The voyage would have normally taken roughly 40 days, but thanks to the Talisman of the Sea providing perfect winds and currents, the party’s ship made it only 10 days.

During the sea voyage, William used the Talisman of the Mind to scry on Dalmoran. Now that they were heading into the kingdom of Anquar, William wanted to know more about the mad king who sat on the throne.

He varied the scrying time each day and did about an hour each day. It used much of the Talisman’s daily allotment of energy, but his Talisman was not otherwise needed. So, each day, he sat in the sunshine on the deck, pulled out his Talisman, closed his eyes and spied on the mad king.

Day 1 - William saw Dalmoran walking in a courtyard garden within castle walls. He was wearing some kind of plate armor. The four Talismans were worked into the chest plate, physically part of the armor. One of the Talismans was “detached” from the armor and Dalmoran held it in his hands. It seemed like he was casting a spell with it or using one of its functions. No obvious visible effect. Guards in the background followed at a respectful distance.

Day 2 – Dalmoran was sparring with another swordsman, practicing his sword fighting skills. Toward the end of the hour, he switched to wrestling with a different trainer. William judged Dalmoran was quite good at both.

Day 3 – Dalmoran was holding court, sitting on his throne. A line of tax collectors, nobles, guild masters and other officials approached with requests, gifts, problems and various mundane issues of state.

Day 4 – Curiously, William got nothing. The scrying was being blocked. He tried several times. Eventually, he got a successful image. Dalmoran was exiting a room with two near naked slave girls. Very lavish surroundings both in the room beyond the door and in the corridor.

Day 5 – Dalmoran was meeting with a trio of generals.  They were giving him a report on the search for the party. Based on the conversation, it sounded like more than half of the Black Guard was searching the continent of Qeshir for them. The generals indicated that several dozen people in Padashan empire who had seen and spoken to the party were being questioned. However, the party had vanished a month ago and the Black Guard army had lost all track of them. Dalmoran exploded in anger at the lack of progress and storming out of the room.

Day 6 – William witnessed some sort of religious ceremony. Several hundred people were in attendance. William realized that the religion was centered on Dalmoran like he was some kind of deity. During the scrying, Dalmoran suddenly got a concerned look on his face and looked up and directly at William as if he could see the scrying sensor. He stretched out a hand toward the sensor, but William ended the spell, severing the connection immediately.

Day 7 – William did not scry this day.

Day 8 – William decided two days was enough. He attempted again. This time Dalmoran was in a huge cobblestone plaza in a city. He was standing with several men at the foot of an enormous copper statue. Workers were putting the last pieces into place. William realized that the statue was of Dalmoran himself. Suddenly Dalmoran whirled around, clutching one of his Talismans and extending his hand, clearly casting a spell. William cut the connection even as he felt something affecting his own scrying spell. But the connection was severed in time, just barely.

After that, William stopped scrying.

The ship arrived in the port of Tenlay on the morning of the tenth day. They decided that it was possible that Dalmoran and his minions might have learned that the party was traveling in a large wagon. In any abundance of caution, they used the Talisman of the Sea to summon a slow, gradual fog to obscure the port. That way they could dock and offload the wagon and all of them without anyone seeing them.

Pardak took the party to the Wounded Wolf, a large inn and tavern which Pardak assured them was friendly to the resistance and was a safe place.

Almahdi also departed. He wanted to get a feel for the underground and talk to people.

Listig took the party’s wagon to wagon builder’s shop. The party is having a few modifications made and a new paint job to make it look more local so it will blend in more.

The party spent a couple of days in Tenlay, getting a feel for the culture and kingdom. During that time, they found a place called the Shield Hall which was the government building that hired, organized and paid all mercenary companies. With Almahdi’s help, they learned that there were three “tiers” of merc contracts. Tier I, II and III. Tier III contracts were awarded to the most skilled, most trusted companies. Generally speaking, Tier III granted the most rights to weapons and armor, the most access to government buildings and the greatest level of autonomy. So, naturally, the party decided to go after a Tier III group.

Humble Almahdi had already identified the perfect group. A small elite Tier III team that called themselves the “Iron Wolves”. There had eight members including a mandalar slave warrior and a human wizard. Almahdi already had their routine down. They spent most of their time at a gambling hall and tavern. But each day, in the late afternoon, they travelled through the warehouse district to the docks to check on their ship that was undergoing repairs.

The party set up an ambush the next day in the warehouse district. Listig, Halimir and William set up on the roofs of buildings flanking the alley. The rest were in the alley, invisible. They surrounded the merc group. Pardak and his two lieutenants followed the merc group at a distance.

Belkor positioned himself so that he had a clear path to the merc wizard as they group passed by. He lashed out with both blades in a blur of steel and the merc wizard dropped dead to the alley ground before he even knew he was under attack. Seeing Belkor become visible during the attack, the rest of the party launched their own attacks. Halimir, Listig and William fired arrows and spells down into the alley from above. Winlock and Grim Rigor charged in to join Belkor in the fray.

One by one, the mercenary group fell. All except for the mandalar slave. He was particularly large and strong and William’s spells failed against him. Grim and the mandalar squared off against each other. Grim lost his footing and went down. The mandalar took advantage of the opportunity, swept Grim’s blade to the side and then, with a wide swing, buried the blade of his glaive into Grim’s chest. Belkor and Winlock charged and battled the mandalar, decorating him with a half dozen wounds. The mandalar turned and fled but was brought down by an arrow.

The party checked Grim and the blade had pierced his heart. Winlock took the Talisman of Blood and began working on bringing Grim back. Meanwhile, the rest of the party searched the bodies of the mercenary group. They had coins, adventuring gear, weapons and armor. But what the party was interested in was their badges and documents – Tier III permits that allowed the mercenary company to carry weapons and armor. The party took all of these. Each party member now has a Tier III badge and permit.

Winlock was eventually able to bring Grim back, using the Talisman’s most powerful function, but it took a lot of energy from the Talisman of Blood. This was the second time that Grim had been brought back by the Talisman and it was getting harder each time. It is likely that the Talisman would not be able to bring him back a third time.

Now that they had the permits, the party would use the Talisman of Blood to assume the facial likeness of the mercenaries they had just killed. In effect, assuming their identity.

The party realized that, in the guise of this mercenary company, they could take their boat. They went to the docks to test out the disguises. It worked. The shipyard crew leader did not doubt that he was talking to the Iron Wolf merc company. He said the boat would be finished tomorrow.

The rest of the day the party purchased supplies for a short journey on boat.

The party returned to the shipyard the following day, with Pardak and his two lieutenants. They paid off the balance of the boat’s repairs and took the boat. It was a much shorter journey and, with the Talisman of the Sea giving them good winds and currents, they made the journey in less than two days.

As their ship approached the capital city of Ipotal, the party could see, even at a distance, that it was truly immense. One of the largest cities they had ever seen.

As their ship entered the harbor, it was stopped by a Black Guard warship. They were boarded and searched. Their badges and permits were checked, but the Black Guard soldiers accepted it all and waved them on.

Pardak took them to a meeting with the local resistance. There, they met a man named Matthias. He was a tall, lean man with a grey beard and a friendly face. Matthias was the leader of the second largest Resistance group in the city. Matthias explained that the city was preparing for a celebration… a city wide festivity that King Dalmoran was having to celebrate himself. It started tomorrow and would span four days and involve parties, speeches, a masquerade ball, a symphony and the christening of a new warship. But the fourth day was the most important. In a city plaza called Hindol Square, the central plaza of the city, all of the highest ranking military officers and nobles would gather with Dalmoran, his advisors and hundreds of spectators. There, they would dedicate a new statue of Dalmoran and Dalmoran would proclaim himself Emperor.

Dalmoran rarely left the safety of his palace, known as the Celestial Tower. But during this celebration, he would be out in public several times. He would always be surrounded by his personal bodyguards, a group of six knights known as the Eternal Guard. Matthias explained that the fourth day would perhaps be the best day for an all out assault. Although Hindol Square would be filled with enemy soldiers, it would also be the only time that Dalmoran would be gathered with all of his generals, officers, advisors, wizards and elite guards. The party agreed that this would be the best time to strike.

Matthias explained that he had been in contact with other group leaders and that they could summon nearly a thousand Resistance members to join in the fight. These people were not soldiers, he warned the party. They would be ill equipped and poorly trained, but they were ready to fight and die to try to bring the Mad King down. The party discussed how best to use these thousand civilians.

During this meeting, the party learned that the largest Resistance group was named the Fury. They were almost 500 strong and had a reputation for fearlessness. They were fanatical in the cause to overthrew Dalmoran. However, their leader, a man named Radik was imprisoned. The Fury members were absolutely loyal to Radik and would not fight without him leading them. Matthias said that if the party could free Radik from prison, the Fury could be persuaded to join the fight.

The party decided it was worth it to take the time to free this man and get another 500 to the cause.

The place where Radik was being held was the Black Guard fortress itself just outside of town which had a maze of caves beneath it.

Halimir used the “commune with land” function of the Talisman of the Land. This allowed him to become “aware” of all things touching the ground within fifty miles. The party hoped to peer into the tower and get an idea of how many guards were in there, where the prisoners were held and so forth. With that information, the party could fly up to the correct level and use the Talisman of the Land to simply walk through the outer wall and into the cells. It should be easy.

However, there was a problem. Halimir could “feel” the city, the hundreds of buildings, the thousands of citizens and so forth. But he could see nothing within the Black Guard tower. It was shrouded in darkness.

Matthias explained that the tower was built upon a former lead refinery and antimony mine. The maze of caves beneath the tower were the former mine shafts and the ground there was laced with lead. Furthermore, the bricks used in the construction of the tower were also infused with lead. Magic could not penetrated the ground or the walls of the tower.

Halimir noticed that the Celestial Tower and several other buildings throughout the city were likewise “shielded” from his Talisman. It seemed that critical chambers in certain buildings used these lead laced bricks.

So, it wasn’t going to be as easy as they thought.

Pardak suggested getting the floorplans of the Black Guard tower. Such plans would be on file at the city planner’s office and the security there would be less formidable. So it was decided… the party would steal the plans from the city planner’s office and use those plans to help them infiltrate the tower and free Radik.

The party obtained rooms in a city inn suggested by Matthias. The party rested that night and stayed out of sight for the following day while the city began its celebrations.

The following evening, while groups of drunken revelers filled the streets, the party went to the city planning office. Infiltrating the office was  fairly straightforward. Listig and Halimir used a combination of invisibility (from William) and stealth to enter the building. They snuck past a few guards and Listig picked several locks to get past a number of doors. They made their way down into the archives and started searching through hundreds of scrolls and sheafs of parchment. After a half hour, they found what they were looking for… the complete floorplans for the Black Guard tower. They made a copy of the plans by hand, not wanting to steal the original lest that alert the authorities. Once the copy was made, they made their way back out.

The party regrouped at their inn and reviewed the floorplans. The plans indicated a tribe of orcs and a group of trolls inhabiting the lower caverns that were used as guards. The floor plans also showed prison cells on the fourth and fifth floors. One area on the fourth floor was a maze of corridors and traps. At the end of that maze was a single cell. They guessed that Radik might be in that cell. But without knowing for sure, they would have to check them all.

Multiple barracks and guard stations and security check points were on every floor. However, they also noticed that there was a large water spring in the caves below and a small vertical shaft running from the caves up to the fourth floor. It was an internal well system of some type. The shaft was narrow, only about three feet in diameter, but enough for a person to get through.

The party made note of the fact that the floorplans had been made more than 70 years ago. It was possible that things had changed during construction or been altered in the last 70 years. But this was the best they could do.

The following day (day 2 of the festival), the party snuck out of the city and went to the Black Guard Tower. It was perched on a rocky hill and overlooked the city. The party positioned themselves where they could stay hidden behind some bushes, but where they had a good view of the tower and two of the cave entrances leading into the rockface beneath the tower.

William cast arcane eye and sent it into one of the caves. This particular cave entrance was chosen because it was closest to the sprint pool and William was not sure how deep his arcane eye could travel into the caves before the lead in the stone blocked it and the spell failed.

William wanted to get an idea of how many orcs and trolls were inside and also find the best route through the caves.

Almost immediately, William saw that things were different than expected. The floor of the caves was blanketed in thick clusters of putrid yellow mold and fungus with yellowish-white toadstools among it. William described what he was seeing to Halimir, but Halimir could think of no natural fungus that grew in such a way. They concluded that it was perhaps something that had been cooked up in a wizard’s lab.

As the arcane eye floated deeper into the cave, William saw an undead warrior – mostly skeletal with bits of flesh clinging to the bones. It wore rusting armor, a shield and a heavy blade was clutched in one bony hand. Further in, there was a second undead, then a third and a fourth. As the eye went deeper, he saw at least a dozen of undead warriors. Most were stationary and unmoving, but some were walking through the tunnels. As they walked through the thick yellow fungus, noxious fumes and spores were kicked up into the air around them.

Further in, the arcane eye spell began to weaken. The image William was seeing became dark and cloudy. He did manage to spot a pool of water and a hole in the cavern ceiling, directly over the water. This was the cistern shaft, exactly where the floorplans indicated. At this point, the arcane eye flickered and winked out of existence, blocked by too much lead and stone.

The party withdrew from the tower and discussed what William had seen. They decided the best approach was invisibility and flight. If they could go in with a small crew, both invisible and flying, they could fly over the undead, never touching the foul yellow fungus on the floor. They could also fly directly up the vertical shaft and get to the fourth floor. With luck, they would be able to elude the guards, find Radik’s cell and free him.
Since both invisibility and flight would require concentration, William would not be able to cast and maintain both for the whole party. It would be better to have some help. The party returned to the inn and asked Pardak to contact the resistance again. An hour later, the party was across a table from Matthias. They asked him for any invisibility and flight magic that his group might have. Matthias agreed to talk to his people and see what they had.

During this meeting, Matthias convinced the party that they should not simply take Radik out of his cell. If his absence were discovered, it would alert the Black Guard and King Dalmoran. Who knows what precautions the Mad King might take if the leader of the most notorious resistance group were suddenly sprung from prison on the eve of his great crowning. No. Better to replace him. Matthias said that he had many volunteers in his group who would take Radik’s place. And one of them bore a passing similarity to Radik. The party agreed, but said they could do even better. With the power of the Talisman of the Blood, Winlock could make this volunteer look exactly like Radik, for about a day.

They agreed to party company and regroup later.
That evening, they regrouped again and Matthias unveiled several potions of both invisibility and stealth. Combined with William’s magic, it would be enough. They also had a volunteer – a rotund man with curly black hair and beard. His name was Fazeel. Fazeel would accompany the party into the tower and they would leave him in the cell (with his face magically altered to look like Radik) while the party escaped with the real Radik. If the ruse was discovered, Fazeel would likely be executed on the spot, but he was ready to give his life to buy the party another 24 hours.

A few hours later, near midnight, the party ventured back out to the Black Guard tower. Humble Almahdi and Grim Rigor stayed behind. The party included Belkor, Listig, Halimir, Winlock, William and Fazeel.

Between William’s spells and several potions, they were able to get everyone flying and invisible and had one extra potion of invisibility left over which they would give to Radik in the cell to get him out. In addition, the party members covered their mouths and noses with scarves to help prevent breathing in spores or anything else from the yellow fungus in the caves.

They flew in to the cave, William leading the way, toward the pool of water. They flew over a dozen undead and managed to avoid touching any of the yellow fungus.

They reached the pool and, one by one, flew up the shaft. Listig and Halimir, the most stealthy, went first. They walls were wet and slick with green slime. It would have been impossible to climb. At the top of the shaft was a metal cover. Listig listened and heard someone moving about. When he heard them leave, he carefully moved the cover and flew up into the room. It was a small chamber. A female servant was moving away, down a hallway, carrying something. Listig waited until she was down the hall and well out of sight.

The rest of the party flew up and joined Listig in the small chamber at the top of the shaft. The inner walls seemed to follow the layout of the floorplans they had with them. They followed the floorplans toward prison. They encountered a pair of guards, but flew over their heads and managed to be quiet enough not to alert them. When the party was alone in the last corridor, Halimir tried using the Talisman of the Land to phase through a wall. It worked. Apparently, only the outer walls were lead lined. The inner walls were common stone. So he would be able to walk (fly) through the walls here.

Before they parted ways, Listig gave Fazeel two "plague arrows". These were arrows whose blades were coated in the blue slime from the infected from the city of Qazadeen (from many sessions ago). Listig had kept a pair of infected arrows with him all this time, sealed safely. He told Fazeel to keep them hidden and to use them only as a last resort.

Due to the layout of the walls, there was only one stout stone wall separating the nearest corridor from the prison cell which lay “behind” the maze of traps. Listig phased through that wall and confirmed that Radik was in that cell. He then came back out, grabbed Fazeel and Winlock and phased back through the wall, into the cell. Once they were inside the prison cell, William dropped invisibility on Fazeel and Fazeel woke Radik up. Fazeel quickly explained what was going on and told Radik the whole plan. Once Radik was caught up, Winlock used his Talisman to alter Fazeel’s face. Radik was given the last potion of invisibility, which he consumed. They wished Fazeel good luck. Winlock then picked up Radik and the three of them flew through the wall and back out into the corridor, leaving Fazeel in the cell, and rejoined the group.

The party, still invisible and flying, made their way back through various corridors, past several guards, down the vertical shaft, through the caves, past the undead warriors and back out into the night.

So here’s where we are:

The party has successfully rescued Radik from the Black Guard tower prison and managed to do it without alerting the enemy. Fazeel, in the guise of Radik, is in his cell and will keep up the ruse as long as possible.

It is 2 am on day 3 of the festival. The party has approximately 36 hours before the mass assembly in Hindol Square and the dedication of the statue. In that time, they plan to gather as many resistance groups as possible, including the Fury group, and then launch an attack on the dedication ceremony. This will be the final battle. Their primary goal in that battle is to kill King Dalmoran.

This is where we ended Session 30.

Session 31 is November 17th. Summary to follow a few days after that.

Session 31 may be the last session and the conclusion of the campaign.

Gaming Tales / Re: New One-shot in alternative khoras
« Last post by tanis on October 12, 2018, 01:57:05 PM »
I concur, this does sound like a cool setting for a game or three. I also like the sort of Song-of-Ice-and-Fire-esque "Great Man" setup with certain pillars of the setting being the principle movers of the wheel of history.
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