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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.

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.
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.

Pieces of Eight Campaign - 2016 - Run by David Roomes. / 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.
Pieces of Eight Campaign - 2016 - Run by David Roomes. / Re: Session 27 Summary
« Last post by listig on July 16, 2018, 04:59:44 PM »
Looking forward to the next.
We played Session 27 and it went well. But it'll be a few more days before I can post a summary. Going away on a short trip. Will do it when I get back.
Thanks. Glad you like it. The new mountains are now done. I did the rivers yesterday and I'm working on island distribution and texturing next. So, I'm making slow and steady progress.

But I just know the cities, towns, roads and other bits of civilization are going to take weeks. So I'm estimating another month. My goal is to get it finished and posted by the end of July. That's my goal. On August 1st, I want to be DONE with the new map project and starting on something else.

I'm not sure how to deploy it. Option 1 - A single, large, really high resolution map (similar to what we have now)? Or Option 2 - a map that you can click on and it takes you to a "zoomed in" section of the main map and then you can click again and go to an even more zoomed in map that shows an even smaller section of the world. Each "step" of zoom would be a separate map.

I'm not sure which would be more useful/user friendly. Any ideas? I see pros and cons each way. Or maybe both options should be made available.

Anyway, I'm making progress.

Corrections, Additions and Requests / Re: [REQUEST] About the new worldmap...
« Last post by Drul Morbok on July 02, 2018, 10:57:11 AM »
Totally awesome man!!!
The coastline looks a lot more scraggly (not sure if this term really fits), I'm really impressed, it looks much more "realistic". Well, of course the mountains and just everything else also look better and more realistic, but I'm most impressed by the coastline  ;D

And I'm all the more impressed when I think that is was not created by "Google Khoras" or some other highly equipped stuff, but by a single person as a hobby  :o
Ok. Here's a "teaser".

Comments are welcome.
Ok. I'll post something this weekend.
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