Session 11 Summary

Started by David Roomes, August 13, 2016, 07:42:50 PM

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David Roomes

Session 11 Session Summary

The Player Characters  (aka the "Heroes")

Winlock – orc/dwarf barbarian, wearing heavy chainmail 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

The Current Non Player Characters

Dathelar, a human priest of Imarus (a civilar to be precise). Mostly a healer/priest, not much of a fighter, but has a few good spells. Has been with the party since day 1.
Halimir, an elven ranger, who has fought along side the party for several weeks now. A red shirt NPC, but a damned lucky one so far...
Kruge, an orcish captain, former minion of the witch, but once the charm spell was broken, became an enemy of the witch and ally for the party...

When we last left the heroes, they were in the wizard's house with the wizard tied up and they were questioning him at sword point. Having learned that the witch will be greatly weakened by the ritual she's planning on performing, the group decided to venture through the teleport gate and try to kill her.

William used a sending spell to send a mental message to the commander. They were to hold position and wait for further contact.

Listig and Halimir left on foot and traveled through the swamp down to the bay where the two ships were. They ran into a couple of patrols that were out searching the swamp (looking for those who had attacked the camp the night before). They managed to avoid contact and continued on.

At the ships, they told the commander of all that had transpired and that they were going to lead the army to the sewer entrance and attempt to take the keep from within. The commander agreed and all of them headed back.

The return trip was much slower. It was 84 men attempting to move through dense swamp without running into a patrol and without leaving a trail. They split the group in half, 41 men followed Listig and 41 followed Halimir. The two groups went by slightly different routes. They avoided one patrol, but a few hours later, encountered another. It was a war party of 5 orcs. They were discovered and there was a brief fight, but the orcs were quickly dispatched. None of them got away. Three soldiers died in the fight. They hid the bodies and moved on.

Eventually the two groups reached the northern sewer entrance. Listig and Halimir led them down into the darkness and through the sewer tunnel until they were standing beneath the wizard's house. All in all, it took about 10 hours for Listig and Halimir to return with the army. It was about noon when they climbed up into the wizard's house to report success.

While the group was waiting for Listig and Halimir to return, they rest of the party slept and recovered.

Winlock and Kruge had assumed guard positions outside the wizard's house to make sure there were no unexpected visitors calling on the wizard. As dawn came, the camp began to show signs of activity. Many soldiers – human, orc and saurian – were guarding the three ships while dozens worked on repairs. Other men repaired the fire damage in the workshop.

Another dozen or so were rummaging through the wreckage of the barracks building which had completely burned down the night before. It was still smoldering.

By 1 pm, all was ready and the party proceeded with their plan. They tied the wizard up and left three soldiers with him to guard him. They're orders were to keep him safe and quiet and keep up the ruse that the wizard was "busy" with spell research as long as possible. . They were to escape through the sewer if they had no other choice. All they needed to do was buy the party some time.

The party, along with the NPCs, the commander and 75 remaining men began trekking through the sewer system toward the keep.

About half way there, they encountered a pair of orcs who had a pair of burrow hounds on chains. It seemed they had been given the unenviable task of searching the sewers. As Listig and Halimir were in front, ahead of the main group, the orcs initially thought they were facing only two and engaged. It wasn't long before the rest of the group caught up and the orcs and burrow hounds were quickly killed.

Now the keep sat on stony island in the middle of the river. The gap from the river bank to the island shore was about thirty meters. On either side was a stone gate house with a drawbridge between them, spanning the distance. Beneath each gate house was an entrance to the sewer system... one leading to the main sewers on the north side of the river (through which the party and the army were currently traversing) and the other went into a very small sewer network within the island, beneath the keep.

The party eventually came to the sewer entrance beneath the gate house on their side of the river. It was an iron gate, but the lock had rusted away long ago. As they peered out, they could see the river moving sluggishly along. Listig opened the gate and moved out into the river, up to his neck, to peer out and look around. Above him was the drawbridge casting a shadow down on him and this part of the river. If he were to swim across the river toward the island keep, no one would be able to see him. At least no one from either gate house or the keep. However, he would be visible by those people around the ships, docks and workshop. There were more than fifty people over there. The distance was about 150 meters. If anyone happened to be looking at the drawbridge's shadow on the river, they might seem him. The odds were low, but the party was trying to sneak more than 80 people total across this river and their plan of attack required absolute surprise. They could not risk a lot of splashing or weak swimmers getting carried away by the river current. If even one person was spotted, it could raise alarms and spoil the entire plan.

It was finally decided that Listig would swim across underwater carrying one end of a rope. They would then secure the rope at each end, with the rope under the surface of the water. Each person would cross, one at a time, swimming underwater. They would use the rope as a guide and support. The party went first. After them, the army began to come over, one soldier at a time.

Once they had successful brought thirty men over, the party decided to continue into the island sewer system. The commander stayed behind to oversee the river crossing.
The party ventured into the island sewer alone and gave the army orders to follow once they had everyone over.

The sewer entrance was angled so that the river current went into it. The tunnel went straight in about forty meters and then turned slightly and opened up into a larger chamber. The party walked down the tunnel on the walkways on the side, with the river current beside them.

Listig and Winlock and Kruge all were able to see in the dark, thanks to their elven, dwarven and orcish heritage. They took the lead. In the large chamber ahead, they could just make out a large humanoid creature, standing in the water. The water only came up to his waist, so they estimated that he must be more than two meters tall. He wore something on his head and had a long object slung over one shoulder. Listig motioned for the others to stay and slipped into the water and snuck forward to get a better look. He moved a little closer and his sharp elven eyes were able to pick out more features. The creature appeared to be a huge zombie... mostly made from the corpse of an ogre. On its head was a great iron helm that had a bell on either side. Over one shoulder rested a massive single edged sword. Along the back side of this hacking implement were fastened three more large bells. The creature did not move and did not seem to have noticed the stealthy elf. Listig retreated back up the tunnel to rejoin the group.

The party discussed this conundrum at length. Clearly, any combat with the creature would set the bells on his helmet and sword ringing. The sound of bells would echo in these tunnels and would, no doubt, be heard up above in the keep. Even attempting to fight the thing would ruin their chance of taking the keep by surprise. The party discussed various actions and ideas. Every now and then, one of the three with dark vision would sneak up to the turn in the tunnel and make sure the ogre zombie hadn't moved.

Eventually the party decided on a plan. They were still carrying a magic potion from the very first war camp they had attacked. That war camp had been surrounded by a moat of acid and they recovered this potion from that camp. William had later identified the magical properties of the potion and concluded that it could turn water to acid in large volumes. No doubt, that was how the moat at that war camp had been made. The party decided to use the potion to turn the water in that chamber to acid. This was an undead creature. They generally only responded to stimuli and whatever orders they had been given. They also did not feel pain. It was likely this one was charged with attacking any creature that entered the room. The party did not know exactly what would provoke the thing, but they guessed that it would not react as long as it didn't see anyone. The moving river water would clear the acid away, but it would hopefully remain long enough to destroy the zombie.

Listig was chosen because of his magic ring of invisibility. With the ring (and by swimming underwater) he was able to get well into the room. It was a large chamber with several huge stone columns. He moved stealthily from column to column, trying to find the best place to be when he threw the potion. Now that he was in the room, he noticed that there were several chains hanging from the ceiling at various points. It looked like there had been, at one time, many chains, at regular positions. Now, there were only seven remaining. As luck would have it there was one behind the ogre zombie, only a few meters away. It was just trailing in the water. Listig moved over to the chain and very slowly and quietly climbed up out of the water. With the moving water and echoes, it was not quiet in here.

So, there he was, hanging on a chain from the ceiling, above the river water. He was about three behind the zombie. He made sure he was fully out of the water. He then bit into the wax covered cork and pulled it out (very carefully) and then poured the potion into the water below him.

Instantly, the water in the chamber turned dark green and thick. A noxious mist began to rise from the acid. It had worked. There was no reaction from the zombie. The bottom of the chain in the water began to hiss and melt. The fumes made Listig' eyes water so badly that he couldn't see and the fumes burned his lungs. He did his best to not breathe.

The acid bubbled all around the zombie and a cloud of blood and bile and ichor began to cloud the green acid around it. After half a minute, the zombie slowly sank down until the acid solution was up to his neck. It looked down, as if trying to ascertain what was wrong with its legs. It then sank down further and disappeared beneath the surface of the water.
Listig wiped his eyes and waited. His lungs felt like they were on fire. He tried to suppress a cough and waited. Nothing. The zombie did not rise.

Listig held on for another few minutes. The fumes gradually cleared. The green of the acid faded, washed away by the river current. Eventually he dipped a foot down to check the liquid. There was no pain. It was just river water. He slipped back into the water and went back to get the rest of the party.

The party and the army entered the large chamber where the zombie had been. They searched the chamber and eventually found the bottom end of the garbage chute that led up into the main floor of the keep. 

The upper end of the garbage shaft was covered and locked, but the party managed to pry it open with a sword. Listig, being the quietest, again went first. He climbed up and out of the garbage shaft and found himself in a small chamber. There were a pair of braziers, both lit. There were buckets and brooms in the corner and box full of rags.

The party had a detailed map of every floor of the keep, provided to them by Kruge. So they knew exactly where the doors where and how many chambers were on each floor.

Using his own natural stealth and the magic ring, Listig began sneaking around the main floor. In one large room, he found two orcs playing card in front of a fire place. One orc was standing at the main gate of the keep on guard duty. Another orc was in a back room, asleep in a chair, cradling an empty bottle of rum. Listig slit the throat of the sleeping orc who awoke only enough to give a gurgling death rattle and slump forward.

Listig then went back to fetch the rest of the party. As the party rushed in to take on the two orcs playing cards, Listig and Halimir fired arrows at the orc on guard duty. All three orcs quickly found themselves surrounded by the party and the soldiers.

It was a very short battle as the orcs were outnumbered 5 to 1. One of them managed to get out a quick yelp, but died a moment later.
Another orc came rushing down the stairs, possibly alerted by the sounds of battle or the single orcish cry of alarm. In any case, he ran right into Winlock and Kruge who cut him down before he could draw his sword.

A quick survey confirmed that there were no other enemies on this floor. The rest of the soldiers climbed up out of the garbage shaft and began flooding the first floor. A number of soldiers were stationed at the garbage chute. Several more were stationed at the two main entrances on the ground floor. Both of these sets of double doors were barred.

The party then went up the stairs with about thirty men behind them. According to Kruge, the second floor contained the kitchen, the great hall and a barracks room. The party listened to the second floor. They could hear the sounds of orcs feasting and laughing and singing. They heard a dish crash to the floor and someone cursing.

The gate was on the third floor. Not seeing anyone in the hallway of the second floor, and seeing no reason to interrupt the orc's meal, they continued on up to the third.

Listig came up to the third floor, visible. Across the hallway was a large alcove with a table and chairs. Three saurians were seated at the table who looked up and saw the elf. Listig drew an arrow and fired. It was his web arrow. It hit the far well and detonated. Immediately, thick strands of spider web filled the alcove. All three saurians were stuck fast. As they yelled for help, the party and the thirty soldiers charged the gate room.

The party knew exactly what room the teleport gate was in and they even knew what it would look like erected. This one was built and active. There were two big saurians standing on either side of the gate. Winlock charged in and bowled one of the saurians over. Belkor swept in, both blades flashing, and positioned himself between the gate and the remaining saurian.

An orc came charging out of a side room. William turned and  at the orc, but also managed to catch the edge of the web in it. The orc was burned badly and the web quickly caught fire with the three saurians struggling within.

An additional four saurians came running from down the hall toward the commotion. Very quickly, battle raged. The party and their soldiers were intent on not letting anyone through the gate. They positioned themselves so that the enemy would have to go through them. For a few seconds, battle raged all over the third floor.

Dathelar moved over to the alcove that contained the burning web and saurians and cast a spell, causing a brick wall to form. This effectively sealed up the alcove.

It was a fierce battle, but the party won. They managed to clear the third floor, killing a total of eight saurians and two orcs.

They could hear the sounds of battle coming up the stairs from the second floor below. The army soldiers were doing battle with orcs and saurians on that floor. After a few minutes, they had managed to clear all three levels and secured the chamber with the teleport gate.

A group of twelve soldiers were sent up to kill anyone on the fourth floor. They found what appeared to be a lord's bed chambers on that floor, but no one was up there. A stairwell continued up to the roof. Up there, they spotted a pair of orcs on guard duty with horns and bows.

Winlock and Kruge were sent up to deal with them. Appearing as fellow orc minions, they managed to bring the two orcs downstairs with a ruse and slew them on the fourth floor.

The party peered out through windows and archer's slits in every direction. They were looking to see if any alarm had been raised. The enemy soldiers were still working on repairs, still guarding the ships, still sifting through the burnt wreckage of the barracks building. As far as they could tell, no alarm had been raised.

This is where we wrapped up Session 11. The party has managed to take the keep with a surprise attack from the inside, by coming up through the sewers. They lost a total of twelve soldiers in the battle for the keep. That leaves them with the commander and sixty three soldiers. The keep has only four entrances, the garbage chute, the two main doors and the roof. Soldiers are stationed at all four points of entry.

The soldiers and leaders out working in the river camp are not aware that their keep has been taken... yet.

Next session, the party is planning on going through the teleport gate and try to get to the witch. They hope to catch her at a moment of vulnerability during the ritual and kill her.

David M. Roomes
Creator of the World of Khoras