Author Topic: Session 13 Summary  (Read 2568 times)

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Offline David Roomes

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Session 13 Summary
« on: September 21, 2016, 08:48:01 PM »
Session 13  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

The Current Non Player Characters

Halimir, an elven ranger, who has fought along side the party for several game sessions now. A red shirt NPC, but a damned lucky one so far...

The Guests

This week we're having two guest players. Old friends from way back who played in previous campaigns with us. They brought a pair of characters that will be with us for just one night. So, let me introduce...

Sid, a human priest of the war god Kolo.
Sharn, a half orc sorceress.

When we last left the party, they had just killed the witch and fled the arena in the chaos that quickly followed. No longer charmed by her magic, the witch’s minions fell to fighting amongst each other. The party had managed to capture the Talisman and now were huddled outside the arena, hiding between a tree and a boulder.

The party decided that they wanted to make sure the witch was dead and also take her head. William cast an invisibility spell on Belkor who ran in to get it. A minute later, he was back with the witch’s head in a bag.

From the arena, two “freed minds” joined them. Out of the arena came a half orc sorceress named Sharn and a human priest of Kolo named Sid. The party welcomed them and invited them to join them in escaping the city. The two readily accepted, having had enough of ensorcelled slavery to the witch.

In addition to these two newcomers, the party had Jesara, the young woman who had been the intended “receptacle” for the witch’s mind in the ritual and whom the party had saved. They also had Dorroman (the meek little man who had been clutching the book and standing near the witch during the ritual). They weren’t sure what to do with him, but when they asked him who he was, his answer was interrupted by an arrow to the throat. He fell to the ground, dead.

The party looked up to see a trio of ogres with massive bows. They continued to fire down arrows at the party. The party grabbed the book that Dorroman had been carrying and fled. The ogres pursued, but the party managed to elude them.

The party could hear fighting and yelling coming from different parts of the ruined city. They could also hear the sounds of battle coming from the west, from the direction of the gate hall.
The party descended back into the canal system and began making their way back toward the huge stone hall that housed the teleport gate.

Their hope was to get back to the gate hall, slip through the teleport gate unnoticed amidst the chaos and confusion and make it back to the river camp.

However, when they got to the gate hall, they were in for a shock.

From a concealed vantage point, the party saw that the plaza outside of the gate hall was filled with fighting. Saurians, orcs, boglings, human brigands and so forth. However, rather than fighting each other, they were fighting a new force…  dozens of human soldiers in black armor. Their armor was of a peculiar design… some sort of scale mail. Their blades were falchions – straight and single edged. Each was armed with a short bow on their back. It was clear that these newcomers were no brigands or militia men…  these were professional soldiers – well armed and well trained. All of them identical armor and weapons. All of them had the same symbol emblazoned on their round shields… a staff and sword crossed behind a round shield, upon which were four large triangles and four small triangles arranged in a radial pattern, pointing outwards.

Scattered in amidst the regular soldiers were a few big men in heavy plate armor, standing head and shoulders above the rest, but there were few of these. The party also saw three hooded figures in the midst of the combat. They seemed to be mages, but the party caught a glimpse of an ornate iron mask in the depths of one of the hoods. Each of the hooded figures wielded a strange metal quarter staff.

This new army was inside the gate house and pushing out. More of them came out of the gate hall every minute and added to the fight. They were pushing the orcs and saurians back through the plaza and they were winning. Soon, the plaza would be theirs and the orcs and saurians would be routed.

In the middle of the fighting, the party saw one of the big armored men fighting a human in silver splint mail. The human was fast, dodging the enormous war hammer of the big armored man again and again. The human in splint mail was injured, tired and slowly backing up as he dodged. His helmet had been knocked clean off. The party was able to get a good look at his face and they recognized him. He was one of the Mercian soldiers that the party had left on the other side of the teleport gate, back at the river camp, with orders to hold the keep.

William conjured an arcane eye and sent it into the gate house. He told the others what he could see through the eye and it was exactly what they feared. The gate hall was filled with scores of these black armored soldiers and the floor was littered with dead orcs, saurians and even a few Mercian soldiers.

Luckily, the arcane eye had no range limit, so William sent it through the teleport gate and then sent it out into the river camp. The entire river camp had been destroyed. All three ships were engulfed in fire as was the workshop. This new army had completely taken over the river camp. There were hundreds of them. Dozens of the witch’s minions lay slain on the ground. Others were prisoners to the soldiers in black. The river camp was lost.

It didn’t take long for the party to deduce who this new army was. The wizard Belledor had told them that he suspected that the witch’s Talisman was, in fact, one of the lost pieces of the Talisman of Anquar.  The party was sure that these soldiers had been sent by King Dalmoran from Anquar. The party wasn’t sure who was leading the Anquaran army or how much they knew, but it was a safe bet that they knew a piece of the talisman was here and they had come in force. Based on a quick survey with the arcane eye, William estimated that the force holding the river camp was at least five hundred men and there was another two hundred here in the gate hall and outside in the plaza. Who knows? King Dalmoran may have sent a thousand men or more to attack the witch and her minions.

The party realized that they were facing a thousand new enemies and that these thousand men were all searching for the Talisman that was currently in William’s backpack. Suddenly feeling very vulnerable, the party quickly retreated away from the fighting and fled to the edge of the ruined city. They had a quick conversation in the deserted street.

Sid and Sharn, having been under the influence of the witch’s charm and having had many conversations with other “minions”, where aware of lots of things that had been going on around Doth. They knew that there was a road that ran north into the swamp and an old gate house positioned on the road a few miles from the ruined city. The gate house was used by the witch’s minions as a staging point for various scouting expeditions and they kept several sarlang steeds there for the scouts.

The party decided to head north on the road and steal a few sarlangs from this gate house.  Now that they were free from the witch’s charm and, with no reason to stay, Sid and Sharn agreed to go with party for a few days. A larger group would be safer while travelling in the swamp. The party agreed seeing the Sid was a powerful fighter/priest and Sharn had some potent magic and they both might be useful.

The party travelled north on the road. They encountered other small groups travelling north. It seemed that the witch’s minions, now all freed, were abandoning Doth. Some were disgusted with themselves at having fallen under the witch’s spells and wanted nothing more to do with Doth. Others were simply fleeing the Anquaran army. Some were heading out into the swamp alone. Others were leaving in pairs, trios or small groups. Most of them ignored the party and the party ignored them.

A few miles north, the party came to the old gate house. Listig and Jesara hid while the rest approached. They managed to bluff the leader, a big ogre. After all, the party was a grizzled and motley crew of human warrior types and two half orcs and three of them had the “brands” on the hands that signified they were charmed.

They did not manage to get all the sarlangs, but they did manage to get three, which was enough. With these three sarlangs, they headed north.

After a while they stopped to discuss their next move. After a good half hour of talk, they decided to head north to the tomb that was indicated on the map. They knew that this tomb was where the witch had obtained the talisman. Sid and Sharn were able to confirm what the party had already heard bits and pieces of… that the witch had found traps and such in the tomb and had been injured by one of them. William had wanted to go explore the tomb for awhile now. He hoped there might be information about the talisman there. He managed to convince the rest of the party that it was worth the journey. After the tomb, they would head back to the town of Riverfort.

The sarlangs made quick work of the journey. What would have taken them 8 days on foot, they managed to do in a day and a half with the sarlangs.

The map they had was not detailed enough to show the exact location, but they had been studying the witch’s book. It’s location was vague and made a cryptic reference that said “white trees led Sakutha to her destiny”.

They sent the raven up to get an aerial view and, after a few hours of searching, they managed to spot a white tree. It seemed an unusual tree and very out of place. They search the area and soon found a second one. They continued in the same direction and found a third. Every hundred paces or so, another dazzling white tree. These white trees were beautiful, with smooth bark and silvery, semi-transparent leaves that glittered in the wind. None of them, not even Listig, had seen trees like these before.

After a dozen more trees and a half mile or so, they came across a very old ruin in the swamp, choked with vines and vegetation. It looked like it may have once been a small castle, but little remained but a few curtain walls. The party entered what seemed to have once been the main courtyard and found a cluster of white trees there.

Before they could do anything, they heard a growl and a huge misshapen beast stepped into the courtyard with them. It was humanoid, about eight feet tall, with green skin. It looked like a cave troll or orc, but the thing was brutish, misshapen and mutated. One arm was longer than the other.

The creature rushed the party and attacked, swinging massive fists. During the battle, the two spell casters realized, much to their alarm, they any spell they cast at the creature was absorbed. No spell had any effect on the creature and the energy of each spell was sucked into its body. Worse, the energy of spells seemed to fuel the beast and it was able to heal itself by using the absorbed spell energy.

The spell casters held back, unable to use their primary tool. The warriors fought it with simple steel, but found the beasts thick hide was difficult to pierce. Listig managed to put a well placed arrow right into the creature’s heart that staggered the thing back. Belkor followed with a deep stab to the body and finally the beast, already mortally wounded from the arrow, collapsed.

On the north end of the courtyard was a pair of large wooden doors, ancient and rotted. Beyond were broad stone steps leading down into darkness. William cast light on a pebble and the party used that for a light source. Listig took the lead, using his elvish eyes to peer into the dim shadows ahead.

The stone steps ended and the party found themselves walking down a long underground corridor. On the stone walls were written various dire warnings in a dozen different languages. “Turn back now”. “Only the children of Dreyus may enter”. “Death awaits you ahead”. “Go no further”.

The corridor eventually opened up into a large circular chamber with a domed ceiling. In the center of the room was a massive statue carved of a solid piece of granite. It depicted a heavily armored warrior with a demonic mask and a tremendous morning star. As the party approached, the statues head turned toward them with the sound of grinding stone and he lifted the morning star.

“Be gone from this place!” the statue bellowed in a voice that shook the walls. Waves of magical induced fear washed over everyone. Half of the party took two steps back. The other half ran in terror. Those who fled emerged back out into the courtyard, hearts pounding, before the effects of the fear spell finally wore off.

The party regrouped in front of the statue, which took no further action. William analyzed the magic and determined that the fear spell on the statue was old… more than a century. It had once been very powerful, but seems to have faded over the decades.

On the far side of the room was a large stone door with a face carved in it. In front of it was a stone pedestal with a bowl shaped top and a rusty dagger laying on top. The stone face on the front of the door spoke: “Only those of the blood of Dreyus may enter. All others will find only their doom”. Each member of the party heard the face speak in their own native language.

They tried pushing and pulling on the stone door, but it did not open.

The party was stumped. They tried their own blood. They tried the blood of the witch (they still have her head in a bag). They tried Jesara’s blood. Nothing worked. Finally, the two spell casters worked together and tried a dispel magic spell. This worked. Whatever magic was holding the door closed buckled and the door opened.

Beyond the door was a short corridor that opened up into an octagonal room. There were seven doors. Each had a standard of elaborate heraldry painted on the door. The heraldry of the seven doors were as follows:
A golden bird
A sun
A red wyvern
A white bull’s head with bleeding eyes
Three white trees
A black wolf’s head
A silver axe and eleven stars

After some discussion, they opted to go through the fifth door (three white trees). It was the correct choice.

Another short corridor ended in a square room with a floor covered in one foot square tiles. Each tile had a symbol on it. William and Sharn immediately recognized many of the symbols. The symbols they recognized were from various arcane coding systems… specialized languages used for writing spells. They saw glyphs from several different systems - roetha, inedka, dreth and others. It seemed that there were six different coding systems.

Laying on the far side of the room was a skeletal corpse in chainmail. They decided to take a closer look. Listig fired an arrow into the corpse with a string attached and they dragged the corpse across the tiled floor. As it touched each tile, a different magical effect erupted… a spout of flame, a blast of lighting, a stabbing blade, a beam of searing light and so forth.

The arrangement of the tiles were mixed and there was always a tile of every system within one step anywhere in the room. Clearly, it was meant that one of the systems was “safe” to step on and one was intended to use the tiles of only one arcane system to walk across the room. But which system was the safe one?

They took a closer look at the glyphs. Between the two of them, they were able to identify all but two systems. They tried tossing a coin on each of the remaining two unidentified systems. One coin froze solid when it touched the tile, encased in ice. The other coin triggered a blast of searing light, but remained on the tile.

They chose the latter. Winlock, being the toughest,  stepped onto the first tile of the system they had chosen. Light erupted, flowing all around him, up from the tile. But he was unharmed. He walked across the room, stepping only on the tiles of the same writing system and the rest of the party followed.

Another short hall followed and this opened up into a square room. Within was a stone sarcophagus with the lid laying on the floor beside it. In the sarcophagus was a skeleton. Judging by the size, the long hair and the dress, it was a skeleton of a human woman.

Inscribed on the lid were these words:

Here lies the remains of Lady Astriel Dreyus, the last guardian of the Talisman of Dreams.
If you be of the Dreyus bloodline, take the Talisman and continue the War against the False God, the Usurper, the Oathbreaker, the Traitor Dalmoran.
If you be not of the Dreyus bloodline, leave the Talisman and go, else evil will hunt you to the end of your days.

Cradled in the arms of the woman was a wooden box with the lid open. Inside was a cushion with a triangle indentation, a perfect fit for the talisman the party now held.

The walls were inscribed with a great deal of text that described the eight talismans, their history and an explanation of the fate of “Lady Dreyus” and how she and the Talisman of Dreams ended up here, in this desolate swamp. William copied everything that was written on the walls.

While William copied text, the rest of the party explored the chamber. There was some treasure in the tomb, but it looked as though someone had already carried some of it out. No doubt the witch had carried out at least some treasure when she left.

The party thoroughly searched the tomb. Only after recovering every scrap of information and every last copper piece did the party leave.

Outside of the tomb, Sid and Sharn decided they did not wish to be involved in an ongoing war and decided to leave. The party wished them luck on their journeys and Sid and Sharn departed heading north.

This is where we ended the session. The party is still at the tomb and discussing their next move.
David M. Roomes
Creator of the World of Khoras