Author Topic: Session 19 Summary  (Read 1602 times)

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Offline David Roomes

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Session 19 Summary
« on: May 19, 2017, 10:31:00 PM »
Session 19 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. Has proven to be very lucky.
Nassan - A Padashani priest of Hram. Dour, sullen, doesn't talk much. Skilled at herbalism, alchemy and healing.
Groot- A large, hulking ogre warrior. Mute. Former slave and gladiator.

Having just navigated the secret underground tunnel into the besieged city and negotiated with the thieves guild, the party now found themselves standing in a shadowed alley between two buildings. They were in the inner city, not far from the city's central temple (which was their destination).

Both Groot (the big mute ogre) and Hassan (the Hramish priest and healer) were with the group, along with Halimir, their ever faithful elven archer. It was 2 am. The streets were deserted. Most of the soldiers and city guards were at the city wall, patrolling and guarding, intent on not letting the infected horde in. The citizens of the city were cowering in their homes, trying to sleep.

So, here’s quick recap of the party’s mission and what they know. They are trying to obtain the next Talisman of the four legendary missing Talismans of Anquar. Specifically, the Talisman of Blood. They knew that a necromancy cult, known as the Death March, had taken over the city’s central temple. They were fairly certain that the cult held the Talisman of Blood. They also strongly suspected that this cult was the cause of the infected plague outside the city walls.

Listig had just done a recon of the temple and came back to report to the group. The temple was sealed up tight. All of the windows were barred and the doors locked. A few undead skeletons and cultists held the roof. Meanwhile, a number of the Jhad’s men (Jhad is the local title for a provincial governor, somwhat like a king) – mostly soldiers and engineers – were trying to gain entrance to the temple. Some were working on the main doors with a battering ram, while others were trying to tunnel in. Listig felt that the bars on the temple windows were unnatural. In other words, the temple was barred with some kind of a magic spell.

William took out the Talisman of Dreams and scanned again for the other Talismans. He got a strong reading. It was close. The Talisman of Blood was somewhere inside the central temple, he was sure of it.

The party decided that the best way into the temple was to use one of Listig’s hammerhead arrows. Each of these arrows was the equivalent of a cannon ball when it impacted. They felt certain that one or two of these arrows could blow open the front doors.

The Jhad’s men were using a battering ram on the front door, trying to bash it in. The party’s plan was to get into a position where they would be hidden, but where Listig could fire a hammerhead arrow at the door. This would breach the door and the Jhad’s men could then storm in and attack the cultists within. The party would let the city guards and the cultists fight it out and then would sweep in and help clean up the last cultists. This would allow them to search the cultists bodies and, hopefully, find the Talisman before anyone else did.

That was the plan…

The party snuck through the city’s quiet streets under starlight and moonlight and found a good position. They were completely in shadow, but Listig had a good line of sight to the front door. It was a bit of a long shot, about 70 yards, but he was certain he could hit it. The only sounds were the roar of the river on the far side of the temple and the rhythmic chanting and banging of the battering ram and the ringing of hammers.

Listig drew one of the magical hammerhead arrows and drew. Suddenly, a horn blast sounded off in the distance, followed by a second and a third. Then a gong was sounded. All of these sounds were coming from the south.

The city guards immediately dropped the battering ram and ran off to the south, yelling “Kassa! Kassa! Imerat padi imar! Kassa!”

Doors from nearby buildings opened and men ran out, kissing wives goodbye, strapping on weapons and armor as they ran. All ran south toward the city gate.

The party turned to Hassan and asked him what just happened. Hassan told them that they were yelling “Breach! Breach! All hands to the gate! Breach!”

Every last city guardsmen and engineer who had been working on the temple had fled to the south toward the growing sounds of battle. Somehow the infected horde outside the city wall had found a way in and a fierce battle was now being fought at the city gate as the soldiers desperately fought to keep the horde out and seal the breach.

The party now found themselves alone in front of the temple, their plan foiled. And now, quite possibly, they had a new deadline. If the infected horde managed to get through, it would be an hour, perhaps two, before the entire city was overrun.

The party discussed their options. There were several possible ways into the temple.

There was the main door, of course, but so far, the city guards had not be able to batter their way in through that magically sealed set of double doors.

There was the river gate. The temple was built upon the karst from which the river emerged from the ground. At the point where the river emerged was a portcullis covering a cave entrance which led to the lowest level of the temple. However, Listig had tried that entrance and the river gate was guarded by some terrible beastie with tentacles.

There was the sewer. The city sewer did have a tunnel that ran to a chamber beneath a part of the temple. That might be a way in although they had no map of the sewers and might get lost down there.

And finally, there was the roof. However, the roof was guarded and the cultists and undead creatures on the roof had, so far, managed to thwart all attempts by the city guardsmen to climb the temple walls.

They decided to consult the Talisman of dreams. William pulled out the Talisman and concentrated and soon the ground shook and thea robed being appeared again. Composed of the nothing more than the dirt and sand beneath their feet, the imposing figure rose up and took form. It turned its hooded visage toward William and spoke in a deep, resonating voice.

What knowledge do you seek?

William asked “What is the best way for us to get into the temple?”

The creature spoke again:

By spell the temple’s tightly sealed, yet other paths shall be revealed.
By river’s mouth, cling dear to breath, a watery beast may be your death.
A hammer to the gate lacks cunning, it will surely bring foes running.
By tunnels dark from sewers deep, few foes will bar you from the keep
But best would be the rooftop door, if stealth be what you’re looking for.

William thanked the other worldly being and dismissed him and put the Talisman away.

The party decided to heed the advice of the Talisman. They would summit the roof and go in by that roof top door. Listig had already been up there once. This time, the whole party was going up to fight the cultists on the roof.

Listig, once again, scaled the temple walls to the roof, this time bring a grappling hook and rope with him. He slipped over the parapet invisibly with his magic ring and made his way to a corner of the building that was partially obscured by a roof access stone building and also by shadows. William cast invisibility on several of the others. With the help of the grappling hook and rope, the others managed to join Listig on the roof.

Those who were invisible used it to put themselves into advantageous positions and the party was able to surprise the cultists on the roof. There were three red robed cultist priests, three bandit type thugs (possibly hired mercenaries in the employ of the cultists or low ranking members of the cult) and five undead skeletons.

Belkor unleashed a fireball from his gauntlet which initiated the battle. It was a fierce fight, but the party quickly dispatched all of the enemies on the roof. They suffered only a few minor wounds. Despite the fireball being detonated on the roof top, they hoped that the battle had gone unnoticed by the cultists inside. The roar of the river was constant and may have obscured the sound of the fireball. The roof door was locked, but they found a key on the body of one of the cultists and unlocked the door.

Very stealthily they snuck down to the top level of the temple. [The temple had three levels above ground and one level below ground).

They encountered a pair of cultist thugs and quickly dispatched them before they could raise an alarm. The party did not know exactly where in the building the Talisman was so they decided to do a quick sweep of each floor. The explored the second floor and encountered a trio of red robed cultists priests in a conference room of some type along with a pair of skinless dog like creatures which had clearly been created by foul necromancy.

Listig fired a hammer head arrow and missed the priest he was aiming at. The arrow hit the wall and the wall blew apart in a shower of rubble and bricks which knocked two of the priests to the ground. Belkor charged the third priest while Winlock found himself fighting both of the undead dogs. William, Listig and Halimir fired arrows and spells into the room. The bloody battle was quickly concluded. They rolled the bodies and found a few coins, holy symbols and such, but no Talisman. Although noisy, the battle brought no further cultists.

William took out the Talisman of Dreams again. Now that he was inside the temple, he hoped that he might be able to get a more precise reading on the location of the next Talisman. He did get a better reading. It was below him, centrally located. Either one or two floors down.

They continued down the stairs to the second level and heard the sounds of a young woman in dismay. Winlock, not waiting for the others, burst in to small conference chamber and found a cultist thug raping a young woman. He buried his war hammer in the thug’s skull.

They calmed the hysterical girl down and assured her that she was safe. They then began asking her a series of questions. She was a wealth of information. The cultists were priests with spells and dressed in the red robes. They had a number of followers… thugs and bandits and such that worshiped that same dark nether being as the cultists, but had no magic. These thugs were the guards and soldiers of the cult. She indicated that there were only about ten cultists, but at least twenty thugs.

A couple of days ago, while the city was dealing with the horde of infected outside its gates, the cultists had taken the temple by force. They had captured all of the priests and worshipers and imprisoned them in the cavern level below.

She told the party that they had built a contraption of wood in the cavern, a huge thing like an overgrown alchemy lab. It has hoses and tubes, vats and cauldrons and so forth. They were brewing some kind of alchemy poison and planning on releasing it into the river. It was this foul, enchanted poison that was the cause of the infected hordes outside. The cult had already released it locally and infected hundreds. Now, they were brewing a more potent version and were getting ready to release it into the karst.

The scope of the cult’s plan finally dawned on the party. If this poison were release into the karst, the river would carry it downstream and affect the rest of the empire. Millions would become infected. This would bring down the entire empire.

The party described the Talisman to the girl and she said that she had indeed seen it. It was being carried by the cult leader and that he was using it in his magical incantations in making the magical poison. They were waiting for it to recharge and, at dawn, they would complete the enchantment and release it.

Dawn was about two hours away. The party had a new deadline.

The party asked about the cultists and prisoners. Almost all of the cultists and the thugs were downstairs. The priests and worshipers who had been captured by the cultists were being held in cages in the main cavern below.

They quickly hurried back downstairs which led to a short natural stone tunnel that opened up into a large cave. From the shadows of the tunnel, the party could see the whole cave.

Dominating one side of the cavern was a large bubbling and swirling pool of water. This was where the river emerged from the stony ground and began its long journey. A broad stone walkway encircled the pool on three sides.

A large wooden scaffold had been erupted with four large platforms upon them. Just as the girl had described, a bewildering array of tubes and pipes, cauldrons and vats, ropes, pulleys and counter-weights had been built upon this scaffolding. Several of the vats and cauldrons had burning braziers beneath them and foul slime bubbled within each. On the central platform was a large tough and a long half tube that was swung out over the pool. It was clear that the four largest cauldrons could be up-ended and spill their contents into this trough. The foul enchanted liquid would then flow down the half tube and spill into the pool.

A crude cage had been built off to one side in which about thirty people had been put. Several red robed cultists were standing on the platforms, overseeing the alchemical operation. A dozen armed and armored thugs wandered about the walkway. The cultists had a pair of prisoners out of the cage, manacled, but standing on the platforms with them. This pair of prisoners were older men and, judging by their dress, were scholars of some type.

The party stayed in the dark tunnel and briefly discussed tactics. The sound of the bubbling pool and the roar of the water through the river gate muffled their whispered conversation.

Listig turned invisible and snuck into the chamber, finding a good sniper position from which he could fire arrows unseen.

Belkor unleashed a fireball from his magical gauntlet at a cluster of armored thugs on the far side of the cavern. He managed to get a couple of cultists in the blast radius as well. He was careful NOT to get the manacled men in the blast. As before, the fireball was the signal to attack. The party charged in. Belkor, Winlock and Groot charged in to fight while Listig, Halimir and William fired arrows and spells respectively.

Groot ripped the door off of the cage, freeing the prisoners. Hassan ordered the prisoners to fight for their freedom. He armed several of them with blades taken from dead thugs earlier in their battles in the temple. While most of the prisoners fled in terror, a few did take up blades and turned to help the party.

One of the cultists ran toward a lever on the central platform. The party assumed he was trying to dump the contents of something into the river. Belkor used his magic boots to make a tremendous leap onto the platform and attacked with his blades. He managed to kill the cultist before the lever could be pulled.

While the battle raged, a pair of cultists and pair of thugs entered from a tunnel on the far side. One of the cultists was clearly the leader judging by his elaborate robes, bone jewelry and skull mask. Upon seeing the battle, the cult leader cast a spell and unleashed a blazing bolt of green lightning which struck Groot in the back and sent him sprawling on the ground. Groot did not get back up.

The battle ranged all over the cavern. One by one, the cultists and their thugs dropped. Belkor and Winlock managed to fight his way over to the cult leader and attacked him together. He was a difficult opponent as he kept healing himself, but they managed to bring him down together.

Once all the cultists were dead and the prisoners rescued, the party searched the bodies and the room. They found the Talisman on the cult leader, as they expected.

Two of the freed prisoners were alchemists from the city who the cultists had forced to help them. One of the alchemists, an older man named Pujar, told the party he had secretly been working on an antidote even as he had been forced to help with the poison. He needed another hour to finish it.

While the two alchemists worked to complete the antidote, they party continued to search the chamber.

One of the cultists had a spell book and various wizardly spell components.

Once the alchemists were done, they released the antidote into the river. The prisoners and the alchemists agreed to go out into the city and tell everyone that the river was now an antidote for the infection. Any infected merely needed to come into contact with the waters of the river to be cured.

Having secured the second Talisman and given the city a way to save itself from the plague, the group discussed their next plan. There were two more Talismans to get. Using the Talisman of Dreams, they knew roughly where they were.

The Talisman of the Sea was west, in the Border Clans region. The Talisman of the Land was southwest in the plains that were home to the Secambru Tribes.

The group is planning on heading south to Kassar’s Deep and then getting a boat (perhaps from a fishing village) and heading along the coast, by sea, to the Uras River and then going up river as far as possible. They are going after the Talisman of the Land.

« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 11:45:36 AM by David Roomes »
David M. Roomes
Creator of the World of Khoras