Session 22 Summary

Started by David Roomes, September 04, 2017, 09:43:32 PM

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David Roomes

Session 22 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

"Humble" Almahdi - A likable Padashani beggar with quick wit. Talkative. Funny. Fluent in several languages. Street smart, but somewhat cowardly.
Halimir - An elven archer/ranger, who has fought along side the party from almost the beginning. Doesn't talk much. Very loyal to Listig.
Grim Rigor- A huge ogre warrior. A former slave and gladiator. Extremely tough. Good in a fight. Cured of a zombie infection by Belkor.

SPECIAL NOTE: We had a guest player play with us this session. He ran the character of Halimir. He might join us a regular player and he might continue playing Halimir. So, there's a real possibility that Halimir will transition from NPC red shirt to full player character status.

The party had just battled and sunk one of the Anquaran black ships.

The party wanted to put as much distance as possible between them and the location of the ship battle. They were certain that the infernal knight had managed to "phone home" to Anquar and report to his superiors. The party assumed the worst... that King Dalmoran and his generals now knew the precise location of the party, the type of ship they were travelling in and the direction they were travelling.

As day turned to evening, the Retching Dog headed southeast toward a grey and stormy horizon.

That evening, William began studying the books and scroll that Belkor had brought over from the Anquaran ship. They were all written in Quaryn, but William translated them with a spell.

The first book was the captain's log. It was clear from the log that the ship they had just sunk was one of a dozen ships that were patrolling various coastlines around the world. These wide ranging patrols began weeks ago, shortly after the party had eluded the Anquarans in the city of Freeport. The nearest patrol ship was somewhere in the Fire Isles, a good 10 days away. The party was hopeful they would reach the mouth of the Uras River before that ship found them.

The second book was some sort of Anquaran holy book. It detailed the official Anquaran state religion based on the worship of King Dalmoran. It also provided insight into the ranks of the soldiers and mages that served him. From this book, William learned that the infernal knights learned their magic at a single great academy  and cast spells as wizards. However, they were also a part of a vast magical network that connected them all with Dalmoran at the center. The book implied that energy could be sent through this network to bolster the powers of any infernal knight. The infernal knights are the elite warrior mages of the Anquaran military and there are only one hundred of them. William also learned that many of their magical items, such as their iron masks and iron staves, were enchanted in such a way that they would only function for an infernal knight. The masks were their connection to the network.

William thinks that, perhaps, with enough time and research, he might be able to break the spells that bind the mask and staff and perhaps use the items or even gain access to the network. He would need a functioning iron mask taken from one of the infernal knights. Unfortunately, the mask belonging to the knight on the boat was destroyed when Winlock crushed the man's skull with his hammer.

The third book was the infernal knight's spellbook. It was written in Lasyne, the magical coding system used in Anquar. William knew enough of the Lasyne system to read the book and will work on adding some of the spells to his own book.

The fourth book was a book of poetry and song entitled "Songs of the Usurper". Most of the songs glorify King Dalmoran in some way.

The scroll was a navigational map including detailed coastlines, safe harbors, notes on sea currents, shoals and so forth. This map was more detailed than the one that the magrakians had and so Ragnoth, the magrakian first officer, claimed it for the ship.

William studied the four books all evening and all the next day as the ship sailed into the storm. By the end of that day, the sea was rough and towering grey clouds darkened the sky above them. Belkor remembered that the Anquaran ship had been sailing with all its canvas out, racing to the west. He surmised that they had been trying to outrun this storm.

The group discussed their options. Turn and flee back toward the isle of Kasadem. Continue southeast and plow right into the storm. Turn northeast and run toward the nearest coast as quickly as possible. Or turn south toward deep sea and try to go around the storm. As a group, they decide on the last option.

Belkor and the magrakians worked the rope and rigging while the rest of the party huddled below decks. The Retching Dog raced to stay at the edge of the storm. The storm, however, moved west relentlessly and quickly overtook the ship. Powerful winds and blinding rain swept the deck as waves battered the hull. Very quickly the party and crew realized that the storm was much worse than they had anticipated. Despite the magrakians' boasts about the sturdiness of their ship, Belkor was worried.

As evening turned to night, the storm grew worse and the waves grew bigger. Soon the ship was riding up the side of monster waves, cresting the top and then plummeting down. With each wave, the hull shuddered from the impact. Belkor was convinced that the storm was too strong to be natural and shared his concerns with William. William sensed magic in the storm and a consultation with the Talisman of Dreams confirmed his fears. King Dalmoran was using his four Talismans to fuel this epic storm.

As a precaution, William cast water breathing on the entire party and the three magrakian officers. (That was as many people as he could do). The water breathing spell would last for 24 hours.

Again and again, the ship climbed a towering wave to crest and plummet the far side. The ship only survived another half hour of the abuse until a particularly long drop broke the hull. The forward third of the ship broke away amidst splintered wood and a tangle of rigging and sails.  As the ship began to tilt at an alarming angle, the magrakian crew hurriedly tossed supplies into the two longboats and worked to lower them into the water.  In the chaos, the party managed to cut the ropes that held their wagon down before the ship went down.

William, Listig and Halimir found themselves in the water all too quickly. They had lost sight of the rest of the party. With blinding rain, hurricane force winds and utter darkness, visibility was severely limited.

The three men spotted their wagon, which was floating! Keep in mind that the doors on this thing were designed to seal tightly shut to keep out sand during sandstorms. It was also designed to ford rivers without leaking. The wagon was air tight and floated quite well. The three of them swam over to the wagon and scrambled on board.

As the ship rapidly sank, a dense field of debris rapidly formed. Before the ship went down completely, Listig swam over to the wreck and cut free some sail and rigging and brought it back to the wagon.

The three of them clung to the wagon as it rode up and down the waves. They ended up tying themselves to the wagon for free of being thrown off. They spent a very uncomfortable night clinging for dear life as the wagon was tossed about the sea.

The next morning, the storm had completely blown itself out. William, Listig and Halimir were still huddling on the floating wagon. They could not see any sign of the other two life boats. Listig fired one of his pyrotechnic arrows. It burst high in the sky like a firework. He hoped it would be a beacon for the others.

Bits of debris floated around them – pieces of wood, bits of rope, barrels, boxes, etc. They fetched what they could. They managed to pick up a pair of oars.

The three of them set to work fashioning a crude sail from the material Listig had cut free. They managed to rig a sail and put oars to the water as well. William used his Talisman to determine which direction the closest land was. They headed in that direction.

William cast a sending spell to send a short message to Belkor. He asked him if they were alright, where they were and if they had seen the pyro arrow.

Belkor responded that he, Grim, Almahdi, Winlock and three of the magrakians (the officers who had benefited from William's water breathing spell)  were in a longboat. They had not seen the pyro arrow. Belkor believed that they were far southeast of them, further down the coast.

William, Listig and Halimir paddled and sailed their small crude wagon/boat for a full two days before they spotted land. As they approached, they saw slate grey cliffs towering over a narrow, pebble strewn beach. They brought the wagon into shallow water and William used a telekinesis spell to turn it so the wheels were down and they then rolled the wagon onto the beach.

Listig and Halimir climbed the cliff. Standing on the top, they saw a vast grasslands stretching away inland as far as the eye could see.

William sent another sending spell to Belkor, asking for an update. Belkor responded saying that they had managed to harpoon a hornwhale, but that the beast had dragged them further down the coast for several dozen miles before they were able to kill it and carve it up for meat.

William's telekinesis spell was not quite strong enough to lift the whole wagon, nor did it have the range to reach the top of the cliff. They decided to empty out the wagon and take off the wheels. With help from the two elves, William positioned himself half way up the cliff. From this position, his telekinesis spell could reach the beach below and the cliff top above. He used the spell to life the wagon up to the cliff top followed by the wheels, one by one and the heavier supplies. The rest they brought up by  rope.

Once the wagon was fully assembled on the cliff top and restocked, they decided to search these new lands for a beast of burden. William sent his crow out to scout out the area. The crow returned a few hours later with news of a herd further inland.

The three men followed the crow until they crested a low hill and saw a large herd of strange beasts. The creatures were hairless, heavily muscled quadrupeds with thick leathery grey hides and broad flat tails. A massive Y –shaped single horn sprouted from their head.

The party approached by stealth, staying low as they moved through the tall grass. They managed to separate an older male from the herd. Listig dipped an arrow in a paralysis poison (which he had acquired a few sessions back). He fired and hit. The big bull jerked in surprise and took a few steps away, but then stopped.

Their attention was suddenly drawn away from the old male as they noticed several places where the grass was being parted as something moved toward them. Suddenly, a number of creatures erupted form the tall grass and charged. They were tall lean feathered reptilian creatures, a blend of lizard and bird. There were five of them. Each was almost two meters tall. One of them seemed to be a bit bigger and thicker than the others. It also had thicker and more colorful feathers than the rest and it had four horns sprouting from its feathered head. [A male and four females].

William dropped a black tentacles spell between him and the big male. Thick rubbery black tentacles erupted from the ground. The male bird, however, was fast and agile. It managed to run through the maze of waving tentacles, dodging as it came.

Halimir sank an arrow into one of the females while Listig fired a scorch head arrow at the male as he backed up. The scorch head arrow struck and ignited the male's thick plumage.  The big male began dancing around wildly, screeching it pain as it tried to pull the arrow out.

The four females circled and charged just as William cast a dimension door and relocated himself several dozen meters away. Two of the females managed to score bites on both Halimir and Listig. The two elves returned fire with their bows. The male, at this point, was running away, completely engulfed in flames.

William fired a chain lightning spell which arced from female to female. Three of them dropped, convulsing on the ground. The fourth turned to flee but died as the two elves fired arrows into it.

The three men tracked down the male, whose dead carcass was smoldering a few hundred meters away. Listig field dressed the bird and carved off about 90 pounds of meat.

Much to their surprise, the big male herd animal was still standing where he had been, continuing to graze. Halimir, who had a way with animals, approached the creature while speaking calmly to it. The animal was drooling slightly and had a glazed look. It seemed the paralysis poison on Listig's arrow had worked, somewhat. Although it had not dropped the beast, it seemed to have put it in a semi-euphoric state. With some rope, they fashioned a makeshift harness and led the docile creature back to their wagon.

The three men built a fire and cooked the meat from the tall bird/lizard creature. While they ate, William cast another sending spell to contact Belkor and see how the other group was doing. Belkor responded that they had reached land, climbed a tall hill to get a better view of the land and (through the spyglass) could make out what looked like a city on the distant horizon. They were going to head for it.

William, Listig and Halimir were certain that the other group was down the coast from them, southeast. They began travelling along the coast in that direction.

They travelled for six days. During that time, the terrain remained consistent... vast grasslands and cliffs along the coast.

On the morning of the sixth day, they spotted someone on the horizon. It looked like a man, a lone hunter, with a spear casually slung over his shoulder. This lone individual was travelling in the same direction, southeast down the coast. The party had come up behind him. They followed this lone individual discreetly for an hour or so before the person noticed them. He waved to them and began approaching. They noticed he had a limp.

As the hunter approached, it quickly became apparent that he was not human. He was much bigger than a man. The hunter stood at least ten feet tall. He had, slung over his shoulder, a number of spears and an unstrung bow. A massive stone headed hammer was slung on his back. He was dressed in primitive furs. Hanging from his belt was the feathered pelt of one of the giant bird/lizard creatures. The giant's long tangled hair was dirty and knotted. It was braided in places with bits of carved bone jewelry woven into it. This was, undoubtedly, one of the secambru giants that they had heard about. They noticed that this particular giant had a club foot which caused his limp.

The giant stopped a few feet away and smiled at them. "Detaya!" he called out to them and waved again, "Imoya brool tak. Donaten Kruto dena brasti fae".

William cast a comprehend languages spell on Listig so that they could converse. Listig began a conversation with the giant.

The giant was friendly and curious about them. They quickly learned that his name was Kruto of the Fire Eagle Tribe and that he was on a personal journey called a "spirit quest". He was searching for his "fate kill" to "claim his honor". After some conversation with him, it became clear that this giant was a young giant out on his first long distance solo hunt. He was supposed to make a worthy kill and return to his tribe and take his place among the hunters. However, he was also the son of the chieftain of that tribe. Kruto feared that, because of his lame foot and because of who is father was, he needed to return with a truly magnificent kill in order to be accepted as a warrior. Coming back with a common game animal would not do.

The party asked him what animal he thought would be worthy enough.

"I will go to the city of the dead and I will kill the great fire belly. I will pluck out its crystal heart and return that to my tribe as a great trophy. That will impress all the hunters, even my father".

Kruto told them that the city of the dead lay southeast, further down the coast. The party wondered if this might be the same city that Belkor and the other group had seen from the hill top, the city they were heading toward.

They asked him how far it was to the city of the dead. Kruto told them it was only a few more miles down the coast. They would reach it tomorrow.

The party asked if they could accompany him and "witness this glorious victory". Kruto said that he would enjoy the company, but he sternly warned them that they must not interfere with the battle. He needed to defeat the great fire belly by himself, or else there would be no honor in the kill.

"Better to die with honor than live in shame".

The party agreed that they would watch only. And if Kruto fell in battle, they said they would bury him and bring word to the Fire Eagle tribe of his defeat.

The three men camped with Kruto that night. Kruto told them a bit about his tribe. His tribe was, at that moment, travelling to the east to meet up with other secambru tribe in what Kruto called "a great meet". This great meet had been called by a powerful chieftain of another tribe. After killing the firebelly, Kruto would travel east to meet up with his tribe at the meet.

The next morning, all four of them travelled down the coast with Kruto walking along side the wagon. It wasn't long before they spotted a large city on the horizon. As they approached, they could see that it was a vast ruin.

They decided to park the wagon about a mile outside of the city and give Listig a chance to investigate closer. Listig was, by far, the most stealthy of the three. He circled the city, skimming the outer most buildings. He noticed that the grass gradually faded away to nothing near the city and the streets between building were stone and dirt. On the far side of the city, he came across tracks where the grass was trampled down. It led from the shore cliffs directly toward the city.

Listig decided to follow the tracks back toward the cliff. He found an outcrop of rock and laying hidden in the nook of the rocks was a magrakian sailor. It was one of the officers from the Retching Dog. He was covered in blankets, but was shivering, covered in sweat and his skin was ashen colored. The magrakian was alive, but unconscious.

Listig then followed the tracks back toward and into the city. The place was ancient. The stone buildings were badly weathered and broken. Any wood in the city had rotted away long ago. Many buildings had collapsed. Rubble littered streets and plazas. Here and there was a bone, a skull or a partial skeleton. Based on the bones, it seemed that the inhabitants of this city had been humans.

Listig found a taller building and climbed up to the third floor to get a better view. It was a large city, perhaps enough room for 20,000 inhabitants. At the center of the city was a vast bowl shaped crater. Movement at the edge of the crater caught his eye and he watched as something moved between the buildings. It was large and he couldn't see it clearly. Eventually it come out from a street and into a plaza.

The thing was some type of clockwork golem. It was quite large... around twelve feet tall. Metal armor plating covered most of its body. Something inside its chest was glowing brightly. The thing was rusted and looked heavily damaged from old battles. It appeared to have, at one time, had four arms, but only two arms remained. Listig watched the golem for awhile. It seemed to be wandering the streets randomly, perhaps patrolling the city. Listig climbed down and headed back to the wagon.

Back at the wagon, William was casting various divination and detection spells. The magic field here was different and William was able to sense it. It seemed that the magic energy field was distorted in some way... almost as if it was fractured. William cast a few minor cantrips to test the field. One of four test spells failed to function.

When Listig returned, the party decided to go to the magrakian sailor he had found and see if they could help him. They fed the magrakian a healing potion, but William deduced that he was suffering from a poison or toxin. The healing potion roused him briefly and they asked him where they others were. He pointed in the direction of the city and said that they had entered sometime in the last day or two (he had slipped in and out of consciousness and was unsure how long it had been).

Kruto recognized that the magrakians was suffering from the venom of a beast native to this region. He took out some berries from his rawhide sack, ground them into a paste, and applied them to the magrakians wounds. Kruto told them that the berry paste would cure the poison, with time and rest.

The party decided to leave the magrakian where he was and come back for him later. The party then accompanied Kruto into the city. As they entered the city, William sensed that the magic field was even more distorted here.

The party followed the giant until they could hear the golem coming. As it approached, the three men took up hiding spots nearby.

William cast a few subtle beneficial spells on Kruto to give him a combat advantage. Although the three men had promised not to interfere, William was certain Kruto would not be able to tell that any magic had been cast. William felt the magical energy straining against some resistance, no doubt the distorted energy field around him, but the spells worked.

The giant waited for the clockwork golem in a large plaza and they rushed each other as soon as they saw each other. The giant was swinging a huge stone headed hammer while the golem swung with huge metallic hammer-like fists.

The battle raged all over the plaza as the two huge opponents pummeled each other mercilessly. At one point, a metallic whine began to emanate from the golem, growing louder and higher in pitch. It reached a crescendo at which point the armor plating of the chest opened up revealing a bright blue crystal within which unleashed a blinding bolt of energy. The energy bolt struck Kruto in the chest knocking him forty feet back. He landed on his back, momentarily stunned. The golem marched over to the downed giant and raised his metallic foot to crush his opponent's head. Kruto managed to roll out of the way at the last second as the huge metal boot came crashing down.

Listig used his magic ring to go invisible and sprint over to the golem. He grabbed a large rock and leapt onto the thing's back. Finding a crack in the battle damaged plates, he shoved the rock into the gears in an attempt to jam them. He then leapt off and fled. Looking back, it did look as if one of the arms was having trouble functioning.

The two giants continued beating each other. Kruto was knocked down several times, but managed to get to his feet each time. Finally, he connected a particularly devastating hammer blow against the golem's knee and the entire mechanical leg shattered in a shower of plates, bolts, rods and gears. The golem went down hard and was unable to get back up. Kruto swung his hammer again and brought down several hard blows on the golems head and arms. After several more hammer blows, the huge golem was twitching amidst electrical sparks.

Kruto took out a stone knife and pried open the chest plates. He then tore out the crystalline heart of the golem and held it high and roared in triumph. He then collapsed. The party members ran over to the badly injured giant. He was bleeding from multiple wounds and had several broken bones.

The party spent the next hour binding the giant's wounds and giving him what little healing they could. William recognized the crystal taken from the golem as an arkulyte crystal, a naturally occurring crystal which is highly charged with magical energy. This type of crystal is often used by mages to power certain types of golems and other magical constructs.

Once Kruto's wounds were bound, the party searched the city. They found human sized booted tracks ranging all over the southeast quarter. They eventually came across a number of crudely fashioned cages. Within most of them were skeletons and corpses. In the cage at the very end, a cage that seemed recently built, they found their comrades imprisoned – Winlock, Belkor, Grim Rigor, Humble Almahdi and the magrakian first officer. Several of them were injured, but everyone was alive and conscious. William used a spell to rip open the cage and they freed their comrades.

The party looted the skeletons in the other cages (who still had some gear on them). Among the skeletons was the corpses of several Anquaran soldiers, including an infernal knight and a stalker.  William investigated the remains of the clockwork golem. It had a number of runes upon it that he did not recognize. Furthermore, one prominent symbol showed up on several places. He made a sketch of it, thinking it important. It was obvious that a powerful wizard had crafted this golem. Although it was old and damaged before the fight with Kruto, it was obvious that this golem had, at one time, been quite powerful.

Afterwards, most of the party returned to the wagon parked outside the city. William and Listig, however, travelled to the center of the city to explore the crater there.  As they neared the crater, they began to feel ill, nauseous and overheated. This become worse as they entered the crater. With every step, they began to feel more sick. Seeing nothing of interest at the center of the crater, they turned back. Only hours later did they realize that the illness had permanently affected them.

The party is now camped outside of the city by the wagon. The giant, Kruto, is with them, as are two of the magrakians. These two had been with Belkor's group in one of the long boats and were still with them. Ragnoth, the first officer/navigator (who had been in the cage with them) and Raiden, the third officer/quartermaster (who was the one who had been poisoned).

In any case, the group is reunited now and, other than a few wounds here and there, all of them are ok.

They all exchanged stories of their travels. Belkor's group related that when they came upon the city, they went in to investigate, but were immediately attacked by the clockwork golem. Despite outnumbering it, they had lost the battle. It's primary weapon, the central beam weapon, had been very effective at stunning them one by one. It had then imprisoned them in a cage that it assembled using bits of debris, stone and metal.

While they all ate dinner, they reviewed the loot they had obtained from the cages. Most of the skeletons had something on them. It seemed that the golem had battled and imprisoned them, but had no interest in taking away their weapons, armor or treasure.

Besides various coins and a few precious gems, here's a list of items they recovered:

Two potions
A scroll with a couple of wizard's spells
One arcane disruptor arrow
One winter's bite arrow

Other items were recovered that should have been magical, but weren't. The mask and staff of the infernal knight were both drained, as was the stalker's chameleon cloak. William surmised that the distorted magical field around the city may have an adverse effect on magic items as well. He guessed that long term exposure to the energy field might have drained some of the items.

We ended the session here.

Behind the DM's Screen

The sickness that William and Listig experienced in the crater... in game terms, the characters lost several hit points permanently. In fact, all of the characters had been slightly, but permanently, weakened by their time in the ruined city, to varying degrees. The whole city is affected. Sort of like a high radiation zone. Cumulative effects. The longer you stay in there, the worse it is. The closer to the center crater, the worse it is. That's why everyone experienced some loss. Belkor and crew weren't near the crater, but they were in that cage for a full day. William and Listig walked right into the crater and suffered the worst. All of this is connected to the "damaged" magical energy field in this region. This is also why there was no response to the last couple of sending spells that William used. Belkor was close enough to the city at that time that long range communication spells were being blocked.

Several things appeared in last session and this session that aren't on the main website. We're venturing into territory that has not been fully fleshed out on the site. This includes the town of Salhanrasha, the Juenta Kingdoms (including the Kingdom of Herota), the dragon occupying Fort Jegorim, the Star Scepter of Rashi, the ruined city that they encountered this session and various new fauna. This campaign is uncovering a lot of new details in this part of the world. All of this material will eventually end up on the web site.

The reason I separated William, Listig and Halimir from the others with the storm is simply because I had only three players. The players for Belkor and Winlock were both unable to attend this session. That means I would have had 3 player characters and 12 non player characters! Twelve! (Winlock, Belkor, Alhamdi, Grim and eight magrakians). That's far too many. So I used the storm to get rid of all the NPCs at once and that allowed me to focus on just the actual three players who were across the table. Much more manageable!

David M. Roomes
Creator of the World of Khoras


Once again, it's nice to see a new session summary!

I'm looking forward to learning all about the new fauna, as well as the "City of the Dead". :D
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.