Session 23 Summary

Started by David Roomes, October 14, 2017, 10:16:36 PM

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David Roomes

Session 23 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. Has transitioned from NPC to PC.

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.

Session 23 began with all the characters camping next to their wagon about a mile south of the ruined city.

Kruto,  the secambru giant, had sustained serious injuries from his battle with the clockwork golem. Although they had bandaged him up as best they could, he was still in very bad shape. Luckily, Winlock had unlocked most of the functions of the Talisman of Blood by now and had access to most of its functions, including some remarkable healing ability.

Winlock finished healing all of Kruto's remaining injuries. He hid the Talisman of Blood from the giant while doing this.

Without the aid and magical healing of the party, Kruto most likely would have died. He knew it. Kruto thanked the party profusely... for saving his life, for witnessing his glorious battle and for their companionship.

Winlock now had access to a wide variety of healing functions in the Talisman of Blood. This included undoing the damage and sickening effect that they had all suffered from the magically irradiated region around the city of the dead. Whatever it was, the Talisman could undo the effects. Armed with this knowledge, the party decided to do a few more forays into the town to scavenge and loot. They also used some divination from the Talisman of Dreams to help them locate useful things.

The spent the entire next day looting the city. Among the treasures they managed to obtain from the city:

Various coins
Various books written in a strange language
A map of the city before it was destroyed
A silver chalice shaped in the likeness of a dragon
A box of copper ingots
A bejeweled scepter
Small wooden chest filled with coins
A detailed map of eastern Qeshir.
Several enchanted arrows including two scorchhead arrows, one arcane disruptor and one lightning bolt arrow.
A beautiful statuette carved from a solid block of lapis lazuli.
A wine cellar from which they recovered 11 intact bottles of wine.

At the end of the day (and over the next few days), Winlock used the power of the Talisman to undo the effects of the magical radiation on each of them.

Belkor was sick with some kind of illness and was in no shape to fight. Winlock had unlocked some of the healing potential of the Talisman of Blood, but he did not yet have enough experience with it to cure disease. So the party put Belkor to bed in the back of the wagon. This is where Belkor stayed for the bulk of this session... in the back of the wagon.

The next morning they left and travelled. Kruto wanted to rendezvous with his tribe. He said that his tribe was travelling to a "great meet" at the ruined city of Jaruska. William used the Talisman of Dreams to get a fix on the next Talisman. The next Talisman was in that direction and so they all travelled together.

Two days later, they met up with Kruto's tribe.... the Fire Eagle tribe. Kruto introduced the party to his father, Chunda, the chieftain of the tribe. The other giants were at first, wary of the party, but after Kruto told the tale of the battle and how the party had healed him afterwards, the giants were more accepting. They were impressed with Kruto's trophy (the crystalline heart of the clockwork golem). Eventually, the party was welcomed into the tribe as guests.

The party traveled with the Fire Eagle tribe for four more days eastward toward the "town of Jaruksa". On the way, the party learned a great deal about the secambru giants. They learned of the history of the giants, the different generations, the fading magic and so forth. They learned why the secambru choose to live primitive lives with no crafts or building of any kind. [All of which is available for review in the Khoras website]. They also learned about the great meet, which happens once a year and they learned about the ruined city of Jaruska and the Iron Tribe (those secambru giants who have returned to the ways of crafts and trades) and are slowly rebuilding the city of Jaruksa.

During the journey, they passed an unusual mound – it was a circular ring of boulders with an earthen top and a tall wooden pole, carved and painted, at the top. The giants explained that it was an "iron cairn". After defeating outsiders in the battle, the fallen would invariably have metal weapons and armor and other crafted objects. The secambru wanted nothing to do with such items and so they would bury these metal and crafted objects in great cairns so that "the iron can return to the wounded land and the land may heal".

The party made note of the iron cairn and marked it on their map. Who knew what treasures might lie within? However, they couldn't loot the cairn in front of the giants. Clearly, the giants considered it holy ground. The party decided that perhaps they could loot it if they came back this way. There might be other cairns ahead to loot as well. In any case, they marked it on their map and continued on.

The party also learned of the giant's religion, centered on a nature diety named Amurax, a spirit of the four elements. It was a combination of nature worship and ancestor worship, but at the top of their faith was "great Amurax".

On the morning of the fifth day, the party saw a river on the horizon and a great forest beyond. At the mouth of the river was a city made of stone. On the grass plains on the near side of the river, close to the city, were hundreds of crude, giant sized tents fashioned from trees and pelts and so forth.

There was also a small stone tower, sitting apart from the rest, overlooking the sea. As the party's wagon slowly closed the distance, they could see a human sized figure sitting at the base of the tower. As they got closer still, they could see it was an elf and he was sitting, smoking a pipe and watching the giants set up their huge tents on the plain.

Listig and Halimir went forth to introduce themselves. The elf stood up and greeted them with a smile. He was a very old elf.

"Well met my young friends, well met. So nice to see fellow children of the forest".

The party engaged the old elf in conversation and asked him a lot of questions. His name was Quinlar and he was a former member of the lore masters of Ithell. He had been studying the secambru giants for some time. After many years and journeys, he had returned and settled here to live closer to the giants.

The party was curious about the town. It was an ancient ruin, originally built by the secambru giants from centuries ago and later abandoned. The buildings in the town were all giant sized. The Iron Tribe giants had rebuilt a portion of it. Others had come. A pirate ship and later a magrakian ship had foundered in storms nearby and both crews had chosen to stay. There were also humans, a few mytharians, a handful of aswani and a few others. It was a small, independent frontier town in the midst of a vast and uncivilized collection of wildlands.

The party asked what Quinlar knew of this gathering of giants. He explained that the giants met every year to meet and trade, but that it was unusual for them to do it near Jaruska. There were whispers among the giants that Kaladath, the chieftain of the Black Elk tribe, the largest and most powerful tribe, was going to make some sort of proclamation. Some whispered that he was going to proclaim himself king over all the secambru giants.

William, using the Talisman of Dreams, once again scanned for the location of the other Talismans. The one they sought, the Talisman of the Sea, was here... it was somewhere down in that cluster of huge tents, somewhere near the center. The party suspected that Kaladath held the talisman and that he was going to use it to sway the other tribes.

Quinlar said that if Kaladath actually did make himself King and united the secambru tribes, that this might draw the attention of Tolkarus. The party did not know the name and asked who was this Tolkarus. Quinlar explained he was a powerful sorcerer who lived in a mountain on the east coast. He never left his mountain. Instead, he sent out armies, agents, spies and so forth to do his bidding.

The party asked about the ruined "city of the dead" that they had encountered earlier and Quinlar explained that it was Tolkarus who had destroyed the city with a fantastically powerful spell more than three centuries ago. Such was his power.

The party decided to go down and wander among the secambru giants and explore a bit. As guests of the Fire Eagle tribe, Quinlar told them that most tribes would let them mingle. As it turns out, they weren't the only ones mingling. A few humans and magrakians from the town of Jaruska had come over as well to talk and trade with the giants. The two magrakian sailors with the party went over to the town to talk to the other magrakians there.

The secambru giants were setting up for feasting and trading that would take place the next day. Most giants ignored the party, but some invited them to drink with them. They were drinking a foul concoction called "hoomba" that had quite a kick to it. Of course, Winlock joined in on the drinking.

While getting thoroughly sloshed, Winlock noticed a giant that seemed out of place. This secambru giant was moving from group to group, seeming to listen in on various conversations, but not really participate. Something about him seemed out of place. Winlock scanned him with the Talisman of Blood (one of its functions is to analyze the biology of a creature and reveal strengths and weaknesses and so forth). The readings on this particular giant were... odd. Winlock did not have enough experience using the Talisman to understand what it was telling him, only that there was something not right about that giant.

The party had their wagon parked between the Fire Eagle tribe encampment and Quinlar's tower. They spent the night at the wagon.

The next morning, the giants gathered at the edge of the river. Kaladath stood upon a large boulder before the throng.

I am Kaladath! Chieftain of the Black Elk Tribe I hold sway over all the central plains. But Great Amurax has seen fit to bestow upon me a higher power. I have been given command over all the waters of the land... the swamplands, the rivers, the sea itself. With this power, I declare myself KING of all the secambru tribes. I call upon all the assembled chieftains to take a knee before me and declare their loyalty.

The reaction from the assembled giants was mixed. There were cheers from the Black Elk tribe, boos from the Hill Stalker tribe, shocked dismay, disbelief and so forth. One big giant up from yelled out "We have no king! We need no king!" Another voice asked "Why should be bend knee to you?"

Kaladath turned toward the river. "I command the waters to rise". He spread his arms wide and the river water shaped itself up into a towering, translucent wall of liquid. It stood more than two hundred feet tall and stretched up and down river for nearly a quarter mile.

Shocked gasps and exclamations of awe erupted from the giants.

Kaladath gestured with his hands and the wall of water rose up, detaching from the river and formed itself up into a huge quivering sphere of water high overhead. Kaladath clapped his hands together in a single loud clap and the sphere burst. The water rained down upon the crowd of giants for several seconds.

When the rain stopped, a hushed awe fell over the giants. They could not deny what they had seen for their own clothing and hair were soaked. The reality of it was apparent to all. Hundreds of members of the Black Elk tribe, smiling, knelt and bowed their heads. One by one other giants knelt down.

Some giants remained standing, others jeered. Several simply turned their backs and walked back toward the encampment of tents. Chunda, the chieftain of the Fire Eagle tribe spat in Kaladath's direction, turned and walked away. Kruto and the other Fire Eagle tribe members followed.

The rest of the day was an odd day. It was a festive atmosphere filled with feasting, drinking, trading, contests of strength and other games. However, there was also much discussion amongst the giants about Kaladath's claim of kingship. Many supported him, others opposed him. There were discussions, arguments and a few threats.

Kaladath had set up the largest tent and the largest bonfire near the center of the whole encampment. Many giants were now coming to his tent bearing gifts and seeking to ingratiate themselves to him. He was at the center of attention.

Several times throughout the day, the party saw the "suspicious secambru giant" who continued to listen in on conversations. The party began to suspect that this was no secambru giant at all, but a spy in the form of a giant. Perhaps even a spy of Tolkarus.

In any case, there was no doubt now. The party knew that Kaladath held the Talisman of the Sea. And clearly he had unlocked some of its powers. The party had no idea how long he had been in possession of it or what he could do with it.

The party decided to try to take the amulet by stealth and trickery. That evening, after the stars had come out, William cast invisibility on Listig and Halimir. The two thieves snuck down to Kaladath's huge tent and crawled under one side.

Inside the tent they found Kaladath surrounded by servants, guards, slaves and wives. He also had four huge dogs. A number of braziers burned some type of mossy plant and the air was thick with a heady perfume that made the two elves dizzy. They were unable to get close to Kaladath without alerting the dogs and so retreated out of the tent and back to the party.

The next morning the party spoke with Chunda, the chieftain of the Fire Eagle tribe, and convinced him and other members of the tribe that Kaladath was not "blessed by Amurax" but was, instead, using a magical device crafted by dark magic.

Chunda, his tribe and the party publicly confronted Kaladath with accusations of such, but Kaladath surprised them by pulling out the Talisman and holding it in his hand. He showed the other giants and beat his chest.

"The power of the water comes from this, but Great Amurax himself has ordained that this Power should come to me, that this Power should be wielded by my hand. This Power works for me and me alone. I am KING and no one shall defy me."

That was not the end of it though. The party kept up the pressure, talking to Chunda and others, driving home the point that Kaladath was not blessed and not fit to be king. The secambru giants had never had a king before and did not need one now. Kaladath was merely playing at being god by the use of a foreign device.

Quinlar was helping by also spreading such information and talking to many giants. Quinlar eventually found the party and told them something he had learned about Kaladath's talisman. According to a giant that Quinlar trusted, Kaladath had been in possession of the Talisman of the Sea for several years. It had been a gift from a shaman... a beautiful trinket with a gorgeous central gem, nothing more. However, about four months ago, the "trinket" had suddenly lit up with power, as if awoken. That is when Kaladath realized it was magical and over the last four months, had come to realize its true power. William found this bit of information very interesting. William surmised that either he or the witch must have somehow activated the other talismans remotely with the Talisman of Dreams, perhaps when searching for them.

The other tribes continued feasting, drinking, dancing, trading and so forth throughout the day. By evening, many were good and drunk.

By this time, the party had gotten the Fire Eagle tribe (and others) riled up to the point that they were ready for a direct confrontation with Kaladath and his supporters.

Seeing that Chunda was getting ready for a confrontation, the party made a few preparations. They packed up their camp and had Almahdi take the wagon (and Belkor who was still sick in the back) to the west. They wanted to get the wagon far to the west and rendezvous with it later. They planned on stealing the Talisman and making a run for it.

A little while later, Chunda led a group of giants to confront the Black Elk tribe near the central fire pit. This occurred later in the day around 9pm as the stars were just starting to come out.

Chunda challenged Kaladath to one on one combat, saying he was a "false prophet" and unworthy to rule. He spoke of the "outlander magic" and so forth. Very quickly the verbal argument turned to blows and both Chunda and Kaladath pulled out their clubs and began to fight.

William cast invisibility and fly on himself, Halimir and Listig. All three took to the air to watch the duel from above. Winlock and Grim Rigor remained on the ground amongst the crowd of giants encircling the two combatants.

William also created a telepathic communication between all members of the party (this is one of the powers of the Talisman of Dreams he had recently unlocked). So all party members could communicate easily merely by thinking.

Chunda was outmatched because Kaladath was an older generation giant. Kaladath was bigger and stronger. After a minute or two, Kaladath was driving Chunda back with furious blows from his club.

William cast a slow spell on Kaladath, discreetly helping Chunda. This helped turn the tide and soon Chunda had Kaladath on the defensive. Frustrated, Kaladath raised his hand and unleashed a torrent of water from his palm, blasting Chunda backwards and knocking him off his feet.

The Fire Eagle tribe members roared in frustration at this cowardly act and surged forward. The black Elk tribe members run forward to protect Kaladath and the two tribes clashed in the middle. Within seconds, there were thirty giants fighting. Above this chaotic scene floating Halimir, Listig and William, silent and invisible.

Several times Listig flew down and tried to grab the Talisman of the Sea. Kaladath was wearing it around his neck on a thick leather thong. Of course, it was a giant sized leather thong, so it was more like a corded leather rope. Not easy to cut. The giant was also moving a great deal because he was in the midst of combat. Listig had, thus far, been unable to grab and cut it, but kept trying.

William scanned the area for magic and picked something up. He could sense the Talisman of the Sea on Kaladath and it was powerful, but there was something else down there as well. He decided to cast See Invisible and suddenly saw the "suspicious giant" was in the midst of the battle, invisible and directly behind Kaladath. He was doing exactly what Listig was trying to do, get a hold of the leather cord, cut it and make off with the Talisman.

Listig made another dive and grabbed the leather cord, but Kaladath made a sudden move backward. Listig managed to maintain a hold on the necklace, but ended flopping on the front of Kaladath's chest. At that moment, Chunda (unable to see Listig because of the invisibility) struck Kaladath in the chest with his hammer. The weapon impacted Listig and wounded him.

At that moment, the invisible giant managed to grab the cord and cut it, all in one fell swoop. William had been ready for this. He immediately cast Telekinesis on the Talisman and the leather cord, hoping to wrench it out of the giant's hand. Unfortunately, both Fly and Telekinesis require concentration and cannot function at the same time. The fly spell ended abruptly and William and Halimir both plummeted to the ground, landing hard.

William used his telekinesis to yank the Talisman and the leather cord away from Kaladath and attempted to move it straight up and out. This jerked Listig off of Kaladath's chest and up into the air again. The invisible giant, however, maintained a grip on one end while Listig grabbed the other end. Listig was not able to see the invisible giant, but all party members were aware of what was going on thanks to the telepathic link.

Listig wrapped the cord around his hand to maintain a good grip. The giant did the same, bringing Listig closer. The cord was still straight and taut and angled up at a 45 degree angle because of the telekinesis spell. It was essentially a tug of war between the two invisible opponents and a telekinesis spell on the Talisman and leather cord.

The giant pulled on his end, bringing Listig closer to him, and threw a punch at Listig (seemingly able to see the invisible elf, for some reason). He smashed Listig's shoulder and Listig's left arm fell useless (he was holding the leather cord with his right hand).

Because of the punch, the giant became visible. Winlock and Grim Rigor were already aware of the invisible giant. The instant he became visible, the two charged and attacked the giant. Winlock struck him in the back with his hammer, knocking the wind out of him. Grim Rigor brought his huge two handed sword down and, with a single stroke, severed the giant's arm at the elbow (the arm that was holding the cord). The giant staggered backward screaming as blood erupted from his severed elbow.

All of this had taken only a few seconds since the time the cord had been cut. Kaladath knew the Talisman had been ripped from his neck and turned to find this new giant with severed arm behind him suddenly.

William telekinetically moved the leather cord, Talisman and Listig aware from Kaladath while also bringing closer to ground level. He telepathically told everyone except Grim to grab hold. He could only telekinetically lift so much and Grim was too heavy. Halimir, Winlock and William all joined Listig in grabbing a hold of the leather cord. As soon as all four had a good grip, William telekinetically propelled the Talisman and cord up, lifting all four adventurers up into the air.

Kaladath, spotting the Talisman, bellowed in rage and charged the fleeing group. He leapt up into the air after them, but only managed to grab Halimir's boot which was pulled off. William continued telekinetically propelling the leather cord up and away from the battle. Hundreds of giants were now battling each other below and only a few noticed the four adventurers fly away into the night time sky. The four clung to the flying Talisman as they soared over the giants' tents, just outside of the light of their camp fires and flickering torches. A few giants looked up to see the bewildering sight of a cluster of four men flying west.

A few minutes later, the four flew over the last tent and were heading out into dark grasslands to the west of the encampment. After a few more minutes, William's telekinesis spell was exhausted and he set them down in the grass. The party was now a mile west of the camp.

Once they were on the ground, Winlock used the Talisman of Blood to heal Listig's broken shoulder. The four party members then proceeded west on foot as fast they could run to catch up with Almahdi, Kenner and their wagon.

Grim Rigor was still on the ground back at the giant's encampment, but he was working his way out of the fray and heading west on foot. Grim Rigor travels fast due to his long stride and he knew he would soon catch up to the four party membes who had just flown away.

After a few minutes of running, the party stopped for a breath. Listig looked back toward the east and saw numerous small lights moving out across the grasslands. The party assumed these were torches being carried by giants. Most likely, Kaladath was leading the Black Elk tribe out to look for the party and recover the stolen Talisman. The party was fairly certain that at least a few giants had seen them fly overhead heading west.

So, it's a race. A foot race across open grassland at night. And the party is being pursued by a good portion of the Black Elk tribe... in other words, several hundred 14-foot tall angry giants who know the terrain better than the party does.

This is where we ended the session.
David M. Roomes
Creator of the World of Khoras