Author Topic: Session 24 Summary  (Read 1859 times)

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Offline David Roomes

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Session 24 Summary
« on: December 21, 2017, 07:58:20 PM »
Session 24 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.

So, we left off last session with the party running through the night on foot and being pursued from the Black Elk tribe giants.

They had successfully stolen the Talisman of the Sea from the Kaladath, the Black Elk chieftain, but now they had the entire tribe chasing them.
Although the giants were faster, Halimir was sure that the giants would be moving slowly. The giants were using torches and beating the tall grasses with their clubs, to be sure the party didn’t evade them by laying and hiding in the tall grass.

We had two guest players with us this session. So, to incorporate them into the ongoing story line, the two guest players are running two new characters. Kai, a half elven rogue, and Varys, a sorcerer. Both of them were adventuring partners who had become prisoners and slaves of the Black Elk tribe some months ago. When the battle erupted last session and hundreds of giants were fighting amongst themselves, tribe against tribe, these two used the distraction to grab their personal belongings and make a run for it.

Kai and Varys managed to make it out into the grasslands west of the meet. They eventually ran into Grim Rigor, the party’s NPC ogre warrior, who had also made a run for it. After quick introductions and realization that they were all pretty much in the same predicament, they chose to run together. Grim Rigor wanted to catch up to his party. Kai and Varys wanted to catch up to the strangers who had started the chaos back there and granted them the chance to flee. Safety in numbers and all that.

It took many hours, but before dawn, these three did catch up to the main party. Again, introductions were made. Clearly all of them had a common enemy in the black Elk tribe and that tribe would surely kill them all if it caught them.

By dawn, the party, including the two new members, caught up to the wagon. Humble Almahdi and Belkor (who had recovered from his mysterious illness) was camping out with the wagon. Upon hearing about the pursuit, the wagon was made ready with haste and everyone piled in. The wagon raced west with all the speed that the horses could muster. (Yes, the party has two horses now, instead of that great big heavy native beast that they had initially… they made a trade with the locals in the town of Jaruska and swapped steeds).

Now that the sun was up, Halimir was afraid that the giants would be able to pursue them much faster. After all, the wagon was making clear tracks in the tall grass that even a blind man could follow. Eventually, the giants would come upon the tracks and catch up quickly.

The party discussed various options as they rode along in the wildly bouncing wagon. They could split up and go multiple directions on foot. They could travel south and try to find a boat or ship. They could go north and try to lose them in the hills and mountains.

Humble Almahdi assured them that south was not a good choice. There were no towns or villages or any civilization at all along the south coast here. There would be no place to find a ship or even a simple fishing boat.

The party also wanted to try to get to the iron cairn that they had seen days earlier and marked on the map the last time they had come through the grasslands. They wanted to loot it of treasure. Of course, the cairn was still many miles to the west.

After another couple of hours, the party encountered a group of four giants who were roasting a goat over a large fire for breakfast. These four were from the Hillstalker tribe. The party remembered that the Hillstalkers were the first tribe to walk out on Kaladath and his proclamation of kingship. They had jeered and booed and left in disgust.

The party talked with the giants. It was clear that the Hillstalker tribe considered the Black Elk’s enemies. They considered Kaladath a fool for claiming kingship and for toying with magic relics from outlander wizards.

The party made up a story, claiming that a giant had stolen the relic from Kaladath and the Black Elk tribe was searching the land for him. The party said that Kaladath, in a state of fury, would likely blame them as “outlanders” and kill them, even though they were innocent. [yes, a blatant lie, but one told well]. The giants believed their story. Knowing that secambru giants have a fondness for gems and jewels, the party gave these four giants a bag of glittering gems which they had and asked for their help.

The four giants agreed to help. Three of them picked up the wagon and began carrying it while the fourth giant worked to obscure the tracks of the other three. [The Hillstalker tribe giants are excellent hunters and trackers and are quite talented at leaving no path].

After 10 miles, they set the wagon down. The party had now moved 10 miles with no tracks at all. This would throw off their pursuers for awhile. The four hillstalkers also said they would misdirect any Black Elk tribe they met, leaving obvious tracks that led south.

The party thanked them profusely and continued on west, pushing the horses as hard as they could. They managed to travel the two full days with no encounters and no sight of their pursuers.

The party camped to give the horses a chance to rest, but pushed hard west each day. By noon on the third day, they reached the iron cairn. To most of the party, the land was a featureless sea of grass, but Halimir’s ranger instincts for direction and recollection of various subtle landmarks guided them to the iron cairn on their map. They eventually found it and this time there were no giants around.

The iron cairn looked like a small low hill, surrounded by a circle of large boulders and a huge carved and wooden pole. On one side was a heavy stone slab that blocked an entrance. Grim Rigor and Winlock, the two strongest members of the party, spent several minutes wrestling the huge rock out of the way.

Inside the party found a small subterranean chamber filled with skeletal corpses and a veritable horde of metal: weapons, armor, horse shoes, nails, rings, iron spikes, shields, coins and various bits of treasure and trinkets. Among the bodies were the remnants of a Black Guard strike team.

The party searched the cairn thoroughly and scanned it for magic. Amongst the mundane items they found the following treasures:

  • A bag filled with padashani coins
  • An ornate chalice of metal and embedded crystals
  • An iron horn
  • A long sword (which detected as magical)
  • Four scorch head arrows and two hammerhead arrows
  • The intact iron mask of an infernal knight.
  • There was also a scroll, old and corroded, which contained a map with some hand written notes. The map indicated Fort Jegorim, the very fort that the party was heading toward. The fort was circled on the map with an arrow and the word “Jhelquinn”. The handwritten notes said “Kurlander says it’s in the main treasury on the 5th floor, though the master at arms doesn’t know what it is that he’s got”.

There was also a strange spellbook with metal cover and thin metal sheets. It held only four spells, but all four were unknown to William. The spellbook was written in Inedka, which is a coding system he knows. William plans to study the spells and copy them to his own spellbook later.

Having successfully plundered the iron cairn, the party continued heading northwest as fast as their horses could pull the wagon.

The party decided to head up into the hills and highlands that separate the great Ahtabi desert from the Wind Plains. They wanted to avoid the Wind Plains because that is the land of the mytharians and the party didn’t know much about them beyond stories. They had been told the mytharians were a barbaric culture of nomadic horsemen who would just as soon kill as trade. Varys, the sorcerer, and Kai, the rogue, chose to continue on with the party for safety. After all, tribes of giants and clans of barbarian horse nomads made the entire region a lawless wilderness.

The journey was slow. The hills were steep and then, on the other side, the land at the edge of the desert was hot and dry and dusty. However, this wasn’t a problem. Belkor was spending days learning how to use the Talisman of the Sea. One of the first things he figured out how to do was the summoning of clean, fresh water. With an unlimited supply of drinkable water, the desert did not seem as intimidating.

After several days of travel, the party eventually left the desert behind and came down out of the hills toward the kingdoms of the Juenta again. There were several small villages just west of Fort Jegorim. After ascertaining their exact position, the party headed toward the Fort, stopping by a village that lay along the way. The village had a small tavern with a few rooms for rent. The party purchased food and slept in proper beds for the first time in many days.

In the drinking room, they asked the barkeep about the Fort. He told them of the dragon and said that if they would know more, they should go the village of Redfield, the closest village to the Fort (and currently abandoned except for one mad old hermit who lived their still, despite the danger of the dragon).

The party took his advice and the next morning, headed to the village of Redfield. There, they did indeed find a hermit by the name of Barthos. Apprehensive at first, Barthos quickly took the party as would-be dragonslayers and warmed to them. He believed firmly (and stated quite often) that the treasure in the fort was his by right. If they should slay the dragon, he should get a fair share (the lion’s share of it actually). The party, believing him to be quite mad, assured him that he would get the treasure.

During their conversation, Barthos mentioned several times of how the former commander of the fort, an evil man, had taxed the local villages and caravans heavily. He had also allowed mytharian raiders through the pass for a price and so forth. By playing both sides against each other, the commander had become a very wealthy man. All that treasure had been left when the place had been evacuated during the dragon’s initial attack. And, he claimed, to this day no one has stolen the treasure out from under the dragon.
The party listened to his tales eagerly and asked lots of questions. Barthos also told them that the dragon was not alone. A tribe of saurians had come only a few months after the attack and now lived in the ruins of the fort, worshipping the dragon as some kind of god. The dragon, it seemed, let them stay as they often brought it live goats and the occasional prisoner as sacrifices. This didn’t stop the dragon from occasionally eating one of the saurians and the saurians (so claimed Barthos) considered dying in such a manner a great honor.

In any case, the hermit warned the party that the saurians would likely attempt to capture the party and sacrifice them to the dragon if they were found out. The party discussed how best to approach the fortress. Barthos told them of a waterfall that fell from a sheer cliff face on the far side. It was an underground river that came down from the hills and run beneath the fort. The fort used it as a water supply. The cave from which the waterfall erupted connected to the catacombs beneath the fort.

It was a steep climb up to the waterfall and would require them to swing across a chasm, but the hermit insisted it was the best way to get in to the fort undetected. The party agreed that entering the catacombs and coming up from the bottom was a much better way to engage the enemy.

The party bid farewell to Barthos and headed toward the abandoned fortress, only a few miles away. They left the wagon behind in the Redfield. Humble Almahdi and Grim Rigor both stayed with the wagon to protect it. With the wagon well concealed, there was no chance the dragon would see it, should the beast fly overhead.

The terrain between Redfield and the fort was gentle rolling hills with sparse forest here and there and the occasional rock outcropping.

Before they reached the fort, they heard a tremendous roar in the distance and saw a winged shape on the horizon. The party scattered, scrambling for cover, hiding behind trees and rocks as they could find.

The dragon did not see them, but passed almost directly overhead. They all had a good view of it as it flew by. It was big, more than a hundred feet long and heavily armored in jagged scales that were a dull greyish green. The creature fly with slow lazy flaps of its wings and continued on its way, heading toward the sea. The party stayed hidden until the dragon nothing but a speck on the horizon.

Twenty minutes later, the party reached the fort. They gave the fort a wide berth and worked their way around to the far side until they saw the waterfall up high on the rock face. Across from the sheer face was steep slope with a cluster of trees near the top. The party climbed up to the slope opposite the rockface. They were now very near the top and looking across a thirty foot chasm toward the water fall. They party stood just beneath an overhang from which sprouted tangled roots from the trees above.

The waterfall came out of a cave from the sheer rockface. The party could see that there was a gate of iron bars covering the cave entrance and the river water sluiced through the iron bars just before it fell away as a waterfall.

The chasm was much too far to jump, but the tree branches hung out over the chasm and would provide a good anchor point for a rope.

Listig gave one of his teleport arrows to Winlock and told him to hold on tight. He then fired the other arrow through the iron bars and into the cave. He angled it such that it should hit the inner cave wall a few feet in.

With a stomach dropping lurch, Winlock suddenly found himself in pitch black darkness and waist deep in roaring cold water. The current immediately swept him under, but he dug the arrow into a hard surface at his side and stopped his movement. He raised his head out of the water a bit and let his eyes adjust to the darkness. Within a few moments, his dwarvish dark sight had adjusted and he could see.

He was in a long tube like cave through which the underground river was moving. A narrow walkway flanked the river on either side. The river was only about twenty feet across. The cave mouth and iron bars were behind him. To this left, on the wall, there was some sort of mechanical winch with a large wheel attached.

About fifty feet away, he saw a small spindly creature walking along the walkway on the far side. It was a small humanoid rat-like creature. The creature stopped, took a piss in the river and then returned the way it had come, disappearing into the darkness further in the cave.

Winlock waited until it was gone, then climbed out of the river, grabbed a hold of the wheel and started to turn. The rusted winch squealed in protest. He immediately stopped, fearing the metallic shriek would bring the rat creature back. Winlock had a flask of oil with him and used the oil to lubricate the winch. It worked. The wheel turned smoothly and the iron bars slowly rose up together revealing that the entire thing was a single massive gate.

Once the gate was about half way open, the party threw a rope over to Winlock who tied it to the edge of the gate. They tied the other end to a tree branch and, one by one, slide down the rope and swung into the cave entrance with help from Winlock.

Once everyone was inside, they proceeded up the narrow cave along the walkway with no light. Those who could see in the dark led the way. The humans followed feeling along the wall. The roar of the river drowned out any sound the party was making and helped them creep along stealthily.

After about a hundred yards, the elves in front stopped. Listig and Halimir, peering into the darkness, could make out five of the small rat creatures. Two were on a stone bridge that spanned the river. Three were on one of the sidewalks. They wore harnesses and carried some sort of bladed weapon. Guards of some type.

Listig and Halimir drew and fired while several others also launched various missile weapons. It was over quickly and all five were felled. One fell into the river and was swept away. A quick search of the four bodies found nothing of interest.

William cast some light for the humans to see better. Beyond the bridge, the narrow river cave widened into a large chamber. Besides the continuing cave from which the river emerged, there were three small side tunnels. The party decided to split up and explore the all three tunnels.

Varys, the sorcerer, went to explore one tunnel while Listig, Halimir and Kai explored the second. The rest of the group stayed behind in the main cavern.
Varys found his tunnel sloped down a short distance before branching. One short branch went to some kind of shrine to a dark diety. The other went to a chamber filled with dozens of the rat creatures sleeping in a kind of communal nesting area.

Meanwhile, Listig Halimir and Kai found their tunnel ended in a small chamber where four of the rat creatures were playing cards at a table. The rats were caught unprepared and leapt up in alarm. Before any of them could raise an alarm, all three adventurers sent arrows and throwing daggers into them. One managed to make it past the adventurers, but he was cut down by Belkor has he emerged into the large central cavern.

Varys, having backed up a bit out of his tunnel, cast fireball and sent it down the tunnel into the nest of rat creatures. (I should point out that he did this with the approval of the entire group). The rat creatures were eradicated in the fiery blast. The muffled roar of the fireball down the tunnel was mostly drowned out by the sounds of the river.

Having dispatched their four rat creatures, Listig, Halimir, Belkor and Kai explored the room they had been in. It was some kind of a prison complex. There was a large table and chairs and a weapon rack on the wall. Down the length of the room were a dozen small prison cells. Half of them were empty, but half of them were not.

There was a grumman thief in one cell, an orc mercenary in another and a human farmer in a third cell. The fourth cell contained a saurian and the last was empty except for a skeleton.

The party questioned the saurian, but he only spat at them and would not speak. So they ignored him.

The grum thief was a member of the Ithrian Company and he had been sent here to investigate rumors of a dragon sitting on a treasure horde. He was caught while sneaking in here. The orc was a mercenary  swordsmen who had been serving as a caravan guard and had been captured when the caravan was attacked by the saurians. The human was a simple farmer who had been brave enough to reclaim his farmland, but the saurians had come for him and dragged him back here.

All three of them simply wanted to be released so they could get as far from this fortress as possible.

The party asked them about what they knew of the saurians and the dragon. They indicated that there were at least at least two dozen saurian, possibly more. They were led by some type of saurian shaman who had powerful magic. There were also a couple of big hurkytes ( a very big and strong type of lizardman) working with the saurians. They had a number of slaves working for them as well.

Most of the saurian and their slaves were either on the ground level or out in the courtyard. The second and third floors were empty except for a few undead that the saurian priest had created.

The dragon laired in the wrecked upper levels of the fortress. It was in its lair most of the time, but at least once or twice a week the great beast would fly away and be gone for hours.

The party opened up the cages and released the grum, human and orc. They gave them weapons, food and a light source and told them about the river gate and the rope. The three of them thanked the party and fled.

The party then opened up cell #4 to check the skeleton. The corpse wore leather armor and clutched a scroll in his hand. A knapsack was in the corner of the cell. The knapsack contained rope, spikes, thieves' tools and mundane adventuring equipment. They wanted to see what the scroll was that was clutched in the hands of the skeleton. They opened it and found that it was a note. It read:

My name is Elgyn the Lucky. These cursed lizardmen are going to be the death of me. What a sad end to such a glorious adventuring career. If he who finds my poor old bones be a swordsman, then Fate has brought us together and I grant my blade to you. May it bring you favor and fortune as it did me (despite my current predicament). My blade was taken by the one-eyed brute with all the scars. If you find him, do me a favor and kill him. He holds my sword. You will know it by the inscription on the blade:
Fate Breaker

I ask only one thing… please take my bones back home, to House Silaya in Aramanda, and lay them to rest there.

The party kept the note and gathered up the bones and skull into a backpack with plans to return them to Aramanda.

Having investigate 2 of the 3 side tunnels, they then explored the last one. It led to a stone lined corridor with two branching corridors. The first led led to a wine cellar. The second ended in a door, beyond which was some kind of garbage room. A tentacle emerged from a towering mountain of trash and the party quickly shut that door.

They returned to the corridor and followed it and found stairs leading up. They emerged on the main ground level of the fortress.

They began exploring it, corridor by corridor, door by door. They found an office, a suppy room, a large hall, an empty barracks room. Behind one door, they could hear an argument. Behind a second, the clatter of dice.

As they were (telepathically) discussing where to head, a door at the end of a hallway opened and out came four saurians who spotted the party. They yelled in their guttural language and very soon doors were opening all around them and saurian came pouring out. The party was spread out a bit and engaged in battle with about 15 saurians total in multiple small battles within sight of each other.

Winlock blocked one door from which a hurkyte and a saurian were trying to emerge. The big hurkyte wielded a sword in each hand. Winlock began trading blows with both of them.

Listig fired a hammerhead arrow down a corridor and managed to bowl four saurian over. The first three were killed outright. The fourth, who turned out to be the shaman, got back to his feet.

Halimir ran into one of the barracks room and began pumping arrows into the four saurian in there. Belkor joined him, blades flashing.

The shaman cast a spell and all three of the saurian who had been killed by the hammerhead arose. Their broken bodies shambled forward as undead things. \

Varys and Kai pursued a pair of saurian who were running toward a large door. Those two saurian were heading for the outer courtyard and most likely running for help or reinforcements. Varys and Kai brought them down with spells and thrown daggers.

The saurian priest cast a spell and suddenly a huge serpent like thing, fashioned of humanoid bones, and a huge skull, burst into existence with a flash of light. The giant undead snake thing lashed out as Belkor. Belkor suddenly found himself fighting multiple saurian warriors and the giant undead snake.

William fired a lightning bolt down the hallway, taking out the three undead saurian and severely wounding the saurian priest. The priest fled down a side corridor. Halimir followed in pursuit and ended him with an arrow. With the death of the saurian priest, the giant undead snake vanished.

Belkor managed to finish of the last two saurian near him with some fancy blade work.

Meanwhile, Winlock was still going toe to toe with the big hurkyte in the doorway. The hurkyte was an impressive foe and was a match for the barbarian. But eventually, with help from others, Winlock brought the big lizard man down.

He was the last foe to fall. Once he was down, the party looked around. All of the saurians were dead.

The hurkyte had been fighting with two swords. They lay on the ground next to his bloody body. Etched into the blade of one of them was the word “Fate Breaker”.

This is where we ended. The battle has JUST ended. Next session, we pick up here.

David M. Roomes
Creator of the World of Khoras

Offline tanis

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Re: Session 24 Summary
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2017, 06:23:27 PM »
Wonderful! Looting a dragon's den is a big step up in Khoras (though, to be fair, they do have three of the Talismans of Anquar now).

I've been eagerly awaiting the next Session Summary, and I was far from disappointed. :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.

Offline David Roomes

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Re: Session 24 Summary
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 09:24:10 PM »
Looting a dragon's lair! Yes, we don't often see that in a campaign. Next session is going to be a fun one!

David M. Roomes
Creator of the World of Khoras