Author Topic: Session 27 Summary  (Read 58 times)

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Offline David Roomes

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Session 27 Summary
« on: May 15, 2018, 09:57:39 PM »
Session 27 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.


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.
Brokenfoot- A mandalar warrior. Formerly a slave in the Padashani city of Ikemar. Horns are sawn off. Bought by the party to serve as a guide.


DM Note - This is another long one. Turns out this session was mostly one long "road warrior style" battle. So this session gets pretty detailed about the action in that fight. But hopefully I captured the spirit of the fight pretty well. Hope you enjoy it.



The huge wheeled land ship named “Iron Dragon” rolled out of the city gates of Ikemar and began its journey into the Border Clans.

From within their hiding spot, the party listened to the sound of the huge axles turning, the creak of wood, the occasional bellow of the huge landshaker beasts that propelled the enormous vehicle. The desert air brought them the smell of oiled metal, old leather, sun scorched wood and animal sweat.

The mandalar slave the party had freed was with them. They learned that his name was Brokenfoot (a reference to his deformed foot) and they learned a bit about his history, his capture and his years of slavery in the city of Ikemar.

After awhile, the door to the secret compartment was opened and Captain Kaizan let them out. He offered to show them around the ship and introduce the crew.

[DM Note - I'm not going to spend a lot of time introducing specific details about the ship and the crew, but the Iron Dragon is going to be added as a part of Khoras canon and will likely be the subject of a monthly spotlight later this year. So lots of details about this land ship and pictures will eventually be available for the curious. For this session summary, just a quick overview].

The lower level was devoted to the beasts of burden and contained a bewildering array of ropes and pulleys that comprised the steering system. The second level was the cargo hold. The top level was living quarters – bridge, common room and various bunk rooms.

The captain then took them up to the roof. The vehicle was moving at a good pace and the party had a great view from the roof. The terrain was dry scrublands and a high ridge of hills was visible to either side. The wagon was travelling down a long valley between two mountain ranges. Captain Kaizan called it “the Throat”. The wagon was following a wide dirt road down the length of the valley which stretched to the horizon.

One of the crew was up on the roof standing next to a ballista at the front of the vehicle. He had a small spyglass and was looking at the horizon.

Captain Kaizan explained to the party that "this whole land used to be ruled by an ancient people, millennia ago. Called the Kithdari. They’re all gone now. The ruins of their once great civilization are scattered all throughout this region. There’s nothing left but ruins and treasure hordes and bits of their strange magic".

Kaizan showed the party the ballista and then took them to the back end of the roof.  At the back end of the ship was a strange contraption mounted on a swivel base. It was a long cylindrical tube with strange protrusions, metal plates and ridges. A yellowish glow was coming from within and the whole thing was adorned with curious runes and glyphs.

This here is the pride of the Iron Dragon… our only piece of Kithdari magic. This is a lightning thrower. At least, that’s what we call it. No idea what the mandalar call it. We captured this on one of our adventures last year. The mandalar don’t like us having this. Kithdari relics are holy to them. They believe its blasphemy for outsiders to possess such things. They jealously guard kithdari ruins and kithdari magic items and they never fail to attack us. I think they’re trying to get this back.

The party joined the crew for a meal. Kaizan explained that it was a 15 day journey to Anquar. He advised the party to stick with the Iron Dragon for at least 5 days. That way, they would clear the Throat and be out on to the central plains, well past the range of the military patrols of the Padashan Empire. The party agreed.

For the next few days the Iron Dragon traveled down the valley. They made camp each night.

Between Captain Kaizan and Brokenfoot, the party learned a great deal about the mandalar.
•   The mandalar are clan based, patriarchal, led by the strongest male.
•   They are excellent hunters, trackers and warriors.
•   They do take prisoners but stories suggest prisoners are treated well and released after a year.
•   They have a strict code of honor and will never break a vow.
•   The mandalar worship the kithdari as gods. They consider themselves the “chosen race”, chosen by the kithdari and, because of this, they are superior to other races.
•   Mandalar consider kithdari ruins to be holy ground and will not enter.

On day 3, the party passed a pair of huge stone statues that flanked the road. These immense things stood more than a hundred feet tall and appeared to be a stylized representation of a mandalar warrior. Adorning the base of each were bones, skulls, broken blades and bits of armor, both Anquaran and Padashani. Kaizan explained that this was the “real border” and the statues were a warning to keep out.

That evening, they made camp near some kithdari ruins. William noticed that the ruins had the same glyphs that the lightning thrower weapon did. He copied the glyphs down with ink and paper to study later. A quick exploration of the ruins revealed several empty subterranean chambers.

Through weeks of study, William had successfully researched a new spell. Simulacrum. This would allow him to craft a duplicate of a person from a crude form fashioned from ice and snow. The duplicate would be not be as strong or powerful as the original and would be under his command. William was eager to try out this new spell. He had been preparing for this, even going so far as to seeking out a jeweler in a city many days earlier, to convert a portion of their treasure into powdered ruby, a required component for the spell. He planned to make a duplicate of Winlock and thus have another strong warrior on the battlefield to aid the party in future conflicts.

The spell required snow and ice which the Talisman of the Sea could produce. However, the spell took 12 full hours to cast and William needed to keep the ice and snow from melting for that entire time. The ruins that they were camping next to provided the opportunity he needed. By casting the spell at night and in one of the cool dark subterranean chambers of the ruins, the ice and snow would maintain it’s form long enough to make the simulacrum. William (and Winlock who as needed to be present) began while the others ate dinner and worked all night. Shortly after dawn the next morning, his work was complete and the simulacrum opened its eyes. It did not have the ability to speak nor would it take action other than on orders from William. The party equipped their new simulacrum with spare armor and weapons from the wagon.

On day 4, the Iron Dragon left the Throat behind. The land before them was dry scrub lands and rolling hills dotted by the occasional mesa.

Later that day, they were attacked. As the Iron Dragon passed between two mesas, four separate groups of mandalar on horseback rode out from hidden positions and charged the Dragon. Kaizan ordered the Iron Dragon to increase to its top speed while the crew ran to grab bows and man the rooftop weapons.

The party had a very hurried conversation with Brokenfoot. Would he help? Hinder? Brokenfoot said that he didn’t not want to fight his own people. However, since the party saved his life and had granted him freedom, he agreed not to hinder them either. He would simply stay “below deck” and out of sight for the duration of the battle and not aid either side. The party agreed that was fair.

It was also agreed that Humble Almahdi, being a non-fighter, would stay in the common room and out of harm’s way. He and Brokenfoot actually spent the majority of the fight talking.

The party took up defense positions around the landship. Belkor and Grim Rigor stood at the railing of the second level on the port side and Winlock took up an identical position on the starboard side.

William (and the simulacrum following him), Listig and Halimir went up to the roof to have a wide view and clear shot for their spells and arrows, respectively. One crew member was manning the ballista and another was manning the lightning thrower.

Mandalar are humanoid, averaging seven feet tall and completely covered in fur. They have two large forward curving horns coming out of their head, a bit like a bull. Their faces, however, are bestial… vaguely canine. They have manes of hair, some of them dreadlocked. Their fur colored varies, but most are brown, grey or black.

They came riding in on large horses. Their equipment seemed primitive. They had bits and pieces of leather clothing and armor, boots, gloves and so forth. Their bows looked formidable and their large arrows were tipped with flint. Their weapons were varied in form, but were mostly fashioned from wood, bone, stone and twine. A few metal blades and bits of armor were evident here and there, most likely taken from past victims.

One mandalar stood out from the others. He was behind the horses, but he was so big that he stood above them. He must have been almost ten feet tall… an aberrant of some kind. A mandalar giant. He was running on foot and was passing the horses. He was approaching from the port rear side.

William cast a wall of fire spell positioned in the path of the riders approaching from that direction. Several of the riders, including the giant mandalar, charged through it without stopping. A few of them got singed and ended up patting out flames from their fur, but they all kept coming.

Behind the riders, the party spotted a large chariot approaching at full speed. It was being pulled by two horses and had three mandalar on the back along with something else.

Belkor raised his hand and loosed a fireball from his magical gauntlet. Several riders disappeared in a cloud of flame and were left behind. The rest continued closing the distance.

The large chariot was rapidly gaining. William could see that it carried a driver and two other mandalar. The two were doing something with a contraption on the back of the chariot. It was a fat cylindrical object with protrusions and metal plates and tubes. It looked similar to the lightning thrower on top of the Iron Dragon, but was of a slightly different design. William assumed it was some kind of Kithdari magic weapon and they were trying to get within firing range.

Listig and Halimir, along with several crew members, exchanged a constant barrage of arrows with the mandalar riders. The ballista and lightning thrower were firing too. The lightning caster unleashed a bright, thin beam of blue light and lightning crackled down the length of the beam. It struck a mandalar in the chest and he was blown off of his horse.

From the top rear of the Iron Dragon, William had good view of the chariot. The chariot weapon was glowing from within, just like the lightning caster.

William cast telekinesis and used it to pull one mandalar off of his horse and hurl him at the giant mandalar’s knees in an attempt to knock him to the ground. The giant mandalar managed to dodge the flopping body of his comrade and kept on charging.

The mandalar riders surrounded the Iron Dragon, several of them jumping from their horses onto the huge vehicle. One fell and was crushed beneath the huge wheels. Several managed to jump on to the sides and began climbing.

Winlock, Belkor, Grim Rigor and several crew members fought them off. Six mandalar made it to the second level and swung over the railing, to face their enemy on the long narrow walkway than ran along both sides of the vehicle. Battle erupted all over the vehicle.

A low pitched sound began to emanate from the weapon on the chariot and a glow within the object began to appear. The sound rapidly got louder and higher in pitch, as if the weapon was powering up. The chariot began moving to the starboard side of the Iron Dragon.

The giant sized mandalar reached the Iron Dragon and leapt up onto the walkway of the second level. Belkor was closest to him and the two began trading blows – massive hammer against twin blades.

William ordered the simulacrum to follow him. He then leapt from the Iron Dragon rooftop down to the party’s wagon, which was being hauled behind them (attached by ropes). He managed to land on the roof of their wagon and not fall off. The simulacrum made the jump as well.

Two mandalar leapt from their horses to the front of the Iron Dragon and began climbing up toward the windows of the third level (i.e. the bridge).

Seeing the chariot moving into a position to fire, Listig fired a winter’s bite arrow and hit the swivel mount of the weapon. Crystalline ice enveloped the weapon as it froze solid. The two mandalar operating the weapon struggled with it, but could not turn it toward the Iron Dragon. They both began hacking at the ice with hatchets.

Unable to turn and aim the weapon at the Iron Dragon, the chariot driver changed heading and began moving to a position directly behind the party’s wagon (as the weapon was pointing straight ahead, being directly behind the wagon would give them a shot). The two mandalar on the weapon managed to free the elevation adjustment of the weapon, but not the pivot.

William used the ongoing telekinesis spell to hurl a mandalar at the chariot. His aim was good, but the chariot rolled right over the body. When the chariot was directly behind the party wagon, the mandalar gunner fired. A broad cone of brilliant blue light shot out, engulfing the entire party wagon and the back end of the Iron Dragon.

The simulacrum immediately reverted back to snow which began to melt. The lightning thrower went dead. But there were no other visible effects. William immediately deduced that the cone of light was an anti-magic beam of some kind. William wanted that weapon and began to devise a plan.

The two mandalar climbing the front of the Dragon smashed through the windshield and climbed into the bridge. Cries for help were heard from the driver. Almost immediately, the Iron Dragon began veering wildly and went off the dirt road and began going cross country, bouncing wildly as it went. Combatants all over the ship were knocked about.

Listig fell and rolled off the roof. Luckily, he was wearing a safety line and ended up dangling from the roof, swinging wildly in the air, as mandalar shot arrows at him. Listig scrambled back up onto the roof as Halimir raced down to the bridge to rescue the driver.

Meanwhile, combat continued all over the Iron Dragon. Belkor, Winlock and Grim Rigor along with several crew members were still locked in battle with a dozen mandalar who were all over the ship.

Several flaming arrows from the mandalar riders had caught and several parts of the hull and siding of the landship were on fire.

William used the Talisman of Dreams to telepathically contact Listig and tell him to teleport to the mandalar weapon chariot and told him that he would meet him there.

Listig agreed. He fired his teleport arrow at the chariot and with a flash appeared on the chariot, surprising all three mandalar. William, using telekinesis on himself to fly over to the chariot, attempted to land heavily on one of the mandalar. He missed, but managed to distract the two from killing Listig.

Meanwhile, Halimir reached the bridge. There were two mandalar there. A big mandalar was pulling a bone blade out of the body of the dead driver. A smaller mandalar was at the controls trying to figure out how to operate the vehicle. Halimir fired a winter’s bite arrow at the smaller one. It hit dead center in his back. Sheets of ice flowed over and enveloped the driver and controls. The big mandalar advanced on Halimir and swung his weapon.

William and Listig were engaged in a precarious battle with the mandalar on the bouncing chariot. Listig pumped arrows into the gunner at point blank range and dodged his attacks while William used telekinesis to fly, swoop and harass the driver. The third mandalar was still chipping away at the ice, trying to free the weapon’s pivot.

The mandalar fighting Listig slipped on the ice awkwardly and injured his back. Listig took advantage of the momentary vulnerability and threw him out of the chariot.

The fires on the Iron Dragon were spreading. Two wheels and the aft of the huge vehicle were on fire, as were the ropes that were pulling the party’s wagon behind the landship.

Also, the Iron Dragon was pulling out ahead of the mandalar rides. Gradually, it was leaving them behind. The horses could not keep up with the huge landshaker beasts.

The mandalar on the bridge stabbed Halimir. Halimir took out a crystal (actually, this was an enchanted crystal that he had picked up in the dragon’s lair infused with explosive magic) and dropped it between the two mandalar and fled. He managed to make it to the next room and slam the door shut just as the thing detonated. The concussive force blew the door off the hinges and it landed on Halimir. Luckily the door took most of the blast and saved Halimir.

Down on the port walkway of the second level, Belkor was still in toe to toe combat with the mandalar giant and had managed to cut, slash and stab him over a dozen times. Bleeding profusely from the wounds and realizing he could not best the swordsmen, the mandalar giant leapt from the Iron Dragon, landed heavily in the dirt and fled.

With a combination of arrows and telekinesis, Listig and William managed to take control of the weapon chariot from the remaining two mandalar and throw them out. The elf and the wizard were now in control of the vehicle. As the chariot passed the wounded giant mandalar, William fired a lightning bolt spell and killed him.

The Iron Dragon was pulling ahead further, increasing the distance between the chariot and the horde of mandalar riders.

The fire on the Iron Dragon was getting worse. Belkor, having defeated all mandalar on his side of the ship, used his Talisman of the Sea to summon a thick fog that instantly blanketed the area. He hoped that the fog would put out the flames.

Halimir crawled out from under the door and found the two mandalar dead. (Actually the one that had attacked him was lying dead, the frozen one had been blown completely out through the windows and was gone). The bridge controls were destroyed, mangled beyond use. Looking through the window, he saw the wagon was heading directly toward the face of a huge rocky outcropping.  The vehicle would crash into it at full speed. It was less than a mile away. He had no way to steer or slow the ship down. It was at this moment this his vision of what lay ahead was utterly obscured by thick fog. Halimir decided to get down to the lowest level and see if he could stop the ship there.

At this moment, Winlock, having defeated his enemies on the starboard side, ran into the lower level. There he found a mandalar who had managed to get inside the vehicle and was in the middle of attacking the haul master (the haul master was the crew member responsible for the huge beasts that propelled the ship). Winlock killed the mandalar with a single brutal stroke of his hammer.

Halimir arrived in the lower level while Winlock was trying to tend to the wounds of the haul master. He looked around at the pulleys, winches, gears and ropes. Being an outdoor tracker and hunter, he was little familiar with such machinery and had no idea how to stop the vehicle.

Belkor seeing that the fog was not having the desired effect on the fire, ended it with a wave of his hand.

Halimir, being a ranger, had a good rapport with beasts and animals of all kinds. He turned his attention to the six huge landshakers who were still running and snorting in their yokes and harnesses. With soothing words and touches, the beasts began to calm. The huge ship began to slow, but not enough. They were still going to crash.

At that moment, the engineer (responsible for everything mechanical on the ship) came to the lower level. Halimir yelled at him and explained that the bridge was destroyed and they were going to crash into a rock wall if they couldn’t turn the ship. The engineer ran up to the mechanisms and pointed out two levers, one on either side of the vehicle. The engineer grabbed one and Halimir ran over to the other. Together, they pulled on the levers in opposite directions and got the front wheels to slowly turn.

The Iron Dragon turned just enough to miss the giant rock outcropping (just barely) and Halimir and the engineer steered the huge vehicle back toward the road (they were steering by peering through two narrow archer slits).

Belkor evoked another function of the Talisman of the Sea to fight the fire. He raised his hands and caused a jet of sea water to erupt from his hands. He began moving about the vessel putting out the fires with this sea spray.

William and Listig in the chariot chased after the Iron Dragon while the horde of mandalar chased after them. The horde was raining down arrows on the chariot. Now that the Iron Dragon had slowed down, the horde of mandalar riders was gaining on them, rapidly closing the distance.

William wanted the anti-magic cannon. It was nailed to the floorboards of the chariot with iron spikes. He ripped the spikes out with his telekinesis spell and then he and Listig jumped on to the cannon and rode it, flying telekinetically, back toward the Iron Dragon. William ended up taking three mandalar arrows before they landed heavily on the roof of the Iron Dragon.

Now all party members were back on board the Dragon and the land ship was again on the road and picking up speed. Eventually, they pulled away from the horde of horsed mandalar. With each minute, they pulled further and further away.

The party and crew pushed hard to put as many miles between them and the pursuing horde as they could. They knew that now that they had taken the “anti-magic” weapon, those mandalar would chase them relentlessly. They pushed hard for almost an hour until the horde was over the horizon and completely out of sight.

The Iron Dragon turned off of the main road and headed toward a “good hiding spot” that Captain Kaizan knew about. Once the Iron Dragon was parked and well hidden, the Captain and crew began to assess damage to the vehicle. They didn’t have long before the mandalar tracked them to this hidden place so they worked fast.

William and Listig detached the anti-magic cannon from its swivel mount and wrapped it up in a blanket and put it in the party wagon. They did not tell Broken Foot about it, fearing his reaction.

The engineer and the captain made quick repairs to the control system so that they could steer from the bridge again. The captain was very displeased at the damage to the bridge and heartbroken over the death of his driver, but said that the ferocity of the attack was much more than usual. He was glad to have escaped at all. He admitted that the party had been instrumental in the battle and that their fighting prowess had no doubt saved his ship.

The party decided it was time to part ways from the Iron Dragon. They detached their wagon from the Iron Dragon, led their horses down the gangplank from the cargo hold and hitched them up.

The party said their goodbyes to the crew of the Iron Dragon and the two vehicles headed off in different directions. Brokenfoot went with the party. The Iron Dragon continued following the road toward Anquar and the party’s wagon headed in toward the center of the Border Clans region. The Talisman of Dreams indicated that’s where they would find the last missing talisman… the Talisman of the Land.

The party rode for two hours north, away from the road, before parking and camping for the night. They made no fire and maintained a guard throughout the night.

The next morning, William did another scan for the fourth Talisman. It was to the west of them. William was able to determine that the Talisman location had shifted. It was moving! Someone was carrying it.

The party travelled most of that day. At mid afternoon, they spotted a trail of black smoke rising up into the sky from just over the next hill. It was directly in their path.

The party crested the hill and found the aftermath of a battle that had taken place next to a small Kithdari ruin. The ground was littered with the bodies of the dead. In all, there were about twenty dead humans, twelve dead mandalar and a number of horses. There were four mandalar still on their feet. These four were tending to their dead and wounded.

These four mandalar were wounded, exhausted and in no shape to fight. Still, they raised their weapons as the party approached. Both sides were cautious. William used the Talisman’s translation function so that everyone could understand each other. Even so, the party let Brokenfoot do the talking. After some tense and cautious conversation, both sides relaxes, lowered their weapons and talked.

The party offered to heal the wounded mandalar and Brokenfoot convinced the lead mandalar to accept. The party used the Talisman of Blood to heal the six wounded mandalar. This bought them a great deal of good will.

Through conversation, the party learned much. The leader of this small mandalar group was named Grey Wolf. They were of a different clan than the clan that had attacked the Iron Dragon. His group was a warband hunting a “criminal” who had stolen from their clan. The party asked for more details. Grey Wolf explained that a human wizard and his companions had befriended their chieftain by “returning stolen Kithdari artifacts” and with “honeyed words”. Despite the objections of some, the chieftain had let the outlanders stay among their clan for many days. However, this hospitality was repaid with theft. The human wizard, a man named Lothian, had made off in the night like a thief with several pieces of treasure and kithdari artifacts. His companions were captured, but Lothian escaped.

The chieftain declared Lothian to be “aamatu” (enemy of the Kithdari) and sent forth several warbnads to hunt him down and return the stolen artifacts.

After several days of tracking and pursuit, Grey Wolf’s warband had found Lothian first, in the midst of looting a tomb at these ruins where the battle had taken place. They had expected to find Lothian alone. However, he was accompanied by more than twenty humans all wearing the same coat of arms.

The party examined the bodies of the men that had fought Greywolf’s warband. The coat of arms on the tunics of the men seemed to be some kind of trading guild symbol. Based on the symbol, arms, armor and other clues, the party suspected they were caravan guards or mercenaries. Grey Wolf made it clear that these men had followed Lothian’s orders and some had even sacrificed their lives in order to ensure Lothian’s escape.

The party conversed more with Grey Wolf, hoping to get more useful information. They asked about what he had stolen. Among the items, Grey Wolf mentioned a “metal charm”. When pressed for details he said it was a “worthless trinket”, but the description he gave matched the talismans exactly. Also he had broken into a chamber within these ruins and stolen more Kithdari relics.

The mandalar argued amongst themselves whether to continue after the criminal (with less than half their number) or go back to the clan for reinforcements. The party suggested that they join with them and go after the criminal and hunt him together.

One of the warband was a shaman and Grey Wolf asked his thoughts. The shaman said he would “consult the bones”. He rattled a bag of tiny bones and spilled them onto the ground. After peering and poking at them for some time, he declared “the bones tell me that these outlanders are not allies of the betrayer, but their spirit path crosses his, as does ours. I believe the Kithdari wish us to bring this aamatu to justice no matter the cost. They bring us the aid of these outlanders and we should not deny such a gift”.

“Very well” said Grey Wolf. “We go after Lothian together”.


This is where we ended.

Next session is July 7th, so the next next summary is a ways off. Mid July sometime.
David M. Roomes
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Offline tanis

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Re: Session 27 Summary
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2018, 05:32:46 PM »
What a fun session. Excited to hear where things go next, and looking forward to the conclusion of the story!
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 27 Summary
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 10:51:23 PM »
Next session will be July 7th and the session summary will be 2 or 3 days after that.
David M. Roomes
Creator of the World of Khoras