Session 16 Summary

Started by David Roomes, January 22, 2017, 12:22:51 PM

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David Roomes

Session 16  Summary

The Player Characters  (aka the "Heroes")

Winlock – orc/dwarf barbarian, wearing heavy chain mail armor and wielding a big war hammer
William – the party's wizard, human male, robed and armed with a broad array of spells
Belkor – the dashing human swordsmen/mariner wielding twin scimitars
Listig – the elven thief/archer equipped with several different enchanted arrows

The Current Non Player Characters

Halimir - An elven ranger, who has fought along side the party for several game sessions now.

The players had just arrived by ship at the city of Visaal, an imperial Padashani city on the coast. They had arrived in a storm battered ship that was leaking badly and had barely made it.

The city before them was large and busy sea port with a population of more than ten thousand. It was an arid place... hot, dry and sandy. [DM Note - The players have crossed into the southern hemisphere, so it's spring going on into summer down here in Padashan].

The player characters took a moment to marvel at the city before them. The unusual architecture consisted of tall glittering minarets, huge domes and graceful archways. The buildings were built of sandstone blocks, fire glazed mudbricks and trimmed with colorful ceramic tiles. They could see a imposing tower in the distance, a magnificent palace and some sort of domed temple. Flower filled gardens and tropical trees added yet more color to the beautiful city.

It seemed that this bustling city was hosting both a market day and some sort of festival. The streets and plazas were crowded with hundreds. The women wore loose fitting, brightly colored wraps while the men wore loose ankle length robes buttoned up the front and sporting high, decorative collars. Most of the men wore beards and many were wearing turbans and head wraps.

A portly gentlemen with a turban and forked beard waddled down the dock toward the party. Behind him were two guards in light leather armor and carrying glaives. The turbaned man gave a sweeping bow and a smile.

"Hamaten, Ik Iyaa, a Visaal" he said to the group. He then gestured to himself and said  "Basan da moor Sathrat ibn Tukal". He then looked at the ship and said "Atuush ba ujan palara"

The party glanced at each other, realizing that none of them spoke a word of Padashi. Seeing that he was not being understand, he then switched to very broken Southern. "Ah! You be from Ithria. Yes? No speak Padashi? Very well. I Sathrat. Welcome to City Visaal. Ship [points to ship] mooring fee. Pa [holds one finger] ujan per day."

The party called for Captain Kruegar, who was down below patching the leak. He came up, covered in tar, and paid the dock master. The party asked the captain if he could stay in Visaal for a full month. Knowing that he had at least two full weeks of repairs to the ship and that he had already been paid quite well, Captain Kruegar agreed to stay an additional two weeks after that. If the party had not returned within four weeks, he was free to go.

The party headed up toward what seemed to be a central market plaza. The market plaza was filled with exotic foods, strangely dressed people and unfamiliar music. It drove home just how foreign a land they were in. They looking for a money changer and found five of them, in large tents, set up at the edge of the huge plaza.

While they were considering which one to, a scrawny barefoot beggar approached them. He was a thin man with curly black hair, a large nose and a friendly smile. He whispered to Listig in heavily accented Southern...  "Gentle lord, I would advise you seek the services of the Guild of Three Crescent Moons, they are the most fair to outlanders. They will give you the most fair exchange rate."

Listig nodded a thank you and stepped forward to the tent with three yellow crescent moons on a green background. The money changers spoke a little Southern and the party asked to exchange several hundred gold pieces. This raised a few eyebrows and forced the money changers to open a second coffer, but they were able to make the exchange.

After they had exchanged their money, the scrawny beggar approached again. "Greetings noble outlanders. I can see that you are new to our realm and might be in need of guidance. My name is Almahdi ibn Varan ibn Makousa. You may call me Almahdi. It means "divinely guided to the right path".  Allow me the great honor of being your interpreter and guide, for the most humble fee of one silver amat with every passing sun. It will be coin well spent, I assure you. No one knows the city of Visaal like humble Almahdi. I know every brick and grain of sand in this city, every short cut, every bargain, every person. I know which taverns water down their wine and which whores are clean. I can steer you clear of danger and lead you to reward. So fear not. With me as your guide, no harm can befall you. So, do we have a deal?"

The party decided to allow him to be their guide and interpreter. They paid him a gold ujan (which bought them 4 days of service). [DM Note - Almahdi had asked for one silver for "each passing sun". Since Khoras has 2 suns, that means he is getting paid 2 silver per day].

They told Almahdi that Listig was a noble in his homeland and a big game hunter and that the others were his servants and guards. They asked Almahdi to take them somewhere they could purchase appropriate garb to blend in with the locals. Almahdi took them to a garment shop where Listig and William each purchased a parang... an ankle length robe with a high button up collar. It was what most of the local men wore. Belkor and Winlock just purchased large cloaks with deep hoods in the local style (large enough to fit over their armor).
The party decided that they should acquire a map of the local region and asked Almahdi about that.

"Ah, a map..." Almahdi said. "There are not many who own maps of the province and few would be willing to part with them. But, I know just the man. Karzanath. He has a shop near here. He sells love potions and charms to keep evil spirits at bay. He is a wise scholar. He has many books, scrolls, maps. But he is very short on charm. Not like humble Almahdi".

And so he took them to Karzanth's shop. It was a small, two story stone building crammed to the rafters with scrolls, books, maps, spell components, potions, charms, powders, alchemical equipment, dissected creatures and other fouler things. William liked the place immediately.

Karzanath was a tall thin man with a pointed beard and a permanent scowl. When Almahdi explained that the party needed a map, Karzanath refused, saying he would not sell to outlanders. Almahdi and he argued back and forth until finally they struck upon a deal.

Almahdi turned to the group and explained... He says that he would normally not sell the map to outlanders. However, there is one way you could earn the right to purchase this map. He very much wants a case of gramash from a tavern down the street... an establishment called the House of Seven Blossoms. The proprietor of the establishment has taken an unreasonable dislike to him and has forbidden the sale of their gramash to him or anyone who knows him. However, you are new here and unknown. You could purchase the gramash and arouse no suspicion. He says that if you will acquire a case of gramash for him, he will sell you the map.

The party asked why the tavern wouldn't sell gramash to Karzanath and Almahdi explained that Karzanath had made inappropriate advances toward the proprietor's sister.

The party agreed to the terms and headed straight for the House of Seven Blossoms. The party went in while Almahdi waited across the streeth. Almahdi couldn't go in because they might suspect him of buying the gramash for Karzanath.

Aptly named, the air in the House of Seven Blossoms smelled of jasmine, mint, saffron, crocus and a dozen other pleasant fragrances. Several people looked up from their meals and pipes to look at the pale skinned strangers. The party spoke with the proprietor (William had used a Tongues spell on Listig from the Talisman so that he could easily converse in padashi). They continued to use the story of Listig being a visiting nobleman and big game hunter visiting the Padashan Empire. They purchased two cases of gramash and returned to the Karazanath's shop where they were finally able to purchase two maps – one of the empire and one of the local province.

The party next had Almahdi take them to a place where they could purchase horses and a wagon. They had a long journey ahead of them. Almahdi took them to a place at the edge of town, that had several acres fenced in. It had a variety of carts, litters, chariots and wagons for sale. It also sold an assortment of steeds and beasts of burden.

With Almahdi translating, they talked to the proprietor. It just so happened that he had a large merchant wagon that he felt he would not be able to sell, and was willing to sell it to the party for one quarter it's value. They took a look at it. It was a huge and sturdy wagon, with high wooden walls, and a colorful paint job. It was in very good condition.

The party asked why the proprietor would have trouble selling it. Almahdi explained: He says he has a wagon that he will not be able to sell because of local superstition. The men who rode in to town on this wagon were near death and died shortly after arriving. It is considered bad luck to possess an object that was last in possession of one who died. No one will buy the wagon and so he will let you have it for one quarter it's value.

The party agreed. They also paid the proprietor extra to repaint the wagon and add a covered top. He agreed, but would need a full day to do the work.

Almahdi then took the party back into town and they got a room at reputable looking inn.

The city of Visaal was in the middle of its spring festival and much of the festivities occurred in the evening. After dinner, the party headed out to enjoy the festival. By this time, the party was quite taken with Almahdi and invited him to join them. The food was good and the wine flowed freely. Winlock participated in a wrestling contest while the rest of them bet on him. He went up against two opponents and beat them by smashing their heads together. This victory won the party some extra coin.

A short while later, in a large drinking tent next door, the party came to the aid of an unfortunate bar maid. She was being restrained by two drunken mercenaries while a fellow soldier shot arrows at a tankard of ale they had placed on her head. Four other drunken members of their mercenary company looked on and applauded.

The party, including Almahdi, intervened. Listig and Almahdi tried to be diplomatic, but one of the drunken mercs drew his sword and stabbed Almahdi in the belly. Almahdi crumbled to the floor. The party leapt to his defense and attacked the mercenaries. Patrons in the drinking tent screamed and scrambled to get out of the way while the two groups of warriors clashed. A flurry of sword strikes, arrows and spells erupted, but it was over quickly. Within seconds, five of the mercenaries lay dead or dazed on the ground. The remaining two released the barmaid and fled.

William tended to Almahdi and stopped the bleeding. They gave him a bit of healing magic. It was enough to get him back on his feet, but he was still  injured. The city guard arrived and might have arrested the party, but the bar maid described the party as heroes and the mercenaries as drunken louts who had gotten what they deserved. Several other bar patrons backed up her story. It quickly become apparent that these mercenaries were not well liked. The city guards took the bodies of the mercs away.

The party took Almahdi to a place called the Halls of Healing (a hospital of sorts run by the Hramish priests) and left him there for the night in the care of the city healers.

Later that night, back at the inn, William sat and mediated with the Talisman. Using its magic, he focused on the Talisman of Blood (the one the party was seeking next) to try to discern its location. The witch had been able to do it for the missing three Talismans and William had finally unlocked this power. Based on the scribbled map that they had recovered from the witch, he expected it lay somewhere to the east. He was surprised when he finally felt its presence, several hundred leagues to the south. He studied the maps of the region that they had acquired. It was spread out on the floor before him. It seemed that the Talisman of Blood was somewhere in the vicinity of the city of Qazadeen, but he could not get a precise location. [DM Note - The city of Qazadeen is new and is not on the current map of Khoras, but it will be on the new map. Qazadeen lies due south of Visaal, on the river, very close to where the river begins].

The following morning, the party visited several places in town, purchasing various foodstuffs and supplies that they would need for the road. During all conversations, they continued to maintain the story that Listiq was a noble in his homeland and a big game hunter and the others were his servants and guards.

In the late afternoon, they went back to the Hall of Healing to check in on Almahdi. His wounds were doing well under the care of the priests. While they were there, they asked the elders if they could hire a healer to accompany them on a journey. They offered a bag of gold. As it turned out, there was a young priest at the hall who had broken several church laws and the elders were discussing how best to discipline him. His name was Nassan "the Dour". After some discussion, the elder priests decided that Hram had answered their prayers and thought it would be fitting punishment to send Nassan with this group of outlanders as servant. The party told them they were return in the morning to fetch Nassan.

The wagon was ready, but the party wanted to begin their journey in the morning, so they stayed another night in the city. That evening, they joined in again with the festivities. They danced, drank and feasted in one of the city plazas. Winlock bought drinks for locals and engaged many in conversation. He encouraged them to talk about the festival and their country, hoping to hear useful rumors for the road ahead.

A huge man in heavy armor approached the party's table and sat down. He thanked them for helping his sister (the bar maid that the thugs had been harassing the night before). He stated that they had "defended her honor" and he was bound by honor to repay them. They asked who he was and he said his name was Kordufe and he was one of the captains of the city guard. He volunteered to go with them on their journey. They politely declined his offer, but asked if they would keep an eye on the ship and crew that had brought them to the city. Kordufe agreed, promising that no harm would befall the ship or crew. He also gave them his one and only potion of healing, as an additional thanks.

The next morning, the party returned to the Hall of Healing to fetch their hired healer, Nassan. They also asked Almahdi, whom they liked very much, to come with them as a guide and translator. Almahdi, who was convinced that the great god Hram has put these strange outlanders in his life for a reason, accepted.

By mid morning all preparations were made and the party passed through the south gate of Visaal and headed south on the road to Qazadeen. Their new wagon proved a very comfortable ride. It was spacious enough for everyone to rest comfortably while the two big horses they had purchased plodded along at a steady pace. The party took turns driving the wagon.

According to the map they had purchased, the main road led from the city of Vissan almost due south to the town of Qazadeen. It would take about two full weeks to reach Qazadeen.

Over the next six days, the party passed through various towns and villages (Nashif, Yatma, Mushid, Bayut and Gezlanya) until finally, on the evening of the sixth day, they reached the village of Helgefia.

Helgefia was the last village they would pass through for awhile as south of it the road went through  a broad stretch of desert with few villages.

They stayed the night in Helgefia and quickly learned that the town of Helgefia had a sickness. Dozens of people were very sick and five had already died from it. The party inquired about the illness and spoke to the town's healer, a very old hramish priest named Yaqibe. They asked if they could help. Yaqibe said that they could. He told them of the sword tip mushroom, a fungus that had medicinal properties and might help. It was uncommon in the region as it required cool and moist air to thrive, but he knew where some was. He had sent a villager three days ago to fetch some but the young man had not returned. Yaqibe asked if they would be willing to make the journey to fetch the mushrooms and find out what happened to the young villager. The party agreed. The old man drew a map showing the way to a rocky cluster of hills to the east.

The next morning the party jumped in their wagon and headed east. They travelled for several hours before they found the rocky hills. Yaqibe had described a small rocky hill with a great cleft in it forming a narrow cave mouth. The party found it with no problem.

They parked the wagon outside. Halimir, Almahdi and Nassan stayed with the wagon.

The cave entrance was like a crack in the side of a huge boulder. It was long and narrow, but as they went in deeper it widened into a cave. Above them blue sky peaked in through the cleft overhead, but in the belly of the cleft it was cool and wide with shadows. They party could see green plants clinging to the rocky edges and hear the drip of water.
As the entered the cave, they saw a dried up channel in the floor with a natural stone arch over it. On the far side, in the shadows they saw movement and heard a deep guttural growl.

A large humanoid creature strode forward. It was big, easily head and shoulders above the tallest of them and looked to weight more than all of them put together. It had a rough hairless hide. Small eyes peered out from a bestial face. It's forehead was crowned by a single curved horn. This creature was a sand troll. The troll bellowed a challenge and then lowered its head and charged covering the distance with surprising speed. It aimed its horn at Belkor. Belkor threw himself to the side at the last second and the creature impaled its horn into solid rock, where Belkor had been standing a second before.

Belkor and Winlock returned the creature's animosity and began hacking at the thing with blades while Listig and William fire arrows and spells into it. The party quickly found that this sand troll's hide was very thick and covered in bony plates in several places. More than one arrow and blade glanced off. Meanwhile the beast delivered several stunning blows against Winlock and Belkor.

A smaller troll lacking a horn, a female, soon appeared and joined the fight. Luckily, the female proved much weaker and was killed quickly. The big male took quite a few arrows, spells and sword blows before Winlock finally landed the killing blow and dropped the beast. 

After the fight, the party searched the cave. In a shadowy nook to the side of the cave, they found a cluster of tall silver mushrooms which exactly matched Yaqibe's description. They dug up the mushrooms and carefully wrapped them up as he had told them to do.

The cave also had some sort of nesting area used by the creatures. The foul nest was a mixture of branches, logs, dirt and shredded cloth. Scattered about the nest were old bones, skulls, boots and so forth... the remains of past victims. A few bones were bloody and seemed from a recent kill. Undoubtedly the villager that Yaqibe had sent three days ago.
There were also several shiny metal objects include knives, tankards, spoons and hundreds of coins. The nest was foul but that, of course, did not stop the adventurers from scouring it and retrieving every last coin. Most were padashi coins – gold ujans, silver amats and copper habans – but a few other coins were mixed in as well.

William did a quick scan of the cave for magic. He did not expect to find any and so he was surprised when he felt a small flicker of magic coming from the big troll. The flicker of magic seemed to be coming from inside the creature.

Not waiting for the others, Winlock took his knife and began carved away at the beast. While the others watched, Winlock proceeded to disemboweled the creature. Very quickly he was half way inside the creature and covered in blood. However, a moment later he climbed out of the troll's belly clutching a prize. He was a partially digested skeletal human hand. On one bony finger was a ring... the source of the magic.

In addition to this, the part found a few other bits of treasure. They found a suit of ornate heavy armor, n ornate bracelet fashioned of bone and onyx bearing a skull symbol, a very nice bow fashioned of wood and metal, a beautifully crafted dagger and two metal arrows. The two metal arrows and the dagger are enchanted.

Listig cut off the horn from the sand troll. He thought it would make a good "prize" and would lend credibility to their story of him being a big game hunter.

Having recovered the mushrooms and done a thorough search of the cavern, the party grabbed the treasure they had found and left. Outside, they found another female sand troll, dead on the ground, shot full of arrows. Halimir had killed it while protecting Almahdi and Nassan.

And this is where we ended Session 16.

David M. Roomes
Creator of the World of Khoras


I love how, as of the last two sessions, you've upgraded Halimir from redshirt status. I also expect I'm going to become fond of Almahdi, assuming he survives a while. :)
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.

David Roomes

Humble Almahdi has, in a single session, become a favorite NPC of several of us. I do a voice with a thick accent. Actually, I'm basing Humble Almahdi on a movie character. Grant Heslov did a character named "Arpid" in the 2002 movie "The Scorpion King". Yeah, that is exactly who I picture when I do Humble Almahdi, the voice and everything. I expect Almahdi will be with us for a good long while simply because he is so damn entertaining.

Also, Halimir has survived so many sessions as a humble red shirt through sheer stupid LUCK that he has now attained "DM favored" status. I've decided that, from here on out, no matter how fierce the battle, no matter how weak the crumbling bridge, no matter how exponentially bad the shit storm gets, Halimir will find some hilariously unlikely way to survive it. He is un-killable.
David M. Roomes
Creator of the World of Khoras


LOL, 1) I vote that at the end of the campaign, a session epilogue with any and all Halimir-Must-Die moments included for the readers' enjoyment and edification, and 2) I look forward to seeing the new NPC page for Halimir is his post-campaign position within the World of Khoras.
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.