Khevoran 3 Session Notes – 30 June 2018

Khevoran 3 Session Notes – 30 June 2018

28 Gozran, 44 NC

The party begins to explore the city of black stone.  The goblins of the party have a very different experience of the city – apparently the city is brightly colored with murals and art, but it’s only visible in spectra that they can see.

After a lucky break discovering how to open doors in the buildings, they find that they all appear not only completely abandoned, but completely empty as well.  A city of empty rooms.  A few dozen yards into the city, they find what appear to be the blasted remains of several orcs.  While examining the remains, they begin to hear heavy footsteps, which resolves itself to a 10-meter high golem apparently made of the same material as the city itself.  It broadcasts a demand in a language no one understands, so the party retreats back to the entrance.  The golem follows them so far, then seems to lose interest.

Snot takes off across and through building rooftops to explore the city, and the golem pursues, but can’t pin the goblin down.  At the same time, Matten steals into the city in an attempt to distract the giant.  The golem loses interest in Snot and pursues Matten back to the entrance.

At the city center, Snot discovers a bedroll and travel gear in one empty building.  After stealing some writing instruments from the bag, he returns to the entrance.

Meanwhile, Jacob was deciphering the language used by the golem, which seemed to be an extremely ancient variation or root of Elven.  He discovers that the golem is demanding a passphrase to allow entry.  Jacob attempts to provide a passphrase, and the golem attacks.

The creature launches explosives into the midst of the party, and in the first salvo many are injured.  Dan’s three goblin companions are killed.  Matten attempts to attack the creature while the rest of the party retreats, and quite dramatically destroys the creature.

While the party is recovering, they hear another approach.  Around the corner comes Ralben, who sighs and says, “Oh, it’s you.”

Ralben escorts the party back to the city center and into the building where Snot had found the campsite.  He touches the wall and a table, chairs, and even food emerge from the black stone.  He states that it’s not the real thing, but it’s nourishing and tastes nearly the same.

There’s a lot of back and forth in the conversation, and Ralben remains fairly cryptic and elusive, but the party learns a number of facts:

  • There is a statue in the city center that appears to be of Ralben.  He doesn’t dispute that fact, and he sneers that they celebrated “his greatest failure”.
  • Shara Tev was Ralben’s niece.
  • Ralben is the last  of his people that he knows of, “at least here”.  He is astoundingly old.
  • Ralben doesn’t believe that Jacob Mengst has the potential to be the transformative leader like his father.  Being raised as a prisoner made him somewhat meek and fearful.
  • Ralben is as confused about Delayne Muerdetta as the rest.  He’s bemused that both he and Jacob Dain were “bamboozled by the girl”.
  • Ralben talks about his tome containing the “greatest secret”, or at least, the most dangerous secret for the Kisharans to discover.

Nimue pressed Ralben about the tome.  Ralben told the story about how Nimue’s father discovered the tome at the Waygate site and discovered its secrets.  Ralben said his mind was gone at the end, and the secret must be kept.

When Nimue asks directly if Ralben killed her father, he says, “Yes.”

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. patricia
    Jul 28, 2018

    The city seemed deserted, so we carefully made our way down to it. While it looked pretty much dark to us, the goblins saw something more. Reliefs on the walls that to us were black. Writings that we couldn’t even see.

    The buildings were closed, and there were no obvious doors, but Starry Night was able to find some mechanism to open the door to at least one of them. It was a disappointment, though; there was nothing there. Nothing at all; no furniture, no stuff lying around. No dust at all. Which I found odd. Granted, if the buildings were pretty much sealed and we were the first to open one for ages, there wouldn’t necessarily be a lot of dust, but some, at least, I would have expected.

    There wasn’t much dust outside either, though. The cave itself should have had a layer of dust far thicker than it actually was. It could mean that someone, or something, actually kept the place reasonably clean. Oh, clean, except from the remains of some orcs. They looked like they’ve been… burned?

    Then we heard the footsteps. It was the sound of something giant heading our way. It didn’t take long until we saw it, it being a giant golem. The “you need a ladder to fight this thing” kind of big. Somewhere around ten meters high, it appeared to be made from the same black stone as the city was made from. So, clearly, the city had a guardian.

    It said something, but none of us were able to understand it. Instead, we pulled back up the stairs leading out of the cave. Seemingly, that was sufficient for it, as the golem stopped. And then, of course, Starry Night took off across the rooftops, seemingly wanting to explore further into the city.

    The golem followed, at which point Matten decided to distract the golem. He headed downstairs, and into the city. The golem noticed and started following him instead, and pretty much chased him right back to us. All we could do was wait for Starry Night to come back.

    It didn’t take him long, and when he returned, he brought with him something he said he’d taken from a bag in one of the buildings. Some writing tools that looked fairly new. He also mentioned that there had been some fresh food there, so clearly, we were not alone in the city. He also mentioned that there was a statue at the center of the city. A statue that looked remarkably like Ralben.

    Jacob had been working on translating the language the golem spoke. He said something about the golem wanting a passphrase, and decided to make an attempt. He spoke some strange words, and then the golem attacked. There was some sort of explosion hurled at us, instantly killing Dan’s three goblin friends. A couple of arrows and attacks didn’t even dent it, so we started pulling back, several of us injured, in addition to the three dead goblins.

    We started retreating towards the tunnels, dragging Jacob with us, when Matten headed down towards it and attacked. Somehow, I still have no idea how, he managed to jump or climb high enough up to stab it in the head. The golem collapsed, and did not rise again.

    I headed back to the others to check on them. Sanorin dealt with the injuries, so we were pretty much ok physically. But Dan… He had just lost all three of his goblin followers, and he seemed to take it pretty hard. Fetid and Rotting Trees; Ground News and Tea; and Seven Hares in Trap. I have to admit, goblins have strange names. But I suppose our names sound equally strange to them.

    So, Dan was grieving. Harder than the rest of our team. True, they had been his, in the same way that Gidget and Fawn belong to Sanorin. Still, I found it somewhat peculiar how it was the artificial elf who mourned the dead goblins. Starry Night said something about how they would be remembered. The rest did not really seem to care much about three dead goblins.

    I really wasn’t sure how to handle it. I suppose the fact that Dan wasn’t, well, flesh and blood, and that it was goblins, rather than humans, elves, dwarves or halflings he mourned, was what made it weird. Which in itself was kind of foolish. Granted, I had grown up in a world where goblins were enemies. Not very bright, but still enemies. But I had been travelling with first one, then four for some time now. They had fought side by side with us, and done what they could to help. And their fate too was on the line here. So I made a mental note of keeping an eye on Dan, to make sure he got through this.

    While we were recovering, we heard someone approach. This one didn’t sound as if he was ten meters tall, though. And he wasn’t. He also wasn’t a stranger. Not entirely.

    Ralben. We probably should have guessed, given the statue that Starry Night had mentioned. He did not seem thrilled to see us, but he did lead us into the city, to the center and the building where Starry Night had found his camp. He touched something on the wall, and furniture and food appeared from the black stone.

    Ralben didn’t really answer many of our questions. Mostly, he was evasive and didn’t want to give us straight answers. He was less evasive when it came to Muerdetta; he seemed genuinely puzzled by her actions. And then we were back at the book.

    He had known Father. He told us how Father had found the tome, figured out what it meant, and had run. That Ralben had taken the book from Father. He claimed that at the end, Father’s mind was gone. Well, I didn’t notice much of that, and I’m not sure he was right about that.

    I think both Ralben and I knew where we were headed by now. Still, asking the question was hard. So I told him that the soldiers who killed Father weren’t soldiers from the south. So many things unsaid, but that Ralben, at last, would catch.

    “No.”

    So much information in that simple ‘no’. For a moment, I was back in the attic, nine years old, listening to them as they killed him. I knew Ralben hadn’t been there, but we both knew that wasn’t the real question.

    “Did you kill him?”

    “Yes.”

    And so, that final question. What do you do when you find the answer to that question points back at someone who’s at least marginally an ally?

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