The World Of Khoras - DM Tools - Campaigns - The Warriors of the Mark

Chapter 3 - Quest for the Orb of Blood

The Journey to the Shard Wastelands

The information obtained by the players at the Lore Masters should lead to the next chapter. The players will head north to the ruins of Valdorumal, the first stronghold of Vellok. There they hope to figure out what's going on with them, their marks, their powers and why they were kidnapped. On horseback, it's several days, but if the players have the flying ship it's a short journey.

During this journey, the players will be able to discover the truth about what's going on with them. At least, part of it... assuming they have at least one wizard (mage, magic user, sorcerer, whatever) they will be able to discover some of the basic functions of the Essence Crystal. If the wizard is particularly skilled, they might even be able to use the crystal to discover that each of them has two souls. One stronger than the other. This might be enough for them to realize each of them is possessed by a spirit, of some kind.

The City of Rivergate

A good stopping point is the city of Rivergate. This is the last major city before the players trek into the wilderness of the Shard Wastelands. Here, at Rivergate, the players can restock their supplies, get information about the Shard Wastelands and even hire a guide if they wish. This is also an opportunity for a small side adventure or two if you want.

The Shard Wastelands can be as brutal or as easy as you want. Possibly events or encounters in the Wastelands include wandering monsters and shard storms.

The Ruins of Valdorumal (Vellok's First Stronghold)

Ground Level

It looks as if a multi-level tower/fortress collapsed many years ago into the heap of jumbled rubble before you. The ground level is spread out. Partial walls and stone arches still stand. Various forms of vegetation grow unchecked amoung the ruins. Several small animals scurry away at your approach. Many bits of armour, broken weapons, bones, pottery shards and other junk litter the ground. The whole area seems to have been looted. Large cracks in the ground and separation of some of the walls suggest an earthquake struck here long ago.

A Search Will Reveal Nothing.

You begin to hear sharp, chirping sounds. As you walk over toward the sounds, you see what appears to be a nest. Four young lizard-like creatures are chirping and growling. They each have a pair of leathery bat like wings. They are looking straight up.

A Draconis attacks. (A mature female defending her young). it only presses the attack as long as the party is near the nest. If they back off, she does. If the party threatens the nest, she will attack to kill. The party will have to somehow move the nest.

When the nest is cleared away, you find stairs leading down into darkness. A handrail follows the stairs down.

Sub Level 1 - Room Descriptions

Small empty room. Nothing of note.
One skrell sentry will be here at all times.

Main Storage
This large chamber is filled with junk. It appears to be a storage room that has been completely looted.
A search will reveal: Three blankets in good condition, 40 candles, 10 torches, 2 tinderboxes, 2 50' lengths of silken rope, 3 human sized cloaks.

Wine Cellar
This room has smashed glass and wood all about. A sweet, musty scent perfumes the air. Dark stains covered the walls and floor. A soft, crunching sounds under each footfall. Scrape marks are visible on the floor. Overturned cases. Several overturned wine racks and empty bottles litter the floor.
A search will reveal items in good condition: One bottle of Thunder Mead, one flask of Sutok, one flask of Dragon Spittle, one bottle of Gold Smoke Brandy, three bottles of Spiced Ale, one bottle of Normidian Black Mead.

The stones of the walls of this chamber a charred black. A thick, black powdery residue covers the walls and floor. A large pile of stones and rubble cover the center of the floor. Coal is intermixed with the rubble. A large circular shaft in the ceiling rises up about 14 meters. Thin beams of sunlight cut through rubble high above at odd angles.
A search will reveal nothing.

Furnace Workers' Area
This chamber has two skeletons chained to the wall. One is easily identified as a baenite based on the hand and foot structure. The other is most probably phellysian due to the double jointed knee structure.
The baenite skeleton has a Shield Ring clutched in its left hand.

Fuel Storage
This chamber is filled with tons of coal. It is very dusty. Many footprints crisscross in the black powder. (Skrell, large boots, odd claw marks and others).
A search will reveal nothing.

Metal Shop
A male dwarf is chained to the wall here. Metal junk litters a work bench. A large forge is set in the south wall. Numerous tools litter the area.
The skrell are forcing the dwarf to work on weapons and armour for them. His name is Helkran. He is a master metal smith, but only a first level fighter. Amoung the finished products are : 2 short swords, one battle axe. Helkran is currently working on a large suit of plate mail for Jhentarr. It is about half complete.

Stone Mason Shop
This chamber is filled with stone blocks, stone benches and stone cutting tools. The floor is littered with skrell beds (heaps of junk gathered into nest forms).
Besides a bewildering array of stone working tools, most in poor condition, there is nothing of value here.

Torture Chamber
This large, long room has a multitude of various torture implements. A long, oak table and several oak chairs are the center pieces of the room. Various bowls and bits of food suggest a dining function. A large knife is stuck in the table.
Two skrell guards are here at all times.

Garbage Shaft
This deep shaft is filled with tons of junk and garbage.
The earthquake opened up a connection to an underground cave system which leads deep into .

Sub-Level 2 - Room Descriptions

Main Lab
A huge room sprawls out in front of you. Mammoth stone arches support the stone ceiling. Two Skrell are sitting on the floor near the center of the room. Near them is a huge black cauldron. A foul stench seems to originate from the cauldron. The two are eating strips of meat. Many "nests" made from straw, wood and cloth litter the floor.

Disjunction Chamber
This immense chamber appears to be some sort of shrine. Against the far wall is a large stone structure in the form of a dais. At the heart of this dais is a structure resembling a three fingered hand. This three fingered hand clutches a large red crystalline sphere. A dark reddish light churns about inside the sphere. Red crackling lightning arcs connect the sphere to the surrounding stone. The walls are decorated with large stone panels upon which are engraved runes.

Before the sphere are three pedestals. The middle one is low and long (human sized). The other two contain small three fingered mounts (similar to the one that holds the sphere). Both are empty.
The three fingered sphere mount requires at least a 20 strength to break. There will be 10 to 20 skrell here at any one time. The three "holding areas" serve the high priest and the two lesser priests as ceremonial seats during rituals.

Scrying Chamber
This room is built around a large circular stone table which is built into the floor. A stone chair faces the table near the west wall. Two smashed wooden chairs litter the floor. Inset in the center of the stone table is a glass semi-sphere. A swirling mist continually churns about inside the sphere.
This sphere is a powerful scrying device. It is able to view and listen to any area surrounding a targeted person or object. The sphere can is limited as is a regular crystal ball. It automatically gives visual and audial information. All divination spells can be cast through it. This sphere will respond to verbal commands given by a mage if such commands are of a divination nature.

Observation Chamber
This small chamber is completely empty. A metallic panel in the east wall displays engraved markings and two keyholes.
Key 1 - Activates the outer shield. (One way matter shield).
Key 2 - Activates the inner shield. (One way energy shield).
Both keys are buried in the rubble. This room is currently being used as a guard room. There will also be at least four skrell guards present here.

Spell Testing Chamber
This huge room is decorated with various skulls. Many cracks and carbon scorches mark the walls. A throne sits on a pile of rubble at the east end of the room. Partially burned tapestries and coal drawings decorate the walls where the walls are not damaged are burnt. The drawings show a skrell (all drawings apparently show the same skrell) fighting various monsters.
This is the skrell chieftain's lair. He will have at least four guards and four females present.

Alchemy Chamber
This foul chamber is filled with rotting bodies, bone shards, shattered glass, rotted wood and piles of miscellaneous junk. Dark stains are on the wall and floor. An overturned table dominates the center of the room. Some flasks and vials are unbroken and are filled with colored liquids or powders.
If this chamber is thoroughly searched, the following will be found:

This large chamber was apparently once a library. Now, shattered chairs, splintered book cases and smashed tables are mixed with the remains of hundreds of books. A large pile of blankets and cloth are shoved into a far corner. A small table and chair sit in the southwest corner. A bowl and large spoon rest on the table. Piled against the south wall are books that seem to have been piece together and repaired recently.

This chamber is claimed by Jhentarr The Hooded. He is systematically repairing, studying and categorizing all of Vellok's journals and notebooks. He is also reading all of the magic books. He is trying to figure out how he was fused and how it can be undone. Topics include: Magic, Alchemy, Herbology, Animal Lore, Plant Lore, Religion, Philosophy, History, Astrology, etc.

This small square room is filled with junk and a terrible stench.
A search will reveal nothing.

Encounter with Jhentar the Hooded

Somewhere in the dungeon, the party will encounter Jhentarr the Hooded. It's likely they will see him as an enemy at first and there could even be a confrontation. Hopefully, they won't kill each other. They are both looking for the same thing. Jhentarr is a wealth of knowledge about Vellok and the past. He's also a valuable ally. Ideally, the party will join with Jhentarr and take on this dungeon together.

The most important information that Jhentarr can relate is that the Crystal of Ynthar has three parts,  that the first part (the Orb of Blood) is here in this dungeon and that all three crystals combined can undo previous effects. Therefore, the players and Jhentarr have the same goal. Jhentarr wants to be "undo" - i.e. restored to two separate individual creatures and end his constant suffering. The player characters want to remove the spirits that possess them and, possibly, bring back the original Warriors of the Mark to life. Jhentarr assures them that if they obtain all 3 parts of the crystal and unite them, the whole Crystal of Ynthar can do all of these things.

If the player characters haven't figured out the Essence Crystal yet, Jhentarr can help them out with that. From all of their studies, he knows a lot about the crystals and how to use them. He can show them how to use the Essence Crystal. With the crystal, he can also figure out that they are possessed by spirits and that it is those spirits that give them the marks and the special abilities. He will probably even be able to guess that the spirits are those of the original Warriors of the Mark.

The Orb of Blood

With Jhentarr, the player characters overcome the skrell, overcome the protoplasmic creature (and anything else you want to drop in this dungeon) and finally recover the Orb of Blood. Once they obtain the Orb of Blood, they will have two of the three crystals.

Once the players have the Orb of Blood, it's time to go after the final piece- the Though Shard. Jhentarr knows that the Though Shard is in the city of Arcanum in the nation of Carrikos. He knows exactly where it is. If the players are generally good, it's likely that they will simply invite Jhentarr along with them (since he has already proven very useful) in the final leg of the journey. He definitely wants to go.

If, for some reason, they refuse and leave him behind, the campaign can still be finished without him. In fact, he could become an enemy which shows up later to cause trouble. Although Jhentarr could bargain with his knowledge. He knows exactly where the Thought Shard is and the players need to know. So, allies by circumstance, perhaps.

Either way, the players are going to need both crystals and they are going to need to find the third piece. Off to the city of Arcanum!

This page last updated Wednesday, December 24, 2008. Copyright 1990-2009 David M. Roomes.

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