This site is an online accumulation of the Post Reports for my current ongoing D&D Campaign - for anyone who might be interested in reading them.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Addon, Adv 1, Arnax

During their time in the K'Tharkian cave, they had chanced upon a burly and loquacious bugbear named Arnax. Arnax had been wounded badly, his left leg removed at the knee - but he still lived and had holed himself up in an area of the cave where there was fresh water, food, and tons of raw supplies - so the kobold's left him there (except for occasionally trying to sneak up on him to kill him) since rooting him out was too expensive in bodies. He was alive and well off (relatively) but hobbled and unable to truly escape the caves.

This was the conversation that Arnax had with the party after they had earned his friendship - it was a nice bit of monologuing by a normally monstrous creature and their view on the way of things.

The song tellers of our clan talk of days past when the moon is swallowed by Fenris to remind us of times beyond today. I have heard the chants since I was old enough to remember and they talk of our people and the blood oath we swore to the Mountain Ogrelords of Sutur. We came armed with spear and claw, sword and fang, talon and bow – we came from the lands beyond and took revenge on the dwarves and men who had sided against the Jotun. By deed and blood we gave up our homelands and rode to glory and war against our enemy.

The song tellers talk of glory and combat as if they were the same thing, but they are neither. Combat is cruel and gritty, and should be done as fast as possible for as Fenris knows, if you hesitate, you will find yourself captured and hobbled and the only recourse you have is to bite and scratch at whatever you can sink your teeth into – missing the right opportunity until it is too late.

Drywood was our clan and the song tellers speak as if we numbered in the tens of hundreds but the song tellers must lie for our clan number 26 today…assuming I am included and no one else has passed on since I first left 127 days ago. But they talk and tell the tales of how we did as the Orgelords commanded and riches and tribute were paid to us. But that we were tricked, for the Ravens of Odin swarmed over the land on leather wings with mouths filled with lightning. They beat and broke and battered against all until even Yggradsil must have groaned and shook the entirety of the earth.

The song tellers sing then the dirge of lament where we buried our dead and howled at the moon. They talk of the pain and the need for vengeance; but we ask now, what is there to seek vengeance against? The man-cities were covered by the Ravens of Odin, the Ogrelords were beset by the Ravens of Odin, all were struck low by the Ravens of Odin. Would we seek vengeance against those who were suffered and struck the same? What glory is there in that?

The song tellers then speak of the Compact and the Homepath – and for that every clanmate would be pleased to have. The Ogrelords hold the ancestral lands closed to us – they hold the lands beyond the borders of man-cities closed to all who took the bloodoath – saying that the Compact was not filled since the goals of Sutur were not met. The Homepath is all that is open to all who followed the Flaming Banner and seek to return home. The Homepath is the way.

The Homepath costs money. Blood has not been fulfilled, so an equal value must be paid. The song tellers sing then at this time the song of hope, reminding us that the Homepath is an option and in time we will afford the passage price to go beyond the holds and passes. I have never seen the ancestral lands, neither have any alive in my clan, nor have our fathers. But we can feel it in our hearts and we would like to go home.

So we scrape together bits of treasure or pieces of information and when we get enough of it, we give it to the Ogrelords and they let us know how much more it will take to open the Homepath and we return for more.

My clan is a dying clan. There are less alive today than there were ten seasons ago and less alive than ten season before that. The time for us to afford the Homepath I fear is ending. But to say it aloud only lends weight to the matter that lurks in all of our hearts.

The K’Tharkian’s too seek to go home, but their clan is flourishing. Their numbers are stronger, their warriors numerous, their price paid to satisfy their Compact is being met faster than ours. Once according to the song tellers our two clans worked together – in the days before the ascendancy of Kuluk the Terrible.

Never before has there been a chieftain like him. Diabolical where others are cruel, sadistic where others are mean, heartless where others are petty – he has done more for his clan than any three other chiefs before him. But Terrible is his name and it is not given lightly, for he is almost a match for any of my clanmates in single combat but Kuluk is also horribly blessed by Fenris and has survived many engagements before.

K’Tharkian’s no longer count us as friends, seeing us as competition. They have much in man-treasure and much in man-coin. They have friends amongst men and use men to further their means.

A plan was made by Djark, our clan headman, that we should follow Kuluk’s brother Kraygel when he comes and leaves the homewarren to see where he gets and gathers the man-treasures he brings. I was chosen because of my skill in stealth and plants and stone. My three other clanmates were Ungar - tracker of the devil-bear and skilled in the bow, Berina – keen-eyed and swift of leg, and Lorf – who once wrestled with a great sabre-toothed cave-cat and did not get wounded.

Ungar brought us here and we snuck in, learning of what the K’Tharkian’s were doing by gathering man-castoffs and taking the best of it back to the homewarren. Of allowing man-carriages to pass on passes they watched and taking coin from them every time instead of looting the wagons at once. But we were found and the chance to retreat was cut off. We fought hard and long, Ungar dying first…then Lorf…and finally Berina. But we made it expensive for Kraygel to send his kobolds against us…so expensive that he eventually stopped. For a while.

So here I am, four months here and lamed. I know of what the K’Tharkian’s have done so far, but it helps my clanmates not since I cannot get back and tell them. Kraygel has taken 3 of my clanmates and my foot and leg…but I still live and draw breath and pierce easily any K’Tharkian he seeks to send here to assault me.

It would be nice if the song tellers would hear of my tale and add my story to their songs. But I will not be able to tell them unless I could get out of here. And Kraygel will not let me get far.

Meet 4, Adv 1, 10/20/07

The party had finally reached town and had a small pile of coins and goods they had gathered from the K'Tharkian caves - not enough to cover training - but enough to outfit themselves. And that they did! Had to take a bondsmanship to Sir Watler which meant that they were effectively shackled to Orihalcus - except Zoltan who wrangled out of it. Took an oath of fealty instead - which so far I haven't had to call on him yet.

Write up follows:

We were treated to baths (under guard) at the Blue and Dancing Minepick Inn, given cots to rest on in the Courthouse (under guard), and fed both a late supper and a breakfast the next morning (under guard) at which time, Hedonim was summoned to private council with Sir Walter Slaine and his council of advisers. Sheriff Phozarn had some conversation with you about the slavers and the K'Tharkian's privately and off the record ;after which time you were summoned to speak to Sir Walter and escorted there (under guard). Leaving Detheron, Puck, Fodder, and Ringo behind to watch your stuff.

There was a small delay and you waited patiently until you were allowed into the council chamber. Sir Walter was there, along with 5 advisers - 3 were identified: Marzen Orihalcus, dwarven guildmaster of the Metallurgy Guild, Frau Gail, headspeaker for the Greengrocer Commune, and at Sir Walter's right was an old man identified as Adeptus Bjorn Icingson, high advisor to the local lord.

You were then asked about your exploits in greater detail - Bjorn asking a few pertinent questions. They had you tell of the day you were captured, your trip over land, and even the time you spent in the caves. Little was missed and many questions were asked. Then the council spoke amongst themselves with Bjorn making noises along the lines that your group might be of use - which led to Sir Walter offering to sponsor your group. A bondsman agreement was to follow for a period of one year and one day - but Sir Walter would cover your living arrangements as well as training - plus getting your troupe a discount regarding outfitting. Plus there was going to be some effort on his part to help your party learn what they could about the slavers in question that captured you: Specifically that Djohrgahd and/or the circleburst and wolf standard on the scrap of contract you've carried with you. As a final plus and bow, he was going to make sure that a charter for your group from the Adventurer's and Antiquarian's Guild in Cymbarton would be drawn up and sent here - officially having your band a part of the guild and allowing you to be treated as a whole unit - giving your party some weight and potential marketability.

There was a wrinkle as Zoltan said he could not take a bondsman agreement - as his people had only just been freed from indenture - and willingly going back would be to unpalatable for him. Instead, Sir Walter accepted an oath of fealty from Zoltan - with the understanding that he is representative of Sir Walter and Orihalcus - and as long as both of them have similar goals - there would be no reason to work at odds.

The party talked and touched upon the Tabards found - 5 of them, and the strangeness of their appearance in the K'Tharkian warren. You learned that Orihalcus has a standing militia of fifteen, including Sheriff Phozarn - and can muster another 50 if pressed within a short period of time - after that the quality of skilled fighters drops considerably. No guards have been reported missing, and there was some worry over where these tabards came from. You learned that the material is made in Cymbarton and sent here - where a local clothier named Yrrg cuts, hems, dyes, and embroiders them - chartered to do so roughly 3 or 4 times a year. You were told to keep the Tabards as you are now representatives of Orihalcus and sponsored by Sir Walter - and then you were told that you were free to visit your new home (for the next year and a day) and make what shopping or purchases you needed to - and personages assigned by Sir Walter to you to handle your room, board, and training would be contacting you soon.

Group went back, split up the coins and goods - happy to see a large pile of money - and then decided to kill two (or three) birds with one stone: Sell the 2 Bolts of silk that Gwyn said would be worth at least 50 crowns a pop, Talk to Yrrg about the tabards and learn what we could from her...and buy clothes!!!

Karis made friends with an impressionable guardsman who told the half-ogre to contact him if he needed anything and then the group left the courthouse and went to Yrrg's Skeins. Yrrg was a dwarven woman just into the middle years of her life, and had a quartet of seamstresses working with her in her crowded yet neat shop. She admitted the tabards were not forgeries and were made by her - but she had no idea where they came from as she makes them and gives them to her lordship's reeve. The silks she bought from you for 65 crowns a pop - which netted the troupe 130 crowns - AND she admitted that she had ordered the self same silk bolts about a year ago but they were lost in some raid and she never got them - needed to order them again.

Party started with underwear and then went out from there: pants, shirts, gloves, belts, hats, vests, jerkins, baladrana's, cloaks, and dyes of all colors from black to white and everything in between (of which I think Zoltan is wearing at least ONE of each color!). Karis turned the eyes of a buxom twenty-something 6'9", 250 lbs half orc girl and everyone had some good jokes and high spirits in here. Yrrg did go on that the party should not shop for clothes at the other clothier in town named Dellia as "she is a cheat, a shrew, horrible, and has crotch lice and the pox!" After selling the silk and buying tons of clothing that would be finished over the next couple of days - we still had about 60-odd crowns to our names which we divided up and went next door to Korag the Cobbler to have shoes and boots commissioned.

Shoes. Sweet wonderful shoes. Nothing quite like owning a set after spending days and weeks without them. While there, Zoltan was talking about having some sheaths built into his boots and Korag gave him a queer look. Turns out that the cobbler has some ties or contact with the local underground and the two of them engaged in some Cant-ing - Zoltan was recommended to talk to a woman named Keohn to just "make himself known". Good advice.

After this we were met by various representatives from Sir Walter Slaine and we began our training in earnest. Turns out that Sir Walter's pocketbooks were going to need to be deep as training would take 3 weeks on average or more - and would cost us just short of 200 crowns - each! We met with what would be considered our teachers and masters for the next period of our life (maybe a year and a day - chuckle) and began to hone our skills. Weaponplay and swordwork was almost constant, oral and practical demonstrations were expected. The extent of your skills and breadth of your knowledge was challenged at every turn and you were pushed to the limits and beyond all the while becoming more confident and capable under the tutelage of your mentors.

In addition, during the many weeks of work and diligence, you spent your found coins on much needed armor and weaponry - outfitting yourself for the expected date and time when your training would be complete and your wounds a thing of memory. At that time there was much talk that you would like to find out what and where the slavers are who have done what they have to you - and face them with bow, sword, spell, and spear.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Meet 3, Adv 1, 10/13/07

We had a few members get sick and the game on the 6th was postponed, so effectively we had a 2 week span between meeting 2 and 3. Also, the guy who was playing Hedonim (the ranger) had his schedule at work changed and couldn't make Saturday nights anymore. Another friend of mine came over this night and filled in, playing the ranger for now just until we could get to town.

Write up follows:

We spent some time in Arnax' cavern, hopefully enough to allow Detheron and Puck to rest long enough to regain some much needed spell power. Arnax was generous and talkative, filling in gaps in your knowledge as well as stories about his clan. There was some more information dropped about the Ogrelords who guard the paths west and north, preventing the monstrous clans from returning home. He was honest and sad about his clan, Drywood, and their diminishment. There is apparently some hierarchy amongst the monstrous humanoids that the talk with Arnax was able to flesh out more.

You rigged up a crutch for the bugbear by using one of the iron poles you've been using and a lot of ingenuity. He was slow, but able to follow along. Taking what goods and belongings you could, as well as a number of renewed oil flasks, your group went back to the last split in the hallway - this time taking the right fork. The cavern split, opening to a wide area where roughly 10 K'Tharkian's would bed down, but currently was empty. Beyond that the cavern continued, eventually coming to another division - this one guarded (ineptly) by 3 more kobolds.

They were hunched down, talking in their strange language, and rolling dice. The group got themselves ready and then Zoltan started everyone off with a rock to one of the kobold's head - followed by arrows and javelins - felling all three of the guards without alerting anyone else in the complex. We checked them, pocketing some more coin, and Zoltan gave both corridors a once over. One went on to the left, the other narrowed down dangerously to the right. Karis would never fit there, so Zoltan and Gwyn decided to check out the confined corridor.

It opened to a spent chamber with a stale pool along the back portion that was fed from the wall that seemed to be damp with moisture. A slimy residue covered the floor, making footing treacherous. Zoltan, the more sure footed of the two, crept to the water's edge where he noted it was about a foot deep at the most, roughly 25 x 30 oval, had almost a dozen hand length worm like creatures swimming in it - and in the middle of the pool, a grey bag had been tossed. You know Zoltan - he wanted the bag. He threw some salted meat into the pool and a few worms went over to it to check it out, but that was it. Being one of the few party members to actually have shoes, he ran into the water as fast as he could, snatched the bag, and ran out in a spray of water. The bag held a small but much welcome pile of crowns and luckies from which he nicely avoided swiping from.

Rejoined, the group went down the remaining corridor, walking some distance until the chamber widened, was lit, and had a 4 count of kobolds here. A set of stairs went up out of one side of the chamber, and another opening continued on down the other side. The guards here were better at the job and there would be little opportunity to surprise them. The party moved swiftly and bows and javelins and spells went flying. One was killed instantly, one was beset upon by two animals, one was wounded, and another at maximum range was scored by a magic missile. The furthest one was struggling to get down a corridor and sound the alarm, so Karis charged full across the chamber, taking multiple hits as he did so, but managed to battleaxe the last kobold to death and stop him from moving on. In fact, he was moving on to a closed door (the first the party had ever seen in here) from which frantic kobold voices could be heard behind.

While Karis went to check out the door and attempt to break it down, the rest of the party was surprised by three kobold archers at the TOP of the stairs behind barrels who quickly shot Hedonim in the chest and drove the rest of the group to cover. Some javelins, spells, and rocks were exchanged which ended up with the group taking more damage - and one of the barrels kicked down the stairs which shattered and resulted in a hive of angry hornets flying around to sting the party. Both Detheron and Zoltan took the brunt of the hornet's attack while one of the kobolds ran off to warn others - and one was killed by a well placed Magic Missile spell. Arnax' atlatl finished off the last.

At this time Karis had beaten the door open, hefted his battleaxe high and charged into the corridor - only to fall into a 12' deep spiked pit after a short jog. Our half ogre was rapidly running out of hit points. He struggled up the other side, while the kobolds tried to charge him and now the approaching party. Zoltan was first over the pit and stood side by side with Karis while javelin, spell, and missile fire whittled down the charging horde. One of the K'Tharkians was Flatarn, another subchief who was looking to have his 8 followers shove the two party members back into the pit. Zoltan tumbled over the back of one of them, the kobold falling in, and debilitating ranged combat reduced the rest of the group to 2 minions and Flatarn. There were 2 other kobolds struggling to tie nailed crates to lengths of rope coming out of a hole in the far end of the room - a hole that led to outside.

The remaining fight was swift and Arnax's aim unerringly speared one of the two kobolds working on the boxes at a ridiculous range. The other one screamed and shoved the 3rd box out the window, holding onto its side as it was being hoisted upwards to safetly. Zoltan's sling hit the kobold, causing him to slip but not fall - and Karis tried to whip his sledge hammer at it but the blow went wide and the kobold escaped. The last of the major healing was spent here and according to Arnax the group was almost out. We opened the 2 boxes we stopped the K'tharkian's from stealing and discovered hundreds of brass, bronze, electrum, and gold coins - 2 bolts of fine undyed silk, and 5 pristine and clean tabards bearing the heraldric crest of Orihalcus.

We grabbed what we could to refill our javelin's one last time and charged up the stairs. The kobold bodies that were here before had been taken, as well as the two barrels. We went on till the corridor split one last time - but even without Arnax's help, the sound of thirty or so kobolds excited voices coming out of the right told us which way to go. We ran on, ready to do battle, and came to a wide chamber that led to the outside. At least a dozen kobolds were running out, a four or five count standing back as read guard to harry the party with arrows. They were shoving 2 men, human, and definitely the two slavers that had imprisoned you and been here, out before you could do anything, the leader of the kobolds here a brute named Kraygel turned one last time to say that he would remember your faces and tell Kuluk about you.

Hedonim drew out the magical arrow we had Gwyn discover from the long dead ranger found half way through the cave, took a deliberate aim at long range on Kraygel, and fired the enchanted item. It immediately turned into a stroke of lightning and flew across the room to slaughter 8 of the guarding kobolds and horribly burn Kraygel. He turned to flee but Hedonim fired again, striking the kobold again - and then Arnax' atlatl had another javelin hit him - Puck charged forward and a magic missile burned him even more. A few kobolds dared to come down and try to pull Kraygel to safety but Fodder and Ringo were sent off and the party got to see how FAST Ringo can go when he is coaxed to fly. The beetle grabbed Kraygel by the ankle, worrying the kobold chief, and pulling him back into the cave. The other two kobolds fled - leaving their chief behind. Fodder joined in in holding Kraygel down but while debating if we were going to keep him alive or not, Zoltan finished the job by slashing the K'Tharkian across the throat and ending his life.

Group ran outside and found they were on a mountain trail - the kobolds and their ponies were gone and on the bare rock, signs were difficult to spot at best.

As one, the party decided to go back into the caves and see what was in the last cavern - which had an 8' segmented yellow tentacled monster crawling towards them. Three Molotov cocktails were launched and then Ringo critically hit the poor beast and the easiest fight against a carrion crawler was logged for the group.

We walked out and bid Arnax farewell - using his advice to travel west to find the "man-city". We walked for an hour or so slowly and tired until we came to Orihalcus. The intro to the city read as:

The air has tasted like dust and stone for the last few minutes and along the eastern section of sky you can see a large crumbled looking peak whose left side is wreathed in a fine cloud of smog. The sound of picks and hammers echo off the high rock walls along with the murmur of people too numerous to account for.

As the ancient dwarven road curves one last time to the right, the entire side of the mountain seems to pull away and acting as a final bastion against the rolling lowlands is a sprawling town set almost into the stone itself.

The walls of the mountain have been scooped away by hundreds of years of patient picking, opening an irregular plateau of stone a half mile by two thirds of one. A stout and sturdy wall has been erected along the end of the path to two imposing guard towers framing a wide gate of thick wood and metal posts which currently stand open. Beyond the gate the busy streets are filled with people going about their business and sturdy shops and homes of quarried stone lining the main thoroughfare.

A few building stick up over the wall, standing out amongst the crowd so to speak. An arched causeway of stone comes out of the mountain's side, sluicing down into the northern end of the city and bringing fresh water with it.

The most striking thing about the town that you can see is that the area under the plateau is a sheer reverse slope, testament that the people who make their home here take their mining seriously.

The guards were put off by our strange appearance, and sent away for someone called Sheriff Phozarn Trueblade who did admit the party in - although under close watch and guard. You were taken to the town square and eventually to the village courthouse - a squat stone building. He interviewed you for a bit until the local lord, a Sir Walter Slaine showed up. At this time there are 12 guards, the sheriff, and the local lord and they listened to your tale about slavers and capture and kobolds and escape. They sent away for a dwarf named Marzen, someone in charge of the mining operations at the Copperworks here who also listened to your tale.

Much of it is still in need of communication but for now, Sir Walter is willing to put your group up here in his city - which seemed to go against the wishes a bit of Sheriff Phozarn. It was decided you could use the baths at the inn next door called the "Blue and Dancing Pick" but you would be watched and not allowed to go anywhere except back to the courts where you will spend the night until Sir Walter can have some sort of advisory council convene in the morning to speak at greater length with you...and you assume about you.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Meet 2, Adv 1, 9/29/07

We had taken a week break between the 1st two meetings for some of the party's personal plans they had already made. At this point, we had gotten much more accomplished.

Write up follows:

After breaking our fast with what little food and water we have been able to scrounge so far, the party discussed at small length the journal from the nameless slaver and then debated on the merits of going forward to the K'Tharkian's ahead versus going backwards and clearing out the potential threats behind us. Outweighed 4 to 2, the party voted to go back. We went back down the sloping stairs, through the scaffolding chamber, and past a section of the wall that sounded like running water until we heard the faint clinking of chains and entered a wider section of the hallway that had a rope dangling out of a hole in the ceiling roughly 6-7' wide.

Zoltan was nominated to climb the rope (poor bastard - chuckle) while the rest of us waited and kept watch. The party wasn't exactly quiet and two K'tharkian's came down the hall to investigate. Hedonim had us get ready but Karis grew impatient and instead engaged the lead one in battle. It was short and bloody. Hedonim shot the 2nd one dead on and the group figured it was safe enough to go down the hall. Puck drew an arrow in the dirt and grit of the cave floor for Zoltan who was presumably up the rope in case he came back down and didn't see his party members.

Speaking of our thief, he had climbed almost 70' straight up the stone chimney through some restless bats to a cavern that hosted an ancient dwarven winch that had rusted and fused in place long ago, a 22' length of thick usable chain still dangling off it's turnbuckle to which the selfsame rope he had climbed was tied to. Two corridors out, right and left. From the right he heard the sounds of many K'Tharkian voices and opted not to investigate. Instead he went the other direction and came to fork, where he examined both options for 15/20 paces and saw nothing - figuring he had pushed his luck enough at this point he went back to the chain and rope began climbing back down.

The party, following Hedonim who was seeking to get an arrow back, tried to warn the group the room ahead had half a dozen K'Tharkians and 2 mangy dogs in a room with trestle tables and other scavenged items, using machetes and knives to sort through pounds and pounds of all sorts of stolen vegetable matter. A fight ensued and magic missiles went flashing and Hedonim fumbled a statistic improbability by rolling a "1", then a "1", then a "1" again - a 1 in 8000 chance - which resulted in his shooting himself in the foot for 8 points of damage. Then to add insult to injury, one of the dogs began attacking him. Our ranger was in bad shape.

The struggle against the kobolds was swift but the tide was turned rapidly with the party's growing skill as well as a well timed "charm" spell from Detheron against the dog eating Hedonim...who now assaulted the kobolds instead! The last two decided it would be better to leap into the ravine as opposed to fighting Karis and Gwyn in hand to hand. One made the jump and survived - the other broke its neck on the fall. We scavenged bags, knives, and much needed food which made us feel marginally better. Zoltan rejoined us and we learned of what he saw. We traveled on.

Returning back the way we came, we went back up the sloped stairs, through the first warren, and proceeded with caution. We came to another room like we had first seen, filled with garbage and cast off items - but this room had already been scavenged deeper by the K'Tharkians so there was not much more of interest for us to potentially take. A number of kobolds were in here, three of them antagonizing a 4' wide green/grey angry beetle that had a glow coming from underneath it. Puck who hated injustice immediately magic missiled one of the K'Tharkian's holding the chain and a brutal fight ensued. The charmed wolf-dog (now named Fodder) aided us and within 2 short rounds of combat, the kobolds were dead. The beetle was agitated but did not attack us. Detheron took the chains off the beetle's carapace and the strange beetle decided to not attack, instead staying near the druid.

We moved on after more body looting, and emerged to a huge warren - almost a dozen kobolds in here. One of them was obviously a leader, wearing an ill fitting suit of leather, sporting a war axe. We had not been seen. The room would work to our advantage, but 3 of the kobolds had bows and there were an awful lot of their javelins about. Gwyn had the idea to take a broken banquet table the kobolds had scavenged from the other room and use it as a movable wall - giving us cover and allowing us to engage the K'Tharkian's up close.

The battle was joined and the table proved to be a giant help. Karis hurled oil at the massed kobolds and a few arrows and javelins made their way at us - blocked by the table. Puck caused one of the torches to explode in a 10' ball of flame, setting a number of the kobolds on fire - which in turn also set the oil on fire - which set more kobolds on fire as well as some bed rolls and other belongings. Some arrows and javelins on our end were tossed into the mix - as well as another vial of oil. G'Shnak, the kobold leader kept trying to entice the party to come down and face him in single combat (so far the first K'Tharkian we've met who understands Common) - but we continued to pick off his men until it was down to him and three.

They charged as far from us as possible, and two of them vaulted onto the ledge to do battle. Karis grabbed the table and charged them, hoping to knock them off, but misjudged the edge and fell over the side with his cover. G'Shnak hit him with his axe but the half ogre bounded to his feet and the two of them proceeded to fight. Fodder was sent after one of the two kobolds on our ledge, and the beetle followed as well to Detheron's amusement. It was over and the party did very well, also capturing G'Shnak in the process. We searched the room and Hedonim picked up a number of unfired arrows. Gwyn took G'Shank's armor (leather) for himself and the war axe went to Karis. While looking the room over, Zoltan noticed a hollow of stone where G'Shnak had been amassing a small pile of coins he had kept from his chief - of which Zoltan tried to purloin 2 of the amethysts but he was spotted and gave them over sheepishly (poor bastard - chuckle).

G'Shnak being held by chains and Karis led us along, we passed the room with the winch that Zoltan had seen earlier, and came to the fork where some threats to G'Shnak had the party go in one direction. We came to a room with a circle of daylight and a ceiling with scores of agitated bats. Zoltan tried to sneak across the room but G'Shnak pulled his chain out of Karis' grip and was leaping and jumping, trying to get the bats to begin flying (for some reason). Gwyn speared him swiftly from behind and it was over. The cavern beyond here was old and stale, and Zoltan retreated when he heard a loud trill of a cricket. Gwyn went instead - and was able to see the long dead body of some adventurer who had died here from K'Tharkian javelins. We went through his belongings, the ranger taking the ring mail, party taking more supplies and whatnot - but also found two undamaged healing potions - which the dwarf and half ogre drank down happily.

We went back to the fork and followed the other side which eventually brought us to a room with foul moving trash piles - where Fodder and the beetle assaulted one of them and scared a giant rat - making short work of the vermin. We left the other piles alone and went on - to another fork. We took left on Zoltan's advice and emerged to a room with numerous fungi all around. Detheron informed us it was fairly safe - even the ones called corpse fungus, but don't go near the big purple ones - they are shriekers and are there usually as a warning. Taking his advice we moved on to the a large worked area - mounded rock, a pool, slopes, and there at the end was a 7' tall, 300' bristly brown haired creature with a throwing spear at the ready. We decided to talk to it. Said it was a bugbear named Arnax from the Drywood clan. He and 3 of his clanmates had come here to see where Kuluk was getting his man-treasures from - and they had been found out. Three had died - leaving just him here. He is maimed, no leg from below the knee - a kobold chief named Kraygel who lives here took it.

Offered us a place to rest and relax, and after talking to Karis - made a deal that if he could take care of Kraygel - he could have his warrior charm - a leather thong with some ugly stones. It had warding magic on it, but what it does, party doesn't know.

Meet 1, Adv 1, 9/15/07

Our first game was a week later and I took it slow on them, lots of descriptions and lots of explanations. This first write-up is not very long but it was filled with a decent origination for a low leveled group.

Write up follows:

After being enslaved by mysterious personages 8 days ago, beaten, broken, and dragged overland and across country to places you have no idea for reasons unknown, weather and change (and a bout of good luck!) stepped in when your slave wagon slipped over the side of a narrow ancient dwarven trade road and slid down the side of a ravine. You awoke slowly and with difficulty, finding the wagon in shambles but the 6 slaves alive.

The driver had died during the fall, but the 3 other slavers had escaped alive (it seemed) after taking what supplies they could from the wagon. Your party had scavenged what they could, finding keys to unlock your manacles as well as a scrap of parchment from someone named Djohrgahd who had seemingly commissioned the slavers to bring your party to him. A standard of a wolf in a triangle was on it, as well some reference to the K'Tharkians (whoever they are).

With the water rising in the ravine below, you had to make your way to higher ground and discovered a natural cave entrance. Shuttling what gear you could up there you explored a bit until you arrived at what appeared to be a garbage heap. Some checking out netted you party a lantern, a helmet, and a sledge. Past there you decided to rest for a bit and then pressed on.

Came up a natural cistern that was fed from above, and found a dead slaver on the water's edge. Rooting through his stuff found more keys, some belongings which you needed, a spell book, and a journal which gave more clues as to who it was that captured you. While looking him over, the small reptilian humanoids came in (kobolds) and your party took out 2 of them, one ran off to warn the others of your approach.

Following the fleeing kobold (and killing him), you came to a tall chamber with an ancient yet still standing wood and stone scaffolding system - 4 kobolds up top and 3 around half way - ready and willing to fight your party. Zoltan took out the bow user with a couple of well placed stones while some of you attempted to storm the scaffold. Gwyn and Karis took some abuse as javelins were thrown and Hedonim shot one kobold cleanly - and then in the excitement of battle shot Karis in the back for 10 points of damage. To add insult to injury, the kobolds sent a barrel rolling into the party that burst against Karis releasing a cloud of brown mold spores, blinding the Half ogre.

Puck thought to run under the scaffolding and fire a spell up into the kobolds above, but a large spider emerged from the gloom and attacked him, forcing the druid to run to his aid after healing Karis and flushing his eyes clean. The fighter, cavalier, and ranger had a furious battle with the kobolds and eventually took the defenders down, capturing the last one who surrendered. We chained him up and decided to follow the slope to the left and what we assume to be the way out of the cave.

Had a face off with another 6 K'Tharkian kobolds in the next room - one of them killed and prevented from warning the next room full (we assume) - where we learned that no one speaks the kobold language - but we assumed they wanted us to put down out scavenged weapons. A battle ensued and spells were flung, arrows fired, weapons used, and We took out the defenders and went through their belongings, further adding to our own meager yet still swelling pile of gear. Detheron let us know that some of the kobold gear belonged to the slavers that had imprisoned us, further proof that we are on the right track.

We awoke hungry and thirsty and Zoltan returned to the cistern below to refill our skins (taking out a kobold in the process) and our druid and sorcerer announced they were ready to face what perils await us ahead. We gathered what we could and walked on.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Background - 9/08/07

This is the flavor background I gave to the party just prior to rolling up their characters. Upon reading it, we ended up with 6:

Karis of Melbourne, Half ogre Cavalier beholden to Tyr
Detheron, Human Druid of Frey
Zoltan Jhanki-Jast, Human (gypsy) Thief
Puck, Human Sorcerer
Hedonim Ursanis, Human (elven-trained) Ranger beholden to Idun
and Gwynhwyfar Rockholm, Dwarven (mountain) Fighter

A decent mix if a bit healing light. Group was very interested and I fielded (besides 4 hours that 1st night talking) about 45 emails with more detailed questions. Only one person had any long term role playing experience and one person hadn't played a rpg for 20 plus years.

Background read as follows:

This is the spring months of the year 174, of the 30th Age (as elven kind measure the passage of generations). The land you are in, as referred to by those that make their home there, is the Barony of Umbaria, the central Barony in the shattered county known as Sedaria. To learn why it is shattered, the following information is fairly common knowledge for those that have made their homes here.

In times past, this land and all around it were part of the Dwarven lands and settlements known as Retersedge. Somewhere around a hundred and fifty years ago, the dwarven thanes (rulers and king-priests) had abandoned these places, pulling their clans north and dismantled their mines, keeps, and cities. The reason why have been lost, but some families stayed behind; unable to leave the ancestral lands they loved. For the most part though, Retersedge was empty.

It did not stay so for long.

The southern human kingdom of Daro looked upon the abandoned places with eager eyes, hoping to reopen the places the dwarves had left behind. In a great show and ceremony, in the year 82, the Kingdom of Daro, awarded new land grants to the earls, and counts and barons that were waiting for their own parcels and annexed the abandoned land of Retersedge. Once the stakes were driven and the plans fulfilled, the Duchy of Reet (in honor of the Dwarves that had lived there before) was established. It did not take long for the emigration of the crowded northern provinces to move into the new places and set up homes, towns, farms, and businesses.

The people settled first those lands that the dwarves had already flattened and founded years earlier. Certain places still had trade roads crisscrossing the landscape' wide avenues of fitted stones that had withstood the test of time for centuries. As the population grew, the people expanded north and west. Rivers, forests, and mines were discovered. Small enclaves of elves and halflings, families and villages living there since the dwarves of Retersedge, were welcomed into the folds.

In the year 121, the sons and grandsons of the new Earls and Duke became enthralled with the idea of reestablishing the old trade routes with the distant dwarven settlements to the north. Gathering kingsmen and merchants, the respected Earl of Maronia sent the first group north with the duty to track a route through the wilderness and establish contact with the settlements found there. After waiting some months for the trackers to return, Earl Maronia petitioned his counts and barons to send their rangers to follow the first group and discover their whereabouts. The 2nd group went out, and like the first, did not return.

This led to what was known as the Crusade of Maronnia; a grouping of over 1200 of the best knights, wizards, and rangers that had ever been gathered in the entire Duchy. In the summer of 125, the Crusade traveled north, led by the Earl Maronia himself and his coterie of noble followers.

That fall, Ogres and Orcs numbering in the tens of thousands, boiled out of the northern sections of the Duchy of Reet. They pillaged villages, hamlet, cities, and keeps. Thousands of peasants died in the first days of the attacks. A steady stream of refugees ran south, filled with fear and wild tales of the attacks they witnessed.

The Baronies and Counties far to the north were lost first, entire families and all defending men at arms wiped out. Then the central counties fell. Lines after battle lines were drawn; outfitted with cavalry and infantry, situated to hold back the onslaught of the monstrous hordes. Each time, the lines fell. The populous now pressed into the final southernmost county (Sedaria) in the Duchy of Reet, threw their best and brightest minds into any and every tactic possible to hold the Ogres and Orcs from advancing another step.

Local artisans and warriors became the heroes of the day as tactics that turned the tide of the local conflicts were communicated to other parts of the beleaguered county. Earthen walls with no cover were popular. Stout keeps and signal fire worked as well. Brigades of valiant men struck terror into the hearts of Orcs with their guerrilla tactics. By the winter of 129, the people had stopped the advance and grew emboldened with their victories.

And then the dragons came.

It had been wondered by many why the Ogres and Orcs had fought with reckless abandon. Why did they not retreat and count their booty from the fallen cities? It has been said that there is still a king's ransom in unclaimed riches out amongst the ruins, on the other sides of the battle lines. What would spur the monstrous races to fight their way across scores of unfamiliar miles, driving them against the spears and swords of the people of Reet?

The dragons pushed the Ogres and Orcs.

Unable to fight the flying lizards, they monstrous humanoids had abandoned their homes in an effort to find others they could hide in. The selfsame homes that the people of Reet had lived in. The dragons' attacks did not fall on monster alone. The great beasts blew their breaths on the towns and people of Sedaria as well. Diving from the skies, they routed the armies of men and monster. Their hunger knew no bounds. Their destructive appetites could not be sated. And then, after a month and a half of constant barrages, the dragon's departed.

What they left was countryside and county burned clean. No family neither noble nor peasant went unscathed from the onslaught. With grain stores over 90% burned and field torn asunder, famine and starvation took its toll on the survivors. The only saving grace was that the monster armies had been similarly destroyed, posing little threat to those that still lived. Over 75% of the population of the county of Sedaria had been killed during the 4 year conflict or died that cold hungry winter.

The noble ranks were thinned drastically. Count Kassen Sedaria had been lost, along with the heir apparent and the 2nd in line. The family line had been reduced to two very young cousins: Erik and Delarrin.

The dragons awakening was something that was discovered in years of later learning to occur roughly every 100 years (according to recovered dwarven texts). The greater beasts would take flight, ravenous and angry, seeking food, magic, and treasure to fill their larders. When they had finished their rampage, they would return to their caves to rest, count their riches, plot, and sleep again. But never had they come out this numerous, this destructive, this voracious.

The few years following the draconic attack were hard. Count Erik Sedaris was forced to levy new taxes on the already stretched economy and people. 3 Baronies were all that remained habitable: Dilabria (virtually abandoned, home to banditry, and a haven for lawlessness), Umbaria (the heart of the shattered county), and Rohn (southernmost barony and principle location of the best craftsmen still in the county). Many families left their homes and traveled south to the civilized and stronger duchies in the Kingdom.

Erik gave birth to 4 children, 3 girls and a son – Cedric. He died shortly afterwards during a skirmish and his younger brother Delarrin took over as regent until such time that Cedric was old enough to rule. As what happens though Delarrin grew comfortable with control of the county, using many of its resources to fund his love of women and drink. When Cedric was 12 the young heir was spirited away from his family home hidden. Delarrin grew angry. Claims were made that the line of succession was broken due to no living heir between the former late count Erik and his heir Cedric.

Delarrin solidified his grip on the County. He had tax collectors that were skimming from his coffers drawn and quartered. Any who did not pay their taxes were impressed into slavery. A ban on travel was placed for parts south of Reeter's Trod and the main kingdom below. All families had to offer their first son's to his military as vassals. He was cruel, tyrannical, harsh, and merciless.

When he had the High Guild mage put to death for inability to magically scry out the whereabouts of the young Cedric and replaced with a puppet mage to run the guilds, he caused the entire Wizard's Guild to schism to internecine conflict. Half the guild fled, turning renegade to avoid his impressers and brute squads.

Cedric resurfaced far to the north, in the city of Northedge, in the Barony of Dilabria at the age of 21 in the 164. He came forth as a paladin of Heimdall, God of Guardians. Delarrin refused to accept Cedric's claim to the throne. Cedric was however a kind man and with the backing of various Mage Guild members that had fled years earlier, he was able to undertake many tasks for the common people, endearing them to him as his fame and influence grew. The young heir was repeatedly targeted for assassination and luck and skill saved him each time. Finally, 2 years ago, Sir Cedric Sedaris held the legendary ancestral family heirloom known as the Dragon Helm and confronted his uncle for the throne. Since only a true member of the Sedaris family could wear the helm, and Cedric did so without injury. Delarrin attacked his nephew but was vanquished. Cedric was crowned as Count of Sedaria.

Since then the shattered county has seen some small return of prosperity. Fields have grown fat, hunger has diminished, tax coffers have swelled, and the road south to Daro and points beyond have been opened, allowing fresh trade and people to flow once again into the battered County. With the new budding riches throughout the county there has been a growth of interest in the ruins and histories of the fallen keeps, castles, and cities that the dragons and monsters had attacked and abandoned.

It is in this time of exploration and heroic quests that your story will take place.

It Begins

Should have done this sooner - but I didn't. No problem, better late than never.

I like to write, always have - and now that I thought about it, I can post a bit wider on the net the Post reports (after game write-ups) to my current D&D campaign. This campaign was started after about 3 years or so hiatus (don't ask why - just let it roll on) and so far, I've been having a blast.

In addition to a story that I am working on weekly (check out the CivFanatics site and Pax Romana: ), I will be posting (roughly Mondays/Tuesdays) here the details on the campaign and what's been going on for the last week.

It's a home ruled campaign that draws on heavily on 1st and 3.5 with a smattering of other pieces here and there to flesh it out and grind out the kinks.

And I think that's about that! I'll be posting as many of the "older" Post Reports as possible first until we get to the current day (should take a few weeks) - so in the beginning - there should be a number of postings to this blog.

Read on and I hope you enjoy yourself!