Monday, 23 June 2008

Chapter One: Averwest - Session 01 - Small beginnings part 1 of 3

Yesterday we had a first session in campaign. Unfortunately, Terentz was unable to show up due to family issues. We wish him best luck and hope, he will be present next time. Especially for him we'll move term to Saturdays, about 8PM.

Adventure began with a journey. Group, consisting of Ren, Connal, and Andala set off to find a wizard, camping nearby Ice Crystal Lake. As the road wormed through fields of wheat, was dry and sandy, they decided to change course a little and cross small woods, called Hieronim's Groove*. Forest was familiar to them, as they visited it in childhood, searching for mushrooms, wild berries and herbs. Before sundown young trio found a clearing in wood, which suited their camping needs. Unusual feature of glade was small source of always fresh and cold water and two meter high rock sitting above it. While Connal was searching for wood to light the fire, Andala was looking for herbs and Ren was preparing bedrolls. Trio spent whole evening eating, drinking hot tea, talking small talk and enjoying calm, warm summer night.

First watch (Ren's) went relatively peaceful. On the second one (Connal's) he began hearing strange noises coming out of woods. Intrigued he tried to examine them, but fall painfully, stumbling on roots. Whole group awakened and began searching source of noise. As it turned out, squawking and bleating was coming not from river's banks but from small ravine, shielded by old, thick trees. Trio entered it and found a strange, horned creature hiding inside it. Ren was sure it's trap, so he stayed back, hidden and on guard. Connal and Andala crept forward, only to find out small stag, trapped in snares. Poor animal had been terrified and almost bled to death, but with Moradin's healing magic was cured. After short struggle, Ren and Connal managed to open snare's jaws and free animal. Freed of trap and fed with carrots, it followed them to camp, where Connal cleared stag's wounds and fed it with more vegetables.

Soon after party moved on. Small stag left them at forest's border and trio set back on road. Soon the approached Ulsen's Rock**. Before the reached, they found a horse, grazing beside the road. Quick inspection provided some interesting informations: animal apparently belonged to courier of Donal's Arrow messaging company, in it's travelling bags were hidden three sealed letters. Charging Andala with task of guarding horse, Connal and Ren went to look for missing courier. On fields beside the Rock they saw pack of lambs. Wounding it's way through rock, the were shouting for courier. To their surprise, it was not a human that responded, but three metres tall brute, shouting: "Thieves! Sheep-stealers!", charging upon them and swinging heavy club. Fight that erupted was quick and brutal. It outcome was beaten ogre, lying senseless on ground and few bruises on Ren's and Connal's bodies. The main problem was a grim discovery in in ogre's lair. In surprisingly well maintained camp the found chopped and half cooked courier's body...

Faced with such problem and unwilling to deal swift justice by own hands, Connal and Ren decided, than the latter one will travel to nearby village, to alert local authorities. Ren jumped on horse and sped to Steeplefall. At first he was greeted with suspicions (after all he was riding horse, that belonged to courier, last seen two days ago). After quick explanations, there was a large group assembled that set off to Ulsen's Rocks, to bring an ogre to town. Meanwhile Connal found hidden cache with ogre's armour, little amount of cash (7gp, 23 sp and 68 cp).

Back in town, with ogre thrown to cellar under a storage, whole company took rest in tavern. Next day began from constructing gallows's pole. As the whole town prepared for The Night of Straw Men holiday, execution was seen as a additional attraction. When ogre had been finally pulled out of jail, he was cowering, crying and begging for mercy. Apparently poor creature knew what fate it was facing... It's fear and despair must moved not only Connal and Ren, but also Mayor Olbred and Chauntea's priest Leiru and sowed a seed of doubt in their hearts. After quick interrogation, they learned ogre was attacked by courier and defended it's stock of sheep. Taught to eat human meat by the Zhentarim, with whom he served as a mercenary, he prepared meal but otherwise meant no harm to humans. All ogre wanted, was to live peacefully and tending his sheep. Taking those facts under consideration, mayor and priest decided to spare creature's life. He was ordered to serve as a grinder operator in nearby watermill. He'd work there and generate income, so would be able to buy out sheep he stole and than set free, when the time is right.
With this matter settled, session ended.

PC solved two Encounter Level 1 quests and one Encounter Level 4 quest, were additionally rewarded for creative and good role playing, so accumulated enough xp to advance 2nd level.

* Hieronim's Grove - was called after the name of druid, that protected small wood. He was an old man in times of PC's parents youth, so is believed to be dead. Some say he never existed. Truth is far from that.

** Ulsen's Rock was called after a band of brigands and highwaymen that made home inside it's cavern's. They were put to sword long ago.

Next session is planned on July 5th.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Date Cancellation

Unfortunately, due to Adrian's illness we were forced to cancel today's session.
Next term is June, 22nd. I hope will be able to play in full company.
Although I'm little disappointed, certainly I can live with moving session to next week. After all, it's just the game.

On the other hand, I must admit I'm very glad we managed to get together and start the show. What surprises me most is that I'm so glad with choosing Forgotten Realms setting. In my past I held it very low and treated as "not logical, magical overpowered, childish world". Now I think of it as a high fantasy, adventure oriented setting. All for fun, being heroes and having good time, not recreating reality. Isn't it, what RPG was made for?

Monday, 2 June 2008


Nobody can tell exactly, when it all began. Moreover no one was able to see the signs. Omens and portents were ignored, so everyone were ignorant of events, that were put in motion.

For our brave soon-to-be heroes, it all began with a hard work.
Summer of 1370DR was hot and sunny. Sporadic storms troubled the skies, but despite them fields were full of crops, cattle pregnant with young and giving milk. In gardens and orchards fruits were ready to ripe, in cellars wine was maturating and woods were full of game. People knew, they are blessed, so prayed and thanked gods, smiled upon each other and were enjoyed fine weather. Later it was well known, than many marriages were taken across all island. It was fine and prosperous time...

After a summer came autumn: full of golden leaves, apples and preparation for winter. Few months of it passed quickly and first snows fall upon town's roofs with a chilling cold. At first, people enjoyed it, making snowmen, skiing and playing with snow, but later got tired of it. Day by day, it was becoming colder and colder. Skies were filled with heavy, dark clouds and snow was falling without stop. By the midwinter, it was so thick, that dwarf could hide in it without much effort or crouching. First day of Year of the Tankard (1371DR) was dark and short.

People of the Appleshade are no stupid folk, so they knew that it was time to work. With spring, mass of molten snow will come downward, along the riverbed and soon water will flood their fields and houses. They began to construct barriers along the banks but it soon become known that it was not enough. As predicted, high water came and although it did not flood over fields, it washed away big portion of town's square, leaving a shallow and muddy pit in place of clobberstones.

After seeing damage done, and repairing as much as possible, some folk (Connal among them) were sent to local quarry to buy new clobberstones. Upon their return people whole town began to rebuild square. Few days before finishing it, Ren came back to village from a monastery and joined workers. Partly for fun, he designed and made a mandalla of purification.

With a town square finished, mayor, Yoram, announced celebrations and feast. By the evening new square was filled with tables and podium. People brought food and drinks, lighted lanterns upon nearby roofs and candles floating on boats, they ate and during, singed and danced. During feast, Ren, Connal and Andala were approached by local herbalist and healer, Agrein Farwood, who asked them, if they do a small favour for him. He told them, he would require them to travel few days upward the river, to deliver a small package to his friend. He was not able to do so, 'cause duties in town and, which he admitted, bit of laziness. The trio gladly accepted and made an appointment on next day.

Celebration ended with first light of dawn. People slept even up to midday, so Connal and Ren were late for meeting. Despite that, sitting over cookies and milk, they were presented with a heavy book and instructions to go to Ice Crystal Lake, to search herbalist's friend, a wizard of some renown. In exchange for a book, magician was to give them some rare herbs for town's healer.

So, acquiring provisions of food and water, Connal, Ren and Andala set out to their first adventure...

Next session is planed on June, 14th.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

The Preparation, part 2 of 2

Yesterday we met for a second time, to discuss characters, their home town and previous adventures, as well as connections. I must admit, I really enjoyed brainstorming and completely lost track of time. I was having great time, despite being tired and in bad mood due to "real and ordinary life" difficulties.

Unfortunately, Terentz was absent, so we managed to get only two thirds of their group story. He will quite surprised, finding he's adventuring along with his uncle. Adrian and Jarecki modified their characters, shifting skill points, characteristic scores and switching feats, and then managed to spin interesting and not-trivial story. But, let's keep things and order.

First of all, I'd like to introduce PCs. For now there are three of them:
Conal Ymirsson (played by Jarecki) is a dwarf priest of Moradin. Prodigy of Thunderblessing, he along with his twin brother Vanir and younger sister Alanda are children of town's blacksmith. Retired adventurer, skilled artisan and good fellow, he educated kids but when time came to let them out of family nest, watched it bleeding heart. Vanir left home first, pursuing wizard career under a guidance of mysterious amnish wizard in city of Crax-Saladan. What surprised Conal was that his sister began showing signs of following Vanir steps. Could it be possible, that one dwarf family produced three spellcasters and no warrior? Strange times, indeed.

Ren Howl (played by Adrian) was always troublesome young lad. From the very beginning, he was somehow connected to arcane teachings and energies, which seemed to flow in his veins. Hies father, whom history is shrouded in mystery, came to Appleshade long time ago and met a nice, but little odd, girl. When she became pregnant with Ren's sister, father bought some land, build hosue and became ordinary farmer. soon people took him as one of their own and forgave even that, his wife often disappeared in woods for a days "in search of rare herbs". But when Ren was born, gossips began to fly. "Who is real father?" inquired goodwives. Ren grown up and became troublesome youth, who was sent to monastery in mountains to find his star, destiny and discipline. Although he missed first two things, he acquired the tird. Now, he came back to visit his parents and friends.

For now, we know very little about Xandar Skullhammer (played by Terentz) but I hope it will soon changes.

Vanir, Alanda, Conal, Ren and Xandar always knew, the want become adventurers. They were like gang, always protecting each others backs (like in case of burned barn) or working together like rescuing cows, stolen by goblins in a dead of winter. When Vanir left to learn magic, rest of pack was sure, they have to move on the road. They didn't know, that opportunity was waiting just behind the corner.