Forgotten Epic: To Epic and Beyond!

Chapter One: Averwest - Session 02 - Small Beginnings part 2 of 3

Fortunately, this session was played with full party squad, although began later than we expected and lasted much longer. It was tough but very fun night.


Following unfinished execution, Ren was asked by Connall, if he can bring his armour from home. He rode to the Appleshade, passing strange fellow on the road. He suspected, it was poacher, who set traps in Hieronim's Groove. Coming back to town and managing some issues, he enlisted Xandor on adventure and next day travelled back to Monastery of Sigil, an cloister under auspicies of Gond and Azuth.


In the meantime, Connal and Andala set off to the same monastery. During slow trek through the countryside and hills, the came upon sealed entrance in the hillside. Runes that marked it, were connected to Myrkul, now deceased God of Death and Dead. With shrug of fear and uncomfortable feeling, they moved on to the Monastery. After warm welcome they waited for Ren, who showed up with Xandor.


Party in complete, PC's set off to find Master Aurelius, wizard whom the were to deliver a book. Due to informations acquired from monks, he was camping on the opposite shore of Ice Crystal Lake.


After short search, heroes found glade with big tent and fireplace in the middle. It turned out, that it was wizard's camp. Inside tent were bed, drawer and bookshelf and two chairs. Curious thing, inside tent they could not hear anything from outside. Unfortunately, there were no sign of mage around. With extensive search and tracking, Xandor found burned fragments of paper and than mauled body of unknown male. As they suspected, it was Aurelius. Nearby to the site, Xandor came on fragment of frozen earth. His suspicions were magnified, when during search for herbs,he began feeling cold. Temperature in some parts of the forest was significantly decreasing, to the frozen level.


With curing spells and fish soup, Andala and Connal nursed Aurelius, who began hallucinating about Maya, his assistant and disciple. Putting this facts together, as well as spotting, that during night something was spying them, party was convicted that something awry and strange is going on. Next day the decided to investigate frost sphere and it's influence. Trail of cold and frozen earth lead them to small canyon. Before reaching it's end, from nearby bushes erupted cone of frozen earth and after it, savage wolf attacked PC. Fight that erupted was brutal and tough. Xandor almost lost his life, Andala decided to retreat but despite these drawbacks, white wolf was slain. It's dying breath were two words, surprisingly spoken in common language: "my children…".


Session ended with discovery of seven cubs in hole and argument over their fate.


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 <font style=”font-weight: bold”>Appleshade </font>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 <font style=”font-style: italic”>mandalla of purification</font>.


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, <font style=”font-weight: bold”>Agrein Farwood</font>, 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 <font>June, 14th</font>.

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, <font style=”font-weight: bold”>Terentz</font> 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. <font style=”font-weight: bold”>Adrian</font> and <font style=”font-weight: bold”>Jarecki </font>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.

Preparation, part 1 of 2

Today May 25th, 2008 we are beginning a new campaign. I hope it will turn into something great and fun for every one of us.


My group consist three players and me, Dungeon Master. Each and everyone is seasoned player, we all began our role-playing experience long ago, in times of second edition's full bloom. Yes, we were avid AD&amp;D fans and switching to D&amp;D 3rd Editions was quite difficult for us. Perhaps, if we had more time to learn and play it, we'd love it. But now, on eve of 4th edition, we try to start new campaign.


We had a lengthy and honest conversation. A lot of games and ideas were spoiled in the past, as campaigns crumbled to dust due to some internal arguments, personal issues and lack of motivation. I made known my mind: I don't like "munchkinism", I don't want players to search each and everyone handbook to get "another +1 bonus", and finally I don't want outside-of-play brainstorming. This campaign is meant to be fun for me and for them. We have too much shit in our ordinary lives. There is too many problems, difficulties and too many our hopes has perished. We play to have fun, to be heroes, to achieve something, we didn't in live. Perhaps, we play to achieve <font style=”font-style: italic”>katharsis</font>. So, we are going to be heroes, to do epic stuff, to become legends of our time.


For these reasons I chose <font style=”font-weight: bold”>Forgotten Realms</font>. I'm a long time <font style=”font-weight: bold”>Ravenloft</font> fan and <font style=”font-weight: bold”>Dark Sun </font>entusiasth. Unfortunately, these settings are too much harsh to be scene for true heroes, so Toril became obvious choice. There was a time, when I considered it one-dimensional, unreasonable and silly setting. Now I see it as high fantasy, epic and glamor world. It's not the logic that rules Toril, it's the goal of living high adventure.


My party consists of three players, at least for now. I'd like to induce to more, but we have troubles with candidates. "Real adult life" sidelined some of our obvious choices. Old comrades got married and became parents, other moved abroad yet another severed links to us.


In alphabetic order they are:

<font style=”font-weight: bold”>Adrian</font> – my long time friend, we had ups and downs, but despite this still like each other (I hope) and like play with each other. Adrian was great <font style=”font-weight: bold”>Greyhawk </font>DM and always has some cool but sometimes weird ideas. As a matter of fact, he's volcano of ideas.


<font style=”font-weight: bold”>Jarecki</font> is one of my true friends. I cannot express it in words. I like play with him, he always got strong points to make, thinks logically and builds interesting PCs. I remember <font style=”font-weight: bold”>Fading Suns</font> campaign ran by him, which consisted a good proportions of combat, puzzles, role-playing and suspense. Most of all, he proved, that this system and setting were playable.


Last but no least is <font style=”font-weight: bold”>Terentz</font>. Another cool friend of mine and long-running <font style=”font-weight: bold”>AD&amp;D Forgotten Realms </font>DM. We called his campaign "animalistic AD&amp;D", because of style of our play, which was very muchcinist. Eventually, due to internal issues, campaign broke up, which we always regretted.


Gathering my friends and stating what I had in mind, I let them speak freely. Ideas flown fluently and they began to creating PC. This process took a lot of time and we finished it on second session, <font>planed on May, 31st</font>.


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