Weird sounds in the forest…
Game System | Blood & Treasure Complete
Setting/World | The Lost Lands by Frog God & Necromancer Games (with my own additions of course)
The Old Sleaze | Human Sorcerer | Martin
Hoder | Ogre Fighter [Brute variant] | Flan
Blitz Dunkelsturm | Mountain Dwarf Cleric of Jamboor [Death domain specialist] | Berndt
Corian | Human Wizard | NPC
Galdar | Human Cleric of Thyr | NPC
Session One –The Fellowship of the…err…what?
The session started with character generation, which took some time due to late arrivals and post-stag party mental deficiency disorder for one player. However, the PCs turned out to be a quite interesting gang of 1st level characters:
The Old Sleaze (no one knows his real name) – an old human sorcerer with some really crappy abilities (despite using the roll 4d6-discard the lowest-place as you wish-method). Coming from a destitute background (Pauper), there’s the possibility of coming up with a really interesting background story here.
Hoder – an ogre fighter (brute variant) who’s very strong but not too bright. He’s a tribal outcast. Being too weak and good natured he was cast out of his ogre clan and was probably raised by humans (maybe as a pit fighter as his background is brawler). And yes, his verbal communication is most limited… A fun mix of Shrek, Hodor and those guys from Dumb & Dumber I would say…
Blitz Dunkelsturm – mountain dwarf priest of Jamboor (deity of death, knowledge and magic). Blitz used to be a gravedigger before becoming a priest, and is fascinated by death and all things underground. His specific mannerisms did not come out very clear this first session, but i think they will.
As a note, in D&D-ish games, I like backgrounds as well as character mannerisms to grow out of play, not by careful forethought. This time however, we tried out the 0-level backgrounds from NOD Companion to flesh out the PCs from start.
Warning! Spoilers ahead. If you intend to play Stoneheart Valley, please stop reading here. This is GM territory only.
The road to Fairhill
The PCs have been hired by the young wizard’s apprentice Corian to escort him from the large east coast port city of Reme to the village of Fairhill in the area known as the Stoneheart Valley. Accompanying Corian is Galdar (NPC), a cleric of Thyr. After an initial meet-up in the seedy Reme tavern the Starving Stirge the journey goes along the Tradeway – an old merchant road going all the way from Reme in the west, to the bustling city of Bard’s Gate and even further east towards distant lands.
Travel day 4
After four days of travel on foot the PCs are about one third the way to Fairhill. Unusually cold and rainy weather for springtime have made everyone a little on the edge, and we begin the adventure with the PCs making camp for the night, off the road, in a small clearing next to a massive cliff. Blitz the dwarf takes the first watch, while the others try to get some rest in the drizzle. After some time, the dwarf hears a low sound coming from the adjacent treeline. Concentrating, the sound appears to be a baby crying. Blitz decides to investigate without notifying the others. As he nears the trees, the sound intensifies and he’s suddenly aware of something behind him, but too late. Turning around, he sees his attacker just as it bites with it’s bony ridge teeth – a creature out of hell: stag-like body, lion tail and head like a giant badger. The teeth of the stinking creature seem to chew right through the dwarven armour like butter. After the initial bite the creature turns around and gives the dwarf a double back-kick, sending him sprawling to the ground. The sorcerer wakes up from the sounds of melee, but the ogre sleeps like a…well…ogre. While the dwarf desperately tries to fend off the creature, Old Sleaze wakes the ogre with a proper kick, and grasping the situation, the ogre joins the fight with a loud battle cry “HODER”. Sensing new enemies, the creature turns it’s attention towards Hoder, but a mighty swing of Hoder’s one-handed great sword sends the monster bleeding to the ground. Suddenly, a second similar but much larger creature emerges from the trees, clearly enraged by the slaying of it’s lesser kin. Now better prepared, our heroes manage to slay the beast before taking any serious damage. By the look of it, it was a mother and cub that attacked.
Blitz tells the others of the sound from the forest and they decide to investigate. After a search, they conclude that the mother-beast must have made the sounds as a distraction so that the cub could surprise from behind. Our greedy friends then decide to search for the creature’s lair, which turns out to be a cave about 60 ft up the cliff. They climb up and find a narrow cave with lots of carrion and some loot from previous unlucky travellers. The rest of the night passes without incident and in the morning the travel along the road ensue.
Travel day 6
In the evening after two more days of travel, the PCs spot a weird stone formation on a hill just off the road. They decide to detour and find that someone have arranged stone boulders to resemble a stone skull on the top of the hill. They search the place, but can’t find anything of interest and finally give up. From here, the forested landscape to the north of the road get gradually more rugged and hilly, indicating that the mountains are nearing.
Travel day 10
Four uneventful days of travel pass and our heroes are nearing their goal. In the evening of the 10th day of travel, Corian announces that he has got something to tell his companions. Sitting by the fire, content after a meal and happy that it doesn’t rain, Corian reveals the reasons for the journey:
- Corian used to be a wizard’s apprentice under his uncle’s tutelage.
- On a visit to the wizard Feriblan the Mad in Reme, Corian happened to stumble upon a secret letter and an amulet which he stole.
- The letter was to Feriblan from another wizard named Eralion. In the letter, Eralion tells Feriblan about his plans to become a lich. Link to letter
- After having become a full wizard himself, Corian returned to Feriblan to discuss the letter. Feriblan said that Eralion was nowhere near the power of becoming a lich. He also mentioned that Eralion had a wizard’s tower in Fairhill and that he hadn’t heard from Eralion in years (and apparently, he had forgot about the letter).
- Corian then decided to find the tower and claim it’s riches. Since Eralion has disappeared and he probably isn’t a lich, it must be there for the taking, right?
- The only problem, and the reason for not telling them until now, is Feriblan’s detestable apprentice – Vortigern, and his equally terrible raven familiar – Talon. Corian suspects that the (rumoured) evil Vortigern might somehow have found out about Eralion’s tower and that he wants to claim it’s riches for himself. Corian also thinks he has seen a large raven spying on him on several occasions.
As Corian ends his story, the PCs notice a large red eyed raven in the trees nearby. As it’s spotted it takes to the air with a defiant *croax* and flies away. The PCs fire a volley of missiles after the bird, but it is too far away.
Now they know for sure that someone is following them…