IF YOU BUILD IT…MY CURRENT CAMPAIGN (12)

As Nameless turned around with yellow glowing eyes his form shifts, become a little taller and long flowing white hair. Definitely not the parties companion Warforge Nameless.

“Fools!” The strange being screamed. “Lucan has existed longer than most Elves live and take what I want when I want it. The three of you will now parish or become my servants for all eternity!”

With that, this being focused his attention on Tluth and attempted to adjust Tluth’s loyalties. The being did not realize that years of abuse at the hands of his Drow societies sadistic females along with his own personal story of family lost and betrayal had hardened Tluth’s will into an almost unbreakable drive for Vengeance and nothing could sway his honour to renege on a deal or turn on allies that are aiding in furthering his goals.

At that Bane and Anders spring into action. Bane pivoting out of Lucan’s line of site and launching a vicious attack with his Short Sword and Dagger both coated in think black Drow made poisons. He struck two times, the Short Sword plunging into Lucan’s back the tip appearing with a splash of red on the front of Lucan’s chest. The Dagger slicing so deep into Lucan’s forearm Bane felt the jolt of the blade hitting bone. With this attack, Bane spun out of melee range to prepare for his next attack and give other room to maneuver. Before Lucan had a chance to recover Anders summons power from his mysterious source, blasting his foe with twin beams of mystical force, as he focuses he pushes some additional strength and causes Lucan to slam into the wall behind him. Tluth seeing his opening closes in and making two quick swings with his Long Sword while call forth his deity to smite his foes, opens up two gaping wounds neck to navel completely removing the front of Lucan’s decorative armoured chest plate.

As Lucan bent forward pulling his arms around himself as if to keep the contents of his chest from falling to the floor, his body started to become translucent and he faded into a cloud of vapor slipping through a small crack in the wall behind him into the night. That is when Tluth yelled “Vampire!!” as he recognised all the abilities the creature had used during the long pursuit.

The good news was Lucan had dropped the stolen sword and the party could now return to Nadir with the sword to claim the reward and clear their teammate’s name. The only question remained was where was the real Nameless.

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Happy New Year to all!

I hope you all had a great holiday season, rested up, partied and/or spent some time with those you care about. With the New Year starting I wanted to thank everyone who reads this and that has helped me towards my goal to build my D&D hobby into something that could one day support me fulltime.

I have started a couple of campaigns with some great players and they are progressing to levels that they are now ready to have their tales told. To that end, I will be introducing three new stories to my site. The new groups are The Platinum Ring, The Slayers and the as yet unnamed third group. Each started around the third level, have proceeded to somewhere around 5th or 6th now. Which is time for their various tales to be told. Over the next couple of weeks, I will provide some backstory for each group and do my best to spin their adventures into tales worthy of reading and sharing.

Thank you again for your patronage and please remember a like is great but a share to your friends/groups helps to spread the word.

If you have an feedback or suggestions please email rpgdmca@gmail.com

You are not entering this world in the usual manner, for you are setting forth to be a Dungeon Master. Certainly, there are stout fighters, mighty magic-users, wily thieves, and courageous clerics who will make their mark in the magical lands of D&D adventure. You, however, are above even the greatest of these, for as DM you are to become the Shaper of the Cosmos. It is you who will give form and content to the all the universe. You will breathe life into the stillness, giving meaning and purpose to all the actions which are to follow.” 
― 
Gary Gygax

IF YOU BUILD IT…MY CURRENT CAMPAIGN (11)

If you Build It…My Current Campaign If you want to start at the beginning

As the party realized the train was being held up they prepared for a fight then decided they did not give a damn about the train or anyone on it except for their companion Nameless. Tulth approached the Warforge that appeared to be the leader of the armed bandits with an attempt to parlay.

After a few well placed and precise words with the leader it was decided to let party find their quarry and leave peacefully rather than get into a fight Tulth convinced her that party would win or at least delay the bandits long enough for additional help to arrive.

Completing a quick survey of the passenger cars, the party turned up empty-handed. That is when Bane noticed one of the bandits on the ground and someone riding off on his Mage horse, by the size and shape it had to be Nameless.

The party rushed off in pursuit on foot, heading into a swamp to the south of the train’s track. Eventually, they could see the top of a Ziggurat in the distance and the trail of the horse was leading straight for it. The party picked up their pace and finding the water was only waist deep at the most in some areas, they moved in as they finally had their target cornered.

They entered from the level even with the waterline and were immediately attacked by an Executioner’s hood which fell from the ceiling and on to Ander’s head doing some damage and starting to smother him. Bane jumped to the rescue and with much finesse and gusto sliced into the attacking creature removing it from Ander’s head and killing it quickly before it could move away to hide in the shadows. They started down and into the massive structure.

All was quiet in the ancient ruins, the only sound, the dripping of the surrounding swamp slowly oozing its way between the seams in old stone walls. Looking at the carvings in the walls, ceiling and floors one could tell this place was once beautiful, opulent and full of life.

As the party moved deeper in the Ziggurat the scenes in the tiles, carvings and frescos showed a small village growing crops, sending out hunting parties and thriving, then the arrival of a ‘man’, he is shown with glowing yellow eyes and the people in the images prostrate before him in poses of worship. The sequence then shows the people of the village building this very temple, as it grows the number of people working on it lessen, one can see that the village around is falling into disrepair and the swamp begins to envelop the village, flowing and drowning all other buildings in the
sequential carvings until all that is left above the water is the top of the Ziggurat.

As the party makes its way down and enters the final room in the base of the temple, they see Nameless placing the stolen sword into and sliding the heavy lid to close a large stone sarcophagus that dominates the room.  As Namless turns to face them his eyes glow yellow.

To be concluded – Next Chapter – ‘Al la final”

IF YOU BUILD IT…MY CURRENT CAMPAIGN (10)


If you Build It…My Current Campaign If you want to start at the beginning

The party hustles their buns to get to the station and find that they only have a few minutes before the Lightning Rail Train is scheduled to depart. They approach the ticket booth and quickly remember the riff given to them by the Nadir city council, using it to pay the huge sums required to ride. Not even sure where they are going they rush out to the platform to see the train starting to slowly move as it picks up speed heading out of the station.

Lightning Train of Eberron

The train picked up speed as the party starts to look around the rear car. They mark their way forward through the passenger cars to the dining car the other passengers looked rather shocked and mildly annoyed at the interruption of their various meals but the dirty, sweaty and painfully informally dressed group.

Just as a group of four Dragonborn rise from their seat at the same time looking to address our party of interlopers they whole train shudders and throws the entire contents of the room toward the front of the car. Anything not attached to the car itself flies ten feet forward. The party manages to make all their DEX saves and stay on their feet with only minor damage from some broken glass. 

Looking out the windows to try and find out what is going on and spot around nine or ten Wareforged riding horses, along with a handful of Halflings flying around on large birds, all shooting various weapons at the train in an effort to slow the train enough to gain a way onboard. Looks like they are smack in the middle of a train robbery.

Next Part 11 – “Missed him by that much” – Maxwell Smart

IF YOU BUILD IT…MY CURRENT CAMPAIGN (9)

If you Build It…My Current Campaign If you want to start at the beginning

The two ships were locked together in the air, shaking and spiralling down at an alarming rate of speed.

One of the things you should know about the magically powered flight is when two ships collide it is very similar to two water sailing ships. Many things could cause your death, fire, the enemy, falling ship rigging, however, instead of a chance of drowning should you be knocked overboard, you instead get an opportunity to plummet to your death. dw fallingRemember it is not the fall but the amount of fall with an abrupt landing that kills you.

The party engaged in battle on the deck found that the ship made for very difficult terrain as it rocked back and fouth while tilting up and down like a carnival ride has gone mad.   Circling around the two ship battle were three small Skiffs, they each held four attackers and one person controlling the Skiff from the rear seat via a rudder. As the Skiffs closed range the soldiers aboard would fire flaming arrows at the rigging, onto the deck or into the crew. WIth the level of flame and smoke increasing, Through all the havoc Tluth managed to see a figure the size and shape of Nameless leap on to one of the Skiffs, tossing the soldiers overboard and turned to begin racing away from the battle. Tluth yelled at his party for someone to stop the escaping quarry. Bane realizing how easy it was to commandeer a Skiff took it upon himself to leap to one of them as they passed him, knocking the soldiers off in the process and with a little fancy sword working sent the body of the pilot right behind them.  The ground was quickly approaching the two intertwined large vessels and a wreak was inevitable. The rest of the party took this opportunity to join Bane on his newly acquired transport. They were in pursuit of their target once more when a wildly fired harpoon from one of the main ships hit the rudder of the parties Skiff and they began losing altitude and speed.  The two large vessels hit the ground with a sound that could wake sleeping gods as they both exploded into balls of flames.

The party clear of the blast zone turned to pursue their target and could see Nameless’s Skiff flying at full speed pulling ahead towards a Lightning Rail Station. The parties Skiff gave up the goat about 10-12 miles from the station and the party start walking.

lightningrail

With the sun rising they could see the parched lifeless plain they were in the middle of the only thing visible for miles was the train station out here in the middle of nowhere. The party could now see the arrival of one of the famous Lightning Rail Trains and they picked up the pace as they were sure Namless would board the train to get away.

Next Part 10 – “Get on board they’re outward bound again” – Jonny cash

Ditch the wilderness maps!

Theatre of the mind works so well if you are not into running a tactical battle game. I like to have images to show my party. I try to find pictures on the net or if I am using a module I will use those to help inspire the players’ imaginations.

Ominosity

I love maps, I really do. I wish I could cover my walls in all sorts of different maps. I could happily cover my sitting room walls in different maps of the world, my bedroom in all the fantasy maps full of endless forests, and my toilet with favourite dungeons. The thing is though, I don’t much like using maps when I’m running D&D.
As soon as the map his the table I feel like we’ve all taken a step out of the RPG and are instead playing a tactical travel game. That leaves me having to work twice as hard to describe the journey because in the player’s heads they are moving 2cm along a piece of paper. Or worse, from hex 0305 (forest) to hex 0404 (hills).
There is an alternative. Lets call them spoken maps. In the real world we call them “directions” but that might be…

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IF YOU BUILD IT…MY CURRENT CAMPAIGN (8)

If you Build It…My Current Campaign If you want to start at the beginning.

Luck for the party casting off an airship takes much more time than even an oceangoing vessel. As they raced to the top of the docking tower trying to catch up to Nameless and find out why he took the sword and fled. As they reached the docking area they were confronted by a few of the Teamsters, not slowing to fight the part took its chances with the attacks of opportunity. A globe of darkness from Tluth, a misty step from Anders and

airship dock

They made it onboard just as the ship pulled out of reach of the tower. As the ship turns and gains speed they hear a voice booming over the sound of rushing wind and fire elemental.

“Who the hell are ya, I hope you can pay or fly!” The voice coming from a tough looking half-elf, captain of the Cloud’s Destiny. The ship they have just stowed away on.

“If you don’t have a letter of passage or tickets we will be throwing you overboard as soon as we clear the city!”

Lyrandar airship

Some quick talk from Bane and a bag of small gems and the captain seemed much more relaxed having them stay onboard, though he claimed to not have seen any Warforge on board other than the three that were part of his crew. Most airships are small and the Cloud’s Destiny was not an exception, so the party decided to search the ship. As they investigated some of the smaller holds and rooms, they could not find Namless anywhere and an over six foot tall, magical machine man cannot be hidden very easily.

Suddenly the whole ship jumped as if someone had tried to smack it from the sky. As they rushed to the deck they saw off the stern another airship closing fast and firing large harpoons with ropes tied to them into the body of the Cloud’s Destiny. The captain yelling for the crew to prepare to be boarded.

Next Part 9 – It is not the fall that will kill you, it is the landing

IF YOU BUILD IT…MY CURRENT CAMPAIGN (7)

If you Build It…My Current Campaign If you want to start at the beginning.

As the party closed in on the wagon, they all drew closer to the city of Trolsport, which is known as a transportation/shipping hub as much as for its’ aristocratic merchant families with their grand balls, gossiping and intrigue, all in the name of gaining favor over each other in the eyes for the ruling council.

The overly decorated cart must have been familiar to the guards at the gate as they allowed it to rush straight by the crowd of animals, carts and various people waiting to get let in, bowling over a couple of very angry looking dwarves in the process. The party was forced to stop at the gates as guards moved to block their way. The typical business in town questions and a little golden lubricant go them through the gate ahead of many angry others. Still, the delay cost them the destination of their runaway party member and the sword they have been sent to recover from him.

trolanport-street

The only lead they have is the name Trell, after stashing the horses and their travel clothes at a nearby Inn they begin their investigation, asking about the coach which tends to stand out. A few minutes later and they are standing outside an embassy, which happened to be holding a masquerade ball. The party needs to get costumes and invitations quick. Tluth ran to a tailor’s shop and got himself some upper-class Drow finery with only a small mask to cover his eyes, paper mache dog head and minotaur head for Bane and Anders respectively.

The entrance was heavily guarded, with all invitations being inspected. A combination of sleight of hand, distraction, intimidation and luck eventually got them through the doors and into the large reception hall beyond.

masqueradeball

The music and dancing were distracting, as were people approaching Tluth trying to find out which Drow house he was from hoping to win favour and possibly a trade deal for goods from the Underdark which are all the rage in aristocratic society, little did they know how much anger Tluth had against his own people and what they represented. Finally, they spotted Namless slipping out a servant’s door near the rear of the ballroom.  The party joined back up by the door and ran after Nameless in hot pursuit. As they followed him through some winding halls, they emerged as the base of an airship tower and can see at the top the ship is preparing to cast off!!!

Next Part 8 – The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss!

 

If you Build It…My Current Campaign (6)

If you Build It…My Current Campaign If you want to start at the beginning.

After a good nights sleep the party was informed that The Purple Rose has been removed. They investigated and the main house was full of summoning circles and a lot of spell damage, looked like multiple summonings had gone wrong at the same time. Bane also noticed a few Red Finger symbols within and outside the house. After a fight with some kind of demon. The party found a little girl hiding in the attic and had her taken back to Glimar to see if she could figure out what happened.

They returned to the Styx Oarsman and took care of minor business, retiring for the evening. In the morning they woke to find Nameless was missing!! The remainder of the party searched the building alas he was nowhere to be found. As they opened the door to start a more widespread search they were met by one of the city guards with a summons from the new interim leader of the city guard Skifflen, stating that he knew of the fate of their teammate Nameless.

When they arrived at Skifflen’s office he lays it on them.

“The city requires your assistance in a matter that is grave for the survival of the city. By the power bestowed upon me by the council, I hereby deputize you, herewith, and task upon thee to return the sword stolen by your associate, Nameless. Any divergence from the task will be considered treasonous and be met with the swiftest of judgement from the City Guard. I have been granted permission to use any means necessary in completing this task and have been gifted a most generous portion of the treasury upon the completion. What say you?”

Left with little choice and wanting to find out why their comrade had taken such a valuable item from the city, jeopardizing their prime goal within the city.  The part took off in pursuit on mage horses provided by the city, with a writ allowing them to expense travel costs, materials and loggings if needed.

lucanscoach

Namless was seen leaving the city in an ornamental coach using the Causey Road Gate three hours before the party started following. They were after him and closing as their mage horses had less weight to carry.

Next Part 7 – Dance like no one else is watching

IF YOU BUILD IT…MY CURRENT CAMPAIGN (5)

If you Build It…My Current Campaign If you want to start at the beginning.

After a good nights rest the party received information that Beth the Harbourmaster is on the take and has been skimming all transactions with impunity. The party had a choice report Beth ‘Golden hair‘ Anderton to the authorities, in this case, it would be directly to Maximus Crowe, the Captian of the city watch or a Bane suggested approach Beth and blackmail her to get in on the deal.

5 Harbour Master visited

The party proceeded to the Harbourmaster’s HQ and found it very busy, sailors, merchants and all manner of persons, trying to pay fees, arguing about the high prices of the fees, bartering and haggling. It is a wonder that ships move in and out of the harbour at all. The commotion at the waiting tables in the main hall was just short of a riot. The party managed to grab a passing paper pusher and ask about meeting with Beth, after a little golden grease, peppered with subtle threats, the party was taken to the back office to meet the one and only Beth ‘Golden hair‘ Anderton. 

She was standing behind a large wooden desk covered in papers, three little halflings with ink-stained fingers their heads buried in ledgers crunching numbers so loudly you could almost hear them sitting at little desks against the walls, did not even turn to see the menacing group that was just let in, now taking up a good half the room.

Cerise_BloodmournThe party opens by pointing out that they could very easily report their knowledge of her skimming off the top of every import and export going through the harbour to the city council and that would be the end of her unless she cuts them in on the deal.  A bit of intimidation from the group of four and she agrees on one condition. They need to get Maximums the Captain of the city guard off her back. She tells them that he has been investigating her for years, ever since she turned down his marriage proposal trying to get enough on her to blackmail her to marry him or leave the city in shame.

The party proceeded to Maximum’s house following directions that were given by Beth. When they arrived outside the Captain’s place they noticed it was very dark inside as if the Captain had already turned in for the evening. As a group, they crept up to the front door and Bane reached out to test the handle, the door was unlocked so they let themselves in. A quick search of the first floor found the place to be empty, they proceeded upstairs and could hear snoring coming from a closed door at the end of the hall. The heavily armoured party members decided to go downstairs an wait in the kitchen for Bane and Anders to bring Maximum down to them. Bane burst into the room as quietly as a breeze and shoved a pillowcase over the sleeping man’s head. Which of course woke him, but it was too late Bane and Anders had full control of the victim.

Bane shoved Maximum into the kitchen and onto a chair, the party closing in to surround their target. After a few tough words from Bane and Tulth, it became apparent to Maximum who was behind this, he started to try and cut them a deal, to remove Beth and place them in charge of the harbour, when they began to discuss the pros and cons of this offer as a group, Maximum interrupted, yelling loudly, offering that if anyone in the room would turn on the fellows, immediately and work to free him he would reward them greatly. This was too much for Tluth’s sense of honour and he plunged his sword through the back of the chair and clean through the naked city Captain. Looting and smashing things in the house on their way out to make it appear as a burglary, the party heads back to the Harbourmaster while making sure they are not followed. They explain what happened, about the captain attacking them and they had to defend themselves ending in his death. Beth keeps her word and offers them a cut in her business, increasing the value of their operation many-fold as well as providing ways to import and export black market items.

 

Next Chapter 6 – Follow that Warforge…