View Full Version : Journal The Isle of Luvasta: A Family's Campaign Journal

2017-07-01, 06:41 PM
The Isle of Luvasta:
A Family's Campaign Journal

After the completion of a long-running campaign set in our favorite DM’s setting of Elysium (the Material Plane in his world, and a place that has contained all of our campaigns throughout its history), our DM announced that he would be running a short campaign in E10, meaning that levelling past level 10 would grant only bonus feats. All that he would tell us regarding the workings of the campaign were that we would be shipwrecked and attempting to escape an island, and the vibe of the campaign would generally be horror-themed. Teleportation, of course, was peremptorily banned, and we were informed that no other islands would be within easy reach of flight.

We were started at level 5, with 32 point buy and the information that 1) our wealth would likely remain largely static, and 2) certain prestige classes might be approved for use as base classes, pending DM approval. Based on this, and a healthy dose of inspiration from a particularly excellent campaign journal (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?325177-Cattle-Driving-Necromancers-Bizarre-Campaign-Journal), I proposed a glorious plan to my party in secret. Having just finished playing a rotating cast from a mercenary company with few bonds and many deaths, the party was keen on the new direction. Mechanics were submitted weeks in advance for vetting, but backstories were kept back until the last possible moment, so as to keep our DM in suspense (a fact which he gamely went along with).

Given how much fun we've been having, and having been suffering recently from withdrawl from missing my usual weekly writing group, I have decided to challenge myself to write up this full campaign for the enjoyment of all. The following campaign journal is the culmination of where this plan led and the adventures of our intrepid band of…heroes.

Campaign Specific Information:
Your group for a variety of reasons has set forth to sail on the ship Iapetus setting off from the Southeastern port of Storm’s Edge, a popular port for travelers and merchants alike.

The Campaign Setting:
The world of Elysium is many many eons old. It was originally forged by ancient gods coming from a location beyond mortal knowledge to create a new home for themselves. These gods ruled the primitive civilizations that flourished in the new world. However, wars amongst the gods themselves began to break out and they saw fit to issue an unbreakable sanction amongst themselves. An oath of, limited, interference. Only through their followers could they act upon the mortal world and only through their followers could they gather strength. Eventually though, the mortals of the world figured out how to use the gifts of the gods on their own without the need of the gods permission.
It was only a matter of time after that, eventually one particular mortal eventually grew too powerful. With an ancient relic and a powerful ritual he wiped out the mortal civilizations on the planet and without their followers granting them strength the gods were soon to follow. The mortal now know only as the Overlord was a mage of mental manipulation, his followers were his slaves and they adored him. They adored him to such a degree he eventually ascended to godhood through their praise. However, the god’s previous sanction still held and he was thus locked from interfering except through his mentally controlled slaves.
Eons passed as the Overlord ruled through his slaves, establishing puppet kingdoms and had them war amongst themselves for his own amusement. However, a group of survivors from the Era of the Firstborn Gods had escaped and grew in strength in the farthest reaches of the planes. They hid, as they had no possible chance against the Overlord, they couldn’t reach the material plane and even as they grew in strength the Overlord grew further and faster.
Eventually, a moment of opportunity occurred. The Overlord found a ritual to break free of the Firstborn Gods’ pact but it weakened him tremendously. During ritual the rebels struck striking quickly and deadly and shattered the Overlord’s grip over his minions. His minions lost to madness at his death fled and scattered only to be hunted down by the rebels. Even with most of the world shattered by the energies unleashed by his death the rebels, now naming themselves the Ashen Pact, vowed to rebuild civilization from the former ashes. And thus they established a new nation of equality and grace.
It didn’t last. In either a last moment of spite or some other distant contingency the nation was struck by an apocalypse. A great beast of terror and unbelievable strength, bound to the late Overlord had gone mad and heralded its entrance to the world by destroying the entire nation in an instant. The burgeoning empire was burned to ashes and the remnants of their kingdom lies in the burning wastes in the center of Elysium. Hundreds of years later, their kingdom still lies there, burning, with horrible monstrosities wandering the wastes.
The beast, a terrible monstrosity of black flames left after destroying the Ashen Pact and the few survivors breathed a sigh of relief. They rebuilt smaller fractured civilizations, but the beast returned. Destroying civilization after civilization in its mad frenzy and rage. Any civilization that grew too fast or too large grew the beast’s ire and was destroyed. Numerous names for the beast started to circulate, but only one is universally known, the “Black Hawk”, for the beast appears to be a colossal bird of prey constantly surrounded by a haze of black smoke and fire. Thus begins the story of the 3rd Era of Elysium. The world finds itself in constant turmoil, city states trade and war and bicker with themselves as they slowly check over their shoulder to make sure they don’t draw the Black Hawk’s wrath. Through faith and hope minor nature gods and the like have begun appearing, but they are far too weak to strike against the Black Hawk and can’t interfere directly in the world themselves. Yet amongst this fear struck world individuals find their way to persevere and strive towards their goals.

Character Creation

• Starting at Level 5
o E10 (Max level 10 beyond that you get feats for leveling up).
• All D&D 3.5 Books are allowed, dragon magazine content must be specifically approved by me.
• 32 Point buy (Unless you have a level adjustment, see below)
• No Alignment restrictions but your character MUST be able to work together in a party.
• Level Adjustment works as in E6 (You get less point buy the higher your LA is)
o http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/E6_(3.5e_Sourcebook)/Rules#Races_with_a_Level_Adjustment
• Backstory:
o No need to make an incredibly in depth one if you don’t want to. However some details are necessary, you can do it bullet point style if need be.
• Ban List/House Rules: Most of these are completely irrelevant to a normal game but it’s just a list of rules that have come up in previous games so I just update it whenever something new comes to attention. If you are new to D&D 3.5 you can probably safely ignore this for now.
o https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nKaBEZZFaN4ileN0y9vfNGUF8e84Rk12vLOk01f5_60/edit?usp=drive_web
• Pathfinder/Homebrew content must be run by me first but I am generally easygoing regarding it as long as it isn’t unbalanced
o In particular both Pathfinder’s Paladin and Occultist (3rd Party by Radiance House) are classes I particularly like.

2017-07-01, 07:07 PM
Chapter 0: Family Bonds:
The general consensus was that if we were going to play in a horror game, having just finished a drawnout campaign filled with horrifying undead and difficult moral choices, then by golly, we would provide the horror instead of having it inflicted upon us! As such, we provided the following GROUP backstory to our DM, a mere few hours before the session was scheduled to begin.

If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears -- Family Motto

A starving man steals a fruit, and is found chained in front of the stall, beaten half to death. The Eye of Winter, an artifact that was said to be unstealable, was gone the very next day, replaced with a doodled cantaloupe. A politician promised to clean up the corruption in Storm’s Edge, and was found naked and gibbering in his basement the next day, incapable of coherent thought. The iron first in the iron glove is the preferred method of the Greenbriar Family, the undisputed lords of the underworld in Storm’s Edge. Founded by a mad pixie and an evil treant, and thriving in the harsh burning jungles of Stormhold, the Greenbriar family exerts their will upon every layer of society on the island, from the elites to the most base commoner. Their leadership varies widely, from raging maniacs to demure demonologists, but the current leader is a brutish and blunt enforcer named Lucian. Under his leadership, the family has adopted an active role in the city’s management, often enforcing their own laws with blatant disregard to the workings of the world above, but always keeping to their agreements, as per Lucian’s orders. Recently, however, the island of Stormhold has proved too small for Lucian’s ambitions, and the family has turned their eyes to the northern islands of Sunhold and Moonhold...

The Lanholdts
One of a few Druid clans with close ties to the Greenbriars. Mostly NE, they believe that nature is inherently cruel, with no morality besides ‘eat or be eaten,’ so they see no problem with the family killing people, or even, to an extent, harming the environment. This attitude makes them hated by other Druid clans, so they stay close to the family for protection. In return, they use reincarnation to keep the Greenbriars alive.

The Family/The Players:

Founder of the Greenbriar family. Pixie whose main role in the family is to guide younger members and keep an eye on the long term goals of the Greenbriars. One of the oldest non-immortals, she has few friends as she knows she’ll outlive them. Very few people know her proper age as she keeps it a very well guarded secret.
Mechanically, she is a CE pixie assassin 5 (she was cleared to take this as a base class) with a penchant for wandering off on her own and causing havoc.

Current Head of the Household. Human with a penchant for the finer things in life, such as crushing his enemies, driving them before him, and hearing the lamentations of their women. He is the leader not out of any sort of exceptional intelligence level or charismatic aura about him, rather, due to two reasons. First; he's the eldest member of the actual Greenbriar family, not just one of the syndicate who took the name. Second; he's the biggest man you’ve ever seen. In the city of Storm’s Edge, the Greenbriars are known for their face business of an apothecary. But everyone really knows them for illicit goods, smuggling, and everything in between. Lucian is the enforcer, the muscle, the intimidating factor that's along for the ride so long as it means he’ll get a chance to beat the hell out of someone who deserves it. Not to say he doesn't have a code, it's just limited to people who in someway disrespect the family. Has a soft spot for his sister Poppy. That, and the ladies.

Mechanically speaking, he is a LE Half-Vampire Dungeoncrasher (Fighter), with a guisarme and the strange idea of stopping and talking to people before torturing or killing them. Intimidation comes naturally to both him and his younger sister Poppy.

A 9 year old girl with a monstrous sorcerer stuck in her head, she has seen the worst that the world has to offer and is broken enough that it no longer affects her, mostly because she has put her own eyes out. She is completely emotionless and tends to follow the suggestions of her family, or lets Mirion out to play if she feels threatened.

Mirion Greenbriar -- Visionary. Madman. Alienist. Once a rising star in the world of aberrations and their study, Mirion was obsessed with the improvement of human efficiency. As his exploits grew, he became enamored of his own abilities, reaching farther and faster. His crowning achievement was also his downfall, the summoning of a Quarut whose abilities he meant to absorb, both as an improvement to his own body and mind and as a sacrifice to please various powerful aberrations. His summoning went awry and both his mind and the Quarut's were ripped from their bodies and hurled into the nearest available blank receptacle -- a baby resting in her cradle. Over the next hundred years, his already broken mind slowly merged with that of the Quarut, shattering it fully. Due to a bloodlink he established with the baby and his own heritage, he was able to pass from child's mind to child's mind, and it soon became almost a secret rite of passage to the Greenbriar family, who welcomed his raw power regardless of the form it took.

Mechanically, Poppy is a Phrenic NE Beguiler who entered Nightmare Spinner at second level via early entry. The giant-blood in her veins and the wizard in her head give her an unmatched force of will and the ability to become invisible at will (primordial half giant), but her youth and obvious insanity prevent her from acting as the party face.

A new initiate to the greenbriars, having worked with them a few months, but not yet far enough in the family to take the name. He is a strange Draconic man who is primarily used as a distraction, known for his ability to slow down guards and promote quick getaways, he was working for a previous thief organization until he left, and said something about facing fear of assassins when he joined the Greenbriars.

Mechanically, Garf is a true neutral dragonfire adept with a breath weapon that both entangles and slows, and is built as a flying hit-and-run character. His alignment leads to some clashing with his less scrupulous party-members.

Lucian's half-brother and Poppy's uncle, Mav is a rebellious rulebreaker and creative problem solver. Although he is very good at alchemy, he is also exceptionally good at getting into trouble, and often needs the other Greenbriar members to keep him from making extremely poor decisions. He is extremely confident in his alchemical talents, and also (overly) confident in his diplomatic and business abilities. He believes his alchemical creations can solve most people’s problems. Tends to resolve conflicts explosively.

Mechanically, Mav is a CN pathfinder Grenadier Alchemist, built to deal large amounts of damage in large areas, as well as able to slap down several other nasty debuffs.

Clan elder. Wise, intelligent, and charismatic (read: MAD), the rest of the Druids follow his lead. He joined the alliance with the Greenbriars, as they already had a few Druids among their ranks with similar ideas and were sympathetic to his cause.

Mechanically, Fray is a NE Druid. He has configured his feats to give him a certain...edge when convincing someone to take a certain action. However, this facet of his abilities only comes online at 6th level. The party is given no information on what form this ability may take.