A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Well, hey, my turn's come around again to run a game, and everyone foolishly agreed to one of my homebrew madhouses again. I really enjoyed writing the previous campaign journals, so I'll try and keep up with this one as well!

    First session won't actually be till the 13th, but I figured I'd get the background snippets in the first post, as well as the initial character ideas - see if it encourages some more creative juices to flow for the players.

    Spoiler: flavour text for the world and brief race descriptions
    Show
    Spoiler: Intro snippet
    Show
    Surrounded by her fallen comrades, the dwarven warrior flicks the gore off her blade and tightens her grip. Hissing ghouls clamber over the dead, inexorably swarming towards the last defender between them and the tunnel leading to the city.

    The Tiefling wanderer clears his throat, mind racing for which song to play. The fey court watches eagerly, and he stridently ignores how sharp their teeth and claws look...as well as the messy remains of the poor soul who “auditioned” just before him.

    Packs laden with treasure, the band of scavengers run for their lives. Lungs and legs burning, they scramble for the cavern entrance at the bottom of the valley. Trees tremble and the wind howls as the Radiance storm descends on them.

    The mercenaries eye each other as the villagers flee to their homes. Doors lock and shutters slam as the eerily thick mist envelops the fishing village. Guttural chanting begins to echo from seemingly all directions, and out on the water, the prow of a raiding ship cuts through the fog.



    Spoiler: What the heck sort of world is this?
    Show
    It is a world of Frontiers, Adversity, and Disparity.

    Frontiers: There are precious few “tamed” regions. Even the greatest cities have their borders constantly pushed and encroached on by the wild. Destructive storms and bizarre magic reshape the landscape, wiping away established trade routes and roads. They also can reveal troves of valuable resources and plunder, waiting to be seized by those bold and strong enough.

    Adversity: Conflict is ever-present and inescapable. Settlements battle with raiders, bandits, and each other for resources. Creeds and religions call for the death of non-believers. Different peoples and races spill blood far too readily. Even the world itself seems to lash out with Radiance-twisted monstrosities, mercurial fey, and disastrous weather.

    Disparity: Light and Dark. Life and Death. The cities and the wild. The Spirit World and the Physical. This is a world of stark differences, and the friction between these disparities twists and shapes everything. Overcoming these differences is what separates those who thrive in this world from those who fall victim.


    Spoiler: Important terms and definitions
    Show
    Light and Dark: Pure primordial energies of creation and dissolution
    Portals of Light and Dark pour forth from the north and south Poles, shaping and warping the geography & weather.

    Light is heat, life, growth, expansion and complexity. Magic that creates something usually taps into Light, whether that creation is an explosion of flame, a summoned servant, or an idea in someone’s mind that wasn’t there before. Too little Light, and new life cannot come forth. Too much Light, and it corrupts, overwhelms, and ultimately destroys.

    Dark is cold, entropy, simplification, division, and definition by absence. Magic that removes or curtails is associated with Darkness; tearing the life force out of a living being, binding a spirit, or clouding memories. Too little Dark, and life warps and grows rampant. Too much Dark is oblivion.

    Radiance is the fallout from the pure Light at the north pole, spilling across the world in waves. It triggers unrestrained growth, eventually mutating and overwhelming. Radiance storms create insane monsters, wild magic, and rampant chaos. At their mildest, radiance storms are violent weather patterns with eerie glowing colours and a malicious disposition. At their strongest, solidified light can rain down from the sky as burning plasma, reducing entire landscapes to dust. Most settlements are at least partially underground due to this; the larger / more advanced often also have relics that help block Radiance

    The Spirit World: Also known as The Ascendant Plane, this is the counterpart to the Physical realm / Material plane. An endless void of burning light and icy shadow, interspersed with floating monoliths of stone and crystal. A realm of will and power, creatures with enough of the latter can use the former to carve out their own world. Souls travel the Spirit World before birth and after death, grand shining ribbons zealously guarded by the Celestial angels. Hungry Fiends, malevolent spirits, and stranger things all attempt to prey upon these souls, eager to turn them to their own ends.

    The Sorrows: Immortal monstrosities that have plagued the world for millennia. As much catastrophes as creatures, the three Sorrows have murdered species, nations, and gods alike. Appearing at random, the Sorrows have never been destroyed; only sometimes driven back at immense cost. Their absence for the past 300 years has brought both furtive hope and growing dread in equal measure.

    Spoiler: The Hungry Dream, Sorrow of the Earth
    Show
    heralded by an eerie magenta glow seen even by the blind, a force that claims, controls, and consumes all it encounters. Only colorless rot and dust is left behind


    Spoiler: The Tidebreaker, Sorrow of the Sea
    Show
    A pelagic nightmare of titanic proportions, the world itself trembles in its wake. Even the hint of its presence can drive the living mad with fear


    Spoiler: The Ruinstorm, Sorrow of the Sky
    Show
    An endless storm that shatters the very stone. And at its heart, a mountain that walks



    Spoiler: Primary playable races
    Show
    Spoiler: Humans
    Show
    If humans once ruled this world, those days are long past. Their kingdoms shattered, their gods slain, humanity hangs on by ragged nails and cracked teeth. But they still endure, fighting for whatever scraps they can claim.

    The Day of Three Sorrows destroyed the ancestral seat of humans, broke the back of the empire that had grown and swelled around it, and murdered the gods who guided and protected it. The survivors fled and scattered to all corners of the world, desperate to somehow escape the end of everything they had known.

    But 300 years later the race of man still stands. Whether a penniless child of refugees struggling in the bloated cities, a vagabond fighting for survival in the wilderness, or a mercenary killing for coin, humanity continues to fight against all odds.


    Spoiler: Dwarves
    Show
    Dwarves live their lives by three tenets.
    Loyalty to one's lord.
    Honor to one's ancestors.
    Duty to one's people.

    Such iron dedication has enabled the dwarven race to survive a state of near-constant warfare for ages...but one could argue this has cost the dwarves greatly. Individual expression and drive is crushed by the necessity of the many, and dreams of the future are discarded in favor of obsession with the past and present. Despite such sacrifice and bloodshed, though, the dwarves have only managed temporary and pyrrhic victories against their immortal foes.

    For millennia the Undead hordes have surged from the deepest pits of the world; for every ghoul and phantom granted true death, another is raised from those who fall battling against the tide of undeath. There will be no cessation or surrender from the dwarven people, though. That is not their way.


    Spoiler: Forged
    Show
    Given life by the eldritch Creation Forges scattered throughout the underground, the Forged are sapient and unique constructs who somehow possess souls - or at least something so close as to be indistinguishable.

    The Dwarves were the ones to discover a gigantic Grand Creation Forge centuries ago. After managing to activate and control it, they used the Forged as little better than slaves, expendable untiring weapons of war. After all, even a sword that spoke was still just a tool to be used.

    It took an act of unmatched bravery and compassion by an unnamed Forged, but the events during the Battle of Singing Steel reshaped the two races and what they meant to one another. No longer property, the Forged were free to choose their own path. Some stayed and continued fighting alongside their former masters, and ever so slowly the jagged bitterness between the two was hammered into unbreakable respect. Others ventured out into the world, causing ripples with every step.

    The Grand Forge the dwarves found has been lost and reclaimed over the years of roiling and shifting combat underneath the surface, and damaged to the point that it can no longer produce legions of gleaming warriors at will. But now another Great Forge has been unearthed, on the other side of the world.


    Spoiler: Tieflings
    Show

    Tieflings were once shunned and persecuted for the Fiendish taint lurking in their bloodlines. Outcasts struggling at the fringes of society, many felt a strange calling to travel northwest, to the swamps. There they began to eke out an existence for themselves, away from the judgements of their progenitors.

    There is no small amount of irony that 300 years after the empire of humanity was utterly destroyed, the kingdom built by the exiled Tieflings is one of the most powerful and stable in the world. 7 great Houses rule secular concerns, while 7 grand Choirs of deities preside over matters of faith and mystery. Indeed, there are more Gods, Powers and Dominions in the capital than any other - perhaps their otherworldly heritage calls to those in search of worship.

    But despite their cosmopolitan outlook and mercantile attitude, one should never forget where the heritage of Tieflings originates. And there are whispers that the deepest, darkest parts of those swamps hide the secret of what those houses did so long ago in exchange for their kingdom.


    Spoiler: Elves
    Show
    Eyes ever cast upwards to the heavens, the Elves are seekers of esoteric mysteries. Dissatisfied with physical existence, they strive to unlock the secrets of the universe, particularly that of Light and Radiance. Such focus (bordering on obsession) has granted elves a mastery with magic beyond any other race, but Radiance is not gentle to mortal flesh or minds. Its corrosive touch has weakened an elf’s grasp to the mortal coil in more ways than one.

    Beyond their hunger for arcane knowledge, elves are guided by their past. Even more than the dwarves, for the elves’ ancestors still walk among them. Slipping their physical shell, they are infused with so much Light that they become beings of pure will and energy. These Deathless advise and direct their physical descendants, as well as creating and empowering the Risen, their undying champions. Woe to those who imply any similarities between undead and either the Risen or Deathless, however. The undead are anathema, and such an insult is more often than not worth the life of whoever utters it.

    But can beings who cast their mortality aside as a stunted failure truly be trusted to guide the living?


    Spoiler: Orcs
    Show

    Dismissed by many as primitive savages, the tribes of the orcs have held to their traditions for countless generations. Peerless survivors, they can live and even thrive in conditions that others would not even attempt. No expedition to the wilds would regret hiring an orcish guide - they have an uncanny connection to the land and its ferocious inhabitants.
    Even this connection has not been enough to spare the orcs from the touch of Radiance, however. Slowly but surely they have become more prone to violence, more likely to dismiss reason and calm. The other races have only exacerbated this, clashing with orcs in their search for resources and relics. Forced to stray from ancestral hunting lands, the orc tribes struggle against starvation, vicious monsters better avoided, and near-open warfare against the predation of these ’wall-dwellers.’

    As their numbers dwindle and tribes fracture, it remains to be seen if the Orcish way of life will survive.


    Spoiler: Halfbreeds
    Show

    The adaptability of humans is truly remarkable, extending even to their ability to reproduce with other races. Tieflings are the epitome of this, claiming to be an improvement over their progenitors in every way. But other unions deserve attention also - half-elves and half-orcs in particular. Their circumstances all differ, but all hold the potential for true greatness.

    Half-orcs are the children of two fallen races, and they will be either the salvation or doom of both their parents. Possessing both the ambition of humans and the might of orcs, these driven individuals thrive in adversity. Some communities embrace them as a new hope, while others fear them as a sign of a future with no place for the old ways. It is no surprise that many travel into the wilds to face their future head-on.

    Often the children of tragic love, half-elves are set apart from both of their parents’ people. Romances of star-crossed lovers are popular amongst both races, but almost all end poorly. Humans warn that elves are too much like the stars they admire; beautiful, but simply too cold, distant, and even alien in the end. Elves, for their part, caution that humans are fire - rapid, passionate, and entirely capable of saving your life in one breath and consuming you utterly in the next. Such offspring feel out of step with both parent races, and the driving force behind many half-elf adventurers is finding somewhere they belong

    The motives of Celestials are nigh-inscrutable to mortals, and those who inherit their blood seem to share this trait. Unlike the widespread Tieflings (who have fully become their own species), Aasimars (or Angel-blooded) are exceptionally rare. “Blessed” with strange visions and portents, the burden of their celestial heritage is rarely escaped.



    Spoiler: The PCs (or at least the rough sketches)
    Show

    Dag Hayaleti: A dwarven death priest who helps ensure the natural progression and acceptance of death (and help keeps it that way if necessary). His past has been deeply touched by death, and worse things that in no way shape or form will be dragged up to torment everyone by the GM.
    Build: Dwarven Cleric (Grave domain)

    Elianna: A rough and tumble "human" mercenary, she possesses some strange abilities after being caught in a Radiance Storm. At least, that's what she tells people. The eerie dreams that drive and haunt her are probably unrelated.
    Build: Scourge Aasimar Barbarian (path of the Zealot)

    Brokk the Creator: An Orc travelling to master his preternatural gift of forging implements of war. Whether he uses this to protect his tribe, lead them to war, or just abandon them wholesale...well, we'll see. Also, there will be a Ragewalker fey noble involved with this character.
    Build: Orc Cleric (Forge domain)

    Darious: A bounty hunter who wields rare and dangerous black powder weapons, one of the few surviving members of an order dedicated to keeping such knowledge hidden. It's a contractual obligation that a Man (or Woman) in Black will be part of their backstory
    Build: Human "gun mage" (refluffed arcane archer, probably steal gun mage from Iron Kingdoms Requiem when it releases)


    The campaign will start as the PCs travel to the bedraggled town of Flotsam for various reasons. Here's the intro (which is totally meant to be read in the voice of the Darkest Dungeon narrator):
    Spoiler: The River
    Show
    This was once a vibrant and bustling riverport, the gateway to Cicekkale, the Dwarven city of gems and flowers. Ships groaning with goods braved the Satie pass, winding into the valley to trade for shining crystals of Light and Dark, and fine arms & armaments just as prized.

    But beautiful Cicekkale fell to the hungry dead, its petals plucked by jagged claws. The few survivors retreated to what was once a mere trading outpost, or further upwards to the surface with wails of doom and terror. With shaken fist and bloodied steel, the former rulers of Cicekkale swore to retake their city or be forever forsworn, in life and death.

    As failure upon failure to reclaim Cicekkale mounted, the trade ships dwindled. No more did they come laden with gold, food, and treasure for trade. Instead they bore the desperate and the foolhardy; eager to hide amongst the rotting foundations of the town and hurl themselves into the darkened maw below in equal measure.

    Now the settlement of Flotsam squats precariously on the sluggish river, ramshackle and filthy. Two days below lies the outpost turned town of Yarim Yol, swollen and bent beyond its intended purpose. And far below, the damned and haunted city Cicekkale awaits more would-be heroes.

    Cowards and glory-hounds, seekers of absolution and wealth, the determined and the mad alike. Many have made their way to this place, and now you have, too. Will your mettle prove enough to taste victory & success, or will your failings fatten the worms, like so many buried before you?
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2021-03-08 at 01:23 PM.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    First session! Little bit shorter due to one player unexpectedly having to work a night shift + most of us still fumbling around and getting used to Fantasy grounds.

    Theme song!

    We begin with all 4 of our heroes on the same boat travelling to Flotsam...
    Spoiler: Dag
    Show
    An older dwarf man, with striking features due to the shock of completely white hair cutting across part of one eyebrow and a short streak atop his head. One eye being an eerie milky blue also contributes to an intimidating appearance.

    Dag had received a summons from a Sedha Mazhar, requesting his services in "easing and aiding one's natural pasage." Dag recognized Yarim Yol and Cicekkale as somewhat infamous names, but wasn't overly familiar with them. He did know Mazhar as the name of a noble clan, however. How they had requested him specifically was something to be determined once he arrived...


    Spoiler: Elianna
    Show
    A blonde-haired and blue eyed young woman with a near-permanent aura of "don't piss me off." The giant sword hanging off one shoulder is only part of said aura.

    Elianna had been starting to get the nightmares again, the lack of sleep and general restlessness driving her to move on. A grizzled dwarven mercenary turned local smith had bent her ear with tales of lost Cicekkale; a place to work with dwarven warriors (and impress dwarven paymasters), unequivocally deserving enemies to cut down, and glory to be had? Sounded perfect.

    The part she didn't tell anyone was that her most recent nightmare involved a delicate flower made of sapphires, slowly sinking into hungry darkness...


    Spoiler: Brokk
    Show
    Brokk had found a dwarven smith in a quiet village that was willing to train him, but very quickly had absorbed everything he could from the cantankerous dwarf. One night after drinks, Brokk's teacher told him to travel to Yarim Yol and Cicekkale; the dwarf smiths there "are skilled enough that you'll learn what you need to, and desperate enough that they may actually teach you, tuskface." Brokk headed out with the intention of finding Derim Mazhar, a master smith


    Spoiler: Darious
    Show
    Darious wasn't the sort to make in-depth plans; if you plan too much, you become rigid and predictable, and then it's easier for THEM to find you. It was a few factors that convinced him to travel to Flotsam; there was at least one or two valuable bounties that travelled this way, this Elianna merc was decent enough to travel with, and Darious should be able to find all the ingredients needed to make more black powder in a place like Cicekkale.


    It wasn't a particularly large ship that everyone had booked passage on; agile enough to travel up the river, but just large enough to skip across the ocean part of the Satie Pass. It made for a pretty rough ride, introducing everyone to the joys of seasickness. Besides the party, the crew, and a bunch of cargo, there were 5 other passengers heading to Flotsam.

    Spoiler: Nestor, Erwan, and Lisette, "The Beasts"
    Show
    a trio of young Tieflings (Elianna is in her early-mid 20s, and these three claimed to be her age but were probably lying) looking to make their name as a mercenary trio. Elianna quickly called their bluff of being experienced mercs, but felt generous enough to talk shop with them and offer some advice and tips (despite her age, Elianna had been working as a mercenary for several years already)


    Spoiler: Fenn and Vadaris
    Show
    A slightly unusual pair. A heavily armed and armored human woman, Vadaris could nearly look Elianna in the eye (who's quite tall). She was professional and polite, but only slightly made up for Fenn's creepiness. A chirpy young teenage half-elf boy, who would be fine to talk to except for his habit of staring three feet behind the shoulder of whoever was chatting at. That, and how often he mentioned all the things his "Best Friend" told him. Things like all the wonderous treasure and adventure to be found in Cicekkale, and how reality is a feeble construct.

    Vadaris is Fenn's second best friend, because she saved his life so many times.


    Everyone is up on deck, just relaxing, chatting and enjoying that the river is a much calmer ride now. Brokk in particular is fascinated by Darious' pistol. He's able to use his artisan's blessing to make some fine looking shot, but the mysterious black powder is beyond his skills. This just interests him more, and the two happily go back and forth. As evening approaches, Dag and Darious notice an unusual amount of fog spreading across the river - rapidly building to almost start spilling over the railing. Dag draws his crossbow, but doesn't notice anything worth shouting an alarm for. Suddenly there's a pair of loud Thuds against the side of the boat, and half a dozen armed ruffians leap onto the boat, brandishing crossbows and shouting for everyone to surrender!

    Surrender? Ooh boy, they picked the wrong boat...initiative!

    Spoiler: Bandits? Bandits!
    Show
    Elianna gets rather chuffed at the audacious assailants, rages as she rushes up to one of the bandits, and promptly decapitates him with one swing. Barely breaking stride, she heads for the bandit who seems to be directing things (and has two weapons drawn, menacing!). Dag misses a shot with his crossbow...

    Darious however, does not. He draws his pistol, murmuring a brief incantation and blasts out a Piercing shot (arcane archer refluffed as a Gun Mage). The two bandits make their saves, but half damage still nearly kills them. The shot ROARS, and everyone briefly freezes as the thunderous crack echoes. Brokk strides over and clonks another bandit with his club.

    The bandit captain slashes and stabs skillfully, landing two blows on Elianna - but they don't really seem to do much other than make her eyes narrow. The rest of the bandits are apparently a little shaken, and I miss every single shot, stab, or slash for the entirety of the fight.

    Dag gets up close and personal with an axe, burying it between a bandit's shoulder blades. This frees up Darious to move over and do a second Piercing Shot, killing one bandit and crippling another one.

    I handwave Fenn and Vadaris as having been abovedeck as well, fighting a pair of bandits themselves. Fenn points at one bandit, and then drags his thumb across his throat with a vicious grin entirely inappropriate for a child of any age to make. Nothing seems to happen for a second - then the bandit's shoulder explodes in a splash of gore, and he topples over the side of the ship with a scream. Vadaris pushes Fenn down and stands over him protectively, physically heaving a bandit into the water when they dare wander a little too close to Fenn.

    One bandit swears, and dives overboard while exclaiming, "I'm not paid enough for this!" Brokk gestures to the bandit he's fighting, offering them the same out. I was rolling an attack as his player said that, but missed horribly - so I fluff it as him just effortlessly deflecting the bandit's scimitar with his shield as he pointed at the river. Eyes wide, the bandit silently dives overboard.

    The poor bandit captain is fighting valiantly, even parrying a couple attacks from Elianna (who is subtly glowing, it's just starting to become noticeable in the twilight). I roll a misc save after Elianna lands another hit and Dag uses Thaumaturgy to whisper "flee or dddiiieee" all horror movie style, and nat 20 it.

    Then Brokk uses Heat Metal to burn the bandit captain's hands horribly, and I still make the save to hold onto the scimitar. With Elianna and Dag flanking and chopping, Brokk concentrating on Heat metal, and Darious advancing with rapier drawn, the bandit captain quickly dies fighting.

    Since the fight only took a few rounds (30 seconds tops), the captain rushes out of his cabin, exclaims loudly at all the blood and corpses all over his deck, then whistles and thanks the party for taking care of things so quickly. He calls for the crew to toss the bodies overboard, and shrugs when Brokk claims the bandit swords. Dag and Darious realize that the fog must have been magical, but it could have been done by someone on shore and far out of reach already. Elianna finds a pouch of coin on the lead bandit's body, and promptly splits it evenly between everyone who fought. When she reaches Fenn, the teen pipes up.

    "My friend says you fight really well!"

    "Thanks, I guess. Not the first to say that. Does your, er, friend need a share of the coin?"



    "Naw, he says he's beyond such material concepts. He also says you taste like sunlight and storms!"

    "..."

    Vadaris chides him for being creepy and pushes him towards the hold, apologizing for Fenn's Fenn-ness. Dag had previously used his Eyes of the Grave when Fenn had been doing his thousand-mile stare, but hadn't sensed anything. When the party asks what sort of magic Fenn can do, Vadaris makes a bit of a grimace.

    "You know the type of magic that you don't really ask too many questions about? It's that sort. I find it best to just ignore those things he says about his 'friend.'"


    The captain suggests the party get some sleep, he'll make those lazy tieflings keep watch for the night since they didn't even make it on deck before the fight was over. And with that, we end the session. Next one in a couple weeks will be the arrival to Flotsam.

    I didn't think the bandits would be too much of a danger, but I didn't expect quite that insane of a beatdown, lol.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Second session!

    Spoiler: Flotsam
    Show
    There are no further bandit and/or ninja attacks during the night, but it's still raining when the party wakes up. It's about partway through the day on the broad & sluggish river before Flotsam comes into view.

    And to be honest, it's not a very impressive view. It's a city split by the river, and each side is rather different. The one side (the one the ship heads towards) is smaller, but seems at least inhabited, with another ship sitting at the rather ragged docks. A small number of squat buildings sit just within view behind said docks, and beyond workers shuffling back and forth, that's about it. The other side is larger, with quite a few more buildings, but it's both absolutely abandoned-looking and in utter disrepair. Only jagged remnants of docks jut out of the water, and all of the visible buildings are partially destroyed. The most impressive sight of all of this is the bridge arcing over the river - impressive in that it's still in one piece. A massive construct of stone and metal, but with numerous rents, gashes, and chunks torn away. Someone could still traverse the several hundred feet, but they would want to have both good balance and some luck.

    The party disembarks, as do the other passengers. Fenn springs off down the docks, Vadaris waving quickly before chasing after him, and the Beasts go wandering. The party heads for the town square, as it where (the square where most of the town is - it's not that big a place). A smithy or two, a general store, and a good-sized inn seem to take up most of the space. There's a more official looking shop/store of sorts that catches Dag's eye, and he wanders over to read the dwarven runes scrawled on the hanging board. It's a schedule of sorts, mentioning a caravan to Yarim Yol that leaves at dawn weekly. It doesn't mention what day of the week, which makes Dag grumble as only old dwarves can (but not having to walk to Yarim Yol is the goal), and the gang shuffles inside. After a moment, a dwarf meets them at a counter; it's hard to tell more about them as every inch of skin is covered, and they're wearing a full metal mask that covers everything except their eyes. With a wheezing, rattling rasp, they introduce themselves as Ulviye Mazhar, the quartermaster of Flotsam.

    Greeting the obvious newcomers, he nods a little more deeply in deference to Dag, recognizing him as a priest. Dag makes his Medicine roll to recognize the mask as one commonly wore by lepers, and subtly shuffles a little back from the counter. If Ulviye notices, he doesn't react and asks what brings the party here. Dag gruffly states his intention to travel down to Yarim Yol, but doesn't go into too much detail other than that
    Spoiler: Slight DM spoiler
    Show
    not mentioning the name of who requested his services is the main thing
    . Ulviye seems to assume Elianna and Darious are bodyguards/mercs, which isn't that far off, and they don't really correct him. Finally, Brokk hesitantly speaks up, stammering a little as he explains that his former teacher had sent Brokk to seek instruction from Derim Mazhar. Ulviye doesn't quite laugh at the soft-spoken orc, but is more than a little skeptical as he confirms that Derim is indeed a master smith working in Yarim Yol.
    Spoiler: DM note
    Show
    This is the same player who played Talvosh in Artaith; both characters are Orc, but that seems to be about the only similarity so far
    With another pained cough, Ulviye explains that the next caravan leaves for Yarim Yol in 3 days, and that the road to said city is dangerous enough that it's recommended to travel with the caravan. When Dag asks about the nearby inn, Ulviye confirms that the Gilded Owlbear would be somewhere to stay until the caravan arrives (no-one makes the insight check to notice the disdain in Ulviye's tone speaking of the inn). Before leaving, Brokk asks if there is any smith-work or forging that he could do to help out. Bemused, Ulviye agrees to let his blacksmith know, and for Brokk to go see him the next day.


    Spoiler: The Gilded Owlbear
    Show
    Trudging out into the rain again, our heroes head across the square to the Gilded Owlbear. The sign does indeed have a crude drawing of a yellow bear-like creature with some sort of bird head, but it takes a Nature check to actually recognize it. There's two obvious guards huddled under the awning, who straighten up at the sight of newcomers. After the stereotypical "don't start trouble" spiel, everyone heads inside.

    It's worn down, but decent enough inside. A rather rotund man at the bar brightens up at the sight of new guests and fawns over them. Dag orders food, drink, and lodging for three days, which the innkeeper murmurs totals 12 gold. Elianna and Darious pay up too, while Brokk cheaps out and plans to grab someone's floor. Sitting down, they're served a fish&mushroom stew of sort, along with ale. Both are...rather lackluster. Scanning the few other taverngoers, Elianna notices a a trio of obvious mercs. They're in rough looking shape, silently hunched over drinks, but she notices a raven symbol on one shoulder. Her merc background means she had heard rumours of Micri's Ravens, a decently-renowned mercenary band, heading to Flotsam several months before Elianna. She wanders over to pick their brains about what to expect down below - and the smell is noticeable from a few feet away. Rough-looking is generous; the three mercs look like they've been through hell. One raises sunken eyes at the stranger sitting at their table.

    "What."

    "Micri's Ravens, right? Heard of you guys. Mind sharing some info about what sort of things to expect down there?"

    "*$%# off."

    Elianna holds her tongue at the crude response, taking a closer look at the 3 warriors. Bags under their eyes, mile-long stares, torn and stained clothes, untouched drinks, shaking hands. Whatever happened to them, it broke them. After a moment, she tries again, simply asking what happened. With a snort, the seemingly senior member pipes up.

    "Micri's Ravens? That's right, all three of us." A shaky laugh. "Used to be 200 strong. We're all that's left, and we're leaving on that boat at the docks." He turns a haunted stare onto Elianna. "You wanna know what's down there? The undead. More walking dead than you can count, more than you can put down, and they're all just starving to rip the life out of you. The dead, and other things lurking in the dark. That damn Micri...we were supposed to get rich from this."

    "How did you survive?"

    "We were at the rear of the company, and when they started getting ripped apart, we **$%*#* ran. We were the only ones who made it back." That mile-long gaze sinks back to the table. "We were supposed to be rich." Leaving the three to their obvious trauma, Elianna shares the news with the rest of the party. It's not really news to anyone, but the mention of undead still makes Dag narrow his eyes in anger. After finishing the watered-down ale and shoddy stew, Darious notices the trio of tieflings, the Beasts, arguing with the barkeep. Nestor in particular is angry, raising his voice about the utterly ludicrous prices the barkeep is spouting off.
    Spoiler: DM note
    Show
    this is the point where one of my players looks at the players handbook and realizes HOW badly the prices are gouging them - more than what should be the absolute lap of luxury in a grand metropolis
    .

    No-one's made any physical threats, but all three tieflings are angry, and the fat barkeep/inkeep is sweating rather profusely-when 2 of the guards walk in. And another two. And another two, all armed and obviously spoiling for trouble. After the six guards saunter in, a woman with a fine cloak, fine armor, slightly pointed ears, and a vicious expression enters.

    "Now, why are newcomers troubling my favourite innkeeper and complaining about fair prices?"

    The menace oozing off the six guards + the half-elf speaking confidently manages to convince the Beasts to not mouth off immediately, and the woman continues.

    "Now, you may think this expensive, but we're off the beaten path here. Everything has to be shipped in, we simply don't have enough locally to provide for esteemed guests. So costs are raised accordingly."

    Dag grumbles about how if only there was a river right by the town for fish, and the woman's gaze slices over to the party's table.

    "True, sir dwarf, but it is not free to make the proper tributes to the River god for sampling his bounty." The half-elf raises her voice. "Since we have a few new faces here, I'll say this now. My name is Serode, and I keep this place nice and orderly. Don't cause trouble in my town, and we won't have a problem." Serode's eyes flick back to the Beasts, but before anything can escalate further, Darious walks to the bar and puts down enough gold for the young trio of tieflings. He keeps eyes locked with Serode while doing so.

    "See? No problem." Serode smiles in response to Darious and tips an imaginary hat to him, but her eyes stay ice-cold. Darious recognizes those sort of eyes as the sort who belong to exceedingly unpleasant people willing to do exceedingly unpleasant things to others. The guards file out slowly, and Serode stares down the room one more time before smirking again and walking out.

    "Welcome to Flotsam."

    The Beasts are a little embarrassed but grateful, and sit down next to the party. It's at this point that the players declare that the Beasts are totally going to die in some horrible manner - I'm curious if they'll go out of their way to try and prevent such a thing if it happens.

    The room slowly fills more as dockworkers and sailors head in for dinner and drinks, and Darious makes an impressive Investigation roll to chat up some locals. In point form!

    -Flotsam is separated into Newtown and Oldtown
    -Newtown is the actual settlement proper
    -Oldtown are the abandoned ruins across the river. There are people who live in it (bandits, madmen/women, desperate folks, etc) but there is no law, no protection, and no rules. The guards don't travel to Oldtown, and there are also rumors/stories of monsters and undead in the collapsed buildings.
    -Speaking of guards, Serode is basically the Sheriff of Flotsam (no official title). She keeps Flotsam safe, but her and her guards are a bunch of "absolute right bastards." They do their job (violently and efficently), but they also do basically whatever they feel like when they can
    -Yarim Yol is about a 2 day trip down underground (and the cavern entrance is just at the hills at the edge of town). The caravan takes about 2 days, a small party could probably do it faster, but the road there is often plagued by undead, bandits, undead bandits, and various monsters (Darious detects at least a bit of tall-tales).
    -Yarim Yol is quite crowded- they don't let people into the city unless they have specific business there, and limited time even for that.
    -the dockworkers don't talk much about Cicekkale below that, other than it's haunted and draws a lot of crazy gloryseekers into the dark below

    Darious also asks about any opportunities to collect bounties on any criminal sorts (hey, black powder and bullets aren't cheap), and the dockworkers all agree Serode would be the one to talk to. Ulviye Mazhar, the dwarf quartermaster, also sometimes has jobs like that, but Serode is much more likely.

    Darious shares this info with Dag and Elianna, and they decide to explore Oldtown the next day, but go see Serode tonight to ask about any potential bounties.

    While this was going on, Brokk had finished his food, and headed back outside to find the blacksmith. He managed to catch a dwarf just locking up, and in his awkward but earnest manner, convince them to open back up and demonstrate his skills (the token showing that he was dwarf-trained helped more than a bit). The smith had mocked the lack of calluses and burns on Brokk's hands, but was curious enough about the orc to see exactly what he could do (telling Brokk to make a steel shield for him). When Brokk mentions that the forge didn't need to be reignited, the curiosity shifts more to irritation.

    But then Brokk lays out the bandit swords that he had previously claimed, and begins to hammer and work them with his bare hands. Kneading and shaping the steel like clay, heat seems to flow from his skin as the metal softens and warps at the orc's touch. After an hour or so of intense concentration, Brokk hands a finely crafted shield to the stunned dwarf (the Artisan's blessing ability from the forge domain). With a reverent tone, the blacksmith promises to do what he can to help Brokk meet with Derim Mazhar. Apparently the master smith of the city is rather demanding and busy...but something like this might catch her interest.

    The other three heroes manage to find the barracks, and ask politely enough to see Serode about bounty-hunting that they're let in. Serode is in a notably nicer office than what the party has seen of Flotsam, with some well-crafted bows and swords hanging from weapon racks. Sitting behind a heavy desk, Serode is neatly dissecting a roast of some sort.

    "Oh, the sensible newcomers from earlier. Well then, what can I do for you?"

    Darious explains the party's intention to explore Oldtown tomorrow, and his skills and interest in picking up any available bounties. He's professional enough to catch Serode's interest, and his smooth payment for the trio earlier helps as well.

    "You know, I can't think of anything right now, but come see me in the morning. I'm certain I can come up with something for you. And by the way, I appreciate you coming to me in this way. Shows a proper sense of things."

    Why yes, the crime drama "I'm showing deference to the boss of this turf" vibe is going strong, and Darious plays it well. Serode turns back to her meal, and the party heads back to the inn for the night.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Wild North Yonder

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Heh. Am I vain for wondering if returning readers will be able to pick out who’s playing whom this go around?

    The Beasts are emotional cannon fodder. There is no way Puzzle will let them live if we get attached haha

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    I mean, it's only been *checks calendar*...

    ...3 years!?!??!?
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    I didn't prep enough, so no game today *sweatdrop*

    So instead a quick listing of NPCs the party has met, as an easy to look up reminder entirely for the party and not to make sure I don't mix up names, I would never do that:

    Spoiler: Other adventurers
    Show

    Erwan, Nestor, and Lisette: "The Beasts" a trio of young tieflings out to earn riches and glory fighting to reclaim Cicekkale. The party hasn't seen them in action, but Erwan and Nestor carry longspears, while Lisette appears unarmed

    Fenn and Vadaris: The other group that arrived to Flotsam with the party. Fenn is a cheerful tween half-elf with creepy magical talent, who might not be joking when he talks about his invisible friend.
    Vadaris is his heavily armed and armored companion, who's more than willing to crack skulls to keep Fenn out of trouble.


    Spoiler: Flotsam NPCs
    Show

    Ulviye Mazhar: the dwarven Quartermaster of Flotsam, who wore what Dag recognized as a leper's mask. Seemed quite matter of fact and to the point

    Tombul: The rotund and perpetually sweaty innkeeper/barkeep of the Gilded Owlbear. Charges rather absurd prices (and is on the player's grudge list already for that reason)

    Levent: The dwarven blacksmith that Brokk spoke with and displayed his talents to

    Serode: The hardassed "sheriff" of Flotsam. Initial impressions peg her as just a wee bit tyrannical

    Gursel: A grungy dwarf encountered in Oldtown. Definitely more than he appears, and speaks Theives' Cant

    Kabrit: the gigantic owner of the Broken Horn inn/bar. Jury is out whether he's actually a tiefling, or a really handsome minotaur


    I'll keep adding to this as the game progresses
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2021-07-25 at 12:28 AM.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Session three!

    The party retires for the night, and sleep soundly due to the lack of ninja assassins for now.

    Spoiler: Darious side mission
    Show
    Darious has decided that he's going to try and rob the Gilded Owlbear blind in retaliation for the ludicrous prices, and tries to keep a close eye on where the coin gets stored. Not too much progress in one night other than somewhere under the bar


    Spoiler: Bounty hunting
    Show
    In the morning, everyone agrees to go and explore Oldtown, helping Darious with some potential bounties. There's a couple needling comments from Dag about treating life cheaply, but Darious emphasizes that he's a professional, not a murderer.


    Darious and Elianna need money (plus Elianna appreciates working for the Law), Brokk seems happy to help out his companions, and Dag is grudgingly tolerant of stomping out any Undead that might be in Oldtown. They mosey back to the unofficial garrison, and are quickly let in to see Serode, who is already poring over a scroll of some sort.

    "Good, you did come back. Now tell me, are you the sort to bring in bounties alive..." Serode does another of those thoroughly unpleasant smirks, "...or are you not particularly squeamish?"

    So many insinuations about Darious being an assassin for so early in the morning. It's almost as if his player has played cold-blooded killers several times before :P. After again asserting that he's not some cutthroat, Serode nods briskly and stops trolling.

    "Well then, I want you to try and find out what happened to a couple deserters from that mercenary company, Micri's Ravens. Their names are...Melvin and Omar, that's it."

    "I thought those three at the inn said they were the only survivors?" Elianna chimes in after she's done admiring the various weapons on the wall.

    "Pretty sure these two turned tail before that last trip down below for the poor birdies. It's been at least a few weeks since someone spotted them skulking over the bridge into Oldtown. Fraid you don't have much to go on, but I'm interested to see what you can do. They're most likely dead, but if you bring me some proof that you found them, that's 75 gold for each one." Serode is clear that proof is either their bodies, or at least their raven insignias from clothing/armor/weapons. "If you actually find the vermin alive and bring them to me that way, 100 gold for each one."

    The party gets a bit more info about the inhabitants of Oldwown; Bandits, thieves, cowards, madmen, cowardly madmen, predatory monsters from the wilds, and most likely restless dead lurking in dark corners of the ruins. Serode strongly recommends not being in Oldtown after dark. As to how to interact with whomever or whatever they find in Oldtown, Serode doesn't particularly care what happens outside her walls. Just before the party heads out, Serode adds one more tidbit.

    "Oh, and if you find anything out about a tower that doesn't seem to belong in Oldtown, or anything about someone named Jaban? That's worth extra. Don't hassle that one, just tell me whatever you can, and that info's worth 50 gold for each of you."

    Sidequest acquired!


    Spoiler: Oldtown
    Show
    There's a couple ways to get across the very broad but lazy river, but the party decides on the bridge. The first thing everyone noticed upon their arrival to Flotsam, it's impressive for both the size, and that it's still seemingly intact. A massive structure of metal and stone, it stretches the 300-some feet across the river and is nearly 80 feet above the river in the center. It's also warped, rusted, and battered, with cracked stone, missing tiles (and man-sized gaps littering its surface), and all in all looks like the patron saint of safety violations. It's a couple (not too hard) acrobatics checks to carefully walk across the bridge, but Brokk and Dag nearly flub anyways, stone sliding beneath their feet ominously. It's quite a sight from the top of the bridge, just not a very pleasant one. Oldtown is MUCH larger than Newtown, the parts that are still upright at least. Dag's and Brokk's keen perception comes into play, noting the rough layout of Oldtown. There are the remnants of the docks to the south, larger-looking ruins directly to the west, and rapidly encroaching wilderness just past that. To the north (and closer to the river) are more intact smaller buildings - and faint curls of smoke here and there (like from small fires).

    Everything is still wet and humid from the recent storm, which is good for tracking anything living...but it was also a heavy enough rain that it pounded and washed the mud flat, not as good. Picking a direction, the gang heads west towards the "center' of Oldtown. It's a rough-looking place. Vegetation is aggressively reclaiming Oldtown, roots and vines pressing and cracking against every crack and cranny of the broken buildings. There are no whole homes, roofs or entire walls crumbled to rubble, and everything seems grimy and worn down. The party isn't being accosted or aggressively stalked, but as they travel deeper into the ruins, they're definitely being followed. Everyone except Elianna notice furtive stares and sly little shuffles at the corners of their visions (Elianna is more just waiting for when she's supposed to unleash violence) as the inhabitants of Oldtown peek from a safe distance.

    A splash of colour catches Darious' eye, and he wanders over to a nearby covered corner. Unfortunately the splash is a large bloodstain, still new enough to be slightly tacky. The bounty hunter also notices a set of small but quite deep bootprints, leading to the northeast. Beckoning the others, they set off in pursuit! After another 15 minutes or so of following the deep prints and the occasional bloodsmear, the party finds a corpse. The poor individual is an absolute mess, the top of their head missing and their guts spilled all over the place. Dag's creepy profession lets him notice that while the cause of death was definitely the disembowelment, the (very rough) scalping happened before they died. The corpse has nothing raven-related on them, but they are clutching a gleaming kukri. It's eye-catching, with a serrated edge, gold accents all over the hilt, and an elaborate carving on the butt end. It also weighs almost 5 lbs and is horribly balanced, but Dag acquires the Gaudy knife.

    A second set of diminutive but deep bootprints seem to meet up with the first, and they both travel to the east. Continuing to trail them, the party arrives at a square of sorts, and can hear a strange noise coming from one of the more intact buildings. The party is quietly debating what to do when Brokk calls out a greeting, and the scraping noise stops only to be replaced with a nearly as rough voice.

    "Eh? Who's there?!"
    "My name's Brokk, who are you?"
    "Come closer so I can see ye."

    Brokk obliges, and the Redcap obligingly rushes out and soars into the air to kick Brokk in the face.

    Initiative!

    Elianna rushes up and hacks into the redcap who just introduced Brokk to the dirt, but it weathers the blow and brandishes a rather large and jagged sickle in response. Darious draws his bow and takes a shot, while Dag moves up and heals Brokk some of the massive damage that kick dealt him. The redcap then does a buzzsaw impression and lays into Elianna with its three(!) attacks, dealing decent damage even through her rage.

    Then a second redcap enters the fray!
    Spoiler: Dynamic entry!
    Show


    Elianna gets drop-kicked in the face and crashes to the dirt. Brokk gets to his feat and heats metal...on one of the Redcap's boots. It's maddened cackles quickly turn to pained yips as it dances back and forth! Dag Banes the redcaps, and Darious blasts an arrow through the pair of them with a Piercing shot (he's using his bow because it's much quieter, because bullets are EXPENSIVE). Back on her feet, Elianna lays into the Redcaps with abandon.

    The battle goes back and forth a litle more, with one redcap going down to Elianna's sword - but then she's dropped to 0 hit points by the homicidal fey. Fortunately, she's surrounded by two healers, and they pop her back up - then another time before the second redcap is felled with a crit. Darious' player then asks where the 3rd redcap is - because I was silly and made all three visible in the combat tracker, whoops! Perception checks are made, and the third redcap snarls a curse and scampers away! Chase scene!

    Except I roll a nat 1 for the redcap and everyone runs him down just on the other side of the building. It's 4 on one at this point, and even with Brokk getting dropped briefly, the party blasts the final murder-midget into oblivion. Everyone except Darious are out of spells/low on hit points, so we call it for the night with a short rest.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Game's on pause for a couple weeks cause the GM's a hack and is claiming to be busy with some excuse about house-shopping :P
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Wild North Yonder

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    “You going to run through the house carefully or just barrel through? You’ll take damage if you charge through the-“

    “And keep my rage up? I see NO downside hahahahaha!”
    *CHUGGACHUGGACHOOCHOOOOOOO Guy Sensei impression *

    (Waits for next instalment from Sat’s game)
    Last edited by Picanet; 2021-06-07 at 01:54 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Aannd back!

    Spoiler: Still in Oldtown
    Show
    Cutting back, our intrepid...heroes? Sure, we'll go with heroes...had just defeated the redcaps and promptly hunkered down for a short rest. Everyone except Darious burns most of their hit dice resting. Elianna is surprised that her wounds aren't as serious as she thought, chalking it up to luck.

    Spoiler: Character note
    Show
    Elianna is unaware that she's an Aasimar, and her more mystical abilities(Healing hands, Lightbearer, Radiant consumption) only activate during moments of stress and danger - or when I think it'd be dramatic


    Near the end of the break, I roll extremely poorly for stealth, and the party all hear the distinct noise of someone stubbing their toe on something really hard, curse and all. Darious starts to carefully creep over to investigate, but is cut off by Elianna sprinting around the corner. The poor dwarf hobo that had stubbed his toe shrieks at the heavily armed mercenary bearing down on him and pleads for mercy - which slows Elianna's roll as the rest of the party catches up.

    "Whoah there, easy! No need for violence, it's just old Gursel seeing what's what!"

    Gursel (who apparently speaks in the third person) is an appallingly filthy dwarf, garbed in rags more held together by grunge than thread. He talks smoothly enough, though, and the part takes murder off the table for now.

    "I just heard some rustling and ruckus, and came over to see if something was afoot - here I find some fine heroes having taken care of those red-headed buggers! You've laid poor Thaal's soul to rest, you have, they had his guts for garters not too long ago!"

    Pressing the rambling hobo for some possible leads on their targets, Dag brusquely demands to know if Gursel had seen two men recently.

    "Gursel's seen men here and there, are there some in particular you mean?" When they give a bit more info about Omar and Melvin (the deserters from Micri's Ravens), Gursel grins. "Aah, some lost birds ye're looking for then, and some feathers to pluck I gather!" The dwarf starts throwing slang and fragments of words about, his speech practically incoherent to poor Brokk (who even speaks Dwarven). But Dag's eyes narrow, as he realizes that it's a form of Thieves' cant.

    "If you're on the grab for tailfeathers from those lost birdies to line your cap you're looking for proof to claim a bounty, you lot did me a good twist scuppering those murdery mites You've done a service killing those Redcaps. Perhaps we can help each other more?"


    Spoiler: Old Gursel
    Show
    Gursel mentions that he vaguely recalls some Ravens from a while ago, but it's a little hazy. In very comfortable territory, Darious tosses some coin to his new informant.
    Smoothly disappearing the coins, Gursel suddenly remembers that a pair of men wearing dark soldier's garb had snuck over into Oldtown a few weeks ago, and had been heading for shelter in Town Square.

    "That's a bad choice, I tell you. Why? Well, that's where the sturdiest tunnels are, sure - but that's also where the tunnels used to connect to a lot deeper below, even going below the river and to the roads leading to Cicekkale. Things that don't like the light so well creep up from there, things that aren't so living but still wander about, if you catch my drift." Gursel makes a brief warding gesture as he speaks of Cicekkale. "You don't wander about Oldtown at night, and you especially don't lark about in the Square."

    It takes a bit more questioning (and coin), but Darious and Dag impress Gursel enough that he offers to scrounge up some more info from some 'friends' if the party follows him for a while. Seeing Dag's dire scowl (and Elianna and Brokk's hands tightening on weapons, not to mention Darious casually lifting his cloak to brandish his pistol), he hastily emphasizes that it's a stroll down wide open streets, no dark alleyways or surprise dead ends, promise on me mum (confirming in thieves' cant that he means no harm). As Darious quietly asks Dag if he trusts the strange dirty dwarf, Dag simply replies that "he has honor of a sort."

    As they traverse through more of the ruined Old Town, Gursel probes the party on their reasons for coming to Flotsam, and presumably further onwards to Cicekkale. He waxes on about the city's past glories, especially the precious and valuable gems the city produced. Elianna doesn't do a great job disguising her full-body twitch when Gursel mentions the "flowers carved out of a single sapphire," but the dwarf just meets her eyes for a moment and says nothing more.

    After close to an hour of twists and turns (the ruins of Oldtown are a LOT bigger than Newtown), Gursel stops outside a squat stone building that's notably intact.

    "Now, if you all just wait here for a jiffy, I'll check the Rat's Market and see what I can find for you." The party stares at Gursel for a moment, until he waves his hands and insists that he "can't do it if they're watching." With some sighs and eye-rolls, everyone averts their gaze...except for a stubborn Elianna. After a brief staredown, Gursel flicks a coin in the air, and as a flash of reflected light forces Elianna to squint, he vanishes coin and all! (i.e. I cranked a deception and stealth roll)

    After another half an hour or so, Gursel sidles back around the corner with good news and bad news. Bad news first!

    "Bad news is that one of your birdies went flitting off to Bastard's Point. You know that broken-down lighthouse you would have seen as your boat came into town? That's Bastard's Point, and it's named that cause there's a right Bastard there! Some walking dead thing that's been there for a few years now." Gursel looks much more solemn as he strongly recommends that the party think long and hard about going to Bastard's point, because he doesn't think it's worth whatever they're being paid.

    Getting to the good news, Gursel tossed Dag a signet ring, with a stylized raven on it. "That should do you for one of the birdie's feathers."

    The party decides to head directly to Bastard's Point despite Gursel's warnings, and Gursel grudgingly gives them directions. He also mentions that while he doesn't know much about this Bastard (other than it's undead), people can sometimes hear eerie singing from that area.


    Spoiler: Bugs!
    Show
    As the party heads southeast towards the docks and Bastard's Point, I roll low enough for an encounter. Everyone's passive perception is high enough that no-one is surprised as two large centipede-like monsters burst out of a nearby ruin. The Carrion Crawlers hiss and wiggle tentacles menacingly, and it's combat time!

    Elianna rages and rushes in to smack one of the crawlers, and they both return the favour. She's rather alarmed at the multiple poison damage tentacle attacks, and gets smacked multiple times but makes all her constitution saves.
    Spoiler: DM NOTE
    Show
    Just realized that I misread their stats, and it's supposed to be two attacks total, one tentacle and one bite, not two tentacles and one bite. Whoops, guess I owe the party a bit more xp, lol.

    Also, I let the save to break the paralysis be at the beginning of the turn, so that balances things out, right? *sweatdrop*


    Darious lands a shot, while Dag misses a Guiding Bolt, and Brokk strides up to connect with a Searing Smite. The crawlers and Elianna trade more blows, until she fails a save and is paralyzed! The crawler crits as it bites deeply into her thigh (dropping her to 4 hp) and starts dragging her into the nearby building for consumption. The other crawler paralyzes Brokk, and also crit-bites, dropping the orc to 1 hp!

    Brokk makes his save and decides that he doesn't want to die to a giant bug, and strategically advances in a rearward direction. Darious tries to shoot the crawler that's about to chow down on Elianna, but misses his shots due to partial cover and horrible rolls. The crawler that had bitten Brokk goes after Dag instead, still ablaze from the orc's Searing Smite (but Dag resists the numbing poison).

    Elianna makes her save to break free of the paralysis, and I figure now is a rather appropriate time for her Radiant Consumption to trigger.

    Previously, her Divine Fury was pretty subtle - some ripples and heat waves around her sword as she swung, some strange gleams and flashes of light but nothing wild. This is quite different. A bloom of heat blasts out, singing Dag's eyebrows and beard. The flames on the crawler blaze up and gleam almost a pure white in response, and Elianna's eyes glow brightly enough to cast lurid shadows on the walls. She surges up to her feet, scrambling for her sword and ramming it point-first through the crawler's maw. The ichor and gore that spurts out sizzles and steams around her blade - and Elianna ticks down to 3 hp from her own radiance.

    Darious and Dag beat on the final crawler as it tries to eat the tasty dwarf in front of it, and Elianna turns about and messily decapitates the beast to finish it off! She manages to calm herself and rein in the radiant consumption before it kills her, and hunches over in pain as everything is suddenly darker.

    Seeing as Darious is out of resources, Dag is pretty much out of spells and rather wounded, Brokk is at 1 hp and mostly spell-less, and Elianna is at 3 hp and out of rages - they decide to retreat to New town. Since they explicitly state that they're moving carefully and stealthily, I drop the chance of running into something else at 5% or less....and I roll 001 for percentage.

    Ominous chanting emanates from a house across the pathway the party is travelling down.

    Nope. Nope. Nope. They stealth even harder and keep going, they want nothing to do with it.

    Reettreeaatttt....and the party successfully makes it back across the bridge into Newtown!


    A bit more happened, but it'll fit better into the next writeup.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Managed to play in person for the first time in fffooorrreeeevvveeerrr! Writeup in the next couple days
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Spoiler: Back in Newtown
    Show
    Limping and staggering, the party indeed makes it back into the safety of Newtown. Elianna and Brokk immediately go to the inn to eat and then sleep forever, Dag drops the Raven signet ring off at the barracks (1 bounty of 2 completed), and Darious asks around for any further info about this "Bastard's Point."

    He ends up at the office of Ulviye again. The conversation starts a little cold and standoffish when Darious mentions that he was chasing a bounty for Serode (pretty obvious that there is little love between Ulviye and Serode), but turns more positive when Darious brings up the fact that he's chasing deserters. Ulviye doesn't hand over an ancient tome detailing the Bastard's illustrious history or anything, but he does confirm that there will be undead at the watchtower (isn't really a lighthouse when it's on a broad river), having something to plug up hearing would be a good idea, and that they could always try to pay a fisherman to approach the Point from the watery side. They decide to do just that! In the morning after they aren't nearly dead.

    Spoiler: DM note
    Show
    The caravan to Yarim Yol leaves the next morning, but this side hook is firmly lodged in the party's cheek :)


    Morning arrives, and Dag grumpily announces that he's getting on the caravan. Smashing impertinent undead is always important, but Obligations must be met. He'll meet the young whippersnappers below...as long as they survive (ie Dag's player couldn't make the session).


    After some silver pieces cross palms, the party is perched in a skiff as it points towards the rocky Bastard's Point. Brokk and Darious cram rolled up cloth into their ears, while Elianna went really hardcore with some warm wax. Thus, the party has Advantage on Wisdom saves against audible effects, but Disadvantage on Perception checks.


    Spoiler: Off to the point
    Show
    The Point is south of the ruined docks&piers of Oldtown, but there's still a buildup of grunge and detritus around the rocky shore. Unfortunately for the approaching party, the watchers on top of the Point are being relatively aware. As they are rowed forward, a bolt goes hissing past Brokk's shoulder! At the same time, an eerie tune echoes out over the water. The panicked fisherman demands that our heroes get out now, as he's not sticking around to get shot, or worse, listen to that singing..

    Brokk promptly complies. Brokk, who's wearing scale mail...and doesn't ask how deep the water looks. Thankfully for him, the river is pretty sluggish here, and they're close enough to the shore that it's probably only 10 feet or so. He starts sloshing towards shore, while Darious makes a massive leap off the front of the skiff to only have to wade-bounce a little to stand on slippery rocks. As he's the closest, he's the first to notice the Giant Enemy Crabs scuttling towards him hungrily.

    Well, they're not giant, they're Medium-sized, but that's pretty freaking big for a crab. Elianna leaps off the boat into the water, and it's time for initiative.

    My first physical roll of a d20 in over a year goes well, as a crab immediately crits and pinch-clamps Darious with ferocity. He attempts to retaliate with a Thunderbolt rune shot (he has switched his class over from arcane archer to Gun Mage from the 5e Iron Kingdoms RPG), but he misses by one. A gigantic detonation sends water spraying everywhere, and the creepy shanty even stops for a moment. Crab #2 refuses to be outdone, and also crits. For max damage *wince*. And I've nearly killed a PC with two attacks from CR 1/4 creatures before the first round is done.

    Eeeexxcceellleennntt.

    Brokk and Elianna finish swimming to make it up into combat, while poor Darious misses again (sidenote, he's using endless magazine, a pretty cool spell that provides ammunition as long as he never rolls a nat 1). The crabs don't last too much beyond this, Elianna getting pinched for pretty minimal damage as she chops a crab apart, and Brokk cracks shells.

    They're all close enough to the watchtower (which is about 40 ft tall and in mildly better condition than other buildings in Oldtown) that all 3 spot the large hole in the side, about 10 ft up. They also notice the two bloated and bedraggled corpses that flop out of said hole to land with wet splats. The very dead and rotten corpses lurch to their feet and start waddling towards the party as they finish off 2 crabs (and the third retreats underneath some rocks).

    Spoiler: DM's note (getting way too fond of these aren't I)
    Show
    I'm using a bunch of monsters from a Darkest Dungeon monster manual by Dungeon Master Tuz, and quite enjoying them. So when I name these, they're pretty much ripped from Darkest Dungeon


    The Drowned Thralls advance, and Elianna is first up to meet them. With a gurgle, one leaps towards her and EXPLODES. She only takes part damage, but the sight, smell, and taste will haunt her forever. After that horrible display, gunshots and javelins take out the 2nd thrall before it can trundle into range of anyone.

    While this was all happening, the Bone Arbalist on top of the tower consistently missed all his shots, and the creepy singing continued. However, they're all now within range of the Maddening Shanty - and the impromptu swim has washed Brokk and Darious' earplugs away. Darious and Elianna save, but Brokk fails as the inhuman voice reverberates in his skull, almost breaking his concentration on Shield.

    Elianna is still pumped on adrenaline, and crushes an athletics check to leap up to the hole in the tower. Unfortunately there's a Bone Defender waiting; the armored skeleton smashes her in the face with a jagged shield, sending her crashing back to the ground. Huddled under the tower (and out of sight of crossbowmen), Brokk heals Darious and Darious crams cloth back in his and Brokk's ears.
    Brokk can still hear the song perfectly, though...

    Dead man's laughter echoes, and the voice gleefully invites the party to come on in. Deciding to find the door, the terrible trio sidles around the side of the tower


    Spoiler: Into the tower
    Show
    Peeking around the corner, Darious spots three Drowned Thralls standing in front of the watchtower's closed door. Using his final Rune shot, he aims carefully and connects with a Detonator shot. Cranking the damage roll, he slays the middle Thrall. The AOE damage of the detonator shot plus the middle thrall exploding deals enough damage to kill the other 2 thralls - as well as blowing the tower door open with a disgusting eruption.

    Stomping in, the 2nd Raven deserter is lamentably not sitting in plain view. There is a slimy greenish puddle of sludgy water in the middle of the room though, along with rotten garbage and greasy stairs leading up. Brokk takes the lead, with the slightly luminescent Elianna close behind. Darious lets the two big muscleheads go first in order to draw fire clear the way. The next floor isn't much more appealing, with a partially rotted-through floor making everyone step lightly on their way further up. That damn singing hasn't stopped, either...

    This next floor is missing much of its floor, actually - as well as most of its ceiling. Most of the center is just gone, and the stairs going further up the tower are completely collapsed. Instead, a rickety ladder is propped against the wall, on the far side of the hole from the adventurers. Some decent perception checks notice the faint scuff of stone on steel, so it's not a complete surprise when Brokk steps into the open and gets shot with crossbows. They bounce off his Forge-Cleric-with-a-shield AC, though. Leering down are a pair of Bone Arbalists, flanked by 2 bone defenders brandishing their shields and axes. Combat resumes!

    Elianna and Brokk take crossbow fire as they scramble around the hole and make for the ladder. Darious bides his time, and as Brokk is just making it up the ladder, jumps out and blasts one of the Arbalists!

    Spoiler: More bloody DM notes
    Show
    It actually works out really well, as jumping out and shooting stops the Defenders from using their Foul Warding to impose disadvantage on his attacks


    Brokk and Elianna take a couple bolts each (that do some solid damage) as they make it up the ladder. There's also a pair of wooden planks stretching from one bit of floor to the opposite corner, where the skeletal firing squad awaits.
    Brokk tromps across and engages one of the defenders, clanging it in the side with his mace. The defender responds by trying to shield bash him, and then hacks at the plank beneath his feet.
    Elianna rushes over to slash at the 2nd defender, and while he's not getting advantage anymore, Darious keeps popping in and out of sight to take potshots. He does roll a 1 in there, so his Endless Magaine expires.

    With a bit of maneuvering, Brokk and Elianna manage to shove one of the Defenders off his ledge! He falls in the hole in the floor below - and then crashes through the rotten flooring below that.
    Express trip to the ground floor!

    The remaining defender lands some blows, while the Arbalists do miserable jobs with their bayonets. The three heroes manage to overwhelm the skeletal guards, and bones clatter down stairs as the hateful voice taunts and spurs the trio on. Elianna is the first up to the roof to confront the Bastard of the point.


    Spoiler: Crescendo
    Show
    There are several holes in the tower's roof, making the footing even more treacherous. Elianna immediately notices the large brazier in the middle of the roof - especially because it's filled with charred bones. The next thing she notices is the Squiffy Ghast baring rotten teeth at her as it raises a fiddle up menacingly. Boss fight!

    Darious pops up and shoots the Ghast in the shoulder for a BIG hit, and in response the Ghast drags its bow across the strings in an Off-Kilter Jig. Darious and Brokk save, but Elianna fails and staggers as the unearthly tune assaults her mind - and even worse, her feet start capering and jumping against her will. I don't roll in the right random direction for her to fall into a hole, though, and she breaks the effect at the end of her turn. Brokk points his hammer at the undead musician and slams home a Guiding Bolt for a LOT of damage, and the Ghast howls in pained rage. It dodges a shot from Darious and croons out the Maddening Shanty once more, damaging everyone. Elianna's in the fray now, though, and hacks into the Ghast as Brokk casts more magic.

    The Squiffy Ghast tries to slash Elianna with a saber, but continues to take punishment from our heroes. After a narrowly missed shot blows its hat off, exposing the large hole in its skull, the Ghast has had enough. It nimbly skips away and howls out another maddening shanty, dropping hp to pretty scary levels. After another trio of hits, the Ghast raises its fiddle once more with an unholy grin as it jumps away from Elianna again, about to start the Off-Kilter Jig...but Elianna's opportunity attack lands this time and nearly severs the arm clean off.

    With a curse, the Ghast sinks its teeth into the flopping limb, yanking the bow back onto the fiddle with a jerk of its head. The tune's about to start again when Elianna lands another blow - and that unearthly light blazes to life about her once more. The Ghast is split shoulder to hip, and the sepulchral singer manages to gasp, "It...burns." before crumbling to dust. The radiant heat continues to blast out from Elianna, though, scorching both her and Darious.

    Because I'm a terrible person, I demand a Wisdom save from Elianna to control her emotions. Which she fails. Several times. She continues to hyperventilate and burn as this bizarre power rages, visions blurring in her eyes beamsoflightspearingthedarknesstofalluponacrackedr ubyflowe - Darious' shouting manages to snap her out of it before she burns herself unconscious.


    There was a bit more, but I'll fit it into the beginning of the next writeup!
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Back to the (after) action!
    Spoiler: Top of Bastard's Point
    Show
    With Elianna no longer being a living lightshow, things are surprisingly quiet. Everyone is in rather large amounts of pain, but they limp around to check the remains of the Squiffy Ghast. All that's intact is his nice (but mundane) sabre, and the bicorn hat (with a bullet hole through it and grisly stains on the inside). Apparently the hat is worth a Mending+Prestidigitation; Brokk now has a Stylish Hat.

    Elianna is searching for any signs of the 2nd Raven deserter, and decides to dig through the brazier of burnt bones and corpse-y bits...with her bare hands.

    Spoiler: Ew, DM note
    Show
    And fails a save and contracts Filth Fever


    No luck on a signet ring, or any sign of their bounty on the roof. The trio takes a short rest, ie collapses in place for an hour. Darious grills Elianna on exactly why she was spewing Radiant Energy all over the place (he rolled high enough an an Arcana check to recognize the energy as Radiant, but not high enough to figure how it was happening). Elianna herself doesn't have much more in the way of answers, though...when she was a child, she was caught in a particularly bad Radiance Storm, and since then the energy would randomly burst forth from her. That's all she knows about it. Of course, she says nothing about the night terrors and bizarre dreams that drive her from one place to another so frequently.

    Can't be related at all, right? :P

    After the rest, they search the other floors, but don't manage to find hide nor hair of the deserter. They do find out what happened to the bone defender that got shoved off the plank to fall below, though: half of the skeletal warrior is melted away in a puddle of green guck, while its axe is embedded in a thicker pile of ooze, leaking even less pleasant fluids. Apparently the slimy green puddle of water wasn't just a puddle, and the two monsters slew each other in an epic unseen battle.

    I was really hoping that someone was going to poke the puddle, or fall in from higher up in the tower.

    Once back out on the shore, the party makes enough noise to catch the attention of the fisherman, who rows/poles his skiff close enough for everyone to scramble aboard.

    "That singing! And the screaming, and booms - and then the singing stopped! Did you-did you kill it?"

    Brokk proudly tips his newly acquired hat at the fisherman. "Kill the Bastard? That we did." It's a rather quick jaunt back to the docks, and the trio is barely off the boat before the excited (and richer) fisherman dashes off. Apparently all the singing (and gunfire) was rather loud, and word spreads quickly. By the time they walk back to the Gilded Owlbear, there's already some pointing and shouted questions from the few people nearby. Elianna goes for a washbasin outside the inn, first, though; not even prestidigitation could fully remove the stench of exploding bloated zombies.

    After sitting down with Dag (wait, didn't Dag already leave with the caravan? More on that later), the inn door is kicked open by a man who looks to be more gristle and scar than flesh, who stomps right up to Darious.

    "Are ye the ones who killed tha Bastard? Stopped the damn song?" Darious stares right back and nods slowly. The crazed grimace melts into barking laughter, and the dockworker claps Darious on the shoulder before buying a round of drinks for the adventurers. As afternoon turns into evening, this happens quite a bit more, with the inn being packed with cheerful townsfolk. Killing the Bastard of the Point has made the party a little famous in a good way.


    Spoiler: What about the caravan
    Show
    Flashback! Dag was indeed planning on travelling down to Yarim Yol with the caravan - no time for such frivolous activities as slaying evil. Not when someone had requested his services by name. But no caravan rolled into town, and as the morning ticked away, more and more worried people rushed back and forth. Listening in, Dag overheard a dwarf urgently speaking to Ulviye that there was no sign of the caravan, or of its guards. Tersely, Ulviye ordered the dwarf (obviously dressed like a scout of some sort) to find out what happened. Seeing as the caravan wasn't heading out any time soon and having no desire to travel by himself, Dag grumbled back to the inn to await his younger adventuring companions.

    Spoiler: DM note
    Show
    I wasn't sure if Dag's player was missing one or two sessions, hence the somewhat abrupt "I'm not waiting for the rest of you!" But they only missed one, so bam the gang's back together


    Back to current events; the story of battling the squiffy ghast is spread about, as is copious amounts of booze (even some non-watered down stuff). Darious keeps a slight bit of moderation, so he's only got a bit of a buzz. Brokk is going pretty hard, but is the quiet sort and continues in such a fashion. Elianna drinks anything put in front of her, and is feeling absolutely no pain. During the revelry, a dwarf in that same scoutlike garb sidles up to Dag, murmering that Ulivye Mazhar would like to see him at his earliest convenience with a proposition. Deciding there's no time like the present (and wondering why the dwarf who wears a leper's mask wants to see a death priest), Dag marches off to see Ulviye.

    Ulviye is pleased that Dag came to see him so quickly (but Dag didn't make a high enough Insight check to notice, ssshhh). News of Dag's companions defeating the undead monster at Bastard's Point is all over the (admittedly smaller) town, and them + Dag seem quite proficient warriors. Ulviye explains that the caravan from Yarim Yol was due back earlier today; with no sign of it, or any word from its escorts, Ulviye fears that it has been attacked and/or hijacked. There is a warband heading underground at dawn, and Ulviye requests that Dag and his companions join it in searching out the lost caravan to rescue any survivors.

    Dag is a little confused why the messenger would have said to meet Ulviye "at Dag's earliest convenience" when the situation is obviously so time sensitive. Ulviye's metal mask makes for a heck of a poker face, though, as he explains that there are differing opinions as to whether there is any hope of survivors being found. Of course, a band of heroes could go charging off right this moment to attempt a grand rescue. There's some definite mockery there, but Dag just ignores it and agrees to head out with his companions in the morning, with the warband. The priest also asks if there's anything else he can do for Ulviye, and the masked dwarf lets out a bitter hacking laugh.

    "The only aid you can provide me with, death priest, I have no time for. Too much to do first."

    "Death does come for us all eventually, regardless of our readiness." Ulviye just chuckles in response, but says nothing more, and Dag can't determine more about his ailment without a physical examination. Leaving Ulviye to his bitter ruminations, Dag heads back to the inn to prevent his companions from drinking themselves completely unconscious. He manages to come back in time to keep them coherent, and explains the caravan situation. All three agree, but Elianna wants to go a little further, and keep going to Yarim Yol rather than return to Flotsam with whatever is found regarding the caravan. This seems a little weird to everyone else, and they ask why.

    Elianna: "Uh - well cause I just wanna keep moving?" *sound of a catastrophically poor Deception check*

    When pushed on the hilariously bad lie, Elianna admits that if she stays in one place for too long, she gets bad dreams until she moves on. Dag and Darious make high enough Insight checks to understand that "bad dreams" is quite the understatement. Nothing's promised one way or another, but Darious expresses sympathy; he understands being driven by one's mind. As the last surviving member of his order, he definitely understands (more of the gun-mage's background to be shoved into the game soontm).

    The tiefling trio with the ambitious name (the Beasts) join the party for a drink, trying not too act too starstruck by the slaying of the Bastard. They apparently had been hired to fend off some Radiance-warped animals that were stalking some nearby farmland (Nestor rubs his side with a wince as he mentions the giant rampaging boar and its far-too-large tusks), but not much beyond that. They also mention that the party should look at the other inn in town, the Kon Kase (the Broken Horn in Infernal, which in this world is vaguely Creole/french-ish cause reasons). The food is better and the rates lower, even if the innkeep is a little intimidating-looking. Biggest tiefling they've ever seen, the three confide.

    After a bit more cheering / relaxing, the door creaks open, and the biggest creature, let alone tiefling, that the party has ever seen ducks in - and Elianna saw an Ogre in a battle once. He's almost as wide as the door, and close to 7 ft tall before the curled jutting horns (one of which has a broken jagged end). Brokk mutters that he seems more minotaur than Tiefling, and I can't fully deny the size comparison. The brickhouse with horns tromps over to the PCs table and stares them all down balefully.

    "You four. You did a good thing today." I try my best to channel Christopher Judge as Kratos. The tiefling sets 4 wooden tokens down on the table. "Bring these to my bar sometime, get some free drinks." As he straightens back up, the giant tiefling sneers and nods at the sweating inkeep. "Tombul."

    "K-k-Kabrit, always good to see you." Poor Tombul sweats harder as his rival innkeeper snorts and strides back to the door. He winces as Kabrit "accidentally" drags his horn along the wall, gouging a line across it as he ducks through the door again.

    The PCs agree that the Broken Horn sounds like a place to not try and skip on your bill. With that, it's off to bed!

    Everyone except Elianna has unnerving dreams, which I'll be writing up in the next few days. Elianna, however, wakes up feeling just horrible and having only healed half of her hp (that disease she contracted handling the brazier full of bones and corpses). The fever broke during the night (she made her save that morning to shake the disease), but it certainly did a number on her. Im sure those hp won't be important later.


    Spoiler: Into the Dark below
    Show
    It's a decent sized group that gathers at the north gate of Newtown, about 2 dozen humans&dwarves, the PCS, the Beasts, as well as Fenn & Vadaris. Fenn grins widely and waves at Elianna. She waves back, still a little unnerved by the pint-sized magician, and then blinks as she swears that Fenn's shadow turns around about half a second after Fenn does. A grim-faced dwarf calls out that they're expecting about half a day's march before encountering any sign of the caravan, but to be ready for anything. Marching up the hills outside the town gates leads to a broad and obviously carved cavern entrance. No-one has open torches, but there are enough humans wearing small hooded lanterns of a sort on their chests to provide light for Darious (who is the only PC without darkvision, a pretty common occurrence in our games).

    It's a broad tunnel with a slight downwards slope, probably 40 ft wide and 20 ft high, "good proper dwarven work" a stereotypical dwarf would say as they drank ale. There are spots where a light source possibly used to hang on the walls at regular intervals, but the only light is from the warband. It's not a dead sprint or anything, but it's definitely a forced march. There are no side passages, no branching paths. Just the singular tunnel, curving gently and continuing ever downwards. It's a couple hours later before the group slows, shouts of trouble ahead causing everyone to draw their weapons. It's a sharp 90 degree turn, and seems like a partial collapse has spilled rubble and rocks across part of the floor. There are limbs sticking out from said rubble, but as light shines on them, said limbs jolt and twitch to life when they have no business doing so. Mangled and torn corpses shamble free of the rubble with a hungry moan, and there are a few cries of dismay as said corpses are wearing the same outfits as the warband soldiers. The zombies lurch forward, and we're into initiative!

    Spoiler: DM note
    Show
    I abstract the next couple combats and handwave that the other members of the warband are fighting their own enemies, rather than flooding the mat with dozens of minis all over the place. The PCs and their foes are just that section of the battle
    .

    A corpse wearing much older looking armor hisses something in a menacing tongue and points a rusty blade forward, and the zombies comply by shuffling forward. Darious takes aim with a Detonator shot, and blows a zombie apart while doing a good chunk of damage to the rest of the horde. This lets Elianna easily chop a zombie apart with one swing, and Brokk clangs his shield and wades forward while Dodging. That combined with his AC makes for quite the difficult target, and while Brokk is quickly surrounded by flesh-craving zombies, they flail ineffectively. I roll a couple crits...except for the whole Disadvantage thing, boo.

    However, the older armored corpse rushes forward with a snarl! Brokk deflects the sword thrust, but a shoved zombie obscures the corpse's other hand until it latches around Brokk's jaw and instantly leaves frostbite-like burns across it. Brokk makes his save vs the Wight's life drain, but it still did not feel good.

    There's a raised platform above this section of the tunnel, almost a large hunter's blind of sorts. A second wight pokes his head over the ledge, and starts firing arrows! However, I roll like absolute garbage the whole fight and it doesn't land a single hit. Darious blows a chunk of the wall apart next to the wight's head, but starts his own streak of poor rolls. Dag has no time for these abominations, and focuses his will. He wraps the threads of inevitability tight around the Wight attacking Brokk, and pulls them tight as he declares judgement upon the undead with Path to the Grave. Elianna takes advantage of this and rolls a crit, cleaving the Wight in twain with a massive blast of light and heat.

    The shoddy archer Wight sees the tide of battle is decidedly one-sided, and sprints off into the darkness. It's just cleanup after this, with the NPCs and allies being just as successful in hacking the zombies apart. Darious reports to the dwarf seemingly in charge about the Wight that ran off, but she replies that there's no need to track as the tunnel still doesn't branch off for another day. There's a few minutes for last rites & dismemberments, and the march resumes, this time with the PCs more towards the back of the group. It's about another hour before the group reaches the site of the caravan.

    The two broad stone & metal wagons are overturned (I had mentioned previously that the large wagons were powered by bound elementals rather than horses), and the bouncing lanterns reveal a scene of slaughter. Feral-looking figures are hunched over corpses and supplies, hungrily feeding on both with ragged teeth & claws. The warband charges forward with a roar of outrage, shields and spears locked (I kind of cutscene the next bit, a sin I know). But as they're about to smash into the ghouls, the cavern wall to the side of them suddenly bursts open. A hulking beast tears through the rock and smashes into the warriors, followed by many more undead. Two massive 8 ft beasts lope into the fray with bellows, and everything quickly goes to hell. Initiative!


    Spoiler: Ambush
    Show
    One of the Undead is dressed more finely than the others, and the party guesses that it's in charge. The eye sockets glowing an unholy eldritch green contribute to said guess as well. The Deathlock hisses menacingly, and casts Hadar's Hunger directly in the middle of the party. Darious combat rolls out of the ominous icy darkness, and flubs his shot. The hulking beast that smashed through the wall trumpets its rage and turns towards the party, revealing itself to be an Umber Hulk. Its confusing gaze complicates the whole fight, with most of the party choosing to avert their eyes and make themselves vulnerable to surprise attacks from that side, as well as:
    Spoiler: DM note
    Show
    not notice the strange swirling magic encircling the creature's head


    Brokk takes a hit on his shield, and then Elianna steps up and slashes the umber hulk across the arm. The two Large-sized undead turn out to be Slavering Ghouls (another darkest dungeon monster), and one seizes a nearby lesser ghoul by the head...and hurls it directly at Brokk! Sadly I miss, and the shrieking ghoul sails by to land head first on the stone, its neck breaking in oh so many places. The slavering ghoul charges up to smash against Brokk and Elianna, and things become a brutal slog.

    The umber hulk rips into Elianna repeatedly, and does a lot of damage. The Slavering Ghoul hits even harder, but it's far less accurate. Darious tries to blast the deathlock and the Slavering Ghoul, and has a night of absolutely miserable dice, missing so many times. Dag uses his 1 level of rogue to get some sneak attack in the fray, swinging for ankles and knees. After soaking repeated slashes from Elianna and Brokk, the Slavering Ghoul lets out a Howl, and Brokk as well as Elianna fail their saves. Things are looking more grim, especially when I describe the sound of heavy footsteps approaching the party from behind. Darious spins around to see - Vadaris, but she's swelling and growing until she's suddenly as big as the umber hulk. With a war cry, she swings her gigantic maul at the ghoul's skull!

    And misses with a 2. But allies have entered the fray! Fenn pops up, and points menacingly at a zombie. In a strange coincidence, the zombie's torso blows apart. The slavering ghoul and Vadaris rip into each other, and Darious finally lands a rune shot on the Slavering Ghoul - an Electroleap. The bullet smashes through the ghoul's teeth, then lighting erupts in its skull! Limbs twitching and bones lit up old-school videogame style, it crumples to the ground thoroughly dead. The energy then leaps to the umber hulk and scorches the bug-gorilla-bear-thing. Brokk and Dag try to save vs the confusing stare and both fail, losing their turns as their minds fill with confusing static.

    Elianna also pulls some rules shenanigans that are silly. She's not looking at the Umber hulk, so she has disadvantage. But she's using reckless attack, so the advantage cancels that. Meaning she's got just a regular chance to hit the thing with her eyes shut >_<. I think we ruled it correctly, but I complain about it as is tradition and the fight rages on.

    The second Slavering Ghoul also misses hurling an unfortunate zombie at the heroes, but quickly begins trading blows with Brokk, Elianna, and Vadaris. A second Deathlock appears, blasting away with Eldritch bolts. Fenn tilts his head and stares at the umber hulk before making a chopping gesture.

    "Good news guys! I broke the enchantment on that -" RRRRROOOOOAAARRRRR!!! The umber hulk lashes out even more wildly, seemingly driven berserk. Fenn quietly takes cover after his attempt to "help".

    Dag hears the Deathlocks panicked exclamations of "the beast is free!" and "kill that damned child!" in Undercommon (or a dialect close enough to it), and the focus shifts to the Slavering Ghoul and Deathlocks before the Umber Hulk. It's flailing about at anything randomly, which unfortunately drops Elianna. The second slavering ghoul goes down between Vadaris and Brokk's Spiritual Weapon, while Dag heals Elianna (we all laugh about how it's more efficient for Dag to heal the dying rather than the merely wounded, and suggest punching patients out).

    Fenn prevents one Deathlock from going invisible, and gets an Eldritch blast through his shoulder for his troubles. As he screams in pain, Vadaris is clearly frantic, and ignores her numerous claw wounds to fight harder. As the Deathlock gloats, though, Darious snaps a shot right between the foul undead's eyes, blowing its head apart.

    The second Deathlock looks like it's about to do something bad, but the Umber Hulk has turned to face the Deathlock and doesn't have anyone else attacking it. With a thunderous charge, the umber hulk pulverizes the Deathlock. Elianna is back on her feat just in time for the Umber Hulk to turn and run her over too! But it keeps going, back into the tunnel it made (no-one makes the opportunity attacks I offered as bait) and away from this crazy combat.

    And we end it there!
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Didn't have a game this week due to me having a gaming tournament, but I finished the creepy little dreams everyone experienced the night before setting out to find the caravan!

    Yes, everyone, I lied and did one for Elianna too.

    Spoiler: Dag
    Show

    As usual, your nightmares focus on your wife, and a vast cliff. Your toes dangle over the edge, an empty nothing stretching out forever below. Hands encircle your waist, and her hair brushes against the back of your ear.

    I missed you. It’s been so long.

    You remain still, knowing without turning that it isn’t your wife. The voice, the touch, the smell, it’s all so very close but not quite right. And the thing doesn’t attempt to disguise the small little bits of wrongness - it emphasizes them, pushing on that old deep ache. It mocks you with those cold hands that should be warm, the soft breathless voice that’s bereft of life.

    I couldn’t see you, up there on the surface. But now you’re coming back down to me, aren’t you?

    The hands tighten, and the stone beneath your feet shivers and crackles. You teeter forward, your footing crumbling away.

    Come and drown in me, my love.


    Spoiler: Brokk
    Show
    The rhythm of hammer on iron envelops and comforts you as you work. Despite your ability to coax the metal to flow with your will and hands alone, your teacher insisted you work “the proper way” as much as possible.

    What are you forging?

    You look down at the anvil, at the unshaped glowing metal. For an instant it is your hand upon the anvil, blazing orange and yellow as you bring your hammer down.

    Is it your creations or yourself that you wish to improve?

    The jagged little dagger tip, that charm you found so long ago and hung about your neck, pulses and tingles against your skin like the sparks spraying upwards with each blow. You’re still not certain what it is you are making, but you'll need to quench it soon. The barrel of oily absolute blackness sits patiently, awaiting the plunge into its depths.

    Will you break in the coming days, or will you be stronger for it?


    Spoiler: Elianna
    Show
    The fever had made for a restless, blank night. It was only later that the dream came to you, different than usual.

    You stand in front of a pitch-black wall, stretching out of sight in every direction. As you touch the icy stone, your hand begins to glow. Your mind is drawn back to the battles of the past several days, of the foul creatures who deserved only destruction. As the light grows stronger and stronger, a faint crackle echoes as a crack forms under your palm. It’s small, barely noticeable, but it’s a start. Warmth swells up in your lungs, on your tongue, behind your eyes. It feels…

    Righteous.


    Spoiler: Darious
    Show
    Elianna’s talk of bad dreams brought memories of your own drifting back.

    The Order had been everything you had known for years. Working as a mercenary to gather resources, hunting out any scraps of knowledge related to black powder and firearms, focusing and harnessing your magic; it was all in service to the Order that raised you. You knew that there were others who knew of the weapons of the old human kingdoms, others who would kill or worse to claim such knowledge. After years always on the move, though, you never thought that the Order itself would be in danger.

    That day proved you wrong, so shortly after bonding to your first Magelock. You’d shoved the memory down deep, but the intensity was still there. You returning to camp to find it ablaze. Your peers and teachers, all dead, all shot a single time between the eyes. And every scrap of knowledge and equipment gone, nothing left behind other than what was in your hands.

    You’d never stopped moving, never stopped hunting, since.


    And a song teaser for next session, which isn't this weekend but the following one:The Cold below
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Spoiler: Aftermath
    Show
    After the rather wild combat, everyone takes a breather and takes stock. Of the 2 dozen warriors, 9 are dead with several others seriously injured - none of the named NPCs mercenaries that the party knew previously perished, however. Brokk uses one of his last bits of magic to cast Prayer of Healing, healing himself, Elianna, Vadaris, and 3 of most severely wounded warriors.

    The leader of this expedition (we'll say captain for simplicity) was already rather impressed with the party: they rushed into the thickest of the fighting, and were directly involved in taking down the slavering ghouls, the deathlocks, and driving off the umber hulk. Brokk then healing and saving the lives of 3 warriors? Getting into vaguely heroic territory.

    Unfortunately there were no survivors to rescue, but half of the goods destined for Flotsam (at a quick glance, looks like gems, precious metal, some weapons & armor, and powders of some sort) are still salvageable + both of the large stone carts are intact. It takes almost the whole gang (who isn't horribly wounded), but they manage to flip the ponderous stone and metal cart back upright. Darious is rather intrigued as he watches a dwarf hop onto each wagon seat and hold their hands above a carved handle of sorts: with a glow, the wagons roll forward slowly under their own power. Bound elemental spirits are a little bit more reliable than any four-legged beast, after - especially with so many flesh-eating beasties about.

    After a coincidentally-the-same-length-as-a-short-rest consolidating and watch time, the captain explains that the next step is returning to Flotsam with the wagons (since that's about a half-day travel, whereas it's another day and a half to Yarim Yol. Some sneaky looking scouts are heading down to Yarim Yol just to report on what happened, so the captain checks which way the party is headed.
    She also eyes the ambush tunnel that the umber hulk fled back down with suspicion, mentioning that not knowing what else could be down there is a bad thing.

    The Beasts (somewhat hesitantly) volunteer to check out the tunnel the undead burst out from before catching back up with the main group returning to Flotsam. Darious agrees and steps alongside the trio, and they look exceedingly grateful before remembering that they're supposed to look all grim and stuff. So the party's plan is to quickly check out just what's down the tunnel, then return to Flotsam. None of them are overly enthused with traveling through the underground by themselves, and they're pretty low on resources.

    I'm sure nothing could go wrong.


    Spoiler: Side tunnel
    Show
    The umber hulk tunnel winds and twists erratically, but it's not too bad to traverse. After 20 minutes or so, the tunnel splits, with one path obviously newer than the other.
    Correctly deducing that the newer tunnel would be the umber hulk going anywhere but here, they continue down the older tunnel. Being a dwarf, Dag notices that the type of stone surrounding the party abruptly changes, the tunnel carving through a different pocket. After a few more moments of having to scrabble up an incline, the party emerges into a large chamber.

    It's rather large, and the stale air and thick dust just adds to the "old and long forgotten" vibe. There are three things that are immediately noticed as the party looks around.

    The large stone table with manacles on each corner, and suspicious stains on one end of the table

    The open pit just beyond said suspicious table

    And the large floor-to-ceiling pillar with a leering 3-eyed face carved into it.

    Oh, and a 4th thing - Dag feels every hair tingle as he steps into the chamber - this is Unholy deconsecrated ground.

    There's no way that undead monstrosities could have come from such a cheerful place, right? Right?

    Elianna, Dag, Darious, and Nestor all walk over to examine the table and pillar, while Brokk, Erwan and Lisette hang around the entrance (Brokk's player made several half jokes about immediately turning around as I described each detail of the chamber). The table just screams "sacrificial altar," right down to the greataxe propped up against it. Darious notices that the one corner contains several corpse-shaped lumps, all covered with a sickly-yellow mould or fungus. Before he can mention it though, Dag examines the pillar with the creepy face. There's a rough inscription below it, in some mish-mash of Dwarven and Undercommon.

    THOUGH COUNTLESS DAYS HAVE PASSED
    MY HUNGER YET REMAINS.

    And then Elianna, Dag, and Nestor all fail their saves against the chamber's magic. As one, they turn to face Darious (the only one in the effect who passed) and speak in tandem. "He hungers."
    Darious is weirded out, then concerned as Elianna clumsily tries to grab him, then alarmed as Nestor seizes him into a full nelson. Erwan and Lisette pull and yank at Nestor, demanding to know what's going on. Dag tries to grab Darious' feet, and he struggles but fails to break free. While this is happening, Brokk's eyes are drawn to the other side of the chamber...where there are several sarcophagus shaped objects. As he stares, a pale shape jitters and flickers out of one of them. With a horror-movie twitch, the dwarven ghost appears with a horrific shriek!

    Everyone manages to save except for poor Darious, who ages 10 years as he's shouting in alarm. Luckily for him, Nestor spins him around as he's wrestling him towards the table, so he can no longer Disadvantaged from seeing the ghost. Unluckily, that means he can see the greataxe next to the table rattling ominously in anticipation. Even more unluckily, he can see the corpulent giant corpses climbing out of the pit, as well as mould covered-zombies shambling closer!

    Dag and Elianna finally manage to break free, and Erwan punches Nestor to make him snap out of the compulsion. Everything devolves into a wild combat! Darious snipes the ogre zombies with a Detonator rune shot (he had cast Eternal magazine before heading down the tunnel), blowing chunks of long-dead flesh everywhere. They unfortunately have lots of flesh to spare, and climb out of the pit with the time-honoured zombie battle cry of 'uuunnnnnnggghhh.'

    Elianna slashes at the frightening dwarf ghost RIGHT IN HER FACE, but really doesn't do much damage. Brokk shouting a curse and blasting it with a Guiding Bolt however does a hefty amount of damage. Enough in fact, that the ghost steps through Elianna (withering touch) and advances towards the orc menacingly. Dag attempts to purify the foul undead with Sacred Flame, but it makes the save with the advantage from the unholy ground. This gets the ghost's attention, though, and the hoary dwarf spirit leaps forward into Dag with a flash, possessing him.

    Dag doesn't feel fear at the spiritual invasion, just a deep-seated rage that this thing would dare. Then Brokk steps forward and thrusts his holy symbol (his hammer) forward and Turns Undead.
    Even with advantage, the ghost fails MISERABLY and gets blasted out of Dag's body, shrieking in terror.

    On the other side of the chamber, Darious continues blasting away at the ogre zombies, with Erwan and Nestor kicking and chopping away at one as well. Lisette leaps forward and cranks one of the mould-covered zombies, and then nearly chokes on the poisonous dust and spores that spray outwards from the blow. All the while, the axe keeps vibrating menacingly.

    The ghost flees into the carved pillar with a despairing wail, so the three heroes pivot over to the zombie problem as well. Elianna charges up to one of the ogre zombies and chops into it - she's a little sad at the lesser damage since she's out of rages.

    Then the ogre zombie lands a crit on her, and she's even more sad. I describe it as the greataxe full-on leaping into the ogre's hand, and with a blurring swipe, chopping through the corner of the stone table. There's a split second where it seems like it missed (me forgetting that I had advantage against Elianna from reckless attack), then a gout of blood as she's split open (me rolling the crit with the second roll).

    The ogre zombies get hacked and shot down after a bit more back and forth, leaving only the mold-covered zombies. Darious is loathe to shoot them with allies nearby after seeing the spray of choking spores, so there's some careful maneuvering and readied actions. Two of the three are slain, but Lisette goes down in the combat. The final zombie is lurching after Brokk, who dodges around the table , and notices that the greataxe (clutched in the dead ogre zombie's hand) twitches and jolts when he touches the table.

    The mold zombie clambers partway onto the table to go after Brokk, so he pushes it the rest of the way to be prone on said table. Instantly, the greataxe soars through the air to decapitate the hapless zombie with a single massive CLANG. The players all wince as they realize what would have happened if they had wrestled Darious onto the table while they were charmed...


    Spoiler: Well then
    Show
    With the danger seemingly passed, Elianna reaches down towards Lisette. Thinking about the conversations with Darious and Dag, she focuses on that feeling of light and heat in the back of her throat, and pushes. Successfully using Healing Hands on someone else, Lisetta sputters back to consciousness. Seeing the musclehead merc channel Radiant energy into healing right in front of him, Dag blinks and utters a flat, "what."

    A decent knowledge roll + seeing it happen right in front of him, Dag demands to know what exactly Elianna just did. Seeing as all her previous uses of the ability were on herself (and subconsciously), Elianna tries to stammer something about "just helping her wake up." The crochety dwarf is having none of it, though, and pushes rather hard for an explanation. He dismisses Elianna's claim of having been changed by a Radiance storm, instead pointedly asking if she knew anything about her parents and/or ancestors...because that's the sort of magic that celestial blood can manifest as.

    Two of the tieflings (Erwan and Nestor) take a little step back, but Lisette is just grateful that Elianna y'know, saved her life.

    Now that combat's over, looting time! Darious burns away the yellow mold to reveal a cache of small dark crystals - a mound of the materials that make up part of black powder (in this world, gunpowder/black powder is made from a mix of Dark and Light infused materials). It's a healthy amount, so he happily stuffs it all in a bag.

    Examining the pillar and where the ghost crawled out from, the party finds three sarcophagi - two broken open, and one intact. The broken ones have greenish-black burns on the stone, and everyone agrees that the deathlocks must have come from them. The third one is still sealed, so Darious pushes and strains at the lid before Brokk absolutely cranks a strength check and sends the lid flying. Inside are the bones of a dwarf, the only recognizable clothing remaining a necklace with a pendant that looks remarkably like the creepy pillar. The bones and necklace are summarily smashed.

    Speaking of the creepy pillar, Elianna and Dag examine it a bit more closely, and Dag notices something strange when he presses against it. Even though the stone pillar stretches from floor to ceiling, there's a weird sort of...give to it. With another push, the whole pillar slides forward silently on hidden rollers. The hidden alcove contains:

    -three hunched skeletons with the backs of their skulls stove in (the party stomps them to dust just in case)
    -a chest containing several thousand gold worth of thin gold plates (don't recall the exact amount off hand)
    -a fine staff, with one end ornately carved into the head of some serpent
    -a dwarven axe made of some jet-black material, seemingly a single unbroken piece

    The staff turns out to be a staff of the adder, while the dwarven axe is a +1 battleaxe.

    Speaking of axes, Brokk does attempt to take the creepy greataxe too, but as the blade is embedded a few inches into the stone table, doesn't manage to pry it free. And with a boatload of xp from the last couple sessions, we end it there!


    And feedback time from anyone reading! Is this enjoyable, too dry, too wordy, not enough detail? Things people like and want to read more of, or not so much and don't want? Hopefully it's entertaining, but suggestions are always welcome.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    You asked for feedback, so feedback it is!
    First of all, I enjoy reading the log immensely! I love the dark humour, and the dark country vibes. I very much enjoyed the entire description of Bastard's point, it sounds like a fun adventure local, and I really loved the interactivity of the inside of the tower, along with the urgency and effects of the violin player. I may steal that premise for my game.

    I loved the sacrificial chamber encounter- multiple types of threats, and an excellent start to it "It hungers!"

    I also really like the general setting intro, and the specific locals the party started in (loved the ramshackle river town, just a bridge away from the creepy old town), and i'm really waiting for the to reach the dwarven outpost, on the edge of undead-infestation-hell underneath!

    You have a great style if writing! Good, concise description that give the main feel of a place/ person/ theme, and a good mix of action, humour and terror!

    The only thing that I think can be improved is... The feel if the PC characters themselves. I feel that they are played by compenent players, and they seem bursting with cool and intriguing potential from their introduction, and there are hints of that in the read, but... Something lacks a bit in the log's description, something falls a bit... Flat about them. I get the sense that they are quite cool and impressive to play, but through the medium of the log some of that doesn't fully transfers through... That said, it is a small thing. They are better described than most logs I read, but you asked for feedback, so that's part of it.

    I would love if you could link/ direct to the monsters? I'm new to 5e, and don't know how to find those.

    Oh, and I absolutely LOVE the musical bits you link to! Got me delving into quite a lot of new artists and music! So thanks!

    In summary- keep up the great game, good DMing, great players, and writing this log!
    My thanks,
    Kol.

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Awesome feedback
    Wow, thank you very much! Glad you're enjoying the journal. And quite fair on the PCs not coming across as dynamic / interesting as they could; I'll try to not be quite as passive and show more than just tell when it comes to them. Plus I'll bully/cajole the players into posting some stuff on their characters, too.

    As for monsters, the majority of what I've used has been standard monster manual (and I'll start trying to link to a 5e SRD for these beasties), but a quick list of stuff I've used that wasn't standard:

    -The bloated thralls, bone defenders, bone arbalests, squiffy ghast, and slavering ghouls are all from the Darkest Dungeon monster manual by DM Tuz - I love it and plan on shamelessly stealing a LOT of stuff from that

    - The deathlocks were from Mordankeinen's tome of foes

    -there will more than likely be monsters / foes emerging from the Iron Kingdoms Requiem Monsternomicon and core book down the road too (Darious' Gun mage class is from this)

    Thanks again!
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    No game this week!

    Instead, my ego is a monster that demands validation/food, and I enjoy expanding on stuff - so anything about the game/setting/characters people want to know more about? Players asking questions be warned - fishing for overly spoiler-y info might result in large unpleasant beasties/situations being added to the game :P
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    So, I started reading the Romanov campaign log (Apparently I started reading it when it started, even posted at it's start, but then... Lost track? Life has been way too busy these past few years), aaannd... I have some ideas on who plays who. My guess:
    - Dag is played by Tywin's player?
    - Elianna by Fred's player?
    - Darius by Kas' Player?
    - Lastly Brock... By the former DM? (And does he, and now you, approve of this message?).

    Also, some questions:
    1. I'm a relative newbie to 5e. (Busy life and all that). Can you explain more about Darius' class? Sounds a lot like the gunslinger from PF.

    2. I really liked Flotsam! Can you elaborate more on it? If it doesn't spoil too much? I like small towns, with rough and dangerous inhabitants, like small powder kegs ready for a fuse...

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    So, I started reading the Romanov campaign log (Apparently I started reading it when it started, even posted at it's start, but then... Lost track? Life has been way too busy these past few years), aaannd... I have some ideas on who plays who. My guess:
    - Dag is played by Tywin's player?
    - Elianna by Fred's player?
    - Darius by Kas' Player?
    - Lastly Brock... By the former DM? (And does he, and now you, approve of this message?).
    Swing and a miss, I'm afraid. :)
    -Dag is a player who wasn't in the Romanov Incident, but was a player in the Curse of Artaith
    -Elianna is Kas' player
    -Darious is also a player who wasn't in Romanov, but was in Artaith
    -Brokk is Fred's player
    -Tywin's player and the Romanov DM aren't in this current game

    ]Also, some questions:
    1. I'm a relative newbie to 5e. (Busy life and all that). Can you explain more about Darius' class? Sounds a lot like the gunslinger from PF.
    Actually it's the Gun Mage from the Iron Kingdoms; Requiem book. Physical copies from the kickstarter would have been arriving right around now, but sea freight is shenanigans so it'll probably be a couple more months. I'm a huge fan of this setting (and also own a copious amount of minis for the wargame), so I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who likes magic-y steam/dieselpunk. I'd probably compare the gun mage to a warlock; pretty limited and focused magic, and then some additional supernatural abilities. For the gun mage, they bond with magelock firearms (giving them magical attacks quite early) and gain Arcane Shots that cause various effects. For example Darious currently has Detonator (causes additional damage to the target directly hit as well as an AOE of damage around it) Thunderbolt (which does extra thunder damage and throws targets backwards), and Electroleap (which electrifies both the target hit and a nearby target). They can also pick shots that do things like strip concealment/cover and grant advantage (Fire Beacon) or fires absolutely silently as well as stealing the target's ability to speak (Silencer).

    2. I really liked Flotsam! Can you elaborate more on it? If it doesn't spoil too much? I like small towns, with rough and dangerous inhabitants, like small powder kegs ready for a fuse...
    Sure! I had read a blog post at one point that inspired me to make NPCs for the town starting with the Law, the Faith, and the Money. Since the heroes met the Law (Serode) and the Money (Ulviye) already, here's some about the Faith of the town!

    Spoiler: Meles the River God, "The Silver finned King"
    Show


    In better days, the church of Meles was the most powerful group in Flotsam. They oversaw the docks, maintaining the flow of goods and ensuring that all who traveled on their god's river paid the appropriate tithe. They blessed the townsfolk with all the bounty of the river, and proper worship kept the broad river from overflowing and flooding. But as fewer and fewer ships came, and less and less goods, the church waned. With it waned Meles' power, which in turn worsened the bleeding away of faithful.

    Today, the church is a bare handful of acolytes, more beggar priests and sad reminders of better days. Brother Athanase is the high priest of the church, but he no longer speaks with Meles' voice, seeing his god only rarely. The local fishers and dock workers still pay homage to the river god, but it is a small trickle compared to once what was.

    As for the god himself, he is extremely elusive, sluggish and quiet like his river. Less charitable whispers speak of the god hiding from the Children of the Wake, fearful that the mad raiders could actually slay Meles in his weakened state. It is still wise to not say such things while on the water though, as it was only in the last few years that a massive silver-finned dragon turtle capsized a ship whose captain openly mocked Meles and the state of his church.


    Spoiler: Maka of Deep roots
    Show
    A local druid, this morbidly cheerful half-orc wanders between Flotsam and the surrounding wilderness. She is a bridge for many things; helping maintain the nearby farms and ensuring they don't over-reach into the forests, acting as a mediator between villagers and fey spirits, and firmly ensuring the dead of Newtown stay that way. Just be careful if she offers you some mushrooms to try


    And since I've name-dropped them (and I think they're cool), a bit of info on those crazy raiders:
    Spoiler: The Children of the Wake
    Show

    Savage and unrelenting, the Children of the Wake are peerless sailors and raiders, fearlessly attacking any who have the misfortune to cross their path. No body of water is safe, for they possess grim magics that allow their ships to travel through unseen paths. An eerily thick fog and guttural chanting has signaled the end for many a town.

    The Children are not mindless animals; particularly clever or skilled warriors & travelers have managed to impress bands into letting them go on their way. Slaves taken by them have rarely returned years later, a full member of the Children. Some settlements with more bravery than sense have even traded with the harsh seafarers. However, there is one thing that is never forgiven or accepted by the Children of the Wake.

    Any who dare worship any god, spirit, or power is a blasphemer fit only for screaming death. This unyielding bloodlust extends to the beings soliciting worship also; the Children of the Wake have and will slay lesser divine beings not strong enough to fight them off. Dwarven ancestor worship, Elven Deathless, the Light, fiendish or fey Patrons alike. All must die in the eyes of the Children. The only worship they accept is that of their Old Dead Gods.

    Unfortunately for everyone except the Children of the Wake, when they prey to those dead gods, something answers.

    TL:DR version of the Children of the Wake: Angry fantasy vikings with an extremely strong dose of Lovecraftian vibes
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Wild North Yonder

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Can’t figure out who my character is? Just follow the daddy issues….

    Syra: Father tried to kill her
    Kas: fake father tried to have her assassinated
    Sona: No idea which bard managed to charm her half dragon mother
    Elianna: zero interest in who her dad is. Mom was an addled travelling story teller whose whimsy drove her crazy (can and will post early character backstory writing if you wish)

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    No game this weekend, as the party (and the GM) was TPK'd by the greatest of foes:

    Scheduling conflicts!
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Due to restrictions coming back into place, game's going on hiatus for a bit.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Oh no! Can't wait to hear more from this campaign journal, when there is more to hear. I really like the setting and the mysteries you've set up... I may have to steal some of it for my campaign later. The sapphire flower drowning in darkness is a very good image, I must admit. Thank you for the links to the Darkest Dungeon manual!

    Here's to hoping you guys can play in person soon!

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    For sure! And thank you very much, glad you enjoy the read. Steal whatever you like, it's what I do shamelessly from all sorts of media.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

    Dammerung A 5e campaign journal, ongoing. My latest kitchen sink of a campaign setting, with magic radiation storms, underground undead hordes, and elder-god worshipping vikings

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Lake Jackson, TX

    Default Re: Dammerung: a 5e campaign journal

    Hey Curious-Puzzle! Glad to find you've started another campaign and are letting us read all about it. We'll be looking forward to updates.

    Thank you for putting in the work to share with us.
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...e-Night!/page6 Xihu Ayame

    Click my Vulpix to feed it yummy berries!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •