Sunday, July 31, 2016

Biographies: Flint Forgeflame

Flint Forgeflame is a graying cleric of Adreham. Flint spent about 50 years pursuing childish/adolescent dwarven pursuits, like exploratory mining instead of working an established vein in the hopes of getting lucky.

He then buckled down and spent 50 years as an apprentice blacksmith, making shoes for the donkeys that worked the mines and high end pots and pans. He spent his 100s as a journeyman, cranking out bulk orders of swords for the armies and overseeing some smaller projects, while sometimes being allowed to try making pommels and grips for masterwork weapons. When he became a master at 200, he joined the smith's guild, and over the years rose in the ranks, and even became an ambassador of sorts to the central guild for about a decade or two. At about 250, he began to train a student or two a decade. On the eve of his 299th birthday, he had a vision in a dream which caused him to rethink his remaining years. He has spent the last year liquidating his assets, donating most to the church after ensuring that his 3 children and 5 grandchildren are well taken care of.

Though he was always a believer, a combination of the vision and his impending old age have made him more devout. He has spent a great deal of time discussing his life and current situation with his local spiritual advisers and training to venture into the wild in pursuit of expanding civilization. He has learned the healing arts and though he's not as strong as he was in his prime, his hammering arm has learned new techniques more suited for crushing the skulls and ribs of the unholy than those untempered masses of red hot steel.

Chances are, his mark or the mark of one of his apprentices is on at least one piece of equipment floating around the party. If not, he knows he could fix their gear if he had the time and stability, but Fayon only gave him so many breaths, so he's going to make his mark on the world while he can by taming the wilderness in the name of Adreham.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Journey North Session One: Oh Gawd, my chickens!

The Temple of Adreham, aka La Cattolica di Stilo
[Note: unfortunately, due to last minute planning, I neglected to gather the names of the PCs, so this is going to be a little bit awkward. I'll have another post later this week with backgrounds from the players who sent them to me, and hopefully by next week I'll have them down.]

It started, as these things usually do, in an inn. The group had just arrived in Neufeld from Obertor, and found a place to stay called the Sign of the Xorn. It was on a small square in the middle of a maze of poorly built houses, but was itself surprisingly nice. Or, at least, snug and dry. At a loss for exactly what to do next, they split the party. Flint Flameforge and Dyn-Bach went to the temple of Adreham to see what the priests knew, while the bard busked in the market and the thief and the barbarian explored the warren of homes around the inn. The busking was uneventful, but the thief and the barbarian were set upon by slavers, apparently interested in "recruiting" them. The barbarian was able to occupy all three, taking hits like it was nothing, while the thief used his bow to take one down. He then spoke in thieves cant, telling the slavers to leave them alone. Already frightened by the death of their friend, they agreed, and ran off.

The two religious men had better luck at the temple. There, they met a young priest named Max, who asked for their help. There was a farm outside of town owned by Phineas Filson, and he apparently had his chickens stolen by some kobolds. When the party gathered at the Sign of the Xorn that night, they agreed that it sounded like a worthy quest.

They left the next morning and found Phineas's farm with ease. There, they met the young farmer with an excellent goatee, and listened to him tell about his plight. Fortunately, the kobold tracks were easy to follow, and let the party right to the cave where they were holed up. Once inside, they first went to the left, where they turned back after noticing a terrible stench. The other path led to a side cave where some kobolds had set up their sleeping quarters. These were quickly dealt with, and the party turned to go deeper into the cave...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Arden Est: Journey to the North. Session 1.

The affair with the cats is one best forgotten, but it brought you to the attention of the local constable, who suggested that you head north to Obertor. "The Marschall is looking for good men, they're sayin'. Might be he could use some like you too." The town was feeling small anyway, and so you went north to seek your fortune. Or perhaps you were a wanderer, journeying across the lands still bearing the scars, now fading, of the Second Demon War, when you came across a fortress perched like a bird above a pass leading either into the lands of Fogelon, or the forested wilderness to the north. Or you were part of the army, and when the Marschall offered release from your vows, you jumped at the chance.

Whatever the case, you were in Obertor seven nights ago, and so when Feldmarschall Hubertus was looking for volunteers, you stepped up. "We have a problem, gentlemen. You know Neufeld, yes? It is a small town across the border, nominally part of our kingdom, but largely left to its own devices, as long as it pays its taxes. These payments have grown intermittent lately, and as of six months ago, have stopped entirely. We need men to go in and find out why, and ensure the taxes resume flowing south. Afterwards, you should stay in the north. We hope to have a more substantial presence there, and could use men familiar with the terrain. Questions." His tone did not suggest questions were welcome, and so one week later, you found yourselves in Neufeld.

It's not a bad town. The first thing you notice is the gate, which is flanked by two stone towers. The remainder of the palisade is still wood, but far more formidable than you would have expected. Your first sight on entering the town is a muddy field to the right, and a small farm on the left. About 100 yards from the gate, the first townhouses appear. These are two stories, and stone, with a square in front that leads to the Temple of Fayon. On the east side of town, the buildings are less nice, made of wood, and the way they lean in together combined with the narrow alleys suggests a warren of rats. You'd guess there are about 75 families living in the town, all told. You find a place at the Sign of the Xorn, and start to discuss your next move.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

New Campaign!

Ryanna, goddess of love and war
After running Princes of Elemental Evil for a bit, and playing in a very fun Castle of the Mad Archmage campaign, I'm going to start running my own campaign. It's set in a wild region north of Fogelon, reputed to be largely empty of civilization. Fogelon wants this to change, and so is sending adventuring parties to explore and map the region. There is one known village in the region, the village of Neufeld. Neufeld's mines are an important source of copper for Fogelon, but there have been few copper traders coming through lately. The party's first priority, then, should be reaching Neufeld and finding out what happened to the traders. Following that, they should explore as they see fit.

In addition to a lot of homebrew plots, I'm using the Slaver modules and the Rod of Seven Parts campaign to structure the adventure. There's plenty of room to explore, and the players are free to do as they see fit. On the other hand, areas are not generally labeled as to what levels they are intended for, so they'll need to make sure they don't bite off more than they can chew! If you are in the DC area and are interested, shoot me a line.