Superball's Age of Mortals Campaign - Key of Destiny
Superball, here. Welcome to the campaign journal for my recently begun Age of Mortals campaign! I'd like to take a minute to offer my sincere thanks to my players, without whom I couldn't tell stories like this one, and especially to UngainlyDodge here on the forums. She's my Cleric, and also the writer of these notes! I do some editing, but 90% of the effort is hers, and my hat is off to her for her dedicated note taking and taking the time to turn some disjointed details into the beautiful account you'll read. Character creation was accomplished prior to session one. It has been over half a decade since the last time I'd collected players of my own at a table to play a game in person. If I'd have remembered even briefly how much fun character creation as a group really was, THAT would have been our first session, for certain. I won't make that mistake in the future. Anyway, the hammering out of final details done, we sat down to begin. I give you the cast of characters below:
Caran Hith Male Qualinesti Elf Urban Ranger 1:
A tall, wiry blonde and blue-eyed dark elf with a reputation as a "slayer of men". Dressed in scale mail, he carries a two-handed sword, and incongruously, an injured wolf cub in a knapsack over his shoulder. Given a chance at forgiveness, he is tasked with protecting at all costs his travelling companion...
Jhandra Magfen Female Qualinesti Cleric of Chislev 1:
A petite acolyte of the militant arm of the Holy Order of Chislev. Loose brown robes cover scale mail armor, and the sword on her hip. She bears her Kagonesti mother's straight black hair, and her Qualinesti father's amber eyes and lighter skin, which shows every scar inflicted by Gyre, the young wild falcon on her glove.
(I'll pause here for a second, and explain the animals. Companions of any kind, either from the Ranger class feature or the Animal domain don't come into play until level 4. However, my players didn't want to miraculously acquire trained animals overnight, so I allowed them to start with them. They are there for roleplay, and downtime training, and aren't factored into play otherwise in or out of combat. I love them for this. It actually makes sense, and they came up with that solution themselves. Moving on...-SB)
Almarden Soth Male Ergothian Wizard 1:
A young arcane scholar from Ergoth whose mixed human ethnicity is evident in his black curls, deep brown skin, and intelligent green eyes. He is clean-shaven, and wears a white tunic and loose brown robes over his slight frame. He carries a gnarled wooden staff.
Krusk Male Kazelati Minotaur Fighter 1:
A lanky, young, three-hundred pound minotaur with red fur and a black stripe running down from beneath his chin. He carries several weapons, his favorite being a long-hafted halberd. Crowning his head are sharp black horns as shiny as the bronze hoops piercing each ear.
Session One: Part One
(I should note that UngainlyDodge has being thorughly researching the setting and time period with a frenzy that is hard to listen to without breaking a sweat. She had originally included a summary of the history leading up to the campaign which is very well written several paragraphs, but also very well known to the majority of the readers of these journals, so I'll leave it for now. -SB)
Our epic story begins outside Khur's capitol city of Khuri-Khan, in a ramshackle tent-city of exiled elves (like Calais, but hotter and sandier. Also "swarming" with elves instead of Syrians. Thanks, PM Cameron! -SB). Two relatively young and inexperienced Qualinesti elves are summoned to the tent of the Speaker of the Sun and Stars, Gilthas Pathfinder, for a mission, and there is an unspoken understanding that no one more essential to the survival of their community can be spared. The Speaker informs the steely-eyed Caran and wary Jhandra that for weeks the exiles and treasures desperately needed to keep appeasing the Khan have ceased to trickle in from the South. Gilthas orders the pair to journey south to Pashin and contact and elf called Shaylin Moonbow in charge of a kind of underground railroad for elven exiles. They are to investigate what has befallen the elves and provide Shaylin any aid they can. He offers them a document with his official seal, one-hundred and fifty steel pieces for expenses, and strong advice that they enlist allies for their assignment. (See what I did there? -SB) Caran claims to know just the man for the job, a minotaur mercenary, while Jhandra hopes to attract the aid of a human wizard said to be studying the Art among the elves at the behest of his Master, a White Robed Tower Mage. Little do they know the two they have spoken of have recently met and struck up a friendship while shopping in one of Khuri-Khan's souks (open air bazaars).
(At this point, I know what you're thinking. SB, you have FOUR players, remember? FOUR. I got it. My group is really cool with the idea of telling a story that makes sense, and they were both finishing up their character sheets, and happy to wait, so cut me some slack, okay? -SB) The elven duo explore the bazaar and draw catcalls and threats (Laddad! Laddad-Ihar! Laddad-Ihar! Pests! Go back to your anthill! Go back to your anthill! Thanks for that book, Ed! -SB) from a group of seven Torghanists (Khurish worshippers of Sargonnas) armed with knives. When they refuse to leave, Caran and Jhandra are surrounded and viciously attacked (And I mean, viciously. I was rolling like CRAZY-HOT this entire session, and the Paizo Critical Hit Deck was voted into use prior to game starting! -SB). Soon, the elven pair are barely conscious, but fortune conspires in the elves' favor, for the clamor draws the aid of the very two individuals they sought. (Imagine that! Am I good or what?! I love it when an adventuring party comes together. -SB)
Superball, here. At this point, I brought in my other two players, and they came in like a wrecking ball, albeit without the nakedness and licking of hand tools. My wizard, Almarden, is the bravest wizard I've ever met, hands down. He came in spraying rainbows, to ridiculously good effect. In melee at least as much as the others, I just couldn't seem to hit him in combat. Frustrating for any GM that smells a wizard within one move action, I know. The Minotaur Krusk charged, using his gore attack to it's fullest, and followed up with his warhammer, leaving behind a broken pile of one-hit-kill ragdolls in his wake. Whatever people say about Millenials, they've never seen one equipped with a +5 Strength modifier at level one. It was GLORIOUS. Back to the good stuff...
Those not already dead of their wounds are swiftly dispatched by Caran's blade, never again to threaten him or his allies (Caran takes his job as bodyguard VERY seriously. -SB). The four left standing flee the scene, and find a place to lay low (until the buzz from their self-defense induced murder spree dies down -SB). After introductions the elves ask the Kazelati Minotaur and the Ergothian man to accompany them to Pashin and help investigate the cessation of the flow of elven exiles and treasure to Khurinost (Thanks to my work pre-game tying them together with perfectly feasible relationships, this was for the first time in gaming history not a strained or unbelievable conversation. Praise be my name. -SB). Krusk seems restless with his recent lapse in work and eager for a challenge and another chance to fight beside Caran. Almarden is sympathetic to their cause, having spent enough time amongst the Kagonesti elves to learn their language, and is persuaded that some real-world experience would be a valuable addition to his education.
A five-day cruise down the coast to Ak-Krin, two weeks on a flat-bottomed cargo barge down the Thon-Thalas river, and a two-hour hike takes the newly formed band of adventurers to Pashin. Just outside the gates sits an orderly tented encampment of Dark Knights in their signature black garb with a white lily crest. The elves prudently cover their ears with scarves and hoods, (completely on their own before I could say anything! -SB) but the Minotaur cannot evade minor harassment from the Dark Knights ("cow" is the new "peck"! -SB) flanking and bullying the Pashin guards who admit visitors. Inside the remote city of squat buildings and colorful awnings which is clearly less urbane than Khuri-Khan, Caran and Almarden perceive something strange amid the crowd jostling them all. Caran seizes a child with his hand in his pocket, only to realize that he's caught a Kender thief. Almarden rifles through his pouches and retrieves the companions' effects, along with two potions marked with temple seals. (This was supposed to be a roleplaying encounter. Make nice with a Diplomacy check and get your stuff back, plus some potions. It turned into a successful Combat Manuver check, followed by an unsuccessful attempt to punch Rowan Whispertouch's lights out. At least he's consistant. -SB) The Kender protests that he merely picked up the items that they dropped and rushes off, claiming to have spotted his cousin.
The companions locate the Kender and restore his pouches to him and he insists they keep the potions ("No hard feelings, happens all the time. Hey, I didn't even know that I had those! -SB). They watch his cousin Grace perform with two others in a kind of acrobatic circus (The Street Performers encounter! My favorite rando in Pashin! -SB). She drops from her perch, tumbling (awkwardly, this time. -SB) into the crowd. The heroes see a silver amulet set with red stones slide out of her tunic, which she quickly replaces before clandestinely pressing something into the hand of a man in the crowd. Her contact immediately sprints away, too fast for pursuit. (excellent Perception checks! I wonder if that's some kind of foreshadowing of future events?! -SB).
Superball, here. At this point, the crowd had grown suspicious and ornery, reaching for their pouches, and exhibiting some severely well-deserved racial stereotyping here. Jhandra manages one of MANY stellar Diplomacy rolls (i.e. several natural 20's -SB). The crowd disperses immediately, but not before paying the acrobats, who split their take with the Heroes. Back to the good stuff...
Rowan is unable to explain either Grace's behavior or the recent complete lack of elves wandering around Pashin - it seems the elves simply vanished weeks ago. Next, the companions find a Khurish street urchin to guide them and head to a local temple of Mishakel to ask about the Presence of Dark Knights in the city and any recent violence or strange happenings (Not going to be that easy, guys! -SB). One healer reveals a Dark Knight General manipulates the Khan of Pashin and his minions wield the real power in the town, as well as spilling blood and causing mayhem everywhere they go (I admit that I took liscence here. Wanted them to seem more 'bad guy'. They are an untouchable occupying army, though, so...feasible. -SB) She also speaks of an unusual uptick in leprosy in the poor quarter where bandaged individuals wander at night. The companions decide to investigate this odd "leper" behavior (emphasis NOT mine. I think they're onto me. Plot Hooks! -SB) later in case the bandages are merely a clever disguise and the leprosy scare just a clever ruse (Blast! I knew it! -SB).
Superball, here! So ends part one of session one, as told by me and my faithful scribe, UngainlyDodge. Thanks again, UD! Tune in next time, as our Heroes rescue a "not-frail, completely capable and dangerous in their own right" hooker, Go out to see an aspect of a God live in concert, and catch a mad-cool fistfight instead.
Same Lance-Time, Same Lance-Channel!
Last edited by SuperBall; 06-13-2016 at 12:35 PM.
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