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Author Topic: The BloodJade Chronicle  (Read 1234 times)
LordKruelos
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« on: April 15, 2011, 09:21:23 AM »

As the Curtain Opens
For generations, Damara was a prosperous northern realm, wealthy in precious ores nestled in the mountain walls. Protected by imposing natural boundaries, with the noble houses united under the rule of a single well-accepted king, there was little cause for unrest. The king maintained an army only to protect the caravans, and to defend the outlying rural communities from bands of raiding goblins or other wretched creatures. Certainly, the scattered tribes of Vaasa could never unite or pose more than a marginal threat. Peace was the norm, and the expectation of future prosperity seemed obvious.

As Damara’s eyes were turned inwards by the deep of winter, they were blind to the rise of the one calling himself the Witch-King and gathering the scattered tribes in the wastes of Vaasa into an army that drove through Bloodstone Pass into Damara with the spring, leaving a trail of massacre and carnage in its wake.  For 10 years, the folk of Damara fought back, until the young King Virdin and his armies were betrayed at the Ford of Goliad and the river was choked with the bodies of the fallen.

The great war with the Kingdom of Vaasa has finally ended - the border lands are in the hands of the enemy, the king is dead, the southern lords have been granted a veneer of desperate independence at the cost of a hefty tribute, and a steady stream of refugees has been moving south to find an elusive safety.

You, too, are refugees. Like so many others, the wars have swept you from your homes and families. With autumn drawing in, you and maybe two dozen others of all walks from the peasant family to the mud-spattered merchant, to the deserter, are camped for the night in a burned-out shrine along the King’s Road.  In your pocket is the carved shard of bloodjade pressed into your hand scant days ago that has drawn you here.

Note: Each PC was guided to this shrine by a message whispered to you by the carved shard of Bloodjade in your pocket -- a deep green jade with tongues of crimson running through it.  In all cases, you were given the jade by a close friend or relative who'd been told to give it to you before they left.  Unless declared otherwise, none of you know each other or have said anything about the jade, some of you may have been here for a couple days, others arrived earlier in the day.  Any of you who are visibly armed & armored receive wide berth and deference from everyone else but are watched suspiciously.


Session 1
Season: Late Spring
Location: Along the King’s Road in The Duchy of Arcata
Wherein the heroes meet the mysterious source of the Bloodjade message-stones, journey west to the foothills of the Galenas, and are asked for aid from an unexpected source.
PC Roster


    (J) Malcolm, Human Scout whose knowledge of the Galenas has spelled doom for more than one Vaasan patrol and has sworn vengeance for the death of his brother.
    (D) Haladwe, Elven Sage and Idhalavar, his great golden eagle companion, travelers from afar looking for the secret to the Witch King's undoing.
    (R) Finn, Human minor noble of one of the northern houses (his family's lands are occupied by Vaasan Scum)
    (C) Adarius, Dwarven Soldier and smith, who escaped the Barony of Bloodstone after the tide of the Vaasan invasion swept through.

Session 1 Recap

    As the story begins, our protagonists find themselves meeting at a burned-out shrine to Waukeen, Goddess of Travelers, Trade, and Merchants -- all called by the mysterious, whispering Bloodjades
    They met Kane, a wisened man of indeterminate age dressed in the simple robes of a wandering monk of the Yellow Rose, who they'd never seen before but who called them each by name and claimed to have given them each the Bloodjades (in the guise of trusted friends or family members).
    Kane asked the holders of the Bloodjades to investigate the ruined keep of Black Spur to the north, atop a mountain known in the Goblin tongue as Dur Basta in hope of finding clues to the Witch King of Vaasa's goals and the source of his power.
    Warning of a danger following him, Kane gave the party supplies for the journey and rode off into the night on a great charger that belied his simple attire.
        Adarius used rubble from the half-collapsed roof to reinforce the door of the shrine and prepare a crude early warning alarm should a foe attack during the night.
        The protagonists kept watch over the refugees for the night -- the next morning, Malcom found fresh but indecipherable tracks along the road, as if something had paused to consider the shrine or follow along the road in the direction Kane rode.
    The party is to leave Kane a message in the form of a glowing shard of Bloodjade at the Inn of the Wayward Pick in Valls.
        Valls, the small town and seat of the Duchy of Arcata, is the bustling trailhead to the King’s Road
        Haladwe, flying on the back of Idhalavar, scouted Valls from a distance and found it seemingly undamaged by the years of war to the north.
    Finn convinced the handful of huddled refugees to leave with the morning, giving them half the supplies left by Kane.
    Malcom recalled songs and fireside stories of Basta, a goblin trickster hero.
    Camped for the night along the King's Road, the party was attacked by a lone Wyvern out of the darkness and received unexpected aid from a handful of goblin hunters.
    Trinkesti, the leader of the goblin hunters, parlayed with Malcom, surprised to find a human that spoke their tongue.
        The goblins have an injured human at their camp and have been sent to find a human healer to help or at least take him away. Trinkesti claims the human was attacked by Wyverns, not goblins.
        The party warily agreed to come with the goblins back to their camp, with the goblins taking more than a little concern at the presence of the giant eagle.
        Journeying through the night, the party arrives at the goblin camp in the foothills of the mountains in the gray light of pre-dawn to find not a simple hunting camp but a distinctly military encampment preparing for violence. The smell of refuse, animals, and cooking fires is thick in the air.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 09:23:17 AM by LordKruelos » Logged
LordKruelos
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2011, 09:22:48 AM »

Session 2
Season: Late Spring
Location: The Foothills of the Galena Moutains, in the Northwest of The Duchy of Arcata

Wherein the heroes travel with their unexpected guides through the night to aid Pader Augustin, venture to Dur Basta, and narrowly escape the Conjunction at Black Spur keep with their lives.

Session 2 Recap

    The party agreed to come with the goblin hunting party to aid the wounded human at their camp.
    Aided by his knowledge of the language and customs of the goblins of the Galenas, Malcolm kept a conversation up with Trinkesti, leader of the goblin hunting party.
    Journeying through the night, the party arrives at the goblin camp in the foothills of the mountains in the gray light of pre-dawn to find not a simple hunting camp but a distinctly military encampment preparing for violence.
    The party was led to Kalkachanla, the Goblin Warchief, who introduces them to Pader Augustin Asonza. Padre Augustin is a Priest and Scribe of the High Archivum in the Temple of the MorningLord in Heliogabalus, long Damara’s center of power and trade. He tells the them he was saved by a goblin hunting party after being attacked and nearly killed by a Wyvern.
    Haladwe and Malcom, the ones in the party best schooled in healing examined Augustin -- his legs are mangled and he cannot walk after being thrown from his horse. Pader Augustin begged the party to go discover what they can of the Hauntbeast in hopes that the scholars of the Archivum might learn how to strengthen the prison of the demon.
    Pader Augustin:
        It appears that what we call Black Spur is in fact a goblin holy site called Dur-Basta, where one of their heroic ancestors tricked a great demon into entombing itself. This demon, the Hauntbeast, resides at the keep, held prisoner to this day. Unfortunately, there’s an astrological event every 50 years that weakens the prison and the Hauntbeast uses these periods to reach out with its foul mind and corrupt the gullible and weak-willing. It calls them here and demands they free it, so the goblins have set up this encampment and bring their tribes together during this ‘conjunction’ to guard the keep from the Hauntbeast’s minions.
    Kalkachanla:
        “Beware. The conjunction comes, and none can be atop Dur-Basta when the Hauntbeast tests its walls. Come dusk, my hunters will enter the keep like lightning. We will kill all that stirs there, no matter its stance or species. The human Agustin’s words may be wise but we cannot risk his offer of help becoming a path to the Beast’s freedom. You understand this? We will not stand in your way, but if you remain atop Dur-Basta come sunset, you will die.
    Duly warned, the party ventured up Dur Basta to the keep, dodging wyverns as they made their way inside. 
    In the courtyard was an arcane circle, scribed in chalk, blood, wax, and colored sand. Haladwe recognized it as a summoning circle.
    The party was attacked by black robed cultists in the inner baily and fought their way to the second floor, bursting into the East Tower as the cult completed a ritual that summoned The Reaver, an avatar of the Hauntbeast, into the keep.
    Unfortunately, the summoning circle was improperly drawn -- allowing the avatar of the Hauntbeast to escape the circle and wreak havok on everyone within the keep before flying North into the mountains.
    Adarius survived being crushed by the Reavers jaws and flung like a ragdoll into the tower.
    The elf, Haladwe captured an Infernum, a text of demonology, shuddering in revulsion as the Reaver’s poison coursed through his body, calling Idhalavar to fly him to safety as his body was paralyzed by the undead wyvern poison.
    Malcom aided his comrades as best he could and was able to drag his nearly dead companions from the keep to be met halfway down the peak by Trinkesti’s hunters.  The party had prevented the Hauntbeast itself from being freed from its prison, but was unable to stop its avatar, The Reaper, which leaves them on...uncertain footing with the goblins.
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LordKruelos
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2011, 09:25:37 AM »

Session 3
Season: Late Spring
Location: The Foothills of the Galena Moutains, in the Northwest of The Duchy of Arcata

Wherein the heroes leave the encampment at the base of Dur Basta, carrying the crippled Pader Augustin with them, foil a raid on an isolated farmstead, eliminate the threat of the raiders' mountain lair, discover a cave lined with ancient Netherese runes featuring a mysterious pool, and rule out grief counseling as a vocational alternative.

PC Roster
Present PCs: Malcolm, Haladwe, Finn
NPC: Adarius (NPC for the evening)

Session 3 Recap

    Resting, Recovery, & Downtime
    As the party convalesced in the goblin camp at the base of Dur Basta, the PCs occupied themselves in different ways.  Malcolm and Haladwe concerned themselves with transporting Pader Augustin, still unable to walk on his shattered legs. Rather than dragging him in a litter all the way to Valls, they decided to have Idhalivar the eagle carry the burden. Tying the scholar to the bird was discarded ("Imagine strapping yourself to a cat") in favor of a sling the bird can carry with its talons.  Meanwhile, Finn opted to work on diplomatic relations with the goblins despite not speaking the language -- which meant he spent the better part of the two days in a drunken stupor.  Consequently, Finn managed to learn a handful of goblin words and phrases ("drink", "drunk", "hey you", "more", "yes", and something that Malcolm loosely translated as "stupid fucking longleg")
    Setting out down the mountain paths at a steady pace, you hope to reach Valls in 4 days of travel.
    Toward dusk of the second day, the sounds of wilderness travel are broken by a human woman's shriek.  Hurrying to a vantage point, the PCs see a small farmstead nestled in a small valley -- and a handful of orcs in mid-raid.
    Kell's Farm - the PCs split up: Adarius remaining behind to guard the helpless Augustin while Haladwe took flight atop Idhalivar and Malcolm and Finn crept through the orchard below. In the skirmish that followed, the party dispatched all but one of the orc raiders, but not before one of the farmer's daughters was killed.
    In the aftermath of the fight, the party helped the grief-stricken farmer Kell and his surviving daughter Ramala bury their dead in return for a safe roof over their heads for the night.
    Agreeing to try and track the raiders back into the mountains, the party left Adarius and Augustin behind and set off to trace the path of the orcs, eventually finding a casually hidden trail marked by fresh tracks, both of the Orcs and of something much larger -- Giants!
    Anticipating that others would be sent to find the raiders who didn't return, Malcolm led the group in setting an ambush that quickly dispatched the orcs and lone giant unfortunate enough to pass through.
    Following the path further up the mountain, the companions discovered a small lair and fought a brief but bloody battle against the remaining orcs and boulder-hurling giants.
    In searching the lair, Finn found a row of bound and wrapped human bodies wearing carved bloodjade pendants -- the bodies showed no sign of life, but no sign of obvious wounds or decomposition, and no clue why they were bound and wrapped in blankets.
    Exploring further, the companions discovered a smooth-walled cave, encircled with runes that Haladwe identified as ancient Netherese. In the middle of the cave, was a dark pool of water. As Haladwe's magical light dipped into the water it revealed that below the water was a finished circular pool or basin, but when the light passed the boundaries of the basin it was extinguished as if dispelled by powerful magics.
    As night began to fall, the companions looted the lair and found themselves reflecting on the meaning of these new mysteries.
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LordKruelos
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 06:37:30 AM »

Can you provide online link of the first session?

Not sure what you mean -- can you clarify?
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 06:48:52 AM »

It's spam
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