So Aden Sank to Grief

Title
Episode 7

On the fourth of Erelithe, a great storm comes to Boveney-Brill, delaying Cameron, Cadoc, and Reinhold at Cameron's cabin. The next day, before the sky clears, they set out for Roscommon. Along the way, they find some exotic flowers which Cadoc believes to be corpse flowers; they skillfully cross a flooded bridge; and they head along the road, taking them past the guard station they visited previously.

When they reach the guard station, they find that it has been attacked and ransacked by goblins. All guards and one goblin lie dead; two remaining goblins attack the party as they enter the station. After a brief exchange, the goblins withdraw to a storeroom, defended by a single bear trap. Cadoc, enraged, charges through a wall into the room the goblins were defending; this terrifies the goblins. One runs out the door into its own trap, and quickly dies; the other is frozen in fear. They tie up the last goblin and leave a note explaining the situation.

They continue to the ruins of Roscommon, arriving at dusk. They attempt to rest in a ruined house, successfully hunting a deer for food. At night, they are attacked by an owlbear, which comes to eat what remains of the deer; they kill it. Later that night, they are attacked by a small group of goblins, who attempt to smoke them out and collect parts of the owlbear; the party kill two goblins and capture a third by the name of Brekflik. They interrogate Brekflik, and learn that the guard station was discovered again by goblins before the Imperial guard.

On the morning of the fifth, the party take Brekflik in bondage with them to the hill to the south where the standing stones lie. They help the statue rebuild the portal they previously destroyed. After using Brekflik to test the portal, they enter, finding themselves in a pocket dimension containing only [[Garamona's tower]], a pond, and rolling green hills. They find Garamona within the tower, asleep and unwakeable. Cameron releases Brekflik, who leaves through the portal. They piece together that Garamona had been testing a sleep potion; using the notes, ingredients, and equipment in Garamona's study, they create and administer an antidote. Cameron also learns how to make a potion of sleep (and also how not to make it).

Cadoc, Cameron, and Reinhold each earned 433⅓ exp, for a party total of 1500 exp earned this session.

Party EXP level exp to next level
Cadoc 3 1408⅓ 1291⅔
Cameron 3 2128⅓ 571⅔
Conrad 3 1845 855
Reinhold 3 1933⅓ 766⅔
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"Shut Up, Merrick"
Episode 6

"Yes, sir."

On the first of Erelithe, Cameron enters Brill in disguise. Cadoc encounters Cameron and Reinhold at the Sleeping Horse tavern. He recruits them to assist in delivering the Geometricists' book to Rhyfeldy. Finding the hill defended by guards, they bluff and bribe their way into the basement of an old woman and take apart one of the basement walls, hoping to find an entrance to catacombs under the temple. They find no such entrance, and hastily reconstruct the wall.

On a street near Rhyfeldy, Cadoc pretends to assault Cameron, who pretends to be a nobleman. Two guards attempt to arrest Cadoc, following him and Cameron into an alley. Reinhold arrives and puts the guards to sleep magically. As they finish binding the guards, two more arrive and attack the party. They, too, are defeated and put unconscious. Cadoc instructs Cameron and Reinhold to scout out the base of Rhyfeldy, and he murders the four guards after they leave.

Having cleared the way, the party carefully climbs Rhyfeldy, finding at the top an empty pedestal with a Geometricist symbol on top. Cadoc places the book on the pedestal, and the party elude the guards as they leave Rhyfeldy. They hear an unseen person on the hill with them as they depart. Cameron, in disguise, attempts to leave town. When stopped by guards at the gate, he makes a suspicious joke and is detained. He flees into the forest.

On the second of Erelithe, Cadoc wakes to find a crude map to the vicinity of Roscommon, where Garamona might be found. Cadoc hires a desperate, stoic mercenary named Merrick and meets Reinhold at his residence. They find that Cadoc, Reinhold, and Cameron's two false identities are wanted for murder. They intimidate a guard at the gates into letting them go and head along the road to Roscommon.

Meanwhile, Roscommon has been destroyed, and its residents flee along the road. They run into the party, who learn that supposed fire demons burned the village down. They investigate the charred remains of the village, braving the smoke and fire. In the village, they find several human, halfling, and goblin corpses. They defeat two amorphous elemental creatures, one of magma and one of smoke.

The party departs to the south, heading towards the hills where they believe Garamona can be found. They encounter two of the smoke monsters, who summon five more. Cadoc and Merrick fall unconscious, and Reinhold runs out of magical power. As the party nears defeat, Cameron, having heard of the destruction of Roscommon, arrives. The party defeats the smoke monsters.

After a short rest, Cameron scouts out a hill to the south of Roscommon, finding there a circle of standing stones encircling a portal. Cameron calls up the rest of the party, and they attempt to topple the portal. Their attempt awakens a stone statue carved out of one of the standing stones, which defends the portal. The party finds that leaving the standing stones causes the statue to stop being animated and hostile. They tie a rope around the statue, several standing stones, and the portal. This prevents the statue from attacking when it is animated. The party destroys the portal. They tell the imperial guards at a checkpoint near Roscommon of their deeds, and return to Cameron's cabin in the forest near Brill. Merrick leaves the party. He tries to stalk the party to Cameron's cabin, but loses their trail.

Cadoc, Cameron, and Reinhold each earned 675 exp, for a party total of 2025 exp earned this session. Cadoc and Reinhold advance to level 3.

Party EXP level exp to next level
Cadoc 3 975 1725
Cameron 3 1695 1005
Conrad 3 1845 855
Reinhold 3 1500 1200
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I've Come to Talk With You Again
Episode 4

"And Mael went out from the presence of SOL, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the north of Aden." -Carmina Solis Invicti, Nativus 4:16

On the 20th of Dithean,  Conrad and Reinhold, now friends, investigate rumors of an eccentric hiring guards for an expidition to the unmapped north. They find the wizard Mael at the Lavender Hotel, and agree to accompany him as guards. They travel north by wagon, attempting to find the lost kingdom of Nod. Mael discovers that Conrad's crab can be made to show their way when exposed to his blood. He does not explain how or why this works.

On the morning of the 21st, the party enters the Wild North and encounters a satyr at a hut. The satyr greets them in Sylvan, which only Mael understands. The satyr gifts them with a bottle of enchanted wine. The party drink the wine, and Conrad and Mael fall asleep. When Conrad awakens at midday, he and Reinhold have a brief and wordless altercation with the satyr, who is displeased that Conrad attempted to enter his hut; however, the satyr refuses the return of the enchanted wine. With Mael still asleep, they set off to the northeast.

Before dawn on the 22nd, the party are beset by a pack of four wolves, of whom two appear intelligent. Reinhold puts the two unintelligent wolves to sleep, and defuses the confrontation with the intelligent wolves. In return for being left alone, Conrad gives the wolves the enchanted wine, and Reinhold releases the wolves from his sleep spell.

On the 24th, the party reach Nod, which is in the middle of the Festival of Silence. They make noise at a local village, and are reprimanded by blank-masked guards. After agreeing to be silent, a guard awakens Mael from his magical sleep, and leave the party. The party stop at a local house where they are silently treated to pastries and wine. The party leave for the capital, traveling by road along the river. They are greeted by Zhnemarakok and given guest rooms in the Bledvor.

On the 25th, the party is granted an audience with Queen Zhedevedaya, using a spell cast by Mael to communicate in their language. The Queen allows them to return to Brill by boat, but only if they accept a curse that prevents them from speaking about Nod. The party accepts. Mael elects to remain in Nod, paying Reinhold and Conrad for their service. Conrad and Reinhold return to Brill overnight.

Conrad and Reinhold earned 375 exp each, for a party total of 750 exp earned this session. Reinhold advanced to level 2.

Party EXP level exp to next level
Cadoc 1 150 150
Cameron 3 1020 1680
Conrad 3 1395 1305
Reinhold 2 375 525

 

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Sea Shanties (Are All We Can Afford Now)
Episode 3

There is no frigate like a dolt
To take us cross the bay,
Nor any courser like a slave
Of prancing gallantry -
This traverse should the heroes take,
Beware oppress of toll -
How frugal is a pirate grieved
Who mourns a kindred soul.

On the 17th of Dithean,  Cameron and Conrad rest. Conrad stores a considerable portion of his newfound wealth in the vaults of the Temple of Blegoradd. That night, Cameron has a vision in his dreams.

On the 18th of Dithean,  Conrad takes  Cameron with him on his ship to cross Boveney Bay in search of a witch of Sybele. They are attacked by pirates on a black ship, who attempt to set fire to Conrad's ship. Conrad deliberately capsizes his ship to put out the fire. After righting the ship, they are beset by four pirates who attempt to board, covered by Burly the Pirate with a longbow from the black ship. Cameron and Conrad take the strategic decision to abandon ship and swim over to the black ship, undetected. There, they fight the rest of the pirate crew, killing Burly the Pirate. Cameron nearly dies in the process. Am-arani, the first mate, calls a truce and requests Cameron or Conrad to become their new captain. They decline, and pay the pirates half of their silver as weregild for the death of Burly. In exchange, they return Conrad's ship to him.

Conrad and Cameron sail to Snake's Fang, arriving at nightfall. They make camp on the beach. On the morning of the 19th, they are awoken by the fetid witch of Sybele. They ask the witch for Sybele's answer to the question they asked of the crow witch. The fetid witch replies that they have already received their answer, and warns them not to pester Sybele. Cameron and Conrad decline to ask Sybele another question. The two hastily set sail and return to Brill late that morning.

Cameron and Conrad each earned a dope 420 exp, for a party total of 840. Cameron and Conrad advanced to level three.

Party EXP level exp to next level
Cadoc 1 150 150
Cameron 3 1020 1680
Conrad 3 1020 1680

 

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"A Young Woman, You Might Say?"
Episode 2

The witch took Cameron's hand in her own, her fingers as cold as death. A pair of amber eyes looked through him.
"A young woman will appear to you. Follow her lead, for she will not lie but she will lead you to what you seek."
The crow on her shoulder cawed, and a smile formed on the witch's moon-white face. "Oh, and your lucky color is green. Five nobles for the reading."

On the 15th of Dithean, at dawn Cadoc,  Cameron, and Conrad return to Brill in Conrad's sloop. Cameron returns to the Clapwell residence, avoiding the Lavender Hotel. Conrad consults Gremory, his contact in Brill, regarding the witches of Sybele; he learns of three, one of whom appears behind the Sleeping Horse tavern at night each quarter moon. Conrad meets with a fence, but must flee when an imperial guard closes in. He escapes, but the fence is now out of business. Cameron and Conrad rendezvous at the Sleeping Horse at night. Following a crow hopping along the fence, they are lead to a witch of Sybele. They ask the witch a question about the Geometricists. In exchange for a promised answer, they are asked to prevent a marriage involving Lady Serenelle. Cameron also has his fortune told. The two go to a fashionable tavern, and Conrad loses at dice while fishing for rumors. There, he meets Cinaeth of Calaimoir, an affluent youth.

On the 16th of Dithean, Cameron invests in a new green cloak. He has an audience with Lady Nerys, and agrees to take Lady Serenelle in secret to Witches Fen , leaving her in the care of the hedge wizard Coriolana. At night, Cameron and Conrad meet the Lady's butler Jacques, and take Lady Serenelle into their custody. She drives them in a wagon towards Witches Fen, going off route to stop at a hill with a lone giant oak tree. The three fight an immature owlbear, and Lady Serenelle retrieves a clutch of giant eagle eggs. They continue to Witch's Fen, Conrad now driving. There they meet the hedge wizard Coriolana, who examines and manages to activate Conrad's crab. Cameron and Conrad return to Brill.

Cameron and Conrad earned 450 exp each, for a party total of 900 exp earned this session. Cameron and Conrad advanced to second level.

Party EXP level exp to next level
Cadoc 1 150 150
Cameron 2 600 300
Conrad 2 600 300

 

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Pilot
Episode 1

The sun rises over the coast to the west. To the southwest, Brill's lighthouse is aglow above a sleeping town. That's where they're going; that's they should be. But a warm bed in a busy town is not a comfort when you know someone is watching you.

On the fourteenth of Dithean, Cadoc asks The Concierge of the Lavender Hotel about the Geometricists. He also has his blade sharpened by a blacksmith. Cameron, meanwhile, argues with The Concierge, and is offered a refund conditional on a free night's stay. That night, both retire to their rooms at the Hotel. Cadoc is given a potion by The Concierge, instructed to drink it before bed, and warned of the corner room. Cameron, in his room, is knocked out by force.

Cameron and Cadoc awake in an unfamiliar cabin on a precarious cliff, with a note from the Geometricists instructing them to reclaim a book of secrets. They enter a mansion carved into the cliff wall, where they meet Conrad. Cadoc takes a book in Geometricist code, and Conrad lifts some valuables from a bedroom. They navigate the caves to a cargo elevator, down which they escape to Conrad's sloop. They sail back to Brill and arrive at dawn.

Cadoc, Cameron, and Conrad each earned 150 exp, for a party total of 450 exp earned this session.

Party EXP level exp to next level
Cadoc 1 150 150
Cameron 1 150 150
Conrad 1 150 150

 

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A New Campaign
Letter from the DM #1

We will soon begin a game in a new setting​! This game should be more episodic than the last, so we can play whenever any number of players are available. It will take place in Boveney-Brill, a march nominally subject to the rapidly-declining Adenian Empire. Exactly what you will be doing will be somewhat dependent on who your characters are, so I ask that you come up with a solid character idea before the first game you attend. You need not make your character as in choosing a class and rolling attributes and everything; the character idea is what is important.

When creating your characters, please give your character a bond that ties them to Boveney-Brill in some regard. Perhaps they're a courtier in Brill with a plot of land in the country. Perhaps they have family in a village by the coast. Perhaps they seek an ancient tome that lies buried in the tomb of a long-forgotten king. The choice is yours, but be sure to make it.

I'll give a description of the setting below. Read as much of it as you care to; you don't need to know all of this information to create your characters.

Boveney-Brill is the most remote of five marches along the northern frontier of Aden. It is bordered on the south and west by the march of Boveney-Cemais, on the north by the wilderness, and on the east by Boveney Bay. The River Mersey runs eastward through the march from Boveney-Cemais, and flows into Boveney Bay. The hills of the northwest give way to Spine of Cerackinnion, or Dromonian Moutnains, which end their run near the border with Boveney-Cermais. Mael's Head is the most prominent of the range and lies at its far east end.
The march has a cool, wet climate, with warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. The area is rather wet, receiving rainfall on nearly half of all days in a year, and snowfall for a few days each winter. Locals often say that "If you can see Mael's Head, it's going to rain; if you can't, it is raining." The Mersey floods each spring as snow melts upstream.

Population
Today, the march has a population of over 40,000. The largest town and namesake, Brill, lies at the mouth of the Mersey. The seat of the march is Castle Bridgend, which overlooks Brill. About a quarter of the population live in towns, while the remainder live in rural villages and homesteads. The population is centered on the Mersey valley and other low-lying areas in the center and southeast of the march. Just over half of the population are Halflings, who live in the hills and upper valleys; the rest are humans, residing mostly in the lower valley near Brill.

Politics and Law
The march is ruled by the noble House Glenfair, who were awarded the title over 90 years ago after the rebellious Halfling lords of Boveney were defeated. The current ruler is Lady Nerys, who assumed the title after the early death of her father, Lord Madoc, four years ago. The march is remarkably autonomous; the March Lord is nominally a direct vassal of the Emperor, and no noble families exist in the march besides House Glenfair. With the seat of Aden sitting vacant, Boveney-Brill is de facto independent.
The legitimacy of Lady Nerys has been challenged by her cousin Iory, who claims right of succession by virtue of patrilineal Adenian succession laws.
While the Imperial Code is the nominal system of law, Halfling law is practiced throughout the march outside of Brill It differs substantially from the Imperial Code: it does not tolerate slavery or serfdom; extends property rights equally to women; holds families responsible for the actions of their members; does not employ capital punishment; does not recognize the Imperial system of fealty; and does not rely on professional justices or magistrates.

Religion
Most Marchers believe in and worship multiple gods, though many will devote themselves to a single deity. There are said to be as many gods as people in the area, though most estimates range in the hundreds. A small minority, mostly humans, worship the Imperial Solar cult, which has syncretized aspects of the native sun god Cealbezan. A small group of mystics belonging to the secretive cult of Nasra have built at least two monasteries in the foothills of the northwest.

Economy
Boveney-Brill is a largely agrarian culture, with most goods produced by artisans or imported. The Mersey links the northern marches to the rest of the Empire, bringing significant trade through Brill's ports. A web of unpaved roads connect the villages of the march, but no major road connects the march with its neighbors.

Beyond the March
To the south lies the vast Adenian Empire, currently in the midst of a decades-long collapse that began with a succession crisis. Further south beyond Aden lie the Great Desert and the nomadic lizardfolk. To the west are the other northern marches; beyond them are mountain passes guarded by the dwarves and through which no humans may pass. To the northwest beyond the mountains are the orcs, a proud tribal people. To the north and northeast are the wild forests, in which are said to dwell the enigmatic elves and their fey cousins.

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