The World of Allusia

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Allusia

This is a fantasy campaign I had started and played only a few sessions and ended before the big reveal could occur. This kingdom was made for an  Advanced Dungeons & Dragons high fantasy campaign where the characters started exploring. Two Kingdoms on the verge of war one to the north of the Chimera Sea and the other to the south, strained relations between them with a powder keg situation. Then you have Stoneface Stronghold where the dwarves are from, Whispering Woods home to the elves, and as well as Adelard Took where the halflings resided. Most of the names of settlements in the kingdoms where a play on words taken from synonyms.

The kicker was that this was just an illusion for a reality television series that the characters were the stars of! The players didn’t know this yet since I wanted to reveal little facts and tidbits here and there as well as show a map of the section where they started off at. Along the way there were little clues left like “a feeling your being watched” and some areas had “reset” to its default settings.

This whole campaigned was inspired by a movie “The Truman Show” and I thought wouldn’t it blow the players mind once they realized that their characters were just part of a reality tv series.

In my notes we played five sessions then we never picked up again since the playing group disbanded.

There was an incident that a player suspected something weird was going on but he never clued in until maybe a year or two when we stopped playing Illusia that he remembered in the first scenario. As they where walking along a roadway from Seeming Falls to Willowby that something fell from the sky and landed in a field next to them. There they had found the body of a halfing crushed by a huge metal black “cauldron” that seemed to be filled with glass. All he before he passed on was “Look out for Fresnel”.

Fresnel they thought was a evil wizard in the area. But, actually it was just a spotlight that fell from the heavens… or a Cloud City over head.

Maybe, one day I will dust this idea off once again and give it another go.

Since I’ve been redoing some of my old maps I had stumbled upon this world tucked away in a box in the spare room and figured to give it the map make over and unleash it here.

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The Engraved Face (Episode 2)

A Dungeons & Dragons 5e Tale of Intrigue Inspired by the 5e Starter Set

Cast of Characters:
Jem Harper, a human barbarian (Nevion)
Ander Heldar, a human diviner (Chance)
Rolen Holiman, a wood elf ranger (Darryl)
Knottsure Yett*, a dragonborn fighter (Nathan)

*GM note: Nathan hadn’t named his character when I asked him about it.  His reply was “Not sure yet” and that’s what I jotted down on my records.

Ander, Rolen and Jem step out onto the road just as a coach is approaching down the road. They decide to flag it down and see if it could transport the wounded warden to saftey. The coach slows down and the driver, Angus Birtch, along with his stage hand, Albes Reelie, are cautious but then see the wounded road warden, Jayson Ridge, and agree to help.

They place him inside the coach where a huge dragonborn is sitting, he is silent and says nothing at all while gazing out the windows. Ander, Rolen, and Jem decide to use the road wardens horses to follow the coach as it makes it way to Fort Watterfahls. By the end of the day they make it to the frontier fort.

They stop off at the road wardens building and inform them what happened.

The coach pulls up to the Inn of the Blue Dragoon. The inn is owned and operated by Hal Brooer, an old veteran who lost an eye in a battle many years ago.  The coachman advises the players not to mention it at all or else they’ll end to regret it. Not in a violent way but in a way that will have them sitting there for hours upon hours listening to the tell of how he lost his eye.

Knottsure steps from the coach and Jem spots him and she invites him to join them for a drink or two. The dragonborn is basically looking to seek his fortune exploring the ruins in the area. Jem approaches Hal the Innkeeper and inquires if he is looking for entertainer for this evening, she’s got stories to tell, songs to sing, and things to juggle and could use the spare coins if she can make them by entertaining the crowd. Hal approves and advises her that a small percentage of the profits will benefit the Veteran’s of Ode fund.

Ander heads up to a suite and sets up for the night, he’s pretty tired and he wants to read a book before he retires. While, Rolen takes a quick walk around the small village and the fort itself to see what else is there.

Throughout the evening our heroes pick up a few rumours:
1.) Statues have been found throughout the area for the past several years now.
2) The statues are the result of a witch who is cursing the people who wander the roads.
3) Farmers in the area here the enchanting song echoing throughout the dales now and then. But none have risked to see who it was.
4) The battle of Ode took place 24 years ago when a huge group of goblins raided the area. The tales they tell say that over a 1000 goblins were gathered under one banner. The Battle of Ode was fought over several days but in the end the goblins were pushed back into the underbelly of the Brakon Barrier Mountains.
5) There’s a strange looking bird roaming the area, it’s all leathery and lizard like and only comes out at night they say.
6) If goblins are back this may mean they are seeking the “an artifact weapon that had belong to a goblin champion”. If they can get it back than they might be able to take over the territory.

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Other than sight seeing, entertaining and drinking up a few pints of bitter ale. Our heroes retire for the night. Dawn of a new day, the group decides to head back to the site of the statue and the goblins they had encountered since Rolen seemed to spotted where they might be coming from.

Ander excuses himself from the group and says he will get there when he can since there’s some research he needs to do. Jem goes back to the road wardens building and inquires about boring a couple of horses to investigate the goblins and might nip the whole problem in the bud before it gets out of hand. Capt. Trendal Hoodwark agrees to loan out the horses and will advise people traveling the road to take extra precaution.

Ander tells the gang that he will join them when he can. So Jem, Rolen, and Knottsure take to the roads and head back to the area where they had encountered the goblins. Rolen follow the goblin tracks to where they had come from. All of them insist on tethering the horses in a safe area until they get back. Deep in the woods, in a small clearing they spot a group of goblins outside a cave. There are two worgs that are tethered to a post.

Jem and Knottsure decide to sneak in while, Rolen travels around to seek higher ground to take pot shots at with a bow. A battle happens as Jem and Knottsure charge into the foray and weapons are drawn, the worgs are cut loose and arrows, along with spears, take flight.

In the end the goblins have been dispatched (as well as the worgs) and the players tend to their wounds. Rolen decides to join the others but along the way he had set off a trap that unleashed large boulders that rolled down the hill. Knottsure was alerted to the and got out of harms way but Jem was struck and knocked down by a couple of the boulders. Rolen tends to her wound and heals her with a spell.

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Jem wants to stand their ground at the entrance of the cave and cause a disturbance that will send the goblins up. Since they will be bottle-necked it would be slim pickings and easier to deal with. But Rolen states that there could be another entrance elsewhere and they’d send out a  party through that to sneak up around them. The best option is for them to go in and clear out warren once and for all.

Our heroes decide to rest up before they enter. And they are hopeful that Ander might be able to join them for the excursion.

The Engraved Face

A Dungeons & Dragons 5e Tale of Intrigue Inspired by the 5e Starter Set

Cast of Characters:
Jem Harper, a human barbarian (Nevion)
Ander Heldar, a human wizard (Chance)
Rolen Holiman, a wood elf ranger (Darryl)

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Our journey begins on a well traveled road, on this day a light drizzle falls from the sky, it’s a damp and dark day as our heroes travel north. Around midday they break for lunch at a rest stop area. there Rolen finds a rock with a stone face. Intrigued by this discovery; Jem, Ander, and Rolen decide to scout around to see what they can find. They find a stone finger and then what looks like a hand as well. They begin to do a perimeter search.

Off the rest spot there is a babbling creek and discover a statue of a human that is kneeling over the water. The statue is missing it’s head and an arm. The statue just might of been someone who had been turned to stone. Rolen spots a woman in the distance woods but she disappears when he goes to alert the others. Ander seems to think that there is something strange here and they are about to go search for the woman. They do find a backpack and bedroll close by the statue and investigate that.

It seems this has been here for at least a few days since squirrels and other woodland creatures of consumed the food, though there are fine garments inside, also a scroll case with a parchment inside.

Lord Telos,
My spies inform me that strangers are due to arrive soon. They could be working for the dwarves. Capture them if you can, kill them if you must, but don’t allow them to upset our plans. Any dwarven maps in their possessions are to be delivered to me with haste.
I’m counting on you. Do not disappoint me.
*de Baas*

THE WATER FALLS STILL. Remember that!

Our heroes hear sounds of horses approaching on the road. Three road wardens arrive and pull into the rest stop; Kilian Fibbs, Jayson Ridge, and Mittlemark Tenfellows who just so happen to be on duty and are about to take a break. Our heroes approach them and inquire about the statue in the area. Kilian states that they are patrolling the roadways to deter goblins that have been seen wandering the woods and in fact knows nothing about the statues.

Jayson says that it’s the work of an artisan who wants to make travelers feel they are not alone on the journey and that another “new” one had been place just a mile down the road.  Mittlemark says that rumours abound that a witch is in the area and have been turning men into stone! Kilian tells his men to curb their chatter and try not to scare the travelers of any false rumours since nothing has been confirmed.

Rolen asks where they are station and Kilian tells him “Out of Fort Watterfahls”.

Jem, Ander, and Rolen decide to investigate this new statue and see if there is any clues about it. They thank the road wardens for their time and information and head off to where the other statue is. They find it just off the road, it’s a shape of a human leaning up against a post.

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The statue looks very nonchalant and at ease and it’s dressed in casual attire. As if he had to stop and admire the view, looking deeper into the woods.

Anders looks around and finds a rucksack and other gear set up off to one side as if a meal was going to be prepared.  Across the road the ruins of an old stone farmhouse stands and our heroes are generally intrigued on the mystery of the statues. Off in the woods,  a small group of humanoids approach and our heroes decide to take cover. It’s a little over a dozen goblins that are wandering about the area and walk pass, stopping outside the treeline to check the roadway before they begin to cross. Four of the goblins spot the statue and they stop to check it out as the others disappear into the woods across the road, the goblins than decide to chip away at the stone.

Anders, Jem, and Rolen spring into action as they take on the four goblins at the statue. The battle is swift and brutal as the goblins didn’t know what hit them. They search the goblin corpses to see what they can find; other than weapons shield and armour. Rolen decides to climb a tree and scout where the goblins are coming from. He spots a clearing off in the distance and a couple of hills with what looks like a cave entrance in one. Rolen is about to climb down when a three goblins break from the trees across the roadway and call out to the other goblins.

These goblins want to know what is taking their fellow clan members so long to investigate a rock. Rolen, who speaks goblins, answered back stating they had found “treasure”.

“Treasure?” one states.
“Goody goody,” another replies.

Then one alerts the others from the woods that “Treasure” has been found and the rest begin to appear from the trees like stars in the evening sky. Rolen knows he had goofed and in his quick thinking now he says “I see treasure down the road” and he points to the direction of the rest stop they where out. The goblins fall for the bluff and begin to head in the direction sticking close to the tree line.

Anders states the road wardens are down there and that they’ll be outnumbered and that they should help them. Rolen just shrugs and states “it’s not my problem” but Jem agrees with Anders since Jem is itching to do some battle. Our heroes stick to treeline on the other side of the road and keeping behind the goblins who are anticipating some treasure.

And then the road wardens are coming up the trail. The goblins are setting up for an ambush with the wardens but then our heroes catch the goblins off guard and all hell bust loose as Jem flies into a barbarian rage and charges into battle!

The battle is an epic one with the goblins as they are caught between the heroes and the warden but the wardens are getting slaughtered left and right. Jem is among the goblin and doing her best to take out as many of these snot-nosed buggers before anyone else gets hurt. Anders who seemed to be holding back on his attacks realize the goblins have taken down two of the road wardens, steps out of the woods and begins concentrating his spells at the shaman and his bodyguards.

It’s a rather fierce one and drawn out but in the end the goblins are defeated, two road wardens are dead, the remaining one is seriously injured. Our heroes bandage up the wounded warden and cloth the other two and decide to take them to Fort Watterfahls.

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My New Year’s Eve Game

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Last night we got together to do some gaming. I had planned on running a convention style event since I didn’t know who’d be attending this New Year’s Eve game.

Basically, to run a game on New Year’s Eve was just sort of an off the cuff remark that was made and it sort of festered into a reality. With a player who wanted to rejoin the group and wanted to know if I was running anything on NYE. I figured what the hell and decided to throw a quick one shot scenario for another game together.

So, when the gang got together on a snowy NYE and we sat around the table to figure out what they wanted to do. And, since the new player around the table for the evening, was planning on coming out each Saturday to game on a regular basis.

Everyone wanted to start fresh with a D&D Fifth Edition game and so there we have it. This new years eve game was suppose to be be a one shot now had boiled into the beginnings of a new campaign.

The Journey There

A Dungeons & Dragoons Boxing Day Adventure

Cast of Characters:
Amara Everglade, Elven Ranger (Bailey)
Tala the Titan Slayer, Gnome Barbarian (Sarah)
Nymura Rose, Tiefling Ranger (Peyton)
Ceri, Dragonborn Ranger (Erin)
Edward Cheery,  Human Rogue (Chance)
Perrin Tosscobble, Halfling Monk (Darryl)

Our adventure begins in the city of Skharon Tor in the Kingdom of Ullta. It is the seventh day of Maiis in which the Festival of Saints is occurring in Skharon Tor. It’s a busy time of the year for the city with a normal population of 8,000+ people but it has swollen in size due to the festivities.

The streets are crowded with stalls and buskers, business are packed full of people taking in the week long festivities in the city.  It is in the Avenue of Running that the story begins as a scene unfolds that draws our heroes together. Ceri (C) is standing around as if waiting for someone, Edmund (E) and Perrin (P) are at a stall together. Down the avenue Tala (T) who is drunk and currently wandering about to find another tavern to drink, She is dressed in a bright yellow robe and looks like the design of pink elephants on it, she had swiped it from a stall. Amara (A) is looking at bows at a stall and Nymmra (N) has just entered the street as well.

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A commotion occurs as a young urchin runs through the crowded avenue, she is definitely carrying something and being pursued by a group of men in white tunics and flowing red capes. The young urchin is quickly running past and dodging citizens, her pursuers are pushing through knocking people aside and clearing a path if those in the way do not move quickly in time. A Clockwork Brawler appears as well, it has a huge flowing red cape as well as it’s breastplate painted white with the same markings of the urchin’s pursuers.

Edward notices the young urchin seems to be in trouble and signals to her that he could help, she acknowledges and makes a bee line for him. Perrin sees that the girl is being pursued by armored men and he sort of stumbles into the pursuers tripping up one of them.

Tala is about to give chase tot he pursuers because one of them bumped into her making her spill her ale on the ground, but then the Clockwork Brawler intervenes. Tala draws her axe and strikes at the Clockwork Brawler and Amara joins in to assist the little barbarian who seems to be up a huge formidable challenge! Nymura continues to walk down the street and also spots a familiar face, that of Edmund down the avenue and she makes her way towards him.

The urchin does a sleight of hand and passes the item to Edward. He makes it look like he’s been pumped into and takes the item into his cloak. The urchin rushes off and Perrin intervenes tripping up a fellow who then apologizes, the fellow gets up and back hands Perrin and gives chase. Perrin turns to a vendor and asks who are the men in the white tunics. The vendor tells him that they are called the “Wightguard”. They are a freelance mercenaries that offer protection to the elite. Ceri lets the girl run past her before she uses her firebreath to deter the fellows and making sure the urchin gets away; and thus combat has been initiated.

Ceri and Perrin taking on the Wightguard while Edward maintains to the shadows and doesn’t want to draw attention to himself now that he has the item in his possessions. He will strike from the shadows with hand held crossbows while appearing to be a witness to the events unfolding.

Tala, Amara and Nymura will tackle the Clockwork Brawler. With Tala giving the beast a huge hit before being picked up and tossed like a rag doll. Amara is dancing around trying to get a shot off with her bow but can’t seem to hit anything. But in the end our heroes prevail and eventually dismantle the Clockwork Brawler and handle the Wightguard.

Our heroes regroup together and decide to head off the streets and head into the nearest tavern, and away from prying eyes. The Inn of the Green Griffon is just such a place, it’s nearly empty and in the establishment. They find a corner table and Edward begins to look over the device. Though, several minutes will pass by and Wightguard men enter the establishment led by a citizen (a stool pigeon) who had spotted our heroes entering the building, the citizen is hoping for a reward.

Elless Fulnan approaches the table and asks them there whereabouts several minutes ago when his men where jumped by strangers who were apprehending a thief. Nymura tells Elless that they were in the in the whole time and has no idea what he is talking about. The gang prepares for battle, but Nymura’s bluff wasn’t called and the Wightguard drag the stool pigeon out. Asking the bartender about a private room, our heroes rent it out and then they unwrap the parcel to find a Puzzle Box using History they learn that it’s called Prima’s Orb. That it’s been in the possession of Magistrate Vikta Ulter for decades and he’s been trying to find a scholar to decode it for him. Rumour has it that inside holds a key to a lost treasure and that it has to be open a certain way.

Edward just taps the device and everyone else looks at figuring on what to do next with it. That’s when the item lights up, a faerie fire glow about it. It seems someone is trying to locate it, and that’s when Edward covers it up with the clothe again. Moments later they hear a voice boom from the main room of the Green Griffon. The Magistrate Vikta Ulter, along with Elless Fulnan and his men have entered the place, as well as a robed gentlemen who seems to be conversing with Elless.

Elless asks the serving wench about anyone in here with an orb like device and she replies that she hasn’t seen anything of the sort. That two strangers who had been sitting here moments ago, a Tiefling and a gnome had got up and left without paying for their drinks. Vikta, Elless and the Wightguard head outside and begin to look around for the strangers.

Our heroes decide to change locals and find a new place to hole up for a bit.

That place is The Silver Disk located a few blocks away and seems to be secluded from the main avenues. The owner is one Hagar Huntersun and he has a suite available for groups that’s where our heroes end up in. They figure the fabric covering the orb is magical in nature and blocks out detection spells. So, when they open it up again they find that the orb is rotating and unlocking itself to the amazement of everyone in the room.

Edward flips it open and discovers a glass scroll with a parchment inside, separated by tube filled with liquid. He is careful to take the scroll and making sure that the glass isn’t broken. With the skills of a rogue he unseals the scroll casing and carefully takes out the parchment. The parchment is a map with strange writings on it and no one can decipher.

Perrin decides to go to the temple to find out anything about the writing, while Edward goes to the library to see what he can find. The others stay at the inn and keep an eye out for the Wightguard. Perrin comes up with nothing, but Edward even has a lead from the librarian who says that there is an elder, Evenia Apricot, who might be able to help. Since she is an elderly elf and has been around for pretty close to a millennium.

They head to Evenia Apricot’s humble abode, a beautiful park and a large home within a giant tree in the city. Evenia greets them and she deciphers some of the words on the map. The language is pretty old and hasn’t been used in 2,400+ years.

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Our heroes regroup at the Silver Disk and discuss there options. One of them unrolling a map of the kingdom and maybe the markings and the landscape coincide with an area. And, sure enough it does. Basically, The Cursed Land to the north is where the map leads our heroes.

So they decide to check it out on the morrow, they head to the tap room to celebrate their good fortune.

The next morning as our heroes prepare to leave the end (and the barbarian tripping over her feet and tumbling down the stairs) our heroes encounter the urchin girl that handed them the device and now she wants it. She had brought several of her associates with her to retrieve it by force if necessary. Edward is all full of giving her the Orb since they had took the scroll out of it. But, the other party wants to put an end to this right here and now and don’t want to be looking over their shoulder as they will hunt for the treasure as well.

There is bloodshed in the Silver Disk as the urchins and the party clash and finally dealt with the problem before it becomes a recurrence. They leave the Silver Disk and head to the north gate of the city so that they can leave, though it seems there is a line up at the city guards as the Town Watch along with a couple members of the Wightguard are there inspecting people as they leave and asking them mundane questions.

They make it out the city with no problem and travel north onward to adventure. Walking away from the city along the road, passing through farmlands and grasslands our heroes arrive at Galen’s Rest. A small community that has a Coaching Inn and Stables as well as a hostel. Our heroes decide to take a rest at the hostel and leave the Inn alone, logic dictates that trouble comes to follow them when they stay at one.

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They get there rooms and then go to the local businesses to pick up stuff they need for their expedition into the Cursed Land. Hopeful to pick up some legends and rumours about the area as well. Our heroes rest for the evening and by dawn’s early light as they awake to prepare to head north, they discover writing that has appeared on the back of the scroll.

Inside the pool
There is a secret lair
Of a secret god.

Fear not what you do not see,
since Secret’s will kill thee.

Tis a riddle and it gives our heroes something to ponder on and to discuss what it means.

As they enter the common room of the hostel, there is talk about the  Wightguard had arrived late in the evening and went to the Inn. There they had dragged out a dragonborn, a gnome, as well as a halfling from the establishment to bring them back to the city. No one knows what they had done, but with the Wightguard leaving the city to drag them back means that it’s not very good news at all.

Our heroes thank the hostel owner for their hospitality and head out the door.

Simply Having A Wonderful Christmastime

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It’s Merry Christmas Eve Eve the day before Christmas Eve.

It’s been a week of different versions of the Charles Dickens classic The Christmas Carol. Over the years they’re been several remakes and various interpretations simply called “Scrooge”. So, a week or two before Christmas Day I sit and watch a version and enjoy each movie for what it is.

Also, it’s a week of prepping for Boxing Day game as well.

I’ve been working on a couple of adventure for fantasy games; a RoleMaster 2nd Edition scenario which leads into the LoreMaster modules, the other for D&D 4e and finally something for Earthdawn 1st Edition. Fantasy games that I have in my collection but haven’t played in a long while (or in one case not at all). It will be nice to sit with a group of players and roll some dice, chug some coffee, eat some grub and basically making merry as the adventure chugs along.

Which game will I run on Boxing Day?

Time will tell. 😉

The Saga of My Fourth Edition Books

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When Fourth Edition hit the shelves my group was currently in the middle of a huge 3.5 campaign and didn’t want to break from it to try the new system at all. In fact, two of my players were adamant of not ever touching the fourth edition books at all.

So, I didn’t bother picking up the books then and there. Though, my family and friends of purchased them for me over the year as birthday presents and Christmas gifts and I was okay with that. I figured I’d get around to running a game with the new books eventually (but I never did). When the 3.5 campaign wrapped up and a nice neat little package due to the fact that some of the players were heading out for bigger and better things in the world. MY daughter and some of her friends were graduating high school and seeking to further their education or employment other than this small town of ours.

That left only two permanent players at the game table when we started back up again, other games were pulled from the shelf and played and when it came for me to crack open the fourth edition book I had a player balk at the idea. Since if we were going to play D&D we could stick to what we know best and “leave that monstrosity alone” as he indicated the fourth edition books.

Within that span of eight years now I have never ran a fourth edition game, and since that time I have ran several sessions of the fifth edition due to the fact that it was a reminder of the third with the combination of the previous editions which appealed to the players. So, my fourth edition books sat upon the shelf, only to be brought down and cracked open by me to give them a read through and see what the changes were made and what other things have changed.

I think I just might have to run a session or two of this just to say that I have ran it.