The Fallen (My Homebrewed D&D Campaign)

#1

I’ve been working on a project for a little while now. It started with me wanting to play some D&D with my wife and 6-year-old son. Eventually, my brother decided he wanted in. After that, a couple of our friends and their daughter wanted in. As such, it turned from a quick series of adventures into a flown blown campaign.

I got inspiration for presenting the info dump doc from @SlabOMeat and have decided to present the information from the point of view of other characters in my world. This way the information is not 100% reliable, and it also helps demonstrate what is happening in the world at the time. I think it came out really well and while its good enough to get started with the campaign, I’m going to go back and change a bunch of things down the road.

I also want to give a nod to Matt Coleville as I shameless started the impromptu GMing sessions with bits of his world and have since transformed a good amount of it to make it my own. (He does have an honorary cameo in the book though)

I would love to hear what other people think of Stromea and the way this is presented. Feel free to steal ideas from it and if you have any suggestions or critique please let me know. I’m also hoping to do a D&D series of videos narrating the adventures of the group. So far I’ve done 1 on 1 session with everyone to get them up to speed and to have the group come together for our first group adventure next weekend.

I highly recommend that you use the ‘present’ option in the top right to view everything in full screen. I might end up animating the whole thing and adding music and sound effects as it evolved from a journal info dump into something more like a graphic novel at times. Without further ado, here it is!

<3 you guys/gals/ai.

5 Likes
#2

I think you should check out www.worldanvil.com to keep all of this together. Seems like it would be perfect for you and your setting.

1 Like
#3

I’ll check it out though I am using Mastermind Planner myself currently :slight_smile:

1 Like
#4

The cow has returned to us! In all seriousness, though, this thread does remind me that I need to get my thumb out of my arse and actually start putting shit together so I can try running for my friends.

2 Likes
#5

Its good fun :slight_smile: And ya, I’ve been lurking and busy lately.

1 Like
#6

Ooof… So I checked it out. Thats a dangerous rabbit hole I’m not sure I want to fall in :slight_smile: I get REALLY into my world building sometimes…

2 Likes
#7

2 Likes
#8

So I haven’t updated this like I originally wanted to. We are/were originally going to play this Saturday and I was going to have each of my 6 player’s one on one stories written/narrated in a novel like fashion for their memory and so I can show what I’m doing and all that, but I’be been flat out sick. I’ve had some pretty awful fever spikes and cold sweats and just haven’t slept in about half a week. I’m hoping it clears up enough that we can play this weekend. If we do, I’ll hopefully have those updated by the weekend.

I have had a little time to add a few things that I want in my campaign. Namely ‘Plot Junctions’. Basically when the party resolves a major plot thread the ‘game’ will sort of pause and have a video game like moment where the group will decided what to do. On top of the results of that decision, I have also placed ‘plot treasure’ items that are picked up but not identified until after resolving which card that they want. They will then get some items that are directly connected to that path/route.

I’m going to utilize some form of Tarot card like product to display possible options for them and to let them know that the choices they don’t choose will proceed forward and affect the rest of the world in various ways. My first plot junction is most likely when they hit 3rd level and defeat their first ‘big bad evil guy’. Most likely my first 3 of these will be represented by the following:

War - War is coming. This will turn the campaign into more of a military focused campaign. They weill work with other military units to help perform rescues, escorts, invasions and defenses of various towns, villages and other minor population centers. It will introduce large scale combat, mortal wounds (Wounds that cannot be healed with magic, only medicine check rolls) so that you can’t just bring back a commander/important person over and over) and other similar themes. This path represents continued exploration of the 2 Dragon Knight characters in the party, especially the Military Captain KyGara.

Unsolved Mysteries - This one will resolve more around the exploration of the world, namely for answers regarding the Books of Power. This will be the more traditional Dungeons and Dragons with a bit more emphasis on information, decoding, and exploration of old and possibly new areas in the world. Here they are more likely to uncover more about the world’s overall lore as well as information or leads towards pages or books of power. This will result in the continued exploration of 2 of my character’s backgrounds that are after the secrets of the world… no matter the cost.

Revenge - An evil has been growing in the swamps near The Southern Wilds and this evil has been collecting the dead… but to what purpose. This plot junction takes the story on following a mysterious new power that is rising and threatens to be a threat. This will also have a lot of information gathering, but a lot of it is trying to unravel what it is that this big bad evil guy is doing AND how to stop him/her/it. They might have to recover some sort of magic item, or perhaps storm his mysterious tower in order to end his terror. This will tie in 2 of my other character’s backgrounds. One of which watched as this evil bad guy murdered her husband and love of her life, as well as her entire village.

So those are the 3 big ones. I would say that 5 out of 6 of my players are new to Roleplaying (With 2 kids of course) and so having these plot junctions is a good way to help keep the world ‘fairly’ open world but without having them feel lost on what to do next. They also have the option of pursing none of these and doing their own thing. I put in plot hooks from all their backgrounds into some of these to have them vested in a little.

It will be interesting to see if they choose something based on how it changes/adds to the gameplay mechanics, if it directly applies to their personal background story, or whether the idea of those plot lines not being dealt with and the consequences spilling out into the rest of the world.

2 Likes
#10

Ailuros Phoenix, Thief acrobat

#11

Oooh, I haven’t had good time to update this. I’ll have to give some recounts about some sessions and photos with all my fun props :smiley: (Hopefully, can do this tomorrow)

1 Like
#12

Here was my session 0.9 for XyKara. Basically I did a 1 on 1 session with each player prior to the group coming together. These are the notes for my session with her. Here is the account of XyKara, played by my wife. (Here is her fig)

The Order of Stone, an elite group of Dragon Knights that deal in the observation, analysis and capture of magical items of mysterious or questionable nature, was given a new mission. Their Captain is XyKara (Zi-Car-Uh). An honorable Dragon Knight who reports directly to Grand Marshal Myzx. She was chosen to lead due to her background as an Oracle and how she honors The Old Code.

XyKara is a silver Dragon Knight with gold filigree accents that are found among all Dragon Knights. Dragon Knights are the embodiment of truth, honor and law. Their presence was left diminished once Jurax took over because now the Dragon Knights were hunted or enslaved. Her parents died protecting her sister. The two of them evaded their pursuers and sought refuge. She was only 12. Seeing the decay of the world set her on a path and at the age of 15 she joined up with Grand Marshal Myzx and his army of Dragon Knights who tried to maintain order throughout the land.

She learned the ways of war and over time she felt a pull to the mystic arts. She had some sort of dream, or vision, when she got older. In it she was approached by a being that identified itself as The Balance. This being was covered in shadow from the front, and bathed by light from behind.

It bestowed her ‘true name’ and was told never to reveal this name to anyone as it would give power over her enemies. It told her that she had much promise and that she was needed.
That she was gifted to use magic and studying the mystic arts would increase her power. It was up to her to help restore the balance that had been lost. Shortly after this she discovered that she could cast spells and was able to intuitively understand magical items.

She has much fondness for Grand Marshal Myzx. He leads with charismatic authority in an effort to regain that which was lost when Jurax killed good King Mikkah. His goal is to return order and peace through the land. This is not easy as the Dragon Knights are openly hunted and enslaved.

Her younger sister, Dykanaz, lives with her aunt Zuryx on the outskirts of Shir’Tak. There, with other Dragon Knight families, they seek refuge from those that would harm them. They are protected by a special group called The Dawn Preservers.

XyKara is Captain overseeing 6 other Dragon Knights. Zagaly, her second in command. An extremely loyal and fierce sparring partner. She defends her Captain’s reputation and honor and enforces her orders. They are good friends having worked together for many years, earning each others respect.

There are the twins, GyrEllek and GyrRyzzyk. GyrEllek fights as hard as she plays. Nothing gets her down. She boasts that her best weapons are her arrows and her sharp sense of humor. To GyrEllek, life isn’t worth much if it isn’t full of fun and laughter. GyrRyzzyk is small, especially for a Dragon Knight. He has had to be twice as tough just to be on even foot with others. He gets picked on for being a fighter and a bit slow, but he’s always been a good friend. Together these two are inseparable.

Ezabar is old and wise. His knowledge of history, arcana and what passes for religion around these parts is second to none. He is also stubborn and bad tempered… but he’s loyal, fiercely protective of those he calls allies, and extremely honest. You’ll always know where you stand with him. War has aged him well beyond his years.

Styx. Tall. Stoic. Prideful. His attitude has cost him several promotions for leadership and that doesn’t sit well with him. He has calmed down in the years of service since he joined The Order of the Stone. If this is true… who knows what he was like before. A bitter member of the squad… but extremely capable on the field of battle.

Last we have Abraxxys. Not much is known about him. He is quiet and contemplative. Sometimes it takes a long time to get a simple answer out of him. He loves nature. Some say he speaks more to animals than to his squad. He is a great healer and very knowledgeable of medicine and herbal remedies. He is an extremely capable seer.

A messenger brought orders from Grand Marshal Myzx. XyKara read through it quickly. “Our spies have informed us that a nearby camp of bandits unearthed a magical artifact from the ruins of a nearby temple. Your mission is to recon, and if possible bring the item back. The bandits are dangerously close to our main encampment here so don’t leave any evidence that we were there. If it doesn’t feel right, get the info and report back. NO ONE is to know of this.”

The orders were clear. She was to move out immediately. She told the messenger that The Order of Stone would move out immediately. She reported back to her squad and told them that they would be leaving within 10 minutes. Departing on short notice wasn’t new to the squad.

She pulled Zagaly aside and handed her the mission. XyKara went to meditate while Zagaly rounded up supplies and briefed the squad on the precise nature of their orders. The Order of Stone had been on many missions together. This was routine and they prepared quickly and efficiently. XyKara looked up at the waning sky. It would be dusk soon. They needed to make good time to catch up to the bandits.

With that the squad took a quick pace and arrived at their destination. It was dark, the sun having set almost an hour ago. On a hill overlooking a fire they could see a number of silhouettes and wagons. XyKara looked over to GyrEllek, the squad’s scout. Bow in hand she disappeared into the night. Minutes go by and Zagaly mentions that this seems a bit too organized and large a group for a simple snatch and grab. Wagons wouldn’t make sense. They would only slow down expedited operations.

Confirmation would arrive shortly as GyrEllek returns, barely out of breath. “There is a wrinkle. The camp has a dozen mercs. Looks like 2 are on guard duty, 2 are patrolling and 2…” she paused for a moment, “and 2 are guarding prisoners. I count around 10 including at least 1 mother and a few children. The other 6 guards are playing cards near the fire. The 2 on guard duty stand watch over a medium sized trunk. Looked like a fancy lock from what I could tell.” Another pause. “I think they are slavers.”

XyKara looked back at the campsite straining to see anything that might be important. Her orders were clear… However, The Old Code constrained her to secure those people. She looked away from the fire and looked at her squad. She knew they would obey her orders no matter what, most of them having deep roots with The Old Code. She looked at Zagaly who just looked back as if visually agreeing that they should free those prisoners.

However, looking at Styx was a polar opposite. She could already see the look on his face. That face that says, ‘Rescuing them is not our orders and you know it.’ She has had many experiences against Styx that started just like this. She looked back over to the camp. To the wagons. She wouldn’t let those prisoners suffer while she drew breath.

“We will secure the camp. Kill all the mercs. Free the prisoners and secure the chest.” As if scripted and right on cue, Styx piped up. “We should not deviate from our mission. Those prisoners will report back what they see and hear. We must report back.” XyKara sighed. Styx had long lost the pull from The Old Code. Bitterness had clouded his judgement. Without having to say or do anything Zagaly stood up and stared at Styx. “XyKara has given the orders. Fall in line soldier.”

XyKara turned around to see a reaction from Styx that almost looked like he was going to say something but then looked at the ground in submission. Perhaps Styx was changing. Zagaly has had good influence over him recently.

XyKara started to issue orders. “We need to do this quickly. We can’t have any of them survive. GyrEllek. You take out the two on patrol quietly. If you dispatch them without any noise, you are to regroup and assist GyrRyzzyk, Styx and Abraxxys on taking out the guards by the fire. Zagaly and Ezabar will take the two on the chest. I will take the two guarding the prisoners. GyrEllek, give us a few minutes to move into position before finding and eliminating the two that are on patrol. Any commotion will be grounds for immediate engagement. Remember, no survivors. Should the two on patrol fall without sound, GyrEllek you sound the charge.”

The group nodded in agreement. They pulled out their weapons and removed their travel gear they didn’t need in the upcoming skirmish. The lighter weight would make them better suited to sneak up to the camp and not slow them down. The group split up and XyKara maneuvered to her position. She watched over the two guards while listening for GyrEllek. The two guards didn’t seem to suspect anything and seemed to just be casually walking back and forth between the wagons. The occasional wimper could be heard from the wagons confirming that she made the right decision.

With one hand she gripped her dagger, the other her component pouch. She focused her mind to the spells that would aid her. She waited in the shadows, ready to charge the 2 guards patrolling the wagons. She trusted the rest of her squad to take care of things. Minutes went by without a sound. Just as she started to wonder a large roar echoed across the camp as several of her squad started charging their positions. She took her opportunity as the mercs were surprised and charged in. She ran towards the guards and engaged.

The sounds of combat echoed throughout the camp. The mercs proved tougher than expected and despite her training she got knocked down. Abraxxys rushed to her aid and helped her up. Issuing some battle orders she quickly cleaned up the remaining mercs. Styx was all took quick to remark how she fell in combat to simple bandits. Zagaly stood between the two of them and stared Styx down.

XyKara ordered that the prisoners be freed. A couple of the prisoners ran towards the closest city upon being rescued, but most fell to their knees in praise on seeing the Dragon Knights. With tears the mother was reunited with her children. She knelt before XyKara and thanked her, averting her eyes but her kids just stood and stared in wonder and awe. The mother had seen Dragon Knights when she was younger and she often told fantastic tales of the Dragon Knights to her children for bedtime.

XyKara said, “Rise. There is a town a half day to the north east. Stay together. Stay safe. Tell no one what you saw tonight.” The former prisoners bowed and thanked the Dragon Knights and then departed. The mother went to leave, but went back and knelt, grasping XyKara clawed hand and thanked her once again. With that the mother scooped up her kids and followed the prisoners North East.

The Order of Stone regrouped around the locked chest. XyKara cast detect magic and felt the presence of magic within the chest. At least the mission wasn’t a total loss. She asked GyrEllek to open the chest. The lock didn’t prove too hard to unlock. Once the lock fell XyKara opened the chest. All of a sudden she was thrown back as the chest erupted into a giant green fireball that exploded high into the night sky. The squad looked at each other wondering what this could mean. Styx sighed. “This was a trap and you fell for it.” Furious he went to grab the Captain but Zagaly stood between them “Save it Styx”

XyKara acted quickly. “Make haste back to camp.” She looked back up into the sky where the large green fireball still hung in the air with an eerie presence. They raced back to camp a few hours away.

When they arrived the camp was bustling with activity. XyKara told the squad to head back to their tent and await for further orders. She went immediately to Grand Marshal Myzx’s tent. His tent was a flurry of activity as reports were coming and going. Upon seeing XyKara he dismissed everyone and told the guards to leave.

“Report Captain.”

She relayed the information on the mission. Discovering the captured prisoners, dispatching the guards, the locked chest and the large green explosion.

He pondered over this while he sat down. “Your mission was originally to secure the artifact without incident.” He paused. “However, The Old Code is surely more important. Chaos and lawlessness cannot thrive if we are to succeed.” He looked at XyKara with warm eyes. “You chose well. I would have done the same. I have reports that this was a trap to determine if we were in fact still operating in this area and large armies are heading this way. We have to change our tactics if we are to win this war.”

He stood up. “We are breaking up the army. We have been operating too safely by staying together and that has made our enemies draw too close. We are giving special assignments out to individuals and dissolving most of our organization. Your troops will have received their orders by now. Here are yours.”

“Head south through the woods and make haste for the port town of Vord. Take this bag of gold to the harbormaster Gregor. He is a trusted ally of ours. He will hide you aboard The Osprey. That ship will then leave to Selasund but you will be secreted by longboat with a few others near The Southern Wilds. There is a double new moon which will help speed your travels.
From there make you way north west to a town called Sutton. Once there try to follow these rules:”

  • Be careful of slavers and bounty hunters. You will be sought after. Do not give the enemy the chance to take you.
  • Find and recruit new allies.
  • Find something that could turn the tide of this war.
  • Stay in contact. We will be mobile, but couriers will be able to send messages back and forth. Your main contact will be meeting you in Sutton. You will most likely arrive around the same time as he.
  • We will do our best to keep your squad intact. Zagaly shall lead for now. If called upon, I shall deploy your squad to assist you. However, do not ask for assistance unless it is truly dire. Having one Dragon Knight remain undercover is one task, but having a squad would surely turn the eye of the enemy to us.
  • Remember to honor the Code.

As he says remember The Old Code, he puts a fatherly hand on XyKara’s shoulder and looks into her eyes. A special bond has formed over the years from his instruction and both of their devotion to The Old Code. “I hear that there is a local sailor who resides in a cave near the Southern Wilds. I hear that he can point you in the right direction and guide you to Sutton. For now, get an hours worth of rest and then take off. Use that time to say goodbye to your squad. Travel alone. Ignore the roads.” He removes his hand from her shoulder and tells the guards outside to return.

He ponders over some maps as the tent begins to hum with activity once more. His retinue start donning his weapons and armor while scribes write messages that are being hustled around camp. XyKara looks at Myzx for just a moment as if to inquire the need for armor. Myzx notices, “Someone has to give time for everyone to escape. My troop will hold the camp for as long as possible. Go see to your squad.”

XyKara paused for a moment and then saluted before heading back to her squad, her mind washed over with information. As she traveled she saw many Dragon Knights running about and dismantling tents and equipment. Some were discussing things in whispers, others were spending their last bit of time with close comrades. She arrived and as soon as she entered The Order of Stone’s tent they all stood up at attention.

By the look on everyone’s face and the state of their equipment it was obvious they were already informed. “At ease” The squad began to relax. Taking no time at all Styx was quick to strut towards XyKara with a finger pointed towards her accusing her of this terrible news. “It was your fault that we must disband and leave the safety of the army. You chose to disobey orders.”

“That’s enough” Zagaly’s voice boomed in the tent. Her eyes stared steely at Styx. “At least we don’t have to obey your orders anymore.” Zagaly promptly swept Styx’s feet out from under him. He toppled to the ground while she assumed as combative stance her nostrils flaring. Styx wiped a little blood off his mouth and spit on the ground. Defiance oozed out of Styx as he picked himself up. He looked at his captain, and then Zagaly. After a moment the defiance started to bleed out and he retreated back to his cot.

It was a solemn reunion but a bittersweet way to part. XyKara gave her blessing to Zagaly who would then lead the squad. One by one everyone personally said goodbye to XyKara . Zagaly remained composed, but XyKara could tell that she would miss her friend. The two embraced and Zagaly said that she would take good care of The Order of Stone. Even Styx, who was last, stood before XyKara and bowed. “I know we have our differences…” he paused. “But you have lead true and followed The Old Code. May The Code guide you” He looked XyKara in the eyes and then turned. The moment had passed and as much as she wanted to linger, she knew she should depart before it got harder.

She gave one quick salute to her squad her stood at attention and saluted back. “Give them Hell Captain” Zagaly shouted to the cheers of her squad. She then turned around and left the camp. Her instructions said to keep off the roads and so she made a quick pace towards Vord.

She covered herself in a hooded cloak that concealed most of her features. It wasn’t the first time she had to hide that she was a Dragon Knight. Special leather gloves covered her hands and her clothes helped conceal what the cloak could not.

Dawn approached and she kept her pace. It wasn’t until mid day that she decided to slow down. She was used to marching but she had plenty of time to reach Vord. Her thoughts lingered on her mission and what she would do. She was always mindful that someone could spot her and so she did her best to keep looking in all directions, including behind her, to ensure that no one followed. That night she made camp without a fire. She slept under stars that were all too familiar to her.

The next day was more marching. Today she felt as though there was someone or something watching her. However, whenever she would stop to look around nothing seemed out of the ordinary. After half a day without any signs of anyone, she pressed on. Once again she spent that night sleeping under the stars. The next day she would hit Vord in the afternoon. She reached the port town and was able to quickly determine where the harbormaster was. The main city of Vord was separate from the port side of business and there was an enforced truce that allowed even Dragon Knights to continue in peace. Despite this, she still remained under guise of cloak.

She spoke to the harbormaster who already seemed to have been informed that she was to be expected. “I’ve arranged a special cabin for you and a few others that will be deposited near the Southern Wilds.” he said while trying to peer under the cloak. “Tis a shame that a race as magnificent as yours must resort to hiding.” He pointed to a nearby docked ship. “The Osprey is right there. When you get on board head to the quarterdeck which is above the Captain’s quarters. You will be bunking with 5 others who are also travelling your way and will be launched to shore when we pass The Southern Wilds.” He held out his hands to which a bag of gold was given.

“You will be safe aboard my ship though you may still wear your clothes as you see fit.” Gregor looked at XyKara with fondness. Whatever past experiences he had, they definitely granted favor towards the dragon knights. He watched as she lumbered towards the ship.

She reached the quarterdeck and found the room to which he spake. There were already 2 others here who looked ragged and starving. She sat down and took off her supply bag. She started rummaging through bag for a moment when another lanky human showed up. She glanced at him quickly without drawing attention and noted that he seemed to be a capable fighter should it come down to it. Quietly she reached over for her dagger in case this was trouble. He had no real facial features and sported a pony tail but looked disinterested at the others. The man looked around the room and then went to his bunk and layed down.

She watched for a moment to ensure that it was safe and then went back to rummaging in her pack. She reached in and pulled out some rations and gave them to the two who looked at the cloaked figure with pause and then quickly snatched the food out of her gloved hands. Thankfully they smiled as best they could and quickly started eating. The ship wouldn’t depart for a few more hours so she took this opportunity to lay down and rest once she got situated. Still wary she kept an eye for anyone else coming to join them in the room. She would ensure that she fulfilled her mission for Grand Marshal Myzx no matter the cost.

(What is The Old Code you ask? Surely you know it… Click HERE for a reminder)

1 Like
#13

You know you’re a nerd when you don’t need phonetics to know how to pronounce this!

1 Like
#14

Preach! :wink:

#15

Also, still reading, this is super long! Hype!

1 Like
#16

Hope you enjoy :slight_smile: I’ve got a few more of these that I’m going to space out before I get to the fun stuff :slight_smile:

1 Like
#17

Here is session 0.9 for Delta (My younger brother Hyrum’s character)

It has been 3 years since The Floating Pyramid was struck down. 3 years since the Iron Fist was destroyed. Ishkar had high hopes that an attack on Jurax’s Floating Fortress, Tag’ehshtag, would be possible but victory was snatched away in a heartbeat. All that remained, was a ruined pyramid that sinks slowly into The Cursed Bowels and the memories and bodies of the fallen.

Delta forgot most of the horrors that tried preventing his escape from that swamp but never forgot the smells of his comrades that were crushed by debris, burnt by fire or eviscerated and still being eaten alive by the terrors that live there. He spent the last 3 years searching for answers consumed by the notion that there is something out there that would spare this world’s descent into lawless chaos.

First, he tried the scholars and academics. Researching and reading what few books he could find on the subject matter both old and new. The more he read the more he was convinced that an answer lies out there. He read passages that mentioned Books of Power. These tomes are said to house incredible amounts of knowledge but have been lost or secreted away.

His knack for research and investigation got him noticed by a Thieves Guild recruiter. He was trailed for several days until the recruiter turned around a corner and Delta was lying in ambush. A dagger pressed to the recruiter’s throat, “Why are you following me?” Delta demanded.

The recruiter smiled. “Seems you are a more valuable target than we thought. You have certain skills we would like to borrow in exchange for things we can offer you.” At first, Delta thought he meant money, but that quickly went away as he deduced that he meant the Books of Power that he had been searching for. The dagger eased up, but only slightly.

“I’m here to make you an offer. Your skills for our knowledge.” Delta thought about it for a while. He had already hit several dead ends and if he played his cards right, he might be able to get information from this organization if it was anything like his own covert team back in the Iron Fist. He pulled the dagger back but still held it tightly.

“You have my brief attention”

“Smart man ye are. I represent a coalition of sorts. You gets to work for us, and in return we can help you… liberate certain lost books that you seem keen on findin’.” Delta mulled it over. Already he knew he would accept but he didn’t want to tip his hand just yet.

“How do I know I can trust you”

“You don’t. It’s the way the world is. Makes no nevermind to us.”

He pretended to think it over some more and then slightly relaxed. “I’m ambitious and I know what I want. If you slow me down you’ll regret it.” The recruiter smiled.
It was only a couple days and Delta was now a part of a Thieves Guild. Later he would realize that it was The Thieves Guild and that he was just in a small specialized section of it. He was actually surprised to realize just how organized and robust this group was. He was appointed to work in The Rumors division who specialized in information.

Delta spent time getting used to the organization and quickly proved his worth. He became good at sneaking around and finding information that had been lost or stolen. In time the Guild started feeding him information about possible whereabouts of the Books of Power. He learned the use of Thieves Cant. A pseudo-code-based system that allowed agents to discuss things openly without revealing their true intentions. Some of these code words:

  • The Clock - One of the largest thieves guilds. Trying to unite the smaller thieves guild and abolish the more disreputable ones.
  • The Ledger - Thieves guild specializing in money. Trade mostly.
  • The Rumors - Thieves guild specializing in information.
  • The Street - Thieves guild that specializes in bodyguards, mercenaries and to a smaller extent bounty hunters/slavers.
  • The Road - Uncooperative Thieves guild trying to oust smaller settlements. They are mostly in it for blackmailing, extortion, and racketeering. Not a friend to the others. Recently formed but hard to pinpoint down exact places of influence. Heavy into slave trading and abductions.
  • The Shade - Refers to a local crime boss or leader of a group.
  • The Sun - Refers to the law. Officers, guards etc…

He was smart enough to realize that he still didn’t have full access and all of the picture. He picked up that there were other subdivisions as well. The Wall and The Water being two of a few others he wasn’t quite sure. He believed that The Water dealt with transportation and The Wall had to do with stabilization of local governments but wasn’t sure about it.

He had been with the organization now for almost a year. The Thieve’s network did its best to keep him informed of any information regarding the Books of Power but so far he didn’t feel as close as he would have liked. He pulled out a small notebook that he kept with him that detailed many of the rumors and information that might prove useful or helpful one day. He summed up the leads that he felt were the most important and likely to yield something useful.

  • There have been several operations against the last major armies of the Dragon Knights and that the Dragon Knights are losing pretty bad.
  • There have been whispers of abductions of strong spellcasters across the baronies.
  • There are rumors that one of Mikkah’s children had kids before being killed. It’s possible that the Good King lineage is not destroyed.
  • One of the Barony’s had a child that escaped execution and is living at large.
  • The Southland has been trying to investigate some of the old ancient ruins and has been offering money for explorers and adventurers.
  • The Northerners have been increasing their armies.
  • The Dwarves have been taking slaves into the Underdark and not just to slave owners.
  • The land near the fallen pyramid is said to be haunted. No one tries to recover anything either from the dead or the pyramid itself.

Once again he was no closer to the answers that he sought. While closing his personal notebook he heard a slight rap on the door. He knew that they had another mission for him. The local crime boss of this small town was named Duande Littlefinger. A halfling who always seemed to know things that were going on before anyone else. He had eyes and ears everywhere. However, having good eyes and ears aren’t everything. You still needed someone like Delta to use that information.

Delta opened the door and a man entered the room and after announcing that it was clear Duande padded into the room and hopped on a stool. “We have a mission for you. You get to go to a party tonight. There is a major operation that is going down and I need to know what it is. Go to one of the towers at the Rabonly estate. There you will meet a contact. You will get your mission orders from him. The phrase for your contact will be, “The clock is always ticking,” to which they should reply, “Yes, but at least I know the time.” If the phrase is not given, leave the premise and abort the mission. If you are discovered, leave no witnesses.”

Delta approved of Duande Littlefinger. Short and to the point. Just like a halfling. “What time is this engagement?”
“Tonight. Shortly after sunset is when you’ll make your entrance. Lagre will have what you need for your cover. You’ll be searched on the premise so you won’t be able to bring much. You might be able to hide a few sharp arrow tips cleverly but otherwise, you will be on your own.” He paused and hopped off the stool. “You’ve been doing good work here. Upon completion, I might have some good news for you. Good luck.”

And with that Duande departed with his bodyguard leading the way. Delta snapped a few arrowheads off and felt he could reasonably hide 3 or 4 without too much notice on a pat down. He went to Lagre who gave him his cover story and his outfit. Tonight he was a nephew twice removed from a distant barony that had been taken over. Someone of that station would hardly be noticed and none would likely have any idea what he was to look like.

The sun began to sink and Delta headed towards the estate. He noticed that there seemed to be fewer guards around and that something felt a bit off. Earlier today the town seemed a little bit busier than normal and that even the military seemed to be out in larger numbers, but now those same numbers were nowhere to be seen. Delta thought about it a bit more and determined that there might be some sort of military action going on around the area. He couldn’t think of what it might be related to so he filed it away and focused on the mission at hand.

He reached the check station for the estate where a pair of bored guards were examining the royal invitations as well as making sure that no weapons or contraband arrived. Delta handed over his invitation and spread his arms out to be checked, confident that they would not find the 4 concealed arrow tips secured on his person. The information that he got so far determined that this was a political power party. One of the local rulers in the area was trying to make an impression in the region and decided to throw this event in order to secure favor and sponsorship to try and attain a higher status.

Delta was allowed to enter and as he approached the stairs the Herald took his invitation and announced his entrance. “Lord Davish of Tivaly has arrived” A few curious onlookers looked towards the entrance but shortly resumed their focus back to the group that they were listening to. Lord Davish was designed to be simple and unassuming to better blend into the crowds. Delta went about pretending to partake in some slight conversations around the main lower floor rooms. Slowly he made his way towards the main hallway that had a large staircase that split in two towards two different towers. He started to climb up the steps and frantically tried to recall if there was any mention of which tower he should take.

Unable to come up with an answer and not wanting to stop and look suspicious he decided to take a left at the stairs and climb the Western Tower. The upper floor had a few guards overlooking the area but not many guests as the main interactions were taking place downstairs. Delta climbed the steps quietly as he approached the top of the tower. Upon arriving he noticed a figure standing overlooking a window that oversaw a large part of the town. The figure seemed to be holding a glass of wine as he gazed outside.

Delta paused for a moment and then pretended to be a lost guest. “Sorry, I didn’t realize this tower was occupied.” The figure didn’t move and merely swirled his wine in the glass.

“Do you know the time?” He asked?

Delta turned around and answered, “I don’t, but the clock is always ticking.”

The agent turned around. Lanky. Gray mustache and slender frame. “True, but I can usually tell the time” Delta paused for a moment. It was close, but not word for word. He learned to trust his instincts and turned to leave.

“My name is Rickert and I was told to wait for someone to help me with a mission. Is that not you?” The man asked without turning. Delta thought some more and was convinced that this was a setup. Something just felt off. He slowly reached for his arrow tips and pulled a couple out. Leave no witnesses. Time to abort the mission. Delta threw one of the arrowheads so it clanged up against the side of the tower near where the man was standing.

“You missed” he started as he slowly reached for his weapon. His eyes turned to surprise as Delta took that brief moment to quickly dive towards the man’s throat and with one of the tips of arrows stabbed straight into his neck and quickly cut straight across to prevent any sound from coming from his lips. The man struggled for a moment as his life seeped out his neck on to the floor. The man struggled for a few moments and then was still.

Delta looked around and thought about what to do with the body. He leaned the body against the railing so that the body would fall out the window but he took part of the man’s jacket and pierced it with an arrow tip. He then lodged the arrow tip into a soft spot of mortar that would allow the body to fall, but not for about a minute. Once everything was arranged he gathered the remaining arrow tips and made sure he looked ok as he went back downstairs.

Delta was about to leave when a man approached him on the second floor. It was clear that he was looking for Delta. Delta reached into his pockets and gripped an arrow tip. The man stopped by his side and asked, “You seem to be in a hurry. Do you know when the event is scheduled to be over?” Delta thought for a moment. Was this another trap? Still, he needed to be sure.

“I don’t, but the clock is always ticking.”

“Yes, but at least I know the time.”

This was most likely his real contact. Delta was lead over to the side where the man explained. “When I saw you enter the estate but didn’t arrive in the tower I figured something might’ve gone wrong and you might have gone over to the other tower. I have a funny feeling about this mission.”

“Ya, I already met an imposter trying to be you. We only have about a minute before his body falls out the window and create a scene.” The contact thought for a moment. “Ok, continue the mission. I’ll provide a distraction. Go to the kitchen and take the staircase downstairs. On the bottom floor, you’ll find a rucksack full of supplies. There is a safe on that floor. Be careful but get what is in that safe. Expect guards and traps. If you trip the alarms head back out and report. There is something big going on and we need to know what it is. Remember to not let anyone see you. The Road must not know we are onto them.”

With that, the man quickly went down the stairs towards the front entrance. Delta did as he was told and slowly made his way towards the kitchen. All of a sudden there was a woman who was screaming. Delta turned in time to see his contact pull a knife out of the guard’s neck and was sprinting out the door. The estate erupted with panic and guards calling out after the assassin. Good enough for Delta the rooms cleared out and he went into the kitchen that was now empty of workers. He noted a window nearby that if things escalated he could use to escape quickly.

At the bottom of the stairs, he found his supplies and weapons. He quickly looked around. He passed one floor that seemed to be the food storage but down here seemed a bit less used. The stone down here was cold and old. It looked like there was a hallway with openings to the left and right a couple of times before some sort of a door at the end. He looked through his bag and pulled out some string and a small bell. He put the string between the walls of the staircase and connected it with the bell. It was crude but should serve as an early detection system if someone came in from behind.

The end of the hallway contained a couple of humanoid figures standing guard. They appeared to be reptilian or lizard-like. No armor or clothes just a spear each. His mind reached through his years of books and knowledge of what these might be. His mind came to the words, Troglodyte. He remembered that they were fairly territorial and they had a power-based system in which they usually followed whoever was strongest in their clan. They seemed oddly placed in an estate let alone on guard duty. He also noticed a rancid stench on this floor that he hadn’t before. He slowly advanced.

At the first intersection, he quickly peered down the splits. It looked like some sort of simple barred room for either prisoners or perhaps slaves. Both of these contained some sort of humanoid figure. One was asleep, the other seemed awake but bored. He made note of them and moved on keeping to the shadows watching what the guards were doing. They mostly just stood there though occasionally they would mill about for a moment or kick the dirt.

He pressed on. The next intersection also had the caged rooms though these were both empty. By now he was only about 15-20 feet from the door and the guards. The stench became worse. He noticed that one of the guards looked like they heard or saw something and decided to investigate where Delta was. Delta pulled out his knives and prepared to pull the creature towards him and kill it. The creature stopped just short of the intersection looking down towards the stairs.

Delta pulled out a small metal ball bearing from his pack and threw it low and around the corner towards the door. It made a soft thump as it hit the door and rolled about. Both of the guards turned to see what it was. While they were distracted Delta stood up and pulled the lizard creature into his hallway. One dagger sliced open the creature’s neck and the other went from under his mouth and towards his brain effectively silencing and killing the creature in a flash. The creature barely struggled before it died. Now that he was next to the creature he realized that the creature was the source of the stench.

Delta paused, the smell overwhelming him. He quickly pulled out a piece of cloth and doused it with some water from a flask. A makeshift mask to save his mouth and nose. He also dabbed his eyes to try and get the burning to go away. He did this quickly. The other guard might come this way. He quietly moved the body off to the side and listened.

Sure enough, the other creature decided to find out where his buddy went off to. With one guard left, he waited until it was close and then took the initiative in order to do the same to this guard as the other. One dagger across the neck, the other through the roof of the mouth. The creature dropped his spear and died almost instantly. Surprise and terror on its face.

Delta hid the bodies down in the empty prison cages. He wasn’t sure if he had gotten used to the stench by now or if the makeshift mask was working. Either way, the stench wasn’t so bad anymore. He went to the door and searched for any kinds of traps. He didn’t notice anything. He tried the handle, it was unlocked. He quietly opened the door and noted a T shaped intersection with another 2 guards straight ahead also wearing nothing but a spear. Between the door and the intersection, he noted a bookshelf about halfway distance wise that could serve as a forward hiding spot.

He watched the guards through the slight crack. For a while, they didn’t do much. After a few moments, they turned to each other and started talking. Delta didn’t know the language. It seemed like basic throat grunts and gurgles to him. He quickly placed down about a hundred ball bearings by the door in case he needed to run back and these might cause the pursuer to slip. Delta was methodical. After this, he moved up towards the bookcase quietly shutting the door behind him while the creatures talked to each other.

Once at the bookshelf the conversation was starting to end. One of the guards went to the right path and the other went towards Delta. The one near Delta passed his spot and the Troglodyte appeared to be looking at the door as if he heard something earlier. Delta took this moment and attacked, once again both blows coming in quick and purposefully. He looked around once the body stopped moving and decided it would be best to hide it with the other two. He carried it down the hall and lumped it with the others.

He went back to the door and once again opened it a crack. The other guard came back and looked confused about where his buddy went. He looked across the hall and then towards the door. Delta had a plan. He slowly pulled the door open about halfway. He hid in the shadows behind the door hoping that the creature would be curious enough to investigate. Sure enough, the creature slowly padded this way. When it got to the door it tried speaking something unintelligible to Delta. Most likely asking where his guard buddy was.

The creature kept looking into the darkness and didn’t look at where he was walking. He tried going through the door but lost his footing on hundreds of small steel balls and fell to the ground. The wind knocked out of him Delta took decisive action and plunged his daggers into the now empty lungs of the creature. It hissed for a moment trying to regain breath that wouldn’t come to make a sound that never came. One more body for the prison cage.

Delta moved forward and quietly opened the door. No sign or sound of guards. He pressed on. He made it to the T intersection and with both sides looking the same, 2 doors at the end of the hall he chose right. He went down there and opened the doors. Some minor sleeping quarters, most likely for the creatures, was all that was down here. He pressed on.

The other side he came to a door and pressed his ear up against it. He heard some sort of a grunting sound and some minor shuffling. He also noticed a new foul stench coming from this room as well. Before Delta could react the door opened and another troglodyte appeared. Delta reacted instantly and plunged his daggers into the best marks. The creature was obviously stunned and surprised. The creature was felled and Delta took a moment to look into the room. It seemed that this was the equivalent of the privy for these creatures. Dung and urine filled his nostrils. Thank god he had a mask on. Who knows how bad it would have been without it. He deposited the creature into the room and closed the door.

The last door on his list. He listened and heard nothing. He went to turn the handle of the door but noticed it wasn’t as fluid as the other door handles. Immediately he backed off and examined the door for traps. Sure enough, there was some sort of a mechanism built into the handle. He took out his thieves tools and got to work. The mechanism was pretty simple and shortly a quiet click indicated that it was disabled. He opened the door and saw a very nice reading room. The walls were lined with books on shelves. This room had carpet and nice sitting chairs. This was a nice room completely opposed by the dim grey stone walls outside.

Delta noticed a safe on a pedestal. He looked it over. He felt some sort of magical pull from within the safe. He got back out his tools and started examining the safe. Another mechanism was discovered and shortly laid to rest. He quietly picked the safe lock and then opened the heavy door. In it he found a bag and a note. He picked up the bag and felt the weight and sound of coins. A decent amount. He pocketed those and then went on to the note.

The note had a magical seal on it that prevented him from opening without risking destroying the contents. He had seen these before but he didn’t remember this particular symbol before. He put the note in his bag and searched the rest of the room. All of a sudden he heard a grinding sound and noticed a shelf starting to move to reveal some sort of dark staircase. Curiosity got the best of Delta and he waited to see what it was.

When the door had moved open he saw a figure in heavy armor. The build resembled that of the Troglodyte but without seeing anything other than armor he couldn’t be sure. He pulled out his weapon and tried to find an opening in the armor. His blades couldn’t find flesh. The figure had a spiked club and smashed it into Deltas shoulder almost knocking him to the ground. Bad idea, Delta thought and decided to make a run for it.

He disengaged the creature and went around the corner. There he pulled out his bag of ball bearings and loosed them on the floor outside the door. He waited with a flask of acid he had on him. Sure enough, the creature slipped and fell on the balls. He took the flask of acid and threw it on the creature. It writhed and hissed as the acid melted into the armor and then into the flesh. Delta retreated back the way he came earlier.

He closed the door behind him and doused it in oil then threw out a potion of alchemist fire and torched the door. This should prevent anyone from following him and with any luck help cover up anything that happened down here. He pressed on back towards the staircase when he heard a commotion from one of the prison cells.

“Get me out of here”. He quickly looked at the 2 prison cages. With the fire illuminating a bit more he noticed that one was a Warbreed and the other was a Dwarf. Dwarves had a reputation of being slavers but Delta knew that not all Dwarves were bad. It looked like it was the Warbreed who was talking. Delta thought about it for a moment. The Warbreed could be used as a patsy or even as a short term ally to get away from here. “Why are you and he locked up?” Delta asked while pointing towards the Dwarf.

“The Dwarf because he was caught stealing. I’m here because I wasn’t great at taking orders from the staff. I asked some questions and apparently, that was enough for them to pin me down here.” Delta thought for a moment and then unlocked the cage.

Delta stood in the War breeds face. “2 Rules. Don’t slow me down. Don’t talk about what happened here tonight.” The Warbreed half smiled from weariness.

“Sounds good boss” Delta made a point to show where the strong and bell was so he wouldn’t trip over it. The Warbreed followed behind Delta. Delta then proceeded to unlock the dwarf’s cage as well. It looked like he was worn down from exhaustion but the clattering of the cage opening woke him up.

Delta told him to get on his feet and to follow if he wants to escape this place. A dwarf might have useful information for The Rumors and it never hurts to have a designated decoy.

Delta arrived in the kitchen only to find a sole female attendant who looked at them as they came up. Delta rushed to the worker and put his hand over her mouth. “Don’t scream or shout. Nod if you understand.” Terrified she nodded her head.

Delta removed his hand. “We’re leaving and you need to come with us.” Terrified she followed as Delta opened the window and motioned for the others to follow. Delta managed to get off the property without taking too long and started heading towards the closest safe house. As he got outside a large green brilliant explosion, almost like a firework, rose into the air. However, this one seemed magical as it stayed in the sky for a long time. It was far to the South. A bad omen perhaps?

No witnesses. Delta decided that it would be better to have The Thieves Guild determine their fate. Hopefully, they wouldn’t have to be killed. They made it to the safehouse and Delta gave the password to get in. Each safehouse was always equipped with a doorkeeper and a messenger. He turned to the doorkeeper and instructed him to get Duande Littlefinger and Armon, a spell flinger who would most likely be able to break the seal.

#18

While waiting for Duande his three recruits opened up a bit. The Warbreed, now that he was free of the estate and prison, seemed a bit more hot-headed and defiant. Not wanting to listen and kept asking to be released. He introduced himself as Tayooni. The kitchen attendant was a bit more subservient and mousey. Her name was Enlil. She had been working there for a while to earn enough money to leave for a better life in the main cities in The Central Plains. She had no friends or family so her leaving wouldn’t be a problem.

The Dwarf seemed cooperative if not weary and tired. He introduced himself as Denpa and tried getting what rest he could. He had some bad injuries but nothing life-threatening.

Not much time passed before Delta was reunited with Duande and introduced to Arman. “The mission was a success. No witnesses other than the two in the other room. The Warbreed might not be that open to helping us, the girl seems like she might prove useful. The guards in the basement were Troglodytes.” Duande perked up a bit upon hearing this but otherwise remained silent during the debriefing. “I found this note. Some sort of magic seal on it. Never seen it’s type before.”

Arman reached for the note and nodded as he worked his magic.

Duande looked to Delta. “We got briefed from Aljon, your contact. Something about a wrong tower, but you had a body fall from the tower to create confusion and a decoy. Good work as always.” Duande looked at Arman who looked up and mentioned that this might take a while. It’s a strong seal.

“I saw a large green mark in the sky earlier this evening. Any idea what it might be?” Delta asked Duande. Duande thought for a moment. “We think it’s to signal an attack. The local militia and army have been slowly emptying out of the city to some sort of staging ground not far from here. Our spies believe that the main Dragon Knight army might be encamped nearby. Hopefully, that isn’t the case. We’ll find out soon enough either way. Get some rest Duande, we’ll let you know when the seal is broken.”

Delta retreated upstairs to a bed and decided to sleep while he had the chance. You never know when a good bed will come around again.

Delta was woken up by Duande who was holding the note in his hand. “You should read this over. We have a new mission for you once you’re done reading.” Delta read through the note. Duande continued. “Things have changed. Someone is making a power play and the Dragon Knights… We aren’t too sure what their long term plan is but we do know that they are sending someone down south. You must follow them.”

“Your mission is to follow a person of interest. A female Captain from the Dragon Knight ranks. Befriend her if you must, but follow her and determine what she knows about the Dragon Knight armies. You and she will both be heading to Sutton. Her name is XyKara. She will have a few hours headstart on you but our spies believe you can easily catch up to her. She will be taking the slow path through the woods. She is your main priority. Your second is to find out what is happening in Sutton.”

“I don’t like the sound of this letter. Something fishy is going on because a couple of our agents have gone dark. They haven’t reported in a couple of weeks. This is a good excuse to determine what is happening. Once in Sutton, see if you can locate Claude and Mal. They are the two undercover agents. Report back after your investigations. I assume you still have the bag of currency that the note talks about. You’ll be heading to Vord. There you will meet the Harbormaster and secure lodgings. He will know you are coming.”

“What about the 2 that I arrived with?” Delta didn’t care much for human life if the mission was completed, but he also didn’t feel that innocents should suffer. “They’ll be fine. I think we can get both of them to work for us. If not, we have other uses as well. You should leave within the hour.”

With that Duande got his gear and set out. He traveled quickly as dawn approached. His sources told him the rough direction XyKara was seen going. Sure enough, about halfway through the first day he caught up. She was cloaked and covered from head to toe in clothes in order to hide her appearance. This wasn’t the first time he had seen a Dragon Knight try to remain anonymous. Their bulky size usually gave them away but not everyone was quick on the insight. She was moving at a brisk pace unaware of being followed. She was careful though as she stopped to look around once in a while but Delta was good enough at following someone to not be noticed.

The second day he followed a bit too close and it seemed that she might’ve sensed him. She was much quicker to look over her shoulder as she traveled. Delta pulled back a bit and continued to follow. Eventually, she started resuming her normal pace without looking back that often.

The next day was more of the same though they would reach Vord just before dusk. He saw XyKara reach the Harbor Master and head onto the ship. Gregor, the Harbormaster, was easy to find. Delta gave him the bag and Gregor indicated that he would be in the same room with XyKara and a few others that were being dropped off near The Southern Wilds. Delta thanked Gregor and moved towards the room he described. It was the quarterdeck, the main room above the Captain’s Quarters.

Upon arrival, he walked in and saw 2 street urchins. Young, scared and malnourished. XyKara was offering them food from her backpack. You could tell that she was looking wary and you noticed her hand hovering over a dagger. At least she isn’t a fool and knows to be safe. Delta worked with the Dragon Knights before and he always respected their devotion to The Old Code. He didn’t quite share it, but the Dragon Knights were one of the few positive things in the world that could be counted on.

A moment later and Delta headed over to his hammock and decided to rest. It had been a busy couple of days. He didn’t fall asleep at first and instead had his back towards XyKara and the urchins. He didn’t feel any threat in the room and most likely this perceived attitude might win favor over to XyKara should he need it. It said that he wasn’t a threat and that he could turn his back to her. After going through his mind all that needed to be done, he eventually tried getting some rest.

#19

A lot to read here, wow! Gonna need some time to read and process this.

1 Like
#20

Lots of text for people to read before getting to the campaign proper. Still have 2 more 0.9 session reports to conduct. Instead, take a sneak peak at some of the exciting adventures that await:

#21

Damn dude, did you make a real treasures chest?