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Subject: Dark Curtains - Episode 1 rss

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Episode 1 - Nature's Revenge

Campaign's Master List: Dark Curtains

Next Session: Episode 2

Game System: Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition)

Setting: Forgotten Realms

RPG Items Referenced
Volo's Guide to the North
The Grand History of the Realms
Dungeon (Issue 144 - Mar 2007)
The North: Guide to The Savage Frontier

Name
Ninabelle Kalimsy Kimma "Tidget" Lumendyne
Mervyn Lumendyne
Kao Long
Morg Smith
Race
Female Rock Gnome
Male Rock Gnome
Male Shou Human
Male Illuskan Human
Classes & Levels
Bard 2
Wizard 2
Druid 2
Fighter 2 (NPC)









Significant NPCs
Tessarin Alaurun - The First Speaker of Nesmé, leader of the city's council.

Jygil Zelnathrn - Assistant to First Speaker Tessarin Alaurun.

Havoc Crackhammer - A shield dwarf that has recently joined the ranks of the Riders of Nesmé . He leads the rebuilding of the city's defenses.

Eregund Walen - The commander of the Riders of Nesmé.


Campaign World Background
I and my friend Astinex are big fans of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. We've known each other for over twenty years and since high school always wanted to run a long lasting campaign. While we've ran several short (1-3 year) campaigns, we've yet to get that LONG standing campaign. Now several years ago, we decided that we would do the next best thing and run all of our Forgotten Realms campaigns within the same world, allowing each campaign to shape a portion of the world and some to even overlap each other. We have now ran five other campaigns, with this being the sixth within this shared world.

Dirty Half Dozen
Gruumsh's Revenge
Stem the Tide
Breakwall
Something Wicked This Way Lay - While it started within our world, the group was shunted over to the lands of Strahd.


Character Backgrounds
Tidget and Mervyn
From a secluded gnomish village in the Trielta Hills of the Western Heartlands. Their village was founded by refugees from a sacked gnomish city that is believed to be within the Upperdark, somewhere under the Savage North. At 197 years, Tidget has lived a wealthy lifestyle within Waterdeep and Silverymoon, as a teacher for the children of the wealthy. Her tales of travel with her wealthy patrons enticed young Mervyn to seek her out with an offer of adventure. They both are seeking out their community's lost hierarchical city of Bilgargo. The city was lost over 1200 years ago, so even the oldest of the community were not present for the journey that led them to the Western Heartlands. Being private individuals, none were open to sharing their family's diaries and often speak of the foolishness of attempting to locate the lost city. Mervyn and Tidget are left with few clues to the city's whereabouts.

Kao Long
The oldest son of a wealthy Waterdhavian merchant, Douglas Long, but born in the lands of Kara-Tur. Douglas ventured to the far east by sea and land to establish a lucrative trade route with the far eastern empires. During the negotiations he was offered the oldest daughter of a Shou Lord, Haruka, for marriage. A love developed between Douglas and Haruka, a year later Kao was born.

When Kao turned 12, his father decided to return to Waterdeep with his family. Living in the city's wealthiest ward, the Sea Ward, he felt more as a curiosity when attending the lavish parties held among his father's family, business partners and competitors. Missing the freedom of travelling the lands about his father's siheyuan in Ch'ing Tung, he was often found in Heroes' Garden, a small landscaped forest within the walls of Waterdeep. There he met with druids of Silvanus who brought him into their order.

By the age of 17, Kao joined the Night Griffons. A group of rangers and druids, they are sent abroad to conduct missions for the Waterdeep's military. Newly assigned to a unit, their first mission was to venture north to Nesmé and investigate the rising number of orc and troll attacks threatening the allied town. A couple of months into the campaign, while staying within Nesmé walls, the city was repeatedly attacked by a large force of trolls. The Night Griffons joined the city's beleaguered guards to man the wall's defenses. During the siege, Kao's druidic desire to protect nature drew him away from the wall. During this time a group of trolls managed to use his absence to their advantage and breached the wall. The havoc that ensued is believed to ultimately result in the trolls sacking the city. Hundreds of its citizens died during the final battle, and was only saved by the arrival of a large force of dwarves from Mirabar and Mithril Hall.

Kao's abandoning of his post was discovered. Returning to Waterdeep, he was relieved of his position. He has now returned to Nesmé seeking redemption.

Morg Smith
The son of a local blacksmith, a new recruit to stand among the few Riders of Nesmé.

**Being an NPC his backstory will be revealed to the players as we play.


Once Upon a Time...

The Cat on the Post

Tidget and Mervyn arrived in Nesmé on one of the first spring caravans from Waterdeep. Led to one of Nesmé's few remaining taverns, The Cat on a Post, led by one of the many newly orphaned children. Tidget immediately makes a grand impression upon the community with an amazing set of songs and tales for the patrons, earning a number of instant fans and a sizable tip from a group of adventurers. With the moving performance, Matilda, the tavern's proprietor, makes a deal with Tidget that in exchange for nightly performances she would provide the most comfortable beds in a private room and meals for as long as she stays.

Kao Long has been occupying The Cat on the Post tavern for more than a tenday, waiting for Eregund Walen to be willing to speak with him. Moved by Tidget's performance and weighted by his situation, Kao decided to indulge himself with getting drunk on some Neverwinter Mead. His drinking was briefly interrupted by the appearance of Morg Smith. Kao, in his drunken state, welcomed him and began agreeing to anything Morg offered. Morg explained that he is being sent to look into attacks by goblins on Frostproof, a logging camp located on the southern edge of Lurkwood forest.

Morg having heard rumors of a talented bard visiting the tavern, invited Tidget to join them in a pitcher of mead. Tidget and Mervyn spoke of their search for the lost gnomish city of Bilgargo. Morg not well versed in history excitedly offered to introduce them to the First Speaker, as she has a library within the castle. She is a wizard and may know something. He also offered to have them meet Sergeant Havoc, a dwarven engineer from Mirabar, that is assisting in the rebuilding of the city's defenses.


Favors are Exchanged

The next morning the gnomes and druid went to the Citadel of the Riders. True to his word the gnomes are introduced to Havoc, a surly dwarf barking orders to a small detail of riders regarding the day's work. Dismissive to the existence of gnomish cities, he infuriates Mervyn provoking the wizard gnome to step away from the conversation for a few moments. Tidget continues to tell the dwarf of an army of lycanthropes and illithids that destroyed Bilgargo. Havoc tells of the dwarven city of Gauntlgrym that was destroyed by a similarly unique army. Gauntlgrym fell over a thousand years ago, but he was unsure of where he heard of the city's demise.

When they finished their discussion with the dwarf they saw Morg returning from the castle proper, informing them that Jygil the First Speaker's aid is waiting inside to speak with them. Walking past them on the way to the stables Morg gave an awaiting Kao a smirk. "I believe they will be joining us today, I'm going to go get a mount." Their meeting with Jygil goes well, as they are offered access to the library for a tenday if they assist Morg in his trip to Frostproof. Tidget is put off by Morg's smirk as they join them at the stables. Gathering their gear from The Cat on the Post, they head north on a two day ride to Frostproof.


Camping is Easy!

The first night out Morg takes the group to the top of a hill next to a small forest. The party doesn't seem to notice, but Morg appears to be winging the laying out of the encampment. Before night sets in he goes into the woods with a woodman's ax and returns with a arm full of freshly cut wood and some seasoned wood. The group lets the smokey fire die down during their watches. Kao taking the last watch sneaks over to Morg and steals the man's ax. Leaving the camp he goes to the forest's edge and does an awkward throw of the ax into the woods. As he stepped forth to grab the ax and throw it again he hears something rushing up from behind him. As he glances, it is a pair of lizardmen close enough that the leading one strikes him across the head with its warclub.

Back at the camp Morg is startled awake by some noise in the camp, rushing to his feet sword in hand as four lizardmen rush into the camp attacking Kao's helpless companions. Kao transforms into a black bear, fending off the two lizardmen but taking a beating while doing so. His companions, struggling to stand and cast their spells have a much harder time dealing with their attackers. During the battle Morg falls, but is saved by Mervyn pouring a healing potion down his throat. Tidget obtains a alligator toothed necklace from the lizardman she killed with a well placed rapier through its armpit. Upon waking Morg, panicked, shouts to find Kao.

Kao approaches in the form of a black bear, prompting Tidget and Mervyn to inform Morg that Kao is the bear and was down by the forest. Transforming back to his human form Kao proceeds to blame the attack of the lizardmen on Morg. Confused Morg demands an explanation. Kao's case is that Morg's disrespectful acts against nature to include cutting down and burning a healthy tree provoked nature. In response nature itself sent the lizardmen to exact its revenge. The argument wasn't convincing, and Morg accused Kao of again abandoning his post, just as he did at the battle of Nesmé. Morg continues to explain to Tidget and Mervyn what transpired during the battle and how Kao was responsible for hundreds of deaths. The gnomes were aghast with the news and demanded promises from Kao that he would not cause harm to Frostproof, a logging settlement. Kao explains that he never intended to do such, but begrudgingly agrees to the promise.

Due to the wounds from the combat, the party was forced to take it easy the next day, unable to reach Frostproof before night. When looking for another camp Morg again suggests that they camp upon some high ground. Kao speaks up, stating that when he was in the Night Griffons they would camp within low areas while only have a hidden watch on the high ground. The group offers Kao a chance to find a better camp, and he does finding one in a dry riverbed. The new camp even provided a natural hitching rail in the form of a tree root coming out of the side of the bank.

"Nature provides, when you respect it.", says Kao.

We ended the night with the group coming to within sight of Frostproof.


Session Notes

I felt that the pace was rather slow, as our game session was about five hours. For that much time we didn't get through much. The player RP that came after the fight with the lizardmen was awesome. While the characters were voiced with emotion, when it was over we all had a round of cheers for how well it went. Kao's player has a real challenge ahead of him, as Kao will have to go through some growth as the player attempts to navigate between his religious beliefs and the tremendous guilt of the hundreds of deaths from the Battle of Nesmé.



Tenday - The Forgotten Realms calendar is divided by 12 equally long months of 30 days each. Each month is divided by three tendays (weeks). There are five holidays that exist between a number of months to provide a total of 365 days for the year.


Next Session: Episode 2
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