Strange Things in Bloodied Wyvern Peaks Adventure Report: Part 1

The Orvaldt Sanctuary Sanitarium

Greetings and well met!  Welcome to the realm of Qvosfeir, a land of frigid tundra and hardy folk.  Under normal circumstances, the Kingdom of Orvaldt would be a thriving hub of trade and travel, overseen by King Orvaldt; proud head of the clan as well as ruler.  A thriving internal economy of mining helped to establish the kingdom’s presence far before modernizing into the city of today.  Forged by an ancestor of Orvaldt, as well as House Emberbeard, the small mining town grew until it had earned its place as a proud and powerful land.  The nearby land proved lush and fertile, as the rocky crags and fields gave way to refreshing springs and favorable hunting grounds.

That was, until the “strange things” began to occur.  A general term, the strange things marked a series of events over the course of a year; people vanished, the soil turned bad and crops withered, plague began to emerge from no where, strange poisons leaked into the water, reports of horrible monsters overwhelmed locals and travelers alike… especially the miners.  The far most odd were two incidents witnessed by residents.  The first being tendril-covered ball creatures attacked a nearby homestead, dissolving what prey they could find and absorbing it into their mass.  Upon being slain, attempts to study them only brought confusion as they had no discernible anatomy from quick glance and they melted and vaporized not long after death.  The other incident was an airship jumping out of a planar portal over the mountain, before a pillar of incredible light shot up from one of the peaks and destroyed the vessel, as it crashed somewhere in the mountains below.

Attempts to discover the cause or end it outright have been failures, with the remainder of each exploration group returning insane or deathly sick.  Those who didn’t die were sent to a converted sector of the Physician’s Ward of the city that was converted into an asylum.  Meanwhile, much of the populace has been evacuated with the help of much of the kingdom’s army, as bandits and other opportunistic folk have seized the chance at picking at the desperate kingdom.  Attempts to gather heroes from the inside and outside have been mostly fruitless.  Those who survived the raiders and bandits have managed to push into the city, in hopes of an audience with the king.

Hello again!  For a slight change of pace, I wanted to chronicle my expanded take on the D&D adventure I wrote a little ways back.  Don’t worry, more homebrew is on the horizon.  In fact, I have a prospective DM’s Guild project that’s almost done as well.  While I’ve had fun running modules over the years, even running organized play events, I wanted to jump back into creating my own campaigns.  I hope you enjoy reading this as I did running the campaign!  In addition, I hope to have some uploaded audio logs of the campaign as well, for your entertainment.  I’ll probably post an announcement on that, but in the meantime, the FlumphCast YouTube channel is where the videos will be found.

Meet the Heroes!  (A bit more gonzo than what I’m used to, but the campaign itself will get pretty oddball too…)

  • Taliessen “Sweetgrass”, Fey Dog Cleric (Nature) – An anthropomorphic Corgi in service to a High Celestial Fey, who uplifted him after he refused to hunt fox kits in a nearby forest enchanted by fair folk glamour.  The whereabouts of his original owner have been silent for years, but he’s more concerned with the divine cause he serves and aiding the Seelie Court.
  • Jev’Eng, Hobgoblin Barbarian (Storm Herald) – A disgraced hobgoblin warlord whose tribe has been vanquished at the hand of the rising bandit populations as well as plague, famine and strange monsters near the mountains.  He’s abrasive, aggressive and self-centered.  However, he has passion for being an honorable and steadfast warrior.
  • Delvin Emberbeard, Dwarf Ranger (Hunter) – A rebel in a long bloodline of nobility, let alone the nobility that helped to bring this kingdom into existence.  He fancies himself as a champion of the hard working folk caste.  He was chief of mining projects until the strange incidents shut it down.  He has since become a mountaineer, in part to survey the nearby area for horrid things.
  • Ha’Shar, Catfolk (Tabaxi) Bard (Valor) – An anthropomorphic cat (house cat variety, apparently) whose specialty has always been entertainment.  Caring more for coin than genuine happiness, he comes across as vain and fickle.  As his prime location for business began to waiver and falter following the incidents near the kingdom, the kingdom went on lockdown before evacuation, causing him to feel constrained and trapped.  After a year of scraping by however, he’s eager to do whatever to get back into business.
  • Bird, Avian Rogue/Bard – More so just an over-sized bird rather than a humanoid, “Bird” barely qualifies as sentient.  In fact, his sentience was granted on a whim.  He’s confused and terrified, riddled with constant existential questioning.  He prefers to mimic others rather than communicate directly.  He isn’t sure why he’s tagging along.

Our group of weirdos set out for the mountainous kingdom, quickly learning that the grandiose claims of the kingdom’s greatness are no longer true.  The farmers are flustered over no crops, local denizens are ill from poisoned water, people are going mad or outright vanishing. Taliessen takes to entertaining local children, while Ha’shar wishes he thought to do that.  Jev’eng tries to be scary, because he’s very petty.  The children scatter soon after.  A messager finds the team and asks them to accompany him and a few others to the castle.

To make things worse, the stress has made the once “invincible” king quite frail and ill.  Despite his disdain for the current group’s assembly, he arranges for his servants to equip the team as best as possible.  The team tries to get more equipment, but there is little to give.  They decide to snoop around for information before teaming up with a small group of guards help with the mission.  Delvin branches off to head to his homestead to meditate and ponder about everything.  He surveys his homestead, looking in his personal inventory for anything useful.  Afterwards, briefly rests while gazing at a portrait made of himself, a dwarven woman accompanies him in the portrait.  Who she is and what has happened?  This hasn’t been revealed yet, likely a lover.

Their first destination is the Mage’s Guild, an oddly ornate tent-like building.  The team was greeted by an eccentric elderly man who had control over elemental magic.  Jev’eng was intrigued by the power of “cold fire” magic.  They learn of the old master of the guild, who has been confined to the insane asylum.  Meanwhile, the artificer as well as chronicler might be of some help.  The artificer is hammering away at a scrap of strange metal, perplexed by its properties.  It even has lingering psychic energy infused into it!  The team push their way into the den, asking for aid.  He begrudgingly offers up a spiky shield and a modified rifle for the team, alongside some bullets and gunpowder.  Taliessen sneaks on over to the chronicler, whose quite messy.  However, her control over magic allows for the library she works in to clean itself.  With a little convincing and cute charm, the corgi secures a map of the region, as pestering from everyone else leads to a strange musket being lent out to the team from the artificer.

Afterwords, the crew (sans Delvin) decides to visit the asylum, which is probably a bad idea.  Much like the rest of the area, there are no ornate buildings here (save for the out of place mage guild), just utilitarian and blocky buildings.  The converted asylum is in a particularly taller building.  Upon entering, a few guards warn the team that pressing further is not advised; many of the patients don’t want to deal with outsiders.  Everyone presses forward, observing neglected and tortured denizens; all clamoring for attention and compassion in their filthy jail-like cells.  Eventually, we come to a metal door.  A guard catches up and warns that deranged magic users dwell beyond the doorway.  The team none the less continues and witnesses all sorts of horrors of the magical sort, including an illusionary cannibalistic feast.  At the way end is a cell with a special barrier around it.  The cell begins to glow as a floating, robed humanoid is illuminated within.  They announce themselves as the very seer they seek.  The seer speaks in riddles, gibberish and half-truths; detailing vague things on eldritch horrors, dimensions and strange artifacts.  They also imbue the map with a magical force, illuminating the more northern reaches as the source of the explosion.  Taliessen tries to ask for knowledge and instead gets madness.  Jev’eng tries to pry to see how long the king has till death, the seer responses in doublespeak and unreliable quips.

Shaken and/or disgruntled, the crew looks around for Delvin, who has finished looking around his home for anything useful, as well as making his peace.  The team ventures to the remaining pub still operating.  It’s a bit of a mess, mostly soldiers there.  The owner is drunk and interacting with other drunks.  Ha’shar is amused, but Jev’eng is not.  They’re all fetched a round, with the really strong stuff for Taliessen, Ha’shar and Delvin.  The first two are knocked out from the strong stuff, while Delvin does a decent job of shaking it off.  Jev’eng socializes with a Bugbear conscripted to aid after his tribe was massacred by “a rival group” (that could have been Jev’eng’s).  As the night draws to a close, everyone finds the inn to be quite messy and pathetic… which is quite true.  So, they bunker down in Delvin’s homestead, much to Delvin’s dismay.

END OF GAME 1.

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