Burning Down the Tent

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 4

October 21, 2018

“Mad” Jack was incapacitated at the same instant when Billy the Halfling stumbled upon the Lord Melleck campsite. He proceeded to convince Lord Melleck that him and his companions – lying about not knowing “Mad” Jack – were vital to escape the Forest alive and that they should search for Billy’s friends and use the map to escape the forest. While Rasotto scavenged a purple tree fruit, Samson overheard this the discourse and came out to greet Billy and his newfound friends.

Samson devised a play and relaid it to Rasotto hiding in a tree and then back to Billy, using the excuse that he needs to hunt for food to leave to talk to Rasotto, bringing the tree fruit back as proof that he was hungry.  Rasotto snuck behind the tents and lit Lord Melleck’s aflame after the camp settled. In the intervening chaos, the party fled with the captured prisoner, “Mad” Jack.

Lord Melleck’s goon’s tried to pursue the party, but the party escaped and were lost again, while Lord Melleck’s crew were separated and afraid, not all of them, however. The Party decided to get back on Map and Billy blazed the trail back to the campsite North of Crowthorne out of the forest and into the hill lands where the party was ambushed by the Thugs. Once again camping near now skeletonized remains of the three Thugs. During Camp Billy mapped the path from Crowthorne to “My Son” Rock and Rasotto tired to recovery from his exhaustion using his cloak as a pillow but his battered muscles were too strained for having to carry both his small sacks in his hand last session. Breaking camp on a new day the party has few foods but are hopefully optimistic that they won’t die, next time on Torchbearer.

Dark Forest Blues

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 3

October 14, 2018

Their source of light went out and plunged them into darkness. In a panic, Rasotto rummaged through his pack and pulled out his tinderbox and torches. Attempting to spark a light anew enraged the spirits of the forest as they gave warning to not light any more fires. They threw rocks, stones, sticks, and acorns. This made lighting the torch with flint and steel impossible.

In utter darkness, the party was accosted. The voices rushed out from the forest forward to capture the party. The party had no choice but to flee further into the woods. Rushing, dodging trap and trick they managed to outpace the forest dwellers. With no real light and having rushed headlong into an unknown direction.

When the torch was light, the party knew then that the halfling disappeared. After consulting their needs and desires, the need to rest outweighed the desire to find treasure. At camp Rasotto went off alone to relax and calm his nerves with rock collecting, unable to steady his fear he returned without a rock. While Samson attempted to start a new map starting from here, as they knew not when or if Billy would be found. He fumbled with the ink and spilled in over his bag and cursed out loud. That is when they heard noises of men walking nearby.

Dousing the campfire they sat and listened. “Mad” Jack as mad as a bulldog rushed off when he recognized the sound of Kevin Law, Lord Melleck’s Justicar. He followed them along ahead just in the torchlight of the torch Samson’s hand. The justicar went back to his campsite, and so “Mad” Jack alone and vengeful waited to ambush the camp at the opportune time. Being hasty and not heading the watchful eyes of Rasotto, Jack went to sneak into the Lord Melleck’s tent. What Jack thought was a dosing archer was actually just slumping over because he was trying to tie his belt tighter. And so Jack was spotted and halted by the bowman. Lord Melleck threw aside his tent flap slow, clapping the bowman’s luck and prepared to capture the seething angry “Mad” Jack.

My Son

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 2

September 23, 2018

The group awoke to find Tiberius Drakkenhoff gone. With the assumption that he went off to get to Crowthorne, the party set off after him. Billy searched high and low and managed to find a trail whose destination was only guessed at. They assumed that it would lead to Crowthorne. Blazing this trail anew the party made it to Crowthorne after walking all day and were exhausted when they reached its gates.

Samson ate all fresh rations lest they go to waste and were thrown out to the dogs.

The party realizing they had barely enough to bribe a local about the whereabouts of the treasure of The Old Wood, proceeded to do just that and left in a hurry. They didn’t want to find themselves sleeping in the filth infested streets. Exhausted, near dusk, they entered The Old Wood and found themselves in utter darkness. An old man they bribed had given them directions that few had ever heard rumours but as the legend goes, to seek the treasure first you must find the grove to the south and turn west and travel for a day, then the tallest tree in the forest houses that what you seek.

After getting lost in the woods, they found themselves at a boulder in the woods with a flat top. Hearing laughter all around them like whispers blowing through the trees. Looking about they then saw their torchlight glinting off a half dozen sets of eyes all around. Seeking to trick them, Billy said of that he was a child. And Samson added to the lie that he was, in fact, his son. Not understanding them, the creatures argued about the forest and their origin. How can he be a child if he doesn’t have green hair? During this talk, they hinted that if they took axe and flame to their forest, they would hunt them down and kill them. They decided that they would watch the heroes and alluded to not killing them themselves for “She will catch them! She catches all who seek the treasure.”  This made Billy, Samson, and Rasotto quite scared. Mad Jack wasn’t paying attention and stood to watch. After they talked, the lights went out!

Humble Beginnings

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 1

September 16, 2018

The intrepid adventurers met at the Tavern in Crossroads Keep, a major overland crossroads connecting the western borderlands to the central and eastern heartlands.  They quickly set off to Crowthorne in the Southern Wilds to seek the hidden treasure of The Old Wood.

Crowthorne hasn’t been heard from in recent times. This generation was nearish to 30 years. Tiberius Drakkenhoff obsessed with the idea that the extremely isolated town held real ghosts, peered into the world using Wizard’s Sight and lead the group down the trail when it waned. They approached a small pass with a few trees when out from the underbrush sprung three bandits.  During the ensuing fight, “Mad” Jack struck a mighty blow and fell two bandits with a fury of swings and Samson hucked his backpack at the bandits as a distraction. Unfortunately “Mad” Jack sustained injuries and was incapacitated from battle. The last remaining bandit was disarmed and quickly dispatched. Samson’s bag sustained a rip, and until he fixes the problem, his backpack will periodically drop the bottom-most item. The bodies where looted and a quiver, a sack of silver and a small vial were discovered.

The plucky halfling Billy took the lead and looked for a suitable location to rest and mend. The disciple Samson used his training in first aid to see to Jack’s hip. The wound would close, but Samson was unable to repair some damage and Jack would forever be able to not ride a horse as well as he was once able to. During this time Billy started a map and mapped three locations: The Old Road, The Ambush Point and the Campsite near the Ambush Point. When Samson recovering from his wounds, the party looked to him to mend Samson’s bag, since he had the know-how to accomplish such a feat. Tiberius spent his time tasting and inspecting the vial and guessed its contents to be a Potion of Friendship. If drunk empowered the user to use hypnotic suggestion to befriend the target of the drinkers gaze. With the light of dawn approached the party broke camp and decided to continue on.

Casting

Torchbearer
Cursed Lands Session 0

September 9, 2018

We are playing Torchbearer a fantasy dungeon crawl roleplaying game by Thor Olavsrud & Luke Crane.

Rasotto the Dwarf Adventurer (he/him), specialty survivalist; played by Tyler (he/him)
Billy the Halfling Burglar (he/him), specialty cartographer, played by Arnab (he/him)
“Mad” Jack the Human Warrior (he/him), specialty scavenger; played by Chris (he/him)
Samson the Human Disciple (he/him), specialty manipulator; played by Steed (he/him)
Tiberius Drakkenhoff the Human Apprentice (he/him), specialty persuader; played by Andrew (he/him)

I realized that in all of my time playing RPGs I have never had a campaign centered on a forest, so that is what I decided on to kick off this campaign. To build the world I followed the book’s suggestions modified with how I want this adventure to go. Focusing on ease of prep, I prepped several possible set-piece locations in a flow chart. Placing key locations and player’s hometowns in a flowchart-map. There notable locations are: Glimmerdome, a wizard keep and home of Tiberius; Sohold a rural town and home of “Mad” Jack and Rasotto, the town is under the dual rulership of the exiled dwarfs of Darkholme and the rulership of Lord Meleck, sworn enemy of “Mad” Jack; Adderport, metropolis and Trade City on the Eastern Coast of Endless Sea, home of Samson former Little of the Nightsingers, thieves guild, but ran away because a Bigun (runners and fences to the urchins) killed his best friend, and he was later raised in the orphanage run by the Lords of Honor. Smalton is the halfling farm village where Billy, the Halfling hails from.

I am Batman

This is the last campaign I started under my cousin as the DM.

He was playing a half-elf thief as a GM NPC, my brother was playing his trusty Dwarf, and I was playing my Goblin as usual.

We began by sneaking into town while other member walked in, due to racial hatred towards goblins. I was trailing them on the rooftop since I was forced to climb the palisade. I got it in my mind that I would master climbing and become Batman by swinging from rooftop to rooftop. This worked out twice, each time I was elated and trailing them.

The third time…

*Failure*

Roll to maintain grip… *Failure*

I fell and broke my leg. As a goblin in a dark alley barely unable to walk. I was approached by a vagabond. I fought this person who made his home in the dark side paths.

Meanwhile, they met a dwarf merchant that forced their service to an evil jin that was chained to the wall. Double-crossed by the dwarf who was supposed to be a friend of the thief.

While they tried to make good on their escape, I took a nap on top of the alley man’s remains, ate only available food source nearby. The man. I failed a Constitution Save and threw up. I then proceeded to eat that too (I know…, I was purposely disgusting).

In the night I saw a priest and an old man walking by. I tried to throw a dagger and sneak attack him, and I rolled a solid hit…
but some magical force caught the dagger, and it fell down. The old man looked over and smiled tapped on a ring and smiled. I fearfully skulked back into the dark alley.

In the afternoon, I tried climbing to the top, I failed to start. Eventually, I climbed to the top and slept up there. The very next evening tried climbing down safely with a knotted rope and fell to death, with a crappy roll.

Body carried by rats to jin. He revived and cast geas on me and commanded me to spy on the party for jin and send word back to him at every town.

Geas: an enchantment spell that commanded any subject to undertake a task or suffer possibly fatal pain and sickness

We left town, in search of an ancient artifact under the employ of a mysterious and evil jin.

We concluded playing RPGs with my cousin. I moved away, and we didn’t yet know about virtual tabletop RPGs. We do now, but it has been years since we played.

The Desert Adventure

Trapped in a square cell, on top of each other with only a hole in between them and a small arrow slit looking out onto a forested area and coast. We spend some time trying to get free and trying to think up a solution to the problem. Can’t and some try and rest, while others try and stay awake.

Rooms are promptly flooded with poison gas. Wake up as slaves.

We make our escape as we are transported via chains across a desert. Weakened and beleaguered, thirsty and desperate we track the slavers.

All hyped to murder slavers and then…

*low hiss*

The ground shakes as we plunge and are engulfed into a sand whirlpool. We awake glued to a ceiling of a sand cave 50 ft in the air. Our feet stuck, much like Luke’s feet were in the cave at Hoth. The assassin played by my eldest brother manages to free his short sword and frees his legs. He uses his short sword as a pick and tries to scale the cave, but he can’t get leverage. He falls and catches himself with his cloak gliding down. But the cracks in the ceiling get wider and eventually collapse.

We are captured by temple raiders on their way to a pyramid temple.

The temple entrance is smooth and hidden. Eventually, we find the door before the raiders decided to use us as miner and mine into the temple. On the long corridor in, I spotted traps, but the savvy temple raiders saw my attempt to signal to the party where the traps were.

After a few more traps and a false treasure room, we enter a sizeable underground cavern deep in the dark. We are about 150 ft above the ground on the cavern wall and below is a city, complete with an underground river. The streets were lit with glowing mushrooms.

The climb is precarious and dangerous. Some of the raiders don’t make it. On the ground, they free us but promise a share to treasure if we act as a vanguard into their incursion into the secret city.

Assault on the City is met with resistance, and quickly they get guards and establish defensible lines. In the first fight, I am critically that cause me to lose my hand.

The final fight is me storming a residence turned temporary barracks by myself with people who readied to fire crossbows. My inevitable death was probably why we stopped this session.

Cursed (Blessed) Platinum Coin – Part Three of Three

The fall of the goblin happened as a cliff hanger and would only be resolved halfway through the next session. I had prepared another character, a cleric, to replace my dead one. But my GM had other plans for me.

As the dwarf and paladin managed to push back the oncoming horde, since the dragon left after a clean hit and being near-immortal, it decided that it would go back to its lair and lick its wounds over its horde.

They went looking for me to bury the body and what they found was me suspended a few feet above the ground. I was unconscious, and when they touched my body, I fell to the ground. An old wizard came out and talked with the group. This was when I was awoken and the wizard being brash and my head hurting I tried to stab him, but again I was frozen in place. The paladin was laughing at me so when I was unfrozen I yelled, “I ‘m gonna fight ya” and stole his sword and was about to cut him when I was put to sleep.

After the hilarity of interparty fighting died down. We made a promise to find Wizard after town and help him. So the party went back to town, without me (I was still sleeping). The Paladin and Dwarf started arguing about who should be able to buy a magic item since they only had enough gold for one (with the reward form saving the town). They decided to fight each other. As an aside, my GM allowed called shots on a roll of a 20. So the dwarf and paladin start an escalation of called shots.

I am gonna cut your beard off! *miss*

I am gonna cut your hand off! *miss*

On and on it went to the point when the shopkeep came out and yelled at them (the GM using the GM voice to move the story along).

I am gonna cut you your legs off! **20**

The paladin was made as tall as the dwarf. We looked blankly at each other. My brother smug face was lived short as the shopkeep murders dwarf with an enchanted blade.

I managed to get blamed once I awoke and found their bodies and was in the process of going to jail when I escaped. I ran out and was corned by the guards. The wizard saves me, creates a thinking zombie from the paladin and we go to a weird dimension where the dwarf is stuck fighting himself to try and save himself from himself.

The weird dimension was so cool. My brother’s character starts out watching the fight. Then a guy grabs his shoulder. Then he is dodging an axe, then he makes an attack, he murders himself, he stands there and sees someone, he reaches out, and the cycle continues.

To get there was travel to an unknown dimension where the wizard instructs me to close my eyes. I am surrounded by fire and brimstone, and the Wizard speaks an ancient, evil-sounding language.

Next thing we know we are back and it has been 3 months in the world, but in our time it has only been moments. The wizard had buried the zombie, and we dig him up. The party is back together, but now there is a guy with black gauntlets of giants strength chasing us.

That is how this campaign finished.

The campaign was finished merely because we didn’t return to play it.

Cursed (Blessed) Platinum Coin – Part Two of Three

After the kerfuffle in the Orc Lair, we decided that now that we had some treasure at least it was time to find the nearest town. The nearest town was through a forest mysterious forest. When we were crossing it, we heard a voice calling out to us from the trees. When we called back silence. We decided not to pursue the voice since it was a likely ambush.

At the town, they initially didn’t want me to enter because of my goblin heritage. The town’s people were convinced by the paladin that I was his helper, and we were allowed to traverse into town and spend our spoils. I purchased my first armour upgrade, a chain shirt and the dwarf spent the majority of his money on a dragon skull tattoo that covered his now bald head and face (beard still intact).

When we went looking for an Inn to finally have a rest, we heard war horns. We were quickly conscripted into the militia. The town was under attack by a different coloured dragon than the one that was on the mountain and a horde of angry orcs. The paladin and dwarf waited on the wall near the gates waiting for a siege. I ran to get in line with the archers, but the wall was much too big for me to see over.  This was when I noticed the ballista. One the first few swoops of the dragon I missed, the others were busy throwing oil at orcs and getting into the courtyard. The siege crew finally entered where I was shooting and loaded a bolt for me. This was when I scored a critical. The ballista launched an excellent shot, but the leader exclaimed that they didn’t tie the rope that was attached to this bolt to the wall yet. I rolled a dex check and failed, I only had time to grab the line. I was given the option to let the rope go or hold on. I held on. I rolled a subsequent strength check to see if I was simply pulled off the wall or was now dangling to a rope attached to a flying dragon.

I climbed that rope throughout a few rolls and made it to the dragon.  I recalled this moment at the table clearly when playing ICO: Shadows of the Colossus years later. On the back of this dragon, I stabbed at it with my shortsword, each strike prompting a strength test to hold on with one hand. Eventually, I failed. I fell. It took several turns for me to fall from such a height. The valiant efforts the dwarf and paladin repelling the orcs at the gates. Eventually, the speck that was me disappeared from view below that tree line of a nearby forest.

 

Cursed (Blessed) Platinum Coin – Part One of Three

This is the first long forum campaign I played in. It was maybe 5 or 6 sessions, each played once a month. It was me, playing my goblin archer, my brother playing his dwarf fighter, and my brother’s friend, playing his exiled paladin prince.

We were in a pirate ship getting harassed by winged birdmen. We fought with bow, axe, and sword but it wasn’t enough. We fought as the ship crashed against the rocks. I grabbed a sack of treasure as the ship sank, barely making it to shore.

When we divided the loot, my cousin poured out a bag of pennies ontop the table, that had one dime. We each grabbed a handful of treasure, I immediately grabbed the dime. Each penny was a gold piece and the dime was a platinum piece.

We made our way to the closest town and decided to go through a mountain range. On the top of the mountain, there was a large orc battling a small dragon which he was dwarfed by. We entered the fight and that’s when the coin took effect. It acted like a sort of uncontrollable haste. Each swing of my dagger a dozen hits, one shot on my bow, my entire quiver. Some solid hits from my compatriates and the eventual critical finished it off. My cousin said I was overcome by greed. In my greed I decided to skin the dragon, my knife uncontrollable, I cut the skin in between each scale and scattered the scales across the mountain throwing them from the top before anyone could restain me. All that we managed to recover two claws and 3 large scales (chest plates) from the dragon. The orc took the head as a trophy and invited us back to his tribe down the mountain.

In the orc cave, they only spoke orc and goblin. I was acting as translator and conviced the orcs to let us stay. When we rested the coin acted again. The orcs had a treasure room which we each took one object to celabrate the death of the dragon that was harrying them. Instead of sleep I was driven to steal. I didn’t have the haste, so like a ninja I traversed the cave complex into the treasure room. When I reached the treasure room, the GM asked how I was going to steal it. I said I will pick up some treasure and hide it. This activated the haste and in a blur I grabbed all the treasure and ran out to the bottom on mountain side digging holes and putting one item in each hole.

Shortly after I had emptied out the treasure room, the orcs found out and blamed the party. With only two humans, and a young cyclops  and the goblin missing. The humans didn’t understand what was going on and so started killing their way out of the Orcs’ Lair. I went to run back but the cursed haste wore off and so I had to make it up the mountain the slow way. An epic battle ensued, with one of them using a bed frame and the narrow corrdors to keep the bulk of them at bay while they slowly made their way out. They were already making their way down the mountain when I caught up to them and then had to retreat, firing cover shots to keep them slowed as we made our decent.

At the bottom I tried remembering where I had buried it but since everything was a blur I could remember where the treasure was and so only had what was in our packs from before. But everyone had gotten a cool item. I got a helm with a large gem in the forhead, the dwarf got a large fancy gold cup, and the paladin got a fancy sheild but it may have been a large gem, my memory is a bit muddled.