This first post will serve the dual purpose of giving a recap of the first session of gameplay, as well as provide some backstory that will also be sent out via e-mail to party members at a later date. First some backstory about Whyn Burae and the surrounding area-
Holding a reputation that is both romantic and horrifying, the “foothills” of the Skelrothin Mountains are fertile and green. Huge pines tower over rolling, rock strewn hills. As light filtered through the high canopy falls on beds of lush ferns, tall grasses, and multi-colored moss. As a gateway to the Storm Coast, the High Hills were oft sung about by bards in times of yore. While many histories record these lands as the great homeland of the elves, this is actually quite incorrect. While many elves, including the drow, have lived among and under the hills over time, they certainly did not start here. What have existed are hundreds of fortresses, castles, and walled cities, meant to protect the trade roads, mines, and other precious commodities that the hills cling to so tightly.
Amongst the natural beauty, creatures unnatural and ugly lie in wait for the unsuspecting and foolish who travel these lands without sufficient protection. Not that these lands are wholly uncivilized. At least partially protected by some of the mightiest storms that roll in off the coast, the land has enjoyed settlement by a very diverse grouping of peoples. Those that find life to busy, or politically rocky near to the coast, or to dangerous and frightening nearer to many of the mountains, often settle in or around the Highlands. The one place that has risen in prominence however is the many walled city of Whyn Burae. Curious in its architecture, and more ancient than some of the oldest trees, the city was first founded during the time of the great Tiefling empire of Bael Turath. Over the centuries that have passed since its founding, the city has been raised, rebuilt, destroyed, and built again. Each incarnation has simply taken the old and added to or rearranged it to the new builders liking. Like the rings of a tree, one can almost trace the age of the city by the number of rings of its walls. The city is much bigger in look than it is in actual population. The current ruler is Duke Artuzz Bardin, who’s family came to prominence during the reign of the Nerathan Empire. Duke Bardin has already outlived his wife, and 2 of his sons, and his remaining children are shrouded in mystery and speculation by those who concern themselves with nobility. The cities influence has waned signifigantly over the past 50 years, and what holdings the old Duke clings too now, he clings with an iron fist.
To the east, the Ghostwood becomes more and more dangerous, and the only mode of travel to and from the west, the dubiously named “Fiend’s Road” yearly becomes more and more shrouded in darkness. It is from this land that the characters look to carve a name for themselves. As we prepare to join them, it should be noted what brought them together. All of them were recently contacted by a mysterious cloaked figure who offered them each something they would find tempting(release of a family member from prison, relief of a debt to some unsavory types, a months worth of ale, ect.) in return for helping in a rescue effort.
The night started with the PC’s finding themselves in combat immediately following an apparent detonation of some unknown origin. They had been escorting a group of prisoners out of a fortress and up to this point had been successful in their escape. But with only one (unconcious) prisoner left, and 2 comrades (healers) down, the party looked to be in trouble. Itching for a fight, the dwarven battlerager Stien set off down one passage and was quickly greeted by a number of seemingly feral(mindless) goblins. The battle was joined as other members of the party charged in. Ravel, Scorpio, Argoth, and others came to Stien’s aid. Soon, more goblins joined the fray, dropping from the ceiling, appearing to completely ignore broken bones and other injuries. As the goblins began to fall, a spell casting one that had been hanging back attempted to flee.
The chase was on, but just as the goblin was crossing a rickety wooden bridge, Stien caught up to him. But Stien also caught up with a new enemy, a slavering, blood covered gnoll, which quickly cut the ropes on the far side of the bridge, sending both Stien and the goblin tumbling to the cavern floor. A furious new battle started up, as a powerful gnoll wielding heavy flail and shield charged in to join its companion. These dogmen also fought as though they did not feel pain, the large one, even rising up for one last attack after it seemed he should have been dead. After awaking, and interogating their prisoner, the group moved to an underground river that was meant to be a rendezvous, only to find that the boat had been attacked and those in it, slaughtered. Taking the boat out of the complex, the group finally made it out into the open air, and were quickly brought ashore by a group of Whyn Burae Army Soldiers. The soldiers quickly took the prisoner away from the boat, and after a few moments, the soldiers leader seemed to decide that it was time to leave, and the party, along with the remaining soldiers were quickly teleported to a chamber in an as of yet unknown location, and left with word that things would be sorted out soon.
Well, that about wraps it up for the first game. Hopefully in the coming weeks, things will begin to become more clear. Before we go, here is a brief “Metagame” type run down of foes vanquished, and treasures gained!
Monsters 7 goblins killed, 1 gnoll soldier killed, 1 gnoll berserker killed
Treasure 60 gp found on spell casting goblin, 1 gem found in bag on spell casting goblin, 3 remarkably similar gems found, weaved into the flesh and fur on the back of gnoll berserker.