The Arborian Campaign

Day 0
The prologue,

After being sent to investigate rumors of a “Lord Dwarf-Dragon” in the hills north-east of the royal capital, Olga of the White Scales and Sigurd the Rabbit Knight slay a dozen goblins taking refuge in a cave and worshiping a small blue Wyvernkin child. The child introduces himself as Razryn and claims to be both 5 years of age and lost. The hero’s take it upon themselves to safeguard the child and take him to the capital.

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Days 1-10
Where the adventure begins in earnest,

The heroes, Olga of the White Scales and Sigurd the Rabbit Knight, return to the capital and the court of King Duncan D. Duncanson (of Duncanshire). Traveling with them is the small child Razryn, a blue Wyvernkin of 5 years. King Duncan declares that in an effort to “do what is just” a proper place must be found for the newly orphaned child.The court wizard Steve shows a keen interest in tutoring the child in the ways of magic. Not entirely trusting Great Wizard Steve after the debacle that was his last apprentice he order’s that Olga and Sigurd are to travel the realm until such time as they find a proper foster home for him, but stipulates that Steve may tag along (Probably to be rid of him for a while). The group is given a subsidy and a ledger for the child’s expenses during their quest. Seeing that the child is in need of new garments & after much bickering the group decides that a black tunic would look best (Razryn was not solicited for his opinion) Before leaving town the heroes bump into Ignatius Grey, royal inquisitor of the crown, who is in the middle of interviewing the owner of a clearly recently robbed bookstore. The owner says the only item taken was an exceptionally old map rumored to be of the sunken city of Bellaqua. Ignatius shares that the assailant was a powerful magic user with snow white hair and onyx skin and that he could perhaps be an elf (a race thought to have vanished hundreds of years ago) He also mentions how he dispatched a couple of royal griffon riders to pursue the trail of this warlock. The heroes also decide to give chase and the following day Olga spots the riders in hot pursuit of something while scouting ahead in the form of an eagle. In the following fracas one rider and his griffon are disintegrated by a living confluence of acid and the other is run off. The warlock escapes but not before dropping the map, witch is recovered by wizard Steve. Reading the Slyvaine runes on the map their suspicions of the map’s origin are confirmed. Knowing that if this warlock wants the map he must come to them; the group promptly decides to march for 4 days in the opposite direction to Boar’s Tooth Mountain, the area they believe Razryn’s old village to be located. That evening they camp at the base of the mountain and a quarrel between Sigurd and Olga comes to blows, Great Wizard Steve steps in to mediate but not before Sigurd wounds Olga in self defense. Her fundimentum (The magic organ that makes all Wyvernkin innately magical, and is the source of their breath weapon) sustains a debilitating injury and render’s her unable to breath frost for a short time [Every attack Sigurd makes with his signature weapon has a chance of inflicting a gruesome disfigurement]. The organ will heal but its very likely to leave a scar. The following day the group investigates the remnants of Razryn’s village. Despite their being no weapons or armor left behind the blue Wyvernkin were evidently masters of metal craft and forging weapons. In the charred aftermath it appears the village was set upon in the dead of night and vastly outnumbered, despite this there are a large number of daemon remains amidst the gnawed-on corpses of men, women, and children. Sigurd takes this time to counsel Razryn on the harsh realities of the world and on the passing of all things. Olga finds a solitary Mythril Gladius in a forlorn chest in the chieftain’s house. Seemingly Razryn’s sole inheritance Olga decides to give it to the child only after he demonstrates proficiency with a training weapon, despite his whining. In an effort to raise his spirits Sigurd and Steve craft him a sword made of wood, and Sigurd promises to train Razryn in its use. Before they leave Sigurd takes some time to scout the north face of the mountain where he observes in the valley below a daemon army with a war-host numbering in the thousands, all seemingly spilling out of the cavernous passage to the underworld at Shadow’s Cairn. No sooner than he returns are they set upon by a dozen imps that descend out of the sky. The group makes short work of them and in the heat of battle Olga violently liberates one of the imps from both of his arms for managing to lay a hand on Razryn. The group makes good on their escape but not before Wizard Steve collects a number of imp wings in the hopes of studying them or tanning their hides. 4 days later the group returns to the capital of Duncanshire to report to the King the grim portents of their journey. Before leaving the court in a flurry of wartime preparation their met by Ignatius who warns them that the mysterious warlock has once again been spotted in the capital!

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Days 11-18
In witch the players hunt a monster,

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After treating Razryn to some ice cream and reflecting on the setting sun our players take lodging at Great Wizard Steve’s house for the evening. The following mourning they make their way to the provisioner to stock up for their journey, but not before Olga rolls a natural 20 on her persuasion roll to convince Razryn to take a bath; Proving beyond a doubt that Olga has got the mother hen game on lock. Wizard Steve and Olga purchased many useful items for their coming adventure, Sigurd purchased a post hole digger; On credit. Upon finding young Razryn talking to a strange man in a dashing green coat, rather than inform him of the danger of talking to strangers he instead informed him of the merits of a having a post hole digger. Then the crew departed on their 5 day journey to Daventry, home to the largest port in Duncanshire (And the only one). Upon arriving Great Wizard Steve was nearly pick pocketed by a handsome rouge in a dashing red coat, the hero’s gave chase across the street, knocking over a soup cart, and into an alley. After emerging on the other side the would be thief was nowhere to be found, they were only greeted by the normal pedestrians of Daventry and a bearded stranger in a dashing olive coat asking them in a southern drawl if “theys was lost.” But this warlock’s ruse was not about to fool Olga’s keen senses and the group decided that this handsome stranger merited some spear point interrogation. After dancing around the issue for quite a while [before the party remembered why insight was skill] numerous threats and a punch to the face the stranger revealed that he was actually a powerful elvish sorcerer by the name of Vygar Desivis (His dashing coat was also apparently blue). The dark colored elf revealed that he was in fact from Bellaqua, the sunken city named on the map. He reluctantly explained that he needed that map to help with something of a feud they were having back home, and offered the hero’s the opportunity to travel with him to Bellaqua (an with it the vague promise of vague magic stuff) if they would only give him the map in exchange. A deal was struck and the party adjourned to the B&B that Vygar rented out while staying in the city. Vygar explained that he could take them to Bellaqua’s location, but the vessel he came in only had room for one, and they would need some means of under sea travel. After an evenings worth of tea, and a slew of terrible ideas none better than drinking a ton of water breathing elixir and jumping off the side of a charted boat holding an anchor, the party retired to bed. They awoke the following morning to be welcomed by a hot pot of coffee and the most sumptuous breakfast already laid out for them and a note from Vygar … Apologizing for stealing the map. True to his word there was no trace of the map or Vygar, tho miraculously Great Wizard Steve was able to create a replacement map from memory! Tho not all was lost, in the post script of his sincerely heartfelt apology Vygar included a set of coordinates. The hero’s greeted the day with renewed vigor and sought around town for what rumors were afoot, while Wizard Steve crafted a fine set of leather armor for Razryn from the wings of the imps they had killed. After hearing about a terrifying two headed Wyvern terrorizing the countryside to the west, Sigurd bumped into an old war buddy of his, Killian Belmont. He explained how he had been fighting pirates out in the inner sea when he got the order to muster at the capital for the defense of Duncanshire. After paling around a bit he and Sigurd wen’t their separate ways. The party tracked this fearsome creature to its cave taking prior bets that they would kill it (Wizard Steve), that the issue could be solved with words (Olga) and that they would all die (Sigurd) respectively. Olga stood fast before the beast and used her command of the Draconic tongue to convince the surprisingly dumb creature that eating humans was bad for your complexion and then with the aide of wizard Steve, tricking it into flying far to the west with vague promise of a shiny object thereabouts; Teaching Razryn the important lesson that it’s OK to lie to stupid hateful creatures in order to steal their stuff. While plundering the creature’s cave Wizard Steve found evidence that this monstrosity might actually be the result of experimentation using hydra blood. After looting the cave Sigurd and Steve hid behind a rock (Betsy) to stage an ambush for the creature. Olga remained indicisive until the enraged Wyvern’s return whereupon she promptly hid behind Betsy. Sigurd sprung the trap and severed one of the beast’s head’s with one mighty swing, only to have two grow in its stead, the fight was on.

20160228_210341.jpgSigurd stands alone against the Hydra-Wyvern

What followed was an insane skirmish of lighting breath, swallowed explosives, summoned golems, exploded golems, and gruesome spear gorings. At the end of the titanic bout Sigurd dealt the killing blow and none but Razryn stood unbloodied. [Not a single player had more than 9 Hp] In the carnage of the aftermath Sigurd paid Olga and Wizard Steve 9 silver. As dusk began to set on the bloody beech Olga and Razryn striped down and went for a swim in the surf, and Olga taught Razryn to fish with his teeth. Sigurd wandered off an speared an otter while Great Wizard Steve carefully dissected and harvested what remained of the mangled monster. The group collected drift wood for a bonfire and with it they all pitched in some vegetables from their rations as well as the fish and otter to make some delicious Hydra-Wyvern Gumbo. [This is a feature actually baked right into the mechanics of Bastard Quest, found under the rules by the name “Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup” it lets players make exotic rations for slightly more XP and natural healing]. As sun rose on their beach side camp our heroes had tasted victory, but could the agony of defeat be looming in their future? find out next time!
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Days 19-21
In witch Sigurd bites off alot, then chews it.

After their harrowing fight with the Hydra-Wyvern the hero’s divvied out the loot betwixt them the following morning, witch included a flintlock pistol, 3 rubies, and magic belt! or at least the belt buckle was magic. Olga wisely identified the object as a flare charm, a trinket used by some sailors to signal other boats. [Enchanting in Bastard Quest works by inscribing magic words onto objects, this particular one being inscribed with the words Throw & Ray ] Though Sigurd won the belt fairly via rock paper and scissors he ultimately decided it would be better left in the care of Razryn. The heroes then returned to Daventry to report their victory to Lord Graham, the lord regent and former king of the then city-state of Daventry. The heroes were paid handsomely for their efforts and rested in Lord Graham’s manor before embarking the following day. They briefly stopped for more provisions before scurrying off to hunt down the rumor of brigands in the northern foothills. Using his profound powers of logic, Great Wizard Steve deduced the location of the bandits camp given the lay of the land and the locations of the robberies. They used this knowledge to execute a pincer move with Sigurd sneaking through woods approaching from the west and Olga and Wizard Steve walking up the path to the south-east. Encountering the brigands in the middle of a game of blind man’s bluff Sigurd decided to spring the ambush … far too early. He soon found himself facing down no fewer than 9 bandits alone, with Olga and Steve dealing with the 3 manning the lookout down the way.
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While Sigurd deftly danced between the blades of three hobgoblin swordsmen and dodged the spells of the bandit shaman, arrows and crossbow-bolts from the firing line plinked off his armor. Meanwhile a handy fireball and an evisceration delivered via griffon-gram made short work of the lookouts, and Olga and Steve raced towards the clamor ahead, with a Bulette riding Razryn quick to follow. Just as one of the bandit’s plunged their rapier deep into Sigurd’s chest with a particularly vicious strike, the rest of the party Joined the fray with Wizard Steve sending a summoned suicide golem to blow apart the enemy firing line. Not missing a beat the now blood gushing Sigurd severed the heads of the two remaining swordsman in a single swipe, only to be confronted by the massive, green, bandit troll chief now joining the fracas. Wizard Steve stepped forward to match the spell-caster in a duel of incantations, but found himself felled by a poisonous serpent spirit. [Spell-casting in Bastard Quest is centered around learning magic words and then arranging them in 3 word spells, this particular enemy was casting Throw Envenomed Spirit ] In a great feat of strength [He/I rolled a 16+] Razryn grabbed the fainting wizard and managed to drag him on to Betsy’s saddle and ride to safety. The old witch-doctor tried the same trick on Olga, but it would take more than flinging venomous ghost snakes to take her down. She used her sagely wisdom to easily dispel the spectral serpent with a slurry of spirit snow, and then followed it up by declaring it “My turn” at witch point she promptly turned into a ferocious Griffon and mauled him to death. With the shaman disposed of Sigurd gave the order to go find Razryn and save Wizard Steve, he was more than capable of dealing with this bandit lord and his lackey. After the further trading of blows Sigurd lopped the Troll Chief’s hand off and gored him through the gut. It didn’t stop him from pulling himself further up the spear close enough to start to strangle Sigurd with his remaining hand, but he didn’t last long enough to see it through [Sigurd walks away from this brawl with a scant 7 hp.] As the last bandit’s crossbow string snapped, he was hacked apart by Sigurd amidst pleas for his life. Elsewhere Olga descended out of the sky just in the nick of time to use her sagely wisdom to revive Great Wizard Steve. After their hard won victory the heroes looted what slim pickings the brigands had amassed, the highlights of witch were a single ruby and a lot of butchered horses (it having apparently been a very lean season for the thieves.) The heroes decided to beak camp here and sleep in the chief’s big tent for the evening. Meanwhile the goblin bros. Chico and Paco returned from foraging late to find the camp thoroughly raided, but were still brazen enough to try and rob the players in their sleep. Chico failed to steal Great Wizard Steve’s coin purse and woke the wily wizard as Paco managed to make off with Sigurd’s silver. They ran under the flaps of the tent but Paco was no match for Sigurd’s jackrabbit speed [As a Púka Sigurd has a racial ability that gives him a limited capacity to change shape.] He chased him down and ripped his throat out with his teeth [Apparently even a rabbit can Crit an unarmed attack.] Chico made good on his escape and sprinted off into the night, probably not at all likely to swear vengeance for the brutal murder of his brother in the slightest. Upon their return to Daventry they were once again thanked and paid for their service to the commonwealth of Daventry, as well as lauded with high honors. In addition to always being welcome in Lord Graham’s manor, they were also recognized as protectors of the realm by being awarded the Order of the Shield of Achilles, the highest honor known to the people of Daventry (Tho not to the kingdom of Duncanshire.) Great Wizard Steve insisted that it was all in a days work as that is why people call him “Clean it Up Steve” (They Don’t.) Lord Graham was skeptical and asked if he was some kind of janitor wizard well versed in soap-mancy, Sigurd and Steve assured him that those were indeed a thing (They’re Not) and as a result Lord Graham declared that from now on in his hold Steve shall be known as “Great Wizard Steve, Conjurer of All Things Sanitary and Vanquisher of Formidable Filth”
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Great Wizard Steve, known for his great works of wizardry and short, easy to remember name.

The players finished the session by taking part of a feast in their honor and spending the evening at Lord Graham’s manor.

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Days 22 & 23
Cultists and Casinos

After liberating the common folk of the areas surrounding Daventry of their burdens, the Hero’s commissioned the use of the finest forge in the city and made Sigurd a shinning new set of composite armor with the bones and scales of the Hydra-Wyvern, his old set being in a sorry state after their last skirmish. Prior to this tho some early mourning acrobatics on the part of Great Wizard Steve ruined breakfast (especially the figgy pudding) in Lord Graham’s mead hall when he failed spectacularly in some kind of idiotic attempt to do several back flips. Prompting Lord Graham to say “Well, … Clean it up Steve” soliciting a laugh from everyone. That day Sigurd and Steve also got into a contest as to who could craft better armor accessories for Razryn, adorning him with new boots and a helmet dyed red to match the rest of his imp leather armor. It was also agreed that after his heroics in, and the danger of, the last skirmish that Razryn should begin his formal weapon training, and was given his Mythril Gladius. Sigurd wisely focused on teaching Razryn good fundamentals before moving on to flashy gimmicks and more colorful swordplay. Being decidedly not done in their work of improving the state of affairs in Daventry Sigurd wandered around looking for trouble [His player Chris as usual showed off his astonishing ability to consistently defy the odds by rolling a natural 20] and bumped into a strange fellow in dark robes that reeked of grave dust, muttering to himself and carrying a bunch of scrolls, one of witch he dropped. Seeing that the scroll was full of nonsense scribbling and evil looking geometric shapes Sigurd decided to follow him to his run down shack in a dark corner alley. After collecting the others and showing Steve the odd scroll they decided that this odd fellow merited further investigation. Deciding on a direct approach they knocked on the fellow’s door, who promptly hollered at them to “go away”, and that he had “no interest in being solicited any owl-bear-cub scout cookies” when they prodded further he opened the door of his shack and told them to “Get bent” because he was “far too busy”. The crafty players however offered up one of their shiny rubies asking how much a moment of his time was worth. The now clearly visible middle aged fellow, who’s appearance and teeth seemed aged prematurely by a lifetime of poor choices and hard drug use, greedily snatched up the Ruby and said that it was well worth his time, but insisted that “butt stuff” was extra. He let them into his shack where he quickly gathered together a small leather bound box frame satchel, not unlike the kind used by alchemists, before the heroes could get a good look at it’s contents. He sat in his rocking chair with his satchel fixating on the ruby before rudely inviting the heroes to use his tea kettle or shit bucket at their leisure before leaving. Every inch of the walls in the awful run down dwelling were covered in butchers paper with more insane scribbles and pentagrams. When questioned about them he rudely insisted they were “Poetry” before insinuating that the players were uncultured philistines and casting aspersions on their sexuality. After Wizard Steve and Sigurd unsuccessfully tried grilling the man with the old good cop bad cop routine, he reminded them that they paid for “time” and that if they were quite finished they could kindly fuck off, as he had a pressing engagement to score more Æther Dust with this fat ruby. Wizard Steve accused him of being a drug addict and a criminal, but in the wake of his failed admonishment the old man crudely reminded him that substance abuse was no crime in the Kingdom of Duncanshire, but that it does however lead to a string of poor life choices made out of desperation that leave one “obligated” to perform “favors” of a compromising nature. Razryn expressed a growing sense of discomfort from being in the presence of the crotchety old addict and inquired as to his frequent use of air quotes. It was at this point Olga stepped in to reassure Rasryn, and spearhead the negotiations. She discreetly exhaled a handful of powdery snow and with the aid of Wizard Steve fabricated a most spectacular lie that it was in fact a most rare and pure cut of Æther Powder. She offered to share it if he would but tell them about the entity in his “Poems”, the one that promised power and wealth. He said it was a “Guy” he could score from, but that he couldn’t “blow up his spot”. They insisted that they were “Cool man” and showed they had plenty more rubies that they wanted to use to score more dust, and that he should “Hook them up” by taking them to this guy. He agreed and said he knew a way he could introduce them later this evening in the grave yard. He was unpleasantly surprised to have been rewarded with a nose full of snow, but before he could become incensed Sigurd knocked him out with a hard crack to the temple with the pommel of his spear, causing the man to fall over and knock his other temple on the corner of the bed and drop the ruby. Olga insisted to Razryn that they weren’t robbing the man as Sigurd and Steve began rummaging through his satchel and pockets, before deciding to escort Razryn outside. They uncovered a small pocket idol carved in the shape of fat daemon made of tainted star coral, along with some vials of demon blood, his crack spoon, and needle kit. Sigurd and Steve high-fived before telling the profoundly unconscious man that he was under arrest by authority of the crown of Duncanshire for treason. They clapped irons on him and dragged him off to the guards. Ignatius happened to be in town overseeing troop relocation and the flow of wartime supplies through the port. He further uncovered purely through deduction and combing through the crime scenes that the man had been plotting to summon a daemon of gluttony and feed it freshly dug up corpses from the graveyard. Ignatius, or Iggy as he is affectionately referred to by Great Wizard Steve, had the secret police cart the man off in a cell to the dungeon in the capital before thanking the heroes for their astonishing skill in uncovering such a plot and giving them 6 gold Maze (The primary currency of the prosperous nation of Labyrinthia worth 100 silver each) he happened to have on hand from his recent diplomatic dealings in the south. The party celebrated their new wealth by taking the overnight ferry to Dara, the largest port in Labyrinthia and sister city to Daventry. They ended the session with a game of black jack at the local Casino, with Wizard Steve coming out on top by 8 silver.

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Days 23-28
The Rise of Scuba-Steve

After an eventful furlough in Dara our heroes decided it was time to get serious about making their way to Bellaqua. The intelligent members of the party went off to get provisions and supplies for the coming journey, Sigurd sought to make some kind of submersible out of a bathtub and scrap metal, needless to say he failed miserably. Then Great Wizard Steve arrived, and constructed a Bathysphere Golem! An un-weildly cross between a diving bell and an armor manikin, Steve’s plan was to hop inside and animate the construct to traverse the sea depths. After a few day’s work and no small amount of elbow grease the nautical nightmare was complete. The heroes then enlisted the aide of Capt. Cody, captain of the Scarlet Siren.

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