Image: Legion of Urguan from Lord of the Craft. I had adopted this as the crest of Ald Sotha, years before I started this blog!
Hey everyone! So I’ve been thinking about this Ald Sotha camapaign a lot during the unintentional break my home group got stuck in. Rethinking how I’ve been showing this campaign to the outside world (sessions reproduced in a novel format), I decided it was time for a change. It’d be way more helpful if I showed people how I prep for the legs of my adventures. In order for that document to make sense, however, I need to catch you guys up on the situation.
The group had helped Mia and the farm peoples. The lead Ealdorman, Ermeon, didn’t exactly get along with Crysx. Their opposing religious views did get in the way of a clean negotiation. They eventually had his permission to put a plan in motion to catch the culprits. It turns out a tribe of half-orcs had been murdering the farm folk for supposedly desecrating sacred land. The tribesmen made a pilgrimage to the area every two hundred years. This year being New Port’s 200th birthday, the half-orcs were shocked to find that humans had settled in the plains outside of the city. The farm folk had adopted the barrow that they were burying their dead in, The group had seen half orc skeletons on the inside of it when going to resurrect Mia’s father, which was the big hint drop for them. To catch the murderers, they laid a trap; the half orcs attacking a farmhouse that the group was secretly prepared to defend. By the end of it, the captain of the half-orcs killed one of the other Ealdormen, quickly surrendering afterwards.
Long story short, Gurturr the half-orc captain justified his actions with his people’s plight. The party had mercy on him and handed him over to the New Port authorities so that they could do what they will with him. The case went to trial by combat, one in which Crysx interfered by casting the Aasimar ability, Halo, on Gurturr when he was losing. Gurturr knew, and was very upset. Lisbeth, the bleeding heart that she is, had resurrected the poor sword of justice that had been needlessly slain, telling him to disappear and live out his life in peace. He was thoroughly confused, as resurrection magic has been literally invented in my version of the Dragon Empire by Lisbeth. It’s a bit taboo too, to keep it interesting.
The quest after that whole shabang involved finding out a previous foe was still kicking, and an ally of Ossen to boot. Lucius Bornholdt (a drow vampire) was appealing to his vampiric ally in New Port, Nathaniel, for help. Turns out Lucius, Ossen, and Nathaniel are just small pieces of the Lich King’s plan to reclaim his empire, though Ossen has a different plan for himself and the king of undead. The group discovered this plan by befriending Nathaniel, against all odds. Nathaniel had also helped orchestrate the final downfall of Lucius Bornholdt, as he doesn’t like the Lich King’s plan. All Nathaniel wants is to live a normal live amongst humans, as he’s made himself very wealthy under their economy. After being forced to have a hand in the murder his long time friend Lucius, he gladly spilled the beans. Howver, he made it clear that if questioned by the Lich King or any of his advisers, the group would be sold right out. Nathaniel fears the Lich King, mainly due to his iron grip on necromancy. Being a vampire makes him susceptible to the Lich King’s will. Ossen’s attack on Ald Sotha had been a hasty decision, as he decided to find the Shroud of Ahzidahl, a cloak that makes the wearer completely immune to magic, along with the Deck of Many Things. Rumor has it that there’s a card in there that makes the drawer of the card ascend into godhood. If that’s true, it makes the pair a very dangerous duo, allowing the wearer of the shroud to draw cards and be unaffected until the card that’s sought is found.
Remembering that Blaine, a character who had left the party, has the Deck of Many Things was a very unfortunate situation to deal with. Thynexius had told them earlier that Blaine was most likely in Drakkenhall, so the group had decided they were going to go there. Though, a stop at a town actually near Ald Sotha itself, called Marblejar, was planned. A companion in the Axefall guild, Rin Lakehilt, lived there and came with them to New Port when Marblejar and Ald Sotha fell. His family forge was fueled by a phoenix feather, and he wanted the group to get it back. It would immensely help the production of arms and armor, as it maintains a very high and steady temperature for the forge. The group agreed, since they had to pass Cape Thunder anyhow. However, this meant a hike through the mountains that run along the coast to get to the town. Any other route would take them too close to Ald Sotha, making them susceptible to Ossen’s treachery.
Whilst hiking, they got caught up in a conflict between some tribal dwarves and stone giants that live in the area. The group got stuck in a trap that the dwarves had set for one of the giants. They didn’t fight, as they were severely outnumbered, and were at their mercy. Upon being lead back to their dwellings, the party discovered the tribe was under the influence of a bone naga name Shakaask. Worse still, the bone naga was turned into such from a regular naga by Ossen. It had apparently been bribed with physical immortality, as nagas tend to eventually wither into nothing but magical energy as their bodies age. The naga decided it was in the mood to have fun rather than follow Ossen’s orders. It demanded that the party attempt its trial, or be killed. If they succeeded the trial, they were free to go. Cliche, I know, but it worked! It was a pretty fun reveal, they were upset to find out that this random encounter actually had some bearing on their situation.
So next Sunday, I will be releasing the original document of that trial. I called it the Trial of the Iron Bear because they dwarves worship this big, iron statue of a dwarve that’s wearing a bear’s skin. Within the text, I’ll be adding my own commentary on the thing in Blue Text. Sadly, a lot gets lost in the translation of this game, simply because there are things that happen at the table that are long winded and uninteresting to explain. If this seems like a good idea to you, let me know! If you’d rather me keep going in the fashion that they were originally wrote in, do the same. I really want to cater to my audience on this one, as this campaign is probably one of the most interesting things I’ve ever played through in my entire life. But don’t forget…
Stay Metal! \m/