Welcome fellow adventurer!

Hello, and welcome to my Blog. Where one geek will share with others what many dream of doing, but may not have the Skill Points to dare...

Playing a RPG.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The lands of Ansalon...

Recently, when telling people I was joining a D&D group (D&D 3.5), I got three standard answers. The first was the “Oh cool, when and where?” answer, which is always welcome. The second was “What’s that?”, which is certainly better than the third. “What the hell for? You must be a massive geek!”.

Well, for this self-proclaimed geek the answer was often a simple one. “Because I’ve never played it and yes, I am.”

I can understand the stigma, I really can. I get that some people just aren’t into Fantasy or Sci-fi for that matter. Anything that doesn’t exist through scientific fact just doesn’t interest them. For some, it goes against certain parts or rulings in their chosen religion. That’s fine too. And for some, like my special friend, they just think, and I quote, "It's gay!". Here's looking at you, Lewis.

A lot of people will tell you that I have my head buried in the sand. That I’m a big kid or immature, often staying put in doors while playing World of Warcraft or Magic: The Gathering. I’ve never been a big drinker. My tastes in music are never really catered for in the “club scene” and I’ve never taken drugs. What I’m getting at is “Different strokes for different folks.” As an Atheist, I don’t really believe in these things, I just enjoy creating and being involved in stories. If there’s anything Dungeons and Dragons can give you, it’s stories.

I’ll leave the character introductions for a later post. In the mean time, I’ll take you over a quick glimpse of the story so far.

Lox, the half-orc barbarian (played by myself), Minty, the half-kender bard (played by my girlfriend, Sarah) and Isosceles, the half-elf cleric (not yet fully trained) (played by Kirsty, a good friend of ours). Our heroes were accompanied by Dominic. A mysterious, black plate wearing NPC, who was played by our Games Master (GM) Chris. The story goes like this. Our heroes were all child hood friends, growing up together in Solace and when they reached adult hood, went there separate ways. There journey was a simple one. Find any living clerics who may still live in the world on Ansalon, as in previous years a great cataclysm had engulfed our characters world, turning it upside down. Gold is now useless and Steel was now the most precious thing you could trade and buy things with. Nothing is as it once was. During the cataclysm, the clerics mysteriously disappeared or died and their precious knowledge with them.

Joining our friends outside Solace, our intrepid group of friends found themselves in a forest setting about 2 days walk from the small city. They swapped there stories and made camp. Not one of them found any sign of a cleric throughout the lands.

While chatting away and eating there meals, a gang of hobgoblin marauders set upon the camp and surrounded them. An allusive figure in the background shouted, demanding the Blue Crystal Staff be returned to Khisanth and then vanished. With that, the marauders attacked our heroes who made short work of the ambushers.

That following morning, while travelling towards Solace, our group came into contact with Riverwind and Goldmoon. Two Pathfinders who came into possesion of the very staff our heroes were ambushed for. Sensing a coincidence in their meeting, they band together and reach the safety of the Tree City, Solace. It seems that Riverwind had a vision as he slept. Of a well within a black swamp, guarded by a shining lady and a terrible black beast. Through discussion and investigation with the locals, our heroes decide that the abandoned city of Xak-Tsaroth is the next point of call due to the familiarity with certain aspects of Riverwinds dream.

Our heroes reach Solace to enjoy a meal of Roast Chicken and Spice Potatoes (Kettle Chip!)
To reach Xak-Tsaroth, the travellers had to venture through the Darken Woods. These woods were famed in Solace as being a place that no one returned from. However, with their goal firmly in place, our heroes ventured forth. It took them 3 days to travel through the forest. On one occasion, our heroes could have sworn that they saw a white beast, like a stag or a horse, but it quickly vanished. The last evening of the journey had them come across an hooded figure next to a broken cart. The man approached our heroes, telling them that his injured friend was inside the cart and that only the Blue Crystal Staff would be able to heal him. Our heroes played dumb, not wanting to lose the staff or their advantage. The situation became worse, and more hooded figures emerged from the trees. Our heroes became weary and backed off. The figures stepped further and with that Dominic and Riverwind ran into the trees! Our heroes grew worried. Outnumbered and poorly equipped, they tried to bargain. Where did Dominic and Riverwind go? Why now?! Suddenly arrows fly from both sides, mowing down our heroes' foes. The hooded figures became angry and attack, only for more arrows to take them out. With most of the figures dispatched, our heroes take to finishing the the last of them with ease. Lox swinging his war axe into the chest on one, only for the body to turn to stone and the axe to be tugged from his grasp. Isosceles, finding an opening, swings round to the back of one foe and plunges her dagger into it's back. The body slumps to the ground. Isosceles turns the body over and reveals the face, only to be look on herself, as if looking into a mirror!  Riverwind and Dominic return, revealing it was them that attacked back with the arrows. Reluctant to leave his axe, Lox and the heroes camp for the night, only to find the stone body has turned to dust, returning Lox's beloved axe. Our heroes now see Dominic in a new light. What has happened to their friend. He merely replies with "I know the truth."
The hooded figures attack while guarding the broken sharpener cart!
 They came out of the woods and forests to find only marsh land. Venturing over all manner of water and what could be counted as land, they venture far to come across an old temple. It's tower was crumbled. Walls broken. It's ceiling had collapsed. Up the stairs they went, pushing open the ancient doors, to find a large square room. The temple in it's entirety, with a large black pool in the middle with evidence of 5 leather like egg shells scattered around the floor. Our heroes tried many things, finding the water puzzling, but it was only when Riverwind put the end of the staff into the water that something happened. A small leathery, dragon like face appeared in the middle of the pool. Bubbles started around the edge of the pool. The creature came out of it's pool and hovered above. 3 more emerge from the back. Upon showing them the staff, they all shrieked and flew out of the pool as quick as their wings could carry them. Isosceles waded into the pool, finding it to be deep in the middle. Much to her surprise, the 5th beast appeared from the water and didn't take kindly to Isosceles' intrusion. She swam back to shore with wounds from the attack. Lox and Dominic aiding her to safety.

With that, they backed off. Camping outside of the temple on what little firm ground they could find.

Morning came, and to the campers surprise, a small gully dwarf was foraging for food near by. Maybe it was a mistake for Lox, our Half-Orc, to approach, as the little bugger ran for the hills. Lox made chase and quickly caught him after the dwarf tripped in the marsh. Turns out that the little guy is called Pulb. Lox didn't like Pulb, and Pulb disliked Lox even more so. Pulp was a child and with that in mind Minty and Isosceles became quite fond of him. With Pulb leading them back to his familys den, the heroes meet the family. Pulb's father is weary at first, but eventually Pulb takes Minty and Isosceles down into the den. Not trusting the men, they stay outside. Pulb shows the ladies that they have "treasure". Now, a hill dwarf can be pretty dumb, but still, amongst the sticks, leaves, rocks and unmentionables, there was indeed items of real value. After insisting, our ladies take some of the items from Pulb in exchance for a mighty fine stick. The ladies made their goodbyes and the heroes left, making camp a few hours from Pulbs burrow.

Just as they were bedding down for the night, Dominic says "What does a gully dwarf need with treasure?"...

They fell asleep in knowing that is wasn't the last time they would meet Pulb and his treasure.

That was about 4 hours of play. It's alot more than I remember now I've typed it all out, but hey, as I say, I love to get lost in a good story and this is no exception. All of us had a great time. To our surprise, there was a lot less dice rolling and a lot more problem solving than we thought. With Chris at the reigns, he guided Sarah, Kirsty and I through the story without making us feel stupid. Sure, as you can probably tell, leaving Pulb without further questioning was a mistake, but that's why Dominic is there. The crafty bugger. What's he up to?

I'll leave it there for now. As mentioned, I'll properly introduce you to our heroes before our next installment. Until next time...

Keep on rollin'.


1 comment:

  1. What the f*ck am I doing in that picture!?

    Incidentally, nice post and i'm amazed you remembered so much.