Monday, August 31, 2009

Campaign Notes: DL 1-2

Apologies for the quiet around here last week but I tend to go into a creative hibernation for module prep. :) We had our second module in my War of the Lance-era Dragonlance campaign yesterday and things turned out pretty much as I had hoped. If you checked here earlier and the entry ended abruptly, I now have it finished. Enjoy!

Title: Est Sularus oth Mithas
PC Level: 1st

Firstly, Brad couldn't make it due to health issues so the kender was off doing what kender do for this adventure. The other 3 PCs (Greg as Gundar, a cleric of Kiri-Jolith; Scot as Beam, a human wizard; Heather as Deedra, a minotaur fighter) were preparing to go to the local knights of Solamnia to tell them of the return of the gods. Gundar prepared his speech, complete with the medallion of faith to help prove his tale's validity. But before they left for the keep, the PCs encountered a group of refugees heading into Ironrock. These poor souls had been on the move for weeks from a city called Thelgaard (other side of the Vingaard mountains from Ironrock). Many citizens of Ironrock rushed out to meet and aid these refugees, as did the PCs once they knew what was happening.

Gundar decided to demonstrate his new divine powers by healing one of the injured with magic, prompting a swell of interest from nearby folk. The PCs learned that Thelgaard came under attack dragons! The great beasts were thought to be little more than childish myths but that changed when those mythical beasts destroyed their city with fire. Following the dragons came an army of humans, ogres, goblins, and some kind of lizard-man. These latter creatures flew from the backs of the dragons to attack the people and, even when slain, wreaked havoc by either turning to stone (thus capturing their killer's weapons) or exploding with acidic gore (melting half the face of one of the refugees).

The knights soon emerged from their keep in the mountain to set up a triage area for the refugees. Gundar, again wanting to prove his talents especially to the knights, divinely healed another person in front of Sir Jiran, the knight commander. After securing things, Sir Jiran asked to speak with Gundar and his companions back at the keep. Only the knight commander and one servant were present then with the party, the other knights and servants attending to the refugees. Gundar and his friends explained what had happened with the fount of Kiri-Jolith last adventure. Sir Jiran could hardly argue against the evidence of the cleric's healing ability but was perplexed how his deity of choice could choose "children" as his emmissaries instead of the knights of Solamnia there. He studies the Measure daily (proper knightly conduct as laid out in 37 written volumes) and all of his men lived by the Code "Est Sularus oth Mithas" ("My Honor is My Life"). Conversation moved to what to do about the approaching evil army. The PCs want to get out there and do something and would very much appreciate knightly aid.

As the debate with Sir Jiran continued, a strangled cry of pain was heard down the hall. The old servant still in the keep was found dead, a round puncture wound through the chest. Deedra spotted a small shadow turning the corner at the far end of the hall. Sir Jiran immediately locked the front (and only) doors to the keep, saying that whatever evil committed this act could not be allowed to escape into the community. He then offered the PCs sanctuary in his quarters until he could hunt down the creature. The group refuses, pledging their aid and the hunt is on!

Room by room, the group searched the keep until they hit the library where 2 goblins were tearing apart the books there. One of the them possessed a bloodied spear, the likely murder weapon used against the poor servant. The group moved on to find two more small groups of goblins who are easily dispatched. Sir Jiran knew the goblins must have entered by a secret means so he takes the PCs to the catacombs. This short corridor has no obvious breach in its walls but all 6 corpses of the keep's founding family are missing. Sir Jiran is incensed and vows to kill every goblin they find for this desecration.

Beam discovers a secret door at the end of the hall and the group descends into the subterranean world. At a fork in the passage, Beam and Sir Jiran investigate one direction while Deedra and Gundar take the other. The latter pair fall victim to a goblin pit trap at the same time 2 monstrous centipedes attack the wizard and knight. Sir Jiran quickly slays one beast as Beam color sprays the other, knocking it out for the knight to finish off. The minotur and cleric try in vain to climb out of the pit as one goblin guard prepares to launch its javelin at them. Gundar summons a celestial dog to distract the goblin which does so in time for Beam and Sir Jiran to arrive to lend aid. Two more goblins arrive from a side tunnel on the other side of the pit and attack Deedra who climbs out of the pit just in time to meet them. Beam is able to balance his way around the pit's ledge but Sir Jiran is not so fortunate and falls in with Gundar. Wizard and minotaur fight bravely but when Beam withdraws after a few near-fatal blows things look bleak for the heroes.

Deedra is able to dispatch two of the goblins before Gundar finally climbs out of the pit to aid her. Beam sees a third monstrous centipede dragging off a part of its dead companion and then crosses the pit at the ledge again to join his friends. Beaten and now terribly low on spells, half the party wants to retreat to the keep but Sir Jiran wants to scout a bit more to see what they are up against (or if that was all of the goblins). The human bones from the catacombs are found after the fight being used as kitchen utensils by the goblins guards at a fire pit, which only pushes Sir Jiran to further explore for more foes. Deedra and Beam reluctantly agree to continue.

The group comes upon a dwarven "date stone" marking that they are nearing a dwarven mining settlement that only existed for 3 years some 40 years ago. After that comes a squat stone building of dwarven design that overlooks a large cave below. Two more goblins are slain before the group sees a larger goblin (the chieftain) in a "throne" inside the structure. The throne sits on some rubble from the collapsed ceiling but has a commanding view of the valley canyon below. Beam uses one of his last spells to disguise minself as a goblin. He then pretends to be a shaman (who the goblin refers to as Kriika) and claims he has brought humans to take over the tribe. During the conversation, the PCs learn that the tribe came from the east because they did not want to join the evil human army that tried to conscript them. The tribe's real shaman had a vision that no good would come to the goblins if they joined, so they ran and eventually settled in the cave there.

But when Beam-as-goblin again pronounced his takeover, the chieftain refused, prompting Deedra to throw the wretched thing down to the tribe the hard way. From out of the shadows then emerged the real tribe's shaman named Kriika. She was much more intelligent than the chieftain and negotiated for peace on her people's behalf. Sir Jiran whispiered to Gundar to keep the goblin busy as he returned to the surface to gather his knights for an assault against the tribe. Meanwhile, Beam dropped his disguise and negotiated in good faith that he and his friends would leave the goblins in peace as long as they did not attack the surface again (which Kriika claimed the chieftain and his guards did on their own). She only wants to be rid of the humans that want to control her tribe which now is mostly comprised of women and children.

Sir Jiran returns with his retinue of 15 young knights as Beam and Kriika trade spells. The knight commander orders his force to destroy the evil goblins but, upon seeing that the "enemy" is non-combatants, refuse their superior's order. Sir Jiran argues that knights are honor-bound to destroy evil wherever they find it. It is suggested by a knight named Sir Plaxus that perhaps Jiran is too closely following the letter of the Measure and not its spirit. The PCs argue for leniency for the goblins, with Beam even claiming that the knights will become his enemies if goblins are harmed. Deedra is none too happy about leaving the stinking things live but agrees with Beam. Gundar sides with Sir Jiran at first but soon realizes that slaughter of innocents does not aid Kiri-Jolith's cause and that these goblins are no different than the refugees on the surface. Eventually, Sir Jiran concedes and stands down, asking what the PCs propose.

Sir Plaxus suggests travelling to Thelgaard to see for themselves what has become of the area and the knightly estate near there with whom Ironrock's knights have had monthly communication. The PCs agree and Gundar takes Sir Plaxus under his tutelage as a cleric of Kiri-Jolith, even using his medallion of faith to make a duplicate one for the knight. The group then returns to the surface and begins preparations to head to the east--and to war!


Blogger Scot said...

I find I'm liking this Dragonlance campaign much more than I thought I would. Maybe its the challenge of being low-level again or the scarcity of magic compared to FR, but either way its a great campaign so far!

1:11 PM  
Blogger Bret said...

Thanks, it's good to know the players are having fun! I find it more challenging to write adventures with less magic to go around.

10:19 PM  

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