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1/20/2017 11:45 pm  #1


Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

There's nothing quite like the kicking off of a new campaign. The smell of freshly printed character sheets, the first scratching to life of characters, and the initial combats at low level...  With that in mind, here is what's going down in Virginia.

The Party:

Birgir Biarnarson - 1st level Viking Berserker
Lykos Heron - 1st level Kimmerian Barbarian
Theron Alexios - 1st level Atlantian Cataphract
Tulukaruk - 1st level Esquimaux Shaman
Korumora Zur - 1st level Hyperborean Pyromancer

More players are slated to join in the coming weeks and months so hopefully we'll get a more rounded party. If not, eff it. Hack and slash it shall be! I have to say that I am particularly amused by the Atlantian Cataphract. We were joking tonight that he must be riding a seahorse like Aquaman. ;-)

Borrowing an enjoyable idea from a friend, I am instituting a 'DM Monologue' to be read before each session begins. I feel that it helps set the tone for the evening of gaming and draws people back into the story, especially when a lot of time has passed since a previous session. I'd also like to give a shout out to Handy Haversack and Ynas Midgard for the great ideas for the region around Larchmere Yys. I shamelessly ripped off some of their ideas, names and concepts for my campaign. So, without further adieu, I give you:

The Flight from Larchmere Yys

Each of you had found your way to the impressively timber-walled town of Larchmere Yys, a small town of rather zealous Apollo worshipers located some 30 miles up the River Yys, which in turn flows into a narrow inlet of Dagon Bay. Some 300 or so souls live here, prospering from good soil and hearty woodlands from which to extract natural resources and sustenance. How you each came to be at Larchmere Yys are tales best left for another time. Some no doubt hail from one of the few fishing villages along Dagon Bay, Vikland, New Pictland or even the greatest city in the world, Khromarium, far to the south.

The terrain of the region around this frontier town varies. Larchmere Yys sits along the west bank of the river and is situated in high grassland. The east bank of the river, all the way to Dagon Bay is dense forest. Roughly 40 miles to the west of the town, the grassland gives way to the high steppe.  To the southwest there is a series of low hills and small, sparse forest, which in turn gives way to a large lake. Just beyond the lake is the third largest desert in Hyperborea, the Red Desert. Finally, the entirety is encompassed by the center, as well as the north eastern and south eastern arms of the Spiral Mountain Array.

One hundred miles to the north as the ship sails, is a small Esquimaux village of reindeer herders that the townsfolk hope to convert to the worship of Apollo. There is some small trading occurring and a caravan makes its way there quarterly. Contact exists between the men of Larchmere Yys and those of the villages of Dagon Bay, but relations are sour on account of the unseemly stock of men and their mish-mash of religious practices. Further, a small town, Vorhees, of 350 traders and their families lies on the north shore of Lake Kristal. The Men of Larchmere Yys have warned you of straying too close as the traders are of ill bent and greedy demeanor, rarely dealing fairly and occasionally dealing deadly.

Each of you has discovered that outsiders not equally as zealous in their worship of Apollo were a little less than welcome, though not outright rejected. Everywhere you turned; it seemed everyone was only interested in converting you to their particularly righteous take on Apollonianism. Your polite dismissal turned to annoyed rejection and suddenly you all found yourselves feeling the urge to be quickly and quietly gone from town, lest the situation turn dire. The chief priest of Larchmere Yys, seemingly crazed with religious fervor sensed your desire to flee and found an opportunity to pin some crime falsely upon you all.

Our game begins with you all in flight, slipping out of town in the dark of night, heading for the safety of the western wood. Perhaps the men of Vorhees are falsely named by the men of Larchmere Yys, perhaps not. But it the next closest, and easiest to reach town where the men behind cannot reach you and work their religious zealotry. It is but a few short hours from dawn, there are 20 miles or more between you and the woods and the sounds of barking dogs and shouting men are sounding from the town from which you just fled. Surely, these are the sounds of men roused to pursuit…
 

Last edited by Druvas (3/10/2017 7:00 am)

 

1/21/2017 8:02 am  #2


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Fun! Looking forward to monsters, mayhem and madness!


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

1/21/2017 10:28 am  #3


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Fantastic! Sounds like a great time.

Druvas wrote:

Some no doubt hail from one of the few fishing villages along Dagon Bay, Vikland, New Pictland or even the greatest city in the world, Khromarium, far to the south.
 

It's Hyperborean east! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

 

1/21/2017 12:43 pm  #4


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Fearing the pursuit of the fanatical Apollonians and what might happen to them if caught, the four men made haste to put as much distance between them and their feared pursuers as possible. Not even knowing each others names, the comrades ran for four hours before the first signs of pursuit were detected. In the far distance, the sound of barking hounds could be made out.

Continuing their flight, it was not until several more hours that the party would be caught by the pursing men of Larchmere Yys. The four adventurers, clothed in only basic outdoors-men outfits, and armed with a single weapon each, turned to face their pursuers - six horsemen, well outfitted and armed. They had caught sight of their target and charged, leaving the hounds far behind in the process.

Knowing that escape was impossible, the party turned to make a stand against the superior force. What the men of Larchmere Yys didn't know what that they faced a determined and desperate enemy. The pursuing force consisted of the following:

2 0-level horsemen in leather and armed with spears and shortswords
2 0-level horsemen in studded and armed with tridents and a net stretched between them
1 0-level horseman in scale and armed with a long bow and shortsword
1 2nd-level horseman in chainmail and armed with a longsword

The riders spread out and picked their targets. The two spear-armed horsemen charged Birgir the Berserker and the Lykos the Barbarian respectively. The two net-employing horsemen rode down Theron the Cataphract in order to capture him. The archer held fire due to the melee situation, whilst the Lieutenant attacked Tulukaruk the Shaman.

The spearmen were ill prepared to deal with their targets as they both made amazing leaps through the air to equal their foes in height. The Barbarian failed to land a blow with his bastard sword and Birgir was nicked by a spear before they both landed on the weak side of each rider. Theron attempted to stand his ground and chop the net in half, but was captured, temporarily, in the net. Meanwhile, Tulukaruk attempted to dismount the chainmail armored lieutenant with his spell-enhanced tomahawk, missing badly.

The next round saw Lykos run one of the horse-backed spearmen through with his bastard sword, killing him instantly. Theron managed to hack his way out of the net, freeing himself from a potentially deadly situation, as a shot from the mounted archer raced past his head. Enraged with an uncommon bloodlust, Birgir made a charge attack against the archer and felled him with a single blow of his battle axe. Meanwhile, Tulukaruk leaped upon the horse that was now riderless, courtesy of Lykos.

Tulukaruk and the lieutenant engaged in mounted melee combat for several rounds while the rest of the party dispatched the remaining horsemen. The leader of the Apollonian patrol proved too strong for Tulukaruk himself and had to be dispatched with the aid of Lykos. Meanwhile, the hounds finally caught up to the battle and engaged, Lykos and Birgir. Birgir, still filled with his raging battle lust, dispatched two of the canines quikly while Lykos made short work of the third.

Following the skirmish, the attackers were stripped of weapons and what that armor survived intact, which was a good thing as they had fled Larchmere Yys in haste with naught but their primary weapons and some light clothing. Armed and newly armored, the party discovered a small stash of silver and gold on the attackers, confiscated the six horses and enough provisions for 3 days. Lykos briefly considered carving the dogs into salvagable food but thought better of the idea when he received the icy glare of Tulukaruk. With that the party headed off to the western woodlands and, hopefully, on to Vorhees.

Last edited by Druvas (1/21/2017 12:48 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

1/21/2017 12:50 pm  #5


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Chainsaw wrote:

Fun! Looking forward to monsters, mayhem and madness!

Ditto, my friend! This campaign may be somewhat monster-light. There will be lots of men, men-like creatures and whatnot, but true monsters will likely be rare. Mayhem and madness, however, will be aplenty. :-)
 

     Thread Starter
 

1/21/2017 12:54 pm  #6


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Handy Haversack wrote:

Fantastic! Sounds like a great time.

Druvas wrote:

Some no doubt hail from one of the few fishing villages along Dagon Bay, Vikland, New Pictland or even the greatest city in the world, Khromarium, far to the south.
 

It's Hyperborean east! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

It was indeed a good time. It has been since October that our group last played. We left a dying C&C game to try a new flavor and everyone was more than ready to dive into AS&SH.

I really like the secluded valley where Larchmere Yys is located. It's huge, has all kinds of terrain, but is physically separated by the Spiral Mountain Array and Dagon Bay. It seem very sparsely populated, which is perfect for all kinds of lost cities and weird beast-men, perhaps affected by the Green Death in ways yet discovered... http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png

 

     Thread Starter
 

1/21/2017 11:55 pm  #7


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

I so much want the mayor of the town of Vorhees to be named Jason or something very, very similar like J'Son. :-)


What? Me worry?
 

1/22/2017 7:40 am  #8


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

gizmomathboy wrote:

I so much want the mayor of the town of Vorhees to be named Jason or something very, very similar like J'Son. :-)

Preserve the I, as in the original version - Iason (kind of pronounced Yay-sone, rhymes with Day-cone).


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

1/22/2017 10:45 am  #9


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Enjoying the Campaign write-up and wanted to drop a line of encouragement to show appreciation for the time you take to pass it along to us.  

I'm curious as to what spell your Shaman player chose and which paths of study i.e. (Cleric or Druid)/(Magician or Necromancer).

Looking forward to the adventure unfold.

 

 

1/23/2017 10:30 am  #10


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Sounds great, Druvas. How much of the pursuit was played out? Did you have some sort of avoision vs. hunting system? Or did you start with something like "you've been running for hours when they catch up with you" and then just dive into the fight? Starting the characters with nothing except enemies is a good motivator!

 

1/24/2017 8:09 am  #11


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Ironwolf wrote:

Enjoying the Campaign write-up and wanted to drop a line of encouragement to show appreciation for the time you take to pass it along to us.  

I'm curious as to what spell your Shaman player chose and which paths of study i.e. (Cleric or Druid)/(Magician or Necromancer).

Looking forward to the adventure unfold.

 

The player is following the Druid and Magician paths but I allowed a limited merging of the spell tables. He cast Omen which allows 3 dice rolls in an attack or saving throw situation. Quite helpful in a dire situation.

Thanks! Next session is on 2/3.

     Thread Starter
 

1/24/2017 8:20 am  #12


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Handy Haversack wrote:

Sounds great, Druvas. How much of the pursuit was played out? Did you have some sort of avoision vs. hunting system? Or did you start with something like "you've been running for hours when they catch up with you" and then just dive into the fight? Starting the characters with nothing except enemies is a good motivator!

We roleplayed the pursuit across the grasslands towards the woods north of Vorhees. I created 3 separate groups of pursuers, each with 5 normal men and a 2nd level fighter and 3 hounds for tracking, all on horseback.

I intended that they would have to face at least one of the groups, more if they were not smart. I tried to create a bit of fear by having them hear the sounds of barking dogs in the distance every so often. It took a full day for the riders to catch the party but at least it wasn't by surprise.

I have some really good roleplayers and they handled it well. When they amuse me, I am far more lenient. ;-) i knew it would be tough since I gave them no starting armor or even equipment and only one prinary weapon but they worked well together, are very fighter-oriented and used good tactics. Even the Shaman wasn't afraid to jump into battle with the 2nd level fighter that led the search party. I don't think he ever actually landed a blow, but no matter - he survived. Lol

There is another tracking party nearby but the group is on horseback now and better armed and armored. They have naught but flight on their minds so unless something random or dumb happens, they'll get away. Besides, I have a something sinister planned for next session. 😈

     Thread Starter
 

2/03/2017 5:17 pm  #13


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Pre-game DM Monologue #2:

The Party:

Birgir Biarnarson - 1st level Viking Berserker
Lykos Heron - 1st level Kimmerian Barbarian
Theron Alexios - 1st level Atlantian Cataphract
Tulukaruk - 1st level Esquimaux Shaman

03 February 2017: The Flight Continues

The battle was won. You had not hoped that but 4 armor-less and horse-less men could hold out against six mounted soldiers and a small pack of blood hounds that had tracked you for days. And yet, the soldiers turned out to be but common men, save for one, and were not as skilled as you first guessed. The dogs were late to the fight, giving you all a little breathing room to concentrate on the riders. And now, you have gained much needed arms, armor and supplies to get you a few days further from Larchmere Yys.

Where to now? The forest lies but a day’s journey to the south west, with the trader-town of Vorhees beyond that. What villainy lies there? Are the rumors you heard back in the town of the over-zealous Apollonians true? Are the men of Vorhees wicked traders of ill repute? One thing is for certain: The men of Larchmere Yys, if they didn’t already, want to see you hanged now that their lawmen are slain by your hands.

As you think upon your next move, the sounds of barking dogs rings through the air to the north east. It seems you have not yet lost your pursuers...
 

     Thread Starter
 

2/04/2017 7:42 am  #14


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Excellent. Looking forward to hearing what happens next!


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

2/04/2017 8:10 am  #15


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Agreed! Wish I were there. 


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

2/04/2017 10:07 am  #16


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Nice work!


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

2/04/2017 1:40 pm  #17


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Awesome stuff.


What? Me worry?
 

2/05/2017 10:53 am  #18


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

With the sounds of pursuit to the east urging them on, the party headed into the western woods. A full day passed as they made their way across the plains and entered the sparse forest. Eventually, the trees increased in number and a dismount was required to lead the horses safely. The pursuing men and dogs made much noise while the party moved stealthily, and in time, enough distance was put betwixt the two groups. As the party moved deeper into the forest, they discovered several animal trails and chose one that lead generally west.

Eventually, a thick fog arose in the early hours of the night, obscuring all in their path. With nowhere to make camp, they pressed forward. Half an hour passed and the fleeing group broke into a clearing, though still thickly shrouded in a mist. A faint flickering light could be seen in a distance that could not yet be determined. Feeling wary, the party made a right turn and followed the tree line around the clearing a ways. They were able to determine that some sort of structure lay just beyond the flickering light. Realizing they could scarcely see one another at a distance of 10 feet, they halted to account for one another. Birgir called Lykos, Lykos called for Theron and Theron called for Tulukaruk, but the latter was nowhere to be found. A quick, panicked search was made for the Esquimaux but to no avail.

With no choice but to press on, the three warriors pressed forward towards the flickering light and building beyond. Approaching the light they determined that it was a torch on a pole and that the structure was a low stone house with a thatched roof. The door was naught but a curtain covering the opening. Sensing mild sorcery about, the barbarian and his fellows looked about for danger. Their attention was brought forward once again when an old crone appeared in the doorway, bent over with age and supported by a gnarled old oaken cane. “Welcome travelers! I haven’t had visitors in… some time… Perhaps you all would care to join poor old Siku for supper?”
Warily, and hesitantly, the party accepted her invitation and soon settled in for a bowl of some delicious stew. Siku prepared for them piles of furs upon which to rest their weary heads and mysteriously muttered “Never mind your pursuers, they shan’t find you here.” Again the barbarian’s hackles were raised at the spectre of witchcraft but his unease was settled when Birgir insisted upon treating the old woman with courtesy.  Much stew and wine were consumed by all four in the house but the travelers could get little of substance out of Siku. They did glean that Vorhees was to the south about a day away and that she occasionally traded herbs and spices with them for salt and red lotus.

Things seemed well and lucky for the party until Birgir heard some sort of grunt from near Siku’s bedding that alarmed him. He stood to investigate but was overcome with a dizziness and then collapsed to the floor, awake and aware but completely paralyzed. The others jumped in alarm and, likewise, Theron fell paralyzed. Only Lykos the Barbarian resisted the paralytic poison that was mixed in with the stew. Rather than batter the old woman, he made to drag his companions from the house and be gone. Unfortunately for Lykos, Siku was far from powerless and ensorcelled him to a deep sleep.

Birgir and Theron, awake and aware, but immobile watch in horror as a large ape-beast climbed from a hole in the floor near the witches’ bedding. Siku ordered her slave, Cikuq, to lay Theron upon the longtable after which he was told to bind the barbarian tightly. Meanwhile Siku went about collecting large stoppered bottles, a strange long, thin bone and a chord of sinewy tendon. Inserting the bone into the end of the tendon, Siku placed the other end into one of the bottles and then pierced the cataphract’s arm with the bone-end. The knight watched in horror as his life’s blood began to drain into the bottle. This went on until Theron passed out. Next the procedure was repeated upon the Viking and lastly on a now-awakened, but bound, barbarian…
 

Last edited by Druvas (2/05/2017 10:54 am)

     Thread Starter
 

2/05/2017 11:36 am  #19


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

Lykos awoke feeling worse than he ever had in his life. He was no longer bound and he was curled up in Siku’s bedding. Unable to stand or even speak more than with a hoarse, guttural, growling, the barbarian never the less summoned the energy to sit up and look about. Seeing his two companions laid out on the other piles of fur and no one else present in the house, he collapsed back into a near coma-like sleep.

Waking again some many hours later, he had little more strength. He managed to see that the gear that had been acquired was still present as were all their arms and armor. He looked to the doorway to see beams of sunlight and that the mysterious mist was gone. Lykos ate and drank deeply trying to recover some strength. He then investigated his companions, both of whom were alive but slumbering deeply. Four days passed thusly. Every day the men grew stronger and ate a little more. Lykos ventured outside after a couple of days and found that their mounts were still in the clearing and had been grazing at will. The barbarian found a well out back and brought water to the horses and his companions as well.

Feeling the desire to be gone from this foul place the three companions led their mounts south back into the forest. In short order, they emerged from the woods into a rougher, colder plain than was on the other side of the woods. A great lake could be seen in the distance and the signs of a town as well. They rode in to Vorhees, a town with many tent-structures, a large stone tower in the center and all surrounded by a feeble wooden palisade, and were admitted with little investigation. There they discovered a people known as the Vorheen; a Turkish-like race of traders. A watchman informed them that they were to keep their weapons sheathed, brandishing was a criminal offense and to keep their hands off of the local women.

The travelers made their way to the bazaar which was established around the base of the large tower. They traded furs and a few small tourmalines that they had scrounged from inside the witches’ house. They also sold their extra arms and armor to a small smithy that was keen to acquire the steel items, for the Vorheen seemed only to be armed and armored in bronze implements. After making some quick cash, they retired to an inn that catered to outsiders on the eastern side of town. There they sought information regarding the whereabouts of their missing companion, Tulukaruk, to no avail. They spent coin on proper meals, a fine room and the Viking and Barbarian availed themselves of steaming baths attended to by buxom women.

Later that evening, while supping in the common tent, they overheard a tale of a young boy that had ventured off with friends to an old hunting outpost in search of the famed “ghost of Lake Kristal”. The boy, it seems, returned alone, bloodied and near death with a tale of a masked beast that hunted them and killed all but him. This intrigued the three companions and they inquired about more details from the other guests.

Seeing an opportunity to solve a mystery, they rode out the next morning to the camp which was located 10 miles to the east along the shores of the great lake. They soon rode up to a sparsely treed, wooden palisaded compound. The gate was ajar and they dismounted and led their horses inside. There were four small, single room cabins, a dock and a stack of four canoes. A large fire pit sat in the middle, between the cabins. The cabins, dock and canoes were investigated but contained no clues as to the what had allegedly occurred here.

Sensing some level of danger, however, the party decided to settle into one of the cabins for the night. Each taking three hour shifts, in turn they each heard suspicious noises. But it was not until the barbarian’s shift, the last of the night, that solid evidence of some intruder was discovered. Hearing a scratching outside, the Kimmerian drew his bastard sword and exited the cabin and followed the noise around behind the building. There, he stumbled upon what appeared to be the five missing youths. He was preparing to chastise them when he realized that something was not quite right…

Lykos felt the sting of a slash across his back. He was saved only by his animal-like instincts and whirled around to face his attacker. A large man in a mask pierced with many holes and bearing a now-bloodied short blade was before him and preparing to strike a killing blow. With cat-like reflexes, Lykos struck out with his bastard sword and landed a mighty blow, causing the attacker to stagger backwards. Hearing the sounds of combat, Theron and Birgir ran out to support their companion. The masked attacker struck at Lykos again, landing a glancing blow, and then fell as all three of the companions landed mighty (and very lucky) blows.

Smiling at the ease with which this foe was dispatched, Lykos was unprepared for the attacks that came from the rear. The five youths, all bearing short spear-like implements, stabbed at the barbarian, two striking home and felling the warrior. Witnessing this, Birgir flew into a rage and waded into the young man with a ferocity not seen in some time. Knowing when to be out of the way, Theron tended to Lykos and pulled him clear of the battle.

In short order, Birgir killed the five and left his rage behind. Lykos was still among the living thankfully, but he was in poor condition, barely clinging to consciousness…
 

Last edited by Druvas (2/05/2017 11:36 am)

     Thread Starter
 

2/06/2017 12:00 pm  #20


Re: Northern Virginia AS&SH in da house!

I love how the witch encounter was left completely mysterious and yet also was not life-and-death. They lost, the witch accomplished her purpose and moved on with whatever plans she has. She didn't need to kill them and so didn't. Completely perfect.

Though, of course, in my game she'd totally have left some kind of psychically corrupting possession or poison in their minds. But I'm a bad person.

 

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