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9/23/2014 1:03 pm  #21


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Blackadder23 wrote:

Work is absolutely ridiculous right now, but I'll try to get something up in the next couple weeks.  I want to give the final session a proper writeup, because I feel my players (and those playing along at home) deserve one. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png

OK. I'm going to allow it.

 

9/30/2014 12:53 pm  #22


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

“The Chicken and the Egg” (played 04/06/14)
 
The party consisted of the following characters:
 
Arn the Axe, a 6th level Viking fighter
Borgo the Orc-Eater, a 5th level Half-Blood Pictish scout
Ogg of the Cave Bear Clan, a 5th level Cave-Man shaman
Thalassa, a 6th level Atlantean magician
 
Shaken by the dissolution of the Ginnungagap-thing and the transformation of Anya into a marble statue, the party debated their next course of action without useful result.  The bickering was cut short when Borgo, radium pistol in hand, declared that he was now in charge.  The party would storm the Purple Tower as he had advocated all along, and demand that its monstrous inhabitant return them to their own time.  The other adventurers were less than pleased with Borgo’s presumptuous attitude, but in truth they had no better ideas.  At length they agreed to sleep for a few hours in the burnt ruins of the cave-folk village, and enter the Purple Tower at dawn.  They would find their way back to the future, or die trying.
 
Just before dawn the party armed themselves with radium pistols, radiation grenades, poisoned arrows, and sundry magical devices, and began the descent into the valley of the Purple Tower.  They hid among the ice crags as they climbed, trying to avoid the glow of the red flame atop the great Tower lest it betray their presence somehow.  Apparently unseen, they reached the valley floor and slipped behind the Tower.  The rear entrance was just as Arn and Borgo remembered it from far in the future, and they soon had the door open and were creeping inside.  The rooms and corridors were equally familiar to Arn and Borgo, though everything was polished and gleaming.  Yet they met no one as they crept through the Tower; could this place be deserted already?
 
At length the party reached the room with the idol-locked door, which glittered in the light of the Lemurian Lanthorn.  The door was secured, but Arn wasted no time in retrieving the idols from their hidden compartment and arranging them to unlock the door.  Uneasy in the brooding silence of the Purple Tower, the party mounted the stairs to the room where they had met (or rather, would meet) the terrible inhabitant of that place.  The huge domed room with the carven walls was empty, though the party’s sense of brooding horror grew even stronger.  Long moments passed when it seemed their journey had been in vain; and then the light of the Lemurian Lanthorn flickered and faded away in a matter of seconds, plunging the adventurers into a terrible fetid darkness.
 
After an interminable time in the Stygian gloom, a bloody red light filled the chamber.  Yet it was no longer the domed room in the tower, but rather a vast cavern in the untold depths of the earth.  Before them, on a carven throne surrounded by a litter of bones, sat the bloated and horrible form of an enormous bat-furred toad.  This time there could be no doubt – it was Xathoqqua himself!  The Bat-Toad regarded them with indolent hunger shining from his sleepy eyes.  “Well, well,” quoth he. “I was only just thinking of seeking some morsels to fill my belly, and I find they have come to me.”  As Xathoqqua reached greedily for them, the party half-heartedly raised their useless weapons.  The Bat-Toad took no notice of their armaments as he slithered drooling from his throne.
 
“Wait!” cried Arn. “We have come to parley with you.”
 
“Eat now, parley later,” was Xathoqqua’s practical response.  His enormous paws clutched at the party.
 
“Do not eat us, my lord Xathoqqua,” Arn responded. “Spare us, and we will bring you what you most desire!”
 
“Food is what I desire,” replied the Bat-Toad. “Now stop squirming.”  His vast paws closed upon them all, and none even had the strength of will to fire a weapon.
 
“Spare us!” Arn shouted desperately. “Spare us… and we will bring IT to you.”
 
Xathoqqua paused, holding them mere inches from his lamp-like eyes and slavering fanged mouth.  He looked at the party narrowly.  “What?  WHAT will you bring me?”
 
Arn leaned in and whispered confidentially, “YOU know.  We will bring you… IT.”
 
Xathoqqua looked at them for a long time, his gross tongue running across his teeth and his fetid nauseous breath enveloping them.  Finally he dropped them carelessly to the floor and squirmed back to his throne.  “Yes, I suppose that might do.  It might be worth going without a meal just this once in order to have… IT.  But will you bring IT soon?”  He leaned forward once more, eyes burning and mouth gaping hungrily.
 
Arn responded with an energetic affirmative, joined enthusiastically by the rest of the party.  Xathoqqua sank back in his throne and smirked.  “Very well.  When you have IT, bring IT to the Purple Tower.  I will await your return… impatiently.”  The Bat-Toad snapped his gigantic fingers, and in a trice the party found themselves back in the domed room at the top of the Tower.  The polished gleam of the walls told them immediately that they had been returned to the glacial age rather than their proper time, a realization which sent Borgo into a foul-mouthed rage that lasted several minutes.  Thalassa wept hopelessly as Ogg tried to comfort her in his rough way.
 
The disheartened party descended the steps back to the idol-locked door, only to stop short at the sight of those who awaited them there.  Before them stood a towering Hyperborean clad in rich furs, elaborate jewelry, and the antique armor of the pre-glacial kingdoms.  Behind him stood dozens of stunted grotesque dero with wicked gleaming blades and doubtless-horrific ray guns.  The Hyperborean’s lips parted in a wintry smile.
 
“Greetings, intruders.  I am Rozmana Ghuul, warden of the Purple Tower.  Let me tell you a story.  Many years ago, my own dear sister was intended to inherit the office of warden.  I held that position temporarily until she came of age, and I was loath to part with it.  I might have simply had her killed, but that didn’t strike me as… poetic enough.  So I sought a powerful poison of the snake-men, one which would leave her perpetually immature.  Since she would never come of age, she would never inherit the Tower, and I would never surrender my office.  So things transpired.  I might have killed her then, but I decided it was more amusing to leave her as she was, trapped forever in the body of a child.  She’s skulking somewhere in the Tower as we speak, accompanied by that horrible pet of hers, pursuing her arcane studies in the hope of undoing the effects of the poison.  But she will never succeed.  Even if she lives until long after the glaciers pass from the face of Hyperborea, she will forever be a child.  Such is the vengeance of Rozmana Ghuul on those who threaten what is his.
 
“So ask yourself this, intruders: if I would do that to my own sister, what horrors await YOU at the hands of myself and the eager band of torturers behind me?”
 
Borgo’s eloquent rebuttal was a blast from his radium pistol directly at the Hyperborean’s face, followed by a hail of radium blasts and poisoned arrows from the other party members.  The dero surged forward, firing their own weapons and swinging their vicious knives, as Rozmana Ghuul ducked for cover behind a column.  Ogg was hit by a bolt of daemonic energy from a dero gun and instantly shriveled away to a smoking corpse.  The floor in front of his surviving companions was soon littered with the twisted corpses of the dero.  Protected by his eldritch armor and sorcerous devices, Rozmana Ghuul was unscathed.  As the adventurers dropped their empty radium guns and drew their blades to battle the remaining dero, the Hyperborean stepped from behind the column and began chanting a terrible spell of death.
 
Before he could speak the last unholy syllable, Rozmana Ghuul stiffened and choked horribly.  An instant later he exploded, spraying blood across the room.  The surviving dero screeched and fled down the stairs.  As the adventurers stood amazed, a pair of small figures stepped from the shadows behind the puddle which had been Rozmana Ghuul.  To their horror, Arn and Borgo recognized the child Angelica, a sinister rod of lambent crimson in her hand.  At her feet was her awful familiar Gnaw-Bones, eagerly lapping the fresh blood from the floor.  Angelica regarded the party gravely, her head cocked slightly to the side.
 
“Do I know you?” she finally said.
 
Arn and Borgo emphatically shook their heads.
 
The girl stared at them for a moment longer.  Finally she gestured at the stairs with the lambent crimson rod.  “Go then.  And tell everyone you meet that Angelica Ghuul granted you mercy this day.”
 
Awaiting no further invitation, the party rushed past the sinister not-child and her sneering rat-familiar.  As they descended the stairs, they came upon a mob of dero with guns and blades in every stubby hand.  Thalassa raised the Lemurian Lanthorn and unleashed a beam of purest sunlight.  The subterranean dero screeched in agony as the light passed over them, and then transformed into purple shadows which sank into the walls and floors of the Tower.  Before the last of the dero was struck down, a random bolt fired from their midst struck Borgo.  Screaming, he burned like a torch for a moment before crumbling to ash on the floor.  Arn and Thalassa wasted no time on mourning, but gathered as many fallen ray guns as they could before rushing from the Purple Tower.  As they fled, they looked back and saw Angelica watching them impassively from the balcony of the fortress which belonged to her at last.
 
Thalassa and Arn paused briefly at the cave-folk village, to load food and other supplies onto a pair of dog-sleds.  Some of the cave-folk’s dogs had returned in search of food, and were quickly recruited to pull the sleds.  The two surviving party members were determined to put as much distance as possible between themselves and the Purple Tower, for they felt sure the dero would come for them as soon as the sun had set.  For hours they drove the dogs across the fields of snow and ice, as the yellow sun (still so unfamiliar to Arn) slowly passed away in the sky above.  At last, as the sun dipped low on the horizon, the two companions stopped to make their stand.  Arn calculated what he knew of their location, and then shook his head ruefully: Arn had finally come to the Black Fief - or what would be the Black Fief once a few aeons more had passed.  Then he noticed ominous sounds from below, and realized the dero had been following them beneath the earth all day.  At nightfall they would surely be swarmed.
 
As Arn laid out a number of ray guns on a snowbank in preparation for a hopeless but glorious battle, Thalassa peered closely at the Lemurian Lanthorn, whose lens bore a noticeable crack.  Suddenly she cried out and dropped the lantern, her hand horribly burnt.  The Lanthorn flared once brightly, and then sank into the ice and snow until its glow was lost from sight.  Arn packed snow on Thalassa’s burnt hand and asked what happened.  Around them the twilight grew thicker.
 
“It was damaged in the battle earlier,” Thalassa replied. “It’s leaking [word Arn couldn’t understand] radiation.  Now it’s sunk into the earth and will poison this land for a million years to come.”
 
Arn froze.  “Poison?”
 
“Yes.  No one who claims this land will long survive.  Surely less than a year.  Maybe…”
 
“Nine months?” Arn whispered.
 
“Yes, I would guess they’ll be dead within nine months.”  She looked puzzled.  “Why do you ask?”
 
Arn’s only answer was to throw back his head and bray with mad laughter.  He was still laughing as the ice-fields plunged into final gloom, as the stars wheeled overhead in uncanny configurations, as the snowbanks burst open and vomited forth monstrous dwarves in unstoppable numbers, as Thalassa fell dead upon the snow beside him with a smoking hole burned in her noble forehead.  Arn laughed and laughed, and from a great distance he seemed to hear the mocking answering laugh of Xathoqqua, the slothful toad god whose final black jest is the futility of all mortal hope and effort.

http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk119/ballbd/BlackFief_zpsb0100194.gif


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
     Thread Starter
 

9/30/2014 4:17 pm  #23


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Awesome read - your campaign sounds like so much fun!

I love Borgo's response, heh.


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

9/30/2014 5:38 pm  #24


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Chainsaw wrote:

Awesome read - your campaign sounds like so much fun!

I love Borgo's response, heh.

Thanks!  It was pretty much verbatim from the table:

ME: (insanely long soliloquy) Your action?
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face.

The end came directly from the table too.  Once he realized the party was unwittingly responsible for their own doom, Arn's player couldn't stop laughing.  I took that to mean Arn had a nervous breakdown as well. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png

Last edited by Blackadder23 (9/30/2014 5:40 pm)


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
     Thread Starter
 

9/30/2014 7:38 pm  #25


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Good stuff, and thanks for the new sig. 


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

10/01/2014 7:27 am  #26


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Blackadder23 wrote:

Chainsaw wrote:

Awesome read - your campaign sounds like so much fun!

I love Borgo's response, heh.

Thanks!  It was pretty much verbatim from the table:

ME: (insanely long soliloquy) Your action?
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face.

Did our players all go to school together?

Great end. It's good for all involved to learn that the universe is uncaring, unfair, and interested, when interested at all, only in making sure we are well and truly screwed. Well, that they are.

Did you play out the waves or dero until Arn finally went down?
 

 

10/01/2014 8:52 am  #27


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Handy Haversack wrote:

Did our players all go to school together?

Great end. It's good for all involved to learn that the universe is uncaring, unfair, and interested, when interested at all, only in making sure we are well and truly screwed. Well, that they are.

Did you play out the waves or dero until Arn finally went down?
 

Thanks! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png

Yeah, he lasted two rounds.  Death rays and poisoned knives don't leave much margin for error. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/errr.png

By the way, this is my first TPK ever in a D&D-type game.  Although I'm not sure it counts, since they were playing recklessly and more or less courting death. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/sad.png

 


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
     Thread Starter
 

10/01/2014 2:45 pm  #28


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Blackadder23 wrote:

Yeah, he lasted two rounds.  Death rays and poisoned knives don't leave much margin for error. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/errr.png

By the way, this is my first TPK ever in a D&D-type game.  Although I'm not sure it counts, since they were playing recklessly and more or less courting death. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/sad.png

 

I guess we've only had two actual TPKs. The first was basically a case of slipping on the champagne while celebrating in the locker room. You know, the whole team slipping on the champagne. Sigh. Stirges.

The second just snowballed. Giant ticks! There's something about the suck monsters, as we now say.

Though there have been a lot of sessions with multiple deaths, and even multiple deaths for the same players. Still, that kernel of "the party" went on--until suddenly it didn't!

Wild ride, BA23! Sounds like you and your players had a blast.

 

10/02/2014 3:47 pm  #29


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk119/ballbd/Hall1_zpse5ba99f3.png

http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk119/ballbd/Hall2_zps21591a93.png

Last edited by Blackadder23 (10/02/2014 5:34 pm)


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
     Thread Starter
 

10/03/2014 10:45 am  #30


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Well done campaign from the beginning.  Thanks for sharing your game with us, it was a great read!


ravengodgames.blogspot.com ~ cartography, writing, game design
Author, Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess
 

10/03/2014 12:38 pm  #31


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Thanks guys! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
     Thread Starter
 

10/23/2014 2:07 pm  #32


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Thank you for sharing your campaign with us! It was a fascinating read. Hope you are playing / going to play some spectecular game again pretty soon.

 

10/23/2014 8:46 pm  #33


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Ynas Midgard wrote:

Thank you for sharing your campaign with us! It was a fascinating read. Hope you are playing / going to play some spectecular game again pretty soon.

+1


HYPERBOREA- A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Science-Fantasy
 

10/24/2014 11:33 am  #34


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Thanks guys! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png

I've never written a running account of a campaign before.  It was a lot of fun, even if the writing process was interrupted a few times and the campaign ended rather abruptly.  When people asked about the flavor of my D&D campaigns, I used to cite Army of Darkness as a reasonable facsimile of the experience.  Now I can just point them to this journal!


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
     Thread Starter
 

5/06/2015 1:59 pm  #35


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

First time Hyperborea forum user here. I know I am little late to the party but great posts man. Looks like you guys had fun while it lasted.

 

5/06/2015 3:11 pm  #36


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Thank you!  Welcome to the forum! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
     Thread Starter
 

5/06/2015 8:59 pm  #37


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Was this run sandbox style? If so, did the players just stumble into things you had mapped out, or was it improvised, or a little bit of both? Would have they ever made it to the Black Fief if they just beelined it to Greenlee? Just curious.

Last edited by GritGrimdark (5/06/2015 9:20 pm)

 

5/06/2015 9:24 pm  #38


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

My games are about one-third loosely planned in advance, one-third improvised, and one-third me stealing whatever cool things the players come up with. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
     Thread Starter
 

5/07/2015 11:35 am  #39


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

Ditto! I always love sitting back after a campaign and seeing the random path players took and the kind of story they ended up carving out for their characters. I do wish we knew what the curse of the Black Fief was though! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.png

 

5/23/2015 10:02 am  #40


Re: The Black Fief Campaign

I had a request for the map I used for the very first adventure.  I don't know that it's anything special, but here it is for anyone who wants to use it.

http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk119/ballbd/Outpost%20Map_zpsncagyaok.png


PCs entered at the top and left at the bottom.  White areas are frozen and grey are heated.  I didn't really make a key, although it wouldn't be that tough to create one.  Stock it with whatever you want. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png


 


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
     Thread Starter
 

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