Riag 19th 1518 TH
After one night in Denlikiyan the group set of on a two day trip by river boat to their next stop off point, Tansiarda.
Just south of the confluence of the Onman and the Serpent Rivers lies the town of Tansiarda, home of a consortium of dwarf engineers and magicians embarked on one of the most ambitious endeavours in Barsaive’s history: to bridge the Serpent River. The Old Theran Road to Parlainth runs through the town, and a well travelled Dwarf caravan route passes near the riverbank opposite Tansiarda. Additionally, the town lies close to a set of abandoned T’Skrang village towers, which the Dwarfs plan to use as piers to support their bridge. Although the plan seems technically feasible, it has aroused the ire of House Syrtis’ Wavram niall, which is based in the area. Tensions have been running high between Tansiarda’s dwarfs and the T’Skrang of nearby villages.
On the trading route between Tansiarda and the Kingdom of Throal, the trading town of Ardanyan flourishes from the traffic. Founded by a group of wealthy merchants, the town boasts above-average defences and provides travellers with a safe haven from the Ork scorchers and Troll Moots threatening the area.
The bridge is scheduled to be completed in a few weeks. Presently there are high tensions in town as various bodies are keen to take control of the village.Taken From: MGP6159: Nations of Barsaive Vol. II: Serpent River: PG: 58
The Welcoming Demon
The inn is a large half-timbered building, with a green tile roof. Accommodations consist of several large rooms with beds and woollen mattresses, along with private rooms.
The Broken Fang
The inn is a single storey timber and brick building, with a grey tile roof and dwarf-wrought iron tables and chairs. Accommodations consist of several large rooms with beds and straw mattresses.
Riag 21st 1518 TH
Upon reaching Tansiarda the group immediately notice the bridge that is under construction, and specifically that the Blood Skulls and the Night Sky Dragons have a presence here, building and guarding the bridge respectively. This small bit of information intrigues the players but they do nothing about it. There is more to come during their return trip to Darranis.
Introducing a new player into the group proved to be very awkward and difficult. I had to ask for help during this process by specifically saying. “I’m trying to get you to all meet and join up, give me some help please.” There was an easy solution that we discussed post session, I could have just said. Out of Character, you need to figure out as a group how you’re going to recruit the new player we have and then left it to them. Introducing the Huttawa incident did help get the ball rolling eventually, but it could have been done more smoothly and with less awkwardness, definite learn for the next time.
the guy to join the group was obviously quite excited and energetic and not used to how we tend to play with regards to being interrupted. To be fair when I spoke with him I didn’t go over a few do’s and don’ts. One being don’t interrupt. Yes people will accidentally interrupt, but then they stop and let the other person continue. This didn’t happen in this session. I spoke with him after the session and in the next session he’s 100% better and doesn’t interrupt constantly as he did in this, his first session.
Apart from meeting up with Yargai and getting a small sense of the village the only other new thing that was introduced was a group called The Order.
The Order is a Troll, Orc group with few members, they are trying to recruit Orcs and Trolls. Lots of talk, no action. Boast about becoming protectors of the town, trying and failing to organise people to keep order in this chaotic town. Currently trying to hard to get people to accept them as a group that should be respected.
Riag 22nd 1518 TH
The next day the group set off for Marrek, which is one days travel by riverboat.
The city of Marrek lies on the patch of land between the Caucavic and the Serpent Rivers, marking all that is left of this once-proud human kingdom. Marrek prospered after the Orichalcum Wars, explored lands, fought wars, and gained a reputation for assassinating nobles from other kingdoms. When Marrek became involved in the assassination of a Theran councillor, it lost the support of the Theran Empire. The Theran’s feelings remained hurt for centuries, and they eventually decided Marrek could do without their magical protections from the Horrors. Today, scholars say the kingdom of Marrek exists in Name only, having been completely ripped apart during the Scourge.
The Kingdom of Marrek was known for its shrewd dealings in many areas, trade and politics prominent among them. It is said Marrek knew secrets from the inner circles of every kingdom in Barsaive. Some claimed Marrek even knew the daily habits, routines, and favourite dishes of every major noble in the province. This outstanding intelligence is the suspected source of Marrek’s success in foreign assassinations. Its spies, reflecting the flexibility and resourcefulness common to humankind, were quite adept at infiltrating every level of rival kingdoms. Many claim these spies were most often followers of the Journeyman Discipline, able to pick up not only new skills, but also whatever magical abilities would be most useful along the way. While this seems unlikely, it has not stopped a number of Journeymen from searching Marrek’s old territories in hopes of learning the secrets of possible Ghost Masters.
While flexibility certainly played a role, Marrek’s prowess in alchemic pursuits is also credited for the kingdom’s murderous achievements. Potions, poultices, and charms of all sorts were a major export of the kingdom, some rumoured to grant incredible strength, speed, or even intellectual ability for a time. Many powerful alchemic items are said to have their origins or major production there. Records of illicit sales of poisons also have come to light over the centuries since the Scourge began.
Appropriately enough, these facets continue on in the present day city of Marrek. While still only a relatively small city, it boasts a lion’s share of alchemists’ shops, with exotic ingredients, talismans, and baubles from all over Barsaive and beyond. The magical community often wonders how much the myths of Marrek’s history of alchemy have been exaggerated to increase sales. In addition, the cooperation of Namegivers on equal terms is an impressive feature of the growing community. Marrek boasts an airship, a large Drakkar Named Truthbringer, manned by an alliance of lowland trolls and human airmen. The chief of the city watch is a former ork scorcher chieftain Named Durmoot Snarltooth, who, along with some loyal friends, remained in the city’s service as many Orks left for Cara Fahd. A small trade covenant of displaced T’Skrang has recently opened up shop in the city; further adding to the mix that is Marrek.
The Truthbringer’s first mate is a madman through and through. He loves to jump off the side of the blinking ship with only a small rope round his waist! I swore he was a goner or a fool until he set foot on the other side of the ship. He nearly got an axe in the head! And the crew are just as crazy, thinking they can prove trolls can be civilized and all, through their respectful trading. Never did understand those honourles lowlanders. At least they can sail well enough; they still have some of the mountain blood in ‘em, it seems. —Belwharg of the Stoneclaws
The city’s origins remain mysterious, however. The ruling family supposedly arrived a few decades after the opening of Throal and began as poor traders, taking the Name of the ancient human kingdom that once prospered on this land. Their current wealth makes many wonder at the possibility of ancient Marrekan treasure hiding in the hills and forests; indeed, adventurers occasionally go questing in the wild lands that once made up the kingdom. Currently, the rulers are working to solidify their minor trading agreements and alliances with the nearby powers of House Syrtis and Throal. It appears they may still fear the wrath of Thera over their Namesake’s actions.
My latest theory is that Marrek’s rulers are actually Marrekan nobles reclaiming their heritage after a stint living in the kaers of others. I haven’t been able to find any manifests to prove it yet, but I believe it’s just a matter of searching hard enough. A mysterious family of well-to-do humans is likely to have made a kaer’s record books. —Kallarian, Scholar of JerrisTaken From: MGP6159: Nations of Barsaive Vol. II: Serpent River: PG: 55
Marrek, Notable Locations
The Cracked Goblet: Basic
The Fat Hero: Friendly
The Greedy Trickster: Rough
The Jesters Way: Very busy have evening shows
The Thirsty Beggar: Drinks only. No lodging or food. Bare bones inside but cheap
Weapon Smith: Heavenly Executioner
Due to it’s distance from the major trading routes all prices here are 50% more than elsewhere. Very rare items are not available. However anything and everything an Alchemist could want is available here and prices vary widely. Some are competing against others so try and price match or beat each other.
Golden Potions Exchange
The group is handed a leaflet when they enter the town.
This Alchemist store take the lion’s share of the business, even though it is not the cheapest, but there service is excellent and they offer free advice. Their building is huge, taking up two whole streets by themselves, with walkways that cross over ahead from each other.
The group spend a few hours in the Golden Potions Exchange and purchase various items that are not readily available from elsewhere. As with all adventuring groups, shopping is one of their top priorities.
Kor’Milan buys a Physician’s book and some special Physician’s kits that have extra step bonuses for healing.
Game Terms: Advanced Physician Kits, 3 Applications Per Kit
300 SP +2 Steps To Recover Tests and 1 Wound Removed
400 SP +4 Steps To Recover Tests and 1 Wound Removed
500 SP +6 Steps To Recover Tests and 1 Wound Removed
Vinessa asks about herbs that have debilitating properties, AKA poisons. And is taken to the top floor and into a separate private room and is served by elderly gentleman by the name of Dagorath. Vinessa ends up buying a book for 1000 SP that details what herbs and elements are required for making various types of poisons. She also bought a single dose of Gensin for 500 SP this extends the time someone can be dead for before receiving a Last Chance Salve by 6 extra hours.
The advanced Physician kits I actually made up on the spot, and have since thought they may have been to expensive. Boosters give you +8 to a recovery test for 50 SP. So I have modified these kits to also remove a wound with one application
The Poison book I have yet to write and will publish it here at a later date.
Help! I Can’t Move.
This was the first time the group looks at both maps. The map for the Tomb and the map for the Kaer and noticed that they are basically the same. One takes a direct route, the other follows the river to the mountains. But I had to point this out before they clicked.
However even though I mention it twice they still didn’t catch on to the fact that the Stone Of Metamorphosis Map was drawn by a Thief whilst chatting to a drunken Orc Troubadour, so isn’t likely to be accurate. I was going to give the group a tougher time following this map, but decided against it whilst playing. If they had have cottoned on then the trip to the mountains would have been very different. However the parts missed out will be inserted into their journey back to Marrek
After a short discussion the group decide to follow the Stone Of Metamorphosis Map, as it follows the river so they will be less likely to get lost.
Riag 25th 1518 TH
At the end of the second day of following the river the Circle Of Dawn come upon a deserted village.
Moving through this small village you think you heard the sound of a child crying for help. Although very muffled. Perhaps the child is trapped under something, maybe whilst playing here and got themselves into trouble, good job you were passing though.
Searching around, as you’re lifting pieces of burned wood you feel your weight shift on one of the boards. Lifting up the board you see what looks like a hole. Removing more boards you can clearly see this is a tunnel. Peering into the hole as a shaft of a sun beam reflects of a piece of metal in the side of the tunnel you can just make out the bottom, which is 3 meters down.
The diameter of the tunnel is approximately 1 meter.
As you peer into the tunnel you hear what you think is the faint sound of someone sobbing, it sounds like a child is down there.
This is the Basilisk, that has a special power and is able imitate sounds
At the bottom of the tunnel you spot on the floor a half eaten torso of a child with one arm and half a leg remaining.
The tunnel is approximately 1 meter wide and high. All characters will have to crawl to navigate the tunnel.
At the bottom you can see a tunnel snakes of in two directions South and West
If use Physician skill will be able to identify that this child has a broken back that could indicate that it was thrown down here or fell down here.
After squeezing yourselves through the tunnel and scrambling on all fours you can hear just ahead the sound of trickling water.
The tunnel snakes left and right for 40 meters.
As you move forward you hear the sound of the a crying child, get dimmer, then you hear a splash, the sound of something divining into water, maybe. At this the sound of a crying child stops for a moment, then restarts.
This was because the Basilisk on hearing the group coming down the corridor took to the water to await their arrival and then attack
As you get near, to what you think is the end of the tunnel, the sound of trickling water is getting louder and the smell of the air is rank, it’s the smell of rotten eggs.
Peering in to the cavern which is some 4 meters high. Immediately out of the tunnel you are in you can see there’s been a collapse as there is a large collection of rubble one either sides of the entrance.
Perception: Will notice that there are large scrapes in the ground, which looks like something has moved the rock fall to both sides of the tunnel entrance.
The cavern is about 20 by 30 meters. In the centre of the cavern is a small pool. Water is flowing in to it over a large bolder. The pool almost spans the cavern from side to side.
The walls of the cavern are a collection of large and small boulders and the edge of the tunnel looks to you to have been worn away, possibly when water was high enough. Perhaps this hole used to be a well long ago.
As you move in to the cavern, your eyes start to water, due to the foul smelling water, you squeeze your nose so as not to smell it, but the taste is just as foul as the smell.
As you look around the whole cavern rumbles. Dirt, dust and rubble starts to fall from the sides and roof of the cavern. Looking around for what can be the cause of this, you hear a woosh of water as shooting out of the pool you see before you what looks like a cross between a snake and a lizard. It has 8 short stubby legs and it’s belly drags along the floor. It has a large number of red spikes on it’s back and it’s eyes are glowing bright white, so bright you’re almost dazzled by them.
The creature although of a similar size, some 1.5 meters long, to the Lightning Lizards you encountered many months ago. You notice that this creature has a very stubby tail and there is none of the blue crackling effect emitting from it’s eyes.
Combat with the Adult Basilisk and 4 Juvenile Basilisks ensues.
The main point of this combat was to test out Dynamic Lighting in Roll20 as I have upgraded my account. This proved worthwhile, as we encountered several issues, just as I expected. As the next sessions are going to be in an underground tomb, I wanted to test this out early so as not to ruin the atmosphere whilst in the tomb. We do experience some other issues in the next session, but nothing major or game breaking, but they have also now been fixed.
Dynamic Lighting in Roll20 is not as easy to setup as it first appears. I have had to create separate light sources so areas that the group have discovered can still be seen by the whole group. What was happening is that once you leave an area, that area is then darkened. Plus people can’t see what others can see whilst I’m explaining the new area. I’ve tried lots of different ways to make this work with the tool as provided but have yet found a resolution for my problem, so I have created this work around for now.
Prior to the next Session we discussed rolling Awareness and Perception and realised we have been doing things wrong. Perception is to detect something in the vicinity be it intentionally looking for things or just happened to notice a thing. Awareness though is an active Talent, meaning you have to actively say I want to try and find X thing, it’s not an automatic roll.
This then brought us on to asking for rolls for Perception, some players don’t want to know if they passed or failed. So from next session all players roll Perception before the game begins, I put them in a spreadsheet, and then I roll to pick a column in the spreadsheet. In this way the players don’t know if they failed to detect something.
How Far Down?
The group quickly slay the adult Basilisk and four Juvenile Basilisks run away and hide
Searching the area there appears to be nothing except what you see at the bottom of the pool. The pool is 2 to 3 meters deep and you can see there are some gold coins falling out of one chest that is broken. The other chest looks intact. You can see a few shields, that look to be made of wood and look rotten. You find no evidence of the child that you thought you heard crying.
You also notice a flickering blue light, you investigate further and discover it to be a silver key encrusted with white stones and a blue gem that is glowing in the dark.
- 150 Gold Pieces
- 200 Silver Pieces
- 3 Pearls
- 3 broken and rotten shields
- A Silver key that has an intricate pattern design and has blue gem inserted in it and 4 white stones, possibly pearls and also a clasp on the back. This looks like a brooch.
- Not magical. Just a decorative fashion item they think
- Worth 1500 SP
- The blue gem can be seen glowing at night or in low light conditions
Once the group have collected the treasure they then proceeded to locate the Juvenile Basilisks and slay them with ease, poor little things.
Kallias did want to make sure that he didn’t have a pool of corrupted Karma the next day, as during the Basilisk fight he felt his karma had been corrupted once.
In Game Terms he rolled a 25 and with the the usage of Corrupt Karma that roll was reduced to a 15. This is going to happen more and more frequently as time goes on, until the point that every usage of karma has the potential to be affected by one of four Horror Abilities. Cursed Luck, Corrupt Karma, Karma Boost and Karma Drain.
I was hoping they’d just leave the Juvenile Basilisks, just because combat takes up so much time. Due to this I had to skip out an encounter later on so as to get the group to the Tomb/Kaer before the end of the session. I believe if I had left the encounter in we’d have finished very late or had to finish mid encounter.
NOTE: Encounter doesn’t mean combat.
I do get a little annoyed with the group when they decide to kill the Juvenile Basilisks, not for taking that course of action, but due to no one actually do anything on the map. I’ve cut this part from the edit.
The Blue Key Broach, was to just give a simple illumination for the group, in anticipation of the tomb. But I also made it blue as this colour will become significant in the tomb. I have some ideas what to do with it, but I’m hoping the group will attach some significance to it, and then I can go with that, if it’s interesting enough and helps with the plot.
The Ravine was an interesting obstacle for the group to figure out. Although there was a potential death, they did try and ensure should anything go wrong they’d be able to recover, with the use of climbing equipment. But it did add a little excitement.
Riag 27th 1518 TH
As you travel onwards the scenery changes from thick woodland and lush plains to a rocky, dry landscape as you get closer and closer to the mountains. You are now walking up a slow incline on the landscape, the base of the mountains look to be with a half a days walk.Just ahead you can see the river crossing as detailed on the map, thankfully you’ve been able to successfully navigate here. However one of the maps indicates this is a ford crossing. It is far from it. It’s a deep ravine crossing. As you get closer you can see the bridge is slightly worse for wear. Halfway across the bridge is gap some 4 meters wide. Looking down to the river below you estimate it’s at least 100 meters to the bottom, with no obvious way to get down.
They last passed the wooded area some half a days walk back, now they need to figure out how to cross.
The wind here is very strong, and blustery, coming for random directions. As you look over the edge of the cliff, you are often struck with an upward blast of wind. This makes you think crossing this bridge isn’t going to be a simple process.
The group manage to formulate a plan, but it’s not 100% safe, so the tension builds for the first and second jumps and fortunately the dice gods didn’t curse anyone and they all get across the bridge safely.
Riag 29th 1518 TH
You’ve been travelling along the winding road up the mountain side for the best part of two days. Continuing to head around the mountain following the directions on your map. The path you are on is the remains of an ancient cobblestone road, indicated on your map, though there are only traces of the road left, most of it has been covered with rubble or overgrown with wind blow weeds and moss. The road has got progressive steeper for the past hour, and now, up ahead, you can just make out the mouth of a cave.
As you peer over a bolder you can see before you a cave entrance, outside off which are the skeletal remains of several, what you believe to be name givers and possibly some horses. Among the skeletons are a four Trolls that look to have been recently killed, blood stains can be clearly seen on the ground. Some of these blood stains look like the bodies may have been dragged from inside.
None of the Trolls have any possessions.
One broken shield with no distinguishing marks.
All have a mixture of wounds that look to be from bites, claws, possible an animal attack.
They have been dead for a few days
You believe you have finally found the entrance to the tomb. What awaits inside you can only imagine, you start to think more Trolls may be hiding inside. Or maybe The Legion Of Hand. Who or what killed these Trolls?
The Circle Of Dawn are hyper suspicious that these dead Trolls may become animated when approached, so Yargai, uses his polearm to poke them from a distance. With relife nothing happens, so they investigate further. All the Trolls are naked and have no identifying tattoos. They do looks to have animal bites and claw marks all over their bodies, but have not been eaten, even partially, which seems odd behaviour if they had been attacked by animals. They also notice blood on the ground that appears to indicate that the Trolls were dragged outside from the cave.
Kallais then prepares to cast the spell Experience Death, which shows that the four Trolls upon entering the cave were surprised by a group of five Dwarves. Kallias immediately recognises one of them, this being the Female Dwarf that killed Kendrikans wife, part of the Group known as Knights Of The Night. He also sees the 4 other members of this group.
Tentatively Vinessa checks the entrance to the cave and when happy that there are no traps slowly enters the cave.
As you look around the inside of the cave it becomes apparent by it’s size that this area was a waiting area. The cave is approximately 40 meters in diameter.
There are the remains of a fire, that looks to have been recently used as there are dry logs to one side, and along the top of the cave the give away signs of smoke from this fire.
Near the fire on a rock pillar you make out that someone has drawn an emblem on to it, it looks like they used charcoal from the fire. As you take a closer look you can see what appears to be blood that has been dabbed on to the emblem between the hilt and the blade.
There are several animal skeletons near a metal bar and remnants of leather straps, the metal rail you believe is to tie mounts to. You discern that these unfortunate animals where tied up to the bar and the people who left them never returned.
You look around and can see there is what appears to be a tunnel going north. Peering round the corner you can see it’s a small alcove and on the floor lies the remains of several skeletons probably Human or Elf. But there no obvious signs of any exits, is this a dead end?
Examining this skeleton they will discover the remnants of large almost rusted away arrow heads, and can see that many bones have scrapes in them most likely left my a barrage of arrows.
On the West Wall you see that it is covered with many sigils, some you recognise as wards and protects against entry, especially by Horrors, that you have seen before in Hoewen.
Astral Sight will show they are all inactive and have no residual patterns. Also will, notice many have been partially scraped away.
You think what to do now? Perhaps make camp as it’s already getting dark outside and you have had a tough few days constantly walking up the steep mountainside. Maybe monitor the situation.
Maybe whoever killed the Trolls will be back later, as it is apparent that somebody has been here recently. What with the fire and emblem, and at entrance to the cave the signs that the Troll bodies appear to have been dragged outside.
The wall at the end of the cave with skeletons on the floor is a magical door. When viewed using Astral Sight or Detect Traps.
Astral Sight: Will see there are runes on the wall and an outline of what you think is possibly a magical door.
Detect/Disarm Traps: Will discover that the floor in front of the wall where the skeleton lies, has a pressure plate that actives a trap. Examining further you can just make out that on the opposite walls are small holes
FAIL:The trap will be initiated and they will hear a click as the pressure plate is pressed, then the sound of multiply hissing.
You hear a click as you seemingly have stepped on a pressure plate. On the east wall you see dust coming out of many different holes in the wall. Expecting to be hit by arrows or spears you prepare yourself. Only to then hear the sounds of metal upon metal eventually grinding to a screeching halt. You figure that the mechanism is very old and thus no longer works. But it’s a good reminder that this place will have traps so it would be prudent to be very careful.
PASS: They will figure out the trap and how it works and how to disarm it.
Disarming the trap requires gently leaving up the pressure plate and removing a spring that connects to another plate underneath that activates the trap.
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I’m Stephen the author of this website and and the GM in The Circle Of Dawn campaign.
Teayu 2nd 1518 TH This Way Out Part 1 of 3 Stream GM Note At the start of this session I forgot to inform the players what has happened to Yargai, so we retconned it a few minutes later. As the person who played Yargai has left the group I decided . . .
Raig 30th 1518 TH No More Riddles Part 1 of 3 Stream As you ponder what to do and how to retrieve the Heart, you see a yellow glow appear around the face of the Statue and superimposed upon is the face of a Woman, that you instantly recognise is . . .
Raig 30th 1518 TH The Dancer Part 1 of 3 Stream The Ballroom Entrance As you move forward there is door directly ahead and one to the East. You can also hear the muffled sounds of music coming through the door to the East. This door is expertly crafted as per . . .
Raig 30th 1518 TH Shambling Bones NOTE: MAP WILL BE ADDED WHEN THE GROUP HAVE EXPLORED THIS LEVEL Part 1 of 4 Stream Coming out of the lift into a lit room, you see there are two plinths on either side of the room to the west. Sat upon the plaints . . .
Raig 30th 1518 TH Level One Part 1 of 3 Stream The group send the night resetting in the the cave and Kallais sets up a bone circle, next to the entrance of the cave. After resting in the cave for the night and surprisingly not being disturbed, Vinessa examines . . .