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 Shadow War Campaign: Scepter Tower of Spellgard
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3585 Posts

Posted - 03 Apr 2019 :  21:38:17  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Greetings Realms fans!

Well my group wanted to run 4th Edition and I have a new player so I felt that edition was one of the better ones to start him out on. At the time, I went with something easy, a pre-made starter adventure for 4E called Escape from Sembia. It’s a quick adventure with all the usual points – combat, role-play, great decision points, skill usage, and an open plot for later. I had honestly thought at the time that it would be a one-shot and probably do something else later (as is oft to happen with our group) but the group has stuck with it and it’s turning into so much more. Because of its success, I wanted to share with you guys the adventure and ask for help from time to time in terms of connecting other adventures I decide to incorporate into the overall campaign.

So here are the players and their characters (Characters listed in alphabetical order)

Player – Rhiannon, my 10 year old/ Character – Autumn, Unaligned female longtooth shifter Seeker: Not much is known about the excitable and often times moody Shifter. Her past is something she seems to be private about, noting only that she was an outcast by her pack and has been foraging on her own for some time. Her primal abilities derived from the strong sense of nature that she connected with during her time on her own. Recently, during a vicious fight, she changed fully into that of a large wolf and killed one of her attackers – thus exposing the fact that she is a lycanthrope.

Player – Erik/ Character – Gennal Blackknife, Unaligned elf Rogue [Thief]: After living a life of questionable decisions, Gennal decided to try the less illegal path. This meant joining a rag-tag group of self-proclaimed “Heroes”. None of them really questioned his history or why he was exceedingly good at picking locks or coming up with coin for food and lodgings despite appearing to be broke. His life on the streets of Saerloon was tough and he did whatever he needed to survive. The pressure from the local thieves guild to join was getting too great and he needed a way out.

Player – Pete/ Character – Gregg, LG human swordsage (thought deceased) & Hadrian of the Light, Good human Cleric of Amaunator: Gregg’s troubled past seem to haunt his days, taking his bereavement of some loved one lost and using it to become a vigilante in his home of Sembia. Trained in the arcane arts but using his abilities to defend troops, he left the private school for such abilities to strike out on his own. He met up with a few other like-minded individuals and sought adventure to take his mind off his past. This adventure seemed to be the catalyst of his demise, falling in a tower of an ancient Netheril ruin to Ettercap monsters.

Hadrian, of the light is a devout cleric of the Lord of the Sun – Amaunator. Hadrian believes himself destined for greatness as his birth was unique, with an omen about saving the world. He was brought up with the highest ideals and pledging himself to the Radiant Crusade (similar to the Knights Hospitaler) -an organization made up primarily of divine warriors of Amaunator and Kelemvor to hunt the undead and users of Shadow magic. He heard rumors of shadow beings (such as Shadar-Kai) to the North and he went to investigate. Along with 3 other adventurers he made his way towards Spellgard and the Scepter Tower. There he was confronted and assaulted by dark ones and Ettercaps and fell in battle. Before being devoured as his allies were, another group of adventurers attacked a few days later, liberating him. He eagerly joined their group to finish him mission.

Player – Tom, my father-in-law and new player/ Vorug Redmoon, Unaligned Tiefling wizard: The tiefling speaks of his time learning the Art at the Hosttower of the Arcane fondly. While he swears he doesn’t ascribe to some of their ways of conducting magic – meaning he isn’t evil by association – he doesn’t seem to condemn it either. Vorug proudly states his heritage as a true tiefling and not one of those interloper ones forced into it by Asmodeous. He has a penchant for fire-based magic and is not one to allow attachments to allies to interfere with his spells. After leaving the Hosttower he traveled for a bit before ending up in Sembia. Few people trust a Tiefling and he found that life outside of the school was far harder than imagined. Thus he took up arms with this group of would-be heroes to find money to strike out on his own.

Player – NPC by the DM/ Erias the Sunlord, Unaligned human Cleric of Amaunator Erias is a devout follower of Amaunator and eagerly awaits adventure to test to himself his faith and to make his stamp upon the world. As he meets up with others in Sembia, he understands Netheril’s sway over the region and wants to disparately change that.

The adventure Escape from Sembia is a pretty straightforward one in which the character all know one another and have done a few boring missions such as delivery protection and caravan escorts before. I felt this is the best way to go so we’re not taking the first night of the adventure just talking and the whole “how did you meet” portion of the adventure. So with that, the adventure starts….

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 06 Apr 2019 21:57:32

Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3585 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2019 :  21:56:45  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote

The adventure Escape from Sembia is a pretty straightforward one in which the character all know one another and have done a few boring missions such as delivery protection and caravan escorts before. I felt this is the best way to go so we’re not taking the first night of the adventure just talking and the whole “how did you meet” portion of the adventure. So with that, the adventure starts….

Session 1
Business is slow in Sembia, really slow. After yet another caravan escort to the town of Saerloon, they got just enough coin for a few more days of food and lodging at the local inn. Whilst in the tavern and deep into their cups, they were approached by a Moon elf of noble bearing. He asked for them by name, as in the group with the tiefling, for a special delivery. He guaranteed you some good coin for a delivery assignment, so they took it. He paid half of the coin up front and promised the other half when they reached their destination. The package with a vellum scroll sealed with a purple wax symbol of a griffon rampant. The nameless moon elf instructed them to keep the seal intact; as the scroll is enchanted to combust should it be broken in the wrong hands and they forfeit the second half of the payment.
So off they went to the small town of Saerb in northern Sembia to visit the merchant Inius Olger, a cobbler. Their instructions were to wait across the street at the Ruby Rose tavern until he gave the signal to be approached (a lit torch as he left the establishment at dusk). So there they were and waiting. Finally as dusk approached Inius exited his shoppe and lit the signal.

The PCs exited the tavern and as they hit the street, they notice several armed soldiers approaching Inius, obviously intent on stopping and questioning him. As they approach the characters get the sense that their involvement might be necessary in the ensuing confrontation. They could easily walk past, forgetting the payment altogether however Gregg doesn’t see it that way. While these soldiers are Sembian, they’re led by someone with questionable heritage (they seem like Netherese).
So of course, the PCs intervene and the diplomatic relations quickly falter. This results in a fight which the PCs win with only a few minor scrapes and scuff marks. What they do find is that the watch was led by a Netherese person and that they had a dagger with an etched symbol in the blade, a clenched fist holding a dove. What it portends is still unknown to them but what they do realize is they need to leave, and quickly.
Inius thanks them hurriedly and tells them to keep the scroll, flee to some place safe. He suggests Cormyr but the Dalelands will do just as good as it’s outside of Netheril’s influence. He gave all the PCs 50gp to finish the deal and he quickly left. Before they could determine what to do next, a shrill whistle pierced the air and more troops could be seen coming to the aid of their fallen comrades. The PCs ran.

The next part sees the PCs frantically fleeing the area. Autumn wants to stay and fight them all but Gregg is able to get through that no matter how good she thinks she is, they’ll overpower them all with sheer numbers. Frustrated she too flees into the marketplace. The pace is quick and Gregg quickly falls behind. Despite being athletic a series of unfortunate circumstance. coupled with his unfamiliarity with the town, have him tripping over carts and causing more of a disturbance that the others. This leads the soldiers right to his position. Fortunately, Vorug and Erias were only a small distance away and saw Gregg’s plight. A quick spell of fire at boxes and drapes makes for a handy obstacle and gives Gregg the needed assistance to slip away.

The other two have no trouble navigating the town at a quick pace, with Autumn’s agile and lithe form she’s able to slip through the crowed of people going home or to their favorite drinking hole for the evening. Gennal is smart about his escape and quickly turns to skills that he gained during his days as a thief, using the roofs and allies to avoid detection and get a great layout of the town. They reach the edge of town, followed by Vorug and Gregg minutes later. With the whistles still piercing the air, the soldiers aren’t far off their trail. If they have hounds, it’ll be more difficult still. So the characters press onward into the night.

The woods at night can be especially dangerous. Fumbling around blindly wasn’t Gregg’s intent, but was sort of necessary else they give away their position. He relied on Autumn’s sense of direction as well as Vorug and Gennal’s sense of sight. A few hours passed and they made it a few miles away from Saerb, Autumn was leading them further to the crossroads between Cormyr and the Dalelands. As midnight almost approached, they looked for a clearing to make camp. It wasn’t long before they stumbled upon a hobgoblin encampment with about half a dozen or so of the creatures. Tired from their exhausting journey, the last thing they wanted was a pitched battle, with hobgoblins no less. They needed the element of surprise. Vorug, with is Ghost Sound spell, caused goblinoid voices to arise from the other side of the tent, calling out a challenge to he hobgoblin warriors. Naturally the responded with threats but their attention was completely diverted. At once, the characters attacked. The ghostly voices ceased and in it’s place, a large shocking sphere that pushed the creatures against rocks or to the ground, compliments of Vorug. Autumn dashed in, hand-axe at the read and with a primal spell on her lips. She whipped the axe at the main leader, striking him in the leg which causes a furious swarm of insects to magically conjure from the ground making it much harder for him to attack anyone. Gennal and Gregg brought up the rear with Gennal dashing forth and using his short-sword to good effect. Gregg, an honorable warrior, came bearing down on the remaining hobgoblins, using his Aegis to shield their attacks against his flanking ally Gennal. Lastly the blinding light of Erias shown forth, bathing the creatures in an intense radiance, burning them and dazzling their eyes. After 20 seconds of fierce combat, the hobgoblins were no more and the characters took a well deserved rest.

The next morning saw the sun bright and early for the group. Erias led off the morning with a prayer to the Sunlord. Gregg, being a faithful servant of Torm, accepted the sermon with dignity and silently sent a few prayers Torms way too. The others seemed to be preoccupied with their own thoughts. Vorug just sat and read his spellbook. Deciding it would be best to make a cold camp, they patched up any wounds incurred with help of Erias’s divine healing and kept heading due north west. They were bound to hit the crossroads that very afternoon.

Upon the road, a few miles out they came to a high bluff, with some high ground to the right and a very steep drop off to the left. As they neared a bend, several skeletal warriors surged upon their location. They had no clue who had created them or if they were just wandering undead but the skeletons were fierce combatants. Despite divine magic to aid them, this ended up be a very difficult battle. Erias led off the assault with a prayer to the Sunlord, however the light that slammed into the undead had a very weak effect, causing Erias a bit of doubt to his devotion. Seeing the divine magic falter a tad, Gregg jumped into the fray and used his sword burst ability, trying to make him the center of their attention. Vorug was quick to cast Magic Missile, the auto-damage of the spell helped with the close proximity of his allies. With Autumn’s primal magic engulfing them with a poisionous gas, it gave Gennal the much needed distraction to slip behind their defenses.

The battle was going their way, two skeletons down and three more to go, when Gregg suffered a serious injury. Being gashed in the side, he winced in pain and wasn’t able to deflect another blow, this time at his head. The blade missed but the pommel of the saber caught him across the temple, sending him low. Before the skeleton could finish the job, an orb of scintillating colors arched overhead, exploding against the skeleton’s body and throwing it over the edge. The idea shot into Autumn’s head and she too threw herself at the next skeleton, bashing into the body and sending it over the cliffside. Erias, seeing Gregg’s form on the ground threw him into a fit of anger, directing his most powerful divine spell against the remaining skeletons and blasted them away to dust with radiant beams. When the last of the skeleton’s were defeated, they tended to Gregg’s wounds. He quickly recovered with the help of some local fauna Autumn was able to find and apply as well a healing word from Erias. After a few moments rest, they were able to continue.

Towards dusk, they had nearly reached the end of their journey. The river lay just ahead of them with a quaint bridge crossing over it. When the tired troupe was in plain view however, their hopes were quickly dashed. At the bridge were a couple of Sembian thugs, a slender elf-like man absentmindedly swinging a spiked chain and wearing lots of piercings, and a human woman holding a staff. The group looked bored, but alert. When the group came into view, the guards assumed an authoritative stance.
“Halt and be named travelers.” the robed woman called out. The group did and Erias was the one to answer.

“Just passing through, m’lady. On our way to Shadowdale and would like to be in the Dalelands before nightfall.” As he said this he started to move towards the bridge. The woman quickly stopped the approach with an outstretched arm and staff.

“What’s your name and the names of your frineds there traveler?” she carooned. Erias turned to look at them before giving the woman a half-hearted smile. As quick as he could, he swung the end of his mace with all he could muster at the woman. She ducked the brunt of the attack, taking a stinging shot to her should before she could back away. The fight was on. With both sides having nearly the same odds, the magical attacks back and forth were exhilarating. Being in the open gave Vorug a prime area to cast his stronger area spells. Woosh up went two of the guards rushing in, fire flash-burning their skin as they shot past. A foray was quickly under way with spells being slung between Vorug and the robbed women while the other 4 attempted to get into tactical advantageous positions. Gregg really came through, using what arcane magic he had, and teleported Vorug out of the way of a vicious attack from one of the thugs that slipped through. In vorug’s place, Gregg stepped in and blocked the attack easily. Erias and Gennal worked in tandem, with Erias casting spells to bolster Gennal’s attacks.

As the fodder fell away and the mistress locked in a deadly spell-battle with the Tiefling, the Shadar-Kai warrior waded in, using the big chain to take advantage of their distracted interests. His attacks were vicious, lashing out and strinking Gregg’s aegis again and again. Were it not for Erias’s blast of divine light, the Shadar-Kai might have cut Gregg down where he stood. But the party pressed on, and in the end, won as Vorug unleashed a deadly Acid Arrow spell, striking the other mage in the chest and then quickly releasing a volley of magic missiles at the Shadar-Kai. With their defeat, the party was able to determine which way to go. A long discussion ensued, as Erias and Gregg said Cormyr was the safer bet but Vorug and Gennal leaning towards the forest realm of Cormanthyr and the elven inhabitants. Autumn was the final decision and as the forest always calls to her, they decided on the Dalelands.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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