I recently found an obsession in the Forgotten Realms series of novels. I plan to write a couple opinionated reviews in the near future, so prepare yourselves. I would love to have a party in one of my games become so memorable, so awesome that they might be worth writing a book about. I have yet to have such an engrossing experience with my players, unfortunately. There isn’t anyone to blame for it. There have been a lot of changes in scenery, players, and characters over the last few months. Even I, the DM, changed jobs this last month and just finished moving into a new apartment. Sometimes life has more important things to deal with than D&D.
Now that the dust has settled, we can start fleshing out the characters a bit more during our sessions. The players are finally starting to work together to accomplish things and are getting very good at combat, so maybe they will feel confident enough to start developing their characters more during role play sessions. One of the players is more outspoken than the rest (he’ll go on for hours if you let him) and he easily takes control of most conversations during the game. The other two players (only three going right now) participate well in all aspects of the game EXCEPT role playing, but it’s fun nonetheless.
As the DM, it is my responsibility for giving my players the chance to enjoy themselves. In my case, these are my friends and I want them to feel like they accomplish something. We play for a good 5 hours each week, a considerable amount of time to be in the same room with the same people, but it never feels too long for me. That’s because I always have something more to do, someone to meet, a fight to be had, something more planned that we never end up getting to during the session. All in all, I think that is a success on my part.
With so much bouncing around and random breaks, it’s been hard to keep everyone in the loop on the story, so here is all the information a player in my campaign should know about the world we are playing in.
In the kingdom of Bannalyth (The Kingdom of the Blessed Blades) leadership consists of a Council of Lords and a High King. Each of the 8 noble houses in the kingdom has a representative serve on the council which meets twice a year to discuss matters of state with the High King. The High King delegates work and responsibilities among the houses and gets the final say in all matters. The position of High King rotates to a new royal family every 50 years, but only members of the most powerful houses in the kingdom are eligible.
Our story starts with Riccry Tavarus, House Tavarus’ political champion and the newly-crowned High King. He married Princess Phyrra of House Bannalyth (the elven family who founded the kingdom nearly a millennium ago) and the royal couple worked hard to promote peace across all races and classes in the kingdom. They soon had a daughter, Princess Isilindel, who would one day take over as High King, and all was well.
However, as with any government, Ricrry’s policies made him a fair share of enemies. Fed up with “cowtowing to the whims of the commoners” a couple houses orchestrated an assassination of the royal family. The attempt on the High King failed, but the attempt on the queen and the princess was an apparent success. Overcome with guilt, Ricrry hastily fled the kingdom, never to return. Soon after, a member of House Algo was sworn in as the new High King. Ricrry’s enemies had succeeded. Or so they thought.
The queen was warned of the attack precious moments before it took place. She activated a magic portal leading outside the castle and asked her most trusted servants and personal guards to escort her and the princess to safety. The young princess, the queen’s servants, and her guards all made it out of the castle, but the portal closed before the queen could make her own escape. Assuming the worst, Queen Phyrra’s attendants took the princess far away from the kingdom to thwart more attempts on her life.
Ten years has passed since that fateful night. As members of Queen Phyrra’s personal guard, you have been loyal and protected the life of Princess Isilindel, but for the sake of secrecy you changed her name to Lucinda. You did your best to bring her up as comfortably as possible given the circumstances. You have survived as traveling merchants and craftsmen performing odd jobs in whatever village or town you pass through. It wasn’t easy leaving your old life behind without giving notice to your friends, family, or loved ones, but you have made it work. You dream of home and hope that someday soon you might return.
The group finally made enough of an impression on the people and leaders of Miller’s Crossing to gain some major allies: Grayden Miller, the ruler of the city and its outlying areas, and perhaps more importantly Arden Ironfist, High Priest of Moradin and formerly a power player in the politics of the Kingdom of Bannalyth. Grayden set the caravan up with river guides and comfortable transportation that will significantly shorten the length of their journey by to kingdom. Arden promised assistance from his faithful brothers with entering through the gates of the capital city, Toloth-Maica.
They encountered few troubles over the first leg of the journey down the Guardiana River. That all changed a week in when The Trafalgar was assaulted in the night by apparent bandits. The warriors defended the boat from attempted capture only to find that it had been a ruse. Gwenn, Princess Isilindel, and Elise had all been kidnapped and whisked over the side of the boat into the night.
After a brief group huddle, the warriors leaped into action. They traversed marshy riverbank as the screams of their companions led them to a vine-covered stone pyramid in the forest. Philibuster knew them to be cultists of Imix, a fire elemental of a particularly chaotic and infernal nature. The warriors battled the temple guardians, slew a host of cultists, dodged pendulum scythes, and finally made it to the central chamber just in time to watch a screaming woman being thrown into the great fire pit in the middle the chamber. The apparent leader, a pale, thin half-elf woman with straight hair of deep crimson wearing a gold-tipped, pointed hood commanded the terrifying procession. With the flames of their own anger building inside of them, the warriors meant to put a stop to it.
After the river comes the marshland that Guardiana River dumps into. Hopefully, they will be able to navigate it without too much incident.