The Architect of Ruins

Pre-Game to Ruin

This is where the campaign world information and game recaps will be.  The idea is definitely to start small and build up, so there's not a whole lot here yet.  Don't feel like you are supposed to keep up with the wiki and setting information.  It is there if it interests you.  Nothing more than that.

However, the Wiki also has pages for character creation guidelines and how I'm handling game rules, which you probably should skim over.

 

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Black Forest Ruins
Game Session 1

Juli 20, 1066

On a hot Juli afternoon, a volunteer patrol came upon the Compson farm, which was under attack by a Goblin raiding party.  The patrol consisted of: Oriphin, an Eladarin Wizard; Lunnin, a Halfling Fighter; Kaltes, a Human Wizard; and, Salen an Elven Cleric.  When the patrol arrived, the Compsons had secured refuge inside their home and the Goblins were having their way with the livestock inside the barn.

The patrol dispatched the Goblins and were able to keep two of the farmer's cows alive.  Ned Compson informed the patrol that the Goblins had come from The Black Forest, which bordered their farm.  The local population believes the forest to be haunted and few enter it.  The patrol followed the trail back to the Goblin campsite and finished the remainder of the raiding party, took their treasure, and headed back to Rasmark to report the Goblin presence.

  

It was nightfall by the time the patrol arrived back into town, so they headed to The Golden Bough, the only tavern in Rasmark.  The Bough is a large tavern and is often crowded.  On most nights there is entertainment, which is frequently Chaunticleer and his baudy theatre troupe.  

When the patrol enterned the tavern, Copenhagen, the master Dwarf armorer, elder pillar of Rasmark, summoned them over.  After the patrol reported, Copenhagen directed their attention to a human male sitting in the corner booth furthest from the baudy skits.  He was a skinny man wearing round wire rim eye glasses.  He had a moustache and was dressed entirely in black. 

His name was Nigel Hawthorne and wanted to hire the patrol. He was looking for a ruin site in the Black Forest.  Ruins tend to attract beasts and monsterous humanoids, so he wanted to hire the party to clear the way for him to gain access to an item he believed lay in the ruins.  The item is a glass tube filled with blue liquid.  He is unsure of what the liquid is exactly, which is why he wants it for research.  The patrol detected no lie in his statement.  

They agreed to terms.  The patrol would clear the path to the bottom level of the ruins where he would claim the glass tube with the blue liquid.  In exchange, he would pay each of the patrol 50 gold and lay no claim to any other treasure found along the way.

Juli 21, 1066

Hawthorne lead the patrol through The Black Forest for several hours.  It was the deepest into the woods any of them had ever been.  The noises of the fauna in the Black Forest all sounded off and the silences strange.  Eventually, they made their way to a hill, but it appeared someone else had found the ruins and had begun exavating.  There was a set of double metal doors with the words "Don't Enter" scrawled in Goblin.  Naturally, the patrol entered and smashed the skeletons that came to life when they entered.  Inside a storage room they found treasure.

Hawthorne informed them that he would wait for them in the safety of that area and told the patrol to get him when they've cleared the way to the 4th and bottom level.  The patrol believing Hawthorne was honest left for the main entrance to the ruins at the top of the hill.

The entrance was a large open doorway fifteen feet wide and fifteen feet tall.  There were no creatures to be seen.  Upon entering the room the patrol set off a rock slide trap, which alerted the Goblins who set the trap to rush in for the kill.  The Goblins were unsuccessful. 

Experience Per Character: +525 XP.

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Black Forest Ruins Crawl
Game Session 2

Juli 21, 1066 

>>Insert Arjun, Dragonborn Paladin into the party

After the Goblin ambush, the party found a shaft that dropped straight down for about 60-70 feet.  From the top of the shaft they could hear some clicking sounds coming from somewhere down below.  They left the shaft alone after tossing some rocks down.

They took the stairway down to find another Goblin ambush.  Their advance into the room triggered a crossbow turret to drop from the ceiling and pepper with bolts.  After dealing with this ambush they went to inspect the rooms in the area to encounter a pair of Goblins hiding by the door.  In this room they found a Staff of Fiery Might +1.  

Kill some beetles go back out in the woods to rest in the secure area where Nigel was waiting for them.  An angry cave bear was in the way.  Flame broiled bear steak was for dinner.

Juli 22, 1066 

In the morning they continue down to the third floor, which is a large rubble strewn room.  There are two sets of doorways on the wall furthest away from the shafts, but they are buried behind hills of mud.  As they spread out across the room, a trio of Chokers had some fun before dying, but not before Oriphin KO'd Arjun with assistance from his newly acquired Staff of Fiery Might +1 (crits…gotta love them).  In the rubble a +1 Viscious Longsword was found.

Rules Correction:  Forced movement ignores difficult terrain.  I incorrectly thought that difficult terrain was factored into forced movement such as from Tide of Iron.

Experience:  +435 XP + 40 XP (temporary) = 475 XP

Arjun: 475

Kaltes: 1,000

Lunnen: 1,000

Oriphin: 1,000

Salen: 1,000 

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Clearing the Way
Game Session 3

Juli 22: The bottom floor of what Nigel said was a buried tower once used by the flying craft of an ancient Eladrin Empire was fiercely guarded.  Two statues positioned as sentrys were on either side of the doors opposite the stairs.  Again on this floor were the two sets of doorways that opened into the shafts running through the center of the complex.

The party elected Lunnin to open the set closest to the corridor.  The rest of the party positioned themselves around to attack in case something was in there.  Salen backed furthest into the room, close enough to statues for them to animate and take care of any intruders.  When Lunnin opened the door an Orb of Flame from a Blazing skeleton shot out and missed him.  Now the party was threatened from both sides.  Tha party was at a disadvantage until Lunnin switched off the Blazing Skeleton and tied up the two Animated Statues with his superior defense as the rest punished the foes from afar.  They found an Amulet of Battle in the small room that held the Blazing Skeleton.

A set of footplates opened the double doors which led to a large room filled with five cubes made up of rusted pipes.  After dealing with the initial onslaught, the party pulled back to recouperate before finishing off the skeletal guards in that room.  They decided to rest inside the ruins, which still wasn't a secure location and they were attacked during their rest.

The next day they cleared the remaining guards in a tough battle between the party and a pair of Blazing Skeletons and a pair of Boneshard Skeletons.  In this room they found hidden in the floor a Staff of Winter and a sack with 800gp.

Confident that the ruins were clear, the party brought Nigel down and he found the class tube filled with blue liquid.  He had to dismantle one of the pipe cubes in the back.  When Nigel handed the tube to Oriphin to take a look at it confirmed something he wasn't too sure about before, that the old Empire had arcane machinery that used a fuel rod of sorts to active their spellfire engines.

"The fluid inside I believe is called Claudias.  It's tough to piece together a lot of the Eladrin history," said Nigel as he wrapped the tube in a thick blanket.  "A disproportionaltely small number of texts relating to their great machinery survives.  It's either been purged or kept hidden somewhere.  Those who know are long gone from Sola."

For Next Time:

Figure out items that you may want to buy.  Keep in mind that the higher level the item, the harder it will be to find. 

As far as how long you stay in the area, I'll leave that up to you guys.  Just keep in mind your characters have life stuff that ties them there and leaving immediately could burn some bridges.  This is really your character's first adventure, so they had jobs or apprenticeships, nevermind that they were considered the best patrol.  Anyone who would be more experienced than the party is basically middle aged and retired.

There are people in Rasmark who have traveled outside, so there's some leads you might want to look for, etc.

Experience: 587 – 40 temporary = 537xp

Kaltes, Lunnin, Oriphin, and Salen: 1,537xp 

 

 

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Deranged Hermit
Session 4

 

After inspecting the uninspected areas of the ruins, the party exited the ruins and lit back toward Rasmark.  On their way back Oriphin spotted a hut about a bow's length away.  As far as they knew the Black Forest was uninhabited by normal folk who would build a dwelling.

Curious about who could be living there, the patrol decided to investigate the hut which was built off the ground.  When they approached they saw a thin, vaguely elfin man covered in furs, antler head dress, sitting cross legged on the front platform in front of the hut.  He was smoking a pipe.  Within a few spoken words, it was obvious that the man was a bit touched in the head.

It seems he has the ability to communicate with the forest squirrels.  There were hundreds in the trees all around his hut.  After a little small talk, the hermit informed the patrol that goblinoids had been traveling in the woods and amassing a camp.  If they wanted to know more, they would bring him sausages.  The party left and continued back to Rasmark.

Upon arrival, they saw that there was a raid on the town.  The raid hit an outlying building.  It was obviously a raid to assess the strength of Rasmark's militia.  Kaltes exchanged some words with Sauls, a wizard that he has an unfriendly rivalry with.

The next day (Juli 23) they returned to the Deranged Hermit with sausages.  The hermit pulled a fast one, acting like it was ridiculous that a couple pounds of sausage would be enough payment for the information they sought.  Instead he said if they cleared out the Ettercap lair near his hut, he would give them what they need to know.  Apparently, the Ettercaps were luring his squirrel friends into their lair with acorns.

The patrol easily found the lair and tried to burn out the web canopy that was over their lair.  A Deathjump Spider and three Ettercaps sought to put an end to that.  After taking care of the opposition, the party decided to take a quick rest nearby the lair they had just attempted to set on fire.  A second wave ensnared most of the patrol, so they were unable to flee from the Ettercaps who outmatched them in the patrol's current condition.

The Ettercaps made quick work of an immobilized Lunnin, moved onto an immobilized Kaltes and brought him down as he attempted to flee.  Salen had broken free as had Oriphin and they fled back to the hut of the Deranged Hermit who came to their rescue.  His horde of squirrels overran the remaining Ettercaps.

The patrol quickly returned to Rasmark to revive their fallen comrades.  It is an expensive ritual and they did not have enough funds, so are now indebted to Mistress Sophia, town elder, and proprietor of Unlimited Bladeworks.  She used one of her Raise Dead rituals that she had from her adventuring days.

EXPERIENCE:  +200XP (clearing the ruins) + 188XP (Ettercaps) = 388XP

Total for Lunnin, Kaltes, Oriphin and Salen = 1,925XP. 

 

 

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Goblin Infestation
Session 5

Juli 24, 1066—The previous night, after giving them the Raise Dead ritual, Mistress Sophia asked the entire patrol, including Arjun and Federin, who had stayed behind to help with another patrol, to meet her at the garden Shrine of Bahamut this morning.  That night, at the fairly empty Golden Bough, they learned that Goblin raids on the outlying farmsteads have been a daily occurance and that family members had been abducted.

In the morning Sophia and Copenhagen explained the situation to the patrol.  They were spread thin, occupied with protecting the farms, leaving them with nobody to find the lair.  Meanwhile the Goblin infestation grows larger.  It is obvious to them that the Goblins have a strong leader who wishes to make the area around Rasmark his home base and is calling bodies to join his horde.  Stopping him sooner, rather than later, is critical.

The full patrol went back to the Deranged Hermit to help them locate the Goblin encampment quickly.  In exchange for meatloaf, the Deranged Hermit sent a squirrel escort to show the patrol the way.  It seems the way to a Deranged Hermit's heart is through his stomach. 

Right outside of the stronghold they found a patrol of Goblins asleep on the forest floor.  Federin crept ahead and killed two in their sleep before the rest of the Goblins awoke.  Having reduced their numbers, the fight was quite easy for the party.

Their base appears to be in the catacombs of a ruined keep.  Upon entering the catacombs, some Goblinoid creature activated a whirling blade trap.  The party was able to deal with the trap and two of the creatures, but one of them, an archer had gotten away by retreating into the north door and barring it shut.

Given the option of the east door with a red X plus the faint odor of rotting flesh and the relatively quiet western door, the party went wesrt and walked into the sleeping quarters of several Goblins.  Fun times ensued.

Experience:  326XP

  • Arjun and Federin: 1,326XP
  • Kaltes, Lunnin, Oriphin, and Salen: 2,251XP

Hey look, one XP to spare on the level up.

 

 

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Campaign Updates
Recent Updates

Wiki Updates:

The Black Forest

Rules

 

NPC:

Sophia

 

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Oozing with Delight
Game Session 6

Juli 24, 1066: On the way back to Rasmark, the party notes few people traveling, most likely to the Goblin activity.  When they got back to town, Lunnin and Arjun tended to their crusty gear, Salen took care of the Raven Queen Shrine at the edge of Rasmark, Oriphin read for a bit, and Federin talked to other patrols about what was going on.  It seems the Goblin activity has lightened up, due in no small part to the PC's killing a whole bunch of Goblins over the past few days.  One patrol said they saw some Skeletons skulking around the edge of the Black Forest at night.  He observed that they seemed unable, as if restrained, from going further than the forest edge.

At the Bough, the party had a drink, saw Copenhagen at the bar, but did not report or do anything else that night. 

Juli 25, 1066: A few minutes before returning to the catacombs, the party saw some Goblins in the woods hurry back toward their base.  When the PCs arrived, there were no Goblins to be seen.

Plunging deeper into the Goblin base, they found a large oddly shaped room the Goblins apparently did not use.  On the long wall was a painting depicting a massive battle between Eladrin and Tiefling armies.  Kaltes (iirc) thinks it has something to do with the War of the Dragon King, a war that happened several thousand years ago, which was something he only read in passing during his studies.  While examining the painting, a blueish ooze poured out from the walls and the bones on the floor animated.  After the battle, they party found two gems (100 gp each).

They took the doorway to the west which led to a crypt room, likely used to bury loyal servants, henchmen, etc.  The bodies were gaurded by some suspicious looking statues, which eventually came to life, did a river dance on Lunnin's head, and then fell apart after the party lay down some hurt.  It seems two of the servants were buried with some prized items, an Elven Cloak +2 and an Ironskin Belt.

Experience: +318XP

  • Arjun and Federin: 1,644XP
  • Kaltes, Lunnin, Oriphin, and Salen: 2,569XP

Update your character pages and attach your item wishlists.  Put one or two items per slot. 

Off Labor Day Weekend, see you on September 7.

 

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Take You to My Leader
Game Session 7

Juli 25, 1066: After a short rest in the crypt with the animated statues, the party had two ways out of the room that they hadn't explored, an opening and a doorway. Lunnin listened at the doorway and heard a voice calling out for help. Having remembered that some of the farmers had been abducted the party opened the door and headed down into the dark room which had two cells. 

In the cells were two Human children and a Halfling girl just a few years younger than Lunnin.  Her name is Wella.  Federin helped her pick the lock to her cell.  She told them that she heard the Goblins moving around within the past half hour, which was just a few minutes before the party would have entered the catacombs.  She also warned that there may be some sort of nasty creature, as she thinks the farmers are being used as food.  Arjun decided to escort the three back to the village.

After scouting the other way out of the crypt, the party decided to try another way instead of dealing with what lay ahead. From where they observed, the way ahead was covered with webs.

They went around, crossed the pit with the disarmed traps and took care of a Bugbear, some Hobgoblins and their Guard Drakes who had claimed another burial chamber as their room.  After taking care of them, the party thought it best to head back to town.

Unfortunately, the Goblins sought to confront them on the way out.  It seems as if this warlord sent his second in command to invite them or kill them.  The Goblins chose death.

Experience: + 382 XP

  • Arjun: 1,644XP
  • Federin: 2,026XP
  • Kaltes, Lunnin, Oriphin, and Salen: 2,951XP

 

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Eye for an Eye
Game Session 8

Juli 25, 1066 – The party left the catacombs and traveled nearly an hour through the Black Forest to return to Rasmark. They had an unconcsious Goblin in tow, likely the warlord's second in command. A few minutes before they emerged from the woods, they picked up on the scent of a nearby fire. When they reached the forest edge, they saw the source of the burning. The Goblins had set fire to the homes of the three farms in the area. About a hundred feet away, the Goblinoids had lined up some farmers and forced them to kneel down.

The heroes deliberated while the farmers knelt inside a circle of Goblins. During the discussion of what to do, one of the Bugbears crushed a farmer's skull with a heavy flail causing blood to splatter on the survivors. The Bugbear moved down the line to the next farmer and Orophin blasted the Bugbear.

The party drew the Bugbears into the woods, but this left the Goblins free to kill the farmers if necessary. Once the Bugbears fell, the Hobgoblin archers pulled back and ordered the Goblins to kill the farmers.  The party, a hundred feet away in the woods could not reach the Goblins in time to prevent the slayings.

In the aftermath, Salen was able to heal one of the farmers, but the rest died. They found a small leather bag that had a dozen eyeballs in it and saw that one of the farmer's corpses had an eye removed. 

They returned to town in the evening and spoke with Copenhagen.

 

Juli 26, 1066 – By this morning, the party has learned that the warlord has promised to slaughter two for every one of his men that has been killed. Some of the people who live in town are afraid and call for a stop to the attacks on the warlord.  From speaking with Copenhagen, they also learn that more than half of the warlord's forces have been slain.

They return to the Deranged Hermit with a gift of meatloaf, which is much appreciated. During their conversation he tells them the squirrels see undead wandering the forest.  Some go into the catacombs the goblins are using, but that doesn't seem to be the source of where they are coming from.

When the PCs return to the Goblin's lair, they surrounded the clearing and hid. They let platoon of Goblinoids enter the catacombs and quickly took care of a trio of Hobgoblins who remained in the clearing.  After waiting a few minutes outside the catacombs they entered. They heard someone whistling in the woods while they were waiting, but did not encounter the source, who was whistling a familiar tune.

Inside they stormed the barracks and found a Potion of Healing and 25gp. The number of Goblinoids in the room is too small to have been the group they saw enter, if some even were the same ones.

DM's Note: During the farmer execution encounter, Tony had the right idea. Your actions influence your reputation, which in turn affects how people interact with the party. 

Experience: + 371 XP

  • Arjun: 1,644XP
  • Federin: 2,395XP
  • Kaltes, Lunnin, Orophin, and Salen: 3,322XP

For Next Time: It is slightly past noon and you are in hostile territory. You have +1 Action Point (you either have 1 or 2). 

 

 

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