Gamma Pac

Little boy lost!
The Acts

Little Boy Lost

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Journey to the East
The Acts

Discovery of the statue

The Fey wood

Sweet water turned bitter

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The fresh start

My players just finished the arc of my campaign, a home grown world using a glorious past a hardened present with an uncertain outlook. They disrupted the evil priest from channeling the power of his god to become a Hellfire Dragon leaving him a strong flaming serpent but not a dragon or hellfire-ish. Then they delved under a freebooter city into caverns and set free a city of Dwarves who had been enslaved by Orc’s allied with the evil priest. Now the Dwarves are trading partners with the PC’s.

Save the world, make a mint… what now? Oh and did I mention the Succubus Madame.

We recently lost one of our game members and that brought us down to 3 players. One of my players searched and screened for potential replacements and found someone worth meeting. We met at a local diner had coffee and just sat around talking for an hour or so. We joked, laughed at our group’s role playing track records and showed off our odd senses of humor.

The new addition is a 3rd edition player but is new to 4th edition so I made a choice. So with the empty chair filled I decided that without starting a new world or campaign all four of my players will make new level 1 character.

What about the old characters? Will the players still be able to play them? They’re only level 12 so lots of room to grow right? They decided that with a world seemingly lacking in Adventurers that the next thing to do would be to buy a house and start their own guild. I’ve let the founding members come up with the charter, rules and regulations, but had a few suggestions on benefits and requirements.

Enter the level ones, now I have the excuse for bringing in new characters without throwing the old ones out. These entry level members will be given tough assignments and made to prove themselves, but they will be getting some benefits from the guild as well. Besides receiving a 10% discount for buying basic supplies through the guild they will receive room and board while in the city. Though they must pay due’s it would be a cost of upkeep. I’ve settled on 10 gold pieces per month, or a tithing (10%) of the treasure and rewards for adventures. This 10% is usable for buying any of the characters new or old, items and gear. Or. Even to hire more guards to guard those caravans.

I set the profit’s at 10% of there initial investment each in game month. Additional gold they pour into the investment will increase the amount of return. The members can spend their tithing and profit on caravan and increase the amount they earn each month from trade. But they will either spend all their time protecting the caravans or spend that profit to hire guards, but occasionally a foray into recovering there own goods will be warranted. I hope this will instill in them a sense of long term goals and a feeling of passing time.

The PC’s will gain some benefits depending on what they bring to the guild. The founding members of the guild each have talents that have helped them in the past but we don’t want all that hard work to go unrewarded. So I drew up some benefits the founders lend to the guild as a support network.

The human warlord Ian is a good tactician and a priest of Pelor, The church gives a discount for services rendered. Offering healings, and a safe place to rest as well as chapels across the land guaranteeing that respite is always near.
p. Benefit: 10% discount on healing droughts, lay on hands and free resting places.

The half-elf fighter Freya is a sergeant in a militia so contacts with the local authorities are handled cordially as well as being an accomplished diplomat who knows the best way of dealing with clients.
p. Benefit: +2 to all diplomacy checks for all guild teams while working with writs bearing the guild seal.

Chickadena the gnome ranger is as good as any thief when it comes to disappearing and striking from a distance and possesses the tracking skills of a predator. Her hunting skills have sustained the party so far and with some down time she and her friend Xander can hunt to stalk the larder.
p. Benefit: +2 to all nature checks for all guild teams while foraging for 1 week after departure from the guild house.

Then there is the Wizard / Druid Xander. Freya’s brother. Who recently took up the art of magic item creation. He also studies the manuscripts dealing with the ancient empires and the wars that led to their destruction. He has also been tracing the lineage of the Three Emperors to solve further mysteries he has come across.
p. Benefit: +2 on all History checks for guild teams while able to communicate with Xander. And the access to magic items created to order for the guild members as long as they supply or pay for the raw materials and magic items.

Well with a team like that I think that the Guild has the chance of working out as long as they do more good than bad. They have already started trade with the Dwarves they rescued and want to expand that to the towns to the east where the player’s started. With opening up trade to other communities and the chance to rebuild a fortified town near the characters home that could eventually be a center of trade. Well it a start to a new age.

I’ve taken to the advice of say yes to my players. I mean it’s a wide world out there and variety abounds. After all there is the whole of the continent to explore, sieges to break, and the occasional god to stop from rising to burn the world.

So I can say “Sure you can play an Eladrin Warlock, Oh you want it to be an Infernal Pact, sure not problem!” (Then they get a little nervous when I steeple my fingers and chuckle). I learned back in the day’s of 2nd edition that you use the players own ideas, conclusions and misinterpretations to build the world around them. Usually it turns out better than what you originally planned, but not always. My players have greatly dictated the path of the story, if they were interested in one thing and not another I made that the focus.

‘If the party grows suspicious of the work camp cook who has been saying things to the humans in the camp trying to set them against the dwarf miners. Let them. When they decide that he must be more than a simple bigot and tie him to the evil god’s plans. Take it and run with it. Way better than just a scuffle over who’s better then who. Now I have a reoccurring villain and a threat that I can use at any time.’

On the way into the sewers to get to the black market the PC’s passed through a brothel used as an entrance. One of them noticed that everyone who worked there wore a mithral bracelet. The wizard made an impressive arcane check and wanted to know if any enchantments were on the bracelets. I immediately decided “Yes, you notice a subtle augmentation to there charisma. It also has a cleverly disguised alarm spell.” He really rolled that good I had to give him something. So the Fighter decided the party had to free these slaves after they were done with disrupting the evil priest’s / Cook’s plans. She doesn’t like slavery and wouldn’t abide it in her presence.

I was thinking whoa, ok I can work with this. I’m pretty good at improvising.
So on their way back from stopping the evil priests/cook’s attempted coup of the city on the surface and after freeing an underground city of dwarves from Orc oppression they rescued the slaves from the brothel. They announced their intent of liberation at the end of one session and we had three more in between before they returned to the surface. So I used an old idea that had been kicking around my head and viola! A brothel that was being run by a Succubus in human form who used the establishment as a front for soul trafficking. When they bluffed their way into the establishment after business hours and Sneak their way to the Madame’s chambers her guards were not alerted until she was slain. Now they have to fight their way out while keeping the slaves safe. Then they have to get across town with out being caught and down the tunnels to the Smugglers Cove were if their lucky a boat will take them away from the island. Oh and since the succubus is immortal and was defeated by the PC’s resulting in her being sent back to the underworld she’ll be looking for a chance for revenge.

Well she’ll be back somehow some time. And the new characters may be getting the brunt of the devils Eire. But with a number of enemy’s left bleeding and battered in the wake of the party’s rise to fame and fortune some of them are bound to resurface looking for revenge.

Next we kick off with combat, skill challenges then move to being role play heavy were they will be making deals, hiring new members and making a name for themselves. Spending the session intermixing this with the book keeping required for the new level ones should keep it from getting monotonous.

The session after that, the next day. This is when the new recruits get there orders. The first mission is guarding a caravan going north owned by the Guild and its investors. Then a week later they will be coming back with another caravan of trade goods that are to be sold in the city. So this will leave the Players with a responsibility of payment to their investors. So if things go badly it could mean a lot of people could get hurt, with the PC’s at the top of the list.

It is hard to believe that it has been less than a year since the characters left the comfort of Apple Town Market and the Cross Roads. Now they have uncovered mysteries, made many friends and allies as well as an enemy or two. And a few gold coins to boot.

As the GM its my job to threaten the world and the peace, theirs to lay low the beasts and expose the conspiracy’s.

B. M. King
p. 08 December 2009

~ All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well … Until there not!~

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Caravan to Focasia

Given a pouch with orders for the Caravan, Dindral and a letter to the scholar Strome in Focasia. The Guildies first mission is to guard the caravan on the way to Focasia. While merely an hour away from the bridge the caravan was halted by a roadblock of fallen trees. Drag marks and lack of nearby trees made the arrival of brigands only a matter of time.

Before any of the Guildies could dismount their horses a Dragonborn with large arms emerged from the woods. Around him stood four halfelven men with swords, stepping from tree cover just behind the caravan has group of five human men who all brandished their swords making jeering noises toward their quarry.

With swift words Skala and Kodo tried to talk the brigands out of this course of action. The boss just chuckled and waved his boy’s on. Several closed within a blade length of Ivan who drew his two Bastard swords. While Regdar drew upon his energy to bring forth a friend from his desert home. Not long later the highway men were out numbered when Skala’s magic went a little wild and bounded from one enemy to another forcing raw arcane power to tear through them. Nearly killing one and knocking several more down. While the whirling dervish of steel Ivan took to cleaving the brains from one brigand while showering the remains of his mind upon his former allies. Kodo dropped the Dragonborn leader with a knife throw as he and his friends tried to flee. Kodo and Skala took up the diplomacy again this time the brigands listened. Patching up the wounded, those who were able cleared the roadway and they fled with the wounded leaving only one dead mate on the road side.

Pushing on another few hours the caravan camps in seclusion off the road, an uneventful night passes and they set out again before dawn. Passing an inn the caravan made great time to Focasia arriving after dark. Delivering the caravan to the house of Dindral Oakhead the guildies sought out the shop of the scholar Strome then got food and drink. Rising the next day the group set out to locate Strome and deliver the letter they carry for him.

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The problems books bring

Rising the next day the group set out to locate Strome and deliver the letter they carry for him. Arriving in the plaza containing Strome’s shop the door opens and an let middle aged human dressed in fine clothing exits and fumbles with his key and a wrapped package. Crossing the plaza toward the shop and the old man the group notice five guards advancing on the door. Hiding among the guards a vicious looking man draws a knife intent on the book trader.

Ivan rushes forward positioning himself between the possible assassin and his probable target. Skala, Kodo and Regdar place themselves near Strome watching the guards and keeping an eye on Ivan. The Assassin growls and advances on the very confused old man dancing past Ivan and each of the other guildies.

Ivan is grabbed by the Guard Sergent who despite a strong arm is unable to budge him. The guards take to weapons giving Ivan an excuse to start breaking noses and cracking jaws. While Kodo is able to push the old man out of the way just as the assassin’s blade leaps forward dripping a thick yellow fluid. A slashing of blades back and forth between the knife wielding Assassin and the short sword swinging Kodo gets dirty as the poisoned blade strikes true slipping into Kodo’s belly leaving him open for a bite from the feral looking killer. Regdar calls his insect companion to distract and harass the guards while helping Ivan keep them occupied.

The fight becomes fast and furious a very short brutal time later all but one guard is down with concussions and the assassin has been run through with Kodo’s blades and burned with Skala’s magic.

While attending to the merchant the creature on the ground leaps toward Skala and misses gnashing its teeth on the edges of her robe. It receives a pinning blow with Kodo’s sword and an acid dripping cut from Regdar’s own blade lobbing the head off and cauterizing the wound. This time really staying down Regdar and the others look the body over finding a hairless tail and that its booted feet are ratlike.

In the distance guard whistles and the beat of boots on stone grow closer. Kodo slumps against the door of the book store, already tuning a shade of yellow. He just watches weakly as the others attend to things.

Strome wanders into the shop pulling a bottle hidden among books and drinks deeply. Skala picks up the package the old man dropped along with the letter for him from the guild. Taking them inside she re pockets the letter and places the book on the counter next to the man. Checking to see if he is fine, the old man is left physically unscathed but confused and very rattled and attempting to get very drunk.

When the Guard Captain and a patrol of eight watchmen arrives he assess that the Sergeant is one of the men who have been selling their services lately. Skala takes the lead explaining things while Strome tells what he saw and explains the guildies part in keeping him safe. Regdar is concerned with Kodo’s wounds especially the bite, and Ivan starts muttering about stew. Taking the group and broken beaten guards back to the watch house Guard Captain Hendres sorts the mess out.

Regdar accompanies Kodo to the church were the hospice tends to his many wounds and the bite which is very infected. A nights rest and tending by his friends with herbs and poltice from the church garden Kodo fights off the infection regaining his health.

Captain Hendres interrogates the The Sergent and his friends they spill that they were hired by the man the guildies killed. They were paid fifty gold each to get him to the book shop and get him away after completing his business. The wererat was dressed in clothes of the southern deserts wearing boots for walking on sand.

When the guildies regroup at the church they rest for the night and begin to investigate the incident in the light of day.

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Searching and Finding

Buying supply’s to help in their investigation the party sets out and searches the scene of the fight of the previous day. Taking quit some time the group finds several clues to who or what the assassin was.

  1. Door of the book shop is closed but unlocked.
  2. Crushed glass vial that contained a pungent spicy poison.
  3. Foot print just inside the unlocked back window indicating a desert style boot.
  4. The book that Strome was carrying is no longer sitting on the counter were Skala had set it.
  5. Taking time to sort through their findings and study ancient Dragon and Primordial script found integrated into the dragon horn motif of the assassins daggers. Regdar is unable to translate it without a key to the Script code.

Taking the information they collected the team penned a letter to the Guild Leaders.

Miss Freya, We stopped an assassination attempt on Strome,
p. they did get an important book of his. Awaiting further
p. instructions as to investigate further or wait for wagons
p. to escort back.
p. PS. Assassin was a wererat. and Regdar chopped its head off.

The horse messenger can reach Four Winds in less than 24 hours and a response will be another 24 hours to return.

While resting at the Five Tankards Tavern late that night Ivan stuffing his face and watching the crowd. Skala sits in on a game of sixers and comes out a little ahead. Kodo watches the crowed especially the young man who has been playing a sitar.

When the crowd broke up and everyone started going home Kodo followed the sitar player into the night, blending with the crowd then with the night. He followed the man to the cellar of an abandoned house. Then reported back to his fellow guild members Kodo let them know where he went. They got the Captain of the Guard and some of his men to come with them to the house. Three covered the front while the rest went with the guildies to the cellar door. Captain Hendres using his sword wrenches open the cellar door calling out for whoever is in there to throw down their weapons and come up or he would drag them out by there guts.

Some one shouts as if trying to defend themselves. A man stumbles up the stairs bleeding from his gut. The wound is superficial but bloody, he say’s that the man stabbed him and ran when the door opened. Kodo slinks down the stairs looking for an enemy. Skala moves into the dark Cellar looking around she sees the sitar player laying face down in a pool of blood. And a bloody footprint leading into the corner and up a ladder. Ivan and Ragdar follow Skala and Kodo up and into the main part of the house. The bloody footprints track out the kitchen and into the main room leading to a ladder. Skala and Kodo stand looking up the ladder to the dark hole in the ceiling. Kodo notices that the bloody foot prints are far to easy to follow, that’s when they rush back the way they came.

The guildies rush up the stairs to the yard and find the three guards knock out on the ground while the Captain is picking himself up from the mud. While trying to catch his breath the captain points toward the wall. It was another ratman, he was faking his injury’s and jumped over the wall after putting out all the guards and knocking the Captain down.

Searching the cellar Skala finds a body hidden under the stairs stripped of its clothes. The man is of the desert tribes of the far south while the Sitar player who is not quite dead is of the city peoples of the south. Taking the sitar player to the church were he may recover and the party can rest they await the response to their letter.

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