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Shadowland [Dungeons & Dragons 3.5]: Introduction
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Shadowland [Dungeons & Dragons 3.5]: Introduction

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  1. Headless
    Shadowland is a realm often shrouded in a dismal fog, populated by Humans, Dragons, Elves, Dwarves, Trolls, Vampires, various other races, as well as Deadwalkers, a race of soulless and not particularly compassionate beings.

    There is a vast network of invisible energy strands called ley lines in this place, many of which intersect, creating portals known as shadowgates. These gates are usually inert, but can be activated by the proper spell or key.

    The campaign begins a few miles south of a small hilltop village called Bresby...
  2. Headless
    Hello, there! This campaign journal for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 is going to be cross-posted at both therpgsite.com and penandpapergames.com. The latter site seems to have some issues with editing posts that I have yet to resolve, so I'll do it this way for now....

    We had our first gaming session over two nights ago, and I dare say that it was a success! We all had a lot of fun, I think. This is the first time I've DM'ed since 2008, and I've really missed it. I also think that having a new player helps put things into perspective, and see things in an entirely different way. I'm looking forward to our next session. As for the game itself, I'll be making a few quotes, and my memory is poor, so I'll be paraphrasing a bit. That said, here's some background information on what happened during the session....

    The story began within the hilltop village of Bresby. We have the following cast of characters, all of which are 11th-level...

    * Kratos (imurrx): Kratos is a hulking Warforged, which is an artificial golem-like being transported from the Eberron campaign setting. He's classed as a Fighter/Warforged Juggernaut, and could be classified as a walking, talking tank. Basically, he's renouncing his organic side, and becoming more truly a mechanical construct. His transformation renders him immune to regular healing spells, so that does make things more complicated...

    * Horatio Tortolla (imurrx): Horatio appears as a non-descript Human, but remains a good source of non-magical artillery. He retains his reasoned, scientific mind, and takes the cautious approach, but now he can actually defend himself, provided he has his artillery weapons. He's classed as an Artificer.

    * Simon (MeatLips): Simon is an athletic, clean-shaven, bald-headed Human Monk, specializing in the martial arts. Despite his vast skill, he's only just now finding his way out into the world...

    * Aurelia (Perian): Aurelia is a diminuative Kender Spellthief from the world of Krynn, also known as Dragonlance. Curious and brave, she has absolutely no fear of delivering a stern lecture to a hungry Troll about the immorality of eating small children...

    * Sophocles (Perian): This is Aurelia's large pet dog, and all-around sidekick. He's usually just quietly following his Kender master.

    The PCs started off at the Frosty Mug, a local tavern and gambling house. Aside from Kratos and Horatio, the characters do not know each other. Simon and Aurelia are quietly seated at the bar, each having a drink, while Kratos and Horatio are outside on the street. Suddenly, a terrible commotion is heard outside...

    The PCs run out towards the street, and witness some men restraining a Troll with a harness, collar, and chain. Unfortunately for the men, the Troll goes berserk, and flings a pair of its captors aside. Much to the surprise of all present, the Kender takes pity upon the poor brute. The resident Warforged, Kratos, attempts to restrain the Troll, but the Troll freaks out, and just won't be contained. It escapes Kratos's grasp, and flees down an alley.

    That might have been the end of it, until a high-pitched scream is heard where the Troll fled...

    The PCs follow and see a small boy dangling from one of the Troll's massive hands.

    Before anyone can react, the Kender, (Aurelia) shouts at the Troll in the sternest voice she can muster...

    Aurelia: "Put him down!!"
    Troll: "Whuh?!"
    Aurelia: "I said, put him down now!"

    Aurelia first begins to argue with the Troll, and then finally....with the aid of both a great roleplaying performance and decent Diplomacy checks, she persuades the Troll to put the child down unharmed. The PCs eventually find out that the Troll's name is Grom...

    Persuading Grom isn't easy. The Troll is cranky after being restrained, is hungry, and naturally, the child appears to be an appetizing morsel to a hungry Troll. Aurelia looks for an alternative food source.

    Aurelia: "Well, what else do you like to eat?"
    Troll: "Children."
    Aurelia: "No! Something else."
    Troll: "Halflings?"
    Aurelia: "No! Something that isn't people."
    Troll: "Cabbage!! Grom loves cabbage!"

    At that point, the party has an idea, and Aurelia rushes inside the tavern to get some cabbage...

    Ok, it's late....so I will finish writing this tomorrow. To be continued....
  3. Headless
    ...continued from before.

    Aurelia has the Half-Elven barmaid bring out a bushel of cabbages. The barmaid stops in her tracks, clearly unwilling to come too close to the Troll. Simon and Aurelia parley with the creature, and quickly feed it the bushel of cabbages.

    During this interlude, the child that was nearly throttled by the Troll tells Grom, "that he stinks", though Aurelia admonishes the child for his rudeness. Eventually, a couple more bushels are brought, and soon the Troll is complaining of "fat pains", deciding to go take a nap under a bridge north of the village. The PCs speak with one of the Troll's captors, a Dwarf named Thorgrim, and discover that he has some tools to free it.

    Kratos offers to release the creature, but the Troll gets a wild look in its eyes when he approaches it, so he backs up, and lets Aurelia remove the chain, who then graciously remembers to tip the barmaid.

    It's hard to properly explain the conversation with Grom, the Troll...but it was hilarious. I think at one point, there was a discussion about pirates, and Grom explains that he was a pirate once, until he ate somebody's parrot. I'll just say I had a moment of inspired lunacy, and leave it at that.

    The Troll leaves town, but the PCs see a group of armed men ominously following the Troll when it leaves. Aurelia decides that she wants to protect Grom, so the PC agree to follow them for a distance, until both the Troll and armed men disappear in a thick bank of fog, as they walk around the corner of some bushes.

    Eventually, some cries of pain are heard, and the PCs see the silhouette of a large humanoid fighting some men. There's a bit of a fight. Amazingly, the PCs fight the men to protect the Troll. Clearly, this is a first for our campaign.

    Kratos makes a successful Intimidate skill check, and frightens the men into submission. The men pick up their mangled comrades, and quickly leave....

    At this point, they converse with the Troll, and Grom seems to like Simon, because his head is round and shiny like an egg.

    Troll: "Grom likes eggs..."

    The Troll is then convinced to go into the river and bathe, while Horatio takes those precious moments to hammer out Grom's battered tin helmet a bit, and make it spiffier.

    Troll: "Oh, shiny..!"

    After this, the PCs decide to take Grom home, to Darkwall....

    To be continued...
  4. Headless
    The PCs make their way to Ravenholme, a crossroads village on the way to Darkwall, when they're quickly accosted by a dozen creepy-looking men in blood-spattered clothes. They're all armed with spears, and the PCs are instantly aware of the fact that there's something wrong with these men...

    A battle ensues, where the PCs kill half of them, and drive away the rest. The session ended there....
  5. Headless

    The heroes make their way past the cluster of bodies, and notice an ominous-looking cloud of crows flying and landing atop a building in front of them...

    Down the street, they spy a small figure wrapped in a long cloak. The cobblestone streets are otherwise empty and quiet. This is the introduction to the new PC in the group, and he is....

    * Harvey: He's a kenku...member of a race of flightless humanoid avians. He is an atypical representative of his species, looking like a humanoid albino Crow or Raven, or he would, except for the fact that he is in disguise...

    Meanwhile, Aurelia is fascinated by these dark, winged birds...and wants to go onto the roof to interact with them.

    To be continued, when I'm feeling peppier.
  6. imurrx
    One score and two days less with no post?
  7. Headless
    Point taken, my friend. After I got sick, I was notoriously bad about keeping up on our campaign journal. I will update everything tonight, and continue to do so immediately after our next session...
  8. Headless
    Okay. I'm feeling peppier.


    The characters enter the building that the flock of Ravens landed upon. It's called "The Black Adder", a sturdy stone structure being used as both a tavern and inn. When they enter, all conversation dies. Grom, the Troll follows them inside.

    Barkeep: (pointing at the Troll) "We don't serve your kind here!"
    Aurelia: "He's with us, and means no harm."
    Barkeep: "Take that thing outside."

    After this exchange, Aurelia decides to instead scale the building in order to more closely interact with the birds. Harvey goes inside for a drink...

    At this point, things get kinda weird. Aurelia, Kratos, and Simon attempt to climb the building but manage to make abysmal dice rolls, and natural 1's and 2's abound. We're all laughing at the oddity of the situation. That said, they eventually make their way to the roof, and Aurelia approaches the Ravens...

    She attempts to lure them near, and gives them some food.

    Aurelia: "Here you go..."
    Raven: "Thanks."

    Aurelia stares at the bird in shock. Did that bird just speak? A conversation soon begins, and while this occurs, Horatio is approached by some odd dark-haired young woman named Jocelyn. After a short discussion, she soon departs, and at some point, Aurelia startles the birds, who quickly fly off in alarm.

    Later on, Horatio is approached by a dusty-looking fellow, offering them transportation to Darkwall. A price is agreed upon, and the fellow arrives within the hour with a wagon. During this interlude, Harvey and the other characters make introductions, and decide to travel together, after which they proceed to Darkwall, leaving the village of Ravenholme.

    During their trip, the characters spy a large flock of dark avians following behind them. They assume they are being followed by the Ravens they interacted with earlier. Finally, they arrive at Darkwall, and Horatio notices something unusual...
  9. Headless
    ...continued from before.


    The characters reach Darkwall, with something akin to a cliffside looming over them, and a large opening in the side of the stone. A 20-ft-wide flight of stairs leads up to it, with only a few vague tendrils of light, and mostly shadows beyond. The flock of Ravens are soon perched in the trees behind them, and Aurelia engages them in conversation. She tries to convince them to accompany her inside, but they refrain from doing so. Aurelia then provides Grom, the Troll with a book to read, in the hope that it might prove....educational. Horatio uses an incantation that enables Grom to understand the book, though nobody can predict what will come of of this.

    The characters then search the area, and Horatio discovers something...

    Horatio detects a faint shimmering in the air at the top of the stairs. With the aid of some Search and Spellcraft skill checks, he realizes that they are in the presence of an inactive Resonance Portal, which enables near-instantaneous travel to distant locales. The potential of this discovery is considered as the characters creep forward into the doorway...
  10. Headless

    ...and travel quietly down the hall. About 30 feet away, the characters find two doors, one on the right and one on the left. They choose the door on the right.

    Aurelia: (knocks on door) "Hello?"
    Simon: (incredulous) "What are you doing?!"
    Orc Doorman: (door slit opens a bit) "What do you want?"
    Aurelia: "Well, we..."
    Orc Doorman: (door slit slams shut) "Raag! Intruders!"

    The door then opens, and a massive Troll steps out, looming over the characters. It's wearing a harness and chain, and a burly Orc is herding it toward the characters. The Troll launches itself at them.

    Kratos: "Everyone get back! I've got this..."

    Kratos hurls his Warforged body at the sinewy Troll, intercepting it before it can mangle the party. For the first time in ages, he's able to use his "Dungeon Crasher" ability (or whatever it's called), and despite the size difference, manages to slam the creature into a stone wall, rendering it insensate in a single round.

    Immediately thereafter, the characters successfully engage in a brawl with a roomful of bloodthirsty Orcs, especially with Simon slapping them around with his super-martial artist pimp hands. It takes a little while, but the PCs stand triumphant. At the end of the conflict, they search the room, and sense something from behind the door on the opposite side of this chamber...

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