Arboria

Civilization At Last

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Previously in Arboria

  • You surprised Taezal and managed to get several good crossbow hits on her. Unfortunately, she shape shifted into a peregrine falcon and escaped.
  • While examining and looting Taezel’s room, you heard the sounds of battle die down only to be confronted shortly thereafter by hobgoblins dressed in Imperial regalia, accompanied by hobgoblins wearing the field armor of the Hobgoblin Enclave.
  • The Diplomatic process broke down when the party forcefully took a human spokesman hostage and demanded the release of their friends. The Hobgoblin commander forced his hand against his wishes and sent in his elite scouts to neutralize the threat without harming anyone.
  • Later, the party learned that it was the warship currently docked in the nearby secret pirate harbor that they had seen on the night of the pirate attack, and that they were guided to their current location.
  • The Imperial Hobgoblins and ambassador were sent to escort a Hobgoblin ambassador and his entourage to the mainland. It is not clear if the Emperor extended an invitation or if there was something else going on.
  • The party finally arrived at TwinPort West; the western half of the largest Trade-State City in the world. Although less oppressive than the Isle of Tiernan, the Empire’s heavy hand could still be felt here.
  • It was quickly decided that the group would re-equip themselves and then get out from under the Imperial Eye. It does feel awfully stuffy here, doesn’t it?

…What do you do?

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Welcome to the "Jungle"

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Previously in Arboria

  • After a short rest and reequipping yourselves in the Cairn’s armory you finally found the source of the Corruption for the island. A large cube-like object, obviously a machine of ancient origin was flanked on either side by the porcelain statues.
  • Two large tube-like structures extended from the cube and into the ceiling of the vast chamber. Upon the cube advancing towards you, there was an explosion of corruption that to your knowledge had no affect upon you. The tubes separated and became snakelike appendages. Seemingly, your attacks upon the cube did very little to no damage until you dispatched these two snakelike combatants.
  • The porcelain statues advanced on a corruption filled crevasse within the large chamber. Upon apparently draining away the Corruption upon the destruction of the cube. Then, they phased through the ceiling.
  • After a short examination of the room, you were confronted by the spirit of Beornor of the Wolf Clan, he who’s cairn you infiltrated. He explained the ancient enemies and named them Eldenfell. He wished you well for your endeavors, and claimed to count you among his family in the afterlife. His sole request was to take a silver and turquoise necklace and bury it at the foot of a wolf edifice far to the north. Beornor next explained the means of escape and warned of taking any armor as it would be a burden.
  • You found a pool of water that led to an extensive underground waterway of fresh water. This in turn led to the drain pipe of an apparent spa or bath. Voices were heard, and caution was taken but, ultimately thrown to the wind.
  • Taezal, a female hobgoblin seemingly in charge and wearing the same armor as those which attacked your ship, happened upon your scouting attempts through her chambers. You luckily got a few shots off on her before she covered the hallway in vines making the passage more difficult to traverse. Backing away, she raises the alarm, cackling with glee at your soon to be destruction.
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Bring Peace to the Restless

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…for They know not what they do.

The heavily armed and equipped skeleton uses one hand to clutch at it’s neck, the other brandishing it’s long sword.

…free ussss…

free uss…
Free Us

You quickly dispatch your assailant. As you all rush to the south towards what appears to be a burning brazier, Rory stays back to examine the corpse.

Ahead you see the two large, floating statues hovering over the brazier flanked by hooded figures in the shadows. Beyond you see a gaping opening from which the Restless emerge.

Rory comes running up, now wearing the armor of the most recent dispatched assailant.

“Free Uss,” you hear, as you turn back towards the Restless. You are suddenly aware that the two large floating statues are no longer near the brazier, and the hooded figures are gone. Off in the distance to the west you catch sight of the statues just as they submerge under the water.

You quickly clear out the last of your attackers. Gathering your breath and taking a short rest, you manage to collect enough gear to replace that which was lost.

Upon the examination of the nearby columns, and what is now known to be a simple but large mound of dirt from which the Restless emerged you determine that you are at the apex of an immense cairn of a long lost civilization. Strange pictographic characters can be seen among the many columns. The brazier itself is part fountain, part fire pit with the water surrounding the fire. In it’s simplest form, the fire and water is represented as an expression of pure balance.

You descend into the cairn, knowing your answers lie below. Within the first few chambers, you discover that the cairn belonged to the last known ruler of this ancient civilization. Dying in a great battle, the ruler and all that fought with him were buried with great honor. You also learn that this civilization was not a sea-faring culture. You can only guess that the seas rose up long ago and covered the true battleground.

Many of the Restless do you dispatch in your exploration. In a side chamber, you find a wall mosaic depiction of the final battle. Central to the design of the mosaic is the symbol of a hand with two thumbs. Opening a nearby sarcophagus you find an ancient necklace of gold and turquoise with the same symbol.

As you go deeper into the cairn, you discover newer construction though still ancient by your time. Grates that descend into darkness glow with an unhealthy light. From further below, you can hear the sounds of machinery.

Something else goes on here, and has made those left to their eternal sleep to awaken.

You press on, hoping for a way off the false island…hoping for a way to stop the abomination of the dead walking again.

You know in your hearts that you much bring peace to the Restless, for they know not what they do.

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Shipwrecked!

Three weeks into your voyage,

…you awoke one stormy morning to shouts and bright lights. Gathering some gear you rushed to the top-deck to find the crew locked in battle with invaders clothed in black head to foot except for their shoulders, which shone as brilliant blood red in
the blazing firelight. The deck was almost destroyed by the flame-engulfed sails and masts.

As you wade into battle, you see Rory fighting back to back with Priest, hacking away with Bessie as if harvesting a crops, while Priest calls the surrounding flames to him, gently, as if protecting a lost child, only to unleash it back upon his assailants as two great fiery whips, his gold-fire eyes alight with vengeance.

As you prepare to assist your companions, you are assaulted by an overpowering acrid stench. From each side of the ship you see huge figures climb over the railing onto the main deck. As you watch in horror, the main mast seems to collapse upon your two companions in a fiery explosion.

The main deck erupts into flames between you and the monstrosities. Parts of the deck have crumbled beneath the remains of the main mast, blocking your advance to your foes.

As you rain down spells and ranged fire upon the aberrations you see some activity within the engulfed main deck. A small lone figure rushes the nearest monstrosity only to fall one deck
below as the running boards crumble beneath it, causing more damage in it’s wake. As the figure falls, you realize that it’s Rory, throwing his axe Bessie in a final attempt to bring his foe down. You watch helplessly as Bessie bounces off it’s target, the favored weapon of Rory lost in the chaos. A prone figure, seemingly Priest, stirs within the fire, clawing it’s way towards you slowly, obviously in great pain.

Again you attempt to mark your targets, though you are unsure if you are making progress or just making them angrier. As the nearest comes into range to use it’s immense appendages upon you one of your companions yells, “It’s an illusion! It didn’t fall below like Rory!”

Suddenly suspicious, Geraldine climbed the Aft-castle, attempting to peer through the smoke and fire. Far off to the forward-port side of the ship she noted a warship flying colors associated with the Isle of Tiernan. Strangely, it didn’t appear to be heading towards your merchant ship.

Looking aft, Geraldine sees another ship extremely close, a lone figure on the foremast, obviously casting an incantation. “Caster!” she shouts as she draws and lets loose from her longbow, striking her target true. The lone figure, clothed in white, continued on, ignoring the painful arrow.

Alas, the next thing you remember is waking up upon a lone beach, still within the darkness of night. The air hums with power and smells of ozone. You look about and realize you are on a small island, within the Eye of a storm, obviously powered by Corruption.

You are not safe here…

After finding your companions safe, you make preparations to scout the rest of the island. Unfortunately, there seems to be only one path from the beach, nestled between steep hillsides covered in obsidian and palm trees.

A lone scream breaks the silence as you suddenly become aware that there was, indeed, nothing but the ocean and the wind…nothing, save yourselves, seemed to be alive on this island.

Gathering torches and what scant supplies you can find from some nearby wreckage, you travel deeper towards the center of the island, up a narrow sand filled path. Vague, silent humanoid shapes become apparent ahead. All at once you are suddenly surrounded by creatures that should not be.

Immediately, Priest springs forward, calling fire to him and redirecting it outward to ward off the undead. The monstrosities advance, seemingly unaware or unaffected by the holy fire called down upon them.

“Thees’ ’deadar’s aren’ normal!” shouts Rory in answer to Priest’s rapidly moving hands. “Bash’em down!”

You quickly dispatch your foes and follow their path, back up the trail and curing towards the west. You come upon a clearing at the top of the hill. Ancient columns with strange writings adorn the clearing, constructed with an organized purpose. More abominations block your way as you see, further south, a set of four obelisks surrounding a large brazier.

You notice two additional hooded figures near the burning fires which glow with a strange greenish aura. But, that’s not what causes your breath to stop in your chests.

Accompanying the hooded figures you see, floating by their own power, two immense statues of stylized winged humanoids, their faced uplifted in song. You soon realized that these statues, seemingly made of porcelain, is what causes the air to be energized as if within a lightning storm.

Your are suddenly faced with more undead minions, some of which are streaming out from a nearby doorway near the brazier. A large skeleton clad in ancient armor brandishes a longsword of superior quality approaches you.

Many more follow behind their leader.

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...And so, it begins

Our tale begins

…with the story of two brothers, born of different fathers. One from darkness, the other of the light…some would say a perfect embodiment of Aldorin, lord of all things orderly and in balance. Each took to their chosen professions as if born knowing them. Where one found solace in study, the other learned the hardy way of the streets. Yet, both never forsake the other…each seeming to be a side of the same coin.

Long have they sought the answer to their lineage never knowing the truth. When questioned, their mother would smile sadly, shake her head weakly, and reply as she always did. “I cannot tell you. You will find the answer, in time.”

The Isle of Tiernan is on the verge of civil war. Long have the elves and dwarves lived under imperial law, indentured to live their lifetimes to pay for crimes their ancestors committed.

Tensions are rising and rebel attacks increase, interfering with ore shipments intended for Imperial smithys. Hobgoblins begin to chafe under their Imperial collars, enforced to follow Imperial laws as administrators in the mines.

In turn, representatives from all regions are sent out to allay fears. Some as instruments of aid and compassion, others as reinforcement that the Empire is still in very much control…and still others in the hopes that they may learn the cause of the unrest, unaware that their betters know not their true plans.

Seeking to escape an impending war (or for other reasons), you accepted or were assigned a job to deliver a message to the Mystic Enclave in the Trade-State of Twin Port West. You received 200 royals in advance along with pre-booked passage on a supply ship that will take you to your destination. The trip would take you approximately two months time to reach Twin Port West. Upon delivery of the package, you shall receive an additional 300 royals, provided that the wax-sealed message is undamaged and unopened. The message was handed to you in an iron-bound water-tight ivory scrollcase.

Captain Igros, a smallish brick of a man that possesses a voice like a fog horn, immediately recruited your assistance, along with two other passengers, to help the crew in case of any unforseeable dangers.

The first is a dwarf, covered in red fur so thick you’d think he was Were-born. You’re immediate assessment is that Rory Redbeard (‘Mah friends call meh Red!’) is a straight forward typical dwarven warrior, preferring his ale as the only thing more important than his dwarven greataxe (’Don’cha lay a hand on Besseh!’).

Rory’s (unlikely) companion is a tall, almost emanciated human covered is plain greyish-brown robes, head to foot, including his face. The only places not covered by robes or cloth wraps are his hands and the area surrounding his sparkling blue eyes, as clear as a clear day. You notice that his skin seens overly tanned and bears the marks of past scars.

“Don’right know what ta make o’ this feller. He don’ speek much, don’ eat much, an’ clearly don’ drink much…but, I enjoy his comp’ny all tha same. Ya know…I don’ even remembeh when we met,” Rory shakes his head as if to clear it. “Anyho, I call ‘im Priest…What!? No, I’m sorry, I’m no good et naming, an he don’ seem ta mind it too much. He’s pretteh handy in a fight, bein’ a Disciple of Photen, an’ thas good enough fer meh. ‘E does ’is thin’, ’en I do mine!”

Priest smiled through the introductions. You can clearly see the Eye of Photen amongst the gold chains wrapped about Priest’s forearms. At his waist, there’s a small box from which you’ve seen him pull small flasks, adding a drop here and there into the evening meals he cooks for the crew. Priest uses hand gestures to speak, when he desires to, with the assistance of Rory who translates for him.

Even though the ship is just a merchant vessel, Captain Igros runs the ship as if he were a general commanding his troops. Nothing is left to chance, and there’s no slacking aboard his ship. All is good aboard the swift moving vessel but, this did not last long.

Three weeks into your voyage you awoke one stormy morning to shouts and bright lights. Gathering your gear you rushed to the top-deck to find the crew locked in battle with invaders clothed in black head to foot except for their shoulders which shone as brilliant blood red in the blazing firelight cast upon the deck by the flame-engulfed sails and masts. The crow’s nest was gone, destroyed by some eldritch blast.

As you wade into battle, you see Rory fighting back to back with Priest, hacking away with Bessie as if harvesting a crops, while Priest calls the surrounding flames to him, gently, as if protecting a lost child, only to unleash it back upon his assailants as two great fiery whips, his gold-fire eyes alight with vengeance.

As you prepare to assist your companions you are assaulted by an overpowering acrid stench. Three figures stagger to block you from your companions as you watch in horror as the main mast seems to collapse upon them in a firey explosion.

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Arboria -- Will it ever happen?

This is a world, storyline, idea, whatever…that’s been floating around in my head and on various scraps of paper since around 1992…yeah, almost 20 years.

The whole concept/campaign in a general format is a sandbox. You would make your characters, and then do whatever you wanted.

“But, you mentioned storyline”. Yes, yes I did. It’s there, it’s convoluted, though probably only in my own head since I can’t organize very well.

Originally, it was intended as a 2nd edition Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Most if it would be on-the-fly since I had about 20 years of rules memorization between the two different editions. And, since I had memorized most of the rules, I could spend more time during sessions entertaining my players and keep the game moving with a minimal of major preparation.

So…storyline. Yes, back to where I was.

It’s a sandbox but, if you wanted a major storyline, you’d have to follow the snippits of things I would drop here and there if you fancied an interest.

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