Hero's Gauntlet

the beginning part one

an adventure into my first real attempt at DM'ing

The hero’s gauntlet started five years ago as a small group get-together between Mike, The DM, a friend (whose name will be omitted for now), and that friend’s little brother. The original maps were crude, and the game ran slowly as Mike tried to figure out all the rules of the fourth edition. It began something like this:


p. The first session
Our adventure began with the first two players, Mindartis the paladin and Heian the fighter, washing up on a deserted island. Each had been sailing around the vast world, although each had completely separate reasons for doing so. Heian (a half-elf) made his living honestly, sailing as a guard on one of the many trading vessels that made their ways across the vast expanses that separated each of the races from one another; a last ditch effort from the gods to save each race from the magic wars. the ship he was on ran into a storm that blew it hundreds of miles of course and across the rocks of the uncharted island. Mindartis (the last eledrin), on the other hand, was a Pirate captain, mutinied against for stealing the crew’s share of the treasures they collected. he was cast overboard by his first mate, smee, and left for dead. undeterred by this, Mindartis grabbed onto some of the drifting debris from his ship, vowed that he’d take his revenge, and was carried to the shores of the island. Mindartis quickly met up with Heian near a clearing and the two unlikely partners allied to overcome their situations and survive on the small island.
p.
p. the escape
p. it was within that first summer’s worth of sessions that the group grew as more and more people washed ashore on the lonely island. Joining mindartis and Heian were Corrin Ale-drinker (a Halfling rogue in search of the finest ingredients the world had to offer), Darkspear (a dragonborn fighter with a short attention span), Klaus (an elven ranger), Andrea (an elven cleric), Aleki (a Halfling ranger), and more, whos names were lost during the turmoil that followed. The group of stranded adventurers found a cave high on the volcanic mountain that stood over the island, and decided to explore. it was there they found the gate. Before them stood a great doorway in the middle of the cavern, inscribed with ancient dwarven runes. in a stroke of luck, one of the adventurers remembered they knew dwarven and found that there were six relays that had to be activated for the door to transport them to civilization. Six tunnels led out of that cavern, dripping with salt water that had leaked in from the oceans above, and Mindartis surmised that each tunnel must lead to a relay. over the next few days, the party fought their ways through each of the six tunnels and their corresponding islands and activated each switch. When the final relay was activated, they were all ready to leave. They rushed back to the doorway, and leapt through. The other side was a shimmering corridor, with an exit blocked by three more monstrous creatures, which were quickly dispatched by the surviving members of the party. the exit led them out into the dwarven capital, where they were brought to the king.
p.
p. The rollback
p. It was about this time that I (mike) found fourth edition tiring, and overcomplicated, and rolled back to second edition with the help of Corrin’s player; my dad. the transition did come with some complications though, but everything was smoothed over within a few sessions.
p.
p. The Forbidden Continent
p. Back to the story. The king of the dwarves thanked the party for their service in restoring the connection between their capital and the island, and allowed them provisions for whatever they chose to do next. Unsure of their next step, the party made a collective decision to split up and explore the capital, whilst simultaneously looking for something to do. The rumor of the Forbidden Continent reached those who had decided to go to the bar first. A ship had returned to the port city to the south that claimed they had been blown off course and ended up at an unfamiliar island. Upon further exploration during repairs, they found that it was in fact, the original continent the gods had banished all humanoids from after the magic wars. Adventerurs were needed to return to the continent, which had been sealed for over 2000 years, to protect the colonists that were flooding back to reclaim their ancestral homes. The party met back up and agreed to follow this rumor where it led. after their arrival at the dwarven port, Mindartis noticed his ship was moored there, and broke away to investigate. Smee had become a ruthless pirate captain in Mindartis’s absence and easily repelled Mindartis’s attacks by using gunpowder (A recent discovery by pirates for pirates). the group couldn’t retrieve mindartis’s ship, and were forced to charter a vessel to the new continent.
p.
p. The voyage was long, but they made it successfully to the southern colony on the newly opened continent. There, they discovered that Thick rainforest had grown over the massive cities that had once stood unopposed by growth. Dungeons and ruins exploration teams were formed, and the party formed their own, quickly finding remnants of the old wars; powerful magic weapons and armor that both aided and cursed them. During these explorations, They met Enteri (The human ranger), Dave (the human fighter), Fabio (an elven cleric with delusions of being a faceless centaur), Zanne (a human thief), and Pallando (an elven mage). during one of the many dungeon crawls, Pallando found a sacrificial dagger; a remnant from the magic wars and a very powerful, intelligent weapon. It demanded the souls of the creatures pallando killed, and promised immeasurable power in return. blinded by the awesome power of the dagger, Pallando agreed and began questing not only for souls, but also the four other pieces of what the dagger called the Belial Set; and find them he did. during another dungeon crawl of the same dungeon, Belial’s robes were found.
p.
p. The problem at hand
p. the thing people should be aware of at this point is that we had decided to play for a full 24 hour period and I didn’t sleep. it was around now that I started feeling those effects.
p.
p. The solution
we had one last dungeon crawl during that 24 hour period wherein the party came across a note on the wall. it simply read “Overthinking.” while the party was reading it, there was a flash of bright light, then everything went dark.
p.
p. A year passed while I came up with a solution to overpowering my PC’s so early in the game. then, around Christmastime, I received my answer. OSRIC. it was time for another roll-back in the rules.
p.
p. The Return of heroes
p. When the heroes awoke, they wore nothing but standard garments, and had nothing but 100 gold. Corrin retained one of his daggers, but everyone else was defenseless. Upon exiting this unfamiliar dungeon, they were captured by an adventuring party that demanded to know how they managed to enter their secured compound. The party, unsure of how to answer, asked for their bonds to be cut so they could leave and figure out where they were. The adventuring party, Now known as The League of Baenroc, obliged and cut the party free, supplying them with leather armor and a few basic weapons under the condition that they work as indentured servants. The Party’s first task was to scout out the land and report back the status of the two villages to the north; North Twin Lake village and South Twin lake village. North Twin lake village, being the one further out on the map the league had supplied, was the first objective for the party, who found it completely burned and pillaged by a tribe of Orcs. Unsure of where the orcs were, the party decided to sprint down to South Twin Lake before it could suffer a similar fate.
p.
p. Upon arriving at South Twin Lake village, the party was surprised to find it both completely unguarded, but also unaware that orcs had been raiding in the area. The Village leaders thanked the party for the information and asked for a solution to the problem. build a wall was the best solution the party could come up with, and so the village began quarrying out a siege shelter, using the stone to reinforce a temporary palisade wall. meanwhile, the party came up with a plan to kill some of the mounted orcs, rip up the bodies to make it look like something large had killed them, and dump them in a nearby river where other orcs could find them. against all odds, they managed to do so quickly. By now, (several months of game time had passed during training and leveling up periods) the wall rose about ten feet high and stood six feet thick around the whole of the village that didn’t border the lake to the north.
p.
p. a few days later, the orcs came to the wall under a banner of peace. the orcs explained that they believed that something was destroying them in the area and that an alliance would be necessary to defend against it. The combined signatures of the Orc leader, The League of Baenroc, The heroes of the adventuring party, and the Village’s leaders brought the two races together. The orcs offered to build a cobblestone road around the lake to their village to the north, as well as set up some shop tents outside the walls to the east of south twin lake. in addition, the orcs would also share the secret of Bows with the humans living there, as they had not discovered them yet. The adventuring party, now released from their servitude to the League, was allowed to use one of the larger buildings near the front gate of South Twin Lake as a base of operations and a home.
p.
p. The new Delve
p. The adventurers were still in poor equipment, so they decided to see what they could scrounge up. Still unsure of where exactly they were, they went to the bar and asked about what year it was. the barkeep, told them, and the party found out they had been transported back in time 5000 years to before both the magic wars, and the Aven-Dur: the event that created the legends of the modern gods. instead, a singular church existed, The Church of the Falling Skies, which worshipped something that had impacted the ground nearby and over hundreds of years created the lake. In addition to this information, the group also received word of evil afoot in the South Twin Lake Crypts, which could only be accessed by way of the mausoleum. Upon finding the mausoleum, they noticed a wanted poster nailed into the marble wall. it read, “Wanted: Donstag the Trickster. Dead or Alive.” underneath was a picture of a skull with jewels for eyes, and a sly skeletal grin. The party, desperate for money, agreed to explore the crypts and get the rewards for catching donstag. the first few floors were uneventful, a few giant rats here, a purple worm or two there, some executioners’ hoods in some rooms. as they descended into the third level, they were greeted with faint sounds of music.
p.
p. further investigation of the floor led them to a large room full of skeletons with a live band and an open bar. Corrin decided to buy a few drinks, and the party was welcomed into the mariachi skeleton dance-club. there were no encounters with donstag, but plenty of silver, gold, copper, and even platinum was recovered from the aging crypts, allowing the party to re-outfit themselves with the weapons and armor of their choice.
p.
p. The Split of the Church of the Falling Skies A.K.A, The Aven-Dur
p. Out of all the Player Characters within the heroes gauntlet, none stood out as much as Darkspear, who, for all intents and purposes, was still a dragon-man with a lightning breath weapon. one day, he decided to show off, and used his last use of his breath for the day on the lake, electrifying it briefly. At night, the lake gave off an unearthly glow which radiated from the deepest part of the crystal clear waters. the next morning, the group decided to investigate by rowing out to the middle of the lake and using one of Fabio’s clerical spells to allow Klaus and Darkspear to dive down and figure out what was going on. 300 feet below the surface of the lake, Klaus and Darkspear found that there was a light, brighter than a lantern, attached to some sort of ceramic tile floor. The more silt they brushed aside, the larger the thing seemed to become. Unfortunately for them, the spell wore off faster than they anticipated, and they had to return to the surface before they found out what it was.
p.
p. a few game months passed as the party continued searching for donstag in the crypts, unsuccessfully, before the lights went out and the noises started. From deep beneath the lake bed, there came noises like steel bending and whales calling across the vast oceans for each other. the Party was immediately summoned to investigate further, but nothing could be done; that is, until the people of south twin lake began getting sick. Hair was falling out, sores began to open on people’s skin and leak reddish-brown pus, and all manner of sneezing and coughing was sprouting up. Klaus was the first to notice that the water had started to darken, becoming a murky grey color instead of it’s normal clear, and asked that everyone boil the water before they drank from then on. three days later, the lake foamed up and was once again crystal clear.
p.
p. Another month passed as the adventurers tended to their own lives and duties as protectors of south twin lake before something bobbed up from the bottom of the lake. The town’s mayor joined the party at the docks as the cylindrical object floated closer to shore. an hour passed as it slowly made its way to them. once it arrived, there was a hissing noise, and two men stepped out of it and onto the dock. the first asked what year it was, and upon finding out, gasped. they stepped back into their capsule, and invited the party to get in. the capsule dove down to the bottom of the lake and entered a small cave, that opened up into a large room. the first man spoke, “Welcome to the ship. we must’ve been trapped here for a long time. there are eight of us down here.” after a brief tour, the second man spoke to mindartis, “Mindartis, huh? tell me, are you of any relation to the scourge captain that went missing?” mindartis replied that he was in fact that captain, and the second man gasped. “you exist far too early then. you shouldn’t even be born for another few thousand years! when our ship malfunctioned, it must’ve dragged you back, too!”
p.
p. the party and the mayor left the ship shortly afterward, buzzing with the news of the new arrivals, and with plans on how to get back to their time-line. the mayor, however, ran straight to the church to proclaim the new arrivals of the new gods to their land. Gods with powers far beyond the understanding of humans. almost immediately, groups were formed that believed separately in each of these “new gods” and left south twin lake to form new settlements with other like-minded people. Those of whom practiced polytheism stayed in South Twin Lake. merchants and craftsmen from other races flooded into the town to fill the vacant houses, creating a midway point between the major cities of other races and establishing South Twin Lake as a trading city.

Comments

david_kristof

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.