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Campaign Journal XX September & XI October MMIII


Top level Gća Campaign Notes


GĆA
Notes from Carol's adventure.

GM TO EDIT



Lead In



A new adventure, a new GM and new characters. The setting is the island if Zimanzia, which is located many leagues to the south east of Araktor. Being so far from any other civilized continent has meant that little outside influence had affected Zimanzia.

The author of this journal was a player in this adventure, so in many instances can only recount events from the viewpoint of Gunr-Mo-Lug.

The Gathering



Gunr was sitting outside in his work yard, chiselling a granite block to shape, when the blue robed stranger arrived. Although he knew the robes meant the stranger was a representative of the council who should be afforded respect by custom, Gunr was somewhat put out. The council never called upon someone without an ulterior motive.

He ignored the emissary while he finished squaring off the block, realising that, had he not put off going to the village, he may have avoided the visit. Oh well: "What do you want," he grunted in acknowledgement of the emissary's presence.

The emissary introduced himself and stated that the council required Gunr's presence urgently. He would not hear any excuses of work and deadlines from Gunr, even refusing the hospitality of the mason's hovel in favour of immediately departure. Gunr was unable to refuse. The council was well respected and refusal to meet with them could have repercussions on his business.

A weeks hard travel by foot had them at the town of Two Way where the council chambers were situated. After a brief break to refresh themselves, they entered the council chambers. Within The chambers, Gunr, met others who had been summonsed like him. There was Breetai the priest of Balar, the storm god, whom Gunr recognised from years back when he had spent a year as an initiate of Balar. Sildek, a seaman who plied the seas in the sailed dragon boats common to the east of the island, was introduced along with a short, primitive woman from the far south, who called herself Duguni. Another of her tribe, as massive in height and thew as Duguni was small, accompanied the diminutive woman. Sigrčana, a barbarian shield maiden from a nearby tribe was also present.

While the full council was not present, there were sufficient to charge them with an urgent quest on the people they had summoned. Explaining to all present that they each had a unique role to play in the quest they were to embark on, the council outlined the difficult situation they faced.

In the Deep South, near the homeland of Duguni, is an ancient land that is slowly sinking beneath the waves. Some refer to it as the Shadowlands. Deserted for centuries, recent strange sightings and occurrences in the Shadowlands prompted the council to sent two of their number on a fact finding mission to a town called Liefland, which is situated some leagues north of the Shadowlands. Months have passed with no further sign or word from the emissaries. To each they spoke:

Breetai - {GM to insert text}
Duguni - {GM to insert text}
Sigrčana - {GM to insert text}
Sildek - {GM to insert text}
Gunr - {GM to insert text}

After much debate, all agreed to go on the quest. Rather than take the long overland route, the party of adventurers decided to take Sildek's advice and travel by ship. A swift knorr took them down rive before heading south along the coast. Some bad weather along the way tested Sildek's professed skills as a sailor and he was found sorely lacking. The ships boatswain was forced to use a starter on the hapless "sailor" and it was only the intervention of Gunr that saved his back.

On reaching Liefland, the knorr's master encouraged the party to disembark swiftly, before making use of the tide to beat hastily to sea. They found themselves in a deserted, semi ruined village. Liefland, a once prosperous trading village, had apparently fallen upon difficult times.

The sun set as they wandered the village. Once night fell, they beheld strange lights, flashing in the sky to the south. It was roughly at this time that they first heard, then saw a brace of giant beetles galloping into the village. On the back of each beetle rode a strange, ugly little beast, with arms and legs that appeared to be merged into the beetles' carapace. Seeing the party, the beetles headed their way, their intent obvious.

Weapons were drawn and a battle ensued. It was hard going fighting at night, but after some close shaves, the party prevailed. What became apparent is that the creatures on the beetles' backs were somehow controlling the insects. Once removed, the beetles invariable fled. The creatures could also apparently transfer any wounds they took to their mount.

The battle over, residents started to come out from hiding. Many had died or left Liefland, but those who remained told a grim tale: Liefland and the surrounding countryside has been beset by giant insects, spiders and the weird nightriders (their name for the ugly beetle riding creatures), ever since the strange lights started to appear in the south. They sent a message to the council and two of their number did come to investigate. The two emissaries travelled south and had not reappeared, the villager's though them dead.

The following day, the party set forth to investigate. They scoured the surrounding territory and found much evidence of giant insect activity. After burning a massive trapdoor spider from its hole, they decided to rest up and then head into the Shadowlands.




Soon after entering the Shadowlands, they discovered a wooden door in a ditch. The door had a stylised face carved into it. All present were surprised when the face on the door began to speak to them. It addressed them in a foppish voice and after some negotiation, allowed them to enter. On the other side of the door was a tunnel that led into a mass of subterranean caves.

While traversing the subterranean passageways the found themselves in what could best be describes as a bathhouse. Although it was apparent that the bathhouse had not been used in a long time, it was still structurally sound. Some searching revealed certain trinkets and oils, apparently left there by the previous users. Fiddling with some devices set in a wall drenched someone and it was decided to leave before further investigation caused grief.


The party encountered a giant centipede in the tunnel and was forced to fight for their lives. The centipede had a large hoard of treasure, which included magical swords, and armour that reduced their armour class. Oh wait, that would be the case in D&D, this is Rune Quest, where dumb giant insects are not likely to hoard treasure.

The tunnel eventually narrowed substantially. Urg became claustrophobic and panicked, forcing Gunr to rap him on the skull with the pommel of his dagger. Soon thereafter, the tunnel emerged as a crack in a wall of a well-lit cave. Within the cave were a number of giant beetles with nightrider mounts, apparently preparing to make a sortie into the open.

Unfortunately one Urg The Claustrophobic had an episode I the tunnel and had to be knocked out (for his own good) by Gunr. With Gunr in front, this presented a problem when entering the cave. After a hushed discussion, a simple battle tactic was agreed upon and the conscious members of the party exploded from the fissure in the cave wall. The nightriders were taken by surprise, by the time they got their wits about them swords were drawn, and hewn flesh was flying. Having learned a bit about nightrider physiology during the town battle, the party put said knowledge to good use and swiftly dispatched the vermin, allowing beetles that had regained their senses to flee.

A brief scout about the cave revealed nothing of value, although the oil lamps used for illumination were put to use when they exited the cave and found themselves in a benighted land. The sun had long set yet the roofs of buildings could be seen in the moonlight. Moving toward the city, it became apparent that something was very wrong. The buildings appeared to have been swallowed by the earth, leaving only their spired roofs above ground. Small bands of beetle-mounted nightriders skirmished with a band of strangers who had set up a semi-fortified camp on the outskirts of the sunken city.

Further investigation from a distance came to a halt when they encountered a patrol from the encampment. While not overly hostile, the patrol did insist that the party return to the encampment with them. Once at the camp, they were greeted in a friendly manner by strange lanky long eared folk whom Urg (now conscious) recognised as elves. Some discussion soon revealed that the lost council members were indeed present and well.

The party was allowed to roam the ruins while a ship was prepared to take them back north. Their quest was complete; they had found what had become of the council members who had in turn deciphered the odd events in the shadow lands. Allowed to wander, the party scouted the ruins, finding some interesting items and more strange speaking doors in the process. Gunr's desire for a gargoyle to place over his huts entrance almost saw him meet with disaster when he came near to falling from a narrow bridge.

Conclusion


The elves claimed that they had come from across the sea to excavate the ancient buried city. The strange lights in the sky were revealed to be from cylinders filled with a strange chemical. When lit, these cylinders shot into the sky and exploded. The giant insects were apparently the most recent residents of the sunken city, who had been disturbed and at times evicted by the elven archaeologists. Having noted the harm that their excavations had caused, the elves had already agreed to cease and return to their home across the sea.

A short voyage north in a different ship, apparently somewhat related to the magical talking doors saw the party returned to Two Way, where they were thanked by the council and allowed to go their separate ways.




 

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Topic: Author:
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YUK YUK YUK
Willo van der Merwe 24.10.2003 16:20
Marques Sux!! Esp. Big FAT red ones!!

What's this GM to insert text?!?




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Gygax Magazine Issue 3 Out
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