The Caron Campaign

Within are to be writ the tales of daring and adventure of those who have placed themselves on the path of glory. Share your exploits with other Castlers & Crusaders!
User avatar
Red Cap
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri May 26, 2006 7:00 am

Twenty Third Session

Post by cinabro »

Party = Aislyn (Lvl 3 Ranger), Aurelia (Lvl 4 Cleric), Berana (Lvl 4 Mage), Livy (Lvl 3 Cloth Gollum), Rir (Lvl 4 Fighter), Rivery (Lvl 5 Rogue)

Thursday Continued

They pack the stone Wicked carefully. In the next room they defeat

the mutated Bugbears and are puzzled by the vases. In the next room Aislyn

is attacked by the Giant Leach and they defeat it. They meet the Ogre Magi

who flys over them, plugs them with a Cone of Cold, and then goes gaseous.

They find a piece in his study.

Trying to get back out they are stymied by the rolling floor which is

now moving very fast. Their rope is gone. They pull out their wand of Stone

Shaping and disable the floor, but consume most its charges.

They find only the door to the Library open. They go in and see the

Lammasu who has prepared lunch for them. He tells them bluntly that he wants

out and will trade them his piece/key for some of their magic items,

especially those once owned by Zagyg. He hopes they can get to Zagyg,

bargain for everyone's freedom, and by keeping some stuff that the party

wants to keep they are likely to come back to free him. A long

argument/bargain ensues. They all agree that it not likely that anyone

is going to be fighting with Zagyg, so bargaining power is what will

really matter. Eventually they give up a good number of Zagyg

items and their Wand of Stone Shaping. The Lamasu gives them a piece

in return.

They go into the ballroom and defeat the mimic and the gelatenous

cube. As they place the last piece the room disolves and they find

themselves standing in a cozy cabin. A wizened man is sitting in a

comfortable chair facing them. Wicked, the worlds smartest cat, is

sitting in his lap, purring. He is, of course, Zagyg, and all of

this has been an illusion. He tells them that he is

very pleased with their progress, that he has been watching them

and preparing them for their next adventure. He has been working with

the pieces for a number of years, but they keep slipping through his

fingers. He is very interested in knowing what they do, but he has come

to realize that the pieces themselves are preventing him from assembling

them. He first tried to get Alwine to gather the pieces for him, but

Alwine betrayed and used Zagyg, and, as they have seen, was punished.

Then the Skaven, apparently one of their grand wizards or some such,

also got interested in the pieces, and broke long standing agreements

to not have any contact with the surface world around here and also

began gathering pieces. Zagyg has dealt with them, and they will no

longer be troublesome. Indeed someone else is also after the pieces,

but he is unable to tell them anything about that person as that would be

violating "the rules." They know where to go, Venga, without him

having to tell them. That is why he had to grab the Duke to make

sure that they would come here first for a last bit of training before

they headed off the Venga. Wicked points out that the party was good

to her, except perhaps Rivery, and she too thinks they are ready.

He looks at Livy, and notes that Copelius is very impressive and that

from examining Wicked, Copelius can take his creations to a new level.

They explicitly asks what the pieces do and he says he is not

sure. They have been damaged and he guesses that they have become

more powerful than they were at their original construction. Rir

talks about a table or board that goes with them. Zagyg does not

know what he is talking about, but suggests that since they are a

chess set the obvious thing to do when they are all in hand is

to start playing a game of chess with them.

Speaking of the Duke they now notice that he is asleep on a cot

behind Zagyg. Zagyg says that the Duke has been asleep since Sunday, but

that he has to hurry back to Caron as events there need his attention.

Zagyg awakens the Duke, and an argument ensues. The Duke is upset that

Zagyg has broken some sort of agreement, Zagyg apologizes, but says

that now it is important for the Duke to get back to Caron. Zagyg

says that when things have settled down, the Duke should send him

a note to let him know how he can make amends for his transgression.

To get them back quickly to Caron Zagyg will be happy to give them

a ride on his Dragon.

The Duke turns to the party, who identify themselves as the

Ripper 5. They tell him that he has been away from Caron since

Sunday morning, Thornsby sent them to find him, and that an army

will be along in a day or two. They convince him that they are not

working for Zagyg, but that Zagyg has clearly manipulated them for

purposes that they do not understand. They too want to get back

to Caron and would also like to get a ride on the dragon.

The dragon ride takes a few hours. During the ride the

party asks the Duke to help them take over the Ten Bells. He

says that while he is the Duke, his absolute writ does not extend

to the city of Caron. There is a council that he appoints

with the consent of the Vale Lords and they run a bureaucracy

that even he has difficulty controlling. He will do what he

can to expedite matters. That usually does help.

As they approach Caron they ask to do a fly over. They note

burned and damaged areas in the Low City. It is very

public with people recognizing the Duke and Ripper 5 and cheers break

out among the people of the city. They land a bit away from the walls,

the dragon flys off, and they are met by a troop of cavalry from the

Guardians. They escort them into the city and tell them of the

events of last few days. They see the Warjack, called Savior, marching

about the Low Square. People are thanking it and throwing garlands

of flowers on it. As they head up to Castle Caron people come out

cheering the Duke and Ripper 5.

They get up to the Castle and are ushered in to a situation

room where Sir Charles Thornsby is in charge. He tells them that

apparently the Red Hats took advantage of the reduced number of

forces in the city after the Guardians sortied out to recover the

Duke to launch a raid. They took advantage of a tunnel that was not

well guarded by the Town Guard, and suddenly appeared all over the

Low City via the sewers. At this point they began looting some

businesses of the sort that would not be terribly missed. Thornsby

expresses some admiration at how well this was done. This went so well

that they then tried to invade the Upper City. This is when things

began to go wrong. Dr. Copelius' thing was clearly a surprise as it

smashed their heavy troops and well organized defense by the citizens

defeated their attempt to take the Upper City. Thornsby opines

that if someone with military experience would have been in charge

the incident could have been ended that night by a determined attack.

Instead they called for the army and sat tight. He arrived late that

night and prepared for a dawn attack.

He guesses that the Red Hats mostly fled over night, leaving a

rear guard in some barricaded positions in the Low City. The assault

went well and the city was retaken fairly easily the next morning.

Since then they have been carefully searching the Low City and finding

no trace of the Red Hats. The Guardians have taken control of the

tunnel which the Red Hats used to enter the city. He thinks they

can lift the curfew tomorrow or the next day.

The Duke tells Thornsby that Zagyg apologized for breaking

the agreement and that they needed to think carefully how Zagyg could

make amends. They thank the Ripper 5 for their help, give them a pass

to move about the city after dark. Thornsby tells them that he sent

some fast riders to the Cracktow after he was forced to return with

the army to Caron. They will gather anything, such as the horses,

that got left behind when the Ripper 5 returned on the dragon. The Duke

tells them to come back tomorrow for a letter in support of their

bid for the Ten Bells.

The party goes to see Dr. Copelius who is elated by the

events of the last few days. His creation is a great success and

he expects to be inundated with requests for more and he is occupied

with thoughts of how he can turn his prototype that took years to build

into something he can produce more rapidly. He thinks he will have to

talk to some Dwarves. They go together to collect Savior who Dr. Copelius

tells them has to be periodically refueled. It is another triumphant

march as they return to Dr. Copelius home. He will work on Livy

and thinks it will take a few days to repair her. He is

happy to have her continue working with them as it has worked so well

for everyone.

As the curfew starts to fall they decide to go the Temple of

Athena. There they are healed up. They meet with Biassy. He confirms

much of what they have already heard. Wednesday night the Town Guard

came to the temple and said that Fell Creatures were loose in the

Low City and that Temple guards and any able bodied should turn out

to defend the city. Biassy gathered up people from the temples

on the Corniche and they defended one of the routes up from the Low

City. Some 50 or so goblins and a few bigger creatures attacked and

they were turned back loosing a dozen or so before they retreated back

into the Low City. They remained on the defensive as the Guardians

showed up. The next day the Guardians led a successful attack. The

temple folks have since been searching an area of the Low City for

Fell Creatures and have not found anything.


Thursday: Under the Heel and Caron Chronicle Special Joint Edition

Order Restored After Fell Creature Attack

This is the second joint edition of these newspapers in less than

a week. The terrible events of the last week require that all the citizens

of our city and nation unite, and we hope the we can be an example.

Sometime during the night of Tuesday or early Wednesday the infamous

gang of fell creatures, the Red Hats, invaded the city of Caron. The Red Hats

are primarily a band of goblins, but they also include a smattering of

more fearsome fell creatures such as gnolls and bugbears. They are led

by goblin priests who proclaim the imminent return of legendary fell lord

The Horned One. The Red Hats apparently entered the city via an underground

passage and used the sewers to move unseen around the city and strike in

unexpected locations. By the time the Guardians of Galba and the Town Guard

were even aware that the city was under attack the Red Hats were in control

of much of the Low City.

The Red Hats then mounted an assault on the upper city. The

defense by members of the security forces had key aid by noted citizens.

Dr. Copelius, noted builder of magomechanical creations, lent his latest

creation to the effort. It is a metal construct that stands over 15 feet

high and wields a giant battle axe. Dr. Copelius's creation defeated a

troop of Red Hat ogres and led a counter attack into the Low City. The

creation, dubbed Savior, now stands vigilently in the Low Square. Master

Uthnel of the Mage's Guild led a group of mages and Elves. High Priest of

Athena Biassy organized the priests and acolytes of the temples. Master

Smith Fahet led a troop of ax bearing Dwarves. The noted Factor Amaer led

a group of Judges, Lawyers, and clerks from the High Court.

Vergo Lister, noted Low City bussinessman, provided guides through the maze

like passages of the Low City for the forces of liberation. Odilia Halstromm,

recently named Chancellor of the University of Caron, organized the members

of the University community to aid in the defense. This contribution

is especially note worty given the travails the University has undergone

this last weekend.

By the end of the day Wednesday the Red Hats only occupied a small,

but heavily defended enclave in the Low City. At dawn this morning a final

assault was launced on the fell creatures led by Sir Charles Thornsby of

the Guardians. Thornsby credited Bancel Ashton for leading a squad of men

in an attack from outside the city and over the wall on the rear of Red Hat

position for being the decisive blow leading to final victory. We note

that Bancel is the brother of Aurelia Ashton, a member of noted adventuring

group the Ripper 5. The Ashton family is clearly one to watch.

The Duke of Galba reminds the citizens of Caron that a curfew from

the hours of 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM remains in effect. No citizen

is allowed out of their homes between these times without written permission

from the Guardians of Galba. The city gates will be closed between the hours

of 8:00 PM and 8:00 AM. All citizens are urged to be vigilent and report

any unusual activities to the Guardians or the Town Guard. Sir Thornsby

urges all citizens to cooperate with the authorities as the entire city

is being swept for any remaining Red Hat's who may have survived this mornings

assault and are holed up or are trying to escape.

Our newspapers continue to support these drastic measures.

We urge all citizens go about their normal business

and cooperate fully with the authorities.



The party scatters to their respective homes. Rir sees Fahet

who confirms the general story. Fahet is proud and happy that the Dwarves

of the city were able to help. It reminded him of fighting in the

Underdark. Rir tells Fahet that the Duke was out of town, but Fahet

tells him that he saw the Duke on Wednesday morning praising the

volunteers for their help. Fahet spent yesterday searching the Low

City, but the volunteers were dismissed at the end of the day. Rir

writes a letter to his father:


My friends and I have found more pieces of the puzzle and

I am curious about the table you showed me. What is it's

story? Watch yourself. Skaven are rising and Red Hats

attacked Caron. We are heading to Venga next. Do you

know anyone in Venga who you could contact that would look for

the Ripper 5? Stay well.


Berana and Aislyn visit Uthnel. He has a similar story.

He too saw the Duke in the time between the attack and yesterday,

but admits that it could have been anyone. "The Duke" was surrounded

by Guardians and never got close enough for someone to verify

his identity. He had a note from Berana's father in Marnor. He has

found a Kodan ship that will take him accross the Western Ocean.

Marnor is about the most chaotic place that Kalabash has ever seen.

It takes weeks to travel across the Western Ocean. It will be weeks

before they have any word from Berana's parents. They also go see

Darthia at the small Temple of Artemis. She also participated in the

defense of the Upper City with Elves and mages led by Uthnel. She

guesses that she saw some scores of goblins and ten or so of them

were killed before they broke and fled back to the Low City. She

too saw the Duke in the last few days.

Rivery goes to the Bookshop and finds it in ruins. He asks after

Osburn and learns that Osburn is dead. He goes to the brothel to find

Alsiga and Adeliza. They were unharmed during the invasion, and are happy

to see him. After getting reaquanted with them he is directed to Theros.

Theros has taken over from Osburn and tells Rivery that the Red Hats attacked

via Drakthar's Way. Apparently Drakthar had survived the Town Guard attack

on Drakthar's Way and had taken over someone in the Town Guard. So their

entrance into the city acheived complete surprise. The Red Hats then

attacked and looted locations related to the Thieves Guild. Virgo is very

angry and suspects an inside job. As far as they know Drakthar and

most of the Red Hats evacuated the city before the Guardians recaptured

it. Theros questions Rivery closely on his relations with the Red Hats

but Rivery says that he and his friends have been fighting the Red Hats

for some time. Theros tells Rivery that there is no work and it is

best that members of the Guild should just lie low until things return

to normal.

Aurelia asks after her brother Bancel and is told that he is

on assignment outside the city.

They go see their Factor Amaer. He focuses on business. He

tells them that on Monday a Dwarf from Yggsburgh in a flying boat

came here about their mining claim. Apparently there is tunnel between

Yggsburgh and their mine claim that by passes some rough terrain.

Their claim is thus quite valuable and there is lucrative offer

on it from some people in Yggsburg. They tell him to investigate

the value of the offer and that they are inclined to sell their

claim if the price is fair. He also has a note from Odilia Halstromm

who is the new Chancellor of Caron University. She would like

to speak with them. They recall her slutty behavior at the Charity

Ball. They inquire after the Ten Bells. He tells them that all

the paper work was filed, the hearing went well and he thought that

in about a week they would take possesion. A letter from the Duke,

which the Ripper 5 present, will help, but of course everything

has come to a halt with the crisis in the city. They visit the

Ten Bells and note that the Town Guard are using it as a base.

They warn them to not bother the ghost, and the guards say that

she has not been much of a problem with so many of them around.

They go to the University and are ushered into the Chancellor's

office. She seems all business, but they note her skirt is rather too

short. She wants to thank them for the service they have done for the

University. If there is anything she or the University can do for

them, they have only to ask. She admits that at the moment the University

is in reduced circumstances, but that their memory is long and they

hope they can be of more help in the future. The party asks about

Venga, telling her that they are planning to travel there. She

excorts them to Professor of Divination Highill. He calls Odilia

the "provisional Chancellor". He gets them to

ask a specific question, "Who has what we seek in Venga?" He gets

out a silver bowl, fills it with pure water, and some herbs.

He chants a spell and says, "He that is who should not be."

He admits that this is not very helpful. "should not be"

typically refers to something unnatural such as an undead

or some sort of magical creation. Often in these parts it

can refer to a Twisted One. The party immediately thinks

of the Horned One.

They learn more on Venga by going to the library. They

get a map, learn that Venga was one of the north most cities

of the Moran Empire. It exists as a sort of gateway to the

Wild Lands and stands at one of the few passes over the

mountains. It also sits on the Nor River and boats

can travel from there to Marnor on the Middle Sea. It is

ruled by three merchant families. Fell creatures can be found

in the city and slavery is allowed. Dwarves in the mountains

to the East and Elves over the mountain ridge to the West.

The journey should take 2-3 days and is generally safe although

there is some danger at the northern end of the road before it

passes into the valley of Venga. There are frequent caravans

between Caron and Venga. Venga (15-20k) is about half the size

of Caron (35k). They plan to leave for Venga in the next

few days, once Livy is patched up.

User avatar
Red Cap
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri May 26, 2006 7:00 am

Twenty Third Session Comments

Post by cinabro »

I truncate the Palace of Shadows to get the story back on track. They wisely elect not to fight it out with Zagyg and we have a lively interaction as the party tries to figure out what is going on. They don't get much, but

we havea good time.

They meet the Duke and focus on a parochial matter. Very strange.

Exciting time back in Caron. Lots of stuff happened and the people that they know roll very well and must have figured prominently in the ultimately successful defense of the city.

And finally I catch up. We had this session a couple of weeks ago and plan the next session in about four weeks.

Next post from me will be a review of how the campaign is going.

Posts: 20660
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
Location: Arizona and St Louis

Post by Treebore »

Very nice. I like how you have Zagyg manipulate them, etc... Lots of players complain that is "railroading", but I think it helps players "see" how often they are manipulated in real life.

Besides, they had a choice, they could have fought Zagyg. They just decided staying alive, and manipulated, is better than being dead.

I also like the affects of your newspaper articles, each telling its own version, etc.... So it does an excellent job of showing to very differing opinons of the same events, and forces the players to wonder where the truth lies. Excellent campaign tool, I hope they appreciate it.
The Ruby Lord, Earl of the Society

Next Con I am attending:

My House Rules: ... llordgames
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.

User avatar
Red Cap
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri May 26, 2006 7:00 am

Campaign so far: Self Review

Post by cinabro »

Events, Sessions, Level Advancement, Comment

Meet up, 1, +0, Home brew stolen from the Usual Suspects. Worked great and gave party a good reason to work together.

Halfling Hall, 2, +0.4, Excellent beginning adventure.

Blacktooth Ridge, 4, +0.8, Excellent adventure. $1 pdf add ons are a great value.

Return of the Ripper, 1, +0.8, Excellent adventure.

Drakthar's Way, 3, +0.2, Excellent adventure.

Ambush, 0.5, +0, Homebrew using NPC's from Slag Heap.

Dark Chateau, 2, +0.8, Very good adventure. Imaginative.

Castle Zagyg Environs, 2, +0.4 Great value. Lots of hooks.

Skaven Ambush, 0.5, +0, The unexpected terrifies the players.

Revenge of the Rat King, 1.5, +0.4, Excellent adventure.

Unhallowed Halls, 2, +0, Very good adventure, but things go wrong.

Palace of Shadows, 3.5, +0.8, Good; too random and repititive for my taste.

Totals, 23 Sessions, +4.6 Levels (most of the party is 6th Level),

3 Homebrews (not rated)

4 from the Troll Lords, 3 excellent, 1 very good

2 Goodman Dungeon Crawl Classics, both excellent

1 from Pazio, excellent

1 from Atlas, excellent, but I mis-handled

1 from Goodman, good

9 modules, 7 excellent, 1 very good, and 1 good

It takes 5 sessions/2 modules to level up. It takes about 2.5 sessions to complete

a module. Neither of these count the homebrews as those are typically short encounters

that advance the plot. I had estimated 1.5-2.0 sessions per module when I planned

this campaign to fit in a year of real world time. I did figure 2 modules to

level up. My original plan had 4 other modules which, because the party level

got out of whack with the module or for plot reasons, were skipped, and 2 modules

got added on the fly as the campaign unfolded.

I picked good modules. Troll Lord C&C and Goodman DCC products are

uniformly excellent. The only module I was not completely happy with was Palace of Shadows.

I blame myself for not getting as much as we could have out of Unhallowed Halls.

The campaign is going really well. I do wish we would have gotten it finished

in 2006, but the players are eager to see it continue. C&C works great. Once the

basic mechanics are in hand everything flows smoothly. We typically only have to look

up the details of spells and magic items during a session.

I am eager to start a different campaign based in Detroit, but besides greenbadge

am having a hard time getting a group together. Contact me if you have

any interest. The Caron Camapaign is scheduled to have another session in

three weeks when my friends from Chicago come up to Detroit for a visit.

I will report on it then.

Post Reply