The Warden Lands

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!
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Mist Elf
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:00 am

The Warden Lands

Post by falrinth »

G'day Everyone!

I've recently finished my first proper foray into C&C; with a new group and a new homebrew setting to boot! Firstly, we had a really good time, which is the important thing, though I feel my CKing skills are sorely out-of-practice. On top of everything else, this is the first time I've ever used a module in 15 years of running games (how arrogant is that?!), and I had a fair amount of trouble remembering npcs' names and motives!

Anyhow, on a rainy Sunday afternoon the 5 of us gathered around the living room table, put on some atmospheric music and got stuck into The Rising Knight.

I was immediately happy to have a merchant in the party as it gave a nice reason for the pcs to be travelling together (the merchant character had hired the others as mercenaries to escort him to Malforten on business). I'm looking forward to the merchant character's inability to pay for the services of the other pcs in a later session!

(Rising Knight Spoilers Ahead!)

I began the session with the party travelling through the woods, lost on a 'shortcut' gone wrong. It was cold and dismal, and tempers were frayed after a week of foot travel. As dusk crept in the pcs became nervous about banditry and monsters... and sure enough, a small light ahead signalled both.

A small band of goblins had come to pay a visit to the traitorous farmer Gwion, and were in the process of forcefully extracting information and protection-payment on the forests edge. The party interpreted the scene as a simple robbery and planned an ambush on the goblins with excellent results; 2 dead goblins and 2 unconscious, which they later dragged into Malforten for questioning. Gwion thanked the party for 'rescuing' him, but was now terrified at what Gritznak's revenge would entail for him.

Gwion took the heroes into Malforten and to The Empty Flagon where they were welcomed by the locals. The goblins were thrown in a cage and after much info-gathering they retired to bed.

That night, another 'hero' staying at the Inn made a hasty departure for Gritznak's lair. The knight had come to Malforten for the reward on the Gnoll's head and was damned if this upstart band of wayfarer's was going to take the glory from him.

Also that night, Gwion gathered his wife and daughter together, broke into the stables of the Empty Flagon, stole the heroes mule & cart and escaped the village, fleeing south.

The pcs woke the next morning and questioned the goblins, discovering quite a bit about Gritznak through magical persuasion. They now had a fair idea of where he was and that he was very well protected. They were diverted from this task when they found their cart missing. Immediately suspicious of Gwion the party investigated the farmers cottage and found it abandoned. They made chase.

A day was spent hunting down Gwion and that evening they recovered the cart. As they were doing so they were all set upon by another band of goblins, this time riding wolves. The encounter was bloody, with the pcs badly injured and Gwion's daughter in serious pain with a sling bullet lodged beneath her arm.

The heroes convinced a panicky Gwion to return to Malforten under their care and confess to the village of his misdeeds.

Malforten's militia-leader, Eryl, was furious at the treachery and wanted Gwion hanged but the party intercepted. Gwion was seperated from his wife and daughter and put under house-arrest until the village passed judgement on his fate.

The heroes gathered more information from other villagers and rested up for two days as they considered how to solve the Gritznak dilemma. They felt too under-powered to simply wander up to the gnoll's hideaway and attack, but Eryl refused to allow the pcs to ambush Gritznak at the next 'tribute' as he didn't want to endanger the villagers.

They decided to at least explore the north road and perhaps the exterior of Gritznak's lair in hope of finding a weakness to exploit. On route they stopped in at Griffy the Hat's home in hope of receiving blessing or aid from the cleric. Instead they found the cleric brutally murdered and Gwion's wife and daughter (who were staying with Griffy) kidnapped. Gouged into the cleric's naked corpse were the words, "Come to me".

And that's where the session finished, after nearly 5 hours of fun!

I'm happy with how things are transpiring, and the freedom in the module for the players to tackle situations in their own way. I'm going to make the dungeons of Baleon Nakt a little easier by having the glorybound Knight clear out a little of the 1st level before meeting his doom.

I'm scheming away for the next session. Thinking of a nice night-time encounter near the temple in which Gwion's daughter has escaped the dungeons and is running for her life through the woodlands, chased by the ghoul-incarnation of the slain knight. I'm also thinking that the real traitor in Malforten is Bryl himself, under the influence of a shard of the sentient-temple which he wears as an amulet and mistakenly believes is a gift from his daughter but which was actually sent by Gritznak. That would make for a nice post-dungeon battle back in Malforten in which the heroes have to disarm Bryl of the amulet without killing him.

Anyway... I'll let you know how it all plays out.


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Post by Rhuvein »

Very well done, Kris and well played by the PCs.

I really liked this module, as did my players, so it's fun to see how other CKs make it their own.

Count Rhuveinus - Lejendary Keeper of Castle Franqueforte

"Enjoy a 'world' where the fantastic is fact and magic really works!" ~ Gary Gygax

"By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes:" - Macbeth
Count Rhuveinus - Lejendary Keeper of Castle Franqueforte

"Enjoy a 'world' where the fantastic is fact and magic really works!" ~ Gary Gygax

"By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes:" - Macbeth

Lore Drake
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Post by Maliki »

I agree, nice module and very easy for a CK to make it his own. Every CJ I've read where the CK used Rising Knight, had been different.
Never throw rocks at a man with a Vorpal Sword!

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Post by Tank »

Hey, that stuff wasn't in the module!!
Seriously, though, great job! And congratulations on the new group.

Mist Elf
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:00 am

Post by falrinth »


Just finished a 7hr session today and still the group is yet to confront Gritznak! And it felt we were moving at quite a quick pace too.

We picked up the adventure with the party reporting the brutal murder-scene of Griffy the Hat to Eryl and then helping with the investigation of the crime scene. Little was unveiled of use at Griffy's home so the heroes, keen to not lose time, continued on their mission to find Gritznak's dwelling.

After a few hours of uneventful trekking they encountered Kiint the Leper gingerly moving down the mountainside towards them. Kiint had spent the passed 2 days searching for Gritznak but had not been able to locate the Imperial Road. That morning however, he did encounter a barded stallion wandering alone in the hills. Kiint recognised the horse as that of Surin the Lance, and managed to subdue the beast with the intention of returning it to Malforten. Pixies had intercepted the leper though and forced him to hand over the steed before chasing him out of the woods. The news the party brought from Malforten of Griffry's murder deeply saddened Kiint and he made haste for the village, leaving the adventurer's to continue north.

Later that day, two hours before night fell, the party happened across an everglade at the foot of a great waterfall. Here they found Surin's stallion, bereft of saddle and barding and drinking from the far bank. Before the group could attempt to cross the river to get to the horse they were approached by pixies. The heroes had no trouble convincing the pixies of their good intention, what with the majority of the pcs being fey themselves and one a druid. They were given information on the whereabouts of the ruins where Gritznak was staying and a dire warning of a 2nd ruin along the Imperial Road. The pixies also asked a favour of the party; to bring to them a particular goblin working as Gritznaks underling.

This part of the game was just fantastic. I was really hesitant about putting it in at all as the whole encounter was not action-oriented and came at an already slow part of the game. Also, I found pixies a bit silly! Nevertheless I went with it, and it was SO rewarding. I got to explain some theology and history of my homebrew setting through stories of the pixies and even involve the pcs in a ritual of thanks to the earth mother. It also threw in the extra mission of capture the goblin and gave me an opportunity to buff the heroes with some minor healing potions gifted to them by the pixies.

Anyway. The following morning the pcs were accompanied as far as the Imperial Road and given precise directions to get to the ruins. The days travel passed uneventfully save for the careful sidestepping of a wild boar! That night they made camp just off the Imperial Road near the statue which points to the ruins.

So I seized the perfect opportunity to throw in my creepy night encounter with the ghoul of Surin the Lance chasing Gwions daughter through the woods. It was an excellent little scenario but was over very quickly thanks to some good rolling on the heroes behalf. Now they had the extra burden of Gwions daughter tagging along. Knowing full well that taking the young girl into the dungeons was not an option, but also not wanting to leave Gwions wife at Gritznaks mercy any longer than necessary, the party searched the woods for pixies, hoping the fey would aid them and look after the girl while they crawled the dungeons! The bard of the group made contact with a pixie and with her 18 charisma was quite able to convince the pixie to aid them. Again, Im SO happy to have put the original pixie encounter in!

The next morning the party investigated the ruins. The bards plan was to poison the water supply of the goblins, but no well was apparent aboveground. After careful consideration they decided a direct attack was perhaps the best offence. They descended into the dungeons.

I wont go into too greater detail but the players have taken to the free-wheeling style of Castles & Crusades beautifully and are trying all kinds of great stuff (especially in combat) that 3rd Edition D&D would have made too complicated to bother with. My favourite example was the first room of the dungeon, in which I had 5 goblins waiting for another ambush after Surin the Knight had passed through 2 days prior. The goblins had tipped over 2 tables to face the entrance from the rear of the chamber, and hid behind them with their missile weapons ready. The two fighter-types in the party quickly addressed the situation and made a direct charge at the tables, crushing the goblins between the tables and the rear wall! Great stuff!

The party investigated the upper level, slowly taking out goblins with minimal loss, but then they were separated. They walked across the sagging corridor and both fighters fell through the floor into level 2. The evil spirit of the dungeon took advantage by quickly rebuilding the floor, separating the group! The adventure took a really fun and even more compelling twist at this point as the partys relative comfort immediately disappeared.

An hour of awesome gaming took place and the heroes have been forced to flee, having been VERY nearly killed by kobolds and giant spiders. They did manage to capture the goblins that the pixies are after though, and are now thinking of completing that mission now in the hope of the pixies rewarding them with something useful to use against Gritznak.

So, from what I was expecting to be a straight-forward dungeon-crawl session came this brilliant game. There was action, intrigue, history, religion, deception, cunning, foolishness, heroics, trepidation, fear and a great in-character argument of ethics.

Im spent!

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