Jul 30, 2017

Where did the time go?

DM's note: I warned the players in advance that they probably would not be happy with me during this next session. They all showed up to play anyway, curious about what was in store. . .

The session started with the characters lost in the woods somewhere, with no memories of how they got there. They decided to wait until nightfall and have Luapan, cleric of Celestian, look at the stars and try to divinate where they are located based on those patterns. He is normally pretty good at such a thing, but something was wrong this time. Based on the pattern of stars and time of year, they should be in the Burneal Forest in the far north, and yet, as Sarril was able to figure out, this was not an evergreen forest, and that made no sense.

The next morning, Sarril took to flight and was able to get a better view of the landscape for a few miles around. Consulting the maps he had, he was able to figure out that they must be in the Gnarley Forest. The party headed for an east/west road Sarril was able to see a few miles to the south. That afternoon, when they reached the road, they ran across some travelers headed east. A paladin of Rao, a sage, a squire, and a couple of servants pulling a wagon.

The travelers greeted and party and explained they were on their way to Safeton to celebrate the Feast of Eidoira at the invitation of Dame Gold. Jarrus remembered Dame Gold as a noble who was resisting the efforts of the Slave Lords along the Wild Coast, and taking in refugees from their raids. The party realized they could travel with their new friends to Safeton and catch a boat to Greyhawk from there, but something was amiss. The week long Feast of Eidoira starts on the 4th day of Growfest. The party's last memories were the 7th Day of Wealsun. Sarril inquired about the date, and learned that today was the 3rd day of Growfest, of the Common Year (CY) 580! Nearly a year later than the last day they remembered.

The paladin explained that they were running late and would miss the start of the 7 day feast, but should make it before it finishes. Sarril and Luapan cleverly used their magic to help speed up the group, but levitating the wagon with the party on it so it could move at the full rate of a riding horse. They were able to arrive a full day earlier than previously expected. Just in time to see the aftermath of a raid perpetuated by the slavers.

Safeton had been attacked and Dame Gold's manor burned to the ground. All of the defenders within the town were killed, with only one dead enemy sailor found. The party missed the raid by only a few hours, but they had no chance of catching the attacking ships, which had burned all of the boats in the harbor. The party took some time to investigate the carnage and speak to townsfolk about what happened. They deduced that the raiders must have had some inside help to be able to carry off an attack with such precision at just the right time and place. They also learned that Dame Gold and most of the guests of the feast, or at least those who didn't fight, were taken prisoner. A partially burned journal on the dead sailor suggested they might be headed to Elredd.

The party discussed their next options. They could continue to Greyhawk and chase any of a half dozen or more adventure hooks left open there, or play Scourge of the Slave Lords! (because everyone knows this classic module, even if only vaguely). It wasn't a difficult decision. Sarril was born a slave, and has a deep hatred for the Slave Lords. Pontus was sold to the slavers by a tribal traitor before being freed and joining this party, so he wanted revenge. Jarrus despises the very concept of slavery as it is the opposite of liberty, and Luapan and Gerard are too good to ignore what just went down. So, after asking their new paladin friend to take care of the townspeople and get them to safety, the party caught the next merchant ship that came to port and worked out a deal for a ride down south to Elredd.

On the way, they discovered that a new deckhand that was hired on at a previous port is actually a spy for the Slave Lords. He revealed some valuable information concerning his contacts in Elredd and the party used that information to take on the Slave Lord agents head-on.

DM's Note: We were at the end of our scheduled session time, but no one had gotten to roll dice yet and everyone was itching for a fight, so we pushed forward some more.

The party went to the tavern where the Slave Lord agents were hanging out and started to order drinks (but didn't actually sip them - a good thing since the drinks were poisoned). It turns out, the Slave Lord's agents, after learning of the party's arrival (a paladin of heironeous stands out in a pirate town full of evil humans and humanoid scum), were planning an ambush. But the party struck first, before the agents could fully prepare. This gave them the upper-hand in the difficult tavern brawl that ensued. Sarril even sealed off the building with a wall of ice during the fight to ensure that no one escaped to call for reinforcements. Unfortunately, one of the agents was a wizard who was able to use Dimension Door to get out. Otherwise, the party took out everyone in the tavern, keeping alive the proprietor and a dwarf for questioning.

It is now the 3rd day of Planting, 580 CY.


  1. Since one or more players know this classic pretty well, are they simply separating in - character knowledge or are you planning some twists?

  2. I have twists planned, of course, but one of the things I like about this module is that it plays so differently depending on what the characters do. They took a boat to Elredd, but could have travelled over land, resulting in a very different adventure. They already learned that the Slave Lords operate out of Hightown, and could have sailed straight there, which would have also been very different. Just the way they decided to deal with the slaver's agents at the inn have set in motion very unique events that will tax my DM brain to its fullest (which, of course, is the best way to do it).

    And of course the climax, should the party make it that far, will be customized to this campaign. A certain recurring nemesis character from our old Greyhawk campaign came from this module, and I won't repeat what you did there, but it doesn't mean I'm not inspired by it. Every module we play serves a purpose and advances the greater story arc. Stay tuned to see what comes of this one. . .