Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Amazonian Escapades: Day One: "Welcome to New Haven!"

Well hello there! I’m Mike and I am stepping in to write on this blog because Carl asked me if I would provide a perspective for his 4e campaign from the player. First off; I have to start by saying that I am amazed by how Carl was able to step in and start his own campaign so quickly. As some of you may have read already in: This Post he kind of had the job of DMing dropped into his lap at the last minute. His first words to us were, “It’s going to be a jungle setting and you’re fresh off the boat.” How much that line would change our lives, we never knew….

I plan to write in installments if possible, cataloging our exploits as the adventure unfolds. I am also going to try and use this as a place to record the history of the party and the world as we explore it. Not only will this give you, the reader, a good insight from the player’s point of view, but it will also help myself and the party call up relevant information when needed. It will also help us reminisce some day when we’re all heroes of the Amazonian landscape…..if we survive.

So, it all began with a ragtag crew of adventurers seeking fame and fortune promised us on far away continents. There is Antillia the female albino minotaur warden(me!), Hammer the male warforged barbarian, Vomarr the male bugbear cleric of Kord, Rhaziel the male eladrin rogue, and Beautiful Bob the male half-elf ardent who joined us later on in the mines. So, the story begins…

Antillia, Hammer, Vomarr, and Rhaziel caught a ride on a local slave ship headed to a new and unexplored continent with promises of fame, fortune, artifacts, and the raw knowledge of new landscapes and fauna. We all exchanged our greetings as fellow passengers on a long voyage across the sea and became fast friends. (convenient!) We landed on the foreign beach and disembarked the ship, having also gotten to know a slave, Zoggins, and his thoughts of a revolt, we kept an eye on him. Meanwhile, governor Sir John Laymen, greeted us and informed us of how happy he was to see us and how welcome we were. When asked about the area he filled us in on some of the local events. Apparently not everything was going so well in the new world…he did however tell us of the three mines in the mountains and how the slaves were there to be sold to the mine managers. He also mentioned the “White Death” which was a disease that had infected the village and killed many of the people. Apparently a local Doctor had helped cure the disease by traveling across the mountains, which was thought impossible, and collecting herbs that he brought back. Fourth on the list were rumors of the local hunters, Dornal "The Swift", Elijah Silver, and Martin Treebreaker who had found a city made entirely of gold in the middle of the swamp. To top it all off the town was vacant and housing, land, and most tools were completely free.

So, what does a group setting out for fortune, fame, ancient knowledge, and power do with their first day in a town chock full of adventure hooks and plot twists? They claim a house, start a farm, and go fishing! No, seriously, that’s what we did! Well, we DID ask around about some of the rumors pertaining to the “White Death” and the city of gold. We decided to split up to make the best work of it. Antillia and Vomarr went to talk to the Doctor about herbs and the “White Death” cure. Meanwhile, Rhaziel and Hammer went to find the hunters in the local tavern (where they displayed many of their trophies) and inquire about the city of gold. We decided this was the best course of action while waiting for the slave auctions to start later on in the afternoon.

Antillia and Vomarr met with Doctor John Lock and realized almost immediately that he was on some pretty heavy self-prescribed “medication”. He was huddled up in the back of his office mumbling about the great serpent and held out a spoonful of some brownish-green looking paste that he had made in a bowl. So of course, Antillia ate it! Let’s talk about amazing! Antillia began to hallucinate and time seemed to slow down around her. She saw a great green serpent fly up from what seemed like over the mountains, and into her chest. After that Antillia could see life in everything around her, detect spirits that she couldn’t before, and could literally FEEL nature in everything living. She walked outside and gazed upon this ancient stone head and saw shadows of people performing a ritual around it and it seemed to glow in an amazing wash of light. A beam shot from the head in the direction it was facing, towards what we later discovered was the center of the swamp. She was able to make out some of the glyphs on the ancient head, but not what they said. After the trip-tastic fun time they were finally able to talk to the Doctor and determine that this concoction he had made was the product of the Great Serpent that taught him how to mix the right herbs/fruits/youdon’twannaknow/etc. so he could be lead and perceive the great pass (as well as the Great Serpent) in the mountains that opened on a certain celestial alignment. He told us he would be leaving in a week, because the alignment would happen again and he would be able to cross the mountains to get the herbs, that could only be gotten to cure the “White Death” on the other side. He said he had tried to grow them here, but something in the earth allowed some healing spirits to enter the herbs over the mountains and give them their curative property. Also, that something in the region we were in was hindering and killing plant growth. Many of the locals attributed this to the “White Death” as well. Another thing we made note of was that supposedly the Great Serpent was the “One God” of all nature. We bid him farewell in hopes of traveling with him in a week to see this pass through the mountains.

So while Antillia and Vomarr were having their little acid koolaid test, Hammer and Rhaziel were seeking out the hunters at the local tavern "The Engorged Serpent". The hunters turned out to be a trio called "The Jungle Boys" and they asked them about their tale. The hunters were glad to tell it, with a few free ales in their hands, and soon the two adventurers were enthralled. Apparently the trio had once been a quartet and had lost one of their hunters to the “serpent-like guardians” of the golden city/temple. They said they had adventured into the swamp, in search of new found glory and trophies. There was a wall of vegetation around a specific area that seemed impassable, but they had managed to find a way in. Once inside the wall the land before them sloped quickly down into a crater so large they couldn’t make out the other side. Immediately they noticed that the crater’s walls were covered in what seemed like a black glass and the obvious giant wall made of gold around the city/temple in the center of the crater. They slid down for a closer investigation when they were ambushed by a group of serpent men. The hunters ran for their lives, but one of them was set upon by the snake-men. (You only have to run faster than the slowest hunter!) Their jaws dropped as the snake men, right off his still squirming body, ate their friend’s face! It was all they could do to gather themselves and make for the passage in the wall. They have never been back to that place since… Well obviously this story had the intended effect upon Hammer and Rhaziel, warding them from ever going to the deadly temple of gold, right? Right?! If anything it only whet their appetites. What could be better for a rogue and barbarian? Plenty of evil creatures to slaughter with the promise of so much gold you can build a city out of it. Not much tops that!

So as the group gathered info the sun slowly waned towards later afternoon. It was nearing time for the slave auction so we pooled our gold and all went to attend. We knew we wanted Zoggins and, borrowing from our knowledge, we decided to stack the odds in our favor. Antillia went separate from the group to bid on the slaves, while Hammer, Rhaziel, and Vomarr spread rumors about the slaves we wanted. It turns out we were against Seyra, Grobin, and Picktooth. They were the representatives of the local mines; "Steaming Pit"(Seyra: Red Headed Beauty), "Yellowbrick"(Grobin: Fat Man), and "Snorter's Sluce and Slurry"(Picktooth: Half Orc). In the end we had scared off many of the potential bids on those slaves and acquired Zoggins, Er’ekt, and Blister. We promptly pulled Zoggins aside and told him how we’d like to set them all free, but employ them working on our farm and keeping up our house. Being a natural born leader, we put Zoggins in charge, and he was thrilled. Antillia showed them all how to farm and Er’ekt was a natural born cook and housekeeper. Meanwhile, night was falling and Rhaziel and Hammer decided to go fishing! We gave Hammer a sunrod and Rhaziel snagged a boat on shore. Rhaziel passed a rope down to Hammer (who doesn’t need to breathe) and Hammer waded around the bottom of the small gulf, searching for lost relics and fish. Hammer had amazing eyes that evening and managed to bring up 2 ancient pots full of a nectar similar to honey. He also managed to get in a fight with a giant halibut and Rhaziel dived in to help him finish it off. When they came to shore Rhaziel brought in the jars and a net full of about eight pounds of fish. The other fishermen were mocking him as they were bringing in their hauls, until Hammer came wading out carrying a 300-pound halibut on his shoulders. All the other fishermen were speechless after that as their jaws hit their decks. We all had a hearty laugh at the tale and set our workers to cutting, cooking, and glazing some fish on a stick to prepare to sell it in town the next day.

While the fish was being prepared for the next day we were approached by a messenger asking us to attend Seyra, the red headed beauty, at the tavern. We were curious who she was, so we asked around some on the way there. It turns out she was one of the people bidding on the slaves and the lady who had won almost all of them. We were intrigued so we went to meet her, at which point she laid a proposition at our feet. She said we had been seen around the town and had heard we were the seasoned type. She said she didn’t have enough guards of her own to escort all the slaves up to the "Steaming Pit" mine, but would pay us to help guard them along the way. First, we asked her a few questions about the need for so many slaves and that began a new tale….

Seyra began her story telling us that her company had lost many of it’s miners recently and production was almost halted completely. When we asked her if it had anything to do with the “White Death” she told us that the disease didn’t reach anyone in the mine. We assumed this was due to the fact that most miners avoided the town during the epidemic, even though local rumor had suggested the "White Death" might be the cause of the mine's shortcomings. So, this naturally raised our suspicions. If it wasn’t the “White Death”, then what could kill so many miners so quickly? She simply told us it was an unforeseen accident and she needed the slaves. We eventually bargained out a price, getting more than the original offer due to the lack of answers, and bid her farewell until the morrow.

We returned to our farm to see that our workers were well settled and then went back to our home where Er’ekt had dusted, cleaned, and put things back in order. We bedded down for the evening with adventure on our minds and a long trip up the river to the mountains ahead….

I’d like to also note at the end of this that we had wondered if the “White Death” might be spread by flying insects, similar to mosquitoes, so we found a local spider webbing that is coated in sap to strengthen and preserve it. It made for a very light netting that was stronger than steel and served as a great way to keep insects out of our sleeping areas.

Places and people of note:

New Hope - Starting Port with a tavern, whorehouse, general store, and blacksmith.
Engorged Serpent - Tavern in New Hope.
Silken Thigh - Whorehouse in New Hope.
Sir John Laymen - Governor of New Hope.
Dr. John Lock - Doctor who lost family to the "White Death". Came back from the far side of the mountains with herbs that can cure the "White Death". Had a religious experience with the "Great Serpent" and is looking for help to gather herbs within the week. The only person to ever cross the mountains.
Jungle Boys - The three best hunters in the area.
Elijah Silver - One of the "Jungle Boys", botanist.
Dornal "The Swift" - Leader of the "Jungle Boys".
Martin Treebreaker - One of the "Jungle Boys", the muscle.
Easter Island Heads - One known to exist in New Hope, suspected that there are many of them that form a circle. The faces all pointing towards the "city of gold" in the middle of the swamp. Antillia saw a beam of light shooting out of the face of the one in New Hope during her experience with the concoction Dr. John Lock fed her. They seem to be guarding something, or sealing something in the swamp.
Matt Humphreys - Farmer in New Hope. The only successful farmer still working a field.
Seyra - Representative of the "Steaming Pit" mine. Red headed beauty.
Grobin - Representative of the "Yellowbrick" mine. Fat man.
Picktooth - Representative of "Snorter's Sluice and Slurry", a river sluicing operation just south of the mines. Half orc.
Zoggins - Hobgoblin leader of our workers.
Er'ekt - One of our workers, cook and housekeeper.
Blister - One of our workers, half orc. Dumb as a sack of rocks, but works like an ox.
Antillia - Female Minotaur Warden (Player)
Vomarr - Male Bugbear Cleric (Player)
Hammer - Male Warforged Barbarian (Player)
Rhaziel - Male Eladrin Rogue (Player)

Thanks for reading and I hope I gave you a good look at what we’re up against! I think the sheer amount of plot hooks and story background made sure we would be busy for some time to come. I’ll post the next bit of our adventure as soon as I can! I also apologize for any naming differences between my post and previous posts, I am going off my notes where names are spelled how they sounded to me.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great post Mike!

    Let me say that it has been a pleasure to have a player who takes such detailed notes and a group that has been up to the challenge of trying to figure out what the hell is going on in my little jungle world.

    I am really looking forward to reading more of these, as I simply don't have the time to post about my 4e campaign but I truly enjoy running it.

    Thanks again!


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