Defenders of Daybreak, The Early Years.

Sialia

Visitor
Here follow some excerpts from the Travel Journal of Arcade Deltarion, the Memoirs of Sister Cadrienne, and the Diverting Anecdotes of Dylrath Birdhouse. It is hoped that others who recall the early years of the Defenders of Daybreak will feel free to add their commentaries as well.
 
Last edited:

Bandeeto

Visitor
From the Journal of Arcade Deltarion – High Mage of Gaunt, regarding the adventures of the Defenders of Daybreak

The group assembles for the first time:
At the Inn of the Flaxen Manticore, I met Cadrienne (that cleric of Morphat who I’m always running into at the spell components shop) and Tagkris Crimson (ranger/cleric of Death) to listen to a new bard in town named Nolin. After getting peeved at me for over-tipping for an elven song, Nolin suggested that we might want to join him and the dwarf at the bar Grundo (a Battlerager) in a quest for gems thought to be found up the Gloam River in a glade where it was always winter.

After woofing my cookies when the dwarf uncorked his ale, I determined to show myself in a better light and agreed almost immediately. I may have also had too much of my favorite drink, Griffon Grog. I sent an urchin back to the farm to deliver a note and get my adventuring equipment while my adoptive grandfather Ortigal (a Transmuter) was asleep, and spent the night with Nolin. He is from Farin. Given to introspection and black moods. The next day we set off, picking up Tagkris at his cottage. He is a little impetuous and not overly respectful, but dependable and a nice guy. I picked some snortwort to ward off the dwarf's stench.

We met Tom-Tom Badgerclaw from Rhymeburrow Shire, and his bodyguard Maddoc of Oursk and they joined us on our journey. Tom-Tom seems to be very good at throwing things and making chemicals. Cooks with too much cinnamon, adds it to everything. He has agreed to teach me about locks. Has a fixation about squirrels and wants to kill and wear them. His uncle Baylock Grithamper is missing. For some strange reason he thinks that Arcade should wear pink bunny slippers.

Tagkris debates philosophy with Cadrienne constantly. She seems taken with him.
 
Last edited:

Bandeeto

Visitor
From the Journal of Arcade Deltarion

On the way to Winter’s Glade:
We met a small boy named Michael who informed us that his friend Frolic, apparently a faerie dragon, has been missing for two weeks....

... we found Michael and Frolic's magical purple ball, and were attacked by creatures known as tasloi overnight. The next day we found their cavern. All the tasloi were in a strange state induced by the "euphoria" breath weapon of the faerie dragon. Tagkris, Nolin, and I approached under a white flag, and the tasloi treacherously rose up and threw spears at us. (Cadrienne, thinking perhaps that we were still trying to be friendly, handed one of the spears back, butt-first, and was stabbed.) After defeating them we rescued Frolic, getting breathed on for our pains....


...we broke open an iron door releasing an undead dwarf that we first turned, then killed, then burned, then killed again (!), finally putting his dust into several separate glass vials and putting him back in his tomb. In the tomb we found four scrolls, including a history in dwarven of how Grumsted Nightforger had betrayed his clan and been imprisoned in here.

We collapsed the cavern entrance, just in case.
 
Last edited:

Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
It does indeed mean throwing up. Grundo was... sweaty... and Arcade was a sheltered, delicate sort of fellow. Grundo also liked to drink "Gutshaker," a drink made from raw alcohol, beer, sour goat's milk and other mysterious ingredients. It wasn't exactly palatable, but it DID leave an impression on you!

I remember that first adventure: "Drake," from Dungeon magazine. I thought Drake was a dumb name for a fairie dragon, and changed to to Frolic. It worked really well; the delightful fun of the fairie dragon was a nice counterpoint to the dark and twisted evil of the pathetic tasloi and the undead dwarf. Cadrienne giving the tasloi back its weapon (a morningstar, I seem to remember, not a spear; I remember her holding it by the spikes) was the best moment of the whole game! Where were the sadistic power players I used to game with? Not here, that's for sure.

I also remember being scared as hell when starting it. I hadn't DMed for years, and wasn't sure if I could carry it off. I felt better after that first game; we all had fun (except perhaps for Maddoc, who left after a few sessions), and there were no real rules squabbles. More importantly, the group meshed well, and it made for a good start.

- Piratecat
 

Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
Nolin's version of Arcade's Diary:

"Dear Diary,

Nolin still cuter than me.

Still not noble.

Other mages still snubbing me. Perhaps a familiar would understand me as these fellows can not?"
 

Bandeeto

Visitor
Definitely a spear P'Cat. I'll scan in and email you the map from the encounter. It shows the barricade which the spear-wielding tasloi were hiding behind. I noted in the journal that Arcade Color Sprayed the lot of them with devastating effect.

Of note, Arcade accidentally Color Spray'ed Alix several times over the years. Ooops.

------------------------------------------
Arcade's version of Nolin's Diary

"Dear Diary,

I bet no one in the party is as miserable as I am.

Not famous yet.

Well... perhaps famous as a philanderer. Hmmmm."
 
Last edited:

Bandeeto

Visitor
Arcade’s Journal, covering part of the Winter’s Glade Adventure.

After leaving the tasloi, we traveled through the forest for a few days before meeting a wood elf named Sulfanas. Wonderful experience. There are so few elves in Rampart. (Nolin snarled and was as unpleasant as possible the whole time.)

Sulfanas told us that a Lady of the Wood was somehow involved in the mystery of the glade....

...found the entrance to a series of underground chambers inside a cave within the glade. Appears to have been a temple of some kind. It’s freezing. The floors are covered with ice....

...discovered the diary of a half-elf named Raind. He describes the steady decline in temperament of Sollers Vestius, the elven mage who had employed him. Vestius became moody, and began committing evil acts. Raind seems to say that Vestius turned to the worship of Imbindarla. Cult was thought to have been eradicated centuries ago, after the sack of a temple of Eris (Goddess of Healing). The last entries are dated Toraz 12, 230 years ago....

...there are frozen skeletons everywhere....

...a riddle carved into the wall near the trap door.

“Spear of magic
Summer’s bane
Friend of snow but
Son of rain
Pointing down or plunging deep
In Winter’s Heart life’s blood will seep

I fought the fiends, the wood’s half-men
I tried to grow above my ken
I failed somewhat, I have been cursed
To end my pain, a hardened thirst

I challenge all to walk this way
Your lives will pass
Your bones will stay.”

The descent awaits us....
 

Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
It was en route to this adventure that the PCs are ambushed by the bard/confidence man "Fallane Deepleaf." Up in a tree, Fallane introduces himself grandly and demands the PCs' money. They refuse, Grundo hits him with a thrown warhammer, and in a fit of pique Fallane casts sleep on all of them. No save... Whump! Every single PC falls asleep except for Maddoc. Fallane demands that Maddoc drop his sword, Maddoc refuses and takes a swing - and fumbles horribly, throwing his own sword into the nearby river. While Maddoc dives into the river to look for it, Fallane merrily proceeds to loot everyone except for Nolin, who unbeknownst to me happens to be carrying most of the party's cash at the time.

--> It would be a beautiful in-game explanation to say that way back then I already knew "Fallane" (Eritain) was actually Nolin's half-brother. It'd also be a lie! The truth is that I thought I had asked everyone how much money they had, and I simply missed KidCthulhu - so Nolin never got robbed. It made a nice plot hook, though, so we ran with it. Fallane was my first repeating NPC, never hurting the PCs but always making life interesting for them. Lots of fun, and it gave the group someone to really hate. :)

"The Winter's Glade" was also a Dungeon adventure, one which I modified a bit. I remember undead satyrs attacking the group, and a nice sense of loss as the elf fell under a curse. This was a good adventure; you'll like the denouement.

Interesting; I abandoned my unique month/day names ages ago. How'd the name for a month end up as the name for my God of Murder?!? I never noticed that before.
 
Last edited:

KidCthulhu

Community Supporter
Piratecat said:
Interesting; I abandoned my unique month/day names ages ago. How'd the name for a month end up as the name for my God of Murder?!? I never noticed that before.
Well, they say January is the cruelest month.
 

Jobu

Visitor
Bandeeto said:
I noted in the journal that Arcade Color Sprayed the lot of them with devastating effect.
Of note, Arcade accidentally Color Spray'ed Alix several times over the years. Ooops.
This tendency of Arcade's to Color Spray party members is the begining of what we called "Maneuvers". We had them numbered and would call them out before certain things happened in combat. When Arcade was about to cast Color Spray he would call out Maneuver 1 and the group would know to close thier eyes. I still have the whole list but maybe we should wait till they pertain to the story.
Like the maneuver that involves throwing Dilly to the monster and fleeing - my personal favorite.
 

Sialia

Visitor
Ah yes. Throw Dilly to the monster and flee.

Clever, brave Tao. Who never successfully saved versus fear based attacks.

While this may have seemed like a great plan at the time, it bears mentioning that the finger that got permanently severed the last time Tao tried that maneuver was the ring finger of Dilly's left hand, which she later had some use for. Pity she was unable to locate it in her hour of need.

Ironic, don't you think?

In any case, for those of you just tuning in, Dylrath didn't show up until much, much later. I played Cadrienne in these early games, and was not present for every episode as I was living in NYC at the time and only got to Boston occasionally.

Bandeeto gets all the credit for these first few stories.

I'm holding off on delivering my anecdotes until Bandeeto reaches a part of the chronology where I was a more active participant. Apart from gossipping about the parts of the current story that I do recall.

I was there when the Tasloi attacked, and I did give them back their spear, but I swear I thought they had accidentally dropped it. They were pretty stoned on faerydragon breath at the time. I didn't think they were going to be able to put an attack run together in that condition, but I guess they took one look at how green we were and made about the same call on us.
 
Last edited:

Dinkeldog

Sniper o' the Shrouds
KidCthulhu said:


Well, they say January is the cruelest month.
Actually, KC,
I. The Burial of the Dead

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
5 Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
 

KidCthulhu

Community Supporter
April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
5 Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.


Doh. I misquote. But if you live in Boston, you may beg to differ.

I'm loving this thread. It's so very "young indiana jones". I guess when you become this popular, suddenly everyone wants to hear about your adolescent foibles and follies.

BTW, the bunny slippers are a long running party joke which Bandeeto isn't going to mention unless he has to. His adventuring name, Arcade Deltarion, was chosen as a tribute to a famous mage of the past, Arcadine Incantrix. *cough-fanboy-cough* Nolin had heard a story that Arcadine had a rabbit familiar. Knowing that Arcade wanted to copy his hero in ALL things, we thought he'd appreciate a rabbit (or two) of his own. Adventuring is dangerous for small woodland creatures, so we thought the slippers would be safer for all concerned.

At one point Nolin and Tom-Tom contracted with a merchant to make a gross of the damn things. Arcade is still finding them occasionally. I know I hid two pair in his tower the last time I was there. And I gave his child a pair as a birth present.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Jobu said:


Like the maneuver that involves throwing Dilly to the monster and fleeing - my personal favorite.

Maneuver #5, as I recall. #4 was "Tao charging through the party." The tough part was that we called it whther she was charging or fleeing.

;)
 
Last edited:

Bandeeto

Visitor
I should point out that the Maneuver list was absolutely essential in saving our hides several times. It permitted us to surprise our enemies on more than one occasion, and provided teamwork that made up for the abysmal failure by several party members to follow the attack plans.

The definitive list as of the time Arcade left the Defenders:

Maneuver 1: Darkness spell
Maneuver 2: Blinding effect
Maneuver 3: Drop to the ground
Maneuver 4: Tao about to charge
Maneuver 5: Feed Dilly to the monster and flee (unofficial)
Maneuver 6: Someone about to crash the door
Maneuver 7: Cover the ears (sound-based attack)
Maneuver 8: Nolin about to try something strange
Maneuver 0: Point blank explosion about to go off (take cover)
 

Bandeeto

Visitor
Arcade’s Journal – Winter’s Glade

It is well that Tom-Tom looked before he leaped. The octagonal cavern at the bottom of the shaft was covered with icy stalagmites. We made it down without many mishaps. I shall have to practice descending a rope. Side still aches....

...never cared for spiders before, less so now. Being knocked unconscious is most unpleasant. Thank goodness for clerics....

...apparently Nolin hates giant rats more than I hate giant spiders. He went nearly insane trying to get away. Suspect a traumatic encounter in his past. Grundo continues to prove his worth in combat. It was Maddoc’s turn to be wounded nearly unto death, as several rats tried to burrow into his chest.

Just as we finished with the rats we passed back through the archway and were attacked by 5 goblins with polearms in the corridor. They definitely were not there (!) a few minutes before. I managed to take one down with a dagger, but when they charged things got messy. Tom-Tom took a single shot to the belly, dropping him. I had already been badly wounded by the rats, and Nolin and Maddoc were both out of commission. Needing a distraction, I managed to wrest away a pole arm and slipped by them on the wall while Cadrienne saw to Tom-Tom.

I then had to flee down the corridor with a slavering goblin in hot pursuit. Ran for the octagonal cavern and managed to slide to the ground horizontally across the room entrance just as the goblin arrived. As planned, he tripped and landed hard on a stalagmite, impaled. Luck is with me.

By the time I got back to the party Grundo had gone berserk and finished the other 3 goblins. The dead goblins seem to vanish. Are they illusions?

It’s a good thing we have so many tinderboxes (took some dandies from the tasloi), as we really needed a fire and some rest....
 

Bandeeto

Visitor
Picture the scene.

Nolin is in the far corner trembling from shock, horrified by the recent presence of so many rats.

Grundo is methodically getting drunk on Gutshaker.

Maddoc is on the floor with a gaping wound in his chest, gasping for air, being ministered to by Tagkris who is humming a paean to his Goddess, asking Her not to take this warrior to Her breast...just yet.

The rats, like the spiders before them, have disappeared in death, leaving the party mystified.

Tom-Tom, Cadrienne and Arcade turn back through the archway to return to the bivouac in the shattered armory, planning to light a fire. Arcade has 1 hp, and has already used both of his spells while fighting the rats.

As they enter the corridor they come face-to-face with a snarling group of five goblins, polearms extended at the ready. They seem to have appeared out of thin air. Arcade flings a dagger into the throat of the nearest goblin, which drops to the floor spitting blood and vanishes. The 1st level party has never heard of Monster Summoning, and decides that these creatures must be illusions.

Disbelieving fails, as a goblin thrusts a polearm into Tom-Tom’s gut and drops him to -2 hp. Cadrienne turns to work on Tom-Tom, leaving Arcade to face the four remaining goblins.

Arcade briefly considers fleeing, but realizes Cadrienne and Tom-Tom would be impaled in seconds. He grabs the polearm of the goblin closest to the wall, takes it from his grasp (with a 1 on a 2nd Ed. STR check) and slips past them against the wall, sprinting down the corridor.

Chaos ensues as the goblins become entangled trying to turn with their polearms in the narrow hallway. The disarmed goblin gives chase, claws and teeth bared.

The other goblins finally get their weapons pointed towards Arcade as Grundo, spiked helmet lowered and bellowing a dwarven battlecry, crashes into them from the other direction. The goblins succumb...messily.


I hadn't enjoyed a combat so much in years of gaming. You can't believe how pleased I was that the stalagmite trick worked.:D
 
Last edited:

Bandeeto

Visitor
Arcade’s Journal – Winter’s Glade Continued

...found master bedroom and library. Also found what must have been the laboratory. Sadly, everything is destroyed, as if in a fit of rage. Were attacked again by goblins, but this time I Slept all of them and Grundo dispatched them. Again the bodies disappeared. After some thought, I believe that they must be summoned creatures....

...Cadrienne seems disturbed by the need to slay the goblins. No one else seems to share her objections. I confess, her desire to spare evil creatures bent on our destruction has me baffled....

...we found the main chamber, darkened, with rows of columns marching down either side. Although we approached with some stealth, it was to no avail. The columns blazed with light, revealing a huge room with a dais at the far end. A horribly gaunt elf dressed in black stepped towards us, plainly Sollers Vestius in the flesh. He laughed, told us that we would fall as had the others before us, and that the Lady’s Tree would never find root again. He brandished a wand and invoked the power of Imbindarla, dropping a curtain of darkness.

We attacked, but he seemed invulnerable. Color Spray affected him not at all, and my thrown dagger simply bounced from his chest. He summoned a group of kobolds who engaged the fighters, and was using the wand again when it suddenly exploded (most mysteriously) leaving one shimmering blue wall behind him.

Nolin attempted to distract the mage by taunting him with songs about spring, and doing a Morris dance. Vestius struck Nolin, and hurled him at Grundo, who caught him and handed the wounded bard over to Cadrienne. Grundo began to froth at the mouth once again, and struck the mage thunderous blows with warhammer and axe, causing no visible damage. Heeding the poem that we had found, I fled the room seeking a large icicle. Tom-Tom became Vestius’ next target, and was hurled against a column with some force.

Calling on his berserker strength, Grundo struck again, this time knocking the mage back through the magical blue wall. As he passed through it, Vestius had not even time to scream as he fell to the ground, turned to stone. I returned with the icicle and stabbed it into Vestius’ tainted heart. It slid easily through the stone, and began to shimmer with a golden light. With this, the mage began to melt away before our eyes.

The pillars and roof of the chamber started to collapse and we fled. Almost immediately, the air lost its chill....

[Ed. It was many months before the party realized that Tom-Tom the rogue was a psionicist. Unbeknownst to us, he had used Soften on Vestius’ wand. Arcade spent a significant amount of time trying to calculate the odds of a wand backfiring.

Being undead, and cursed to boot, Vestius could only be hit by plussed weapons (we had none) or an icicle in the right spot!]
 

madriel

Visitor
Gee, somebody who actually remembered a Clue! Wow. And Arcade had the sense to let the rest of the party keep the bad guy busy and just go looking for the thing you needed to defeat him. Nice to see an intelligent mage played that way. Not every party has the sense to split up when they need to. Including mine.:eek:
 

Advertisement

Top