Defenders of Daybreak, The Early Years.

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
TomTom had indeed destroyed the wand of conjuration. If I remember correctly, it had left several magical prismatic and darkness effects standing, some of which disappeared quickly and some of which stuck around for a little while. That was a fun wand; no one knew that conjured monsters disappear upon death, so everyone thought that they were an illusion. They lost some time, and took some damage, while they tries to disbelieve the very real threat.

This was also where Nolin learned that singing "fa la la la" to undead elves was bound to annoy them! I was pretty sure that the group hadn't remembered the icicle poem, and that they weren't going to be able to affect the undead. I shouldn't have worried. :)
 

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KidCthulhu

First Post
madriel said:
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:

OK, you all have to stop pumping Arcade's ego. I'm the one sacrificing my dignity and my fragile (attractive) body for the good of the team over here. But do I get any credit? No! Hrumph. - Nolin

Actually, Bandeeto is a puzzle/riddle/prophecy slut. He eats this stuff for breakfast and comes back for more. PC used to use a lot more clues and riddles in the campaign, because he knew how Bandeeto liked them. The rest of us would order and eat dinner, talk, get bored and grow long beards while he cogitated. Hey, whatever works for you. :D
 

madriel

First Post
KidCthulhu said:


OK, you all have to stop pumping Arcade's ego. I'm the one sacrificing my dignity and my fragile (attractive) body for the good of the team over here. But do I get any credit? No! Hrumph. - Nolin

Actually, Bandeeto is a puzzle/riddle/prophecy slut. He eats this stuff for breakfast and comes back for more. PC used to use a lot more clues and riddles in the campaign, because he knew how Bandeeto liked them. The rest of us would order and eat dinner, talk, get bored and grow long beards while he cogitated. Hey, whatever works for you. :D

Well, you could post stories that showcases Nolin's fine abilities.;)
 


Bandeeto

First Post
Arcade’s Journal – Winter’s Glade Finale

...great to be back above ground. The air smells of spring. We planted the acorn Sulfanas had given us, and an oak sprang out of the ground. The Lady of the Wood herself appeared, stepping out of the tree. She is Oania, an entrancing dryad. She thanked us for breaking the curse and permitting her to return.

She became very friendly with Nolin, and seems to want him for some purpose. I suspect her motives may not be entirely pure, but Nolin didn’t seem to mind. Recovered the gems, returning to Rampart....

...ran into Frolic again. A more irritating creature would be hard to envision... well, maybe Fillane Deepleaf....

...returned the gems to Lord Torrance Thurrian and his wife Liera. They held a large banguet in our honor, featuring the house bard named Circin singing our praises. Hm. And I thought Nolin was given to hyperbole. The family will consider granting our group patronage when they return from the south....

...just heard today about Tagkris. Very sad. He retired to his cabin, done with adventuring, and died of natural causes within a few weeks. It seems his acts found favor with his Lady. Will miss him. More concerning is the disappearance of Maddoc during the night. We suspect foul play, and are leaving in the morning for Kindric to investigate. Cadrienne had a horrible vision involving Maddoc and a black portal....


Ed. Nolin was to develop a very intimate relationship with Oania the dryad, such that she would train him in bard and in return he would provide her with ... um... children. In this way Nolin acquired his first title: "Father of a Thousand Acorns." Arcade had his own "interaction" with Oania, which may be chronicled later. Suffice to say it resulted in the line: "he couldn't make it with a dryad, in a sacred grove, in Spring!"

Tagkris and Maddoc's players left the game, providing P'Cat the with the next plot hook. The next few character additions formed the core of the group for several years.
 

Bandeeto

First Post
Arcade's Journal: To Kindric

…a fine day for travelling despite the snow. Still a few weeks until Solstice....

…encountered a mage at an inn wielding a wooden staff topped by a wizard head. Curiously, it’s eyes seemed to follow you. He was accompanied by a bodyguard, apparently foreigners. He was not a friendly sort….

…truly astonishing. Heard shouts and cries for help on the road ahead, and arrived to find the mage and his entourage dead at the hands of bandits. While we engaged the bandits, Tom-Tom went after the leader and a small group, who appeared to have stolen the wizard staff and run into the woods. We were holding our own, when a massive explosion rocked the forest. A gigantic creature which seemed to be composed of living fire appeared, consuming the bandit leader and his men. It began to advance towards us through the trees, setting them alight. We found that the wizard staff had somehow returned and was lying upon the ground.

To be blunt, I grabbed the staff and we fled back to the inn. When we arrived, a fire-quenching group was being formed. Am quite disappointed, as the group would not allow me to go and assist….

...on the way to Dayhill, pesky horrid centipedes the size of tree trunks ambushed us from below the snow. No match for us. I was glad we decided to face them down after our last performance….

[Ed. This was how Arcade acquired the staff, which was to provide a great deal of assistance and amusement. More details to be revealed as they unfolded. Keep your eye on that stick, it moves fast.]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arcade’s Journal: Dopplegangers in Winter – Crellar’s Inn Part 1

...grateful to find an inn just before snowstorm hit. We encountered a party consisting of a cleric Rofan Fairfax, Lyons the mage, and others. Lyons was quite friendly, and asked to examine my unusual staff. I complied, wondering if he could tell me anything about it. Suddenly the mage’s eyes rolled upwards, and he fell unconscious to the floor. Most curious. We woke him up, but he could not explain what had happened to him.

The inn belongs to Gardis Crellar, an ex-adventurer, and his wife Gertrude and their sons Kellog and Kelsey....

...dark doings. During the night, Lyons was found murdered, but witnesses swore they had just seen him about the inn when he was already dead. We suspected doppelgangers. The investigation was going nowhere, when we got lucky. Two guardsmen wearing Thurrian family livery were mounting to leave on horseback, when their horses spooked and refused to carry them. This seemed unusual behavior for the horses of trained cavalry officers. A confrontation with the two revealed them as the doppelgangers, and we slew them. Who knew that animals don’t care for doppelgangers? Must remember that.

...before we left, I met the daughter of a Kindric merchant headed for Rampart and gave her a message for the Thurrians, warning them of a possible doppelganger plot.

Rofan has attached himself to our group. He is a priest of holy Galanna of the animals, but I suspect that he is actually insane. He tends to preach and try to convert disciples, and apparently has been healing for money. Specifically he has been healing “pigs, and fat women,” he says. Refers to things he finds objectionable as “The Devil’s Fruitcake”. I suspect that it’s going to be difficult to get rid of him.


[Ed. As with many P’Cat adventures, this one came back to haunt us in a big way. As did the PC Rofan. More later.]
 
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Bandeeto

First Post
Arcade’s Journal: A New Member, Arrival in Kindric

...passed through Nolin’s hometown. He stopped to see his human mother and spent the whole visit in a black mood....

...pleasant stay at the Bed and Ladle Inn. We were joined by a young half-elven lad named Alix Tarim-Loial. He was serving drinks, and making a hash of it. It turns out that he is the son of a Kindric lord, and is on the run from his brutish brothers....

Alix decided to accompany us to Kindric. He seems to share Nolin’s proclivities, and used us as an excuse to sneak out on a mistress. I suspect that he also plans to use us as cover while spying on his brothers. Alix is flamboyant and quite engaging, but seems a bit unreliable to me....

...found the road heavily guarded. Apparently Stavros the half-orc bandit has been raiding in the area. No sign of him so far.

Thought about taking the sledge to move us along a bit faster, but Tom-Tom refused to travel over water, even if it was frozen. He muttered something about halflings and boats....

...finally arrived at Kindric. My first time seeing the capitol of Gaunt. A beautiful city. Alix is already proving to be trouble. His brothers have friends in the guard, and we were forced to defend ourselves. We will have to keep a low profile....

...I may have to do something about that Tarim-Loial. He made the mistake of revealing himself to a friend, who then informed Alix’s brothers. Alix was watching for trouble on a rooftop, and saw them coming. He decided to inform the party by tossing a juggling ball at us, and managed to knock me unconscious with it. We barely escaped....

...spent the next few days plaguing Alix with cantrips and trying to cheer up Nolin. I feel better, but Nolin remains morose. Having obtained supplies and visited the sages, we follow the prophetic dreams of Cadrienne, and leave tomorrow for Phorn.

[Ed. With the addition of Alix, the chaos level of the party rose dramatically. He made a hobby of flouting Arcade, and everybody else for that matter. Engaged in secret deals and hidden plots all his life while at the same time exhibiting outrageous behavior in public, Alix survived only because of his wits and substantial Charisma. He met his final end many years later, having made one secret deal too many (this one with Toraz, God of Murder).]
 

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
Some insight on the last few postings. Wow, we breezed through major plot points with only a few mentions! :)

The party at the Thurrians was Arcade's initiation into social climbing. He learned that the Duke had a beautiful daughter who was a paladin of Eris, Goddess of mercy and healing. The party was great fun, especially when you consider the effect that taking a dwarven battlerager to a party will give you.

I killed off Tagkris when I knew that his player wouldn't be back. Maddoc also got killed, but in a more grisly fashion still to come.

On the road, the group was attacked by a maddened fire elemental. When it was defeated along with some bandits, they found a dead man with a most unusual staff It was exquisitely carved and had the face of an old man. Arcade claimed it as his own.

In truth, the staff was psionic, although temporarily lost within itself and thus not communicating. Blessed (?) with a tremendous ego, it considered itself the Master of Space and Time; it had many psychoportive powers. At the time Bandeeto and the others knew almost nothing about psionics. Bandeeto knows the rules well enough that it's hard for me to give him a "stock" item that retains a sense of mystery, so I created a psionic staff. It was years before he actually figured it out!

More on the doppelganger problem later. It was one of my favorite adventures, and worth some detail.
 

KidCthulhu

First Post
Hey Bandeeto, no fair cheating the public on the doppleganger story. Is this the time you died, or was that later? I'm stunned by how much of this I don't remember.

I should note that Alix guaranteed his place in the party by leaping from a second story window on top of an orc in our first battle with him. He rolled a twenty. The orc was pile driven. That was the story of Alix. Poor judgement, phenomenal luck.
 

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
Arcade died the second time.

The first time (described above), the adventure was taken froma wonderful Dungeon adventure called "Night of Fear" (or something like that.) It involved a classic plot: the PCs are trapped by a winter storm, and someone in the inn is a murderer. In this case it was three someones, doppelgangers. The PCs managed to kill two, thinking that the third was dead as well, since a doppelganger killed an elf and claimed that the elf was changing shape. The night was full of paranoia, suspicion, and nervousness! When all was said and done, one doppelganger remained alive and undetected when the PCs left the next day. Unfortunate, as it turns out. You'll see why.

Rofan was a "visionary" of Galanna who saw the Goddess in the smallest things: a bird, a snowflake, a pig. He was erratic, though, and not necessarily stable. Rofan adventured on and off with the party for years, eventually leaving to found a bear cult and become a charismatic (if insane) leader.

It was at this point that Grundo's player got bored with him, and switched to Alix Loial, noble rogue. KidCthulhu's description of him is right on the money. He had run away from a father who wanted him to become an accountant, hoping for a life with the circus or with adventurers instead. His luck was phenomenal; the incident referred to in Arcade's journal involved Alix tossing a juggling ball at Arcade to get his attention, and rolling a critical hit. :D
 

KidCthulhu

First Post
Piratecat said:
Rofan was a "visionary" of Galanna who saw the Goddess in the smallest things: a bird, a snowflake, a pig. He was erratic, though, and not necessarily stable. Rofan adventured on and off with the party for years, eventually leaving to found a bear cult and become a charismatic (if insane) leader.

Rofan was a nutcase. He used to take sudden dislike to the most mudane items (boots, for example) and proclaim them to be instruments of the devil. More specifically, the devil's fruitcake.

Why a fruitcake? Dunno. Rofan was nuts. And fruitcakes are pretty evil.
 


Bandeeto

First Post
Don't worry KidCthulhu, I haven't forgotten Alix's battle with the orc. The first Brotherhood of Night story arc is coming up. Crellar's Inn Revisited (Dopplegangers Part II) is a much creepier sequence, and it happened after Nostradis Ghend (coming next).

There are a lot more details in that story, so I'll try to go into a bit more depth. Hijinks from Rofan included.

Darklance, I kept a journal through the first several years of the campaign. I also kept nearly every scrap of source material (letters from people, maps, scrolls, etc.) that P'Cat gave the Defenders for the entire time we adventured together. I admit I'm a gaming packrat, but you'd be amazed how often holding onto those little details saved our bacon down the line. Plus, as KidCthulhu has indicated before, no one else wanted to do it. :D

The original entries from the journal are very terse, more reminders for my character of the shape of the plot and the important people we'd met. Some of the stories I wrote in more detail, and you'll get to read those. P'Cat and others will have to pick up the thread at the Academy of Flamecraft, where things finally got so convoluted and complicated that I gave up taking meticulous notes.

I am editing all of the journal entries as I go to make them read more naturally (and, I hope, more interestingly to non-Defenders). ;)

As Piratecat says, the psionically-empowered staff was a great mystery to us all for many years. Even Tom-Tom, the psionic, was unaware of it's characteristics. At least, he never mentioned any suspicions to me! We knew of it, fondly, as TMOSAT (The Master of Space and Time) as it initially introduced itself in that way. TMOSAT was always exceedingly arrogant (having been empowered by a grand vizier). It insisted on being well-cared-for and polished at every opportunity. It also would use its power for me only when asked nicely (and occasionally only when bribed). It took years to coax it into revealing what it could do (which was quite a lot.)

I should point out that, at this point in the story, the staff had never spoken. It stared at people, nothing more. Arcade had a proficiency in quarterstaff, so he thought he might use in combat. You'll see how that came out!

We had learned from the sage Kinxanthrias of Kindric that the staff was made from hovering elm (a very magical wood), which came only from Kanach'hurian in the Desert of the Screaming Sands, 220 leagues away. He suggested we ask Imperial Librarian Hurnd in the city of Oursk for more information, but the group didn't make it to Oursk for many years....
 

Sialia

First Post
Right. The thing about the Staff was, when we found it, it didn't read as magical, and it didn't do anything, so it seemed reasonable to assume it was a quarterstaff at the time.

An error, that. As we discovered.

Anyway, the thing about Bandeeto's notes was--well, really all of our notes--after a while in Piratecat's campaign, we all started needing some way of keeping our character sheet pages together.

I got there early one night and Tomtom's player was joking around with Kidcthulhu and Piratecat. "I had to go and get a folder for my character sheet," he admited sheepishly. "Paperclips weren't doing the job anymore. But if I move up to a ring binder and thumbtabs, somebody shoot me, ok? I mean, how geeky would that be?"

Mere moments later, Bandeeto arrived and strode into the room proudly. "Look!" he announced proudly. "I finally got Arcade organized!" He held up a new ring binder, complete with color coded thumbtabs for spells, journal, plot notes, maps, equipment, etc.

Hurt does not begin to describe his feelings to our reaction.

He claims his best revenge was watching the rest of the group -- Tomtom and Alix in particular -- migrate to the form.

Except me. I kept Dylrath and Cadrienne's pages in dog eared, disorganized folders until the day I left. Probably had something to do with the degree to which both were known for being impossibly disorganized pack rats. "Hey, look," Dylrath would cry. "My supplies and equipment still include that onion I was carrying on my first day out with you guys. Wonder how it's doing after all these months?"
 

Sito Rotavele

First Post
Bandeeto said:
TMOSAT was always exceedingly arrogant (having been empowered by a grand vizier). It insisted on being well-cared-for and polished at every opportunity.

Although one interesting sidelight is that we could occasionally tell Arcade to "go and polish your staff"...and he would. ;)
 

madriel

First Post
He critted with a juggling ball? Sounds like one of those party members you want to strangle until they leave and then you just sigh and reminisce about all the crazy stuff they did.
 

KidCthulhu

First Post
madriel said:
He critted with a juggling ball? Sounds like one of those party members you want to strangle until they leave and then you just sigh and reminisce about all the crazy stuff they did.

Got it in one, Madriel. The fact that we later had problems with Alix's player and he was asked to leave the campaign doesn't really help. Shame. I hate when you find that you can like a person a great deal, but can't game with them.
 

Grifter86

First Post
Alix's departure

Hey, just like to say I'm a fan of this story our and PC's main one and patronize a great deal.

With that out of the way...

I'm curious about Alix's player. What made you guys ask him to leave? Don't want to open up any old wounds, but you've piqued by curiousity.
 

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
Without going into great detail, the problems were primarily cheating on dice rolls and cheating on his PC's funds; there were also some personality issues that grew worse over time.

All in all, I've come to terms with the fact that I can like the person while being very frustrated with him as a player. It still makes me sad, though.
 

Jobu

First Post
Sialia said:
Except me. I kept Dylrath and Cadrienne's pages in dog eared, disorganized folders until the day I left. Probably had something to do with the degree to which both were known for being impossibly disorganized pack rats. "Hey, look," Dylrath would cry. "My supplies and equipment still include that onion I was carrying on my first day out with you guys. Wonder how it's doing after all these months?"

Tao is kept in the same fashion as Sialia's characters. I still have the original character sheet she was started on. When PC asked me a couple of weeks ago when Tao joined the group I told him the date (cause it is on the character sheet) and got out my old notebook which has notes that are 9 years old.
When we get to where Tao joins the group I will try to help fill in some details where I can since I still have my notes.
 

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