Part #000: The Runners & Riders.
Part #000: The Runners & Riders.
This is my new game, D&D 5e on Fantasy Grounds as usual, and this is a short introduction to the runners and riders (the PCs), the action may make a little more sense if you read this -
Sir Lucas Thorbold, Male Human Paladin of Kord Level 1 (played by the Doc) - Knight of the Order of the Bronze Falcon, Knight of the Ancient & Noble Order of the Thistle, Defender of the One True Faith, War Marshal of Waterdeep’s 32nd Cavalry Division, Honorary Consul to Leilon, Honorary Commander of the Waterdeep Watch, Sword & Shield of the Holy Church of Kord, Huntmaster of the Knights of Langley, Earl of Neverwinter, Honorary Rangemaster of the Seas & Isles, Vice Admiral of the Waterdeep 2nd Fleet & a myriad other (mostly honorary) titles.
Physical: Male Human, aged 28, six feet tall and an Adonis - with blond hair and blue eyes, not heavily muscled but wiry, sinewy, incredibly fit and attractive, he should be LL (Ladies Love) Sir Lucas Thorbold.
Backstory: Lucas, rumour has it - at least in very high circles - is the son of one of the Masked Lords of Waterdeep, the City of Splendour. He grew up with the best of everything that money (and privilege) could either need, desire or seek to possess; he wanted for nothing - except perhaps for his ‘absent’ father. However, Lucas eventually learned to blot out his desire to impress a man he had never known by surrendering himself entirely to the rituals of high society - the courtly ways of the affluent of Waterdeep.
That is until the age of 28, when the gradual (at first) realisation over-took him - that his life, for all his money and power, was a vacuous and empty thing. Protected from threat or harm for all of his days he had learned nothing of value, and valued nothing.
Lucas began a new life for himself, his final decision to escape hinged on the disappearance of Sir Braford Carfax, a blustering Paladin of Pelor, who in Lucas’ formative years served as his mentor. Sir Braford, during his employ, had the temerity (on many occasions) to speak the truth to Lucas - dismissing the trivial, he spoke at length, and often, about the plight of the people of the Sword Coast, the fragility of their lives - particularly those that lived outside of the city in the wilds. The old Paladin, Lucas has learned, is missing, and after careful consideration he is of the opinion that the gruff Sir Braford is (or rather was) the only significant person in his life to-date; a father-figure. He would therefore like, more than anything, to see and speak again with Sir Braford. The bluff old knight was last seen heading for the small town of Oakhurst, in search of one last adventure. To this end, Lucas has given up his old ways and hired a trio of retainers to accompany him on his journey; firstly a ‘master of ways’ -
Davron, Male Hill Dwarf Rogue Level 1 (played by Pete) - known by a variety of nicknames - ‘Davron the Hat’, or, ‘the Hat Eater’, or, ‘the Hatter’, or (inevitably), ‘the Mad Hatter’.
Physical: Male Dwarf, middle-aged, dumpy (fat, pot-bellied) and short, and quite angry (much of the time). As well as the tattoos described below Davron’s vast belly bares the legend “Thug Life” (a la Tupac, and many others). Davron is dirty, hairy, and has seemingly only one set of clothes, he wears a leather waistcoat (and nothing else) on his upper body, all weathers. The back of the waistcoat bears the legend, in metal studs, “Death to False Metal”.
Backstory: Davron is a thief, a scumbag and a rogue - and incredibly proud of it, it’s been his life’s work to rise to the level of scumbag. His nicknames (see above) come courtesy of the fact that he has had both of his little fingers removed (cut off as punishment for stealing), and that prior to his mutilation he had the word ‘HATE’ tattooed on the knuckles of both of hands. Therefore, anyone getting close enough to Davron’s clenched fists can now read the indelible legend, “ATE HAT”.
Davron’s life, so far, has been one of short bursts of terror and pain (mostly inflicted upon others), punctuated by lazy times (incarceration). ‘The Hatter’ has been close to having his neck stretched on at least half-a-dozen occasions, the crazy Dwarf must have at least one friend in sufficiently high places.
Secondly Sir Lucas has hired a ‘master of magics’ -
Badnoodle, Male Wood Gnome Wizard Level 1 (played by Trev) - children’s entertainer, trainee artificer & apprentice alchemist turned (due to poverty) adventurer.
Physical: Small, slight and still young. Badnoodle dresses plainly and save for his size and race, blends into the crowd. As a children’s entertainer he is, or rather was, forced to dress up in gay and bright colours, which he hated - especially the ing bells. He has no distinguishing features.
Backstory: Badnoodle has tried, and failed at, most things. He was apprenticed to Master Corky Rumble, Alchemist to the Fine Lords & Ladies of Waterdeep, for a decade or more… until the fire. Likewise, he served as a trainee artificer for a further decade at Glam Footleburg’s House of Mechanikals, until the explosion… followed swiftly by the fire.
The only job Badnoodle has managed to excel at is as a children’s entertainer, his act a mixture of legerdemain, prestidigitation and slapstick. Badnoodle was a hit - at least with the sons and daughters of the rich folk of Waterdeep. And yet… and yet Badnoodle, a remarkably dour Gnome, was reluctant to spend his days as a fool for rich (and spoilt) kids.
An opportunity however arose to change his life, perhaps forever - in the wrong place at the right time, nervous, and having just cast a Friends cantrip on himself he found the confidence to claim that he was a Wizard of some considerable power. After nearly a dozen (thankfully short) interviews, and a like number of castings of the Friends cantrip, Badnoodle was hired on to serve Sir Lucas Thorbold as Personal Magicker.
Leaving behind his wife, Kalma, and his young son - Rong, and with his debts almost all paid (thanks to his signing on fee) Badnoodle has set forth, very reluctantly - and in constant fear for his life - to be an adventurer.
Thirdly Sir Lucas hired a ‘master of arms’ -
Gorgo, Male Human Barbarian Level 1 (played by Adam) - a wall of muscle with a massive sword, enough said.
Physical: Massively muscled Gorgo is six feet eight, and weighs in at just short of three hundred pounds. Gorgo looks like Thrud the Barbarian (Google it). The great hulk of a man sports a myriad tattoos and ritual scars marking him out, to anyone who knows, as an exotic from the jungles of Chult. The oddest thing about Gorgo however are his head, teeth and haircut - his head is small for his gargantuan frame, although slightly elongated (like a peanut), and topped with the worst hair in the Sword Coast - a thick lustrous black mop - evenly cut all around (a bowl cut), save for the crown which is entirely shaved (like a Monk’s tonsure). Then there’s his teeth - they’re massive, protrude magnificently, and front and centre are possessed with a gap a pachyderm could saunter through. Gorgo’s solemn (and almost always short) proclamations- when they come - are often made comic by the whistle produced when he speaks. In short, from the head up he looks like an idiot, from the neck down he looks like someone you really wouldn’t want to mess with.
Backstory: Gorgo has been in Waterdeep for a while now, biding his time - or at least doing menial physical work to make money; it is as if he has been waiting for the right opportunity. Recently, and through a variety of connections, he has come to the attention of Sir Lucas, who as a concession to his own inexperience has persuaded himself that it would be advantageous to take some extra muscle on his forthcoming venture. The young Paladin liked the look of Gorgo, how could he fail to be impressed.
The four would-be adventurers have come together to form ‘The Emboldened’, eager to seek out new experiences, delve into dark places and… well, do whatever Sir Lucas tells them to do (within reason), after all he’s paying the bills.
Note - Sir Lucas came up with the name “The Emboldened”, obviously… actually Sir Lucas came up with the name “Sir Lucas Thorbold’s Emboldened”, but the other players threatened to scrag him.
This then is their first adventure, “The Sunless Citadel”, in which the Emboldened set out to locate (rescue?) Sir Lucas’ old mentor- Sir Braford, and so… on we go.
Just to note this is more reportage in style, I just don’t have the time any more - I’ll try to be a little creative as I tell the story, but for the most part this is an aide de memoir for myself and the players. Doing these write-ups is helped enormously by the fact that two of the players (so far) make copious notes during the sessions, and then share them afterwards, I can’t begin to explain how helpful this is.