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  1. #1

    My Campaign - Shadycreek Vale

    So, I hope this is ok here. I thought I'd share the session logs for the Rolemaster campaign that I am running on FG with my group. The background of the group is that we met through a local roleplaying group in Worcester, UK, where we used to meet up every Monday in a pub to play a Pathfinder 2e game. Due to numbers, this split into two PF games running the same adventure path. Due to lockdown we moved online and at present we are rotating GM's as all five of us enjoy GMing as well as playing, which is a nice problem to have . Having been roleplaying for almost 4o years, though with a break of 15 years or so during my 30's/early 40s, my game of choice has always been Rolemaster, and when I saw that the ruleset was available on FG, I snapped up the module and persuaded the others to give it a go. The campaign is a home brew world that I intend to expand on as we progress and I encourage my players to input into this world building. So, here goes....

    First to introduce you to the characters with a really brief synopsis (for more detail on the PC's you can visit https://rolemastershadycreek.obsidia...com/characters:

    Halvard Brandrbjorn, a bear-tribe human fighter, is the third son to Jarl Dagrun Brandrbjorn, ruler of a powerful trading settlement named Hønefoss in the Skaros islands, far to the North East of Shadycreek. Halvard had to flee the islands when his middle brother killed the eldest brother who was heir to their father. He travelled to the mainland with his uncle and then joined a caravan heading for Shadycreek Vale, leaving his uncle to secure allies in the capital of the Kingdom of Roedon, Esthoe.

    Sisu bel Sidek, a common man rogue, is from the coastal nation of Qushmarrah, where the great desert meets the Endless Sea. After the death of his parents his fathers debts passed on to him. A friend found a secret way into the catacombs and in an act of unimaginable heresy they entered the catacombs, broke the urns of hundreds of cadavers and escaped with a small fortune. Soon afterwards Sisu killed the debt collector who came to the tavern to collect on the payment, and had to flee the city, heading north after stowing away on a ship bound for the Windblessed Coast.

    Walter the Cursed, a common man archmage, grew up on a farm near the city of Alstrum in Shadycreek Vale. He showed great magical talent and was nurtured by a local elven sorcerer. His mentor knew that Walter wielder magic with the ancient talent of the One Realm magic, so sent him to the Conclave of Jalesh’rah, a college of spell users in Alstrum, but Walter was rejected on several occasions. His mentor came across reference to an independent archmage who lived in the upper vale near Shadycreek town, so Walter heads off to find this master.

    Tolan of the Russ, a half-dwarf elemental warrior, grew up in the dwarven stronghold of Grimgir Hold. After failing to be selected at the time of choosing, he was sent out into the world to find his calling.

    Halvard came to Shadycreek on one of the last caravans to successfully make the journey. Lucky the caravan didn't take the coastal road, as stories reached them of the strange fog drifting inland and bringing with it unseen creatures who, as the fog blanketed the towns and villages, slaughtered the populations. These stories came from refugees fleeing the coast areas, all hope drained from their haggard, pathetic faces. So it is that Halvard approaches Shadycreek vale, not knowing what to expect but thankful that the fog has remained offshore here.

    Session one notes to follow...

  2. #2
    Of Bears and Cures (Session 1)

    Sun-day the 19th day of the second season of Orhan – Morning

    The day is fresh and cool with no sign of rain, and a moderate breeze that causes the leaves to dance up from the ground and small branches to move gently in the trees.
    Halvard Brandrbjorn*had been on the caravan since*Esthoe, paying his way as a guard on the dangerous road. Throughout the journey, refugees had attached themselves to the caravan, fearful to turn back, and glad of the protection that the caravan gives. Passing over the*Cairnmourn Pass, a high passage across the*Dragoncrest Mountains*that borders the*Shadycreek Vale*to the north and the southern*Plains of Sethryn, the caravan encountered a contingent of scouts, who introduce themselves as the*Ranger’s of Haskal. They have been ordered to watch the border, fearful that the fog that now blanketed several miles inland on the lowland Plains would turn in the vales direction.

    The rough roadway drops out of the high pass, the caravan regulars glancing nervously back towards a black stone citadel perched high above the snow-covered pass, giving blessings to various gods that the*Ice Witch*did not cast her gaze upon them*(Rumour: The Ice Witch of Cairnmourn Pass). It was when the caravan was traversing the pleasant grassland vale that*Sisu bel Sidek*joined, and Halvard and the dark-skinned southerner discover they have a mutual destination in mind,*Shadycreek town.

    Finally, it came time to leave the caravan wagons, as a trail led north towards*Shadycreek town, while the caravan’s destination was the coastal city of*Alstrum. Halvard and Sisu decide to share the road together and soon come across two more travellers heading for*the town,*Walter the Cursed*and*Tolan of the Russ.
    So it was that as a group of four, they came across a young elven lady who was being threatened by a small black bear. She had stumbled into the vicinity of a den, where two bear cubs were nestled up against their dead father, the mother angrily wary of anyone nearby. Shaken and bloodied, the elf stubble upon the characters, who proceeded to kill the bear. The elven lady introduced herself as*Rulias Da’Sorialzia, and led the characters to the two bear cubs. One fled, but Halvard was drawn to the remaining bear and managed to coax it to eat out of his hand, and then bundled it into a sack. Sisu was curious what had killed the father, but could find no wounds on its body, only a slight discolouration to an exposed patch of skin*(Rumour: What killed the bear).

    Escorting Rulias back to*Shadycreek town, the group find the gates of the walled town are in disrepair, yet still appear relatively sturdy. There did not appear to be much cheer around the place, and a general malaise sat about the people. The little labour that could be heard was the bang of a distant blacksmiths hammer and the occasional cry from a forlorn looking street trader. Sat by the river were several abandoned logging sheds, no sign that any work has occurred there for a while now. Sisu was curious as to the general malaise of the population, but reckoned it is down to the decline of the town*(Rumour: The towns malaise).
    Rulias led the group to her home, a small thatched stone cottage near the towns defensive north wall, the interior snug, yet dimly lit. They are introduced to Rulias’ mother,*Alicela Da’Sorialzia, and are told that her husband, Legomos, has been struck down by a rare and potentially deadly disease – Elgas Fever – that is slowly wasting away at his muscles, the injuries resilient to any magic that either Alicela or Rulias, who are both healers, are able to cast. Having conversed with the local Animist, he has indicated that a possible cure may lie with a rare herb, Mossvalis, that he knows to only grow in one place within the Shadycreek region, the old Moathouse in*Shadycreek Forest. Alicela informs the characters that she would normally turn to the*Ranger’s of Haskal*for help finding the herb in the dangerous forest, but unfortunately they have been tasked with watching the southern border for fear of the fog encroaching on the vale. She asks the characters if they will agree to escort her daughter to the Moathouse to find the rare herb. The party agree*(Quest: The Moathouse herb).

    Wind-day the 20th day of the second season of Orhan

    The party wake to a freezing morning, but thankfully dry, with no more than a gentle breeze.

    Leaving Halvard’s new-found bear cub with Alicela, the morning finds the party paddling north-west along*Shadycreek river*in two small canoes. The morning is uneventful, but as they are nearing time to pull over for a lunch break, the party come across a camp of bandits, and the encounter soon leads to bloodshed. One bandit survives and the party allow him to flee.

  3. #3
    Into a Dark Forest (Session 2)

    Wind-day the 20th day of the second season of Orhan 831 SE – Afternoon

    The freezing weather continues into the afternoon, but thankfully remains dry, with no more than a gentle breeze.

    Before the one remaining bandit leaves, he asks if he can take his unconscious friend with him and the party notice that one of the fallen opponents is still breathing. The rough-looking rogue goes to take two of their horses, but Halvard insists that they only need one. As the bandit leads his fallen comrade away on the horse, he turns and shouts out, “You know Raknar will hear about this, and he’ll not be happy!”

    Concerned with the bandit’s words, Halvard heaves his spear and launches it at the fast retreating rogue, delivering a vicious, bleeding wound. As the bandit drifts towards unconsciousness, they demand to know who Raknar is, but the whimpering bandit expires.
    Between Rulias and Walter, they describe the self-proclaimed Bandit “King”, an ogre who came to the area almost two decades ago, and how he brought together the miss-match, disorganised bandits of the region, and by the spring of 816 of the second era, had settled in the ancient Xhorhasian ruins on Shadowcreep Hill. Over the next ten years, the ruins expanded to become a tented and mud-hut settlement. In the summer of 814 SE, a paladin from Shadycreek town took a contingent of town militia to the bandit settlement, but never returned, and since that time Raknar has demanded a monthly tithe of the town and his banditry goes unchecked (Rumour: The Bandit “King”).

    After burying the bodies under stone cairns and tying the horses up by the river, so they have food and water, the party continue on their journey along the river towards Shadycreek forest.
    As the ground begins to slope upwards towards the Scorpion Ridge mountains, Shadycreek forest, a mix of oak and birch trees clinging to the rugged, undulating terrain, comes into view. Where the forest meets the lowland plains of Shadycreek Vale, cliffs mark the boundary, and down this 200-foot cliff tumbles and slides Shadycreek Falls. A narrow path doglegs it way up the cliff beside the falls. The area around the base of the falls was once a prominent logging camp, and the old rusted and broken tools lie scattered about the ruins of the dilapidated logging buildings. A scattering of small huts and lean-to’s, now in a terrible state of disrepair, tells a tale of a once prosperous operation.

    The party encounter a group of trapper’s setting up camp in the ruins of the logging buildings. Initially cautious, the party soon realise that the Wildmen are welcoming and offer to share fire and food. They tell the party of the dangers of the forest and that, of late, giant spiders have been seen in the vicinity of the old Moathouse. They also ask the parties aid, as a comrade has gone missing in the forest and they intend to set out to search for him come first light. The characters offer to escort them as far as they can, but informed the trapper’s that they do not have time, for fear that Rulias’ father will pass away before they can get the life-saving herb to him (Rumour: The Missing Trapper).

    Moon-day the 21st day of the second season of Orhan 831 SE – Morning.

    The morning is cold, around freezing, but thankfully not as cold as the previous day. The day is calm with barely a breeze to rustle the trees of the forest.

    Escorting the trapper’s to the top of the falls, the party then leaves them to search for their missing friend. After four hours of travel and as the party are looking for a place to lunch, they are attacked by bow wielding fey and Halvard suffers a serious wound to his leg. Rulias uses her magic, and a single dose of a powerful herb to heal the muscle damage, but she explains that she only had a single dose of this remedy.

  4. #4
    A Mournful Son (Session 3)

    Moon-day the 21st day of the second season of Orhan 831 SE – Afternoon.

    The freezing weather continues into the afternoon, but thankfully remains dry and calm.

    After resting, the rest of the days travel is uneventful. Halvard keeps his eyes open for herbs and finds several doses worth of Berterin, a single dose enough to preserve a bodies worth of organic material. Meanwhile, Sisu keeps an eye on the local wildlife, but other than the normal squirrels, rodents, and bird life, nothing seems out of the ordinary.

    Fire-day the 22nd day of the second season of Orhan 831 SE.

    The day is pleasantly fresh, the freezing weather of yesterday gone. But, to temper the pleasure of warmer weather, a fresh gale has blown in from the coast, with twigs and small branches breaking from the canopy above and falling like confetti to the forest floor below.
    The days travel sees an unsuccessful forage for Halvard, but as the day draws to a close, Sisu notices the that the plentiful wildlife of the forest is becoming less noticeable. As the dusk light of early evening sets in the characters hear the sound of mournful sobbing coming from the path ahead. Sisu stalks forward and observes the pitiful sight of a crouched figure crying and wailing in the dusk. Being cautious, Sisu returns to his companions to approach as a group.

    As the party approaches the weeping elf, he turns and calls out in a breaking voice, “I do not have the will to fight anymore. Do what you must, I have little of value to make your violence worthwhile.” Sisu assures the elf that their intention is not banditry, and he relaxes somewhat, introducing himself as Gleinien Aalseergard, and he has an intriguing tale to tell.

    “I fought with every ounce of my being when I was held in the Ice Witches dread fortress above Cairnmourn Pass, knowing that if I was to escape I would be able to return to my family. But now I am here, I finally understand what her curse meant, she said I would never again be with my blood, and it is true, for some dark force prevents me getting home.

    "Its hard to say for sure when my woes began. You could argue that it was with the strange meeting I had with a wandering Great Man, Doran Ashglade.
    "Doran spoke to me about a mighty artefact called a Moonstone, buried within an ancient sealed Xhorhasian crypt high up in the Dragoncrest Mountains, near the dread Cairnmourn Fortress. The crypt was rumoured to lie on a high plateau, sheer drops on three sides and a sheer cliff towering above, within which stood the entrance to the crypt. On the plateau ledge a granite stone circle stands.*(Personal Quest Halvard: The Mountain Circle)
    "Doran spoke of an ancient evil that was also looking for the Moonstone, and that he would seek out the crypt himself, but for him it was forbidden.
    "Intrigued and concerned with Doran’s words, I left for the Dragoncrest Mountains with a small band of companions, intending to seek out the ancient crypt and take the Moonstone to safety, so whatever evil that Doran spoke off could not get its hand on the powerful artefact.
    "When searching the heights of the great mountain range, we were set upon by Demons from the Ice Witches citadel, and all fell except for me. I was carried off by the dark troops to be brought before the Ice Witch herself.
    "The Ice Witch seemed to have knowledge of why I was in the area, and insisted that I tell her about the lost crypt and its location. But I resisted telling her what little I knew and endured days of horrendous torture. In a rage, the Ice Witch screamed out a curse at me, ‘I bring my wrath upon your family, they will tear at their kin’s flesh and feed upon the flesh of the living. And you will never again be with your own flesh and blood.’
    "After this, I was flung into a dark cell, deep beneath the great fortress, and there I lay, barely fed and watered, and systematically brought before the Ice Witch to endure more torture and questions. And so it was for eighteen long years.
    “Then the Ice Witch let me go. I was both shocked and surprised by this, but even more so, relieved that my ordeal was over. I have no idea why she let me go, but I had one wish only, to return to my fathers home in the Moathouse of Shadycreek Forest, to once again see my Father, mother, and two sisters.”*(Rumour: The Moonstone) & (Rumour: The Ice Witch of Cairnmourn Pass)

    With the parties destination the Moathouse, they inform Gleinien of the rumours of his families demise, but agree to search his old home to confirm that this is the case. They experiment with dragging Gleinien down the path and through any barrier that may be blocking his way, but this leads to pain burning through the elf’s mind.*(Quest: In Search of Family)

    The Moathouse is only about an hour away, but the party decide to camp, as the forest has fallen into darkness with the onset of night. While camping Walter and Tolan become aware of a shadowy form in the nearby forest but are unable to get more than a glimpse of the shadow. the next morning small tracks are discovered in the area, and Gleinien uses some earth magic to determined that small, shoeless folk, possibly fey, passed here last night.

    Water-day the 23rd day of the second season of Orhan 831 SE.

    The wind has dropped to a gentle breeze compared to the gales of yesterday, but the temperature has also fallen, hovering around freezing. The day is thankfully dry.

    The party push on to the Moathouse, agreeing to meet Gleinien at the camp site later that day. They find the Moathouse to be a small crumbling fortress, little more than a stone manor and a walled courtyard with a tower, now collapsed. There are remnants of an even older structure, with ancient stonework and overgrown foundations beyond the Moathouse’s perimeter. The upper story of the manor has fallen in entirely. It was apparently made mostly of wood, and only smashed and charred timbers remain. The condition of the manor’s interior is questionable. All is quiet other than the buzzing of flies, and distant chirping of birds, since little life makes its presence known around the Moathouse itself.

    The party decide to enter where the wall has crumbled away, rather than using the front gate that lies broken on the floor of the courtyard beyond. Avoiding poisonous spore mushrooms, they scramble inside and explore the interior encountering first, a lone giant spider, and then several more, led by a larger spider, with strangely humanoid-like facial expressions. During the fight, Walter and Tolan realise that their spells require less power to cast, and Walter suspects that the area is within an Earthnode. Defeating the spiders, they find a secret stairway leading down into the dungeon.
    In the Moathouse dungeon they encounter a ghost of the long dead Archmage, Simyron Aalseergard, the father of Gleinien. He tells a story of the horrific events that unfolded in the forest fortress eighteen years earlier. “The curse came as hideous dreams. I managed to resist, but my family and staff were not so lucky. My wife, my daughters and the staff, all became enraged and bloodthirsty – it was a slaughter. I had a choice, either kill them or hide. I could not make myself do the former, so I fled to the dungeon. But my wife and daughters followed and as they tore at my flesh, I decided I would rather have death, than lay a violent hand on those I love so dearly.”

    Simyron goes on to tell Walter that there is indeed an Earthnode on this location, which is why he built the Moathouse here, and just before the horrific events, he had unearthed a secret cavern below the lower dungeon that contain some further source of great power, but he had not had the time to determine more about this. He also tempts Walter with the knowledge that he has tomes with the four arcane spell lists in, and he offers them to the party if they will finally put his wife and daughter to rest. They are tainted souls that have been corrupted and now haunted the dungeon nearby.*(Quest: Families Rest)

  5. #5
    The Dead Laid to Rest (Session 4)

    Water-day the 23rd day of the second season of Orhan 831 SE.

    One hour into exploring the Moathouse.

    Halvard is eager to rush off and lay Simyron’s wife and daughters to rest, but as he goes to leave the chamber the Archmage’s ghost calls him back, scolding the bear tribeman. “Wait, do you always rush off into battle without first seeking knowledge on your foe? That is a sure fine way to find yourself dead on the battlefield. You should learn from the Demon Hunter’s of Roedon, they study their foes so that nothing surprises them.”

    Sisu encourages the party to hear him out. “My wife, her death came from flame. Her corrupted spirit has manifested as a Firephantom, a burning figure whose touch can drain your life force, and her presence will burned your flesh. I remember a village not to far from the edge of the forest, where they burned a suspected witch at the stake. Her spirit returned as a Firephantom and now the village lies blackened and charred, its occupants no more than charred remains*(Rumour: The Burned Village). My daughters are simple ghosts but their presence will drain out your life force. Both they and my wife have no corporeal form, so no mundane weapons will harm them either.”

    Simyron also mentions that he has an enchanted javelin upstairs that he had made for his son, but never got the chance to give it to him*(Quest: A son’s gift). He offers it to the party, so they head upstairs and find the javelin propped up by a locked desk. Breaking into the desk draw they also find a leather-bound tome with the arcane spell list, Bladerunes, inside, which Walter gleefully acquires.

    Halvard has the surprise that his axe talks to him and he discovers that the spirit of a Spree named Remmize is inside the blade, who proceeds to inform Halvard of the powers that he wields and can potentially wield.

    Returning to the dungeon, the party proceed to enter what was clearly once the prison and torture chamber of whatever ancient structure this dungeon was originally built for. Here they encounter the two daughters and during the fight that ensues, the mother, a burning phantom, causes havoc for Walter, and if not for Rulias, he would have fallen unconscious at the very least. With the intelligent use of buckets of water the party find in a side chamber and the use of a shield as a water scoop, they manage to defeat the Firephantom and two ghostly sisters.

    Returning to Simyron, he reveals that they are not dead, as the protoplasmic remains of the ghosts need to be burned, which they proceed to do, after which Simyron’s spirit starts to leave for the Messenger plane. Before he finally leaves the prime material plane he warns the party that a lower dungeon exists behind a secret door, and below they will find his construct, charged with protecting Simyron’s equipment. He also informs Walter that the three further arcane list are in his personal study within the lower dungeon. He further reveals that just prior to his death, he found a huge cavern below the lower dungeon and inside was an Essænce Foci, a source of great power. But he fears that a recent Essænce storm has torn a rift to some Demonic plane below. With that his spirit dissipates.

    Finding the secret door the party moves down into the lower dungeon following maze-like corridors and choosing the southern way at a junction. They encounter a strange flying goblin-like creature who flees back the way that the party came from, but they chose not to follow. Instead the party continues south past a door, after which they find the corridors covered in cobwebs. After passing two more junctions, one heading down some stairs from where the sound of falling water can be heard, and finally arrive in a decrepit ancient crypt, where the sarcophagi are all smashed and broken. As they start to examine the room a swarm of spiders ambush them from the rubble and webs that cover the place.

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