Three adventurers VS the world (First Campaing)

Today i started my first ACKS campaing after three months of prep work, and i love it.

The setting:

The war against the chaotic empire of the Ven (hibrids between humans and the elder lovercraftian races) ended 50 years ago, and now the Kingdom of Caelum, is finding that without and external enemy the aliances bouth internal and external are breaking.
The king Aurac II, son of the great King Aurac that unified Caelum and defeated the Ven, has to much trust in the gods, and pay little atention to politics. His eldest son fears that the other dinasties will turn against his father and prepares for civil war. The Conquered Ven Territories on the other side of the mediterranean sea know as “the Dog´s Mouth” are left under garrisoned. Whit only half its army the nobles of the conquered territories have to fend against barbarians, monsters and the beastman remanants of the Ven armies.

The conquered territories are also full of ruins of Ven and dwarfs, monster lairs, worshipers of the ancient gods, scholars of lore best left alone and other problems. ideal place for glory/money/danger hungry adventurers.

Character creation:
We start character creation and the players get really lucky, all have positive Con modifiers, and one gets Con 16 Wis 18 Cha 16, he makes a female cleric. The other players have all around avarage scores (with a some 13s and a 6) and make a mage and an elven ranger.

The characters:

Victoria: female cleric of the sol invictus in a mission to make the conquered territories a better place.
Notes: takes righteous turning and diplomacy proficencies.

Horatius: male mage hungry for knowledge, specialy of the Ven and their magic.
Note: has mistyc aura, bargaining, and colligiate wizardy proficencies.

Zarariel: a directionless male elven ranger following Victoria to find meaning to his life.
Note: has ambushing, Naturalism and trapping proficencies.

The beginning:

The group gathers in the Three frog´s quarrel inn on the town of Old River, in the conuty of Via Vuori, to discuss how to begin their journey.
They know that close to Old river there are some dwarven ruins taken by beastman, legends of a corrupted church in which a dark priest keep a secret treasure and a plea for help by the inhabitants of the viallage of Servator a week away.

They decide to investigate the legend of the corrupted church. And unlucky money roll force them to buy only armor for the cleric, and leaves them whit little extra money.
Following the vage lead that the church was a day south of Old River the party starts its journey. i Bealived that their plan was to locate the church, then go back, hire henchmen and then go to the church. They found the church with the help of a raven convinced by the elf… And they got inside.

I check my notes (taken from the one page dungeon “church of the wiked generation”) and i realise that the big boss is a 7th level cleric, without any armor, but with 30hp, a charm spell. chosing to be honest with miself and the players i carry on.

Upon entering the church the elf hears creatures about to attack them and prevents an ambush by 4 child skeletons. Victoria easily turns the skeletons and the party breakes their bones. They examine the church and find a drainage under the altar used posible for the blood of sacrifices. Investigating further they found a door leading to the room of the dark priest that they found in deep meditation, the priest rolls for surprise and sees the party coming for him, not knowing that the enemies are way below his weight he follows his usual tactic: charm the big guy (in this case Victoria) and run to gather some zombies in the cementery begind the church to have the upper hand.

Victoria falls under the spell, and i give my group as good as dead, only two, unarmored, agaist a far superior oponent and the best armored of their own.
Yet they chose to fight, the mage summons 4 berserkers to attack the dark priest while the elf shoots an acurate arrow at him. Victoria attacks the berserkers while the dark priest tries to run but fails his petrification save when passing his secret scape door. When the second berserker falls in the hands of victoria and the dark priest realises that the mage is out of spells he turns around and pass to the offensive, killing two berserkers in one blow.
But the berserkers have allready make a sum of 17 damage.
The mage starts to run, and the elf hides preparing to atempt a desparate ambush. it succed, and when the d8 of damage rolls an 8 the battle ends in an unespected victory.

Serching the church the group finds part of the treasure (3 potions of healing) in a cellar just before being ambushed by 6 more skeleton children. this time they get to take down the mage and almost the ranger before being turned by Victoria. Luckily they have a potin of healing to use on Horatius, who wakes up with only some minor muscle damage tanks to a very lucky roll in the mortal wound table.

Some more searching and they found the secret entrance to the place where the treasure of 1000gp was hidden. luckily again the cleric avoids trigering the poisoned needle trap in the chest, even as he took it without any precautions. They search and take real care when taking the gold and avoid the other posioned needle inside the chest beetwen the gold pieces.

after that the party head back to Old River having hopefully learned that the world is a dangerous place, full of traps and not balaced encounters.

in town they buy much needed armor for the ranger and a couple of other things.
Victoria gives away more than half her share to the homeless and opens the first xp reserv of the party (the players really love the xp reserve as reward for useless expending idea)

Finaly the decide to get some followers. I roll in my pre made followers table and they only find a young boy, bastard grandson of a semi famous Somen (viking) ship captain, and a naive but willfull girl daughter of a shoopkeeper. They take the couple of teenagers and equipe them (the somen boy only had a sword, and the girl came with 40gp that she use to buy a leather armor and a crossbow)

End of session:

Deaths: 0
Killed: 10 skeletons and a 7th lvl cleric
treasure found: 1000gp, three potions of healing, and three scrolls: detect magic, purify food and water and one of cure light wounds.
Mortal wounds: 1

And two new henchmen:
Serjen the Somen and Vita the Caelit

Excellent, sounds like a good start. Thank you for sharing!

Great stuff! I like the mix of Lovecraftian horror and Game of Thrones esque politics in your campaign backstory.

i took your advise of having one political conflict and a supernatural threat looming in the horizon. that and i like both the mythos and GoT.

Ah! LOL. That makes my comment very meta then… I hope it works out well for you. :smiley:

Place an insoluble problem in front of your players, then watch them proceed to promptly solve it.

then place a simple problem and watch them as they transform it in an insoluble problem. :wink:

Oh, that is SOOOOOO true!

ok, betwin my wedding and other real life issues i didnt get the time to post the last six or eight sessions (yes we keep playing quite a lot), so here we go again.

Session two:

The party hears of a hamlet being attacked by goblins and decide to offer their services, so they travell to the town of Servator, a week away from Old River. 

During their journey Zarariel the elf decides to take a detour and try to find a wolf companion.

Horatius and Victoria reach Servator and talk to the patriarch of the hamlet, that informs them that goblins have being raiding the fields, they are not many, but even after the local guard has kill several parties the goblins keep on coming. 

Zarariel finds a lone wolf and try to convince it to join him, but the wolf rans away (thats what happens when you have 7 charisma, and bat reaction rolls)

In his journey back to find the party Zarariel runs into a group of  12 armed men lead by a woman in a red armor, he hears them talking about robbing him. He bluff his way out of the situation by making them belive that the forest if full of elves, and that he is given them the oportunity to get out alive. The armed men belive the bluff and decide to go, but first they ask Zarariel if there is a smoking crack in the floor in the forest. Zarariel pretends to be a local and says that there is not such a crack in all the forest. The armed men then go south as the  the second in comand, a dwaf armed with a crossbow tells the woman "i tell you the tomb was by the sea"

the party reunites and decide to wait for the next goblin attack, prepare some pittfals, ambush the goblins, leave some to retreat and follow the runaways back to the lair. In the mean time they learn that the local lord has being summoned with half the baronys garrison to defend the rightfull king. Avoiding political conflict the players dont ask who the rightfull king is. 

Also Victoria trys to ignite the faith of her followers, and has great succes with Vita. (we agree that beetwin the 14 in the reaction roll and the high wisdom of Vita she could level a cleric as long as she started following the weapons restrictions, so she changed her crossbow for better armor and a hammer) 

A small goup of 10 goblins attack the hamlet a couple of days later, their leader riding a direwolf. The party attacks the goblins from ambush, the elf kills two of them before they know what hit them, and three of the goblins fall in a pitfall. and four more fall victims to Horatius magic (sleep). The remaining ones flee. 

The party follows their prey back to the lair, a cave merly hours away from the hamlet, Zarariel uses his skills as a hunter and determines that close to 40 globlins live in the cave.

They decide to stand guard close to the cave and rest so the mage can recover his spell.

But during the night 15 more goblins attack the party, that has to fight to save their very lifes. Zarariel starts killing two golbins per turn while defended by Vita and Victoria and Serjen spends the entire fight in a one on one duel with a single goblin. But the real surprise came from horatius and his mass acelerator (a sling) that starts killing goblin afer goblin. (a game note: i take the prodedure of rolling for enemy HP after the attacks hit for aditional suspense, and every time the mage hit a goblin the hit dice came lower than the damage dice of the sling, being 1d8-1 vs 1d4 thats quite some luck) 

When the 8 goblind fall the remaning ones ran back to the cave, and the party could get some rest. Victoria and Zarariel have some nasty wounds, but Serjen tend them and while not in perfect shape the party was in fightin condition by morning of the next day. (Serjen have healing I) 

Next day the party decide to sige the cave to thin the numbers before they go in. 

The offer little pay of as a single goblin scout was ambushed and captured, but after interrogating the goblin they learnd that the lair was found by the leader, a goblin of terryble magical powers (goblin-mage level 1 actually, but goblins are easy to impress). And that they have a "goblin pit", a pit full of black goo that spits goblins when an animal or person is sacrificed. 

Tired of wating the party ventures foward into the cave, and starts killing the goblins in there. The fight is easy in the narrow corridors where the superior numbers of the goblins cant be used to full efect, until they find the lone direwolf. Zarariel wasted the oportunity to ambush the eating direwolf by apologin out loud for attacking it. And the fight was a close call, killing Serjen, and almost killing Victoria. After killing the direwolf, the party face of the leaders of the goblin lair, the fight was harder, but a timely arrow to the goblin chaman and the summoning of the berserkers gave victory to the party that proced to destroy the goblin pit with holy water and plunder the "treasures" of the goblins (nothing more than some beer, cloth and dry meat) 

after returning with to the hamlet the patriarch offerd them a reward collected by the contryfolk: two herds of sheeps, lots of wool, a cart, two donkeys, and a riding horse. The party refused the sheeps, not wanting to let the shepards to poor (i count that as a donation for xp), and depart with the rest of the gains to the town of Dandelion for selling. 

End of session:

Deaths: 1 (Serjen)
Killed: almost 40 goblins, one goblin chaman, one goblin chieftain, one direwolf. 
treasure found: close to 1200gp in diverse things.
Mortal wounds: 0

Vita got to level 1 as a cleric, and decide to remain with the party but has reservations (-1 loyalty)

to be continued...




1 old river

2 servator

3 goblin lair