Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Iron Principalities: Session 1

I've begun running a Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition game at my FLGS, a fairly open sandbox game set in a region known as the Iron Principalities (name ripped off from Jack Shear, over at Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque), a "Deadwood-meets-Borgias" region of frontier towns and feuding, eccentric petty despots, wannabe warlords and bandit kings, very much a "points of light" kind of region flush with goblinoids and other monsters.  It was going to be Greyhawk, but with so many players I felt they'd steamroller the Greyhawk adventure I'd prepared and didn't know where I could put this sandbox in Oerth.  I'll be doing brief write-ups of each session here.

Dramatis Personae:

Kholark Sunderstone, Half-Orc Barbarian 1
Dormammu, Half-Elf Warlock 1
Zerin of Birdsall, Half-Elf Paladin 1
Mival Shimov, Human Fighter 1
Cor, Rock Gnome Wizard 1
Lasair Lightfood, Wood Elf Rogue 1
Sylvus Treeshroud, Wood Elf Druid 1

Cor received a letter, and a Handy Haversack clinking with coins, from his Uncle Oswedge, a prosperous tin merchant, announcing Oswedge's impending demise and Cor's inheritance of Oswedge's house and effects in the mining town of Holger, deep in the heart of the Iron Principalities. With a bag of gold to pay their passage, Cor gathered his friends and set out on a month-long journey to see the house.

They arrived knowing only a little about the region - that Holger was one of the Five-Towns, a collection of settlements loosely confederated and run by a council of guildmasters, paying minimal fealty to any local prince, that just over the mountains from Holger was an ashen waste called "The Maw," swarming with goblinoids, and that a swamp to the south held strange ruins.

Arriving in Holger, they stopped in at the Whole Hog, a large and sprawling inn famed for its barbeque.  Ordering a round of dwarven stouts and short-ribs from Marge, the middle-aged dwarven barmaid, they settled in and surveyed the crowd.

A hooded stranger in silken finery caught Dormammu's eye, an affront to the warlock's desire to always been the best-dressed in any setting.  Talking to the stranger, Dormammu learned a bit more about the region; that the Five-Towns are ostensibly the domain of Baron Vitellius, a reclusive ruler content to leave the people well enough alone as long as his sole tax was paid - he asks that the bodies of anyone hanged for horse theft be delivered to his castle in the mountains. Under further questioning, the stranger revealed that Vitellius is a necromancer, and that the position of tax collector is currently unfilled.  Eventually the stranger threw back his hood, revealing a bare human skull; most of Vitellius' servants are reanimated dead.

Having supped and learned a little more about the region, the group set out to find Oswedge's house on the edge of town; what they found was three or more likely four houses that had been linked by connecting passageways and new rooms over the course of the last few decades. Everything seemed in good repair from the outside, and the group began to explore the interior.

this will always be what Kobolds look like to me.
A noise from the basement caught Kholark's attention, and investigating, they found four tiny, dog-like humanoids - kobolds - trying to wrestle a very large wheel of sharp cheddar up on to its rim so that they could roll it up the stairs and out the storm cellar door.

"You leave our cheese alone!" Kholark growled, and shaking, the kobolds managed to insist, "But we're orphans!"

Kholark smashed the cheese wheel to bits with his flail, sending the kobolds - bits of cheese in hand - fleeing out of the basement. Lasair, being an orphan herself and knowing how that feels, decides to follow them and find their current hideout.

1 comment:

  1. I find the optional Background rules interesting/amusing. Lasair managed to hit her Personality Trait and Bonds in the first session. We had fun! Thanks Bill.