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August 9, 2017 Campaign Notes
This was the first game in the campaign that uses D&D 5th Edition rules.
Glad to be back on warm, dry land, the group spent two days recovering in Jokipalo from their cold and frustrating six-month journey to the South Pole and back. There was considerable celebration in the town for the famous adventuring party to be back in port, and the group attracted plenty of attention and good cheer. Paul paid respects at the town’s temple of Ukko, and received a protective charm in return for his generous donation to the church’s mission.
Certain members of the party (Dave, Darius) were delighted to discover that Dave's discussion with the mages of the Arcanum about the possibilities of airship technology had been taken seriously. A slim-lined working prototype (a production beta) airship waited for them at a newly constructed vertical pier near the sea port.
The airship was the first anyone in Jokipalo had ever seen or heard of, and there was tremendous buzz about it. A few elvish nobles and a laconic hobbit from Waritu paid for passage to Jumala. The airship, a passenger caravel called the Yritys, was beautifully made, and crewed by five representatives of the Arcanum who were very excited to have Dave and his friends aboard. You consented (some more willingly than others) to a six-day airship ride down to the capitol city of Jumala. There, you planned to meet with members of the Arcanum to discuss your discoveries at the South Pole, learn the progress of the great teleportation project, and find out if any more has been discovered about the elemental dragons and the remaining artifacts (also called the Five Keys) related to Kela that you seek.
On the morning of the third day in Jokipalo, you boarded the Yritys along with the hobbit and the elf nobles, got your gear stowed, and prepared for the journey. The crew cheerfully greeted you, and then made preparations to get underway. With a gentle tug, the 50-foot airship rose into the air, began to ascend to its cruising altitude of 200 feet, and slowly accelerated southeast toward Jumala. Within a few minutes, the crew unfurled the ship’s sails, and the strange vessel began to move in earnest, making about 12 miles per hour as it followed the ley line network toward the Rystyset mountain range.
The Yritys is being piloted by 5 elves - a lift mage (leijai), a propulsion mage (tuuli), the captain, a mechanic and a steward.
The mages and captain are wizards from the academy. The mechanic and steward are also from Jumala.
- Captain - Väinö, an applied transmuation theory professor and former sailor of house Hopea
- Leijai Mage - Venla, in her 25th year at the academy, comes from House Pyhä
- Tuuli Mage - Niilo, in his 22nd year at the academy, comes from a merchant family up by White Harbor
- Mechanic - Eevi Koristo, a clever metalworker with a talent for functional detail, of no great house but renowned ability. She has always wanted to fly, otherwise the academy probably wouldn’t be able to afford her time.
- Steward - Elsa, a squire to a duke Valdemar Lindqvist of house Hopea, the ship’s sponsor
The journey to Jumala would last about 6 days, with stops for rest after 16 hours of travel. Venla and Niilo needed to recover after the mental strain of maintaining magical focus for so long. They told you about others in the airship R&D project that nearly burned themselves out or experienced severe psychological problems after holding a focused connection to the dragon stones that power the airship for too long.
Staying Over at a Friend's House
The third night of the Journey will be spent outside the ruins of Junkarsborgin in the Rystyset Mountains. Junkarsborgin is the ancestral home of Lazer’s family, House Vaarasta. The airship program has worked with Lazer and his people to set up an airship way station there. Three moderate ley lines run through Junkarsborgin, so it makes for a convenient switching point.
The food was excellent throughout the journey. Elsa is a talented singer, and provided traditional music to accompany some of Darius’ playing. Eevi also makes for good company, and provided an earthy perspective seldom found among the city elves. Väinö has lots of stories about his decades teaching and sailing, provided Dave and Maggey with a good sounding board for magical theory. The elf nobles enjoyed discussion of the arts among themselves and seemed to enjoy just being near the strange humans and their elven allies. The hobbit, Domingo, had lots of questions about the workings of the ship and the vast, empty tracts of land passing below.
As the sun was setting on the fifth day of the journey, Maggey retired to her cabin and took a pre-dinner snooze – exhausted from having spent several days searching her records for any obscure clues about the rune giant, the elemental dragons, and geomancy.
Suddenly, the elf ranger Mirja and several others of the group noticed four large winged creatures heading toward the ship on an intercept path! Be it pirates, demons, or something else, nothing good could come of first known airship being targeted by interlopers.
Paul recommended to Väinö that the ship descend as swiftly as possible and try to take cover in a riverbed in the dense forest below. Horrified, the elf nobles ran to their cabins below decks, while the adventuring party prepared for a fight. Curiously, the hobbit Domingo looked out over the rail and unfolded a stout hobbit longbow from his pack. He looked to the humans and elves and signaled that he’d be joining the fight.
The Yritys’ descent was achingly slow, but the ship was tucked below the canopy level with almost a minute to spare. Two young green dragons with hobgoblin riders and a pair of ugly creatures the humans recognized as Vrock demons were making haste for the ship. As the ship descended, Darius tried to divert the incoming monsters with an illusion of an angelic warrior, but the great distance and slow speed of the airship foiled the illusion after about a minute. Mirja’s sharp elven eyes noticed that all four of the monsters were carrying some sort of rugby-ball sized egg the color of lime Jell-O.
The Fight is On!
With howls and roars, the monsters increased their pace as Mirja and Darius began to pepper the dragons with a withering arrow barrage. Paul hopped down from the ship and rushed into the forest to put himself in an advantageous position once the monsters got in range. After snapping off a few shots from his bow, Domingo followed suit, using the shadows of the trees and ship to cover his movements. With the ship lazily drifting along the ley line, the crew took cover below deck. Dave launched a Macross-style barrage of magic missiles that thudded into each of the green orbs, both dragons, and one of the vrocks.
Mirja kept up her ruthless barrage of arrows, while Dan put the power of dance in one dragon rider’s head and Dave blasted a dragon with a blinding beam of radiant energy. Suddenly sightless, the badly burnt beast angled skyward as its rider unclipped himself from the harness and began climbing around to the front of the dragon. Paul pointed at the other dragon, and suddenly the great beast looked skinny and agonized as much of the water was pulled from its body.
The thirsty dragon and two vrocks were almost upon the ship at this point, and seemed to have been mostly unprepared to have been engaged at long range. Mirja zapped the dragon rider and its blinded dragon with another electricity arrow, and Domingo put the unfortunate dragon out of its misery with another well-placed shot. The dragon’s rider wrested the green orb free of the dead monster’s grasp and hurled it toward the Yritys as he leaped away from the falling creature.
Paul turned his attention to the two demons, and summoned a pair of angry shadow monsters that began tear into the backs of the Vrocks. Dave blasted away with another golden energy beam at the surviving dragon, but this one managed to keep itself from being blinded. With a furious roar, the dragon bathed the deck of the ship in a cloud of acid, badly burning Dave, Darius and Mirja. As it flew by it dropped its green orb toward the deck of the ship. The dragon rider tried to skewer Mirja with its lance, but she managed to spin away from the point as it passed.
At the same time, the two vrocks unleashed a hellish harmony, screaming a furious wail that stunned everyone in the area but Domingo and Paul. Adding insult to injury, they hurled their orbs at the ship as they flew past, then tried to tangle with the shadow monsters that continued their clawing assault.
As everyone tried to clear the horrid ringing from their ears, the four green orbs impacted against the deck and shattered in rapid succession. There was an explosion of green energy, and the ley line they were on – normally invisible – flared brilliantly with white-green light in response. Energy rippled up and down the ley line before it shuddered and vanished from sight. At the same time, every sentient creature was hurled from their feet, reeling and sickened by an overwhelming psychic backlash.
At almost the same time, the dead dragon crashed through the trees as it plummeted like a scaly comet into the forest floor. Its rider fumbled rapidly for a potion, but not quickly enough, as he slammed into a series of tree branches followed by a final finally meeting with the stony ground. No longer interested in the fight, the Vrocks returned to their own hellish plane of existence with a flare of dark red energy.
Domingo got back to his feet, not sure what the hell just happened, as Paul groggily spit out a combination of blood and what he hoped wasn’t brain matter. Mirja and Darius writhed in pain on the deck of the ship, not entirely sure that their brains hadn’t exploded out the tops of their skulls, while Dave struggled up to a knee, focused his energy into a parting shot that sent a crackling line of green energy speeding into the tail of the retreating dragon!
The Last Laugh
The enormous, horrifying dragon was transformed into a fluffy green bunny. Unfortunately for the surprised dragon-bunny, it sailed along at its original velocity and slammed messily into the side of a tree! Its surprised rider managed to keep his wits about him and grabbed onto a branch in time to keep from a similar fate. Tossing a smug look back at Dave, the hobgoblin knight chugged a potion and then vanished in a poof of mist. Seconds later, a dead dragon with a mangled face and broken neck tumbled to the ground under the hobgoblin’s branch.
Holding onto the ship’s rail for balance, Dave let the agonized groans of his compatriots and his own pain serve as anger fuel for a maximized fireball spell, centered the hobgoblin’s position. After the brilliant explosion, the surrounding trees, now leafless and scorched, were on fire. The corpse of the green dragon was horribly charred. Nothing remained of the hobgoblin.
Dizzy and badly injured from the acid bath and psychic blast, most of the group pushed past their splitting heachaches and tried to make sense of what just happened. Domingo wasn’t sure what all of the screaming was about, but he helped as best he could. Out in the woods he found the broken remains of the hobgoblin who had jumped off his dragon. The unfortunate knight was still clutching a shattered potion vial with the cork still lodged in the top. Paul staggered over to Domingo, read the label around the vial, and chuckled.
“Feather fall,” he translated.