Chapter 16: Recruitment Drive
- 1 About the Saga
- 2 The Saga
- 3 Experience
- 4 Treasure
- 5 Resources
About the Saga
The Green Blight -- a green dragon -- has seized control of a portal to the Feywild in the Verdant Waste. The Griffins Guild's proteges are tasked with dealing with the situation, but they're going to need some more help..
- Campaign Date: Planting 27, CY 515
- Real World Date: September 13, 2015
- Read other Obsidian Frontier Sagas
Cast of Characters
- Burgell Nackle (Damon), a gnome bard with dubious ethics
- Fargrim Frostbeard (Damon), dwarven cleric of Muamman Duathal
- Hawkwind (Nate), human warrior on the edge of time
- Tänévir Calywyn (Nate), a young elven ranger who has come to apprentice with Súlimëtasar of the Griffins Guild
- Telthanas (NPC), a half-elven adventurer scribe of the Griffins Guild
- Hank Ironvow (NPC), male half-orc fighter 3
- Shump Bloodoath (NPC), male half-orc fighter 3
What Has Come Before
Our heroes have returned to Obsidian Bay and report to their respective masters in the Griffins Guild about the happenings in the Dire Downs and the rapidly-expanding Verdant Waste. They earned praise for the death of the legendary Ol'Triple Threat, but the elders of the Griffins Guild -- including the mage Robertson and the bladesong warrior Willow Wind -- were particularly concerned when they learned that the strange eastern auroras of the last few weeks had been caused by a green dragon seizing control of the Viridescent Keep. **The Green Blight**, as the dragon styled itself, had driven out the keep's Unseelie lord, **Prince Selanar**, and was now in control of the Emerald Way -- a portal to the Feywild itself. The dragon has been using this portal the manipulate the surrounding countryside in a bid to expand its own power.
Meanwhile, the Robertson and Willow Wind explained that the guild was facing its own troubles in the form of the Purple Squid hobgoblins, who had managed to build a sizable fleet of ships and were using it to raid shipping in the Azure Sea and disrupt trade with Obsidian Bay. The Griffins are planning a major expedition to deal with the hobgoblins once and for all, but acknowledged that the threat of the Green Blight could not be ignored. They asked that the heroes -- Finn Underbow, Burgell Nackle, Tänévir Calywyn, Hawkwind, and Telthanas -- investigate the threat and do their best to end the Green Blight.
To that end, the heroes are now assembling a force of adventurers and retainers eager to head out into the unknown in search of glory, gold ... and a dragon.
Planting 27, CY 515
On their way to Griffins Landing, the heroes had noticed a storm of new construction happening outside the seawall, in the land previously occupied by refugees. They'd also recognized a slew of dwarven working chants and curses that indicated that the dwarven relief force under Mardok Redblade had arrived. Burgell, remembering that an old dwarven acquaintance was supposed to be with Redblade's 200-strong vanguard. After their meeting with the Griffin Elders, he declared he was heading to the construction zone. Hawkwind and Telthanas chose to join him.
Burgell soon met two familiar faces, Bthur Delvenson and Nori Delvenson. These two dwarves had accompanied him and the initial relief shipment back from Gryrax, and had joined the Griffins for a giant hunting expedition. They were now here working for their father, Delven. The elder dwarf owned a metal-and-stoneworking business and was quickly bringing in as many of his extended family as he could.
The Griffins learned much about the fledgling dwarven settlement:
- The dwarves are building stone buildings for their own shops and homes but they are also building sturdy "temporary" warehouse-like buildings to house the city's many refuges.
- Mordus Ironfist, owner of the Ironist Foundry (the first dwarven business in Obsidian Bay) has been a crucial liaison between Redblade, the Griffins Guild, and the larger community.
- The Cuthbertians, finding much to admire in the no-nonsense life style of the dwarves, have quickly become valuable allies of the town's latest immigrants
- People are already calling the settlement "Irontown".
- There are rumors that Redblade is courting Delven's eldest daughter, Krima Delvensdottir, and the two have been seen working together raising the temporary refuge housing.
After talking with his friends, Burgell was able to locate his former acquaintance, Fargrim Frostbeard. Fargrim, who seemed none to pleased to see Burgell (nor anyone else for that matter), introduced himself as a cleric of Muamman Duathal. When the nature of the Griffins' dragon-slaying quest was revealed, he agreed to join them.
Down to the Docks
Meanwhile Tänévir was curious about the huge three-masted ship that had an entire pier to itself down at the docks. He decided to investigate.
On the way there he encountered a crowd gathered around a fight between a female half-orc wearing what looked to be gladiatorial armor and a sleazy looking human male. He soon learned that both were members of newly-arrived mercenary guilds. The male human belonged to Scorpio's Stingers under the command of Scorpio Venaseel, while the other was Kesh Oathtaker, part of the Nazarn's Answer mercenary company.
Tänévir was shocked to learn that the half-orc was being tolerated in the city and was even more surprised when he was told that Nazarn's Answer was some sort of honor-bound mercenary company led by a male orog named Hagin Trueword.
The two combatants exchanged slurs -- the Stinger insulting Oathtaker's parentage, Oathtaker declaring that the man had no honor -- and then fought. Wagers were made in the crowd, and Tänévir declared he'd give 100 gold to the winner. Kesh won the fight quickly -- despite the Stinger's attempt to use a poisoned blade -- and reluctantly accepted Tänévir's gold. Clearly she felt that fighting the Stinger was beneath her, but declared she would use the money to buy drinks for her men and women at that night's arm wrestling contest at Armbreaker's Tourneyhall.
One of the ships he encountered on the way to the three-master was a smaller 2-masted sloop. At a glance he could tell that it was a well-maintained, fast ship, and the ballista mounted near its bow showed it was more than capable of defending itself. The ship's unusual figurehead -- of a human woman with a giant constrictor snake artfully draped around her body.
More interested in the larger ship, he pressed on. He learned that the vessel belonged to the Baroness Estrada von Strand and was the first of five anticipated ships to arrive in port. The ship's captain had paid for exclusive use of the pier, and they were now unloading supplies and setting up recruitment tables where a boorish, overly-loud human male called out in a booming voice that the Baroness was returning to the Pomarj, and bringing prosperity and order with her. He declared that the town's citizens could get in on that prosperity by signing up today to work for the Baroness.
Tänévir approached the man and learned his name was Nahkel Bronzehorn. Nahkel quickly explained he was looking for strong arms to augment the Baroness' forces, and was willing to pay top coin for them.
He also explained that the Baroness intends to see the Pomarj liberated from the humanoid menace. To prove her commitment to the cause, she plans to erect a fortified manor house to hold her retainers, horses, and supplies when she is not on campaign. In the meantime, they had secured an exclusive multi-month lease with **Sign of the Silver Wave** to serve as the Baronness' temporary court.
Tänévir also met Sulommund, an Oerdian male wizard and advisor to the Baroness. Called "Sully" by Nahkel (much to Sulommund's annoyance), the wizard was overseeing the recruitment of adventuring types to the Baroness' cause.
After learning about the ship, Tänévir decided to meet up with his colleagues and head to Armbreaker's Tournyhall for some recreation.
The Armwrestling Tourny
Armbreaker's Tournyhall was packed with mercenaries, adventurers, and anyone else who could afford to wager coins on the night's armwrestling contest.
Of particular note were the contingents of the city's new mercenary guilds:
- Ranfrot's Raiders: Led by Lord Ranfrot, eight son of a minor Keoish noble family. Unlikely to inherit in this lifetime or the next, he set out to make his own fortune.
- Scorpio's Stingers: The Stinger's follow Scorpio Venaseel, a ruthless mercenary known for his prolific use of poison on the battlefield. His men fight dirty, and don't care who knows it.
- The Black Company: Led by Sir Ornin the Black, outcast son of House Erodolf in the Northern Province of the Great Kingdom. He schemes to accumulate enough power to return to his homeland and ... settle ... things there.
- Nazarn's Answer: Mostly former gladiators and prize fighters with a surprising number of half-orc and other humanoid members. These individuals follow the hero-god Nazarn.
Hawkwind entered the tourny and made it to the Round of Eight before losing to Degranus the Rose, a wiry -- but surprisingly strong -- swashbuckler. Burgell does his best to get the man rebranded as Degranus the Stinker ... and partially succeeds.
The gnome also tries to start a fight between Scorpio's Stingers and The Black Company by using deftly placed illusions to trade illustrative insults. Unfortunately the Black Company was oblivious to the obscene illusions, and no fight broke-out.
Tanevir also used this time to learn more about Nazarn's Answer. He spoke with Kesh Oathtaker, who explained that her guild's namesake was hero god of formal, ritualistic, and public combat. Nazarn was elevated by Kord himself for feats of great strength and endurance (including the slaying of a green dragon in hand-to-hand combat). His interest piqued by the mention of the dragon, Tanevir explained that his group was looking for worthy soliders to take on the green dragon known as The Green Blight. Kesh, although unable to go on the quest herself, was excited by the possibility of killing a dragon and asked Tanevir to consider hiring on some of her people.
Planting 28, CY 515
The next morning the Griffins meet with Nalzar's Answer and their orog leader, Hagin Trueword. They ask for 3 gp a day and 10% of the treasure for the guild. Tanevir explains the mission to the concerned orog; when the orog learns that the mission is to kill a green dragon (it's a sign!) he says they will take only 5%. Tanevir offers them equal shares instead. The orog is astounded by this, and excepts Tanevir's propsoal saying he shows true honor.
While they wait for the new warriors to gather their gear, Burgell ventured down to the docks to learn more about the ship with the strange figurehead of a woman and snake. In talking with the town's assistant harbor master he discovered that the ship was the Anaconda under the command of Silonna Tidebreaker (female human soldier). Tidebreaker and her crew were privateers with letters of marque from the Hold of the Sea Princes, with their current mission to hunt down the pirate "Zorron the Twice DamnedDevil Ray" and the alleged diabolic pirate settlement of Hellport.
Dodging the Storm
Later that day the heroes began their quest east to the Verdant Waste. Seeing that the storm they'd spawned was still raging over the Dire Downs, they decided avoid it by heading south. In doing so they saw constant reminders that the storm was having an effect on the countryside, with its frequent downpours leading to frequent micro-floods coming down out of the hills.
They also see that the land near the Dire Downs, and indeed, throughout the east, is becoming more rampant, with trees shooting from the ground and briars that strangle mule deer.
That evening Hawkwind sought and found a campground with good sight lines the north and east. Unfortunately, the night that followed was not peaceful. Bugbears, remarkably sneaky even for their kind, snuck into the camp and attacked with complete surprise. In the battle that followed Burgell and Fargrim came close to death, but the heroes and their new mercenary muscle were able to defeat their attackers and claim victory.
On the corpses of the bugbears they found the following:
- 14 cp
- 61 sp
- 15 ep
- 8 onyx gems worth 50 gp each.
They then returned to sleep as the crazed purple-green auroa that marked the Viridescent Keep played in the eastern sky.
- Burgell Nackle: 600 xp
- Fargrim Frostbeard: 600 xp
- Hawkwind 600 xp
- Tänévir Calywyn: 600 xp
- Telthanas: 300 xp
- Hank Ironvow: 300 xp
- Shump Bloodoath: 300 xp
- 14 cp
- 61 sp
- 15 ep
Art objects & Gems
- 8 onyx gems worth 50 gp each.
- Guidelines for starting characters at a higher level: DMG (p. 38)
- Unprepared: The Complete Game Master’s Guide to Session Prep
- Maps: Principality of Ulek
- Duchy of Ulek
- The Vanguard Dwarves
- Six legendary mercenary companies from history
- Name Generator
- Name Generators: Surnames
- Privateer Ships
- Nazarn: hero god of formal, ritualistic, and public combat