This is the game Lee Hanna is running for his son and friends.

Rules are 2nd edition AD&D, set in the Birthright world. The starting point is the classic Keep on the Borderlands, but we should be going places from there.

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Lee
Problems around the cemetery
The first day of Sehnir (late October), and the heat wave that may have triggered the fires has ended. The air is only warm by day, and the smell of ash is still prevalent in Brynnor.

For now, we focus our view on Eidrik and Sir Gavin, now rejoined by Sir Deloran, who has returned from his knighting ceremony by the Militant Order in Tuornen. Sir Gavin has been asked by the overworked Lord Broden and his assistants to keep secure the house of the late wizard Finagill. No one knows who his heirs might be, and such a collection of magical things should be kept safe from unscrupulous hands.

{Perhaps this is where Raven and Maggie might like to lay low for a few days.}

Meanwhile, the cost of food in the city is rising as it becomes scarce. The harvest from the countryside has yet to arrive, and most of the food stored in the town has been destroyed in the fire. The grumbling among the people includes the tale that more fires are being started, by evil sidhe agents. Others say that the fires are punishment from one or the other of the gods, for impiety among the people-- a judgement by Haelyn on his knights is the usual statement.

With this environment, the knights and warriors settled into their post, sending out for food once a day. The militia has street patrols out; for this neighborhood, the day patrol is led by Morwe Ringhill, whom Sir Gavin and Eidrik had rescued from a 4th-story apartment. She had grown up here, enlisted as a soldier, and only moved back home to start a family. Now she's a Guardian again.

This night, they here a noise of scuffling and scratching out in the street; a quick investigation reveals a mass of rats moving their way, and they lock the doors to keep them out. In the morning, they are told about several people and animals killed in the night, perhaps by the rats, but possibly by undead walking!

As knights, they feel called to check this out, and find that two bodies (man and dog) are lain in an alley, with a (poorly-spelled) message chalked on the wall nearby. It said it was the "rath" of "Reynard the Betrayed", the name of the town's founder, a hero of the wars against hobgoblins long ago, killed by one of his allies. Eidrik does a spectacular job of finding and following tracks from the two bodies (both killed by the rats, but much of the blood around the scene was instead red dye) to the old cemetery. Morwe's militia patrol had been at the death site, and followed them for a while. When they reached the cemetery, most of the Guardians refused to go into that "haunted" place, only Morwe accompanied them.

Sir Reynard's tomb is easily located, and evidently has been opened. Someone had been sleeping in the doorway, but left their things behind. Beyond the doorway were 8 angry armed skeletons, which were quickly put down by the fighters. In another chamber lay the recent corpse of a woman, someone with chalk and red dye in her possession. The next chamber showed doors that had been forced off their hinges. That was the resting place of Sir Reynard Hasken, and he was no longer resting! He declared that he had been awakened by the blasting of his reputation by a low churl. Now that he was awake again, he would return to his life's vow, conscripting the people of the village to take the war to the hobgoblin invasion! All of the people, whether or not they could carry arms, would be his army of vengeance!

A long battle ensued, with his undead power matched to their swords. Sir Gavin's newly-enchanted blade did the most work here, assisted by the others. After the defeat of the general, they carefully returned his body to its resting place, against the need of an invasion someday.

While all of this was going on, the other Guardians were supposed to be at the entrance to the burial ground, but when the group returned, no one was there. Morwe was furious, and set out to question anyone she could find. One of the errant guardians, Thaddeus Nord, was seen walking towards them, carrying a sack on his shoulder and eating ravenously-- had he been looting houses?

He dumped out the sack, saying he'd found some really neat stuff in a ruin. Out poured 4 rats, but their bodies were covered in slime, and there were yellowing flowers growing out of their bodies. The rats began to attack the investigators, and the flowers burst open in a puff of pollen, seemingly aimed at people. These fell beasts were hacked down, but Thaddeus sipped at a potion and disappeared.

The house he'd indicated, down the block, was shut up tight. Morwe said that it had belonged to a single man that used to sleep all day, his neighborhood nickname was "Cat". He'd left town a year or so ago, never come back, but no one had claimed his house. The doors were locked tight, so the front door was kicked in.

All of the floors were covered in dust, and many had vines growing through the floors or walls. In the kitchen, Thaddeus lurked under a trapdoor to the root cellar, but his ambush was foiled and he was killed. The small courtyard seemed empty, except for more of the vines. The root cellar had, well, roots in it, a massive set of them. Upstairs, Thaddeus' two hidden companions tried to grab and throw Sir Gavin from a balcony to the courtyard below. Instead, one was killed by the sword and the other was hurled down. Gavin leapt after him, falling on his face. Deloran, not to be outdone, also hurled his armored self over the railing into the midden pile below. Morwe rolled her eyes at the boys, and ran inside to go down the stairs instead.

All three of the Guardians were slightly green in color, much like the rats earlier, but not as slimy. down in the courtyard, three dogs emerged, and these were as slimy as the rats. Another desperate fight ensued, ending with the triumph of the still-humans and the eventual destruction of the massive plant that was the center of all of the vines and pollen-bursting flowers that ran throughout the house.For now, no one wanted to stay in the house any longer, so the door was locked again, and reports were made to captain Kratys of the Guardians. They suggested that the house be burned down, just in case they didn't kill all of the slimy plant creature.
Session: Game Session 15 - Friday, Apr 08 2016 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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Raven chased by small mob
(This is in Ravens point of view)

Maggie left to go help the others and I decided that I would walk around the town and find out some more about the town and the people here. So I started over by the church and talked with the local priest asking about the origin of this town. He gave me some interesting facts. I thanked him and continued walking around. I then walked over to where the market place use to be before everything went up in flames. There were people everywhere cleaning up what use to be their livelihood. I felt kind of bad for them so I went and talked with them. We talked for what seemed like hours but I noticed some kids laughing and playing but didn't think anything of it. So as I was talking to a lady who was gathering up what was left of her fabric (she is a seamstress) I didn't notice the kids from before sneaking up behind me. So while I was tacking one of the kids grabbed ahold of my hood and pulled it down almost chocking me with it and another kid dumps a bucket of water on me. I am not standing here with my hood off, and my ears showing, and on top of that I'm soaking wet. The lady gasps and backs away from me and so does the kids. The men over in this area come to see what's going on and see me and slots me with death glares. They grab what ever they can use to hit me with and start running at me. I turn quick on my heal and make a run for it. They followed right behind. I look around for a place to hide but to no avail. So I have been running for some time now and they won't let up. I ended up running to the side of the town where Joseph was on patrol and ran right past him. Although he didn't see that it was me and him and his other comrades with him decided to follow behind to find out what's going on. I looked back and saw that I was being chased by angry men but now I'm being chased by one of my friends. I looked back and sped up my pace and ran as fast as I could and managed to lose them by hideing in a now abandoned home. I hid in what use to be a celler. And stayed there and caught my breath. I then decided that if I tried to go back that they would find me and do who knows what. So instead I decided to stay the night here.
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Lee
Moving downriver
Sir Gavin's been invited to the town of Brynnor to report to his order, Haelyn's Aegis, and most of you followed him.

The Thuried family had already extended an invitation to visit them if you visited, so that's something to look forward to as well.

Brynnor is a town of 5,000 or so, set at the foot of some hills, where the small Reach River flows into the Stonebryn, on the western border of Mhoried. Lord Agelmore Broden is the Lord Mayor and governor of the province of the same name.

Session: Game Session 14 - Friday, Mar 18 2016 from 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM
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Lee
Battle under thunderclouds
Now re-armed, everyone decided to return to the caves. They found everything there quiet, and entered the cave full of undead.
They found: no undead? No one at all, in fact. They took the various gems and jewels that were found, but no one disturbed them-- no guards, no priests (this was clearly a temple to Azrai), no undead. Locked in one prison cell, they found one person-- a frightening creature, an elven woman who had been transformed by Azrai's blood into a horrible creature, with a gaze that petrified flesh, and a poison touch! She froze Deloran, Eidrik, and Gavin, before she was finally killed by Reginald and Raven. The flash of her divine bloodline at her death confirmed that she was indeed an awnsheghlien.

When the went outside, they realized they had missed the tracks of many, many, feet heading out of the steep ravine. They followed them and saw that they went into the forest, in the direction of The Watch.

Concluding that the undead and goblins had massed to attack the Watch, they rushed up the road to find that the gates were closed, and threatened by a gaggle of zombies.

Quietly moving back into the woods, they found a party of skeletons chopping a tree-trunk into a battering ram, and attempted to attack them. Their stealthy approach almost worked, and Gavin's first attempts to use his new power to rebuke undead almost worked, and the fight was on. Gavin soon got the hang of it, and sent the skeletons fleeing. The 4 priests directing the work were slain.

Gavin and Deloran stayed here to destroy the evil works, Joseth and Roy took off on foot to the nearest body of Guardian soldiers to get help, while Raven, Maggie, and Eidrik went to scout around the Watch-- how many enemies were there?

Those last three soon met a party of three priests in black cloaks. Maggie's spell put 2 of them down, and Eidrik rushed the last one in bear form. As the light rain turned into a thunderstorm, he combined his bear-hug with timely arrows from Raven to kill the torturer who had escaped them in the Temple earlier. They moved on.

The thunder & lightning show galvanized Deloran and Gavin, who now followed their trail.

Circling the Watch to the side opposite the gate, Raven, Maggie, and Eidrik (back into human shape) found the leader of the Temple forces, directing a large band of skeletons to climb the walls, and attacked from behind. Arrows and bolts took down the supporters, then all concentrated on the leader. This turned out to be Tannen, whom they thought was a friendly druid until he turned on them two days ago. Now he was here, in the dress of a priest of Azrai, leading an army against the Watch!

The fight was long and bloody; Eidrik was thought to be mortally wounded. As Tannen, now calling himself Lareth, used a magic staff to beat down their defenses, it looked like he might defeat the sidhelien sisters. That's when Gavin and Deloran caught up to them, and quickly defeated Lareth-- he surrendered!

Deloran was ready to kill him on the spot, but Gavin stayed his hand-- "You don't kill prisoners." With a submissive gesture, Lareth destroyed the skeleton assault force, and his re-appearance as their prisoner caused the goblin bands to flee into the forest.

Early the next morning, an exhausted Joseth and Roy appeared at the head of a troop of cavalry from Winoene. They found an intact Watch and a great feast of a breakfast laid out. Everyone in our story were hailed as heroes.

Sir Arlen and Curate Adrin were so pleased with Gavin that they knighted him on the spot. Deloran's order had no representatives there, but they promised the strongest recommendations to the Militant Order for his knighthood, too. The unholy relics that they recovered needed to be destroyed, and Brynnor was where they needed to go for that. There was a temple there that had a wizard who could help with the safe disposal of those.

Parniel and Linna Garnier gave their personal thanks, too. They were overwhelmed by the treasures-- mostly gems-- taken from the temple's caves. They agreed to pay gold for some of the items, but recommended that more could be sold at their guild's offices in Brynnor, to the south. Quietly, Linna asked Joseth if he had found any magical writings in the caves, but he was unable to answer, in the busy, happy, crowd.

Corporal Holtson clapped most of them on the back, thanking them and praising them for their work. "So glad you finally got it together! Now you're warriors!"

Jadrien was all smiles as she requested their story for the records she would have to write down. Even Brak-Thinn seemed pleased, "which is a great rarity," she whispered.

Everyone will level up, I'm sure
Session: Game Session 13 - Friday, Feb 26 2016 from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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Lee
Dark news, a howling battle
Gavin had brought the nearly-dead body of his faithful retainer Roy to the curate of Haelyn at Torien’s Watch, seeking healing. This took several days, but it was accomplished. It also brought Gavin and the curate together in discussions of what was going on around Torien’s Watch. The curate introduced Gavin to Sir Arlen Devarren, Oeren Devaren, Brak-Thinn, and Adrin Culver. Jadrien took notes. They were pleased to meet a paladin of the Holy Aegis, and asked about his activities here. The leaders of Torien’s Watch said that they were concerned about the caves’ residents, especially the one named Grunkash.

About 20 years ago, there had been an invasion by hundreds of goblins, led by a charismatic leader, Grunkash. When the leaders heard that one of the hobgoblin chiefs had been using that name, they grew more concerned. They didn’t want to weaken the defenses of the Watch yet, so the Watcher and captain asked Gavin to keep them informed of what he might learn from the Caves. If things got worse, the Watcher might have to send his soldiers there. If, since Grunkash was slain, things got better, it would be a cause for celebration and rewards. All were pleased to know that a knight-to-be from Haelyn’s Aegis was on the job. The curate promised to release more healing potions to them, when he could make them.
Meanwhile, Parniel Garnier and Linna Garnier bought dinner for the other members of the group that had rescued their guildmasters. Those two were actually the daughter and son-in-law of Galien Thuried, the guildmaster of the Upper Anuire Traders, and they were still grateful. The lady had already given them a magic dagger, but they now passed along associate-membership in the guild to Kiemer and Merwynden. This means that they would pay discounted prices on some items at guild stores. There was also a gift of a healing potion. Parniel and Linna offered to continue to support them however they could, “After all, a friend of the masters is a friend of ours, and you guys have been good customers.”

Thus fortified and validated. the group opted to take another try at the cavern that held the undead before. Anders Holtson offered his same mock-jeers towards them as they left, but Jadrien seemed more civil than usual. On the way, they found something disturbing. Where the trail led from the road off into the ravine, they passed the spot where they had first met the goblin scout Boren. He was now tied up in a tree, bloody and beaten, and all around were the signs of a battle, but no corpses. Goblins usually leave corpses where they had fallen, and humans would have burned or buried theirs.

“Tribe gone,” he croaked, as they cut him down from the tree. “Tribe tried to leave, but gnolls ran us down. Killed all of tribe, tribe walked away.” He explained that some humans among the gnolls turned the goblin corpses into zombies, and they had shuffled off. With this information, the group opted to take a partial revenge for the late tribe of Gerthak, and attacked into the gnoll tribe at the southwestern corner of the ravine. Boren accompanied them, once he had been given some food and water, and promised a weapon.

A chilling sight met them as they passed by the cave where Boren and Gerthak used to live. A statue of a goblin stood in the entrance, that looked exactly like Gerthak.

Raven stealthily climbed the steep hillside to the cave mouth, and slipped inside. There was no guard nearby, so the others were able to get in, too. A fight quickly broke out in the very next chamber, and the gnoll tribe was alerted. The battle progressed down some stairs into another hall and a third chamber, where the group found itself outnumbered and flanked. Roy, Hawkeye, Reginald, and Maggie were all knocked out, but the gnoll chief was slain, as were most of the males in the battle. When the females withdrew to another room, the party heard Boren’s yelling from the cave entrance. “Many dead! My tribe coming!” The group barely had time to grab the gnoll chief’s head and his silver armbands as they gathered their wounded and ran for the exit. They ran down the ravine and up the highway, pursued for about a hundred yards by a shambling mass of undead goblins and hobgoblins, some rotted away to skeletons.

When they got back to the Watch, Jadrien quickly called Brak-Thinn, who asked them all questions in the guardhouse for an hour. Boren is undecided whether to leave, take service with this group, or find some other way to pay his way in the world.

At dinner that evening, they were introduced to a Rjurik warrior, Eidrik, who was most interested in their tales, and asked to accompany them on their next push.

Present: Gavin (to Pal3), Deloran, Hawkeye, Maggie Peranwyr, Landen, Joseth, Boren, Reginald, Roy, Raven Peranwyr (to Ftr3), Kiemer
Session: Game Session 11 - Friday, Jan 29 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
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Game Master:
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Lee
Setting:
Birthright (2nd)
6 other campaigns in this setting
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