Dawnfall Campaign Overview

   Posted by: Blackbird   in Campaign Overview, Dawnfall

For our 4th campaign I offered the group a choice of one of three ideas: a horror campaign of my own creation run in the Iron Heroes rules, The Red Hand of Doom module from D&D 3.5, or a sea faring adventure with a wide variety of settings.  The group opted for the Horror campaign using the Iron Heroes rules.  The following is the introduction of the campaign and our cast of characters.

The state of things: The world exists much as it did around 1000 AD. You live on a temperate, forested, and mountainous area well away from any seas.  For as long as anyone can remember there have been the two major nations, Elm and Bravos.  For a long time the nations lived in peace.  42 years ago a great war was started between the two and they have basically destroyed each other. During the course of the war both of the major cities of the two nations were sacked and the nations became desperate, poisoning the water supplies of the towns and villages controlled by the enemy.

Finally after years of plague and war a truce has been declared.  2/3rds of the population is dead.  Towns have become self-sufficient walled compounds or have been abandoned.  The countryside has many abandoned farms and is also home to directionless former soldiers turned bandits.

You are survivors.  You have managed to live through the war, though undoubtedly you’ve lost friend and or family in the fighting and sickness.  You are all capable in some way: in Iron Heroes a level 1 character is dramatically more capable than a commoner and we will start this campaign with you at level 2.  Any of you could be considered a Sergeant capable of leading a small group of men.  Perhaps you are a former professor whose sharp mind allows you to keep a tactical edge on the battlefield.  You might be a wild berserker known and feared in battle by those you’ve faced before, or a blacksmith reknowned for your skill at hammering steel and wielding it, or you could be a ritualist, a man who found a way through the war by making pacts with entities in another dimension.

You all know each other and have worked with each other before.  We’ll figure out how and when on Thursday.  In your travels you’ve been helped by a man known as Sven Dietrich, a renowned doctor and healer of Elm descent.  He’s a good and honorable man who may have saved your life or paid you well for work.  He has sent your group a letter telling you that he has found work in the small town of Dawnfall and asks that you come and meet him there.

Rules stuff: I allowed any character class the players wished wish however due to the world having little magic in it I wanted that only one player be either an arcanist or spirtualist.  I also allowed classes from the Player’s Companion.
The three new classes are

Dedicates: Iron willed fighters who fight for a rigid purpose.  These are the Paladins of Iron Heroes.

Myrmidons: These are the dogs of war, they fight as opportunists they are very much a combat thief class, they don’t start with sneak attacks but they are very good at finding ways to strike at well defended enemies.

Spiritualist: This is a complicated class to play but an interesting one.  Casting magic in Iron Heroes is a risky business, spell casters who dip into the chaos of magical energy can be just as likely to burst into flames as to throw a fireball.  Spiritualist attempt to mitigate that risk by petitioning other worldly creatures to prepare spells for them.  This class can have familiars and is a bit more open about it’s connection to magic.  Druids are a good example of how this class works.  This is a powerful class but a very complicated one to play.  People may be afraid or attack you if you come across as a “dark wizard.”  Magic isn’t hated but it’s use is not fully endorsed either.  People have seen many strange and terrible things over the years and anyone who looks like they are going to bring more trouble with them are not welcome.

Time line: This is the general known history of what’s happened in the past two generations:

42 years ago – The great war begins, the nations of Bravos and Elm declare all out war on each other, there is strong popular support on both sides, large armies are massed.

26 years ago – Close to the halfway point of the war, most towns are not fortresses, those that are not have likely been burned.  Elm has split into two states which war with each other, Bravos has had half of it’s population depleted, the war continues but this is considered the start of the dark age.

18 years ago – The ruin (a plague) is first recorded.  One or all three sides decides to implement a final solution and beings a practice of poisoning water supplies of cities and remaining towns.  A startling rise in plague sweeps the land.

14 years ago – A general truce is declared, while everyone still has a reason to hate everyone else the truth of the matter is that the nations are ruined.  Mass exoduses of people flee to find a life anywhere else.  2/3rds of the population is dead, cemeteries are full to bursting and many of the dead are unknown.  Trade stops, those few towns that were not self-sufficient at this point starve or dissolve.

8 years ago – The city of Elmstand begins to be rebuilt.  The Elmish are seen as the “victors” of the war Bravosians begin to hire assassins to kill leading members of the Elm popluace.  One of the more successful of these is Cor the Faceless.  It is said that he has killed over 20 people all of them well guarded.

4 years ago – Stillbirths and child deaths begin to rise sharply.  Fearing another outbreak of plague towns once again close their doors.  Trade stops and information from around the world goes silent.  The wilds become more wild and there are more monsters are horrors seen in the woods and mountains.

2 years ago – While stillbirths and child sickness continue to be high towns begin to come back out from their walls.  There are a few more assassinations but Cor the Faceless and his troupe of assassins are killed, the castle of Bravos begins to be rebuilt.


oloOlo Olgurn: (Played by Thomson) A daredevil miner who worked in the ironbottom mine delving deeper than most other miners dared.  His recklessness led him to being trapped in a cave in, lost in the dark for days he lost part of his mind and somehow discovered how to tap into the elemental realm.  He managed to survive fumbling about with his new found power and was rescued when a team of miners and townsfolk broke through into the shaft where he was trapped.  The team that found him was led by the simple blacksmith Clyde.  Olo was healed up by Aeron an older nurse at the clinic that serves the camp and views himself in her debt.  Olo gained some renown as a hero among some of the miners and was viewed as menace by others.  The shaft he was trapped in was named “Olo’s Hole.”  He continued to work the deepest part of the mine with the aid of his new supernatural powers.  When rust monsters broke through into the main mine and threaten to shut the entire operation down Olo worked with Sven Dietrich, Clyde and Raelyn, to help remove the infestation.  Olo has a small dirty mining canary as a familiar, and plays a spiritualist class.

clydeClyde (Played by John) Clyde is a dwarf (midget) blacksmith who stands about 4′ tall with a thick build who makes crude ugly pieces of armor and weapons that are extremely durable.  Clyde worked as a blacksmith who would rent time on the local forge near the ironbottom mine and make simple tools and weapons in order to support himself.  He has a bit of a chip on his shoulder when it comes to comments about his height.  While he is not overly strong in hand to hand combat there are few that can mange to beat back his defenses.  He has helped in the mines when there were cave ins and helped rescue Olo when he was trapped.   Clyde has also helped Sven Dietrich fight of the rust monsters that attacked the mine.  Olo has a set of crude banded mail that looks a bit more like a cannibalized wood stove, this character is an armiger.

covaxKovacs – (Deceased) (Played by Eneasz) Kovacs used to be a farmer.  During the war his family was killed by the outriders of some army.  Kovacs has never learned who they were or where they come from but the incident appears to have broken his mind.  He now wanders alone for the most part carrying few possessions save for a massive scythe and the rags on his back.  He met the group in Ironbottom but headed to Dawnfall when he heard of injustices being done that direction.  When the group met up with him outside Wayland’s Crossing he joined up with them.  Kovacs met his fate at the business end of a dire bear while chasing after an assailant in the woods.  He is burined outside of Dawnfall with a simple headstone that reads: Kovacs       Protector

DM’s Note: Eneasz couldn’t make it to the first session so I started his character into the second session.  Due to Eneasz starting late his backstory never got quite as fleshed out as the others.

aeronAeron (Played by Sabrina) Areon is an elderly nurse with a sharp memory and a collection of sharper knives.  Areon has practiced knowledge of both healing arts and darker understandings of how the human body works and fails.  Areon has seen a great deal of bloodshed during the great war and has little sympathy for those that she deems cruel and evil in this world.  She has worked with Sven Dietrich solving mysteries within the Ironbottom mine and saved Olo’s life after he was found in a cave in. Areon is an elderly woman with greying hair but a younger face.  She wears a heavy leather coat over a worn nurse’s garb, this character is an executioner.

DM’s Notes: Sabrina had some unlucky roles when creating her character.  She started with a very low strength score of 6, giving her a -3 ST bonus.  Sabrina did a great job in working with this and created a character that fit with her low strength score.  Instead of being strong and cleaving enemies apart Aeron is nimble and strikes just where she needs to.  While in a straight up fight she’s at a disadvantage she can easily find an enemies weak points and sneak up on them while Clyde is getting hammered upon.

Raelyn Fallwright (Played by Anna) Raelyn is the daughter of Shamus Fallwright a knight known far and wide.  Shamus Fallwright is considered a hero by some an a villain by more.  Towards the end of the war Raelyn’s father mysteriously left her in the care of a halfway house.  After leaving the house she learned that her father was killed for crimes committed during the war.  He is considered by many to be an oath breaker, raider, and despoiler of lands.   All of this is in sharp contrast to the memories Raelyn has of her father.  She is well trained in the use of a bow and has finer possessions than her comrades.  She lives two lives, one as a moderately wealthy noble woman by day staying in inns and gambling while at night she works as a horse thief.  Raelyn is an archer.

godricGodric (Played by Drake) Godric used to be a solider, for who he dosen’t say and what he fought for he dosen’t say.  In fact he dosen’t say a whole lot.  How Godric came to Dawnfall is a bit of a mystery, but while he was here Sven spotted him and noticed that he was skilled in combat.  When the Saul family came to to petition Adam Dawn for more soliders to help secure the outlying farms Sven offered to look around for a cheap sellsword or two.  Godric is who he found.  Godric has been keeping watch over the Saul family flock and trying to keep the wolves from the forest at bay.  He seems like a good man but there are definitely darker deeds in his past.

DM’s Notes: Drake actually attended every session we’ve played so far, but due to his school schedule he wasn’t sure if he wanted to roll up a character only to have to bow out later.   He started the game on the 9th of Sept, and I’m hoping that he’s able to continue well into the spring semester.

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