Searching for Dawn

The first go...
The cave

I wake, finding myself on the floor of a dark and dank room. It’s a cavernous room, which feels subterranean. Musty smells and the echoes of dripping water in the distance, giving some sense of space in this unfamiliar place. Fear sets in. I feel around in the darkness until I hear a distinctive click, followed by the sound of a heavy object sliding. Many feet running toward me, something hits me over the…

Awakened and battered

I wake up feeling like someone kicked my head ten times. Disoriented, confused, with ringing in my ears, I can make out a different sound in the distance. It’s a scratching sound, like a soft stone being dragged across a harder stone. It sounds like someone writing in runes, not the flowing script of an elegant writer. I try to call out, but I make the frightening discovery that I can’t emit sound from my throat. Just before I fade into unconsciousness again, I see a faint outline of something moving in the darkness.

My memory is vague, I can’t tell what’s real, I don’t know if I’m awake. I lose all comprehension of time. I am terrified. Where am I? How did I get here? Who is holding me here, and why? What do they want? Is there anybody…out there? I reach out to touch anything, but soon realize that I’m not touching anything. I’m not lying on any surface. Panic sets in. I struggle, attempt to scream, to no avail. I begin to sob. I beg for release. I don’t know what I did to be trapped in this place.

The fall

….a faint voice from the darkness, cries out, after first unintelligibly, then one word rang out. But before I was able to respond, I began to fall. I entered what felt like a tunnel, then stopped in a foul-smelling shallow body of water. Still dark, I was terrified. Sniffing and growling noises approached. I got up on my feet and felt around me, for some sort of wall, door, or source of light. A piercing pain shot through my arm, and to much my surprise and horror, a crossbow bolt had been shot through my left forearm. The bolt’s head had made its way through my arm, with about half of the length of the shaft. I can hear the familiar sound of the drawing and locking mechanism of a crossbow, and the setting of another bolt. A blinding flash of light appeared, a sudden, muffled scream, a second crossbow bolt is fired, but bounces off of some distant object. A low voice calls out and implores me to close my eyes. I suddenly feel weightless, and have the sensation of flying at a high rate of speed. The loss of blood is taking its toll on me, and I pass out at some point in this unintended mode of travel. I fall in and out of consciousness, remembering only flashes of light, shapes, only vague shades of grey, in this inky darkness. I’m too tired to be afraid, anymore. I’m a limp corpse, being propelled by some unknown force. I don’t know how long this went on, as any sense of time was lost long before I found myself in this void.

Welcome to the swamp

A symphony of sound strikes, making the realization that I as unconscious, unbeknownst to me. My eyes open into the pale grey of a different place. This place is warm, mossy, and just then, I realize that I’m in the middle of a swamp. The sounds I hear are those of countless insects, frogs, and the other creatures of the night. I feel around me, welcoming the touch of a solid surface. But just where am I? I have no memory of how I came to be in this predicament. Feeling around, I have no clothing, tools, weapons, food nor fresh water. Tired, dirty, angry, sore and wet, I thank the warmth of the swamp over the cold, damp dark of the caverns I had been in….for what seemed like an eternity. Straining, I catch some movement over what appears to be a hill, but my tired eyes can’t see it; my ears can’t hear it. I lose consciousness again.

Inspired by madness

I find myself slipping into consciousness, again. There are sounds around me. Sounds of confused people afraid, not knowing where they are, nor how they got here. A light appears high in the air, on many reflective objects, high in several trees, high on the cliffs, in the distance. A distant wind howls through the high treetops, and the sound of a clashing of blades and armor. Until now, I didn’t realize there were trees or cliffs anywhere this place. There is confusion, fear, and near panic growing.

I try to sit up, but feel uneasy about the unstable, soft spongy surface beneath me. Steadying myself with my hands, and slowly shifting my weight, I am able to look out, across this rotting fen. A snake slithers by. The croak of a thousand frogs is deafening to my ears. Flying, biting insects fill the air. My right hand reaches to my left forearm, finding the impaled crossbow bolt there. Being unable to break the steel bolt, I decide to peel the fletching off, which delivers excruciating pain, upsetting the wound. I work slower and gentler on peeling the fletching away. The process was made more difficult by the insects, some of them quite large, trying to make a feast of my body. Then the realization that I must remove the bolt. Taking a deep breath, closing my eyes, and grasping the bolt’s shaft just below the head, I give a quick pull. I can’t contain myself…I let out a loud growling scream. To my horror, the shaft had only moved a fraction of its length. I feel the warm stream of blood exiting the wound, and dripping from my elbow. I remove my belt and fashion a tourniquet above the wound, pulling it tightly, between my teeth. Grabbing the bolt again, pulling with all my remaining strength, the projectile is freed from my profusely bleeding arm. I fall over onto my side, the island of spongy ground making a splashing sound in the water around it. My shouts are louder than before, and I’m now crying. Blood on my face and likely elsewhere, I tear the sleeve of my shirt and create a bandage, moving the belt over the bandage, applying pressure to both sides of the wound. The pain is sickening. I call out for help. I am answered by silence. A light shines upon me from above, as if from some bright firefly. There are now multiple lights, moving, circling over me. I’m afraid. I call out, in tears, “What do you want from me? I need help, please! Please help me. I’m wounded and have lost my way. I don’t know how I arrived in this miserable place. I’m looking for…”

The lights went out. A disembodied voice announced, “You have all been brought here as a test of your mettle. Success is defined by your survival…ALL OF YOU…and to accomplish the challenges set before you. Upon your success will your worth be considered to participate in the Great Quests. You will find that each of you is tired, frightened, disoriented, and uncomfortable. This hardship is intentional, and may be defeated only together. Your first challenge has been shown to you, but in two parts. The first part may seem obvious to you. The second part is awkward, which will be known to each of you soon enough. You must learn to conquer your fear. You must learn to trust each other. You will not deceive one another. You represent a unique mixture of personalities, backgrounds, races, occupations, beliefs and desires.”

A gust of wind swept across this bog, granting relief from the agony of the constant irritation of pests. A light appeared overhead, followed by several more, giving detail to the surrounding area. More lights, and a wider area is covered in a dim light. I see faces in the surrounding water, looking around and at me. I call out, “The grace of Leira is with me! I beg of you, be my friends and save me! I have been wounded and haven’t the strength to escape this revolting prison.”

Obscured by clouds

The breeze stopped; the relief from the biting, buzzing insects ended. I begin to weep, being too exhausted to slap away the incessant biting and crawling of the pests over my aching, bloodied body. The noise in my ears deafening, blocking all other sounds until a series of splashes surrounding me. I bring my knees up to my chest and wrap my arms around my legs, closing my eyes, anticipating my final moment. I cry out to make it stop, that I can’t take any more, just finish me now. The response wasn’t what I expected…

Day One

Being a bit nervous about the start of this campaign, I started off the game, with Tron, Sheilah, Travis, Patrick and Mikayla. I found things to go easier when I learned to trust my instinct and imagination. Game mechanics are still a work in progress, but I felt the roleplaying went quite well. I found it interesting how everyone roleplayed, and no one seemed to have gotten overly upset.

The party began, being submerged, up to their chins, in an awful, putrid, vomit-inducing swampy bog. Right away, the party realized that they were not only without arms and armour, but they were also missing their gear and clothing! They were naked, in an insect and critter-infested swamp. Trying to not drown, they were forced to rescue an unfortunate, simple-minded creature, named “Rad.” Rad is an interesting….special fellow, who was wounded and landed on a small island of peat moss. With significant effort, the group of strangers came together to rescue Rad, bringing the non-swimmer to the edge of the swamp, to firm ground. The party had been shown where their arms and armour was located—hanging as wind chimes, from a tall tree, high on a cliff, overlooking the swamp. On terra firma, they discovered a way up the cliff—a stone stair, but the beginning was obscured by a huge mess of dried, sharp brambles. The fire-breathing Dragonborn went to work, burning the dried foliage, all the while, cooking a meal of aligator, caught at the edge of the swamp. Making their way through, they found a cave that Rad ran headlong into, with the party’s light source, where he promptly tripped and fell in a shallow pool of water, and began to drown, face down. Upon “rescuing” Rad, three other party members that followed, discovered five sets of clothing hanging on stone outcroppings. They quickly got dressed, and grabbed the other two sets of clothing, once exiting the cave, gave one set to the fourth party member, the fifth set of clothing was hesitantly given to the rightful owner. Now that the party was dressed, they headed up the long stair. Slipping at least once, the smallest party member decided to split from the rest of the party and attempt to climb the wall, which is a 200 foot sheer cliff. After only making it about 15 feet or so, the rain started.
The other four party members (and Rad) made it into a cave, and as the halfling decided to take the stair, the hail began. Once everyone was in the cave, the massive hail began, and the weather stirred up a wild wind that blew the hail and torrents of rain into the mouth of the cave. One party member with a fear of caves suffered from anxiety. Much effort was spent getting her to enter the cave. Some searching by party members, scouting ahead in the cave, discovered foot prints, from a shod bipedal humanoid, which they followed for some distance, until they went back to inform the rest of the party. Rad found an interesting rock formation on a wall, and after touching it, unleashed a rock trap that caved in the opening to the cave, forcing them to continue, much to the cave-phobic party member’s anxious nerves. After many falls, missteps, blunders and sometimes hilarious moments, the party discovered a donkey, wearing human shoes, carrying the party’s backpacks and non-martial gear. In order to prevent Rad from getting into trouble, the party told Rad to climb on the donkey’s back, to which the donkey bolted. Rad was a bit too high and hit a stone prominence from the ceiling (in the darkness), and fell off the now scared donkey. The party caught up to Rad, gave him a few words, and continued. A water trap was triggered by the unfortunate halfing, shortly after another rock trap was discovered (the party members making sure to keep Rad away from the trigger). The water was picking up velocity, through the passageway in which the party was walking, that the decision was made to trigger the rock trap, to stop the flow of water—which worked. The party continued and was met with a large cavernous room. The sorcerer discovered a small opening on one of the cave walls, and the party exited through it, finding their way outside again, connecting with the stair they needed to reach the top of the cliff, and to their arms and armour. Weather, clumsiness, bruises and some battered egos followed, but the rest of the party’s equipment was retrieved from a large oak, overhanging the cliff. A small, protected spot nearby was chosen to camp for the night. However, there was little difference between day and night, as it was completely dark for the entire day.

I had a lot of fun, and I hope everyone else did. Now to continue the story, next week.

Thank you.


Day Two

Surviving from a week of long nights, I had only prepared a bit for the evening, so there were some inconsistencies in my mind about how things were laid out, but everyone survived and I think it was a good time.

As the evening drew in, Rad prepared the campsite for a nice evening meal, surprising many of the party members, especially when it became known to Tron’s and Sheilah’s characters that he understood and spoke fluent Draconic. As everyone went to sleep, Travis’ character was on watch, creepily peeking into everyone’s sleeping lean-to; until he reached Rad’s lean-to and collapsed, asleep.

Althaea was kneeling outside of her lean-to, when a blanket wrapped around her, immobilizing her arms. She was carried, yelling, waking several party members, to a hole in the ground that opened to a tunnel into the flood control building, lightly guarded by goblins, which were defeated with much gore and glorious blood… One party member had far too much enjoyment out of that, in addition to the pin-up calendar found in one of the rooms. Several more goblins appeared on the dam, outside the window, whom were defeated. All the while, Tron’s character closed the dam gates and caused the catastrophic failure of the dam. Rad had a visit by a faerie in a dream from the night before, imploring him and the rest of the party to destroy the dam to restore the river to its original state.

We did good! More to come.

INT Check DC 12

18 monster4 8 damage fell to death DEAD

14 tron
12 monster3 10 damage DEAD
11 ari
9 monster5 running toward building falls in causeway DEAD
7 rad
7 monster1 10 damage lost bow approaching building DEAD
7 monster2 drowning DEAD
5 patrick
5 boss monster 12 damage – bloodied – pulling out of water DEAD
4 travis
3 Althaea sheilah

They kill 3 Goblins in the flood control building

They kill (or cause to die) 6 goblins outside the flood control building, are rewarded 100 gold each for their efforts by local fey, and one special item (to be determined).

Day Three

round 1 started with Oloros – slept goblins 2 & 3 15 goblins 750
goblin 1 molested by Sheilah’s mage hand 11 gnolls 1100
cantrips shower of sparks goblin 1 1850

20 Rad 5 goblins dead
18 Beomokix Nadarr
16 Althaea Tyrneathem
16 Oloros Foechuckle
n/a Ariafay Nathraven
16 goblin 3 7 15 dead
14 goblin 4 7 15 dead
12 goblin 2 7 15 dead
7 goblin 1 7 15 mage hand and shower of sparks disengage hiding
6 Joshuah
5 Norixious Gil
4 Rebekah

20 Rad
18 Beomokix Nadarr
16 Althaea Tyrneathem
16 Oloros Foechuckle
n/a Ariafay Nathraven
16 10 goblins killed
6 Joshuah
5 Norixious Gil
4 Rebekah

Araelen Galanodel

19 patrick
19 sheilah

14 gnoll 2 dead 2 gnolls dead
12 rad
8 gnoll 1 dead
7 andrew
6 tron
6 travis

20 travis
20 gnoll 5 dead
20 gnoll 1 dead 9 gnolls dead
20 gnoll 8 dead
20 gnoll 9 dead
19 tron
17 sheilah
18 patrick
17 gnoll 6 dead
13 andrew
12 gnoll 4 dead
10 rad
7 gnoll 2 dead
4 gnoll 3 dead
2 gnoll 7 dead

Day Four

Gil passed away from his own wounds, but the party was able to defeat the horde of goblins under gnoll leadership. 34 goblins defeated (destroyed or made to flee) and 4 gnolls defeated (destroyed or made to flee).

The party woke to the smell of smoke, coming from the forest, behind the camp. After some gathering of

Of the four surviving party members, they all split 50*34 + 4*100 = 2100 / 5 = 420 each.


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