This session happened Wednesday, July 28, 2010.
Artemis (half-elf rogue)
Arthus (half-elf paladin)
Book (elf rogue)
Sinn (gnome bard)
Bellwar (dwarf cleric)
Gilgamesh (uffnik artificer)
Since the time of the Necromancer Wars, the Great Wall has separated the city from the howling wilderness to the north. When the King (Emperor, High Poobah? I don't know, never seemed important growing up) cast the spell (or finished the ritual – whatever) he destroyed the necromancers in a blinding flash of light. Apparently people got along with their lives after that, but never went north ever again.
At some point, someone decided that opening the one working gate every three months to let people go north was a good idea. Can't imagine why, but there you go. Every three months they open the thing up for a couple hours and then close it. Most folks have forgotten about it and only notice if they live nearby because the damn hinges are squeaky as all Hades. Assuming Hades is a squeaky place, that is. I wouldn't know other than people "better" than me have told me it's where I'll end up unless I mend my ways.
My name is Book, and for reasons of my own (mostly to do with my breathing and my desire to keep doing so), I decided that a stint north of The Wall would be a good idea. I did a little research on the topic, acquired some gear (some of which I even paid for), and showed up on the appointed day. Surprisingly, there were other folk heading through the gate that same day. In addition to myself, there were two half-elves, a gnome, a dwarf, and something called an uffnik (short furry guy of a race I've never seen before). We exchanged names while we waited and then walked through into a sea of ruins and broken siege weapons as far as we could see. (I didn't ask why the others were heading north, mostly because I didn't want to explain my own reasons. Luckily, no one asked.)
Right outside the gate were two mostly whole buildings, each with a sign. One said "Gnome Hill" and the other said "ICE". Some of the city guard pushed a handcart of boxes and a few barrels over to the building labeled "ICE" and then walked back. Sensing potential profit (or at least very cheap supplies) I moseyed on over to the handcart. The folks walking the gate with me slowly followed.
A tall blonde guy stepped out of the building as I approached and started unloading some of the supplies. We talked. He is a paladin by the name named Richard Pureheart. (Really? Who names their kid that?) "ICE" apparently stands for "Inner Circle of Externals" and is apparently a guild of folks living on this side of the wall. Membership in ICE is 1000 gold marks per adventuring group and allows access to their map of the north and the right to camp at their waystations.
I think I had two coppers in my pocket at the time. Maybe.
After Richard finished unloading his part of the delivery, he asked us to push the cart over to Gnome Hill, the only inn in Vestige, the name of this little area. My companions agreed to do so and I let them. As I'm going to be stuck on this side of The Wall for three months, I saw no reason to acquire to anger anyone by pinching any supplies at this time. Plus, I really didn't need them and maybe someone else did.
The owner of the Gnome Hill Inn was a guy named Samuel. He is also the only employee. Rooms are four silver a night and the beer is cold, so not a waste. After buying a beer, we headed out into the wastes.
We headed north, trying to find the edge of the debris field that seemed to hug the Great Wall. After six hours of following a rough trail (the pointy stuff had been cleared at some time in the past) it was getting dark, so we camped. We hadn't seen anything all day, so we found a spot out of the wind and just camped. In the middle of the night a flood of fire beetles started marching through and we had to quickly relocate to a higher level of debris (an old building of some sort). Watching thousands of those beetles move by, lit by their glow sacks, was like watching a sea of fire slowly flow past. The next morning we could see that they were scavenging – there was nothing remotely organic left in their path and a lot of debris had been shifted. Wonderful.
In the morning we continued north. Things were quiet until some ghouls jumped us. We all had swords, arrows, and knives, which did about nothing to these things. Then I realized that the debris around us was full of things that could be used as clubs, so we put away our good steel weapons and grabbed whatever was at hand and started smashing the damn things. That worked wonderfully. Artemis came down with a mild case of filth fever afterwards, but eventually kicked it.
The rest of the day went quietly, but by the end of the day we were fairly certain we were getting lost. Scratch that: we WERE lost. We spent some time trying to re-orient ourselves, but we were to far away from The Wall. We decided to camp and try again in the morning with fresh minds. The other thing that was bothering us was this: we'd walked nearly 30 MILES from the Great Wall and this debris was still the dominant feature. We started seeing some grass, but no forest or trees for that matter. How far does this stuff go?
A couple hours before dawn we were attacked by a skeleton wearing armor. We still had our improvised clubs and smashed it down pretty quick. We gave its masterwork longsword to Arthus (it was better than his) and packed the breastplate and heavy steel shield on Gilgamesh's pony. I claimed a finger bone from the thing. Not sure why, but it seemed a good idea at the time.
Tomorrow we'll try to work out which way the Wall is. Now it's time for a little more sleep.
*End of Session*
We spent half the session creating characters and getting equipped, so we did not return to "town" at the end of the session like we should have. The DM cut us some slack here, but after this session, getting back to "town" at the end of a session will be a goal.