Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Busy Thanksgiving

First, "Happy Thanksgiving!" to those in the US.  It is a significant holiday here and one of the major family-gathering holidays.  With our families scattered this year, my wife and I are hosting a get together for friends who cannot be with their families for various reasons.  We should have 16 or so people with a wide range of dietary needs but I'm looking forward to seeing everyone.

As a result of that plus other scheduled events and games, time has been short for writing last week and will be short for this week.  Saturday the 25th has been designated by me as a Day of Writing, so I plan to type up the next set of session notes and get them posted then.

That's all I have time for right now.  Later!

Thursday, November 9, 2023

The Sudden Sea –Session 9

[April 29 – Repercussions and Confessions]

[This game uses the Hero System Fifth Revised Edition (FREd) roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened October 16, 2023.]

[This adventure takes place on the continent of Terik, two years after the appearance of the Sudden Sea.  The PCs are refugees seeking a better life through adventuring.]

Player Characters

Sorvia of Stavros – female human ranger, local to County Modon (village of Stavros in particular)

Tharduk Lavabreath – male dwarf glassmaker from the Northern Dwarven Kingdom, had a glass shop in County Modon that is now underwater, literally

Kadruth Worldbender – male dwarf priest, serving He Who Protects, from the Northern Dwarven Kingdom

Anomin – female human shapeshifter, from lots of places, most recently County Modon

Islo Redgrass – male elf ranger, local to County Modon (village of Stavros in particular)

Via Roll20

Inserrant – female human musician, player of zills (finger cymbals) and singer



April 29, 56 I.C. (Imperial Calendar)


Holed up in a cluster of trees outside of the town of Nomi, the adventurers had a heart to heart talk about the group’s actions over the previous several hours.  No one was particularly happy that the merchant was shot dead by the two rangers, Islo and Sorvia.  After a while they all come to two conclusions:

  1. They all agreed that murder is off the table from here on out.  Self-defense is OK, but murder is right out.
  2. They all agree that they want to be able to go back into Nomi and no one wants to go to jail.  They need to pick up the mail back to Mouzaki to complete their job.  Additionally, Nomi is the only town within 20-30 miles and so the only place to buy supplies.

After discussing their options and what those options imply (they realized if they fled they would be wanted by the law).  They decided to write a letter to the Sheriff explaining their side of things and have Anomin deliver it in crow form.  Tharduk wrote the letter as he had the best handwriting.  The letter conveyed the following:  [the players gave me a 3x5” card with the following bullet points.]

  • We tracked Kostakis to secret rooms
    • Our intent was to capture and question him about the fire
    • We healed his wounds after capturing him
  • We found evidence incriminating Viktor Nicabar
    • A counterfeit form is enclosed with this letter
    • We have more evidence if you are willing to meet us
  • We overheard Viktor state “the deputies are on to us” in regards to the fire
  • Viktor walked into the secret room we were in and was shot twice
  • We immediately tried to heal him, but he was dead
  • We panicked!

Once the letter was written, the group discussed where they wanted to meet with the Sheriff if he was willing.  They decided the abandoned tannery outside of town on the County Road would be best.  They could see the town gates from there and would have advanced warning if a group rode out to arrest them.  They also worked out a plan in case the Sheriff wasn’t interested in talking - Anomin would fly in circles and then to the east if things go bad.  If the Sheriff insisted on bringing more than two deputies, this would also count as things going bad.  If things went well, she would fly east and then directly to the tannery.


The group quietly made their way back to town and hid in the abandoned tannery just as the sun rose. Anomin then took the letter and flew into town.  While the rest waited, Sorvia started copying the map of the logging camp and the hidden mine.

As Anomin flew over the town walls she noticed many more guards on the walls.  She could also see wisps of steam still rising from the burned building.  Anomin also circled over the northern part of town to look at the Nicabar Residence.  She saw many people milling around the front and back of the building, some of whom were deputies.  From all the lighted windows and active chimneys, Anomin suspected the entire house was awake and alert.

Before approaching the Sheriff’s Office, Anomin landed on the roof of the Post Office across the street and observed.  She saw a couple deputies out on the veranda around the front and side of the Sheriff’s Office.  She could also see the Sheriff in his residence on the second floor getting ready for the day.

Anomin glided over to one of the windows of the Sheriff’s residence and landed on the windowsill.  Holding the letter with one claw, she rapped on the window with her beak.  After doing this a couple times, the Sheriff pulled back the curtains and saw a crow wearing a necklace and holding a letter.  He sighed and then opened the window.  Anomin greeted him and asked how he was.  His response was, “I haven't had my morning coffee yet and am talking to a crow.”

Anomin explained to the sheriff that she had a letter for him, explaining their side of the events last night.  The Sheriff took the letter and read it, his eyebrow rising at a few points.  He then looked over the counterfeit official document and eyebrows went up again.  The Sheriff and Anomin then talked.

The Sheriff wanted more details on the secret rooms as Viktor’s body had been presented in the wine cellar, not some hidden room.  Anomin gave the Sheriff an overview, explaining she had not seen everything but knew Viktor had been in the secret rooms when he was shot.  The sheriff was willing to meet with the adventurers and get complete statements, but not alone and not in the town.  He stated that there were now wanted posters up for the adventurers, posted by the town guard, who answered to the Baron, not himself.  Anomin felt he was being earnest and agreed to his request, stating two deputies would be acceptable and the adventurers would be waiting in the old tannery on the edge of town.  Anomin then flew away, hearing the Sheriff say out loud, “I need my coffee.”

Anomin flew back to the tannery without spiraling, signaling to Islo and Kadruth that things went well.  When she arrived she related her conversation with the Sheriff to the other adventurers.  Islo and Kadruth resumed their watching positions to keep an eye on the town gate in case guards marched out or the Sheriff exited with more than two of his deputies.

An Hour Later

Islo spotted the Sheriff and two of his deputies exiting the County Gate.  Instead of walking directly to the abandoned tannery, in full view of the town guards, the sheriff turned left and walked through the buildings outside the town walls and approached the tannery from the backside, out of view of the guards.

The Sheriff and the adventurers talked.  The Sheriff wanted to know about the "more evidence" and the adventurers showed him the map of Viktor’s logging operation in the hills to the west indicating a hidden mine he was working.  Sorvia stated that the symbols near the map indicated the mine held precious metals and was not a simple stone quarry.  The Sheriff stated Viktor ran that logging company, owning 40% of it with Agni Michelakis’ recently deceased grandfather owning the other 60% of the company and all the land.  When the grandfather died, her claim to the land was challenged and now she needs to present the deed to the land in court.  If she can’t, the logging business would be Viktor’s and most of the rest of the land would go to Timo Onassis, who challenged the land ownership.

After that, the Sheriff wanted to know who shot Viktor and where.  He wrote down the adventurer's statements, occasionally asking questions.

With the map as evidence and the letter as their statement, the Sheriff felt he could go to the Baron and get the adventurer’s names cleared, but it would be good if they stayed away for a little while.  Tharduk stated the group had business surveying the forest to the south for monsters and would be gone for two weeks.  The Sheriff said that should be enough time, but to send the crow back in before attempting to enter Nomi when they returned.  Kadruth asked the Sheriff to also tell the Post Office they would return to collect the mail going to Mouzaki in two weeks and the Sheriff agreed to do so.  Inserrant asked for a copy of the wanted poster with her face on it as a souvenir.  The Sheriff then left and walked back into town. The adventurers exited the back and made their way south, towards the Mikro Dasos.


After a day of walking south through the plains, the adventurers arrived at the banks of the Mesta River and made camp.

End of session


[Much talking and roleplay this session as the players talked their way through the situation.  Depending upon the choices they made, they could have ended up outlaws.  Luckily, they had made a favorable impression on the Sheriff before things went sideways for them.  They still needed to navigate carefully and did so.  There will be some consequences when they return, but I have not decided yet what they will be.]

Sudden Sea Adventures

Sudden Sea Landing Page - Links to all the write-ups for this campaign 

Last session: Session 8


Next session: Session 10 [Not yet typed up]

[UPDATE: Corrected date at the beginning of the session notes from April 30 to the 29th.]

Sunday, October 29, 2023

The Sudden Sea – Session 8

[April 29 – Secret Rooms and Murder!]

[This game uses the Hero System Fifth Revised Edition (FREd) roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened October 9, 2023.]

[This adventure takes place on the continent of Terik, two years after the appearance of the Sudden Sea.  The PCs are refugees seeking a better life through adventuring.]


Player Characters

Sorvia of Stavros – female human ranger, local to County Modon (village of Stavros in particular)

Tharduk Lavabreath – male dwarf glassmaker from the Northern Dwarven Kingdom, had a glass shop in County Modon that is now underwater, literally

Kadruth Worldbender – male dwarf priest, serving He Who Protects, from the Northern Dwarven Kingdom

Anomin – female human shapeshifter, from lots of places, most recently County Modon

Islo Redgrass – male elf ranger, local to County Modon (village of Stavros in particular)

Via Roll20

Inserrant – female human musician, player of zills (finger cymbals) and singer



April 29, 56 I.C. (Imperial Calendar)

Wee Hours of the Morning

Inserrant, Kadruth, and Tharduk followed Anomin from the Crossed Arrows [the inn the adventurers were staying at] across the walled town of Nomi into the North Ward, where Sorvia and Islo were waiting at a secret door at the Nicabar residence.  The secret door was down some steps and below street level, adjacent to a servant’s entrance in the back of the residence.  They could hear in the distance the Sheriff’s deputies at the front door of the residence, arguing for admission to search for Kostakis, a sword for hire in the employ of Viktor Nikabar.

Kadruth investigated the secret door for the opening mechanism, locating it easily, and opened the secret door.  Behind it was a narrow passage that ended in a door.  On the wall just inside the secret door were some empty cloak pegs mounted on the wall.  There was also a mat for wiping one’s feet.

Islo stepped up and scrutinized the entry area for tracks to verify their quarry, Kostakis, had walked through here.  He could tell someone had wiped their feet on the mat relatively recently, but he could not verify that it was Kostaks, just that it was likely.  Islo then stated with confidence that Kostakis had definitely come this way.

Kadruth then used hand signals to indicate to the rest of the party that they were moving in and to be quiet.  The adventures stepped into the narrow hallway at varying levels of stealth.  Once the group was inside, Inserrant [in the rear] looked under the mat and fiddled with the cloak pegs to see if they did anything.  She found nothing doing so, but located a bar for blocking the secret door from the inside.  She whispered her concern that others might show up after the adventurers.  Anomin shifted from her crow form to human and then to cougar while the others agreed that barring the secret door would be the wise course.  Inserrant barred the door.

The adventurers advanced down the narrow passage to the door at the far end.  Islo and Anomin looked for any traps but saw little [Anomin rolled terrible and Islo just made his Perception roll].  At the door, Islo carefully opened it a crack and felt some unexpected resistance.  Peering through, he saw the door was also moving a small wooden lever set across the opening side of the door - either an alarm trigger or a trap!

Islo carefully pulled an arrow from his quiver with one hand while holding the door steady with his other hand.  He slid the arrow through the narrow opening and under the wooden level before lifting up with the arrow [and spending two Hero Points to re-roll one of the dice twice for a better result].  The wooden lever lifted up and went back into a resting position, allowing Islo to open the door safely.  Before doing so, Islo took the time to peer through the cracked door to see what the room on the other side contained.

The room was empty of people as far as Islo could tell.  There was a long table with bench seats in the center of the room, a freestanding cupboard on the far wall and a cabinet on the wall to the left.  There was a door out on the left wall, to the right of the cabinet.  The cupboard had many drawers on its upper half, a shallow counter at waist level, and two sets of cabinets below the counter.  The cabinet on the left wall only had two large doors.  The room was lit by candles.

Opening the door further, Islo stepped into the room.  Once inside he could see a framed map of the town on the same wall as the door he had stepped through.  Beside that door was a clockwork mechanism to which the wooden lever was attached.  The mechanism had a bell, suggesting it had been an alarm.  Islo chose to leave the mechanism alone.  He then waved the rest of the adventurers into the room.

The adventurers quietly moved in and started looking around.  Kadruth examined the alarm mechanism and noted it was of dwarven manufacture.  He quietly shared this information and Tharduk stepped over to examine it as well.  He found the quality was high and the bell likely to be very loud if triggered.  Inserrant took position by the door in, to prevent anyone from sneaking up behind the group.

Anomin and Islo stepped over to the door out of this room and listened at it but heard nothing beyond it.  Kadruth started investigating the cupboard, hoping to locate a stolen deed as incriminating evidence.  What he found instead was a variety of strange and interesting things, but no deed.  These things included tokens of various shapes and sizes, possibly for setting on the map if the map was set on the long table.

Tharduk investigated the cabinet and, after picking the lock, found a variety of maps, all mounted to thin frames like the map of the town hanging on the wall.  One of the maps in the cabinet showed Nicabar Logging and divided the forested area into various logging zones, just like the map he saw back at the Tsepi Forest logging camp.  This map had a section with symbols he did not recognize and he asked Sorvia to take a look at it.  She identified the symbols as the location of a mine of some sort.  [Note: human mapping symbols for mines are very different than dwarven symbols as dwarves don’t normally need to indicate where a mine is on the surface, just which tunnel it is off of.]  Sorvia carefully removed the map from its frame to ease taking it.

Kadruth attempted to open the cabinet doors on the lower half of the cupboard and found they were locked.  He attempted to force the locks open but could not apply the necessary force without making noise.  He waved Tharduk over and asked him to try.  Tharduk was able to pick open the locks and found more drawers inside.  These drawers held high quality paper, inks, and quills.  Some of the papers are blanks identity papers, some blank property ownership papers - these are forgery templates!

As Tharduk and Kadruth started taking some of the blank documents, the other door opened!  Standing in the doorway was Kostakis, who was clearly expecting someone else.  He said, “Oops - wrong party,” and started to close the door.  At the same time Sorvia drew and snapped off a shot at Kostakis and Kadruth cast Wall of Force to block Kostakis in and keep him from closing the door.  Sorvia hit Kostakis in the stomach before he could close the door, heavily wounding him and knocking him unconscious, followed by Kadruth’s Wall of Force appearing.

Anomin moved forward and pulled the unconscious Kostakis into their room.  She gets a brief view of the next room while doing so - it was some kind of sitting room with the back of a secret door leading out on the south wall.

Islo pulled out some cord and started tying up Kostakis, while Inserrant reported no one was approaching from the narrow passage.  Tharduk grabbed some cloth from the cupboard and stuffed it into Kostakis’ mouth as a gag.  Kostakis started moaning and waking up, so Sorvia whacked him over the head with her bow to knock him unconscious again.

Anomin pawed at Kostakis but could not search him with her cougar paws.  Seeing what she was trying to do, Islo then searched Kostakis’ pockets, finding some copper coins and an eating knife.  Islo took those and then finished tying Kostakis up.  Kadruth dropped his Wall of Force spell and then closed the door to the next room.

Once Kostakis was tied up, Sorvia removed her arrow from him and Kadruth healed his wounds.  This took a couple minutes, during which time others entered the next room.  Anomin was listening but missed this, so it was Tharduk who noticed first and warned the group.  Kadruth quietly dragged the unconscious Kostakis to the exit door.  Anomin, in cougar form, took a position by the door to the next room to strike anyone who opened it.  Islo took position behind the table to cover the door with his heavy bow while Sorvia did the same with hers by the map cabinet.

The adventurers could hear a few people on the other side of the door talk and then one voice called out for Kostakis, asking where he was.  Thinking quickly, Anomin dropped her cougar form, switching back to human before shapeshifting into her crow form.  Once in crow form, she used her mimicry to respond with Kostakis’ voice [she heard it enough the previous day when he did all the talking at the ambush], stating that “he” was in this room and needed a minute.  The other voice said, “I don't care we have business to discuss the sheriff is on to us.”  Anomin replied that “he” would be there in a moment.

Sorvia moved to the doorway out to cover the groups retreat while Kadruth started dragging Kostakis down the narrow passage.  Tharduk attempted to quietly grab all the papers in one of the cupboard drawers on his way out but pulled too hard and the drawer slipped out and fell to the floor.  [He rolled an 18 on his Stealth check, indicating complete failure.]  Anomin attempted to cover by stating, “I’m coming, I’m coming,” in Kostakis’ voice, but to no avail.  The door suddenly opened, showing a merchant in expensive clothes.  He quickly asked, “What the hell are you doing?” followed by “Who the hell are you people?”

Islo and Sorvia both immediately released arrows - Islo hit the merchant in the shoulder [7 Body 21 Stun] and Sorvia hit him in the stomach [8 Body 32 Stun].  The merchant dropped to the floor, dead.

Anomin flew into the next room seeing two rough looking men with shocked faces staring at the dead merchant.  Tharduk froze in place while Islo quietly asked, “Who was that?”  “I think that was Viktor,” Tharduk responded, shock in his voice.  Kadruth, hauling Kostakis down the narrow passage did not hear any of this, nor did Inserrant, who was down at the secret door to the outside, unbarring it for a quicker retreat.  Then Sorvia called to Kadruth, stating she just shot the merchant and maybe Kadruth should quickly come and heal him.  Kadruth sighed.

The toughs in the other room, finally regaining their wits, scream “Assassins!” at the top of their voice and scramble from the room through the other exit.  The space beyond that door looked to be a wine cellar to Anomin who was circling in the room the toughs had just fled.  Kadruth told Inserrant to go fetch the deputies before returning to the secret rooms to heal the merchant.  However, once he reached the body he could tell it was too late for healing.  So he started a different ritual, looking for divine aid.  Inserrant went out the secret door, into the town streets, looking for the deputies who might still be in the area.  Islo went down the narrow passage to protect the still unconscious Kostakis.

Tharduk, still standing where he had dropped the drawer, asked Kadruth if he could help Viktor.  Kadruth received a question from He Who Protects in response to his prayer, “Was this murder necessary?”  Kadruth turned to Tharduk and said, “No.”  On the floor above them they can hear the household spreading the alarm and the two dwarves started to leave.  Anomin, in a room full of shiny things, grabbed a rubber stamp with a shiny silver handle before flying out, following the dwarves.  [The crow form has kleptomania.]

On the street behind the house, Inserrant can hear the spread of the alarm in the house and sees lights starting to come on, spurring her to greater speeds.  The other adventurers make their way to the secret door, Sorvia carrying Kostakis.

In the town streets, Inserrant circled the block clockwise, hoping to find the deputies and lead them to the secret rooms.  As she made it around the second corner, to the street in front of the house, she spotted the deputies surrounded by the toughs the deputies had been arguing with for access to the house.  Now, however, the toughs were demanding the deputies enter as assassins were murdering people inside the house.  Inserrant decided her opportunity had passed and reversed course, now looking for the rest of the adventurers.

The entire party met back up at the bridge across the Cephissus River to the main part of town.  While crossing the bridge, several party members looked both ways to where the town walls crossed the river and openly wondered if there was anything blocking those at night [clearly thinking about fleeing town that way].  Anomin remembered the way looking clear during the day, but none of the adventurers could clearly see those portals now.

The adventures kept discussing what to do next.  Realizing that standing on the bridge was a very exposed spot to be, they decided to head towards the Sheriff’s Office.  As they were nearing the Post Office, they could hear a small group of people yelling for the sheriff crossing the bridge behind them.  Suddenly on the spot and with now real plan, the group slightly panicked.  Anomin did her best to be inconspicuous while flying above the area, keeping an eye on how things developed.  Inserrant started quickly walking back to the inn.  The dwarves followed Inserrant while Sorvia deposited the unconscious Kostakis on the porch of the Sheriff’s Office before following.

Not walking as a group, the adventurers arrived at the Crossed Arrows in dribs and drabs.  Inserrant arrived first, heading immediately up to the rented room to start packing.  Islo was slightly behind her and did the same, which drew the attention of the Tolk innkeeper, who was still away after the fire alarm.  She was standing at the door to the inn when Kadruth and Tharduk arrived.  Her sharp eyes [and a 3 on her Perception roll] noted that there was blood on one of Kadruth’s shoes.  She asked Kadruth if he was aware he was leaving red footprints.  He looked down at his boots and realized her actual question was: “Are you a murderer seeking to hide in my business and what kind of trouble are you bringing with you?”  Kadruth apologized for “the mess” and took his shoes off.  She recommended that perhaps it would be best if the adventures were quick to pack and leave.  Both dwarves agreed with her.  When Sorvia arrived with Kostakis’ blood smeared across her shoulder [she shot him in the stomach and he bleed a lot before being healed, so there was plenty to transfer to Sorvia’s armor while she was carrying him over her shoulder], the innkeeper gave her a sharp look, to which Sorvia said, “I'm going to pack.”

Back near the Sheriff’s Office, Anomin observed the second group of people arrive at the Sheriff’s Office and bang on the door.  The sheriff came out and all of them noticed Kostakis bound up on the porch.  They untied Kostakis and some talking happened that Anomin was not close enough to hear.  Then the sheriff, Kostakis, and the group of people started back towards the Nicabar house.  Anomin flew to the inn to update the other adventurers.

After packing and slinking out of the inn, the adventurers agreed that leaving the town was likely a good idea.  Kadruth observed the town walls and the sparse guards on it.  He located a good place to cross unobserved and used his Wall of Force spell to create a ramp to help the group hop the wall.

The adventurers moved away from the town until they found a spot they felt they could hide in and talk about what had just happened.

End of session


[This was one of the best sessions we have ever had as a group!  The players worked their characters into a moral quandary and have totally bought into the story being played out.  As a GM I am so pleased with the situation and the players.  The players are not as enthused about the situation their characters are in and are agonizing over the situation.  I’ve been all smiles.  😀]

Sudden Sea Adventures

Sudden Sea Landing Page - Links to all the write-ups for this campaign 

Last session: Session 7 


Next session: Session 9

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

The Sudden Sea –Session 7

[April 28 – Shopping and a Midnight Fire]

[This game uses the Hero System Fifth Revised Edition (FREd) roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened October 2, 2023.]

[This adventure takes place on the continent of Terik, two years after the appearance of the Sudden Sea.  The PCs are refugees seeking a better life through adventuring.]


Player Characters

Sorvia of Stavros – female human ranger, local to County Modon (village of Stavros in particular)

Tharduk Lavabreath – male dwarf glassmaker from the Northern Dwarven Kingdom, had a glass shop in County Modon that is now underwater, literally

Kadruth Worldbender – male dwarf priest, serving He Who Protects, from the Northern Dwarven Kingdom

Anomin – female human shapeshifter, from lots of places, most recently County Modon

Islo Redgrass – male elf ranger, local to County Modon (village of Stavros in particular)

Via Roll20

Inserrant – female human musician, player of zills (finger cymbals) and singer



April 28, 56 I.C. (Imperial Calendar)


After eating a pleasant meal at the Crossed Arrows Inn, where the adventurers had a room, the adventurers decided to take advantage of the town’s Market Day to secure supplies they needed for their next job.  Inserrant felt the small throwing dagger she purchased at the logging camp did not send the right message in combat and she wanted a club so others would take her seriously.  Not knowing much about weapons, she took Sorvia with her for advice.  After some time searching, she found a club that had leather straps wrapped around it as a grip and was polished and aesthetically pleasing.  Afterwards, Inserrant wandered the market and busked in several locations, using her musical powers to encourage people to tip what they could afford.  She eventually collected 10 copper and a single silver.

Tharduk put his trading skills to use and secured two weeks of travel rations for the group, more than enough for the group to travel to the Mikros Dasos, spend a week there scouting and mapping, and then return to Nomi.  This cost 1 silver per person per day, shaving 2 copper per person per day, but still used up most of the group funds.

Kadruth shopped among the armorers for a set of thigh armor.  No one has a set available for purchase but he was able to commission a piece for 368 copper.  This led him to realize that he received a good deal back at the logging camp for his armored sleeves.

Late in the afternoon, just after Inserrant finished busking in front of the Crossed Arrows Inn, an elf approached Inserrant and asked where she had learned the song she had just finished playing.  Inserrant admitted she had no memories prior to fleeing the Sudden Sea.  The elf introduced himself as Agosti of the Evening Eye and stated he had only heard one other sing that song before, a human bard playing for coin at Fort Agnatero on the border with Mercia.  Inserrant asked what the bard’s name was and if he was a good person or not.  Agosti said he called himself Arian Fireson, but believed it was an alias.  Agosti felt that Arian was hiding from someone or something.  Inserrant found this disheartening, not knowing why her father might be using an assumed name to hide, but it was the first clue she had of his current location.

The adventurers were also able to pick up some rumors during the afternoon.  Several heard that the town of Legaries has disappeared.  They were not certain exactly where Legaries was but everyone was certain it was to the south.  Tharduk and the two rangers separately heard that the head of the Land Office had been recently murdered by a red-robed assassin.

After Midnight

An alarm woke up Anomin and Islo.  The alarm was from outside the inn, so they opened the window to find out where.  The window opened onto the courtyard just inside the County Gate but the alarm seems to be coming from a part of town behind the inn.  Anomin turned into a crow and flew out to get more information while Islo woke the rest of the adventurers.

Flying a widening spiral around the inn, Anomin quickly spotted the alarm and the problem - a building the next block over was very much on fire!  Anomin quickly flew back to the adventurer’s room at the inn and informed everyone what was going on.  She then flew back out of the window to observe the fire.  Kadruth immediately bolted out of the room to go help while Islo, Tharduk, and Sorvia took a moment to don their leather armor before heading out.

Back at the burning building, Anomin spotted two figures in dark clothing exiting a third floor window on the backside of the burning building.  They climbed down to the ground and then sprinted across the common courtyard at the center of this block.  At the far side, they used a grappling hook and rope to climb up to the roof of that building.  Anomin chose to follow them from on high as they seemed familiar but she could not see their faces to place them.

Kadruth ran to the burning building.  It was three stories tall and had an ornate façade, the front of which was on fire on the second and third floors.  [NOTE: US notations, so 1st floor is on the ground.]  Once there he found people exiting all the nearby buildings and a bucket brigade reaching back to the well in the center of the market square.  The bucket brigade was not very efficient, so Kadruth started organizing them better and focusing the water on the burning building.  He used his Wall of Force spell to create a platform for him to stand on so he could be seen and heard better.  Then he cast it again to create a ramp up to the second floor of the burning building so the bucket brigade could throw the water directly on the burning second floor.

By this time the rest of the adventurers arrived.  Inserrant gathered up any kids standing around and took them over to the well, organizing them to assist in the return and filling with water the buckets.  Tharduk started gathering information about the house and witness statements, which he wrote down.

Sorvia and Islo ran into the burning building to rescue anyone trapped inside.  In the back of the house they found the house staff organized to rescue the house’s art and valuables.  The butler stated he did not know where five members of the staff were.  Sorvia and Islo went up the servant’s stairs to the second floor.  The front of the second floor was on fire but it was creeping towards the back.  They went up another set of stairs to the top floor and found the fire raging through the front and center of the building.  They called out names of the missing servants and heard a reply near the flames.  They checked a door close to the flames before opening it.  There they found a young servant huddled in a corner.  They hauled the servant out and retreated to the back of the building where Islo heard a cat in a closet.  After grabbing the cat, the rangers and their two rescuees made their way back down to the ground floor, the third floor completely ablaze behind them.

Elsewhere, Anomin tailed the two people in dark clothes as they made their way across the roof tops, heading north.  At the edge of the block they two figures paused and peeked down into a street they needed to cross.  Satisfied no one on the ground was watching, they prepared to jump the narrowest part of the gap.

Anomin stealthily landed onto their target roof, her black feathers obscuring her from their sight in the darkness.  One landed, she reverted to her human form and recast her transformation spell, shifting back into her cougar form.  The smaller of the two people she was following made the leap across the street first, landing in front of Anomin and exclaiming at the very unexpected cougar, “Holy shit! How did you get here?”  The man on the previous roof called out quietly, “What do you mean?  Who’s there?”

Anomin recognized both voices as the two people the adventurers had let go after the ambush at the edge of the forest!

Anomin immediately attacked the woman.  The woman attempted to dodge the attack but Anomin was better and clawed her across the shoulder.  Anomin then released a shrill screeching noise to cow the two thieves [made a Presence attack].  She was very impressive.  The man said, “It’s that fucking elf’s familiar. Sorry Seraphim you're on your own.”  He then attached a grappling hook and line to the roof and slid down the line to the street.  The woman Anomin had clawed raised her hands and said, “Don’t eat me.”  Anomin made no promises.

Tharduk’s investigations identified the burning building as owned by Agni Michelakis. Amongst the witnesses he questioned, he hound an urchin who saw something but needed a little something to refresh his memory.  Tharduk gave him a few copper. The kid reported he saw someone pouring something on the front of the building from the roof.  The kid was of the opinion Timo Onosus, the person disputing the land boundaries in the forest, was behind the fire.  The kid had a candelabra tucked under the back of his jacket that Tharduk suspected was stolen.  Then the Sheriff arrived and Tharduk let the urchin slink away.

The Sheriff noted that Tharduk was talking to people and making notes.  He greeted Tharduk with, “I'm the one with the badge but you seem to have all the witness statements.  Mind if I read them over?"  Tharduk handed over his notes to the Sheriff while warning the sheriff they are in Dentugog [the dwarven language].  Realizing he needed more light to read the notes, the Sheriff had his deputies clear a local bakery that was open to sell to the crowds watching the fire being fought.  He then ordered some food and drink from the baker and sat and read the reports while his deputies kept an eye on the crowds of people so the bucket brigade could continue to work.  After reading the notes, occasionally asking Tharduk to translate a word or two, he agreed the fire looked like arson.

Back on the rooftops, Anomin struck the other woman twice, once to knock her out and once to keep her unconscious.  This also bloodied the woman considerably.  Anomin turned back into a human and lowered the woman to the ground using a rope.  She flew down to the ground as a crow before returning to human form to carry the woman back to the rest of the adventuring group.  She ran across Inserrant at the well, who commented, “You carry someone who is almost a corpse.”  "I'm helping,” Anomin replied brightly.

Inserrant told the oldest kid with her that they were now in charge and to keep everything going.  Then the two women carried the captive, looking for the Sheriff.  Along the way they ran into a very smoky Sorvia and Islo.  Anomin asked Sorvia to go find Kadruth so he could heal their captive.  While Sorvia did this, Inserrant and Anomin found the sheriff’s temporary outpost in the bakery.  Anomin took the captive in while Inserrant waited outside.

Inside, Anomin reported she had captured one of the two people responsible for the fire.  The Sheriff asked Tharduk to take notes in Koine [the local common tongue] while Anomin related everything she had seen and done.  The Sheriff looked dubious when Anomin talked about turning into a crow and a cougar, glancing over to Tharduk, who confirmed with a nod both times.

The Sheriff recognized the woman as Seraphim the Hare and the description of the man sounded like Kostakis, both swords for hire and known to be currently employed by Viktor Nicabar.  The sheriff carefully searched Seraphim’s body, finding weapons and several empty vials of oil with fresh residue in them.

At this point Kadruth, Islo, and Sorvia arrived and Inserrant entered the shop with them.  At Kadruth’s request, Seraphim was untied but shackles were put on instead.  Kadruth started his healing.  While that was happening, Anomin turned back into a crow.  After a couple minutes, Seraphim woke up and looked around, fully healed but shackled and surrounded.  The Sheriff asked Seraphim if she had anything she wanted to tell him. She said no and glared at Anomin and Islo.  She remained silent when asked where Kostakis was, so the Sheriff instructed some deputies to go over to the Nicabar house and ask Mister Nicabar where Kostakis was.

The Sheriff turned to Anomin and asked if she could understand him.  She answered in Koine, "Yes.”  This surprised him, but he thanked her for bring in the suspect.  He also thanked Kadruth for leading the bucket brigade.  Inserrant asked if there was a bounty.  The Sheriff said, “Not yet, but I’ll mention to Agni Michalakis that you helped.”  At which point the sheriff and the remaining deputies left with their prisoner.

Anomin led Sorvia and Islo to where Kostakis dropped to the ground on the rope, which was still there.  Sorvia and Islo started following Kostakis’ tracks down the street to the market square.  Anomin took a moment to fly up and retrieve the grappling hook and rope and then followed the two rangers.

The rangers were just able to track Kostakis through the market square, mostly as his were the only tracks moving away from the fire.  They lost his tracks on the bridge to North Ward.  They crossed the bridge and looked around, hoping to reacquire his tracks on the other side.  They could just hear a large argument with multiple people on the other side of the buildings.  Sorvia, having reacquired Kostakis’ tracks, followed them eastward along the river side of the block.  Islo walked towards the Bee Gate, intending to turn right and follow the buildings to the other side, where the argument was.  Anomin instead flew over the buildings and was the first to see the three deputies attempting to enter the main house on the block.  They are arguing with some toughs and a man in quality clothes on the building’s front stairs.  Anomin can see additional burly men watching the argument through the windows of the house.

Anomin flew to the backside of the house, where Sorvia was following the tracks to stairs down to a servant’s entrance.  Anomin observed that all the windows on the back side were shuttered or had closed curtains.  Landing near Sorvia, Anomin spotted a secret door to the right of the servant’s entrance to the building.

By this point, Islo had laid eyes on the argument on the front steps and backtracked to Sorvia and Anomin.  Anomin pointed out the secret door to the other two.  The lower landing had been recently swept, so there were no tracks to determine which door Kostakis had entered.

The trio quietly talked over the situation and decided they should report what they had to the deputies.  Islo jogged back around to the front of the building to speak with one of the deputies.  While the other two deputies continued to argue to be allowed in, Islo quietly explained to the third deputy what he and his companions had located.  The deputy explained that the Sheriff knew of the secret door but did not currently have the authority to force the issue.

Islo jogged back around to Sorvia and Anomin and explained that the three of them were on their own here.  Anomin told them to wait and she would go fetch the rest of the adventuring party.

End of session


[This one took a while to write up, partially due to the Day Job being busy, partly the delay in getting player write-ups, but mostly due to me slacking a bit (and by a bit I mean a lot).]

[The next session is the amazing one where The Accident happens and the PCs have to...well, just come back and read the blog entry for Session 8 when I post it.]

Sudden Sea Adventures

Sudden Sea Landing Page - Links to all the write-ups for this campaign 

Last session: Session 6


Next session: Session 8

Saturday, October 7, 2023

The Sudden Sea –Session 6

[April 28 – Nomi Arrival and Making Splashes]

[This game uses the Hero System Fifth Revised Edition (FREd) roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened September 25, 2023.]

[This adventure takes place on the continent of Terik, two years after the appearance of the Sudden Sea due to the sinking and flooding of ~374,385 square miles of the Plains of Syrak.]


Player Characters

Sorvia of Stavros – female human ranger, local to County Modon (village of Stavros in particular)

Kadruth Worldbender – male dwarf priest, serving He Who Protects, from the Northern Dwarven Kingdom

Islo Redgrass – male elf ranger, local to County Modon (village of Stavros in particular)

Via Roll20

Inserrant – female human musician, player of zills (finger cymbals) and singer

Tharduk Lavabreath – male dwarf glassmaker from the Northern Dwarven Kingdom, had a glass shop in County Modon that is now underwater, literally

Anomin – female human shapeshifter, from lots of places, most recently County Modon



April 28, 56 I.C. (Imperial Calendar)

12:30 PM

The group of adventurers entered the outskirts of Nomi.  The “guards” they hired could be seen riding away to the west and then south as the group walked closer to the town.  Clearly they did not want to be seen nor identified by anyone in the town.

The western outskirts of the town were farmlands, a mix of private gardens and larger farms with refugee buildings along the north bank of the river.  On the southbank, between the river and the town wall were poorer buildings, but still better than the ramshackle refugee buildings.  The eastern outskirts north of the Cephissus River were fields of cultivated flowers and fruit tree orchards with noticeable bee hives lining the fields and orchards.  The buildings they could see looked like breweries and other buildings associated with the mead production Nomi was known for.  They could not see the outskirts south of the river on the far side of town other than some rooftops to indicate buildings were there.  The town itself had a 10-foot tall stone wall surrounding it with a large manor house or small keep inside and the majority of the town buildings.

There was a small line at the gate and the adventurers chose to wait patiently.  Tharduk pulled out his merchant credentials as the group got to the front of the line.  Before he could present them, the guard saw the clearly marked crate of mail he was carrying and welcomed the group to Nomi.  He gave directions to the local post office [follow the street over the bridge and keep to the left in the market square] and waved them through the gate.

As the adventurers walked through North Ward [the small part of Nomi on the north bank of the Cephissus River, which clipped the north side of the town], a merchant sitting at a table on the veranda of The Courageous Plate, a tavern, hailed the group and Tharduk specifically.  The merchant introduced himself as Theodore Damaskos and offered to buy the group drinks at the tavern for first crack at whatever news they had from other parts.  [The players immediately recognized him as an information broker.]

The adventurers were suspicious, having been ambushed for carrying the crate of mail just over an hour ago.  Tharduk saw an opportunity to possibly network with a local merchant and wanted to take Theodore up on his offer.  The group decided to split up: Tharduk and Kadruth joining Theodore for drinks while the rest of the group delivered the crate of mail to the post office.

[At this point I followed the adventurers delivering the mail, so the players would have no idea what was happening to the two dwarves.  I told the players of the dwarves we’d come back to them in a bit.]

Delivering the Mail

Sorvia took possession of the crate of mail and she, Islo, Nomin, and Inserrant continued south down the main street, crossing the wooden bridge over the Cephissus River into the main part of Nomi. The bridge over the river opened to the town square, which was full of stalls as it was market day for the town.  The alluring smell of food hung over the area.  At the end of the first block they could see a sign hanging that displayed the crest of the County Modon Post Office.

The adventurers stood and discussed whether or not they would commit to picking up the return mail and if so, before or after they continued south to scout the Mikro Dasos.  Inserrant was concerned the group would need to sign a contract to deliver the mail back to Mouzaki and return with mail for Nomi again, getting stuck running mail back and forth between the town and city.  Anomin stated that picking up the return mail was part of their current contract with the Postmaster in Mouzaki, but the contract only specified they needed to return by the end of May to fulfill that.  This meant they could go and do the scouting job and pick up the return mail before heading back to Mouzaki.  Islo was in favor of this as it meant they would not have to carry or be responsible for the return mail while scouting to the south.

Just as they were agreeing to this plan, several of the adventurers noticed townsfolk notice them holding the crate of mail and then bolt off.  Suddenly feeling a bit conspicuous, they hustled over to the post office where a rudimentary line of people was starting to form.  Word of their arrival with the mail was spreading and people were queueing up for their mail already!

Inside the post office was a woman behind a counter.  She appeared to be reading something on the counter, but when the adventurers hailed her, she jolted and they realized she had been asleep.  She immediately spotted the mail crate and perked up.  She introduced herself as Stefania Spyros, Senior Postal Officer for Nomi.  Sorvia handed the crate over to SPO Spyros and then asked her to sign their receipt form.  SPO Spyros did so.

SPO Spyros then looked around the group at the entrance to the post office where townsfolk were already lining up.  Seeing that, she told the adventurers she had mail to go back to Mouzaki, but would they please come back in two hours to get it as she would be very busy for a while.  Sorvia told Officer Spyros her group was staying the night in Nomi and would pick up the return mail in the morning before leaving [this despite the conversation the players had just had stating differently].  SPO Spyros said that would be even better.

Sorvia then asked if SPO Spyros recommended any place for the adventurers to stay, preferably one with good food.  SPO Spyros said the only inn not full of refugees right now was the Crossed Arrows, down by the County Gate - the south gate of the town that once led back to the rest of the county by way of the Count’s Road.  Sorvia asked about the food and SPO Spyros reassured her by stating it was a Tolk establishment.  Sorvia thanked her for the information.

As an afterthought, SPO Spyros asked Sorvia if the adventurers had any issues delivering the mail.  Sorvia told her a group had waylaid them at the edge of the forest, attempting to take the box.  She told SPO Spyros the person trying to stop them was named Michael Lakis and seemed to be working for a person named Victor.  SPO Spyros was surprised at this and asked. “Agni Michelakis attacked you on Viktor’s behalf?”  Sorvia confirmed this, which left SPO Spyros puzzled.

[Note from the GM: The players believed that the talky bandit leader was someone named “Michael Lakis” as the letter he asked for should have been “addressed to Michelakis”, the players not realizing this was a single last name, instead interpreting it as two names.  I did not correct them. (Big Evil Grin)]

Officer Spyros then pulled on a nearby hanging cord, which rang a bell somewhere higher up.  Believing this was an announcement the mail was in to the townsfolk, the adventurers beat a hasty exit from the building.  Instead of going back north to the Courageous Plate, Sorvia led the adventurers south, to find the Crossed Arrows and rent a room.  The inn, a two-story building with leaded glass windows, was easy to find as it faced the County Gate and had a sign with crossed arrows hanging above the door.  [There was also some writing in Talodi, the language of Tolk, across the bottom but no one in the group speaks or reads that language so I did not translate for them.]

Inside the adventurers met the innkeeper, Hira, a slender Tolk woman.  Sorvia asked for lodgings for six.  Hira gave her the option of either the single large room or individual cots up on the second-floor mezzanine.  Sorvia wanted the single large room and Hira told her it should be available, but she wanted to go check her registry book to verify.  In the meantime, would the four of them like to sit and order lunch?  Sorvia was very interested in this and agreed to do so with Inserrant and Islo close behind.  Anomin was dubious but eventually agreed.

Dina, the human serving woman, explained the lunch menu was either a vegetable stew with a mug of bitters or boiled eggs and whey cheese with a tankard of cider.  Anomin asked if there was an all meat dish [she is a carnivore].  Dina said there was probably still some of the roasted pork with wheat bread still available from the previous day and it normally came with a tankard of beer.  Anomin asked for that without the bread, but Inserrant quickly spoke up, asking if she could have Anomin’s bread with her order of vegetable stew?  Dina said that would work.  [I don’t have Islo’s order, but I’m pretty sure it was the stew as well.]

After Dina left with the group’s lunch order, Hira returned to them and confirmed the large room was available for the night.  She quoted them a price of 2 silver for the room and their meals were a silver each.  The adventurers paid and over lunch Sorvia considered bringing some food back for Tharduk and Kadruth but decided against it.

Back at the Courageous Plate with Tharduk and Kadruth

Theodore walked the two dwarves inside the Courageous Plate so they could have some privacy while the dwarves shared the news.  Sitting over by the fire place, Tharduk and Kadruth spent the next thirty minutes sharing and discussing what news they knew of from Mouzaki.  During this time, Tharduk also engaged Theodore in the conversation [used his Conversation skill to elicit information from Theodore], learning that the interest in the mail was due to a land dispute after a will reading between Agni Michelakis and Maro Simirotov.  The local landsman ended up asking for all original deeds be displayed to determine original boundaries and if Agni could not present hers from Mouzaki, Viktor Nicabar would get the logging business on that land as an original partner and the rest of the land would go to Maro Simirotov.  Tharduk also learned about “giants” stealing cattle from local farmers to the south.

By the time Tharduk finally ran out of things to say, the tavern had filled up with over twenty large burly humans carrying clubs at their waists.  Kadruth noticed that the men were trying to not pay attention to the dwarves but were clearly keeping an eye on them.  Once out of things to relate and having finished his ale, Tharduk was ready to leave but it became apparent that the large number of burly men were not willing to let the dwarves leave.  Just as Theodore was saying something about the mail and the situation was most tense, a group of eight Tolk tourists burst into the bar!

Their leader saw Theodore and greeted him loudly by name, stating that the Tolk had heard Theodore had new news.  The group of Tolk made their way to where Theodore and the two dwarves were sitting and started hopping onto chairs, their leader asking for the news.  Tharduk and Kadruth quickly yielded their seats to the Tolk, one of whom made hand gestures at Tharduk while Theodore could not see them, suggesting that the two dwarves get out of the tavern as quick as they could.  Tharduk thanked Theodore for the drinks and he and Kadruth beat a hasty retreat from the tavern.  Once on the veranda, Kadruth dropped a quick Wall of Force spell across the front door to delay any pursuit.  He heard several thumps as several someones bounced off the now immovable doors.

As the duo crossed the bridge into the main part of Nomi, they noticed many of the toughs exit The Courageous Plate through the side door.  The toughs clustered on the veranda, but did not pursue the dwarves into the streets.

The dwarves headed south, keeping to the left side of the market square.  They saw a noticeable crowd at the post office with several people wearing badges keeping the crowd civil.  They approached one of the badge-wearers and asked about reporting an incident with the delivery of the mail.  The badge-wearer identified himself as a deputy and recommended the dwarves go speak with the sheriff at his office, across the street.  The dwarves thanked the deputy and made their way over to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff and some additional deputies were sitting on the porch of the office, keeping an eye on the line at the post office.  Tharduk and Kadruth stated they were part of the group that delivered the mail and needed to report some unusual happenings, including an attack outside of town and an attempted one inside the Courageous Plate.  The sheriff suggested they go inside his office to discuss the particulars.  Kadruth described the rest of the adventuring group to one of the deputies and asked that if the deputy saw them on the way to the Courageous Plate he tell them where the dwarves were.

Inside the sheriff’s office, the sheriff sat at his desk and asked Tharduk and Kadruth to tell him what happened.  Tharduk first introduced Kadruth and himself to the sheriff, who recognized Kadruth’s clan name.  Kadruth attempted to evaluate whether or not the sheriff was involved with the shenanigans going on by name-dropping Theodore and making some other statements.  Once he was done, Kadruth was certain the sheriff had an excellent poker face.

Tharduk then described the attack on the adventurers at the edge of the forest and then the events at the Courageous Plate, minus the specific details on how the Tolk helped the dwarves escape.  Once Tharduk was done, the sheriff stated that this was worthy of an actual report and went to get some paper and ink to do so.  Tharduk and the sheriff went back through the events again, the sheriff making note of what names the dwarves had and descriptions where they had no names.

Once the sheriff had taken their statements, Tharduk explained the group’s travel plans.  The sheriff stated it was probably for the best that the group was leaving town in the morning and suggested they make an early start of it.  The dwarves agreed.

As they were leaving the sheriff’s office, Tharduk and Kadruth saw the rest of their adventuring group casually entering the market square from the south and hailed them.  Both sides quickly shared information, with the dwarves slightly outraged that Sorvia had the others stop for lunch before returning.

While there, Kadruth spotted a human woman with what looked like two bodyguards.  Suspecting he knew who she was, he left the group and approached her.  Asking if she was Agni Michelakis.  When she confirmed, he introduced himself and quickly explained that he was part of the group that had delivered the mail and that people in the employ of Viktor Nicobar had attempted to intercept the mail.  Agni was clearly not surprised that someone had attempted to intercept the mail but was very surprised that Viktor was involved.  She thanked Kadruth for the information and then, it being her turn to enter the post office, did so.

The adventuring party went back to the Crossed Arrows so the dwarves could get some food.  While there, Kadruth unobtrusively entered Sorvia into his Book of Grudges.

End of session



[It took a little longer than expected to get this session typed up.  I decided to cut back on my note taking during the game to concentrate on GMing the interactions with NPCs, relying on my players to send in notes.  The party is in the small town of Nomi and so character interactions are more frequent and require more of my attention.  This of course is the first time the players were lax in getting me write-ups.  Sigh.  As a result, this write up might be a little sketchy until I get material from my players.  We’ll see.]

[Another note: I keep re-inventing the wheel for this part of the adventure.  I named the antagonist when I wrote this up originally, but forgot that by the time the players wanted the name, so I made up a completely new name.  I didn’t realize I had done that until I went to update my adventure notes and found the original name.  Sigh.  I did the same thing with Officer Spyros - she had a different name in my notes and for some reason I decided I had to create a new one.  I just now realized I did the same thing with the name of the inn the players rented a room from - I had a name but made up a new one when they went there.  Why do I keep re-creating things I already created?]


Sudden Sea Adventures

Sudden Sea Landing Page - Links to all the write-ups for this campaign 

Last session: Session 5


Next session: Session 7 [Not yet typed up]



Friday, October 6, 2023

Session Notes Delayed

 The next two sessions have happened but I ran into an unexpected snag.  As I am running encounters in the town of Nomi, a certain amount of which I'm creating on the spot, I eased back on my note taking, expecting to rely upon the wealth of notes my players turn in.  They do this in exchange for Hero Points that they can use to reroll a single die or adjust the result on a die up or down by one.

Over the last five session, I relied on their notes to help me get the order of events correct or get small details I might have missed.  As soon as I chose to rely on them turning in notes as the basis of my write-ups, they stopped turning them in.  Two of the players have a newborn they are dealing and two others had work situations become super busy to the point they don't want to look at a computer after work.  One player still turns them in but doesn't make notes on things her character isn't there for and the last player hasn't been turning in notes.

That guy is now typing up notes as text messages and sending them to me, but his character is a bit delusional and the notes reflect this.

Long story short (too late!), I have most of Session 6 typed up, but not an important bit at the end of the session.  I'm waiting on the player notes for some detail and then I can post it.  The players should be sending their notes more on the regular after this, so once we get started I should be able to post regularly again.

TL;DR: Sorry for the delay, material is inbound, just not here yet.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

The Sudden Sea – Session 5

[April 28 – Fight Conclusion]

[This game uses the Hero System Fifth Revised Edition (FREd) roleplaying game.  Game sessions happen once a week.  This session happened September 4, 2023.]

[This adventure takes place on the continent of Terik, two years after the appearance of the Sudden Sea due to the sinking and flooding of ~374,385 square miles of the Plains of Syrak.]

Player Characters

Sorvia of Stavros – female human ranger, local to County Modon (village of Stavros in particular)

Tharduk Lavabreath – male dwarf glassmaker from the Northern Dwarven Kingdom, had a glass shop in County Modon that is now underwater, literally

Kadruth Worldbender – male dwarf priest, serving He Who Protects, from the Northern Dwarven Kingdom

Anomin – female human shapeshifter, from lots of places, most recently County Modon

Islo Redgrass – male elf ranger, local to County Modon (village of Stavros in particular)

Via Roll20

Inserrant – female human musician, player of zills (finger cymbals) and singer


April 28, 56 I.C. (Imperial Calendar)

Shortly after 11:00 AM

The adventurers were in the midst of being attacked.  Islo attempted to break free from the grip of the burly rider, straining to his maximum [pushed his Strength], but the burly rider held him easily.

The female rider, muttering that fighting adventurers was not what she was being paid to do, stopped fighting with Sorvia and ran over to where Tharduk set the postal box on the ground when the riders first approached.  She picked up the box and whistled for her horse.  Tharduk moved over to the female rider and did a Take Down, dropping her to the ground.  The burly rider Crushed Islo in his grip, breaking some ribs, stunning the elf, and knocking the elf unconscious.  Anomin, seeing Islo hanging limply in the burly rider’s grip, ignored the mooks near here and moved across the battle field to help Islo.  The lead rider stretched his legs to get behind Tharduk and did a Leg Sweep, dropping Tharduk on the ground next to the female rider.  Sorvia, shot at the female rider with her heavy bow, hitting the rider in the vitals [with the use of a Hero Point] but for minimal damage.  The 5 crossbowmen moved their horses, three to get a shot at Sorvia around the Force Wall Kadruth was maintaining and two to close with Anomin, hoping to shoot and kill the shapeshifter.  Sorvia was only hit by one crossbow bolt, but it was low in the back and stunned her.  Both crossbow shots at Anomin missed.  Kadruth moved close to Sorvia, and then cast another Wall of Force to protect himself, Sorvia, and Inserrant from further attacks by the group of three riders.

Islo stirred slightly in the crushing grip of the burly rider [he recovered from being stunned].  Inserrant continued to sing her song of surrender at the riders [increasing the cumulative total from her Mind Control to 13].

Tharduk failed to kippup, then climbed to his feet and attacked the prone female rider.  He swung with all his might [pushing his strength], aiming high [High Shot] on the prone woman, who squirmed to avoid the attack [aborted to a Dodge].  He hit her in the head, wounding, stunning, and knocking her out.  She lay prone on the ground.  Sorvia regathered her wits [recovered from being stunned].  Anomin, in cougar form, attacked the burly rider holding Islo.  The rider dropped the elf to dodge the attack, but Anomin caught him with a deep clawing across the chest.  The lead rider, seeing he was having trouble holding Tharduk’s attention, drew his sword and attacked Tharduk with it, slashing the dwarf deeply across the leg.  Four of the crossbow riders reloaded their weapons, starting to look a little concerned about how the fight was going.  The fifth rider decided to go for the brass ring and rode at the postal box, attempting a grab by on it.  He nearly lost his grip and completely lost control of the horse, which decided to flee post haste from the dangerous predator [Anomin in cougar form], leaving the combat with its rider desperately holding onto the saddle.  Kadruth moved further south, dropping the recently cast Wall of Force before recasting it for better protection from the three crossbowmen threatening Inserrant and Sorvia.

Islo caught his breath and woke up.

The female rider recovered from being stunned but was still prone in the middle of the fighting.  Tharduk turned and punched the lead rider in the head [spending a Hero Point to mover the hit from the hands (6) to the head (5)].  Islo failed to kippup [possibly due to fractured ribs] and instead climbed to his feet.  He then moved into the shelter of the two Walls of Force Kadruth was maintaining.  The burly rider, in full combat frenzy wrestled with Anomin in her cougar form.  She attempted to block the attack but failed and he successfully grabbed her.  Sorvia stepped for a better angle and shot the burly rider in the chest.  The lead rider stabbed his sword into Tharduk’s chest, stunning and knocking out the dwarf.  Two of the crossbowmen moved their horses around the Walls of Force to get shots at the held Anomin and still missed.  Another crossbowman shot at Kadruth, who just dodged the attack, while the last crossbowman held his action, looking unsure.  Inserrant continued her singing, its effects now weighing heavily on the thoughts of the crossbowmen [cumulative total now 25 on Mind Control].  Inserrant called out an offer to pay the crossbowmen if they switched sides.

[Post 12 Recovery happened.]

Islo steadied his breath, drew his bow, and shot the burly rider in the vitals [with the use of two Hero Points to move it from a leg shot], killing the man and releasing Anomin from his crushing grip.

Tharduk unconsciously recovered his wits while remaining unconscious.  Anomin fluidly rolled to her paws, moved to the lead rider and raked him across the legs with her claws.  Sorvia now shot at the lead rider who dodged the arrow [aborted to a dodge].  The crossbowmen ask Inserrant if the job offer is still good.  She says yes, but the pay was now less.  They said “That’s fair,” and surrendered.  Kadruth asked the lead rider to surrender, dropping his recent Wall of Force and holding part of his action to see if the leader surrendered.

Islo moved to the unconscious female rider and retrieved the postal box.

The lead rider asked that he and the female rider be allowed to leave with their horses and possessions.  After a little back and forth [and the female rider waking up], these terms are accepted.  The crossbowmen asked Inserrant what the pay was for escorting the adventurers over to Nomi.  She conferred with the others and offered a silver each.  They gladly accepted this arrangement.  The lead rider and the female rider both mounted their horses and rode away to the west.

When they were gone, Kadruth started casting healing spells on the injured adventurers.  Tharduk got into conversation with the crossbowmen and subtly pumped them for information on their employer.  He is able to get a name: Viktor Nicabar.

Once everyone was mostly patched up, the group with their newly hired escorts headed east.


The group approached Nomi, a small walled town that spanned the Cephissus River.  The crossbowmen started getting nervous when and asked if they could get paid before entering the town.  They would likely get into trouble if they were recognized and planned on fleeing southeast to The Shires.  The adventurers did not begrudge them wanting to avoid trouble and paid them.  Inserrant used her continuing Mind Control to have the crossbowmen forget her singing, that Anomin shapeshifts, and the details of the adventurers faces before sending them off with a silver coin each.

End of session


[So I went to go see my dad and he was in better health than initially reported.  Two weeks of physical therapy and no more chemotherapy helped in the recovery from the stroke.  I very much enjoyed the time I spent with him.]

[Back home in the Houston area, just as we were ready to have a repair guy work replace the blower fan in our Air Conditioner, which was going bad, it locked up and died.  Sigh.  We are working on get that fixed ASAP, but don’t know how long that will be.  I hoped it would hold out until we had the repair scheduled, but no such luck.]

[As to the game session, things went well.  Having a break between sessions in the fight gave me time to remember that the antagonists were there to get the mail, not kill the adventurers.  I wanted the female rider to do the grab by with her whip and drag the box away, but she didn’t have her horse anymore and the delay for the horse to arrive let the PCs dog-pile her and keep her from fleeing with the box.  The crossbowmen were loyal until it was clear their side was losing, then Inserrant’s Mind Control hit its stride and completely undercut their will to keep fighting.]

[Speaking of Inserrant, I allow players to fiddle with their characters a bit during the first month or so of play.  Hero System characters can be complicated and sometimes things don’t work in play the way you thought they would or you forgot things, like skills your character should have.  Several characters have done minor tweaks, but Inserrant is doing a major one and will have a higher Speed and Dex going forward as a result.  Her player learned that a Speed of 2 allowed for Dodges to last a long time but meant that the cumulative Mind Control was very slow to get to useful numbers.  We will see how the revamp works out in the future.]

Sudden Sea Adventures

Sudden Sea Landing Page - Links to all the write-ups for this campaign 

Last session: Session 4

Next session: Session 6