One Year of Haven

On July 15th, Year 3 (2017) the first adventurers called to pass through the portal in the temple of Enoch to Haven arrived in Citadel. Matthias greeted them and put them to work solving problems throughout the Vale and beyond.

In the year since, they have opened friendly relations with the Satyrs, the Nekolyns, and the Gnomes, some of these relations approaching alliance status. Before their arrival, the Vale folk had not encountered any other intelligent races. Not all attempts at relations have gone as well, though. Encounters with Orcs have been both amicable and hostile, depending on the Schek (tribe/clan/cult). Contact with the Dragon Empire have been a disaster. Neither the Kobolds nor the Lizardfolk often speak any Vale languages, and they have a deep, cultural hatred for elves and dwarves based in wars against the elves and dwarves the populated the land centuries before.

Much of the action in the last year has involved combat with the Dragon Empire, from killing one of their young dragon commanders to defeating a garrison led by a dragon blood infused Lizardfolk to breaking a Dragon Empire siege on the gnomish town of Rathad Oidhche. Their one positive interaction with them involved finding joint cause around a dragon temple near the Vale that the Vale folk found first when a mudslide exposed it. They have a tense peace in a mile around the temple with the Vale manning a bridge/dam near the temple opening and the Dragon Empire having built a new tower on the hill above it.

Within the Vale itself, the Citadel House Adventurers have started to build quite the reputation. They’ve gained the respect of Earl Nicholas Wraecliff, the wealthiest man in the Vale, by helping with problems encountered in his efforts to build a castle. They’ve befriended Taren: the hero of Confluence, unmasked a gnome impersonating Dorcas: the largest farmer in the Vale, and helped to establish a new village: Iron Fields.

After all that has happened, what will the coming year bring for the adventurers? At least in part, their attention is turning to stopping a gnomish faction, the Ar-a-mach, from awakening their ancient king. They hope to build relations with the orcish Union of Schek and to continue to learn more about the Dragon Empire.

For more detailed accounts of their adventures, see below:

July 15th-July 20th, Year 3: The first adventurers in the Vale capture a night creature and send it away. They then investigate lights in the forest, coming to know the Satyrs.
July 22nd-July 25th, Year 3: More adventurers arrive and investigate a Confluence river contamination. They find the source and plug it temporarily.
July 29th-July 30th, Year 3: With the return of the troll to the Timberford bridge, they lay a trap and kill it.
August 12th-August 16th, Year 3: A large band of adventurers pay a visit to the Satyrs looking to reclaim a stolen tool. They save the Satyr village and become known as heroes.
August 26th-August 27th, Year 3: A couple adventurers investigate a catacomb found under Wraecliff’s castle, finding it’s more than they can handle.
September 2nd-September 4th, Year 3: Efforts to investigate attacks by the trees themselves lead to first contact with the nature worshiping Nekolyns.
September 9nd, Year 3: Another delve into the Wraecliff catacombs almost ends in disaster as they encounter more undead there.
September 16th-September 18th, Year 3: A party intending to permanently stop the Confluence river contaminants has a change of plans that leads them to a kobold outpost where they encounter a dragon.
September 23rd-September 24th, Year 3: A massive effort combats the kobold outpost, killing the dragon and driving them out.
October 7th, Year 3: Adventurers return to the Wraecliff catacombs, finding it still more than a match for their strength.
October 21st-October 27th, Year 3: A couple of wilderness savvy adventurers chase reports of sea birds in the South and reach the sea.
October 28th-November 1st, Year 3: With the West Confluence river again poisoned, a party returns to the source of the contaminants and encounters gnomes who prove friendly to them.
November 11th-November 13th, Year 3: Adventurers answer a Nekolyn invitation to a blighted part of the wood where they partially explore an old elven bunker.
November 18th-November 22nd, Year 3: With Teran, hero of Confluence, missing, a large party goes looking for him and find him imprisoned by the first “fairy” encountered by the Vale folk.
November 25th, Year 3: When a sink hole opens up a mass grave near Timberford, the adventurers explore, finding numerous elven goods.
December 2nd-December 19th, Year 3: A party escorts some diplomats to the gnomish capital, Stalla Airgid, where diplomatic relations are opened despite some bumps along the way.
December 9th, Year 3: When a Citadel well goes dry, they descend to find the cause.
January 6th-January 12th, Year 4: A party returns to the blighted area watched by the Nekolyns, hoping to put an end to the bunker’s blighting influence.
January 13th-January 17th, Year 4: Reinforcements arrive at the blight to help explore the bunker and stop its influence on both the blight and the storm near it.
January 20th-January 25th, Year 4: Verdis returns alone to a crashed ancient boat to the South where a clan of Brachyids drives him off.
January 27th, Year 4: A couple of adventurers investigate reports of a creature in the half-finished temple, which they chase away.
February 3rd, Year 4: Some of the most experienced adventurers reenter the Wraecliff catacomb, finally clearing it once and for all.
February 10th-20th, Year 4: With a gnomish refinery in a state of emergency for food, the Vale delivers some in exchange for ore.
February 17th-20th, Year 4: Verdis follows a strange pipe, finding a ruined castle on the edge of Satyr lands.
February 24th-27th, Year 4: Knowing orcs have made a military camp on the Great Road, a diplomatic mission approaches them and makes first official contact.
March 3rd, Year 4: With a strange fog standing in the South of the Vale, adventurers combat the creatures hidden there.
March 10th-March 30th, Year 4: A couple of adventurers travel far abroad to rescue a Satyr elder who’s gone missing.
March 17th-March 21st, Year 4: Investigating a mudslide that cut off the East Confluence river, the party finds an exposed temple and meet its “God of Knowledge.”
March 24th-March 27th, Year 4: Some new arrivals in Citadel House cause havoc when they prove unfit for civil society.
April 7th-April 10th, Year 4: A search for missing surveyors turns grim when they are found in an ancient dwarvish prison where some inmates are still a threat.
April 14th-April 20th, Year 4: A party makes its way through Satyr lands to the edge of fey forests to cure one of their number of a devastating curse.
April 21st-May 3rd, Year 4: A new diplomatic mission travels to the Gnomish capital to conduct trade negotiations. The mission is much more successful than the previous one, but some things are a bit off.
April 28th, Year 4: When Wraecliff isn’t seen for a few weeks, Matthias sends someone to make sure he hasn’t gone off the deep end.
May 5th-May 7th, Year 4: A return to the temple of the “God of Knowledge” goes badly when the party fails to show the appropriate deference to a being of its stature.
May 12th-May 18th, Year 4: A more professional team returns to the temple to make amends. With the help of the “Knowledge God,” Dragon Empire negotiations occur.
May 19th-May 25th, Year 4: A couple of adventurers go to help the Nekolyns deal with a large creature and have their first brush with an ancient college.
May 26th-May 30th, Year 4: A new arrival in the Vale visits the sites.
June 2nd-June 4th, Year 4: Investigations into new Kobold activity near the Vale find they have reoccupied their old garrison.
June 9th, Year 4: New arrivals join in defending Wraecliff Castle from a serious Dragon Empire attack.
June 16th-June 17th, Year 4: With the Dragon Empire somewhat quelled, arson at the temple gets the adventurers’ attention for a few days.
June 23rd-June 27th, Year 4: A party sets out for the known kobold garrison, attempting to drive them out again with mixed success.
June 30th-July 5th, Year 4: When a party returns to the garrison to finish the job from the week before, they learn of a siege on a gnomish town and go to their aide.
July 7th-July 9th, Year 4: With the ancient prison now being used by the Vale, efforts are made to make it more usable for them.
July 14th-July 20th, Year 4: Believing that Ar-a-mach forces took advantage of the siege at Rathad Oidhche to look for something, a couple of adventurers try to follow in their footsteps to a disastrous end.

The Players

All my players have been amazing to work with. I hope we have a long future ahead. Let’s meet them all! (In order of participation, roughly, based on highest level character and number of characters.)

HuS is the heart and soul of the group, with three characters at any given time and consistent weekly attendance, he is the one constant in the Haven group. He’s a cunning enough negotiator that even his low-charisma characters have achieved impressive outcomes.

  • Verdis, Level 9 Human Fighter (Axe and Shield, Healing Magic, Archery, and Tracking), is one of the most senior adventurers in the Vale. He’s saved the lives of his companions many times, often almost giving his own. Scarred and hardened after only a year in the Vale, he now rarely goes far, letting others do the work he once did so they can become as experienced as he is. He was a bandit before he came to the Vale, but he has risen above his past. He still leads important efforts and coordinates the defense of the Vale itself from exterior threats. He is currently leading the team guarding the Dragon Empire outpost against reoccupation.
  • Agon, Level 3 Elf Magic-user (Stealth, Travel, and Mind Magic, Bear Companion), is a high utility member of the Citadel House Adventurers. He is learning orcish to solidify his standing among the orcs who he was influential in first contacting due to his blessed book of knowledge. He is currently functioning as the temporary warden of the ancient prison until  a more permanent warden can be found.
  • Randall, Level 3 Human Druid (Animal and Plant Control and Speaking and Animal Forms), is becoming a frequent leader of expeditions abroad due to his utility in nature. Despite a lack of combat ability in recent crops of adventurers, his trees have usually been able to protect his companions.
  • Slade, Level 1 Human Fighter, Deceased, was a short lived adventurer who gave his life to satiate the Knowledge Dragon and save the Vale. His great faith and ability would have been a great asset to the Vale.

PaT makes characters that really embody the theme of regular people called to face dangers in a new land. He is always a boon to the party when he comes with an analyzing mind and interest in lore and the world. His reckless confidence makes for some very interesting incidents.

  • Frank, Level 5 Dwarf Brawler (Puncher), was a carpet salesman before he was called to the Vale. Since coming to the Vale he’s been in some tight scrapes. With his withdrawal from active duty in recent months, his strength and combat capability are sorely missed. He is currently Verdis’ right-hand man at the Dragon Empire outpost.
  • Bill, Level 2 Human Fighter (Archaeologist, General Combat), had seen a great many strange things in the ground before passing to the Vale. He has seen a many more since. His Arming Bracelet makes him an interesting swiss army knife along with his knowledge and artifact understanding.

MaC had the patience to play a thief as his first character despite limited combat utility. When things go wrong, he’s the first to recognize that the party is in trouble and gets them out. He’s often too busy to come to our lengthening sessions, but when he does come, his wisdom is invaluable.

  • Lonir, Level 5 Elf Thief (Infiltration, Healing Magic),  was a street urchin before coming to the Vale to face dangers like he had never imagined. He overcame these dangers and obtained loot thereby that strengthened his powers of movement and infiltration. He is the wise and friendly face that greets new arrivals in Citadel through the portal and currently oversees the defense of the Vale in Verdis’ absence.

WaB finds wonder and astonishment in everything he comes across. He was the first to delve into Mind Weave’s complex magic system and many have followed in his foot steps after seeing what it was capable of. Though he can’t come every week, he has been constant from the beginning until now.

  • Aronis, Level 4 Human Magic-user (Fire and Wind Magic, Dabbling in combat and utility), came from the farm into a wild magic he would come to master. While his skill is primarily in magic, his heart is still that of a farm boy, engaging with sling and sword more often than with magic. His eagerness to use magical items found has led him to many mishaps, but his curiosity also teaches them much. He is probably the most powerful magic-user in the Vale, and still growing.
  • Lash, Level 2 Human Thief (Ambush and Incapacitation), was a petty thief and child of poor farmers before he came to the Vale. After a few close calls, he started to doubt his suitability for the perilous life of an adventurer. He has avoided going out, but still stands by for an appropriate task. He is currently serving as a lookout with the adventurers guarding the Kobold outpost.

CoB is young and excitable. He brought the first player death to the campaign by eagerness to explore and he always brings a lot of excitement to the sessions. He’s definitely learning to be more cautious.

  • Osiris, Level 3 Elf Magic-user (Life and Death Magic), was a common thief until he learned of magic and found he had an affinity for it. He became a doctor before he was called to the Vale. In the Vale, he has been the reckless tip of the spear in a number of missions. His recklessness will surely kill him.
  • Cripis, Level 2 Halfling Fighter (Understatted, Stealth from Backstory), Deceased, was a thief who came to the Vale looking to be a hero. He saved the Satyr Elder and when the vampire in the dwarven prison killed him, he was honored by the satyrs at his funeral.
  • Caramon, Level 1 Human Fighter (Stealth and Heroism), came from street gangs to the Vale claiming to be Cripis’ brother, with no other explanation. He was overwhelmed to see Cripis dead and hasn’t gone out since.
  • Sipric, Level 1 Human Fighter, arrived into a flurry of activity when he was influenced by the rogue adventurer Torren. Ashamed of his actions during that time, he has not gone out any more.

MiM had no idea what he was getting into when CoB invited him to his first session. He has since grown into the game and is a regular. He was baptized with fire, his first character meeting some very strange conditions.

  • Conan, Level 2 Elf-Vampire Magic-user (Fire and Death Magic), came from being a weapon smith to the Vale. Heavyset and short, he was the last person people would have expected to be a vampire, but he became one. After a while of hiding it, he was put into a coma by a lizardfolk commander, not healing naturally as his body starves and not healable by the magics of the healers in his undead state. His hawk familiar, Scar, still watches over him.
  • Rowan, Level 2 Elf Magic-user (Death and Life Magic), came to the Vale looking to do a great work. He has only just begun, but his powers have been a great boon already to adventuring parties in need of healing and damage output.
  • Harold, Level 1 Halfling Thief, came to the Vale despite having to leave behind his alley buddy Bart. To his surprise, Bart came with him the same day! He hasn’t gone out adventuring since that first day with Bart, but news of Bart’s death won’t do much to change that. He won’t hear until he is relieved of his lookout duties at the Kobold outpost.

JeA is the voice of wisdom and counsel in the campaign. HuS for a while lamented the days he couldn’t be there to guide the party. As one of the first to request the campaign, he has elements of story tied up in his character that may soon start to illuminate things.

  • Simon, Level 4 Human Druid (Tracking, Survival, and Fire Magic), was a military commander who lost his unit and sought the solitude of the forest. He went to Haven looking for answers and peace, only to become a leader again. While no one has fallen under his leadership yet, fears for more loss have caused him to hang back while others go abroad. He has joined the volunteers holding the Kobold outpost until it can be destroyed.

JaA is JeA’s son and comes most of the time when he does. He is fun to have at the table because he’s willing to engage, even when he doesn’t know what to do.

  • Jonathan, Level 3 Human Musician (Riding and Battle Song), was a traveling musician, and though he couldn’t come back from it, the journey to Haven seemed like an interesting trip. His time manipulation mandolin has been an interesting tool, and he still hasn’t explored all of its effects. He owns the only horse among all the adventurers.
  • Legolas, Level 1 Elf Thief, was among the first adventurers through the portal, and since that first day he hasn’t engaged in an adventure, lingering around Citadel House and doing mundane work for his keep.

TrS recently learned he was invited to the group and has been very active since. He is energetic and direct in character, despite being distracted in real life. This distraction in combination with his directness resulted in a character death in the latest mission. I wonder what he’ll bring to the next one.

  • Bart “the soon to be Bard”, Level 2 Halfling Musician, Deceased, was a street player who shared an alley with Harold before they both came. Bart supported his teams with rousing music out of combat and tunes that compelled friend and foe to dance in combat. He was a poisoner on the side, a skill which helped dispatch a few powerful enemies over the course of his short career. When the gelatinous cube swallowed up his corpse, Randall retrieved it at great personal risk and buried it on a ridge outside Cria Basin.

CooB/LaB are CoB’s parents and hilariously share a character. CooB brings experience and LaB brings excitement. Since the character is a Satyr, the excitement shows more than the experience, but either is a great presence at the table of teenagers.

  • Sylviana, level 2 Satyr Thief, is the only character not of an Enoch race so far in the campaign. This required an interesting backstory which has yet to play out very far. Her loose lips went a long way to causing the siege at Rathad Oidhche, but she was also invaluable in discovering the Dorcas impersonator.

KeM is rarely available, but the times he did come he proved courageous and self-sacrificing.

  • Peter, Level 2 Human Monk, played an unsung part in Verdis’ transformation from bandit to heroic figure as they fought side by side in some of Verdis’ early missions and he was the first Verdis nearly died to save instead of fleeing.

BrS came with some experience in Dungeons and Dragons and met with Mind Weave. She started just recently and hasn’t had a chance to come back, but her willingness to play a part with a low level character got a her a coveted single-session-level-up.

  • Drucillia, Level 2 Elf Fighter, came from being the muscle in a street gang to the Vale, where she soon found herself breaking a siege. Though it was all she could do to protect herself in that battle, she was wounded helping Verdis to hold the line and is a promising addition to Citadel House.

JoT was hilarious from character creation all the way through his first session. Though his second session was a misadventure of bad behavior, he’ll be a joy to have back when he gets a chance.

  • Bob Ross, Level 1 Dwarf Brawler, was a painter with a fro and of course a beard. When he came to the Vale, he had a special helmet made to protect his fro and went to work. Though he now paints the temple interior, his next foray into the wilderness is much anticipated.

NaA is JeA’s other son and came on a couple of missions. He is busy, as teenagers often are, but maybe we’ll get him back.

  • Thorn, Level 1 Dwarf Cleric, having dealt with trolls and satyrs, Thorn now spends his days in the healing house. His healing, faith, and dwarvish speaking may come in handy in the near future, but will he answer the call?

KeS came once and has flirted with coming a couple times since. A busy teenage life with travel and other activities keep him away, but we’re expecting to see him soon.

  • Alfred, Level 1 Human Monk, had his first Vale experience chasing a drake from the temple attic during a snow storm. He hasn’t seen fit to go out since.

NiE, my wife, played in the first session, but generally uses Saturdays to run errands. She toys with playing again.

  • Barfollowmew “Loamie”, Level 1 Half-elf Cleric, came to the Vale looking to escape war and be a chaplain. She is now helping to guard the Kobold outpost.

RiS came once and realized it wasn’t the game for him. To each his own, I suppose.

  • Drax, Level 1 Human Druid, helped defeat the dragon garrison by chasing a herd of deer to lure the kobold hunters out.

Is? was invited without permission, I never should have let him in the door. I don’t know him except for the one session he came to and we weren’t the right game for him. His character is now a villain.

  • Torren, Level 1? Human Druid, caused trouble after his arrival and was arrested. He convinced Matthias to grant him a chance at community service and then escaped from the quarry. He hasn’t been seen since.

With that summary, the campaign continues. Be sure to check back for more play reports and so much more.

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