• Ash has been all over the news lately and this site is no exception! Check out Ashes to Ashes, the latest featured run!
  • New here and still figuring out the site? Check out the New User Guide and FAQ for some help!
  • Trying to figure out how the different forums have changed? This thread is the place for you.
  • One of our new features includes recieving a message on Discord when you have alerts. Find out how, here!
  • Have you seen our new Stream tab? It let's you peek in and chat with our forum streamers on-site, from both Twitch AND Picarto! You can even view multiple streams at once. You can submit your own channel via Streams > Submit Channel.
  • Happy tapaversary, Guest! It's been about a year since the Tapatalk Takeover; if you'd like to make a donation to us to celebrate the fact that we tapped out of that site, please click here.
  • If you're a fan of giving and recieving constructive criticism check out this resource about the new Critique Level Tags!
  • The second episode of Nuzlocke City Radio is here! Tune in for our discussion on the history and analysis of gijinkas, catch up on the biggest forum news, and we finally settle the score between Team Aqua and Team Magma in The Debatelockers!
Thread Description
The escapades of Casual and Friends in a 5e campaign. | Updated 10-8-2019

CasualGameFreak

Discord Resident Extraordinaire
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
130
Caught
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
193
Location
Flower Paradise
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Grass
Pokédex Entry
Casual tends to be plagued with identity issues. Their support for the disadvantaged knows few bounds.
For the last almost-two years, I have been blessed with an awesome Dungeons & Dragons group and the campaigns we've been a part of. You may have heard tiny snippets from our escapades if you share a chat with one of our players or if you follow the It Happened In A Tabletop thread. We've had good times.

Why do we call it Deathlandia II? Simple! Our wonderful DM is none other than @Deathlord45, and we've gotten into the habit of calling certain things "(relevant thing)-landia". Thus, Deathlandia. The II part is because we're in our second campaign here, our first one having wrapped up after a year and a half of play. Maybe I'll share some stories from that one too while I'm here, but for now the focus is on our new campaign, which has had 14 sessions over almost 4 months now.

Now, for the meat of this whole thing. I'm going to be posting weekly summaries of what's gone down in this campaign, so that y'all can be invited into the world we have created. But first... who are we?

Vaira: Githyanki Blood Hunter (Order of the Profane Soul), played by me. Fairly quiet, and when she does speak she's a bit abrasive. Tends to be a bit reckless in combat. Harbors an intense hatred for mindflayers. Likes to sass Hadrian when given the chance. Lawful Neutral.

Lucian: Dhampir Cleric of the Raven Queen (Blood Domain), played by @Kieran Tasima. Shows few emotions, but when he does, they're genuine. Considers his very existence an abomination against nature, but is doing his best to do right by the world, even when his (half-)vampiric nature tries to get in the way. True Neutral, though generally leaning lawful and good

Hadrian: High Elf Wizard (War Magic), played by @erk pls. A total edgelord who constantly attempts to assert dominance over people he doesn't like. Slowly warming up and learning to not be an asshat lest he get thrown in prison again. Currently Lawful Evil, but who knows how long that will last.

Rictus Belmont: Warforged Fighter (Samurai, played off as a Knight), played by Mortiana, an off-site friend. Walked out of the Shadowfell, having been a wanderer looking for heroics. Super enthusiastic for JUSTICE! But not the jerkish kind. Said to be pulled by many strings. Lawful Good.


And now, the good stuff: what's actually happened so far!

We began in a smaller town between Noltiama and Rentryia, in the mountains. So, uh... I missed the first session because my sleep schedule ranges from "wonky" to "nonexistent". So I'm not really sure what happened there, other than that there was a prison break and Vaira wasn't involved. The second session involved Vaira joining up with the party, the party fighting off some goblins led by a minotaur, Vaira and Rictus both getting knocked out by said Minotaur, killing the thing, and eventually leveling up to level 3 (we started at 2 because level 1 kind of sucks). The party also found an old map of the continent, with three areas being marked: one near Lake Gresha, one at the mountain near Port Cortha, and one at the ring of mountains between Port Cortha and Bringatha.

While Vaira was unconscious, she received a vision from Vlaakith, the lich-queen of the githyanki, and the two quickly made a pact where the latter would grant the former some arcane power. Afterwards, we got Rictus repaired and learned that he bore the mark of an incredibly talented creator, Olianna Alcalia Polona.

With that learned, we set about investigating some disappearances in the town we were in. Talking to a brother of one of the missing people, we learned that she had been seen with an interesting fellow who smelled of sulfur and really hated fire. We followed the leads to a cave to the west. Inside, we met a similar fellow, and Rictus managed to fast-talk him into slipping up. With that, combat was joined, and the fellow was revealed to be an oblex, an ooze creature that can impersonate others. Smaller oozes attacked as well, but the party was able to defeat both the smaller oozes and the adult oblex. We cut that session as we discovered a door leading further in.

We entered that door, finding... some skeletal things. We proceeded to punch out the skeletons and then fight off a couple bigger skeletal things. Afterwards, we searched the area. We found some notes detailing arcane experiments that had clearly gone wrong, and we also found some bodies around, including at least a couple mindflayer corpses. Vaira gave one of the mindflayers a swift kick as the party exited. Hadrian grew annoyed with the clanking of the door's mechanism and tried to Ray of Frost it to stop it. That led to even more noise, and Vaira snarked at him.

Next, we were starting to figure out what to do when an alarm rang out coming from the mines. We entered to see what was going on and fought off a few troglodytes. We ended up delving into the troglodytes' tunnels that had happened to intersect with the mines. We arrived at a summoning circle that had just finished summoning a vrock. The party did battle, Hadrian taunted the vrock a ton and got knocked out for his troubles, Vaira sassed at him to save the taunting for later, and eventually Lucian managed to kill it. Afterwards, the party found a greatsword made of igneum(?), a type of stone that is warm to the touch and lends itself well to fire-based enchantments. Given that Vaira associates with fire a lot already, she took it.

After that, we returned to town and deliberated as to our next move. After some discussion and floating of possibilities, the party decided to head south to Lake Gresha and see if they could figure out what that marking on that map was all about. Going to the mayor for advice, they heard about certain things that had been blocking trade routes and such, including rumors of a troll near the shores of the lake. With that, we headed south.

As we traveled, we eventually came upon a wrecked village of lizardfolk, and we found someone alive but dying in there. We stabilized him, and Vaira noticed a symbol on him identifying him as a member of House Grayfield, a monster-hunting organization posing as a noble house, of which Vaira is also a member. Recognizing him now as Brendan, conversation was made. The rumored troll was real, and it had wrecked the village. Brendan had been chasing it to try to kill it for House Grayfield. He gave the party the advice to stay out of close range. With that, they ensured that Brendan would be safe and headed off to fight the troll.

The troll was soon found, and battle was had. The party, heeding Brendan's advice, soon found it coming in handy, finding that when they did damage, the wound would spew venom that would damage those nearby. Some luck and a bit of strategy paid off, and soon the troll was dead, its head cut off for the reward, and the party was back to pick up Brendan and return to Noltiama.

As the party reached Noltiama, a city in the swamps, they turned in the troll head for a reward, and then set off to search for rumors. They heard about an old abandoned shrine that had been overgrown, and about a temple of some kind at the bottom of Lake Gresha. Vaira decided to check in with House Grayfield and see what was known about both. Unfortunately, Lord Tielve Grayfield was the only one who knew much about the lake temple, and he was out in Brinmire for an emergency meeting of the nobles. But there was someone who knew about the overgrown shrine, and Vaira learned that it had been a shrine to Pelor, Melora, and Sehanine, but it had been abandoned a while back due to others' fears about House Grayfield's level of influence. It had become overgrown and needed clearing out.

With that, the party set out to clear out the shrine. After a while of dealing with a few shadows, vine blights, and other things, they came upon a tree that shouldn't have been there. After a while hacking away, they were able to at least get rid of the tree's grip over the Pelor statue. We also found a few glowy items in a secret room that some of us took.

In the shrine, constantly harassing us, was a wraith of some kind that used mirrors and reflective surfaces to mess with us. Many mirrors were broken as a result of our paranoia. Eventually, we managed to drive it back a bit, and then finally we could engage it in battle. After a fight, Lucian managed to send it on to the next realm. Having cleared out the temple, we advanced to level 5. (Before you ask, I can't remember when level 4 happened.)

So that's that. Now we've got the good stuff, which is our current arc of sorts. I remember these sessions much better than the previous ones, so prepare for longer summaries.

The party, having cleared out the shrine, returned to Noltiama, hoping to ensure that we could have conversation with Lord Grayfield about the temple at the bottom of Lake Gresha. He hadn't returned yet, and would probably be back in a few days. Meanwhile, the party gave a few books that had been found in the shrine to a librarian of the house for interpretation and safekeeping. Of particular interest was a journal, which ended up describing a "key" of some sort that had been hidden in a place called Zakola. Hadrian failed to contain his interest in the name, and told the others about it.

Zakola was his home, a city floating in the sky. Maybe about 400 years ago, something happened to the Weave of magic, and these floating cities came crashing down to the earth. The ruins were marked down as a possible destination for the party.

After a few days, Lord Grayfield arrived, accompanied by his wife, his very grumpy oldest daughter, and his less grumpy twin sons. Vaira managed to get to him so that he could talk with the party in private. The group asked him about what he knew of the lake temple, and he told the story of a blight that had spread across the continent long ago, that was eventually sealed away. The people of the time did not have the power to destroy it entirely. So the seals were put in place, and one of them was put in a temple along the lake. Eventually something was stolen from there, and so to avoid further disturbances, the temple was sunk to the bottom of the lake. Lucian recognized the actions of the thief as something consistent with what his father would do, and informed Lord Grayfield of this.

With that, his status as half-vampire was all but confirmed to the party. In a conversation in Vaira's chambers, Lucian mentioned that he was meant to be a tool of his father, as a vampiric entity that lacked the severe weaknesses of a pure vampire. The party decided that the key in Zakola could wait, and that ensuring the other two spots on the old map were safe was the biggest priority. With that, the party geared up (Vaira obtaining some splint armor to take advantage of her Heavily Armored feat, and Hadrian obtaining a fiend bat named Trajan via Find Familiar) and set out for Port Cortha.
The party headed east-northeast towards Port Cortha, following Lucian to avoid possible areas of his father's influence. Eventually, they stopped in Orcani, a forested town, and found shelter for the night in a temple to the Raven Queen. We were invited to dinner as well, and we told Sonoula Bivily, the lady who had invited us, about our objectives and warned her to remain vigilant for activity from Lucian's father.

She mentioned that activity from Vampire Dad was slowing, which caused concern, as the party immediately figured that he was gearing up for something. Sonoula told us to "beware the shadows within, as well as without."

Hadrian's response was "Are we talking metaphorical, or...?"

The group (minus Mort, who was asleep and not in the call at the time) burst out laughing at this, and Hadrian proceeded to dig himself deeper. Eventually, Sonoula cast Hold Person to try to shut him up, with no success. At this point, Vaira snarked, "Ever heard of 'Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer?'" to which Hadrian defended himself with the fact that the party had fought living shadows in the abandoned shrine.

Eventually Sonoula gave up, grabbed some drinks, and turned in for the night, but not before noticing Lucian's smile at the situation. That night, Hadrian received a drunken Sending message from Sonoula.

The next morning, we met another man who advertised fortune-reading-type services, and Hadrian and Rictus obliged. Questions were answered, Hadrian's about the justice of his path towards power and knowledge, and Rictus's about his past and the status of the person who created him.

After that, we headed east again, and eventually came upon the mountain nearby. We decided to go north around it, for the shorter journey, as we intended to explore it more thoroughly later. We came upon a forest and did battle with some ettercaps, defeating them fairly quickly, but Trajan was killed in the fighting. Oh well, Hadrian could just resummon him. After that, we entered the Smoldering Sands, which really lived up to their name. Instead of enduring another day of the incredible heat, the party decided instead to push through the night. At last, the party arrived in Port Cortha early in the morning and crashed for the night.
As the party awoke in Port Cortha, they started to look around a bit. They came upon a man selling kebabs and eventually decided to try them. They were pretty good. At the same time, we asked him about any strange happenings in the town, to which he mentioned some disappearances, and that the local military building would know more. He also advertised his sister's shop nearby, but the party decided to go to the military building first after thanking Ferdinand (aka Kebab Man) for his time.

A pair of Warforged escorted us into the building and over to the person we needed to talk to. After a mention of "hey, we'd like to help look into this", she gave us what they knew: the sluice system of the city was involved somehow, and the guard had managed to find a certain creature there. She showed the party the creature in question: a brain with legs (with the legs separated).

Vaira instantly tensed up and declared "I know what those things are. They're the illithids' pets." She proceeded to go on a rant about what she knew of both illithid themselves and the intellect devourer that had been shown to the party. The intellect devourers are illithids' pets, and they could stun someone before hopping into their head and taking over. The illithid themselves are very clever, and they try to stun you with a blast of psychic energy before moving in to consume their victim's brain. If they don't just enslave you, anyway.

With that information revealed, it was agreed that the party would go down into the sewers and hunt the illithid down. We were given papers to allow us in, and we entered. At some point in here, Trajan was resummoned after having been killed in the battle with ettercaps last session, this time as an owl.

A while in, we realized just how complicated the sewer system was, and eventually we encountered a few intellect devourers. After a brief struggle, the party managed to take down all but one, who fled. We followed it into a chamber where we found, floating in the middle, a fleshy mass with eyestalks all over and a single larger eye in the middle. A mindwitness, a beholder that had been corrupted and taken over by the illithids' influence.

We quickly killed the rogue intellect devourer and then engaged the mindwitness in battle. Hadrian let loose a mighty Lightning Bolt, dealing almost half its health in damage. Not long after, Rictus let loose a flurry of javelins that took the corrupted beholder out.
Having just killed the mindwitness deep into an area that we quickly deduced was not a normal part of the sewers, the party headed further in, while Hadrian had Trajan scout ahead. Eventually, Vaira overheard some conversation in Deep Speech, a language she happened to understand, discussing an excavation of some kind. Following the voices, they came upon a larger chamber, where some people (obviously slaves of the illithid) were chipping away at stone covering up... something, supervised by one of the squid-fuckers themselves.

The illithid greeted the party, and Vaira wasted no time and minced no words in how the party was ready to bust this up, in the name of her queen. The mindflayer questioned whether the illithid and Vlaakith were really that different, a line of reasoning Vaira quickly and strongly rejected as she continued to storm forward. At this point, the mindflayer gave up and released a Lightning Bolt into the party, revealing itself as an arcanist. Vaira quickly engaged in melee, while the others spread out around the mindflayer to limit its options. At one point, it tried to lift Vaira into the air with Telekinesis, and initially succeeded until Casual remembered that the Hex Vaira had put on it also let her impose disadvantage on ability checks with a certain abililty, which Vaira would certainly put on Intelligence. The second roll failed to win the contest, and Vaira was not lifted.

During the fight, Hadrian unleashed another Lightning Bolt of his own, also targeting the thing in the background. Bad idea. The blast woke it up, and as Rictus and Vaira combined to finish off the mindflayer with a flanking attack, the thing busted out of its stone prison and targeted Hadrian with a laser. With how depleted the party was after the previous battles with no rest, and how low Rictus and Vaira, the main frontliners, were on hit points, the party decided that it was in their best interests to retreat. As Rictus dragged Vaira away, the latter was hit by a laser from the beast and was knocked out. Lucian quickly got her back up to consciousness before helping Hadrian cover the depleted tanks.

Hadrian ended up rolling crazy well on a Scorching Ray and KILLED this thing. (Sure, it was heavily wounded already, but still!) Seeing this, the group decided to pore over what this thing was. From what we were able to gather, it was some kind of cyborg, almost like a Warforged with more organic elements. Huh.

The party took a short rest, and then Hadrian noticed that something was up. Vaira mentioned that mindflayer arcanists tend to be working alone, and that she hoped this was the case. This ended up leading into a conversation between the two, where Vaira mentioned more about her queen, that Vlaakith helped lead them during the Schism that separated the gith, and that they don't call her the Revered Queen for nothing. In the end, the two conceded that they really aren't so different from each other; both seek power to avenge a wrong done to them.

With that conversation done, the party moved upwards to head back into town. To make sure, Hadrian sent Trajan down into a couple other tunnels we missed, and he managed to find an altar of some kind. After waiting for Trajan to return, the party headed in and investigated. We noticed the glyphs around it, and Lucian found a bit of protective magic thanks to Detect Magic. Lucian also identified the skull on the altar as a symbol of Vecna, god of undeath and secrets. We also found a small bag that seemed to have way more space inside than outside. We decided to dump it out, and we found... quite a bit.

Overall, there was some money and gems, but there were also a few books, books that described some secret correspondences between servants of Vecna... they seemed to seek out something called Z'Ha'Dum, which Hadrian identified as a place from back when the floating cities were... well, still floating.

With that, Rictus smashed the skull with a sledgehammer and we were on our way back up. We mentioned to the guard as we exited that the area should be all clear for now, and then we crashed for the night at an inn. Rictus received a vision from Vecna, perhaps offering something...? Who knows. That's where we cut the session.

So that's what's gone on so far! I'll be posting summaries each week, so tune in... probably Sunday, and find out whatever happens this weekend!
 
Last edited:

CasualGameFreak

Discord Resident Extraordinaire
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
130
Caught
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
193
Location
Flower Paradise
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
they/she
Pokémon Type
Grass
Pokédex Entry
Casual tends to be plagued with identity issues. Their support for the disadvantaged knows few bounds.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
Well, another Saturday has passed, and so it's time for another summary of what went down during that Saturday time.

The party, arising from their rest after slaying the illithid arcanist, decided to take the illithid's head (which Vaira had kept as proof of what had gone on) to the military building where they had gotten their assignment. They were led in, Vaira explained that it should be just the one mindflayer, and thanks were given. The lady offered help in whatever the party may need, and Lucian took the initiative to ask about the party's main quest, and about who would know about the locations we haven't visited yet.

She herself didn't know, but she knew of people who did. A trading group that traveled between Bringatha and Port Cortha would have knowledge of the ring of mountains, but she isn't sure of when they would come in. She did, however, give us the name of Alcolian Tetholious, a mechanist in the city who deals with that group a lot, and that he would likely be found at the Sandy Rut, a cafe in town, or at his shop. She also requested that we not tell Alcolian that she was the one who sent us. With regards to the lonely mountain near the port, some older locals would likely know, in particular one Mr. Elmoy. He's a wise person, but seems to have preferred seclusion in his old age. Other than that, the libraries around town would be a good place to seek information on legends and such. With that, the party left.

Out in the daytime, Vaira brought up her desire to eventually enchant her igneum greatsword with a proper fire enchantment and get a proper scabbard as well, but both of those would need to wait, because the sword itself was not in the greatest shape. The party agreed to take some time to get a few things done, as they weren't in a particular rush to get to the sites. And so, they found a smithy and put in some coin to have the sword refined and silvered and to have a sheath made for it. Upon the suggestion of an inscription, Vaira decided to request that her name be put on it in her native Gith language. In addition, we decided to have Vaira's old half plate be refitted for Lucian's use, as the former had acquired splint already. Hadrian found a leatherworker's shop and purchased some studded leather armor, and then the party was off to the library to seek information on the mountain.

Inside, we were led to a section on myths and legends, and with a decent roll we were able to find a book on legends about the mountains. Hadrian's speed-reading gave us quite a bit of information on the various mountains of the realm. We learned that the mountain in the northwest of the map in the OP was rumored to be a silver dragon's lair. We learned a couple other things about the mountain chain in the middle of the map. But most importantly, we learned more about our two locations of interest. The mountain ring was supposedly formed by a "falling light" hitting the Smoldering Sands, and it became a holy site for a few monasteries. And, seemingly fitting with what we knew, the lonely mountain near the port was the base of a mighty not-metaphorical shadow. There seemed to be a pitch-black iron castle on the upper slopes, surrounded by fog. A long, long time ago there were guardians, but they succumbed to the darkness and wiped themselves out. Some claim to be descended from those guardians, but who knows.

We went and asked about the physical dangers of the mountain, and we were just told of the usual mountain dangers. Fair enough. Then Lucian inquired about Mr. Elmoy, and the person helping us sent a paper bird to him. To our surprise, he responded that he was interested in talking to us, and soon he was here. He was a very old fellow, seemingly having grown quite frail. Vaira had an inkling as to his race, and when he referred to her as his "distant cousin", her thoughts were confirmed. Elmoy was a githzerai, a sect of gith who preferred to hone their minds as opposed to the warriors of the githyanki. Elmoy gave the party some advice: if it's too much for us, it's better to flee and live another day.

With that advice given, he turned to Vaira and desired a conversation. He was curious as to what brought a follower of Vlaakith out to the Material Plane. She told him why. She wasn't initially sanctioned, but seems to have gained her queen's blessing to remain on the Material and hunt illithid down. Her motive? Vengeance, for "an incident during a raid that took someone very dear to me." Elmoy understood her goal, and asked her: once she had her vengeance, what next? Her initial answer was to return to serving Vlaakith, but soon she had second thoughts and mentioned continued travels with the party as another option. Elmoy seemed to be happy. With that, the old githzerai mentioned gardening as a good hobby and took his leave.

With that settled, the party split up to seek out Alcolian Tetholious, with Rictus looking at his shop. On his way there, he encountered another warforged, who invited him to a support group for warforged that hadn't adjusted well to the end of a great war 10 years ago. After that, he made it to the shop... which had an "Out to Lunch" sign.

Meanwhile, Lucian, Hadrian, and Vaira went to the Sandy Rut and found Alcolian there. After a brief conversation, we learned that the trading group we were looking for would likely be in within the next few weeks. Rictus soon returned, and Alcolian took interest in him a bit. Upon hearing that he was created by Olianna Alcalia Polona, he stopped. He apparently had worked with her at some point. He started to ask Rictus a few more questions, when Rictus mentioned some "smoke man" who was talking in his head to not trust Alcolian. At this point, the mechanist dropped a bombshell -- the last time he had seen Rictus, the latter was wrestling a demon.

Vaira put the pieces together with some knowledge from her studies at House Grayfield and a good roll and concluded that Rictus was likely being inhabited by a shadow demon, a specter of a fiend that for whatever reason didn't return to the Abyss after being defeated and instead became a shadow monster. After some discussion, the party concluded that the demon wasn't any threat at the moment, that if it started acting up there were measures to mitigate its presence, and that therefore it wasn't a big deal at the moment.

With that, Alcolian took his leave to head back to work, and the party acquired climbing gear for what promised to be a difficult climb up the slopes of the mountain. Lucian took some pig's blood to have for himself (being half-vampire, of course), and Vaira picked up her now-refined sword (which now does a d6 of fire damage on top of the usual greatsword properties; the original sword did a d4 of fire). The party was finally ready to climb the mountain and ensure the safety of the seal there. And that's where we'll pick up next week.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top