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Bitter Winds Saga
#1
After beginning a weekly campaign using the starter set, some of the group have become as addicted as I have and asked me if I could create a side campaign for them to play. I said yes immediately, and only after putting the phone down did I stop to think of the extra work I had given myself. Long story short this campaign is now on it's 30th session, we play twice a week and it's the greatest fun I've ever had. We even have a friend of ours who moved to Canada two years ago arrange his days off to play with us over Skype, sometimes waking up at 3am to join in.

I've set this campaign around 70 years before the one in the starter set (Based around the Sword Coast in the Forgotten Realms) in the Silver Marches. This Idea came to me when I was role playing a old half-elf named Daran Edermath, an NPC in the starter campaign, and spur of the moment decided to make him one of the heroes' of Neverwinter who helped fight the primordial Maegera (which caused the eruption of mount Hotenew, the nearby volcano). He hated the pomp and fanfare of the city, so decided to live a humble and modest life in the small town of Phandalin after tragically loosing his young family in the eruption. This got a good reaction from the party, and later on I thought it would be a cool idea to have this next campaign set in the past so they could interact with the events they are hearing about in the original campaign.

The party includes;
Chrodar, copper dragonborn warlock
Luther, human paladin
Salvin, woodelf ranger
Ruric, dwarf fighter
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#2
I won't bore you with the full details because lets face it, the whole point of the game is that those that play "live" it. If someone wasn't there it's just not the same when you describe it. But what happened during my last session was so crazy I really want to share it.

The party have been on a huge quest to try and infiltrate Mithral Hall (city in a mountain), rescue a warrior and kill an evil black dragon. As you can see I've made a very original campaign. You'll just have to trust me that there's more to it than that.

So after finding a secret portal that transports them to the hidden back door of the old dwarven city (currently the residence of Duergar, a female black dragon and a host of other nasty bad guys) they traverse a maze with over a 100 rooms/ get captured and tortured/ escape/ rescue the warrior and reach the city. So far so good.

Now they are on the verge of reaching the front keep of the city, where they hope to let in the friendly army thats turned up outside. A clever stratagem has them invisible/hidden, as one member of the party disguises themselves as a high general of the enemy forces to pass undisturbed.

So as they sneak throughout the great hall of Gathering that lies just before the keep, skirting around in despair at a ritual that they don't feel strong enough to stop, when who should they bump into but the black dragon, in humanoid form. The party know that she is an adult black dragon, and they are also acutely aware they are only level 8.

Some quick thinking roleplaying seems to save the day as the disguised player comes up with smooth answeres to her questions. Everyones just about to breath again when the last question catches him off guard. What follows is a cataclysmic amount of fail as I eventually ask them to roll initiative. As the DM I have come to terms with the fact the party, scattered and poorly armed, don't stand much of a chance. But as a wise DM once said, if things go badly, let them go badly in an epic way.

Things were going as well as can be expected, when the paladin passes a note. It refers to a lantern they found long ago in the maze. They had translated the unusual language on it's side and found it contained a powerful Efreeti that demanded to be freed. It offered a wish in reward, but promised death if not. Long story short a player worked out the riddle and said the command word to return him to the lantern, yelling promises of vengeance. And it was almost forgotten until this moment. The player says the command word, rolls a nat 20 persuasion to not be killed instantly, and free's the Efreeti to be granted the wish. He wishes for him and his party to be transported to a specific room in Mithral Halls keep.


That is all
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#3
This passed Friday we played the last session of this campaign. The adventure completed, the heroes returned back to the city it all started in to tie up loose ends before heading their separate ways.

Being our first proper campaign we all have all learned so much over the past seven or so months. We have all really enjoyed the game so far, but it's become apparent that mistakes made early on in the game due to lack of experience have made it difficult to progress the story any further without it seeming forced. (Giving a player an apparently evil amulet of great power thats tied into his backstory so he can't get rid of it, in a party with a lawful good paladin is quite high on the list of mistakes)

Having completed this chapter of the story we are now looking forward to the next, which starts tomorrow. :-)
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