Varis: Reclamation

Sanctuary
End of the Line

Will try and update soon.

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Ravenhome

Soon as in whenever I start working only one job!

The group cautiously approaches the town, which seems strangely out of place and peaceful considering it is literally down the road from orc territory.

They meet a young farmer who drives them into town on his wagon and tells them about their glorious queen Robyn who called all the citizens to the town and has protected them from the orcs ever since.

Roklys and Usara don’t like the place and leave, heading south to camp for the night outside of town.

Horace and Gabriel go to visit Queen Robyn in her stone tower on a hill overlooking town.

The door opens to let them in as they knock but no one is in the entry chamber which is draped in white tapestries and comfortable seats.

As they explore the room the door slams shut and they notice a large raven staring down at them from the wooden rafters. A chill starts to creep into the air as they hear the sound of a woman’s high heels clicking above them and within moments a tall, exoticly beautiful and intimidating woman with pale white skin and hair appears. She wears a long blue gown and her presence brings near-freezing temperatures.

She speaks with Gabriel and the cowering Horace before attempting to force Gabriel to do her bidding with an enchantment and the promise that together they could expand Ravenhome’s borders but Gabriel’s mind shrugged her suggestions off and the Queen’s power seemed to break.

She told the duo to leave her tower and the town or risk becoming trapped there like all of her subjects: safe from the outside world but never able to leave the boundaries of the village.

Taking her word at face value the two flee, gathering Usara and Roklys and running south as the sun sets and a flock of ravens appears on the horizon to chase them (or guide them) from the Queen’s territory.

The group runs through a thick forest before camping for the night alongside a clear mountain stream.

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The Old Stone Bridge
Crossing the Stromedar River

After weeks of travel the companions find themselves following along the Stromedar River, being led by Horace to the hidden dwarven stronghold of Sanctuary.

They meet with a group of dwarves from the Stouthearth Clan and are advised that the best course of action is crossing the Stromedar and avoiding the Gray Marshes.

As they approach the bridge (with Roklys providing their daily food along the way) they realize it is guarded by nearly a dozen orcs.

They fight their way through the orcs who fire volleys of arrows from their watch towers and burn the bridge down to block the return of the orcish patrol across the river.

While looting one of the watch towers they find a chest with a slender longsword with a black gem in the hilt, a gauze-wrapped potion, and a golden idol of Pelor along with a bit of coin.

After running from the Bridge they pass through the rotting ruins of a village Gabriel identifies as Stromeferry, a Breton village destroyed by the Orcs during the war.

The group takes shelter in the deep woods to rest after nearly keeling over from exhaustion and anger a nature spirit.

Roklys’s quick thinking saves the group and placates the fey who allows them to sleep within its grove in safety.

When the morning dawns however the group hurries off and within a few days they spot a strange village and a old stone tower in the distance at the end of the road…

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The Story Thus Far
Introducing the Druid

After a very uncomfortable, frigid night Gabe wakes and now that exhaustion has been staved off for the moment he begins examining his surroundings.

The coastline is rugged and the sheer cliffs fall sometimes more than 200 feet before reaching the churning sea below. That he managed to make it the ten feet from the sea to the ledge he slept on is in of itself an amazing feat.

The easiest way that Gabriel sees to get to the top of the cliff is a crevice leading to a small grassy gully some distance away. He picks his way along the cliffs until he reaches the crevice and then climbs into the sloping gully and collapses onto the grass.

...Then he hears something and looking down he spots two bedraggled forms barely clinging to a jagged rock: Usara and Horace.

To go into detail would be far too long but let me just say that to get the two (Usara being completely unconscious and close to death) up the cliff face and into the relative safety of the gully was a painstaking and very life threatening trial.

Despite being dropped in the water once Usara appears to be still alive (though barely).

Gabriel looks at Horace, “Horace, help me check him, please.”

Horace comes forward, mumbling, “I don’t know anything about healing my friend.”

“Neither do I.” Gabe says but together they look over Usara’s still form and try and figure out how to help keep him alive.

“THE DEVIL IS IN ME! THE DEVIL IS IN ME! ASMODEUS!” Horace shrieks suddenly both surprising Gabriel and making him laugh as the little gnome nearly topples over. Ripping pieces from the once decent clothing they wore to wrap his wounds they spend the rest of the day waiting and watching, helping to keep Usara warm, finding him a small amount of water and food (and for themselves).

Then they pass out, exhausted, in a tiny hole in the cliff barely big enough for all of them and use their combined body warmth to keep warm as the sun sinks into the horizon and the air grows chill once more.

They sleep for an entire day and wake up as the sun is setting once more over the ocean and get a grand view before being startled half-to-death by a large creature at the top of the cliff. Whatever it was they never found out, perhaps a bear of sorts, as they climbed the 40 or so feet from the gully to the top of the cliff.

What they find on the top of the cliff is a land of rolling grassy hills with scattered groves of trees. The landscape undulates and grows more rugged as it reaches the massive mountains in the distance.

After exploring Gabriel cautiously climbs down to check on Horace and Usara and from above him he hears footsteps. A man with red hair is looking down at him with curiousity and suspicion and Gabriel leaps at the opportunity, asking the man to help him save Usara.

Relctantly the man, Roklys, climbs carefully down the steep cliff and into the gully. As Roklys climbs Gabriel notices that the man is a half-elf. After reaching the bottom of the gully, and after ascertaining that the group is a bunch of unfortunates who were shipwrecked, Roklys looks over the unconscious catfolk. He murmurs a soft incantation and light springs from his finger tips and into the catfolk’s infected wounds and to Gabriel’s amazement they begin to close.

The rest of the night follows with Roklys and Gabriel (and Company) questioning each other to see if they trust one another. Roklys tells them he is heading north, to the Great Vale, but doesn’t say much more than that.

By morning the group has agreed to travel together and Roklys shares his bedroll to help keep the others, who lack warm clothing, protected from the cold weather.

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The Story Thus Far
Pt. 1

A young man named Gabriel Justarm leaves his island village to seek help from the Order of Illumination: bandits were attacking and the people need help!

Buying fare on the trading ship The Heron he was soon on his way to the island of Caedwyr to try and find the Order. While on the ship he met a few of his fellow passengers: the gnome Horace Jinglebottom (who went on a mad tirade about the untrustworthiness of vegetables), the quiet catfolk Usara, and several others.

On the 4th day out to sea the Heron was attacked by a massive orcish warship covered in skeletal remains and bloody viscera. Despite the Heron’s agility and speed the orcish warship inexorably gained and those brave enough to fight gathered their courage as explosions rocked the ship and then battle was joined as orcs and hobgoblins swung from the warship to the smaller Heron.

To call it a battle is a fallacy: it was a massacre as dozens of hobgoblins and orcs overwhelmed the crew and passengers. Usara and Gabriel fought together until Usara was cut down and Gabriel was smashed across the head and faded to black.

Several days later Gabriel wakes up in the muggy atmosphere of a dark ship’s hold and he, like nearly 50 other people, hang from leather cords around his wrists as the sound of the sea and the moans and cries of the slaves wash over them.

Nearby he spots Usara, who is very badly injured with an infected wound while Gabriel’s wounds are mending nicely. The taciturn catfolk was conscious but very weak. Shortly after he woke up a robed orc comes down into the hold and begins inspecting the living cargo of the hold with spurts of sadistic glee (as evidenced as he torments Usara by pinching and prodding his infected wound).

For two days the routine was formed: At some point the robed orc would appear and inspect the prisoners and shortly after a group of orcs would come down and remove the dead from the hold and feed the rest of the prisoners a bit of disgusting gruel and a mouthful of water.

Fortunately for Gabriel, who worried for Usara’s rapidly declining health and his own continued well-being, on the second (or third, hard to say) day Horace Jinglebottom comes down into the hold and squeakily rejoices to have found them. Horace had hid in a barrel of pickles on the orc warship to avoid the battle, capture, and almost certain death. Unfortunately for Gabriel it also sounds as though a storm has hit the ship and the ship is tossing and turning in the waves.

Horace helps free Gabriel and Usara just as the robed orc comes down into the hold once more. Gabriel charges him, trying to wrestle him down and clamp his mouth shut, but the orc is just too strong for him and shrugs out of his grasp and prepares a spell just as Usara, freed by Horace as well, hurtles out of nowhere and smashes the orc to the ground and after Gabriel and Usara pin him they bind him and gag him and prepare their escape. Before they leave Usara snaps the orc’s neck with satisfaction.

To say the story from here gets better would be a lie. As they reach the top deck of the warship Gabriel loses his balance and falls overboard into the frigid sea. After almost drowning several times he manages to find a pickle barrel to hang onto as he floats in the storm-tossed sea and eventually he does manage to doze (precariously) for a few hours.

He wakes up when the sound of the sea changes into the roar of surf and he finds himself being swept towards a vast, perilous cliff-lined coast. Rocks pierce the waves and the sheer cliffs line the coast for as long as he can see but driven on pure adrenaline Gabe manages to avoid being crushed by the surf climb to a small shelf and pass out the temperature drops as night falls and he spends the night curled up in a waterlogged ball shivering and dozing.

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Introductory Post

So… why am I doing a new campaign? Well… because I am doing a number of smaller online campaigns set in the same world (at approximately same time) and I don’t want to clutter up the main campaign with characters and blog posts from those.

This will be filled up very soon (though I will probably just copy and paste info from the main campaign Varis: The Broken Land

The Reclamation is about the journey of a young man who is caught up in something far bigger than himself and during his struggles and travels he finds allies, enemies, and several big secrets….

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