Happy New Year! I know that was like a month ago, but life happens. Here it is a new year, and I have quite a few updates. First, the central topic of the blog: Mord Mar.
We have moved the campaign outside of the dungeon. I built a small town called "Swampsedge." Everyone in the group mistook the name for "Swamp's Edge" so I changed it to "Stonemire." (If you have an opinion on the name mention it in the comments.) We restarted in a grittier fashion, with the players only having a couple of coppers and a makeshift weapon each (these included a frying pan and a butcher's knife.) We have played 4 sessions of this reboot, the highlights as follows:
The party finds an eyeless zombie stumbling through the swamp. It doesn't act aggressive, just stumbling Eastward. They follow it for a while, finding a huge hole in the ground about 30' deep with corridors leading from it, There were several more zombies in the hole. They explore a bit, fight a couple of goblins, then report their findings to the burgomeister. He brands the PCs as heretics responsible for the zombie and exiles them to prove their innocence. They are each given one item form the town (weapon or armor) and head out to prove their innocence.
The party heads back to the hole and begin exploring. They find a magic book that when it is "read" shows the reader what all the eyes from the eye-less zombies see. This generally blinds the reader for a while. They continue exploring, and are beaten by some kind of 'man-slugs' and bound.
They awaken later to find themselves in a jail cell in a goblin city! They assume they are going to be sacrificed to the book they found. After some time the goblins are attacked by lizard-men (who are also after the book.) The PCs take the opportunity and escape, killing goblin women and children on the way. They also recovered the book before leaving.
The PCs head back to Stonemire with the book. Talking to the burgermeister, the PCs realize that this book is actually an ancient artifact and needs to be destroyed or contained. As fate would have it, Brother Maxfield a Paladin of the Mountain, is visiting, and offers to take the book while the PCs gather the necessary materials to destroy the Occularis Librium. They are told they need 150 PP, Fire That Does Not Consume, and Ice That Does Not Melt.
The PCs decide to find platinum first, and hire on as caravan guard. The caravan is heading East (away from Mord Mar) to the city of Beltol. Along the way the caravan is attacked by a few ogres, which are beaten, but kill a few (NPC) guards first. The caravan places the bodies in storage under the wagons so they can be returned to the families.
The first night in Beltol, the corpses break out of the storage containers and attack the PCs. They are covered in vines, and it is determined they were re-animated by a disease. At least 1 PC has contracted this disease.
After this, they part company with the caravan and head toward Mord Mar. Here they find that the city is attacked by a red dragon (slaying Paladin Maxfield and leaving the whereabouts of Occularis Librium in question), and drow have marched in. (This event happened in a previous part of the campaign with different PCs, who slew the dragon.) The drow have come because the Occularis Librium is active, and they fear it as well. The PCs get embroiled with the politics of the drow and are invited to a banquet by King Johan Greybeard honoring the drow.
Drow, being drow, are insulted at the smallest thing. In this case, a dagger that the PCs had found on their journeys had been used to slay a famous drow warrior (and a dwarven king.) The presence of this weapon throws the drow into a rage, suddenly leaving the banquet saying "Johan, this means war." This is where we have ended. We will see where it goes from here.