Chronicles of a Sundered World
From the archives of the Citadel, seat of power of Erval the Shadow, bastion lord of Kartanax
1st Rain 2817AS:
Erval the Shadow, bastion lord of Kartanax, summons some of his agents to investigate an incursion of hairy beasts near the village of Ashen Creek. While travelling there the party spots smoke rising from a small thorp. Upon investigating the party finds some ettins and bugbears, which are quickly dispatched. Tracks leading off from the thorp disappear in the nearby hills. The party continues towards Ashen Creek. When they finally reach it, they can hear hammering sounds echoing through the woods around the village. It seems as if the bugbears and ettins are building a palisade around the village. Ask, an incredibly handsome half-elf rogue with an affinity for nature sneaks into the village to have a look around. The rest of the party camps nearby. Merla, a very talented halfling sorcerer sends her raven to keep an eye on Ask. Ask encounters an 11yo human girl by the name of Dretta. She tells him that the townsfolk are being kept in the town hall and that the men have to help the bugbears build the palisade during the day. Unfortunately Ask is being spotted and has to flee from the village. He manages to spot a black clad figure teleporting into the village. Meanwhile the raven warns the rest of the party. Ask makes it back to the camp and the party plans to raid the town at midnight. The raid is a disaster and it is only thanks to Merla’s resourcefulness and Annulor’s heroic sacrifice that the party makes it out of Ashen Creek at all, fleeing into the dark woods.
2nd Rain 2817AS:
The party hides out in the woods, where Ask is freaked out by a huge wolf with red burning eyes. Hans, a very ugly and misanthropic dwarven fighter scares the wolf away by running into a tree. In the early morning hours Merla’s raven returns, bringing reinforcements from Lord Erval, Golragh, a human monk and Gimble ‘Sparklegem’ Tusen, a short fused gnome sorcerer. Ask is sent off to scout the village again. The party draws up a battle plan and charges the unfinished palisade. They are met by Ataseravor, a half-dragon cleric and his band of ettins and bugbears. A very hard battle takes place. Only Merla manages to stay conscious and to escape. Having rested for a while, she heroically sneaks back into the village where she finds Ataseravor engaged in a ritual, using her unconscious companions as foci. She manages to distract the half-dragon long enough for her to wake up Jarsk, a bad tempered half-giant warrior of prodigal strength. Jarsk and Merla raid the local apothecary’s and find some healing salves. While Jarsk charges the cleric, Merla uses the salves to nurse her companions back to health. Together they managed to defeat the black scaled cleric, who unfortunately manages to escape via magic. The villagers return to Ashen Creek and take care of the party’s wounds, allowing them to rest and recuperate.
4th Rain 2817AS:
The party finally regains all its strength. The village apothecary uses bitterroot to scry on the cleric and has a vision of two stone pillars surrounded by mountains. Merla recognises the location, a valley some three days’ travelling from Ashen Creek. The party gets ready and leaves in the early afternoon.
7th Rain 2817AS:
The party reaches the mountains and starts its climb up. The valley is not hard to find. For some reason the pillars are guarded by four hobgoblins. The party easily defeats them. Merla and Sparklegem recognise the pillars as a weak spot, allowing for easier access to the Endless Wastes. Having no other choice the party crosses into the Grey Border where they find a ship manned by more hobgoblins. The party also encounters Ataseravor and his servant Natresu, a fully grown barghest demon. The two groups meet in battle, during which the ship is set on fire. Ask saves the day by destroying a priceless soul shard. The energies released heal the party and damage Ataseravor, who is then killed by mighty Jarsk. The party makes sure the ship is destroyed before crossing back into Kartanax.
11th Rain 2817AS:
The party arrives back in the Citadel, Lord Erval’s seat of power and the capital of Kartanax. The Shadow is well pleased with their effort and gives them a couple of days off, as well as rewarding them with hard earned gold.
16th Rain 2817AS:
Lord Erval has a new mission for the party. His mages have found out where the ship has come from. It is from an unknown bastion that has drifted close to Kartanax. The same mages have also devised a magic ritual that will teleport the party to said new bastion, without the need for thred gates. The ritual seems to work, as the party emerges in a very dense and healthy forest. They find an empty cottage in a clearing. Investigating cacophonous sounds the party is set upon by strange goblins that seem to be able to transform into trees. The party retreats to the cottage to rest up. Spooked by the sounds of the forest, Ivanhoë, a young centaur fighter, accidentally shoots Ask in the back. Thanks to his fast reflexes he only suffers superficial injuries which are quickly healed.
17th Rain 2817AS:
The next morning the party notices that the cottage has regrown the plants and replenished the firewood they used the night before. Sparklegem’s owl familiar is sent out to scout the surrounding forest. Snowy reports back that there are cities populated with furry and scaly humanoids beyond the forest. The party heads off and soon finds itself standing at the edge of a massive plain dotted with cities. Heavy smoke hangs over the cities. Nearby teams of humanoid lumberjacks cut down the forest. Hans is being sent into the nearest city to find out more about the bastion. The rest of the party avoids the city and heads for the hills behind it. Hans manages to talk to leader of the town, a half-dragon goblin by the name of Kernon. Apparently the bastion is getting ready to muster a large army in order to invade neighbouring bastions. Hans makes it back to the others. Jarsk uses his ring to contact Lord Erval and report to him.
18th Rain 2817AS:
During the night the party is being attacked by goblin assassins that followed Hans, who behaved rather suspiciously in town. The party keeps one alive and finds out that the bastion is ruled over by Glataurym. Trorg, the goblin, promises to take the party to his fortress city. The party pretends to be mercenaries seeking employ with Glataurym’s forces. In order to enter they will have to perform a service for the Master of Gates, a powerful ogre magus. Trorg shows them to an inn run by the medusa Valissa, which houses a whole bunch of mercenaries from all over the bastions.
19th Rain 2817AS:
The Master of Gates calls in his favour and orders the party to go and kill his rival, the ogre magus Gonterium. The party finds the tower easily enough. Unfortunately Ask mentions the Master of Gates, which turns the guards hostile and alerts their master to the party’s presence. A very hard fight erupts, during which Sparklegem and Merla almost die. In the end the party is triumphant and loots the tower of Gonterium. Apparently he was working on ships that can traverse the Endless Wastes. In the evening the party gets to meet Harkad Azul, a half-fiend warlock of great power and second-in-command of Glataurym’s forces. Merla and Ask sneak off to explore the palace on their own, while the rest meet up with the half-fiend. He asks them questions about their past and then asks that they show him their fighting prowess. Uttering a word of power, Harkad Azul summons a chimera and has it attack the party in his hall. Meanwhile Merla and Ask have found the underground body of water that holds the ships that can cross into the Endless Wastes. After having defeated the chimera and having been told to report back the next morning, the rest of the party is free to leave. Instead of leaving they too find their way down to the ships. Merla and Sparklegem manage to find out how the ships work. Using a soul shard, the party manages to escape just as Harkad Azul appears, but not before setting the other ships on fire. The ship crosses over into the Endless Wastes, where Sparklegem has a moment of panic. Merla, however, manages to get the ship going.
25th Rain 2817AS:
The party finally makes it back to Kartanax and crosses over. They are being rewarded by Lord Erval given a couple of days off while his scholars examine the ship.
27th Rain 2817AS:
The party is being given a new mission. They are to travel to a bastion known as the Swamp, wherein dwells the mighty dragon Vergoranexorak and his brood. Lord Erval wants to enlist some dragons to take on the forces of Glataurym. The Swamp is known for its ‘survival of the fittest’ approach of dealing with visitors. In order to get there, the party first has to travel to the gnome bastion of Wissenheim. Sparklegem goes a bit insane once on Wissenheim and insists on buying a ‘gun’. He and Hans then have a nasty argument, which Ivanhoë puts a stop to. The party uses a thred gate to reach the Swamp, where they are promptly being stalked by poison dusk lizardfolk. During the fight, Hans seems to go insane and starts attacking Ask’s animal companion. Sparklegem has no other choice but to kill him quickly, before he threatens the entire party.
28th Rain 2817AS:
The party continues deeper into the Swamp until they reach the center. Many dragons fly around an ancient pyramid on top of which rests Vergoranexorak, a mighty black dragon. The party, clearly in awe, speaks to him and presents Lord Erval’s message. They are then led into a chamber while the dragon ponders his reply. Sparklegem gets horribly drunk on blackscale ale.
29th Rain 2817AS:
Sparklegem feels very rough and Ask does all the talking when the dragon bastion lord hands over his reply to Lord Erval. The party then leaves pretty quickly, first going back to Wissenheim and then back to Kartanax. The Shadow is most pleased and informs the party that they will be looting Glataurym’s palace while the dragons attack the bastion in a couple of days’ time.
30th Rain 2817AS:
The party christens the ship The Sparky and makes last minute preparations before setting off for the Hordelands bastion.
3rd Frost 2817AS:
The party crosses into the Hordelands and appears on the small underground lake. While the dragons attack on the outside, the party sneaks through the palace and finds the vault. Unfortunately it is guarded by an enormous half-dragon ettin. Sparklegem manages to turn it into a statue of gold, using a rare magic scroll. The party loots the vault and then makes it back onto the ship and crosses once more into the Endless Wastes.
7th Frost 2817AS:
The party makes it safely back to Kartanax and hands the loot to Roondar Beren to be identified.
8th Frost 2817AS:
The party gets called together in order to test a new agent of the Shadow, a half-orc warrior by the name of Dench. Before they can get on with it the statue of the half-dragon ettin animates and attacks. The party easily dispatches of it and then gets on with the test. Which Dench passes, sort of.
15th Frost 2817AS:
After a lengthy break, the party is being called back to the Citadel. Lord Erval wants them to travel to Curacao, a bastion with a new and weak bastion lord. Apparently a map to an unchartered island has appeared. The island might hold artefacts from before the Sundering. Erval’s contact on the bastion is a guy called Bekar.
18th Frost 2817AS:
The party arrives in Trinidad, the capital of Curacao. The party has some trouble finding Bekar, who seems to be a well known figure of ill repute around Trinidad. Finally they track him down. Unfortunately he has lost the map in a gambling game with Gerald Chevalier, the corrupted governor of Trinidad. As it so happens, the governor is giving a ball tonight, so the party could try to steal the map back. The plan almost works. It ends with Dench dying and the rest of the party having to leg it to The Sparky and to get out of Trinidad real fast.
21st Frost 2817AS:
The party encounters Perathesius, shipwrecked in the middle of the ocean and takes him on board. A while later they find the island. On the beach the party encounters Avatharr the Red, Fernando Castadele and Grev, survivors of a group of explorers send by the governor. They decide to explore the island together and find some very old ruins. Inside they encounter a dark naga. After defeating it they continue to explore the ruins, finding an ancient burial ground (which they promptly defile, thus awakening ancient guardians) and a room with a portal (which they step through). The other side of the portal emerges onto a high mountain top overlooking an ancient city. Unfortunately it seems as if the Grey Cabal is also interested in the city. A Grey Cabal lich and his minions are currently looting a high tower and a palatial structure. The party almost manages to sneak past them, but then curiosity gets the better of them. Only Sparklegem decides on not trying to steal some of the treasure and escapes into the jungle. Ask and Fernando sneak into the town center and while Ask distracts the guards, Fernando steals some of the lich’s treasure. The party then meets up again at the city gates, in time to notice that something is being summoned high above the market square. Perathesius decides to pay his life debt by delaying the creature, thus giving his companions time to escape. Grev is blinded by greed and runs back into the city. Both die at the claws of a monstrous chimera. Which then starts hunting the rest of the party down. Avatharr summons a hippogriff to distract it for a few precious moments, but then nature plays a cruel card. The party runs out of the jungle and finds itself at the top of a very high and very steep cliff face. Having no choice they turn to face the chimera. They get help from Elvanaria Shadowbow and Dreth, two members of Avatharr’s exploration team. After defeating the chimera, the party heads down the mountain side, but gets slightly lost and finds itself at the entrance to a cleft in the mountain side with warning runes writing all over it. The party decides to rest there.
22nd Frost 2817AS:
Avatharr identifies the loot and then the party splits it up. Ask has the misfortune of picking up a cursed mirror that makes him look very ugly. Having failed to console him, the party decides to explore the cleft instead. Inside, deep under the mountain they find a stream of lava and an ancient altar which had clearly been used for blood sacrifices. Suddenly a voice booms through the cavern and a snake-like creature emerges from the lava and attacks the party. The party defeats it, but the voice booms on and more salamanders appear. The party flees and is saved by Ask, when he throws his cursed mirror at the pursuing creatures, making it explode. The party makes it out unharmed and finally finds its way to the ship, where Sparklegem is waiting for them. Just as the party reaches the ship the volcano starts erupting, shaking the island and bathing it in lava. The party escapes on The Sparky.
23rd Frost 2817AS:
The next morning the party spots two ships on the horizon, bearing down on them and flying the flag of Gerald Chevalier. The party succeeds in destroying both ships and in taking the governor hostage. The party travels back to Trinidad.
25th Frost 2817AS:
The party loots the governor’s palace in Trinidad. He tries to lure them into a trap, but dies in the process. Ask gets taken by Roxal’ra, the new bastion lord and manages to negotiate the party’s way out of it all.
28th Frost 2817AS:
The party arrives back on Kartanax. Rondaar greets them and takes care of the loot and the cursed magic items.
1st Dark 2817AS:
Sparky visits his sister and tells her about his travels. He hopes to mend things with his father.
2nd Dark 2817AS:
Erval the Shadow has the entire party tested by having them run through a new underground maze riddled with traps and nasty monsters. The party does well and all survive. Elvanaria, Dreth, Fernando and Avatharr are taken into Lord Erval’s employ.
8th Dark 2817AS:
Tasked with solving a murder mystery the party ends up storming House Nelvar on false grounds. It ends most messily…
3rd Sun 2822AS:
Five years have passed since the attack on House Nelvar. While visiting Verdannia, Mikkien Tusen, Sparklegem’s sister, Terse, a half-dragon, and Kris, a human pickpocket get attacked by a troll that bursts out of a crate on a nearby cart. After defeating the troll, the three find out that the crates are from Sel’Anor and destined for Kartanax. The troll wore armour bearing the symbol of the Nighthammers, a shady organisation of dwarven magewrights. The party travels to Kartanax, where they are met by screams and the sound of fighting. The palace of Kartanax is being engulfed by a tear in the Veil. A black wall manages to contain it. Mikkien guides the party to the HSS Snowfeather and then goes off to get her family to leave Kartanax for Wissenheim. In the meantime Terse tries to get the ship going, but is backstabbed by Kris, who is blinded by greed and wants the soul shard. Terse manages to defeat him, but gets grievously injured. Mikkien returns with Hugdish, who is looking for her brother Dreth. As she gets back to the ship, Mikkien receives a message from Sparklegem, telling her to find a mage named Avatharr the Red on Curacao.
6th Sun 2822AS:
Ambrose Lion, questing for the Helm of Mary, arrives at the hermit hut of Avatharr the Red, a renowned sage. At the same time Eldorian, a ninja sneaks up and James Darkstar falls into the nearby ocean. The HSS Snowfeather materialises and Avatharr’s hut gets rather small. Just as the confusion starts to get sorted out a retriever demon appears and attacks the party. After defeating it, everyone retreats to the ship.
10th Sun 2822AS:
The party arrives in Sel’Anor, the seat of the Red Brotherhood, Avatharr’s former order. The party storms the monastery and is forced to flee, but not before Avatharr and Ambrose find some important books and scrolls. The party manages to escape into the Endless Wastes.
12th Sun 2822AS:
The party reaches The Meadows, where they rest and recuperate, as well as planning ahead.
18th Sun 2822AS:
The party travels back to Kartanax to acquire some funds. They locate a hidden entrance to an underground vault. The vault is guarded by a huge spider. The party manages to negotiate its way around it. The party finds some resources, but the plan almost fails when Eldorian opens a sealed sarcophagus, releasing one of Erval’s companions of old. The whole situation can be resolved without spilling blood however and the party heads to Wissenheim to do some shopping.
23rd Sun 2822AS:
The group reaches the bastion of Winding Dark, home of the Nighthammers. They bump into Master Vrenor, a merchant en-route to Fellchasm Fortress. He gives the group some directions. The group heads to a thred gate village to gather some more information and finds out that caravans and Nighthammers are being attacked by elf-like creatures. The attacks seem to emerge from Foulwater Lake. Ambrose gets attacked by a barbed devil, but smites it most heroically…with some help from the others.
25th Sun 2822AS:
Looking for allies against the Nighthammers, the group reaches Foulwater Lake. After a while they encounter a drow encampment. Priestess Yalnashera is willing to accept them as allies if they pass a test. The test consists in defeating a shadow spider. The party does a bit poorly and so Eldorian decides to threaten the priestess. She kills him and then tells the party to get lost quick. James, who is on the run from the Nighthammers, disguises himself as Eldorian.
26th Sun 2822AS:
The party reaches Fellchasm Fortress and gains entrance. It turns out Master Vrenor is the head of the Nighthammers. The party tells him where the drow encampment is and is allowed to stay and rest. The dwarves prepare an attack on the drow camp.
27th Sun 2822AS:
While the Nighthammers march to war, the group infiltrates the fortress and penetrates its inner defences, reaching the sanctum of Master Vrenor. After defeating various traps and guardians the party finds the plans for the device that threatens Kartanax. Just as they are about to escape the drow arrive, having used the party as bait for the dwarves. Yalnashera thanks them and gives them a five minute head start. The group flees.
30th Sun 2822AS:
The party reaches the HSS Snowfeather safely and takes off into the Endless Wastes, headed for Wissenheim, hopeful that they have found a way to save Kartanax.
This is a recap from a Bastions game which I ran in 2005/2006 and which was a great success. It introduced some new people to roleplaying and I met some of my best friends through it. Overall, the game and the setting were very well received by the players. I thought I'd share it so that others can see what a Bastions game can be like.