Campaign I: The War of the Undead

It just so happens that I found some of my old campaign notes. My first campaign notes.

As mentioned on the Advisor's Board, Gaeleth would not exist if not for my brother. I played Dungeons and Dragons for close to a year, writing the Prat Chronicles, and playing in my first campaign. I'd barely learned the rules, playing hard and fast with Chris, Dana, Peter, and one other guy (mind's blank on his name), when Luke asked me to run. Basically, he was bored to tears during his summer vacation from school, and he had seen how much fun it could be, when I invited the guys over to play. Of course, he'd poo-poo'd Dungeons and Dragons, but it's hard to put it down when it beats nothing.

So, I let luke roll up a character, and helped coach him through the basics. He chose a fighter/cleric because he wanted fire-power, combined with self-healing. He chose a dwarf, because he'd heard Todd or Chris always talking about Glorfindale, or some other dwarf, and he wanted to make fun of it. That, and the philosophy behind dwarven society sits well with my brother. Maybe he was a dwarf in a former life.

Once he had the character, I had to make the adventures. I didn't know squat about the dwarves, realistically. I'd never read a Dungeons and Dragons book, other than The Dragon Chronicles of Krynn. I knew of one dwarven god, Galgiran, and no other god in any of the pantheons of Dungeons and Dragons, save those few I knew from the Grayhawk campaign I was in. So, I'd have to make up a world. And some gods.

I started small, in a dwarven mountain, with dwarven priests -- since my brother was playing a dwarven fighter/cleric. I got him out of the mountain, through a forest, and to another mountain. And then I had to tie some little things together, to make a whole story. And then I had to figure out a reason for this or that. And then I had to have a theme. And then... And then things just took on a life of their own.

There are a lot of things I'll do in the course of a campaign that don't make sense, even to me. My players tie those things together, and I play off of their worst fears. There for awhile, Demik Coruth was just gaining his power. Some of his 'old friends' like Captain Gale Hoffin knew him on a first-name basis. Others were in Demik's employ, and addressed him by his last name, or as Mister Coruth. Would you believe, that without intending it, my players came to assume that Demik was a lesser necromancer, perhaps apprenticed to Mister Coruth? They were convinced of this, and I had never even intended it. It's one of those souther upbringing things that you call your friends by your first name, and employers and people you respect by their last names. It just happened that way, but it did happen.

They thought they could take Demik, but they knew to run away from Mister Coruth. I laughed my ass off when, just before they ambushed Demik, they learned he and Mister Coruth were one and the same. They would have had their asses handed to them, of course, but they might have lived. Instead of fighting a twelve-foot tall, stone-giant bowman, with a range of a thousand yards, and arrows six feet long, right along-side an ogre in full plate, with a two-handed sword... They lived to fight another day.

I found my old notes, one day, while I was hunting my own promotion paper-work in the Army. These missions are transcribed from my own rather messy handwriting, ripped from the pages of a spiral notebook.

Recaps of: Mission One
Mission Two
Mission Three
Mission Four
Mission Five
Mission Six
Mission Seven
Mission Eight
Mission Nine
Mission Ten
Mission Eleven
Mission Twelve
Mission Thirteen
Mission Fourteen
Mission Fifteen
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