Rising Through The Reaches

Victims in Valehallow
Session One - February 16, 2017

Foreigners call The Reaches a land of change and chaos. Of strife and progress. They scoff at the nations that have risen over the course of centuries rather than millennia. They shake their heads at the untamed, wild wildernesses that dot the land. And, secretly, they tremble as they consider some of the creatures that hide in its dark corners. Is it any wonder then, that adventurers the world over have taken to combing over this ancient land? Seeking to carve out something of their own. Glory, riches, power – The Reaches can give you all of it, and perhaps even take it all away.

This is the land that the six of you call home. At least you do for now. Your varied backgrounds are still a bit of a mystery to your newfound companions, but it’s looking quite like you’ll have plenty of time to discuss such matters in the future. 

From the warmth and comfort that only a prison cell can offer.

The five of you sit in a row along a hard, unforgiving bench while a man, dressed in well-tailored red and purple robes looks each of you in the eyes for a moment as if peering into your souls, looking for some nugget of truth. Eventually, the man stops and leans back, sighing. Without any preamble he says, “I know you burned down the mayor’s mansion, what I don’t know is why you did so. I have personally gone through your effects and found nothing suggesting you are foreign agents of any kind, which is what half of the town believes. Of course,” he smiles, “the other half of the town believes you to be heroes – quite adamantly in fact.” He leans forward again and gives each of you another quick glance, “So what I want from you all is the truth, from the beginning.” He pauses a second before adding, “And if you lie to me, trust me, I will know,” as a strange geometric tattoo flashes to vibrant life around his eyes.

And so, the six of you begin your story…

Three days earlier the six of you found yourself accidentally sharing a table at Queen Sarah’s Promise, the second best inn in town. Ardeth has been staying here almost a week, making ready to head out on the next patrol hunting bandits in the surrounding countryside, and growing every more impatient at the wait. Harold has been bouncing around for even longer, lining his pockets by gambling at any establishment that’ll put up with him. Roy has been in Valehallow even longer and is in no hurry to leave – whiling away hours of time studying at the local library of magical texts. The Farrora siblings Sylthana and Ael’srill have been bouncing around the town for a few days now, hunting for information and gathering supplies for the next leg of their journey. Kalise arrived but a few short hours ago, braving the strangeness of the city to sell pelts and herbs from her journeys. 

The party wasted no time in getting to know each other, having been forced to sit with each other at the second best inn in Valehallow thanks to a sudden double outbreak of food poisoning. That is to say that Harold wasted no time in pulling his new companions into a game of cards that he proceeded to win handily—perhaps by cheating. In the midst of this group bonding exercise one of the Queen Sarah's Promise's overworked servers approached and took the groups order. Harold offered to pay for the group's drinks and bread—perhaps to divert attention away from his cheating. Their drinks were quick in arriving but the bread was late thanks to some sort of interruption in the back, which the group decided to investigate once Harold had finished awkwardly slipping a coin right into the server's back pocket.

In the back courtyard of the inn the group encountered Hada, a dwarven woman who had run past panic straight to hysteria and was loudly decrying the inn's stablehands. The party—sans Harold, who had somehow managed to earn the woman's ire—was eventually able to learn that Dalayn, the mayor's twenty-year-old son had gone missing while out and about in the market square. Hada was directly employed by the mayor to act as an attendant for the young man and she held herself responsible for his disappearance. She also claimed that Dalayn was the sixteenth person of a similar age to disappear from the town recently and claimed that the disappearances were likely the handiwork of Halarothian spies—the party remained unconvinced on this point. After hearing the woman's plight the party heroically offered their aid, promising to find the young man. Ardeth—somewhat less heroically—extorted from the woman five sharps and a treasured family heirloom before he agreed to the job.

The group first made their way to the market square, where the young Dalayn had last been seen by the nervous wreck they had left behind. They approached the smithy on the far edge of the square and questioned the blacksmith, Lanach. The gruff man had little to offer the party—especially to Ardeth, to whom he took an instant dislike—only mentioning that the missing Dalayn had come in recently to buy out his supply of arrows, despite not having been known to do so in the past. He was also persuaded to hand over an unfinished dagger—lacking both hilt and edge—to Ardeth.

Determined to learn more on the enigmatic youth that they were seeking the party made their way over to the local library, tended by a friendly man by the name of Grivo. Grivo spoke fondly of Dalayn, being a frequent patron and occasional employee of the library. When pushed by the party to search for any records of books checked out by either Dalayn or any of the other missing youths Grivo was only able to find a handful of entries from several years earlier. These entries outlined a handful of books that those missing had in common. These books included: "The Adventures of Prince Dalayn, Demons: Named and Unnamed, Greater Magical Seals, Lesser Magical Seals, and a cookbook by the name of How to Cook with Five Ingredients or Less. The only one of these books that the librarian had ever read for himself was The Adventures of Prince Dalayn, a children's tale concerning a historical ruler of the region who sealed away a great evil. The historical prince also served as the mayor's son's namesake. Before the group left the library Grivo revealed that several months prior he had spotted the young Dalayn speaking with a group of people clothed in red and purple robes that reminded him of priests, though he had not seen them in Valehallow since.

With the knowledge they had gained from Grivo's records and lack thereof the party then made their way to the mayor's mansion on the outskirts of Valehallow. They were greeted by Kensa, the somewhat abrasive captain of the local militia—and sister to Hada—who tried to wave the group off. The party persisted, however, and were eventually allowed in to speak with Miria, the mayor. Once ushered in the group spoke only briefly with the mayor, due to comments from Ardeth that angered the woman. The mayor demanded that Kensa throw them out for this breach but Kensa disobeyed, giving the group ten minutes in which they could examine Dalayn's chambers before leaving, perhaps believing that they were on the right track.

Dalayn's chambers were comfortable and well-ornamented, but slovenly maintained. The group quickly discovered a torn paper on Dalayn's desk which included a portion of a rune scrawled across it. Before they could begin to determine this rune's use, however, the group spotted a mysterious young man clinging to the window frame, just outside of view. They did not remain mysterious for long, however. Upon being confronted the young man quickly spilled the beans. The man introduced himself as ARGUS THE ADVENTURER, and claimed that he would be the one to find Dalayn, claiming to know everything the party knew and more and that his appearance at the window was just a coincidence, him being much further along in his own investigation. Somehow, the party was not convinced. Eventually Harold engaged ARGUS in conversation, applauding the young man on his works and deftly steering him in the wrong direction, eventually convincing him to go to The Crooked Crow—the worst inn in town, and one of those currently affected by a spat of food poisonings—and order one of their specials. ARGUS then proceeded to fall from the window, leaving the party to investigate in peace.

Dalayn's room included the door to a closet that resisted the normal means of opening. Attempting to turn the knob only resulted in an unpleasant warmth. Eventually Roy was able to determine that the door's mechanism was magical in nature and could only be opened by drawing a certain rune on the doorknob. Namely, the rune that they only had a portion of. In order to reconstruct the missing portion of the rune Ael'srill channeled the local spirits to give them a brief glance at what the paper had been like before it was torn. Roy was then able to use this knowledge to draw said rune using the enchanted stone that he carried with him for his own golemancy.

The door now open the party was confronted by a new mystery. Rather than encountering a closet, as expected, they found themselves standing before a small chamber that radiated an abundance of magical energy. Quickly deducing that the room was some sort of short-range teleportation circle the group decided that they were already committed and pooled their collective magical talents in order to activate the teleportation circle, disappearing abruptly from the mayor's mansion for parts unknown…


Welcome to the Reaches!

Some information regarding the world:

Basic setting information: 
Generally fantasy flavored with a lot of different kingdoms. You can be just about any race from humans to more out-there things like dryads or fallen angels if you want to. The place we'll be starting in will probably be fairly diverse culturally and racially so there's no worry about your choice of background affecting your social standing… unless you do something stupid.

The country where we're going to at least do the introductory sessions is going to probably be vaguely European in nature, with obvious influences from other places.

The technology level of the world varies a lot, some places have begun to create basic personal firearms but for the most part you'll be encountering swords, crossbows, castles, etc… Though magic is ubiquitous and takes many forms throughout the world. The biggest effect of this magic is that long-distance communication is much more common than the technology level would otherwise allow, so the flow of information and culture is a lot more like the modern world.

A quick list of important facts about the setting (that your characters would probably know as common knowledge):

-The continent your characters are on is called The Reaches and is considered a bit of a backwater by the rest of the world since its oldest nations are only a few centuries old in comparison to the ancient nations found elsewhere.

-Deschaine (the big empire you start in) is big and scary and up until the last twenty years was pretty much always engaged in war with one nation or another

-The standard currency on the continent are silver coins called "sharps" that are produced solely by the Imperial Bank of Deschaine in the capital city. They are called that because the coins include an almost imperceptible slot in the center of the coin in which the minting information is magically imprinted. Sharps come in the increments: 1, 5, 50, and 500. The coins are all the same size and all are minted with the profile of the current emperor or empress on one face and the crest of said ruler's family on the opposite side.

-Normal prices of things. A good meal could cost anywhere from 1 to 15 sharps per person depending on the quality of the food and the place. An average horse would cost around 100 sharps while a high-quality war mount could cost almost 300. A nice two bedroom house would cost about 75 sharps a month to rent or about 1800 up-front.

For reference for pronunciation:
-People from Halaroth (Hal-uh-roth): Halarothian (Hal-uh-row-thee-an)
-People from Deschaine (Deh-shane): Desch (as in Deschman, Deschfolk), but generally people are more likely to describe themselves by their province or hometown, the imperial identity isn't that strong
-People from Calladai (Kal-uh-die): Calladaian
-People from Oshnaluna (Osh-nah-loo-na): Oshnali
-People from Eulidann (You-lih-dan): Eulidese

Any other questions please ask the DM!


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