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Campaign Journal

by Ville Lähde

Caravan trouble

For the most part of my OD&D GM career I have been having only one campaign, going on since 1988. But I've been sending stuff about it to MML and they can be found in the Vaults also. Instead here are some details of my brand new Mystaran campaign that begun in October (?) and we have been playing nearly weekly since.

The scene for the campaign is a Darokinian caravan of the House Corun on a long trading mission through Ylaruam, Vestland, Heldann, Ethengar and perhaps Glantri. Until now the campaign has centred on the PCs foiling the plans of saboteurs sent by House Umbarth, getting to know the caravan as their new home, and getting increasingly paranoid about various NPCs.

The PCs include:
- "Culture Boy" Malik, a young apprentice mage from Corunglain, eager to use his electric bolt or "Culture Shock" on his enemies. From the bookworm a frightening adrenalin junkie is emerging. Nobody is expecting him to survive very long. Or if he does, everyone is in real trouble.
- Iaset, a veteran of the Corunglain Legion who was discharged after getting into too many fights with his comrades. Iaset is simply not a nice man, and is prone to uncontrollable rage. He might also seem a bit stupid, but actually the trouble is that he can make quite good plans but it is extremely hard to put them to words. His brand new Ylari-steel zweihänder seems to work better.
- Zyhax Tapfer, a Darokinian Vanya cultist who was raised and indoctrinated by his father. Zyhax has been breastfed with militant Vanyaism and really doesn't know much of anything about the real world. His dream is to lead a large congregation of new followers to Heldann, the promised land his father was always talking about.
- Arman "the Nice", a ranger from the forests bordering Canolbarth. Arman is a silent and very proficient ranger with some elven blood in him. He tends to be the one who does all the necessary work in tracking, scouting etc., and is happy to stay quiet when his comrades are bragging about their exploits in battle - although he often could remind them that without him they wouldn't have found the enemy. Arman gained his nickname in the first weeks of the caravan, when he proved his worth to everyone who matters and was very nice about it.
- Stellara, a young maiden and an elven harper from clan Chossum of Alfheim. Stellara had to leave her home after a scandal: her family has some human blood and are scorned somewhat because of that. Usually that hasn't been a big problem, but Stellara falling in love with a young "noble" was too much. Stellara found work in the caravan and is suddenly realising that all the stories about the cruelty of Men were understatements.
- Nazir, an Alasiuan rogue. Nazir is still a bit of a mystery. He is a formidable archer and can move very quietly. It seems that he is a follower of the Eternal Way, but he hasn't been talking about it much with his new comrades. Time will tell?

Money or work was originally the motive that held this group together, but slowly they are gaining trust with each other. Still, they are not the run-of-the-mill brand of brave adventurers. They don't agree often when it comes to motives, plans, values, actions... well, they usually just don't agree. It is just that they have been thrust in the midst of suspicious events, and the really seem to be able to trust each other, and not anyone else.

Some of the memorable events during their travels include: Fighting trolls that were looking for "crunchy food" in the Selenican pass, repelling an evil spirit summoned accidentally by a Makistani sorcerer and lately foiling the plans of the Umbarth spy Master Arnulf. Stellara's songs and Malik's appetite for hard spirits have sparked many memorable situations also.

Right now the group is fighting Thanatos cultists in Nithian Highlands. They were guarding an ancient tomb that the PCs were trying to find. (A passenger in the caravan hired them as guards for an archaeological expedition.)