Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Campaign journal

by nemarsde

My gaming group's playing through the most unlikely of adventure modules. "Thicker Than Blood" by Alison Brooks, a Cyberpunk module by Altas Games that I've converted to D&D 3E, set at the Great School of Magic in Glantri.

I know, it's actually all part of an meta-plot involving the Secret of the Radiance, and the Shadowelves. They're working for the Shurengyla (the Elf-King's consort).

Ania the Gley
Wild elf, Bbn2/Sor6
Clanless wild elf temptress of the Canolbarth Forest.

Captain Burch
Human, Rgr5/Watch Detective 3
Darokinian City Watchman from Selenica. Madden's bodyguard.

Cameron Madden
Human, Rog2/Spymaster 6
Master of disguise. Party leader. Disguises include foppish diplomat with DDC, Hugo Campion, and pious monk, Brother Cam of Bronsdale.

The Goatherd
Forest gnome, Rgr6/Deepwood Sniper 2
Enigmatic local folk hero, with his famed bow, Gob's Knell and bad-tempered billy goat. (Character's completely twinked out to kill goblinoids, including the bow.)

Elf, Ftr2/Wiz4/Spellsword 2
High elf of the Mealidil, thinks he's the party leader.

Human, Rog5/Thief-Acrobat 3
Daughter of the famous Thyatian rogue, Edrus, born and raised in Selenica. (Edrus and his brother, Kratus, were actually player characters from a past Mystara campaign we played using Games Workshop's Advanced HeroQuest.)

And here's the intro from when we started the campaign:

The story so far...

Two years have past since the evil monster, the Nuckalavee, invaded the Republic of Darokin, using a magic artifact to strike down the Republic's army with disease and baleful curses.

After the band of heroes vanquished the Nuckalavee and escaped the ruin of its tower, they began the long trek back to civilised lands.

The deep dwarf, Duran, and his high elf companion, Sythander Coldfire, turned south with the Traldar twins. Seeking adventure and some way to break the curse of the werewolf that had stricken Giordan, they disappeared into the wilds of the Traldaran homeland.

But the Nuckalavee's corruption was not to end there.

Cameron Madden, another of the heroes, master of disguise and rogue, had become ill on the journey home, suffering from a pestilence caught during the fight with the Nuckalavee. Madden's guise as a Vagabond Monk quickly fell away as he neared death, revealing his true self.

The last remaining hero -- a two-foot tall gnomish creature, known as the Goatherd -- decided that Madden was worth saving after all. He saw Madden carried into the Canolbarth Forest, within the borders of the Kingdom of Alfheim. The Goatherd was no stranger to the elves, but indeed a spy for the Elf-King's consort herself, the Shurengyla.

She cured Madden, and he was so besotted by her and grateful for her help, he offered his in return. Most pleased, the Shurengyla accepted and Madden became a spy for the elves of Alfheim in human lands.

Meanwhile, the loremasters of the Mealidil elves researched and uncovered the truth of the magic artifact the Nuckalavee had possessed. It was called a Black Heartstone. Heartstones are magic artifacts, possessed by Night Hags, which can cure any disease, lift any curse. With enough magic power, the Heartstone could be cursed. In effect, it could be reversed. But it would take the power of an Immortal.

Furthermore, the Mealidil elves found there was a passage in the Song of Ways describing a Nuckalavee as being a "an accursed wizard with a Black Heart." It seemed the Nuckalavee was once a wizard, but had used the Black Heartstone to transform himself into a monster. He was certainly no Immortal.

So where had this wizard got the power to curse the Heartstone? Even the magic points of Canolbarth Forest did not contain such power.

Cameron Madden and the Goatherd had to return to Dast Keep, many day's march into the Orclands. It was a journey fraught with peril, but on reaching Dast Keep they searched the ruins of the Nuckalavee's tower. In it they found a lead-lined box containing star-shaped crystals that pulsed with magic power. As they watched, the crystals shrivelled beneath the sun. But the spies found one more thing. A wizard's spellbook, bound and plated with silver.

The engraved name had been scratched out, but the seal on the front cover had not. It once belonged to a teacher at the Great School of Magic in Glantri.


There is a myth in the Principalities of Glantri, about a magic power source known only as "The Radiance". The ancient houses of the Wizard-Princes settled in Glantri for precisely that reason. The power crystals and the Nuckalavee had to be related to it some how. Whoever could wield the power of the Radiance would be wielding the power of an Immortal.

If this power had fallen into the wrong hands, it could spell doom for all life.

Somebody would have to go to Glantri, find out the answers to the all-important questions. Who was the Nuckalavee? What were those power crystals? And how are they related to the secret of the Radiance?

During the Summons of the Border Magistrate, the humanoid army of Dast Keep had lain siege to Fort Hobart. Most of the Republic's Second Army had been incapacitated by the Black Heartstone. But after the Black Heartstone and its offspring had been destroyed, it rose up and fell upon the invaders with its full might, wiping them out. The Nuckalavee's reign of terror was also short-lived. With help from the Immortal, Ka the Preserver, it was the band of heroes that destroyed the stones and slew the Nuckalavee.

The Shurengyla now begins to understand why the Immortals have been roused by these events. If the Radiance is so powerful, any mortal could abuse it, and in doing so upset the balance of the Multiverse.

It's hackneyed stuff, but you know, it's a D&D campaign, not a work of literature.