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DM-All-Stars´ Darkmoon Vale Campaign

Game Master Tim Bürgers

This is a campaign where all players take turns in DMing. We play the Darkmoon Vale-Series Modules so far.

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Oh yes! Please pardon me for being that scatterbrained! I own an old medicine-tome that my granny once gave me. My grandmother’s book has a brew in it that says its good for this kind of thing. A weird concoction
that sounds more like hoojoo than real medicine.

It contains some rare roots and concentrations, most of which I have here, but there’s three I don’t. Elderwood moss, which I’ve never heard of, but granny says the stuff only grows on the oldest tree in a forest.

A specially pickled root called rat’s tail, again, again sounds like hoojoo to me.

And seven ironbloom mushrooms, stunty little things that only grow in dark places thick with metal, a favorite among dwarves, or so I hear.

Male Varisian Human Thassilonian Conjurer 1

Bollon seems a bit annoyed. Three ingredients? They won´t grow all at the same place I suppose. That makes for a lot of legwork... Damn. This day grows better by the hour... So... who has a mount?

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1

The shadowy halfling smiles at the mention of dark places despite himself. Yes, I might he helpful here. he thinks.

HP: 11 (11 total) M Dwarf Cleric (Artifice/Construct Theologian) of Torag | lvl 1

Thorid can't hold back a wide grin.
Oh yes, I'm plenty familiar with Ironbloom mushrooms. Acquiring 'em may be easier than keepin' 'em outta my mouth, though! He says with a chuckle and pats his belly. Then he looks up at the group, the smile gone from his face.

Heh! I understand tha gravity of our situation, an' I assure ye 'twas merely a bad joke. Hoojoo or not, if it's our best shot we best get movin'. Any sketches of what we're lookin' fer or advice as ta where we start lookin'?

To the assembled team of gatherers Thorid says I'll need ta check in on mah uncle ta be sure he's got proper care while we're gone an' grab gear. Bollon's right, may need ta rent some mounts fer this.

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1

Mounts for all is my recommendation. My legs are short. Its likely the only way I could keep up with some of you.

Gounar raises his hand.
"I'll skip a mount, thanks. I promise I'm not going to be a burden. Besides, I doubt I've got enough money to pay for one."

Female Aasimar Summoner 1

"Likewise, any horse I could afford would unfortunately not be used to the type of encounters we are likely to experience in the wild. The last thing we need is our mounts tumbling us out of the saddle when something is after us. Besides, if we are headed into rough country, horses might slow us down as much as help us." she points her chin at Ki, not yet knowing his name, "I hope you have something a bit more nimble for your mount, or it's likely to get caught up in brush, or left at the bottom of any steep climb."

"Lets ask about in town as to where the most likely places would be to find an obscure root, an ancient forest, and a dwarven mine. Perhaps the tavern would be a good place to start."

Kestrel steps out of the herbalist's shop and sets off towards the tavern.

"We'll need something to call each other for this trip; how are each of you known?"

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1

Ki Anom is my name; Ki to friends and traveling companions. And this... he whistles loudly between two fingers and a grey wolf, pulls its loosely tied reins from a post and trots over. is Ears. He is indeed a bit more nimble than a horse. And your name my lady?

Female Aasimar Summoner 1

"I am Kestrel, called Bluequill by some, for obvious reasons.". She fingers the fetchings sticking out of the quiver at her hip, each feathered in the same deep royal blue as her own plumage.

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1

Well then Kestrel, let us become companions in this journey. Turning to what's left of the crowd he asks Who is with us? Will you wait in line for relief of a symptom, or will you quest with us for the cure?

The apothecary suddenly replies to your speculations about the whereabouts of the ingredients Well, for the elderwood mold, there’s gotta be an oldest tree in the vale. Damned if I know where it is, though.
“The rat’s tail and mushrooms are even longer shots. Way north, toward the mountains, people say there used to live a bunch of dwarves. They’re not there anymore, but I’d bet their forges are. If you can find ironbloom anywhere around here, that’d be your best bet.
“As for the rat’s tail, who knows? Well. Actually. Ulizmila, the witch that lives deep in the woods might. She’s a crafty, mean thing that knows all sorts of strangeness. She might even have one. I don’t know what she might want for it, but I doubt it’d come cheap. My grandmother traded her sight to the old crone for a few pages of what she knew, and that was years and years back, and I don’t know a soul who got any nicer as they
got older.

K-geography DC 16 or local DC 20:
You know the approximate location of Ulizmila´s hut. It is just a few hours of travel north from from a sidearm of the River Foam, right in the Darkmoon Forest.

K-geography DC 20 or nature 24:
The Eldertree! Of course! You know, that it lies right in the middle of the Darkmoon Forest, about one day of travel by foot, less so by horse.

K-geography DC 16 or local DC 20, Thorid gets +2 bonus and can make the check untrained:
North of the Darkmoon Forest lies an old dwarven monastery. There should be enough Ironbloom Mushrooms to cover what you need.

If you know all locations, I´ll tell you the shortest route to all three in relation to each other.

Male Varisian Human Thassilonian Conjurer 1

K-geography: Root 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14; Moss 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17; Mushrooms 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22

I know the location of the old dwarven monastery! Thanks be to Erastil that it is not that far away. I guess, it will be little more than a day to travel, just north of the woods. My brother and me got a bit lost on our journey here and found that monastery by chance. Lucky, eh?

Female Aasimar Summoner 1

Coulda sworn I put ranks in K:Geography, but it appears I didn't - an oversight. I'll be no help on this one, unless no one minds me shifting a skillpoint to fix it.

HP: 11 (11 total) M Dwarf Cleric (Artifice/Construct Theologian) of Torag | lvl 1

Unfamiliar with the specifics of this area but hailing from the mountains to the North, Thorid strokes his beard and considers anything his uncle may have said about Dwarven settlements in the area.

Knowledge check: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11

Unfortunately, nothing comes to mind.

Hmmm... Not sure 'bout any Dwarf settlements so far South but if Mr Bollon can lead the way that's one thing off our list. 'Less one of ye know better, I say we ask 'round town fer some pointers. As I said, I need ta make arrangements for my uncle an' grab gear so we have a li'l bit 'fore we go searchin'

Know: Geography: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
w00t! Do I have to make separate checks for every location?
EDIT: following Bollon's example
Know: Geography: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Know: Geography: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
"That's very fortunate Bollon! I have not been to the Dwarven monastery, but in my travels around the Darkmoon Forest I've heard about the other two locations. The Eldertree is somewhat of a local landmark, about a day's trip from here. And the lumberjacks were so scared of this Ulizmila that everyone seemed to know the exact location they should avoid. It's just several hours north of here."

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1

The shadowy halfling explains. I do not hale from this area and do not know them. It is indeed fortunate that between us we have an idea of where to look. At the discussion of the witch he darkens even further. Any creature who takes the sight of another, willing or no, is not to be dealt with lightly. I will reserve judgement based on what I learn, but we might be doing this land a great deed to end her.

By combining their knowledge, the five volunteers are able to piece the shortest route connecting Falcon´s Hollow to the three places where the ingredients are.

The journey will be about 35 miles length. Considering the landscape, it would be a three-day-trip for a wandering human. In the middle of the route lies a river that ends in a small lake. The journey could be about 5 miles shorter, if one had a way of crossing that river, like a boat.

If you want to go that shortest route, the order of locations would be tree - witch - monastery.

HP: 11 (11 total) M Dwarf Cleric (Artifice/Construct Theologian) of Torag | lvl 1

Three day trip by human legs an' a few of us are stockier folk. Best prepare fer a week an' see if we can find ways ta make up time 'long tha way. Catch or hire a ride 'long some roads if we can, le's have a look at a map an' see.

I'm trying to avoid spoilers so I haven't dug up a map. Is there one that we can peek at that isn't going to give anything away?

Female Aasimar Summoner 1

"Does anyone need to resupply before we set out? If so, be quick about it. If not, all the better, as people are only getting sicker, and time is of the essence. I for one am ready now."

Male Varisian Human Thassilonian Conjurer 1

Buy a map for 5 gp:

I have rations for five days. Will that be enough? We will also need a bit of time making the way back again. I can get myself a horse, but I guess that won´t help much since we don´t have enough mounts for everyone, right?

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1

Ki adds I am ready to depart now. I too am provisioned for 5 days, and maybe we can hunt along the way.

HP: 11 (11 total) M Dwarf Cleric (Artifice/Construct Theologian) of Torag | lvl 1

I'll grab my gear. Should still have a week a rations an' such. Seems we can cut a few miles off the start of our trip by catching a ride up the road to the edge a tha woods. Maybe ask around an' I'll be back in a jiffy. Thorid claps his hands loudly, nods to the group and heads off to collect his gear and to make arrangements for his uncle to receive basic care while the team is out gathering materials.

K-local DC 9:
As most people of Falcon´s Hollow somehow work for or with the Lumber Consortium, there is a steady flow of lumber-carts into and out of town. The current lumber camp lies just along your way, so maybe you can make your journey for the first hours a bit more comfortable if you invest a copper or two.

Ready if you are. Has anyony still business in town or do you want to leave?

Gounar is ready
Know: local (untrained): 1d20 ⇒ 15
"There is a steady flow of lumber carts going out in the direction of Darkmoon forest. If we give some coin to the lumberjacks we could hitch a ride.
There is also a river crossing our path. If we can somehow get a boat our journey will be shorter, but I don't know how where we could find one. Perhaps we will end up spending more time searching for it than on taking the longer path."

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1

Ready here

HP: 11 (11 total) M Dwarf Cleric (Artifice/Construct Theologian) of Torag | lvl 1

Thorid returns to the group after collecting his gear and arranging care for his uncle. He's wearing a breastplate with the hammer of Torag and a backpack full of supplies.

All set, then. Good find, Gounar, should shorten the trip a bit. I agree 'bout the river crossin'. Let's agree ta take the longer route in favor a' gettin' started now.

Male Varisian Human Thassilonian Conjurer 1

Marvelous idea! That lumber-cart should make the first part a bit more comfortable! Let's take it!

Female Aasimar Summoner 1

Knowledge: Local: 1d20 ⇒ 7

"Shall we depart?"

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1

Ki Anom Suroto swings into his saddle frees his lance, and indicates he is ready to go. His wolf mount pads back and forth, obviously excited to be off.

A few minutes later, you find an empty lumber-cart, ready to depart for the lumber consortium's camp, about 12 miles away from here.

Three lumberjacks work at the cart. One cares for the two horses in front, one lies under the cart and seems to repair something and the third one cleans the cart superficially using a big broom.

As you approach, the guy tending the animals adresses you:

Mymy. Colorful bunch are you, yes?

Female Aasimar Summoner 1

Not in the mood for frivolities, Kestrel responds glibly, using wit instead of sugar, "Spices add to the flavour, yes? We'd like a ride up to the logging camp, and you look empty; can you take us?"

HP: 11 (11 total) M Dwarf Cleric (Artifice/Construct Theologian) of Torag | lvl 1

Thorid nods to the man greeting them as he walks past to see what the man under the cart is repairing.

Let's see whatcha got here. Ah, yep... okay I see whatcher wraslin' with. He takes his backpack off and sets it near one of the lumber cart wheels, rubs his hands in the dirt. He claps loudly, dust billowing from his hands and begins to mumble a prayer to Torag. He then reaches out and touches the area of the cart being repaired.

Mending/Artificer's touch

So... 'bout that ride...

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1
Dungeon Blaster wrote:

Mymy. Colorful bunch are you, yes?

Ki glances down at himself and his clothes; all grey and shadowy, and he laughs to himself. Seldom am I called shadowy. Dismounting he goes to help calm and steady the horses.

Handle Animal, Aid Another: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

As you make yourselves useful, the leader of the lumberjacks seems a bit irritated.

The moment Thorid uses Torag's Gift on the wagon, the lumberjack shouts: Hey! What do you think you... - hey wait. Where did that damage under the cart go?

As he realizes, how helpful you were, he gladly accepts taking you along for free. Having a bunch of men-at-arms around will also protect from bandits after all.

HP: 11 (11 total) M Dwarf Cleric (Artifice/Construct Theologian) of Torag | lvl 1

Once we get going, Thorid chats with the lumber workers about their jobs, the tools they use, what happens to the lumber after the trees are felled, common products made from darkwood, etc. He's genuinely interested and offers comparisons to mining and blacksmith trades.

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1

Ki rides beside the lead wagon when the road is wide enough and offers to take point when it narrows so that he can not ride beside. He makes small talk with the driver as they travel talking mostly about how to handle a team of horses, and the pleasure of a good meal.

Gounar listens to the Thorid's conversation with great interest, but his interest seems to lie not in the subject, but in the dwarf himself.
"Highly unusual to see a dwarf so interested in trees. I thought your kind loves the stone much more. No offense."

HP: 11 (11 total) M Dwarf Cleric (Artifice/Construct Theologian) of Torag | lvl 1

Hahaha! 'Course we're better known fer our stone an' metal works, it's part a who we are. We do occasionally work with wood as highlight an' accent pieces or temporary support structures an' such.

An' there're times when wood's a more suitable material than metal or stone. Thorid slaps his hand on the side of the wagon they're riding in. This one ain't much ta look at but seems ta get the job done. Were it by my hands it'd be a bit prettier, maybe more solid... but it serves it's purpose, yeah? He nods to the lumber workers.

What's interestin' ta me is seein' how various workers, those who care, treat their work as a craft. They celebrate 'an respect their tools, take pride in the quality a their work an' encourage their teams. That's commendable work. Again nodding at the workers.

'Course there's also tha type a worker who cares little fer his trade an' carries on only ta gather coin enough fer tha headfog of substandard drink an' the occasional whore. His brow furls and his mouth turns down as he speaks. If that's the case, there is no point. That person has bottled his soul an tucked it away, maybe even sold it fer a night a pleasure. He spits off the side of the wagon. High price ta pay if ya ask me.

Realizing he may have dampened the mood he looks up and smiles. An' thus ends my surmon. May Torag guide yer hand in the pursuit of quality workmanship. He pats his belly... Let's talk 'bout lunch!

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1

Ki pipes up from well in the front. Did someone say it was time for a lunch break? He rides back the line with a hopeful expression. I have not had a thing to eat since breakfast. he confesses. We Halflings need to eat 5 or 6 times a day to sustain ourselves. Ma always said so.

Male Monkey Familiar

Snorey climbs out of Bollons hood and jumps up in joy when he hears the talk about eating. As Bollon gives him half-an-apple from his pack, Snorey greedily bites into the fruit.

Male Varisian Human Thassilonian Conjurer 1

This land is beautiful! The ancient trees, the mountain ridges far away, the cool and clean air... The streets could be less rough of course. But on the other hand: One can take care of that...

Bollon laughs, as he gestures at the huge pillow under his butt. To keep it clean, he used his bedroll as an underlay.

The majestic beauty of the woods accompanies the would-be saviours of Falcon´s Hollow through the whole day.

In the evening, the wonderful natural sight makes places for a little disturbing one:

The Lumber Consortium Camp cuts an ugly scar of stumps into a dense stand of proud darkwood trees. Five sturdy-looking log buildings — seemingly a bunkhouse, meal hall, office, barn, and smithy—stand with numerous wide carts and sleds amid the sawdust-covered clearing.

Here is the camp. Me an' me buddies go for our evening meals and some sleep now. If ye want to stay the night, than talk to our foreman, Mr. Trookshavits. Ye'll find him in the office over there...

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1

Ki surveys the area. Any nature spirits around are not gonna love these guys. Lets hope the fey have not seen this yet. He looks towards his part and asks simply. We stayin?

Time is of the essence and I'm not tired yet. I can press on, unless you think the darkness will hinder us too much.
DM - how long from the camp to the Tree on foot?

M Wayang Cavalier of the Sword (Emissary)1

[b]Darkness is not a problem for me, [\b] says the shadowy halfling.

Female Aasimar Summoner 1

"The dark doesn't bother me either, but some things come out to hunt once the sun disappears. We should keep such things in mind, particularly as we get into areas that are less frequently visited by civilized creatures. Just saying."

HP: 11 (11 total) M Dwarf Cleric (Artifice/Construct Theologian) of Torag | lvl 1

Aye, I think it's in our best interest ta stay 'til dawn. Uncle an' I heard some pretty strange things rustlin' about after dark on our travels. Long as they have bunks enough for us, that is.

Thorid glances toward the smithy. An' ta be honest, I'd like ta have a peek at the smithy once we've had a chat with Mr. Trookshavits.

It's about eightteen miles right through the dense woodes until you would reach the Elder Tree.

Male Varisian Human Thassilonian Conjurer 1

I would prefer a dry place to sleep. A good rest is important to travel fast during the day. Rest is a virtue, be assured.

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