Terra Nova - Homebrew Campaign by DM DoctorEvil - Hub

Game Master DM DoctorEvil

Archive of Nethys PF2 PRD

Black Hearts' Incident thread

Haunting of Seaside Manor thread

Pilgrim's Progress thread

A Case of Missing Persons gameplay thread

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Vinexa and Zamaris

When Zamaris presses the issue, and explains that she knows about the missing dwarves, and plans to help find or recover them, the guardsman's eyes open wide, surprised that an elf might aid a dwarf in such a way.

When he recovers from his surprise sufficiently, the guard relents and allows the elven women to enter the camp, leading them to the large central tent where their foreman, Osur Stouthammer, resides.

Announcing their arrival, the guard enters after a grumbled assent from his commander, holding the tent flap open for the ladies. Inside is a large tent, but with rather spartan accommodations. The main feature in the room is a scale model replica of the bridge to be built across the Lune. The plan is apparently a wide stone bridge with an arching span and towers on either end which are built in the shapes of the Kings of Valeria.

Plans, blueprints, drawings, and other drafting tools are scattered across a table where a grey-bearded dwarf sits hunched over, a pince-nez perched on his bulbous nose. He looks up from his work with some evident displeasure. "I do not wish to be disturbed, but here you are. I am very busy, so please, get to the point of this intrusion!"

Just as you begin to speak, the broad-shouldered muscular man from the Inn also pushes inside the tent.

GM Screen:

Zamaris Diplomacy DC 15: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23


Argen

Leaving the White Wolf, you head directly for the dwarven encampment. Finding the entrance to the stockade unguarded, surprisingly, you move on to Osur's tent in the center of the encampment.

As you push inside, you find the two striking elven women from the White Wolf already here, and Osur interrupted from his work and looking rather cross.


Jorah

The hooded man nods, and waves his hand dismissively. "Think nothing of it, friend. Many have strong arms and stout hearts, but have not the skill in arms or the brains to keep themselves alive. Do you possess these traits, stranger? If so, and if you are looking for work, I may have an enticement to interest you."

He looks up and you can see he has a dark, neatly trimmed beard and dark eyes, that glint with interest at your reply.


Female CG Cavern Elf Emissary Draconic (Silver) Sorcerer 1 | HP 12/12 | AC 16 (17 with Blood Magic) | Fort +3 / Ref +6 / Will +5 | Class DC 17 | Perception +3 | Spells 1L 3/3 | Darkvision

Zamaris bows and says

Apologies, Master Stouthammer. Some of our Dwarven friends over at the Inn are mourning their fellows, although they appear to be lost rather than dead. We were hoping to assist you in finding them. I gather that something ails them, but no one would explain what it was. If it is possible for us to help with that as well, we pledge our help.

She includes the newcomer in her final "we" gesture, certain that he will recuse himself if he is there for a different reason.

Diplomacy again, if you please.


Male human barbarian 1 | HP 21/21 | AC 18 | F+6 R+5 W+5 | Perc +5 | 25ft. | hero 1/3 | Active Conditions: None

Argen's gaze darts about rapidly for a moment as he takes stock of the tent's occupants. He again glances at the two elven women, with a confused look on his face. It takes a moment before he recognizes them from the inn just a short while ago. Finally he looks back towards Osur and nods in greeting.

Hello Osur, I didn't realize Olin had discussed this matter with anyone other than me. On the other hand... he was pretty drunk. I couldn't bear their pitiable look and wanted to come see what I could do to help. He mentioned something was "calling" members of your company to a "Dark Side." Do you have any ideas about the source of this calling? Unless we can do something about that, I'm doubtful that simply bringing Dusi and Thorm back will be the end of your troubles.

He peers back out of the tent opening for a moment before adding, By the way, when I arrived your tent was left unguarded.


Male Human Fighter 1 /\/\ Perc: +4 | HP: 20/20 | AC: 17 | Fort: +7 | Ref: +6 | Will: +4 | Class DC: 16 | Hero Points: 1/3

Jorah wasn't much for mercenary work, but the feeling of how light his coin purse was made him reconsider. "I have been trained in the use of a blade since I was old enough to hold one, also the wisdom of when to use it."


Zamaris, Vinexa, and Argen

Osur's dourness turns to a smile as Zamaris explains the reason for their intrusion. "Ah, you offer to help our unfortunate mates, but you don't understand what you are up against. Not even Argen here knows." Osur clears his throat. "You have to know some deep mythology of our people, and understand our religion to really know. But let me try to explain."

He goes on to tell you of Khallar the Creator, the original dwarf and from whom all life-giving magic has sprung. He is worshiped by the dwarves and they fashion their own kind after his likeness. He tells you that dwarves do not reproduce like the birds and beasts do. Instead, a dwarf, if he wishes, makes a likeness of Khallar the Creator, and if it is well made, and enough care, time, and spirit is put into it, the model will come to a life of its own, and a new dwarf is made.

"But there is another side to this -- the Dark Side," Osur says, lowering his voice to a whisper. "The second dwarf, Hakkon, son of the Creator, was twisted over the years, and his creations developed differently. They still made things, but their creations were malevolent and meant to hurt or destroy, rather than beautiful or useful. Exactly how this Dark Side infected the first dwarves is unclear, but it happened just the same."

Osur explains that as a result of that taint, all dwarves can succumb to the calling of the Dark Side -- the creation of things that are evil. "The Call has not been heard for years, centuries perhaps. But now, my dwarves here in Terra Nova feel its pull. I confess to hearing the call as well, but Khallar be praised, I have not gone over as yet. The pull is very strong and many of my company feel it, but we lost the first two yesterday. They just wandered off from the worksite and have not returned."

"If you are to help," Osur continues. "You must find from whence the call of Hakkon is originating, and put a stop to it. Then we can work in peace and get his accursed bridge built."

Osur stops to see what questions you may have.

GM Screen:

Zamaris DC 15 Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26


Jorah

The man nods in appreciation. "Are you interested in work? It may be dangerous, but it pays well. And a man of your training might find it easier than some." He tilts his head to the side in curiosity, as he awaits your reply/.


Female CG Cavern Elf Emissary Draconic (Silver) Sorcerer 1 | HP 12/12 | AC 16 (17 with Blood Magic) | Fort +3 / Ref +6 / Will +5 | Class DC 17 | Perception +3 | Spells 1L 3/3 | Darkvision

Zamaris is pleased to better understand the dwarves, although the nature of their creation is strange to her.

I vow to undertake this quest. Is there a directionality to this pull that you feel? If they wandered off from the worksite, would they feel a need to go in a certain direction, or would they wander aimlessly? I imagine that finding them would lead us closer to the call of Hakkon, but anything you can tell us about the call would be helpful.

Also, if this place is so dangerous for you on a spiritual level, why do you not leave? I ask this not because you are unwelcome, but it is strange to me. If being in a certain place put my own goodness at risk, I would flee that place, for all mortals are weak, and repeated exposure to evil can make evil seem acceptable. So teach the dragons.


Male human barbarian 1 | HP 21/21 | AC 18 | F+6 R+5 W+5 | Perc +5 | 25ft. | hero 1/3 | Active Conditions: None

Argen places the tip of his large sword downward, and he rests his chin on the pommel of the handle as he listens to the explanation, subsequent questions, and awaits the next answers.


Male Human Fighter 1 /\/\ Perc: +4 | HP: 20/20 | AC: 17 | Fort: +7 | Ref: +6 | Will: +4 | Class DC: 16 | Hero Points: 1/3

"The work is.......above board, correct?"


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female half-elf sorceress 1 | HP 15/15 | AC 13, TAC 13 | Class DC 17 | F +4, R +6, W +1 | Per +2 | Spells: Lvl 1 3/3 | Pow: 1/1

Vinexa listened intently to the translation of what was going on as they met with the dwarf in charge. To say it was unpleasant was an understatement. She found the origin story of the dwarves to be intriguing and the likely reason the dwarves went missing worried her. She considered carefully committing to aid the dwarves but finally resolved to do so. Her mother taught her to do what was right and helping these people was exactly that.

Vinexa began to speak, allowing Zamaris to translate from Elven to dwarven for her, and said, "I'll help too." The fact that these dwarves were being spoken to by a dark power was something that Vinexa understood quiet well she knew how insidious it could be, and she wanted to help people resist if she could. "Do you have any idea what kinds of dangers are we likely to face, what kinds of things might they be making that we have to fight?" After a moment's more of thought Vinexa also asked, "Do you have any idea how we can stop the source when we find it or what we are looking for?"


Female CG Cavern Elf Emissary Draconic (Silver) Sorcerer 1 | HP 12/12 | AC 16 (17 with Blood Magic) | Fort +3 / Ref +6 / Will +5 | Class DC 17 | Perception +3 | Spells 1L 3/3 | Darkvision

I think that we're conversing in common now, but happy to translate anything you want. :)


Male human barbarian 1 | HP 21/21 | AC 18 | F+6 R+5 W+5 | Perc +5 | 25ft. | hero 1/3 | Active Conditions: None

I will of course help, Osur. But they ask good questions, and I wish to benefit from the answers.

He continues to lean on his sword and wait.


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female half-elf sorceress 1 | HP 15/15 | AC 13, TAC 13 | Class DC 17 | F +4, R +6, W +1 | Per +2 | Spells: Lvl 1 3/3 | Pow: 1/1

Missed that, I just assumed we were doing away with the spoilers for simplicity sake or something. If it's in common then I would be speaking in that and no translation needed.


Jorah

The man sighs a bit, but quickly answers, "Well that all depends on your perspective and definition, I suppose. That is, I am an agent of the crown through the Baron, but the work I do is usually sub-rosa and circumspect. If you came to work for me, it'd be directed by the authorities, but you would likely not have sanction per se. Does that make you feel...uncomfortable? It probably should at least a little."

He reaches into a vest pocket and withdraws a medallion which you can't quite get a good look at as he turns it over and over in his palm.


Zamaris, Vinexa, and Argen

Osur nods along to the questions. "It probably does seem awfully strange to an outsider. And we cannot leave, as we have contracted to this task of bridge-building for the baron. We cannot leave this place with our job unfilled. Dragons or no dragons..." A dwarves' word is legendary in Valeria and so is the stubbornness of the same. It's really should be no surprise to any that once the dwarves have decided on something, they aren't leaving until its done.

"Yes, the pull I feel has a directionality to it, and I would assume you will find our missing crew in that direction as well. I am called to the northwest. Far as I know, there is only unexplored regions and Novans there, but that's where the call fo the Dark Side is emanating to be sure. If you wish, i could ask one of my lesser craftsmen to go along with you and act as a guide?"

Osur frowns at Vinexa's questions. "The call like this has not been felt by dwarves in many years, so I cannot readily predict what is causing it or even how to stop it. As to what dangers you face, I do not know that either, but if the minions of Hakkon are involved, it is sure to be dark and dire. A strong arm like Argen here, I would recommend."


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Female CG Cavern Elf Emissary Draconic (Silver) Sorcerer 1 | HP 12/12 | AC 16 (17 with Blood Magic) | Fort +3 / Ref +6 / Will +5 | Class DC 17 | Perception +3 | Spells 1L 3/3 | Darkvision

I admire your dedication to your work, although I still find it strange. Perhaps sometime in the future we can talk about Dwarven religion. For now, the loan of one of your craftsmen would be appreciated, but I am somewhat worried that the pull will become stronger the closer we get, and I don't wish to see another of your kind lost. Perhaps he can take us part of the way, and if he feels the pull growing stronger he can return?

Zamaris waits for her companions to ask any questions they have, and when they are finished talking with the dwarf, they arrange a time to meet up with their Dwarven escort.

Assuming we are headed out in the morning, and returning to the Inn for now, perhaps to collect more help?


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Male human barbarian 1 | HP 21/21 | AC 18 | F+6 R+5 W+5 | Perc +5 | 25ft. | hero 1/3 | Active Conditions: None

Argen puts his hand on his chin and ponders the offer.

Yes, the pull could become more dangerous for our "guide." But perhaps by then we'll be learning more about the source of the pull, and the observations the guide will provide us with will be useful in completing the picture... risky for sure though.

If somebody was making a dwarf character right about now it could be perfect :)


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female half-elf sorceress 1 | HP 15/15 | AC 13, TAC 13 | Class DC 17 | F +4, R +6, W +1 | Per +2 | Spells: Lvl 1 3/3 | Pow: 1/1

Vinexa looked at the rather large man and recognized the human from the bar. He seemed even bigger up close and she wasn't sure how she missed noticing him before. That inner voice spoke to her again at seeing him, Hmmm, he could be useful, we should make him Ours and use him for our own purposes.

Vinexa shook her head as she mentally replied to the voice, NO! The voice seemed annoyed but was silent for now. Vinexa nodded and said, "I agree with Zanaris, a guide would be useful, though I wouldn't want to put him in danger of succumbing if we didn't need to."


Male Human Fighter 1 /\/\ Perc: +4 | HP: 20/20 | AC: 17 | Fort: +7 | Ref: +6 | Will: +4 | Class DC: 16 | Hero Points: 1/3

'Agent of the crown' Jorah repeated in his mind as he tried to recall if there was anything he might know of a 'Baron'.

Society +0. *not likely, but you never know.*

"Working for a noble is not much of an issue for me, it's the kind of work I may object to. But I am hardly in a position to judge now am I?"


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Osur Stouthammer nods his graying head sagely. "I will have a volunteer for you in the morning, one that I can do without at the work site for now. But yes, if things get too dangerous, you can return and we will roust a company to make a proper end to this thing."

I will supply a dwarven NPC if there as there is no one in the wings that I am aware of. Will get a separate thread set up for your quest mission when I can. Feel free to shop or inquire about supplies or other things you might need back in the village, if needed.


Jorah

It doesn't take much thought to know that the man is referencing King Tannis of Valeria, recently deceased and his brother Baron Harald of Terra Nova, who sits in the castle at Redmont on the coast. If the man speaks legitimately, he represents the highest authority in the land.

"You see," says the man, still hooded. "There are sometimes things that need doing for the crown that the government is not going to officially sanction or condone. They need doing all the same, and that's where I come in - and you if you wish to join me. That is still up to you, but if you come in, it is hard to get out...I warn you."

This sort or secret organization is known to you a bit, Jorah. Not all believe it exists or the stories of its conspiracies are wild and abound with nonsense. You have heard the group called The Spiders, by those who fear and magnify its power. You may have been a bit skeptical about the wild stories in the past.

GM Screen:

Society DC 15: 1d20 ⇒ 20


Male human barbarian 1 | HP 21/21 | AC 18 | F+6 R+5 W+5 | Perc +5 | 25ft. | hero 1/3 | Active Conditions: None

Argen nodes. Hopefully that won't be needed.

-----------------------

Outside of the tent, along the way back to town Argen presumes to walk with these new women and ask a few questions.

So, what interest do you have in the dwarves' plight?


Female CG Cavern Elf Emissary Draconic (Silver) Sorcerer 1 | HP 12/12 | AC 16 (17 with Blood Magic) | Fort +3 / Ref +6 / Will +5 | Class DC 17 | Perception +3 | Spells 1L 3/3 | Darkvision

Responding to Argen, Zamaris says

Evil is to be fought wherever it is found, of course. However, I do also have a personal interest in finding out whether the dwarves are a threat to my own people, for we dwell underground in the caverns of this land, and we would know whether they also seek to do so here, for we have heard that is where they choose to live in their homeland.

A thought then comes to her and she asks

Are there humans that live in caves as well, in your land?


Male human barbarian 1 | HP 21/21 | AC 18 | F+6 R+5 W+5 | Perc +5 | 25ft. | hero 1/3 | Active Conditions: None

I see. Though you will find no end to the evil you can seek out to defeat. Pick your spots.

He smiles as he ponders this advice himself. Then, to her next concern, he puts his hand on his chin and reasons.

Well, Osur didn't seem too put off by your presence. Are you concerned that inhabitable caves are in short supply in this new world? I hadn't thought about it myself. No, where I come from humans build abodes on the surface, sometimes great structures: castles and the like.

After a few moments of walking along further he adds.

It looks like there is still much I have to learn about elves.


Female CG Cavern Elf Emissary Draconic (Silver) Sorcerer 1 | HP 12/12 | AC 16 (17 with Blood Magic) | Fort +3 / Ref +6 / Will +5 | Class DC 17 | Perception +3 | Spells 1L 3/3 | Darkvision

This isn't a new world. It is an inhabited and occupied land, and has been for some time. I seek to learn of the human and dwarven perspectives on this matter in order to help our people to work together to use Aradia's gifts in the spirit of cooperation.

Are there too many humans then, to blend in with nature, or do you live in areas without many natural resources? The silver elves make our homes in natural structures to respect Aradia and the natural beauty of her gifts, but also because that is where the dragons dwell, as our lives are intertwined.

Zamaris glances over at Vinexa and continues.

Other elves live in the forest, in the jungle, in the deserts, and in the snow, and of course naturally adapt to those environments as Aradia wishes. I have heard rumors of Elves who live under the water, although that is probably just a fable. Some do as you do, and build dwellings of natural materials when there are no trees or caves. I have heard the word castle. A very large house made of cut stone, correct? It seems a comforting thing to attempt, to try to create the safety of a cave even when there are no natural ones around you, and it must involve a large community of cooperation. Did you live in a castle back in your own land?


Male Human Fighter 1 /\/\ Perc: +4 | HP: 20/20 | AC: 17 | Fort: +7 | Ref: +6 | Will: +4 | Class DC: 16 | Hero Points: 1/3

While most didn't put stock in these stories of The Spiders, Jorah had experience with a secret organization and knew exactly how rumours could create power when there wasn't any. Still, perhaps doing a favour for them will come in handy later.

"Alright, I offer my sword. For now at least."


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female half-elf sorceress 1 | HP 15/15 | AC 13, TAC 13 | Class DC 17 | F +4, R +6, W +1 | Per +2 | Spells: Lvl 1 3/3 | Pow: 1/1

With their meeting finished Vinesa went with Zamaris and Argen out of the office and listened to the discussion. As they went she considered her own reasons for becoming involved and caught Zamaris glancing at her as she spoke about other places elves lived. Vinexa suspected this woman thought her a forest elf, something that wasn't so far from the truth she supposed, but didn't add much about that part of the conversation.

After a minute or two Vinexa finally spoke, "I'm getting involved because I know what it is like to have to resist darkness all the time. We all have our demons, be they within or without ourselves, and sometimes we all need some help resisting their call." She sighed as she walked, "What these dwarves are going through seems much the same so I am helping them because I can kind of understand their plight."


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Male human barbarian 1 | HP 21/21 | AC 18 | F+6 R+5 W+5 | Perc +5 | 25ft. | hero 1/3 | Active Conditions: None
Zamaris wrote:
This isn't a new world. It is an inhabited and occupied land, and has been for some time. I seek to learn of the human and dwarven perspectives on this matter in order to help our people to work together to use Aradia's gifts in the spirit of cooperation.

Hmm. Apologies, it's new to some of us who went so long, centuries even, without knowing of its existence. Some are fleeing to here, but admittedly some are here to claim lands in their name. I suspect that by now you've somewhat learned who to trust and who not to.

Zamaris wrote:
Are there too many humans then, to blend in with nature, or do you live in areas without many natural resources? The silver elves make our homes in natural structures to respect Aradia and the natural beauty of her gifts, but also because that is where the dragons dwell, as our lives are intertwined.

Too many? Hmm, it's hard to say...

He ponders at length, realizing he hadn't thought of the flow of humans as stemming from any problem.

I suppose one thing is that we tend to have very ambitious leaders, and they tend to fight each other for portions of power over so many else. Do the elves not have individuals who wish to rise above the rest? Leave their mark on life?

Zamaris wrote:

Zamaris glances over at Vinexa and continues.

Other elves live in the forest, in the jungle, in the deserts, and in the snow, and of course naturally adapt to those environments as Aradia wishes. I have heard rumors of Elves who live under the water, although that is probably just a fable. Some do as you do, and build dwellings of natural materials when there are no trees or caves. I have heard the word castle. A very large house made of cut stone, correct? It seems a comforting thing to attempt, to try to create the safety of a cave even when there are no natural ones around you, and it must involve a large community of cooperation. Did you live in a castle back in your own land?

Yes, they are made of quite a lot of stone. Cooperation? Hehe, sure. The "leaders" offer jobs, or force servitude. "Cooperation" is had. In the end very few live in the large castle. He uses air-quotes along the way when appropriate.

Vinexa wrote:

With their meeting finished Vinesa went with Zamaris and Argen out of the office and listened to the discussion. As they went she considered her own reasons for becoming involved and caught Zamaris glancing at her as she spoke about other places elves lived. Vinexa suspected this woman thought her a forest elf, something that wasn't so far from the truth she supposed, but didn't add much about that part of the conversation.

After a minute or two Vinexa finally spoke, "I'm getting involved because I know what it is like to have to resist darkness all the time. We all have our demons, be they within or without ourselves, and sometimes we all need some help resisting their call." She sighed as she walked, "What these dwarves are going through seems much the same so I am helping them because I can kind of understand their plight."

That is respectable. While I personally vouch for these dwarves and know they are worthy of help, always be aware of the intentions of those you would help from foreign lands.


Female CG Cavern Elf Emissary Draconic (Silver) Sorcerer 1 | HP 12/12 | AC 16 (17 with Blood Magic) | Fort +3 / Ref +6 / Will +5 | Class DC 17 | Perception +3 | Spells 1L 3/3 | Darkvision

Yes, elves have ambition, although it is important to try to help everyone succeed and build on their strengths so that everyone contributes and has a place in the community. Everyone can "leave a mark" if we work together. ... As for enforced servitude and continued claiming of lands... you have given me much to consider, and I will take these insights back to share with my people in time.


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The group slowly makes its way back to the village, discussing their motivations to help Osur and his crew. They have until tomorrow morning to make preparations and such.

There are weapons and armory, wilderness outfitters, and other support shops available in Tanner's Crossing. There is also the inn and the chapel in case other kinds of support are needed.

I will work on set up of a new thread for those seeking otu the missing dwarves.


Jorah

The hooded man smiles and nods his head in acknowledgment. "Very well then. Meet me in the stables around back in the morning, and I will tell you more of your assignment." He takes a long drink from the mug in front of him. "For now, I have some business that cannot wait. Get some rest and see to your gear, especially your weapons. You may have need of them soon."

He stands, clasps you on the shoulder for an instant, then ambles off out of the Inn.


Male Human Fighter 1 /\/\ Perc: +4 | HP: 20/20 | AC: 17 | Fort: +7 | Ref: +6 | Will: +4 | Class DC: 16 | Hero Points: 1/3

With the offer taken, Jorah felt as if he had just made a deal with a devil. A far too familiar feeling. Still, coin was needed if was to continue his search for his brother. He soon headed up to his room for some rest.

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