After, the harrowing events surrounding their failed exploration of Xul-Jarak, the survivors rested in Ratikhill for a little over a month. As Ratik’s armies mustered about the city in preparation for moving east to confronting the orcs, the heroes pondered their options.
During this time, Belivar decided to leave the party because he was worried that his enemies would once again catch up with him and that his friends would suffer horribly at their hands. Oreal Nanther, meanwhile, had decided that he must return to Xul-Jarak to recover the remains of his fallen companions. Although keen to go north to Tumbledown, Hemgor volunteered to accompany him. Klara and Krorz however refused – they saw another expedition to Xul-Jarak as pure folly. Adoven also felt his destiny lay elsewhere and so the three decided to ride with Ratik’s army and help throw back the orcish horde.
So it was that Hemgor and Oreal cast about for new companions to accompany them. Oreal called upon his old friend, Tzaran, a druid hailing from the south who happened to be in Ratik with his ape companion . Several warriors also joined the group: Brabk One Eye (a human paladin) and Zatag of Johnsport – a one-time friend of Krorz – joining up in hopes of slaughtering orcs. Rounding out the group was Vilimzair Aralivar (a half-elven sorcerer) and Alkk a rather young, naive (and probably doomed) cleric.
With the party’s ranks sufficiently swelled, the group left Ratikhill on the 21st of Harvester. Their plan was to swing round to the south and hopefully dodge the massing orcs now reported to have moved from Xul-Jarak into the very fringes of the Loftwood.
One of the guiding principles of the Borderland of Adventure campaign is that the PCs can do pretty much what they want. As the GM, I provide them with a range of adventuring options and they pick what they want to do. In this instance, it led to the party splitting with one half heading off to Xul-Jarak while the others want to fight in Ratik’s army. That’s cool as it gives me the opportunities to explore two strands of the same story.
For the next few weeks we’ll be exploring Xul-Jarak, but once the heroes are done there we’ll switch our attentions to the other half of the group and discover how they fair fighting against the orcs.This also means that each players gets to build a secondary character and that no one has to do something they don’t think their character would really do – a bugbear of many campaigns.
Of all the characters, the only one not to return (at least not in the foreseeable future) is Belivar.It had become very apparent to me and the players that summoners are somewhat over-powered in comparison to the normal classes from the core book. Repeatedly in play I would knock down and almost kill the fighters in the group, but fail to even damage the summoner! If I added in a foe capable of challenging Belivar (capable of actually hitting his high 20s, low 30s AC) I would worry that half the rest of the party would become collateral damage. That’s no fun for anyone and so when Belivar’s player decided to retire him, I was happy to facilitate his request.
I’ll handle the rest of the session blog later this week.