Wrath & Gunfire: The Barvan Campaign
The Story So Far
Once upon a time, four adventurers met in a small town in the mountains of northeast Barva. They were Aramal, a cleric of the Boars, Bella, a barbarian of Barva, Chandler, a half-elf druid, and Landoss, a Madrossinian Orc on a spiritual quest.
The village was small and poor, with all of their men taken to fight the wars, only women and a few elderly men and very young boys remaining. Aramal had stopped in the village to offer succor, and the other three were also sympathetic to their plight. When a few of the village’s children were kidnapped, the adventurers went to rescue them. They fought a monstrous spider creature, a bugbear clan, and found a desecrated cave with symbols of the Snake where the children had been taken. Aramal tried to restore balance in the cave, and Bella killed the bugbear chief. Landoss trained some of the young women in the village as warriors. They also met a few deserters in the woods.
One night, Aramal had a vision sent by the Boars that this group of people would be important for ending the war between Teischer and Barva. The others agreed to go with him, and they left the village. Landoss felt that the women he trained would be competent warriors to defend the village in the future, and Aramal and Chandler gave the blessings of gods and nature.
Descending to the central plain of Barva, the adventurers met a drunken dwarf named Kimba, a paladin of the Mouse. She could not give them much information, having few memories because of her incessant drinking, but she did speak sadly of Barva’s capital, remembering when it had been called the Singing City, not the Smoking City. Later, they found a village that had been burned to the ground, a terrible sight.
In a field nearby, they were surrounded by soldiers and taken to meet one of the five generals of Barva, Lydia Werner. She was a stern but fair commander who told them that the village had no doubt been burnt by Magnus, another general, an adolescent red dragon who had come to Barva for the cause of elevating himself and causing damage in a way that might be seen as socially acceptable. Lydia had nothing but contempt for Magnus, and little respect for the other generals either. They spent the night there and moved on the next day.
They found more scenes of destruction as they traveled, and they helped where they could, always moving toward the Smoking City. On the bridge leading into the city, Landoss saw a troll and went to fight it, waving the others onward. They moved into the city, incessantly burning, and fought a few fire elementals. Later Landoss joined them again, and they moved toward one of the few buildings still standing, a temple of the Bear.
In the temple, they fought a few undead, indicating that the temple was quite desecrated. They were assisted by an elf bard/rogue, Varemal, who happened to be passing by and heard the commotion. He joined the group, and they met a cleric of the Bear, Irma, who still lived in the temple in one side room she kept holy and safe. She was a bit mad, but had useful information. She had stayed behind to guard the temple even though most folks had left the city, believing she still had work to do.
The next day, she introduced them to a scavenger who sold them new items of weapons and armor. They also went to explore a library, hoping to find more information there. The library was ruined by the magical battles of the past and gave off an aura of decay and unease. There, Chandler was almost devoured by a magical moving mound of plant matter, but was rescued by Landoss, who changed places with him using a spell, proceeding to explode the Tendriculous from within. In the burnt and tumbled stacks, they found a magically sealed case that seemed important, and they took it back to Irma.
None of them could open the case, but Irma said she would work on it. Meanwhile, the adventurers chose to descend into a hole next to the desecrated altar, as that was where Irma said the undead usually came from. They found themselves in a vast labyrinth of tunnels and passages, but eventually found their way to a river of lava, on which floated a black and forbidding city.
It was a city of Drow, followers of the Snake. The travelers sneaked their way into the city and had many adventures. Landoss seemed to fall sick and could not be woken, and they left him hidden in the back room of a bakery, but when they returned much later he was gone, and they never saw him again. He’s probably down there still, fighting the Drows’ evil plans for Barva.
In the course of their wandering, they were captured by the Drow queen and imprisoned in the cells below the palace, only Chandler escaping by turning into a bird and flying away. Their weapons and armor were stripped from them and given to a young dragon as part of its hoard. Chandler stole back into the palace as a cat and freed the others, and they found their way to the dragon. There, Varemal did some epic level performing in order to distract and flatter the dragon while the rest stole back their equipment.
They discovered that the Drow had a school of necromancy, and they were raising an army of undead to eventually attack the city above and overwhelm Barva to create a new Drow country. They found a list of several mighty Necromancers, stole their way into the necromancy school, and assassinated a couple of them. Escaping was more difficult, as the school was soon surrounded by Drow soldiers searching for the assassin, but they escaped by climbing on the roof and leaping, climbing, or turning into a bird and flying to the outer wall. Aramal was forced to drink a potion to assist his jump, but eventually they all made it.
In the same wandering, they saw a forge where the Drow were creating weapons of war. Later, they witnessed a ceremony of the Drow worshiping the Snake and discussing their successes and their plans. The Drow began the war between Teischer and Barva in the beginning, fooling each country into thinking that the other one had attacked, and they continued to prod the war on for the next hundred years. Soon, they plan to sweep over the continent and destroy the races above ground to create their own land dedicated to the Snake. With this information, the heroes need to find the nobility of Barva and tell them what’s truly going on in hopes of ending the war for good.
With more verbal sleight of hand on Veramal’s part, they found their way out of the Drow city. They returned to the surface, where Irma had opened the magical case, revealing a map that would lead them to Eagle’s Nest, the hidden fortress of the Barvan nobility. She had a strong feeling that the Bear was sending them there, and blessed their journey before they left.
Aramal felt that he needed to stay with Irma, to help her continue her fight to bring divine favor to the Smoking City, helping where they could. The others moved on, intent on finding the Barvan nobility. In the woods west of the Smoking City, they met a small tribe of halfling children, living ferally since their parents were slaughtered, and killed a few monsters. Rycorin Chandler chose to stay in the woods with the halfling children.
And now, Bella and Veramal continue on their way to Eagle’s Nest.