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A Twist of Earthen Hands Campaignby Sean Meaney
MASTER LEVEL D&D CAMPAIGN (PC Levels 26-36)
DM BACKGROUND: The ruins of Korrizegy Keep sits perhaps halfway between the Bugbear Caverns ten miles south of Radlebb and it’s deep and long sealed mines, and the Goblin Caves in the distant North. This ancient river course was once known to Zirchev, Halav, and Petra as a nest of the Beastmen that ravaged these lands, extends a total distance of seventy two miles linking what has been a thorn in the side of the civilized inhabitants of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos.
Unfortunately the Draco Korrizegy has acquired an artefact that allows him to animate dead on a large scale: The Altar of Earthen Hands.
THE ALTAR OF EARTHEN HANDS
ARTEFACT OF ENTHROPY
DESCRIPTION: Thos is little more than a large mass of dirt cemented flesh (Hands) that seem to be stuck together to form a large Altar.
WISH (SPECIFIC): That the lord of this altar shall have the power to Create and Control Un-dead within limit of an estate ruled by that lord.
Uncontrolled Horde: When first used to animate a dead Dragon, All dead within the ‘boundaries of such an estate, Barony, County, Duchy, or Kingdom that the lord of this altar commands within which this altar dwells’ shall rise as un-dead and assail the living uncontrolled for thirteen days and nights and shall be immune to clerics while within ‘the estate’.
The Blood of a Prince: A Prince must be sacrificed on the Altar to activate it.
NUWMONT 1: THE TURTLE IS SACRIFICED
DESCRIPTION: While overseeing the completion of the New Walls of Luln, Justin Karameikos is abducted by the Lich Draco from his personal quarters in the Royale Inn on Nuwmonts Eve. The Lich Cleric transports the Prince to Korrezigy Keep where he is sacrificed on the Altar of Earthen Hands.
WHAT IS GOING ON? A Prince has been sacrificed on the Altar of Earthen Hands thereby activating its powers.
NUWMONT 3: BACK FROM THE GRAVE.
DESCRIPTION: It begins this evening with the rising of a hundred and thirty Skeletons and a few freshly buried Zombies from the Graveyard at Luln (as well as numerous dead walled up in cellars or buried in gardens). This Un-dead horde assaults the town. Worse still – each new death only fills their ranks.
WHAT IS GOING ON? The Lich, Draco Korrezigy, has unleashed the artefact known as the altar of earthen hands in his deep crypt animating the remains of a Dragon – consequently turning many deceased humanoids and other creatures into Un-dead within the extensive Bugbear Caverns. Consequently the Awakening of those dead in the Luln Graveyard was little more than a side effect.
NUWMONT 4: THE ABANDONING OF LULN
As the dust settles on the terrible undead destruction that has been unleashed in Luln and the Town is abandoned to the horrors of the Un-dead, messages are sent to the Capital (Mirros) to request all manor of Clerical assistance. Many of the survivors flee to the safety of the Barony of Halav and a strong guard is posted on the border to watch for Un-dead.
WHAT IS GOING ON? Luln is abandoned to the Un-dead army and Clerics are requested to deal with the problem of this unrestful horde.
NUWMONT 14: THE DEAD TO UNREST
At sunrise an army of clerics of the Church of Karameikos and Traladara invade Luln and strive to put the un-dead to rest. They soon discover the Skeletons and Zombies are immune to Clerical Powers and the Clerics are soon ambushed and over run by Undead – many joining their ranks – others fleeing.
WHAT IS GOING ON? Clerics, finally arrived from Miros, attempt to put down the un-dead problem in Luln. A side effect of the Artefact is to protect Undead from Clerics while within the boundaries of the Estate of Korrezigy.
VATERMONT 1: HUMANOIDS GET PAST RADLEBB KEEP
Riders from various holdings and estates north of Luln reach Riverfork Keep and Rifflain with reports of thousands of Humanoids and assorted monsters flooding into the Cruth Hills. Likewise Radlebb Keep who are tasked with keeping such vast hordes out of the lands south of Radlebb Wood are inundated with refugees talking of hordes of Humanoids to the South. The numbers of humanoids are on such a scale as to be ludicrous because someone would have noticed them in such numbers had they come through the Barony of Halav, Luln, or even Radlebb wood.
WHAT IS GOING ON? Humanoids have been flushed from the extensive cave network that runs for seventy two miles beneath the forgotten estate of the Lich Drako Korrezigy by an army of un-dead monsters that swells with every death.
VATERMONT 8: THE KING DISPATCHES TROOPS
DESCRIPTION: In response to this terrible and sudden threat of Humanoids in the Kingdom Karameikos dispatches Troops and Militias from Radlebb Keep and Mirros to crush the Humanoid Hordes that are closing on the Estates of Sulescu, Marilenev, and Vandishivey.
Meanwhile Troops from Kelvin, Rifflain, and Threshold march west to meet the Humanoid threat that has appeared in the Hills north of Radlebb Wood.
WHAT IS GOING ON? The Rulers of Karameikos have learned that there are about five thousand Humanoids north of the Radlebb Wood and six thousand to the South – and that they are for the most part heading east into their Estates. They have likewise raised troops to put down this threat before it carves a hole in the Agricultural Heartland that Feeds the Majority of the Kingdom.
VATERMONT 13: THE DRAGON INVADES RADLEBB WOOD
DESCRIPTION: Draco orders his Undead Dragon to travel east from the ruins of Koreezigy Keep into the Woods of Radlebb to its far eastern edge and then with the cover of Night assail the city of Mirros. All Un-dead within his estate (and the caverns) boundaries begin pouring into the Radlebb Wood.
WHAT IS GOING ON? Draco is mostly ignorant of the un-dead horde he has created. Having dispatched his un-dead Dragon to assault Mirros he has unwittingly done the same for all 4-5 thousand Un-dead humans, humanoids and monsters within his ‘estate boundary’. By midnight the entire town of Luln is emptied of any lingering Un-dead.
VATERMONT 18: THE BATTLE ROYALE
DESCRIPTION: The Armies of King Stephan Karameikos III clash with thousands of Humanoids, both north and south of Radlebb Wood, and they become bogged down in isolated conflicts centred on an assortment of communities drawing them further and further from the central lands.
WHAT IS GOING ON? Open war with thousands of Humanoids and other assorted monsters. The war with these humanoids is not over by a long shot as the Kings troops are forced to fortify any gained Position.
VATERMONT 27: MIRROS IS OVERRUN BY UNDEAD
DESCRIPTION: An army of Undead led by an Undead Dragon begins invading the city of Mirros a few hours before dawn. This army of Thousands simply march down the Duke’s Road to the gate under cover of mist and darkness. The gate is soon overrun as the city has very few guards who were not drawn off to fight the Humanoid invasion. The Conquered City becomes part of the Estate of Draco and the Undead swell to twenty thousand as the survivors flee the city for Marilenev Estate. Patriarch Jowlett perishes here leaving Oderbry in charge – he flees the city with other important refugees by Boat – making for Kelvin.
WHAT IS GOING ON? The city of Mirros has been caught by surprise. It has few clerics thanks to the massacre at Luln and even fewer troops. The defence of the city falls to ordinary people and the few senior clerics – like Jowlett – who were too old or important to travel to Luln.
VATERMONT 28: SUPPLY LINES ARE CUT IN THE SOUTH
DESCRIPTION: King Stephan Karameikos gets word that the City of Mirros has been overrun by Un-dead. The King no longer able to hold his ground against the humanoid threat is forced to retreat to order a retreat to Marilenev.
WHAT IS GOING ON? The Southern part of the Kingdom is lost to Humanoids simply because Un-dead have over run the city of Mirros. Supply lines have failed, troops crushed without support forcing a major retreat.
THAUMONT 1: THE DEATH OF A KING
DESCRIPTION: King Stephan is forced to occupy the Castle Marilenev which is now surrounded by a sea of Refugees from Mirros. While making himself a guest of Magda Marilenev, he confronts her suddenly all too apparent anger toward him in private. A scream from the apartment by Magda summons the Kings Guards and the Royal Family who has just arrived aboard the Concordia. They find Magda Marilenev collapsed over his body. She is weeping for the man she has long blamed for the death of her children and family.
WHAT IS GOING ON? King Stephan has had a heart attack and died while in a conversation with Magda Marilenev. His death has taken the long dark anger from her. Apparently she had developed a fascination for the Young Duke who arrived in Specularum fifty years ago only to become the focus of her hatred.
Confronting the Lich
Once they conclude that this is all about Korrezigy Keep and the Lich who nests there...It will be on for young and old.
The Knight of Korrezigy
Sacrificing Justin Karameikos on the altar of Earthen Hands has had a terrible effect. Justin is returned as a 'Death Knight' serving the Lich Draco Korrezigy. Anyone entering the boundaries of 'Korrezigy Estate' will be attacked.
YARTHMONT 11: THE TOURNAMENT IS DECLARED.
DESCRIPTION: The Lich Draco Korrizegy declares a Tournament – the prize being the Estat di Halag. Any Knight from across the Known World is welcome to lay claim to the prize. The Tournament itself will begin on the First day of Felmont. They must slay all rivals in the tree of combat to claim the estate (including the Death Knight Justin Karameikos who currently holds it).
WHAT IS GOING ON? Draco has decided to respond to the retaking of Specularum. Over fifty thousand Knights from across the known world all seeking to claim the Estate di Halag (Including the infamous Von Hendriks) will attend. What is not said is that any who die in this tournament shall become Death Knights under the command of the victor and in the Service of the Lich. This is a chance for Draco to build an army of undead. Draco will use them to sweep across the Kingdom and take total control.
FELMONT 1: THE TOUNAMENT BEGINS
DESCRIPTION: Undead, and living Knights from all across the Known world begin the Tournament. This first Day of tournament fifty thousand Landless Knights (Von Hendriks amongst them) do battle for the next tier.
WHAT IS GOING ON? By the end of the Day Draco the Lich will have twenty five thousand Zombie Footmen (the losers of the first round).
FELMONT 2: TOURNAMENT DAY TWO
DESCRIPTION: After the rather brutal events of yesterday in which twenty-five thousand perished in Tournament to be rewarded with Un-deadness as Zombies, the remaining twenty five thousand find that they are unable to leave and must continue to fight to the last. After this day twelve thousand five hundred join the ranks of Un-dead. Once again Von Hendriks
Survives – progressing to the third round. He now knows he is in the fight for his life – not just his Barony.
WHAT IS GOING ON? The ranks of Draco Korrizegy’s army of Undead continue to swell, Now with thirty seven thousand five hundred un-dead.
FELMONT 3: TOURNAMENT DAY THREE
DESCRIPTION: In Tournament today another group perish increasing the number of Un-dead to forty-three thousand seven hundred and fifty. Von Hendriks draws a Death Knight from Wendar and only with luck, manages to put down the Un-dead Foe. Unfortunately it has cost him his own horse. This means he must meet the next round on an un-dead steed (The Death Knight being their previous owner) or meet his next foe on foot (a disadvantage).
Three thousand one hundred and twenty five knights remaining.
WHAT IS GOING ON? There are about forty-six thousand eight hundred and seventy five un-dead.
FELMONT 4: TOURNAMENT DAY FOUR
DESCRIPTION: Uncertain about his un-dead Steed, Von Hendriks meets his next opponent mounted. Fortunately he is able to slay his living opponent. Elsewhere across the Barony Knights die in Tournament. By the end of Day, Von Hendriks is one of one thousand, five hundred and sixty three (one Knight was pushed forward – without challenge) moving into the fifth tournament day.
WHAT IS GOING ON? Von Hendriks continues to survive despite his age and weariness. Draco’s Army of Un-dead reaches over forty seven thousand un-dead.
FELMONT 5: TOURNAMENT DAY FIVE
DESCRIPTION: Seven hundred and eighty two (one again pushed forward) survive this day of Slaughter. Von Hendriks is gravely injured despite his fortunate victory against a living foe.
WHAT IS GOING ON? Von Hendriks has begun to wear down against these rivals of increasing power and ability.
FELMONT 6: TOURNAMENT DAY SIX
DESCRIPTION: Fresh from his horrible injuries of the previous Tournament day, Von Hendriks – wearing a Piece of the Armour of the Death Knight he defeated some time back covering his injured arm – settles in to defeat his opponent. He and three hundred and ninety others are victorious this day.
WHAT IS GOING ON? Von Hendriks has discovered that this Death Knight’s Armour affords some ‘healing’ to its wearer – unfortunately the Armour can be never removed once worn least the afflicted arm is lost permanently.
FELMONT 7: DAY SEVEN, TOURNAMENT AND A QUICK WAR
DESCRIPTION: On this seventh day an army of Halflings from the Five Shires invades the Barony. They are promptly slaughtered by the forty nine thousand un-dead at large in the Barony. The Hin, un-dead – join the ranks of the Army – although they are returned to their ships and sent back to the Shires in service of the Lich Draco.
Despite the intrusion the Tournament continues. Von Hendriks advances again with a victory – although this time the armour sucked the life from his foe and made Von Hendriks younger by a year. As this day ends there are one hundred and ninety six (one pushed forward) survivors.
WHAT IS GOING ON? The Wraith power of the Armour has activated while Von Hendriks choked a foe to death. Now that he knows the benefits of choking a foe to death – he will attempt to do so as often as possible.
FELMONT 8: ROLLSTONE FALLS
DESCRIPTION: This morning a thousand Un-dead Hin land at Rollstone Keep and Lay Siege to it. An un-dead Hin Master in the Service of the Lich Korrizegy takes charge.
WHAT IS GOING ON? Rollstone Keep has fallen to the armies of the Lich Korrizegy. The Undead Hin Master ships a lantern of Blackflame to the Lich. The Secret of the Hin is out.
FELMONT 8: TOURNAMENT DAY EIGHT
DESCRIPTION: After a brutal Tournament round Von Hendriks is again grievously injured. His opponent forces him from the field temporarily. He returns with even more of the Death Knight’s Armour covering his body (It now covers an arm and part of his body). He kills his opponent by crushing his throat. There are at the end of the day ninety eight Knights.
WHAT IS GOING ON? Von Hendriks is bleeding Constitution points. All the Armour of the Death Knight is doing is propping him up but making things worse.
FELMONT 9: TOURNAMENT DAY NINE
DESCRIPTION: Von Hendriks defeats his opponent in a quick unhorsing and a drawn out battle between very skilled swordsmen. At the end of the Day there are forty nine Knights remaining.
WHAT IS GOING ON? The Tournament is almost done. Within a few days the New Baron of Halag will be known.
FELMONT 10: TOURNAMENT DAY TEN
DESCRIPTION: There are twenty five Knights remaining after this tenth Tournament day (one was pushed forward). Although he doesn’t need to, Von Hendriks is now wearing the whole Armour of a Death Knight. Von Hendriks is notably changed.
WHAT IS GOING ON? Several of the Living opponents of Death Knights who have taken injury and have defeated a Death knight now wear the Armour of Death Knights in Part or whole. Only a few have not followed this dark trend.
FELMONT 11: TOURNAMENT DAY ELEVEN
DESCRIPTION: This day is a little different. It is a day of brutal Tournament, in which there are thirteen, then seven, then four, then two, then one. The Baron is revealed.
WHAT IS GOING ON? PCs participating in this tournament meet Von Hendriks on this tournament day. The PCs, Several Death Knights (including Justin Karameikos), A Paladin fighting to throw down this Undead nest of Evil from the centre and a few other living foes.