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Chapter 1: "Eye of Traldar, part 1"

by tjedge1

Ok, so here is the first instalment of the Odd Company. I'm going to convert it all eventually into a series of small books which I will keep for my own personal enjoyment and then post them up here. For now here is the first "episode." I know it's long, but it's the introductory adventure and I like to add depth with lots of background for my players so they can get into the game a bit more. They pretty much came up with their motives, but I helped them with the background stories, as the 3 1st level players have never played Mystara (Only Middle Earth or DragonLance).

A more detailed intro to the characters so far:

1) Name: Cyndaria (Female)
Race: Avariel from the Mengul Mountains in Wendar
Hgt/Wgt: 5'6" / 85 lbs
Class: Battle Mage (pretty much like the OD&D elf class)
Level: 1
Skills: Elemental Magic, Natural Flying (she has wings), Archery
Alignment: Lawful Good
Purpose: Wants to travel the world and rid as much evil from it as she can

2) Name: Ragnar Maximus (Male)
Race: Human Norseman from Whiteheart in the Soderfjord Jarldoms
Hgt/Wgt: 6'6" / 260 lbs
Class: Barbarian/Berserker
Level: 1
Skills: Dual Weapon Fighting, Frenzy, Sword Mastery (1 and 2 handed)
Alignment: Neutral Good
Purpose: Searching for his parents murderer

3) Name: Leonine (Female)
Race: Shiye Elf from the Shiye Lawr, near Alfeish
Hgt/Wgt: 5'6" / 110 lbs
Class: Ranger
Level: 1
Skills: Shapeshifting into animals (mostly the lion), Archery
Alignment: Neutral Chaotic
Purpose: Only cares about her personal pleasure and riches

4) Name: Guchi Kandahar (Male)
Race: Human from Glantri (unknown exactly where)
Hgt/Wgt: 5'8" / 155 lbs
Class: Necromancer
Level: 5
Skills: Undead Control & Creation, Outdoor Survival, Archery, Swordplay
Alignment: Lawful Chaotic
Purpose: To find a power that can bring his wife back to true life

5) Name: Tzak Rockwall (Male)
Race: Gnoll from Graakhalia
Hgt/Wgt: 6'5" / 270 lbs
Class: Ranger
Level: 3
Skills: Tracking & Hunting, Leather Crafts, Underground Survival, Javelins
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Purpose: To repay his debt to Guchi for saving his life

The friendship begins: 998 AC

In search of his parents' killers, Ragnar rides a fishing boat to Soderfjord and then spends all of his money for a trip to Specularum. He had heard from a witness to his parents killing that one of the killers mentioned going back to Darokin City. They seemed to be travelling by boat so he took the same route. He didn't have enough to pay to get any further than Specularum, so there he joined a caravan and volunteered to bodyguard on its way to Luln. The caravan owner agrees, despite his dirty and poor appearance, because of his sheer size.

After fighting with her wealthy parents the young (200 year old) Leonine runs away from home after stealing her fathers savings. She uses this money to pay for boats to get to the Isle of Dawn. She treks across the Alphatian and Thyatian borders undetected by transforming into various animals. She even avoids some hunters who mistake her for a fox and then she boards a boat to Specularum on her way to Darokin, where she has heard that "He who has the money, makes the rules." She has enough money then to pay her way onto a caravan to Luln.

After reaching the age of adulthood, Cyndaria decides she wants to see the world and she feels she can make a difference and maybe stop evildoers as she travels. She decides she first wants to see the Sea of Dread because of it's name so she flies and walks (to rest her wings) across the Heldann lands and into Ethengar. There she flies when she can, but never lands when she sees any movement below her. The Heldannic people told her the horsemen of the steppes are very dangerous and hate all outsiders. She eventually finds her way across without much more of an incident than some horseman finding her sleeping and attempting to catch her, but some Centaurs ran them off and told her to more careful. She follows the Streel River until she reaches the nearby mountains, which she flies up to the top to sleep and then flies on to Alfhiem. The elves there are excited to see her and greet her as family. She speaks to a local seer who asks her dozens of questions about her people, she gets suspicious and then leaves when nobody is watching. She flies south and makes her way across the Cruth Mountains and then on to Specularum. After spending some time there and watching the sea she decided she doesn't want to travel any further south and pays the last of her money to a caravan owner to ride to Luln, which takes her closer to the Five Shires which she can't wait to see.

The caravan arrives uneventfully at Radlebb Keep and then continues it's way on the next morning. About 4 hours after it started out a huge mob of bandits attacks the caravan using mini-ballistae on small wagons and mounted raiders. Only 3 people escape with whatever they were carrying and the bandits takes away the wagons. The three who escaped are Ragnar, Leonine and Cyndaria. They get to know each other for a while and then begin travelling on to Luln to tell someone what happened.

Upon arriving they tell the town guards, which mostly shrug their shoulders and curse about stupid thieves. So they go on to find an inn. In the inn they meet a strange man who claims he was once a cleric, but now is just a traveller and bounty hunter. He tells them a local cleric, who he used to work with in Glantri, has asked him to help retrieve an artifact stolen from the elves and they have come to him for help (knowing that the cleric leads the local underground Traladar Rebels). They agree to help. Leonine secretly plots to steal the artifact and sell it in Darokin.

They meet with the cleric who tells them that the artifact was taken to Fort Doom and that he has a connection there that can get them into the Keep itself, or very near it. As they travel the next morning, Guchi tells them he has a friend waiting for them and he should already have found a way through the maze underneath Fort Doom to sneak into.

Once they arrive at Fort Doom, they all are wearing travelling cloaks and Cyndaria is pretending to sleep in the back of the wagon, which is loaded with turnips. Her wings are buried in the turnips so nobody notices she isn't normal.

Inside the town Guchi leads the wagon to a shop and leaves it in the barn next to it. They go inside and meet with the guide who then leads them down into the sewers through a secret entrance in the back of the shop. He takes them to the hole where the caves begin under Fort Doom.

They travel into the caves and first run into some Zombies. Guchi, who was leading, stands aside and lets the others fight them. Cyndaria and Leonine fire arrows while Ragnar swings his torch at them. They dispatch them in 3 rounds and then ask why Guchi didn't help. He claims he wanted to see what they could really do before going any further and risking his own neck. They travel further and find a scared man hiding behind some boulders. He explains that he stole some food from the kitchens and was thrown down here. He tells them that a huge hairy thing is guarding the entrance to the dungeon and that he has a mean dog and 3 zombies that are at his command. They ask where this is and he tells them he can't really remember, but he knows where a secret door is. He bargains to show them if somebody escorts him out.

Once he shows them the door and how to open it, Guchi decides to lead the man to the exit. While he's doing that, Cyndaria tells the others she doesn't trust Guchi and that they should kill him. Ragnar points out that they may need his help and to wait till later to even think about it. Leonine admits to wanting the artifact and says they should take it and then kill him to make sure it doesn't fall into worse hands than it's in now. They all agree, but Guchi overhears them. He returns and they open the secret door and continue on.

The secret hallway opens through another hidden door and into a hall going left and right. They take a left and Guchi realises the next room has something hiding in it before they enter it. Cyndaria uses her excellent vision and makes out a Cave Gecko, which she fires an arrow at, and breaks one of its forelimbs. Ragnar rushes in and finishes it quickly while it's stunned. Tzak walks into the room and Guchi has to stop the others from attacking. Tzak says they are going the wrong way and he has been waiting. He is confused on how they got around him, until they explain the secret door. They travel back the other way and find the room with the 3 zombies. Guchi casts spells and takes control of all 3 before any can shout their alarm. Which was supposed to sound like a "horrible blood curdling affair."

Guchi dispels the zombies and the others realise he is a necromancer. They all decide now for sure to kill him and take the artifact. They travel into the next cavern and find a ladder going up to a trap door ceiling. It's guarded by a pit bull, which is already barking in their direction, and a chain mail clad bugbear that is picking up his sword. Leonine fails her attempt to transform, and then pulls out her bow. Cyndaria fires her shock bolt but misses. They go into battle and Ragnar goes berserk. He is unable to make any good rolls, but because of his berserk he continues to hit the bugbear. The bugbear battles him and is winning because Ragnar has no defence in frenzy mode, and the bugbear is much bigger and stronger. Guchi casts a wounding spell and then a cramping spell that slows down the Bugbear and allows the other players to hit better. Tzak snaps the dogs leash with his javelin and then kills it in 3 blows, including removing one of its ears in one slash. Finally Cyndaria fires a good hit with her bow and takes down the bugbear.

They decide to make camp here and go up into the dungeon later. Maybe this weekend

So there is the beginning. Man it feels good to DM again. Hope it wasn't too dry for you guys.