2007-09-02 Ghelve

“Alex Tercival, a paladin who serves St. Cuthbert, has been out of town for several days; I hear he traveled to the village of Redgorge to take care of a woman who was possessed by a demon!” – just a rumor

Today is September 1, 680 years after the foundation of Cauldron.

We started the new campaign!! :)

For a DM’s perspective on character generation, see 2007-09-02 Campaign Start.

Borg’s butchery is right behind Maavu’s Imports
The Gorunn butchery

A note on copyright: The map sections on this page are © 2005 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., created by Christopher West. They are not covered by the license notice below.

Suffice it to say that we started with four characters: Borg Gorunn, a dwarven butcher turned monster hunter; Fenyael, an elven explorer interested in the volcano; Aria, a half-elven daughter of a noble house interested in all things elven; and Zacharias, a human child age fourteen from the Cauldron undertaker who runs the crematorium.

Borg lives on Magma Avenue. The butchery is to the right of Maavu’s main warehouse.

Fenyael has rented a room at the Drunken Morkoth.

Aria still lives at home when she’s not at the Pelor temple.

Zacharias still lives with his family in the house near the crematorium. Here’s how to get to the crematorium: Start at Skie’s Treasury, walk down to Lava Avenue, turn right until you reach the back of the Treasury, walk down to Ash Avenue, and when you’re half way there, you’ll see the crematorium on your right.

The crematorium run by Zacharias’ father is very close to Ash Avenue
The crematorium
Basically the party gets involved in the abduction of four children from the Lantern Street Orphanage. What follows is a list of people know, talked to, and information discovered.

_Ruphus Laro_: A monk of St. Cuthbert charged with investigating the abductions at the orphanage. He was attacked by Last Laugh ruffians on the way back and saved by the party.

_Jenya Urikas_: The priestess of St. Cuthbert in charge of the temple while the high priest Sarcem Delasharn is on an extended visit to the port city of Sasserine. She gave every party member a potion of Cure Moderate Wounds and promised 2’500 gp for bringing back the children and punishing the kidnappers.

_Gretchyn Tashykk_: The headmistress of the Lantern Street Orphanage; an elderly halfling.

_Patch_: Half-orc janitor at the Lantern Street Orphanage. He confessed having received 50 gp in order to watch over Terrem about a year ago. He is still contacted by the mysterious Revo Twindagger every now and then.

_Keygan Ghelve_: The gnomish locksmith who supplies 80% of all the locks in this Cauldron. The skulks and dark creepers of Jzadirune forced him to produce three master keys for his locks by abducting his familiar, a rat called Starbrow. He gave the party a map of the old gnomish magic user enclave of Jzadirune, warned them of trapped doors, and mentioned the mysterious Vanishing curse that struck 75 years ago and cursed all magic items produced down there.

_Kristof Jurgensen_: Current head of the church of Pelor; the church is relatively minor, specially since his three superiors recently died under mysterious circumstances.

_Oriodea_: An acolyte at the Pelor temple, and friend of Aria’s.

_Sergeant Justinian_: Working for the town guard; he told the party about the Last Laugh thieves guild (which is what “organized crime” is called around here...). He also mentioned that there are about five levels of subterranean prisons below the town barracks. Seeing that Aria was an acolyte of Pelor, he said he’d give her a tour of the prison complex if she produced a letter of recommendation from her head priest, Kristof Jurgensen.

_Bolar Westkey_: Gnomish cartographer that had a map of Jzadirune similar to the one that Keygan Ghelve gave to the party. Maps seem to cost 2-20 gp.


  1. Fenyael has a remote relative working at the Bluewater Academy. Fenyael is trying to get him to help him research the volcano issue, but this first requires adequate introductions as required by elvish codes of conduct. A present must be sent, an invitation to an appropriate event must be delivered, and so on. What’s this professor’s name?
  2. What is Aria’s noble house? The father must be over seventy years old by now. Where does the elvish mother live, and is there a possibility of her coming back?

The party met Ruphus on September 1, talked to the headmistress of the orphanage on September 2, and started investigating Jzadirune on September 3.

The party spent quite a long time down in Jzadirune and discovered several Skulks, about half of them asleep. One of them seems to have contracted the Vanishing curse. The party traveled quite a bit through mysteriously dug tunnels without ever having to open any of the gnomish doors. They did find a few secret doors, however. Below the old gnomish theater stage, they fought a choker and nearly died because it grappled Borg and nearly killed him, and then started grappling Aria. Only when Zacharias’ Ray of Enfeeblement weakened it such that it could no longer do any real damage did the Choker flee. The party had prevailed and brought some loot back up to the surface.


Challenges overcome:

Level 1: 8*300+600+900 ⇒ 3900 4 = 975 per person

Current XP:

Borg: 975 (Ftr-1)

Aria: 975 + 50 (initiative) = 1025 (Clr-1 + new level)

Fenyael: 975 (Sor-1)

Zacharias: 975 (Sor-1)



Good write-up :) Shackled City brings back fond memories for me; I played through the first few adventures with my friends when it first came out, and had a blast with it. The adventures raised the already great quality of Dungeon mag by another level. Shackled City deserves it’s classic status.

GreyWulf 2007-09-03 10:36 UTC

Hehe. Indeed, I like what I see. Why did your campaign fizzle? (Or would that contain spoilers?)

AlexSchroeder 2007-09-03 11:33 UTC

Several reasons, really:

  1. Two of my players have a pathological hatred of D&D above 8th level as it becomes too unwieldy to play. That’s their perception at least, and I can see why they think that. Too many choices, too much book-keeping, etc. We’re trying to fix that in the new campaign by limiting magical items and slowing down level advancement
  2. We are getting rather bored of D&D :) We’d played nothing but D&D for almost 2 year, and were desperate for a change. Along came GURPS 4th Edition, HARP then Mutants & Masterminds and we didn’t look back.
  3. Lack of time. Oh what busy lives we lead........

That said, we’re looking forward to going back to D&D now, after the rest.

GreyWulf 2007-09-03 11:50 UTC

Yikes! My MondayGroup will be reaching 8th level soon... I don’t think my players will tire of D&D any time soon. They are a pretty conservative bunch. We tried a session of Rolemaster maybe fifteen years ago that did not go anywhere, we tried GURPS Lite for two sessions and abandoned it, I tried to push my diceless system... And now I’ve given up, turned my coat, and embraced the opposition. D&D all the way to epic levels in three campaigns!! Haaaargh! :goggle: 😈 :fishbone:

AlexSchroeder 2007-09-03 12:50 UTC

Heh :)

I’m sure you’ll be fine. I think it’s just down to my gamers - they’re the kind of players who like to evolve their characters, so by the time they have reached 8th level or so they’ve got them excactly as they want them - so get bored with them and want to start again at 1st or 2nd level.

That’s one of the reasons I’ve kept wanting to bring in Classic D&D’s shift of emphasis at 9th level where the characters get Strongholds, land to govern and politics to be involved in. Maybe this time, I’ll actually manage it...........

GreyWulf 2007-09-03 12:57 UTC

Yeah!! That’s what I’ve always wanted to do as a player. I still remember my very first campaign (actually, a sequence of random bought adventures) for Das Schwarze Auge. The last adventure had us finding a gate to another plane, and the other side had a civilization, different technology, and so on. We wanted to set up an intraplanar trade organization, do politics, get involved... But the game fizzled. At the time I was too young to understand, but thinking back I think one player’s wife had decided that the two were no longer going to play. Bah! (At the time I must have been around ten, playing with my mom and some friends of hers.)

My current players hate danger and risk, and thus they abhor starting at first level. The spirit of Kicki Butti – which is Hawaiian for “kill quickly” – is strong in them. When they cleared a ruined castle, local warlord granted them the land on the condition that they rebuild the castle. I sent them copies of the stronghold rules in the Rules Cyclopedia. But they were not interested...

AlexSchroeder 2007-09-03 23:09 UTC

Hey Alex! I didn´t know you started playing with your mom! Cool parents I must say! As for the kick butt - well I guess a young adult black dragon is not enough any more. :-)

Just to let you know: starting again with 1st level was not at all disapointing! The contrary: I had a lot of fun in Shackled City, which is sure also because the group is not so ambitious of their characters

– Belarond 2007-09-05 15:20 UTC

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