It was at the bawdy inn and tavern known as Rutgar’s Big Ass that Cerulyiann made a critical error. This was an error that almost cost him his life. It was the 18th day of Hammer, the first month of the new year, The Year of the Starfall, thirteen hundred years since The Shattering. In this age, the roll years in Faerun begins with The Shattering – the date that the great elven realm, the Vyshaantarii Imperium, under enormous internal and external pressure, permanently broke asunder into myriad realms, some elven and some those of the many invading races of sentient beings. It was on this cold and frostbitten day that Cerulyiann hired five adventurers to help him on a quest of no small importance.
Cerulyiann, a moon elf who hailed from an eastern province near the Sea of Vapors, of the remaining lands of the Vyshaantarii Imperium had travelled slightly more than two thousand miles, over the course of the last eighteen months, pursuing this quest of his. He was young, only 110 years old and of regal build. He stood two inches shy of 6 feet and weighed just over 150 lbs. He favored fine clothing of grey shades bordered in blue, which accented his silver white hair, liquid blue eyes and blue tinged alabaster skin. He had braved many dangers in his journey to this northern region of Cormyr which was one of the, unfortunately, now many human realms. This region, Cerulyiann had determined, was woefully backwards and full of ignorant, common and boorish creatures.
It was they, these aforementioned creatures, which Cerulyiann felt compelled to hire to assist him in his quest. An irony, really…..but he had little time time muse on that subject as he had recently learned that the object of his quest, an enchanted Vyshaantarii quarterstaff engraved with Cerulyiann’s noble family crest, was in the possession of Burjzak, an orc shaman known as an Eye of Gruumsh. Cerulyiann recently had discovered the location of the lair of this shaman and had, unfortunately, albeit, correctly, determined that he was going to need assistance in retrieving this staff. Therefore, he contrived, reluctantly, to spend the last of his inheritance by hiring and supplying a number of those ignorant, common and boorish creatures. The creatures he found were in the form of two beastly reptilian sentients, of obvious draconic heritage. This had slightly interested Cerulyiann, as these creatures hail from the far south, from a realm which borders the Great Raurin Desert within the landmass know as Zakhara. They were the brothers, Baalthazar and Shedinn Kimbagktuul. Baalthazar, apparently had achieved some kind of success as he was, indeed, a knighted noble of Cormyr. He seemed quite vainglorious and his brother, Shedinn, a spellcaster, was too into his cups and this, in part, would ultimately cause the demise of the quest. Cerulyiann also hired two humans and a dwarf. The dwarf went by the name of Dorm Stonebeard and he appeared as some sort of war-caster within his racial faith. Dorm seemed eager to fight and, alas, was in the end, Cerulyiann had later surmised, eager to die. One human, Maximus Thrax, was of noble standing within a semi-autonymous tribe of Cormyrian northerners – noble or not, Cerulyiann had ascertained, humans of his ilk were little more than the orcs that he needed dealt with. The other human, Filan Hogor, appeared as an equestrian with experience in mounted combat. This Filan was, generally, a quiet man, to which Cerulyiann mistakenly assumed meant that this human held a decent measure of wisdom.
In the end, the assault on Burjzak’s lair was a disaster, though Cerulyiann managed to escape with his life. The quest was a failure. The foolish adventurers were thoroughly outmatched and were, now, most certainly dead. He had found himself back at Rutgar’s Big Ass, as this was the place that he had paid for a month’s stay, in advance. Therefore, Cerulyiann found himself drinking cheap ale in the Commons and mused at now two ironies, one in which he had been forced to rely on those obviously beneath him and he had been completely incompetent in vetting those fools. This was the error in which he lost everything and the second irony was that he, Cerulyiann of Vyshantar, was indeed nothing more than a…big ass.
Here follow my comments……yet last game session we really did do, in conversation afterwards, an oral AAR:
1. I agree. I did not do my due diligence as DM and I made the scenario too hard.
2. It is not my intent to have players work on mental gymnastics as they figure out how to successfully plan the execution of a mission, quest or situation, yet, there, perhaps should be some form of in-character planning (not saying that this did not happen – just reinforcing a thought).
3. We all need to be aware of how much we drink – if we decide to drink during the game. Last year, I think, we all got to see what happens when the GM gets wasted and last session we got the honor of seeing what it is like when a player gets smashed….. LOL
4. I am keeping this short as it is now after 3am……subsequent AARs will be more detailed and will be posted in the forum.
Each character earned 315 XP which takes all characters into 2nd level. All seemingly deceased characters, for whatever reasons…dice rolls, deific intervention, whatever, have found themselves alive, after being unconscious, lying in the cold icy sand that comprised the beach of the small lake below Burjzak’s lair. The attendants and hirelings of several characters ensure support and survival.
Therefore, the next game session will assume that each character is back in the city of Evening Star.
Please be advised that each of you will be getting a separate email from me detailing some game information relevant to your characters.