Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Se'Kai Part 1: Introductions and Getting Up To Speed

This is a setting I have been working on, and as it is a work in progress, there are bound to be slip-ups and inconsistencies, but I will try to keep that at a minimum. The party is all starting at Fifth Level as a means of giving them (and myself as the Dungeon Master) more options.

Since time immemorial, the Holy Valmutian Empire stood as a symbol of peace and prosperity in the land of Se’Kai, seemingly blessed by the gods themselves. It is this Blessing that Valmutian rulers have attempted to live worthy of, as the belief was that as long as the current empress walked upright in the eyes of gods and her subjects, the land would continue to prosper.

In the midst of this prosperity, technology has rapidly progressed, as ancient technology melded with modern engineering to produce such miracles as steam, airships, and trains. However, this peace hides some unseemly secrets, and now especially under the rule of Empress Aveline IV, this prosperity seems to be wavering. As there always seems to be, bandits and pirates are there to attempt to plunder what goods are produced. At the same time, at least as far as anyone is able to tell, the Empress herself has been growing more tyrannical, seeing enemies where there previously were none, mobilizing the Valmutian military against her former allies, conducting witch hunts against her own counselors, staging mock trials and public executions, all these things to the extent that her own daughter, Aveline V, stole away in the middle of the night and has not been seen in three years.

While this is going on, rumors begin running rampant of ghost ships, cults, and other dark powers threatening to pull down what little stability there still is.

It is in this time of strife that our heroes were called upon by a mutual acquaintance named Halinard Townsend, a Halfling merchant, formerly chief airship engineer for Valmutia.

Our party includes Bubbles, a Kenku Artificer; Grula Rekaa, an Aarakocra Fighter; Jangle, an Awakened Cat Rogue that had been staying in Halinard's office; Lord Somen Hing of Uter, a Human Wizard; Savin Breen, a Human Bard; and Yesmae, a Half-Elf Monk. Details of their pasts will be given as things are revealed throughout the campaign, but at this time each character has secrets of their own.

Our story began with the party meeting in Halinard's office on his private island, discussing the mission which he had called them for. He had been expecting a large shipment of mythril from the mines in the Southern Isles, but once the schedule began to slip he quickly cobbled together a team to investigate the disappearance before the shipment fell into the hands of pirates or worse. They set off in his newest experimental airship, so new in fact he hadn't even given it a name, hoping to quickly find the shipment and retrieve it.

After a short time travelling and getting a chance for the party to get to know one-another, they landed in a small city to refuel and stock up on supplies. The party broke to explore the city and gather information. Savin made use of his musical prowess to draw a crowd, from which he was able to glean gossip about a group of pirates in the Southern Isles aboard the ship The Fury of the Small.

While this was happening, Grula met a textile merchant on the run to transport his illegal silkworms to another city. That was his cover story, anyway. The party never found his real motivations.

Halinard was a little wary about transporting the merchant, as was Savin, both wishing to avoid drawing attention to themselves via any form of illegal activity, but Halinard conceded, as the party could use the extra cash.

En route to the next major city, Doncaster, the party was awakened to the sound of an alarm going off. Rex and Ray, the two Warforged Halinard had created to help him run the ship, had spotted a suspicious airship that had been following them. Sensing a trap, the party quickly met to discuss a possible solution. Somen Hing offered to cast Clairvoyance to see if he could glean what the other ship was up to, as the ship was within the spell's cast radius, and most of the crew seemed to be on deck.

The ship was full of bounty hunters after the textile merchant. Seeing an opportunity to peacefully resolve the situation, the the party quickly hatched a plan. Using Bubbles' Bag of Holding, the party would hide the merchant and consent to being searched. Savin insisted that he would do the talking, and the party tried to act as naturally as possible. Well...most of them. Yesmae, fearing that the bounty hunters were after her, decided to try hiding under her bed in her cabin.

She rolled a 10.

Naturally the person searching her room saw her feet sticking out from under the bed. In a mildly annoyed tone of voice, he asked, "What're you doing?"

She slid out from under the bed and muttered an apology, after which the bounty hunter examined her closely. "You...look familiar," he said. "D'you or one of yer relatives have a bounty on yer heads?"

"No," she quickly replied.

"Ah, guess you must have one of those faces." He then quietly ducked out of the room.

The bounty hunters, seeing that they'd found nothing, bade the party safe travels and left, and soon enough the party landed in Doncaster, seeing the merchant off.

However, once in Doncaster, the party noticed that the people were acting strangely...

No comments:

Post a Comment