A Cold Night in Helska

The party will started in Medan. You may notice certain other things that may seem out of place but the guide to ‘The March of Shadows’ will also be amended and updated for players to review.

The core party consists of a group of loyal comrades who have been together since being transported from their military unit (The Brothers of the Blue Keep, formerly under the command of the Blue Lion) nearly 5 years ago. After their separation the party would eventually expand to its current count as they originally united to return to their homeland of Dalmos. Unfortunately upon reaching a township under the protection of the Republic they learn that the Great General Nobius would find it a hard time believing their far-flung tales of monsters and warlocks and strips them of their ranks and tosses them all in the dungeon to await sentencing before a court martial.

It is here that the core party learns that their missing friend, they had believed was spared the teleportation to the other realm, has turned into a wanted figure by their own brothers in arms. Testifying before the Naval Court of Clerics and short tempered by nature the judges refused his appeal to mount and conduct a thorough search but instead was demoted and given physical labor in the blacksmiths as punishment. No one has seen him since then but a pattern of sabotages and disruptive activities would ensue with one event resulting in the death of 2 bandits and an overzealous lord. 

When the dark wizard of the castle Vranus takes an interest in the new prisoners and transfers them to his wing of the dungeon where the especially loathsome were hidden away from even the sun’s reach. Vranus was but a 4th inline administrator to the Republic’s Order of Mages, then a mousey pushover, now a brooding enforcer and ambitious member of the new court. It is on their way to his wing of the dungeon the party escapes by overwhelming the guards and blowing up one of the gunpowder rooms as a big enough diversion for the remaining guards. Upon escaping they also unbeknownst to the characters foiled an assassination attempt that would have taken place had the Night Hunt not be postponed as a result of the explosion.

After trekking through thick swamps and rebuilding your arsenals and spells the party again finds themselves at the precipice of a great voyage into the shadow lands to avoid capture and find their lost friend. They hear of the downfall of many northern border provinces to the North and whispers of gold and magic continue to come from the Ice Port of Helska

Upon arriving in Helska while escorting a caravan they outlaws are set upon by bandits and thieves that had been trailing them. Unclear how considering the awful weather conditions and lack of any tracks but nonetheless the enemy had breached the security lines of the village and the town itself was at risk. After an arduous and hard earned victory the boys made themselves scarce and laid low until dawn the next day.

Olaf the Druid and magical warden of the area is talking to his old contacts to see if he can get any word on his brothers who are late returning from their duties at the border  and was catching up on local news when he would notice Apollo and Bhakar through the corner of his eye. After whisking them away and learning of their misfortune and misadventures he would voice his concerns for dark force that seems to be edging ever so closer that he does not comprehend and none of the literature he found and aid him in his search for answers.

He informs them about an imbalance before allowing them to warm up by the fire and attends the counsel of elders where he is ceremonious barraged by some of its members and implored to investigate and help them get much needed supplies. Olaf is also approached prior to making his exit by the nephew of a wealthy and powerful paladin who invites them to his estate at the very outskirts of the village limits with promise of interest and assistance. He reluctantly accepts and keeps his friends a secret before intellectually prying some information from the newly arrived unit. When hearing they would not be staying to assist in the patrols or even provide him an escort for one of his town quests he is disappointed when he thinks of having to break the news to his brothers.

Though he would learn more about their bounty and piece a way in which he could get a favor perhaps if he were to pitch in. In the meantime while he was chit chatting and playing diplomat the others are visited by a gypsy who prophesies dark omens ahead and how they must all come together before the dawn in 3 moons. Quinten the Owl Ranger is on edge, trusting no one outside his brothers and welcomes the carriage ride out for new work and potentially a way out of Helska and towards warmer fronts.

The carriage trip is nothing short of mind blowing as a spirit familiars make themselves seen and put on a light show as they race alongside them as they make it to the estate. The party are pleasantly surprised and the dilapidated state of the surrounding homes of the manor do little to bring down their spirits as they are given a quest which is dangerous but also can bring them closer to clearing their names and find their comrade.

With 3 quests to choose from the party decide to first investigate the old graveyard that is rumored to have undead roaming around and bandits. The coin is not much but they also know that the energy around the place and its proximity to the old Amber Mines cannot be a coincidence. We last left off with the players hopping out of the carriage with Stark accompanying them as the would be healer. Bhakar is having second thoughts about bring along an outside and in his mind one that is a weakling that is only it to get some credit and skip town.

As the cold winder whips their faces the men must summon the strength to go forth and walk past the graves knowing they are anything but alone.

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May the Journey Begin

Some 2 months ago I decided to start the initial recording of Darker Shadows, a new adventure I was writing based on a novella I wanted to publish and figured it could be fun to play with my friends as the protagonists were inspired by them. After completing more work on the outline and prepping for the session 0 it struck me that we could do something truly unique.

I wanted to run a game that felt as close to the setting in which the characters found themselves in the book and at the same time wanted the plot and hooks to evolve with the decisions made by the players. Ambitious would be an understatement but once I started I had no choice but to see it through. As of this post we have had 7 sessions and are banking as much footage as we can get on a hard drive but like any first time venture we too suffered from a slew of technical difficulties and scheduling problems but we stayed the course.

During this time I had lost a dear friend and a job that would have relocated my brother and I to the West Coast of America and solved many of our financial problems. At this same time I would break up with my girlfriend of 5 years and learn that my father was battling bladder cancer which took its tole on me emotionally. What also took a tole was spending 5 years in a country which openly discriminates against Slavs but that is not what this post is about but the emotional baggage and pain had reached a tipping point.

Going into the summer I had to call for a temporary break from recording and take some time off so I could deliver content I could be proud of and to avoid my players and friends from getting bored or burning out. Now we have agreed for a big 8 hour session in which we plan to get through all the scenarios and events I have planned thus far. I am eager to see my friends around the table again in the slightly upgraded studio. Avalon Studio will serve as our primary location for in person play and recording which is located in Kungsbacka, Sweden.

I look forward to uploading the Setting Guide and Viewers Reference Document when the first episode goes online and am keen to read any questions or feedback, just be sure to follow the contact instructions on the Nerd Dimension site prior to reaching out. Thank you