Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An Excerpt from the Legend of Kamerlane Clovertail, the Doom Bringer (to his enemies)



Without comment, here is a character journal I wrote for a 4E D&D game (run by the estimable Citizen Ben) wherein I played  the an impetuous monk and the middle sibling in a trio of halfing children.  With two other players as my older brother and younger sister, it was a blast even if I only got three or four games out of the PC before the game was unfortunately shuttered.  I recommend that you imagine it as being related to you by an over-caffeinated teenager.

'Twas the after the night when Kamerlane led his compatriots to victory over the wicked goblins, cultists and Bourni in the Battle of the Old Mill. An uneasy calm had come over the town, bolstered by the presence of so mighty a warrior as Kam. From the lovely but cold-eyed Elf Waerir, Kam received a secret parcel, entrusted by a mysterious benefactor to Waerir to give to Kam, surely because of the girlish infatuation Waerir tried and failed to hide for Kam. Inside the parcel, Kam discovered a note of encouragement, recognizing that Kam was the mightiest and most worthy hero of those who had fought at the Battle of the Old Mill. A great and magical circlet which rendered Kam impervious to any harm was enclosed. There was also the finest of delectables to keep Kam strong and a bottle of magically potent Brandyvine Spirits.
As Kam examined his fine new provisions, nearby Tom Folk spoke incredibly loudly to Kam's older brother Billiam. Though Bill was older than Kam, it was obvious to all who observed them together that Kam lead the way, while Bill relied on Kam. Tom gave Bill a crest of authority, knowing that Kam's natural charisma would render a crest of leadership completely unnecessary for the Mighty Kamerlane, while the bland and meek Bill would need all the help he could get to impress anyone the brothers met. Tom also said something about not instigating non-hostile Bourni, something that Bill would later forget, leaving Kam once again to get his big brother out of trouble, but more of that later.
The kindly Mrs Folk told Kittera, Kam's little sister, to run home if things got bad, giving Bill a dirty look for not doing enough to protect his and Kam's youngest sibling. Mrs Folk gave Kam a wink of encouragement, recognizing that he had his hands full keeping all of the group safe and that Bill should pull his weight for once and keep an eye on Kit instead of watching jealously after Kam.
There was an elder who spoke to Johann, Kam's personal cleric, that once Johann was no longer necessary in Kam's service, that the priest should minister to the elder's crazy daughter, who, being crazy (perhaps driven mad by unrequited love for Kam?) ran up to Johann and whispered in his ear how madly in love she was with Kam and then giggled and fled blushing.  Also, there was a quiet former Borni warrior woman who accompanied them, pining all the while for Kam.
They went deep into the dark woods, whose sinister atmosphere depressed the spirits of all, except Kam, whose natural good looks and obvious heroism gave the others the strength to continue, they discovered an abandoned manor which goblins had taken over. Kam quickly climbed a tree, nimble as a monkey, and spotted their enemies. Kam leapt from tree to tree, agilely avoiding the crossbow bolts of his adversaries, while below him, the others cautiously advanced. After Kam had slaughtered their attackers, they found a human and a bugbear chained up, Kam suspected something amiss, but like a fool, Bill did not listen to his wiser, younger, handsomer brother, and the bugbear was able to grab Bill. As the bugbear strangled Bill, whose pleading eyes begged his heroic brother to help, the bugbear used Bill as a shield, but alas for him, the bugbear, Kam was able to nimbly take out the brute. Taking the booty that was rightfully his, Kam discovered a bottle of Wyrmshine. Kam instructed his two Bourni bondsmen, Hans and Pavel, whose lives he had saved to stay at the Manor and guard it for Kam's return. As a token of his generous thanks, Kam even left the two a bottle of rum to enjoy. Kit found a couple of mushrooms, which Kam, wise in the ways of the woods, easily identified, schooling his little sister on which was poisonous and which ones would be medicinal.
The next day the group continued on their way to the Keep that was their destination, and Kam, scouting ahead, alone, bravely, discovered a clearing with a grisly dias surrounded by skinned corpses, on the other side of which was an ancient catacomb that oozed terror to all those not named Kamerlane. While the others quaked with fear, Kam boldly climbed up, pulled out his magical bottle of Brandyvine and lit it, hurling it in at the unsuspecting cultists who lurked within. The explosion jolted Kam's companions out of their fear and they surrounded the skinless undead beast that was the only thing strong enough to survive Kam's mighty attack. While his companions kept the brute distracted, Kam dealt it mighty blows until it died a final death at the end of Kam's spear of destiny. After the thing was killed, Johann said a prayer of thanks to Bahumat for blessing the world with a hero as mighty as Kam.
After the battle of the Creepy Clearing, won almost singlehandedly by the mighty Kam, the group reached the Keep, infested with goblinoids and humans who worshiped the evil god Taurug. Once again leaving his less bold compatriots behind, Kam crept close, unseen and listened to the goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears gathered there in the name of Bane, god of evil war (and also, from Kam's experience, god of those who get their butts kicked by Kamerlane the Doombringer (to his enemies)). Listening and as undetectable as a ghost, Kam learned that the goblinoids served a king named Kornac, who worked with a human named Valanar, the chosen of Taurug, who had brought a mask. Kam discovered that the goblins were building siege engines and learned the location of a swamp to the west where the Taurug demon worshipers gathered. Just as Kam was about to learn every secret of the evil goblins, some of his companions got over bold and clumsily crept up, as Kam's companions crept up, so too did the Borni that Kam had seen the entire time, not wanting to let the others get caught, Kam quietly alerted the unsuspecting Borni to his presence and demanded that they take him and his companions to their village.
A sub chief, Beinir, recognizing Kam's natural greatness and also being shown Bill's crest, brought the group to the chieftan, a mighty one armed man named Haeg, who recognized in Kam the makings of a great warrior and leader. Kam and Haeg spoke candidly, man to man, despite Bill's butting in and causing the Borni to come to anger at the mention of Tom Folk. Even though Bill attempted to usurp Kam's natural place as leader and upset their host and his tribe, Kam was able to win Haeg back, with his obvious greatness and a reminder that the Borni feared Valanar, while Kam feared no man, beast or undead thing. In honor of Kam's battle honors and greatness, Haeg threw a great feast, treating Kam as guest of honor and allowing Kam's companions to stay at the head table as well out of deference to Kam. Kam regaled the Borni with the story of his exploits, which they agreed were worthy, and even found time to woo a winsome young maiden, about whom no more shall be said out of deference to her honor (aside from the fact that she was smoking and could not keep her eyes, hands or tongue off of Kam).
The next day, as the tribe and his companions shook off the effects of the mighty feast and Kam awoke refreshed and eager, as true heroes always do, Haeg brought them out away from the village, where he confessed that he had a problem only Kam could solve. The chief had his men use a clever apparatus, though not as clever as any that Kam could have devised, should he have needed to, to pull a great stone slab off a deep and fetid pit. Haeg told Kam and his lesser companions that the pit was where criminals, betrayers and other unworthies were kept, but that two days ago something sinister had come to the village and gotten into the pit, turning all within to zombies. Kam at once declared that he, and his companions, should they be bold enough to accompany him, would descend into the pit, kill all the zombeis and carry out the head of the thing that did this monstrous deed on the point of Kam's mighty spear.

Next the tale of Kamerlane the Zombie Slayer, deep in the Pit!

4 comments:

  1. Sometimes I forget just how friggin' wonderful that group was even for the limited amount of time it ran.

    Bob and I discussed going back to it once or twice a year and giving those who want it it a chance to play a self-contained adventure with those characters. They'd have leveled and lived a bit since then, but they'd still be Kam & Bill. Bob seemed rather delighted with the prospect of this. What do you think about it?

    The 'vibe' difference between that group and this group are tangible, as you pointed out in another blog, this group had an old school feel to it. Heroes doing heroic things for heroic reasons. It's quite the difference from the 'egocentric' anti-heroes group that is currently in play.

    I think having an opportunity to jump back to the remenants of this group, it's the same world after all, and play out some of their adventures could be real fun.

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    1. I would love to play as Kam Clovertail again, especially if at least one of the other Clovertail siblings was there. I really regret that I didn't do as good a job at giving my Reign players nice relationships the way that the Clovertails had a easy relationship that we could just jump into that game knowing that we were going to be crazy kids but ultimately, when push came to shove, we'd have each other's backs.

      It wasn't just that we were heroes doing heroic things for heroic reasons that made that game for me, it really was the relationship between Bill and Kam and Kit that was great. Having Kam and Kit run to and fro causing chaos and Bill as the exasperated older brother going "ho boy, here we go again" and trying to keep us from getting into more trouble than we could handle. One of my big regrets with Sid is that Bob and I didn't do more with the brotherly relationship between Sid and Max, probably because as character concepts, neither needed a brother, so it was just a background detail, whereas with the Clovertails, being siblings was part of the core of the characters.

      Maybe I'll have to come up with a list of relationships for the Reign players to choose so that I can cement more of what they are to each other. I did a bit with my new Fading Suns game and I think I'm going to do even more with that.

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  2. If we went back it would be Bill and Kam, with other characters like the Drow you made that Cassandra played. Everyone else would have either died or 'changed' drastically.

    I think it's hard to have those built in dynamic relationships UNLESS the Players take the time to build them in first. OR unless the DM engineers them into the game prior to the start. Once the game gets going it's to hard to interject them in randomly.

    I just think that there are Bill, Kam, and other characters in that group who have tales left to tell, and I'd like to be a part of that. I love what your donig with REIGN, so much so that I'm going to try and borrow some of the 'buidling blocks' of it from here on out. I'm unfamiliar with Fading Suns, what's the low down on it?

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    1. I think if I played Kam again, I'd encourage new players to work themselves into the Clovertail story.

      With Fading Suns, three of the players are playing Merchant Guild members and deciding to be drinking/gambling buddies, I'm going to challenge them to come up with drinking stories of the kind like "Do you remember when that noble got drunk and accused you of picking his pocket and I saved your ass in the fight with a whiskey bottle?"

      With Reign the players thought up really sketchy relationships at character creation, but then never really worked them into their role playing. Hopefully my re-emphasizing their needing to have relationships to each other will be less intrusive since it's only the 3rd session and since, in theory, some of the relationships were there to start, they just have been under-utilized (in my opinion).

      I'm going to put up a full post on Fading Suns tonight (hopefully) so you'll get to see a bit more of the low down on Fading Suns in that post.

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