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David B
Just here to laugh at everything
Just here to laugh at everything


The party has gained the services of a spy named Fazouk; a Khinasi man familiar with the region. Meeting with him in Neuburg they learned some information:
A long abandoned temple has been located in the mountains north of Fellport; a city in the southern part of the Gorgon's Crown lands bordering Kiergard. It is unknown what significance it has but has gained the attention of the Fingers of Azrai.

The rebellion has struck a critical blow against all odds vs. the evil forces of Onwen Spakhaert, governor of Kiergard. the easternmost part of Kiergard is now liberated and loyal to the rebellion while an army of 1200 released slaves has sacked Meklsburg in the northwest.

A large wagon train has been sent to the capital city of Daum from the now occupied province of Meklsburg.

The rebellion is led by a man, Brand Mournsinger, claiming to be an heir to the deposed royal house of Kiergard. His guerilla war started in the western Thuringode forest.

The high priest of the temple of Azrai is in the city of Daum, one of the only places that humankind lives without enslavement but in willing service to the Gorgon.

Almost all resources in Kiergard are sent to Fellport. The Gorgon grants only the bare minimum to maintain the region and it's large military. Lord Spakhaert is under immense pressure to maintain the region. He ratted on his former predecessor for skimming a little too much coin and his head now adorns Overwatch Tower. The rebellion is costing him immensely and if he can't afford the Gorgon's tribute, he is likely to end up in a similar situation.

The Swordhawk, the vampire lord of the Massenmarch to the east, is sworn enemies with the Gorgon but has not made any moves.

The realm of Muden may be a potential naval ally of the rebellion but is reluctant to face the Gorgon directly.

The military forces in the area are quite strong. 400 Mur-Kilad crossbowmen, 800 goblin infantry, 400 goblin cavalry, 400 gnoll infantry, 200 orog infantry,
400 mercenary cavalry, 400 scout, 2 roundships and a galleon.

LFG Session 31, An Unexpected Reunion.

The party began their march northward to Neubach, a village in the southernmost province of the domain of Kiergard. On the way, the party spied a campfire in the distance and with Richard doing some stealthy recon, saw a group of priests of Cuiracen making a blood sacrifice of a goblin to their god. Not sure what to do about such a thing, the group left them alone and found little trace of any of them in the morning. Continuing further in the Kiergard southern foothills, they came upon a long abandoned farmstead in which one barn was burned to the ground. Tracks nearby showed that there were many here not long ago and the party pressed on.
After a week of travel, the group came to Neubach at sunset. Richard went to get a lay of the area and found the village was partially in disrepair and partially abandoned but patrolling throughout were goblins, orog and gnolls, fierce hyena men armed with spears and shields. He also saw that the center of the village was dominated by a fort armed with ballista.
As Richard continued his observation, the party was spotted thanks to the clanking of buckles on Magalore's heavy armour. Three well armed but shabby looking peasants approached, all of whom seemed quite comfortable with their weapons. Unsure of the party's motivation, the standoff was tense. The men spoke Brechtish, a different language from the Anuirian tongue the party was common to but fortunately one of them fought alongside dwarves and knew the basics of the dwarven language. Magalore of course knew his own native language but so to did Hemu and Richard having lived in Khundrakar for a year. The man explained that they were on a mission to free the enslaved people here, a suicide mission to be sure and that there were about 200 enemies here, 50 in the fort alone. Joining forces with the men, they agreed to help free the slaves. The operation was botched from the start. Almost immediately, they alerted the attention of a gnoll war squad as they were confounded by the chained door to the slave pen. Richard easily dealt with the lock as the three Brechts laid waste to a goblin war party. The manacles and chains securing the slaves were far more challenging but Richard in his great resourcefulness still had a vial of acid he acquired in The Promontory. The slaves were now freed and led by the Brechts as they fled into the night. The alarm was now fully on alert and the party was in a great standoff with an army of evil .
Marching forward was the chief of Neuberg, an orog with chainmail, an axe and a shield as well as a massive helm. He called out to them in Anuirian, knowing who they are by reputation and challenged them to a one on one duel; even in loss the party would be allowed to leave. The orogs and others were eager to see bloodshed and Magalore accepted the duel. Immediately the cheif lead with a blow that came but a hair's breadth from cleaving Magalore's head in two. The two fought and although the chief was strong, Magalore was clearly a superior warrior. Defeated on the ground, the chief surrendered but would Magalore honour it? He did, and it was the wise move. The chief lifted his helm to reveal he was none other than their former hireling Hrogklar. Proving their strength in arms, Hrogklar called off his warriors and invited them to his chambers to speak.
After the generous reward the party granted to him, Hrogklar went north and with his experience and wealth, had increased his influence and fortune through cunning and violence to the point that he was placed in a command position by the warlords controlling the Coullibaird province. Hrogklar would not dare move against his superiors but offered the party a safe haven in Neubach as well as an offer to gain contacts in Neubach....for a price. The party readily accepted and a deal was struck. They then marched back to Khundrakar to await word from their hired spies the following month.
As for the escaped slaves, there is no telling what happened to them or their rescuers. evading goblin Warg rider cavalry at night, however, did not bode well.

Low Fantasy Gaming Session 30: A new saga.

"After 500 years when Michael Roele was slain atop Mount Deismaar, Azrai the Devil seeks his return to Anuire to begin a reign of darkness".

It was a year since the party had defeated the dragon, Nightscale, and reclaimed Khundrakar for the dwarves of Baruk-Azhik. Khundrukar now acted as an outpost that both the dwarves and the people of Ruorkhe could maintain as a kind of joint territory between the two peoples. This spirit of cooperation was forged by the party with Magalore the dwarf cooperating with his human party members seeking a common goal.
Arriving at Khundrakar was Laccolith, Thane of Cliff's Lament with a proposition to Magalore to become the Castellan of Khundrakar officially in exchange for his pledge of fealty, which he accepted. After some very dwarven celebrations, the Thane returned to his home leaving behind his representative, Rocktar, to advise Magalore.
Over the next few weeks, group of (relatively) young dwarven soldiers were sent to Khundrukar to be trained by the heroes. During their training in the nearby mountains, Rocktar heard something amiss in the nearby underbrush. Observing the area, he knew that something was concealed with invisibility which was a tactic of the Mur-Kilad dwarves. Warning the rest of the party, they were prepared for the Mur-Kilad assault. The party held their ground and either slew or drove them away. After, it was found that amongst them was heraldry that signified that they were in service to Kiras Earthcore, the Mur-Kilad warrior general in service to the Gorgon. For a Mur-Kilad scouting party serving the Gorgon to be in this region was alarming and a meeting was held amongst the Thanes to determine what must be done. Unfortunately, dwarves are slow to act, stubborn and political divisions prevented a solid consensus. Magalore reminded them that not much longer than a century ago Khundrukar fell to that kind of thinking. The dwarves agreed then that this would be taken seriously and at that moment, striding into the court was a disheveled, wild-eyed woman...
...The Chimaera herself in human form.
Citing that she enjoyed the havoc she could wreak upon the world as it was, all that would come to an end if events came to pass. She knew that in the west, the Five Peaks region, actions were being taken to usher Azrai into the world and his army, being that of his lieutenant was the Gorgon's in the north, was tasked with safeguarding his return.
Now the dwarves and the party themselves were tasked with the impossible; unite as many kingdoms as possible to defeat the Gorgon's army and discover how Azrai would come back into this realm in hopes of preventing it.

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A well summed up recap.
Late again, tomorrow's post will explain why.

(This one doesn't, but it provides a brief recap of +David B's Khundrakar story arc that we finished last night.)

I haven't written about the campaign in a long time, but that's only because real life gets in the way and the last five or so sessions has been a dungeon crawl. Highlights:
The party vanquished the orogs that controlled the top level of Khundrakar. They baited them out into the outlying woodlands and mountains, picking them off until they were vanquished. Two orogs thought better and became hirelings for a time, eventually being released from service on good terms with generous pay.
The second level of the complex was a natural cave formation inhabited by troglodytes and were experienced dealing with that foe. The party had no trouble handling them, but their massive lizard pets were far tougher. That encounter cost the life of one of their dwarven mercenary hirelings.
An abandoned storeroom on the third level was mostly for a roper that devoured Richard nearly sealing his fate. The obvious innuendo made for hilarity.
The fourth layer has proven challenging. It is Durgeddin the Black's abandoned foundry. Now appropriated by Mur-Kilad dwarves, the party had to use a daring plan to win....ultimately failing and ending in a bloodbath. The Mur-Kilad are a race of dwarves ruled by the Gorgon after having made a pact the Azrai the Devil. They are the sworn enemies of Baruk Azhik dwarves and have the powers of invisibility and growing in size twice the height of a man.
Finally, the party faced a tormented ghost and a seemingly endless tide of animated skeletons from the remains of dwarves and orogs killed a century ago when the place was invaded.

Low Fantasy Gaming Session 22.

They spied two lone orog guards on the ridge guarding the entrance to Khundrakar. Figuring the direct approach is best, Magalore wielded his hammer while breaking into a light run up the trail.
Looking incredulously at the dwarf, the orogs drew their weapons but were unprepared when Magalore struck down the first one while Richard finished scaling the ridge, sneaking behind the other and silencing him.
The group went on toward the mountain gate, a massive set of stone doors but unbeknownst to the party was set up with numerous murder holes in the tunnel leading in, testament to the dwarves defensive ingenuity that was not lost on the orogs. Magalore dove straight into the massive door, forcing it open before it could be barred. On the other side they fought a hard melee against the orogs. A rope bridge connected the gate area with the rest of the complex where other orogs shot at them from the cover of 2 boulders. The party defeated the orogs, leaving 2 of them to retreat further into the complex.
Magalore barred the door and the group crossed the bridge to take a rest on the other side. As they got up, there was a loud banging at the door; their ogre cheiftan had returned. Using it's massive might, the ogre smashed open the door, an enormous ogre sized battle axe in one hand and a dire wolf on a chain with the other. His orog minions stood behind him.
Magalore taunted the enemy, grabbing his crotch in a lewd manner prompting the ogre to direct all of the bow-fire at Magalore. Being a smaller target, heavily armoured and with the boulder as cover, he avoided injury. Doing this gave Rymere and Richard enough time to destroy the bridge, preventing the enemy from crossing. A great battle ensued consisting solely of bowshot. The great ogre was killed as well as half of his orogs but not before dealing a terrible wound to Richard's chest with an orog arrow. Fortunately, Hemu was able to work his magic to keep the blow from being too severe.
The rest of the orogs fled with the dire wolf. The two that fled earlier came back to the party, this time seeking to parley. The one that spoke Anuirian was known as Xunug. Orogs respect strength, and the party had proved themselves strong. Xunug and Hrogklar, the other orog agreed to join the party in return for food and spoils. Relectantly the group agreed. Hemu tended Hrogklar's wound, a sword blow from Rymere's weapon Lizard-Killer. Hrogklar licked his lips and leered creepily at Hemu as he did so.
Xunug so far proved useful. He showed the party all of the level's hidden places and they looted unrestrained. He also told them that the lower levels had troglodytes and the very bottom depths contained a creature of nightmares.

Low Fantasy Gaming. Session 21.

After 2 weeks of being holed up in Ruorkhe, one of the rescued miners they found in Khundrakar, said that a fisherman had spotted an orog war party on route a few miles away. When asked, the fisherman had claimed at least 10 were coming there along with an orog the size of a tree. Medrod, the village headman accused the party of luring them there by invading the dwarven fort. The group took great exception to this and prepared to the town to their fate.
Hedrek, the fisherman that spotted the orogs told them that somewhere to the southwest in the mountains was a monastery of warrior monks that may be able to help. The party agreed and set off. Unfortunately, they not only ran out of food, but also got very lost. After wandering the rest of the day, they spied the orogs forward scouting party, just beginning to break camp for the night. The party snuck in and a battle ensued with the group being victorious. Unfortunately, the echoes of battle alerted the rest of the group; an 11 strong orog group led by the ogre with a dire wolf on a chain. Thinking it wise, the group snuck away giving them a wide berth.
After another hour of travel, they spied the orog rearguard. These 5 orogs appeared to be led by a shaman of some sort, sporting a necklace of full size heads, ritualistic scarring and trappings of foul magic. Rymere and Richard crept in the darkness, awaiting the chance to strike. When they did, the only thing that was seen was hands grasping in the dark toward the orog shaman, pulling him away and quickly rendering him mortally silent.
The terrified orogs were then beset by the arrows and bolts of Magalore and Hemu, with Richard's unseen blade the last thing they witnessed.

Low Fantasy Gaming Session 20.

The smoke swirled around the Magalore, Richard and Hemu as they descended the 80 foot shaft into the complex below. They landed within a chamber where a smouldering fire burned in a makeshift kitchen. The group began to explore though the caverns when voices called out to them in the dark.
Trapped behind a wooden cage were two people captured by the orogs that dwell there. They explained that they were from Ruorkhe, a town far to the south in the Chimaeron. There were once more of them, miners who had strayed too far into the monutains. The orogs had sent a ransom to the town that was never paid, so the rest had been eaten. The two remaining were only waiting to die.
The group brought them back to the room with the fissure in the roof. Rymere above let down the ropes where they were let out and the group continued on.
The three of them explored the place, eventually finding two doors with noisy inhabitants beyond. They decided it was now or never, kicked in one of the doors and rushed in. This was a kind of bunkhouse with 8 large and brutish humanoids, orogs, within. Magalore's hammer scattered them, Hemu's bow and sword did their work and with the advantage of surprise, Richard hewed his way through the monsterous enemy. Their advantage was short lived. Richard was hard pressed to strike down his enemies as they swung heavy bladed axes, one of which landed a telling blow. Before Richard could fall, Magalore came to his aid. One of the wounded orogs escaped past Hemu at the room's entrance and made it to the next room and forced open the doors. Within was an even bigger group of orogs led by an ogre chief with an ogre sized axe flanked by 2 dire wolves. Knowing that these odds were insurmountable, the party ran as fast as they could, screaming for Rymere to let down the rope. As Hemu and Richard climbed their way out, Magalore stayed there slaying one of the dire wolves before escaping the complex.
Now the group had a great lead on the orogs. They and the 2 captives made the 6 day march to Ruorkhe where they were thanked for the rescue of their kinsmen and given meagre rewards.

LFG Session 19.

The four of them: Hemu, Cadwyn the cook, Richard and Rymere, rode north all until the next morning away from Ruorven where they were almost certainly wanted. The wetlands began to subside and by the time the morning light was high in the cold morning sky, the party was on an endless expanse of the flat steppes of Coeranys.
They arrived in a small village of herdsmen where they met with Magalore who had been waiting for them to guide them to the dwarven realm. Further north they went, finding an isolated monastery devoted to the god Haelyn where Cadwyn would stay having no more taste for adventure. Magalore paid the abbott there a significant stipend for her care until their return before they all headed off east into the desolate wilderness toward the Iron Peaks.
Magalore led the party to a lone tree where with a few taps with his hammer, signaled the ground to open up in a ramp beneath them, leading them all into the dwarven town of Cliff's Lament. The place was a bustling dwarvish community in stark contrast with the lonely plains above. A local tavern was a fascinating and enjoyable place, strangely operated by an elf and patroned by a brilliant dwarven artist that regaled them with stories of dragon hunters long passed.
The party made their way to Magalore's family home. Although his father wanted Magalore to stay and tried to disuade him from entering Khundrukar, Magalore was unyielding as stone. Despite this, his father was willing to help and helped the party gain audience with Thane Laccolith who in turn sent a message to Thane Wulfram of the Promontory, another dwarven settlement. Taking their leave, the group traveled through the mountains and deep within an alpine forest to a hidden entrance to the Promontory. Thane Wulfram was very helpful, having been alive in the century previous before Khundrukar was overwhelmed. He told the group of deep fissure in the top of the hill where Khundrukar was built into. This would be a place they could use to gain access to undiscovered. They made their way and using dwarven made climbing gear, prepared to scale the depths of Khundrukar.

First off, please forgive any errors I may make because this is my first review of any product but I must say, Midlands and LFG in general has made quite an impression on me since I've encountered it. There is a reason that I don't do reviews and that is because I find it somewhat disingenuous to do a review only by reading but not actually using a product. As of now I have used the Midlands supplement in varying capacity 3 different times and there is a vast amount of it still that is left untouched. In all three times Midlands has come through for me. This supplement at 364 pages is enormous and with the amount of useable material within, the price of $10 and now $7.50 is more than an extermely fair price point.

*Overview*: This is a brief section that describes the Midlands, as this is a setting book, in terms that frame what the setting emphasizes and what is unique about it. Although the Midlands is placed in a medieval fantasy setting, the various regions within run the gamut of ancient empire complete with gladitorial arenas to budding renaissance technology especially in terms of the Artificer class. It is assumed that the world is a grim and gritty place where fierce danger exists in large swathes of wilderness as well as hidden perils in civilization. The most unique aspect, I find, is that the gods are silent. They don't grant spells or healing which is the realm of actual magic users which is a potentially disasterous choice that requires some caution. Details on this is established in the Low Fantasy Gaming ruleset which is free but it is assumed that Midlands is being used with this system. Mechanics aside, however, this work can be used just about anywhere. The next part, *Sandbox Traits* talks about exactly what this book is setup to be and that is a sandbox. The world is described in generalized terms and is as "open world" as it comes for TRPGs. It lays out exactly what is meant by the term "Sandbox" and how that is applied. It's rare to find any work out there where the descriptive "fluff" elements within are just as valuable to run a game as the crunchy mechanical aspects but here it's true. It is explicitly stated that the tools here provide encounters, events, adventure hooks and even mini-adventures that can be used at a moment's notice to run a great session and from my own experiences, it does precicely that. The next sections detail the Midlands in terms of history and culture, even providing a lexicon that seems like it would add a great feel to immerse the group in these lands of adventure. This part I admit I don't use much, as my campaign takes place in the old TSR Birthright setting before this supplement was released. Each race (and by race it is assumed human in a human-centric setting) has a page or two devoted to it and even has name tables for them. This I find extremely valuable both for players indecisive on names as well as creating NPCs on the fly. Name tables are always welcome! Laws and punishments as well as the names for currency add just that much more flavor to a game and is within here too. All of the gods are described along with their follower's beliefs and details are here as even though they are silent, belief exists. The section on magic discusses just how Dark and Dangerous it can be with tables and details on how it can cause various levels of disaster for an LFG game. An added bonus is how there are alternate spell names, something that you just don't see often enough in games but just as everything else in the book, is permeated with setting flavor that is easily useable. Finally, all of the main cities and geographical areas are here and well detailed. Even if you don't use the setting as intended, the descriptions could be ported to any unknown place your PCs traverse. The *Player Options* and *Bestiary* sections describes things that are more focused on LFG in general. In this part there are three new classes; Artificer, Ranger and Monk, but more importantly there are now gear packs and bonds for characters. These are a nice touch as instead of having to deal with the tedium of shopping, you can now just pick your gear and are ready to go, a lot like the starting equipment options for 5th edition only simpler. The bonds seem very Midlands specific but just like other things in this book can be used anywhere. This is a far more interesting option for starting characters rather than "You meet up in a tavern..." The bestiary adds some more interesting foes for your game too such as the Hammersnail which one could certainly see as a flailsnail. I personally see myself using the Anointed guys as enemy mooks for my now mid-level party. The luck score by Hit Dice table is good to see in there for creating your own monsters and will be of use to me as well since I create and import new creatures all the time. *GM Tools* is a very useable section that has initiative variants and guidelines, NPC generator complete with personailty and speech quirks and and Outpost generator. All randomized and ready to go. This initiative thing is nice but I personally don't need it but where this section really shines is the NPC stuff. You can make just about anything. Just last night my players rode to a monastery in the middle of nowhere and they wanted to speak to the abbott. I did not have an abbott. Midlands did. The part for making outpost is complete with rulers, available services and adventures hooks making it have near infinite use. I haven't has the pleasure of using this part yet, but I can see myself doing so in games to come. There are also random encounter tables by region within but a lot of these are entries re-used from the LFG setting book. That brings me to my only real yet minor qualm with this resource. The random wilderness tables and Dark and Dangerous Magic table are recylced and I would like to have seen some more new stuff there. The new classes are also ones that were released free some time ago. Some other new classes would have been welcome. I'm not too concerned about this; the supplement has masses of useable information that dwarfs this observation. Things such as level-variable general stats for NPCs of every class and possible special abilities is a new and excellent thing for DMs on the fly. I can't even go into the many, many tables that have information on everything from rolling up taverns, streets and rumors to examples of meals served within. It's staggering. If I detailed them all I'd be here all day. *Adventure Frameworks* is the part that I personally got the most use out of. The players in my group needed to have something going on during the winter while they were holed up in the city. I looked for a mini-adventure there there was not only one but EIGHT I had to choose from. They were roped into chasing down a local man at the behest of his wife in a somewhat comic-relief event. It made for a great situation that even has some repercussions in the future for the party. In last weeks game, my players completely skipped out on a mini adventure I set on their path and instead forged on an overland trip to their ultimate destination. What was I to do rather than just fast forwarding it? They were jumped in an assassination attempt well detailed in Midlands. Once again, Midlands pulled through and there is still so much more able to be used. My conclusion here is that whether you use the Midlands setting, OSR or 5E, get this book if you get anything. It's worth it and more. If I didn't already have a campaign, I'd place it in Midlands. As a DM, you will not be sorry. There is something for everyone.
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