The legend of the Bloody Land
A few generations ago our people came back to this land, the first to return after the days of the great cataclysm wrecked and rattled the land. The great Duke Santrelmo brought the first settlers along with his company of soldiers, the famous Thousand Swords. The found this clear area and bend of the river, and the beautiful red rock upon which he constructed his first tower. The settlers and soldiers built a camp in the shadow of the rock while the Keep was built.
They soon learned that this land was not as empty as they thought. It began with raids of Goblins. Small attacks that did little but annoy the hardened warriors of the Thousand Swords. But it began to get harder to get the supplies from the East, due to increased raids of Goblins, now with a few Orcs joining in.
The Duke ordered troops of his company to patrol the roads East and West. Hoping that they would catch or at least discourage the raids. Instead the raids in the West only increased in size. And the men of the Thousand Swords began to slowly lose morale and strength, as more and more were wounded or killed.
The great Duke knew that this was no way to conduct a war. And it was clear there was a war here. So he led his company into the forest in a campaign of death and destruction. The Goblins and Orcs were soon found and their camps mostly destroyed that summer in a daring and well executed campaign. A campaign that led to the naming of the forest, ‘the bloody forest’. At last it appeared that the last camp of the monsters was wiped out and the Duke led his forces back to the Keep.
Alas he was wrong, as more Orcs began to appear in the forest over the winter, despite patrols of the company. And when Spring came a massive horde of Orcs came out of the forest, having come south from the Dragonwall mountains. Thus began the siege of the Keep, a long battle that eventually earned it’s name, ‘the bloody rock’. Outnumbered and unable to get word out it seemed that the settlement was doomed.
Just when it seemed that the last charge of the Orcs was coming, that the Duke and his few remaining Swords could not hold another day horns began to blow. Out of the North, marching along the river, came the Dwarves of the Crater Lake Hold, smashing into the rear of the Orc host. And out of the West, seemingly springing from the land itself, a host of the Rosada Elves came, their arrows and spears flying. The Duke himself led his few remaining men out of the Keep and engaged the Orc leader, a huge boss named Kroth, and killed him with a mighty blow. Soon the Orcs were chased not only away from the town but away from the land itself.
That summer the first of the traditional Vieje took place, as the youth of the land were tasked with going into the forest to look for and kill any remaining Goblins and Orcs.
Having made the choice to go back to 5E for the boys game I am definitely enjoying the game planning far more. I think that a Savage Avatar game could have been interesting, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it that way for the boys. So now I can get back to working with something more in my personal wheelhouse.
The difference this time is that instead of just diving into Forgotten Realms and then making it up as I go along from there I am starting from scratch with my own vision. I think it will be better to do it this way. And I have more fun planning games this way.
The big difference now is that I have a more experienced group, and I have personally leveled up as a GM as well. I have a much better understanding of what I need to do. And having read a little more more I think I can approach my planning more scientifically, gauging the adventures more in tune with what the group can handle.
I also am more interested in using the games as a way to tell a story now, having developed that habit. Which means I can mesh what they do with a larger narrative like the story written above.
Overall, I am excited and think that this next game will be better than the previous one.