Forgotten Realms II: Legacies of the Past, Series 2.1

Friday night, I revived a campaign I haven't ran in ten years, with a group featuring only one of the players from that game a decade ago.

Some might ask why I'd do such a thing? Surely, the balance and chemistry would be thrown off? Does the player from the old group even remember his character or what was happening? Can the new group possibly capture some of that same dynamic that made the old campaign successful? Can you even remember where you were going with the campaign, and can you reignite that dynamic that made the old campaign successful?

The answers are easy enough: Paul really wants to see this out to its end, plus it sounds fun. Probably, but that can be recreated. Not really, but with lots of exposition and two weeks to study his character and classes, he's getting up to speed. I'm hoping the new group creates its own dynamic that will make this new part of the campaign successful. I keep meticulous notes, and had all my old work saved, so I know where I was going, but can I jump back in and get a solid dynamic going? Hell, I'm gonna give it my best!

And so we begin...
There's a fair amount of exposition and hammering out some details before we get started. This was made easier by only having half of the group present, so after we do some short prologues and catch everyone up to what happened in the old campaign, then I let the players choose when we would get into the game.

Some of the exposition follows, for those who want to play along at home...
Disclaimer: If you stumbled across this post and decided to read due to setting, and you are a Forgotten Realms purist, you might want to stop right now. My realms is set in 1395 DR, before any of the 4th or 5th Edition material was published, and absolutely wrecks canon in places. You have been warned!

·                     The intrepid heroes of the old campaign were whisked to the Monastery of the Omniscient Eye in the Sunrise Mountains. (A huge shared temple of all gods/goddesses of knowledge in any form, including those who normally wouldnt work together on principle of alignment. (Shar, Oghma, Milil, Savras, Gond, etc.)
·                     There, it is revealed that the Illumians are a dying race magically created thousands of years ago by a culture they do not recall to safeguard knowledge and put the knowledge they do have to use in making Abeir-Toril safer and to keep magic proliferate.
·                     At the Monastery, the PCs unlocked the truth behind their items(and statted them), decided who would continue on the quest, and equipped themselves to be appropriate for their level so that the challenges aren't increasingly harder than the PCs could muster against.
·                The 8 Great Evils were revealed as riddles and rhymes to be interpreted how the PCs found fit, though each is very much a specific person/entity, and all are truly evil.
·                     The PCs will set out on their quest to rid the world of the Evils, thus fulfilling their purpose as bearers of Thenadae's Legacy Items. 

After hitting the bullet points and going over a recap of the last session played with Paul, we went through a short prologue for each character, which is where the campaign picks up.

Jörmun's Prologue
After his battlelust getting the best of him during a job in his long stay in Waterdeep, Jörmun is forced to leave the city, becoming a wanderer again in his life, searching out battle, gold, and magic.

Some time later, during his travels, an agent of his employer in the City of Splendors, a man he for the first time realizes is an elf, despite multiple dealings, intercepts him and offers him a tip on a lucrative venture where there is promised to be much treasure and many chances to prove his might in battle.

This is all the Uthgardt needs to agree, and the man gives him an amulet that will guide the northerner in the right direction. Without hesitation, the warrior begins the long trek on foot toward adventure, arriving nine days later in Enialani Deshu.

Harlequin's Prologue
Harlequin has it easy. After touring with a troupe of entertainers, she has settled back in working for a noble family that pays her well. This day, however, when she enters the estate for her nightly performances, she is met with the man of the house, who takes her aside and explains that her father has need of her talents this day.

Art by Carla Arlecchino
It is explained by Harlequin's father that a veteran friend, and powerful Chessentan noble, named Telamon has asked for his aid in completing a quest that Telamon, himself, must give up for the time being. The old naval officer realizes that he is too old to take up this quest, but believes that his daughter has the life experience and potential to achieve great things and so decided to contact Harlequin and ask for her to do this thing for him, and to know he would never ask this of her if he didn't feel there was great need.

Harlequin accepts and her father bids her gather everything she feels she will need and meet him at their home, which she does and is introduced to a mystic whom asks if she is ready, then whisks her to Cormanthor via teleport as soon as she begins to answer. The mystic then bids her good luck and teleports away again just as quickly, leaving the young woman to guess where to go.

Shortly after entering the city, she makes contact with Telamon and his group before they depart, and he thanks her for taking up this quest in her father's stead. He then introduces her to Melody and makes preparations to leave.

Melody's Prologue
Art by Nekoart on Twitter
Telamon, Hapheth, Jack, Melody, Ajax, Logos, and Aeshoon (most of the original group) are traveling into Cormanthor to Enialani Deshu, the grand city that was rebuilt over fallen Myth Drannor. On the way in, they are met by elven sentinels clad in glassteel armor and weilding exotic blades and masterfully crafted bows. These elves bid them well on their travels, and sometimes accompany the party a short while before continuing their patrols.

Before reaching the gates, Telamon gets a Sending explaining that his city-state (Luthcheq) is in danger of civil unrest and possibly invasion if he does not return and exert control. He asks for Ajax and the rest of his followers to accompany him, except for Aeshoon, whom he asks to help recruit others to take up the quest, vowing that he will return if given the opportunity. Jack says that he will travel east with Telamon, but admits that his destination is the Great Dale, where he hopes to get the relationship with his daughter on track. Hapheth offers to help Telamon, also saying that he will return to the quest if the opportunity later presents itself. The majority of the band depart, leaving behind the lich Thenadae's prophesied items that will help the heroes defeat the Eight Great Evils after Telamon and others put out calls to various agents to send worthy persons to Cormanthor.

The Group Forms and Starts Out
Melody and Aeshoon wait, first greeting a Chessentan woman by the name of Harlequin who teleports in that afternoon and is greeted by Telamon before he departs, as she is the daughter of an old friend, then almost a tenday later being joined by a Uthgardt calling himself Jörmun.

After greetings, the two new recruits are given the basics of what the items that make up Thenadae's Legacy do. More abilities are introduced to the characters once they lay claim and a short attunement ritual is completed. Jörmun chooses Hapheth's cape and Harlequin takes Jack's boots, leaving Aeshoon's silvered tanto blade, Telamon's helm, and Darden's belt, though the latter item is still with it's original claimant.

Aeshoon explains that Darden had a lead on where they needed to go next to face one of the evils, but had only left a note, and had taken off on his own to arrive there first, saying he would wait at Enailai Deshu for a short time before moving on, and that if he had already gone, they should meet with the Tradesmaster of the Elven Court, and that he would be able to provide them more information.

The four go to meet the Tradesmaster, who in his graciousness does not turn them away when they enter his chambers armed and armored, despite the proper company in attendance. Tradesmaster Ivellios Vyshaan introduces the group to his wife, Siloqui, an air genasi named Ithagan, who is introduced as "Captain of Her Majesty's Spell Archers", an earth genasi named Fraught, who is introduced as the Vyshaan's head of security, and the High Mage of Cormanthor, Eraevan Teshurr, and his companion, Maresa.

The Tradesmaster goes on to explain that he had met with Darden two tendays ago, and that the dark elf indicated that he would be going to a location in the Dagger Hills, just on the edge of Daggerdale, to enter a chamber leading to the drow outpost of what used to be known as Szith Morcane and on to Maerimydra. Ivellios goes on to explain that he doesn't know what could be in those locations now, but that he was part of an adventuring band, that included Ithagan and Fraught, that cleansed that place of the drow menace more than twenty years ago, though as he understands it, some rogue bands of drow and fey'ri were destroyed in the area during the Reclamation Wars.

Ivellios then pulls out a map of the region and shows the group where Darden was to enter the Underdark, and bids them luck on their travel, offering fresh mounts for the journey, should they so choose. The group declines when Melody suggests she can get them there faster, and they decide to leave that afternoon, with Aeshoon staying behind to greet any others who may show up to take on the quest and guide them on their way.

Jörmun is reluctant to climb aboard at first when Melody shifts into the form of a giant bat, but reasons that flying is basically the only mode of travel he hasn't used before, and climbs onto the wildshaper. Harlequin is quick to mount the bat, finding it no more unusual that someone can turn into a bat than some of the arcane tricks she has already seen in her travels, and thus with a few spells cast for even more expedience in their trip, they take to the sky.

Five hours into their flight, however, several figures can be seen rising into the air in pursuit...

Cast of Characters
Harlequin Jacinta, Human Jester 13 - Angela
Jörmun Gand, Barbarian 11/Frenzied Berserker 2 - Taylor
Melody Proust, Half-Drow Druid 5/Mistress of Many Forms 8 of Shiallia - Paul
Aeshoon, Illumian Fighter 4/Cleric 9 of Oghma - Chris' cohort (retired)
Ajax, Human Fighter 12 - Ritchie (retired)
Darden (Zszfrynvyll Noqurden), Drow Ranger 7 of Silvanus/Fighter 2/Tempest 1 - Ritchie (retired)
Hapheth Hesaad, Greensnake Shinomen Naga Abjurer 9/Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 2 - Eric (retired)
Jack Grimes, Human Scout 7/Thief-Acrobat 4/Artificer 3 - Zack (retired)
Telamon, Karsite Human Human Paragon 3/Fighter 4/ Knight 5 - Chris (retired)

So, with one session under my belt on this campaign, I thought things went well. There were a lot of tangents, but it's not always easy to get into the thrust of a game when you're down half the group. I caught myself stalling a couple of times during the game, partially because I didn't want to get into combat, though I ended with a random encounter about to happen.

I'm not sure if this new group of players (new to this campaign) will take well to the Legacy Item rules. There seemed to be some dislike of the costs, but maybe it will grow on them once they can customize them to their own liking with further ritual unlocks.

All in all, I'm excited for the next session, and I've already done quite a bit of prep!