Almost a decade into his self-imposed retirement, Sir Drogyn Martok feels the call of adventure once more, as old evils once defeated have begun to stir anew. Joining Sir Drogyn on his quest to find the clandestine Guardians are daring adventurers and allies old and new. Sir Drogyn’s Party must seek the Guardians and attain their Keys, their ultimate goal: the final destruction of the dread Shadow Knight and the ultimate defeat of the elusive and treacherous followers of the Shadow Knight, who conspire to return their lost champion to his seat of power. Sir Drogyn’s Party set out with Good Intentions. Unfortunately, such noble men can fall prey to manipulations most foul from unforeseeable forces.
Duskreign’s Note: I did not run this game. It was the earliest glimpse of the world that would someday become Wyrmshadow, the world I would one day inherit and sculpt into what it is today. However, because this campaign was run by Andy (Duffpool) and not me, I do not have a list of chapters or a solid story outline to document here on the Wyrmshadow Campaign Setting. What follows is my recollection of the events of Good Intentions. Anyone who played this campaign that may remember things differently, please feel free to reply to this forum thread.
In the first session of Good Intentions, the main heroes of the campaign were collected in Sir Drogyn’s Bar in Sylverton. Boris Silverstem, the Ursite Weren (Were-Bear) Ranger who was an ally of Sir Drogyn’s during the war, appeared at the doorstep of Drogyn’s Bar with a new friend in tow, the Felite Weren (Were-Tiger) Monk, Sharakh Hexan. Sharakh was raised in isolation and read many stories about the great Sir Drogyn. He was eager to meet the legendary hero of the war to defeat the Shadow Knight’s insurrection and rid the world of what little remained of his fledgling Shadow Empire.
Within Drogyn’s Bar already were Sir Drogyn himself, Tarrik Broadleaf, the Hafhie (Halfling) Rogue, Rynn Woodsong, the Wood Nymph (and an old unrequited love of Boris’), and Caerdwyn Martok, Drogyn’s youthful, yet quiet and reserved, adopted daughter. Boris revealed to Sharakh the reason why he wasn’t treating young Caerdwyn like a normal little girl: Caerdwyn was a half-red, half-gold dragon that Sir Drogyn found as an egg over ten years ago, and he had been raising as a human daughter ever since.
The last person to arrive was a man Boris hoped never to see again. Silas Vale, a Human Sorcerer, had gained quite a dark reputation since the end of the war. Drogyn still felt it appropriate that Vale be summoned for this occasion, however, since he was announcing that his retirement was over. Sir Drogyn was to don the armor and brandish the holy sword of justice once more. Drogyn was asked by Mayor McCaseus of Sylverton to investigate the recent influx of monster activity in the surrounding area. During his investigation, Drogyn uncovered evidence to suggest that remnant forces of the Shadow Empire may be planning to somehow bring back their long lost leader, the Shadow Knight.
During the course of Good Intentions, Sir Drogyn’s Party ventured into the Underdark below Sylverton, encountered vicious Manslayers (soul-possessed magical weapons that augmented the bearer and, ultimately took control of their mind), and learned of the existence of the Guardians, an ancient order of mysterious, yet powerful creatures devoted to hiding and protecting mystical artifacts called the Keys.
Sir Drogyn was visited by an Archangel named Belthazar, a servant of Drogyn’s patron deity, Hyronius, the God of Justice. Belthazar infused himself with Sir Drogyn, guiding him on a quest that brought his party around the continent and beyond in search of the Guardians and the Keys they possessed. During this journey, Sir Drogyn would encounter and befriend Crossel, a Zardian (Lizardfolk) barbarian.
Silas Vale realized that the group was being followed, and he surmised that the party’s uninvited shadow was more interested in himself than anyone else in the group. Vale revealed the presence of Cordelia Nes’Nuvel, a Drao Summoner whose mysterious unexplained past and unwavering devotion to Vale gave Sir Drogyn reservations, and gave Silas Vale a powerful puppet to command.
Sharakh’s faith was tested time and again during the party’s travels, and as he began to see Sir Drogyn, the man, his idealized image of the perfect hero led Sharakh to question his own beliefs. Sharakh became deeply depressed, even to the point that he stood by while the evil Druid, Tempake the Filthy, slayed Sharakh’s own former master, Garah. After hitting rock bottom, Silas Vale swooped in and took Sharakh as his follower, content to make use of Sharakh’s considerable strength at the expense of his sanity.
Boris Silverstem continued to pursue Rynn Woodsong, as he had since the two met over a decade earlier, when their lives were very-much different, and the world was a much darker place. During this time, Boris came into possession of one of the Manslayer weapons, and despite Sir Drogyn’s admonitions, Boris insisted on keeping the weapon and using its power against the dark forces for which it was forged. This decision caused a rift between Boris and the rest of the party. The Weren Ranger grew distant and quiet during the party’s travels, and despite owing Sharakh his life, Boris did little to help the Monk escape from Vale’s clutches, or from his own crisis of faith.
Sir Drogyn met a young girl, a native of the tropical island chain of Paradisla, and through ancient tribal customs, the old paladin was required to marry young Ayla as a matter of honor. Soon thereafter, Sir Drogyn discovered that Ayla was carrying within her womb then next generation of the Martok bloodline. Though he loved his first wife above all, the widower grew to form a loving bond with Ayla that would last the man through death and beyond.
Soon thereafter, Cordelia made the same revelation to Silas Vale, informing the sorcerer that within her, his heir resided. From that point onward, Vale treated Cordelia much more carefully, and he called upon Sharahk’s loyalty and Crossel’s paternal instincts to ensure that the bearer of his child was protected, at least until he or she was born. Ayla tried to comfort Cordelia over Vale’s lack of love for her, but Cordelia was quick to dismiss Ayla’s attempts at friendship, insisting that it was not Vale’s love that she was after.
After Rynn was struck in battle by one of the Manslayer weapons, she fell under its spell and turned against the party. Enraged at what these “possessing” weapons were doing to him, to his party, and to the woman he loved, Boris tried to rid himself of the weapon he was carrying. However, despite his greatest wishes, he could not sever the bond that had been formed between himself and his Manslayer Sword.
During this intense confrontation, Cordelia summoned the Grooselugg to aid the heroes in battle. The Grooselugg was a half-demon half-human warrior from the Pylea Prefecture in Infernia. He had a reputation that stretched beyond the Gates and into Wyrmshadow itself, and despite his origins, he was renowned as a great and noble hero who fought against the unjust, much like Sir Drogyn. Unlike every other creature Cordelia ever summoned into battle, the Grooselugg was not sent back to his home realm upon fulfilling his role in combat. Through sheer force of will, he remained with the party, and joined Sir Drogyn as an advocate for his ideals. Little did the party know that Cordelia wasn’t powerful enough to summon a creature as powerful as the Grooselugg.
As the heroes collection of Keys grew larger and larger, they were approached by Sir Osar Argentix, Jeremiah, Tiburon, and Eldranas. These three men were, like Sir Drogyn, Boris, and Vale, heroes of the war against the Shadow Empire over a decade earlier. However, as Drogyn retired, Osar gained political strength and became the leader of the Armies of the Northern Expanse. Osar pleaded with Sir Drogyn to abandon his quest to locate the Keys and instead aid him in preparing for the Shadow Knight’s inevitable return so that the world was not caught ill prepared when the next war broke out.
The Archangel Belthazar, infused with Sir Drogyn, insisted that the quest continue to its fruition, so Sir Drogyn passed on Sir Osar’s offer of partnership. Meanwhile both Jeremiah, an Elven prince from Quae Elfien, and Eldranas, an Elf War Priest, harbored open and vocal disdain for Silas Vale. Eldranas and Vale were long-time rivals, but just as it appeared the two men might come to blows, Sir Drogyn felt the call of his infused angel luring him toward the next Key. It was a decision Sir Osar promised that Sir Drogyn would soon regret.
Sir Osar was right.
As the party was collecting a key from the deserts of Muhar, they came under attack by a Rakshasa Lord named Shakaar Hakkari and his three sons, Sarazot, Soralov, and Sin’Shaza. During this battle, Sharakh met and fell in love with the daughter of Shakaar, Shaleria. However, in an effort to retrieve the key while wresting Shaleria from her father’s clutches, Soralov slew the Hafhie, Tarrik Broadleaf. Sir Drogyn fell into despair at the loss of his precious friend Tarrik, and he laid partial blame for his death on the feet of both Sharakh and Shaleria. This only served to drive Sharakh completely into Vale’s clutches.
The losses of Rynn and Tarrik made Drogyn realize that the costs of this quest were too high. He grew angry toward the Archangel within him, and began to question the mission. During a particularly brutal battle, Sir Drogyn appeared to have been overcome with his injuries, only to rise again under the control of the angel within. Under Belthazar’s control, Sir Drogyn’s body sought the next key and showed no empathy or emotion toward his friends in the party in the process. The heroes were drifting apart, and now that Sir Drogyn seemed to be out of commission, a schism formed in the ranks of Sir Drogyn’s Party.
Sir Drogyn managed to regain control of his physical form, hearing the admonition of the Archangel Belthazar that his lapse in faith was at cause for his injuries, and the only way left to him was completing the mission, finding the Keys, and assembling them so that they may be destroyed. According to the angel, only Drogyn was capable of assembling the Keys, the shards of the broken Night Sword, and only when it was fully assembled could the Night Sword be destroyed forever.
Sir Drogyn realized that his party had split evenly into two groups, one group remaining loyal to him and his leadership, the other swearing fealty to Silas Vale. It appeared many times that the two men would attack one another. Sir Drogyn believed that Vale wanted to assemble the Night Sword and keep it for himself. Silas, on the other hand, was starting to agree with Sir Osar, believing that the Night Sword should never be reassembled to begin with, and that if the Shadow Knight’s return was inevitable, their efforts would be better spent preparing for war.
Sir Drogyn realized at this point that, sometime during Vale’s travels, he came under the tutelage of a notorious practitioner of Infernal magic named Ma’Thius PaVayne. He also realized that he could feel the taint of PaVayne’s magics on Cordelia, a fact that did not escape Vale’s notice. Cordelia revealed that it was through PaVayne that she heard of Vale and, from a distance, grew to worship him. The revelation was a lie, a line from a script writ by the hand of Pa’Vayne, but it stroked Vale’s ego, and it sated his curosity. The Archangel Belthazar seemed quite agitated that Sir Drogyn was traveling with a disciple of Pa’Vayne. Sir Drogyn thought he understood the angel’s sentiments, but he mistook righteous indignation for something far less noble. Belthazar and Pa’Vayne had history, and the Archangel did not want Sir Drogyn to learn of it, at least not until the Paladin of Hyronius fulfilled his part of Belthazar’s plan.
Sir Drogyn’s Party were attacked by the Manslayer-corrupted Rynn, and Boris was blinded in action. Discovering a link between the Manslayers and the Drao, the Dark Elves that dwelled in great cities built many miles beneath the surface of the world, Sir Drogyn ventured into the Underdark that ran beneath Quae Elfien. There, the party faced the demonic foe they had so many times before narrowly escaped from: The Lord of Locusts. In that confrontation, the Lord of Locusts was forced to flee the heroes for a change.
They captured and interrogated a Drao sorceress, a woman named Vehntrys, who claimed to be able to grant the party access to the second-to-last Key. Sir Drogyn promised that if this woman brought them to the Key and aided them in gaining possession of it, he would show mercy on her. Silas Vale was beside himself with rage for Drogyn for making such an offer. Drogyn insisted that Vale would have to trust him. They went with Vehntrys and, as she agreed, she aided them in their quest for the key. During the battle against the key’s guardian, Rynn was slain by Sir Drogyn, and upon retrieving the Key, Drogyn took hold of Rynn’s weapon and plunged it into Vehntrys. Vale was impressed. Drogyn said that her death was as much of a mercy as he was able to spare the woman.
As the party approached the final key, located in the heart of Quae Elfien, they had to stop and make camp in a field near a river within view of the city. Ayla and Cordelia were in labor. Both women gave birth on the same night and at almost the exact same time. Cordelia gave birth to a daughter, which Silas named Lucinda. Ayla gave birth to twin sons, one of which Drogyn named Tarrik, after his fallen Hafhie friend, and the other, Melchior, for reasons he could not quite understand himself. (That name was of Belthazar’s choosing, as it was his soul that fathered the second-born twin.)
Drogyn, Vale, Boris, Sharakh, and the Grooselugg left the women in the care of Crossel and went into the city of Quae Elfien, their goal: to find the final Key, reassemble the Night Sword, and destroy it. They went into Quae Elfien as they did into this quest for the Keys… with Good Intentions…
The city was under siege by a massive force of Shadow Knight loyalists commanded by Manslayers. Jeremiah’s father, the King of Quae Elfien, died in the conflict, leaving him to take over rule of his crumbling kingdom. Both Sir Drogyn’s Party and Sir Osar’s men approached King Jeremiah at the same time, each with vastly different takes on how to save Wyrmshadow. Sir Osar insisted that Sir Drogyn already failed to save the world, that he squandered his chances to help him raise an army strong enough to counter the looming Shadow Empire threat that now battered the walls of Quae Elfien. He proposed that Jeremiah retreat from the castle and come with him to Imperia, where he could fortify defenses and rally the Armies of the Northern Expanse to, one day, retake Quae Elfien from the returned Shadow Knight.
Vale and Drogyn were, at last, united. They both insisted that this fight was not over, and that retreat would only ensure the return of the Shadow Knight. If they destroyed the Night Sword, here and now, they can end his threat forever, the Manslayers would lose their power, and Quae Elfien would not fall this day. However, Jeremiah held the key to the vault of the final Key around his neck. Despite his hatred for Silas Vale, he trusted Sir Drogyn, and he gave him his blessing.
Sir Osar got into a heated debate with Sir Drogyn as he marched toward the Key’s chamber. As the two men walked toward the chamber, Eldranas and Tiburon confronted Silas Vale, with Sharakh standing faithfully at his defense. The men engaged in a bloody fight while, within the chamber, Boris, Drogyn, Sir Osar, Jeremiah, and the Grooselugg looked into the sole phantasmal eye of the last Key’s guardian. It was the spirit of the Shadow Knight himself, missing an eye and looking upon Sir Drogyn with disdain and, perhaps, a bit of recognition. Sir Drogyn smirked at him and walked right through the apparition, realizing that it could do him no harm. He thought that the look on the Shadow Knight’s face was due to him recognizing that Sir Drogyn’s presence represented his ultimate destruction. Little did Drogyn realize that it was not he, but the angel within Drogyn, that the Shadow Knight recognized walking into the room.
Sir Osar crossed the room and stood beside Sir Drogyn, telling him that if he does this, he seals the fate of the world. Sir Drogyn reached forward and took the final Key into his possession. The keys morphed from their traditional key-like shapes into black shards of metal, spun in the air before Drogyn’s eyes, and formed the shape of the Night Sword. Suddenly, before Sir Drogyn could take hold of the weapon, Sir Osar’s body shape changed, revealing the man to have been a doppelganger. He grabbed the weapon and slashed it across Sir Drogyn’s forehead, opening a deep cut that temporarily clouded his vision.
The spectral image of the Shadow Knight was returned to physical form, and the doppelganger, the Nameless, threw the weapon to land in the hands of the returned Shadow Knight. The Grooselugg dove toward the Shadow Knight, but the archangel within Sir Drogyn vacated his body and parried the Grooselugg’s thrust. The Nameless attacked Boris and kept him occupied while Sir Drogyn was faced with the Shadow Knight and his former infused, the architect of the Shadow Knight’s return (and indeed, his initial creation), the Fallen Archangel, Belthazar. Sir Drogyn fought gallantly, but he was injured, outnumbered, and now, without the power of Belthazar within him, outclassed.
Silas Vale and Sharakh joined the fight at this point, having dealt with Tiburon and Eldranas in an unforeseeable way, and it looked, for a moment, like Sir Drogyn’s Party might escape death this time. However, one by one the heroes began to fall, and with the Shadow Knight in possession of the Night Sword, the very instrument of his own creation, the heroes of our story were well and truly slain. Sharakh was left alive, broken and crippled, to be the bearer of this tale and tell of the fall of Sir Drogyn’s Party and the new rise of the Shadow Empire.
The Grooselugg was never seen again, though to assume the undefeated champion dead would be a fatal assumption indeed. Jeremiah would commit suicide before being captured by the encroaching armies of the Shadow Empire. Eldranas was apparently slain in combat by Silas Vale before the Shadow Knight’s return, but it was said that his spirit was seen near the body of a recently fallen Quae soldier, sliding it into himself as one might do to a suit of armor. Tiburon was given a choice by Silas Vale, to follow Eldranas to his death, or to abandon this place and return to his underwater kingdom. Tiburon wisely chose the latter, and was not seen by the surface world again for over twenty years.
Even as the darkest of times lay ahead for the world of Wyrmshadow, the tiniest light of hope yet shone in the eyes of the heroes’ children. Cordelia, feeling that Silas Vale was indeed dead, attempted to forcibly remove herself and her child from Crossel’s protection. Sensing that she meant to endanger her daughter, Crossel refused to allow Cordelia to take her daughter. Realizing that she stood no chance against the Zardian protector of the children of our heroes, Cordelia disappeared, threatening to return one day to claim “it” as “it” rightly belonged to her.
Ayla and Crossel, seeing the changing face of Wyrmshadow unfolding, went into hiding, protecting the three infants, meeting friends old and new, and ensuring that there would be a new generation of heroes to help mend their Broken Home.