As announced at the launch of the new Core Rulebook, I’ve managed to pull together a few more friends to do some more playtesting. Our first session took place on 2 October.
This game takes place in my Verden setting, the as-of-yet most complete Stage setting and also the setting my previous campaign took place in. And yes, the dog was there again; lucky for us, it did not get sick.
Some basics on the setting and the adventure
The adventure takes place in Verden. Verden is a setting loosely based on the early medieval Baltic Sea region, including some North Sea elements. The theme in the background is that of constant social change as various forces battle for dominance in every possible way. It is a very rough place, where only the strong survive.
I expect most of the adventure to take place on or around Adelfán, so I’ve copied in a map of that island below.
This adventure is set in the world of Verden, a setting for which I am currently writing a sourcebook. Many of its characters and events will become part of an adventure that may be published in the future, so there may be some spoilers ahead. Consider yourself warned!
Players get to pick from three races in Verden: alps, gettefolk, and humans. Alps are the nimble and small climbers of the woods; gettefolk are the swift caprine giants of the wild; and humans are the quick-minded people of the cities and the fertile heartlands.
Our story begins on the small karve Halwr’s Spear in the Sea of Ice. The players are all passengers or crewmen on that ship, which is captained by a skølle (a southern human) named Captain Halvhand. The ship suffered damage to the sail during a storm and got separated from the rest of the convoy. It must now make a stop at the island of Svarttand for repairs. Below is the introductory text the players received before we began.
The oars sweep through the water, and the longship creaks and moans as it slides along. When you stick your arm out, you hardly see your hand in the thick fog; all you feel is the cold biting your fingers.
You pull the furs tight around your body and shiver. Behind you, a wounded seaman, lost in a fever-induced delirious dream, moans softly.
The mists open for a moment to reveal a vast sea, gray as the sky; it is difficult to see where one ends and the other begins. The gray mass is disturbed only by a single black, jagged mountain that rises from the sea. Thick clouds of mist roll down its slopes. Where the mountain meets the sea, the fog piles up in a decrepit village of stone and wood. On a ridge above the village looms a ruined keep of crude stone; a light burns behind one of its arrow slits.
"Svarttand. . .” Captain Halvhand looks at you with a nervous grin that hardly seems appropriate, considering three of his crew lie wounded on the deck of his damaged ship. “It hardly seems welcoming, does it?"
"It used to be a resupply point and waystation for traders Adelfán-bound," he says. "But no one comes around here anymore these days.”
He chews on his gray beard, lost in thought for a moment. Then he continues:
“The traders now sail around Falkenö in the west. It’s better to go that way. Falkenö doesn't get as many icebergs in spring and summer, you see. . ."
Captain Halvhand's eyes rest on the single light shining from the decrepit keep.
"Aye," he says, "fewer icebergs."
At the next cry of "Slag!" the ship slips into another thick cloud of mist.
There are four players in our group (not counting myself), and these are the characters they came up with (with links to background stories about their respective sub-races):
Wisse Radekin is a wodewose alp. He is the son of his tribe’s chieftain in self-imposed exile after suffering the shame of being caught stealing. He is a capable apportationist (magician specialized in telekinesis and teleportation) and always accompanied by his pet weasel, Gem. He is a crewman on Halwr’s Spear.
Ena is an ettergette. He was raised in seclusion by his mother, from whom he inherited an interest in all things to do with the etter, the dark, magical creatures that once ruled the world. He wears his mother’s hide as a coat and is eager to find a way to resurrect her.
Halred Lamaarkin is another wodewose alp. He was born and raised a hunter and woodsman. He became embroiled in a feud over hides with another tribesman and eventually left the tribe to ensure the feud would not pass on to his family.
Lorin the Lame is an ulder human. He is in his late thirties and walks with a cane on account of his club foot. Somewhat of an exile, Lorin travels the world doing odd jobs. He is a crew member aboard Halwr’s Spear.
Enough introductions, time to get started! Read part 2 here!