Sundered Lands 1

The Sundered Lands of Palladium

Session 1
January 31, 2016

Rendezvous on Lopan

Campaign Prelude

Much has happened in the year and a half since you a the companions recovered the Star of Pure Light. Through Kyrie and Colwyn Dray, everyone began receiving different tasks and parted ways again. For a few months, things seemed to be going well, missions were being completed and the minions of the Lords of Chaos were repeatedly thwarted in their evil, twisted plots. Then, when winter hit, everything changed.

News came from the far west and north that something evil was brewing in the Land of The Damned. This distant corner of the world was known to most everyone, though no one had ever known anyone to travel there and return. Stories were told that smoke and fire could be seen frequently and numerous earthquakes shook the area for several months. Reports began to come through from brave ship captains that the Land of the Damned had actually broken apart from the rest of the continent. It appeared that the dividing range, the Northern Mountains, had somehow disappeared or sunken into the earth, allowing seawater to flow up between the Land of the Damned and the western parts of Ophid’s Grasslands and the Great Northern Hinterlands. Sailors from Bizantium in the north confirmed these reports with similar stories. This water was, some believed, to be 100 miles or more wide. A few ships tried to sail through it, but none were heard from again.

Other than altering the landscape in a far distant land where no one really lived, this event in the Land of the Damned had no real affect on the world, but it was talked about. The events that followed, though, did have widespread impact. In the coming spring, pirate activity began to pick up in the Inland Sea and news came in that it was increasing in other places as well (Northern Sea, Sea of Scarlet Waters, and all through the seas to the south.) The tribes and roving bands of monsters living in the Old Kingdom began making more and more frequent forays north and east into the Eastern Territories. Ships on the Old Kingdom River were often assaulted and sunk. Groups of monsters crossed the river and caused havoc among the many communities along the border. Much chaos was sown throughout the southern reaches of the Eastern Territories.

In the north, Canine and Human settlements began clashing again, despite the hard fought treaty that had been keeping them out of each other’s way. The fighting escalated quickly and nobody's quite sure what exactly happened. Several factions in the Wolfen Empire worked hard to keep the peace along with several factions from Haven to the south, but the fighting and violence drown out all the voices for peace. Now the Eastern Territories, scattered and independent kingdoms and city-states, were surrounded by enemies. Wolfen and Coyles to the north, monster armies from the Old Kingdom to the south and aggressive pirate activity along their coasts and rivers.

Through this all, the Guardians of Bletherad continued to do their best, fighting against the powers of evil. It was clear that the Chaos Lords were somehow behind all of this new surge of activity around the world. The lands surrounding the Inland Sea and nearly all of the Eastern Territories were engaged in some form of warfare and things were starting to look bad. That summer, things got even worse.

The rumors of what happened are not quite clear but they were all bad. Some sort of explosion rocked the easternmost regions of the Western Empire along the Inland Sea. The city of Shinkasa was said to be at the epicenter of this devastation that spread for hundreds of miles in all directions. A cloud of dust and fire spread over the entire Inland Sea for almost a month that summer and when the dust finally settled, the unimaginable magnitude of the event was finally observed. The entire stretch of land that separated the Inland Sea from the Sea of Scarlet Waters to the south was gone. The easternmost tip of the Western Empire was destroyed, cutting it off from its connection with the Old Kingdom and wiping out several cities and hundreds of thousands of people in the process.

The entire island nation of Phi was gone, obliterated into just a few remaining rocky crags jutting out of the ocean. Lopan lost a good portion of its southwestern coastline after it buckled and crumbled into the sea when violent earthquakes and massive tidal waves assaulted it for nearly a month. Even a large chunk of the Old Kingdom had disappeared when most of a large peninsula sank beneath the waves, leaving only its tip as a large island cut off from the mainland.

There were rumors about what happened, but the truth was very elusive. The Western Empire placed the blame for it squarely on the shoulders of the Eastern Territories and their allies, calling it an act of war not seen since the terrible Elf-Dwarf War of ancient history. The Easterners all denied the act, but assumed it was some weapon of the West, possibly aimed at Llorn or some other more highly populated area. Regardless of the truth of any of these accusations, the Western Empire used it as an excuse to declare full-fledged war upon the East. Now the beleaguered Eastern Territories were faced with yet another enemy at their gates.

By the end of summer, the fighting between all three sides had escalated to full-on war. Tales of atrocities from all sides were flying about like wildfire as each group accused the other of worse and worse acts. All attempts at peaceful resolution were ignored as the body count increased.

The world was being torn apart, quite literally in some cases and only true heroes could possibly save it. The Guardians of Bletherad knew some such heroes and summoned them once more. Each member of the team was magically instructed to a secret meeting in Lopan City. The Library itself was right in the middle of the conflict between the Wolfen and Humans, though no damage had come to the Library, access to it was quite restricted. The island nation of Lopan, though, was one of the few places in the region that was not currently involved in direct warfare due to its deep roots in the Western Empire and its current outlook of being part of the Eastern Territories. The Guardians of Bletherad placed their hope in this last group of more than capable warriors, sorcerers and mystics. This gathered band of companions might be the saviors these sundered lands need.

These are the Sundered Lands

Session Summary

The heroes, Seeker, Fortis, Valinya, Talks With Rocks and Silver, had all been called together in Lopan City to a small seedy tavern, The Screeching Mare, by their friend and handler, Colwyn Dray. When they arrive, there are some happy reunions, as no one expected to see the others there. They took a table near the wall and quietly caught up on old times while waiting for Dray.

While Talks With Rocks made some attempts to sell some mushrooms to the other bar patrons, he noticed a well dressed but nervous man in the corner watching his companions. He alerted Seeker but before they could address him, the man stood up and approached, revealing himself as Colwyn Dray.

Dray apologized for the disguise and making them wait, but he explained that he was worried that he was being followed. He looked ragged and nervous, more so than they had ever seen him. He starts to explain why he had recalled them and told how all the recent events in the world had been connected and what the Guardians of Bletherad had been doing to stop it. 

He told them about the Shadow Pearls and how a team of Guardians had been sent to stop one of them from reaching Llorn which resulted in the explosion in the Western Kingdom. He hinted at the fact that they may have been well acquainted with some or all of the agents responsible for it. He also said that they believed there were more Shadow Pearls en route to various other cities in the Eastern Territories and Wolfen Empire. 

He also brought up the Vanderboren family of Essanos and told them to start their search there. For some reason, he was convinced that they were important and could help in some way. At the very least, they could help by supplying the Guardians with much needed funds. 

Dray begins to reach into his pocket to retrieve something with the tavern erupts into chaos. A troop of goat headed demons burst through the back door, flinging a hapless young man head-first into the fire. The companions move quickly to intercept them as they move into the room and begin attacking anyone they can reach. 

Valinya starts a spell but the demons focus their attacks on her, and nearly slice her in half with their pole-arms. She manages to keep the spell on hand casts Great Haste on Seeker before falling unconscious. As everyone else moves to attack, Talks With Rocks goes on the defensive, pushing a table in front of the fallen Valinya before wading into the fray with Sunstroke. Fortis sends bright, flashing Sunbolts into several of the rampaging beasts while Silver transforms into gleaming silver Dragon. 
The reunion is interrupted by some demons

Seeker wades into the fray, moving twice as fast as normal and chopping Demons left and right, though he is also struck by one of the Demon's weapons. After a few moments, the far corner of the room, near the front door, explodes and a huge demonic ape enters the room followed by a mob of disgusting little demons.
More demons join the party!

The ape beast lets out an angry roar that tries to rip the flesh off of bone as it enters the room. His pustule-covered companions move into the room and begin attacking the other scared patrons who had taken cover behind some tables when the first demons entered. Fortis quickly turns his aim on the ape beast, taking him to be either the leader or the biggest threat but the demon's powers apparently include teleportation and he manages to blink out of the way every time Fortis fires upon him. 

Silver flies across the room and tries to engage the ape demon as well but just gets laughed at and tossed aside so he turns his attention on the other, smaller demons and manages to take a few of them out before they start filling the room with a nauseating stench. 

When Dray sees the ape demon, he abandons his fight with one of the goat headed demons and runs toward the nearest exit... a window but the ape uses its teleportation powers to catch up to him. Dray manages to slip out of through the window while his 15' tall pursuer gets stuck in the opening. 

Colwyn Dray slips out the window and the huge demon ape gets stuck in the opening...
A handful of more goat-headed demons bursts through the doorway just as Dray crashes through the glass and hits the street. The beast pursuing Dray is not hindered for long as it quickly teleports out into the street, stopping him before he could get any farther away. The companions watch in horror as the demon smashes their friend into the ground then seems to take something off the body before disappearing. 

As they turn to face the newly bolstered demon ranks inside the Screeching Mare, they hear a familiar voice and see the Dwarven warrior, Arn Ironfist charging into the battle, the eyes of his Demon Hunters helm glowing bright red and his enchanted mace, Olum Kanat Sican, flying this way and that, smashing demon skulls. 

When the demons were finally defeated, some companions rushed outside to check on Dray while others tended to the wounded tavern patrons. Their friend Colwyn Dray was dead in the street and his killer had vanished.

Session Notes

This session was just a "getting to know you again" type of session. It has been a long time since I have GMed these characters in this campaign and I threw together a quick little rendezvous to sort of set the stage. Then we fought some nasty bad guys. 

I let the characters re-introduce themselves, did some social and perception based skill rolls on each other and patrons in the tavern. I presented them with the challenge of the changed game world since last time and introduced what would be their role in it, then of course took their contact away so they would have to fend for themselves. But that's just what I do. Give them a little to work with and they do the rest. 

Campaign Notes

It is nice to get back to this game finally. We started this campaign, the Wandered Roads of Palladium, with (some of) these same characters (Seeker, Fortis, Valinya and Arn) back in May of 2008. We played steadily for the next several years and I ran two different groups of PCs through a shared game world every alternating Sunday night. We put the campaign on hiatus towared the end of 2011 and went on to play the Dark Paths of Riddleport campaign for several years, but that was always only meant to be a "break" and we had all intentions of returning to the Palladium world. We wrapped up the Riddleport campaign in September of 2014 and then in November we returned to Palladium... except I was not GMing. 

We decided that it was someone else's turn to take over the GMing duties for a little while. I was tired and getting burned out on the campaign so +Arne Jamtgaard (Seeker, Kyrie) took over the GMing duties and ran some "Interlude" adventures involving the Palladium campaign characters (not his own, and I ran a former PC turned NPC turned PC again.) That went on for just over a year and ended in December of 2015.

Over the last month, I ripped the Palladium campaign world apart, literally, advanced the timeline about a year and a half from the end of the "Wandered Roads Interludes" and bumped all the characters up to [400] points through a combination of player and GM point allocations. I let everyone pick up a smattering of gear and crossed off a few items that had been there before to simulate the usage/breakage/loss of some items and we were ready to go. 

I am currently running 3 different campaigns, one face to face table top game monthly, and two bi-weekly online games and busy as hell, but I love this group, this game, these characters and everything about this campaign. Of my 6 players, 4 of them are original from 2008 and the other two came in '09 and '10. It's been a long run and honestly I think it's just getting started again! I look forward to where we go with this!

Cast of Characters: 

+Arne Jamtgaard plays Seeker, a Wolfen warlord
+Ben Zittere plays Fortis, an Ellyl trickster and mage
+Stephen Kolmetz plays Valinya, an Elven Wildsong Mage
+Mike Biancone plays Arn, a surly Dwarven warrior
+Amergin O'Kai plays Moonscar, the esoteric Kankoran Druid
+Daniel White plays Silver, a young and curious Dragon 

Precis - The return to our old GURPS Palladium fantasy campaign after quite some time away. The companions meet an old friend and battle some demons!


  1. Seeing the map makes a big difference - there are some very pertinent differences between it and my mental picture during the game. Mainly the table. Don't know why it never occurred to me to check my assumption but from the point we moved into the tavern I was picturing a large (roughly 6' diameter) round table. What I then imagined Moonscar doing with it then didn't really reflect how he would have gone about it with the actual furnishing. (If you recall his attempt to do something similar in the tower from which we rescued Varlad with a rather massive table of the same type) he definitely learned from it. (I was recalling that as we were playing it and assuming some differences based on the table I imagined, esp thinking it was rather lighter than the previous event). No matter, his primary objective of shielding Valinya before moving forward to engage/ward others was achieved. We should definitely try to test and troubleshoot the map visibility problem before next game.

    1. Yes, it would definitely help if you could see the map.