Saturday, 7 October 2017

Example of Game: The Fall of Forttown.

In my newest Campaign, a Westmarches style game (well, my normal style, but most people call it west marches) I trialed a simple little project game to get some 'numbers' on whats going on. In my last post, I showed the turn by turn for 3 turns, so you could understand how simple it was to 'create a history'

Now, for your ( and the players playing this campaign) pleasure I present to you:

The Known History of Jesem South and Fort Jsemby

Not much is know why and how the world ended, except from some stories told by a small group of surviving adventurers known as "The Boomers" or if you believe them north folk in Fort Jsemby, maybe the world ended because of them.
Gone now 100 years, There was a Battle between the gods, and Two gods known as The Spider Queen and the Lord of Blood, defeated the Greater gods of War, Fire, Earth and Wind, they defeated the Gods of Battle, Healing, Life and Rebirth. Once defeated, smaller gods fleeing in their wake, called upon their followers to come together and build a mighty wall.
One warrior, known as Bob, The High Priest of the Gods of Bears, known as Klarg, used his mighty bear shape to shield the city of Forttown. Then him and his High Advisor, "TBA" advised the town to build almighty walls. They summoned Elementalists, to raise great walls around the city, and protect it, because they knew that the great Plague was coming.
Soon after The Spider Queens minions cursed all that stayed outside the walls, and were sacrificed to the Blood god. Their bodies rose up again as mighty warriors and besieged the town. But due to the foresight of Klarg and an unnamed god, The town survived long enough to summon the Lady Grey.
The Grey Lady, known well as the priestess of healing, came to this town just in time, she had come to save the last of Humanity. She brought a powerful spell for the mages to cast known as "Purity of the Gods". With this they were able to hold off the undead army, just long enough, so that the mighty heroes could defeat the Spider Queen and the Blood God.
Unfortunately for the world, the Heroes perished, and all the land lay cursed. The Lord of Blood cursed all those creatures of blood to fight against the living, with exception to Fort-town. While the Armies of Undead fell, the cursed ones remained.
For several months, Refugees of the world seeking shelter, discovered that Forttown survived, At first it was the few survivors of Middlehelm, Durnshine and Breylake, all reporting that their cities had fallen, their dead raised up and marched on, Middlehelms dead strove south, Durnshines dead boarded boats and sailed to the Islands, and Breylakes dead marched north into the deserts.
Months later, survivors from Beltayn, travelling with the gypsies, managed to arrive, reporting that the city held on, but recently fell to hordes of sun scorched undead coming south from above. They ranks included the fabled desert raiders on strange beasts, accompanied by Sand wyrms and Eefreets.
By the years end, a few Elves and Dwarves had arrived at the city, but the elves perished to their diseases, they spoke of undeath reaching all the way across the scarbourough mountains across the snowy tundra of Ruasha and the Northern Peaks of Keltaya.

All was lost. 

The Blood Forests, Home to a range of bloodthirsty native flora and fauna

<<from his point forward dear reader, I must remind you that the only information here is that known by the characters as general lore, Yet, over time, I encourage the players to submit their stories to be included later>>
The Towns Heroes gathered, they decided to travel out into the lands, help what people they could, back to the city. While many new small caravans arrived in the first few weeks, after a month, not a single caravan arrived ever again nor did the heroes.

Worse, The river, the lifeblood of the city, began to show signs of disease. At first a few dead fish on the shores, then the fish disappeared, and then people swimming were attacked, by the fish. Soon enough bodies began to be spotted in the river, but when poles were brought to fish them out, they moved. The undead were simply floating downstream from what ever had befallen them.

The Seperation

Map upside down.. oops
Soon enough the undead, crawling from the river shores, became a larger problem. Heroes were unable to take care of the problem fast enough. The undead used the bridges moors to crawl up and enter the town at night.

After  a particularly vicious battle, the city council met, and decided that the bridges needed to be separated from the towns. As people fled for the side they wished to stay on, They destroyed the bridges at each end, leaving the centres hoping to repair them later.

A Tale of two Cities

Now, as separate cities, each was responsible for food, health care and their own defences. Each town formed its own smaller council, its defence leadership and its own advisors from the few magi and priests that remained. It has been said that they should have made the decision for all magi to stay on one side and all priests on the other, to devote more work to differing goals, rather than have two whole sets of people working on the same problems without proper communication.. but 20/20 hindsight will always have the answers.
While the bridges allowed the undead to crawl up at any time of year, save the coldest winters when ice trapped them below the waters, it was only when the water levels dropped that the undead would wade out onto the shores of the old wharfs, would the townsfolk notice that this too would allow the undead to enter the town.
In the first High Summer, as the waters receded, thousands of bloated bodies started crawling from the rivers depths, to the shores and clamber up the beaches, The stench was overpowering, the undead numbers in the tens of thousands, the riverbed was a graveyard of monstrosity. Hundreds of townsfolk were called to fight back the undead, while others, less able, dug out the beeches and replaced them with walls.
The South side of the city, had the most beaches, and irrigation for its farms, So that summer, the south side of the city was inundated with undead. It took a bear, a spirit bear of great power, and size, to come to the rescue. The bear, guided by the high Priest of Klarg, pushed back the undead, giving the townsfolk the time to make the repairs, and build the new walls. His High Advisor " Joined the townsfolk, and took charge of the construction, his knowledge of undead, stone and building lore, combined with the Dwarves of the city, managed to construct great stone structures, worthy of Dwarven mines (or so the Dwarves said, and they still stand to this day)
The North side, had the fortune to already have the great wharves, which were built upon a natural wall, combined with the extensions built long ago, few undead managed to climb its shores.
The Council of the south, decided to build farms closest to the river, while the Northern council, with advice from their magi, built farms as far downriver as possible. The reasoning was, they could use some magi, and the priests of the Lady Grey, to bless the water and cast purification upon the water, allowing the water to become cleaner, the further it got in town, while it entered town from the west gate at its most poisonous.
Neither could have foretold the events to come, that may have given them cause to change their minds.
Either way, houses of the poor were destroyed first, they were given rooms in the empty houses of the rich, and some established themselves as new 'families' in the years to come. The Land was tilled, and winter, food stores were at last beginning to look healthy.
Year after year, the Bear God dealt with the undead clambering their way up the beaches and farms, while the Great Architect summoned walls to protect the city, while in the north, they had their existing great houses to hold up in. It took almost 15 years to seal off the waters, but in that time, over half of the city was lost.

A Time for Tears

Water had become scarce, The Wells of the city were somehow still clean, but the river, the source of water for thousands of people, was a brown bloody mess, limbs still floated downstream on a daily basis, touching the water now suicide, as it quickly consumed your soul and your body became one of the undead.
Bodies were now to be cremated, and the ashes mixed with the soil for healthier growth in the farm. 90% of the town was reduced to an agrarian life, the few cows, sheep, pigs and horses that remained, were under stick guard for breeding, and only the oldest were slaughtered for meat.
Luckily there were some folk who knew how to clean water, without the need for magic. One Dr Arthur Mometer discovered that boiling the water in a closed pot, until the pot became almost red hot, would destroy the blood and return the water to normal. Also that the fat of animals could be used directly as a soap, without additives, to clean off the blood rain. This helped people to survive the coming years.
Not much was recorded from this point on, some references and histories were burnt in the great attack of 1008, but what has been found is recorded here.
Sometime around 20 years after the Seperation, Some young folk found the scrolls and parchments of the Guild of rangers, and secretly started learning the skills taught by them to travel, unseen, unknown in the forest, and snuck out to see the world. Not much is known about their adventures, but 3 days after they left, they appeared at the north wall, running for their lives, exhausted, chased by what seemed like millions of undead, clutching a heavy book. The book contained several spells for mages, some of which thought lost forever, prior to the end of the world, let alone as a result of.
The Great War Barracks were built in 950, and A warriors guild was formed to deal with undead that appears from time to time, but also to exit the city and cleanse the ruins of old Jesem.
The High Priest, traveled north on boat, blessing the waters to hold back the fish, and dealt with an army of undead that managed to sneak in the east gate. but unable to return, he established a church in the north to hold back their undead that gathered at the walls. Many of which were the ones chasing the rangers.
So the North, realizing that gathering intel from outside the walls, a good thing, developed the Adventurers guild, it was mostly volunteers, those that studied with the Rangers Guild or had magical talents not suited to Healing magic, would form small parties, and push through the undead shanty town that hugged the walls, and break out into the wild unknowns. Often they'd return, requiring many purification spells to survive, but with knowledge of the outside.

What Lay Beyond

Like a wall of thorns, the Undead circled the city, claimed the heroes that returned. If only the Undead could be cleansed. With the help of the city, magi would be trained the clean the undead, to purify its waters, to burn back the forests of death, to free to city, and its survivors would be great heroes.
Klargs High Priest passed away soon after, and a day of remembrance is celebrated by the south, As is the High Advisor, his day of remembrance is celebrated by all of the city, as he went on to found a college and pushed for the wharfs to be opened so communication would improve the towns abilities.
Furthermore, In a Last Attempt to secure the Library South of the City, The Grand High Librarian and High Advisor, Cast a “Encastlemet spell” to surround the area, before the spell got halfway, it petered out and the Librarian Died. The Wall is known as “Riley’s Wall”

Slowly.. Markets were being built in the cities to allow the flow of goods and services, Blade bottomed boats were built in the wharfs to transport people and clear the water of undesirables, while food was grown both sides, it was grown differently with distinct varieties, South side food is a interesting alternative, while North side food is considered by the young folk to be exotic and upper class.

The Real growth began after. South side City doctors discovered a new cure to the Blood rain, and they were able to clear the streets faster. soon after, discoveries in magic allowed the purification magic to improve, also as more mages were being recruited, the water as it left the city was almost drinkable, after boiling twice and adding mint leaves to get rid of the taste.
Against advice from the north side (or maybe in spite of) An Adventurers guild was set up in the south side city too. There, there is a shrine to the Bonners.
50 years on, the year 983.. The South Side Barracks are finally officially established, Training is now sponsored by the council and veteran Warrior / Adventurers are permitted to exit the walls and fight the undead in the surrounding lands. On the north side, the Council of Guild masters is established, boosting internal trade regulations and setting a minimum standard of living for all.

Soon after with Metal Scavenging taking place in the nearest empty buildings, better weapons are being forged in the cities. The North decides to devote itself to armour, and the south, to weapons.
A Lesson is vigilance, whilst the adventurers were able to 'exit' their city, burn off the diseased shanties and villages, and return to their clean, safe lives, they often ignored the lessons on safety and thoroughness, and as a result, awaken an undead behemoth, which follows them back to the city. In a panic, the Last Elementalist scoll is used, to make the ground beneath the creature into mud, temporarily, it sunk, but only up to its knees before the spell wore off, trapping the creature only metres from the wall

In an effort to increase the powers of Klarg, the new High Priest of the church of Klarg begins the construction of a great Cathedral, with the help of the ‘royal family’ and some secret hidden cash reserves, it gets built, while many deem it unworthy, as soon as the capstone is placed, a Enormous (like 100m tall & wide) Klarg Bear appears in spirit form, All undead are repelled from the walls, by kilometers. Artisans manage to forge lighter chain-mail after long forgotten lore is rediscovered. The North finally builds its own Wharfs, so Large Barges can transport People, Carts and Goods across the river.. They need to be rebuilt every few years due to the wood rot from the tainted water, but it’s the only way for the North and South to begin repairs as one city, instead of two.
For the first time in decades, undead are spotted inside the walls, a breach, the walls crumble and hoardes swarm into the city, hundreds are slaughtered, some rise up as undead, but for which side? Internal conflicts aroze from the news, was it the undead somehow being controlled once again, had Hekatte returned to finish off the world? The city is devestated, while the breach is controlled the wall has been opened, and other undead will wander in, seeking the smell of life.
So a Party, Two High Priests of Klarg & The adventurers guilds from both cities form a small army and not only push back then Undead that breach the city, but push outside the walls and annihilate all undead for miles, with Holy Lights, Smites and such
The North Built a Hospital and Improved all medical supplies to both sides of the city, In a desperate need to transport soldiers and medicine across, a second Wharf is built, doubling the flow of goods south.
For the longest time, the citys population was stable, people are having many children, some born with defects from the Blood, but more often than not, children survive to their teen years, but with soldiers, ongoing battles and the never ending threat from he blood disease, it plateaued, yet now, in 1021 Population has stabilized and shows growth. The Mages have improve on their Purify Spell further and have increase their ranks by a lone hero that comes from the north. He brought information.

Soon after, Artisans begun work on the underground caves, accessing minerals from an old iron mine. There are some natural, non undead creatures down here, some are reportedly being used by the aventurers guild, and while illegal, children often sneak down into the caves.
 The Academics studying the Information brought by the foreign mage, have deciphered its abilities. By “Dangling” a special device in the water, they can purify more effectively, If they can Claim the Bridge & small Fort to the north, they’ll be able to purify the water before it gets to the city.
The city blows the emergency horns, calling back all adventurers, and holding a specialized meeting.  Light has appeared at the end of the tunnel, They have a goal, its going to work, but only if we all work together. The City is going to expand.

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