Next journey: November 25, 2017
Dragon Age: Dark Before the Dawn
Please contact Todd at heroes@sfsnnj.com for location details/directions.

This group meets on the 4th Saturday of every month.   Anyone interested should
email Todd at heroes@sfsnnj.com for information.

GM Name: Todd V. Ehrenfels
Campaign Name: Dragon Age: Dark Before the Dawn
Campaign Type: Fantasy Adventure
Campaign Setting: Dragon Age (Green Ronin Games http://www.drivethrurpg.
com/product/147899/Dragon-Age-RPG-Core-Rulebook)
What You Will Need: Character Sheet, D6's, Pencils. Rulebook is optional, Quickstart
rules can be used in a pinch.
Campaign Description:
Tensions are rising throughout Thedas; the Fifth Blight was ended ten years before by
the Hero of Ferelden, and since then the animosity between Templars and Mages has
simmered into hatred, and threatens to boil over and take the entire South into
chaos. All it takes is one spark to set off a fire that could destroy the Chantry forever.
Step into the world of Thedas and adventure as a warrior, rogue, or mage. The events
of this campaign will be a bridge between the stories of Dragon Age 2 and Dragon
Age: Inquisition.
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Chapter 11: “Yet none could bear that rivals might walk in the Light Of their gods,
when they did not.” ~ Silence 1:
NPCs (in order of appearance):

Nathaniel Howe: Grey Warden from Ferelden's Arldom of Amaranthine, possibly sole
survivor of the Angform expedition

Carver Hawke: Grey Warden and brother to the Champion of Kirkwall

Verag: Carta Dwarf in charge of the Caravan

Dunwich: Manservant of Baron Havard-Pierre D'Amortisan

Collette: Free Elf stdying at the University of Orlais

Baron Havard-Pierre D'Amortisan: Hunter, outdoorsman, and scholar interested in the
various and sundry beasts of the world.. What he knows of the common fennec would
give you nightmares

Professor Frederick of Serault: Draconologist who feels the pull of the great beasts
stirring in his breast.

Professor Bram Kenrick: Starkhaven native and specialist in Early Chantry and pre-
Chantry history

Professor Mersault: obnoxious Orlesian professor, expert in Tevinter history

Warden-Commander Larius: Blighted Warden encountered by Carver and Garrett
Hawke during their adventure in the prison

Warden Janeka: animated corpse of the deceased Warden

The Architect: Terrifyingly powerful Darkspawn Emissary who approached the Party to
parley and may know more than one would think

Utha: Grey Warden and dwarven Silent Sister, a companion of the Architect

Malvernis the Foul: The Forgotten and Unmentionable, his vessel of flesh remains, his
spirit is eternal

Nathaniel Howe, a Grey Warden from Amaranthine in Ferelden who had been sent
with an expedition to the ancient fortress prison by the Commander of the Grey in
Ferelden was accompanying the group up to the site. He had left to retrieve
provisions and resupply and returned to find the encampments strangely abandoned
and all of the Wardens missing. He reported to Ser Stroud by raven as he was the
closest Warden officer, and Stroud sent him to Kirkwall to debrief you and accompany
you on the road back to Angform.

Scouting ahead of the Carta Caravan, Nathaniel Howe and Carver Hawke marked out
the trail ahead ensuring you would have an easy time following on. After several days
of hiking up into the Vimmark Mountains the group came to a fork in the path with one
branch marked with the markers used by Carver and Nathaniel and the other marked
with the symbol of the University of Orlais. As Nathaniel had indicated that there were
Scholars examining areas around the mountains, the group decided to pay them a
visit to see if they knew anything of the missing Wardens from the camp at Angform.

Halfway up the trail the party encountered a pair of servants, a young elven woman
named Colette and Ferelden man named Dunwich making notes by the side of the
path. After a brief conversation, the pair offered to bring the group up to the
expedition from the University while the Carta caravan remained at the crossroads.
Colette indicated that her mentor, Professor Bram Kenrick, was searching out some
information on pre-Chantry and early Chantry ruins and had stumbled across a pair of
injured Grey Wardens in the blighted forest nearby. Dunwich indicated that his
master, Baron Havard-Pierre D’Amortisan, is warding the path against some of the
more deadly predators in the area.

Upon reaching the camp, the Party found a large number of scholars pursuing their
works. As Dunwich was their guide they met first with Baron D’Amortisan who was
funding the expedition. His goal was to catalog and understand the various beasts of
the area, but with special attention to the woefully underappreciated fennec. His
book, Anatomie of Various Terrible Beasts was well known to Jean-Emeric. The group
also met with a rather distracted Orlesian referred to as Professor Frederick of
Serault, who was there hoping to study dragons, the aforementioned Bram Kenrick,
and Professor Mersault, an unpleasant pudgy archeologist specializing in ancient
Tevinter Imperial history. After introductions and some discussions with the scholars
the group proceeded to the medical tent to meet with the Grey Wardens.

The Grey Wardens were odd, to say the least, a man so far gone with the blight he
barely looked able to stand unaided and a woman so preternaturally still that she was
almost as frightening. The man, Larius, introduced himself as Warden Commander of
the Free Marches and indicated that he had sent the other Wardens from Angform on
a mission. His companion, Janeka, remained silent until mention was made of Carver
Hawke, when she began asking if the Hawke was there, and if he was headed into
Angform. This odd behavior caused several of the Party to notice that Janeka was not
breathing when she was not talking. During this point Larius’ speech became more
and more strained as he struggled to converse with the group.

They agreed to accompany Larius and Janeka to the trailhead and forge on to a
rendezvous with the rest of the Wardens. As soon as the pair were safely away from
the camp, Justien and Anniki alerted the scholars and ordered them to decamp
immediately and head to safety. Mersault and some of the others seemed inclined to
argue, but D’Amortisan put paid that notion ordering the group to gather what they
could and head back down to their alternate site. Professor Kenrick advised that there
was a ruin up further on the mountain that they had trouble identifying, and that it
might be worth a look.

The group gathered and headed up the trail to the trailhead and fought Larius and
Janeka as well as two other silent Wardens. The battle was pretty fierce, but in the
end the strange Wardens were dispatched. Due to worries about the dead arising
again, Justien was planning to set the bodies alight, but Gerald and Oerick rightly
pointed out that in the dry blighted landscape a pyre like that could easily spread out
of control and become an inferno. Jean-Emeric attempted to use magical flame to
destroy the bodies, but made little progress. Opting for a temporary solution, the
group began to dismember the corpses only to find that their bones seemed pitted
and corroded, with tiny flecks of red crystals within… red crystals disturbingly
reminiscent of the Red Lyrium statue in the Gallows at Kirkwall.

Horrified by the prospect of Wardens becoming infected with the mineral that had
driven Knight-Commander Meredith to her grotesque demise the Party moved on lest
they become tainted themselves. They approached the ruins in the mountain to find
constructions eerily similar to those they had encountered under the city of
Cumberland in Nevarra. Though they were unable to open the gates, they did notice
the sigils inscribed there included the Dread Wolf Fen’Harel as well as ancient Tevene
symbols for the Priests of the Old Gods. This was decidedly odd, but none could figure
out the implications.

Unable to make it all the way back to the Carta dwarves, the group decided to take
advantage of the scholars’ deserted camp and rest for the evening. During the night
they were accosted by a talking Darkspawn calling itself the Architect which told them
that it meant them no harm and wanted only to talk. Anniki immediately recognized
the creature from her Joining nightmare and her unease was almost palpable. It
asked many questions, and told the group that he and Utha, the blighted dwarven
Grey Warden accompanying him, had come because they felt something awaken here
that felt familiar, though the Architect did not know what it was. As promised, the
Architect left after their conversation was done.

When they rejoined the caravan at the fork they discovered that the dwarves had
been beset by the corpses of the dead Carta dwarves from Angform in the night. As
they approached the prison they met up with Carver and Nathaniel who realized that
when Janeka was asking about ‘the Hawke’ she did not necessarily mean the
Champion of Kirkwall, but rather anyone who might share his bloodline. Rather than
risk Carver accidentally setting off some sort of trap, the group opted to send him and
Nathaniel back to guard the scholars.

Pressing deep into the ruins of Angform, the group came across a pulsating pillar in a
small amphitheater. The pillar whispered in the minds of the mages to bring it the orb.
Further in they discovered the orb in question and Jean-Emeric and Anniki became
obsessed with taking the warm orb with them to the plinth. It took all the group’s
wrangling to get them past that point and to the Geladauran Table beyond. Once they
reached the table, walls of force cut the group off from the rest of the Fortress,
trapping them in the ancient Warden prison.

The table, surprisingly light for its size and construction, proved to be the key to their
escape. With the wards already weakened by the Champion and his group about a
year before, simply spilling some blood in sacrifice sufficed to get the field down…
unfortunately the blood on the table deactivated all of the fields in the prison and the
angry screeches of Darkspawn filled the air.

It was a race against the Darkspawn with the heroes dragging the Table up from the
depths. They were forced to take the Warm Orb to the plinth in order to escape, and
there they fought Malvernis the Foul. Demon, Mage, or eldritch horror, Malvernis
turned magic against the heroes and the fight was bloody and long. As Malvernis fell,
the last shield holding back the Darkspawn fell, and the race resumed. Fighting their
way up claustrophobic passages and finally out into the light the group escaped by
the bare skin of their teeth with the Geladaruan Table and the robes and staff of
Malvernis the Foul who claimed to be one of the Forgotten Ones of ancient elvhen
myth.

The Carta dwarves had not fared much better. Barricaded into the fort for two days,
they were desperate and with dwindling numbers. Several had wandered off with talk
of ‘eating the flesh’ and ‘serving the Elder One’. When dawn forced the Hurlocks back
underground the Party fled Angform and made their way back to the Scholar’s camp,
and eventually back to Kirkwall.

In the weeks of their absence Templars had returned in greater number to the city of
chains. Under the commander of Knight-Captain Rylen of Starkhaven, the Templars
were aiding in rebuilding and relief efforts, shoring up the Viscount’s Keep and
ensuring the Templars of the city were adequately supported. In exchange for the
three relics, Xenon opened up his special collection to the group.

Once they had taken a few days to recuperate, they were approached by their
contact from the Chantry, Spinner. Spinner explained that she was worried that she
had not heard from Butler in some time, but she had a job for the group. A ship was in
the harbor, the Siren’s Kiss, captained by a Rivaini who the group had met previously:
Isabella. Spinner explained that the group was being asked to travel to Dairsmuid in
Rivain and determine why the Circle had fallen silent. She worried that the newly
installed Knight-Commander may have done something untoward, but that the group
should investigate and report before taking action.

XP 1300

NOTE: Originally I had given folks the option of taking either a special item or a Master
Rune. Here are the items being offered to each of your characters in turn, you may opt
for a Master Rune and 2 Gold instead.

Special Items from Xenon the Antiquarian

Anniki O-Lynxhold – Armor of Neirah: This set of Griffon’s Robes was originally worn by
Neirah, a female human Mage and hero of the Second Blight. She sacrificed herself to
allow Warden Commander Corin to defeat the Archdemon Zazikel. The armor itself
provides +2 Defense, +5 Armor, +2 Perception (Detect Darkspawn), increases
Spellpower by 1 against Darkspawn, and reduces the Mana Cost for all Defensive
spells by 1 to a minimum of 1.

Gerald of Ironbrook – King Maric’s Bounty: This Ferelden Helmet was allegedly filled
with gold by the usurper as a bounty for the capture of the King in exile. It was
captured by Logan Mac Tir and sold off to help pay for troops for the revolt. It provides
a +2 Communications (Persuasion) and (Bargaining) as well as a+2 to all Willpower
(Morale) checks, and treats the Dragon die as always being a 6 when generating
stunt points on any successful roleplay challenge. In addition it may confer these
bonuses on an ally once per encounter.

Hasaril of the Redway Clan – Sigil of the Forgotten Ones: Small amulet supposedly
inscribed with the true names of the Forgotten Ones, the mysterious enemies of
Evanuris, including Malvernis the Foul, Imshael, Hybis, and Xebenkeck. Provides a +4
Willpower Bonus when dealing with Spirits, Demons, and Blood Mages and takes up
the upgrade slot on the Sentinel Armor.

Jean-Emeric du Cornet – The Blade of Tidarion: This Staff appears to be an empty
sword hilt until grasped by a Mage, when its true nature is revealed. Constructed by
the warrior-mage Archon Tidarion, the Blade of Tidarion functions as both a bastard
sword for purposes of combat and a staff for purposes of spellcasting, providing the
benefits of both the Arcane Lance and Swords skill focuses as well as 4 rune slots
with a Master Electricity Rune, Master Fire Rune, Master Cold Rune, and Master Spirit
Rune (only one rune is active at a time causing the ‘blade’ projecting out from the hilt
to appear as either flame, electricity, ice, or glowing energy)

Justien Azoulet – Audacity: This pair of daggers belonged to the infamous Nevarran
Duelist Emilio ‘the Velvet Dreamer’ Antagne. This dagger was retrieved from the city of
Treviso during the push to expel the Qunari there. This dagger provides an additional
+2 on Dexterity (Stealth) skill checks and additional damage on sneak attacks equal to
the Dragon Die from the attack roll. In addition, stunt points generated from using the
Stealth skill to hide during combat for purposes of backstab may be used as a bonus
on the following attack roll to a maximum of +3 to the roll.

Oerick Hallan – Darmallon’s Rebuke: Darmallon Thaig was once the greatest source of
gold in Thedas, now a base for the Legion of the Dead to fight their endless war
against the Darkspawn, relics of Darmallon are often found among Surfacer Dwarves.
This golden halberd allows the wielder to treat the Armor Pierce combat stunt as
costing 1 less than usual, and may double the distance moved for any Skirmish stunts.
In addition, the wielder may spend 4 Stunt Points to apply damage to all adjacent
enemies in reach of the weapon as though they were affected by the Dual Strike stunt.

NOTE: I had forgotten to include this list in the previous update

Books from the Gallows

Spirits and Flesh - a treatise on possession and abominations

Lusus Naturae - a treatise on animals and beasts that have developed an affinity for
the Fade and information on various Fade-Touched Animals

Inaste’s Journal - a lab book by a mage from Rivain regarding experiments on severing
connections to the Fade in animals. The text seems to indicate that there is a way to
divorce a spirit from the body without killing the subject, but requires a lot of Lyrium
and/or Blood.

Avernus’ Journal – rumored to have come from the abandoned Grey Warden Fortress
of Soldier’s Peak and written by an elderly Warden Blood Mage named Avernus, it
contains a whole host of really horrible ideas centering around the use of Warden
and/or blighted blood in ritual magics.


Todd V. Ehrenfels
Moderator, Science Fiction Society of Northern NJ
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Chapter 6: "Heedless of what festered in the shadows they cast there.." ~ Silence
3:1
"Surrounded by glory, the Seven stood,
In the hall of apotheosis, heedless
Of what festered in the shadows the cast there,
Of what stained and corroded footprints they left."
~Silence 3:1

Dramatis Personae
Players (please note if I spelled your name wrong let me know):

Joe Cirillo: Jean-Emeric Cornet (Male Orlesian Circle Mage)

Josh Gordon: Justien Abroux (Male Orlesian Exile Rogue)

Bill Bauer: Gerald (Male Ferelden Freeman Warrior)

Kate Landis: Anniki o Lynxhold (Female Human Apostate Mage)

Gregg Schwartzkopf: Hasaril of the Redway (Clan Male Dalish Mage)

Chuck Garofalo: Oerick (Male Surface Dwarf Warrior)


NPCS (in order of appearance)
Wynne: Mage Errant of the Chantry, a powerful Circle Mage and Spirit Healer/Arcane
Warrior with a love for liquor
Shale: A somewhat resentful and unhappy golem accompanying Wynne in search of
additional pigeons to crush
Carver Hawker: Brother of the Champion of Kirkwall, a Grey Warden.
Ronna: Guardian at the gates of Ak Shirak/the Tower of the Bright Hand
Essan: Librarian at the Bright Hand College's Library
Mara Idra: Loyal Templar of the Keepers of the Eternal Flame
Dagna the Arcanist: a dwarf studying magic with the College
Hauward Vicennes: Elder of the College of the Bright Hand
Selena D'Obonne: Elder of the College of the Bright Hand
The Orlesian Imperial Army: Soldiers under the command of the Grand Duke Gaspard
du Chalons
Brinna Nine-Fingers: Avvar Huntswoman at Chateau Haine
Reynaud Maurien: a Ferelden exile working at Chateau Haine
'The Lady of the Skies': Desire demon at the abandoned ancient hold North of
Chateau Haine
Shaman Brukkan: Shaman of the Jaws of Hakkon
Loken Gavsen: Trader for Hakkonhold
Gurd Harolfsen: Thane of the Jaws of Hakkon

After much discussion it was decided to head West to Chateau Haine to gather
information and examine the Grey Warden ruins beneath the Chateau in greater
detail. Preparing for the overland journey West from Starkhaven Justien worked
through a series of contracts and found a merchant hoarding goods desperately
needed in Kirkwall in the hopes of making a profit off of their misery. Justien was able
to convince the merchant to sell 6 GP worth of goods for transport to Kirkwall. In the
Prince's Bow Inn Anniki met an older woman who seemed far more knowledgeable
than she should be, and far more interested in the activities of the party than one
would have suspected.

Gathering their allies and heading out of the city, the group was met by the old
woman from Inn and a rather annoyed and surly Golem. The two introduced
themselves as Wynne and Shale. Wynne was quite interested in following Anniki's
lead to the College of the Bright Hand, as she was investigating them herself on
behalf of the College of Enchanters, the King of Ferelden, the Grey Wardens, and the
Divine. Wynne, it seemed, was a busy woman who knew many important people
including Sister Nightingale.

As the party and their caravan moved across the plains, the eerie stillness of the
plains soon began to disturb the group as a lack of any observable wildlife was
apparent. Unable to determine what might have been driving the animals away, the
group made their way across country to where they believed the College of the Bright
Hand was hiding. What they found was a strange above-ground dwarven thaig. After
gaining entry, Anniki went down to the Library to await a meeting with the Elders of
the College while Justien and Oerick met with a young dwarf woman named Dagna
who called herself the Arcanist and Gerald discussed matters of faith with a Templar of
the Eternal Flame. Gerald discovered that Genevieve Auston was a member of this
order that wished to return the Templars to their original task of guiding and
protecting Mages, teaching them honor and responsibility, and Templar Mara offered
to teach Gerald the ways of the Templars should he be interested. Dagna queried
Justien and Oerick about the nature of Grey Wardens and their mission, and
mentioned an experiment with an Avvar Shaman spirits and holdbeasts, and
determined that the Grey Warden ability to sense Darkspawn was tied in to a
connection with the Fade. Anniki finally spoke with the Elders and discovered that the
College had few allies outside of their walls, and were unsure as to how she received
her invitation. They also discussed a failed experiment to replicate the information that
Brukkan had brought to them.

Deciding on a plan of action required some debate, but in the end the group decided
to head back to Chateau Haine instead of approaching the Hakkonhold directly.
Wynne elected to stay behind at the College to learn information that would help her
friend at Adamant Fortress, and asked the group to tell Shale the news. Leaving the
College of the Bright Hand the group was attacked by a Fade Touched Great Lion that
fought viciously to the last. The return to Chateau Haine was met with a large force of
troops loyal to the Grand Duke Gaspard du Chalons, Heir to the Imperial Throne of
Orlais. Servants indicated that a number of nobles and captains of the Chevaliers and
the Imperial Army were at the Chateau hunting, and the presence of so many troops
was for security. The huntsmen explained that they had discovered Avvar ruins to the
north, though they had not entered the hold themselves. That of course meant that
the group had to investigate.

Climbing up into the Vimmark Mountains the group came upon the ruins of an Avvar
Hold. The Augur's hut was completely destroyed, with only the hearth remaining, and
the Gatherer's cave was decorated with with a horrifying altar, a pile of skulls, and a
painting of a horrifying, leering vulture. The Thane's Meadhall was barred from the
outside and filled with an impaled desiccated thane and dozens of skeletons. A bizarre
giant vulture attacked the group and then the corpses in the Meadhall began to stir.
Working quickly Anniki used Warding Salts to keep the restless dead in the hall while
the party burned it down around them. deciding to flee the cursed hold, the group
turned to the north and saw flocks of birds virtually swarming there. Realizing that
they would be beset by the beasts and likely pecked to death through bird wounds,
the group determined to find a way to escape the curse before it consumed them
utterly.

Anniki drew a circle around the ghoulish altar using another dose of Warding Salt,
causing the demon that the Avvar of this hold had called the Lady of the Skies. The
monstrous creature hissed demands for worship and sacrifice to the group while they
tried to devise a plan to deal with the horror in the circle. Anniki tried to reach out
through the Fade only to narrowly escape becoming the next victim of the thing in the
circle. Eventually they determined that they needed to destroy the pillars of the altar
to banish the demon. A harrowing fight led to the defeat of the monster and the flocks
of birds returning to normal.

Gerald and Oerick found tracks through the Hold showing that the group was not the
only ones to have come through here recently. Followng them to the North and then
East, they determined that these were obviously members of the Hakkonhold. Waiting
for Hasaril and Jean-Emeric to rejoin them the group began planning how they would
approach the rebel Avvar.

Loot:
Fade Touched Great Lion Skin
Fade Touched Great Lion Teeth
Fade Touched Great Lion Claws
Tevinter Circle Pin
Old Tevinter coins from the Towers Age
XP 1100

As a side note: everyone should please increase their XP to 7100 and level up
appropriately.
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Chapter 5: If they but listen, I shall return. ~Andraste 1:14

Dramatis Personae

Players (please note if I spelled your name wrong let me know):

Joe Cirillo: Jean-Emeric du Cornet (Male Orlesian Circle Mage)

Josh Gordon: Justien Azoutlet (Male Orlesian Exile Rogue)

Bill Bauer: Gerald of Ironbrook (Male Ferelden Freeman Warrior)

Gregg Schwartzkopf: Hasaril of the Redway (Clan Male Dalish Mage)

Kate Landis: Annika o Lynxhold (Female Human Apostate Mage)

Chuck Garofalo: Oerick Hallin (Male Surface Dwarf Warrior)

BJ Pehush: 'Anton' (Qunari Beresaad Male Rogue)


NPCs (in order of appearance):

Sebastian Vael - Prince of Starkhaven in exile

Charade Amell - Cousin of the Champion of Kirkwall, a.k.a. 'Weaver'

Crassius Servis (a.k.a. Tactus) - a Tevinter Laetan helping you in exchange for
passage back to the Imperium

Darkspawn - Shrieks, Hurlocks, and a Genlock Emmisary

Lorana Silon - Majordomo and head of staff for the Princes of Starkhaven

Starkhaven Principal Guard -personal soldiers of the House of Vael and the City of
Starkhaven loyal to the Prince of Starkhaven

The Flint Company - Mercenaries responsible for the deaths of the main line of the
Vael family in Starkhaven

Goran Vael - The Usurper, cousin of Sebastian Vael

Lucanus Quetius - Altus Mage of the Tevinter Imperium

Solarius Andromon - Laetan Mage of the Tevinter Imperium

Marinus Xenovis - Soporati Templar of the 7th Preceptorship

Paulus Cingilius - Soporati Legionnaire of the 3rd Magisterial Legion

Ser Jean-Marc Stroud - a Grey Warden


Having rested the night outside of the entrance to the Deep Roads, the party
ventured into the long abandoned Dwarven roads beneath the surface of Thedas.
Realizing that there should be light from the magma-lamps, Oerick was quick to realize
the implications of the darkness: Darkspawn had sabotaged the workings and
plunged the area into darkness. An hour's work restored the light of the magma-
lamps, but at the cost of alerting the Darkspawn to the presence of the party. Slowly
the group crept forward, cautious in the lightening caverns of the Deep Roads, and
then, the keening of a Shriek heralded the coming of the blighted ones.

Four Shrieks and a Hurlock bolter led off the attack, but the Shrieks were stalled by a
well placed Mind Blast from Anniki. Forming a line, the ranged combatants did their
best to hold the Darkspawn at bay, but alas there was only so much they could do.
One of the Shrieks charged forward and Gerald counter-charged, landing a blow on
the horrible beast. More Hurlocks and a Genlock Emissary joined the fray and the
battle became a pitched fight. Justien was nicked by the blade of a Shriek, and though
barely harmed contracted the Taint. Hasaril unleashed a torrent of spells in an effort
to destroy the Emissary while Anniki desperately fought off the encroaching monsters
and Oerick stood side by side with Gerald to hold the right flank. Finishing off the
misshapen monstrosities the group realized that they needed to get Justien to help
quickly lest he succumb and become a ghoul. It was also discovered that 'Tactus' had
spent the entire fight defending himself and communicating with the Tevinters. Justien
threatened to corrupt him with the Darkspawn taint if he ever did so again.

Their attempt to gain direct access to the palace thwarted by dint of a sealed and
reinforced door, the group instead opted to travel to the Service Quarter, where many
of the servants of the Vael Family had homes. The pleasant tenements of the Quarter
were eerily still, but the Prince's Bow Inn was still lively. On Sebastian's entry the
entire inn ground to a halt and everyone bowed to Sebastian. One of the servants
from his youth, Lorana Silon, begins to chastise him for being away for so long.
Conversations turned to planning and when Justien asked about Tevinters Lorana lied
and said that she had seen none. Hoping to divert attention she attempted another
lie which Justien immediately saw through. Realizing that the faithful retainer was
leading them into a trap, Justien had Lorana bound and locked in a room in the Inn.
Another servant offered to get the group into the palace that night since it was
inevitable that they would notice if Lorana did not show up the next day.

Justien and Hasaril gained entrance to the castle through disguise and ruse, and the
rest of the party emerged from hiding places in the cart that they brought into the
palace. The servant went and hid while the group went in search of the usurper Goran
Vael. EVentually they found Goran in the Throne Room, insane and practicing blood
magic in the company of two Tevinter mages! Justien announced Sebastian as the
true Prince of Starhaven and the room erupted into fighting. The Principal Guard joined
the fight immediately, fending off attacks by the Flint Company Mercenaries on
Sebastian. Sebastian and Goran exchanged shots from across the room while the
fracas spread. The Tevinters, taking hits from Hasaril and Anniki, joined the fight in
earnest, and Geralt took a number of hard knocks. Justien was stabbed by a Tevinter
Legionnaire and Anniki and one of the Guards fended off attacks from a Flint Company
warrior. Hasaril used Shock and Arcane Lance in devastating combination to powerful
effect, and Oerick strode into the thick of the fighting, helping protect the Exiled Prince.

In the end Goran was dead, as were all of his allies, but the Party had been gravely
wounded. Justien, feeling the sickly Taint bubbling in his body, went to the Grey
Wardens for help. Ser Stroud, a senior Grey Warden in Starkhaven inducted him and
asked him to spread the Order to Kirkwall as there was no outpost there. Anniki
received a dream where a Spirit of Regret told her distressing news of her Clan, and
said that Korth Mountainfather was awakening and angry, and that Hakkon himself
stirs in timeless slumber. Hasaril worked with the newly crowned Prince Sebastian and
his fiancee Charade Amell to promote the cause of the Elves of the Alienage,
garnering him a great deal of respect from the city elves of Starkhaven. Gerald found a
rather excellent corner of the kitchen to eat boiled beef in. Ten days passed and
Sebastian married Charade with the Party standing guard over the event.

News came that Lord Seeker Lucius was tightening his grip on the Templars and
Mages. The Seekers of Truth were crushing any Mages who dared question their
place. Rumors abound that the Seekers are being sent to investigate Kirkwall and
Dairsmuid, and that Templars are being given freer reign to break the Mages.

Anniki desired to seek out the Avvar in the Vimmark Mountains that she had heard tell
of. The name Gurd Harolfson is spoken of in whispers of dread and Anniki is drawn to
find out why. Justien has petitioned Stroud to take some Wardens to Chateau Haine
to reclaim relics of the Order, and Knight-Commander Carsten and First Enchanter
Halden are sending Mages and Templars down to Kirkwall to help reinforce the weak
and struggling Circle there at the behest of the Divine.


Todd V. Ehrenfels
Moderator, Science Fiction Society of Northern NJ
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Prologue: By Hubris of Their Making - Threnodies 7:11

Dramatis Personae

Players (please note if I spelled your name wrong let me know):
  • Joe Cirillo: Jean-Emeric Cornet (Male Orlesian Circle Mage)
  • Josh Gordon: Justien Abroux (Male Orlesian Exile Rogue)
  • Bill Bauer: Gerald (Male Ferelden Freeman Warrior)
  • Kate Landis: Annika o Lynxhold (Female Human Apostate Mage)
  • Gregg Shwartzkopf: Hasaril of the Redway (Clan Male Dalish Mage)
  • Chuck Garofalo: Oerick (Male Surface Dwarf Warrior)
  • BJ Pehush: 'Anton' (Qunari Male Rogue)


NPCs (in order of appearance):

Bishel Kallack - Surfacer Dwarf merchant leading a caravan from Cumberland to
Kirkwall with a stop-off at Chateau Haine

Sendine Ordnast - Caravan guard who isn't being paid enough for this nonsense

Ashok - Tal Vashoth caravan guard who appears to be terrified of Anton

Comtesse Genvieve de Borlean - Orlesian noblewoman and hunter

Huntmaster Malachai - Chasind huntsmaster

Brother Genitivi - noted scholar and adventurer of the Brotherhood of the Flame, an
Andrastian society not part of the Chantry

Arl Teagan Guerrin: Ferelden Nobleman, courtier, warrior, and mediocre diplomat

Duke Cyril de Montfort: Son of Prosper de Montfort proclaimed Duke and Voice of the
Lion on the Council of Heralds (Court Diplomat)

Ernestine Montbelliard: Daughter of the Marquise Beverlie Montbelliard, a Bard of
some repute

Ada du Launcet: an expatriate Orlesian noblewoman of Kirkwall

Dulcinea: a Bard

Ferdinand du Lac: Nevarran Nobleman, possibly a mage or ally of the College of the
Bright Hand

Magister Orvinus: A Tevinter Altus, formerly of the Magisterium who is looking for his
missing protege, Calpernia (apologies I called her Cassiopaeia in error)

Brinna 'Nine-Fingers' Felsensdottir: a Hunter in the employ of Chateau Haine, Avvar of
the Black Lion Hold.

The Story:
For various reasons the players have found themselves in the caravan of Master
Bishel Kallack, a dwarf of the Merchant's Guild of Cumberland who received some
information that a good deal of money could be made by skirting the normal caravan
routes and heading to Chateau Haine in the Vimmark Mountains, then proceeding on
to Kirkwall, on the coast of the Waking Sea. About a day out from the Chateau, Anton,
who had heard about fabulous beasts out in the woods, decided to lead some of his
companions on a quick foray around the area to see what they could find. What they
found was a large and badly wounded wyvern fighting off a pair of juvenile phoenixes
near a small pond. The fight that ensued was brief and bloody, but ended with few
injuries and a dead wyvern.

No sooner had the wyvern been dispatched but an Orlesian noblewoman crashed into
the clearing and began swearing vociferously. The wyvern had apparently been her
quarry and she was mightily upset that a turnip, an oxman, a barbarian, a dwarf and
two peasants had stolen her triumph. She identified herself as the Comtesse de
Borleon and continued to argue as the Chasind Huntsmaster, Malachai, blew his horn
signalling an end to the hunt, further infuriating the Comtesse. Other hunters began
appearing in the clearing and Brother Genitivi was asked to necropsy the wyvern
when Justien noticed Duke Prosper's heraldry on a saddle on the creature's back. Arl
Teagan reluctantly gave permission. It is believed that the wyvern may have eaten
the Duke as pieces of clothing with his heraldry were found inside the beast.

The Huntsmaster moved the group up to Chateau Haine while a runner was sent to
summon Bishel and his caravan. Cyril took the news confirming his father's death with
restraint, the Duke had been missing and presumed dead for over two months so the
news was not unexpected. Jean-Emeric delivered a note from Val Royaux confirming
Cyril as Duke of Montfort in his father's absence and naming him Voice of the Lion and
Speaker of the Council of Heralds (making him the Empire's most notable and
youngest diplomat). He declared a hunting feast would be laid out for the newcomers
and retired within to deal with paperwork regarding the succession.

The party itself featured backbiting and political maneuvering, gossip, innuendo, and
ham from the Anderfells that reportedly tasted like despair. Various Bards attempted
to place the group in compromising or awkward positions, and Annika made a contact
with a young Nevarran who seemed to offer an introduction to a group of rebel
Mages. Afterward Duke Cyril met with the Party in his drawing room along with Arl
Teagan and a Tevinter Magister Marcus Orvinus. Cyril explained that he was going to
have to return to Orlais sooner than he had hoped, and he and Arl Teagan explained
that someone was pushing the nations of the South closer to war. The Tevinter
claimed it might be a group of extremists called the Veneratii or the Conservatii, which
he thought were silly names. His apprentice, Calpurnia, left his care to study under a
Magister name Erasthenes. Both disappeared near the Nevarran Border and Orvinus
is too old to continue the search as he believes he only has days, or weeks, of life
remaining. Duke Cyril and Arl Teagan offered a base of operations and logistic support
in Kirkwall if the group would work to preserve order and prevent chaos in the Free
Marches. The group provisionally agreed.

The next day some members of the group went hunting while others explored the
Chateau. The group that stayed behind at the Chateau discovered a massive
underground lake with a city on an island in the center under the mountain where
Chateau Haine was situated. This city, called the Retreat, was built by the Grey
Wardens in the Exalted Age during the 4th Blight and was designed to house
thousands of refugees in the event that the Blight claimed Starkhaven and/or Kirkwall.
The group that went out with the hunters discovered evidence of a massive running
battle between a group of heavily armed Qunari and two humans and two elves
approximately two months prior. Further exploration revealed the probability of being
murdered and eaten by horrible blue pygmies, so they wisely returned to the
Chateau. When informed of the existence of the city, Cyril explained that it was
famous, having been built by Field Commander Issenya using Force Magic in
conjunction with dwarven masons and other mages. He offered to allow you to go to
the city with the warning that it was likely unsafe to the depredations of time.

Before the group go go out to the island the next day they were beset by Malachai,
Dulcinea, and a group of thugs bent on teaching the group a lesson. The fight was
brutal, but ended well for the party and poorly for the Chasind Huntsmaster. Dulcinea
surrendered and took a message to her employer, the Comtesse de Borleon from
Justien. With the able assistance of Genitivi the group quickly explored the Retreat
and discovered some interesting history. Annika made some other interesting
discoveries, though those remain he private information. Oerick was impressed by the
work of the Castless Dwarves who built much of the city wand who were honored in
the amphitheater in the city's center. The group also witnessed spirits reenacting the
Dwarves at work on the seal in the amphitheater.

The group left Chateau Haine after three days of hunting, exploration, and intrigue
with a promise of a base of operations in Kirkwall, supplies to keep their operations
running, and a contact named Hubert Bartier by Comtesse de Borleon given as
recognition of the Game well played. As the caravan heads for Kirkwall many wonder
what other adventures lie in store for them.

Rewards: 650xp; 4 sp; 1 two handed maul of Chasind design; two long swords; two
light shields; Qunari Badge of unidentified significance; 3 daggers
Specific to Justien: Reward from Duke Cyril for killing the wyvern is a vest made of
wyvern and phoenix hide displaying the Montfort badge and Justien's family crest.
Specific to Annika: Information on other Hold Beasts that have been killed.
Specific to Anton: Badge of the Salit-An-Hassrath and the Badge of the Ariqun,
ceremonial harness.
Specific to Oerick: Brother Genitivi's Forgotten Dwarven Heroes: Memories in the Stone
Specific to Jean-Emeric: autographed copy of Brother Genitivi's In Pursuit of
Knowledge and his recent monogram of wyvern anatomy
Specific to Gerald: a basket of Ferelden smoked meats.


Todd V. Ehrenfels
Moderator, Science Fiction Society of Northern NJ
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Anyone interested in running a campaign is welcome to post in the Heroes & Rogues
Yahoo Group using the following format:

GM Name:
Campaign Name:
Campaign Type:
Campaign Setting:
What You Will Need:
Campaign Description:

Please keep the campaign description to no more than 100 words, this is basically an
elevator pitch. If your text is more than 100 words I will edit it to fit. Also, please make
sure that there is an active place to purchase the rules needed if you are not planning
to provide rulebooks to the players (generally www.drivethruRPG.com or www.
RPGnow.com should have the rules available on PDF or Print on Demand).

Here, for example, is my submission:
GM Name: Todd V. Ehrenfels
Campaign Name: Dragon Age: Dark Before the Dawn
Campaign Type: Fantasy Adventure
Campaign Setting: Dragon Age (Green Ronin Games http://www.drivethrurpg.
com/product/147899/Dragon-Age-RPG-Core-Rulebook)
What You Will Need: Character Sheet, D6's, Pencils. Rulebook is optional, Quickstart
rules can be used in a pinch.
Campaign Description:

Tensions are rising throughout Thedas; the Fifth Blight was ended ten years before by
the Hero of Ferelden, and since then the animosity between Templars and Mages has
simmered into hatred, and threatens to boil over and take the entire South into
chaos. All it takes is one spark to set off a fire that could destroy the Chantry forever.
Step into the world of Thedas and adventure as a warrior, rogue, or mage. The events
of this campaign will be a bridge between the stories of Dragon Age 2 and Dragon
Age: Inquisition.

Todd V. Ehrenfels
Moderator, Science Fiction Society of Northern NJ
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HOW DO I BECOME A PLAYER?
First, go to https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/SFSNNJ_Heroes_and_Rogues/ and
sign up for the group. This group is where the Heroes and Rogues discuss games and
other associated skullduggery. When the GM vote is concluded, you will need to put in
a request to join the table. At present the Max capacity for the table is 8 players and a
GM, with preference going towards returning players first and new players on a first-
come/first served basis. Players who don't get in on this game will be placed in the
Alternates Listing and invited to the table in the event that a primary player is unable
to continue in the game.

ARE THERE OTHER GAMES OUT THERE?
Yes. Heroes and Rogues Week Knights will be amalgamating their games and such
over the next few months. Both meet in public places, and folks are welcome to audit
the games for the Monday Knights group on the first and third Mondays of each Month
at the Panera on Route 17N in Ramsey NJ. The Thursday Independent Group meets at
the Panera in Paramus on Route 4, every other week. Stay tuned for additional
announcements, or send and email to me directly at TODD@SFSNNJ.COM for details.

Todd V. Ehrenfels
Moderator, Science Fiction Society of Northern NJ