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So, what is the world of Arland?

It's a fictional land that I created many years ago (long enough ago that 1st edition had all of 5 books then) to set my D&D Campaigns in. I've had many real life campaigns set there over the years, mostly short lived. Seemed like every time I got a group together, either my players or I soon ended up moving.  Over that time, through the various games, the conception of the world changed little.

The world has sat dormant for the last 8 years or so, as I have not been anywhere long enough to find a group to play with. A few years ago, I found my way to a RP centric irc network named Caelestia.net.

I'd been using/opering on different irc networks for years, but, oddly, I'd never really role played much on them. Oh, I had a little, mostly doing things like Mafia and Werewolf, but not much. As far as GMing, I'd only ever done one offs like werewolf.

Then in late February, it was suggested to me that I run a game of some sort. The idea was a little scary. The network had a ton of really good role players, and I hadn't GM'd anything ongoing in years.

I decided I wanted a group that was mostly new to irc role playing for a couple of reasons. First, it would make ME more comfortable not worrying about my skills as a GM being compared unfavorably to the great GM's on the network, and Second, it would make the two people I had in mind to recruit first more comfortable, as they had not RP'd on irc before.

My first thought for what game to run was Traveler. No one on the network was running a game like that, so it would be different and make me feel less pressure. The problems immediately popped up there, however.

The first one was that one of the people I'd recruited felt much more comfortable doing a middle ages or similar setting vs a game set in space.

The second was my feeling that a good traveler game really required maps and maybe even a scanner. While I figured I could manage that eventually, I wanted to actually get going without spending several months becoming proficient at things like that.

The third was my lack of access to scans/rtf/pdf of books relating to traveler.  It is really difficult to introduce people to a new game without having reading materials for them to understand what they are doing, and traveler seemed especially so to me.

Reluctantly, I decided to just stick with something tried and true. D&D. And not that bastardized 3rd and 4th edition stuff, but real D&D: 1st and 2nd edition.

I had rtf's of all the 2nd ed. stuff (Except the Book of the Drow)  that I could send to people, so that was a plus. It could be set in more of a medieval setting, which would make my players more comfortable, which was another plus, and well, was less dependant on maps and whatnot (though I still wanted to include some of that stuff later on).

Having decided on D&D, there was never any question of where to set the campaign.

I rummaged through my by box of old D&D stuff, and found my old, pencil drawn onto notebook paper map. The map held together by masking take that I had drawn when I was like 14 or 15.

I started recruiting players. I already had Eukara, who had RP'd on forums for years, and Rachel. I sorted through my aim contacts, and soon came up with Eliminator, who had been in Tony's game with me years ago, and Thorne, who I'd played text based war games with for years, though I'd never played RPG's with. I knew he'd played RPG's before from talking to him.

I really wanted someone that was both an old hand at D&D and at irc RP to help the others (and maybe me too) if they needed it, but I really didn't have anyone... till an offhand remark in the staff channel about how I was trying to get a game going on Tue/Thurs nights in the staff channel ended up with me getting Taros.

What kind of campaign we were going to end up with was still up in the air. I had an idea for an all female campaign for a while, and then one for an all thief campaign, but eventually abandoned both of those and just settled back into a traditional "low magic" campaign that I'd run in this world many times before. Council of elders putting together a traveling party to investigate some strange happenings in the world, etc...

And then, Taros and RPGServ provided a strange moment of inspiration:

[22:22] <+Taros> #ascores 1
[22:22] <RPGServ> [Ascores method I for Taros]
[22:22] <RPGServ> <Str: 7 Dex: 11 Con: 16 Int: 16 Wis: 17 Cha: 3>
[22:22] <+Taros> oO
[22:22] <~Dog|Tired> wtf
[22:22] <+Taros> ... 3 CHA..
[22:22] <+Taros> UGLY
[22:23] <~Dog|Tired> but wise...
[22:23] <+Taros> Yeah.
[22:23] <~Dog|Tired> I'd play that char in a heartbeat...
[22:23] <~Dog|Tired> it'd be fun
[22:23] <+Taros> the 3 CHA might be... interesting...
[22:24] <~Dog|Tired> 5 personality, 1 appearance !
[22:25] <+Taros> You would look so hideous, people would probably try to kill you on sight.
[22:25] <~Dog|Tired> I'm going to use that set of scores for someone.

For those of you who don't know, method I is the simple roll 3 six siders, and record the scores in order method. Getting 3 scores 16 or higher is rare... getting a 3 in combination with that is even rarer....

I just couldn't let a stat line like that go... so I started thinking what kind of character that would be... and after a couple of days thought on it, an idea began to form... an idea that completely changed the story of the campaign, and even modified the makeup of the world somewhat.

Now it was just a matter of getting characters for everyone...

Taros made a fighter character that might as well be part thief, Eukara was going to make a thief... but then RPGServ went bananas and generated 3 18's for her, and she decided to be a fighter thief... Rachel made a gnome professor, and Thorne made an Elven Ranger. "My" character was an elven priestess that might as well be part ranger. Eliminator... dropped out before we'd ever started.

I made the decision to start the group in two parties: The Main Group (the first 3 characters mentioned above) and the Elf Group, and I would bring the parties together after a couple of sessions... Well, we're hours into it now, and the groups still aren't together (though they will be soon I promise!) and on top of that, there's a 3rd player currently on his own working his way to the grand meeting as well.

In the next post, I'll list the important characters so far. I'll keep editing that as the game goes along. In the following posts will be the game logs... I have to say, I have some GREAT players, and I think you will all find the logs an interesting read.

Welcome to the World of Arland. I hope you enjoy your stay.
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This section is a little out of date, sorry. I really will update it when life slows down!

I probably need to organize this section better... any ideas?

In order of appearance:

Salov - (NPC) A good looking fifth level half-elven fighter who specializes in the use of a crossbow. He was orphaned as a youngster and raised in the predominantly half-elven village ruled by the High Priestess of Zanxia. He's a captain of Her Lady's knights, and apparently, a perfect gentleman. He is dedicated to the "his lady", the High Priestess of Zanxia above all else in life, and would do anything for her. He's 5' 6" and has short blond hair

Elisandra - (Taros) Elisandra 's a pretty 17 year old human girl, with shoulder length, straight black hair that looks like she doesn't spend too much time taking care of it. She looks reasonably fit and athletic, and moves quite gracefully, despite her slightly unkempt appearance. She's been working with various parts of the underworld, particularly the black market, almost since she set out on her own. She has a bit of a soft spot for orphans. As the story opened, we found her in jail, ironically, for a crime she didn't commit...

By trade, she's a 1st level fighter, though during her years in the underworld, she became very adept at many things an ordinary fighter would not be likely to know. She's very skillful with a sword, fighting well both unarmored and in the dark. She's also learned how to move silently and hide in shadows, and is very adept at gathering information from people, often without them even realizing...

Kasparov - (NPC) An above average looking half-elven fighter, Kasparov fancies himself a bit of a ladies man... which is ironic, because no one else does. Think Edgar from FF VI, with the caveat that Edgar had a lot more style. He's a corporal in the High Priestess of Zanxia's knights.

Professor Wimji - (Prudence_Moon) A Rock Gnome, Wimji is a full time professor of ancient history at the College of Arlington, a part time inventor, and a connoisseur of fine beverages and fine sleeping as well. She's always wanted to travel, however, and it looks like the High Priestess of Zanxia is going to give her that chance. She's average looking to other gnomes. She stands 3' 4", has blue eyes, light gray hair, and deep tan skin.

Tajna - (Eukara) Tajna is a very beautiful half-elf, who has long black red hair and dark green eyes. Though she has elven blood, Tajna is a very tall young woman, often standing out even in human congregations. Slightly reticent by nature and possessing an inconvenient phobia to magic, she still bares the mental and emotional scars from childhood. Born to a human mother, she was raised by her until her mother married. The human man hated the half-elf child and demanded she be put away. Tanja was sold into slavery where she spent many years abused by the human slave driver until she killed him to obtain her freedom.

After escaping, she found herself very good at theft, eventually allowing it to lead to a more "professional" occupation, stealing for the rich so they could get back at their peers. Though beautiful, she has severe doubts to her own looks, mostly because of the abuse and hatred at the hands of those when she was younger. Possessing something beautiful gives her mind a faux beauty of herself in her mind, which explains why she learned gem cutting. Tajna's independence and self-reliance is of utmost importance to her. Most people will be kept at a certain distance, and though she may not be the best socialite, the few people she let's in she will die for.

Eltiana Ovetchkin - (NPC) A priestess of Ullr, god of Hunting, Archery, and Winter, "Tia" as her friends, and ONLY her friends call her, is really part nature priest, part ranger. She's a slightly above average looking Sylvan Elf. She has long, flowing coppery hair, and blue eyes (considered to be an omen of good luck among the sylvan elves), and her body is covered in tattoo depicting the season of winter. She's been away from home for a while on a mission to recruit new followers to the faith, and to visit her sister Ariana, and her nephew Ragnus. On the way back home, things get... (no, you'll just have to read the story!)

Ragnus Thorne - (Thorne) An elf of mixed sylvan and high blood, Thorne is a ranger by trade. He is the nephew of Eltiana, and son of Ariana. His father was killed by a troll when Thorne was very young, and he both hates and fears that species as a result. He's currently traveling along with his Aunt and Mother to visit Greenguard. He's never been away from home before, and is just starting to make his way in the world. Thorne stands 5' 0", and has long blond hair and blue eyes.

He likes the girl Elena, and he's very dedicated to his family. He's a stout fighter with sword and bow, and want's to learn to hunt as good as his aunt someday.

Ariana Thorne - (NPC) Sister of Eltiana and mother of Ragnus, this elf really hasn't distinguished herself in any way in the story so far. All we really know about her is that she's an astoundingly good cook, and that she's willing to help clean up whatever problems her sister gets herself into.

Elena Tal - (NPC) A young acolyte assigned to serve Eltiana while she was away from Greenguard. She's still quite young (especially so in elf years) She's just an average looking Elf of Mixed Blood (1/4 Grey Elf, 3/4 Sylvan). The high priest of Greenguard dislikes her because of her mixed heratage, and would just as soon dismiss her from the church despite her obvious talents - she's already a pretty good healer, even at her young age.

She's very protective of her "Lady" Eltiana, who took her on as a trainee, giving her a chance to remain in the church, when no one else would. She's always wanted to be a priestess and a helaer, and she knows she would have been denied the chance but for Eltiana. She does not, however, always agree with Eltiana on matters of politics and religion. She especially disagrees with Eltiana's negative views about magic. She's headstrong, but not defiant.

Alleris - (Allen) Alleris is a rather tall and muscular boy, not man. He appears to be rather young for his profession, a mere 18 years of age at current. He's unusually handsome for a fighter, although his odd, red colored eyes have a tendency to frighten people sometimes. He His hair is a color of off shade brown, which lowers down onto his shoulders with nearly trimmed bangs, straight until the end before it curls slightly.

Usually he's found in his not-so-shiny set of banded mail unless he's decided to rest somewhere in the night, in which case he has a toned physique and a body that appears to have a lot of work put into it to keep in shape. He can usually be seen in a pair of sky blue clothes that are loose fitting to his body, to not impede him, otherwise they look rather unspectacular. As well as brown shoes.

Alleris grew up in a small town, and grew up as the towns 'hero' of sorts, along with his father, a rather burly old man that protected the folk of the town. He grew up being taught that the law was always right and that we should all follow it, despite not being of massive intellect, Alleris was a boy of average intelligence, and generally forged his own opinions in secret. Laws should only be followed if they make sense.

Eventually, and after quite a few years of training by his fathers hand, he passed away, and Alleris left the town after a short time of protecting them, leaving them to the aid of another, similar boy that his father had trained, and set off in search of something more…grand, what that was, he didn't know yet. But he'd figure it out some day. With his supplies, the sword his father had given him at his 14th birthday, and his wits about him, he traveled from town to town, doing odd jobs, or partaking in missions to help the villagers, often times with monetary gain, as part of a party, or sometimes just because it was what seemed right, without money. He doesn't keep much on him really, he doesn't need it. Despite his earnings not being large, they were enough to get him by. And he continues to travel, searching for fame and riches, or perhaps something more.

Fanwick - (NPC) A burly , high level human fighter, Major Fanwick is in charge of the entire foot division of the Knights of the Church of Zanxia, answering only to General Hanibal and to The Lady herself. He's a little dry, though not humorless, and is generally considered a really good guy, especially for a commanding officer type. He's not quite as devout as some of the other knights, but he does believe wholeheartedly in Zanxia's message that all races, especially human and elf, can, and should live together in peace.

The High Priestess of Zanxia or The Lady - (NPC) A stunningly beautiful (23 Charisma) young elf maiden, with perfect features and long golden hair, she rules the entire church of Zanxia for all Aland, and she's the ruler of her own, predominantly half-elven village in a valley less than an hours ride by cart from Arlington. She appears to be involved in a great many things. In addition to being at the pinnacle of the church, she's also obviously a very high level magic user (perhaps not surprising since Zanxia is a goddess of magic), and she's not afraid to use her magic. She tries hard to impress and entertain her guests... too hard perhaps.

She's the one who arranged for Tajna and Elisandra to be let out of prison, and arranged to pay off Professor Wimji's "explosion" debit. She's also the one responsible for arranging for the defense of Arlington against the invasion that the town itself refused to believe was coming. While generally appearing to be an easy going,"I just want everyone to like me" type, she has shown a bit of a temper when betrayed. It also appears that all of her responsibilities may weighing rather heavily upon her.

Aleric - (NPC) Aleric is a 2nd level human crusader priest of a church I've yet to finish (bad DM!, Bad!). His mother is in charge of the local church (Arlington) of that deity and apparently owes the high priestess of Zanxia some favors, which often ends up meaning Aleric gets loaned out to complete said favors, something that irritates Aleric no end. He's quite sarcastic when annoyed, or forced into doing things he dislikes, and seems to be a champion in training room combat.

Petrosian - (NPC) A 3rd level fighter and a corporal in the forces of the church of Zanxia. He assists Alleris in setting up the defense of Arlington. Not much is known about Petrosian.

Raikenin - (NPC) A lizard man in the company of Chade. Not much else is known at present.

Chade - (Ronin) Description forthcoming.
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My final entry for the day! Yes, I've been rather behind on getting these things spell/grammar checked and posted, I know! This session once again features the main group, and offers some major revelations/complications about Roget, the artifact the he stole from the church of Zanxia, and just exactly what the main group has gotten themselves into!

Chapter Twenty-Two )
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An uneventful day of travel from the Main group.

Chapter Twenty-One )
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Another main group session. Tajna cooks dinner. Apologies to Taros are in order. I thought he was in the channel and just multi-tasking for most of the session... It turns out, I had a major miscommunication and he didn't know it was going on...

Chapter Twenty )
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Another Main group session... could there be something odd about those wolves?

Chapter Nineteen )
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The Elves and Lizard Men plan their course of action. And who is this Roget guy and what's he doing here?

Chapter Eighteen )
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The main group finally sees some combat, as it comes under attack from a group of wolves. I’m trying something different this session. Since the party is traveling in two different wagons, I decided to try having them play simultaneously but in two separate channels. I feel the result was mostly positive, though a bit stressful on the poor DM and his legion of NPC’s, some of which were in wagon 1 and some in wagon 2.

Chapter Seventeen )
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The end of Alleris' introductory story.

Chapter Sixteen )
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A return to the intrigue of the elves and the lizards up on the mesa in the Weather Mountains. Good thing its summer so the lizards don't freeze to death at night up here. <_<

This was all one session on Friday, May 1st through Saturday May 2nd.

Chapter Fourteen )
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More from the main group, as they get ready to leave... finally.

Chapter Fourteen )
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More from the elf group. This features the first meeting between Chade and our little band of elven heroes. It was all done in a single session fron Friday April 24th through Saturday April 25th.

Chapter Thirteen )
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More from Alleris. This was all done in one day, in three pieces, over two different networks! Because of the continued instability of the Caelestia network, the game was moved to Tellaerad (for good) in the middle of this session.

Chapter Twelve )
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This Chapter took place right after Chapter Ten in real life time, and is broken up here simply for convenience.

Chapter Eleven )
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More from the Main group, especially Elisandra, who takes a tour around town. This chapter also features some combat... sort of. Elisandra hopes she's used up all her bad luck at once on this...

Chapter Ten )
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Here is the next installment of the story. It features the elf group, it's rather short, and it introduces a new PC: Chade, a lizard man cleric/thief.

This was all done in one session from Friday April 10th through Saturday April 11th.

Chapter Nine )
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More from Alleris. This Chapter was done over two sessions. The first one Monday April 6th through Tuesday April 7th, and the second one on Friday April 10th.

And yes, finally there's some combat. Alleris SHOULD have been overmatched by his opponent in this combat, and I was GOING to give him help, but the dice were so kind on his first round of attacks, I decided to let him and his one sidekick sink or swim alone... They nearly sank, but in the end, turned in a rather heroic effort.

Chapter Eight )
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Salov takes Tajna shopping. ^_^ This was done over two sessions. The first one Started the last minute of Sunday, April 5th and went on into Monday, April 7th. The second Session took place on the afternoon of Wednesday April 8th.

Chapter Seven )
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More from Thorne, Eltiana, Elena, and company. This was all one session done on Friday March 27th through Saturday March 28th.

Chapter Six )
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We present chapter five, which was all done in one session Wednesday March 25th through Thursday March 26th.

Chapter Five )
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