Chapter Three: Part Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, and Chapter Six: Part One, Two, and Three Recap


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Chapter Three: Part Three

  • The heroes lured the hill giants into the narrow streets of Masana and take them out before they can reach the fort
  • They retreated to the fort and stage a final defense against the gnoll horde
  • The gnolls scaled the walls and eventually smashed the gates open
  • Captain Marcella and the heroes faced off against the gnoll flind, an avatar of Yeenoghu, slaying it
  • With the flind dead, the gnolls retreated
  • The gnoll flind and his horde seemed to have been imbued with demonic energy

Chapter Four

  • The heroes were called to Oriac, capital of Auranoch, for an awards ceremony taking place during the holiday, Dragonfall, to honor their defense of the city of Masana by giving them medals of valor
  • The city was far from festive, with many citizens either dejected or openly discontent
  • From their contacts, the heroes heard that strange suits of armor have been recently brought into the city in large numbers
  • They find a secret stash of the strange armor hidden under a ruined neighborhood, but without any more evidence, they are unable to convince the Captain of a credible threat
  • During the awards ceremony, blue dragons soared overhead and a man calling himself the Blue Dragon, who wore a blue dragon mask, launched a surprise attack to try to kill Lord Protector Silvaras Crowbourne
  • The heroes fought enemies who were hidden in the crowd: monks, witches, and suits of animated armor, while trying to save Silvaras by freeing his step-brother, Corbin “Crimson Death” Sand, from a force cage
  • They weakened the Blue Dragon, who teleported away, and freed Corbin who forced the terrorists to retreat

Chapter Five

  • Nadira tracked some of the terrorists to a temple in an abandoned town south of Oriac, and the heroes were sent to investigate
  • The town was in ruins and covered in giant spiderwebs, and they fought their way through giant spiders
  • Inside the temple, they found it guarded by all kinds of undead and shadows
    • In the library, they found the plans for making the animated armor
    • Inside a dried up well, they found a magic dagger of venom
    • At the top of the temple in the main altar, they found a man calling himself the Red Dragon, who teleported away after they weakened him
    • Afterwards, they found a letter saying that plans were ready for the “other”, signed only by the letter ‘A’

Chapter Six

  • They reported what they found to Lord Protector Silvaras, and he worried that these self-proclaimed Desert Dragons were targeting his sister, Valandriel
    • She had been living in the Sun Elven forest of Ley Seren, and he tried to magically contact her, but she didn’t respond
    • Silvaras teleported the heroes to the Sun Elven capital of Seren Tir, deep within the forest of Ley Seren, and sent them on a mission to locate his sister
  • They searched the city for clues
    • The Sun Elven citizens found their presence unusual
    • They visited the Palace, but he Sun Lord Selendriel, Silvaras and Valandriel’s mother, didn’t have time to meet with them
    • They went to Valandriel’s home and found she wasn’t there but nothing unsual
    • At the Temple of Souladil, the clergy were eager to help Sir Gregor and told them that a new orc tribe had been causing trouble in the forest lately, and when they recently razed an entire village, Valandriel left to hunt them down a couple days ago
      • normally she would have returned from an excursion by now
  • With Nadira to track Valandriel and guide them through the forest, the heroes set off on their mission as the skies darken from gathering clouds
  • They find the remains of a group of dead orcs
  • They reach their first major obstacle: the bridge over one of the rivers feeding into the Cuina Yar is broken
    • while crossing the river using an extra long rope, they are attacked by a hydra from the water
  • It started raining
  • They drew the attention of and slay a wild chimera and take some of its hide
  • They enter orc territory, as marked by bone effigies and blood markings
    • They encounter strange, diseased orcs that explode when killed; stealthy, assassin orcs; orc worg riders, and orcs leaders that inspire grunts to greater ferocity
    • A Elven archer is being chased by orcs, and the heroes save him
      • The elf says that Valandriel was captured by someone wearing a green dragon mask and another wearing a black dragon mask
  • Inside an abandoned Elven tower, they fought a powerful ogre that even survived a brutal sneak attack from Declan
    • While searching the tower, a hungry displacer beast attacked
    • They camp for the night in the tower
  • The storm grew worse overnight with wind so fierce it made ranged attacks difficult
  • They find the site of a large battle, over forty dead orcs and about ten dead elves, with tracks leading in two directions
    • They head southwest
  • In the distance, a hydra’s heads rise above the makeshift walls of an orc encampment
    • As the pouring rain would negate the hydra’s weakness to fire, they decide avoid the camp instead
  • They find a woman, Aurani by her accent, walking through the forest with a body floating on a magic disc behind them
    • She says that her companion is wounded and in need of treatment
    • As Eliana goes to check the wounded, the woman, the Green Dragon, attacks
    • While they fought, the Black Dragon, an agile, one-armed warrior wielding a scimitar, joined the fray
      • Whenever anyone got near him, they could hear the death screams of thousands
    • The fight was bloody, but they managed to drive the Dragons off
  • The wounded woman was Valandriel, who was suffering from a poison that Eliana was unable to cure
    • Seeing Sir Gregor, she asked him to take her extra sword: Baxicurel


The Sword of Heaven’s Wrath, Baxicurel

By your blood, lay low the wicked.

The legendary, holy sword recovered from the ruined halls of the Dark Elven city of Parsenthes by the Human paladin Devaul and his companions. When Devaul submitted to death and became a death knight, Harken recovered the sword and eventually gave it to the Dark Elf paladin, Zerefin Sindefear, the founder and first Lord Protector of Sanctuary. When Zerefin died at the Battle of Sanctuary, his wife, Ellestriel, took the sword and gave it to the Half-Elf paladin Valandriel Crowbourne, Myer’s daughter. And she passed it on to the Aasimar paladin Sir Gregor Gallows.

The legends say that Baxicurel can summon a pillar of light from Heaven itself and rend the land in two.


The Cuina Yar

The massive river that runs from the western border of Sanctuary, through southern Greyfell, and across all of Ley Seren before reaching the Locean Sea.


A Short History of the Realms

One Shot Evil Game (~2003)

(Never finishes, but one of the characters sets the stage for things to come.)

The Necromancer Everstone finds the Eye of the Abyss, raises an undead army, and conquers the Eastern Realms, plunging it into darkness.

Age of Blood

Everstone is eventually defeated by the sacrifice of many brave heroes, but his vampire lords remain and continue to rule for 100 years.

Eventually, the hero, Oren, guided by the Goddess Aurasanna, finds the Stone of Solidarity and defeats the vampire lords, bringing peace to the Eastern Realms.

The Stone of Solidarity Campaign (~2006-2009)

80 years after Oren vanquished the vampire lords, the Stone of Solidarity is stolen from its holy resting place. A novice paladin of Aurasanna, Devaul, departs on a quest to retrieve it.

(Runs from level 7 to 14. The rest is novelized in this PDF.)

Stone of Solidarity – The Journey Continued

Reckoning Nights – The Demon War Campaign (~2011)

The Abyssal Seal is broken. Demons invade the Realms from Abyssal rifts that tear the world asunder. Heroes old and new must band together to save the Realms.

(Takes place immediately after Stone of Solidarity. Only ran from level 1 to 4. Novelized the rest in this PDF.)

Reckoning Nights – The Demon War – First Edition

New Beginnings Campaign (~2014-2018)

20 years after the Demon War, the Realms are still recovering when an ancient threat rises.

(Full 1 to 20 campaign. Summarized in this blog.)

Red Dawn Campaign (~2018-Present)

Two years after the Dragon War, the Kingdom of Auranoch struggles to rebuild, but some see this as the perfect opportunity to seize power. Can the Red Riders defend the kingdom in this time of turmoil?


New Map Thanks to Wonderdraft


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Found this new map maker the other day. I can’t remember where I heard about it, but I’m glad I did. I’ve used CC3 Pro before, and this is simply way more user friendly. It has a decent selection of included themes and symbols. I haven’t looked too hard, but I think the reddit is full of more free user created content to use.

Here’s the website:

Chapter Three – Part Two


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Fort Masana

  •  Defenses
    • Walls: collapsed in several places, but being repaired
    • Gate: shattered, but being replaced
    • Towers: melted by dragon fire
  • Courtyard: mostly in shambles
    • Smithy
      • Taylan Demirci, young, tall, friendly blacksmith and armorer
        • makes and maintains equipment
        • provides metal barding for horses
    • Makeshift Stables
      • Atila, grumpy stablemaster
        • provides warhorses
    • Apothecary Shack
      • Samara, devout herbalist
        • stocks you up to 3 potions of healing at the start of the session
        • provides one random potion at start of session
  • Support Units
    • Eliana, Company Chaplain
    • Nadira, Outrider



The Burning Ridge Plateau

  • the party sneaked across the upper levels of the plateau
  • they ambushed an isolated gnoll pack


The Valley of Bones

  • the party discovers a huge army of gnolls hidden in the valley canyons who appear to be gathering for an attack
  • they see how new gnolls are made
    • the gnolls bring a live captive to a Fang of Yeenoghu, who then slays it
    • a pack of hyenas feasts upon the body of the Fang’s kill and then transform into fully grown gnolls
  • the Fang heads deeper into the valley and the party follows him from above
  • eventually, he pays tribute to a Flind, an avatar of Yeenoghu who carries a brutal, three-headed flail, an opponent too powerful for them to defeat on their own
  • while leaving the valley, they find an isolated gnoll pack lord bearing a magical shield
  • the party sneaks down and kills the pack lord and takes his shield


Kiryat Masana, Auranoch

  • the party reports their findings back to the Captain
  • to defend against the imminent gnoll threat, they begin to evacuate the citizens
  • the Red Riders meet the gnoll army on the dunes outside the city to thin the herd
  • they retreat back to the city as hill giants approach on the horizon

Chapter Three – Part One


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Fort Masana

  •  Defenses
    • Walls: collapsed in several places, but being repaired
    • Gate: shattered, but being replaced
    • Towers: melted by dragon fire
  • Courtyard: mostly in shambles
    • Smithy
      • Taylan Demirci, young, tall, friendly blacksmith and armorer
        • makes and maintains equipment
        • provides metal barding for horses
    • Makeshift Stables
      • Atila, grumpy stablemaster
        • provides warhorses
    • Apothecary Shack
      • Samara, devout herbalist
        • stocks you up to 3 potions of healing at the start of the session
        • provides one random potion at start of session
  • Support Units
    • Eliana, Company Chaplain
    • Nadira, Outrider



Kiryat Masana, Auranoch

  • Nadira explains that the gnolls are coming from the Valley of Bones to the northeast, past the Burning Ridge Plateau, but she can’t get any closer because of all the patrols
  • the heroes set off to assess the level and source of the gnoll threat while Captain Marcella has the walls of the fort rebuilt as fast as possible in case things get bad

The Dune Sea

  • slay a small gnoll band wandering not far from the city
  • investigate an abandoned tower
    • Sir Gregor climbs a treacherous area of the tower where the stairway collapsed
    • he finds a Rope of Climbing at the top between the body of two dead guards
  • fight a pack of hyenas in the shrub flats
  • at a small oasis, normally docile antelope attack the party

The Burning Ridge Plateau

  • rescue a Sun Elven druid named Luthien from a gnoll flesh gnawer that had chased her until she got tired
    • she agreed to accompany them
    • explained that the gnolls are demons spawned by Yeenoghu, the lap dog of Venos
  • fight another band of gnolls along the plateau top
  • reach the Twisting Ravines that lead to the Valley of Bones
    • from above, they can see several groups of gnolls wandering the ravines

Chapter Two


Current Status of Fort Masana

  • Defenses
    • Walls: collapsed in several places
    • Gate: shattered
    • Towers: melted by dragon fire
  • Courtyard: mostly in shambles
    • Smithy
      • Taylan Demirci, young, tall, friendly blacksmith and armorer
        • makes and maintains equipment
        • provides metal barding for horses
    • Makeshift Stables
      • Atila, grumpy stablemaster
        • provides warhorses
    • Apothecary Shack
      • Samara, devout herbalist
        • stocks you up to 3 potions of healing at the start of the session
        • provides one random potion at start of session
  • Support Units
    • Eliana, Company Chaplain
    • Nadira, Outrider



Kiryat Masana, Auranoch

  • while relaxing in the Lost Princess
    • the party hears rumors of hobgoblins attacking trade caravans from Verena, the halfling owner/bartender
    • Captain Marcella comes in with orders to recruit Taylan Demirci, a promising young blacksmith in town
  • the party speaks with Taylan, who agrees to work for the Red Riders if they can recover his rare meteorite ore which was stolen in one of the hobgoblin attacks
  • Declan creates a mock caravan, and the party rides two days south on the Highroad, but don’t attract any attacks
  • they go the West Auranoch Trading Company’s trading post in the city and speak with the branch manager, Thamir
    • they find that the hobgoblins specifically target the wagons with arms, armor, and ore
    • Thamir allows them to interview his employees to see if any of them are suspicious
    • Eliana finds one man with a suspiciously expensive gold ring
      • Bur interrogates the man, but he says he got it from his wife, and then learns that he has a dark secret, he’s cheating on his wife(this was a lie, he was, in fact, the spy leaking information to the hobgoblins)
    • they ask if they can ride along with a caravan to protect against the next attack, in hopes of tracking them back to their base
  • the caravan is attack by hobgoblin cavalry
    • the party captures two of the hobgoblins and Bur manages to glean the location of their base from them
  • as the party rides towards the base a sandstorm starts brewing and Eliana asks if they mind stopping at a nearby village which is famous for its figs
  • as they approach the village, it’s obvious that something isn’t right
    • they’re hit with the stench of corpses, arrows litter the ground, and there are trails from the dragging of bloody bodies
    • the homes have all been broken into, with claw marks marring the doors, walls, and windows
    • the bodies have all been gathered in the village center and torn apart, yet all the money and valuables were left behind
  • they continue on to the hobgoblin’s base
    • as they enter the base, they find it in the same condition as the village, a graveyard
    • they find the meteorite ore and other stolen goods, but are ambushed by ravenous gnolls
    • they load the ore and one crate of weapons onto a wagon and escape before the gnolls overrun them
  • they return to the city and Taylan agrees to join them

Chapter One


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Kiryat Masana, Auranoch

  • the party have finished their basic training as Red Riders and are assigned to Captain Marcella’s company, which has been deployed to the fort at Kiryat Masana
  • the town lies along the high road and is still a long way from recovering from the Dragon War
  • the company has little in the way of support personnel
    • Atila, the stablemaster
    • Nadira, the outrider
    • Eliana, the chaplain
  • the fort sits atop a hill overlooking the town, but lies in ruin from the devastation of the Dragon War
    • the walls are collapsed in several places
    • the gate is shattered
    • the towers have been melted by dragonfire
    • the courtyard buildings lay in shambles
  • the party receives orders to recruit an herbalist from an outlying village by the name of Samara
  • a sparrow arrives from Nadira, saying a goblin raid is headed for the village
  • the party intercepts the goblin raid and fights them off
    • the goblins retreat, but take Samara with them
  • after resting in the village, the party track the goblilns back to their lair
  • they find the goblins holed up in an abandoned mine
    • they clear the mine out, but the goblin boss flees on worg-back
    • the party runs the goblin boss down in a horse chase and recover an Elven shortsword of warning
  • Samara is returned safely home and agrees to work for the Red Riders

Chapter Nineteen: Crimson Death


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Session Date: September 16, 2017

After three and a half years, two editions of Dungeons and Dragons, and twenty levels; the campaign finally comes to a end. And not just this campaign, but perhaps the whole story of the Realms, this campaign world that I started one and a half decades ago.


The Langur Tann, Kaldur

  • Silvaras brings dire news to the party: his mother, Selendriel, and Lethias have been captured, and the Imperial Magi and an army of dragons have gathered at the city of Northwind and, in an excavated Knights Shadow temple upon an obsidian altar, they prepare for a ritual to summon the dragon goddess Tiamat

Caerwyn, Capital of Elemey

  • the party fly back to Caerwyn to gather their allies and form a plan to stop them
  • Queen Siana Rhaewyn the First pledges the Elemi Lancers and their small fleet of airships
  • Azeem enlists Dash with an offer of 56,000 gold for this last job, along with Edana
  • King Bardrok Kragmaul says that a suicide mission seems like a great way to redeem himself
  • Silvaras will follow Corbin wherever they need him
  • Valandriel and Doloriel, the Sun Lord’s eldest and full-elven daughter, say they’re going to rescue their mother regardless of the party’s plan
    • the party agree to rescue Selendriel and Lethias first
  • Ellestriel, the last Princess of the Moon and widow of Zerefin, is reluctant to join the fight, fearing for the welfare of her son, but Azeem promises to take care of the boy should the worst happen
  • Kronus the Black is reluctant to leave the Black Spire unguarded and untended in the event of his death, but Ezekiel assures him he will take over his watch if it comes to it
  • Nerezziel and her dark elf allies refuse to join the fight, believing that they can survive a dragon apocalypse
  • Eldaine, a sympathetic Imperial Magi who’s helped Ezekiel twice now, contacts the party and lets them know that not all the Magi support the idea of living under dragon overlords, and they will join the fight on the party’s side when it comes to it
  • Avrum and the Knights Torment along with their small army of knights will commit their forces however the party needs
  • the plan is simple: while their allies draw away the Imperial fleet and the dragon army, the party infiltrates the city, saves Selendriel and Lethias, then moves to stop the ritual directly

Northwind, Capital of Thanranon

  • Silvaras cloaks the Crimson Hawk as the rest of the party’s allies draw away the Imperials and the dragons
  • as they approach the city, the sky begins to darken and they realize that a solar eclipse is taking place
    • the party suddenly wonders if they should continue with their original plan or head directly to the ritual
    • they decide to stay the course and exit the ship in the courtyard of Northwind Keep
  • they fight their way through a company of draconians and find Jurandas on a cliff overlooking the ritual, preparing to sacrifice both Selendriel and Lethias
    • a grueling fight ensues, with Jurandas nearly getting the best of them, but Tarkonus finishes the dark elf in a blaze of sacred fire
  • they free Selendriel and Lethias and make haste to the ritual site
    • they are waylaid by draconians and Imperials, but the two tell the party to continue on as they hold them off
  • the party fights their way through the outer guards, and find Grandmaster Seraphina barring their way to the obsidian altar
    • Seraphina nearly kills them all, but while on death’s door, Corbin pushes through an overchanneled cone of cold to cut the Grandmaster down once and for all
    • Ezekiel takes up her sword, the Sword of Shadows
  • as the party approaches the obsidian altar, the sun is half blocked by the moon, and the dragon goddess Tiamat awaits, but is not yet at full strength
    • as the fight rages on, Mawganar simply waits, high above them
    • as Tiamat falls to the party, Mawganar descends and absorbs her divine essence
    • Ezekiel casts fly on the entire party, and they battle Mawganar in the skies above the altar
    • after a pitched battle, with a final slash of his elven runeblade Moonfall, Corbin takes the dragon’s head
  • the dragons scatter to the winds
  • seeing Ezekiel bearing the Sword of Shadows, the Imperial Magi submit to him
  • the essence within Mawganar joins with the party’s two other stones and forms the Source
    • Ezekiel takes it in his hands and it reveals the truth to him
    • the Source is the source of all elemental power in the world
    • the dragons were once the Aurasanna’s shining guardians of creation, but they were all corrupted by Venos, their scales lost their luster, and they became self-serving creatures of destruction
    • with the Source united, Tiamat would soon rise again
    • Ezekiel uses the Source to drain the power of the dragons and to rebirth the two great forests, Seldelar and Ley Seren, and the Source split apart, its pieces dispersing to the ends of the earth
  • the battle is won
    • flawless victory, no casualties among their allies, but one
  • the dragons’ find themselves growing weak and tired, retreating to caves and mountain perches, eventually falling asleep to never wake again, becoming stone-like statues

Chapter Eighteen: To the Edge of the World


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The party heads west, past the end of the Empire and the Realms, into the frozen tundra of Kaldur.

  • The party makes their way to the Vindurslag, the tallest mountain in the world
  • The top of the mountain is hidden inside a raging, swirling, thunderstorm
    • Probably magical
  • They land the Crimson Hawk a few miles away and approach on foot
  • They battle frost giants and remorhazs in the middle of the storm
  • Tarkonus finds a path up the mountain and they battle their way to a gate that leads into the mountain itself
  • Winding their way through frozen halls, they pass around a massive shaft leading straight down to a pit of lava
    • Tarkonus sees a belt stuck on a rock in the middle of the lava, but it doesn’t burn
    • Azeem tries flying down to retrieve the belt, but the heat is too intense for him to reach it
  • They make their way back outside and see massive, floating rock formations surrounding the summit, with floating stone stairways forming a path upwards
  • As they climb, they battle a storm giant who can disperse herself into the storm
    • They force her to retreat, and the storm withdraws with her
  • They enter the last and largest of the floating rocks, and find a large chamber where the Empyrean waits on his golden throne
    • Ezekiel burns the Empyrean to death, and the storm giant flies into a rage
    • Corbin beheads the storm giant
  • Tarkonus takes Armor of Ifrit from the Empyrean’s collection, armor that wards off any fire or flame
    • He uses the armor and Azeem’s cloak to brave the heat and retrieve the belt, which they find to be the Empyreal Wrap, a belt of epic strength
  • They return to the Crimson Hawk and find Silvaras waiting for them

Chapter Seventeen: Dark Remembrance


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After three separate sessions spread over the last five months, it’s finally over.


  • The heroes decide to find the last unaccounted for gem, the Eye of the Abyss
  • Using the Trevusphere, they determine that the Eye is in a secluded Temple in the northern territory of the Empire
  • As they fly towards the area, the entire ship is overtaken by a wave of darkness that spread across the entire horizon


  • The party awakened in a strange, nightmarish dreamscape where everything was in shades of gray and black wind obscured everything beyond their immediate area
  • As they wandered through the darkness they stumbled upon Nathan’s farm, the home of Ezekiel’s mentor, and witnessed Grandmaster Seraphina and the Imperial Magi killing Nathan and ransacking the place in search of the Verdant Star, the green gem
    • as they attempt to interfere with the scene playing out, the Imperial Magi attack them and out of the darkness steps a man in black armor with a skull mask and crimson cloak
    • as they defeat them, they fade away
  • Next found themselves in a field in the middle of the Ghostwood, with Magus standing at the center holding the white gem, the Heaven’s Spark
    • as he uses it, as wave of light explodes around him, and a field of flower blooms in the middle of the dead forest, and Magus falls unconscious
    • the man in the crimson cloak appears again with a fire giant in black armor and they lead an attack on the party
  • Then the party are in a tunnel and hear fighting up ahead
    • It’s a vision of themselves fighting the draconians in the mine north of Tortaron, where they find the red gem, the God’s Blood
    • the man in the crimson cloak appears again with a frost giant in black armor and the draconians attack the party
  • The darkness gives way to the Imperial capital of Harthanmoor when Seraphina revealed that the Empire had the power of the blue gem, the Spirit of the Sky
    • the man in the crimson cloak appears once again, introducing himself as Avrum of the Knight Torment, with a mind flayer lich and they attack with the dreams Imperials
  • Then they were back in the Dwarven Halls of Kor Garan, facing off against the death knight Lord Kragmaul and the balor and also Avrum and a High Priest of Tornara
    • afterwards the yellow gem, the Light of Dawn was revealed to them
  • Then they were shown a vision of Northwind, the gateway between East and West, where Mawganar sat perched atop the main keep, and a circle of Magi led by Grandmaster Seraphina performed a summoning ritual
    • as they completed it, six massive dragon heads rose out of the circle
    • then they saw the world in flames, with dragons dotting the sky
  • Then they were in a dark cavern, with Avrum once again, and he explains that he is not the master here
    • Out of the shadows, a beholder launches an attack on them
      • after a pitched battle, Tarkonus incinerates the beholder in a storm of fire and the darkness fades away

Temple of Tornara, Somewhere in the Northern Imperial Forests

  • The party stands across from Avrum and the other members of the Knights Torment: the fire giant Haskel, the frost giant Izzur, the High Priest Zalman, and the mind flayer lich Lusyllec
  • Between them is the corpse of the beholder, Dovid, and embedded in its eye is the black gem, the Eye of the Abyss
  • Avrum offers the party a temporary alliance to stop the Knight Shadow from summoning the dragon goddess, Tiamat, and to defeat Mawganar
  • Avrum gives them information about the Ifrit’s Plate, a suit of armor that can withstand even the fire from a dragon god
    • Corbin uses the Trevusphere, and discovers that the Ifrit’s Plate is in the hall of a titan atop the Langur Tann, one of the tallest mountains in the world, surrounded by a swirling vortex of storm and lightning, the the southwest in the frozen lands of Kaldur
  • The party sails off towards Kaldur