Feb 2012 - Pathfinder - Conquest of Steel campaign
Holy moly! We completed the campaign! Or at least, the 1st gigantic portion of it. Over 50 sessions we progressed through levels 1-15 for our party.
Starting as barbarian Kargi living in a nature preserve lorded over by Centaur (The A’Halouk), our characters were ordered/blackmailed into becoming errand boys for one of the A’Halouk, Mamdani. At his orders they were introduced to Faaz and Enzo of the House Irovetti holdings in Hungerdark, the hobgoblin trading post north of Pitax. For the better part of the year, the party served/rebelled against Faaz and Mamdani, trying to divert Kargi, A’Halouk and Irovetti attention to the Kerrekk’Adarr (hobgoblin) threat they saw coming out of Mt Branthlend, especially the menace posed by the Hobgoblin trader “Neff” and the warlord known as “The Throatbiter”. After hard work and tough diplomacy, the party convinced the Kargi and A’Halouk to allow the Irovetti to build a small outpost on the side of Mt Branthlend, so the humans could hunt hobgoblins, scout the mountainside and warn the A’Halouk and Kargi if the Kerrekk’Adarr began amassing troops for an invasion. The centaur Mamdani was to supervise the humans and fort, to ensure compliance with the A’Halouk laws about coexistence with magical beasts.
The party felt satisfied with the situation, confident that with Irovetti and A’Halouk resources aimed at Neff’s throat, they were situated to wage a campaign of death and destruction against the evil the Kerrekk’Adarr represented. This confidence turned to rage as the party discovered that Mamdani had traded magical techniques of the ancient A’Halouk not only with the trader Neff, but also the torture-worshipping Throatbiter. That rage was compounded as the party discovered their role in the knowledge trading, as well as learning that their friends (friends? sure) Faaz and Rennec were imprisoned in the Mt Branthlend fort, subject to Mamdani’s experiments and mutations. They stormed the fort, murdering their way through Mamdani’s monsters, eventually confronting him in his workshop. Unfortunately, last minute interference by a herald of the god Nethys prevented final justice against Mamdani.
The campaign ended with the party consolidating a position of power in Hungerdark alongside the Irovetti interests, with a tentative truce with Neff and the understanding that sometime in the future Neff would provide shadowdancer scouts to guide the party deep into the mountain, to the Plane of Shadow where Throatbiter presumably has Mamdani working for him to create torturous creations to continue his campaign.
The campaign is played in the western part of the Stolen Lands and Pitax. I’ve adapted a lot of the Kingmaker campaign background to flesh out the Thousandbreaths, and given the Stolen Lands centaur caretakers, the A’Halouk. The PCs are barbarians that are allowed to live under the loose rule of the centaur, in exchange for helping them keep the lands unsettled by structure-building races. The focal point for the campaign is Hungerdark, where humans sell hobgoblins arms and armor for the riches of the mountain. About a year into the game (both game time and real life time) Hungerdark was raided by the hobgoblins (again) and burned to the ground.
It’s a bit of a sandbox game, with gradual exploration of the tunnels of the mountain, the fey world of the Thousandbreaths, and the dangerous peaks of Mt Branthlend.
We’ve been meeting once a week (with a couple of interruptions) since March 2012. As of May 2013, the party has leveled up to level 13.