Session 10

Enter the Sons of Vaknama, A Night at the Arena

Date Played: June 29th, 2012 8pm-3am apx
In-World Date: I’ll have to find that freakin’ calendar.

This game was a lot of fun. It’s pretty incredible we were in such high spirits despite the storm taking out the power. The heat was oppressive (hottest day of the year so far at 100) and it was pitch black, but that didn’t stop 3.5 grown men from huddling around a single lit candle in the attic whilst sweating immensely and peeling off clothing. Sounds pretty manly, right? The power was out for the middle section of the game, probably about a third of it.

Summary (Submitted by Dave)
Having finally met with the apprenticed Adrugan paper-mage Nikon Reynaldus, the two Vaknamese adventurers, the holy farmer Oswell Finnigan and ex-captain Deren Ponretton, are finally able to continue on their quest to help Amol Barthas, a dwarf looking to build his clan among the surface-dwellers.

In search of a magicked, obsidian chest, the group of adventurers follow Nikon’s divinations to a warehouse within the Docks District of Sarem. It is here that the companions meet with a man called Dionasus.

  • Oswell stepped slowly into the dark warehouse, his armor clanking loudly with each step. As his eyes adjusted to his surroundings he spied the object of their search. A dark obsidian chest that oozed a vileness, leaving a poor taste in his mouth. The chest didn’t hold his attention long. Neither did the peculiar man sitting behind the chest, expectantly. It was the slew of bodies surrounding them.

Dionasus had been hiring people to open the chest, but with failed results. As the party pressed him to return the chest to them, he refused. Perhaps if they would help him with a task, he would be more willing to give up the object that they so sought. They discussed quietly among themselves their options, and seeing none, the companions turned to Dionasus, agreeing to do his bidding.

The Sons of Vaknama. A group intent on returning Sarem to the people of Vaknama, bent on removing the corrupt Government from power and on saving the homesteads and lifestyles of the Vaknamese citizens. With only one member, their odds of success were slim. Tasked with finding more to join this revolutionary cause; Oswell, Deren, and Nikon left the warehouse, following their first lead. A knowledgeable, Vaknamese, legal-consultant who was about to lose his own home to the corrupt Government. His name was Harbin.

Harbin’s house sat across the street from the Bubbling Hearth, the inn and current home of the 3 adventurers. They were greeted at the door by a skeptical and angry old man. Drawing a weapon on the heroes, he shouted at them to leave, that they have no right to his home. After calming him down, and entering his home, they explained that they had arrived to help him protect his abode, and would do everything they could to make sure it remains his. The group, along with Harbin, began to plan for a confrontation with the coming guards and search for legal loop holes in the repossession of his home.

The wait was not long. Three guards arrived at Harbin’s home and wasted no time. Threatening to arrest the three adventurers, despite their authoritative appearances of templar, military captain, and paper-mage, no words of wisdom or degree of stubbornness would set the guards aside. With Deren blocking the exit to the home and with Oswell unconvincingly trying to force the guards to put their weapons away, it took the resolve of the foreign Adrugan paper-mage to talk sense into everyone.

  • Nikon stood still, all eyes on him. His shouted exclamation of, “ENOUGH!”, still ringing in his ears, and the ears of everyone else in the room. He couldn’t understand how these men could fight among each other. They were all countrymen, brothers. Their own people, losing their homes, and instead of standing together to protect one another, they fought. He couldn’t understand the primitive savagery that ran through these Vaknamese. In Adruga, things were not like this. If Vaknama were not so stubborn, they would already be a part of his country, with nothing but a bright and hopeful future to look forward to. Instead they chose war. He felt the heat rising to his face. These men must see reason. With a deep breath, he summoned from the reservoir of calmness within himself and spoke.

The guards heeded the words of Nikon, and agreed to return with a superior. Much to the chagrin of the party, it was Councilor Bolton, who arrived. He was a man known for his stern attitude, and currently, his intense dislike of Oswell and Deren. Luckily, for the adventurers and Harbin, he was also a man of reason. After viewing legal documents showing Harbin to be the proprietary owner of his home, Councilor Bolton acquiesced and allowed him to keep his home, but not without a warning to the Nikon, Deren, and Oswell. “Don’t let me see you again.”

Having gained the aid of Harbin, the adventurers could finally relax a bit. They had another lead to follow, one that would bring them to an arena, but with hours to kill, they returned to their inn, looking to eat supper and prepare for the next day. When they entered the inn, the party saw the innkeeper Aaron and Deren’s newly made friend, an orc by the name of Ruka. While replenishing their energies, the party discussed ways in which they could help the two with their problems; Aaron’s missing leg and Ruka’s sick family. Oswell promised Aaron that if could obtain a scroll of regeneration, that he would be willing to help him recover his leg, and Deren swore to Ruka that come the morrow, him and his friends would join her on a trip to her village, to see what assistance they could offer her family.

Hours to pass still ahead of them, the party left the inn and made their way to the Market District of Sarem. They mailed letters to their friends and family, purchased goods to prepare for their trip to Ruka’s tribe, and obtained a wagon for a few days, to speed up their travel. Midnight drew closer, and the group was ready to follow their second lead given to them by Dionasus. They gathered their belongings and made their way to the arena.

The arena was a place where men, or women, of different races and sizes, would compete in non-lethal, unarmored matches of physical prowess. With hopes to win money, or join people to their causes, contestants would compete for the top spot in the match. The three adventurers, followed by Ruka, were here for a cause. To find as many interested souls, in taking back Sarem for the Sons of Vaknama.

  • The crowd was thick with people, shuffling and pushing into each other. Beads of sweat rolled down Deren’s forehead. The air was humid, made even worse by the tumult of the crowd. He was nervous, but with anticipation. It had been too long since he felt the thrill of recognition, since he was able to test himself against truly seasoned warriors of real talent. This arena brought back many memories. Deren turned around and saw his friends disappear behind a wave of noisy people. He was on his own now. He knew what he had to do. Deren approached the side of the ring and began to hoist himself onto the stage. Fires from braziers licked the air surrounding him. Deren closed his eyes and listened. Lost in the noise of the crowd, he heard a man call out, “Hey! You shouldn’t be up there!” Darren turned around and saw the man, trying to shout at him over all of the people. That was the man he needed to speak to.

Deren led his friends to a back room. Many warriors were back there, preparing themselves for the tournament. A man, who called himself Zatius, approached the party. He bonded their weapons and then registered them for the tournament. When all of the contestants were ready, and the time struck midnight, he brought out each contender, announcing them to the cheers of the crowd. The fights were about to begin.

The brawlers faced down the adventurers, and even though the non-physical Nikon predictably went down in the first round (not without landing a few good punches and nearly winning his own match), Oswell and Deren surpassed the expectations of the crowd and won in the preliminaries. When the primary matches began, Oswell and Deren were once again victorious, Oswell triumphing over Ruka, while Deren managed to win a fixed match against a cheating contender. In the semi-finals, the fight came down to Oswell versus Deren, the two Vaknamese companions.

  • Deren reeled from the shock of the blow and fell to his knees, gasping in pain and clutching his side. He stared up at Oswell, almost admiringly, but more amazement. He had seen Oswell fight before, but never like this. The man was soft, not weak, but peaceful and slow. Deren noticed that Oswell’s own face stared back at him in amazement. They had both entered the ring, expecting Deren to win, but for Oswell to take him down, without batting an eye or taking a single hit himself, it was more than unexpected. The crowds applause and cheers drowned out Oswell’s apologies. Deren winced, more from frustration than pain. He wouldn’t stand a chance in the finals.

Oswell, somehow managing to win over his more physically fit friend, placed into the finals, and almost as soon as the match began, it ended. The dwarf Oswell placed against was far superior in strength and fighting skill, and where Deren would have stood a chance, Oswell had none.

Even though the adventurers did not win the brawling tournament, they placed high, with Deren and Oswell obtaining second and third. Due to the speeches made simultaneously by OSwell and Deren after each brawl, the 3 heroes managed to recruit many men to the Sons of Vaknama. Content that they had accomplished all they could for the night, the friends decided to return back to their room at the Bubbling Hearth, with plans to travel to Ruka’s village the next morning.

In this section I’ll list a few things that are good to take notice or remember. Not all things listed here are OMG QUEST! Some things are just quirks, some are side-quests and some are shadows of the MAIN QUEST. Act on these things as your character would, these aren’t all plot hooks you need to feel obligated to jump on. If your character isn’t very observant, he probably won’t get a lot of the finer points here.

  • Sons of Vaknama: 104 people have been recruited to the Sons of Vaknama, though you don’t know that yet in-character. Dionasus may require you to recruit up to 200, as is your deal with him. In three days, he will try to open the chest once again. In a week, he will attempt to sell it again.
  • Ruka’s Tribe: The group is readying for a trip into the mountains. Deren knows, in a roundabout way, the duration and difficulty of the trip, but has not said anything about this. Ruka also hasn’t been consulted thoroughly. I highly recommend you chase this quest down, as it seems you all plan to, but I also recommend a small measure of information gathering first. You do have a guide with you, after all.
  • Barthas Clan: Once you get that chest, Amol can start getting his clan together. He still requires a clan-hold though, his current solution his business and small attached warehouse (not great). Keeps your eyes open. You hear there is a lot of real estate, after all. Even a house up for sale across the street from the Bubbling Hearth (there are houses for sale all up and down the average homes district). Another thing I’d like to point out that you all may not have noticed due to the duration between games is the change in
    Amol’s character. This is not a fluke on my part. For some reason, he is becoming more personable every time you see him. It may be worth notice.
  • The Bubbling Hearth: Aaron, the proprieter at the bubbling hearth, seems grimly determined and excited at the prospect of getting his leg back. He doesn’t give a second thought to trading his livelihood for it. He’s also displayed some odd behavior in acting very military towards a templar and having private conversations with Ruka.

Award Gems
By player request, rankings are public, as is discussion of them. Click the link to be taken to the wiki page if you have questions.

Acting 1/4, Depth 2/4, Participation 2/4, Total 2.5 gems

  • Acting: I could usually tell when in-character. A few times were questionable. Deren’s portrayal isn’t drastically different from yourself. Adequate 1/4.
  • Depth: Deren referenced his past, and showed a bit of his bigotry, though only mildly before being shushed by Os (Captains don’t get shushed). Good 2/4.
  • Participation: The occasional texting is forgiven, given their nature. Seeing you writing your speech frantically is pretty cool. It’s a shame you didn’t get to use it all. Hold on to it, you may not be done recruiting for Dionasus. It’s good to see you active at least a small amount at all parts of the game. You need to take the reigns from Dave though. Os isn’t the boss, and shouldn’t be leading every event. Good 2/4.

Acting 2/4, Depth 2/4, Participation 3/4, Total 3.5 gems

  • Acting: Sam has an accent. Praise Pelor! Last game it was heavy rusky. This time it’s a moderate rusky with some UK in the mix if I recall correctly. Both sound good. The changes are to be expected as you find what best fits, of course. Good 2/4
  • Depth: This is really the first game you had any opportunity to do anything. When characters first start they are at a bit of a disadvantage in all three categories, as they aren’t completely established yet. I take this into account. Despite this disadvantage you spoke to the watchmen and the audience of the arena from an Adrugan perspective and showed a real understanding of your place (or lack thereof) in the events within the city. You should expect a little bit of antagonization, considering your race (wow, recurring theme with Teal’c, but it two very different ways). Don’t worry too much if you feel like a fish out of water. Nikon has very good reason to follow these goons around. They wouldn’t have found the chest without him. He also has a huge role in the coming session or two, depending on if you catch the right place to use your spells. Wow. Off on a tangent. Good Depth 2/4.
  • Participation:
    The above mentioned new character and partially-disliked race disadvantages also apply to you getting a place to act in this game. This did limit you, but you didn’t let it stop you. You still were a part of events that you easily could have sat out of. I’m glad you joined the arena, even if you got a few bruises from it. Funny fact: the ground recruited 104 people (excluding Dionasus himself). Without you, it would be 99, and thus below the minimum required to possibly complete Dionasus’ quest. Considering how you pushed past those two disadvantages. . . Great participation 3/4.

Acting 3/4, Depth 2/4, Participation 3/4, Total 4 gems

  • Acting: Oh look everyone, Dave can act. Big deal. Go back to your film major, hippy! A very well defined voice, speech patterns and some minor gestures are GREAT 3/4.
  • Depth: I think I’m starting to see Os cracking under the pressure of leadership. In those terse negotiations with the watchmen Os seemed very stressed and unwilling to compromise (despite his deity’s principles of reason). That’s how I’m reading it at least. Will this be a continuing theme? Os showed a lot of investment in all events and became pretty emotional. I do have one gripe though. I feel you deflated an event that Jess could have utilized to build Deren up: the cheating competitor. When you pointed out OOC that he was cheating and that he should turn him in, it looked like Jess felt like he was just following orders and it wasn’t really his idea. It’s sort of like a spoiler. If Os were there (and feeling obnoxious) it would be understandable IC, otherwise I think such OOC comments are damaging. All things considered, good depth 2/4.
  • Participation: Leading the group around by the nose again, it seems. It’s great that you’re taking action. We do need to find a way to get the others to lead a bit more, so you can fall back into your adviser role. Os was very active in all events, and took a personal stake in them. Great 3/4.


Here is the ideal formatting.

  • [Date Played: Date/Time]
  • [In-World Date: What days and approximate times it took place on the in-game calendar]
  • [Introduction and a few words about the game, mostly OOC commentary]
  • [Session Summary (as available)]
  • [In Game Concerns / Quest Tracking / Summary Commentary / Related]
  • [Award Gem Rankings]
  • [Misc]

As a player, you can modify just about anything. This includes characters, wiki pages and adventure log entries. So please, if you want to add content, do! For now it’s kind of free-form. If you want to write the summary, just say so, I’ve even left a placeholder in the session 10 entry. Don’t worry about screwing it up too much, the blog saves everything before and after the change, so I can just recover it. Remember the comments are there for discussion too. I’m currently going with Dave’s idea (that had no arguments) that you won’t get any gems until you post a comment.


Not sure if I should post a comment, since you know I already read this, and since I’m the one who is writing the summary, but I want to insure I get those Reward Gems.

It was definitely one of the more fun games this campaign, and I don’t even know why. I enjoyed it a lot though. The NPCs we got to meet, the combat, the story progression. It seems like things are starting to really culminate in Sarem, which will be fun to be a part of. Can’t wait to join in this revolutionary war to break Sarem’s “independence” and return it to Vaknama, which seems like an inevitable outcome.

I guess I will instead focus on critiquing the others.

Sam - I really like Nikon. He adds an interesting dynamic to the group, but so did Teal’c, and he will be sorely missed. You did an accent, which was awesome, and you play a guy trying to deal with a culture he disagrees with very well. I’d like to see some flaws though. I wanna see a hint of arrogance or something that shows some more, “WTF is up with this primitive culture?” You did a great job showing some bafflement, but I’s like to see even more disgust at it. I think the arena would have been a perfect opportunity for Nikon to turn to somebody and say, “Ugh, barbarians!” I would gave lost my shit laughing if you’d have done that.

Jess - I liked your drive and effort with the speech. You put a lot of thought into it. All I can say is, hang on to that speech. You may have another opportunity to read it. Keep in mind, we still have to win over another 100 people, and I think that will fall down to you and your friend Skiff. Also, I want to see you be our leader. Step up to the plate, man. Your character has the best potential to be the best leader out of any of our DnD games to date. I’d really like to see Deren act like the man he currently looks like. I think you can pull it off well. Speak up more, and don’t be afraid to tell Oswell or Nikon to, “Shut the fuck up.” when you have something to say. Deren is a man who won’t take shit from anyone.

Branson - It was a fun game. I like all of the political intrigue, though I think next game, when we leave the city for a while, will be a nice break from it. It’ll be fun to take our characters out of this familiar city element that they have been in, and throw them into the wilderness for a little bit. I’m excited for the next game.

Session 10
Had a lot of fun last game, I think we should go to the fight club more often. We can’t let that dwarf remain the raining champion can we? Sorry I was quiet through the beginning, I felt more like a temp. assistant to the party. With Teal’c, I was hired with the group and had a purpose and goals. With Nikon, I still have goals and have usefulness to the party but struggle with trying to not to lead the party to the next destination. I joined the group to help dwarves trust the paper mages so we’d have more work and enlighten the dwarves to magic. Side quests like helping Ruka and the bar keep are arbitrary to Nikon. Nikon doesn’t know these people yet. Sometimes I want to input in a conversation but I feel I am in conflict with what Teal’c knows versus Nikon. Still it was a good game to me overall, had fun at the fight and I did better than I expected. Dave you were lively as ever and Jess you were very engaged to me and I felt like you were putting forth the effort. Didn’t really notice the texting as much as last time but I deal with employees so much I don’t pay attention. Dave is leading the party to me and I think your doing good but I do see Bransons point that the captain should step up a bit and lead. Think about it Jess, Ruka is Deren’s NPC. Arron the Bar keep is like Oswell’s NPC. Glycon is Nikon’s only NPC he can go to but will never have the potential to be a party member. You need to take the lead on going to Ruka’s village, she is your friend. Oswell is the doctor you know to bring to help her people but you were the one she trusted to tell that her own baby died of this disease.
Session 10

Thank you for writing the summary, Dave. Do you all think there should be some form of compensation for the summary, like gems?
Yes, it will be good to leave the city for a spell. That also means I have to design new areas. You know what? Next campaign takes place in a single 20 × 20 room.
Is that your completed version? I currently see you left off at the fights beginning. A good summary. I like the no nonsense style with occasional heavy descriptive texts.

That’s pretty hilarious that the player of the wizard is saying the arena champion needs defeated.
I’m sorry that not all quests seem incredibly pertinent to Nikon. The main one fits him well. Regardless, he shouldn’t feel too bad. At worst, it’s a chance to try out his magical abilities. At best, it’s a chance to spread love of magic to new areas. The orcs for example. They’re even dumber than the Vaks! They need magic! It’s not the easiest thing to get a new character to match the motivations of a mixed group, but I think Nikon works great with a pretty minimal amount of work.
Don’t feel too concerned about Teal’c’s knowledge versus Nikon’s. Try not to mix them up, but if you do, we’ll probably just say something and rewind. Don’t let it push you into silence.
There’s no ownership of NPCs. Technically, Glycon knew the party before you met him in Sarem (I imagine you knew one another back home). Every NPC is approachable by everyone. Remember that one redhead female captain? She loves EVERYONE. Once again I recommend a proactive approach. Don’t say “oh, that’s just Deren’s friend”, instead say “ooh, I wonder how much these savages know about the arcane arts? This could get me a promotion!”
I agree with you that Deren would do well to step forward and take the lead. he is the captain. Don’t be afraid to make plans and guide the group a bit yourself too.

I’m glad we three enjoyed the game as much as we did. Jess is reading the blog currently. I expect a comment form him soon.

Next game will probably by Monday. Is everyone fine with that? If not, we can work out another time.

Session 10

“Jess you were very engaged to me and I felt like you were putting forth the effort.”
A good quote.

Session 10

i liked last game alot (except the power going out) i feel that we all did at least a fairly good job (especially dave)sam did REALLY good in Harib’s house (i beleive that was his name)with that speach that kinda blew me away. and responding to daves comment about my being a leader: that is what i am going for but…i’m kinda a noob and idk how to go about it but thanks for the tips. I really really really want to go back to “fight club” again maybe next time for the gold? Or ruka’s tribe? really wish dave wouldn’t have rolled those natural 20’s though :/ i was really looking forward to griding his face across the pavement.
thanks alot for the game and blog brans.

Session 10

My pleasure, Jess. I like making this stuff.
Don’t be afraid of trying because you are a newb. The best way to learn is trying.
Well, the fight club happens weekly, according to Zatius. In seven days why not go back?

And yeah, somehow Dave was insane lucky. If I didn’t see his rolls I’d be suspicious.

Session 10

Yeah, sorry about those 20s. I didn’t want Oswell to win, he didn’t stand a chance in that last round. Had Deren won, we probably would have easily been much closer to 200, that we might have already gotten the chest back.

I always get the worst rolls. 2 natural 20s in a row and then another 20 after a miss? The fuck are the odds of that?

Also, I didn’t finish the summary, I got tired, and have been busy today. Feel free to finish it, anyone. If no one does, I will get to it later in the week.

Session 10

Summary is finished. I didn’t go into detail about the tournament. It would be a bit too tedious.

So, game tomorrow. Does anyone else want to write the summary, or do you guys want me to handle it again?

Session 10

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