I have been out of the DM world for quite some time now. Some may say I’ve given up, that is however not the case. As a gift to my friends, I have put this campaign together to bring back one of the greatest past times anyone can have. An old school paper and pencil D&D campaign for the books.
What is Valdenora? It’s a good question, and one that centralizes around the campaign in which we will be partaking in. Many years ago there was a campaign created by Twan that brought some of the greatest D&D moments to life. In the land of Eldevere, many orcs, gnolls, trolls, skeletons, and dragons were fought and killed. Within that world was the Kingdom of Valdenora. A massive expanse of land, Valdenora stretched from the Eastern to the Western parts Eldevere. Within it was the most vast array of monsters, spirits, sprites, and races that could walk the realm. Apart from the Beastlands in the north, nothing could be more treacherous than blindly roaming Valdenora.
This leads to the next question. What is Iridar? This is the town in which this campaign begins. In a small vale lies the protrusion of an establishment no bigger than a dragon’s lair. The small hamlet of Iridar has survived off of the hunting instincts of the men that have been born and raised from within it. Some farm small plots of land, most get by without any contact from outside civilization at all. Iridar has been a self-containing community for hundreds of years. It is rich in it’s history and has been cherished by the Kingdom as one of the oldest and most well preserved towns of its kind. Some of the greatest generals of ancient times were born and raised in Iridar. Their success stemming from the hunting and tracking skills of their customary ways.
And now for the story that will lead us through this adventure. Three of the four men in this campaign hail from this small hamlet. You were born here and just like the men before you, you have been trained in the ways of the warrior. Barely the age of an adult, you three men experienced an event that will change your life forever. While at first it seemed like any other village raid, this was no planned attack by highwaymen in masks. That night when the moon was covered by darkness, a score of men rode into Iridar on a mission. Instead of burning the town and killing all within, these riders methodically herded the residents of the small hamlet one by one. On a hunting mission, you three made your way back with fresh kill. As the screaming of women and children could be heard, the kills were left behind as all of you raced furiously to meet the calls of your kin.
Keeping to the shadows, you looked on with hatred in your eyes as you saw the riders drag and prod men, women, and children into three separate buildings. The children were taken into the smallest construct, no bigger than a small hut. Inside they were skinned alive, the piercing cries echoed through the valley. Unable to stand around you came in fighting with furry. With weapons raised, you ambushed the first set of riders. Taking down horse with enemy, the upper hand seemed in your advantage. However, more riders came to their distressed comrades. All three fought furiously while the rest of the townsfolk were still being drug into their buildings. Other men tried to fight but it all was futile for they were not ready for the attacks.
The three of you were tied up and forced up onto the gallows that sat on the edge of the town. The enemies, dressed in black leather with blood red studs, left you on the structure racing to catch other townspeople who were attempting to flee. In horror, the three of you witnessed as the rest of the members of Iridar were shoved into building. You watched your siblings cry out for your name, fear smeared across their face. Mother, father, daughter, son, everyone taken in. All you could hear behind those closed doors were their final cries. Light from the windows began to glow brighter and brighter. Looking on in confusion and angst, the three of you watched as the blue light grew evermore powerful until finally none of you could hold your eyes open any longer. There was a loud bang, and finally blackness engulfed the night.
A voice no louder than a whisper shook off your dizziness. From behind the gallows a dark shadow was quietly calling the attention of all three. “Quickly follow me down!” In that instant, a dagger flashed up and severed the bindings. Without hesitation, the three of you leaped down from behind the gallows and stood in front of the dark figure. “Who are you?!” One of the men declared."
“I am here to rescue you and that is all that matters. We must go.”
The men refused to leave and turned back towards the town, ready to rescue anyone left alive. “It is hopeless,” said the figure. “Everyone else is gone. You should thank Pelor you three have been spared this night.” The men conceded the point and agreed to follow.
“Who and what were those men tonight?” asked one of the Iridarians.
“The bigger question is why they spared you three. I feel it can’t be a mere coincidence that they left you on the gallows. That is the bigger question and one we must come to solve. I know of a sage in the mountains who is knowledgeable in the ways of dark magic and Valdenorian history. If anyone can help us, it would be him. I say that is where we should begin this quest.” The men could not disagree for they had no better option. Their path was set, yet more questions needed answering, and they were skeptical that one sage could give them the answers they were looking for.