Aincrad Expands: Valley of the Honored Dead

Hi Everyone! I am in the process of beginning a play by post adventure with some friends on this website http://gamersplane.com/. I have been interested in trying out this way of playing for a while, and after chatting to some friends this seemed like the perfect chance.

I also saw this as a chance to expand the lore and notes I have for my current campaign realm Aincrad, as it just made sense to put this new group in the same world. Important to note all members of this new group are not involved in my Sunless Citadel campaign. This could lead to some fun situations where rumors of each other’s exploits might reach each group :). 

Here is the second handout I am giving this new group, filling them in on the adventure background. This background expands a bit on the culture of Aincrad as well as adding a few features and goings on to the campaign world.

For those of you who are new readers, here is a link to my other article, which contains my original handout on my campaign world: https://theroomfillswithwater.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/45/.

Aincrad Expanded

In the centuries of darkness brought on by the Death’s Head cult, the people of the Plains of Plenty loss touch with much of the outside world. As hostilities intensified, archives and ancient buildings were plundered, destroyed, and lost, leading to much of the region’s history disappearing into legend. Only the Blackmountain clan, with their rigid defense of ancestral lands managed to preserve their historical heritage.

A lack of concrete history and cultural heritage has long been a point of shame to the non-dwarven members of Aincrad. A point which the less sympathetic Blackmountain dwarves are not above using to elevate their own self image and self importance. With the central lands of Aincrad nearly fully under the control of Aincrad, the people of the nation have begun to explore and settle outward. This has led to interactions with new groups of people, but also rediscovery of some lands of the ancients.

Recently the gnome explorer Balberous Balducci, along with his party of friends, has made a tremendous discovery.

gnome explorer

Hidden in the foothills of the mountain chain known as Arawn’s Teeth, Balberous found the fabled Valley of the Honored Dead. For centuries tales had been shared of the Valley of the Honored Dead. It was rumored to be the final resting place for beings both wealthy, powerful, and valiant. The foothills of these region were honey combed as the human clans of ancient times tunneled, building burial chambers for their honored dead. These tombs ranged from humble, but adequate tombs, to sprawling egotistical monuments to the being’s remains they now housed. While many of the barrows’ residents were beings of good, rumor has it that servants of evil that managed to gain power also were buried here, only in secret by their followers. A few whispered tales even speak of people punished for evil deeds, by being buried alive, cursed to a existence of undeath.

barrow

Needless to say untold riches, but also the history of the ancients, rests within the foothills of these mountains. Balberous, not a historian, nor a particularly greedy being, took a modest sum of loot, and then took word to the capitol of Pathos. In the time since, dozens, if not hundreds of separate parties and interests have descended on the valley, some to great success, others unable survive long enough to achieve anything. Legend tells of artifacts of great power hidden in these foothills, but the ancients have left wicked traps, terrible guardians. In addition, the various camps in the region have little trust for each other and often prey on one another, leaving them weak and vulnerable to raids from humanoids descending from Arawn’s Teeth.

The Valley of the Honored Dead has barely been entered, as the deeper into the valley a traveler ventures, the older the tombs get. The older a tomb is the better hidden,  more intricate, and/or more powerfully guarded. Current expeditions have largely restrained themselves to the study and explorations of the newest tombs, still at least a thousand years old. This allows some measure of safety, at least from the worse protective measures of the ancients.

It is to this region of unrest, but also hope and great fortune that you have arrived. Your reasons are your own, perhaps you seek ancient knowledge, or the wealth of the ancients. Maybe you see the rabid looting of a region of such importance as a travesty, or an opportunity. Whatever your motivation, one thing is certain, you will need to form friends, for loners will not survive long in this chaotic turmoil. Welcome to the Valley of the Honored Dead…

wayland1

Hopefully that intrigued some people. I would love to hear some reactions or suggestions.

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4 thoughts on “Aincrad Expands: Valley of the Honored Dead

  1. I like the description. I think it’s a nice setup. Has some history, some hooks, a little to help you visualize the area, etc.

    How do you plan to co-ordinate the play by post? I’m not familiar with that website. I have done play by post sections in my campaigns at times (when the need arises or a good opportunity presents itself like when the party splits up), sometimes to great effect. But I’ve never tried doing an entire adventure that way!

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  2. Play by post will be a little tricky. I plan to emphasize roleplaying and problem solving over combat, since those things really work well in play by post. There will be combat of course, just not as much as may be usual in another adventure.

    I am hoping that I can use the space and extra time to think out descriptions to have some really vivid settings, encounters, and stuff, but honestly I am not certain how it will go. I will be sure to keep updates on here.

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    1. Will you set any guidelines on your players for when to stop their post to let you interject? I’ve kept it pretty casual in the past and it’s worked out just fine. I try to give the players a general idea that it should follow how long I let them talk about an action or thought before I interject at the table, and use that as a guideline. But of course if the players have never had a in person game with you they might not know!

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  3. I’m going to start pretty casual, but I will be moving stuff along when it feels natural, or if posts slow down. These are people who haven’t played with me before, so it will be a bit of a challenge to get used to our style. I’ll have to think if I am going to have any firmer guidelines. I played through 5 online RP campaigns based in the warhammer world as a player, so even though it was a different style of game and setting i’m hoping to channel those experiences.

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