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Midnight - The Lost Heir of Erenland (D&D 5E)

Blayden

New Member
Midnight - The Lost Heir of Erenland

Mood Music: Anilah - Sky Burial

Midnight (2).jpg

It is the duty of all to excel, and any who do not improve their station will die honorless and without value. The worthy will ride forever with the Heavenly Host, but the sheol is doomed to walk alone in the dark places.

A lone man walks down a traders trail barely visible due to ever encroaching sword grass; he appears to know the route, moving purposefully toward a series of buildings silhouetted against a copse of aspen trees. The sword and bow on his back and the fighting knife in his hand mark him as a warrior vice a returning hunter. In the distance, birds can be heard flittering in the trees, but beside their calls there is no other noise; gone are the sounds of people at work, of hammer on anvil, of boro being used to plow fields, and people talking over the events of the day.

As the man gets closer the signs of destruction are clear. No building has been spared; doors have been kicked in and at least two buildings have been razed, the fires of their ruination long since cold. With slow tears falling down his face, the warrior peers into a small home at the corner of the town. There is no sign of who or what attacked the town and the bodies are gone. The tears come quicker now as the warrior begins to search the rubble for any memento of the past or item of value. As he does, a dog begins to bark in the distance. The sound is not filled with anger but with fear. Looking up the warrior sees the lengthening shadows as the sun begins its descent. He knows he must be far from his lost home when the night falls; whatever force destroyed his village may return, or worse, those he once knew and loved may not be resting easy in their graves.

I saw that the Host of Heaven was dark and rode no more in the sky. The icy gates of the land of the dead were opened, and the fallen god came forth with a crown of iron and a sword of flame. His raiment bled the blood of the innocent and he smote all the lands of the world. His form was of fire and his name was Sorrow.

Pale Rider (2).jpg

~~~​

A century has passed since the Shadow was cast over the world. There can be no doubt that all is lost. The Odrendor have laid waste to all that we once knew. The humans have been subjugated and are now under the rule of the Night King Jahzir. There are none left that will stand for what they believe in, they will not resist their orcish overlords. The dwarves are nearly dead. Locked inside their mountain kingdoms, the remnants of the once-proud and fierce race have turned their back on the world. Alone amidst the darkness and the shattered ruins of their once proud civilisation, they will slowly die inside their own lightless tombs and will be forgotten by the world at large.

The halflings, who once rode freely across the plains of Erenland proudly on their wogren steeds have been seized by the forces of the Shadow. The lucky ones have been sent to work in the slave camps around the continent. Some have been sent to the meat grinders deep beneath the citadel of Theros Obsidia. Only isolated pockets of halflings remain free, tiny nomadic camps that move from place to place to avoid capture, there are not enough of them left to offer any resistance to the commander of the Odrendor armies, General Grial the Fey Killer.

The gnomes were perhaps the smartest of all the races. As the Dark God's forces swept over the world, they surrendered themselves to him. Using their ships, they sail the Shadow's armies from place to place. However, secretly the gnomes still aid the few traces of organised resistance to the Shadow left, smuggling arms, armor and food to those who still mistakenly believe that there is a flicker of life left in this broken and maimed world. It is not enough though, their efforts will prove futile and once the Shadow learns of their treachery they will die.

The last beacon of goodness in the world lies in the hands of the elves, inside the great forest of Erethor. It is the only place that the Dark God has not yet managed to subjugate, where the Witch Queen Aradil holds the armies of Shadow at bay behind a magical shield that the orcs and the Night Kings cannot penetrate. However, unlike her enemy, even the great Elven Queen is only mortal. Eventually her power will wane, and she will fail against a force that will not allow her a moments respite from their continued assault. And when Aradil falls, her barrier will fade. The final light of the world will be extinguished, and darkness will cloak the land. The will of the Dark God will reign unchecked.

Magic is illegal in this dark world, as are weapons and even the concept of literacy. All these things are anathema to the Dark God and his forces, and anyone found practicing them face a fate so dire that it cannot be spoken of. Spellcasters are hunted mercilessly by the hounds of the Dark God and his Legates. There is no organised religion, no divine gods that can save this world from the shadow that consumes it.

There is only the will of the Dark God, Izrador.

~~~​

It is here, in this world, that you live. Heroes and rebels in a land that does not want you, save that you are some of the last left with any will to fight the encroaching doom that spreads the world of Aryth. One day, rumours come to you, rumours that carry with them perhaps the last spark of hope left for those who would defy Izrador. One hundred years ago, when the Shadow were victorious in the Third War and conquered the known world, the last King of Erenland in his final act before he died, arranged for his child to be smuggled out of the city of Erenhead. Despite the best efforts of the Odrendor and Legates of Izrador, the child and the maid who smuggled her out of the city were never found. A century has passed, yet whispers and rumours persist that the lineage of the last King survived the Shadow purge.

The world needs a beacon, a symbol of hope that the scattered and disparate peoples of Erenland can unite behind in one last, desperate attempt to overthrow the Night Kings and their dark god. To you falls the impossible, you must travel the continent, with little experience, minimal resources and no support, crossing dangerous lands occupied by enemy forces and in which you are strangers and proscribed outlaws in search of the lost heir of Erenland. You must elude the Shadow, and the Shadow's forces in doing so when every single step could be your last.

And even then, even should you find the heir you must do the impossible one more time. You must get through the Dark God's armies and take them to the beseiged Forest Kingdom of Erethor, and to the only person left alive in the world who could possibly help them....

You will die, of that there is no doubt. The only questions left to ask are these ~ will you die on your own terms and will you die for something that you believe in?

The Midnight setting, for those uninitiated, is not a setting for the faint-hearted. A century ago, the Third War of Erenland was lost and the reign of Izrador began. This is not a world for heroes and it is not a world with hope. Izrador has taken the latter for himself and the former are not wanted or welcome here. You will find no succor or respite from any others on this dangerous trek. You will learn to depend on each other as you will have nobody else to depend on. This trope of the PC's against the world is something I will lean into hard in this game, and I will make absolutely no guarantees of success on your dangerous, perhaps even impossible quest.

This will be a very dark, gritty and emotional game and I will absolutely pull no punches here. You will be overwhelmed from the very beginning and at no point will I ease up on you. If, however, this form of grimdark and fatalistic role-play appeals to you then I absolutely believe that I will leave you with a game and memories that you will never forget. There is a very specific type of player I am targetting with this game. I am looking for deep and mature role-players who will not only be able to cope with an incredibly bleak game, but will thrive in it. If you are that sort of role-player and storyteller then we are going to get on absolutely brilliantly. This is not a game for players who will look to mindlessly smash everything that stands in their way, every single encounter in this game is potentially lethal. It is typically better for you to actively avoid combat than engage in it, especially in a setting and world that will not hesitate to crush you like a bug if you even dare to stand out from the crowd.

There are a lot of rule changes for Midnight, and you will find a lot of restrictions when it comes to class and races which I will detail below. This is not a game where you will have access to the full remit of classes and archetypes available to 5e in different sources, you will only have access to the classes and races listed below. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Permitted Classes:
  • Fighter
  • Ranger
  • Monk
  • Rogue
  • Barbarian
  • Sorceror
  • Druid
Character Creation
  • Starting Level: 1
  • Acceptable Sources: PHB, with the restrictions listed above
  • Starting Equipment: As per Class and Background only
  • Stats: Point Buy

All other classes either do not exist in this setting or are only accessible to servants of Izrador in the case of Clerics and Paladins. Outwith these above restrictions the only source I will accept for this game for building characters is the PHB.

Permitted Races:

The following list of races is acceptable for character creation:
  • Human
  • Dwarf
  • Gnome
  • Halfling
  • Half-Orc

Tieflings and Dragonborn do not exist in this setting, and other races such as Elves / Half-Elves etc, although an acceptable race for selection are not permitted in this particular game in the early part for story reasons. That situation might change as the game progresses.

The campaign will begin in an unmarked temporary fort within the Kaladrun Mountains, a nameless home for outcasts and criminals on the run from Izrador's Odrendor armies. You may (or may not, it is at your discretion) detail how you came to be in such a place as part of your application. What I will say is that life here, while hard and sometimes brutal, is free from Shadow influence, for now.
 
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PatriasLover

Vive la Republique!
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hmm... interested. i would have played a bard, but i think i'll be... a fighter... maybe a barbarian or rouge. this world is really cool!
 

Absollover77

Was Aurapaw on FeralFront
Interesting... Definitely interesting. Dark, clearly bloody and relying on wits more than combat. "The strong survive, the smart live, but the clever... They thrive." anyway I don't know what I'd play yet considering I don't know if we'd roll for stats or use point buy. I'd need more information on this before I gave a definative answer on joining.
 

Blayden

New Member
Sorry, I thought I put that information in the post. It will be 27 point buy, standard starting equipment as per class / background and you will all start at level 1. I'll go back and add it in now.
 

Absollover77

Was Aurapaw on FeralFront
Thanks for that. That is someone's a deal breaker for some people. I DM as well so I've seen some people completely ignore or drop a campaign entirely because of it not being point buy. Rather stupid reason but I understand the consequences of rolling absolute garbage in DnD be it for stats or otherwise.
 

PatriasLover

Vive la Republique!
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the consequences of rolling absolute garbage in DnD
thats why, when i dm, i have in place the "If the mean is less than eleven, re-roll your lowest stat. if it is less than ten, two lowest. less then none, three." so that no one winds up with anything truly garbage.
 

Blayden

New Member
I have to admit I have an irrational dislike of using dice for stat generation because its always "I'm happy to roll dice for stats as long as if I get low scores I can reroll them to get good scores" :D. With point buy at least you don't have the problem of one character being better than another stat wise.
 

Wandering Owl

It just matters that someone was listening.
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Potentially interested! How will PC death be handled - e.g. if a character dies, can that player bring in a new character, or are they out of the game? Also how much focus will be on roleplaying (party interactions, talking to NPCs, reacting to plot points, etc.) versus mechanical challenges (combat, evasion, resource management, etc.)?
 

Blayden

New Member
Hey there, I'm not so nasty as to kick players out of the game for dying, I'd much prefer a good player over a great character. Although I strive to provide a balanced game between role-playing versus mechanics I'm very first and foremost a writer and storyteller. For a forum based game I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role-playing aspect versus combat and challenges so there will be a greater skew towards that side of things.

Typically I put in combats and other mechanical challenges into a game to advance the story rather than throw in random wandering monster encounters for the sake of combat. More to the point, the combats I do introduce here will not exist in a vacuum. That is to say instead of "you are attacked by a group of five goblins" it will be more framed within the confines of a set piece and have a reason for being there rather than exist for the sake of existing. I've been in a lot of games where I think D&D has, to a certain extent, lost the meaning of what it is to play a hero. I can't remember ever reading a fantasy novel where, say Frodo from Lord of the Rings fights three orcs because mechanically its a balanced encounter, quite often the protagonist of a story often faces near insurmountable odds and still finds a way to get through, and I guess its that feeling I'm striving to evoke here. The encounters in this game will be difficult, they will be creative, but equally I will always give you an out even if you have to think creatively to find it.

Similarly for resource management, it does form a part of the game, but it does so to reinforce the idea that you, as some of the last remaining members of a rebel force, are stuck in a land where you can rely on nobody for support or help. Anyone who does help you likely has an ulterior motive, and its a trope I will lean into hard. It will be tough, but its meant to be that way in order to facilitate the sort of in-party interactions, dependency on one another and emotions that I think a game of this nature requires to be successful.

Apologies for the fairly lengthy response, I hope this answers your questions.
 

Wandering Owl

It just matters that someone was listening.
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Hey there, I'm not so nasty as to kick players out of the game for dying, I'd much prefer a good player over a great character. Although I strive to provide a balanced game between role-playing versus mechanics I'm very first and foremost a writer and storyteller. For a forum based game I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role-playing aspect versus combat and challenges so there will be a greater skew towards that side of things.

Typically I put in combats and other mechanical challenges into a game to advance the story rather than throw in random wandering monster encounters for the sake of combat. More to the point, the combats I do introduce here will not exist in a vacuum. That is to say instead of "you are attacked by a group of five goblins" it will be more framed within the confines of a set piece and have a reason for being there rather than exist for the sake of existing. I've been in a lot of games where I think D&D has, to a certain extent, lost the meaning of what it is to play a hero. I can't remember ever reading a fantasy novel where, say Frodo from Lord of the Rings fights three orcs because mechanically its a balanced encounter, quite often the protagonist of a story often faces near insurmountable odds and still finds a way to get through, and I guess its that feeling I'm striving to evoke here. The encounters in this game will be difficult, they will be creative, but equally I will always give you an out even if you have to think creatively to find it.

Similarly for resource management, it does form a part of the game, but it does so to reinforce the idea that you, as some of the last remaining members of a rebel force, are stuck in a land where you can rely on nobody for support or help. Anyone who does help you likely has an ulterior motive, and its a trope I will lean into hard. It will be tough, but its meant to be that way in order to facilitate the sort of in-party interactions, dependency on one another and emotions that I think a game of this nature requires to be successful.

Apologies for the fairly lengthy response, I hope this answers your questions.
It does, thank you! Count me down as interested :)
 

Blayden

New Member
Awesome, there’s quite a lot of lore to unpack for the setting so I’ll get to work on that and look to set up some forums over the next day or two for anyone with an interest. Once done we can all start to discuss characters and such, how does that sound?
 

Blayden

New Member
I've posted a lot of the lore here.

Feel free to have a skim through and get a feel for any characters you might want to create until I get the character thread up. In the meantime please don't hesitate to ask my any questions.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
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I have some ideas on possible character ideas. Let me see what I can come up with.
 

Blayden

New Member
That’s five interests noted including yourself Shadeofshade so yes, there’s space and also one slot left.

And yes, wizards and warlocks are a fairly bad fit for the game although sorceror’s are allowed :D
 

Blayden

New Member
Yes, I’m taking from just the PHB but also taking into account the class restrictions listed in the first post.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
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I'm just trying to figure out what class to go with since there are no paladins or clerics available.
 

Shadeofshade

Senior Member
I could go as a druid but I just need to figure out how they play. I do believe druids don't use anything metal right?
 

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