Exploring the Halls of Arden Vul

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Arden Vul waterfall.png

OSE Advanced game (July 2021 - November 2022): Recruitment | Re-Recruitment | OOC | IC

WWN game (December 2022 - present): Recruitment | OOC | IC

Player Characters[edit]

  • WWN Talia (Falkus) Thorcin Priest of Mitra | HP: 18/18, System Strain: 0/7, AC: 14/13, Init: -1, bookbinder, traits: daring, patient, persistent
  • WWN Maiandros Kurkuas Archontean ex-Legionnaire | HP: 36/37, System Strain: 1/15, AC: 16/15, Init: +1, bowyer/fletcher
  • WWN Aelfric the Cheerful (thirdkingdom) Thorcin Mage | HP: 13/13, System Strain: 1/10, AC: 10, Init: +0, shipwright, traits: honorable yet manipulative
  • WWN Eusebia Tagaris (Lysus) Half-Wiskin/Half-Archontean Mage | HP: 21/21, System Strain: 0/18, AC: 9, Init: -1, vintner, traits: honest, steadfast, deceitful
  • WWN Nico (sulldawga) Archontean Merchant/Treasure Hunter | HP: 16/16, System Strain: 0/8, AC: 13, Init: +1, bookbinder, traits: persistent, envious, stubborn
  • WWN Horsa (tomas) Thorcin Warrior | HP: 30/30, System Strain: 0/18, AC: 16/15, Init: +1, secondary skill, traits:

Character Generation Guidelines[edit]

Lost to the Falls[edit]

Lost to the Falls

Encumbrance Ape[edit]

  • Maiandros Kurkuas
    • Stowed Gear: 2/15 used
    • Treasure:
    • Total Stowed: 2/15
    • Movement: 30'
  • Talia
    • Stowed Gear: 8/9 used
    • Treasure: broken bone with inscription, 10"-tall tough porcelain ankh, orange-yellow topaz
    • Total Stowed:
    • Movement:
  • Aelfric
    • Stowed Gear: 7/7 used
    • Treasure: Stone vial (light blue powder), alligator teeth, 10 gp, six gemstones
    • Total Stowed:
    • Movement:
  • Eusebia
    • Stowed Gear:
    • Treasure:
    • Total Stowed:
    • Movement:
  • Nico
    • Stowed Gear: 6/14 used
    • Treasure:
    • Total Stowed:
    • Movement:
  • Horsa
    • Stowed Gear: 3/15 used
    • Treasure:
    • Total Stowed:
    • Movement:
  • Basil
    • Stowed Gear:
    • Treasure: Stone vial (light blue powder), pouch of chalk (*), 3 slow candles (1#), 2 crystal vials of flame-red liquid
    • Total Stowed:
    • Movement:


  • Gaius
    • Treasure: 6 platinum coins (1 item each, 300-400 gp each), 1 silver knot amulet (75 gp), baboon amulet
  • Florian Lucaenus
    • Treasure: 3x20GP Gems, 15GP coins

Trait Dice[edit]

I'm adding a meta-currency to the game called Trait Dice. I'll award Trait Dice for roleplaying that puts a spotlight on the Character Traits that your rolled/selected at chargen, with bonus Trait Dice awarded if your character's trait expression puts them in a position that complicates play.

Trait Dice can be spent to give you Advantage on any d20 or damage roll.

  • Aelfric - 2
  • Gaius - 2
  • Snagwarder - 0 (3 spent centipede attack)
  • Talia - 2


Basil is stabled at the Sign of the Broken Head for a month, until the 5th day of 2ndmonth at Arden Vul

Light Sources[edit]


  • Aelfric - 1 oil flask, tinder box
  • Eusebia - 11 torches, tinder box
  • Horsa -
  • Maiandros - 9 candles, tinder box
  • Nico - 3 torches, tinder box
  • Talia - 3 torches


  • Aelfric the Cheerful: Iron, 5 days
  • Eusebia Tagaris: Iron, 5 days
  • Horsa:
  • Maiandros Kurkuas:
  • Nico: Standard, 7 days
  • Talia: Iron, 7 days

Marching Order[edit]

Double file[edit]

Maiandros   Horsa
   Talia    Nico
  Eusebia   Aelfric

Aelfric makes sure we don't get surprised from behind, and also acting as bodyguard for Eusebia.

Single file[edit]


Aelfric takes the rear guard. * indicates carrying a light source.

Open Order[edit]

      Eusebia  Talia
       Basil  Gaius
(Snagwarder)        Florian

Again, Snagwarder is either out front scouting or supporting with archery from the back. Florian is also in the back, responsible for first response to flanking attacks on Eusebia or Talia. Snagwarder and Florian will move forward to join the main fight if leaving the rear/ sides seem safe (or the situation is super critical).

Aelfric moves up to support Maiandros if that's where the fighting is.

If the main thrust of an attack comes from a side or the rear, Maiandros will move immediately, with either AC or AB remaining behind to make sure we're not outflanked (unless, of course, it's super clear we can leave our rear/ flank uncovered.

Watch Order[edit]

1) Maiandros
2) Horsa
3) Nico
4) Talia

XP Awards[edit]

foe XP is doubled for PbP play

As of December 2022, the game has converted to WWN and narrative XP using the Fast Leveling advancement rules (WWN 54).


Playing in a game with roots in Colonialism[edit]

The valley in which play will be centered has seen over 3000 years of colonial history, which includes the domination of the region by a colonial empire. That empire collapsed and left the region for 820 years before returning nearly 350 years ago. Three cultural groups (two non-human and foreign to the region, one human and native to the region) have been assimilated into the dominant culture and possess citizenship, though are denied the highest echelons of political power. The human cultural group native to the region has a resistance movement.

The 'ruins' we will be exploring contain a number of factions and cultures of various descent. The majority of wealth extraction that occurs in the game will be directed at the ancient ancestors of the dominant colonial power, though some will be of other foreign, non-native cultures (though they now make this place their home). We will not be stealing cultural artifacts or wealth from the native population.

The history of this sort of game is rooted in unexamined privilege and the oppression of native peoples. We will make a conscious effort to conduct our play with intent to dismantle the worst of that. To that effect, I have made some alterations to the module, and am open to your ideas of other alterations that we should employ.

The Archontean Empire[edit]

The Archontean Empire was formed nearly 3000 years ago on the island of Mithruin with the Compact of Ennius (0 AEP), and colonized lands east to the Grain Islands, north to a foothold in the Borealios islands, and west to the continent of Irthuin.

Its first period of colonization was from 850 AEP to 1680 AEP, thirteen hundred years ago, before the Empire retracted into a dark age from 1900 AEP to 2400 AEP after a civil war. It shrunk its holdings back to Mithruin and the Grain Islands, losing much of its ancient knowledge in the process. A period of military expansion in 2450 AEP saw it re-enter a colonial period, returning to the Irthuin continent in 2639 AEP and re-establishing its dominance in Arcturos and Narsileon.

The year is now 2993 AEP (AEP = 'from the pact of Ennius'), 350 years after the Archontean return to the continent.

Greater Detail[edit]

People and Cultures[edit]

Institutions and Organizations[edit]

Exarchates of the Empire[edit]

Hierarchies & Titles[edit]


Languages & Writing systems[edit]

Burdock's Valley[edit]

the Geography of Burdock's Valley

Gosterwick (Vetucaster)[edit]

The tiny Thorcin community of Gosterwick located at the base of the cliff and falls of Arden Vul was claimed by Lady Alexia Basileon and a sept of the Knights of the Azure Shield in 2968 AEP (25 years ago). The knights restored an ancient fortress, naming it the Azure Keep. Lady Alexia renamed the community Vetucaster and expanded it rapidly, offering residence, citizenship, and services to merchants, craftsmen, and adventurers. The current population bears a high proportion of adventurer-oriented businesses: sellers and buyers of curios, general sutlers, trainers, etc.

Population: 2,211 (40% Archontean, 40% Thorcin, 15% Wiskin, and 5% demi-human [primarily halflings and imperial goblins]).

Gosterwick map and key

Summary of Events[edit]

  • Day One: overcast | travel to and up the Falls, nighttime torches moving up the valley to the base of the Falls across the river
  • Day Two: overcast | travel up the Falls, People of Stone corpse + treasure, arrival at the city ruins, exploration of gate towers, obelisk, lake, crocodile attack, overnight stay in hidey-hole, Snagwarder
  • Day Three: overcast with mild rain all day | boulevard, tower, pyramid, ibis-headed god, survey of the ruined city, encounter with north gate tower guards, first night at the Sign of the Broken Head, trader with metal forearm, Prosperity Factor, another adventuring party (Hrothgar)
  • Day Four: overcast | enter the pyramid, Rosco Winterleaf, entry chamber, Phlebotomas Plumthorn + halfling communism, eastern plaza, giant arm + hand, basin collapse, exploration of underground crevice, Sign of the Broken Head: trader with metal forearm is gone, merchant Gratian Zonaras + priest of Deballaton, selling the stone of the People of Stone (financed by the merchant)
  • Day Five: overcast | white-furred baboons attacking men in robes other side of river before dawn, exploring the collapsed basin crevice - found chimney, eastern gate towers (northern) - staging point, spy party of cestus-bearing Narsileon Archonteans, mention of troll lords, mountain lion!, back at Sign of the Broken Head mention of Darlton's Darlings adventuring group, excitement as Gratian Zonaras' party returns with injured men, Snagwarder reunited with Gaius (observed Gratian Zonaras watching something to the west in the city)
  • Day Six: overcast | stabling Basil for a month, giant rat swarm on the path from the tavern, tense conversation with adventurers exiting from the pyramid, ruined neighborhood exploration + discoveries, mountain lion friendship, exploring east gate towers (southern) - rare coins + potions + discovery, Sign of the Broken Head is full with Gratian Zonaras party and Palladius Ducas' Five Fingers of Destiny (and Mitran priest) adventuring party, some celebration for the success of the Five Fingers, much discussion about Plumthorn, Gratian Zonaras reveals himself and tries to hire the party
  • Day Seven: overcast | exploration of towers to the NE of the ruined city, exploring the ruined villa, encounter with smelly giant wolverine - blinding of Celonar, washing in the river using the Broken Head water path, sighting of beastmen at the river gate tower
  • Day Eight: overcast, rainstorm | exploring the river gate tower and surveying the west side of the ruined city, discovering a poisoned stash of gear in river gate tower, traveling through ruined neighborhoods, getting shouted at by north gate tower guards before you crossed a bridge to an island in river, visiting the north gate tower and learning about stone guardians, return to Sign of the Broken Head in heavy rainfall, discover everyone but Prosperity Factor and Estelle are sick, heading to the river for water in middle of storm, discovering dead bodies, Snagwarder almost drowns retrieving a pot from river, splitting up -- back again for water + warning the north gate tower, collecting water and bodies, very late and very wet night
  • Day Nine: overcast | Late start to the day, miraculously tracking the beastmen from the river gate tower through brush to the opening in the northern wall and the ruins beyond. Travel through ruins and some discoveries and treasure. Talking to north gate guards about beastmen movement. Meeting the Wiskin trader at the pyramid. Florian Lucaenus joins the party. The party splits, Snagwarder going in search of the old hideyhole and fighting for his life against a swarm of giant centipedes; the rest of the party fighting spiders on their way to the rest area inside the eastern gate tower.
  • Day Ten: overcast | the party heads underground through the crack in the wall in the rest area of the Cestus Fist Archinteans. Fight with fire beetles, harvesting their light sacs. Rattling sarcophagus room. "Old One. Do not open." Giant stone chair room on edge of massive underground fissure. Large stela with image of large horned biped and inscrutable runes. Aelfric 'travels' in the chair. Encounter with (intelligent ?) giant rats. No secret doors found. return to surface to moderate rainfall and two giant lizards playing in the rain. They sleep, then wander off when confronted. From the pyramid, a number of potential entry points to the underground city are observed. The party scouts the closest one, then returns to the Sign of the Broken Head.

Important NPCs[edit]

The Sign of the Broken Head[edit]

  • Proprietors
    • Kronos Kettle-Belly, Thorcin
    • Estelle, Archontean priestess of Tychias (goddess of luck, faith, and wealth)
  • Factors
    • Archontean Wisdom factor
    • Archontean Prosperity factor, former mercenary from Archontos, studied art history in Narsileon after tiring of that life
    • Thorcin Golden Band factor
  • Merchants
    • Archontean merchant with precise, angular mustache and beard and a metal forearm
      • Wiskin woman with eyepatch
      • Archontean man with a milky eye
    • Gratian Zonaras, green-cloaked merchant
      • Archontean priest of Deballaton
      • Pock-marked, insouciant Archontean
      • Thorcin with an unnaturally large right arm and headgear covering his eyes
  • Food
    • Breakfast features the evening's soup with freshly baked bread, goat cheese, and honey (2 silver). Eggs come with the merchant's meal (5 silver). The rich meal includes eggs and salted fish and bacon (2 gold).
    • Supper is basic fare of soup and bread (2 silver), merchant's meal of soup, bread, and some meat (5 silver), rich meal that is mostly meat and vegetables, with soup and bread (2 gold).
    • Drinks are 2 silver
    • (By comparison, the Yellow Cloak Inn in Gosterwick charges 1-2 silver per meal, 1 silver for a bunk in the dormitories, and 1 gold/head for a private room. Stables for 5 silver/night.)
  • Lodging
    • Common room beds are ten silver a night or five gold for the week
    • Private room three gold a night or twenty for the week
  • Supplies
    • Iron rations are available for sale at 3x the standard price, or 45 gold.
    • Slab of raw meat: 2 gold
    • Purchased from Gratian Zonaras: 6 gp per 50' length of rope, 6 gp for a spade, 15 gp for a sledgehammer; 5 gp each for a pick, saw, and 12 iron spikes.
    • Prices in Gosterwick: 1 gp per 50' length rope, 2 gp spade, 5 gp sledgehammer; 1 gp each for a saw and 12 iron spikes; 2 gp for a pick.




Rumors and Leads[edit]


Lore of the valley and Arden Vul


  • 'Checking out a tower' requires an hour of concerted effort. After the party spends an hour at a location they'll either find something at the location, discover that the location is empty of treasure or information, or find evidence that more time spent searching/investigating will turn something of interest up. The same general principle applies to searching neighborhood ruins. Generally, if you travel for an hour through a ruined neighborhood, I've been giving you an opportunity to find stuff as you go.

Notable Posts[edit]

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