After a particularly grueling December, I must confess to being a bit worn down, mentally exhausted, and a bit lazy. But that was yesterday. Today is a new day, and I'm feeling more like my usual self for the first time in about a month.
To those visiting this page for the first time (most of you, probably), WELCOME!! If you go through my first post, I gave you some of my background/resume and a little teaser about the story I will be attempting to tell in the coming months.
In the years since Wrath of the Immortals came out, I noticed through online groups, chatter at GenCon, and later Facebook, that not everyone allowed Alphatia to be sunk into the ocean. On further reflection, I thought this severely limited future campaign expansions, and that instead of making the world more interesting, it only made Mystara another TSR world that had been brilliantly set up and then "blown up," for lack of a better term. They would later do this to Dragonlance and the Forgotten Realms.
As an aside, I still believe the esteemed Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have a master plan to undo said destruction, but this may never come to be until and unless the current powers-that-be change their thinking on the world and the creators' place in it.
Back to Mystara, the steward of this wonderful fantasy set piece, Bruce Heard, expanded Alphatia on his own blog, which if you haven't seen it, you may visit it here. If only the powers-that-be decided to also give this man his old job back . . . but I digress.
In the late 1990's, I began to put together a campaign set during Wrath of the Immortals that would involve my players stopping the Nucleus of the Spheres and averting the disaster. Alas, it only lasted a few sessions and the outline languished in my files for years . . . until recently when I decided to dig it out.
After reviewing it, I was delighted to find it wasn't complete rubbish and that I could salvage the story aspect of it.
It occurred to me the Immortals may not be as smart as they think they are and that Rad actually may have been manipulated, Ixiom duped, and the world made to suffer for it. This idea grabbed me and I ran with it. I do not want to spoil the story further, so I will ask you to trust me on the setup and enjoy this next teaser.
In which we are introduced to Angela and Kenseth . . .
Angela was busy.
Angela usually was busy these days, but today was busier than most. Her "master," for lack of a better term, had been keeping her moving from one place to the next, but she was no slave. Angela did the bidding of someone powerful. How powerful this person was she could not say, but she had seen her master demonstrate his power and she was suitably impressed.
Today she was running down the streets of Specularum, looking for a person. All she had was a name, a brief description, and the assurance he would be there when she arrived. The person she was was looking for, Kenseth, was tall, long-haired, muscular and fancied himself to be good in a fight. That being said, she was told he would be about to get in a fight he couldn't win.
Angela, knowing she might have to get into a fight herself, came prepared with a solid quarterstaff, and a long knife if she felt she was in real danger.
Rounding a corner, she came upon a public square, and immediately realized why her master told her she would have no trouble finding Kenseth. In the middle of the square stood a tall man with long brown hair, sharp blue eyes, and a devilish grin. His shirt had been ripped to shreds and he was using the remains to wrap his fists.
Across from Kenseth were three men, all armed with knives.
"Looks like you brought your shirt to a knife fight," said one of the men.
"You're lucky I didn't bring more," said the long-haired man Angela assumed was Kenseth. "You actually have a chance to beat me now."
The three men broke apart to try and encircle Kenseth, who to his credit, never lost his mirthful grin. Feinting toward one, he deftly spun and threw a kick at one of the other thugs, landing it right on his thigh.
The thug grunted and went down while the third thug dashed in, knife slashing for Kenseth's back. Kenseth spun back around, ducking the slash and gut-punching his assailant, who threw his knife hand out again in an attempt to cut Kenseth.
Meanwhile, the first thug, who had completely fallen for Kenseth's initial lunge, had recovered, and saw his opening while Kenseth was engaged with his compatriot. Angela, seeing Kenseth was about to get a knife through the ribs, dashed forward, flinging her staff out and cracked the man right in his ribcage.
Angela reversed her swing and brought the other end of her staff down on the back of the man's head, knocking him to the ground and into next week. Looking up, she saw Kenseth punch the thug he was engaged with right in the jaw, also knocking him senseless.
Meanwhile, the third thug, nursing a seriously bruised thigh, took stock of the situation and began stumbling away as fast as his injured leg would let him. The few onlookers to the afternoon's entertainment mockingly applauded and then returned to their own business.
"Thanks," said Kenseth, and introduced himself.
"I know who you are," said Angela. "How would you like to save the world?"
TO BE CONTINUED . . . .