Direbane is an abode to share artifacts, simulacra, histories, and other items of note related to ongoing years adventuring.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


My good old friend Kevin has resided up in Washington State now for just about a couple of decades.

When we started up our v.3.5 Wilderlands "High Fantasy" campaign back in 2004 I hadn't thought about remote, online playing really at all. But when we started gaming again after a very dismal probably 8-year period of chronic drunkenness (for me anyway) of running maybe 1-2 sessions each year, Kevin wanted in.

The half-drow Artaban began as an NPC who Kevin glommed on to because he joined late compared to everyone else and we wanted to keep the character levels similar. We patched Kevin in with a webcam of our game table and speaker-phone which worked "some" of the time (had volume and cross-talk distorting the signal problems).

Still Kevin stuck it out, then Shade Structure's mad gnome druid assassinated Artaban after the dwarf fighter had coldcocked him. See, Kevin had a somewhat disruptive habit of min-maxing then threatening other PCs. In character? Maybe, but Shade said his was an "in character" killing.

Anyhow, I utilized Kevin/Artaban's heathy indignation to run Artaban as a ghost on a side trip through Deamonweb Pits and ultimately a necropolis in the Desert Lands until Artaban reunited his soul and physical form.

Artaban was also a "half"-drow with no original description of what the other half was. I started to weave a tale that the other half of Artaban's genealogy was something ancient and very evil: a Markrab.

Markrabs were a powerful and evil starfaring race that attempted to dominate the Wilderlands planet way back at the dawn of civilization there. A markrab prince setup a fortress in the Valley of the Ancients and proceeded to devastate the population of dragons. This prince started the pre-history Uttermost War by destroying a Space Alliance star cruiser, space station, and satellite probes around the planet. Total destruction of the Wilderlands was only averted by a peace treaty because both sides wanted the opportunity to study the magical "gates" and ecology of the Wilderlands.

Kevin's Artaban eventually rejoined the party for a bit, then in 2011 we had a long-time member of our group, Postman Bob, pass on, so that particular adventuring party ended up in stasis. 2012 we started the new Blipping II campaign and the Wilderlands were left behind for a bit.

Then, as things are wont to do, the game circled around back to the Wilderlands by way of Blackmoor (which has a connection to Judges Guild and the Wilderlands) and getting a chance to use Rob Conley's Wilderlands Map 19, The Wild North, in conjunction with the zombie invasion from Lamentations' "Death Frost Doom." The issue of time and ultimate fates has been introduced, kind of multiversal outcomes that none of which seem particularly rosy.

So now I have the party set in a dystopian future Wilderlands. Not technology-future, it is still basically swords and sorcery, but dark in terms of being barren, no clear allies, and having introduced elements of loss and dread. What I want to do is begin to link the past with this present and a nice way to do that is have a character, Artaban, whose existence spans the intervening time, join up with the new adventuring party.

We'll have to see what Kevin thinks after he receives the package pictured above...

(Here is Artaban's prior history if anyone is interested.)