Last night we concluded our two-year, 30-sessions Mythic Britain campaign. This was by far the most fun I have had as a GM. It was challenging, and even stressful at times, but extremely rewarding. (The stress was self-induced by worrying if I can make the game fun enough for my players.) Not only that, the campaign transformed us as a gaming group to a new level of roleplaying. I have never had players be so invested in their characters, develop so rich personalities.
During the campaign
* Breanain the Bard died mid-campaign (the player never got into the setting, and dropped out)
* Emrys the Hunter and Lloyd the Warrior got married
* and got kids (one boy, one girl)
* Emrys lost his wife (as well as his parents and two faithful dogs) to Hengwulf’s vengeance
* Lloyd became a chieftain in Achaius’ army
* Eoin the Druid lost his right eye while being imprisoned and tortured by Moust (for one month)
* but gained spirit sight in the blind eye during a near-death experience later
* The group witnessed a Christian miracle,
* was imprisoned several times,
* saved an ancient apple orchard (home of a powerful apple spirit) in a side quest (apples were a recurring theme in the campaign),
* and visited the land of the dead
A special Thank You to Loz for creating the supplement and making this all possible.
Here’s a brief overview of what went down, for those interested in reading more.
We played most the book-campaign as written, skipping only Logres Burning (the events happened, but only half of the characters participated. The greatest warrior/military expert Lloyd was healing from a serious wound, and the Eoin the druid was busy being tortured by Moust).
Before Suppose Your Time Were Come To Die, the group had their second run-in with Hengwulf. Earlier the group had broken their promise to Hengwulf about freeing Ydwina, so after being forced out of his new home (in Logres Burning), Hengwulf swore revenge against the group. Emrys lived quite near to the “border” and was the easiest target. Hengwulf burned his home village, killed half of the people and kidnapped his pregnant wife. The group failed to save the wife, but killed Hengwulf and saved Emrys’ newly born baby boy.
Suppose Your Time Were Come To Die was a pivotal moment in the campaign. I had some plans in case they fail and Guinevere dies, but I didn’t want to railroad it, so I run it exactly as written, trying my best to be impartial. They did fail. I told them, that this was it, that they failed the campaign, and that Britain would burn because of them. It was over.
Two months later (9 months had passed in Britain) I got the group back together. Britain was broken. The alliance was broken, and Arthur was broken. Only Arthur could save the alliance and only Guinevere could save Arthur. So they got a new mission from Merlin – get Guinevere back from the dead. With Morgana as their guide, they succeeded. But they brought back also Mordred. They noticed soon, that there was something odd about Mordred – he inspired fanatical loyalty, causing violent outbreaks and dividing of the nation (not all were affected). The characters/players didn’t know this, but Mordred came back a changed man. He had always believed to be destined to rule Britain. When he died, he simply couldn’t accept, that this was the end, and started looking for new allies in Annwn (land of the dead). He was contacted by agents of the Great White Dragon and promised power – and offer he couldn’t refuse. (Morgana didn’t know of this change when she saved his brother, and struggled later greatly with her loyalties, although this was never visible to the characters.) Nonetheless, for a moment things started looking up. Arthur came out of his seclusion and was filled with renewed vigor. There was some friction between Arthur and Mordred, but no immediate feud.
A couple of months later Merlin got a word from his spy network (in my Britain, Merlin had spies in most big settlements), that Mordred had found one of the lost thirteen treasures – The Whetstone of Tudwal Tudglyd
. Merlin sent the group to follow Mordred’s party (Mordred personally wasn’t participating) and secure the treasure. The party succeeded, but revealed their identity in the process (they didn’t kill any of Mordred’s men, because they were celts after all) . Two days after delivering the stone to Merlin, Mordred showed up in Ynys Wydryn with 40 men. He took the stone, took Merlin, and ordered his men to kill everybody else before riding away. The group barricaded in Merlin’s tower and was saved the next day by Arthur, who had gotten word of Mordred’s activities.
The group followed Mordred. They sneaked into Caer Cadbryg and got into contact with Merlin’s local spy, from whom they learned, that Mordred was planning a trip to a place called Apple Island. Nobody had heard of the place, but our druid had allied an apple spirit and asked it. They got into contact with an ancient Apple Spirit, from whom they learned (for a price) the location of the island, which seemed to have some mythical qualities. To get to the island (or even see it), one had to navigate through some treacherous waters, through certain invisible gates (signified by some nondescript rocks) in a certain order.
They got to the island accompanied by Arthur and Gawain (there was only one small boat available, and time was of the essence) – and saw another boat on the shore. Only when arriving on the island I told the players the original name of the place – Ynys Afallon – and let them connect the dots (it’s Avalon.)
Mordred’s endgame was to summon an avatar of the White Dragon. To do this, he needed a great sacrifice – Merlin. And to perform the sacrifice, he needed a blade whet on The Whetstone of Tudwal Tudglyd. The ritual needed to be performed on Avalon, because the barrier between the material world and spirit world was weakest there.
The group sprung a couple of spirit traps laid by Morgana, encountered the locals of the island (a tribe of women, who required a payment for venturing deeper into the island – some intimate male company
) and finally made it to the clearing where Mordred and Morgana were finalizing their ritual. The group dispatched of the (veteran) mooks (this battle was a bit anti-climatic, as I rolled a coupled fumbles, and my group rolled several crits), lost Gawain (not dead, just seriously wounded) and pressed on. Next they were pulled into spirit world. Morgana made short work of Arthur (she didn’t destroy him, just defeated) and proceeded to pound the others. It was clear she was too powerful for the group, so the Eoin the Druid engaged her giving Emrys and Lloyd a chance to escape. When they got back to their bodies, Mordred was just about to kill Merlin. Lloyd rushed to Mordred and fought and defeated him (or so he thought). Emrys meant to interrupt whatever Morgana was doing (she was in trance), but earlier in the campaign he had acquired Loyalty to Morgana passion and now succeeded in the passion roll twice in a row, resulting in him being unable to do anything about her. Mordred on the other hand was not defeated. With his last strength, he struck the knife meant for Merlin into Lloyd’s gut, killing him. (I gave several rolls for Lloyd to survive this, but the dice decided otherwise. Lloyd’s fate was sealed by a crit by Mordred and by a 98 by Lloyd’s player.) A moment later Emrys killed Mordred. In the meanwhile in the Spirit Realm, the great evil spirit Mordred was summoning had arrived. It noticed the prize it was promised was not there, devoured Morgana and Eoin instead, and left.
And that was it. Only Emrys survived the Final Battle. And Arthur. (And Gawain.) The war against Saxons went on, as did the struggle between the old gods, and the new God, but that’s not the story of Eoin, Lloyd and Emrys.
Finally I want to thank my players – you made the campaign come to life. If you read this guys, write something.