Welcome everybody to the newest feature in the 9 Deuce family, Tales From the Plunderbund Consortium. This is the first time that somebody else has written their own content at 9Deuce.com. The premise of this is a simple one. My buddy Eric, Keri’s husband, does a weekly D & D campaign and has generously decided to write out how the story has played out. I’ll let him explain things more thoroughly. With that being said, if you like the fantasy and role playing stuff, I think that you will enjoy this. I will update this as often as Eric gets me the write ups. PLEASE, leave us a comment to let us know what you think and share it with your friends that are into this stuff. Thank you. – Kent
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Tales from the Plunderbund Consortium
Dark Sun Campaign
Welcome to Tales of the Plunderbund Consortium. The group was officially established when we started a weekly Thursday night Dungeons and Dragons game after the release of fifth edition. Over the past two years we have run the following campaigns: Ravenloft – Grand Conjunction series of adventures, campaign completed and ended at level 12; Homebrew – inspired by the Animes Magi and Is it Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon, campaign fell apart at level 5 due to loss players; American High School USA: Neo-Tokyo 2086 – completed season 1 of 3 using the OVA anime role playing game system; Ravenloft 2 – Curse of Strahd, used new characters but featured NPCs from the original Ravenloft campaign, campaigned completed and ended at level 10.
After competing Curse of Strahd the group was originally planning on playing Season 2 of American High School and then moving on to the current Dark Sun campaigned; however, after my wife became enamored with playing a duel-axe wielding Halfling barbarian, the group decided to head straight to Athas.
While the Plunderbund has been in existence for two years, many players in the group have known and played D&D together since fourth edition. As such, certain characters appear in this campaign from our prior 4e Dark Sun Campaign. The current characters are as follows.
Coraanu Songstealer: Elf Rogue (Outlander)
Coraanu Songstealer, of the Silver Hand Tribe, prays every morning to the elements of earth, fire, water, and air, pacing to each corner of his gladiatorial slave pen and muttering prayers in turn. He does this partly out of religious observance, but mostly to annoy his mul cellmate with entirely made up elven chants and the like. Cooranu Songstealer also spends every night swearing to the moon to get revenge for the death of his clan, the Songstealers. He does this to keep himself focused, and to make sure he doesn’t get too distracted playing pranks on his mul cellmate.
After all, it wasn’t that long ago that Coraanu came back from a nice morning jog over the dunes to find the remains of his clan and their campsite by the desert oasis. Slit throats and charred bodies–this was no animal attack, or even some raid from a rival tribe. This was a massacre.
Coraanu couldn’t figure out who would do such a thing. It’s not that the Songstealers had no enemies, of course, but that they had too damn many. Elves aren’t known for getting along with, well, anyone outside their clan and tribe, and the Songstealers in particularly cultivated a magical ability that made them targets not only of fearful outsiders, but of powerful mages as well. Coraanu could really only trust one group of people–any member of the Silver Hand Tribe to which his clan belonged. A fellow tribe member told him that, while out running, they saw a parade of metal shields head towards Songstealer campsite the night before.
In Coraanu’s mind, only one group could afford such an expensive military expedition: templars from the nearby city of Urik. [DM’s Note: In order to better fit in with the back stories of subsequent players, this was subsequently retconned to the city-state of Balic] Though still young and untrained, Coraanu swore on oath to find out who was responsible for his clan’s death and kill them. (But also to have fun along the way! Revenge is no reason not to be a dick.)
When he got to the city, however, he had hardly a chance to pickpocket anyone–or gather information–before local slave traders, looking to fill a gap in their inventory, got him arrested for a robbery (not even the one he was going to commit!) and sentenced to slavery in the gladiatorial games. Which is where Coraanu now finds himself…
Goals: 1.) Find the person or people responsible for killing is clan. 2.) Kill them. 3.) Mess with others for the lulz
Bonds: 1.) Oath of Vengeance! 2.) Silver Hand Tribe 3.) Other elves, more or less
Traits: 1.) Quiet 2.) Smart 3.) Smartass
Ideals: Lol no
Dandrel “Dimebag” Darkhammer: Dwarf Bard (Guild Merchant)
Spice is a valuable commodity on Athas, and one held in monopoly by the Honorable Trade House of Inikia. Protected by decree of Oba Lalali-Puy, House Inikia has plied the roads of the seven city-states for generations. The dwarves of Clan Darkhammer are few in number, but they are sworn to service House Inikia since the clan was saved from destruction by a Nibenese war band decades ago. Their superior dwarvish sense of smell (and resistance to poison) has made them invaluable to Oba Lalali-Puy in other ways as well, and Clan Darkhammer is known for serving their deadly hot kank gumbo to the Oba’s enemies. While most components of their gumbo blend are well known, there is a secret spice that the clan Spicemasters add (harmless on it’s own, of course) which results in the diner’s violent and messy death as they void their lungs.
Dandrel Darkhammer is one such Spicemaster, as was his father before him. Compared to his wastrel younger brother, Darkius, Dandrel spent most of his life traveling between the seven cities selling the wares of House Inikia, and well protected by the Oba’s guards. It was a mundane existence, but one tempered by the tidy profit Dandrel enjoyed, and the taste he acquired for the finer things in Athas. As the years wore on, this decadence began to take its toll, and Dandrel found himself swelling with water-fat, his old eyes taking on the blue-within-blue of the hopelessly spice addicted. He also acquired some brides from Balic, three dusky-eyed maidens that replaced his older servants. Life was good.
But then came the dreams. Vague, unfathomable shapes tempted his mind and troubled his nights. At times, he would see them in the corner of his eye; ghastly figures with eyes like plates, who pointed above to a great ball of fire. It was nothing at first, and Dandrel blamed it on his rich food and heavy drink. But the visions would not cease, even as their message grew clearer. The comet had landed; crash landed somewhere in the desert. Two days ago, he had another of these nightmares, in which the comet, now cool and black as obsidian, got up and began to walk like a man. As if commanded by some unspeakable power, Dandrel left his caravan and began to wander the desert, searching for the obsidian man. When he regained consciousness and control of his facilities, he found himself deep in the Sand Wastes, all alone. An Urikite patrol picked up the smelly old dwarf after a day or so of aimless wandering, and sold to the gladiator pits. He has been to Urik many times before, and there are some in the city who know him by name and reputation, if not by his face. Though he practiced some swordplay in his youth, Dandrel knows there is little chance he could escape, let alone survive, the Pit of Black Death.
“Find the comet-man” (Note: The comet is none other than the Mighty Servant of Leuk-o, which plunged through a dimensional rift following the great, final conflict between the forces of Lum the Mad and the infamous General Leuk-o. It is indeed in the rough shape of a towering 10-foot-tall man made of jet black metal. Anyone who knows the password can enter into the construct and pilot it, making it essentially a mecha. Any person piloting the device must eventually become a chaotic evil warlord.)
“One day when I get out of this mess I’ll get back home and show everyone what I’m made of.”
“You mean you’ve never heard of the spice of Dandrel the Pure? One dram of this stuff made a Tyrian Templar snort out his eyes. That’s what you get for shorting House Inikia.”
“As long as I’m comfortable, it’s hard to care about those around me.”
“None must ever learn of my true purpose”
Ilana Ludgate: High elf wizard (sage)
After generations (elf generations!) of on-again, off-again warfare over the few rapidly-diminishing patches of arable Athasian land, about 250 years ago the Templars of Balic, on behalf of Sorcerer King Andropinis, signed a peace treaty with the Land Orca tribe that would allow them “perpetual dominion” over what was basically an agglomeration of red rocks, poisonous horseshoe crabs, and predatory sphinxes. Then about 120 years ago, when Ilana Ludgate was a young elf of 50 years, the tribe discovered valuable copper deposits on the land. The Templars soon heard of the find and suggested the Land Orcas would be just as happy on an even remoter, less habitable expanse of dust now known as the Res, which turned out to be somehow even shittier than the Land Orcas’ former home. The horseshoe crabs seemed even stingier, the sphinxes’ riddles were harder, and the one source of surface water–an intermittent stream that was dry for most of the summer–was sentient when running and usually had active malice toward the elves. Not loving her new sitch, Ilana peaced out at the tender age of 90 and started a hardscrabble life in the bowels of human civilization.
She’d picked up a sprinkling of magic from the handful of tribal wizards who had served as heavy artillery in the interspecies wars. The old guard seemed pretty reluctant to use magic, coming as it did at the expense of the land, but Ilana gives zero fucks about the costs of defiling. The way she sees it, if it weren’t for all the dickbag humans around there would be plenty of life energy to draw from, and as it stands Athas isn’t particularly worth preserving in its present human-polluted state. When she’s in human cities one of her favorite pastimes is to find a rich neighborhood with a nice, cultivated tree, sit down in front of it, and magically light her cigarettes when nobody’s looking, slowly watching the tree die over the course of her loitering. I mean, when she’s not unceremoniously shuffled off by the local guards.
She’s lived the last 80 years on the margins of society, eking out a relatively meager existence with an easy, flexible combination of small-time grifting and big-time staying out of mortal danger. By and large, she has small goals – life is a process of chiseling her due out of a zillion flat-footed strangers who hate her for her race and her magic. She understands the small rebellions of constantly dicking over strangers as the key to her dignity in such hostile circumstances. She’ll smile and play nice, but only if she knows she gets to stab you in the back afterwards. To now, resentments aside, it hasn’t been half bad. Recently, though, a female elf was reported to have thrown a well-timed bucket of feces out a hovel window at a passing templar. Ilana got swept up in the resultant witch hunt and now, for all her sly cartwheels on the razor’s edge of legality, finds herself unjustly tossed into the gladiatorial pits with a half-dozen other pointy-eared women (some of whom look insultingly not like her, btw).
Alignment: neutral/neutral – who the fuck’re you?
Bonds: elves, particularly the grizzled war vets and the underclass elves in cities (she has issues with new-generation Res-based elf tribal leadership, seeing them as pushovers). She’s maybe less resentful of downtrodden humans, etc., and probably won’t go out of her way to dick them over.
Flaws: many and deep
Will she sleep with you?: No, but she will pretend to like you and then cut your dick off, if you seem sex-offendery.
Pane-Pan: Thri-Kreen Psion (Urchin) Neutral Good
Pane-Pan [pahn-ee-pahn, accent on the first syllable], was born into a clutch with his 6 fellow egg-mates, as are all Thri-Kreen. He spent his youth hunting the deserts for delicious horseshoe crabs, a delicacy inexplicably unwanted by all other races. He was always obedient to the largest and strongest of his clutch, Far-Misc [fahr-misk]. Living in relative silence, (communicating only Psionically with his clutch-mates), Pane-Pan grew to love the peace of Athas’ deserts. Pane-Pan spent the slow desert hours honing his Psionic skills, and his clutch came to depend on his clarity of mind. Pane-Pan could always be counted on to know the thoughts and feelings of his clutch-mates, and to freely share this knowledge with the powerful Far-Misc.
One fateful day, hunting for horseshoe crabs, Pane-Pan’s clutch was ambushed by a human hunting party, bearing the seal of Balic. The Venetians had never encountered Thri-Kreen before, and were frightened. The humans interrogated Far-Misc, and despite Far-Misc’s attempts to allay the humans’ fears, his crude clicking sounds were interpreted as cries to battle. Fear won out, and the humans began to slaughter Pane-Pan’s clutch-mates.
Pane-Pan fought bravely, but the humans were too many. Eventually Pane-Pan was the last of his living clutch-mates, backed up against a tree. He knew there was only one way to save himself – to use his Psionic powers for ill. He had only ever used his powers to assist Far-Misc and his clutch, but his Thri-Kreen survival instinct was too strong for him to give in. He sensed the deepest fears of the Venetians – poverty – and projected the image of their vaults being raided. The humans ran from the scene, fearing their wealth was in danger.
The effort of using his Psionic powers for ill (for the first time), took an enormous toll on Pane-Pan, and he fell unconscious. He awoke alone in the desert. A Thri-Kreen without his clutch, or some other community, is an incomplete Thri-Kreen. Pane-Pan wandered the desert, eventually coming upon an unknown city-state. He lived in the city-state for years (although he has ceased measuring time) subsisting by eating what the other races took for trash. When confronted with danger, Pane-Pan has learned to use Psionic powers to strike fear and confusion into enemies.
Until yesterday, when an evil human defiler wizard, and famed patron of the gladiator games, came upon Pane-Pan. Pane-Pan sensed the wizard’s fascination and excitement (a Thri-Kreen in the games!), and was worried. When Pane-Pan refused the wizard’s offers of wealth in the game (Thri-Kreen do not kill for sport), the wizard attacked Pane-Pan. Pane-Pan’s still- developing Psionic powers were no match for the wizard’s wisdom, and Pane-Pan was tossed in a cell.
-find, if not a clutch of Thri-Kreen, a community where he is valued, and where he can follow a strong leader (whoever is biggest and strongest)
-kill the Balicans who killed his clutch-mates. Death begets death.
-to other Thri-Kreen
-to any who are without a community
-to users of magic and Psion for good
-peace, desert, telepathy, community
-he is not very independent
-his traditional moral compass will limit what he is willing to do
-not a good leader
-he is a new-style Thri-Kreen, no enlarged thorax
-He sensed another Psionically gifted being during the ambush. It was Ender Wiggin, who lives somewhere in Balic.
Uk’Chataa-Hookeri – Thri-Kreen Barbarian/Ranger (Outlander)
Amidst the chaos of a Thri-Kreen raid on a group of elves, two Thri-Kreen eggs were dropped. This small group of elves warily adopted the Thri-Kreen clutch, much due to the advocacy of a young, but promising elf Mutami. Soon, the Thri-Kreen hatched, prompting Mutami to wed his companion, Ekee.
I hatched alongside a fellow Thri-Kreen, my only connection to our ancient culture. She was given the Elven name Ratany and I Hookeri. Both of us were named ironically and after plants, she the root parasite Krameria and I after the Cereus Hookeri, or “Climbing Cactus.”
Not always accepted by our peers, Ratany and I spent much time together. Through many meditative sessions, we tapped into the Thri-Kreen collective memory and learned bits and pieces of our people’s history.
The clan, the Silt Moon Tribe’s, goal is not survival, it is to thrive. A Human would say “whatever the cost,” but we have no concept of cost an sacrifice.
Of course, our values are a mix of elven values with Kreen propensities. Loyalty, Hunting, Independence, and unrelenting endurance. Despite the animosity between Kreen and elves, the two share many traits. Both Elves and Thri-Kreen of the tablelands are nomads, refusing to settle or utilize the crutch of a mount. The elves taught me to keep my independence and strength, I need no humanly tools such as armor. I am an Elven Kreen.
In our childhood, Mutami left the clan, hearing of the massacre of his distant family: The Songstealers. I was never told more on the subject, though Mutami was spoken of often in our tribe. Both in regards of his strength and fealty as well as his fool-hardiness and idealistic revenge.
In adolescence, I would leave the clan, wishing to take after Mutami. Ratany insisting she join me, but her place was with our family. They needed her. They utilized our strengths to complement their own. Ekee needed her protection. What would become of her if her whole family left? Constant chiding and other subtle attacks, no doubt. Something worse? Ekee was strong, but could she resist the antagonism and xenophobia that has been soft mutterings for the entirety of my existence? No, Ratany would stay, ensuring her and Ekee’s place
amongst the Silt Moon. Ratany would become a great hunter. In a final meditative session, Ratany and I connected once again to our Kreen ancestry and each other. Only now were we ready to give each other traditional Thri-Kreen names.
I am Uk’Chataa-Hookeri of the Silt Moon Tribe, an Elven-Kreen and loyal
clutch mate. Once again, I am alone.
Alexa – Female Halfling Barbarian (Gladiator)
From a young age, halfling Alexa of the Head-Splitter Tribe in the Forrest Ridge would help her mother “cure” the meat for the great feasts, never knowing from what animals the meat came. When not assisting in the meat preparation, she was training in the art of hunting. Then, on her sixteenth birthday, as was the tribe’s tradition, Alexa was invited to join her father on a “hunt.” She was soon horrified to learn that the prey they were hunting was the group of adventurers that had recently stumbled on the village. After killing, preparing, and cooking the human ranger, Alexa found that she could not eat the meal at that night’s feast.
Soon after, Alexa began a crusade to get the halflings of her village to cease eating humans and demi-human. Unfortunately for Alexa, she was repletely laughed at and told, “you don’t make halfling tribal alliances with salad.” Two months later, Alexa’s family was to provide the meal for one of the tribe’s biggest celebrations. Alexa’s father had slain a might half-giant, and it appeared that it would be the greatest feast in some time.
While only Alexa truly knows what happened that day, according to her official Tyr Gladiatorial Biography, on that day Alexa’s barbarian rage manifested for the first time and she threw the body of the half-giant clear across the Ringing Mountains. The biography also informs that ten percent of all proceeds from Alexa’s fights would go to the Fund to Support the Victims of Halfling and Thri-Kreen Cannibalism.
Alexa was immediately exiled from the Forest Ridge. While crossing the Ringing Mountains, Alexa was ambushed and captured by slavers. She was subsequently sold to House Shom who in turn sold her to a Tyrian Noble family. While in Tyr she met the famous half-giant gladiator barbarian Ella, who took Alexa under her wing. Together the two had many great victories, which resulted in Alexa being sold to a Noble family for a very high price in Urik two years ago. [DM’s Note: Ella was my wife’s 4e Half-Giant Barbarian]
Alexa has not seen Ella since being sold, but she has heard that Ella escaped slavery and joined an adventuring party. Alexa hopes to one day surpass her mentor.