This past week marked the kickoff of my 4th edition D&D campaign for 2010. The campaign ran players from 2nd till 6th level last year and represented the first time since the early 90's that I ran a regularly scheduled roleplaying game campaign and my first ever D&D campaign. Things were a bit rough in "season 1" but I have high hopes for the campaign this year which looks like it will bring the players to at least level 12.
The players started off in Winterhaven, having defeated Kalarel and his minions in both the keep and Winterhaven itself. "Season one" of the campaign was a mix of the Keep on the Shadowfell module and some home written stuff. One of the major story arcs is the discovery of a number of ancient artifacts, the Sou Daggers of Orcus, which were made long ago in the great Demon/Dragon wars. My campaign is set in the land of Treayal, and is the back drop for all of the campaign work I am doing in 4e.
The party journeyed to visit the last member of an otherwise dead race of ratmen named Nicodemus (yea not that original). He bargained with a demon long ago to gain eternal life so that he may find a way to re-make his race again. His age and power as a sorcerer give him great wisdom, and he knows of the soul daggers. After imparting some knowledge to the party he suggests that a visit to the Feywild is in order. One of the party members died in the previous part of the campaign and was revived by a scroll. The scroll did restore her life, but also bound her to Orcus. Nicodemus suggests that a visit to an old Eladrin scholar may prove useful in removing the taint from the scroll. The party agrees and are shown to one of the boundaries between this world and the Feywild.
Upon arrival the party was shocked by how dense the forest was in the Feywild. They were also surprised to see a cave guarded by 3 huge Fomorians. Fortunately, the party was able to successfully sneak past the guards without raising suspicion. They found there way to the Eladrin enclave to meet the scholar only to find that he was not there. It seems that other members of the Eladrin race took an interest in his work, and hoped that they could use it to defeat their enemies. They took him captive to try and extract the information they needed (the key to library in his enclave). It was up to the party to rescue the scholar before it was too late.
It did not take the party long to find the prisoner, or his captors. The party found out the hard way how powerful the bows of the Eladrin can be, and the Eladrin were almost successful in carting off their prisoner to deeper parts of the forest. The Eladrin underestimated the power of the poison cloud spell, and soon found how how quickly it can dismantle a well organized attack. The Eladrin surrendered to the party and released the captive. The night ended with the party returning the scholar to his home for medical attention and rest.
It was an interesting evening of play. I felt that the game ran much more smoothly than some of the games in the past did. There was a lot of intro material to set up where things were headed in "season 2". There were also a number of skill challenges. In fact the entire night only had one combat encounter (although others were possible). I think we had a great kick off, leading to more of the story unfolding this week.