Viriconium is the house campaign of the Board Games Club. Due to the nature of the club, there are a dozen or more players, some with multiple characters, with each evening session being a single adventure modelled on the LFR structure, to fit in the 7pm-11pm time frame. The DM contributers are Andy, Colin and Paula. I have now added Paula and Colin’s adventures. There’s only one case where the timelines cross and it’s not important to the plot. It ties up what might have been an unexplained quirk.
The adventure log isn’t sequential. Sorry about that. I could take them all down and repost in order. I might when I am bored witless. Start at Andy 1-1 to 1-12 then 2-1 to 2-whatever-we’ve-reached. The crossovers are that Colin 1-4 comes between Andy 2-3 and 2-5. Paula 1-1 comes before Andy 1-11.
We group level. Currently the group is level 6. Most encounters are written at L+5.
If anyone comes across these pages and enjoys reading them, please leave a comment.
The campaign title is a nod to M John Harrison’s book, ‘In Viriconium’.
The city of Viriconium has stood since before recorded memory, glittering capital of the Empire of Outremer. Once the greatest city in the world, it has dwindled to a scatter of half ruins. It lives still due to the fact it stands at a nexus of worlds. Wizards come, build their towers and study the arcane. They need aid, pay well for it and this attracts adventurers. They spend their cash and this attracts the rest. There is a trade in magic and exotic items.
The city once stood surrounded by rich lands. A thousand years ago, Astral storms opened portals at random. Creatures from other realms came through. Some remain, some died, some slunk off to brood in a dark hole. Some want to go back, other bring more of their kind. The instability persists – random portals can still open to dismay the unwary. For this reason, the empire pulled back. Between civilisation and the city lie uncharted leagues of peril.
The city is ruled by the Wizards. Beneath it lies a dark secret. Wizards’s work is a lengthy task and many find death approaching. They sought to delay it but in this, found a hollow end. The magics reduced them to liches and wrights. Their remaining life is stretched out to infinity but they take no pleasure in it and some ache for release. Some still burn to rekindle their once living spirits. Beneath the city lies the realm of the undead. There are alliances with the Upperworld, some power struggles but always the uneasy feeling that it is in the Undercity the real power lies.
So, this provides quest hooks, explains why there are exotic creatures, lots of magic and an unbalanced economic system based in treasure, the basics like food of little importance. Also, a possible brooding big bad to find out about.
The city is run by the Circle of Twelve (though there are only eight). The Chief is Murgen, who issued an edict forbidding the use of magic to further a personal agenda. It’s to stop wizard wars. So far, it holds. (Though all the wizards strive to break it without being detected.) Most other wizards are aligned with one or the other of the Circle. Their enforcers are The Janissaries. There are also three main mercenary companies, in descending order of reliability, Lord Laney’s Men, The Wyvern Company and the Radiant Company. The 3 main mercenary companies are a way to get work and contacts. The main patron so far is a shadowy fixer, The Fat Man. In the Undercity, the only solid currency is a man’s word. TFM relies on his word as his bond and will kill anyone who jeopardizes it. If he allows anyone to take liberties and he fails to take action, then everyone will think they can.
The Wizards want expertise and muscle to run errands and provide protection for their work. This attracts adventurers. They find stuff, which attracts merchants and dealers to buy and sell. They need to eat so that brings other stuff in. There are also gangs who prey on this. There are nicer, cosmopolitan areas. The social structure of the city has yet to be defined but wealth brings power and influence. Though to get to the top table, you need to be a wizard.
Janissaries are a kind of palace guard, the Praetorians. They were initially a kind of slave/mercenary army who were employed as muscle but have grown in power and prestige so that now they are a self contained elite, who protect the Circle. Quite like the Judges in Mega City 1 (Judge Dredd!). They need not be fighters but are probably all melee based defenders/strikers.
The City lies about 200 miles from civilisation, which retreated to a safe distance to avoid the astral portals. Travel is walking, by boat or any other magical or non-magical means. It sits within a sprawling hinterland of ruins, dungeons, other ruined towns, which might have been colonised by critters, cultists or whatever. The scope to set anything anywhere is there.
The centre of the city is where the Wizards have their towers. This is home to the shops and workshops. Other areas are more ruined and derelict.
The UnderCity is where the undead lurk. There are powerful individuals, Liches and Wights, who run their own areas. There is no single control in the Undercity. It is said that deep down, there is a DracoLich. Deep down, you can get access to the Underdark, but you have to travel through the DracoLich’s realm.
Portals will spring up above and below ground at random. Mostly to other Planes. The Wizards would like to understand them better.
Not much has been sketched out. All the usual LFR Gods are in play (saves thinking new ones). It is known that there are avengers who are trying to root out the undead, who are tied to one of the shiny LG temples. One was killed by the PCs in Andy 1-1. So far it seems no-one knows what happened and the temple presumes she died alone on a quest to kill Leiche, the Deathlock Wight.