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[ACTUAL PLAY] "West Marches" game, Raven's Promise, Session 2, 6:30pm PST

Thu 27 May 2021, 22:26

Session recording:

I've been running an open table, "West Marches" style Forbidden Lands campaign for the last 7 months or so, with The Hollows as the "home base" town for the PCs. I've got a new player who runs a twitch channel, and we're **streaming** his 2nd session as he enters The Hollows, and explores Count Nepola's tomb with a few other PCs. Going live at 6:30pm PST, today May 27. I'll upload the video once stream is over.

"Dyrwud Benlocks is a Halfing seer, granted his gifts through a traumatizing encounter with the demon world, Chermog. In the dead of Winter, he follows prophetic dreams of a yellow-eyed girl-savior, and an abandoned temple within the small, secluded village of The Hollows. He and his new companions now creep through the black hallways of the ancient crypt..."

Forbidden Lands: Raven’s Promise

I’d like to introduce you to my campaign world, which I am calling Forbidden Lands: Raven’s Promise.

This is a “West Marches” style game, currently with about 8 active players, and several more presently dormant. In a “West Marches” game, PCs have a “home base” town, where they can safely park their character between adventures. The world is completely fleshed out, and evolves and changes as factions take actions regardless of whether the PCs choose to get involved or not- there is no plotline the PCs must follow. They must motivate themselves to explore, interact with the world, and find quests.

I’ve used the game’s tools, plus a ton of resources (detailed below) to completely flesh out the world and all settlements & major adventure site locations. I added roughly 80 villages to the map, divided them into roughly 10 independent Domains/Kingdoms/Fiefdoms. I keep track of time passing with Raven’s Reckoning ... -Reckoning, and each in-game week, the most active factions take Domain Actions, according to (modified) rules from [An Echo, Resounding]( ... +resoundin). All this in effect creates a complete, living, breathing world which the players may explore, and interact with however they want in order to accomplish their goals.

The Raven’s Promise Campaign hinges upon only 1 initial story conceit:

Each PC is drawn toward the village of The Hollows (the “home base” town) by a recurring dream:
*You are a raven, flying through the night above the Blood Mist. Demonic shapes move through the mist below you. As dawn nears, you spot a village nestled against a craggy hillock, and you descend. Down, towards a child, who stands outside a small house. Her arms extend, and dawn breaks, and the Blood Mist evaporates forever. You land and meet her beautiful yellow eyes. As she smiles and opens her arms, you receive a vision of all the kin of Ravenland laying down their weapons, and raising tools of art and labor. You see the girl seated upon a throne, and all of Ravenland erupts in cheer.*
This yellow-eyed girl is the 5-year-old Miriam, and she is looked after by the tough elf woman So’ley and (now dead) druid Virgil. Virgil claimed that a huge raven descended from the sky outside The Hollows, and disgorged this newborn girl, after which, the Blood Mist vanished from Ravenland. So’ley has pledged her life to protect Miriam and build her influence so that she may one day become the first Queen of Ravenland, finally bringing peace to the land, uniting all Kin. Indeed, the girl is a delightful and intelligent child, with supernatural powers of insight, and wisdom beyond her years.

This prophecy cannot happen without you. You are one of a select few adventurers who have received this same dream. Perhaps you are a true believer, loyal to her unto death. Perhaps you only seek to ride the wave of power she will surely create. Perhaps you are merely enticed by the promise of adventure after a lifetime stuck in your village. Whatever your reason, you have chosen to call the Hollows a base of operations, and you choose to participate with Miriam’s retinue.

The quest of Miriam’s retinue is to protect her, keep her hidden, and build up the foundations, the legend, and the power to support her reign when it is her time, in whatever way they can.


The resources I use to build the Raven’s Promise campaign world:

* Raven’s Purge Campaign Module
* The Bitter Reach Campaign Module
* All adventure sites within [Crypt of the Mellified Mage]( ... ified-Mage)
* All adventure sites within [The Spire of Quetzal]( ... _purchased)
* [Koracia](
* a homebrew adventure site [Hightower](viewtopic.php?f=104&t=7241) (but with name changed for “Lumra” to detail the ancient fortress of Lumra as the Roka Orc capital)
* [Malla’s Marauders]( ... -Marauders)
* [Powder and Grimstone]( ... dden-Lands)
* Some aspects of [Reforged Power]( ... dden-Lands) (many talents, Alchemy, more spells, tempurature rules, and more)
* [Rootholme]( ... -Lands-RPG)
* [The Ashryn Spire]( ... nSpire.pdf)
* [The Chapel of Blood]( ... dden-Lands)
* [The Mists of Moorshire]( ... dden-Lands)
* [Trilemma Adventures]( ... m-Volume-I)
* [The Servants of Memory]( ... -of-Memory)
* [Weather and Seafaring]( ... +seafaring) (mainly just for the seafaring rules)
* [An Echo, Resounding: A Sourcebook for Lordship and War]( ... +resoundin) (for Domain Management rules, and various adventure sites)
* [Burning Sands- Squad Scale Combat]( ... 29&o=OneUp) (for Mass Combat rules, modified a bit)
* [100 Alternative Magic Mishaps for Forbidden Lands]( ... dden-Lands)
* [New Professsions I]( ... fessions-I)
* [Raven’s Reckoning: Ravenland Calendar]( ... -Reckoning)
* [Downcrawl]( (for the subterranean world deep beneath Ravenlands which only Belderannian Dwarves know about, and keep secret!)

Has this project consumed every ounce of my free time over the last 7 months? Absolutely.

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