The Shadowland Campaign (not to be confused with the book) is a Dungeons & Dragons campaign run by tabletop gaming veteran MechaGM. Most of the players from the Wyrmwick Campaign return, along with their friend Final Freek.The premise of the campaign is as follows: fifty years ago, the Drow conquered most of the known world. What lands they couldn't take, they sealed off with a massive wall, leaving the continent divided in two. South of the wall are what's left of the free lands; north of the wall is The Empire. And on top of all this, after their conquest, the Drow performed a ritual that sealed most of the deities away, causing a blanket of clouds to permanently cover the sky.Fifty years on, the forces in the south are sending scouts over the wall to see what they can learn about the situation - and to prepare for a counterattack to take back their lands. The player characters form one of these scouting parties, and they quickly find themselves involved in something much bigger and more complex than they expected...The party currently consists of the following:
Unfortunately, the campaign had to be prematurely ended, though at 25 sessions it had a good run. Each session can be found on MechaGM's blog and the campaign wiki.In addition, Rollo T wrote a series titled Change Yourself, Change the World which details Canna's backstory and can be read on his blog.
Animated Armour: Downplayed with Donald, the animated gauntlet. It might have free will, but it mostly helps Darek in battle by allowing him to swap between weapons more quickly as well as grab things from a distance.
Assassin Outclassin': The party has thus far defeated every assassin that has attempted to come after them (usually humilitating them.) Canna and Serriah brutally criticaled an assassin that attempted to run away from the party. Canna also chopped down a tree to fell an assassin, only for the tree to fall on him and follow with Zelas finishing him off in a spectacular fashion.
Battle Couple: Canna and Zelas primarily. Darek and Dahlia to a lesser extent.
Beware the Nice Ones: Varric the travelling scholar. Polite, friendly, helpful... and capable of impaling people with his psionic powers.
Big, Badass Wolf: The northern Orcs use these as steeds, and in return for helping one tribe, the party gets to borrow some of them.
Bittersweet Ending: Varsaath is destroyed, but Canna and Zelas sacrifice themselves to hold off his summoned army so the others can escape, and they may not have survived.
Body Swap: Inflicted on most of the party in Session 22, complete with the 'How Do I Shot Web?' problem - partly handled mechanically, but mostly because most of the players suddenly had to learn how to use different characters.
Bond Villain Stupidity: Lord Errol Jadeis left the party alive instead of killing them when he had the chance. Turns out he was hoping to get them on his side.
Bow and Sword in Accord: Darek, Serriah and Zelas, though the latter two usually stick to their bow and rapier respectively.
Break the Badass: Canna was terrified during the Lord Errol encounter due to him exploiting her fear of being bound.
Fake Brit: MechaGM as Black Jhaan, Xadarax and Khaleed Vexis. People in the chat noted that the latter sounds a bit like John Cleese.
Fantastic Drug: Confidence. Enjoy the feeling of invincibility while it lasts, because after that comes serious pain.
Fantastic Racism: Between Drow and non-Drow. It's little wonder that Zelas said he'd be screwed if he went south of the wall, because north of it, there are quite a few places where non-Drow are second-class citizens at best. This gets shown when the party pays a visit to the very Drow-centric Eastgate.
Fire-Forged Friends: How Zelas befriends the party after escaping from his chains. This is also the basis of Serriah and Canna's friendship.
The Lava Brutes fought by the party - they explode on death, creating a number of motes that can be absorbed into other Lava Brutes when killed. Fortunately there's a range limit on this absorbtion.
As you'd probably expect, the hydra fought by the party also did this, in the classic manner of growing extra heads as they were lopped off. It was eventually killed by a stab to the heart.
If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: At one point Canna threatens to punch Dahlia so hard the latter would wind up defecating her own teeth if she hurt Darek. Later, Darek gets to return the favour with Zelas, who doesn't react too strongly even though the threat is possibly more severe. (Compare a punch to the face to freezing someone's hands and breaking off their fingers.)
Incredibly Lame Pun: In Session 2, Darek points out that the difference between a raven and a crow is a matter of a pinion. No-one in the party is amused.
Intimate Haircut: Canna, of all people, volunteered to cut Zelas's hair to make it easier for him to escape detection (as he is technically a wanted criminal). They ended up bonding while doing so.
I Owe You My Life: That Tiefling the group saved from being turned into a Lava Brute by Jadeis? Turns out she's a member of a cult of assassins... but when she got hired to assassinate the party, she instead chose to spare them and give them information because they saved her life.
Ironic Echo: Zelas claims a kiss from Canna as his prize for winning a duel with her. Later, Xellia manipulates Zelas into kissing her to save Canna, and claims that as her prize.
Kissing Discretion Shot: After 18 sessions Darek finally works up the nerve (with Dahlia's encouragement) to kiss his love interest. As he is leaning in Arclight (Dahlia's player) calls for end of scene because he is a giant Tease!
Knight Templar: Lord Errol wants to rid the world of the Drow. To do so, he's started a Primordial cult, turned innocent people into monsters to bolster his forces, somehow got a succubus on his side, and ultimately aims to release one of the Primordials. And he may be posing as a priest of the Raven Queen to gain converts.
The empress of the Drowlands. Everyone thinks she's dead...but where's the body?
Canna's beloved uncle Leon hasn't been seen or heard from since he headed to Eastgate. He's presumed dead... but as Zelas points out, "presumed" doesn't mean anything.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: On the way to Westgate, the party fought a group of kobolds raiding a village, and ended up killing one who was running away so it couldn't alert the others. Except if the kobold had escaped, it would've told its allies to retreat. Things did not get better for the village, especially not when Szartharaxx showed up.
The Night That Never Ends: Sealing away the sun god caused the sky to permanently be overcast. While day and night still technically exist, the spirit of the trope is there.
Not in This for Your Revolution: Zelas is just in it for the money and adventure; he more or less has no stake in the return of the gods and taking back the lands from the Drow.
Our Orcs Are Different: Northern and Southern Orcs have very different cultures in the setting; the Northern Orcs are nomads, while the Southern Ones are turning into a fantasy version of the Roman Empire. Mechanics-wise, they use the Half-Orc stats for player characters, as seen with Swift.
The Pig Pen: The troglodytes first encountered in Session 19 are so unhygienic that their stink does damage to opponents in close proximity.
Pintsized Powerhouse: Redcaps, fearsome little iron-booted murderers from the Feywild encountered by the party on the way to Welgard (both times).
Canna: Those little fuckers kick so hard!
Pit Trap: "You mean the obvious looking trap was an obvious looking trap?" Zelas falls for this trap when he walks in the middle of a pile of gold despite the rest of the party's suspicions.
After a session where the DM got plenty of good dice rolls in combat, it was the players' turn in a fight in the following session. Gav's resulting comment and MechaGM's response (paraphrased below) started a joke which still comes up every now and again, usually in response to his dice luck.
Gav: Now, what you don't know is that we stole your dice!
MechaGM: So, you guys broke into my house, stole my computer, and replaced it with an exact replica?
One that started in Session 11 has people calling Darek "adorable", much to his irritation. Not only does even Dahlia get in on it, but that session is even titled "The Adorable Artificer" on the wiki.
Jadeis is behind everything. Even when it doesn't make sense. Especially when it doesn't make sense.
Lord Jadeis leads a cult which is trying to set one of the Primordials free. Jadeis himself doesn't plan on this, though.
Varsaath Everblack, a Dracolich sealed within a lost temple of Moradin since the War of the Dead. He'd been weakened by the seal, but still managed to put up a hell of a fight. And when his makeshift phylactery exploded a piece of it got inside Dahlia. Now she is the can, and he's trying to get free.
Khaleed Vexis the ex-tiefling lich, too, though he'd been sealed away by different means.
Sealed Good in a Can: Pretty much all of the good-aligned deities. They can still interact with mortals to a degree (such as Avandra giving Canna visions in her dreams), but they don't have anywhere near as much influence on the world.
Shapeshifting Seducer: Xellia has fun as one in Session 17 by posing as Canna and tricking Zelas into engaging in intimate conversation, then attempting to gain his favor by using her form (while paradoxically calling the real Canna “weak” and “trash”).
In Chapter 17 When Zelas explains to Canna who is actually Xellia his fear, he talks about being turned against her the lines he uses at one point are from a song. He says "I disappeared, I lost control, my body moving all on its own. I watched myself charge at you." This is a slight alteration of some lines from the song "I Disappear" by The Faint.
While in Eastgate, Canna uses a fake voice and the psuedonym "Arleen Sorkin". As you can probably guess, the voice is modeled after the real Sorkin's performance as Harley Quinn in Batman: The Animated Series, all the way up to calling Zelas "Mistah Y" (he's using a fake name too).
These Hands Have Killed: Darek has one of these moments after taking his first human life and finding out he actually liked it.
Thinking Out Loud: Darek does this alot when he's lost in thought over the lastest perplexing magical artifact or dream.
This Is Gonna Suck: Picture the scenario - the party's been captured and forced to fight gladiators and ogres. The ogres were particularly problematic, but they've finally gone down. Then this happens:
Khairissa: They are worthy to face... the hydra!
Darek: Oh, you have got to be kidding me.
Zelas: I don't like the sound of that...
Turns Red: The hydra fought in Session 14 grew extra heads as it took damage, allowing it to attack more often as the fight went on.
Unexplained Accent: Zelas speaks with a vaguely Australian/British accent (nicknamed Drowstralian by the chat). He's the only Drow in the campaign who does this. Probably because it's not his "real" accent; turns out he started using it while growing up in Eastgate, and it stuck.
We Can Rule Together: Jadeis makes this offer to the party while in Eastgate's prison. Naturally they refuse.
Wham Episode: Session 7, wherein we learn that the hobgoblins are trying to release a Primordial, and the Drow Empress has been missing for ten years. And then Session 11, which revealed that the hobgoblins were just underlings - the real leader of the cult is a human noble who apparently wants to rid the world of the Drow.