Ryn’s Return

I play Brother Ryn in Miniwargaming’s Heroes of Harinburg D&D campaign. The game is streamed Tuesdays from 1230pm – 430pm EST on their Twitch channel. The game is also posted to their YouTube channel a few days later.

Brother Ryn is a cleric of the Grave and follows Kallina, the Goddess of the Dead. You can check out Brother Ryn’s character sheet on DnD Beyond

Return to Harinburg

Life on a boat is not the kind of life Ryn wanted. He was miserable and in his mind that’s what he deserved. A miserable existence to atone for his error in judgement. Following his re-birth he turned inward and contemplative. The men on board the ship began to call him “Owl” as he said nothing and just watched them. Just a dead stare like the emblem of the owl on his shield and tabard.

Had he chosen wrong? Should he have died that day? What force had triggered his rebirth? If Kallina didn’t want him to live why did she allow it? Why after his sin did he continue to channel her power and blessing? Was he now an enemy of the Silver Shroud? Maybe this was just fate and his choices were irrelevant. Was this some pre-designed plan? The argument the necromancer had presented beneath the city also replayed… was it all a lie?

After 2 years of sailing on that accursed ship, Ryn stepped onto the docks of Harinburg. This city had become a part of him and he felt at home for the first time in a long while. He returned to the lower city a place where people and things can be forgotten among the poor, the rejected. He became known as Brother Owl, a cleric for the people of the lower city. The questions continued to plague Ryn’s mind, but he did his best to focus on the first teaching of Kallina: “Death is not to be feared, so celebrate life and live each day without hesitation.” He tried to give hope to those that had lost it and would speak openly to the residents of the lower city about the teachings of Kallina.

It was here he met Garret a man of faith and the two spoke of God’s and faith. He would meet regularly with Garret and found himself letting his guard down. He did not openly admit to his sin, but for the first time in a long while he shared his thoughts on faith. Not generally speaking, but his own faith and how it had been shaken. His partial confession to Garret has cemented a bond between the two.

Garret has become a friend and Ryn continues to stand strong with the first teaching of Kallina. But the second and third teachings haunt him each night during his prayers. “Death is natural, one should not avoid going to meet Kallina at the river.” and more still is that “All things must end. Death is permanent, the dead must remain dead.

More Brother Ryn

I play Brother Ryn in Miniwargaming’s Heroes of Harinburg D&D campaign. The game is streamed Tuesdays from 1230pm – 430pm EST on their Twitch channel. The game is also posted to their YouTube channel a few days later.

Brother Ryn is a cleric of the Grave and follows Kallina, the Goddess of the Dead. You can check out Brother Ryn’s character sheet on DnD Beyond

Below is what I submitted to the DM. It was meant to be a description of where Ryn lives. He liked it enough that we played it out during session 2 of our campaign.

Home Life

Brother Ryn walked through the muddy narrow avenues of the stacks. Things always seemed colder here in the bottom of the stacks. Water dripped from the narrow wooden over passes and the smell of humanity and filth were always evident. There is no wealth to be found here. Sister Zarissa once described the stacks as “one step above beggars”.

Ryn climbed a narrow set of stairs that groaned ever so slightly under his weight. When he reached the top he squeezed against the wall to let a few children playing tag run past him. He then crossed one of the many catwalks that zigged and zagged over the streets below. At last he ducked under a clothesline and came to his door.

There were no locks on the doors here in the stacks, not proper ones at least. Ryn opened his door which hung unsquare and entered his home. It was barely worth the rent he paid for it, but it was home. A worn bed in one corner and a small iron stove in the other. Fire was a constant concern in the stacks, but so was freezing in the cooler months. A wooden dummy stood just inside the door and Ryn hung his armour there. His mace and shield, he leaned in the corner behind the dummy.

In a concealed cubby beneath his bed were his valuables. It was tricky to open and he was sure on more than one occasion it had foiled a looter. Inside was a prayer rug, a few short candles and a prayer book. Prayers were always given to Kallina at the end of the day and he never missed them. He sat on the bed quietly in thought when there was a knock at the door. “Brother? Are you in there?

Ryn opened the door to find the very elderly woman Jada there. Beside her leaning into her like a frightened animal was a boy. He was covered in filth, but Ryn recognized him as one of the children that had been playing tag. “Sorry for the bother.” Jada smiled. “But the young lad here took a tumble from the catwalk down the way there. I think he’s hurt his arm.

Ryn smiled and knelt to have a look at the boy. “I’m not much of a doctor.” He lifted the boys sleeve to see a badly swollen arm. The child winced as Ryn inspected him and the old priest frowned. “But, lets see if The Lady can’t offer some help in mending that arm.” Ryn took the child’s arm and closed his eyes whispering to Kallina. He felt the warm divine energy pass from his fingertips into the boy’s arm.

Ryn opened his eye and the little boy had an expression of absolute astonishment over his face. He pulled his arm away and wiggled his fingers and opened and closed his hand. He looked back to Ryn, “Thank you sir.

I told you we’d get you fixed up!” chuckled Jada. “Brother Ryn watches out for us. Many thanks to Kallina.” The two shuffled away from the door and Ryn stood there looking down into the muddy avenue. Life in the stacks wasn’t luxury, but it was honest and he could make a difference here.

Brother Ryn

I play Brother Ryn in Miniwargaming’s Heroes of Harinburg D&D campaign. The game is streamed Tuesdays from 1230pm – 430pm EST on their Twitch channel. The game is also posted to their YouTube channel a few days later.

Brother Ryn is a cleric of the Grave and follows Kallina, the Goddess of the Dead. You can check out Brother Ryn’s character sheet on DnD Beyond

The Tale of Brother Ryn

In my youth I was a simple man, a tanner and leatherworker in the town of Tarrington. I was by no means a master of my craft, but I made enough to keep food in my belly and rain off my head. I had a wife who was plain to others and beautiful to me. My youth was wasted looking to the stars and wishing for more. Putting little worth in what I had. I was fool hardy and I felt invulnerable… maybe even immortal.

My wife (Gwendyl) soon became pregnant and for perhaps the first time in my life I felt blessed. It was winter when the babe came and the stars that I had wished upon had not heard my prayers. My wife languished in labour and the midwife warned that if something were not to change I would lose both my wife and child. I pleaded ignorantly to the dark skies that night, asking for things I felt I deserved. Something heard my pleas and my daughter Taya was born. But she would only ever know her father..

I raised Taya as best I could. There was wonder and magic in her eyes. She taught me to value what I have and dare I say how blessed I was. Time is a funny thing though and Taya did not stay young forever. Neither did I, my hands now looked like the leather I worked with for so many years. Taya would soon find a husband and I her father would be left alone. A prospect I found terrifying.

A “Stranger” came calling to the village, in a great black carriage.  The stranger would stay in Tarrington for many days and during that time Taya would become his obsession. Again, cruel youth would not alert her to any danger and she fell under the control of the Stranger’s charms. There were many unusual occurrences during the Stranger’s stay and the superstitious people of Tarrington, including myself would raise torches against the stranger. It was too late… my lovely Taya had become an unholy creature and servant of the Stranger. My daughter would leave me with many scars… the least of which are the ones that people can see.

That thing, which was once my daughter left with the Stranger. I would nurse my wounds with ale and rye for many moons after. I lost my shop and with it my livelihood. I would travel to the nearby city of Harinburg where I would beg in the streets. When I was at my lowest I would be lifted by the kindness of a priest, a woman I would come to know as Sister Zarrisa took pity on me. I had looked to stars and pleaded to gods for so many years and now when I wanted to die and leave it all behind, life intervened. Sister Zarissa saved me in more ways than she’d ever know.

Some might find it humourous to know that I was born again within the temple of Kallina, the Goddess of the Dead. This cruel joke is not lost on me and still to this day it makes me smile. I found great comfort in the many scrolls and teachings of Kallina, until at last I took solemn vows to be in her service. I am no longer a young man, but I now live by her three commandments:

  1. Death is not to be feared, so celebrate life and live each day without hesitation.
  2. Death is natural, one should not avoid going to meet Kallina at the river. All things must end.
  3. Death is permanent, the dead must remain dead.

Although I’m a simple brother of her teachings, I now strive to join the Order of the Shroud. These crusaders, stand by Kallina’s 3rd commandment. Death is permanent and creatures like the Stranger and whatever became of my Taya are an abomination. I must gain more competency with my abilities and face the undead on my own before petitioning the Order of the Shroud for membership.

It is time for me to live and be grateful for the things I have. The past cannot be undone. I can no longer hide in ale or in beggar’s garbs. Doing so would waste my days and Kallina’s teachings tell us to live full, so that we may leave this world without regret. There are others that life has tripped or beaten and I would extend my hand to them as Sister Zarrisa did for me. As a boy I may have thought I was immortal, now I know such thoughts are sinful. I have a limited amount of time here. I’ll make a difference before meeting my Goddess.

Weekend in Thule

Many times life interrupts gaming, friends move or work gets in the way. This was the case for a group I played with 20 years ago. We were playing 2nd edition D&D at the time and after 4 years of gaming our campaign came to a close when life interrupted. Fortunately, I’ve stayed in touch and we will occasionally set up a weekend to play D&D together again.

At the other end of things, my oldest son (age 11) commonly observes my current gaming group and I  playing D&D. He asked if he could join us on our next adventure and it happened to coincide with one of these rare weekend games with the old crew. I was elated and invited him to join us for his first game of Dungeons & Dragons!

A weekend game with old friends always takes the form of a one shot and it was my turn to jump behind the DM screen. I decided we would step into the world of Primeval Thule and I would run Richard Baker’s, Secret of the Moon Door. I’m a big fan of this setting and I wanted to expose more of my friends to it. Baker did a great job with this module and its very easy to customize.

With a table of friends (some from the past and others from the present) and of course my son, we ventured into the Atlantian colony of Katagia. We solved the disappearance of the sage Ghilean. We discovered a lost temple to the dead goddess Selene and unlocked the Secret of the Moon Door.

I tried something a little different and let the players design the NPC Ghilean. They all knew Ghilean was a sage/historian, but they each had to answer three questions at the beginning of the session. First, how did they meet Ghilean? Second what was one thing they liked about her? Lastly, why are they answering her letter for assistance? As we went round the table each player’s answers begun to flesh out Ghilean and the type of person she was. The players were immediately invested in the NPC because they had help create her.

We ran a little short on time. The module is broken up into three parts and unfortunately the final part had to be trimmed so that we’d reach the final battle with the villain. I think I needed the equivalent of one more session (4 hours) to really do the third part justice. However, I think most players still enjoyed themselves and understood we were under time constraints.

End Game

I have been a part of  many session zeros. Kicking off a new RPG campaign is very fun! However, its no as common that we get to see a campaign run its course and have an ending. I recently watched the conclusion of Critical Role’s campaign and took note of the emotion around the table. There was joy, sadness and celebration! Rightly so, the campaign had spanned a number of years and the characters had been fleshed out and had many great bonds with each other.

I have similar feelings headed into our final game of my current D&D Campaign. It did not last as long as the campaign mentioned above. Our campaign ran for close to 10 months and even in that time I feel our characters got fleshed out. It could have run for longer, but life happens, people have other projects and schedules change. I have a great group of players and I will miss our games together. Playing D&D for more than 30 years I can attest to the fact that the game creates bonds and friendships. This campaign is no exception and I’ve witnessed my players who were strangers, become friends.

Now the final game is just a few days away and I am working to make it a memorable and exciting climax. I’ve made some 3D terrain and I’m polishing the stat blocks so the enemies are challenging. I don’t think that is where the magic of a final game is though. That special quality and emotion in a final game comes from the players. I think they’re up for the task and hopefully my machinations will be the catalyst for some awesome role playing. I can’t wait!

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