Gendarmes of Sheljar Campaign: One Sheet

This campaign is set seven years after the Lorebook Hunters returned magic to the World of the Everflow. It is set in the Free City of Sheljar, and is centered on clearing portions of the bog-city from the return of undead and tunneling nightmares. Combat and exploration will be heavier than social play at the beginnnig. Every character is united in keeping residents of Sheljar safe and mostly unified in the ideals of Free Shejlar (all thinking peoples have value), but may have differing concepts about how to do so.

The bog-city of Sheljar sits in a lowland below a waterfall. The climate is cool and wet, think the lowlands of the upper Salish, the moors of Scotland with a boggy multi-island brackish lake similar to New Orleans.

Campaign Premise

The party is a group of guards that volunteered and is paid to help the Lorebook Hunters keep the people of Sheljar safe from skeletons, zombies, wights and other undead. Tunneling Nightmares may have returned to isles in the bog-city as well. They will start in the old neighborhood of Jherr as recent migrants have noticed a cavern with odd noises and smells.

Made using Perilous Shores, this is the neighborhood of Jherr, to the north and east of the core of Sheljar. The southeast corner is less brackish than most of the bog-city, almost an internal fresh water space.

Background

The Flag of the Free City of Sheljar features the moon Feylf in crescent, a white triangle entering a field of the sea and Boo, in his skeletal form.

Once upon a time, the Empire of Sheljar ruled all of the Western Wildes, from the Cliffs of Galinor to Mira to Qin. Then, the Born Generation of magically imbued teens (27 years ago) caused chaos and disruption, upending the old ways. One of the Born Generation, the Necromancer, thought he was doing good, keeping dying peoples and animals with their families, but these horrifying undead monstrosities were often rejected. As he raised more and more, people fled Sheljar, emptying it out, leaving the bog-city nearly abandoned to the Necromancer and his unliving nightmares. A misty stench then started to control the city and more people fled.

It was not until after the eruption of the volcano, the battle of Cortez and Chorl, and the Lorebook Hunters eventually slaying the Necromancer that Sheljar felt free again. Now, six years later the Free City of Sheljar welcomes all thinking peoples. Those that return to their former homes have their property back. Those without homes are granted plots and space with the promise of aid. Few ships dock at Sheljar, but that number increases every month.

Sheljar has several dozen gobkon, a few dozen Ken with no known dragons, but most of its 2,000 generally agrarian peoples are various Kin with their animal companions. The Gendarmes and the Lorebook Hunters are the only standing ‘army.’ Most of the residents are frontier peoples ready to defend their cottages but only have clubs and other utensils as weapons.

A map of the former Empire of Sheljar, now a series of independent city-states and free towns.

Grand Conflicts

At the start this is a simple island of the week adventure, where the Gendarmes are responsible for discovering and clearing pockets of undead.

Factions

  • Lorebook Hunters – this is the leadership of Sheljar.
  • Cult of Nak – these are the remnants of Chrol’s transformations.
  • Fort Ooshar is under control of the Fox and Crow, a gang that sees opportunity to raid the migrants heading to Sheljar
  • A death cult has taken over the lands west of Telse.

Rumors

  • The Folio of Necromancy may be missing. Saffron had held it prior to rising to part of the leadership council.
  • What is that stench out east? Tunneling Nightmares?
  • The Volcano of the Glass Tower is glowing.

Facets

  • Exploring the zero-to-hero tropes, friendship with animals, and who gets to control knowledge.
  • Sandbox play.
  • Player agency creates history.
  • Drop in/drop out, whatever. This is an episodic campaign.
  • Sessions are 60-90 minutes. Adventures are 1-3 sessions.

Variant Rules

  • Playable races are Human, Hin(what they call themselves)/Halfling, Goliath/Firbolg, Elf, Dwarf, Gnome (wood only), Goblin, Hobgoblin, Bugbear.
    • Only the Kon (goblinoids) may be Artificers.
    • Kin start with a Bonded Companion.
    • Ken start with a Feat that grants a 1st level spell such as Magic Initiate.
    • Kon start with Tek.
  • There are a few custom subclasses available (Way of Frayed Knot, Society of Veil and Shadows, Conscript, Propagandist, Circle of Sewers).
  • There are several custom backgrounds and tools available. We will use cultures, not languages.
  • Use point buy or standard array for starting attributes. If you want something random, the redrick roller gives random point buy valid stats.
  • Start at 1st level because several are new to the game, let’s learn together.
  • The Gendarmes start with a small sailing boat (Crew:4 for rudder, sails, a repeating heavy crossbow, and a fire sling).
  • Long rests require 24 hours within sanctuary. This creates a pace of play more similar to novels than video games.

Practicum

Sessions will be on Wednesdays right after work, played over Meet with shared screen used to help set the scene. Theater of the Mind will be the most common form of combat, ideally using cinematic descriptions which will grant Inspiration. There is a campaign on DnDBeyond, used only by the participants rather than open to public.

Every character is assumed to have Common Knowledge in the Six Kingdoms.

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