Fridays with Cairn: Session 1 (and 0.5)

Our group had our session 1 this past Friday, or I should say perhaps session 0.5 since it appears that half of my table didn't fully fill out their character sheets or somehow forgot a stat or two. So after about 45 minutes of doing that again we finally got started in Morgansfort. 

Here are the names of the players we rolled up.

  1. Ysln Candlewick (Female)
  2. Cwingeld (Male)
  3. Arjune (Male)
  4. Cybil Burle (Female)
  5. Beatrice (Female)
  6. Canhoreal Studerman (Male)

Morgansfort Primer

For those that might be interested in running the module, it essentially is a fort placed on the edge of the “Western Lands” which are part of the former Urd Empire. The fort is placed right near the edge of civilization which allows for plenty of opportunity to engage in the wilderness. It features three dungeons to explore along with general wilderness areas. The module has a nice bit of information (2-3 pages) that provides enough background information for GMs to give their players a sense of place, but not so much that one can’t easily modify or adapt it to their own setting or needs. A nice summary is provided right on page 1 of the three dungeons and the fort.

There is also a really detailed bit of information of the world’s religions and the fort itself, including details on all of the buildings and numerous NPC’s within the fort. 

Our group had two characters randomly roll up clerics as backgrounds so they took an interest in the religion information in the Morgansfort module. I won't write it all out here, but here is a brief summary. 

The Hundred Gods: Basically the old world religion. Hundreds of gods from the existing inhabitants of this region. I positioned this that most of the denizens outside of the fort, and under its protection followed this religion. 

The Church of Tah (aka the Bethite Church): The official religion of the empire. Known for its corruption and opulence. 

The Church of Tah Reformed: The opposite with members sworn to celibacy and poverty.

Arjune from our play group took to the Church of Tah reformed and had in their background “Discredited”. They played to that nicely, indicating that they had to escape to the wilderness to avoid that discredit to their name. 

Arrival at Morgransfort

When our players arrived at the fort, I directed them to “The Toothless Dragon Tavern” and to the “Iron Helm Inn” for their rumors. Per the module direction they immediately began a conversation with “Bat” who I made as a toothless old koot of a farmer, who gave them the initial rumor for the first dungeon, which was an abandoned ancient fort. 

Cybil was the one who took some initiative to try and find out about other rumors or to find a hireling to go with the party. I used the random character generator on the Cairn website and came up with a ridiculously good character who had stats well above our players and a background to boot named Wenlan. Stats below:

Wenlan Candlewick, formerly a ranger. You have a lanky physique, weathered skin, oily hair, and a rat-like face. You speak in a gravelly manner and wear rancid clothing. You are rude yet serene, and are generally regarded as an entertainer.

You have had the misfortune of being defrauded. You are 35 years old.


HP: 4

Armor: 2

STR: 12

DEX: 13

WIL: 17


Armor: Brigandine (1 Armor, bulky), a Helmet (+1 Armor)

Weapon: Crossbow (bulky)

Gear, tools & trinkets: Nails (stacks), Cart (+4 slots, bulky), and Bottle

Bonus item: Longbow (bulky)

Starting supplies: 8 gold, a Torch, and three days' Rations

I also rolled for Wenlan on the rumors table and had information on the potential magic sword in the old fort ruin, so the conversation of him being a hireling was completely turned on its head and became him asking the party to be his hirelings. We had a good session of role-play and negotiation here for money and in the end Cybil agreed to give Wenlan 33% of all treasure and they agreed that the magic sword if found must be sold. Time will tell if the party holds to its bargain. Wenlan also agreed to bring another hiring for 1 GP/Day (out of the party’s share) the next morning before they left the fort. 

After their time carousing at the tavern the night was not quite over yet. Arjune wanted to visit the local chapel to see if they could enlist help from the local priest. The local chapel was called “The Chapel of St. Querl” and conveniently enough happened to be a chapel of the Tah Reformed. Their late night knocking on the door however was not well received and a very stern and severe cleric by the name of Father Thelbain answered the door, and immediately told Arjune to return in the morning.

Arjune did, returning to the chapel at 5:00 am and found the Father awake and overseeing several young acolytes cleaning the temple to a puritan shine. Arjune’s plea to enlist help from the temple did not return much result (at least initially) as Father Thelbain has a purely xenophobic distain for the locals in the area and felt they had no hope for salvation or redemption. He revealed that only the citizens of the Urd Empire (namely the Morgans Family, the members of the house and the guards) practiced worship to Tah. 

Arjune did not leave entirely without another good effort and as they walked out the door, loudly proclaimed that they was heading out to the wilderness to spread the word of Tah as a missionary. When Arjune finally met up with the rest of the party at the stables a young acolyte around the age of 12 carrying only a single ration and a dagger came running up bright eyed and eager to join to spread the word of Tah. 

The players had a fun debate here on whether to allow the acolyte to come with them, but in the end Arjune stated he would watch over the boy and the rest begrudgingly set out on the road. 

On the Road to the Ancient Fort

Once the party finally hit the road, they came to their first actual challenge being the bridge to cross the river to get to the ancient fort was collapsed and rotted away from age. The party also realized at this time that they did not take time to provision themselves before leaving the fort, so they did not have rope or anything of that sort. 

They backtracked up the road a few miles and found a local farmer who talked with a terrible stutter. They found that the farmer had a canoe he could lend them along with 50 ft of rope. Beatrice utilized her trinket of “fake jewels” and gave the farmer a red ruby, which the farmer happily took and allowed them to use the canoe. After bringing the canoe back to the crossing, our group spent the next 25 minutes or so out of game debating how and if they would attempt to transport their 2 carts across the river or if they should just leave the carts on the near bank. 

This turned out to be hilarious discussion from a GM perspective, but in the end they finally went back to the farmer to ask if he would watch their carts and he agreed to do so. 

After successfully crossing the river they finally made it to the ancient fort and found the the entrance. 

And that is where we ended Session 1.