DM Tools - Campaigns - The Jaidor Talisman
What follows is a general outline of the story arc of the Jaidor Talisman campaign. The entire campaign is divided up into six main sections and each section is given a brief overview. This is so the DM can get an idea of what the “big picture” looks like. More detail of the breakdown and plot of each section is given in the Section Outlines.
While this is the ideal flow of events, things do not necessarily have to progress this way. The characters may stray a bit from this course from time to time, but generally they will always be on this path – discovering the plot, then heading east, toward the eastern coast of Aggradar, learning as they go, with a few specific encounters along the way for fun. They may not hit every encounter, but that’s ok.
In general, Section 1 and 2 are the setup in which the players discover the plot. Section 3 and 4 involves the journey. Section 5 and 6 are the climax.
The entire Jaidor Talisman campaign can be divided up into the following main sections:
Section 1 - The Siege of Myranor
Section 2 - The Map of the Jaidor Talisman
Section 3 - The Sea Journey
Section 4 - The Journey Across Aggradar
Section 5 - The Desolation of Shidar
Section 6 - The Ruins of Shidar
In this opening Section, there is war in the air between Duthelm and Kitar. Duthelm has been massing troops and raids have begun. It is the prelude to a full scale war. One way or another, the players become embroiled in this war. They could start off as innocent bystanders. Or they could be taking advantage of the war to run rampant through Duthelm territory, attacking and stealing from orcs. (It is assumed that the party is generally good aligned, as the Jaidor Talisman is essentially a campaign in which the players act against Duthelm and try to thwart evil). No matter how it happens, the players become involved and eventually find themselves fighting orcs, winning battles and generally making a name for themselves. They become heroes through these actions. Or it’s possible that they already were heroes and are well known. In any case, their names come to the attention of Kitaran officials. The officials seek to employ the players in a more official capacity and begin asking them to take on specific missions with specific military goals. Always these missions are against Duthelm and are related to ending or winning the war. This section can go on as long as you like. During this section, there are some specific missions detailed out for the players to undertake. This section should take several adventures and the players should be mid-level , 5th to 9th level, by the end of it.
During the War, Rukemian spies in Duthelm inform Rukemia that Duthelm has discovered a map in the shipwreck. Duthelm rushes the map back to the Citadel under heavy guard. Lord Caramus himself gets involved. All of this is reported by Kitaran and Rukemian spies. Kitaran officials want to know what the map is and ask the player characters to find out. This Section is a short series of specific missions for the military. Of course, the map in question is the Jaidor Map, a tattered document written in an unfamiliar language bearing the symbol of Jaidor. It would seem, based on the markings, that this map reveals the location of the fabled Jaidor Talisman. A weapon of tremendous power from the Great War. With the Talisman, Duthelm would be able to control all morphians everywhere. Duthelm is going to send a small army to retrieve the Talisman. With such a weapon, Duthelm would be unstoppable. During this section, the players either steal the map or manage to make a copy of the map. That way, Rukemia can send a team of its own to retrieve the Talisman and prevent it from falling into the hands of Lord Caramus and Duthelm. It essentially becomes a race to the far side of the world by two opposing forces.
In this Section, the players are chosen to lead the force of Rukemian soldiers that will traverse the world to find the Jaidor Talisman. A convoy of three ships is prepared. Supplies are loaded. Everything is made ready. And then, after a brief ceremony and celebration, all three ships set sail. The rest of this Section is the actual sea journey. The journey will take almost two months. During that time, the players are pitted against all manner of obstacles – sea storms, monsters, mysterious islands, you name it. This Section doesn’t end until they finally reach land on the far side of the world, the continent of Aggradar.
Section 4 deals with the player characters venturing out across the entire continent of Aggradar. Mostly this involves the characters encountering new nations, new cultures and strange traditions and laws. They travel through remote wilderness regions, desolate badlands and other dangerous areas. They are venturing into territory that they have never even heard of. Many of the local customs are strange and the players are bound to get into some trouble in every city. There are a number of different ways that this Section could unfold depending on where the players land and what route they choose to take. They might even choose to sail around Aggradar entirely. This should be avoided. As a DM, you should make it clear that sailing around the continent involves many dangers and obstacles and it would be slower, but easier to simply go by land. The north sea is so stormy that it is essentially unnavigable. And the south seas has a war going on between several nations and it is dangerous. If they insist and try to sail around, have them run into pirates, sea monsters, naval battles and terrible sea storms. Sink their ship if you have to (resulting in them clinging to driftwood and eventually washing ashore), but do NOT allow them to simply sail around the continent. The whole point to the Jaidor Talisman campaign is for them to experience a whole NEW continent, namely Aggradar. The only way for them to do that is to get their boots dirty, their cloaks dusty and actually walk or ride across the land. The map that they are following does indicate a landing point and a route. So, if they follow the route on the map, they will hit all the highlights of the campaign, making your job as DM much easier. Point out to them that there is a line on the map, a route, and subtly encourage them to follow it. Eventually, they will reach their destination, indicated by the map… a peninsula on the far east side of the continent.
The players enter the Chaddamar Theocracy. While eluding the authority of the Church, they chase down clues and information about the Desolation, the wasteland that they must enter. In section 4, they travel about Chaddamar seking several things they will need: an antidote to protect them from an illness, a key to unlock an unbreachable door and, more importantly, information about what they will face. They also have to figure out a way IN to the Desolation, a place forbidden by the Church and guarded by a great wall.
The peninsula marked on the map is known as the Desolation of Shidar. According to the map, the Jaidor Talisman lies at the very center of the Desolation. Armed with information and the right tools, they venture into the forbidden lands beyond the Wall. Once inside, they must figure out ways to overcome the obstacles therein. This Section ends when they reach the ruins of Shidar at the center.
Section 6 begins when the players reach the Ruins of Shidar, a ruined city of great size. They venture into the city and then into the dungeons beneath the city to find the legendary Jaidor Talisman. Beneath the ground is where the final climax of the campaign occurs. And so ends the campaign. Depending on what the players do, the campaign might end here or it might continue as they are chased all the way back to Ithria. A great deal depends on your players. In any case, the campaign is resolved in Section 6.
This website was last updated January 6, 2018. Copyright 1990-2018 David M. Roomes.