Catch up with sessions 1–38!
We’ve been running our long-form D&D campaign, Rapid Riders, for a year now, so we thought we’d do a recap post for those of you who have joined us somewhere along the road of this adventure to remind and catch you up.
Set in our homebrew world of Arglania, on the continent of Osasris, Rapid Riders is a medieval punk-rock tale of rebellion, as a band of oppressed second-class citizens (every persecuted non-human or unregistered magic-user, branded Indents) join a musical resistance cell and take the weight of freeing the underclass of a nation on their shoulders.
Meet The Rapid Riders
DM – Sam
Sam is the charismatic, cunning and committed DM who has taken a one-shot written over a year ago and turned it into a vast, 38-episode (so far) campaign!
Each and every week, Sam will place a song into our Spotify playlist that hints at things to come, and each week we are left clamouring for more.
A vet by day, terrifyingly talented DM by night, Sam has taken our world and fleshed it out into a living, breathing hellscape that makes us want to topple it as much as our characters do.
Alias – The Song Witch
Player – Bree
Dyanna is a 200 year-old Sun Elf Bladesinger Wizard and Bard of Eloquence. Hailing from Harling’s Rest, she is the daughter of a Divination Wizard mother and Blacksmith father. Having survived the Fall of Harling’s Rest almost 50 years ago, Dyanna kept herself off the radar in Benilicia and has avoided becoming an Indent; using her charm and good looks to her advantage.
Over time, the fires of rebellion would once again be reignited in her after meeting the band Osnemesis. She became the Lead singer of the Rapid Riders and, in turn, the reluctant face of the Rebellion.
She has had an emotional journey with the Rapid Riders so far, having been forced into intimate situations where hiding is not an option and has learned to (occasionally) drop that mask and open up to her new-found friends.
Alias – The Shadow
Player – Seb
Nia ‘Taxes’ Mue is a Human Way of the Scribes Monk and Inquisitive Rogue, striking from the shadows with surprising strength right at your most vulnerable moment. Growing up in the Empire amongst a troubled family; Taxes attempted to live a normal life. However, the promise of suppressed and forbidden knowledge, and a chance encounter with Dyanna, ensured that normal was never for her.
The ‘Roadie’ and stage manager of the Rapid Riders, Taxes has become the discerning mind behind the face of the rebellion, a quiet left hand that will advise and strike when necessary.
Alias – The Scarecrow
Player – Phill
Born of a Halfling father and Dew Elf mother, Dunston ‘Dewey’ Fairfoot is a Swarmkeeper Ranger and Rogue who snipes from a distance with eyes that seem to miss nothing. Orphaned in the Empire at a young age, Dewey was born an Indent and knew nothing of the world before Emperor Osnan’s conquests, living and working the stately grounds of a Lord who saw him as merely a tool. The Lord’s daughter however, saw him for who he truly was, giving him the first hope there was a world beyond oppression.
Dewey became the Stage Tech for the Rapid Riders, inspired by their drive for freedom. Despite the harshness of his world, his good-natured innocence makes him the inadvertent moral compass for the Riders when their quest for vengeance seems most hopeless, as he embodies the reason why the rebels fight; so that no one is born thinking they are less than another.
Alias – Unknown
Player – Ben
Zeek Boomdiggles is a Half Gnome-Half Dwarf Kensai Monk and Fathomless Warlock, breaking legs and burning tyrants with no regards for his own safety. Being born before the Empire, and having seen it rise and destroy the world he once knew, Zeek became a self-destructive addict, choosing to hide at the bottom of a bottle.
Having been made the Drummer for the Rapid Riders and being chosen by the spirits inside a necklace made of ‘Indent’ rings, Zeek has found renewed purpose, and has begun to address the feelings he has buried and be of use the only way he knows how. Angry, bitter and self-destructive, Zeek is the powder-keg of the group, trying his best to become the Spear of the Rebellion.
Alias – Unknown
Player – Doran
Halite, The King of the Mosh Pit, is a Half Giant-kin, half-human Rune Knight Fighter, a Zealot Barbarian and Rogue; a mountain of a man that wishes freedom for all.
Born outside the Empire in the multicultural paradise of the Free City of Sarai, Hal spent his formative years enjoying freedom and liberty. Travelling across the continent in a bid to find his place in the world, he met Dyanna and quickly fell in love.
The Lead Guitarist for the Rapid Riders, Hal is the guardian of the downtrodden, a warrior for the people and a conduit of ‘the crowd’—channelling their anger to push him into a near-divine rage. The shield of the rebellion, Hal believes he has found his place in the world, and that is between the weak and those that would do them harm.
The Story So Far…
In the town of Benilicia, an underground Punk Rock band Osnemesis have been stirring the fires of rebellion amongst the ‘Indents’—Indentured servants made up of all non-human races—against the oppression of the Empire and the word of its leader, Emperor Osnan. Picking some skilled individuals from the crowd, they sent this crew on a dangerous mission to acquire secret technology from the hands of the Empire’s bloody grasp.
Dyanna the Bard, Taxes the Rogue, Halite the Barbarian, Dewey the Ranger and Zeek the Monk stole aboard a ferry, fought through the crew, soldiers and (with the help of some reluctant Flumphs) their chief engineer, and stole the Rapid Rider—an advanced piece of Magitech designed to get across the deadly Ethereal Rapids—the body of water that splits the continent in two.
Killing all aboard and escaping, the group realise they want to continue the fight and so, taking their name from the Magitech of their first mission, the Rapid Riders are born.
Chapter 1 – Escape and Resolve
Weeks later, during a gig played by both the Rapid Riders and Osnemesis, a large platoon of Empire soldiers find the secret meeting place of the rebels—a disused cistern buried beneath Benilicia—to slaughter all who had gathered.
Fighting side by side, Zebbie—Osnemesis frontman and face of the rebellion—orders the Rapid Riders and the crowd to escape, rather than let everyone—and the rebellion—die in the dark. Escaping on the Rapid Rider alongside SplitLick (Osnemesis roadie and artificer of such great renown he is a more wanted fugitive than the band combined), the group flee, but not before Zeek threw an incendiary at the soldier leading the attack; Marrinae Ytebi, The River Reeve.
Storing the Rapid Rider in a cave for safety and eating Bullete for a snack, the band come across a small hut with an old human and his half-goblin grandson hiding inside. After taking shelter for the day, Zeek finds a chain of silver Indent rings used as a wind chime, and felt compelled to wear them around his neck. The spirits of the forgotten dead are imprinted upon them, and Zeek begins to see their ghosts, becoming imbued with a power he does not understand, and agrees to fight for them—revenge against the Empire that they cannot take themselves.
Setting off to the nearest town of Harling’s Rest, the band discover mysterious sentient mushrooms riding crystalline spiders attempting to break into a cold, iron vault in a long forgotten burrow. Dealing with the Myconids, they head inside, only to fight ethereal wolves imbued with elements of Arglania’s major deities. At the foot of an inscribed plaque dedicated to some long-forgotten hero, Dewey finds an ornate bow, The Way Wright; a weapon the forgotten hero wishes to be used to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Chapter 2 – Harling’s Rest
Having made their way to Harling’s Rest, the site of the last rebellion against the Empire (and Dyanna’s former home), the band look to meet with a group called Harling’s Harriers, the nearest cell of rebels to Benilicia. After meeting her childhood sweetheart, Garrick, and the group’s leader, Vexation, a heated disagreement breaks out over the direction of the rebellion. Bending to the will of Dyanna, the group plot to deliver a ‘Bird Bomb’; to have thousands of flyers dropped across the town using Dewey’s flock, telling the populace that the Rebellion is alive, despite propaganda to the contrary sown by the Empire.
While spending time in Dyanna’s childhood home—where Garrick now lives—emotions run high as Garrick flirts with both Taxes and Dyanna, stirring feelings new and old in the trio. During this time, Dyanna finds an old journal belonging to her dead mother, a revered master-wizard, enchanted with her select memories and only accessible to her daughter. Dredging up feelings Dyanna had attempted to bury for 30+ years, she turns to her ‘book mum’ and asks to be taught the art of Bladesinging.
In need of money for the cause, the band defeat a pair of Wyvern harassing nearby farmers, leading to a near-death experience for Zeek, followed by a stern talking-to from the group about his reckless actions. But the most wanted fugitives in the Empire can’t just claim a reward, so Dyanna and Taxes take on the first of many disguises; talking their way into the guard outpost and claiming the reward for slaying the creatures.
Using their new found riches for a relaxing evening, the pair came into contact with a Warlock. Lelac Rense is an Empire Conscript, one of the only magic-users permitted by the regime. However, unlike many of his fellow Conscripts, his service is ensured by cruel magics and pacts that bind his spirit to this plane. Resentful of his lot, Lelac conspires with the band to meet them in several weeks for an opportunity to deliver a great blow to the Empire, before the Riders head back towards Benilicia and carry out Operation Bird Bomb successfully.
Upon returning to Harling’s Rest, the Empire have already begun to crack down on anti-establishment rhetoric in the town, with many rebels disappearing, including the leader of the Harriers.
The band discover that the River Reeve—embittered by the Riders’ escape—has tortured the members of Osnemesis, killing and resurrecting one of them repeatedly, to flush them out of hiding. After an emotional argument between Hal and the rest of the band as the Goliath attempts to charge off recklessly for revenge, the others talk him down citing the need to stick together. However, Dyanna, Zeek and Garrick all immediately and independently sneak off themselves to find the missing rebels.
Chapter 3 – The first time the band split
Discovering each other along the way to a old tunnel system where they believed the rebels might be hiding, Dyanna and Garrick have a tense conversation about the status of their relationship, while Zeek attempts their first day of sobriety and discovers Vexation, exhausted but alive, with no sign of any other rebels.
Taxes, Dewey and Halite make their way to a nearby mine on the eastern side of Osnan’s Mercy, run by another rebel—Siege—in an attempt to lay low. After discovering a note from Dyanna about why she had to leave ‘on her own’, Hal begins to climb the mountain from the base, in an attempt to find himself and some peace from his rage.
Taxes and Dewey, both angry and hurt about the way that the group split with no warning, busy themselves helping the rebels of the mine; finding only more questions.
At the top of the mountain, after a week’s travel and hard labour, an exhausted Hal attempts to meditate, in the hope of clearing his mind and understanding his place in the world. During this time, he is overcome with hallucinations and imagery, blinding reds and a deep feeling of unquenchable anger and hatred that is not his own.
All the Riders return to Siege’s Mine, and the band make amends, but seeds of doubt set in that there is a traitor in the ranks, with many eyes on Siege and his mysterious, hidden companion deep in the mine.
Chapter 4 – Emotions & Dragons
Leaving SplitLick behind in a place of safety, the Rapid Riders set off on the road towards the Empire’s capital of Vinnin to meet with Lelac and hear his plan. They are to infiltrate a high-society ball in the wealthy town of Or’Vinnin to steal vital information needed to achieve their—and Lelac’s—goals.
Deciding that this was a good time to have a meeting of rebel leaders from the various corners of the Empire, messages were sent far and wide for cell representatives to meet the day before Captanalis, one of the major Empire holidays.
Along the way, Dyanna and Hal have a heart-to-heart. Dyanna, unable to pull herself in so many directions—her love for Hal, her rekindling love for Garrick and her duty to the Rebellion—decides it’s best to end their relationship. This sends Hal into a depression. Words are had between Garrick and Taxes about him playing with her emotions, while Dyanna tries in vain to stop herself falling for him again.
The convoy—now comprising of the ‘Sad Cart’ due to Halite’s endless crying, and the ‘Fun Cart’ of two bards, an increasingly annoyed rogue and Garrick—manage to avoid an Empire checkpoint through Zeek using his ‘mask of many faces’ to become a human child and [checks notes] wet himself. Gaining sympathy from the guards, the group make their way further into the heart of the Empire.
Chapter 5 – The Meeting
Arriving at the town of Or’Vinnin on the day of Captanalis, a meeting of all known rebellion leaders commences in an unassuming tavern, much to the dismay of the terrified inn keep. From all corners of the Empire, including Indents, crime lords, geniuses and… not geniuses (looking at you, Dave and Walter), plans, schemes and goals are discussed, hatched and promised.
Dyanna steps in front of this group, speaking proud and true, inspiring these rebels from across the continent. In this moment, she stops being the lead singer of the Rapid Riders and becomes the face of the rebellion, the voice of the broken. All leaders pledge loyalty to the dream of freedom for all to be treated as equals in the Empire.
Chapter 6 – The Masquerade Ball
Quickly changing to masquerade ball attire before meeting Lelac in his carriage, the Band, under magical disguises, make their way to the Capitani’s Ball. The manor houses some of the most influential people in the Empire under one roof, including powerful conscript mages, rich nobles, military leaders, and the head of the Penitus Conscriptus (the organisation in charge of the Conscript Mages), Grand Hierophant Alexus Tremmanis.
Under orders by Lelac to discover under which mask Tremmanis was hiding, the group went about mingling, spreading false rumours and overtly flirting in order to narrow down their suspects. Meanwhile, Dewey spots that his former master, Lord Jared Farrigham, is in attendance, along with his rebellious daughter, Coleen. She immediately sees through his disguise and the two talk outside, trying their best to explain their feelings without actually revealing how they really feel about each other. Zeek, however, goads Lord Farringham into acts unbecoming of nobility, much to his frustration and rising anger.
Shenanigans aside, the group find their target. Lelac discovers the location of hidden documents—the ultimate goal of the mission—are locked in a study far from the ballroom. Taxes makes her way there stealthily, only to uncover far more forbidden knowledge than she could have expected, while the rest of the band and an increasingly suspicious Tremmanis try to get close to Lelac. To stop this—and give Taxes more time—the Band do what they do best, and… leverage formal etiquette into what equates to a medieval dance battle!
The group manage to escape, narrowly and not without close calls, to Lelec’s carriage, hoping to enjoy their victory. But Taxes has information that quickly changes all of their plans.
The Empire is on the cusp of starting another war, it is secretly enacting a colossal mining programme, and somewhere in the Empire lies a hidden prison for mages, containing Dyanna’s presumed-dead mother.
Chapter 7 – Mines Under the World
In an iron mine turned prison camp, Taskmaster Brelloxa has enforced the Emperor’s will, putting thousands of indents to work in a mine of unparalleled scope, to tunnel through the Virtues of Osnan mountain range that would allow the Empire’s armies unparalleled mobility from the south to the north of the Empire. From there, they would have access to travel to the north of the continent, skipping the near unpassable Ethereal Rapids and the colossal scorched earth of the Volca Wastes to the West in an attempt to bring the known world under the Emperor’s rule.
The Rapid Riders change their plans and head to Burrafirth, the town assembled around this prison camp, in an attempt to slow or stop the Empire’s plans. After a dangerous night in the barns of a local farmer, deep in the Empire heartland, Garrick and Dyanna rekindle their love, 50 years after they were pulled apart. The group decide on a plan; splitting their attentions to scout entry and exit points for the mine, and the band separate for a day to cover as much ground as possible.
Dyanna, Taxes, Dewey and Vexation (with a hidden Garrick following from a distance), disguise themselves as the newest Quartermasters assigned to the camp, attempting to make their way inside. Delighted for the extra help, the Taskmaster—a woman of soothing tones and terrifying presence—introduces them to a person they will work alongside; a young human woman by the name of Lia Mue, Taxes’ sister.
Using Taxes’ real name as a false identity, the siblings immediately recognise each other and feel the cold chill of fear that their cover might be blown. The estranged sisters quickly discuss in Thieves’ Cant what the other was doing there, and together they proceed to formulate a plan to get them all further into the mine.
At the same time, Halite and Zeek make their way to a mountain path believed to be a direct route to Siege’s mine, and a possible escape route moving forward. However, during this trek, Halite is once again struck with visions of a burning red anger and fury, and Zeek watches his friend speak in a voice not his own, in an old, unknown language. With Halite coming around, they proceed to make their way back into town, towards a building provided for them by the newly appointed quartermasters.
Chapter 8 – Blood and Fear
Taken on a guided tour with the Taskmaster and several guards, Taxes, Dyanna and Lia embark on Magitek mine carts that launch their occupants up to 60mph along tracks that extend days of marching into the mine. Dyanna discovers, through insight and memory, that this technology feels familiar, and—with a glance at the Taskmaster—she realises that this was the work of the Engineer they killed in their first mission on their path to rebellion, and was clearly someone dear to the terrifying woman she shared a cart with.
After leaving the Taskmaster to ‘make maps of the area’ to the west, the three meet with the figureheads of the Rebellion hidden in the labyrinthine tunnels, and it is decided that it is a now-or-never situation: the mine entrance must be collapsed, the Empire is making too much ground, and resources are running low as the possibility of the Empire’s success grows closer. There are more factions hidden within the mine complex, such as the mysterious Redbeards, and they must be approached before any plans can be enacted.
The fake quartermasters leave the mine, and, after enacting a harsh rationing scheme as a distraction that makes the Taskmaster fond of her new subordinates, the band plunge into the mine on carts, with Zeek missing the jump and having to make the long walk alone.
Heading to the east of the Mine, hoping to convince the Redbeards of an alliance, the band (minus Zeek) are find fires and fight pits, with miners brawling to the death, and the winners smearing the blood of their victims in their beards. Worse still, this cult will sacrifice these winners to their long-forgotten God. They have unearthed something deep within the mine. Something that fills Halite with dread.
Defeating the cultists, the band reunite, making their way further into the mine, only to stop short of a bridge, smelling of sulphur and brimstone, with a large, Iron Golem standing in front of a colossal stone door and barring their path to whatever lies beyond.
And that is where we left the Rapid Riders, at the end of Session Thirty Eight!
You are now up to date! Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you as we continue this adventure!
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