The Elysium Saga

One day in college, I decided to run my own Dungeons & Dragons game.  The first session had 3 of the players not show up, so I was left with only two players.  It started with a quest to destroy the ‘Lightning Rat’, which was nothing more than a psychotic Pikachu.  My eyes fell on my wife’s plush Pikachu and that’s what happened.  Along the way, they came across a tomb with warning messages in every language.  This was part of the main plot and I expected them to move along.  They played with the tomb and a few bad rolls of mine later, they released the Lightbringer.  So began the Elysium Saga.

As time went on, other characters joined Dru the Drow Monk and Reese the whoring sorceress.  Rayne the luckless thief, a paladin and his twin brother, and Thumtax the barbarian prince with a pet ferret named Gunther.  There was also a goblin priest and a halfling bard at one point.  The adventure started in Forgotten Realms (the D&D world) and quickly went into Windemere where they uncovered the lost continent of Elysium

Here is where my story gives me a headache.  Most of the game was spent hunting down the crystal roses needed to keep the continent in existence.   The Lightbringer had created it moments before he was imprisoned by Gabriel.  Due to somebody screwing up, the roses were sent in all directions.  Without the roses, Elysium and everything on it vanishes.  It’s a long quest that got rather boring at times.  I can’t think of a good way to do a story that is they go to this set of ruins, fight this monster, and get the crystal rose.

The subplots were great.  Dru was trying to gain enough power to return to the Chaos Elf kingdom and take back her throne.  Rayne was trying to find a place to call home, gets caught up with vampires, and finds someone to marry.  Thumtax wanted to reclaim his tribe’s city from the trolls that forced them out.  The twins were hunting a fire beast that destroyed their hometown.  Reese . . . we never really figured out what her main motivation was.  Mostly it was trying not to kill her smart-ass talking owl.

I’m looking over my notes and it’s a mess.  How can anyone enjoy a story that is nothing more than a giant scavenger hunt?  The worst part is that I have so many locations in the story that I don’t really want to give any of them up.

My thoughts are going to the current series set-up:

  1. Dru, Reese, and twins arrive on island; Wander around; Get involved in local issues; Cause crystal roses to disperse; One twin dies and the other leaves to bury his body
  2. Rayne and Thumtax arrive; Quest for the crystal roses, which are in a single location at the end of a long, dangerous path.  Ends with most of the heroes heading off to handle personal lives, leaving Rayne to handle her vampire issue alone.
  3. Rayne’s story involving the vampires wanting her for a queen/goddess; Her rise to becoming the Dark Mistress; Surviving twin joins her and goes back to the group; Her wedding and revelation that the barrier is still breaking.
  4. Finding a way to bring Elysium into Windemere because the barrier can’t be recovered.  Locate an ancient power source and the needed machine.  Not really sure how to differ this from the 2nd book.  This is where things kind of derail because it’s another quest for items.  Unless the villains have a spell set up to cause the destruction and only they will survive, so the heroes have to find a way to stop the spell and defeat the villains.  It’s only a vampire god, wild magic goddess, god-possessed priestess, and a super-powered vampire demi-god.  Should be easy for heroes.
  5. With Elysium back, Gabriel and the Lightbringer are gearing up to continue their personal battle.  This battle is what caused The Great Cataclysm and changed the face of Windemere.  Another force is driving them mad to see if the world will return to its natural state.

That’s what I’ve been thinking of and I’ll probably jump to this story once I finish Darwin’s series outlining.  It’s just frustrating right now.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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11 Responses to The Elysium Saga

  1. So I just had a minor freak out.

    See, during one summer my now ex came to my hometown. A few of the guys suggested we join them for a game of D&D. My ex used to play, me and one of the other girls wanted to try it. So we created our characters, had a game, and my ex got so caught up in it he wanted to do it for his birthday when we got back to Uni. He spent AGES creating the story, the world, potential battles…all that stuff that goes into being a dungeon master.

    Here’s the part where I freaked out. I based my character loosely on one of the characters in a fantasy novel I was (and still am) working on. She was a thief. Called Rayne. And every freaking roll I made was crap! Except for sneaking…in one memorable boss fight, we were trapped in a circular room and I tried hide. Rolled 11, +whatever stats I had meant my ex went “Well…er…ok, out of nowhere Rayne pulls out…something…and manages to completely disappear behind it…”

    Shame we only played it the once really. Kind of wish we’d done it long enough to have a long-running campaign. Sounds like a great story, by the way. And not just, because, you know, great minds think alike.

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    • That’s definitely funny and a little freaky. Rayne in this was an elven thief with amnesia, which the player regretted when I started revealing her past. She was a pretty bad thief too, but it was more because the player didn’t always remember to act like a thief. It was her first game, so it’s forgivable. Rayne developed an odd habit of attracting monsters and creatures of power, which we never understood. Whenever I rolled to see who those things would focus on, it was usually her. She gets turned into a vampire during the story, which helped her survive her own bad luck.
      How far along is your book?

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      • Ha! That sounds pretty awesome. Gotta love the way those things turn out sometimes.
        The way I write, I split my time between different projects. Sometimes one just grabs me and I focus on that more, but that usually happens when I’m close to the end or redrafting it. The main fantasy one is not even halfway done, and that’s only because I write with no clear direction and just a vague plotline. So I’m only just starting to see how it all pans out.

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      • The danger of having multiple ideas. This story is probably 6th in line to get written and that’s if I don’t wander off to anything else. It’s one of the big Windemere series, so I might postpone it to spread the big ones out.

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  2. katemsparkes says:

    Any chance you’re planning on doing a post about D&D and how it’s played, for the uninitiated? I never knew it was so involved and creative.

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  3. Kira says:

    I really know nothing about D&D. I heard it mentioned when I was little, but I didn’t ever play it. The why you outlined it sounds wonderful to me! I find it fascinating how you flesh it all out.

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  4. Pingback: Goals of a Tired Man | Legends of Windemere

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