My players discovered the body of one Valdher L’Kos last night during a very fun encounter. Who is Valdher you say? No one really. A name on a piece of paper. An idea. A fictitious piece of scenery they had not even actually met yet. The name had been dropped a few times as he was one of the primary Non Player Characters presented to them when they reached Dawnpoint. He is (was) the father of Zhaleen L’Kos, a retired adventuress whom they have befriended in town. It feels…. odd. His death made him somehow come alive.
This was a minor but enjoyable milestone in my campaign with new players. No one had actually died yet really. Goblins yes, and rumors of “some people died in the raid”, and a poor father from previous sessions but this one was somehow noteworthy to them. Cheat sheets were brought out and having the name on a list of “Notable people in Dawnpoint”, only to be crossed out, seemed somehow tangible to them. The reactions were distinctive. I have not seen that type of reaction since my youth.
I liked it a lot! They became even more embedded within the story I wrote specifically for them. It feels pretty good I have to admit. And long-overdue. I feel like a DM again, not an interpreter of someone else’s story, but a story-teller presenting a world to them to be experienced and remembered.
I woke with a smile. Thanks Valdher.