A Rise of the Runelords campaign journal that turned into a book

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Header image “The Stranger” by Tom Edwards. See his deviantart page.


The Journal of a Spell-less Ranger recounts the journey of a group of characters adventuring in the land of Varisia. In other words, this is a campaign journal for a particular Pathfinder roleplaying game, written from the point of view of one of the player characters. The campaign is no other than Rise of the Runelords. The game started in January 2014 and finished in June 2015. It was played using  the excellent online platform Roll20.net.

Characters currently in the game are:


  • Alice, a human mage
  • Harsk, a dwarven cleric
  • Alpharius, a half-elf spell-less ranger
  • Alfred, a human fighter
  • Saffron, a human witch

The author is playing Alpharius, character with the Spell-less Ranger alternate base class. Alpharius is accompanied by his trusty animal companion, a fierce black leopard named Dûath.

Each chapter, excluding the 1st that serves as the introduction of Alpharius himself and the 28th & 34th, describes roughly a single gaming session and its events. The current chapters of the journal are:

  1. I am Alpharius
  2. Bloody festivities at Sandpoint
  3. A queer ensemble of individuals
  4. The monster under my bed
  5. Something about fathers and daughters. And boars.
  6. Loose ears
  7. The evil lies beneath
  8. A day for rest and recreation
  9. Through the bushes
  10. Who lives, who dies
  11. The long shadow of the Chopper
  12. Bound souls
  13. The Hunter
  14. Spring cleaning at the sanatorium
  15. Trouble at the Hambley’s
  16. The lightning struck twice
  17. Cull the herd
  18. There’s something in the water
  19. Bloody reunions
  20. Actions and consequences
  21. The bell tolled death
  22. Uninvited guests
  23. Grave politics
  24. Up the river, into the storm
  25. The Black Arrows
  26. Survival of the fittest
  27. A pyrrhic victory, drowned
  28. Something hard to forget, and painful to remember
  29. Broken hearts, members and dams
  30. Kill the serpent, seize the throne.. and live to tell the tale
  31. A bitter departure
  32. A long day’s end
  33. Gold, games and arrested dreams
  34. Only Pharasma knows
  35. Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups
  36. After the dust settles
  37. Army of five
  38. Break and enter
  39. Frozen ashes and dead friends
  40. My hero
  41. Master of puppets
  42. We rode like kings
  43. A long way home
  44. The Key
  45. Mythic
  46. Silver mirror, golden throne
  47. Silent wait of the seven faces
  48. Strange, dangerous pastimes
  49. Barracks of Xin
  50. Second time’s the charm
  51. Hungry dead, unbound
  52. Hungry dead, uncovered
  53. Blazing rage
  54. Vain untruth
  55. Deadly desire
  56. Simple avarice
  57. Discerned locations
  58. My brother the butcher
  59. Crossing the boundary
  60. Skulking in the shadows of giants
  61. Rings of the Sihedron
  62. Chellan
  63. Strongest bonds cannot be broken
  64. When it all falls down
  65. Epilogue: Loose ends of our past

The story began a life of its own – the author of Journal of a Ranger decided to write an independent continuation novel. Preview an excerpt for the novel that continues the story: Vengeance – Road to Damnation


One response

  1. I have very much enjoyed reading your journal Alpharius. The writing is incredibly engaging. Your ability to paint the settings, convey the emotions of your characters and bring the reader into the scenes is stupendous. You should really contact a publisher as I feel this story is worthy. Please continue to publish your recaps going forward.

    December 16, 2014 at 3:59 am

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