Harbingers of Retribution

Campaign Day 5
Stirges and Zombies and Secret Tunnels. OH MY!

Campaign Day 5

While they ponder the two hallways, some of the party notice eyes staring from the other halls. Raelynn’s suspicion is that they are worgs. Likely mounts for some goblin riders as hobgoblin armies are known to use them as light cavalry. When they ask about the eyes, they are told that “they aren’t any of their concern. Their concern is the two hallways: stirge or zombies.”

The party pauses and discusses their options. After a brief discussion, they choose to clear the stirge lair. As an extra precaution, Raeylynn sets an alarm spell at the mouth of the tunnel to ensure they are not ambushed from behind. Twyn guides them down the first hall on the right. The tunnel turns at the end to the right. Twyn tells them that the hall turns to the right and about 50 or 60 feet down that passage, it opens up into the old forge. Pausing, the party sets to planning. Raelyn heads to the end of the corridor and carefully advances to scout the room. Proceeding up the passage a short way, Raelyn can see the room and eventually the back wall. In the centre of the room she sees the massive bellows used to feed the forge. It is nearly 8’ tall and 10’ wide. On either side, she can make out the stonework sides of the forge, but can discern no movement or signs of stirges.

Reporting her findings back to the party, they setup a marching order and advance on the room. As they get close, they set fire to their crossbow bolts and fire them into the room. Hoping the bellows would ignite, two are directed at it, but no flame takes. Advancing closer, Nogrite in the lead, the torches now close enough to illuminate the room. As the light hits the far wall, movement can be seen.

A stirge is seen hopping on the top of the bellows looking towards the lights. Two others appear on either side of the bellows. Crossbow bolts and arrows take flight showering the area with death. Two fall, left and on top of the bellows. The third takes flight and attacks Nogrite before he can attack it. Taking hold of his left leg, it sank its proboscis into his thigh. Nogrite took his glaive and attempted to pries the beast from his leg. Dagger drawn, Orynn moves to assist. Eventually the beast is removed.

Another 5 stirges reveal themselves and fly forward and swarm the party. Some fall to arrows and bolts, but others take hold of party members and drain vital fluids before they are removed and dispatched. After a flurry of daggers and short swords remove the thirsty stirges, the party finds the room quiet. Approaching the bellows cautiously, they determine that the initial 3 stirges are indeed dead.

Examining the room reveals little other than abandoned broken tools and the forge itself. Crawling into the forge, the party determines that the stirges must have used the smoke stack as a means to enter and exit the room for hunting. They also see that they have built a nest amongst the charcoal of the forge. Some searching of the nests reveals two rough cut emeralds and a fine ring.

Taking a short rest, they proceed back down the hall and rally themselves for the zombie chamber. While they clean their wounds they discuss an approach and plan to investigate the room. Raeylynn casts a spell to detect undead. Having been told there were 4 zombies at the end of the tunnel, she inadvertently says questioningly ‘Only 4?’. Setting a marching order, they proceed down the hall. As they reach the end of the hall, they can see that the walls here appear to be changing from solid stone to a mixture of earth and stone. Moving further down the hall, they see that the tunnel has several more supports and beams to stabilize the soil. Nogrite believes this to be a mine expansion, but based on the change in earth, that likely the dwarves abandoned it after trying and failing to find solid rock again.

Further down they see the remains of bodies have been impregnated into the wall soil as if half buried in a vertical grave. The bodies are in varying stages of decay. Eventually they locate a dead hobgoblin in armor similar to the others in the tribe.

When asked if they want them to retrieve the body, the hobgoblin’s only reply is ‘he’s dead. He’s no use to the tribe.’

Contemplating this response, the party proceeds to the edge of the room cautiously advancing. The room appears to be flooded. Valbin takes his giant firebeatle light and hurls it into the room. It lands in a pool of water illuminating the room.

The central portion of the room appears to have flooded. The central 20’ of the back wall has a continuous stream of water flowing down its surface, drainage from the ceiling. The water pools covering the central 30’ wide surface. The water appears to drain just to the left of the entrance. A small path on the right is dry enough for them to enter the room.

Advancing cautiously, Nogrite advances to the water’s edge and probes the pool. Finding it shallow for the first five feet and then dropping off, he choses to stay close to the wall and proceed into the room. Once in the centre right of the room, he continues to explore the pool probing with his glaive haft. Finding no zombies in the immediate area, the party advances towards the room; Valbin and Gribdunk head to the left of the room through the water followed by a goblin torch bearer. The rest of the group approached the entrance, weapons drawn.

From the back of the group a sudden struggle arises: arms have erupted out of the walls and grabbed onto Horfire and one of the goblin torch bearers. Grappled and mouth covered, Horfire cannot cast and must struggle against the grappling arm’s relentless grip. The goblin on the other side of the hall does not struggle for long; a sickening snap and a limp body evidence of its death.

Two more sets of arms burst through the walls in the chamber hall. One attempts to grab Valbin, but he manages to escape the grip. Gribdunk attacking once he is clear lands a solid blow, but the zombie remains standing. The other zombie attacking Nogrite.

The hobgoblins counter attacking the walls themselves guessing where the bodies of the zombies would be. Mud and clay falls away, some reveling gouts of blood and ichor, others only finding earth. Raelynn draws her short sword stabs the earth behind Horfire finding flesh behind the earth. A flurry of combat ensues.

Yet another 4 zombies burst from the walls attacking en mass. Even killing blows were sometimes not enough to stop them. They rise from death again to attack only to be felled again. Eventually, the zombies are dispatched leaving the party exhausted from the experience.

The goblins are ordered to gather up the zombie corpses and heap them piling scrap timber upon them and setting them alight. The party returns down the hall to the central chamber. But halfway down the hall, Valbin and Nogrite decide to turn around as they realize, they did not examine the chamber.

Returning to examine the room, they find some gold pieces, but little in the way of treasures. Upon closer examination, Nogrite is confident that this room was a failed mine expansion. The soft earth and intruding water would make for an unstable situation long term. Remembering his firebeetle light, Valbin wades out to retrieve it from the pool. While Nogrite sits at the pools edge waiting for him, he notices something strange behind the water fall on the wall. As the light shifts, it is just barely noticeable. Moving into the water with Valbin on his shoulders, they find that 5’ up the wall behind the water fall is a 5’ x 5’ opening in the wall. The passage extends further than Valbin’s light will reveal.

End Scene Day 5

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Campaign Day 4

Campaign Day 4.

Crossing the large chamber, Valbin notices the carcasses of the giant fire beetles where he had left them. Thinking it best to leave as few clues as possible, the halfling quickly gathers them up and hides them within the other abandoned mine carts.

The party expeditiously headed back to the hidden chamber with the unconscious hobgoblin carried by Nogrite. Before entering the secret door, Raelyn cast another arcane sentinel spell coving the area around the secret door in the main hallway.

Once back in the chamber with the door secure, the team set about evaluating needs for rest, and setup shifts for guard duties. They decide on 8 hours to fully rest, heal and renew spells. During the second watch, Raeylen sensed her sentry spell on the eastern staircase trigger: 2 small creatures. Approximately 5 minutes later, the arcane sentinel spell in front of the secret door triggered in her mind with the same count of creatures. Placing her ear too the door, she was unable to discern any noise through the thick stone door.

After another 15 minutes, the same count of creatures passed by the door again, and shortly after they triggered the stair way spell as well. Raeylen passed the information amongst the group that was awake, but allowed the others to remain asleep.

Another hour passed before the stairwell arcane sentinel triggered again in her mind: 2 medium, 1 large and 2 small creatures passed by. Another 5 minutes and they passed by the secret door. After another 15 minutes, both Gribdunk and Nogrite stir from their sleep and sit up looking around and then to each other. Both have a strong familiarity with the underground and felt the distinct feeling of a cave-in. From their quick evaluation the chamber appeared to be structurally sound and their best guess is that the small tremor felt was from the entrance.

Having advised the rest of the party of their suspicions, they rouse everyone and discuss the situation. At this point they remember their captive and move to check its unconscious body. Applying a minimum of medical attention to its wounds, they revive the hobgoblin. The interrogation takes several hours of both intimidation and persuasion. It becomes evident that the hobgoblin is little moved by intimidation and that he is prepared to die for his clan. Further, he has a strong loyalty to his leader Balgor. He has little knowledge of Harold other than where his cottage is located and his skills in healing potions.

After further open discussion and negotiations, he reveals an interesting fact: when asked if he knew if Harold had any enemies, he smirks and laughs slyly. Istan in the Hamlet of Rashtan is a known competitor in the region. Further the hobgoblin offers a counter offer for negotiation. He knows that Balgor also has a strong hatred for Istan. He reveals that Istan had accepted a contract to provide healing potions to the hobgoblin clan for a steep fee. However, upon use of the supplied potions found that they provided minimal healing and often led to further sickness. He suggests that although he has no idea on Harold’s whereabouts, there is a strong chance that Balgor would be willing to put a contract on Istan, with the premiss that Istan is most likely responsible for Harold’s disappearance. The party decides this may be their best option to discover Harold’s location and allow them to avoid battling the entire clan.

Other information gathered: the clan within the mines are only a vanguard here to locate new shelter for their clan. They are not a war party but rather a scouting party for a colony that has been displaced from the events in the east. In regards to the suspected cave in: most likely he suspects Balgor has likely discovered the dead sentries and has ordered the main entrance collapsed. With the entrance collapsed, the vanguard can defend the area from a warparty if needed. (they would have no true idea of how large the party truly is) They had foraged heavily and would have sufficient stores for a period of time. His name is Twyn and he offers to negotiate a parle between the party and Balgor in exchange for his life.

The party now fully rested prepare themselves to investigate the cave-in. Securing the bindings on Twyn and blindfolding him, they cautiously exit the hidden chamber. Finding no opposition in the hall, they proceed back to the entrance and find that indeed the mouth of the mine has been collapsed. Recalling their entry to the mine the party remembers that the mouth was already near collapse. Further investigation reveals two heavy ropes coming out of the rubble. Close inspection by Oryn reveals a narrow opening at the top that they will be able to belly crawl through to the outside.

Confident they can get outside, the party decides to release Twyn as planned and tell him they will parle with Balgor out side the mouth of the mine entrance. Twyn stretches his previously bound limbs and looks about. ‘So, there must be a secret room…some 80’ down the hall behind, to the left 40‘ish and hidden within the right hand wall…You could have at least spun me around’. He sniggers at the party’s obvious green nature. Twyn then told them that he would set up the parle specifically between Balgor and Valbin. Reaching down amongst the rocks, he proceeded to cut open his right palm on a jagged rock and extended it for Valbin to shake. Valbin pondered shortly at the gesture and then realized that it was to be a blood pact. He drew our his knife and proceeded to cut his palm (unfortunately the infantile squeal as he did so was less than inspiring). The two shake hands on the pact to parle outside the mines. The party hand Twyn an offering of silver pieces and an authentic healing potion before he departs down the western passage.

The party crawls through to the outside. Surprisingly the halfling being the only one to get stuck and require assistance to clear the tunnel. After reaching the outside, he made reference to an old legend of a bear named Pooh in passing.

Having reached the outside, they party plans on setting up a defensive posture. Raelyn sets up several arcane sentinel spells via ritual in a V pattern from the entrance. After an hours work, a series sentinels are in place and the party dispersed amongst the available coverage nearby.

Another half hour passed when they saw a white cloth poke out the tunnel mouth tied to a broken spear. The white flag was then waved and thrown out the hole followed by two spear and shield wielding hobgoblins. The two spearmen took up defensive positions forward and flanking the tunnel mouth. Finally a third larger figure emerged in chain mail armour. Balgor stood arms spread wide. Slowly, with his left arm he draws a small scroll case from his waist belt and throws it down towards Valbin who stood in the open.

Opening the scroll case, Valbin found a note: “Here are the potions and magical axe I promised you. Also included is a map to the mages home. Remember he will not give up the hiding place of his magical stash easily.”

Balgor stated that this is his evidence of Istan’s ill stance in relation to the hedge mage Harold. Due to the fact that Istan’s shipment being completely useless and fraudulent, Balgor will accept a further parle with the party within the mines. He has taken Twyn’s word as their word (gesturing to the spearman on his left who the party now recognizes as Twyn). He confirms that he never accepted Istan’s contract on Harold as the first offering of potions and axe were all useless fakes. Reaching down to a sharp boulder, he too cuts open his palm and swears this to be true on his blood. (followed by a high pitch feminine squeal) He states that he will offer a counter contract on Istan’s head. If the party is interested, they were to follow him back into the mines where they can discuss the details. Turning, Balgor crawled back through the hole, eventually followed by the spearman and finally Twyn.

Having a debate amongst themselves, the party decides to attend the meeting in the mine. Proceeding back into the tunnel, they find Twyn waiting within. Twyn then guides them through the mine down to the second level and through a hall on the centre of the south wall. As they walk down the hall, they notice a luminescent moss on the mine walls that provides dim light enough to see without lantern. Proceeding down the hall 100’, the hall opens into a 50’ x50’ dining hall.

Sitting at the end of the central table was Balgor. Behind his seat he was flanked by two spearmen. Gesturing to the seats beside him the party cautiously proceeds to take seats. Balgor outlines the reasoning behind his desire for Istan’s elimination. His group is a vanguard of his tribe. They have headed west from their homelands ahead of the tribe seeking shelter. Looking to Gribdunk, he points out that a cleric could be of use. Having no clerics amongst his vangaurd, casualties are particularly vulnerable in combat, and survival rate is low. Further, to make the mines habitable, the hobgoblins must clear chambers and have found two troubling areas: one with a nest of stirges and a second tainted with undead. Balgor offers that if the party clears these two areas of dangerous creatures, he will offer them safe passage out of the mines and to keep the scroll implicating Istan in Harold’s predicament. If they return with evidence of Istan’s departure from the mortal plane, he offers a payment of 250 gp worth of gold nuggets.

Sitting back and steepling his fingers Balgor waited on the partys response. Sensing this as a limited time offer, they quickly debated their options. Finally, the decision is made to take Balgor’s offer to clear the rooms and go from there. But, they add a further request: considering the situation, they ask for additional hands to support the success of the mission. Valbin suggests that Twyn join their ranks to help clear the rooms. Twyn in response returns an evil eye. Balgor however seems amused and agrees and offers two archers as well.

Having come to an agreement, the party is lead further down into the mines through the hall opposite where they entered. Shortly they come to another room with 5 more halls: two to the east two to the west and one to the south. Twyn stops and asks the party their choice: stirges or undead.

End Scene Day 4

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Campaign Day 3
A search for clues

Binding the goblin and taking it to the main floor, the party split up and searched the house. The house had been ransacked and its contents strewn about the rooms.

Horfire spent his time in the study sorting through books and sorting through the spell books and scrolls. Finding some useful materials and a scroll he also decided to take a couple small tomes to study during his travels.

Oryn searched the main bedroom upstairs and found an assortment of coin and a ring that was wedged in the floor boards. A variety of preserved goods was found in the closet. The goods that were still in tact made for the evening meal. He also gathered the broken remains of some lanterns to tinker.

The kitchen and dining room revealed little other than broken dishes and dry goods strewn about.

The basement lab produced a handful of completed potions; a few that were identifiable by the party.

The party agreed to provide rations for the goblin for his cooperation. The goblin further negotiated that they leave him one crossbow and a short sword that he would return to the cottage in a day. Interrogation of the goblin prisoner revealed that they were a scouting party; sent to ransack Harold’s cottage. They had not seen Harold, but he knew little of the goings on within his group. He suspected that if anyone in his tribe new, it would be Balgor, the Hobgoblin war chieftain. Balgor dealt with all the goings on within the tribe, and would know if there was any plans to kidnap the hedge wizard.

Pondering the information, the party decided to spend the night in the cottage and then proceed to the mine where the goblins and hobgoblins were living.

Spending an uneventful night in the cottage, the group sent the goblin on it’s way after getting directions to the mine. Heading north behind the cottage, they found the the trail about 100 m from the cottage. Raylen was able to determine that the the most recent tracks matched the number and species contained in the goblin scout party.

As the party approached the mine, there was more and more evidence of scavenging and foraging for materials. The further they traveled, the heavier the evidence of foraging for firewood and food.

The final approach to the mine was cautious. The entrance showed activity by the tracks, but the structure of the entrance showed signs of age and decay; overgrown, rotten and sagging with signs of imminent collapse.

Approach to the entrance revealed a long tunnel ahead that broke off to the left, and a side tunnel to the right a short ways in. Choosing the tunnel to the right, the party proceeded into the mine. Finding another short tunnel to the left, they found a door at the end. Preparing for an encounter, the party readied themselves. Nogrite, growing impatient, prodded the door with his polearm to open it. Upon contact the door was found to be rotten and fell into the room with a thump. 

Motion was seen in the back of the room amongst a heap of rags and clothing; a pack of giant rats stared back out the door. The rats were quickly dispatched and the nest and the broken furniture searched. Some coin and a small amethyst were found.

Heading back down the main corridor, the tunnel took a bend to the left. A careful search of the hall exposed a secret storage room. This had obviously been an emergency armory and backup rations in case of a siege when the dwarves were holding the mine. Examination of the room revealed some gold nuggets, but otherwise all the equipment in the room was to decayed to be useful.

The party took a short rest and setup the room for their return thinking it would be a good base of operations. The door was tested to ensure they could open it from the inside and then left with the door closed as they explored further into the mines.

Spending extra time to search for traps, the party proceeded further into the mine. At the end of the tunnel, the passage opened into a large chamber. Peering around the corner, Valbin could make out two sources of unusual light. Two lights began to close quickly on the bard. Firing his crossbow, the bolt hit the giant fire beetle dispatching it in one shot. He was able to reload and finish the second fire beetle again in one shot.

Examining the carcasses, he was able to harvest the glowing glands from the fire beetles and stash them in his backpack for later. The rest of the party explores the vast cavern. At either ends of the cavern on the opposite walls they find stair cases descending to depths beyond their immediate vision.

Raeylen sets an arcane sentinel system up on the western staircase to alert them if they should be ambushed from this stair case. The party then gathers at a central area and examines a dilapidated elevator system. It appears to have been used to raise mining carts from the lower levels. Deciding that the structure is too far gone, they move to the eastern staircase. A variety of plans are discussed as Raeylen explores down the staircase. Stopping aproximately 20 feet from the bottom of the stairs, she hides in the shadows and observes.

A hobgoblin guard appeared to be walking a prepared patrol route, returning to the stairs approximately every minute. After watching two cycles, she returned up the stairs to inform the party. After discussing different options, Nogrite volunteered to lead Valbin down the stairs in hopes of ambushing the sentry and casting a sleep spell upon it. Nogrite removed his chainmail and led Valbin by the hand down the stairwell; Valbin not having any dark vision and not wanting to light a torch that would give them away.

When they reached 10 feet from the base of the stairs, Nogrite could see the sentry approaching and signaled Valbin to prepare his spell. Valbin, shifting his weight kicked a small pebble down the stairs alerting the hobgoblin. Nog gave the signal to cast and Valbin released the spell blind. Having never attempted spell casting in the dark he could only guess at the range and ended up centering it far to close to himself. The sentry peering up the stairs indeed collapsed in slumber, however, Nogrite too went limp and fell down the last 10’ of stairs. The sound of an unconscious dwarf tumbling down the stairs alerted the other two hobgoblin guards gambling nearby. And so the battle began.

The rest of the party hearing the scuffle below headed down the stairs. Arrows and daggers flew down the stairs towards the hobgoblins. Some struck true, but an unfortunate number missed horribly and struck the dwarf who had just regained his consciousness and footing. Healing words were spoken, and yet more arrows were loosed. Lanterns lit, vague orders bellowed and arcane blasts of energy tore into the hobgoblin guards. Dwarf, wether conscious or not, are sturdy folk and after being stabilized, Nogrite was back on his feet.

A second group of three hobgoblins charged from out of the darkness. (later it was revealed they had been guarding the other staircase). Oryn and Gribdunk made short work of the first to engage. Valbin redeemed himself by successfully casting sleep upon one of the guards shooting long bows. The last was dispatched quickly there after. Rayelen, having broken her bow string took advantage of the hobgoblin equipment and stripped the long bows dropped by the hobgoblin guards.

Unsure if more hobgoblins would arrive shortly, the party quickly gathered up the bodies and hid them within some of the abandoned mine carts strewn along the wall below the elevator.

Finally, they bound the unconscious surviving hobgoblin and retreated up the stairs gathering Nogrites equipment at the top. Once dressed again, they headed back towards the hidden room to recuperate.

End Scene Day 3.

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Campaign Day 2

As the ogre proceeded north, visibly dejected, dragging his club behind him, the party spreads out and proceeds north thorough the undergrowth on the west side of the road. While following in stealthy pursuit of the ogre, Raelaynn, falling back into her hermit ways, ended up unintentionally separating herself from her group.
Once she noticed, she decided to continue shadowing the ogre with extra caution in hopes the others would find her later.

Shortly after, she observed two additional smaller demihuman figures in the bushes ahead of her. Watching the ogre, she watched as it paused up the path past the two figures in the bushes. It seemed to briefly look at either side of the path itself observing the ground, slightly slowing it’s pace, but then proceeding. After another 15 feet, the ogre turned suddenly and went to rise it’s club, but in doing so, the club caught on a tree.

Raelaynn, not knowing if the other figures were friend of foe, closed her distance slightly but remained hidden.

From the north of the Lonely Wood, a traveling party of new adventures find themselves in search of adventure. (fill in any backstory someone wants to create regarding how you came together).
Girbdunk the Half-orc cleric of pleasure, Horfire the banished Tiefling warlock, Nogrite the abandoned Drarven fighter, Orryn the distracted Gnomish rogue and Valbin the encumbered Halfling entertainer.

After traveling through the day, resting for a dinner, the group decided to push on through the night. Having received poor travel directions at the last village, greatly underestimated the time to travel to the hamlet of Rashtan. Thinking that setting up camp in the forest may be too dangerous, and needing to make up time, they decide to push on though the night in hopes to reach the other side of the forest by morning and rest there.

Proceeding south down the main road, well into the night, Horfire and Nogrite both hear heavy footsteps coming up the road. Taking a minute to discuss options, the group split themselves up on either side of the road: Nogrite and Orryn take the west and Horfire, Gribdunk and Valbin to the east.

From their hiding places in the woods, the party waited, listening to the foot falls grow closer. As they came closer, the sound of something being dragged could also be heard. In the distance, those with dark vision and vantage spotted the large figure approaching. Walking hunched a 10’ tall hulking beast approached dragging a enormous club. As the figure approached a strong musk proceeded it. Now within ten feet of his position, it was obvious that this was an ogre.

As Nogrite sat he also noticed another figure: humanoid, just at the edge of his vision, crouching and watching…Concerned that this may be another companion of the ogre and a possible ambushing, Nogrite and Orryn decided to take the offensive. Nogrite charged out of the bushes and swung his pole axe, Orryn flanked the creature and struck out twice stinging the beast with his daggers.

Gribdunk beseeched his god for blessings; Valbin prepared himself, his vision limited; Horfire let loose a arcane blast of energy slamming into the ogre. Valbin, seeing an opportunity bellowed out into the night that the ogre must stand down or be slaughtered by himself and his team of ogre slayers.

Alone and quite wounded, the ogre looked around and decided it best to drop his club and yield. Holding its arms above its head it knelt down on the ground in submission.

At this point Raelaynn cautiously revealed herself announcing her presence and introduced herself to the party. (At which point the ogre waved back at her and introduced himself as Grom). She then took some time to explain her mission and the separation from her team. The party felt this was an excellent opportunity for adventure and possible profit.

Interrogation of Grom the ogre revealed that he nor his party were involved with Harold’s disappearance. Being a simple creature, no one in the party was led to believe he was lying.

Feeling they had learned as much as they would from the simple ogre, the party released him without his weapon and sent him north (remembering that there were two more ogres from Grom’s party to the south). Grom proceeded north and reached up into the trees to rip down a large branch and continued on north waving to the party as he walked.

Following a good distance behind, the party continued north to the trail head that Raelaynn had on the map. The rest of the party were familiar with the trail, having passed it on the way southward. Keeping an eye on Grom’s trail, they were wary for any indications that he had left the main road (and perhaps setup ambush). Finding no indications of deception, the party found the trail to the west after an hours travel. Raelaynn continued north to follow Grom’s trail and ensure he had continued north. Again, she found no deviation from the main road.

The party then took time to investigate the abandoned guard hut at the trail head. Orryn inspected every corner, nook and cranny and discovered a total of 15 coppers strewn throughout. The bountiful treasure (in his eyes) was offered up to the party. Having watched his tremendous efforts, the party decided he had earned the right to keep the entirety of the treasure hoard. The overall feeling of the party is that the hut had been long abandoned and likely unoccupied for many years.

Having taken a short rest at the hut, the group moved on towards Harold’s. The trail was narrower than the main road. Only wide enough for perhaps a small cart and horse. The route well worn was easy enough to follow, but taking caution, the party took 3 more hours to reach Harold’s cottage. Raelaynn reminded the party to stay on the main path, remembering that Harold was known to set arcane and mundane traps in the are surrounding his house.

As the dawn rose, Orryn, being the most observant of the party, eventually noticed a small game trail to the south. Very cautiously investigating, he found that indeed there was a trip wire across the trial about 10’ feet into the brush. Investigating further, he determine the trip wire would set off a series of chimes. The party decided that it would be best to approach from the road and avoid any traps altogether.

In the distance, a clearing is seen ahead. The party makes out a building with a small chimney; they had found their way to Harold’s cottage. The more observant of the group noticed that although it was a chilly morning, no smoke was coming from the chimney.

Choosing their marching order, the team advanced cautiously, sending Orryn and Nogritte to the door. Announcing themselves from a short distance from the door, they waited but with no response. Hearing some foot falls inside, Orryn advanced on a window and peeked inside but could see nothing moving. Considering the suspicious noise with no visible occupants, the party discusses their options and prepare to enter en guard.

Entering in a staggered fashion, the party spreads out and investigates the rooms quickly. Finding the house’s main entrance and dining area ransacked, they continue to the other rooms. The kitchen also in ruin. The last room to be searched on the main floor is a study with books strewn around the room. Papers and ink in disarray on the floor.

Having looked at the tracks throughout the house, Raelaynn realizes something as Horfire gathers parchment and examines the ink; the spilled bottle of ink is still draining and completely liquid. Further, she notices some partial foot prints in ink that appear to be the most recent. Following them to the last door, it appeared to be a stairwell down.

Fearing they may get trapped downstairs, the halfling made a quick check of the stairs to the second floor and hearing nothing headed up and made a quick sweep of the rooms. Finding nothing while the others prepared themselves on the main floor, Orryn descended to join them. Listening at the basement door, nothing could be heard.

Nogritte took the lead and descended down the stairs with the others in tow. Reaching the midstair landing, Nog was able to make out figures crouched beside the long tables in the basement, five in total.

The party descended with Nog leaping to the base of the staircase. However, by the time Nog had secured the stairs, Raelynn had already leapt from the mid landing, cut down one goblin, vaulted the benches and decapitated another. Oryn darted through and thrust two daggers deep into a goblin leaving it limp in his wake, closing on the last goblin. Meanwhile, Horfire had unleashed arcane energy blasting the larger hobgoblin in the chest.

Gribdunk offered the commander quarter as he closed with it, but displeased with the response in regards to his ‘mother’s undergarments’, closed the matter and crushed the hobgoblins jaw putting an end to it’s belligerence.
 The last goblin dropped it’s short sword and surrendered.

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5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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Introduction

Most everyone in the region recalls the spring solstice celebration 5 years ago.    Shortly after midnight as many were heading home after the celebrations, a strange star appeared in the night sky.  Few noticed at first, but shortly others began to watch as the star, or so they thought grew in size.  The new moon making it all the more visible.

Little more than the head of a nail, it glowed like an ember amongst the stars everyone knew.  Inevitably, many suggested it was a sign.  However, opinions varied.  “Good harvests” were speculated by some; “evil tidings” others.

The brilliant star remained visible in the night sky for the next 3 days and then began to dwindle to nothing.  After a week from the new moon, many falling stars were seen in the night sky.  The starfall peaked on the third night when even lager falling stars were seen streaking to the west.  In particular there were a few so large and bright they lit the sky like  it was daylight.  Again there was speculation as to omens.

The following year was uneventful.  Neither significantly good nor evil.

Over time news spreads through the realm.  Dwarves from the Western Mountains tell tale that the larger starfalls fell deep within their mountain ranges to the northern fringes.  
Rangers have passed word to one another that orc tribes in the last 3 years have become more active. (this is noted as the orcs have been fairly passive in the last decade since the last culling that occurred 12 years ago).  

The first game session revealed: 

Linvar (Ian) and Raelaynn (Nathaly) discussed what they had heard from their communications with other rangers.  One consistent point of note: the orc tribes are behaving differently than they have in the past.  Historically, they would either raid in hit and run fashion, retreating to their territory, or they would form up into massive war parties to push out and expand their territories.  In the last 3 years, their raids have hit and run, however, they appear to be pushing further past their target and not returning to their territories. 

While discussing these events in a small tavern inn in the hamlet of Rashtan, the innkeeper Korec approached them to inquire if they would be interested in seeking a missing friend.  Harold the Hedge Wizard had been missing for three weeks.  No one had heard from him including his niece who lives in Rashtan. The niece Lora offers to pay for their assistance to investigate his cottage in the nearby woods.  Linvar, Raelaynn and Thuvane (Jamie) band together to see if they can locate and retrieve Harold.  

Before they leave town, they visit Minter’s Marvellous Map Shop and purchase some maps of a mine nearby Harold’s cottage (where Harold has been known to harvest materials for his potions).  They also copy a rough map of the route to the forest and route to Harold’s cottage and the mines.

The path to the forest is uneventful. Even with Thuvane’s vigilant observation revealed no suspicious activity.  Upon approaching the forest, Linvar notices claw prints of stirges.  The group approaches the forest entrance with extra caution, weapons drawn are ready.  

A swarm of 6 stirges swoop down towards the party.  Linvar and Raelaynn loose their bows and immediately drop two stirges from the sky.  Thuvane rushed to the tree line to sneak through the bushes and undergrowth.  Again the rangers loose arrows, but this time both narrowly miss their targets.  Two stirges were not deceived and flew straight at Thuvane: one latching onto his head and sucking his life blood from his face, the other grappling onto his arm, but could not find purchase.  The other two flying on towards the rangers.  

The rangers chose to draw swords and assist Thuvane. Thuvane wounded pulled out the healing potion he purchased and drank it down.  Raelaynn took swings and was able to kill one of the stirges attacking the rogue.  The second stirge instinctively counter attacks but is unable to get purchase on her armour.  Linvar holds the other stirges at bay.  One flies straight at Linvar and directly into his paired short swords amputating its wings and falling dead to the ground.  Thuvane is able to slice the stirge from his head and Linvar dispatches the last stirge.  

After binding their wounds and taking a short rest, they move on till they decide to make camp off the trail to the east in the woods.  Thuvane rests and trances while the rangers setup camp.  After a short meal, Thuvane and Raelaynn rest while Linvar takes an uneventful first watch.  Raelaynn’s watch however is interrupted by noises of large foot falls.  

After waking the others, Linvar recognized the language as a variant of giant common speech.  3 ogres were seen walking down the path (opposite direction that the party had been traveling).  Quietly hiding and listening, the ogres appear to be arguing about lost food and directing their anger to the smallest of the group.  The smaller ogre is kicked and clubbed and sent back the way they had come.  The other two telling him he cannot return without finding their food.

The party decides to move to the other side of the path and quietly as possible follow the lone ogre.  (in hopes that the ‘lost food’ may be Harold).

End Scene.

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