Greyhawk's Lesser Known Heroes

Catacomb Clearing, Carousing and Bandit Bashing

The session began where they left off—in the “vault” behind the armory, having just opened the chest located therein with the key that they found on the skeleton sitting on the throne in the basement. After they secured the loot, they decided to look in the basement again, to make sure they hadn’t missed anything in their haste to get back upstairs. Once back down in the basement, they traversed past the cistern, through a narrow catacomb corridor (with about 1 foot or so of water running through it) and towards the central area where they fought the zombies and skeletons. With a bit more time, they noticed that there were five other catacomb corridors that led into the room (and, indeed, they recalled that at least some skeletons came from those various corridors). Gregor pulled the makeshift throne off the wall, and found nothing behind it. They examined the altar, and Detect Magic, cast as a ritual, identified it as non-magical. Angus put the brass orb they had found on the goblins in the mine shaft on the altar (definitely magical, warm to the touch, but they have no idea what it does), hoping to see a reaction. It merely rolled off the altar; nothing exciting.

There was some discussion (presumably in jest) of splitting the party significantly (“Well, there’s six corridors, and six of us, so we can each explore one corridor to save time…”), but in the end, Atticus (the dwarven cleric) and Gregor (the human barbarian) decided to explore the catacombs themselves, at least initially, with Gregor’s axe lighting the way thanks to Atticus’ Light spell. The rest of the group waited in the central room, with Cullen holding their only torch. Initial exploration suggested that the corridors were all interconnected, running in essentially a “U” shape around the central room towards the center of the building, and the group eventually all walked around together to confirm that. The catacombs were empty, with the various crypts having nothing of value in them. Atticus, being a dwarf and having stonecunning, looking carefully at the walls, observed that the catacomb walls were generally carved out of the natural rock of the hillside. However, he also noticed that the wall behind the “throne” appeared to be more carefully carved and smoother. The group instantly decided to search the area, and after feeling around with their hands, found that there was a door there, feeling a small gap between the door and the wall that was cleverly concealed from mere visual observation with stonework. They immediately began looking for a way to open the door, but found none on the wall. Eventually, they searched both the wall and the floor both on the same side as the door and across the door, and found, in between the opposite wall and the floor (searching through the water running through the partially-flooded hallway), a small opening that seemed to be a pressure plate. Atticus put the pick end of his pickaxe into it and applied pressure, which clicked, and the door “released”; it was still closed, and they could not see in, but it had moved about 1/2 an inch or so from the fully-closed position, so they could grab on to it and pry it open.

Once they did, they found a chest (immediately followed by questions such as “is it a large chest?” and "I feel up the “large chest”; when told that it was not a large chest, but a medium one, that led to additional comments). It was not locked, and they were able to open it. In it was a sack, four potion vials that had a red liquid in it that glimmered with light when swirled, and what appeared to be a black robe or cloak. They opened the sack to find 100 platinum (!) pieces. They searched for false bottoms and found none. Examining the robe, which Detect Magic revealed as magical, they discovered that it had numerous (perhaps 20-30) patches on it, which included, among other things, lanterns, ladders, horses, mastiffs, potions, and other things. Angus put it on, and touched the patches, pushing on them, and nothing happened. However, when he attempted to pull off a patch (the bullseye lantern), he was able to do so, and it immediately formed into a real lantern, indicating that this was a Robe of Useful Things. The potions were also magical, but not yet identified. Angus sipped them, and was able to determine that they were Potions of Healing. The Robe of Useful Things also had a patch that had four potions on it that appeared to be the same type.

Satisfied that they had fully cleared out the monastery, the group left through a blocked up exit from the catacombs where the water ran out to the ravine in front (they had to clear it of all the furniture), and headed back to Deghulan. Since it was late afternoon, they traveled for about 1/3 of the way or so, and camped out. During the night, while Storen was on watch, he heard what sounded like hyenas off in the distance, and then heard some screams and cries—potentially one of the hyenas in pain—and then nothing. Other than the uncomfortable sounds, they were otherwise unmolested that evening.

The next day, as they were about 1/2 of the way back to town, they spotted what appeared to be animal remains in an area that was sparsely populated with a few trees and dead-looking, twiggy shrubs. They went closer and examined the remains, and found that it was mostly skeletal remains of what was either a wolf or a dog. The barbarian tried to identify whether or not it was consumed by an animal with teeth or a beak, and if it had claw marks (the Owlbear rumor and the dead Hobgoblin clearly on his mind). While doing so, they heard some sounds behind them, and were surprised to find that the “bushes” were not bushes at all, but small, man-shaped masses of twigs that attacked them. There were 12 Twig Blights that attacked, and they swarmed the party. Some connected on claw attacks, which hurt but did not do significant damage (2-5 hp was the general spread). Once the group regained its composure, it retaliated, and immediately thinned the ranks of the Twig Blights: Atticus called a Sacred Flame down on one, killing it, and his Spiritual Weapon killed another. Gregor flew into a rage, and chopped one to pieces with his greataxe. Storen slashed at one with his sword, killing it, and used Sweeping Attack to cleave into a second, also killing it. Cullen likewise killed another with his sword, and using Action Surge, attempted to hit another, but missed. Yesunge dropped his bow, and drew his two shortswords, while Angus cast Burning Hands to light up, and kill, the three Twig Blights in front of him. In one brief exchange, the party had killed 9 of the 12 Twig Blights. The two that had attacked Gregor grappled him, and even though he is a giant of a man, the Blights managed to restrain him. Atticus attempted another Sacred Flame attack on one of the two Blights, on Gregor, which only ended up damaging Gregor (not significantly), and he was unable to break free from the Blights’ grapple. Storen slashed at the remaining Blight fighting him, and killed it, while Cullen attempted to slash at one of the two on Gregor (he missed both the Blight and, thankfully, Gregor). Yesunge also moved forward, attacking the Blights on Gregor twice, and got two hits: one on the Blight, and one on Gregor (who was taking half damage due to his rage from slashing/piercing/crushing attacks). Angus attempts Burning Hands again, and manages somehow to miss the Blights, but burns Gregor. The blights are unable to take Gregor down to the ground, but he is, once again, hit by Atticus’ Sacred Flame. Enraged, he does ultimately manage to escape the Blights, and now that they are free, Storen, using Sweeping Attack again, slices them both up. After they patch themselves up, they head back to Deghulan.

They arrive in the late afternoon; Tim and Jim are on guard duty. They are able to arrange for an audience with Baron Grellus, who thanks them and notices that Gregor is holding a greataxe that unmistakably belonged to his cousin (as well as a fur-lined gold bracer). They explained that they found his body in the basement, and it gave the Baron a sense of closure—his cousin had been missing for about six months, and he had feared the worst. He told Gregor that he could keep the axe and the bracer—they were no use to his cousin anymore.

Following their audience with the Baron, they immediately sell off the various weaponry that they looted from the goblins and hobgoblins, and after doing so, head to Falco’s Tavern for a drink, where the group starts drinking fairly heavily. There was a halfling who was drinking at the bar, and Angus asked if he wanted to play darts. He ultimately played against both Angus and won a few silvers, played Atticus and won, then agreed to a “double or nothing” challenge and WON again, before finally losing to Storen. After collecting his winnings, the halfling approached a human woman, spoke with her a bit in whispered tones, and after she giggled, left with the halfling (who was smiling ear to ear).

Cullen disappears after a while (and the older, plump serving wench from last time is curiously nowhere to be found…), and Atticus talks to his fellow dwarf Falco about what took place. Falco knows nothing about the monastery, but is impressed. They learn a little bit about current events—there have been a few robberies on the road to and from Deghulan lately, the latest involving a group of halfling merchants. Three of them were killed, with only one surviving, currently at the Temple of Pelor. Talking with the individuals at the Tavern, they learn that various farmers report livestock missing, mostly goats that are getting stolen. They don’t believe that it is animals, because they are fenced in, and they just have less numbers than they had before. The group also converses with a farmer named Monte, whose young (14 years old) son, Justin, went hunting three days ago—just before the party went to High Top—and hasn’t come back. He believes that he wen hunting in the nearby woods to the southwest, and he’s always come back before, but this is definitely longer than he’s ever been gone.

They decide to finish the night at the less expensive, but more rowdy, Grinning Imp Pub, where they find Otto and the other members of the caravan’s advance force. Otto advises that while they were gone, one of Halmaro’s men arrived in Deghulan to tell them that the wedding is off—Kira has run off, apparently, with a lover and will not be marrying the merchant from Womtham. The man was unable to catch the caravan before they got to Deghulan, so Otto and the other men are heading back to Cordrend. Otto tells them to come to his room in the morning (he is staying at the posh Inn of the Dying Minotaur) and he’ll pay them their agreed-upon wages.

They ultimately spend the night at The Golden Stag Inn (less expensive than the Inn of the Dying Minotaur, but still a decent place), although Gregor seems to have found another place to stay that evening. In the morning, they visit the halfling, Freddy, at the Temple of Pelor, and get some details about the bandits. He indicates that they were approached by two humans that appeared to be guards, and when stopped, demanded “road taxes.” They were shortly attacked afterwards from behind, and he doesn’t remember much other than that. Their cart had tobacco and linen that they were looking to sell in Deghulan. The group visited Otto to get their pay (roughly 25gp each), and then spoke to the Baron with an idea to capture the bandits—the dwarf would pose as a trader and hope to get set upon, at which point the rest of the group, hiding in a cart, would spring out and launch the counter-ambush. The Baron agreed with the idea, and would provide them with the horses, cart, barrels, burlap, etc. to spring the trap.

Later that afternoon, they head out from Deghulan, heading towards Cordrend. Atticus drives the cart, while the remaining party members are concealed in the cart underneath a large burlap blanket, and nestled in between a few barrels and crates. In their second hour of travel, Atticus, wearing robes over his armor, meets up with two lightly armored “guards” who have spears and shields. One guard questions him, and when he explains that he is a trader, the guard creepily grins to reveal a mouth that is only half-filled with teeth (“summer teeth”), and then lets Atticus know that the King taxes people for using the road, and that the tax would be 50% of the value of his goods, which they needed to inspect. Atticus protested, and indicated that as a guild member, he was exempt from the tax, and presented them with his guild membership papers. The guard inspects the documents (Atticus was not sure if he could read based upon the inspection), at which point he says that the papers are old, and no longer in effect. When Atticus protests again, the guard whistles and six similarly-armed Bandits come out of hiding from either side of the road. He tells Atticus that if he doesn’t give him a problem, he’ll let him live. Atticus gets down off the cart, and the “guard” takes the reins of the horse, thinking that Atticus is complying as the remaining bandits approach. He lets out a shout and then looses a Guiding Bolt at one of the approaching bandits, killing him. At the sound of the shout, Gregor whips off the burlap blanket and the group launches the counterattack.

Angus immediately conjures up some freezing magic, hitting three of the bandits on the other side of the cart with Smiloc’s Snowball Swarm, killing one and injuring two. Cullen shoots an arrow at the bandits, but misses, while Gregor enters a raging fury and jumps out of the cart, swings at one of the bandits, who narrowly avoids death but is wounded. Storen kills a bandit with his crossbow, Yesunge shoots at them, but misses, and Angus kills one of the bandits he hit with the ice with a Fire Bolt (ice and then fire, harsh). The bandits recover and attack, two coming after Atticus (who is without his shield) and stabbing him with their spears (injuring him, but not fatally) and one attacking Gregor (barely wounding him). Cullen jumps out of the cart and pulls out his sword, while Gregor chops off the head of the bandit he was fighting with a savage blow. Yesunge shoots a bandit, but does not kill him. Storen shoots another bandit, and then, using Action Surge readies his sword and shield. Atticus casts Spiritual Weapon and misses, and then tries to hit another with Guiding Bolt and also misses. Angus kills another with a Fire Bolt, and there are only two left, one fighting Atticus, the other fighting Gregor. The first was the “guard” who was never hit; he strikes at Atticus but misses, but then turns and flees. The one fighting Gregor, who can’t see what’s happening on the other side of the wagon, attacks Gregor and slightly hurts him again. Gregor responds by chopping off his leg. Cullen chases after the fleeing bandit, while Yesunge shoots at the bandit with two arrow shots, which graze him but do not stop him. Storen drops his weapon, grabs the reins of the cart, and (with a successful Animal Handling roll), spurs the horses into action, chasing the bandit. When he gets close, he hands the reins to Yesunge and jumps on to the fleeing bandit, tackling him to the ground, who surrenders.

They question the bandit, who gives them some information, hoping/begging that they will spare his life. The bandit leader is Kendrick, who will kill him if he goes back empty handed. They are part of the “Breezy Hill Gang” (he didn’t choose the name and is kind of embarrassed to even mention it). He says that he give them directions to the hideout if they let him free and don’t turn him in to the authorities. Although Gregor seems initially to be fine with that, the rest of the group convinces him otherwise. They load up the cart with the bodies, and have the tied-up bandit “guard” sit surrounded by them on the way back to Deghulan. They relieve the bandits of all of their silver, and upon returning to town, speak with the Baron, who will imprison the bandit and “question” him to get the exact location of the hideout. They visit Freddy the halfling at the Temple of Pelor, state that they have avenged his fellow halflings and will go after the bandit leader, and give him the silver that they looted from the bandits as compensation for his loss. Session End

Notes: XP to be calculated and awarded for the Twig Blight encounter & bandit encounter. The party will still be at 3rd level (except for the squire Cullen, who will remain at 2nd level).

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Session 4: The Monastery

Picking up from last session, the intrepid adventurers had just managed to make their way up to the entrance to the monastery. The stone bridge leading up to the entrance was in disrepair, and it required a climb up. Once they got to the top, they entered, but Atticus tripped over a tripwire on the way in, which caused an alarm to sound—breaking glass and clanging of metal. The party, however, was otherwise unassailed as they entered.

The monastery had a cloister at the entrance, with various broken statues in the large front hallway. Directly ahead was a courtyard with a large tree that grew several stories high, extending through the open roof of the monastery. The group explored the hallway to the left, cautiously, and found two doors. The first, which they opened, was to an old privy. There was a closet and a chest inside, but it was barren. The second, across from the privy, was a kitchen with some rotted wooden shelves. The fire pit looked like it had been used recently, however.

Directly behind the large tree, opposite the entrance, was a very large dining table, albeit without any chairs. Beyond that was an opening through which the group could see to the rear of the monastery, where water flowed down from the hillside through the monastery itself into a lower level.

Exploring the right side of the monastery, they found an entrance to the basement, which they bypassed, and a room that appeared to be an armory of sorts, with nothing of great value—just what appeared to be broken weapon racks. There was a sturdy set of iron double doors at the far end of the room, but they could not open them—locked shut.

As they prepared to leave the room, the twang of bowstrings rang out, and Storen was shot (but not seriously wounded). There were what appeared to be goblins shooting from a stairwell to their left. Gregor charged, and they group pursued the goblins to the second level.

When they arrived, they ran into a bit of an ambush—goblins and hobgoblins on either side of the tree on balconies. True to form, the group split the party, with Angus, Storen and Cullen heading down the right side of the monastery, and Yesunge, Gregor and Atticus on the left. Each group encounters 5 goblins and a hobgoblin. Stores gets hit and wounded, as does Gregor, who flies into a rage. Atticus heals Gregor as Yesunge shoots at the goblins. Meanwhile, a crossbow bolt flies out of nowhere and nearly catches Angus—a very, very close call. It thuds against the monastery wall, and appears to have some sticky substance on it. The group now goes on the offense, and starts mowing down some goblins: Gregor and Yesunge take out one each, Storen kills a third, and Angus bathes several in fire using Burning Hands. Cullen, meanwhile, after killing the hobgoblin, gets hit by a goblin, and passes out. Shortly thereafter, another hobgoblin, armed with a fine-looking scimitar and shield with the following symbol emblazoned thereon

Chained_God.jpg

slashes Angus very badly—sending him into unconsciousness. Storen is worse for wear, and as Gregor dispatches the hobgoblin on the left, the remaining goblins flee to the right side (from the front of the monastery). Gregor sprints around the back side of the monastery to help Storen and company, as Yesunge and Atticus follow. Stores rummages for some “magic mushrooms,” and cannot remember which ones are healing. He chooses yellow—wrong choice! He immediately starts to hallucinate, and alternates from spacing out to crying for the remainder of the battle. Luckily, Yesunge puts two arrows into the hobgoblin leader, who is clearly hurt. Angus is eventually roused—he was only knocked out for a short time—and when he is, he has the presence of mind to cast Magic Missile, with one striking and killing a goblin, and another thudding into the hobgoblin leader, who still stands but is now bleeding and haggard. He quickly disengages, drops his scimitar, and pulls a potion from his belt. He points to the group, and says, “You are all marked for death.” He then drinks the potion, and turns into a mist, floating away through the tree and out of the monastery. Gregor, in a rage, along with the remaining members still active enough to fight, dispatches of the remaining enemy combatants.

After searching through the goblins, the party decides to head into the basement—not checking out the rest of the upper level. When they arrive, they notice that water has flowed into the basement through a hole in a large cistern. There is a pedestal in the center of the basement with a book on it, and a makeshift “throne” across from it, on which sits a skeleton with an amulet. As they inspect the skeleton, they hear noises—the dead coming for them! Several zombies, including one that wields a large axe, pursue them, as well as many skeletons—16, in fact. Atticus manages to turn many of them, buying the group some time. Meanwhile, Gregor, Storen and Atticus began dismantling some of the skeletons. Yesunge takes out one of the zombies, aided by Atticus’ Guiding Bolt, and Angus kills a few with a Firebolt. Yesunge, switching to his shortswords, manages to kill no less than 4 skeletons. Angus, however, is hit and falls unconscious once again, looking pretty worse for wear (failing at least one death check). Ultimately, though, they manage to defeat the undead, and Gregor smashes in the skull of the skeleton on the “throne.” After that, no more skeletons appear.

Searching through the book, they notice that it appears to be written by a madman, indicating that one can reach godhood through the sacrificing of 39 sentient beings. The skeleton’s amulet, meanwhile, was a golden medallion of St. Cuthbert. They also find, in the tattered rags, a key.

Returning upstairs, the group searches through several rooms, finding various large barrack-style bedrooms of sorts, an old library (none of the books are in good condition, most destroyed by bookworms and exposure), and a room that has a small altar and desk in it, as well as a bed, which apparently was being used by the hobgoblin leader. Searching through the belongings, they find several items: a backpack with survival gear (waterski, flask, mess kit, whetstone); 2 ink pens and 3 vials; a scroll case and 10 sheets of parchment; a climber’s kit; 20 caltrops; a poisoner’s kit; a vial of foul-smelling black liquid; a vial of another liquid; and a journal.

Later, using the key they found on the skeleton, they open the doors in the armory to find a chest containing 500 silver pieces and 250 gold pieces. The journal is written in goblin, which no one speaks, but Angus remembers that he can cast Comprehend Languages as a ritual, and is able to read through the journal.

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Session 3: Harbek's Mine, Part 2, Deghulan, and High Top

The session resumed with our heroes having just left the Myconid chamber.

200px-Myconid.JPG

They decided to go back and ask the Myconids if there were any other threats, or if there was anything else they could do to help—there was none, and the Myconids just wanted to be left alone. They learned, though, that the Myconids were here before the dwarves, and saw that there was a tunnel leading out of the chamber that was impassible due to a cave-in. Bidding farewell to the Myconids, the group crossed the bridge, back to the shaft, and crossed over to the mushroom garden. While there, they gathered six of each type of mushroom, one for each member of the party. At that point, they then began going up the elevator shaft, and on the way up, one of the three riders noticed something unusual on one of the walls—the faint outline of a door. After some exploration, the members found a catch/mechanism that opened the door. Three of the group worked their way into the hallway beyond, while they lowered the elevator for the second group. As they waited, the explorers in the hallway heard what appeared to be footsteps—metal on stone. Within a few seconds, they saw two fiery eyes at roughly chest height—and as it approached, they made out what appeared to be a lightly armored undead dwarf carrying a pickaxe, with shining red eyes—and it charged towards them. Eventually, the undead thing reached out and touched Cullen, who felt a chill run down his spine—but he was otherwise fine. After some hard blows, the dwarven wight turned and ran.

ADD003MonsterManual212Wight.jpg

The group followed him, with Gregor in the lead, and they came upon a small room, with a metal ladder going upwards—which the wight was climbing. They followed suit, and found that the ladder led to a larger chamber, this one populated with zombies—some dwarves, one human, and one goblin. The dwarven wight, wounded, received some help from the zombies, but it was not enough. The group quickly dispatched them, with Storen braining one, Angus roasting another with a flaming spell, Cullen crushing one, and Yesunge shooting one in the head. The wight fell as well, and the group took a short rest.

Exploration revealed a brass mug with a jade inlay that is worth 250 gp in the wight’s lair, and the pickaxe was of fine quality (nonmagical, but +1 to hit and damage). The zombie room, which had nothing of value, had another exit—a spiral staircase leading upwards, which the party followed to a smaller room that was covered with broken items, garbage and filth. As they crossed the room, Cullen cried out, and fell into a pit, which was about 10 feet deep. As he stood up, a giant centipede crawled on him and attacked, biting him (but somehow managing not to poison him). Gregor quickly lowered himself into the pit, grabbed the centipede, and tore it in half. Turns out the “pit” was actually a storage vault (with a ladder), and the trapdoor above it had rotted. The vault had a small leather backpack in it (in poor shape) with 20 gold, 50 silver, three vials of acid, 50’ of silken rope (in good condition). The group pocketed the loot and, instead of heading back from where they came, followed the tunnel upwards to the point where they saw sunlight—but also a natural cave branching off from the tunnel. In it, they saw a sleeping black bear, which they did not wake, and left alone.

After heading out of the tunnel, they walked around the hill to the mine entrance, and then headed back to the road. There they found the rest of the group, which had buried Felipe and the albino, Nick Paulus, in graves on the side of the road. Since they were so close to the Cracked Tankard Inn already—not having made it very far—and it was getting late, they decided to go back. When they arrived, they spoke to the barkeep, advised him of Nick’s fate, and hit the sack. The next morning, they headed out, and after a few days, arrived in Deghulan (the rest of the trip being uneventful). Otto told them that they would have about a week before the rest of the caravan arrived, and that they would not need to head out to Womtham until then, so they had some free time. The group spoke with the gate guards to get the lay of the land (and literally got a map of the surrounding area), also visiting some shops to sell off some goods and explore what was available for purchase.

In the evening, the group went to Falco’s Tavern, where they had some drink and played some darts. Angus challenged Falco himself to a game of darts, only to find out that Falco was amazingly good—much to Angus’ dismay (and his coin purse’s). Falco, seeing that Angus was young, only kept half of the money that Angus had wagered. As they sat and drank, they heard some rumors at the bar, specifically that: (1) there’s an old monastery where monks dedicated to St. Cuthbert used to live about a day’s hike south of town on High Top that has been abandoned for over 50 years; (2) the Lord Mayor’s cousin Gunther was a fierce warrior that used to carry a big axe, and he hasn’t been seen in about six months since he took a journey to the hills in the south; (3) there’s a druid that lives in a hut near Kelman Woods who comes to town sometimes, and he doesn’t like hunters who hunt just for sport; and (4) there’s a bunch of evil gnomes that live in Chestnut Grove. Someone also warned them that (5) "I saw some hyena-looking things that walked upright once near Flym Peak, but they didn’t see me. They looked really scary—I’d stay clear of there if I were you.” Also, a drunk patron told them, in slurred words, that (6) "Nobody believes me, but a few years ago, I saw this thing that looked like a cross between an owl and a bear near the Wild Woods. Everybody says I’m just a stupid drunk, but I didn’t even have anything to drink that day!”

One of the serving wenches—a plump, busty woman in her mid-40s—took a liking to Cullen (perhaps overly so!), and the rest of the group thought that perhaps Cullen would have a very interesting evening. After having enough to drink at Falco’s Tavern, they decided to head to the Grinning Imp Pub, which was a far lower-rent and rowdier establishment. Sure enough, they found Otto and some of the other crew there, and enjoyed some drinks there. They also heard another rumor that (7) Falco’s Tavern is run by two slave traders. Ultimately, the group decided to spend the night at the Golden Stag Inn, a middle-of-the-road establishment.

When they woke, they decided to explore the hills to the south, looking for the old monastery. On the way, they were surprised by a constrictor snake, which dropped down on Angus. The group quickly dispatched it, though, and it was a non-issue. Setting up camp that evening, the group were attacked by wolves in the middle of the night—a pack of six. Four of them were quickly killed, and the remaining two, also injured, fled.

The next morning, with the monastery in sight, they began heading up the hill. However, on their way there, they spotted what appeared to be a body in a copse of trees. Approaching it, they found that it was a hobgoblin—a dead one. It appeared to have been rent by claws to the chest, and had half of its face eaten (as well as other parts). A search of the hobgoblin turned up no coins, but did reveal a scroll containing a note, which was written in common and read as follows: “Gaiax: We have found a suitable location for our new base of operations. We have also found a complication and obstacle—but one that will please you no doubt. For now, we have it contained. —Krug."

Gaiax_Krug_Note.png

Heading up to the monastery, the heroes could make out a cloister as they approached, which had a second level above it. They also found that it was surrounded by a ravine, and whatever bridge once led to the monastery was now broken and in disrepair, and the ledges were fairly far apart. The group decided to rappel down the ravine, and managed to make their way up to the entrance of the monastery without much inconvenience.

End session

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Session 2: Harbek's Mine
Eliminating the Goblin Threat

The session begins in media res: Gregor chasing the wolf-rider, and Atticus chasing the other goblin. The wolf, exhausted, tumbles in the chase, sending its rider flying. Gregor quickly cuts him down with his glaive. The wolf attempts to flee, not attempting to fight and somewhat cowering. But Gregor, fearing that the wolf will alert any other goblins to their presence, dispatches the wolf before it can get away. He searches the goblin, finding a few coppers, and heads back to the road with the wolf carcass (which he will then skin for its pelt). Atticus, meanwhile, is able to chase down his goblin, and after he attacks the goblin a few times, it thinks better of its plan to fight and falls prostrate to the ground, throwing down its weapon. Atticus carefully binds him and gags him, bringing him back to the road.

Otto surveys the damage—one death (Felipe) and some slightly injured horses. He suggests that the specialists find out if there are any more goblins, and eliminate them—they cannot afford an ambush of Halmaro’s caravan. After discussing it a bit, the group heads out—Yesunge is able to find the goblins’ trail. After several hours of hiking, the group spots a hill where there appear to be some stone columns and a cave. Upon closer inspection, it is an old mine. There are four stone columns, but only three are standing. There are dwarven runes on them proclaiming that it is “Harbek’s Mine.” The mine entrance has two iron gates locked with a chain and padlock, which look somewhat old. There is enough play in the chain to allow very small creatures through, but not anyone dwarf or human-sized. After inspecting the lock, and determining that it is not magically warded, Gregor decides to attempt to break the chain with his glaive. The metal-on-metal sound clangs and echoes in the mine entrance; after two chops, the chain link breaks, and the padlock and chain crash to the ground. They push on through, the gate squeaking as they move it.

Atticus casts a light spell on Gregor’s glaive head, and heading in, the group explores the first group of rooms, finding broken tools (pick-mattocks and wheelbarrows), some broken bunk beds, broken tables, and a caved-in fireplace. In searching the room, Atticus encounters a rat, who attempts to bite him (unsuccessfully) and flees, heading into a crack in the wall. Delving deeper, the group finds a mineshaft with an elevator and pulley system. Cullen lights a torch, and Atticus casts light on a pebble and drops it down the shaft. It falls for quite some time before they lose sight of it; they’re not even sure they heard it land. They illuminate Gregor’s glaive again to have two sources of light.

Atticus, Gregor and Storen head down in the elevator, which can only hold three people. It groans a bit, but does not give way. About 30’-40’ down the shaft, as best they can tell, there is a horizontal shaft/tunnel. Gregor gets out, as does Storen and Atticus. They look down the hallway, and cannot see where it ends. Atticus casts light on a crossbow bolt, and fires it down the hallway. They see the light quickly zoom away, and it eventually clatters some distance away, leaving a very faint glow. Storen suggests that they see how deep the central shaft goes, while Gregor waits here (after Angus again casts light on the glaive). Storen gets Cullen from above, leaving Yesunge and Angus at the top. The three of them descend lower into the shaft, and Gregor decides that he doesn’t just want to wait here and do nothing. (One of his flaws is, “If there is a plan, I’ll forget it. If I don’t forget it, I’ll ignore it.” He heads down the hallway, dropping lit torches every 30 feet or so. At the same time, the elevator is moving in 30’ increments, roughly at the same speed.

As Gregor drops his third torch, two objects zip by his head—arrows, bolts? He charges into the darkness. As he does, he sets off a tripwire, and is suddenly engulfed in a net that has pieces of metal and glass attached, which creates a huge noise. Gregor now calls out to the group for help. Storen and Atticus think they hear something, and feel something fall past them. They quickly start moving back upwards. Meanwhile, Gregor is, once again, nearly shot twice, but he luckily is missed both times. He tries to get out of the net, and now can see four goblins approaching—three that are holding scimitars, and one wielding a heavy, wicked axe. Gregor yells out again, beseeching Storen & company to hurry. Meanwhile, some objects fall past them again as they are pulling themselves upward.

Storen, Cullen and Atticus get of the elevator just as Gregor frees himself from the net. The goblins meet up with him just as he does, and he is wounded, but not badly. The wound drives him into a rage, and he lashes out and kills a goblin. Meanwhile, Yesunge is pulling the elevator up while everyone else closes in on Gregor. A tight battle ensues, as the corridor is fairly narrow. Gregor gets hit a few times, and the group quickly dispatches another goblin, but the axe-wielding one, also in a rage, proves to be hard to kill. Angus and Yesunge also get in on the action, and eventually the combined efforts, and notably Atticus’ axe, fell the remaining goblins.

After shortly patching themselves up, the group decides whether to continue further down the corridor, or head back down the central shaft. Ultimately, they head down the corridor to find the goblins’ barracks (empty, and with little coin), and the goblin leader’s room, which actually has a bed (as opposed to straw mats). Under the bed, Gregor finds a sack that has a fair amount of coin—200 coppers, 60 silver, 50 gold—as well as a woodcut of a goblin, and a strange, roughly 2" diameter bronze sphere with runes on it. Neither Angus nor Atticus can decipher the runes, and Angus notes that it is both warm to the touch and magical.

The party eventually heads back down the shaft, finding two corridors that branch off to the left and right. Cullen disembarks on the left, holding his torch and sword, along with others. Atticus, Gregor and Angus go to the bottom of the shaft, only 30’ or so further down, to find a pool with cave fish. Atticus tries to probe the bottom with his glaive, and sees something at the bottom of the pool. Stripping down to his breeches, he dives in, and finds a watertight scroll case. Before they can open it, they hear a cry from Cullen. Storen and Yesunge wheel around to see a very large, segmented and tentacled insect-like creature crawling on the ceiling above Storen—who is quickly attacked by its tentacles.

carrion-crawler2_1_.jpg

He immediately feels a numbing sensation, but stays on his feet. The group in the corridor attacks, while the others in the elevator quickly attempt to get up to the landing. Storen is also hit with the tentacles, but does not succumb to the poison. After the group wounds the beast, it turns to flee, but they manage to slash and crush it, and it falls to the ground, dead. Gregor, with the assistance of Yesunge, attempts to “milk” some of the venom/coating into two vials—whether it has any potency remains to be seen.

Advancing down the corridor, they come to an iron bridge over water. Shortly thereafter, they find a hole in the ceiling. Gregor climbs up to investigate, and finds that it is sticky and appears to be a lair, with some bones—those bones also near a suit of chainmail, a fine-looking shield, and a warhammer. He brings them down to the group; Atticus believes that they are dwarven remains. He heads up to the lair, and says a ritual to cleanse the place and give the dwarf an appropriate resting place.

Finally, they make their way to a large cavern with stalactites, stalagmites and large fungi. As they approach, one of the fungi moves and opens its eyes. The party does not attack, and the fungus send a puff of spores in its direction, engulfing both Gregor and Angus. They quickly find that they can communicate within the spores. A conversation starts, and the learn that the myconid have been here for many years. The myconid learn of the demise of the goblins and carrion crawler, and this pleases them. They tell the group that they wish them to leave, but that they can have some mushrooms from their garden on the other side of the shaft, explaining that the black caps are invigorating; the purple caps difficult to swallow and painful, but tasty; and the yellow caps bringing them to a higher state of consciousness. The party abides by their wishes, and heads back to the central shaft.

NOTE: The characters have each gained 308 xp at this point: LEVEL UP!

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Session 1: The Caravan
Where it all started...

The adventure begins in Cordrend, where various individuals hear that Halmaro the Red, a merchant guild master, is organizing a caravan. His daughter, Kira, is getting married to a high-ranking official in Womtham. A large caravan with many wagons is headed west to that city, and he is recruiting various hirelings/experts for the caravan. Various recruits show up: Storen Wolfgast, a hedge knight, and his retainer/squire, Cullen Ashcroft; Atticus Goonyaxe, a dwarven cleric of Pelor and armorsmith; and Gregor Ironwood, a barbarian raider from the Frost Barbarian tribe with a checkered past. They learn that Halmaro will not be taking all recruits—only those who can prove their mettle!

Gregor signs up to be a guard; he fights with a wooden weapon, and no armor, against a few other recruits, and does quite well. Meanwhile, Storen tries out to be both an archer (requiring him to shoot his crossbow at a target in competition with other archers) and an animal handler (requiring him to shoe a horse, ride a horse around obstacles, and lead a mule to water and make it drink). Finally, Atticus proves his worth as both a physician (diagnosing and healing various ailments) and as an armorsmith (repairing certain armor failures). After a long day of tests, Halmaro’s right hand man calls out various numbers, and tells them their role: “Number 19, Laborer! Number 42, Guard!” and so on. Storen is one of the first chosen, serving as both an archer and animal handler (and earning 3 gp/day as someone who does double duty—Halmaro saves 1gp/day on that deal); Cullen can come as well, but won’t get paid (Halmaro’s a bit shrewd that way). “Number 3, scribe!” is called out, and a thin young man, Angus MacIver, steps forward. Gregor is hired as a guard (2 gp/day), and Atticus as the armorsmith/physician (3 gp/day). A one-eyed half-orc named Yesunge is also hired as an archer—the best one in the competition. Several more people are hired as laborers (Pedro, Ramon, Angel, Juan), animal handlers (Miguel, Joaquin) and a guard (Felipe). The group learns that they will lead the advance force to Womtham, scouting out and clearing the way for the large caravan. The advance force will be led by Otto, a small, wiry man who Halmaro explains is one of his best men.

The new recruits get together at the tavern that evening (drinks are on Halmaro!) and learn a bit about each other. Atticus, Gregor, Storen and Cullen sit together, and after Atticus invites him, Angus joins in for a bit as well (previously reading a book in the corner). Otto explains that they will stop at a small town, Deghulan, first, which is on the way, and that the trip to Womtham will take a total of 10 days. He then heads up to bed, as they’re getting an early start. Cullen and Storen decide to also call it a night, and as they are headed to their rooms, a large, drunk man bumps into Storen and spills his beer everywhere. The drunkard is irate at the loss of his brew, and yells at Storen—it appears he is looking for a fight. But Storen calmly apologizes and states that he’ll buy the man another two beers—and the drunk then gives Storen a hug with a great smile. Eventually, the group hits the sack.

In the morning, they head out to great fanfare. Once outside the town limits, Otto gives a look back and then quickly pulls out a flask and starts drinking some alcohol—“some” being an understatement. He enjoys the trip, singing some bawdy songs and getting roaring drunk. When some of the laborers ask him questions, he responds, “How should I know? Figure it out yourself.” Storen silently disapproves. The first day is without incident, and they camp out for the night, sitting around two campfires, one of which has all the laborers and animal handlers, and the other with the specialists. Atticus inquires with Angus about his book, but Angus is not offering a lot of details. On a hunch, Atticus asks if he knows anything about magic, and with a bit of thamaturgy, makes the fire where the laborers are sitting burn green! They cry out in alarm, but eventually settle down. Angus whispers to Atticus that he can do some tricks, too, and uses a cantrip to perform similar acts of hijinks with the laborers’ campfire.

Otto, drunk, falls asleep and is snoring. Off in the distance, though, Storen can hear what appears to be a young child crying. He gets up, and Cullen follows him with a torch and his sword. Advancing down a path, Storen can see nothing—until he gets kicked in the chest by a deer-sized animal. It has the body of a stag, the head of a badger and a leonine tail. It has bony, yellow-gray ridges for teeth and burning, feral red eyes. While its body is largely tan colored, it darkens to black at the head. Storen can smell the stench of rotting corpses surrounding it, and its breath reeks of the grave. Further down the path, Storen can see another creature—the same kind, only larger—and hears the sound of a crying child coming from that beast’s mouth! Gregor, Atticus and Yesunge jump into action, and within moments, they badly wound the creature. As it turns to flee, it kicks out again, but cannot get away, and is felled by the group. The larger one flees, and is not pursued.

Atticus performs some surgery and removes the lower jaw, careful not to slice open his fingers on the sharp ridges. The laborers ask for the carcass to cook the meat, despite its foul stench. Otto briefly wakes up, looks around, and then falls back asleep. The rest of the night passes without incident.

Otto wakes up the next day with a nasty hangover, and they head out again. After a day or two, they arrive at the Cracked Tavern Inn, which is surrounded by a very small hamlet. They stay there for the night, and speak to the tavern keeper, who seems to be short-staffed and hectic. He explains that one of his workers, Paulus, is missing and didn’t show up to work today—unusual for him. Atticus, Storen and Gregor tell the owner that they’ll look into it, and do some investigating (including entering Paulus’ small home). They find no clues in Paulus’ home, other than it looks like someone who didn’t intend to be away for long. The next morning, before they head out, they speak to his neighbor, an old crone, who explains that it isn’t like Paulus to be missing. She describes him as very fair skinned—almost white like a ghost—and with blond/white hair.

As the advance force gets moving, a few miles out of the hamlet, they see something in the road. Gregor and Felipe get out of the wagon to take a look. As they get closer, they see it is a body, with a black-shafted arrow in its chest. The man is very pale, and very blonde. As they turn to go back, Felipe jerks backward, and an arrowhead protrudes through his throat. He clutches it and falls to the ground. It’s an ambush!

The group quickly finds themselves surrounded by goblins—a few with missile weapons, such as bows and crossbows, others with scimitars, and one riding a wolf. Two of the four horses attached to the wagon take arrows, and the animal handlers quickly attempt to calm them while the specialists engage the enemy. The group makes fairly short work of the goblins, Gregor cutting some down with his glaive, Storen with his sword (with Cullen helping), and Atticus with his axe. Angus shoots at some with a fiery bolt and misses, lighting a tree on fire, while Yesunge returns fire. Within moments, six of the goblins are cut down, and the remaining two flee—including the wolf-rider, who injured Storen. Atticus chases down one on a horse, while Gregor chases the wolf-rider. As Gregor chases, the wolf is able to duck and dodge as they head to the Flinty Hills, and Gregor nearly loses his balance as a small herd of deer gets surprised and bolts in front of him. But the wolf is tiring, and Gregor seems to be gaining, but will he catch him?

Until next time!

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Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

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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