A Game of Dice

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.

Session 1

After the party arrived in the town of Woodpig, they made their way to the tavern. Once there, they discovered some strange men had been seen in the town. They turned out to be sitting in the corner. Going to the stables, the party found a zombie horse. Calling on the services of the local priests of Pelor, the party destroyed the horse, and sent two guards to deal with the strangers, who themselves turned out to be zombies.
On following the guards, the party found that they too had been turned into zombies. They called up the rest of the guard and killed the zombies. However, by the time they returned to the town square, other zombies had attacked some of the guard’s posts. They sounded the alarm and went to inform the mayor, finding with him Crown Prince George, newly named Regent of the Westfold.
The party fought off the zombie horde with the aid of the guards and the priests, and nothing of note happened to the tavern… The ensuing fire destroyed large amounts of the town.
The next day, the party enlisted the aid of [Name forgotten], an acolyte in the temple of Pelor, and set out towards the East to investigate the attacks. On the way, they discovered a large tower built seemingly overnight. Fortunately, it’s not as though there are another two towers to act as magical focuses?

Session 2

The party staked out the mysterious tower. However, in the middle of the night, Horace was instantly killed by necromantic energy, turning him into a skeleton! The party, distraught, put his undead remains down and fled the camp, hiding until the grey light of dawn began to show. Nevan Fairwright saw a flying creature scout the wilds, looking for them, before returning to the tower. When dawn broke, the party packed up their belongings and returned them to the cart, and returned to give Horace his funerary rights. However, as they arrived, a bold of icy blue energy flew towards them, almost hitting “Uncle” Hesiah! The party fled, returning to the road and heading east.

They came across another village, deserted, and decided to look around. They found that nothing had been taken – apart from arms and armour. Vallyn Wildborn discovered a half-finished note in the village hall that suggested that Lady Everly of Easthall had something to do with the construction of the towers… Having explored and rested, the party moved on towards Easthall.

In the next village, just outside Easthall, the party encountered living people. Nevan Fairwright found a local shady character and discovered that the towers had appeared (and seemingly the villagers disappeared) at around the same time Woodpig had been attacked by zombies. He also found that several magic items had been passing through, such as a helm capable of controlling the undead. Vallyn Wildborn and Terek Artell spoke with the village elder, learning that Lady Everly was attempting to find a cure for the ailing King, and had been inviting warlocks into Easthall to help her. “Uncle” Hesiah made the acquiantance of a dwarf, a tiefling, and a Scoraxian who were plotting to solve the issues in Easthall by removing the unpopular Lady Everly. Having learnt all they could, the party progressed into Easthall.

In Easthall, the party split up again to learn more about the situation in the city. “Uncle” Hesiah and Terek Artell explored the taverns and markets, being attacked by a group of thugs but managing to convince them to reconsider their actions. They learnt from rumours that Lady Everly has been mysteriously reclusive of late, refusing to see petitioners, and that the guards are being less and less active. Nevan Fairwright and Vallyn Wildborn followed a shady-looking character into a bank, and managed to gain an audience with a fairly high-ranking personage in the local thieves’ guild. They learnt more about the presence of dark artefacts and warlocks in the city, and made a deal with the guild to transport a crate of books to the capital in exchange for being smuggled into the palace.

That evening, Nevan Fairwright and Vallyn Wildborn were put into barrels by the dwarf and tiefling they had encountered in the village earlier, while Terek Artell and “Uncle” Hesiah attempted to gain access by more legitimate means. Terek and Hesiah convinced the commander of the city guard to allow them to see the Lady, while Nev and Val sneaked into the war room and found a map with the three towers represented – the one they had investigated, one they had seen to the north earlier, and another on the eastern coast, north of Castmouth. At the centre of this triangle is Easthall. Unfortunately, while Nev hid, Val was discovered by the commander of the guard! Luckily, Val managed to persuade the commander that he was a lieutenant from Aelaris, and the commander left him to berate some guards. Meanwhile, Terek and Hesiah had progressed to the door of Lady Everly’s tower, but found it repulsive due to the presence of many undead! Rushing back to the commander, they gathered the guards, along with the “lieutenant” and his mysteriously appearing “corporal”, and went to investigate. The cowardly guards remained at the base of the tower, leaving the four adventurers to investigate.

When Terek kicked down the door, inside he could see eight zombies surrounding a glowing, runic circle, and, at the back of the room, a wight bearing very strong resemblance to the Lady Everly! The party sprung into action, smashing zombies aside and attempting to get to the wight. Hesiah fell, but was rescued by Terek, only to see Terek struck down by a zombie behind him! Hesiah and the others finished off the zombies surrounding Terek’s corpse, scattering their remains into the circle, causing it to glow red and the remaining zombies and the wight Everly to drop dead. Hesiah fell to his knees, screaming “You were supposed to be the chosen one!” Nev rushed to his friend’s side, tears in his eyes. Vallyn let loose a cry of anguish and hacked the head from the immobile body of the wight Everly, and punted it straight out of the tower’s window. Through the broken window, he saw the tower to the north, a red glow lighting it.

As the party mourns, the guards walk into the room, gaping at the scene before them. Behind them strides… Lady Everly! She kneels before Terek, and places her hand on his brow, radiant energy suffusing her body, and Terek’s body shudders as he gasps a new breath of air…

Session 3

After the climactic battle against the wight, the party was joined by Vesuvion Xiloscient. While he, Hesiah and Vallyn made their way to the tavern, Terek and Nevan went to interrogate the steward, and discovered him under the influence of some kind of magical potion contained in a goblet of wine. He had no knowledge of anyone using the rooms, though when under the influence, he suggested it was some kind of religious cult. Going down to the wine cellar, they found the barrels, and traced their origin to a reputable vineyard. There was, more interestingly, another empty barrel that may have been used to smuggle in another person.
Resolving to overtake the two who had organised the barrels, the party set off to the west. As they passed through a few previously deserted villages, they found some of the people had returned. They finally overtook the pair near to one of the mysterious towers, which no longer appeared to glow with magical energy.
The pair admitted, under relatively little duress, to having organised another entry into the palace, and described themselves as ‘problem-solvers’. They had recently intercepted a royal messenger carrying news of the King’s death. Terek wanted to travel to the capital immediately, but was prevailed upon to check the tower first.
The party found a pair of chests on the ground floor of the tower, which appeared to be a part of some ritual to transport the towers. When opened, part of the tower was sucked into the chest. They were then attacked by a gargoyle, and, defeating it, made their way to the top of the tower to defeat another gargoyle and claim some treasure!

Omitted (I don’t remember too well – would someone else care to write): The big Demon book of tower summoning
The ‘experiments’ into the wine

Session 4

Arriving in the capital a few days before the funeral, the party made their way to the Artell’s townhouse, where Steward Stuart welcomed them. They swiftly became aware of an impending succession crisis as the Greatwood children of the King’s first marriage, though missing, may have a stronger claim than the son of the third marriage, Prince George.
Securing agreement from the families that support the Greatwoods, coercing some of the others and enlisting the Whitecastles, a regency was agreed to last for a year and a day or until the Greatwood daughters are found. Princess Lena is missing in Scoraxia, and possibly disinherited due to being betrothed to the Emperor’s son, the younger is merely missing.
The regency is to be taken by Petey Whitecastle, currently leading counter-insurgency work against bandits. The party offered to relieve him. However, before then, the funeral must be attended, and the news broken to George. Terek implied to each family that he seeks to support their claim, merely arranging the regency for the avoidance of confusion. It might even be true.
That would have been all that happened, but in the dead of night, an alliance of the party’s elves hunted down and attacked a pair of Orcs, walking in the company of Nevan, killing one. Terek ordered them detained, and the matter of murder must now be resolved…
[I suggest more details are added by the parties involved, as Terek doesn’t know any more about the matter]
[Not sure how to fit the part about the orcs into the general piece written above as it requires some bits from the entire time in the capital for context so writing down the entire orc thing below- MS]
Whilst Terek, Hesiah and Vallyn were visiting the palace on the first day in the capital Vesuvion stayed behind in the townhouse to read the book on demonic rituals that he recovered after the fight with Lich. He discovered that it was full of conjuration rituals and that the three towers were summoned from one the infernal realms and were probably being used to power a ritual for extending someone’s life, with said person dying immediately if the ritual was disrupted. It was therefore highly likely that by disrupted this ritual the party indirectly caused the King’s death. Mindful of the effect that knowing this may have on Terek, Vesuvion decided to keep this information from the rest of the party.
Meanwhile, Nevan was tailing the tiefling and the dwarf who had accompanied them to the capital as he did not completely trust them. During this time he met and befriended a pair of orcs, who seemed to dislike the tiefling and the dwarf and so readily agreed to follow their movements and report back on them to Nev.
The next day, after agreeing on the plan to hopefully install a Greatwood monarch, the party split again. Vesuvion visited a wizard who agreed to try and scry for the younger Greatwood Princess. Nev made some contacts in the shady underworld of the city and learnt that there were mysterious individuals pulling the strings of most of the nobles. Terek, Hesiah, and Vallyn visited various noble families to get them to support a regency, as detailed above. However whilst doing this they noticed they were being followed by two orcs. After confronting them it appeared that there had been some sort of misunderstanding and that the pair were meant to be following a tiefling and a dwarf but hearing them speak of the Artells often they had decided to try and find out more about the party. It looked like the situation would be defused and conflict avoided but then a serious of insults lead to a fight breaking out between Vallyn and the orcs. Hesiah and Terek, considering the fight to be Vallyns fault decided not to intervene in order to teach him a lesson and Vallyn ended up being knocked out by the orcs. When the party reconvened in the townhouse and Vallyn came to he was understandably annoyed and so in the night convinced Vesuvion and the tiefling to help him find this pair of orcs and find out more about why they were following him, as well as avenging what he considered to be a grievous insult. The others were at first reluctant but the tiefling was convinced by the promise of gold and Vesuvion was convinced of the need to uphold the honour of elves and spellcasters against orcish thugs. Nevan overheard this conversation and snuck off to warn his orc friends. Just as he was doing so however the trio of spellcasters came across the orcs and after a signal from Vallyn proceeded to attack. Nevan tried to persuade both sides to stand down but in vain and soon one of the orcs was incinerated by the tiefling and the other had fled. The group then proceeded back to the house to find it in uproar and were promptly arrested by Terek as soon as he had heard what had happened.

Session 6

Following the fight with the Bandits and the discovery that the leader of the bandits was Alara Greatwood the party headed to the bandit camp. Alara had previously agreed to return to the capital but needed time to pack and set her affairs in order before leaving. She also mentioned that the bandits had been experiencing a lot of trouble with the goblins in a nearby cave system, who often raided the bandit camp and stole their jewels. She reveals that she would be far more comfortable returning to the capital if the goblins were dealt with. Hesiah and Vesuvion agree to scout out the goblin lair for her and possibly recover the jewels. At the mention of jewels Nev’s ears prick up and he decides to come with them. Hesiah thinks that Terek will not be pleased with a plan to steal goods stolen by the Goblins from bandits who had also stolen them so the trio leave without informing him where they are going.

Heading towards the cave system Vesuvion and Hesiah moved very slowly and carefully to avoid making any noise, as they had heard that there are Owlbears and other dangerous creatures in this part of the forest and so do not want to alert them. Nev however was not so stealthy, frequently stepping on dry twigs and leaves. As no Owlbears appeared however and Nev is an experienced poacher Vesuvion and Hesiah reason that Nev probably knows what he is doing and that there was no need to be stealthy in the first place.

After about an hour of walking the group come across an area of the forest that seems to have been recently cleared, with a cave in a hill on the far side. Hesiah notices a pair of goblin guards sitting by a fallen tree near the entrance to the cave. The group decide to sneak past them and Vesuvion uses an illusion spell to create the sound of a branch breaking 30 feet away. After repeating the noise a couple of times the goblins go to investigate and Hesiah and Vesuvion manage to dash across the clearing into the cave while the goblins are distracted. Nev however is spotted by the goblins and after a brief telepathic conversation leads them off into the forest while Hesiah and Vesuvion head into the cave system. Before heading deeper they notice several crates containing strange fruits that are not natural to the area.

The caves are quite dark so Vesuvion cast Light on his arcane focus crystal so that Hesiah can see. After walking down the corridor for a while Heisah notices a cunningly hidden trip wire and stops Vesuvion from walking into it. Stepping carefully over the wire the pair find themselves in a large cavern which appears to have been enlarged by magic. Vesuvion notices that the ceiling seems to be magically and the pair decide that it would be a good idea for Hesiah to poke at it with his quarter staff. He does so and the ceiling instantly disappears and Hesiah is covered in a writhing mass of Ilarian Forest snakes, which are both highly poisonous and highly venomous. Vesuvion fires a blast of eldritch energy at the mass of snakes at Hesiah’s feet while Hesiah grabs a torch off the wall and uses it to frighten off most of the snakes covering him, which instantly slither over to Vesuvion, slithering up his robes and biting him. A look of complete disgust passes over his face as he points his finger at the snakes at his feet, utters a strange word and is surrounded by fire, which burns most of the snakes to a crisp. Hesiah then kills the remaining snakes that had climbed up inside Vesuivon’s robes.

The pair then continue deeper into the cave until the reach a three way fork in the path. Hearing noises down the right hand path and seeing strange large footprints heading down the left hand path they decide to follow the tracks. They soon reach a room filled with little goblin beds and more crates of the strange fruit. Continuing down they hear a large crowd of goblins cheering and the sound of metal on metal. They deduce that some sort of pit fight is going on, possibly involving the large creature whose’s tracks they followed. Reasoning that the pair of them could not fight that many goblins they retrace their steps, deftly evading a young goblin guard.

Returning to the three way fork they head down the centre path, which appears to be used much less frequently than any of the other paths. It leads to a large, dark, natural cavern filled with several large piles of leaves. Vesuvion is just able to see two tunnels leading out of the cavern on the opposite side. The pair carefully make their way across the cavern and when they reach the other side they hear what sounds like a large creature coming down the right hand tunnel. Vesuvion and Hesiah prepare themselves to attack whatever it is that is coming down the tunnel and soon see an enormous Owlbear carrying an armful of leaves. Upon seeing the light in Vesuvion’s hand the Owlbear drops the leaves and starts shrieking. The pair start to attack the creature but after being hit by a couple of spells it seems to recognise the warlock as the greater threat and after knocking Hesiah to one side it bites down on Vesuvion’s shoulder, causing him to pass out from bloodloss. Hesiah manages to draw the Owlbear away from the body of his friend, who is slowly bleeding to death, and retreats to the far side of the cave, where in the darkness he steps on an egg. After a long, drawn out fight a heavily wounded Hesiah just manages to finish off the Owlbear and rushes over to try and treat his friend. The first aid seems to not be working but when all seems to be lost Vesuvion starts coughing and spluttering and opens his eyes. The pair then realise that the sounds of the fight may have attracted the attention of the goblins and that they were in no shape for another fight. Before leaving the cave Hesiah retrieved the remaining egg as he figured that it would be unlikely to survive the death of it’s mother (yes they did check) as Owlbears mate for life and divide duties between them, with one responsible for hunting and one for caring for their young. They decide to head down the tunnel that the Owlbear came from , on the assumption that it leads to the outside. This turns out to be the case, and the pair make sure to make note of the location of the entrance as it now provides an easy way to enter the goblin caves without alerting the guards or setting off the traps in the first corridor. The journey back to the bandit camp is thankfully uneventful.

When they reach the camp they find that Nev returned several hours before they did and seems to be fine, although is somewhat annoyed at being abandoned with the pair of goblin guards. The pair are rushed to the camp’s healers, where they recount what they have learned to Alara and Terek. Hesiah asks if the bandits have tried negotiating with the goblins and Alara mentions that they haven’t because they lack a common language. She does mention an old legend about a being who lives in the lake to the south who can speak almost any language spoken within the forest. Hesiah, Vallyn and Vesuvion decide to go out and search for this being first thing in the morning. At first Hesiah fears that it may be a Black Dragon but then he remembers stories that he used to tell Terek about a beautiful woman who lived in the lake and realises that the stories may be connected.

It takes several hours to reach the lake and when they get there all seems calm. Vallyn and Vesuvion search the area while Hesiah meditates at the water’s edge, making patterns on the surface with his fingers. Suddenly an arm reaches out of the water and seizing hold of Hesiah’s arm it drags him into the lake. As Hesiah is dragged down into the depth Vesuvion attempt to telepathically communicate with the creature but all he gets is the sound of giggling before it disappears down into the Stygian depths of the lake. Reasoning that there is little chance of him catching up with the creature and no point in two people getting wet Vesuvion sits down at the edge of the lake to wait.

Meanwhile Hesiah is being dragged deeper and deeper into the lake until eventually he reaches an underwater castle. At this point they stop and Hesiah is able to get a good look at his assailant, a beautiful, elf-like, woman. She starts to talk to him and he manages to convey to her that he is unable to breathe, so she hands him a herb that enables him to breathe underwater. She reveals that she brought him down here because she liked the patterns he was making and this leads on to an extensive conversation about the web of life.

About half an hour later the water nymph, who has revealed her name to be Eudora, asks Hesiah about his friend waiting at the surface and the pair realise that he could be quite worried. Eudora therefore returns to the surface to fetch Vesuvion, who she also grabs and drags into the water. The warlock and the monk then explain the situation in the forest and that they could really use someone who is able to act as an interpretor during negotiations between the goblins and the bandits. Eudora explains that she is reluctant to interfere with the surface world but will think it over. She tells the pair to return to the surface and that she would give her answer some point that evening. They agree that this sounds reasonable and so return the surface, where Vallyn makes a fire for them to dry themselves and they wait until the evening when Eudora would give her answer.

As evening approaches the group see a large flying creature approach just as Eudora is surfacing. The temperature suddenly drops and it soon becomes clear that the creature is some kind of ice demon. Just as Eudora reaches the surface the demon fires a bolt of ice which freezes the water around her, trapping her. Vesuvion returns fire with a blast of eldritch energy while Vallyn and Hesiah try to help Eudora. The demon then changes focus and begins attacking Vesuvion before being drawn off by Hesiah. The monk and the demon start to fight while Vallyn manages to free Eudora from the ice. Vesuvion then unleashes an enormous stream of lightening that hits the demon straight in the middle of its chest, leaving a massive hole and instantly killing it. Hesiah and Vallyn turn to look at the warlock incredulously and he flatly says “I hate demons”.

With the demon dead, Eudora swims back to the shore and gratefully thanks the group for saving her life and agrees to help them deal with the goblins.

Session 7

While Hesiah and Vesuvion were off fighting in the goblin caves, Terek and Vallyn had a discussion with Alara Greatwood about how possible it would be for her to return to Aelaris. Vallyn, having seen her before when she was younger, can confirm that she probably wouldn’t be recognised unless she met someone who knew her – however, if Petey Whitecastle is running the country as regent, she probably won’t be able to e.g. enter the palace to discuss things with him without running the risk of being unmasked. Shortly after this discussion, Nevan returned to the bandit camp, having managed to lose the goblins chasing him. He told the others that Hesiah and Vesuvion were inside the caves, but considering how hard it would be to follow them without attracting attention, everybody stayed in camp until the other two returned, grievously injured and carrying an owlbear egg.

The following day, after the nymph Eudora has been rescued from the ice demon who attacked her, she tells the party that they saved her life and she will therefore come with them to translate any discussion with the goblins. On the way to the goblin camp, however, four large wolves surround the group in a clearing, and a fight breaks out. The wolves are initially not totally visible, hidden within the trees as they are, but Vallyn uses faerie fire to outline one of them in violet flames and then Terek charges into the trees, heedless of personal safety, swearing vengeance on the species that destroyed his home and killed everyone he’s ever known who aren’t the people with him in this clearing. The wolves attack him as a pack, but are mostly defeated by his very crunchy plate armour – at least long enough for Vallyn and Hesiah to join him in the trees and start being violent. Vesuvion, Nevan and Eudora remain in the clearing, casting spells and shooting arrows variously. Over time, the wolves are blinded, confused, have a lot of holes poked in them, and eventually die after managing to bite Terek and Hesiah a couple of times and knocking Vallyn over twice. After Terek chops one into tiny pieces in the force of his vengeful rage, the final wolf is dispatched with a knife across its throat following a short debate about what one can really do with an unconscious wolf anyway. It’s at around this time that Vallyn notices that these wolves seem rather unusual – they behave more like plains wolves than forest wolves, and in fact they seem somewhat similar to the wolves that attacked Fellwalk, although a bit smaller.

Rather than standing around pondering these mysteries, the party moves on quickly to the goblin caves to escape any other wolves coming after them. Once there, Eudora helps to open negotiations with the Goblin King, who refuses to consider the idea of the goblins leaving their caves. Or ceasing to rob the bandits. He also somewhat dismisses the idea that any group of adventurers could get rid of the owlbears which forced his goblins from their previous home. He suggests that the bandits leave instead, but since that’s not at all what Alara proposed, another solution has to be found. Hesiah suggests that trial by combat might result in one of the party becoming the new goblin king and thus being able to order them to leave. He offers the honour of this fight to Terek, naturally. The Goblin King complains that Terek is much taller than him, and it wouldn’t be fair. However, a thumping from within the goblin caves soon turns out to be an ogre, who emerges, and who conveniently is equipped with a saddle to allow the goblin king to ride on him. This, the goblin king says, will make them equal combatants. Preparations for the fight go ahead while everybody except Terek hastily works out whether they can possibly help him in this fight without it appearing to be cheating. (Terek, of course, is sure that any assistance he gains will be his right, and is not cheating. Nobody tells him otherwise.)

Goblins and non-goblins take up position outside the cave entrance. Vesuvion establishes a mental link with Terek and skims the thoughts of the goblin king, relaying his plans to Terek to allow him to dodge many a blow. Vallyn, meanwhile, casts what spells he can to distract and hurt the ogre by mocking it, or to deflect its blows and keep Terek from harm. Hesiah shouts occasional helpful advice from the sidelines such as ’don’t get forced into the cave’, while Nev hovers nervously nearby being of very little use. Eudora watches, interested to see how the natural order pans out. At first, neither Terek nor the goblin/ogre combo can seem to get the advantage on each other, but the balance of the battle changes the second time Terek attempts to cut the goblin king’s harness off the ogre’s back. With the goblin on the ground, he is easily killed – particularly as the ogre has just been sufficiently distracted by Vallyn’s tactics to go after him instead. However, just as it looks like it might be a relatively simple job to finish off the ogre, a new threat appears – another owlbear, even larger than the one that Hesiah and Vesuvion encountered in the cave. It has been watching the fight until it makes a noise and is noticed. Nev shoots it with an arrow, which it doesn’t seem to like, then hides to avoid retribution. Goblins panic. Terek tries to shepherd them into following his orders, even going so far as to kill one of them for disobeying him, but it just seems to make things worse. He gives up and attempts to throw the goblin king’s crown to Nevan, but accidentally crowns one of the other goblins instead. However, this glorious reign is short-lived, as the owlbear hops down from the hillock and crushes multiple goblins under its claws, including the crowned one. Hesiah and Terek converge on the wounded, blinded ogre, planning to finish it off before turning their attentions to the owlbear, and manage to push it into the owlbear’s path. However, Vesuvion targets a spell directly at the owlbear, drawing its attention. Luckily, with everyone’s combined efforts, both the ogre and the owlbear are dispatched relatively easily, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.

…that is, until they remember all the loot in the caves that the goblins stole from the bandits, which they could even now be removing and running off with. The front entrance was blocked by goblins fleeing into the caves away from the owlbear, so the party runs round to the owlbear lair entrance. Hesiah and Vesuvion mention that there was another passage which might have come out somewhere nearby, but nobody can see anything. Vesuvion and Vallyn sense something magical, but as it doesn’t respond to being prodded with a quarterstaff – and as wolves are still howling in the forest around – everyone heads in through the known owlbear entrance. From the owlbear cave – still a destroyed mess, now with a partially-buried owlbear corpse – Vallyn, Vesuvion and Terek go to investigate the other passageway. Nevan and Hesiah stay behind until they are called to follow, because a room with a very strange swirly orange-blue portal has been discovered. Everyone goes through the portal (after careful peeking through first) to find themselves in a strange nonagonal room with a giant green crystal embedded in its centre. From the crystal, lines of crushed red crystal lead to each of the walls, and in each wall there is yet another swirly orange-blue portal. Above each portal is carved the sigil of one of the Great Houses – with the portal leading back to the goblin caves surmounted with the tree sigil of House Greatwood. Everybody finds this rather concerning. Discussions are had about how dangerous this room is, who could possibly control it, whether anyone has heard of such a thing before, and where that trapdoor twenty feet up in the air might lead. The trapdoor that, now that they look at it closely, looks like it made be made from wood from a tree from somewhere well north of Aelaria. Discussions immediately turn to whether the crystal can or should be destroyed (probably yes, probably no unless some other escape route could be discovered), whether disrupting it would do any good (probably not as someone could just come back in the room and put things back the way they were), and whether anyone wants to go see what’s on the other side of the trapdoor before they’ve had a chance to recover from all the fighting (no). It’s decided to leave this problem for later and go deal with the goblin loot for now.

Back in the goblin caves, a helpful pair of goblins point the way down the loot tunnel before being sent off by Terek in the direction of the portal room. Everyone else attempts to interrupt Eudora’s translation of this before it gets underway, but the goblins leave anyway. Lots of shiny loot in a chest is discovered, and divided up equally between the party, who agree to return to the bandit camp to recover before revisiting the portal room. Back at the camp, Alara is eager to know everything that has happened, unsure about Eudora as a forest neighbour, and unconvinced by Vallyn’s story that they only recovered one gem from the goblin hoard. Everyone turns over all of the loot, except for one pocketful that Vallyn holds back, and 5 gems which Vesuvion has identified as magical (and deduces may be related to types of skills, and may be beneficial if used to boost them). Everyone rests and recovers. Hesiah checks on his owlbear egg – still making scritching noises – and packs it up to take with him. Nevan trades a pickpocketed amulet from Aelaris for some hard cash, and everyone gets a fifteenth of the recovered loot as a finder’s fee. In the morning, however, when the party come to return to the goblin caves, Alara insists on coming with them – possibly because she heard Vesuvion say something about portals, possibly because she just really doesn’t want to go to Aelaris with Petey Whitecastle.

Back at the caves, the portal is as it was left, as is the portal room on the other side. Alara demands that the trapdoor be opened, which Vesuvion does for her, and a rope ladder descends. She immediately scales it and climbs out of sight, heedless of warnings that this may not be anywhere in Aelaria. Everyone hastily follows her. From the tower top on which they emerge, the ruins of Scorax city can be seen all around. And within the ruins, there is movement…

Session 8

The party begins their descent of the tower(which is not as easy as it looks), but quickly find another sealed room, containing a huge iron-bound book. However, as Alara is about to descend, she reveals that she has faerie wings, and flutters down without any trouble. The party succeeds in retrieving the book from its stand by rigging a rope across the room, and having Alara tightrope walk across with the book, with the help of Vesuvion’s Mage Hand. Removing the book caused most of the floor to disappear, revealing a huge, spiky, pulsating red crystal beneath them. Nev was the first to continue the climb down but lost his grip and fell away from the tower. Thinking quickly Vesuvion jumped out of the window after him, casting Featherfall on Nev and himself so they both floated safely down. Dragging the book with them, the rest of the party climbed down the rest of the tower , onto the roof of the palace of old Scorax City. Hesiah leapt from the roof into a building opposite, leaving the others to descend into the palace through the roof, where they found a hoard of treasure.

Below the building, Hesiah discovered a white dragon and its companion, who had been living beneath Scorax City since its destruction a century earlier. Despite the presence of animated armours, the rest of the party were able to join Hesiah eventually, where they learned of the true history of Aelaria and Scorax from the dragon and his companion, one of King Aelar’s party who had effected this destruction. Terek offered the dragon safe passage to the hills near Fellwalk, and Alara left with the dragon and his companion to ensure that the country would not be too disrupted.

The party was forced to drop down to the catacombs below the city to escape the animated armours drawn by the dragon’s dramatic exit, whereupon Vesuvion and Vallyn went off alone, exploring an abandoned tunnel. In this tunnel they encountered Norg, a spectator who through a stroke of luck managed to incapacitate the two, dragging them off to his lord, the Beholder Norlem. The rest of the party attempted to rescue Team Elf, but were unable to prevent Vesuvion from launching an attack on the Beholder, who subsequently partially petrified the warlock, and demanded a tribute of 1000 souls and 1000 demonic bouncy balls. The number ‘1000’ appeared twice on Vesuvion’s petrified arm…

Session 9

Having recovered from their encounter with the Beholder, the party sets out to escape through another tunnel. While travelling through the tunnel, Vallyn is grabbed by an earth elemental! After fighting it for a short while, the party realises the elemental is not actually trying to attack them, merely attempting a friendly hug, and manage to communicate with the elemental (and its friend) via Vesuvion’s telepathy. The elementals lead the party to an exit into the desert, and tell them that a temple in the mountains may hold the power to restore Vesuvion.

The party progresses into the foothills of the mountains, where they see a campfire up ahead. Vallyn and Nev sneak up to see what is happening, and see that the camp is about to be attacked by wolves! Vallyn runs forward to help the travellers fight the wolves, while Nev runs back to get the others. Unfortunately, despite Vallyn’s heroic efforts, four of the five travellers were killed by wolves before they could organise themselves. Vallyn was able to hold off the wolves from the last traveller until Nev and Terek arrived, and between them they turned the tide of battle against the wolves. (In a sad turn of events, Terek has still clearly not dealt with the traumatic issues surrounding his family’s death, and failed to successfully attack a single wolf.) However, the wolves turned out to have frost powers, and it was not until Hesiah and Vesuvion finally arrived that the last wolf was finished off. Helping the remaining traveller to bury his friends, the party learn that they have already travelled through a temple ahead which forms an easy route to the north and Br’X, and that this is part of some god’s mind game. Undeterred, after resting for the night, the party continues onwards to the temple (with Vesuvion now perched awkwardly on a spare horse from the travellers’ camp), where they must enter one at a time.

Inside the entrance to the temple, Hesiah finds four doors; Tunnel to Br’X, Tunnel to the North, Answers, and Power. He chose answers, and was met by a small girl in a very large room, who gave him some rather unsatisfactory answers to his question regarding Terek’s ultimate fate. Not falling for the trap of asking more questions, Hesiah left through a bright white exit door and found himself on the other side of the temple/tunnel.

Terek entered next, and saw the doors Tunnel to Br’X, Tunnel to Aelaris, Power, and Father. His fate is as yet unknown.

Vesuvion found the Tunnel to Br’X, the Arcane Library, Answers, and Restoration. He chose Restoration, and passed through to find a small tree with a single green fruit on it. As he approached the tree, a voice of a young girl declared that the tree was the Tree of Life and that the green fruit would completely heal and restore him. Finding no reason to disbelieve the voice Vesuvion ate the fruit, causing a golden light to envelop him, gradually morphing his stone limbs back to flesh and blood, and healing all of his wounds and scars bar the numbers carved into his upper arm. At this point a bright, white exit door, approximately 7 feet tall appears and the same female voice says that he can either leave now or taste some of the other fruits of the tree- the blue fruit of knowledge or the red fruit of power. As this is said the tree grows and the two aforementioned fruits appear. Vesuvion chooses the blue fruit and as he plucks it from the tree the exit disappears. He bites into it and feels his mind expand. At the same time the exit reappears, but is now a foot shorter and a foot narrower, and the side of the tree with the blue fruit grows, revealing more fruit higher up; larger and more succulent than those below. The voice points out the larger the fruit the more illuminating the knowledge contained. Vesuvion climbed higher and higher into the tree eating the fruit and ignoring the swiftly shrinking exits that appeared and disappeared as he climbed. The tree grew evermore difficult to climb and Vesuvion fell several times, suffering grievous injury the first time he fell but using Feather Fall upon the following mishaps to avoid the damage. Eventually reached the top of the tree and was faced with a two foot by one foot door and a fruit which the voice promised would allow him to really understand what was going on. Trusting the voice and confident that he could use his magic to escape through any sized portal Vesuvion ate the last fruit and saw a vision of four giant crystals, the one already seen in Scoraxia and three others, giving him an understanding of their basic nature. The initial seven foot by five foot exit reappeared and not wishing to push his luck any further and still overwhelmed by what he had learnt Vesuvion steps through the portal, finding himself standing alongside Hesiah.

The traveller entered, and passed straight through to Br’X (or says he did, anyway).

Vallyn entered, finding four doors: Tunnel to Br’X, Deck of Many Things, Answers, and Vengeance. He passed through the door to the Deck, and found exactly what he expected. He drew seven cards; Key, which gave him the Cli Lyre, Jester, The Fates, Star, Knight, and Donjon – which he returned to the deck using the power of The Fates. He then drew Gem, followed by Ruin, and Moon. He then declared to draw one more card, which was Comet. He dared to draw again, and received the Throne, which caused what appeared to be the crown of Aelaria to appear on his head. At this point, the small girl appeared, and offered to allow Vallyn to leave with one of the cards. Despite her threats, Vallyn chose to use a Wish to escape with all of the cards, and appeared in the throne room of the Emperor of Scorax, along with the various benefits he had gained, including Derek Bartell, his knight. The two were immediately thrown into prison, opposite… Lina Caston. The small girl reappeared in Lina Caston’s cell, declared that Vallyn had cheated, and threatened to kill Lina.

Nevan found the Tunnel to Br’X, Riches, The Road to Mastery, and Terek’s Safety. He picked the Road to Mastery, and found himself in a crowded city bar with three figures in cloaks walking away from him – a black cloak, a blue cloak and a red cloak. He chose to follow the blue-cloaked figure and soon found himself chasing it over rooftops, scaling high towers and jumping off them, and eventually making an improbable leap over a huge canyon (ignoring bright white exit doors which kept appearing beside him and growing worryingly smaller every time he ignored them). He eventually chose to leave when the door had shrunk to 3′×2′ in size, whereupon the cloaked figure turned back and asked if he didn’t truly want mastery? If he followed the figure, it offered perfection. When questioned as to what type of perfection, it said ‘trust.’ Nevan decided that this sounded far, far too good to be true, and crawled through the tiny door to find Hesiah and Vesuvion awaiting him on the other side.

At the point in time at which Vallyn’s wish was made, the party standing outside the temple feel a strange ripple going through reality, and looking down at Br’X are sure it wasn’t on fire before…

Session 9.5
Vallyn's Wild Ride

Vallyn quickly discovered from Lina that this was not the world he had left. He was apparently king of Aelaria, and at war with Scoraxia and an army of demons. Scoraxians had conquered much of the Westfold, as well as Aelaris, while an army from Eastfold had breached the wall and taken control of much of the eastern part of Scoraxia, laying seige to Br’X.

Suspecting that this was more of the chaos god’s bullshittery, he decided not to do as she suggested and Wish his way out, and broke out of jail with Derek and Lina with an ease that suggested that this was indeed divine bluffing. While escaping, the group discovered that Morthos was also imprisoned in the dungeon, and with him created a huge prison break to cover their escape. Vallyn, however, wanted to try and recover the Cli Lyre before escaping. He snuck across the courtyard as escaping prisoners were gruesomely dispatched by fireballs, and made his way to the theatre, where he discovered the lyre in the centre of the stage, being played by the little god of chaos. Once again, she tried to entice him to Wish for the lyre, but he refused, and was suddenly confronted by the Emperor of Scoraxia, who, as it happened, was a pit fiend.

Vallyn fled the pit-Emperor-fiend back to the others, dodging fireballs as he went, and in order to escape Morthos cast fly on the group. Unfortunately, they were not fast enough to escape the pit fiend, and so landed in the city to try and escape. Despite their best efforts, the four found themselves trapped between a rock (pit fiend) and a hard place (the Scoraxian army). At this point, the small girl appeared once more. Vallyn, seeing no other option, gave in and asked to return to the temple, and his choice.

Smiling, the little girl returned Vallyn to the temple. She gave him the choice once again of the cards he had drawn, but refused him the choice of the Moon. Vallyn, unable to choose just one, struck a deal with the god – in return for a favour at a later date, he could choose two cards. As he was about to make his decision, the little girl told him that not everything he had seen in the vision was false – some of it represented events that may come to pass in the near future. Considering this, Vallyn took the Star and Knight, and left the temple, finding himself standing with the rest of the party, as well as a new friend – Thia Nightflower. (It seems that Derek had simply been an illusion conjured by the god, rather than a true knight summoned by the Deck.)


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