A Rising Tide

Thilonde's Errand

Our heroes ventured into the sewers beneath the ridgeside slums to obtain a lockbox that was stolen from The Grey Prince Thilonde, the Graceful. Investigating possible leads, they interrogated Amarien, the shady dealer they used to move stolen goods in the past after losing handily in a gambling contest and threatening their informant – who ended up giving all of the ‘winnings’ to Amarien to entice her to show.

She reported that the thief could be found in the sewers and that ‘he had been asking or this for a long time’. It apparently was known around the area that people were expecting a visit from the blackswords soon, and that the person responsible had amassed a rather sizable force of thieves and bandits to protect and assist him.

Once underneath the streets, it became apparent that Garantine, the assistant Thilonde had sent with them, was more of a liability then an asset, at least at first. She was quick to action and seemed uninterested in sparing the lives of those that they encountered – but this behavior came in handy once they came across a large group on individuals chanting around a pool, summoning a water elemental of sorts. The summoners quickly fell upon themselves and each other before the party finished off the survivors, but not before the ritual was complete and a sinister form rose from the pool before them and attacked.

Thinking it was smarter to flee than to face this beast, Avery and Nephera snatched up Garantine’s fallen, drowning form and ran headlong from the chamber into an open space, where they were confronted with a band of dwarves – it would seem these were the ones responsible for the lockbox’s theft. After some ‘negotiations’, it became apparent that the Dwarf in charge,Dunnegar, had no interest in anything that would make the grey prince happy and had vowed revenge for something that had been done to ‘his people’. The party defeated his guard and threatened him once more, upon which he ran from the area, hurling stones with magic behind him as he went. A bat then fell from the ceiling and stole away Garantine’s toad familiar, and Avery made the choice to save the girl rather than chase the Dwarf.

They did not obtain the lockbox, but did discover a stockpile of explosives, and took some of them back with them. Returning the the palace empty handed, save for some art objects, jewelry, and gemstones, our heroes were happy to learn that Thilonde had still honored their bargain and the Crimson Princess, Hadna Enedras, was on her way back from the Carstin Spire with her surviving paladins – it sounds as though the war did not spare the troops under her command.

Now our duo heads to the Erenon outpost, where Oron has tracked Detetar, and it has become known that the hobgoblins have seized the base and the other princes are mobilizing to retake it. As a new day dawns in the Carok Mountains, will the preparations made thus far prove enough to stem the rising tide of the severed?

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Grain Collection

Today was full of surprises. We ran a couple of errands in a rather shady side of town, and made the acquaintance of Amarien via Eledron. She could be a helpful source of… hard to find items in Ilmor. Our task for Prince Celador began by joining up with his son, the Baron Voranael, and his grain collecting contingent of soldiers and clerical workers. He seems to have his head on straight, which is refreshing. He wears a badge of triumph which indicates his presence during the past victory over the hobgoblins fifty years ago. He seems eager and determined to beat the hoard back again, and I appreciate his practicality and apparent expertise in this subject. We made an happily uneventful journey north to Lasiris to begin collecting grain “donations” from the farmers. It was a surprising hard sell, as the people had already given the requisite amounts. We were able to convince some farmers that this grain was essential for their safety from the hobgoblin menace.

Our trip took an unexpected turn when we discovered a farm covered in ice. It is not winter, and no other farms were in this state. The farmer reported hearing strange noises in the night and waking up to a collapsed barn with missing livestock and blood everywhere. Theories floated included an avalanche, wizard, and dragons. It seems possible that a juvenile white dragon from the hinterlands veered into some lower terrain for a barnyard snack. Regardless, Voranael decided to leave half the contingent with the farmer to assist with repairs.

Later that night at camp we learned some interesting bits of gossip about our old friend Oron. Captain Arcaht intimated to us that Oron isn’t just a random henchman of Prince Malgonar, but also his bastard (and there are apparently many). This actually explains a lot of Oron’s prickly demeanor and determined efforts to prove himself… I actually feel some sympathy for him although he could stand to make a few personality upgrades.

The next day we moved to the town of Ossilien for grain collections. To our dismay, we found the town in the midst of a gruesome hobgoblin attack. Everything was getting put to the torch, people were screaming and running. Three things were immediately apparent: the grain storage building was on fire, there was a pitched battle at the town hall, and the dam (which preserves the irrigation system for Ilmor’s farmlands) above the town was getting dismantled. Before we could act, Voranael and his small group of soldiers rushed to join the battle. Nephera and I decided to save the dam. If it fell, it wouldn’t matter how much grain we collected… we struck down the hobgoblins at the dam with our fury and quickly returned to the town to try to reunite with Voranael.

A difficult battle ensued, with casualties on both sides. It is unfortunate we left so many soldiers at the icy farm, as their strength would have been helpful. As it was, we managed to fight off the hobgoblins but Voranael was severely injured. Captain Arcaht was able to stabilize the baron and Nephera was able to heal him to the point that he could stand. At this point we thought we were in the clear, but a movement in the corner of my eye jolted me back into action – I shoved Voranael back into the ground as an arrow shot past us – but unfortunately it found its mark in Captain Arcaht instead. It was a poisoned arrow and his death was painful but thankfully short. The arrow also had a blue ribbon attached, the signature of D. We quickly identified a figure standing on the ridge above us as the shooter, and Voranael’s soldiers took off after him. Their progress was severely impaired by a series of traps… it was a terrible day.

We returned to Ilmor and met with Prince Celador. He is now even more determined to march on Carok to beat back the hobgoblin plague, but we fear we need more support from the other princes. We also visited Prince Malgonar to notify him that Oron’s prey is still loose, with no sign of Oron. He seemed unconcerned, and this lessens him in my eyes… we also visited the grey Prince. Nephera made a tentative deal with him: we recover a missing box of some value to him, and he sends his elite guard to find out what happened to Prince Malgonar’s daughter at the spire. Two birds with one stone? There seems to be some sort of history between the grey prince and Malgonar’s daughter so I am not certain this plan will go smoothly. I am also concerned that the grey prince’s request may put us at odds with some of our new friends, specifically Eldrohn… but it is something we may need to do anyways.

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Aeved, The Seer

As the sun dipped into the horizon, our heroes met the Red Prince’s huntsman at the gates of the city. By horseback they set out to seek an audience with the Seer, Aeved. No more than an hour outside of the city, Avery and Nephera spotted a flicker of light through the darkness. Nephera cautiously suggested the group avoid the camp, but Oron and Avery were eager to investigate. Upon their approach, it was quickly discovered that the campfire belonged to four hulking Hobgoblins. As the Hobgoblins sat grumbling in their foreign language, unaware of the threat in the shadows, the cleric and the rogue debated taking these villains on. Unsurprisingly, Oron struck out on his own- forcing Avery and Nephera to follow. They struck the Hobgoblins, hacking and casting their way to victory. High off of this decisive win, they were hardly prepared when another wave of Hobgoblins found them! Again they fought, this time harder and with some injury, but alas they were victorious. Oron nursed his wounds as his two companions scavenged for treasure. Nephera, hoping to shove an ugly Hobgoblin head or two in a few royal faces, collected several souvenirs before they continued on their path to the Seer. After a long journey, the adventurers came upon a cave- forcing them to leave their mounts for the remainder of the trip. Venturing forth with torches, the rogue managed to disarm an active trap only moments before the three of them heard movement ahead. They heard the squabbling of Kobolds echoing throughout the cave and they crept closer, hoping to take advantage of the situation. Avery fired an arrow, which missed, confusing the reptilian creatures before a brawl broke out. Most of the Kobolds went down within the first few minutes, but one particular Kobold gave Oron an infuriatingly persistent fight. Finally the Kobolds were defeated and the three travelers found their way out the other side of the cave. Upon exiting the cave, they found their selves in a forest of wiry trees, their branches bare and twisted. They soon came upon a crumbling structure covered in vines and thick moss and it seemed very much abandoned, although Oron seemed to believe otherwise. Finding their way inside, they stepped over piles of rotting and moldy books and passed many different wall clocks. Avery found a passage that let them to a room with a large desk holding more books. Sitting behind the desk was the Seer, Aeved, but she wasn’t anything like they expected. Mumbling like a madwoman, the elf had nothing of substance to say to the three travelers. Oron asked her some questions on the orders of his prince, but the answers were nonsense or incredibly vague. As the adventurers were about to leave dejectedly, Aeved seized up and her eyes and many intricate tattoos that marred her body lit up, as if she was bursting from the seams. In a voice not her own, she addressed herself as Balitra. Speaking only to Avery and Nephera, Balitra spoke of a portal that would open and of an ancient evil that would be unleashed on the world. She told them that they were the key to stopping this chaos and that they would play a vital role in bringing both this ancient evil and the Hobgoblins that follow to their destruction. The lights disappeared, as did Balitra. All that remained was the mad Seer, Aeved who convulsed and vomited black bile before falling unconscious. Oron, who no one noticed had been frozen the moment Balitra appeared, fell to the floor with black tar like tears. Unable to explain what had happened moments before, they exited the decaying building- carrying Aeved’s unconscious body with them when an arrow flew past Nephera’s head and buried itself into Avery’s leg. They found an ominous message attached to the arrow that read ‘how taste your fear’. Oron, realizing the origins of this message, briefly explained to his companions that his men had been terrorized by one who calls himself Detetar and impulsively ran after this stalker in the woods. Abandoned by Oron, Nephera struggled to get both the Seer and her injured rogue friend back to the horses where they set off for the Princely City. There, they confronted the Red Prince with the news of their journey, while leaving out the bit about them being the key to ending the battle. Frustrated by the prince’s inaction, Avery and Nephera went to seek audiences with the other princes who offered their support with the understanding that they would also have to help them with their own problems. Despite the tiresome ‘favors for favors’ deal that would have to be struck, the Blue Prince seemed all the more willing to support their endeavors. Avery and Nephera left with a little more confidence that they would take back Carok and defeat those terrible Hobgoblins once and for all.

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The Glory of War

As our duo returned from their meeting the Prince Malgonar Enedras to The Sleeping Beggar, they met with the spymaster Oron Ritham. Having at first disguised himself as a patron of the inn asleep by the fire, he revealed to the party that they would be working together to spread a propaganda message in support of the war on the hobgoblins. More specifically, they would be posing as food and drink vendors in The Ring Theater during a play performance that Oron had written. While so disguised, they would be on the lookout for any signs that the populace was in support or opposition of the war, and to root out any potential troublemakers should they proceed with wartime preparations.

Despite encountering some racism and resistance from the guards at the Ring Theater – humans and half-elves have to use a rear entrance – the three made their way to the seating areas and began their espionage. Nephera quickly made friends with some of the lower-class attendees, doling out free mead in return for their true opinion on war and the Prince Encarmine, and what she found was that there is great support for both. Avery Martell, on the other hand, took over for her companion after the former embarrassed herself in the wealthy box seats, and set about looking both for information from the higher-class, and any easily stolen items, of course. She discovered a relatively less enthusiastic mood among the well-to-do, and isolated one particular noble, Galvia, who was intent upon distributing a pamphlet decrying the rush to war and the propagandistic approach she had seen here.

Oron was less than pleased with this revelation, and the trio set to track her movements after she left the arena. Coming upon her and her guard in an alley, Oron attempted to murder the woman under the guise of a petitioner seeking her signature, but was unsuccessful. Avery and Nephera scrambled through the streets in hot pursuit (Avery less so, having met a number of balance concerns and a rather unfortunate potato situation), but eventually they cornered Galvia on a rooftop, pulling a ladder and her last guard down from the wall, and striking the elf unconscious upon the ground with sap and staff.

Atop the wall, Galvia attempted to negotiate for her life, and threatened that her pamphlet, with incriminating evidence against The House of Aunheath, would be released for certain if she were not let free. Oron, having done away with the guards back near the theater, arrived and made it clear that her survival was not an option. While Avery and Nephera attempted to still his murderous intent, Galvia leaped from the roof and took her own life. As the party descended to the streets and disposed of the bodies in some nearby produce crates, a bitter argument ensued over the morality of the situation and whether Oron’s employer would take kindly to what had happened. It should be noted that Avery and Nephera did loot the bodies, despite their displeasure at these unnecessary deaths.

The two adventurers then reported back to Prince Malgonar, who was well aware of his man’s methods and reputation, stating that he still had use for him and would not be deterred from enjoying his continued employment. With no small amount of distaste, the women left, but not before hearing that the prince still desired their assistance in checking with Aeved, the seer, and hearing if she had any advice on the potential of their war efforts. As they returned to the Inn, Eledhron Auroanc regaled them with stories of how pleased the common folk seemed to be with the play, and that their efforts of the day seemed to be a success.

Unpacking a crate that arrived by courier, Sybeth Colke informed them that some gifts from the palace had arrived – a bevy of valuables and magical items as thanks from Malgonar for a job well done – it seems dirty work can yet reap rewards. The two turned in to bed, hesitant and doubtful but still planning to attend to the seer in the morning, in the company of ‘the good Sir Ritham’ once more.

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A Council of Princes

As morning breaks, the party awakened to the bustle of activity in The Princely city of Illmor, and headed upstairs to greet their new host. After some discussion and learning about the various districts of the city itself, Nephera and Avery set off to meet with the princes in council. Eledhron elected to remain behind, as has much to catch up on. Plus, he added it’s best if he keeps his head down for now, as he ‘isn’t supposed to be in the city, you know’. Hurendel also chose to remain in the humble comforts of The Sleeping Beggar, rather than expose herself to the discomforts of court. Seeing as she is young, naiive, and has a serving girl’s background, the two decide it’s for the best and head out to make their appeal.

Arriving to meet Ellariel Umeer, the duo are led into a chamber with three finely wrought thrones arrayed beneath a high arching ceiling, with tapestries hanging above that seem to depict events in the history of the city unfurled throughout the room in a variety of colors. These are the seats of The House of Llani, The House of Bacot, and The House of Aunheath, whose Lords are Prince Celador Enedras, Prince Thilonde Enedras, and Prince Malgonar Enedras respectively.

After some formalities, the two heroes recount their harrowing experiences over the past week, which was met with varying response from each prince. It appears that these hobgoblins are indeed of the Severed clan, and present a much greater threat to the Kingdom of The Carok Mountains than previously believed. While all three princes seem intent to squash this intrusion on their lands, each has some hesitance and restrictions on their abilities to do so at this time, and they turned to discussing the feasibility of the project.

It was not long before the discussion became heated, with each prince showing varying degrees of frustration, concern, and anger. The largest point of contention turned on the lack of any word from Carstin Spire – established specifically to prevent such an invasion. There had been no warning or word of an attack; could it be because they spire had fallen, or that the hobgoblins maneuvered around it undetected? Could it be that the Crimson Princess, Malgonar’s own daughter, could have failed? Perhaps she had even been killed in action?

Before things could get too unseemly for guests in the court, Ellariel escorted Nephera and Avery out to the parlor to await further discussion from the princes. During this time they weighed their options with which prince to appeal to directly, how, and why, and after some time settled on Prince Malgonar Enedras due to his popularity with the people, his skilled forces, and the fact that he had personal investment in the fight now that the fate of his daughter was uncertain. This decision was not made lightly, however, as the two each primarily preferred a different prince and had to settle on the Lord Encarmine.

Eventually, They were able to meet with Prince Malgador personally in his own antechamber. Our heroes were led down a separate hallway from the parlor, off into another wing of the palace. The walls, rich with silk tapestries and warm dark wood eventually led to a large room with a vaulted ceiling. Several dozen candles and cushioned chairs dotted the expanse, and glasses of wine were already poured, awaiting the prince’s guests.

After some further discussion, Malgonar revealed that he had already accounted for the possibility of such a hobgoblin attack, but needed a few more facts before he could feel certain that taking his planned actions was the right course. He told them to meet with his man Oron Ritham and gather information from the townspeople to see how receptive the city was to waging a war, so soon after their last – a mere 50 years.

The party then returned to the inn to contemplate what they had learned, and prepare for their mission.

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The Path of the Refugee

After some time, our heroes awakened in the forest, and struggled with one another deciding what was best to do. As before, Caini demanded that the party head to The Princely City of Illmor, while Hurendel pleaded that they stay and fight to protect the town and save other survivors. Reluctant to make a choice without more information, Nephera and Avery Martell went back toward the town to get a better view. Climbing a tree and peering into the encampment that now overran The Monastery of Carok, it was apparent even from that considerable distance that retaking the captured town would be next to impossible.

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Already fortified and with prison pens established, there was little hope that the four of them could make any reasonable progress without outside help. As such, they set off toward Ilmor to petition the princes at Caini’s request.

The road itself was treacherous, as a number of kobolds attacked their position at night, and an ambushing hobgoblin set upon them later up the path. Eventually, the four reached Erenon Outpost, where dozens of other refugees from the monastery were camped outside of the fort. After a short time walking among the tents and small fires the refugees had established, they quickly fell in with some new friends: Eledhron Auroanc, a packrat scavenger, Ellon, a priest from the Princely City, and Maelmi, a merchant who was attending The Festival of Bounty to sell her wares. It was decided that they would be better off gaining entry to the fort to petition for help, or at least have a roof over their heads for the night.

After trying and failing to intimidate and persuade the guard, they eventually were able to bribe their way into having the sentry rouse Captain Varanien, the elf in charge of the outpost. After some discussion, Varanien implored them to seek out Ellariel Umeer in the Princely City, who should help them acquire the three princes’ aid in the coming battles against the hobgoblin horde, who he identified as Severed.

That night, the party stayed at the Erenon Outpost, and shared what little food they still had – which included some cakes that Maelmi was able to purchase from Maleik Othiannen – a fact that brought the heroes much joy, but also much sadness when they considered the unknown fate of their friend and host. The next morning brought the group setting off for Ilmor with their new friends, except for Caini, who would not be woken to follow.

Again, the road was fraught with dangers, and additional hobgoblin ambushes that the party was able to avoid. Eventually they came upon a burned out house, the inhabitants slaughtered, their left hands missing. Surely this was the work of the Severed. Disturbed and wary, they ventured onward. During a skirmish with some feral bats, it was proven that Eledhron was more than capable with a thrown axe, and might prove useful later on.

At long last, our refugees reached the walls of the city, brought the news to Ellariel, and were told to return in the morning to meet with the princes themselves. Varanien had sent a falcon with the news, but the council awaited the personal testimony of those who had witnessed the attack. Turning in for the night at The Sleeping Beggar, the party met Sybeth Colke, an old friend of Eledhron’s. Elon and Maelmi went their separate ways, and the remaining four headed to sleep, eager for the meeting with the princes the following morning.

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Nature's Bounty

Thanks for the Notes, Sara!

Our triumphant cart defenders woke up to the excited chatter of a full inn and the clanging of breakfast being made at Maleik‘s Fallen Leaf Inn. Avery and Nephera made their separate ways downstairs and to Avery’s surprise, Nephera chose to sit at her table. Although, that may have been because there were no other seats available in the crowded inn. Seizing this moment as a sign of lessened hostility (or perhaps drowsiness?), Avery pulled out an old looking elven book and handed it to Nephera. A gift, in thanks for her assistance in recapturing the cart. Nephera, though harboring some questions about how this book was obtained, accepted the gift. Suddenly, bouncing from table to table, patron to patron, while somehow carrying an impossibly balanced pile of dishes, Maleik appeared before Avery and Nephera to take their order. Maleik looked as if he was having the time of his life. The upcoming Festival of Bounty meant that business had never been better! But he had a problem. All this business meant he had no time to search for a proper offering to bring to the festival. After Maleik disappeared back into the chaos of his kitchen to prepare their orders (Avery offered to pay for them both, Nephera firmly declined), Avery and Nephera decided they would go into the forest together to find something for Maleik. It was the least they could do to help this poor innkeeper, and he had been providing them with lots of delicious cake.

As Nephera and Avery entered the forest they immediately recognized signs of the kobold who had escaped last night. Following the rough trail, they kept their eyes open for both the kobold and potential offerings for Maleik. A few semi-useful herbs were found. As they rounded a bush near a cliff edge, they heard a strange rustling. Several large rats emerged from the forest and, for some reason, headed straight towards Nephera and Avery. At first they weren’t sure what to think of these rats, but quickly realized that the rats meant to do harm. Utilizing their surroundings, Nephera hurled one of the unfortunate creatures over the cliff edge. Avery quickly recognized the benefits of that strategy, and chucked another rat into the abyss. They defeated the remaining rats, and Nephera retrieved a lovely alabaster stone from their fallen foes. Continuing up another suggestion of a trail, our two heroes made their way deeper into the forest. Suddenly, brightly colored centipedes undulated into the trail and set upon them. One struck high and attached itself to Nephera’s neck! Avery pulled it away, but as she did so another monstrous centipede clung onto her leg. Nephera boldly hit it with her staff. Eventually, the centipedes were vanquished and they were able to continue into this surprisingly hostile forest. Rounding a corner, the adventurers came upon the kobold. It was hunched over the corpse of a badger. Avery quietly advanced on the clueless kobold and ran it through with her rapier. Triumphantly, she proclaimed “This is for my cart!” She retrieved a pewter statue of the god of illusion from the kobold and badger. Underneath the badger, Nephera and Avery discovered a petrified sphere of oak roots. This unusual find would be an excellent offering for Maleik. With their mission complete, they left the darkening forest and returned to the Fallen Leaf.

The inn was somehow filled with even more patrons than the morning. Avery and Nephera managed to find two seats and watched as Maleik frantically (but happily) dashed between the kitchen and tables. As they sat in their newly minted truce of sorts, the sounds of the inn surrounded them. Patrons buzzed at every table about the Festival of Bounty that would begin today; talk of games and food and gossip swirled around the room. Some said that Dorthelloth, the Master of the Carok Monastery, would be returning from the wilderness on this auspicious day. Less reliable sources also reported a caravan of dwarves traveling to Carok. Dinner was eventually served, and they presented Maleik with his offering. Overcome with gratitude and exhausted from all the new business, Maleik accepted the petrified oak root ball. Afterwards Nephera and Avery went upstairs to their beds and fell fast asleep.

The next morning brought the start of the Festival of Bounty. Nephera and Avery made their way to the fair grounds and were immediately ensnared by the calls of vendors advertising festival games. There was the ring toss, archery, face painting, fish catching and more. Where to begin? They played all of the games. Nephera was a particular fan of the ring toss and collecting participation badges. With her shirt proudly adorned with more than a few badges, Nephera followed Avery to center of the festival. They stopped at a couple of vendors along the way and bought some snacks and a few small trinkets. Suddenly, a hush came over the revelers as they realized that a wizened old elf had appeared on a ridge directly above them. It was Dorthelloth! The master of the Carok Monastery had actually come! Avery listened as he began what sounded like an important speech. It was a very nice sounding speech, but was interrupted by distant screams that were getting louder by the second. Hundreds of brutish, tall, brownish-orange humanoids carrying pale blue banners with the image of an impaled hand ran over the hill across the river and flooded into the festival. Chaos was immediate; festival goers shrieked in panic and ran, Dorthelloth began an complicated incantation. Nephera and Avery struggled to decide what to do. The movement of the crowd made their decision for them as they were pushed back towards the town of Carok. Glancing backwards, they saw Dorthelloth’s magic begin to work as tendrils shot out from the ground to entangle the invaders. Arrows began to hit people near them, creating additional panic, and their view of Dorthelloth vanished as they ran with the crowd. Impulsively, Avery and Nephera ducked out of the crush of people and into a house. This gave them a moment to catch their breaths and regain some composure. What was the flag? Neither of them recognized it. Where was Maleik? Neither of them knew. They realized they were not alone in the house; a man and a woman crouched on the floor. The woman was severely injured, past the healing abilities of Nephera. Sadly, they did not have the luxury of time to continue helping. No longer were only festival goers running past the house – the attackers were now making their way through the town. Avery and Nephera decided to make a roof-top escape. Climbing out the top window and onto the roof, they jumped roof to roof until they reached the edge of the town near the border fence. Once back on the ground, they sprinted towards the fence and climbed over. To their dismay, they realized that they had been followed. Nephera quickly cast light on a stone and threw it in the opposite direction they planned to go. They continued their mad dash into the forest.

After running for some time, they stopped, gasping for air. Had they run far enough? It was now dark, and going any further meant risking getting hopelessly lost. A snap of twigs abruptly halted their plans of getting some sleep. They prepared to defend themselves, when suddenly two elves stumbled into their clearing. The younger elf was a girl named Hurendel who worked as a servant at the Carok Monastery. The older elf was named Caini. He was a portly fellow, and said that he was a male entertainer. Avery and Nephera exchanged incredulous glances at this, but listened to their tales of escape. The immediate question was what next? Caini reported that there was a town named Illmor with armed troops within two days of travel. Hurendel was reluctant to leave Carok, and insisted that there were those who never abandon the monastery but would stay and fight. She knew of a potential resistance camp location. With these questions to consider, Nephera and Avery settled down for an uneasy night in the forest, knowing that invaders crawled through the town of Carok not far from them.

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The Cart Before the Horse
Adventure 1 - Introductions

Thanks for the notes, Olivia!

The sun was setting behind the Mountains of Carok as a weary traveler climbed the steep dirt path toward the ancient Elven town by the same name. Large cart in tow, the outsider spotted a tavern as she entered the settlement. The traveler, Avery Martell, was a merchant and had journeyed all the way from Den’sha to sell her wares. The tattered wooden sign hanging over the tavern door that read ‘ The Fallen Leaf’ swung back and forth as a chilly gust of wind rustled the surrounding trees. Avery set her cart down beside the tavern window before entering the establishment.

Upon entry, she was greeted by a half-elf barkeep who introduced himself as Maleik. The rumble of jovial conversation by the tavern patrons and warm ambiance of the old wooden structure were welcoming sights to the traveler as she was ushered toward the last unoccupied table. Moments later, the tavern door opened once more and a young woman with wild red hair entered. The woman, Nephera, was a half-elf cleric who traveled to Carok for the vast knowledge provided by the great ancient elven library the town offered. Nephera greeted Maleik with a bright smile. A smile that faded the moment she set eyes upon the unknown traveler. The half-elf, having ill history with humans in the past, was uneasy with the new guest.

Tension rose as the two women shared the table and Maleik did what he could to best the tides, serving them his specialty Elven cakes. Maleik encouraged the young half-elf to be nice, as the traveler had money to spend. And since the barkeep had been serving the red-haired woman without charge these past weeks, she felt Maleik was owed at least her civility. The two women made pleasant, albeit sparse conversation until Maleik called to the traveler from the tavern door. Her cart was gone, taken! The half-elf, only slightly interested in this stranger’s problem, moved to see what was going on. Her heightened senses allowed her to spot the cart even as the sun fell. And the thieves pushing the goods away.

In alarm, the traveler took up arms, determined to reclaim her livelihood. And with some convincing from Maleik, the half-elf accompanied her. They approached the villains and discovered them to be Kobolds! The Kobolds were heading toward the forest, in the hopes to disappear amidst the trees. Attacking at once, Nephera struck at one of the Kobolds with her quarterstaff, but the blow did not land. Taking advantage of this opening, the closest of the reptilian creatures thrust its spear at her, piercing her chest. Avery, catching up, struck one of the Kobolds down- allowing Nephera the chance to heal herself with her magic during the chaos. The rogue caught up to the second Kobold, hitting it with such force, that it fell from the cliffs that bordered the path toward the forest. But looking back, she saw the half-elf nursing her injury and her opportunity to take down the third and final Kobold slipped away.

It was dark by the time they made it back to the tavern, cart in tow. Nephera stomped up the ill-maintained tavern stairs up to her room, eager to find her bed and be done with this foolishness.

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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

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4. Create some NPCs

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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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