Through A Prism

What Is Dead Does Not Lie Still

Some tentative answers are found as questions and unexplained disturbances – armies of the dead, twisted beasts, and corrupted kinsfolk – continue to mount. The most bizarre discovery yet awaits just outside of a too-quiet settlement….

The undead army silently files past the hiding adventurers. Following their disappearance, the party gathers back on the road and Thyra tells them of their true nature. As the group discusses whether to keep moving forward or go back to Oxmoor, a disheveled half-elf stumbles out from beneath the underbrush on the other side of the road. The adventurers quickly put up their guard, but the half-elf raises his hands in surrender and introduces himself as Kerrian the Warlock. He says that he is just but a traveler in search of arcane lore and that he was hiding from the sackcloth humanoids as well. The adventurers lower their weapons and tell Kerrian that they are also in search of answers. They fill him in on the details of the wellspring and the blackened creatures and close with telling him about the Antiquarians. Kerrian willingly accompanies the group, eager to learn more magic from the wizards at the Empyrean Tower. Before the group carries on their way, Catharas leaves the group, having a newfound desire to follow the wolf tracks they had seen a day earlier.

The party—now with Kerrian in their midst—continue down the road, Krusk leading the way. After about an hour of travel the half-orc sniffs the air and says that a storm is coming. Not much time passes by, when all of a sudden a crack of thunder sounds and rain begins pouring down on the group. Krusk and Cass scout out a cavity in the rockface of a slow rising cliff. The adventurers take shelter there, only to find that they are not alone.

A half-elven couple huddles together at back of the small cave. They are both frightened by the sudden arrival of the party, but the adventurers promise that they mean no harm. They all introduce each other, finding out the man’s name to be Farakol and his wife, Crystala, who is heavy with child. While the storm passes through, the adventurers have a long conversation with the two weary travelers. The party finds out that Farakol and Crystala are (escaped?) (former?) thralls of House Sephelion and are making their way to the town of Oxmoor to live a quiet life.

Some of the party members bring up the marching people in sackcloths, minus the undead part and ask the couple if they had seen them. Farakol tells the party that he and his wife had seen them and had even conversed with them. He also tells them that they claim to be the Order of the Riven of the House Holiborn (check spelling), even though no such Elven house exists. They had been generous towards the couple, giving them rations to last them the rest of the way to Oxmoor. The party finds this news to be quite odd, given the possibility of the humanoids being draugr.

The rain fades after an hour or so and mid-afternoon is approaching. Before the group leaves, Crystala lets them know of a roadside inn further down the road. The party thanks the couple and each gives a couple of coins to them.

By nightfall, the adventurers reach Cliffside Inn, a building with a roof of sod. As the tired group comes closer to it, they see a couple of goats grazing on top of the building, along with a yellow flag telling passerbys that the ale is in season.

The group enters and are greeted with a mostly vacant interior. A dwarf with a mighty beard comes over to their table and introduces himself as Valla, the owner of the inn. He says that they missed dinner, but are welcome to sleep the night there. The party divides up to share rooms and they all get a goodnight’s sleep. The following morning the adventurers sit around their table and (idk her name), Valla’s wife serves them fish stew and mead for breakfast. As the group eats their meal, a man walks in, wearing a fine cloak and two large patches on his vestment: one displaying Mimir’s head and well of wisdom and the other a symbol of protection used by abjurers. Some of the party recognize the latter to be a common patch among the Antiquarians.

Several members immediately go over to talk to the man, startling him. They order him an ale to calm him down and he tells them that his name is Brother Geir Gibson, a member of the Antiquarians. He also tells them that he has been sent to check up on the land in this region of Northwall. The group waste no time in explaining the bizarre events of the wellspring, the oily tarred wolves, and the man whose arm grew back. Brother Gibson is slightly alarmed by all this and tries to answer them the best he can. He says that the regrowing of limbs could possibly equate to trolls that use magic to preserve themselves. The wellspring, he explains with growing interest, is considered to be a tiny part of Ymir’s soul and has the power to sustain, change, or create life. He says that its power might have been unleashed in the recent months. The adventurers question him further and bring up the traveling army of sackcloth undead called the Order of the Riven. At the mention of the name, Valla, overhearing parts of the conversation perks up and lets the party know that he has most definitely heard of the order.

About 30 years ago in Bluespring…
(a/n: i hardly remember any of this story, so some help on this part would be gladly appreciated)

Brother Gibson promises the adventurers that he will most definitely investigate the matters of the black substance infesting the areas of Oxmoor and Stonewatch. He tells them to continue on their way to the Empyrean Tower and to ask for Brother Randalf who knows a lot more about the wellspring of Ymir than most of the Antiquarians. Before the party leaves Cliffside Inn, Brother Gibson gives Thyra a blue stone wrapped in gold wire, similar to the Belathirrin commander’s stone that Cass has in her possession. He tells her and the rest of the group that if the party has any questions, they can contact him through the stone once a day. The party says farewell to the wizard and thanks the dwarvish innkeeper for his hospitality and continues on their way.

Around noon, the main road eventually transitions to a more narrow one that hugs the side of a sheer cliff with a 150 foot drop. The party stops to eat lunch before attempting to cross the cliff. After a brief break, the party carefully walks in single file on the treacherous pass. They make it to about mid-way, when Kerrian and Gunvor suddenly feel the ground shaking beneath their feet.

A tumble of boulders and gravel all of a sudden comes bearing down on the party. The crew books it as fast as they can. Kerrian and Gunvor almost slip off, but not before Krusk, Thyra, and Kyra grab ahold of them and lug them to safety. The group barely has time to recover from the near-death experience, when across the way they catch eye of a foothill that bursts open. Four stumbling corpses crawl out of the dirt and begin to make their way down towards the adventurers. As the adventurers come up to them, they see that eight more have joined the other dead creatures. The adventurers gain the upper end of the skirmish and put them back to rest once more. Further investigation on the reasoning behind them, reveals that they were once a part of the Saksa, one of the barbarian tribes in Vesterfold. The Saksa buries their dead in mounds close to the surface to animate the bodies for when Ragnarok comes.

Startled by this revelation, the group leaves the area, making their way along the road again. Closer to late afternoon, the front of the party sees smoke rising from chimneys in the distant, evidence that a cluster of homesteads must be up ahead. Upon reaching the farm homes, the party knocks on the doors that span for a half a mile along the road. They find not a single soul in the houses, as if they all had vanished into mid-air, leaving the chores unfinished. The party splits up to look around, Kyra and Cana finding the remains of half-eaten bread baked with purple fruit bits. The rest of the party finds the pear-like fruit in other things too and try to determine if the fruit have anything to do with the disappearance of the people. They try to feed the fruit to the livestock, but none of the animals will eat it. Krusk finds a small trail of human footprints on the ground, leading off into the nearby woods. By the time they had all looked around, night had fallen and the party agrees that spending the night in one of the houses was a good option.

The following day, the adventurers follow Krusk down the path for about two hours, eventually arriving in a clearing. The sight before them is one of the most bizarre things that the party has ever seen. A crowd of 17 people encircle a large tree that has the purple fruit hanging from its branches. Thyra contacts Brother Gibson through the stone, getting no answer in return. The people slumber in the grass, but as the party draws closer the people rise as if in a trance-like state and attack.

end session

(added by hbowmanlds)

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Gift for Gift Bestow

With gifts from Stonewatch, the group seeks out the Empyrean Tower in hope that the Antiquarians may know the cause of these unnatural disturbances. They soon find that the road they must travel is beset with the dead.

The night following the house fire proves to be an enjoyable one. Jarl Halvar throws a feast in the adventuring party’s honor bestowing them with gifts—some seeming to be magical in nature. The jarl also toasts to their bravery and kind deeds before allowing the townfolk and the adventurers to return to celebrating.

As the feasting continues, a rowdy trio and a quiet wood-elf enter the great hall, bearing the signs of being out at sea. The threesome joins the happy fray, while the elf attaches himself to a drink and a back wall. Thyra recognizes one of them to be Kyra, an elvish taught human fighter. The adventurers welcome the trio over to sit with them. They all introduce themselves: Cana, a halfing dressed in dark clothes and Gertrude, a bard half-elf wearing a red scarf. The original party invites the travelers to join their party as they plan to make the journey to the Emperyean Tower.

The following morning, a few members of the party go to talk to the elven stranger while the rest of the party secures passage with the ship that Cana, Kyra, and Gertrude came to Stonewatch on. The stranger introduces himself as Catharas and he explains why he traveled all the way to Stonewatch. He tells them that he has come to on a mission from his village on the subject of the people there being harrassed by black corrupt beings. The group connects the pieces to find that it is the same infection our party had witnessed in the wolves and the one-armed man. Catharas is simply seeking information on how to stop this evilness from completely ravaging his home.

Those members of the party tell him that they are also seeking information about the oily substance, along with the glowing wellspring and that he was welcome to join our party to visit the Antiquarians. The party lets Jarl Halvar know where they are heading and promise to return with information to help protect the town of Stonewatch from other dangers. The rest of the party manages to safely gain passage aboard the merchant ship. The ship left the harbor and the now larger party starts their long journey.

During one night on the ship, a strange boat appears as a small dot in the distance. It slowly comes directly at the merchant ship. The crew that still remains awake, goes below decks to get the rest of the crew that had gone to bed earlier, only to find them in a comatose state in their hammocks. The mysterious boat draws nearer, no ripples of its arrival visible on the sea.

When the boat came to the side of the merchant ship, several shambling men covered head to toe in seaweed jump on deck. The party of adventurers waste no time in dispatching the undead creatures which Ghesh determines as rana draugr. He says that they were once seafaring men that had drowned and had been forced to haunt the salty waters.

Eventually the merchant ship reaches the poor and rustic community of Oxmoor. Thyra helps purify all their food and drink so that it would last the approaching winter. The party doesn’t tarry long in the tiny village as they still have a ways to go until they reach the Antiquarians.

A day later while traveling on the main road which was heading in the upward slope of a hill, Krusk identifies canine tracks on the ground leading off into the nearby forest and tells the rest of the party to keep their eyes peeled for possible dangers. That night the party takes watches and sleeps soundly, no signs of any threats.

The following day proves to have more activity. As the party continues up the hillside, they see a pack of shuffling humanoids in sackcloth that were avoiding the main road. The party hides behind trees and the underbrush so that the group of oddly proportioned people don’t see them. As the party watches the humanoids pass by, they seemed to double in numbers of well over a dozen. Thyra stealthes closer to get a better look at them despite the protests of her companions. She uses the Detect Evil and Good spell to discover that all the members of the army were undead—and evil.

end session

(added by noreeneb20)

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At Unknown Doors

A Bellathirrin patrol is defeated, a hermit tethers his soul to a long-forgotten source of life energy, and a new evil lurking in the woods finds its way home….

The adventuring party triumphs over the Bellathirrin patrol, killing a few in the process. Krusk, Cass, and Thyra tie them up after thoroughly removing their weapons and gear. Ghesh, Gunvor, and Greta watch awestruck as the roots of Cary’s hair turn white and the rest of his dark hair with it.

Thyra takes the commander’s pouch against the she-elf’s protests. Inside are several pieces of coinage, a coded message, and an empty flask. The message looks that it will take a while to translate, so Thyra pockets it to study later. Cass finds a magic stone that from an explanation from the commander, is the patrol’s communication link to her employer, a higher Elvish lord. The stone is only used in the morning when the higher up would ask for an updated report and the squad would respond in a maximum of 30 words. Cass also happens upon a wooden box that the commander says could turn into a ship with permission from her employer.

Cary’s trance with the well ends suddenly, resulting in him fainting on the ground. The party is able to rouse him and he babbles about the well’s untapped energy. The party then waits the night out in the tomb.

In the morning, Cass comes up with something to say in the stone and in a mimicking voice of the commanding officer’s voice to say:

“We have this place secured. We had no encounters. This place will do nicely for an outpost and we will report more of our findings tomorrow morning.”

Following the false report, the party and Greta have a more coherent conversation with Cary. Cary tells the party that he plans to stay at the tomb which he calls the Shining Temple so he can try to understand the place better. The party asks him if there was another place we could find out more information about the “wellspring”. He mentions the Antiquarians, a group of secluded wizards who live just past the capitol in the Empyrean Tower. Cary thinks that they would probably know something about it. He gives the party a rough idea of directions to get there and they part ways with him, finally leaving the tomb. The party had previously agreed to leave the tied up patrol behind, to slow them down if they attempt to chase after them. Along with Greta, the adventuring party bearing lots of strange news trek back the way they had come.

In the forest, the party reaches a particular clearing and Thyra sees a wolf lurking in the shadows of the brush. Before she can alert her comrades, the wolf and several more burst into the clearing attacking the very surprised group.

The group fights the pack of wolves and notice that they are not of the natural world, having fur coats smothered in an oily, tar-like substance. Fortunately the party was successful in slaying the cursed beasts, Ghesh and Greta taking the brunt of the teeth and claws.

Gunvor sets about healing them, while Ghesh stutters out that he recalled a fight between his clan and some trolls that bore the same substance that was neither poison or disease. Thyra takes a sample of the stuff, but it turns to dust in the vial.

After the scary encounter with the wolves, the party stumbles back to Stonewatch. Greta and Thyra report back to Hostein about what happened to the rest of Greta’s hunting party, minus the tomb and the encounter with the Bellathirrin squad of elves. The two also mentions the bizarre fight with mutated wolves which alarms Hostein, at least to a small degree. Greta then asks about how the man who had lost his arm was doing. Hostein says that he recovered quickly and had returned to his home just yesterday.

All of a sudden, a shout breaks out from somewhere nearby crying, “Fire! Fire!” Hostein immediately starts passing out orders to stop the fire, while Greta and Thyra catches up to the rest of the party who are already heading towards the source of the shouting.

They all get to the house that is being enveloped in flames and Greta recognizes it as the one-armed man’s. Before any of the party members could enter to save anyone, a woman and a child burst out the front door screaming “He’s gone mad!”. Krusk and Ghesh run inside the burning building to go get him, only to find the man infested with the same black oily substance. He also had a new tar-like tendril of an arm. Instead of trying to leave, the cursed man lunges to attack the half-orc and the dragonborn. The two of them end up killing the possessed man, while Cass, Gunvor, and Thyra try their best to calm the woman down. Hasteinn and a crowd of townsfolk armed with water buckets begin to put the fire out. As the flames die down, the members of the party look to each other with expressions of confusion about all what had transgressed in the past few days.

end session

(added by noreeneb20)

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The House of the Light Unbound

When a huskarl’s messenger is dragged to Stonewatch after losing an arm, Jarl Halvor requests assistance in finding her – but one lost hunter pales in comparison to the secret now unburied after so many ages….

The newly formed group of unlikely companions now walk together, heading back into town to collect payment from Ronomir. Following the payment, the party comes across the commotion of a man, clearly unconscious and missing an arm, being brought in on a stretcher and being carried into a log house with a thatched roof. The party of five run into a frustrated Hasteinn and they ask him what was going on. He tells them that the man was attacked by a troll, sometime often unheard of in the South as trolls only lived on the Fringes. The man had been part of an eight-member hunting party, none of them, save the injured man, having returned back the town. They have been missing for several days and Hasteinn asks that if they were available, to go and figure out what happened to the hunters. They agree to help and waste no time in heading into the forest.

Traveling down the well-worn hunting trail, the group follows the stream bubbling alongside it in the foothills. As night falls, the group comes upon a man in weathered clothing, huddling next to a small campfire. They introduce themselves and tell the man they mean no harm. The man, despite looking nervous and definitely not used to being around many people, introduces himself as Cary Goodwinson and invites them to sit around the fire.

The group asks if a hunting party had passed through within the last couple of days and Cary tells them that there had been, but that they hadn’t come back this way. They further ask him about why he was living out in the foothills and he claims that there is an altar of Frey connecting to Valhalla somewhere in the mountains. A few of the party members find this to be crazy, but Cary insists and tells them that he plans to search for it in the following days. The adventuring party sleeps through the night and then leaves early in the morning w/o Cary.

They carry on in the dark of the morning, later on hearing a distress horn blare thrice into the quiet air, repeating the sequence every 30 seconds. Following the sound of the sixth horn, a loud explosion is heard in the direction of the mountains and an avalanche occurs due to the blast. The now surprised party, curious that this might be the hunters in trouble, head in the direction of where all the commotion had originated from.

They climb up into the mountains and come to the mouth of a cave. Ghesh sees that there are runes bearing the symbols of birth, creation, death, travel, and gift. Ghesh eagerly runs inside and the rest of the party follow in after him

Upon entering the cave, the party realizes that it may be more than just a cave. it reveals broad hallways that had succumb to heavy water damage, implying a weak structure. They estimate that the interior rose to about 15 to 20 feet and stretched to 20 feet wide. Immediately to the left is a stairwell leading down. Our party heads down and they find two doorways 8 feet across from each other. Ghesh and Thyra go through the left entryway and find scenes carved into the walls of what was possibly dwarvish design depicting an image of light streaming from the sky lifting up a fallen warrior. There were also many urns along the walls, Ghesh taking one as a souvenir. In the opposite room that Krusk, Gunvor, and Cass explore, they find pieces of wooden planks askew on the floor and a mural similar to the other in terms of design, showing soldiers preparing to do battle on the plains of Valhalla.

While the group gathers back together to share their findings of the place—a place that might actually be a tomb— a woman suddenly rushes down the stairs running into them. The woman, Greta, explains that she was the one to find this cavern along with her hunting party (Ghesh also claiming that he had found it first), which just so happens to be the group they are searching for. The man who came into town injured had been the messenger that the hunters had sent to tell the town of the discovery. Greta says that after the messenger had left they were attacked by something they were unable to identify. The remaining members fought off the unknown enemy, so that Greta could escape to the cave.

She joins them in our investigation and they all happen upon a strange well tucked in a room off to the side of the right wing filled with glowing white light. The party plus Greta hardly have a chance to get a closer look at it, when Cass reports from the hallway that there is a squadron of elvish soldiers entering the tomb with a commander.

Moments later, the party hears footsteps on the stairs and then a squad of elves enter the room bearing the symbol of the house of Bellathirrin: a purple field with crossed swords. At the back the party sees a beat up Cary being dragged by two soldiers. Cary catches sight of the well and begs to go and inspect it. The leading commander demands that they all surrender and leave, so that she can take over. The party ignores her commands and instead asks Cary about what the well is. He explains that this is the very well that he was talking about, before he is suddenly entranced by the light radiating from it. The commandant, now angry at the party for defying her orders, tells her soldiers to attack.

end session.

(added by noreeneb20)

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The Sea's Bounty
The Only Wealth that Keeps Forever Is Wealth Given Away

Hasteinn, brother to the jarl, summons the hall to a discovery that will bring the community untold wealth and prosperity – but unbeknownst to him, others are staking their claim….

In the small town of Stonewatch, the occupants of the great hall are waking up to a new day of new opportunities. Within the hall there are two groups of unlikely people. One group consists of a red-haired human and two colorful half-elves, a trio just simply passing through. The other is a group of two—a friendly half-orc and a shy dragon born—gathering a couple more stares as the breakfast hours begin. However before anyone in the hall has a chance to eat, Hasteinn, the jarl’s brother, bursts into the hall. He brings news of a possibly bountiful report given to him by one of the townsfolk. He asks for some people to accompany him to the beach. The half-orc, Krusk and the dragonborn, Ghesh, volunteer to go with them. Hasteinn and his makeshift party begin to head down to the lake.

As Cass, one of the half-elves in the group of three, moves about in the hall, she runs into a reclusive dark elf. He introduces himself as Ronomir and asks that she go down and investigate the beachshore where Hasteinn is heading for him, due to his sensitivity to sunlight. So Cass slinks back over to her human and half-elvish comrades, Thyra and Gunvor and together they follow after Hasteinn’s group. As both groups approach the shore, the smell of seaweed and death reach their noses. There lying dead on the sand is a massive whale.

Thyra, Cass, and Gunvor run into Ghesh and Krusk and all five of them investigate the whale. They find that it has been killed only recently. As they come upon this conclusion, Krusk, Gunvor, and Cass catch eye of a group of fisherman pulling in their whaling boat on the far side of the deceased mound of blubber. They approach Hasteinn and his men, making claim that this was their spoils. Hasteinn, wanting the whale for Stonewatch, accuses that they are lying. But upon further investigation, the now party of five determines that these folk are actually whalers and were being truthful in saying that they were the ones to kill the whale. Hostein still undeterred, claims that the whale has washed up on Stonewatch land, so the whale is theirs. The whalers begin to grow more agitated and Hasteinn continues to remain unyielding, so our group with Thyra leading them on has out a compromise of splitting the whale 50/50, giving both the fisherman and Stonewatch the parts they need most. Luckily, they agree to the terms and both parties head back into town to finalize business.

end session

(added by noreeneb20)

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Arsenic
In Northwall, Rats Poison You

Grand Duchess Alarynna Sephelion hosts a midsummer peace summit in the port town of Ansavihr. The first delegates to arrive find themselves treated to a hospitality of a most unusual flavor….

(This section awaiting player input)

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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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