Stormy Weather (another Giantslayer adventure path campaign)

The True Story of the Liberation of Fort Redlake
(as told by Veyho Runs-to-Battle)

For generations my people will sing the songs of glory written about this day. But legends have a way of growing in the retelling, so I feel I must set the record straight and tell the truth so that it can be known to those who seek it.

It is well known that I left my tribe on a vision quest sent to me by the Lord of Dragons himself. And for many months I wandered alone, secure in the knowledge that He would send allies – those who would fight alongside me simply for the joy of seeing me fulfill my destiny. I met the first of these – a druid, a priest, and two warriors – when I saved them from an orc raiding party. They begged me to go along with them, nearly groveling in asking me to save them from the orcs and giants that dwell in this land. While I did not want to be bothered, the Lord of Dragons reminded me that I would need witnesses – those who would go out into the world to spread the news of my conquests and the glories I brought forth in His name. Soon after, a dwarf woman joined us, begging me to save her brother who had been captured by the giants.

One of the warriors was the first to fall, slain when he threw himself into battle with a giant to impress me. My retribution was swift. The second warrior soon departed, torn by the fear of being in my presence and eager to tell the tale of the battle he had just witnessed. There were tears in his eyes at the thought of leaving me. Tears of shame mixed with the tears of excitement of being my first herald into the world.

As I watched the warrior go, another stepped into his place – an elf. A simpleton from the way he talked – always asking if he could show me his magic tricks. His home had been destroyed by giants and he begged me to avenge his loss. I allowed him to attend, taking pity on his slow-wittedness and knowing that I would need other heralds to spread the tales of my achievements. I decided then that I would need to replace those who fell with others. From henceforth I would allow these followers, these disciples, to travel with me. To learn from me. And I would keep them safe or avenge them if they fell. With this in my heart, I told my followers that we would return to the fort where the warrior died, and we would kill every last orc and giant in our way until we got to their leader, ending their threat to this land.

But when we reached the fort, I realized that it would not be easy. And so I swallowed my pride and began to pray to the Lord of Dragons that He would be with me in the battle to come. I knew with him at my side, I would be unstoppable. For three days I prayed while my followers scrambled around, hoping to make themselves useful in the coming fight. Even lost in prayer, I couldn’t help but smile at their eagerness to please me.

At dawn on the third day, I rose from my knees. The others were all off on other tasks, but I knew the time had come to act. Concerned that they would be in danger by being away from me so long, I decided to look around. Soon I came across a raiding party of several orcs led by a giant. I nearly leapt with joy at the opportunity to slay them, but wisdom stayed my hand as I realized they could lead me to my other followers who had probably gotten themselves in trouble while I meditated. Sure enough, it was a short time later when I came across two of them – the elf and the priest – hiding in the trees desperate not to be seen by the giant. I lost my opportunity to slay the raiding party but knew I had a responsibility to calm the fears of my followers. I led them back to camp and a short while later, the druid and dwarf woman returned as well. Eager to impress me they had gone scouting and found out where the dwarf’s brother was being held. They had dug a tunnel and were simply waiting for my approval to rescue him. I was pleased with their initiative and gave them permission to continue and agreed to delay my assault on the fort until he had been freed.

I decided the attack should happen just after dawn. It had been revealed to me during my meditations that many dozens of orcs and giants had occupied the fort. Killing the large ones in particular can take time and so I wanted to make sure the sun would not set before I was done. I sent the dwarf and druid off to save the brother as I began my march toward the fort. The clouds above began to darken as if sensing my growing anger. Thunder began to sound in the distance and as we neared our destination there was a loud crash. Minutes later the druid and dwarf, along with another dwarf ran back to me. “The dam has burst”, the druid cried out. “The Lord of Dragons Himself has truly blessed your undertaking and has sent the river to claim the lives of many orcs!” She could hardly contain her excitement, and I was pleased.

The new dwarf fell to his knees before me, thanking me for saving him. I saw that he was eager to serve me, but I feared that he would only get himself killed in his zeal. Making him stand, I handed him the great hammer I carried on my back, charging him to slay many orcs. I then commanded the two dwarfs to stay near the druid and ensure she was not injured in her efforts to please me. Unfortunately, I had them protect the wrong follower. . . .

Tired of the distractions, I told my followers that the time had come for us to raid the fort. I knew the giants were the real threat and decided then that I wouldn’t waste time with the orcs. As we neared the clearing before the fort, one by one my allies disappeared until only I remained. I bellowed out a warning to those in the fort and began my slow, steady march to the front gates. The orcs inside howled with fear, their weapons shaking in their nervous hands. I continued my march, never wavering. As I neared the gate, the Lord of Dragons blessed me, raining fire down from above and slaying several of the orc guards. The dwarf twins and druid – now taking on the shape of a wild cat – inspired by my glory appeared from their hiding places, charging forward and quickly slaying the last two guards, further clearing the way for me to face the giant masters of the keep.

I smiled grimly as I moved forward, slow and steady. As I passed through the barbican and began to cross the drawbridge, I glanced to my right seeing dozens of orcs. They had obviously also gotten a taste of the holy flames of the Lord of Dragons as they stood, demoralized before me. I glared at them and they felt a fire even hotter than that they had just experienced. Even from this distance I could smell the stench of their fear as they suddenly broke and ran. Part of me wanted to give chase, but I knew I had other concerns. Seeing that one of my followers (I believe it was the simpleton elf, but I’m not certain) had fallen into the river below, I threw a rope to him, saving him with my swift action. As I did this, I noticed that the drawbridge had been blown apart – no doubt by the orcs themselves trying to keep me from reaching them. Barely speeding up, I leapt across the chasm, landing on the other side. But as I looked up, horror filled my sight. I saw the priest being thrown from the battlement of the inner wall, his lifeless body falling limply to the ground. As rage boiled up within me, I could hear the mocking laughter of the ogre-kin atop the wall. I was consumed by desire to avenge yet another of my faithful followers. I could take no more of this. In the edge of my blood filled vision, I could see the two dwarfs and the druid desperately trying to defend themselves from the ogre-kin trying to kill them as they had already killed the priest. “No more” I yelled, howling in rage. “No more of my people will die at your hands!”

With a single bound, I leapt upon the wall, striking down the first of the ogre-kin just before it could slay my newest dwarf follower. Inspired by my mere presence, the battle began to turn as the dwarfs and the druid were driven to impress me. Once again, the thunder grew louder in the sky and bolts of lightning hurtled against the walls of the fort, a physical manifestation of the rage burning deep inside me. Striking out in a flash, I dropped another of the ogre-kin. The dwarfs, following my lead, took advantage of the sudden fear in the ogre-kin as they realized whom they had angered. Perhaps they’d have begged for mercy – if I’d allowed them time. As the last of them turned to flee, the dwarf brother lashed out, striking him dead. I graced him with one of my grim smiles.

But it was too soon to celebrate. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw two giants approaching – one from each end of the wall. It was as I took in this new information that I also noticed the elf, quivering helplessly as the giant to the right approached him menacingly. The simpleton managed to avoid the giant’s first blow, but I knew he would not survive if I did not intervene. And so I charged. The giant saw me out of the corner of his eye and desperately lashed out, catching me on my left shoulder. I didn’t even notice until later that he had drawn blood. Cleaving info his left flank, I forced the giant to his knees. The dwarf sister ran up as well, eager to prove her martial skill to me. Wielding her dual axes, she struck out, confusing the giant just enough for me to deliver the final blow (I’ll have to gently reproach her for that later, her actions bordered on dishonorable). Cleaving down with my mighty axe, I neatly removed the head of the foul colossus.

I could not rest on my laurels though. Even in the continuing haze of my rage, I knew there was still another giant remaining, and that it was trying to sneak up on us from behind. Turning to my left, I saw him as he tried to duck behind the building. But his efforts were too little, too late. Launching myself forward I ran across the wall. At the last moment, I hurtled myself into the air. I felt a slight rush when I looked down into the eyes of the giant, and it realized for the first time that death was coming from above. With a single mighty blow, I drove my axe between those eyes, splitting the creature’s skull and slaying it instantly.

Looking around, I saw no one else approaching so I allowed myself a few moments to take deep, calming breaths. I knew other orcs, ogres and giants must be around, but clearly my deadly whirlwind of action had them quivering in their hiding holes. For the moment, I would allow that to be the way of things. It is not just the enormity of a man’s fighting prowess that makes him a hero, but the size of his heart as well. We had lost one of our number in this fight and my people, and yes, even me, needed to take a moment to grieve before continuing on. And so, the druid led us all into the chapel of the fortress. Some of them feared that it would offer no safe harbor for us, but I am confident that the giants outside are far too afraid after seeing me in action.

Once inside, the simpleton elf again groveled over to me, begging me to let me show him how his magical tricks would repair the scratch the giant had given me. But I rebuffed him. I’m sure he was crushed, but he must learn that to even remain in my company, much less earn my respect he so desperately seeks, he must stop with his sucking up. And so we wait for now. We rest, and we grieve. Farewell priest, and may the Lord of Dragons accept your misguided soul into His heavenly domain.

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The final log of Arcadian

To anyone reading this,

I’m sure it may seem a bit strange to have a figure other than Arcadian logging this entry,especially as I am not nearly as eloquent with my writing style as he is,but it is with a heavy heart that I fill in the last entry in his journal. The beginning of his end starts after the Fey(stupid as they are). We trekked back to the young dwarf female to begin helping her track her brother. The hunt,while solely uneventful,was fairly long and appeared to be taking us off of our path so we sent a messenger back to the ship to meet us at 2 days worth of travel upstream. What we did not foresee however was coming across a fort fabled to have been protected by the goddess Iomedae.

A paladin who had sworn her life to occupying the fort and protecting it from harm welcomed us in and allowed us the opportunity to eat something other than rations and rest our weary,swamp-filled boots which we gladly accepted without a moments hesitation. Of course our jolly cleric worked his charms on her and roomed with her for the night…

It is when day broke,in the midst of my meditations,that this story really begins though. I was approached by the seasoned paladin who explained to me the true nature of the fort and it’s blessings and informed me that she believed that fate had brought me to be next to guard it. I agreed to at the very least ask Korada for his guidance(to which he responded, “You will know in your heart what is right”).

We set out shortly after with some added guidance from the Paladin of the Fort when we came across a patrol of orcs with a giant flanking them. With quick thinking we set a trap to ensnare the giant to deal with the orcs quickly and handle him last,but the orcs saw through our plans,causing us to leap into action. To our surprise though,the orcs had some type of magical serum that gave them tremendous strength,and with a few blows and only a handful of orcs defeated I looked over and saw Arcadian’s body limp on the ground. My blood boiling and tensions running high with the group we managed to fell the massive beast that had killed our companion and the orcs lost their will to fight shortly after.

Which leads us to now. Broken and hurt we trudge back to the fort to lick our wounds without our friend Cade. Although our companions do not yet know it,I pass along the recording of our journeys to them as my heart speaks very clearly to me. The creatures in this area are a threat to humanity,and while I failed in preventing the death of a comrade I know that I can stay at the fort and stand as a shield for any trying to pass so that I can prevent the deaths of many for the rest of my days.

-Agathor,Shield of Korada

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Stupid Fey
From the Journal of Arcadian Erichson

I hate dealing with Fey. Nothing works like it should and no matter how hard you resist, everyone’s mind comes away muddled. Still, that’s one of the few good things about dealing with them – you don’t remember most of it when you’re done. Of course with my broken brain, I’ll forget on my own anyway, but that’s what this stupid journal is for. Write it down, re-read it frequently. That’s what they said would help me remember. Besides it gives me something to do while the spellcasting types sort through the loot.

It’s already starting to fade, even if it’s only been less than a day. Let’s see if I can remember enough to hit the highlights:
• Early start (barely after midnight – we all needed some rest after that backstabbing . . . woman . . . ambushed us with her orc buddies).
• Hours of slogging through the muck of the swamp.
• Crazy dwarf chick babbling about some witch (and orcs) that had ambushed her and then taken her brother.
• More slogging through the muck of the swamp.
• Weird druidic summoning circle in the middle of nowhere.
• Fog coming out of nowhere.
• Giant coming out of nowhere (normally I’d be thankful – at least giants only hit hard, they don’t screw with your brain. Normally. Stupid Fey giants).
• Yet more slogging through the muck of the swamp – this time interrupted by floating lights. (“Let’s follow them” the druid said. “They’ll take us where we need to go,” the druid said. “It’ll be fun,” the druid said. Stupid Fey.)
• One of the lights turned into a ghost of a druid (Stupid undead Fey).
• Ghost druid gave us “permission” to take one of the dead will-o-wisp husks (I never knew they had a body) to use in the lantern the deaf/dumb druid from Trunau gave us. Then it directed us back to the druid circle, which led to . . .
• Even more slogging through the muck of the swamp.
• The dead will-o-wisp in the druid lantern shown a light over the stones in the druid circle which opened up a portal to some otherworldly druid “arsenal”.
• After much discussion, we all went into the otherworldly druid “arsenal” with varying degrees of willingness.
• Saw a big greenhouse which we all entered with varying degrees of willingness.
• Then it got weird.
• Attacked by weird bushy plants.
• Attacked by weird nearly invisible hummingbird like things.
• Met totally hot elf chick who we attacked before she had a chance to attack us. Thanks Paranoid Paladin!!
• Totally hot elf chick transformed into ugly hag after the paladin hit her. We then willingly jumped into the effort of attacking her. Stupid Fey illusions. Although in her case, she was lucky she had them – she was REALLY ugly.
• Attacked by giant dragonfly.
• Played hopscotch across floating lily-pads (or for some, rappelled down into a pit, slogged across a who-knows how deep pile of compost, then climbed back up the other side)
• Climbed down a bunch of stairs down into a mini-jungle in the basement of the greenhouse.
• Attacked by weird man-eating plant.
• A great deal of lightning later (great use of an earlier discovered scroll), the man-eating plant was toast.
• Climbed back up a bunch of stairs on the other side of the greenhouse.
• Found an indoor briar-patch (which is where some of our people finally snapped – stupid Fey), set it on fire and killed everything in the room.
• Finally found the “arsenal” we were promised and looted some stuff which would be of amazing help if we were all druids. As it is, we’ll be able to find a good use for most of it.
• Next steps: Back to the real world, couple of hours rest, then slogging through the muck of the swamp, back to the boat and out of this gods-forsaken land.

Bottom line – the whole place was cursed. Stupid Fey.

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Prison time
Malira reveals herself
  • Partial transcript. Prisoner interview, “Melira”. Interviewer Sgt Coaren. Truth spell and charm spell used. *

M: … I was hunting aurochs to bring back to Freetown when my locket went dead.

C: Your locket?

M: Yes. Skreed and I were, well, we decided to have a True Love Locket set made. If – when – something bad happens, the other knows. So when mine went dead, I knew.

C: And?

M: And I decided I wanted to know why and how. He’d told me the special job was in Trunau, so that’s where I decided to go. Down the road to Vigil, then catch either a riverboat or a caravan. Used up most of what I’d saved, not that it mattered.

C: So how did you end up on the boat?

M: So there I was in Vigil, and I started hearing what had happened from merchants. A hundred – a thousand – orcs, orcs and giants, orcs giants and dragons, you know how it goes. Anyway, this army descended on Trunau and almost overran it all, but they were saved by these people. Heroes, maybe. Regardless, some questioning and a little flirting got me the answer as to who and how. And I decided since my life – our life, Skreed and I – was over, I might as well take our killers with us.

M: Rumor being rumor there were a lot of descriptions. But there were a couple in particular. A druid with a really big bird as a companion. A paladin with a monkey. And some guy with a gun.

M: So I’m figuring how to get them, and hear this guy say, “We were the ones. We stopped the orcs, and we stopped the saboteurs.” Didn’t think anything of it till I noticed his companions included this guy with a gun and another really big guy carrying a monkey. And I followed the woman who sort of looked druidish out, and she fed a bird almost as big as her.

M: I guessed I didn’t have much time, so I asked the innkeeper where they’d come from. I managed to find out they were travelling on old Bloodtusk’s boat. I grabbed Chokehold and we hurried to the docked boat. Turns out they only had one person on watch, and he fell for my persuasion. The spell was just icing on the cake. I got the tale from the crewman, and with his help got into a good place to hide while wreaking some vengeance.

M: Just to make sure, I sent the half-orc out with a message to Tark back in Freetown. I knew if he hurried he could have a team in place to set up an ambush, and he’d race the wind for the recipe to Skreed’s burn medication.

C: So what did you do once you were on the boat?

M: I knew they were dangerous; they killed Skreed. [breakdown redacted]

M: I decided I was smarter if I whittled them down a bit, get rid of one or two at a time. So I had the half-orc cut the rail where they drew up the fishing nets. The paladin fell in, the fighter jumped in, crocs everywhere, and a few second later the crew’s getting roast crocodile for dinner. Pretty good croc, too; the cook used just the right spicing. But there were still five of them.

M: So when I went into the bilge I passed the cage of the girallon the captain was keeping in his armory, to sell to the gladiator games. I thought as big as it was, if it didn’t have its drugs and was let loose it would at least get rid of one or two of these people, and maybe get the crew riled as well.

C: The crew didn’t kill Skreed.

M: but they were helping the murderers.

C: Please go on.

M: Almost as big a flop as the crocodiles. This time according to the half-orc they recaged the girallon, and the druid offered to calm it with skills instead of tranquilizers. Of course the captain would jump at that. It’d be in top form right away instead of needing a couple of weeks to recover.

M: It meant she was by herself almost in reach. I thought hard about ambushing the [insult redacted], but realized her bird would be a sensitive as Chokehold was about me.

C: Was?

M: They claim they didn’t kill him. But he was barely alive and they just dumped him overboard after… I have no idea.

C: So you did manage to kill one of them.

M: Not one of them, the little one who escaped some sort of pursuit while we were leaving Vigil. Yeah, he was snooping around. I knew I couldn’t let him go back and report finding my traps, so I shot him. And shot him, and shot him. And the [redacted] didn’t shoot back at me. No, he blasted Chokehold. I thought he’d died, but I after dropping the killer I managed to get to him in time. A little medicine, some bandages, and given time he’d recover.

C: Did he get the time?

M: No. They all came storming in that night – the fighter, the paladin, the rogue, with the captain and a couple of his crew. I shot them a couple of times but it was obvious I was out numbered. I popped my invisibility wand and as I slid off one way I started using cantrips and some wires I’d prepared to make it seem I was in the other corner. I barely got past, and then I discovered the [insult redacted] had a backup team in the smuggler’s hold.

M: That mage may look like he is a wimp, but he held me long enough. It didn’t help that I was carrying Chokehold, but I don’t know if having him fully ready to go would have helped.

C: Melira, by our tenets I must ask: do you regret? Do you repent?

M: I regret that none of Skreed’s killers died. I repent of the sloppiness that let them escape vengeance. I pray my gods that their doom comes, and if I am truly loved by Her that I shall see it happen.

  • end of transcript section *

Handwritten addendum.

It appears Chokehold did not die. Or that Malira had a second snake capable of killing a guard and taking the guard’s keys to Malira. Also, it is recommended again that prisoner’s goods not be kept in the same general area as the cells. The awkwardness of a long walk for released prisoners collecting their equipment pales to escaping prisoners having access to the same.

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Motivations
A new player joins

… << decrypted missive >>

In the months since the Apostasy escaped, we had attempted communion with the Unawakened with no response. When there was a sign it had responded during a minor gathering in Vigil it seemed a matter for rejoicing. Little did we know the Apostasy had tracked, us, and seized the Unawakened during our revel.

He was spotted leaving, and all gave chase. Regretfully he escaped immediate pursuit, and the Local Guide suggested small parties led by long-term residents quarter the city. Though it risked exposing our false marks should we become noticed, it was ruled that recovering the Unawakened more than justified that risk.

Regretfully, the Apostate was spotted only as he boarded a ship in the process of undocking, and not even the party’s chaser was able to catch up before the ship had pulled into the main stream. He was, however, able to determine the Apostate’s escape vessel.

It’s the keelboat belonging to Raag Bloodtusk, one of the rare champion gladiators who took his winnings (three time champion of the Taldorian games) and got out before dying. Though none know for certain, it’s believed the ship is providing transport for a small group of fools who survived an orcish raid with a bit of renown. Tales vary, but all agree they seem to be seeking something more.

Members argued between pursuit and preparation for the inevitable return to civilization. The Voice decided on the latter course, but decreed that chasers prepare their teams for later pursuit in the event Bloodtusk returns without the Unawakened aboard.

As the Voice’s hand, then, I write calling for Voices of <unknown> throughout the Inner sea prepare their Ears, Hands, and chasers on the chance the Unawakened be taken within their realms of control.

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A brief stop

… same letter, continued …
For this, I can only repeat what I was told.

The orcs had managed to overcome the young cavalier within, and were just getting to the grisly business of getting information from young Calrianne Blix when the party arrived.

What looked to have been a tough engagement fell in no time at all, due in no small part to the orcs having been persuaded that goblin skull bombs were a good thing. Oh, in the hands of the dextrous they can be nasty, but orcs are not known for their dexterity. The first orc to throw missed, and the magic rebound lit him on fire and burned him to ash. The second orc also threw, and also missed. Either she was stronger or in the short term luckier as she did not die from the backlashing flames.

But only in the short term. Arcadian charged through the three remaining orcs taking no damage from the surprised orcs’ reactive strikes, and his positioning trapped the three between himself and Agathor. A few swift blows, supported by accurate thundering strikes from Sergio, put the remainder out of everyone’s misery.

The party insisted on escorting young Blix to the castle and coming back with the strengthened party.

I think they picked up a useful reward, better than money. Perhaps I shall learn what it is in the near future.

====
Captain’s Journal, Pharast 12.

We have refreshed and restocked in Vigil. Crew leave was complete, and all our passengers returned.

We have also picked up another passenger. This one was fleeing something – or he was using that excuse to get aboard. Regardless, he paid four times the going rate to get the first boat out of town, and I have a passenger list of fine warriors. I will still set the crew to extra watch in case this one is a problem.

== Captain’s Journal, Pharast 14.

Small incident. While pulling in the fishing net, the rail broke under the weight dumping Arcadian into the river. Agathor jumped in after, and with the Druid tossing something – it appeared to be a squid – into the waters it was soon over for the crocs. If I saw correctly, it seemed the hammer Arcadian wields suddenly increased in size while inside one of the croc’s mouth. He must be the one who got the hammer Halgra told me of.

As an amusement, their drunk priest jumped into the water near the bow after grabbing a tied off rope. He reached the end of the rope while about mid-ships. Fortunately the crocodiles were done at that point, for I begin to wonder how useful he’d have been.

== Captain’s Journal, Pharast 14, later

Halrex brings me word the rail was partially cut. I’ve told her to set the crew watching our late arrival for reasons to toss him offboard.

==

(letter from Urul to his wife. Translated)

… a fortune if we got it to the arena, and it almost killed us. I mean, I’d just finished prepping the rows for the day’s shift when the armory door burst open and there was the gorillan – free, and angry. And cramped, thank Goram, as I truly believe that’s the only thing that gave the time that saved me.

Those humans suddenly appeared – dropped right through the hatch. Then the worn warrior and the bright charged close. The staff wielder did something, and the worn warrior stepped in and, i swear by Cayden’s never-empty cup, he reached out and hugged the beast. A few blows from our passengers and the beast was quickly tied up and returned to the cage.

I know the captain told us all to watch the passengers because someone set the beast free, but it was the passengers who stepped in and stopped it. I can’t help feel it’s not them.

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That was easy
Hill Giant's Pledge, session 2.

[excerpt from a letter]

So anyway, old dear, you were right in your advice. Though it was difficult for a while.

I kept the crew on board and let your heroes in training clear the drake nest by themselves despite pleas (and scorn, and attempts at intimidation) to add to their strength.

Which would have been completely unnecessary. I watched through the spyglass as they went in. A few seconds later the mage comes out riding Aithon, immediately dismounting on the run with a grace that proves again that not only warriors know horses. He ran back in only to find (as frequent complaint and laughter later told) the fight was over. Both drake and alpha lay dead with no significant injury to the party. Aithon was his well-behaved self, though I think he wanted a piece of the drakes as well. I still think you did him no favor retiring him from the fields when you left. But I digress.

Following your advice made it tense for several days later. The scorn made it impossible to intimidate them, and completely washed away any derision they had earned from that first day of rowing. I was eventually able to do something for them, to explain a bit, but that came later. As it stood it was touch and go at getting them to go when we discovered Calrianne’s way station had suffered an orcish raid. They may never know how hard it was not to send at least Haltrex along, and I itched to bring my blades as well. Still they went, and as you wished they went without us. They had a little trouble with the dire wolves as it turns out the young paladin in particular has the same problem as another old friend of ours. Perhaps he too should learn to fight canines from the prone.) But in the end that portion of the battle came to nothing.

Then they discovered orcs were inside the way station. …

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Onward
Hill Giant's Pledge, session 1.

“Someone needs to stop Grenseldek from sending another army – we barely survived the last, and it only included one giant. If the follow on is as large and includes a few of the big ones, this town will die.”

“We know the perfect someone – someones. And it gets them out before the townsfolk turn them into idols with clay feet, or villains for not saving /their/ loved ones. Or both.”

“Sure, that sounds good. But they’re being feted despite our scarce resources and heavy needs. How are you going to move them?”

“By playing on their honor, their greed, and their common sense.

In honor, the job needs done and they are our best hope. In greed, we’ll offer treasure both along the way and the potential at the end. And common sense? They know, or should know, how cloying being the fawned upon hero can be. It’s an escape."

“Can you really get all that?”

“And a bit more. There are a couple of riverboat captains that owe me; I should be able to persuade one to transport them . That lets them bypass the roaming orc tribes, and it’ll keep them focused on the goal. We can’t buy those artifacts and such, but we can agree to not take a cut we could never guarantee collecting anyway. And we sweeten the pot. I’ll sweeten the pot. I’ve got some funds, and if the council as a whole will match we can give them the honor and hook of being hired to the tune of 1500 gold. Final touch, I’ll persuade Silvermane to part with his ghostlight lantern. I’ll tell him – and perhaps them – that they might finally be able to bring rest to his friends.”

“Gold, treasure, excitement, a bit of fame, recognition for saving the city both now and in the future, topped with random good deeds. Yes, I think that might do.”

“Yes. It will be an adventure.”

==

Captain’s Journal, Pharast 5, 4715. Halgra’s party arrived. They seemed reasonably competent, with two obvious fighters, one of Cayden’s priests, a probable druid given the roc that accompanies her, and someone I’d call a mage if it weren’t for the light armor and peculiar weapons he bears. Halgra vouches for them as adventurers, but we’ll see how they stack as ship crew.

Pharast 5, 4715, end of day log. So far the temporary crew is a mixed bag. They did most of the chores surprisingly well, but the two big fighters are the ones who broke at the oars. I’ve given Coxswain Halex free rein to ride them in hopes they shape up.

Pharast 6, 4715. Midday. A quick note. We were jumped by a clutch of river drakes. The alpha took the lead horse of our team. Our guests haven’t yet had their turn at oars, and it’s probably good. They dispatched the three followers, and we’re preparing to close on the alpha.

I have to admit, seeing the big one – Agathor I believe his name is – grapple that drake took me back. I almost forgave him for breaking at the oars yesterday. We shall see – perhaps he’ll earn kind word and a small break.

That priest, he’s not what I expected either. Jumping up the outer wall of the poop deck to strike that drake as it flew over was almost as shocking to me as it was to the drake. I think the drake recognized the threat he posed, as it made a beeline directly toward him. We bloodied it thoroughly, but it escaped. I suspect it will be aiding the alpha in the upcoming fight.

The druid and the gunslinger paid well to the third drake, forcing it to flee – and bullets and arrows finished it off. I may have to look into these guns, given the impressive display today.

We approach the lair into which the alpha fled. I cannot spare my crew, but with these adventurers taking the battle to the drakes I think that won’t be an issue.

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Prologue
Bringing everyone to the game.

You have been in Trunau a month, six months, in some ways it seems like forever. Fortunately, this town of less than a thousand adults does things to try and alleviate the boredom, and this evening is name day. It’s a community birthday party celebrating everyone born this month.

A highlight for some is the special recognition of those old enough to carry a hope knife – adults of sorts at age 12. It doesn’t happen every month but there is one tonight.

For others it’s the food that shows at the community pot luck, sometimes enhanced by success at special hunting over the prior couple of days. Such as this one, where some (were you one?) got not one but two wild aurochs.

The Killing Ground always stands a free pint to all born this month. All others, plus any more than one for the named, will cost – though a bit less than normal.

And then come games, followed by music and dancing.

Are you bringing or planning anything special for this month’s name day?

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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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