Masks of Elemental Evil

Session 3 - The Believers and the Black Earth

After turning the goblin over to Harburk Tuthmarillar, who instructs his men to “hang him from a meat hook until we can try him”, the party spends the night in town before heading back out for the tomb where Pell saw the ghost. They reach the turn-off from the Long Road a little before mid-day and follow a winding path up a gently-sloping grass hill for about a mile before spotting a sharper slope overgrown with vines and grass. A stone door with rusted iron pull-ring stands in the hillside, slightly ajar, and the path they’re on leads up to it. A short distance away, another outcropping of rock has collapsed, resulting in a boulder and rubble strewn area.

Ivonne doesn’t like the look of the area and cautions the party to explore their surroundings before venturing into the tomb. Grimmers squeezes through the door, narrowly avoiding a stack of metal junk which had been placed behind it. If a bigger character had opened the door, the metal would have fallen making a loud noise and potentially alerting some enemy to the party’s presence.

The twins approach the rocky area and find themselves under attack by a foursome of goblins armed with crossbows who were perched hidden atop three of the larger boulders. The goblins retreat behind the boulders and out of sight as the party charges their position.

As they round the first of the boulders, they spot a large humanoid with features of both an ogre and an orc wielding a sharp battle axe. More goblins pop up from a second line of boulders, shooting at the party while the ogrillon wades in to melee with the barbarians.

The party drops the ogrillon in a single round, and the goblins, now leaderless, flee deeper into the hills. A few arrow shots take out a couple of their number, ensuring the others don’t get any ideas about coming back.

Returning to the tomb, they take a quick breather outside before making their way inside. Grimmers and London scout out the first room, a 30×30 square with a single stone table in the center, and a closed stone door in the center of the right wall. A spectral figure appears over the altar, warning them away as it must “guard my master’s rest”. When they refuse to leave, it attacks. To their horror, they find it resistant to most of their blows, but Zephyr’s wand of magic missiles puts an end to its unlife.

The next room is slightly smaller than this one, 20×20 square, with a single stone coffin in its center. In front of the coffin is a chest of wood banded with rusty iron. Moisture has ruined its contents: some old cloth and a waterlogged book. They open the coffin to find a skeleton clad in rusty chain mail and clutching a longsword which rises up into the air on its own and begins to attack them. It is put down quickly, and the party is disappointed to find nothing further of value within the coffin.

Persistence pays off after a thorough search of walls, floor, and ceiling. The chest is picked up to check beneath it and they notice something within rattles. A false bottom contains a pair of silver and electrum rings and a gold necklace and locket containing the portrait of a female half-elf. Satisfied with their haul, they decide to make their way to their second stop of the day: Tricklerock cave.

The party heads through the hills overland to reach the Larch path and then follows a gully between two hills to reach the entrance to the cave. The reason for its name is obvious as small trickles of water coming from inside the cave form a small stream leading deeper into the gully. Within is a large natural cavern, humid, with stalactites and stalagmites aplenty. Grimmer sets off to investigate and finds himself targeted by four very hungry stirges, three of which latch on to him and begin sucking his green goblin blood.

The party easily kills the stirges in a round of combat and Grimmers is patched up by Blaxx. They search around and find a small tunnel leading deeper into the earth, but no treasure or anything of interest among the rock formations in this room.

Grimmer once again gets called on to scout, and once again takes the brunt of nature’s wrath when he stumbles into a spider web running parallel to the tunnel’s floor. The sound of clacking chitin against stone announces the presence of 3 giant spiders who fall on him. Between their fangs and their poison, Grimmers is knocked unconscious, poisoned, and paralyzed. One of the spiders begins wrapping him up in a cocoon, while the others crawl down the walls of the tunnel towards his friends.

A vicious battle leaves the spiders dead and the party hurt. They decide to take a long rest in the cave, which is interrupted about halfway through the night as they hear voices outside. Six armored humans, three in leathers and three in full suits of plate enter the cave and are surprised to see the party. On their armor is etched a symbol: a triangle with a short vertical line rising from the inside of its base.

They claim to be adventurers based out of Beliard, but the party doesn’t buy it. They overheard part of the group’s conversation while they were entering, and they said that the Believers telling someone named Larrakh that there was treasure within this cave.

The group doesn’t appear to be looking for a fight, and sounded like they’d rather be elsewhere. They cede the rights to exploration of the cave to the party and make their way back out, heading deeper into the hills to the east.

After resting overnight, the party wakes to the sound of howling wolves in the gully outside. Blaxx goes out and runs into a wolf, failing a Handle Animal check (his background/race allows him to handle wild animals as domestic ones). The wolf closes growling, but is distracted by some dried meat. Some of its packmates arrive, and Blaxx’s second check is enough to change their reaction to neutral/disinterested. The wolves lope off, and the party makes their way back to Red Larch.

Just as they arrive in town, there’s the sound of a crash as a sinkhole opens up along the side of the Long Road, swallowing some of the town’s children. Minny Mhandyver criest out “Pell!” and runs to the edge only to have the loose ground collapse further, spilling her in as well. Ivan runs over while unstowing his rope, and he, too, falls in, rope and all.

Minny has hit her head and is bleeding from a headwound. One of the boys who fell has twisted an ankle, but the rest of the group are okay, having fallen on the mound of soft earth which collapsed. Ivan ties the rope to his bear trap and tosses it up toward the 10 ft opening above. With some help from the party above, Minny and the others are lifted up one by one.

Ivan looks around the large cavern he’s fallen into and sees a tunnel leading north, and a closed stone door set into a side wall. While some of the townsfolk above are insisting that the party leave the area alone, talking strange gibberish about how the stones must not be disturbed, Harburk Tuthmarillar comes up and gives his blessing to the party to explore the area, in the interest of public safety.

They do so, opening the door and finding a long, straight hallway running under the center of town. After eighty feet or so, they find two large bas relief carvings of dwarves set into the walls. These slide easily revealing two other halls leading north and south. The south one is a dead end, but the north one winds up and around to a room where some giant rats are making a meal out of some recently deceased corpses wearing the clothes of travelers. Cut into the forehead of each victim is a symbol: the same triangle symbol they saw on the “adventurers” out at Tricklerock cave!

Continuing past this room, the hall opens into another room where a a single black rock about a foot around floats waist-high in the center of the chamber. Ivan experiments with the stone, grabbing it, and finding it has no weight. Moving it out of the center 10 feet of the room causes its weight to return. At the rest of the party’s urging he puts it back as close to where he found it as possible. It remains floating in the air where he leaves it.

From here, the tunnel turns back south and they enter a large 50×50 room where a wooden frame supports the pieced-together crumbling statue of a dwarf. A plaque with a date 12 years prior commemorates the discovery of the statue. At its base are what appears to be some sort of sacrificial offerings: copper, silver, and gold coins, a few semi-precious gems, and a mastercraft dagger with a star motif engraved on the blade and a blue-leather wrapped hilt. On its pommel is engraved the word/name Reszor. Grimmers pockets the dagger and the coin and gems are collected into the party fund.

Two stone doors are set in the west and east walls, and London opens the one leading back toward the entrance, finding a similar-sized room on the other side. Across the room, a bald half-orc stands with his back toward them, peering through a slit in another door. Chains descend from the ceiling on that side, and are attached by rings to iron rods mounted in the wall. A young boy of perhaps 12 lies in the center of the room near a stone obelisk, covered in rocks of varying sizes and moaning softly.

London draws an arrow, firing it into the half orc, slaying him instantly and pinning him against the door. The party begins to remove the rocks from the boy who begs them not to, his punishment isn’t over and his dad will be mad. They find out from him that he’s being punished for not delivering a note from his dad to one of the other Believers, who are a group of elders in town who know about this place and worship the “delvers” who came before them. The boy knows of a few of the Believers besides his dad: Albaeri Mellikho, Ilmeth Waelvur, and Ulhro Luruth.

He is scared of the party, and begins to run away down the hall. London warns him to stop, and then shoots him with an arrow when he doesn’t, slaughtering the already-weak and half-starved child.

An argument breaks out, with London defending his actions by saying “I warned him to stop, he didn’t listen”. Zephyr and Ivan are appalled at the slaughter of an innocent, while the others just kind of shrug their shoulders. Blaxx is more interested in covering up the act to preserve the party’s reputation, and grabs crossbow bolts from the half-orc’s quiver, replacing the arrows in both of the bodies with bolts.

They head back to the western door in the previous chamber and open it. At the end of the hall is another door, lit by a lantern on the ground. Next to it, an old man sits, whittling on a piece of wood, but he jumps up and opens the door, preparing to flee as he notices the party. He’s taken down by more missile attacks.

They enter the next room to find a huge chamber, over 100 feet in length and width and with a twenty foot ceiling. In the center is a single lit lantern, its illumination failing to reach the walls. Those with darkvision can make out flat stone biers along the north and south wall, upon which lie the skeletons of long-dead dwarves. Several large standing stones are spread throughout the room.

As they enter the room to explore, there’s the chant of a spell from above, and they look up to see an armored human standing upside down on the ceiling just inside the lantern’s light. On his splint mail’s chest is the same triangle symbol carved into the corpses’ heads. His spell finishes, and a loud thunderclap echoes as party members near the door are caught in a shatter spell. Crossbow bolts from the room behind them are fired at those still in the hallway as a voice from behind calls out “We are the Bringers of Woe, come to reward your curiosity.” They are a group of six leather-wearing warriors, each also wearing the triangle symbol.

The party enters the room, seeking cover from the priest behind a group of the standing stones to the north center. They hear the sound of someone stomping on the ground three times, and the stones they were hiding behind, along with all of the others in the room begin floating ten feet off the ground. Exposed, several party members are again struck by a shatter spell.

The priest casts slow, catching the entire party, but only a couple of them fail their save. He wades into melee with his warhammer, calling out to the power of something called “The Black Earth”. The Bringers of Woe fail to live up to their name and are brought down quickly. The priest is surrounded and cut down on the following turn, and the party loots the bodies. They search the dwarven skeletons, finding nothing of interest, and then locate a secret door in the northwest corner of the room which leads to a trapdoor within a shed on the property of Ilmeth Waelvur’s business.

Returning to the sinkhole, they explore the northern tunnel and find it leads to a hidden opening in the wall of Mellikho’s quarry outside of town. After experimenting with the floor stomp which causes the rocks to fall again, Blaxx devises a plan to crush the bodies of both the half-orc, who Ivan recognizes as the town simpleton who sells pickles in the market, and the boy London killed under the rocks in the large room. They do so, and then return to the constable, reveal what they learned about the Believers and the dead travelers. Harburk Tuthmarillar promises a full investigation, warns the three Believers not to leave town, and assigns one of his deputies to watch each of them until he can send to Waterdeep for a lord magistrate.

Raymond approaches the party, troubled by this talk of cults. He seeks to recruit them to work as agents of the lord’s alliance, and reveals his true mission in Red Larch. He was to meet up with a delegation of important dwarves from Mirabar who were making their way here, but the group has disappeared. They were last seen in Beliard, nearly two weeks before. With at least two groups of nefarious individuals in the area (the Black Earth and the Crawling Chaos), he’s worried that something foul has transpired, and is keen on getting to the bottom of it.

Session 2 - Return to Lance Rock

The party returns to Lance Rock and finds the rooms they already explored have been cleaned up, the remains of the zombies and skeletons are no longer lying about. There are tracks outside which indicate several small barefooted and clawed humanoids (kobolds) have recently entered the caves, along with a slightly larger set of booted feet (about the size and shape of Ivonne – another dwarf perhaps?) The booted tracks also leave the cave heading back in the direction of the road.

The rogues sneak past where they left off before, entering a long room partially bisected by a waist-high shelf which has been flattened into a work bench of sorts. Closer to the entry tunnel are large baskets sitting atop flat rocks and full of body parts. A single cloaked figure works at one of the baskets, its back to them. By its slow and jerky motions, they deduce it’s a zombie.

Further in, standing just in front of the work bench are a group of 8 kobold zombies. Behind these are 4 skeletons wielding bows, and behind them is a single human man with a mustache and goatee dressed in black. He carries a bone wand and appears to be mumbling to himself, or maybe to his undead servants.

The party decides to try to lure the undead out into the tunnel and back to the previous room where they could fight with tactical advantage. They attack the kobolds and begin to fall back, taking some shots from a volley of arrows the skeletons arc over the advancing zombie horde. The necromancer orders the undead to hold position, and the zombies stop at the entrance to the tunnel, refusing to pursue the party. The solitary human zombie is ordered back to serve as a bodyguard for the necromancer.

Due to the tunnel’s curvature, line of sight is an issue, and the party decides to fall back and regroup after sustaining some damage and dropping a couple of the kobold zombies. The new plan is to bumrush the room, focusing fire on the skeletons before taking out the slower and weaker zombies.

This works well, but the necromancer has one more surprise waiting. When Ivan takes cover behind one of the baskets of body parts, five crawling claws leap forth, pummeling, scratching, and choking him. The necromancer flees deeper into the caves through a tunnel at the north end of the room, and they can hear his insane rambling echo out of it.

“The crawling chaos ignores me now – why?”

“The Eye is the secret. The Dark Spiral.”

After they mop up the remaining undead, they set off to pursue the necromancer, finding the tunnel splitting into two eastbound passages, both apparently ending up the same place in his lair. A softly glowing globe of crystal stands in the center of the room, held in the palms of hands attached to several rotting arms which have been stacked together into a grizzly pyramid. Above this, a magical sigil shimmers in the air, looking like an inverted, stepped pyramid with a cat’s vertical pupil in its center. Is this “the eye”?

The necromancer opens up with his wand again at their approach, before misty stepping past the party as they close in on him, and then fleeing back toward the entrance. Grimmer uses his cunning action to dash twice down the other tunnel and is waiting when the necromancer emerges, his hand cloaked with dark, negative energy. Grimmer’s short swords lash out, and the necromancer falls before he can use his vampiric touch on the goblin.

The party loots the place, gaining a bit of coin and a few gems, but more importantly, the necromancer’s wand of magic missiles which is claimed by Zephyr, and the glowing crystal (a driftglobe) which Ivan carries.

They return to town to rest, catch up with NPCs, and then head out north along the Long Road the next day, heading toward the hillside tomb where Minny’s granddaughter Pell saw a ghost.

Before they reach the turn-off to the path leading to the tomb, they come across a riderless horse in bit and bridle, covered in blood descending a hillside pathway leading up to a farmstead on the west side of the road. A hand-carved sign reads “Leatherbelt Equinery”. Blaxx calms down the horse while the others ascend the hillside using trees and bushes for cover, spotting a handful of goblin sentries at the top of the hill, near a small house and larger barn/stable structure.

They attack the goblins, bringing down two quickly while the others call out for assistance. A large fenced-in pasture lies behind the stable, and in it, a large group of goblins with four hobgoblins have set up a makeshift camp. Horses lie slaughtered, their meat smoking over a large cooking fire. The house’s door stands ajar with blood trails leading from it.

A huge running battle is fought, with Ivonne anchoring the party on one side of the stable at the gate leading out of the pasture, while Ivan gets swarmed and nearly overrun on the other side between the stable and house. London and Zephyr take pot shots at the goblins around Ivan, but are forced to retreat as a pair of hobgoblins join the melee, bringing Ivan down. The hobgoblins start dragging his unconscious form back toward the cook fire, while Blaxx drops an entangle spell, restraining most of the goblins on that side.

The goblins’ chieftain and the other hobgoblins charge Ivonne and their superior numbers are beginning to tell, forcing the rest of the party to take a defensive position in the stable. London climbs to the hay loft, and goes sniper out the open window at the restrained goblins, while calls of “burn them out” are made. Several of the goblins break for the fire pit in the field to grab burning logs, but this division of their forces is enough to allow the party to break out. Zephyr uses her levitate ability to get on the barn’s roof, sniping the hobgoblins with crossbow and spell, while a healed Ivonne leads the charge back into the fray, Grimmer behind.

The burning log-carrying goblins are dropped at range, Ivan rescued, and the last of the goblins surrenders.

Upon interrogation, the party finds out these goblins were ousted from their warm caves in a nearby ravine to the northwest, at the edge of the Desarin hills. Several other small humanoid tribes live in other caves in the same ravine, but all are being pressed out, or pressed into service by a group calling themselves the Crawling Chaos. These evil humans are led by a masked knight in plate armor and his two lieutenants, a dwarven priest of some dark deity, and a cruel female elven spellcaster.

The Crawling Chaos has already wiped out a group of kobolds who lived across the ravine from the goblins, and when the goblins witnessed the kobolds reanimated as zombies, they decided it was time to find a new home. The hobgoblins with them were deserters from another neighboring tribe in the caves, and had been bullying the goblins’ boss ever since they left. The prisoner blamed the slaughter at the farm on the hobgoblins, who wanted to stock up on meat and provisions here before finding a more permanent home somewhere in the hills to the east.

The party returns to town to rest, planning to turn the goblin prisoner over to the constable, despite his offer to lead them to these caves.

Session 1 - Welcome to Red Larch
Bears, one alive, one undead

We meet our adventuring band on the road to Red Larch. Six brave and heroic..cough cough…er six brave adventurers seeking their fortunes in the North. Hailing from Waterdeep were the pair London Verona and Alistair Creed.

Alistair is a rather cerebral chap for a fighter. He worked in artifact acquisitions for one of the Blackstaffs, the guild mages of Waterdeep. He was fired for being outspoken that such relics belonged in museums where they could be studied and displayed for the good of all people, not in the treasury of some secretive mage. Now he’s hoping that adventuring will lead him to some artifacts of his own, so that he can do with them what’s right.

London doesn’t say much about what he did before adventuring, though he seems loyal to Alistair. He quickly proves to be a deadly sniper when attacking unseen with his shortbow.

Next we met the siblings, Ivan and Ivonne Solokov. Fraternal twins to a mixed race couple, Ivan inherited his mother’s Goliath genes, while Ivonne takes after her father, the dwarf. Both grew tired of their boring existence in the mountains and came down to civilization in order to seek a little adventure and fortune. Ivonne seems to be the more careful of the two, but both have already proven absolutely brutal foes to face.

Finally, the unrelated pair of goblins of different species. Blaxx and Grimmer joined up with the crew. After a “case of accidental possession of others’ belongings”, Blaxx smoothed over the “misunderstanding” and got the two invited along. His druidic skills have already saved more than one party member’s life, and his impromptu friendship with a captive bear lead to a tactically brilliant defeat of some bandits and their goblin allies.

Grimmer has proven a solid scout and prodigious consumer of raw grains. He also may think he’s a god.

So our whacky group arrive in town and have barely had a chance to look around when the two goblins in the group get profiled by the local deputies. When they learn the diverse group are adventurers, it’s suggested that they come talk to the constable who has been looking for some adventurers to investigate reports of banditry less than a day to the south. Broke, and badly in need of some cash, the group hoofs right back out of town to the area the constable describes, getting there in the middle of the night. They’ve been promised a 25gp bounty on each of the 8 human bandits supposed to be in the region, and another 30% of the value of any goods recovered from said bandits.

Grimmer and London scout a clearing within a dell, finding a cave entrance with a campfire outside. A large cart with a cage attached to its back stands near the cave entrance. Within the cage is a black bear, currently asleep, as are the 6 of the 8 bandits who lie around the fire. The two men on sentry duty aren’t very observant, and the two rogues withdraw to report and plan.

Blaxx doesn’t even wait for a plan, but sneaks off into the woods to circle around the clearing to the cart and cage. As the others creep into position, he inspects the cage, finding the lock broken, and an iron piton “spiking” the cage shut. Enraged at the majestic animal being caged, he gently coaxes it awake, and then with a mighty pull, dislodges the piton. The cage door swings open and the bear sniffs the air and then lets out a roar, springing from the cage and toward the closest sleeping bandit.

Combat begins, with our crew surprising the sleeping bandits and slacking sentries. The sentries are dropped by London and Alistair, and the twins are in the enemy’s’ ranks before they even rise from their slumber. Grimmer and Ivonne are soon racking up the kill count, while Ivan trades blows with the bandit captain, who calls out to the cave that they’re being attacked. There’s more in the cave?

The bear and two goblins make short work of the western side of the clearing while the others start mopping up the bandits on the east. The bandit captain is holding the line in the center when four goblins appear in formation at the cave mouth, a well-armored hobgoblin with a wicked-looking glaive bringing up the rear. The front two goblins approach in formation with shield and mace, but are brought down almost instantly. The back two shoot crossbow bolts from a distance while the hobgoblin draws a massive longbow, but their archery needs practice.

Before the new arrivals can cause a momentum swing, the combined blows of the party drops the bandit captain, with Ivan getting on the tally sheet with a massive blow. The last of the crossbow goblins flees into the woods, getting away, while the hobgoblin tries a measured retreat while suing for peace. He gets dead on the end of Ivonne’s axe instead.

Grimmer goes running into the cave and tears into the first loot he finds, a sack full of whole grains. Soon, his oversized goblin mouth is stuffed with grain, and he’s calling for servants to bring him more when he notices a blue-skinned woman climbing out of a recently unlocked cage and grabbing her pack of gear.

The party meets Zephyr Quick, an air genasi bard who was unlucky enough to be part of the small caravan these bandits struck a couple of days before. The only survivor, she was told by the goblins that she would be taken north and sold into slavery. Instead, she escaped almost immediately after they left her alone in the cave, and was in the process of sneaking off when yet another goblin, Grimmer, came running up. Had he noticed her rather than the grain, it may not have been a peaceful introduction.

The rest of the party meets Zephyr and hears her story, and they agree a bard would be a useful addition to their crew, although the goblins both want 30% of Zephyr. She points out that she got free without them, and thus wasn’t part of the bandit loot. They agree to let her have the coins in the belt pouches of the victims of the bandits, which works out to a bit less than each share of the bandit bounties, but is better than nothing.

Blaxx takes off to find the bear that ran off and tracks it a good ways away. He heals its wounds, feeds it, and coaxes it back to the clearing where it eventually sleeps near him. In the morning he casts speak with animals, learning that the bear likes him but can’t stay as it’s worried about leaving its den mate alone for so long. It does accompany them back to the road and then crosses it, grunting a farewell.

Back in town, the constable is troubled to hear about goblinoids with the bandits, as “wild goblins” don’t usually appear in numbers this far south. He coughs up the bounty for the bandit ears and suggests the party rest and recuperate at the Swinging Sword Inn, guests of the town for the evening, and on the “friends and locals” discount thereafter. The caravan goods are appraised at 100 gp, so the party splits 30 gp from the town merchants.

They do a lot better selling the bandits’ and goblins’ arms and armor to the second-hand gear merchant in town, Ironhead Arms, the half-orc proprietor buying the lot for nearly 50% of new item value. They convert some of their new coins back into equipment, with London investing in studded leather while Ivonne improves her defenses with some inexpensive scale mail. Zephyr picks up a couple daggers.

They meet Kaylessa, owner of the Inn, who immediately blames the weirdness on the region in “something going on up at Lance Rock”. Some of the town’s kids were playing up there when they ran into a strange dwarf who sent them away because there was “plague up there”. The party agrees to check it out in the morning for 5 gp now, and 5 gp when they return. The twins go for a walk and explore the town, learning the name and purpose of the major businesses. There are two poultry processors, the butchers, two outfits specializing in wagons, two quarries, a bakery, leatherworker, clothiers, and a combination bath house and dress merchant in whose sign Blaxx recognizes the symbol for the Emerald Enclave the next day.

Zephyr makes a few coins with an inspiring musical performance that’s almost ruined by Grimmer’s “accompaniment”. She explains to him later that he’s not yet at a level where he can accompany her, but to keep practicing, just not when she’s working.

In the morning, Alistair is a bit hung over from the night before, and stays in town (his player had to leave early), so the others head out to Lance Rock without him. There, they find a depression leading to a cave entrance. Signs along the path leading there make a claim of plague, and the party covers their mouths and noses with cloth before entering the cave.

In the first room, a corpse lies in the center of the floor, missing an arm which lies nearby. Based on the lack of blood, they assume the body was dumped here. They are passing it by when Blaxx starts poking around the corpse trying to determine cause of death. He’s just decided on “losing an arm” when the body stirs. It’s a zombie!

They beat it down and proceed onward through a narrow tunnel. Seeing a chamber ahead, Grimmer sneaks forward, but the zombies perched on a high ledge above the entry tunnel have already been alerted by the sounds of battle from without. They drop a box of big rocks on him, but he nimbly dodges all of the rocks.

The zombies leap down after him, and are set upon by the party. One is dealt grievous wounds, but just won’t go down, while the other is cleaved nearly in two by one of the barbarians. Moans coming from a deeper tunnel alert the party to a second group of zombies, kobolds this time, which swarm out in a big wave. Slightly faster than the human zombies, but no more accurate, the kobold corpses have the same ability to cling to life after being dealt mortal blows that the human zombies possess. However, consistent massive damage from the party quickly dispatches them.

Exploration of a different side tunnel finds a cave being used to store more human remains and some discarded short swords. Seven are nearly skeletal, while another three are in various stages of fleshly decay. Fearing more zombies, the party waits while Grimmer snipes at one of the corpses still containing flesh. It doesn’t stir, but the 7 skeletons do, picking up the swords and attacking the party in a mindless wave. They fall a little quicker than the zombies, but manage to land a few blows here and there. Zephyr proves that even undead can have body image issues as her vicious mockery lands again and again on the skeletons, doing that last bit of damage to finish them off.

When the foes are defeated, the party stops for a short rest. They then continue on through the tunnel the kobold zombies had emerged from. They come upon a room with three more zombies, one a black bear, the other two dressed as a ballerina and a jester. The three perform a bizarre dance. Grimmer sneaks into the room and behind them while Ivonne stares at the group of zombies dancing nearer and nearer, seemingly unaware of her presence. When they get close however, they quickly turn and shamble at her.

Ivonne backs down the tunnel to form a chokepoint in the previous room, the bear zombie in quick pursuit. Ivan steps up to the front line with his sister as the bear gets there, and mauls him with claw and tooth, dropping him unconscious in a single turn. The others pile on it, and it doesn’t get a second opportunity. The stealthy Grimmer ambushes the ballerina zombie as it totters after the bear, dropping it with a critical blow. The final zombie falls and Ivonne’s back up with some healing from Blaxx and Zephyr. Ivan, who’s planning on being a bear totem barbarian is sad at seeing a bear’s corpse misused in such a way.

Grimmer scouts up a short tunnel from which they spotted the glint of metal. Two iron-bound chests sit there unattended. A search for traps fails to locate any, but when he approaches, there’s a sound of a lever being thrown from somewhere nearby and a trap door opens, causing rocks to deadfall. Again, the rogue is up to the Dexterity save, and takes no damage. A voice who calls himself the “Lord of Lance Rock” taunts Grimmer, who finds both chests are empty. Seeing no way to get to where the voice is coming from, Grimmer returns to the party who decide to return to town and rest and regroup with Alistair before delving deeper.

They load one of the chests full of the short swords taken from the skeletons and return to town alive, and with strange tales of dead dancing bears.

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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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