Empire of Nestor

Session 5
Escaping Oxfield

The party started off the adventure by finding out that the city guard was searching for their group and the artifact they held. J'Kar learns from the horse trader that all of the gates are being watched, and everything going into and out of the city is being thoroughly searched. Wanting to keep the sword safe, Boksel and J'Kar lay low with the sword while Aremon and Sir Dwarvenson go off to find out more about what the town guard is doing.

On the way to the city guard house, Sir Dwarvenson notices that some of the guards have an unusual drawing of a sun on their armor. He doesn't think much of it, but later learns that this is the symbol of a new group trying to gain political power in the city. Octavius, the leader of the guard, does not give much information to Sir or Aremon, suggesting if they want to help the city they should enroll in a training program to become a part of the town guard.

Aremon and Sir Dwarvenson return to the rest of the party and everyone makes the decision that it may be best to go have a talk with the town regent to see what is going on. While trying to dump the sword in the river however, the party is noticed by a group of guards and forced to fight their way out of the predicament. This is when they meet some members of the thieves guild. After having a talk with the thieves guild leader, the group makes their way through the sewers and out of town. Zathon, one of the thieves, believes he knows some people in his hometown of Ihlathi who may be able to help destroy the artifact. The session ends with the party taking an exit to the sewer that leads them to a small clearing just outside of Oxfield.

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Session 4
History of the Orcs

The party starts the session by opening the back right door in the throne room of Olgard fortress. Here, they find what looks to be an ancient war room with maps and battle reports scattered on a circular table and a bookcase with military books on one wall. In the far corner, an orc wearing shaman robes stands watching over the room, and on the back wall there is a tapestry depicting an ancient battle of dwarves fighting orcs. As the group searches the room, the statue in the corner comes to life and requests that the characters name 3 of the 4 leaders from the last great war. At the same time, an animated suit of armor comes to life and 4 swords fly off of a rack and attack the party. Luckily, Aremon does some quick thinking and is able to recall 2 of the 3 names required to get past the statue, and Sir Dwarvenson finds the third on a sheet of parchment laying on the round table.

Once the party names the three leaders from the war, the statue allows them to pass through a secret door that leads down to an altar of some sort. A spirit appears and takes the party away to live through some of the history of the orcs. Each person lives through a vision that gives them insight into how the orcs welcomed a new race into their land, and began trading with them, only to eventually be destroyed by the new race in a devestating war. 

J'Kar learns of the first contact the orcs had with this outside race attempting to sell magical implements to improve crop yield. He decides to allow this new trade into the city in order to increase propserity and wealth for the kingdom.

Boksel lives through the drought caused by the magical farming implements and forbids their sale in the orcish kingdom. He doesn't go so far as to banish the new race from orc lands, but he expresses distrust and hesitancy to allow any new magical implements.

Aremon attempts to avoid war by sending scouts to capture the daughter of the leader of the new race and returning her only when a peace agreement has been reached.

Sir Dwarvenson makes the hard choice to execute the man who killed the Orc king for the transgression of kidnapping the daughter.

Finally, it is revealed to the entire party that the whole illusion was meant to be a retelling of orcish history without the corruption of humans, elves, or dwarves. The new race in the land was the humans, and throughout the time period of the vision, the orcs were turned into monsters due to the breaking of alliances.

When the story is finished, the party is returned to the altar where they are able to retrieve a black sword, the magical artifact they were sent to find in the first place. They take it back to Oxfield and are able to trick the Brotherhood of Light into thinking an ordinary black sword is the artifact they were looking for, while the party keeps the real black sword in order to find someone who can destroy it. The black sword attempts to tempt the party into murdering each other but fails at each turn.

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Session 3
Travelling to Olgard Fortress

After acquiring mounts in Oxfield, the party sets off to find Olgard Keep, the location of the unknown artifact required by the Brotherhood of Light. The horses allow the party to move faster than most other groups heading for the fortress, but as the party is about to camp for the night, they are met by a young boy who was left behind by his friends, alone and afraid in the woods. Aremon quickly takes the boy, who calls himself Azad, under his wing, promising protection until they are able to remove the slowly tightening cloak from around Azad's neck.

The group tries to track Azad's friends through the woods, but they are ambushed by yet another adventuring party in search of the powerful artifact. After a close combat, J'kar uses some harsh tactics to get answers from the leader of the ambushers. This is to no avail, and very little information is gained. The ambushers still alive are stripped of their clothes and sent running for their lives through the woods. The party takes a long rest to heal up and prepare for exploring the fortress the next day.

The next day, everyone sets off again towards the fortress, which they were able to just make out through the woods the night before. They come upon what looks to be an ancient castle built to withstand a siege. The castle is surrounded by a 30 foot thick moat, and there are many features built into the castle to make it as defensible as possible. About 100 meters out, everyone hears the howling of a creature within the castle. Upon closer inspection, there is a pack of wolves harrassing a small halfling. The group fights off the wolves, but the poor halfling dies in the process. Once the wolves are dead, the party notices 3 dead bodies which seem to have been killed by the wolves. Each body, including the halfling, is wearing a cloak similar to the ones on Quintus and Azad.

Finally, the party makes its way into the main throne room of the keep where they meet a revanant named Snog, the last of the great orc kings. He speaks briefly with the party, but for the most part seems to care little about why the group is in his castle. He speaks of the artifact that was hidden by his shamans thousands of years ago in this castle, and they party must show themselves worthy in order to wield the artifact.

The session ends with the party preparing to go through the door on the far right of the throne room.

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Session 2
The Brotherhood of Light

After last week's adventure, the party is ready to track down the origin of the man in the white cloak. Nesta realizes that there is something strange about the cloak that she can't quite place, perhaps some sort of magical residue that is setting off her wizard senses. She believes that the herbalist in town might know more.

The party visits Aubree Harrison, the town herbalist, and questions her about the white cloak and what kind of magic may be on the cloak. Aubree checks the cloak and tells the characters that there is some illusion magic hiding a symbol of some sort, and she can get rid of the illusion using a specially brewed potion. But, she needs some unusual ingredients. The feathers of a Peryton, and a local fungus are required for the brew, plus a small 50gp fee that will pay for the time and energy she must put into making the potion.

After some discussion, the party sets off towards a meadow mentioned by Aubree to search for the necessary fungus. J'kar leaves the party behind and travels through a different area, eventually circling around to meet the party again. With everyone working together, except Boksel (who is in a tavern searching for information on Perytons), the party is able to find the proper fungus without accidentally getting poisoned. During the search, J'kar investigates a nearby Oak tree and mistakenly believes the bark has healing powers.

The group meets back in town briefly and agrees to go towards the mountains where the Peryton are said to live. The party then climbs up the mountain using a path found by Boksel, and gets within 60 feet of the Peryton nest. J'kar then ties a rope to Quintus' waist, allowing Quintus to stealthily climb 30 feet higher towards the nest. Using mage hand, Quintus grabs a feather from the nest without waking the sleeping bird inside. The party then scrambles away and returns to Aubree.

Using the components, and 50 gold pieces, Aubree reveals a symbol to the party. Aremon recognizes the symbol and tells the party that he saw it in a thrift shop in Oxfield while he was doing humanitarian work in one of the run-down neighborhoods. The party decides to follow the symbol to Oxfield to learn what they can of the man in the white cloak.

The trip to Oxfield is relatively uneventful, but a half-day's journey outside the city, the party finds an elf merchant being harrassed by a group of bandits. Using J'kar's intimidating presence, and a little bit of magic, the bandits are chased off. The merchant offers to take the group to Oxfield on his cart, while telling stories of the time before the kingdom was at peace. He attempts to make conversation with J'Kar, but decides instead to tell stories until they reach the city of Oxfield. The players help the merchant unload his goods, and in return the merchant directs them to a tavern named the Dancing Ladies.

At the dancing ladies, the group meets a middle-aged dwarf woman who keeps a watchful eye on her tavern and her children. They rent a room in the inn and make small talk with Merthana Strongarm before turning in for bed. J'Kar also makes friends with Aedon, Merthana's son.

The next day, Quintus visits his old home in Oxfield, hoping to find some familiar people or places. Instead, he finds a broken down neighborhood fool of street urchins and drug addicts. His old home lies in ruins, and the people he once knew are all gone. He returns to the Dancing Ladies distraught with the state of the city, and to his surprise is comforted by the normally harsh J'Kar. Merthana also shares in his despair and reminisces with him about the old days.

During the day, most of the group visits a library while Boksel spends his time in a tavern asking about the symbol. The group finds out that the symbol was once related to a cult of humans that were bent on destroying the orcs. They also discover at the thrift shop, that there was a man who bought a scroll that had the same symbol, leading them back to the Dancing Ladies in search of a man named Arthur Brooks.

Arthur turns out to be a nervous young man who doesn't really have much conviction, but he is in possession of a scroll and a letter giving the details of a secret meeting to go down with a secret password hidden in a riddle on the scroll. The riddle reads: "Many have heard me, but nobody has seen me, and I will not speak back until spoken to. What am I?" The party correctly figures out that the answer to the riddle is "an echo."

The group follows the trail leading to an abandoned warehouse where Quintus infiltrates using a disguise. He learns of a secret organization called The Brotherhood of Light that is planning on restoring the Kingdom to its once great glory. The Brotherhood is looking for new recruits, and they have designed a test that will show the most worthy candidate. All new recruits in attendance have been cursed with cloaks that slowly tighten about the neck until an artifact is retrieved from an old keep North of town. Quintus leaves the meeting with a map to the keep and a very strong desire to retrieve the item so he can take the cloak off before being choked to death.

The party quickly acquires mounts and moves off towards the keep. As they begin their travel, they are spotted by the Peryton from before, but Aremon is able to Command it away before a fight breaks loose.

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Session 1
The Man in the White Cloak

After defeating Maribel, the puppet maker, the party is contacted by Mayor Marth Zelder, requesting their presence at the town church. Upon arriving, the characters find a man named Sigmund has traveled from the nearby town of Salem to request help in investigating the strange things that are happening in his village. Sigmund was found unconscious on the road by an elf named __. As he is being bandaged by Priest Carter, Sigmund describes the unusual behavior of the villagers, hinting at possible mind control. The party quickly decides to set off in hopes of helping the small town, taking __ along with them for help.

The party meets a halfling bard named Bungo and his pet bear, Spike, camped out just on the outskirts of town. They share a pleasant evening regaling each other with songs and stories of great adventurers. Spike even does a small performance with Bungo.

The next morning, the party wakes and heads into town, only to find a small mob has formed outside the town guardhouse. They sneak their way in and meet Connor Marlowe, a guard sent from Oxfield to investigate what is going on in Salem. Marlowe says that he has been too busy keeping peace with the villagers to get any real investigation done, and that he would appreciate if the players could lend him a hand. Inside the jail, a man named Darrell Whitney awaits his fate after having been accused of witchcraft and mind control. He knows very little, and despite the general opinion of the villagers, Marlowe believes Darrell is innocent. The other tenant of the jail is Gerald Huxley, Maribel's husband. Gerald killed his adult children in a fit of violence while preparing dinner. He is extremely depressed and remembers nothing about what actually happened.

Over the course of the day, the party visits various locations throughout the town, attempting to find clues as to what is happening to the villagers. They discover the following important clues:

  • The owners of the Ulhorn farm believe Darrell has been behind everything, but they also appear to have been drugged
  • A man in a white cloak was seen leaving the herbs and magic shop
  • The owner of the shop points the party in the direction of where the man in the white cloak was headed last

The group finds a small shack outside of town that has strange sounds coming from inside. There is a quick fight as the party dispatches of some severely drugged villagers and discovers a small wizards lair. They find a journal that details the experiments this wizard was doing to the people in the town, and they also realize that the wizard has already fled town. They are then able to save poor Darrell before he gets burned at the stake by the misguided residents of Salem.

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Session 0
The Dollmaker

The game started out with all the characters sleeping in the town of Kavshak. Some of the players were just passing through, and others were planning on staying for a long time. During the night however, strange things were happening. Children sized shapes were seen darting into alleyways only to disappear completely upon further inspection. Green eyes stared out of the darkest corners of town, with strange giggling heard throughout.

In the morning, the party went to the town square to see what all the commotion was about. Apparently, a number of items had been stolen from many of the merchants in town. Our noble adventurers are tasked with finding out what happened and returning the stolen property, with the promise of a just reward given by the mayor of the town, Marth Zelder.

First the players visit the blacksmith, Daldain Silverhammer. They find their first clue, a strand of yarn left behind by the creature that entered Daldain's shop. Over the next few hours of the day, the party visits the town tailor, Garrick; the priest, Horster Carter; and the new puppet maker, Maribel. In the process, Sir Dwarfensten scares a group of kids who were playing in an abandoned brewery, and Quintus kept the party on track with insightful questions, while Aremon tried to keep things calm and make sure everyone in the town was taken care of. J'kar showed his harsh nature by tearing apart a child's toy doll and expressing disdain at anyone deemed too weak to survive the harsh world.

Eventually the party discovers that Maribel, the new puppet maker in the town, is behind the robberies from the night before. Maribel just lost her adult children after they were stabbed to death by their father, Maribel's husband. Maribel says that her husband was acting strange, and he couldn't have been behind their deaths. When the party confronts Maribel about the robberies, she attacks and tries to use her dolls to take the party out. The party is able to defeat the dolls and convince Maribel to stop fighting. They take Maribel to the town guard to get their reward and begin deciding where to go next.

Treasure / Experience points given out:

  • 300 experience points each
  • 175 gp from silk roll
  • 125 gp from Maribel's shop
  • 300 gp from Mayor Marth Zelder

 

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