Northern Lights

Third Game Session October 8th
The Thick of it

   Leaving the clear cut the party followed Wind in the Brush into the Neverwinter forest. Travel was slowed by the thick covering of snow, and often the large buck vanished from view (in fact he was unseen more often than seen), however his trail was easy to spot, and where it might have been more difficult, Wind in the  Bush had used his large rack to disturb the snow even further to make it obvious. Dangerous in a forest just emerging from a long winter filled with hungry predators, but obviously for the benefit of the party. A cold camp followed a day of difficult packing into the woods, which was interrupted once by a dire boar who had no interest in harassing a large well armed group of adventurers.

   In the morning the travelers continued and by midmorning it was discovered that they were paralleling a trail that had recently been stamped down but a large party of goblins. Wind in the Bush kept his path far enough away not to be easily spied by anyone on this trail, but he was also clearly following it. Soon thereafter the party came across a goblin watch post built up on some high branches, though it was thankfully empty and had been so for some time. Likely it was a post manned only in warmer weather. Then, forty minutes or so past the post, a clearing was spied. The goblin nest had been uncovered. Wind in the Bush stayed inside the perimeter of the trees and stamped his fore hoof in either a salute or an acknowledgement that he had accomplished his task, and vanished back into the forest.

   The nest appears to have been set up in a natural fissure in the side of a cliff. A large pile of ice and snow covered scree rested against that cliff, creating a navigateable ramp to the top, and which also had a post of guards atop it. Two bow armed and very sleepy goblin warriors kept watach from the post. Other than the assortments of debris one expects from such a filthy place, the ground was cleared for fifty yards in all directions about the front of the entrance and it was very quiet, so (naturally) a full frontal assault was quickly decided. The two guards were driven from their post up into the forest above the nest after having been caught unawares by stealthy adventurers (ie. they were asleep), however one had a horn with him which he constantly sounded. The goblins escaped up into the tree line at the top of the cliff, and the chase after those two was abandoned in favor of taking the entrance of the nest by force This plan ultimately resulted in the party being flanked on both sides as the two warriors doubled back to attack from behind once the adventurers had entered the fight with the goblin guards inside the entrance room of the nest. 

   Eventually the goblin sentries were defeated in both the clearing outside and in the entrance room, and from there the group tried to quietly investigate the foul smelling nest. Small skirmishes erupted with goblin guards and many nasty traps were encountered as well. Soon the adventurers learned that though this is a small tribe of greenskins, there were still a large number of them here. As it was day outside, most of the tribe was in its furs sleeping, with only a few guards scattered about. The party skirted these chambers and made its way to a door which held one of the men they had been searching for, Arbor Grayle! He was found sleeping on a cot behind a reinforced and locked door which Dim adroitly picked open. 

   Arbor engaged the group in banter, seemingly pleasantly suprised by the group's rescue of him from the goblins. Mostly he was concerned about Glim whom he quickly picked out as Dim's father, and spun a tale of having rescued Glim in the wilds only to have been captured by Brokenear's tribe of goblins. The selling of Glim's lutes was a scheme he and the gnome had hatched to ensure they both remained valuable to the goblin chief and thus spared. He offered to help the party get Glim out of the nest if they would help him to escape the wrath of the goblin chief. Not trusting him, he was allowed only a dagger for his defense and was kept contained amidst the party as they continued on to find Glim. Arbor directed them into a small hall which ended at a curious door, when Dim tripped a pit trap which he only narrowly avoided. Arbor then began to yell "Brokenear, help!" and was tackled by Artorius to prevent his escape.

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Second Game Session Sept 24
Wherin a promise is made

GM's Report

The second session started on the 23rd of Mirtul, and winter is just starting to give way its grip upon the land. Dim, Errol, and Roland were in the main hall of the Gilded Horseshoe when their three friends arrived, Spark, Tanis, and Artorius (a friend of Dim’s from the family with whom he is hiding from). Greetings were quickly shared and Dim brought the newcomers up to speed on events. An night was spent at the Horseshoe for the weary travelers to have hot bathes and rest, and then after a sumptuous breakfast the were out the door and off upon the quest, Tanis ahead by half a mile marking the trail with sticks through the snow.

   Half a day out the party spied a homestead eight hundred yards from the trail and decided to stop in to gather what information they could. The Farmer Andy and his hands were suspicious at first until the party had taken their first ritual drink from them and established the peace of hospitality as guests, and then enjoyed their company for the rest of the evening. None there had ever heard of Arbor Grayle, and many were interested in what the party had to say about Master Renfrin. What could be learned of Neverwinter was a bit confusing, most warning them not to enter the haunted woods which were inhabited by the dead spirits of those who were slaughtered there two and a half decades before. Others reported that they knew folks who gathered fallen wood for firewood in the forest and came back out unharmed. Frustrated that they could not get solid information they stayed for a warm night’s sleep in the bunkhouse with the hands while Dim entertained the farmer’s family for the evening, satisfying the tradition of guests leaving a gift for their hosts.

   Tanis again took point the next day, and near the end of the day had an encounter with four hunting silver timber wolves. Obviously starved from the long winter the animals circled the Ranger who was much too far from the main party to be able to receive aid from them. He successfully managed to wound the entire pack of four wolves with arrows and blade and drove them off. There were other trail mishaps before the party reached the Neverwinter wood by following the old longing road beside the Sorrow river, but all were overcome.

   The wood proved ominous in that there was a sense upon entering the forest proper of being watched, critically. For two hours the party pushed through, staying upon the snow covered logging trail. They encountered remnants of logging activity in the form of immense rotting (and frozen) stumps, identified by Tanis as sequoias. The decomposing remnants of a logging wagon was seen off the side of the trail and eventually a gargantuan tree (20ft diameter) which had fallen across the river and lay upon the trail with a cutout where the it passed through.

   Soon the party entered a gigantic clear cut, miles wide and deep where no trees stood at all, only brush and choking brambles. Artorius insisted that the feeling of foreboding increased in this area, though no one else could sense it growing stronger. From the edge of the tree line the group could see several buildings down in the shallow valley and decided to investigate. First the stone foreman’s house was searched revealing nothing but a giant spider which was quickly killed by the combined effort of all the group. The dilapidated and collapsed Mill and Kitchen provided little, however in the rotted bunkhouse a chest was found containing a good bit of gold and an ivory carving of the God Moradin.

   Deciding to investigate a strangely unfrozen pond, the group left the lumber camp and headed over, only to be interrupted by the flight of a snow owl which landed ahead of them and transformed into a beautiful woman who identified herself as Alannah, clearly a Druidess. She elicited a promise form the party, sworn upon their Gods, to help her with the pond which she identified as the source of the disruption in the logging camp. Something inside the water was poisoning the land, allowing only brush and thorny brambles to grow in the clear-cut. It is beyond the power of the Druids to extract the malaise. This promise was given with the bargain that she would provide help in locating Arbor Grayle and the Goblin camp that she confirmed was staying there. When Arbor returned from his every other month trip to Longsaddle to sell his wares to Master Renfrin, he would always stop here to stash something in the bunkhouse (the treasure the party found), and then head north into the woods to the Goblin nest. Alannah summoned a magnificent twelve-point buck to the clearing and told the party to follow him to the Goblins. She warned the group not to approach “Wind in the Bush” nor harm him in any way, but to follow the deer to their goal. She then transformed back into the snow owl and flew off.

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First Game Session Sept 10th
Winter has long fingers.

GM’s Report

Game Session #1 Sept 10

 

   The campaign start date was DR1491, the 2nd of Mirtul, and as the Northern saying goes, “Winter has long fingers”. Typically, there is freezing weather and snow from Uktar (sometimes late Marpenoth) to Mirtul, and this year has been no exception. All members of the group began this day in or around Red Larch, two of them in The Inn of the Swinging Sword, awakening to the sound of an early caravan stopping in town. Dim quickly learned that the master of the venture had carried a letter to him from Waterdeep, in which the news was given that his father may still be alive somewhere and not dead these past six years as he had thought. Lutes with his father’s craftsmanship had begun appearing in Waterdeep. The only information given was that they were sold by a merchant in Longsaddle by the name of Olin Renfrin

   Though the snow lay heavily upon the ground and the nights are yet dangerously cold, it was decided to set out at once to Longsaddle, and Roland’s father reluctantly provided Velvet, a mule for the journey. The tenday venture became a twelve day journey in which Dim became very ill with pneumonia. The party met with the Innkeeper of the Gilded Horseshoe, one Nathan Pug and his twin sons Girt and Hewey, as well as his young daughters Miriam and Golden Gelda. The girls nursed Dim back to health over eight days, while the party weathered a late winter storm at the Inn, getting to know the proprietor and his family as good and honest people.

   Once nursed back to health and the storm had blown over, the party then crossed the small town to the old Harspell mansion which had been purchased a year ago and remodeled into a private abode fronted by an unusual shop, the name of which is Treasure Hill. Once inside they met the proprietor Master Renfrin, who appears as an older gentleman  who walks with the assistance of a cane. Refined, dignified, and world wise, there was something about the man that set the party on edge. Dim explained their purpose and the party was sent packing with a promise of a meeting the next day. At that meeting Master Renfrin met with them in his shop, and he was upset. Discovering that he had likely been swindled by the individual selling him the lutes, he commissioned the party to find the fellow (Arbor Grayle) and bring him back alive. Again, the party had the impression this time of sublime power of a frightening intensity from Master Renfrin, and the sense that disappointing him might be unhealthy.

   The melt has begun in earnest and the grass of the fields is starting to appear above the now diminished snowpack. The party is prepared to set off in pursuit of Grayle and Glim, Dim’s father, when two friends arrive in town looking for them.

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