Way of the Wicked

Session 5
First Day in Aldencross

Mardok woke up to the sound of footsteps, the kind that only men that try to be quiet make. He opened the door to his room to a crack and saw Bellam, the Lord’s Dalliance owner, tip-toeing his way in the direction of the stairs leading down to the common room. Mardok did the only thing that made any sense to him. He closed the door and went back to sleep.

In the morning, the party decided to pay ballentyne a visit. It took them half an hour to reach the fort, but the guards didn’t seem too happy to let them into the closed military zone. Instead, they called Captain Franz Mott, only one of several captains in the fort. He seemed a stern and serious kind of fella, but he did engage with them in some conversation. They told him the cover story that they decided on – they are on an errand to try and convert the bugbears to the worship of Mitra. Mardok posed as a Mitran priest and Damien, Chantra and Gardain as his chaperones. They are stuck in Aldencross because they are waiting for some other delegation members to arrive, which could take a few weeks. Mott, on the other hand, did expose some information on the fort. He also promised to let Father Althus Donnagin, the Chaplain of Ballentyne, know that A Mitran priest was looking for him. The party concluded the visit by taking a trip along its northern wall and observing the bridge across the Tyburn river, the bridge spanning it and the gatehouse on its other side.Balentyne.png

After that, the party separated, each member trying to explore and gather information some more. Mardok went to the church and the alchemist shop, discovering that it holds quite a quantity of rat poison. Chantra disguised herself as a little girl and went fishing in a stream that was not too far from the road to Ballentyne, but could not gather any crucial information. Gardain (with the help of Mardoc and Damien) tried to recruit some birds or bats to help him reconnoiter the fort, but not very successfully. Damien worked the crowd in the Lord’s Dalliance and did find out some information. Ballentyne’s commander, Lord Havelyn seemed to command the respect of all the soldiers and is a very efficient officer. Another officer was Captain Varning, who was the leader of the scouts. Another important information learned was that there used to be a tunnel leading all the way from the inn to Ballentyne. That tunnel is now, of course, blocked.

In the evening arrived at the inn a group of dwarven engineers, back from their work at Ballentyne.

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Session 4
Fire-Axe

Traveling up the Taiga River took half a day, and finally, the party arrived at Fire-Axe’s camp, not far from the banks of Lake Tarik. Thousands of bugbears were already assembled there, but there were also fur-clad goblins, the occasional polar bears, and even a few giants. The only place to dock the boat was a crudely made pier. On that pier waited for them six bugbear warriors, who apparently had a taste for human (and dwarven and gnome) flesh. By disposing of the bugbears quickly (one managed to run away), the party prevented more bugbears to join in the fray. Soon, Sakkarot Fire-Axe, an imposing bugbear wearing plate mail and armed with a red greataxe appeared and greeted them welcome, declaring that they should not be harassed or eaten in any way.

Sakkarot held a feast in honor of the arms shipment and his allies. It was a brutal, savage affair with bugbears fighting each other and all sorts of monsters in attendance. The highlight of the party was when a great shaggy dire boar brought in and slaughtered. Grumblejack and a female ogre participated in a courting ritual that included mostly of hitting and throwing spears at each other.

During the feast, Sakkarot and the party engaged in conversation. Sakkarot suggested they leave on the morrow across the lake, in the direction of Ballentyne and the town of Aldencross. The party agreed and decided to leave Grumblejack with Sakkarot’s forces, as they were afraid that he was unsuitable to an infiltration mission.

As the boat neared the southern shore of Lake Tarik, the villains jumped a surprise attack on Odenkirk and his crew. Damien cast darkness on the rear part of the boat, and Mardok cast silence, in order to confuse the sailor and be able to control the fight better. However, in a last moment change of plans, Gardain and Chantra both shot at the Odenkirk, exposing their plan, and letting the sailors know exactly what is happening. A tense fight commenced, with Odenkirk doing large amounts of damage on Gardain. Chantra was also hit and lost consciousness (again). In the end, the party pushed through, slaughtered the whole crew and burned the ship, disposing of all evidence.

It took the party a couple of hours to reach Aldencross, a good sized town of 1800 people. On their way to the inn, they noted the existence of a scrolls shop in town. The Lord’s Dalliance Inn was packed and they had some food before getting a room.

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Session 3
The Frosthamar

The last chamber’s door was locked, but an iron key was hanging on a peg beside the door. They opened the door, and to their surprise found Sir Balin imprisoned inside. In the short conversation that ensued, he claimed that Damien’s sister did not take much convincing in order to betray him. Of course, Damien could see through Balin’s lies and dismissed this as pure hogwash. Getting rid of the inquisitor was easy work, and by the end of it, the party has the needed pendant. Adarastus Thorn was very pleased with their success.
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Following the nine tests began three months of training under the tutorage of the Cardinal and with the help of Tiadora. Once these were over, Thorn held a great banquet in their honor and awarded them the title of the Nessian Knot in a ritual involving blood and fire, and a summoned devil consuming the flesh of a slave chosen by Gardain. When the ritual was done, Thorn announced that they will set out on their first mission the following day. They are to guard a ship carrying arms to a bugbear chieftain named Sakkarot Fire-Axe, located north of the great wall. The captain of the ship, Kargeld Odenkirk was not to be trusted and disposed of as soon as they finished their first task and he brought them to the town of Aldencross, not far from the tower Ballentyne. Then they were to proceed and infiltrate the tower, murder its commander, weaken its defenses and open the gates, allowing the bugbear army to take it by force and start a war with Tallingarde. Gardain was interested to know how they would control the bugbear horde from taking over all of Tallingarde, but Thorn advised him not to worry about that just yet.

The next day they set sail with the unsavory Captain Odenkirk and his rough crew. The going was rough, but the first week of travel was quiet. Not too long after they passed the great wall, though, they were confronted by a patrol ship. Using his considerate persuasion skills, Damien managed to convince the patrol’s captain that they were carrying weapons to Ballentyne. A bit later, they were attacked by several merfolk, their leader mumbling a strange prophecy before dying: “The shining sun has seen the wickedness you hide in hearts. And thus it will be the son who brings your doom.”
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When the Frosthamar passes near some large island, Kargeld tried to persuade them to stop there to get some fresh water, but Damien was adamant that he could supply all the drinking water the crew needed. The captain didn’t like this and tried to argue his point, but Damien and party were resolute on no delaying. Actually, they were so resolute that when a group of Yutak in kayaks appeared, the party refused their attempts at trade.

On that night they encountered a cold front, and when the sailors lighted some torches, they could hear an unearthly laughter from above them. They were then attacked by ice mephits. The sailors were pretty much useless in that fight, but after a hard fight, the party managed to fend off the attack, losing only one sailor to the mephits. On the next day the Frosthamar finally arrive at the ice-choked mouth of the river Taiga.
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Session 2
The Nine Tests

The villains rested for three days, during which Tiadora supplied them with any equipment they needed (and for Damian also his own slave girl for his pleasure), and they mingled a little with the manor’s other inhabitants, namely another party consisting of Elise, a snobbish yet beautiful woman, a large half-elven warrior named Dostan, and two twins nicknamed Trick and Track. One of the twins called Titus (Track), a priest of Asmodeus, seemed the only likable in the outfit and had some discourse with Mardock.

After three days, the villains were summoned in front of Cardinal Thorn again. They were ordered to retrieve a silver and sapphire pendant from the dungeon beneath the manor in no more than 24 hours. The party decided on heading to the dungeons right away, not thinking of taking Grumblejack along with them. The dungeon was comprised of several square rooms, connected by short corridors, and each containing a single test. Each of the doors had a plaque with a sentence written on it, supplying a clue for the lesson that was to be learned from that test.

In the first chamber, they cleverly avoided the trap laid in front of the only obvious door, and found a hidden compartment in one wall containing a quartz shining with a cold and blue light, but took a long time to find the other hidden door, leading to the next room. The second room had two obvious doors, but since the lesson was about not following the herd, and there were lots of footprints leading to them, the party wisely ignored them, instead focusing on a moldy patch on one wall. After investigating it, they discovered that the quartz had a negative effect on the mold. they threw it on the mold, and it shriveled, exposing a third door.

In another room, the party found Timeon, a squire to the inquisitor Balin, the same one who has imprisoned both Damian and Mardoc. He was hiding there from the evil people who have captured him and his master. Gaining his trust, the villains discovered that Balin had a Mitran holy symbol made of silver and sapphire, as well as some more information on the other rooms in the dungeon.
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After fighting some mithral cobras, the party reached a chamber with a set of stairs and a silver and sapphire statuette on a pedestal. Sensing that something is wrong here, they continued to the next room, where they avoided a shrieker plant, reaching a room with several coffins, out of which started emerging Draugr, a moist type of undead. The fight was a tough one, and Mardoc had to call on the power of Asmodeus in order to turn some of the Draugr. Timeon, finally understanding that these were not some Mitran-loving heroes, turned to flee, causing the shrieker to alert the inhabitants of the last room, but was killed by Damien.

After a very close battle, the villains felt they needed some rest, and settled for the rest of the night in one of the corridors.

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Session 1
Escape from Branderscar Prison

After Chantra freed everyone from their chains, she managed to also open the cell door. The corridor had a few doors to other cells, but most of them were empty. The only one that was occupied had an ogre as a tenant. The ogre introduced himself as Grumblejack, and Chantra tried to unlock its cell door. She was too noisy, though, and the guards got curious. The party ambushed the guard that came checking, disposing of him quickly, and then of his friend. Now the party was free to explore the rest of the building. Mardock borrowed a guard’s uniform and managed to fool the first guard he met into another ambush.

In what seemed to be Sergeant Blackerly’s room, the party managed to find a map of the prison, which should have made escaping a little easier, but when they decided to go into the yard and try escape from the grounds, Damian was too eager to use his bolts on the guard that was stationed on the gatehouse’s roof. The bolt hit the guard but failed to kill him, and so he managed to blow his horn and alert the rest of the prison.

The party then tried to make a run for it through the gatehouse. As they were passing through the gatehouse, Blackerly and three other guards were coming down the stairs right behind them, while 3 other guards came running from the prison’s main building. Luckily, two of them seemed quite drunk. If the party thought that once they exit the gatehouse they will be safer, they were wrong. Two guards that were patrolling the walls had enough time to position themselves on the roof and start shooting arrows at them. At the end of the gate that led to the mainland, was stationed another guard with a vicious looking dog.
Gardain was performing as a rear guard and managed to absorb most of the blows dealt by the guards. Eventually, the villains managed to survive the fight, and dispose of most of the guards, though it was too close a call to be comfortable.

Once they escaped, Damian told the rest of the party that his visitor was a beautiful woman called Tiadora, who asked them to meet her and her master at his manor house after they escaped. Mardock did a good job in leading the party through the moors, and they arrived at the manor house after an hour’s walk, not before having to fight a huge frog.

They were welcomed by Tiadora and led to be cleaned and fed. After they were presentable, they met Cardinal Adrastus Thorn, who claimed to be the high priest of Asmodeus in Tallingarde, and offered them an opportunity to bring down the Mitran loving Tallingarde, and to remake the island as an Asmodean worshipping country. The party agreed (Gardain out of boredom only) and signed a pact with Adrastus.

In blood, of course.

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Session 0
Welcome to Branderscar Prison

Four prisoners were awaiting execution in a cell in Branderscar prison. Damian Dion, a handsome noble with strange eyes seemed strangely confident. Mardock Ashair, another imposing human, was tracing pentagrams on the floor with his foot. A dwarf, Gardain Rumnaheim was incessantly cursing and swearing, threatening violence on anyone he could think of. Last, and by size the least, was Chantra Elodasi, a female gnome with an attitude, and apparently a dislike of nobles.

They were all shackled hand and foot to the wall and any escape attempt seemed futile, but then the Sergeant Thomas Blackerly, looking a bit dazed, entered the cell, along with six other guards, and ordered them to unshackle Damian, as he had a female guest.

After a few minutes Damian was back in the cell, and shackled. As soon as night fell, he extracted a silken veil from somewhere on his body and pried from that veil a set of lock picks. He then threw that set towards Chantra, who managed to grab it between her big toe and the next one, and agilely deliver it to her hand. Despite being shackled, she managed to free herself quite easily, and then started freeing the other prisoners. At one point one of the guards got suspicious as he heard some noises but Mardock managed to alleviate those suspicions by causing some rat sounds outside of their cell.

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