The Cult of the Crystal Spider

Session 5
The Giant's Grove

Down and Out in Triboar

It’s been about two weeks since our heroes put the Terror to bed, and a few days since Darathra Shendrel was handily re-elected as Lord Protector of Triboar. Trouble and treasure have been unusually scarce, although the Lord Protector has kept good on her promise, paying the adventurers a handsome stipend—even though they haven’t had to do much of anything.

During their downtime, our heroes spent very little time in each other’s company, preferring instead to embark on their own adventures. Reberkkah, always enamored with cultures that are not her own, decides to spend some time in the nastier corners of Triboar, getting to know the ins-and-outs of the local criminal ecosystem as well as the daily doings of the region’s petty laborers, drunkards, gamblers, and the like. During this time she befriended a guard named Trevor who promised to keep her apprised of the city’s goings-on. Unfortunately, she also made an enemy—in her typical Berkkie manner by saying something she didn’t realize was offensive and/or racist to an elf. In this case, it was the half-elf Genny, a local worker who didn’t appreciate Berkkie asking if she could “touch your ears” and then doing so anyway despite being told to “fuck off.” This resulted in the first bar fight of Berkkie’s career as an adventurer, and a chair being broken over her back left a nasty scar. Berkkie also managed to use some of her two weeks of downtime to finish learning some magic.

Lantro used his time to reconvene with nature and try to explore his spiritual side. Never content to stay in one place for too long—and indeed, his time in Triboar has been longer than anywhere else since he left his home in the High Forest—Lantro decided to wander the Triboar region in search for a temple to teach him the ways of the deities. It didn’t even really matter which deity, which worked out well, since the first temple he came across was the Panreligious Pantheists Society of Faerûn, a liberal temple run by one Pawpaw Jónmysteé, a reformed bugbear raider turned priest. Pawpaw’s creed is that all creeds are valid, all deities real, and the only law of the land should be that we everyone gets along with everyone else, all the time, no matter what. Lantro wasn’t sure of the feasibility of the Panreligious Pantheists’ one commandment and told Pawpaw so. The priest informed Lantro that “we’ll just have to agree to disagree” before forcibly removing him from the temple and barring him from ever returning.

Marxibis spent her time working, primarily in order to make some extra money to go carousing. One night at the Talking Troll, she met a pair of tiefling organizers for the Industrial Workers of Faerûn. The pair were attempting to unionize the Talking Troll despite it only having one employee. Marxibis, being impressed by their use of hats to hide their horns just as she has come to do with her own ten-gallon hat, joined the unionists’ cause, resulting in her being banned from the Talking Troll for life—but not before meeting a voyeurous imp in the restroom. Marxibis took on this imp as her familiar.

On the work front, Marxibis was making pretty good money, but soon learned that the work she was doing—forging various documents—was for the Nightbringers, the sadistic and virulent followers of Shar whose temple Marxibis and her friends had discovered near the small town of Melton.

Ioda spent her time in meditation, mostly in Gwaeron’s Grove, but also in other areas throughout the near North—hoping beyond hope to stumble upon the Giant’s Grove. Ioda had no such luck, but in her fiery communion with Hiatea, she was shown a path to the Lurkwood, and told to “trust the half-elf.” Ioda was not entirely certain what to make of this information, or which half-elf she was to trust.

Caravan Duty and a Pitstop to Check in on Old Friends

It’s early morning when Tolmara Hysstryn pounds on their door at the Six Windows Inn. They answer the door, and she motions for themto follow her. Sitting in the common room nursing an ale is Zindra Winterbow. The crew is sure they’ve never seen her awake this early; they’re also surprised that she’s drinking the watered-down swill that Tolmara serves without complaint. She jumps up to greet our heroes, her eyes clear and stone sober. The adventurers are unsure whether they’ve actually ever seen her sober.

“Well, friends, today’s the day. The Lionshields are looking to run a caravan up to Longsaddle, and unfortunately that prick Urlam over at the Travelers won’t take the job—something about Yartar—I don’t know, old rivalries die hard I guess. Not sure why I’m expected to give a shit, just ‘cause I’ve come to call this shit heap of a town my shit heap. Anyway, Narth asked me to round up some folks to guard the caravan, and lucky for you all I remembered you said you’d do it. Why you want to go to the Lurkwood, especially in the dead of winter, is beyond me. But hey, it’s your lives not mine.”

The Lionshields take some time to prepare the caravan, loading up all manner of supplies from their shop, the Lion’s Share. From provisions to armor and weapons and all kinds of gear, Berkkie can’t help but wonder if the Lionshields are planning on setting up a new shop in Longsaddle. Also, they all can’t help but feel like guarding a caravan such as this one might mean putting a giant target on their backs. Hopefully the hundred or so miles between Triboar and Longsaddle pass quickly.

On the second night, the crew stops in Melton to take advantage of the hospitality they’ve earned. They learn that Frida Greatheart was found guilty of her crimes, stripped of her title, and sentenced to three months imprisonment. The people of Melton decided to go relatively easy on her given the recent death of her husband and the fact that a magical artifact drove her mad. Zindra asks after Dawn Mistwalker, who she learns has left Melton.

It takes two more days to travel to Longsaddle, but thankfully the time passes uneventfully. In Longsaddle, the crew unloads the Lionshields’ wares and are warned by Zindra not to wander. “Longsaddle is kind of a … weird place,” she says. “I guess that’s what happens when your town is founded by a family of crazy fucking wizards and werewolves. Yikes.”

Other than getting a drink, the group does not wander. They spend the night at the Fuzzy Quarterstaff and set off the next morning for the Lurkwood.

Powood Camp

The trip from Longsaddle to the Southernmost edge of the Lurkwood takes another two days, but all is quiet along the Long Road and our heroes do not encounter any trouble. On the third morning, Zindra leads them to Powood Camp, just off the Long Road and adjacent to the thick and gnarled forest that can only be their final destination. The sweet and savory aromas of breakfast hang in the air, and Lantro detect the unmistakable smells of bacon, fruit pies, and spiced drinks. Despite it being DeepWinter in the coldest part of Faerun, the day is clear and crisp and the heat of Powood’s many still-burning fires keep the air warm. There is what can only be described as a palpable sense of hope in the air, which surprises everyone given everything they’ve learned about the Lurkwood so far.

There are several dozen canvas tents pitched in a rough semi-circle around a large common area where you see the smoldering remains of a bonfire. The group locates the source of the delicious breakfast smells: a large tented pavilion about fifty feet ahead.

Zindra introduces her compatriots to Auciell Goodwind, the “unofficial mayor of Powood camp.” Auciell is an accomplished woodcutter who has her own crew of loggers. She tells the group about Powood camp and informs them of increasing incursions by the Black Raven and Thunderbeast tribes of barbarians. When Ioda asks, Auciell reveals that she has heard tell of the Giant’s Grove, also known as the Secret Grove, but cannot verifiy that it is anything but a tall tale. She warns against wandering too far into the Lurkwood for fear of barbarians, direwolves, and nasty goblinoids that call the nearest areas of the forest their home.

The group meet a few trappers, sex workers, and woodcutters around the camp. They mostly leanr of rumors about the Black Ravens, the Thunderbeasts, that Triboar is going belly-up, and that something strange and terrifying is going on with the giants of the Forgotten Realms. “There’s going to be a reckoning.” They also hear tell of a group known as the Hand of the Rising Sun who are going to “fix” the Sword Coast’s “drow problem.”

Despite the best advice of literally everyone they’ve talked to so far, the group decides to press forward into the Lurkwood.

Entering the Lurkwood

After some time, they come to a surprisingly large clearing in the wood, about 100 feet wide and 200 feet across. The air is still and everything feels unnaturally quiet. The serenity of the clearing is in the stark contrast to the thick bushes and trees that surround them, which look imposing, gnarled, and ominous. The few trees in the grove itself, however, stand tall and proud, their branches reaching ever-upward toward the sunlight. There is a small pond about one hundred feet directly ahead, and resting near the pond are two barbarians, dressed in black furs adorned with what appear to be raven feathers, although it is difficult to say for certain from this distance. Next to them, however, two giant ravels are drinking from the still pond.

Marxibis and Reberkkah approach stealthily, only to realize that the barbarians are in the throes of lovemaking. Marxibis confronts them and manages to scare them off.

Four paths lead out of the area in a semi-circle at the far end of the clearning. One slants downard, disappearing into the darkness of a gnarled thicket of trees. The second appears very long and winding, and it is impossible to see more than a few yareds down it. The next shoots straight forward, with many roots and stones creating obstacles. The last very obviously dead-ends about sixty feet into the woods.

The group choose the second path.

The Sleeping Giant

After many turns and bumps, and what feels like hours, the roughewn path slopes gently downward before evening out. For the first time in a long time, the path goes forward in a straight line. The path here seems more well-travelled as well, more even and with fewer stones and roots to trip on. Ahead, the path is blocked by a large object. As our heroes approach, they realize the object appears to be breathing.

They soon realize this is the only path forward, and it is blocked by a sleeping hill giant. Berkkie manages to climb over him without waking him. She walks further down the path. The roughewn path slopes gently downward before evening out. Ahead, the path —what??? She startles her friends as she comes up behind them, the path ahead blocked by a sleeping hill giant.

Finally they decide to wake him, as the path seems to be the only way forward. He is irritated that he’s been awoken, but generally good-natured. He explains that he has been placed under a spell and no longer knows his name. The path behind him leads to the Giant’s Grove, and the only way he can let someone past is if they are able to tell him his name.

They try tricking him, to no avail. He even lets them past at one point, only for them to end up right back where they started again. They attempt sneaking through the woods, only to be confronted with magical fog, or spider webs, or a dancing orb of light, or scary whispering, or an unnatural gust of wind, before being deposited back by the sleeping giant.

Finally Berkkie decides to sneak behind him and check his britches. The giant startles and sits on her, but they are eventually able to learn his real name, which was written on his underwear: Yngvhff.

The adventurers implore Yngvhff to join them, which he does, hoping to get a chance to “squish those robes” who hexed him.

The Brotherhood of the Sacred Grove

Adventurers Present at this Session


Session 4
Terror at Triboar, Part 2

Meeting Zindra

After the party identifies their items, Xenon mysteriously disappears. The party strike up a conversation with a very drunk Zindra Winterbow. Zindra knows very little about the Terror. Meanwhile, Ioda returns from her own solo exploration of the town, disguised as an elven woman. Ioda had been instructed by Dawn Mistwalker to seek out the scout Zindra Winterbow, who may be able to guide her to the Lurkwood … and possibly the Giant’s Grove. Ioda changes back to her normal self, which startles Zindra, essentially sobering her up instantly. Zindra informs Ioda that she will guide her to the dangerous Lurkwood if Ioda and her companions assist her in guarding a caravan safely to Longsaddle. The party has other matters to attend to first, but Zindra informs them that this job is not for a few more days, and that they will be paid for their assistance. The party agrees to assist.

Upon exiting the Triboar Arms, the party are ambushed by a group of thugs working for a local criminal named Sharkey. The thugs tell the party to quit sticking their noses in other people’s business and to get out of town.

The Apothecary

On their way to see the apothecary Tarmock Felaskur, several townspeople seem to recognize the group for their heroic deeds in Melton. Outside Tarmock’s shop, the party hears the sound of a music box, which makes Ioda, who is unfamiliar with such technology, uneasy. After purchasing some sweet water, he party interrogates Tarmock, who first denies any knowledge of the Terror. After some intimidation, he confesses that he had been doing some “amateur archeology” work at a hidden graveyard northwest of town, and in doing this work he may have disturbed a spirit that he believes to be the Terror. Ioda destroys several shelves worth of merchandise, which upsets Tarmock greatly. He agrees to lead the group to the lost graveyard and asks them to come back at 8pm. Ioda cleans up the mess that she made and pays Tarmock for the damage. She recovers some sweet water and a healing potion in the process.

Killing Time

With time to kill, the party visits some of the shops around town. They check out Foehammer’s Forge and meet the renowned dwarven blacksmith Ghelryn Foehammer. Marxibis attempts to buy some studded leather armor but even with her incredible charm, it is out of her price range. She does successfully parlay Ghelryn’s familiarity with the good deeds of Lantro Sanktop into a discount, but the fine work of Ghelryn Foehammer—honorary armorer of the king and queen of Citadel Felbarr—does not come cheap. They decide to try their luck at Uldinath’s Arms, but the shop’s proprieter, Harriet, isn’t familiar with Lantro and doesn’t offer a discount.

After milling about town, the party return to Tarmock’s. He is just closing up and getting ready to lead them to the lost graveyard. The walk takes several hours and it is very late when the adventurers arrive. Tarmock refuses to stay. Despite their best efforts to prevent him, he manages to slip away.

Necromancing the Grimstone

At the cemetery, two graves are dug up. It seems clear that Tarmock is no "amateur archaeologist, but rather a grave robber. The plot is otherwise fairly well kept, and two braziers burn on either side of a large cenotaph covered in necromantic runes. Even with true sight, Marxibis was unable to make out the exact nature of the magical markings.

After some investigating, the party discovers this to be the family plot of Alberich Grimstone. Reberkkah recalls the Grimstone name and believes Alberich was a contemporary of St. Oswin. Unfortunately, before the party can explore further, there is a low roar as the earth begins to tremble, followed by a muffled boom. The earth bursts open and six skeletons climb out of the ground, clad in rusty armor and wielding short swords. They immediately charge.

The party makes quick enough work of the skeletons, but not without taking some significant damage. After the skeletons are defeated, the cenotaph begins glowing with a sickly green light, with cobalt flames dancing around the edges. A large, dark shadow emergeces from a previously unseen crack in the top of the stone. It has large, menacing eyes that flash with eldritch light.

“Who dares disturb my rest?” it thunders. The voice is loud but also sounds as if it is coming from a great distance.

Foolishly, the party decides to attack. Reberkkah moves first, loosing her bow at the shadowy wraith. The shadow dodges the arrows deftly before raising a dark, bony hand and begins draining the life from his attacker. Reberkkah is unable to resist, and drops the ground, unconscious, maybe worse.

“Oh, fuck,” Marxibis exclaims.

“Now will you leave me to my rest?”

The Terror Lives

As usual, it is Ioda’s bluntness that saves the day. The party rethink their approach and aren’t above a little groveling. The wraith reveals that in life he was, in fact, Alberich Grimstone, the famed necromancer. With a flick of his wrist in Reberkkah’s direction, she awakens, beaten and bruised but alive. She looks around, surprised to see her friends making peace with the being that nearly killed her, but Marxibis and Lantro convince her that they have no hopes defeating him, so they may as well play nice.

The wraith laughs at the suggestion that he is the creature terrorizing the town of Triboar. “All I want is my rest,” he retorts. “However, I can tell you where to find the Terror, and who he is—or once was.”

Lantro, fingering the hilt of his sword, exclaims, “Well, tell us then!”

Grimstone shoots the young elf a chilling look, but he does explain that the Terror is none other than St. Oswin himself. Shortly before the town’s hero died, he angered the High Priestess of Shar, who cursed him. Every fifty years he rises as a ghast and spends several months terrorizing the town that bears his namesake. The wraith suggests the group go to the St. Oswin memorial and wait until midnight, when the ghast is sure to emerge.

Visitors to Terror Town

St. Oswin’s memorial lies near the center of the old graveyard on the south side of town. The memorial consists of a raised stone sarcophagus and statue. The words “Here lies Oswin Boldfist, founder of Triboar” are engraved on the side of the sarcophagus, alongside relief carvings of various scenes from his life. The statue depicts a fully armored figure with a spear, three dead boars at his feet.

The adventurers are unable to open the sarcophagus. However, they do not need to wait long until the lid suddenly lights up with burning cerulean fire, sliding open effortlessly. The horrible ghast that was once St. Oswin emerges. He attacks the party on sight.

As the fight rages on, three of Sharkey’s men appear from their shadowy hiding places and once again accuse the party of being interlopers. The adventurers now face threats on all sides, but realize that they may be able to use the indiscriminate violence dealt by the ghast to their advantage. They are right, as the ghast attacks Sharkey’s men just the same as our heroes.

The battle is long and bloody, but the adventurers emerge victorious, defeating the ghast and ensuring the Sharkey’s men have been dealt with. They interrogate the one that remains alive, and he readily gives up his information: Sharkey planned on taking care of the problem of the Terror in order to benefit Jane Symes, who is using her sizable wealth to get elected as Lord Protector.


About a week after they destroy the ghast, the adventurers are summoned by Darathra Shendrel. She tells them that the sightings of the Terror have ceased, and she pays them the promised price. She invites the party to attend the St. Oswin’s Day celebration as her special guests, and even requests that one of them give the St. Oswin’s Day Memorial address, a short speech praising the virtues of St. Oswin. Marxibis agrees to do so, but decides she isn’t sure the town is ready to hear that their hero is the one who’s been terrorizing them.

The day of the festival, it is revealed that Darathra has been successfully re-elected Lord Protector of Triboar.

Darathra asks the adventurers if they might stick around Triboar for the foreseeable future. She would like to keep them on retainer, as there have been some disturbing rumors that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, she notes, there are some jobs that The Twelve are not suited for, or which are outside their jurisdiction, and it may be beneficial to have an adventuring party such as themselves around to assist. They will be paid, of course; room and board will be provided at the Six Windows and they will receive a fair daily allowance of 1 gold a day. Knowing that they’ll be sticking around at least until they can join Zindra on the Long Road, the adventurers reluctantly agree.

Adventurers Present at this Session


  • Gold necklace
  • 3 silver rings

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Session Three, As Recapped by Marxibis Stonesplitter

Special guest recapper Maxibis Stonesplitter:

here’s what happened (i probably forgot some stuff already)

We went into that final room in the dungeon and fought a worg and a mysterious masked creature person who said in a strange voice that we found familiar something to the effect of “i told you not to come in here and now i have to kill ya.” They continuously rolled crit fails so we obliterated them, but rather than killing the masked person, Xenon healed them and hog tied them, and then took off their mask, and it was that constable from Melton who we met when we first got there, Frida. Frida had a journal that basically gives clues as to what happened, with this mask taking over their life and making them mad with power. There was a lockbox that Marxibis opened and it had a goddamn poison dart trap attached to it so that was lame but it was full of gold and a map I think? Then behind a curtain there was another chest that xenon opened and I can’t remember what was in there. We went back to Melton and it was bittersweet for the people there to find out what was causing the trouble (their constable). Fuck authority and cops seems to be the latent moral of this mission? I might be projecting.

We leveled up and that was cool.

Ok then we went to Triboar and met the Lord Protector who’s name was Drathara Shrendrull(sp?) who is up for re-election in 2 weeks. And her opponent is some terrible person who apparently needs to remain nameless at the moment. The vibe was that it was an approximation of the current president of the united states. Anyway after an awful lot of hemming and hawing we finally decided to take on her quest of finding out what was causing the loss of livestock and women and children (in that order, hence the hemming/hawing). Folks nearby have attributed the trouble to a local legend called The Terror which some people believe in but some people don’t. This dude Dorm Stormthorm seems to be connected to this in some way but also his wife and child disappeared but something’s fishy about it maybe? I might be projecting again. He’s been hanging out drinking in the town instead of on the outskirts where his farm is. His farmhouse cottage thing got flattened by a creature with claws but none of us rolled high enough survival to know what it is. His neighbors Westra Greatdew and Celestine Fleetdew were still hanging by their farms for the most part and didn’t seem super worried about The Terror. There’s a dude named Tarmoc who allegedly fucked around in a graveyard at some point, and he’s an apothecary. There’s like some relationship with the timing of his graveyard shenanigans and the incidents of The Terror. So our next stop is to his Apothecary shop.

We also met a half orc who sold apples and Xenon gave him a copper wrapped in gold foil which pissed him off but we got away. And we met a wizard in this bar who did some magical object identification for us.

I’m sure there are important details i’m overlooking.

It’s now canon that Marxibis butchers people’s names.

Session Three, Part Two
Terror at Triboar, Part 1


With gold jingling in their purses, the adventurers—minus Ioda—are drinking this afternoon at the Triboar Arms, a definite upgrade from the Talking Troll. Good ale and good company make for a good time, but some of the tavern’s patrons are complaining about the music. The bard is singing about St. Oswin again, just like every other bard in Triboar.

By now, the party has heard the story a dozen times: how St. Oswin single-handedly killed three enormous boars, how he founded the town of Triboar as a haven for travelers in the North, how we saved all those lives over the years, and so on and so forth.

“I’m fed up with bloody St. Oswin,” mutters someone at the next table, to general agreement.

St. Oswin’s Day is in two weeks. The celebration involves an assembly of the whole town at St. Oswin’s memorial, followed by some dull speeches. But this year there is something different—the election. Every seven years the Lord Protector of Triboar is elected on the anniversary of St. Oswin’s Day.

After that, everyone will seemingly forget about old St.Oswin for another year.

The adventurers drain their tankards as a rather foppish young man enters the tavern. He comes directly to their table and gives a short, stiff bow. “Friends,” he remarks in a cracking, almost pubescent voice, “you have been summoned by the Lord Protector. Please follow me!”

The Lord Protector

The young man is Foman Amblesheath, assistant to the Lord Protector of Triboar. He leads them to the Lord Protector’s tower, a simple two-story building which overlooks the Market Square. It’s an unseasonably warm Midwinter—at least in terms of the North—and many townsfolk are out and about in the square, shopping from street vendors and enjoying the crisp but sunny winter morning.

Foman shows Lantro, Reberkkah, Xenon, and Marxibis into an extravagantly furnished office. He bows again and then leaves. Seated behind the desk is Darathra Shendrel, the democratically-elected Lord Protector of Triboar. She looks weary, with a lined face and graying hair. She nods to Lantro, who had previously been in her employ.

“Ah, thank you for coming,” she says. "I heard about your recent exploits and thought you might be able to help. Please, take a seat.

“There have recently been some strange reports from the farms around town. Livestock turning up dead, women and children missing, and people claiming to see a strange figure wandering the fields at night.”

Reberkkah takes issue at livestock apparently being given precedence over women and children. Darathra is annoyed, but lets it slide. “Ah, forgive me, Reberkkah, I must have misspoke. Please know that we value all of the people of Triboar, and do not consider any of them beneath livestock in worth. That’s a silly thing.”

Reberkkah realizes she never told Darathra her name. Is it possible that the Lord Protector knows who she really is? Well, her parents were supporters of Darathra in the election seven years ago, and they are quite well-known in the Triboar region …

At this point, Darathra pauses and narrows her eyes. “Now, I wouldn’t normally pay attention to such things, but these reports are starting to cause quite a stir—people are becoming nervous and bringing up, erm, old superstitions. It helps no one.” She sits up straight and looks Lantro in the eyes. “Here’s my offer—I’ll give you forty gold pieces each if you can clear up this mystery. After the work you did up North, I think that you’d be a perfect fit for the job, and it leaves The Twelve free to deal with … other matters.”

When asked about “old superstitions,” Darathra reluctantly shares that there is a legend around Triboar about a strange monster called only “the Terror” which is said to haunt the fields about the town. She does not expand on what “other matters” are tying up the Twelve. Marxibis asks Darathra about the upcoming election, and she states that she does not want to talk about it.

The adventurers agree to Darathra’s offer. She informs them that Dorn Stonewood is a crop farmer with land to the east of town. His wife and baby went missing several nights ago, and he has since moved into the Six Windows inn for the time being.

Market Square

Almost immediately after leaving the Lord Protector’s tower, the party runs into Westra Greatdew, a dairy farmer and one of Dorn’s neighbors. She talks excitedly about her own encounter with the Terror about a week ago. She mentions that all the trouble began when the apothecary Tarmock Felaskur started mettling in “that old graveyard.” Westra informs the adventurers that Tarmock has a ramshackle old shop on the eastern side of town.

Dorn’s Place

The party decides to check out the Stonewood farm before attempting to connect with Dorn at the inn. They walk through town, taking note of the various shops and locations that might be worth checking out later. At the very edge of town, they find Dorn’s tiny cottage, which has been knocked flat and has claw marks on the door and two walls. Unfortunately, the adventurers were unable to surmise what kind of creature may have made these marks, and they were additionally unable to track the beast or Dorn’s family.

They also decided to check out the Greatdew farm and speak with Westra’s husband, who is dubious of her story. He provides information about Dorn, suggesting that he’s been drinking an awful lot. “And now I don’t want to suggest that maybe he killed his wife and daughter? I mean, Dorn’s not that kind of man. But he certainly has been drinking a lot lately.”

Finally, the party encounters Celestine Fleetdew who owns the farm next door with her husband Rowan. She hasn’t seen anything, but has heard Westra’s story more than a few times now and isn’t sure what to believe. She vouches for Dorn’s character, and notes that he’s been out looking for his wife and daughter nearly every day. When asked about her husband, she notes that he’s been spending a lot of time at the Triboar Arms as of late.

The Six Windows Inn

The Six Windows is a decrepit wooding rooming house near the edge of town. It’s run by Tolmara Hysstryn, a middle-aged woman who looks at least twice her age. She is glad to vouch for Dorn. In fact, she speaks so highly of him that Marxibis wonders if perhaps they are having an affair. She keeps this question to herself … for now.

Finally, she summons Dorn, who looks utterly fatigued. He is gaunt and pale, with dark, sunken eyes. His beard and hair have not been attended to in some time.

When Dorn hears that the adventurers have been hired by the Lord Protector to investigate the Terror, he is immediately relieved. He is also glad to tell them everything he knows, which, unfortunately, isn’ that much. About a week ago he was drinking over at the Triboar Arms. When he returned home, his cottage had been knocked flat, and his darling wife Kelsie and their small daughter were missing. He’s been staying at the inn in the meantime, spending most of his days searching for his family. The only reason he is not out searching now is because he just … needs a rest. He’s so tired.

Upsetting the Apple Cart

Mostly satisfied with the results of their interrogation, the party decides to check out the apothecary on the other side of town. The Market Square is still bustling, and lost in the din, they accidentally upset an apple cart. Unfortunately, this particular apple cart is operated by Shem, a hulking brute of a half-orc wearing chain shirt under his merchant’s clothes. Marxibis and Reberkkah talk him down, and get him to take a few deep breaths. Shem discusses his anger management issues, and how hard he’s been trying. The adventurers offer to pay for any apples that were bruised in the tussle. He appreciates this. Xenon tips him a gold coin, and Shem cannot believe his luck. The party are the rest of the way across the square when they hear Shem yell and curse loudly. Xenon’s “gold coin” was actually a copper piece in gold foil.

Talking to the Locals

On a hunch, the adventurers decide to return to the Triboar Arms, thinking it might be worth talking to Celestine’s husband, Rowan. Rowan is drunk as a skunk and fails to provide any useful information. Marxibis bonds with the bartender and owner, Nemyth. Nemyth is a tiefling who prides himself on offering a pleasant tavern experience for a low cost. He has a friendly rivalry with the Talking Troll. He also brews his own ales, many of which have names poking fun at Triboar’s other institutions. He is glad to see another tiefling. “We don’t get many of our kind up this way,” he tells Marxibis. Marxibis attempts to cheat him out of some free ales using her weighted dice.

There is a wizard at the end of the bar who offers a number of services. The party hires him to identify their magic items. The wizard is particularly concerned about Marxibis’ staff and Xenon’s crystal shard, both of which are linked to unspeakable dark power.

Adventurers Present at this Session


  • N/A

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Session Three, Part One
Temple of the Nightbringers, Part 3

The Black Mask

The party hears footsteps outside the door, but thankfully they are able to rest undisturbed.

Ready to take on the final room of the temple, the party steels themselves and come up with a plan of attack.

The room they enter is much cleaner and more richly appointed than any other part of the temple, with oak-panelled walls, vibrant tapestries, a four-postered bed, and a writing desk. The room is occupied by a squat figure in a dark cloak and its enormous worg companion.

It turns toward the adventurers as they enter the room, its grotesquely carved obsidian mask glimmering wickedly.

“Godsdammit all,” the dark figure hisses in a raspy, familiar voice. “I told you to stay away, and now I’m going to have to kill you.”

Fortunately for the adventurers, the creature in the black mask seemed unprepared to fight, and they made quick work of it and the worg. During the fight, some of the party members noticed Reberkkah seemingly slipping in and out of reality, as if disappearing behind a semi-sheer curtain.

Facing Justice

Instead of killing the goblin chief, Marxibis and Ioda restrain it and remove its mask … only to reveal none other than Frida Greatheart, constable of Melton. Xenon heals Frida and ties her up while she begs the adventurers to take her life, unable to face the reality of all the destruction she has caused. The adventurers all agree that Frida ought to face justice from the people of Melton.

Meanwhile, Reberkkah uncovers Frida’s Journal, detailing Frida’s descent into wickedness. Marxibis attempts to open a trapped lockbox and receives a poison dart for the effort. Eventually forcing her way in, she recovers some gold and a map of the Triboar region.


The High Priest’s Chamber where Frida had made her new home within the temple holds a hidden ladder which leads up and out of the temple. The adventurers decide to go out this way rather than tracking back through the temple, now littered with the bodies of goblins, hobgoblins, and zombies—but not before rescuing the hostages Retch and Stink.

The adventurers make their way around the low, rocky hill that houses the cave mouth leading to the Temple. Back on the other side, the party encounters Dawn Mistwalker, who has clearly been injured and is resting on a toppled tree. “Took you long enough,” she tells them. Around her are the small, limp bodies of goblin raiders, pockmarked and crimson where Dawn’s arrows hit. “I couldn’t just let them catch you unawares.” With a groan, Dawn stands and looks at Frida, who is being held prisoner so she may be delivered back to Melton in order to face justice. Dawn shakes her head in disappointment.

As the party prepares for the trip back to Melton, Dawn asks Ioda to hang back so that they may discuss something.

Going Back to Melton

The trip to Melton is fairly uneventful, and the arrival with Frida is understandably bittersweet. The adventures spend one last night in Melton. Seth Grimhill puts them up at the Weary Knight for free, but insists they leave first thing in the morning. The people of Melton have a lot of thinking to do.

That night, the adventurers nurse their wounds and sleep to the best of their abilities.

Ioda dreams of the Giant’s Grove.

Adventurers Present at this Session

Notable Loot

  • 1100 sp
  • 150 gp
  • Expensive jewelry
  • Map of Triboar region
  • Frida’s Journal
  • Mask of the Nightbringers

Previous | Next

Session Two
Temple of the Nightbringers, Part 2

Exploring the Temple

After a rest, the adventurers realize Xenon is no longer with them. Where did he go?

The party comes across a room of sleeping goblins, of whom they make quick work. The next door they come across has been jammed shut with iron stakes, the goblin word for DANGER scrawled across it in chalk. There is an occasional thumping at the door. The adventurers force it open, only to find four zombies who attack the party immediately.

After defeating the zombies, the party finds the sanctuary—it is now fairly obvious that this underground building is a temple of some sort. An alcove in the northern wall house an obsidian statue of a slender, robed figure, holding a wicked knife in hand. The party surmises that this is the goddess Shar. There is an invisible barrier surrounding the statue. After searching, the party finds an indentation in the floor. Placing the obsidian disk in the indentation, the barrier is removed. There is a secret hatch in the base of the statue holding a stash of gold.

The next room contains a large stone pool filled with water glowing with a flickering, green eldritch light. The party quickly discovers that this chamber is used to summon a variety of creatures from other planes. Well, maybe not so quickly. They do summon an awful lot of creatures who they then have to fight before they seem to figure it out.

Party in the Dining Hall

One of the doors to the next room has been spiked shut and cannot be opened, although the party does unsuccessfully attempt to burn it down. The party can hear sounds inside—chattering in harsh, loud voices, arguments, glasses clinking, and so on.

Sneaking around to the other side, the party discovers 8 goblins in this room, which seems to be a dining hall. A frontal assault is likely to end badly, so the party considers luring the goblins to the summoning chamber. Eventually, they decide on a pincer type attack, creating a chokepoint between two corridors. The adventurers take some damage but eventually defeat the goblins—but not before setting the dining hall on fire. Off the dining hall is a small kitchen. Two dirty, naked humans cower near the fireplace. They go by the names of “Stink” and “Retch” but Reberkkah recognizes them as the sons of prominent Triboar-area nobles. In fact, one of the men is Rutherford Brightmoon, Reberkkah’s former fiance. It is reasonable to expect that if these men are returned home, their families will pay a handsome reward for their safe return.

The next room is a torture chamber the goblins have decided to use as a latrine.

Nearing the End of the Journey

After this, the party comes upon another chamber. They can hear voices arguing inside. They push in, the door opening noisily, finding two large and well-armored hobgoblins. They look at the adventurers in astonishment, but quickly recover and draw their weapons. After all that goblin slaying, what’s a little more? After defeating the creatures, the party decides to barricade themselves in this room for a rest before facing the last room of the temple …

Characters Present at this Session

Notable Loot

  • 245 sp
  • 330 gp
  • Four rubies, in a bag with a note tied to it that says “Melton”

Previous | Next

Session One
Temple of the Nightbringers, Part 1


It’s cold this far north – the sort of cold that sinks deep into your bones and makes you feel like you’ll never be warm again. When the rain starts falling and the wind comes up, it feels like needles of ice are piercing your face.

Thankfully, the Talking Troll offers respite from the cold and rain. It’s a fairly large tavern, especially for how run-down and dive-y it is. On the far side of the main room, a small stage is set up. A young human woman dressed in ostentatious wizard garb performs magic for entertainment, producing showers of colorful sparks, making things disappear, performing minor illusions. No one seems to be paying her too much mind, but occasionally someone will come up and put a tip in the clay bowl at the foot of the stage.

The bar is loud, and for the most part people are keeping to their own groups. In one dark corner of the bar, a group of robed men and women conspire in harsh whispers. Elsewhere, a drunken adventurer tells exaggerated tales of his bravery. One topic of conversation keeps coming up among the bar’s various patrons: a vicious tribe of goblins have taken control of a village up north, attacking travelers on the Long Road and wreaking havoc. The tribe is apparently led by an especially savage goblin chief. People are becoming afraid to travel the Long Road, but no one seems to be doing anything about it.


The adventurers have been hired by Tarth Blackwarden, representative of Triboar’s Lord Protector and head of The Twelve, Triboar’s militia, to investigate a series of attacks along the Long Road between Triboar and Longsaddle. Additionally, Triboar has not received a caravan from Melton, a longstanding trade partner, in months. Melton is almost the exact midway point between the two cities—could it be related?

The adventurers, each for their own reasons, decide to come together. They take off for Melton the next morning and arrive in Melton by late afternoon on the third day. It’s a muddy hole of a village, with a dozen primitive huts and one larger building surrounded by a sturdy palisade. The adventurers are greeted by Frida Greatheart, Melton’s surly constable. She denies knowledge of any goings-on involving attacks on the Long Road, but is eventually persuaded to allow the party entrance to the village. It is the 22nd of Uktar.

The adventurers settle in at the Weary Knight, Melton’s premiere—and only—inn. They are greeted by Seth Grimhill, the short-tempered innkeeper. In conversing with Grimhill as well as the other patrons (Flint Frostforge, Brynn Copperhold, Dain Quickfellow, and Thorn Farwalker) the adventurers learn the following information:

  • A new tribe of goblins moved into the area about 3 months ago
  • Since then, they have attacked at least half a dozen caravans, preferring those that are weakly guarded
  • Survivors report that the tribe is led by an especially vicious goblin chief
  • A hunter named Dawn Mistwalker claims to know the location of the goblin hideout
  • Arin Strawcrown recently returned from a fishing expedition on the sea of swords with tales of ships being attacked by horrible beasts
  • There are rumors that giants have been attacking villages around the Realms

At some point, Frida comes in and tries to dissuade the adventurers of their quest. Her reasoning is that the goblins have so far left Melton alone—and she’d like to keep it that way. Some of the patrons loudly agree, others arguing that it’s only a matter of time. The adventurers retired for the night.

The Game Trail

In the morning, they seek out Dawn Mistwalker. Dawn is a wood elf hunter from the High Forest who moved to Melton after meeting a dashing young trapper who wanted to start a family. Things didn’t work out, and now she’s staying with the village butcher until she can sort things out. She is glad to share the information she has about the goblin hideout, and the adventurers persuade her to guide them to the cave, about a day’s travel east of Melton.

The adventurers follow Dawn out of Melton. She leads them into the light woods at the east of the village, soon spotting a game trail barely visible to the untrained eye. She sets a brisk pace, only stopping briefly for a mid-day meal. It is mid-afternoon when the trail is interrupted by a shallow, rocky creek with steep, overgrown banks. A fallen tree provides a natural bridge, and Dawn lightly leaps upon it and begins crossing.

There is a sudden roar from the far side: “That is Wuzig’s bridge! Not for you!” A large bugbear crashes out of the wood, a club in hand and nasty snarl on his face. The adventurers, with Dawn’s assistance, make fairly quick work of the creature.

By twilight, the party reaches a low, rocky hill pushing up from the surrounding trees, a large natural cave plainly visible near the base. Inside the cave mouth is a set of stairs, hewn from the rock and descending deep into the earth. There are no goblins around, but Dawn urges the adventurers to wait until the next morning before they descend. Under no circumstances will she accompany them.

Into the Temple of the Nightbringers

A large room lies at the bottom of the stone steps, full of dust and rubbish. The only other exit from the room is a wide corridor to the north, flanked on either side by dark statues. A single goblin lies near the bottom step, snoring loudly.

The party interrogates the goblin, who’s name is Pox. Marxibis charms the creature to guide the adventurers through the cavern. Two statues flank the corridor ahead. They are made of obsidian, about three feet tall, and depict a fully cloaked humanoid with the face hidden by a cowl. On the bases of the statues is the inscription LOVE IS A LIE. ONLY HATE ENDURES.

This short corridor opens into a small room where the odor of canine refuse assaults the party’s nostrils. Amidst a den created from smashed furniture and old linen are two enormous worgs who growl at the adventurers and stare at the them with intelligent, malevolent eyes. The adventurers fight them, and Lantro is temporarily blinded in the process. With the worgs defeated, the adventurers find a small, dusty storeroom containin an unusual obsidian disk. Ioda attempts to start a fire to see if the disk gives her any messages. Meanwhile, Marxibis, Xenon, Reberkkah, and Lantro argue about whether they should kill Pox or not.

Adventurers Present for this Session

Notable Loot

  • Silver Necklace
  • 65 sp


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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.

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