Crusader? I Hardly Know 'Er!

Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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Cragmaw Ambush
Session One

After being hired by Gundren Rockseeker to bring a wagonload of supplies to the remote outpost of Phandalin, the party is ambushed by goblins on the road from Gaza. After a short fight, they slayed three goblins, and the fourth ran away down a semi-hidden path. Following cautiously, the intrepid adventurers avoided traps (with the help of Binwin Bronzebottom the Badger), and arrived at a mysterious cave mouth.

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Cragmaw Cave

After chasing the surviving goblin to the cave, the adventurers fought their way in, befriending two wolves, rescuing Sildar Hallwinter, and extirpating the goblins dwelling inside. Between Azahz’s backstabs and Pod’s Burning Hands, the Brotherhood was barely slowed down.

After rescuing Sildar, they learned four important bits of information:

  • The Rockseeker brothers have located the entrance to a long-lost complex called “Wave Echo Cave”
  • Gralk, the bugbear in charge of the cave, had orders from someone calling himself “The Black Spider” to waylay them and bring Gundren to him
  • Gundren has a map to the lost entrance of the cave, but it went with Gundren (along with their equipment) to Cragmaw Castle
  • Sildar’s Brotherhood contact in Phandalin is Iarno Albrecht, a wizard, who was sent to Phandalin twon months ago, but they have not heard from him.

After subduing Gralk, the party learned the location of Cragmaw Castle (about twenty miles to the northeast, give or take), and confirmation that the Cragmaw tribe was acting under the orders of this mysterious “Black Spider,” and that they did send the dwarf and the map to the castle after ambushing them. Gralk himself answered to a “King Grol” who was in charge of the castle. After pumping him for information, Balthazar healed him, and Kildrak chained him to the stalagmite the wolves had been chained to.

In addition, you found piles of sacks and crates containing supplies and trade goods owned by the Near East Trading Company, which has an outpost in Phandalin. You’ll be able to return their goods for a reward.

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Phandalin, or, "HEY ASSHOLES!"

After arriving in Phandalin, the party secured rooms at the Pink Pony, delivered half of the NETC’s goods recovered to Lineine O’Donnell, and did some general investigating.

The interesting bits of information you gathered:

  • A group of ruffians calling themselves Redbrands pretty much have the run of the town
  • The Redbrands are HUUUUUUGE assholes and hang out at the Sleeping Giant Tavern
  • Srsly, they straight up murdered a dude and no one’s seen his wife and kid since
  • A retired adventurer Named Daran Edermath owns and operates an orchard just outside town
  • Goblins, bigger than the ones just cleared from Cragmaw Cave, have been seen on the east end of the Three Boar Road, and the burghermeister is looking for someone to go slaughter them
  • Said burghermeister seems to be content to let the Redbrands do whatever the fuck, and even seems to condone their assholery. The Innkeeper would like to do something about it, but is afraid of retribution against his wife and children. Still, it sure would be nice if someone were to do something. Maybe with an axe handle. After all, there’s nothing like a nice piece of hickory.
  • A hobbit named Qelline Alderleaf runs a farm on the other side of town from the orchard with her ten year old son
  • Barthen’s Provisions has adventuring gear for sale in addition to the NETC
  • Lineine O’Donnell has gear and weapons for sale as well, and will also help out the party however she can
  • Iarno Albrecht did show up in town about three weeks ago, mentioned he was there to open a Brotherhood safehouse, but disappeared shortly afterwards. He’s a short German with a dark beard.
  • The Phandalin Miner’s Exchange is the unofficial records office
    Solyent Green is people

After speaking with patrons and owners at the Pink Pony, Kildrak decided to “find the wolves a chew toy,” and by “find the wolves a chew toy” he meant “go fuck up the Redbrands.” Gathering the party, they quietly scouted outside the Sleeping Giant, until Ruby decided to speed things along and got the Redbrands’ attention in keeping with his own particular idiom: Bardic upbringing by composing a short but delightful sonnet

HEY ASSHOLES!

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Routing the Redbrands
It's Like Roadhouse But With Wolves

The Redbrands, of course, did not appreciate being called assholes by Ruby, and reacted accordingly, attempting to rob the players before running them out of town.

And then Jantwell and Balthazar set the porch (and two Redbrands) on fire, and Kildrak set the wolves on the rest, who promptly began tearing out throats and taking names. Add an illusory wolf from Jantwell and even the reinforcements didn’t help. (Also during the fight Ruby and Moulle contended with many foes and kept the rest of the party from being overwhelmed.) When the Redbrands were down to two, Jantwell and Balthazar both convinced them to lay down their weapons and surrender. After getting information from the Redbrands, the party allowed them to leave town, which proved to be of dubious popularity with the mayor, who is an officious, self-important little man that really doesn’t think the Redbrands are all that much trouble thankyouverymuch and how DARE you imply he is not doing his job after all boys will be boys and it just isn’t worth it for how little trouble they actually cause but seeing as the party just destroyed a gang of them without taking a scratch he’s not about to start any trouble with them either so one can see the difficult position he is in amirite?

This is what the Redbrands know:

  • The Leader of the Redbrands is a human wizard that calls himself Glasstaff, because he has a glass… staff. No, really. Curiously, Glasstaff’s description matches that of Albrecht, who was sent to start a Brotherhood Chapterhouse in Phandalin. His quarters are in the Western end of the Redbrand’s hideout.
  • The Redbrands are working on the orders of someone calling themself the Black Spider. Who or what the Black Spider is is a mystery. They were told to intimidate the locals and frighten off adventurers that might intercede, for reasons known but to him or her. Clearly that did not work out as intended. TBS has sent Bugbears to reinforce the Redbrands.
  • The lower part of the complex is guarded by an “eye monster”
  • There are some captives in a holding area “near the old crypt” which just happens to have some skeletons hanging around in it

Sildar, arriving with the rest of the townsfolk to see the Redbrands get they asses kicked mentions a couple ways into the lair over ales in what was the Sleeping Giant but will probably be renamed (as the proprietor suddenly saw which way the wind was blowing and realized there were better pickings elsewhere), the front door or the hidden tunnel.

The party chose the tunnel.

Once inside the complex, they encountered the “eye monster” which turned out to be a nothic, an insane and mildly telepathic monster that immediately flooded their heads with whispers about a dead man and their responsibility for his death because pretty women. Once they noticed the monster, however, they were able to negotiate a truce with it, after offering it food. It corroborated what the thug told them, and was distracted long enough for someone to locate his treasure horde and take that shit.

The chest contains 160sp, 120gp, five malachite gems (15gp ea.), two potions of healing, and a scroll of augury. There is also a longsword inscribed with the name “Talon” and in much better condition than it should be for being in a cavern. It’s hilt is in the shape of a bird of prey with outstretched wings.

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In Redbrand Manor

Heading further into the dungeons below the manor house, the party found the actual entrance to the dungeon, or at least, the one most often used by the Redbrands. It contained mostly supplies, and a bug-out bag hidden in the cistern, The party removed the valuables, replaced them with rocks, and returned it to its hiding place. They then surprised a group of Redbrands in a barracks room, and killed them all.

Moving out of the entry hall, they detected and avoided a pit trap, then found both a family crypt, and a holding pen for captives. After fighting off skeletons and Redbrands, the party freed the captives, who were the surviving family members of the murdered woodcutter. The mother is grateful, but has no way to repay the party except with the location of a valuable emerald necklace hidden in the ruined town of Thundertree.

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Clearing the Crypt and Beyond
"Of course, back then if a fight lasted less than one hundred rounds, we demanded our copper piece back!"

After a short rest, during which the freed slaves were sent back to the wagon with Jantwell and Moulle, the group pressed on, discovering, in no particular order other than that in which they were discovered, an armory (stocked with decent weapons) which they immediately sealed for future use, a storeroom, a common room (containing three ridiculously easily dispatched Redbrands and one genius who surrendered when given the chance), a barracks (yet unexplored, but which the bandit said contained three bugbears and a goblin), a wizard’s workshop, and finally a wizard’s quarters. The workshop contained his familiar, now dead, and a lab set up to make invisibility potions. The quarters contained a letter, and not much else, since the wizard buggered off when he heard the thunderclap. The letter read:

“Lord Albrecht,

My spies in Gaza tell me that strangers are due to arrive in Phandalin. They could be working for the dwarves. Capture them if you can, kill them if you must, but don’t allow them to upset our plans. See that any dwarven maps in their possession are delivered to me with haste.

I’m counting on you , Lord Albrecht. Don’t disappoint me."

It’s signed with an image of a black spider.

In the Workshop, Pod found a book, written in dwarven, that details the history of the Forge of Spells, and the cave complex. Balthazar and Kildrik discovered the secret door Albrecht fled through, and Kildrik pursued, as a lion, finding the ruins of Albrecht’s bug-out bag thrown angrily against a wall. The group pursued, but were delayed by the nothic, who blocked the bridge, and Albrecht had enough of a head start to get to his stable and escape on horseback.

The bugbears have yet to be routed from the barracks.

The group found the following valuables:

30 beaver pelts worth 2GP/ea
12 spears
6 shortswords
4 longswords
6 light crossbows
8 quivers with 20 bolts/ea
75CP
55SP
22EP
15GP
1 gold earring with a tiny ruby (30GP)
1 bottle of mercury (25GP)
1 bottle Dragon’s Bile (25GP)
1 bottle powdered nightshade (25GP)

in the Wizard’s chest you find:
180SP
130GP
5 Carnelians (10GP/ea)
2 peridots (15GP/ea)
1 pearl (100GP)

The latter is likely the ill-gotten gains of the Redbrands activity. Do with that information what you will.

The group did succeed slaying the Nothic, but now wonder who the babydaddy is.

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A Bad Day for Bugbears

The Brotherhood tied up loose ends by exterminating the remaining denizens of the Redbrand hideout: three bugbears sent by the Black Spider to help Albrecht keep the townies in line. They could only assume by their presence in the barracks and not in town that Albrecht had not had need of them to this point.

When Ruby opened the door, a smallish goblin fainted outright at the sight of the adventurers. As it turned out, he was pretty much the personal slave of the bigger, stronger bugbears, and rather a bit pathetic. After the bugbears were dispatched, and he recovered, he introduced himself as Droop, and corroborated everything the group already knew about the manor. In gratitude for not killing him, Droop has offered his services to the group, and made a spit promise to serve them truly, and never lie to them, or betray them. He wishes he was brave like them, but having brave friends is good enough for him for now.

After a well deserved rest, the players had a quick de-briefing with Sildar, and while he doesn’t think the Burghermeister would reward them for clearing out the Redbrands, he himself is appreciative, and understands the service the players have rendered.

End part II.

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9/6: Digging the Romans & Thundertree Lawn Care
cutting winter fuel early with new magical tools

To all to whom these presents may come:

Praise be to God the Merciful, the Compassionate, Lord of the Two Worlds, and peace be upon His Prophets.

It is my purpose here to document my travels and adventures as a member of the Brotherhood Without Borders, for the benefit of mankind and the purpose of bringing aid, comfort, and illumination to all who are in darkness.

Shortly after dispatching a necromancer and disposing of his abominations at the Roman excavation a day’s ride north of Phandalin, we investigated the site further to find several artifacts no doubt forged and imbued with power from that age, presumed to be gifts given to the commander of the garrison when it was in operation hundreds of years ago. These included a gladius which MouillĂ© unearthed, a pilum which I found and traded to Yakut for a protective cloak of Roman soldiery that he discovered, and a ring which Kildrik currently possesses, the function of which I cannot recall, but will provide followup thereof should he remind me.

We proceeded to follow up on a trail left by Myrna, the lady who we rescued from Redbrand enslavement at the ruined manor house, to recover a family heirloom (a necklace) she had misplaced in her hometown of Thundertree which was approximately a day from the excavation across the desert. The travel was uneventful, the nights cool and dry, and we wondered what surprises might await us in this innocuous town.

Upon approach, the town looked abandoned, but not unoccupied from the ambient noise. A sign warned of savage flora and undead creatures – a sign we would find out had been erected by a wandering druid by the name of Reidoth, who has made temporary home here as a ward against travelers accidentally falling prey to the monsters infesting the town. He informed us that the main hall of Thundertree was now inhabited by a young green dragon, who are known for their affinity of pestilence and decay. We agreed that our Brotherhood charter commands us to help cleanse the town and hopefully restore it to a human-habitable state (and also recovering the necklace). To that end we proceeded to visit several stone dwellings which had become host to “twig blights” – bundles of sticks and branches animated by some foul energy. They were carefully but easily chopped into harmless splinters without too much harm to ourselves. Further sweeping of the townhomes revealed a giant spider nest that was also swept away without incident – and there I must pause for now.

It remains to be seen what, who, or where the source of the corruption might be found, which I shall hopefully deliver unto you, dear reader, in time.

Recorded herewith on Rabi Al-Thani 14, 576 AH (September 6 1180).
- Azhaz ibn Khalil al-Nejem

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1/13 Pest Control & Getting Alb-rekt
squashing spiders and bad PR

To all to whom these presents may come:

Praise be to God the Merciful, the Compassionate, Lord of the Two Worlds, and peace be upon His Prophets.

It is my purpose here to document my travels and adventures as a member of the Brotherhood Without Borders, for the benefit of mankind and the purpose of bringing aid, comfort, and illumination to all who are in darkness.

It has been a long time since my last correspondence and a great many adventures have been had:

  • A green dragon has been driven from his occupation of Thundertree.
  • A Transylvanian mercenary named Yevgeny has joined the group, under contract.
  • The Castle of Cragmaw has been cleared of hobgoblins.
  • Wave Echo Cave was explored, during which several incidents took place
    • A spectator charged with guarding the Forge of Spells was convinced to return to his place of origin.
    • A Christian saint by the name of Nicholas appeared out of nowhere to bestow gifts upon us.
    • The Black Spider, the “svartzalfar” behind the kidnapping of Gundren Rockseeker and his bodyguard Sildar Hallwinter, was defeated utterly, liberating Wave Echo Cave from its occupiers.
    • One of his minions, a shapechanger that has been dubbed “Frank”, warned us of Albrecht’s attempt to conceal his treachery behind a trail of misinformation and slander against our party. Frank’s honesty (thanks to Balthazar’s zone of truth) indicates he may be of continued value to us as an informant.
      • Frank also expressed concern that the tuaregs we met in Thundertree may not be who they claim to be, and are not of this world.

Upon return to al-Fandalin, we encountered one of the Brotherhood Council of Six, inquiring as to our “errant” behavior. When we discovered the information was provided by Albrecht himself, we quickly submitted to magical interrogation (provided by Balthazar) to prove Albrecht had lied. We were given the charge to continue pursuing him in hopes of discovering what else he was using the Brotherhood’s good name for, and to expose him at last. The councilman’s favored troubadour/assistant was appointed to accompany us, to provide some needed diplomatic expertise. This is where our story pauses.

Recorded herewith on Sha’ban 24, 576 AH (January 13, 1181).
- Azhaz ibn Khalil al-Nejem

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