Jönköpings Finest

The Scythe-Tree
... in which Eddard finds his new faith

8. Wealsun 996 AF; Free Plains

After the battle with the bandits, the heroes form a pyre and Rurik performs the last rites of Thyr. Ruriks stands guard for a while while the pyre burns down, and then joins his comrades for a well-earned rest.

9. Wealsun 996 AF; Free Plains

After a refreshing night in the relative safety of the hunting lodge, the heroes discuss their next steps. Rurik,. who remembered the three hunting dogs in the kennel, decides to take possession of them and establish his dominance, while the others search the lodge.

After a simple lunch, the heroes march back to the forest. Rurik takes a different path back, and soon realizes that he led the party into the hunting ground of tow land-sharks, or Bullettes. It is almost too late as he realizes the dangerous situation they are in, as the Bullettes burst from the ground and leap in the middle of the group. Two dogs are instantly killed, and Kharamon pushed to the ground.

Finally, the heroes reached the grove. They caught up with Tram, the priest of Beory, who started to clean up the mess the scouts caused. He was not aware of any new attacks, but mentioned a winged humanoid creature that appeared yesterday and seemed to be concerned with a certain part of the central hill that overgrows much of the old temple. Tram agreed to perform the ritual for Kharamon and Tanquol during dawn, when the energy of rebirth is the strongest.

The heroes questioned the old servant and the stable boy. They remembered that a group of Children of Light arrived at the castle and their leaders demanded to speak with his and her lordship. After a while, their leaders and Lord and Lady Brightstone went deeper into the dungeons. Then chaos emerged and they barely managed to escape.

Afterwards, it was the bandit’s turn. Rurik used his headband to gain insight into the mind of the bandit, and Eddard cast a zone of truth, which aided in getting to the ground of things. It turned out the bandit was with LImping Jack from the beginning. Their goal was to gather certain antiques and kill people whose name were on a list. All names refer to old names in the borderlands. He didn’t know who compiled the list or ordered the killings, as it was only LImping Jack who was in touch with them.

Eddard knew enough to speak his verdict, which was death by hanging. The heroes used a nearby tree and brought the bandit to justice.

Next he heroes wanted to question the surviving scout. However, Tram answered that he made him suffer for his attack on the forest, and that he will give back to defend the forest in the future. He was concerned that the 9th Legion might return in force and destroy the forest or the temple in the future. Consequently, he started to prepare the forest for defense.

The heroes were in desperate need of information to figure out what is going on and decided to question the scout. Tram points them into the right direction, but said he won’t neither help them nor interfere, and was okay with whatever outcome will result from their actions.

The heroes went on their way and from a distance saw the silhouette of a gargoyle who seemed to be engaged in some activity. However, the heroes marched on as the life of the scout was on the line.

After a short walk they reached a glade. In the middle was a huge tree. The scout was pinned to the tree, his arms spread, the naked flesh bound to the trunk with thorny vines. He seemed to be in a comatose state. The tendrils seemed to slowly suck the life out of the man.

Stor went into a trance again and tried to commune with the tree. He realized that the tree was feeding on the scout, not only consuming his blood, but also his spirit. Stor pushed further and managed to glimpse into the memories of the scout. He experienced flashes of memories and feelings. A long and hard campaign in the north… an oath sworn in good faith, which bound him from then on and can’t be renounced … a circle of stones… terrible deeds that scarred and numbed his soul…

In the meanwhile, Kharamon composed a spell that enhanced his speed. He lunged forward, escaped vines and grass that suddenly became alive and tried to grapple him, dodging one swing of the branches of the tree – or more a vile treant? – that knocked the air out of him, and lunged onto the tree. He slowly hacked the vines away and tried to free the scout. After a while, a small battle between Rurik and the tree, and some healing, he was successful and the scout was safe.

Stor returned from his communion with the forest, but this time had a hard time coming back. He needed to fight to compose himself and felt that he lost something in the process.

Eddard also went into a trance, similar to the day when he stood guard during the night of ordination, when he received his vision and call from Thyr. For some reason he felt not compelled to fight the tree or help the scout. Instead, his nagging doubt about the development of the church resounded strongly in him, questioning his oath. But not in the sense to abandon his oath – more to pledge allegiance to a different cause. An oath of nature. And at the same time, this felt in line with his allegiance with Thyr. But instead of connecting to the abstract ideals of law and justice, Eddard connected to the more concrete ideals of nature. And it felt right…as if he was closer to Thyr in a weird, more personal or human way…

- To be continued -

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The Old Hunting Lodge
... in which the heores finally catch the Scoutmaster - and an old enemy

7. Wealsun 996 AF; Free Plains

Dusk is alread setting in as the heroes finally reach a hilltop. Down in the valley appears a two-storied house, which looks like an old hunting lodge. The traces of the fleeing scout directly point to the lodge, so the heroes assume that he is seeking refuge there.

8. Wealsun 996 AF; Free Plains
The heroes, exhausted and bruised from the long pursuit, decide to make camp. The night goes by uneventful. Kharamon has the last watch. While he is watching the lonely lodge, the intense scenes of the last days pass in front of his mental eyes. The battle on the market place, where a priest of Thyr supposedly provided the last rites for the convicted bandits,, which suddenly transmuted into monsters of molten rock. Only Limping Jack, who didn’t swallow the oblate of the last rite, did not transform and managed to escape. And Justice Alistair Dunstan, brother of Lord Alar Dunstan, who seemed quite an incompetent judge, but a more dedicated follower to the law of purity who despises half-bloods like Stor or Kharamon.

Then there were the two expeditions into Castle Brightstone, which ended with him and Tanquol looking into the eyes of pure horror, tearing into their very soul, and ripping away decades of their youth. The feeling of a dark, all-consuming vortex building up in the center under the castle, and the spirit of the castle being inverted – or perveted – into something negative.

The travel to Old Tram, priest of Beory, the goddess of nature, interrupted by two gargoyles, former guardians of Castle Brightstone, who lost the purpose of their watch.

The encounter with the scouts of the 9th Legion of Light, the Legion that once was commanded by Lord Alar Dunstan, now ruler in Alsyenna. The heroes took sides with the Guardians of the Grove, wolf-like fey creatures, who hunted the scouts. At the heart of the grove, they found two more dead scouts, a severly injured priest, the two surviving servants of Castle Brightstone – and an ancient temple. Old Tram said that the damage to Kharamons and Tanquols soul was too severe for him to heal, but that an artefact from the temple – the Temple of Life – would be able to heal them. Unfortunately, the artefact was stolen by a last scout.

And then the pursuit, which brought them here…

Suddenly, Kharamon realizes that he is being watched. A silhuette of a large man with three huge dogs stands at the fringe of the dim light the fire sheds into the vanishing night. A short conversation occurs in which the heroes indicate that they were in pursuit of a person, and coming from a forest. The man vanishes into the night. only later to be seen to bring the dogs to a kennel at the lodge, and entering the house.

The heroes approach the house. Now they realize that the lodge has seen better days, as signs of decay are visible everywhere. The lodge seems to be out of use for long time. The fading heraldic symbols indicate that this lodge once belonged to the former Lord of Alsyenna, before the fief was dedicated to Lord Dunstan for his successful campaign in the north.

The heroes make themselves known by knocking on the door. A window in the first floor opens and a halfling peeks out of the window – it is Limping Jack!

The heroes enter the residence. Stor calls out for the majordomus of the place, which is anwered after a short while with the call to enter. Eddard opens the door and is immediately shot by five bolts and arrows.

An intense battle erupts, Especially the Masterscout is a deadly threat, felling Kharamon with three swift strikes. However, he can’t escape as Rurik is blocking the exit. The Masterscout, a battle-hardened veteran of many campaigns, calls out Rurik:

“Why do you ally yourself with such abominations? You’re a priest of Thyr, by his name!”

“But they are not abominations, they are people!”

“One last time, let me pass, you are interfering with orders from the church!”

“I can’t let you go!”

Rurik is torn as all the believed in, and what gave his life purpose and stability, is now torn apart. He decided to go against the church – at least against this incarnation of its military pillar – and hinder the escape of the scout. The scout manages to bring Rurik to the ground and flee…

In the meanwhile, Thanqoul was pressing hard on Limping Jack, who tried to flee through the kitchen. However, he could not escape the wrath of the halfling, and ended his life on the blade of Thanquols rapier.

In the end, all brigands were killed…

- to be continued -

Loot:
- Ancient artefact (similart style like the old temple and the ancient fundament of Castle Brightstone)
- Map, which marks the Temple of Life, another temple in the north, and another position – potentially a camp of the 9th Legion.
- Kharamons family heirloom
- Gems and coins worth 500 Electrum pieces.

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In Pursuit
... in which the heroes follow a trail of fire and death

7. Wealsun 996 AF; Free Plains

The battle with the mad gargoyle was won, and the heroes headed towards the forest were the cleric of Beory – Tram – was supposed to be. The heroes entered the forest and felt a similar sensation as when they left Realm. A sensation as if they entered a new sphere of belonging, that is aligned with a different spirit than the Realm. A spirit connected to nature and life.

The heroes headed to the center of the forest, when they crossed a newly made trail. Rurik investigated and found traces of two humanoids that sped into the east of the forest.

battle between the scouts and the grove guardians

The heroes headed towards the center of the forest.

ancient tree, temple, priest,
pursuit of the scout
water elemental
Again the heroes followed the barely visible blood trail of the scout. Next they encountered an angry Treant, who walked towards them with flailing arms. Luckily, the heroes were able to spot smoke that was rising from the back of the treant. While the others distractected the Treant, Kharamon managed to climb it’s back and discovered three burning arrows. He used his magic to extinct the fire. Again, a good deed done!

The heroes again pursued the scout. They reached the border of the forest and entered the wide grassy hills of the “no-mans-land”. Rurik led the party into the unknown. After a while, he discovered a dead and a severely injured blink dog. Blin
blink-dogs

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Into the green
...in which the heroes take sides against the forces of the Realm

7. Wealsun 996 AF; Free Plains

After the battle with the mad Gargoyle was finished, the heroes proceeded to the forest. Although the summer is at its highest point, the forest appears in vivid green hues, as if it rest in eternal spring. The heroes entered the forest and found a small trail, that might have been used by rare travellers that seeked the guidance of Tram, the cleric of Beory.

After a while, the heroes discovered a trail that crossed their path. It appeared to be from some humans, wearing camouflage, and some wolves. The heroes pursued and came to a clearing, where two rangers faced a pack of wolf-like creatures. Kharamon idenfied the wolf-like creatures as grove-guardians, fey that often protect holy sites.

The heroes tried to reason with both parties, but a battle erupted in which one scout was killed and one was captured alive. It appears that they are scouts of the 9th Legion of Light, which was commanded by Baron Alaric Dunstan in his campaign in the north.

Stor went into trance while the others interrogated the surviving scout. He felt his self dissolve and entered the network of myriad of roots that connected each plant of the forest. In this state, the felt that the heart of the forest is suffering, but he also felt close to his mother, which would suggest a connection between the Elves and the Fey.

The heroes hurried to the center of the forest. They found the cleric seriously wounded, two dead scouts, and the surviving servants of Brightstone Castle.

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Time flies fast...
...for those who meddle with ghosts

7. Wealsun 996 AF; Barony of Syne Shaeras, Fief of Lord Dunstan

The heroes took a well-earned rest in save distance from the ruins of Brightstone Castle. Tanquoul had a very rough night, in which restlessness and nightmares alternated. At dawn, he immediately decided to head north-east to the wise man.

However, the other heroes took another bite at the mystery of Brightstone Castle. The sorcerer also felt the twisted and inverted nature of this place. To him, it felt like the core of the place had completely collapsed – not only in a physical way, but also in a spiritual way. The genius, the defining essence of Brightstone Castle, had completely inversed and the whole in its core acted as a vacuum that slowly but steadily filled itself with whatever energy was available and twisted it to something dark.

The group proceeded further into the ruins and reached the former kitchen. The ghosts of the maid and her helper still lingered there, caught in a loop of despair. One moment they were preparing diner, the other moment an unknown force tore their souls from their bodies, tormenting them to madness, and creating their undead existence.

The battle against the ghosts was short, but painful. The sorcerer also had a look in the dreadful distorted visages of the ghosts and aged by twenty years. The heroes managed to defeat the ghosts and set them free. However, their remaining energy, as well as part of the life-force the sorcerer had lost – got sucked into the center of the former castle.

The heroes now abandoned their plans for further exploration and raced the wise man. After two hours, they reached the border of the Realm. Leaving the domain of King Manetheren felt like leaving home, a place where you belonged, while now you are living in an unknown world that you don’t belong to.

After another hour, a sudden encounter stopped the journey to the wise man. Two gargoyles descend from the sky and attack the heroes. The wizard realizes that he has seen them in their stone-form for times and times again. They were guarding of Brightstone Castle – at least that was what his father had told him. The heroes also feel that gargoyles are very confused and twisted – their connection with the former core of the castle exerts its dark influence, while they also appear to be connected to the center of the wood where the wise man lives. The wizard tries to order “his” gargoyles to stand down. However, one of the creatures denies his order, explaining that their duty never extended to the family living at the Castle, but the Castle itself. However, one of the gargoyles took off, while the heroes defeated the other after a tough battle.

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The Kitchen - A most dangerous place

6. Wealsun 996 AF; Barony of Syne Shaeras, Fief of Lord Dunstan

The inhabitants of Fairbury form a protective wall around the heroes, and the Judge withdraws with his men. The town elder tells Varris that they saved an old servant and a stable boy from the ruins of Brighstone Castle, and brought them to Tram, the priest of Beory, the goddess of nature, who lives one hour away in the no-man’s land.

The heroes travel to Brightstone Keep. Ruric feels that the spirit of the Keep has turned into something negative. What’s more, he feels an old elven influence, which appears to be far more archaic or feral that what one would think of elves.

A closer investigation of the tracks reveals that a group of soldiers arrived with some carts or carriages, and also left, but with fewer footmen, about three days ago.

Varris remembers the location of an old entrance the Heroes march forward. The tunnel behind the entrance lies warped and twisted, and even some new passages have opened due to the eruption that happened within the keep.

The heroes march into the darkness and soon reach the kitchen of the keep. The bodies of the cook and maid lie dead on the ground, but no outer sign of injury provides information about their cause of death. Two blue silhouettes float in the kitchen, their faces turned into visages of utmost terror. It appears that some horrible event simply ripped the souls out of the cooks’ and maids’ body and severed the chord that binds the soul tothe body.

Both silhouettes – ghosts in fact – attack the heroes as soon as they stumble into the room. Their terrifying visages hit Thanquol deeply in his soul and the sheer terror that he experiences lets him age by 40 years.

The group manages to retreat…

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The last rites gone wrong

6. Wealsun 996 AF

Limping Jack and three of his band are on trial in the city of Fairbury. A new Judge, the honorable Bertrand Dunstan, has taken charge of the proceedings. He is accompanied by four hardened soldiers of the Church of Thyr, called “Children of Light”, and a priest.

Judge Dunstan accuses Jack and his band of some terrible crimes, but only mentions crimes where humans where the victims. Without any proper proceedings the Judge finds Jack and his crew guilty. The priest provides them the last rites and provides them with the eucharistic bread – however, as Ruric can see, it does rather look like dark clay marbles than bread.

The three human bandits swallow their eucharistic bread and start to convulse. Their skin cracks and rather looks like dried and cracked earth than human skin. Some unholy fire starts to glow inside the three humans, who further mutate into some elementar create that jump down from the gallows and start attacking the townsfolk.

Four CoL start to attack the bandits, but the Judge calls them back to defend him. Eddard uses his experience to command two of them to stay, who engage in the battle. Varris manages to control one of the monsters, but the priest makes a smal sign and the control of Varris bursts like a soap bubble. Ruric recognizes the movement, he has seen it with Sons of Meidor – a very specialized group of priest, who mainly revere the Justly Saint Meidor and often hunt down and control witches.

Meanwhile, Limping Jack didn’t swallow his marble and manages to escape – not before stealing some of the artifacts that were laid out as evidence. Tanquol tries to kill him, but Jack manages to escape.

The heroes fight down the three monsters. Unfortunately, they explode in a burst of shrapnel when killed, which results in the death of one of the CoL. The Judge becomes even more agitated as he sees Varris perform Witchcraft and during the battle, kills the CoL by proxy. As the last monsters dies, he foams: “Put him into shackles!” and points at Varris.

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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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