The Stirrings of War

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Ambush and Treachery in the Caravan

The party, tentatively called T’Ain’t Natural for the time being, took on their first job of the adventure guarding a trade Caravan heading from Marthon to Brindol. While the gnome bard Prit attempted to negotiate for better wages, the clumsiness of Amithra while trying to show off hurt the party’s bargaining position. Once they set out on their way, T’Ain’t Natural was assigned to the rear guard of the caravan.

The caravan itself mostly consisted of merchants and travelers interested in drawing as little attention to themselves as possible with the exception of the rearmost wagon, driven by a dwarven dye merchant name Gramorn. Gramorn happily made chit chat with anyone who will listen, bragging about his teenage son who’s beard has already reached his knees at the young age of 30. In his conversation, he even discovered that he was related to Ragni.

The first day passed without event, and the second day appeared to be progressing in much the same manner. As the caravan leader, Marcus, was scouting out a position to camp the caravan an ambush struck, harrying the front caravan into fleeing and crushing Gramorn’s wagon with a large trap. Bandits charged the wagon, focusing primarily on Gramorn. The party battled to protect the wagon driver, and while the Big Man and his crew did some damage they were eventually taken down. While stringing up the bandit leader as a message, Dood the assassin discovers a tattoo on his shoulder that looked like three red claw marks. After coaxing the driver to consciousness, the warlord breaks the casks of dye on the now broken wagon to prevent the bandits from being able to take any of it for themselves. Gramorn was deeply saddened to see the fruits of his labor laid to waste, but valued his and the others’ lives at a greater value.

When the party caught up to the rest of the caravan on foot, they found a scene of fresh battle. Only two of the original wagons from the caravan remained intact, and nearly all of the main guard has been either killed or severely wounded. Ragni discovered, while patrolling in badger form, that a larger force of the bandits is on its way. The party quickly acts, Prit and Amithra healing the wounded while Ragni hides them safely in the woods, and Dood, Katryn, and Althaea cannibalized one of the fallen wagons to create defensive barriers that would funnel the enemies. As the enemies approached, Edhart hid himself in an overturned wagon for a surprise attack, Katryn planted herself out in front, outside of the defensive structures, calling a challenge to her enemies, and the rest of the party held back in a more defensive circle.

The bandit force attempted to negotiate for Gramorn, saying they’d spare the lives of the adventurers in exchange for the dye merchant, but the party would have nothing of it. Battle commenced, with Katryn’s Shadar-kai nature leading her into the heat of the fray closely followed by the assassin Dood. As they clashed with the main force, thug reinforcements attempting to cut behind were quickly dispatched by Edhart, but a group of archers managed to work around the barriers to pelt Ragni with a fresh batch of arrows. Amithra and Ragni managed to fight them off for rest of the combat, but were unable to join the main fray. Meanwhile, Katryn lashed out at her foes viciously, but was met in kind and knocked unconscious. Dood kept the pressure on their foes, and Pritprattler the Phonomancer was able to revive the ranger. Between their combined efforts, supported by lighting strikes from Althaea and rear attacks from Edhart, the bandits were dispatched.

Incensed from the battle, Edhart and Amithra try to force the dwarf into divulging why these people are after him, but are interrupted first by Marcus, determined not to see members of his caravan assaulted, and then by a large group of well armed mounted men entering into the clearing dressed in the uniforms of The Lion Guard. They surround the group, and breaks the dispute up. Looking down upon the scene he has just interrupted, the guard leader laughingly calls out “I couldn’t have asked for a better batch of patsies.” He promptly orders Gramorn killed and dispatches Marcus. Turning to the party, he casts a sleep spell on all but Dood, whose stealth kept him out of sight, and orders T’Ain’t Natural shackled and loaded into one of the functional wagons. Dood attaches himself to the bottom of the wagon out of sight, and they all move to Brindol as prisoners.

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Jailbreak

The main party was taken to a general holding cell at the Lion Guard’s headquarters, where they were told to wait until the Lieutenant has time to see them. Their weapons and equipment were taken from them, but they are left with their armor. The party is promised they will be held in the guard room until such a time as they are either released or sentenced. The guard leading the party remarked, “Whatever good it’ll do you bandit sons of bitches. We’ve been waiting to catch the sorry bastards who’ve been attacking the merchants and the ‘tenant’s ready to take it out on you directly. I can’t wait to see you all strung up.” The holding area has a milieu of cells with various numbers of humanoids in them, mostly non-human, and the party is escorted to a larger cell with only a few inhabitants. After the guards leave the party and before they have time to settle in, they are approached by the group on the other side of the cell, a large half-orc shirtless and seemingly entirely covered by scars who is followed by a shifter walking on all fours and dressed in little but a loincloth and a collar that is attached to a long chain being held by the half-orc. The two other humans behind him were generally unremarkable for prison inmates but are actively cracking their knuckles, necks, and anything else that might make them appear foreboding. The half-orc spoke out to the party:

“Hell. Look at the fish they brought on in here. Now Tooth here, (he gestures to the shifter by pulling his chain slightly), he likes ‘em mean and tough so they put up a fight ‘fore he wares ‘em down, but me, I’s likes ‘em perty.” He smiles in the direction of the warlord. “And you sure is perty.” The shifter lunges towards the warlord in question, growling and gnashing his teeth, but falls short as he reaches the end of the chain. “Now don’t get yerself riled up there Tooth. You know I’s always leave you the leftovers.” (perception check can have the party identify the same tattoo that was on the Big Man). “Now a perty thing like you deserves a chance. These guards here, they want someone to blame for their woes and y’all look like a nice ‘ol scapegoat. If you’d prefer, I gots me some friends who can help you on out of here. I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine.”

At this point, they were all interrupted by a pair of guardsmen. “The lieutenant’s ready to sentence your sorry asses. This way.”

While this is going on, the evening had begun to fall on Brindol, and the shadows lengthening provided the assassin with plenty of cover to move from the wagon. The assassin came, unnoticed, upon a pair of guardsmen wearing red armbands dragging the dwarf’s body away.

“Tell me again why we’re out here taking this carcass to be burnt when I could be bouncing a redheaded barmaid on my knee?” “Orders from the Captain, you same as me. Ol’ Grammy here’s been identified, so we don’t need him anymore.” “But why in the same hell do we gotta do it tonight?” “That damn lieutenant again. The bitch wants to inspect the body, thinks it can help her identify the killers.” “But ain’t that why we got them patsies?” “Hey, the Captain said be thorough. You wanta go back on the Captain?” “Hell no.” “Then hurry up.”

The assassin quickly dispatched one of the guardsmen and intimidates the other into helping him, but quickly thereafter heard voices in the courtyard and saw lights present at the wagon. A stern woman’s voice rose up, “Where’s the body private? I need to conduct the ritual promptly if it is to have any effect. Is guarding a dead body too much responsibility for you?” “No sir. I mean ma’am. He was right here. We’ll search the area immediately, sir, ma’am…squeak.” The assassin left the dwarf’s body where it could be found by the Lieutenant, and moved into the guardhouse with his unwilling guide.

Lieutenant Shieldheart:

The main party was escorted, chained together at the wrists, to a small room near the cells with a plain, wooden desk. The chains were tied off to rings bolted into the ground, and the party was left alone for a moment. Before long a short human woman stormed into the office, unsheathed her longsword and slamed it on the desk, taking a seat behind the desk and staring each of the party in the eyes one by one.

“I want you to listen because this will be the only chance you get. A good man and friend of the city is dead. A man you were supposedly assigned to protect. As far as the administration here is concerned, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t go ahead and see how many of you I can cut down at once. You have two minutes to tell me everything you know before I see if I can go from dwarf to gnome in a single cut.”

Info obtained from party’s skill challenge to convince the Lieutenant of their innocence:

1. “Gramorn was the head of the Hammerfast informants and was working closely with us to locate and neutralize these bandits. His position was known only to a handful of people at the top of each city’s leadership which brings us back to how he was targeted and killed under your watch.”

2. “The Lion guard is not what it was in my grandfather’s day. People are already scared enough without Tarmakas and his damn Red Eyes bullying them further. “

3. “Gramorn was a personal friend of mine. He and my father worked together intimately during my dad’s term as Captain of the Lion Guard, and Grams was like an uncle to me. (She leans forward her voice dropping in volume but remaining steady). He brought me my first sword, custom made from Hammerfast forges. He taught me how to hold a shield. I want to know who’s responsible for this and I want to know now.”

The Lieutenant finally comes to believe them, more on her own evidence than what the party had to say, and offers to speak on their behalf in court. She hoped to allow a stay of execution in exchange for their undertaking a mission for the city.

The party was escorted back to their cell, and the half-orc was sitting silently with a smug smile on his face. They were not there long, however, before the jailhouse was attacked by groups of undead hounds and demons seemingly intent on causing as much chaos as possible, attacking guard and prisoner alike. The party managed to escape from their cell just as the assassin arrives with their weapons, found with the help of his unlikely guide. The party fought off the waves of otherworldly attackers, and ran to investigate screams heard from the other part of the guardhouse. They found the Lieutenant surrounded by a pile of demon bodies but heavily wounded, and as they went to her assistance they are attacked by a larger demon placed to spread further panic by taking out key members of the guard. The party managed to defeat him, after some trouble, and attended to the heavily wounded Lieutenant. She wanted the party to stay and stand trial, but was convinced to let them go if they would investigate a possible base for the bandit activities on the merchant caravans, information hidden on the dwarf’s body she was able to obtain before it was destroyed. The party escaped in the chaos, moving into the forests surrounding Brindol.

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Burning Down the House

The party followed the map as best they could despite their inability to make out his writing, due to Ragni’s poor attention to his dwarven abc’s in little dwarf school. Due to the general savvy and group cooperation, the party managed to find the location indicated on the rough map, a once abandoned village now occupied by a goblin and orc force. Only two locations were, however, occupied: a poorly upkept inn and the ruins of an ancient keep. The former appeared to be a place for the occupying force to carouse in, as evidenced by the drunken orcs wandering in and out of the inn. The keep, on the other hand, showed tracks of prisoners being led inside, and as the assassin quickly found through a narrowly missed arrow the keep was well patrolled across the wall.

The party decided to tackle the inn first, finding a cellar door in the rear of the building. Dood managed to break open the ancient lock, but made enough noise in the process to alert the goblin cook and his assistants inside. After a short battle in which the cook attempted to take out his frustration at his lot in life on the party, his dreams of finishing his degree at the Goblin Culinary Academy were cut short by the blades of Katryn and Dood.

After a short rest, Katryn poked her head through the trap door leading to the inn proper in order to assess the threat. Fortunately for her, the room seemed to, by and large, remain unaware of her. Unfortunately for her, an orc on the opposite side of the inn caught a glance at her, raising them all to battle. The party managed to create a choke point at the trapdoor, taking out two of the orcs in the cellar. The dwarf, exhilarated by their success and his badger form, charged onto the top floor in the middle of the pressing goblins and remaining orc. The party managed to fight their way to the second floor, dodging cinderbombs and goblin swords along the way, but the battle was quickly joined by orc officers from the second floor. Taking several wounds in the battle, the party managed to defeat these new opponents through the constricting vines summoned by Ragni, flashing blades of Katryn, inspiring words from Pritt, dark strikes of Dood, and lightning flashes from Althea, the party stood victorious over piles of orc and goblin bodies.

Acting quickly to avoid detection and possible attack from the keep, the party set fire to the inn and retreated to the woods, using the chaos for cover. The party repositioned themselves at the rear of the keep, licking their wounds as they prepared to take on the rest of the occupying force.

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Ragni's Finale

After an evening’s rest, the party moves in on the keep. Finding it guarded by goblins and hobgoblins at the front, Pritt and Ragni in badger form lure the guards away to see the stupendous “Pritt and Badger Show!”© The goblins, easily distracted by pretty lights, eagerly follow and await the show. In the midst of one of the most epic fireworks displays in recent history, Dood and the rest of the party snuck in from behind and decimated the guards. The “Pritt and Badger Show!”©’s audience participation could use more work it seems.

Having removed the front guards, the party attempted to scout the ruined keep. Ragni, in badger form, snuck over the wall to see the position of the goblin force. After a short glance, Ragni was detected by wolves kenneled by the goblins. Scampering for his life, Ragni in badger form ran for the wall but failed on his first attempt to climb, allowing a following wolf to take a bite out of him. Ragni, or most of him, managed to make it back over the wall. After short discussion, Dood snuck to the front of the keep, luring another party of goblins to chase him as the rest of the party came over the rear wall. Althaea ran for the front gate, locking out the goblins chasing Dood, while the rest of the party was discovered near the wolf kennels. While Althaea bombarded the goblins from above with lightning, the rest of the party, Dood finally catching up, took care of the wolves and their masters.

Seeking to rescue the captured children, Ragni charged into the basement below the ruined keep closely followed by the rest of the party. The druid discovered the children, bound inside an arcane circle, and a cultist in the final stages of a ritual. The druid led the charge to interrupt the ritual, and the party fought against the cultist’s many spells and burst effects. While they party did finally defeat the cultist and save the children, the victory came at great cost: Ragni’s life.

Cleaning up the aftermath and gathering the children, a captive gnome introduced himself as a member of the merchant’s guild. He offers to return the children to their parents in Hammerfast, but needs and escort to ensure that they are not retaken by the raiders that placed them here in the first place.

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