Beneath The Mountain

Deception, Deceit, and Diamonds

As the three heroes followed the trail from the ravaged corpse, Jethro suddenly remembered some important wizard errands he had to run, and mysteriously vanished from the adventure. Now reduced to too, Saqqua and Urzogg none the less pressed onwards, soon arriving at another entrance into the mountain caves. Here they found a group of barbarians deep in conversation with a woman they recognized as Serrela, one of the adventurers from the tavern at meadowvale. 

The barbarians it transpired, were of the Moruhdain tribe, which lived near the mountain. They too had been tracking the heart-stealing monster, but were unable to follow it into the mountain, which they believed was cursed. Thus, they asked Saqqua and Urzogg do to slay the beast, promising blessing from the tribes shaman in exchange. Serrela had also come to  track a monster, this one a powerful fire giant. She soon pressed the heroes into service on this quest, and ventured into the dungeon with them.

This entrance led to the fire pits, a realm of stifling heat and bubbling lava. There they found a strange monument covered in barbaric script. Returning to the barbarians with a copy, they found that the writing had been left by the "lost tribe" of the morudhain, who had lived within the mountain but vanished about a year ago. According to the message, they had ventured deeper into Mount Moru. The barbarians were very excited by this, and begged the heroes to look for them on their adventure.

Firstly, though, Saqua and Urzog would need to survive the myriad deceptions of the fire pits. They found a captured centaur who claimed to be a princess, but who was in fact a disguised Lamia, the creature responsible for the brutal murders and heart thefts plaguing the area. Fighting through her illusions and tricks, they put the monster to the sword.

Further in, they met an efreet, queen Saitara of the fire pits. She sent them on a quest to destroy one of her subordinates, a fire giant and Serrelas target, who in fact proved to be a monstrous giant Hag. Again,magic and illusion were overcome by the application of violence, but not before the Hag revealed another secret: Serrela, their companion and quest giver, was also a Hag, and the entire charade was part of a contest organized by the efreet queen. Whichever Hag proved herself the most cunning, ruthless, and evil, was to be granted a wish and become an apprentice to the queen. Stunned by the deception, the heroes nonetheless destroyed Serrela before heading back to Saitara to claim their reward for eliminating the "fire giant".  Though their journey was interrupted by an encounter with an immense giant guard, the heroes managed to survive by the skin of their teeth and made it back to the throne room.

Each of the heroes was granted a wish, though Saitara naturally intended to twist the wisher to ill effect, as is the way of efreets. Saqua fist wished, very specifically, for 25,000 silver credits worth of jewels in a suitably portable form. To this, Saitara responded by giving him a single massive diamond, which he would never be able to sell in such a small town as meadowvale. Urzogg, however, proved to be one step ahead, immediately asking for a gem merchant to appear in town to whom they could sell the diamond.

This accomplished, the adventurers realized that the evil efreet would surely seek revenge when she realized that the adventurers had in fact killed all of her prospective apprentices, and so launched a surprise attack. though the efreets flames were hot and her magic was powerful, she could not stand before both heroes, and was slain.

Congratulating themselves on a job well done, the two adventurers headed back to meadowvale. But Saitra was to have the last laugh after all, for upon arriving they found that several building had been wiped out by the sudden appearance of "Joes Gem Emporium". Worse yet, hideous screaming and eerie ;laughter echoed from within the building. What horrors had been unleashed by the careless use of wishes? Could they be overcome? and how many disasters could a small town like meadowval possibly survive? Find out next time.

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The End of the Stormcloud Empire

Upon returning from their expedition to the drowned mines, our heroes found Meadowvale in flames. Quickly rescuing the civilians, they soon learned the cause: The stormcloud goblins, enraged by their previous defeat, had launched a much larger raid on the defenseless town, carrying away many of the townsfolk for sacrifice to an entity they called "The Goblin God".

This was unacceptable! Without a town, who would the heroes extort money from? Who would run their trivial errands? Who would give them that most important of resources, Quest Experience? These goblins had to be taught a lesson, and the heroes would ensure they didn't forget it in a hurry.

Storming into the goblins underground fortress, they began anj epic battle against impossible odds. Orc mercenaries attacked in waves from all directions, armed with weapons that were now a match for the heroes own. Goblin assassins ambushed them from hidden corners with poisoned knives, and even a few human swordsman, much more skilled thn the common rabble, fought under the stormcloud banner.

Fortunately, the heroes rose to the occasion. Jethro used his magic to coat the floor in ice, sending orcs and goblins tumbling to the the ground. Urzogg kept up a hail of fire that cut down whole squads in seconds, and Saqua stood on the front lines, his mighty armor deflecting even the most powerful attacks. In the end, goblin corpses were stacked knee high on the ground, and the heroes were free to explore deeper into the fortress.

The first thing they encountered was a gnoll,  going by the name of Howler. Dressed in rags and presiding over a crude alter, Howler claimed to be a priest of something called the Dragon God, though he seemed more crazy than divinely inspired. Still, the heroes humored him, and accepted his offer to induct them into his priesthood. After all, the favor of a god of strength and violence, even one who might only exist in the fevered imagination of a gnoll, was sure to come in handy. But what was the Dragon God? And could he possibly be the final boss of the dungeon? These were questions for another time.

Of more immediate concern were the captives, who the heroes quickly found and freed. In addition to the citizens of meadowvale, they also found a dwarf from Stonehold, who informed them he had been working  in the mines when the goblins had attacked. By freeing him, they gained the gratitude of the stonehold dwarves, giving them access to the fabled dwarven smiths, who were much more adept at creating empowered items than the human of meadowvale.

With the captives freed and the goblin army slaughtered, there was only one thing to do: Dispose of Akkal Tor, the bugbear king. Though distracted somewhat y the traps and guards that remained in the fortress, the heroes, soon made their way to the bugbears lair. The throne room soon became the sight of a mighty battle, with Akkal Tor going toe to toe with Saqqua while his pet, a powerful firebreathing lizard, distracted the others. The battle was long and hard, but at last the bugbear king was overcome, and attempted to flee down a secret staircase behind his throne. Saqqua pursued him crushing his skull with a mighty hammer blow, and the threat of the stormcloud goblins was ended forever. Or was it? As Akkal Tor fell, a mighty roar could be heard from deeper in the fortress. Th Goblin God was angry, and would need to be faced in due time. Worse yet, before the fight Akkaal Tor had mentioned something about allied even deeper in the dungeon who provided him with weapons for his troops. Who were these allies, and what were their goals?

All these questions would have to wait, for the heroes were at the end of their strength. They returned to meadowvale, where they were greeted with a heroes welcome, and then visited stonehold, where they purchased new weapons and armor of dwarven make. Thus replenished, their thoughts briefly turned to the fishmen of the mines, before they were distracted by yet another quest. A dead body lay upn the ground, its heart torn from it chest, and a set of bestial tracks stretching away from it. The tracks led, of course, toward mount Moru, and to an adventure more treacherous, and more profitable, than any so far.

 

 

 

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A Watery Grave?

With the guardian statue defeated, our valiant heroes were free to continue there explorations of the hidden caves, which turned out to be an abandoned Dwarven gold mine, in search of the missing villagers.

Heroics would need to wait though, for the bold and noble adventurers soon found something much more important: a seam of gold! Grabbing a rusted pickaxe, the mighty Saqqua led the team in an impromptu mining effort. Unfortunately, no one involved had any relevant experience or training, and mining is a rather more difficult profession than looting the corpses of biologically improbable species, so it wasn't long before they brought down a cave in on their heads.

No serious harm was done, but the noise attracted unwanted attention, and the crew were soon confronted by  a patrol of hideous fishmen spawned from a cheap imitation of an H P Lovecaft story. A tense confrontation followed as the fishmen angrily demanded the surrender of the party. Jethro, proving oce again that his magical ability greatly outweighed his common sense, attempted to read the minds of these alien beings, and picked up a few   useful pieces of information. It seemed that the fishmen had been kidnapping the villagers in preparation for a hideous ritual of transformation which would turn them into more fishmen, and that the awful creatures served an even viler being they thought of only as "The Master". The party naturally assumed that The Master was an aboleth, because every adventurer knows every creature in the monster manual, whether or not they have any plausible way to possess such knowledge.

Unfortunately, the strain of immersing himself im the alien minds of the mutants proved too much for Jethro, who fell unconscious in the middle of negotiations. Assuming treachery, Saqqua and Urzogg charged the fishmen, defeating them after a brutal and deadly battle in which the empowered weapons of the civilized races proved barely a match for the sinister armaments of the lovecraftian abyss below the earth.

This battle attracted yet more attention, but this time of a friendlier sort: An earth elemental named Ground materialized from the walls to (very slowly) beseech the parties aid against his foe, a  vicious and evil water elemental dwelling deeper in the mines. Though initially skeptical, the party was soon won over by Grounds ability to create large chunks of gold, and gladly accepted the quest.

The dangers of the drowned mines were many: Fishman guards, swarms of centipedes, and unstable walls all threatened to undo the heroes, but each hazard was avoided or overcome until the heroes reached the lair of the water elemental, where they found their most deadly foe yet. A swirling vortex of water, fueled by hatred and howling curses, towered over the unfortunate adventurers, and battle was joined with barely  word of the usual posturing. Sweeping across the room in a matter of moments, the elemental submerged all three heroes within itself, quickly battering the mage and the gunslinger into submission.

Saqqua, the warrior of the party, was made of stronger stuff, and the creature soon spat him out to duel one on one. The two foes exchanged many blows, slowly wearing each other down until they were both inches from death. In the end, Saqquas heavy armor proved decisive, and his mighty warhammer was able at last to break through the enemies defenses and slay the elemental.

Observing his two unconscious comrades, Saqqua realized that further exploration was impossible. After collecting hiss reward from ground, he therefore set off for Meadowvale with his companions to rest and recuperate. 

Alas, tragedy had struck once again, for by the time they arrived, Meadowvale was burning…

 

What had become of Meadowvale? Would the kidnapped villagers survive another day? What revenge might The Master exact for the death of his minions? And most importantly of all, when would the heroes find the time to buy bigger guns? Tune in next time to find out.

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The Battle of Meadowvale

Having fooled the simple-minded orc guards, Urzogg was escorted to the heart of the underground fortress, where he met the leader of the stormcloud company, a fearsome bugbear named Akkal Tor. Tor was a beast with ambitions of empire, and was well armed with advanced weapons supplied by allies within the mountain. Impressed by Urzoggs obvious strength, the bugbear quickly offered him a role in the Stormcloud companies most ambitious attack yet: A raid on the town of meadowvale itself!

Jethro the mage, meanwhile, awoke from his unconscious state to find himself in a tavern back in town, having apparently been dragged there by a mysterious wolf. He quickly befriended another adventurer named Saqua Steelhearted, and the two set off to rescue Urzogg.

The raiding force was halfway to meadowvale when the tw heroes came stumbled upon it, and some more quick talking from Urzogg convinced the assembled orcs that the two newcomers were more allies. Thus deceived, the raiders were led into a deadly ambush at the gates of meadowvale, with a group of adventurers from the tavern helping to put the rabble to flight. Saqqua proved his worth by slaying the most fearsome foe, a mighty ogre, in single combat with his empowered hammer, and the rest of the enemies were soon dispatched. Meadowvale was safe for another day.

Believing that the Stormclouds had been suitably chastised, the heroes turned to other matters, scouring the town for tasks to accomplish. As it happened, the church of Iri the unicorn god was putting together an expedition to recover a sacred artifact from deep within the mountain, and the heroes were happy to offer their services… in exchange for a fee of course.

More pressing matters took precedence, however, for the town council was offering a reward to anyone who  could solve a rash of mysterious disappearances which had occurred near the old Haunted lake at the side of the mountain. Seeing an opportunity to<s> extort money from frightened villagers</s> rescue the helpless, the three companions set out to the lake, and soon discovered a cave entrance hidden behind a waterfall. Venturing once more into the caves of Mount Moru, they found what appeared to be an abandoned gold mine. Their exploration was rudely interrupted, however, when they encountered an immense statue of a dwarf in a flooded chamber, which promptly came to life and attacked them, as mysterious statues in flooded chambers always do.

The statue grabbed Jethro and began attempting to choke the life out if him. Fortunately, the quick thinking mage had a plan with no possible flaws: He would trap the foe by freezing the water! The water that he was submerged in! While the statue was holding him! Fortunately, his reactions were quicker than his wits, and he narrowly escaped the expanding ice and thus avoided death by self-inflicted hypothermia. With the enemy now frozen, Urzogg was able to smash it to pieces with a shower of blasts from his handguns, and the battle was concluded without lasting harm.

There was no time for celebration, however, as the heroes had only scratched the surface of the Drowned Mines. What horrors awaited further in? Could the vanished villagers be saved? And would there be any treasure at the end of it all? Tune in next time to find out.

 

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The Legend Begins

After many long days of travel on their motorcycles (the perfect vehicle for off-road adventure) our heroes, Jethro the mage and Urzogg the gunslinger, finally approached their destination: The town of Meadowvale, the last stop on the road to mount Moru. But as they set up camp for one more night in the wilderness, little did they know that hostile eyes were already watching. Jethro, trusting in his ability to get by on limited sleep, took first watch, but proved unable to  spot the threat before it was upon them. A storm of crossbow bolts flew through the air, and a goblin raiding party fell upon the camp with a mighty warcry!

Jethro took the brunt of the assault, and was hit several times by the poisoned bolts of the goblins, but he shrugged off the venom, and Urzoggs twin revolvers and epic motorbike stunts soon put an end to the invaders.

Tracking the goblins trail back to their encampment, the heroes discovered a number of disconcerting facts. Firstly, the camp flew an unknown flag, emblazoned with a stormcloud and lightning bolt. Secondly, their weapons had been upgraded with basic magitech enhancements, far outstripping anything such creatures should possess. And finally, a map recovered from a hidden box revealed that the raiding party had originated from mount Moru itself.

In light of this troubling new info, the heroes choose to skip Meadowvale and head straight for the mountain. After all, what was the worst that could happen…?

Not even an encounter with another group of adventurers fleeing the mountain could dampen their enthusiasm, and they had soon climbed the mountain path to a cave entrance. Once inside, they quickly found a section of false wall hiding the lair of a terrible lizard, and battle was joined once more. Though the combat took a turn for the worse when more goblins ambushed them from behind, the combination of Jethro's empowered armour and Urzoggs rain of bullets secured victory, and allowed the heroes to pass through the lair and enter a new area. 

This new region was no primitive cave, but a well constructed underground fortress of clearly ancient design. Alas, there was no time to wonder about the origin of this place, as a group of orcs bearing the stormcloud emblem stumbled upon the heroes, and jethro was dealt a mortal wound in the ensuing melee, falling to the floor in an unconscious heap. Barely was there time to patch up the mage before another orcish guard team, attracted by the noise, entered the fray.

Fortunately, Urzogg knew that orcs are stupid, gullible creatures, and quickly convinced them that he was a new recruit  for their army. Taken in by the ruse, the orcs agreed ot take him to their leader for a briefing. Jethro, meanwhile, was still unconscious from his wounds and was left for dead on the floor.

And so, one session in, the party is already split, the mage is left to fend for himself in the middle of the dungeon, and the gunslinger is being escorted deep into the heart of the enemies power. Can they survive these deadly setbacks? Probably not.

 

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Welcome to your campaign!
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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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