Sharn's Bounty

Ninth Session: Below Sharn: the Infested Forge

After returning to Sharn and Morgraive University, En and Mara decide to visit Bedel at her bar where tensions between the Cliffside guild and the Death’s Gate Guild come to a head, resulting in a bar fight. The party manages to smooth things over in the fight, and Bedel bans both groups from the bar until they clean up their acts.

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After Bedel thanks En and Mara for their support, they speak with a Lassader, Mercenary Necromancer, and strike up a partnership: if he finds work for En and Mara, he agrees to share contracts with them, referring them to potential employers.

Also at the bar, Mara speaks with Derj, Forman of the Forge, who is desperate for help, as he has lost several workers in the forges below Sharn. He believes that the disappearances are due to the recent discovery of a shaft that leads deep into the ruins below Sharn. En and Mara eagerly ask the dwarf to help his people, which thrills him to the beard.

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As En and Mara investigate the ruins within the forge, they find several groups of demons that have been summoned by a deranged wizard who seeks to sow chaos in Sharn. His closest ally is a succubus who at the very end of their final fight, charms Mara. As En finishes the succubus, her enchantment fades, and Mara, frustrated at her lack of resistance decapitates the succubus, keeping the head as a reminder to keep her head about her.

Disturbed by the thought of demons invading Sharn, Mara urges Derj to seek help from the Church of the Silver Flame, to which he agrees. The adventurers leave the forges and pursue Verian, Archbishop of the Church of the Silver Flame to deal with the demon threat. Verian’s interest piqued by the demon discovery chooses to look into the matter personally.

Next day, En and Mara pay a visit to an esoteric merchant’s square where they discover myriad specialty shops and purchase a number of strange items.

*Note: Mara has noticed that there is a theme of chaos that seems to be following them wherever they go. The Dreaming Dark in Xen’drik seek to disturb the peace of the current landscape. The rising tensions in the rivalry between the two main guilds of Sharn, and the diabolist’s attempt to infest the forges all point toward rising chaos in the land

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Seventh and Eighth Sessions: to Sharn and Back to Xen'drik

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Sharn: City of Towers

Chellewis Lands in a plain outside the city of Sharn, bidding our adventurers farewell and good luck, he flies southward, back toward Xen’drik. The party makes its way toward the city of towers, where they deftly avoid a group of strange phasing dog-like beasts. At the gates of Sharn, they are greeted by Kairn, Sharn’s captain of the guard. Orryn regaled their adventures in Xen’drik, and worked with Mara to provide sufficient evidence of their prowess: Orryn used his knowledge of fire magic and Mara’s illusionary skill to create a flaming clone of Orryn who screeched about the plain: “Eeeeeeee!” Kairn was so impressed that he took them straight into the city. They were provided with a general idea of what facilities they could find, and the party went to a nearby tavern where they met the owner Bedel, who informed them of a guild rivalry between the Cliffside Guild and Death’s Gate Guild. The former is a league of mercenaries, generally favored by the public, and the later is littered with pickpockets and thieves. While socializing with the patrons, Mara met a rather shady cloaked individual wielding a deadly scythe. This fellow gave Mara a red mati stone and encouraged her to contact him if she was looking for work, and that he is a member of the Death’s Gate Guild.

After a bit of fun in the pub, the party went on to meet with the members of Morgrave University. Here they meet a number of interesting individuals. The first of which is Chace, Child Prodigy. They assisted the eccentric researcher in an experiment on chanelling raw mana into powerful spells and illusions. After this research, they proceeded into a Giantish research lab, where they met Marn, Eminent Giantologistt. As Mara and En perused the research lab, Marn teleported them to Xen’drik to help him in his Giantish research. Here, they learned that there is a non-feral, intelligent giant with whom he had had contact, teaching him and training him in the ways of polite society. Marn wants the party to find the “smart giant” as he endearingly calls him. As they search for the smart giant, the party happens across a dead giant just outside what appears to be a Giantish settlement. usurped by a group of half-elves. After fighting and defeating the group of guards, talking to Marn and further investigating the Giantish settlement, Mara and En learned that the invaders are Quori, of the Dreaming Dark. These individuals are especially equipped with anti-giantish enchanted weapons. Upon further investigation, they discover a number of Giantish artifacts used to close and open portals to the Dreaming Dark, and they find one such portal in a makeshift underground tunnel. They defeat the remainder of the Quori in the settlement with the help of Marn and continue their quest to find the smart giant.

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Sixth Session: the Fortress Under Siege!

After successfully liberating the khyber mines and defeating the cultists at the southern Giantish ruins, the party sends the slaves, supplies, and troops back to Voss Che’el to recover and plan their next steps.

The fellowship’s eyes looked eastward where about a day’s travel away, they would need to lay siege to an ancient fortress inhabited by the cultists in order to locate a rare Giantish artifact that would allow the council in Voss Che’el to communicate with the Xathrid regarding the looming threat in the jungles of Xen’drik.

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Giantish Fortress

As they discussed how they would assault the castle, they found that there are two ballistae atop the two westernmost towers, guarding a walkway that led to the primary portcullis, so attacking in the front seemed to be a bad idea. Orryn used his orb to spy on a group of incoming cultists, learning that there was a secret cliffside entrance to the keep, but that the path was difficult: usually used for smuggling in and out supplies that the lower-level cultists didn’t want their superiors to know about. Orryn blasted the group while they were on the raised walkway before they could enter the keep, causing a lot of confusion within the keep. The party camped a ways off the road that night, and none of the cultists found them.

In the morning, En took his spider form and he stealthily carried Thenan on his back to sneak attack the southern most ballista. While En took the Ballista, Orryn and Serra would sneak around through the cliffside entrance, coordinating the timing of their attack with their mati stones.

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Simple Ballista used to guard the entrance to the keep

With their quick, deadly efficiency, En and Thenan easily took control of the ballista from the Yuan-ti pureblood who was operating it, their actions passing unknown to the rest of the keep due to the chaos therein. A higher ranking cultist had summoned a terrifying aberration from the far realm, which had begun consuming the brains of the lesser cultist: she had unleashed a mind-flayer!

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a mind flayer feasts upon the brains of a lesser cultist

Orryn sent his orb in to melee, firing bolts of flame at the distracted drow. Serra, ducking behind a corner, readied herself to smash anything that came near her. En took aim at the other ballista, thoroughly smashing it with a single bolt. Thenan found that there was a caged and chained ogre that had been twisted by aberrant magic: on its head there were dozens of eyes, and in place of its humanoid mouth, the jaw grew longer, allowing for rows of needle-like teeth, and its stomach had been stitched together. Who knows what this vile cult had done to this poor, twisted creature. Her pity immediately turned to revulsion and fear as it spotted her and began destroying its cage in a fit of rage.

By the time the cultists began to realize that they were under siege from without, they had lost two lesser cultists, and had nearly lost another of their commanders as two of them fought the mind flayer. The commander who had originally summoned the aberration, smoldering from Orryn’s fire, was moving to enact retribution on the gnome. En aimed the ballista at her, Orryn asked if she would surrender, that they could join forces against the mind flayer, but she stubbornly refused. En eviscerated her, pinning her dying body to the keep’s wall with a massive bolt from his ballista.

By now, the mind flayer had been beaten up pretty badly, and it appealed to Serra, asking that she and her friends leave it alone, and it would go about its business, but Serra did not care for this despicable creature, so responded by crushing its skull.

The party drew out the ogre and put it out of its misery. Its chains were strong, so the group merely had to blast it to death with magic and projectiles until it died. Moving into the keep, the party encountered two more nothics, likely former high-ranking cultists who had been twisted into their current forms by magic from the Far Realm, and a new aberration called an intellect devourer. These small creatures resemble a brain with four reptilian claws. Judging from their encounter, they apparently try to find hosts, to inhabit their skulls and consume their mind. Fortunately, the party felled the aberrations and took the fortress from the cultists and the aberrations.

After a time of searching the fortress, the group found the Giantish scrying stone, which actually resembled a large lens, a disc some three feet in diameter, thinner around the edges and about four inches thick in the center. At the fortress, they were met by an gargantuan dragon atop which rode their contact in Voss Che’el: Mara of the Copper Fingers. She introduced the group to her master and teacher, the ancient copper dragon: Chellewis. Part of her duty to her master is to locate and acquire powerful artifacts, specifically Giantish ones whenever possible. He is a collector and quite interested in Giantish magic. Though Chellewis wishes to have the scrying stone, he understands the importance it holds for the dark elves and their civilization, and the crucial nature of the balance they hold in Xen’drik. So, he will wait until it is no longer needed by the drow, and he will acquire it.

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Chellewis discusses the scrying stone with the party

Chellewis takes the group back to Voss Che’el where the party gives the council the scrying stone, and they are able to communicate with the Xathrid. A temporary truce is struck, as the Xathrid focus on purging the final Giantish ruin on their southeastern border.

The party decides to stay for a month in Voss Che’el to rest and learn more of the city. After that time, Chellewis grants them passage back to Sharn in Eberron.

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Fifth Session: Voss Che'el, the Blood City

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A sense of urgency hangs heavy over the adventurers as they witness the aftermath of the destruction of the infernal machine within the ruins. Orryn suspects that the machine is beginning to create a tear between planes, that if another such event occurred, its effects would change Xen’drik, and likely the entirety of Eberron, forever.

Ryld lie dead, crushed under a fallen tree, and the heroes bury her in a shallow grave, En keeping some of her personal affects so that they might deliver it to her next of kin. Deciding that they need assistance, the party decides to find a Drow city, Voss Che’el, Ryld had mentioned in their time together.

Managing to navigate the jungles quite well for most of their journey, it wasn’t until they were nearing the city that the party got lost in a smelly bog. Both Orryn and En made a show of igniting methane patches. The next day, they found Voss Che’el deep within a recess below a mountain.

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On approaching the gates to the city, the party is quizzically approached by Zazt, Captain of the Guard. After some talk of their adventures and Ryld’s death, Orryn proves his prowess with magic by divining a flaming clone of himself which takes off running through the fields before the city squeeking his signature cry “EeeeeeEEEeeee!”. Zazt is impressed and a bit confounded, so he brings the group before the council where they explained the current state of affairs: the cult, infernal machine, aberrations and the death of Ryld. Crestfallen at the news of the loss of their fellow council member and distraught over the idea of fighting a war against another foe, the council erupted into chaos. Serra managed to bring order back to the group, slamming her hammer on the stone floor of the council.

The group learned of an insectoid race called the Xathrid, and an attritious territorial war between them and the Drow. En and Orryn convinced the council that finding a way to communicate with the Xathrid might encourage them to move on the giantish ruins near the Xathrid’s southeastern boarder. A Drow arcane researcher described the difficulty of communication with the Xathrid, but stated it might be possible with a Dwarven Scrying lens. These lenses are exceedingly rare, and none has yet been found, but the last Dwarven ruin was a fortress, a very secure place where the Giants would have likely kept such an artifact. The council agreed to send a band of fifteen soldiers to help secure the ruins (three remained).

Tired from their journeys, the party headed to a local tavern to rest and recoup. Orryn managed to awkwardly draw the attention of most of the tavern, getting high on a potent mushroom tincture, telling silly jokes and explaining convoluted magical formulas. Serra learned how to belch fire, thanks to some Dragon Whiskey. Meanwhile, En and Thenan encountered a mysterious Drow woman named Mara who was examining them carefully from a booth at the far end of the tavern. She informs them of a business opportunity with her organization that could prove quite fruitful. All she asks is a bit of secrecy, and that the group give her any Giantish artifacts they come across. Her client is paying top coin. She hands en a mati stone, and tells her to think on it then get back to her.

In the morning, the party went shopping. Orrin, in search of arcane materials, went to the city’s museum where he met its curator: Erlach. The little gnome ignited a spark of curiosity in the curator, and upon learning of his power, Erlach showed him the museum’s secret treasures: a trove of Giantish artifacts. Serra, looking to sell some of the loot she had acquired, went in to a weapons store and sold her extra items. She was hoping to find something special there to purchase, so in an attempt to impress the shopkeep, she tried to lift a massive black safe. Miscalculating her efforts, in her strain of athleticism, Serra shart herself. Angry and disgusted, the shopkeep urged her to leave before he could notify the authorities. She managed to find a hole-in-the-wall bar to clean up in and hurried back to find her friends. En and Tenahn spent their time shopping and gathering information on the Copper Fingers. They learned that the authorities regarded them as an illegal organization, wanted for theft and larceny. They also found out that the Fingers were loosely associated with anonymous donations to the poor and hungry.

The party met up in the council chamber and discussed strategy. After talking to Mara through the mati stone, En learned that there was likely another infernal machine in the southern ruins and a khyber dragonshard mine in the northern one. The party decided to take the ruins with the machine due to the delicate nature of that situation.

Despite a lot of failure on the party’s part, they invaded the ruins and foiled the plans of the cult again, with less disastrous results on the machine. The garrison of Drow troops managed to halt the mining operation, securing ten slaves, several crates of khyber dragonshards, and two cultist prisoners. The party rested and prepared for their final assault on the ruined Giantish Keep.

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Third and Fourth Sessions: the Infernal Machine

After another trek through Xen’drik’s jungles, our group encountered another of the Silver Fangs prey: a paladin sworn to the Church of the Silver Flame named Serra, who gladly joined up with the others in their quest to vanquish the cultists, putting an end to their devious ploy to assist the Rakshasa lord’s ambition of conquering the continent with a horde of aberrations before it is too late.

The party continued toward the ruins whose ancient artifacts and magics drew the cult. The first ruin they encountered was riddled with aberrations and traps, and contained an infernal machine ran by two Yuan-ti. Unfortunately, the machine had been activated and the group was unable to determine its function, but it was destroyed, so whatever plans the cult had for it ultimately failed.

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Aberrant Machine

The destruction of the powerful machine was not without consequences, however. Unleashing great amounts of eldritch energy portended the merging of another plane. It is possible that the merging of planes was the purpose of this machine. A merging of planes would be far worse than a mere opening of portals: it would spell doom for Xen’drik, as countless forms would be able to traverse freely between the two planes, with the convergence area covering up to tens of kilometers.

In addition to the potential weakening of inter-planar balance, the blast devastated the party, unfortunately killing Ryld.

With a portion of forest destroyed and a sense of arcane chaos in the area, the party decided that this would be a safe place to camp for the night to recover from their difficult struggle and decide on a best course of action for the next day.

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Third Session: Drow Liberation

With a first set of ruins purged of the mysterious cult, the party pressed southward toward territory controlled by the Drow, where they found a tribe that had been decimated by more cultists. It was here that the party encountered an Acolyte of Vulkoor named Ryld. The tribe’s cleric matron fought alongside the three adventurers as they went underground into the caves her people called home.
Ryld, Acolyte of Vulkoor

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(Vloss Che’el: the blood city. Only permanent Drow settlement in eastern Xen’drik)
Drow tribes in this part of Xen’drik are generally nomadic. They roam the wilds until they find a suitable cave or set of ruins, and set up camp for the rainy seasons, when travel is most dangerous. By the time the monsoons end, and much of the local resources expended, the tribe moves on to find a new home.

As the party delved into Ryld’s home, they found more cultists, corrupted by Khyber who were summoning more aberrant creatures. As they liberated the caves, they found that the cultists had largely lost control of the creatures they were summoning, and that some of them had even been physically corrupted by the eldritch magic they wielded, being turned into nothics.
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(nothic: aberrant creature that was once a humanoid, but has been corrupted by its use of eldritch magic)

One of the cultists managed to contain one of the aberrations within a field of magic, but the beast eventually escaped. Taking advantage of the intruders, two cultists helped our adventurers defeat the escaped aberration. One was eager to help, while the other quite reluctant. Terrified by the creatures and their inability to control them, one cultist begged for forgiveness, swearing to devote his life to Ryld’s tribe and their safekeeping. Ryld slew the other for his reluctance to help.

Deeper within the caverns, the group found a portal from which the aberrations were coming, and they managed to slaughter all the creatures within the cave and close the portal.

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Second Session - Buried Keep

After a night’s rest followed by a day-long trek through Xen’drik’s wild jungles, the party arrived at a partially buried giantish keep.

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While Orryn and Thenan found their way into the ruins of a buried tower, En was approached by a spirit who requested help from the party. the phantom, garbed in white, flowing robes, said that an artifact of great power bound it and its brethren in the Pale Valley, that if the artifact were destroyed, they would be free, and could aid the group in their escape from Xen’drik.

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En agreed to assist, so after camping for the night, the party delved deep into an ancient giantish keep infested with deadly drow cultists.

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They found that the cult served a Rakshasa lord deep in the jungles far to the south.

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(Drow cultist)

The Rakshasa seeks to bring about the Age of the Worm, infesting the jungles of Xen’drik with hordes of demons, and ultimately summoning the Demigod of death, Kyuus.

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(Rakshasa)

In this ruin, the cult was channelling power from the relic of a dead angel whose spirit had drawn many other less successful adventurers to these ruins. In their failed efforts the fallen spirits were bound to the valley, calling further explorers to their collective aid.

After learning all this, the party has decided to venture south through perilous drow territory to stop the cult’s diabolical plans.

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First Session - Into the Jungle

The player characters (pcs) were dropped out of an airship in cages somewhere on the northern coast of Xen’drik. A sage gnomish arcane tinkerer, Orryn, picked his lock and freed a hermit wood elf druid, En, a Dwarven knight npc named Thorzair, and a high elf scout named Thenan. The party had no equipment save for the rags on their backs, but went off into the jungle southward.

Fortune smiled upon them, as they did not encounter the shark-like sahaugin tribes who dominate the coastal areas, rather, they found a sheltered lagoon ruled by peaceful merfolk. The merfolk provided some food and Deepwater cloaks (fire resist) to all the party, informing them of a feud between the merfolk tribe and the sahaugin, and that the party is part of a cruel hunting game carried out by other outlanders (those not native to Xen’drik). They also learned that there is no proper civilization for several thousand miles, but that there is a large set of ruins ~50 to the southwest where they might find better shelter.

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Taking refuge in the safety of the lagoon, they made camp, but were troubled a reptilian roar off in the distance

They set out for the ruins next day, and encountered a clearing with a tall ~30’ wooden tower in the center. Upon approaching the tower, they were ambushed by an emaciated and injured allosaurus. The party would have been a quick meal if not for some creativity and quick thinking, they managed to topple the tower on top of the poor beast, bringing it down before they could be eaten. The wooden tower contained a crate with some of their equipment.

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Continuing on toward the ruins, the party encountered a young ogre, who slew Thorzair in a single blow. the party defeated the ogre at great cost, and made camp, discovering another crate containing more of their gear.

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Prologue

Darkness. A steady thrum grows in your ears along with a heavy sense of foreboding, and you open your eyes, feeling something warm trickle down your face. Drums pounding, or is it your heart racing? Opening eyes wide, you strain against the darkness, motes of red and green light dance before your eyes, but you see nothing. An oppressive heat and a wave of humidity assaults your lungs. The warm liquid touches your lips, warm and ferric. Blood. A pain both sharp and dull clouds your mind and a trickle down your throat. It’s your blood. The last memories flit through your mind like evasive whisps, and you moan, trying to lift your hand to your temple, attempting to cradle your boulder-head, but everything feels heavy. It’s far easier to succumb to the agony, and you drift into a pained doze.

Before you arises a hazy, vast, shadowy jungle. Behind you, the sound of wolves, wargs, drakes, or some other blood-crazed tracking creatures, goaded on by the hiss and roar of their humanoid masters. With only thoughts of survival in mind, you flee to the shadows of the jungle. Running or flying, you aren’t sure, but you move with preternatural speed, putting distance between yourself and your pursuers. With every passing moment, the jungle grows darker until you can barely see. As you wander through the shadows, a cold, yet comforting aura of verdant darkness envelopes you: refreshing relief from the sweltering heat of the muggy rainforest. Feeling through the shadow, the forest gives way to vast caverns of black crystal, emitting, in places, an eerie violet flame that is equal parts cool, refreshing, and disconcerting. A dark figure moves before you, kneeling before a vast crystalline shallow cauldron within which a violet flame swirls in a vortex. The figure notices you, and its glowing green eyes spark fear and curiosity in you. Upon making eye contact, your senses meld into the surrounding labyrinth of mysterious dark crystal, and the figure beckons you. Compelled onward toward the flame, the figure stands, hand outstretched, offering you a bright glowing object. As you examine the figure’s hands, you see a green vine, coiling and writhing like and serpent. You take the vine in your hands, and vast warmth spreads over your arm. The shade gestures toward the swirling flame, and you toss the vine in. Suddenly the vine grows and writhes, breaking off crystalline shards from the surrounding cavern as though taking root until it forms a giant hulk, some sort of ferocious magical beast, and it lets loose an otherworldly roar, challenging you. A mysterious bond with the creature tells you that the aberration does not wish to kill you. Though if you fail, it might. Power pervades your body, and you ready yourself for its test.

An arc of thunderous pain jolts you awake! The ionized char of ozone and burned flesh assaults your nostrils, and the stench of death knocks you lucid. Hearing the snarl of some creature, you look around to find the soft amber glow of a lightstick, powered by a sol elemental. Another jolt, and a flash of blue light, searing agony flows through your body, and though you fight it, a pained howl escapes your lips. You see a large tusked creature cackle in glee at your suffering, hunched, and odiferous as a herd of wild boar. The troll grabs the oppressively undersized cage, your new home, and shakes the entire thing, rattling you about like a rag doll and reigniting the aches from so much blunt trauma and the stiffness in your joints from the awkward position in which you had been unconscious in your cramped confinement. Your tormentor, satisfied with your dissatisfaction, moves on to its next victim.

You wait until the troll leaves and call out, quietly, to the darkness. As you wait for the guard to leave, your eyes adjust to the darkness punctuated by twilight shining through a lone portcullis. You are in a large wooden room, surrounded by similar cages filled with other humanoids, though in another room, you hear the snarl of beasts. The air is dank with heat, moisture, and a schmorgasboard of vile smells. “Is anyone else here alive?” you ask. After a few moments, hear a response. At least you are not alone…

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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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