The Valley

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Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips: h4. 1. Invite your players Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username. h4. 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. h4. 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. h4. 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. h4. 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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Starting outside Secomber
Our first session

For various reasons, the adventurers have been drawn to Secomber, the last bastion of civilization before heading east into the headwaters of the Delibmbyr River in the Greypeak Mountains. 

Most have been hired by Khyrael Redshield, a no-nonsense captain of the eponymous mercenary company, to guard a caravan of goods, crop farmers, ranchers and livestock from Secomber to Greyholme, the new settlement that is being established at the confluence of the Delimbyr and Logarann Rivers by House Cragsmere of Waterdeep. 

Stent Tallman (see below).

Dougoon was sought out by Khyrael after several mercenaries that she had already hired showed up to beaten up to be able to perform their duties. Tracing the story back, she discovered that a tavern bouncer of some notoriety was responsible and soon she had hired him.

Arthur Hornbow and his sister Aria have lived together in the nearby High Forest for some time now. An opportunity to resume their adventuring lives has brought them to Secomber along with their own personal reasons.

Trewin Copplestone hasn't revealed much about his motivations for joining the group, but his keen mind is clearly evident and active.

Once gathered, Stent was quickly put in charge of the guards due to his previous military experience. Khyrael told them that she needed to attend to other business in Greyholme and that she would meet the caravan in a tenday. They are briefly introduced to Jasper, caravan master, and perform a quick inspection of the carvan. 

"Captain" Tallman and Trewin take the lead and most things seem above the board, but Trewin notices a young halfling boy being secretive and hiding something underneath a wagon. Trewin investigates and discovers a boy's typical treasures and a worn, but serviceable dagger. Trewin is greeted by the boy's younger sister, Rose Stedman who inquires about his activities. Trewin discovers that the boy's name is Gorse and that they are meant to be minded by their older sister Lilly, but she may be off talking to boys. The family is off to take over a crop farm somewhere near Greyholme.

After two days of travel, with watches and patrols established, the adventurers discover that there is a group of goblin raiders approaching the camp. Negotiations quickly devolve and the goblins attack, but the party is able to drive them off, with only Artur being seriously wounded.

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On to Greyholme

As the party recovers from their first taste of battle, Stent is approached by Jasper, the caravan master and thanked for his service. He mentions that the caravan should be safe since the goblns have a history of only testing the defences of caravans to Greyholme once, then giving up if their losses are too high. The rest of the party return to their routines.

The next morning, Cop notices that he is being watched by young Gorse. This leads to a conversation in which Cop agrees to teach Gorse how to fight using stealth. Gorse is sent off to try and craft a short bow and displays some measure of natural raw ability. While his first efforts produce less than satisfactory results, he shows remarkable eagerness and he heads off to hunt the most dangerous game – his sisters. 

Most members of the caravan avoid Stent, perhaps still intimidated by his rousing introductory speech. Likewise, Artur is avoided as his companion is a seemingly dangerous animal. Dougoon is laid up as he spent too much time in the sun and developed debilitating migraines.

Another raid occurs two nights after the initial raid. The night scouts perform admirably again and the party arrays themselves to confront them. The goblin leader answers Stent's request to parley and demands that the caravan turn over some of their cattle in order to be allowed to pass. Stent refuses and as Cop prepares to strike from the shadows, a group of bugbears do the same. A quick battle ensues in which the goblin archers manage to strike Stent down. As the battle turns desperate, a mysterious dire wolf joins the fray and allows the party enough time to rally and kill the bugbears, scaring the goblins away en masse.

In the aftermath of the battle, Freya, Gorse's mother comes to lend aid to the wounded Stent. He recovers and they decide to discuss healing methods soon. Jasper is quite shaken by the raid, particularly by the appearance of the bugbears, whom he has never seen before and the appearance of the dire wolf. Despite the group's assurances, he remains fearful and pledges to assist Stent in whatever extra guards and speed that the caravan can manage.

The following day as Artur and Nor are scouting around the caravan, they spot a mysterious object that seems to be spying on the caravan. Their investigations reveal a palm-sized magical/mechanical beetle that they try to capture. After some difficulty, the pair manage to wrap the beetle up in Artur's cloak where they attempt to capture it in a jar, unsuccessfully. Only with the aid of Cop and his magic hand are they able to keep the beetle from escaping, but damaging it into lifelessness. Artur realises that the beetle is of a similiar construction to a Netherese mage that his father had been researching before his disappearance.

As the caravan nears Greyholme, it is approached again by a group of goblins. This group seems to be led by a hobgoblin and is the largest group to date. The parley between the captain and Stent seems to be a ruse as Cop spots a group of shadowy figures approaching the caravan while negotiations are taking place. A desperate battle ensues with the ninja-like hobgoblins proving formidable foes, but Cop's quick thinking and the assistance of Gorse, they are able to stop the initial assault enough that the rest of the party is able to assist. The objective of the shadowy hobgoblins seems to be taking prisoners as Freya and a young human girl are grabbed. A desperate struggle results in the deaths of the hobgoblins, but a unfortunate turn of fate results in the blinding of one of Freya's eyes. As the party tries to come to grips with this turn of events, the larger goblin force retreats…

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Faces, New and Old
The party arrives in Greyholme

After the battle that ended last session, Stent confronted Freya and demanded to know why she was specifically targeted by the shadowy hobgoblins. She claimed to have no specific knowledge as to why she would be targeted. She told Stent that she and her family came from Goldenfields, a massive walled compound equal parts farm and sanctuary to several agrarian gods including Yondalla and Chauntea. Her family was now heading off to found their own homestead and spread their way of life and faith. Cop took the time to try and explain the dangers that Gorse would be facing as he continued his training with him, but his honesty was not believed and dismissed as fanciful stories.

The caravan arrived in Greyholme two days later. The settlement is nestled between the Delimbyr and Greyflow Rivers and consisted of a large viking-style hall and village green around which were the rest of the buildings. The party noticed a smithy (the Flamehearth), a general goods store (Nendor's Nick Nacks), a small shrine, a carpenter (Greentoes), an inn (The Braids), a dock and large areas reserved for wagons and livestock. The party noted the rapid construction of a palisade wall and several buildings. 

Meeting Khyrael Redshield at the hall, the party also briefly met a harried and well-dressed Jhord Cragsmere, and were told to proceed to the inn for a debriefing as the lord was too distracted to sit and listen to their story. 

The inn proved to be eventful for the party after meeting the dusky Calimshite innkeeper and getting settled in rooms, everyone settled in for a meal and a few drinks. Sitting in the corner was a cowled and cloaked figure, a pale lizardfolk or dragonborn who was quietly nursing a bottle of wine. Khyrael came and paid the party for their service and offered a chance for further appointment after the party had a chance to get settled. She also have the party some background of the area, including the tensions between the crop farmers and the ranchers, led by Vilhilm Djorak.

Cop was particularly interested in Gwyneth Brokengulf, a scion of the Brokengulf family of Waterdeep, noted for their business in adventuring/exploring and capturing exotic monsters and beasts for menageries and for specialised components. She visited the party, bought the group additional drinks and offered employment down the road as well. 

The final visitor to the party was someone from Stent's past. The black armoured figure wore the sigil of a bloody gauntlet on his plate armour and tried to recruit Stent back into service. He referred to him as "The Butcher" and "The Butcher of Five Wells" and the two obviously had a shared past. Stent rebuffed his offers but the stranger, Kriegar Haelt, told him that he could be reached at Djorakholt if he changed his mind. 

After Stent retired to sleep off his drinks, Artur and Cop took Nor for a walk to do some investigation. They spoke to Freya and her family who told them that they could use some help in defending their homestead which was located along the Greyflow near a settlement called Hearthguardholt. They also eavesdropped on the ranchers who were tending the livestock that they had escorted and discovered that they were in terror of Kriegar Haelt, who's company seemed to be in charge of protecting the herds and the herders' interests.

The next day started with a bath, food and shopping. Of note was Artur's visit to Flamehearth where he met the fiery Janessa Flameheart who agreed to fashion him a breastplate after using some unusual measurements for size. After agreeing on a price, 400gp and dinner, Artur and the rest set off toward Aldarbar, home of Finethier Shinebright, an acquaintance of his father's.

The journey was an odd one where the party soon ran into a very unusual sheep, carrying a spell scroll in its mouth. The sheep was being pursued by a hulking half-orc, a trio of wolves and a mysterious cloaked figure. After a brief conversation wherein Guz, the half-orc, informed the party that the sheep belonged to his master, Noke, and warned them off, Artur used the spell scroll to speak to the sheep who revealed himself to be a transformed Finethir who begged for their help. He told them that his former apprentice, Noke, had taken possession his prized possession, a Wand of True Polymorph and used it on him as well as on his hirelings. The conversation soon devolved into fighting in which the party was able to defeat Guz and the animals, but not without some difficulty.

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A Baaaaaaaad Trip
As the party tries to rescue Finethir Shinebright

As the party recovers from their battle with Finethir's pursuers, they question the transformed mage to determine how they can help him. The sheep baaaaables a bit about leading them to his home, rewarding the party with the magics at his disposal, and that there are guards that will have to be dealt with.

The party scouts ahead and discovers Aldarbar hidden in a bushy hollow in the forest. Cop and his raven scout ahead but the raven gets distracted by a crow and they fly off to take care of some bird business. Sheepishly, Cop sneaks into the hollow and discovers the nature of Finethir's home. 

There were three outbuildings, including two barracks and an outhouse. The main structure consisted of three main buildings that seem to have been grown from living oak trees rather than built, with walls crafted from interwoven branches and leaves. The entrance was in a raised open garden. A walkway connected this to the largest building, with a second walkway leading to the highest and smallest building.

Three apes were monkeying around on the lawn, gambling with dice, with greatswords close at hand. As Cop watched, a brown bear emerged from the outhouse, answering that age old question. 

Cop reported his findings back to the others, quickly forumlating a plan. Finethir hid in the bushes while Cop snuck back down. Using his mage hand, he attempted to trick the apes into thinking that one of their number was stealing from the others, but was not subtle enough. This led to money being thrown up in the air to fall like rain and a shout of alarm being raised. The apes rushed around and spotted Cop in the bushes and a fight ensued.

The apes were quickly dispatched, but the brown bear and Finethir's apprentice and now master of Aldarbar appeared and they proved to be tougher fores. Noke hasted the bear, who mauled Cop badly, before falling to Stent and Artur. Noke, angered, called into his room for help and started raining magic down upon the party.

Wall-climbing and jumping and bashing of doors resulted in the party entering the main building of Aldarbar, only to be met by an outlandish creature the likes of which the party had never seen, a bed dragon. It's splintery breath proved nearly deadly for Artur, but the party managed to trap it in the main building whilst Stent chased after Noke. Noke hasted himself and leapt down to the ground and started to run away with Nor in hot pursuit. The bed dragon managed to eventually break down the doors keeping it trapped and started to chase the party around the grounds. Stent made a heroic leap down from the upper walkway and like a mightiest of lumberjack, split the dragon from head to tail.

Nor, meanwhile, eventually caught up with Noke, but due to some polymorph magic, any connection he had with Artur was cut off and his fate, uncertain. In the meantime, the party rested and searched Aldarbar. A few potions and coins and another scroll of speak with animals was the extent of their discoveries. The scroll did allow Finethir to express his gratitude for the party's help, but also the knowledge that the Wand of True Polymorph was nowhere to be found.

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A Wand-ering we will go

As the party recovers from their battle at Aldarbar, a chastened Nor returns from his pursuit of Noke with shards of glass covering his entire body. Cop quickly ascertains that Nor was likely polymorphed into something tiny, trapped in a glass vial and left while Noke ran off. When the spell wore off, a painful regaining of size ensued.

Nor was able to communicate to the party the path that Noke had taken and after some discussion, they set off again with Finetheir the sheep in tow. Cop's familiar finally was able to stay focused on a task and spotted faint wisps of smoke off in the distance, giving the party a clue as to where Noke may have fled. 

Following Noke's tracks along the forest path led to the party discovering a point in which Noke crossed paths with a group of goblinoids and a mysterious humanoid, Cop's suspicions immediately leaning toward the cloaked figure from the caravan raids. Finding no signs of battle, the party pursued the group as the raven scouted ahead once more.

The raven reported back of the goblinoid encampment at the base of a waterfall. Around the camp were several treetop watchposts, both along the cliff face and down below. Steps leading from the cliff top led past a cave before reaching the main settlement. The only guarded structure was a large semi-permanent pavilion tent.

Sneaking up on the watchtowers and killing the guards went very well as Cop's sleep spell incapacitated several of the goblin watchers, allowing Stent and Artur to assault the surprised guards. However, the attempt to sneak past the bugbears in the cave did not go as well, as the ambush the party planned was cut short by their bait, Nor, being cut down. A pitched battle ensued in which the party managed to defeat the bugbears and their chief, with the timely aid of Artur's sister, but were wounded and spent.

The party decided to make haste back to Greyholme to report their findings.

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Cougars and Wolves and Plotting, oh my!

The party returns to Greyholme with no difficulty. Stent immediately hides himself away in his room at The Braids with Finethir, locking the door and not allowing anyone to enter. Any entreaties aimed his way are met with incoherent and perhaps drunken muttering of "Never again" and "Go away."

The rest of the party catches Dougoon, who has recovered from his sunlight-induced migraines, up with their adventures and the increasingly complex situation in which they find themselves. Urjallet, a oddly black and grey complected dragonborn approaches Dougoon and asks about him. She asks if he is on the surface world on the business of Clan Whitestone. She is drawn to him based upon the tattoos and markings that are prominent on his skin. After the others go to bed, Dougoon is approached by Gwyneth Brokengulf who mentions that she would like to talk to the party about something important and arranges to meet with them for dinner the following night. 

Cop and Artur head to Nendor's Nick Nacks and meet Deed Nendor, a non-descript woman who runs a shop that has all manner of things for sale, seeming to specialise in goods that can only found in the Underdark, but has a wide selection of goods that seem too much for a relatively small settlement like Greyholme. They are told that the shop provides all the goods that are seen as well as 'special' items that can be procured for a price. Artur manages to purchase the herbs and other things he will need in order to bring Nor back from the dead. They also discover that the stock animals from the caravan they escorted have moved on, as well as the farmers and their families. 

Artur is able to procure the breastplate he ordered from Janessa Flameheart, paying the remaining coin that was owed and inviting the older dwarven woman to dinner as agreed. This leads to a dinner date between the two at The Braids where Artur gains some insight into the feelings and life of Janessa. She is middle-aged for a dwarf and has lived apart from her clan for quite some time. She is surprised that Artur actually responded to her advances and reveals a vulnerable side, as well as impressive muscles in her evening attire, which leads to some sort of connection between the two. They also report to Khyrael of their finding of the goblin encampment and make arrangements to gain aid in conducting a raid to finish the threat off once and for all. 

Dinner with Gwyneth is interesting in other ways. She hints at wanting Finethir in order to 'fix' the Wand of True Polymorph. She intimates that the wand is somewhat defective and the Noke claims that the only one who can repair it is Finethir. She wishes to make an exchange, Finethir for some 'interesting' items that the party may find useful. She demonstrates a great deal of knowledge about the party's goings on, particularly when it comes to their attack on the goblin encampment. She also hints that the party may run into the goblins sooner than they expect.

The next day, the party proceeds to the High Forest in order to resummon Nor. The ritual goes without incident, though the whole affair takes two days. Nor returns, smells an unfamiliar scent upon Artur, but their relationship is restored quickly enough.

Upon their return to Greyholme, they try to meet with Khyrael but are met with an unusual sight. There is a group of hobgoblins outside the great hall. The party is invited inside where they are invited to participate in a conference that is taking place between Gwyneth, Warlord Ghist of the goblins, and Jhord and Khyrael. Ghist has arrived with the body of a humanoid clockwork automaton and is claiming that the threat posed by these things is what is driving them to attack. He claims that his people are being hunted and captured by these constructs and that are having difficulty driving them away and are seeking an alliance. The party is asked to corroborate the warlord's story after the warlord is offered accommodation within the town.

The party is now faced with a choice. What do they decide to in regard to allying with the goblins and what do they do in regard to revealing Gwyneth's machinations, in light of her family's rivalry with Jhord's. Also, how drunk and paranoid has Stent become, and who wants to go into that room to view the unspeakable acts that have taken place…

 

 

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Plans Within Plans

The party, other than Artur who spends his time catching up with Janessa, have a discussion in order to figure out their plans in regard to the goblin army and the Wand of True Polymorph. While there was a bit of confusion in regards to plans to make and what everyone's motivations are, the party comes to a decision. 

The party will play along with the hobgoblins' claims that they are being hunted down by clockwork beings and that they pose a threat that they must find allies to combat. They will return to the goblins' encampment in exchange for Noke being returned back to Greyholme. They accommodate Gwyneth in that they agree to help her repair the wand. 

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