The Compass and the Rose

Death and Taxes

With no further activity from Heldren for the night, the party hits the sheets in anticipation of a big day ahead. After breakfast, Heldren called the party to his room to reveal a big secret. He told the party that he is not a tax collector, but instead he is part of a group in the king’s service seeking the people who killed the king’s father 10 years prior. According to Heldren, this group calls itself The Compass and The Rose.

The party questioned Heldren to their purpose for killing the king: he believes they are aligned with The Kauvan Theocracy in the north and they killed the the old king, Wilfred, to end the war and protect the worshipers of Pholtus. Further, based on rumors and reports during the war, he believes that the Kauvan and the group are involved in nefarious other-worldly or extra-planar dealings involving creatures of “smoke and fire”. He asked the party’s help investigating the mayor as a potential member of this group and the first solid lead he’s had in years. The party accepted.

The party spent the day overseeing collection of taxes as a guise to investigating the mayor and the town further. While Clevinger, Tiggi, and Yisan went to talk to Naff about his experiences with the “dragon” in the mountains, Iltharr and Rasul stayed near the town hall. They observed a carrier pigeon leaving the mayor’s office but lost track of it as it flew WNW from the town.

That night, the party goes to further investigate at the town hall, and they see a group of 4 armed when hiding in a copse of trees near the mayor’s office window. While Iltharr and Clevinger “distract” the men, Rasul sneaks up from behind and makes quick work of one with two well-placed darts to the back. Clevinger wades into the fray taking the brunt of the damage, while Iltharr and Yisan heal him. Tiggi fires off a few well-timed magic missiles to stop a fleeing thug, and Rasul renders the leader unconscious. An unexpected new ally joins the battle, and introduces himself just as the town guards call for an end to the conflict.

After clearing up why the party was involved in a skirmish and getting the unconscious strangers into the town dungeon, the party gets to know Geth Blackoak and invites him along on their upcoming quest to the old mining town near Mt. Gesthein. The following morning, Heldren and the party leave Bemuen, with the prisoners secured in the wagon. Heldren heads SE to Brightmoor to interrogate the men further, while the party doubles-back through the forest with Geth’s help to meet Naff along the road to the mountains. After two days travel, they make their way to the abandoned mining town and find it in ruin and disrepair.

Suspecting that danger may lie ahead, Iltharr opens his senses to the presence of the divine and profane, but instead of finding undead or fiendish enemies, he discovers a great evil in Naff’s back pack – the same back pack previously given to the party by Heldren for Naff to use on the journey. Iltharr cuts open the pack and finds a gold talisman with a ruby in the center surrounded by infernal writing. With her arcane knowledge, Tiggi, deciphers the writing and gains insight into the powerful magic in the talisman. To her shock, she finds it is a powerful binding and conjuring magic and the writing is possibly a devil’s true name. Further study by Iltharr reveals it is a powerful relic, created by a sacrifice of blood, and contains a powerful binding magic as well.

While the party ponders their next move, a trio of imps and six lemures surprise them. Despite their poisonous stings, Geth manages to summon sharp thorns and a wave of thunder to deter the attackers, while Iltharr and Yisin heal him. Clevinger takes one imp down with his cross-bow, Iltharr ends another with his spear, and Rasul finishes the last with a well-timed opportunity attack. The lemures shamble helplessly in the magical spikes and are quickly banished back to the Nine Hells.

What is the meaning of the strange and evil talisman? Did Heldren plant it, or is he being set up by someone else? What awaits the party farther along the trail to Mt. Gesthein?

The Party Arrives at Behmuen

The party arrived at dusk after a long and unusual journey. Heldren, obviously annoyed at the party’s prying, especially Tiggi’s thinly veiled attempts at prestidigitation, secured their rooms and went upstairs with barely a word. Left to their own devices, the party quickly started working the lively crowd at “The Inn of the Red Herring” for information. Meanwhile, Rasul and Clevinger posted up outside to keep an eye out for any unusual activity from Heldren or others.

The party heard many rumors, everything from a dragon living in the mountains and strange lights glowing in the pass to accusations that the mayor is corrupt and a thief. No locals mentioned bandits, but one did say that three of his sheep were missing, replaced by a large ruby exceeding their value.

Meanwhile, Tiggi continued her campaign to annoy Heldren into submission by sending her cat Pips to paw and meow at his door. Although Heldren let her in, he quickly became annoyed when she wouldn’t leave. Eventually he kicked the poor animal out of the door dealing her a significant amount of damage.

As the evening ended, a drunk townsman began a scuffle at the bar. He was quickly quelled by the proprietor’s son and taken outside. Clevinger intercepted the two men and escorted the drunk to the cells at town hall. The man, Lucius Naff, claims to have seen a dragon in the mountains himself while hunting several weeks ago. He described a gargantuan reptilian creature with great wings that picked up a deer in its claws before flying away. Before Clevinger could gain further information, Lucius passed out.

The Road to Behmuen

The adventure begins! John Hawkwood has placed his faith in you to help expand his business and fortunes. The party set out from the capitol Brightmoor with the affable but somewhat shifty tax collector Heldren Lawton. Their mission: to aid Heldren in his investigation into the drop in taxes from the town of Behmuen and to enforce the King’s law (and all that implies) to ensure the revenue is returned safely with Heldren.

Along the way, the party stopped at the Dusty Roads Inn and encountered the sour and verbally abusive farmer Henrich. Suspicious of how he treats the barmaid, Marie, Yisan told a tale of a farmer’s folly and his fall due to his rough treatment of others. With the aid of Iltharr and Tiggi who added visual and auditory effects, Yisan’s story appeared to touch the farmer. That night, he returned home and the party discovered that his wife was sick in bed. The next morning, Iltharr returned with Yisan and cured her of Polio by Laying Hands on her. Though she may never walk again, the disease will no longer claim her life. It appears that Henrich has had a change of heart, but the party will need to check in on him and make sure it sticks.

Two nights later, the party decided to camp on the road instead of making way to the town of Crystal Shores. Early in the night, a dire wolf and a pack of four wolves attempted to sneak up and attack the party. Rasul’s spotted the wolves with his sharp eyes and he lay in wait using his preternatural hiding abilities. Rasul alerted the party and surprised the wolves with a cunning strike of his spear. Clevinger charged into the fray while the rest of the party stayed with the wagon and attacked with spells and ranged weapons. The party worked together using their martial and magical prowess to make short work of the wolves. Upon further inspection, Rasul discovered a mysterious fungus infecting the wolves, and the party burned them as a precaution.

The next day, the party encountered a toll keeper guarding the bridge over the Byrg river on the road to Behmuen. Rasul noticed several strange mushrooms growing by the river and took a sample for Tiggi to examine. Iltharr noticed the man looked unwell, with pale skin and frequent itching. Upon examination he found that the man was diseased and quickly laid hands on him to cure it. The party sent the sample of the mushroom and a note to the druid at Crystal Shores to inform him of the potential danger. The man also told the party about a group of mercenaries who were heading up-river to the town of Mont du Plat at the river’s mouth, approximately two days north.

The same day, Rasul noticed Heldren’s change of appearance – his body shape had moved from a nice pot belly to a more equally rotund pear shape. He quietly alerted the party, and at lunch Yisan “tripped” into Heldren to assess what might be under his tunic – although it only appeared to be soft padding of some kind, it was certainly not fat. Using his fey presence, Yisan charmed Heldren who revealed that he is hiding something, but that he has no intention of harming the party and that he isn’t hiding anything bad under his tunic. The party kept a close eye on him for the remainder of the trip to Behmuen.

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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