Under Feet of Clay

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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Joinings and Beginnings
Generation 3, Session 1 (Level 2)

After the shock of awakening from the painful Joining ritual, the party spent a day recovering at the Last Beacon Outpost. The Alchemist explained that the Joining ritual was a means to take into themselves some essence of the beasts of the Forest of Chaos and the caverns below. Taking that essence into themselves, the Rangers gain the benefit of confusing the senses of Gaia’s beasts, which are supernaturally keened toward finding and ending civilized life. The weight of what they had given up weighed heavily upon the initiates, and not all recovered as quickly as they might otherwise. Ennia remained bed-bound, but gave Artesia a silver necklace as a token of her presence and well-wishes for the group. Hieron, still unconscious from the ritual, could offer no encouragement, and Heliodorus was taken by Pelops to another location after his abnormally fast recovery.

Amplesta gave the group four scrolls over their next breakfast, and informed them that as new Rangers, information about possible monster sightings and deeds they could undertake to prove themselves would be provided. After much deliberation about the size of targets and the relative value of taking on multiple assignments at once, the group at Rika’s insistence agreed to head south of Dikethaleos to investigate rumors that a giant or cyclops was stealing livestock. Agreeing that the task was an appropriate one, Pelops introduced the new Rangers to Bubocrates, an intelligent owl who would watch over them as the Ranger-Commander’s eyes and ears in the field. After the initial shock, and equipped with magical Shield Cloaks by Grippus, the party made haste toward Dikethaleos and the rumors of great foes.

What met them on the road north of the Unburned City were not the promised giants, but a group of bandits with skulls and downward pointed skeletal hands painted on their shields. Refusing to pay their toll, the new Rangers made quick work of the half-dozen brigands, offering no mercy to the men. Koboros, Artesia, and Skuthropos then pawned what gear they didn’t care to keep for themselves, and pocketed a tidy sum for the minor effort of ridding the world of common brigands. Artesia then turned her attention toward what rumors the tavern keeper of “The Beaten Horse” could offer. Uninterested in the gossip of the University, he told of a Periandropolene ship that came to extract a single man, reports of small tremors that spooked the horses, and farmers claiming to see some great flying beast over the Dark Forest to the west. A night outside the city to rest and heal after the few arrows they managed to land would be sufficient before promises of glorious battle with some kind of giant spurred the hunters on their way with the dawn.

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Gathering Storms
Generation 3, Session 2 (Level 2, Level up to 3)

Arriving at the farm in question after over a week on the road, the party received a report from the enslaved sharecropper working the land on behalf of a wealthy man named Philippos, who allegedly owned all the land along the road ending on the farm in question. Amid their investigations, the party discovered several clues that informed them a giant or giant-like creature was indeed behind the assault, including Skuthropos’s confirmation of the strength of the creature based on the fence debris, Koboros noting the seemingly purposeful destruction of olive trees, Rika tending to the animals with Bubocrates, and Artesia finding the trailhead that could lead back to the beast’s lair.

Under the pounding rain of a surprise summer storm, Koboros saw a group of creatures approaching, only to knock back potions and vanish. Alerting the rest of his companions, the Vishkanya was able to alert the group as five invisible goblins began raiding through the crops, only making themselves known when the first of them took its moment of surprise to slaughter the sheepdog. Utilizing the best help they could, whether watching the waves of barley or following the direction of Bubocrates as he magically detected the auras of the magical invisibility, they struck down the small raiding party. With those dispatched, the party quickly took to the trail to follow them back, locating a cavern amid the bare rock. The goblins, with faces painted yellow and decorated with blue thunderbolts, were just a sign of things to come.

Within the cavern, the walls were decorated with the same yellow with blue paint, and not far into the cavern the group was confronted by a bear sporting the same pattern, and an Ettin. Finding the source of the reports of giants standing before them, the party moved to engage the two-headed horror, and with a javelin and heavy flail strike, Skuthropos was nearly leveled, only holding on through sheer force of grit and will. Tripped by Koboros’s magical trickery, the Ettin was quickly dispatched as the owl’s entracing gaze calmed the bear. Luckily, in case of goblin intervention, Koboros had disguised himself as a goblin, and moving forward to investigate chanting in the foul tongue known as Aklo, the sorcerer found a goblin scout who mistook the Vishkanya for one of his own kind. Soon however, the goblin scouts and warriors were overrun, leaving only the magic-slinging oracle with blackened limbs, demonic claws, and glowing violet eyes. When cornered and held in a chokehold by Skuthropos, Rike and Koboros nearby with weapons in hand, it let out a flurry of destructive energy, nearly rending the weapons they held. However, a few quick twists of the neck ensured the magic never had the chance to do any lasting damage.

The hall the oracle had stood in held at least two ruined statues of Calopene goddesses, Parthaenae and Cytherea, while the other four were unrecognizable. The central mural was a distrubing image of a spider-like being with a feminine torso holding aloft another humanoid, female figure in a blue circle. From that circle, the band of blue spread along the ceiling of the cave to be the source of the lightning motif. Koboros translated the oracle’s words, spoken and written, at least in part, letting the party know that he had spoken of drivel including a “Bridge-Keeper,” a “Bride,” and and oracle. The meaning was a mystery to the new Rangers, but for now, the danger of the giant was past, and a goblin nest routed.

The adventurers left only the bears alive behind them as they herded the livestock kept in the crude pen with them, Koboros reading the stacks of parchment taken from the oracle’s chest, and a new batch of four unidentified potions being toted as well. At least for the return trek, the rain was a bit lighter.

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Swamped with Cockatrice
Generation 3, Session 3 (Level 3)

The Rangers returned from their battle with the Ettin and goblins with their gathered animals to disperse among the farmers near Gorgos’s pasture. After significant debate about whether their remaining potion rations would permit them to scale the mountain on the far side of Cleobonomos, they determined that perhaps it would be best to merely engage the reports of the cockatrice nest on their northward return to the Last Beacon Outpost.

The road north was largely uneventful. The trail grew muddier and muddier as they moved north, and two days from their target they met a stuck dwarven merchant. Despite his attitude seeming to anger most of the party, they happily took his coin to change a wagon wheel. For reasons unknown, the merchant mentioned to the group that his merchant’s council may be in the business to hire some adventurers about some business in the caves and connecting the major cities with more reliable roads. With seemingly no interest in the offer, the party left with a false libation offered, and a glob of Vishkanya spit seeping into the already saturated ground, mixed with at least as much disdain as venom.

Arriving at Elijah ben-Kochbah’s farm, the party found the surrounding land nearly completely underwater. barley soaked and the farmers attempting to cut ruts into the earth to draw away the standing water. With some direction and a provided meal, the party took to move after a night’s rest. Each of the Rangers was touched by a dream; Artesia awoke in tears, while Bubocrates sought guidance from an elated Rika about what dreams were. The stress of the road, or perhaps the intervention of divine powers, had ensured their minds were adrift in places unfamiliar.

North they marched, through a flooded valley setting into a new swamp, until they reached a cave entrance in the forest’s arm. Within, they found several cockatrices. Rika took several bites, but none suffered the fate of the halfling boy who was transformed to stone by the beasts. The nests within, along with the beasts, were destroyed in a series of events that left the avian Bubocrates uneasy; he was, after all, hatched from an egg himself.

Just when the party was nearly done in the cave, Rika located a small lever in bronze hidden in a worked stone crevasse. Unable to read the runes, even with the aid of Koboros and Bubocrates, Rika pulled the lever, which caused a minor tremor through the cavern. Skuthropos watched as just in front of him, part of the cavern opened up, revealing a hidden entrance into a worked stone cave. He saw two, perhaps three, small humanoid figures dart back in to the darkness, glinting eyes glancing back at the party. As it turns out, there was something more than the cockatrices within…

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Victory in Flight
Generation 3, Session 4 (Level 3, level up to 4)

Pressing on into the den of the little creatures seen in the dark, the Rangers found themselves in an odd, worked cavern filled with trapped plates and rigged treasures. Koboros was the first to find this when his boot landed on a pressure plate, and a quartet of arrows slashed across his torso. With no means of communication due to their language barrier, Rika, Skuthropos, and Artesia left no quarter or hesitation in cutting down the creatures, which responded with spear and sling in kind. Room after room, the party advanced. Bubocrates scouted enough to find a room filled to the brim with piles of scrap wood: planks from boats, fence posts, even large branches. Still the Rangers pressed on, axe, fist, and arrow felling the small scaled ones in single blows.

Yet, there was an intelligence behind the incomprehensible eyes; one attempted to speak unsuccessfully with Artesia, another was seen by Skuthropos to be scrawling a note in a scrap of leather, and they had adorned the walls with maps of places known and unknown. Eventually, some barricaded themselves behind a door with cages, and a group heard only distantly by Koboros to be rhythmically stomping and drumming could have potentially survived. One mercy was afforded the lair’s denizens; the note-taker was struck with restraint, likely to awaken in a few minutes time.

Coming to an ornate door, the plain stone girded with metal and a brazen disc with spiral emblem, Rika forced her way in with the others not far behind. Within, another of the small lizard-people with rat-like, or perhaps dog-like faces stepped out, this one dressed in a patchwork robe and hood carrying a staff of elm-wood. Hanging from the branching staff were four bird skulls; a hawk, an owl, a hoopoe, and a nightingale. After attempting to infiltrate the Rika’s mind with dreadful magic, the Ranger’s attention swiftly shifted as another figure emerged from the dark.

Black_dragon.jpgWhile smaller than the bears in the giant’s cave met under a fortnight ago, the black-scaled dragon was a more threatening visage to behold. It was young, no scars on its scales and yellow-gold horns unnotched by battle, as their later investigation would reveal. Yet it fought with ferocity. Its appearance was followed by a volley of acid that drenched Rika and Skuthropos, though when the acid touched the half-orc, the red veins around his plague-scar softly glowed and supernatural resilience let him emerge the better of the two hit by the gout. The creature bellowed a warning; “Leave now with only scars, and you may keep your lives!” In moments, Skuthropos had been bitten around the shoulder, and his left flank and right thigh shredded by talons. Rika, the magic around her mind driving her to rage, found within herself fury that could not be contained in a human body, and was suddenly, magically, and violently changed into the form of a fierce lioness, who swiftly separated the lizard-mage’s heart from his chest.

With joined fury of the death-defying half-orc, untamed lionness, and the rain of arrows from Artesia finding what purchase they could in the scaly hide, all guided by Bubocrates’s guiding eyes as Koboros kept a secret and skulking rear-guard, the dragon was wounded severely. As it was nearly collapsing to a knee, the creature hissed a simple warning, “Strike me down, and my father’s wrath will avenge me.” Another arrow found its chest, forcing its neck to rear up in pain and it summoned acid to its throat. Rika’s teeth clamped on that throat, blocking the acid and snapping the dragon’s neck.

Yet their triumph was short lived — you see, Skuthropos would be the first to see the oversize tunnel worn smooth by liquid, a liquid that had the bitter smell of acid, large enough to carry a creature many times the size of the dragon they had just fought. Guided by her scent as Skuthropos saw this and was healed by Bubocrates, Rika found a door that held a stranger to the lands of Calopius. His name, they would learn, was Harmanjohd, a traveler from a land east even of Zorwa seeking to trade and discover if there was civilization beyond his maps. Let free by Artesia, the simian explorer was eager to find escape, though a room of cowering lizard-rat creatures was given a withering stare of several moments.

When Koboros felt the tremors of earth that could be the return of the promised avenging father, he hurried his companions out of the cave, some still wounded and wearied. In the flooded valley that stretched between the cavern once thought merely to be home to cockatrice and the farm of their hosts, the earth itself seemed to shake as a pealing roar echoed from below. In their hearts, the Rangers knew they slaying of the dragon had been discovered, the head of the young beast on Skuthropos’s back as a trophy.

At Koboros’s urging, the Ranger company gathered what they needed and turned their attention toward returning to Last Beacon Outpost. The awakened wrath of this dragon was beyond their skills, they feared, and the best they could do was to evacuate farmers along the way. Forcing themselves to march ten, even twelve hours a day, driving themselves to exhaustion, the group would see the familiar smoketrails rising from the Outpost. There would need to be explanation, and almost certainly they would need to prepare to depart again almost immediately, but for at least a few of those present, the sight of the Outpost was a momentary comfort of seeing the only home they had known in years.

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Unexpected Command
Generation 3, Session 5 (Level 4)

The trek was long. Dreams were peppered with images of great flying beasts, the smell of acid, and eyes beneath swampy waters. But the Rangers returned to Last Beacon Outpost to report to Commander Pelops the details of their recent foray south. Perhaps he was less concerned than they expected, but Pelops made the impending draconic attack a test for the new recruits. They would take up command in the face of the danger, and the lives of the villagers would rest in their decisions.

It was quickly decided that answers were needed. Rika and Bubocrates, both concerned by recent transformations, approached the Alchemist for information. Though he had little to offer by means of explanation for their transfigurations, he offered to add several acid resistance potions to his task list, as well as research other potential methods he could use to produce potions that may be of assistance. Skuthropos and Koboros turned to Labrax, the outpost’s monster lore specialist, and began to assemble what knowledge they could of the great and terrible creatures. It was Labrax’s insight that there was no hoard in the cockatrice den that sparked the realization that the true lair of the dragon was likely elsewhere. Harmanjohd’s discussion with Artesia proved illuminating, if a bit disturbing. The small lizard-rat beings, which he called “Kobolds” were, in fact, a mutinous slave crew that attempted to sell him to the dragon by his account. His cargo, some of which was lost in a shipwreck, was largely taken by the dragon’s minions, and either were an orc tribe of some kind, or a trained pod of killer whales; orcas and orcs are difficult sounds for Harmanjohd to separate. Skuthropos, in hopes of putting together a further plan of attack, convinced Grippus to take apart a crossbow he had taken and attempt to rebuild it on a larger scale.

Waiting for others to return, the new Rangers made plans for protecting their home while also marching out. Sending messages to three near-by outposts, known as Opal Roost, Sunflight, and Serpent’s Fall, a half dozen additional rangers were secured to augment their forces. Ennia, now well enough to travel though still slightly weakened from the joining, would further come at least as auxiliary and aide for the others. Pelops and Charmido would remain behind with the still recovering Hieron and the Alchemist to protect the post. Artesia also sent a desperate letter in hopes of reaching her archery instructor Thessalus Haemonos, and the Order of the Dragon more broadly. While the notion of locating a Zorwan dragon-fighting specialist was tempting, ultimately it was rejected as a process that would take too much time.

With preparations underway, the five rangers decided to abdicate local command back to Pelops while they took to the road to locate Harmanjohd’s shipwreck in hopes of finding traces of the orcs (or orcas) under the dragon’s command. Three days of rushed travel got them there, and traces of the band were obvious. Bubocrates was able to follow from the air the nearly mile long trail that ended in a cavern, much to the owl’s ongoing chagrin. Descending an uncertain number of spirals led the Rangers to something they had never thought they would see: orcish architecture. This cavern, perhaps a mile underground, was a great highway, flat and easy to travel, carved into the stone. Skuthropos was able to translate the glyphs on the wall, indicating they were at the eastern end of the road, and somewhere before them in the darkness rested the “Grand Crossroads.” No longer certain what they had found or the scale of this orcish force, the rangers steeled themselves and pressed on into the dark.

A lone bat, high in the ceiling, watched as the orange light of the torch disappeared down the corridor. As it hung there, it warmed itself against the red crystal flush with the wall, unseen from below. The bat would not awaken from its slumber, as a white spider with those same crystalline eyes made the creature a meal in the hidden alcove.

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