Calrunia

You know what happens when you assume….

We find our Adventure Ladies back at the tavern contemplating how to proceed with the investigation of Sophie Talbot’s murder when what little halfling should return to the fold, but Roscoe. He proudly tells our ladies all that he’s learned from his extensive research at the library. Nicosenye, he Marvel’s, is human but hundreds of years old and unfathomably powerful. Calrunia, he expounds, is tenuously at peace thanks to Ironside’s diplomacy with foreign elves and mob syndicates!

Our three Adventure Ladies turn to one another: Jaquil stone faced, Navaira ready to spell out that they knew all this from lived experience and perhaps would know more of Roscoe had been around to continue their quests, and Sezim visibly chuckling. The three detail the murder of Sophie and all brainstorm next steps in the investigation. Finally the party decides they must look into the constable that told Talbot that Sophie’s death was a via carriage run in rather than defenestration. This constable’s name is Balthazar.

On the way to the constabulary Sezim asks whether or not they have a plan of what to say once they meet this man. The party says, chill out, we’re good at thinking on our feet….collectively we have 8 feet, and that’s a lot of thinking. Our Adventurers show up at the constabulary and request audience with Balthazar. Beat cops Toni and Esteban immediately proceed heckling, “Balthazar? What could you scrubs possibly need with the head investigator?” And etc.

Just then a large buzzcut man with a villain scar over a deadeye walks in and apologizes for his men’s ill manners. The party errupts in laughter. Could the mysterious universe truly throw them this obviously shady figure and still require they further investigate into his obviously shady dealings with mobs and murders? Surely the universe wouldn’t be so forthcoming with clues.

After laughing in this man’s face for over a minute the party realizes that they don’t have any questions or constructive conversation for this man and instead of tipping him off of their suspicions of him, the make a hasty exit. For the next two days our Adventurers execute a thourough and well planned stealth operation wherein they puck thru the villain scarred man’s house and office and trailing him for hours looking for clues and mob connections. He comes out clean as a whistle, in fact if the whistle were any cleaner it would be invisible, they are at a loss.

Navaira, in the form of a brown door mouse is finishing her second sweep of the constabulary when she overhears the villain scarred man address someone of interest. Surely she misheard but, she could have sworn the unscarred man was addressed as Balthazar! She hitches a ride on his coat.

This scarred man is the best undercover mob man in history, or the Adventurers made a mistake; either way they have no lead and Navaira still hasn’t returned. In a move that surprises even herself Sezim suggests they ask Ironside for his help. At the Keep the party opts for 100% transparency and informs old Copperback Military Position that they are attempting to understand Balthazar’s falsification of the means of Sophie’s death.

Ironside informs them, with his usual patience, that the party should be able to find Balthazar through talking to Colonel Silman, the head of the constabulary. Silman is easy enough to spot, says Military Position, he’s got a big ol scar all up on his unnerving deadeye. The party takes in this information silently before the cogs in their rains click into place: they have been stalking the wrong man. There are general groans of displeasure, one Adventurer may or may not roll into a full tantrum. They ask Ironside to write them an official letter permitting them to act as investigators on this case. This case is deeper and more important than Ironside thought and he happily writes them an official pass. Jaquil and Sezim feel dirty operating in so official a capacity.

The Adventurers thank Ironside for his help through teeth gritted in frustration and return to the constabulary. They want to see Balthazar, no more games. The Colonel doesn’t know what that means, but he offers Balthazar’s work schedule and oh there he is right now! Balthazar is a stoic man with a goatee. The Adventurers throw their official investigator status around and Balthazar recounts the night of the murder, and offers to let them speak with the carriage driver responsible.

The carriage driver, Cova, is a small man with copper hair and grey eyes. He admits to the deed immediately. When asked the particulars he recites them with a little too much practice. This is when our young Tealeaf springs to action with surprising moxy, “who’s paying you?” he asks the jailed man. After a little tough guy hack and forth the jailed man admits that yes this is a mob job, but the Adventurers aren’t going to get far with Balthazar. They have to go to the top, they have to meet with the Matriarch.

Jaquil immediately places the Matriarch as the leader of mob Clansteel and the investigation is back underway. The party decides to seek the Matriarch thru her business in back alley casinos, but first they’ll need money and disguises, so back to Ironside’s Keep they go.

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All the Adventure Ladies (All the Adventure Ladies)

We find our male Adventurers pre-occupied will all matter of banal trivialities: Hadari is out facilitating goodwill with the constabulary; Roscoe refuses to leave the booky confines of the city’s library; and Omzal continues to enjoy the half-eaten meals of other tavern patrons. But lo! dear reader, why tarry on the inactive men when there are exciting ladies about? We find our lady Adventurers elbow deep in the innards of the mysteriously felled merchant-woman.

Navaira, and Sezim begin their day, like phoenixes risen from the sweat-covered ashes of yesterday night’s high-speed chase: Sezim begins with a morning mead to combat her still throbbing head while Navaira reads over her neatly scribed runes of the wealthy lady’s death. Jaquil finds herself a seat beside them and the three begin to piece together what they know so far of this latest mishap.

They know that:
1. the lady was of a burgeoning middle-class (from her garb)
2. she was wearing a heavy pendant (from the marks on the back of her neck)
3. she was pushed out/fell from the window of a room commonly used for mob dealings

Jaquil supplements our dynamic druid duo’s knowledge of the city’s mob scene over breakfast. There are four syndicates she explains:
1. House Clansteel: largely halfelves and humans. They originated from ancient settlers of this region and are generally known to do the most classic of mob things—black market dealings and the like.

2. Family of Swords: an even mix of elves, humans, and halfelves, this syndicate is highly political. They are known to gain members by stealing the youth of high-power families and raising them to know only loyalty to the Family of Swords. They are led by Abbot Barthello. Their dealings and membership are highly codified. (These are Jaquil’s people).

3. The Red Fist: a bunch of misfit anarchists with no money and no love for Ironside. They want an independent Calrunia.

4. The Brotherhood: this mob is mainly comprised of halfelves. They are thugs, and gangsters, and muscle. (Brain remains to be seen.) They are strongly prejudice against humans and are known to take an herb blend that lends the users to visions.

Having received a surprisingly thorough education on Calrunian mob syndicates, our lady Adventurers decide that it would behoove them to better understand the dead wealthy lady. This way, they reason, they will be better able to guess the motives of her death and thus be closer to ascertaining the mob responsible.

Off they go then to the constabulary to inquire after the lady’s body. The body, they are informed, has been taken by the family that very morning. The family, they are told, will not be named for reasons of confidentiality. At this Sezim sets off to find a street urchin that might have seen a wealthy family come to retrieve a body. She finds a huddle of dirt muppets, who take food in exchange for the knowledge that no, they saw no such family come and go.

Sezim is deeply touched by these dirt muppets, dubbing them her ‘Pigeon Babies’ and vowing loudly to no one in particular that she will return to save them. Jaquil and Navaira decide that their collective time is better spent finding answers than crying over street urchins, they drag Sezim to Ironside Vanguard. At Ironside’s keep our Adventurers formally check-in on the status of their quest to find the sword, their run in with the Rothilium’s band of elves, and now the dead wealthy lady.

Ironside is unhappy to hear of the sword’s continued absence anad surprised by the depth of elven reach in the Undercity. He does however have useful news on the murder: a wealthy merchant by the name Talbot DocRunner just lost his daughter. He lives at the edge of the District of Coin. Also, Ironside adds, the sword—the one he’d really like them to find sooner rather than later, the one that maybe their time would be better sent hunting down rather than goose-chasing wealthy-lady-deaths, may have been taken by bandits in the northern mountains, or an envoy of Gad wizards. He smiles with impressive patience.

Jaquil and Sezim, both ready to be out the watchful gaze of old Copperback Military Position, grab Navaira and head to the District of Coin. They have an easy time located the blacked out windows of Talbot’s house. Moments before they ascend the steps to the house, Jaquil and Sezim ask Navaira to play the role of head investigator. The three decided on the road to pose as Ironside-appointed investigators on the case of the dead woman. They knock on the door and as is her way, Navaira promptly puts her foot into her mouth.
“WE’RE HERE FOR THE MURDER IN THE UNIVERSITY DISTRICT!” she exclaims as the mourning father opens the door. He’s giant and slumped with sadness already, but on hearing the word ‘murder’ he is confused and alarmed. The constabulary said Sophie was in a carriage accident around the corner of their house!

Intervening, Jaquil and Sezim quiet the man and inquire into the late-Sophie. Sophie was recently married to a tailor named Thomladar Eltorrez. They lived a few minutes from the house but didn’t visit much. Talbot wanted to regale the Adventurers with old tales of his only daughter but our three Adventurers are already out the door en route to Eltorrez’s Tailor Shop.

On the road they cook up their next cover: They’ll be in the market for a new cloak! Sezim rips off her cloak and throws it to street. They arrive only to find the windows to the shop blacked out and the ‘closed sign’ drawn. Navaira preposes covertly breaking in and immediately begins to limber up. Sezim suggests to her that they get lunch and let a professional handle it, thus Jaquil enters the house alone.

Jaquil, with the grace of a panther and the stealth of…also a panther, nibbly slips into the second story window and begins to poke around. She finds an altogether normal residence. There’s a room with fine cloths and dressforms, a bedroom with a chest of the couple’s earnings and meager belongings, and a kitchen with—what’s this?! There’s a man in this house! Jaquil dips into the tailor’s studio blessedly unseen. The man in the kitchen drinks heavily then lumbers into the bedroom where he falls dead to the floor. Jaquil checks his pulse, he is indeed dead. She suspects poison.

She returns outside to find Navaira watching the house for her return and Sezim carving, what appear to be, child sized bows and arrows. Jaquil explains the turn of events over lunch, Sezim laments being cloakless.

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Druid & Disorderly

We find our Adventurers recovering from long days in the catacombs at a tavern in Calrunia’s university district. Omzal busies himself at the games table. He lucks out and wins the pot much to the distain of a to-do young man. Falling just short of the obvious social tact, Omzal slips a coin into the young man’s hand. Predictably offended by the gesture, the man huffs and begins to speak his offense; just as predictably, Omzal cartwheels away from the confrontation. He wanders over to Hadari and Navaira’s* booth table to find the two silently brooding about their party’s choice of after-adventure venue. Meanwhile Jaquil sips quietly at the bar scoping out the place and noticing that the offended young man has a face sourly in need of slapping and probably a pocket ripe for picking.

Also at the bar, Sezim drinks like a fish. Once she is properly sloshed, Sezim recounts heavily biased tales of of her derisively monikered acquaintance ‘the blind-one’ to the bartender. The two strike up something of a rapport and the bartender offer’s her a story about the university’s headmistress gaining a new rabbit just as a rival scholar disappears.

As the tavern’s musicians change sets and the lack of lute music hushes the crowd, Jaquil’s ears prick. From the rooms above she hears the staccato tones of an argument. Moments later everyone in the tavern is startled by the sound of screams and a hard thump on the road outside. Just out the window there is woman laying akimbo on the road. Her eyes stare blankly into the gathering darkness of the evening.

Our druids join the panicked rush of people moving out of the tavern to further investigate. Jaquil moves smoothly to the top of the stairs to survey the ongoings there. Hadari, reluctant to entangle himself but seeing the crowd’s lack of direction and inclination to oooh and ahhh at the body of the woman outside, marches into the doorway and works to reestablish order. Omzal makes himself comfortable inside the tavern checking the quality of the various meals scattered across the tables.

Outside a shrouded figure appears from the end window of the tavern’s upper-story and tumbles gracefully unto the adjacent roof. The figures hastes away. Navaira races off in the figure’s direction with Sezim following a few paces behind clumsy with drink.

The figure dips and turns and tumbles from roof to roof with stunning agility. Navaira catches Sezim’s eyes and it is unspoken, though instantaneously clear, this hooded reprobate will not get away. The two run in tandem, steps synced. Sezim’s face begins swelter and blur, her body shudders wildly and when her eyes open after a long blink, she has eight rather than two. Her legs are long and hairy and she trips and rolls before she can stand in her giant spider form.

With a grace honed by adrenaline and sobriety Navaira jumps onto Sezim’s back and they give the figure chase. The figure looses an arrow, but its aim is fraught. Navaira draws her bow and pulls its loaded string taught for a long moment. The figure falters as the arrow punches through the flesh of its leg. Our druids stand a rooftop away from the figure whose hands now ignite with an unearthly glow. As their hearts pound with anticipation, the figure motions rapidly and vanishes.

The druids return to the tavern to the shock and dismay of people on the street. They to find that Jaquil and Hadari have made a thorough inventory of the body and the constabulary have arrived. Sezim returns to her half-elf form and promptly vomits up the pints of beer on the closest guard. Exasperated by the very nature of adventuring, the constabulary inform our Adventurers that until the crime is solved they are the main suspects.

The constabulary leave and the Adventurers reluctantly begin to unravel the murder. The fallen woman is of the wealthy merchant class, brunette, half elf, and was wearing some kind of weighty pendant before her death. The bartender divulges that the room from which the woman fell is often used for business amongst one of Calrunia’s crime syndicates. Our Adventurers find nothing of note in the room and decided to call it a day. Omzal is kind enough to share the room he rented at the tavern while the rest of the party was out.

*prev. referred to as Druid!Hermione

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"In the clearing, but not in the clear"

At the end of a grueling day of catacomb searching our Adventurers make camp in the aforementioned druidic nest. As they search the well-made, though spartan, furniture in the home they discover a number of puzzling artifacts. They find a simply bound book written in a script that Jaquil expertly reveals to be code. They also find an alchemist’s table. There is no experiment on the table, nor any other clue as to what this anonymous druid would seek to do. [Omzal finds a bright blue potion and takes a swig. Side effects as yet unknown.]

Further investigation of the druid’s home leads to the discovery of a narrow antechamber. The chamber is narrow, short, and featureless except for its unfathomably high ceiling.

As the night draws on the lady Adventurers take watch. Roscoe busies himself deciphering the coded book half through the night, but only manages to crack a few words of no import. Omzal falls into a near instant sleep complete with ground-shaking snoring. On the final watch Jaquil hears a rumbling high-pitched screech from above. She wakes the party and they trace the noise to the antechamber.

From behind the antechamber door appears an angry Rothilium (see character page). He is channeling magic and threatening to smite our Adventurers where they stand for their audacity in trespassing into his home and into the catacombs. Our Adventurers somehow manage to convince him to spare their lives—but not without first perplexing him with their ability to speak Ancient Elvish (Druid!Hermione) and revealing their relationships Nicosenye and Ironside.

These relationships, our Adventurers find later, are dangerous subjects in Rothilium’s company.

Rothilium takes our Adventurers up the magic elevator (the source of the rumbling and noise) where he claims they will meet with his siblings. He does nothing to assuage their feelings of discomfort or peril, rather continuously threatens easy violence against them. Long moments into the elevator ride, when it is clear that Omzal will not be getting the desired chuckle out of Rothilium and Druid!Hermoine will not be allowed to make deeper study of the runes below their feet, everything becomes suddenly still. Silent. Gray.

A sweating Nicosenye appears, arms outstretched with great effort as though he is a struggling to pull a ship from the vast maw of the sea. He speaks with our Adventurers between the planes. He warns them not to trust their ears and not to hasten their deaths at the hands of the “siblings”. He vanishes and reality continues as though it has not been interrupted.

At the top of the elevator our Adventurers find themselves in a glen. The sounds of nature replace the mechanic echoes of the elevator. The surrounding wood is verdant, though unfamiliar. Rothilium blindfolds the party and leads them for an hour until they come to the edge of Calrunia, into the druidic wood. His siblings-two elven women and an elven man- stand before them. The siblings explain the severity of the Adventurer’s transgression in entering the catacombs and the absurdity of their quest to find the sword.

The siblings vow to spare our Adventurers’ lives if, and only if, they report back the whereabouts of Nicosenye. The saffron monk apparently acts as quite a thorn in their collective sides, and accordingly must be dealt with. The siblings reveal their anti-human sentiments as well as their plan to restore balance to nature.

Ever in a hurry to incur self-inflicted misfortune, Omzal steps forward to the siblings and pledges to “do whatever they want” if he may be dismissed from their presence. Internally smirking, one of the siblings takes his hand and marks it with an elven tree—a sign that Omzal is sworn carry out his words to them. Havoc accomplished, the party is allowed to leave.

Jaquil, Sezim, and Omzal head to a bar to pursue drink, games, and gold. Meanwhile Roscoe and Druid!Hermione head to the library to further investigate the charter between the siblings and Calrunia, the codes, and the sword.

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Catacomb Crawl

Our Adventurers begin working down Ironside’s chore list, starting with locating the Sword of Alliah. This quest brings them deep beneath the roads of Calrunia into ancient Elven catacombs. The Adventurers run into Nicosenye, the saffron monk, who informs them of sword’s power and its ability as a ‘key’. He leaves the mystery of what the sword opens before vanishing.

The Adventurers continue around the forsaken hallways of the catacombs and encounter a Kuo-Toa (“Stan”) riding a giant Komodo dragon. The battle is somewhat reluctantly fought—our Adventurers feeling out their loyalties to one another and to their quest. The Adventurers’ victory is short lived as a band of goblins appear through the next door. Blood now churning through our Adventurer’s veins, the goblins are quickly disposed. Both the Kuo-Toa and the goblins bear a red arm band.

Our Adventurers walk through a spacious, albeit musky, room. Four large pillars stand in the room each bearing a manicured strip of moss on the same side. Upon investigation the moss is fresh, druidic, and of the same strain as that found in the lands of the Druids that make their home in Calrunia.

Through a vast archway the Adventurers find the home of a Druid. The inside of this wooded nest is lit with a bio-fluorescence (natural for Druidic homes) and the Adventurers find materials of the same make as the armbands of their former adversaries. The owner of the home has yet to appear…

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Adventure Begins! [Parade]

A beutiful morning rises on Calrunia. The city is celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the end of the Orc invasion.

Our Templest Cleric prays to their god and win overwhelmingly the skirmish competition. Our monk and rogue enter into the tumbling/acrobatis confirmation and end up in last place due to some shenangans on the part of the rogue within sight of the finish line.

The Ranger wins the Archery competition and our Druid broods on the sidelines.

City protector: Ironside Vanguard gives a rousing speech to a gracious crowd. But it is clear that he’s hiding something behind a brave face.

The party is sent summons at the end of the first day of festivities to meet with none other than Ironside himself.

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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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