Pathfinder in the Grand Duchy of Karameikos

Skarda's Revenge
Or how many times did TSR use the Gray Mist trick?

Time to catch up our party a bit.

So after defeating Skarda and saving the Grand Duke, the party took the request to go and spy on his Cousin and try and capture and bring the black duke back to Specularum.

On their way to Luln, Bob has a dream where Skarda taunts him and tells him that he will have his revenge on Bob and his associates.  The next day while traveling upon the road to Luln the party enters a gray mist and encounters a large castle next to the road that the duke's man and the party's guide Markus tells them that that castle shouldn't be there.  As they approach castle the fog gets thicker until they can barely see in front of them.  Entering the side Foyer one of the horses gets loose and runs into the mist with a sharp crunch and terrifying horse shriek later they discover the dismembered remains of the horse by some unspeakable predator that had slunk back into the Mist before the horse was found.

Not wishing to discover what had vivified the horse, the party return to the castle and ventured forth into its bowels.  Finding the castle's gothic furnishings a bit bizarre, Bob and friends enter a large chamber that had been set up as an impromptu boxing ring, surrounded by chairs occupied by ghostly shadows with bright red glowing eyes that turn and stare at them as they enter.  A jovial man greets the party and asks if they wish to partake in the games, and he is willing to make a small wager for his man (a large hulking proto-man looking brute in the ring) against the party's chosen champion.  Bob decided he would give it a try and agrees to enter the ring to take on the stranger's man (the stranger being John Louis Amber). 
Two other guards also stand by John Louis and soon after entering the ring it is apparent that Bob's bare-handed attacks are having no effect on John Louis' champion.  Reigh, Leeandra, and Ahnold figure out that the "champion" is a construct and non-lethal attacks really have no effect against it.  Deciding to take the offensive, Reigh hands Bob his greatsword while spells are launched and attacks made.  While they party makes short work of the construct champion and guards John Louis presents more of a challenge and after a bit it becomes a draw and he angrily just tells them to leave.

Moving on, the party discovers a large hall of mirrors that flash with light from overhead chandeliers that temporarily blinds Reigh and Yolanda (a prominent bard from Specularum that agreed to go back to Luln with the party on the Grand Duke's bequest).  Exploring further, the party discovers another large room with a single chest at the far end and two large picture windows and a large fireplace.

Upon entering the room the windows burst from swarms of ravens diving into them and the party is attacked by ravens of varying sizes.  Ahnold found a side door to escape from them only to find John Louis shouting at him to get out. Followed by a man sized raven, Ahnold takes on the grizzled ring-master while the angry raven didn't seem to care who got pecked.  The other party members quickly slammed the door to the room after escaping back into the hallway and decided to try and back track to get to Ahnold.

Ahnold and John Louis trade blows with each other and the giant raven but Ahnold quickly makes his way out the first door he had entered the boxing ring room.  The party rejoins in the hallway and as they make their way back to the hall of mirrors, they stumble across a pair of marble headed creatures walking along the wall on strange spiderlike legs.  Beams of light shoot from their eyes and some wounds are suffered but they manage to sunder the two tiny constructs with little real effort.

They do move through the large hall of mirrors and discover a room filled with spectral hobgoblin kitchen staff and a large banquet room with a table covered with dinnerware and moldy and rotted food.  While in the banquet room, a ghostly train of noble looking individuals float into the room and take their place at the table and placards with the individual party member's names appear at the empty locations.  Soon the spectral kitchen staff enter from an overhead entrance and begin servicing the ghostly retinue sitting at the table. Unfortunately none of the party decided to take a seat at the feast and eventually moved on back into the hallway.

And as they gathered back together in the hall of mirrors, a golden light began shimmering around them, refreshing their spirits and revitalizing their wills to continue on.

View
Saving the Duke and a quiet Respite
The Payoff

After defeating the fiend in the mirror at the cost of one of their own, our brave adventurers make their way to the 2nd floor of the royal mansion and face more of Skarda's troops and find the Grand Duke under attack.  Dispatching many of the marauding soldiers that were attempting to slay the duke and his entourage including a large burly barbarian claiming to be an envoy of Vestland.

The Duke quickly lead the party down the back side of the mansion and through a concealed door to the stables with the intent of getting a wagon and some horses only to find some of the duke's remaining forces pinned by a mounted party of Skarda's men, the leader carrying Bob's beloved sword aloft.  Eletha the cleric quickly acted, casting Wall of thorns around the cavalry opposition while the few remaining horses were fetched and hitched to a wagon.  Bob struggled internally with what to do about his sword, but with the Duke's clam urging decided discretion was the the better part of valor (this time).  The party retrieved Reih and the remains of Ahnold from the mansion as more and more slaves continued to stream from the mirror and the mansion.  As soon as the last freed slave was out, the party led by Stephan Karameikos made for the gate and quickly removed the small force of mercenaries barring their way.  Through a running skirmish the mob made their way from the mansion to a small village a few miles away where duke confirmed that some of his men made it out towards Specularum to fetch more soldiers to deal with the forces of the coup attempt.  By morning garrisons of royal soldiers had made their way to the village and began the operation of cleaning up the few forces that failed to run off from the mansion.

Stephan was grateful for the help of these timely adventurers and granted them titles of lesser nobility and a lavish guest home while they stayed in Specularum as well as anything else they needed to replenish their strength and their new found celebrity in the capitol.  The church of Karameikos provided the gift of life for Ahnold, returning him to life and helped him to recuperate from the ordeal.  The Duke was aware of the loss cost to the party due to the mad machinations of Melleck/Skarda and provided what solace he could by gifting a new magical great sword to Bob to replace the one lost.  While it wasn't made of adamantine or as magically blessed as his last one, Bob felt a small comfort as he gratefully accepted the new sword.

However, the actions of Mellek/Skarda had other repercussions as well for the kingdom.  The Grand Duke of Karameikos explained to the party that the mansion also served as a military court and that it had been interrupted by the coup.  The Duke's cousin Ludwig VonHendricks and his court wizard Bargle had agreed to come to the mansion to face charges of crimes against the kingdom as well as marauding raids upon the halfling shires to the west as Ludwig ruled over the Black Eagle Barony, a small province on the western side of the country.  While Stephan was surprised his cousin had agreed to come face the charges, he had hoped this was a sign that his cousin did have a conscience as was willing to take responsibility for his heinous actions. But, in hindsight, Stephan realized that either Ludwig or his wizard (or both) were working with Mellek to hatch the scheme of trying to depose Stephan.  The mirror had been delivered with VonHendrick's retinue afterall.

The Black Eagle Barony still had to be dealt with, and the Duke was sure that Ludwig and Bargle had quickly retreated to the relative safety of the barony and getting him to agree to come back to be tried, would now be impossible.  But facing continued pressure from the Five Shires, the Duke knows that if he doesn't do something soon to remove his cousin then things may quickly get out of hand in the region, including the possibility of the halflings invading western Karameikos to rid them selves of the hated baron.  And having a foreign power invading the country (regardless of the reason) would have consequences and the Duke would have to respond in kind.

He asks the party to assist him with this problem by traveling to the Black Eagle Barony for reconnaissance and possibly capture and bring back his cousin to Specularum to be held for trial.  Stephan knows this is a lot to ask those that have already done Karameikos a great service but he does offer lands to the west as a reward for services rendered.  He also entices Bob by telling the stalwart and stubborn fighter that many of Skarda's troops fled to the Black Eagle Barony, including the commander that has Bob's sword.

View
Getting out of Hell and back to the Real World
Killing Me (Not So) Softly with His Claws...

Time to play catch up. Condensed version from the Jan 29th game, the party met with Eletha and Zira, a commanding officer in Skarda's forces that believed the mirror realm's time is coming to an end and wants to make sure the slaves are not killed when it collapses on itself.  Telling our adventurers what she knows of Skarda's impending invasion, plans are made to try and escape the both Hell and the mirror realm.

After several small skirmishes involving guards and hell hounds the party makes it to the portal and gains the password from Zira.  Making sure the slaves are also making their way out, the party sees the death throes of the mirror plane as gate towers, walls, and even Skarda's palace collapses from the continued violent earthquakes that continue to shake the area.  Oh, and did we mention that whatever source the plane's water comes from, it has begun filling the realm as well.

The party pushes their way through the remaining soldiers while disguised as part of the mercenaries employed by Skarda and escape the small mirror world.

Feb 13th, 2018

Jumping through the portal, our brave adventurers find themselves in some sort of small palatial estate, facing both Skarda and the bizarre Mirror Fiend that appeared when the party was subjected to the mirror the first time.  Recognizing Bob, Skarda screams to those soldiers nearby to attack and kill them while he vanishes in a puff of smoke.  While the soldiers didn't seem too thrilled at facing the brazen adventurers that had already caused their lord quite a headache, knowing that they were backed up by the bizarre creature with the large baboonish face, they courageously pressed the attack.

Ray was quick on the draw, and with some deft spell-work managed to cast grease under the feet of several of the guards which caused a few to slip and fall and other struggled to move within the area (this effect provided a very comedic effect throughout this first battle).

Bob quickly reacted to the presence of the Mirror Fiend and pounded it with a brutal blow from his great sword (unfortunately a non-magical version provided by Zira) that did effectively bruise the demonic creature's hide.  The Mirror Fiend quickly magicked itself so that it appeared offset from its actual location, which vexxed both Bob and Ahnold as they concentrated on it over the guards.  While Bob's attacks were savage, his sword kept missing the mark because of that arcane trickery.  The Mirror Fiend on the other hand, had no problems shredding Bob and Ahnold.  Ahnold decided to focus on the guards behind him in the grease over the demon because of this inability to effectively strike it.  At one point Bob fled up the stairwell next to him to try and recover a bit from his wounds.

And lets not forget Ray (the Original) and Pimkin (a.k.a Ray Jr. Senior) who disguised himself as a little old man, but one of the guards wasn't buying it.  Ray continued to use his magics both against guards and the Mirror Fiend while Ray Jr. Senior tried to feign death by falling to the ground.  One of the guards fell for it while another did not, but between Ray and Pimkin both of the guards facing them were eventually dispatched.

Unfortunately Ahnold and Bob did not fare so well against the demon creature and as stated Bob temporarily fled to try and recover a bit before rejoining the fray.  During this time, Eletha appeared out of the mirror and tried to assist Ahnold against the Mirror Fiend, only to be thrown back into the mirror by the creature.  Alas, even with the gentle stoned giant's spiritual connection, Ahnold could not withstand the Mirror Fiend's wicked claws and bite attacks and fell from the gruesome wounds.  The Mirror Fiend, emboldened by the warrior's cowardice and slaying of the orread priest cast Mirror Image on himself to further his own defenses against the remaining opponents, especially after Ray Jr. Senior hit him with a couple homemade shuriken.  Ray let loose with several fireballs which seemed effective against the creature, but it's inherent resistance seemed to deflect the flame from a few of the fireballs.

Bob did come back down the stairs and made his way to the other side of the stairwell and called for Ahnold to join him, but the staunch war priest choose to stay and deal with those guards behind him (leading to his death unfortunately). Eletha appeared back from the mirror and made her way to Bob and the others, and calling forth the power of Illsyndul, managed to spread her healing faith to them but it was too little too late for poor Ahnold.

Knowing he was of little use against the demon in an open fight, Ray Jr. Senior made his way out of the mansion and tried to slip back in through one of the offices in a attempt to sneak in behind the demon.  And just as the elusive halfling ("Kender") opened the door to try and backstap the demon, Eletha let loose a Holy Smite which damaged both the halfling ninja and the Mirror Fiend.  Choosing to escape back to the mirror, the demon whisked out of existence, leaving the party to deal with the death of their dear comrade. 

As Bob went out the front door to survey the situation, a call from above got his attention as one of Skarda's men leaned out a shattered window, letting others nearby know that the duke was surrounded in the ball room on the second floor.  Gathering their remaining strength, the party quickly took what they could from the fallen guards nearby and flew up the stairs to try and help (?) the Grand Duke Stephan Karameikos from Skarda's mercenaries. 

Encountering a small group of guards upon reaching the 2nd floor, between Ray Jr. Senior's antics, Ray's charming personality, and Bob's great sword they quickly dispatched that small contingent and make way to the ballroom beyond.

View
Fight and Flight on the way to Hell
Pimkin to the rescue

The party finds itself surrounded by malnourished slaves of Skarda, stuck in the dungeon under Skarda's ziggurat.  Taking stock of the situation and veritable armory of fallen sentries and jailors, items are distributed amongst the prisoners and heroes and a plan is hatched to escape the dungeon and find their way to the slums of the slave district affectionately referred to as "Hell".  Eletha – a devote worshipper of Ilsundal – that has been a slave within the mirror realm for nearly 20 years does her best to answer the party's questions and tells them what she knows of the pocket dimension and of Skarda and his plans.

The brave adventurers begin to make their egress from the fetid dungeon and find that the corridor leading out lined with covered pits, mainly by Bob and Ahnold falling into the first one.  The pit was 50 ft. deep, with the bottom filled with 10 ft. of cold water and the walls inclined to make climbing back up them nearly impossible.  Rei was quick to act, casting levitate upon herself and descending into the depths to retrieve the two waterlogged compatriots.  The inquisitive halfling decided that rope was needed to try and circumvent this new conundrum and spent a few minutes relieving the bell alarm of its trigger mechanism, collecting a good 70 ft. worth of rough thick rope in the process.

Returning with the rope, Pimkin figured the easiest way accross was to just lasso the sconce found halfway in the hallway and after several tries managed to hit his target.  Quickly using the rope, the dexterous ninja made his way to the other side of the pit and began scouting out for other concealed hindrances to their escape.  Unfortunately, the pits were very well concealed and the halfling almost fell for the second pit in the hall.  However, his ninja training managed to save his fall into murky depths below.  Taking stock of the situation, Pimkin determined that jumping the chasm was nothing for his intense physical skills and he easily jumped to the other side and made his way to the other concealed guard post.

Though our perceptive halfling did a visual inspection of the room he found nothing that seemed to indicate how the pits could be disarmed so went back to the last pit.  Taking a closer look he noticed that slots on one side of the pit could be used to project a solid bar from keeping the pit from opening so he attempted to use the large sword he requisitioned from the pile of guard implements but it was just too big to be wedged into the slot.  Not one to quickly give up, Pimkin returned to the guard post and broke off one of the legs of the chairs and tried that instead.  This attempt was more successful and the halfling managed to reset the pit door and made it safe enough for travel. Soon after the rest of the retinue of prisoners all made their way to the second guard post in relative safety.

Much more cautious now, the party continue down the next hall only to find another pit before setting it off.  Not wanting to spend too much time trying to crawl forward, the party of adventurers decided to search the guard room for any concealed doors or mechanisms to control the locking mechanisms of the pits.  After a bit of time a small hidden panel was found in a while and behind that, two levers pulled forward.  Surmising these were the controls, Pimkin pushed the levers back towards the wall and a great grinding noise was throughout the corridor.  After testing the first pit that wasn't set off, they determined that it was safe to proceed.

Once they reached the door, final plans were made and several prisoners armed with shields volunteered to rush out and make a break for the gates of hell.  Pimkin opened the door and the plan sprang into action.  As the party made their way out, waiting guards were slow to act other than their keed eyed commanders, but soon crossbow bolts were flying towards the escapees. Rei used her sorcerous arts to engulf some of the soldiers in a ball of fire, even catching a mysterious figure that was soon revealed to have a dried desicated skull for a head with burning red eyes. 

In the confusion that followed the party was somehow split up and Bob found himself facing a strange translucent wall of macabre images of figures with eyes sewed shut or ears torn off.  Soldiers quickly moved in on the toughest member of the group and began beating at the rugged fighter with their swords.  And then one of the guards got the idea of trying to push the grizzled warrior through the wall and with assistance from his associate, Bob found himself pushed through the wall of terror, and his vision failing him.   And their new friend, Eletha was then beset by the guards and in no way capable of defending herself.  She quickly ran the other way while being nearly ripped apart by the swords of Skarda's forces.

Meanwhile, Ahnold and Rei valiantly tried to distract the guards while others got away, not really understanding what happened to Bob.  The revenant then unleashed a blast of miasmic cold wave of terror and both Ahnold and Rei immediately felt its effects and chose discretion over valor.  Making their way around the ziggurat, it was obvious that Bob had went the other way and that his only hope was the speed of halfling ninja to try and retrieve him and return him to the others.

Pimkin ran the circumference of the strange black pyramid as quickly as he could, only to find Bob swinging wildly at a pack of soldiers that surrounded him.  Quickly taking advantage of the situation, Pimpkin flanked the nearest soldier and used his skills of the assassin to take out the unlucky guard.  While Bob managed to connect more than once even while blinded, Pimkin took out the commanding officer, leaving one soldier left who choose retreat over facing the strange small man before him wielding a longsword as a greatsword.  Pimkin then led Bob back to the others once he was able to surmise Bob's vision impairment.

Once the party was reunited, they quickly made their way towards the slave quarter, with Eletha managing to convince the gate sentries they were just returning from service in Skarda's palace.  Once within the relative safety of Hell, the party was given nourishment and allowed to recuperate from their harrowing escape from the dungeon and ponder on what their next move would be.

View
Into the Bowels
Or how Bob blew a gasket

Bob, Ahnold, Rei, and Pimkin stood and watched the mysterious stranger hawk his wares in the village of Greyden, knowing that this individual was connected to Skarda and the whereabout of their missing compatriot's body.  However, while they watched the barker whisked off a sheet from a large standing mirror and Bob, Rei, and Pimkin found themselves drawn into the mirror while Ahnold managed to look away in time.

However, a large bestial fiend appeared behind the befuddled war priest, clawing him mercilessly twice and then tossing Ahnold into the mirror.

Once the party was reunited, they found themselves surrounded by a veritable army of heavy infantry and cavalry and surrendered their arms and equipment to their captors.  The party was put in irons and escorted along with several townsfolk to the Ziggurat of Skarda and taken to the dungeons underneath.  Taken to a small room, each member of our intrepid group was forced to remove their garb and put on tattered clothes and manacles put back on.  Rei tried valiantly to call upon her power of the eldritch forces, but she found the manacles too much of a burden to successfully cast her spell on the guards.  However, by the time they got to Bob the young warrior was torn between his desire to fight on against all odds or capitulate to their captors.

Well, he is a fighter after all, so Bob relented to his pent up rage and attempted to disarm one of the guards which failed miserably.  However, Rei called upon her dark powers once again and managed to cause two of the guards to fall asleep.  Bob took advantage of the situation and quickly grabbed a longsword from one of the sleeping guards and took on the commanding officer and remaining guard.  Rei then cast Suggestion on the commander to give up, and he quickly complied.  Rei retrieved the keys to the manacles and no sooner had she unshackled herself and Ahnold did the door to the inner cells open to two more jailers.  Rei shot forth a lightning bolt striking the jailers and the remaining guard.  One of the jailers fell where he stood and the other one quickly regained his wits and closed the door, locking it with the only set of keys that the party was aware of (the commanding officer only had the keys to the manacles).

In the confusion the commander pulled on a lever, sounding a bell in the distance and before they had time to regroup and re-equip themselves, Bob, Ahnold, and Rei found themselves facing opponents from both sides of the room.  Rei was quick to act, casting confusion on a group of soldiers armed with crossbows.  But the dungeon's master quickly entered into the fray, a large burly dwarf swinging a savage great axe at Rei, knowing that an active spell-caster is always a priority.  The battle was savage but the party overcame the jailers and their master, with one of the subordinates understanding the true force arrayed against him and dashed deeper into the dungeon.

Rei and Ahnold gave pursuit while Bob decided mercy wasn't something he was willing to grant at the moment, other than that brought by the quick motion of the sword.  Our two stallwart casters ran deep into the bowels of the dungeon after the remaining jailer, barely taking heed of the cries of confusion and pleas for help from those held within their caged prisoned walls.  Ahnold and Rei soon found the last jailer banging fruitlessly on a large locked gate while two high ranking soldiers impassively ignored from the other side.  Seeing the plucky Rei, both soldiers fired bolts from their crossbows but missed and after a less than optimal blast from Rei, decided to move away from the gate and get more help.  Ahnold easily beat down the last guard into unconsciousness and retrieved the keys from the limp mans' belt.  Rei then took the keys and passed them to one of the prisoners and told them to let themselves out while she and Ahnold returned to where they left Bob.

Wanting to know what lay before them, Bob, Ahnold, and Rei then went back to the gates only to find a small force of soldiers waiting for them.  But it only took a fireball from Rei to turn all but one of them to ash.  And Bob moved up and dispatched the last soldier.  Feeling emboldened, Bob moved forward to another set of gates, getting ready to unlock them with the keys found from the jailer when he heard a whisper from just beyond "Why Hello Bob…".  And just as quickly a large ravenous pit opened at the stalwart fighter's feet.  But the gods had apparently been smiling on Bob and he managed to jump to the solid ground just as the pit appeared.  A quick conversation ensued between Bob and the newest threat, and Bob not only found out he was facing Skarda, but the man was really the magician shop keeper that had assisted them in Specularum and Kelvin earlier.  Skarda then whispered to Bob again to jump into the pit.  And again, the fates smiled upon our intrepid fighter and he managed to resist the urge to comply with the wizard's request.

Ahnold and Rei also came forward to confront the apparent master of the mirror realm, with Rei sending out rays of intense heat against their antagonist while Ahnold called forth help from the heavens above.  Surprised by the power of the party's newest associate, Skarda choose to tactically teleport away, leaving the party to their own devices for the present.

The party decided to take time to regroup and assess the situation and reflect on the revelation of the identity of Skarda.  During this time, one of the prisoners came forward to thank the party for freeing him of his cell, a venerable elf named Eletha Eilstina, a devoted worshipper of Ilsundal.  Eletha explained what he knew of the mirrored realm and what he knew of Skarda and the wizard's insatiable quest for power.  While our adventurer's don't know what Skarda's end game is, all they know for now is their freedom is tenuous at best and that only by heeding Eletha's advice do they have a chance to get free of the dungeon first, and then the mirrored realm.

View
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.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.