Ghosts in the Sand

Damaris' diary05
Written in Infernal

My lord, please be aware that I do not align myself with Morgrim. He’s a nasty piece of work, and I do not agree with his god. As we rode through the desert, a dead crow rose up, and when i shot it with an elderitch blast, it fought back and hurt me. No manners. I have no desire to allow undead things in the forest to continue, it’s far too dangerous. Its one eyed gaze was uncomfortable to me. Feel free to make Morgrim’s life less comfortable, or give me some tips.

We met a copper dragon today, they are fond of pranks and mazes. Thanks to the lantern I took from the demonic priests of the evil Sultan, we made our way through his puzzle with surprising ease. A coin given to a kobold helped too. I didn’t like how the others treated his hoard like a general store. He is a noble creature, and the fact that he was willing to trade shows he is a lot more intelligent than I would have expected, and a lot less selfish. To be able to trade, and not simply kill us to gain our possessions… demonstrates a great amount of self-restraint from him.

Sussan’s body has been taken away, and Keeri has not been seen again. I am not sure how to give their minds to you, but I will attempt a ritual later tonight, and I can but hope.

Hassim’s studies are going well. I am very proud of him, and I hope you are too. I may need to remove the taint from others, and I hope they find comfort in your embrace once they are enlightened, and free from the demonic shackles.

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Keltar's Diary 01
On the final Lie

Praise Selune, who guides us through the darkness, who’s eye ever brings light to shadows. While Morgrim and Riktol more than compensate for Kiri’s skills, I fear we have lost something from the spirit of our group that will not be replaced so easily. My failure to protect or rescue my ward is likely to remain my greatest failure, one that I am certain I will face harsh judgement over when I stand before the goddess. I have offered prayers to Lliira that she might ease Kiri’s transition as much as is possible.

At last we have learned of the ‘final truth’, the supposed destruction of the world by the gods and even the destruction of the gods themselves. This truth supposedly sapped the will of the people of this land and made them abandon reason and the love of the gods in favour of madness and the malice of Daemons. How anyone can be stupid enough to fall for such a blatant lie is beyond me. Selune teaches that she will always return no matter what, her eye may shut for a time but she will always return her gaze. This lie has clearly served the daemons well in the past and it seems to already have found some purchase in the mind of the Talosian priest. He is a strange one, clearly skilled in combat and possessed of great celestial power but so lacking in even basic leadership skills and even faith it seems. Is Talos’ congregation so small that he never has to tend to the faithful? Still the very fact he believes the ‘Final Lie’ means that he is open to their corruption. Now I must watch the faithless Dwarf and the Mad Teifling. Da’Selune I will find a way to return them to the light. Selune’a’nar.

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Damaris' diary04
Written in Infernal

Praise be to Nyarlathotep, wonderful one who shakes the world and leaves madness in his wake.

Praise be to the one who took the demon’s curse from Hassim, who bestowed a glimpse of his mind to Sora and showed them how to believe.

Hassim is much happier now, and I can see his true face. He’s human. And looks much better, with only a thin blue line on his face left, which is a big improvement from yesterday.

But let me begin at the beginning.

I woke in my room with the children, and yet I was alone. Nyarlathotep had taken his power from me. In my dreams I had see a man, and he was calling for me to follow. To find him.

The children wanted to go into town, and so I took them, confused at my dreams, and unable to use my powers. I had planned to find a warlock to talk to and ask if they were having similar problems.

But then I saw him. The man from my dream. And we took chase. He lead us down an alley, and disappeared into a door. The door was open, and beyond was completely black. I told the children to leave me, but instantly felt that this had been the wrong decision and called them back.

My powers returned as soon as I entered the darkness.

I turned to Hassim, and saw a being of fire, something insubstantial, rise out of him. It was his demonic taint personified. And it attacked. My magic returned, I fought it, and with a single powerful bolt of magic, it was gone.

Sora began to laugh. Nyarlathotep was in her mind. It unnerved me. I do not think children are ready to receive Nyarlathotep’s blessings, and yet I was happy. It was a very strange feeling.

Hassim’s true face lost the demonic tongue which filled it, and for the first time in years, he walked out in the sunlight showing his true face. Thanks to Nyarlathotep he kept his magic, and is much happier.

Praise to Nyarlathotep. Blessed is his madness.

I do not know how many followers he has elsewhere, but today, we welcomed two more into his fold.

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Damaris' diary03
Written in Infernal

We are going back to the desert. I had to argue with Keltar, but Hassim comes with me. We must pry our way into the cone, that building under the sand.

We rescued the were-leopard last night, and after he had roamed the city, he came to us, and told us many things. He will travel with us for a time, but for the moment he is lying low in a neighboring town.

The slavers are restless, making deals, scrabbling for money, taking lives and making others miserable.

Soon we will have to talk to Marie, and explain ourselves. We have learned much, interfered more than she would have wanted us to, and are planning more. I cannot deny that I am proud of our achievements.

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Damaris' diary02
Written in Infernal

Together we sneak into the Sultans palace, and there are more pretenders. Winged demons, and before we attempt the climb to the Sultan’s room, we rest and ransack the room. Keeri was very happy about that.

It seems the tigers were not all fable. There are cat-people, they are terribly strong, fast too. And not something I have any encountered before.


I have not written for some time. Things have gotten… difficult. We stormed the demonic Sultan’s palace and dispatched him. It took some time. We met another were-leopard, who was honorable, strong… and Keltar wants to save him from slavery (after he was bested by us, and escaped into the desert.)

We then went looking through the slavers market for sailors, but ended up coming away with children. One little dragonkin at first, and then I went back to find a playmate. I asked the children who wanted to be in my family. ‘I want to be part of your family’ said a small voice, and a little tiefling stood before me. I then pissed off the slaver when he hit the child, and he wouldn’t sell him to me, so I had to return in disguise.

When I got him back to the ship and ruffled his hair, I discovered he wasn’t a tiefling at all. I think he’s a human warlock. I can’t deny that I was dissapointed. My road is a lonely one, and I felt a surge of parental love that I had not accounted for.

Despite – or perhaps because of – his trickery, I am rather impressed with Hassim.

My family is getting bigger. That I have a family astonishes me. I am not as cruel as I was. I am more protective. What strange changes are working over me.

I think Keltar would approve, and I am trying to ensure that he will not kill me given the chance. But am I pretending to be kind? Perhaps I did at first. Have I deceived myself?

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Damaris' diary
Written in Infernal

After finding the priest’s diary in the desert, I have decided to write my own. Most fortunately, upon making this decision, a book appeared next morning beside my bed. It is beautiful. A dark leather hugs tightly to wooden boards, and the pages smell clean and new. There is another scent too, something I cannot place, and I think i can sense it upon waking. It is like the remnant of a scent from a dream.
The first three pages had been filled for me, and (as if) there had been any doubt who this book came from I knew. Nyarlathotep has gifted me with three new spells for my arsenal. It must be pleased with my work. Which is good, because I was concerned with what it might think about my tearing down a fiendish temple.
I was weak. At first my excitement got the better of me and I thought it was a template of Nyarlathotep, but I was wrong. It was just a pretender. The signs confused me. There was a comforting whispering in my head, the statues looked similar to the creatures in my dreams. But there was no feeling of excitement, dread, of a terrible joy and vicious laughter.
These things, they comfort me. It may seem strange, but I am sure anyone else reading my diary will be a tiefling, and therefore have some sympathy with what I am saying.
Anyway. The priest’s diary talked of a changing, and the more I learn about the demonic things which have been happening in this country, the more it concerns me. I have not come to a place more likely to know of Nyarlathotep. Instead, it is full of pretenders. Over the course of my entries I can chart my own sanity. Should I mention anything about a change, I can read over this entry, and I will know what to do.

I have taken many lives, and today, I saved one. Keeri got into a spot of bother with a Barlite. This would not have worried me… until she stopped splashing about. I saw her, clear as day, and she was not bothering to breathe. So, I jumped into the freezing water and pulled her out, threw potions down her throat and spoke words from some scrolls. I dragged her back to the boat – and what did she want to do? Go shopping! Really! And I thought I had finally understood a woman of another race. Apparently not.
Normality resumed… slightly… when I dispatched one of the gentlemen we had been following. But really, if he was following a Barlite by choice, no doubt he was more trouble than he was worth. I don’t think Nyarlathotep will be particularly pleased with that offering – this man not seeming to be of an unhinged mind – but if he was following a Barlite in the dark… perhaps it wasn’t so bad after all.

Keeri has gone through a lot lately, and would do very well for Nyarlathotep. But. I can’t bring myself to do it. She is all light and happiness… and packs quite a punch. I am sure I will be told off at some point, but on this point I will not be shaken. Keeri will live. And I will do all I can to make sure that she is happy and healthy.

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Prologue
Set sail for Iyssaria

The rumours of daemon worship have reached the ears of the society

Marie Avalar, a renowned member of the Historical Society, has dispatched the party on a voyage to Iyssaria. The party is due to embark from Westport on board the Blood Hawk.

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