Rise of the Manticore's End

Tutorial Dungeon Pt. 1

On Saturday we figured some things out:

D&D 5e

lvl 1 start

I will be running a tutorial dungeon

Doug will be taking over as our first DM! thank you Doug!

For right now our meetups will be weekly

If you wish to build your character before Saturday feel free to, but we will have some time dedicated to assisting anyone who has questions concerning the system and general mechanics. I encourage anyone who wants to discuss their builds beforehand to use our discussion tools.

So that I may adequately set the scene and prep the sorry, please send me your characters backstory prior to the session. Be sure to include their motivations for joining a merc organization.

Thank you to everyone who showed up as well as those who still hold interest! I am very happy that this has taken off so well and I look forward to seeing where this all goes!

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Tutorial Dungeon Continued

On Saturday we held our first gameplay!

Our adventurers arrived at The Manticore's End, a mercenary guild in the small village of Toran. It is here that they first interacted with each other and met Wolf, a ranked member of the guild who was to show them the ropes.

After a days travel they arrived to a small cave where they were charged with "taking care of any issues." Right off the bat they were met with resistance; kobolds, troglodytes, and magical snares, to which they lost one of their members.

Having cleared five rooms and exhausting their resources, they hunkered down for the night in order to recuperate and reorganize. On the morrow they will push out into the caves once more.

Please remember to send me your characters name so that I may make some cards for my own organization.

I will see you in the Underdark…

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Tutorial Dungeon Pt. 3

Our protagonists, after recovering from their previous efforts, moved deeper into the mountainside.

The first room greeted them with a seemingly endless horde of dire rats, large vicious beasts which came from every corner of the room. The party could barely search the room for a minute lest more rats swarmed in. Out of frustration they began attempting to fill the holes to stem the tide of disease ridden rodents once and for all. Some of them got rather torn up, but they seemed to have sealed the tunnels for now.

Next they found an ominous corridor which parted two ways, the first way found them an unexpected ally, Amakiir the elven ranger. A slight hiccup in the alliance is the fact that Amakiir was a prisoner and stripped of their equipment. The party has lend them some supplies and is wary on Amakiir's expectations when it come to division of wealth…

The second way led them to what appeared to be a dark tomb. Filled with sarcophagi and an evil air, this room intrigued certain members of the party. Flint, their dwarven fighter desperately fought to open several of the sarcophagi, to no avail, his power not strong enough. Several other member sought acquisition of a dagger which lay atop a sickening alter. These attempts were met with a shower of acid, to which the members lost health and resources.

Forgoing their efforts with the tomb, they pushed on further. Going through the next door they were beset upon by a pair of orcs. Apparently both sides were tired or distracted however, the fight was a poor showing of skill for either side taking significantly longer than either side would have hoped. After missed shots, blows to inanimate objects, and confused looks, the party overcame the orcs and moved forward into the room.

It is here that our journey was left, what more difficulties await the tired adventurers? How much is still waiting for them?

We will find out when we meet, back in the Underdark… 

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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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The Aftermath

Jorn, Flint, and Wolf began the adventure today by setting out into the woods above to collect food and water so that they wouldn't have to spend rations.

Returning to the tomb, our mercenaries decided to discover the contents of the sarcophagi. The first one revealed the body of a human warrior so well preserved it was as though the man lay there sleeping as opposed to dead but upon touch he fell to ash leaving his coffin barren. When they opened the next coffin they got an unwelcome surprise as a skeleton warrior stood and attacked. While they were preoccupied with this skeleton, another one emerged from the two remaining coffins and ran Jorn through, leaving him on the ground bleeding out. The party quickly dealt with the remaining warrior and stabilized their fallen friend.

Before they continued deeper into the monster infested cavern, they needed to rest and recover their strength. H.P. and Wolf spent more time above ground in the woods gathering supplies while Flint watched over an unconscious Jorn and tending to his sundered armor. When H.P. and Wolf returned they set up watches and recuperated.

The choice of three doors, two perfectly silent, and one carried the growls of great beasts and the deep, ominous chant of unheard tongue. Quite unnerved by that last one, they went through a quiet one.

The room was empty and only upon H.P. casting detect magic did they discover that the there was a lot of magic through the noisy door, but also some magic runes in this room. H.P. attempted to figure out what the runes meant but was unable to fully discern their purpose.

Growing impatient, they burst through the next door to find the source of the growls and chanting. Yet they found nothing. As they entered the room, they were surrounded by the noise yet they didn't seem to be affected by the magic they found in the room.

They set up in front of the next room, everyone at weapons ready. Wolf raised his sledge and began beating the door down. First hit bounced off the door, the second destroyed it. 

Waiting upon a mound of thousands of coins was a young but large black dragon. Fresh acid dripped from long teeth, its wings and neck spines raised, its eyes intent on the those who just broke its door. Its laugh penetrated the silence.

The dragon spat acid and clawed and bit at the wavering warriors as they were getting beaten and thrown about. It charged through their ranks attempting to reach the soft wizard in the back ranks. Thanks to a hit from H.P. and a lucky strike from Wolf, they were able to drive the dragon away and claim its hoard.

They began to backtrack their path, checking out paths they had not tread. The kobolds and skeletal dogs were nothing compared to power of the dragon.

The mercenaries seek and end to their quest wanting nothing more that a safe night back in the village.

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The Onus of Naivete

The group experienced some great difficulties this week as their forward progress slowed to the clearing of a single room.

On his trip in the forest, Marukar became quite lost. Rather amused with the predicament he put himself in, he made a game of it, sneaking up on trees and quickly looking behind them, as though the cave entrance were playing a twisted game of peek-a-boo. Upon jumping out and yelling boo, he frightened a tiefling so bad she fell on her back. After helping her up (amid a fit of laughter) Marukar learned her name was Lerissa and the guild had sent her to check on them. With her guidance they found their way into the late gnomes lair.

Marukar decided he wanted to attempt a shortcut, Lerissa not knowing the caves had no choice but to follow his lead. They entered an old and dusty room in which two suits of immaculate full-plate armor rested on stands. Marukar instantly was amazed at his good fortune went up to claim this unexpected prize. As his hands came to grasp the shining helmet, the armor's gauntlet struck him in the abdomen and the two engaged a most amusing game of fisticuffs. 

Meanwhile the rest of the party was recovering from a small cave-in. They moved towards their next door, through which they could hear sounds of combat. Wolf strode forward and began beating it with his sledgehammer. once through they aided their lost friend in his fight. Afterwards the other suit of armor arose from its stand and engaged the party. The fights were not incredibly straining to the party, a few bruises and cuts but nothing serious. Once defeated the armor rusted, aged, and fell to pieces.

While searching the room, H.P. found a curious yarding of burlap on the floor. This discovery was nearly the unfortunate downfall of the Manticore's End's new recruits (and Wolf). First the burlap baffled them by acting like nothing other than a yarding of burlap, but upon being dealt damage it struck back. It crushed H.P.'s small and fragile hands, the pain was so intense that he fell to the ground and had to fight to stay alive. The party scrambled to defeat the burlap as it lunged at their limbs and faces crushing bones, blinding eyes, and crippling joints. In the end they had finally defeated it.

After the fight they worked to stabilize their fallen comrades to which they were successful…save one. The entrepreneurial wizard H.P. succumbed to his wounds. As his spirit floated towards the plane beyond the Material, it was greeted by a silhouette of the deity Ehlonna. She spoke to him offering him another chance. H.P. agreed and his spirit was returned to his body.

The group decided they needed to rest and set up for the night. During second watch, Wolf saw the movement of another piece of burlap which stopped abruptly. Wolf engaged the burlap and when the tides seemed to turn against him he called for aid. The party was soon at arms against another fearsome yarding, defending their faces and trying to stay alive. In the end they were successful, but their victory was costly. They ventured out into the woods to try resting one more time, dragging their unconscious members with them.

Will the woods be more gracious than the Underdark?

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Strange New Faces

Taking the wheel this Saturday was Doug, our second DM so far.

With Doug's role change, Marukar decided it was time to travel, see new places, beat new and interesting people, and he set forth from Toran. Curious about his sudden wanderlust, several members of The Manticore's End set off after him. Jorn, H.P., and Lerissa were all tagging along for some new adventure. These acquaintances of old were joined by some interesting characters on their way out of town.

Shadow and Aeron, two shady members of the End showed keen interest in joining the party, though their intentions have not yet been revealed. One likes to look you in the eye with a devilish grin while she spins sweet words. While the other seems bent on more monetary matters, preferring subtlety and darkness.

Where ale flows you are sure to find Fàngqì and Alron. An old drinking buddy of Marukar's, Fàngqì is quite the little sight. Standing only four and half feet tall, this wood elf is never without his trusty ale jug. Aside from his size and manner, his face is noticeable, two brands scar his cheeks, an X on one and an O on the other. The archer Alron, another member of the End, a fighter with unknown and undiscerning intent. Does he seek riches, women, glory, or merely some cheap ale?

(I apologize for this one as I have forgotten our druid's name) The final addition to group was one brought along by H.P. Manchester. After his near death experience, H.P. has taken great interest in nature and to aid his new approach to life he sought out someone capable and willing to join on his quest. He soon found a dragonborn druid who seemed to fit the bill. A fairly quiet member so far, the blueborn has not shy'd away from the group just yet.

Upon reaching the port town of Dragons Breath (if i recall the name correctly) Marukar bid his farewell to the group. Without their point of commonality, division happened suddenly. Some of the group followed H.P. as he ventured into the city, the rest followed Fàngqì to a local tavern to…resupply.

By the Gods if something divine didn't strike to steer the wayward wanderers back together! Just as though there were some great mastermind weaving a tale, both groups were informed of a money making opportunity. 

After speaking with the mayor (and an unforeseeable incident involving the guide) the group set off to help civilians trapped by a cave-in. Upon reaching the site, they were greeted and informed of the situation by a young child.

VIP at the site was a wizard (whose name I do not know how to spell) with whom H.P. sought words and potentially a magical opportunity. While they talked H.P. became suspicious, the wizard's eyes darted and body fidgeted, clearly uncomfortable with any uncommon questions or prying thoughts. It seems that the wizard had hidden intentions, for which he would pay the group to aid him with.

Excited by the thought of further riches, the group agreed. They helped rescue the villagers in order to satisfy their deal with the mayor. In doing so they discovered that one was injured, the rest had been eaten. Using this as a bargaining point, they got the wizard to offer an additional stipend for dealing with whatever creature delved below.

Once the villagers were gone and mayoral money paid, they slept the night away (in varying definitions) rested for the work the next day.

While digging in search for the wizard's coveted artifact, they discovered a small hole. Inside was a large sculpted room with none other than a Biter laying inside. The group then fought the Biter and its brood, the battle not terribly dangerous but a fight none the same.

Checking in with the wizard, they discovered that this room was even better than the artifact itself! He paid them for their services and they left the ordeal with plenty of well-earned ale money.

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Some Roads Charge a Giant Toll

Our ever changing crew of adventurers faced a new challenge.

After their encounter with the wizard and the tunnel collapse, they returned to Dragon's Breath for the night to rest. In the morning they lost track of the drunken duo, slightly thinning their ranks.

While on a shopping trip, some of the members were greeted by an exceptionally cheery face. Liana, an elven cleric, had left her home in the woods to pursue adventure to be a heroine to those in need. While tending to those who aided in the rescue efforts, she heard rumors about a mysterious group that arrived and drastically sped up progress. Excited that this was her start to the world of heroics she sought them out immediately.

Shadow, not yet ready to give up her skills as a street urchin, spent the morning seeing how her hand felt in other peoples' pockets. On her quest to find the Everfull Coinpurse, she overheard that the west road was experiences some difficulties. Gathering themselves and their new friend, they set off to find out how they could make money off this disturbance, truly the most noble of intentions.

After some undesirable conversations with the militia and the mayor's office, they decided to handle the problem then see what money could be made.

The disturbance that they found turned out to be a large pile of wood, broken carts, barrels, wagons, and the like. Standing guard and demanding a toll was a hill giant and a few goblins. After a very brief talk, the group initiated warfare.

The goblins were quickly dealt with, but the giant proved to be superior prey. Members of the party were knocked unconscious repeatedly, Liana was truly their saving grace. Hurling boulders and swinging his tree, the giant fought the group to his bitter end. The party was fortunate enough to still be standing when the dust settled.

After some rage was let out (primarily to the giants neck region) the group freed a couple captives and earned themselves a healthy paycheck from some non-threatening burlap sacks.

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The Chaos in Mystery

Our crew welcomes a new member into its ranks while celebrating the return of an old friend.

After their debacle with the mayor and guards of Dragon's Breath the previous night, the company gathered together for a regrouping breakfast.

Walking down the stairs, surprising each other, the group rejoiced in the appearance of their wizard. They spent some time saying catching H.P. up on their latest encounter with the hill gianttrolldragon and goblins. Having heard rumors of trouble along the east road, H.P. was glad to hear the group was solving the issue, not causing it.

A halfling happened to be dropping some eaves (shout out to any LOTR fans) and saw a chance to sate her wanderlust. Arry approached the party, excited at not only the aspect of seeing new and wonderful places and creatures, but also maybe getting some money out of it. The group, not knowing how to say no to a new face, welcomed her into their growing entourage.

While the members of the group were conversing and sharing stories, Dovahkiin The Yellow-Panted, sought his prey. Courageously staying at the table within clear sight of his target, he shifted into a small blue mouse to sneak back and earn some free food. But alas, the bartender's keen eye saw the blatant display and spent no time removing the mouse from the establishment. Unpleased, he scurried off to seek indirect vengeance and maybe even a paycheck. After creeping into the mayors office he returned to his true form and demanded a job! The mayor, unimpressed by the lackluster display, demanded that he take his leave. Sir Yellow-Pants would not suffer this affront unopposed and changed again, but now into a blue wolf. Remember kids, if you're going to do anything, do it with a theme. Staring the mayor in the eye, he tried his hardest to vomit on the rug. Yet, much like any other dog hacking on the carpet, he was thrown outside.

The group decided it would be best to return to Toran and The Manticore's End to find work and to check in. Along the way, H.P. tried without success to identify a glass orb shown to him by Shadow. Jorn also took some time with H.P. to discuss his absence and to make sure they were on the right page.

Upon entry into Toran, H.P. was met with an unwelcome sight. Not eighty feet past The End stood a cloaked figure sparking fear into his otherwise fearless persona.

Shadow experienced some fear herself as she was met with the wrathful gaze of Captain Skree. Enduring his lecture the party moved on to discover that an 'old' enemy had returned angrily. The black dragon from their very first dungeon was assailing Toran and from the note it sounds as though it may have rallied goblins to its aid.

As evening fell they decided it best to head out in the morning when they were better rested and prepared. Lerissa however, decided that this was a good time to toss her bedding around and wake everyone back up. When they settled down again she triggered a trap and they awoke to her smoldering (though still alive) body at the foot of the stairs. Seeing this as a prime time to upshow her, Aeron ran up to Captain Skree's door with his theive's tools only to be sent flying down the same set of stairs in the same fashion.

After an extended rest to allow their rogues to fully recover, they prepare for what the new day will bring them.

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Arry vs. The Party

Rested and recovered from their encounter with the currently undefeated door, the party runs a few errands before heading off in search of their quarry.

As they approach the cave entrance they find an encamped army surrounding it, the army drafted by Captain Skree. After being backed by an old….friend?.. they are permitted into the camp to discuss plans with Skree.

While Jorn solely attends the planning meeting, the rest of the group tried their best to get in some form of trouble, excluding Lerissa and Arry who decided it would be way more fun to play with Mr. Nibbles.

Dovhakiin went in search of Wolf due do his recent obsession with acquiring one of his own. During their brief talk the dragonborn made a rather large creep of himself, had his life threatened, then handed out some money and left. Truly a tale for the ages.

The party regrouped and Jorn relayed Skree's battle plans, the group was to infiltrate the cave during the night, kill anything they found inside, then seal it once and for all.

As they entered the cave, they noted some small differences from the last time they were hear, doors smashed open, bodies plastering the walls and ceilings, you know…just small things.

They entered the alchemist's workshop which had been torn to pieces, the shelves and table destroyed, but an old nemesis awaited them. The mirror from Hell stood unmarred on the wall of the room. The woman's laughter penetrated the minds of those she recognized, H.P. and Jorn. The party attempted to move on past her when three of their members were taken from their own minds. They were able to snap Tristan, the giant, and Shadow out of their trance. Little Arry however, proved a greater challenge.

As though she was hellbent on making her way into that mirror she persevered ever forward. Her mind completely captivated by the mirror's call, she deftly eluded and outmaneuvered her teammates, Even Tristan and Jorn could not contain her for long. Eventually Tristan, growing tired of playing "catch the halfling" punched her right in the face attempting to shake her trance. Coming to, Arry scowled at Tristan and kept her distance.

Following a rather distinct blood trail, the group moved deeper into the cave, heading straight toward the dragon's previous lair. Upon entering, they found no dragon and the blood trail lead to a large well, the party could track no more.

While discussing rope quantities, Lerissa became aware of something approaching. Shushing the party, the turned and watched the creature approach. The size of it was larger than even Tristan, towering above the giant it was slightly larger than the dragon itself. It slowly moved closer to the party as they tried to decide what to do. Its body looked to be made of some dark and dense ooze. The party, unable to make a timely decision, was attacked by the shambling mound, making their decision for them.

The battle was long and arduous. The monster appeared to be unaffected by the spells H.P. threw into it and it even swallowed Tristan into itself crushing him repeatedly. The creature was even seen to regenerate its wounds when in contact with electricity. Finally, a last shot from Arry broke the magic that held the ooze together and it fell harmlessly to the ground, freeing Tristan.

The party now sits exhausted in the caves, pondering their next move.

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