Pillars of Desmond

Outline of Happenings

Preface, Session 1

  • First Quest: apprehend Seth Ellie
  • investigate Seth’s house
  • in wilderness, fight wolves
  • enter Dark Place, fight bear
  • encounter solitary bat
  • in skull room/slippery floor, Grumm climbs up into an eye socket
  • find concealed hallway, find dragon and try to talk with it
  • back off, find ice pool and talk to ice mephits
  • navigate mirror maze one
  • ignore mirror maze two, backtrack, fight air elementals
  • rest overnight

Preface, Session 2

  • mirror maze two
  • in swiss cheese cavern, fight ooze
  • walk through snow globe room
  • confront Seth, climb Rorrim under fire
  • Grumm cuts the boy, who immediate surrenders
  • Seth shares memory with Seth
  • Rorrim tries to communicate
  • bring Seth back to town, hear about intrigue at Wintersum Feast
  • introduce Seth to Alexi, wizard mentor
  • a year passes, level up to 3

Preface, Session 3

  • Second Quest: apprehend Seth Ellie
  • talk to babysitter Tatyana, pour on charm
  • visit Seth’s house, discover Note; give her a coin and a musical instrument
  • arrange for mayor’s family to be out, investigate Annah’s mirror
  • outside of house notice tail; apprehend Boris
  • confront Ivan & street thugs near mayor’s office

Preface, Session 4

  • return to wilderness, fight mandragora
  • enter dark place, fight talking bear
  • in skull room, fight cave fishers
  • walk through mephit room; ice pool is empty and frozen
  • navigate mirror maze one
  • enter mirror maze two: something stalks PCs but they avoid it
  • follow shortcut to snow globe room
  • confront Seth and apprehend him under fire
  • execute Seth
  • enter town hoping to explore haunted house, but Wintersum feast is in full swing
  • survive earthquake
  • help city in aftermath
  • contribute money to Viccus to care for Note, Viccus restores orphanage
  • a year passes, snow pounds Kora, level up to 4

Preface, Session 5

  • Third Quest: find Annah and bring her home
  • investigate Annah’s mirror, clue leads to orphanage
  • discover Annah went to Note to find Seth; both set off into wilderness
  • orphange burns down
  • wilderness travel slowed by snow storm; PCs discover Dark Place entrance blocked by earthquake.
  • dragon finds them outside of dark place. negotiates to show them a way in.

Preface, Session 6

  • enter dark place, fight big mother spider
  • fight more spiders
  • fight bat swarms
  • solitary bat follows them
  • maze connects with skull room
  • navigate mirror maze one
  • enter mirror maze two, fight Minotaur, lose Rufshod, find girls held captive
  • follow girls to Rorrim, break the bad news that Seth isn’t there
  • talk to Rorrim
  • one-by-one PCs step through Rorrim, bringing the 2 girls with them

Chapter 1, Session 7

  • arrive in caves, Rufshod appears at the same time (although he entered the Rorrim months later than the PCs)
  • reorient, meet Castellan Sturn and cautiously scrutinize his story
  • Fourth Quest: survive, and get to civilization?
  • pick up pieces of TPK and run from cave dragon
  • backtrack through large ‘fumey’ caves
  • come across field of dead darkmantles: formerly killed by Sturn’s party
  • fight demon scouts, run from reinforcements
  • rest overnight

Chapter 1, Session 8

  • travel through lower levels
  • choose between trolls and heart-flayer orcs (ran past trolls)
  • find secret room & switch, throw switch
  • arrive at level 7: discover that it is different than maps
  • find bas relief sculpture of processing dwarves
  • go through 3 trapped rooms; clear the way with bodies of PCs
  • discover mausoleum one; raid sarcophagi for potions of virtue
  • fight large animated object (statue)
  • discover mausoleum two; raid sarcophagi for potions of virtue
  • fight large animated object (faster statue)
  • discover fork in the road and another large statue. Tie up third statue and open door to “Sand Summoner Chamber”

Chapter 1, Session 9

  • look down opposite corridor and see scary red wave-like sculptures leading around the bend
  • choose to enter Sand Summoner Chamber
  • encounter rake-handed guardian; run past, leaving Sturn and two girls behind
  • descend staircases to sandy floor
  • pull lever, and large amount of “special summoning sand” touches floor and turns into guardian
  • fight this large tortured guardian, who desperately exclaims “help me!” and decomposes
  • open storage box; find scrolls of ‘summon sand creature’ I, II and III
  • open storage box, learn codes
  • use special summoning sand to animate a small servant and a scorpion, get hit by exploding sand
  • rest overnight, level up to 5
  • read mind of rake-hand, who hopes for rescue

Chapter 1, Session 10

  • meet Sphinx, learn that a single mind controls sphinx AND rake-hand; “beware the crown of sand”
  • solve “7 + 5 = 4” riddle
  • break into Cuffon’s tomb; fight “double-headed snake” guardian
  • break into Dargo’s tomb; fight “fire-amphibian” guardian

Chapter 1, Session 11

  • rest overnight, level up
  • break into Bren’s tomb, look inside
  • proceed toward Garon, solve 7 + 5 = 1 riddle
  • discover Garon’s huge ornate face
  • snag Garon’s left eye; trap hits Bel with a hail of bolts
  • snag Garon’s right eye; Vapur is buried alive
  • open Garon’s face and discover staircase up
  • climb stairs and trigger “one-way” door mechanical trap
  • walk through chamber of many holes
  • enter antechamber, one door locked and one door marked “Garon”
  • touch Garon door, causing locked door to cycle through and open; tension builds
  • huge screaming elemental climbs through the door as the final defender of Garon’s tomb
  • discover pain
  • sever the vortex of sand between elemental’s head and some huge machine; once broken, the rampage ends
  • talk to elemental

Chapter 1, Session 12

  • choose between friendship w/ “Pewter” and easy treasure (took the friendship)
  • break into Garon’s tomb, find a bit of treasure.
  • search for bigger treasure; a clue scratched into the sarcophagus yields nothing.
  • explore the prison room.
  • break into Bren’s tomb, fight “kyton” guardian.
  • reunite with Sturn and girls, leave and seal Sand Summoner Chamber behind.
  • steamroll through dungeons level 5 and up.
  • Pewter sends word: the elements are in turmoil!
  • follow Sturn through civilized parts of dungeons, emerge into his “Gemmed Citadel.”
  • meet the “Magarch”, one of three rulers of the city and country.
  • Witness the broken sky: blue fades to a huge black vortex far above.
  • Ultimate quest: prophecy tells that you may fix it… somehow.

Chapter 2, Session 13

  • Fifth quest: become “Champions of Desmond”
    – Magarch believes prophecy names you “Champions of Desmond”.
    – however not everyone in the city interprets prophecy the same way.
    – some people think “champion” is the winner of a tournament; therefore one is starting now.
    – if you win (or excel in) the tournament, you will be eligible for the city’s great resources.
    – you sign up, and are assigned a wizard guide, Searos.
  • Searos brings you to an oracle to hear about prophecy; it’s complicated.
  • oracle will read through some parts and tell you the next step in a couple of days.
  • Searos takes you to his master for his spellbook; but the master resists. dick.
  • You sell off loot and go shopping for new gear.
  • Take the Trial of Skill: archery, caber toss, and illusory situations.
Fate Strikes
Preface, Episode 4

Employing their spells, Bellatorus and Rocco sense neither good nor evil in Seth’s heart.

From his conversation and experiences with Seth—including sharing memories—v’Laadak believes it is very likely that the boy is a sorcerer. As you are leaving the Dark Place, detect magic registers no magic from the boy’s body (unless it’s a trace of divination, but that could still be a whisper from the Rorrim hundreds and hundreds of feet away). You check again halfway back to town, and the boy’s body is indeed free of magical traces.

Seth is a little uncomfortable with being prodded and scrutinized. He says hesitantly, “let me guess what you see: no luck, no prospects, no future?”

  • * *

Returning to the light of day, scrutinizing closer and closer, Rocco noticed a subtle bluish, clammy tint to Seth Ellie’s skin. This reminded Vapor of an ancient poem he once heard, about men that mated with marids and beget a blue-skinned race called the “Undien.” It suggested that their elemental blood could be passed down for generations.

And so, after their harrowing first adventure, the heroes returned to Ritupe with the suspicious boy in tow. Late at night—as the Wintersum Feast was winding down—Vapur heard a strange tale about the Feast in one neighborhood. “The sturdy bowl spontaneously shattered into a million pieces before the goat was set on it. It just exploded right in the Viccus’s hands, injuring the old man! Nobody knew what this meant, but they slaughtered the goat to Crn anyway.” Someone overheard this and replied, “I hear that many neighborhoods slaughtered goats this year.”

Unfortunately the mayor wanted nothing to do with Seth. “Thank you, but just keep him away from my daughter if you can!” Therefore you spent some time in Ritupe to find a kindhearted wizard—Alexi—and introduced him to Seth. The two seemed to get along well, and Alexi told you that the boy’s rare skills and hard work would pay for an apprenticeship. However the wizard laughed at your questions about the magic mirror; it’s obviously a fairy tale, and whatever you saw must have been a trick!

Rocco offered to help the injured Viccus. The Viccus thanked Rocco kindly, but his own healing powers had been enough to repair the injuries. Rocco couldn’t help but notice the lumpy scars on the man’s palms and cheek. They looked very ugly in spite of the man’s kindly spirit and vigor.

  • * *

Subsequently the heroes became caught up in a lifestyle of adventure and fame. They traveled around Ritupe and its few surrounding villages, and doubled and tripled their skills. Their names became commonly known for prowess and reliability. As time passed, Seth appeared less and less frequently, coming occasionally to ask the heroes for a bit of money, or a few pennies.

A year passed, and the biggest topic of conversation around Kora was the strange weather. The hazy spring and summer came and went for some brief grazing season, but the caravan-passes through the mountains never fully thawed. Anticipating another long winter, many people bought up the stocks of preserved fruit jelly, giving Rocco’s family a much-needed and lucrative profit.

The story will continue in Autumn of that year.

Into the night (as recounted by v'Laadak the Mage)

And so it began…

A band of hearty adventurers was formed when the mayor of Ritupe summoned us to his manor to address an issue of his concern.

His young daughter has fallen in with less-than desirable company. The young man, Seth, she is enamored with has set out to change the hand life has dealt him be seeking the source of the local superstition regarding mirrors. He quests for The Rorrim, a fable magic mirror of local legend that will reverse the fortunes of the one who touches it.

Rumor and tales of this mirror is what has established the Ritupe superstition of never touching a mirror with your bare hand. While having your luck changed for the better is a good thing, it is believed that your new found good luck is drawn from someone else. The mayor fears Seth finding the mirror and extracting from his daughter her luck in life to benefit himself.

For concern of the mayor’s daughter, and for my own curiosity in this magical relic, we accept the task and set out at once, into the night, to head-off the young hooligan Seth.

Following the river out of town on a cold, moonless night, we reach the snow line in the hills where we are set upon by a small pack of wolves. Hoping to chase them off, I, v’Laadak, approach one wolf, driving it back from our band. Unfortunately it was just waiting for its brethren to show up…and they attack.

Our novice skills in combat are tested. The wolves are a clever foe and are able to trip up a few of us, bringing us to the ground. Blades fly and blood is drawn. Our grandiose troubadour Vapur takes to the ground after a wolf attack and the pack moves in, abandoning melee with other individuals to gang up on the fallen human.

We rally to our ally aiding with spell and steel. Just as he his rescued, Bellatorus falls and needs aid. Outnumbering the wolves, we dispatch the remainder as one flees for its life, into the night.

Our journey continues through the cold snow to the secret cave the mayor has directed us to. Moving in we are surprised by a bear which proves to be a difficult foe. It takes all of our band, in turns, to take down this mighty monster of the mountains. We discover after it has been vanquished that it had a recent wound to its fore leg. We conclude this may have been from Seth, the lad we hasten to waylay.

Moving into the icy cave complex we follow several tunnels through several chambers. In a room with a grand carving of a skull we find a hidden tunnel that leads off on a tangent.

At its end we discover a serpentine sleeping creature of some considerable size. Vapur tries to parlay with it to no avail. So I ring the blade of my axe against the cold stone to stir the beast. It is not happy with our ruckus. And as it stirs and speaks, we are overcome with a fearful sense that we should not have come here. We withdraw. I fear that in my hubris I may have informed the beast of who we are since I announced to it the masterful, merry-maker Vapur was here to confer with it.

We continue on the trail we followed, through the skull carving. Beyond we find a chamber with two Ice Mephits lounging on the edge of a pool of water. I speak with them briefly and discover another “warm blood” as they call us came through here. We presume that was Seth. The Mephits desire food and treasure. A guileful promise to them that our “warm blood” friend we seek has treasure and he will be happy to share with them gets them to point the way that he went, and we follow, hoping we did not fall to their guileful ruse.

Moving further into this icy realm, we come upon a hall of ice mirrors that play havoc with our senses, disorienting several of us and making us queasy on our feet. The left passage out of the ice mirrors room leads us to a grand cavern with columns and ice which feels very daunting, so we explore the right-hand passage out of the ice mirrors chamber.

It leads us to a small room where we are surprised in combat by two elemental creatures of wind. They prove to be challenging foes as they are quick and nimble, and we are tired, cold, disoriented, and low on resources. After coming close to my dear brother collapsing from blood loss, we manage to dispatch the airy creatures. We decide this small room is our best bet to rest and recharge before continuing our hunt for young Seth.

In all the activity of the night, the pressures of combat, and the thrill of exploration, I pray I have not omitted pertinent facts of our sojourn. I will look to my new comrades to fill-in any missing fragments.

Yours truly,
v’Laadak the mage

Summer of Life e3
Preface, episode 3

See your e-mails sent on November 5, 2014.

Summer of Life e2
Preface, episode 2

The city you live in is called Ritupe, second largest in the tiny Kingdom of Kora. There are only a few neighboring burgs surrounding the two “big” cities, and most of the kingdom is very provincial. It nestles in a network of beautiful steep valleys and inland lakes, high in the rugged foothills of a vast frozen mountain range.

The economy is based on herding, mining precious gems, and trading with the outside world. There is wealth to go around—even during the treacherous winter months—and you have been fortunate to have secured a healthy share. Old King Ivan is fair in his taxation.

There aren’t many specialized guilds in the small kingdom, but there is enough talent to train all of the basic professions. That includes—for the ambitious—core classes of adventuring and mercenary work. At the very least, you have picked up some such skills to add a bit of excitement to your otherwise idle life of luxury.

Plus, you feel prompted into action and preparedness by all of those disturbing dreams…

Summer of Life
Preface, episode 1

You currently live a peaceful and prosperous life in a tiny kingdom of a northern-temperate land. The local gods include:

Major Deities
Tvorba, the Smith of Creation, Lord of the Universe, the Bright One – symbol: a triangle with an anvil, hammer, and tongs surrounding a white flame – N – air, artifice, fire, rune – warhammer (not actively worshipped)
Oblak, the God of Thunder, the Striker – symbol: a six-spoked wheel – CG – air, good, strength, weather – greataxe
Vojna, the Strong Lord, the God of War and Prosperity, the Four-Faced Lord of the Seasons – symbol: a white horse – LN – earth, community, sun, war, glory – longsword
Sonce, the Giver God, the Sun Personified, the Clear-Sky God – symbol: sun surrounded by twelve stars – LG – good, law, protection, sun – mace (The local people consider themselves the Grandchildren of Sonce)
Rog, the Horned God, the Lord of the Underworld, the Bearded Shepherd – symbol: cow skull with horns – CN – animal, chaos, death, magic, skalykind – scythe (patron of bards)
Veter, Grandfather of Winds, the Scatterer of Wealth – symbol: whirlwind – CE – air, void, evil, weather, madness – whip
Zemlja, Moist Mother Earth – symbol: the earth itself – NG – earth, good, healing, animal, plant – quarterstaff
Dez, Goddess of the Ocean, Mother of Rain – symbol: breast-shaped stones – N – healing, knowledge, magic, water – spear
Mnogi, the Seven-Headed God, Guardian of the World Tree – symbol: a griffin – LN – law, plant, protection, repose, nobility – greatsword

Lesser Deities
Gnil, the Three-Headed God, God of War and Pestilence – symbol: a snake bent into a triangle – CE – chaos, destruction, war – morningstar
Bel, the White God, Lord of the Waxing Year – symbol: walking stick – NG – good, luck, travel, liberation – quarterstaff
Crn, the Black God, Lord of the Waning Year, Lord of Death – symbol: black crescent moon – NE – darkness, death, evil – scimitar
Cvetlica, the Lady of Flowers, the Goddess of Love – symbol: linden tree – NG – charm, good, luck – dagger

Zelen, the Green Man – symbol: cudgel – CN – plant, magic, trickery – club
Glava, Lady Midday – symbol: skull with rays like the sun – NE – death, evil, trickery – scythe
Ogenj, the Deathless, the Necromancer – symbol: flaming pin – LE – evil, fire, magic – dagger

Welcome to your campaign!
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