Saga of the Scalesworn

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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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Shadow Over Saddlegap: Part One
The Gathering Storm

Across the Sword Coast, four figures receive their orders in secret and make their way to a tiny town just south of Neverwinter called Saddlegap. A pastoral community dedicated to horse breeding and stablery, Saddlegap serves patrons as far away as Athkatla while still remaining quiet and untroubled by the rising forces to the North and East.

All of that has changed, as the four heroes who gather there come to find out. A messenger from their Master arrived before them to investigate signs of recent trouble, trouble of the scaled kind.

While the scales were real, they were far too small to be from any true dragon. Once told that whatever was plaguing the outskirts of town and killing livestock had finally worked its way up to invading homes and capturing children, the four Scalesworn agree to root out the danger and deal with it before any further lives can be lost.

They track the invaders back to a cave in the side of Horsehead Mount, a once-volcanic mountain that rises like a shadow over the peaceful village. The scales turn out to be the telltale signs of passage by kobolds, several of which are lairing in the caves.

The Scalesworn deal with the watcher at the cave mouth and its oddly-shaped canine companion (a hyena, not that any of the Scalesworn could identify it as such) and move into the cavern. Once inside, they scout via a small serpent familar and manage to stealthy locate the captive children, one of which is badly hurt and all of which are being prepared for ritual sacrifice.

Priorities immediately change. The Scalesworn put down the kobold jailor, rescue the children, and head out of the caves as quickly and quietly as they can. With injured innocents in tow, they cannot risk further combat and must withdraw.

Their flight takes them to the nearest home – a ranch house on a horse farm called Steeding Field. The rancher family welcomes them inside and start to care for the children, a vital task as the badly hurt boy is running a crippling fever and without attention, he will die. The Scalesworn post themselves as guards just in case.

This caution proves to be a wise concern as small shapes start to break from the tree line back the way the Scalesworn came. The verdant-scaled kobolds, spears raised, have tracked them down and intend to take back their sacrifices one way or another.

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As they draw back flaming bows and their goblin leader roars out for blood, it becomes quite clear which way they prefer…

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Shadow Over Saddlegap: Part Two
Battle of Steeding Field

As the rancher family batten down and lock themselves in their home for safety, the Scalesworn move out to defend them. If this small army overruns them, there will be nothing to stop them from murdering the farmers and taking the children back. Grimly, they vow their lives against letting that happen.

Four against many, they mount a defense and hold the line against the advancing horde and their Goblin leader.

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With a volley of magical frost and deadly arrows, the Scalesworn wither the approaching forces even as the Goblin reveals himself to be a deadly shaman with power over both earth and animal life. After transforming its hyena companion into a viciously dire beast, it bombards the Scalesworn with stones that rise up from the ground around it and hurtle with lethal force!

Weathering the rock storm, the Scalesworn manage to break the tide of scaled marauders and put them down while keeping their archers from burning down the farm house with flaming arrows. Though the battle is arduous, they have assistance from a hidden ally who begins to bring down those archers with deadly daggers from the shadows.

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Once the line of archers is down, the Goblin Shaman flees its hilltop perch and moves to the cover of a tree to direct the rest of the battle. Unfortunately for it, both its dire hyena and the horde of kobolds at its command fall to the Scalesworn. In a flash of blades, it finds itself all alone and facing their wrath.

All alone and knowing its cover will not last long, the Goblin raises a horn to its lips and blasts a clarion call out into the night. Then it prepares to battle for its life.

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Harrying by arrows and holy fire, the Shaman is finally felled by a pair of bladed hurled into its chest. Even as it drops, it looks up at the hidden rogue crouched on the hill where it had been. With its dying breath, it rasps, “My death is… meaningless. Your village… will burn… in tribute… to her.”

Before the Scalesworn can even rally to meet their new ally, the moonless dark is split by a sound back towards the village – an answering horn.

The assault on the farmhouse was only one half of the kobold’s force.

Saddlegap is under attack!

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Shadow Over Saddlegap: Part Three
A Town Ablaze

With no time to rest, the Scalwsworn rush back to find kobolds swarming the town. They have torches and spears, determined to burn Saddlegap to the ground. While most are hurling firebrands at vulnerable houses, others are sacking the village square.

Saddlegap’s town guard, what few are left, are pinned down to the north, fighting a holding action against another group of the savage little beasts. They are keeping the village from being even more overrun but as the Scalesworn approach, it is clear they cannot stand much longer. Without help, Saddlegap is doomed.

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Fortunately for the wounded, weary scions of D’acharn, there are fewer kobolds to deal with here. They quickly storm through their closest foes, advancing into the village square and rescuing what townsfolk they can.

Several building have erupted like tinder. Two homes and the town’s only temple – a wooden chapel dedicated to Lathander – are almost completely engulfed in flames. Torn between killing the humanoids plaguing the town and keeping Saddlegap from falling to ruin, the Scalesworn split their forces and tackle both tasks even though separating leaves them all vulnerable to attack.

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Quick thinking and clerical aid save a lot of lives.

The last few kobolds prove to be a tougher fight, especially one-on-one. This is because they are actually goblins, dressed in identical armour and even skin-painted to resemble the scaled menaces they were fighting beside.

Hard fight or no, they fall to the Scalesworn. With the last of the raiders slain and the villages rescued, the battle is over. There is only a short time available for rest, however, as there could be more of the wretches back in those caves.

In the morning, up before dawn, the Scalesworn rouse themselves and head back out into the woods along the kobold’s trail. Their passage is not hard to follow as the horde of humanoids were making no attempt to be stealthy. The path leads back to the caves the Scalesworn found before but after an exhaustive search, the whole covern complex proves to be empty.

The females and children have all been evacuated out a back tunnel, leaving very little behind. The only thing of note in the caves is a crude altar under a painting of a hydra on the rock wall behind it.

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After discovering a single set of armoured human boot prints among the tracks of the evacuated kobolds and goblins, the Scalesworn decide to follow them. Too many questions remain, questions to which they have no answers. Why did the kobolds attack so boldly? Why were there goblins leading them, hiding among them? Why were the children supposed being sacrificed?

And more importantly, who is She?

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Treachery and Tragedy
The Fires by Night

After saving the town of Saddlegap, the Scalesworn take a couple of days of much needed rest. Guests of the village, they want for nothing, especially as they continue to help toward the recovery of its people. Clerical aid ensures that everyone in town is back on their feet and recovered quickly.

While out for a stroll, one of the Sworn notices a cloaked figure moving through Saddlegap toward the farms across the road. She follows him carefully, moving to avoid notice. The man gets to a farm near the one the Scalesworn saved a few nights before and enters its barn in the back. Unable to stop him before he ascends a ladder into the barn’s loft, she waits below and listens in on a conversation in a language she does not speak.

Once the figure comes back down and heads back into town, she heads up cautiously and finds a second man, dressed like a farmhand, meditating in front of a smoking brazier.

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Sensing the power and evil from the priestly device, she waits and watches. The farmhand speaks while in a trance, conversing with a dimly visible shape in the brazier’s smoke, telling it:

“The plan has failed. Saddlegap stands. The sacrifice was incomplete.”

The answering voice is rasping and clearly inhuman, though its source is obscured in the smoke save for a pair of glowing red eyes.

“All is in hand. Agents are in place. The pyre will still burn bright.”

The moment the conversation ends, the Scalesworn comes up over the edge of the loft, rushes the ‘farmhand’ and batters him unconscious. With the brazier packed away, she carries her prisoner back to town and calls the rest of the Scalesworn together with the town’s Sheriff. The danger to Saddlegap, it seems, has not yet passed.

What follows is a mad race to identify the agent that returned to town, find him and attempt to capture him. During the course of this surprisingly fierce battle outside the inn, the agent nearly kills the Sheriff and several of the Scalesworn, revealing himself to be a rogue of considerable skill. Despite his lethal blades and venoms, he is finally brought down and taken prisoner.

“You can’t… stop us,” he spits past bloody teeth. “She will rise.”

Then something glows hot enough under his clothes to burn away the fabric – a red tattoo the same shape as the ‘hydra’ symbol the Scalesworn found earlier. Remembering what happened to the goblin shaman during the raid on Saddlegap, the Scalesworn’s own rogue shouts for everyone to get away from the man.

The warning nearly comes too late. It is everything the Scalesworn can do to flee the captured assassin before he explodes in a fireball that decimates dozens of feet in all directions. At the same time, three other fireballs erupts through the town. Other hidden agents have also been detonated, their dying flames now threatening to fiinsh what the kobolds began.

The Scalesworn, battered and exhausted, pitch in to save the village yet again. Once the flames are out, and everyone who could be rescued is pulled from the ashes, they collapse in the most defensible building they can find. Stretched to their limits, they have once again triumphed.

But the mystery remains. Who is ‘she’? And why so much effort to burn such an out of the way, mundane little village?

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Azure Whispers: Part One
The Tale Turns South

Furhter investigation into Saddlegap’s troubles will have to fall on other agents of House D’acharn, it seems. Shortly after waking from their long night, the Scalesworn receive orders to head north to Neverwinter. Assured that someone else will come to pick up here, their orders allow for no delay.

They do agree, much to the relief of the beleaguered town, to take the Sheriff’s offer of a mercenary contract to Neverwinter with them. That way the town will at least have a little protection until the Scalesworn’s master can get a new agent here to investigate.

Once in Neverwinter, the Scalesworn spent several days training in the best of accommodations. Every professional guild was open to them, the D’acharn Trading House a well-respected enough name to unlock a lot of doors. Even the city’s ruler, Lord Neverember, was willing to forgo the guilds’ normal waiting periods on licenses and admission.

With their skills honed and their gear replenished, the Scalesworn receive their next order – to board a ship named the Cagliastra and sail to Port Vryse in Amn. Normally, they get much more than this in their instructions but these orders come with an explanation for that. The normal procedure has somehow been compromised. Until the matter is resolved, instructions will be coming from new sources and only on a step by step basis.

They sail to Amn on the Cagliastra, a ship with serious hidden firepower and advanced rigging. The vessel turns out to be a privateer with letters of Marque from nations all along the Sword Coast. With four masts and a figurehead of a woman surrounded by flowing mist, the ship is a beautiful example of Waterdhavian wheelwright design.

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The Scalesworn get to see the Cagliastra ply her trade with a trio of pirate cutters try to intercept them. Between chain shot from the cannons, manoeuvreability, and a wizard at her wheel, the ‘Cag’ annihilates all three rogue ships before any can even get close enough to board them.

The Scalesworn arrive in Amn safe and sound. From Port Vryse, they receive new orders to head inland for their next message drop. This time, it will be at a trading post along the way to the nation’s capital city, Athkatla. Warned that someone has already intercepted a messenger from their Master, the Scalesworn approach the trading post carefully.

This caution proves to be a good idea as they spot a man watching the road they were supposed to be using. They managed to evade him for a time but he saw them entering the in where they were looking for their new contact, Zefir.

Following the spy, the Scalesworn’s rogue trails him across the street to a rooftop where the man meets with a second cowled agent. This one, taller and broader built, seems to be in charge. They converse for a short time and then the taller man writes a short note, attaching it to the foot of a hawk. He releases it into the air…

…and the Scalesworn Rogue brings it down with a pair of thrown daggers. What follows after this is a black comedy of errors with the two unknown agents trying to get a message sent away via bird and the Scalesworn stopping their every attempt. The end result is a burned down post house, a lot of dead birds, one agent dead and the other trapped, fighting for his life to avoid being captured.

This agent turns out to be a full blooded orc with grey skin and well-honed martial arts skills. He nearly makes short work of the Scalesworn despite their numerical advantage before finally taking a dagger through one eye directly into his brain. Lurching, he drops dead at their feet.

Unfortunately for the Scalesworn, a red tattoo then burns its way through his leather vestment and he explodes just like the hidden saboteurs in Saddlegap. Though all the Scalesworn survive the blast, the fire claims any evidence or clues as to the agents or their business here. All evidence, that is, except the postal tender that also manages to survive the night’s events.

From him, they find out the message they intercepted.

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After using a triptych key found on the first agent, the Scalesworn manage to decypher the coded name. ‘Kalryysa’.

Once the smoke clears, they also manage to catch up with Zefir and receive the rest of their orders. Caravans from Athkatla have been getting raided on their way to Port Vryse. All reports seem to indicate this is the work of a blue dragon, something their Master wants them to investigate immediately. Though they are cautioned to avoid any engagement with dragons at this time, the Scalesworn are given leave to do as they see fit to uncover the truth behind these attacks.

After a night to recover, they set off on the road south, their mission clear…

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Azure Whispers: Part Two
Dissension in the Ranks

Armed with a name, a code key, and very little else, the Scalesworn strike out into the wastes of Amn to try and find some trace of their enemy. They know that caravans have been attacked, every person and animal slain, and all their goods taken. No tracks in the area have left them with few clues but at least they have an exact location for the last attack.

Using this as their starting point, the Scalesworn manage to a rough path, a trail mostly made of assumptions, the occasional drop of equine blood, and a guiding figure in the distance. This shape, a desert-robed female gnoll of the Jakaali tribe, draws the Scalesworn alone, eventually showing them a devastated Jakaali village before pointing the way onward for them. While not known for being a friendly people, this particular Jakaali obviously wants vengeance and is willing to help the Scalesworn in return for it.

Following this silent, savage lead, they arrive at a mountain far to the north of the main trade road, just below the start of the Cloud Peaks range. This mountain’s foothills show heavy signs of travel, all on foot. There are no mounted tracks to be found of any kind.

Sneaking up the side of the mountain along its only path, the Scalesworn come upon a pair of guards at a cavern entrance. While there are signs of other caves higher up, this entrance is the only one that seems easily accessible. The guards are very different in style – one is a human wastes tribesman in leathers with blue facial tattooing while the other is a powerfully built orc in extremely well-crafted plate armour.

It becomes quite clear the guards neither like nor trust each other, though both seem dedicated and vigilant, guarding the front of the cave with no chance of being bypassed. With no options, the Scalesworn resolve to strike quickly, hoping to take them down before they can raise an alarm.

Attacking from surprise, they manage to overpower the guards and drop them quietly. Once past the guards, they do a quick, careful scout and discover that the cave is a complex of worked stone with several levels. It is also currently hosting two separate groups of people – the wastelanders in large numbers and a smaller, heavily armed group of orcs with a cowled, magically-concealed leader of indeterminate features.

Again, like the guards, these two groups are openly hostile but not directly attacking each other. The orcs seem to be the guests here, present for a reason that is not immediately apparent. Knowing they stand no chance with a direct assault, the Scalesworn continue to explore, looking for some tangible sign of the blue dragon they suspect must be present.

They do not find it. Instead, they discover an aerie, tended by women of the wastes tribe, with a pair of azure-scaled wyvern and a clutch of a dozen eggs. Spotting a horse flank in a pen of butchered meat, their sudden suspicions are confirmed. The flank bears the brand of the D’acharn trading cartel.

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The caravan was not beset by dragons at all. Despite the lightning damage found, the caravan was attack by these tribesfolk and their blue wyverns. Knowning all they need to know for now and woefully outnumbered, the Scalesworn withdraw quickly and head back to Athkatla as quickly as possible.

They have a report to send and training to complete while they wait for their orders…

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Azure Whispers: Part Three
Enemy of My Enemy

After three days of training, the Scalesworn are approached by a young boy delivering a message from a ‘right frightening beast woman out in the sand’. They quickly realize this must be the same Jakali that lead them to the mountain before. With no reason to distrust the message, they head out to meet with the gnoll and find out what she wants.

The Jakali leads them back towards the Cloud Peaks, this time deviating just before they reach the foothills of the mountain they visited before. Here, they find another ruined gnoll village, burned and devastated like the last. This one, however, is not uninhabited. There are a few dozen humans here, familiar with their leather clothes and blue tattoos. These are the same people the Scalesworn found in that cavern aerie, the ones that were tending to the wyverns.

Rather than react with hostility, these humans are too battered and wounded to offer much of a fight. The Jakali explains that they were set upon, betrayed by the orcs and their strange magically-disguised leader. If the Scalesworn help these people, they might be useful allies against the area’s common threat – those who worship the power behind that red, five-headed mark.

The Scalesworn agree and spend themselves healing and tending to the injured. In return, the tribal leader calls them together and tells them all he knows about the orcs and their leader, whom he overhead them referring to as the ‘Avernal’.

The Scalesworn learn that the wyvern tenders are a tribe called the Skyborn and that their precious wyverns (‘wind dancers’) are mounts and partners, bonded for life and part of their culture. They have no blue dragon alliances and actually fear the coming of any such creature, mostly because any true dragon would treat their wind dancers as nothing more than food or rival predators. It was this threat, along with simple distrust, that caused their dealings with the Orcish envoys to sour.

Betrayed and driven from their homes, the Skyborn fear for their wyverns still trapped in the aerie and for their pregenitor, the Matriarch. The Chaiftain tells the Scalesworn that the Matriarch is deep in the Mountain, in a cavern called the Silverheart. He closed the passage to the Silverheart when they were betrayed but never got to seal the way.

After securing a promise from the Scalesworn to finish the sealing, he teaches them the ritual to do so and tells them of a secret way into the mountain. After a quick rest and a much needed meal, the Scalesworn set out to fulfill their oath and protect the Matriarch.

The Jakali woman, known to them only as the Stalker, joins them without asking. “We have the same enemy. You are all walking the path that leads to my revenge.”

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The path to the Silverheart is not as secret as the Chieftain had hoped and after a while travelling through the hidden passage, the Scalesworn encounter resistance in the form of more humanoids. Kobolds and goblins assail them again, all obviously drawn from the same tribes as the others they have encountered. Battling through these threats, they are ambushed by orcs, powerful foes with excellent arms and armour.

With no quarter or surrender offered to them, the Scalesworn have to fight their way past nearly a dozen Orcish warriors and archers, all backed up by a deadly shaman wielding draconic spirit magic. Though a potent foe, they manage to defeat him and win their way past into the chamber of the Silverheart Gate.

There they come face to face with the Avernal, a dark crimson robed figure with a hidden face and a staff carved from black bone. While he works on trying to force the Gate open with the help of a fiery-winged woman, his bodyguard of several more orcs descend upon the Scalesworn.

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Their battle is hard-fought but the Scalesworn win past the Orcish guard. Upon seeing the last of his defenders slain, the Avernal sends a surging ball of flames to cover his escape. He addresses the winged demoness, “Sarith, love, it is time to go.”

The ball explodes, scattering the Scalesworn as the woman wraps her burning wings around the Avernal, also called ‘Kerr’, and they vanish. His last words summon a final challenge for the Scalesworn as he disappears.

“Spirits of stone and wind and fire.
Destroy these fools that risk my ire.”

Three elementals rise from the spot where the Avernal faded, one of each form named. They are powerful foes, all the more deadly because when they are defeated, each one collapses into a sphere of magical energy branded with the Pentalith, and explodes with draconic fire. Though the Scalesworn survive this scourging by the elements, the Stalker is not so fortunate. She is burned down, slain by the fire elemental when it erupts into dragon’s flame.

With no time to mourn the dead, the Scalesworn move to the Silverheart Gate and recite the ritual. The gate locks and the mountain’s ancient magical defenses activate. All through the caverns of the Skyborn, the Avernal’s invaders are slain or forced to flee.

Before they can even catch their collective breath, the Scalesworn all feel their rings flare to life. A magical pulse runs through each of them, arcing across the chamber to the body of the Stalker. Slain by dragons and consumed by revenge, the Jakali has been chosen by their Master to become D’acharn.

Though it may be some time before their paths cross again, the family of the Scalesworn has gained a new sibling…

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Unquiet Night: Part One
Of Trades and Tragedy

Among the grateful Skyborn, the Scalesworn find rest and relaxation for a few days. They heal their wounds and receive a small tattoo signifying their honorary admission into the tribe they saved. As demanded by Skyborn tradition, each of the Skyborn is taken aside, educated in a few basic words of the Sky-tongue, and given a flagon of ‘Stinger’ to drink.

After lapsing into a pleasant drunken coma, they awaken with their new tattoos and a rightful place as Crawlers, the lowest rank within the Skyborn. A few even receive gifts as befits their skills; arrows and javelins enchanted through tribal magic to become bolts of lightning.

Once the revelry passes, the Scalesworn are given one last boon – a wyvern ride anywhere within a day’s flight. This distance allows them to take an aerial trip all the way to Baldur’s Gate, a coastal city with a full D’acharn Trading House. This allows them to return home, find an excellent inn recommended by a friendly guard, and stay at the ready for any new missions that may come their way.

They do get contacted but not with any specific mission. They are simply told to stay available and remain close to the house for work. Work finds them quickly enough. The D’acharn Caravan has arrived outside the city walls and is setting up for a seasonal bazaar.

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Guard work is nothing new to the Scalesworn and they settle into is quickly. What is new is the revelation of a serious rivalry between the D’acharn Caravan Boss and one of his competitors. This rival caravan has been a thorn in the man’s side for years, constantly skirting the legal line of harassment and taking advantage at every opportunity. The rival Boss has gotten away with this abuse for a long time.

But that was before the Scalesworn arrived. In a wave of minor pranks, subtle thievery, reverse harassment, and food-related defilement, the rival boss is socially destroyed and his entire caravan packs up and slinks away before any further himiliation can befall him. Needless to say, the Scalesworn earn a much-deserved bonus for their service.

Unfortunately, that is where the levity and celebration end. They receive word through the City Watch that the friendly guard they met on the way into trown has been slain. His murder is the latest in a series of killings taking place late at night in the darker streets of Baldur’s Gate. Until now, all the victims have been visitors and strangers to the city. This is the first time a citizen, much less a guardsman, has been killed.

Wishing to avenge the guard, the Scalesworn agree to investigate and set out into the night. The shadows run dark and deep in Baldur’s Gate as the hours grow long. Whatever monster lurks within them, it is sure to be a threat unlike anything the Scalesworn have ever seen…

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