The Emerald Spire

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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.

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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 Origin of Rusco Bhiari - Part 1

Rusco Bhiari was a half-elf that was raised by his father Dorum, having never met his elven mother Eloen Rovaris (if that was even her real name).  During the day, Dorum worked as a handyman in the tenement where they lived in the city of Daggermark.  He lacked any skills in repairing things, but he excelled at intimidating the tenants into solving their problems themselves.  When he wasn’t amassing a bar tab that he couldn’t afford, his father spent his nights robbing merchants and noblemen’s homes.  He didn’t exclude the lower class from his crimes out of altruistic motives; he just didn’t want to waste his time on small scores. Dorum was not the smartest brute on the block, and the only fences he knew took advantage of that and always paid him a small fraction of the value of his purloined goods.

As a small child, Rusco was mainly cared for by whatever poor foolish woman had fallen for Dorum’s charms.  She would live with them in their rented flat for a couple weeks, some even lasted a month or two, but in the end, Dorum’s anger and abusive nature would reveal itself, and she would leave.  A couple of them even offered to take little Rusco with them, but he wouldn’t go, just in case his mother returned for him.  This was a childish dream that would never come true.

Once Rusco was old enough to start his education, his father refused to send him to school.  A local schoolteacher offered to instruct him at no cost, but his father felt that it was a waste of time.  Instead, Dorum began to teach him the ways of a thief, picking pockets, and locks, moving unseen or heard and other less than savory skills.  His teaching methods were unsettlingly cruel and of the “sink or swim” methodology.  For example, Dorum would lock him in the building’s cellar under their flat for days with a loaf of bread, a waterskin, and small locked metal box. Inside the box was a whistle.  Once Rusco could blow the whistle, Dorum would let him out.  Sometimes he would carry Rusco up onto the high rooftops in the noble district at night and leave him there.  Either Rusco would have to climb down unnoticed or he would have to deal with the local watch.  Sometimes this ended in victory, and sometimes it ended in broken bones.  On one occasion, it resulted in a 3-month stay in the local orphanage, as Dorum did not want to risk interacting with the law.  The tragedy was when Dorum finally came to take him home, as this had been the best 3 months of Rusco’s childhood.

After returning to the nightmare that was his home, the torturous training continued, teaching him how to open complex locks, to notice and avoid traps, and to fight with a blade.  Dorum would manipulate Rusco by giving him small nuggets of information about his mother.  Some of this information was true, but most of it was fiction just to keep Rusco focused.  For whatever reason, Rusco latched on to one particular story.  Dorum told him that the last time he saw Eloen she said that she was bored with their life and wanted to return to the adventures she had known before motherhood.  She had heard about a great, score not far from the town of Mosswater and left to seek it out.

On a hot evening in late summer, Dorum came home earlier than normal, drunk, and angrier than ever.  The tavern keeper at the Dirty Flagon had thrown him out for not paying his tab, and he went home to take out his anger on his son.  When he arrived in their flat, he found that his liquor stash was dry.  He had forgotten that he had polished it off a few nights before, and accused Rusco of drinking it.  He beat Rusco harder than ever before; twisting his arm behind his back so hard the neighbors would have heard the snap of the bone, if not for Rusco’s loud shouting and unanswered cries for help.  While Rusco lay on the ground holding his useless arm, Dorum continued to kick him, breaking a rib or two.

Rusco tried to crawl away from his father, leaving a smeared trail of blood on the floor.  Dorum noticed the hatch to the cellar nearby and opened it.  He was probably going to lock Rusco down their again, or maybe Dorum was going to finish Rusco’s training by killing him and burying his body down there like Rusco had long feared.  His intentions didn’t matter because in a moment of desperation, Rusco tripped his drunk father, who stumbled, and fell down the steep steps, landing on the hard dirt floor, breaking his neck in a silent slump.

He didn’t call for help.  The neighbors didn’t complain about the noise.  Rusco just laid there on the floor.  He thought he would die, but eventually hunger or thirst forced him to move.  His skin hurt as he peeled himself off the dried blood stained floor.  He washed himself as best he could in their basin, and bandaged his wounds with the healer’s kit his father had stolen from a priest many years ago.  He grabbed a small bit of gold that he had hidden away under a baseboard.  Bending over hurt so badly that he had to lay down on the floor and pry up the board with one hand.  He took his father’s rapier and backpack, then wrapped himself in his father’s duster, and limped out the door. 

He walked out of the city gates determined to find his mother and get the truth that his father withheld from him, but before he could seek her out, he had to find a place to recover.  He needed somewhere to rest and to find supplies.  Fate lead Rusco in several unintended directions and it was years before he found the clues he needed, but in that time he learned that the village of Mosswater had been slaughtered long ago, and was unlikely to be his mother’s destination.  However, there was a famous ruin in the nearby Echo Woods known as the Emerald Spire.  He became fixated on this place and was convinced that his mother had gone there.  Perhaps she died there, or maybe it holds some clue to her current whereabouts.  He began seeking out others to aid in his quest, individuals willing to risk everything for fame, glory, treasure…  Their motives did not matter, just as long as he could trust them to fight by his side.

Alive or dead, he did not care.  He just wanted to learn the truth.

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The Origin of Rusco Bhiari - Part 2

Painfully, Rusco walked along the hard, dusty road for hours, his bruises and blood stained clothes drawing the occasional stare from passersby.  Each step felt like it required herculean effort to lift the seemingly lead lined boot from the sun-scorched ground.  His pace steadily slowed until he collapsed beneath the shade of a large old tree just at the edge of the nearby forest.

 

He knew he hadn’t traveled nearly far enough if he was only now reaching the Daggermark woods.  This was a dangerous place to rest, but he had depleted his strength and his wounds were greater that he wanted to believe.  One of his eyes was swollen shut, his left arm didn’t seem to work, his bandages were soaked with blood, and he found it increasingly difficult to breath.  He tried to get back to his feet to get more distance between him and his father’s corpse, but he just stumbled to his side and fell unconscious.

 

When he next opened his eye, he was in was lying on his back on a extravagantly soft bed, or so it seemed to him.  Standing over him was the face of an unfamiliar dwarf.  She had round, almost bulbous features, her nose and cheeks were red from too many years of drink, and she had twisted her long auburn hair into braids tied off with twine and old ceramic bottle stoppers.  “Don’t try to sit up,” she said.  “You’re in a room at the Wicked Mule Inn.  You have a couple broken ribs, your shoulder was dislocated, and… well, basically, you seem to have had your ass handed to you.  I’ve set your shoulder, stitched your wounds, and replaced those soaked rags with proper bandages.”  She lifted her large mug, threw back an enormous slug of ale, let out the deepest, loudest belch that Rusco had ever heard.  Then she said, “I’ve been kind enough to provide you with a room at this inn, now tell me how you ended up this way and then I’ll see if there is anything that can be done for you.”

 

Rusco explained that after years of regular abuse, his father had beaten him nearly to death, and that he had fled his home.  He did not mention what had become of Dorum, just that he would never return home.  He told the Dwarf, whose name he learned was Glovana, about his quest to find his estranged mother, and to follow her example by becoming a great adventurer.  Glovana felt pity and told Rusco that she was a cleric and after her nightly vigils, she would return and pray for his wounds to heal.  Rusco found this hard to believe since she did not look like any cleric he had ever seen before, but true to her word later that night she wavered into his room, knelt beside his bed and softly slurred a prayer.  It was difficult to understand, but he heard her say something about barley and hops.  When she finished Rusco felt wobbly, as if he had drank too much, then he let out a slight elf-like burp and abruptly the worst of his injuries were gone.

 

“In the morning I will cross the Mid West Sellen River, and cut south for the town of Artume.  I have some business there and cannot delay any further.  Artume is famous for attracting the attention of would-be adventurers so perhaps there is something of interest there for you.  Travel with me, if you wish, or don’t.  It’s your choice.  However, unless you have some money of your own, you’re going to have to leave this fine room.  The innkeeper, Alfgeir Halison, let me have the room for two nights in exchange for blessing his tavern, and casks but that is the extent of his generosity.

 

Rusco used some of his gold to buy some clothes from one of the Inn’s other guests, and the following morning he left with Glovana to find his mother, and adventure.

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The Thoughts of Durel

When people first meet me I tend to fade in the background but I will speak up when I have something to say.  Yelling at me will not help my situation either.  If I choose to walk away it is because I do not wish to be there.  I will do what needs to be done plain and simple.  I use my magic when it is necessary.  I will not waste it on frivolous things.  My magic is a gift from Nethys and is to be used wisely.  While my companions may jump into situations I will often hang back slightly to observe and support.  Money is for the benefit of knowledge.  If I am in a situation where the spending of gold will keep me and those with my similar goal alive I shall do it, if it is a mere trinket is it of no use to me.

Growing up in the enclave of Nethys scholars and clerics was good for opening my mind to new things, but socially it was not an easy one. The group pushed me in my studies for any and all knowledge.  If I didn't respect the thirst for knowledge and those with more knowledge than you, you were punished.  I was never beaten as I know others would have, but the cutting words of disappointment, and derision went far deeper. The constant threat that if I didn't live up to the expectation set before me, no matter if I was performing things well beyond my years, I would be turned on onto my own without my mother.   That is why when I speak it is for a purpose.  I would prefer in most situations for others to speak due to that ingrained fear that I will be turned away from my companions if I say something wrong.  
After each scolding by the scholars and clerics my mother would comfort me saying they didn't really mean it but just as they were brilliant at what they do, they also were borderline madmen.  In order for me to have an outlet other than simply study, my mother encouraged me to take on a craft of some sort.  I think she would have preferred that I take up candle or cheese making, instead I became fascinated by the crafting of arms and armor. The mixing of the metals, and forging from steel fascinated me.  When the magic of the scholars were added to them they became true works of art.

When people first meet me I tend to fade in the background but I will speak up when I have something to say.  Yelling at me will not help my situation either.  If I choose to walk away it is because I do not wish to be there.  I will do what needs to be done plain and simple.  I use my magic when it is necessary.  I will not waste it on frivolous things.  My magic is a gift from Nethys and is to be used wisely.  While my companions may jump into situations I will often hang back slightly to observe and support.  Money is for the benefit of knowledge.  If I am in a situation where the spending of gold will keep me and those with my similar goal alive I shall do it, if it is a mere trinket is it of no use to me.

Growing up in the enclave of Nethys scholars and clerics was good for opening my mind to new things, but socially it was not an easy one. The group pushed me in my studies for any and all knowledge.  If I didn't respect the thirst for knowledge and those with more knowledge than you, you were punished.  I was never beaten as I know others would have, but the cutting words of disappointment, and derision went far deeper. The constant threat that if I didn't live up to the expectation set before me, no matter if I was performing things well beyond my years, I would be turned on onto my own without my mother.   That is why when I speak it is for a purpose.  I would prefer in most situations for others to speak due to that ingrained fear that I will be turned away from my companions if I say something wrong.  
After each scolding by the scholars and clerics my mother would comfort me saying they didn't really mean it but just as they were brilliant at what they do, they also were borderline madmen.  In order for me to have an outlet other than simply study, my mother encouraged me to take on a craft of some sort.  I think she would have preferred that I take up candle or cheese making, instead I became fascinated by the crafting of arms and armor. The mixing of the metals, and forging from steel fascinated me.  When the magic of the scholars were added to them they became true works of art.

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