Legends of Moonsong City

What was the Moonsong?

The lift creaked and popped as it lowered from the surface of Moonsong City. Haloisi had felt this feeling before, when once she was rolled under by an unexpected wave without a breath. She stilled herself by humming, but she could not quite reach the correct tonal qualities that made the song special, as Cassile had taught her to do years ago. She stopped humming and sighed a breath, focusing and humming it properly, using subtle water-like motion with her left hand to increase the effect. Much better. She already felt as though… The lift banged as a rope slipped far above. Haloisi hiccuped the last note and grasped the rail with both hands in silence once more.

Some of her companions were at least a little apprehensive, but none matched her for pure fish on shore helplessness. Each was a trained adventurer. Haloisi had no illusions, despite having received incidental training of her own from Cassile back in Bydune, that she was going to be of any use. Her resolve was to merely stay out of everyone else’s way, and not touch anything. Except any books they found. Or grave markers. Or bodies. Or anything academically interesting.

This was a lot to go through, with long odds of success. This adventure with their guide might gain her an adventuring license below the city, and she might find a library on a second journey once she had said license, and she might find the lore there that might answer her questions. And after she used up all of that currency of good fortune required to achieve all of that, she might live to enjoy the achievement. Haloisi was no gambler. The data and subsequent logical conclusion made her for the fool she was, but she would not back away now.

Her companions rode in silence. Their guide, Giles, who had secured their access to the Undercity and the adventurer’s services to find his lost friends, made Haloisi uneasy. Something was off about him. Haloisi had heard no few stories from Cassile regarding the shifty sorts that might secure adventuring work, and he made her feel like her skin was covered in algae and slick mud every time he looked Haloisi up and down. She shuddered in time with the lift.

The party reached their destination sooner than Haloisi would have thought. Torches lit the immediate area, but she could see naught but darkness a few dozen feet away. The air was close and had a dry taste. She breathed through her nose so that she might not end up in a fit of coughing. By the sea, the wind and water allowed nothing to stand in unmaintained permanence. The closest Haloisi could parallel the environment here would be to compare it to an unlived in shanty, if shanties were made of rock and were dry as sun bleached driftwood.

Axiomus anxiously leapt ahead. Haloisi might have cautioned him, but did not want to immediately label herself a coward. That label would be correctly applied in short order once they met with the sorts of traps, monsters and undead that the tales all said so often frequented the ill used halls of millennia past. Axiomus made Haloisi feel safe after a fashion, but only when the human magus was reasonably proximate. Haloisi hastened after the party with an arrow knocked in her shortbow.

She had taken fewer than a dozen steps when she heard the chittering noises and percussive sounds of a hundred legs pounding the dust covered floor. Lorran and Thifal charged forth with great delight. Lyra joined the attack on the shadowed insects, each looming hugely in the dim light. Haloisi quaked. She had never seen insects so large, so horrifyingly repulsive. One of Nisa’s arrows streaked by Haloisi’s ear. Haloisi bit back a shriek, dropping her shortbow and running back towards the lift before realizing it wasn’t going to take her anywhere. The flagstone seal up top was already covered, the lift men likely gone. She huddled beside a torch and did the only thing that seemed natural to her in this unnatural place. She sang.

Old days of pain, that was once new
Faded they are, like sun warm’d dew
Cheer steel you child, your faith renew
Turn to the sun, embrace the light

Come my brothers, it is the day
Fear not the night, it holds no sway
Evil hand moves, it must be stayed
Turn on the foe, prepare to fight!

Armor so bright, shield arms do brace
Blades razor sharp, bow strings are laced
Magic called forth, faith in gods’ grace
Long will our song outlast this night!

Sing of the vict’ry, it is foretold
Stab, slash, and loose, foes fear the bold!
Fight for your life, your lands and gold!
Down fall they now, Evil put to flight!

Her companions made short work of the creatures. of them all, Giles came back to help her to her feet. Haloisi shook off his offer and pulled free a torch; she had other sources of light, but she might as well use what was at hand. Embarrassed, she retrieved her shortbow and a few moments later found the dropped arrow. Then she scurried after the party into the dark of the undercity, using chalk to mark the walls every thirty feet or so with proprietary runes indicating time, direction, and other information that Cassile had developed and taught Haloisi in secret. She would be useful when the party needed to find their way back.

After some time, Lyra stumbled over a loose flagstone. It was not like the agile half-elf to misplace a foot. Soon she was scrambling to remove the stone. A curious Lorran helped her shift the slab, revealing a small cache. Haloisi felt dread coming from the small hole.

“Look at the gems!” Lyra exclaimed, holding aloft an ornate dagger. Haloisi fought the impulse to knock it out of her hand. The part of Haloisi’s mind that enabled her to use magic recoiled at the thought of that dagger.

“Drop that.” Haloisi implored. “Right now.”

Several of her other companions felt Haloisi’s unease as well, urging Lyra to use caution. But Lyra would not be dissuaded. Before Haloisi could press the matter a voice cut the darkness, silencing the party.

“Give it back, it is mine!” The voice demanded, before falling into Goblin sputters that Haloisi imagined were curses. “Leave the dagger or I gets other goblins!”

“Goblin!” Thifal muttered, a dangerous fire in his dwarven eyes. Several party members, including Axiomus, charged into the darkness towards the voice. Thifal, Nissa and Giles stood their ground with Haloisi. Haloisi suspected this was because the former two were wise enough not to charge off, and the latter was a coward. Not that Haloisi had much advantage on Giles in terms of raw nerve in this place.

The goblin taunted them with verses of goblin songs from the recesses of the labyrinthine halls of this area. He persisted in threatening to call ‘others’ but no Goblins materialized. He moved quickly and stealthily; one moment he seemed East, the next South. Axiomus and Lyra gave fruitless pursuit. An idea struck Haloisi then, a story that Cassile had told her about an orc horde. The lesson of that story was that monsters most oft hide in the dark because they are afraid.

“Stop where you are this instant, or my Snarfblaster Spell will magic your head into your stomach!” Haloisi intoned as regally and intimidatingly as she could.

“Me no like pinkie magic!” The goblin wailed.

“Well, mine is the pinkest!” Haloisi declared. “Come to me and make your claim for the dagger. I will mediate, and if your claim is valid, I will see it returned to you.”

Haloisi thought she was getting the matter in hand, but apparently the party did not agree. The party continued their pursuit, and as a result, the goblin resisted Haloisi’s urgings. Nissa spotted the creature and loosed an arrow, catching it cleanly. The rest of the party butchered it over Haloisi’s urgings to stop. Haloisi looked on in disgust, but with academic interest. She had never seen the insides of a goblin before. Do they really have green blood? It was hard to tell in the light. She would have to inspect closer once the butchers were done.

Haloisi became frustrated, but likely the party knew best. They were professional adventurers after all, and the world was well rid of a Goblin. But she wished she could have had an opportunity to ask the creature about the dagger, perhaps find out why it made her so uneasy. Or, if luck held, maybe even gain knowledge of the undercity, including the location of the library rumored to be in its depths. Alas, dead Golblins tell no tales.

The party continued in silence. Haloisi tried to stay reasonably close to Axiomus, but he was in his element with a fever for the adventure so they spoke little. Eventually they came upon a widening in the hall. Haloisi nervously glanced at a wooden Goblin fetish attached to an ancient sconce, a warning for trespassers such as her party. The hall widened here into a courtyard full of rubble. Haloisi imagined she heard the clatter of a rock, then she was certain they were not alone.

“Go away!” A Goblin demanded from the far recesses of the courtyard. “Pinkies have top, under is Goblin!”

Once more, Haloisi attempted to be diplomatic with the Goblins, but unfortunately Tifal caught their attention and the Goblins became fixated on eating the dwarf, effectively ending the negotiations. Crude arrows filled the air. Haloisi was uncertain how many there were, or where, so she hid and sang once more her song of courage to block out the sounds. She tried not to think of what she would do if the party were overwhelmed and Haloisi was the last one standing. Her song faltered, and the skirmish continued.

Axiomus slumped and fell for no readily apparent reason. Haloisi realized that one of the Goblins used a sleep spell; she could sense the residue. She steeled herself, then scrambled from cover to him to shake him awake. The combatants had moved almost out of eyesight. Haloisi tried to peer into every corner to make sure a Goblin rogue didn’t take them unaware.

Axiomus groggily regained his senses. Haloisi used one of her tricks, mixing a few droplets of oil and water from a special container in her pouch, singing to the droplets as they fell at Axiomus’ feet.

“Move swiftly, fight bravely!” Haloisi said. Axiomus struggled to his feet and tried to attack the Goblins from the extreme range and failed.

“Go!” Haloisi said. Axiomus slipped the first few steps as the magical speed hastened the Magus along but quickly became accustomed and charged into the fray. Haloisi sang once more her song of courage and hid from the arrows.

Lorran was injured, and badly. Haloisi plead for help, but the party continued their relentless pursuit of the Goblins, including Lorran himself, to Haloisi’s concern and annoyance. One of the wounded Goblins ran straight towards Haloisi. She reflexively summoned water, blasting it into the Goblin’s face, but not before the creature slashed her. It was a minor wound but burned like fire.

At last, only one Goblin remained. Haloisi plead that they keep this one alive, but her bloodlusting party heard none of it. Once again, valuable information was foregone in favor of immediate bloodthirst. Goblins were not good or naturally kind creatures, but then neither were sharks. That did not make it wise to kill every shark on principle, and unlike sharks, the Goblins might be able to provide information.

Haloisi was realizing fairly quickly that this party and its tactics were more discordant to Haloisi’s goals than their underground environment. She would simply have to form another party when she returned. As if it were so simple; adventurers cost coin.

Haloisi realized then that one of the Goblins had escaped. Drums sounded in the deep.

“It is time to go. Now.” Haloisi demanded.

The party agreed, and the party hastily retreated the way they had come. The drums rescinded into the distance, then were silent.

As they walked, Haloisi reflected on the Sea to relieve her mind of this awful, dry, dusty place rife with vermin and Goblins. Rivers, lakes, ponds and streams all made her feel at home, but the Sea was the most beautiful and inspiring of them all. The sea had three lovers: The Current, the Wind, and the Moon. The Current was deep, steady and strong. The winds were fickle and came and went as they pleased. The Moon was a powerful, reliable, and constant lover with a slow hand.

The Moon. Haloisi thought to herself, and wondered. What was the Moonsong?

Season One, Episode One Recap

Scene #1.1.a (The Plump Pig)

xp: none; Treasure: none;

The party met each other and Giles, who offered them a job as his hirelings to help him find his two lost friends. (Dyre and Amanda) He offered them his sponsorship to help them get their own Explorer’s guild licenses should they be successful. He also offered them 90% of all of the treasure the group found below, provided that the Explorer’s get their first choice of magic items to buy, and he gets the second choice to buy.

Halosi was a little nervous about this whole arrangement, but Abbie told her about a library that is rumored to be below, guarded by undead that cannot be turned by the holy men and women that adventure below.

In the end all of the characters decided to pursue this opportunity.

Scene #1.1.b (Two Giant Centipedes)

xp: 400xp total
treasure found: none.

Party descended into the depths of the old city. They were told that if they needed to be lifted out, Giles would have to use the pass-phrase and they could expect up to a four hour wait while the laborers were gathered and the pass-phrase validated by the Explorer’s guild.

Scene #1.1.c (Well hidden metal box)

xp: 0 total
treasure found: Gleam, magical dagger. Lyra possesses it currently.

The party noticed a very well hidden metal box under a flagstone. It contained a very beautiful magical dagger. Lyra currently possesses it and tells people it’s name is Gleam

Scene #1.1.d (Wandering Monster: Goblin warrior)

xp: 135 total
treasure found: Axiomus gathered 15 cp

A lone goblin in the dark who wanted the party to leave the dagger where they found it and clear out. They chased him in the dark, but he got away for a bit. Once he was spotted, the party made short work of him. He had very little and seemed like he might be a loner.

Scene #1.1.e (Transition from Descent to Goblin Lair)

Goblin Adept; Goblin Alchemist (2); Goblin Tough (2); Goblin Warrior (4)
xp: 2740 total
treasure found: 53sp, 114cp, broken short swords, lousy short bows, lousy arrows, small pouch with 15gp

The party encountered a well defended choke point. The goblins called out to them to leave the area of the BlackBiters, but the party refused. The party attempted to negotiate for passage. The goblins suggested that if they could eat the dwarf, that could work. The dwarf refused and a great battle was engaged.

Thifal Magadukr and Lorran nearly dropped, but in the end the party was successful, thanks to a timely critical from Giles (whom they are liking less and less) and Nisa’s amazing accurate arrows. (When she can see a target)

The Adept fled and escaped. Once the drums started from deeper in the lair, the party decided that Giles two friends could not have possibly gone this way and they fled back into the descent area to continue the search.

What the characters got…

Total XP per Character: 504xp. (divide total by 6.5)
Total Treasure:

  • 15gp, 53sp, 129cp,
  • Magic Dagger
  • broken short swords, lousy short bows, lousy arrows, small pouch
Tempest, in a Tea Cup.

Haloisi forced herself to continue looking down at her pages as Abbey greeted yet another adventurer newly come to The Plump Pig. Her desire to know the histories of everything and the lineages of everyone was a manageable pursuit back in the small fishing village of Bydune, but here in Moonsong City each of the thousands of new faces had new voices, and tens of thousands score ancestors echoing back through the deepest depths of history and beyond. Even after nine months in Moonsong City, the wealth of wonderful familiar relations and first, second and third hand historical accounts overwhelmed her.

Haloisi learned on her first day in the city proper that people fell into two categories. The first did not like perfectly reasonable questions, and shameless liars. The more someone wanted to tell their histories and bloodlines, the more likely they were to fabricate tales and waste her time. She occasionally found gems in those week-old oysters, but more often than not her objects of study in the latter group became angry when she began picking apart their clumsily woven, tangled nets of contradictions and inconsistencies. Haloisi sighed.

A barman set down a clean, empty cup beside her with a smile. On one hand, Haloisi felt a surge of victory at having tactfully handling that particular bit of tact. City water tasted and smelled of the city, and the city did not smell well at all. She had masterfully handled the wait staff here in her requests that they simply bring an empty mug when she sat in the common room to table to commit her findings to paper. She did not want to insult them, especially when the entirety of her room and board depended on their continued patronage.

On the other, a twinge of annoyance. That barman was one of the men who gave her an uneasy feeling when he looked at her, too direct and too long. She supposed she disliked him for his attention, which was odd because he often hid a smile on the few occasions they spoke and seemed pleasant enough. She pushed him from her mind and tried to reconstruct the song in her head, or remember it as if from another life. Lorran was distracting with his mundane lute performance. It was pleasant enough, but one tune drowns out another surely as the tide pushes back the shoreline.

Haloisi absently listened to Lorran’s song as she waved her hand in a surreptitious motion not unlike the rocking of a boat on calm seas, humming the watersong under her breath. Her heart was not in it, and the cup filled very slowly. She then teased the process out, purposefully raising the water level in drip-like increments that filled each tiny ridge of the fired clay cup as the level rose. With her other hand, she flipped open her new journal and wrote. Having already committed the day’s experiences to paper, she wrote of herself.

The blue child was born of land and sea, where the two met a few leagues from the seaside town of Oasis. Two Elven parents awaited her, one in pain and labor, the other in worry and concern, both in love. The midwife comforted the child’s mother as soon as her inspection of the child was complete, assured her all was well.

“She is a Child of the Sea, all is well.” the Midwife claimed. At that moment the child cried in a voice that all attending the birth recalled was profound and special in a way they could not fully describe.

After a silence, her Father kissed her on her brow and smiled at her mother.

“Haloisi,” her Father said. The sea, in storm.

Haloisi finished filling the cup, but kept humming and hand-dancing. Her drifting mind was an island now. There were no patrons, no lute, no inn. It was just Haloisi, and the song, and the dance, and the water.

In a trance, she watched the water rise in an inverted whirlpool, spinning upwards to a point. A passerby bumped into her, breaking her trance and raining water back into the cup. Not a drop hit the table, or more importantly, her notes.

She looked at her notes; she had drawn the figures again. Ever since she was a child, her learning disability displayed itself whenever she stopped concentrating and became fully distracted. Haloisi-speak, her teachers had called it. Sinewy lines like waves and drops of water appeared in her hand, only this time, she knew what the letters meant. She could understand it, though not necessarily read it, as well as if it were written in Common.

Tempest, in a Tea Cup.

A Path to Glory

Scene: The Plump Pig

The tavern has a well worn feel, and the inviting smell of stew simmering over an open cooking hearth. There is the low murmur of conversations in the background, as a minstrel plays a soothing tune on a lute. Some of the other tavern regulars are nearby, slowing drinking their ale and engaged in idle conversation.

In the months since you’ve come to Moonsong City, you’ve gotten to know a few of them. They were generally like you, looking for the adventure that Moonsong City promises as the largest city in the known world. However, the adventure that lurked beneath the city required one to be officially sanctioned by the Explorers Guild… or know your own way into the ruined city beneath your feet.

As you enter, Abbie calls you over.

“I think this gentleman might have a job that could use your help.” She says. “His name is Giles Daleborn, and I expect him back later this evening. He’s offered me a reward if I could gather a group of people who might be interested in some adventure.”

She looks up with a grin.

“I thought maybe you might find this to be an interesting idea. Buy an ale and sit at the bar, and I’ll let you know when he comes in.”

Welcome to your campaign!
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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.

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