The Plight of Man

The Rise Of ORCUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The undead of the catacombs while frightening proved to be less of a problem than expected. The daughters of the dead were largely avoided or bribed with the corpses of fresh victims and the gaze of the ever hungry walls were avoided and resisted. The parties pursuit of the false king endured and after a brief dunk in a body of water filled with the undead emerged before a plain wooden door.

The door was eased open and upon a large stone throne sat a familiar man; he was clad in black armor, his face concealed by black steel and black cloth. A smaller weaselly figure stood before the throne, bowing before the man upon it profusely.

Upon sighting of the figures before her the ever daring Iris attempted an impossible shot and slew the weaselly man in front of the throne with great accuracy and the bold Oret took giant strides to close recover the corpse sprint across the long room only to be knocked down before the corpse by the man in black.

With assistance from Iris, Oret was able to recross the length of the room much more quickly than normally possible as the man in black transformed the dead body of the would be king into an undead hulk.

The hulk charged across the room but was put down by the party before it could reach them. As the man in black strode across the room the party forced him to show his true form. Bone wings sprouted from his back and his putrid flesh expanded making him much larger than before. the deathwatch goggles upon Sigmunds head revealed him to be truly undead. As another pair of wings sprouted from the back of the hulking figure the party felt great dread sink into their stomachs but managed to hold their ground.

After a long and arduous battle the party stood victories and sought to return from the depths of the catacombs. upon emerging they witnessed a sky deep red in color and felt a foreboding presence upon the air. The dead in the streets began to rise around them. Looting began immediately.

Upon taking what they could Iris teleported away with Oret leaving Sigmund on his own as he went to acquire what knowledge and items he could from a magic shop.

Iris and Oret appeared in front of a forbidding forest that once promised to kill them if they ever again found themselves within its domain. Behind them lay a great crater in the ground ; this was once the location of a great city filled with heroes and wealth but was swallowed by the fey forest when they were left unchecked by heroes that could have saved them.

Rather than risk the forest the pair journeyed east and found themselves within the city of (insert name please too drunk); this city was ruled by the church of Torag but Iris and Oret did not know this and quickly found themselves at odds with the church mainly due to the even more demonic appearance of Iris. Oret found himself unable to offload goods he had acquired during his journeys and ended up resorting to employing Iris to do so.

Sigmund found himself the nearest magic shop and acquired a magic carpet within. He rode high above the lands and witnessed not only the undead rising within the fields but upon turning back to face the city witness a huge creature with spiraling goat horns and fur covered hoofed legs climbing from a portal. He recognized this terror as Orcus one of the great demon lords.

His journey took him to the southeast where he eventually met up with Sed a cleric of Torag. Upon Relaying the distressing news to Sed the two of them traveled northward together. Along the way many people approached Sigmund. to gain favor and pledge donations to bring beauty into the world

Upon arriving at the city Sigmund found out that a demon had taken up residence in the city recently and that the church hoped to rectify that. They joined the hunt for this demon and quickly through it was revealed that Iris was the demon they sought. With the help of Sigmund however bloodshed was avoided and an understanding was reached. Iris was proved to be within Sigmund’s control to everyone; other than those within the party.

As dawn broke across the ramparts it was revealed that the dead had snuck upon the city. The city was under siege now and the only person who may be able to releave them from the plague was LuaBai.

The party agreed to retrieve LuaBai from the tunnels below the city in exchange for Iris’s life. The church of Torag gave Sigmund a blessing as they departed into the tunnels. After many hours of wandering they reached a large underground city called Forlorn. The city lay abandoned for many years however a recently deserted camp site was discovered and the gates to the city were cracked open.

Upon passing through the gates the party found themselves standing upon the fairly fresh remains of a party from the church of Torag. It would seem that this city isn’t as empty as it as it would first appear. Moans and the scraping of claws could be heard not far off…….

Brimstone and Hellfire

Dawn was fast approaching as Iris opened her eyes, scraping salt crystals from the edges. The young councilman lay next to her, his body limp from the night’s exertions; his head using her right wing like a pillow. Iris was sure that the night had gotten her the boy’s loyalty. The act had been much easier than just shooting him in the head and had almost felt as good. With the morning sun peeking through the window curtains, Iris deemed it was time to leave. As she edged her way out of the large, four post bed, the silken sheets sliding across her exposed skin almost convinced her to stay, but she managed to resist the urge, if only just barely. The young lord let out a slight groan as she moved his head off of her wing and set it upon the nearest pillow. Finally managing to get out of bed, she did a quick search for her undergarments and her dress. She slipped her silk dress up past her waist and had to shimmy a bit to get it past her chest. After a few more minute of struggle, she managed to finish dressing and with a cast of mage hand and presdigitation, had her hair in ornate curls. With a quick cast of dimension door, she silently vanished from the manor and appeared outside of the inn that her companions were staying at.

With the guild’s task in the city complete, Iris finally had some time to take care of her own goals within the city. The Church of Asmodeus was very powerful in this country and its center of power was within this capital. By destroying the cult of Orcus within the city’s walls, the Asmodeans had become quite friendly with her little group. Through this friendship, Iris was able to obtain two arcane scrolls; one of planar binding and one of trap the soul. She was also given permission to use one of the churches summoning chambers for a minor donation of 10,000 gold. After spending the better part of the morning searching for a diamond valued at at least 10,000g, Iris returned to the Church of Asmodeus and locked herself in a summoning chamber.

The ritual Iris was about to perform was not something to be taken lightly; lest her soul be forfeit, and so Iris was taking every precaution that she could. She began by laying the foundation of the summoning circle in powdered silver, something all devils were loathe to be touched by. Within the circle itself, Iris laid out nine soul gems, one to touch upon each layer of Hell. Iris then cast a dimensional anchor upon the circle and deemed her circle complete. Just to be sure that everything would go smoothly however, Iris enchanted the diamond she had purchased earlier with a casting of trap the soul and placed the gem in the center of the circle. If the erinyes even dared to betray her, she would complete the spell and bind her soul to the gem until she agreed to the foul bargain.

With everything in place, Iris began chanting the arcane script of the scroll of planar binding to call upon an erinyes from the nine hells. With the final syllable spoken a rift of hellfire and the smell of brimstone ripped open within the circle and stepping out of it was the majestic form of an erinyes. The devil was beautiful and terrifying; its great black wings stretching the entire length of the ten-foot summoning circle. The woman’s skin was nearly flawless and her beauty was of the angels of heaven itself, but marred by several bruises along her side. In a voice that once sang the purest of notes, the fallen angel demanded to know why she had been summoned.

With a silver tongue that Asmodeus himself would be envious of, Iris managed to convince the erinyes to bind her power into Iris in exchange for a powerful unholy weapon to smite her foes. THe erinyes was eager to lay her hands upon the weapon and without a second thought, agreed to the bargain. Iris and the erinyes sealed the pact with a bloody signature and a kiss. As their lips met, Iris felt the power of the Erinyes flood through her. Iris handed over the unholy rapier she had found and the creature left in another flash of Hellfire back to Dis, the second layer of Hell. Iris left the chamber with a grin from ear to ear. Her power was growing and the man in the black suit of armor would soon be the one to be afraid of her.

Avoiding Geppetto's Fate

A pocket watch slowly ticked nearby, counting down each second, as Iris lounged upon the pile of sand inside the giant whale that had swallowed them. She had been trying to pinpoint exactly where the watch was buried for the last hour by sound and was pretty sure of where it lay buried, but the constant tick gave her peace of mind as her companions slept and she would rather not get up anyhow. Her familiar rested at the bottom of the whale’s pool of stomach acid, rifling through the remains of whatever else the whale had swallowed. Kali’s sense of curiosity could be felt through the bond and made Iris smirk a bit at how such a creature could be so interested in the most mundane of things. A spark of excitement shot through the bond as Iris finished her thought and Kali broke the acid surface with a strange wooden doll and what looked to be the skull of an older gentleman. Kali smashed the doll into the skull until it cracked and then ate the whole thing in one swallow.

Iris looked around and studied her companions a bit. Sir Sigmund Alkraine rested near the edge of the stomach, wrapped up in his bedroll, his armor off to the side. The cleric intrigued Iris immensely, especially after his latest dealing in the slave camp and in rescuing Iris without much bloodshed. She did of course feel a sense of loss at the lack of bloodshed, but it was better than having to waste her time trying to escape. That always turned out to be quite a mess. How Sigmund managed to restrain himself while witnessing so many acts against his faith was hard to imagine and Iris figured she would have to ask him later on. Either way, his ability to do so brought much respect from Iris. The faith of Shelyn got a few positive points in her eyes because of his actions. Of course, she should probably never show Sigmund of the painting in her room of Shelyn and Nocticula in a rather entangled position, that would probably be a breaking point between the two of them. He mumbled some half-whispered prayer to Shelyn in his sleep as Iris moved her gaze onto their other companion. Oreg he called himself, a rather dimwitted creature by the way he had acted so far. He was an oread, a rarely seen race of humans descended from the shaitans, but that was just about all that Iris knew about him. He was immensely tall, towering over her at what looked to Iris to be about 6’4, maybe even 6’5. He was slow though and Iris had no fear of outrunning the creature or just lifting into the air and taking him down at gunpoint. Iris had a brief flash of his head mounted, but quickly shook it away; she wasn’t a fan of heads…but hearts…that she might need to start collecting soon.
Iris’s thoughts had trailed for a few minutes and when she finally came out of her daydream, she found Oreg awake and running his hands through the stomach acid of the whale and using it to clean himself. Maybe there was a bit of wisdom in those old stones of his. Rested enough for the day, Iris rose up and stretched her wings. Some of the feathers were matted and she figured she should probably clean herself off when they got here. She would want to look her best to seduce whoever this son of the councilman was anyhow. It was probably time to lay on a bit of the charm instead of shooting anything that moved anyhow. It had only done her wrong lately and Sigmund seemed to have done well enough by talking instead of blowing up. She would have to try it a bit more often. With her thoughts gathered and Kali’s form wrapped around the length of her left arm, Iris moved to explore the stomach of this creature and find the group a way out of this place.

A Changing Path

Downtime did not sit well with Iris, she began to realize as she paced back and forth in her bedchambers. It had been weeks since Knight Captain whatshisname had last given them information on the last sighting of the Cult of Orcus or its leader and nothing else of note had happened since their return from “up north.”
Iris’s boredom did however give her time to put finishing touches on her alter room and set into motion plans to take care of those that had built it while she was gone. When the time came, their sacrifice would be for a worthy and very delightful cause. For now however, she sent them on their way with enough gold to feed their families and leaving with knowledge of a job well done and well paid for. Each left with an invitation to Iris’s first gala that allowed them to bring their family and any friends that they wanted in celebration of the project’s completion. What a celebration it was going to be! The daytime distraction was nice to have and gave her something to be excited about.
The time off-duty also gave Iris time to work the Art in ways she had only recently begun to comprehend. As an evoker, Iris was able to create energy from nothing and direct it any many different forms from a searing blast of flame to a bolt of lightning or even a stream of acid. With her growing understanding of magic however, she had learned to change one element into another; the bolt of lightning becoming a beam of intense flame or the fireball into an explosion of frozen shards.

Her Devotion Recognized in Blood

The silence was almost overwhelming as Iris sat amid the empty chamber in the abandoned temple of Aroden. Guy had most likely passed out hours ago across the hall and Kali had left to haunt the streets during the night while Iris was supposed to be meditating. She could sense the creature feasting on some poor child it had caught wandering the streets. Something was off with this city, but Iris had yet to place exactly what about it seemed wrong. The silence was not natural for such a large city and the lack of worship among all of the temples around them raised a few other concerns.

She finally slipped into a trance as she thought about her latest sacrifice to Nocticula. She had finally reached out with the blood sacrifice of the cowardly Paladin. She was loathe to sacrifice a member of the new guild, but the man knew too much about her intentions and had already gotten in her way one too many times. At least he had been truly useful with his death. She recalled Nocticula’s voice in her head praising her for her devotion and the joy she felt at being noticed by such an incredible force. It wouldn’t be long now before she would receive a vision from her Goddess to show her devotion even more. She knew the majority of what the ritual required, but not all that would be required of her or if she would even be deemed worthy of Nocticula’s attention. She began to drift into a void with these last thoughts, her mind attempting to organize the day’s events and prepare for another.

Such a drifting was not meant to be this night however, as Iris was ripped from her thoughts by a loud crack. Pain raced along her back as her shoulder blades and collarbone began to crack and pop out of place. The pain sent her to the floor in a spasm and a blood-curdling scream escaped from her throat before the pain became too unbearable to even give a voice to. Her shoulder blades ripped from her back in a gory explosion of flesh, blood, and bone, covering the room in a splatter. The exposed bone quickly began to grow into a skeletal set of wings, forcing Iris onto her stomach. Her voice had gone hoarse from the scream and Guy was nowhere to be seen as of yet, so Iris clawed her way along the ground to the window looking for any escape in her frenzied and pain-ridden state. She managed to pull herself onto the window stand and tumble outside into the cold air, hoping that the chill would dampen the pain if nothing else. No lamps in any of the houses had turned on and she figured no help was on its way.

The loss of blood and agonizing pain finally managed to overwhelm her senses and she blacked out, the last thing seen was a robed figure approaching her and extending their hand and the pleasure of Kali’s latest victim mixing in with her thoughts of pain and death through the bond between the two.

When Iris finally awoke, she found herself on an alter, the room dark and filled with the scent of roses and iron. She tried to stand and finally managed it after first crumpling to the floor. The muscles in her back ached tremendously and as she attempted to stretch, she sensed new muscles stretching along with the others and felt a slight breeze from behind her as wings stretched open, black feathers stretching about five feet on either side. The feeling was…odd. She moved the wings to flex the muscle and found them surprisingly strong for having only recently ripped out of her back. She ran her fingers through the black feathers and was delighted at the feeling. The feathers, as well as the rest of her she figured, was matted in dry blood from last night. She had a slight shiver as she remembered the pain of receiving her “gift.” Hopefully Guy had not ventured into the room, as the scene she left would probably send him in a frantic search in this strange city and into prison.

Grabbing her things, which someone had graciously placed near the wall, Iris left the room and found herself in the inner chamber of a temple to Shelyn recently desecrated and rededicated to the demon lord, Nocticula. In sight of a statue of the demon lord, Iris offered a deep prayer along with an act of devotion to her lord with the nearest acolyte of the faith, a young blond woman. The young woman only barely survived the ordeal as Iris ended the prayer, the pungent taste of blood filling her mouth. She had no idea how she looked, but she knew it couldn’t be good. Too exhausted to even use magic to clean herself off, she walked into the light of the outside world.

The sun was bright as she stepped out and she had to shield her eyes to see anything. Shadowed figures moved on the streets and many spoke of an incident that had happened the other day. Eavesdropping on conversations and stopping a guard to ask what had happened led Iris to know it had definitely been Guy, her familiar, and someone else. She could sense her familiar south of town, so she quickly made her way there and found them near the river outside of town. Strangely, she noted that none of the odd townsfolk reacted to her wings in any way. It troubled her, but upon meeting her companions, she found out why. It all came together once Iris learned the the town was all but destroyed by the Blight Skull and the majority of those walking around were undead, necropolitans most likely according to dark tomes she had read. She wondered how many had willingly surrendered their mortal lives to live forever as a decaying bag of flesh. She felt pity for all of them, but with what Guy told her, there was very little any of them could do.

The newest travel companion was resting not far off and woke to Iris and Guy talking. With weapon in hand, he rose, and went over to the group. To Iris’s delight, the newest companions first action was to detect her morality and the look on his face bought him a smirk from Iris as she explained to Guy that the cleric was simply casting a spell to ward off undead. The two stared at each other knowingly and as the tension began to build, Iris offered her hand in invitation to the Tigerlily Guild. The offer of companionship instead of bloodshed took the cleric off-guard and he accepted, his eyes still never leaving Iris as he shook hands with her. Iris used the last charge on her necklace of teleportation and they found themselves whisked back to their guildhall.

Iris’s first act back in was to find a mirror and look at the mess she had become. She found herself covered in dried blood, her dress completely soaked through from the back. Thank the gods she wore black. Her hair suffered the same fate, dried blood plastering it to the side of her face. No wonder the cleric had opened up their meeting with a casting of detect evil, she looked like she had just murdered someone in a back alley or been the victim of such an act. She was quick to remedy the situation with a few castings of predigitation, drench, and breeze. A bath would be needed later, but at least she looked like she actually took care of herself!

A Familiar Friend

Fooled again by that arrogant bastard of Orcus, Iris Caldera was not one to cross that evening. As soon as the King dismissed her and Guy, she split from him as he went back to Tigerlily headquarters. She decided that tonight would be the night that she had a word with her demonic patron to guide her in how to should move forward from such a betrayal. In order to do so however, she needed to summon a creature of the lower planes to commune with her Patron.

To entice such a creature, she spent her night shoving soul gems into the stomachs of “volunteers”until she felt the gem giving off a magical aura. Being unable to directly trap their souls with magic, she only took the barest of fragments as their souls passed on to the River Styx with the gem by having it inside of them as they exhaled their dying breath. This took thirteen individuals, none of which survived the ordeal, but whose screams of agony did wonders to lighten Iris’s mood. Her targets tonight were all of the variety of predators of woman and children and she doubted greatly that their killer would be sought for justice. Her vigilante rendezvous lasted until 4 in the morning, but she was a totally different person than the stalking assassin of earlier, even stopping to give a small orphan child a gold piece on the street.

With her collection of two conglomerations of souls, thirteen skulls, and seven hearts (the rest ruined during her retrieval of them), she returned to her chambers back at the guildhall. With a quick meditation to rest her mind, Iris began drawing the arcane runes and incantations needed to summon a being of the lower planes and inscribing the circle with a magic circle against evil at the same time to hold the creature at bay. Her first task was to summon a cythnigot, a foul fungal parasite, and make a deal with the creature to obtain infectious spores from the spore-like qlippoth; its very appearance causing her stomach to almost jump out of throat in a mix of disgust and fear. This was a bit more challenging than she thought it would be as the creature moved around the magic circle infecting the recently living tissue of the hearts and animating it into rather grotesque forms and interested in nothing else. Once thoroughly satisfied, the creature eagerly offered spores in exchange for the enjoyment it obtained from the hearts and for the chance to destroy the souls of so many individuals trapped within the soul gem. Iris stored the spores in a flask of blood to keep them from sticking to the sides of the flask and to keep them thriving for their real purpose, a completely loyal and intelligent familiar with whom she would give her the magic needed to make contact with Nocticula and take the first step toward her goal.

With the spores needed, she dismissed the smelly puffball and recited the incantation to summon a cacodaemon, one of the weakest of the daemons, but also the only of their kind willing to serve as a familiar. To Iris, the creature was magnificent. The iridescent red scales and five golden eyes surrounding the maw of row upon row of mismatched, razor sharp teeth gave her a bit of a giddy feeling inside. The two spoke telepathically in abyssal for hours and Iris offered her filled soul gem for the creature to devour and absorb if it agreed to serve as her familiar. After a bit of convincing, the creature agreed. The pact was sealed with magic, blood, and the bloody, spore encrusted soul gem that the ravenous cacodaemon devoured upon the pact’s completion. The spores went to work quickly, growing rapidly within their new host and taking over it’s body and mind. A fibrous stalk grew from within the creature’s stomach, ending in a a strong set of fanged jaws resembling a Venus Fly Trap within the creatures already formidable maw.

The cacodaemon’s loyalties wiped clean from the cythnigot takeover of it’s body, Iris’s new familiar had allegiance only to her. Iris had her familiar take on the form of a 7 year-old girl and walked from her room to introduce the young girl as Kali, her newest companion. Kali had her master’s gift for sweet-talking and quickly won over most she met with her large green eyes, wide smile, and raven hair. Only Iris knew the monster that the girl truly was and couldn’t wait to unleash her familiar against her enemies. Today, she would rest and ready herself to commune with Nocticula through her familiar’s magic. Tonight, she would take the first step to become a demon. All she needed was a noble soul to sacrifice….

Ahoy Ye Matey!

Iris woke up to the bright light of the sun shining down on her and found herself chained to a hard bed, her dress replaced by tattered white rags she wouldn’t even have given to her slaves. Infuriated, she called to the nearest person who looked to be in charge, a nurse by the looks of it. Iris considered for a moment to charm the woman into freeing her, but she had no idea where she was or how she had gotten her. She asked the woman these questions and learned that she was sent to the hospital after falling unconscious and suffering moderate burns by the bellboy who had turned out to actually be an assassin with a hit for Iris’s group. She was also a suspect in a investigation into pirates that had been threatening the city.

Iris was forced to wait to learn more until Guard Captain Phobias entered the room and unlocked her manacles, a skill she deemed she needed to pick up as soon as she was able. Phobias told her that the king had actually requested their presence and tasked them with looking into the pirate troubles. Iris’s companion, Guy Charbot began to mumble and wake at thsi time and agreed to the investigation. The third group member, Inta had vanished and been reportedly seen multiple times throughout the city, but never there long enough to talk to. The two began preparations and set off to where reports of pirate activity had been throughout the last few weeks. Guy worked with the guards to make sure his swordsmanship was still up to par, while Iris took a bit more carnal route to make sure her skills were still up to par and became a prostitute for one of the finer establishments in town, sending a prayer to Nocticula for each of her “sessions,” and learning as much as she could about the pirates she was after. The two joined back together soon after and made their way to Iris’s recently acquired house in the slums to plan what to do, Guy unaware of how the house was actually acquired.

The two made their way to the Guard barracks to speak with Phobias about rewards, tactics, and locations, and were then on their way. The journey only took a few days and they came across a group of holy fisherman being harassed by the pirates as well as saved two orphaned little boys who had been trying to rummage through their belongings one of the nights. One of the boys suffered a huge bite from a rabid wolf the next night and died along the road. The other boy then tried to run away in grief. Iris lifted her rifle to stop the emotional outpouring of the slave and then raise it as a subservient zombie as was custom, but Guy asked her to lower the rifle so they could be on their way. They soon came upon the Pirate stronghold hidden in a cave after that and swam to climb the side of the board away from land, hoping to surprise those aboard. The climb wasn’t as quiet as Iris had hoped and her weapons clanged along the side of the ship right as she reached over alerting those cleaning above deck. The pirates rang an alarm and a slaughter began.

The pirates were certainly not lacking membership even if they were lacking any intelligence. With Guy standing between her prey and herself, she unloaded spell after spell through her rifle, sending round after round of darkness, faerie fire, and even levitating a few pirates as her bullets continued to tear through them. After a few minutes of slaughter, the two decided to make their move to the lower decks. The decks consisted of something akin to a tavern and Guy and Iris, fresh from the fight upstairs, attempted to insinuate themselves into the group here that was too drunk or intelligent enough to have stayed away from above. Iris sat with a group of drunken pirates and nonchalantly slit the throat of a blacked-out pirate and then returned to her seat. The pirates were just bright enough to not believe this and Guy rushed one of them as Iris backed off. The tavern-like room was cleaned off and the rooms attached checked out. One of the rooms happened to be a few beds covered in blood and other fluids were the pirates raped and violated their prisoners. The thought of the cowardly men dominating their superiors enraged her and she lit the beds aflame, which quickly spread and began burning along the ship walls.

As the ship burned, the two ran back aboard deck and jumped into the water before the roaring flames overtook the entire vessel. The screams of the pirates could be heard a mile off and Iris could only smile as she heard them.

Welcome to your campaign!
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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

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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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