Fire In The Sky

Shepard's Creek Part II
March 10, 2014

The game began with the PCs standing victorious, having escaped from being locked in a storm cellar with a steadily growing kerosene fire as well as a gunfight with two unknown assailants. Rowan Boone and Malcolm Reading checked the bodies, finding cell phones as well as driver’s licenses sufficient to ID them as Louis Guest and Mark Anderson. Meanwhile, Brian Gall ran the property records and determined that Guest was the owner of the house and storm cellar in question. The group radioed for backup immediately and received it, in the form several squad cars full of police, an ambulance for their burn wounds, and a fire truck to put out the kerosene fire.

Mark and Malcolm checked the house for traps and, upon finding none, cleared it for the rest of the group to go inside to investigate. Within, they found an old desktop computer as well as a safe hidden under a table. While Ned Icecave and Malcolm brought the computer back to police headquarters for investigation, Brian suddenly developed an interest in the house’s history, and ran off to the library to check the property records, newspaper reports, and CODIS database.

He determined that four months ago, Louis Guest’s daughter Lindsay Guest had died under suspicious circumstances. The official cause of death was labeled an allergic reaction caused by an unknown insect bite, but upon interviewing the examining doctor, it became clear that this was unlike any ordinary insect bite – it caused the girl to vomit blood, her skin and blood turned a green-yellow color, and when she died a legion of insects burst forth from her skin.

Meanwhile, Icecave scanned the hard drive and was able to hack into Guest’s email, where he discovered that Guest had been emailing back and forth with a man named Eric Holm. The two spoke of a chapel in the woods, a mysterious leader known only as A, and someone named Jamie who was to be the host for a new Shepard who was even greater than the current one. Guest also admonished Holm for “trying to get two of them like that” but said “Let’s see if A forgives you before we go to the hospital.”

A search of Eric Holm’s records revealed that he had checked himself into Silverton Hospital, about two hours away, just two days ago.Boone called the doctor who examined Lindsay Guest and convinced him to examine Holm as well, and told him to call if anything unusual happened. He also placed a sheriff to guard Holm’s room to prevent him from escaping or being killed. At this point it was late in the day, and the group broke for a rest.

Boone got a call at 3 AM saying that Holm was in critical condition and no one knew how much longer he might last. Not wanting to risk a fatigue penalty, the rest of the group decided to wait until morning, but Brian chose to head over to Silverton Hospital right away. He got there just in time to witness Holm’s last moments – with the sticker man ranting about how “she said it was a gift,” and vomiting blood before having his skin split open and a torrent of insects burst forth. Brian got the doctors to clear out of the room and then to evacuate the hospital, but before he could leave, the CDC quarantined the entire hospital, trapping Brian on the grounds.

The rest of the group woke up to find out that someone had reported an abandoned car alongside the road. The went to investigate, and found three sets of footprints leading into Shepard’s Creek, and then later a body wrapped in a tarp and weighted down with stones, which turned out to be the vehicle’s owner. He had the same characteristic wounds that all victims of the Shepard’s Creek killer had. Finding nothing else of note, Icecave found out when they got back to the police station that he was finally able to get the GPS data from Louis Guest and Mark Anderson’s cellphones. Analyzing it, he was able to pinpoint where he believed the chapel would be, and with the rest of the group in tow, as well as a squad of police for backup, they drove out to investigate.

The spot in the woods was indeed an old, seemingly-deserted chapel. The group went in cautiously, with half going in the front and half going in the back. They were ambushed in short order by two armed cultists on the second floor. Mark Hart went to gun down the cultists, but on the way he discovered Derek Hollins, the child he had chased down in the woods, hidden behind some boxes. Hollins charged, his physical form warping and twisting to reveal a massive, spider-like creature, and he, Hart and Boone engaged in a mortal struggle. Hart was able to tear free of the creature’s claws after taking a middling wound, but Boone was pinned down and almost eviscerated by the creature’s chitinous legs. Thanks only to a lucky critical hit from Malcolm, the spider demon was killed just in time for Mark Hart to race in to save Boone from death, stabilizing him at -9 hit points.

At this time, Sergeant Nunez landed in a black helicopter, backed up by a squad of men in hazmat suits, armed with flamethrowers. He ordered the group into the helicopter, and then had his men incinerate the entire chapel, with the body of the spider demon inside. Fortunately, due to the last minute quick thinking of Ned Icecave, the group was able to retrieve an ancient book, The Pearl of Great Price, from beneath the lectern. As they flew off in the chopper, the chapel burning in the background, the session was adjourned.

Shepard's Creek, Part I

A serial killer has been stalking the woods and back roads of a small town in upstate New York. Nicknamed “the Shepard” by the locals, his calling card is to cut away a part of his victim’s skull and remove the entire frontal lobe of their brain, dumping the rest of the body in the creek for which he is named. The local police investigation has made no progress at all, leading experts to be called in from all over the country, including:

Rowan Boone, a brilliant, well-connected investigator from Nashville Tennessee, whose penetrating insight is almost as unfathomable as his southern drawl. Brian Gall, a gifted FBI criminal profiler with a checkered past and an unsteady hand. Mark Hart, a US Marshal with a dead-eye, an iron-will, and the skills to apprehend, but not necessarily locate, any fugitive. Malcolm Reading, a cunning, tough-as-nails NYPD investigator who puts the “bad” in cop. And Ned Icecave, once a rogue hacker, he was coerced into joining the FBI when his past caught up with him, turning in his black hat for a nice shady gray.

The first mission opened with the PCs arriving in the small, upstate New York town of Shepard’s Creek just in time for a morning briefing. Sergeant Christopher Nunez explained the details surrounding the six victims who have been located so far, as well as what evidence has been ascertained about the Shepard’s modus operandi. At the conclusion of the briefing, Rowan assembled the other characters into an investigations team. After consulting, they agreed to split up, with one group going to question a local drunk who claimed to have seen something in the woods on the night of the latest killing, and another group going to investigate the crime scene itself.

Hart and Reading headed over to the crime scene, a black SUV pulled over to the road. Both the driver’s and passenger’s side doors were found lying open, and a body was found next to the passenger’s side. Reading was quickly able to locate a faint set of footprints leading away from the vehicle, belonging to at least three individuals, which the local police investigators had missed. They headed off into the woods to follow the tracks.

Meanwhile, Boone, Icecave and Gall went to question Jim Dawes, the town drunkard. He claimed to have seen three men in the woods, two of them carrying guns and chasing the third. He agreed to lead the group to the place where he saw them after a little persuading from Boone, threatening to arrest Dawes on a warrant that was still open for his arrest which Gall had discovered earlier.

They followed Dawes into the woods, where they met up with the rest of the group, who had followed the tracks to the same place. After a brief investigation and questioning of Dawes, Investigator Reading was able to locate the body of a hispanic male, lying dead in the brush with a hunting rifle bullet in his back. Just then, the group heard a twig snap, and discovered a young boy in a camp outfit with long black hair watching them from a distance. He fled when sighted, but the PCs gave chase, and Hart was able to run him down rather easily. The boy identified himself as Derek Hollins, and said he had seen where the two men with guns had gone.

The PCs released him from Hart’s handcuffs and had him lead them back to a house in the woods. Derek said the men had entered the house’s storm cellar, which stood adjacent to a portable generator and several drums of fuel. The PCs let Derek go, and descended into the storm cellar, but as soon as they did they heard a clanging sound as someone rolled several drums of kerosene down the stairs! They split open on the hard packed floor, and a hand t tossed a lit cigarette lighter down into the puddle, igniting a blaze. Someone then locked the storm cellar doors, trapping the PCs in the burning cellar. While Hart and Icecave leaped over the flames and began try to force the doors open, Gall, afraid that he would not survive the jump, backed further and further into a corner as the flames spread, becoming so desperate as to consider spreading the jars of preserved fruits and vegetables on the basement shelves as a makeshift barrier against the flames. Finally, he bit the bullet and jumped, rolling a natural 20 and avoiding death by immolation. At least, this time.

Hart and Icecave had forced the doors open at this point, and they emerged to find two men with guns waiting for them. A brief shootout ensued, but the gunmen were outnumbered and outclassed by Hart and Boone, who shot both without being scathed themselves. The group agreed to adjourn the mission at this point.

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1. Invite your players

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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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