Open Heart


My champion continues seeking the light, but is blind to the path…

A full moon waits beyond the horizon.

The dark one yet lives, so the companions wisely disarm and bind her. Who knows what sort of secrets her head must contain. They pick her pockets and the room clean, save for a single feather.

Surrounded by filth and abominations, the companions seek a more discreet path back into the daylight. They fail at discretion.

While puttering about the winding halls, the sneaky one discovers the magic in the wine chalice. It’s power surges in proximity of an unknown stimuli. More scurrying around reveals the nature of the cup; it seems enchanted to locate various kinds of blood, consistent with the note found with the dark ones. The party leaves the body of a recently well-bloodied minotaur and renews their search for the exit. The feather is gone…

With minimal effort and a little bit of grease, the companions return to the surface and deliver their findings and contained caster. The party would later learn the valuable lesson of never letting a dark mistress out of their sight.

After an afternoon of much needed rest, Eido makes his vows to the struggle of Light. This oath is a distraction, and will not lead him to Truth. In the meantime, the party is battered by correspondence from their various mentors, warning them of dangers to come.

The adventurers meet up with the Stoned Elf, this time much sober. He warns them of a mysterious and recent string of sheep maulings, plus a mauled child. Beholden to their love of children, the adventurers proceed to investigate.

Simple human, Mott, describes the tale of how his son, Gaev, got injured. Currently, he is in the care of clerics in town. At the paddock shaped like a haddock, the party discovers canine pawprints leading into the wilderness. They follow and meet up with the Mediocre Wizard again. He warns of a lycanthropic menace, back from the realms of myth. The tracks terminate at an unassuming cottage, surrounded by human and wolf tracks. Inside sleeps the chained, but no longer chained, man Jamhand.

A night of bondage follows, and the morning arrives unhindered. Jamhand follows the party back into Open Heart to discover that both the mauled child, Gaev, and the dark one have both escaped. Thankfully, no one was scratched by the new young werewolf.

The plot thickens, and answers are out of reach. The mortals are still faced with the problem of an active necromancer, and now a fresh undead army underground.

Among the Dead
A letter


Forgive the haste with which I had to end my last correspondence. Gracious me, but it's been a busy time!

The adventurers with whom I am working continue to show that they are capable, and maintaining brevity is a challenge. I feel I am growing stronger, and hope to move on to the next phase of my training as soon as possible. I'm finding new ways to generate ki.

In search of the missing girl, we headed to the cottage I've indicated to the enclosed map, and was immediately dismayed to discover the entire area covered in the webs of giant spiders. The druid Saldo seems entirely too comfortable turning into something with far too many legs, but his spider-form proved useful in rescuing two cocooned victims, including a halfling woman named Irietrea and the missing girl, Murmella. Eido interceded to restore both to health.

I know you'll be shocked to hear this, but we then got into a fight with a giant spider. After dispatching the foul thing, we approached the house of the local witch, only to discover her half-eaten corpse and a hybrid spider-woman. I prepared for battle, but she turned out to be polite, and claimed she'd been summoned from far away. She claimed she did not actually kill the woman, and the others believed her and allowed her to leave unmolested. I did not argue, focusing on my ki. I am here to learn.

There was some ethical debate on the part of the others, but this was cut short because zombies. We found ourselves in a brief, pitched, and puzzling battle. The presence of the zombies coinciding with our arrival strikes me as in no way coincidental. We were joined in the battle by… I think his name is Boris Davhorn? I focused on my breathing rather than ask for clarification. The path we walk is not easy.

After we defeated the undead, Davhorn suggested that he can search and secure the witch's cottage, but oh, no, honey. We examined the witch's corpse and determined that she died by being stabbed with a bladed weapon rather than, say, a giant spider bite. Perhaps Meluah, the freakish and creepy spider-woman, was honest with us?

Lucien located another body, and I managed to perform the rite for their spirits. It would really help if I could explain to the others.

We returned to Open Heart to return the people we rescued and report to Lady Cressa, who I believe I mentioned in my last missive. Having completed that quest, we're directed to the local catacombs to locate Gribbo, the missing gravedigger, which I'm sure will end well. Lucien produced a clever map from… somewhere. After shopping during which I was torn beween Ugh, materialism and Ooh, shiny new bow!, we finally set off for the catacombs. Speaker, these adventurers talk a lot. I find myself tested.

When we arrived at the catacombs, the non-elves brandished torches. It's so adorable how they manage to compensate for their many deficiencies! I just want to squeeze them! And then tell them to shut up.

In addition to the expected dead, we encountered a cavern of corpses. Please send more members of the Order. I sensed deep suffering there; this is going to require a ceremony on a scale beyond what I can manage alone. We located Gribbo dead in his bedroom. I imagine you will be as shocked as I was. I'm not clear on what caused his death.

We continued to explore, apparently because we were not yet in sufficient trouble, and we managed to successfully locate an army of skeletons. Perhaps not an army. A battalion? Certainly more than I believe a group our size could handle, regardless of the power Eido wields. We turned around and left, which is the single most sensible action I can recall these adventurers taking at any point.

We weren't pursued, which was very convenient, but our explorations clearly picked up a significant pace. We then encountered a dead minotaur, and I got to experience surprise for possibly the first time that day. It was novel. There was a tapestry in the (minotaur's?) bedroom, behind which we found a secret tunnel, and through that, we found Shit Elves.

Saldo attempted to deceive them by turning into a spider. I have no words. Further, it actually worked insofar as we were able to surprise and defeat them, slaying a Shit Elf cleric and capturing their mage. We also discovered evidence of some sort of larger plot in which they were involved, and I've copied those letters on the enclosed.

We appear to be moving again, so I should pause this for now. I'd like to get these documents into your hands as quickly as possible. Does any of this nonsense sound familiar to you? I believe I understand why you sent me here. The adventurers have largely impressed me (except when they talk), and I feel we are accomplishing some good; I am glad to assist them.

I trust the Order is well. But seriously, send monks.

Moymeran's Tower, etc.
From Colibri, with love

"What do we tell Lady Cressa?" Colibri's quizzical eyes darted across the rooftops of the town below. He stared back into his crystal and resumed talking. "The Lady seems to think that we are nothing but house cleaners. At least, that is what we've done as of late. This new house had potential. The tower of Moymeran! The great wizard had been missing for some time and I had hoped he had been caught up in some great discovery, alas…" He scratched his chin and wondered about his own mortality. __________ The tower was an unimpressive four and a half stories. It would have been lost among the other buildings had it not been pointed out to them and the fact that, while unimpressive, it's height was still taller than the others. Deitrich, much to my dismay, had been called off for some religious duties in other areas of the country. In his place, the Lady Cressa provided an almost mute by the name of Onari. He carries a staff that he uses to passively suggest his course of action, and on other occassions will utter a word as accompaniment. While I believe in brevity as a means of efficiency, Onari fails to grasp that his lack of expression only leaves the rest of the group bewildered. In any case, into the tower… except, it was locked. Of course. This piqued Lucian's interest and, as if the rest of us had not expected it, the door promptly popped open upon Lucian's investigation. His furtive attempts to hide his instruments only mirrored his ability to mask his accent. Ahem, nothing to see here. As this was a powerful wizard's dwelling, we enter with the utmost caution, however were only greeted by a very lonely entryway that led into some seemingly unoccupied rooms covered in a few weeks layers of dust. House cleaners. The bill for Lady Cressa should be appropriate. Hmph. Onari, jingles his staff and starts searching. We follow suit and find room after room of disapppointment. While I know we wizards are not the eclectic types that we are made out to be, the lack of anything remotely intriguing is, admittedly, disappointing. Finally we find Moymeran's quarters. A bird sits near a window and there is a painting of a very elegant elvish woman. As we are looking for signs of Moymeran, we quickly try to exit since there seems to be nothing of import when suddenly a voice calls back. "Excuse me, I haven't seen anyone in weeks… would you help me?" The figure in the painting beckoned."I am a friend of Moymeran. The last I saw of him he was off to do another experiment and he has failed to return since. Would you please check his workroom?" After some conversation we learn that her name is Clucka and we decide that we are left with little much else to work with, so, we comply with the request. The bird, apparently was also Moymeran's familiar, and would accompany us to the workroom. Moymeran was a brilliant wizard who was known to push the boundaries of what was allowed with magic. When we arrive at his workroom there is a body slumped over the table. It is, to my dismay, Moymeran. What could have killed a wizard of his caliber? I wonder. Onari performs a quick ritual for the dead and Seldo does a quick ritual to rid the room of the smell of decay. I do my own ritual to see what magic may still be laying about and find that there is a very dangerous aura coming from the end of the table in a cabinet. Could this be what killed the old wizard? Seldo, being one dedicated to his task, opens the cabinet and a rope falls out and arranges itself neatly on the floor. I quickly advise that magical ropes are nothing to be trifled with and that if we have found a dead wizard such as Moymeran then we should treat it with the utmost caution. And so, we leave it where it lay. We return to Clucka and Ido shares the news with her. There is an honest reaction of grief and then a look of underplayed panic. "Please, she says, take my painting and send it to our wizard colleague. With Moymeran's death, it may be the only help left for me." She reveals that she is suffering with a rare magical disease and that the painting keeps her body in suspension. Moymeran was helping find a cure.

Excerpt from Lucien's Journal

Excerpted from Lucien's journal:

Having demonstrated it's treachery in luring us down to the beast infested basement, it was time to use the possessed cat to free our captive comrade. I grabbed the creature and carried it back upstairs to the mirror room, where we rejoined with most of the  rest of our party and exchanged the cat for our wayward Eido.

We headed back into the kitchen, where Dietricht was still engaged in some kind of awkward stare-down with the goblins; the things didn't even speak common, how desperate for followers can a god be?

Seeing some futility there, one of our more straightforward companions, Saldo, applied a (frankly, unreasonably large) sum of gold to each goblin to coax them out of the manor house. Eido seems to have joined him in this; if I ever were to decide to part ways with this crew, I should remember them for charity; plausibly they will save me the trouble of robbing them by simply providing their purses?

As the goblins exited the manor, they triggered that same strange curse that set upon us when we entered – an unnatural darkness closed over the house as they crossed the threshold, and dissipated only after they were well away. The place was both literally and metaphorically shrouded in darkness. Ill omens, but we had our job.

We went back into the basement; I slipped downstairs, only to find that the door at the far end of the basement entrance already stood ajar. The corpses in the basement antechamber seemed unmoved, so perhaps something had come out from below? This seemed like a prime chance to investigate.

We advanced into a large chamber; seemingly once a store room, now housing an altar to a dark god. Eido seemed particularly unsettled by the thing, proclaiming things like "This place has been desecrated".

A trio of ravens sat upon the damned thing, and somehow Kalibri got the damned fool idea to try and talk to them? Wizards. Pah. Fortunately, if these birds were treacherous, they haven't shown it yet. They have claimed to be ex-adventurers, transmuted into birds by the dark elf that has been working here. They indicate that one of the doors from this room is where the Drow takes his captives, and that they never exit once they enter.

We look closely at the door; it is entirely too fine of make for such a basement – the dark wizard must have spent a fortune installing it in this place? I swear, these magicians are inscrutable. Fortunately, they are also a bit asinine; while I'm convinced that the ostentation around the door marks it as a diversion or a trap, Quokul seems to have no compulsion to wait for reason, and simply opens it.

Once again I was shown to be over-cautious; while the door wasn't trapped, it did lead in to a dungeon chamber with three unconscious prisoners – a Goblin, an Human, and a Half-Elf, along with a final human skeleton, with each in chains, and a set of four nearby levers.

Eido revived the half-elf, who asked us to pull the third lever to free her. Without much further interrogation, we comply. Fortunately she isn't such a turncoat as that blasted cat, and she tells us more of what has transpired here.

She says that the Drow has been taking their blood, and that the skeleton in the room is in fact undead (not to mention unsettling). The cleric and paladin jointly demolish the unholy thing.

We advance into the next room and find a bloody stone table, a chained up human, a lever set into the wall, and vials of blood. Eido touches the prisoner, who awakes and tells us that the lever summons "the cleaner". Ominous.

We exit the room with the previous prisoners in tow, and find that it leads back into the altar room; once the door closes it seems to meld into the wall – if it's a mechanical trick, it's beyond my discernment.  I'm reasonably certain that it's more of this place's magical bullshit.

We escort the prisoners back to the front door, and send them back towards Open Heart. In case I need to call in favors later, they were called as:

- Yenjion, the Half-Elf
- Willgourd, the human from the stone table room.
- Jamhand, the human from the cell room.

The ravens want to stay and help catch the Drow, who they hope can turn them back.  For completeness, they are called as:

- Nordak
- Wilster
- Xavfalcon

We head back into the house, and find that the Boris has been moved! We re-open the secret door and head upstairs. When we reach the greenhouse, this time we don't hesitate. Dietricht and Kalibri tried to burn out the shriekers from afar, but they simply started screeching. Quokul ran ahead, insisting that they weren't dangerous; damned fool wizards. We killed the things anyways.

We found ourselves on a Terrace with a Telescope, a Sky Map (with fresh ink) on a stone table. Nordak and company took flight and circled the manor, seeking to spot signs of a fleeing wizard, but came back empty-clawed. Unsure of what we would find, Kalibri recorded a message of our adventure so far, and sent it back to town with Nordak.

We went back downstairs to the Kitchen, and entered the door we had bypassed earlier. We found a hallway, lined with suits of armor. At the end of the hallway was another of the unreasonably fancy doors found in this place, but this one was more curious than most; it opened, but directly into a wall! Given the dimensions of the house, and the previous tricky movements, I'm convinced that this is further magical bullshit, and turn that investigation over to the casters.

Seldo thought that there might be a trigger hidden amongst the armor. In his usual straightforward way, he proceeded to simply knock most of the suits down. We didn't find a trigger for the bullshit door, but we did find a passage back into the cursed dining room. Eido did pick up some of the armor bits for his own use; I'll remember that he's got a touch of a thief's heart in him as well – maybe that will be useful later.

The magicians seem to agree that the Drow fled the house through the bullshit door, and sealed it behind him, so we are left with a responsibility to clean out the rest of the house and report back. We go back downstairs to the altar room, and un-desecrate the altar.  (redesicrate?  undesanctify?). We make another pass through the prison chambers, and pull the "cleaner" lever – it turns out to call an enormous jelly beast down from the ceiling. We quickly closed the door on that particular brand of magical bullshit.

We went up to the top floor, and found a disheveled bedroom, with a sarcophagus on a canopy bed. Eido used a device he called a "stick of poking" to open it. (aside: I'm unclear on the properties of this device, and how it differs from a simple pole). The casket was empty.  Eido threw it out of a window, which seems wasteful of an expensive looking sarcophagus.

Having exhausted the top floor, we returned to the dining room with the magic mirror; I traded places with the cat and entered the mirror world, and experienced the strange phenomenon of being compelled to make the mirror place match the real world. Quite unusual; I did manage to convince my compatriots to remove the silverware from the dining room, at which point I was able to pilfer the mirror-silver, including a cup that seems to have some kind of magical properties that the wizard has yet to decipher.

Eido broke a teacup in the real world, and I spent the remainder of my time in the mirror attempting to break bits of a teacup to match. Meanwhile, Kalibri talked to the cat, which turned out to be less treacherous than we had inferred; it was a gnome that had been transfigured by the drow. The cat told Kalibri that the dark elf was a lady.

Seldo found a small woodland creature, and used it to free me from the mirror-world.  Poor beast.

The wizard set some spell upon his eyes to spot magical items, and we did a sweep through the house. In addition to the obvious items (the cup in my possession, the scrolls we had found, the crows and the cat, the front door darkness), we discerned that the statue of Boris was also magical, as were some of the vials from the basement.

The Man in the Mirror

<meta />Whispers from inside the head of Eido Tenebris:

  • First of the Month of the Cube: Eido is deeply focused on the door, while the rest of the mortals investigate the obvious magic in the room. The small one is endlessly curious, spouting out endless theories, and licking wood to taste magic. I admire his spark.

  • The adventurers discover a hidden tome, bursting with spells scrap-booked from all over. The small one detects young, barely legal spells, and taboo words of power. They debate the ethics of such collection; I find it quite resourceful.

  • The mortals are trying to grant the petrified elf a name. The purpose of this earth ritual escapes me. The sneaky one suggests “Boris”.

  • Boldened by boredom, and ignorant of potential threat, Eido ascends the stairs and passes through the door at the top. He emerges into a lush, spacially confusing  garden, pulsating with the verdant magic within. The shirtless animal enthusiast joins Eido in the garden. By my divine influence, I stop Eido from walking into an obvious trap. Shirtless Mortal wisely identifies this creature and educates Eido on the dangers of this situation.

  • Eido struggles to put down his halberd, but ultimately joins the adventurers in exploring the rest of the mansion. They come across a fanciful dining room, set in expectation of an upcoming feast. They come across an artifact of impressive power. Inside a mirror is a perfect reflection of the current room…except for one mortal trapped inside!

  • Eido stupidly knocks on the mirror and drags us into the mirror world, restoring the trapped wizard to the real world.

  • Due to my vast knowledge of body language, I am able to decipher the conversion through the mirror. The wizard known as Quokul tells the party his tale of how he got trapped in the mirror and the animals that occasionally let him out. He seeks vengeance on a drow still in this mansion.

  • Eido discovers a cup that does not exist in the real world. Overtaken by thirst and curiosity, he consumes its contents.

  • The party leaves Eido. Stars know if they come back to rescue the fool.

  • FINALLY, they’ve come back! And with another creature! At last, they can…oh, oh there they go.

  • Eido continues drinking.

  • ZZZ

For those not trapped in a mirror world, the remainder of the day proceeded as follows:

Quokul lead the party on a mission for vengeance throughout the rest of the mansion, and hopefully a creature to save Eido. The party came across a cluster of off-duty goblins in the kitchen, sleeping peacefully. Without giving the party much room for discussion, Quokul immediately opened fire on the goblins with a flick of a knife. The party restrained the hasty wizard and convinced him to cool his jets. Dietrich used this event as an opportunity to heal the goblins and convert them to his lord.

Meanwhile, Saldo and Lucian noticed a cat in the room, possibly one of the curious creatures spoken of by Quokul and Lady Cressa. After Colibri’s failed attempt at subduing the cat with Mage Pat, Saldo allowed the beast to lead the party through the rest of the mansion.

Upon descending into the basement, Lucian stopped the party in front of a closed door. He peeked inside, discovering more guards waiting for them. Lucian suggested an ambush, but the party’s noise caught the attention of the creatures inside. One knocked on to the door, to which Lucian politely responded “hello?” The foes responded with an equally polite rapier through the door.

The druid shouted, and the goblins flew. With a powerful thunderclap, he smashed them about the room. The foes were battered, but the sound could be heard throughout the mansion.

In rather impolite fashion, Quokul turned against the party and flung a dagger into the air toward one of our heroes. Several daggers. Plinking against the wall. They all missed. He may learn to regret his aim.

The heroes seem to have the upper hand (except for Eido), but what of the noise? Who knows what sort of trouble our heroes will face next session.


Map of the Realm

Open Heart Campaign Map

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...and so it begins...

30th day past Harvest, Gibbous Moon

Today I met with Lady Cressa, and apparently I am expected to work with others in accomplishing some tasks that are causing the town's leaders some concern. I shall endure their company for now as a previous adventuring party of three never returned from the first task on the list of issues to be investigated. Thus, teaming up with others seems unavoidable, and they seem a knowledgeable and capable lot if a bit boisterous for my tastes. It is unclear if these events are related to the imbalance, but it seems likely. 

The tasks which warrant investigation are, in priority order… 

  1. Investigate an abandoned Woolford familial estate that appears to have been claimed by sinister forces. No one has actually seen these forces, so of course every suspects foul magic is afoot. The locals seem to feel that cats and birds are somehow doing the bidding of whatever dark forces have claimed the dwelling no matter how unlikely this sounds. 
  2. Investigate the city catacombs where all of the city's grave diggers, save one, have disappeared. Curiously, the only surviving grave digger is the eldest of the lot. 
  3. Determine the fate of Open Heart's resident Arcane Advisor, Moymeran, who hasn't been seen or heard from in over two weeks. Lady Cressa was likely the last to see this wizard, and she claims that he was of sound mind in her last encounter. 

My companions are an odd assortment. There is…

  • Eido, a holy warrior of some sort
  • Calibri, a wizard of unproven skills but inquisitive nature
  • Lucien, a shifty sort of adventuring type but clearly capable
  • Dietrict, a proud cleric of Lathander (as he'll happily inform you, again and again)

The group seemed somewhat indecisive, but it was clear that the Woolford Estate posed the most imminent threat to the balance of nature, so I set out in that direction first. The rest of the group followed, of course. 

The Woolford Estate was a curious 3-story structure with some sort of greenhouse and domed edifice on it's top-most story. Lucien scouted ahead and discovered a parlor. Given that this posed a clear and present danger, he summoned the rest of us forward. 

Before approaching the manor, Dietrict cast holy light upon his mace. I was dubious of this action at first, but it turned out to be fortuitous, for as the rest of us approached the building and unnatural night fell upon the land surrounding us. Undaunted, Dietrict approached the front door and opened it with nary a thought for caution or investigation. 

Inside the front door we found a foyer with three doors and a stairway leading up. We confirmed that there was, indeed, a parlor to the right of the entry with a group of chairs gathered around a low table. There was another exit from that room, but rather than investigate this path fully, Eido chose to open the door across the hall, to the left of the entry. 

The left door opened into a study, complete with books on shelves, a desk, and a curiously detailed marble statue of a male elf in a rather heroic stance, weapons at the ready. Dietrict informed us that the statue was of no god. I investigated it more closely but could determine nothing else of significance. Lucien discovered some sort of mechanism attached to the inkwell of the desk, and after much deliberation and ham-handed experimentation, the group discovered that the mechanism opened a secret door in the external wall. This door SHOULD HAVE LED OUTSIDE. I am certain of this. My direction and spacial senses rarely fail me, and yet, this door led to an impossibly spacious library. At least I assume it was a library, but the shelves were all empty. There was a table of odd height in the center of the room. I believe that Calibri referred to it as a "consulting table," whatever that means. There was also a circular stairway leading into what I assume would be more impossible rooms where none should be. 

Calibri convinces the party that it would be worthwhile if we allowed him time to cast a ritual spell so that he might analyze the magical nature of this room and anything within it. This uncovers several things. The room itself is, of course, magical. The statue of the elf was also magical. Lastly, it would appear that there were scrolls of a magical nature secreted under the tall table that Lucien discovered at roughly the same time as Calibri. Calibri informed us that the scrolls were spells of Water Breathing, Comprehend Language, and Fireball. I am familiar with the first two spells as they are commonly used within The Circle, but Fireball sounds dangerously powerful and skirts the legal limits of magic within this land. 

My adventure has barely begun, and yet I have already encountered magics as only told in children's fairy tales. Circle Elders, where have you sent me? I fear that I am not equal to the task you have set me, but I will trust in your wisdom and endure. By the time you read this, you will likely be reading a small bundle of reports, and I hope that the group of them shed some light on the mysteries I have only just begun to discover.   

Yours in faith and Keeper of the Balance,


Adventurers sought
Inquire within

Attention all persons of bravery!

Are you a sturdy adventurer in need of casual employment?  Do you perk up at the idea of dangerous missions with commensurate rewards?  Are you brave enough to work for city government?  

The City of Open Heart is seeking <meta />several fearless adventurers in search of treasure, danger, and glory, not necessarily in that order.  To be considered, appear in person TOMORROW MORNING at the main entrance of the Assembly Rooms & Gardens (just opposite the Holy Well) where Lady Cressa will examine your credentials.  

Good moral character preferred but not required.





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