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Red Guard

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Campaign Journal

The following set of tabbed panels show all of the scenarios that we have played (red tabs) and have available to play (green tabs).


It will be good to get back to the Sleeping Lion. After a fortnight going up and down the Still River, chasing a bad lead on a missing blacksmith, you can almost feel the warmth of the inn's hearth when Gloomhaven's walls come into view. You are almost home.

To be fair, it's not just the blacksmith. An alarming number of people within the poorer districts of the city had gone missing. Usually, nothing comes of it, though. Just another poor soul, forgotten out here on the edge of civilization. The blacksmith's wife Sandy, however, managed to somehow scrape enough money together to hire you to find her husband. You're not sure where the money came from, but, no matter the source, it couldn't have come easy, which makes it doubly painful to return to the city empty-handed.

True, Sandy was a little light on the payment, but you are the "Jaws of the Lion", one of the most well-known mercenary groups in this back-water dump of a town. Surely, it can't hurt to take a charity case every once in a while. Getting good jobs is about maintaining a reputation, after all. Which is why you really need to get to the bottom of this and not return to the widow with nothing but the calluses on your feet.

Also, you probably shouldn't call her a widow to her face, at least not until the fate of the blacksmith has been confirmed. Given, however, that none of those who disappeared have returned, the outlook is grim.

As these cheery thoughts pass through your mind, you notice movement up ahead and immediately draw your weapon. The sun had dipped low in the sky, reducing visibility, but you can clearly see some ramshackle wooden barricades blocking the road in front of you. And, sure enough, as you cautiously approach the scene, Vermlings jump out from behind the obstructions, flashing crude swords and sharp sticks.

You have to admit, you are quite tired from the day's journey, but still, these over-sized rats certainly picked the wrong group of travelers to ambush today. You are the "Jaws of the Lion", after all, and are always ready to show there is only one outcome for anyone who dares threaten you.


  • New Location: Roadside Ambush (Scenario 1)

Scenario 1 - Roadside Ambush (B1)


The road back to Gloomhaven has been long. And now, to get attacked by Vermlings when all you want is a warm meal and a soft bed, well, it made you mad. Mad enough to kill these mangy creatures before you collapse from exhaustion.

Of course, the Vermlings have other plans. They gibber about wanting your coin and the meat on your bones. Nasty things, really. Best to ignore their rantings and end this quickly.

GOAL: Kill all enemies.

ENEMIES: Vermling Raider.


You wipe the blood of the last Vermling from your face, and your thoughts return to the Sleeping Lion. Surely, they've got a stew ready by now. It would be so perfectly warm and soothing, and it's right through that gate — so close, you can already taste it...

But then, another thought comes. It is highly unusual — brazen, really — for a pack of Vermlings to operate this close to the city. Could they be behind the string of disappearances? It's a long shot but one worth investigating, especially considering this ambush site doesn't look like their base of operations. There is probably a nest nearby that, with any luck, will have more information about the missing blacksmith.

And treasure. Treasure would be nice.


  • New Location: A Hole in the Wall (Scenario 2)

Scenario 2 - A Hole in the Wall (B1)


The tracks are easy to spot. Vermlings have never been known for their subtlety. You follow the scratching and indicators of a body being dragged until you find yourself approaching the walls of Gloomhaven.

The sun is very low, but something isn't right. That isn't just a shadow cast across a lower section of the wall. It's a hole. The Vermlings have made a nest for themselves by burrowing into the wall itself. How industrious.

You crouch low and try to sneak closer, but they must have guards watching the entrance. There is a shrill shrieking, and then a number of Vermlings jump from the dark, brandishing their dull, poorly-made weapons.

No choice now but to defend yourself. Luckily, you've managed to get your second wind, but you will definitely need a nice, long bath after this ordeal.

GOAL: Kill all enemies.

ENEMIES: Vermling Raider.


With the foul nest cleansed of those wretched creatures, you take your time searching every nook. Surely, the city guard will want to know about this — it can't be safe to have Vermlings tunneling through the walls. It's hard enough to fend off their raids as it is.

Eventually, you do manage to find an unexpectedly large amount of gold under some rotten wooden boards. Sifting through the treasure, you also find a strange note. In crude scratching, it details some business arrangement between the Vermlings and someone by the name of Roland.

Apparently, in exchange for supplying fresh corpses, Roland would pay the Vermlings in gold. And, judging by the amount here, the Vermlings managed to kill quite a few people before you put an end to it.

It's the best lead you have, so it's time to ferret out this Roland fellow. After resting at the Sleeping Lion, of course.


  • 25 gold each
  • Access to shops inside Gloomhaven (Items 1-13)
  • New Location: The Black Ship (Scenario 3)

Scenario 3 - The Black Ship (D5)


After getting your fill of stew and plenty of rest at the Sleeping Lion, you start off early in the morning. The first order of business is looking for some information on someone named Roland. He seems to be making a trade out of buying fresh corpses, and you'd like to know why.

It's slow-going at first, but you eventually find a pair of Vermlings down in the Sinking Market who seem overly interested in cadaver disposal. After some rough persuasion, they cough up that they too are being paid by a man named Roland to deliver bodies. They even give you the drop-off location — some derelict ship at the Old Docks.

You head down to the pier and look around. It doesn't take long to spot the suspicious vessel. Not only is it leaking some vile black liquid from the hull, but there are two men wearing red robes standing guard outside on the dock. They notice you eying them and begin making threatening gestures for you to move along. Looks like getting to the bottom of this is going to require cracking a few more skulls.

GOAL: Kill all enemies.

ENEMIES: Giant Viper, Zealot.

Door 1

You burst into the cargo hold, and a foul smell hits you in the face. A river of sticky, black liquid flows through the ship, pouring between the varous cracks in the hull. The source appears to be beyond the far door, but first you'll have to fight your way past more ruffians and their pets.

Door 2

The smell gets even worse when you finally open the door to the back cabin. More of these robed madmen are performing some sort of incantation over an altar piled high with severed limbs and unidentifiable mounds of flesh. With the flies buzzing and the strange guttural howls, all you want to do is get as far away as possible, but you have a job to do, so you commence with the killing.


It certainly doesn't give you pleasure sifting through the human remains on the altar, but it does end up proving useful, in between bouts of vomiting.

You find a necklace — one Sandy described in detail as never leaving the neck of her husband. With this in hand, you can bring at least some peace to the blacksmith's widow and inform the city guard about this whole situation.

Still, you have a sneaking suspicion this isn't the end of the trail. These robed men were certainly all underlings, which means Roland is still out there. One could make the argument that this is the city guard's job, but you search the cabin of the ship anyway and find a curious map. It is a crude depiction of the Boiler District, and one building is clearly marked. Surely it couldn't hurt to check it out.


  • Each character gained one perk
  • New Location: A Ritual in Stone (Scenario 4)

Scenario 4 - A Ritual in Stone (C2)


You arrive at the building marked on the map — an old abattoir — and find an unexpected scene. The entire place has burnt down and is now nothing more than a scorched husk. This is certainly a new development, as you clearly remember the structure standing before you left on your hunt up the Still River. And the fact that the location has been implicated in your search, well, the whole thing is rather suspicious, even if you can't put your finger on exactly why.

A little bit of searching through charred rubble isn't going to stop you from getting to the bottom of this, though. Eventually, you uncover a set of stairs leading into a stone cellar. Given it's the only piece of the structure intact, you make your way down.

A powerful smell of death grows increasingly stronger as you descend, until it almost overwhelms you, envelopingyou like a suffocating blanket. Thoughts of turning back creep into your mind, but then, you hear the chanting. The tone and cadence is similar to those creeps on the ship with the bloody altar.

It doesn't take much longer to find the source. A short hallway at the base of the stairs leads into a large, open room full of more red-robed zealots. Their chanting reaches a crescendo, and the whole floor begins to shake violently. Fissures erupt from the ground around four massive, rune-covered stones scattered around the room. Cracks form in the ceiling, sending huge chunks of rock crashing down.

Your mind focuses on a singular goal, pushing away all the other complications of the last few weeks. If you don't end whatever ritual is going on right now, you will all be buried alive.

GOAL: Destroy all summoning stones and kill all enemies.

ENEMIES: Stone Golem, Zealot.

After destroying two objectives

The tremors have subsided. You feel you've finally gotten a handle on things, but then, more men with robes rush from the deeper tunnels of this wretched place to aid the others.


You sit on the cracked stone floor and rest for just a second, eying the dark corridors leading off from this room, praying to the Oak that more enemies don't appear from the shadows. Luckily, the exits remain silent, but that doesn't help with your ever-increasing sense of foreboding.

Something is down in the depths of this place. So far, you've been blindly flailing around trying to to get to the bottom of this madness, and whatever it is — whatever answers you could hope to find — are waiting for you down that next tunnel. It's just a matter of taking the first step.


  • A Mana Potion
  • New Location: A Deeper Understanding (Scenario 5)

Scenario 5 - A Deeper Understanding (C2)


You identify th emost horrid-smelling of the corridors leading off from the abattoir basement and continue your search for answers about what is happening to these corpses and why. Lighting torches, you descend into the dark recesses.

Moments later, you hear scuffling of feet and hissed whispers coming from in front of you: "The ritual has been interrupted! We will finish it at the nexus, but — " There is a brief pause and then coursing. "They approach! Quickly, stall them while we complete the preparations."

The echo of footfalls start to recede before another voice emerges from the darkness: "But, how? I cannot hold them off myself!"

"Open a rift!" the first voice yells, now much farther away. "They must be stopped!"

You begin to rush forward. Clearly these maniacs don't want you to smash your way through, so that's exactly what you're going to do. That is, until multiple red lights appear in front of you, violently ripping open the fabric of reality into some other plane. The circle of rifts illuminate the face of the zealot at their center, full of panic and fear.

From the rifts emerge creatures of pure chaos, their movements a nightmarish flurry of claws, wigns and tendrils. One of them grabs the screaming summoner and forces him into a gaping maw in the demon's chest. There is a wet crunch, and the man's head disappears.

The creatures then turn their attention to you. They fan out, eying you maliciously while one finishes its meal.

GOAL: Kill the Blood Tumor.

ENEMIES: Blood Tumor, Chaos Demon, Zealot.

After opening the final door

As horrid as those creatures were, nothing could quite prepare you for what lies beyond this final stone door. A huge cocoon of bloody flesh plusates madly in front of you, bulbous and wrong. Its seeping fluid drips to the floor as it thrashes with malevolence.

"The nexus needs only a little more energy!" yells a robed man, looking to you in a panic. "We'll just have to take yours!"


The bloody sac explodes into a shower of viscera and goo, and the zealots who spent so much energy trying to protect it collapse to the ground. It is quite the awful, putrid mess, but at least it's over.

And then, one of the dying men laughs. "You think this will save your city? Doom approaches as more of our experiments grow in power. Gloomhaven will soon be engulfed in flames, and screams will echo throughout the streets. The Blood God will consume you all."

Your thoughts return to the widow Sandy, and you grab the man, demanding to know where Roland and these other experiments are, but he is gone. Instead, you grab a chunk of the tumor and decide to bring it back to the University. Perhaps the researchers there can use it to shed some more light on the situation.


  • 25 experience each
  • New Location: Corrupted Research (Scenario 6)

Scenario 6 - Corrupted Research (B4)


Your day starts out mundane enough, delivering a bloody piece of the tumor to some stodgy researchers at the University. You walk through the halls, getting all mannor of confused and dirty looks, until you arrive at the door of one Professor Haltrip, foremost researcher of organic alchemy, or so you were told by the front desk.

"Do come in!" You hear a small, gruff voice on the other side of the door. Inside, you find an old Quatryl, made even smaller by a hunched back. He is rooting around his messy office, looking for something. When he sees you, a look of disgust crosses his face, but once you produce the tumor piece, his eyes go wide with amazement.

You explain the whole situation - the disappearances, the Vermlings, the black sludge, the earthquakes and the tumor. You explain that there are other tumors out there, used in some nefarious, unknown plot, and then the professor sits silently in thought for an uncomfortably long amount of time.

"Well, then," he finally starts, "we'll need to get this to my lab with all haste. There, we should be able to run some tests to figure out what it is composed of - it's varous signature alchmical compositions. Once we know that, then maybe we can come up with some way to track the others down."

You hand the tumor off to him, and then, because you have no other leads, you wait in his office for what feels like hours, staring at his disorganized assortment of books, papers, and dirty bottles of foul-smelling liquid.

Then, very suddenly, your boring day becomes a lot more interesting. Haltrip bursts back into his office, his face splattered with blood. "Something has gone horribly wrong in the lab!" he screams at you and then races down the hall much faster than you would have thought possible. You follow, and he points you to a room overgrown with bloody growths, several dead lab assistants, and a swarm of rats which the growths must have morphed into monstrosities.

"It's going to keep spreading!" Haltrip frets. "Do something, please!"

GOAL: Destroy all growths.

ENEMIES: Rat Monstrosity, Black Sludge.

Scenario 23 - Best of the Best (B5)


You arrive at Gloomhaven Square for the competition and see the entire area has been converted into a huge arena with stadium seating around the outside. The Hatchet moves over to the contestants' area while the rest of you head up into the seats to watch the spectacle.

The competition itself is brutal. One unprepared drudge after the other faces off against a host of monsters, and none of them fare very well. The lucky ones are those who leave the arena alive.

Then, the Hatchet enters the stage. It's time to give these people a show.

GOAL: Kill all enemies.

ENEMIES: Giant Viper, Rat Monstrosity, Stone Golem, Vermling Raider.