Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Maltese Grid


Our Malta Map

I have the above printed out for our use.  The grid will allow us to communicate easier without having to remember every odd name.  As you learn of places or go there, you can add it to your map and we can update it here. 

Modern Malta covers 122 Square miles, our ancient version is larger and further spread out. 
We are going to say 200 square miles.  

What does that mean for us.  It means that in the map grid above each lettered square across is roughly 16.5 miles across left to right.  It means that each square down is roughly 28.5 miles. Example, square 1A is 16.5 miles across by 28.5 miles down. 

With that knowledge we can apply the following:

Average walk speed is 3mph

Average Sailing speed is 7 knots which is roughly 6mph.  Larger ships can get to greater speeds we are just dealing with averages

Average Flying Speed is 6mph.  This is based on the idea that most PC's move 30 and move 60 if the fly spell is cast on them. 

The goal behind this is to give us a quick go to when we need to be able to calculate or realize travel time.   

Walled City of Zebbug

Walled City Zebbug

N Small City Corruption +4; Crime +4; Economy +2; Law +2; Lore +4; Society +2 Danger +8

Primary Religion:  Green Faith

Marketplace Base Value 4,000 gp; Purchase Limit 25,000 gp

Government: Lord Mayor served by a Religious Adviser.

The Current Lord Mayor is IL-Kataniz.  The Lord Mayor always comes from the Kataniz family as they are the wealthy benefactors of Zebbug residing in Castle Kataniz.
IL-Kataniz

The Mayor chooses the faith he draws his adviser from and the church chooses which of their parish is sent. Large donations help secure the pontiff of choice
The Religious Adviser is considered the voice of the Lord Mayor and therefore the 2nd most powerful person in local government.

Gamon the Green
The Current Religious Advisor is a centaur, son of Nogamon, Gamon the Green.



Population 7,903 (5,000 humans; 1,000 elves; 500 halflings; 500 dwarves; 400 half-elves; 400 gnomes; 103 other)  

Zebbug is a walled farming community based around the nurturing of the olive groves the Kataniz family has been cultivating for generations. Olives are over seventy percent of all farming done in Zebbug, the remaining farming providing for the base needs of the city.  Due to this Zebbug has been having to import more and more products to keep up with their growing population.

People of Note:
Lord Mayor Il-Kataniz is a well liked half-elf leader known for his generosity.  During times of bad weather citizens of Zebbug have taken refuge in Kataniz castle. The family has also provided access to the family library to those citizens trying to learn to read. 

Gamon the Green blesses the farms here and has kept the olives free from disease.  He is well liked but locals often find his presence troubling as he has no sense of propriety and is always nude. 
Chomson

Chomson is the second wealthiest man in Zebbug owning two general stores that serve the community.  His payments are usually a percentage of a harvest, gems, or trade holdings elsewhere in Malta.  Chomson is a human bachelor that enjoys taking his meals with different farms throughout the city.  Relations are sometimes strained between Chomson and the Kataniz family due to sometimes conflicting interests.  Overall Chomson is a well liked respected member of the community.

Borko the Dwarven Beer maker supplies all of Zebbug with the beer bearing his name, Borko Beer. His family owns a number of stills that provide liquors to trade with the rest of  Malta. Borko would be wealthier if it were not for his penchant for gambling and financing sailors treasure hunters.  

Kereka is the dwarven wife of Borko.  She is also a priest of a dwarven deity that serves the cities dwarf population.
Nebettawy

Sciortino
Nebettawy is a Egyptian woman that provides auguries and healing.  Some of the locals won't go to her claiming she is a mind reader.  She is the daughter of the Oracle Isetnoket.

Sciortino is a notorious Tiefling, having been convicted in the circle of judgment three different times.  Each time he was sent to walk the plank (the local nick name for the walk through the archway) the portal flashed but did not take the Tiefling.  In the eyes of the council of faiths Sciortino had been judged not guilty by the gods and his convictions were overturned.

Siggiewi is a catfolk that proclaims her profession as a tree sculptor. Several farms use her services which come with a recommendation from Gamon the Green
Tal-Grazzja

Tal-Grazzja operates a gaming emporium, Grazzja's Chance, where locals gather to smoke, drink, gamble, and play other games of entertainment.  The emporium frequently hosts fights and attracts many recruiters for the Malta fight circuit.  Grazzja's operates purely on gems or small merchant weight bars of silver and gold.  Grazzja's Chance also offers training in linguistics as well as a variety of skill focus feats.  A standard fee for training in a language or an approved skill focus is equal to the downtime costs plus a service for whomever you convince to train you. 

Places of note in Zebbug:

Grazzja's Chance: See notes above.  The structure is an old barn and corn silo. 

Kataniz Castle: An impressive stone structure that dominates the center of the city, it too is walled. 

Kbira Lake: Located on the west end of Zebbug, Kbira lake pierces the walls of Zebbug the only opening in the well crafted walls.  The lake itself runs west continuing outside Zebbug.  Its the cities primary water source. 
Kbira Lake

Olive Groves....lots of them

Chomstop: Two general stores located on opposite ends of the city, each owned by Chomson.  For those shoppers looking for items beyond the basics Chomstop offers catalog shopping.  Most requests can be delivered within two weeks.



Monday, August 21, 2017

Malta House Rules

House Rules
1. Drinking a Potion is a move equivalent action instead of a standard action.

1.1 Potions that provide spell duration bonus to the PC take up a magic item slot.  See below

1.2 No more than 3 potions can be consumed in a round regardless of shenanigans, mythic or otherwise. 

2. Five Foot Step is changed to your Natural reach.  This change is primarily for the benefit of larger creatures who have a natural reach of 10 feet or greater, this allows them to take a “step” equal to their size.  Magical changes in size do NOT affect your five-foot step.  In hopes of removing all doubt, if the creature or player doesn’t live their regular lives at a larger size it isn’t considered their “natural size” and they cannot take advantage of the greater step.


4. Critical Hit/Critical Miss cards won’t be used this campaign. Critical hits, besides providing your weapons critical hit modifier to damage, will also provide cumulative +1 Luck Bonuses during an encounter.  Critical Misses will provide a -2 on your next attack plus the evil creativity of the GM

5. Luck Score Stat: Starts out at 1, increases by 1 every 2nd level and every 2 Mythic Levels.

5.1 Luck abilities and checks cannot be used to affect mythic.  Mythic can be used to affect luck, primarily via the Surge ability

5.2 Role playing and story achievement will lead to luck rewards. Suggestions made within the rhythms of the game are appreciated.

5.3 If players say it at the gaming table its presumed known by every player at the table.  The spoken actions/scene are learned of by any absent PC's at the first opportunity unless a player states that its a secret or something they aren't going to share. 

6. Improved Initiative is changed to:
Your quick reflexes allow you to react rapidly to danger.
Benefit: You get a +4 bonus on initiative check and add 2 to your luck score

6.1 Each of the following feats also provides a +1 to your luck score: Great Fortitude, Iron Will and Lightning Reflexes, Blind Fighting, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes,  Dodge, Endurance, Mobility, Point Blank Shot and any feat that provides a bonus to a skill. 

6.2 Teamwork feats increase your luck score by 1 as long as there is someone else in your party with the same teamwork feat.  Yes Bonded Mind provides everyone a +1 to your luck. 

7. Once Per Game Session you can roll a luck check DC 20 to improve your initiative.  If you succeed add 5 to your initiative.  You may attempt this after your initiative has been rolled. Pass or Fail you can only do it once per session.

7.1 Once Per Game Session a player can attempt a DC 20 Luck check to provide their skill check to any ally attempting the same skill.  That ally must share a teamwork feat with the person they are sharing a skill with.  Example: Two players trying to sneak or climb.  Excluded skills: Linguistics, Use Magic Device. Pass or Fail you can only do it once per session.

7.2 Once Per Game Session a player can attempt a DC20 Luck Check for a combat advantage similar to attacking from higher ground.  If successful add +2 to your to hit roll.  Must be declared prior to rolling attack. Pass or Fail you can only do it once per session.

7.3 Once Per Game Session if held, paralyzed, or confused a player may attempt a DC20 Luck Check to suppress the effect for one round per 5 levels.  Pass or Fail you can only do it once per session.

7.4 Once Per Game Session a player may attempt a DC20 Luck Check to suppress a condition, such as fatigue or shaken, for one round per 5 levels.  Pass or Fail you can only do it once per session.

7.5 Once Per Game Session a caster as part of a spell may attempt a DC20 Luck Check to include cohorts, animal companions, followers, rescued NPCs or civilians in a beneficial spell effect for free.  The number of extra targets that can be included are equal to the number of party members plus one.  Thinking primarily of teleport here but could see Resist Energy and other spells being applicable. Can only be attempted on spells that effect more than one target or an area effect.  Pass or Fail you can only do it once per session.

7.6 Once Per Game Session a player may attempt a DC20 Luck Check as an immediate action to provide a cohort, animal companion, follower, NPC or civilian the benefit of their saving throw bonus.  This could be role-played as diving and pushing them out of the way of the blast or slapping the poison vial from their lips etc. Pass or Fail you can only do it once per session.

7.7 Once Per Game Session a player may attempt a DC20 Luck Check to lower the DC's of all skill checks they attempt in the next minute.   If they succeed for the next minute all skills attempted by that PC has the DC's reduced by 5.  Pass or Fail you can only do it once per session.

8. Leadership: If anyone takes Leadership, I’ll explain in further detail but I run it differently, essentially using the chart to give a total number of HD of followers rather than a bunch of 1st and 2nd level NPCs.

8.1 One free teamwork feat Bonded Mind

8.2 Some feats will be available to learn at specific locations in Malta.  The training is accomplished via downtime rules.   A non-mythic PC may only learn one of these extra feats.  A mythic PC may learn an additional, non mythic feat. If a feat is available, it will be listed in a city or locations description. 

9. Max Hit Points your 1st three levels and every level that you gain a character point (4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th). When you receive a character point you also receive a point in your luck score.

10. Combine Swim & Climb into one skill Athletics. When you put first skill point in rank you must decide if your athletics is strength or dexterity based.  This cannot be changed without following retraining rules.


10.1 One free skill point per level for Perception

11.  Body Slots not only limit the number of magic items that you can have but also the number of spells that can be on an individual.  Any spell of a duration greater than instantaneous takes up an empty body slot on the person it is cast upon.  Detrimental spells like curse or a prayer that works against you also take up body slots.  If body slots are full the detrimental effect takes over the lowest level spell filling a body slot.  If all body slots are full from magic items, the magic item effect is suppressed for the duration of the detrimental spell.  The affected player chooses which magic item is suppressed. 

House Advice

HA 1 
Pay attention, even when it isn’t your turn/scene and try to limit speaking over others. Check out Facebook alerts and unimportant texts/messages/email before and after the game. Don't talk over other players that are playing the game so you can finish your story or talk about Game of Thrones.

HA 2
Help each other out; combat can pull attention in multiple directions, while the GM is talking about the height of the ceiling, the parties’ spell-caster might be looking up area of effect rules.  If you hear a pertinent fact use the dry erase mat to write it down.  Use the dry erase mat to write down bonuses and penalties if you don’t keep track electronically.

HA 3
Keep good notes, if you recovered a +2 weapon from a combat or bought an alchemical item somewhere it wouldn’t hurt to know it.  Saying I’m going to throw a tangelfoot bag is one thing, saying you’re throwing the last tanglefoot bag from crazy eddies in Gibraltar is more fun and provides the GM an opportunity to get creative. Keeping good notes includes keeping track of the source material your abilities/feats come from.

HA 4
The GM has a lot to try to remember and manage.  Please make the effort to know your own characters abilities.  If you’ve leveled up and it’s the first time doing something, say so, and then we can take our time working through it.  Try to figure out how something works, not how it doesn't. 

HA 5
This is a game and it’s supposed to be fun.  The higher level the party, the greater the complexity and thus the longer it takes to run combat.  Because of this sometimes a penalty such as being paralyzed feels worse than it was intended because despite the roll only saying three rounds it’s been an hour since you’ve been able to have your character act.  Speak up and say something regarding the situation.  Not saying that every time something gets said I’ll say yeah that’s long enough but I may come up with a lesser penalty that still allows you to do something (see luck above).  Along the same lines, if you are down, help the GM run NPCs, offer to take over initiative until you are back or remind the other players of conditions, effects and how they can help you etc.  If you’ve been “killed” and are waiting for a return to action and don’t want to pay attention to the combat, review notes and previous posts about the game.

HA 6
Remember your party members are counting on you to fulfill your portion of the social contract.  Communication helps.  It sucks to have your character die, it’s even worse when you discover that your fellow player forgot they had that wand of healing or the scroll of restoration.  It’s hard for people to plan if you never communicate your abilities and possessions, or worse don’t know them.

HA 7
All of us have parts of the game we excel at and portions we don’t enjoy as much.  If you mentally check out during the portions you don’t enjoy as much, those portions are never going to improve.  Try to identify what you don’t like about it and make suggestions for improvement at the appropriate time. If you make it fun for others you’ll find yourself having fun too. Make an effort, the more you put in the more you’ll get out. 

HA8
If your character isn’t in the scene find out from the GM if he can make out of character suggestions to the players in scene.  For example, your character is at the temple being healed and the rest of the part heads to a meeting with the Sergeant at Arms.  You ask the GM if you can comment and permission is given.  So during the meeting, you can bring up notes from the blog or points of interest you don’t want forgotten. PAY ATTENTION to the scenes you aren’t in. If the primary review note taker is in a scene and you are not, let that person know you’ll take notes for them while they are involved and you are not.  If there is something you want to be sure is remembered let people know.  

HA9
Use the blog.  This doesn’t mean you have to post new entries although you are welcome to.  It does mean to read the posts.  Comment on them. Ask Questions.  Make suggestions.  I find the review posts incredibly helpful, please use the comments for corrections as well as reminders, inspiration, and ideas.  Also this is an excellent location to give the GM a heads up you want to do whatever on game day.

HA10
LISTEN to each other. Don’t forget to say what you enjoy. Make suggestions for game improvement.    Some of the worst arguments I’ve been in come from when I mentally check out and quit listening to the other person, I think I know their point or perspective and don’t listen only to later discover I didn’t understand what they were trying to tell me.  Most of the time these aren’t major arguments but they are major time wasters.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The GemCutter

Merchant Prince Ffahra Ffahra
Ffahra Ffahra read the message again, trying to determine if there was any hidden meaning to Lemont's message.  Lemont's blunt confession of failure troubled Ffahra more than the actual failure.
Lemont
The message read:
Unable to determine the ships exact location.  The GemCutter is well hidden, lost in plain sight somewhere in the many Rock Island's north of Malta. 

Ffahra thought for a few moments before penning his own reply:
The Oracle Isetnoket

Pay the oracle and use her sight to guide our recovery team.  I want the GemCutter returned as quickly as possible.  Once you have deciphered the woman's visions, see if Gagnyon (pronounced Gan Yon) can help us, that merfolk owes me. You go with him and make sure the GemCutter is recovered. 

Finishing the note, Ffahra stepped out of his den and headed down to the church library where he had agreed to meet Valcrum Nuvere.  The half elf was seeking to trade a valuable crystal for a piece of Real Estate Ffahra had acquired.
Valcrum Nuvere

Friday, August 18, 2017

Malta 0 and 1: Our Story Begins and Right and Tight

The game begins with our characters Lex Elis, Carlo, Lete Cordasco, Marco Andrezi, and Jabari coming together with about two dozen others on a sea faring vessel on its way to the Island of Malta, once a part of the Evening Isles, in the Mediterranean Sea.

Our characters become fast friends after joining at a ship-moot and learning we share a bonded mind, a type of telepathy that allows for non-verbal communication. Jabari and Carlo were the first to share the touch and experience physic flashes of confusing and troubling images. Soon the other characters likewise experience similar effects. Lete however comes to the group sharing his knowledge of reincarnation and that these impressions are old and future memories of ourselves. Our characters come to believe that somehow our characters all find each other again and again throughout time.

With the bonded mind our characters quickly become a team and learn of each other's fears and beliefs and after about 3 days our characters come to beautiful Malta and the city of Paola to wait before the circle of judgement.

While our character's wait every necessity is provided for as our characters observe their surroundings. Along a line of artist easels stands a tireless elf-blooded man, our characters learn is named Garamaldi, who observes the artist renderings of each individual entering Malta before being set along a path that leads to one of the seven churches. Devoid of religious symbols, Garamaldi interacts with each new arrival. Some of our characters notice Garamaldi appraising us, but the tension is lifted after he speaks to us- asking our length and reason for visit and offers us dinner later that evening. Most of our answers were vague and typical for traveling adventurers.

Our characters watch as Garamaldi adds a final characterization to each artist rendering before he takes the originals himself to a studio to finish the identification process. Lex and Carlo take precautions to foil their renderings.
Lex Elis

Checking into Malta takes the better part of the day; eventually some of our characters overhears a melodic voice speaking through the noise of the crowd, it was the voice of Aulus Daquaretti, the priest of Mercury speaking to two Italians. Words like "I'm going to speak to one of them. What's the harm?" and "Competition? are you mad? they just arrived." The two Italians eventually leave in the direction of either the Egyptian, or Tiamat Babylonian / Nammu Sumerian temples.

Soon after, Jabari meets a man named Wassier who inquired about Jabari's skills as a sailor and that Wassier has a job for just a sailor as Jabari. At Fungus Rock a ship must be dislodged from whatever and retrieved... discretely. Wassier offers our characters a place to stay as our characters consider his offer. Jabari promises to give him some kind of answer later tonight.

**Fungus Rock: This island is west of Gozo and is a botanist dream. The variety of plant life is astounding, although be warned, some of the plants are sentient.  One half of the island is full of Dire animal life and larger monsters.  The other half of the island is the half mountain remains of a volcano that burst up from the sea floor.  A group of pirates known as "The Plague" operates from the half mountain.  The Plague is said to have two dozen ships under the command of Captain Benald Mokeif.

As our characters wait professions are called out for but otherwise talk generalizes around the Circle of Judgement, the Age of Dragons, and what work was to be found on Malta; that's when our characters notice a familiar group from our arriving vessel leaving the Egyptian church heading back to port.

Eventually Aulus Daquaretti makes his presence known as our renderings are beginning. He wanders through the artists looking at each but soon approaches our characters. Lex steps up to the Priest of Mercury with a delivery for the church of Uranus who accepts the parcel gravely. The rest of our characters see that a lot of attention is being paid to us; priests, spellcasters and islanders alike including one group of six, three wearing exotic bracers of religious quality- two are tieflings and one was a tengu.

Eventually each of us declares a religion: Jabari/ the Greek pantheon, Lete/Apollo, Lex/Greek, Carlo/Neptune, Marco/Mercury. Of the others from our sea vessel four chose Egyptian and two to Otherware.

Our characters are led inside a temple that is divided, Greek on one side and Roman on the other, each pantheon facing away from the other. We see Neptune/Poseidon have the largest shrines. Aulus begins with a sermon and words of welcome then recites the local customs, faiths and laws that everyone is expected to adhere to. In regards to law, all faiths agree that the Portal way of sentencing is fair and equitable.

Symbol of the Eye
Once prayers are said Aulus gets down to the issue of tithing (10%) in return for healing resources. Our characters settle in and ask the Priest of Mercury of there are any enemies of the church, he says yes, but elaborates that our characters may already have enemies as there are already people asking about our characters: merceneries, bounty hunters collecting individuals that possess innate magical skill.

Lete (channeling the future 2030 archaeologist Mary Kenyon) asks if there is any symbol or iconagraphy to keep our EYE on? This confirmation of the Eye is made with the gift of a CLW potion that bears an eye symbol within a Egyptian stylized pyramid.

Lete and even Marco Andrezi had heard of this omnipresent and mysterious organization of in information brokers.

Aulus warns of a movement in Grease, an uprising against Uranus and of rebels growing in Korinthos, it would be dangerous for Lex to return to the home land.

Talk wanes to how to find legit businessmen and employment when Aulus himself offers a job and begins to speak of an Island where its beach is lined with gemstones and suggests to us a gem gathering mission and if at all possible to gather Cindermoss. The job does come with risks but high reward and offers future magic commissions at cost.

Our charactersare invited to his personal den to talk further and learn Aulus performs ceremonies in three days and at each full moon. In his den Lete finds and clues his friends in on Aulus' collection of books on dragons. Here our characters find books that categorize dragons into Lawful, Neutral, and Chaotic each written by Naxxar. Aulus later offers the barracks to use in the meantime.

Garamaldi
Our characters stay until our meeting with Garamaldi.

Garamaldi's was unfinished half-tower where a large oval window that resembled an eye. inside our characters also see our artist renderings and learn of the identification process. This leads Lete to look for sybolage of the Eye and finds it in in the form of a tattoo on Garamaldi's wrist. Our characters learn of his reason for coming to Malta: from Italy to serve the church and that pleases his family.

He informs our characters that he too has a task for individuals of our skills. A search and delivery of master work leather and magical instructions on the creation of magical identifications was stolen on its route back to Malta.

He contracted a now dead individual and Osso who returned on 'The Golden Fleese' to Hagar Qim a week before our arrival to Malta. Osso, the survivor, is in Zebbug and could be found for further information. In return Garamaldi offers to make our identifications magical. Our characters would consider his offer.

Later, Jabari, Carlo, and Marco Andrezi walk to Wassier's estate and an light evening party. While the characters did not commit to the job they were able to negotiate a ship to use for the task.

Back at the barracks, Lete and Marco overhear the Aulus talking with a woman and Xanus a man who was seen talking to Aulus earlier in the day. Woman: "Have you seen their drawings?" Aulus: "I don't think they are ready, artists will be working all night." Woman: "I've dreamed of them, and that leads to your death." it was a warning that ended the conversation.

We begin next session retrieving our identifications and travel to Zebbug to speak to Osso.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Seven Churches of Malta

The Seven Churches

1. Tiamat Babylonian Pantheon/ Nammu Sumerian Pantheon 
Ffahra Ffahra
This temple is led strangely enough by a merchant prince named Ffahra Ffahra (pronounced Fa Ra Fa Ra).  The former desert nomad is in Malta on the direct orders of the Lord High Dragon Tiamat, so far only using the temple as a sort of embassy.  Ffahara has happily served on the Council of Faiths. The only priest at this temple is Kasok,whose faith lies with Utu a sun god in the Sumerian faith.  
Kasok

2. Ra Sun God (Egyptian Pantheon)
High Priest Rudjek
The High Priest Rudjek runs the wealthiest temple in Malta. It is rare to find anyone on the main island that hasn't benefited financially in some way from this influential church.  They provide any child born on the island with the opportunity to learn to read and write...Akkadian or Coptic of course.


3.Green Faith: Greeks believe this is Gaea (the earth), other pantheons their nature deity
Nogamon, a centaur druid is believed to be the oldest individual in Malta.  The centaur considers the main island his grove.  Nogamon maintains The Ring of Judgement, serving not only on the Council of Faiths but also as the arbiter of disagreements between the temples. 
Nogamon

4. Uranus (the sky) Greek Pantheon/Jupiter Roman Pantheon
The fastest growing temple with many claiming the faith simply from ignorance of any others. Mediterranean sailors are familiar with gods of each due to the number of ships that bear their chosen deity's name or symbol on their flags. Many priests operate at this temple varying in Greek or Roman flavors. The priest who serves on the Council of Faiths is Aulus Daquaretti a priest of Mercury. Aulus frequently feuds with the rest of the council  
Aulus Daquaretti

5. Ukko  Finnish Pantheon
The smallest temple of the seven, it is currently devoid of a leader due to the recent death of priestess Marjaana.  The priests of the other temple tend to the building and provide worshipers access when requested.  
Finnish Temple

6. Odin Norse Pantheon
The second smallest temple, other faiths believe this religion hails from a mythical cloud continent or perhaps another plane.  Its current high priest was often referred to as the world's tallest elf.  Cian, a minster of Frey, stands some eight feet in height. A local legend claims that "The Tall One" is the only council member to ever attack someone during judgement. 
Cian

7. The Temple of Otherwhere
The Catchall of faith, this final temple handles any of the various travelers that arrive at the island with faiths falling into an unknown category or even covering an agnostic.  A unique requirement to claiming this faith requires the claimant to enter the temple and either find a relic or shrine to your faith or donate something that a member of your faith would consider a religious token. The Temple of Otherwhere is also unique for its manner of selecting a representative to the Council of Faith.   Every month the names of every person who has claimed the temple as their faith is put into a random drawing.  The name drawn is sought out and either negotiates with the current servitor to continue his or her service on the council, pays someone to serve in their stead, or spends the next month judging new arrivals to Malta. This month's councilor, Zallas, has held the seat for the last several months and appears to be getting quite wealthy from her service. 

Zallas


Monday, August 14, 2017

Archipelago de Malta

Note: These islands are real and while i'm using real names, I'm not attempting to be accurate as to their real location in relation to Malta.  For game purposes they will be located in areas for our convenience. 

The minor islands that form part of the archipelago are varied in resources as well as species, some are as yet unconquered by any known humanoid race. The islands to the north of Malta are controlled by a variety of buccaneer forces while the ones to the south tend towards wealthy family holdings. Most Pirate islands include the word rock in their name, as most of the islands inhabited by the pirates are either unwanted volcanic wastes or slowly sinking islands.


Barbganni Rock: A small island northeast of Gozo, Barbganni is primarily a gnomish enclave, supported by many halflings and dwarves.  The Barbganni gnomes craft a unique powder for the pirates to use in firing their cannons. While the gnomes seem to suffer no ill effects from the powder known as Salt Pyre, many of the pirates who operate the cannon are known to become maniacal from too much exposure to the substance.  The barbarians from Tunis are said to purchase large quantities of Salt Pyre but the men of Tunis are not known for their use of cannon.

Comminoto (Kemmunett): The small island is known for three things, the gems that can be found on its beaches, the flammable Cindermoss coveted by alchemists, and finally the goblin/hobgoblin, bugbear, and ogre forces that serve the islands ruler.  For the last several years the island has been under the control of the Ogre-Magi Karok. The civilized islands haven't moved against Karok, due to his followers propensity for attacking pirate ships and other small islands. 

Dellimara Island: There is something about the Dellimara family, the Maltese people don't speak of it however its there.  Somehow even though they have lived there for as long as most people could remember, they weren't viewed as original islanders.  The island itself is very small, consisting of a large manor, a tower, temple and a small dock.  The manor strangely built, the walls end in uneven angles that create optical illusions that people find difficult to gaze upon for longer than a moment.
Some sailors claim that besides the Dellimara family that resides in the manor there is a druid that maintains a grove on the island.
Dellimara

Fessaj Rock: The broken stone coast of this island provides many caves for the Fessaj pirates to take cover in.  From the sea, the largest cave appears wide enough for a ship to maneuver into. The Fessaj pirates are a wide mix of races but always lead by one of the Catfolk descendants of Captain Liarstooth Fessaj.  The Fessaj pirates lead by Soverah Fessaj recently claimed two frigate traders believed to hail from Carthage. 
Captain Soverah Fessaj

Fungus Rock: This island is west of Gozo and is a botanist dream. The variety of plant life is astounding, although be warned, some of the plants are sentient.  One half of the island is full of Dire animal life and larger monsters.  The other half of the island is the half mountain remains of a volcano that burst up from the sea floor.  A group of pirates known as "The Plague" operates from the half mountain.  The Plague is said to have two dozen ships under the command of Captain Benald Mokeif.


Ghallis Rock: Naxxar rules this rock, which is incredibly easy to defend from other ships due to the path ships have to travel through sea debris and other land masses.  Naxxar is an elven wizard whose piracy is unique in that he harasses the Egyptians. There is a rumor that Naxxar is willing to  train other pirates in wizardry if they have the talent.  
Naxxar
Naxxar is fond of employing half-elves and halflings, among which are a famous pair, a ship captain and his first mate.  The elven Captain Vargin is commander of The Sea Whiskey, a smaller agile ship recognized by most sailors in the region. Captain Vargin's first mate, the halfling known as Walker (the Mediterranean Sea Ranger), was widely recognized as the best cannon shot in the Mediterranean.
Walker
 
Captain Vargin




Halfa Rock (Gozo): Halfa Rock sits a few miles south of Gozo and causes many problems for all of Malta due to the poppy that grows here.  Halfa is layered, with the northern and eastern portion of the islands risen several dozen feet above sea level while the southern and western portions frequently flood during rain season.  There are many pirates who claim dominion of Halfa Rock but their control over the island usually only lasts  until their men are overcome with addiction. Wanna Be captains and stranded sailors in the region will frequently check Halfa Rock for available ships first, as it isn't unheard of to find abandoned sea-craft there.
Halfa Rock

Large Blue Lagoon Rocks (Comino): is populated by several Tengu pirates. While no one pirate is said to rule the island, the most famous of the ships that dock there is The Sea Raven, captained by Relu Gokkut, a short Tengu known for his skill in swordplay. The Large Blue Lagoon Rock is said to have freshwater ponds, a rarity for "Rocks".  The Large Blue is also considered a dueling ground for conflicts between Pirate Captains who wish to spare their ships and crewmen.  On occasion arbitration between pirates can occur her, usually in times of extreme weather or foreign invasion. 

Selmunett Island:  Northeast of Malta lies Selmunett Island, this island caters to the darker desires and demands of the Maltese.  It is a local custom that those that stay on Selmunett after dark can report no crime and have no crime reported against them.  The priests of Malta turn a blind eye to the gambling halls and houses of ill repute that populate this island. Of late however word has begun to circulate of Egyptian loyalists using Selmunett as a trade pipeline between Egypt and Greek reformists in Korinthos Greece.  Selmunett is also known for its black tar, a bubbling fountain, located on the southern coast.  The tar bubbles up between a boulder called the bleeding stone. Selmunett Tar is coveted for its waterproofing and ability to patch ships damaged at sea. 
Selmunett 

Tac-Cawl Rock (Gozo): Easily the largest of the Rocks, Tac-Cawl is known for the mountain of bones made from the remains of the Dire Ape's victims.  The totem honoring their ferocity rises some 50 feet tall and is made up of bones from adventurers, pirates, and dire beasts.  Little known beyond Malta is that for the last several years a group of Centaur Hunters has taken up residence on the Rock proving themselves against its harsh environment. 

Ta' Fraben Island: Even the Egyptians try to avoid this island, over run with Thri-Kreen and insectoids known as Trox.  The islands foliage is overgrown and their aren't any known structures built there. The largest trees are believed to serve the Thri-Kreen while the Trox' customs are unknown.  Thri-Kreen have been known to leave the island, a rare few even joining up with pirates in the region. Of course their are sailor's rumors regarding treasures buried on the island but there is no denying the ship that has laid wrecked on its shores for this last year. Beached on the island and laid open on its side, The Monger warship was believed to be a Roman merchant's prized possession. Many larcenous hearts covet whatever treasures lie in its hold. 
Trox
The Roman

The Greek





















Sala Rock (Zabbar):  Locals call it Sala Rock but not in the presence of the Tiefling pirate king Zabbar. Sala Rock has a watchtower, dock, house and barn since it was claimed by the Pirate King.  He has re-christened the island with his own moniker, Zabbar Island.  The Pirate King has anywhere from ten to two dozen ships at his disposal and is famous among pirates due to the two Thri-Kreen guardians that serve him.  Zabbar himself refers to the two Thri-Kreen as "The Roman and The Greek" and frequently chuckles after saying it.