Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Tale of Cirillo

Cirillo had been to the Mage Ruins many times before. Never in his two years as a guide was the payment this valuable. A cloak of invisibility, in exchange he would lead a magician into the ruins. Though he didn’t know much about magic Cirillo could tell this wizard was powerful. It seemed like every move he made was aided by his arcane arts. He had mastered magic the way a seasoned rouge could use the tools of his trade. You knew he had used it you just didn’t know when or exactly how.
As promised the wizard had handled every encounter alone. Whether it was firing a ray and disintegrating a would be opponent. Or speaking a word and their foes ignoring them completely. Cirillo was never close to any danger. Even the bothersome Gargoyles where no match for the wizards firepower. He found himself wondering why such a man would be interested in the ruins.
Cirillo had never paid close attention to the stories of Athalantar. He always assumed the ancient wizard kingdom had been dreamed up by the humans of Secomber to make themselves seem more important. He doubted his little farming village had been constructed on the ruins of a great empire. Though it did make for some terrific bedtime stories. That was before he found the book that changed his opinion on Athalantar. The tome he had found last week was definitely ancient and magic so there must be some truth to the stories. And the letter arriving from Waterdeep the next day securing him as a guide was a bit odd. But he didn’t have time to think about that the cloak he had dreamed of was nearly in his grasp.
After 6 hours Cirillo led his client into the hidden chamber. The door with the strange glowing symbols looked unopened same as before. There it is Cirillo boasted with pride, just like I promised. The wizard pulled the gray wool cloak from his robes handing it to the halfling, your payment as I promised.

Cirillo face aglow grabbed up the cloak, I will be the only halfling with an invisibility cloak in all Secomber he thought. He wasted no time in throwing it around his shoulders. It took only seconds for the magic of the cloak to take effect. The poison coursed thru his body as he fell to the floor he died almost instantly.
And now for the door sneered the wizard.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Rat Hills

The Rat Hills is the name given to the stretch of coastline a short way to the south from Waterdeep. When Waterdeep was still young, it was a simple, barren pebble beach that was a favorite spot for ships to land for repairs or take on cargoes like lumber since even a mile out to sea the water wasn't any deeper than five feet. Once the city had grown large enough to suffer from raiders, the citizens began to worry that such an easy port was not only a free alternative to using the city's harbor, but also an easy place from which to attack. A shanty town sprang up which was soon under the control of the Shadow Thieves. The lords responded swiftly though, ordering the City Guard to clear "the Beach" of its inhabitants, kill any who resisted and keep a strong patrol to ensure the area remained clear. Under escort, the citizenry began bringing their garbage here rather than burning it directly outside the city walls, though this task is now handled by the Dungsweeper's Guild.

The piles of garbage earned the place it's current name: "Rat Hills", and covered an area almost four miles in length by a mile in width. The accumulated waste poisoned the shallow waters and effectively prevented any hostile landing.

The Rat Hills Conflagration reduced the size of the piles to under two miles in length and a quarter of a mile in width (although the area is growing again by about half an acre per year) but apart from the daily Dungsweepers convoy and the guard patrols along the trade road, everyone leaves the area alone due the poisonous waters, the infestation of rats and the various monsters for which the Hills are a haven.

Every night a contingent of 20 or more men-at-arms, supported by at least two clerics of Torm and a hired wizard can be found watching over the Hills to make sure the hungry monsters don't make an incursion into the surrounding area.

As well as the poisonous water and the monsters, the Rat Hills are infested with disease. The animals and monsters carry it, the insects that constantly swarm the Hills carry it, the water (both rainwater pools and the seawater) and of course the dry garbage 'land' is infected. Although not the only disease you can catch, the most common one is known as darkrot.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Macgoverns

This family has long been associated with the Ilzimmer family, especially in and around Secomber. Though they are not a noble family, their close alliance with the Ilzimmers has earned them a good reputation as loyal and trustworthy in their relations. They are a fairly large family, with a lot of farmers, river fishermen, and professional soldiers within their ranks. There are quite a few Macgoverns in Waterdeep, and three were tapped to join the garrison to help Secomber. They are a trio of cousins, all 18 years old. They all jumped at the chance to join this troop, and are pretty excited about it. They are outfitted just like all the other warriors, with one difference. They each are also bringing their own personal mounts. They were gifts to each of them for graduating their training and studies. It is most likely they are of Ilzimmer stock, but not threaded. Of course, they expect to march and perform maneuvers as the troop does, but they figure it can’t be anything but good to show up with horses.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Training the Troops

Bordane: Initially, I plan on spending the 1st week training the men in operating in a large formation, the whole 30 men together. Nights will be spent on equipment upkeep and guard duty. I hope in at least the 1st 3 days to be able to single out someone who seems competent enough to act as a "lieutenant". If so, I will issue orders through him, if at all possible. He will understand that he gets one chance, if he screws up, he's out and the next available candidate gets a shot. The 2nd week, as long as they seem to be able to pick up how to form a shield wall, and a "turtle" in the 1st week, will be devoted to breaking them into 3 10 man teams or squads, and begin training on squad tactics. This entire endevour seems a little daunting as we will try not to slow the rest of the company down, however, nothing trains a soldier better than actual combat. (look at the Iraelis, sez Rob).

Rob: Now if James wants to simply *poof* us there, great! We can say the men got trained in all the above. If, however, he wants us to play it out, great! We can just follow the above as well.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wednesday June 23rd

Here is my suggestion for getting together Wednesday since James can't play.

Bring your Mutants and Masterminds Characters and bring whatever notes, character sheets etc you have on your Mage Game characters.

We'll update and work on those characters. Look up things, answer questions and get our grey cells percolating on those.

Also bring one favorite game moment memory with those characters. If you need to, make yourself an index card with a couple notes to help you remember. We rarely get to talk about old games and those stories really help not only the GM’s memory but insights into what you enjoy as players.

If you have notes about any of your characters I would appreciate having a copy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Caravan Numbers

The caravan to Secomber will comprise of 5 wagons, 29 horses or mules, 42 people, 2 dogs, and 1 eagle.

We will take 3 caravan wagons (2 are ours, 1 I am borrowing from the Tarm family resources). Caravan wagons take 4 horses or mules to pull, but they are sturdy covered wagons that can haul 4400 pounds plus a driver. That’s about 17 fully armed men plus a driver. We will take 1 covered wagon (requires 2 horse and can haul 2200 pounds plus a driver) as the quartermaster’s wagon. It will haul all of the food and other caravan supplies that we need. The fifth wagon is a covered wagon that carries my gear, my own mules, Deuce and Sweet Pea, pull it and it will be driven by Fallon, my squire. Torm usually rides and sleeps in the wagon by day, so he is bright and alert for watch duty by night. The other dog is a gift for Chadwick. He showed interest in having a dog like Torm, so I am going to train both he and his dog over our trip. The eagle I am just taking along to build familiarity with. For now, it is a little too early to begin training, unless my brother had already trained him and he just needs to adjust to a new master.

The people count goes like this:

The Company of the Nine - 10 people

Our noble guests - 2 people

Soldier troop - 30 people

The company has 9 horses of its own, as well as Tauron’s 2 mules. 12 threaded horses from the Tarm stables will pull the caravan wagons. 2 Taes line horses draw the quartermaster wagon, and we will bring 4 extra Taes line horses. They can serve as replacements for injured horses or extra mounts. I think I will try to trade 1 or 2 for livestock to be brought back or delivered to the Tarm stables. That is a total of 29 horses.

Fell free to add or comment. I just thought some of this would be helpful to know while we finalize our preparations this Wednesday. By the way, our weapons and gear we intend to market only weigh a little over 500 pounds, so we have plenty of room.

Wednesday June 16th & 23rd

So are we getting together Wednesday? I spoke with Butch yesterday and he said that he could come Wednesday but could only stay until around 8pm.  James please respond with your intentions for Wednesday.  I believe you are unable to play the following Wednesday and we could discuss that as well.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Lost Well of Trolls

Every few years someone claims to find some new clue that will finally provide the location of the elemental well. This long lost portal is said to be somewhere between Waterdeep and Secomber. The Well's legend has given rumor to everything from a portal for the elemental planes to a magical point of power. In all legends it is said to be protected by a strange group of trolls who hinder all who undertake the search. Of course that part of the legend probably arises from the large numbers of trolls that have plagued the road between Waterdeep and Secomber all these years. It is rumored that should the well be found, that several wizards, including the legendary Blackstaff, will pay a handsome reward for the location. As with many legends it is said the well is only found during the most tumultuous times.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summary of Caravan

5 cold iron longswords 30 gp @ 150 35

5 cold iron shortswords 20 gp @ 100 25

10 cold iron daggers 4 gp @ 40 7

10 sets of 20 cold iron arrows 2 gp @ 20 5

5 sets of 20 cold iron bolts 2 gp@ 20 5

10 cold iron long spears 20 gp@ 200 25

1 cold iron glaive 16 gp 20

1 cold iron guisarme 18 gp 25

1 cold iron ranseur 20 gp 25

5 warden’s draughts 75 gp @ 100

This is the list of weapons we invested in as a company. The last figure is what I think we should use as our starting asking price. We have other weapons, captured on our past adventures, as well as some magic items that nobody claimed as treasure. I have good notes on all of this, and can answer any questions about treasure origins from them. The values listed are the going price for such items as taken from the core rulebook.

4 leather armor 10 gp @

4 rhino hide armor 15 gp @

6 mstwk longswords 315 gp @

3 large steel mstwk shields 159 gp @

3 mstwk chain shirts 250 gp @

4 rapier 20 gp @

1 suit of +1 leather armor 1160 gp

1 set of lobster designed bracers of armor +2 4000 gp

2 rings of avoidance +1 350 gp @

1 set of mstwk pan pipes 100 gp

We are also bringing a garrison of troops to be issued to the marshal of Secomber. They are sponsored by the Tarm family, and Tauron hopes to negotiate with the Ilzimmers and convince them to provide mounts to the troops. Using the chart on page 454 of the core rulebook, I equipped them as basic 1st level NPCs, meaning they get 260 gp worth of stuff. The Tarm family supplied this gear: chain mail, lg steel shield, longsword,light crossbow, 40 bolts, a dagger, and a longspear. Each soldier also has 2d10 gp and 3d10 sp, as well as some standard uniforms and supplies (rope, backpacks, etc). The Tarms have also sent a small chest of money to provide wages for the soldiers until the people of Secumber can figure them into a pay scale.

I will post details of horses and wagons later. Feel free to comment suggestions or changes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mama Cass Charms and Crafts

Mama Cass Charms and Crafts is a 2 story residence and shop located in the north ward. Many would consider her a hedge wizard or worse, but she specializes in love charms and low level magic. In fact, she is expert in the crafting of everything you would find in The Reknown Collection we refer to as "Loot for Less". For months, she has showcased a ring she calls the ring of animal aptitude, focusing the wearers talent with handling animals. Tauron has decided to see if he can trade his cloak of elvenkind for that ring before he leaves for Secomber.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Baerom Thunderstaff looked on approvingly as Damian Agundar and Bordane, his smug younger brother repeatedly draw leather and take aim on the stuffy-guy target at the end of the courtyead. This act of drawing and holstering the flintlock pistols would train their hands to perform this action perfectly when thinking is an act of luxury.

“Pull!” Sai Thunderstaff commanded over and over and after what seemed like the hundredth-hundredth time he bid the boys to holster up and approach. “I have watched your progress boys; you have come along way in a short amount of time and am satisfied that you are ready to bear the apprentice weapons with the proper ammunition.”

The Agundar’s boys exchange puzzled looks. “Yes, that’s right. Do you think I’d unleash the two of you upon the city with live ammunition?” Baerom’s smile grew wide and playfully devious as he hands the two young lords two duskwood cigar boxes full of mastercrafted slugs. “Exercise caution and a noble's discretion with these weapons my young lads 'cause it takes feats of skill to properly wield these exotic weapons. Furthermore;” his visage turns dark, “just possessing such firearms will mark you as mage-slayers; ware who sees you pull leather.”

The Knights of Antiquity Part 2

Artemus struggled to keep from smiling after the meeting was over. Once again he was surprised by the questions that no one ever asked him. His leadership role was never questioned, not even by Ord, who was very upset at the start of the meeting. Ord had warned everyone when they first formed the cabal, that all of their plans were great but if discovered, other nobles would ally and they would lose their momentum and strength. It wasn’t long after The Company of Nine was recognized for completing a Hero’s walk that all the members began to contact Artemus. Their public recognition coming so soon had been a surprise to Artemus, the last he had heard, The Blackstaff himself was planning to send them on a very long walk indeed. It was due to this information on the Blackstaff’s plans that he was unconcerned with the Company. They wouldn’t be allowed to head to the High Moor. Unfortunately something had changed and now the Nine were a headache. Artemus was successful in convincing the other Knights that their strength still lay in the secrecy of their union, that while the Nine outnumbered them, they could not fight an enemy they were unaware of.

Aryana Rosznar stayed quiet the majority of the meeting, save for a few careful agreements supporting Artemus’ suggestions. Hidden in her robe she held the dagger tightly, ready in case any of the hot headed warriors decided that their investment and potential loss was Aryana’s fault. The poison wouldn’t kill them but it would incapacitate them long enough to ship them off as a slave. Of course that would mean transporting them to Skullport but she would deal with that problem if it arose. Luckily for her it did not. Once the others left she felt free to share her new information with Artemus. She told him everything but what she had discovered about him. The news she shared was not good but he took it in stride. She had been correct that the Cult of the Dragon was interested in not only the discovery on the Moor but the items of royal lineage that were recently discovered. Apparently a number of items had been buried in the cemetery. She suspects the Cult was behind the grave robberies and ritualistic murders that had recently occurred. She explained to Artemus that the Cult had targeted people they believed to be descendants of something called the Samular Legacy. Worse, she believes the Cult missed, for when she was at the Palaver, she noticed many members of the Nine wearing items that closely resemble similar samples the Knights of Antiquity had seen. All of this information would seem to indicate that not only would the Nine head to Secomber and then onto the Moor, but that this discovery in the Moor had something to do with Dragons.

Hermindious met with Zak first, getting a quick rundown of the meeting and sharing some minor information recently learned about the Hawkwinter’s. As long as Zak believed that his cousin provided him information and loyalty, he would never suspect ulterior motives. Hermindious was disappointed to discover that Aryana had said nothing in the meeting regarding the information he had fed her about Artemus and the Cult. The fact that she kept the info on Artemus to herself didn’t surprise him but withholding the information about the Cult told him she was closer to Artemus than she had let on. Hermindious knew it was a risk mentioning the cult or Samular to her but he needed pressure brought against the Company of Nine from an outside source. He knew Aryana would be very surprised if she ever discovered that he himself was a member of the Cult. It was very interesting to see how interested she was to discover that Artemus was really the bastard child of a Brokengulf/Wand union some thirty years past. Finally Genos stumbled out of the Curio shop, and Hermindious resumed his valet duties.

Dartek Thann left the meeting and headed to the Dock Ward. Taking his time he walked well out of his way and several times around the same blocks to make sure he wasn’t being followed. Once he was convinced that Zak’s spy cousin hadn’t followed him after the meeting, or anyone else had for that matter, he made his way to the Maiden and Sea tavern. He needed to meet his contact there and report on his findings. He also hoped to find a drunken thief Jarish, who was too free with information around the local constabulary. When Dartek entered the whiny voice of Jarish was the first thing he heard and for the first time, he was glad to hear it. Moving over to a booth, well hidden from regular view he ordered ale and waited for his contact. He also paid the bar wench to keep refilling Jarish’ drink for the next couple hours. His contact arrived about twenty minutes later and Dartek couldn’t help but admire the illusory magic that hid Lady Serena Sussuruss. Serena sat down, but not before laying the sword she had mentioned on the table before him. Dartek had seen the sword before, well at least an artistic rendition, in one of the Sage’s books. If what the book claimed was true, the blade was a fabled Dragon Slayer weapon, providing magical enhancement against all dragon kind but especially deadly to one. Dartek checked the pommel for the rare marking that would denote this as one of the many Samular Legacy items. Not only did he find the marking, but if his eyes did not deceive him, this weapon was crafted to face a specific dragon of name, a Storm Dragon. Dartek commended Serena on her work and spoke with her for over an hour. To all eyes in the bar it just looked like a nobleman slumming with a beautiful young woman. Dartek pointed over to Jarish and told Serena to be sure to leave a token on her victim this time; he wanted everyone to know that the rogue was the latest victim of the League of Night and Fog.

Notes: Jarish taken from WD P.D. Blues posted by Rob on Friday March 19th, 2010

Serena taken from Secrets of Waterdeep Society Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Also note that in Butch’s posting for Secrets, he refers to Serena as:

Lady Selene Sussuruss

Lady Serene

Lady Serena

And just Serena.

I went with Serena. From his post it’s possible that Lady Selene Sussuruss was a cover name and that she goes by a variety of names. Just explaining.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Knights of Antiquity Part 1

Artemus Dimartius checked the Sun Dial again, a nervous habit he had acquired ever since he began selling the time pieces. To the local nobility Artemus was generally perceived as a drunken swashbuckler whose talents were best served in pursuit of yet another skirt. No one ever questioned his presence, how he was able to maintain his curio shop in the castle ward, or his general lack of customers and oddly kept hours. Artemus wondered if any of the other members meeting here tonight knew his true heritage.

Ord Artemel was the first to arrive. The Illuskian heir to the Artemel “fortune” glared at Artemus with self righteous indignation, since it was his warning that had been ignored. Artemus couldn’t resist smiling warmly at the young noble as one does when looking at a child. It had the desired effect of pissing Ord off. Ord, like the other members, would shop among the curious until hidden from view of the street, and then open the trap door that lead to the sub-chamber where they have their meetings.

Genos Hawkwinter arrived in a state that Artemus had never seen before. Hair thoroughly tousled by wind and a lack of care, Genos’ stare was haunted and it wasn’t long before his valet Hermindious approached and explained that Genos’ Helm worshipping younger brother had been slain on duty at one of the guard keeps. It took all of Artemus’ skill to get Genos focused and the valet sent away. Unknown to Artemus, Hermindious would circle back and wait a block away.

Zak Ilitul arrived and in his usual unimaginative way headed straight to the back of the curio shop and below. Artemus didn’t need a meeting to know that Zak would propose the whole sale slaughter of our surprise competitors. Luckily the other members were not inclined to listen to Zak, they just appreciated his muscle. Zak may not have been imaginative but no one here knew that Genos valet was Zak’s cousin.

Aryana Rosznar arrived, her cloak and robes hiding her from all but the closest inspection, she quickly made her way to the back of the shop. Seeing that all the other members were down below, save Artemus, she searched one of the many chests in the shop. This particular chest she had hidden a poisoned dagger in three days ago. This particular poison was made from a derivative of the family wine; a fact that she was sure would scandalize the family if it were to ever become public knowledge. The dagger was brought to her by one of her agents in Secomber; he said it was one of the items the half elf brought out of the High Moor.  Her discoveries had lead to the "knights" decision to invest so heavily in multiple recovery teams headed there.

Dartek Thann was the final member to arrive. He always tried to arrive last since he was the main financial support for this secret cabal. Dartek was very angry that a new group of Nobles had formed publicly, this Company of Nine. Not only did the Nine exceed them in numbers but the families that they represent are a formidable bunch and a very strong voting bloc in any palaver. Worse they seemed to be involving themselves in similar business. Dartek is convinced that the Nine will soon head for Secomber

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The cousin in Secomber

Adolmus Gladstone loves the stones and mountains of the Realms and has become somewhat of an expert on the subject earning him honorary mention in some dwarven texts and stories. Adolmus is a mystery as to the limits of his skill he claims he can speak with stone; shape stone even predict when an earth quake will occur. He prays to no faith yet exercises druid-like empathy with the stones. Travelers through the area sometimes seek his knowledge or the purchase of magical stones. He distains all things that fly; in fact his proudest moments were when he took part in the defeat of two wandering dragons from the High Moor last summer.

Adolmus is Agatha Agundar’s sister Augustine Gladstone’s eldest son.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Zundbridge

Located about 10 miles southeast from Waterdeep, where the Trade Way crosses the Dessarin River. The bridge is after the wizard Zund who created it about 80 winters ago when construction of the Great Trade Way was completed (to Waterdeep at least).

There is a Waterdeep guard post of highly trained warriors and customs officers commanded by Sai Halloran, and his sword Helmstooth, whose loyalty knows no bounds and his lieutenant Wendel who is legendary for his vocal prowess and his ability for catching arrows and deflecting bolts. The warded guardpost has stone edifice and is fortified with three towers. Additionally, the guardpost has three griffon mounts at its disposal should reinforcements be necessary. There is also a campground, a water pump and a sign warning passers-by not to enter the Rat Hills at their own peril.

The most popular and most fantastic tale regarding the Zundbridge is; don't magically trouble the bridge with magic or subterfuge, it's rumored to be a stone golem of some sort. As for size, it is a squat and massive construction stretching five-hundred yards across the Dessarian River gorge and is twenty-five feet across.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jade Skulls, the Lost Antiquities.

Most sages who know anything about these minor artifacts agree that they were first made by dragons who learned the art of crafting enchanted tools. Other cults over the eons have created one or two for high priests and hermit-like oracles, but dragons and those wizards who would win a dragons favor mastered the art generations ago. They work a little bit like pearls of power or a momento magica, but instead of recalling cast spells, they hold spells that allow their owners greater flexibility in their spell selection. They can be focused to hold either divine spells or arcane spells, but no jade skull can hold both. Also, their function depends on whether the user is a spontaneous caster, or one who must prepare spells.

In a way, the skulls could be seen as spell batteries. They hold spells that are cast into them, and allow their owner access to them in different ways. A command word opens the skull to accept new spells cast into it. a second command word seals the skull again. There are three different power levels of jade skulls, : least, lesser, and greater.

A least jade skull can store up to 3 spell levels. This can be in whatever formula suits the owner, be it 3 first level spells or a single third level spell, or even a second and a first level spell. For this purpose, 0-level spells take up one spell level each. Once opened, any caster can cast a spell of the appropriate type ( either arcane or divine) not necessarily the owner. Once the skull is prepared, the owner can draw from the spell power contained within. A spontaneous caster may treat any spells stored in the skull as if they were spells known, and draw from them when casting their daily allotment of spells. A caster who prepares spells may give up a prepared spell of the appropriate level to instead cast a spell stored in the skull. In both cases, the spell slot powers the magic, and the spell remains in the skull. A caster must be high enough level to cast any spell drawn from a skull, and the spell must be on the casters class spell list.

A lesser Jade skull works exactly like the least version, with slight differences. It can store up to six spell levels, but it can still hold a maximum of only three spells.

The greater version may store up to nine spell levels, but again is limited to a maximum of three spells.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Jermlaine are a horrific humanoid fey race that dwell in natural tunnels and under stone bridges to ambush hapless adventurers. They are cowards who have made an art of the ambush but when they rally and swarm together they overcome this fault and become blood thirsty deadly. They can hurl hurtful javelins at 120 yards or will attack with sharp miniature pikes at close range. When attempting to capture their prey, they will also use blackjacks. Jermlaine move silently and are 75% undetectable in all but the brightest conditions.