Thursday, September 30, 2010

Neighborhoods: Government District Hall of Voices Part Two

The Hall of Voices is the seat of the ruling guild parliament, an ancient and imposing snow white marble edifice from the time before Stormhaven’s founding. Surrounded by wide steps formed by seven progressively smaller layers of marble blocks, the Hall is a building without walls. The steep, pitched roof is decorated by intricately carved murals of idealized men and women in togas, supported by dozens of 20 foot high, fluted columns. A large, rectangular stone table and a flag stand are the only furnishings. On most days the Hall of Voices is open to all, with two guards stationed at all times to deter vandalism and reassure the wealthy Upside visitors, who often picnic on the steps.

Once every two weeks, the Hall comes alive. The dust and leaves are swept away, a dozen high backed oak chairs are placed around the table and a Stormhaven flag unfurled and set in its holder. As the sun rises the guild councilors gather at the Hall for the Grand Parliament, each attended by two pages and a scribe, savvy in Stormhaven law.

When all the councilors have gathered, the Hall is sealed off by a detachment of 20 elite Stairway Keep soldiers, led by a Guard captain and supported by several battle mages. While the Parliament convenes, no-one is allowed to step inside the Hall except by special invitation of a council member. High ranking guildsmen with no formal seat in the Parliament and fringe political organizations often demonstrate just outside the steps of the Hall, shouting out their agendas to the disinterested council. Outbreaks of violence are common during the Grand Parliament, and the guardsmen respond with brutal precision using truncheons, sleep spells and other tools to disperse the crowd. Watching the brutality has become a popular spectator sport among Upside’s citizens.

Neighborhoods: The Government District Pt 1

Here is the heart of Upside, home of the city’s most important guild houses and embassies. Though the Noble Quarter is wealthier, no-one wields as much power as those who live and work here. Though the Staircase Guard patrols the Government District more heavily than they do any other area, crime is rampant here. Thieves and confidence men are drawn by the smell of wealth in the air and the area is beset by inter-guild violence.

Architecture and Layout

The Government District includes some of the oldest and most impressive structures in Stormhaven, including several relics of the city’s original civilization. The majority of the district’s buildings are arrayed in a wide half-circle around Rockhammer Square, generous swathes of open space separating the buildings even in the comparatively crowded area. The rest of the Government District is dominated by clusters of trees and carefully tended lawns, with meandering cobblestone paths connecting the outlying buildings.

Lamps spaced a few paces apart provide illumination in Rockhammer Square after dusk. Although the buildings on the district’s outskirts are similarly lit, the paths between them do not have as much light.

The Government District is bordered to the north and east by the Warehouse District, to the south by the Rat’s Nest and to the west by the Black Crown and the Noble Quarter.

Rockhammer Square and the Reflecting Pools

Bordered on one side by the Hall of Voices and on the other by Firefly Cathedral and the mausoleum, Rockhammer Square is a strikingly beautiful public park. It measures hundreds of feet long and wide, landscaped with elaborate floral arrangements, dotted with bronze statues and lined with perfectly trimmed hedges. The west and east sides of the square are dominated by the Reflecting Pools, identical sets of three shallow, stepped fountains, 30 feet to a side each. The fountains are magically enchanted to overflow eternally with clear, cold water, which is then collected into a latticework of shallow canals that divide Rockhammer Square, collecting in a swirling pool that drains back into the fountains in an endless cycle. The waterways are three feet in depth, but the water level is only two feet. While they are narrow enough to hop over, it is very undignified, so all the officials and walkers use the delicate, high arching marble bridges that cross the canals at several points.

Rockhammer Square is Upside’s most frequented spot, where lovers stroll under the moonlight, children splash in the great pools and flocks of birds fight for handfuls of scattered bread-crumbs. Groups of low-level spellcasters enthrall crowds with impromptu illusions, and aspiring bards and entertainers ply their skills in the square, among them Carnival regulars Busted Skull and Odobo. More serious business is conducted here as well, with councilors, ambassadors and independent merchants hammering out business contracts and peace treaties while they take lunch near the Reflecting Pools. The Square is far from tranquil. Petty criminals plague the area, cutting purses and swindling the young and na├»ve with weighted dice and confidence games. Brawls frequently spill out of the Hall of Voices into the heart of the square and young dissidents from the Driftdowns and the Rat’s Nest hold assemblies that too often deteriorate into violent clashes. Duelists from the Rat’s Nest favor the Square too, testing their mettle on the ornate bridges that span the channels.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mako's Invoice

Invoice (Almost 2 Years Old) don’t forget to mention Guild Fair Delivery Schedule

1. Cavian Seawillow: Power of signature with Aisley Hawkins Scribe

a. Pick up petals

b. Pick up trade agreement: BW

2. The Creeping Rose: Tamros

a. Show trade agreement

b. Get tattoo

3. Winter Blade: Ishitome Mishi 2 Deliveries 1 pickup

a. Don’t let Etrian Starkmore see you

b. Pickup is heavy

4. The Raging Seas: Stop in and see Ulf

5. Dragon’s Breath: Atavah Sunthrower

a. Increase Dust order

b. Try to get cigar samples

c. If I have time walk around a bit and see who else makes deliveries

6. House of Four Winds: Only deal with Obidiah

a. Pick up Salt agreement

b. Mention Truffles

7. Carnaval Day! See Lindal Thinskin

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dragon Heartstone

 In it's presence your senses fire and your mind is seared with memories not your own.  Your abilities and knowledge crystallize whenever you are near.  Further you feel in touch with others of your blood, some here, and some much further away.  Suddenly all other images disappear as the presence of your mother is felt amongst all of you.  Besides learning some of the abilities of the Heartstone, such as Cure Light Wounds 1d8+5 (Durg, you and I discussed that you have a greater effect) and Lesser Restoration, you suddenly realize your mother can use your proximity to such an item as a means of communication. 
When you next awake from sleep, whether its a nap, a full nights rest, or recovering from an unconscious condition, some things your mother said to you become clear.  Assume that you all discuss it at some point, having experienced the Heartstone together, you all would realize that the others are experiencing the same phenomena. 

Your mother's name is Avaritia.  Your first memories of her communications to all of you is her cursing your father.   Some of the other things you remember.

1. While she hates and abhors your broken stock she does not blame you simpering whelps and that is why she has allowed you to live.
2. She does blame your #!$!#(! father.
3. She hopes you all achieve something before being reaped by your Grandmother.
4. Every time you want her help or bother her, you better have something unique and valuable as a token of devotion or she will kill and eat you as punishment for insubordination.
5. When winter comes so will our enemies the white.  Even you pathetic whelps can outsmart a white.
6. Take strength in your greed, even if you aren't using it, neither are your enemies.  Learn what others covet and manipulate them to your advantage.
7. If you desire to serve in my court, you need to earn my mother's mark.
8. Due to your father's duplicity you have many additional draconic traits which she doubts any of you will be smart enough to develop.
9. Should others of my kind discover your relation to me, you could be challenged.  Don't make me ashamed.
10. If you are near the Heartstone, I can choose to communicate with you whelps.

Versel speaks up

My Brothers I have a vision. This Dragon heart has shown me the path of what could be. If one lone Dragon could carve the world disc imagine what the four of us can achieve together. Our bodies grow stronger every day and while we might have to wait for our physical primes our minds are already keen. Lets us use the tools and talents we have now to take hold of this city and begin our new empire. I am not so foolish to think this task will be completed overnight. However I see our path as clearly as the cobblestone streets of Rat’s nest. How you ask, let’s look at our experiences in the last couple days.

If we learned anything about the common citizen in the last few days it’s how eager they are to please us. A few “good” deeds and we take control of this city with little resistance as they appoint us their “protectors”. They envy our strength and fear our power, look at the meat sacks (humans) in the stair market. Tithing food to appease us shows their willingness to serve. I think the commoner will relish every opportunity to prove why they shouldn’t be our next meal. The Spell guards, defenders of the city were noticeably shaken when Durg turned his attention their way after interrupting our morning exercise. Their fear makes them susceptible to our will. Even the Twilight house has expressed their desire to keep us as members. No doubt hoping to profit from our endeavors.

Our victims beg for their lives and offer up service why? Because they know the death we deliver will be more horrific then anything they can imagine. The jobs and services we have performed for Brazier & the major-domo of the Van Fleet house have given us more financial gain than the original agreement or expectation, again I ask why? Because each of them sees the benefit in us as allies. They purposefully lose money on initial “investment” hoping the opportunity will arise for a bigger return in the future. Even the draconic creature of the flyers club sees us as an opportunity and he only watched us walk down the street.

Everyone wants us on their side and that is our greatest asset now. I guarantee the Nobel houses of Stormhaven will be no different. We can make ourselves available and they will try and buy our loyalties. None of them would want to risk us joining an opposing house. We keep our eyes and ears open and we will find their weakness’. Weakness that we can choose to exploit ourselves or sell to their enemies. Not only will we grow financially but politically as we play the noble houses against each other like an afternoon chess match.

A quick warning, and a word of advice my brothers. The Nobel houses have made a living off of telling lies. They will try and fill your head with tales of false riches to manipulate you to their own ends. That is our game! Do not get caught up chasing a tale where the risk outweighs the reward. Make sure there is always a way to gain adequate compensation for services rendered. Even if that compensation is in blood.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Neighborhoods: The Nobel Quarter Pt. 5 Lesser Nobel Estates and Areas of Importance

The lesser estates in the Noble Quarter are owned by dwarf or elf families with tertiary connections to the Stormhaven, Greystone, or Seawillow families, whether through marriage or economic ties. Their mansions, though less splendid than the greater estates, are still impressive. In many cases they are worth more than the kings of some nations can afford.

Dragon Run: Designed to resemble a fairytale castle, with needle-like towers and banners fluttering the breeze, the elven Dragon Run is bordered not by a fence but by a moat.

Fox Peak: Bordering the Fox Run, the dwarven Fox Peak is famous for its crystal spire, a 40 foot high tower made entirely of rose-tinted crystal.

Winter’s Heart: The grounds of Winter’s Heart are decorated with enchanted ice statues that never melt. Additionally, the elven owners have placed icicles, made of the same enchanted ice, all about the mansion.

The Fox Run is an expansive, heavily forested area bordered on all sides by five estates, the nobility uses the Fox Run as a private hunting ground. As Stormhaven is simply too small to maintain herds of wild game, animals for the hunt must be imported. Foxes are the most common prey, but past hunts have included deer, dire boars and even an elephant that escaped the confines of the Run, stormed through the Rat’s Nest and then dragged half a dozen nobles over the rim of the World Disk. Most hunts are organized and stocked by Galdan an infamous human big game hunter.

The Stone Forest is nestled in the woods that border the Seawillow estate. The Stone Forest is a cluster of nearly sixty crumbling statues, relics of Stormhaven’s original inhabitants lying scattered throughout an area about 30 paces to a side. The statues represent men and women dressed in flowing robes and togas, their stern faces framed by laurel crowns There is little effort to maintain the statues, and some have even toppled to the ground, covered in bird droppings and clumps of rotting leaves, saplings and tufts of grass growing about their feet.

Visitors to the Stone Forest are rare, sound echoes strangely here and the statues’ unblinking eyes are disquieting to the faint of heart. Rumors that have been around for centuries claim that the area is haunted.

Neighborhoods: The Nobel Quarter Pt. 4 Greystone Keep

Of all the noble estates in Upside, Greystone Keep leans closest to the dwarven ideal. Even after centuries of peaceful existence in Stormhaven, the Greystone clan steadfastly refuses to relax its regimented, militant (some would say paranoid) lifestyle.

The Wall: The Greystone estate is protected b a 10 foot high, five feet thick wall of plain stone, with wicked iron spikes at the top. A single gate allows entrance to the estate; guarded by four soldiers at all times, the iron-reinforced stone gate is always sealed.

The Grounds: The Greystone estate is perfectly flat, treeless lawn decorated only with small stone statues of famous clan warriors. A wide, paved path runs from the wall gate to the Keep.

The Keep: Made of seamless, unadorned grey stone nearly ten feet thick, the rounded walls of the keep soar a hundred feet into the sky, topped with a ring of catapults, ballistae, and boiling oil cauldrons. The keep flows over the rim of the Upside disk, with hanging towers built directly into the disk’s side.

The main entrance of the Keep is a portcullis framed by fortified towers studded with murder holes. Inside, the Keep is starkly decorated, more like a border fort than a noble’s mansion. Greystone Keep is filled with secret passages, most of which are seamless, cunningly designed pivoting walls that lead to caches of weapons and potions. The keep is also home to an expansive chapel and a fortified dungeon. Few visitors ever pass through the doors of Greystone Keep, but many of those claim to have heard muffled, unearthly roars issuing up from the Keep’s floor. Clansmen dismiss the story as the work of overactive imaginations, but the tales persist. Fourteen members of the Greystone clan live in the keep, attended by thirty servants and an even larger number of private troops, equipped with battle axes, heavy crossbows, daggers and dwarven plate.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Life in the Driftdowns is difficult for all who live there. Many fishermen have gone from sailing the open sea to reap the rewards that accumulate around the 'downs. Sealife has learned to live among the pilings and supports over the many centuries; crabs, fish, sharks and plants. Fishermen not wanting to be away for months at sea turned to a life that, while not taking them far from home, was certainly no less dangerous. Fed on a steady diet of humans, dead or alive, many sharks, saltwater crocodiles and other undersea predators have learned that if they hang out long enough, they will get fed. The crime element in Stormhaven have for years used the open spaces between buildings, docks and jetties for easy disposal of bodies. This brings the sealife and that brings the skimmers. Working both on boats and the streets, the skimmers fish the life that swarms below.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Auge’s Hoard: The Beginning

Feldraf’s Table is an ancient roll-top desk of exotic wood and exquisite quality and prestige. Crafted from iron-wood so that it would not burn, it bears fine scroll work along its edges and frescos decorate drawers. Four main drawers can easily be distinguished however there are also four hidden drawers and two small cabinets concealed by the scroll and art work; just the correct size for a spell book, scrolls and a wand, rod or two. The desk was crafted over 250 years ago for the great sage Feldraf, who was an expert in dragons and their arcane arts- before his disappearance. Upon his disappearance, Feldraf’s personal affects were stored in a warehouse until fifty years ago when it was plundered during the thieves’ war. Hoard Value: 250 gp.

The Nine Braziers of Al-Gyeeb- crafted from nine separate volcanic gold deposits from around the known world. Carved into each brazier are repeated draconic images that darken to jet when the brazier is lit. The effect is breath taking as it appears that the dragons are breathing the fire. Hoard Value: 1,800 gp.

Three 100 gp red garnets and three 50 gp bloodstones.

Auge’s Laboratory: Nickel Tour

Auge’s Laboratory is set up in different stations surrounding Feldraf’s Table where he does most of his research. Each station contains the necessary components, set up and equipment for what each station yields. Consisting of various alchemist’s lens and prisms, alembic, apothecary jars, balance & weights, bandolier belt, bellows, blow-tube, braziers, cauldrons, crucible, cruet, funnel, glass-working tools, jeweler’s tools, mortar & pestle, set of opticals, parchments, quill/ink, retort, test kits, tongs, a copper vat, glass, porcelain and steel vials. The total value of Auge’s Alchemy Lab is 750 gold.

Six stations in all:
Extract Station- 150 gp value- Extracts are the most varied of Auge’s field of study. In many ways, they behave like spells in potion form. Unlike potions, though, extracts can have powerful effects and duplicate spells that a potion normally could not.

Bomb Station- 150 gp value- In addition to magical extracts, Auge is adept at swiftly mixing various volatile chemicals and infusing them with their magical reserves to create powerful bombs that he hurls at enemies.

Mutagen Station- 150 gp value- A mutagen is imbibed in order to heighten physical prowess at the cost of his mental faculties.

The alchemy, potion brewing and research stations (save for the desk) each have a value of 100 gold.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Session 2, 9-15-10

A quick but brutal 4 rounds of combat resulted in the capture of Wenzler the Summoner. Of course he begged and pleaded for his life, and greed got the better of most of us, and we decided to let him live and make us profit. Only Durg saw the folly of throwing in with an insane man, even for such fascinating work as harvesting meta magic components for a group of necromancers. In the end it was determined he was not to be trusted, and he was eliminated. Before his death, we did get some information about the place. He showed us how he summoned creatures to pay the blood sacrifice to open the immense vault door under the Nightclub. He said he didn't know who the sacrifice fed, and he told us he got the place from one of the necromancers he catered to, so at least he knows of the vault, and it was he who showed Wenzler how to open it. The vault beyond the door was carved out of the natural stone of the world disc. It is dark, with a few patches of dimly glowing rocks providing the only illumination. There were sounds of beasts in the deeper parts of the caverns, and this was where the bodies of his victims were being disposed. He claimed they were largely unexplored, and indeed we did find some items of value just inside the door. Combined with the gear from Wenzler, and some treasure from the outer chamber, we found the following:

* 800 gp which we immediately divided
* the Carpe Diem gem - gives enhancements to initiative rolls
*cloak of resistance ?
* magic studded leather armor, glamoured and fire resistance
*two wands prepared for use as MM components for extend shield
*wand Summon Monster I (10 charges)
* 2 credit invoices worth a total of 1000 gp at Eagle Warehouse and Storage
* 2 wands of shield, 10 charges each
* scroll of cure mod wounds, CL 3
*painting, valued 1000. this artist is collected by the Van Fleet family, and could be worth 1500 to them.
* set of antique silverware valued at 500 gp.
*title of owner ship of property

After securing the doors, we returned to Twilight House, where we filed our deed and got to speak to Flack Mader, secretary of shipping and commodities. Overall, he was somewhat cold, but civil and very official. He answered our questions, but didn't really go out of his way to be helpful. When we compared notes of what happened the night the shipment was held up, the report filed in house didn't match our information, even indicating a different watchman than Larrimore was on duty. His report showed the courier getting into an argument and fight with the guard. When we mentioned the name Larrimore, he noticed the report was filed by a Vacabala, whose name usually appeared on reports involving Larrimore. Vacabala is a 1/2 hobgoblin sales agent, but he didn't give up much more information than that. He did tell us the name of the next ship Maco was due to transfer goods for us, the Black Kraken. At this, Flack's patience grew a bit thin and it was suggested, politely, that we conduct our own investigation. We left each other amicably I thought. He personally filed our claim and congratulated us on our acquisition.

We then went back to Braziers, and was each paid a 100 gp gem and a 50 gp gem. He seemed very happy with our partnership, and told us Karmouth was in his stall, so we went to talk with him. This elf was effusive and happy to provide us with some good information, and did so with as much discretion as our flash celebrity status from earlier offered us. He said he had not heard of the Kiss poison being used since a gang war ended 10 years ago. He believed one side made that poison even more effective with an added component of a particular unknown species, or race. He told us he knew of 5 places Upside who could make the poison, 4 individuals and one organization. The individuals:
Tamros Longbrow, a dwarf
Obadai Dragonbane, a human. we were asked not to reveal where we got his name.
Samsa, a human
Ishitome Mishi, a human female
And the group.... he believed most, if not all, our sales agents could. " I believe they are called Gatherers?" is what he said.

After graciously answering our questions, we bought him a bottle of fine wine to say thanks, and sat down to discuss where we were headed, and what lay before us. I think we will be picking up the next morning, rested and ready to clear some vault space.

Neighborhoods: The Nobel Quarter Pt. 3 Seawillow House

The tallest and most respected noble house in Stormhaven, the members of the Seawillow elf family are spellcasters of unquestionable wisdom and power, whose influence continues to shape the city’s destiny. However there is a saying amongst Upside Nobility that warns, “Beware the shade provided by Seawillow praise”.

The Outer Wall: Seawillow House is ringed by centuries old willows spaced 50 feet from each other as well as a permanent wall of force between them serving as a 10 foot high outer wall. There is no gate to allow entrance into the estate, but a war horn alerts the nobles within, so that any one of them can lower the wall of force with a word, to allow passage. The word that lowers that wall has been a long sought holy grail amongst the criminal families of the Driftdowns and certain guild leaders in Upside.

The Grounds: The grounds of the Seawillow estate are a fantasy land of clear ponds and canals flowing around islands of weeping willows and stone statues. The hanging branches are magically sculpted to form delicate arches, their tips just caressing the water. When the fancy strikes her, the priestess Senevessa Seawillow writes messages in elven script on the arches using alabaster blossoms. Tiny goldfish flit through the water, feeding on fallen flowers. The goldfish are so tame that they cluster around fingers dipped in the water and will eat food from an elf’s hand. The canals that criss-cross the grounds are never more than six feet deep, their waters sluggish and warm to the touch. The flow of the water is directed by subtle magics that also serve to replenish and purify the streams, so that the water level never fluctuates.

The Main House: The main house is built into a copse of willow trees, their trunks shaped by sorcery into dozens of rooms, branches transformed into decorative pillars and spiraling staircases. The willows blossom all year round, their petals slowly changing from icy white in the winter to bright blue at summer’s height. These petals are so unique that many Stormhaven dyes, perfumes, and potpourri are considered exotic luxuries everywhere else in the world. It is rumored that some of these petals are used in unique alchemical creations, as well as a few poisons. The decorations of Seawillow house reflect the families loving ties with the ocean, with several rooms completely dedicated to displaying the many cultural artifacts family members have found during their voyages. Among these treasures are the war flag of Sulemon the Pirate King, the golden anchor of the fabled treasure barge Colossus and the cursed treasure map Kingkiller, of which its ever changing markings lead only to the grave. The main house is currently occupied by eight members of the Seawillow family, fifteen servants (all elves) and fifty guards trained in magic and armed with masterwork longswords and longbows. This particular order of warrior/wizards claims an ancestry from an ancient city in a jungle from a time before the sun.

Neighborhoods: The Nobel Quarter Pt. 2 Stormhold Estate

Stormhold: Home to the descendants of Palanas Rockhammer, Stormhold is by far the largest privately owned residence in Stormhaven, the envy of all who look upon it.

The Outer Wall: Stormhold is enclosed by a rough stone wall, eight feet tall and three feet thick, topped with razor-sharp spear points and shot through with veins of purple and white quartz. A rune-carved stone door is the only access to the grounds, and is kept shut day or night. Small, single-man sentry posts are built into the wall on both sides of the gate, occupied by a Stormhold guardsman wearing a gate key on a chain around his neck.

The Grounds: The expansive grounds of Stormhold are sparsely decorated and manicured to exacting detail, a tribute to the dwarves’ love for clean lines and design perfection. A wide cobblestone lane lined with hedge rows runs in a straight line from the gate to the front steps of the family mansion, with left and right paths branching off at the center point of the lane. The left path leads to a small copse of trees surrounding a shallow pond. The pond’s waters are a sparkling, unearthly blue, speckled with lily pads that flower all year round. The right path leads to the servants’ quarters and the stables.

The Garden Maze: Behind the main house is a large hedge maze scaled to dwarf size, so humans and elves have little trouble seeing over the tops of the hedge. Once a year during the first week of spring, servants under the direction of the dwarf Gleely Stormhaven and aided by the magic of Senevessa Seawillow, radically alter the garden’s design into the shape of some fantastical animal. Shortly after, Gleely hosts a party for the children of the noble estates to run the maze.

The Stables: The clan stables are small, with only a dozen stalls, half of which are unoccupied at any given time. The pride of the stable is the four-year old Pegasus Foamcharger, the personal mount of Gleely Stormhaven. Gleely and Foamcharger go for daily rides across Upside, recklessly darting through the twisting streets of the Rat’s Nest and soaring over Staircase Keep.

The Main House: A two story triangular keep with towers three stories high at each corner. The keep’s walls are built from the same stone as the outer wall, with additional wings constructed from wood, with stone reinforcements. In the early evening, servants place dozens of torches all around the towers and the walls flare up like a glittering sapphire. A wide set of four steps leads up to a porch and the mansion’s main entrance, a magically-reinforced wooden door decorated with elaborate dwarven runes.

The main house is home to a dozen members of the Stormhaven clan, two score servants and a private army of fifty men-at-arms. The men-at-arms are elite dwarven troops armed with heavy crossbows, battle axes, and banded armor.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Balthorr’s Rare and Wondrous Treasures

Here the wealthy shopper can buy a wide selection of curios here, especially coins from all over the Evening Isles and the civilized lands, rare gems, and regalia. The proprietor, Balthorr “the Bold” Olaskos is a hearty, loud-voiced, bubbling fellow with a ready smile and firm handshake, and an expert on the currency uniforms and badges used by most realms and military units of the various Kingdoms and fiefdoms, and can make up colorful stories about the history of particular items on the spot. I’ve heard that he’ll buy things without asking questions as to their origin, making him very handy for adventurers who want to exchange battle trophies for money.


“Be careful with this stuff for your father’s sake! Most of these urgents will melt the scales off your bones.” Auge warned his younger brethren and recalled himself the recent torment at the hands of the monks. Torment that in fact disfigure his own scales and the reason he wears his armor like wrappings.

Auge was apprehensive about allowing his brothers to help, preferring instead to hire someone to move his delicate laboratory. Auge decided to not needlessly spend the gold; he has a hoard to build after all. Auge would watch Versel and Durg closely; mayhap have them carry the heavy equipment while Jaren and he would transport the more fragile items.

“How many trips will this take?” asked one of his brothers. Ignoring the question, Auge plotted on. “We have wings, I despise this walking,” They continued.

“Just two trips my brothers and we can solidify our independence from Twilight House.” Auge replied followed by a deep, gravel laugh that quickly caught on among the dragon-kin brothers.

Then just as the LC Brewery came into view, a crash was herd followed by a Ignan curse. Aggravated, Auge turned in time to see Durg toppled over with his cargo scattered along the thoroughfare. Durg had tripped over a quick and grime covered Halfling! Sniffing the air, Auge could tell that he had just come from the LC Brewery; but before weapons could come to bear, and the Halfling deal with, he was gone.

“Are you kidding me?!” Auge exclaimed, noticing there were chemical agents mixing in the streets! “Take the rest of the lab to the Lair if you would my brothers, I will clean this up.”

Tired and aggravated, Auge began gathering the spilled items and made a discovery! As it turns out the run-in with the Halfling was not as disastrous as he first thought.

TRAVELER’S SOLACE (Alchemical Discovery): This fiery, unpleasant liquid allows the user to temporarily circumvent the effects of fatigue and exhaustion for a short time. Fatigued or exhausted characters that drink a vial of traveler’s solace can run and charge normally. Fatigued characters under the effects of traveler’s solace suffer no penalties to their Strength or Dexterity ability scores. The beneficial effects of traveler’s solace last for 1d4 hours, but the aftereffects last much longer. Exhausted characters that use traveler’s solace to lessen the effects of exhaustion require a full 8 hours of rest before they become fatigued. Fatigued characters that have used traveler’s solace require at least 8 hours of bed rest before they become fully rested. A vial of traveler’s solace has no effect if another has been taken within 8 hours.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tales from the liquor commission

The halfling carefully pulled himself up through the garbage.  Peering over the edge of the iron dumpster, Myles watched as the last of the oversized flyers entered the secret entrance to Wenzler's drug den.  Myles was curious as to what was behind the iron wheeled door down past the outer den.

Myles ducked his head down quickly as he heard a noise returning to the alley.  The halfling couldn't see anything but he could feel a presence there.  Then just as suddenly the presence was gone.  Lifting his head back up he carefully pulled himself from the garbage and hurried away down the alley.  Myles moved as quickly as his halfling legs would carry him, hurrying over to LC Brewery.  If he could just make it to the service ladder, Myles could bypass the morons Kartos has guarding LC's. As he neared the brewery a spot of luck went Myles way, as he boarded a barrel wagon that eventually entered a service bay. 

Myles snuck off the wagon, grabbed some papers off a nearby desk and prayed no one smelled him before he made it over to the dwarf's office.  Myles headed up the stairs, entering Hogar's office in the general flow of work traffic.  "You were right, someone came for Wenzler." Myles excitedly said to the scowling dwarf as he shut the door.  "I don't know who or even what they were but they were large and seemed to be looking for something specific.  Hogar stood up from behind his desk, went to the door and looked out to be sure no one had followed the excitable halfling.  Assured of their security the dwarf shut and locked the door and began questioning Myles.  After ten minutes, he was sure the event he had counted on was underway at this moment.  "I know when I gave you this assignment you viewed it as punishment and mayhap it was, but I also hope you now realize that I also presented you a path to redemption with the commission, a path you have succeeded in taking." 

The halfling felt his breath rush from him as he realized his days of slumming in that alley were finally at end and he would begin to once again profit from his commission membership, his previous transgressions forgotten.  "May I ask you something Hogar?  How did you know?" 

The dwarf gave a truly chilling grin, "someone as dangerous and crazy as Wenzler was sure to attract more than our attention.  We just needed to allow serendipity to occur and reap its rewards."  Hogar walked back over to his desk and removed a small pouch. "Here is some walking around money and your badge back Myles, I'm proud to see how you've come through for the commission.  For Moradin's sake Myles get a bath!"

Myles took the pouch, thanked Hogar, and left the office.  As he made his way to Sunbow Mansion to enjoy to clean up and enjoy his sudden return to wealth, he couldn't help but wonder how Hogar was sure that those that came to deal with Wenzler would be better than Wenzler.  As he entered the house of pleasure he decided it was not his worry any longer. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Session 1 review 9-8-2010

This portion has been previously posted: Someone in Twilight House has been manipulating trade deals from the driftdown and embezzling a poison known as Exquisite Kiss. Find out where this poison is being sold or distributed. See what can be accomplished with this situation. If you want to be the gather team, show ingenuity. The team you are competing against has a different challenge, yet one that should force you to cross paths. Remember that all of you are assets of Twilight house and should any deaths occur, replacement or equivalent value in return to the house is required.
This part hasn't:
Ok here is what we know:
Two weeks ago several of our shipments were delayed on the Grand Stair overnight due to humanoid error. The freight man didn’t have his water mark and the stair guard on duty wasn’t in a forgiving mood. As normal the freight man took inventory and passed along a message to us at Twilight House in case anyone had to be notified of a delay. The majority of things in the shipment were perishable, either food or alchemical base items going to one merchant, Rockenblow Orcanstein, a ½ gnome ½ orc. He made his mark by turning junk into valuable, useful items. He has made a lot of money by selling to the orc population. When Twilight House contacted Rockenblow about the delay he was very surprised and claimed that he had received all his orders and that there wasn’t anything we listed that he had ordered or was interested in. This was especially interesting because normally had there been anything even slightly useful to Rockenblow he would have taken it even if he hadn’t ordered it. It was clear to us from his refusal that he didn’t recognize some of the base components. After researching our records we show that for the last two years, similar shipments have been coming from the Downs earmarked for Rockenblow. Those shipments common factor was the base components for the poison Exquisite Kiss. The quantity is enough over two years to have built up quite the storehouse of the stuff. We have yet to hear of any deaths associated with this poison during these two years and while in the Downs it wouldn’t cause a ripple, on the Upside it would surely be noticed, as most poison related deaths are investigated, usually by those affected or in the poison business.
The opposing team is a strange group made up of two half elven sorcerer's said to have fiendish blood, a elven ranger, and a tiefling thief.
Claret Pauchard: 1/2 elven sorcerer has a birthmark that looks like a skull above his left eyebrow.
Larratia Pauchard: 1/2 elven sorcerer sister of Claret, has a similar birthmark above left eyebrow but doesn't look as skull like. Her spells are said to be very unique.
Waymar: elven ranger known as a sniper for his skill with ranged weapons
Raice: Tiefling, red and blue skinned tiefling
Poison: Exquisite Kiss Type: Contact Save DC: ?
Initial Damage: ? Con Secondary Damage: ? Con, ? Wis (over a four-day period)
Price: 300gp per dose
Our first game opened with a feast the likes of which none of us had experienced before. Arkiell, our mentor, hosted us in our own dining chamber, and we noticed he also hosted another group in a seperate chamber, At this brunch, Arkiell gave us details of our selection as the gather team, and briefed us on our first mission for Twilight House. After a brief Q&A, he had given us two important names.The first, Flack Mader, a secretary here at Twilight House in charge of shipping orders and commodity trades. The 2nd name was Larrimor, a guard friendly to the house. Arkiell revealed to us that it was believed Larrimor was something other than human, despite his appearance.
With that auspicious beginning, we were set free to start as we saw fit, and we did so with a team fly-over the disc. We discovered our breath weapon could be 1 die more powerful when used in unison, which quickly drew the attention of the bat mounted spellgaurd. After an impressive show from Durg and a brief talk, the Gaurd quickly drew the obvious conclusion that we were not trouble and returned to their roost.

We then sought Larrimor, and found him quickly at the keep around the grand stair. As we approached, we couldn't help but notice the many ballistae and weapons of war meant to kill threats such as us might represent. He was very co-operative, and as he searched the records for information about what happened the night of the mysterious delay, we found a halfling merchant, middle aged, named Brazier who claimed to be one of the few that could be found here every day. We hit off quite well, and he gave us a name, Karmouth, of someone we could talk to about the poison Exquisite Kiss. Karmouth operates a booth near Brazier on most days. He asked to commission us for a side job that we all agreed to. A nightclub owner, named Wensler, who also was a summoner, owed for 5 pounds of narcotics he never paid for. Each time Brazier tries to collect, he is attacked by progressively more fierce summoned creatures. He wants us to collect 2000 gold, or the 5 pounds of narcotics. We agreed, and investigated the market further as we waited for Larrimors report.

While doing so, we spotted and got the drop on a 7s gang member as he assassinated a merchant. He tried to use magic and rogue skills to escape, but the 4 of us quickly surrounded him and forced his surrender in less than 20 seconds. He tried to throw away his poison and weapon, but Auge found it and kept them. We turned him over to the gaurd, after asking him some questions. Sorry, I really dont remember what we asked him, but I have notes on the poison we confiscated. It is made from a leaf residue, and is usually not lethal. Only persons particularly allergic to this toxin die from it, which suggests a lot of inside knowledge.{ this is butch talking, not facts from notes, but it seems to me that if this poison is made from pulp or residue from a leaf, that leaf must be pretty fresh, not dried. That probably means this poison is made Upside, where there is an abundance of such leaves} The citizenry was so impressed by our fast action, they passed a hat and we each earned a 50 gold piece reward.

About this time Larrimor found us and told us what happened. He was the stairgaurd that night, and he remembers the courier was Maco, an ogre mage who holds membership with The Black Crown. Being so well known, Larrimor tried to pass him through, but Maco wanted to be held in, mumbling about how 'they wouldnt be able to get him in here'. Larrimor took his inventory order and sent the necessary delay notice to the House, and Maco went on when the stair opened the next day. Larrimor says he hasnt seen Maco since that night.
Knowing the nightclub was in the Rats Nest, not far from home, we set out to finish our collection job. The place was easy to find, but closed for the afternoon (it was early). We noticed a pair of windows on the second floor that was covered by bars, but opted to search through an out of place garbage heap. We found a secret door it was hiding, and stairs that led to a cellar for the club, and beyond. Deeper we found an opulent drug den, with copious amounts of narcotics splayed about on a number of serving trays. Farther in the back of the den, at the bottom of another short staircase, we discovered a grisly sight. A long room choked with corpses, cut open and pinned aside to reveal their cavities where their organs had been dissected and removed. At the end of the room a surprised looking human man stood amidst it all clutching a wand in one hand.

Also, we were all given a potion of cure light wound, but I don't have its origin written down. I believe it was from our House, at the beginning of the night, but I'm not sure.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Neighborhoods: The Noble Quarter Pt. 1

The Noble Quarter is the land of the blessed, playground of the oldest, most influential group in Stormhaven: The Great Families. The Great Families are comprised of members of the first dwarves and elves to arrive in Stormhaven: The Stormhaven’s (Rockhammers), Greystones, Seawillows, and their allies. By far the wealthiest groups in Stormhaven, the nobles use their wealth to shield themselves from what they consider the “lesser races”, meaning everyone who is not an elf or dwarf, with the (sometime) exception of the human VanFleet family, who are grudgingly considered “worthy”.

Discrimination based on wealth and social rank runs rampant through the nobility, and though not all suffer from these failings, enough do for the populace to consider it a part and parcel of the noble mindset. The lives of the Great Families proceed at a measured, steady pace, with an abiding respect for tradition and propriety. Passionate displays and open conflict are considered boorish and uncultured. Compared to their more debauched, rough-and-tumble neighbors in the Rat’s Nest, The Great Families appear positively stagnant.

Nothing could be further from the truth, for the life of a noble from The Great Families is constant war. Enemies include the presumptuous upstarts of the Rat’s Nest who scrabble for social position like orphans fighting over table scraps, the guild councilors who claim so much of the city’s wealth for themselves and still hunger for more and, of course, the other nobles of The Great Families, particularly the members of the noble’s own family. Among the nobility, the frequent banquets and balls are approached with all the caution of a general planning a major battle, with strategies laid out sometimes months in advance. With their long lives, members of The Great Families see no need to engage in the frantic jockeying of social position so common among the short-living races. Instead, they play a slow game of innuendo and subtle slight. Nothing pleases a noble more than seeing a hated rival laid low by the culmination of plans that took years, even decades, to come to fruition.

Architecture and Layout

The Seventeen estates of the Noble Quarter are a showcase of wealth, with exquisitely cultivated grounds and impeccably decorated manses tucked away behind high stone walls, but beyond that, they share few features. Since price is never a deterrent for Stormhaven’s nobility and since they have so little to fear from invading armies and marauding beasts, they give architects free reign, resulting in homes that are in turn wonderful, whimsical, and extraordinary.

The Noble Quarter is by far Upside’s largest district, encompassing the entire western half of the World Disk. Unlike the rest of Upside, the lands of the Noble Quarter are not flat, but covered with low, gently rolling hills, which are the location of choice for the nobles’’ mansions. Additionally, the Noble Quarter is graced with an abundance of evergreen and deciduous trees, some of which have reached 100 feet or more in height. At the insistence of the Seawillow family, the wooded areas are considered the communal property of all noble families, and left to grow as they will with only minimal logging for firewood permitted. Wood for repairing or constructing buildings must be imported, usually at considerable expense. This “unnecessary” expenditure is a source of much consternation among the dwarven nobility, but on-one has seen fit to challenge the Seawillows on the matter.

Worthy Gate

A long, 15 feet high rough stone wall topped with spear points runs the length of the noble quarter. The only way through the wall is Worthy Gate, a 10 feet tall and wide archway, guarded by two watchtowers on each side and barred by an iron portcullis that is kept shut at all times. A detachment of the Staircase Guard watch the gate at all times, vigorously inspecting and interrogating anyone not bearing a noble watermark.

Neighborhoods: Staircase District, Flotsam Harbor

A sprawling, packed-earth courtyard enclosed within Staircase Keep’s walls, Flotsam Harbour takes its name from Upsider disdain for the crowds of Driftdowners who fill it each day. Travellers moving into or out of Flotsam Harbor must pass through one of the three gates around its perimeter. By day, the guards at each gate allow anyone presenting a watermark to pass freely, methodically searching and questioning all others. At night, the gates are sealed and only those bearing watermarks may pass. Most evenings, groups of guardsmen hold training maneuvers in the harbor and once a month they join with the Spellwatch to practice tactics against supernatural opponents. On rare occasions, mages from the Black Crown join the fun, the impromptu mage duels that follow attracting onlookers from across upside, as well as the Downers attending the stores. A number of permanent shops set up within Flotsam Harbor sell foodstuffs in bulk, bolts of cloth and other sundries to the rich households of the Upside.

Eddermark’s Emporium: This is the largest store in Flotsam Harbor, selling cloth, torches, rope, and other essentials at higher than average cost, they claim due to their quality and reliability.

The Red Grape: This store stocks a wide variety of wines, ranging in cost from a single silver a bottle to vintages costing 100 gold pieces or more. The proprietor, the matronly dwarf Klavidia, is a wine collector who pays handsome commissions for rare bottles. She operates a tent in the Carnival selling her most expensive and rare wines.

The Paper Door: Taking its name from it’s owner’s view that books are “paper doorways to the vault of knowledge”, this store sells sheaves of blank parchment, journals, inks, and sealing wax. Weasel-faced, arrogant, and given to pompous, long-winded speeches, the gnome owner Marius is nonetheless a respected scholar in the field of STormhaven nobility’s lineages.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blood Truffles
Found only in the rich hills of Emerdin Pac Napier, these truffles have a legacy in the Isles. They are poisonous if eaten, but master gnomish chefs can cook this poisonous fungus into a few different exotic delicacies. The most often-prepared recipe is a sweet syrup poured onto very bitter green salads. A skilled alchemist could probably team with a chef to use this syrup to distill an antidote to the poison that is made from the paste of these truffles. That poison, called Exquisite Kiss, is the only commonly known poison made from these truffles. The poison calls for three other ingredients, as detailed by Auge in his post 'poison components'.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Investors needed

Sky high orchestra seeking investors who value fine arts and new symphony.  Help lead us into a new age of culture.  It is high time Stormhaven took its rightful place as a major city and trade port of the world. If you have an interest in the fine arts and the financial means to make our dreams reality, contact Garendale Finch at Embassy Row, City State Romanium.

The party sees several flyers and hears several foam callers passing on this information when traveling Upside.

Tales from Twilight House

"Of course I listened to everything.  You don't think I'm going to leave an agreement like this unsupervised do you?" cackled the Derro.  His voice was so rarely used, it always sounded tentative, broken, unsure.  Anyone who made the mistake of thinking Uvrok was any of those adjectives was making such a gross miscalculation as to cost them their lives. 
"I no longer try to guess or understand you Uvrok, I do what I'm told." responded Kiara.  She was of course lying but hoped her deference to his councillor position would feed his ego and not his curiosity. 
"We just have to hope that your skill as a teacher allowed us to hide our lessons within their education.  After all we agreed to follow Nissian's plan to the letter but we didn't agree not to also teach them other things now did we?" Uvrok mumbled, pausing at incorrect points and stumbling over words. Annoyed with his own failings he quit talking and reverted to his normal means of communication. 
Kiara's inner thoughts were suddenly pierced by an overwhelming presence, despite this happening before Kiara still shivered whenever Uvrok spoke to her this way.
"We agreed to a financial arrangement with the Wishmaster, we didn't agree not to take on other clients." gone was the shaky unsure sound, now a deep timber reverberated in her mind as Uvrok continued on, "we need to maximize our profit with them while he is away."

The Derro turned away from Kiara towards the door and on cue it opened, a kobold messenger scuttled in and handed Uvrok a gemstone.  A look Kiara had not seen before on Uvrok's face, one of surprise appeared as he grasped the stone, ignoring her, he quickly left the chamber. 

Pondering the telepath's sudden exit, Kiara suddenly realized something that she felt stupid for not noticing before.  He couldn't enter the 1/2 dragon's minds.  It wasn't until that very moment that Kiara ever seriously contemplated betraying the old Derro.  Yet when she had her realization, it also made her realize just how uniquely positioned she was.  Kiara left the meeting chamber and headed into town to plan and arrange.