Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tales from the cauldron

“The Vial and Flask coming along nicely master.” Auge turned and looked down on the approaching Pilini. As the gnome servant drew near, Auge observed Pilini’s apparel. The Gnome was clad in fine red boots, scarlet colored breeches to the waist with a rich belt and a plain worn brown vest about his chest.

“I thought I ordered you some suitable attire?” Auge asked the gnome who then produced a silver tray holding five generous cocktail glasses. Grateful, Auge closely examined the drinks. There was a red beverage, a black, blue, green and lastly a clear and odorless one.

“Less is more.” Pilini replied. “A simple vest does not detract from my physical looks.” Pilini said with all seriousness, flexing his abdominals showing off their definition. With a grin, Auge concedes identifying Pilini’s sin of pride.

“Is this your latest brew?” Auge asks, referring to the contents of the liquor glasses. Pilini nodded. Auge took the drinks, methodically sniffs, tests and tastes all but one which he then places in the center of the row.

“Excellent! You have outdone yourself. I regret however that the Tiamat will be shy one vudka,” Indicating the clear center cocktail. “By the time anyone gets to imbibe this final drink, they won’t detect that it’s not vudka." Pilini’s face lit with understanding.

“Come with me, I have a reward for you.” Auge said, Pilini’s look immediately went from pride to terror.

Auge led Pilini to the attached laboratory and The Cauldron. “Relax.” From his pack, Auge produced a tiny chunk of ivory that resembles a fang. “This is called the snakeblood tooth. When worn it will help you resist the effects of any ingested poison.”

“Thank you master”

“Just protecting my investment.”

Pilini took the magical tooth as Auge is struck with inspiration: a capsule retainer, a perfect exclusive for the Liquor Commission!

“You plan to poison the white…er clear drink of the Tiamat.” Pilini stated more than asked.

“Yes observant one. I surmise that anyone keen to this drink and the white it represents, is worth an attempt to disable with a poison.”

“Another thing,” Auge continued. “I want you to become familiar with this area. You will attend the souk in my absence during the day; you can use this cauldron to brew your dwarven ale and vudka and then work Neutral Grounds at night.”

“As you command master Auge.”

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wall of Prestige

Try the fiery boldness of the spicy-hot Dragon Pepper Firechilli
Experience its legendary venerable flavor from our popular selections and gain fame and prestige in the process. 
No where else but the Cinder Block!

The Dragon Draught- A blazing vudka (aka voldka) martini, slowly heated to 104 degrees. This daring cocktail is served very dirty with a generous Dragon Pepper slice. "Stand daring and bold with The Dragon Draught!"
Mono a mono: Single Cocktail (Red) 3 gp. *Extra pepper double-shot 2 gp.
The Two-Headed Dragon: Two- Single Cocktails (Any same color) 5 gp. * Extra pepper double-shot 2 gp
The Dragon Slayer: 10 gp. Five double-shot cocktails: Black, Blue, Green, Red and Clear. "Nicknamed The Tiamat- drink them and eat the peppers; complete her test of mettle and gain your handle on the Wall of Prestige!"

(Average income 20 gp to 100 gp a night.)

Adventurers Gruel- A bland, red, thick and pasty-wet “gruel”. The Adventurers Gruel contains everything necessary to sustain oneself, however the Cinder Block adds the flare of the Dragon Pepper. "Join the adventurous few before you and add your handle to the Wall of Prestige!" * Reservations are recommended- limited availability.
The Solo Adventure: A single serving of the “Gruel” with one Dragon Pepper. 15 gp
Outnumbered!: A single serving of the “Gruel” with two Dragon Peppers. 20 gp
The Heroes Feast- A single gruel serving with five of the plumpest Dragon Peppers on hand. 50 gp. Also called Gladiator by some adventurers; the first individual to ever complete a Heroes Feast was a renowned former gladiator.\

(Possible 60 gp to 200 gp a night.)

(Auge) Brothers, whom ever has the Sustaining Spoon, I would like to offer my services to craft an item for you as trade- I will then donate it back to the Cinder Block adding to its property value.

2/24/11 Review

Thrusday 8pm. We began the session with a decent to the Driftdowns. The air was brisk and cold to us. Our visibility was very poor and, with the certain coming of the three storms- even from so far out, was causing surges in the ocean waters caused most the docks and piers to be covered in ice.

Expecting to also rally with Arkeil we advance to the Dockward’s office and the individual who sent us the letter informing us of the disappearance of our ship, the Black Kraken. After a casual inspection of the structure and seeing nothing that would derail our purpose; we entered the office. When we encountered the wardsman he was dumfounded as to what our inquiry was. What disappearance? What note? IT’S A TRAP! With little warning cannon balls descended upon us and the Dockward’s office destroying the building, scattering us and killing the wardsman. Immediately after, more cannon fire- this time the target was the Black Kraken. After regaining some- not all of our senses we separated. Jaren and Durg ran to where the Black Kraken was while Auge and Vercel ventured to find the source of the attack.

Following the scent of gunpowder Auge comes across a duplicate Black Kraken where several original Black Kraken crewmembers were seen bound and dead. Amongst them: Godin and a green cloaked Deathskull Cultist. Godin escaped from our attack, but the cultist did not; however, not before he boasts “we got her”. Further search of the ship yielded a dead Raice and that the Black Kraken II rigged to eventually explode (with the help of the turbulent waters). After several futile attempts to disable the explosives we abandoned the ship as well as any hopes to its seizure.

Meanwhile Jaren and Durg find Arkeil and two other seriously wounded among and around the many dead and the Black Kraken I debris: Gatka Burtannon a dwarf male and Wenstafani a female bard whom we had met before. Taking them to a nearby drinking establishment the three survivors regained consciousness. The bartender was eager not to agitate our ire more than it already was and entertained some questions before we allowed him leave. Where was Godin? His best guess would be Hag’s Britches, Sea Nymphs or with Mothrow (Red Quill Inks- a known Seven agent) or with an elf named contact Darsoon. Gatka and Wen were guarding a neighboring ship that suffered significant damage in the ambush we discover. Arkeil surmised that they used summoned creatures to set up the ambush. There is no word on the condition of Captain Pryor.

11 pm. Relinquishing the tavern to Gatka and Wen we decided it would be prime time to visit the Hag’s Britches. The Britches turned out to be a bar that primarily service to the Driftdown guards, complete with the necessary libations and basement gambling area. It is here, among the swordsmen that Vercel speaks…

“I am Vercel of Son’s Commodities and the Cinder Block of the Upside. There is full-time employment on the Upside for the right man… a bounty reward and a watermark for whoever brings me Godin.” The bar empties of many patrons, then suddenly a single attack from a mirror image individual however its attack fell short of its intent.

Eight pints and ten meat-pies later, two men (part of a four-man team- future DM post) present to us two Sevens members: Fixer the half elf and a human Lieutenant with a fake money-changer watermark.

Taking them back to our interrogation area, lieutenant money-faker pleads for his life and offers that Godin would likely be on the Upside busying himself with extortions as well as insight into a little Sevens politics. Vercel’s taste for blood would not be sated- with the death of these meager two agents and suggests to his brothers of going to Sunbow mansion, and following up on Godin having a penchant for female company. Great idea, however no Godin- we give a description and warn of his possible arrival to Sunbow attendees and a way to contact us.

From there we follow up on a money changers building in the Rats nest (you know the one… on the corner of Mastermind road and Overlord) and agree that after a night’s recovery we would see if Godin lies within. Sarosh stands watch over it in the meantime.

When we begin our next session it will be Friday morning. The calendar has Jaren beginning construction on the Volcano Dwarf’s fire pit and Auge’s second day on the Eternal Wand. Bard auditions begin Friday day as well as the early morning assault/investigation of the Money-changers.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Signature Brand

Wand of Eternal Dragon’s Fire Breath
Created from the finest imported ivory and with an exquisitely carved base that into a crouching dragon. Infused with the red dragon’s breath of fire, this wand functions sans the tether of restraining charges, but rather it functions unerringly twice per day for fortunes of its astute wielder. Each individual use of the wand permits its user three horrific fiery dragon breaths for the next thirty seconds; a certain fiery death for any save for the most deft or luck-cursed opponents. Do not waste your time with pedestrian wands that produce a finite amount of magic missiles but rather invest in a wand from Auge, a wand that will never run short on charges, never fail to singe an opponent and never ever fail to disrupt a casual encounter.
ONLY 4,420 gp*. Now taking orders. Allow 3-6 days for delivery.
*Or trade in items of similar worth +5% or 225 gp convenience fee. 

Auge’s Lore Book: During the final years of the last Great War on the Evening Isles, the artificers and wizards of a powerful noble wizard-family The MacCaugh’s, perfected a new variety of wand built around a crystal shard.

The development of the eternal wand allowed lesser arcane spellcasters; apprentices and the like, to take the place of war wizards during the final days of the Great War, supplementing their passive spells with more aggressive magics.

While lesser artificers have been searching for ways to streamline the process of creation, the technique is still in its infancy. The only sighting of these extremely rare wands is the ones found in the possession of Stormhaven Spellguards seemingly passed down from War-mage survivors or refugees from the front lines of this Great War.

Auge Note: It is my personal goals, which if this is to be my signature brand, I would like to be able to use my own breath in conjunction with a blast afforded from these wands, also reduce the number of blasts from three: 4d6, 2d6, 1d6 to just two blasts: 4d6 and 3d6. (I don’t see anyone using a standard action for just 1d6 fire damage.)

(Auge’s) Eternal Wand (MC 159) of Fire Breath (APG 221)
Price 4,420 gp (Cost to create 1,989 gp)
Body Slot: — (held) Weight: —
Caster Level: 5th Item Level: 9th
Aura: Faint evocation (fire)
Activation: 1 Standard action (command)
An eternal wand holds the single arcane spell Fire Breath (alchemist 2, sorcerer/wizard 2). Up to thrice during this spell’s duration (5 rounds or until discharged), you can belch forth a cone shaped burst of fire at a range of 15 feet as a standard action. The first cone deals 4d6 points of fire damage to every creature in the area. The second similar cone of flame deals 2d6 points of fire damage to every creature in the area. The third cone of flame deals 1d6 points of fire damage to every creature in the area. A successful Reflex save (DC 21) halves this damage. After the third cone of flame, the spell ends.

Any character who can cast arcane spells can activate the wand to use the spell contained in it, regard less of whether the spell appears on his class spell list. An eternal wand functions two times per day.

Tales from Firefly Cathedral

"So what service do you need? What bounty can Enlil bestow upon you?" asked the extravagant priest.

"Did you over hear the dragon men?" asked the cloaked creature.

"Why yes, strange creatures, first ones interested in that genie fellow who was always out of work."

"Did you know him well?" the raspy voiced cloaked man asked. 

"What is all this about?" asked the priest. 

"200 gold for what you overheard and if you can get friendly with any of them, there's more in it for you." the green cloak growled.

"Oh well if its BUSINESS, very well, it seems they were looking for some sort of divine aid, a more permenant follower.  Wanted help discerning lies as well as the usual divine aids."  The priest liked the sound of his own voice and made sure the green cloak heard it loud and clear for the next hour. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thursday before Solstice

When you look beyond Stormhaven to the east, north, and west a wall of storms seems to be rushing towards Stormhaven. Sarosh estimates that they will be here in full force either the evening of the solstice or the next day.  He advises that it is extremely rare for 3 storms to converge in this manner and when they do, very dangerous. Flight is already being affected, until further notice there is a -2 Weather penalty on flight skill checks.  Until the storms are done, this penalty will only get worse.

Review 2/16/11

We picked up Thursday morning, the second day of construction on the Vial and Flask. Auge is unusually busy with the souk construction, so we pulled away a somewhat meddlesome Tamros for palaver and presentation of the Rod of blood. A rather long meeting ensued:
It would take a while to call a council, but he presented the rod back to me as a key of office, so to speak. He asked that I carry it publicly.

Durg asked for more permanent work. First, Tamros suggested scanning the area for free agents, and when he catches them red-handed, recruit them into the commission. Durg asked about likely establishments to lean on, but Tamros seemed reluctant. Perhaps he thinks we need more soldiers to operate a territory before we start offering such services. Third, terms were discussed over a new target. An elven wizard named Carastro has been selling services transporting goods and cargo from ships waiting at sea to dock. We met this wizard before at the Flyers Club meeting. He was friendly with a black dragon named Sameel, the dragon of Sloth.

Tamros opened a discussion of recruiting members of the 777s as we reclaimed territories. A lot of mixed emotions were expressed. Tamros said what he always thought was strange about the Guild War was that the 777s never tried to take his people or his businesses or territories.

That began a line of theory questioning the 777s motives and goals. Tamros thinks his flaw came in thinking the war was personal. He now thinks they needed to strangle all the Guild activity to transfer their power into a legitimate guild. Versel immediately concluded the Money changers as the only sensible answer, and we all agreed. We thought to attempt to research this by checking up on their legal documents and the like. Perhaps one of the most corroborating circumstances is the fact that the 777s strength(the control of commerce in the driftdowns) could be big enough to bankroll a guild such as the off-shoot Moneychangers. Tamros said he has found historical records mentioning the 777s up to 600 years ago. This marks either a long lived, long term goal-oriented leader; or a change in leadership in the office, but adhering to the same long term plan. The latter most easily explains the occasional shift in tactics while pursuing a consistent goal. As a note from Butch, that is 100 years before the age of dragons was hatched.

Despite our conclusions and suspicions regarding the Moneychangers, Tamros concurred that we had little choice but to utilize their function to operate the gambling at the fight club. In fact, he suggested the name recognition of the guild was so great, he doubted many patrons would gamble there without them.

Finally, we spoke of my goal to include training centers within the Cinder Block, including a wizard school, and a secret rogues hall. He seemed interested, but wary and skeptical. He wryly asked "how do you intend to attract students for a secret school?". Of course, he has no idea how I intend to fill the Cinder Block with loyal employees through Leadership, all devoted to the concept of building 2 hoards- their own and ours, brothers.

After this detailed discussion, we went to the Cathedral to see what kind of devotees we could find. We quickly found Sarosh, a janni druid. We all got along very well, and it was agreed between the two of us to undertake a 1 week trial, and then discuss terms from there. More on him in his own post to come a little later.

He returned to the Block with us, where we found an urgent message from the dock master. Our ship is gone, and hes no idea what happened to it. Exchanging quick glances, Sarosh agreed to accompany us, and that is where we pick up - still at the bar, note in hand.

One more quick note.Versel now has a small office at Sunbow Mansion. He has also started a new habit of checking in at the mansion daily, usually when the spellcasters are preparing, or before his shift at the lifts. Please correct any errant details Russ.

A Conversation overhead at Fentster and Sons, Cobblers

"Oh, yes, milady. Do come in. I have those shoes you ordered right here. Ah? You wish to peruse my stock, excellant!"
"Why yes, the street IS more orderly today. It's those... "dandies", "bravos" we called them in my day. They're no longer skulking about the street, looking for duels. Why yes, I know. The city guard never did a thing to drive them away. Oh yes, milady, the buckles on these do look hideous, you'll not want those. Now what had happened outside was one day last week, there were about 10 of the sword dandies out in the middle of the street, shouting about honor and challenging each other to duels. Out of the sky, like a bolt of crimson lightening, struck a huge, menacing form. It was one of those, those dragonmen! He landed right in the midst of them, enveloped in his wings. They folded back, revealing him for the first time. These are too tight, you say? Very well, let's try these. Anyway, I've seen larger creatures, even men, than him... but it was his presence that filled that street. And unarmed he was, his axe was still stuck through his belt. He looked around at the group of dandies, which seems to have shrunken to about six and in a low, rumbling voice announced ' You will stop this fighting in the streets. Any dueling that's to be done will happen either in your schools, Rockhammer Square... or if you truly want to test your mettle, you may fight at Neutral Grounds, in the Cinderblock. ' Well, one of the dandies actually stepped forward and told him that they don't have to take orders from any beastmen, and slapped the dragonman's face with a glove! The dragonman, the one with the axe, Durg I believe his name is, didn't even try to avoid the blow. He asked the group who was the best of them and they all pointed to the youth who'd stepped forward. I must say he did put on a great show, looking down his nose at the dragonman. Durg announced in that quiet voice of his that he and the young man would duel, until one of them could not duel anymore. If the youth won, they could duel anywhere they wished. If Durg won, they would never duel in the streets again, and the youth in particular would never duel in the streets again. Yes, odd phrasing that was. Well, the fight started. Durg with his axe, the youth with one of those thin bladed swords, a ra-peer? The youth made several, blinding strikes to the chest and arms of Durg, while the dragonman would only push the dandy away with the flat of his axe. Then, at some point, Durg decided it was done, and again, with the flat of his axe, he knocked the sword from the boy's hand, and with a claw and a kick to the boy's legs, Durg pushed the dandy down to the street. He looked at the others, who were all gaping at the display, and then kneeled down across the dandy's chest. And this is the strangest thing... his axe, the head fattened and blunted and became a hammer! Yes, there in his hands. Durg looked down at the dandy and said, 'And now you will no longer duel' and smashed the dandy's knees!! Oh by the gods, I have never heard a man scream like that. Durg only stood, took a small pouch from his belt and tossed it to one of the other dandies, saying 'Have him seen to by a priest. This will cover the cost. He'll be able to walk again, if the priest is competent, but his duelling days are over.' And with that, he flew straight up and out of sight. And since then, the only noises that ring out in the street is that of good business. "
"Ah yes, the ruby slippers. Milady has an excellant eye!"

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tales from Sunbow (guard post #1)

Tarken stood at attention in the cold morning air. The blooming yellow roses and gentle trickle of the fountain made for a very relaxing atmosphere. This was only his second day at Sunbow but he already loved it more than his old job. Guarding the stairs & dealing with the dregs from the Driftdowns never again. Not only was the pay better here but the fringe benefits weren’t bad either. Two guys outside the front door to a brothel seems unnecessary he whispered. There were more guards inside than any two shifts combined on the stairs.
This is where people come to let their guard down Ike replied, we want them feeling safe.
Speaking of safety Tarken responded, what happened to the last guards that opened up the new positions?
If you want to have a successful and long last career at Sunbow you need a few things Ike retorted, sharp eyes, tight lips, & a short memory. Tarken turned to face him as they stood flanking the entrance.
Oh c’mon were supposed to be, just then Tarken felt a flash heat. The kind one felt by standing to close to a large fire. Are you warm he asked Ike just as the sun briefly disappeared from view? Turning to the sky he stood petrified as the form of a large creature landed a mere 10’ away from him. It charged up the path heading right for him & Ike. As it snarled Tarken could see row after row of flame covered teeth as large as daggers. It thrust a clawed hand towards Ike intent on tearing him apart. Tarken tried to reach for his weapon but his muscles burned and even the slightest movement caused them to ache.
Ike, the creature hissed as they clasped hands, how are thing this morning?
All quiet sir, nothing unusual to report.
Good replied the beast, what is this gesturing towards Tarken.
We have taken on a few new guards. Vinco thought it a good public showing considering the incident with Daphine.
It doesn’t seem trustworthy, Ike do you think it will be useful?
Yes sir! He needs a bit of training but I think he will be a good addition to our “family”.
Tarken could feel the creatures glowing eyes burning through him, as if the creature was trying to size up his very soul. All at once the burning stopped; Tarken was free to move though at this point he was reluctant. Ike appeared to show no signs of stress and the creature terrifying to behold didn’t seem too hostile. As the creature moved past them and into the doors of Sunbow mansion Tarken couldn’t help notice the grin on Ike’s face. He waited a until the creature was inside before he spoke.
Who the hell was that he asked? I have never seen anything like that before.
Ike let out a chuckle, Versel he is our enforcer. Don’t worry things are much safer when he is here.
I bet whispered Tarken. Have you ever seen him in “action”?
Only once watched him tear a couple guys apart in the street right over there Ike gestured. A few wack jobs thought they would ambush them. The most gruesome thing I have ever seen. After he ripped them apart I watched his brother cut off their heads. You mind your tong when they are around and you might keep your head he sneered.
Wait…They, brother there is another one of those things around?
Yah, he has 3 brothers actually.
Shit, maybe leaving the stair guard was a bad idea.

Bard Audition 2: Dalia Toma Halfling Female

Dalia is a tour de force of energy and movement. Beyond a performance, she has a long term plan. She assures you her multiple talents will not only provide entertainment but even better fights in your battle club as the warriors battling will be inspired to greater heights. She also claims to be an oracle, capable of spontaneous poems that hint at the future or provide insight into recent events. As if on cue her voice subtly changes and she says:

Tick Tock! What A Clock? Secrets lost on mortal time

One, two, three, four, study up on your dragon lore

The hunter screams when it comes through, what’s a misspoken wizard to do?

Hidden flight sky high, infinite layers unseen eye

A cycle within a cycle unknown, the plans of many belong to some

Wish upon wish the parents might, the aegis of the ages comes to light

When she finishes for the first time she seems unsteady on her feet and pauses. She peers about the room and innocently asks, “Did I do it again?”

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bard Audition 1: Karazale Montough Human Male

A sailor’s tale, Karazale accentuates the tale with excellent sound effects that hint at his musical talents. His tale is titled “The Abscess”.

A good day’s sailing to the east of Stormhaven is the Abscess, an all consuming whirlpool connected to both the Elemental Plane of Water and the lower planes. The Abscess is a blot of corruption on the world, the air ripped by screams and heavy with sulphur, the boiling water wreathed in flames and thick with clots of pus belched up from the stygian pits. The Abscess is home to a wide variety of monsters, most of them twisted by its foul waters. Sharks and undead infest the Abscess, and fiendish water and fire elementals are all too common. It is rumored that the Abscess is home to a demon blooded Kraken. The captain of the only vessel to survive an encounter with the beast described it as “Midnight given form…the hand of the devil himself!”

His suggestion for the Cinder Block: Acrobats! It just so happens that he knows a family of four acrobats.

Friday, February 18, 2011


The stout warrior-goblin looked wide-eyed over the platform that bore him and his female counterpart to the world disk. Never before did Scuttlefish believe he would be ascending to such literal heights.

“Whatzn all da hellz dosz one perzon wantz with, fifdy of deze pepperz?” Says Janisgoblin from behind Scuttlefish. Her handsome goblinoid features being often too much for Scuttlefish to behold for too long- he often only just gawks at the swell of her chest and the cut of her mail. Forever exasperated, Janisgoblin mauls Scuttlefish with the flat of her blade making a loud and familiar crack- bringing him back to reality.

“I dunnow. Jan..” He bumbles about his words at her affections, but before he could recover his meager wits, the third member of this delivery crew speaks up; Drachen, an olive skinned, red-robed man with a foreign dialect.

“If you knew our employer as I do, you would not ask such questions.” With a wry smile, Drachen continues. “Just be hopeful he does not eat you after the job is complete. Now stop bumbling around like a couple of…” (He searches for a race lower than a goblin) “dretches.”

“Eatz us?” They say in unison, exchanging worried glances. “What? Hez not goingz to eatz da peppers?” They ask rhetorically. With the ocean surface fast receding beneath them, they look upward anxious to be back to the Driftdowns and more familiar surroundings.

Scuttlefish and Janisgoblin were in fact offered and paid a small sum of coin to provide Drachen escort to the Upside- who’s only declared cargo was fifty rare purple chilli peppers to be delivered to a powerful alchemist. The two eagerly accepted. Just a chance to see the upside was enough for these self proclaimed goblin mercenaries and that just two days ago they were running for their lives from the Sevens.

From above, the rhythmic sound of drums, rattling of chains and the squeak of many pulleys uneased them, the Upside was fast approaching now and soon they would be walking among the Castles in the Sky.

When they arrived, the Upside defied any fitting description the simple goblins could conjure up. They were in awe.

“Thank you for your speed Drachen, there has been a change of plans and I have to work quickly.” Snapped out of their awe, the goblins beheld the new speaker. From the shadows, taking possession of the peppers was a horribly acid-burned red half-dragon! “I will need more. Double the amount. Can we arrange another shipment for next week?”

Firechillis are the purple peppers of the red leaved firebush. Extremely hot to the palate, the peppers provide little sustenance. Eaten in quantities, or on an empty stomach, they can cause severe stomach and intestinal pain. However, some hardy adventurers chop up a few firechillis into plain cooking, or to add a spicy flavor to that pasty gruel that passes as magically- created food.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Tale of Imports

"Unless we are able to recover all of the skullspawn I doubt we will succeed at breaking down the barrier that prevent me from creating, what I think is the greatest form of undead, the greatest realization of necromancy.  These "children" are becoming a bigger problem then I thought they would be.  My mistake was not considering that they could actually be his children! Not just another suddenly rich Driftdowner with a scheme to take over the Upside.  This is the problem with Nissian, he sometimes crosses your path but you never know what his game is, what he wants or is truly after."

The raspy voice echoed in their heads, their master extolling them to capture the last six skullspawn.

"I have returned, I am going to use my enemies tactics against him.  While it may not yet be possible to call forth or create these masters of night, there is nothing that prevents me from travelling to places where they do exist.  Unfortunately for our enemies, I have succeeded in bringing a few back with me. Should any of you fail me, I shall provide you as cattle for my new allies."

At that two images appeared in the acolyte's mind's eye, a book and a creature.  Sharing their master's thoughts they know the book is in the city and they are to recover it while also capturing the remaining skullspawn.  All are now sufficiently motivated.

Letter to...

Letter to friendly contacts prospective clients: Kiara, Marius at the Paper Door, Rockenblow Orcanstein, Brazier, Larrimor, Obadai Dragonbane, Atavah Sunthrower at The Dragon's Breath, Tamros, Lindyl Thinskin, Vesper, Malar and Memnon of the Flyers Club, Egil, Yellow-Eye, The Habib merchants, Pipin Toma and Vibiana Cressida from the Black Crown Mixer, Captain Pryor from the Black Kracken, The Volcano Dwarfs, Vinco, and lastly Worem

Letter is written in draconic script in an red ink that feels warm to the touch, furthermore the missive can be ground into a fine dust when it then it becomes alchemical flash powder.

Greetings and well met.

Behold colleagues. I am Auge Von Bulle, master alchemist and expert of no small renown. Mayhap you remember our previous encounter together when last our paths crossed. Such chance meeting did not go forgotten. It is my intention to impart to you great words of my recent achievements and wish to offer you a rare and amicable opportunity. My labors have bore fruit and I have created a mercantile outlet as a resource to you toward elevating you of your burdensome and non-useful magical tools and offer in exchange, more practical items. I would strongly persuade you to exercise this resource to your own advantage and visit my souk.

I personally invite you to The Vial and Flask- alchemy, apothecary souk; magical curio and tattoo emporium’s grand opening next Saturday on the Winter Solstice. Let this day not mark the period of longest night, but the beginning it’s waning and the lengthening of days and warmer climes.

Auge Von Bulle

Present this letter to me on this day and receive a special gift.

Temptation is too great…

“My wands will be unique. Not wooden sticks or gem encrusted batons, but ivory shafts carved into intricate draconic shapes…. Wand of Fire Breath my signature brand…”

(Returning to the Lair) “Look! An elephant Auge! Ivory for your wand” Durg’s words echo in my mind. Indeed he is right and what irony that I should relieve the beast of its burden and from the steed of a troll no less! (With no further ponderings, Auge departs to the Worthy Gate with a sack large enough for two elephant tusks.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Winter's Heart Glossy Pamphlet

Winter's Heart Emporium announces open livestock auction! Two days after solstice outside the Tower of Beast's all of upside may come and bid on livestock of the mundane and exotic variety. Be there to witness the Heart's gift to the city of Stormhaven when they present to Hanan Al’Sharif six Grand Tuskers! Sure to increase the size and strength of Stormhaven's Griffins for years to come, these massive beasts not only provide stud for Griffon's but are excellent beasts of burden! Who knows what ingenious uses the leader of the Griffin Guard will come up with for the Mighty Tusker!

The Winter's Heart encourages all Nobel families to take advantage of this once in a generation opportunity! Managed correctly this massive delivery of livestock has the potential to provide Stormhaven with enough meat for the current population of Upside for twenty to thirty years!  With any stock purchase, experts in animal husbandry are on hand to provide you with the best advice for the care, well being, and breeding of your purchase.  Branding available upon request.

These fliers are seen about Updside this week.  They art of the flier radiates low level illusion and transmutation magic.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

He still burns

Sarosh stood quietly in the temple.  Another day of watching the devotees of other gods, contracted for work.  The locals here feared fire and those that didn't fear fire, feared his genie heritage.  Sarosh kept his eyes open on guard against the cultist that kept trying to hire him.  As a general rule he refused to work for Necromancers. Still Sarosh needed work or he would be forced to provide the "fuel" for some nobel's home again, hardly a proper job for someone of his station.  Or worse, he would be forced to return to the Driftdowns, a situation he could barely stomach. 

Sarosh saw some new people arriving at the temple and he began his display again, first with fire and then altering the fire into other elements and energies. No one paid any heed, they would of course if they were injured but as yet none of the adventuring needy had arrived for that type of help.  Sarosh mentally calculated his remaining finances and realized he would be back in the Driftdowns by the Solstice.  Thats when he noticed the draconic creature, its scalely hide a deep crimson red.  Offering thanks to the elements he stepped up to the creature and introuduced himself.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pippen Toma

I remembered and recognized the halfling mage Pippen Toma instantly and welcomed him heartily, grabbing 2 beers for him. I led him to the table closest to the Son Stove and showed it off as we settled into a discussion. He beat me to my own line and held up his hand as I started to speak, expressing an interest in sparing any bullshit while we had our discussion of sponsorship. Nearly halfway through our banter of questions and stories, he admitted that he probably wasn't a good match for me. Apparently political prestige is not at all in his repertoire and it is one of my primary interests, at least inside the Black Crown. He spoke of Nefertiti's dislike for him, but he pretty much shrugged it off and said it kind of proved his particular shortcoming in the Crown. The conversation lasted about 2 hours, and at the end I earnestly invited to come any time to eat and drink(something he seemed quite skilled at) anytime. He spoke of seeing father speak when he was young.He recalled it was a lecture on 'magic in the new age'. He said he mostly remembered Nissian as a very eloquent speaker in that his pronunciation was always precise and crystal clear. He also said it was that lecture that fired his desire to master magic. He is also a master of magical rings. A devoted student to their lore, history, construction and cataloguing, he was confirmed as a master later by Nefertiti. He wasn't specific, but he said his nobility traced back to the Winters Heart (pg 18), an estate in the noble Quarter. When I mentioned our upcoming fight club, he indicated a strong interest, and he mentioned he had heard of our bard auditions. He said that he didn't want to name any names, to protect the integrity of the try outs, but a niece of his was planning on applying. I laughed and told him I appreciated his discretion. It certainly felt friendly as he departed, but he warned me that Nefertiti would most likely discourage that. We shall see.

If there was one quote I will always remember from our meeting, it was this quote, about him trying to follow the lessons of our father : " I never knew or figured his plan with his political moves and public orations, but I always paid attention".

Friday, February 11, 2011

Adalwin Joscelin

I was ushered to a classroom not far away, shortly after I asked to call upon Adalwin. He was preparing for a lesson, it seemed, with scrolls and parchment sheaves laid upon the table. My first impression was that he presented himself very much the same way as he did at the mixer. Our discussion was conducted over a chess game, a strength and favorite test of Adalwin's. He explained the intent and purpose and legality of the ban against organized mage guilds. He further spoke quite admiringly of the Crown's commitment to maintaining not just the letter but also the spirit of the ban. One of their main goals is to further the availability of magic to the population of Stormhaven. He also explained the terms of service time to the Crown, and the many different ways it could be fulfilled. His final lesson he taught over a 4- move chase. He spoke of the rivalry and political influence within the guild. He warned that too much movement, or a splashy entrance, might attract the attention of some the big fish in the pond. He warned that some of those big fish were sharks. Checkmate.

He struck me as very honest, and professorial. I believed him when he said he looked forward to me teaching my new ideas at the Crown regardless of whose sponsorship I sought. I sent message by personal letter the morning after making my decision with Nefertiti, and at least count him as amicable toward future meetings. One final impression left me with the sense that he was strongly civic minded and thought of long term solutions to the challenges of Stormhaven's isolation.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The First Customer

Nestled at the end of a dark cloaked, unmoving alleyway sits a souk that glows with a faint inner pale crimson light. As the swordswoman enters the alleyway, she passes three large sturdy doors on the right. Each one giving no hint as to what dangers lay within. On the left, a single door with a red guild mark of a proud tavern. Progressing further down the shadowy alley, the woman detects the faintest of chimes and soon, she sees the source of these gentle notes; delicate silver wind chimes hang beneath a dark-red sign that reads: The Vial and Flask, and beneath that; icons for a magic, alchemy, apothecary and lastly a symbol for elemental fire that completes the signage. A smile creeps onto her gentle but stern features, the directions she was given were correct. The warrior-woman gathered her courage, draws a deep breath and looks around to see if she was followed. Stillness continues to pervade her surroundings.

Peering into one of two large multi-paned opaque windows, she sees that the souk is dimly lit on the inside, further adding to what mysteries that lay within. Standing in the dry stillness of the alleyway, she reaches for the door and pulls the horn on the dragon-head shaped knob and opens the shop’s sturdy entrance. Immediately upon opening, sweet smells of cigar smoke and incense waft into the alleyway. Lingering a bit to savor the aroma, she enters the souk and allows the door to close behind her. The door makes not a sound. Within, the red glow that hinted the alleyway with pale light radiates from dozens of red tapers sculpted into the shape of dragons, their flame- like long dancing tongues.

Within her new surroundings, handsome wooden shelves, stout round tables and clear glass cases contain a multitude of items of interest to her; from oils, elixirs and dusts to magic wands, small ornate weaponry and scrolls. Time seems to stand still. Suddenly, from all round her the candle flames flare, dazzling her for just a moment. When she recovers, she sees a red, terrible figure had materializes silently from the rear of the souk. Or was he always there and just escaped her notice? The woman steeled herself at the appearance of such an unsettling and unexpected arrival.

“Welcome,” It said in a deep other-worldly but very draconic voice, flames licking the corners of his wide jaws while smoke wafts from his nostrils. “How can I be of service?”

“I was told this is where I could get some ink…”

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

" A Traveller's Handbook "

These are the spells in the book gifted me by Nefertiti, pending DM approval.
0- amanuensis (SC)
1- stumble gap (APG) , crafter's fortune (APG) , protection from evil,etc , monster summoning 1 , comprehend languages , resist planar alignment (SC) , unseen servant , mount
2- create pit (APG) , share language (APG) , locate object , summon monster 2 , ethereal chamber (SC)
3- spiked pit (APG) , magic circle vs. evil,etc , nondetection , summon monster 3 , anticipate teleportation (SC) , avoid planar effects (SC) , servant horde (SC) , analyze portal (SC) , shadow cache (SC)
4- dimension door

These spells take the last fifty pages of the book. The first 50 are filled with theory and formulae regarding planar travel and magic. This results in a +2 bonus to knowledge planes checks.

All 100 pages of the book are fine vellum sheets. The ink is mixed with alchemical silver, and its bond to the page is exceptional. The book covers are made of mahogany planks covered with a pliant leather skin that when closed and secured is water tight to 50 feet deep. It is written in a flowing hand that switches to and from different planar languages, almost as if the author was unaware she was doing it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Journal Entry; Jaren

The overlapping energies was perplexing until I realized I was seeing the over lap of concurrent planes, especially strong here at the Black Crown's demesne. Even as I left and headed for the nearest restaurant ( at her messengers request) I was suddenly aware of the phantom overlays, though it certainly wasn't as strong as at the Crown. I then realized they had always been there, but now I knew it.I wasn't kept waiting long, but I was surprised to see the two stone constructs precede her. I could feel their scans, but also sensed they weren't scanning me. Nefertiti Xanthippe approached with a smile, and I could hardly keep from exclaiming my wonder at her creations. She smiled at the assumption and admitted they were her makings. My initial instincts were correct, and I was glad I had decided to save this visit for last. Her reasons for being interested in me as a protege seemed plausible and genuine. It was when we began to speak of physical laws of time on other planes that I made up my mind to ask her to sponsor my entry into the Crown. She quickly agreed, and cast a magic screen around us, assuring me there was no way any one or thing could hear or sense what we discussed. Brief and intense, it lasted no longer than five minutes. We discussed expectations, goals, enemies, and destinies. I divulged all of my new concepts, and she seemed impressed and excited to present them, but after my initiation period. It is my hope to be officially presented early next week, before the Solstice.

Walking back to the Cinder Block, I mulled over how happy I was to have heard that she, too, was quite willing to take on and destroy the 777s with me. And despite her warnings and dislike of the halfling, I merrily imagined my next glass of beer with Pippen Toma, perhaps as we watched a duel at Neutral Grounds, or laughed at every one for how stupid they were. The thought turned to a frown, though, as I struggled to remember a story of a dragon tricked by a strange halfling and a band of dwarves.....

Saturday, February 5, 2011


The night was dire and uninviting. Cold rain came down in large, clear drops on the grey cobbled city streets, its sound drowned out all but the loudest ruckus from the Rats Nest. Dark shadows clung tenaciously to alcoves and alleyways. Thick wet air retarded all of the normal scents of Stormhaven this night.

Using the low rain clouds as cover, the four dragon-brothers flew in reconnaissance formation, taking special attention to the Worthy Gate. Several city guards, oblivious to the circling half-dragons, tried in vain to shelter themselves from the rare winter rain; their weapons hung limply from soaked scabbards, cigar smoke wafted lazily from the hoods of their drenched cloaks.

Just as the night was near at its end and the guard’s shift-change commenced; the troop that the dragons were looking for finally emerged and moved towards the Worthy Gate. Keeping in constant magical communication the brothers assembled in the air…

Jaren commenced with casting an armor-like magical protection on Vercel, while Vercel gripped his amulet and spoke the words that invoked the magics within. Ague produced a sachel filled with potions and urgents, as well as a wand to which he began uttering its activation to aid Durg in the coming fray. Durg helped himself to a potion and grasped his own amulet, calling upon its magic.

Next, Jaren then turned to Durg and repeated the process. Vercel quickly quaffed a potion and centered himself for battle. Auge turned and set wand to Vercel in similar form as before. Durg produced a fell weapon and applied oil to its blade.

Then Jaren saw to providing magical aid to his alchemist counterpart while Auge did the same for Jaren.  Vercel and Durg both produced similar magical supplements to aid them in the coming battle. Finally, Jaren produced some gum-arabic and disappeared from sight, Auge likewise disappeared. With the final words of activation from magical accouterments, both Vercel and Durg dived out of the storm clouds. It was only twenty-four seconds before the four brothers set upon their foes to rain their terrible consuming fire upon them.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Auge's Neighborhood The Taxidermist

His name is Worem Bur'gha and you met him during your neighborhood treks and introductions:

Worem is a strange race you know little of, identified to you by Tamros as a "Skulk". Worem is one of your first customers and  has the unnerving habit of constantly sniffing and even sometimes tasting things he notices. He does a brisk business and is contracting with you for his supplies. Tamros explains that sometimes members of the Liquor Commission use Worem as a "cleaner".  Tamros also warns you that Worem hates humans and considers them a lesser race.

Physical Description: Skulks stand between 5 feet and 6 feet tall and weigh 120 to 180 pounds. They are completely hairless and wear little or no clothing. It is difficult to determine, at first glance, whether a skulk is male or female.  Their skin is usually dull gray, but an individual can change its color on a whim, from a subdued brown to a lurid red or yellow. Skulks are capable of assuming any “natural” human flesh tone to better blend in. They have pupil less blue eyes, regardless of their skin coloration.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tales from....? Clatu Veratae Nictu!

The ceremony complete the Demon stepped through the portal, which in this case was the still bleeding heart of the cabal’s sacrifice.  The Demon’s form adjusted itself to its new existence, examining its flesh form in this world while ignoring the pleas and demands of the circle of wizards whose calling had pulled him through the abyss.  The Demon’s flesh festers with open sores.  It’s tall, gaunt frame is festooned with patches of short bristles.  It has the head of a large, sickly ram with massive curved horns, rheumy eyes and froth caked lips stretched over thin, needle like fangs.  Its snakelike tail writhes, the tip a twisted tangle of metallic spines.  The Demon stood too its full height, just over eight feet. Despite its emaciated form, the beast wields a great ranseur too large for its size with unnerving grace.   The creature stretched its senses, enjoying the cool fresh air and pleasant scents that wafted into the chamber.  The Demon’s enjoyment of the moment was interrupted by the constant braying of commands from one of the idiot mortals who had brought him here.  Turning his attention to the shrill voiced conjurer, the ranseur swung forth, decapitating the wizard and shocking all the other inhabitants of the chamber.  The creature spoke his victim’s true name and entered into a hideous frenzy and when it had finished all but three of his callers lay dead, their souls harvested.  The demon turned his gaze to them, telling them how they would now serve its will, explaining that the other magicians erred in their pronunciations of the true tongue.  The wizard’s bowed their heads and learned to call their new master by a title it bequeathed itself, the General.  The Demon concentrated on the bleeding heart and sent out a calling of his own.  Soon the chamber was filled with a half dozen new arrivals, fleshy gangly demons that the remaining wizards soon learned were very resistant to arcane magic.  “Now,” the General yelled, “explain to me where I have arrived so I may make plans to conquer it!”