Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Frost-Touched

Harriet Gundwynd personally accepted responsibility for tracking and finding the dragon that destroyed over half of Loudwater, a city of fair-born ffolken. Joining her on this quest is Kirren Frostblade a ranger of equal virtue and prowess; Darbee of Lurkwood and her bond, a Lurkwood Pegasus and avatar of animals. After a time it was clear the dragon was northward bound and they could not hope to track him days after it crossed the High Forest.

It was in the High Forest when Harriet, Kirren and Darbee happened across the first of the Frost-touched: animals and monsters seemingly of Malar but kissed by Auril, these creatures were gifted with a cold powers and defenses. Suspecting that there must be a source to these phenomena; for weeks the trio have been traversing the north, following signs of the Frost-touched, cataloging every new species they encounter.

There were Rocs around the trio of peaks known as Arandur’s Crown; griffons raiding the farms of Longsaddle; and a band of a half a dozen hungry Ice trolls closing in on Rassalantar.

Rassalantar is a hamlet of half a dozen walled farms, centered on a spring-fed pond that drains into a stream to the east that empties into the Stump Bog, a sprawling, desolate marsh. An age-old keep, now in ruins, is used by tramps, low-men, and less savory monsters looking for shelter.

Arriving ahead of the Ice trolls they enter The Sleeping Dragon, an inn across the road and east of the pond, to warn as many ffolken as possible. They had only a day to prepare, for surely they were surely coming. West of the pond is Keep Woods, a narrow but dense strip of gnarled trees. This forest, located between two farms, cloaks the keep ruins. It would be here they would make their stand.

The blue-green skinned Ice trolls; proved somewhat smaller than normal trolls but till scraping ten feet tall, attacked Rassalantar in effective coordinated tactics that surprised many of the Waterdeep garrison stationed here. The trolls were as cunning as they were voraciously hungry.

The battle lasted for over an hour before the Frost-touched trolls were defeated, but the victory came at a high price. The innkeeper, Thrun Samallahan- a close friend of Durnan of Waterdeep and the Blackstaff- was killed defending Rassalantar. Say sorry.

The next day the three women packed their gunna- which is to say one's worldly possessions and headed north, secure in the knowledge that every one of these sub set of these frost-creatures possessed an exotic form of damage reduction.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Figurine of Wondorous Power: Black Pegasus

Damian was surprised to discover that horses were not the only items being auctioned and sold during the Horse Auction. More like a festival, thought Damian.  Tauron was beside himself with glee, completely in his environment, surrounded by horses and women who adored him.  Tauron’s family have been great hosts and despite some philosophical differences Tauron has been a true friend and battle mate. Strangely enough Amphail had the effect of putting Damian in a good mood.  His genial mood was probably why the Damian stuck around long enough to hear the strange horse breeder’s claim, a wondrous item that summoned forth a black Pegasus with a planar bloodline (chaotic, law, evil, good).  

The “horse breeder “, a short dark haired man named Glazer provided Damian with a demonstration, one confirmed as valid by Eva.  Glazer indicated his interest in some magical protections Damian had for trade.  After haggling over the details, Glazer thanked Damian, explaining that he needed all the protection he could get for his long journey north.  The strange little man believed he could profit from the brewing war there.  Eva studied the magical horse and was impressed by its size and breeding.  Glazer smiled and explained to her that the fey believed that you could mate this Pegasus with a horse during certain astrological events and its bloodline would be transferred to any offspring the union produced.  When pressed for further details, Glazer explained that he was far from an expert on fey astronomy.

Each of the several kinds of figurines of wondrous power appears to be a miniature statuette of a creature an inch or so high (with one exception). When the figurine is tossed down and the correct command word spoken, it becomes a living creature of normal  size (except when noted otherwise below). The creature obeys and serves its owner. Unless stated otherwise, the creature understands Common but does not speak. If a figurine of wondrous power is broken or destroyed in its statuette form, it is forever ruined. All magic is lost, its power departed. If slain in animal form, the figurine simply reverts to a statuette that can be used again at a later time.
Aura varies; CL varies Slot —; Price 10,000 gp (bronze griffon), 10,000 gp (ebony fly), 16,500 gp (golden lions), 21,000 gp (ivory goats), 17,000 gp (marble elephant), 28,500 gp (obsidian steed), 15,500 gp (onyx dog), 9,100 gp (serpentine owl), 3,800 gp (silver raven); Weight 1 lb.

Ebony Pegasus (Fly): When animated, an ebony fly is the size of a pony and has all the statistics of a pegasus but can make no attacks. The item can be used three times per week for up to 12 hours per use. When 12 hours have passed or when the command word is spoken, the ebony fly again becomes a tiny statuette. Moderate transmutation;  Pegasus CR 3  XP 800  CG Large magical beast

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect evil, detect good, lowlight vision, scent; Perception +11

Defense AC 14, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +3 natural, –1 size)

hp 34 (4d10+12) Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +4

Offense   Speed 60 ft., fly 120 ft. (average)

Melee bite +7 (1d3+4), 2 hooves +2 (1d6+2)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th) Constant—detect evil (60-ft. radius), detect good (60-ft. radius)

Str 18, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 13

Base Atk +4; CMB +9; CMD 21 (25 vs. trip)

Feats Fly by Attack, Iron Will

Skills Fly +5, Perception +11, Sense Motive +7; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception Languages Common (cannot speak) Environment temperate and warm plains Organization solitary, pair, or herd (6–10) Treasure none

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Knights of Antiquity Part 5: The League of Night & Fog

When the Knights of Antiquity had first gathered together Dartek Thann paid very little attention to Aryana Rosznar. Her invitation to the group had less to do with her and more to do with her family. The Thann family had always looked down upon the Rosznars, claiming that they sold inferior wines, as well as raising their eyebrows in disgust whenever gossip arose regarding the Rosznar families connection with illegal slave trade. The original design of the group was to give them an advantage in any of Waterdeep’s palavers from a wide range of families, many of whom were publicly viewed as being adversarial. Artemus had suggested her as a trustworthy addition and at the time he had no reason to question the suggestion. In truth Aryana quickly became one of the more important members, providing information as well as direction. It was from her information that the group had started investing in recovery teams and adventurers. It was soon after this advice was given that Dartek starting watching the young noblewoman, recognizing not only her financial skill but how careful she was with words, always aware of others perceptions. Over the last three months Dartek had grown quite impressed with her, so much so that he actually brought her up to others in the League of Night & Fog.

Still Dartek did not expect to find Aryana in Skullport. Dartek had come to Bryntyn’s Brews to inquire after a unique poison that the alchemist had delivered to several of his agents. The League was very pleased with the poison’s results, incapacitating without killing and easily hid in alcohol. Dartek had come to inquire into the cost of either a large quantity or even an agreement to sell the poison only to members of the League. The years of living in Skullport had toughened up Bryntyn quite a bit yet the half elf was wise enough to fear the League of Night and Fog. Dartek received word yesterday that a meeting had been arranged at Bryntyn’s Brews today to discuss with the poison’s crafter the cost of the arrangement that the League sought. His shock and surprise was complete when Aryana stepped out from the rear room of the shop as the half elf Bryntyn left, locking the door behind him.

“I don’t know whether to be relieved or nervous as hell.” Aryana spoke first, “Bryntyn swore that the meeting was worth the risk but I’m sure he didn’t realize we know each other.” Dartek collected himself and replied, “While I am surprised, I’m pleased none the less, you have a fine product.” Aryana handed Dartek a wine bottle, labeled in her families vintage. “Don’t drink that but here is a fine start for what you want.” Dartek decided at that moment that he would offer her entry into the league, as well as a steady customer for her poison. He hoped she would be smart enough to accept. Dartek had made sure to have several of his agents close by, ready to move in on the alchemist’s shop should there be trouble. He assumed that she would have allies nearby as well.

“I wonder if our meeting each other like this isn’t actually an opportunity to place our cards on the table and further secure our alliance.” Dartek stated. Aryana smiled at this, the smile was short lived, overtaken by shock as Dartek handed her a silk purse, bulging with the obvious payment for the wine bottle of poison. The shock came from the runes on the bag, a symbol of a fabled, deadly organization known as the League of Night and Fog. Before this day Aryana had never known if the League was real. The look on Dartek’s face told her it was deadly real. In that moment Aryana knew it was Talona’s will she follow this new path. Accepting the silk purse Aryana replied, “This certainly solidifies our relationship, I hope to learn so much more, however to be fair, to have our cards on the table as you said, I should share with you my captive I have bound and prepared for delivery in back.”

Dartek quickly appraised his new recruit and decided to follow her into the back room from where she had entered earlier. Dartek could not hide his smile when he saw her victim. Bound, paralyzed but conscious was Hermindious, Genos Hawkwinter’s valet and spy. “Zak’s cousin is actually a Dragon Cult member, I plan to sell him to some underdark slavers unless you have a better plan” Aryana explained. “You will make a grand new member in the League” Dartek replied.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Tale of Death’s Gypsy

Larissa Silvermane, a name derived from her sterling hair, earned her living as an exotic gypsy dancer at The Cutlass, a notorious private establishment in Luskan, Thieving her way through the unforgiving city until her career took a sudden turn thanks to a man named Karlott. Identifying Silvermane’s super natural abilities in the dance, Karlott went to her and promised to help her achieve her full potential. What she learned, a dance that was terrible in its elegance, a dance of doom that ultimately gave her power and control over undead. She was like death’s gypsy. Someday, Karlott mused, she will bring about the return of Cryomantipelica with her dance of death.

Catriona has been a vampire for 331 years; she would move from city to city every few years changing her identity each time. Building a name for herself in the aristocracy, she would target not just a highborn lord or noble cully yet to lose his innocence; after Catriona moved on, an entire family’s bloodline is sure to lie broken and removed forever from the realms in her wake. But when the vampire saw Silvermane and her dance of death on the eve of midsummer night, Catriona knew at once that she should protect death’s gypsy through life and serve her forever more through her unlife.

The Reverend and undead hunter, Martin Luckjoy smiled ruefully as he addressed Jamaliyah in the high speech; he was sure to exaggerate his flirtatious advances… to facilitate the palaver of course. Jamaliyah was a djinni of the Lamp who also possessed a wily nature and intelligence. It was obvious she was infatuated with the cleric of Tymora and loved the playful bantering. Finally, Jamaliyah brought her deck of tarot cards, to answer the handsome cleric’s questions. The city, Luckjoy perceived, stank of undeath.

Jamaliyah began drawing seven cards one at a time; interpreting the order in which they were drawn, weather they lay right side up or not, and sequencing, how the cards read first card to the last and backward.

The Jann reported her discoveries. “Five bodies appeared to be killed by a vampire; they were lured into the dungeons. The vampire could be a succubus but I believe she is subservient to a ‘silver dancer’. Does that mean anything to you Marty?”

Martin’s eyes flashed. “Luck is with us old friend!” Speaking to Zellizands. “It is Death’s gypsy and she is finally within my sword’s reach.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wild Magic Storm at Blackspire Gap
If necessity is the mother of invention, then what is temptation, especially in a time when the stars fall from the heavens and gods walk Toril? In one horrible night Jarred Mallred went from the master of Blackspire Gap to prisoner of his own magic, trapped inside his magic cube*. The lead lined walls of the tower were the only things to save the wizard from the wild magic storm that ripped through his tower and Waterdeep that night. Over the past few weeks Mallred not only escaped his suddenly altered magical item but also reclaimed several areas within Blackspire Gap. It was the day Jarred entered his apprentice’s apartment that he first felt her presence and the sudden complete absence of any wild fluctuations in the weave. Inside his mind the wizard warned himself not to look upon the creature but the warning did not slow his eyes which quickly took in the wasted husk like corpse of his apprentice lying naked on the floor near the most diabolically beautiful woman that Jarred had ever seen. She was easily six foot tall and completely naked. When she spoke Jarred’s body shook with longing both physical and magical. “Your home would serve my needs while I could serve yours,” she purred, “A wizard of your power, freed from the weave, we can certainly deal with the troublesome Wands.” When she finished speaking he realized how close this she devil was. A dangerous path to power stood before Jarred and his body could not say no.

*Magic cube meant to be a geometric brother of the warp marble or “sphere” that Eve stayed in when we were captured.

An interesting piece

Gillian smiled sincerely as he handed the scroll over to Hettman. “This will make you immune to acid for the next 24 hours, use it wisely”. “Thanks a ton” Hettman stammered “I owe you more than I can ever repay”. Not only are you providing this scroll but the effort you put into researching the creatures strengths and weaknesses is most generous. “It’s an honor to serve house Tsurion”, Gillian boasted “and a Bebilith is not to be taken lightly”. I think we came up with a Brilliant plan Hettman. Just use the items I provided, follow our plan, and soon your worries will be over.

“Still I feel as if I should repay you somehow, are you sure there is nothing I can do for you Gillian”? “Nothing comes to mind” Gillian said with as much innocents as he could muster. I have no interest in coin, and gems don’t sparkle for me as they did in my youth. My only passion now is collecting old frame glasses & lenses. It’s my favorite hobby; he said peering over the frame of the horn rimmed glasses he had recently acquired for this latest disguise. But it’s not like you would be carrying around something like that in your pocket he chuckled as he nudged Hettman. “As a matter of fact I do have something you might be interested in” Hettman said as he fished around in his breast pocket. It’s kind of a family heirloom belonged to my grandfather, I carry it for luck. I want you to have it he said as his eyes began to mist up. My family would have certainly perished if not for your generosity this is the least I can do for you. He handed over a small, tattered leather pouch “it has a small crack in the lens and the finish has worn off the frame but it’s an interesting piece”. Gillian did his best to act surprised “are you sure you want me to have this”? I don’t know what to say I am stunned. When you return from your confrontation you must tell me the history of this piece he said as he began walking Hettman to the door. “Oh, a yes when I return then, so lo” was the last he heard as he shut the door in Hettmans face.

Manipulating people had always come easy for Gillian. He couldn’t remember the last time he had failed to pull off a scheme. Since he had gained the aspect of Trickery it wasn't even a challenge anymore. People took the lies he spoke as truth regardless of how absurd they seemed. No matter, he was one more step closer to attaing his goal, soon the Lurking Lord would be restored.

Pulling the monocle from its pouch the soft glow filled the room. Though it had only been a few weeks it had seemed like a lifetime since he had felt the presence of the Lord of Shadows. As he felt the aspect of the monocle entwine with his own some of those familiar feelings came flooding back. Trickery and Avarice are yours again my lord Mask. Soon we will own them all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Horse Auction Primer

What is threaded stock?

Threaded horses have their lineage carefully documented and represent the best assets the breed offers. Threaded stock set the standards the breed is judged by, and must meet certain requirements of appearance and stature. Also, a horse must be bred from both a threaded mare and a threaded stallion to be registered as threaded stock. Threaded stock can be seen as masterwork variety horses, and costs double the listed amount for their type of horse. Any threaded mount put to work at a task it was bred for can apply a +2 bonus to any skill check required to complete it’s tasks. Also affecting the price of a horse is whether or not it is capable of breeding. A gelding costs the standard amount, but a mare or stallion costs double the listed amount, or triple the amount for threaded stock (that includes the "masterwork" expense).

For simplicity’s sake, breeds of horses can be lumped together by the type of work they are bred for. There are 5 basic breed types that covers the wide range of game uses.Different bloodlines of a breed are usually denoted by its name. For example, Tauron’s horses are Tarm Drafts, and Tarm Standardbreds. Rusher is an Ilzimmer Thoroughbred.

Draft – Draft horses are heavy horses, and are used for heavy work, feats of strength, and warhorse mounts. Modern breeds would include Shires, Clydesdales, Percherons, and Belgians.

Thoroughbred – Thoroughbreds are heavy horses and are used in horse racing and warhorses. They are speed specialists. These are the powerful horses you see at modern racetracks that run so hard they break their own legs.

Standardbred - These breeds are light horses, and are bred for a stunning variety of abilities. They are used for riding, normal labor, work of all kinds with wagons and carts, and even light warhorses. These horses have remarkable endurance. The horses that we have seen in all the cowboy movies exemplify the horses of these breeds.

Warmbloods – These breeds are light horses. They are the favorite breeds of nobility, horse lovers, and pet owners.These horses are renown for their intelligence and high spirited nature. They are used for riding, racing, pets, trick riding and advanced riding competitions. Arabians, Lipizzaner, and the horses used in polo matches and circus acts all are warmbloods.

Specialty – Specialty breeds include ponies (which are horses bred to be under a certain size), The Stoalzaner described by James, or any other different breeds that may be introduced.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another Faerie Tale from Briar

Briar regarded Heilean and Tauron as they all sipped mead warmed by the morning fire. With so much mystery left behind in the High Forest, and misgivings over what would become of the Fey they would meet and those they already had, she had been thinking a lot about the faerie tales she had studied with sages at various academies. She smiled warmly at her lovers " So do you two horse experts know of the Sandiraksiva legends of the north?"
Both looked surprised , and admitted they had not heard of this breed or thread line, whichever it was.
She smiled again, enjoying the attention, and continued.
" In the far north woods of Lurkwood live a tribe of Northmen, The Gray Wolf tribe, who are said to have shapechanging powers, taking either a wolf shape, or a human. These fierce barbarians range far, and tell of fey-touched horses native to the Lurkwood Forests they roam in. A sandiraksiva is always coal black, a massive horse standing 17 hands high. Tribe legend says these fey horses gather power in the moon light and are especially powerful during the three nights of the full moon. As their magic waxes , so does their lust and it is on these three nights they seek to breed. Also, during the phases of the full moon, they gain their strongest power, the ability to take human shape. During these lust filled nights of high magic, these fey are so driven to mate, they will sneak into Tribe settlements in human form to satisfy their urges if there are no others of their kind close by. It is also believed by some that they serve as mounts to favored tribes men and women, hiding in plain sight among mortal horses. Most argue that this is impossible, since the fey horses can not take form of any kind during the day, while the sun is visible."
The trio laughed making several ribald jokes about the love life of such dark fey being, and Briar finished the sharing of her tale.
"It is also said that if a sandiraksiva drinks from a pool under moonlight, that pool turns into magical healing waters, curing injury or sickness in those imbibing its moonstruck waters. The pool is said to hold this magic until the following moonrise."
Heilean began teasing Tauron immediately."You know, if you really loved Briar, you would get her one of those horses!"
He rolled his eyes, drained his mead cup, and smartly said nothing as he went to talk to his uncle about this past night's discoveries of his dead end threaded breed stock. Tauron was just hopefull that he would be patient and open to doing something to restore the line, and not insist upon entering the stock in the auction.

Tales from the Trackless Sea: the Purple Rocks

The Blackstaff crossed the expanse of Trackless Sea west from Gundarlun on his companion mount Foocault or ‘Foo’, a Ki-rin of exceptional intelligence and nobility. Since the godsfall and subsequent star-shower that followed Foo had become the embodiment of Pure Good, helping Khelben reach out to cities in the North to sow alliance with the threat of war looming on the spring horizon. Thanks to Foo’s shape-changing abilities; during these forays, the Ki-rin disguised Khelben and itself allowing them to visit cultures with impunity, given the common distrust of magic and its users among the Uthgardt and the Northmen islanders.

The folken of the Purple Rocks were once a Gundarlun colony. There are no elderly here and no one under the age of thirteen. Their meager pallor was one of long years in poor conditions despite their natural resources. For Northmen, Rocklanders are unusually warm and friendly, though their smiles may seem strained and painful. They appear to worship the usual Northman deities, but their graven images of those gods all show reptile-like scaled arms and legs; furthermore, their long ships favor snarling green dragon figure heads.
Appearing as Uthgardt barbarians, The Blackstaff and the Ki-rin, Foo stood before Utheraal’s King, Bromm Sithas; the Sun Speaker. The handsome Island King appeared to have a strain of eldritch blood in his lineage, Khelben doubted if the folken of the eastern most Island of the Rocks were aware of their King’s exotic origin or his relation to Sai Piergeiron. 

“All signs point to an attack after the thaw. King Selger will take advantage of the big city conflicts; his battle lust will overcome him.” Khelben laid it out as simply as he could, opting not to confuse the debate with the knowledge of intrigue that was already in motion; an aspect of warfare that has already drawn first blood.

“We contribute to the welfare of the western island Trisk and King Selger. Why would he upset our accord?” King Bromm retorted.

“It is protection you pay and thee knows it.” It was Foo that pointed out the obvious.

Khelben waited for the truth to set in. King Bromm excused most of his court save for his longship commanders and warrior chiefs. “This summer has bought our tribe great fortune. We have vanquished the dragon Dagaronzie; the scourge of the Evermoors.” Khelben lied, “we have acquired the beast’s hoard and thus have the gold you will need to finance your defenses; longships, weapons and most important, the food to survive.”

“And what would you ask in return for your aid?” The king of Utheraal asked, hopeful.

Underneath his black hood, a hint of a smile emerged on Khelben's face.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Harper’s Tale Part 2

After kenneling her war hounds, the Harper Eriadne Thann returned to the aromatic, wood paneled common room of the Bargewright Inn. Aldon Bargewright was delivering a great spoken word performance, easily commanding the attention of all patrons. There was a fire in the hearth to ward of the night chill, raising the mood of the folken.

Taking measures to minimize attention, Eriadne moved closer to the hearth. The Bargewright Inn was her last stop before her trek into the High Forest. She wasn’t about to handle this herself; two Harpers agreed to accompany her, claiming her and their paths come together on this adventure.

Eriadne did not know if these two knew the reasons she sought the summoner Elkoremarr. The thought concerned her briefly but dismissed it; no need to worry about that which ye do not have a hand in. Mayhap they would help restore her family’s honor, it was lofty thinking to be sure.

Eriadne stopped, sitting under a battered shield bearing a symbol of Tymora was the two she was looking for; or too they were looking for her. They were tracing lines and arcs on a map Eriadne recognized as the north-western region of the High Forest. Encouraged, Eriadne approached and kindly introduced herself to each, exercising two decades of noble etiquette and speech.

The woman Serpe’ was a captivating islander, which was to say she was from either Ruathym or Gundarlun, mayhap the Purple Rocks. She was a skald, the island nation’s equivalent to inland bards of tavern fame. She comes across to Eriadne as high-adventure and heroic action; even reckless. Serpe’ boasts her athleticism and endurance; she lives for new challenges.

The man Einar, another islander regards himself a ranger and elf-friend. When he speaks it is then Eriadne settles that these two are from Gundarlun. Much of his weapons and combat gear are of elven make; validating his claims as friend of the fey. He is well spoken and confident as he explains how their paths have come together.

“Two friends of the Harpers have gone missing while looking for one of their own.” Einar began. “Not long ago creatures from the netherworlds summoned by Elkoremarr captured a Priest of Tymora; right outside these doors understand. The priest has since returned, but her two would be rescuers have not.”
Serpe’ interjected, “Eriadne do you know what has befallen the vast pantheons of this realm and the impact it has had on humanity?”

Eriadne slowly nodded, Serpe’ continued, “This priest was believed to hold a fragmented piece of divinity and as such was targeted by the vile summoner you seek. When she returned, the priest was minus the divine investiture. Elkoremarr removed it and who knows what became of it.”

“I’m only too glad to have the two of you along Sai.” Eriadne said with heart-felt sincerity. “And I vow to help you find the missing duo.”

Eriadne regarded the map and noted the odd sigil on their map. Its location corresponded to a location on her own, but hers was where Elkoremarr’s horrible tower stood. “What is that symbol there supposed to represent?”

Serpe’ and Einar regarded her carefully before the woman answered. “The divine fragments are called aspects and we fear that Elkoremarr’s tower is some aspect form of deceit or illusion or someting; finding him will be difficult.”

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Miracle in the Making

The sun retreated with an unnatural swiftness, yielding ever sooner to the moon’s lengthening night. Wind from the north brought a surge of cold air that extinguished the morning’s balmy weather. It began to drizzle as folken of Amphail came in one by one, pairs, and groups to investigate the rumors. Deputies defensively surrounded the Horse Pond, allowing only those who were returning fowled water to its source; fears that all water in Amphail was poisoned had stifled all daily business and errands for that afternoon. Many folken also stood gathered around Amphail’s seat of government, commonly referred to as the Hall, impatiently waiting for official word on the matter. 

Inside the Hall, Sai Briiathor Alougarr sat in a beleaguered and exhausted state after his palaver with the visiting Tarm Company out of Waterdeep. It was one more town crippling disaster after the next- what in all the gods had befallen Amphail? Everything depended on the success of the horse auction now, for if not- it would be a catastrophic winter for the citizens who trusted him to govern and protect them. He prayed to Tymora that some good fortune come his way, he could use a lucky break. He prayed these visiting Waterdhavians were that just that break. 

Outside nearing the small lake, Kym Tarm was pushing a wheelchair occupied by her childhood friend, the corpulent Anskela Amcatha, to the gathered acolytes, adepts, and clerics. Following closely in their wake strode two highborn women; the lithe and rail thin Bernadine Cassalanter and Dodonna Ilzimmer an adept, both of whom wore the Coin of Waukeen. Kym bent low and spoke quietly assuring Anskela that Tymora has not ignored her prayers and soon everything will be as it should. Anskela looked incredulous, her eyes eventually falling on Bernadine who was watching their every move. 

Sai Briiathor and Captain Warnler emerged from the Hall followed by a two impressive guards that could have been ogres armored from head to toe; as well as a trio of highborn acolytes of Siamorphe, a faith what is in vogue amongst the Waterdeep nobility. Descending the steps and his attendees came to halt in front of the statue of the Great Shalarn; a silence like death washed over the crowd. 

Briiathor addressed the gathered citizens, “Hear me I beg. The luck of Tymora has blessed us with Waterdhavians who have come; (pausing dramatically) armed with insight and wisdom. Our beloved lake has been soured, thus I have assembled every cleric and holy-man in Amphail to aid them in purifying the waters.” Briiathor paused as several replies of “do ya?” and “we say thankya” are shouted. 

Sacrificing all degree of courtly etiquette, Sai Briiathor motions to the assembled men and women of differing holy orders and decorated cloths without formal introductions; indicating them to proceed. 

A pause, as all talking stopped; Briar stood flanking Tauren with Helaine in the face of the cold wind as clouds thickened overhead. Joined around the small lake were five richly dressed adepts and eight heavily outfitted clerics, half of which looked of the adventuring type, wearing sashes of various faiths and titles. They began in unison with a prayer that was usually reserved for mealtimes; however, now it was being chanted by thirteen divine casters gathered to purify Amphail’s manicured lake. There was a disconcerting pall in the air that captured the on lookers with worries of fear and doubt. To the Samular Ka-tet it felt like something out of tune. 

This will take days of multiple purify prayers from everyone here, Tauren thought; a very taxing endeavor, what was needed was a miracle to pull this off here and now. Communicating as members of a Ka-Tet do, Tauren and Briar began to slow the spell down to a ritual’s pace and cadence; gaining more area in the casting. 

Half way into the ritual, there did not seem to be any progress to cleansing the waters. Crestfallen, Tauren opened his eyes a bit, lips still slowly chanting the words of purification; he regarded Briar, Eva, and the Agundars who ready to react if anything awry were to materialize, as well as the other onlookers when he barely noticed Rusher. The horse was agitated, and trying to alert Tauren of something. 

·         Bernadine Cassalanter ~Waukeen
·         Dodonna Ilzimmer ~Waukeen
·         Turnus Tarm- Mielikki
·         Arrikes Jhansczil- Tempus
·         Shieldmeyer Roaringhorn- Tymora
·         Endol Ammakyl- Chauntea
·         Joneshammer Eagleshield- Tempus
·         Leath, Cyprus, & Swan- Siamorphe

Friday, October 7, 2011

The King's Coin

The King’s Coin is a brightly-shining, yellowish star that forms the "pommel" of the sword in the Swordsman constellation in the late summer sky. It is traditionally said to foretell the lives of Faerun's rulers. Many tales through the ages tell of the Coin glowing brightly at the birth of rulers destined for greatness. A few fables even tell stories of the Coin disappearing from the night sky upon the death of a monarch or hero. In recent years, the King's Coin has become a prominent symbol in the religion of Siamorphe, the deity of nobles and nobility, and members of her faith have taken to adding its image to their heraldic devices, especially in and around Waterdeep. (The star's "proper" name, Imadain, is believed to come from the ancient Imaskari, meaning "Lucky Star of the King")

Tales from Kara Tur

Ting Mie Wan was of sharp mind, ruthless intent and driven beyond any woman in the history of the far east. Born into the criminal underworld of Kara Tur, she developed an uncontrolled lust for power and domination; Ting Mie Wan is ever watchful for any means to take action that will put her in line for greater dominance. Through her training she developed a fiery tongue in the arena of politics as well as dominion over air in the Emerald Halls of Chan Cheng, the martial god.

During the night of the weeping moon, tears fell to the lesser immortals: Jade Ladies, Moon Women, Spirit Warriors, and Rice Spirits; these immortals give voice to the prime immortals what serve the Celestial Emperor. One such Spirit Warrior came in the form of Okuma, a maddened spirit-touched samurai of brass and iron; touched by the spirit of Sunichi Mukai, legend says to be the spirit of the Swordsman.

The Swordsman watched from its celestial post, as a magical emerald fell into Okuma possession. The gemstone was instrumental as Okuma was hastily elevated among his peers, despite his crazed fits of rage; thanks to his cunning, otherworldly protection and astounding luck. These promotions attracted the attention of Ting Mie Wan whose ambitions fell no shorter than sitting on the Dragon Thrown and overlooking all of Kara Tur as Okuma led legions of Spirit Warriors in her name to dominance in the east.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Darkwell

The full moon burned in the waters within the ancient grove giving it a haunting, pale illumination. Surrounding the grove are trees frozen in time, old as creation. Tangles, briars, and thorns blanket the ground such that no animal would risk trespassing for fear of injury. Until this moment none had entered the forgotten Moonwell grove for centuries.

Bare feet created short snapping sounds as thorns were broken and briars snapped. Illmater, the crying god, began to leave steadily darkening bloody prints as he approached the Moonwell. Lured to the well, the naked and broken god walked with steady serenity, drinking in the history and power of this ageless place. As Illmater reached the edge of the waters, the full moon above fell briefly behind a cloud casting the grove into an unnatural darkness. The once pale radiance yielded to a penetrating gloom that seemed to come from within the pool. Deep within the clouded waters the Talisman sent its ka into the avatar, flooding it with terrible evil and corruption.

Above as the moon reappeared Illmater was assaulted physically, beaten mentally, and tortured spiritually with dark and sinister weapons that mortally wounded the god spilling his blood into the pool: anarchy, suffering, murder, suffering, greed… Illmater’s dyeing thoughts were to repay humanity for all the suffering he himself endured- so that agony would not overwhelm the innocent so they could die with dignity.

Time passes as the god’s lifeless mortal avatar lay in the ancient grove; its upper half submerged and its lower half draped over the edge of the Darkwell. Blood and darkness stained the still waters and when the full moon revisits the grove, life surges into the creature, evil and animalistic. The beast drank from the Darkwell allowing the Talisman to mount the werewolf, for that is what it was now. Dead was the crying god and in its place was the instrument the Talisman will wield its malevolent influence… for now.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Damian Speaks

Four months ago I left Waterdeep a mortal nobleman blessed with the blood of an ancient royal line sure of his place in the world and confident in his ability to dominate, if not the world, then surely the lands that his royal bloodline once ruled. Joined together with not only my brother but seven others sharing the same Samular bloodline, we traveled the western lands to meet our fate and on that note we were completely successful.

Three months ago, The Company of the Nine lost their battle with a ferocious green dragon Marshana and all were captured save two of our women Briar and Eva. Eva escaped through the ingenious use of a rare magical item, though she was trapped just as surely as the rest, just protected and safe. Briar escaped and waited for her opportunity to assist our escape should we survive. For two months the captured seven of whom I was one, experienced the worst of torture, the victims of several cult members that worship the dragons of Toril.

One month ago our opportunity arose and we shook free our bonds and rose up against our enemies. Defeating those who had remained and killing one of the Dragon captors, we began the slow process of healing and traveling back to Waterdeep. Our company was forever changed, the people we were when we left Waterdeep, were no more, our personality and mentality completely altered by the crucible of our torture. The cost and sacrifice of who and what we are now so much better understood, the romanticism of youth stripped away and the reality of our burden now clear to us. When we could pull ourselves away from introspection, we began to notice the world was not quite the same as we remembered it either. The comet that had been seen in the sky those months before had moved across the sky, to the naked eye appearing as if it would crash into the moon, its tail shattering and falling to earth. On the trail of the Blue Dragon who escaped our wrath we took cover in the ruins of a forgotten city. It was here we found our fate not to be wrapped up in mortal concerns but in fact part of the plans of the gods themselves. My own brother Bordane brought about the death of the gods of magic and fulfilled the gods fall to Toril. The world was not the same one we had left all those months ago.

Two weeks ago two of our members fell to the charms of the gods, their trail leading us to the circle of stones where I would claim the destruction aspect, winning a battle of wills with my father that revealed a much greater struggle for power. The machinations of the gods worked their wills over all of those bearing the Samular bloodline, some of our members dying, and others thriving, even altering the god’s plans to our own. Eva has survived the last ditch survival effort of the god Myrkul, giving birth to his undead progeny and destroying it, laying claim to his aspect and powers. A lifetime of misunderstanding and mistrust has caused her to keep her gift secret until the last which is understandable considering the treatment and fear she has been exposed to all her life. When those of us with aspects stand near, I hear the prayers of the followers of fallen gods and I wonder if Eva has always heard.

Today this is a new world we have awoken in, the old rules and old ways are no more. All the trappings of life are lifted from our shoulders, this year & one day is our last race, one that when we win, we will reshape this world to our images and desires. Eva is much more a sister to Bordane and I than any blood family she has. She need not worry; morals and social ethics are no more. We race to claim what the gods have lost; the wants and needs of mortal Toril are a waste of time. I no longer am concerned with who is a Harper, a Zhent, a priest, or a magician, although I will bring destruction to them all. I am concerned with winning this race and placing our Samular Legacy in the heavens. I know that our ancient enemies the dragons have the lifespan, memory, and possessions to understand what is occurring and manipulate it to their advantage. I suspect that all those years ago when our ancestors stood against the draconic brood it was for a similar cause. Our strength lies in our royal blood and alliance. It shall carry us unto the stars.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Stoalzaner

Stoalzaner: The Stoalzaner are a crossbreed of purebred riding and war-horse races that have the best qualities of both. The Stoalzaner are faster than war-horses and tougher than riding horses, with an outstanding degree of endurance making it a perfect cavalry mount. The Stoalzaner has a distinguished appearance, usually appearing in the colors white and light gray, and occasionally bay. It is a compact horse with excellent proportions, and usually stands at 15.2 hands. The mane and tail are abundant, and the breed has a flat or slightly convex nose, small ears, and its head is set on a substantial neck. The chest is quite massive and the quarters are lean. They can ride harder and longer than other breeds without rest. The Stoalzaner, like mules, are sterile. Only Rorth Baldaskyr and Ohm ‘Steelhand’ Oglyntyr of Ahphail, both freeholders; independent ranchers; and members of the Horseman’s Association know how to breed this race.