Friday, December 30, 2011

Tales of The Shadow Thieves (The Chess Emporium)

After descending the stairs Bryan Kormallis sat down with his two fellow conspirators and began to roll a smoke; it capped off a night with his favorite woman of the night nicely. Opposite the table from Bryan was Wykkar; a highborn human from Balder’s Gate who wore his customary high-collared black cloak and rapier, and ‘Greywolf’; Fairborn from the Empires of the Sands who’s senses bordered on the supernatural; he sported twin daggers or maybe they were shortswords- Bryan did not honestly know, for both weapons were invisible. It was their task to see that Shadow Thief influence returns to the City of Splendors. To this end they have forged many partnerships and accords over the summer with certain key city guilds, factions and churches not adversely affected by the Time of Troubles

Bryan watched as the women descend to the common room, she seemed not to badly worn-out. She went to the richly polished bar and after a moment handed him his favorite libation before sitting on his lap. “We’ve had the pleasure toots- now I have business, my gratitude for the drink and your affections. Now if you please…” The look Bryan gave the woman told her the rest.

Bryan watched her curvaceous form recede into the background of the Chess Emporium; turning he saw both Wykkar and Greywolf likewise fixed on the woman’s toned form.

“If you two can break from the enchantment you are clearly under we can palaver.” Bryan Kormallis said impatiently. Both composed themselves and while one spoke the other wrote and vice versa. Bryan usually waited to make his entry in the Journey Book until the other two were finished; he liked to read them before closing the book thereby delivering it to the master of shadows.

“I am certain the cult of the dragon is working towards elevating and creating a Pantheon of Dragons and not just any dragons Bryan…” Wykkar’s tone entertained no folly in his briefing.

“We need to hasten efforts to find aspects for Kalina.” Bryan said, his muscles flexing as if responding to his unconscious demand for action.

“I concur, but their original end game eludes me.” Wykkar agreed lifting his glass to drain the rest of his ale. He motioned for another round to be served and after a time the three were refilled and refreshed.

“I will continue to monitor the sages you indicated as suspect and hope someone will make a mistake.” Wykkar said. “Mayhap I’ll have something when your daughter’s ka-tet returns from Amphail.”

“I have sent Kalina with a message to our Shadow Theif in Amphail, with instructions to bring back their support for the cause.” Bryan said, knowing a healthy cut of profits is expected.

Finished, Greywolf slid the Journey Book to Wykkar.

“I have some news on your remodeler.” Greywolf said with a wry grin, speaking obviously of the encounter Bryan had trouble remembering even to this day. Bryan held the smoke from his weed and sat up. “Yea? And.”

“Well,” Greywolf continued. “I watched and conducted business in the ‘Castle-lantern’ districts and saw the man you described speaking with one of that family’s members… but it gets better.” Greywolf loved his theatrics, “After following them and overhearing them when I could; I wanted to look at them more closely. I suspect the Cassalanter family is in part or wholly infiltrated by scaly-kind... yaunti. How that relates to your attack I don’t know, unless he was one of them…”

A hush fell over the table; they simultaneously finished their respective drinks and raised their glasses indicating another, drawing looks from other patrons at their unrehearsed, synchronized movements.

After tipping for the round Greywolf began again, “What I could make out from their conversations was loose gossip about symptoms of some kind of frost plague that are being reported around the North, they spoke about it with reverence and was confident it will spread south using winter to facilitate the contagion.” Greywolf took on an incredulous look. “How can this be?”

“We should begin stockpiling antitoxins before word gets out! I will start building rapport with everyone who has ever had a chemistry set.” Wykkar said reacting to the opportunity this presented then returned his attention to the Journey Book.

It was Bryan’s turn to share what he knew. “I am getting closer to the inner clerics of Gond- while I don’t know the specifics of it all, I would bet Kingslayer they intend to eliminate magic to usher in a time of industry and steam. I know not how, but am sure it is so. I will have to admit I do not know how I feel about it, but one thing is certain- gods of magic or not, no one ascends before my daughter and her ka-tet.”

“I’ll drink to that!” “Here here!” “L’chaim!”

Bryan downed his mug, finished his smoke, and began to make his Journey Book entry… 
The woman Kiiri the Colorful continues to impress, she was successful in bringing Norsinnow into the organization. The overall goal for us is to quickly fill the void created by the Samular Seven to create competition between noble houses.

Norsinnow has acquired dominion over stone and competition and has agreed to stock the Field of Triumph with adversaries to challenge any qualified Noble champion; man vs. man- not man against monsters. Such grand events in Waterdeep will likely elevate certain nobility or bring them to shame in front of the whole city, nevertheless; it will gather a lot of power and riches in the same place at the same time. We will be mired in possibilities! Events planned will be more frequent at the arena like the Efreetum in Calimport- not just held every season or two as under the Brokengulf family…

After a few more brief lines of script, Bryan produced a bulging leather pouch of illegal augmentation crystals from the mines of Waterdeep and placed it upon the open Journey Book. When he was sure no one was watching he closed the book on the message and the leather pouch; when it shut the book was not hindered by the pouch- it closed completely transporting gemstones, pouch and message to the Master of Shadows.

Tales from the Host Tower of the Arcane

Kyrrolla’s view from the sixth level of the Host Tower was spectacular; the snowcapped Spine of the World Mts. to the north; the icy Trackless Sea to the west; and in the distance she could see thick patches of snow covering the higher buildings of Luskan. The panoramic view did not however; repress her wander lust as the sorceress often found it hard to remain in one place for long. Before coming to the Host Tower under the guidance of Karlott, she traveled Faerun in search of rare magic and exotic sorcerer bloodlines; she recorded all her findings in a journal that, since the godsfall, has taken on an aspect of… Knock. Knock. Two even raps at the door roused the sorceress from her day dream.  

As she strode towards the door and her unknown caller; she lightly touched her small crystal ball, a felled gemstone from the sky, it floated in air trailing closely behind her. She reached the door and peered through the gem of seeing set in the portal’s center to see… nothing? Alarmed, she launched into practiced spell casting of protective magics about her when suddenly- the door to her apartment ceased to exist. Light beamed into her abode and in walked a man of unexceptional stature, and nonthreatening of appearance, but coercive and insidious, it was Karlott.
No wonder she could not perceive him, she knew well of his amulet of proof against detection and location; no one could perceive him unless he wanted them to. His face was pallid but not gaunt; his hair, as white as his robes, fell straight and on his head sat a mithril crown forged by a githyanki sorcerer- before the aberration exodus. Once he was clear of the threshold the door returned.

Karlott knew his visit to the sorceress elevated her among her peers, and took pleasure in the level of influence he was gaining at the Host Tower. Sorcerers possessed a like mind and recognized the importance of pure bloodlines.  Pleased at his reception Karlott took stock of the abode; the view of Luskan; and finally the sorceress.

 “Eternal One! It pleases me greatly to see you. You have caught me unawares I admit, please allow me to prepare something to facilitate our palaver.” Kyrrolla moved to her capacious office where a secret chest held what she desired. Producing an elixir containing a clear gelatinous substance, she began to fill two shot glasses. Deducing the purpose of Karlott’s visit she began to exaggerate her progress of the task he placed her on not that long ago.

“I have succeeded in the blockade effort as you commanded. Several posts are in place along the road and mounted scouts patrol a mile off the road north and south to make sure no one attempts an overland route. No ore will be coming out from Mirabar, not at least until the thaw.”

Karlott regarded her closely, “Excellent, that is only a piece of the great tapestry; more is required to assure success. Damn the gods and their folly! I will have to focus my efforts in making sure their mischief do not ruin centuries of planning. With regret I am forced to rely on others to carry out most other tasks.” Implication was heavy in his tone.

Kyrrolla nodded her understanding and handed him one of the shot glasses. “To success.” She offered, they toasted, and they drank. The libation slid down his throat, it was like swallowing a malleable ice cube and it tasted like burning black licorice.

Karlott continued. “I have seen to the war alliance; the War Chieftans of Rauthym, Turen, and the Whalebone settlements have acknowledged High Captain Taerl of Luskan as War Lord. They agreed to focus their hostilities on a common foe. Already they make preparations for a spring offensive on the Sword Coast.” He pointed out said coast on a nearby map for added impact.

He looked at Kyrrolla, “In Luskan, there is a tet of gunslingers recently arrived from Waterdeep; they come insisting reparations be made for the attack on Leilon.” Karlott explained when Kyrrolla responded,

“Peace keepers of the realm!” She mocked. “Did you know they have the impudence to demand fifteen…”

“I know. I also know how to respond to these primates with pistols; primitive ‘knights’ who do not possess even a trace of a true bloodline!” Karlott assured her. "This is how I want you to deal with them…”

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oracle of the Deities

One of the seven dead gods of magic, Boccob, was steadfastly neutral in relation to his colleagues. His titles included the Uncaring, Lord of Summoning, and Oracle of the Deities. Boccob was a distant deity who promoted no special agenda in the world of mortals. As a god of magic and knowledge, he was venerated by many arcane spellcasters, conjurists, sages and seers. He was commonly worshiped in Sembia and Ravens Bluff. The domains Boccob was also associated with were Mind, and Trickery; together they promoted social mind games in sagely circles. The quarterstaff is was weapon of choice.

In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods. As such it is a form of divination.

Granted Powers:
*The Sight: At 5th level you adds a +2 sacred bonus to the save DC of all of her Divination spells.

*Assured Prediction (Su): At 9th level, you may roll twice and take the better result when using divination spells such as augury or divination.

*Trap Sense (Su): At 13th level, you gain an intuitive sense that alerts her to danger from traps, giving her a +2 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +2 dodge bonus to AC against attacks by traps.

*Never Suprised (Su): At 17th level, your sensitivity to near future events is so great that she is never surprised.

Aspect Spells: 1st—identify, 2nd—augury

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The appearance of ' BloodLust'

Kallina, Briar and Arsten were all enjoying a mug with Bordane, who was gritting his teeth as he was trying to explain why the barbarians to the north were so worthy of hatred from the more civilized nobles of Waterdeep. A pair of northmen were drinking at the bar, and the they were teasing a third man, their companion it was surmised, for being hornswaggled by a thing they called Fewmaster Toade. Apparently the man hac been drunk and robbed blind, but the repeated mention of this Toade had simply pushed Bordane into a fit sarcasm and ridicule for "ridiculous superstition", until he demanded to know who or what this Toade was about.

Briar jumped at the chance to share some of this very old, yet still alive fairy tale.
"Fewmaster Toade is equal parts fairy tale and boogey man in the tales from the tribes of the north. In most tales, he is a clever and powerful hobgoblin trickster, though he has the power to take several other forms. His most common form was a giant frog, but in almost every legend told of this evil trickster, he drinks a magic elixir that allows him to grow as tall as a frost giant. This is his favorite trick, and he uses it to bash opponents and grow stronger than anything in his path. Through the ages, he is said to roam the roads and trails of the north selling potions and robbing and killing customers who won't buy."

Briar basked in the attention of her friends and continued " Even today children are threatened with being sold to Fewmaster when they misbehave, young lovers are warned of the night potion peddler on their midnight trysts, and people that become lost or missing are assumed to be victims of his swords lust for murder."

She let that hang in the air for a bit savoring the look in Bordanes eye as this tale finally caught his interest. She leaned forward as he arched an eyebrow, and went on.
" Fewmaster had learned of a mighty warrior in the tribes, a warrior so fierce that many thought he could call his own horde, and found a new clan. Well, Toade believed that all this warriors power came from his sword, so Fewmaster devised a plot to trick him out of it. Toade prepared two potions for the battle. One of course was to change him to giant size, but the other was enchanted to make the drinker be driven mad. This one he tied to his vest with a loose string. He then went to the warriors village and began to hurl insults at the warrior and his family.It did not take long for the warrior to anser the challenge, and as he drew his legendary sword called 'BloodLust' swore to kill Toade where he stood. Toade answered the cry by drinking his growth potion, leaving the trick potion in plain sight. The warrior sees the potion and quickly changes his tactics to snatch the potion and drink it so that he too becomes the size of a giant. Of course, he is instead immediately stricken with madness, and Toade is able to wrestle the blade free, only to taste for the first time the holy rage with in the sword. The blade chopped the warriors body until it lay in many pieces. Only then would the sword allow itself to be sheathed. And Fewmaster Toade has worn 'BloodLust' ever after as his weapon of choice."

Bordane sat, silently impressed that she could spin tales that didn't have a happy ending , or even a positive message. His smile was cut short, howevere, as Briar leaned in with another mug and asked him oh so sweetly " Will Azriel be coming to
Amphail with us Bordane? I think she brings out the best in you!!"

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ascending to Knighthood

To ascend as a Knight of the Firelance and become Tet under Sai Piergerion of the Eld (as in Eldrich blood): a *Gunslinger must swear to abide Sai Piergeiron as dinh; leader of the Ka-Tet. Furthermore...

A Knight should have demonstrable personal *grit and expertise that has been largely learned through apprenticeship under a sponsoring Firelance Knight.

A Knight should be human and reside in Waterdeep except when on campaign or under orders from the Dinh.

A gunslinger must display proficiency at crafting firearms and gunsmithing skills by crafting their own firearm.

The firearm, a gunslingers weapon, must be forged from a magical sword (or equivalent) of at least 20,000 gp. value. (Symbolizing the forever sheathing of the sword for the way of the gun.)

A Firelance Knight must possess the requisite leadership qualities and tactical skills that are nessessary in the theater of politics and on the field of battle.

The Firelance Gunslinger should play a prominent role in one or more combat, protection, and or war oriented faiths like Tempus, Torm, and or Helm.

A Gunslinger Knight must have a sizable personal or house garrison of no less than two-hundred fifty warriors; of which one must enlist and be tested as possible gunslinger apprentice. (this is Arsten Thunderstaff)

Finally a Knight should conform to the wearing of Dragon hide armor- obtained only by the gunslinger killing a dragon and crafting the armor from its scales. Not by mercantile exchange. As well as duties, errands and post as assigned by the Dinh.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tauren Tarm

The Horseman, The Charging Knight, The Gypsy Lord

Samular Companions, my brethren ascendants, I still hold fast to my faith in Tymora, and intend to restore her to the heavens. But I now intend to escort her when I take my place amongst the Samular Pantheon with You. I shall seek to appeal to a range of worshippers including cavaliers, horse cultures, travelers, merchants, bards, fighters of all trades, courtesans, and passion driven nobility.

Luck – Make your own luck, and make the most of it when luck favors you. Never blame another’s good luck as “bad luck” for you.

Chaos - Chaos is. All reality, every situation, every unique moment is in constant flux. The way of things dictates that this is always so and will always be.

Protection – The love of your life, the fruit of your loins, the friends that you keep, the parents who taught you love, the things you have gathered, the ideals that keep you strong, the place you call home and the nobility that provides for it’s civilized advancement. All these things are worth protecting, and they deserve your devotion to their protection.

Travel – Commerce and diplomacy are what builds economies and beneficial trade agreements. That makes travel between cities and kingdoms alike of utmost importance. In a military sense, a power that maneuvers the transfer of large groups of militia efficiently and quickly can often dominate conflicts with superior numbers and supplementary troops.

Animal – Man has ever held dominion over animals, and he should. Use beasts of burden, hunting dogs, ravens that fly unerringly, hounds of war. Yet, hold one animal above all others. Let the horse be treated as the nobility of the animals that serve us. The horse has borne us from the time of the first fires, and shall carry us to the heavens.

Wealth – To amass wealth is to gather resources. Resources that can be used to accumulate any thing from political influence to appointments to nobility, to garrison troops to protect the wealth you have earned, or any other goal you have dedicated yourself to. Wealth is a station of nobility.

Glory – Let your deeds be legends, and let there be songs sung of you after you pass. Aspire to such success as you can imagine, and pursue that aspiration unto making it so. Do not be shy of relating the glory of deeds you have performed. Neither be shy of recording such deeds as you have witnessed, by song or by tale. Tell the stories of your times, relay the glories to the masses, and become part of the glory that shapes cultures and makes nations.

Lust – Lust is life’s truest reward. There is no more divine moment than that of release, and there is no need more human. It is more than the compulsion to breed; it is the desire to consume something so alluring, beautiful, immaculate. It is to assuage your every desire as you wish. Vanquish your lust, drink in your desires, for to deny yourself is to make you a prisoner of what you desire.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Talisman of Pure Good (Azure)

In a celestial divergence to its counterpart; the seven aspects of good came down not as one, but as seven talismans.
After the shattering of domains as aspects upon the Realms, so too was the aspect of good into seven like parts; each a unique shape but equally apart of a whole.

The Talisman referred to itself as Azure; yes it was blue and it was unique from its siblings because it also knew individuality. It knew danger and it knew the possibilities, evil was in play and only with all its components could Azure hope to bring the world back into balance. Azure believed that if evil is allowed to prevail at the end of the year and a day- there would be a prominence of evil deities in the halls of the new pantheon.

The Talisman sees its path before it very well and after a time it calls out for it must have allies; agents for the good of the Realm.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oh Snap! 2

The cold was a tenacious bitch and still slapped the air with halting severity, but the turmoil that raged the Trackless Sea had abated.  

The West Watch was once again stage to the theater of combat.

The plesiosaurs had been washed away along with their Umberlee riders; their cries to the bitch queen forever silenced. The former Agundar Talos guards- warrior zealots- were at the moment meeting their end at the hands of Eva’s summoned undead.

Upon these sands, the Samular Company of Seven took two more steps up the celestial staircase.

From farther north, where the sea meets the stone edifice and Waterdeep’s cliff wall; dozens of strange hair-less individuals were flooding into the ocean. They were intent in purpose. Unclothed save for a wide riveted belt; each carried large tridents with tips that flicker like light of the surface of water. 

To catch a killer... 2

Reginald Ophidian approached the purveyor of the haberdashery and flashed him a serpent’s eye and a forked tongue. With a quickness Reginald doubted he could have matched, Bryan Kormallis produced Knightslayer and swung for the upper deck. Reginald dropped to his back in a roll that placed him fifteen feet away from the mace wielder; then with the strength of an ogre he lifted a nearby weapon rack and hurled it at the human. Weapons clanged against each other; glass shattered as the heavy rack broke apart upon impact with the inside wall of the workshop.

Diving to his left putting himself between his daughters and this hulking attacker; Bryan waited for the brute to advance. Instead, Reginald looked around for clues and when he found it he retrieved it.

“You craft ammunition using this blacksmith.” Reginald accused, more than asked. He threw the masterwork tools at the man; they broke as Bryan blocked the incoming artillery. “If you value your life and lively hood blacksmith then I suggest you tell me who you make them for.” Letting the magic of his ring infuse his words with powerful influence, Bryan visibly relaxed and began to speak at length.

Satisfied, Reginald turned toward the city streets when something caught his eye. Lying among the debris was a small lock box, broken open, and with its former contents spilled on the floor; a handful of green and red weapon and armor crystals. They sparkled up at Reginald.  He gathered them with a dragon-like appetite.