Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Journal entry, Tauren Tarm

My thoughts have woken me early this morning. My excitement is already building. It is Friday morning and although our Grand Ball isn't' until tomorrow evening, the party starts today!! To have Heilean beside me as the sun rises is a blessing beyond what even I dream of. I have told her of my plan to take dominion of lust tonite, but she has yet to tell me if she wishes to accompany me to the carnal feast I have in mind. I am curious and excited to meet my mystery hostess. Hasar assures me that I will be most pleased to meet her, and I feel a certain call to lust when I imagine her. I am greatly anticipating the consummation of my newest aspect.

I am hopeful my visit to Mama Cass will find all of my horse charms finished. I think they will make fine gifts for my closest followers, including one for Fallon. He has proven himself to be a stalwart friend and an apt cohort. In fact, it was his suggestion that I adopt a rampant stallion as my symbol, and that is the style the charms and amulets are fashioned in.

I am most pleased to have finally gotten through to Roby Assumbar. Rusher will have a presentation area close to the entrance, so that guests will be able to visit him and I can show him off. The look on her face when I told her I wanted him to have a waltz was priceless. She thought I was serious!

My orations have been going well at temple. The congregation really seems to be developing a renewed excitement. I am very pleased with the number of young horsemen and horsewomen that have volunteered to take guard shifts at the church. I have given 500 coin to Arina to dispense wages. I think I will repeat the same call today, the call for able warriors to arms for Luck, and make it the temple's message all week long.

I definitely feel fate and power in the air, ready to be seized.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Law and Retribution

The paladin dismounted his griffon and with the strength of a dozen bulls, opened the great doors to the temple and entered; the tall shining bronze man was followed by his closest friend, a dwarf-priest of Law. As the paladin entered the inner chamber of his temple, he unsheathed his sword with a ring of steel on steel, and in a whirl of thrusts, twists, and slashes he drove the blade into the stone floor with a thunderous crash. In doing so, Tyrinon Cassalanter paladin of Tyr, went to one knee before the statue of his god; a marble representation of a handsome, highborn blind-warrior who was missing its right hand. In the remaining left the statue held a massive war hammer topped with a set of golden balanced scales. The statue of the Even-Handed regarded his paladin passively and without emotion despite the tantrum.

Tyrinon served his temple in any task the Even-Handed set before him; protecting The Halls of Justice, spreading words of law and virtue, or journeying forth to crusade for the church. Never was he selfish in is prayers, today Tyrinon will ask something from his god.

Tyrinon had just returned from escorting his beloved, Gloriana and her cat familiar ‘genie’ back to her wizards abode. Tyrinon remembered how excited Gloriana was and how she could not wait to tell her peers at Order of Magists and Protectors what fortune befell upon her, especially the wizardess Syndra Wands. Gloriana desired nobility and the aristocratic lifestyle above all else; she believed she was at the threshold of an opportunity like no other. Tyrinon warned her that pride in such things only lead to ruin- as Gloriana soon discovered because as she informed her colleagues about her exclusive invitation to the Higharvestide Samular Ball, it was unceremoniously rescinded- no explanation.

Distraught with worry, Gloriana must both lie and create a web of deceit to ameliorate her in the eyes of her associates or admit in disgrace that the invitation was withdrawn. They were both dishonored in the aristocracy of Waterdeep; the church of Justice and Retribution; and possibly within the judgments of their families.

Clearing his thoughts, Tyrinon donned his blue and purple colors of office and placed the pure white sash of paladin-hood reverently about him. In the rear of the Halls, the dwarf-priest entered and reverently assisted the paladin. Finally Tyrinon put on the Judges Gauntlets; white on the left hand, black on his right. Tyrinon prayed deeply for a blessing and the authority to correct this insult and deliver proper vengeance.

After the seventh utterance of his prayer, the stone beneath Tyrinon and the dwarf began to shake; it was the statue, it was beginning to move. The dwarf, Gunthar Ironbeard and Tyrinon Cassalanter bowed their heads to the Maimed god. The statue, instead of speaking or animating exploded in a cloud of powder-like dust revealing to the priest and the paladin two holy aspects of Tyr.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Boxing Day

Boxing Day traditionally occurs on Vrijdag; it precedes many highborn festivities and events when wealthy lords in Waterdeep would give a box containing a gift or a token of favor to their servants, guards, and squires.

Waterdeep tradition states that generous gifts to house butlers, bondsmen, and task masters will ensure white glove treatment of guests and top shelf service from their staff the following night.

On Samstag, the seventh and last day of the week, is when the aristocrats of Waterdeep often choose to gather to arrange or perform marriages, hold formal functions, and basically celebrate the pleasures and esteem that accompany nobility in the Realms.

This year the Samular Heirs will hold such an affair of community on Highharvestide in Castle Waterdeep.

Highharvestide is a holiday of feasting to celebrate the autumn harvest; it also marks a time of journeys. Emissaries, pilgrims, adventurers, and everyone else eager to make speed traditionally leave on their journeys the following day - before the onset of winter.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Melairkyn

Raine Wands did not spend a lot of time in the City of the Dead.  The ignorant believed that daylight would protect them against some of the many dangers there.  Raine knew better.  Events however demanded his visiting the city park and grave yard.  The first report only indicated that the Wands crypt had been damaged.  His assistant Clarice was dispatched to determine the damage and arrange for repairs.  Since the death of the Agundar captain who had watched over the graveyard, minor items such as damage to graves, shrines, and crypts were no longer handled and dealt with.  These minor worries carried heavy emotional baggage for many noble families and the Wands in this regard were no different.  When Clarice reported that the magical wards that protected the crypt had been not only pierced but destroyed, Raine knew he must investigate.

Raine, though practiced at hiding his emotions, could not help but stand dumbstruck at the what he saw.  The crypt wasn’t damaged, it was destroyed.  The ground in 10 yards all around the crypt was broken and ripped apart.  Clarice interrupted Raine’s thoughts arriving with two grave diggers who claimed to have seen what happened.
“Well met sir, well met, it was yesterday morning sir, myself and weasel here, sorry sir that’s our nickname for him, Wesley is his name, we were working hard at digging two graves over there sir near your crypt.” The nervous workman continued, “There was the worst sound, something clapped, and then it was as if there was an earthquake but only in the area you see here sir.”  The gravedigger paused looking over at Wesley who was nodding in the affirmative.  “This sphere appeared, big and red sir, as tall as the crypt’s two stories, with half of it burning and churning at the ground.”  “It was HOT!” Wesley interjected which set the other grave digger to nodding.
“Continue please” smiled Raine, despite his anger at Clarice for making him listen to the uneducated rabble. Clarice knew his master’s moods and started directing the two workers statements so that they would get to the point.
“Well sir, nervous I am sorry, sir it was the darndest thing, I thought for sure that giant red glow would grow and kill us all but after the initial heat died down, well people stepped out of the glow sir.”
“They was DWARVES!” exclaimed Wesley the weasel, “Thousands of them! And they weren’t hurt by the fire!  They were covered in silvery items and they just started going down sir, into the earth beneath your old crypt.  It was like the ground wasn’t even there for them or it burned away around them.”
The two grave diggers continued their explanations but Raine stopped listening once the silvery items were described.  His mind cast back to his early education on Waterdeep and its history.  The original dwarves of Undermountain, The Melairkyn, mined the mountain for mithral. Those locals that knew their history believed the Melairkyn to have been defeated and destroyed by Drow between 34DR and 211DR.  Raine had always doubted that belief and several years before had studied the dwarves hoping to discover a lost vein of mithral or treasures of the clan.  What he discovered however was that King Melair IV had sent a legion of his best men away in 32DR to battle a Red Dragon of enormous power.  For three years Raine had searched for the answer of where the last King sent the lost legion.  Although he never discovered where the King sent them, he did learn the name of the dragon they were sent to fight, Edomira, “The Red Watcher”. 
Raine was only just realizing his mistake when he learned the dragon’s name.  Raine had believed the Legion to be dead,  the dragon they spoke of was a mythic great wyrm said to be the leader of all Chromatic dragons whose lair was on the elemental plane of fire.   Raine left his assistant and the grave diggers behind to return home and ponder the return of Melairkyn Lost Legion.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vattaan Harpell

Vattaan Harpell was not flighty. He wasn’t capricious, eccentric, peculiar, absent-minded, silly, or ridiculous on any level. He wasn’t even a wizard.

In a family of widely acknowledged screwballs, he often felt out of place within his family. He often felt his family thought of him as plain, and perhaps a bit simple. But not his uncle Malchor. Vattaan jumped at the chance to fulfill his apprenticeship at his Tower of Twilight as a man-at-arms and house guard. Malchor appreciated the power and strength of men, and respected especially men who applied that strength and power in the defense of others. It was perhaps Malchor’s recollections of Waterdeep that inspired Vattaan to start dreaming of the City of Splendors. Vattaan surprised himself at how quickly he made his decision to leave, surprised himself still more when he rode through his hometown of Longsaddle late at night without stopping to say so much as hello to family and neighbors. His noble beginnings allowed him to carry the best of equipment. His scale mail armor bore his family crest, and its matching shield completed a set of masterwork quality defenses. His bastard sword, also expertly crafted, was the perfect blade for scattering enemies before him, wading into conflict astride a magnificent warhorse. He didn’t think twice when he “stole” an extra horse from his uncle’s stable the morning he left.

Riding through the north towers into Waterdeep was the most exhilarating excitement he had ever felt. It truly was a jewell to behold from the road. He recognized the Thunderstaff banners in the parapets as a fellow wizarding family by tradition, and knew beyond doubt that his fate truly did reside here in this magnificent city. His eyes and ears were overwhelmed, but he drank in every detail, He had the excitement of youth and the energy of years of pent up boredom. As he explored the city he was drawn to a magnificent church. Music erupted from it, as did a voice, strong and confident. The voice was speaking of the need for noble sons to defend the church and its peoples. The congregation was at the same time reverent and exuberant. A woman, striking and stern stood up to answer the call for defenders, and the cleric rejoiced in her decision. She was the only one to speak that morning from the congregation, but her actions inspired Vattaan. He longed to protect and serve something beyond his simple existence. Mayhap, this place, and this woman.

Vattaan Harpell was bold. He was confident, skilled, practiced, instinctive, decisive and noble. He was a fighter.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


“I am happy with this list as it is Tauron.” Briar said as she began to pass the guest list to Kalina; then Briar seemed to change her mind because she reclaimed the list and began to write something next to her mother’s name.

“I want to dedicate a performance to my mother at some point in the night. I want to appeal to Reverend Luckjoy and his healing aspect; mother does not venerate Tymora however, mayhap the seventh generation of Samular does not need to terminate with the seven of us. I shall begin composing a song, it will be amazing….” At last Briar handed the parchment to Kalina.

After a moment of reading, Kalina turned a quizzical eye to everyone gathered about. “My friends, I’ll not suffer any Cassalanter at our event!” She insisted, determination set deep in her eyes; her charm aspect simmering, waiting for release. “I know what you are going to say Bordane, ‘keep our friends lose and enemies closer’…” She looked at Bordane and then recovered her composure when she realized Damian was gripping his weapon tighter; her impassioned words never failed to excite him. Men?!

“We have long suspected and have even seen proof of their falsification of historical texts, specifically in regards to our own linages down to King Samular himself. Impersonating as Samular descendants for reasons that remain unknown to us, makes them suspect; treason against the crown. Their interference was in the past but their original motives may still exist.” Kalina said and turned to Damian.

“They are contracted with the Ten-Thousand Trade Kings which publically exists to insinuate themselves into the mithril industry in the north. Furthermore, they venerate Waukeen, a power that has not shown us to be worthy of associating with. Instead we find them infiltrated by a crazed lamia and they continue to prove hostile to Tymora in Waterdeep and in Yartar; lest not forget that my father has reliable information that the Cassalanter family are infiltrated by scaly-kind to one degree or another.” Kalina had everyone’s attention now.

“We need to make a statement that speaks to all three that we will not suffer lies and misrepresentations of accord; we oppose the regulation and rationing of valuable ore; and we certainly do not see Waukeen in our vision of worthy divine powers.” To punctuate her case, Kalina produced a knife; skewered an apple from the table; raised it to her lips where she bit into its juicy flesh.

Seated at the table, a single candle and the remains of dinner remained companionably; Arsten at last stared down at the parchment; the sheet was partially filled with various names, possible churches and the titles of potential guests for the festivity. Some names, he noted, were vetoed by two or three of his ka-tet, but by in large the guest list remained intact. He had elected to be the last to peruse the register; to him this was a momentous task. Not because of its subtle difficulty but because it was a touchstone in their ascension; historians would interpret many conclusions from what he held in his hands.

Leave the capacious menu, the red carpet, and the mundane details to Robyn; he was concerned with the touchstone and wanted to somehow incorporate what his heart was telling him. Arsten naturally wanted to employ his stratagem knowledge of Waterdeep nobility to coordinate a party of tactical ploys to gain favor not only for our individual houses, but the tet as a whole.

Arsten pondered, rather than approach the register mindful of family hierarchy, or even with an eye for logical selections in regards to religious affiliation. He knew there was a way he could accomplish both while adding a new level of complexity to the event in such a way that it could hopefully throw off anyone skeptical to the motives for city unity. Personal invitations aside, Arsten focused on the invitations sent with the tet as addressee. That was the focus, he knew; what families would receive a unanimous invitation from the ka-tet of the Seven? Then it came to him in a rush of divine inspiration that drew the attention from everyone around.

On the table, Arsten laid out seven groups of assorted objects, cups and utensils to represent the variables in his planning. He arranged and rearranged, and after a time Arsten Thunderstaff presented the plan of action to his tet.

“We want to recognize individual families that cooperate and conduct trade with us; we want to recognize the families of the fallen Company of Nine; we do not want to show favoritism to any church as a matter of course because of our plans for ascension- whether we publicize it or not; furthermore, we want to convey that our morals are tested, balanced, and most important tolerant.” Arsten felt a divine surge as held the attention of his entire group; the seventh generation of the seven sons and daughters of a divine King and crusader against dragons.

“I have broken it down into seven primary sets that will achieve all our objectives in this endeavor. By extending formal group invitations to recognized and established Waterdeep organizations- so too by extension we recognize their noble members.” Arsten motioned to a cup, a spoon and a block of salt. “This is the Horseman’s Association.” He explained and pointed. “Roaringhorn, Ilzimmer, and Gundwynd; it satisfies an organization we enjoy reciprocal relationship with and these families who we would unanimously agree to associate with anyway.” Still Arsten pointed to a trio of knives opposite the first in his demonstration. “I give you The Society of Changers and Bankers; ‘no theft, nor trick, nor falsification…” he mused, quoting their credo. “The families of Artemel, Cragsmere, and Maernos.”

Arsten continued to explain the seven groups he had arranged and the prominent Waterdeep nobility associated with them.

1. Fellowship of Carters, Coachmen, and Caravan Masters: Dezlentyr, Moonstar, & Thann.
2. Horsemen’s Association: Gundwynd, Ilzimmer, & Roaringhorn.
3. Knights of the Firelance: Bladesemmer, Eagleshield & Hiilgauntlet.
4. The Shadow Thieves
5. The Society of Changers and Bankers: Artemel, Cragsmere & Maernos.
6. The Surveyor’s, Map & Chart-makers Guild (front for special interest hunters and rangers): Ilvastarr, Nesher & Ruldegost
7. The Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors: Assumbar, Eltorchul, & Wands.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oath Pistol "Remembering the face of your Father"

This +2 pistol (modified Oathbow) is a feat of gunsmithing and craftsmanship; they are typical firearms for the Knights of the Firelance, some have other properties depending on the properties of the weapon melted down to make the Oath Pistol.

Once per day, if the gunslinger swears his lesson aloud (a free action to gunslingers, a full attack action for everyone else) to an opponent. Against such a sworn enemy, the firearm has a +5 enhancement bonus, and ammunition fired from it deal an additional 2d6 points of damage (Gunslingers enjoy ×3 on a critical hit instead of the normal ×2). After an enemy has been sworn, the firearm is treated as only a masterwork weapon against all foes other than the sworn enemy, and the gunslinger takes a –1 penalty on attack rolls with any weapon other than the oath pistol.

These bonuses and penalties last for 7 days or until the sworn enemy is slain or destroyed by the wielder of the oath pistol, whichever comes first. The oath pistol may only have one sworn enemy at a time. Once the wielder swears to slay a target, he cannot make a new oath until he has slain that target or 7 days have passed. Even if the wielder slays the sworn enemy on the same day that he makes the oath, he cannot activate the oath pistol’s special power again until 24 hours have passed from the time he made the oath.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tales from Zhentil Keep

The sorcerer Randron was careful during these last moments of enchantment when mystical passes must be performed whilst forging a Ring of Blinking; one mistake or if he loses concentration, the magic will likely go awry. Randron was a drow however; decades of magical training and discipline had perfected his use of his sorcerer magic. He was unwavering in his task, it was all for power and in this pursuit Randron will prevail.

When the seven disciples learned of their impending crusade west with the Godson and after his decree that his fate- and by extension Randron’s own- lie in Waterdeep, the drow began to craft items to assist him along his path to power. With the ring now completed, he summoned Gort; it was time for the next phase of his magical item set.

Gort Ta’alen is Ireisal’s younger buffoon of a brother and secondboy to their ‘lesser’ noble house in Ched Nasad. He is an able fighter who aspires to become firstboy of house Ta’alen by the usual drow methods, assassinating his elder and getting away with it.

Randron directed his Eyewing familiar to accompany Gort on the task to gather the materials and components he needed. The Eyewing could not communicate but did understand the drow sign language and could carry out his master’s commands; Gort however, Randron had doubts.

In the dark passages blow Zhentil Keep, where sunlight is unknown, Randron expressed his needs to his familiar and Gort in silent hand and finger gestures.

I require fine masterwork textiles to fashion a robe, the best you can find; rare dies of dark hue; and seven magical gemstones- ones that fell from the sky. Make haste you two!

Randron handed Gort several exquisite gems to buy the supplies; Gort accepted them and raced to do his master’s bidding, the Eyewing flying behind- Randron would soon have the second of his set: a Robe of Stars.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Knights of Antiquity Part 6: Justice or Vengeance

Emilia Husteem knew if her brother Boreas ever discovered that she had stolen his invitation to the Samular party that he would never forgive her. Emilia had weighed her brother’s disappointment against the 5000gp she was about to claim from the Hawkwinter family; an easy decision in these times. The unique request had been delivered to her by a former house servant of Luna, her step mother. The servant, a dwarf named Worden , now worked for the Hawkwinter family and had been sent by Genos Hawkwinter. After some negotiations the price was agreed to along with a particular item Emilia had sought since learning of its creation. The item, a gem, is said to be the life’s work of a master alchemist who named it the Gem of Insight.

Emilia’s carriage arrived at the Hawkwinter’s private entrance where the familiar face of Worden stood silently waiting. No words were spoken as Worden ushered the young noblewoman into Genos’ waiting room outside his Den. Emilia was surprised to hear loud voices arguing inside the den while she waited. A voice, deep and similar to Worden’s, could be heard along with the thick brogue of Genos Hawkwinter. The door from the den burst open revealing a red faced dwarf stomping out of the office looking back to yell at a closely following Genos Hawkwinter, “There is a difference between Justice and Vengeance, I cannot believe you have involved my brother Worden in your pursuit of the latter.”

“Dackar!”, Genos cried, “please listen! The dwarf did not stay any longer to argue, cloistered in white he left the waiting area and the door Emilia had entered could be heard slamming down the hall. Genos stared after the dwarf for a moment before turning to his new guest apologizing for the scene. “Please come in my dear, I would like to see the invitation and I’m sure you would like to see the gem.”

Emilia rose and entered the Den with Genos ignoring the sounds of arguing dwarves echoing from outside.

From Amphail to Waterdeep

Arriving at the south gate, we were met by a fire lance apprentice named Dragonbait, and a priestess of Siamorphe named Arden. Kallina drew him in while they inventoried and noted all things being brought in. She learned while speaking to him some details of Sai Pergierons doings. In addition to inventory records, they are earmarking much of Amphails food stuffs for Waterdeep, apparently in preparation for the coming hardships so widely prophesied. She also discovered that Dragonbait is a cleric of gond.

We quickly went to the Roaringhorn Estates with the children and Jovena. Their uncle, the priest of Tymora, met us and spoke with us. The blinded women still had not been healed. They had decided to trasport them to Waterdeep in search of someone with the Healing Aspect. He expressed gratitude for the safe return of the children, but made no mention of the aspects they no longer held, and niether did we. He also spoke of Orkondon, a druid who had taken to night vigils at the Moonwell. He also told us that the sweetwater in the well proved to be unhealthy if consumed regularly as a main water source. We would eventually make arrangements to escort and gaurd the Roaringhorn retinue back to Waterdeep.

Next was delivering the new blood line threaded stud to the Tarm stables. Uncle Arum was hard at work improving the status of the stables and paperwork of our stock. He spoke of improving his status with the Horsemans Association, and had decided to fly their colors with our banner. He sets an area to receive our message ravens, so that their route now goes from Agundar Estates in Waterdeep to Tarm stable in Amphail. He also seemed happy with the renewed contact from Tentivil.

While Tauren and Jovena tarried, the rest of the group escorted Kallina on her father's task. It seemed the Steelhand ranch had been chosen as a sort of safe house. Leaving through the north gate, they met another apprentice gunslinger and Idana, another priestess of Siamorphe. They explained that since they were staying close, they weren't searched when leaving, but they would be upon returning. She approached alone, and a single figure handed her a satchel, and quickly closed the door. We also discovered a few horses at the house, but weren't sure how many people were in the house. Eva allowed Kallina the use of her flying broom, and she was able to sneak the satchel into the city and return to walk back through the gates with her company.

We all then reunited and went to investigate the druid and the moon well. On our way, a ruckus at Mother's arises,as an adventuring group from fifty years past suddenly appears, out of being frozen in time. It takes some time, but people begin to calm down and rekindle acquaintance, and we move on to the well. Orkondon is a shaman of the Gray Wolf tribe of Uthgardt. He had possession of the Animal aspect which caused him to be cast out from his tribe, but had seen in a vision Briar at this well taking his affliction from him, and so he came here and has waited for her. She does take Animal from him, and a pair of wolves that walked with Orkondon now walk with Briar. He agrees to spread word of her Moon powers to the women of his tribe and spread the tale of her glory to all of the tribes. He leaves, but she spends the rest of the night there, and it is agreed amongst all of us that this Moonwell is a sacred place to Briar.

The next day is a social one. We call upon the Illzimmers to have dresses made for the ladies in the group. We all decided upon black and silver to be the colors of the Samular Pantheon. Damian proposed the excellent idea of a silver 7-point crown being our symbol, and embroidered and stitched into our attire. Masterwork courtier gowns are bought for Eva, Briar, Kallina, and Jovena. Jovena's is not in the Samular black and silver, but in the crimson and gold that Tauren has chosen for his colors. The dresses all include some simple silver bracelets. We also see some of the local teens preparing for the Stag Lass running, a quaint custom involving showering the participants with beer and soured wine as the commemorate the famous run and killing of a local legend. The event usually honors one specially chosen lass, but this year it is open to all, and it is a race to claim a starstone at the bottom of the mug of "bitter beer". We make arrangements for the dresses to be shipped to waterdeep when they are done, which is the beginnings of a small caravan forming in 4 days. After the dress shop the girls spend the rest of the day at the spa and then an "evening out". The men work on various personal pastimes. The girls come across the third priestess of Siamorphe, Marith, and would later spy on her at the governors mansion. They learn that they are leaving for Waterdeep to join 3 other priestesses, each of the six holding an aspect of Siamorphe. They also see the manifestation of the spirit of Longarm atop the Great Shalarn- a sure sign that war was coming to Amphail.

As we were preparing to settle for the evening, war indeed came to Amphail. Elkorremarr, escorted by his two Joti servants and a small horde of vrocks had come to Tarm Stables with a demand for Tauren; give to him the protection aspect, or the Luck Rider and Eriadne Thann would be killed. Deadly battle ensued, with a twisted and evil Pater Smerve making a reappearance. He would slip away, but not before we glimpse the horrible Talisman of Ultimate Evil clinging around his neck. The ranged attacks of the Joti and the great numbers of the vrocks had us stifled until Bordane switched the battlefield. A massive strike from his gun with a magic bullet triggered some sort of surge that transposed the two, leaving Elkorremarr on the ground, alone and vulnerable. Elkorremarr lasted less than one round on the ground.Bordane made it to the ground safely. One of the Joti was killed, but Damian and black pegasus caught up with the remaining fleeing one. In exchange for being spared, he would retrieve the Luck rider and Eriadne and deliver them to Amphail. He also told us that he could see the celestial staircase above Mt. Waterdeep. We think that most outsiders can see that.

We leave for Waterdeep the next day, again using the flying broom trick to smuggle the Shadowthief bundle out undetected. The road is uneventful, and the three day journey goes quickly. However, just outside the gates of the City of Splendours we are ambushed by the elf princess, an elf prince, a druid named Renwood, a dryad, a group of ogre gim, and a pair of aruumvorax. They meant to avenge the deaths of Oakplume, a friend of theirs. Well, this was not their day. The princess and the dryad got away, but the prince, the druid and the beasts were killed. The beasts were skinned, and the bodies of all others were destroyed by burning and zombie feast.

We mark our return through the north gates of Waterdeep and notice that they fly the flags of Thunderstaff, as that Noble Family has been placed in charge of their garrison, and are quite favored by Sai Pergieron now. Our first night back was busy indeed, but that is the beginning of the next review.

A Special Invitation

Tanis Stormweather had left Waterdeep under orders from The Lords of Waterdeep to sail the northern oceans spying for Waterdeep. Tanis returned to a city in chaos, the Lords no more and worse, several factions vying to replace the former government. Tanis feared that Waterdeep did not appreciate the threat this “War of Pirates” was to its very well being. It seemed to Tanis that everyone in Waterdeep from the knave on the street to his own noble brethren had their attentions firmly fixed upon the heavens. People spoke of gods walking Toril! Some blasphemed that they could become gods themselves! Tanis was disgusted by this foolishness. Much to his great regret his own family had succumbed to the mass hysteria of faith and divine questioning that gripped the rest of the city. Tanis had come to learn over the last couple weeks how badly his family’s fortunes had changed since Midsummer. Today he had been summoned to the family estate to meet with his uncle, the Patriarch of the family, Jhardnet Stormweather.

Tanis’ uncle had not been the same since the death of his daughter Hark in some strange ritual killings months back according to family gossip. Even having been warned of his uncle’s state of mind nothing prepared him for the shock of his words this day. Jhardnet received Tanis in his bedroom, a room it smelled and appeared the nobleman had not left in a long time. Tanis was surprised to find that they were not meeting alone for standing near the bed where his uncle lay was a man that appeared at least by dress to be a butler. Clearly he was not part of this household’s staff. No introductions were made, Jhardnet explained simply that the Agundar’s butler was delivering an “opportunity” for the Stormweather family in the form of an invitation to a party. Jhardnet further surprised Tanis by informing the servant that Tanis would be the family representative accepting this offer. The Agundar’s butler left uncle and nephew to return word of the Stormweather’s acceptance to Damian while Jhardnet explained to his shocked nephew about the family’s new faith.

“Talos and Umberlee are dead.” rasped Jhardnet, “Our family will surely pass with them if we do not prepare for the new way.” Tanis was stunned; his uncle had just spoken blasphemy as easily as if he were asking for spice during a meal. “Surely you can see that the gods are no longer answering prayers!” continued the frail nobleman from his bed, “Damian Agundar has offered this family a lifeline. We will be the first of his new faith, the new way. This is the only way to save our family. You must go.”

Tanis listened to his uncle for another hour before finally giving in and agreeing to go. Regardless of faiths he had learned that their family was in a weak and precarious position. Tanis needed to protect the family and find nobles that would listen to his information about the coming war. Unfortunately Tanis knew that Damian Agundar would prove to be an opportunistic con man taking advantage of his Uncle he would have to let the transgression slide. While the family is in such duress he would do his best to improve their condition by making other contacts at the party and learning more about this so called new faith.

Tales from the Dragon's Last Breath

Poloma Kromnor considered the list before him and the equipment desires of the Samular Seven. None of their requests seemed impossible, though there was always a threat of a wild surge but the Alchemist of the Dragon’s Last Breath was confident of this level of magical complexity and...manipulation . More so because of the boon alchemy is in this Time of Troubles.

A cold breath of northern air chilled Poloma from is thoughts. Entering the alchemy shop was a heavily cloaked man of impressive stature and poise.He had an air of hostility that Poloma immediately recognized.

“Well met Hues!” Said the patron as he entered the Last Breath, shaking off the elements the stranger addressed him as a friend. Poloma recognized his old adversary Baerom Thunderstaff.

Poloma's thoughts drifted as he thought back to the day he earned the name ‘Hues’ and his first attempt at potion brewing. Decades ago Poloma thought to rise to social fame in the Castle Ward by concocting a potion that would allow him to change his hue or any combination of hues as he desired. The elixir yielded amazing results and thus the potion of rainbow Hues was born. Never will Poloma be embarrassed by someone else attempting to emulating his style. The only downfall is the sulfuric breath that visits the imbiber when changing color.

“Sai Thunderstaff... How soon you visit my humble trinket stall, would you be interested in a tanglefoot bag or mayhap a 'thunder'stone... huh?” Poloma/Hues said sarcastically.

“Hues, is that anyway to show your appreciation? I offer you parole in your transgressions and you seek to mock me?” In a flash Baerom produced his revolver, to the alchemist it looked like a cannon that materialized before him. “You will not find a better offer I’d warrant Hues.” Baerom continued.

“It may as well be a prison." Poloma said. "You just want to keep track of me, to be sure of my loyalty.”

Baerom did not answer, only holstered his revolver but left his and on his hip as a silent threat should Hues attempt any mischief.

“I cannot promise success at all they ask, combing enchantments into one receptacle; here is their list… magic is unstable Sai; you of all people Baerom…”

“I know that alchemy has a unique magical vitality that nearly assures magic will not go awry.” Baerom interrupted Hues’ weak defense revealing his extensive knowledge on the matter; Baerom would not be opposed in any regard. Baerom’s strength was the understanding in dynamics of the environment around him; when magic is in power; when the church holds persuasion; or when the way of the gun rules the realm.

As the sun set outside, Hues suddenly decided that without a doubt that his fate- at least for now- coincided with the Thunderstaff’s. Hues produced his best smoke weed and rolled the largest fag Baerom had ever see. He lit it and offered it to Baerom.

“I will make arrangements to palaver…” Poloma started to say.

“Arrangements have already been made. Tomorrow morning comes early.” Baerom declined the offer and moved to the exit. Before he returned to the cold night Baerom turned on the alchemist. "And Hues... when you are on their 'k-list' the only way you can be removed from it when you are dead."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Tauren receives 3 very quick responses. Callandria Illvastarr eagerly responded with her acceptance of the invite. Fair-voiced and a wonderful dancer, she attended arts classes with Tauren and Cherilyn Anteos. At heart, she is a young noblewoman who loves the pomp and social intrigue of Waterdeep nobility. Her family are often seen at celebrations and worship of Tymora.

The Artemel family was always somewhat dark to Tauren, but their hunting skills were highly regarded and that could be exploited in the coming harsh winter. Also, with a family heritage of following both Malar and Waukeen, it would do well to get a sense of what they were about. Still, Tauren grimaced when he read that Arax Artemel would be attending. He also was Tauren's age, and he had a cruel reputation. He was known for his love of the kill, and his contempt for the beasts he hunted, and the beasts he used and kept.

Alusair Nesher was a friend of Taes'. She taught him his hawking skills and more. Tauren was happy to see her acceptance, as he was eager to introduce her to Briar. He thought they would connect quickly, for they had so much in common. Also, Alusair seemed an excellent woman to start spreading the word of Briar's ascension to the noblewomen of Waterdeep.

Guests at the Party

Autumn Dezlentyr: Eldest daughter of the Dezlentyr family, whose interests span caravan trading and shipping, exploration, island settling and establishing harbors. With the heir, and eldest son, Corin, out of Waterdeep on business, it falls upon her shoulders to represent the Dezlentyr household. A beautiful, twenty year old woman, she has a malleable personality, which serves her extremely well. Everyone finds her charming, intelligent and witty. She's able to speak like a sailor, when needed, and yet can also hold a conversation with Waterdeep's elite and leave them impressed.

Jhassin Gabriel Hiilgauntlet: Heir to the mighty Hiilgauntlet fortunes, Jhassin took a unique path as opposed to the rest of the family. Instead of simply becoming a fighter, and commanding their mercenary troops, Jhassin became a paladin of Helm, quickly rising in the ranks of the paladinhood through skill and strength. Large, bluff, and humorless, Jhassin is known to ignore offers and requests to balls and parties, looking upon them as meaningless time wasters. However, unable to resist temptation to view and judge a rival's strengthes, he will accept and make an appearance at the Samular ball.

Fate of Waterdeep

As the sun set on another day on Faerun, hundreds of individuals from across the seven realms of Toril came to simultaneous decisions. Anyone who ever dreamt of walking the metropolitan streets of Waterdeep; said that sometime they would move their family or business to the City of Splendors; or aspired to life and prosperity in the Jewel of the North, all at once decided that their destiny and their FATE rests in Waterdeep.

Vattaan Harpell looked beyond the grounds of the Ivy Mansion; his family’s villa in Longsaddle. He sat eating his mutton, a staple in the tiny agricultural village, and thought of life outside the small town; he desired a more complex existence. A sensation wafted over him as he sensed his fate resided in Waterdeep and at that moment decided he would set out for the city of Splendors.

Max Rinnen is a mercenary who would do just about anything for gold. When hired, as he was now, Max usually found a way to cheat his employer out of gold or treasure. He will undertake almost any danger, but always looks out for himself first, treasure second, and companions last. Max always saw the city of Waterdeep as a level of danger he hoped to soon overcome. That time had come, he decided; taking up is magical sword, boots and cloak, Max left behind the keep he worked so hard at procuring and set his eyes on the Jewel of the North.

Mika was viewed as a hero among his Uthgardt brethren; in the wolf tribe he was a shaman of the wolf, which held him to responsibilities that he sometimes loathed. He was afflicted with a wanderlust that his nomadic tribe could not satisfy; Mika thirsted for knowledge of the many cities that his kin shunned. Mika kept his secret desire from his tribe until one evening the shaman saw a vision and it moved him; Mika knew with his heart that it was his fate to face the foreign dangers of Waterdeep.

Geoff of Triboar is a quiet and mild mannered man who has many close friends; in fact there was not many ffolk in the small realm of Triboar that did not know him, even in passing. He is often hired by the wealthy to examine their homes and suggest safeguarding methods. His roguish skills are exceptional, even by Waterdeep standards, but he rarely steals. Instead he uses his prodigious skills to spy and traffic information. As he pondered his life course, Geoff came to a decision; he would go to Waterdeep- that is where fate decreed his skills would prosper beyond even his expectations.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Godson

The godson of Bane drank in his last aspect with every bit of ecstasy and intensity that the first taste of divine power beheld. The power overflowed and he exhaled a breath of pure and utter darkness that it nullified all life unfortunate enough to be found in its midst. Below at the base of the tower upon which he stood, seven disciples were in the throes of worship- they were his chosen.

Coming down from the tower the Godson turned to his disciples. “I am prepared to ascend the celestial staircase my chosen. I will inspire fear in anticipation of the arrival and infuse hate in the hearts of whom I touch; I will crush the governments who do not adequately celebrate my arrival…”

This went on for some time; as most of the disciples of the Godson were rapt in awe, one however was making plans.

Randron, an evil drow sorcerer desired only one thing in life: power. He will do anything and step on anyone to gain more power, whether by collecting items of magical power, eliminating individuals or organizations in his way or elevating and even aiding certain powers- easing his path to power. Away from his keep and his necromancer-priestess consort Ireisal, Randron is constantly looking for ways to expand his holdings and the lands around it. Such was his plans for the East Trail through Anarouch, Secomber and eventually to Waterdeep; where the Godson plans to conquer and ascend, though not before Randron and The Strangers has the choice of the most powerful magic to be had.

“For you Godson,” it was Randron’s turn for the offering. The Godson would make one more demand of offerings from his disciples, as custom, before his crusade to Baator. “It is a Manual of Quickness of Action, by learning of its secrets you will be more agile and fleet Godson.”

The Godson looked at Randron skeptically. Randron thought quickly and added: “And a Scroll of protection from Poison, the treachery of Waterdeep knows no bounds Godson.” At that the Godson was pleased, accepted the donation, and came to the next disciple, Lord Ferestian Halaster.

This wen on until the last disciple was visited; a thief who offered the Godson a Periapt of Wound Closure and a magical rope, his name is Cyric.

Road Construction

The Trade Way is an engineering marvel of medieval construction. While many roads in conjoin to stretch from Calimport to Icewind Dale, The Trade Way is unique. The built road begins in Balder’s Gate and ends in Waterdeep where the Trade Way becomes the High Road.

The High Road is fondly considered to be a part of this grand roadway; as a result, business, guilds, and residences enjoy a great deal of fame and recognition by just having coordinates on this street. A fact that everyone exploits as the road touches upon or traverses every Ward in Waterdeep, save for the City of the Dead. (A key to city locations.)

A few noteworthy locations include: Mama Cass Charms andCrafts, in the Trades Ward; The Pampered Traveler, located in the North Ward; the Temple of Gond, in the Castle Ward; Gavin and Hextor’s Haberdashery, in the Castle Ward; the Chess Emporium, also in the Castle Ward; the North Ward guardpost; and the Spice Guild, located in the Dock Ward; as well as villas of the Thann and Cragsmere families.

Work has begun to extend the road construction beyond Waterdeep, only to be mired in indecision of whether to build to Silverymoon, Mirabar, or Luskan. A spring session of the Lord’s Palaver sanctioned a road be built between Yartar and Everlund to assuage merchants along the dangerous Evermoor Way. The ribbon cutting of the new Evermoor Way was on Shieldmeet/Midsummer; the night the gods and the heavens rained upon the Realms.

Near and around the Agundar Storm Keep (with in 3 blocks): The Gentle Mermaid (feasthall), Holyhands House (healer), Halazar’s Fine Gems (Sea Ward), House of Crystal Storage (warehouse), House of Crystal (guild hall), The Galloping Minotaur (inn), Fallon’s Wax Emporium (business), Meraedos Fine Furs (business), Sulmest’s Splended Shoes and Boots (business), The House of Healing (guildhall-closed), Abarbrent, Amcatha, Belabranta (Sea Ward), Bladesemmer (Sea Ward), Durinbold, Manthar (Sea Ward), Kothont, and Phylund family villas.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tales from the Pampered Traveler

Galoban was quickly gaining a following. In just a week he was finally gaining the acclaim his skills demanded; the good fortune of Tymora continued to bless him.

Galoban, after hearing Tauron’s speech of the return of Tymora and of the impending ascension of a Charging Knight, a Gypsy Lord, a Horseman, the bard was inspired. Galoban was moved to dedicate his growing bardic skills into weaving a glorious telling of the coming of Lady Luck and her riding Champion.

Galoban understands his role to ascend to a greater bard, the Pathfinder. A warrior’s weapon is his sword; a thief her skills; but what many don’t appreciate is that a bard’s weapon is his stories that motivate and performances that inspire. It is a much more challenging field of profession by far, some could wager that a warrior could not rise to glory without the bard; a thief could not achieve infamy without the tales.

In the Pampered Traveler, Galoban gathered an Ensemble of skilled performers that would aid him in his performances, no more than four could be a benefit however…

Gulian is a human and comes from a long line of minstrels and bards. His parents and grandparents were all gypsies. Gulian inherited their musical talend but not their wanderlust, Gulian loved the city. He enjoys life as an urban adventurer and is constantly amazed by the stories wrought in big city life. He owns a healthy amount of minor magics that aid his performances; he specializes in wind and stringed instruments.

Olive Ruskettle is a Halfling woman who claims to be a bard; she can sing and is proficient in instruments as well. What Olive doesn’t know is that Galoban knows her secret that Olive is actually a thief who enjoys a carefree life of tale-telling and music making. Olive is very outgoing and has a penchant for finding trouble when mischief is about.

“It will be glorious.” Galoban concluded, he looked into the eyes of the Ensemble. “I hope to see you two at the temple of Tymora tomorrow. I saw Tauron at the temple earlier tonight speaking with Reverend Luckjoy and expect he will hold rites in the morning.”

“We will formally introduce our group as Trust Coin?” Olive asked, obviously enthused to meet the Tarm Cavalier.

“Indeed.” Galoban confirmed. “And we will perform our anthem ‘Guarding the Lady of the Stairs’ for him as well.” This brought smiles and cheers from the others.

“Let’s palaver, what reliable news do we want to focus on when we meet with Tauron?” Gulian asked both Galoban and Olive.

“If I may?” Gulian proceeded. “I frequent of a popular Harper establishment in Waterdeep and have come to learn that the Zhents have tenuous hold on trade through the East Trail; Waterdeep to Llorkh and of course beyond to Zhentil Keep, furthermore…”

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A night out.

Eva stared off into the darkness lost in thought. The additions of the Oracle & Fate domains had given her new insight. She had created a portfolio of what she could be, should she ascend. She had begun to second guess one of her choices. Though there was room for Darkness in her profile it seemed less important than before. The inevitability of one’s Fate and certainty of death was not to be found in the voids darkness, but rather in the folds of Time. The guidance of Fate had steered her towards a new path, one so obvious she was surprised it had escaped her. Time would be important to her ascension, how important she was yet to know.

“You sent for me queen regnant”? Kight’s voice brought her out of the trance. “Yes my dear and you’re not in Thay anymore I have no need of formal titles”. ‘What service would you have me perform my lady”? Kight asked with eager anticipation. I have need of your stealth this evening in the dock ward. I have an important council meeting in the future and have need of a specific philter. A retired pirate named Doral will be murdered this evening. Kight looked surprised “How shall I eliminate him my lady, an accident”? No it will be by someone else’s hand, I need you to retrieve the philter he has stored in the chest in his bed chamber. Sneak into his home, remove the item in question and out before his murders know you’re there or anything has been taken. Do not interfere with the events concerning Doral. Leave immediately the thugs are already in route.

Kight silently made her way to the dock ward. Eva had given her precise directions, even a point of entry that would guarantee success. She scouted the area and watched as the thugs kicked in the door to Doral’s tiny home. She slid around back and entered through the window in the rear of the house. She could hear the voices from the other room & wondered why Eva would have hired these thugs. She was more than capable of dealing with a single venerable ex-pirate. She couldn’t resist sneaking a peek at this group of gangsters.

Watching Doral begging for his life proved his courage had been gone longer than his hair. He was stuttering on about some stolen art claiming he hadn’t known anything about. The thugs pointing to a magnificent painting of an Elephant bird and Green Dragon locked in combat didn’t seem to believe his story. As Kight began to realize Eva was not the orchestrator of this event there was a loud crash as the front door was ripped off its hinges. Kight was startled as a huge Half- Orc tore a direct path right towards Doral. With one quick motion he pulled the axe from his belt and removed the head from Doral’s shoulders. Kight spun around and made a beeline for the chest, knowing she had already lingered to long. As she flung open the lid the jingle bells Doral had strapped to the lid chimed aloud. Kight could not believe her misfortune as the door to the bedchamber swung open. Bloody axe in one hand and the head of Doral in the other the Half- Orc smiled as he look down at Kight knelt in front of the chest. Kight quickly looked around for some tactical advantage, however the tight quarters and overwhelming size of her opponent left her with none. She pulled the long slender blade from her pack and held it in a frail defensive position. Two swings from the massive brut left Kight unarmed and dazed as the three human thugs poured over her defenseless form. “Hello Poppet” said the leader as he looked over to the straw mattress in the tinny bedchamber “Looks like we are going to have a bit of fun”. Wait outside he barked as he looked at his enforcer; make sure no one interrupts us. With a grunt the Half- Orc turned and exited the bed chamber. Thowing Kight onto the mattress the three men began to laugh as they ripped the clothes from her groggy form.

All at once came a blood curdling scream from the main room as the headless bloody torso of the Orc smashed aginst the bedroom wall. The three men stood in terror as the rotting forms of 2 large ogres pushed their way into the room. The smell of decay was overpowering, Kight was startled back to conciseness as the thugs tried to clamber out the window only to be caught up by another pair of Ogre zombies. Eva shambled into the now extremely cramped bed chamber and glared at the thugs. “You think you can take what you want” she sneered. “There is a price to be paid for this act of contempt.” Eva nodded at the leader as a pair ogres grabbed him and began to eat. The other men forced to watch as there former employer was consumed in front of them. “Are you ready for the second course” Eva asked as she stared at the two thugs now frozen in place and as white as the dead ogres that held them. P-Please no stammered one of them, I have a family. “I know” said Eva “and you will both tell them and everyone else you see what happened here today. That the Matriarch of souls will be harsh and terrifying to those that cross her or her followers. But not without mercy to those who believe or show proper respect. You are a believer now aren’t you”? He could barley nod as the zombies pushed them out the window. Eva looked to Kight clutching the tattered rags to her body that used to be her clothes. “ How did you know I was in trouble” she asked sheepishly ? Our Fates are entwined my dear I will always know yours. Don’t forget my philter, and grab the scroll of gas protection also…you will need it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Qotal, the Plumed One

...The Feathered Dragon, also known as the Plumed One, is the most beautiful and colorful of the Maztican pantheon. He is portrayed as a huge golden dragon covered with bright plumage rather than scales. His feathers are gold, except around his neck, where the feathers are multicolored.

Qotal is regarded as a source of goodness, health, and healing. He abhors tyranny, and sacrifice. Centuries ago, he left the Realms because of this abhorrence, and for many years he was nearly forgotten. A small cadre of clerics kept his memory alive; he has since returned form Maztica...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Spite and Malice

The creature that was formerly Pater Smerve, now only knew evil- knew only spite; he was now Malice and he was the servant of the Talisman. He happened upon the Talisman during his trek through the High Forest to Elkormarr’s unusual tower….

Pater Smerve halted his amphibian mount upon a large low branch of a stout tree. The tree, nicknamed Bucknard’s Tree, sat on a hill that had one of the best views of the High Forest north of the Star Mountains. Alone in his negotiations with the evil conjurer, Smerve took no chances when his safety was concerned. Smerve took stock of his surroundings; the landscape, flush with reds, yellows and browns- early colors of fall; and the weather, early winter clouds were threatening the entirety of the North- burgeoning with flakes of snow. Then the blue brownie heard an animal whimpering; he gigged his giant frog into seven cautious hops, closing the distance to the sound.

What Smerve discovered surprised him utterly; a wolf-man sat slumped against a tree, his seemingly dead or sleeping body looked drained and was covered in totems, brands and carvings. The tree, Smerve noticed, was dead and the ground around the manimal blighted. The last hop brought them too close as he soon realized. The wolf-man snapped out at them; it was his dyeing action- for it no longer moved. Smerve dismounted, his small fey feet registered no disturbance on the forest floor. Drawing his longtooth dagger, an enchanted blade that elongated to become an elven shortblade, he approached the figure and then saw the Talisman.

The black gemstone within the Talisman relieved Pater Smerve of all burdens, and freed the fey from anxiety. It was exquisite in its liberating promises, all he had to do was take possession of the Talisman and all Smerve’s fears will become inconsequential…

The Talisman of Ultimate Evil commanded Malice to Elkormarr’s tower. Malice obliged, remembering just what waited at the tower for them to return…

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Damian God of Retribution, The Lightning Lord, The Coming Storm, Force of Nature

1. Destruction: The means of delivery for so many to my sister The Matriarch of Souls. The Promise of Time. 

2. Wrath: The burning internal instinct of man, its full realization a fury that propels barbaric champions

3. Weather: The very elemental forces of nature either brought to bear or calmed, this aspect is most closely associated to Damian’s mood, hard to predict, rarely the same.

4. Strength: Strength to Survive, Strength to Avenge, Strength to Overcome

5. Retribution: The wrongs against you are only measured by the righteous vengeance you deliver upon your oppressor. Justice is a personal obligation. A debt you must pay yourself

6. Glory: The power of your convictions striking others with awe, magnificent in your power. You are elite, the uber man.

7. Force: The Indomitable Will, The Force of Nature, The Coming Storm.

To most Damian is not worshipped so much as placated. Sailors pray he keeps the seas they sail calm, while merchants guard against fraudulent trade for fear of attracting his wrath. At times of suffering many will call upon him to visit vengeance on someone else however this is a mistake. It is only those who pray for the strength to visit their own vengeance upon someone else that have opened their hearts to him. Damian is blamed for all natural disasters from major to minor storm damage. Creatures thought to be unstoppable are often said to have been touched by the Lightning Lord. When storms or strange weather phenomena occur certain somatic gestures are made to ward against the coming storm. Those that are killed during weather events are believed to have been targeted by the ever raging god for vengeance. There are both priest and druid worshippers in the church however most priests are dual class with either fighter or barbarian levels. Barbarians often follow the faith, some quite zealously. Many priests view barbarians as the paladins of the faith.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Springing the Trap

The huge creature carefully parted the sticks and branches of the trees to get a better look at his prey. A man squatted beside a fire, making his camp in a long dried river bed. The sun was setting, a chilly twilight settling over the land. The creature had two heads, a cousin of true giants, called an ettin. The right head's eyes narrowed, watching as the man stirred a small pot full of some type of food. The left head lifted, and sniffed the air silently. It could smell the freshly dressed elk that the man had felled and brought back to his camp.

The ettin, it didn't have a name, barely able to have a language, licked and smacked it's lips. The winter, though still early, had been hard. Food was scarce, and it'd taken to raiding farms. Unbeknownst to it, these attacks had drawn the attentions of the man at the fire.

The man, an adventurer by the name of Finnegan Blackcross, kept stirring the pot of venison and wild leeks, yet his attention was firmly on the ettin watching him. He was camped in a dry river gully, the forest was twenty yards away on either side. He'd spent the early hours of the day digging two pits, one on either side of him, between him and the treeline. He'd then covered each pit with a simple, weak lattice of branches, leaves and rocks. Finnegan brought the spoon up to his lips, gently blowing on the stew, and then sipping. Damn, it was good. Too bad it'd probably be ruined in the fight.

It was at that point that the ettin decided to spring his attack, charging through the dense brush of the forest. It stomped on down, into the gully, when it stepped on the pit trap. Only it's left foot hit the cover, though, easily breaking through the lattice. The drop was only four feet, yet it was enough to bring the charge to a stop and drop the ettin face first. Finnegan grabbed up his bastard sword, hidden beneath his blankets, sprung up and sprinted towards the creature. The ettin was pushing itself up just as Finnegan reached it. With a brutal upwards slash, he sliced at the creature's right face. His sword, Riesen-Fluch, was a family heirloom that had avoided the trials of his family's descent from nobility. Being the last scion of the former noble Blackcross' of Waterdeep, he'd left to sought out his fortunes and to try and pull his family back up the ladder.

The enscorcelled blade easily sliced through the creature's face from jaw to brow. The ettin drew back it's arm, then swatted at the fighter. Finnegan tried ducking beneath the blow, but wasn't fast enough. The attack sent the human flying back, heels over head, tumbling over the worn stones of the dead riverbed. Blackcross was able to keep the sword in his hand. He painfully pulled himself up, the ettin taking it's turn to rush up on him. It had retrieved it's own weapon, a log with branches crudely trimmed, forming blunt spikes. It drew back, the club high over it's heads.

In an act of desperation, Finnegan thrust upward with all his might, enhanced by another family heirloom, a magic girdle that enhanced his strength, driving the steel deep into the ettin's belly, and then up into it's chest. Gore splashed over his arms, soaking the man in viscera. The strength left the ettin, and it toppled slowly over. Finn heaved the corpse up off of him. He was breathing with difficulty, spikes of pain shooting through him with every breath. The adventurer crawled over to his pack, searched through it for his healing potions, gladly gulping down the bitter liquid.

Falling over onto his back, Finnegan Blackcross stared at the darkening sky. The future of the Blackcross seemed to brightened the evening heavens.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Part 2)

Making the final preparations for their evening excursion Kalina said to the Matron of Souls, “Why did you give me that look earlier in the spa?”

“You remarked upon something my brother Andther told me before he died,” Eva began. “He had the touch and foresaw that before the end of this year, there would be a Dire Winter that would not reach thaw until after Greengrass; after that then begins the rains, the floods and the mass starvation by this time next year.”

“Dear spirits!” Kalina looked gravely at her Samular sisters at this understanding. Then; “I spoke with the gunslinger apprentice when we arrived.” Kalina began to explain changing the subject from Eva’s deceased brother.

“I was successful in learning a lot about him and what Sai Bladesemmer has been up to while we’ve been gone.” Kalina regarded Eva. “He mentioned preparations underway for a dire winter forecasted by a cloud reader Waterdeep. That’s where I heard it Eva.”

“What else did you find out?” Eva said slightly put off, until she remembered Kalina is not her sister Eden. But before Kalina could continue…

“Did you put the charm on him?” Briar asked with enthusiasm, excited to see another divine aspect being merited through deed and effort.

“I believe so.” Kalina affirmed. “He said everyone calls him Dragonbait, a childhood nickname he had in Waterdeep. He is cleric of Gond and apprentice gunslinger; not officially a Firelance Knight yet. In addition to their inventory detail they are earmarking a heavy percentage of Amphail’s food stuffs for Waterdeep. In return Amphail receives the protection of the Firelance gunslingers, furthermore; Amphail receives the aid of Gond clerics to make improvements and reinforcements to the town and community.”

“We saw signs of that.” Briar pointed out.

“I didn’t want to test my control over him versus his duties so that was all I learned, but if I can find Dragonbait off duty…” Kalina said with a wink.

A short time later, Eva was flying the three of them over Amphail’s municipal building. Lord Warder Briiathor Alougarr as well as guests of the Lord was known to reside here; the building lacked any character or charm. The edifice stood dimly lit in the blustery cold evening.

After landing quietly and skillfully gaining entrance to a service door on the roof, Kalina took the led sensing the layout of the building with supernatural accuracy. Avoiding what guards their were at this late hour, the three of them ventured down a large hall decortated hall with former Lords immortalized in busts evenly spaced down its cavernous length; down three wide echoing staircases; to finally end up on a mezzanine level of a small theater. Music emanated quietly from below while red and gold tapestries of charging horses as if galloping to get on stage, the tapestries swayed listlessly along the walls giving unnatural life to the art. The whole fifty seat theater screamed the colors gold and red. On the stage speaking in celestial were three angelic forms; Marith, Iduna, and Arden- the Sisters of Siamorphe unconcealed. Dressed in lose gossamer fabrics, their trumpets at their hipps, they palavered over a map of the north- a prop obviously part of a stage play.

The subtle horns of music and the echo of a celestial tongue within the empty theater did not bode well for the Eva, Kalina or Briar, but they did make out some of what was discussed…

The three were planning to move their operations to Waterdeep. They are six aspects of Siamorphe- they represented three, each a physical image of their goddess; they hoped to soon be reunited with the other three…

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Part 1)

“In light of the new information about planar domains…” Briar began during their pampering and grooming at Shrunedalar’s Secrets; Ulreth Shrunedalar was busily working his fat, soft-fingered hands upon her feet.

Kalina regarded her with eyes that said, Shut the hell up with it! But Briar was not discouraged. Eva and Kalina exchanged questioning glances when they suddenly realized what Briar was doing. At a nearby seat, being attended to by one of Ulreth’s skilled kin was Marith- one of the Sisters of Siamorphe. As Briar continued her tale, to which Ulreth silently nodded; Kalina noted how Marith was slowly turning toward Briar, listening in.

“…alter my portfolio.” Briar concluded. Eva nodded at Briar’s declaration, it all made sense; with Arborea secured Briar could expand her hunt and ascension to divinity to include Family. “Akin to Nobilty, the Family domain in the Sisterhood represents procreation; a strong family linage; and family traditions of the my faith to be passed down generations.”

It was all wishful thinking Kalina thought as she and Eva watched Marith settle with the boutique without leaving a tip. Kalina was not impressed. “Briar,” Kalina said interrupting her in midsentence. “Would you like to join Eva and me tonight? I think it’s time to introduce ourselves and our purpose *wink* to the Siamorphe adepts. How does that sound?”

A short time later, after their delightful stay at the boutique the three Waterdhavian lasses found themselves, as earlier in the day, standing near the Statue of the Great Shalarn. The sun had gone down as Eva, Briar and Kalina were enjoying the pleasures of nobility and the air had taken on a frigid quality. This did not hamper the efforts from the Stag-Horned Flagon from making this year’s Rite of the Stag Lass one to remember.

“Well met my ladies!” came a voice. “Kalina ya’re as stunning as ever, Eva the night favors ye well- aye, and Briar the moon shines brighter when it gazes down at ye.” Kirvvin Shamblestar said at length as he hung another ornament upon the Flagon’s awning. Kirvvin was old, soft-spoken with silver hair and a week’s facial growth to match; he never forgot a face or your drink of preference. “Are ye girls going to compete it the Stag Lass? This year any lass who wish to may; winner gets the gemstone- aye. It’s a moonstone ya kin. One of ‘em magical ones that fell from the sky!” Kirvvin took on a look of pride at this revelation, but visibly slackened when Kalina responded.

“No thanks Kirvvin. Barring a dire blizzard, we will be back in Waterdeep by then.” Eva shot Kalina with a look of shocked amazement at the recounting of her brothers vision that portended the coming disasters when Briar shouted…“There is a ghost on the statue of Shalarn!”

As one they looked. Sat astride Shalarn was a ghostly-blue outline of a ranger; the figure was a man and human; he held a long sword that the ghost pointed northward. The figure remained motionless, as still as the stone statue he sat upon. Eva took a step closer and began to sing… in haunted tongues. The effect was immediate as Eva’s song escorted the spirit to purgatory.

“Dear spirits!” Kirvvvin gasped. “War!” the tavern keeper exclaimed. “My grandfather told me the tale! That if the spirit of Yarobyn Longarm is ever seen in the saddle of his warhorse, then war will soon come to Amphail….”

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bordane Agundar: The Brooding Lord, Ironhand, The Grim One

"Anger, misery; you'll suffer unto me."
Domination: One should constantly strive to put one's mark on life and on the world. To always be in the forefront of people's minds, and have their thoughts on how to best serve oneself, is ideal.

Evil: To pursue one's own interests, and to do whatever it takes to achieve them, this is how we live to our fullest potential. To do any less is wasteful.

Hatred: The one true constant in life. It is the fuel that can drive one incessantly to one's goals. It puts steel into one's spine.

Pride: To take stock of's strengths and to be appreciative of them. Always be ready to point out your achievements, vocally or otherwise, so that all may know your greatness.

Retribution: Forgiveness is for the weak. To allow one to besmirch your person or reputation and not follow through with some type of punishment would be foolish and unworthy of greatness.

Suffering: A pampered life leads to a soft person, unworthy of any position of leadership. A life of hardship and suffering can push one to one's limits. If the person is truly worthy, they can overcome and push past those boundaries.

Tyranny: The lower class and the weak become paralyzed when they are presented with choices, their smalll minds being overwhelmed. Thus it falls to the tyrant to ensure that every aspect of his followers lives is not left to chance. The less the lowly have to decide, the better.