Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tragidore: Gallow's Grove and the Abandoned Ones

325 gp 5 pp
(5) 100 gp gems

Masterwork leather armor
Masterwork morning star
Potion of remove fear
Arcane scroll of web
Divine scroll of cause fear, Divine scroll of murderous command

In a masterwork ceremonial velvet lined box, with obvious symbols from the Temple of the Gauntleted Fist and runes for four holy sacraments. Inside the box are 4 objects: a bronze “swords” flagon (50 gp), electrum “knight” cup (75 gp), polished duskwood “squire” flagon (50 gp), and a silver “priest” chalice with the symbol of Torm (250 gp, also functions as a cleric’s holy symbol).

(3) Masterwork battle axes
(3) Masterwork half-plate and masterwork light steel shields (dating back to the Weeping War)
Arcane Scroll of Minor Image
Divine Scroll of Cause fear, Divine Scroll of Delay Poison, Divine Scroll of Light
Wand of Cure Light Wounds (CL1- 30 ch); Wand of Entropic Shield (CL3- 23 ch); Wand of Magic Missile (CL5- 18 ch); Wand of Acid Splash (CL1- 40 ch)
  • Deadfall Dweller brain (magical beast); 5 HD; abjuration school; Spellcraft DC 10 + SL: Spell Focus (Abjuration) 
  • Deadfall Dweller heart (magical beast); 5 HD; evocation school; Spellcraft DC 10 + SL: Spell Focus (Evocation) 
  • Deadfall Dweller stomach (magical beast); 5 HD; transmutation school; Spellcraft DC 10 + SL: Spell Focus (Transmutation) 
  • (3) Undead bones (undead); 5 HD; necromancy school; Spellcraft DC 15 + SL; Spell Focus (necromancy); 10 gp. 
  • (3) Doom weed (organic); - HD; necromancy school; Spellcraft DC 15 + SL; Empower Spell (inflict spells); 25 gp.  

(2) + 1 composite shortbow (+2 Str) 2d20# arrows
(2) Potions of cure moderate wounds

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Smendric 2nd orgin Part 3


Smendric sat in the great hall surround by a couple hundred citizens of Eleanor. He had seen enough magnificent mansions in his day to recognize where he was, though clearly the others had not. Near transparent servants hurried around refilling goblets and replacing empty bowls with all manner of exotic delicacies the likes of which these commoners had never seen. He jeered when the hall became silent as the magical servants floated twenty fully roasted boars onto the banquet tables. Secretly he envied these simple folks though he would never admit it. The sense of wonder at seeing “great magic” for the first time was a feeling he treasured. He had traveled so far for so long most magic had become old hat to him, and that sense of wonder had become difficult to find. Now a days most new magic that came his way arrived in the form of hostile casters, and he could ill afford to stop and smell the roses.
Smendric enjoyed watching these citizens enamored by the magical servants. But he was becoming anxious at the obvious absence of their host who had only been referred to as the Eonian. As the banquet gradually turned into a dance, Smendric passed the time by touring the hall. It reminded him of some of the nicer noble houses in Waterdeep. Several of the lords would often throw fancy parties as a ruse to show off their art collections. This hall housed well over 200 paintings of Eleanor done by a single artist over what looked like a very long lifetime. This gallery served as a chronology for the city as it evolved over an undetermined number of years. Changes in the city’s configuration and even changes in the landscape had been put to canvas by an artist of incredible talent. It wasn’t until he came across a view from above the valley that things began to make sense.
The angle of this picture was remarkably close to the peak he had spent so many hours studying from. Judging by the size of the city this must have been painted decades ago. He was amazed at the symmetry of the entire valley. He had already theorized someone must have created it, laid out everything as to minimize the negative effects of nature and maximize efficiencies of the fields and forests.  Now that it was scaled down and laid out in front of him it was much more than that. He allowed himself to visualize the city, mentally filling in sections of the painting as if he were paining it today.
His body began to tingle as his mind filled in missing pieces of the city. He always enjoyed the sensation of new discoveries, and this puzzle had plagued him for months. As a master of teleportation one of Smendric’s greatest assets was his ability to memorize and mentally recall specific details of locations he had visited. He often found it easier to visualize arcane sigils and runes laid over real world landmarks for memorization. In this exercise he found himself filling in buildings & landmarks of the valley with sigils of the same shape. As his envisaged picture began to take form he had several amazing discoveries. As if reading an artistic scroll many of the sigils he interpreted strung together to form a wide variety of spells laid across the valley. Abjuration, transmutation, & summoning magic seemed to be most prevalent. He wondered how these spells could be cast and what would happen if he did. Smendric was in awe at the foresight this endeavor must have taken. At least he had a glimpse of the bigger picture and he understood it. Stepping back he admired the valley as a whole, and then he realized the entire valley formed a summoning circle.       

Though the circle was not yet complete it was easy to see the necessary steps to do so. Smendric could not identify some of the sigils however he assumed that would be remedied with some research. He wondered if a circle of this magnitude was intended to summon an army of creatures or a single massive titan. Either way it looked as if whatever was summoned was intended to defend the valley. There was an obvious lack of binding precautions taken to protect the area against whatever was called; they must be familiar or have great trust in whatever it was.
Smedric’s attention was jolted by the sudden announcement of the Eonian’s arrival. He found himself on the wrong end of the dimensional space, so he began making his way toward the massive set of double doors at the other end of the hall. He could hear a female voice thanking the citizens for their pilgrimage to visit her, however do to his stature & the oversized nature of these mountainous folk he could not see her. The sea of citizens was difficult to navigate and he had only closed about half the distance when she requested everyone take a seat. As the rest of the crowd began to sit Smendric could not help but linger for a few seconds giving him ample time to make eye contact with the women he had searched for most of his adult life.
The Eonian was a human female late twenties early thirty’s blonde hair with a pale complexion. She was not the most attractive women Smendric had ever seen, but she did possess a natural beauty that was hard to ignore. She projected a level of confidence as she addressed the crowd that was inspiring. He was certain he had seen her before, he couldn’t remember where but there was a familiarity he was certain. He watched as she told stories of centuries past answering questions about specific ancestors of the citizens in attendance. A simple gesture allowed Smendric to observe magical auras and he was shocked to discover she possessed none. Her presentation changed from historical remembrances to strategic planning as she steered the conversation into shaping the city’s future. She allowed the citizens to discuss services they felt were lacking in the city. She then gave them detailed drawings of structures for those services and recommendations of where they could be erected with in the boundaries of city. She also brought forth plans for the farms and what crops should be planted this spring. She gave them magical seed pouches to ensure their fields would be of adequate size and shape to serve their purpose. Smendric noted every “suggestion” and offering of aid was ultimately shaping the valley towards the completion of the summoning circle. 
As she distributed gifts to the crowd she made a comment that caught Smendric’s ear. “This is a list of necessary items that will need to be imported. Give this to the captain of the Lacuna they will have no trouble procuring these items this spring”. 
Smendric remembered the ship captain, he had to practically beg her to bring him here. Not only was he set back double the going rate, but also a few magical items as well. He remembered thinking how attractive she must have looked when she was younger, but years exposed to the sun and the seas had left their mark. Now that same women stood before him twenty years younger and as it was with their first meeting no magic used to alter her appearance. Her gift of disguise must truly be remarkable he thought, judging by the paintings around the hall she was a true artist. 


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tragidore: In media res

At first you feel empty and cold, like being lost under water and being swept up in its current except in the form of a gust of icy air. This sensation is quickly followed by the sweet smell of apples and the spice of cinnamon. Sounds come into focus, the rustling leaves and the womanly voice of an oracle, “By the last breath of the four winds bow.”

Opening your eyes you see naked trees reaching their skeletal branches into a clear night sky; stars shine drearily in the chill evening. Feeling disorientated as if waking from a long slumber, you shiver to find yourselves woefully under dressed- looking at each other you are all in summer garb, lying about the grounds, and surrounding the sapphire monolith. A chilling fog obscures much of the rest of the small city as emptiness, despair, and heartache fills you in the aftermath of your quest.

Confusing sounds of wings taking to air then the voice of the oracle again sunders the quiet night, “You better raise your ears.” You look to the sound of the oracle’s voice and see a venerable woman steadfastly following a white owl who, in-turn seems to be chasing a dim mote of illumination. Around you are what appears to be autumn leaves fallen from the trees above, out from you are the city commons, and beyond that- grey mists obscuring the buildings and features of Tragidore. You will come to recognize the oracle, her voice taking on an echo as she invites you to follow. “The sound of hooves knocks at your door.”

Verith Raiserik
Time seems to stand still as you come to recognize your surroundings. Leaving behind the feeling of being lost under water; it is instead replaced with emptiness and despair for your soul in the wake of your quest.

You each follow the oracle over a wide bridge spanning the river; the bridge wavers and shimmers transforming into a cliff-side.  A ghostly young woman wearing a stylish gown approaches the cliff. Between tearful sobs, she whimpers, "Throw the ring into the river, shall I?" and sobs. After a second's hesitation, she assumes a defiant expression and steps to the edge of the cliff. She leans over the cliff and closes her eyes, then slips off; crashing into the cliff face several times before her broken form splashes into the water below. The water becomes still once more and only you and bridge remain.

“Lock up your wife and children now,” echoes the oracle’s voice ahead and from beyond the mists. Hastening your step to follow the elusive woman you find yourselves now at a storefront window. A sign in the window says ‘out of business’ but in the reflection of the glass you see two men appear.

The two gentlemen, a son and father, have replaced your reflections in the dark city street. As you look on the younger man angrily snatches a bag of coins from his elder and wordlessly turns his back. As he does so, the older man pursues him across the street shouting, "Son, if you hate me so much, why don't you just kill me already!" The reflection of the young man turns on his father, a knife mysteriously in hand, and stabs his father viciously and repeatedly. The bloody scene fades back to your own reflections and the ‘out of business’ sign.

This time from a lot closer the oracle’s voice advises, “It’s time to wield the blade.” This is immediately followed by the sounds of vicious swordplay coming from a nearby feast hall. Autumn chill embraces you as you penetrate the mists to find brother and sister in a death duel, “She promised herself to me,” the brother says with a deadly thrust of his blade. “You? She and I are lovers you fool!” says the sister, but before the duel’s final moments play out the oracle speaks and the combatants are cast away like mists in a wind.

“For now you have got some company,” The oracle at last declares before you see her enter Trinity Church. The sound of the door has a thunderous effect on your awareness like waking from a deep sleep. Standing now in front of Trinity Church you are each reminded of how it was a year ago your adventure began from this exact spot. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tragidore: At a Glance

Thousands of years ago, the heavens above Toril ensured Mistledale's future prosperity when a meteor plowed a hundred-mile-long, thirty-mile-wide swath through the Elven Woods. The trees never regrew in the scar where the meteorite had fallen, but the land proved amazingly fertile thereafter, rich with hereto unknown deposits of exotic elements, minerals, and magical resources.

Tragen Gundwynd, son of Devin the first of his name is credited with founding what was then called Tragen’s Hold, an outpost in the Weeping War; the war that would spell the fall of Myth Drannor. Tragen and his fellowship attracted followers that would defend against the Army of Darkness. Five-hundred years later the small city of Tragidore has grown to a respectable size because of its natural resources, despite having weathered years of war, political intrigue, and tragedies. 

The following are important features in and around Tragidore.

Abbey Green: Now just a Nameless Village to the north after the Elves of Eldath disappeared after their patron god died. Now only a few visitors stop here, mostly rangers who use it as a base camp before trekking into the dangerous parts of the Verduran Forest.

Aurora’s Consortium: Owned by the beautiful and alluring Aurora Tenloss a merchant heiress and trust-fund highborn woman from Sembia. The grand opening on Moonfeast will feature over a dozen drow crafted items and weapons. 

Blackrock Company (NEW): A feast hall and head office for the Blackrock Company- what's left of the group that ended the drow siege on Tragidore during the godsfall. Sanford Stubblemane trains and certifies fighters who bring in trophies of their kills; they are also the Tragidore’s sole resource for Mage coal and elemental gems.

Bridges of Eldath: A sacred bridge spanning the River Ashaba, where a battle between the Lady of the Lake, Eldath and Talona the Mistress of Disease on Highharvestide a year ago; each goddess vying for control of a divine aspect of power, one of the elements needed to regain divinity during the godsfall. Eldath, the Guardian of Groves, fought at great expense to protect the people of Tragidore. Talona used this tactic to her advantage spilling godsblood as Eldath protected the innocent. A magic-dead area looms like an invisible cloud betwixt the twin bridges reminding people of her sacrifice to save the city.

Tree of Voices: This nature shrine is guarded by Brother Zaganos and the Vistani family. The Tree was chosen by a demi-power to shelters ravens, owls, and other magical messengers along their overland flight.

Constabulary: Tragidore’s Chief Constable is Carin Taber, a no nonsense woman who understands the city's politics and enforces the law with unbridled favoritism toward the wealthy and highborn. Her officers include Bozbeyli Meet, the Governor of the Guard; and Gilda Marsh, cleric of Torm as well as Minister of Justice who supervise seventy new guardsmen.

Fordskin Ranch: Jestine Van Richten is tough, quiet, and more than willing to risk her life to protect the people of Tragidore; a breeding expert specializing in Fordskin horses that are widely used by the Riders of Mistledale, who come here to train and trade fresh horses. Fordskins have been long noted for their superior qualities and strength. They have more stamina, more determination, harder feet, better bones and are generally hardier than other horses. 

Gentleman’s Mage (CLOSED): Riger Mann and his father Tolger own this haberdashery of devices both mundane and magical for the discerning man and contemporary mage. They are Tragidore’s sole resource for Turmeric and other medicinal herbs.

Gundwynd Manor: Part of the original keep, it is easily the oldest building in Tragidore capable of housing the entire clan.  

Hippogriff Arie: Morgan Gundwynd a tireless gentleman and druid who tend to young hippogriffs but who’s primary love and function is his care at breeding the Balserran horses. He spends his time now however consumed over a sickness that is affecting the animals which he calls it Talona’s Revenge.

House of Black and White: Tragidore’s brothel, nearly forgotten during the godsfall is experiencing rise in popularity with the return of all able bodied men. Madame Xemne Pardette operates the house and provides escorts; Milsa Meet is one of her favored girls.

Ioun Gardens (NEW): Operated by the Iounmancer Adolmus Gladstone, an expert in stone, precious gems; a metallurgist obsessed with the magical gemstone-rain provoked by the godsfall. Adolmus recently purchased a villa and converted it into a member’s only alchemy fellowship.

Kordova Keep: Pride and duty are the sentiments of many rangers and sorcerers from this large family. Vacek Kordova maintains a link with the Riders of Mistledale learning their techniques to teach to others; while other prestigious members ensure the longevity of the family name. 

Lady of the Rings: Davina Silvers owns this little shop of mystic baubles and magic of fancy. She is a half-elf Vistani and a known medium utilizing palmistry readings and spirit lore.

Raiserik Tower: A functional alabaster guard tower houses the Raiserik’s and Holgast Raiserik is a master gardener, resins and refined alchemical substances- source of Scraphite and Dri wood paper.

Renet’s Steel: Humfredus Ironshield, a dwarf blacksmith who boasts his sharp blades and spellforged arms and armor are superior to any in the city. He is a dealer in exotic weapons and also offers shields of exceptional make.

Sapphire Monolith: The Wellspring, a magical touchstone from a previous age of magic and a rare coveted source of Incarnum magic.

Swift Prison: ‘May your time be swift.’ Notable prisoners include two drow elves and a local enthusiastic necromancer-priest named Nhar-del. Underneath Swift Prison is the Tragidore’s crypts. The warden’s name is Warak Freestone who is assisted by Lawson Harting the resident deputy-warden, crypt keeper, and city undertaker.

Temple of the Gauntleted Fist: is a repurposed 500 year-old barracks from the Weeping War that now houses two alters to Torm and Shaundakul. Sir Delmar Truesword, Sir Kirkland Starkweather, and Titus ‘the Unbroken’ are a few of the notable and albeit elderly priests who are happy to retell war stories or heal young warriors who share a tale of their own.

The Cawing Crow: Members of this family appear like typical gypsies with knowledge in seasons and celestial cycles, arcane symbols and enchantment magic. This family resides in the first house built when the Weeping War ended and the Tree of Voices was first planted. 

The Curious and the Cowled: Lucine Baumann, formerly Kordova, is a widowed old cat-lady who owns this specialty shop. She is fond of sweets and can correctly identify the region and time period of any article of fashion or clothing.

The Silverhoard: Boon Silverhorde is a weapons maker and chief rival of Humfredus Strongaxe. Boon believes his balanced, hurtful weapons are superior to Renet’s Steel. He employs a host of craftsmen who produce simple weapons, helms as well as spellforged arms and armor.

The Sword Point Inn: A popular local place for accommodations, food, gambeling and entertainment. Wyman ‘the Gentleman’ owns and operates this fine, reasonable priced tavern and expensive in. The interior is based on benevolent heroic themes of victories against dark horse-lords. 

Town Map and Message Board (NEW): Outside the Sword Point Inn is an oval limestone table where a magical model of Tragidore is displayed featuring all the buildings, streets and details of the walled city. Aside from its impressive craftsmanship and amazing magic it functions as a place where anyone can solicit help or post information. A middle aged aristocratic-type named Elad Edals maintains the area.

Trinity Church: Once a kaleidoscopic journey into magic, now a jealously guarded repository of items sacred to the worship of Azuth, Savras, and Velsharoon.

Tristeza House: an manor outside the city abandoned after its last occupants poisoned one another in an attempt to dissolve a mutually unfaithful marriage. The estate has a history of tragic deaths dating back 500 years and is considered haunted by its last owner, Caitrin Deveraux.

Van Richten Keep: Occupying the last of the minor castles, the Van Ricten’s ploy their trade and plan their exploits behind its sturdy grey walls.  

Verduran Wood: a forest area of thorny and twisted trees as haunted and tragic as Tragidore itself. Scores of loggers, merchants, river pirates, poachers, rangers, bandits, and explorers have disappeared there in the last few years alone. The old area of thorny and twisted trees once a part of Cormanthor now touched by wild magic in the wake of the godsfall. Logan Higgs ranges this area of woods outside of Tragidore.

Watchtower Cassomir: Built on the ruins of an old fortification from the Weeping War the Watchtower is the official Seat of the Mayor of Tragidore. Jonark Uptal, Fifth Councilman and Mayor is a stoic man who is also running for another Mayoral term despite his recent unpopularity. Other officers include Rubicund, the Master of Coin, and Gilda Marsh, Minister of Justice can be located here most of the time handling the city operations.

Woodcutter’s Guildhall: Guild Master Matsen Lutar is from Sembia has been sent here after the previous guild president mysteriously fled. Among those in his employ is Grimscar Nicfar a half-orc lumberjack and expert axemen.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tragidore: The Five Families

Rantal Gundwynd
Gundwynd: Founding family of Tragidore with ancestry tracing back to the Weeping War hero Tragen Gundwynd, decedent of Devin Gundwynd. Their roots borrow deep in Tragidore’s history with tragic stories of infidelity and betrayal yet despite all they are a noble and proud family known for their expertise in breeding and training Balserran hippogriffs, as well as instructing great thinkers and evocationists over the decades. They are tough and secretive which makes them difficult to interpret much of the time. Members of this house prefer explorers garb bearing the family Flying Hippogriff devices. Gundwynds have golden hair and green eyes; the men wear their hair short and many sport close trimmed beard or goatees, while the woman’s hair varies for the occasion. Prominent Figures: Rantal, family cleric of Azuth; Morgan, druid and aerie caretaker; Favored Deities: Azuth, Mystra, Torm; Holdings: Gudnwynd Manor, Hippogriff Aerie; Trade Interests: Capture, train, breed hippogriffs as steeds, they also breed bison for their meat, milk and cheese; Membership (Nobles): 37.
Vacek Kordova

Kordova: A large trusted militant family hailing north of the Moonsea; they are lawful with honored traditions in magic, ancient mysteries, the Weeping War, and the hunting of lycanthropes. Described as rangers they are at home in the forests and abhor those who would deface its beauty and magic. Kordovans often wear uniforms in royal colors displaying the Charging Bear family symbol. Members of this house have auburn hair, brown eyes and are relatively tall people; the men wear their hair short and do not normally grow their facial hair, while the woman keep their hair simple. Authority Figures: Vacek, Rider of Mistledale; Favored Deities: Azuth, Silvanus, Tymora, Torm; Holdings: Curious and the Cowled, Kordova Agademy; Trade Interests: Wine, potato ale, sword forging, soldering, guardianship, and magic; Membership (Nobles): 35.

Gideon Raiserik
Raiserik: One of the oldest families, the Raiseriks are established experts in Arcana for creating unique spells and power component uses such as resins and refined core substances; they are astute professors of magic traditions, lands and people as well as the inner planes. Members of this house prefer scholars outfits of solid colors bearing the family’s Resplendent Wyvern. Raiseriks have white hair and silver eyes; the men wear their hair long and flowing with sometimes long prestigious bears or goatees to match. The woman’s hair however is not allowed to grow longer than their shoulders, but instead are done in complicated shapes and expressions. Authority Figures: Holgast, master alchemist; Favored Deities: Azuth, Savras, and Velsharoon; Holdings: Raiserik Tower, Gentleman’s Mage; Trade Interests: Mage schooling, magical research; they also have small farms that produce bountiful grains and are the sole resource for Dri wood paper; Membership (Nobles): 31.  

Van Richten: The Van Richtens are a family of the legendary monster-hunters; they are leading authorities on undead,
Raimund Van Richten
monsters, as well as having a storehouse of dungeon maps and similar collections. Despite first impressions they are a religious family, praying for strength and wisdom against their undead foes. Van Richtens often wear explorer’s outfits in earth-tones displaying their own family symbol, the Flayed Beast. Members of this house have black, often unkempt hair, dark eyes and are known as swift and intuitive people. The men hair varies, but many sport black tangled beards, while the woman keep their hair medium length and decorated with the bones of past flayed beasts. Authority Figures: Raimund, monster hunter and Jestine, Rider of Mistledale; Favored Deities: Savras, Malar, Tymora; Holdings: Van Richten Manor, Fordskin Ranch; Trade Interests: Exploration, guiding, collecting maps, and the hunting of magical creatures; Membership (Nobles): 27.

Marta Vistani
Vistani: A haunted and mysterious family, the Vistani are accomplished diviners and are rumored to have escaped from the domain of dread generations ago; nevertheless the horror of that place still seems evident in their fearful eyes. They appear like typical gypsies with seemingly otherworldly knowledge on seasons and celestial cycles, arcane symbols and enchantment magic. They are custodians of the Tree of Voices. Members of this house prefer colorful courtiers or entertainers garb brandishing the family Perched Rook symbol. The majority of the Vistani men have long black hair and brown eyes and many sometimes sport close trimmed beard or a mustache. The Vistani women have long naturally dark blue or raven hair woven with colorful ribbons and feathers. Authority Figures: Marta, family matriarch and Celadae, a young lady-noble; Favored Deities: Shaundakul, Mielikki and Savras; Holdings: The Cawing Crow, Lady of the Rings and the Tree of Voices; Trade Interests: Arcane familiars and bonds, caravan mastering, horse breeding (Dales Pony) and training; Membership (Nobles): 25

Sun Elves: or ‘Gold’ Elves are famed for their command of both arcane and divine magic, which exceeds that of any other living race. Works of elven high magic thousands of years old still survive in the hidden refuges of the sun elves. Sun elves are responsible for the majority of the great elven cities of legend, Myth Drannor is perhaps their most famous creation, although probably not their most magnificent. Sun elf realms are the stuff legends are made of, an integral part of the history of Faerûn for thousands of years. The sun elves certainly know this, for they distance themselves from nonelf races and often won’t let such “lesser beings” into their lands. They are stylistic and practical in their dress, seamlessly joining function and fashion. Sun elves have bronze skin, hair of golden blond, copper, or black, and eyes of green or gold. They favor contemplation, lore, and study over the quick games and light-hearted songs of other elves, but seem to embody the unearthly beauty, grace, and presence of the elven folk.  

Moon Elves: The most common of the elven subraces in the Dalelands are the Moon-Elves or ‘Silver’ Elves. They have fair skin, sometimes tinged with blue, and hair of silver-white, black, or blue; human-like colors are somewhat rare. Their eyes are blue or green, with gold flecks. Moon elves prefer to dress in rustic clothes of simple cuts and fashions that are nevertheless of fine and exquisite make. They adorn their dress with embroidered patterns, beads, and similar trappings, preferring earthen colors for everyday wear, hues that make it easy to conceal themselves in foliage. In places of safety or in times of revelry, moon elves enjoy dressing in bold colors— the more brightly colored, the better. Hair is worn in braids or ponytails, twined with wires or beads. Moon elves sometimes wear body paint or tattoos in mystic patterns, although not to extent the wild elves do. Moon elves are nomadic spirits who rarely settle down for long in one place. They are comfortable living among sun elves and wood elves, but just as often they live in areas dominated by humans, halflings, or even gnomes. 

Dales Folk: Many commoners keep themselves clean, hardworking and respectable possessing stalwart honor and integrity. As with most of the folk in Dalelands, they stand up for one another and refuse to be pushed around; a hard won characteristic against the far reaching forces of the Black Network or the sinister merchant corporations of Sembia. Sir names often denote social status, for example middle-class folk might be called Middletons or Silvers; while common lower-class family names include Copperbottom and Littlesire. 

Review 02/281/2015 (Sons of Nissian Epilogue)

Continuing with the request for the miracle, our session began with the ceremony that involves
returning the soul of Rozika and the fulfillment of each of our life-goals. As our corporeal bodies are left behind in the Temple of Tiamat in Nimbus, guarded by the capable Hislop, Anan, Diem and Erilis were transported directly to the court of Tiamat. Horns are trumpeted across the wastes as we arrive in Hell.

Each of us were in honored positions in her court upon a plateau of a mountain of treasure; below were the waters of Styx flowing outward and beyond where the sounds of battle were halted as each of us were brought before Tiamat. She took up the sky, the landscape, the ground we stood upon and vacated any influence other ancients or dragons could hope to have over us. Her burning greed for everything comforted us as our becoming draws near. Around us Tiamat’s four temples open like doorways that only fuel her greed for Earth.

As Diem requests the miracle Auge is the first to be drawn into Tiamat’s regard where she asks him if this union between Rozika and Auge is agreed, and when the affirmative was told a joining of Rozika and Auge’s soul’s in coitus thereby giving Rozika a half-dragon drow form and an offspring. Auge was awarded dominion over the underdark under Africa with his mate in the kingdom come.

Lightening and fire clash as Durg was drawn into to Tiamat’s terrible gaze along with the soul form of Adalwin Joscelin. As Durg's weapon killed the most ancient of witches, it was then Durg’s legacy weapon was awakened as a +5 weapon, chaos bane, knowledge drinker. His dominion would become Stormhaven.

Jaren was next to be pulled forward to be granted knowledge of thirteen sacred places to Tiamat. Named the builder of Temples, Jaren would be Tiamat’s herald of her arrival on Earth and tasked with beginning temples at each location across the world, Nimbus already found.

Finally Versel was cast forward and hears the word “Avatar.” It is then that Versel becomes Tiamat on Earth as she abdicates her battle for Hell to the Bearded One to rule on Earth during the Age of Dragons. His promised domain was the Africa.

Weeks and months later the waters around Stormhaven begin to boil cleansing the waters of the alien jailer. For weeks the battle is brought against the Farie Queen and the vile bandersnatches burning a large swath of destruction across Africa. And just at the pinnacle of victory Nissian enters the story and exercises his knowledge of Versel’s truename thereby assuming Tiamat’s mantle on Earth from a seat somewhere in Mesopotamia...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Smendric 2nd orgin Part 2

The small town of Eleanor has known nothing but prosperity since it was settled. Built in a valley of the Frostback Mountains this city’s natural defenses made it the perfect location for anyone looking to enjoy the simple life. Surrounded by mountains on all sides Eleanor is well protected from most land based aggressors. The height of the mountains ensure most of the inclement weather bypasses the valley entirely which allows for plentiful crops year after year. A mere five miles from the coast, the distance is enough to ensure the safety of the city during stormy seasons (do to protection from the mountains). But not so far away to hamper any trade or fishing the citizens may wish to engage in. A narrow yet well-traveled pass leads to the sea where a small series of docks & storage buildings has been erected to help facilitate trade with the city. 

Smedric had arrived in Eleanor only 3 months before the first frost. He had run across the name of the city while investigating “the master mages” of the realms. He was intrigued not only because he could not find any reference to an actual mage living here, but there was also no records of any notable deeds performed by anyone either. He wasn’t sure if a mistake had been made or if someone was trying to hide something. His sources ensured him there was once great magic worked here, but he was looking for an active practitioner not an ancient relic.

It had taken him months to find a ship captain competent enough to bring him here. It seemed several sailors had heard of the city, but few knew where to find it. It wasn’t until he stumbled upon a small trade ship owned by the city itself was he able to book passage. Upon arrival he was initially reminded of Mirabar, with its stone structures & the close proximity of the mountains. But he was surprised to learn there were no dwarves here. The population around 4,500 was all humans. He was told it was not unheard of for someone of another race to visit, but none ever stayed longer than a season.

After poking around his first few weeks he had made some notes about this unique town. There was only a modest library aimed toward rudimentary education. It also contained a very brief overview of the city’s history and founding family of merchant sailors. Apparently there were no surviving members of the original family left in the city. A very basic form of government was established where the city elders made decisions on anything that was not covered in typical day to day operations. The day to day responsibilities were handled by rotating groups of men and women that alternated between working the fields, mines & civic responsibility’s. All able bodied men and women worked in this rotation for at least 10 years.  Its operations reminded Smendric more of a commune than actual city even though its size suggested the latter. The shop owners & city crafters where generally older citizens who after years of running daily operations settled down to a less demanding form of service. Though they did use minted currency (from other regions) it was clear no one actually understood the value of it. Gold, silver, and even copper were all seen as equal value & for all intents and purposes a coin was a coin. There were two yearly festivals Expiry which he had attended in mid fall and Nascent which was early spring. It was the second festival that intrigued him. It culminated with a few hundred able bodied citizens taking a pilgrimage into the mountains. While most people referred to the destination as The Eonian they all seemed to revere this location & it was the first sign of any religion Smendric had heard of since arriving.          

Smendric now stood upon the highest peak looking down at the valley sprawled out ahead of him. He was certain magic had been use to shape the landscape, however that was done centuries ago. The surrounding mountains blanketed with a deep accumulation of snow yet only a light dusting lay across the valley below. The scene was perfect, too perfect he noted as he studied the overall layout of the valley. The forest and river were positioned along the eastern side of the valley. They ran right up to the fields providing no need for irrigation or wind breaks. The fields to the north were remarkably rock free in this mountainous valley. Large enough to feed the entire population of Eleanor he had heard the fields would support a wide variety of crops simultaneously. Someone had created this valley he thought, the river, fields, even the location of the buildings in the city were meticulously placed. It reminded him of the time he created a demi-plane and secretly transported that barbarian tribe to live there for a month, but this was on a much larger scale. Smendric had been coming here every day for a month. There was something about the layout of the valley that gnawed at him, a kind of familiarity even though he had never seen it before.  

It was designed as series of safe guards each area protecting another area of the valley. Floods, avalanches, or any natural disasters had each been taken into account & planed for centuries ago.  Invasion would be the only real threat to the valley however a land assault would be too costly. Bring an invading force over the mountains would take a year; you couldn’t bring enough resources for that long of a campaign. To come by sea if you could find it would have been possible, but what’s the point? Smendric had lived here over nine months and had yet to see anything worth invading for. They had food, a couple small mines for silver & iron ore but nothing of great value. It certainly wasn’t a strategic location. Even their smithy & crafting techniques were dated compared to other cities he had visited. His attention came back to the present, there was something else, something that kept calling him back up here, something he had yet to see. He hoped tomorrow’s pilgrimage would inspire him to find what he was looking for.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Some of the locals - Captain Tabitha

The Gypsy Venture was a familiar sight to any dock worker in the coastal towns and village ports. A medium sized junk with three masts, she is captained and owned by a tiefling woman known as Captain Tabitha. She has made a good sailor's living ferrying passengers and cargo back and forth between Lowport and her home port of Shabbad. Her ship is unusually quick and mobile, a gift of the three masts, but rarely sails more than 3 days off-shore. Another advantage the design of a junk affords is its ease of operation - she only needs seven sailors besides herself to run.

As she looked ahead through her glass, she gasped a little. Her last port of call was Lowport, and the city was abuzz about news of the burgeoning trade port of Nimbus. She had heard much aggrandized reports of new docks, but she didn't really believe the rumors. However, seeing them for herself was a wake up call. The rumors didn't do them justice. She recalled her meeting with one of her best clients, a merchant with Imp Town Curiosities. He was flush with excitement over his meeting and dealings with the group of dragon men of Nimbus, and his sense of wonder had bled into her a bit. That wonder renewed now as she saw ships out to anchor, waiting for a spot to port. The family of smiths was equally excited, taking turns looking through her glass. When they approached her to book passage for their families and estates to Nimbus, she grew to sense that this was the beginning of a trend. As the two brothers, their children, and grand children started to fill her ship, she worked to load her hold with a variety of tools and materials for trade. She was pleased with herself, making a number of smallish deals, but providing a good variety of products. She could see now that the trade in this boom town was going to be very active. Before she even docked, she knew this was a new addition to her routine coastal run.
Bill of Goods
500 pounds of a variety of paper
200 pounds of blacksmith tools
500 pounds stretched leather hides
200 pounds crafting tools
500 pounds iron
200 pounds cold iron ore
200 pounds animal horns
1000 pounds of beer
200 pounds of cloth and linen
500 pounds of sailcloth
500 pounds of flour

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Auge Journal: Union

It was not until our brotherhood came into contact with the drow Kalaris that I understood Versel’s lust for the female species. Truth be told I have never gave procreation a priority in my path to power nor even looked twice at a woman and considered myself gender neutral even though I was male. I considered it a natural occurrence due to my creation and the general dominance of the male species. It was logical that I was male. It was when a drow woman came under our followership that awakened something in me, a burning lust for the drow woman something akin to Versel’s ambition to become a full dragon. But even then I understood Kalaris was allied with my brother Versel and put to heel my base desires.

Not long after Anan Viator entered our lives and not only ingratiated herself with her clerical abilities as a cleric of Tiamat, she also earned Jaren’s esteemed regard to the level of cohort, replacing the irreplaceable Sarosh. Again I resisted my desires, but it was soon after that when Diedre Saltsure became a regular visitor to my chambers. Diedre was unexpected and in hindsight a necessary exercise. Diedre gave me confidence as well as valuable experience needed but she was not one I desired as anything other than a play-thing. She is, in the end, part of the time-trap of Stormhaven and thus will begin to age, wither and die.

So that night at Spragle Tower and seeing Rozika overseeing the training of her guard, instincts gripped me to claim the favor of this drow woman greedily for myself, unbeknownst to me she was also the Queen of Darkell. I gifted her with a necklace in hopes she considers my courtship, little did we know that we were the hope she prayed for. When I later saw her consumed in the mouth of the ancient blue wyrm I feared that her baptism into Tiamat's faith, her reformation of Darkell’s religion, to say nothing of my progeny was lost. Not so.

As I stand here in the presence of the court of Tiamat, a battle-worn Avericia to her side, and the battle waged in the far reaches of Hell I am humbled in regards to Tiamat’s terrible splendor and her unholy blessing of my union with Rozika. 

The Dark Continent (updated map)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Minotaur Library

Spell collection for minotaurs
This list is the bundle of scrolls Jaren first gave the Ambassador. There is only one of each scroll, the number preceding the spell name is the spell level.

(5) teleport   CL 12
(3) wind wall CL 5
(4) charm monster CL 7
(2) invisibility CL 3
(3) fireball CL 5
(1) protection from evil  CL 1
(1) detect secret door CL 1
(1) benign transposition (spell comp.)  CL 2  Castle
(2) resist energy cold  CL 3
(1) magic missile  CL 1
(1) obscuring mist CL 1
(1) ventriloquism CL 4
(5) scrying  CL 9
(4) dimension door  CL 7
(2) web CL 3
(1) reduce person  CL 1
(2) protection from arrows  CL 3
(2) mount, communal  CL 3
(2) locate object  CL 3
(2) whispering wind  CL 3
(2) defoliate  CL 3    deep magic
(2) green sight CL 3   deep magic

We have been able to meet one other time in our jaunting to and fro, and have given him this relatively small but exotic book of spells fro Deep Magic.
 0 -  sea legs   tool kit   hide
 1 - summon blade    feral scent
 2 - black dust     uncanny utterance
 3 - force phalanx     anger of many faces
 4 - greater torc of the pharaoh  
 5 - transposition     enemy within
 6 - summon greater wondrous item

the next gem, the one most recently gifted to him was none other than the spell book of rakshasa wizard pater Van fleet. Of course, I have copied all these spells.

0 - all in the core book plus scoop   root   spark    spark of fatigue
1 - expeditious retreat   frost fingers   liberating command   protection from good
      shield   snowball
2 - disfiguring touch   frigid touch   limp lash   scorching ray   spectral hand
      touch of idiocy
3 - battering blast    bloodstorm   diamond spray   dispel magic
4 - bestow curse    boneshatter    enervation    stoneskin
5 - cone of cold     corrosive consumption     siphon magic
6 - cold ice strike

Troy this all came out of very good notes and can show where these books came into play. I just thought it might be helpful to give you a post to reference for their strategies, etc.

Smendric 2nd orgin Part 1

Smendric pulled the thin cloak as far around him as he could manage. Although he was hiking up a mountain trail he wasn’t dressed for the frigid cold. The magic he was relying on to stay warm had been stripped away leaving him ill prepared for the harshness of the winter winds. If he were in a younger body he could have tolerated the cold a bit better, but this one had long since passed its prime. The onset of cold & stiffness had begun to affect him more than years past, a sure indication it was time for this form to be replaced. He was running out of time and could ill afford another dead end like his previous investigations.

Smedric had arrived on this world over 50 winters ago. It was an alternate prime material similar to his home, but with slightly different rules regarding magic. After visiting various libraries and speaking with a variety of sages he discovered that arcane spells were cast a bit differently in this realm. He realized the majority of their spells were variances of what he had collected over the past few centuries. Some of these variances were just semantics, with no notable difference what so ever. However some rewrote the spells completely with components, durations, or even the spells affects being radically altered. It was these differences that caused him to enroll in an apprentice program at Maven’s Universal School for Incantations & Conjurations.

Once there he relearned the basics of spell formula and was able to merge his arcane flair, with some of the more common gestures found in this realm. The result was a more versatile style of spell casting that would allow him to cast more efficiently regardless of what plane he found himself. When he finished not only was he the top graduate in his class, but he was the youngest wizard in school history to earn the BCA (Brewers Caldron Accolade) for alchemy. Smendric spent several decades researching not only his new foundation of spell casting but trying to identify any master mages of this world who had perfected their art.

Most worlds had very few gifted spell casters. One that could reach a level of magical talent only dreamed of by the common arcanist. Remembering Blackstaff & Mascar he needed a true master of magic, surely this world must have their equivalents somewhere. If he could track them down and offer to further their studies. He had collected a lot of knowledge in his travels, rare magics any wizard would be eager to possess. His hope was to find a skilled colleague with something valuable to offer him in return.

As he trudged up the mountain Smendric scoffed at the thought of his past disappointments. A couple of devils pretending to be humans, an ancient Druid who wouldn't recognize a spell book if it bit him in the arse, and a mediocre illusionist that built up a reputation far greater than his talents deserved. The masters of magic in this world were beyond disappointing. Not one of them had anything useful to offer him and he was about to run out of names. In fact after his run in with the illusionist this world had one less master of magic to grandstand for it.

Images of his friends slipped into his mind, they did not share his burden in this endeavor. So trivial to them, the topic of mortality was never even discussed in their presence. He was certain they would help him if he were to ask. But he knew they would lecture him on “the cycle of life” or something, that’s the way elves were. And the thought of a pact made him shiver more than the biting winds he now faced. Besides he knew they would need his help one day they were far from immortal after all. When they hit that venerable age and faced the reality of their own mortality I will be the one they turn to he thought. I will be the only one prepared for their inevitable fall from grace, and then it will be my turn to say….

Lost in his delusion of grandeur Smendric failed to notice the second dispelling wall. The first only stripped him of his weather protection, but this one took everything else. All his item effects, as well as his spell like abilities were all gone. At once he felt as if he had been kicked in the stomach. His knees buckled and pain wracked his body. The pilgrim behind him was able to keep him upright else he would have been laid prone on the mountain side.

“Thank you” he whispered looking over his shoulder after collecting himself. The man while similar in age was far superior physically. Having lived in this environment his entire life the weather only seemed to cause him minor discomfort.

“No problem, keeping the line as tight as possible will help reduce the wind. Here take my walking stick this part of the trail can get pretty slick. If it gets to bad put your head down and keep your eyes on the boots in front of you”.

Smendric nodded taking the old walking stick in his off hand. The man oblivious to the dispelling field assumed he had slipped on the ice. Looking around no one else had notice the field either. How did it hit him so hard while no one else had a clue? Most of the villagers had no magic to speak of, those that did had minor trinkets passed down as family air looms or won in games of chance. They probably wouldn’t have noticed even if he hit them on the head with their non-functioning items. There was a dozen or so that wore enchanted weaponry; surely they would have been affected. But no reactions came from the group, either they weren’t affected or more likely they were to dim witted to know it.  

He began to think of the power necessary to generate that type & size of field. To dispel active item affects as well as spell like ability’s.  An anti-magic field would work, but that spell is typically centered on a caster. And now that he had regained his sense he could see the faint shimmering of the field well over 50’ in radius. A smile crept across his cracking lips. Perhaps this pilgrimage to the Eonian would put an end to his searching.   

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Review (02/11/2015)

Our casual session began with the sons of Nissian at Spragle Tower awaiting drow refugees from Darkell. Over the two days in speaking with the drow, Diem and Jaren’s truespeak talents learn that Drakara was not the Queen’s real name; it was one she took when gaining office. Her real name is Rozika. In the days after our first visit with Rozika, Darkell was coming under more frequent attacks from their chaotic brethren deeper in the underdark. Rozika knew she had to do something and allying with the church of Tiamat and taking a husband of Tiamat’s blood would save Darkell and the noble hierarchy. In our absence she received Tiamat’s baptizing to symbolize her commitment. Our recent arrival put her plans in action as well as the chaotic aggressors. Only the first level has been destroyed in the attack and their end-game is still unknown other than they spurn their lawful cousins; nevertheless Diem believes he has been granted a miracle to bring Rozika back, Auge was the first to agree.

Versel spoke to Hroogar Uzzi about training our troops exclusively in light of the elves and their recent attacks. Asking around we learn that Ambassador Katchlack has left for his kingdom to inform him of recent events and to deliver the papers: our 100 year truce and Jaren’s gift of teleport scrolls. It was then we sensed a magical divination on the area; Auge correctly guesses it is Youvalan. Jaren looks in on the diviner to see him in Lowport, advanced in age and under duress.

Switching to the albino Ambassador Jaren find his with twenty non-albino minoaturs discussing safe routes of passage to avoid attacks from the elf fighter-rangers/rogues. We asked if we could approach, then teleported to their location where we were happily greeted and introduced to each of the twenty minotaurs. They inform us of the elven warmachine and the raging bandersnatches. As if docile bandersnatches weren’t horrible enough.

They were concerned of the elves discovering the secrets contained in their labyrinth-city. After some words they explained the elves seemed to be moving east and we in turn share our information on the bandersnatches and our goals for taking the drow refugees to the Plinth/ front-line. Jaren agrees to teleport all but three minotaurs to Nimbus where they will reside/serve us including any wayward minotaurs looking for safe haven, but before Katchlack leaves Jaren also requests an audience with the King and gives him a second VanFleet Spell book and Auge gives them three healing potions.

Once in Nimbus we are faced with housing all these minotaurs and ogres, so we scout out some of the old parts of Nimbus, the remnants of the Undefeated’s terrestrial castle and found two perfect structures. The first had the most unique of the buildings, it would receive fliers and provide a tether for Jaren’s demiplane. The second were likely barracks for guests and candidates for the Undefeated, so it was large and spacious for the minotaurs and ogres. We will be sure to put in the papers for these properties.

Back at the Temple of Tiamat, still in Nimbus, we are pleased to discover a living church filled with workers, worshipers, and menial taskmasters as well as some of our followers maintaining the Temple. Even the alter is three quarters complete. Thanks to the newly risen king/president of Nimbus, we are impressed to learn the church of Tiamat is the state religion. After speaking to Erilis, we adjourn to the lower crystal chamber with Diem to request the Miracle.

At first only the priests and Auge and Jaren were to participate until we learned that each of us would receive a boon by participating in the Miracle… the defeat of the jailer, their greatest goal achieved…

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Review (02/04/2015)

Before going through the portal to Hell another portal opened, this one however was of chaotic origins from below Darkell. It was unsure who was leading the assault on the temple of Tiamat but it quickly became clear that the entirety of Darkell was under attack.

We did as best as we could fighting but after five rounds of combat the Ancient Blue Dragon (possessed/controlled), a Vrock anti-paladin, Hezrou, bat-demons, and a demonologist; but in the end the Queen was consumed by the dragon as well as many heads of families.

We retreated to Spragle Tower where we find many other drow who had fled the chaotic war machine. We split up some treasure and was rewarded 119,500 xp. Our plans are to wait for a couple of days for any drow refugees to arrive at Spragle Tower and escort the lot of them back to Nimbus.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

VanFleet Lost Armory of Antiquity

The armory was vast, two main chambers each large enough to hold various wings. At first, both Jaren and Sarosh were unsure how the armory was put together. It seemed quite random, finding 100 matching swords laid in front of 50 sets of armor with similar designs, right next to a rack of a dozen magnificent greatswords with no discern-able connection by design or decoration. The register given to us by Dr. Serart provided the key. This armory was assembled over hundreds of years. Not only does it represent a cache built many by many separate deals, some of those additions had been made hundreds of years apart, by cultures that weren't even aware of each other. Probably 80 % of the weapons and armor were from the Evening Isles, but there were plenty of examples of far eastern weapons (these blades are among the finest in the collection) and continent - designed armor (prized for their greater comfort in hot climates).  It was determined by the both of them that the 'newest' of the hoard was perhaps 200 years old (just before the time loop, but we didn't really put that together til later). The two gleefully gathered the entirety of the armory, and studiously recorded their plunderings.
 250 sets scale mail (5 different times/styles)
250 sets banded mail (5 types)
300 heavy shield (10 types)
240 chain shirts (3-4 types)
300 glaives (2 types)
600 longswords (many types)
600 daggers (many types)
100 throwing axes (2-3 types)
250 light crossbows (5 types)
10,000 bolts
60 longbows (all similar)
2,400 arrows
120 war hammers (3 types)
150 scimitars (3 types)
75 greatswords (4 types)
90 battleaxes (4-5 types)
150 shotswords (3 types)
195 longspears (many types)

this vast armory took 9 days to transport, seven barrels at a time

Drums in The Night (excerpt written by Shar Auvryndar, from Magics and Mysteries of The New World, vol. 5, written by Jerit McCaugh)

Drums, drums in the night. When my comrade Jerit McCaugh invited me to assist him in researching and categorizing the magics of this new world of his, he advised me to dress and pack for warm environs. By the gods, he was right! Here, in this lush, steamy jungle on what's been called The Dark Continent, five years have passed as we ingratiated ourselves into this tribe of dark skinned humans called the M'Buatu. The tribe numbered in the high twenties and on this night, they would be contacting the lower levels of reality to go to war.
 Countless sparks filled the night sky over the tribe, encircling a roaring bonfire. A throbbing drumbeat assisted the undulations of the men and women, dancing around in the living heat. Sweat glistened off writhing bodies, dancing around the flames. I look past Jerit, clad like a native in naught but a loincloth, to see the shaman step out of his but. Short, wizened, his face and drizzled hair were covered in cracked, flaky ash. In short, sturdy steps, he approached the circle, who made a space for him. Taking a shallow bowl from one of his acolytes, he took a deep sip, then offered the bowl to the next in line, Jerit. The McCaugh took a sip, winced as he swallowed and handed the bowl over to me. I took a healthy swig and handed off the bowl to the next.
 I choke down the putrid swill, fighting back a wave of nausea. Once the liquid was swallowed, the effects took hold. Colors exploded in my ears, smells assaulted my eyes. I look over at Jerit, to see him holding himself, rocking back and forth, staring wide-eyed into the roaring flames and whispering to himself. Voices echoing in my ears, I turn to look at the shaman, in time to see him shake what looked like a dead chicken at the fire and then blows a handful of powder into it.
 Two nights ago the chieftain and the shaman decided the M'Buatu would go to war with a neighboring tribe of humans, and that Jerit and I could observe, and even participate in the summoning, which was obviously going on now. The drumming began beating faster, the chanting came faster and louder.
 As a noble drow, I am quite familiar with summonings. My sisters of my race have turned summoning into a true art form and have become masters of it. And yet this tribe of humans were a match for any drow I have seen.
 My vision began to swim, whether from the potion I drank, the heat of the roaring flames, from the beating rhythms of the drums or a combination of the three. Sparks rose and danced in the air above the fire; the McCaugh, eyes closed, head shaking, muttering to himself; a tear forms in the blaze... and out steps a thing...
 Over six feet tall, and dressed in strange garb, it looked about the assembled tribe. As its gaze passed over me, the blood drained from my face. Its face was pure white, no eyes, a mere knob of a nose. Its only definable feature was its maw. Thin black lips and a mouthful on jagged teeth completed its visage.
 The shaman dropped to his knees, imploring the creature to aid them in the upcoming assault. I looked to my comrade, only to find Jerit on his hands and knees, still shaking his head, a glazed look in his eyes. As I helped him to his feet, I cast my gaze around the tribe and saw that Jerit was not the only one afflicted. There were several men and women wailing and gnashing their teeth. My keen ears were able to detect what the McCaugh was uttering, a nursery rhyme from his youth:

   Do you hear the whisper men?
The whisper men are near
  Once you hear the whisper men
 Then turn away your ear
   Do not hear the whisper men
     Whatever else you do
For once you've heard the whisper men
         They'll stop...
   And look at you

10 Days Before A King

It had been a busy and long week for Jaren and his cohort, Sarosh.  Indira, of coarse, helped run the schedule and kept people showing up on time, where ever it was they were supposed to go. In nine days, they all worked elbow to elbow moving the closest of Sons Associates and friends to the coastal city of Nimbus. Any one they transported carried a folding barrel full of arms from the  VanFleet Lost Armory of Antiquity, packing in arms and armor for 500 soldiers and a squad of archers (detailed in its own post), though much of it was some what mismatched, coming from several different eras of the world. Any and all followers who wished it were taken to Nimbus, and most went. Nearly all surviving bards, none to many as they were, rallied to Dalia Toma and her mentor, Filis Fey, where they helped lead the experts like Pippen Toma, and the cinder block tailor family, and even a handful of craftsmen who had come to take pride in building for Jaren and his draconic heritage. All these worthy masters of craft would find great position in Nimbus, all according to plan. A few stayed behind, such as the Pauchards at the Cinder Block hoping to cash in when Son's claims victory.

Over all the discussion was the driving topic of expansion. Son's was expanding to Africa. the Jailor was expanding and claiming territory very close to stormhaven. Sarosh's noble standing was also on the rise, and he could no longer deny the greed to cash in. He started explaining in bits and pieces of conversation the powerful pacts his bloodline could command, and the power of the pacts our bloodline lineage would reciprocate. Even he was overwhelmed , even elated when all four brothers wanted to pact bond, and the new cohort, Anan, was as eager as any. The Dragons were so focused they only barely noticed Indira, betrothed and cohort to Sarosh, enter the pact ceremony as well.
All could feel the rhythm of magic aligning itself to the restraints of its newest rules, and the effects were incredible and immediate. For Sarosh, his new powers were a mix of what he needed in his realm and powerful magics he had witnessed at the side of his Leader. He would build his wisdom and his charisma, and learn to skip around the world. Dimension Door at will, fireball, teleport and chain lightning are all gifts from the pact. Also, the pact maintains a hoard of magic, gathered at the time of sealing the pact, to be used in the pursuit giving aid to the pact holder calling for help.

The power  was enough to make him start his move. He took Indira as his first wife during the pacting, and immediately after the ceremony, both whisked away to the courts in the City of Brass. Their pacts were heartily endorsed, and it finally allowed Sarosh the chance to rule a Kingdom, an are in our ocean called The Breach where it open to the Elemental plane of water. He issued his Challenge to the Marid King, and Sarosh's generals delivered a defeated but living king in total surrender. King Sarosh remembered his lesson of obedience, and the cost of pride. Pride would not force the payment of blood today.Servants were allowed to live and return to whence they came, while the former king was banished to Stormhaven. Sarosh had expanded to rule over a realm that spanned two worlds.He would spend the next day putting the vassals of the realm to the test as he called for an all kingdom assembly of defenders to wage war on the planar terror on the other side of The Breach

Under water behemoths, were-sharks, goliath whales, sea monsters, creatures that looked like dragons who'd never breathed air. these were the armies of the Breach King. As they were led to the proper time by us, the carnage was soul damaging. There are many, many, terrible reasons humans have such chilling fear of the dark depths of the sea - they know they don't belong there. Gnashing teeth, grinding jaws, thrashing tails, pools of blood heating your eyes as dying beasts bleed on your face. That was this battle ground. Once King Sarosh sensed the dragons leave the combat, he gave a different sort of order to his maritime swarm - feed. kill as much of his beasts as you want and FEED. This was likely going to need several waves of such assaults, and if they can eliminate the jailers beasts in "clean up" combat, it can help keep their recovery numbers low.

Indira gazed, still in wonder, at Sarosh as he leaned into a massive conch sea-shell, blowing into it with air elemental breath, sending sonic waves so subsonic you could feel them cut through your head. The deep exhales produced ripples and waves of sound that sped out into the depths of a perpetual ocean. It was time he sequestered a suitable mount.