Thursday, July 28, 2016

07/27/16 Virtues Session 53: Ferryman's League Quandary

We begin catching up with our characters the morning of the eighth day since our first appearance at the trinity of large wells Naper’s Dawn developed around. It is also the first day Kyras, Syrendross, and Barit Coinmail are fully recovered from the dread wraith, the undead form of Rakil the local half-elf druid.

The Druid Ashlye
During the course of the past few days our characters watched the swell of people gathering in advance of the League Summit, merchants and brokers with the promise of new business; there seemed to be a sincere feeling of gladness had by all. Otherwise, individually our characters had other personal tasks to attend to...

Kyras took the Green word to the masses, a gesture that has been greatly received while in Tier Ne Somenhiem, and attracted a half-elf druid by the name of Ashlye. She confirmed to Kyras most of what he already knew of Rakil and asked permission to take on the mantle of Rakil’s old druid grove; a decision Kyras would have to pray upon. Over the remaining days Kyras would use his Tongue of the Land that he and Ashlye could spread the news of the transition among the Green followers (including one cat-man).

Dolgrin, and sometimes Barit, socialized mostly with the Road Marshals collecting information while the rest of our characters wrote scrolls, renewed skin book tattoos, and honed their social skills as well as making key changes to their hero’s outfit. Dolgrin was not able to kick up any dirt on the Ferryman’s League, but learned they are the true power behind the Duke and the League’s only true rivals are the Bankers of Somenhiem. The people largely indicate to Dolgrin that trade along the road is brisk and that nearly everyone prospers because of the monopoly held by the League, and that the only true dark element to be had would be politicians in general.

It was Dramen who asked about the ‘elephant in the room’ i.e. the floating citadel and the winged minotaurs. “Oh, that’s a skylord”. The ‘a’ was disheartening at first, but soon our characters began to uncover the trade agreement the Ferryman’s League has with this particular skylord. Descriptions abound but to our characters this skylord and winged minotaurs sound like outsiders.

But on the morning of Day 165 our characters are woken to early wafts of food, streams of the Bouvaldian Anthem, and the true formality of which our characters only had experienced the impromptu ‘dress rehearsal’ only days ago when our characters first arrived.  It was the ceremony that kicked off the League Summit. Our characters are left to roam until that night’s formal meeting with the League attendees.

Our characters decide to visit the Bouvaldian Embassy in Naper’s Dawn, but when our characters arrive the heroes see visitors have set up their camps around the two story structure. The neglected building was formerly a spice house nestled in a residential area. There was a loading dock, a front office, store front and a place for a banner. With a flash of magic Syrendross appeared past the visiting campers to affix the Bouvaldian banner; this had the desired effect and many of the visiting campers politely moved their party elsewhere.

Inside, after Kotri gives access, our characters find spicy odoriferous rooms, a receiving bay, the afore seen front office and store front, a masterwork lockbox in a space fit for a floor safe and a spice slide that originated from a now gone mechanical pepper grinder on the second floor. Four private quarters filled the remaining second floor. There was also a trap door leading to the flat roof. Kotri breaks open the lockbox exhuming three gems suitable as elemental gems

Dramen and Syrendross study the Bouvaldian Embassy in Naper’s Dawn for teleportation purposes as Dolgrin tables the idea of having the alchemist Nobyka set up a shop and maintain the Embassy. This sounded like an excellent idea; so much so that Syrendross matched Dolgrin’s investment of 2,000 gold to fund the renovation of the Bouvaldian Embassy in Naper’s Dawn, renamed Casa de Calias. Kyras recommends going to Labiatar’s Hope for understudy candidates.

7pm our characters in their finery, the heroes return to the Grumblebelly and down a secret staircase disguised as a marble dining table. Rich colors of the League and subtle lighting added ambiance to the lower chamber that contained lavish chairs tailored to each attendee including small humidors and other personal conveniences.

Our characters are introduced each accompanied with the long list of titles and accomplishments before they do likewise. Although not the entire League is present, enough relatives and appointees are here to speak for those absent. Present are Baron Sambrial Zarl, these individuals, as well as Baron Dackary Lawson. Baron Zarl first states what he understands of our needs then finally comes to why they require our aid in exchange for what is essentially the affirmation of Duke Somenhiem toward our efforts.

They have a ‘quandary’ a warlord by the name of Larosse Se-MarQuay has seized Ferryman’s League holdings of Tower Falls and an area called Ground Zero (five miles north of Naper’s Dawn). These are trade locations where the League trades water and livestock respectively for exotic trade goods provided by the skylord and the trade agreement gives the banking clans of Somenhiem access to a world economy. First and foremost if any employees can be rescued, that is paramount; furthermore if the violent and vicious warlord can be stopped then trade with the skylord can recommence on the next full moon (in 32 days.).

While yes, Jeshel Macrear suffered territory loss after the Sundering, the warlord Larosse Se-MarQuay claims his heritage and nobility was dismissed. Se-MarQuay is assumed to hail from Verik Ny, has aspirations for the crown, is quite powerful and is described as a gnome surrounded by minotaurs. The Baron Zarl is hopeful the warlord would not be prepared for our characters. Everson Lawson adds that the warlord was well informed as to the value Tower Falls and Ground Zero possess- but by whom he does not know. Thus far the League has lost fifty men to Se-MarQuay but the underlying goal is to save the Baron's people and succeed at the next trade event.

Dramen asks who is the current Duke of Jeshel Macrear and is told of Duke Misky a kenku whose family, in the Twin Cities, was raised into nobility but hold little power. Twin Cities is roughly populated by one hundred thousand individuals of humans, half-orcs and a variety of other monstrous races and outlaws.

Our characters are allowed to confer privately and pretty much decide our characters require liquid funds to further our character’s quest, but obviously our characters would agree hoping it would further the plot. They initially offer shares in a coldstone mine, but in the end they promise 10,000gp each if the trade with the skylord is completed. Ickarth Hassis draws up the contract and our characters each put our names to the document, but before all is complete Baron Zarl asks that should all else fail that our characters spread word of the vile warlord.

Later, at Everson Lawson’s home our characters are given maps of Tower Falls and Ground Zero. Everson struck our characters as a person of heroic level; he has theorized the warlord may be a Spriggan. The heroes learn that the first water tower was raised 700 years ago and eventually learn it was upon foundations created by Keltischer Sanger at the top of a two tiered 175’ waterfall at the end of Vicar or ‘Holy River.’ Our character’s visit was short and amiable.
Gazalcia

Later that night our characters rejoin Naper’s Dawn nightlife and festivities around the three Great Wells giving our characters time to mingle in the carnival-like atmosphere. Our characters treat the people with tales from Bouvaldia and field questions regarding fables that come out of the western duchy including stories of drow that most believe the dark elves of the Isles are from.

A half elf by the name of Gazalcia catches Syrendross’ eye and his curiosity; they spend a few hours together, Syrendross learns the woman is approximately the same power as the arcanist but her catalogue is light when it comes to uncommon and rare spells. The drow learns that Gazalicia is a transmuter employed by the Ferryman’s League, and coincidentally sold Nobyka a bag of holding II that eventually will end up in the arcanists possession. Syrendross agrees to afford her deep magic spells in exchange for services: adding an extradimsensional space to the floor safe at Casa de Calias, also setting up a meeting with her tomorrow morning.

Rydin and Dramen finally make iContact with Tristor Von Kreighton and learn the who’s who in the League as Grand Eye Affairs members. Kyras meet a man named Tonorris who names Ash and Cinder as the cause of Rakil’s demise and indicates three areas the Hag of ash and cinder was seen: a pond near an old farm populated by her minions, a broken bridge over a dry river (trolls), and a small and narrow valley that had once held enchanted waters all within five miles of Naper’s Dawn and within Rakil’s territory.

The next morning (Day 166) our characters are greeted by more salutations and friendly goings with the arrival of gifts from various merchants: cufflinks, chains and accessories to adventure in. Our characters agree to check out of the Grumblebelly and make our temporary home at Casa de Calias where our characters find Nobyka busy making plans for the new lab and floor safe. It was not long before Gazalcia arrives to take measure of her task and meets the rest of the heroes of Virtue as our characters formulate a plan of reconnaissance. Syrendross fails to scry on Se-MarQuay before Dramen teleporst our characters (invisibly) to a location one hundred feet into the air forty feet above one of the water towers.

Larosse Se-MarQuay Gnome Warlord from Verik Ny
Keltischer Sanger’s ancient work is evident as our characters look upon the towers erected by the skylord on top of Sanger’s old unused work, a tower floated above it all. Log cabins, docks and structures populate the shores of the Vicar River before the falls as well as a deep depression that seems part of Sanger’s work but it largely avoided. Our characters see folk, winged minotaurs and sense undead; a storm giant ‘skylord’ in extreme armor flanked with two similarly outfitted troll minions stand at the giant’s call each looking up at the watertower. Our characters see a gnome speaking with minotaurs then without warning winged minotaurs can be seen taking a cage of prisoners up to the floating tower hanging lazily over the two water towers of Tower Falls...


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Any News Cousin?

GrumbleBelly
Kelmar rode into Naper’s Dawn astride his Palomino Barb handing the mare off to the GrumbleBelly’s stableman. A quick cantrip after dismounting and Kelmar’s clothing was as clean as when he first departed on his journey.  Kelmar entered a side service entrance, surprising workers who grimaced at the intrusion. 
Kelmar
Kelmar made his way to a back kitchen stairwell, hopping up the steps two at a time to the closed wooden door at the top.  Kelmar used another cantrip to open the thick Mahogany door cheerily calling ahead as he entered the den chamber, “Are you home cousin?”

Ollesa Merryweather jumped from her office chair, happily surprised, and embraced her cousin Kelmar Somenhiem.  The exchange of pleasantries was short before Ollesa confided “The guests have arrived and not a moment too soon!  Larosse Se-MarQuay is harassing all of our holdings and the SkyLords have come for their orders. 

“Perhaps it would be best if I returned to Somenhiem and informed mother of our troubles?” Kelmar inquired, eyebrow raised in mock challenge.

“My Aunt Priscilla is a stratagem better employed elsewhere or at least in last resort.  No I need your help here.  Tell me what you learned of Atlab & Bae, if the Skylords are approaching the Duke, their understanding of our culture is much further along than ever before. They are trying to cut out the Ferryman's League!”
Ollesa Merryweather 

Kelmar grimaced at the mention of the infamous giant Drow, holding his hands out as if to wave off the criticism that was surely forthcoming, “They are treasure hunters from a place they call Cloudhome, though they way they pronounce it sounds like Clowed-HUME.  They are completely devoid of any social decency!  They frequently HANDLE each other in a manner that especially egregious due to their giant statures.”

Ollesa’s features, initially darkening at her cousins failure to learn anything of importance was quickly overcome by laughter upon observing her cousins disgust and hearing his descriptions.  Ollesa’s laughter was infectious causing Kelmar to erupt in laughter with his cousin for several minutes.   After their laughter subsided Ollesa asked if Kelmar had at least discovered what treasures the two giant Drow sought.

“Oh yes, something about items created by a Sanger, someone named Keltischer Sanger?  
GrumbleBelly Rear Sky View

Thursday, July 21, 2016

07/20/16 Virtues Session 52: Short Lives Matter

Road Marshal Elmang
Our character’s awaken on day 159, roused from sleep by the gathering of Road Marshals outside the Grumblebelly. Rydin, on the last watch, led the characters outside where our characters find Road Marshal Elmang who is concerned about the events of yesterday. Rydin puts up a comment about how the common folk seemed not out of sorts, but Elmang wishes to play it cautious.

Elmang introduces the characters to the gathered Road Marshals saving the best for last, indicating Syrendross as an 'okay' individual. Elmang further states his intentions for the Road Marshals to be a visible presence over the next few days leading up to the League Summit. Syrendross expresses his willingness to help but was kindly deflected as Elmang has everything under control.

As soon as Elmang exited, a pair rider Halflings; Garbel and Bycol, obviously injured; halted at the door of the Grumblebelly looking for Baron Zarl. Visibly distraught, and largely ignored by the Road Marshals, it was Syrendross who broke the tension with the Halflings and commented ‘a hard ride?’ This led to our characters to a story of the troubles at Hickory Point. Kyras offer and then dispensed with the Green healing and offered them a place in his room until Baron Zarl can see them.

Inside our characters arrange a morning meal and listen to Garbel and Bycol explain as best as they can the horrors that have descended upon the Zarl company town of Hickory Point. A short time later Baron Zarl joins them to a story of rain, lightening and a berserk tree that largely destroyed the mill and adjacent building.

Swiaket
Garbel and Bycol are given a reprieve as Baron Zarl confers with the Heroes of Virtue. In this our characters learn there are mostly Halflings in Hickory Point and that the Baron owns the mill. After some hard questions Baron Zarl admits there are regional problems around Hickory Point and that he is concerned for his employees. Baron Zarl fears these are more guerrilla tactics from the Duchy of Jeshal Macrear. After the sundering the King of the Isles drew the Duchy lines and Tier Ne Somenhiem benefited, but the Baron has no clue as to the ‘lightening tree’ the Halflings spoke about.

Our characters immediately hesitate in regarding moving against any duchy, especially when our characters will have to earn their endorsement for Bouvaldia. However Baron Zarl eases our character's concern that with Jeshal Macrear, it depends on what Warlord is currently position of power.

Baron Zarl laments it is hard to offer compensation to our characters for this mysterious foray to Hickory Point but does offer a parcel of land and a building to act as a Bouvaldian Embassy in exchange for our best efforts. After offering Garbel and Bycol, who are anxious to return to loved ones, as guides our characters agree to Baron Zarl’s request to investigate. 

Hickory Point is five miles north in the uplands where the terrain gets rough and rocky and is populated by one to three hundred individuals; a land rich in the Green Faith thrives with the people living off the land. It was a good place for Kyras to use Tongue of the Land to commune with nature learning that an old local druid had died here three days ago.
 
Blister skin and bones
Travel to Hickory Point is up and down hills filled with difficult terrain, taking our characters three hours of overland travel before Garbel gives our characters a choice of paths, the Bark River where the majority of the destruction wrought by the lightening tree remains, or the lake close to the mill. Our characters elect to follow the deep Bark River along a ridge spotting the barges and wood workings along the way. About a quarter mile away, altitude sets in and our characters begin to see the path of destruction.

When our characters arrive many of the people of Hickory Point are still in a haze and exhausted from the previous nights attack. As Dolgrin and Kyras work miracles of healing the masses, Lapis and Barit begin readying a burial ground; Dramen looks to the mill for clues noticing a direct route the tree took through the mill and machinery, doing damage to itself in the carnage; Rydin and Kotri begin patrolling the area; and Syrendross uses his dimensional ability to transport himself five hundred feet above Hickory Point to locate the origin of the berserk tree.

Kyras presides over the victims last rights before they are buried then asked about the dead druid. A Halfling by the name of Swiaket tells Kyras about the old druid Rakil, a half-elf with a grove south of here. She also asks if Kyras is from above. It becomes known that our characters are here on the Baron’s behalf and again using the tongue of the land, Kyras discovers the attacking tree’s vanishing point.

Green Faith
5pm. Our characters decide to investigate the source of the tree where Syrendross identified earlier. A half hour of travel brings the heroes to lightening blasted area where ash and scorched trees surrounded a hole in the ground (to find out later this is where the druid Rakil lived). Dolgrin heals some trees with a burst of positive energy. Kyras also learns the other trees surrounding the blast sight describe this tree as polluted by a creature of bluster, skin and bones.

7pm Our characters return to Hickory Point for food and rest and to formulate a plan for tonight. Rydin and Kotri volunteer to patrol the bridge and boathouses; Kyras initiates his own solitary patrol of Hickory Point; while Dramen, Syrendross, Dolgrin and the other followers rest in the remains of the mill.

During a restless sleep Dolgrin is alerted to the presence of evil nearby that breaks out into combat with the blistered skin and bones hag and the reanimated spirit of the druid in a perverse abomination called a dread wraith.

After the battle a storm rolls in, some of the heroes drained of precious constitution attempt to rest again but are harried throughout the night with repeated nightmares and howls from the unseen fabled windego. Dolgrin dreams of a carnivorous stag creature with a taste for humanoid blood.

The next day, when our characters awake they find most of Hickory Point deserted after the panic wrought by the howls of the windego. The heroes decide to seek out the druid’s grove on the way back to Naper’s Dawn and find a well maintained area of the Green Faith expressed with flowers, plentiful crops, and animals who seem comfortable with the presence of people.

Kyras decides to cast a hollow spell on the druids home (*not the grove) for the next twenty-four hours while the rest of our characters return to Naper’s Dawn where we pickup with our characters on the day of the League Summit at the Summit Breakfast (Day 165). We are awarded 8,000 xp. Leaving us with less than 10k needed for 11th level.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Syrendross In Reflection

Syrendross admired his tall slim form in the reflection of the full length mirror in the Ambassador suite at the Grumblebelly. Sounds of laughter and daily Naper's Dawn life filtered in from the open window also allowing in fresh wafts of succulent pork and smoked meats that whetted the drow’s appetite. He reflected on how far he and his friends have come and the enemies they have wrought. 

The archmage added two more ribbons to his hair to signify the colors of Tier Ne Somenhiem, a similar gesture the drow had made when earning the recognition of King Miraq Moshea; however that honor came with the drow addition of small colorful geometric stones to his personal outfit and not just fine colorful ribbons. The colors and stones contrasted his charcoal skin but complemented Syrendross’ and his Host’s penchant for expressionism.

Dawning his mythic cloak he noted the garnet's transformation over the course of his adventure, Syrendross thought of his friends and how he would not forsake his drow heritage and proudly stay true to his race despite how others view him. This did not exclude taking precautions however, and as some of Syrendross’ companions took to wearing different outfits, and even in rare cases carry different weapons, the drow doubted these precautions alone would divert any discriminating or perceptive eye nor ease all their troubles.


However, Syrendross reflected that by adding subtle accessories and details to his outfit along with extended daily magical precautions will hopefully turn away sinister minded individuals even as mundane information gathering on the Heroes of Virtue spreads. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

07/06/16 Virtues Session 51: Dramen’s Arcane Academic Scholarship Fund

Relics of Virtue
We begin with review of how our character’s items are evolving into relic status, taking on characteristics of their own and becoming recognizable. That covered, we discuss where to make our very public landing.

Our character’s arrival to Naper’s Dawn, in the midst of the three 30’-diameter wells, was welcomed by a clumsy show of respect from the low folk gathering street parade style; bards, still tuning up; and flag bearers waving attempts at the Bouvaldian colors come racing down the street from the Grumblebelly “…it’s the Bouvaldians!”

The wells, the streets, even the air had a pristine, impeccable quality. A guard, in a stuntedly rehearsed speech, greeted us and tried to buy time for the arrival of Baron Sambrial Zarl IV, who was also accompanied by Pragidore Ellington of Ellington Trade Corp.

The bards begin a well rehearsed rendition of the Bouvaldian Anthem “St. Callis Bay” as formal introductions are made- titles and achievements included. For Dolgrin he introduces himself as Paladin of Virtue while both Dramen and Syrendross each add Archmage to their list of formal declarations.

Baron Sambrial is cordial and invites our characters back to the Grumblebelly where they are treated to a tour as the Ambassador suite is prepared. Baron Sambrial informs our characters that Ferryman’s League members will be arriving all week in advance of the League Summit in seven days (on day 165, today is day 158).

The Grumblebelly is a large three story building encompassing three Naper’s Dawn city blocks. Our characters are led around and are introduced to many but not all the amenities Grumblebelly has from shops, steam baths, storm shelters, barber, tailor, ‘entertainment’, and several game parlors. It is revealed that the Grumblebelly is owned by the Merryweather family a founding Ferryman’s League member.

Cuntsuela
Our characters are shown to the Commons were a midmorning meal is arranged before finally arriving at the Ambassador suite, a two story affair full of amenities including a maid ‘Cuntsuela ‘.

With what looks like a week ahead of our characters, Syrendorss immediately expresses an interest for visiting the Academy, Labiatar’s Hope. Dolgrin suggests getting there before noon.

Labiatar’s Hope features its own fresh water well as well as a campus stylized courtyard of evenly honed cobblestones with a massive sundial prominent in the center easily the diameter of one of the main three wells of Naper’s Dawn. The Sun Dial bore symbols of Vishanti Agamotto as well as symbols of each elemental force. Investigation as well contact with our Host characters reveal that the Sun Dial was a creation of Keltischer Sanger the ‘Artificer’; both Dramen and Syrendross intuit part of the Sun Dial’s original function was to draw elements together in an attempt to bring artificial light to Earth before the Dawning making this Sun Dial very old indeed.

We are soon approached by school administrators, who seem quite disarmed at our characters arrival but seem polite enough. Sambel, school administrator, greets our characters along with History Professor Oughth, a multilingual scholar; and General Education Professor Eldnn who is also Dean of Academy Operations.

Elemental Sun Dial
They too extend a tour of the facilities to our characters despite their loss for words and our characters unexpected visit. They teach sorcerers to tap into their own abilities or ‘wild talents’ as well as many others at least one or two duchy languages. They average approximately two hundred students and is the go to place for misfits.

Syrendross asks about an astrology department and is referred then led to Nalirad, an unkempt basement dweller with a penchant for things astrological. Syrendross and Eldnn remains in the department of astrology while Dramen and the remaining characters continue Labiatar’s Hope tour.

Nalirad lamented how is colleagues assert that the movement in the skies is not solely the movement of the Evening Isles across Earth’s oceans but also it is the work of the gods and portents ill for the world. Over the course of three hours, Syrendross donated 500 gold in gems to Nalirad’s office and helped advance Nalirad’s work by three months time.

Meanwhile Dramen inquires about magical training and how much such rudimentary teaching would cost. In the end Dramen donated 5,000 gp for someone worthy of magical training but lack the funds to do so- Dramen’s Arcane Scholarship Fund. Sambel assures the boy-wizard there is a waiting list of prospects, this generous gesture will be recognized at the League Summit.

Back at the Grumblebelly Rydin and Kotri play games of strategy in order to invite curious individuals and or would be allies or adversaries. Some of the common folk come to play and to see the newcomers, even Kotri wins a Wendigo as a ‘bishop’ chess piece- a creature that looks like a humanoid feral wolf that remains as a local-regional threat.
Naper's Dawn

Soon a tall individual: Tristor Von Kreighton joins the games, gladly accepting a cigar while Tristor gauges Rydin and our deeper intentions. It surfaces that Tristor has visited Bouvaldia and likely passed through Emmerdin when the pass in the Macron Mountains was still open. Tristor asserts that a civilized Bouvalida would benefit the Isles as the Duchy serves as a first port of call for most who end up on the Evening Isles whether by purpose or accident. He warns Rydin that Bouvaldian connotations come with, however unfounded, a mindset of stereotypes. There are those in Naper's Dawn who do not agree with Baron Sambrial’s vision.

In the end, Rydin wins the spirited chess game and confirms eye membership with Tristor that stems into dinner plans at Tristor’s house on the morrow (day 159).

Over Naper’s Dawn Syrendross takes another look at the city from above accounting for the wells, the Sun Dial, and the street layout curious to find a hidden glyph or image in what is essentially ‘new’ Naper’s Dawn remade by the Ferryman’s League. Two things occur and are reinforced at this time: one, for Sanger many great feats were merely stepping stones to greater breakthroughs and two, these breakthroughs came in the form of great items of power to manipulate the ways.

Down in the streets Dolgrin and Kyras walkabout and happen across a Halfling real-estate broker who tries in vain to sell the them a horse farm, but after the selling price is revealed the broker suggests to the characters that entering into a merchant agreement would be the best course of action would serve the two heroes best. Mayhap the Merryweather’s or Ellington Trade Corp. Before Dolgrin and Kyras leave the shop, the Halfling asks the Dwarf Paladin not to embarrass any ‘brawlers’ while in town.

Later in their self guided tour Dolgrin and Kyras encounter a trade market and a gnome master-appraiser Dyn’or. Dolgrin trades an elemental gem and a favor for Eyes of the eagle; the favor being the delivery of a message to Deyrril Lawson in Somenhiem.

Baron Sambrial Zarl IV
Later, the two characters find a Church of the One Faith, a utilitarian building that has fallen into disrepair. They eventually find themselves in a location where Kyras begins preaching the Green Faith and performing with his wind instrument attracting about twenty individuals with positive reactions. Kyras is asked in regards to the natural state of ‘giants’ by a couple of kids opening up an intriguing plot of tribute paid to local ‘giants’ as well as knowledge of a pair of drow ‘giants’ that reside in Trusk.

5pm. Grumblebelly. Baron Sambrial stops in for a casual meeting checking on our welfare. In this Rydin is informed of an elven community north by 10 miles that Rydin my wish to visit by was not forth coming with any other information. As the Baron stepped out Grumblebelly's, four flaming wagons loaded down with Zarl and Lawson trade goods, barreled down the streets toward us. The attack was averted and no one was injured but it leaves us with questions on whom and why would someone want to do this. Was it a test of our prowess or a statement to not trust the newcomers or the commoners displeasure at the inaction of the Ferryman's League...

Soon Road Marshal Elmang arrives to a nonplussed crowd to question everyone and to assess the damage. In the chaos Kotri breaks off to hear the current clack of the populace: merchants, who cannot wait until the ‘giants get theirs’; and the common folk who are angry at the Ferryman’s League who refuse to pay tribute.

Meanwhile Marshal Elmang confirms reports that the wagons were moving magically and asks us, as outsiders like himself, to let him know if we discover any new information.

We begin next session the next day. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Nobyka Thirty Years in Amber

Nobyka
Nobyka doesn’t remember a time with his people, his childhood memories begin with a year spent on The Galloping Sea Horse, a merchant schooner responsible for rescuing the young dwarf from the sea, a victim of an unknown sea battle.  The Galloping Sea Horse was captained by Yarvinhall, a human from Gibraltar.  When the ship finally docked after months of chasing a mythical land known as The Evening Isles, Nobyka learned that while Yarvinhall captained the schooner,  Amarayhar Narcoint a gnome merchant, owned the ship.  Amarayhar not only owned the ship but many businesses throughout the duchy of Verik Ny  that Nobyka learned they had just arrived in.   Nobyka spent his next fifty years as ward to Amarayhar Narcoint, was expertly educated while being treated like the son the gnome had never had.  When Amarayhar learned of his wards interest in alchemy he purchased the young dwarf a scholarship at Weisthall, a fine war college in the duchy of Lockshire.


Nobyka made his bones at Weisthall becoming an accomplished Alchemist and herbal healer.  The dwarf soon found himself recruited by the Dukes security services, providing alchemical support to field agents along with breaking down properties of foreign substances that were recovered.  It was in Nobyka’s third year of service that several field agents were infected by what Nobyka later found to be a unique strain of Lycanthropy.  Despite Nobyka’s best efforts, the infected agents he studied would succumb to their disease and have to be put down.  To defeat the disease Nobyka bravely infected himself under the watchful eye of his lab partner, an Elven priest named Jarrick.  Before infecting himself, the two traveled to an old Amber Mine Jarrick knew of where there would be less chance of Nobyka transformation hurting anyone.  The mine would also allow the two to test whether being underground would impact the transformative powers the moon took on the diseased.   The two spent many dangerous months attempting to learn what they could of the disease and search for a cure.  Jarrick had acquired a magic item from his family that allowed him to trap Nobyka inside the very amber of the mine.  The Elven priest would dutifully imprison his friend each time their latest cure failed to prevent the transformation.  Nobyka does not know when or why his friend Jarrick stopped coming or what has become of the elf.  Thirty years in the blink of an eye

Davron's Throw

325 years after the Sundering, two rival logging clans began feuding along the White River. Starting in Tier Ne Somenhiem, it emptied into the sea in the Hoppen Coast. It was here that the clans clashed. One side preyed on the other, and vice versa. The last day of the feud, the two clans faced each other with the river between them. It was too deep and fast flowing to cross easily. The treecutters on both sideems shouted insults, while their leaders strutted up and down the banks, glaring at each other and speaking to their lieutenants. Finally tiring of the inaction, Davron stepped forward and, with a mighty heave, threw his spear across the river. It impaled the rival leader, Gaylon Greytooth, spearing him to the ground. After a few minutes of stunned silence, the rival clan began to disperse. After an hour, the clan Davron called family had both sides of the river.

Slowly, a settlement grew on the east bank where the White River met the sea. Finally, in the modern age, it had reached a respectable size of approximately 3,500. Still a logging town, it also boasted a seaport as well as one of the gateways to the wilds of the Hoppen Coast, attracting adventurers far and wide.

Some of the notables in town:

The Banded Mage:  a noted sage, knowledgeable in geography, languages, magic, heraldry of the Isles and the world. Reasonable rates.
Rialto Mathene The Banded Mage

The Blue Feather:  a house of pleasure and delights, many a whisper can be heard here... for a price.

The Market:  while not as large as those markets found elsewhere, this market is renown for the exotic and rare items, especially found along the Street of Lamps, leading from the market.  Located straight off the docks.

The Death Of Gaylon

Memories Can Be Painful

"I will love you until the end of time," she said.

And he smiled.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

"So, do you?"

Rialto Mathene blinked his sun dazzled eyes and looked across the balcony where he sat at his house guest. Known as the Banded Mage due to the liniment soaked bandages that wrapped him from head to foot like a newborn mummy, he had retired from adventuring to settle down in the logging/seaside town of Davron's Throw. He now lived off his vast wealth from casting spells on the fly and supplicated it with work as a sage, translator and scribe.

"I'm sorry, what was that?" he asked.

  Hamisch the Great rolled his eyes and repeated "Do you ever think of the old days? Y'know, when we were mercenaries for the Sand King? Or those 2 years we spent as privateers for the Old Dominion? I dream of riding across the plains of the Great Continent, charging at the barbarian hordes. My axe in one hand, my shield strapped to the other, the reins in my teeth," Hamisch smiled, showing the broken, brown remains of those once pearly white teeth, now more resembling weathered tombstones. "Ahhh... those summer nights at the Grape and Cup in the City of Canals? The weather so warm that the women swam in the canals nude, and what they did wear really didn't do much to cover them. Remember?"

  Hamisch looked across the shaded balcony at his host. Rialto closed his eyes and bowed his hooded head. "No, I don't. And don't speak to me of women."

"Oh, come on, Rialto. Surely she'll try again if you ask-"

  "Christiana the Pure is much too busy with her role as Royal Priestess. The last time I asked her to reincarnate her sister, she said as much. Fourteen times, she said, was too much. She said The One God had communicated to her saying that Persephone had earned her rest," the mage spat, his derision plain for the world to see.

  Rialto looked back across the balcony at his former companion, remembering those heady days when he, Hamisch, Christiana the priest and her sister Persephone the paladin and the sometimes thief, sometimes assassin halfing Tomlin Lowbarrow traveled far and wide, earning fame and glory. Rialto and Persephone married but continued adventuring. Until that one fateful day on the west coast of the Great Continent. He looked down at the hands that jutted out of the sleeves of his robe, wrapped in bandages by his manservant Fong Wei. Rialto had long since become accustomed to the smell of death and medicine that enveloped his body. He often wondered if any of his customers ever complained about the stench out of his hearing.

  The doors opened behind them, and Fong Wei stepped out. "Dinner is ready, master".

   Rialto painfully rose from his seat and glanced at his guest. "I never think of the old days. And never ask me that again."



Duchy of Tier Ne Somenhiem

Tier Ne Somenhiem- Translated from Old Tongue means heaven on earth.  A very influential duchy all throughout the history of the isles, its lands provide the nation with many grains along with wood from its many forests. The woodworking’s of Tier Ne Somenhiem are among the most desired throughout the Isle’s. The Western Somenhiem Barony is known for its Oak and Pine forests, the two most prominent of which are White Oak Ridge and Split River Forest. The Central Somenhiem Barony is heavily populated with Iron Wood and Cedar, though no full forests remain in the Central region of Somenhiem. The Eastern Somenhiem Barony is still thick with forest, providing a physical borderline to the duchies Jeshal Macrear to the North East and Hoppen Coast to the South East.  The Eastern Wood is approximately 1000 square miles of forest made up of Elm, Fir, Hickory, Mahogany, and Maple. The Eastern Wood itself holds a variety of small regional communities built around the commerce of the land. Besides commerce the Eastern Wood communities are more likely to hold to the old Green Faith and resist encroachment by The Church.  In times past this lead to internal tensions between the three baronies but recently with the arrival of Benevolentia the Church of Somenhiem is too busy resolving internal strife to worry about the Eastern Forest Heathen..  The church is torn between those in Split River advocating for the wisdom the Dragon of Virtue offers and those in Central Somenhiem distrustful of all Dragons, unwilling to accept this celestial being.

MAJOR CITIES:
Trusk- a port city that’s population has risen to 50,000 since The Sundering due to its unofficial status as a Safe Harbor City for those travelers who find themselves lost or stuck upon Evening Isles’ shores. Baron Dackary Lawson rules from his family estate in Trusk, making Trusk the county seat of the Western Barony.  Trusk has the greatest mixture of races of any Somenhiem city and has taken on a very cosmopolitan attitude among the populace. Due to all the races, a tolerance towards religion allows several churches representing unofficial faiths to flourish in Trusk.  The oldest of these churches reveres an ancient god of magic, Vishanti Agamotto.  The church building of Agamotto is famous throughout the Isles.  The building itself was crafted by Geribraldi and made from an unidentified stone the locals claim to be from “another world”.  The structure is a double pyramid, one resting atop the other at its most narrow point.  Despite the extreme density of weight on the two apex points of the Pyramid, not even the Sundering threatened the buildings stability.
 
Trusk Temple of Vishanti Agamotto
Somenhiem-capitol and largest city, Somenhiem is known as the Bank of the World. The banks of Somenhiem are known to hold many of the Isles riches along with the imagined riches of the world’s most powerful nations and individuals. The City itself is a master expression of city planning, the city has running water, a functioning sewer system, paved well maintained roads along with schools and hospitals.  Sometimes referred to as the city of walls, Somenhiem is not only surrounded by a great stone wall, 30 feet in height but many sections of the city, along with estates and merchant embassies are separated by tall well built walls. Somenhiem is the unofficial trade capitol of the EveningIsles, The ½ Elven Duke of Tier Ne Somenhiem has a well earned reputation as a fair arbiter of trade deals. Duke Faustus Somenhiem primary political support comes from The Ferryman’s League, a powerful merchant union active throughout the isles but primarily the central to eastern portions of the continent. Somenhiem is also home to the First Church of Somenhiem led by Father Tobias Mcaugh.  Father Tobias is also the Baron of Central Somenhiem.

Somenhiem

Naper’s Dawn-a small tiered city of historical importance, Naper’s Dawn is the city that King Triskelion won a hard fought victory over the pirate led rebellion some 840 years ago.  Now primarily a trade city, Naper’s Dawn is also known for Labiatar’s Hope, a school paid for and operated by the Ferryman’s League.  The schools regimen and design was adopted by the other schools and universities throughout Tier Ne Somenhiem. Naper’s Dawn is also the Eastern county seat of Baron Sambrial Zarl IV.  The Sundering physically moved the majority of Naper’s Dawn, destroying the rest of city. It was the Ferryman’s League that rebuilt the city and returned order and opportunity to the people there.

FAMOUS CITIZENRY-
Duke Faustus Somenhiem  ½ Elven Duke of Tier Ne Somenhiem
 
Duke Faustus Somenhiem
Duchess Priscilla Somenhiem 
Duchess Priscilla Somenhiem ½ Elven Arcanist wife of Faustus, mother of son Airius Somenhiem.

Airius Somenhiem ½ Elven Earl of Somenhiem , young teen male

Baron  Dackary Lawson, Human Western Barony
 
Baron  Dackary Lawson
Father Baron Tobias Mcaugh ½ Elf Central Barony


Pragidore Ellington Human female, Fifty percent of all wood trade in the Evening Isles comes from Ellington Trade Corp based in Naper’s Dawn.

Eversin Lawson not only famous in the Isles but known throughout many of the great cities of the world. Eversin is a  master linguist, artist, ambassador and connoisseur. The Lawson is a famous chess strategy perfected by Eversin, a chess master.

Atlab’Dhaun & Bae Isstra Husband and Wife Drow? The pair are in Trusk, their fame spreading due to their size Atlab is said to be thirteen feet tall and his wife ten. Rumors as to their heritage and motivations run rampant.
Atlab’Dhaun & Bae Isstra

Gorsch Berock










Gorsch Berock: Volcano Dwarf leader of Berock Securities.  The most successful of the many mercenary security units that serve bankers in Somenhiem.  Gorsch is known to be in the Zarl family’s employ. 

Road Marshal Commander Hather “Hate” Rycoal Dwarven Officer in charge of road security throughout the duchy.  Commands twenty five hundred soldiers that police the roads and protect lawful trade.  Road Marshals are incredibly well trained officer soldiers with search and seizure authority. 
 
Hather “Hate” Rycoal 
Benevolentia: Female Dragon of Virtue said to be in White Oak Ridge

Geribraldi-Deceased Gnome rock sculptor; his works are throughout the Isle’s but his museum and home are in Trusk.

Labiatar- An ancient human master elementalist from Naper’s Dawn who became the Duke’s mage.  The wizard was famed for his air elemental familiar  and The Academy he created in Naper’s Dawn. Labiatar is said to be buried in a metal casket  adorned with the arcane symbols of Vishanti Agamotto under the great Sun Dial in the courtyard of Labiatar’s Hope