Blog Archive

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Path to Suuvren; Adventure Five

The adventurers are sent to a far off spire city of Suuvren - a trader city, among the league of Quooven. Like many of the other spire towns, this one has a high road, that crawls up the side. As they reach the top, the realize the town is much farther away from the edge as many other places they have been to - and another major difference, no standing army. Most towns have units of archers, horseman and spearmen or other specialists at the ready, but this one, there was at least no obvious groups of soldiers anywhere that they can see. Plenty of citizens, and a multitude of races, all scurrying about doing their business, none seemingly at least aware of the new group of traders coming into the city, and fewer caring in the slightest. Like a few other places in the spirelands, phaetox and minotaurs, have a significant number - but neither were likely to be rulers or sitting on the high counsel. Phaetox, like elves were usually archers; Minotaurs were soldiers, they liked to go on long, enduring hunts.

Just like every city, a few destinations helped defined the community - the Towers and obelisks. The Towers were places of learning and gathering - not just arcane spells, but music, and maps and other wondrous things that helped shape the cityscape. And obelisks - were the places of faith. A few were dedicated to a specific godly figure; like Japeth or Casna, some to an idea - like freedom of expression. Every obelisk was the meeting area for groups of followers, some came together on a daily or weekly basis to make their required sacrifices for heavenly approval. In larger cities, many obelisks were the center of official churches, that had the control of the land around the obelisk - but in the spirelands and smaller towns,  no group usually had domination for long.

The party had been sent to various places in the spirelands over the last two hundred days, making contacts and doing tasks, many of the activities much more dangerous than they had thought at the outset. This time, they had a contact, Allfray - Curate of the Lady, by the designation they assumed the follower was most likely a priest, and they were asked to meet him at the obelisk of Quanna. They separated from their regular travel colleagues and made their way towards the obelisk, at least none of the preachers on the side of the streets seemed to be their quest. They started to ask around, looking for their contact, and in a few minutes, they find a rather typical human, male, tunic, and a necklace with the bright symbol of his goddess, though not out in a prominent way.

Allfray looked unassuming, but ready for his task. He had heard their names called to him in his dreams in the last few nights, and he knew that he needed to find these drovers, these men who were dedicated to the road. Yet neither looked like a typical member of this group. The black skinned elf, didn't seem typical of his kin, the studious dral, who were incredibly dedicated to studying songs and poems of the past. The dwarf wore non-typical and banged up armor, it didn't seem suited to his people's usually dour and hardy bearing. They all greeted each other - Bahlgrimm the a Dwarf warrior and Solauder, the Drow Sorcerer.  None were sure what they are to do next, as if one of them was supposed to know the next steps.

Bahlgrim though is the first to notice a small purple owl that seems to be interested in the group and starts to frighten it away. The cleric, tries another approach - reaches out to the avian, and his presence puts it at ease, as the avian lands on his arm. (Some colours particularly show the influence of the heavens, just as Yellow is associated with Quanna, Purple is connected with Casna, the LN Lord of Order.) The cleric sees the owl carry a scroll case, opening it he sees two sheets of vellum, one is a symbol of the Lady of Light, but is energized with power. The second is a overview map of the city. Allfray sees some of the prominent locations in the map, but is there a trend, what does this map mean? Why were they given it?

Knowing they may need more time and discretion to determine the meaning of the map, the group decides to find a more quiet place, perhaps a room at one of the nearby taverns. Allfray reaches out to the owl figure, and it collapses becoming a tattoo on his fore-arm.

The head for the Furroud Bull, a local tavern. They grab a table upstairs and bring out the map once again, trying to determine its meaning. They are stumped, mostly because none of them are scholars of arcana...they hesitate whether they should reach out.

On the upper level of the tavern, they look for patterns in the map, and why it's cribbed with the symbol of Quanna. The individuals look out, trying to find anything to help. Allfray sees someone at the far end of the bar area, a tall horned grey minotaur keenly watching them, the cleric slowly heads towards the observing minotaur but the horned one turns away, heading out the front door. Allfray wants to know who was paying so much attention to them, and follows the mysterious figure, first out the door and then down into a passageway. Having to keep up, Allfray uses his tricks to stay at the same pace as the other, watching him enter another building. He turns back and heads back to the others. He tells them he knows where the minotaur watcher went to - and they agree to investigate.

The cleric goes back to his residence at the small monastery, heads into his unadorned room. He hesitates a moment opening his storage chest, where his heavy armor has been laying dormant. His gear, the items he had tried to promise himself he would try to avoid, left where he (almost) promised he would not touch them again . A voice, a familiar voice reminding him that this is not his work, not his duty. Knowing he could not win the debate, especially with himself, he said no words, said no familar promises, but donned his armor. He was doing what needed to be done, even if he had no words for it.

Allfray returns to the back-alley and to his allies, then to the back-lot building. They carefully review it, looking for an easy way in. This indiscriminate building, a warehouse did not advertise and one could pass it without being brought to attention. Yet, both the Drow and Cleric found traps, if they tried to go through either the windows or hop up to the second floor, there were too high a chance of setting off traps.

Instead the team approached directly, and knocks on the door, and a set of eyes appear at the slot but nothing else - they seem to be looking for a password as they ask no questions. The cleric again steps around the problem, casting command, action word - open. The watching eyes, opens the door and steps aside, as the guards come over, the female attendant steps aside and puts up her hands to shake the guards away...the team has earned her honour.

They find themselves in a very busy room, 40 or more people of all different races, all seemingly focused on consuming something. There are humans, grey elves, dwarves, golden horned jahlen and even grey skinned minotaurs, many of them either consuming alcohol or other drinks, oblivious to everyone except those female green skinned, plant-like servers. Many of the men standing aside, eyes glazed in conversations with images of smoke or dream. Each of the party members, like the rest of the consumers, are drawn into their personal realms of dream, for a few minutes. No one, neither server or drinker pay them little attention; the party realizes there are shum dreams, and little of they are lost to their own illusions and dreams. They gather their resolve and determine it's best to move ahead.

They head up the long grand stairs and realize, at least right away, that few of the others at the base level are aware of them. Most are still in the dreaming haze. Is it the room they wonder, but then determine they had walked past a large fountain in the middle of the base room without any of them
realizing it.

As they go up, the staircase separates, and they head towards the larger and more fanciful door heading at the western side. Even before they reach the top, they see three rat-humanoids running towards them with long bladed weapons out. The cleric wins initiative, slamming down with his hammer on one of the ratlings, at the same time, their spears came hurtling towards Allfray and Solauder, but only the cleric was nicked. The drow released a sleep effect, causing each of them to drop.

The fighter stops running, assessing their situation - in utter calm confidence. The cleric, looks towards the door, then towards his dral elf comrade, who is busy going through their pouches. Soulader pockets a few coin purses and a small highly decorated fob.

The group has little time to re-organize themselves, as they see the grey horned minotaur, who was first observing them, gathering a crowd, made up of dwarves, elves, humans and other minotaur-kin. They have just a few rounds before they are overwhelmed, as the group of the warriors call out to them, and are making their way up the stairs in a careful manner.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Balashi (Snow Whale) - Gargantuan Animal with a hypnotic song

My default playland is a campaign that I created years ago - one on oceans of snow, ice and cold with small little islands of violence and tranquility. Most activity happens on these islands - either on top of spires or in gardens that are surrounded by magical pillars. In theory, the way to get to and fro is to travel the oceans of snow. While there are magical flying ships or magic at higher levels, at lower levels a lot of time a big part of the game is getting from those points. These snow whales are always in the background, always a danger, simply because of their size and strength.

Balashi - Snow Whale

N Medium Magical Beast
Init -1 Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; +17 Perception

AC 21 touch 9, flat-footed 21 (-1 Dex, +12 natural)
hp 187 hp (15d10+105 con)
Fort +16, Ref +8, Will +5
Resist Water or Cold Spells DR 30

Speed Swim 75 ft. (Snow) or 50 ft (Ice)
Melee Tail Slap +25 (4d10+10) or Bite +20 (3d10+8)
Special Attacks Capsize & Song of Peace

Str 30, Dex 8, Con 25, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 15
Base Atk +15 CMB +29 CMD 38
Feats Diehard, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills +17 Perception, -10 Stealth, +33 Swim
Languages Balashi

Environment any oceans
Organization solitary, pair, or pod (3–16)
Treasure Half (swallowed)
Advancement 16-25 HD


Song of Peace (Will DC 19 or Will DC 25) Long heralded for their wondrous music, what many people fail to realize is their music has the ability to lull people into a sense of peace and relaxation. Those who hear the music are usually lulled into a mild relaxation, but able to act normally. When threatened, the balashi increases the intensity of their songs, those who hear the wondrous music for two rounds or less, must make a DC 19 saving or fall into a semi-comatose sleep, able to take actions to defend themselves but unable to take violent actions against the snow whale. Those who hear the music for more than nine rounds must save vs Will DC 25 or fall into the same stupor. This music has a 500 meter range.

Capsize (Ex) A whale can attempt to capsize a boat or ship by ramming it as a charge attack and making a CMB check. The DC of this check is 25, or the result of the captain's Profession (sailor) check, whichever is higher. For each size category the ship is larger than the whale's size, the whale takes a cumulative –10 penalty on this CMB check..

Monday, 12 February 2018

Pink Unicorn

Many times when creating a creature, I take apart the stats, making small adjustment to AC, dmg, skills, etc. Not for the Pink Unicorn, I just wanted to update their magic to better enable them to fight/face lawful creatures, especially ones that try to change others will especially thru magic.

Pink Unicorn
CN (G) Large magical beast
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +10
Aura magic circle against charms & poison


AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 12; (+3 Dex, +3 natural, –1 size; +2 deflection vs. evil)
hp 34 (4d10+12)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +6; +2 resistance vs. lawful (Any save)
Immune charm, compulsion, poison


Speed 60 ft.
Melee gore +8 (1d8+4), 2 hooves +5 (1d3+2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks powerful charge (gore, 2d8+8)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th)
At will—detect law (as free action), magical light spray, negate charm (DC 22)
5/day—charm person (short term, 6 hours or less)
1/day—hold monster, teleport-home (within its forest territory)


Str 18, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 11, Wis 21, Cha 24
Base Atk +4; CMB +9; CMD 22 (26 vs. trip)
Feats Multiattack, Weapon Focus (horn)
Skills Acrobatics +8, Perception +10, Stealth +8, Survival +7 (+10 in forests); Racial Modifiers +3 Survival in forests, +4 Stealth
Languages Common, Fae
SQ magical strike, wild empathy +17


Environment temperate sylvan forests
Treasure Gems (Usually Rhinestones)


Magic Circle against Law (Su) This ability continually duplicates the effect of the spell. A unicorn cannot suppress this ability.

Magical Strike (Ex) A unicorn's gore attack is treated as a magic weapon for the purposes of damage reduction, It is equivalent to a +1 magic weapon. If the horn is removed, it remains a magic weapon. It takes a unicorn a month to regrow a new horn. The removed horn retains its magic for 1d100 days.

Wild Empathy (Su) This works like the druid's wild empathy class feature, except the unicorn has a +4 racial bonus on the check, +8 vs chaotically aligned.  Unicorns with druid levels add this racial modifier to their wild empathy checks.

Magical Light Spray is an at will ability. It can either shoot a beam of light out to 150 ft from its horn alternatively they can change any magical light into a kaleidoscope of bright multi-coloured display out to 50 feet. Lawful creatures in this kaleidoscope suffer a -2 to attacks, saves and skill checks. Non-lawful creatures with at least +5 skill ranks in dance gain a +2 to attacks, saves and skill checks if in the magical light. 

Negate Charm: Any creature under the effects of charm is freed from the compulsion. (DC 26)

A Pink Unicorn is a sylvan legend, a unicorn with pink streaks of hair and a bright pink horn. It is a charming figure, always looking to make allies to help it in it's tasks, but makes sure that they help it willingly. While their standard kin seems focused on hunting evil, the pink unicorn is devoted to ensuring lawful forces cannot hurt or weaken others. They enjoy acting spontaneously, free to their whims and despise when others enforce their will on weaker creatures. They are welcomed among their sylvan kin, since there are few lawful faeries. Couples in love are sometimes blessed with the appearance of a pink unicorn during moments of coupling or marriage, their appearance foreshadows happiness and good fortune for their future.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Anchor Cat (Prison Cats)

Anytime players see small cats in a dungeon, it's usually these buggers. Small, unassuming but they have a powerful effect, as they can virtually eliminate teleportation.

Anchor Cat
NG Medium Magical Beast
Init +9 Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +14
AC 15 touch 15, flat-footed 10 (+5 Dex)
hp 22hp (4d10+0 con)
Fort +4, Ref +9, Will +2
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Claw +9/+9 (1d3) Bite +5 (1d4)
Special Attack Pounce, Slow Bleed, Dimensional Anchor
Str 5, Dex 20, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +4 CMB +1 CMD 16
Feats Weapon Finesse (2 claws), Improved Initiative
Skills 8 Skill Points , +5 Acrobatics , +14 Perception , +16 Stealth

Environment     Any land, usually in Settlements
Organization     Solitary
Treasure Value  None  
Advancement    5-12 HD (Small), 13-20 HD (Small)

Skills: Cats receive a +8 racial bonus to Stealth and Perception checks

Pounce (Ex): If an anchor cat leaps upon a foe during the first round of combat, it can make a full attack even if it has already taken a move action.

Slow Bleed: Creatures struck or bit by an Anchor Cat have a long lasting bleed. Treat as a confirmed critical, roll 2d6 for the number of rounds they are affected. They bleed 1 dmg for every round. Any additional damage, adds 2d6 for the cumulative number of rounds they will continue to bleed. Any magical healing or effect used will immediately stop this bleeding. Affected creatures never have more than one bleeding woundm multiple attacks increase duration not the number of wounds.

Dimensional Anchor (Su): An anchor cat can block dimensional travel as dimensional anchor as a 17th level Sorcerer once per round as a free action. If the anchor cat can no longer see the target, the effect ends. The ability effects only a single target at a time; if the anchor cat uses this ability on a second target, the first target is freed from the effect. These cats understand magic and psionics and have a good chance of predicting who the caster will be to target their anchor effect on.

A tiny, furry, multi-coloured cat walks out into the room, and every prisoner in the yard seems to keep a safe distance from it.

There are many legends of where Anchor Cats came from but many scholars believe it was in ancient prisons, where the Tarrin, also known as the Eternal Ones, kept the first known unhuman prisoners.

Their origin story speaks of them as cats that were originally brought to Tarran to hunt for vermin. Over time they became linked to the Eternal plane, learning to absorb the prison energy to trap creatures, especially limiting others ability to teleport away, thus essentially anchoring them. After realizing the cats usefulness, the Tarrin made hunting trips to the mortal lands, letting the cats accompany them, and it was the cats that sometimes left their masters to inhabit the mortal planes, in communities all over various worlds.

On Nyssa they first became beloved pets of  the Elder Elves, then Tenderfeet and then to Horn-Kin. Few people fully know their capabilities, they simply accept that they are both pets and defenders, not just of typical vermin but other external and invisible threats.

Anchor cats care nothing about treasure or knowledge, only that their and their allies are not being trampled on. They don't need to be directly cared for, but that doesn't stop them looking for attention. They care little about alignment, only that their owner treats them well and it doesn't see their Master treat others badly.Many evil creatures with an affinity for animals could keep these protective animals in their care.

It is assumed every prison will have prison cats, even if they aren't anchor cats, it is considered bad luck if you go more than three days without seeing a cat.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Flesh Ghoul (Living Humanoid with Transparent Skin)

Flesh Ghouls are a scourge in the Spirelands, feared for both their transparent skin and their cannibalistic tendencies. Many believe they are true undead ghouls, but this is untrue - they have twisted ghoulish tendencies but are very much alive with many bad habits and traits.

They are raiders and have little need of trading or adventurous allies. They prefer to attack trading caravans or stealing from smaller Spireland communities. When they attack, they kill what they can and then take anything they need to fill up their larder. Most prisoners are locked up in cages, and half the time they are feasted upon within weeks, the other half they die from ignorance.

Most Flesh Ghouls believe in whoever is the strongest (or smartest or fastest) can lead, but they do so only until their cupboard is bare. While there are sometimes outright revolt, that is not their typical style, most that are unhappy, just leave.

Flesh Ghouls have much the same relationship with their kin, the strongest male usually leads their household, yet some of their matings are equal and more balanced between the partners. Their children are born with some colour in their flesh, but gradually lose it before they reach ten years.

While the overwhelming majority of Flesh Ghouls have twisted habits but like most species, there are variants, but these non-evil versions have few options except to escape.

Flesh Ghoul  

CR 3
NE Humanoid Init +2
Senses detect life, low-light vision; Perception +5

AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 11 (+2 Dex, +1 from Dodge)
hp 13 (3d8)
Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +1
Opponents gain -2 to hit them in melee, -4 to hit if using missile weapons

Speed 30 ft.
Melee short sword +3 (1d6+2)
Ranged short bow +4 (1d6)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

STATISTICS Str 13, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB +3; CMD 15
Feats: Dodge & Mobility
Skills Escape Artist +5, Perception +5, Stealth +7
Languages Common, Goblin

Environment Remote Locations
Organization Gangs (3-12)
Treasure Half
Advancement: By HD or class

Transparent Skin provides significant advantage, as long as they do not wear armor, opponents gain a -2 if they attack them using melee weapons. If they are using missile weapons within 30 ft, they take a similar -2 disadvantage. If more than 30 ft away this increases to -4 disadvantage. If their opponent is more than 30 feet away, they take -6.

High Level Abilities
4 HD Gain + 2 to any 2 Ability Scores; +1 to AC; +5 skill points
5 HD Rage (1/day); +5 skill points; Gain new feat, Dmg Reduction 2 /Silver
6 HD +1 to AC; +5 skill points; Poisonous Touch
7 HD Gain + 2 to any 2 Ability Scores; +5 skill points; Gain new feat
8 HD Rage (2/day); +1 to AC; +5 skill points; Dmg Reduction 5 /+1
9 HD +5 skill points; Immunity to Poison; Poisonous Touch (DC 18)
10 HD Gain + 2 to any 3 Ability Scores; Rage (3/day); +1 to AC; +10 skill points; Dmg Red 10 /+1

Flesh Ghouls rarely deviate from this HD schedule before 11th Level. If they do take non-core HD then they cannot take further levels from this schedule. Their most often choices are: Rouge, Fighter, Ranger, Cleric & Sorcerer.

Poisonous Touch: By touching an opponent, they inflict a weakening effect, causing a -1 to physical attacks for up to one hour. The opponent must beat a DC 15 to avoid this poison. If their opponent makes this save, they are immune to further attacks for the next 24 hours. If they roll a natural one on the saving throw, the effect is doubled and lasts for six hours. They can do this three times a day.

Inspired by the Nehwonian Ghoul from Fritz Lieber's Fahrd and the Grey Mouser Series.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Low Level Swamp Encounter Table

Jungle Encounter Table (2d12) 

02 Trap (Pit, Falling Logs, Falling Net)
03 Wood Statue (25% Wood Golem, CR4)
04 Spider, Giant (#1d6, CR 1)
05 Dryad                                          (#1d2, CR 3)
06 Cultist                                         (1d4 HD, 1d4)
07 Crocodile                                   (CR 2, 1d3)
08 Lepers or Outcast                         (# 1d4, 1d2 HD)
09 Merchants                                     (# 2d4 ~ 1d4 HD)
10 Undead, Carcass                         (# 1d6, CR 1)
11 Shocker Lizard                           (# 1d4, CR 2)
12 Snake, Anaconda                       (# 1d4, CR 2)
13 Plant (assassin vine)                    (# 1d4, CR 2)
14 Ooze, Garden                             (# 1d4, CR 2)
15 Patrol                                           (# 2d4 ~ 1d4 HD)
16 Gargoyle, (covered with vines)   (# 1d3 ~ CR 4)  **
17 Boggard                                     (1d4 ~ 2 HD)
18 Fey giant toad                             (#1d3, CR 3)
19 Harpy                                        (#1d2, CR 4)
20 Flytrap                                        (#1d3, CR 3)
21 Iron Cobra                                  (#1d4, CR 2)
22 Poison Frog                                 (#1d3, CR 2)
23 Barghest                                     (#1d2, CR 4)
24 Stirge Swarm                              (#1d12, CR 2)

Start with a 5 out of 20 chance encounter. If no encounter is found, reroll and increase the likelihood by +1 every three hours or when the party makes noise / affects the environment.

Typical Jungle Humanoid
2 Leshy (# 2-4,  2-4 HD, Any G or N)
3           Boggard                       (# 3-6,  1-4 HD, Any E)
4 Horn (Minotaur-kin)   (# 1-2,  4-7 HD, Any)
6-10 Lizardith                      (# 1-2,  2-4 HD, Any)
11-13 Human (# 1-20,  1-3 HD, Any)
14-15 Elf (Green Elf)            (# 3-6,  1-3 HD, Any G)
16 Changeling                   (# 1-2,  2-4 HD, Any)
17 Ghoran (# 2-4,  2-5 HD, Any)
18 Goblin                          (#5-8, 1-2 HD, LE)
19 Suli                              (# 1-2,  2-4 HD, Any) 
20 Clockwork                   (# 1-2,  2-4 HD, Any Non-C)

Alternates - when you want to switch out a roll
Bog Lights
Large Hanging Web-Coccoon
Green-skinned Swamp Beavers
True Dead hammered to tree or chained down
Abandoned home (or one belonging to a farmer, recluse, witch, seer, artist)
Derelict Cart

Friday, 19 January 2018

Swamp Swimmer (Dianoga)

Every now and then I am hit by a sudden blast of nostalgia and think of an old toy or game or song that I want to use in my game inspired write-ups. This was definitely one of them. I was looking for the trash monster (Dianoga) from the original Star Wars movie, didn't see it quickly online, and decided to write it up.

Swamp Swimmer (Dianoga)

CN Large aberration
Init +6; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception +5

AC 21, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (-1 Size, +3 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 60hp (8d8+24 con)
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +6
Defensive Abilities freedom of movement

Speed 20 ft., Swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +11 (1d8+5), 3 tentacles +8 (1d4+3)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

Str 21, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 5, Wis 11, Cha 7
Base Atk +11; CMB +11; CMD 24
Feats Blind-Fight, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack
Skills Swim +15, Perception +5, Stealth +17 (Bonus +10 Stealth and Swim in water or swampy environments)
Languages None spoken (some may understand lizardith or common)
SQ Change colour (add +10 to stealth checks for up to 10 minutes)

Environment Swamp or forest (prefers a wet environment)
Organization solitary
Treasure Incidental
Advancement Large (9 - 15 HD), Huge (16-24 HD)

This creature appears to be a large green-grey slug with at least five ten foot long tentacles and a single eye on a stalk that it can subtly raise out of the water to view everything around it.  It hunts in watery or swampy areas, using it's camouflage abilities to sneak up to their prey. While it can survive on oozes and small creatures that reside in swampy areas, it prefers to hunt larger more intelligent things. Some Swamp Swimmers learn to drown their opponents then store the carcases underwater to feed on them later.

They are equally as active during the day or night. They are solitary creatures, budding one or two tadpole offspring every four to five years, that swim off to survive on their own without need of nurturing.

Many lizardith bards, druids & rangers prefer a Swamp Swimmer to accompany them in their tasks. Unless compelled to, Swamp Swimmers prefer to stick to watery areas, but it can survive for weeks away from its natural habitat. 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Finding Unlost Items - Third Game Session

Sent by their team to accompany a caravan wagon in their standard routine both unpacking the goods and handling town security in a long, monotonous route, spending days in the wagon travelling between the barren towns. The communities in the far north are mostly on high island spires, more than a mile above the frozen tundra.  After three weeks of travel the group is taken aside, asked if they want to take on a mission, to help a Master-Smith locate a missing tool. They agree and the caravan turns off their course to go to a spire out of their way.

Once reaching the spire the team departs, told they have ten days to complete their mission. Before they even reach the path going up, a group of soldiers greets them and informs the team they are going to accompany them to the town above. The team hesitates, unsure if they want this to happen but they relent. The trip up is long but free from distractions.

At the top, they see a small city in pristine condition, the roads & gates into the city heavily covered by soldiers, but what they find odd is that they are all in very different uniforms and designs. They realize there is not one army but multiple units from various cities. They learn the city of Fonnashi, has been hit repeatedly by a plague, that causes sickness, rapid aging and death. They have received help from its various neighbours in trying to defeat whatever has been infecting the town. While it has been put down, the plague always returns.

The team wants to learn about this plague so they seek out the nearest obelisk (church) to find a cleric and find the largest nearby one is dedicated to Casna, Lord of Laws. They inquire about the city, its history and the plague and find out the plague is not continuous, but something that has hit the city repeatedly. Nobody is sure why or how it spreads. Magic can detect it, but only after it has infected a carrier, most often rats or other vermin. While it hasn't killed a huge number the fear has driven most inhabitants away.

Not sure how to help the city, the group refocuses on their primary mission - and head towards the large, impressive Forge Tower. They enter to find a busy workplace, inside are a dozen dwarves in the midst of their duties slowly building devices and shaping the furnace fires. The Dwarven workers slow as they watch the group come in and look around. All but one of the dwarves look very old and frail, far more feeble than they would have expected. The team asks questions about the ongoing curse but also about their jobs at the forge and why the difference between the dwarves. One of them speaks up and says that the others are near obsessed with production, very rarely leaving the furnaces. When asked about the city, the same younger dwarf says that people get in a fit when a new case is found, but the population had long left in patches over the last 20 years.

They ask about Kossail, the Master-Smith who they were asked to assist, and the dwarves point to a large double door, quite elegant as opposed to the bare and simple decorations and furnishings in the rest of the area. They tell the party that he is an ally but a distant one, mostly concerned with his own efforts. Those who hire him, do so if they have the coin and the materials, many are people from away, not just from the spirelands but many coming to this place just to speak with him. He is distant but dutiful, every month he pays his shares to the Furnace.

Going through the doors they are impressed with decor of a higher substance, intricate detailing showing craftsman of different regions and processors. They immediate see a substantial supply of weapons laid out on racks, various styles and makes. In the center of the room is an intense covered furnace of a completely different style than the dwarves. Solauder, the Drow Sorcerer feels a connection to the warmth here, one unlike he's found anywhere else in the world. Upon concentration, his hands once again covered in holy flame, as it once was. He feels the power, and energy and connection with his magic unlike anywhere else. Near the heat, there are two small grotesque figures, one with angelic wings and markings of peace, the other with cloven hooves, demonic horns and pitchfork. Their eyes seem to turn to watch any who approach too closely.

Kossail, the older man in his full furnace apron and gloves greets them, he is human but something about him looks off. He is quite formal and asks if they need his abilities as a builder. They explain that they have been hired to help him, and ask what it is he needs. The artisan tells them he has misplaced a hammering tool, one that is quite important as he is unable to get proper replacements here. His friends have been looking for it, but even with their spells, they are unable to find it. The only thing he is certain is that it's not far has to be somewhere in the city, as he would know if it was taken farther away.

The drow believes that something is not exactly right, he goes toward the furnace, it is more than what he initially thought, is this an actual connection to the plane of flames? Here in this world, this world. Approaching the flames he feels the burning warmth, then his eyes open and realizes the room as being separate from the realm, the statues are in fact living figures, and Kossail is not a man, but a figure of light, something not of this mortal world, nothing here in this room is.

When asked what he is, where they are, Kossail tells him he is exactly what he appears to be - a builder, just not one from this world. He finds it highly useful for him to be here, on a mortal world. He needs the missing tool, someone has taken it, and he believes it is someone that knows what he is and is trying to hurt him.

The team asks if he can assist them in their task, and he believes so. He gives them a charged arrow amulet, and tells them they can seek out what they need. Stepping back, the drow concentrates on the carving horn. He gets no images. Something is missing, something isn't right. They are not sure what it is. Concentrating again about the plague, he is given directions in his mind, a path heading away.

They leave right away, going towards a much poorer section of the city. They head through an unholy area, supported by a small obelisk to Keran, the dark Lord. No worshipers or other dark features, just menacing. Going into low society housing, where many of the poorer folk reside, they go to a tenement building. Mostly abandoned, just like the rest of the city.

Some of the locals see them, and come out to assist. The tenets open the door and give directions to things in the area that might be helpful. Like the dwarves, they all seem older than they should be.  Making their way through the house, the go through the near abandoned house reaching
stairs heading they do they enter the dark basement, and in a few minutes face three large translucent rats, with a dark greenish smudge on them. Taking defensive stances they move forward, but the rats, jump towards them. Using their spells, they take one out right away as the dwarven fighter blasts forward, smashing another one down. The last rat scratches but misses his aim, as the spells and blade of the dwarf  take it out. They gather up some of the droppings into a glass vial, then doing as they always do use Holy Sand to eradicate the scrappings of the dead rats. They head back to Kossail with a few more questions.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Rhinto - Hunting Hound with a prominent forehead horn

A hunter's hound long feared when they hunt in packs. Long associated with goblins and other evil hunters, but it is more how they are raised than the animal itself. Some are trained to excel in running and have running speeds far beyond what is listed below.

Rhinto (sometimes called Rhint Dog)
CN Medium Sized magical beast
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +7


AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 13; (+3 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 13 (2d8+4)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +1
+4 on saves vs cold


Speed 40 ft.
Melee gore +5 (1d6+4), bite +3 (1d4+2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks powerful charge (gore, X3 dmg)


Str 17, Dex 17, Con 15, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +2; CMB +4; CMD 17 (21 vs. trip)
Feats Weapon Focus (horn)
Skills Perception +4, Survival +3 (+7 in forests)
Languages Understand bits of their master's language


Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary or hunt (3–6)
Treasure none
Advancement: Medium (3 - 6 HD), Large (7-12 HD)


Powerful Charge: If a Rhinto is able to do a full charge on it's first attack, it's gore can do triple damage on a confirmed critical hit.

A Rhinto is thought by many to be a breed of hound breed by goblins to help in their night raids. It appears to be a medium-sized, black skinned hound with a hand sized horn in the middle of it's forehead. It is an aggressive animal that hunts in small packs, what it devours is always the nearest creature in their path. Violent and seemingly always hungry, they are greatly feared by many people. They are taught to rarely bark, they wait until they are in the midst of their attacks.

Yet as harsh as these creatures are assumed are, many rangers have seen a playful, loving side to them. If they are raised properly, around their pack, and given enough food and time to play and learn camaraderie -  another less savage side appears.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Astyral Swarm - Ghost fishes found in dungeons

An Astyral Swarm is a silvery ghost fish, they swim in a misty otherworldly fog, that comes from nowhere and goes to more of the same. They are creepily calming, and some dungeon walkers seek them out to either watch their ethereal displays or to feed on their famed succulence.

Astyral Swarm 

N Tiny Magical Beast (Aquatic) (Incorporeal)
Init +7; Senses blindsense 30 ft., keen scent, low-light vision; Perception +3

AC 18 touch 18, flat-footed 13 (+1 deflection, +5 Dex, +2 size)
hp 30hp (4d10+8 con), Individual hp 7
Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +2
Defensive Abilities swarm traits

Speed swim 30 ft.
Melee Individual Prime Bite +11 (1d3 dmg)
Melee Astyral swarm (3d6)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.

Str 3, Dex 21, Con 15, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 12
Base Atk +4 CMB +2 CMD 17

Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Stealth)
Skills +17 Stealth , +16 Swim; +8 Bonus to Swim Score

Environment Dungeon and Astyral
Organization Shoal (2–5 swarms), or school (6–10 swarms)
Treasure none

Astyral Flippers are an otherworldly fish that can exist in multiple planes. They are small, thin, and silvery fish with a colourful stripe on their bellies. They swim in the Astyral, a fog like mist that while exists primarily in the Astral plane, seeps into everywhere that magic exists. For mortals, they appear like ghost fishes swimming in a mist coming from literally nowhere going to the same, strangely a calming presence.

Most times the swarm swims through an area, and if a party simply waits a few minutes, the swarm will pass back into the Astral. If the party attempts to interact with the fishes, and attacks the fish, there is a 25% cumulative chance per round the swarm will swim closer to the prime world, and then use the swarm attack damage. Once fully in the prime, they have a 10% chance (non-cumulative) of leaving. every round

The Astyral Flipper is an incredible, indescribable taste, and many foodies are willing to pay small sums (250+ gp) for the chance of trying it as it's taste is legendary. There is no known way of cultivating them, they must be caught individually and in the wild.