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Showing posts with label Game. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Game. Show all posts

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The first mission - Into the Pits

Three members - a Drow Sorceror, an Elven Ranger and a Dwarf warrior.

Solauder, is a Drow Sorceror from another world, bereft of his connection to the radiance he has long studied. He remembers waking up in this world but not how he got here. Instead of contempt, he is treated with respect from elves, humans and others he meets. The black-skinned elves in this world, the Dral, are honourable musicians and historians. Lost, he knows there must be something here, otherwise, how would he have spells.

Bahlgrimm, a Dwarf warrior with some connection to the militias of the area. His family were former noblemen, alas he remembers little of their former life as they lost their position when he was quite young. Raised by an uncle and aunt, who has some wealth but no noble rights. He has been on local missions, and has a few connections but he needs to prove himself if he is to regain his position of high authority.

Atropa Belladonna, an Elven ranger, far from her forest spire home, she left when her older sister returned from a vision-quest with a winged-snake companion, and then dared her to do the same for the tribe. She headed south with the Oromian merchants in their flying seaships until she found a large forest. There she met distant elf-kin who reside just outside a larger multi-racial community. These settled people have much more wealth and magic then her own people.

The team is apart of a larger unit, the Quarnik Maces, who are mostly usually asked to accompany the travelling caravans going North. This time it is a mission very close to their home base, asked to investigate the training pits of Tartinn, a well known stomping ground for lower skilled combatants - especially warriors and rogues. While being hired they make a connection with another member, Vierna, a human female cleric of Darras, who is tasked to accompany them.

A little over a ten-day ago, some merchants from Chiventuss didn't report in as expected. Even stranger, some of their goods were starting to be seen around the lower areas, especially the training pits. Investigators started hearing stories of a wagon and their workers being smuggled into the pits, nothing could be proven and even less found, but the stories were horrifying. The Maces are asked to find the Chiventuss team.

They approach the pits and see the huge numbers of trainees there: human, elf, dwarf and the golden horned ram humanoids - Jahlen. Most practicing their militia skills with virtually every type of imaginable weapon. They see an immaculately dressed human figure, with a regal presence giving orders heeded by almost everyone. Solauder goes over and waits his turn. They begin talking about the events of last week and the missing soldiers. The talk turns terse, as they disagree on details. When questioned, the speaker gets irate at being questioned, unfurls his flame wings, declares himself a Phaetox, who are physically incapable of telling falsehoods, he expects the Solauder and everyone else to listen to his every command.

Unsure of where to go next, Bahlgrimm challenges anyone to face him. At least one of each defender's race steps forward, the fighter selects the minotaur-kin, one of the Jahlen. The ram starts with a running horn butt, which almost shakes the human down. He stays up, and slices into his newfound foe.

At almost the same time, Atropa is touched by a root on her shin, as it snakes up her leg she is contacted in her mind by her kin. The voice asks why the group is there and Atropa explains their quest, to find the lost group who disappeared near the pits a little over a week ago. The soft elven voice says they are unsure, but the fourth pit, farthest from the town is the best place to begin.

The human fighter though injured, is much stronger and faster than his combatant and in a few rounds takes him down enough so when offered a way out, the young jahlen agrees, and the audience cheers in triumph and comraderie.

The group approaches the 4th pit but are stopped from entering by a group of heavily armed dwarves, who block their path with raised axes. They have words, and the Dwarves are unwilling to move. Solauder again is insulting to one of the Dwarf commanders, challenging him to accompany them. The Dwarf then leaves the pack and returns a few moments later, holding his axe out, telling them his name, Fuantos, and asking to accompany the party, which they hesitantly agree to.

These pits, unlike the others, have stone stairs, with protective glyphs near the top. As they descend, every one and half curve, there is a small winged statuesque figure opposite the stairs, very similar to a mini-gargoyle....these smaller ones seem to watch anyone that descends the stairs, the team carefully monitor the statues for any movement.

As they reach the bottom, they see it split, two doors heading south that the dwarves are constantly patrolling and the other going north has limited reach, there is a blocked passageway. They go towards the blocked door where they find in a large room filled with debris. Solauder picks up some coins among the debris. They see the 12 ft tall gothic door, sealed by three locks spread out and large bolts spread out in a unrecognizable pattern. The ranger eventually sees the pattern on the door, the lower lock, already opened, is showing the symbol of Keran (LE God of the Fright), the middle one showing the symbol of Casna (LN - Lord of Laws) and the upper one bearing the symbol of Quanna (LG Lady of Light.) Their newly found Dwarven partner has the symbol of Casna, which easily opens at the touch. As they don't have a holy symbol to Quanna, but the party puts some pressure on Vierna to use hers, as the deities are closely associated, apart of the Quadrane, the holy alliance of the four High Good Gods. Her symbol does open the lock, but she is shocked by a strange white lightning. Hurt, lightly burnt and dazed, her party members help her with some healing and they continue on.

Fuantos, the accompaning dwarf is amazed, the party has quickly been able to open the area his group has been trying for quite a while. As they go through, they find themselves in a wide room, which has a 15 ft tall minotaur statue, in physical armor carrying a two handed polearm; a small pool of blue liquid, two standard doors and a spiked metal door which has no keyhole or opening apparatus. The warriors realize the statue's edge is Anthril one of the strongest known magical metals in this world. Bahlgrimm is tempted by the anthril, but is dissuaded by the party, they all feel that it wouldn't be wise to possibly awaken the statue.

Bahlgrimm then looks at the simple pool. Just looking at it brings him to a state of ease, he puts his hand in and finds that every nick, cut and bruise is gone when he takes it out of the water. Atropa takes a pouch of the blue healing water.

The spiked door grabs their attention, when Solauder nears it, he realizes that the spikes subtlety changes shape depending upon who is nearest the door. Each tries their hand, but the group is unsure of what action is best.  They move away, then head towards the largest of the door, as they do the pathway is lit by torches along the walls every forty feet.

Fairly quickly, a swarm of stirges fly out, pecking their bloody noses for feed. Yet, the swarm does not linger, a few grab their bite of blood, but many more are brought down by bite of axe and bow of the party. The group is careful but make their way to the first door. No apparent traps, and when they open the door they are surprised by the smell and sight of plants, healthy, vibrant leafy plants in an apparently small room. Atropa doesn't even need to hold out her hand before a plant unfurls to caress her. It snaps off its root to curl around her. The room is small, and they decide to move past it.

As they do, they hear a rumble down the hallway, they look up to see three snarling undead hounds, nearly torn out of their skins, come running towards them. Vierna touches her holy symbol and one is kept at bay. The others face the party, the two dwarves plants his feet down to face off as the Atropa pierces them with arrows along with the Solauder's spells. They quickly take the two down. Meanwhile Vierna continues slowly walking towards the undead beast, chanting slowly...as she comes to within 20 feet, the turning rips the unliving beast apart, as bits of meat and bones are slowly devoured by the ground itself. As she turns back to face the group, there is no reminder that anything was there moments before.

She hands them a small pouch of sand, and instructs them to sprinkle some dust on the fallen foes, as it does, the ground swallows the corpses, providing a final resting place. This is Nyssian dungeon custom, bury the dead as quick as you can.

Resting for a moment, the crew looks towards the passageway, still a long way to go to find the missing caravaneers.

Experience Rewards
Dwarf Fighter RP & Solution                 100
Elf Ranger - RP                                       100
Drow RP                                               100
Finding Way Down                                  20 100/5
Stirge 25 * 8                                             40 200/5
Skeleton 3 * 100                                      40 200/5
Opening Sealed Door -                            40 200/5

Rewards                                                 240 ex points for each player

***It was a fun first game. We are still getting used to each other, and for the first few games I think they will be picking up on a lot of the story background of my world. (Gods, magic, etc)

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Questions for New Players



Questions for New Players:

1. Are you from this world?

2. Do you belong to this military unit?
   b. How Long have you been apart of the unit? Short (2-4), Medium (5-12), Long 13-70 months)

3. Do you belong to a faith? Name the god or basic belief.

4. Do you belong to a Tower / Organization? (Union of, Order of, Knights of...)

5. What are your 3 core character tenets? - Any time you defend / quote a core tenet, you get a base +2 bonus. You can only utilize a core tenet once per day or story.

6. How firmly do you believe in the Law? (Very Strongly, Strong, Medium, By context, Bollocks)

7. How do you best learn? Action, Exercise, Practice, Books, Belief, Artistic Endeveours

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Quillians - humanoid porcupine with isolationist tendencies

Quillians

A humanoid porcupine, with one to three-inch quills that covers their entire body that lays flat on their skin. Larger quills from five to eight inches are found on their chest and back, and on top of their head, from a distance appearing as long straight hair. Their quills prick upwards when excited or agitated; a few allies can even read their emotions in this fashion. Their unexposed skin colour is brown. Most have blue or green eyes but those with unique destinies may have different colours.

Personality: Quillians are isolationists, preferring not to interact with others. In their own group, they have a range of emotions, but are little shown outside of their immediate friends and allies.

Physical Description: Five feet tall humanoids with quills of various sizes covering their bodies. Most tend not to wear armor, but warriors will wear chain mail or a chain shirt.

Relations: They tend to avoid conflict, and can live in harmony with nature, elves and other fey beings. They will often get into territorial disputes with Minotaur, Giants, evil Naga, Ettercap and any evil creatures that attempt to control territory in forest. While they do not provoke trouble, they won’t back down either.

Alignment: They tend towards neutral good. Individuals within tribes do exist, and these tend towards chaotic good more than other lawful tendencies. They expel anyone who breaks tribal law or tradition.

Lands: Nomads that wander several of the largest untouched forests through-out Nyssa.

Religion: Quillians have a long druidic tradition; clerics and gods are mostly a foreign concept to them. As fey, these humanoids have a strong connection with forest spirits, and do their best to live peacefully with them.

Language: They understand Faerie, and their own tongue – Quillian. Most adventuring Quillian also usually speak common or elven.

Adventurers: Quillians often leave the tribe to discover the world or to be able to add to the tribe’s collective knowledge. They usually adventure as rangers or fighters, and do their best to succeed in societies they little understand, always preferring rural or even wastelands to civilizations. Those who succeed away, can take on other classes.

Quillian Racial Traits
No ability score adjustments
+2 to survival checks & +2 to knowledge (nature)

Base 20 skill points, more if they have exceptional intelligence, to be used on core skills only (Rogues gain an extra +16 points when creating their character.)

Core Racial Skills: Climb, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (local, nature, and religion), Perception, Ride, Sense Motive, Survival

Spiky Defense: If not wearing armor, their quills provide a +3 AC bonus if an attacker is weaponless or using a touch attack.

Throw Quills
: Range: 20/40/-, Dmg: 1d4+str dmg

Preferred Classes
: Ranger

Possible Classes
: Barbarian, Druid, Fighter, Rogue, Sorcerer or Psion

Quill Master-ThrowerPrestige Class
Requirements: +5 BAB; Survival 7 ranks; Precise Shot (Quills), Weapon Focus (Quills)

BAB, saves, skills points & feats as ranger for every new level.
1st level: Quill damage increase to 1d6 + Str
2nd Level Double base Range
3rd Level: Fire 2 shots / round; must be at the same target
4th Level Quill damage increase to 1d8 + Str
5th Level: Independent targets; triple base range

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Oxylla - Silver scaled lizard-humanoids that dissolve metals



For a while I wasn't using many common creatures, I farted around to create weird combos.  These replaced the rust monster in my dungeons. Weird, mysterious insect-lizardmen that kind of worshiped and used silver for all sorts of arcane/cultish designs. This was one of those that I really liked and kept using, even after switching back to the core book of creatures.

Oxylla

XP 1,600
N Medium Aberration
Init +3 Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7

 DEFENSE
AC 18 touch 13, flat-footed 15 (+3 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 37hp (5d8+15 con)
Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +6
   
 OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Fists X2  +4 (1d6+1), Tail  +6 (1d3+1)
Special Attacks Glue, Dissolve metal

 STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 9
Base Atk +3 CMB +4 CMD 17
Feats Improved Sunder, Improved Trip, Weapon Finesse
Skills  +8 Acrobatics , +4 Climb , +7 Escape Artist , +7 Perception , +8 Stealth , +6 Survival
Languages Oxylla, Dwarven

 ECOLOGY
Environment  Temperate Forests, Non-Cold Environments
Organization  Circle (2-5), Ring (3-18)
Treasure Value  Standard (gems)
Advancement: Large (6-12 HD)

Dissolving Touch: Excluding silver, their touch dissolves up to 200 pounds of metals instantly; mundane items do not get a saving throw. Magical items can save vs Fort DC 18 to avoid this affect. Silver can be dissolved, but they must touch the item for one minute. However, the silvery liquid when applied to wounds acts as a healing salve. For every ten coins (10 onces) of silver, an Oxylla can heal 1d10 points of damage. If kept in a secure container, others can use the salve for up to a week later before it fully re-solidifies.

Glue: From their palm orifice they can release a colorless and odorless glue, which takes one round to smear on an object and another round to activate as it dries. This substance bonds any two physical objects for up to one hour. It is incredibly difficult to remove, requiring a Strength Check vs DC 30.

Silver scaled lizard-humanoids that combine the features of lizards, insects and men. These slim humanoids mix silver scales of a dragon, the eyes, antennae and legs of an insect along with a lizard-men’s large strong tail. They have a narrow elongated head. At the end of their long arms, four clawed fingers emerge with a small sticky black circle in the middle of their palm. This orifice is both the equivalent of their nose and an organ to release a glue-like substance upon touch. Oxylla are metal eaters, despised for their ability to absorb and digest metals.

Little is known about the habits or society of these beings. While they sometimes survive by stealing scraps of refuse metal, they often raid traveling merchants or scavenge battle sites to get the needed metals. Metals are food, clothing and elixir; each has a unique taste to an Oxylla, and they can identify the purity or composition of a metal simply by smelling it. Silver is needed in medicinal, religious and reproductive purposes. They speak their own language and dwarven but can speak any if exposed to it or trained.

Combat
Although they survive through raiding, Oxylla use their stealth abilities to take whatever they need without confrontation. While their main tactic is pummeling enemies with their fists, their strongest abilities come from using their long tail to both knock weapons out of opponent’s hands or to trip their enemies.


Sunday, 26 March 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil PT 9


Roll # 1 - Going thru the halls DC 11 Fail 8
Roll # 2 - Wandering Monster Check (10/20) Result 5 (Success), Finding (D), Result (9/100) - Jackalla
                                 A - 20% Monster (2d10)
                                 B - 20%  Monster (2d20)
                                 C - 50% Monster (3d20)
                                 D - 10% Monster (1d100)
Roll # 3 - Room Check 1d100 - Sequestered Room via stairs heading down

In a few more moments, the rest of the unit joined Caventh in the corridor, content that there was nothing else to be found or looted in the cultist hideaway. The Ranger led them south, through a curve heading north.

There was an unusual kink in the road, a joint turn, one leading ahead straight, the other towards the west. Investigating, they found plenty of debris, but this time from soldiers. Tips of spear-heads and arrows and bits of charred hederak meats and dried vlums, a place of rest or meal. "Half a dozen boot prints. They weren't here long, and not too long ago."  

They headed west not specifically following but still going in the same direction of the boot tracks.  The path narrowed, making it much harder for them to go two abreast. The hallways were more polished, nearly shiny, quite unusual. Ennos, near the back of the group stopped to touch the walls, Unnos watched her quietly. Her blue skinned hand reached out slowly to touch the walls, and she seemed to hesitate. were the walls here? Were they real? She touched the not-so-cool walls, some heat in them, but reflective, very apparently so, when she got very close.  Her Master, Unnos came over to her, and started to peer at the same subtlely mirrored walls - it wasn't obvious, but both believed these walls either caught or reflected magic; was this a natural phenomenom, or was it a trap, neither were entirely sure.

The Ranger asked them to stay put then went up ahead, he was hearing something, an echo of some sort. Going down another side passageway, he say the magical trace of a ward, a very strong or recent one. Going further, there was a furred humanoid standing tall and ready with a large curved sword in his paws. Not much further, another one of these furred humanoids, this one he could see the animal like face, but he had a long two-handed warhammer in his hands smashing down on group of cadavers, a common type of undead found in many dungeons. He look a step forward but the creature near the back of the large room, held up a hand, motioning him to stop. He understood, this wasn't a battle, these threats were minor and was safely in their paw.  `No need, Climber. This is ours to handle.` the creatures voice was calm and non-threateningm just a simple statement in full command.
Caventh realized these creatures were the Jackalla, the morticians known for their dedication to hunting undead creatures.

In almost every large community their Towers of Sorrow stood to intern the dead, as citizens paid a silver to place the True Dead in a peaceful resting place. Adventurers knew them much better for their perpetual hunting of undead, to keep the land and dungeons free from the undead scourge, ever threatening to overcome communities or places of magic.

`My team...` Caventh wondered for a moment if he should share their true goals with the slayers, he didn`t think they would find offense, but Rillo probably wouldn`t like it. 'are here to explore the dungeon.'

The slayer nodded, 'Your activities are of little interest to us, unless you strengthen the undead - either knowlingly or not. We care little for your treasure or politics as long as you maintain the Balance of Life.`

He understood that these lawful beings would turn agaisnt them or anyone that messed with magic that could boost undead creatures. `We are looking for a commander of Tower soldiers, have you seen anyone or any group that fits this general description?'
'
Yes, we passed one, three hours ago. Head north, the group is on a standardized path.`

Caventh`s attention turned to the sole hunter of the Jackalla group, using his warhammer to pound the creatures apart. `Are there many of those things in this Tower?' Caventh asked.

`No. For a Tower of this size, there are many warriors that do our bidding, willingly. The undeads numbers are small, but now and then, a new group is found.`

'You know this Tower?'

'Very well, for most...` the Jackalla priest hesitated for a moment, looking over to his brothers then back to the Jahlen again, `stages. Most stages have known themes, as creatures have similar interests tend towards each other, sometimes deliberately sometimes by accident of the environment. We study these places, to best seek out our foe.`

'If you know these corridors, can you guide us?'

'No. We maintain an alliance with many...creatures.`the cleric said balancing his words carefully. 'If we were to help you, you could come up agaisnt our would-be-allies. Your struggle with evil or politics or social ills is of no importance to us, we mantain the Balance of Life, nothing else. if we were to help you, our balance would be moved, and that is not for the best. The only one way, is payment in advance and eliminate an undead, whether a remnant, a student or an item. Then we repay, action with knowledge of what you are seeking.'

The ranger nodded, he didn`t like, but few civilized people begrudged the Jackalla, and understood their point, appreciating them for the betterment they did for civilization and peace. Caventh looked  over, and realized the combat was over. Three of the Jackalla had begun to gather the dozen bodies into a pile. Another took out a sack, and began to sprinkle dust on them, seconds later, the dust had buried them, immediately. As soon as he saw the Dust of Peace, Caventh had remembered that this was another reason Jackalla were so popular among adventurers, undead were a common threat, and immediate internment was the best way not to face undead repeatedly, as they often rose hours after defeating them. He negotiated with the cleric for a pouch of dust, then headed back.

The ranger explained the events, and none said a word of protest. Few intelligent creatures ever judged a Jackalla and their duties harshly. They were unforgvinging, hell-bent on an honourable duty - attacking the undead scourge. Best to know that they were here, the liklihood of running into an undead, especially powerful ones were much decreased with their ever-present activity. It also helped them understand why their outside figure needed to secret something inside, there were lawful eyes making sure no contraband came from outside. That's what they were carying, they all knew it, but didn't want to admit it to themselves. Sure, it wasn't something that dealt with evil spirits or undead, but it was still borderline illegal among the lawful groups and churches above.

They forged ahead, taking a side passageway, that split again in four, all going north. They took the one that looked the most travelled, plenty of bits of broken armor and weapons. As they through noticed plenty of small side rooms, some used, many looked abandoned. Continuing on, they saw a side-path, one that led to even more pathways. It would be so easy to get lost in here, not exactly a maze but close enough. They continued on, keeping generally the same direction.

They soon stopped, seeing a messy pile of debris on the ground, mostly weapons again, except this time in one of the side rooms.  Rillo looked carefully at the pile, and then realized they weren`t just battered, many of them were partially melted. She picked one of the pieces up, then bashed it on the ground, and it broke in half quite easily. `Caventh - these weapons are partially melted...why would they be piled up like this?`

The jahlen kneeled down and grabbed smaller bits, 'Rusters, I think. Snake like creatures that feed off metal.' He looked up, then put his arms out, Rillo walked back at his quiet insistence.  The Jahlen took a running jump, then bounced agaisnt the wall to hurl himself much higher. He grabbed the ceiling for a few moments then dropped back down. 'There are nets placed above. If we were to rush into them, it would drop the nets...They are hunting the rusters. Dwarven designed traps.'

'So our instinct was good to leave them alone.' Rillo said.
'
But if they are dwarven, then they probably would have a way to see or detect if something was triggered. Unnos?' Caventh spoke out, 'Can you scan the room?'

The sorcerer nodded, and began mumbling that turned louder each second. His eyes glowed purple, then shot out of him as he scanned the room. His eyes stopped and he pointed to an area, he went over and began scratching a the wall, until he caught on to something and threw it on the floor, a small hidden room, with a humanoid figure sitting down. For a second, none of them knew if this was a construct or even a golem or perhaps a living person.  Rillo walked over to it, a metal humanoid figure, sitting still, no motion at all.

'Is that alive?' Rillo asked Unnos, who shook his head.

'It could be a living metal, but we are not doing its activation mode...the trigger to ...'

Rillo nodded, 'Yeah , I get it. So nothing here...'  She waved her hands, motioning for the team to move further into the tunnels, looking for their contact or even better, a magical loci.

Roll # 1 - Going thru the halls DC 15
Roll # 2 - Wandering Monster Check (9/20) then D100 for below
                                 A - 10% Monster (2d10)
                                 B - 10%  Monster (2d20)
                                 C - 70% Monster (3d20)
                                 D - 10% Monster (1d100)
Roll # 3 - Room Check 1d100

Friday, 3 March 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil PT 8

Roll # 1 - Checking out the cage and lock DC 16 Succeed - DC 20
Roll # 2 - Further check on the room         DC 17 Fail 13
Roll # 3 Wandering Monster Check (6/20) Result 10 (Nothing substantial)
                                 A - 25% Monster (2d10)
                                 B - 25%  Monster (2d20)
                                 C - 50% Monster (3d20)

Ennos removed her cowl as she approached the area. The immaculately white statue caught the others eyes, but it was the prison that caught her own. She wanted to touch it, but hesitated, her hands already up in the air, reaching out, looking for the information this location held. Intuitively, she tried to grab the mana, the magic - it often existed away, off from dweomered items, leaking from objects. It feed her, and she lapped it up, deliciously fragrant, aromatic to only her. There was much of that mana here, around this cage, it tasted old but still strong.

Her completely white eyes started to dazzle, as she peered at the cage, she saw fragments of the past. Glimpses into what was. Her hands expanded, as she looked into the item, droplets of red mana solidified on her, she saw the pounding of the light blue metal in the past. she saw images of the cage, in other places, not here, nowhere close to here. She saw flashes, on tall metal men, and war, and cages, prisons for other creatures. She closed her eyes, trying to shut them out, but it took her time. She saw a long history of the cage, but the statue... the dweomer from the cage blocked any history. "This is not from here, not from..." she hesitated looking for the right word, "here. It is planar, and old."

"The prisoner?" Rillo asked, caring only about the person inside. The beautiful, elegant, marble eligy inside. she was mostly nude, one of her hands holding her skirt to cover her lower half, her upper body twisted hiding most of her features. Her hair was long. Her features so small, so fragile, for a statue, yet still so stunning. The shackles were also stone, in a style not anything anyone recognized, chaining her to the floor. She was five feet away from their end of the cage, in the center of it.

"Nothing, it may not be alive..." Ennos said looking at the statue then Unnos then Rillo. "We have no way of knowing."

"The cage is old." Unnos said touching the blue steel frame. The cage was thin, the frame built in a style he didn't recognize. There was no apparent frame opening, or, it wasn't in their front at the least.

She nodded, the living mana-eater was certain about that. It was not from this world. It could be enchanted, but most likely not, it was the metal that had the qualities.

"Trapped?" Rillo asked, as she came forward, hesitating to touch it, "Is the cage trapped? Are there enchantments?"

Unnos spoke, as his student froze, looking at their commander, "She can tell us about the magic, not that. She is a reader..."

Rillo put up her hand to silence the Sorcerer, she didn't care, she wanted in. She took out her dagger and tapped the cage, watching for any subtle change. She waited a few more seconds and banged it - hard. It clanged and gave her a sharp shriek back, an electrical charge. She took her dagger and snapped at the cage, there was a light, but no discharge this time. She waited longer...still staring at the cage, then grasped it with both hands, it gave her a buzz again, but not enough to make her release. She yelled and banged her dagger up agaisnt the metal cage again and again until she stopped, her entire party was staring at her.

She stopped to look at it again...then shook her head. She closed her eyes, and tried to solve the problem in her head. But she didn't know where to attack it, where the cages weak spots were.  She looked it over again, looking for something to give her a clue. "Check the room...quickly." Rillo began diving into the property around the cage, looking for anything to give her a deeper understanding of what this was.

Unnos and Ennos spread out, to go over the storage areas. Debris from many meals, many visitors. This place seemed to unused for a long time. It was an odd mixture of faith but also knowledge, of magic, containing elements of both. There were hiding places, in the corners, where papers had probably been kept, but nothing here, all cleared out long ago.

Caventh had mostly ignored the area, then realized the wizard's familiar hadn't actually come into the sanctuary yet. He glanced around, looking for any signs of debris from pests or vermin. While not kept up, there were no small pools of waste...no animals came inside here.

The cleric had intuitively taken out his mace, and held it up to his shoulder. He was nervous to have the magic eater with them - but Rillo had insisted on it, she seemed so intent on getting their mission done as quickly as possible. Vasano had curiosity but more important didn't want his team mates hurt. He saw his commander frustrated, but he didn't know what to say or do, so he stood silently by. This temple of magic, which was a dreadfully odd phrase, seemed out of sorts, at least there was no signs of mana. The only possibility was, "This was a cult?" Vasano asked. In Nyssian terms, a cult was the worship of a deity not found on this world, there was many different or alternative forces that could be followed, with different names or rituals or focuses but the Being followed was on the Nyssian realm of existence. Officially a cult worshiped an outsider force.  This mixing of the rituals with arcana best fit what this could be.

"Uh-huh..." Rillo responded, which none of them knew exactly if that was a positive or not. she grabbed some debris and threw it on the floor, the old papers and writing materials."Nothing!`she screamed, frustrated and angry at not finding something, anything here to give insights as to how to get the cage open. "YES," she yelled at Vasano, "Most likely...' she calmed down, and sat at one of the benches.

"Did you expect to find a key, Rillo?" the ranger asked her, "How long do you think this place has been abandoned? 100 years, 500 years? How long have the patrols passed through here? Maybe 50 years, in that time how many of the scroungers have been here, how many times have this place been picked clean. Not just taking magic but anything, anything they can sell. There's nothing here."

"Damn it, Caventh, shut up! I know all that!" she said grasping at some of the debris and threw it towards him. "Still, we gotta try." She looked at him and smiled, then laughed. She nodded and was about to give them an order when Ennoss came over to stand immediately in front of the party cleric. She stopped for a moment to see what will happen.

"Follower of Darras." Ennoss said plainly and very slowly, as she addressed Vasano the party cleric, "You said, if I ever had a question of the gods, I could inquire to you." she said the words, and looked directly at him, straight into his medallion of faith, what he often referred to as his holy symbol.  The cleric nodded, and looked mostly at Unnos but kept at eye on Rillo as well.

"Why did you call this a cult? Why is this any different from your group of faithful?"

The cleric grasped his holy symbol of a hand glorified by by a star. Here, in this dark unholy spot it was little more than a medallion, but in cities it shone with magical energy the literal mana from the heavens. "They aren't different." the priest said, "from all of the faithful. From mine, yes, very different. From the core tenets of the Lord of the Poor, yes. They are holed up in this place, far from the city, far from community, plotting or sharing sinister secrets, vile rites. Others, from the earthly deities, may share some of the vile elements. But the difference is that these gods, even the worst ones, are still from here, from this land. These outsider powers, to get their power, their majic, they must be willing to offer a sacrifice, usually a dark and grisly ones. An evil force, based on this land can give their followers their boon without it. These outsiders, cannot. It is born of dark, sacriligious evil elements.

"It is why they come to these dark holes, to do their sinister actions away from the cities and the glorious obelisk temples. Shun that which hides in the dark."

"Is that why, clerics murder wizards? Why clerics kill others who do not worship their gods" Ennos said. Her wizard companion looked at her with some confusion, and the others did the same. She looked and sounded most times like a member of the party, someone that followed orders, but there was something that she obviously didn't follow.

"We don't. We stop those who hurt or kidnap or steal or kill from others. We don't hurt the weak - ever. " Vasano looked at her, plainly, simply saying the words, trying to understand what she was trying to learn.  Was it a true question, or goading him into saying something. He took his time, "Good aligned creatures won't do any of these things, unless it is to stop suffering of others."

"I have your word." Ennoss said, "And I know that you will not mislead us." All of them stared at her blue skin, so very alien to them at times.

"Is that a question? You don't ask questions, I do" Rillo said, coming in between Ennos and the cleric. "I pick the team members, and I trust each of you. Do your job and we will end this curse. Maybe not today or tomorrow but we will find a way. And that is enough. "

The ram-horned humanoids ears tweaked, he heard something. His hooves skittered across the stones, out into the hallway. His eyes adjusted to the darkness, enough to pick out a few shark fins skating across the walls. Shakrins - the wall rats, a nuisance for many underground inhabitants, unless they come in large enough numbers to cause problems.


Roll # 1 - Going thru the halls DC 11 Succeed - DC 20
Roll # 2 - Wandering Monster Check (8/20) Result 10 (Nothing substantial)
                                 A - 20% Monster (2d10)
                                 B - 20%  Monster (2d20)
                                 C - 50% Monster (3d20)
                                 D - 10% Monster (1d100)
Roll # 3 - Room Check 1d100

Friday, 24 February 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil PT 7

Roll # 1 Track Check +8 (vs DC 16) Succeed Find Evidence of lots of Dwarves
Roll # 2  Random Monster Check # 1    4 / 20 (2d10) Fail (+2 on next roll)
Roll # 3  Encounter A - 15% Location Roll - 2d10
                                 B - 15%  Monster (2d10) - Action determined (# 24)
                                 C - 50% Location
                                 D - 20% Monster (2d20)

Caventh was already stepping away from the party in the opposite direction as the dwarves went. There were so many boot prints from the various dwarven patrol, as this was not the start but in the middle of a long route they followed.  The  Ranger started to head down the pathway, motioning for his teammates to follow. The remaining members did as asked, keeping very quiet. Unnos motioned to Zounnos, his familiar, a winged snake to take flight, and watch their backs. Rillo and Unnos had small magicked devices that gave out a little light, but the rest of the party didn't need them.

The tunnel was approximately ten feet wide, and a little higher. They could have gone down side by side but the Jahlen led more than fifty feet ahead of the others and the others got into a standard formation zig-zag. Caventh's hoofed feet made barely a mark in the sand on the floor.  Every few minutes, he disappeared going ahead to scout, then returned to tell them that there were smaller rooms ahead, none of them with little interest.  They went down and passed the three rooms, all around 15 by 30 feet, and a quick glance revealed nothing, then came up to a turning corner, heading south.

They continued down the path, but switched so the Finder and commander of the party led. She went much closer to the walls, slower and a more deliberate step, she went around the corner and waved them forward. In the middle of the long passageway, was a 30-40 foot hole, and up from it many kinds of vines, with small bright colourful flowers. The vegetation didn't seem to match anything in the geographic region, much more vibrant.

Slowly continuing, Rillo turned to Caventh, `Is this natural?`

But it was their Sorcerer that answered, `Yes, it's called a bolt, a break in realities. It's not what we need.`

"It's not a portal?" Rilla asked, turning to Unnos.  Caventh started moving closer, very slowly, he took out his large axe and scanned.

"I doubt this goes to another world. It`s most likely somewhere else here, on Nyssarria."  Unnos explained, he closed his eyes and started to hum, concentrating. He opened his eyes moments later.

The Jahlen ranger came closer, and started smelling something...a wonderful bouquet of fresh vegetation, so many plants, and vines and flowers. The smell made him hungry for fresh food.
He hesitated, and as he looked into the jungle canopy, he swore he saw a pair of black eyes, staring at him, hiding behind some of the leaves.

The Ranger spoke in Elven, the most likely language of a plant based creature, welcoming the thing out. But it was not a puny, pointy eared humanoid, but a large, black furred ape, carrying a large metal sword, in a style of armor that he didn't recognize, walking carefully out.

His party members grabbed their weapons...but Caventh put up his arms to ward them off. He was not, a danger, or, not an immediate one. The ape held his weapon at bay, he growled something, and Vassano acknowledged in another language. the cleric held up his holy symbol, and there was no energy emanating from it. Not a threat, just not an ally.

'He's telling us to go.' the cleric said, 'very bluntly.' The ranger moved up, and grabbed some of the leaves to break them off, then brought them up to his mouth to take a bite. This was real, it was really there. When he looked up, he saw the ceiling. But when he looked down, there was a jungle. The ape shifted towards him, and he took a step back. Another motion in his periphery...this ape was not alone.

The cleric stated plainly, 'We don't need to confront him, he's not an enemy.' He looked at the ape, who had slightly moved towards the ranger, ready at any moment to strike him down

The Jahlen ranger stepped back, there was enough room on their pathway, then continued walking backwards. When he was safe, and passed the hole, he called out, 'Are you still seeing this?'

'What?' Rillo asked.

'Come over here and look at this!' Caventh said in wonder, and the human Finder slowly walked past, never losing the ape in her vision. But when she was three steps passed, the bolt, the ape, the plants, were all gone.

'Unnos, why are we not seeing it from where we are?' She took a slow swipe with her weapon, but there was no affect.

One after another, they all stepped past, and again it dissapeared quickly from their view. It wasn't just the view, Caventh heard, and smelled the bright living energy of this far away land. But now, none of it was there.

Unnos looked back and then added, 'The bolt is directional, it only works heading south, if we were to pass by it heading north...we may never have noticed it.' His eyes glowed brightly, as he hummed a spell, his eyes now cast a light outward. 'And there's no mana, no tell-tale sign of any magic anywhere.' He blinked, then moved back in the other direction, slowly until he could see the bolt hole again, he reached out to grab some of the vines, and tore it off.

'Toss me some of those plants again, very tasty!' the goatman said, most of his kin, the Jahlen, were herbivores, and those leaves were certainly fresh.

"How often does something like this occur?" Rillo asked, taking a few more steps away.

"Very rare." Unnos said, "But it can naturally occur. Many fae say this is how they travel between forests, but in small bolts. Not what we need."

"Vasano, what language was that?"`Rillo asked, turning to the heavenly cleric.

"It was a derivation of the natural Plant tongue. The Thornes taught it to me."`he said, "He certainly understood my reply." the cleric replied.

"Plant?" Rillo responded, "Plants talk?"

The heavenly cleric smiled, "No, but they do sing, a lot. Almost continuously in some places. You just have to know how to listen."

"Well we," the ranger replied, rocks thump. Like a drumming sound."

Their leader shook her head, trying to wrap her head around it. Then remembered her mission, "We have someone to find...move it!" Rillo said, and took the lead again heading south, again the tunnel turned, and lead to three smaller rooms on the left side. These, for the most part looked

like natural formations in the caves, they had sections that were more worn out, but, nothing seemed to be alive in them. The passageway took a sharp angle down, still passable but they needed to slow their pace to avoid tumbling over, the Jahlen again led the group.

 As they headed down, he began seeing something on some of the stones. He leaned in to see some of the natural grooves filled with a pusy orange colour, then he looked up, scanning around, seeing a break in the rock. He motioned up to the others, then preped himself in order to jump. His people were considered the best jumpers, but normally it was to find footing during an escape or battle. His strong limbs let him take two small steps and bounce upwards, high enough to grab onto the upper surface and look in.  Quickly he dropped the thirty feet back down to tell the others, "Slime trap. Follow my lead, stick tight to the walls." The party did as requested, staying very close to the walls. Caventh wasn't sure if this was a natural trap by some barely conscious slime creatures, or one set up by someone using these creatures.

Not long after the slime trap, they noticed the tunnel sloped downward again, not exactly a slide, but if one were too heavy or too fast that could always trip. Rillo took over, scouting up ahead, she motioned for the group to stay put. Coming back a few minutes later, she explained that there was a slime pit up ahead, and the passage way split off.

They took their time headed down the stone tunnel, as the slime trap was not natural, but it was fairly easy to understand and avoid. The pit they passed down was very deep, fifty feet down, and it was well designed as to have no notice before the drop. Rillo indicated she wanted to go down and see if there was anything left over, but Caventh hesitated. In other traps like this, it was used to capture and kill invaders, then take their equipment, and at that depth, most likely all but coins or magic trinkets wouldn't be able to survive the fall.  The slimes in the pit did not seem to notice them, they were barely aware of anything other than their natural tendencies to slog and hunt.

They had two choices of immediate path, one going mostly west and the other immediate east. Since the west one had much more footprints from boot marks, that seemed to be the most logical. heading along, they found a much larger room than any of the other areas they had seen so far, when Caventh looked in, he reined the others over. There were benches, two aside and a dozen deep, all lining up with a small pedestal. There were no other symbols on it, so the group wasn't sure if this was a religious area or not .The area was in disarray, though no immediate signs of magic.

Caventh noted the four dark tapestries along the back wall, so faded, it would be easy to miss if one wasn't paying attention. As in the upper Tower, windows were up around fifteen feet, though no light was pouring in. The two tapestries on the outer rim showed generic battle scenes at first glance, the interior two showed elegant display of hundreds of rings. They opened them up, showing three mostly empty storehouse, containing broken items, books, small figurines. Mostly garbage. But the last one contained a cage, and in the center of the locked room was a solid, white stone statue of a woman held in chains.

Roll # 1 - Checking out the cage and lock
Roll # 1b - The Statue (DC 19)
Roll # 2 - Further check on the room (DC 13, DC 16, DC 22)
Roll # 3 Wandering Monster Check (6/20)
                                 A - 25% Monster (2d10)
                                 B - 25%  Monster (2d20)
                                 C - 50% Monster (3d20)

Saturday, 18 February 2017

The Enzalmed Skull of Kaiddor'Vec

I love it when someone posts an idea that inspires me into game tinkering. Thanks +Christopher Mennell

The Enzalmed Skull of Kaiddor'Vec

Zalming is an ancient and generally outlawed practice of taking bones from spell-users and creating a spell focus from them. Most often, practitioners of this vile art take complete bones from fallen spell-casters (Mages, Clerics but any other is possible) and coating them in plaster just after their deaths. The idea being since magic never truly leaves the body, so it acts as a focus for spell-casters, giving a spell a +1 or to the DC of one of their spells once a day.

While this is generally the understood practice, stories tell of the ultimate instance of this magic when a renown magic user named Kaiddor began enzalming himself before their death. His family, the di Vec* clan were regognized artists and had vast fortunes from their work with royalty. There are various rumours about why he did this, the one most believed is that he was trying to change himself to lich in a unique fashion, enzalming himself while alive. Instead of taking his own life to complete the ritual, he was kidnapped by a group of dark cultists and executed, his head removed. Since he had already prepared himself, they they had a complete and powerful Enzalmed Spell-Head.

Mechanically it can either provide three additional spell levels of a caster's lowest spells they can cast per day, or it can provide +5 on spell focus for non-healing or fire related learning spells.

Cost: 10,000 gold pieces, Spell Level: As 7th level Caster




*di XXX is the designation of honoured families in any given area. Many have specific rights over non-honored families, including taxation and voting. Thus when he was alive, his recognized name would be Kaiddor of House Vec or Kaiddor di Vec in common usage. Stripping him of the recognition of the family is a significant embarrassment to him and potentially any offspring who could also lose these same rights.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil PT 5

"Company of the Hardened Anvil" PT 5

Roll 1 - Required DC 15 (+6) = Getting to Vorrecknos; Rolled 22 - Success
Roll 2 - Required DC 20 (+4) = Dice Games; Rolled 8 - Strong Failure

The entire party started making their way through the camps, filled with the soldiers and rogues from across the region. Most of these men were here for short periods and did their honour bound duty. Others came for the pitiful pay or a chance to make it rich down below. The most desperate were these scoundrels, not used as explorers or guards but a living barricade, thrown into the mass combat, if something were to re-appear out of the Tower or its catacombs. Most served a few years and saw no action, then returned to a normal prison having served a substantial part of their sentence. For others, there was no return, if they did face an encounter from the caverns most likely they would be dead.

The Casnian guards were very light around here, a few soldier standing in groups of three or four, paying little heed to anything except their conversations with each other. If one didn't recognize the purple flags, one could almost assume they were regulars, here fighting for glory or wealth. An assortment of creatures, Dwarf and Human were the majority of the prisoners and a few others like Tender, and Minotaur, and some more that couldn't be immediately identified. Some had small

Vorrecknos sat at a table with a group, who he pushed away with a snort when he saw the adventurers approach. The whole party started to come closer, and he put up his hand, to say that only one need come forward.  Caventh did, and the two had a brief conversation, the Minotaur told his Jahlen associate what to do, deliver a package to a guard, and return for half the pay tomorrow evening. Nothing was really illegal, just frowned upon as Vorrecknos explained it. Caventh left for a moment to speak with his group.

Unlike the rest of her party, Ennos was hard to recognize, she deliberately dressed in dark cloaks to limit potential recognition. Few non-casters would ever know of her people, but she had been accosted many times in cities before having to flee, and didn't want her party to suffer with her, especially among the most technical and lawful, the faithful of Casna. She did her best to get a view of the Minotaur, but what she saw was the bold red skin and hair, a paid of magnificent white horns - Vorrecknos was Knothian Minotaur, a true-born. His grey skin and black feeble was horn was probably due to poisoning. This was a bad sign... she explained it to Unnos, but he sushed her, not a point right now, but certainly intriguing.

Rillo asked if anyone had problems accepting the deal, and all but Vasano agreed immediately, while they all wanted to get below, the cleric was unsure. He still didn't trust the Minotaur but the others were trying to convince him to take the risk. The cleric looked down at his holy symbol circlet, which had a slight brown glow emanating from it, there was danger but he was unsure if this Minotaur bastard was what he felt ... he nodded agreement, they had to get below.

The ranger stepped back and said the group consented. Immediately thereafter, the Grey Minotaur dropped two bags down. One he explained is half the payment, the other was to be delivered to Renthok, a Dwarf guard on the 20th floor. The best way to get below was with one of the patrols, he gave them a badge that would enable them to work with one of the Dwarven patrols. All of the party knew this wasn't strictly above board, it skittered the lawful structure in the Tower guard - probably not enough to get arrested though.

As the party headed back to their camp, Rillo noticed a small tent outside the prison area, a place with considerable movement. She slowly made her way closer and recognized this as a small gambling den. She made careful observation of where the watchers were, and who the patrons were, a majority of Tender, Elves and human soldiers. The dealers she couldn't recognize, but she was sure that this was a place of action. She made her way there but was stopped by two guards in black armor, long tall black feather, they carried flails and elaborately decorated crossbows; they were obviously from the Church of Keran, one of the largest lawful groups in the realm, strictly lawful and usually very evil.

They asked her about the third moon...and she had no proper reply, she didn't know the correct passwords, so they dismissed her and said it was a busy day and she couldn`t make it into the gaming tent. She knew if she had the time she would find the passwords by talking with enough people in the area, Was this a casino of Fatanus she wondered, but why would the Keranites be guarding this? This was something to remember for another day.

Roll # 1  Meeting the Patrol Leader (DC 11) +4
Roll # 2 First Level In (DC 12)  +3
Roll # 3 Stairs Down (DC 14)  +3
Roll # 4 - Any other suggestions?

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil Pt 4


1. Implore the tent of Darras for permission to enter the Tower in one of their patrols? (DC 12) +4  Roll # 1 - Required DC 12 (+4) = 8 = Result Fail

2. Can they find a way to sneak into the tunnels or Tower? (DC 15 / 18) +3 Roll # 2 - Required DC 15 / 18 (+3) = 5 = 8 = Result Fail

3. Can they make a connection in one of the pubs? (DC 18)  +2 Roll # 3 - Required DC 18 (+5) = 22 = Result success

4. Any other suggestions?

The night went quiet, only the lone bugle of formation broke the otherwise silence. All of them, focused on their goal, did not go out until early morning, all intending to get sleep.

The spell caster and his ally went out before the screech of the cochin, the early morning soldier ritual. They wanted to scan the Tower in different light, to see if there was any not-so obvious way into the Tower or tunnels. A group of early morning clerics, from an assortment of the churches made their way round the Tower, stopping at designated points to do both shared and quiet prayers. Unnos, the Sorceror and Ènnoss, went with them. Their path was obvious so the two could hop out of line easily enough, do their scans and head back into order without raising too many questions. Again, like their previous scans, nothing in the Tower or the path grabbed their attention, nothing sparkled with magic or energy or possibility. This was a closed point. People, not magic or energy came from the Tower. Both of them were perturbed, neither had seen anything like this in any of the town or dungeons they had been to in their career. By the time the prayer circle was over, both were even more determined to investigate the Tower from within. (Roll 2, failed)

Just before the two returned to their tent, the cleric Vassano made his way back to the stables of Darras, hoping to make a connection to get into Tower soon. Again, fairly quickly he was greeted by Lei-Lanna. She explained that she had not found a suitable group for them to accompany into the Tower. There were soldier squads they could join, but they all had missions away from the Tower. She assured Vassano she had connections, but it would take a few more days. He noticed there were many more followers there today, many of them in brown cloaks or tunics, but others as well, many in military uniforms.  Most were there to arrange transportation of items to or from the location, he tried to weigh everything in his mind, could he come up with a deal that could help his party out. (Roll 1, failed)

Rillo and Caventh went to some of the large feeding tables, group meals for some of the poorest assigned to the Tower. While many of them were sponsored by the churches or militia groups, others were much smaller, and this one with a purple circle surrounding a tower, distinctly different then the Tower here. Purple represented the colour of Casna, Lord of Laws, the strictest church with ever-exacting laws, rarely known for forgiveness. These were convicted criminals...not the best sort for most things, but, perhaps for what the group wanted, a chance to get inside.

Caventh asked around, and found that one of them, a convicted warlord by the name of Vorrecknos, was looking for some volunteers. Asking around, he saw the brute of a Minotaur, a grey skinned beast, bulging muscles, who looked like he could tear a human apart...except for the glowing purple tattoos that proclaimed him a criminal, he would want to share an ale with him. When asked what the job was, the monster smiled and said delivery inside the Tower tonight, the pay was 100 crowns. (Roll 3, Success)

The ranger and rogue didn't entirely trust Vorrecknos, but did any of the others have a better chance at getting them inside? They returned to their team, and they each explained their findings. At least right now they felt the grey Minotaur offered the best chance. Caventh explained what most of them already knew, his people, the Jahlen were blood-kin to Minotaurs, not exactly allies, but not blood enemies either. His people were of the spires, tall mountains in the north. He didn't recognize this type, if it were a true type. The standard Knothian type had red flesh and many of them lived near the Western Seas or High Forest, nowhere near here. They all seemed to be willing to meet Vorrecknos to hear what the job was and could it help them get inside?

Roll 1 - Required DC 15 (+6) = Getting to Vorrecknos
Roll 2 - Required DC 20 (+4) = Dice Games
Roll 3 - Any other suggestions?

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil Pt 3

"Company of the Hardened Anvil" Pt 3

1. Investigate the tent of Darras for details on patrols? (DC 12) Roll 1 - Required DC 12 (+2) = 24
2. Can the wizards gain any inkling into the area, tunnels or Tower? (DC 12 / 15 / 18) Roll 2 - Required DC 12 / 15 / 18 (+2) = 11
3. Any weapons or equipment they can find that could be useful?  Roll 3 - Required DC 15 (+3) = 20

Vassano was excited as Caventh told him that there was a tent belonging to his church. His faith more so then the others was not an adventurers one, most of the clergy spent their lives in the towns and cities, serving the needs of the common citizen. They helped to organize and protect, or, that's what his brethren did. Churches, even those worshiping the same deity, often focused on different aspects of the god's portfolio, so not every priest had the same list of prayers or spells or rituals. While rarely enemies they did not always help each other. Certainly the other good faiths had much more specific requirements from their members, even for the visiting clergy from afar, but his, at the very base of belief, was to share, so he believed that many of his own parties most common simple needs would be covered.

The young celestial man made his way towards the small tent that was the centre of the Brown Lancers, the organizing militia group for his faith. Brown, was the colour of the faithful, as all gods had a colour associated with their groups. He realized that the tent was so much farther out, as there were large stables surrounded it. The first soldiers he saw around it wore gold and purple in their insignia, followers of Quanna and Japeth, other Quadrane, or good-aligned gods.  The stables had large openings near the top, griffon stables.

He dropped a small offering into a pot placed near the opening of the shared tent as he entered the tent that help fewer than a dozen men, far smaller than many of the others around the Tower.  A young priestess, Lei-Lanna, dressed in a simple brown tunic came over to welcome him, and after a short discussion he realized their job here was but to serve the other groups near-by, especially the couriers. Their conversation drifted and he learned bits more about the customs and processes of the various groups, with her help, he could find someone to help them skip the queue, get into the Tower relatively quickly. In the middle of the talk, both of their holy symbols, universally worn as neck medallions, both glowed brightly, he looked around to find something  or someone different coming into the area, something of considerable power, Lei-Lanna closed her eyes and smiled. She promised that she would give him the names of contacts in a day or two that would assist.

After being told bits about of the area, Unnos the Sorcerer and Ènnoss, the monk were both nervous, something was very wrong about this place. Unnos was a student of spells, and the other, an eater of magic, someone that could steal mana or magic energy from items, they worked together for longer than any of the others in their group.  Spellcasters should be more obvious, as there was no Obelisk to act as a central focus. In cities, even without magical academies, wizards could utilize the magic being emanated from the churches obelisks to cast their spells, even if they never came physically near one, the magic was everywhere. Here the energy was everywhere, the same as being on holy ground, but there was no central focus. It would make sense if it came from the Tower,  but it should be glowing brightly with the spiritual or even arcane energies, but it wasn't, there was no signs. So where was this mana coming from. And was anyone controlling it?

They made their way around the various compound, as Unnos had cast detect magic, hoping to find another large obvious sources in the camps. While he found dozens of sources, but they were like him, low level spouts, there shouldn't be enough mana here for him to recast his spells continuously, yet even without an obvious source, he had the energy. Ènnos came to the conclusion that if there were any cabals of spell-casters, they were inside the Tower, as none of the tents, none of the humanoids emanated the energy required.  They decided to keep the facts to themselves, they needed to get deep inside to learn more.

Rillo and Caventh did their best to scout around looking for some vendors selling more rare items. As soon as they saw the three red ogres outside a delicate silver tent, they knew they had found what they were looking for. They came in to see a copper coloured dwarf, dressed in scarfs covering his body, a small axe by his side and a whistle around his neck. In most cities, a Zinth, or Sand Dwarf was often the best source of magic, but there was usually a catch, they only traded enchanted items, they cared little for the gold or silver pieces most others groups used. Jor-Cannah spoke at length, about places from far and wide, of the deals he had done. But his conversation was slanted, asking questions about them and their needs.  They settled on two magical items, an Astral Stone (which opened portals) and a Scream Stone (which screamed in the presence of predetermined objects, such as gold or myricke) and the payment was five bright feathery plumage of Zaooriche, an elegant land avian they had hunted in the Zoork desert. Their last question for him, left them bewildered, as he wouldn't state when he would stay in the spot, travelling was his response.

By the early evening the team regathered at their tent, to share their info and plans. They needed to get below, they didn't have many days before their opportunity was lost.
 
What next steps should the party take:

1. Implore the tent of Darras for permission to enter the Tower in one of their patrols? (DC 11)

2. Can they find a way to sneak into the tunnels or Tower? (DC 15 / 18)

3. Can they make a connection in one of the pubs? (DC 18)

4. Any other suggestions?