Monday, October 29, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Session Notes

Created: February 16, 2007

Hung out in a tavern – The Twisted Fish – for a while, had happy sharing story time. Blank and Sigrid explained their pasts, how they’d got here. Rellik refused to answer their questions.

“We’re a crew. We’ve got to have . . . cohesion.” – Captain Blank

“So what’s capitalist fascism, exactly? Do divulge. Enlighten me. Add to the cohesion.” – Captain Blank

“Ah. So this is where your . . . charming sense of Justice comes from.” – Captain Blank.

“But how well would the cohesion be, if you had humans rule humans, and . . .” – Captain Blank
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Sigrid

Worked out a plan:
Rellik and Blank go investigate the arena
Sigrid talks to Ea-Shamar about investigating murders, wants to get a new shield

Sigrid left her armor (not her sword) on the boat

“We’ll go look for the underground. Rellik, start digging.” Captain Blank

Sigrid got a black cloak

“That’s how I found Captain Bonnet in the first place, he was in a tavern.” – James
“Then stay. Away. From taverns.” – Captain Blank

They found James standing outside the Black Angle. Had a conversation with him. That was funny.

“Is there a place where I could buy a deadly poison?” – Rellik
“He’s a collector.” – Blank

“Why don’t you go ask what’s-his-name about the stuff?” – Blank

“I’ll give you 600 gp.” – Rellik
“You’re giving him more money than he asked for?” – Sigrid
“It’s contact etiquette. You wouldn’t understand.” – Blank

“Kraken! *cough* *cough* Repressed memory! Need rum!” – Blank

Sassone leaf residue; Contact DC 16; 2d12 hp; 1d6 Con; 300 gp

“It’s all good clean fun until someone gets their sword polished with poison.” – Blank

“That’s generosity, not justice!” – Blank
“I’m just giving him a few coins! I’m a nice person.” – Sigrid
“You’re encouraging him!” – Blank
“Encouraging him not to freeze to death?” – GM

Blank bet 2,000 gp on Mazquar
Rellik bet 500 gp on Mazquar
Blank and Rellik bet Sorern’s 1250 gp on Mazquar

Total: 6,250 gp

“Wake up! We need to leave before the black market closes.” – Blank

Went back to the ship, slept.

Next day: voyage!

Sorern’s backstory: evil stepmother

Day 1:
Cold, Fair, Snowing (3 days)
Strong wind (x3 sailing speed)
Prevailing (west)
216 miles

Day 2:
Cold, Fair, Snowing (2 days)
Strong wind (x3 sailing speed)
Prevailing (west)
90 miles

Secondmonth 13th

Return Journey

Day 1:
Cold, Fair, Snowing (2 days)
Strong wind (x3 sailing speed)
Prevailing (west)
Starts at like 3 p.m.

Eh, forget it. Takes 2 days to get back.

Secondmonth 15th

Does Sigrid know about the poisoned sword?

Mischa Mevarin

She was drunk at the time. Knows they did something she was very angry about, but she doesn’t know what it was.

Letter, yay, got all paranoid.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stone Bear

Created: February 9, 2007

Stone Bear
Large Construct
Hit Dice: (8d8) 36 hp
Initiative: +1
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares), swim 30 ft.
Armor Class: 15 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +5 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+18
Attack: Claw +13 (1d8+8)
Full Attack: 2 claws +13 melee (1d8+8) and bite +8 melee (2d6+4)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent, DR 5/magic
Saves: Fort --, Ref +7, Will +3
Abilities: Str 27, Dex 13, Con --, Int --, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Hide -2, Listen +5, Spot +7, Swim +16
Feats: Endurance, Run, Track
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or pair
Challenge Rating: 4
Advancement: 9-12 (Large)
Level Adjustment: --

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a stone bear must hit with a claw attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Disgraceful Mystery of the Lustful Death of the Damned Dreaming Madness of the Bloody Greed of the Golden Hell-born Eel of Atlantis

Created: February 16, 2007

The Disgraceful Mystery of the Lustful Death of the Damned Dreaming Madness of the Bloody Greed of the Golden Hell-born Eel of Atlantis

Everyone just calls it “The Disgraceful Mystery,” sometimes “The Disgraceful Mystery of Atlantis,” except the Captain, who always uses the full name. Always.


Stede Bonnet, Captain
Blank, First Mate
James, Annoying Cabin Boy
Hook, the Cook

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Captain Blank

Created: February 13, 2006

Do you have any nicknames, street names, titles, or nom de plumes?

Blank, Captain Blank, Cap'n Blank.

What is your full birth name?

Lionel Isaac Assiri

What is your greatest strength?
my wit and tack

What is your greatest weakness?

unprepared combat

What is your most distinguishing feature?

facial hair, a mustache and goatee

What kind of clothing do you wear?

pirate garb, arrr.

Where did you grow up?

larger islands to the north

Why did you leave?

came to live with Uncle Grizby

Who is your closest friend?

Mark, a previous shipmate. I don't know if he still lives.

Who is your worst enemy?

Illiam, my rival on the previous ship, who was about ready to lead a mutiny.

What is your greatest dream?

being the most feared pirate in all the land.

What is your greatest fear?

having no one working for me on my ship

What would you die for?

honor or my ship.

What would you kill for?

Gold, a friend, my ship.

probably not terribly enlightening, I'll write up a bit more character history when I have time.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sigrid Halstead

Created: February 16, 2007

Do you have any nicknames, street names, titles, or nom de plumes?

Some of the other Order Chapterhouse members call me "Puppy" because of her (almost youthful) exuberance. Other than that, no.

What is your full birth name?

Sigrid Halstead

What is your greatest strength?

My enthusiasm for whatever the task at hand is.

What is your greatest weakness?

The fact that I feel I MUST Champion. I'm terrified my life won't matter, so I go over the top to make it matter. I don't believe in my own set of skills, and feel I must depend on my cause to give me some degree of power and control over my life. Also, I apparently annoy people a lot.

What is your most distinguishing feature?

I am missing the my smallest finger on my shield hand. It was cut off by an angry Giant merchant after I was caught stealing from him as a teenager.

What kind of clothing do you wear?

Devanian plate armor if the situation demands it. Otherwise a light-coloured tunic and breeches with riding boots.

Where did you grow up? Why did you leave?

The lower city of De-Shamod with my mother. It always struck me as odd that there weren't really any Giants living there in the slums. My mother worked in a human blacksmiths' shop. She wasn't a blacksmith herself, but as she always told me "Blacksmithing is messy and blacksmiths need someone to clean up after them." She also assisted the blacksmith with some of his work. My mother was killed by a city guard when I was 14. He claims she attacked him. I didn't believe it then, and I don't believe it now. I couldn't afford the rent, so I lived on the streets for several months. Eventually my mother's former employer (the blacksmith Loghan) found out I was living on the streets and took me in. I worked him in exchange for room and board. I learned a little smithing, though I was by no means his apprentice. He was a masterful smith. Had he been a Giant, he could have made weapons and armor for the Guard and Military. As it was, he was still very well off.

I would run deliveries for Loghan. Every couple months or so there would be a big order from out of the city. It would never all get shipped at once however. Loghan would send a few pieces a day down to the river port, as if to avoid attention. I would make these deliveries to various non-Giants down at the river. Sometimes I would meet a fishing boat. Sometimes I would meet a small merchant ship. Again, nothing ever stood out. Nothing about the deliveries or the recipients would draw any attention.

When I was 17 asked Loghan about it, he asked me if I had ever heard of the Order of the Axe. I said I had, and we had a long conversation about the Order. Apparently the human Speaker of De-Shamod, Lady Taliena Ishor, is covertly a supporter of the Order. In public she has always been loyal the Diamond Throne, but she carefully makes sure that people who support the Order, like Loghan, get turned a blind eye, as long as they do not draw too much attention to themselves.

It was then that I decided I would like to join the Order of the Axe. It took Loghan a couple months to coordinate, but one day, when the last of the shipment to the local Order Chapterhouse was delivered to the port, I was along with it. I trained at the Chapterhouse on White Shoal Island for the required seven years as a Squire. At 24, I became a true Knight and was transferred to a Chapterhouse off the coast of Ao-Manasa. I have been there less than a year. I have never served at an inland Chapterhouse, so I have never owned a horse like most Knights. At island, water-locked Chapterhouses, we do not own horses. We learn how to ride them, but it is impractical to keep them on an island.

Who is your closest friend?

I don't really have friends. A lot of the other Knights think I'm a bit overly-zealous. Lord Morek seems to like me well enough. He does give me a lot of missions for a Knight as young and green as myself. I have heard rumours that that's just to get me out of the Chapterhouse so I don't annoy everyone. I really hope that's not the case.

Who is your worst enemy?

Giants, perhaps? No, seriously, I hold no grudge against the race as a whole. I do hold a grudge against their leadership, and I HATE corrupt Guards, like the one that killed my mother. Also, I dislike members of my Order that follow Lord Harsted. His continued guerrilla attacks upon the Diamond Throne military have put the Order and it's goal of self-rule in serious jeopardy. I, like most of my Order, follow Sir Aniton and his idea of a peaceful resolution with the Giants.

What is your greatest dream?

To find real purpose in my life. The Order has given me that, and my chose path of Justice has as well, but I still feel very empty. I feel as if what I am doing doesn't really matter anyway.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing my faith and devotion. When I started Squiring, I was a Champion of Life. I held life above all else. As I got a little older, I decided that not all life was worth valuing, and sometimes people must die for the greater cause. I became a Champion of Justice. I devoted my life to following a Just path, and I cannot continually change my mind. That would make Championing anything meaningless. I need meaning. I do not want to lose my faith and devotion to Justice.

What would you die for?

If my death would help further the cause of Self Rule for all races, or if it would further the cause of Justice in the world, then I would welcome death. I do not want my death to be meaningless. I would also hope I do not die anytime soon. 25 is far too young to die.

What would you kill for?

I would kill someone to deliver them Final Justice. I do not see very many other reasons to kill someone. Self-defense perhaps, but that is also related to Justice. You try to kill me, I kill you instead, we're all happy.

Doesn’t know who her father is. Heh heh heh.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lost Empire Ruin 1 -- The Island Tomb

Created: February 9, 2007
The Island Tomb
An ancient, ruined tomb of a minor king from the Lost Empire.

PCs sent here by Taevin, who has a collector willing to pay 1,000 gp for any “relics” they can find.

There was an ancient empire.
This empire was powerful.
This empire was obsessed with death.
This empire was destroyed somehow, mysteriously.
Hint at the floating platform thing.

1. The Beach (EL 5)
The island is small and desolate, basically just a sandbar. The most obvious features are the sound of surf and the smell of sea air. There is also a building of some kind, made of smooth stone, half buried under the sands, and a giant stone head a few yards away.

Near the entrance are three medium monstrous crabs (Stormwrack p. 142) who attack anyone who ventures near. If they don’t see the party, they will eventually wander away, into the waves. (Spot distance is 6d6x20 feet, though.)

The entrance is two large stone doors. Above these doors, on the roof of the building, are two legs, all that remains of the statue the head came from. Across the doors is an inscription that reads: “My name is Ozymandius, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.”

2. Entrance Hall
The only light in this room is what comes in from outside. The walls are covered with relief carvings, likely of the exploits of the aforementioned Ozymandius. They show, variously, a robed figure being crowned, leading an army, surrounded by courtiers, dispensing wisdom from a throne, and being given various things. The figure of Ozymandius is distinguishable because he is decorated with inlaid colored stone that has in places fallen away.

A short hallway leads into a much larger room.

3. Walkway
The walls of the chamber are covered with scenes similar to the ones in the entrance, except that they mostly depict various happenings of an empire, rather than the personal exploits of a king.

A semi-circular runs around one side of the chamber. The central part of the chamber, between the walkway and the central island, is dark pit. (20’ deep, then water.) The central island is about 20’ away from the walkway. (See 6 for details.) This is a puzzle: the players will need to figure out some way to get from the walkway to the central island. One solution: use telekinesis (lesser) to loop a rope around the sarcophagus thing in the center, and then climb across.

In the center of the walkway is a detachable platform that would float back and forth between the island and the walkway if it were operable. Which it isn’t. The only clue that it is detachable, currently, is an indentation that runs around its edge on the walkway and down the side of the pit. It’s also covered with shallower lines and complex patterns, and three pits evenly spaced across its middle.

4. Right Chamber
This chamber contains three things: a statue made of black stone with gold details, murals depicting the same figure as the statue, and reliquary in the wall. This has been hidden with some care (Search DC 15) but it should be fairly obvious that something is there: the statue faces it, most of the figures on the wall are facing it, and the spot itself is marked with a crossed bar of translucent golden stone. (Like a plus sign, except the horizontal is four or five times as wide as the vertical.)

Inside the reliquary is a longsword with a hilt of black stone, decorated with gold, and a small gold box.

The long sword is completely ordinary, but it counts as a relic for the collector.

5. Left Chamber
Just rubble, basically. Part of this section of the chamber collapsed. The PCs can clear it, if they want; three or four Strength checks, DC 15, if they fail by five points or more they have to avoid falling rubble, Ref 17, 1d6 damage. If they get through, all they find is an empty version of 4.

6. Central Island, EL 6
Another statue of Ozymandius. (Actually an upright sarcophagus, if they really want to break it open.)

On its head is a crown, set in indentations at its feet are the pieces of a broken scepter. All three are just art objects, the kind of thing Taevin’s rich collector is interested in. Moving these objects causes the back wall to slide open, and 2 stone bears enter. (Not that this makes any sense.)

7. Stone Bear Chamber
The inscriptions in this room look like they were added some time after the others; they’re fresher, more distinct. The carvings are more stylized, less detailed, and unadorned by colored stone. They show warriors, mages, and demon dragons; scenes of war and death.

Every few seconds, a narrow band of light moves across the floor, from one side of the chamber to the other. It starts at the feet of the largest dragon figure, and crosses over to a detailed temple, the non-war type figure on the walls.
An inscription runs around the room and through the designs—it’s not written in any recognizable language, but it’s still understandable. (Yay, magic.)

Keep these words,
Who finds them here,
Beneath a bitter moon,
Your path is found,
By dragon bound,
By ritual and rune.

The temple is on the north east side of the chamber, to the right of the opening. The light thing points in this direction; it’s intended as a sign that they should sail that way.

Search DC 25:
Inset chamber similar to the one in 4
Bastard sword (magical, but has no active properties)
5 warm, sparking blue stones (Detonations, electric loop, 150 gp each, 750 gp total )
5 warm, sparking blue stones (Detonations, shock, 75 gp each, 375 gp total)
5 warm, sparking blue stones (Detonations, electric jolt, 12 gp 5 sp each, 62 gp 5 sp total)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Initiative & Such

Created: February 10, 2007

Click on the image to view it at its proper size.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Session Notes

Created: February 10, 2007

“I call upon the power of all that is true and just in the world!” – Sigrid
“I’ll be going now.” – Captain Blank

Fought bears. Captain Blank nearly died. Andy killed one by knocking it into the acid pit, Blank killed one with icefire.

“They fight stone bears, and Captain Blank nearly dies.”

Had conversation about how Captain Blank has no hit points. And how no one else could or wanted to heal him.

Rested, Sigrid and Rellik kept watch.

“Okay, I killed a bear.” – Captain Blank
“I killed a bear better.” – Sorern

“He said specifically that they were ‘catacombs,’ as in, involving dead people.” – Captain Blank (“he” being Taevin)
“And giant blue bears.” – Sorern

Party pulled a bomb squad on the blue stones.

“It’s contact etiquette. You wouldn’t understand.” – Captain Blank (to Sigrid)

Found all the things I hid. Got obsessed with figuring out the riddle.

Took about four days to work everything out.

Turned out there was a storm, with strong winds and stuff.

“Interesting. This seems to be a very popular name in this ancient culture.” – Captain Blank, jokingly imitating Sorern as he analyzed ever single one of the blue stones, and discovered that they were all made by the same person (Tai Faren)

They went back to Ao-Manasa, had a storm on the way, took three days. Sorern used object loresight on all the magic items they found. Captain Blank returned to Taevin, sold the relics—crown, two scepter pieces, box with hair, longsword. (5,000 gp)

“It’s a bunch of criminal lowlifes, there’s plenty of information to be had there.” – Sigrid

“Captain Blank gets into a gladiator death match, and almost dies.” – Sigrid

Monday, October 15, 2007


Created: February 8, 2007

Large City
Population: 17,000
GP Limit: 40,000
01-24 Human (24%)
25-48 Giant (24%)
49-72 Sibeccai (24%)
73-96 Faen (24%)
97-00 Other (4%)

Power Centers:
Gri-Taresh, steward
Mixastomere, nearby dragon, exiled from the Squamous Horde

Captain of the Guard:

Highest Level Locals:
Akashic 8th, 9th
Aristocrat 7th, 8th
Champion 9th, 7th
Commoner 18th, 17th
Expert 15th, 13th
Greenbond 9th, 8th
Mageblade 7th, 10th
Magister 8th, 9th
Oathsworn 7th, 7th
Runethane 8th, 9th
Unfettered 9th, 14th
Warmain 11th, 13th
Warrior 12th, 8th
Witch 10th, 12th

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lost Empire

Created: February 8, 2007

Lost Empire plot

There was a king named Ozymandius.
He ruled an ancient empire.
Death mattered to these people.
Floating platform thing—I’ve described it, but they don’t realize what it is.

To Establish:
This empire was powerful.
This empire was obsessed with death.
This empire was destroyed by traitors and dramojh.
It can be brought back, with a ceremony.
Around the time it was destroyed, a prince disappeared.

Keep these words,
Who finds them here,
Beneath a bitter moon,
Your path is found,
By dragon bound,
By ritual and rune.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Created: February 4, 2007

Currently, it looks like “plot” of the campaign—such as it is—may end up hinging on Rellik. Which, for some reason, strikes me as really weird.

Sorern and Blank are both interesting characters, but neither has a really compelling plot attached to them. They have hooks, but not nearly on the same level as Sigrid and Rellik. Basically, I can get them to do things. Sorern, with the dragon, and with the promise of magic, knowledge, and loot. Blank has Taevin, and again, the loot thing. (I need to see if I can convince Blank to move towards the Robin Hood kind of thing. I like the pirate bit, and I think it makes for a good character, but I’m worrying that his being a straight up buccaneer will cause problems with Sigrid. And I don’t want that happening; I want people to have reasons to stick with the group. That’s another problem. Right now, no one really has a reason to stick together. Beyond transportation, I guess.)

But Rellik and Sigrid both have some serious stories attached to them. Sigrid’s I can handle, no problem: she wants justice, and she wants to see this area returned to human self-rule. On account of justice. I can work that into the Lost Empire plot (perfect way to return to self-rule) and throw in a feud with the giants, then leverage the “plot to murder the king” thing into a reason to work together with the authorities. Because assassination isn’t just.

But Rellik? Not only is he the perfect character to stick the Lost Heir thing onto—because it creates a moment of frantic scrambling around before they realize there’s another option, and we get some good angst/regret stuff out of it—he’s also got this whole . . . back story. It’s weird, and it’s really cool, and I really like it, but I’m not sure if I can pull it off.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Session Notes

Created: February 3, 2007

Temperature Moderate
Wind Fair
Precipitation Clear

Strong Winds x3
Prevailing Winds – Westerly

Lasts for 4 days

Morek – guy Sigrid talked to in the Order of the Axe

Ocean’s Blade


“I call upon the power of Justice!” – Sigrid
“Yar har, Cap’n Blank, arr.” – Captain Blank

Temple slightly damaged – Sorern’s spell ripped some stone out of it to work a spell
Captain Blank nearly killed by a crab; they swarmed him.
Sigrid dragged him away from the crab.

“So you are a real pirate. Your ship is so small and rickety, I thought you were a fake pirate.” – Sigrid

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Kryptonite Lyrics

Created: February 1, 2007

I took a walk around the world to ease my troubled mind
I left my body lying somewhere in the sands of time
I watched the world float to the dark side of the moon
I feel there’s nothing I can do

I watched the world float to the dark side of the moon
After all I knew it had to be something to do with you
I really don’t mind what happens now and then
As long as you’ll be my friend at the end

If I go crazy then will you still call me Superman?
If I’m alive and well, will you be there holding my hand?
I’ll keep you by my side with my superhuman might

You called me strong, you called me weak
But still your secrets I will keep
You took for granted all the times I never let you down
You stumbled in and bumped your head
If not for me then you’d be dead
I picked you up, and put you back on solid ground

If I go crazy then will you still call me Superman?
If I’m alive and well, will you be there holding my hand?
I’ll keep you by my side with my superhuman might

Monday, October 8, 2007

Players Styles

Created: January 30, 2007

Soern's Player
Cool Powers
Setting Exploration (? Hunch)

Xerxed/Blank's Player
Puzzle Solving – Investigative (? Hunch)
Cool Powers (Video gamer)
Story (? Again, hunch)
Psychodrama (? Maybe . . .)
Setting Exploration (? He says)

Sigrid's Player
Playing a role – “Paladin”
Puzzle Solving – Investigative (? She says)

Rellik's Player
Playing a role – Sneaking
Brilliant Planning (? Based on discussion at the end of session 1)

Everyone’s moderately interested in fighting, but it doesn’t seem to be anyone’s main focus. Could just be my lens.

Need to figure out some more hooks for Soern's player, not just his character. Also—I have a sneaking suspicion that Rellik's player may be interested in psychodrama/story, which I need to test. Mostly this is because he’s decided to be a mojh, and I’m not entirely sure why.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Plots -- Early Concepts

Created: February 1, 2007

Possible plots:
Party vs. Ao-Manasa guard
They develop a feud with the Ao-Manasa guard. Sort of a “I’ll get you next time!” kind of dynamic.

Development is easy, because I can stick it in between other things. Anytime their adventures take them towards the shady side of the law, we can advance this plot.

Sigreid gets to oppose giants, who also happen to be just themselves (conflict!)
Blank gets to play “outsmart the Alliance”
Rellik gets to be sneaky and badass, undercover type
Sorern has a vague interest in opposing the giants, on account of dragons

Someone wants to kill the “King.”

This is why Sa-Follen was killed. The “King” is coming to visit Ao-Manasa soon, and they wanted to force a new captain of the guard, so the city is off balance, and the guard is busy doing housecleaning. (Note: by “King” I currently mean the Lady Protector, but it could be anyone important. I’ll need to decide soon, because I need to start dropping hints.)

Development will mostly be player driven. If they don’t do anything, it’s going to happen, so I can timeline it. (Also, need to make sure the players find out that the “King” is coming to visit. Maybe have Ea-Shamar mention it.) Their finding out about it will depend on whether they investigate Sa-Follen’s death, and why they were all there on the same night.

Don’t know who’s responsible. I do know that they were working through Mixastomere, whether she knows it or not, and through Rellik’s organization. (Nightwalkers? Branch of the Nightwalkers?) And possibly through the Knights of the Axe. Too tidy? Maybe. But it’s a start.

Possibility: The goal is to start a war. Preferably between the giants and the dragons. Could be Havinar Balacos. (AE p. 361)

Gannen is a red herring. If they start to investigate, other people will start dying, making it look like the work of a death cult of some kind—and they may discover that he’s a champion of death, making it look like him. Close enough to the truth to lead them astray entirely.

Heck, this is neat enough to just do. Random people will start dying, nomatter what they do. Give the mystery assassin a calling card. Sounds good.

Blank gets to talk to people, unravel the mystery
Sigreid gets to talk to people, and bring justice
Rellik gets to do some underworld stuff—if they investigate, that’s where this will go
Sorern . . . er . . . well, it’ll involve the dragons somehow

The Lost Empire
This whole area was once ruled by a long vanished empire.

This is a “plot,” and not just a neat fact, for three reasons. One, it allows me to tie together a series of site-based adventures: they’re discovering more about this empire. Two, I’m thinking it may turn out that one of the PCs is “the last heir” to this empire, and that someone’s looking for said heir. (I can drop when needed, to jump start the plot.) Three, if this is true, then it ties in with what I figure is Sigreid’s long term goal: to return the lands to local rule.

I want to make Rellik the “last heir” because it lets me drive home the “no longer human” thing, and because it’s an amusing way to set off a search for some kind of “lost prince.” I had this idea that it would be interesting to have the party have to rescue someone trapped somewhere underwater. Anyway, the idea is, there’s this legend that involves some prince of this empire disappearing, or being kidnapped by fish people. Or something. And they find out about this as they’re investigating ruins, and then this group that’s looking to bring back the empire (they have a spell, maybe) finally finds Rellik. Only he’s a mojh, so all hope is lost. Except that maybe the legend isn’t a legend, and they set off on a daring quest to find this person and save the world.

Or something. That’s my idea, anyway. The brilliant thing about this plot is that it ties together the water-based exploration adventure that Sorern and Blank are interested in with the self-rule bit that Sigreid has, and making Rellik the last heir ties him into the plot. I’m also thinking that this may be connected to the Assassination thing, somehow.

Development includes having several ruins for them to explore. I can feed this through Blank’s NPC, maybe make him a collector. Or the contact has a client who’s a collector, but can’t be bothered to talk to . . . treasure hunters. (Disdain. Heavy on the disdain. Let the PCs brag about proving him wrong, bringing home the goods.) This section will need to get a couple of key facts across, preferably by taking advantage of Rellik’s Decipher Script skill.

There was an Empire that ruled this area ages ago.
It disappeared in such-and-such a way.
There might be a way to get it back, if you could find a genuine heir.
(Magical ceremony, maybe. That’d fit the Diamond Throne vibe.)
Rumor has it that there’s an heir, today.
The legend of the lost prince.

Also throw some false information in, or some stuff that’s technically true but not related to the plot, directly. Just for color.

Sorern gets water-based exploration adventure.
Blank gets water-based exploration adventure.
Sigreid gets to help return the area to its native rulers.
Rellik gets to be the last heir of an ancient empire. This is cool.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Created: January 30, 2007

Sorern K’anai, evolved faen magister
--Learned magic from dragons, focus on dragon and water spells
--Interested in dragons, magic, and water
--Probably going to become an esoteric mage

Sigreid Halstead, human champion of justice
--Injustice of giant rule vs. Justice of individual giants
--Interested in justice, angst, and being tough
--Note: “internal conflict” bit based on what I know about her player
--Probably going to become a Knight of the Axe

Rellik, mojh unfettered
--Assassin, works for “Morag Tong” type guild
--Interested in killing things, sneaking being badass
--Why did he become a mojh?
--Also: seems to be interested in writing/forgery, build on it
--May be “last heir of – Empire,” haven’t decided (“Do you mind if I go all epic on your backstory?”)

Xerxed, verrik winter witch
--Interested in acting crazy and being badass
--Need to get a handle on this character, find out if his player’s happy with him
--Out of all of them, most likely to derail campaign – head this off now

Blank, human winter witch
--Interested in seafaring, talking to people, being scary cool
--Probably going to become a legendary captain (Stormwrack)
--In Ao-Manasa to meet a contact, who can give adventures

Friday, October 5, 2007

Brainstorming (II)

Created: January 27, 2007

Things that could happen next
--They get captured
--They escape

Who’s the new captain of the guard?
Who’s leading this operation?
How’d the guard get here so fast?
--Tipped off—anonymous note
Who killed the Sa-Follen?
Why’d they kill him?

Two thoughts that occur to me immediately: something related to crime, the Nightwalkers maybe, or something related to dragons

Need to talk to Rellik, work out the exact nature of his organization (or just more of it)

Currently the “plot” and its themes engage Sigreid primarily. How can I include the other characters?

Make Sa-Follen’s death related to dragons (other dragons framing his dragon, encouraging giant interference with his actions) would engage Sorern. Note: Need to get more hooks on Sorern, more idea of who he is

Give Xerxed weird dreams

Need more background on everyone but Sigreid, really

Both capture and escape can have coolness
Escape: because they get to escape (maybe some roof hopping chase scene type fun) and then they get to be fugitives from justice. Also, they get to build a relationship with the new captain of the guard, sort of an “I’ll get you next time” dynamic.

Captured: They get more information about why the captain of the guard was killed, maybe. Have to figure out who did it, to get released, which could be cool.

Actually, having them escape would be cooler.

Hang on, almost forgot. Long term plan: The King is dead! This may be part of the set up for that. In fact, it’s almost certainly part of the set up for that. Exactly how this works, not quite sure.

The city will be off balance for a while. Maybe a few months. The new captain of the guard (definitely a she, don’t know anything else; maybe make her a “mirror” of Sigrid) actually isn’t bent, but half of the guard is, so she’ll be busy for a while trying to clean house and handle crime at the same time. Things are no longer status quo. So maybe the King (or whatever) is coming here soon, and this is part of a plan to make things easier to off him when he does.

Not King. “Lady Protector.” Do I really want to kill her off?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Character Motivation

Created: January 26, 2006

Sorern K’anai
  • Seeking knowledge
  • Dragon wants captain of the guard killed as payment for evolution and training
  • Seeking knowledge
  • Declared vengeance against the captain of the guard for imaginary slight
  • Contract against the captain of the guard
Sigreid Halstead
  • Justice
  • Giant overlords
  • Sent by the Order to “deal with” the guard

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Initiative & Such

Created: January 26, 2007

There's probably a way to convert Excel documents to html tables. I haven't yet figured out how. I should probably just learn html.

These first few initiative tables are included mostly for comparison purposes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Rolls & Such

Created: January 26, 2007

Guard Listen 22 Spot 9
Rellik Sneak 26
Sorern Sneak 8 Spot 1 Listen 17 Search 16
Sigreid Spot 26

Page 348
Giant Commander, giant wrm2/giant3: CR 5 Large giant; HD

Sorern 10
Sigreid 14
Xerxed 4
Rellik 11

Killed guard by rolling him into the acid pit

Sorern 20
Rellik 35
Xerxed 6
Sigreid 19

Sorern 15
Xerxed 15
Sigreid 18
Rellik 25

Monday, October 1, 2007

Sigrid's Journal 19: Past Becomes Present


Fourthmonth 20 (continued)

We went to the Black Angle for the evening. Oh, how I am beginning to love that place.

Unfortunately, alcohol seems to impair my judgment very badly. After a couple a few several rounds, I decided it would be a good idea to visit Ea-Shamar. You see, my intoxication had given me a brilliant plan.

I visited Ea-Shamar. First I yelled at her about Monala. Then I offered to help recover Iu-Molan in exchange for her ignoring Gannen. After an argument that is now a bit blurry in my memory, it became apparent that she was not going to agree to this situation. I almost threatened to not help in the search for Iu-Molan, but I decided that that would be taking it a bit too far. I wouldn't allow Monala to harm the girl just because I was stubborn. We decided to leave town.

We didn't exactly know where we were going, mind you. I decided our top priority should be finding Gannen. The rest of the crew actually agreed with me (maybe this Runechild thing is really working out) and Soern cast a scrying spell on him. He discovered that Gannen was in the streets of a town, killing people. Monala was standing with him, watching. This made me angry enough to scream a few curses at her, including a few choice words about her heritage. Soern “helpfully” reminded me that a scry is a one-way connection. I shot him a dirty glance and he shut up.

Soern decided that the town Gannen was in looked like the northern port town of Gorzam, where Blank originates from. So, we set course for Gorzam and sailed off.


Fourthmonth 21

Sailing, sailing
Over the bounding main
Where many a stormy wind shall blow
E're you come home again
Sailing, sailing
Give me your answer do
I'm half-crazy
Over the...

You know what? I'm pathetic. Would I feel so guilty about losing him if I didn't love him? Probably not. I feel no guilt over the loss of Iu-Molan, even though that was probably also preventable on my part.

Damn you, Monala.


Fourthmonth 22

Gorzam. I will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Also, Blank seems to be somewhat of a local hero. Coincidence? I think not.

We went to visit the Scurvy Seadog, a tavern run by Blank's Uncle Grisby. Upon meeting Mr. Grisby, I politely introduced myself in the manner in which one should greet a person of the merchant class. This elicited a rather strange response from Grisby. He frowned, looking a bit confused. Eventually he said, “You'll be looking for the Governor? Well, we went and threw him out a couple o' years ago, so ya don't need to be bowing or “sirring” or any o' that load of shit.” He grinned. “Pardoning milady's ears o' course,” he added in a bit of a mocking tone.

Serious as stone, I corrected him, “It's Dame, not Lady.” He shook his head and sighed, as if he couldn't believe he was listening to this. A smile crept across my face and I proclaimed, “Just kidding.”

Grisby blinked, forced a laugh and quietly commented to Blank that he “really knew how to pick 'em crazy.” Blank nodded. I decided to keep my mouth shut for the time being.

Blank asked him about Gannen, and Grisby basically confirmed what we had already seen through Soern's scrying spell. He added that these “two people” had appeared and killed people several times, always taking the bodies with them. Curious.

Blank and the rest of the crew remained at the Scurvy Seadog for awhile while I wandered around near the docks. I examined the boats, trying to decide if I wanted to buy one of my own or not. Deciding that another boat wouldn't really be beneficial, and seeing that there were very few available to buy anyway, I decided to not buy a boat.

I returned to the Scurvy Seadog just as the crew was leaving. I asked where they were going, and Blank told me they were going to the Black Market. I asked, confused, if that was an actual, physical place, and he informed me that it indeed was.

“It's right down the street from Lenny's Fish Market on Commerce Street. Just look for the sign.”

Just look for the sign? What kind of Black Market had a sign? Apparently “Don Marko's Illicit and Pirated Goods” did. Wow.

It was a very grody store, but it had a good selection. I didn't really touch anything (for fear of contracting Lockjaw), but I did have a look around while the crew purchased some stuff.

We returned to our ships. Soern cast another scry on Gannen and found that he was standing at the Temple of the Hor'Quan, conversing with a dracha.

Before sunset, we left Gorzam. Good riddance.


Fourthmonth 23

We're going to go to the Temple of the Hor'Quan, but first we're stopping at Pental so I can fill Lord Morek in on what's been happening, and perhaps request assistance. We will, supposedly, arrive tomorrow.


Fourthmonth 24

Commodore Blank's about as accurate at predicting arrival times as those witches who try to predict the weather are at guessing when a storm is coming. Blank's a witch as well... Hmm... Perhaps all witches are simply untrustworthy. Damn mages.


Fourthmonth 25

We arrived at Pental in the middle of the night last night. Early this morning, I met with Lord Morek and told him what had been happening, and what we planned to do about it. Our conversation eventually arrived at what our main goal was. When I told him we planned to restart the Hor'Quan Empire, he was very supportive and even granted me a Knight partner, Dame Jocelyn Riet, and a small batallion of Squires to assist. Milord is most gracious.


Fourthmonth 26

I was on watch duty today and had to deal with a flock of angry seagulls who had decided that the crow's nest was their roost and that I was an intruder. Theoretically the peck marks will heal without scarring.


Fourthmonth 27

Per usual, our one day trip from Pental to Ao-Manasa has turned into a two-day journey. This is torturous. I suppose I'm just a bit more anxious than normal. Okay, perhaps a lot more anxious than normal.

After we arrived in Ao-Manasa late in the evening, Soern and Blank scurried off to the Black Angle to pick up some items from Cer-Athane. I stayed at the ship, fearing the wrath of Ea-Shamar. I didn't really want her to find out I was back so soon, especially since I didn't have Iu-Molan with me.


Fourthmonth 28

We had a meeting to discuss how to best reach Gannen (well, Iu-Molan, K'Max's, and Monala too, I guess). Soern recommended scrying on Gannen once again and then teleporting to him. I agreed wholeheartedly with this plan.

We figured that was what Monala was expecting us to do, however, so we decided that we all shouldn't go and we should leave something behind so Monala couldn't get “all the pieces of the puzzle” as it were. It was decided that Paerk and Jocelyn would remain behind, mostly because they were the least likely to end up in jail. We left them with the key we retrieved from Gannen's home.

Soern then cast another scry on Gannen. He was in a dark cavern with Iu-Molan. He then teleported us in. I hate teleporting. It feels like I'm being dragged through a hole in the fabric of the world itself. A very cold, slimy, stabbing kind of hole. Magic makes my skin crawl. Almost literally, in the case of teleporting. I found myself on the floor of the dark cavern. Everyone else was on their feet. I scrambled to mine and looked around.

It was dark, but not dark in the sense that darkness used to be for me. It was as if all the colours were muted, but the shapes were as clear as always. I am still getting used to these runechild eyes. I could make out many shapes in the room. There was a giant glass-like block of ice in the center of the room. There were also quite a few ice mephits that I was concerned about, Iu-Molan, whom I was pleased to see, and Gannen, whom I was more than pleased to see. Something glittered atop the ice-block. Looking back at it, I noticed that it was one of the seeds from the Isle of the Jeweled Trees. Curious. Underneath the iceblock, there was a soft, orangish glow.

I thought it may have something to do with the riddle Lord Morek gave me back in Thirdmonth. The thing about restarting the volcano.

Free the fire,
From icy fist,
Meet seed with flame of earth,
With storm and stare,
With will of heir,
Of right blood and right worth.

Soern suddenly yelled at us not to melt the ice. I suppose he had the same idea I had. Restarting a volcano while inside of it may be hazardous to one's health.The Aur-Xica seemed rather excited all of a sudden. Perhaps it felt the impending battle with the mephits that were already beginning to charge us. As we were fighting, I tried to make my way over to Gannen, but there were too many mephits for that plan to work. Suddenly there was a big burst of fire, causing the ice-block to melt and the seed to fall straight down into what appeared to be magma.

I yelled at Soern for his carelessness as I smacked the last of my mephit attackers, but he claimed that it hadn't been him that had cast the fireball. Monala. I screamed her name but got no reply. The only sound I heard was a steadily increasing rumbling beneath my feet. Running over to Gannen, I tried to talk to him, but he was zoned out and catatonic.

The rumbling grew louder. Mark grabbed Gannen and began to run towards the daylight that we hoped was an exit. I helped Iu-Molan to follow and we all fled, just as the magma began to rise into the cave. Death-by-volcano was not in the plans for the day, so we kept running, finding a way out of the cave. Once out, we scrambled up some rocks to the top of the Temple of the Hor'Quan.

There was a horrible shaking, and on the horizon, we witnessed a giant stone structure rise out of the ocean just as the sun was rising for the day. It was a beautiful,and terrifying sight.

Poor Gannen's mind was seriously messed up by Monala. Soern said there really wasn't much he could do here and suggested we teleport back to the ships, where perhaps Paerk would be of more help. It also started to rain.

When it came time for Soern to teleport us back, he kept glancing around at everyone. When I asked him what the problem was, he explained that he wasn't sure if he could teleport everyone back, but that he would try. This revelation evoked many painful images in my head of teleportation-gone-horribly-wrong. I was so distracted, I didn't even noticed Soern cast the spell. There was that creepy feeling, and then I appeared on the Fearful Lightning, shivering. I glanced around and noticed that everyone else had made it in one piece as well, including Gannen, whose arm I grabbed onto protectively.

Paerk took a look at Gannen and everyone debated for awhile on the best way to fix his mind. At first, Paerk thought the most obvious way to fix him would be to kill him and then resurrect him again, but I (almost violently) vetoed that idea. Eventually Paerk decided he could cast a restoration spell on him to fix him, unfortunately, he needed to look over said spell first and wouldn't be able to cast it until tomorrow. Even tomorrow, he would need to know Gannen's Truename for the spell to work. Perhaps by morning, Gannen will have recovered naturally enough to tell Paerk his Truename.

Soern then messed with Iu-Molan's memory so she would think Gannen got taken away by Monala again. Clever that. Anyway, Paerk, Blank, and I escorted Iu-Molan to Ea-Shamar, who thanked us, but seemed a bit stressed. Apparently there had been a prison break earlier that day and several prisoners had escaped. Blank asked if Illiam had escaped. When Ea-Shamar informed him that Illiam had indeed gotten away, I swear, Blank nearly became a Champion of Justice right then and there. Well, a Champion of Justice-Against-Illiam anyway. That's like a Champion, but with more piracy, and more hatred of Illiam.

I then proceeded to have another little chat with Ea-Shamar about not bothering Gannen. She reacted exactly the same as she had before. There was no way she was going to pardon him. I then, rather stupidly, demanded an audience with the Steward. She was a little surprised and at first denied my request, but I eventually convinced her to allow it.

My conversation with the Steward went thusly: I told him to stop his focus on Gannen. He asked me on what grounds I was requesting this, and I basically admitted the crew was at-fault for Mischa Mevarin's death, which didn't go over well. He ordered Ea-Shamar to question me and had me dragged out of his audience chamber. Once back with Ea-Shamar, she berated me for being an idiot and bringing Gannen to the attention of the Steward once again. Apparently he had been beginning to forget about the whole ordeal. Oops. She strongly suggested that we should leave town for awhile, to let things cool off a bit. Captain Blank obliged, and we were off.


Background (SECRET)

Created: January 26, 2007

Location: Ao-Manasa
Giantish island port city
Fairly remote, only real city in the surrounding archipelago

Steward of Ao-Manasa, Gri-Taresh
Corrupt captain of the guard – Giant Sa-Follen
Dragon – nearby, perhaps on an island a few days travel away, teaches magic and evolves creatures for a price
Champion of Death gladiator
“Morag Tong”

Things to do:
Fight creatures for bounty
Other dragons don’t like the local dragon’s mercenary attitude towards “their” knowledge
Check out the arena
Dragon will want some kind of service from Andy’s character

Someone’s going to kill the King (Queen, Lady Protector, whatever) so drop hints