The Harrowing of the Foul

This text has begun to appear around the area of Nocturne. Some have heard it from spirits while doing seances. Some have dreamt of strange entities whispering the words to them. Others have seen ghostly text appear on documents they are writing late at night, only to have it fade away with the dawn. Some have even waken from a restless sleep, finding the text written on parchment in their own hand.

The Harrowing of the Foul

When summer’s warmth is left behind

And winter’s threat is not so kind

The darkest time in all the year

Falls after harvest fields are clear

When the Harrowing times arrive

 

The time the Foul does cloak the Earth

Each year, these nights, its dark rebirth

And those that serve will drink and feast

What meal, not fit for man nor beast?

Best shunned by those alive

 

And though the living face this dread

The greater threat is to the dead

The Foul does claw each resting place

To stave off torment that they face

Each grave this night a threat

 

The Foul brings with it bitter spite

Undead grow stronger Thirteenth Night

Beware the dead, those touched by Foul

The ghasts and haunt these nights do prowl

The dead must pay their debt

 

With undead strong and ghouls about

Too strong, the Foul, to be locked out

No sanctuary this night remains

To bring folk rest nor ease their pains

No safe place will protect

 

In ancient times the House of Weald

Brought magicks strong in woods and field

To circles full of leering faces

That grew outside in darkest places

No soul would they neglect

 

In these dark times when blood is spilled

The Foul’s dark hate is never filled

It gnaws at flesh and eats at life

And claims all souls who fall from strife

Those downed have fragile fates

 

If battle comes when darkness falls

Let healers heed the battle calls

Each wounded friend in dire need

For allies fall and always bleed

Too slow, the Reaper waits

 

At Harrowing Time the earth is churned

The undead claw to freedoms earned

Though corpses lurch and bones do rise

Worse still the ghosts with seeking eyes

That do not find remains

 

These spectral dead are stronger still

With anger comes the urge to kill

When Malediction feeds despair

These ghosts possess each soul they tear

Each spirit it profanes

 

With living spirit ripped away

The haunting ghost comes forth to stay

Where once stood ally stout and true

The hungry ghost will seek its due

Until the Harrowing wanes

 

 

Out of Game

The Harrowing Nights last from Friday until dawn on Sunday.

  • During the Harrowing Nights, the typical sanctuaries are ruined. Players cannot take long rests in their hearths, or in the tavern, or even in their holy places as normal. In most of the lands, people lock themselves away. Around Nocturne, however, mysterious circles of Jack O’ Lanterns are said appear. Players may take long rests at these circles, exposed to those that might attack them. Those resting at a circle take all the power of one of the Jack O’ Lanterns while they rest. That is to say, if someone is already using a Jack o’ Lantern to rest you cannot use it until they are done. The circles start out small, with few Jack o’ Lanterns. Players can bolster the power of these circles, however. If you bring you own Jack O’ Lantern and place it at one of the circles, and keep it lit at night, the circles grow in power. More players can rest at one time. In addition, it is rumored that circles bolstered with more Jack o’ Lanterns can contribute more power to those that might use them to aid travelers, and perhaps other boons can be drawn from circles that grow in number if the Jack o’ Lanterns are carved with care or skill.

 

  • During the Harrowing, Malediction weakens all living and Gifted things. Players who fall from damage always fall unstable, even if they fall from uncalled damage. Whenever someone falls from damage or takes damage when they have no Vitality they are unstable from the damage. Characters can be Stabilized normally, but further damage will make them become unstable.

 

  • During the Harrowing, undead are more powerful and can be more resistant to some effects, particularly Death effect.

 

  • Vampyr Undying gain an additional Void during the Harrowing. Unfortunately, feeding is almost impossible during the Harrowing without exposing oneself to Malediction. In game, Vampyr Undying can feel the Foul in the air around them during this time and avoid feeding during the Harrowing of the Foul.

 

  • During the Harrowing, any of the Gifted that are inflicted by the Foul with a Haunting – “Inflict Harrowed Trait” – are drawn into the Gloaming, and a corrupt spirit takes their place in the waking world to destroy any Gifted beings it finds.
    As a corrupt spirit, you lose all abilities, armor and traits of your player character. Boons are suppressed. You become a spectral mockery of your Gifted character. You have only three Vitality, have the Undead, Malediction, and Harrowed traits, and will strike uncalled with whatever weapons you carry.Corrupted spirits do not speak or respond in a intelligible manner; their speech is limited to dark whispering of their terrible dreams, or soft cries of anguish. It should be obvious to any player who tries to communicate with you that something, by your whispers, is very wrong.

    This effect lasts until you are defeated or cured – “Cure Harrowed Trait.” If defeated you fall down and 10 seconds later your player character returns with whatever Vitality and Armor you had when you were inflicted. If you fell down unstable then you are stable when you reappear; this is an exception to always falling unstable rule of the Harrowing.

    As bad as that is, there are corrupted areas of the Foul that can be much worse. If you are permanently inflicted by the Foul – “Permanent Inflict Harrowed Trait” – the effect will not end when you fall. Instead the effect will last until you receive a “Cure Harrowed trait” effect. If you are taken down then after ten seconds you will rise as a spirit and slink off into some dark place, only to slowly reform and come forth again to slay the living. You will try to reform just out of sight from the living; if you are forced by the area to reform within sight of those who are not corrupted your dark whispers or soft cries of anguish should be used to warn others that soon you will active once more.

    If the attack is delivered as a Gesture or By My Voice attack then you will turn to a non-combat spirit first, walk out to the horrible thing inflicting you, and then become combat active – when you are no longer in the middle of the ranks of your one time friends who would otherwise beat you into submission before you took two steps.

    Undying, Demonbound, and Grotesque player characters are particularly susceptible to these effects, but this corruption of the Foul can strike anyone.

    Other Details:
    ~
    Sometimes your spirit will glow with corruption during this time. You will put on a necklace with a soft light to indicate you are a corrupted spirit. This glow does not always occur.

    ~ It would be helpful to us if players who don’t normally carry weapons might hold an extra one at night. If you find your self inflicted without a weapon we will often have extras nearby.

    ~ Players who are non-combat or have some other medical reason to have a special combat status should contact plot if they should be immune to this effect.

    ~ In heavily corrupted areas, players who are drawn into the Gloaming and become corrupted spirits rely on living allies in the area to retain their lifeforce. If all of their Gifted allies are killed then they too might be killed.

    ~ We intend this to be fun and we expect players to be fair and fun to other players in all types of game situations. That said, players who would rather take a death or have some other detrimental effect rather than participate in this manner can drop me a line before the event.

    To summarize: “Inflict Harrowed trait” means you become a corrupted spirit once.

    When you are dropped, you will be a spirit for 10 seconds and then you will become your character again in whatever state you left. If you were unstable you are instead stable.

    “Permanent Inflict Harrowed trait” means you become a corrupted spirit until you receive a “Cure Harrowed trait” effect, and each time you are destroyed you will, after ten seconds, reform and “recycle” in some dark place and attack again.

    If you go to reform, try to be in some dark place away from the players. If you must form near active players, take 10 seconds and use whispering and soft cries of anguish to warn them you are reforming.

    If the attack is delivered as a Gesture or a My My Voice then you will turn to a non-combat spirit first, walk out to the horrible thing inflicting you, and then turn into a combat active corrupted spirit.

    As a corrupted spirit:

    ~ All armor, abilities, skills, and boons are suppressed. Your actual body is trapped deep in the Gloaming.

    ~ You have 3 Vitality points.

    ~ You have the traits Harrowed, Undead, and Malediction.

    ~ You have the ability to fight with whatever weapons you can find.

    ~ There will sometimes be extra weapons in the area you might be directed to if you have none.

Posted in Nocturne by the Knight of Diamonds

Greetings,

The lands that were formally and historically the site of Nocturne are considered unsettled and registered as such. Our group, the Illuminarium, has acquired from all the bordering kingdoms a license to settle the land for the purpose of historical investigation and for archeological and magical recovery of artifacts related to not only that ancient city, but other ruins we might encounter. We have acquired the right for 11 years, although the settlement has existed for almost a year already, and we have options to extend that period through renegotiation at that time.

As part of the license, the Illuminarium has accepted the responsibility of “abating lawless behaviour” which is intended to not only curtail the war-like attacks of the Hobgoblin houses, but to also preclude banditry that might hamper trade between the kingdoms. This responsibility would include any who have answered the call to maintain the peace and join us in the task of investigating the past.

I must confess that the agreement is greatly in our best interest, both because the initial state of the land held dangers from Hobgoblin war parties, local creatures, and rumors of wandering undead, and also because the kingdoms did not, for the most part, believe that the city of ancient Nocturne even existed, much less that the ruins would be uncovered. We have entered into this agreement several times previously, but this is the first time our investigations bore, as they say, historical significance.

Now that the hobgoblins have, for the time being, scattered and the land has begun to yield both magical knowledge and treasures, some of the kingdoms would no doubt be eager to find reason to not honor the license and move into the area. This unsettled land has grown dramatically in importance now that we have proof that ancient Nocturne existed and that it was built on this site.

We are appreciative that heroes such as yourselves have answered our call and have embarked upon this investigation with us. We wish to support you in your efforts as you have supported us in ours. If settlers in the area, however, attempt to establish a sovereign state, or bring forth a vote of no confidence in the Illuminarium’s ability to keep the peace, that is your right but in doing so you would be negating both the contract we have with a number of kingdoms and the area’s status as an unsettled border. This would allow kingdoms to legally withdraw both their legal obligation to maintain our license and to break the peace by sending military forces directly into the unsettled borderlands.

While we would be glad to support any who feel they have been wronged as part of our agreement to keep the peace of the area, we also want to respect as much as possible the laws of the lands of those who have come forth to act as our allies and champions.

Before the settlers and champions of Nocturne strive to create a sovereign state, however, we urge you to set aside that task and any official proclamation of state; at the very least until you have a chance to speak with our representatives.

The Knight of Diamonds,
Scholar of the Illuminarium

Scarlet Scouts and Karma

Greetings,

We wanted to introduce the concept of Karma and talk about Scarlet Scout shifts!

Karma
Karma is an additional attribute whose sole purpose is to reward players who take extra time to add to the game. It is awarded for entirely out of game reasons; players who act as NPCs, or create in game areas that add to atmosphere, or do other things to add to the game community and immersion can be awarded Karma.

~ You may spend a point of Karma in place of a point of Air, Earth, Fire, or Water
~ You can have up to 3 Karma points. Extra points earned are lost so spend them!
~ You must precede any skill where you use Karma with “With Karma” so we know.

Scarlet Scouts
We are looking for players willing to take some time out of their weekend to leave game and help us run encounters by playing an NPC for a time. We set up shifts and players who sign up will help us keep up the pace and excitement of the game.

Players interested in a shift should send me an email – and should not reply to the list.

To facilitate this process we both arrange for sign ups so players can plan their contributions, and we sometimes come into game as a group called the Scarlet Scouts. This NPC group is well known to act as protectors of the farmers and commonfolk of the land. Players that go off to help the Scarlet Scouts should know, out of game, that we are enlisting players to spend some time as NPCs. It is also well known that most Scarlet Scout missions – even though they are considered important – are uneventful.

Shifts
We are looking for players to “take a shift” to NPC in the following slots:

Saturday, 11 am to 2 pm
You aren’t really a morning person, and would rather come and help us entertain players rather than get into full costume right off the bat. You can also take this time to help out Josh who runs morning modules if you prefer.

Saturday, 4 to 6 pm
Dinner is coming up, and players with lighter costuming requirements can take some time to help us run modules.

Saturday, 7 to 9 pm
Players have just finished dinner, and are willing to take an early evening shift to help modules run.

Saturday, 9 to 11 pm
This is a good time for players who like to fight a lot to come and help us rock the PCs.

Saturday, late night fight
This involves playing through the night until you see people gathering for what is likely to be a big fight, and then going to bolster the Scarlet Scouts so you can help us in the battle or battles to come.

Sunday, any time
Hate getting into costume on Sundays? Come to monster camp instead and help us run modules and fight the PCs!

If you are willing to take some time to help us out you will have our gratitude (and you will also get a piece of treasure and a point of Karma.)

Thanks,
RJC

The Winter Revel

Those who sleep in Nocturne brace themselves against the whipping northern winds. The days are dangerously short, and the nights perilously long. For those who adhere to simple lives, the winter is a time to gather around a fire, and fortify against the deadly cold. For those who live somewhat more complexly, however, it is a time during which forgotten truths make themselves known.

Perhaps this old truism- light flickering on the darkest night of winter- explains the strange road that has appeared outside of Nocturne. Purplish candles, impervious to the biting gusts, form a trail that is miles upon miles long.

It seems to invite those of Nocturne to walk its length. Those rangers that know of such roads say that, if one were to follow it, it would eventually intersect with the Kerzenlicht, Kyrzenwold’s road of alchemical candles, just outside the town of Katzen. Were a traveler to begin their journey soon, they would be able to walk from Nocturne to Katzen; they would arrive in the bustling town just before the celebration of the Longest Night. The Temple of the Ever-Burning Font, the foremost church of the Woven Faith in Kyrzenwold, always has room for visitors and pilgrims.

“Why might someone follow such a road?” one might ask.
If it is an invitation, some might answer, it might be rude to ignore it.
If it is an invitation, others might venture, it is certainly a strange one.
In strangeness, still another might say, waits adventure.

For those curious about such an invitation, the Illuminarium, quite luckily, has archived material on both the Temple and the uniquely Kyrzenwold celebration.

***

In the town of Katzen, there is one of the few temples of the Woven Faith within Kyrzenwold. The temple provides religious service for the people who live in the town and surrounding areas. Given the nature of Kyrzenwold and religion, however, it is largely populated by visitors and pilgrims passing through. This is not surprising, as the temple itself is structured like a great inn of sprawling depth and ornate architecture. Because The Font is one of Kyrzenwold’s few temples, it has significant influence in matters of faith, and has one of the largest percentages of priests within a congregation in the world.

The Ever-Burning Font is a place of Creation and the arts. Tapestries, paintings, and stained glass of great beauty hang within the temple, attracting even those not of the faith to come and behold their artistry. Prayers and services focus on the Light of Creation, and how such light can protect those journeying in the sinister Kyrzenwold. Deep within the corridors and annexes of the temple, it is rumored, there is a lantern that gave the place its name. This lantern has an ever-burning font that was lit centuries ago; it is said to burn to this day, with no need for the oil to ever be refilled.

One of the striking features of the Font, is that it is a place of inter-faithful philosophy. All faiths and practitioners are welcome, and all are encouraged to participate in debates and discussions to develop a better Aerune. Even those who do not follow a particular religion visit the temple to meet with some of the sharpest and most brilliant religious thinkers in the world. Conversations, lit by the ever-burning candles of the temple, last long into the late hours of night.

The comforting sanctuary that the Font provides is unsurprising, given that it is tended by Aksel Reisinger. Despite his considerable prestige, Aksel would much prefer that those of the Woven Faith see him as little more than a common man, committed to the temple within Kyrzenwold. As both a Spidersilk Elf and a Tatterfolk more-or-less settled in Kyrzenwold, Aksel feels strongly that all who seek haven in his temple’s walls should be granted unquestioned hospitality: it is not uncommon, within the Temple of the Ever-Burning Font, to find Pale, Shamanic, and Celestial Court followers, most of whom are there for theological discussion, fine drink, and the world famous pastries of Katzen bakers. (Indeed, Aksel’s niece, Liza Reisinger- responsible for tending the Inn’s front desk and feeding the area’s numerous stray cats- is a prominent Pale follower.) Aksel, in all of his work, hopes to encourage conversations of the beauty and creativity of the world, and believes that welcoming all manner of conversation facilitates the truest paths of the Woven Faith.

***

The Longest Night

The Longest Night is a secular observance within Kyrzenwold. It is a time when Kyrzenwolders prepare for, perhaps obviously, the darkest, coldest, and longest night of the year. In Katzen, this event is celebrated at the Temple of the Ever-Burning Font. While the faithful are welcome to quietly meditate on their own worship, it is not celebrated as a religious devotion, but instead as a coming-together of community. Festivities begin at dark on The First Night with a ceremonial lighting, lead by visiting Vogels, of candles around the perimeter of the Temple. During this time, it is not uncommon for the creatures and beasts that stalk the woods to attempt to interrupt the Ceremony- the presence of skilled Vogels, therefore, is not merely for pomp and circumstance. After the lighting of the candles, the First Night is spent in storytelling and performances: skalds, bards, and Lyrikers tell folkloric stories, meant to scare and entertain, from their homelands.

On the First Day, bread is broken with strangers, and pleasantries are exchanged. Throughout the First Day, Kyrzenwolders maintain lights and brace themselves for the Second Night- also known as the Eve of Nightmares. During the Eve, the ancient Nightmare Fae of the Winter Table- Gryla, Papa Schlacter, Mama Perchta, Belsvinter, and the Slecthekat- make themselves known. On the darkest night of the year, it is said, the Fae come to, once more, teach the people how to be scared of the winter dark. It is a time to fear, and a time in which lost knowledge makes itself, once more, known.

The Winter Revel will take place on February 17-19, 2017. The in-game location will be at the Temple of the Ever-Burning Font (Katzen, Kyrzenwold), on The First Night.

(Teaser by Zoe)

The Harrowing of the Foul

This text has begun to appear around the area of Nocturne. Some have heard it from spirits while doing seances. Some have dreamt of strange entities whispering the words to them. Others have seen ghostly text appear on documents they are writing late at night, only to have it fade away with the dawn. Some have even waken from a restless sleep, finding the text written on parchment in their own hand.

The Harrowing of the Foul

When summer’s warmth is left behind

And winter’s threat is not so kind

The darkest time in all the year

Falls after harvest fields are clear

When the Harrowing times arrive

 

The time the Foul does cloak the Earth

Each year, these nights, its dark rebirth

And those that serve will drink and feast

What meal, not fit for man nor beast?

Best shunned by those alive

 

And though the living face this dread

The greater threat is to the dead

The Foul does claw each resting place

To stave off torment that they face

Each grave this night a threat

 

The Foul brings with it bitter spite

Undead grow stronger Thirteenth Night

Beware the dead, those touched by Foul

The ghasts and haunt these nights do prowl

The dead must pay their debt

 

With undead strong and ghouls about

Too strong, the Foul, to be locked out

No sanctuary this night remains

To bring folk rest nor ease their pains

No safe place will protect

 

In ancient times the House of Weald

Brought magicks strong in woods and field

To circles full of leering faces

That grew outside in darkest places

No soul would they neglect

 

In these dark times when blood is spilled

The Foul’s dark hate is never filled

It gnaws at flesh and eats at life

And claims all souls who fall from strife

Those downed have fragile fates

 

If battle comes when darkness falls

Let healers heed the battle calls

Each wounded friend in dire need

For allies fall and always bleed

Too slow, the Reaper waits

 

At Harrowing Time the earth is churned

The undead claw to freedoms earned

Though corpses lurch and bones do rise

Worse still the ghosts with seeking eyes

That do not find remains

 

These spectral dead are stronger still

With anger comes the urge to kill

When Malediction feeds despair

These ghosts possess each soul they tear

Each spirit it profanes

 

With living spirit ripped away

The haunting ghost comes forth to stay

Where once stood ally stout and true

The hungry ghost will seek its due

Until the Harrowing wanes

 

 

Out of Game

The Harrowing Nights last from Friday until dawn on Sunday.

  • During the Harrowing Nights, the typical sanctuaries are ruined. Players cannot take long rests in their hearths, or in the tavern, or even in their holy places as normal. In most of the lands, people lock themselves away. Around Nocturne, however, mysterious circles of Jack O’ Lanterns are said appear. Players may take long rests at these circles, exposed to those that might attack them. Those resting at a circle take all the power of one of the Jack O’ Lanterns while they rest. That is to say, if someone is already using a Jack o’ Lantern to rest you cannot use it until they are done. The circles start out small, with few Jack o’ Lanterns. Players can bolster the power of these circles, however. If you bring you own Jack O’ Lantern and place it at one of the circles, and keep it lit at night, the circles grow in power. More players can rest at one time. In addition, it is rumored that circles bolstered with more Jack o’ Lanterns can contribute more power to those that might use them to aid travelers, and perhaps other boons can be drawn from circles that grow in number if the Jack o’ Lanterns are carved with care or skill.

 

  • During the Harrowing, Malediction weakens all living and Gifted things. Players who fall from damage always fall unstable, even if they fall from uncalled damage. Whenever someone falls from damage or takes damage when they have no Vitality they are unstable from the damage. Characters can be Stabilized normally, but further damage will make them become unstable.

 

  • During the Harrowing, undead are more powerful and can be more resistant to some effects, particularly Death effect.

 

  • Vampyr Undying gain an additional Void during the Harrowing. Unfortunately, feeding is almost impossible during the Harrowing without exposing oneself to Malediction. In game, Vampyr Undying can feel the Foul in the air around them during this time and avoid feeding during the Harrowing of the Foul.

 

  • During the Harrowing, any of the Gifted that are inflicted by the Foul with a Haunting – “Inflict Haunting Trait” – are drawn into the Gloaming, and a corrupt spirit takes their place in the waking world to destroy any Gifted beings it finds.
    As a corrupt spirit, you lose all abilities, armor and traits of your player character. Boons are suppressed. You become a spectral mockery of your Gifted character. You have only three Vitality, have the Undead, Malediction, and Haunting traits, and will strike uncalled with whatever weapons you carry.

    Corrupted spirits do not speak or respond in a intelligible manner; their speech is limited to dark whispering of their terrible dreams, or soft cries of anguish. It should be obvious to any player who tries to communicate with you that something, by your whispers, is very wrong.

    This effect lasts until you are defeated or cured – “Cure Haunting Trait.” If defeated you fall down and 10 seconds later your player character returns with whatever Vitality and Armor you had when you were inflicted. If you fell down unstable then you are stable when you reappear; this is an exception to always falling unstable rule of the Harrowing.

    As bad as that is, there are corrupted areas of the Foul that can be much worse. If you are permanently inflicted by the Foul – “Permanent Inflict Haunting Trait” – the effect will not end when you fall. Instead the effect will last until you receive a “Cure Haunting trait” effect. If you are taken down then after ten seconds you will rise as a spirit and slink off into some dark place, only to slowly reform and come forth again to slay the living. You will try to reform just out of sight from the living; if you are forced by the area to reform within sight of those who are not corrupted your dark whispers or soft cries of anguish should be used to warn others that soon you will active once more.

    If the attack is delivered as a Gesture or By My Voice attack then you will turn to a non-combat spirit first, walk out to the horrible thing inflicting you, and then become combat active – when you are no longer in the middle of the ranks of your one time friends who would otherwise beat you into submission before you took two steps.

    Undying, Demonbound, and Grotesque player characters are particularly susceptible to these effects, but this corruption of the Foul can strike anyone.

    Other Details:
    ~
    Sometimes your spirit will glow with corruption during this time. You will put on a necklace with a soft light to indicate you are a corrupted spirit. This glow does not always occur.

    ~ It would be helpful to us if players who don’t normally carry weapons might hold an extra one at night. If you find your self inflicted without a weapon we will often have extras nearby.

    ~ Players who are non-combat or have some other medical reason to have a special combat status should contact plot if they should be immune to this effect.

    ~ In heavily corrupted areas, players who are drawn into the Gloaming and become corrupted spirits rely on living allies in the area to retain their lifeforce. If all of their Gifted allies are killed then they too might be killed.

    ~ We intend this to be fun and we expect players to be fair and fun to other players in all types of game situations. That said, players who would rather take a death or have some other detrimental effect rather than participate in this manner can drop me a line before the event.

    To summarize:“Inflict Haunting trait” means you become a corrupted spirit once.

    When you are dropped, you will be a spirit for 10 seconds and then you will become your character again in whatever state you left. If you were unstable you are instead stable.

    “Permanent Inflict Haunting trait” means you become a corrupted spirit until you receive a “Cure Haunting trait” effect, and each time you are destroyed you will, after ten seconds, reform and “recycle” in some dark place and attack again.

    If you go to reform, try to be in some dark place away from the players. If you must form near active players, take 10 seconds and use whispering and soft cries of anguish to warn them you are reforming.

    If the attack is delivered as a Gesture or a My My Voice then you will turn to a non-combat spirit first, walk out to the horrible thing inflicting you, and then turn into a combat active corrupted spirit.

    As a corrupted spirit:

    ~ All armor, abilities, skills, and boons are suppressed. Your actual body is trapped deep in the Gloaming.

    ~ You have 3 Vitality points.

    ~ You have the traits Haunting, Undead, and Malediction.

    ~ You have the ability to fight with whatever weapons you can find.

    ~ There will sometimes be extra weapons in the area you might be directed to if you have none.

Sneak Preview – The Five Scars

This is a sneak preview of the Five Scars. We thought players would be interested in seeing cultures and kingdoms as we work on them. As with all Sneak Previews, details may change over time.

The Five Scars

 Introduction

Far to the South, beyond even the southernmost oasis of the Desert tribes beyond Ket exist a seemingly endless expanse of harsh and barren steppes known as the Five Scars.  The land is named for five great chasms that cross the wastes as if a great claw had slashed into the world itself, leaving deep and angry scars befitting the people who thrive here.  Life there is a constant battle to survive against summer heat rivalling the hottest of deserts and winter winds as deadly as the coldest glacial mountains.  Game is scarce but there is no shortage of dangerous beasts willing to make a meal of the unwary.   This harsh land is home to the Sunscar orcs who arrived here long ago after the Sojourn brought them to this land.  The Orcs of the Five Scars are every bit the warriors, worthy of calling such a harsh land their home.

Orcs in the Five Scars follow the concept of Ahzrahn, living all aspects of life as if they were a perpetual march of war, ever advancing.   They constantly wander the badlands, considering their survival in spite of all the dangers of the land proof of their strength. Adversity provides a necessary challenge to keep themselves worthy.   The clans seldom shelter in a single place for more than a season, allowing the slaves captured from the north enough time to grow meager crops.  Once the clan moves forth, those who are unworthy are left behind and that which is left behind is forgotten.  The Five Scars Orcs are harsh, tenacious, and unforgiving, but not unnecessarily cruel.

The clans of the Five Scars would happily live raiding north against the Desert Tribes, viewing them as a worthy and challenging, if wily, foe, but the Five Scars Orcs have discovered a gift that makes them a menace to any people of any land.  Surrounding their namesake chasms, the Elemental Shamans of the Orcs have learned to find naturally occurring and in some cases even open gates from the badlands to numerous and distant lands. They cannot control or even know where the Gates might open on their other side, but the Orcs eagerly raid forth in search of strong foes and worthy challenges.

With their militant outlook and brutal upbringing, the Orcs could easily overrun and claim for themselves a lusher and more forgiving home, but that would be to accept defeat from the challenges of their lands.  They believe leaving the constant struggle to survive in the Five Scars would make them soft and weak, so instead choose to remain in the badlands, forever battling to conquer the unconquerable barrens they call home. While the Scars will always be their home, they frequently venture forth in search of advancing their Ahzrahn before returning.

Costuming

Orcs from the Five Scars dress for war and danger as often as they can, favoring armor of leather and metal that appears primitive at first glance, but in fact displays an experienced use of limited materials. While the Five Scars is a hot and unforgiving place, the winters can reach alarmingly cold temperatures, and there is no telling when a gate will offer a chance to raid into a cold or humid location, so adaptability is favored as well.

Roleplaying

~ All life is a pursuit of greater strength, in combat and in life. Against danger and adversity, it is the strong who survive, and those who survive the most challenging and brutal conditions prove themselves the strongest still.

~ Respect the tenacity and strengths of other warriors. There is no glory in competing with or besting children, so the greater your peers and adversaries, the greater your advance in Ahzrahn.

~ Treasure is to be taken, not found. If you did not face peril worthy of your Ahzrahn, you have not earned a true reward.

~ If one cannot defend what is theirs, it is not theirs, but rather they use it at the mercy of the strong.  If one cannot fight for their freedom, they are not free, but rather they go about life waiting for one stronger to put shackles upon them. An Orc must always be strong, so that none can take what is theirs or put them in chains.

~ To take pity and go easy on a foe is the ultimate insult. While killing them is not essential to defeating them, a worthy foe is worthy of an all out attempt to defeat them.

Religion

Elemental Shamans are common among the Orcs, as they are known to be able to listen to the Earth, Air, and Fire to find the Searing Ways, gates primed to open into the Northern Lands where fresh battle and plunder await. Animal Shamans are also not unheard of, but these are less common.

With their raids, and through captive slaves, some Orcs have found themselves called to the Woven Faith, though they remain largely uninvolved in the churches of the North, and would not pay so grave an insult to those who share their faith as to show mercy.  A few are also known to have adopted the philosophy of the Magi, though Northern Magi would accuse them of an imbalance toward destruction.

Magic

The most noteworthy magic of the Five Scars is the Searing Ways, which in fact the Orcs have no real control over. Rumors may swirl of Elemental Shamans who quest for a means to do so, but for now these mystical gates bring Orcs into battles they cannot predict. Some Elemental Shamans of the Five Scars can sense the gates forming, however.

Arcane Magic is by and large nonexistent among the Orcs of the Five Scars. The danger of an Arcane mage may be respected, but besting them with an axe is still considered the ideal approach to dealing with such a threat.

Society

The Five Scars Orcs organize themselves into Clans, and each clan is led by the strongest and deadliest of their number. Formal challenge over leadership is not necessarily uncommon, though there are social mores discouraging this when the act of doing so would weaken the clan.

As a balance to the warrior chief, the elders of each clan also speak with a great deal of influence, as they are the ones who have proven for the longest that they are strong enough to survive. These elders are not exempt from war or hardship, and take pride challenging death to take them.

The Orcs have certain standards that they expect their kin to meet. The most obvious are of strength and self-reliance; all Orcs are expected to be fit to march, hunt, and fight. All Orcs are expected to embrace and pursue battle, in particular the deadliest and most challenging of battle, and cowardice is a disgusting thing to a Five Scars Orc. While mercy is considered insulting, cruelty is seen as a sign of deep sickness, and so there is no room for the spiteful or torturous. Deceit and betrayal are viewed as unforgiveable sins, as they bring weakness to entire clans. Finally, forbidden magics such as Malediction are punished by death. If an Orc fails to meet these standards, they are left behind, and according to Ahzrahn all that is behind is to be Forgotten.

Because all Orcs of the Five Scars are expected to function as part of a raiding party, they have no room in their lives for things such as weaving or mining. This they force upon slaves captured in their raids through the Searing Ways. A slave is considered a slave so long as they can be made a slave, and there are cases of those who held their heads high and pushed at the bounds of their enslavement and survived long enough that their captors came to respect them, upon which their captors declare them free. The bar is set high for this, however, and a greedier clan will always find ways to deny the resolve of their captives.

There are a multitude of clans within the steppes, but there are several major clans which all are aware of. No clan has a set home, though they may have favorite hunting grounds or a guarded mine along the ravines.

Clan Kohaizar roams the steppes closest to where the Deserts of the North begin, and raid against the Children of the Sand almost as often as they do through gates, viewing their constant skirmishes as a dance long practiced, and raiding parties affiliated with this clan are known to respect to traditions of those desert tribes regarding their sacred oases, so that their feuds can remain a pure thing of strength and cunning, instead of true blood feuds of hatred and desperation.

Clan Emberskull hunts through the Searing ways almost exclusively, and traditionally takes relatively little from their raids, not wanting to risk softening themselves with “Northern Luxury.” Not only do they proudly live by their understanding of Azarahan, they see themselves as spreading the ideals to the North by destroying the things they believe coddle the “civilized” northerners. Structures such as farms, houses, and libraries are set to the torch, while leaving many survivors behind with the opportunity to become strong without those obstacles to Azarahan.

Clan Haktazsmitt rotates more regularly through static territories, as they include among their number many Runesmiths, which they support with forges and mines as best they can. Because of this Clan Haktazsmitt faces much raiding from other Five Scars clans to take their slaves, true runes, and true elements, and so this clan is much better trained at defensive warfare than any other clan.

In addition to these major clans there are several other notorious groups.

Clan Deepscar stalks the shadows, training themselves in stealth, tracking, and brutally efficient killing. Many other clans would call this cowardly, but a Deepscar Orc is ultimately known to be fearless and deadly, and these hunters venture through the gates longer than most, seeking out hard to reach targets to kill.

The Forgotten, though none would call them a true clan, is comprised of those who were deemed unfit by their clans and “forgotten” as they were left to fend for themselves. Many die when faced with this challenge, but should they find their way to the Forgotten Clan an Orc might strive for redemption and a second chance… or sink further into hubris as they travel among others as wicked and depraved as themselves.

Regions

To the North the terrain is the mostly flat, making it easier to travel on but harder to find shelter. These lands have easy access to the Desert Tribes of the North, but also face the occasional raid from those same Tribes venturing South.

As one goes further South the earth becomes more uneven and hard, with cracks and cliffs creating a shallow maze across barren lands until at last one reaches the Five Scars themselves. Each canyon is deep enough that most of the day it gets only minimal light, and temperatures can drop to be very cold. The Searing Ways are most concentrated around here, though they have been seen in many places in the Five Scars region beyond the canyons themselves.

Further south the ground continues on as rugged steppes with occasional desert sand, as far as any have ever traveled. The Searing Ways stop appearing well before the land stops being inhospitable, and none have ever found anything worth continuing south for.

People

Chief Iron Eye: Chief of Clan Kohaizar, and a follower of the Woven Faith, this Orc prides himself on battling with honor, prizing the most even of fights. He is said to seek out single combat almost compulsively, in the hopes of one day finding his better in a duel.

Chief Aslofk Unstoppable: Chief of Clan Emberskull, in her youth Aslofk voluntarily became a pit fighter in Vellingrim to test herself against their best, and found the concept of conceited nobles owning skilled warriors too sickening to continue, and instead slaughtered numerous onlookers before helping several gladiators escape, bringing some with her to claim the Chieftainship of her clan.

Visgoph the Unclean: Bedecked in rags instead of armor, and wielding spells instead of blades, this Orc claims to seek strength greater than any constrained by the way Ahzrahn can obtain, using dark spells and artifacts other clans would reject out of hand. The worst of the Forgotten flock to him for a chance at that power, while the rest hope they might kill him to redeem themselves in the eyes of their former kin.

Returning characters, reincarnations, and descendents

Madrigal is an ongoing campaign and a world with a long history. Madrigal 3 starts a new chapter in the ongoing story, we also want players with beloved characters to have an option to continue the story of those characters, though in a new and perhaps strange world far in the future.

In Madrigal 3 players of previous characters can continue their story in one of three ways.

  • You can play your previous character who awakes many centuries later to a new world.
  • You can play a descendent of your previous character, who carries the bloodline through generations into the current time of the campaign.
  • You can play a reincarnation of your previous character, a character reborn with vague memories of your previous character when game starts.

Although we are excited for players to have an opportunity to continue their characters, we also want to focus on the new campaign world and tell stories and drive plot using those elements rather than retell the stories of previous campaigns. To accomplish this the process for continuing your character is described below.

Playing an existing character

Before you decide to play your existing character, you will probably need to know three things.

First, in the time between campaigns there have been changes in the cycles of magic, the methods of fighting and warfare, and even the powers that people venerate that will profoundly affect your character. You will be recreating your character at 50 character points, and when game starts the world will feel strange and new to you. You simply won’t be as capable as some of the fully realized characters of the previous age. You can make your character with your starting points as you see fit; you have been dreaming for ages and those dreams could affect change in your skills.

You start at a base of 50 character points, but can earn extra points from a character history, a Paragon skill, and prop creations and donations like any character.

What About my Race?

One thing that can happen to a character in the dreaming is that you can enter the world as a new race as the magic of the Gate attempts to fit you in. If you’d rather play you old race then you simply select that race with the following exceptions.

  • Eluviar, Leindrel, and Malekyrg Elves are Faded Elves except their racial mark hasn’t fade yet.
  • Wayward races would have to work with plot to properly depict their old race.
  • Eurvein can keep their old full make up or use the new make up requirements.

Second, special items and effects have faded in the intervening centuries. Yes, you have weapons, armor, costuming pieces, and items you need to use your new skills. You can also be carrying normal types of adventuring gear you might have carried in the past such as lanterns, writing instruments, and blank journals or papers. Other items, including written notes and journal entries, have mysteriously faded – the writing destroyed leaving the papers or pages blank. Special skills that are not in the current rulebook are also gone.

Third, you’ve come forward many, many years and you did not simply hop forward in time. Your spirit entered the Crimson Gate sometime at the end of Madrigal 2 and it is possible that you have had dreams and visions while you slept. When you wake so many years later your memory of the past will not automatically be as crisp as you would expect. Although you can, when someone helps you to concentrate on the past, recount events of the previous age as you might remember them out of game, those memories will be vague as they first occur around you. You will be playing the game as if you were waking up renewed and refreshed, and your old memories will slowly awaken within you.

Wait, Why Don’t I Have My Memories?

While we won’t comment at this time on the in game reasons why this has happened, we have very specific out of game reasons why the detailed memories of continuing PCs have scattered.

As we envisioned players coming together, the one thing we wanted to avoid was players feeling forced into long sessions where they have to pour forth all the knowledge they learned in the past age. While this type of behavior makes perfect tactical sense, we felt it would just be un-fun for both the people forced to go through their histories as if they were catalogs, and for the players who felt compelled to catalog that information. We wanted to completely avoid that.

So What Do I Remember?

When you awaken in game you will remember all the personal information that makes you, well, you. Whatever bare necessity character history information you need to make sure you can play your character is there for you to use. Some of the proper names might be fuzzy, but we want you to be able to play your basic personality.

You will know any people from the past if you encounter them. If another PC comes through with you then you will know them, know their name, and remember how you felt about them. Likewise, in the unlikely event that you actually meet an NPC from the past in game your memories of them will start to come back to you. Our goal certainly isn’t to prevent you from interacting with characters you already know in a meaningful fashion; we want you to do that.

Details of the world that you learned in game, however, will be lost; at least at first. If you hear the name of someone or something in the past it will sound familiar to you. You might even feel drawn to it; like some fleeting memory when you just wake up from a dream. If you pursue it, or spend time with another character concentrating on that memory you can talk through it and it will slowly come back you. Each memory is like a treasure that you have to search out and find at your own pace. If someone tries to force you to remember too much you just won’t be able to.

How Do I Remember?

Every memory starts as a vague familiarity when something happens in game to trigger it. It will seem like a long series of severe déjà vu when you encounter something in game that triggers an old memory. You won’t immediate know why it sounds familiar, but the familiarity would certainly appeal to you. We leave it to (and trust) players to let memories come forth at their own pace, but we ask you to consider two things when you make this decision. First, what is fun for you? Second, what is fun for the other PCs? If pursuing a familiar name or concept sounds like it will be fun for you and another player, then we encourage you to explore it.

Once you have a seed of familiarity you can find a place with another willing player and talk through the memory with them. They have to lead you with a series of questions, and your memory will slowly be revealed through role play.

This process does not have to be permanent. You can, if you wish, reveal a memory in a role playing session and later have trouble again with the details when others are around. You can determine that it is still a little fuzzy if it will be more fun for you or other players.

Plot can also, through role play, awaken memories within you, either temporarily or permanently.

No Angst Needed

Another concern that players have raised is that it could be jarring and somewhat emotional for a character to wake up and find out everything they knew is gone. While some of this might be fun for some players, the time you spent dreaming near the start of the new campaign left you vaguely aware that time had passed. In those dreams you could have wandered the Deep Dreaming enough to have time to reflect and adjust to what had happened and how you might use your new skills. This allows a you, when you come into game, to determine that you have already had some time in the Dreaming to grieve so you can start in a frame of mind more suited for the adventures ahead.

How Did I Get Here?

At the end of the last arc of Madrigal, the Crimson Gate called to many of the heroes of Shadowfane. The call was compelling; more to some than others. Even for characters who left the Gate, and even after the Gate faded from this world, characters would hear the Madrigals and seem the familiar crimson glow in archways or old doorways calling to them.

Some characters entered that Gate soon after the last event, before it faded from the world. Some heard the call later, but certainly before the Night of Dreams. Sometime in the days, weeks, or months after the campaign ended your characters entered the Gate. All you remember from that experience is swirling lights of various reddish hues and the Madrigals playing softly as you, like the Gate, faded from the world.

Playing a reincarnation of your character

With this option, you are playing a new character that is the reincarnated spirit of your previous character. The spirit has somehow found its way back to the world and is reborn. You have lived another life, unaware of your previous existence. At the start of the game you begin to have strong feelings of déjà vu, and events trigger memories from the past.

Like existing characters, these newly awakened memories will not automatically be as crisp as you would expect. Although you can, when someone helps you to concentrate on the past, recount events of the previous age as you might remember them out of game, those memories will be vague as they first occur around you. You will be playing the game as if you were waking up renewed and refreshed, and your old memories will slowly awaken within you. Proper nouns and pronouns will be particularly hard to remember.

What Memories Will I Have?

In time many of your previous memories will return as emotions and strong short visions. Historical information and proper names won’t usually come forth unless that name was particularly relevant to you. Instead you will be looking for events and scenes in the current game that remind you of your previous experiences. At first these triggers will create seeds of familiarity; you will feel new feelings about the name, character, event or scene but you won’t know why.

As with existing characters, you won’t immediate know why something seems familiar, but the familiarity would certainly appeal to you. We leave it to (and trust) players to let memories come forth at their own pace, but we ask you to consider two things when you make this decision. First, what is fun for you? Second, what is fun for the other PCs? If pursuing a familiar name or concept sounds like it will be fun for you and another player, then we encourage you to explore it.

Once you have a seed of familiarity you can find a place with another willing player and talk through the memory with them. They have to lead you with a series of questions, and your memory will slowly be revealed through role play.

This process does not have to be permanent. You can, if you wish, reveal a memory in a role playing session and later have trouble again with the details when others are around. You can determine that it is still a little fuzzy if it will be more fun for you or other players.

Plot can also, through role play, awaken memories within you, either temporarily or permanently.

Playing a descendant of your character

This option allows you to play a descendent of your previous character. Countless generations have passed since the previous campaign (okay I know some of you *are* counting, bear with me) and although you bear your previous character’s Paragon skill and maybe their name you can only bring forth one, two, or three vague tales that have been passed down about them.

~ Tales should forego and forget proper names of other characters. Other characters will appear by their titles or appearances in a cool way that doesn’t have any proper name attached.

~ Tales should be about the heroics and/or tragedies of your ancestor, not about historical events or facts. It is likely that the actual events will be sorely exaggerated and maybe misunderstood, but the essence of your previous character can shine through.

~ Tales should help shape your character in a profound way. Otherwise, why be a descendant?

Momentoes

Players continuing their character can have one non-magical momento that comes with them from the last campaign. This could be a sword, or a piece of armor, or a symbol, or a family heirloom from the past. Players continuing their characters can be simply carrying them. Players creating a descendant can have an item passed down through the generations or find an item unearthed in some ancient hiding place. Players playing a reincarnation can somehow find the item, and perhaps that item is what begins their journey towards remembering the past.

There are some rules about your Momento, however.

First, it has no powers. It is unlikely it will ever have powers. We aren’t trying to start existing characters with magical items unavailable to new characters; we want everyone on equal footing. Maybe someday, if we feel the newer players are well established in the campaign and things are running smoothly, some plot member might have someone or something recognize a Momento but players should not have that expectation.

Second, the memories of your Momento are scattered, much like your memory of specific game events. For existing characters and reincarnations, the item has a seed of familiarity but that’s all, at least at first. For descendants the significance of the item is lost or misunderstood; if there are tales about the item then the proper names and nouns are lost and the tale has been modified over time into legend and hearsay.

Third, attempts to use Momentos to restart or resurrect plots or plot elements from the past will fail. We are interested in looking forward, not back. A holy symbol, as an example, will not be successfully used to create a following or cult of an old god. A symbol of an old order, will not be successfully used to pursue old hidden skills that players found in previous campaigns.

As the Game Begins

Some voice calls to you, rousing you from your slumber. The light and music around you feels like the crimson light of the Gate that took you from the world. You feel compelled to follow it, and as you do you sense others also approaching it…

 

So, you are playing a new character?

Madrigal is an ongoing campaign and a world with a long history. Madrigal 3 starts a new chapter in the ongoing story, and we are using this opportunity to move the game forward both in time and in story. Because of this, it is a great time to start a new character and join our game with either a fresh start or with fresh eyes.

New characters have the opportunity to explore the races and cultures of Aerune that have risen up in the time between campaigns. With this comes the opportunity to create a new character history for your character. We wanted to take some time to explain how the campaign is designed, what you can expect from a character history, and why your character might be drawn into the story.

A Sequestered Past

Madrigal is designed so players learn about the world in game. We understand that players are eager for lots of details to help fill out their character histories. The world, however, is a large and dangerous place, where travel and the passing of knowledge is difficult and not all that common. Although we expect the players to overcome these restrictions as characters playing the game, the average and even above average person in the world of Aerune does not have the opportunity to see or learn about much of it.

We ask that players, when they create histories, do so assuming that their characters have had a sequestered past. They can be larger than life characters, and can have some larger than life experiences, but for whatever reason the knowledge about the actual world is limited. Perhaps your family has kept you busy with mundane duties so you couldn’t travel as much as you would have. Perhaps your opportunities to really learn the history and cultures of the world were lost because you were trying to keep yourself fed. Perhaps you’ve been on the run and you have maintained a low profile such that you haven’t been able to gather lots of world experience. For whatever reason, your knowledge of the world is pretty much limited to the information about the cultures that have been released.

Cool Stuff Happens In Game

Madrigal is also designed so the cool stuff happens during the game rather than between game events. This means that we minimize or eliminate off board activity, restricting it to day to day activities you might need to survive. You spend your time gathering or purchasing food, maintaining armor and equipment, and otherwise preparing yourself for gatherings where many people meet.

We ask the same of your character history. While we definitely want you to have key moments to define who you are, we want to limit the truly heroic action to the game. We definitely want players to be able to create tidbits and scenes in the past that give them good material to role play with other players and characters. We also want players to be able to justify that they are well trained; a 50 point character is above the average soldier, bandit, or similar combatant in effective skill. Do keeping in mind that you are starting at 50 character points, and that some creatures like greater undead, Drowned Elf nobles, Vellingrim nobles, and the like are probably still too powerful for you to defeat, at least until you confront them in game.

Finally, while we have included a number of named characters in the rule book for characters to use in their character history, in the end you should not have a history that makes you so comfortable with a named character that you would have a special bond with them. We prefer those bonds to be formed during game.

Reincarnations and Descendants

Some new characters are reincarnations or descendants of previous characters from earlier incarnations of the Madrigal campaign. If you are making a character with these options you will need to read both this document and its sister: So, you are continuing a character?

The Story So Far…

In the days and weeks leading up to the first event, tensions between the Commonwealth of Blacktallow and Vellingrim have risen. Bandit attacks on both kingdoms have increased. Although the official reports claimed that Hobgoblins had staged the attacks, both kingdoms had accused the other of staging the attacks or even working with the Hobgoblin tribes and encouraged or financing the attacks. Skirmishes have broken out on the border of the two kingdoms, occupying the attention of both.

The hobgoblins have not only struck south. They have been seen roaming the walkways through Dremasque, raiding caravans of silk and even hunting the lizardfolk found there. The raiding has also disrupted supply lines to Morgrave and Kyrzenwold, causing both to have to turn their defenses to their supply lines. Morgrave, with its weakened lines, has seen an increase in undead attacks. With the Kyrzenwold Rangers distracted with watching the supply lines there have been kidnappings reported in that area. The hobgoblin attacks have thrown the lizardfolk into war, and Dremasque and Sollos are occupied with lizardfolk raiding parties. As tales of the raiding and fighting spread, more and more kingdoms and peoples have taken notice of the conflicts and stories.

While fighting erupted along the border to the south, and with the other nearby kingdoms moving to shore up positions weakened by hobgoblin or lizardfolk raids, the Guild Arcana was forced to investigate the situation itself. The Hobgoblin numbers have rapidly increased, and the raids have become more and more organized and bold. Caravans and merchant houses have been sacked, and travelers of all sorts have been accosted. Hobgoblins in record numbers have poured out of the mountains, threatening all nearby lands. With so many kingdoms embroiled in their own troubles, the Hobgoblin attacks have gone unanswered and the doorstep of the Guild Arcana has become all but impassable to merchants without heavily armed escorts.

The Guild Arcana hired scouts and adventurers to determine the origin and reason for the attacks. Reports back to the Guild Arcana traced the Hobgoblin attacks through the Forbidden Hills and south towards the mountains. In the broken lands south of the Forbidden Hills, the scouts reported ruins with strange lights. Some reported hearing music drifting from those wild and wooded areas. The lone scout to return attributes his survival, and the success of the mission, to a baleful and forlorn spirit that healed him after his scouting party had been defeated by Hobgoblin forces, yet refused to speak or interact in any other way.

These reports caused a flurry of activity among the Guild Arcana, and experts and scholars were brought in to determine what these ruins, lights, and music could be. Some countries and kingdoms sent what representatives they could, including Kyrzenwold, Sollos, Dremasque, and the Commonwealth of Blacktallow. The speculation produced several theories, though it wasn’t until members of the Illuminarium arrived that anyone produced any substantiated information. The Illuminarium, an obscure organization of mystics and sages whose goal is to unearth information lost in the three Cataclysms, claimed to have some insight into the ruins.

The order put a name to the structures; the ruins of the lost city of Nocturne. Those in attendance were shocked; that legendary place was swallowed by the earth during the first Cataclysm and eradicated, or so it was thought, from Aerune. The Illuminarium claimed that the ruins that had risen from the earth were ancient structures from Nocturne, and the order hoped that some of the magic of Nocturne had emerged with the ruins. The Illuminarium claimed its origins harkened back to the ancient city, and described Nocturne as it once was; a sprawling wonder filled with magic and music that, if tales were true, used song to bend spell and used magic to enchant songs.

Although the Illuminarium has called upon the kingdoms to provide forces to explore the ruins and fight back against the hobgoblins, most of the Kingdoms are embroiled in their own struggles and can scarcely afford to commit forces to fight for an unclaimed piece of wild and untamed land; ruins or not. It doesn’t help that the Illuminarium are an obscure and poor order with few allies in the courts. Although the Guild Arcana has made use of its impressive wealth to enlist mercenaries from as far away as the Free City of Ket, the Guild is too interested in protecting its own borders and keeping the merchant roads open to send forces through the Forbidden Hills and into the wild to explore ruins.

The Call of Adventure

The Illuminarium might have faded once again into obscurity, and the ruins of Nocturne with them, but the Tapestry, apparently, had other designs. Although rare in the current days, there are exceptional individuals that have been taught or somehow encouraged to follow the Aspects of Virtue and the Aspects of Strife. They uphold the ancient teachings from before the Night of Screams, and maintain the example of one of the Virtues or Strifes. These individuals, called Paragons, are the last folk to embrace those teachings

Paragons all over the lands have received dreams; visions leading them to the ruins of Nocturne. Some hear music, some hear laughter, others hear voices long thought silenced calling them forth. Some Paragons tell tales that they have heard the Sun speak to them, and others speak of the voice of the Moon. Whatever these impossible whispers and visions might mean, the phenomenon has sparked the imagination and interest of many folks.

With this new information, kingdoms near and far, although unable to commit major forces, have called on heroes and agents to go forth and enter the ruins. Paragons have begun to travel toward the Forbidden Hills to see what calls them from beyond. With the dreams of the Paragons substantiating the claims of the Illuminarium, other adventurers have also come forth. Nocturne did not only have tales of music and magic; the tales also told of great wealth and magical treasure that would no doubt have been buried with the city. If the ruins have begun to emerge, one cannot help but wonder if the treasures of that place have also surfaced…

 

 

 

 

 

Logistics

In order to participate in Madrigal there are some mundane steps and pieces of information a player needs to know to play.

Madrigal Resources

Madrigal maintains the following resources to disperse information to the players:

Our website:

https://madrigallarp.wordpress.com

 

Our mailing list:

We have a mailing list for players. It is a yahoo group with the address:

Madrigal@yahoogroups.com

You can search yahoo groups to find the group. Request membership with a short note of who you are and that you want to play. When the group was open we had way too much email spam so now it is a closed group.

https://groups.yahoo.com

 

Our Facebook group:

From Facebook you can search for the Madrigal LARP group and join up!

 

Our Pinterest page:

We sometime share images with players to help players visualize costumes or races from our world. You can find it here:

https://www.pinterest.com/madrigallarp

Madrigal Events

The first thing you will want to do is determine the dates for the events. We have the dates and locations for upcoming events on our web site. The link for the events page is here:

https://madrigallarp.wordpress.com/events/

Costs

Participating as a player in Madrigal costs $80.

Participating as an NPC in Madrigal is free!

Our events that are located at Camp Woodstock also have a cafeteria. The cafeteria provides meals Saturday morning at 10:00 am, Saturday evening at 6:00 pm, and Sunday morning at 10:00 am. Players are not required to use the cafeteria.

For players, each morning meal costs $6 and the evening meal costs $8 for a total of $20.

For NPCs, each morning meal cost $6 for a total of $12. Madrigal pays for your evening meal so that meal is free.

Registering to Play

Registering for Madrigal is fairly simple. We do our registration through a web service called LARP Portal. Our web site has information about using LARP Portal. You can find it here:

https://madrigallarp.wordpress.com/registration/

You can also go to LARP Portal directly with this link:

https://www.larportal.com/

For NPCs, you also register with LARP Portal.

Payments

We accept payment before the event through Paypal. You can either pay through LARP Portal, or you can use our payment page.

Payments

Arriving at Game

Arrival at the game generally begins at 7 pm. You can arrive as early as Friday at 2:00 pm on site, and players that travel a long way to play sometimes do arrive earlier, but before 7 pm the staff is doing set up, unloading props and bins, and might not have listings of where all the players are staying yet. If you don’t know which cabin you have been assigned to before arriving on site and arrive earlier that 7 pm we’d appreciate be aware that our player housing list might not be readily available.

Check In

Check in for players generally starts around 8 pm. Sometimes we will start earlier to try to mitigate the lines, but the people who help out with check in are sometimes delayed. Check in takes place in the tavern. At check in we will be looking to accomplish the following.

  • Check to see that your registration and payment are complete. If not, we would accept payment at that time. We do not have the capability to accept credit cards at the door.
  • Get you your character card.
  • Check your weapons for safety. This is often a spot check, though we do want to look at the weapons of new players.
  • Accept your character’s maintenance payment. See below for more information.
  • Allow you to use Runeforging or Alchemy to make tagged items. We will check you card for the appropriate skills and accept true element or alchemical component tags to create tagged Runes and Alchemy substances.

“What if my weapons fail safety check?”

If we have a problem with your weapons we will do our best to help you play the game; either by lending you weapons if we have extras, or helping you have a temporary character card so you can participate.

Check in for NPCs is done as you arrive in monster camp.

Maintenance

Maintenance represents your character’s efforts to keep themselves clothed and fed. At the beginning of each event you pay 5 coppers for Maintenance. If you cannot pay you gain the Starving trait and lose, for the weekend, a point off your maximum Void attribute. This reduces both the number of Void points you would be able to spend and reduce the number of times you can refresh your Earth, Fire, and Water attributes.

Starvation accumulates from event to event. Each additional event you go without paying maintenance you lose an additional point of Void. If you begin an event with no points of Void left you have that event to find sustenance or your character will die from starvation.

If you are starving, you can rectify that situation during game by receiving a “Cure Starvation” effect from some game character or source. In this case you will immediate gain lost Void points and your maximum Void will return to normal.

There are game skills that pay maintenance for you each event automatically. Some let you survive off the land, and some let you receive food from a patron. These skills allow you to ignore maintenance costs, although there might be plots that tax these sources and prevent them from reducing some or all of your maintenance costs.

Well Fed

Characters can pay extra for maintenance to gain extra nourishment and maintain a higher and healthier lifestyle. A character who pays for extra maintenance increases their maximum Void for the weekend. This allows you to not only refresh your Earth, Fire, and Water an additional time but you may also use an additional point of Void to pay for skills.

You must pay a total of 2 silvers (20 coppers) to be Well Fed for the weekend. If you have a skill that allows you to ignore maintenance, then this cost is reduced to 15 coppers as a result.

Out of Game Opening

On Friday night all PCs meet in the tavern for Out of Game opening. This meeting gives the staff a chance to make announcements for the weekend and tell the players about any special effects or rules that might be going on during the event. This meeting is mandatory for players. We also gather new players at this meeting for an introductory new player module.

“What if I miss Out of Game Opening?”

If real life events cause you to be late or otherwise prevent you from making this meeting, we ask that you catch the details the best you can from a player who was there. If you are a new player and miss this meeting you might miss the new player module. That might leave a new player somewhat in the dark about where certain places are so you will have to find a friendly player to help you out and answer questions. If you are truly lost about what you are doing feel free to come by Monster Camp and we will help you out!

For NPCs, on Friday night all NPCs meet in monster camp for Out of Game opening. This meeting gives the staff a chance to make announcements for the weekend and tell the NPCs about any special effects that might be going on, so this meeting is mandatory for NPCs. If you miss this meeting, we ask that you catch the details the best you can from a staff person or an NPC who was there.

“What if I only NPC a partial event?”

Some players can only participate for a limited time during an event. These players can still participate and have fun while they are there. If you miss the Out of Game Opening, however, we ask that you make sure a staff person knows you have arrived so they can explain any special announcements we might have made Friday night.

Start of Game

The game starts on Friday night after Out of Game Opening, usually at 10:45 pm. Sometimes, if the staff has heavy set up, we might be delayed and game will start closer to 11:00 pm.

End of Game

The game usually ends early Sunday afternoon when there is an appropriate break in the action. This is usually between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm, though sometimes we run slightly over.

Game Times

Players are in game from Friday night until Sunday afternoon when game ends. There are no breaks where players go out of game for all that time. We ask players to stay in game as much as possible during game hours.

Madrigal has official meal times on Saturday at 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, and on Sunday at 10:00 am. These meal times last an hour, and the game action is usually limited to role play. This allows players to visit the cafeteria, or to prepare food or grill safely without, for the most part, creatures attacking them. Meal times are completely in game, and this time is often a good time to role play.

If we are at Camp Woodstock and using the cafeteria meal service then we do warn players that although the players at the cafeteria are completely in game, the area and the camp’s food staff do not maintain atmosphere as well as we’d like and for that we apologize and ask for your understanding.

Because breakfast starts at 10:00 am and ends at 11:00 am, Madrigal tends to start at 11:00 am and run late. There are occasional earlier encounters and modules, but the game has tended, in the past, to have encounters at night that can go late. Some players find that taking a nap during the day helps them participate in the later encounters.

The Hearth

Although Madrigal runs continuously from Friday night through Sunday, there are spells that can protect your Hearth, which is essentially the cabin or tent where you sleep, from 2:00 am until 10:00 so you can sleep safely. Characters who are still out and about after 2:00 am will sometimes still find encounters or characters late into the night, and sometimes Madrigal encounters run later into the evening.

Farmers

The Madrigal game area often has farmers roaming around wearing wide straw hats. Farmer hats are reserved for staff members and NPCs that are moving from place to place to prepare encounters.  Farmers are purposely uninteresting characters and other than perhaps an in game greeting in passing we ask that you ignore them so they can get to where they need to be to keep the game flowing.

Although we ask players to stay in game for the entire weekend, we recognize that sometimes situations pop up that either the staff should know about, or that can be mitigated by the staff so that the event will run more smoothly for a player. If you have some pressing question that really needs to be answered and you recognize that the farmer nearby is also a staff person then that is a good time to, off to the side, deliver an inquiry or some out of game information that the staff might need to know.

Plagued

Madrigal is a heroic game populated by heroic characters, and players often go to extreme lengths in the game to accomplish a wide variety of heroic deeds. Sometimes, however, the realities of the real world intrude on the event and players cannot or should not participate in the game for out of game reasons. A player might not feel well, or might have pulled or twisted something, or might have succumbed to extreme hot or cold temperatures, or they might have to actually get sleep so they can drive a long distance home at the end of the event.

In Madrigal, characters can contract a special Plague at any time. This plague is a sickness that disables the character. It cannot be cured through any in game means. It is entirely up to you, the player, to determine when your character is suffering from this plague. In game this is a magical curse from some demented demon. Out of game this denotes that you cannot, for out of game reasons, participate in the game at that moment.

If you are sick, or cannot or should not participate in the game you should get some rest and tell people who are trying to interact with you in game that you are Plagued. This phrase indicates that although your character may be eager or even obligated to participate in some game event, they are physically and mentally incapable of doing so. This allows you to get the out of game rest or recovery time you need.

If you try to get someone to help with some task, and they tell you that they are Plagued, then this means that there is some out of game reason they cannot participate at the current time in the game, and that in game you know they are debilitated and unable to adventure, fight, or even interact until the Plague has passed. We request that if you encounter a character who is Plagued that you respect that and don’t try to talk them or guilt them into participating in the game so they can recover.

Character Point Awards

Character points are the currency you use to buy game skills and attributes. As you participate in the game and find ways to help to make Madrigal a better game you will accumulate character points that you can use to improve your character. Over time your character can spend character points to gain more skills and to improve attributes.

Each character starts with 50 character points. You can gain additional character points in the following ways:

  • You earn a one-time bonus of 5 character points for submitting a character history. You can earn this bonus even if you submit a history after your first event. Players are always welcome to submit updates to their history, though you can only earn the bonus once.
  • You earn 1 character point for each event you attend as a player or an NPC.
  • You earn .5 character points for helping us out with a set up and/or clean up task.
  • You earn .5 character points for submitting a summary letter.

If you NPC a sister game that has a character point exchange with Madrigal then you can also earn character points by attending that game as an NPC.

  •  You earn 1 character point for when you attend an event at a sister game as an NPC.
  • You earn .5 character points for helping out with a set up and/or clean up task when you NPC.
  • You earn .5 character points for submitting a summary letter after you NPC.

You cannot apply other types of character point rewards you earn at other games to Madrigal; you can only gain characters points at other games for playing as an NPC, helping them with set up or clean up, and submitting a summary letter about your NPC experience to that game.

Madrigal often has the need for players to create or donate props and supplies. The staff maintains a list of props and costuming that we need. This is a great way to earn extra character points. We also make requests for packet donations each event.

Character Point Cap

Madrigal has a character point cap. This is the maximum number of character points a single character can have. The cap allows you to add 15 character points per year to your character from any source, and an additional 5 character points that must be earned through set up and/or clean up at Madrigal events, summary letters for Madrigal events, and Madrigal specific prop and costuming donations.

  • History and Paragon awards do not count against this cap, making it possible for a character to reach 80 character points in the first year.
  • The cap goes up by 20 each year, with the end of each year being December 31.
  • The cap is campaign wide; once it goes up it is increased for all players, old and new.

Players that start the game after the first year are not limited in the amount of character points they can earn each year, so long as their total points to not exceed our total character point cap. Players must still earn at least 5 of those points for each year of the campaign from Madrigal specific tasks involving set up and/or clean up, summary letters, and donations.

Set Up and Clean Up

Madrigal always has lots of set up and clean up to do. We ask for the players to help with this; not only is it a great relief to the staff to have help but it will also get you an extra .5 character points for the event!

The Madrigal staff will also look for players who are willing to take on a permanent set up and clean up task. This usually involves being responsible to set up and clean up some in game area You might be responsible for setting up and cleaning up the Temple of the Woven Faith, or the Gate of Death, or some other recurring area. The advantage to this is that you are really helping us out and we will love you for it, but you have a consistent task every event that you know about and can plan around.

“What if I have an assigned task and I will be late or can’t make the event?”

We ask that you either inform staff ahead of time so we can plan appropriately. If you can also find another PC willing to take you task for the event that would be wonderful.

Summary Letters

At the end of each event you are encouraged to submit a summary letter. The preferred method to submit your summary letter is through LARP Portal. We want to hear about your experiences at the game. While LARP Portal is set up with some suggested questions for you to answer, it is ultimately up to you to decide the contents of your summary letter.

Each event you can earn .5 character points for submitting a summary letter within two weeks of the event. We have the time requirement to encourage players to submit a letter while the event is fresh in their mind and so staff has a chance to read them before we discuss the previous event at our meetings. If real life makes it difficult or impossible to get in your summary letter in that time frame you may drop us a line and request an extension.

NPC Shifts

Because Madrigal has no player cap, it is possible for us to run into the situation where we have far more people interested in participating as players rather than NPCs. While we make every effort to provide entertainment in ways that use NPCs efficiently, there are times when we might appreciate extra NPCs to make a particular encounter memorable or somehow more awesome. We would rather avoid forcing players to NPC some number of events, and we also don’t want a player cap as to avoid stress around registering.

To help with this we use voluntary NPC Shifts. An NPC Shift is a time when a player or group of players swaps sides (so to speak) and for a time participate as NPCs so a fight or encounter can properly entertain more PCs. We try to minimize how often we use NPC Shifts because we know it can break immersion, but we feel this technique is the lesser of several evils when we have a situation where the player to NPC ratio is too low to provide adequate entertainment or too low to realize some encounter or battle.

We have two ways that we get volunteers for an NPC Shift. Both are completely voluntary.

First, if we know some encounter is coming up during event planning that will be heavy on NPCs we will contact players or send out a requests to players and schedule an NPC Shift for players willing to do so. The players know what time to report to monster camp, and any change to the time would be communicated to them by staff, probably approaching them as a “farmer” to tell them about the change in schedule.

Scarlet Scouts

Second, there is a special group of characters called the Scarlet Scouts that serve the entirely out of game purpose of gathering PCs and taking them off so they can NPC for us. While this group of mercenary scouts are, in game, hired to gather intel or bring back information for people about specific areas, the group will never bring players to actual adventure. The sole purpose of this group is that players who agree to go on the scouting missions for the Scouts will leave game and take an NPC Shift. This allows staff to come into game and find players who are willing to help us out for a time.

The Scarlet Scouts often wear a red sash, scarf, or tabard. Staff won’t send Scarlet Scouts out to participate in actual plot; it is a mechanism for finding players will to do an NPC shift without breaking game.

 

Sneak Preview – Alchemy

 

This is the sneak preview of the rules for Alchemy. This preview has two sections; the updated section that describes the Alchemy skills, and the chapter that lists both the rules for runes and the runes themselves.

Alchemy

Alchemical substances are magical preparations that can be invoked in the field of battle to create magical effects. In the field you draw the substances from your alchemy kit to use them. Elixirs are fed to the recipient as you call the effect, venoms are applied to a weapon as you call the effect, and packet attacks are thrown after touching the packet to your kit.  This role play makes alchemical substances harder to use that traditional touch cast spells.

Props

To use alchemy, you must maintain two props.

The first is an Alchemy Lab. This in game area is decorated with tools of the trade; examples include vials of materials, a pestle, mixing bowls, instruments, and other props to add atmosphere. The set up must also have an alchemical recipe book which lists the text for all the alchemical substances you know. Once you set up your Alchemy Lab for the event it cannot be moved.

The second prop is an Alchemy Kit. This is a prop you carry that holds all of your substances. It could be an alchemy flask you carry at your hip, or an alchemist’s belt with vials and pouches for holding substances. We encourage players to be creative if they have ideas of their own. Whatever prop you use for your alchemy kit, it should be obvious to other players that it can contain liquids.

Using Alchemy

Simply put, you create substances at your lab and put them into your alchemy kit.

Your Alchemy Kit can hold a maximum of four Fauna, Flora, Mineral, or Spiritus substances, and four Mercurial substances at any one time. Some Fauna, Flora, or Mineral substances are marked as Mercurial in your recipe book. These don’t count against your Fauna, Flora or Mineral limits, but instead provide their own collective pool of substances you can use. When determining the limit of substances in your kit, substances with more than one use still count as one substance when determining how many you can hold in your kit.

To use an elixir, the recipient must role play drinking the substance while you call out the verbal. You can feed it to someone, even if they are paralyzed or unconscious. To use a venom, you must role play applying the venom to the recipient’s weapon while you call out the verbal. To use acid attacks, you must touch the packet to a flask or vial before making the attack.

Creating Substances

There are four types of alchemical substances; Fauna, Flora, Mineral and Spiritus. Creating Fauna substances requires the Fauna Alchemy skill, Flora substances requires the Flora Alchemy skill, and Mineral substances requires the Mineral Alchemy skill. Spiritus substances require the True Alchemy skill.

Substances are generally created by pouring your own magic – in the form of attributes – into the substances and adding them to your kit. Those with the Alchemical Components skill can also use Fauna, Flora, Mineral, and Spiritus components to create substances instead of using their own attributes. These components can be found during the game.

You create one or more substances by spending one minute of focus at your Alchemy Lab. During this time, role play measuring, mixing, and the like. After spending a minute of time at your lab you can add create multiple substances, and fill your alchemy kit if you wish. Once you leave the lab, however, you must once again start the creation process from the beginning.

Normally substances must be added to your own alchemy kit. Only the Alchemist can use the effects of the substances they create. Substances that create Grant effects, however, have magic that can be passed onto others. With the Alchemy skills, you can either use this Grant effect directly on a willing recipient after creation while you are at your lab, or you can add the substance to your alchemy kit and use the Grant effect later when it is needed in battle. Substances can be used on any character if they willingly consume elixirs or allow you to apply venoms to their weapons.

Alchemical substances can be enhanced in two ways.

A Fauna, Flora, or Mineral substance can be created with any component of the proper type. If a substance requires a Flora component, for example, you can use any Flora component to create it. You must have the Alchemize Components skill to consume components during your creation process. Each component also has a descriptive name. By using the exact named component, you can make a more powerful substance. Using the exact named component acts like a catalyst to enhance the magic of the alchemy.

Spiritus substances are created using both Spiritus components and attributes. Both must be used to create these powerful substances.

By using a Spiritus component, you can make tagged substances – which are called bottled alchemy – at the start of game. Bottled substances are powerful in two ways. First, the tagged substance can be given to other characters who can use it even if they do not know alchemy. Second, a bottled substance will last until it is used. The bottled substance will not fade at the end of the event or when you rest to refresh attirbutes. You can hold onto it for multiple events if you want to do that.

Durations

Fauna, Flora, and Mineral substances in your alchemy kit that do not create Grant effects last until you refresh the attribute used to create them. Fauna substances, for example, fade when you use a long rest to refresh your Fire attribute. This is true even if you used Alchemical Components to create them. Substances that create Grant effects follow the normal Grant rules; these effects last until they are used and any unused Grant effects fade at the end of the event. Substances that allow you to use an effect some number of times will fade when you have exhausted all those uses, and any remaining uses will fade when you take a long rest to refresh the Attribute used to create the rune.

Spiritus substances are more powerful. They do not fade when you take a long rest to refresh attributes. They last until the end of the event, unless you use them before then.

Bottled substances will remain as a separate tagged vial and last from event to event until you use them. Bottled substances that create Grant effects follow the normal rules for those effects. Bottled substances that can be used some number of times will last until all remaining uses are exhausted.

 

Alchemical Substances

All characters with Alchemy skills have substances in their Alchemy Recipe Book. Those with Fauna Alchemy have all Fauna substances, those with Flora Alchemy have all Flora substances, those with Mineral Alchemy have all Mineral substance, and those with True Alchemy have all Spiritus substances. If this book is lost you may spend time at your lab recreating it from memory.

 

Fauna Substances

Requirement: Fauna Alchemy

These potions, venoms and salves are stored in your alchemy belt or an alchemy flask. Each substance requires you to use your Fire attribute, or Fauna components in an equal amount if you have the Alchemize Components skill.

 

Acid Flasks

Mercurial: Counts against the Mecurial limit of your kit.

Cost: 1 Fire or Fauna Component

You gain 2 packets attacks.

 “2 Damage by Acid”

 

If you use Ripper Toad Saliva as your component:

You gain 4 packets attacks.

 

You must role play drawing acid vials from your kit, touching the packet to your alchemy kit before you make each throw.

 

Elixir of Splinting

Cost: 1 Fire or 1 Fauna Component

 “Cure Maim by Alchemy”

 

If you use a Bear Tooth as your component:

You gain an additional use.

 

Elixir of Striding

Cost: 1 Fire or 1 Fauna Component

 “Cure Root by Alchemy”

 

If you use a Raven Feather as your component:

You gain an additional use.

 

Venom of Snake Bite

Cost: 1 Fire or 1 Fauna Component

Role play applying this to a blade while you say the verbal.

“Grant Melee Attack by Venom, 3 Damage by Poison”

 

If you use a Shed Snake Skin as your component:

“Grant Melee Attack by Venom, 5 Damage by Poison”

 

Venom of Scorpion Sting

Cost: 1 Fire or 1 Fauna Component

Role play applying this to a blade while you say the verbal.

“Grant Melee Attack by Venom, Agony by Poison”

 

If you use Scorpion Venom as your component:

“Grant Melee Attack by Venom, Agony and 2 Damage by Poison”

 

Flora Substances

Requirement: Flora Alchemy

These elixirs, venoms and salves are stored in your alchemy belt or an alchemy flask. Each substance requires you to use your Water attribute, or Flora components in an equal amount if you have the Alchemize Components skill.

 

Elixir of Good Health

Cost: 1 Water or 1 Flora Component

“Grant Disease Defense by Alchemy, Resist”

 

If you use Periwinkle as your component:

You gain an additional use.

 

Elixir of Healing

Mercurial: Counts against the Mecurial limit of your kit.

Your kit may hold up to 4 Mercurial substances.

Cost: 1 Water or Flora Component

You gain 2 uses.

“Heal 2 by Alchemy”

 

If you use a Goldenseal as your component:

You gain 4 uses.

 

Elixir of Purity

Cost: 1 Water or Flora Component

“Cure Metabolic by Alchemy”

 

If you use Holly as your component:

You gain an additional use.

 

Elixir of Anti-Venom

Cost: 1 Water or Flora Component

“Grant Poison Defense by Alchemy: Shield”

 

If you use a Red Fen Mushroom as your component:

“Grant Poison Defense by Alchemy: Resist”

 

Intoxicant

Cost: 1 Water or 1 Flora Component

You make a whole bottle of some kind of intoxicant. The intoxicant affects everyone who imbibes liquid from the bottle, up to 10 drinks. You must prepare an intoxicant scroll that has the following text and attach it to the bottle.

Intoxicants are special in that you do not add them to your alchemy kit. Instead you create a bottle of spirits or a snuff box of dusts that last until the end of the event. You may work with a character with an appropriate Craftsman skill to create bottles or dusts that last indefinitely if you need a store of intoxicants.

If you imbibe this substance: You become intoxicated. You feel good and as you take more doses you are less and less likely to retain good judgement. If you imbibe a number of doses equal to your Earth, you are likely to become a little wild or overly emotional.

If you exceed your Earth, you are likely to pass out for a time. Real danger will awaken and sober you quickly.

For role play purposes, intoxicants taste or feel different depending on which component was used to create them. Some folks form strong preferences towards a particular type.

 

Mineral Substances

Requirement: Mineral Alchemy

These potions, venoms and salves are stored in your alchemy belt or an alchemy flask. Each substance requires you to use your Earth attribute, or Mineral components in an equal amount if you have the Alchemize Components skill.

 

Elixir of Clarity

Cost: 1 Earth or Mineral Component

“Cure Mental by Alchemy”

 

If you use Moon Silver as your component:

You gain an additional use.

 

Elixir of Stone Skin

Cost: 1 Earth or Mineral Component

“Grant Physical Defense by Alchemy: Shield”

 

If you use Magnetic Iron as your component:

“Grant Physical Defense by Alchemy, Resist by Alchemy”

 

Venom of Blue Lightning

Cost: 2 Earth or Mineral Components

Role play applying this to a blade while you say the verbal.

“Grant Melee Attack by Venom, Short Paralyze by Poison”

 

If you use Mercury as your component:

“Grant Melee Attack by Venom, Paralyze by Poison”

 

Venom of Red Fury

Cost: 2 Earth or Mineral Components

“Grant Melee Attack by Venom: Short Frenzy by Poison”

 

If you use Hot Volcanic Ash as your component:

“Grant Melee Attack by Venom: Frenzy by Poison”

 

Spiritus Substances

Requirement: True Alchemy

These potions, venoms and salves are stored in your alchemy belt or an alchemy flask. Each substance requires you to use both the listed components and the listed attributes. These substances do not fade when you take a long rest to refresh attributes; they will last until the end of the event if you do not use them.

 

Elixir of Life

Cost: Once per event, 1 Void and 2 Spiritus Components

This elixir can be fed to a dead body before it has turned to spirit.

“Cure Death and Drain by Alchemy”

 

If you use at least one Unicorn Tear as your component:

“Cure Death by Alchemy”

 

This substance is so exhausting to create that you can only create one per event. The creation process takes both the Spiritus components and a point of Void.

This substance lasts until the end of the event; it does not fade when you take a long rest.

 

Elixir of the Hearth

Cost: 1 Spiritus Component

You no longer need to spend a point of Earth to use the Wayfare spell, The Safety of Home.

 

This substance lasts until the end of the event; it does not fade when you take a long rest.

 

 

(Updated Alchemy Skills)

Alchemy

Cost: 5

Alchemy is the art of creating magical elixirs, flasks, and even venoms from mundane and magical components. All alchemists maintain an Alchemy Lab to create substances, and you also carry an Alchemy Kit to carry those substances on your person when you leave the lab to adventure. You spend attributes to create the substances within your Alchemy Lab, and place them into your Alchemy Kit as described in the Alchemy chapter. Characters with the Alchemize Components skill can also use alchemical components to make substances.

Although Alchemy has some benefits over normal magic, one disadvantage is that you cannot choose what to cast on the fly. You prepare an array of substances at your lab and those are what you have available as you adventure.

Alchemy is explained in detail in the Alchemy chapter.

You can use Acid as a battle trait, and use it as the trait for attacks from skills that have text allowing you to use battle traits with them.

Alchemize Components

Cost: 2

If you have the Fauna, Flora, or Mineral Alchemy skill you can consume alchemy components instead of attribute points when you create substances using those skills. Each alchemy component is treated as one attribute point; Fauna components can be used for Fire when using Fauna Alchemy, Flora components can be used for Water when using Flora Alchemy, and mineral components can be used for Earth when using Mineral Alchemy. Each event you are limited in how many alchemy components you can consume to make substances; you can use a number of alchemy components in place of attribute points equal to your Air attribute.

Fauna Alchemy

Cost: 5

You can spend points of Fire in your lab to create alchemical substances with the Fauna identifier. Your recipe book now has formulas for all Fauna recipes in this rule book. Spend one minute at your alchemy lab, choose one or more common alchemical substances with the Fauna identifier, and store them in your alchemy kit. Only you can use these substances, and their magic fades when you take a long rest.

Flora Alchemy

Cost: 5

You can spend points of Water in your lab to create alchemical substances with the Flora identifier. Your recipe book now has formulas for all Flora recipes in this rule book. Spend one minute at your alchemy lab, choose one or more common alchemical substances with the Flora identifier, and store them in your alchemy kit. Only you can use these substances, and their magic fades when you take a long rest.

Mineral Alchemy

Cost: 5

You can spend points of Earth in your lab to create alchemical substances with the Mineral identifier. Your recipe book now has formulas for all Mineral recipes in this rule book. Spend one minute at your alchemy lab, choose one or more common alchemical substances with the Mineral identifier, and store them in your alchemy kit. Only you can use these substances, and their magic fades when you take a long rest.

True Alchemy

Cost: 5

Requirement: Fauna, Flora, or Mineral Alchemy

You can create alchemical substances with the Spiritus identifier. Your recipe book now has formulas for all Spiritus recipes in this rule book. Spend one minute at your alchemy lab, choose one or more common alchemical substances with the Spiritus identifier, and store them in your alchemy kit. Only you can use these substances, and their magic fades at the end of the event.

You can also use True Alchemy recipes to create permanent alchemical substances that you can trade and that do not expire at the end of the event. This process usually takes days; you create your substances and consume components at check in at the start an event. It is possible, though uncommon, to encounter a Spirit of Alchemy during an event that will allow players to use True Alchemy in minutes instead of days, allowing players to make these substances during the course of an event. These substances have game tags associated with them and unlike other types of alchemical substances they can be traded to other players and used without any Alchemy skill.

Resist Toxicity

Cost: 3

You are used to dealing with all manner of toxic substances and materials. Once per short rest you may call out “Resist” to negate one Acid or Poison attack.