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.

 

 

 

Sneak Preview – Runes

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

Runeforging

 

Runeforging

Cost: 5

You may have an additional Earth, Fire, or Water rune etched on your person. Characters are normally limited to a maximum of one of each.

You create magical runes from both common elements and exotic True Elements. In order to use Runeforging you must have a forge where you create and carve your runes. This forge is decorated with a book of Runes and other trappings to make the area look good and add atmosphere. Once you set up this forge for the event it cannot be moved.

Your book of runes should contain the descriptions of all the runes you might use for reference. This is particularly important if a Spirit of the Forge visits your forge and empowers you to consume True Elemental Void to give runes to other characters as they will need to consult the book to read what the effect of your runes are if they do not create a Grant effect.

Runes are divided into three types. Earth runes are carved onto armor. Fire runes are carved onto weapons. Water runes are carved so as to leave a crystalline or metallic symbol on your flesh without scarring the flesh or drawing blood. You spend attributes to etch these runes on your equipment or your flesh. Characters skilled at Runeforging can use True Elements instead of attributes to carve runes, and can create True Runes that can be stored and used by other characters.

The full rules for Runes and the list of Runes you can create is presented in the Runes chapter later in this rule book.

Forge True Elements

Cost: 2

Requirement: Earth, Fire or Water Runeforging

If you have the Earth, Fire or Water Runeforging skill you can consume True Elements instead of attribute points when you create runes using those skills. Each True Element is treated as one attribute point; True Earth can be used for Earth when using Earth Runeforging, True Fire can be used for Fire when using Fire Runeforging, and True Water can be used for Water when using Water Runeforging. Each event you are limited in how many True Elements you can consume to make Runes; you can use a number of True Elements in place of attribute points equal to your Air attribute. Even though you used True Elements to forge these runes, they last until you use a long rest to refresh the corresponding attribute.

Earth Runeforging

Cost: 5

You can spend points of Earth at your forge to create Earth Runes. Your Book of Runes now has formulas for all Earth Runes in this rule book. Spend one minute at your forge, choose one or more Earth Runes, and forge them onto a piece of armor. Only you can use these Runes (although Runes that themselves create a beneficial effect can be used on others) and their magic fades when you take a long rest to refresh your Earth.

Fire Runeforging

Cost: 5

You can spend points of Fire at your forge to create Fire Runes. Your Book of Runes now has formulas for all Fire Runes in this rule book. Spend one minute at your forge, choose one or more Fire Runes, and forge them onto a weapon. Only you can use these Runes (although Runes that themselves create a beneficial effect can be used on others) and their magic fades when you take a long rest to refresh your Fire.

Water Runeforging

Cost: 5

You can spend points of Water at your forge to create Water Runes. Your Book of Runes now has formulas for all Water Runes in this rule book. Spend one minute at your forge, choose one or more Water Runes, and forge them onto your body and spirit. These runes create a crystalline or metallic symbol on your skin without drawing blood. Only you can use these Runes (although Runes that themselves create a beneficial effect can be used on others) and their magic fades when you take a long rest to refresh your Water.

True Runeforging

Cost: 2

Requirement: Earth, Fire or Water Runeforging

You can consume True Elemental Void to create True Runes (the game term for tagged runes) that you can trade and forge onto others. While dormant, True Runes do not expire at the end of an event. This process usually takes days; you create your runes and consume True Elements at check in at the start an event. It is possible, though uncommon, to encounter a Spirit of the Forge during an event that will allow players to use True Runeforging in minutes instead of days, allowing players to make these runes during the course of an event. These Runes have game tags associated with them and unlike other types of Runes they can be traded to other players and used without any Runeforging skill.

Weapon Knowledge

Cost: 3

You have a better understanding of the weight and structure of the weapons you use. Once per short rest you may call out “Resist” to negate one Destroy or Disarm attack. This skill has no attribute cost.

 

Chapter Four – Runes

Runes are magical symbols etched onto the surface of weapons, armor, or flesh that can be invoked in the field of battle to create magical effects. Runes etched onto the flesh create a crystalline symbol on the skin which is sustained by magic; Runesmiths have learned techniques to place these runes without drawing blood or scarring the flesh. Runes are created using the Runeforging skills, and can be forged by either pouring your own magic – in the form of attributes – into the runes. Those with the Forge True Elements skill can also use components called True Elements to create runes instead of using their own attributes. These True Elements are treasures that can be found during the game.

Runes are created by either spending Earth, Fire or Water attribute points, or spending the same number of the corresponding True Elements. You create one or more runes by spending one minute of focus at your forge, role playing the forging. After spending a minute of time forging you can create a whole batch of runes. Once you leave the forge, however, you must once again start the forging from the beginning.

Normally runes can only be etched on your own weapons, armor, or flesh. Only the Runesmiths can use the effects of the runes they forge. Runes that create Grant effects, however, have magic that can be passed onto others. With Runeforging, you can either use this Grant effect directly on a willing recipient after your forging while you are at your forge, or you can etch the rune onto yourself and use the Grant effect later when it is needed in battle. Runes only affect the Runesmiths, but Grant effects from Runes can be used on others.

Runes can be enhanced in two ways.

By using True Elemental Air, you can make a more powerful rune. You must have the Forge True Elements skill to consume True Elemental Air during your forging. True Elemental Air acts like a catalyst to heat the forge and enhance the magic of the rune. Although you can spend Earth, Fire, or Water attributes or True Elements to create a Rune and enhance it with True Elemental Air, you cannot use your Air attribute for this forging; enhancing a rune requires you to consume actual True Elemental Air.

By using True Elemental Void, you can make tagged runes which are called True Runes in game. True Runes are powerful in two ways. First, the tagged rune remains dormant until you forge the rune on yourself or another character and hand the tag to them. This means that the tagged Rune will last until it is used. The dormant rune will not fade at the end of the event. You can hold onto it for multiple events if you want to do that. Once you forge the rune onto a character then the resulting rune will last until the end of the event. Second, you can forge Runes directly onto other characters and hand them the tagged Rune even if they are not Grant effects. This allows someone who does not know Runeforging to have some of the more interesting runes that are not Grant effects.

All of the runes in this book are available to characters with the corresponding Runeforging skill. It is rumored that other runes exist; tales have passed from Runesmith to Runesmith about runes that can be forged onto portals, and runes created from Chaos itself.

You cannot forge a rune unless you have the game description of the rune in your Book of Runes.

Durations

Runes that do not create Grant effects last until you refresh the attribute used to create them. Water runes, for example, fade when you use a long rest to refresh your Water attribute. This is true even if you used True Elements to carve them. Runes that create Grant effects follow the normal Grant rules; these effects last until they are used any unused Grant effects fade at the end of the event. Runes 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.

True Runes (the game name for tagged Runes) are different. While dormant, True Runes last until used. They will remain dormant and last from event to event until you use them. Once a True Rune is etched and you invoke its power the duration changes. Runes that create Grant effects follow the normal rules for those effects. Runes that create an ongoing effect will fade at the end of the event. Runes that can be used some number of times to create an effect will last until those effects are used, but rune will fade at the end of the event even if uses remain.

Earth Runes

Requirement: Earth Runeforging

These runes are etched onto your armor. Each rune requires you to use your Earth attribute, or True Elemental Earth in an equal amount if you have the Forge True Elements skill.

 

Rune of Armor

Cost: 1 Earth

You may only have one Earth Rune.

“With this rune, Grant Protection by Fire.”

If enhanced by 1 True Elemental Air:

You gain an additional armor point, up to the maximum allowed by your armor prop. This is not a Grant effect, and will not increase your armor beyond the maximum for your prop.

 

Rune of Deflection

Cost: 2 Earth

You may only have one Earth Rune.

“Grant Melee Defense: Guard by Rune.”

If enhanced by 2 True Elemental Air:

“Grant Melee Defense: Parry by Rune.”

 

Rune of Elemental Warding

Cost: 1 Earth

You may only have one Earth Rune.

“Grant Elemental Defense: Shield by Rune.”

If enhanced by 1 True Elemental Air:

“Grant Elemental Defense: Resist by Rune.”

 

Rune of Forging

Cost: 2 Earth

You may only have one Earth Rune.

You may use this rune 4 times before it fades. Touch a recipient with physical armor and call out “With this rune, Repair 1 Armor by Fire.”

If enhanced by 2 True Elemental Air:

You may use this rune 8 times before it fades. Touch a recipient with physical armor and call out “With this rune, Repair 1 Armor by Fire.”

 

Rune of Repair

Cost: 1 Earth

You may only have one Earth Rune.

Call out “With this Rune, Repair 2 Armor” to refresh your armor points.

If enhanced by 1 True Elemental Air:

Call out “With this Rune, Repair All Armor” to refresh your armor points.

 

Fire Runes

Requirement: Fire Runeforging

These runes are etched onto your weapons. Each rune requires you to use your Fire attribute, or True Elemental Fire in an equal amount if you have the Forge True Elements skill.

 

Rune of Adamantine

Cost: 1 Fire

You may only have one Fire Rune.

Call out “With this Rune, Resist” to negate the next Destroy effect used on your weapon.

If enhanced by 1 True Elemental Air:

Call out “With this Rune, Resist” to negate the next two Destroy effects used on your weapon.

 

Rune of Iron Grip

Cost: 1 Fire

You may only have one Fire Rune.

Call out “With this Rune, Resist” to negate the next Disarm effect used on your weapon.

If enhanced by 1 True Elemental Air:

Call out “With this Rune, Resist” to negate the next two Disarm effects used on your weapon.

 

Rune of Sharpness

Cost: 1 Fire

You may only have one Fire Rune.

“Grant Melee Attack: 3 Damage by Force”

If enhanced by 1 True Elemental Air:

“Grant Melee Attack: 5 Damage by Force”

 

Rune of the Spellcaster

Cost: 1 Fire

You may only have one Fire Rune.

You may use this rune 3 times before it fades. You may cast a packet or touch delivered spell while holding this weapon in your off hand. Blocking with this weapon interrupts your spell.

If enhanced by 1 True Elemental Air:

You may cast packet or touch delivered spells while holding this weapon in your off hand. Blocking with this weapon interrupts your spell.

 

Rune of Sharpness

Cost: 1 Fire

You may only have one Fire Rune.

“Grant Melee Attack: 3 Damage by Force”

If enhanced by 1 True Elemental Air:

“Grant Melee Attack: 5 Damage by Force”

 

Rune of Shock

Cost: 1 Fire

You may only have one Fire Rune.

“Grant Melee Attack: Agony by Lightning”

If enhanced by 1 True Elemental Air:

“Grant Melee Attack: Double Agony by Lightning”

 

Water Runes

Requirement: Water Runeforging

These runes are etched as crystalline or metallic symbols onto your skin. Each rune requires you to use your Water attribute, or True Elemental Water in an equal amount if you have the Forge True Elements skill.

 

Rune of Healing

Cost: 1 Water

You may only have one Water Rune.

“Grant Touch Attack: Heal 2 by Rune.”

If enhanced by 1 True Elemental Air:

“Grant Touch Attack: Heal 4 by Rune.”

 

Rune of Regeneration

Cost: 1 Water

You may only have one Water Rune.

You may use this rune once. After a short rest, call out “With this rune, Heal All” to heal yourself.

If enhanced by 1 True Elemental Air:

You may use this rune 3 times. After a short rest, call out “With this rune, Heal All” to heal yourself.

 

Rune of Regrowth

Cost: 3 Water

You may only have one Water Rune.

You may use this rune 4 times before it fades. You may add 1 to one Heal effect of 2 or more that you use on other characters.

If enhanced by 3 True Elemental Air:

You may add 1 to any Heal effect of 2 or more that you use on other characters.

 

Rune of Luck

Cost: 2 Water

You may only have one Water Rune.

One time during the event you may call out “With this rune, Stabilize” when you are unstable and your death count is running out.

If enhanced by 2 True Elemental Air:

One time during the event you may change your state from Unstable to Stable. You need not call out an effect. You need not wait until you are about to die to use this ability.

 

Rune of the Weaponmaster

Cost: 1 Water

You may only have one Water Rune.

If you are unskilled with a particular melee weapon or shield, you may bind this rune to that item. You may use it in combat as if you had the skill to use it.

If enhanced by 1 True Elemental Air:

You may use any melee weapon or shield in combat. You may also fight with a pair of one-handed, long sword sized weapons at the same time.

Sneak Preview – The Pale

This is a sneak preview of the Pale mythos and presents background information for players who follow the Pale.

The Wild Ways of the Pale

“The Wild Ways,” the verdant spring zephyrs whisper, “will never be forgotten.”

“For the Wild Ways,” the golden sunrise of summer rejoices, “are the ways of the world.”

“Like all things, however,” the russety autumn leaves warn, “the Wild Ways ebb and flow.”

“And so to understand the Wild Ways,” the howling winter winds caution, “the people must accept the things that have withered, and the things yet to grow.”

“And so,” the seasons call together, “will the Pale live forever.”

A Pray of the Pale

Before the Fading

When the war ended, and the Night of Screams had passed, the structure of the Pale – the druids and archdruids – weakened. The councils and circles of the times before and during the War disintegrated, and the once reassuring hierarchy was no more. However, with the creation of the Two Trees, the whispers of the Green, Gold, and Gray were felt. In some ways, following the War, people found themselves more in tune with the ways of the Pale than they ever had been before. The teachers of the Wild Ways, the druidic heroes, had taken their knowledge, and passed it to those seeking the comfort of the Pale. War had demonstrated that the Pale was resilient, and, in times of great strife, the Gifted could turn to whispers of nature. Bolstered by the sylph sisters and Lord Liendra, the druids, particularly those who had once ventured in Shadowfane, taught to the world the Wild Ways: the world, once more, came to understand the Cycle of life and death, the potency of the seasons, and the hidden songs echoing throughout the natural world. This new Pale, centered on the Cycle and the Wild Ways, served as the new shape of worship. As the centuries passed, the structures of the time before the War transformed. It was, however, fundamentally altered by the Fading of the Fae.

After the Fading

When the Fae Faded from the world, the followers of the Wild Ways were bereft. The sylph Sisters and Liendra were believed gone, as were the other Fae Lords and Ladies who had led them. Those remaining could no longer hear the songs of Faerie. Rather than falling to despair, as some of the Elves did, however, the remaining followers of the Pale decided to return to the roots of the old teachings: The Wild Ways. They returned, seemingly abandoned by the Fae, to the natural world.

They were not alone, however, in this task. The heroes of the Old Times, those of old Shadowfane and their allies, had made protections. Even as these heroes passed from the world, their teachings lasted. While the specific nature of these protections is unknown in contemporary Pale worship, it is certain that the sanctified spaces – the Groves – are, at least in part, connected to the actions of the past.

The Old Ways, the times before the Fading, are gone, but the Pale has remained.

Over centuries, the people, buoyed by the old knowledge, once more realized that the natural world is full of free spirits. With the wonder and curiosity of children, the people learned how to make use of the earth once more. They realized that spirits dwell all around, in everything that is not bound by the hands of the Gifted. They swirl in the trees, the earth, the rivers, and the wind. They people came to once more understand that the veil that separates this world from the spirit world is called the Pale. Those of the Pale learned to listen and watch around them, tracking the spirits of the Pale. They learned to call out to the spirits directly, inviting them into the worlds of the Gifted. They watched the world around them until they instinctively knew where the Pale was thinnest.

As the Wild Ways of the Pale, after the Fading, continued to take shape, the new Druids came to, once more, understand the Pale. The heart of the Pale, it has long been said, is represented by the Tree of Green, the Tree of Grey, and the Gold spirits that guard them. The Tree of Green is the embodiment of the Spring and Summer months, of cool, replenishing rains and warm summer days. The Tree of Grey, it has long been said, holds the Fall and Winter months, a natural balance to its brother and the unyielding harshness of the natural world.

As the Wild Ways continued, the Druids came to understand that, within the spirits of Green, Grey, and Gold, so too were the seasons important. New leaders of the Pale, deeply infused with the spirits of the Wild Ways, emerged. These individuals, though seemingly more powerful than the mortals that seek them out, called – and continue to call – themselves the Teachers. They align themselves with the four seasons, and, more importantly, the times of transition between these seasons. Their teachings, passed down for thousands of years, have become the way of the Pale: The Wild Ways of the Cycle. In contemporary practice, while every Druid and follower of the Pale align themselves with a specific season, more importantly, they keep in mind the constant cycle and transition of life.

The most sacred spaces of the Pale are the Groves. There is, it is said, a singular First Grove for the Two Trees. In this First Grove, the Pale is at its thinnest: this Grove exists somewhere known only, if it exists, to the Teachers and the spirits. Supplementary to this Grove are the eight Groves of the Seasons. The Teachers lead the eight main Groves, which serve as the focal points of contemporary Pale worship. While many Pale followers will never be able to visit all, or even one, of these Groves, the Teachers often make their own pilgrimages to visit followers: to meet a Teacher, who have become increasingly rare, is to fulfill what is, for many Pale followers, a lifelong goal. Since the Teachers, much like the spirits of the Pale themselves, wander the world, frequently Pale followers visit the Groves when it is not attended by a Teacher. To visit one of these Groves in the height of its season is to attempt to connect to a heightened part of the Pale. In addition to the Eight Groves, there are also the Seasons’ Groves, which are local, smaller groves run by Druids who are not Teachers. These smaller Groves are places that, at one time, have been visited by one of the Teachers, or a pilgrim has apprenticed at one of the Eight Groves for the duration of at least ten years.

The Groves and Teachers are the following places and individuals. It is said that each of the Teachers has a title, as a teacher, but also a true name locked deep within the Pale. These Teachers help the different communities of Pale followers to organize their lives. They also help perpetuate and practice the living mythology of the Pale.

The Grove of Late Winter: The Hunter of Consequences

A brutal and relentless Teacher, the Hunter of Consequences seeks out injustices that have remained unmetered throughout the year– he teaches Pale followers the justice of the wild; he also leads hunts to thin herds, and kill off the weak and sick animals to make way for the new spring births. The Hunter also leads the Hunt of Consequences: a yearlong hunt wherein the Druids of Winter decide on those who have violated the sanctity of the Pale, and must be brought to justice.

The Hunter of Consequences aligns himself with the Grove of Late Winter, located in Winterwold. Only pine trees, laden with ice and snow, grow in this Grove. It is a place both beautiful and austere, and only the grimmest Druids of Winter linger in it overly long. The near silent whiteness of the snow-covered Grove is marred only by the red blood of the Winter’s first kills. The Hunter of Consequences presents as an ice-scarred elf, and is particularly respected by the Snowcrown elves.

The Grove of Early Spring: The Lady of Names

A secretive and compassionate Teacher, the Lady of Names gives a name to the new year, death names to those who have died, and life names to the new births. Because the Lady of Names knows the names of the new year’s animals and plants, she calls them forward to be pursued by the people. Additionally, based on the whispers of nature, and the secrets of the people, she names a few chosen Gifted that will remain protected against the Hunts of Consequence. While she can be influenced, the Lady of Names keeps her reason for acknowledging these Chosen to herself.

The Grove of Early Spring, where the New Year of Early Spring is celebrated, is located in the Silken Call. The Lady’s cottage, of dark, intricately carved wood is elegant, and surrounded by plum trees in perpetual full blossom. The Lady of Names presents as a Spidersilk elf, and is a patron to Pale followers in the Silken Call.

The Grove of Late Spring: The Storm Seeker

The Storm Seeker helps to plan the growing and harvesting season, and has taught the people how to brace against Storms that would do them injury. The Storm Seeker has also taught the people how to navigate the natural world in even the fiercest of storms. Capricious and audacious, the Storm Seeker offers a challenge to the bravest among the Gifted: if they are able to survive the monsoons, tempests, and hurricanes of the late Spring, the Storm Seeker offers them boons to protect them against the Hunts of Consequence and the Starving Hunts.

The Storm Seeker’s Grove is located on an island between the coasts of the Seven Charter isles and Belaingarde. This dangerous Grove of Cypress trees is perpetually surrounded by tempests. The Storm Seeker prefers to avoid gendering themselves, and presents as an Air Eurvein.

The Grove of Early Summer: The Tree Weaver

A removed and neutral Teacher, the Tree Weaver watches the trials of the winter and spring, and, in the early summer, weaves the stories and dreams of the people into the branches of trees. The Tree Weaver has taught the people the power of storytelling, and how such storytelling can help them survive from generation to generation. The stories that the Tree Weaver leaves influence the Hunt of Consequences, and the Naming of the Worthy in the New Year.

The Grove of Early Summer, protected by dreams against nightmares, is located in Kyrzenwold. It resembles the Grove of the Lady of Names, though thousands of candles are placed in the boughs of the Grove’s green oaks. Through the branches of these trees are woven the stories of the year. The Tree Weaver is also a Spidersilk Elf, however, upon her skin, manifestations of patchwork quilts, resembling those of the Tatterfolk, appear in the webbing over her face.

The Grove of Late Summer: The Spearman

A patient though distant teacher, the Spearman comes after the heaviest of the summer rains, and, in the clear rains of late summer, leads the people in the largest fishing expedition of the year. The Spearman and the Husk Maiden both caution people against the “arrogance of Bounty,” and have taught them how to preserve meats should blight or illness strike crops and animals. The lessons of the Spearman, if followed, protect against the hungry times.

The Grove of Late Summer is located along one of the rivers between Vellingrim and Belaingarde. His Grove, surrounded by willows that bow heavily into the water, resembles a simple fishing camp. The Spearman presents as a human, frequently in fisherman’s garb.

The Grove of Early Fall: The Husk Maiden

At the beginning of the Autumn, the Husk Maiden brings bounty to the people: she has taught them how to harvest and prepare the grains that sustain settlements. As the Autumn wanes on, however, the Husk Maiden reminds the people of the coming lean times, and the arrogance of the previous age’s Bounty: she acknowledges the weak and sick who, if the Starving Hunts are not successful, will fall to the Hunts of Consequence. The self-sacrificing Teacher, she lives in starvation throughout the entire year, so as to provide food for some deemed worthy by the Lady of Names.

The Husk Maiden has no stationary Grove, and, as a Teacher much loved by the Tatterfolk, is always moving from place to place, teaching those searching for food how to better search. The Husk Maiden presents as a Harvester Grotesque resembling a cornhusk doll- it is said that one can tell if she has visited a place, since she will leave behind many cornhusk dolls.

The Grove of Late Fall: The Starving Huntress

A wild and unpredictable Teacher, the Starving Huntress is always hungry, and always hunting. She comes to her full power in the late autumn, and leads the people in the last great hunt before the hunger of Winter. Part ritual and part necessity, the Starving Hunts are a time of incredible activity and violence. During the late fall, the hunting groups are at their most active.

The Grove of Late Fall is located in the depths of Khoros, and is surrounded by the blood red maples of Autumn. The Starving Huntress presents as a Korred of Autumn, and is known for the blood with which she decorates her face.

The Grove of Early Winter: The Fire Keeper

A warm and loving Teacher, the Fire Keeper steadies the people against the hungry and lean times: she has taught them how to ready their houses against the cold, and how to prepare warm clothes. She invites people to revel in the joy of community, and the warmth and grace that Winter brings. She retells the stories the Tree Weaver has chosen, and reminds the people of the lessons of the Husk Maiden, the Storm Seeker, and the Spearman.

The Fire Keeper’s Grove is located in the mountain peaks between Winterwold and Morgrave. It is called the First Hearth, and is surrounded by leafless birch trees. In the middle of the Grove is the Fire Keeper’s cottage: a welcoming place whose windows always gleam with lit candles. The Fire Keeper is a shoathri: her animal form is not known, but it is assumed that it is an animal able to endure the cold of winter.

A warm and loving Teacher, the Fire Keeper steadies the people against the hungry and lean times: she has taught them how to ready their houses against the cold, and how to prepare warm clothes. She invites people to revel in the joy of community, and the warmth and grace that Winter brings. She retells the stories the Tree Weaver has chosen, and reminds the people of the lessons of the Husk Maiden, the Storm Seeker, and the Spearman.

The Fire Keeper’s Grove is located in the mountain peaks between Winterwold and Morgrave. It is called the First Hearth, and is surrounded by leafless birch trees. In the middle of the Grove is the Fire Keeper’s cottage: a welcoming place whose windows always gleam with lit candles. The Fire Keeper is a shoathri: her animal form is not known, but it is assumed that it is an animal able to endure the cold of winter.

Sneak Preview – The Woven Faith

Here is the preview for the Woven Faith, and the Thread-Bearers that bless the priests of the mythos. As will all sneak previews, the information here is subject to change.

The Woven Faith

Introduction

Long ago, divine power was woven into the Tapestry by Ciarda, Fainche, and Sciath; the three sisters of Fate. This Divine inspiration is all that is left of the Divine sacrifice made at the end of the last age. It is woven into the Tapestry as light, and as song, and as fire that brings warmth to the virtuous and yet burns those who are corrupt. You are devoted to the Woven Faith, and your faith is dedicated to preserving and strengthening these threads of Divine inspiration.

Each strand or thread of Divine inspiration is guarded by divine beings, saints and angels who have risen since those elder days. These divine beings are called the Thread-Bearers, for they are the guardians and caretakers of the Divine inspiration and its threads. Although Priests of the Woven Faith are devoted to the Divine inspiration and call upon it for their magic and faith, the Thread-Bearers seek out and choose Priests to act as their champions and aspirants, though their choices are sometimes inscrutable to the faithful who are chosen.

To those devoted to the Woven Faith, and the Thread-Bearers, the Divine Inspiration can manifest and be experienced in three ways. The Divine Light inspires thought, clarity, and leadership and this Light is represented by the Crown. The Divine Song inspires resolve, passion, and redemption and this Song is represented by the Harp. The Divine Fire inspires courage, justice, and purity and this Fire is represented by the Sword.

To understand the Woven Faith, one must view the divine sphere as an infinite battlefield between Light and Darkness. On the Night of Sacrifice, when the divine purpose was gathered so it would not fade from the world, the faithful were called upon to guard those threads. It is not only the faithful that can feel that divine energy. The Lord of the Underworld – the fallen god Beleghast – covets these divine threads. If he can gather to himself enough of that divine energy, his followers claim, he can rise from the Labyrinth, ascend to the Heavens, and become a god to rival the Three Sisters.

Beleghast, his host of demons, and the cults that worship them are constantly plotting to increase their presence and power in the world, but the ultimate purpose of Beleghast is to corrupt the divine threads. When a thread becomes corrupted, its divine purpose is twisted and no longer strengthens the Tapestry, but instead descends into the Labyrinth where Beleghast ultimately gathers it to strengthen himself. Each corrupted thread becomes entwined with a powerful demon who must guard that thread and prevent those of the Woven Faith from finding the thread, defeating the demon, and restoring the purified thread to a Thread-Bearer.

This constant battle to purify or corrupt the threads of the Divine inspiration has created an endless war between the Heavens and the Underworld.

Light and Shadow

The act of weaving the Divine inspiration into the Tapestry was like a great symphony, and the Divine energies took a life of its own. Countless threads touched all corners of the Tapestry, and the Three Sisters strengthened both the Tapestry and the Divine inspiration. The weave was allowed to spread throughout the Tapestry; Beleghast and his demons had not yet begun to pull at the threads.

When the Divine war began, and some of the threads became unwoven, the Sisters bequeathed threads to the most devote and faithful to guard them. These individuals made the ultimate sacrifice, accepting guardianship of the Divine thread knowing full well that they would forever be drawn in the war with the Underworld. The Thread-Bearers gave up their lives and Gifts to become saints and angels; Divine beings that have become entwined with the Divine inspiration. The Divine thread strengthens each Thread-Bearer differently, taking that being’s foundation of faith and using that concept to add to the Divine inspiration as a whole.

Not all Thread-Bearers receive that responsibility from the Sisters themselves. In the Divine War, some who hold unswerving yet unorthodox faith – or grim purpose – have given their lives to purify the Threads, and in death they have carried one of the Threads to the hereafter. These Thread-Bearers are not chosen by the Sisters or by Divine inspiration; rather they have inherited the responsibility either willingly or unwillingly rather than give up the thread to the agents of the Underworld.

Those Thread-Bearers that have been chosen by either the Three Sisters or the Divine inspiration itself are called the Thread-Bearers of Light. The others, Thread-Bearers who have inherited threads and have never earned the blessing of the Three Sisters or the other Thread-Bearers, are called the Thread-Bearers of Shadow. Although these Thread-Bearers have confidence in their own faith and have strength of purpose, their guardianship has been thrust upon them as a result of the Divine War.

While these are the Thread-Bearers that are known to bless Priests with divine power, there are rumors that other Thread-Bearers exist.

 

The Thread-Bearers of Light

 

The Agrarian

The sun beats down on those who work the land, dam and shift streams to water their crops, and bend the primordial will of the land to produce food to sustain not only themselves and their families but the vast cities as well.

Skin tanned, clothes worn, heels of their boots ground down, these noble men and women do one of the greatest services to mankind that there is. However, the do not dress in finery, no one knows their names, no one gives them much thought, and they prefer it that way. There is honor in what they do, but no one needs to tell them that.

The Agrarian was one of these men. What did he farm? Where did he live? When? These questions have been asked for centuries but answers have never been discovered. Though people wish to know, the Agrarian, it seems, remains as humble as he did in life.

Those who have the Agrarian as their patron are often, but not always, farmers themselves. For some, it is recognizing what he stands for and what he inspires. Not everyone needs fancy clothes, fame, and fortune. Those who seek a humbler existence often attract the attention of the Agrarian.

A small satchel or pouch of seeds is the symbol of the Agrarian’s faithful. It reminds them that all things have a humble beginning.

“Life is humility.”

The Crown – Bountiful Harvest

Each event you may host a feast. During this feast you may give your favor to up to five participants. The people who receive your blessing will be nourished by your magic and need not pay for maintenance the next event.

You create a personalized favor of some kind that you present to the recipients to carry your magic. The favor can be a scroll, plaque, or some other token to represent your bountiful blessing. The favor must have the words Bountiful Harvest upon it, and your name as well.

The recipients will turn in your tokens at check in to pay for maintenance. You are welcome to pick up turned in tokens from check in so you can re-use them; but you should also have some extras in case some are lost.

The Harp – Well Fed, Good Health

Spend a point of Air, touch the recipient, and call out either “Cure Disease by Faith” or “Cure Poison by Faith.”

The Sword –  Reap What You Sow

Your work provides you with exceptional health. Once per event you may call out “Resist” to negate one Death effect.

 

The Dreamcatcher

The world of dreams can be wistful and wonderful but dangers lurk there as well; even those disguised in pleasant wrappers. The bliss of dreams can lure those who yearn for something better from the real world only to be caught in the suffocating grasp of nightmares. The Dreamcatcher guards against all the dangers of the dream realm and teaches those how to embrace the joy and skirt the dangers. For some who wish to master the Dreaming, the lessons are even more complex and fraught…

Some who have the Dreamcatcher as a patron wish to act as guides and mentors to dreams and the Dreaming. Others wish to explore the limitless realm of dreams in a lifelong attempt to unravel the mysteries of the Dreaming in a quest of enlightenment and empowerment. Others wish to learn about any and all things that can be found in the land of dreams for their own pleasures and purposes.

The Nightmare Realm will always exist while the Gifted Races have fearful dreams, but without a malevolence to drive it that place has long swirled and ebbed far from the Dreaming. However, recently, small vortexes of nightmares have appeared in the Dreaming. Many followers of the Dreamcatcher have made it their mission to investigate the cause and to cure this blight.

The moon or stars are used as symbols of the Dreamcatcher. They can be in the form of jewelry, embroidered on clothing or a swatch of fabric, or even take other forms.

“Life is hope.”

The Crown – Dream Speaker

You may use the Chimera spell, Send Dreams, two additional times per event.

The Harp – Awaken, My Friend

Spend a point of Air, touch the recipient, and call out either “Cure Sleep by Faith” or “Cure Fear by Faith.”

The Sword –  Dream Walker

While you are in the Dreaming, spend a point of Air, touch the recipient, and call out one of the following: “Refresh Earth by Dream,” “Refresh Fire by Dream,” or “Refresh Water by Dream.”

 

The Erudite

Life is a thinking person’s game; a series of philosophical and intellectual conundrums to be solved. Only in seeking the answers to the greatest mysteries of the world can one find their true path. Faith without understanding is blind.

You seek out the mysteries of the world, and value discussion with both allies and enemies. Even the most deceitful of demons reveal truths if one is keen enough to listen to the meaning behind their words. The Erudite seeks truths in light and darkness, revealing knowledge that was hidden from the world and the faith.

The symbol of the Erudite is rolled scroll that records knowledge that holds a particular importance to you. The scroll is tied with gold ribbon or rope.

“Life is Knowledge.”

The Crown – The Voice of Reason

Three times per event, you may use one of the following abilities.

Choose one of the following traits; Dead, Demon, Nightmare, Undead. Loudly call out “By My Voice, Expose [Trait] by Divine.”

Or…

Choose one of the following traits; Dead, Demon, Nightmare, Spirit, Undead. Point at a creature and call out “By My Gesture, Speak with [Trait].”

Sometimes the most powerful creatures will recognize the divine providence of this ability, and this ability might convince creatures to speak with you when they might not have otherwise done so.

The Harp – A Keen Intellect

Spend a point of Air, touch the recipient, and call out either “Cure Confusion by Faith” or “Cure Will by Faith.”

The Sword –  Reasoned Preparation

After taking each long rest, choose Earth, Fire, or Water. If you refreshed that attribute as part of your long rest, the attribute is increased by 1 until the next time you refresh it. You can only have one attribute increased by this skill at any one time; if you use this skill again all previous effects end immediately.

 

The Ironclad

Legends are wide and varied, and debates are passionate and vigorous, about the origins of the armored Ironclad. Did he bear his armor with him on charges to break the enemy lines, soaking punishment so others could collapse the defense of enemies of the Faith? Was he an armored healer who ran out after the fallen, being gravely punished in the process, to save them? Was he an armored juggernaut who stood like a monolith as his armor was shattered and his flesh rendered while protecting a stronghold of the faith?

The truth is, no one knows.

Those who have The Ironclad as a patron usually want to serve by protecting others using all they have including their very bodies. For those who follow this Thread­bearer, there is nothing they won’t do in service to others or to a cause. Or, at least, that is their goal.

The symbol of the Ironclad is a gauntlet.

“Life is sacrifice”

The Crown – Eye of the Storm

Once per short rest, if you are wielding a weapon, spend 1 point of Air to use the Disengage effect.

The Harp – Stay True to the Fight

Spend a point of Air, and call out “Resist” to negate an attack with Fear or Confusion as a trait.

The Sword –  My Faith is my Armor

Once per long rest, call out “Refresh All Armor by Faith” to restore all of your armor points. This ability has no attribute cost.

 

Ma Daya

Family, whether blood or chosen, exemplifies everything meaningful about life. Everyone has a role to play and Ma Daya was the matron of her chosen family. It is amazing how much trouble a group of young adventurers can get into. She was there with calming words, bandages, wise council, and a caring embrace. Ma Daya was one of the pillars of her family and one that made them able to succeed and saved them when failure seemed imminent.

Those who have Ma Daya as a patron usually want to act as one of the pillars of their family. For some, it is their flesh and blood families with all their shared history, goals, and influence. For others, it is their chosen families and their wide array of hopes and goals.

When some people picture Ma Daya, they see a kindly woman, dressed humbly but perfectly for the weather, carrying a large haversack filled with almost anything one could need.

Ma Daya’s symbol is a ring. For one bonded with her, the ring might be something simple and new or it might be a family heirloom of intricate design.

“Life is family.”

The Crown – The Safe Hearth

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

The Harp – A Rested Body, a Rested Mind

Spend a point of Air, touch the recipient, and call out either “Cure Disease by Faith” or “Cure Despair by Faith.”

The Sword –  If I Die Before I Wake

Once per event, spend a point of Void, touch a dead recipient before they turn to spirit, and call out “Cure Death by Divine” to bring them back to life.

 

The Maiden of Victory

It isn’t the destruction caused by battle, but rather the excellence in battle of her allies and enemies that burns in the blood of the Maiden of Victory. The dance of combat, the singing of steel and the cries of war inspire her. No one has truly lived until their life has nearly ended but for the heroic effort of the man or woman beside them. It is the night after that event one truly knows what it’s like to be alive. Raising a mug of cold libations to her lips, surrounded by her friends and allies, covered in the grime of combat, is her existence.

There is little pride to be had in defeating those weaker than you. You seek challenge. You seek to respect your allies and enemies. You can never truly defeat your enemy unless you know them; to know is to respect. A difficult paradox to parse, but one explored by the Maiden and those who serve her.

A victory alone is not nearly as great as a victory shared.  Those who fight side by side share an eternal bond forged in battle. The bonds forged in battle last a lifetime. Those bonds are stronger and more sacred than any written contract or any loyalty bought with a purse of coin.

The symbol of the Maiden of Victory is an eagle.

“Life is victory.”

The Crown – Her Voice Above the Din

Once per short rest, you may deliver a beneficial effect from a skill or a spell using the name of an ally. When you use this skill add “By Your Name,” and the name of the recipient to the beginning of the verbal of the effect so your call benefits your ally.

The Harp – Battlefield Inspiration

Spend a point of Air, touch the recipient, and call out either “Cure Confusion by Faith” or “Cure Despair by Faith.”

The Sword –  Excellence in Defense

Once per long rest, spend two points of Earth and call out “Parry” to negate one melee or missile attack.

 

The Proprietor

A bowl of warm stew, a table around which to gather and talk, a refreshing drink, and safety with which to enjoy all of them was the dream of the Proprietor. There are many tavern tales that speculate on the Proprietor’s life before being called to protect the Tapestry. Was he a prince who gave up his shot at the crown for a humble life? The son of a rich guild master? The serving boy at a wealthy tavern in some big city? A man who took the tavern his father passed down to him and made it into something legendary?

No matter his origin, the Proprietor worked his whole life to have places where people could safely gather throughout the known world. Some were rustic hunting lodges or taverns in villages, while others were the most elegant and ornate lounges and inns in the biggest cities.

Those who have the Proprietor as a patron usually want to provide safe places to gather for everyone. They respect hospitality and what it means to extend it to friends and enemies alike. Some eventually come to understand the deeper importance of hospitality…

A tipped mug is the symbol of the Proprietor.

“Life is hospitality.”

The Crown – Come have a Drink with Me

Ten times per event, when someone sips one of your drinks (or a drink you have bought for them) within a tavern or hearth, touch them and call out “Grant Protection by Faith.”

The Harp – A Rested Body, a Rested Mind

Spend a point of Air, touch the recipient, and call out either “Cure Disease by Faith” or “Cure Despair by Faith.”

The Sword –  Here, Drink This

Once per long rest, offer a drink to the victim of a Stricken effect. If they sip your drink, touch them and call out “Cure Stricken by Faith” to fix them up.

 

The Virtuoso

Beauty is made manifest by the Gifted with their creative arts; painting, poetry, singing, musical instruments and much, much more. Art and artists are deeply important to the health of the soul. Whether it is hard work or natural talent that makes one an artist, they all do much good for the world.

However, they are not the only ones. Those who are patrons of the arts are just as important; innkeepers who hire minstrels, nobles who commission sculptures and paintings, and those who attend performances.

A noblewoman of immense talent and a seemingly bottomless purse when it came to funding the arts, she was respected in all corners of the world of performing arts. She seemed as at home in a studio, surrounded by easels, paints, aprons, and pallets as she was in a beautiful gown standing in the center stage of a theatre as she was sitting in the balcony enjoying a vibrant performance she’d helped to see come before an audience.

When people try to conjure a picture of the Virtuoso in their minds, what they see varies greatly. Some see her with paint staining her fingers and apron as she paints some great masterpiece. Others see her elegantly dressed and appointed for an evening at a theatre either performing or enjoying the show. In rarer cases, some see her as a bard, singing for a few gathered in a park in a town or village bringing music and art where there is little to be found.

The Virtuoso’s symbol is a paint brush or an instrument.

“Life is art.”

The Crown – From the Balcony

Once per event, after someone else’s performance that you found inspiring, call out one of the following effects. “By My Voice, Refresh 2 Earth by Inspiration,” “By My Voice, Refresh 2 Fire by Inspiration,” or “By My Voice, Refresh 2 Water by Inspiration.”

The Harp – Inspired by Art

Spend a point of Air, touch the recipient, and call out either “Cure Despair by Faith” or “Cure Awe by Faith.”

The Sword –  From the Stage

If you have the Centering skill from either the Skald or Troubadour header, you gain two additional Centering points.

 

Thread-Bearers of Shadow

 

The Freebooter

There is joy and adventure to be found in lots of places and things. An overgrown trail, the vast oceans, rushing streams, and even magical portals can take one to new places, to meet new people, and to do new things. The Freebooter sought adventure, carrying back treasures that she found as she did.

Although the journey brings joy, there is also joy and satisfaction from the accomplishments you earned before you returned home. To see one’s friends and family, to share the tales of adventure, and to have safe haven before stepping upon the road are all fine, but to return with some great treasure or accomplishment is all the better.

While a light step carried her across the land, in her mind always were the treasures, secrets, and missions she accepted. She was known to say, “A hearty laugh and a cocky smile, no matter how desperate the situation, is almost enough to guarantee victory by themselves!”

Those who have the Freebooter as a patron seek to be free beyond all else. They wish to go where they want to whenever they want to. Their purposes are varied and patrons sometimes find themselves at odds as to why to travel. Adventure? Treasure? Secret Missions? Proselytizing? To serve others?

Many who follow the Freebooter dress in bright colors and stylish clothing.

A map is the symbol of the followers of the Freebooter.

“Life is the journey!”

The Crown – Cheer Up, Mate!

Three times per event, touch an ally other than yourself and call out one of the following to bolster them; “Refresh Earth by Inspiration,” “Refresh Fire by Inspiration,” or “Refresh Water by Inspiration.”

Alternately, if you are a Skald or a Troubadour and you may decide, when you take this skill, that you must precede the use of this skill with a short performance that is some sort of sea shanty. If you choose to do this, you may use this skill six times per event.

The Harp – A Salty Sailor

Spend a point of Air, and call out “Resist” to negate an attack with Water or Wind as a trait.

The Sword –  Hurricane Twist

Once per long rest, spend a point of Water, call out “Disarm by Wind” and make a melee or packet attack to twist the weapon from an opponent’s hand.

 

Lady of Sapphires

The Lady is rumored to have ascended from the mortal world in the immediate aftermath of the Night of Sacrifice. Like a bright jewel, she is a warrior with both beautiful brilliance and exceptional hardness. She moves between skirmishing, face-to-face fights and the revelry that follows with ease.

Many of the most interesting things in the world never see the light of day. Forgotten libraries, dark corners where the gentry gather, dungeons, and battlefields all hold treasures that are worth pursuing. For her, there are times for a forceful approach, and other times that call for a gentle hand and a soft word, all-the-while decked out in finery. Whichever is the better tact- that is the one she would pursue. The Lady of Sapphires is a master of knowing which situation calls for which approach.

There are many paintings, poems, stories, and songs that offer a glimpse of what the Lady of Sapphires might look like. She always has dark hair, skin, and eyes. She wears substantial jewelry and many pieces of it. She is almost always armed with a longblade. She favors dresses of velvet in dark colors. Many of those who have her as a patron favor rich fabrics and jewelry with dark gems.

The symbol of the Lady of Sapphires is a faceted gem. Some priests, if they remain chosen of the Lady of Sapphires, will add more and more gems as they successful serve the Woven Faith under her blessing.

“Life is rich.”

The Crown – Multi-Faceted

You may change the trait of your attacks with a Physical trait to Force. You may change the trait of your attacks with a Elemental trait to Light. You may spend a point of Air and call out “Resist by Force” to negate a Slam effect with an Elemental or Physical trait.

The Harp – Hard as Diamonds

Spend a point of Air, and call out “Resist” to negate an attack with Force or Light as a trait.

The Sword – The Jeweled Blade

Once per long rest, spend a point of Void, call out “Double 5 Damage by Force” and make a melee, missile or packet attack.

 

The Merciful Killer

During the dark times before the Night of Sacrifice, the people of the lands were suffering from starvation. A lone, wandering healer was tormented as he moved from village to village to see those who had died and would never come back from the Gate of Death. He tried every spell, prayer, and elixir he knew of to no avail. Nothing was a substitute for food. He couldn’t heal the suffering for the first time in his life, and it weighed on him.

It started with a single person in a small village; he felt for an old man that reminded him of his father. At the next village, he killed everyone he met that he liked. Soon he moved from village to village to kill everyone. By doing so, he saved them from permanent death but he was tormented by his acts no matter how merciful they were.

Later in life, his views evolved to try to limit or eliminate all forms of suffering. When someone can be healed, everything must be done to heal them. When they cannot, one must gift them with another mercy. That mercy is not without cost to the person administering it.

Those who have him as their patron realize the world is a place of hard choices. In the worst of times, when there are only two awful choices, one must choose. Inaction is almost never the right choice and is never the right one in times of suffering.

Priests of the Merciful Killer carry a small vial of liquid that eases pain and puts someone into a deep slumber along with a dagger to cut loose the mortal coil of the suffering once they are sleeping. The vial and the dagger serve as the token for the priests who have him as their patron.

“Life is mercy.”

The Crown – The Quick Kill

You use this skill after you begin a Death Strike on a helpless or unconscious foe. Start your Death Strike, calling out slowly “Death Strike One.” If you finish the beginning of the Death Strike without being interrupted, you may call out “Death by Mercy” to finish them off. Unlike a normal Death Strike, this follow up verbal creates a Death effect and it is treated as a melee attack.

The foe must be unconscious or unmoving due to a game effect; you cannot attempt to use this on a character who is capable of defending themselves but doesn’t happen to be moving in an attempt to trick them into taking the Death effect.

The Harp – Mercy for the Just

Spend a point of Air, touch the recipient, and call out either “Cure Despair by Faith” or “Cure Aging by Faith.”

The Sword – The Greatest Mercy

Once per long rest, spend a point of Void, call out “Death by Will,” and make a melee, missile, or packet attack to grant a merciful death.

 

The Night Cloak

Enmity is the greatest blessing ever bestowed upon the Gifted. To look upon evil and injustice and to have it sicken you is how you know you are touched by the Divine. You must remove the source of that. People should not suffer if they do not deserve it. The Night Cloak needed no higher authority than her own to strike out against those who needed to be stopped.

The edges of battle, the vulnerable flanks, the soldiers focusing on the line are the Night Cloak’s chosen fields of combat. She sticks to the shadows at lets her allies draw all the attention during the battle and after it. Those who have her as their patron see themselves as people of great resolve with a desire to act against those who are most powerful and protected to do what must be done. In most cases, any law is less important than their own views on a given matter.

Because of this, many who follow the Night Cloak are feared for acting too rashly and being too self-important. They are often distrusted by other priests as well as lay people.

Hoods, masks, cloaks, and wicked short blades are the trappings of someone who has the Night Cloak for their patron. A fabric square of a dark color, like a handkerchief or a bandanna, is the token of her followers. It need simply be folded over and tied over one’s mouth to become a mask.

“Life is cunning.”

The Crown – Shadows, My Ally

If you use the Shadowmancer skill, A Cloak of Shadows, and remain in spirit form for at least 3 seconds, you also take the effects Heal All by Shadow and Repair All Armor by Shadow.

The Harp – Know Your Weapons

Spend a point of Air, touch the recipient, and call out either “Cure Poison by Faith” or “Cure Shadow by Faith.”

The Sword – Viper Strike

Three times per event, call out “3 Damage and Agony by Poison” and make a melee, missile or packet attack. These attacks have no attribute cost.

 

The Suicide King

Succeed or fail, when you take big risk, there is always a story good story to tell even if you’re not around to tell it! Life would be boring without the luck of the draw, the roll of the dice. Life, true life, is chance. Nothing is set in stone and a person’s fate can change in an instant.

Though a renowned gambler and master of cards and other games of chance, risk and potential reward is not limited to gambling halls, back alleys, and games. Risk should be sought in all arenas of life. Aspire to greatness, no matter what the end, and you will be great; stand or fall.

Those who have The Suicide King as a patron have an adventurous spirit. They embrace chaos and chance. They often see both good luck and bad as a blessing, even if bad luck is harder to feel good about. There are many, many types of people who follow him but they all share in common an aspiration to greatness.

Gamblers are very superstitious and even those who do not revere the Suicide King are wary of him. They often say prayers to him before cards games and games of chance. Some evoke his name before big reveals. In big tournaments this is often an official part of the proceedings.

The bold favor red and there are few bolder than those who embrace the ways of the Suicide King. Most followers are conversant in many of the most popular forms of poker and other gambling card games. If someone calls “Ante Up!” it’s like a siren’s call.

Most often the King of Hearts is used as a token of the faith but other playing cards can be used as can any other object associated with gambling; dice, poker chips, etc.

“Life is fortune.”

The Crown – This Has Always Been Lucky for Me

Once per event, when carrying one of your many lucky tokens, if you are unstable and your count is about to run out you may become stable instead of dying.

In addition, when using the Legacy spell, To Walk Death’s Realm, you may use a signature gambling token or playing card with your name on it instead of going through the process of creating a full writ. The token must be recognized as unique and your name must be legible. You give this token to the recipient instead of the writ. You and Death have an understanding about these things.

Others who use Legacy magic might find your lucky token disrespectful or distasteful. They are just jealous. You probably shouldn’t expect the Reapers to return your tokens. You don’t want to press your luck.

The Harp – Staying in the Game

Spend a point of Air, touch the recipient, and call out either “Cure Fear by Faith” or “Cure Confusion by Faith.”

The Sword – Double Down

Once per long rest, you may use this power when one of your attacks is negated by a called defense. Spend two points of Air to make that attack again.

 

The Wrath

To err is human, to forgive is virtuous, but to forget is foolhardy. Those who have done wrong must pay for their crimes. It is best for those they have wronged to visit vengeance upon a wrongdoer, but this is not always possible. The Wrath and his followers deliver vengeance for those who cannot.

Rules and laws must be enforced. Traditions must be respected. Those who do not obey the laws and disrespect tradition must pay the price for their heresy.

Those who have The Wrath as their patrons want to see those who are evil pay the price for their acts. They want to enforce the laws of the Divine and of man. They seek to bring violence to right wrongs.

Followers of The Wrath are integral to the redemption offered by The Salvation; they are what will come for the person who seeks redemption should they fail to earn it or if they fall again after redemption is granted. They also seek out and destroy the enemies of the faith; especially those who still use their powers after being excommunicated.

A lightning bolt serves as the token of those of wrath. It is often a pendant but can be a broach or something embroidered as well.

“Life is vengeance.”

The Crown – You Will Not Impede Me

Take 4 points of damage and call “Purge” to end one Root or Slow effect with an Elemental, Mental, Metabolic, or Physical trait. If you can’t take the full four points of damage, you can’t use this ability. Armor will protect against this damage.

The Harp – You Will Not Deter Me

Spend a point of Air, and call out “Resist” to negate an attack with Earth or Will as a trait.

The Sword – I Will Not Be Denied My Kill

Once per long rest, spend a point of Void, call out “Short Stricken by Divine,” and make a melee, missile or packet attack to prevent enemies from undoing your work.

 

Madrigal Armor Props

Some armor skills require that you wear an appropriate prop when you use them. This section describes what we expect from an armor prop for each armor type, and explains how many armor points a player can gain from those skills.

Our goal with armor props is to add to the look and atmosphere of the game. We do not require armor that adds a lot of weight, nor must armor provide real life protection. We would rather have armor props made from lighter materials that look good and add to the atmosphere of the game, rather than armor with weight that is hidden under a tabard or surcoat where others cannot tell you are wearing any armor. Plate mail pieces that look like rigid metal but are created from lighter materials painted to look like armor are perfectly acceptable.

There are three armor skills in the game that require an armor prop; Heavy Armor, Medium Armor, and Light Armor. Each skill requires you to be wearing an appropriate armor prop to use the skill. Armor props are evaluated and are given marks for coverage and material. You get marks for your armor prop when it is evaluated, as described below. The basic requirements for the prop for each skill follows.

Heavy Armor

Heavy Armor provides a base 4 armor points, and can be increased to no more than 5 points with additional skills. The requirements for your heavy armor prop are as follows:

Heavy Armor Prop

  • Requires 16 marks
  • Requires chest coverage
  • Requires plate pauldrons or a plate full helm

Medium Armor

Medium Armor provides a base 3 armor points, and can be increased to no more than 5 points with additional skills. The requirements for your medium armor prop are as follows:

Medium Armor Prop

  • Requires 12 marks
  • Requires chest coverage

Light Armor

Light Armor provides a base 2 armor points, and can be increased to no more than 4 points with additional skills. The requirements for your light armor prop are as follows:

Light Armor Prop

  • Requires 8 marks
  • Requires chest coverage

 

Evaluating Armor: Marks

Armor coverage is divided into a number of areas; Chest and back, full helm or half helm, pauldrons or shoulders, forearms, hips, upper legs, and lower legs. To determine how many marks an armor prop is worth, count the armor type on each area using the chart below and add them all up.

If the armor is plate armor, scale mail, or metal brigandine:

Chest: 6 Marks

Full Helm: 3 Marks

Half Helm: 2 Marks

Shoulders: 3 Marks

Forearms: 3 Marks

Hips: 3 Marks

Upper Legs: 3 Marks

Lower Legs: 3 Marks

 

If the armor is chain mail or hardened leather:

Chest: 4 Marks

Full Helm: 2 Marks

Half Helm: 1 Mark

Shoulders: 2 Marks

Forearms: 2 Marks

Hips: 2 Marks

Upper Legs: 2 Marks

Lower Legs: 2 Marks

 

If the armor is light leather, hide, or fur:

Chest: 2 Marks

Full Helm: 2 Marks

Half Helm: 1 Mark

Shoulders: 1 Mark

Forearms: 1 Mark

Hips: 1 Mark

Upper Legs: 1 Mark

Lower Legs: 1 Mark

 

Articulations of metal or leather on any part of your armor are worth 1 extra mark. Multiple areas of articulation do not contribute more than 1 mark.

In addition, certain culture skills can change the requirements of armor or the evaluation of the armor prop.

Armor Specialist

Cost: 2

Any suit of armor you are wearing is worth, as an armor prop, two extra marks.

 

Magical Leather

Cost: 2

Requirement: You have learned one of the secret techniques to strengthen your own leather armor. Choose One:

  • You have spent time in Blacktallow and strengthen leather with Balefire.
  • You have spent time in Kyrzenwold and know to to construct an armored long coat.
  • You have spent time in Five Scars and know how to more effectively in leather armor.
  • You have somehow obtained armor made from the hide of a rare or magical beast.

You gain the following benefits when evaluating leather armor pieces:

  • Your light leather pieces give marks as if they were hardened leather.
  • Your hardened leather pieces give marks as if they were plate armor.

 

Armor of Khoros

Cost: 2

Requirement: You have spent time in Khoros in your character history.

  • Chest protection is no longer required.
  • If wearing warshend, double the marks it gives for upper legs and lower legs.
  • A cloth warshend, if decorated, counts as light leather before it is doubled.
  • An armored warshend can be used to satisfy the Heavy Armor requirement of pauldrons or a full helm.

 

Armor of Morgrave

Cost: Free

Requirement: You must have spent time in Morgrave in your character history.

  • A gorget can be used to satisfy the Heavy Armor requirement of pauldrons or a full helm.

 

Orcish Armor

Cost: 2

Requirement: You must have spent time with Orc tribes in your character history.

  • Your chain mail pieces, when layered with leather, are evaluated as scale mail.

 

Asymmetrical

Cost: 2

Requirement: You have been taught to fight by a Gladiator in your character history.

Choose up to two armor pieces on your limbs. You gain marks for coverage even if you only have armor on one side of your body. You may use this skill to satisfy the pauldron requirement for Heavy Armor with only one pauldron.

 

Other Armor Skills

If you obtain another type of armor skill you are protected by some mystical force or you use speed and cunning to absorb hits that would damage other fighters. Other armor skills need no prop. These skills provide a base of 2 armor points, and can be increased to no more and 4 points with additional skills. You cannot use skills that require the Heavy Armor skill.

 

 

Sneak Preview – The Silken Call

This is a sneak preview of the Silken Call. 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 Silken Call

Introduction

To many of the Gifted Races, the Silken Call is a place of alien beauty. Silken threads are woven into strands and walls and bridges throughout the idyllic woodlands, crisscrossing over the many falls and streams that come tumbling down from the mountains. To those invited, the many colors of the morning dew that settles on the silken strands create a dazzling display in the early light. Those uninvited, however, would face a silken maze full of poisons, silken traps, and deadly guardians if they were to navigate the depths of the land.

The face of the Silken Call, to the outside world, is Queen Eranthis and the Spidersilk Elves who have come to her land to embrace her Faerie nature. The Queen is said to be a direct descendant of the first Spider Sylph, Eirene, and has inherited all of her Faerie magic. Her presence and her rule has changed the elves that have come to dwell in the Silken Call, and they bear her marks. Although many other creatures dwell in the forests and vales of this land, Queen Eranthis and her court receive almost all visitors.

The Queen is said to be tolerant, if somewhat distant, to those who come to her land in peace. Diplomats, merchants, and scholars have reported visiting the court to seek her favor. She has many gifts to offer those who win her trust; lucrative silk trade, magical silken treasures, enchantments of poison and web, and knowledge; the Queen is said to be knowledgeable on a great many magical topics. Before visitors can enter her court, however, they must win the trust of the Spidersilk Elves that dwell in the Silken Call. One of the great houses of those Elves must sponsor any visitors to the court of Queen Eranthis.

The Silken Call is the home to other races that, while sentient, are very different from most of the Gifted Races. While the entirety of the area is ruled by Queen Eranthis, the most curious and unusual people of the area might be the Oombule. These puzzling and contemplative creatures have been described as giant silkworms or perhaps caterpillars, with arms and almost human faces. The Oombule are particularly fond of puzzles, riddles, and philosophical banter because, they claim, it occupies their mind so they can weave their silken strands without thinking too much. They not only create much of the silk for which the kingdom is known, they are also masters at creating objects out of their silk. While some of their works are beautiful, some are deadly, especially when combined with the poisons and venoms from the spinderlings and spiders found in the kingdom. It is said that they are also fond of gathering treasure and leaving them at the edges of the Silken Call, guarded by non-deadly traps and puzzles. Although the Oombule generally do not intend harm to those who would cross the borders to win their prizes, other creatures of the land tend to hunt in those areas for they have learned that outsiders come seeking to win the treasures left behind.

Other creatures also roam the Silken Call; attracted by the Queen’s magic and loyal to her sovereign will. The Spinderlings are dangerous humanoid creatures that appear to be at least half spider. They do not talk in any language the Gifted Races can understand, but they seem to know the Queen’s will when she speaks it. They are dangerous, and tend to be violent to anyone they do not know who invades their areas. The Silken Call is also home to a wide variety of large hunting spiders that act as pets to the Queen and the Spinderlings.

Far more dangerous, however, is the seething pit called the Hive. Once a proud and well-crafted entrance to the ancient Underroot of the Eurvein, the Hive remains the last Rootgate to remain open. While all other Rootgates into the under-kingdom where destroyed ages ago to prevent the Infestation from spreading, the Hive proved to be the too heavily guarded and the guardians, it is said, can gnaw through the enchantments before they can collapse the halls and tunnels that touch the surface world. The Spidersilk Elves guard the lands around the Hive, and they must deal with those (fortunately) infrequent occasions when the Infestation spills out into the lands of the Silken Call.

While the Hive is infested by insect spirits that threaten all of the Silken Call, the insects don’t often swarm into the forests. They are far more aggressive and dangerous if Insect Shamans are in the area. The twisted magic of those individuals seems to send the swarms into a frenzied state where they flood out and attempt to consume everything in their path.

Costuming

Spidersilk Elves favor black, gray, and white outfits accented with bold colors such as crimson, wine, and indigo. Spider motifs are common, but not required. The woven silks harvested from the spiders and from the Oombule are strong as steel, and so many clothing pieces and accessories are crafted from it. The Spidersilk Elves wear silk accents, but the nobles and accomplished Elves actually wear a lot of cotton, linen, and leather because it is rare and expensive to them and the silk they trade is common. Certain bold individuals may wear other colors if they do not hunt in the forests, but such extravagant displays while favored usually include spider web patterns and designs.

Roleplaying

~ The dawn’s dew on a web, the delicate curve of a rose’s thorn, and the final struggle of a strand-tangled moth: these are all, in their ephemerality and danger, beautiful gasps of the natural world. To understand true beauty is to look in the fleeting, hidden places.

~ To be connected to the Silken Call is to be connected to the larger world- particularly its hidden, mournful places. Those so connected have learned to carry the quiet suffering of invisible strangers.

~ The Queen’s will is known by all those within the Call, even if she does not directly state it. When those who bear Eranthis’s mark are many miles and generations removed from the Call, they will feel, eventually, the strands of silk beckoning them home. All those touched by the Call recognize each other as more than mere kin.

~ Every Gifted life is as an intricate weaving: whorls and loops of experience knit together to craft a unique story- each of these stories is worth both speaking and repeating. Listen earnestly to the experiences of others.

~ Subtle glances, careful words, and precise strikes are just as effective as rallying cries and massive armies.

Religion

Worship of the Pale is the common among the Spidersilk Elves. Magi are not unheard of, especially since Sollos is a close and trusted ally. The Spidersilk Elves generally avoid the Woven Faith as the divine threads feel foreign to the elves.

While Insect Shaman are forbidden and even hunted in all lands, they are particularly hated in the Silken Call for obvious reasons. As a result, the Spidersilk Elves look upon all Shamans with suspicion if not outright hatred.

Spidersilk Elf player characters can become Shaman or worship the Woven Faith if they want to play a rebellious member of the race; there is no rule restriction against any religion.

Magic

The elves that learn Arcane magic tend to favor Chimera and Weald. The use of Poisons comes naturally to these elves so Alchemy is also common. Other types of arcane casters do exist, but are uncommon.

Society

The Queen of the Silken Call is Eranthis. She dwells in a castle created of marble, glass and silk and she resides over her Spidersilk Court in those halls. Each house of the Spidersilk Elves sends one High Representative to the Court to advise the Queen, and vote on matters that are beneath the Queen’s attention. The court consists of the High Representatives, their entourages, the Queen’s favored, and visitors so it can get to be quite an affair if all attend.

The Queen tends to give the Spidersilk Elves as much freedom to act as they please as she can, even though two of the houses bear a hatred of outsiders and can cause havoc with the outside world. The Queen is sympathetic to those affected, and can sometimes be swayed to intervene, but she finds it distasteful to dictate the actions of the nobles of the Spidersilk Houses, even when they disappoint her.

There are four great Spidersilk Houses. They vary greatly in temperament, though all serve the Queen; the Houses range from openly aggressive, such as House Vilefang, to hospitable and welcoming, such as House Silkveil. Certainly, there are those Spidersilk Elves who exist well outside the Spidersilk Houses; however, every Spidersilk Elf can trace their lineage, not particularly far back, to at least one of the Houses.

House Silkveil – House Silkveil, with Houselands in the southern part of the region, is a place of artistry and refinement. House Silkveil considers itself to be the ambassadorial arm of the Silken Call, and offers hospitality and safe haven to any who ask. Lead by the elegant Lord Araneo Gala, the House shares the closest relationship with Sollos. House Silkveil is known, perhaps obviously, for its masterwork silks: the great looms of Silkveil produce cloth that is prized across the world, and the tapestries, woven on these looms, can be found in nations from The League of Seven Charters to Kyrzenwold. House Silkveil is, perhaps more quietly, also referred to as the House of Gentle Poisons, due to its members not insignificant genius with such things. Those in House Silkveil are frequently well-rounded courtiers, gifted in the scholastic and visual arts, as well as turns of combat; chimerical mages, in particular, are favored in House Silkveil. Their House’s heraldry is a white orb spider, atop a golden web, on an indigo field.

House Venomsong – Located in the western forests of Spiderwold, House Venomsong is a house of art, poetry, music, and beauty. While more reclusive than their ally, House Silkveil, House Venomsong similarly welcomes outsiders. Indeed, as the House closest to the Grove of Early Spring, House Venomsong frequently serves as a way-station for those Pale followers on a pilgrimage. Lady Tetragnatha Nephila, a softspoken skald, frequently asks visitors for stories of their worship and travel. A house of master alchemists and bards, one of the more peculiar exports of House Venomsong is tea: those of Venomsong hold a special reverence for tea. Indeed, tea-taking is often a time for wistful meditation on the ephemeral nature of life, and the slow decay of all things. To take tea is, within House Venomsong, to engage not merely in a social nicety, but in a deeply personal ritual. House Venomsong gatherings are often punctuated by poetry and song contests, accompanied by tea ceremonies, that last long into the early hours of the morning. The Venomsong Heraldry is a white orb spider, atop a golden web, on a plum field.

House Vilefang – Often considered the Sullen Twin of Venomsong, House Vilefang is known for its moody, reclusive members, and acidic xenophobia. Since House Vilefang openly despises outsiders who enter the Call, people often wonder why they are considered twin-houses with Venomsong: this is because House Vilefang boasts many master alchemists, as well as some of the deadliest poisons in Aerune. Lord Loxocelus Necra, perpetually vague leader of the house, makes it well-known that he rewards Vilefang members who excel in deadly, odorless poisons. House Vilefang, similarly, is known for making expert use of the cave systems throughout the Call, and its members are said to prefer to the cold, dark of the underground to the outside light. Most members of House Vilefang have badly scarred faces and bodies: this is, it is said, the result of alchemical accidents. While many find House Vilefang visages frightening, those of the house see their faces as marks of pride. The House Vilefang heraldry is an emerald green spider, atop a silver web, on a black field.

Player characters cannot be active members of House Vilefang.

House Garrote – Lady Latrodecia Sicarius, leader of northern House Garrote, proudly claims that her House, in service to the Queen, has executed the greatest number of trespassers to the Silken Call. While House Silkveil opposes such assassinations vehemently, and Queen Eranthis has, numerous times, stepped in to intervene, Garrote maintains that, to protect the sanctity of the Call, outsiders must be dismantled. A House of master assassins and rogues, House Garrote members are universally expertly trained and highly skilled. House Garrote, like House Vilefang, often excuse Pale outsiders who are on a pilgrimage to the Grove of Early Spring. Unlike those of House Vilefang, who rarely leave the region, those of Garrote often do surprisingly well outside of the Silken Call: their natural interest in the arts and sciences, as well as their dangerous charisma, find them swiftly amassing friends and allies. Even Garrote softened by international travel, however, maintain a soft arrogance. Garrote heraldry is a vermillion spider, atop a golden web, on a black field.

Player characters cannot be active members of House Garrote.

Regions

The Spidersilk Courts: Queen Eranthis’s lands, the Spidersilk Courts are located in the center of the Call, so as to offer each noble House equal access to them. The Spidersilk Courts, with their web-reinforced stonework and masterful marble architecture, are places of exquisite craft and decoration. Queen Eranthis’s castle, named Castle Eirene, serves as the center of Spidersilk politics and innovation.

The Dew Fields: Surrounding the Spidersilk Courts, on all sides, are the Dew Fields. The word “field” is perhaps misleading, as the Dew Fields encompass not only meadows, but also forests, swamps, and marshes. They are named, however, for a phenomenon unique to the Silken Call: it is said that, near and during the earliest dawn hours, the dew collected of the grasses of the Dew Fields holds special alchemical properties. Beyond this phenomenon, a great number of powerful alchemical plants grow throughout the Fields.

The Houselands: The Houselands are segregated throughout the Call. To the South, closest to Sollos, are the pristine and bright lands of House Silkveil. To the North are the holdings of the Garrote. The western woods, though they would never claim official ownership, are the holdings of Venomsong. While House Vilefang, nominally, owns only a small area in the east, it is well understood that they control, at any given time, a number of cave systems throughout the Call.

The Segestrid Woods: The Segestrid Woods are, seemingly, a rather tiny tract of forest in the northwest of the Call. They are, however, of great spiritual importance to the Spidersilk Elves. Clumsy outsiders call The Segestrid Woods the Forest of Death, or the Deathwoods. This is because the dark woods are, culturally, places where Spidersilk Elves sometimes go to die: those Spidersilk Elves who feel that their lives ought be over expose themselves to the elements and quiet dangers of the Segestrid. Outsiders sometimes consider this behavior a creepy sort of suicide, though Spidersilk Elves consider it a noble act befitting the long history of the Silken Call. Queen Eranthis, once a year, makes a royal, solitary pilgrimage to the Woods. She says that this is, foremostly, to honor those lost, but also to acknowledge, however ambiguously, that, “Despair is something that has always threatened our people.” It is a somber and grim place, and the ebony trees and bald birches are often ringed with long-dead corpses. While many Pale followers make pilgrimage to the Grove of Early Spring, many Korred of Autumn, regardless of their faith, often seek audience with the Queen to ask if they might visit the Segestrid.

The Mulberry Den: The Mulberry Den is a large area of land, including a mulberry forest, in the East. This land is the only space in the Call that is not governed by Queen Eranthis, instead, in this hazy, heady tangle of web, smoke, and strange smells, live the Oombule. Although the enigmatic Oombule would prefer to philosophize over smoking pipes, and would gladly give up their authority should the Queen demand it, they appreciate her gesture. The Mulberry Den, and the lopsided, mushroom-covered structures that serve as Oombule houses, is a place where only the most intrepid individuals go to meet, it is said, impossible visions.

The Ambuscade: The Ambuscade is not a single place, but instead the meticulously vexing land that serves as the perimeter of the Silken Call. The Ambuscade is tended by all denizens of the Call, but particularly the Oombule. In this winding snarl of traps and puzzles, the Oombule leave treasures and riddles for those foolish enough to seek them out. Additionally, those of House Garrote, hoping to injure outsiders, often weave deadly webs, which entwine with less dangerous traps of the Oombule.  A paradoxical place, it is unclear whether the Ambuscade serves as deadly lure or genius ward- most, likely, it serves as both.

The Hive: Few Spidersilk elves have visited the Hive. Located deep in the southeast mountains, the Hive stands as the last open entrance to the Underoot of the Eurvein. While it was once a proud and beautiful testament to Eurvein culture and life, it now stands as a badly infested reminder as to the dangers of the Hive. All four noble houses work to help guard against the seeping threat of infestation. House Vilefang, however, has the most familiarity with the underground cave systems of the Silken Call; accordingly, they seem to be able to best know when the Hive infestation endangers the Call. House Vilefang, assisted by the other houses, are charged with guarding the Hive; it is said that this duty has engendered in them their hateful xenophobia.

The Grove of Early Spring: One of the sanctified Groves of Pale Worship, the Grove of Early Spring is the origin of the Pale New Year, and, as such, is one of the most revered places in the Silken Call. Tended by the Teacher, the Lady of Names, the Grove is centered around the Lady’s Cottage: an intricately carved, elegant structure of ebony wood. Plum trees, in near perpetual blossom, surround this Grove, and it is protected, by Pale warding, from all those who wish to do it harm. The Lady prefers privacy to company, and, so, to be granted attendance in the Grove is a great Honor. For one season, the Late Winter, the plum trees stand without blossom, and it is during this time that Pale pilgrims flock to the Grove: throughout the Late Winter, the Lady teaches of the New Year. On the First Day of Early Spring, the Lady gives a name to the new year, death names to those who have died, and life names to the new births. On the Second Day of Early Spring, the Pale New Year, the trees once more spring into full blossom, and Pale pilgrims set back to their homes to bring names to worshippers. The Lady’s rule is that, if a visitor comes to her Grove, and sees snow on the plum blossoms, it is taboo to enter her sacred space. Seemingly without fail, snow appears on the Plum blossoms on the Third Day of Early Spring, and does not melt until the start of Late Spring.

People

Queen Eranthis – The Queen is, at best, enigmatic, and, at worst, distant. Said to be one of the only living descendants of Eirene, the first Spider Sylph long lost to the Fading, Eranthis shoulders the weight of centuries. The Queen, a woman of measured neutrality, cryptic aristocracy, and restrained melancholy, embodies many aspects of the Silken Call. She harbors, however, a perceptible sadness- those who visit her throne room sense that she carries in her bearing the grief of generations. The Queen, seemingly, answers to no one save the will of the strands and the Teachers of the Pale. Since she is an endlessly reasonable person, this is no small blessing.

Araneo Gala – The noble leader of House Silkveil, Lord Araneo is a graceful, polished gentleman of boundless wit and only mildly delimited charm. He oversees the happenings of House Silkveil with a satiny charisma that, generally, wins over even the most stubborn of detractors. A gifted mage of Chimera, Lord Araneo appreciates those visitors who might present him with innovative magics. He is rumored to be a terrible romantic, and has a long, rather storied history concerning his many lovers of all genders.

Tetragnatha Nephila – The retiring leader of House Venomsong, Lady Tetragnatha seems to prize her talents as a skald over her talents as a leader. This is not to say, however, that she is to be disrespected: whereas her counterpart, Lord Araneo Gala, is ebulliently charming, but undeniably arrogant, Lady Tetragnatha, and her court, present as sophisticated and reserved. Lady Tetragnatha’s love of art and poetry, particularly works connected to impermanence, are well known, and it is said that she is a good contact for those seeking sojourn to the Segestrid Wood.

Loxocelus Necra – The leader of House Vilefang is taciturn, gloomy, and, on his bad days, violent. He lives, with his houselanders, mostly in the cave systems that surround the Silken Call. Lord Loxocelus’s face is scarred and disfigured: it is said that his scars are the result of alchemical accidents, and, potentially, alchemical abuse. It is unclear whether the Lord is proud or ashamed of such scarring- most likely he is both. Little is known of the Lord other than his hatred of outsiders, and his willingness to, when the mood strikes him, use his poisons against them.

Latrodecia Sicarius – The aggressive and vitriolic leader of House Garrote, Lady Latrodecia is often a force that must be, if not actively countered, carefully controlled. While her temper is capricious at best, over the past few years, her hatred of all outsiders has mellowed to a simmering hostility. She continues to decry, however, any and all users of the Woven Faith as meddlers with, “something they do not understand.” It is said that, against the wishes of Queen, Latrodecia hopes to train her troops of assassins in the haunting Segestrid Woods.

Salticirio the Wanderer – Not all those who call the Silken Call home align with the four houses, nor do they stay within the Call itself. Salticirio the Wanderer, frequently dressed in the garb of the Tatterfolk, sometimes combined eerily with the costumes of Dremasque and Sollos, is a traveling peddler-mage of things “wild and wondrous.” A strange, perpetual favorite of Queen Eranthis, Salticirio, who seemingly breaks every rule the Queen sets forward, holds a special place among the Spidersilk Elves.

Oo’laruambi – Little is known of Oo’laruambi, the inscrutable leader of the Oombule. Oo’laruambi, known for his frightening appearance and brilliance-bordering-on-madness, seems to dictate most of the riddle-twisted actions of the Oombule. He wanders, from time to time, outside of Oombule lands- though only, it is said, when he senses a genius similar to his own.

The Lady of Names – A secretive and compassionate woman, the Lady of Names is a Pale Teacher connected to the Grove of the Early Spring. As the Pale New Year falls in the Early Spring, the Lady of Names is so-named for her duty: she gives a name to the new year, death names to those who have died, and life names to the new births. Because the Lady of Names knows the names of the new year’s animals and plants, she calls them forward to be pursued by the people. Additionally, based on the whispers of nature, and the secrets of the people, she names a few chosen Gifted that will remain protected against the Hunts of Consequence. While she can be influenced, the Lady of Names keeps her reason for acknowledging these Chosen to herself. The Lady of Names lives in the Grove of Early Spring, and presents as a Spidersilk Elf. Most denizens of the Silken Call have, at one point, met the Lady, despite her privacy.

Sneak Preview – Belaingarde

This is a sneak preview of the country of Belaingarde. 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.

Belaingarde

Introduction

While the Ieronym, or the Serpent’s Eye, cannot be seen from the shores of Belaingarde, its threat is always present. Although the strange lights and colored lightning that dances above the maelstrom can often be seen at night, the real threats are the creatures that spawn from its depths. Within those depths, it is said, dwell the Tyrdau; mysterious serpent overlords that control the Sea Serpents, create the Scaled Ones, and call to the Drowned Elves of House Niemar in the constant war against the shores closest to the Serpent’s Eye.

Belaingarde is respected first for its formidable military, discipline, and ability to stave off the uncertain dangers that lurk in the Ieronym. To live in Belaingarde is to live perilously close to the dangers of the Ieronym: even the grimmest of Kyrzenwolders will, begrudgingly, acknowledge the mettle of the Belaingarde military. The navy of Belaingarde must be particularly well trained, for their job– sailing into the turbulent seas around the maelstrom of Ieronym to hunt Sea Serpents and fight the servants of the Tyrdau– is perhaps the most dangerous task in all of Aerune.

Belaingarde is under constant siege from the sea; even the turbulent sea waters can rise up against the kingdom in the form of storms, sudden tides, and even tidal waves if the Ieronym is particularly violent. Sea serpents have been known rise from the ocean and pull themselves onto the shore, and Scaled Ones often come in waves against the Belaingarde defenses. The stalwart knights and soldiers are not the only defense Belaingarde employs against the threat of the Tyrdau; the shore line is also protected by the magic of the Beacons of Belaingarde.

Belaingarde is often described as a nation so brightly polished as to be shining. Cities and military fortifications built into the white schist of the Ieronym Cliffs include spiraling towers, lofty walls, and the manicured self-assurance of a beautiful nation. The cliffside cities of Belaingarde, closely networked together, serve as balustrades against the creeping threat of the Ieronym. Along the cliffs, Belaingarder architects- some of the best in the world- have constructed a gilded fortress: so close to the Ieronym sea, Belaingarde is built to be a luminous garrison. Raphael Leon, Master Architect to the Prince, wrote on the city, saying: “We live in a prison- this we cannot deny; the ocean beyond us is a merciless place: a vast expanse of constant danger. Somewhere, deep in our history, we skulked out of that chasm. And now? We wait for it to retake us. It will, but, in the meantime, we ought dull ourselves with the strange beauty of arrogant survival.”  While the palisades and turrets of Belaingarde are beautifully conceived, there can be no mistake that the entire nation’s function is militaristic.

Belaingarde’s employment of armed forces and fortifications is of obvious import. In a nation constantly on the precipice of sudden invasion, barricade and offensive posturing against the outside is crucial. The walls of Belaingarde are the nation’s most obvious forms of defense: the Lucent Heights, Upper Reach, and Lower Reach are delimited by stonework walls; these walls, of seemingly unnatural durability, are in fact arcanically enhanced. The Eurvein Runeforgers of the Academy have spent the last several centuries perfecting the art of bolstering the populace against Ieronymite threats. The lowest tier of Belaingarde, the Coast- home to military personnel and the Scrims- offers no such physical walls. They are, however, guarded by something all the more impressive: the Beacons.

The history of the Beacons of Belaingarde is unknown. Some say they were created by master arcanists; others maintain they simply came into being. In any case, the Beacons of Belaingarde, and the light-walls they create, are essential to the protection of Belaingarde. The line of Beacons follows the coastline and forms an arc of light around all of Belaingarde. The Beacons, attended by the Beaconiers of the military, serve as the first and foremost defense against the depths of the Ieronym. Maintained by Academy arcanists, and the diligence of the Scrims, the Beacons are a mystery unto themselves: the fables and legends surrounding them are almost as enormous as the protection they provide.

Costuming

No one could argue that Belaingarde is a nation of plain tastes: however, the fashion reflects the militaristic and utilitarian necessity of the country. Clothing reflects this, and even the most artistocratic of fashionistas prize elegant simplicity. Trousers, high boots, and loose fitting shirts, accented by belts and jewelry, are common among all genders. Men, and many women, favour plain, well-cut coats, brightly colored linens, and delicately knotted cravats. Gowns in Belaingarde embrace refined elegance: one-piece dresses with high waists and flowing skirts, accented by flowers and pearls, are common.

While lines are simple in typical Belaingarde fashion, materials and patterns are not: vivid blues, greens, and purples are common, and many Belaingarders attempt to use fashion to emulate the beauty of the natural world around them. It is not uncommon, for instance, to see an Eurvein gentleman dressed in daywear that typifies the colors of the sunset over the Ieronym. To accessorize the simple, unstructured lines of clothing, individuals often incorporate pearl jewelry, silken scarves, and ornate leatherwork into their costumes. Unsurprisingly, glasswork jewelry, particularly mosaics, are common.

In the military, clothing is of course standardized. The universal garb of the military follows: tight fitting trousers (of plain color), a smartly pressed shirt, tall boots (with good grips), and a bolero jacket (of color matching the trousers), emblazoned with the insignia of the individual’s naval unit. Belaingarde is not terribly picky about specifics, but asks that individuals prioritize practicality over fashion. For whatever reason, the military style- particularly the cropped jacket and boots- are popular with non-military civilians, and the military style has invaded many corners of Belaingarder fashion.

In both the military and among the civilians, long, high-collared jackets (often made of wool or a similarly thick fabric) guard against the cold. Gloves and hats are often tight-fitting and well-made for the bitter chill of the sea.

While straight, simple, and colorful lines are the norm, Belaingarde is a nation of trade and exchange, and, within reason, most things go; afterall, Belaingarders prize aesthetical innovation and experimentation above most other things.

Roleplaying

~ Life could end at any moment. Cherish those around you, and appreciate adversity as a chance to thrive.

~ Innovation and creativity are at the heart of success. There is no such thing as a bad idea, only an idea that needs refinement. And, afterall, most ideas need refinement.

~ Beauty is important and constantly evolving. Those who don’t appreciate beauty, even in its strangest forms, have never seen true ugliness.

~ Nation and loyalty to the nation comes before most things. Military service and progress for the nation is a thing to be taken seriously, and military personnel are to be respected.

~ The Sea is dangerous. Anyone who tells you otherwise hasn’t seen its true horrors.

Religion

Religious worship is freely practiced and encouraged in Belaingarde. There is no formal state religion in Belaingarde, and the Prince has dictated that, in matters of religion, the state should stay uninvolved. Religion, particularly worship of the Pale connected to the Sea, is common, and serves as the inspiration for many great works of art. Throughout Belaingarde, and particularly in the upper reach, there are many shamans of noble birth who practice a sort of urban shamanism, heavily influenced by the sea, seemingly unique to Belaingarde.

Magic

In many ways, magic in Belaingarde is defined by its military Academy. In theory, most spheres of magic are taught at the Academy. In practice, however, the Academy and the Eurvein who teach there are some of the strongest Primal mages in Aerune. The Primal mages of Belaingarde rival even the Guild Arcana in sheer power. Runeforging is also favored among the Eurvein, and the Eurvein of Belaingarde are especially adept at runes of water. As a result, the elite of the Belaingarde Navy often have runes to supplement their training.

The Belaingarde arcanists that keep the Beacons are unique to this kingdom, though their magical focus is the maintenance, strengthening, and controlling the Beacons themselves.

Society

The population of Belaingarde is divided between, mostly, human and Eurvein. About a third of the population is Eurvein, and occupies the upper echelons of society. Humans, and smatterings of other races, occupy all rungs of the social ladder. To be Eurvein, within Belaingarde, is to be steeped in a history of noble tradition and perseverance; the be human is to be complementary, and, at times, supplementary, to this history. While Eurvein and other races live in considerable harmony, among the malcontent, there are murmurs that decry, however quietly, the imparity.

Military service is a compulsory part of life in Belaingarde. Because of the constant menace of the Ieronym almost all Belaingarders see military service as a dangerous necessity. The military is considered the great leveler of Belaingarde. As the Tower Council of Sages has decreed, “it is a time when children of Nauarchs serve alongside children of shepherds.” If an individual deserts the military during the compulsory tour, or fails to present, the government levies heavy and exponential taxes against the individual’s family.

The Prince’s Navy serves as the heart and exploratory arm of Belaingarde. Despite the glory that is the Prince’s Navy, most soldiers fail to step aboard a boat prior to their final year of service. At the end of the tour, individuals are, dependent on their service records, able to continue as volunteers in the Prince’s Navy. While many, disenchanted with the mundane reality of military life, re-enter civilian activities, some excited few continue their service.

The Prince’s Navy consists of four distinct units, led by the Nauarchs. In Belaingarde, “Nauarch” is the fourth highest rank an individual can achieve after, respectively, Prince, Speaker, and Sage. Each of the units serves a distinct purpose.

The first, and most lauded, of the naval units is that of The Scrims. The Scrims are the elite unit of Belaingarde: they are responsible for exploration of the Ieronym, defense against Ieronym creatures, and resource reclamation for the Beacons. The Scrims are well-trained units, and very few individuals join.

After the Scrims, and the largest unit within the Navy, are the Boatswain. The Boatswain consist of the defensive arm of the Navy- they are the grunt forces who patrol the walls, ensure civilian protection, and, when needed, engage in offensive movements along the coast. The Boatswain count among their number some of the finest Corsairs in Aerune.

Following the Scrims and Boatswain are the Beaconiers: a relatively small unit, the Beaconiers are a group of dedicated mages and tacticians committed to maintenance of the lightwalls and their corresponding beacons. While not as exalted as the Scrims nor as omnipresent as the Lords, the Beaconiers are the unit most integral to Belaingarde’s defense; their use of highly advanced arcanics, additionally, provides them an undeniable air of mystery.

Finally, there are the Privateers. Many Privateers chafe under the notion that the Scrims are the explorers of the Prince’s Navy- the Privateers argue that, since their focus is not militaristic, but, instead, diplomatic, they are undervalued. Indeed, the Privateers are the diplomats and traders of Belaingarde: they are responsible for Belaingarde’s relationship to the rest of the world. Of the four units, they also have the most individual freedom, and, therefore, are rumored to engage in many and varied not-quite-savory dealings.

Some, hearing of the Nauarchs, the Scrims, and the Prince’s Navy, may ask of the Prince himself. For most of Belaingarde, this is not a question easily answered. The Prince- or whomever holds the title- does not appear before even the highest ranking Belaingarders. Reasons for this are vague, though steeped in no small amount of pomp and circumstance. A few things of the Prince, however, are known: he is of Eurvein birth, and, like all Princes before him, one in a very ancient Eurvein family line. There are no records, currently, of the Prince ever appearing in public. He lives in the central part of the Lucent Heights, within the Lucent Tower itself.

While the Prince himself remains unseen, his directions and guidance do not. The Prince rules Belaingarde through a council of Eurvein: the Sages and the Speaker. The Sages, though seldom seen in public, are considered the most brilliant thinkers, strategists, and mages in all of Belaingarde- all of noble birth, the Sages, acting on the commands of the Prince, oversee the major governance of Belaingarde. They work closely with the four Nauarchs to determine military strategy; they manage the internal workings of Belaingarde itself with little assistance from the Nauarchs.

The Speaker plays a somewhat different role: the Speaker is an individual selected from the poorest ranks of Eurvein families, usually within the Lower Reach. This individual, always of unusual intelligence and ability, does not serve in the military; instead, at the age of fourteen, this individual trains for six years to serve as the Voice of the Prince. This individual then acts as Prince’s publicly visible proxy; while the role and responsibilities of the Speaker are poorly understood, most assume that the Speaker also functions as the Prince’s confidant and personal advisor. Speakers generally work from the ages of twenty to forty, serving roughly twenty year terms as Speakers. When they retire, they often, though not always,  enter the council of Sages.

The Prince, the Speaker, and the Sages- buoyed by the expertise of the Nauarchs and the Prince’s Navy- maintain the status quo in Belaingarde. Currently, of course, this status quo is in upheaval. The current political climate in Belaingarde is shifting: there is more need for global collaboration, and trade is intensifying. On top of this, the waters of the Ieronym Sea have never been more active- beasts, the Ieronymites, are seeking the land in greater and greater number. The Beaconiers, looking to the illumination of the Beacons, wonder just how long such light will prevail against rising waters.

Regions

Belaingarde, in many ways only nominally a nation, is divided into four regions: the Lucent Heights, the Upper Reach, the Lower Reach, and the Coast. Each of these areas is a small city unto itself, and boasts a vibrant culture dependent on its location. The majority of the population lives in one of these cities or its environs, though some individuals may move between Belaingarde and other nations. In general, the Lucent Heights (sometimes shortened to the Heights) are occupied almost exclusively by Eurvein and humans who have married into Eurvein families; the other cities are dominated by humans, though levels of admixture are relatively high. While there is some social turmoil connected to this stratification, the majority of Belaingarders are, in general, content with their lot in life. Afterall, regardless of money, all individuals serve the military, the Nauarchs, and the High Prince: variation in the lower echelons of life is considered a necessity of safeguarding the larger nation.

The capital of Belaingarde is the Lucent Heights, named for the Lucent Tower. The Lucent Heights houses Belaingarde’s elite, as well as the students and faculty of the Seawatch Naval Academy. The Seawatch Academy, the center of Belaingarder intelligensia, serves as the locus of Belaingarde’s considerable arcanical clout: some of the best Primal mages in Aerune are trained at the Academy. Indeed, Runeforging, a staple of old Belaingarde magic, is among the most celebrated of Academy disciplines. Spiraling out of the Academy campus is the Lucent Tower: a decorated tower constructed of polished black marble. The Lucent Tower serves as the home of the Prince, the Speaker, and the Sages’ Council; it is the major landmark of Belaingarde.

The Riverlands lie below the Lucent Heights, and include all the lands surrounding the three great rivers of Belaingarde. Once these were a jewel of the kingdom, for they provided travel and bounty for the Lucent Heights. Now the military maintains camps all along the rivers. When one’s enemies can travel the depths of the ocean, deep running water that provides a hidden passage for them to travel inland is a grave danger to the security of the country.

Far to the west of the Lucent Heights is the beautiful walled city called the Upper Reach. The second-most populous city in Belaingarde, the Upper Reach is home to the upper and middle classes of Belaingarde. Its distance from the sea affords it more warning from attacks, and this allows the city to house some of the most prosperous merchants and lords in Belaingarde. It is also closest to the west road, and this makes it a natural focal point for trade. While the artistry displayed in the Lucent Heights is striking, it is somewhat minimal in comparison to that of the Upper Reach: the Upper Reach is a vibrant parade of color and shapes. White marble arcades, columns garlanded with roses and marigolds, melt into marketplace plazas: goods range from masterwork weapons to aquatic perfumes, though the most prized handiwork are the mosaics and glassworks handblowns by Belaingarder artisans.

In stark contrast to the Upper Reach, the Lower Reach lies far to the east. The Lower Reach houses the majority of Belaingarde’s poor: common laborers and the economically disenfranchised populate these areas. The Lower Reach’s architecture reflects this stratification: buildings are simpler, stonework ruder, and the streets dirtier. However, while illness and hunger are more common in the Lower Reach, the people are proud and patriotic: a robust culture of music and artwork, characterized by a loyalty to the grim plight of the country, has formed, and the bards of the Lower Reach are considered to be unusually poignant. Of course, this is not to say that, in the predominantly human population, dissent does not exist: quiet groups of student, retired military, and workers lament, in creaking taverns, the disease of the elite.

Outside of the Lower Reach proper are the Flats; a series of villages and outposts dotting the eastern lands that provide, through fishing and gathering, a majority of the sea bounty for Belaingarde. As more and more of the once great fishing fleet of Belaingarde has been pressed into military service to protect against the Ieronym, it has fallen to the Flatlanders to gather food and net fish from the marshes and shores to the east. Unprotected by city walls, the Flatlanders are entirely dependent on the Beacons and the Naval units of the Lower Reaches to protect them. If those fail, they have only their own wits as protection. As a result, a number of Rangers have risen among the Flatlanders; they roam the marshes, bogs, and eastern shores to hunt down Scaled Ones and Drowned Elves who have managed to break past the Beacons. The Flats also has a surprisingly large number of Undying Ghuls who earn a meager living gathering food from that dangerous place and trading by day in the Lower Reach when their condition is not so obvious.

People

The Speaker: The physical form and name of the Speaker are kept from the general population: indeed, the speaker wears deep purple robes and veils covering their entire body. It is believed that the individual identity of the Speaker remains unimportant: instead, the Speaker is the mouthpiece of the Prince, and, for this and this alone, must be respected. Still, every single Belaingarder recognizes the impressive uniform of the Speaker, and recognizes, when the Speaker delivers a proclamation, that they speak on behalf of the Prince and the Sages.

Nauarch Milo Alexandre: Nauarch of The Emerald Hazard, the premier Scrim ship in the Prince’s Navy, and, therefore, the premier ship in the Navy itself. Admirable Alexandre is a considerable eccentric, and is given to quietly lurking among rank-and-file soldiers. Nauarch Alexandre handpicks individuals to join the Scrims, and is known for, his blue eyes wild and dangerous, proclaiming that individuals “look ready for death,” and, therefore, ready for service in the Scrims. A heavy drinker and lover of art, while Nauarch Alexandre is nothing if not intimidating, he is a surprising man of the people, and prefer taverns in the Lower Reach (his home) to life in the Lucent Tower.

Captain Zelda Hugo: A distressingly excitable member of the Scrim, Captain Hugo, who also serves aboard the Emerald Hazard, generally careens between controlled mania and exuberant psychosis. She is the foremost authority on the science of the Tyrdau, and, excitedly, is known to rattle off metrics of the great beasts the Tyrdau control. While Captain Hugo’s genius and incomparable knowledge has never been questioned, her uncomfortable fondness for the beasts that threaten Belaingarde raises many an eyebrow.

Headmistress Josephine Cadence: The Headmistress of the Academy, Headmistress Josephine is a woman passion and disciplined. Accepting only the most talented of students, Headmistress Josephine is leading the charge on developing new research methods.

Nauarch Nicolette Absolon: Leader of the Beaconiers, Nauarch Absolon helps to maintain the relative mystery of the Beacons, while, simultaneously, sharing knowledge with she knows are truly invested in their upkeep. She openly recruits from both the common ranks and the Academy. Nauarch Absolon is uniquely committed to defense against the Naimar, who she believes aim to threaten the Beacons.

Sacha Mathis: A relatively low ranking member of the Scrims, Sacha Mathis has, perhaps inspired by his mentor Nauarch Alexandre, become something of a public figure. Recently, despite his low rank and birth, Mathis was appointed as Captain of the survey excursion leading the research charge on the Tyrdau and Gnorren: this has put him in the public eye, and he has been recently celebrated as a people’s hero. Indeed, political upstarts champion him as a potential answer to the lack of mobility for the lower classes.

The Kingfisher: This mysterious figure is sometimes seen along the shore in the eastern reaches of Belaingarde, fishing in the shallow water with either pole or net. Although rarely appearing before military folk or outsiders, it is said that the Flatlanders sometimes seek the advice or aid of the Kingfisher. There are many rumors among the common folk pertaining to what the Kingfisher might be fishing for, and no one has ever seen the Kingfisher draw an ordinary fish from the sea. There are whispers that particularly lucky or cursed individuals have been invited to fish with the Kingfisher, although those tales speak equally of great riches, important lessons, or watery dooms resulting from the ordeal.

Sneak Preview – Paragons of Virtue and Strife

Paragon Skills

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.

Introduction

For over a millennia the Gifted Races have held a moral code that not only guards against Hubris, but acts to strengthen the Gifts in those individuals that hold them dear. There are five aspects of Virtue and five aspects of Strife, and these act to counter the aspects of Hubris. This forms the basis of a moral code that has risen to transcend the boundaries of religion.

Each Virtue has an associated Strife, and these together guard against one of the aspects of Hubris. The aspects of Virtue strengthen your purpose, while the aspects of Strife help you protect yourself and those you guard against those who would wield Hubris against you. The Hubris ultimately bring ruin to the world, and over time weaken the purpose of those who are steeped in those aspects.

The aspect of the virtue, Charity, corresponds with the aspect of the strife, Austerity. These guard against the aspect of hubris, Avarice.

The aspect of the virtue, Courage, corresponds with the aspect of the strife, Vigilance. These guard against the aspect of hubris, Despair.

The aspect of the virtue, Honesty, corresponds with the aspect of the strife, Secrecy. These guard against the aspect of hubris, Deceit.

The aspect of the virtue, Humility, corresponds with the aspect of the strife, Confidence. These guard against the aspect of hubris, Arrogance.

The aspect of the virtue, Respect, corresponds with the aspect of the strife, Anger. These guard against the aspect of hubris, Hatred.

The Paragons embody these aspects of Virtue or Strife, and their purpose and inspiration are strengthened by their devotion and character.

Becoming a Paragon

When you decide to become a Paragon you choose one Virtue or one Strife to embrace. You strive to embody this aspect and serve as a champion to the Gifted who follow a virtuous life. As a Paragon you seek to raise the Gifted by encouraging them to follow the Virtues and Strifes and to reject the aspects of Hubris.

Paragon skills do not work like other normal skills. Instead of spending character points to gain powerful abilities, you take oaths to follow Virtues that shape and define your role play. Although this path can be difficult, that hardship helps define your purpose and character. You gain character points by taking on these hardships and oaths.

You may only embrace one single Aspect of Virtue or Strife.

Some theorize that the Gifted are capable of embracing an additional aspect if they can find an appropriate teacher, or perhaps if they face particularly harrowing trials and tests. Once you embrace a particular Virtue, however, you can never embrace its associated Strife. You must choose one or the other. You may make this choice separately for each Virtue and associated Strife. You could choose, for example, to embrace Courage (a Virtue) and Confidence (a Strife) since they are not associated. If you had embraced these aspects you could never embrace Vigilance or Humility since these are associated with the aspects you have already embraced.

If you become a Paragon you might attract the attention of the Imaginings. These creatures advise and guide Paragons in their path of Virtue and Strife.

The Strictures of the Paragon

For each Virtue or Strife you embrace, you must embrace three Strictures and follow them. The Strictures not only help define your own moral code, but they raise you to support others to follow a virtuous life. As you can well imagine, characters who embrace one or more Virtues or Strifes will be expected to try their best to follow these codes and to record or remember their mistakes and missteps when they fail.

Paragons who try to follow their Strictures will traditionally keep three qualities in their hearts to give them perspective when following their Strictures. A Paragon should have Empathy for other Paragons and for all of the Gifted. A Paragon should have Patience when interacting with Paragons and other Gifted alike. Finally a Paragon should have Hope and foster that hope in others.

Reflection and Atonement

Occasionally even Paragons can fail in their quest to seek a virtuous path or to act as example for others. When a Paragon fails to follow their Strictures they exhaust a point of Void for the event. In addition, the Paragon gains the Misdeed trait. The Paragon must remember and even record their Misdeeds. Some seek other Paragons to consult or confess to. The Paragon must remember all of their misdeeds until the Time of Atonement.

To be a Paragon is to be an example to others. There may be a time when you have followed your Strictures, yet those around you are disillusioned with your actions. Remember well these times. These failings are brought to the Imaginings during the Time of Atonement and confessed as Misdeeds so you may reflect on what has happened and raise yourself as an inspiration in the eyes of the Gifted.

Occasionally the Imaginings will return in some form to call for a Time of Atonement. When the Imaginings call for a Time of Atonement all Paragons attend. It is a time of reflection where Paragons can confess and discuss their misdeeds to the Imaginings and seek atonement through Patience, Hope, and Empathy.

A Paragon comes forth and confesses their misdeeds to the Imaginings so they might reflect on their missteps and become stronger and more virtuous from the experience. The Imaginings will allow them to atone if the following three conditions are met.

~ The missteps of the Paragon are not so blatant and numerous that they are deemed unworthy.

~ The Paragon is repentant for their missteps.

~ The Paragon confesses all misdeeds. The Imaginings sometimes have visions of the misdeeds of Paragons, and failing to confess a misdeed that an Imagining has experienced can lead to falling from the path.

When the Imaginings are satisfied with the reflection of the Paragons, the Paragons are called forth as a group to go on a mission or quest to accomplish a virtuous deed. This quest for atonement strengthens the Paragons and sets them back on the path of Virtue.

If a Paragon ever fails to satisfy the Imaginings, or if a Paragon ever renounces their oaths they fall from the path of Virtue. Fallen Paragons gain the Hubris trait. Their despair and disillusionment with the Paragon path makes them far more susceptible to the Aspects of Hubris and those who would exploit and prey on such individuals.

It is possible that a Paragon who falls too far into Hubris will become an NPC!

Intent

These rules are meant to be fun and encourage players to interact with and include other players. As a Paragon you are expected to inspire others rather than tear them down. If you take Paragon and use these skills as a reason to exclude or lessen other players then you are not acting as a Paragon and the Imaginings will make that clear during times of Reflection and Atonement.

The Synergy of Virtue and Strife

Each Aspect of Virtue has a corresponding Aspect of Strife. There is never a Stricture that will be appropriate at all times. When evil seeks to take advantage of Virtue then the Paragons of Strife may prevent the Paragons of Virtue from losing Void when war makes the virtuous path dangerous and difficult. Likewise, the Paragons of Virtue may prevent the Paragons of Strife from losing Void when the aspects of Strife must be set aside to promote harmony and peace.

Empathy, Hope, and Patience

In addition to other benefits, each aspect offers some protection against specific traits those who embrace Hubris might use. Each Paragon gains three skills which they can use against the traits of Hubris their Strife or Virtue offers protection against. If a Paragon embraces additional Virtues or Strifes these skills can be used against a larger number of traits.

Empathy Will Guide Me

Once per event touch a recipient and call out “Cure <Trait of Hubris> by Empathy” to end an effect with an appropriate trait.

Hope Will Guide Me

Once per event call out “Resist by Hope” to negate an attack with an appropriate trait.

Patience Will Guide Me

Once per event role play for at least three seconds and call out “Purge by Patience” to end an effect with an appropriate trait.

 

Paragon of Virtue ~ Honesty

You gain 5 character points.

You cannot become a Paragon of Secrecy.

You are a Paragon of Virtue and you have dedicated yourself to the pursuit of Honesty. You are a champion and guardian of Knowledge. Deceit is your enemy, for it corrupts Knowledge. You embrace the Aspect of Honesty by embracing three Strictures.

Strictures of Honesty

~ I will always tell the truth.

~ I will not stand by while others tell lies.

~ I will be a champion of those seeking the truth.

If you break one of these Strictures then one of your Void points for the event is wasted. You accumulate one Misdeed each time you break these Strictures. You must remember or record each Misdeed, for you will be expected to confess these Misdeeds during the Time of Atonement.

Your Aspect protects you against Confusion and Dementia and you may use your Empathy, Hope and Patience skills to protect against these traits.

Guidance from Paragons of Secrecy

There will be times of Strife when your enemies can use Knowledge and your Honesty against you. The Paragons of Strife must protect you in these encounters. The Paragon role plays with you about the encounter and the Knowledge that must remain secret. If you agree with their reasoning they touch you can call out “This time of Strife calls for Secrecy. Imbue to Paragon.”

In the acknowledged encounter if you encounter enemies you may set aside your Strictures and maintain Secrecy without losing a Void point. You still accumulate a Misdeed which you must later confess, but your purpose is not subverted and you do not lose a Void point.

 

Paragon of Strife ~ Secrecy

You gain 3 character points.

You cannot become a Paragon of Honesty.

You are a Paragon of Strife and you have dedicated yourself to the pursuit of Secrecy. You are a champion and guardian of Knowledge. Deceit is your enemy, for it corrupts Knowledge. You embrace the Aspect of Secrecy by embracing three Strictures.

Strictures of Secrecy

~ I will not reveal secrets to our enemies.

~ I will seek out the lore to make us strong and the secrets our enemies use to weaken us.

~ I will support those who seek lost knowledge and secrets of our enemies.

If you break one of these Strictures then one of your Void points for the event is wasted. You accumulate one Misdeed each time you break these Strictures. You must remember or record each Misdeed, for you will be expected to confess these Misdeeds during the Time of Atonement.

Your Aspect protects you against Confusion and Dementia and you may use your Empathy, Hope and Patience skills to protect against these traits.

Guidance from Paragons of Honesty

There will be times of Virtue when your allies need Knowledge and your Secrecy works against them. The Paragons of Honesty must protect you in these encounters. The Paragon role plays with you about the encounter and the Knowledge that must be revealed. If you agree with their reasoning they touch you can call out “This time of Virtue calls for Honesty. Imbue to Paragon.”

 

In the acknowledged encounter if you reveal knowledge to allies or enemies you may set aside your Strictures and act with Honesty without losing a Void point. You still accumulate a Misdeed which you must later confess, but your purpose is not subverted and you do not lose a Void point.

 

Paragon of Virtue ~ Charity

You gain 5 character points.

You cannot become a Paragon of Austerity.

You are a Paragon of Virtue and you have dedicated yourself to the pursuit of Charity. You are a champion and guardian of Bounty. Avarice is your enemy, for it destroys Bounty. You embrace the Aspect of Charity by embracing three Strictures.

Strictures of Charity

~ I will be charitable, keeping only arms, armor and what I need for sustenance.

~ I will give my magical and physical aid to those on virtuous quests

~ I will be a champion to the poor and downtrodden in need of aid.

If you break one of these Strictures then one of your Void points for the event is wasted. You accumulate one Misdeed each time you break these Strictures. You must remember or record each Misdeed, for you will be expected to confess these Misdeeds during the Time of Atonement.

Your Aspect protects you against Disease and Decay and you may use your Empathy, Hope and Patience skills to protect against these traits.

Guidance from Paragons of Austerity

There will be times of Strife when your enemies can destroy Bounty and use your Charity against you. The Paragons of Strife must protect you in these encounters. The Paragon role plays with you about the encounter and the resources that must be gathered for the war ahead. If you agree with their reasoning they touch you can call out “This time of Strife calls for Austerity. Imbue to Paragon.”

In the acknowledged encounter if you encounter enemies you may set aside your Strictures and maintain Secrecy without losing a Void point. You still accumulate a Misdeed which you must later confess, but your purpose is not subverted and you do not lose a Void point.

 

Paragon of Strife ~ Austerity

You gain 3 character points.

You cannot become a Paragon of Charity.

 

You are a Paragon of Strife and you have dedicated yourself to the pursuit of Austerity. You are a champion and guardian of Bounty. Avarice is your enemy, for it destroys Bounty. You embrace the Aspect of Austerity by embracing three Strictures.

 

Strictures of Austerity

~ I will be self-sufficient.

~ I will guard my resources and skills and use no more than I need to accomplish my purpose.

~ I will oppose those who make profits on the backs or misfortune of others.

 

If you break one of these Strictures then one of your Void points for the event is wasted. You accumulate one Misdeed each time you break these Strictures. You must remember or record each Misdeed, for you will be expected to confess these Misdeeds during the Time of Atonement.

 

Your Aspect protects you against Disease and Decay and you may use your Empathy, Hope and Patience skills to protect against these traits.

 

Guidance from Paragons of Charity

There will be times of Virtue when your allies need to give away resources and Bounty to those in need and your Austerity works against them. The Paragons of Charity must protect you in these encounters. The Paragon role plays with you about the encounter and the resources that must be spent. If you agree with their reasoning they touch you can call out “This time of Virtue calls for Charity. Imbue to Paragon.”

 

In the acknowledged encounter if you reveal knowledge to allies or enemies you may set aside your Strictures and act with Charity without losing a Void point. You still accumulate a Misdeed which you must later confess, but your purpose is not subverted and you do not lose a Void point.

 

 

Paragon of Virtue ~ Humility

You gain 5 character points.

You cannot become a Paragon of Confidence.

 

You are a Paragon of Virtue and you have dedicated yourself to the pursuit of Humility. You are a champion and guardian of Dignity. Arrogance is your enemy, for it corrupts Dignity. You embrace the Aspect of Humility by embracing three Strictures.

 

Strictures of Humility

~ I will remain humble in word and deed.

~ I will raise others above me in words and deeds.

~ I will ensure that all are recognized for their deeds.

 

If you break one of these Strictures then one of your Void points for the event is wasted. You accumulate one Misdeed each time you break these Strictures. You must remember or record each Misdeed, for you will be expected to confess these Misdeeds during the Time of Atonement.

 

Your Aspect protects you against Awe and Disdain and you may use your Empathy, Hope and Patience skills to protect against these traits.

 

Guidance from Paragons of Confidence

There will be times of Strife when your enemies can subvert Dignity and use your Humility against you. The Paragons of Strife must protect you in these encounters. The Paragon role plays with you about the encounter and how you must stand forth as a Paragon to succeed. If you agree with their reasoning they touch you can call out “This time of Strife calls for Confidence. Imbue to Paragon.”

 

In the acknowledged encounter if you encounter enemies you may set aside your Strictures and adopt a Confident stature to lead without losing a Void point. You still accumulate a Misdeed which you must later confess, but your purpose is not subverted and you do not lose a Void point.

 

 

Paragon of Strife ~ Confidence

You gain 3 character points.

You cannot become a Paragon of Humility.

 

You are a Paragon of Strife and you have dedicated yourself to the pursuit of Confidence. You are a champion and guardian of Dignity. Arrogance is your enemy, for it corrupts Dignity. You embrace the Aspect of Confidence by embracing three Strictures.

 

Strictures of Confidence

~ I will approach those with doubt and offer to aid them in purpose and plan.

~ I will support those who lead so that my allies may follow them without doubt.

~ I will inspire confidence in others by lending my aid to their deeds.

 

If you break one of these Strictures then one of your Void points for the event is wasted. You accumulate one Misdeed each time you break these Strictures. You must remember or record each Misdeed, for you will be expected to confess these Misdeeds during the Time of Atonement.

 

Your Aspect protects you against Awe and Disdain and you may use your Empathy, Hope and Patience skills to protect against these traits.

 

Guidance from Paragons of Humility

There will be times of Virtue when your allies need to know and understand their limitations and your Confidence works against them. The Paragons of Humility must protect you in these encounters. The Paragon role plays with you about the encounter and the limitations of the abilities and capabilities remaining in your allies. If you agree with their reasoning they touch you can call out “This time of Virtue calls for Humility. Imbue to Paragon.”

 

In the acknowledged encounter if you caution must be taken against the forces arrayed against you then you may set aside your Strictures and act with Humility without losing a Void point. You still accumulate a Misdeed which you must later confess, but your purpose is not subverted and you do not lose a Void point.

 

 

Paragon of Virtue ~ Respect

You gain 5 character points.

You cannot become a Paragon of Anger.

 

You are a Paragon of Virtue and you have dedicated yourself to the pursuit of Respect. You are a champion and guardian of Love; of family, of allies and of the Gifted. Hatred is your enemy, for it corrupts Love. You embrace the Aspect of Respect by embracing three Strictures.

 

Strictures of Respect

~ I will never speak ill of others

~ I will stand against slander and defamation of friends and enemies.

~ I will include others in what I do and give opportunities for all to shine.

 

If you break one of these Strictures then one of your Void points for the event is wasted. You accumulate one Misdeed each time you break these Strictures. You must remember or record each Misdeed, for you will be expected to confess these Misdeeds during the Time of Atonement.

 

Your Aspect protects you against Poison and Spite and you may use your Empathy, Hope and Patience skills to protect against these traits.

 

Guidance from Paragons of Anger

There will be times of Strife when your enemies can subvert Love and use your Respect for them against you. The Paragons of Strife must protect you in these encounters. The Paragon role plays with you about the encounter and about speaking out against injustice and other evils. If you agree with their reasoning they touch you can call out “This time of Strife calls for Anger. Imbue to Paragon.”

 

In the acknowledged encounter if you encounter enemies you may set aside your Strictures and maintain Anger and leadership without losing a Void point. You still accumulate a Misdeed which you must later confess, but your purpose is not subverted and you do not lose a Void point.

 

 

Paragon of Strife ~ Anger

You gain 3 character points.

You cannot become a Paragon of Respect.

 

You are a Paragon of Strife and you have dedicated yourself to the pursuit of righteous Anger. You are a champion and guardian of those you Love and direct Anger towards those who threaten them. Hatred is your enemy, for it corrupts Love. You embrace the Aspect of Anger by embracing three Strictures.

 

Strictures of Anger

~ I will not hold back when my enemy is before me.

~ I will never lose my temper with my allies and friends.

~ I will bring righteous justice to those who have been wronged.

 

If you break one of these Strictures then one of your Void points for the event is wasted. You accumulate one Misdeed each time you break these Strictures. You must remember or record each Misdeed, for you will be expected to confess these Misdeeds during the Time of Atonement.

 

Your Aspect protects you against Poison and Spite and you may use your Empathy, Hope and Patience skills to protect against these traits.

 

Guidance from Paragons of Respect

There will be times of Virtue when your enemies will lure you and your allies into bad tactical or political positions and your Anger works against you. The Paragons of Respect must protect you in these encounters. The Paragon role plays with you about the encounter and how another is not deserving of Anger or how the time for Anger is not yet at hand. If you agree with their reasoning they touch you can call out “This time of Virtue calls for Respect. Imbue to Paragon.”

 

In the acknowledged encounter you may lay down your Anger, or temporarily stem your righteous Strife and act with Respect without losing a Void point. You still accumulate a Misdeed which you must later confess, but your purpose is not subverted and you do not lose a Void point.

 

 

Paragon of Virtue ~ Courage

You gain 5 character points.

You cannot become a Paragon of Anger.

 

You are a Paragon of Virtue and you have dedicated yourself to the pursuit of Courage. You are a champion and guardian of Resolve. Despair is your enemy, for it drains and destroys Resolve. You embrace the Aspect of Courage by embracing three Strictures.

 

Strictures of Courage

~ I will support others in their own quests of Virtue.

~ I will gather the fearful to me and lend them my courage to raise them up.

~ I will have the Courage to befriend those I do not know well.

 

If you break one of these Strictures then one of your Void points for the event is wasted. You accumulate one Misdeed each time you break these Strictures. You must remember or record each Misdeed, for you will be expected to confess these Misdeeds during the Time of Atonement.

 

Your Aspect protects you against Despair and Anguish and you may use your Empathy, Hope and Patience skills to protect against these traits.

 

Guidance from Paragons of Vigilance

There will be times of Strife when your enemies can take advantage of your Courage and use your fearlessness against you. The Paragons of Strife must protect you in these encounters. The Paragon role plays with you about the encounter and the need for caution. If you agree with their reasoning they touch you can call out “This time of Strife calls for Vigilance. Imbue to Paragon.”

 

In the acknowledged encounter if you encounter enemies you may set aside your Strictures and maintain Vigilance and caution without losing a Void point. You still accumulate a Misdeed which you must later confess, but your purpose is not subverted and you do not lose a Void point.

 

 

Paragon of Strife ~ Vigilance

You gain 3 character points.

You cannot become a Paragon of Respect.

 

You are a Paragon of Strife and you have dedicated yourself to the pursuit of Vigilance. You are a champion and guardian of Resolve. Despair is your enemy, for it drains and destroys Resolve. You embrace the Aspect of Vigilance by embracing three Strictures.

 

Strictures of Vigilance

~ I will pursue knowledge about potential dangers that threaten those I protect.

~ I will offer knowledge to those who are new to an area if I know of dangers they might face.

~ I will remain a steadfast guardian to those who trust in me.

 

If you break one of these Strictures then one of your Void points for the event is wasted. You accumulate one Misdeed each time you break these Strictures. You must remember or record each Misdeed, for you will be expected to confess these Misdeeds during the Time of Atonement.

 

Your Aspect protects you against Despair and Anguish and you may use your Empathy, Hope and Patience skills to protect against these traits.

 

Guidance from Paragons of Courage

There will be times of Virtue when your allies need to act swiftly and decisively and have faith that their Resolve will carry the day. The Paragons of Courage must protect you in these encounters. The Paragon role plays with you about the encounter and need for action in the face of overwhelming odds. If you agree with their reasoning they touch you can call out “This time of Virtue calls for Courage. Imbue to Paragon.”

 

In the acknowledged encounter if you reveal knowledge to allies or enemies you may set aside your Strictures and act with Courage without losing a Void point. You still accumulate a Misdeed which you must later confess, but your purpose is not subverted and you do not lose a Void point.

 

 

Summary

~ You embrace an Aspect of Virtue or Strife to strengthen your purpose.

~ Each aspect has Strictures which define the aspect and its role play.

~ If you fail to follow your Strictures you accumulate a Misdeed and waste a Void point.

~ You remember or record your Misdeeds so you may seek atonement from the Imaginings.

~ Following these Strictures gives you more character points for your character.

~ Becoming a Paragon of Virtue is worth 5 character points.

~ Becoming a Paragon of Strife is worth 3 character points.

~ These character points do not count when determining Initiate, Experienced or Accomplished traits.

~ You may embrace only one Virtue or Strife when you gain these skills.

~ You may be able to pursue further tests and trials to allow you to embrace additional aspects.

 

 

Sneak Preview – Races of Madrigal

Races of Madrigal

Many distinct races dwell in the lands of Aerune. Members of the many races exist in most civilized kingdoms, although old prejudiced and oppressive law can still make life difficult for folk in some of the less enlightened kingdoms. The concept of racial kingdom faded in ancient days, and now most kingdoms have a wide mix of races.

 

Humans

Willful and determined, humans are the most numerous of the races. You folk tend to be highly adaptable and creative. Humans are numerous in all cultures and kingdoms. Their personality and disposition varies greatly with country and culture. Humans have no racial make-up requirements.

Costuming: None

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Defiant, Determined, or Energetic

 

Demonbound

It is said that the nobles of Vellingrim will sometimes bind themselves to demons. True or not, you have been bound to a demon, and that demon attempts to manipulate and corrupt you. Perhaps you spent time, willingly or unwillingly, in Vellingrim. Perhaps you were exposed to some strange magic in the presence of a noble of Vellingrim. Perhaps you were subjected to the mysterious ritual of some dark cult. Whatever the reason, something is inside you and you have begun to manifest signs of demonic power.

Playing a Demonbound character means struggling against the demon inside. To prevent it from consuming you (and losing your character in the process) you will need to remain virtuous. By the time the game starts you already know that succumbing to Hubris weakens your will and gives power to the demon inside you. In other words, if your character becomes evil then the demon will take over and you will, in essence, become an NPC.

Demonbound always have at least two physical manifestations of the demonic heritage. You can choose whichever two you please, as long as the manifestation is somewhat difficult to hide. Possible Manifestations include red skin or red face markings, demonic horns, a clawed hand, a demonic tail, one hoof, or even small wings if they are deemed safe. Other feature are possible if they are approved by plot.

If you don’t like plot messing with you, being temporarily controlled by plot, or role playing some kind of alternate persona if your demon becomes, for a time, strong enough to influence you then this might not be a good race for you.

Costuming: Choose at least two from the following: red skin, red infernal markings on the face and other exposed skin, one demon claw, one demonic hoof, a demonic tail, demonic horns, small demon wings that are deemed safe, other plot approved demon themed costuming. Optional: You can have more than two demonic manifestations.

Advantages

Choose one: Clawed, Elemental Resilience, Firestarter, or Intimidating

Disadvantages

Close to Corruption, Demonic Spirit

 

Elves

The Elven people were once, it is claimed, closer to what historians have said is their Faerie roots. Even today, your graceful and pointed ears belie that notion. If the Elven people once heard the song of Faerie, however, that music was silenced when the gates to Faerie were destroyed and the Fading quietly stole the heritage of your people.

The Elves were profoundly affected by the Fading, when – in a single night – all the elves from each of the ancient Elven kingdoms simply disappeared, leaving those lands and forests empty. The proud halls of the Elves of Light, the shadowed towers of the Elves of Darkness, and even the ancient forest homes of the Elves of Nature suddenly stood empty, leaving the wanderers, diplomats, and adventures behind.

Left without kingdoms of their own, and feeling that the song of Faerie was suddenly silenced, the elves of old became lost. Some sought new beginnings in other lands, living mixed lives with many other races. Even the marks of light, darkness, and nature faded. Many elves searched the world for any remaining signs of Faerie, and came to form Houses in the presence of the remaining Faerie Lords. Some even fell to despair, and suffered darker fates.

Faded Elf

You are one of the Faded Elves. You no longer hear the song of Faerie, and any remaining vestiges of its power have left you. Although you have pointed ears like others of your kind, and a graceful curve to your eyes, you do not show any other signs of Faerie power. You are a wanderer and a survivalist, and your life as an outcast and survivor has made you quick and cunning.

Costuming: Pointed ears. Optional: A colored eye design that sweeps off the eye.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Determined, Elusive, or Willful

 

Snowcrown Elf

When the song of Faerie faded your ancestors and kin traveled to the land now called Winterwold, and sought out the Spire of Ice. That monolith has infused your people with its cold and ice, and your heritage has been changed by it. You have pointed ears and graceful, curved eyes. Your skin is frosted with icy sparkles, and your lips are white, or a very light and pale blue or violet. Many of your kind also have a similar color around the eyes. Some Snowcrown Elves have white or gray hair.

Costuming: Pointed ears, frosted lips and eyes. Optional: Frosted skin, ice colored swirled markings, white or gray hair.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Elusive, Elemental Resistance, or Winter Born

 

Spidersilk Elf

When the song of Faerie was silenced, the Lady Eranthis called to your ancestors and led them to the lands now called the Silken Call. The last Spider Sylph, Lady Eranthis has showed you the great Web and you are touched by it. The web has marked you, both physically and spiritually.

Costuming: Pointed ears, a spider web pattern over at least one fourth of the face. Optional: Black, gray or purple lips, a similar dark eye design that sweeps off the eye. Purple sparkles. Many Webwork elves wear translucent lace or web veils when they travel in unfamiliar company or territory.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Elusive, Poison Eater, or Web Weaver

 

Verdant Elf

Your kin are bolstered by the presence of The Verdant Lord, an ancient tree spirit who once walked both the Faerie realm and the Weald. Your nature has been changed by his presence, and you are much closer to the forests of the world than your kin. After the Fading your ancestors traveled into the deepest forests and wildest places following rumors and clues that led to the Verdant Lord’s clearing where he slept. He has sustained your kin, generation after generation, since that time.

Your kin are champions of the natural world. The Verdant Lord can feel the pain of the forests and natural places of the world, and as such many of your kin feel it is their place to protect those places. As your folk have served the Verdant Lord your features have grown more wild and forest like. Some of you have only a hint of the forest in your hair and features. Others have become much like the forest, with leaves in your hair, leaf like patterns on your skin, green features, and even areas of bark showing.

Costuming: Pointed ears, a green vine pattern on at least one fourth of your face, your hair has leaves. Optional: Green lips, a green eye design that sweeps off the eye, leaf markings on your face.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Elusive, Forest Walker, or Life Giving

 

Drowned Elf

After the Fading, some elves succumbed to despair and threw themselves into the sea. These elves did not truly die, however, but instead the drowned elves were found by something else. Changed by the swirling depths of the sea, these wicked elves now bear a great hatred for other Gifted Races. Players cannot be drowned elves.

Advantages

Unknown

Disadvantages

PCs cannot be Drowned Elves

 

Eurvein

Once almost fully elemental, the Eurvein in modern days retains only a small amount of that elemental power. The destruction and collapse of their underground Roots drove them forever to the surface. Each generation has seen less elemental influence. Each Eurvein has only a Core of elemental power. This is represented by a wide vein of color, at least two inches in width, starting at the hairline and falling down the face and onto the neck. The strip is a webwork of elemental veins connecting crystals that show the Eurvein’s elemental nature.

Costuming: Choose Air, Earth, Fire or Water. The element you choose makes up you Core. The color of the elemental core that shows on your face should reflect the element you chose. Air is white or light blue, sometimes with jagged lines of pale yellow, with clear or gold gems. Earth is gray or brown, sometimes with metallic streaks and metallic gems, or gems of amber or cinnamon. Fire is red and orange and yellow, with gems of fiery color. Water is blue and green, with gems of similar color, or rarely the gems have an appearance like a pearl from the sea. Optional: Eurvein can choose to use glitter instead of affixed gems. Eurvein can also use a partial mask if they wish to decorate it. Rarely an Eurvein will have an alternate pattern on their face to represent their Core so long as the look is approved by plot.

 

Advantages                                                                                                  

  • Air: Choose one advantage: Elemental Resistance, Elusive, or Shocking
  • Earth: Choose one advantage: Clawed, Elemental Resistance, or Resilient
  • Fire: Choose one advantage: Elemental Resistance, Energetic, or Firestarter
  • Water: Choose one advantage: Elemental Resistance, Elusive, or Life Giving

Disadvantages

Elemental Spirit

 

Korred

The Korred left the Faerie realm in ages past, and your kin have been roaming the land, drinking, and causing trouble ever since. Your folk tend to be wanderers, moving from place to place. Korred seem most often at home in rural areas near natural places, but perhaps you are an exception. When the world was a bit younger, the Korred felt the gates to the Faerie realm closing. You feared your kin would fade from the world. Feeling their vitality failing, the Korred journeyed to find the last Faerie Lords to save them.

Korred of Spring

Some Korred traveled deep into the forest to seek aid or advice from an ancient Faerie Lord called the Lord of Thorns. The Korred elders remembered the ancient ways and gained entry into a legendary site known only as the Root Maze. Rather than finding the Lord of Thorns on a throne of roots as was foretold, they found him gravely wounded in body and spirit. Before the Korred could learn what had caused such a terrible attack, the Thorn Lord used the last of his power and with his dying breath bolstered the Korred with the power of Weald.

The Korred of Spring have not squandered the gift of the Lord of Thorns. They have thrived from his gift, and the power of the forests themselves course through their veins.

Costuming: Faerie horns which can be satyr like, deer like, or larger. Pointed ears, wild hair with leaves entwined. Optional: Green swirls or warpaint, green lips, green hair. Some Korred embrace the thorns of their namesake lord, and have vines with thorns entwined in their hair, or as a crown, or even extended from their wild fingers a long claws.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Energetic, Forest Walker, or Life Giving,

Disadvantages

Faerie Spirit

 

Korred of Autumn

Not all Korred gained strength from the Weald. Some looked away from the Root Maze and the Faerie Lord who slept there, and instead used rhyme and song to awake the Goblin King from his visions and his curses. They came before that strange being and asked that he open the Faerie Gates before they faded from the world. The Goblin King shook his head sadly and told them it was not within his power to do so. The Goblin King would not, however, let the Korred fade away. Instead he bid the Korred to drink from the remaining power of the ruined pool he guarded. And so the Korred drank the last magic from the Well of Souls, before it faded forever, and became infused with the power of Gloaming.

The Korred of Autumn are sustained by Gloaming, but the Goblin King’s gift has a price. They do not simply witness death when it happens around them. They feel it. They feel the spirits slipping away, and have visions and dreams of the deaths they see for days or weeks after. The visions of deaths of those important to them might last for years. Each Korred of Autumn reacts to this differently; some become withdrawn, but many have developed a jaded and perhaps sardonic outlook because of it.

Costuming: Faerie horns, sometimes black, which can be satyr like, deer like, or larger. Black lips. Optional: Some Korred still have pointed ears, but some do not; their Faerie nature has fled from them entirely. Korred of the Black often have dark, exaggerated lashes. Some show dark color over the eyes as well. Some Korred have a glittery sheen of purple or some other dark color. They tend to wear black, and also tend to favor the fancy dress of the Highborn Faerie Lords and Ladies of old.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Determined, Feed on Fear, or Willful

Disadvantages

Faerie Spirit

 

Orcs

Your people are tusked, rough skinned warriors and raiders that dwell at the fringes of Aerune. You are warriors, and hunters, and sometimes you are raiders if times demand it. You have been called savage, honorable, fierce, and a number of other names and titles; some deserved, some not.

Your people follow a philosophy that you call Ahzrahn, which translates to “Forward, not backward.” This concept has a number of applications in society, philosophy, and tactics. Your kin believe they should always look forward, and not regret or dwell on the past. It is important to let the past go and concentrate on the future, and looking at what has passed is only useful if the lessons will inform future decisions. This concept permeates the orc culture, and has a number of applications.

With Ahzrahn, holding grudges is wasteful. If an Orc is wronged they will and should seek restitution. An Orc’s honor, after all, is important. Once the matter is dealt with, however, then the matter is dropped. Likewise, Orcs find regret wasteful. While it is wise to look for ways to improve, empty regret serves no one.

Orcs also value victory greatly, and if a victory is achieved it seems useless to Orcs to argue about the details. While failure is certainly questioned, victory is celebrated. It’s not so much that the ends justify the means; a victory must be honorable to be worthy. If an honorable victory is achieved, however, details are washed away. If an Orc, as an example, seizes victory they are celebrated even if they disobeyed a leader to do so. The concept of “Seize Victory” is an important tenet, and it has both led Orcs to stunning wins and sometimes to crushing defeats. If you go against the command of a warlord in an attempt to “seize victory” you do so with the understanding that if it doesn’t turn out well you shouldn’t survive the outcome.

You people also share the belief that a warrior is measured by their enemy. This idea that the honor of a warrior and their enemy is entwined is important to your kin. As such, honoring the enemy is an important facet of your own honor. Trivializing an honorable enemy is also insulting those who fight against them. A worthy foe makes a worthy warrior, and a lesser foe means victory is hollow. Those who insult your enemies rob you of true honor in victory against them. As such, your kin can find insult in words that marginalize your enemy.

 

Frostrime Orcs

You dwell far in the north, and you have embraced the cold, the ice, and the harsh blizzards of Winterwold. When you first arrived your Shamans called to the Spire of Ice and you drank deep from its magic. Now that monolith is denied to you, at least while the truce with the other races stands.

Costuming: You have lower tusks that protrude from your mouth, and your skin is either gray or pale green. You face is accented with a darker gray or green wear wrinkles might be. Some of your kin have dark gray skin and wear lighter war paint, and some of your kin have light gray or green skin and wear darker war paint. Optional: Some orcs have ridges and other misshapen features represented by prosthetics or masks.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Rip Free, Willful, or Winter Born

 

Sunscar Orcs

You dwell far to the south, in the barren badlands called the Five Scars. You raid north into the desert ruins to take food, water and valuables from treasure seekers. You also raid in the far northern kingdoms when the Shamans hear the call of the Searing Way, and those gates of fire open to lands far away; lands ripe with food, water, and other valuables.

Costuming: You have lower tusks that protrude from your mouth. Your skin is tan with brown wrinkles, or dark green with black wrinkles. War paint is common, and gold jewelry taken from the ruins, treasure seekers, or raids with a further reach is a sign of strength. Optional: Some orcs have ridges and other misshapen features represented by prosthetics or masks.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Defiant, Intimidating, or Resilient

 

Shoathri

You take the form of one mammal or avian animal from the natural world. You are a shifter, and you can spend time in animal form, or you might also take a form that is almost human. Your face shows a distinctive and unique red mark that is visible and consistent in both human and animal form. Some Shoathri are in animal form most of the time, while others tend to take animal form when they become angered or agitated. In the past the Shoathri were considered a savage race, and some kingdoms have even treated them as little more than property. While many Shoathri follow the Pale, or become Shaman and live in the wilderness, others have embraced civilization and fight this perception that they are savage or less civilized than other races. When you are ready to change forms, you will become agitated and feel the need to be alone. You will transform during this restless state. You have the Beast trait while you are in your animal form.

Costuming: Both your forms have a distinctive and easily seen red marking on your face. The mark remains the same in both forms. When you change to animal form you create an animal like appearance with makeup, prosthetics, a mask, or a combination of these. Exposed skin should also be animal like. Optional: You may have a tail, horns, and similar costuming additions as appropriate for your chosen animal.

 

Hunter Shoathri

Your animal lineage comes from an animal that hunts prey to survive. Your natural instinct is to stalk prey, and you can be, if you are not careful, the most savage of the Shoathri. Your civilized self, if you embrace that aspect, constantly resists aggressively pursue what it wants, whether the urge is the basic need to hunt for food, or some stronger emotion that you want to satisfy.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Clawed, Defiant, or Energetic

Disadvantages

Bestial Spirit

 

Sprinter Shoathri

Your animal lineage comes from an animal that moves quickly and uses evasion to survive. Your natural instinct is to constantly want to move from place to place, looking for safe havens in which to find food. You are watchful, and your civilized self constantly resists the urge to be wary and move about.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Elusive, Energetic, or Life Giving

Disadvantages

Bestial Spirit

 

Trickster Shoathri

Your lineage is that of an animal that scavenges for food and objects, and evades danger using cunning.  Your natural instinct is to examine things and figure them out, always trying to open things to see if food is inside. Your civilized self constantly resists the urge to take things, open things, and figure out the secrets of objects you find.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Clawed, Determined, or Poison Eater

Disadvantages

Bestial Spirit

 

Trolls

Your people dwell in the high mountains, though sometimes they descend into the kingdoms below if they have some business with the lowlanders, or they are just bored and looking to cause trouble. You have large, over-sized lower tusks protruding out and large horns. The horns of your people vary wildly in size. Many trolls feel that the best horns are large horns that curve and sweep back off the forehead. If any troll ever purchased the Highborn header a thousand of your brethren would storm down from the mountains and drag the drunken sot away to be kicked and beaten until the rampant violence had restored them to their senses. There are probably other skills you would pick on a troll for learning but sometimes your kin do things like that just to be stubborn.

Stone Troll

Your kin are the most magnificent of the troll folk, and it is well known that you are stronger than your Mountain Troll kin. The skin of your Stone Troll kin is stone gray with deep highlights. Some Stone Trolls have stone like cracks running up the neck or from the jaw line or down from the forehead.

Costuming: Required: Large horns, lower tusks, gray skin with black wrinkles. You may use gray stone like patterns on your face rather than full gray coverage. Optional: Some trolls have darker beast-like noses or lips. Some have stone-like cracks running along their faces.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Elemental Resistance, Resilient, or Rip Free

 

Mountain Troll

Your kin are the most magnificent of the troll folk, and it is well known that you are stronger than your Stone Troll kin. The skin of your Mountain Troll kin is tan with deep brown highlights. Some Mountain Trolls have stone like cracks running up the neck or from the jaw line or down from the forehead.

Costuming: Required: Large horns, lower tusks, tan skin with brown wrinkles. You may use tan highlights on your face rather than full tan coverage. Optional: Some trolls have darker beast-like noses or lips.

Advantages

Choose one advantage: Intimidating, Resilient, or Rip Free

 

Undying

You have been tainted by Malediction, and although you have thrown off that taint, the Foul has left its mark on you. Your horrific existence is the price you have paid for escaping the madness of true undeath. You are neither living nor dead. The Undying are created when humans are tainted with Maledictionand have somehow escaped their eventual fate. Perhaps you willingly allowed a vampire to feed on you in the presence of the Foul. Perhaps you were slain by the undead and carried their taint with you when you passed through the Gate of Death. Perhaps you were infected by the Fever of the Foul. Regardless, you have become one of the Undying. Although you were cured, or somehow fought off the taint of Malediction, it has left its mark upon you. During the day you appear to be human, but when night falls you take on an undead appearance that shows your true nature.

Ghul Undying

You take the appearance of an undead with dark rings around your eyes and blackened lips. While many Ghul simply have pale skin, some Ghul have become pallid white or gray and have rotting skin. Many Ghuls are clawed.

Advantages

No Metabolism. Choose one advantage: Clawed, Corrupted Rage, or Intimidating

(You may only use advantages at night while you are in Undying form.)

Disadvantages

Close to Corruption, Undead Spirit

 

Spectral Undying

You form at night becomes almost incorporeal. The color washes from your clothes. You either become entirely white, like a spectre, or entirely black like a wraith. When night comes and you transform the armor and weapons you carry become ghost-like as well.

Advantages

No Metabolism. Choose two advantages: Clawed, Corrupted Rage, Feed on Fear, Ghostly, or Intimidating

(You may only use advantages at night while you are in Undying form.)

Disadvantages

Close to Corruption. In Undying Form: Non-Corporeal, Susceptible to Light, Undead Spirit

 

Vampyr Undying

Your transformation into a vampire of Malediction has been interrupted or somehow forestalled. Although you look human during the day, you must travel hooded. If direct sunlight touches any part of your skin, you are weakened and strickened by its touch. You are forever cloaked against the rays of the sun. At night your transformation is less noticeable than other Undying. You grow fangs, certainly, but you can pass as human if others do not observe your fangs. You hunger for the blood of the Gifted races, but you must take it only after a ritual of purification, and if you take it unwillingly you will become tainted with Malediction and succumb to that madness and violent nature.

Advantages

Choose two advantages: Corrupted Rage, Elusive, Feed on Fear, Intimidating, or Willful

(You may only use advantages at night while you are in Undying form.)

Disadvantages

Close to Corruption, Hunger for Blood, Undead Spirit

 

Grotesque

Your body was once an unliving effigy; an inanimate form with a humanoid shape that was awoken, and somehow gained consciousness and purpose. You became infused with Chimera as a result. During the day you appear as a human. Night, however, reveals your true form, and your human façade fades away as your constructed form comes forth.

 

Alabaster Grotesque

Your form is that of a porcelain figure, like a doll or statuette. You are entirely white, although you wear clothing as would one who is truly alive. Some of the Alabaster have painted decorations on an otherwise white face. Alabaster Grotesque most often come from Dremasque.

Costuming: During the day you appear as human, except you have faint white cracks on your face and neck. At night your face and other visible skin becomes pure white, either by using make up or wearing a mask. Optional: You have decoration on your face or hands as well, either lines that show joints, paint like a doll, or both. Some Grotesque have fainted gray cracks. We encourage creative costuming for this race when it takes full Grotesque form.

Advantages

No Metabolism. Choose one advantage: Feed on Fear, Intimidating, or Repairable

Disadvantages

Chimerical, Susceptible to Despair

 

Harvester Grotesque

You were a scarecrow or other cloth, stuffed effigy. You are made of course cloth stuffed with straw. At night your face shows the stitching and whatever decoration was painted upon your form. Harvest Grotesque comes from many lands.

Costuming: During the day you appear as human, except you have tan or brown cracks on your face and neck. At night your face and other visible skin becomes tan or brown like a scarecrow, either by using make up or wearing a mask. Optional: Straw pokes out of your sleeves and neck. Your face is painted like a scarecrow. We encourage creative costuming for this race when it takes full Grotesque form.

Advantages

No Metabolism. Choose one advantage: Feed on Fear, Elusive, or Forest Walker

Disadvantages

Chimeral, Susceptible to Fire

 

Forged Grotesque

You were a metal statue, construct, or even a suit of armor that somehow gained free will. You are metallic. At night, when your true nature is revealed, you appear to be metallic. People can see your joints and rivets. Forged Grotesque most often come from Coalmire, although rarely one of the guardians of the Free City of Ket will gain free will.

Costuming: During the day you appear as human, except you have metallic cracks on your face and neck. At night your face and other visible skin becomes metallic, either by using make up or wearing a mask or full helmet. Optional: Rivets, joint lines, armor protrusions. We encourage creative costuming for this race when it takes full Grotesque form.

Advantages

No Metabolism. Choose one advantage: Energetic, Repairable, Resilient, or Shocking

Disadvantages

Chimeral, Susceptible to Rust

 

Racial Advantages

Clawed

You may grow and retract claws in both hands with which you may attack and parry. You may fight with a claw in each hand at the same time, but you may not fight with claws and other weapons or a shield. You may use one long claw and one medium claw. If you have another ability that also allows you to use claws, you may instead fight with two long claws. The time it takes to prepare the claws or put them away is the time it takes to grow or retract the claws.

Corrupted Rage

If you are struck by an effect with the Malediction trait you may choose to call out “Reduce to Frenzy” to negate the attack and allow the Malediction to cast you into a mindless rage.

Defiant

Once per long rest, call out “Resist” to negate one Mental attack.

Determined

Once per event when one of your skills or spells is negated by a called defense you may choose to use this skill instead of exhausting attributes for that ability. Call out “Imbue by Determination” instead of exhausting attributes for a skill negated by a defense.

Elemental Resistance

Once per long rest, call out “Resist” to negate one Elemental attack.

Elusive

Once per long rest, call out “Purge” to end one Paralyze, Root, or Slow effect delivered by a melee, missile, or packet attack.

Energetic

Once per event you may re-use a skill that is “once per long rest” or “once per short rest” that you have already used. You must still pay attribute costs.

Feed on Fear

Each time you make an attack with the Fear trait and the target role plays the effect (and doesn’t negate it with a defense) call out “Heal to Self.”

Firestarter

Once per long rest, call out “4 Damage by Fire” and make a melee, missile, or packet attack to burn your foes.

Forest Walker

Twice per event, if you are touching a tree that is too wide to place your hands around while touching fingers and thumbs, Refresh one point of Earth or Water.

Ghostly

Once per short rest, call out “Purge” to end one Physical effect.

Intimidating

Once per long rest, call out “Agony by Fear” and make a melee, missile, or packet attack to unnerve your foe.

Life Giving

Twice per long rest, call out “Heal 2 by Weald” and make a packet attack to heal an ally.

No Metabolism

Once per short rest, call out “Resist” to negate one Metabolic attack.

Poison Eater

Once per short rest, call out “Resist” to negate a Poison attack and then call out “Heal 2 to Self” as the toxin heals you.

Repairable

If you receive a Repair Armor effect delivered as a melee, packet, or touch attack you can treat some or all of those points as healing. You can choose to convert one or more points of a Repair Armor effect to a Heal effect. If you are unconscious the first point of Repair Armor must be used to restore you to 1 Vitality. This skill does not work when you spend Focus time to refresh your armor points; only when an ability with a Repair Armor effect is delivered by melee, packet, or touch.

Resilient

Once per long rest, call out “Resist” to negate one attack with a Physical trait.

Rip Free

Once per long rest, call out “Purge” to end one Physical effect.

Shocking

Once per long rest, call out “4 Damage by Lightning” and make a melee, missile, or packet attack to electrocute your foes.

Web Weaver

Spend 10 seconds of focus, unweaving webs around the recipient, and call out
“Cure Web” to free them of a web effect. This ability requires a free hand.

Willful

Once per long rest, call out “Purge” to end one Mental effect.

Winter Born

Once per short rest, call out “Resist” to negate a Cold or Ice attack and then call out “Heal 2 to Self” as the cold or ice heals you.

 

Racial Disadvantages

Bestial Spirit

You gain the Beast trait. You are considered by some evil folk to be less than human.

Chimerical

Your form is sustained by the magic of Chimera. You have the Chimera trait.

Close to Corruption

You are more susceptible to Malediction. If you end the event with the Malediction trait bad things might happen. You are required to send a separate message to plot if this occurs.

Demonic Spirit

You have the Demon trait. You are not affected by beneficial effects with the “to Demon” trait if they are delivered as a “By My Voice” attack.

As someone tainted with Demonic power, some folk have an unreasoning hatred of you.

You are constantly tempted by the demonic voice inside you. If you ever fully give in you could become evil and your character could become an NPC.

Elemental Spirit

You seethe with elemental power. You have the Elemental trait.

Faerie Spirit

Even though the gates have closed, you still have the blood of the Fae. You have the Faerie trait.

Hunger for Blood

Although you can eat food for pleasure, you do not gain sustenance from it. You do not pay maintenance. You start the event with one point of Void already exhausted. Once per event, you may perform your feeding ritual to restore this exhausted Void point.

To perform your feeding ritual, you must have a willing victim who will allow you to drink their blood. You spend one minute of Focus performing a Ritual of Purification to cleanse the feeding area of Malediction. This ritual will require a chalice, cup, or goblet and props to mark off a circle where the Purification has occurred. When complete, you Focus for 10 seconds to role playing the feeding. This involves role playing drawing blood from the wrist into the purified vessel, calling out “Waste Void by Blood” to drain the victim, and role playing drinking the contents. The process will restore one point of Void.

If you ever drink the blood of an unwilling victim, or feed off a willing victim without the Ritual of Purification, you will gain the Malediction trait. An Undying Vampyr must be careful, for feeding in the presence of a plot creature that seethes with Malediction, even after the Ritual of Purification, can taint both the Undying and the victim. Being tainted by Malediction for too long will drive you to Hubris and madness, and can lead to a loss of your character.

(As a reminder, the exhausted Void point does not affect the number of times you may refresh your attributes. That is based on your maximum Void.)

Non-Corporeal

When night falls and you take your Undying form, you become spectral. Your form and all items you are carrying become slightly out of phase. During this time moving objects becomes harder. You can only use weapons and armor you were carrying or wearing when you transformed. You cannot move the bodies of other characters.

You cannot move game objects that are less than a foot in length, such as treasure, puzzles, written props, and the like. You cannot loot corpses or pick up treasure in the form of coins or tags. You cannot carry plot items such as boxes of food, weapons, or written text props.

You can still use spells and skills like First Aid on other characters. You can move doors, furniture, blankets, and similar non-game objects in the environment. You can move food and drink. You can open chests, but you cannot take anything small inside them.

Susceptible to Despair

Whenever you are hit with an attack with the Despair trait you take “1 Damage by Will” as an additional effect.

Susceptible to Fire

Whenever you are hit with an attack with the Fire trait you take “1 Damage by Fire” as an additional effect.

Susceptible to Light

Whenever you are hit with an attack with the Light trait you take “1 Damage by Light” as an additional effect.

Susceptible to Rust

Whenever you are hit with an attack with the Water trait you take “1 Damage by Rust” as an additional effect.

Undead Spirit

You have the Undead trait. You are not affected by beneficial effects with the “to Undead” trait if they are delivered as a “By My Voice” attack.

As someone with an undead taint, some folk have an unreasoning hatred of you. Your undead nature sometimes makes it harder for you to remain Virtuous.

 

 

 

Sneak Preview – The Free City of Ket

This is a sneak preview of the Free City of Ket. 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 Free City of Ket

Introduction

Like a shining jewel on the southern coast of the Inner Sea, the Free City of Ket sprawls along the River Vitas until it spills along the coast looking out onto the Bay of Gold. The free city ranges from opulent to squalid, and fortunes in the Free City can change quickly. With the rarity of gold mines in the northern kingdoms, the Free City of Ket would be rich simply trading gold from all the mines the city controls. The flow of wealth is exaggerated by treasure seekers looking to explore and plunder the ancient ruins to the south.

The vast desert south of the Free City holds seemingly endless ruins full of dangers and treasures of great value. The shifting sands move like tides, revealing and hiding ruins, tombs, and halls of the once great kingdom of Onhur. Not only do these ruins contain wealth and magical treasures, but the ruins are the only source of Sun Gold that is known to exist. Sun Gold is prized by enchanters because it will hold more potent magic than normal precious metals.

The Free City of Ket is ruled by Hekros, a scaled entity who has, if rumors are to be believed, an impressive amount of magical knowledge. Hekros claims to be the last remaining member of an ancient race called the Armitage. Whether any of this is true is up for debate by many scholars. Regardless of whether you believe this, Hekros has ruled the Free City since its inception two centuries ago and has demonstrated on a number of occasions its competence in combat, magic, and knowledge of the politics of the kingdoms of Aerune.

Hekros, who carries the title of The Majestic, makes sure that the city maintains a strict neutrality. Because the Free City allows for and maintains free trade, any number of explorers and tomb raiders use Ket as a base of operation for expeditions into the south. Merchants do pay a reasonable tax to the city, but in return they are protected by both the Scaled Guard who serve The Majestic, and by stone constructs that roam the city and uphold the laws.

The Free City operates largely on the concept of contracts. A signed contract is binding, and it is illegal to break a contract signed by an Oath Scribe who is authorized by the city. As a result, all manner of business is conducted in the city, and all types of goods are traded within the walls of Ket. A number of goods are outlawed, including slavery of all types, and artifacts or magic of Necromancy, Malediction, or the Foul.

Not everyone is in agreement with the laws or policies of the city. There are tribesmen of the southern deserts who are not at all happy that folk from the northern kingdoms are intruding upon the ruins of their once great nation. To many of them, those who violate the sanctity of the ancient kingdom are cursed and deserving of death, whether they are tomb robbers, treasure seekers, or historians. When added to the many dangers present in the tombs themselves, the southern lands are quite inhospitable to travelers.

The Desert

Two once great nations lay buried beneath the sands of the Great Desert. The Desert has always been and will always be, but twice has a mighty nation risen from the barren lands, only to be reclaimed by time and the shifting sands of the ever consuming Desert. The bones of the past, crumbling ruins of once great cities and tombs of stone, are sometimes exposed by great storms of wind and sand. The ruins can provide great riches for those who dare to explore them before they are again buried.

The dangers of exploring the desert and its ruins are many beyond just death from exposure and thirst. The ruins and even the sands themselves are home to countless undead and malevolent spirits seeking to rend and feed upon the living. A number of great and ancient undead even claim some of the ruins as their own, often gathering masses of undead servants to defend their domain.

There is also life within the Desert. The River Vitas winds through the heart of the Desert, flowing towards the Free City of Ket and into the sea beyond it. There are also hidden islands of life – known as Tanuras – in remote places where water is near enough to the surface for plants and life to survive. Surrounding the banks of the river and the sanctuary of the Tanuras are stubborn forests, remnants of ancient and magical attempts to bring life to the vast sea of sand.

Amongst these scattered oases and magical forests live the tribes of the desert. The tribes are varied in composure with a mixture of Shoathri, Ghuls, and even Sunscar Orcs who have left the Five Scars. Some have lived in the deserts their entire lives, descended from the inhabitants of the last great civilization to thrive there. Others were brought against their will by the Orcs to the South, and have since gained their freedom and joined with the native tribes. Others still come to feel more at home in the desert and its ruins as they adventured for its secrets and treasures, and have chosen to stay.

They are a scattered people, with little in the way of written history or law, but traditions are a strong guiding force that binds them together even as they raid and skirmish amongst themselves. To not only survive in such a harsh place, but to do so with a sense of honor, is something many Children of the Sand take pride in.

Nomadic and under constant threat of attack by undead, orcs, opportunists heading out of Ket, and other tribes, the Children of the Sands have learned to be wary, but also to celebrate the moments of safety they can share with those who would do them no harm.

Among the tribes there are those who simply seek to survive and raid as they always have, but some have either greater causes or more ambitions. Some tribes trade not just the goods they find with the outside world, but also their skill at arms, serving as mercenaries in the desert lands. Others view themselves as the rightful defenders of the thrice dead land, and seek out the undead, slavers, orcs, and generally wicked to hunt without mercy.

Costuming

There is no specific look in the Free City of Ket. Too many travelers, and too many factions, ensure that the city is a menagerie of colors and styles. The only constant is that visitors and locals alike must dress for the hot days and the cool nights brought by the surrounding desert and sea to the Free City.

The clothing of the tribes is driven by the necessity of surviving the harsh desert.  Their clothing tends toward light loose fitting shirts, tunics, and pants though some priests do wear robes.   Few choose to wear simple whites or blacks, preferring bright colors to contrast the unchanging white of sand. They rarely cover their faces except to veil themselves against the harsh sun and wind driven sand.  The people of the tribes have nothing to hide, so Ghul, Shoathri, and human alike display who and what they are so that they will be known and recognized.

The warriors and scouts of the tribes prefer leather bracers and grieves augmented by light chain rather than full suits of armor.  The fighting in the sands is one of hit and run engagements often in the dark of night rather than full stand-up fights.

As wealth must be moved in their nomadic life, jewelry is the favored form of riches, and an accomplished desert mercenary will have a few flashy pieces for special occasions or to demonstrate wealth during negotiation. It is considered vain to wear said wealth all the time, however, and impractical to do so in combat where it might be damaged.

Roleplaying

With so many different factions in the city, the attitudes and mannerisms have a great variety. The only constant is the sanctity of the negotiation, the agreement, and ultimately the contract.

As the Children of the Sand:

~ Seek the wisdom of experience when approaching a new problem.

~ Cherish what is good in life, such as companionship, food, and safety, but embrace that death comes for all, and thus is not to be feared. “We are keeping the Reaper waiting, best have a happy story for him when we finally arrive,” is a common saying among children of the sands.

~ Wastefulness and overconsumption are terrible sins, though outsiders in their land of plenty might not understand that.

~ Undead of Malediction have shown that evil will lurk forever if not hunted down. To be a hunter of such things is as much a necessity as water or food.

~ For many of the tribes, outsiders trespassing in the sacred lands and ruins is a crime, and it must be punished. For the most extreme tribes, that punishment is death.

Religion

All religions are followed, or ignored, in the Free City of Ket.

Among the Children of the Sand, priests of the Woven faith have been present the longest, or at least are the deepest rooted in most tribes. The Threadbearers offer hope and guidance even in the bleakest reaches of the desert, and so the tradition of priests has remained strong through generations. While not quite as pervasive, animal shamanism also persists as an old practice among the Children of the Sands, perhaps brought in with the many Shoathri.

Followers of the Celestial Court or the Pale are rare, but not unheard of, as many tribes have taken in the lost or enslaved, some of whom follow these religions of distant lands, but there is no strong tradition of either.

Magic

Arcane Magic is much more common in the Free City of Ket than other places in Aerune, except, of course, for the Guild Arcana. Three rival Mage’s Guilds vie for prestige and attention and sell services to travelers far and wide. The Left Eye of Collose, the Backburners, and the Guild of the Gray Hand are all powerful guilds that practice, study, and theorize to rise above their rivals. This makes magic of all types more common in the Free City than elsewhere.

Society

Rather than houses or nobles, there are a number of factions in the city that vie for power, trade for wealth, and value secrets.

The Catalyst Club is an exclusive and expensive private resort that caters to the rich. In reality it is the headquarters for a group of individuals who believe that the pursuit of experiences is the ultimate goal in life. At its inception, The Catalyst Club was almost all Cat Shoathri that sought the history and knowledge of ancient houses of their kind in the ruins. In time they formed the Catalyst Club, and now the inner circle boasts a number of races and it is growing quickly. The Catalyst Club specializes in all types of intoxicating and recreational alchemy. They also arrange for other types of experiences and thrills. They have been known to arrange hunting expeditions to kill dangerous prey, engaging in brutal but non-lethal fighting tournaments, and even seeking and experiencing a wide variety of magical spells and effects.

Her Six Blades is a religious group that believes that the Queen of the Moon of the Celestial Court will end the world. They claim to serve and worship that goddess, although most Magi of the Celestial Court decry the Six Blades as a cult. The Six Blades also hires itself out as assassins, and is both skilled at that profession and feared because of it.

The Beggar King is a mysterious entity that claims to watch over and protect the many beggars in the city. Whether this is an actual person or a collective myth, sometimes bad things happen to those who mistreat the beggars of the city, and this is often attributed to the Beggar King’s judgment.

The Mercenary Guild is a city wide guild that employs all manner of mercenaries and hires them out to both domestic and foreign interests. The guild aggressively recruits, and those mercenaries and adventurers who frequent the city often and do not join the guild may find themselves in an ever-escalating series of confrontations about their involvement with the Guild. Bullying aside, the Guild has an excellent reputation for provided well trained and competent people for a wide variety of jobs.

There are three rival Mage’s Guilds within the confines of the city; the Left Eye of Collose, the Backburners, and the Guild of the Gray Hand.

Regions

The Free City of Ket is located at the head of the River Vitas, where it empties into the Bay of Gold. The City is divided into sections called quarters, even though there are now more than four districts and number six or seven distinct areas depending on who you ask.

To the south winds the River Vitae, and old forests kept alive with ancient Weald magic stubbornly cling to the banks of the Vitas and cluster around various oasis and crevasses in the desert floor. These out of place stretches of forest are remnants of an earlier time when nobles of Onhur attempted to use magic to bring the desert back to life. Scattered in the broken lands and trackless desert, the Children of the Sands maintain caravans and tent cities.

The Desert has many creatures in addition to the undead in the ruins. Giant and dangerous insects roam the desert, and tribes of particularly dangerous lizard-folk hunt along and in the River Vitas further south. Orcs from the Five Scars also are found north of their lands to hunt and raid. They know expeditions of treasure seekers can be laden with loot from the ruins.

People

Hekros, The Majestic is the ruler of the Free City of Ket. Rumored to be centuries old, it founded the city and rules it to this day. It upholds the law with the Scaled Guard and a number of stone golems that roam the city and keep the peace.

Selicia Goldenbrow is the current head of the Catalyst Club. She is savvy and politic, and she can be ruthless if her club or her people are threatened. Although in the past she sought all manner of experiences, these days she most appreciates the rush of politics and power. Selicia is a well decorated Cat Shoathri.

Ekmet Tallis is the captain of the Scaled Guard, and the right hand man and voice of The Majestic when it is not available to speak. Ekmet is dour and suspicious and has standing orders to keep, in his words, “rubes and gawkers” from wasting the time of The Majestic.