Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Orathian’s Brescia Downtime

Orathian Bjomolf
Orathian walked in the brisk morning air, giving himself and his pack some distance from the harsh and rueful eyes of Brescia and the coughing dwarf woman and turned his gaze towards the solemn Ironcrags to the north. The sun was on the rise, its unyielding rays causing Orathian’s weasel to jump from the light to the druid’s other shoulder. Orathian smiled, summoned his will and transferred his senses to his raven companion Zoltan flying overhead trusting the white wolf Ghost to guard him while the druid was temporarily distracted. They followed his every direction, the druid’s companions, even into slimy dungeons; getting away from civilization would be good therapy for the pack before traveling to Zobeck.

Using Zoltan’s senses, Orathian looked for a glade or other suitable place of solitude on this the first day of Orathian’s retraining, leaving behind his old warrior ways of Northman raiding to fully embrace the druidic path. Ghost seemed to sense Orathian’s discovery because the wolf howled as his master found a location that fit the druid’s needs.

A half hour later, the Weasel now sleeping in Orathian’s hip sack and Zoltan perched on the druid’s shoulder, Orathian found what he had seen with the raven’s eyes from over a mile away; it was a tree seemingly grown independent from the soil of the earth. The curving tree’s green leaves were tinged with red and sometimes brown, and provided a natural habitat for each member of Orathian’s pack; tree boughs for Zoltan, small dark holes for Weasel, and a canopy of roots over dry cool flat stone for the druid and Ghost.

Orathian set about immediately drawing power within him before opening a dialogue with the tree, a meditative exercise that gathered his will, but before he could continue a ripple from the tree caused the druid to look closer. Orathian stood transfixed as a green light that began as a pin hole parted the tree bark like heavy curtains as a beautiful green eyed woman stepped lithely from the green light emanating from the trunk of the tree and stood silently before the druid. The woman had small twigs, feathers, and leaves weaved into the braids of her red locks; she wore a green gown magical boots and a simple stick as a weapon. Behind her, the light was gone and the tree appeared as it had before. She was a wild child and the druid loved her at once.

Orathian’s mouth went dry, “Who are you?” Orathian said without any measure of decorum and corrected himself. “I’m sorry, where are my manners? Good morning my lady, I am the druid Orathian of the Northlands and these are my pack.” He said as he motioned to Ghost and the rest. “May I have the pleasure of knowing name?” At the druid’s side Ghost stood passively.

Several uncomfortable moments passed as Orathian struggled to stay silent; Orathian was not very well spoken in the best of days, but in front of this woman, he felt compelled to speak. The woman looked to his pack and Orathian detected a glint of a smile and when he did it occurred to the druid she was fey born and likely did not immediately understand him. Orathian considered and instead addressed her in the druidic tongue, the effect was immediate.

Her name was Brighid and she too was a druid and once the language barrier was breeched, they talked into the night. She explained that the night before she came to this very tree seeking to call her animal companion because her path to that achievement deviated early in her travels. Brighid was a cohort to Yngvi druid of the White Forest to the south following him instead of following the call of the wild. Brighid eventually would explain how Yngvi died successfully defending the Scarlet Citadel from dark beasts leaving her behind and alone. Since then she has been looking for a ley line to tap into its power, which is why she came here to this same tree.

Later that night lying naked under the canopy of stars and the light of the moon, both druids, their legs and arms wrapped around each other, “I can teach you how to call your companion and create a bond with a pack of your own.” Orathian said offering his expertise in exchange for her help in the remaining days before his travel to Zobeck.

“Thank you, but you too came here for a reason,” Brighid said slyly. “Orathian, you did not tell me why you came here.” A look of concern on her beautiful features.

“I must train, refocus my talents, harden my resolve, and at the same time build a better bond with Ghost.” He replied as it occurred to each of them they could help each other out in ways neither of them could have dreamt. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Downtime resources

As mentioned earlier, I would like to implement our fame score, albeit a little creatively. As your heroes travel Midgard spreading the words of Thor and Loki, your success and fame shall bring you reward. Each new region you win over will herald you. With gifts of all manner, and to your liking. Each region shall collectively give you downtime resources for you to spend as you wish. This will be based off your fame score. Once these units are spent in a region, you will have to purchase them as per usual rules explained in the SRD. There is however one important exception. As you all know, magic is somewhat rare in Midgard. Thus the value of one unit of magic is 1,000 gp instead of 100.

Now then, the formula to calculate what resources you are gifted are easy, and as follows.
You earn a number of goods equal to your fame score multiplied by .7 . You earn a number of labor equal to your fame score multiplied by .7 . You earn a number of influence equal to your fame score. Finally, you earn a number of magic equal to your fame score multiplied by .2 . We will be going by the suggested fame point rewards from the SRD, which means you all get to add 1 fame point for each level you have attained. Also, I have decided that each mythic tier you achieve garners 5 fame points. So a seventh level character with four mythic tiers would have a minimum fame score of 27. You can not sell these free units for coin. Please feel free to post questions or comments in the comment section of this post.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Free City of Zobeck

The Free City of Zobeck shares borders with four states: the dwarven Ironcrag cantons to the west, the undead-ruled Principalities of Morgau and Doresh to the north and east, the human kingdom of the Magdar to the south, and the female dominated Duchy of Perun’s Daughter far to the east, at the mouth of the River Argent. Together, these regions, and nearby areas like the Margreve forest, the Cloudwall Mountains, the subterranean cities of the Ghoul Imperium and Lillefor, and the Electoral Kingdom of Krakova, constitute the Crossroads of Midgard. Even the shadow fey’s Shadow Realm touches this area via the fey roads.

The regions of Midgard spin around the Crossroads region like spokes around a wheel. Everything that goes from north to south and east to west passes along the River Argent, the Sultan’s Road, the Great Northern Road, and other well-trod trade routes, all with their own difficulties and dangers. But the nations that thrive in the heartland know how to spin copper into gold and how to turn a sinking barge into a prince’s ransom. Though they borrow language, customs, tools, and even gods from all their neighbors, the Crossroads have their own code, their own pride, and their own way of doing business. Welcome to the beating heart of the world.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Heroes of Havardr

Olaf Wotankarl sat himself into the brushed lion hide cushion. As a favored scribe and historion of Odin's, this Asgardian lived in one of the tallest spires of the Academy of Asgard, giving him a commanding view of Midgard below it and the astral above it. From this tower he records the deeds of history, using his magic crystal rods of visions to view in closer detail things that catch his interest. the old sage lit a pipe, poured a mug of mead and ambrosia, and wetted an intricate mechanical quill. He then brought the crystal rods of vision and wrote the details from these scenes of the Battle of Viezla, and noble house Havardr's strength and victory, even when their warriors are thought gone...

Forni, the eldest of Harvardr, had finally learned his life lesson. After the failed attempt to kill the family, he saw to it to make sure Jarl Ranulfr and his son were indeed dead, as traitors deserved. But then he offered pardon to all living Ranulfrs, claiming they would face no shame or dishonor, as they served their jarl well, despite his twisted alliances. A young, tough, bold viking stepped forward, Karl Ranulfr, and announced acceptance on behalf of his clan. He heard no dispute among his clansmen and so continued. He offered all weapons, armor and treasure of the dead Ranulfr as spoils to the victors. He swore his clan would send 5 longships this season to discover the fate of the unreturned vikings. He pledged himself and his clan to revere the temple long house Arnum Stormcloak chose. He offered a mighty weapon, smithed by his clans most experienced weapon makers, a large hammer called an earthbreaker to the champion of the temple, where upon a warrior frome his own camp fell to his knees and begged to be allowed to serve this temple as its servant.

Arnum was seen smiling and agreeing as the crystal powered off. Both Loki and Thor had by now arrived, as he requested, and had seen most of that vision.Thor smiled broadly and thanked the sage for allowing them to see. Below, Arnum couldn't know that Thor smiled, nodded and agreed just as he had while watching the formation of his church. He knew instantly, however when Thor touched his hammer in the crystal, forever allowing him to fly as his Lord Thor.

Sverrir Asvaldr, the youngest, was living up to his name. As he crept through the window, and "down" the sharply tilted stairs of the tower, he practiced all the tips he'd heard from Vorware Undhin over the past 4 days. He felt so confident from his contact with the heroes of Havaldr, that he worried not over what those less sly, less dextrous, less better than him would be deterred by. He knelt in the chamber that onced housed the frozen lady. He heaped his spoils upon the stone she had stood frozen upon. Three days now of fooling simpletons, taking advantage of the unwary, of seeing what others overlooked. He prayed, then, that Loki would not overlook him, and offered his small hoard to be seen and accepted. He watched the stone platform, for what he didn't know. Then he heard noise, as if from great gears or machines at a distance, and saw an arm of ghostly form, equal parts shadow and gold, reach out from the treasure pile and touch his chest, exactly over his heart. As he watched the hand recede and normal light conditions returned he knew he'd been touched and chosen by Loki.

Loki was likewise pleased with what he saw, and quickly made his leave before his brother started asking him questions.

The crystals lit up again, showing the thawing grasses around the hut of Asdis, the witch of Viezla. Here, Horace Krondor, a northman of enormous size and quickness was giving over a female dire wolf and her pups he had caged to the witch. He said he had seen the battle of Viezla, and watched Oratian Bjomolf fight for life and limb, side by side, the wolfs loyalty to his friend enyielding as he served to his last biting breath. He then saw the tears of the great druid heal the wolf, and took it as a holy vision. He said to the witch that he and his remote clan of northmen would never again hunt wolves for meat nor fur. He claimed his name was now Horace Krondor Wolffson, and all his clan would take the Wolffson name. Known already as the greatest of hunters and trappers of the north, their clan would now look at the wolf as brother, and work to be sure Three Glaciers Fjord would always enjoy the protective watch of Brother Wolf. As the witch took the wolves and witnessed the northman's divine inspiration, she wondered if the heroes of Harvardr realized the protective wards thier temples created extended as far as they did. Even the mythic Firth Monster had been forced from the fjord, and swam out to open sea.

The next scene showed some two hundred ancient Harvard warriors assembled at the outskirt of Viezla, preparing an ornate litter to be carried with the still frail frozen lady inside north to the home of the Harvardr clan. She is seen walking toward the litter holding hands with her rescuer, the lucky boy that kissed her. She had managed to find the strength to give the kisser his customary reward over night, and now looked forward to the halls of home where she could find a better curse for her curse of Boreas' Cold.

As the crystals began to dim, he could hear the plotting of Loki and Thor as they made their way down his tower, their triumphant conspiratorial laughter, and see the flash of rainbow energy as the heroes gathered in the new temple of Thor.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Review 08/22/2015 (Three Glaciers Fjord, a Firth Monster, and the Tower of Issvardr)

After our separation from the Leviathon we find ourselves on a frigid coast we eventually learn is Three Glaciers Fjord. We soon come upon a long ship in distress, lead by Nord Alrekson who is escorting his granddaughter Fanna to the Þing. The long ship struggles as it takes on water. After Nord and Vorware exchange greetings the boisterous old man explains he travels from Skari to Viezla for the Ice Break Þing with hopes that Fanna is the next Winter Lady. He happily invites us to take shelter, exchange stories and travel- once they are on their way.

After about an hour of travel we are assaulted with a horrible sound as large hunks of ice are displaced and forces the longboat against a vast ice shelf; then from out of the depths a Firth Monster rises, grabs the long boat with its massive jaws and throws it against the glacier breaking off hunks of ice.

The attacks of the sea monster eventually break away a three hundred foot section of the glacier revealing a white tower listing north. A door sits above the broken ice and its only window it as the top level.

It took great skill to evade the chaos wrought by the monster climbing and jumping from ice flow to hand hold but we eventually made it to the tower along with Nord, Fanna, and a terrified merchant named Nial Kormakson as well as six survivors.

After some amazing investigating we believe this could be the Tower of Issvardr, the one cursed by Boreas and incased the Vetrdis (Winter Lady) in Illska (crewel glacier) centuries ago.

We decide to investigate further and enter to find dimly halls and people sealed in ice each with their souls, like motes of light, frozen in the moment of death. Deeper in the tower we find northman ice pickers frozen in place seeming like they offended the Illska. All about are tools and after melting some ice we learn these to be about a year old. We also recover twenty sets of cloaks and boots; rope, torches and lanterns; thirty flasks of oil; and six frozen potions.

We are set upon by undead who are defeated which earned us a brief respite before continuing to the heart of the tower. Here we find stair cases ascending and descending down to the darkness, and an ice elemental.

After melting the elemental it was agreed that Orathian shares his wild shape changing everyone into owls to more efficiently explore the Tower of Issvardr. Leaving Ghost with the nine others we fly out taking note of the two cliff faces by which this glacier flowed and entered the window at the top most level.

We eventually come to an area of ice wrought with fissures; on the other side is a human sized figure of ice, she too with her soul frozen. Battle ensued against more Boreal Frights. After defeating them we realize this must be the Vetrdis from the tales and to be released she must be included as the next Winter Lady with Fanna by bringing the festival here.

We begin next session in the tower after resting.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Review 07/18/2015 (Temple of Starry Lovers, Comet Balls, and Elushiell the Magic Sword)

Levontolin was excited, nervous and proud all at once as he floated to the guest quarters where the Visitors had slept last night. He felt confident they would welcome his offer of guidance through this holy day, and was anxious to speak more with the man who was a book. Arriving at the door, he took his humanoid shape, that of an ancient elf of Midgard's, and firmly rapped at the entrance. Head already bowed as it opened, the ancient stellar fisherman offered to escort the Visitors, and could not contain his smile as he heard the book translate his celestial tongue.

Priestess Mydella of the Temple of Starry Lovers heard the Visitors enter, but calmly finished her current mantra of meditations before opening her eyes to acknowledge them. It pleased her to see that Levon had made friends with them, for she knew that most of his fellow archons thought him strange for his willingness to leave the citadel. It pleased her even more to feel the presence of Thor and Loki enter her temple. She proved to be an amenable and talkative hostess, welcoming them all and sharing information. In exchange for agreeing to help them get back to Midgard regardless of the Court's decisions, Vorware agreed to spread the word and influence of Hecate through the North and all their travels. She told them of the duality of her temple and her welcoming of Veles and his dragon spawn, particularly the great dragons and beasts of the void. She gives the two clerics space to proselytize, and the rest of the Visitors decided to split off as supplicants and skeptics alike paused to consider the philosophies of Midgard's warrior and vessel of change.

Lady Sorella had been anticipating the Comet Ball for some time, as it was a favorite event of hers.On this day in particular she imbibed prodigious amounts of spice, wine, and the heady narcotics the alchemist supplied to the whole citadel. Still, it was not just inebriation that caused her excitement to discover Elise and the other visitors wandering in the commons. Even in the ethereal heavens the woman's beauty was breathtaking, such that the elven woman could not ignore. She was thrilled when they accepted her invitation back to her apartments, where her and Elise tried on clothes and outfits for the ball. Like Levon and Mydella before her, the first topic she brought up was to  wonder if the Visitors had decided what to do with the Leviathan. This branched to her explaining who Abdiel the Butcher was and what the Alchemist did in concert with him. She revealed Abdiel having come about 200 years ago, bringing with him the alchemist, his bridle, and the wonders of his "spiced" leviathan flesh. She spoke of the guardian hound archon only briefly, confirming that he was not part of the court, but she also didn't know exactly why he was here. After several hours, as Lady Sorella soared ever higher on her trip, the Visitors reconvened and decided to investigate this Butcher, and get to the bottom of the strangeness none of them could make any sense of.

Levon showed them to the hall that would lead them to the chambers of Abdiel the Butcher, and as they entered Draco cast a nervous eye about, spotting a floating ball of light that, crazy as it sounds, looked and felt familiar. Draco knew it was Elushiell, the enigmatic archon that had first approached them. This was most remarkable, for every time they had seen him before, he had always taken his elf form. The Visitors entered, suspicious and wary, and were not surprisedwhen the elf that introduced himself as Abdiel attacked them after failing to poison them! Surrounded with sinister auger krytrons,  Abdiel put up a vicious fight, but was ultimately defeated. At the moment of his demise, a distraught Captain Elushiell charged in accusing the Visitors of murder. However, all the evidence stood before him, and he could do more than hang his head in shame as he realized exactly what he had enabled for the past two centuries. The visitors watched as he shuffled off, and they decided to make their final preparations before they announced their decision to not release the leviathan to the needs of the court at the Comet Ball.

That evening at the ball, events unfold quickly. It is apparent the entire citadel is out of their minds high on exotic narcotics. Mostly, the visitors are exciting, but ignored the way celebrities are often seen as unapproachable. Much fanfare is made of the appearances of the King and Queen, but this is quickly over shadowed by a glowing light in the astral opening of the throne room. Very soon the light takes the form of an unearthly beautiful angel, who announces herself as Harbinger, and says  this.
"King Iorotus and Queen Astakia"
Though you have fallen far into your decadent stupors, and taken a kingdom of archons with you leading them to abandon their duties and purposes, it is still my duty to honor the station of the Citadel of a Million Stars. Perhaps if the shepardos of good we're not enslaved by the lurid dispositions of your court, this calamity could have been avoided!!  Know this, former shepards of Midgard, the Original Beast is Risen! He swims here, to this galaxy, your home.  The World Eater comes!Abandon your decadent ways and return to the shparding of Good that Midgard most sorely needes. I must ravel on to warn the rest of this galaxy, but I bid you, Even beg you toprepare. You will all have to fight to your last breath to defeat the Terrasque!!"

Wit that, she flew on to Asgard, and left the stoic royal pair to demand the Visitors anser them.Upon hearing the words of the Visitors, they commanded them to leave immediately and take their property with them.As they left, our heroes wondered many things, but their reverie was broken by a final visit, from a shamed, embarrassed and repentant Elushiell. He thanked them for their visit, expressed much disappointment in himself, and then rather abruptly killed himself, transforming into a gleaming magical sword to be used against evil in what ever form it reared. The great Leviathan took a parting shot at the citadel, sending the Alchemisits tower into a shambled ruin with a flick of its mighty tail as it swam back to the great western oceans of Midgard.