Thursday, November 22, 2012

Practice What You Preach


I have read that some Inquisitors wander the lands of Golarion spreading the true word of their faith. Black words hailing the Prince of Darkness or the awe inspiring hymns to the All Seeing Eye, these crusaders often come into conflict, sometimes deadly, with those people and cultures who are disagreeable to the customs or religious calling to help those who cannot help themselves, oppress the weak, or encourage volunteerism when help is in surplus.  

The leaders of evil or totalitarian religions send these preachers into new territories to win converts and allies as to establish a sect, the first act before formal religion can be established in its entirety. 

Good self-righteous religions on the other hand make a habit of starting peaceful uprisings and political activism against churches opposed to their religion and to defend true-believers who are persecuted because of their beliefs by the faithless or unbelieving 

In the middle.. there is a movement that regardless of who ascends to the throne one thing remains and that is the people. I will continue to give aid and succor and reduce the casualties in this Game of Thrones. From these ashes of anarchy I turn my attention to a vocation as barrister for the church of Pharasma. Not to interfere with my adventuring and defending the people of the city but there appears to be a need. My first case will be the investigation into the Asmodian Mausoleum and Streeter's emerging memories.

"May the Goddess of Fate judge my actions as evenhanded and worthy; thank you for your eternal blessings and the promise of tomorrow." 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

This City...


The taint of Korvosa has infected the populace, the throne, and mayhap the Queen as well. It is a green corruption that has infected people’s attitudes and actions. Unfortunately many have not noticed the subtle ways society has degraded because it pervades their daily lives. It is a meager existence and is just the way things are. What is evil and abhorrent in my eyes may not be so to low-men like Lamm and Vancaskerkin. That does not vindicate them or excuse their actions… no, never in life.

Normally it is my calling as inquisitor to track enemies of Pharasma and to hunt down and destroy the abominable undead; however, this pollution… in Korvosan society resides in their blood and compels me to broaden my customary ways. I still maintain reservations about Queen Ileosa, but there yet remains a universal adversary: the people themselves, the ‘infected’ citizens of Korvosa. With gangrenous corruption deeply rooted in some people, Lamm… Vancaskerkin, they have become the enemy.

 I tell you now; I have no remorse for killing the Cow-hammer boys and in truth deem the lives of others like them forfeited. I answer to none but Pharasma and what abides the gaze of my judgment.

“I name this dagger Bloodletting. May it aid me in cleansing the infection and give me prophesy into vile acts so that I may bring to an end the evil that has unbalanced the city. Praise-be Goddess of Fate.”
                                                                                                                                                                               

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nusbaum's Wand

ETERNAL WAND  (Nusbaum’s)
Price (Item Level): See table Body Slot: — (held)
Caster Level: See table Aura: Faint; (see table) school of spell contained in eternal wand
Activation: Standard (command)
Weight: —
This long, tapered wand ends with a pink crystal containing red swirls. An eternal wand holds a single divine spell of 3rd level or lower, determined during creation. Any character who can cast divine spells can activate the wand to use the spell contained in it, regard-less of whether the spell appears on his class spell list. An eternal wand functions three times per day with healing spells, twice per day with all other divine spells.
Prerequisites: Craft Wand, Craft Wondrous Item, the spell contained in the eternal wand.
Cost to Create: See table.
Eternal Wand Nusbaum's
Spell Level
Caster Level
Price (Item Level)
Spellcraft
Cost to Create
0
1st
460 gp (3rd)
15
230 gp, 18 XP, 1 day
1st
1st
820 gp (4th)
15
410 gp, 32 XP, 1 day
2nd
2nd
4,420 gp 9th
16
2,210 gp, 176 XP, 3 days
3rd
5th
10,900 gp 13th
17
5,450 gp, 436 XP, 11 days

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Neutrality In Chaos


“Oh I’m sure I can find a task for these youngins to be sure Inquisitor Bordana, don’t ye doubt.” The dwarf Zargoza said with a wink.

It was comforting to recall that moment as we strode up Field Marshal Avenue to Castle Korvosa. The children would be safe, for now at least. 

Overhead and more so between the Castle and the Acadamae, hundreds of Imps and Pseudo-dragons darkened the sky with their mysterious winged errands fueling the chaos that already had the city in its grasp…

Something bothers me about Queen Ileosa and I cannot put a finger on it; perhaps because the Queen's speech sounded rehearsed and insincere in my eyes. I feel as if we are being sent to the gallows, figuratively speaking. I think it EXTREMELY unusual that we find the Queen absent her handmaidens, guards, advisers, court magicians, and the like. With the city in chaos, burning in some areas, and people rioting in the streets I would have presumed the Queen would be surrounded by such individuals offering advice and giving her constant updates in this time of crisis.

Yes the city is in need of aid, capable heroes, but my friends and I are barely capable of dispatching a swarm of mutant spiders and an enraged otyugh to say nothing of meeting the scores of hostile citizens who are displeased at the change of leadership. It is as if we are being sent to die. I want to take a neutral position in these events. 
I fear that taking up arms against the citizenry of Korvosa will brand us as enemies of the people. What was the old saying? Hundreds of people cannot be wrong. 

Is there treachery and if so are we to be in league with such deceitfulness against the citizens of Korvosa? And just where the hell is my sister? 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

If magic is art....

"If magic is art,then summoning is inspired science"
Gremon Noh
Summons Lector, Academy
Zandu reeled a bit as he took in the scene after it ended. He remembered hauling Sterk's massive frame out of the maw of the shit-monster from the previous night's adventure. Watching as panicked commoners fled for safety, he realized that Sterk was probably the only witness to his fantastic death grapple with the now visibly pulverized imp. He also thought they were the only ones to see the woman taken into the filth below. When he heard the high pitched scream, he knew instantly a wizard nearby was suddenly bereft of his familiar. The sound reminded  Zandu of his lessons at the Academy....

The instructors at Academy place an elevated status to the school of conjuration/summoning magics, which is typical of all Chelaxian colleges. Wizards who have drawn their training from Chelaxian tutors know summons spells as very complex endeavors that involve personal attachment , and sometimes the need to strike a bargain. That is why they take longer than other spells to cast. Even when teaching rudimentary preparation for summonings, professors have an eye toward the high level summonings they hope to see their pupils master. The goal is to summon the same individual monster every time you cast and call forth a summoned creature of its type. Instructors stress the importance of consistency in the language used and the target of a summoning. It takes tremendous concentration and talent to do that well, but those who do are strongly encouraged to specialize as summoners. Many students name the creatures they learn to summon, and there are many superstitions and "understood practices" regarding how casters treat the familiar creatures they summon forth from the outer planes. All of this laid the groundwork for being trained to negotiate with devils, and to a lesser extent demons, in complicated diabolical summonings. Skilled summoners are able to reliably call the same creatures forth, and reward their favorites with trinkets or food. Zandu's favorite creature to summon was a dog he had named Kush. He was a large, fierce dog, a rottwieller by breed, and he loved to fight. He also loved cooked meat, and he grown to show genuine subservience to Zandu, who always treated him with a variety of cooked treats.

Zandu shook himself from reverie, and again took stock of the last 24 hours. Although Sterk was terrifyingly devoid of emotion during the do-or-die battles of the past day, his frustration was hurled toward his companions like tossed hammers. The streets were open warfare, with the riots causing unchecked chaos. Danger was everywhere, and he could not protect the group and survive another barrage of attacks by himself. Zandu smiled as he remembered his old friend. Maybe it was time to bring Kush out into the sun a little more often. He'd have to get some roast meat.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tale of Two Clerics


Shadowy cracks in the ground formed like black veins that steadily spread and grew into ruination as the otyugh burrowed its way out of the sewers and into the burning riotous streets. 

The creature made a noise that made me think: this is what it sounds like to gargle sharp rocks or something worse... bones mayhap. The sound frightened all the children, it was all tentacles and teeth. Separated from Lem, Sterk and Zandu, I needed to get the kids to safety and not just through this encounter but long enough from them to emotionally recover from the horror received from Lamm and eventually to suitable accommodations.

Leading the children around the stables and the attached building I remembered a story I once herd...

Gage Duell was a cleric of Abadar and high priest of ceremonies for the Master of the First Vault festival in Korvosa. He and a cleric of Sarenrae, Saige Cammer were unified in divine purpose to provide aid and succor to the rising homeless and abandoned children in the city. Many of whom arrived with parents in the hopes of starting a new prosperous life.

Having both come from the streets themselves, Gage and Saige intimately knew the dangers of the streets: gangs, roaming monsters, and of course undead. They also were aware of a high probability of these youngsters becoming whores, rogues, or even panhandlers thereby swelling the numbers of Korvosa's thieves guild.

The two clerics’ solution would serve to address two problems facing the city by curbing the growth of the city’s thief’s guild and hopefully transform these young people into productive members of Korvosan society as Gage and Saige achieved.

Together, the clerics Gage Duell  and Saige Cammer petitioned the Crimson Throne to create state-run orphanages to which the two churches of Abadar and Sarenrae would work together, along with the city, to assure the children received proper care and a remedial education. 

… Circumventing the building I discovered Sterk standing toe to toe with vicious otyugh; the creature was repulsive and smelled even worse. Above and along the roof tops Lem barraged the creature with sensory attacks while Zandu shot missile after magic missile from his wand.

I believe the Fate of Pharasma will assure our victories long enough to see these children to the orphanages I recall hearing about. 


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Footlocker

Each of these treasures is wrapped in cloth and tied shut with twine. The treasures include a narrow teak cigar case inlaid with tiny bits of jade worth 25 gp, a 2-pound gold ingot worth 100 gp bearing the Cheliax coat of arms, a miniature gold crown worth 350 gp, a fist-sized scrimshaw carving of a kraken with garnets for eyes worth 200 gp, a silver ring worth 150 gp bearing the inscription “For Emmah—the light in my nights,” a highly realistic and highly scandalous ivory figurine of two entwined succubi worth 450 gp, a masterwork shuriken, an adamantine arrowhead, an abalone-shell holy symbol of Shelyn worth 300 gp, a tiny glass tube containing a dose of oil of keen edge,an obsidian wand of magic missile (23 charges), 3 crystalline vials (the vials themselves worth 50 gp) containing a dose of silversheen as well as two poisons detailed below, and a bejeweled brooch with a broken clasp.  

Even to an untrained eye, this brooch is obviously the most valuable object in the entire collection. The circular gold brooch depicts a pseudodragon and an imp coiled around each other in an almost yin-yang pattern. The pseudodragon’s eye is an amethyst, while the imp’s eye is an emerald. The brooch is the possession of Queen Ileosa herself.
BROWN RECLUSE VENOM (2 Applications)
Type injury poison Save Fort DC 14   Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Initial Effect 1 point of permanent Str drain  Secondary Effect 1 Str  Cure 1 save
The miniscule brown recluse spider is native to most warm climates, and is one of the world’s most successful vermin.  Victims of a recluse bite often don’t realize they’ve been injured until it’s too late. Despite its small size, a brown recluses’ venom inflicts horrific damage, rotting away skin and muscle tissue near the wound. Brown recluse usually use their venom to kill lizards, small birds and insects, but will bite humanoids if startled or threatened.  Source: 2 Dozen Dangers-Poisons PDF
CURARE (2 Applications)
Type injury poison  Save Fort DC 15 Frequency 1/round for 8 rounds
Initial Effect victim is shaken for 1 hour  Secondary Effect 1d4 Dex Cure 2 saves
Curare is a paralytic plant toxin harvested by rainforest natives for use in hunting and warfare. Spread onto weapons, curare enters the bloodstream quickly causing disorientation, dizziness and eventual paralysis. Victims left untreated often die of respiratory failure. Victims reduced to 0 Dex by curare begin to suffocate.  Source: 2 Dozen Dangers-Poisons PDF
Cloak of Halflingkind Aura: Faint transmutation; CL 1st
Slot: shoulders; Price: 2,400 gp, Weight: 1 lb.
While a simple clasp holds the front of this short cloak shut, straps also bind it tightly to your shoulders. It seems to be made of plain gray cotton, with streaks of darker color that resembles cracks in tonework.
Twice per day, your cloak can grab any surface and begin climbing for you, hauling you along for the ride. You can climb 20 feet in any direction as a move action, but cannot climb further even as a full round action. You don’t provoke attacks of opportunity by climbing this way (though you do for moving out of a threatened space while climbing, as you normally would). Your hands are free while you climb, you retain your Dexterity bonus to AC, and can act or attack normally. The cloak is active for three minutes each time it is used, so it’s best to find a safe place to alight before the duration runs out.  Source: Loot For Less-Cloak & Dagger  (Book 6)
Construction Requirements: Craft Wondrous Item, animate rope, spider climb; Cost: 1,200 gp.
Letter Opener Aura: Faint divination CL 1st
Slot: none; Price: 1,200 gp, Weight: 0.5 lbs.
This mildly sharp blade appears to be a sword in miniature, and isn’t designed for combat. Three times a day the letter opener can be touched to any missive, scroll, map, book, folded parchment or similar communication or text, and it opens the item touched. Any mundane wax seal, strap, lock, knot, cord, stamp, calligraphy, or crest affixed to the missive slides aside without being damaged, and the missive opens itself for easy reading. One minute later, the missive closes itself, resuming its previous configuration and condition with all its seals and bindings in place and undisturbed, showing no signs of tampering.
The letter opener may work on missives with magic seals and closings, but must make a caster level check (1d20+3) against a DC equal to 10 + the caster level of magic seal or fixture. On a failed save, the seal is not disturbed and the missive is not opened.
On a successful check, the effect is the same as described above, including resetting itself after one minute (leaving no sign it was ever read).  If used in combat the table knife suffers a –1 penalty to attack rolls, and deals 1d2 damage. Source: Loot For Less-Cloak & Dagger  (Book 6)
Construction Requirements: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, mending; Cost: 600 gp.
Brightmote Ring
Aura: Faint abjuration; CL 1st Slot: ring; Price: 900 gp Weight: -
A brightmote ring can be activated as a standard action, creating a glowing mote of light as bright as a torch. The light moves as directed by the wearer (no concentration needed), though it must stay within 110 feet of the ring wearer.  The light lasts until it exceeds this range, or is dispelled by the ring wearer (a free action).  Source: Loot For Less-Pretty, pretty rings (Book 2)
Construction Requirements: Forge Ring, dancing lights; Cost: 450 gp.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Zandu

No Varisian has ever considered his life as typical, but Zandu didn't see his childhood as extra-ordinary. He loved travelling in the summers with his many cousins, aunt & uncles, and dancing moths and was certain he would become a roamer, playing his gitar and finding his fortunes under Desna's star.

His life changed at exactly the time life changes for most people - first love. Zandu was 17, she was a bit younger. They had courted over the winter holidays, and consummated their love during the heady rites of spring. As summer drew, Zandu prepared his donkey and cart for the usual travels, but this time with excited breathless promises of a hasty return to his love.

Like so many his age, he was to be haunted by Gaedron Lamm even as he stayed beyond his clutch. Upon his return in the wane of summer, his flame was not to be found, not even her family. He knew there was only one way to find her, and visited an aunt in Korvosa who was rich with Harrow talent. It was she who told Zandu of the young girl found brutalized and left for dead. She who told him of his love's proclamation of revenge for the injustice that allowed Lamm to survive. She, who told him of her body found, brutalized in exactly the same manner, jammed against a dock pier.

That reading, his first emotional connection to harrow, revealed another truth. His own path had only then showed itself, and it was a long path indeed. His path was lit by a special lantern bearer, The Locksmith. A master of tools, The Locksmith worked on the mysteries of lifetimes. His knowledge gave him every advantage he could possibly need, and his dedication to his craft was his hallmark. His tools were the building blocks of everything, especially magic and harrow.

Now, at 26, he was an acclaimed Academy Graduate. It had taken him eight years to complete his training and reach his accomplished status. Most of his considerable tuitions he had raised himself as a performer in the drink halls of Korvosa, playing gitar and reading fortunes with a copied harrow deck. He was a conjurer by study, and accomplished enough to have been invited to author his class's graduation treatise. He had declared in his treatise his focus of study would be the relationship between wizards and their bonded items. His choice of bearing a bonded item instead of a companion marked him as very different from your typical impers. But then, a Varisian wizard was far from typical.

He was looking forward to meeting with his old friends, Sterk and Bordana. He had decided to leave Ace and his cart behind, and as he walked to the bar (he knew them all) he couldn't help but pick up on a scent... the faint scent ... of  ... Fate in the air.

Harrow Deck Zellara

Zellara’s Harrow Deck Aura moderate divination; CL 10th
Slot —; Price —; Weight 1 lb.   Alignment CG; Ego 8
Senses 60 ft. vision and hearing
Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 13
Communication empathy
Lesser Powers identify 3/day, major image 1/day
Special Purpose Defend Korvosa

Hand-painted images decorate this Harrow deck, the frames gilt in silver so that under lighting they sparkle and flash. Despite the worn condition of the card backs, the images on the faces are so vibrant they seem to move when viewed out of the corner of the eye. The deck itself handles with surprising ease, almost shuffling itself. A bent, torn, or lost card always seems to mend itself or reappear when no one is looking.
These features are subtle manifestations of the spirit that haunts the cards. In life, Zellara lived by this deck, and in death, she has become the deck. Although this magical Harrow deck wasn’t created using the standard method for creating magic items, it should nonetheless be treated as an intelligent magic item.
Zellara can sense the world around the deck via sight and sound, and she can communicate with anyone who holds the deck via empathy. She can create a major image once per day, often doing so to generate an image of herself manipulating the cards—in this manner, she can carry on conversations with other creatures. She can also identify a magic item’s properties if one of her cards is touched to it, as the spell identify, up to 3 times per day. When she does so, knowledge of the item identified manifests in the mind of one creature she chooses who is also holding at least one card, or she can opt to describe the item’s functions via a major image.
Zellara’s Harrow deck has a special purpose as well: to defend and protect the city of Korvosa, her home in life and in death. In order to attain this purpose, she can periodically perform powerful Harrow readings for those she has chosen as Korvosa’s defenders.
Zellara can suppress the deck’s powers at will and doesn’t hesitate to do so if anyone attempts to sell the deck or otherwise displeases her.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Speaking Korvosan


The people of Korvosa universally speak Chelaxian (frequently known as “Common”). Korvosans have, over time, created their own slang unique to the city. In order to help you blend in while exploring Korvosa, make sure to (correctly) use the following phrases.

Chel:  Mildly derogatory term for people of Chelish descent. Widely used as a contemptuous dismissal in the rest of the world.  In Korvosa, the word has evolved into a hate-filled ethnic slur. Use of this word constitutes a grave affront in the city, and using it against the wrong target likely finds the offender beaten, lynched, or killed.

Dancer: Cutpurse, pickpocket, or other thief who works crowds. Comes from the belief that most thieves are Varisians and most Varisians like to dance. Actual dancing performers are called “performers.”

Empty: A beggar, vagrant, or homeless person. Most Korvosans consider an empty to be someone without meaning or purpose, whose existence doesn’t matter and whose life and death occur without mention.

Fronter: Someone who lives in Bridgefront or is otherwise poor. Not a polite term and frequently used as a mild (sometimes playful) insult among younger aristocrats and nobles.  Connotes dirtiness.

Gater: Someone who lives in Northgate. Common term even used by Gaters themselves.

Horser: Highly inflammatory term for a Shoanti or other savage primitive. Holds strong connotations of bestiality.

Imper: A young student of the Acadamae. Older students respectfully receive no nickname, as they wield the power to kill those who insult them.

Moth: A full-blooded Varisian. Because so much of the population in Korvosa descends at least partially from Varisian stock, most people don’t consider it an insult, using it as a nickname for the nomadic people. Full-blooded Varisians differ on their acceptance of the term: some use it themselves while others bristle at its connotations.

Pincher: Someone very poor who scrapes by on only a few copper pinch a month.

Sails: One or more ships.

Solly: Someone who wishes to unionize or form a guild. Short for “solidarity.” A dire insult in Korvosa (even if the recipient does support the formation of guilds), sometimes considered the foulest thing to call a Korvosan.

Solly Slop: Rubbish, excrement. At one time, this referred to the bland porridge of unskilled laborers (the most common agitators for unionizing in the city). Today, Korvosans consider the phrase vulgar and not to be used in public.

Numismatics
The Bank of Abadar mints uniquely Korvosan coins used throughout Varisia.
Korvosa ties the value of its coins to those of Cheliax, such that Chelaxian coins are also considered legal tender in the city.
Copper Pinch: Usually referred to as simply a pinch (plural and singular), dropping “copper.” Calling multiple copper coins “pinches” elicits laughs and painful tweaks on the arm or backside.
Silver Shield: Frequently called by its full name to differentiate it from the shields used for protection.
Gold Sail: Always called by its full name to differentiate it from the similar term “sails.
Platinum Crown: Occasionally referred to as simply a crown, dropping “platinum.”

Ten Crimes and Punishments


Punishments for violent crimes in Korvosa are harsh, but the general populace considers them fair.
Non-violent crimes carry differing punishments depending on the disposition of the criminal

The following selections of crimes and their punishments (listed in order they are applied) should not be construed as all-inclusive. Korvosa’s legal code fills multiple thick volumes.

Crime                                              Punishments
Treason                  Torture, death; no appeal
Murder                   Torture, death; no appeal
Rape                      Torture and castration, imprisonment (10–20 years), death; no appeal
Armed Robbery     Pay restitution or lose a hand, imprisonment (10–20 years)
Arson                     Pay restitution or branding, imprisonment (10+ years); plus murder charge if fire kills
Unionizing               Branding, imprisonment (5–10 years); no appeal
Accidental Death    Pay restitution or torture, imprisonment (5–8 years)
Robbery (T)           Pay restitution or lose a hand, imprisonment (2–10 years), pay restitution
Drug Use               Imprisonment (4–6 months pre-trial, plus 2–3 years if guilty)
Burglary (T)           Pay restitution, imprisonment (1–2 years)

(T)  A member of the Cerulean Society (thieves’ guild) or a registered gang can expect to receive a lighter sentence of around half the common punishment for these crimes than does a freelancer, depending on the crime in question.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Flame and Fire


I pray we find Zellara’s cottage still standing, we did not just deliver these children from Gaderon Lamm only to lose them somewhere in Korvosa along the way. Something has obviously happened in the city; fires burn and people are reacting dangerously, but we cannot act on these turn of events without risking the children.

While everyone else searched the fishery, I organized the orphans for the journey through the city to Zellara’s home. Not counting Kester and Reda, Gaderon’s personal… whatever, there were eight others—four boys and four girls. 

At the time I did not see it, but soon realized this is when the flame kindled began between Kester and Reda as my thoughts were too occupied with trying to find Calla—my sister.

Kester was visibly relaxed when I relieved him of the younger eight where by he instantly moved to comfort Reda who accepted his company companionably. I never heard them speak, though I now believe they communicate on a deeper emotional level.


The others kids ranged in age from ten to fifteen, Kester and Reda being the oldest. Each child appeared sick from a mild disease due to the poor conditions of the fishery. Knowing we must eventually ask these kids some difficult questions as to what course to take next; I decided to make them as comfortable as possible, so I quickly learned their names:

The boys: Alstard, Olwulf, Ferther, and Eatwynd. *Alstard and Olwulf I discover are brothers while Ferther and Eatwynd are from the same part of Korvosa. The girls: Arior, Burhiue, Hilda, and Brine Awlyn. *Eatwynd and Burhiue are siblings; Arior is the youngest of the children; Hilda is the sickest; and finally Brine Awlyn is a foreigner and does not or cannot talk.

Preparing to set fire to the fishery, I hear a small voice from behind me, “Is he dead? Is that disgusting beast dead?” Reda said, Kester’s arms wrapped protectively around her.

I turned to face everyone, “Yes Reda, the lambs no longer need to fear the wolf.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Abadar


Abadar dwells in the perfect city of Axis in a large district known as Aktun, where he watches over the First Vault, a magical trove that holds a perfect copy of every object ever made, from the flawless longsword to the faultless law. Abadar is a patient, calculating, and far-seeing deity who wishes to bring civilization to the frontiers, order to the wilds, and wealth to all who support the progression of law. His primary worshipers are judges, merchants, lawyers, and aristocrats, all of who benefit from established laws and commerce. He expects his followers to abide by laws (though not foolish, contradictory, toothless, or purposeless laws) and work to promote order and peace. Abadar is shown as a clean, well-dressed man bearing the markings of riches and civilization, always carrying one or more keys.

Abadar’s basic tenet is simple—people should use their gifts to advance civilization in the world so commerce happens and people can go about their orderly lives and achieve comfort and happiness. He strikes a careful balance between good and evil, seeing the benefits of both sides and refusing to endorse one or the other. His followers believe he is responsible for elevating the civilized races from simple tribes to beings capable of creating huge cities. He puts words of diplomacy in the mouths of men, guides the pens of those who write laws, and steers coins into the hands of those who practice good commerce. Abadar respects cautious thought and rejects impulsiveness, seeing it as leading to base and destructive whims. He teaches that discipline, keen judgment, and following the law eventually leads to wealth, comfort, and happiness. He does not believe in free handouts, and because of this his temples sell potions and healing spells or scrolls rather than give them to those in need.

Abadar’s personal intervention in the mortal world is usually in the form of hints or opportunities rather than direct gifts. Worshipers who lose Abadar’s favor might find themselves short on money at a crucial time, tongue-tied in the middle of an important deal, or stymied in their craft or art. When he is pleased, deals are more profitable than expected, projects are completed early, and journeys to or within a city take less time than normal. His intervention is subtle, for he expects worshipers to do their own work.
Abadar is depicted as a handsome man with black hair dressed in fine garments, often with a gold cloak or cape over a golden breastplate and bearing many keys. Humans, dwarves, and gnomes show him with a beard, whereas elves show him beardless and with long braids tied with golden thread. Abadar’s herald is the Lawgiver, a Gargantuan golden construct wielding a great hammer. He often uses two-headed celestial eagles as his messengers. Notable outsiders who serve him are Ailrin Fletcher (a golden avoral scout), Cobblehoof (an armored celestial hippogriff known as “Old Cob”), and the Ghost of Malthus (a gloomy spectre seen as a warning against plague-friendly crowding).

Abadar understands that an advanced civilization has many spiritual needs, and different members of a society pray to different gods, thus he tries to maintain an approachable coolness where other deities are concerned. Only those who directly oppose his beliefs and purpose—notably Rovagug, and to a lesser extent Lamashtu—are his declared enemies, and while he might be willing to negotiate with them for some purpose, they routinely refuse to do so. He is friendly with Erastil, Iomedae, Irori, Shelyn, and even Asmodeus (though only for his belief in upholding contracts). Abadar knows that his pursuits frequently anger Gozreh, who would like to see the natural parts of the world remain unspoiled, but he believes the two of them can eventually reach a compromise.

Priests, Temples, and the Church
Most of Abadar’s priests are clerics. His priests are the agents of civilization, turning trails into roads and towns into cities while always enforcing law. They eliminate monsters and troublemakers, adjudicate disputes, make legal rulings, and reassure others that the forces of order are watching over them. Many work with the local legal system as judges, lawyers, and clerks (donating their services much as a healing-oriented church might run a hospice). Though the church is mercenary about healing magic, adventuring priests do not charge their companions for healing. Paladins are rare in the church, as their zealous push for good doesn’t sit perfectly within Abadar’s more balanced approach to ethics.

A typical priest has at least 1 rank in Knowledge (local) in order to be familiar with the laws of his home city.  Most also dabble in Knowledge of history and nobility or practice a Craft or Profession useful to a settlement.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Old Fishery: Midlands in the city of Korvosa





Harrow Points

Harrow Point Uses
In “Edge of Anarchy,” the PCs are faced with numerous situations where they need to be quick on their feet, from chasing down fugitives over rooftops to navigating rotting piers and ships.

During this adventure, a character can spend his Harrow Points in the following ways.

Dexterity Rerolls: Spend a Harrow Point to reroll any one Initiative check, Reflex save, attack roll modified by Dexterity, or Dexterity-based skill check. You must abide by the new result (although if you have additional Harrow Points remaining, you can use them to attempt additional rerolls).

Dodge Bonus: Spend a Harrow Point to gain a +1 Dodge bonus to your Armor Class for one encounter. You can spend up to 3 Harrow Points per encounter to increase your Armor Class in this manner.

Speed Increase: Spend a Harrow Point to increase your base speed by 10 feet for one encounter—you cannot spend multiple Harrow Points to increase your speed multiple times in one encounter.

The Chosen
In addition, the card a PC draws during the choosing has special qualities during this adventure. Each of these cards is tied to a specific encounter in “Edge of Anarchy,”and when a PC who drew that card reaches that encounter, he gains a +2 bonus on all rolls modified by Dexterity and a +1 Dodge bonus to his Armor Class. These bonuses last for the encounter’s duration.
As an added bonus that player will also receive a hero point upon completing that encounter.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Rabbit Prince

Judgement is at hand!

When I saw Zellara, the Harrow card diviner, I was reminded of my mother and the way she used to tell me children’s stories behind some of the cards used in common Harrow decks. My favorite was always the Rabbit Prince, nimble and alert; I remember the Prince was a popular imaginary companion for many royal and highborn children.  

So when I saw Zellara begin to turn over the Rabbit Prince card... all those childhood memories of bedtime tales and children’s melodies of old came back to me in a breath. The feeling was pleasant at first; but when Zellara said this was my fate card… a key-card, it was in my mother’s voice that she spoke and that brought within me ice-cold conviction. Inquisitor’s judgment was at hand.

“The Rabbit Prince,” my mother’s voice said. “Is the personification of unpredictability in battle, and his broken sword… symbolizes defeat eventually comes to everyone.”

I felt a surge of divine purpose and guidance at seeing the central-neutral placement of the Rabbit Prince; I knew then Pharasma had placed Zellara in my path. She had the ability through her reading for me to reach out for Knowledge about the vile Gaedran Lamm. My sister and the siblings of countless others depended on this reading.

“What does Gaedran Lamm fear most?” I had said, never looking away from the Rabbit Prince.

After hearing Zellara's reading, Gaedran knows defeat is coming and is desperate to avoid it; he fears being drawn into combat and will flee at the first sign of defeat. We now know his fear and thus his fate. We will stand together and when we do I will cast my stern gaze upon his mug and pronounce swift judgment upon the thief of children, seeking Sacred Justice for everyone he has terrorized. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Who is Sterk Tallak

Sterk was eight when Gaedren butchered his parents and forced him into slavery. As big as children twice his age Sterk was quickly put to work as a bully/enforcer to keep the rest of Gaedren’s lambs in line. For five years he was forced to “recruit” and pressed dozens of orphans into Gaedren’s service. He quickly learned that holding back on corrections brought swift retribution upon him from Gaedren himself.  He despised Gaedren and took delight in knocking the children unconscious as quickly as possible, if only to deprive him of there tortured screams. 
As the years past Sterk grew attached to a few of the slaves he had been forced to punish, a pair of girls in particular, cousins he had become especially fond of. They had showed him kindness in spite of their current relationship, and he had grown to admire their strength & stability.
“You guys have been through enough” Sterk said, his emotionless expression detailed the severity of there situation.  I want you two out of here before something bad happens.
“Come with us” pleaded Busa, the older of the girls “If he finds out you let us go he will punish you”.
“He can’t hurt me anymore” smiled Sterk as he brushed the dark curls from Busa’s face. He should be in bed by now, run home & don’t look back. Sterk watched as the girls made their way down the fence line & out of sight. He turned and quietly snuck back to the moldy straw cot he had slept on for the past few years and drifted off to sleep convinced he had done the right thing.
The kick to his ribs woke him from the first restful sleep he could remember in months. “We have some escapees’” sneered Gaedren get up! Sterk groggily rose to his feet
“Should I gather some lambs to go hunting” asked Sterk? Doing his best to disguise the joy in his voice. 
“No need” chuckled Gaedren “We already have them” he said coldly as he enjoyed the look of shock on Sterk’s face. “I want you to disperse some punishment; we can’t let the other think you’ve grown soft”.
“Na, No” stammered young Sterk, “We are not soft”. Walking into the common area of the warehouse Sterk’s heart sank to his stomach. Busa and her cousin were beaten and stripped of all clothing; dangling precariously by their wrists over “the pit” he knew Gaedren had already gotten his answers.
Sterk had seen this form of torture before, hang the victim up and begin flogging them. The blood would flow down into the pit which housed Gaedrens large and particularly aggressive pet alligator. The alligator would go into a wild frenzy as it smelled fresh blood, and would begin thrashing around in the pit at the thought of live prey. He had seen adult men offer up their children for a chance to escape this peril, if these innocent girls were going to make it out alive he would have to save them.
“Let’s take turn’s cutting at their ropes” Gaedrens smiled pulling a rusty dagger from his belt. “If you cut through your rope first, you get to keep the girl on the end of my rope, but if mine falls first  ...well we’ll get to that.
Sterk took the rusty dagger from Gaedrens hand. More of a tool than a weapon, it looked as though it have never been sharpened since the day it was forged. “I will take the raven haired beauty” Gaedren said gesturing towards Busa, the other is yours. “You may begin when you are ready”.
Sterk made a slow deliberate cut across the rope. Only a few threads gave way, but he had to figure a way to stall. After his cut he walked over and extended the rusty blade to Gaedren, “Oh, no thanks I will use my own” as he produced silver, pearl handled blade of magnificent craftsmanship.  I have never lost with this baby.  Slicing into the rope with expert precision Gaedren was ¾ of the way through with one slash. Frozen in horror Sterk’s mind went blank. How to save her the only way was to win, if he won he could keep her. Turning he slashed as hard as he could through the rope. With a scream the young girl fell down into the gaping maw of the alligator below. Sterk couldn’t watch, he turned to face Gaedren “I won” he said choking back tears.
“Great” Gaedren exclaimed, “first time I have ever lost”. “You must have really wanted that win. Well as promised you get to kill mine”. Steping back he gestured to what remained of the rope keeping Busa suspended above the pit.
Sterk stood confused “but you said I could keep her”?
“What? No dear boy I said you could kill mine. Why would we want to keep her, nothing but trouble this one I can tell”.
Sterk shuffled over, his eyes locked on the thin cord holding the life of the girl. Busa the only person in the last five years to show him an ounce of kindness had her life in his hands.  All at once Sterk lunged forward, still clutching the rusty blade he jabed out narrowly missing Gaedren’s throat. Side stepping, apparently ready for the attack, Gaedren slid his own blade along the shoulder and down the back of his young opponent. Dropping to the ground Sterk could feel blood from the deep wound running down his back.
“No one betrays me” Gaedren screamed. Let this be a lesson to all of you pointing to a large group of children that had begun to assemble. “I own you, you will do what I tell” His statement cut short by the rusty blade biting deep into his upper thigh.  Gaedren staggered back screaming out in pain.
Sterk looking to free Busa, rushed over and began working the pullys loweing her back down. All at once he was blindsided, breaking glass and fuel oil erupted as the Gaedren hurled a latern catching Sterk in the side of the head. Flames quickly began to spread as the oil coated Sterk’s face. Trying to smother the flames he wraped his cloak around his face, but that only added fuel to the fire and soon his clothes were writhed in flame. Fearing the end he took one last look Busa if only to remember her face in the afterlife. As he reached out hopeing to touch her one last time the partially cut rope now engulfed in flames gave out.  Sterk watching through the flames of his burning face, never broke eye contact as Busa dropped into the darkness of the pit below. “Looks like I won” Cheered Gaedren, as he shoved the distraught Sterk into the pit after Busa.
Closeing his eyes Sterk wanted to die. The flames had severely burned the side of his head and face & the blood loss was beginning to drain his strength. As he plunged into the darkness he closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable. He slammed into the back of the alligator as was immediately deposited into the filthy water the creature inhabited. The cold water was a shock to his system, dousing the flames it jarred him back to a very serious reality. After suffering a serious knife wound, severe burns, & falling into the pit he did not want to be eaten by an alligator. He readied for the attack, however the alligator wasn’t moving.  Still holding the lifeless corpse of Busa in its jaws the creature had been knocked unconscious when he landed on it. In the bottom of the pit was a large access drain. Summoning what strength he had left Sterk forced open the gate and swam out through the opening.
He floated through the storm / sewer drains for what seemed like hours. Drifting in and out of conciseness, he traversed the labyrinth of tunnels and pipes. He was snapped awake by a high pitched scream ahead. He had no idea how much time had passed hours, days he did not know. He hurt, the burns on his head and face made any movement excruciating. The gash on his back did it’s best to remind him of its presence every time he took a breath. Still something was happening & he couldn’t stay in the sewer forever. Paddling ahead he saw a crude iron rung ladder leading up to what looked like a formidable iron storm grate. He could hear sounds of battle from above as he cautiously began to climb. It took every ounce of strength he could muster to slide the reinforced grate aside and emerge from the sewers.
Staring in shock Sterk could not believe what he was seeing. A half dozen guards lay  dead 15 feet away and ahead of him a Skelton advancing upon a young raven haired girl. He though his eyes had betrayed him It was Busa. Perhaps she had not died as he had thought, perhaps she had escaped, come here to look for him. No, he shook his head as if trying to erase a bad memory it couldn’t be could it? The skeleton swung a wide arc smashing the mace into girl’s ribcage. She crumpled to the ground in a heap the pain nearly unbearable. The undead raised its weapon intending to deliver the death blow.
Sterk new if he didn’t act, Busa was as good as dead. But he was unarmed, he needed a weapon fast. The fallen guards was his first thought, too far away he could never get a weapon in time he looked around for anything, anything he could use to fight off this terrible creature.
Every muscle in his body strained as he lifted the iron storm grate above his head. Calling out to Gorum for strength he brought the heavy grate down accost the head of the skeleton fracturing its skull & crushing most of its spine. He collapsed onto the pile of bones as his vision began to fade. He could barely make out the voices of reinforcements arriving on the scene. “I saved her this time” was all he could mutter before he slipped from conciseness.

Welcome to Korvosa

Korvosa, the Jewel of Varisia, has long sparkled on Varisia’s southern shore.  Established 300 years ago by Cheliax at the height of that empire’s expansion, the city now commands its own destiny. A line of Korvosan kings and queens emerged to rule the city, establishing an infamous seat power—the Crimson Throne.
Rulers have sat upon the Crimson Throne for more than a century, and the city has flourished. Yet the monarchy always seems on the brink of disaster. The Crimson Throne is not a prize to be won—it is a curse. No monarch of Korvosa has died of old age, and none have produced an heir while ruling. Even though King Eodred II controls Korvosa more fully than any previous monarch, that control
remains tenuous, and many secretly count the days until their latest king falls to what they call the Curse of the Crimson Throne.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Inquisitor Bordana Habern


Blood flew off the head of the mace in a spray that stained young Bordana’s fine dress a wet scarlet red. Bordana screamed as she watched the guard drop to his knees, his eyes crossed and staring dumbly up at the cavity where his brains used to be.

Darkness began to close about Bordana as more faceless guards charged the undead and its deadly mace; each one fell as dead as the first. Blood continued to run from between Bordana’s legs as she watched the creature frozen in terror; she redoubled her cries.

The creature turned toward Bordana and brought its mace about, seemingly in defense and took a tentative step back. An intense dryness in her throat stopped her screams, Bordana could hardly breathe. She took several steps back as an intense malevolent light intensified in the creature's eyes, it charged, and then it attacked.

Three days later Bordana awoke from her injuries on her thirteenth birthday, a mysterious package sat plaintively by her bed. Pain shot up her side and her vision swam threatening to make her either sick or tumble her from the bed. She cried out in pain as darkness briefly claimed her conscious mind.

When Bordana opened her eyes again some hours later she found her parents anxiously watching over her waiting to tell their daughter of the terrible news...

It was then, Bordana would reflect upon years later, when she promised her heart and faith to Pharisma. Taking up the mace from that fateful day, Bordana began carrying out services for Pharisma as mortician and scorage of undead; as a holy diviner, with the Knowledge domain; and as midwife delivering children, something Bordana would never be able to do... after the undead attack left her infertile.

Denied the most base of female functions, Bordana passes her Inquisitor Judgements with grim intensity, and a skeptic’s eye. She wears overlapping veils over her funeral-black attire, veils that change in color with her mood; Bordana is known to give Veils of Pharisma to expectant women as well as recent widowers in her travels.