Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Session 2: The Dog Brothers 12/2/713

Session 2 - Dogs and rats - by Hayden (Leon Varju)

After the party had rested and began planning what was next. Leon explored the alcoves managing to locate a hidden chest while the others guarded the stairs and the doorway. After requesting assistance from Rex to open the complex chest, A glare and yell of hurry up! echoed from Jenn the rogues managed to open two of the six or eight draws finding nothing in one while the other had two vials of mysterious liquid with a spider emblem (later found to be poison after the Tasarus gave them the once over). During this time the Vialya's keen senses heard some voices beyond the door, hurriedly closing the door and bracing it until Jenn hauled a desk against the door, while this alerted the beggar kings men outside it brought the party time and leaving the fateful stairs as their only option forwards. Again Leon attempted to prove he wasn't there to die taking to the stairs once more which had proved costly earlier, he crept up hoping to peer behind the curtain, nearing the top of the staircase nearly able to pull the curtain back a stair creaked as he place his weight upon it then a crossbow bolt jetted past narrowly missing him at once he fled down the stairs leaving the others to deal with this menace. 

Erik scoffing at Leon, charged through the curtain bull rushing one of the dog brother soldiers forcing him back, the enemy scattered away from the stairs slightly as paladin began his attacks, Rex determined to show that he was just as capable in combat as anyone ran up the stairs moving past the paladin who was now nearly surrounded taking all that the enemy could deal, Rex scored first blood downing one foe while Erik battled the dogs sergeant who had entered the fray. Erik now bloodied and battling hard launched an attack on the dogs Sgt not enough to fell him but he was left bloodied none the less, in his retaliation his attacks had the paladin on the back foot fending what strikes he could then with a mighty cleaving strike Erik had fallen to the ground in bloody armoured heap, Jenn had now entered the battle spurred on with her rage at seeing the paladin struck down. She moved in quickly imparting her own words of survival upon Erik which served as a motivation to get up and keep fighting, as she moved into range of the Sgt.... while battle raged upstairs the door barricaded with the desk burst open and two of the beggar kings men moved towards tasarus. Before Tasarus had time to launch any magic he was forced to fail his wand at the attacker clipping him across the head which gave Leon enough time to score two piercing strikes dropping the foe to the floor, after lingering in the back rooms gathering scrolls and a bag of coins Vialya emerged to see scenes of battle quickly launching a spell she felled the remaining enemy... 

Jenn's battle with the Sgt had reached its conclusion plunging her sword through his chest he dropped to his knees she then placed a foot on him and withdrew the blade the last thing he would've seen was her victorious grin, the two remaining soldiers retreated upon the arrival of the remaining party members, the rogues buoyed by their new found confidence in battle gave chase, with Jenn not far behind lamenting their poor choice of tactic, however they got the slip on both the rogues. A slight rest and gathering of supplies was in order, Erik found a magic sword, Jenn some javelins some silver and one of which crackled with thunderous energy, Vialya’s earlier finds of money were was promptly handed over to our leader Jenn, after some more searching a secret stash was found which contained a mysterious half-filled sealed jug and a few other items. 

Passing through a secret door into small room filled with rats the followings words spoken by Jenn "Rats!?!? We’re going to fight rats" or at least something to that effect. Were swallowed promptly as Rex who had clearly the same thought soon found himself overwhelmed by the little beasts forcing him to retreat while they bit him until shook himself clean of them. Everyone’s strikes were almost ineffective against the tide of rats for every one cut down it seemed more took their place eventually Tasarus was able to launch his magic against the swarm whittling their number down enough for them to disperse.... 

In next room the odour of sweat and smelly feet filled the air with the distinct sense of a possible ambush lurking nearby...

XP
Messing with chest etc: 125
Stairs & Dog Brothers: 600
Dog Brother War Captain Irocar: 175
Finding Irocar's treasure: 100
Rat swarms: 500 
Total: 1500/6 = 250 xp each.
250+415 = 665 
Session Account XP: 25+665=690 XP total.

Monday, 28 January 2013

PC Background: Tasarus (Dean) - Deva Invoker (RIP 18/5/713)

"Who am I? Why am I here? How did I get here?"

These are just some of the questions which have been nawing away at Tasarus for many years now. As a Deva, he was reborn into this world as an adult, retaining much of the knowledge of his previous lives. Yet, despite all this, everything seems so very foggy and uncertain to him. All that Tasarus can say for certain, is his name.

Tasarus desperately wants to find any and all information relating to his past. As a result, he can often be found reading through old dusty tomes, and exploring the ancient locations of this world. This has yet to bear any fruit however, and thus he has decided to try something new.

Word has reached Tasarus's ear of a group of champions seeking to explore the old slums of Punjar. While it's not the most friendly of locations to say the least, perhaps this city, or maybe even one of these heroes, may hold some clue that will help him.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

PC Background: Rex Deveron (William) - Human Rogue -RIP

Growing up in the slums of Punjar, Rex had little choice into leading a life of crime; not to say he doesn't enjoy it. Starting out as a lowly pickpocket, not knowing where his next meal would come from, he has become a wanted man in Panjar for crimes varying from petty theft to assassination. 
After his most recent assassination attempt failed, Rex has tried to keep a low profile and feels that travelling in a group of 'do-gooders' may be the best way to hide in plain sight...

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

PC Background: Ahyoka (Joe) - Elf Ranger

 Ahyoka only remembers flashes of the death of her parents. From when she was 3 she moved between foster parents. She never stayed with one long because, they would say, she "would never fit in".  When Ahyoka turned 15 she ran away to look after herself, with only her clothes and a bow in hand. She enjoyed the control and fairness this gave to her. She trained herself to be as silent as a shadow, stalking her pray from a distance. Never getting close to anyone. Ahyoka grew up believing that the ones who made the laws were corrupt and for it to be effective, the law had to be taken into one's own hands.

PC Background: Jenn Morgan (Chloe) - Half-Elf Warlord

Reserved but resolute, Jenn Morgan has turned to adventuring as an attempt to restore her family honour and redeem her dignity as a noblewoman. There are many rumours concerning her fall from grace, the most popular of which centres on a newly born child and a human servant.  Armed with a battleaxe passed down the maternal bloodline, Jenn has followed in her father’s footsteps by becoming a professional warlord. She has chosen to come to Punjar, hoping the town is far enough from her home to escape the whispers of others. Jenn is eager to return to her family, but only after becoming a heroine and restoring honour to the House of Morgan. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

PC Background: Erik Van Karsen (Dana/Pierre) - Human Paladin

In the taverns you have heard the talk of the Plainsbourne Paladin. He has richer skin than the average Punjaran?, and dark green eyes. His hair is the lustrous black . But there is something else. He has not the level gaze of a righteous champion. Something in the shape or intensity of his eyes speaks of the fury and passion of the wildest beast. He wears a tabbard bearing no family heraldy but the symbols of Bahamut.

It is said that his foreign mother brought him to Punjar and died a few years later. After time as a street rat he was taken in by Theodan van Karsen, aged priest of the Platinum Dragon. Out of respect for his adopted sire, he took the van Karsen name, and pledged himself to Bahamut. It would seem to be true, for the young man now wears Theodan armour. It is also said he was betrothed to a young cleric (Liara) who met an untimely end at the claws of some vile and predatory undead.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

PC Group - Sellswords of Punjar

Session 1:
1. Elthar Danikus, Human Bard - Arcane Leader XP 415
2. Ayoka (f), Elf Ranger - Martial Striker - XP 690

Session 1+2: - all XP 690
1. Leon Varju, Human Rogue - Martial Striker
2. Rex Deveron, Human Rogue - Martial Striker
3. Vialya Akmenos (f), Tiefling Warlock - Arcane Striker
4. Jenn Morgan (f), Half-Elf Warlord - Martial Leader
5. Tasarus, Deva Invoker - Divine Controller
6. Erik Van Karsen, Human Paladin - Divine Defender

Session 1: Cutpurse Alley 12/2/713 NR (Nerath Reckoning)


Erik's Diary:
Dear Diary Session 1
I have been in mourning too long.  I have forgotten the pace and excitement of melee.  It gladdens my weary heart to again battle alongside worthy companions.  I must begin a new life.  The touch of the dead tore my soul and took from me Liara, my heart's dear treasure.  But I survived.  The omen of my birth still burns in the heavens.  I have prayed to the Platinum Dragon to heal my ragged spirit, and as I venture with these new companions, I can feel the recovery begin.

I accepted this invitation-"My friend, your assistance is requested for a matter of great import. Dark forces threaten our fair city, and persons of high importance require the aid of capable heroes. Be sure that you shall be well rewarded! Seek me out at the inn called Smokey Joe's, at the ninth hour of Twelthday, and I shall explain the mission.-Geroff Nisjal, Master of Smoke."And met a gathering of these folk-Rex Deveron, a "scout" and dagger-fighter.  Quiet.  But precise and efficient.Jenn Morgan, a Half-Elf of clear voice and powerful though perhaps reluctant charisma.Vialya Akmenos, a Devil blooded magician.  Sinister perhaps, but hopefully not beyond redemption.  Elthar Danikus, a bard.  Young and untried as of yet.  Perhaps his greatest tale will be our own.Tasarus, a Deva magician.  What a fortuitous omen to have a celestial among us!Leon Varju, another "scout".  Half-mad with bravery perhaps, but admirable for his zeal.Ayoka (f), an Elven Ranger.  Out of place here in Punjar, but not unwelcome among us.
Our host, Geroff Nisjal, explained that he would have us rid the city of the Beggar King, and disperse his band like the haze that has fallen over Punjar.  We were told that we should seek out the Charnel Tower, for the Beggar King lairs nearby.  As payment, he offered 11 platinum to each of us.  Perhaps my tithe will be enough to keep the orphanage of Pelor running for several months when it is all said and done.  To each of us he has already paid a single silvery coin. Ayoka dismissed Punjar as a symbol of human folly, but took the coin none the less.
I have heard the rumour that The Beggar King is allied with a Devil-blooded warlock, who keeps a cadre of eunuch bodyguards.  And I have heard also, that the Beggar King keeps his treasure secured beneath his throne-room.  Perhaps we shall discover if there is any truth to these fragments of gossip.  With luck we will send the warlock's soul hurtling back down to the depths of the Nine Hells.  
We wasted no time in heading towards the Charnel Tower.  On the way, we encountered some of the city guard.  They were pleasant enough, but had no real information to offer us save that the slums had been quieter for the past few days.
Beyond them, we encountered Kiriss, an ally of our employer.  He had little information to give us and after a brief encounter was convinced to let us through.  
Nearing the smoking tower, we were stopped by a formidable gate.  Rex attempted to unlock it and would've lost fingers in its monstrous jaws, had he not have pulled back his hand so swiftly.  With considerable effort, Jenn and I pried open the entrance.
Leon crept ahead carefully.  Atop a roof of the alley, an ambush had been prepared.  Scythes swept down from above reaping a terrible toll on our man.  He responded, I am not sure how in the darkness, but with powerful result He then withdrew to the safety of our company.  The guards came on down the alley after him at which point a full scale battle erupted.  I took one of the attackers in a fury, but left my defenses wide.  A companion stepped ahead to cover me as I regained my stance.  I could hear Elthar and Jenn tending to Leon and by Bahamut's Discorporating Breath, there must have been magic in their words for he recovered soon enough.  A dagger hurtled through the air past my right arm and stuck deep in the chest of a beggar-guard.  I believe it was Rex who threw it, but in the darkness and chaos I couldn't be sure.  The guards slain I proceeded to the first doorway.  As I kicked it open, I realised that my companions hadn't had the same idea.  Rex searching the bodies of our enemies, others were caught in discussion.
At any rate, the doorway opened into a storeroom.  Two thugs stood within swords drawn.  Our group fought hard to gain entry and succeeded.  Both fell to blade or spell.  A smaller man appeared and joined the fray calling out to allies (The Dog Brothers) deeper in for assistance.  Here I was frustrated, for I could not reach our foe.  Viayla leveled a powerful spell at the newcomer twinning glistening spiked chains of ice around him, holding him fast.  Then an aberrant beast grasped me with its tentacle!  I was to be drawn down to my death in a reeking pit of filth.  Our leader, Jenn aborted its attempt to consume me.  She drew the monstrousity into the storeroom with a fierce and challenging cry that must have infuriated its primordial brain.  Rex struck it a deadly blow.  My world dissolved around into red rage, and my blade bit deep.  An again Vialya casting some powerful hex drew forth something the pulsed and writhed out of the beasts mass with the power of her magic.  It fell, lifeless.  And the remaining rogue was overcome.
Leon the Bold took the stairs beyond three at a time.  Something sent him sprawling back down the stairs, out cold.  I pulled him clear of the line of fire and channel The Platinum Dragon's mercy into his body.  There was an exchange of fire between a crossbowman and our elven archer Ayoka.  The crossbowman lost.  Arrow protruding from his neck he too tumbled back to to ground floor.  Towards the end of the battle Tasarus hurled magical lightning up the stairs the effect of which is unknown as yet.
The bard Elthar had a brilliant idea to draw the rest of the Dog Brothers out, but needs to find the right wording.  We could here them moving about above us...


XP (Experience Points) for the 8 PCs who assaulted the lair of the Beggar King:
Dealing diplomatically with Kiris & the Thieves - 125
Demon Maw Gate - 400
Beggar Sentries - 500
2 Bazaar guards - 250
Old Otyugh - 262
Arthuro the Fence - 175
Dog Brother merc xbowman - 100
Total: 1812/8 = 226 XP each.
+14 XP roleplay bonus = 240 XP each.
Post-Session 6 Backgrounds & Session account = +175 XP each, total 415 XP each.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

PC Background: Leon Varju (Hayden)- Human Rogue

Leon Varju "The Emerald Crow"
Of an average height and wiry build. With cropped brownish/black hair, a scar crossing the top of his head and watchful dark brown eyes.
The emerald crow got his name due to his fascination with emerald artefacts, which generally have already been dug up and retrieved by Archaeologists or other treasure hunters. Other treasures come prized as well but nothing like the lustre of an emerald one. Now turning to adventuring to make the final big score after it was denied to him due to an incident when selling obsidian & topaz carved frog totem with burning amber eyes to a nobleman who was so enamoured with acquiring the totem kissed it and then began to transform into a gargantuan frog, In a panic he fled the scene forgetting to grab the gold before the transformation was complete. Rumours later spread the house had overrun with frogs as a prank while the family were away there were also murmurings of a giant frog devouring a nobleman’s family and that a totem of ramenos was found also circulated. The frog hasn't been seen since, this happened over a year ago now as result he's been on edge since in case it comes back for him...

The Pregen PCs & race notes

Rex Deveron, Human Rogue
Jenn Morgan (f), Half-Elf Warlord
Vialya Akmenos (f), Tiefling Warlock
Elthar Danikus, Human Bard
Jonn Altarok, Human Ranger
Valgrim, Human Fighter
Tasarus, Deva Invoker - reserved by Dean
Erik Van Karsen, Human Paladin - reserved by Dana
Red Adell (f), Half-Elf Tempest Fighter



Racial info from D&D Compendium:

Human

Ambitious explorers, driven leaders, eager to master the world
PHYSICAL QUALITIES

Humans come in a wide variety of heights, weights, and colors. Some humans have black or dark brown skin, others are as pale as snow, and they cover the whole range of tans and browns in between. Their hair is black, brown, or a range of blonds and reds. Their eyes are most often brown, blue, or hazel.    Humans’ attire varies wildly, depending on the environment and society in which they live. Their clothing can be simple, ostentatious, or anything in between. It’s not unusual for several distinct human cultures to live side by side in a particular area and mingle. As a result, human armor, weaponry, and other items incorporate a variety of designs and motifs.    Humans have average life spans of about seventy-five years, though some venerable members of the race live as long as ninety or more years.
PLAYING A HUMAN
Humans are decisive and sometimes rash. They explore the darkest reaches of the world in search of knowledge and power. They hurl themselves into danger, dealing with consequences as they arise. They act first and ponder later, trusting their will to prevail and their natural resourcefulness to see them through perilous situations.    Humans always look to the horizon, seeking to expand their influence and their territory. They chase power and want to change the world, for good or for ill. Their settlements are among the brightest lights in a dark and untamed world, and humans constantly seek to explore new lands and settle new frontiers.    Their self-reliance and bravery inclines humans toward martial classes such as fighter and rogue. They often prefer to find hidden reserves of strength in themselves rather than trust to the magic of wizards or clerics.    That said, humans tend to be a pious race, worshiping the whole pantheon of gods. Their myths name no god as the creator of their race. Some tales say the gods worked together to create humans, infusing them with the best qualities of each race that had come before. Other tales say that humans were the creation of a god whose name is no longer known—a deity killed in the war against the primordials or assassinated by Asmodeus or Zehir.    Humans are tolerant of other races, different beliefs, and foreign cultures. Most human settlements consist of diverse enclaves where different races live together in relative peace. The human empire of Nerath, the last great world power, united many different peoples and ruled the land for more than five hundred years before it collapsed about a century ago. Most of the human settlements that survived the empire’s fall now stand as fortified bastions against the encroaching darkness. When elven forests are razed or dwarven mines overrun, the survivors often flee to the nearest human town or city for protection.    Despite the far reach and power of Nerath, humans in the present day are a scattered and divided people. Dozens of small baronies, fiefdoms, and free city-states have arisen from Nerath’s ruins, and many of these realms are petty, weak, and isolated. Tensions and misunderstandings can precipitate skirmishes, espionage, betrayal, and even open warfare between neighboring communities.
Human Characteristics: Adaptable, ambitious, bold, corruptible, creative, driven, hardy, pragmatic, resourceful, territorial, tolerant




Tiefling

Cursed heirs of a shattered empire who live in the shadows, but do not fear the dark

PHYSICAL QUALITIES

The appearance of tieflings testifies to their infernal bloodline. They have large horns; thick, nonprehensile tails that range in length from four to five feet; sharply pointed teeth; and eyes that are solid orbs of black, red, white, silver, or gold. Their skin color covers the whole human range and also extends to reds, from a ruddy tan to a brick red. Their hair, cascading down behind their horns, is as likely to be dark blue, red, or purple as more common human colors.
    Tieflings favor dark colors and reds, leathers and glossy furs, small spikes and buckles. Tiefling-crafted arms and armor often have an archaic style, harkening back to the glory of their long-vanished empire.
    Tieflings have the same life spans and general aging patterns as humans.

PLAYING A TIEFLING

Heirs to an ancient, infernal bloodline, tieflings have no realms of their own but instead live within human kingdoms and cities. They are descended from human nobles who bargained with dark powers, and whose empire once subjugated half the world. But the empire was cast down into ruin, and tieflings were left to make their own way in a world that often fears and resents them.
    Hundreds of years ago, the leaders of the human empire of Bael Turath made pacts with devils to solidify their hold over its enormous territory. Those humans became the first tieflings, and they governed their empire in the name of their infernal masters. In time, Bael Turath came into conflict with Arkhosia, the ancient empire of the dragonborn, and decades of warfare left both empires in ruins. Bael Turath’s grand capital was thrown down in ruin.
    Following the collapse of their empire, the tieflings were scattered. Bearing the infernal visage that was the mark of their pact with the forces of darkness, they found a cold and sometimes deadly welcome in the humanoid societies to which they fled. Once a powerful people with a strong nobility, the tieflings were reduced to little more than vagabonds. Their population dwindled, and for many decades, the survivors of Bael Turath were in danger of being wiped out and forgotten.
    Over time, however, the last of the great Turathi nobles began to reclaim their place in the world. Cautiously earning the trust of other peoples, the descendants of those nobles began to spread into human communities that were willing to allow them to live in peace, and the tiefling race was reborn. In the present age, tieflings are less common than many other races, but their numbers grow stronger with each generation.

Tiefling Characteristics: Cunning, disquieting, imposing, mysterious, proud, rebellious, self-reliant, sinister, sly, unconventional



Deva

Immortal spirits who embody virtue, born and reborn to mortal life in the world
Deep in the recesses of memory, devas recall what they once were: immortal servitors of the gods of good, spirits who chose to bind themselves to the world in mortal flesh. For millennia, their souls have been reborn to wage an endless war against the forces of darkness. Most devas are fiercely committed to the cause of good, because they fear what they might become if they turn to evil: A deva whose soul becomes corrupted risks being reborn as a rakshasa.

Play a Deva if you want...
•     to have dimly remembered connections to a thousand heroic lifetimes.
    to embrace the cause of good and strive for perfection in all you do.
•     to be a member of a race that favors the avenger, cleric, invoker, and wizard classes.

PHYSICAL QUALITIES

In appearance, devas are very similar to humans, but with an unearthly beauty and an uncanny stillness about them. They are almost as tall as dragonborn, but much more slender.
Devas’ coloration distinguishes them most strongly from humans. All devas have patterns of light and dark colors on their skin. The light portions are chalk white or pale gray, and the dark areas range from blue or purple to dark gray or black. In any individual deva, either light or dark can be dominant, with the opposite shade appearing in simple, elegant patterns on the face, chest, and shoulders. A deva’s hair is typically the same color as these skin patterns.
When sitting or standing at rest, devas remain almost perfectly still, except for the occasional blink of the eyes. They don’t fidget or twitch, and their eyes move only when they are actively examining something.
Devas do not have children. When a deva dies, his or her spirit is reincarnated in a new, adult body that appears in some sacred place, such as a mountain peak, a riverbank, or a desert oasis. The new deva retains enough memory of past lives to speak and understand multiple languages and offer the proper prayers and sacrifices to the gods of good.

PLAYING A DEVA

Devas are refined and polite. They follow the highest moral standards, but they are not afraid of violence. They believe that the pursuit of good is an eternal war with the forces of evil, embodied in rakshasas, demons, devils, and the evil gods and their servant angels. Devas wage that war in their hearts as well, constantly vigilant lest evil take root and corrupt their souls, transforming them into the creatures they most despise.
Because they remember, at least dimly, a life in the Astral Sea spent in close company with the gods, most devas are devout worshipers of the gods of good, especially Bahamut but also Moradin and Pelor. Devas seek to achieve a personal connection with the gods rather than approach them through temples and priests. They worship at meals in their homes, setting an empty place for the absent gods, and strive through meditation and prayer to become more like the gods they serve. Deva adventurers are commonly avengers, clerics, and invokers, who savor the experience of divine power flowing through them without any intermediary.
Devas do not have cities or societies of their own, and their numbers are so small that a deva can spend entire lifetimes without ever meeting another of his or her kind. They live among other races and, at least to some extent, adopt their ways. However, all devas remember elements of the life they had before their incarnation in flesh and the beginning of their cycle of rebirth, and they share some common cultural elements of dress, religion, and habits. Devas favor flowing clothes of fine silks, polished metal armor with winglike shoulder ornaments, and headdresses or helmets that suggest crowns or halos. In other ways, they prefer to live simply, without extravagance.

Deva Characteristics: Dedicated, devout, elegant, enlightened, introspective, mystical, refined, righteous, spiritual, thoughtful


Half-Elf

Born heroes and leaders who combine the best features of both humans and elves.

PHYSICAL QUALITIES

Half-elves tend to be sturdier of build than elves but more slender than most humans. Half-elves have the same range of complexions as humans and elves, and, like elves, they often have eye or hair colors not normally found among humans. Male half-elves can grow facial hair, unlike male elves, and often sport thin mustaches, goatees, or short beards. Half-elves’ ears are about the size of human ears, but they are tapered, like the ears of their elf ancestors.
    Half-elves usually adopt the dress and hairstyles of the society they spend the most time with. For example, a half-elf raised among a barbaric human tribe dresses in the furs and skins favored by the tribe and adopts the tribe’s style of braids and face paint. However, it is not unusual for half-elves raised among humans to seek out articles of elven clothing or jewelry so that they can display signs of their dual heritage.
    Half-elves have life spans comparable to those of humans, but like elves they remain vigorous well into old age.

PLAYING A HALF-ELF

Half-elves are a race originally descended from the union of elves and humans. Many half-elves are the direct offspring of human and elf parents. However, half-elves produce half-elf offspring among themselves, and some members of the race can trace their mixed ancestry back for generations. Half-elves combine the best traits of both their lines, mixing the wisdom and long-term perspective of the elves with the energy, ambition, and ingenuity of their human parentage.
    Half-elves are most common in places where elves and humans live in close proximity. In the earliest age of the world, elves lived in the Feywild and did not mingle with the other mortal races. However, following the bloody war that sundered the elves, the eladrin, and the drow, the first elves made their way into the world to settle in the deepest primeval forests.
    This new civilization spread over time, coming into contact with humans and other races. Elves dwelled in peace alongside their human neighbors, for although humans often proved quick-tempered and aggressive, they made good allies and companions. Though tensions sometimes arise between human and elf communities, these two races relate to one another on consistently good terms.
    On the borderlands, human villages are often situated near elven forests. When relations between a human settlement and nearby elf villages are good, half-elves are the natural result of the mingling of the two populations. Likewise, the uncertainty that has arisen in settled lands since the fall of the human empire of Nerath has seen countless elf and human families relocate to the settlements of the other race. In such mixed communities, half-elves are an increasingly common sight.
    Half-elves are natural leaders and versatile adventurers, and they are commonly seen as good friends and allies. They share some of the natural grace, athleticism, and keen perceptiveness of elves, along with the passion and drive of humans. However, their status as the children of two worlds makes them confident and open-minded, and many are natural diplomats, negotiators, and commanders.
    Half-elves rarely settle down for any length of time. Their wanderlust makes them natural adventurers, and they quickly make themselves at home wherever they end up. When their paths take them back to a place they have visited before, they track down old friends and renew old contacts.
    Ultimately, half-elves are survivors, able to adapt to almost any situation. They are generally well liked and admired by everyone, not just elves and humans. They are empathetic, and better than most others at putting themselves in others’ shoes.

Half-Elf Characteristics: Accommodating, adaptable, charming, confident, gregarious, open-minded

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Fallen Nerath

Nera, the White City.

The human Empire of Nerath was built on the ruins of the ancient empires - Dragonborn Arkhosia and Tiefling Bael Turath. In her rise to power she defeated the diabolist ancestors of the Iron Circle in the hot south, and drove back the barbaric Karkothi Necromancers to the east, beyond the Midnight Sea. Nerath fell to the Gnolls of White Ruin a century ago. The trade city of Punjar survived as an independent city-state at the mouth of the White River. The ruins of the capital city, Nera, lie in Gnoll territory to the south, beyond the Mountains of Nerath


Dawnforge Mountains: High mountains littered with living and dead Dwarf-Holds.
Winterbole Forest: Vast northern forest inhabited by barbarians and savage beasts.
The Stonemarch: Badlands roamed by Orc tribes.
Vor Rukoth: Isolated, long-ruined Bael Turathi city on the Dragondown Coast.
White River: Major thoroughfare with numerous small baronies along its roughly 150 mile length between the Witchlight Fens in Nentir Vale and its mouth at Punjar.

Barony of Therund: Largest of the White River Baronies, its capital at Moonstair.
The Trollhaunt: Marshes and heathlands roamed by fell trolls.
Gulf of Kul: The Iron Circle have been gaining control of the formerly independent villages and towns here.
Sarthel: Inland Nerathi city (pop. 15,000) now secretly controlled by the Iron Circle.
Punjar: Major city (pop. 25,000+). Many of the nobility are the descendants of refugees from Nerath's fall; they still claim the title of Duke or Count of Nerath (Dux Nerathum, Comites Nerathum), but most of their claimed lands are long-lost in Gnoll country to the south, or overseas.   
Nera Bay: Pleasant bay with several prosperous baronies along the coast north of the White River; most owe fealty to the Overlord of Punjar. The wealthy Barony of Gaunt lies here, with the Barony of Morgansfort to the north, close to the mountains. South of the White River lie the Mountains of Nerath and Gnoll country. The lost Duchy of Ozim lies here, in the former Nerathi Heartlands.
Nentir Vale: Sparsely settled northern borderland. Extant Nentir baronies include Fallcrest, Harkenwold, Winterhaven, and the Dwarf Hold of Hammerfast. The Harken Forest is inhabited by both Elves and Goblins.

Baronies: The most ubiquitous form of social organisation across Fallen Nerath, a typical Lordship or Barony is around 100 square miles, typically a ca 6 mile radius from the Manor of the Lord, with a population of around  5,000. Large baronies may be 500 square miles (roughly a 12 mile radius, pop. 25,000) or more. Tracts of wilderness between Baronies are common, especially in frontier lands.
The Nentir Vale
The World
Iron Circle: Sinister followers of the devil-god Asmodeus. Rule from the Citadel of Iron's Grasp in what was once Arkhosian territory. Successors of a diabolical cult once almost destroyed by Nerath, they once more stretch forth their hand over the world.
Karkoth: Land of savage barbarians and their Necromancer overlords. To the west are former Nerath -allied territories. The Karkoth war almost constantly with Vailin to the south.
Bael Turath: The dark remnants of the devil-touched Tiefling empire can still be found on their island homeland.
Vailin: The sun-kissed shores of far Vailin are said to be home to a mighty kingdom of Elves and Men that has endured centuries of war with Karkoth. The high-prowed ships of Vailin still occasionally reach Punjar, bringing valuable trade and greetings from their noble Queen, but these welcome visits become ever rarer as the world grows dark.

Important Dates (approximate) in Nerath Reckoning (NR)
-1300 NR: Legendary founding of Sarthel.
-650 NR: The Dragonborn Empire of Arkhosia founds a northern colony at the mouth of the White River.
-600 NR: First Turathi colonies east of the Dawnforge mountains. Turath founds a rival colony to Arkhosia at the mouth of the White River.
-250 NR: The rising human empire of Bael Turath pacts with Hell. Noble lineages become devil-blooded.
-120 NR: Beginning of Arkhosia/Bael Turath conflict, which will destroy both empires. 
1 NR: Coronation of Nerra, first King of Nerath, in the shadow of the ongoing Arkhosia/Turathi wars. Official founding of the city of Nerra and beginnings of the Kingdom of Nerath.
80 NR: Final destruction of both Arkhosia and Bael Turath. 
101 NR: The hero-tyrant King Magroth slays the ancient gold dragon Ayunken-vanzen and Lights the Flame Imperishable on the highest rampart of Nera's royal palace. 
102-200: Growth of the Kingdom of Nerath.
200-300 NR: The Kingdom of Nerath, in alliance with the eastern Kingdom of Vailin, wars with and defeats both the diabolical Iron Circle and the Necromancers of Karkoth, forging a world-spanning Empire. 
300-580 NR: The Glory of Nerath. A golden age of peace and prosperity. In this epoch Man gradually turns from warlike pursuits towards the study of art, literature, mathematics and astronomy.
305-410 NR Nerathi settlers enter the northern Nentir Vale.
307 Founding of Moonstone Keep by Aranda Markelhay, beginning of Fallcrest.
580 NR Fall of Gardmore Abbey, northern bastion of the Imperial Knights of Nerath. The Empire is greatly weakened, and Inhuman hordes turn their baleful gaze on the rich lands of Man.
601-4 NR: The gnoll known as White Ruin raises the greatest Horde ever seen, overrunning the Golden Savannah.
605: Nera falls to the Gnolls of White Ruin. Death of her last King, Elidyr. 
605-15 NR: Collapse of the Empire of Nerath.
613 NR: Ruin Horde gnolls conquer the city of Punjar. The city survives.
615 NR: Ruin Horde gnolls turned back from the walls of Sarthel.
627 NR: Bloodspear Orcs defeat Fallcrest forces at the Battle of Gardbury Downs and sack the Nentir Vale.
713 NR: The Beggar King of Punjar invokes dark forces. Dragora, renegade daughter of the Overlord of Punjar, defeated in the City of the Apes. A strange sea monster stalks the sea lanes.
717 NR: In Nentir Vale Mallakai the Mad attempts to raise the Turathi Arch-Lich Skoulos. Retainers of Lord Markelhay bring a live dragon back to Fallcrest.


Soldiers of the Iron Circle

Punjar Map






























2713 AR - Sellswords of Punjar

The Steps district of Punjar to the south of Old Punjar's foul slums, known as The Smoke. Red-brick houses and narrow cobbled streets wind upward towards the imposing Palace of the Overlord sat squat upon the hill high above, overlooking the slow-moving White River to the north-east.
Here, in an upstairs room of a tavern called Smokey Joe's, a ragtag group of heroes, knaves and misfits are gathered. Each of you has responded to a hand delivered note:

"My friend, your assistance is requested for a matter of great import. Dark forces threaten our fair city, and persons of high importance require the aid of capable heroes. Be sure that you shall be well rewarded! Seek me out at the inn called Smokey Joe's, at the ninth hour of Twelthday, and I shall explain the mission.
-Geroff Nisjal, Master of Smoke."


...

...That evening, a cleaned-up party is presented to Overlord Amatheus in his Royal Court, a plump fellow who lounges on his throne surrounded by a bevy of concubines. Amatheus doles out the promised platinum coins, thanks them for their services, and offers them a place in his palace. The heroes accept, looking forward to their luxurious quarters with balconies overlooking the jasmine and rose-scented royal gardens, where fountains patter in the warm air of spring...

But what danger still threatens Punjar, that the Overlord needs such rough fellows in his court?



Sellswords of Punjar

Far south of wintry Nentir Vale, the rat-ridden city of Punjar straddles the mouth of the White River where she flows into the Midnight Sea. Deep within the heart of Old Punjar's slums, the Beggar-King weaves his plots. Consorting with diabolical agents of the Iron Circle, he has launched a war to take control of Punjar's underworld. From the tile rooftops to the filthy alley sewers, even the bravest of sellswords tremble before the Beggar-King's fell secrets. Now you must bring his reign to an end! 

Player Introduction
The Steps district of Punjar to the south of Old Punjar's foul slums, known as The Smoke. Red-brick houses and narrow cobbled streets wind upward towards the imposing Palace of the Overlord sat squat upon the hill high above, overlooking the slow-moving White River to the north-east.
Here, in an upstairs room of a tavern called Smokey Joe's, a ragtag group of heroes, knaves and misfits are gathered. Each of you has responded to a hand delivered note:

"My friend, your assistance is requested for a matter of great import. Dark forces threaten our fair city, and persons of high importance require the aid of capable heroes. Be sure that you shall be well rewarded! Seek me out at the inn called Smokey Joe's, at the ninth hour of Twelthday, and I shall explain the mission.
-Geroff Nisjal, Master of Smoke."



Geroff Nisjal, 'Master of Smoke'

PC Creation & Rules Summary

New PCs start at 1st level. You can take a Pregenerated character or create your own 1st level PC. 
There is a single 'party XP' tally maintained by the GM. If a new or returning PC is below the level of the other PCs, if they then start or resume adventuring they normally advance 1 level per session until they reach the standard party level, at which time they are assumed to have the same 'party XP' total as everyone else.

Materials
You may use any non-setting specific materials: no Themes, no Forgotten Realms/Dark Sun/Eberron.

Player Character House Rules: 
The Cleric Daily power Moment of Glory  has its Damage Reduction reduced from 5 to 2. 
The Martial Power Beast master Ranger's Beast adds +1/2 level to damage with its attacks.
We reserve the right to adjust or even ban Powers, Feats etc - if this happens you may retrain them for free.

Starting Gear
If you are making your own PC and not using any Essentials+ material then you may start your PC with a single level 1 magic item. If it is a weapon/armour/implement, buy a non-magical one then convert it to +1 for free. If you take +1 amulet you get it for free. This is to compensate for the Essentials Feats being more powerful than pre-Essentials. Essentials classes are also slightly more powerful at low level. The pregens are created using the offline character builder which does not include Essentials material, and each has been given a +1 level 1 item as per this rule. If you are building a PC with the online character builder then it incorporates Essentials material so this rule does not apply (unless you were to carefully monitor sources).
eg: You are making a PC with PHB only, or with the offline character builder (materials to mid 2010) only - you can have a level 1 item.
eg: You are making a PC with Essentials - Heroes of the Fallen Lands, or with the online character builder - no level 1 item for you.

4e D&D Rules
If you have no 4e D&D rulebooks you might like to take a look at this Quickstart pdf, which explains the basic rules quite comprehensively: http://www.wizards.co...The main complexity is the combat rules: 1) each round, on your turn, you get up to 3 actions:
a standard action (eg an attack, but you can take a move action instead), 
a move action (movement, but you can take a minor action instead)
a minor action (eg draw a weapon; draw and drink a potion is two minor actions)
2) When you take damage you lose hit points. If hit points reach 0 you are unconscious and dying, and have to make death saves (d20, 10+ to pass), 3 failed saves = death. You also die if your hp reach a negative total equal to half your max hp.
3) After resting about 5 minutes you can spend your 'healing surges' to restore hit points. A surge restores 1/4 your maximum hp, starting from 0. Some spells and powers let you spend healing surges in combat, eg 'second wind' is a standard action power all PCs have that lets you spend a healing surge once per encounter. An extended rest (6 hour rest, 1/day - usually overnight) usually restores all hp and healing surges.

House rule - monster hit points
Either monster hp are halved, or monster XP value is increased +50%.