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RPG Superstar 2015

Black Dow's Iobarian Saga

Game Master Black Dow

PFRPG pbp conversion of the classic UK 2 & 3 series The Sentinel & The Gauntlet aka "THE IOBARIAN SAGA"


Murder one night... Mercy the next... Strange script inscribed upon the walls in blood.

The cold land of Iobaria is as unyielding as the Icerime mountains, deep as the waters of the Lake of Mists & Veils, mysterious as the ancient destinies once forged there.

Yet now in a forgotten village, within a forgotten realm, once proudly independent folk plead the help of strangers. Will you aid them?

Character Creation Guidelines:

Races: Standard only, please

Classes: All classes and archetypes from Core, APG, UM, and ISWG will be allowed. Anything from UC or 3rd Party will be on a case by case basis.

Ability Scores: 20 Point Buy

Alignment: No evil

Feats: Core, APG, UM, UC, ISMagic & ISWG. Once again, other sources must be approved by me.

Traits: Standard 2 (1 of which has to be a Campaign Trait) - may be awarding traits as achievements as we go [I like traits]

Hit Points: Max at first, rolled or average from there.

Starting Gold: Maximum

Starting level: 2nd

Iobarian Saga Campaign Traits:

Iobarian Saga Campaign Traits

These character background traits for the Auldweg Saga campaign are available at first level and seek to add an Iobarian flavour to the characters involved:

1. Comfortably Numb
2. Conqueror’s Heart
3. Friend o’ Nomen
4. Hearth Wisdom
5. Ken of the Kodlok
6. Kodlak-blōd
7. Lochfolk of Lodovka
8. Proud & Free
9. Survival of the Fittest
10. Touch of Frost

Comfortably Numb: You have grown up in the harsh cold lands of the north and barely notice the chill of winter.

Benefit: You gain a +4 trait bonus on all saving throws made to resist the effects of cold environments. You also acquire energy resistance 1 against cold.
Drawback: Your senses are dulled also and you suffer a -1 penalty to Perception checks.

Conqueror’s Heart: The barbarians of Old Iobaria were renowned expansionists and subjugators. Their spirit still runs strong in your veins, granting in you a lust for battle and an air of intimidation.

Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to Initiative when you personally instigate combat. Combat started by an ally does not count. You also gain a +1 bonus to Intimidate checks and Intimidate is always a class skill for you.
Drawback: In your eagerness to engage in combat you fail to fight as savvy as normal and suffer a -1 AC penalty in combats where the above initiative bonus is in effect.

Friend o’ Nomen: The centaurs of the Noman Hills recognise you as an ally and you are familiar with their ways and traditions. In addition you share their affinity with horses.

Benefit: You gain a +2 trait bonus on Diplomacy checks when dealing with centaurs. Ride is always a class skill to you and in the event that Ride is already a class skill you then receive a +1 trait bonus to Ride checks.
Drawback: Your admiration for these creatures makes it difficult for you to battle them. Anytime you engage a centaur in combat you take a -2 penalty on your attack rolls.

Hearth Wisdom: In the cold winter evenings your people would gather round the hearth to recount the tales and myths of Old Iobaria. These sagas fired your imagination and spirit of adventure, and continue to drive you to this day.

Benefit: You gain a +1 trait bonus to any two of Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Nature) and Knowledge (Religion). The two chosen skills are always class skills to you.
Drawback: Your hasty impatience in seeking to experience the old legends for yourself means you suffer a -1 penalty on one Dexterity-based skill check chosen from Ride, Sleight of Hand or Stealth.

Ken of the Kodlok: You possess a supernatural or scholarly understanding into what the Iobarian people call the Kodlok; humanlike creatures that possess animalistic qualities. Your proficient insight relates to both their behaviour and ecology.

Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to Initiative, Knowledge (Nature) and Sense Motive checks with regards to any creatures of the Monstrous Humanoid type.
Drawback: Hostile creatures with the Monstrous Humanoid type encountered in Iobaria instinctively sense your keen acumen regarding them and target you in combat, gaining a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls whilst fighting you.

Kodlak-blōd: Someone in your distant family tree was a lycanthrope or an animalistic shape-shifter and you still carry their legacy in your veins.

Benefit: Animals have a strange reticence when they attack you, and as a result suffer a -2 penalty on all attack rolls made against you. If you have the wild empathy ability you receive a +1 trait bonus to any wild empathy checks.
Drawback: Due to your legacy you suffer a -1 penalty to saving throws resisting lycanthropy, and take +1 point of damage from attacks with silvered weapons.

Lochfolk of Lodovka: Your kin has made a living off the Lake of Mist and Veil’s coasts since before Brevoy existed. Your family’s apt motto is “The Waters, Our Fields”.

Benefit: You gain a +1 trait bonus to Profession (Fisherman), Survival and Swim checks. Swim is always treated as a class skill for you.
Drawback: A proverbial “fish out of water” you struggle socially in areas devoid of a large body of water. As such you take a -2 penalty on any Knowledge (Local) checks in non coastal and lakeside locales.

Proud & Free: You are a descendent of the free folk who populate much of Iobaria’s hinterlands and you share their fierce and stubborn spirit of independence.

Benefit: Pride for your lineage fortifies your mind and soul. You gain a +1 morale bonus on attempts to intimidate you, saving throws against fear and mind affecting powers, spells and effects.
Drawback: You abjectly refuse to bend knee to any nobles that you encounter, and as a result suffer a -2 penalty to Diplomacy checks when dealing with them.

Survival of the Fittest: One of your ancestors was a survivor of the last great plague that swept Iobaria. Like them you are especially resistant to diseases, but are cautious when dealing with creatures that can spread sickness and pestilence.

Benefit: You gain a +4 trait bonus on all saving throws made to resist the effects of disease.
Drawback: You suffer a -2 penalty on initiative when in combat with creatures that are diseased or can inflict disease with a supernatural ability or extraordinary ability.

Touch of Frost: The cold fey of the North infused some of their essence into one of your forebear’s centuries past, but you still carry their boon, albeit now greatly diminished.

Benefit: You may cast the 0-level spell Ray of Frost once per day as a spell-like ability. This ability is cast at your highest arcane caster level gained; if you have no caster level, it functions at CL: 1st. The frost spell-like ability’s save DC is Charisma-based. Additionally any cold based damage you deliver by spell or spell like abilities does bonus +1 damage.
Drawback: Like the fey that empowered you, cold iron weapons are your bane and deliver an additional +1 damage to you in successful attacks.

XP: 7,300 (Started @ 2,000)

Iobarian Saga Achievement Traits:

OUTLANDER (Achievement Trait)

As an Outlander you are both respected and feared in equal measure by the insular folk of Kustnir.

The proud people of Kustnir begrudgingly accept that outside help is needed for their beleaguered village. Yet their inherent mistrust of outsiders and strangers means until you free them you’ll not be totally accepted.

Benefit: While in Kustnir and the surrounding area you gain both a +1 on Diplomacy checks with exponent villagers and a +1 bonus to Intimidate checks against any belligerent locals.

Gífr-banamaðr

As a seasoned Gífr-banamaðr or trow slayer, you know how best to send these brutes to the next life...

Benefit: When in combat with trolls (or any other creature of the Giant subtype) you gain a +1 trait bonus to flanking attacks and a +1 bonus to confirm critical hits.

Cold Hard Stash:

MW Long Bow (375gp in trade, perhaps half in coin)
Elk Antler Handled Fishing Knife (20gp value)
Two gold capped human teeth (5gp value each)
Small Moonstone (50gp value)
Ermine fur trimmed cloak (30 gp value)

Gold Marks: 176
Silver Schillings: 109
Copper Cypren: 51

The PBP Gazetteer

Places:

The Berghof Regional map shows the location of the 4 "villages" in the area [some are barely hamlets, but are loosely referred to as villages] and main geographic features. They are (with their Auld Iobarian (AI) translations):

Berghof [BERG-HOFF] (AI: "Place of Icy Hills") - Western region of Iobaria. Once part of Issian Iobaria, and as a result has stronger links to the nation of Brevoy and Choral the Conqueror - a barbaric warlord of antiquity.

Kustnir [KOOST-NEAR] (AI: "Coast-near") – An isolated fishing village on the shores of the Lake of Mist and Dreams. Its inhabitants are beset by strange murders and fell deeds.

Gánnáhwǽr [GANNA-WER] (AI: "Go-nowhere") - The region of Berghof's trading post - not big but pretty well stocked and well defended. Merchants and caravans coming to & from Brevoy use the trade route (dotted white) which takes them through the dangerous mountains- the Icerime Peaks.

Hálbriden [HALE-BRYDEN] (AI: "Safe-wooden-boards") – The region’s largest village. The folk living here a particularly religious and fearful of the plagues that have swept Iobaria in the past. As a result they keep their healers/druids close and strangers are rarely welcomed.

Ciselwella [KIZEL-WELLA] (AI: "Gravel-well") - A small logging hamlet who ply their trade on the outskirts of the Storith Wood. They mainly recover deadfall and are mindful of the fey that inhabit the wood.

Nirrus River [NYR-RUSS] (AI: “The Cliff-flow”) - The headwaters of the Nirrus give it its name—springs and a series of small lakes feed into the riverbed from the Icerime Peaks and their foothills, often flowing or falling off cliffs into the five main tributaries that become the Nirrus.

The Nirrus can be forded at several points throughout the region, and is a source of both freshwater fish and precious metals washed down from the Icerimes. Currently established bridges exist East & West of Hálbriden and due North of Ciselwella. A ferry point also exists at the river mouth near Kustnir.

People:

Companions and Fallen Friends

Muli Dyren: Kodlak-blōdded alchemist. Former comrade, now returned to Quern's Hermitage to seek knowledge from the fallen sage's works.

Kevkul Steelhide: Dweorg Priest of the Spledig Wesa and former comrade. Now travelling with the Highmettle Merchant Company.

Of Kustnir

Pater Fisc: Eolder of Kustnir
Klenna Fiscsdohtor: Fisc's daughter and the village healer/herbalist
Droost the Kipper: Dwarven fish smoker and militia warrior
Wym Wínmann: Keeper of the Kelpie's Net drinking lodge
"Gehylced” Gilstur: an old, unsavoury, half blind, half-elf hunter. Traded Kevkul some "liniment" and failed in an attempt to rob them. Killed by the party in the wilds
Quern: a hermit-sage and rúnwita of renown. Lives in the shadow of Little Icerime. Killed by Gorruk the Iss Trow
Petrik: a fleet-footed fisherman and hunter. Confidence in his skills outweigh the reality... Fledgling follower of the Spledig Wesa, he accompanied his master Kevkul with the dweorg merchants.
Durwin: "Dourwin" the cantankerous old ferryman of the Nirras.

Ffolk O' Gánnáhwǽr

Gréata; statuesque guard serjeant of Gánnáhwǽr
Slochich; new guard recruit of Gánnáhwǽr- hails from Brevoy
Meister Gilluk; Merchant of Gánnáhwǽr. Rakish in demeanor.
Meister Gorse; Merchant of Gánnáhwǽr. Rotund in shape.
Willem Emberspear; Guard captain of Gánnáhwǽr. Wields what is rumoured to be a potently enchanted langspear.

Fellow Travellers O' The Wylds

Ǽdensor Highmettle; Dweorg merchant and brewmeister.
Caedd Marcfeax; Young dwoeg gaurd; braided hair and beard of gold.
Byrr; Old veteran and Ǽdensor’s right hand.
Aulden; Lead drover & cook; grumpy old bugger.
"Swíge"; Mute drover. Killed by the party on discovery of his true, foul nature.
Schimm the Bow; Drover and hunter.
Bartiff; Jolly drover.
Maclise; Noman Centaur mercenary leader.

Cold Hard Truths & Whispers on the North Wind:

Being truths, half-truths and falsehoods heard throughout Berghof...

Strangely discoloured corpses have been seen floating down-river past the bridge near Ciselwella. No one has dared touch them for fear of the plague. (Muli)

Those who have fought the Púca claim that the chief of these woad goblins has three eyes. His extra eye was a gift from the Cyclops themselves. (Luke & Muli)

Recently a merchant from Orlov and his alfur bodyguard left Kustnir for the trading post of Gánnáhwǽr. Their planned route was to skirt the coast of the Lake, and head south, but they never arrived. (Luke)

An ancient fey spirit inhabits the Lake of Mist and Veils, and seeks to capture any traveller it encounters not protected by iron. (Ragnar)

The very stones of the foothills of Little Icerime, north of Gánnáhwǽr, are accursed and have attacked travellers. Men and beasts have been found torn asunder, and folk whisper of rokk trow. (Kevkul)

Upon the Lakeside there sits an old deserted villa... folk whisper how the spirit of a mighty Cyclop's mage was imprisoned within its walls... and how its spectral remains wait there still... (Skølrykk)

Luke is aware that the Púca’s fortified lair is located in a hillock due east of Hálbriden. His own logging community of Ciselwella is spared their wicked attentions due to a rumoured pact with the fey of Storith Wood.

Culture:

Marc = gold mark [gp]
Scilling = silver shilling [sp]
Cypren = copper coin [cp]

Foes & Fauna:

Blod-Pine: Tall blood red leaved trees that rise in stark contrast to the cold tundra of Berghof.

Muli discovered tracks near the Icerimes that were prints of Déofol Docga, or “Devil Dogs”. These beasts are a crossbreed between wild dogs and winter-wolves. Muli (and Luke) confirm they rarely hunt alone, often allied with humanoids. They are renowned for tearing the throats of downed prey and possess a baleful howl that freezes courage like ice.

Orlovian Merchant & his alfur bodyguard; both became Hár-Cargást or Hoar-Spirits after being murdered in the wilds. Yet by whose hand...

Gorruk; Iss Trow brute and slayer of Quern the Hermit. Your vengeance was cold steel and a pyre of flame... Before he died the jotunn spoke of a “hand of iron that now rules these lands...

Mukl'uk: another Iss Trow, a scout and hunter of men and dweorg. Cleft asunder by Skaggig. Mentioned a ”witherhanded runt” several times in parlance with the party. The jotunn mistakingly thought the party to be ” Se Heoruwearg” or AI: The Bloodthirsty Wolves...

Halvr the Black: Pitch haired and pitch hearted Irrenser; bested in a brawl by Ragnar. Had something of the “wolf” about him... Imprisoned in Gánnáhwǽr gaol.

The Grey Jotunn: Unnamed grey haired giant of an Irrenser; bested by the group in a drinking contest. Had something of the “wolf” also about him... Imprisoned in Gánnáhwǽr gaol.

Redec: A cannibalistic Hinderling (Auld Iobarian legends tell of folk lost in the caves, deep under the mountains who sustained by becoming creatures of ravenous base needs; inbred cannibals preying on the weak, the lost and their own...

Stencmaga: A huge, stinking trow-hund that seemed part pet and part prisoner of the Hinderling nest.

Bearncennicge: "Mother"... named as such only by a dying Redec...

Cold Weather Conditions:

Cold and exposure deal nonlethal damage to the victim. A character cannot recover from the damage dealt by a cold environment until she gets out of the cold and warms up again. Once a character has taken an amount of nonlethal damage equal to her total hit points, any further damage from a cold environment is lethal damage.

An unprotected character in cold weather (below 40° F) must make a Fortitude save each hour (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. A character who has the Survival skill may receive a bonus on this saving throw and might be able to apply this bonus to other characters as well (see the skill description).

In conditions of severe cold or exposure (below 0° F), an unprotected character must make a Fortitude save once every 10 minutes (DC 15, +1 per previous check), taking 1d6 points of nonlethal damage on each failed save. A character who has the Survival skill may receive a bonus on this saving throw and might be able to apply this bonus to other characters as well. Characters wearing a cold weather outfit only need check once per hour for cold and exposure damage.

A character who takes any nonlethal damage from cold or exposure is beset by frostbite or hypothermia (treat her as fatigued). These penalties end when the character recovers the nonlethal damage she took from the cold and exposure.

Extreme cold (below –20° F) deals 1d6 points of lethal damage per minute (no save). In addition, a character must make a Fortitude save (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1d4 points of nonlethal damage.

New Spells:

DEEP BREATH
School transmutation; Level alchemist 1, cleric/oracle 1,
druid 1, sorcerer/wizard 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V
Range touch
Target living creatures touched
Duration 2 hours/level; see text
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

Targets can breathe normally at high altitudes, suffering no ill effects. Although the death zone still affects them, the spell provides a +4 circumstance bonus to resist its effects. The duration is divided evenly among all creatures touched. Creatures already affected by altitude sickness recover after an hour of exposure to this spell, but must make checks as normal once it wears off.

Source: Otyughnomicon; Northern Waste Otyugh [Purple Duck Games]

HIBERNATE
School enchantment (compulsion) [cold]; Level druid 1, ranger 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, witch 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area one or more warm-blooded living creatures within a 10 ft. radius burst.
Duration 1 min./level
Saving Throw Fort negates; Spell Resistance yes

A hibernate spell causes a comatose slumber to come upon one or more warm-blooded creatures. Roll 1d4 per two caster levels to determine how many total HD of creatures can be affected. Creatures with the fewest HD are affected first. Among creatures with equal HD, those who are closest to the spell’s point of origin are affected first. No creature with 5 or more HD is affected, and HD that are not sufficient to affect a creature are wasted. Hibernating creatures are helpless. Slapping or wounding awakens affected creatures, but normal noise
does not. Awakening a creature is a standard action (an application
of the aid another action). This spell can only be cast in conditions within cold terrain.

ICE SHAPE
School transmutation [cold]; Level druid 3, sorcerer/wizard 4
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range touch
Target ice or ice object touched up to 10 cu. ft. + 1 cu. ft./level
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You can form an existing piece of ice into any shape that suits your purpose. For example, the caster can make an ice weapon, a special trapdoor, or a crude idol. Ice shape also permits the caster to reshape an ice door to make an exit where one didn’t exist or to seal a door shut. While it’s possible to make crude coffers, doors, and so forth with ice shape, fine detail isn’t possible. There is a 30% chance that any shape including moving parts simply doesn’t work.

MELD INTO ICE
School transmutation [cold]; Level alchemist 2, druid 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF
Range personal
Target you
Duration 10 min./level

Meld into ice enables you to meld your body and possessions into a single block of ice. The ice must be large enough to accommodate your body in all three dimensions. When the casting is complete, you and not more than 100 pounds of nonliving gear merge with the ice. A Perception check (DC 25) reveals a shadowy shape within the ice. If either condition is violated, the spell fails and is wasted.

While in the ice, you remain in contact, however tenuous, with the face of the ice through which he melded. You remain aware of the passage of time and can cast spells on yourself, while hiding in the ice. Nothing that goes on outside the ice can be seen, but you can still hear what happens around him.

Minor physical damage to the ice does not harm the caster, but its partial destruction to the extent that you no longer fit within it expels you and deals the caster 5d6 points of damage. The ice’s complete destruction expels the you and slays him instantly unless he succeeds at a Fortitude save (DC 18). Even if you make your save, you still take 5d6 points of damage.

At any time before the duration expires, you can step out of the ice through the surface that you entered. If the spell’s duration expires or the effect is dispelled before you voluntarily exit the ice, you are violently expelled and take 5d6 points of damage.

The following spells harm the caster if cast upon the ice that the caster is occupying: Ice shape deals the caster 3d6 points of damage but does not expel the caster. Faerie ice expels the caster and then slays the caster instantly unless he succeeds at a Fortitude save (DC 18), in which case the caster is merely expelled. Finally, passwall expels the caster without damage.

SILENT AND UNSEEN
School transmutation; Level druid 2, inquisitor 2, ranger 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range personal
Target you
Duration 1 minute
Saving Throw none; see text; Spell resistance no

You gain a +10 bonus to Stealth for 1 minute. In addition, for the spell’s duration any enemy targeting you with a melee, ranged or ranged touch attack must make a Will save or believe you vanish before their eyes (you do not actually vanish, but your opponent thinks you do for the purpose of their attack.)

SNOW BLINDNESS
School transmutation [cold]; Level druid 1, ranger 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, witch 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target one creature
Duration permanent (D)
Saving Throw Fort negates; Spell Resistance yes

The reflecting snow and ice flashes brightly and all reflected
sunlight burns into the subject’s eyes. The creature is blinded. This spell only functions if you are outdoors, in a cold terrain during the day.

MAPS: Iobarian Saga Map 1: Realm of Iobaria

Iobarian Saga Map 2: Berghof Regional Map

Luke's Guess at the Merchant's Path

RESOURCES: Flavour Translator for Auld Iobarian (using Old English)


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