This will be the Shackled City adventure path using the Pathfinder rule set. However, the existing deities (i.e. St. Cuthbert, Pelor, Wee Jas) will not be converted to similar Golarion gods. A guide to the region, information about the city, and rules for the campaign follows:
Links only work in original story summary posts until Day 52. You can search by "Story Summary" or go to the favorites on my page to find them.
- Exit tavern. Helps Ruphus who is being attacked by Last Laugh.
- Party goes to Church of St. Cuthbert. Meets Jenya Urikas (acting head of church while Sarcem is out of town)
- Receives divination. "The locks are key to finding them. Look beyond the curtain below the cauldron. Beware the doors with teeth. Descend into the malachite hold where precious life is bought with gold. Half a dwarf binds them, but not for long."
- Meals at Slippery Eel with Aroon the owner
- Orphanage. Mother Tashykk. Patch admits Last Laugh paid him to watch Terem (1 of the 4 taken).
- Silfir & Finneas visit guard house. Captain Terseon Skellerang provides list of victims.
- Ghelve's Locks. Fight with skulk. Finneas goes down for the 1st time.
- Party enters Jzadirune. Two skulks ambush party and then run off to warn the rest of the complex.
- Silfir goes through the gnome salt shaker.
- Skulk fight. Meet friendly mimic. Rescue rat.
- Fight 2 more skulks.
- Return to Ghelves.
- Shopping/flirting at Skie's treasury.
- Shopping at Tygot's old things.
- Return to Jzadirune
- Fight skulks in kitchen. Dyrant lets cabinet collapse on Atol.
- Fight in invisible spheres with construct.
- Finneas kills spiders
- Fight with choker in theater.
- Level 2
- Glimmil gets Cog
- 3 chests
- Alchemical lab fight with raggamuffyns
- Throne room
- Doctor Toffitt
- Lots of exploration. 2nd construct.
- “I am Emirystul, librarian of Jzadirune. The scrolls you seek have been destroyed to keep you and others from fading into nothingness. The curse of the Vanishing began here, in these mystic halls, and here it will remain. Be careful what you find, and mind whatever magic was wrought here.”
- Silfir's Vanishing disease finishes incubating.
Day 3 continued (page 39)
Toffitt and Glimmil visit Skie
Atol, Finneas, & Silfir visit Church of St. Cuthbert
Silfir's disease removed by Jenya Urikas (St. Cuthbert)
Finneas goes to Temple of Lordly Might
Finneas's stat damage removed by Asfelkir Hranleurt (Kord)
Glimmil experiments with bag of tricks
Silfir's stat damage removed by Jenya Urikas
Last of Jzadirune is explored (page 40)
Gnome piggy bank (plate mail fille with treasure)
Fight with armor construct
Glimmil, Silfir, and Finneas visit Tygots (page 42)
- Dwarven bracelet with names of two kidnapping victims
Silfr's visit to City Guard
Party restocks to try for Malachite Hold
Day 5 (All) - Moonday.
Fight with hobgoblins in elevator (page 42)
Fight with earth elemental and polymorphed ogre in hallway
Chest in room filled with garbage (page 45)
Fight with Kazmojen and 19 hobgoblins
Party meets Fellian Shard and Fario Ellengoth
Beholder shows up and takes Terrem
Terrem is dropped off at orphanage by mystery woman
Return to Malachite Fortress
More kidnapping victims found
Atol gets kissed
Atol gets killed
Fight with constructs
The gong mimic in the treasure room
City guard escorts party to the church of St. Cuthbert
Atol gets raised from the dead
Dyrant, Finneas and Atol visit the Slippery Eel
Glimmil gets the vanishing (6 CHA damage) and goes to bed
Silfir (is away from keyboard?)
Characters reach level 3
Day 6 - Godsday
- Glimmil is cured of Vanishing.
- Rest of loot is brought up from Malachite Fortress
- Loot is sold, items bought or ordered
- Scribing of scrolls, mixing of potions
Day 7 - Watersday
- More scribing and alchemy
- Items with the Vanishing have the curse removed by Jenya
- Party visits orphanage
- Weapons/shields are personalized - Pahlian Gurnezarn handles orders for heroes quickly
- More loot is sold, items bought or ordered
- Fight with goblins in alley
Party spends next 5 days tracking down goblins
Day 8 - Earthday
Day 9 - Freeday
Day 10 - Starday
Day 11 - Sunday
Day 12 - Moonday
- Atol gets 2nd restoration #3153
- Fight with wererats outside Orak's bathhouse
- Detaining Orak
- Clearing Drakthar's way of goblins, worgs, dark mantles, shocker lizards, a tiefling, a human, and a vampire
Day 13 - Godsday
- Party emerges with Drakthar's body at 1 am #4117
- Party finishes off Drakthar
- Party exlpores caverns that end up exiting onto the side of the volcano. Party finds a campsite and follows path to main road on west side of volcano.
Day 14 - Watersday (Festival Day 1)
- Drink down the flood Round 1
- Finneas outdrinks young man
- Glimmil outdrinks a grandma
The day passes without any unusual events. Hundreds of duplicate boats are floated on the lake as rain storms move through quickly, dumping several inches of water and raising the level of the lake a few inches.
Day 15 - Earthday (Festival Day 2)
- Wrestling match 1 for Finneas vs. Thud
- Round 2 of drinking contest
- Finneas outdrinks
- Glimmil outdrinks Ellywinkle
- Finneas and Toffitt swim in the lake and lose to Geleth
- Toffitt buys Geleth a drink
- Haunted Jzadirune opens with Ellywinkle Nerfoodle
Day 16 - Freeday (Festival Day 3)
- Wrestling match 2 for Finneas vs. the silent tattoo
- Finneas loses to Mother Tashykk after four rounds of drinking
- Glimmil autowins his drinking contest
- Dyrant commissions art to immortalize the event
- Atol moves out of the church 4267
- Wrestling match 2 for Finneas vs. the silent tattoo
- Finneas loses to Mother Tashykk after four rounds of drinking 4279
- Glimmil autowins his drinking contest
- Dyrant commissions art to immortalize the event 4283
- Atol receives cudgel from Jenya 4286
Day 17 -
- Glimmil wins drinking contest vs flower vendor 4299
- Finneas loses wrestling match 4304
- Jenya sends group to Lucky Monkey 4309 to rescue Sarcem
- Battles at Lucky Monkey with baboons and half-orc baboon 4442
- Party rescues Shensen Tesseril (cleric of - 4587
Day 18 - Page 94
- Party returns to Cauldron 4610
- Glimmil wins drinking match 4615
- Captain Skellerang identifies woman as Triel, a former guard - 4620
- Jenya uses Star of Justice - page=93#4643
Wands locked away beneath your feet
Can be reached by watery maze
Or tip the laughing man who sells
Tips for gold but no drinks at all.
- Atol cudgels Dyrant - page=94#4661
Day 19 -
- Glimmil beat Vortimax for drinking championship page=94#4652
- Failed attempt to speak with dead on Tongueater page=94#4661
- Failed attempt to meet contact with info about Triel & wands 94#4693
Day 20 -
- Demonskar ball page=95#4709
- Meeting with Tipped Tankard informant page=96#4763
- Dyrant gets PoP 2 page=96#4781
- Party goes into lava tube to winch/cage system page=96#4795
- Combat at winch (1st) page=97#4810
- Toffitt sets off trap in winch house - page=98#4865
- Combat with men behind murder holes page=99#4947
- Combat with Triel page=100#4987
- Room with books page=105#5249
- Combat with slaad page=106#5291
- Combat with spiders & ettercaps page=107#5337
- Combat with harpoon spider & halfling
- Dyrant kills gaseous form halflng - page=112#5592
- Combat at winch (2nd) page=113#5631
- Glimmil and Toffitt take wands back to Cauldron
- Combat with spawn - page=115#5726
- Combat with undead ogres - page=116#5785
- Finneas dies - page=116#5799
- Combat with t-rex - page=117#5843
- Combat with undead gnoll - page=119#5940
- Combat with swarm & quasit - page=120#5982
- Party gets pearl from Lord Vhalantru & Mayor. Agree to help - page=122#6093
- Finneas is raised - page=122#6096
Day 24 - Starday, Fireseek 4, 2013
- Finneas, Glimmil and Toffitt head to see Vortimax for some enchanting. +1 greatsword (4 days), a +1 dueling blade (2 days), and +1 hook-hammer (2 days). All items picked up before umber hulk attack. Post #6114
- Jenya comissions Atol to make a wand of protection from evil.Post #6115
- Glimmil places order for belt of strength. 8 days to arrive.
Day 31 - Starday, Fireseek 11, 2013 - week passes uneventuflly #6122
- Toffitt spends some of his remaining gold (200 gp) on medical supplies, and begins offering a limited amount of cost-free treatment to the city's poor. Atol offers spiritual counseling #6122
- Skie puts the Cauldron 5 symbol on her building. #6133
- Glimmil hangs out with Skie. Glimmil then spends his time in Haunted Jzadirune, working with the other gnomes and trying to get them to put on performances for the entirety of Cauldron's population.
- Dyrant is Dyrant. Dyrant goes through books recovered from the halfling. #6154
- Coryston visits Atol's sermon.#6159
Day 38 - Starday, Fireseek 18, 2013 - Another week passes uneventuflly
- Umber hulk battle at Maavu's warehouses. #6166
- Celeste Rosenthorn shows up after battle and invites party to Cusp of Sunrise. Finneas recognizes here from the tavern at the beginning of the story. #6228
- Party goes to Cusp of Sunrise #6262
- Party meets with Davked Splintershield. "I can pay you each 4,000 gold for this service or 6,000 in arms and armor from the finest craftsmen in my clan." Celeste pipes in, "And I will pay for your membership fee here at the Cusp of Sunrise. That is worth 1,000 gold alone."#6280
- Party researches umber hulk attack. Maavu is not found and wild rumors accompany his exit. Maavu's businness is overseen by Geleth. Taxes are paid on time. #6302
- Dyrant asks Skie for a headband of intellect (11 days). Atol asks for oil of daylight (7 days). Neither is available. #6319
Day 40 - Moonday, Fireseek 20, 2013
- The party takes a couple days to research and prepare and then departs.#6325
Day 43 - Earthday, Fireseek 23, 2013
- Party arrives at Crazy Jared's. Fights dragon. #6328
- Crazy Jared mentions the black dragon, Dhorlot.#6421
- Crazy Jared mentions the red dragon, Hookface. #6426
- Party dines with Crazy Jared who uses his rod to summon a tent and food.#6433
Day 44 - Freeday, Fireseek 24, 2013
- Party arrives at Pit of the Seven Jaws. Battle with hydra. #6454
- Some searching around also reveals two masterwork scimitars, a masterwork composite longbow (+3), and a small pouch of gold (25). The mithral chain is indeed magical (+1).#6594
- Battle with drider #6603
- Party finds Scimitar - +1; Ring - Protection +2; Scroll - Obscuring Mist; Potion - Lesser Confusion. #6727
- Party arrives at Bhal-Hamatugn and camps for night#6734
Day 45 - Starday, Fireseek 25, 2013
- Party meets ferryfrog for first time #6755
- Finneas ruthlessly strikes down a kuo-toa guard. Battle on the front steps.#6813
- Glimmil sets off sonic trap on doors #6894
- Party speaks briefly with prisoners. #6902
- Statue room. #6911
- Erinyes shows up. Battle. Party captured. Atol earns a hero point.#6952
- Party meets Zenith Splintershield #7086
- Party levels up. Everyone earns a hero point.
Day 46 - Sunday, Fireseek 26, 2013
- Human missing from cells #7122
- Party encounters Sarcem as the archon #7140
- Gristle is BBQ'd.
- Party returns to Zenith with archon faking death. Battle #7426
- Kuo-toa assassin attacks #7328
- Eryinyes arrives again. Battle with her and ferryfrog on front steps. Finneas becomes Finneas the Fricasser. #7358
- Archon dies #7424
- party lets out halfling who talks about black dragon #7469
Day 51 (full) - Freeday, Readying 3, 2013
- Party arrives back at Cauldron #7456
- Items ordered from Skie would have arrived. I'll check on Toffitt's requests next.
- Lord Vhalantru meets party and offers to take Zenith since Celeste had to leave town.
- Sarcem can't be raised, but Aralynn shows up with headband of intelligence 7486
- Jenya unsuccessfully tries to talk to Zenith 7504
- The party heads to the Cusp of Sunrise to meet with Celeste and Davked Splintershield, but neither of them are present. Lord Vhalantru arrives and explains Celeste had to leave town and Splintershield has also left to be treated for his illness.7507
- Party suggests the heroes' tax That was Lord Vhalantru's interpretation at least
- Party spends one night taking care of personal business
- Finneas takes dragon hide to armorer 7520
Day 52 - Godsday - Readying 4, 2013
- Party spends another day in town.
- Dyrant does research at Cusp.
- Dryant buys Gristle, Too. 7538
Day 53-58 - Readying 5-11, 2013
- Party travels back to Bhal-Hamatugn. Stops by Jared's pavillion. 7549
Day 59 - Godsday - Readying 11, 2013
- Aryalnn communes with St. Cuthbert 7565
- Finneas starts smash 3-story statue 7615
- Battle with kuo-toa cleric and locked room filled with water. Finneas almost dies. 7623
- Battle with mushrooms 7758
- Battle with zombie 7821
- Battle with wraith 7902
- Battle with Draconic Fingerling Swarm and a couple kuo-toa flunkies 7987
- 2nd battle with Draconic Fingerling Swarm and some kuo-toa 8058
- Erinyes visits 8079
- Battle with black dragon 8135
Day 60-70 - Readying 12-22, 2013
- Party travels back to Caulrdon via Jared's pavillion.
- Half-orcs have been added to city guard. New taxes. Heroes' tax.8189
- Atol's casts restoration (1900 gp worth of diamond dust left]
- Atol has rings forged for spell 8237
Story Summary 10
Day 71 - Readying 23, 2013
- Party is unable to meet with Mayor or Lord Vhalantru
- Party meets with Kellerang 8249
- Skellerang blames Chisel for things. Talks of invading Redgorge.
- Skellerang arranges for dinner with Mayor
- Finneas and Dyrant research the tattoo on his face. 8281. It is called the Carcerian Sign for the prison plane of Carceri. Written in the margin of the text are just a few words: how and why and transdimensional equilibrium.
- Araylnn communes about Chisel, Mayor, Vhalantru8290
- More research on Carceri 8291
- Dinner at Mayor's house with Vhalantru uninvited 8295 News of Alek's challenge
Day 72 - Readying 24, 2013
-- Party meets with Jenya 8332
- Toffitt finds Geleth at Maavu's warehouses8333
- Finneas wrestles with Asfelkir 8335
- Tax protest 8369
- Riot and elemental fight8379
- Talking with Maavu after fight 8430
- Inn / Alleybasher hangout is burned to ground. Fight with elementals 8455
Day 73 - Readying 25, 2013
- Star of Justice 8458
"The priest who is not a priest asks two questions at a time for which there is not a single answer so it is only appropriate that he receive an answer that is not an answer. Evil summoned the creatures. Evil and greed and an unholy thirst for power so powerful it has even corrupted a paladin."
Day 74 - Readying 26, 2013
- Party goes to Redgorge (Redhead Miner's Inn) (8569
- Party meets Chisel. Info about Surabar and area. 8581
- Chisel gives party the metal platge 8606
- Party sends off letter to stall invasion8643
Story Summary 11
Day 75 - Readying 27, 2013
- Fight with gnolls by headless statue
- Party searches the cave without fighting the giant sloth.8724
- Visit by diva (Nidrama)8724
Day 76 - Readying 28, 2013
- Atol falls down trail. Mephit runs off to warn hags. 8724
- Fight with giant by portcullis 8817
- Fight with 3 giants 8849
- Giant (Dugobras) who makes cages 8887
- Battle with 5 ettins 8925
- Meeting with hags (first one killed) 8954
Day 77 - Coldeven 1, 2013
- Glimmil opens trapped door engulfing party in fire
- Throne room 9071
- First visit to mirror room. Fight with false Alek and mirror jumping Kalareem Nerra9087
- Fight with other 2 hags and spellweaver skeletons9166
- Pary finds Alek mumbling, "When the final cage is shackled the burning doom shall rise."9306
- Fight with demon. Alek's head says, "There is naught left for you in Cauldron, heroes! To return is to enter your own graves and to bring doom upon all you love! Trust the sign of the Smoking Eye if you wish to save them all." 9360
- Aralynn communes for Dyrant 9437
- Dyrant, Atol, & Finneas return to Cauldron & stop Skellerang 9464
Day 78 - Earthday, Coldeven 2, 2013
- Rest of party returns to Cauldron. Visit by Kaurophon 9492
Day 79 – Starday, Coldeven 3, 2013 (continued)
- Finneas starts the week of prayers to enchant his sword as holy 9532
- Dyrant goes to Cusp of Sunrise – No sign of Lady Celeste
- Atol goes to church for divination 9542
- Toffitt visits Striders and speaks with their dwarf leader
- Glimmil rallies people to move into Jzadirune 9554
Day 86 – Starday, Coldeven 10, 2013
- Party arrives in Occipitus 9566
- Babau Demons attack 9576
- Atol visits death again 9584
Day 87 – Sunday, Coldeven 11, 2013
- Vrock attack and plasmas 9625
Day 88 – Moonday, Coldeven 12, 2013
- Traveling to Cathederal
Day 89 – Godsday, Coldeven 13, 2013
- Party arrives at Cathederal 9738
- Battle with Driders 9766
- Battle with Noble Salamander and Succubus 9799
- First trip to library with flying books 9881
- First test of Adimarchus – Freeing Avoral (Halalia) 9923
- Fight with beblith 9964
- 2nd trip to library with flying books 9994
Days 90-92 traveling
Day 93 – Starday, Coldeven 17, 2013
- Field of Cysts – visit from Kaurophon 10011
- Fight with BIG spider with eye rays 10032
- Couatl 10105
- Fight with Wee Jas party 10116
- Fight with basilisk 10175
- Party finds teleportation circle, fight with shadows 10245
Day 94 – Sunday, Coldeven 18, 2013
- Fight with black dragon 10300
- Dragon Lair, chest on island of underground island 10444
- Astral Deva pinned to ground. Visit from Kaurophon 10472
- Entering skull tunnel. Fight with rakshasa and giant 10515
Day 95 – Moonday, Coldeven 19, 2013
- Fight with golem in skull mountain 10612
- Fight with summoner lich 10643
- Final test of Adimarchus / fight with Kaurophon 10842
- Finneas gains smoking eye template 10875
Day 95 – Godsday, Coldeven 20, 2013
- Party leaves Occipitus, rests for a night, and teleports back to Cauldron 10916
"Not a big deal converting this to Pathfinder," I thought to myself. "Just need to calculate some CMB's and CMD's, tweak a few things..." I was wrong! I started preparing for the first combat encounters and found myself sorely wrong. I've now embarked on the adventure of converting all NPC's and creatures not in the Bestiary to Pathfinder rules using the NPC creation guidelines. Additionally, I am adding/buffing encounters as necessary for a full, capabable party, with abilities not in existence when this story was written. As initially stated, my goal is to not alter the basic storyline and flavor of the adventure path, and definitely not to kill the party. If the book calls for a rat, there will be a rat. A zombie, there will be a zombie. I also won't alter the basics of a creature. While a zombie might be wearing an amulet and a couple rings or have some friends, he won't be breathing fire--such major modifications to counter metagaming by players ruins my sense of disbelief.
Reviews of this adventure path remark on the lack of connections and foreshadowing likely caused by this being written initially over the course of numerous magazine issues. As a soultion, many have written major revisions changing the characters, motivations, and even outcomes. While I share their concerns, I think this can be solved without changing the storyline so dramatically. There will be--and already have been--foreshadowing events so that you're not completely surprised by who/what/why in the world you are facing at climatic points in the story. I will also add flavor and tweak treasures so our newer base classes don't feel left out.
Game Master & Player Commitment:
Shackled City is an adventure path designed to take characters from level 1 to 20. This is not a small endeavor and will take years. Please be considerate of others when deciding whether or not to play in this campaign.
Posting: As the GM I will post at least once a day (likely a lot more). I also expect players to post once a day. If you are going to use abilities that interrupt the action (i.e. the feat Step Up), be prepared to post even more often. There will of course be exceptions caused by real life, but I will not hesitate to let your character get “left behind” or “lost” and “found” later if necessary—what occurs in the meantime will vary depending on the player’s attitude and consideration for others. If you know you are going to be gone, just let us know.
Role playing: I’ve enjoyed play-by-post for the great opportunity to role play. Characters can carry on long conversations on the side or between actions that would normally bog down a real life game. You also have time to collect your thoughts and think up witty responses before “speaking.” Experience is nice, but a willingness to engage in banter is essential. Don’t worry; it’s easy to do this from the anonymity of play-by-post.
Roll playing: Don’t be fooled. I also love the tactics and number crunching of combat. My goal is to challenge you and reward you for hard work. However, I can be unforgiving of stupidity and the dice have their own minds.
How it works and how to join:
This adventure will be done as play by post on the Paizo messageboards. Maps and other documents will uploaded to Google Docs. While not as fancy as other systems, they can be viewed from an i-Phone or other smart phones, which allows for more obsessive/compulsive gaming.
First, create a character (details below).
Next, go to “My Account” and “Create new messageboard alias” in the Messageboard Aliases section. Create an alias for your character in this campaign. Here is an example of one of my characters from another campaign: Sample Character
Finally, start posting to this forum as a customer or employee of the Drunken Morkoth Inn in Cauldron. A huge party is underway to celebrate completion of another civic project financed by Lord Vhalantru. He is also financing the party including food and drinks.
When posting, please use the following conventions:
Use OOC for OOC snark, questions regarding clarifications, and the like. "Use bold text when your character is talking out loud." Use italics for your characters inner thoughts and secret actions.
You can be from the town of Cauldron, somewhere nearby, or just an adventurer who happens to be in town when the action kicks off. It’s up to you to develop a motivation for banding together with the party. I’ll do my best to help, but residents of Cauldron, do-gooder adventurers, other motivated adventurers, and those who don’t know to leave well enough alone will likely find it easier at first.
Please insert a description in your profile of any spells, feats, etc, that do not come from the Core Rulebook or Advanced Players Guide.
There will be a few exceptions.
- There are no factions and no prestige points.
- Experience point progression will be normal.
- Deity/faction specific traits, feats, & spells will typically be allowed if you can provide a reason. We are not using the world of Golarion so you must justify how the spell/trait/feat would fit your character. St. Cuthbert, Pelor, Kord and Wee Jas have churches in Cauldron, but others deities exist in the world.
- Additional trait options are noted below.
- Crafting will be allowed.
- I reserve the right to allow or veto anything—it’s good to be the GM.
Shackled City Campaign Traits
These are background traits available at first level for the Shackled City campaign to add depth and help incorporate the character into the story.
1. Child of Jzadirune
3. Dream Haunted
4. Long Shadowed
5. Mark of the Beast
7. Scarred Soul
8. Scion of Surabar
9. Touched in the Head
10. Wyrm Blooded
Child of Jzadirune
One of your ancestors lived in Jzadirune at the time the Vanishing struck. You are especially resistant to diseases, but find the prospect of becoming sick yourself horrifying.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on all saving throws made to resist the effects of disease.
Drawback: You suffer a -2 morale penalty on saving throws against fear while in the ruins of Jzadirune, or when fighting creatures that are diseased or can inflict disease with a spell, supernatural ability, or extraordinary ability.
One of your ancestors was a half-fiend. As a result, you carry some of that taint with you.
Benefit: Regardless of your actual alignment, spells, and spell-like abilities with the evil descriptor treat you as if your alignment were evil. Magic items are similarly fooled. An unholy blight spell, for example, won’t damage you, no matter what your actual alignment is.
Drawback: Regardless of your actual alignment, spells and spell-like abilities with the good descriptor treat you as if your alignment were evil. Magic items are similarly fooled. A holy word spell, for example, will harm you even if you are good aligned.
Your dreams are haunted by strange visions of tortured landscapes and deformed monsters. In some of these dreams, you are the deformed monster!
Benefit: You are used to fatigue, and suffer no penalties when you become fatigued. When you become exhausted, you are instead treated as if you are fatigued.
Drawback: You suffer a -2 penalty on saving throws against effects that cause madness or insanity, and on saving throws against sleep effects. If you are normally immune to sleep effects, you lose that immunity.
You are descended from a tribe of indigenous peoples who died out as a separate tribe many centuries ago. Still, this tribe’s penchant for necromantic magic runs in your blood.
Benefit: You automatically stabilize if reduced to negative hit points. When you take damage from negative energy, you reduce the actual damage you take by 5 points.
Drawback: Healing magic works poorly on you. Whenever you regain hit points from magical healing, you gain 1 less point of healing per character level you possess, to a minimum of one point per die rolled.
Mark of the Beast
One of your ancestors was a lycanthrope. Select a predatory animal of your choice; that animal feels a mystic bond with you.
Benefit: Animals have a strange reticence when they attack you, and suffer a -2 penalty on all attack rolls made against you. If you have the wild empathy ability, you gain a +1 bonus on wild empathy checks.
Drawback: You suffer a -4 penalty to saving throws made to resist lycanthropy, and take +1 point of damage from attacks made by silver weapons.
You were born into a noble family.
Benefit: You start play with an additional 200 gp, and gain a +1 bonus on all Diplomacy and Intimidate checks made against citizens of Cauldron or the nearby villages. Certain NPCs in this campaign may react more favorably to your presence.
Drawback: You are well-known and recognizable, and suffer a -4 penalty on Disguise rolls made against citizens of Cauldron or the nearby villages. Certain NPCs in this campaign may react more poorly to your presence.
You’ve led a particularly tough life. Perhaps you’re an orphan, or maybe you suffered some sort of traumatic experience as a child. Whatever the cause, your childhood experiences have left you jumpy and haunted.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks.
Drawback: Your experiences have left your mind less able to deal with trauma, and as a result you suffer a -1 penalty on all Will saves.
Scion of Surabar
You are a descendant of the man who discovered Cauldron, helped settle the region, and aided in the defeat of an ancient demonic army.
Benefit: Pride for your lineage girds your mind and soul. You gain a+2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear, death effects, and insanity or confusion.
Drawback: Demons that encounter you in this region (not those that you might fight on other planes) can instinctively sense you lineage and connection to their old enemy, and gain a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls when fighting you.
Touched in the Head
You’re a little crazy.
Benefit: Your mind is disorganized and chaotic. You gain a +1 bonus on all saving throws against mind-affecting effects, save for those effects that cause confusion or insanity.
Drawback: Your inability to concentrate for long makes you suffer a -1 penalty on all Wisdom-based skill checks.
One of your ancestors was a half-black dragon. You have some sort of distinctively draconic feature, be it reptilian eyes, scales on the backs of your hands, or tiny vestigial horns on your head.
Benefit: You gain a +4 bonus on all saving throws against acid effects, a +2 bonus on Swim checks, and a +1 bonus on Listen and Spot checks.
Drawback: Your body isn’t quite as limber as it should be. You take a -1 penalty on Reflex saves
The City of Cauldron:
Population: 4,500 adults (large town).
Mixed (79% human, 9% halfling, 5% gnome, 3% dwarf, 2% elf, 1% half-elf, 1% half-orc).
Economy: (3,000 gp limit) Coffee, exotic woods, cut gemstones, obsidian, dyes, spices.
Authority Figures: Lord Mayor Severen Navalant, male human; Terseon Skellerang, male human (captain of the Town Guard).
Town Emblem: A watchful eye wreathed in blue flames.
Description: Cauldron is obvioulsy not the first city to inhabit this region. Surabar Spellmason arrived 700 years ago to drive out the demons and yuan-ti, but what came before their evil is unknown. What civilizations might lie buried beneath Cauldron or in the surrounding jungles is the topic of much speculation by scholars and treasure hunting by adventurers. Some evidence speaks to great wizards and their research into all aspects of magic and alchemy. Other evidence suggests epic battles between unknown forces.
Nearby villages include Redgorge, Kingfisher Hollow, and Hollowsky. The Cauldron region is in a subtropical jungle The town’s buildings, tightly packed and built from volcanic rock and wood, line the inner bowl of a nameless, dormant volcano. The elevation keeps Cauldron’s temperatures below that of the surrounding jungle, giving Cauldron a roughly temperate climate. Cobblestone roads form concentric circles around a small lake of cold water, which fills the volcano’s basin. Although the town’s sewage seeps into the lake, local clerics routinely purify the water for the citizens in exchange for charitable donations to their temples.
A 50-foot-tall fortified wall of black malachite encircles the city, tracing the outer rim of the volcano, becoming major thoroughfares that lead to other towns and distant realms. The districts nearer the rim of the city tend to be occupied by upper class families and elite merchants. The closer one gets to the centre of town (and the closer to the pungent odours of the central lake), the shoddier the construction and the more dangerous the dark alleys. Houses directly on the lake are often built with stilts to protect against flooding during the rainy season in winter. Smaller avenues connect the four main roadways (from outer to inner, the avenues are named Obsidian, Magma, Lava, and Ash), which form concentric terraces down to the lake in the centre of the town.
Cauldron is ruled by a Lord Mayor, elected to his position every two years. The post is currently held by Severen Navalant, whose term expires in roughly 20 months. Other important individuals in the city include Terseon Skellerang, captain of the guard, the members of the noble families, and Cauldron’s few wealthy merchant interests.
Cauldron's major exports come from two sources: mines and plantations. Both industries are based in the hills surrounding the city, and are managed by the various noble families who live in the area. Obsidian and diamonds are the primary products mined in the region. Plantations usually produce sugarcane and coffee. Most of those who dwell in the city itself are either merchants, scholars, or workers in the mines and plantations in the lowlands. Water is never scarce in town, but most of the city's food must be imported from Sasserine since the local fishing and farming enterprises are meager at best. Citizens have historically paid a modest yearly flat tax of 1 gp, while merchants and nobles pay a 5% income tax each year. In addition, a 1sp gate tax is charged for noncitizens who enter the city by any of its four gates. All inhabitants of Cauldron that own a building, or are
part of a family that owns a building, are considered citizens regardless of economic status. Most Cauldronites have a simple malachite ring made or given to them when they reach the age of majority. The ring always bears the town emblem. Nobles often purchase very elaborate rings, or have extravagant brooches made to show their citizenship.
Currency in Cauldron
Cauldron uses the currency minted in the capital city of Sasserine—rings (pp), suns (gp), moons (sp) and stars (cp).Trade bars in 100, 500 and 1000 gp denominations are
Specific locations in Cauldron:
Town Hall: Cauldron’s town hall is a single-story building and one of the oldest structures in the city. The building serves as a place for the lord mayor and his advisors to hold meetings with the nobles and other movers and shakers of the city, but they don’t actually live there. Records of ownership, historical documents, and similar archives can be found here
Town Guard Barracks: These buildings house the bulk of the town guard, which consists of about 750 warriors.
Church of St. Cuthbert: The two-story Church of St. Cuthbert, its white marble walls suffused with veins of vivid blue, stands in stark contrast to the buildings of bare black stone that flank it on the north end of Obsidian Avenue. A pair of white marble statues depicting armored warriors stands on either side of the temple’s heavy oaken door. Each of the statues raises a great mace to the sky. Above the door’s marble architrave are boldly inscribed the following words: “Within law lives hope.”
Since the church’s high priest, Sarcem Delasharn, is on an extended visit to the port city of Sasserine, the day-to-day tasks of tending to the church have fallen to a cleric name Jenya Urikas.
Maavu Warehouses: Local merchant Maavu Arlintal keeps several warehouses in the city.
Slippery Eel Tavern: The Slippery Eel is a favorite tavern for the city’s miners, plantation workers, and other working-class citizens. The food and drink is cheap, and the town guard tends to ignore the place, making it a handy site for illicit deals and clandestine meetings. Aroon's "Morning Stew Special" is now offered all day, at least for Dyrant.
Cusp of Sunrise: This high-society club is a favorite place for Cauldron’s rich and powerful to meet and relax. Owned and operated by Lady Ophella Knowlern.
Tygot’s Old Things: Tygot Mispas, a 120-year-old male Halfling retired from adventuring for two decades owns a small but well-stocked antiquity shop on Lava Avenue.
Maavu Imports: The modest two-story building has several meeting rooms and a bookshop on the ground floor, and a small apartment on the upper floor.
Drunken Morkoth Inn: This is perhaps the most popular inn in the city. A regular stop for many merchants and traveling adventurers, the combination of comfortable beds, good food, and reasonable prices make it a favorite among the city’s returning vistitors. Each of the rooms here is decorated with a humorous painting of Cauldron’s legendary lake monster, a large morkoth. The paintings depict the morkoth in any number of embarrassing and ridiculous scenes, always with the morkoth drunk and confused, and often in incongruous locations.
Tipped Tankard Tavern: This tavern is generally regarded as the best place in the city for common folk to get a drink (the Coy Nixie and the Cusp of Sunrise both hold better reputations but are generally out of the price range for the working citizen). It’s a favorite for off-duty city guards, and as such, brawls are fairly rare.
Garthun Imports: This well-kept building houses the offices of Adrick Garthun, a prominent merchant whose import of alcohol, tobacco, exotic sweet, and seafood has catapulted him to the height of success.
Skie’s Treasury: Numerous stores in Cauldron sell magic items and gear, but only one of them makes its sole business buying and selling magic items to adventures: Skie’s Treasury. Skie Aldersu, a female gnome sorcerer, is a retired adventure who spent much of her youth exploring the catacombs and chambers below Cauldron.
Coy Nixie: The Coy Nixie is a high-class tavern and dancehall owned and operated by the Aslaxins. Although prices here tend to be nearly double the normal asking price, the food and drink are rivaled only by the Cusp of Sunrise. These two locations have a healthy competition—while the Cusp is generally held to have better food, drink, and entertainment, there are no membership fees at the Coy Nixie.
Lakeside Pavilion: This open pavilion is one of the oldest structures in Cauldron. Said to have been formed via magic cast by Surabar Spellmason himself, the pavilion is traditionally where the lord mayor issues announcements and decrees.
Vanderboren Manor: This large manor houses the members and servants of the Vanderboren family, Cauldron’s newest nobles. The Vanderborens are the equivalent of real estate tycoons.
Minuta’s Boards:This low-cost flophouse caters to anyone who can’t afford to stay at Cauldron’s better inns. Prices here are 75% of normal, but the owners make no guarantee against theft or loss of property.
Sure Foot Livery: Sure Foot Livery is the largest (and only) livestock and livestock accessory business in town. The business is run by a no-nonsense woman named Tippys Surefoot.
Gurnezarn’s Smithy: This smithy is generally regarded as the finest such establishment in the city. It’s owner, Pahlian Gurnezarn (human male), has long held his own against the relentless acquisition and domination of his trade by the Lathenmires.
Temple of Lordly Might: The church of Kord is nearly as powerful and popular in Cauldron as the church of St. Cuthbert, if only because they sponsor numerous sporting events and demonstrations for the people of Cauldron throught the year. This church is currently headed by a male half-orc cleric of Kord named Asfelkir Hranleurt.
Lord Mayor’s Residence: This large walled compound is the oldest structure in the city. The traditional seat of power for the town, the estate’s ownership has been held by the Navalant family for the past 200 years. The current lord mayor, Severen Navalant (male human) is well-liked.
Weer’s Elixirs: Owned and operated by Vortimax Weer (male human wizard), a retired adventurer, this cramped shop is the go-to place in town for alchemical items and potions.
Cathederal of Wee Jas: This towering structure is one of the most impressive and beautiful in Cauldron. The church of Wee Jas has always been powerful in Cauldron, but not as well liked as the churches of Kord or St. Cuthbert, since the clerics of this church tend to be standoffish, curt, and even creepy. The clerics of Wee Jas are responsible for dealing with the unclaimed dead of Cauldron, and maintain vast catacombs for anyone who’s rich enough to afford the burial but doesn’t have a personal crypt. Most of the dead of Cauldron are cremated. The cathedral is run by Embril Aloustinai, although she rarely sees visitors and leaves the day-to-day operations to a cleric named Calmus Vel.
Ghelve’s Locks: Most of the locks in the city of Cauldron were created by the proprietor of this small shop.
Orak’s Bathhouse: Orak’s Bathhouse is a squat, windowless building of dark stone. The baths are open from noon to midnight every day.
Bluecrater Academy: One of the tallest buildings in Cauldron, Bluecrater Academy is also the primary place of learning here. The building has five stories, each of which is dedicated to an increasing level of education. Financed partially by tuition fees (but also by the support of nobles like Lady Ophellha Knowlern, the Aslaxins, and the Taskerhills) Bluecrater Academy is where the lucky you th of Cauldron go to learn a trade.
Church of Pelor: This small yellow tower is tended by a single male human cleric of Pelor named Kristof Jurgensen.
House of Vhalantru: Home to Cauldron’s newest noble, a generous human named Vhalantru. He donated huge sums of money to fund the rebuilding of the Town Hall and several other ancient structures that were starting to fall apart.
Taskerville Manor: This massive manor is four stories in height, and is easily the most ostentatious of Cauldron’s noble homes (with the possible exception of House Rhiavadi). The manor is home to the fantastically rich Taskerhill family. They own several mines in the nearby mountains, as well as a prominent workship that ships exquisitely crafted obsidian furniture and knick-knacks to the indolent cities of the north.
Zanathor’s Provisions: While to the untrained eye there may seem to be nothing unusual going on at this general store, its owner, Bjellkir Zanathor (male human) has the unique honor of being the only living citizen in Cauldron who has seen the Crater Lake Monster.
Lathenire Manor: Given another few years, the Lathemires could be inducted into Cauldron’s nobility. As it stands, the family is as rich as most of the other nobles, having effectively cornered the local arms and armor trade. The manor is a sprawling structure with several training rooms and trophy halls on its ground floor.
Slippery Eel Inn Run by Aroon. This tavern offers the best gristle stew in Cauldron.
Areas around Cauldron:
Sasserine: Sasserine is the capital city of the area, and is 200 miles south of the Cauldron Region. It has a 40,000 gp spending limit. Sassarine is not on the island that Cauldron rests upon and a few days of sea travel is necessary to get there.
There are two ocean-side "dock towns", they are simply referred to as East Town and West Town. These coastal communities were built after the Dark Times, by the richer merchant families in Cauldron, looking to reestablish their fleet of trade ships. These small towns are nothing more than warehouses, docks and a fortified wall. A few people have settled in these areas, even naming them as towns, but Cauldron refers to them as east and west town, regardless of a few locals.
Hollowsky: The village of Hollowsky is the smallest of the four human settlements in the Cauldron Region. With a population of 460, it barely qualifies as a village. The halfelven community of Starforest can be found here.
Redgorge: This village was the first human settlement in the area. Founded about 700 years ago, Redgorge was at one time a much larger settlement, but it never fully recovered from a demonic assault long ago. Redgorge sits in a narrow strip of flat ground between a cliff and an immense quarry of red pebble gravel. West of the village, a prodigious line of fortifications known as the Basalt Bastions protect the land, their massive walls unguarded and draped with vines. These fortifications, as impressive as
Cauldron’s outer walls, tower over the village itself. They were built ages ago by Surabar Spellmason’s powerful spells in a single week, to aid in the defense of Redgorge
against the denizens of the Demonskar. Today, Redgorge is afarming and mining village. The old Stonemasons District, where Surabar Spellmason once dwelt, is visibly depopulated and most its buildings lie empty and in ruin.
Kingfisher Hollow: The town of Kingfisher Hollow, with its population of 2,100 souls, is the second largest settlement in the Cauldron Region. It’s also the primary location for the region’s plantations - the town is surrounded by fields of coffee, cotton and sugarcane.
Lucky Monkey: This is a popular roadside tavern on the northwest road. It houses a shrine to Cayden Cailean. It sits to the east of the road, partially surrounded by the dense jungle. The building is old and well used - the chimneys stained with soot, the roof sagging, the wood siding weathered and stained with from last year's mildew. A smaller stable stands to the building's side in a similar condition. The building’s facade sports numerous carved wooden monkeys, many of whom are engaged in risky, death-defying stunts. In one, a wooden monkey balances on a narrow tree branch to get a banana hanging over a sleeping tiger; in another, a monkey sits on a boulder completely unaware that a poacher sneaking up behind him was suddenly attacked and eaten by an ankheg, finally a monkey sitting stretched back with his arms over his head receives pleasure from a female monkey.
Malachite Fortress:A stronghold built by dwarves and gnomes to guard against incursions from the Underdark. Zenith Splintershield led an army of dwarves into the Underdark a decade ago and has not been seen since. He left behind a meager number of defenders who have not been heard from in over a year.
Elves: Elves form 2% of Cauldron’s population, but also hail from the city of Elvenhome.
Elvenhome lies 40 miles due east of Cauldron, and is allied with Sasserine. As such it welcomes other races inside its borders, mostly for friendship, but sometimes for
Gnomes: Gnomes form 5% of Cauldron’s population. They don’t tend to live in the wilderness, but do have small communities in the other settlements. Gnome architects and artisans designed and built much of Cauldron.
Dwarves: Dwarves form 3% of Cauldron’s population, but also hail from various mines and citadels along the mountain range that Cauldron’s volcano is part of. Dwarves inside the city generally work as traders, selling goods their relatives have mined. Dwarves are considered to be good, courageous and trustworthy people. Within the last decade, a dwarf named Zenith Splintershield marched into the Underdark with a small army to save the vast caverns from evil. Zenith was never heard from again, but the dwarves of Cauldron take that as a sign that his quest was successful, and he is moving through the Underdark, clearing out the evil things, and creating bastions of good. They think of him as a hero. Of late, a new vein of obsidian has been discovered by the Clan Arduun, who have begun mining it and sending it to Cauldron to be sold.
Half-orcs: Half-orcs make up 1% of the population of Cauldron. The environs around Cauldron are generally troubled by other sorts of creatures, so goblinoids don’t
quite have the bad reputation they do in other places. As such, half-orcs are accepted as normal members of society. South along the mountain range from Cauldron is a
half-orc settlement named Dogash-Ber. Many barbarians, fighters and rangers come from this settlement as mercenaries. It is rumoured that a lair of metallic dragons lies
somewhere close to Dogash-Ber, and that they have taken to reproducing with the villagers, as there is an increasing number of half-orcs being born with natural magical
Halflings: Halflings make up 9% of the population of Cauldron, making them the largest group of non-humans in the city. Outside of Cauldron, there are large numbers of halflings in Kingfisher Hollow working as farmers. The halflings that dwell in Cauldron run the gamut of trades and professions, and are generally well respected folk. However, as halflings have a natural talent for sneaking and hiding, there are a fair number who work for the various thieves guilds in town.
Half-Elves: Half-elves make up 1% of the population of Cauldron, making them as rare as half-orcs. Half-elves can also be found in two other places—Elvenhome and
Hollowsky, in a small settlement known as Starforest. The half-elves of Starforest are especially skilled at magic, and count many sorcerers and wizards among their numbers. All of the various types of half-elves are welcomed, and each becomes a member of the Starforest family. As such there are many varied skills and professions in the mix, making Starforest a great place to learn.
Calendar of Cauldron:
The campaign began on Earthday, the 13th day of Ready'reat, 2012.
Days of the week: Starday, Sunday, Moonday, Godsday, Watersday, Earthday, Freeday. Godsday is a day of worship, and Freeday is a day of rest.
Following are the months, in the format
Month (days in the month) Season:
Needfest (7) Mid-Winter.
Fireseek (28) Winter
Readying (28) Spring
Coldeven (28) spring
Planting (28) low Summer
Flocktime (28) low Summer
Wealsun (28) low Summer
Richfest (7) Mid-Summer.
Reaping (28) high Summer
Goldmonth (28) high Summer
Harvester (28) high Summer
Patchwall (28) Autumn
Ready'reat (28) Autumn
Sunsebb (28) Winter
Culture of Cauldron:
The isolated tropical city-states of Sasserine and Cauldron were colonized by the Hold of Sea Princes from CY 480-584. The piratical leaders of the Hold of Sea Princes kept the existence of these distant, jungle-bound cities a secret, to maintain their monopoly on the export of tropical fruits not found anywhere else in the Flanaess -- specifically, bananas, cacao (used to make chocolate), and durian. When the Hold of the Sea Princes was conquered by the Scarlet Brotherhood, its colonies reasserted their independence. The Hold is now embroiled in a many sided, anarchistic civil war, leaving Sasserine and Cauldron to their own devices.
The city of Cauldron is located in the caldera of a dormant volcano, at the eastern edge of the Hellfurnaces range of volcanoes. The Hellfurnaces separate the blasted, empty desert called the Sea of Dust (the former heartland of the Suel Imperium) to the west from the Amedio Jungle in the east. Cauldron is nicknamed the Shackled City for the source of its wealth -- tropical cash crops produced by slave labor on the surrounding plantations.
Cauldron's nearest important neighbor is the port city of Sasserine, about 20 miles away on Jeklea Bay of the Azure Sea.
Most of the founders of Cauldron and the majority of its population came from the north across Jeklea Bay, from the Kingdom of Keoland or the Hold of Sea Princes. Keoland is a large, powerful, feudal kingdom, which along with its possessions or former possessions, holds most of the Sheldomar Valley, the largest settled region of the western Flanaess continent. The Hold is -- or perhaps was would be more accurate -- a nation of pirates who broke off from Keoland ~CY 450. It is located at the southwest periphery of the Sheldomar Valley, separated from Keoland by the fetid Hool Marshes.
The largest race in Cauldron are Suel (think: Northern European). The Suel originally migrated to the Flanaess from across the Hellfurnace range of volcanoes, as refugees from the ancient (1000 years ago) magical Rain of Colorless Fire that ended a great war. Today, Suel form the bulk of the population in both Keoland and the Hold, and in a few other harsh, isolated regions where they long ago found refuge, like the Amedio Jungle, the Viking-dominated petty kingdoms of the Thillronian Peninsula of the far northeast (north of the Great Kingdom), and the totalitarian racist regime of the Scarlet Brotherhood that began on a rocky peninsula south of the Great Kingdom.
Many other Cauldron folk came from the eastern reaches of the Azure Sea. Oeridians (think: Southern Europeans) are the second largest group in Cauldron, mostly coming from the city-states of the Wild Coast (including the City of Greyhawk) or the Great Kingdom (now collapsed and divided among several successor states). Touv (think: Africans) from the tropical island continent of Hepmonaland are more common here than in other parts of the Flanaess; some were among the founding families, while others arrived later as traders or mercenaries.
When profitable diamond and obsidian deposits were discovered in the region, gnomes and dwarves from the Sheldomar Valley (Keoland and environs) flocked to Cauldron, and halflings came with them, at first mostly as cooks and washers. Later, gnomes, dwarves, and halfling became established as merchants and master artisans in the City.
Elves, half-elves, and half-orcs are relatively uncommon in Cauldron, and often are visitors from Sasserine.
The city proper has about 7500 adults, making a medium-sized city by medieval standards. The outlying areas -- mostly plantations but some smaller towns for freemen like the mining community of Redgorge and the waystation between Cauldron and Sasserine at the Lucky Monkey Inn -- have perhaps twice again that population.
The indentured servants who work the plantations that provide Cauldron's wealth are descendants of slaves captured generations ago in the Amedio Jungle -- they are Amedi (Suel tribesmen who degenerated to a Stone Age culture after fleeing the fall of the Suel Imperium) and Olman (think: Aztec) tribesmen, whose jungle city-states mostly crumbled long ago. The lowland plantations around Sasserine and in the river valley in between grow sugarcane (which is processed into rum), bananas, and rice (mostly for local consumption, but also exported in bulk, mostly to the City of Greyhawk). The highland plantations around Cauldron grow coffee, cacao (for chocolate), and durian fruit.
The climate in the Cauldron region is humid and tropical, and the jungles and lowlands are plagued by malaria, dysentary, and wild animals including lions, tigers, and even dinosaurs. For this reason, few slaves attempted to escape into the jungle, but those who did -- mostly Amedi -- formed "hill folk" tribes that occasionally waylay travelers or even raid a settlement.
The city-dwellers, on their mountain top, escape the oppressive heat, disease, and other dangers of the jungles, and their water, from the caldera's lake, is magically kept free of disease. While some slavery still exists in the regions surrounding Cauldron, slaves are not allowed in the city proper.
The major religions in Cauldron are Kord (Suloise god of strength), Wee Jas (Suloise goddess of magic and death, former patroness of the Suel Imperium), St. Cuthbert (Oeridian god of common sense and righteousness), and Pelor (Oeridian god of the sun and healing). The Church of Kord, arguing might makes right, loudly supports slavery, while the Church of Wee Jas quietly argues that the civilizing tradition of the "peculiar institution" is misunderstood by the outsiders who condemn it. The Churches of St. Cuthbert and Pelor discourage their members from owning slaves, but have a "gradualist" approach, calling for slave owners to do manumission in their wills, or to declare the children of slaves to be born free. Worshippers of Fharlanghn (Oeridian god of travel and the open road), who are mostly elves or half-elves, call for immediate abolition and are rumored to be involved in helping escaped slaves make it out of the region. For that reason, the clergy of Fharlanghn has been