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Chris Mortika's invitation to a Golarion PbP

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The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Hello. I've played in enough Play-by-post campaigns here to get a feeling for them, and I'd like to start one. I know that with GEN-CON INDY starting in another day or two, a lot of people are busy, so I'll bump this thread next week, and we'll try to get started by the beginning of September.

Here's the parameters:


Pathfinder RPG, Beta version. If there's something in a 3.5 supplement you'd like to play (psionics, incarnum, a particular variant class, whatever), I'd be happy to negotiate a Pathfinder analogue with you.

I'll be using several of the rules from the 3.5 supplement "Heroes of Horror". For example, the soul you call back with a Raise Dead spell is probably the one you want.

I'll sharply limit access to "magic shops" where characters can exchange gold for powerful items. For anything other than potions and scrolls, expect that you'll need to craft items, commission them, or best yet research them and go adventuring.

I suspect that we may make other house rules as the campaign continues.

Character Creation:

Information to follow when we see the Beta rules. Expect to build a non-evil character based on spending 20 points (Alpha 3, pg 5.), with two traits. We'll be using "moderate" experience level advancement.


Golarion, in the lands north of Lake Encarthan. Please read through the Gazeteer entries on Belkzen, Lastwall, Nirmathas, Razmiran, the River Kingdoms, and Ustalav; all of that information would be common knowledge to your characters.

We begin the campaign in the town of Carrion Hill, in the Immortal Principality of Ustalav (Gazeteer, pg 55).

Campaign Adventures:

Original. I've read through Paizo's publications, and I'll try to give a solid "Golarion feel" to the campaign, but I won't be running you through any published adventures. So, if you own everything Paizo's published in the last year, and you've read through all the modules, you're certainly still welcome to play in this campaign.

I have an overall plot in mind, but since this isn't an Adventure Path, you should feel free to explore aspects of the world that interest your characters. I can roll with that.

And since this isn't an Adventure Path, we don't have to necessarily worry about party balance. If everybody wants to run dwarven Monks, I can design appropriate adventures.

Posting Expectations: Please be able to check in at least once per weekday.

Two or three weekends between now and April, I'd like to run "live" sessions on-line, perhaps through Lilith's DM Tools site. I live in the American Central Time Zone, so, if you live on another continent, participating during those weekends may lead to odd sleeping habits.

I would like to run a full session on Friday, April 24th, 2009 at Paizo-Con II. I understand that plans can get foiled, but I'd give precedence in choosing players to those people who think they will be attending Paizo-Con.

Aside from that, I'd give preference to those people who are not already in a handful of PbP campaigns.

I'm looking to fill a six- or seven-character party. Shout out if you're interested.

I volunteer.
As I am presently in two or three pbp's, I accept I may not have a high priority.

edit: There was a post responding to Chris before me, but it's gone now. Either someone changed their mind or the Thread Wyrm was hungry.

additional edit: I do not plan on attending PaizoCon II, which drops my priority even lower.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

So much in!! I plan on being at PaizoCon II. I've already put in time off from work. Don't know what I'm doing over the holidays, but I know what I'm doing that weekend!

I will probably lean toward playing a druid.

Liberty's Edge

I would love to try. In fact, this might be a way to use my character that was going to be in an SD pbp.

Currently not in any PbP, might be in one other, come mid September. Haven't actually done one before, so it could be interesting.

Not sure yet about PaizoCon. Planes and I have an...interesting relationship. Really want to go though. I'll let you know in plenty of time if I can't.

I loves me some fighter, so that's what I'll roll with. Expect her soon.

I'd like to join. I've never played in a PBP before, but I'd like to.
Won't be attending cons though.


I really enjoyed some of your published work; I'd consider it an honor and a learning experience to participate. Let me know if you reach a cap and there's no more room, or if there's a chance I might get in.

One potential snag is that I travel on business frequently; I'll be out next Sun - Thu, for example. If you'd want more regular participation, I fully understand.


Liberty's Edge

I'd be interested, but I've never played in PbP and am not attending PaizoCon II.

Am going on vacation the last week of September, too, so won't be available then.

I'm up for playing. I doubt I can make the Con but I get plenty of time to post during the week and weekends. I was thinking about playing a cleric (I want to try out the new take on turning) or monk. I'll post my character on Friday (hopefully after we get the PDF of the Beta rules).

Liberty's Edge

Ya know, I just glanced over it, but I'm also in the central time zone. Good old Kansas.

On a totally different note, can we use the variant class features from the Gazetteer?

Scarab Sages

I'm up for it.

Email is in profile.

The Exchange

This sounds very interesting - please add me to the list if possible. I'm pretty sure I won't be at the con, but I can definitely check in daily.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd love to be involved in this.. and it'll make going to PCII even more fun. :)

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Chris I have some mods for psionics I worked out for an Eberron campaign if you are interested, I think they balance reasonably well. Want me to mail them to you?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Dabbler wrote:
Chris I have some mods for psionics I worked out for an Eberron campaign if you are interested, I think they balance reasonably well. Want me to mail them to you?

Please. c (dot) mortika (at) gmail (dot) com

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Hey Chris I am in another game with you and I would be intrested in seeing how u run a game, I am open to many classes. I am on vacation from sept 1st to sept 21st in europe so my posting would be very slow those days but when I am back home I would post to your standards. I tentitively plan on going to the Con as I really would like to meet a bunch of the people from these boards and the amazing staff.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well if there's still room I'm game.

Liberty's Edge

Update on my status, I've been 'informed' that I should have the PaizoCon Friday free from interfering things like tests, etc. So, I should be able to make the Con!

I'm on the East Coast so won't make the Con, but have a wonderful Gnome Bard looking for an something to write an epic ballad about.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

To follow up, I'd lean toward either a rogue or wizard, and I'm not involved in any PbP at the moment. Also just pre-reg'd for the con, so.. :)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Yay, interest.

By Wednesday, August 20th, I’ll know who’s in, and who’s on the waitlist. I hope to have all the characters ready to play by the beginning of September.


Wandslinger wrote:
On a totally different note, can we use the variant class features from the Gazetteer?

Tentatively yes, as well as the regional feats from the hardcover Campaign Setting.

"Tentatively", because, you know, there are combinations of this class feature in Pathfinder, and that feat, and multiclassing into this other prestige class for three levels, ... that would allow your otherwise-useless archer to deal 24d6 necrotic, sonic damage with each arrow ... and I reserve the right to say "no".

Pick class features and skills and feats because they'll make for a fun and well-rounded PC, not because you need them to min/max an exemplar character you think you’ll need to survive.


Oh, following up on an email conversation last night, here's a note I hadn’t thought to mention:

As soon as the first word is written, our campaign necessarily diverges from the "official" Golarion. My Carrion Hill isn't going to be the Carrion Hill that Paizo eventually gets around to detailing. If you decide to dethrone the living god of Razmiran or open the tombs of the Whispering Tyrant, I'm not going to declare that doing anything against canon is impossible by fiat. (Although those goals might be something of a challenge, perhaps.)

To that end, while I promise that everything in the Gazetteer is trustworthy, I reserve the right to monkey around with the additional information revealed in the Campaign Setting.


Other questions?

Chris, in the interest of full disclosure, I'll be unable to attend the Paizo-Con. If that makes a difference in the selection process, that's OK; the number of candidates already exceeds the number of characters in a reasonably-sized party!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16


Paizo-Con attendance not a make-or-break issue. By my reckoning, there are 4 interested folks who can attend Paizo-Con, and 7 who can't.

While a table of seven live players would rock, I'd be happy to run a session in April with four live bodies and perhaps one or two web-cam people.

I'm imagining that there's alot of GEN-CON and Paizo-Con overlap, which is why I want to wait till next Tuesday or Wednesday. But if not, then we'll work with what we can.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Working a character now, and hoping to make the cut. :)

Liberty's Edge

I'm ecstatic just to hit the con anyway. Having a live session would be even more awesome icing on super cake.

As for my variant, I was just looking at the war college variant for the fighter, sacking the 1st bonus feat for an expanded skill list, and 4 ranks a level. That, with the human bonus rank, would add up to 5 ranks/level, thus freeing my Human bonus stat thing to be put in Dex, for a 14 instead of a 12. Nothing too major there, just a bit of a boost to the physical abilities, for a bit of all round physical conditioning.

Plus, it fits better with my idea of a Taldan noble's daughter who spent as much time drilling with her father as she did learning the art of soft words at her mother's side.

Edit: Now that I think about it, are you planning on having people use two basic traits, or are you planning on altering the SD campaign traits? Perhaps even making your own? Just thought I'd ask. ;)

Scarab Sages

Hey would love to give a play by post game a chance, have never participated in one before but I love reading them. This being my first post on these boards It would also give this lurker a chance to get involved within the wonderful Paizo community. I live in PST and just a few hours south of Seattle so attending Paizo con II sounds like a blast.

Anyway I know the slots might be taken but figured I should toss my hat in anyway. If anything it bumps my post count from 0 --> 1. 8)

Just thought that I'd let ya'll see what I have going so far.

And my current idea; tweaking or questions welcome, of course.

I assumed the average amount of starting cash in the PFRPG for equipment buying, and Zosimus's harrow deck is handmade, so it costs 33gp (rather than the 100gp listed in the CotCT Player's Guide. I'm also assuming he's had time prior to the campaign start to create the item, with average rolls.

My plan is to shoot for the Harrower prestige class from the Campaign Setting, unless you're disagreeable to that.

Any other information you'd like to see about the characters?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Dang Chris this game filled up fast, I wish I had seen this thread sooner.

Anyway put me on the waitlist, you know just in case a flare up of zombie plague, drastically thins out your player base. I would be willing to make a character to fill in any holes in the party lineup.

Also I am planning a trip to Seattle next april, just had not decided on the ComicCon at the begining of the month or PaizocCon at the end.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Rusty Ironpants wrote:

Dang Chris this game filled up fast, I wish I had seen this thread sooner.

Anyway put me on the waitlist, you know just in case a flare up of zombie plague, drastically thins out your player base.

Hi, Rusty. Good to see you.

This isn't "first come, first serve." I want to allow the nice people who are running Pathfinder Society adventures at GEN-CON a chance to play, too.

I'll sift out who's where by Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

One thing I'd appreciate from everybody right now, though:

Could you design an NPC townsperson who lives in Carrion Hill?

Parameters: Carrion Hill is too large to be called a "town", and too rural and insular in its ways to be called a "city". It has just fewer than 10,000 residents. (For comparison, Sandpoint has 1240, Korvosa has 18,000, and Kaer Maga has 8000.) Let's allow for 4500 of those folk to live isolated, out on the farms dotting the countryside, and of those left, let 1800 of them to be children under the age of 16.

(Children in these parts are a strange lot; it will sometimes happen that a couple will one day find themselves with a son or daughter, age 5 or so, whom none of their neighbors had ever seen before. People have learned it's a mistake to ask too many questions.)

Carrion Hill is an old community, well past its heyday, now subsisting on farming what little arable land there is close to town; trawling the river for fish and nuggets that wash out of the Hungry Mountains; and one thing more.

Carrion Hill sees a steady trickle of foreign visitors. The discrete ones fuel the surreptitious sales of alchemical brews and poisons from the Stauffens sisters and their extended brood. Those proud folk, usually from the River Kingdoms, who ride in making bald enquiries about the community never find what they're looking for. The haughtier among them are rarely seen again. (The local Magistrate is fine with this, and His Excellency the Count has expressed no interest in the town whatsoever.)

So, pitch in and give us a few sentences on someone who lives here. Most residents don't have adventurer class levels, and only a handful would be higher than 5th Level.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Kolm "Boils" Bandywine
Rat Catcher, Expert 2nd Level, N(E)

Kolm, also known as Boils for a line of perptual facial eruptions, is the dominant Rat Catcher in Carrion Hill and has been dubbed 'King of the Sewers' by most of the population. He and his terrier, Duke Faleen XI, haunt the alleys, drains, and basements of town filling their sack with rodent corpses. Bowing and obsequieous to most everyone, Kolm is a mean-spirited bully who loves tormenting his quarry before moving in for the kill.

When Kolm finds especially large or vicious specimens, whe will not kill them. Instead he takes them back to his hovel to be caged and bred for rat fights in the basement of one of Carrion Hill's seamier pubs.

Would it be okay with you if I take the 'Vermin Heart' feat from the Revenge of the Kobold King module? It basically allows Vermin type to be treated as Animal for all spell and ability effects that target Animals.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Martaug CrowsGizzard wrote:
Would it be okay with you if I take the 'Vermin Heart' feat from the Revenge of the Kobold King module? It basically allows Vermin type to be treated as Animal for all spell and ability effects that target Animals.

I think so. Can you give me a couple of examples as to how you might see it used?

Loris Utchmon Smith (gold smelter) and obsessed prospector

Loris is the go-to man for locals who wish to sell the gold nuggets often found in some of the area streams and rivers. He is known to offer a better price for gold which comes with a clue to what he wants. He believes that there is a central source for the dust which passes through his hands, a source he seeks to discover. Paying his clients with script honored by several of the town's merchants, he never stores his purchases in the forge area where he converts the nuggets to bars. (He has an arrangement with the Magistrate to use his vault.)

Loris is a wiry man of local stock, with a suspicious nature and a fanatical gleam in his eye when he speaks of his prospecting hopes. He will occasionally follow up a promising lead himself, usually losing his business profits in the process. He has an exhaustive knowledge of the local mountains but rarely shares his information.

Loris Utchmon (Expert 5) Human male, age 40 (widower, no children; two apprentices)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:
I think so. Can you give me a couple of examples as to how you might see it used?

Can use it to extend the spells like Speak with Animal, Charm Animal, etc, to include any buggy critters. Can use wild empathy to affect vermin. And it's a stepping stone to 'Vermin Companion' (also in Revenge of the Kobold King) which I would like to take later. "No, see, this centipede that's as long as my arm is Reggie... He's my friend!"

I would also think that Summon Nature's Ally might be more prone to pop in insects... fire beetles, mostorous spiders, etc. But that's the DM call.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Sure, Gavgoyle. Looks like a fun character.

Liberty's Edge

Gormut Hillsage
Historian, 4th lvl Expert, Neutral

Gormut is known about the area as the go-to man for the histories of the region, thus the surname the locals have appended to him. Living by himself, and getting on in years, Gormut tends to ramble on in his tales, but his stories are still masterful. He is always on the lookout for information that leads to new histories, and those that seek it can easily ingratiate themselves to him.

He entertains himself with mild narcotics, all that he can afford, usually acquired from the Stauffens. For those that are willing to bring him better drugs, he has a cache of interesting small magics that he is willing to part with, most of which appear to have come from the old times of the country, taken from those who went searching for places from his old tales.

niel wrote:
Loris Utchmon (Expert 5) Human male, age 40 (widower, no children; two apprentices)

Oops, forgot alighment.

Loris Utchmon (Expert 5, LN) Human male, age 40 (widower, no children; two apprentices)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:
Sure, Gavgoyle. Looks like a fun character.

That's the goal! ;)

Thank ya!

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Madame Silk
Mistress of the Silk's Embrace Brothel, 2nd lvl Expert, 2nd level Bard, Chaotic Good

Madame Silk runs a "gentleman's club" on the outskirts of town. The place has a reputation of fine wine and even finer companionship. It meets the needs of many travelers and even some well-to-do inhabitant's from the town.

Besides companionship, information can be gained at the right price from some of the loose-lipped patrons and service girls. It is rumoured that if one has a fetish or particular need, this is the place to go. Darker rumours suggest that Silk's girls can even be hired out for other purposes.

Some suggest that Silk's brothel is under direct protection of the town's underworld. Regardless of the rumours, Silk's is a fine establishment that many frequent to relieve themselves of everyday stressors.

Seems that there is still a chance to get in on this, so I shall toss my hat in as well. I can post daily, though Paizo Con II is a longshot at best. I have (long ago) run a PbP, but have not played in one for quite some time, and am very much desiring to. I shall also encourage my wife to post an application, unless you've objections...

I am currently reading the PFRPG beta PDF, but I am mostly leaning towards a Ranger, quite possibly a crossbow toting Dwarf with fondnesses for viewing the sunrise from solitary mountain peaks, a few thick slabs of sizzling bacon and wide-hipped women.

My Carrion Hill NPC:

Eliastre Sorch
Scrivener, Drunkard and Master of Unequivocally Minor Magicks
LN Human, Expert 1/Sorcerer 1

Mirrors are not friendly to Eliastre Sorch, for each and every time he gazes into one, he sees the ghost of a once promising future staring back at him from beneath a craggy, crease-lined brow. The dribbles of sorcery he commands are paltry at best, and the spirits that gifted him with such sparse favor have long since departed his miserable company for other, brighter talents.

Middle age has overtaken him, and left him the worse for it. His great height has been conquered by a mighty slouch, and his once long strides are now little more than a shuffle, an accomodation to a rapidly advancing gout. His elegant hands now have begun to tremble and easily cramp, making him worry that his preferred method of employment will soon disappear; few folk would hire a scribe who cannot display a fine and steady hand.

He spends his coin now on liquor - any variety will do, really - instead of a Mule to carry him, his papers and inkpots out of this pathetic backwater of a town, as he slowly attempts to drown the remainder of his dreams.

Scarab Sages

Stooch (lvl 1 Expert, CG Human) An early teens street vendor/entertainer who has a knack for hearing the right thing at the right time and passing it on to those most interested. "Stoochie", as the locals have begun to call him is an ambitious lad who is unusually tall and gangly his curly hair is unkempt and tangled in knots. He can often be found bouncing around the local markets hawking sweet meats or inexpensive baubles while keeping an eye out for newcomers or travelers in an effort to extract stories or news from abroad. He fancies himself a novice storyteller and is looking to expand his repertoire. When not in the markets he can often be found down on the weathered benches outside Kurdin's Corner Pub listening in awe to Old Cale's stories and poetry.

Pip Doworthy - Gnome, Expert 11. Pip is know for making the finest boots, slippers and sandals in all the land. He and his two sons Miket, and Thurley work tirelessly to turn out the finest in Masterwork boots and shoes. His "Doworthy Survivors" are know as nearly indestructible, and waterproof to boot. His wife Glonin handles the books, and sales, and his only daughter Gywnnit does beadwork on ladies slippers, and sandals. Their shop "Somethings Afoot" is also known as the local gathering spot for gnomes new to town. Pip is talkative and friendly except when he is working. Then he whistles softly to himself strange tunes from some unknown place and time.

Dark Archive

Wandslinger wrote:
Update on my status, I've been 'informed' that I should have the PaizoCon Friday free from interfering things like tests, etc. So, I should be able to make the Con!

Hey wandslinger, where are you in Kansas? I live in Manhattan, and I go to KSU as a Grad student. I have been wanting to get a Pathfinder campaign started but have been having trouble finding players who are interested. If you are nearby would you be interested? My wife wants to play for sure as well, but if you have any friends that want to play that could work as well. You can email me at Thanks!!

Hey, it looks like you're still pulling this game together, and the setting fits with a character idea I've been thinking of, so I'll toss my hat in too.

I've been in another PbP here (with Lilith as DM), but some people have dropped out, and the posting rate has been really low, so I don't think I'd have a problem with committing for this, if it works out. I'm living in East Bay/Berkeley right now... If PaizoCon2 is also being held in the Seattle area, I'd likely be able to attend, and I'm from Portland originally, so I could stop by there on the same trip.

For my PC:
He would be a Kellid Barbarian, but one who has taken leave of his tribe when they seemed too petty. After his father's death, his mother decided to take leave of the tribe, to where he did not know, although her unusual health for her age made him confident she was fine. He crafts his own weaponry, and if it's OK, I'd like to let him use the Human bonus Weapon Proficiency for a 'Double Spear'. I'd also like to use the "Monkey Grip" Feat, allowing Large-size weapons, which would be a great fit with the rest of his background:

Actually, he will also speak Draconic(he is illiterate), although he only knows it as the language learned from his mother, who was not of his tribe (a common enough situation). Uncommonly, she actually was from the island of the Dragons, and carried Dragonblood herself. My idea is for him to take at least one, if not several levels of Dragonblood Sorceror at some point.

? (doesn't know name. may be given one by those he runs into)

Appears as 14 year old Human. Actually 17 year old Half-Elf, but his appearance is especially Human-like (the DC is extra hard to notice.) He appeared in the area just recently, and cannot remember who he his, or where he came from (he has amnesia). He does not know it until he has an opportunity to use it, but he also speaks Sylvan (Fey), which might be a clue to his past. He also speaks whatever other languages his INT would qualify for, probably several Human tongues - But not Elven, he wasn't raised in touch with elves, his parents were both Half-Elves themselves (though he doesn't know that). The idea is that he manages to find some situation to be 'adopted' (mostly being put to work) given the not-uncommon local phenomena of mystery children appearing. How he himself fits into this phenomenon... is the DM's choice :-)

Liberty's Edge

I go to school in Salina, at Kansas Wesleyan University. Unfortunately, my schedule is packed for this fall(first of my last three semesters!), so time for games that don't take place right in the dorm is pretty much at zero. ><

Wish you all luck trying to find people for a game. This stuff deserves it!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

This is a *bump*, calling out to anyone who might have missed this thread because of GEN-CON Indy.

If you're interested, say "boo", and give a short description of an NPC someone might encounter in Carrion Hill.

(Hazel Monday, did I read correctly that you're currently running a tabletop campaign in Ustalav? It would be fun to see you in this campaign. Describe an NPC that might fit in Carrion Hill, if you're still interested.)

(Sleepy, whether you're still interested in this campaign or not, I'd like to work with whatever team you assemble or find to work on that combined d20 / PRPG version of the SRD.)

Cacophonik, no problem with your wife applying, too. And that's a terrific piece of prose description.

Quandary, that sounds like a fine background. I haven't downloaded my Beta rules yet; is a multi-class spellcaster's caster level the same as his class level? If that's the case, I'll make sure there's a means --probably a feat that stack with itself-- which would allow you to increase your caster level up to your character level.

Wandslinger, does that mean you're bowing out of consideration?

Hey Chris. Yep, I'm running a tabletop, in person game with 3 other players set in Ustalav.We're using the rules in the Pathfinder beta.So far it's a zombie stomping good time.

Here's my NPC for Carrion Hill: Vaskynne Oleynos (Lvl3/LN/ Human(?) Cleric of Aroden)

He's a Varisian wanderer of indeterminate age (could be a very spry man in his 50's, or a used up looking guy in his 30's).
Always mumbling or singing wordlessly to himself, the only times he appears lucid are when he's haggling over the price of the garlic and wolvesbane he sells to the superstitious Ustalavian peasants, or telling inappropriate ghost stories to children.
Once he was spotted cooing to diseased crows that actually built a nest in his beard. He's often seen talking to people who aren't there at the crossroads at night, or dancing alone in overgrown graveyards. Old villagers believe his appearance is a bad omen. They spin around, utter a quick prayer, and spit 3 times whenever he walks by.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

NPC: Urskine Cramer, cooper. NG Human Expert 3.

Urskine's a pretty normal sort. His business as a cooper is moderately successful, he's reasonably well-liked among his peers in the Drovers' and Coopers' Guild, and he has a loving wife. Up until five years ago, however, he and his wife were childless. They tried everything--prayers to Erastil, consultations with the clergy of Shelyn and Calistria, cure disease on he and his wife, propitiation of Pharasma. He even contemplated a sacrifice to Lamashtu but decided against it--the thought of what might be born from the offering was too horrible for him to even contemplate.

And then, one winter's night, they had a child, age five. Neither he nor his wife were ever quite sure how the child arrived, but they didn't even question it, simply took the child into their hearts and built a family around him. Since then, other children have arrived in the same way, and each is accepted just like the first.

The Cramer family is now eight strong, and Urskine and his wife are busy but happy. Occasionally, when Urskine's had a mug or two more of ale than he should, he'll try to talk to his wife about it, but she shushes him and murmurs about the children being taken away the same way they came, and both of them are quiet with fear before changing the subject.

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