Mantisbane Pact with GM Zek

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Just spark noting some of the questions.

Talia is probably somewhere between 19 to late twenties, so fairly young. It's deliberate in a sense since she relies on her youth to appear naive in the political scene so she can appear less of a threat.

She also happens to have no living family since she was an only child. This is partly why she is almost bring brazen in hunting for lore of the Red Mantis, she doesn't believe she has much to lose and therefore limited bargaining chips for them to use against her. She would also never be so irresponsible with her wealth if someone else other than herself was dependant on that money.

I think if you asked her directly, she would probably claim it was solely for the Red Mantis. That said, such an answer would probably be an evasion on her part. Considering how she decides to solve the problem, it's fair to assume she would have started study or research regardless. Unsure if 100% archeology (though privately she enjoys unearthing artifacts), but definitely a historian at a minimum.

Hope that helps, anymore questions, feel free to ask!


GM, with all these entries, do you know when you plan to have the choosing done by? I ask because if you expected to begin with the first round of posting this Thursday, and if Quovex is fortunate enough to be chosen, I wouldn't be able to until later in the day due to an abnormality in my work schedule that day.

Good luck, everyone!


Roakkad Shrikkir-tsha wrote:

I have been lurking, but the game is too enticing to pass up, and so I am sliding in on the eve of battle with my submission!

There are truths whispered upon the wind, though most would dare not listen.

Roakkad Shrikkir-tsha, Scion of Gozreh
Shoanti Wizard (Spirit Whisperer)

A refugee hailing from the Shriikirri-Quah of Northern Varisia, Roakkad's fate led him to the impossible city of Kaer Maga where he trained with the druidic cults therein. Now, a dying augur's portent has ushered him to the great city of Iadara for purposes unknown.

A chosen of Gozreh, Roakkad is a wizard/shaman hybrid with access to the wizard spell list but, in place of school specialization, receives limited access to a shaman spirit. I've chosen Nature, which will truly come online at level 5, when Roakkad will receive spontaneous summon nature's ally, gain the Augmented Summons feat, and later add his Cha modifier (+3) to the saves of his summoned animals. In other words, Roakkad will often summon animals to add melee support to the group. While the bookkeeping of summoned creatures can be problematic in a live game, I've found that the immediate access to stats in PbP makes it much easier to handle, and I plan to take full responsibility for tracking the stats and abilities of my own summons. In addition to summoning animal allies, Roakkad will focus on spells keyed to the natural world, especially the weather and animal-themed spells that are such a great fit for the worship of Gozreh. Spells like lightning bolt, aqueous orb, and ice storm will be interspersed with bull's strength, cat's grace, and so on. I'm no fool, however, and will also rely on wizardly classics like color spray and dimension door, where helpful.

I've included both a backstory and sample roleplay in my profile. As he previously participated in a Runelords game, the post takes place in Sandpoint, but I believe it is a good representation of his personality. I have chosen him to submit for this campaign because I feel his "chosen one" backstory is appropriate for the deicide inherent in your story.

Thank you for your consideration, and for running this campaign!

Thank you for submitting! Does Roakkad have anyone still living that he’s close to (besides his hawk)? When you say northern Varisia, are you referring to the Cinderlands? Once you hit level 5, are you planning on focusing on summoning or will it just be one of many tools?

Eris Triguna wrote:

Just spark noting some of the questions.

Talia is probably somewhere between 19 to late twenties, so fairly young. It's deliberate in a sense since she relies on her youth to appear naive in the political scene so she can appear less of a threat.

She also happens to have no living family since she was an only child. This is partly why she is almost bring brazen in hunting for lore of the Red Mantis, she doesn't believe she has much to lose and therefore limited bargaining chips for them to use against her. She would also never be so irresponsible with her wealth if someone else other than herself was dependant on that money.

I think if you asked her directly, she would probably claim it was solely for the Red Mantis. That said, such an answer would probably be an evasion on her part. Considering how she decides to solve the problem, it's fair to assume she would have started study or research regardless. Unsure if 100% archeology (though privately she enjoys unearthing artifacts), but definitely a historian at a minimum.

Hope that helps, anymore questions, feel free to ask!

It’s sad that she has no family now, but all your details make sense. Thank you.

Galoria Ginodesa wrote:

GM, with all these entries, do you know when you plan to have the choosing done by? I ask because if you expected to begin with the first round of posting this Thursday, and if Quovex is fortunate enough to be chosen, I wouldn't be able to until later in the day due to an abnormality in my work schedule that day.

Good luck, everyone!

I plan to send out PMs late Monday night or very early Tuesday morning. Assuming everyone responds in a timely manner, I’ll probably have the discussion thread up by Tuesday evening. I plan to give everyone a day or so to work out any prior connections to other characters that they may want and to make tweaks to their builds, if necessary. That said, the opening gameplay post will likely be up Wednesday or Thursday. While I wouldn’t mind a bit quicker pace if it happens, I only expect everyone to be able to post once a day during the week and once over the weekend. As such, if selected, your schedule shouldn’t be an issue.


GM_Zek wrote:
Thank you for submitting! Does Roakkad have anyone still living that he’s close to (besides his hawk)? When you say northern Varisia, are you referring to the Cinderlands? Once you hit level 5, are you planning on focusing on summoning or will it just be one of many tools?

I have added a couple of NPC connections for Roakkad in a "Connections" spoiler on his profile. Unfortunately, they remain behind in Kaer Maga and, as far as this journey is concerned, Roakkad has been sent alone, with only his hawk. His confusion and loneliness are part of his story, I suppose.

I do mean the Cinderlands, yes, but because he traveled "downriver" to Roderic's Cove I envision his tribe originally living somewhere along the Chavali River, between Mobhad Leigh and The Gnashers.

Summoning will not be a focus, just one of many tools and a flavorful connection to Gozreh's Animal domain.

Thank you for your questions!


Roakkad Shrikkir-tsha wrote:

I have added a couple of NPC connections for Roakkad in a "Connections" spoiler on his profile. Unfortunately, they remain behind in Kaer Maga and, as far as this journey is concerned, Roakkad has been sent alone, with only his hawk. His confusion and loneliness are part of his story, I suppose.

I do mean the Cinderlands, yes, but because he traveled "downriver" to Roderic's Cove I envision his tribe originally living somewhere along the Chavali River, between Mobhad Leigh and The Gnashers.

Summoning will not be a focus, just one of many tools and a flavorful connection to Gozreh's Animal domain.

Thank you for your questions!

Thank you for the connections. Those are always helpful.

Your clarifications about where he's from are also helpful. And good to know about summoning. That makes sense.


Here is Madelyn's sheet just in case I can't finish the crunch on this site.

It's 12:30am here, but I really wanna hand in something that at least puts her into the running.

I didn't finish her BG, but the story of how she went from a level 0 to beginning a life as a paladin is done, so I'll post that. If there's any discontinuity about her going from a low level paladin to not one at all its because I realised that you begin level 1 knowing things like detect evil, so I wrote how she learnt them instead changing her to effectively level 0.

Divine in the Mundane:

“Alright troops! Rise and shine! We convene at 600 hours! Late comers clean the latrines!”

Madelyn’s eyes fluttered open, as she sluggishly got out of her cot. As one of many trying to get into paladin training, her days consisted of very much the same thing. Morning prayer, exercise, breakfast, stables, politics and diplomacy, service – sometimes in the medic’s hut, others in the refugee camps, meditation and prayer, lunch, monarchs and nobility, languages – mostly common, with articulation, grammar, spelling etc, combat and endurance training, free time, religious studies, dinner, prayer and meditation, free time, lights out.

It was a lot, nothing compared to the higher-level paladins, but a lot more than when she was just an acolyte. However, one of the things that was constantly enforced was patience. With patience, persistence, tenacity, and faith, everything she sought would eventually be hers.

All those trying to become paladins were tasked with cleaning the stables, caring for the horses, making sure they were healthy and exercised daily, let out to pasture, ready for whenever they were needed. These weren’t war horses though. Paladins took care of their personal mounts with as much dedication as everything else, more so if that mount represented their bond with Iomedae. These were horses for transport and work typically. Their care was as much to help the refugees and wounded as it was to normalise the trainees to handling them, as every paladin, personal mount or not, was expected to know how to calm and tame any horse, and ride it.

As initiation was only 12 months, everything was intense. Combat training was combined with endurance training, 4 months in light armor, then medium, then heavy. Proficiency with any weapon that was likely to be available on the battlefield, namely simple and martial weapons, was emphasised, as was being able to use a variety of shields. If you had strength, use it. If you were agile, take the advantage. No one was too slow or too weak, so long as you knew what you were good at, and honed your abilities.

The class was small, around 15 people in total. There were other classes, this one was just made up of those who had been an acolyte of Iomedae before applying. 9 humans, 2 half-elves, 2 halflings, a gnome, and an Aasimar. The Aasimar’s name was Wren, and he was gorgeous, so Madelyn avoided him. She couldn’t afford to be distracted. Despite her efforts though, due to how tight-knit the group was, they became friends. Thanks to everyone’s devout nature, she found that her fears were baseless. They had all decided on their goals when they applied for training, and helped each other towards them.

Diplomacy varied on who was teaching. Sister Constance would dictate different ways of wording things, the importance of compromise (so long as it didn’t involve any of the faith’s core beliefs), how to approach and interact with different races and cultures. All very academic. Professor Lincoln, however, would spend much of the class yelling or arguing with them, trying to goad them into reacting. He called it ‘mental endurance training’, that there were going to be cases where the people involved were so arrogant, or insulting, or disrespectful, or irrational, that it would test their diplomatic stance. He did have a point, that he would rather you try and punch him in the face and get extra homework than to do so during a hostile or tense situation and get someone killed. Professor Lincoln would also give case studies, and pair them up for role plays, brought in various guest speakers to be interviewed and have them test the initiates approaches and trains of thought.

Monarchs and nobles was about as interesting as the instructor made it. The church seemed to realise this, as every 4th lesson was taught by an Elven bard by the name of Casamire the Chivalrous. No one knew if he was knighted or not, but his retellings of the history of the great houses, and royal lines, was engaging, dramatic, and always included what the previous 3 lessons had covered. It bought all the dates and names and events to life in a marvelous 2-hour performance. What made it even better was that he had known, or at least claimed to have known, many of the characters, being over 200 years old. He added atmosphere, and it made all the lessons that much easier to remember and to appreciate.

Languages was just a fancy way of saying scribe. The class was silent much of the time. Those who excelled could choose another language to learn, which was taught at the same time but in another room. Madelyn opted for Draconic, as it was rumoured to be the oldest language, which she found fascinating. Silvester, the gnome, also opted for Draconic, and they helped each other by talking to each other and passing notes in the reptilian language.

Service was humbling. Where they learnt to heal, comfort, and give hope. It was the part of the day where they were all reminded what it meant to be one of the ranks of Iomedae’s faithful. It made them step back from the glory, and battles with demons and devils, the epic and eternal fight between good and evil, law and chaos, and cemented them firmly in the lives that they those battles affected. The wounded and dying soldiers, the homeless and displaced peoples, the orphaned children, the starving, the hopeless, helpless, and nameless masses that were the victims of the Worldwound and the Crusades. There, their faith was truly tested. To give aid, and hope, comfort, to dress wounds, or hold a hand as they drifted away. It was there that they had to face, question, and conquer the reality of the world, and make the choice of if their faith was stronger than their doubt. It was the hardest lesson, often leading to numbness, or silent weeping in the dark after lights out. It either solidified your faith, or shattered it. Madelyn spent many prayer sessions asking for Iomedae’s strength and guidance, for the ability to give hope and aid to those she could, and to help her make peace about those she couldn’t. After weeks of prayer and reflection, she came out the other side with a serenity and peace that gave her the stability and strength of faith to give hope, true hope, the kind she really believed in.

Religious studies focused on the origin, history, alliances and events of the Gods, particularly those relating to Iomedae. About the Last Azlanti, Aroden, of whom Iomedae was a herald to before his death. Of when the Starstone fell from space and cast the world into a thousand years of darkness. Of the First, Ihys’ discovery of speech, and Asmodeus, the creator of meaning and who penned the contract of creation. Whenever she had the chance, Madelyn would shift the lessons towards Achaekek, and the Red Mantis. Father Tyberius often bought them back on track fairly quickly, as that lesson was for more specialised study. He did teach them that no one can agree on who created Achaekek, and that the Mantis God is evil, as are his followers, and that he dwells in the first circle of Hell, Avernus.

Prayer and meditation were consistent, compulsory, and taken very seriously. While older paladins could find their preferred method of communing with the divine, everyone needed to learn how to do it the traditional way first. Solitary, confined rooms were provided for meditation, while prayer was a more communal event held in the chapel. One of her favourite instructors, a halfling cleric everyone called Mother Marie, who held morning prayer, taught her one of her most profound lessons; that worship wasn’t serious in itself. That it was meant to be joyous and empowering. It was just a word that was used to best describe how to centre the beginners, and have them focus. When faith comes from the heart and resonates within the soul, then meditation and prayer along with the connection to Iomedae and all the power she bestows upon her paladins, become intuitive. Serious just ensures that people try harder than they normally would.

Madelyn would meditate on this more often than she would tell her instructors. She had memorised the affirmations of Iomedae, and was meant to be meditating on those, and she did. Her allotted time was spent reflecting and understanding Iomedae and her teachings, but at least one of her free time slots was always spent reflecting on her faith, on understanding her own heart and connecting with what resonated in her soul.

She thanked this for her first true touch of divinity. During her 6th month of initiation, she and two others, a half-elf named Kyro and another human called Jill. They had been the first in their class to show up when detect good was cast on the group. This was the first manifestation of the blessings of Iomedae, and confirmation that they were on their way to becoming paladins.

After that, one by one, everyone attained an Aura of Good. The next step was to be able to detect evil themselves. They would be tasked with identifying which of a group of objects was evil. At first, they were given 1 minute to study each object, then needed to list them in most to least evil. It became a little bit of an inside joke for the initiates, who would grab cutlery or personal possessions and dramatically declare them evil. The instructors for the most part allowed this as a way for the young trainees to cope with what they were experiencing; a real evil aura. As the 8th month came to an end, they were expected to be able to just look at something and could tell if it was evil or not.

The last two months were grueling. Almost everything was done in heavy armor, from cleaning the stables to scribing, morning exercise to meditation. Focus shifted from academic learning to practical, with the initiates going out and sparring with new recruits in the army, getting more involved with handling the disturbances within the refugee camps and keeping the peace, and meeting with minor aristocrats and representatives of other faiths.

The greatest challenge, and what would ultimately decide if they became an entry level paladin or not, was the final month where they were sent beyond the Wardstones and to the rear-gaurd of an active, but less threatened, battlefield. Here was where they would get a crash course in the final power Iomedae needed to grant them for them to be recognised as true paladins, the ability to smite evil. It could only really be tested when battling against an evil creature. They had 30 days, one chance a day. Although, since none of them knew how to use it, they had to fight at any opportunity. They were constantly under the watchful eye of their instructor, other soldiers, and a group of experienced paladins. This was the future of Iomedae’s crusade against the demons of the Worldwound after all, they couldn’t afford for anyone to die in training.

It was still a battlefield though, and each day people were sent back behind the Wardstones to be tended to, perhaps by newer initiates. Madelyn fought against as many enemies as she was allowed, swinging in hopes of feeling something different, something divine. She and all the others fought until they were sent back to base, deemed too exhausted to continue. Often, exhaustion was determined with how close you go to being killed by a demon. Countless tries, countless demons, until a paladin stepped in right before the enemy could deal a finishing blow. Jill lost an eye to a stray arrow, but refused to be sent back. Malcom and Craig, two other humans who had been best friends since childhood, got food poisoning. Everyone had scraps and bandages over arms, legs and torsos, head wounds were common as well. Still, 15 students came to the field and none were leaving until that last day.

Madelyn wasn’t sure what day it was, or how long they had left. They had been divided into groups of three, each under a seasoned paladin who was making sure they didn’t die. She was with Wren and Helix, the other half-elf. They were fighting a group of lower level demons, Dretches, which needed to be taken out quickly as they were capable of summoning more Dretches if given the chance. As the preferred weapon of Iomedae, all initiates were fighting with longswords, which seemed to be doing the job. Still, of the 15 only 3 had managed to smite a demon; Silvester, Gwen (another human), and Jill, much to her relief.

It had already been a long day, and their fatigued showed as they were caught in a nauseating fog created by a newly summoned Dretch. Madelyn dry heaved, but kept her footing, making a quick retreat out of the cloud. Wren and Helix, however, doubled over, and were visibly unable to fight. They may be small, but there was more of them, and they kept coming. After only a few moments, Wren was hunched and bleeding over an unconscious Helix, trapped in the fog and flanked by the enemy. Madelyn didn’t need to think, she charged back into the fog, suppressing a gag and cutting an escape route for her friends trait: Dedicated defender. As she finally made her way to them, a Dretch moved in to strike at the incapacitated duo. She lengthened her stride, moving to place herself between them and their attacker, before slicing upwards and cutting into the monstrosity before her. Her strike hit true, and she felt a strange yet empowering wave as she fought the Dretch. It was easy to hit, and it seemed to struggle to hit her. As she delivered the final blow, the other Dretches retreated as the older paladin stepped in, striking them down with ease. Together, they dragged Helix and Wren away from the dissipating fog, Nigel (their paladin) bringing Helix back to consciousness and curing his nausea. By then, Wren had gotten over his own, and they all headed back to base to rest for the next day.

“You felt it, yes?” he asked as they crossed into friendly territory.

Madelyn nodded, looking at her hand as if it held some amazing power. She felt, solid? Stable? Complete? It was almost impossible to word it. Her Goddess had just blessed her with a minute amount of her own divine power. She was worthy of the blessings and powers of the Goddess she had spent years worshiping. It was surreal. It was humbling. It was overwhelming. It was so incredibly awesome.

I'm closer now Xander. When we meet again, I'll be strong enough to bring you back. Hold on...

Now, she was a paladin.


TheoreticallyYours wrote:

Here is Madelyn's sheet just in case I can't finish the crunch on this site.

It's 12:30am here, but I really wanna hand in something that at least puts her into the running.

I didn't finish her BG, but the story of how she went from a level 0 to beginning a life as a paladin is done, so I'll post that. If there's any discontinuity about her going from a low level paladin to not one at all its because I realised that you begin level 1 knowing things like detect evil, so I wrote how she learnt them instead changing her to effectively level 0.

** spoiler omitted **...

Glad you were able to submit! Madelyn will be included in the final list of candidates.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Recruitment is officially closed.

Thank you to everyone that submitted a character! No further changes should be made to your submissions.

Since I know from personal experience that people tend to just look at the list in the official selection post, I want to go ahead and make a few remarks in this post.

First and foremost, there were far too many good characters and players who applied for me to pick them all. I strongly recommend those not selected adapt their character concepts for other campaigns as I think many of you have very strong characters. In any other recruitment, many of your characters would likely be chosen without hesitation, but the number of quality submissions means that isn’t possible here.

Second, I know that – inevitably – some people will be disappointed. I’m afraid that’s just one of the realities of play-by-post recruitments. I will have to say no to most of your submissions. Please don’t take it personally if you aren’t picked. You won’t be alone, that’s for sure.

Third, as mentioned before, I’ll be sending PMs to those selected, so please keep an eye on your private messages. I plan to send out PMs tonight or very early tomorrow morning. If you receive an invitation and intend to play in the adventure, please respond within 24 hours (the sooner, the better). I’ll make the official announcement post once each person selected has accepted their invitation.

Finally, for those selected, I would ask that you refrain from posting about it, out of respect for your fellow applicants, till I make the official announcement post. I’ll open up the discussion thread shortly after I make the announcement post. For those selected, your first priority should be to read about your fellow players’ characters (assuming you don’t mind knowing about their characters ahead of time).

Again, thank you very much to everyone who submitted. Even if you’re not selected, you made the process better by your submissions and your feedback. I’ve already been agonizing as I think about the decisions I’ll have to make. Now I can get down to actually making those painful decisions.
-----

Final List of Applicants:

Full BAB
Akkuya Steelhammer - Human Slayer
Mite Aldleas - Half-elf Slayer
Kilarra Calvennis - Human Slayer
Teniel - Half-elf Fighter/Paladin
Uruelleth - Elf Bloodrager
Jynn T’Soryn - Elf Ranger
Sabrianne - Human Fighter
Madelyn Darrius - Human Paladin

¾ BAB
Arryn Dawood - Human Kineticist
Eluvias the Grim - Elf Rogue (Unchained)

6th Level Divine Casters
Vorya - Human Inquisitor

9th Level Divine Casters
Quovex - Half-elf Druid
Marko Zuul - Human Cleric
Zeldana Arcovici - Kitsune Oracle
Talia Dionne - Aasimar Shaman

6th Level Arcane Casters
Aki Mori - Kitsune Magus

9th Level Arcane Casters
Talivar Tamexo - Human Sorcerer
Aziz Al’Sarab - Human Wizard
Brock Holystone - Dwarf Sorcerer
Gloriana 2 - Android Arcanist
Roakkad Shrikkir-tsha - Human Wizard

Hybrid
Illia Nym - Bloodrager/Sorcerer
Garroth Seren - Half-orc Monk/Fighter
Gaius Trevelyan - Elf Fighter/Sorcerer


I don't envy you. Picking characters IS fun (balancing party roles, backgrounds, powers) but you always know there are so many stories untold because of your picks.

Good luck!

Sovereign Court

Holy cow, look at that list.


Now *that* is a list.

3x Slayers
2x Paladins
1x Bloodrager
1x Ranger
1x Fighter
1x Kineticist
1x Unchained Rogue
1x Inquisitor
1x Druid
1x Cleric
1x Oracle
1x Shaman
2x Sorcerers
2x Wizards
1x Arcanist
3x Hybrids

23 characters in total. All with fully fleshed out backgrounds. A very lucky GM to have such a pool to pick from.


If the GM takes the maximum 6 players then there's roughly a 1 in 4 chance of getting picked. With luck this campaign will be one to watch no matter who gets selected.


This was not an easy process and I daresay it was harder than the recruitment I ran for another campaign. But here we are. Someone mentioned something similar before, but it’s worth repeating that at least two or three amazing parties could have been formed from those who applied. But alas, I had to force myself to only pick six for the sake of keeping things manageable. I already went over a few things in my last post, so I’ll go ahead and list those selected without further ado.

-----

Kilarra Calvennis

Talia Dionne

Talivar Tamexo

Uruelleth

Vorya

Zeldana Arcovici

-----

Thank you again to everyone that applied. For those selected, please be sure to say hello and begin conferring with one another in the discussion thread. It should be up momentarily.


Booooooooh!

Oh well, probably gonna lurk.

Sovereign Court

That looks like it'll be a good group. Congrats everyone!


Congratulations to all who made it!


Congratulations to those selected. It looks to be a great experience!

Silver Crusade

Such a hard choice, so many good characters! Good luck all, I'll definitely be watching!


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Have fun everyone.


Congratulations - exceptional applications all round!

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