Enter the Stolen Lands, a wilderness claimed by nobles, bandits, and beasts alike:
Into this territory the fractious country of Brevoy sends its emissaries, tasking them with subduing the lawless folk and deadly creatures that have made it a realm of savagery and shame. Beyond the last rugged frontier stretches the home of voracious monsters, capricious fey, wily natives, and bandits who bow to the rule of a merciless lord none dare defy.
Can the PCs survive the Stolen Lands, bring their dangers to heel, and lay the foundations of a new kingdom? Or will they just be one more fateful band, lost forever to the ravenous wilds?
It's been nearly ten years since the disappearance of King Urzen Rogarvia and the rise of King-Regent Noleski Surtova; the one many have named Usurper. Many fear that on the tenth anniversary of the Vanishing that King-Regent Surtova, at the urging of his sister Natala, will throw off the Regent and name himself full King of Brevoy. Although his time as regent has been peaceful and the kingdom has prospered, there are many, mainly in the old provinces of Rostland, that no longer want to bend the knee to another king of Brevoy but seek a free Rostland once more. There is talk of war. The peace of the kingdom stands balanced on the edge of a blade.
In an effort to secure the kingdoms southern borders and make amends with the Swordlords of Restov, on the 24th day of Calistril, King-Regent Noleski Surtova signed a charter commissioning groups of adventurers to head into the Stolen Lands to explore and chart the land for possible settlement.
There are many who question the motives of the Swordlords and feel that the charter is an effort to secure their southern borders in preparation for war with Brevoy. But for now the King-Regent has given his approval.
Four groups accepted the charter and heading south into different areas of the Stolen Lands. This is the story of one of those groups as they try to complete the charter and forge their own destiny.
Bella of the Everlight - female warpriestess of Sarenrae
Celyne Nightstorme - female half-elf oracle
Cyrielle Rousseau - female human (daring champion) cavalier
Fronar Gossamar - male human (knife master) rogue
Numalar Auritonius - male lava gnome sorcerer
Valeska Talanova - female human tactician
People of Note:
Algie the Rat-Catcher - The chronically nervous, gap-toothed Algie is one of the finest 'ratters' in Restov's Rat-Catchers' Guild as well as the principle meat supplier to his friend Mung's meat pie business. This fact lead to his kidnapping by the Vernon and Belia Atcher in their plan to overrun the city in filth, which ended when the party stormed Vernon's scow and rescued Algie. It is not clear that Algie made much money from his various jobs as his flat near Icy Wharf was a mere five feet wide and crammed between the Itinerant Shoreman's House and Old Mobi's Flophouse.
Ariston Santyev - The youngest of Zokon's three noble half-brothers (being only two months older than Zokon himself). Because he is the youngest legitimate son and therefore not likely to inherit mush he has taken a job in the Restov City Guard and holds the rank of Night Captain.
Argentov Lind - A young, handsome, slightly naive, first-time traveler from an isolated village high in the Icerime Peaks. The party met him in the tavern room of Soyev's Sundown Sundries on their first trip back to Restov.
Akate Thrice-Damned - A young, devil-blooded tiefling woman the party found working as nighttime hostess in Soyev's Sundown Sundries in the Brevic village of Nivatka's Crossing. Nothing Akate touches seems to work well for her (and many items simply break) causing her to have trouble finding and holding a job.
Beatrice "Betty" Gallows - Farmer Jon Gallows daughter. Age 10.
Belia Atcher - Belia and her twin, Vernon, were both born natural wererats, sired by the affluent Havish Atcher proprietor to the Rubbish-Pickers' Guild in Restov. After murdering their father the twins embarked upon a campaign to mire the city in filth, only to be thwarted by the party and taken into custody. Belia handled most of the twin's dirty work, and was skilled in the use of her alternate form's natural weapons.
Bill Scarlet - The unlikable Bill was one of the bandits at Kressle's gang's camp near the Thorn River. In the party's attack upon the camp Bill didn't stand a chance caught alone as he was between Luna and Celyne's magically summoned eagle.
"Blackie" - Named for his greasy, dark hair, this bandit was part of Kressle's group. Stationed in the watch blind he fell in a archery duel with Alia at the bandit's Thorn River encampment.
"Blue Meanies" - Mysterious creatures that the Sootscale kobolds are at war with. The blue meanies recently made off with a statue of the Sootscales' god, Ol' Sharptooth leaving their tribe cursed. True to their name, they are blue and mean, and about 2-and-a-half-feet-tall. They reportedly live in, by, or near an old sycamore out in the hills of the Greenbelt.
Bokken - An ornery, old Tian hermit and potion-maker who lives near the South Road on the edge of a giant spider-infested prairie.
Bonwyn Benzen - One of Vekkel Benzen's ten children. About 14 years old, she seems shy and quiet but is also handy in the kitchen.
Breeg Orlivanch - A poacher and trapper of some ill-repute (Svetlana Leventon, Hansel, Leta and Ilse Benzen and their father certainly don't like the man). He's been missing from his usual haunts for a few weeks now, and rumor holds he's now using his trapping skills on behalf the Greenbelt bandits.
Bren - Young bandit killed by Zokon in the attack on Oleg's Trading Post.
"Bruiser" - A strapping bandit whom had replaced Happs Bydon has Kressle's consort, he was mauled to death by Luna at the camp near the Thorn River, while attempting to bludgeon Celyne with his morningstar.
Byron Benzen - Eldest of Vekkel Benzen's ten children, thought to have joined the Stag Lord's growing army of bandits.
"Chick" - Short for Chadwick, a name he does not seem fond of, is a bandit that Numalar and Zokon unexpectedly tangled with in the Narlmarches while hunting for the bandits' main camp. He's partners with Wilbur.
Davik Nettles - Former owner and proprietor of Nettle's Crossing, a ferry located on the Shrike River. He rebuffed the Stag Lord and was killed for it, he and his business put to the torch. His terrible shade now haunts the site, burning for revenge.
Droo - The gnomish cavalier, Squire Droo and her wolf companion Vinegar act as daring high-speed couriers based out of Restov.
Esme Highspire - A traveling one-woman, halfling theater company (or 'tragedian' as she calls herself). She lives and performs out of a large carriage drawn by her horses Olley and Staniver. The carriage is gimmicked to quickly reconfigure into a makeshift stage.
Fan Auric - Traveling bard. Fan's family originated from Oppara but moved to the River Kingdoms two-hundred years ago and carved out a tiny kingdom in the River Kingdoms so small and inconsequential that it defies mapping. He is the first member of the family to return to Taldor to bard school. He is friends with a number of people he has met in his travels including Scarlet's brother Blu and Tamris half-elven.
Faeria the Mad - A woodland illusionist whose insanity makes it difficult for her to tell illusion from reality. She severed as the resident arcanist to Kressle and her gang at the Thorn River camp and was defeated by Celyne who shot the illusionist twice with a crossbow after the mad woman stunned had Numalar and temporarily blinded Zokon. She was given mercy by reason of insanity and taken to Shepherd Keegh in Restov in order to be cured of her madness.
Fusti Isben - A Greenbelt cheese-maker, is one of the people putting up the bounty on Tuskgutter. In fact, he's planning on making his famous head cheese from the boar once it's killed.
"Golden Boy" - A young brash, young blonde bandit, Golden Boy attempted to use Alia's family estock in battle against the party when they raided the bandits camp near the Thorn River. He was felled by Luna and later taken to Restov to hang for his crimes.
Grayling - A tall, gaunt, dour man, Grayling is a retainer of House Medvyed, hunting mate of Valorin Medvyed.
Grogan - A vicious though skillful, axe-wielding brute in the employ of the Aspis Consortium, he was involved in the attempt to force Tamris to divulge the whereabouts of a group of rare dappled wolves. A sadist Grogan tends to take his aggression out on animals particularly his own pathetic pets like the she-wolf Gale who he used as a distraction in order to silence Rain, thereby keeping the existence of the other dappled wolves and their valuable pelts a secret only known to Aspis. He often works with his fellow Aspis agents, Meg the snipe, and the wizard Tor.
Guardian of the Lost Temple of Erastil - Mysterious old man shape-changed into the shape of a great, mangy bear. The beast had the ability to recover from wounds quickly and could seemingly teleport about the shrine. It died when Luna broke its neck after it attacked the party. The bear-made-man again's last words were lost in Luna's assault.
"Hal" Benzen - One of Vekkel Benzen's ten children. At age about 12, he is adventurous and was going to runaway with his older brother Byron.
Hansel Benzen - Leta's twin brother, one of Vekkel Benzen's ten children. About 10 years old. He and his sister enjoyed playing with Luna.
Happs Bydon - The bandit charged with extorting Oleg's Trading Post on behalf of the Stag Lord. He and his men were thwarted by the group and Happs was slain in the battle. Though a known cad he was the former lover of his immediate superior, Kressle.
Henson Noshbin - A young, lanky blonde hunter from the lands surrounding eastern edge of the Narlmarches. Henson is best friends with fellow Greenbelt hunter Rolf Deers.
Ilse Benzen - The eldest daughter of Vekkel Benzen's ten children. At about 16 years of age she seems to be a responsible, substitute mother-figure for many of her younger siblings.
Ioseph Sellenius - Lord Mayor of Restov. A sanguine giant of a man, he offered the charter to the original group and helps fund their mission.
Jon Felton - bandit captured during the raid on Oleg's Trading Post. Jon is thought to have fled to Brevoy since.
Jon Gallows - A farmer who's home lies just east of the Narlmarches. Gallows lives an unremarkable life on the edge of a strange fey wood and is given to exaggeration. He has a daughter named Beatrice.
Kesten Garess - Of House Garess, though reputedly far from the center of power. He and three guardsmen under his command (Paun, Pease, and Tokin) were sent from Brevoy to provide security for Oleg's Trading Post. He seems to have some experience as a sellsword both in Brevoy and the River Kingdoms, but doesn't want to talk much about his past.
Kressle - The daughter of bandits in the River Kingdoms and a bandit herself by the age of twelve, she fled to the Stolen Lands upon their death. When minions of Stag Lord attempted to rape the young woman she maimed them both and followed their retreat back to the Stag Lord's camp where upon he promptly made her one of his lieutenants in charge of his forward operations. She is famous for her vicious mouth, and wielding twin tomahawks. Her former lovers include the notorious Happs Bydon, and later the cruel and thuggish "Bruiser." She was defeated by Zokon, Celyne and Luna in her gang's camp near the Thorn River and later taken to Restov to hang for her crimes.
Larimus Finch - Retired, 81-year-old hunter is one of the Greenbelt locals who has put a bounty on Tuskgutter. He's offering his bow and some magical arrows to the person or group that can bring down the dangerous boar.
Leafcutter Kobolds - A tribe of green-scaled kobolds with no set land to call their own. Instead they rent themselves out as minions to others (power-mad tyrants, evil wizards, and the Aspis Consortium to name a few of their more regular clients). The Leafcutter's brand is one of continuity with young warriors taking the names of older fallen ones (adding a numeral at the end to keep tribal genealogy straight). They make passable warriors with most of their armor and weapons coming from the harvested shells, pincers and stingers of giant insects they hunt in their masters' dungeons. Pretty much all of their masters have dungeons.
Recently some of the tribe was contracted as part of an Aspis plot (with Grogan, Meg and Tor) to learn the whereabouts of a group of rare dappled wolves which the Consortium planned upon exploiting. They were dispatched to track down and kill Rain (a dappled wolf himself) before he warn others of the plan. A group was spotted by Fan Auric whom they attempted to kill in response. Fan was rescued by the party who eventually thwarted the plan.
Typical Leafcutter names include: Blackbrair XVII, Bloodlouse IX, Gilttooth XIX, Grapeshot VIII, Grasspear XI, Grayscale XVI, Mossbeetle XVII, Oilcarapace XXI, Nettlespite XX, Rustshell XX.
Leta Benzen - Hansel's twin sister, one of Vekkel Benzen's ten children. About 10 years old. She and her brother enjoyed playing with Luna.
Meg the Snipe - Technophile Aspis agent Meg often works in conjunction with the Grogan the axe-man and the wizard Tor. All three were involved in the attempt to force Tamris to divulge the whereabouts of a group of rare dappled wolves which the Consortium planned upon exploiting. While Grogan left to hunt Tamris's dappled wolf companion, Rain, Meg and Tor remained at their camp with the captured Tamris. In the end Rain returned with the party and put an end to the plan, and Numalar and Sir Didymus nearly put an end to Meg herself. Meg likes to use a cutting edge rapid-fire crossbow whose many merits she is constantly extolling.
Merriam Benzen - One of Vekkel Benzen's ten children. About 6-7 years old. She seems very shy, but is perhaps the most concerned of the kids about Byron's disappearance.
Mikmek - A lucky Sootscale kobold scout, who survived a mission to the Old Bear Cave and the twarted raid upon Old Sycamore to recover Ol' Sharptooth. He was captured and tortured by the mites living there until the party rescued him. He accompanied them back to his tribes lair and participated in the coup d'etat against Tartuk.
Mung - A half-orc baker and purveyor of meat pies in the Coppers District of Restov. It seems his name name can open many doors among the city's lower classes despite his trade. Algie the rat-catcher is one of his primary vendors and close friends.
Nakpik - An eager door guard of the Sootscale tribe of kobolds, who seeing the chance to improve his status and help his tribe led the party bearing Ol' Sharptooth to Chief Sootscale, touching off the revolt against Tartuk.
Naleksa Vijic - Occupying a nebulous space between medic, counselor, and prostitute, Naleksa enjoys the physical and social freedom her camp follower lifestyle provides her. She provides whatever services an expedition may need, having dabbled in everything from herbalism and magic to exotic eastern lovemaking. While far from an expert in any field, she strives to be useful. After all, there’s money to be made filling every sort of need.
"Needles" - So named for his propensity for playing with throwing knives is a half-elven arcanist and 'useful' member of the Scarred Shadows.
Noir - A oily-looking bully and junior member of the Scarred Shadows he and Tallow attempted to jump Scarlet and Zokon whilst they were practicing their sword skills. Even though the heroes hadn't much more in the way weapons available to them than sticks they defeated their ambushers with ease.
Notch - Is the frighteningly dangerous owl familiar of the clever Aspis Consortium wizard Tor.
Oleg Leveton - The gruff owner/proprietor of Oleg's Trading Post.
Orango - A tough, hard-bitten bandit at Kressle's Thorn River encampment. He died in a vicious battle with Scarlet as she and Alia made their escape.
Paun - A guardsman from Restov, under the command of Kesten Garess, sent to protect Oleg's Trading Post. A man of few words. He is allergic to cats.
Pease - A guardsman from Restov, under the command of Kesten Garess, sent to protect Oleg's Trading Post. An inveterate carouser, sometime in the past Cyrielle may have broken the man's nose in a barroom brawl using a chair.
Pip - An erudite troll raider the party encountered along the South Rostland Road a few miles outside of Nivatka's Crossing. The troll and his two unnamed companion trolls were 'just larkin' about.' Having just butchered a horse stolen from a local farm when Pip chatted up the party (particularly Alia) trying to ingratiate himself them. After shaking hands with Scarlet they went their separate ways.
Raven Riverpointe - A mysterious woman with some connection to Poshment's past. She also seems to be connected to the Scarred Shadows.
"Red" - Named for his hair and the color his face turns when angry, Red is a low ranking member of the Scarred Shadows who made the mistake of accosting the party in the Winding Wyrm tavern in Brevoy. Like his fellows he attempted to run after Alia killed their friend Wyne, but Scarlet caught him on the way out.
Rolf Deers - A young, auburned-haired hunter from the lands surrounding eastern edge of the Narlmarches. He is considered a bit slow by some of the locals. Rolf is best friends with fellow Greenbelt hunter Hendson Noshbin.
Rose Benzen - At age 4, Rose is the youngest and perhaps most outgoing of Vekkel Benzen's ten children. She has trouble distinguishing between, but has an apparent fondness for gnomes and halflings.
Samuel Renault - A wealthy, transplanted nobleman from Brevoy. He owns and operates one of the largest farm properties in the Greenbelt and has a good deal of influence among the locals. His land is often the site of local weddings and festivals. His elder sister, Ellen, is married to the head of House Orlovsky in Brevoy, Lord Poul Orlovsky.
Scarred Shadows - A dangerous thieves' guild that operates out of the Coppers district of Restov. They formed a temporary alliance with Vernon and Belia Atcher during the wererats' attempt to overrun the city in filth.
Shepherd Jhod Kavken - A Priest of Erastil who arrived at Oleg's Trading Post to see to the place's spiritual needs.
Shepherd Keegh - Rustic high priest of Erastil's Lodge in Restov.
Soot - A rather shifty-looking retainer of House Medvyed. He is a hunting companion of Valorin Medvyed.
Mr. Soyev - Old and sticklerish proprietor of Soyev's Sundown Sundries a combination general store and inn, in the small village of Nivatka's Crossing just off the South Rostland Road. It's a stop for many a traveler, notable for its locally famous four-person hot bath gazebo and the Talanova brand wine they serve.
Mrs. Soyev - Stout, willful, traditionalist wife and co-proprietor of Soyev's Sundown Sundries of Nivatka's Crossing. She often serves as the establishment's daytime manager.
Sootscale Kobolds - A local tribe of kobolds that recently have stirred up trouble among the local human populace of the Greenbelt (Hal Benzen may have wrestled one). The uptick in hostility may have something to do with the curse of Ol' Sharptooth, a tribal god, who seems displeased that his statue was stolen from the tribe by the so-called "Blue Meanies."
The kobolds of the tribe seem to have a weakness for moon radishes, which they apparently gorge themselves on.
The Stag Lord - Notorious bandit lord of the Greenbelt.
Svetlana Leveton - Oleg Leveton's young wife from Restov.
Tallow - A gap-toothed, junior member of the Scarred Shadows. He and Noir attempted to jump Scarlet and Zokon whilst they were practicing their sword skills. Even though the heroes hadn't much more in the way weapons available to them than sticks they defeated their ambushers with ease.
Tamerlane Benzen - One of Vekkel Benzen's ten children. About 5 years old. He seems to think that halflings are magical.
Tokin - A guardsman from Restov, under the command of Kesten Garess, sent to protect Oleg's Trading Post. Tokin appears to want to take his job seriously, but often seems distracted.
Tor of Hom - A clever, pragmatic and woodsy evil wizard in service to the Aspis Consortium. Tor is often teamed with the sadistic axe-man Grogan and Meg the snipe. All three were involved in the attempt to force Tamris to divulge the whereabouts of a group of rare dappled wolves which the Consortium planned upon exploiting. While Grogan left to hunt Tamris's dappled wolf companion, Rain, Tor and Meg remained at their camp with the captured Tamris. In the end Rain returned with the party and put an end to the plan. Tor greatly dislikes working with Grogan and Meg, both of whom irritate him with their 'relative stupidity' and lack of conversational skills. Tor's familiar Notch is notoriously irritating as well as dangerous in certain adventuring circles. Tor himself is only interested in finance and power.
Trapdoor Spiders - The prairie lands in the vicinity of Old Bokken's hut seem to be infested with giant (Medium and Large-sized) versions of these spiders.
Tourque - Woodsman and bandit, Tourque, was the only bandit to escape the party's capture of Kressle's bandit encampment near the Thorn River. After harrying Zokon with arrows from a nearby blind he fled into the Narlmarches.
Valorin Medvyed - When Valorin was ten-years-old he was savaged by a great wolf or worg in the Gronzi Forest, leaving him visibly scarred and with an abiding hatred of the beasts. Since then he has become a masterful hunter and archer and often hunts with a number of (relatively ignoble) retainers. A few years older and of nobler blood, it was Valorin's influence and mentoring that turned Zokon's fancy to the bow.
Vekkel Benzen - Farmer and good-natured father of ten, all of whom seem to take after their dad, being blonde, and long and lanky in build and features. A few months back Vekkel lost his leg while defending two of his children Hansel and Leta from the boar Tuskgutter. Since then he has had to rely on his children to help work the farm. The loss of his leg also prevents him from going out to look for his eldest Byron whom he suspects may have joined those Greenbelt bandits led by the Stag Lord.
Verdigris - Among the greenest of the bandits at Kressle's Thorn River camp, he was nonetheless dedicated. He was rendered unconscious by Alia's magic as she and Scarlet made their escape and later taken to Restov to hang for his crimes.
Vinegar - The grey wolf Vinegar, and his gnomish cavalier companion, Squire Droo act as daring high-speed couriers based out of Restov.
Vernon Atcher - Vernon and his twin, Belia, were both born natural wererats, sired by the affluent Havish Atcher proprietor to the Rubbish-Pickers' Guild in Restov. After murdering their father the twins embarked upon a campaign to mire the city in filth, only to be thwarted by the party and taken into custody. Of the twins, Vernon was the principle architect and planner and a skilled duelist.
Mr. Weston - The greedy entrepreneur, Mr. Weston, runs the Rat-Catchers' Guild of Restov. When the disagreeable halfling refused to knuckle under to Vernon Atcher's attempts to shut the 'ratters' down, Vernon sent his twin sister, Belia, to infiltrate the organization and kidnap Weston. Fortunately for the ungrateful Weston, he was rescued by the party from Belia's sewer lair.
Wilbur - A short, wide, excitable brigand that Numalar and Zokon unexpectedly tangled with in the Narlmarches while hunting for the bandits' main camp. He's partners with "Chick."
Wyne - A low-ranking member of the Scarred Shadows, Wyne made the mistake of threatening Alia and her friends at the Winding Wyrm tavern in Brevoy. To Alia's (and his own) shock she killed Wyne in the ensuing scuffle.
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know.
But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.
~Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Free Verse Poet, Donald Rumsfeld
Moonday - 24th Pharast, 4708 AR received Charter to Explore the area known as the Stolen Lands from Lord Mayor Ioseph Sellenius, on behalf on behalf of the the nation of Brevoy.
Sunday - 30th Pharast, 4708 AR Heroes arrive at Oleg's Trading Post. Learn the extent of the bandit threat.
Moonday - 31st Pharast, 4708 AR (New Moon) - Heroes defend Oleg's Trading Post from Happs Bydon and bandits. Numalar, Celyne, Valeska and Luna are ambushed by a worg while out collecting the bandit's escaped horses. The worg is slain.
Toilday - 1st Gozran, 4708 AR Set out early to meet with old Bokken, a local recluse, to secure a supply of healing potions. Meeting is interesting. Bokken promises more if he can secure a supply of fangberries.
The journey back is fraught. A missive from Brevoy precipitates the departure of Valeska back to home to help her father with his vineyards. Bella departs with her.
Under approaching storm clouds the party is ambushed by the giant trapdoor spiders that nest here. Several horses are killed but help arrives in the persons of two new charter holders from Brevoy, Cyrielle and Poshment. The spiders repulsed, a treasure map is found in one of the beasts' hidden pits.
Soaked by the storm on the way home and accosted by a dead man hanging from a tree along the South Road the party limped into Oleg's only to find that Svetlana had cooked a feast for their return and for a group of guardsmen led by Kesten Garess sent from Brevoy to protect the outpost.
Wealday - 2nd Gozran, 4708 AR With the guardsmen guarding the Outpost, the party sets off to find the bandit camp in the Narlmarches. Stop along the way to visit the Benzen farm, and to parley with some Sootscale scouts in a moon radish patch.
Later near night fall after an arduous journey through the misty hills and valleys of the Narlmarches they stopped to get their bearings and consider their choices. Zokon and Numalar scouted ahead and found a couple of the bandits in the process of collecting firewood. The newly recruited bandits, Chick and Wilbur soon pointed the party toward their Thorn River camp, after Numalar impersonated an angry agent of the Stag Lord.
The camp was situated near the remains of an ancient thoroughfare, alas was on alert--there had been a raid on the site the night before by malicious fey mites. The attack was swift, and even though Krestle surprised them with a reserve force the party triumphed with the aid of a pair of prisoners, Alia and Scarlet who used the opportunity to escape and join the party in turning the tables on their captors.
Oathday - 3rd Gozran, 4708 AR Preparations take longer than expected and the presence of wounded and unconscious prisoners (mostly due to Poshment's insistence). It isn't until late in the morning before the party is under way and by that evening they had left the banks of the Thorn river and turned east to head along the edge of the forest back to Oleg's trading post.
Fireday - 4th Gozran, 4708 AR A clinging mist hits the hills after midnight and stays with them until midday. Zokon finds and then later looses a mysterious "white tree" in the fog. The next day brings the party and their prisoners to a set of old worn standing stones and their sole dead resident. The man had been dead for a while but left untouched by the local wild life and the area itself seemed to hold some unknown magic. The group buried the man and continued north.
Starday - 5th Gozran, 4708 AR After a peaceful night in the hilly prairies adjacent the Narlmarches the group arrives back at Oleg's only to discover that Oleg has guests, Brother Jhod a cleric of Erastil, and Esme Highspire a traveling player. They in turn have brought a grim present in the form of the hanged man the party encountered on their way back along the wooded stretch of the South Road on Toilday, and the body of his traveling companion they had not seen. It was a woman's body missing the head. Jhod, Oleg, Esme and the party put the people to rest on a nearby hillside before cleaning up for an excellent dinner provided by Svetlana and afterward an equally excellent one-woman performance put on by Esme.
It is decided that the group will travel to Restov and hand over their captives there, while using the time in the big city to indulge in civilization and purchase supplies.
Sunday - 6th Gozran, 4708 AR After a good night's sleep the party along with their prisoners: Kressle, Faeria the Mad, Golden Boy, and Verdigris depart for Restov.
Toilsday - 8th Gozran, 4708 AR In the evening the group decides to press onward to make for the village of Nivatka's Crossing (~20 miles out from Restov). Along the road after sunset they encounter the erudite troll Mr. Pip and his two associates devouring a horse they had liberated from a nearby farm. Alia and the troll have much to discuss as the others nervously note the length of the discourse. Making their farewells the group makes for Nivatka's Crossing.
They find the village on alert thanks to the trolls' raid.
The group spends the night at Soyev's Sundown Sundries, a general store, tavern and roadside inn all-in-one. Here they meet the down on her luck, tiefling hostess Akate Thrice-Damned, and the naive young nobleman from rural, northern Brevoy, Argentov Lind, as well as the rather severe proprietors of the stopover, Mr. and Mrs. Soyev themselves. After taking a hot bath and a warm meal the group heads for bed.
Wealday - 9th Gozran, 4708 AR After midday the party arrives in Restov via the Copper Gate abutting the Coppers a lower-class riverside neighborhood. They are accosted not only by the half-orc pie-man Mung who entreats them to help find his friend Algie, but also by the stench of the city itself. The coppers have been without proper sewage and trash collection services in over a month. And as Mung explains, the Rat Catcher's Guild has become the target of some unseen foe.
After delivering most of their prisoners to Lord Magister Lebeda, collecting their bounty and visiting the Lodge of Erastil to arrange for their last prisoner, Faeria the Mad, to be cured of her insanity by Chief Shepherd Keegh, the group retires to the Winding Wyrm tavern.
While at the Wyrm the group is set upon by local thugs representing the Scarred Shadows the local thieves' guild. They want to know what Mung had said in the earlier meeting. Alia kills Red, one of the attackers, and with Zokon who has his own reasons for avoiding the local authorities camp outside the city gates.
Oathday - 10th Gozran, 4708 AR After healing and then turning over custody of the formerly mad, brigand illusionist Faeria, the party purchases some items from Numalar's halfling friend Caraduck Thorpe. While in the neighborhood they investigate Algie's tiny flat and discover that the part-time rat catcher and meat pie supplier had been abducted by some creature that had dragged him into the sewers.
Exploring the sewers, the party is set upon by a huge colony of vicious rats when Poshment unknowingly set off a terrific explosion using alchemist fire to disperse the swarm in the methane filled tunnels.
Barely surviving the party healed up and returned to their search finally stumbling upon the lair of Belia Atcher, a wererat and fraternal twin to Vernon Atcher the current head of both the Garbage Pickers and Sewer Workers Guilds.
Sunday - 13th Gozran, 4708 AR Date of the local farm festival on Samuel Renault's property.
Bibliography Cry Wolf by Nicolas "I Wonder How Speckled Wolf Tastes?" Logue, Dungeon Magazine 102, 17-25 Hirelings, Into the Wild by Crystal Frasier
Kingmaker, Part 1: Stolen Land by Tim Hitchcock
Menagerie, The by Matt "Not to Proud to Plug Myself" Conklin, Dungeon Magazine 126, 78-83 Urban Decay by Amber "Feral Cat" Scott, Dungeon Magazine 138, 17-24
Let's do this: You can roll 'em with the minimum hp gained being the die's average (rounded up - so on the d6 that's 4, d8 = 5, and so on).
Exploring (Time to fully explore 1 hex)
Party Speed - Plains - Forest/Hill - Mountain/Swamp
15 feet ----- 3 days --- 4 days ------- 5 days
20 feet ----- 2 days --- 3 days ------- 4 days
30 feet ----- 1 day ---- 2 days -------- 3 days
40 feet ----- 1 day ---- 1 day --------- 2 days
50 feet ----- 1 day ---- 1 day --------- 1 day
KNOWLEDGE (ARCANA) V SPELLCRAFT
James Jacobs wrote:
Knowledge (arcana) is used in Pathfinder to identify spell effects and auras and spells. This skill is the applied knowledge of magic, and covers things like identifying existing spells and knowing what spells are and do.
Spellcraft is more "hands on" in that it is used by spellcasters to actually do magic stuff, be it learn a new spell, build magic items, identify magic items, decipher scrolls, and the like.
There's a little bit of crossover here between the two skills, but for the most part Spellcraft's the skill you'd use to actually "Craft Spell Stuff," while Knowledge (arcana) is the skill you'd use to "Know Stuff about magic."
Since Spellcraft is used to create magic items, it made sense to make it the roll you make to identify magic items as well.
Frankly... there was a point where we were actually considering removing either Knowledge (arcana) or Spellcraft from the game entirely since all of that stuff could live under one skill, but we decided that would be too big a hit for compatibility. I think that the solution of "Spellcraft for craft type questions" and "Knowledge (arcana) for theory" works out pretty good.
Joana wrote wrote:
Must Knowledge (arcana) be used in conjunction with detect magic, i.e., the 3-round situation I posited above, or can a PC use it "on the fly" if he has reason to believe someone might be ensorcelled without taking the time to cast the spell?
As long as the spell effects are visible, no. That's why identifying a spell that's being cast requires Spellcraft (since that assumes a knowledge of actual spellcasting, not just theory), while Knowledge (arcana) is used to know about spell effects already in place.
Many spell effects are not observable without detect magic, but for any effect that IS visible or observable, you wouldn't need detect magic to make an identification check.
MOVING VERY HEAVY OBJECTS
Excerpted and re-edited from Stack Exchange.com
I’m not convinced that dragging should involve the same penalties as being overburdened. Seems to me you can stop pushing or pulling at a moment’s notice, and then simply have some obstacle next to you (whatever it was you were pushing or pulling). I don’t think the lack of penalties in the rules is an oversight.
Do note, however, that in the Move Actions in Combat section (in both the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 and Pathfinder versions of the rule), we have the following Table: Move Actions, entry:
│ Move Action________________│ Attack of Opportunity___________│
│ Move a heavy object_________│ Yes________________________│
So while there aren’t penalties per se, the maneuver does put you at risk.
One would assume that there are some cases where pushing or pulling a heavy object slows you down, however the rules as written do not specify anything. So we will use the following:
Skip Williams, one of the authors of the Player’s Handbook for both 3.0 and 3.5, as well as several articles pertaining to D&D, offered this in his All About Movement (Part Two) article:
Move a Heavy Object: Use this action to drag something (a treasure chest, an unconscious ally, or a slain monster's carcass), push something (a loaded cart or a barn door), or manhandle something big and bulky into position (a statue or a banquet table). You and whatever you're moving travel across the battlefield, so moving a heavy object counts as movement. Since moving something heavy usually occupies your full attention, the very act of moving the object provokes attacks of opportunity (see above). In addition, if you leave a threatened square while moving, you also provoke attacks of opportunity for doing that.
The rules don’t give movement rates for moving heavy objects or for dragging things, but as a rule of thumb, there's no effect on your movement if what you're moving weighs less than your light load rating. You move as though encumbered if you move something that weighs more than your light load rating but no more than your maximum heavy load. If you use the dragging rule (see page 162 in the Player’s Handbook) to move something that exceeds your maximum load, you move at half speed.
Characters can have equipment that is built for a character of one size larger tailored down to their size for the cost of repairing a damaged non-magical item (usually 10% of the item's normal cost, plus an hour per hit point the item has--basically you're restitching/balancing whatever it is).
Note: that items so scaled down cannot be enlarged again nor can small items be made bigger using this rule.
Requirements Appropriate craft skill, time and money.
The Guiding Hand
Inner Sea Gods 322
Pantheon Elven Deities
Areas of Concern Architecture, art, twilight
Domains Air, Artifice, Chaos, Community, Good
Subdomains Azata (Chaos), Azata (Good), Cloud, Construct, Friendship, Home, Whimsy
Favored Weapon Quarterstaff
SymbolFinger pointing at gold star Sacred Animal(s) Stag
Sacred Color(s) Blue, gold
Findeladlara is the elven goddess of art and architecture. She believes in preserving tradition and prefers innovation over the creation of something entirely new. She actively supports the preservation of elven culture through the protection of their art and historic buildings. While Findeladlara is a good goddess, she often comes off as aloof, particularly to younger, non-elven races. She is known to judge their work harshly and never answers the prayers of a non-elf.
When shown in art, she appears as a beautiful elven woman in traditional elven dress. She is normally depicted standing beneath an archway of either mithral or branches, whilst being illuminated by the setting sun. Her holy symbol is a hand pointing upward suspending a golden star or flame.
Devotees of Findeladlara occasionally come into conflict with those of Shelyn. While the latter encourages innovation among artists, the former scoffs at the achievements of those who have not already mastered the traditional elven crafts. Even though there is no overt hostility between these groups, each believes that the other is misguided and wasting their potential.
Study the lore and craftsmanship of the elves of yore. This could include but not limited to studying intricate architectural plans, actual elven construction, poetry, weaponry, fashion, statuary, calligraphy, paintings, landscapes, books of arcane lore that are so sublimely rendered that they are beautiful to behold regardless of whether, or not one can actually read, and understand them, or any other beautifully wrought product of elven culture.
Craft a thing of elven beauty yourself. It can be nearly anything from a well-prepared meal, a drawing, a paper sculpture, or a bit of embroidery. It should conform to accepted elven concepts of beauty, style, and symmetry, and crafted with all the skill you posses so as to be worthy of Findeladlara's blessing. Leave the item in place that it might be seen, and marveled at and taken as gift of beauty from your hand, with the blessing of Findeladlara, and all of elvenkind. Gain a +4 sacred bonus on Craft and Knowledge (arcana and engineering) checks.
Deific Obedience EVANGELIST 1: The Old Ways are Best (Sp)Protection from Chaos 3/day, Make Whole 2/day, Keen Edge 1/day
2: If it's not Elf-make.... (Su) Your understanding of the inner workings of magical crafting has won you a protective boon from your ancestors and from Findeladlara herself, allowing you to better avoid powers drawn from non-elf crafted magical items. You gain a +4 sacred bonus on any saving throw against an effect generated by a magic item not crafted by an elf (or half-elf). This includes spells cast from scrolls, staves, or wands. Unless stated otherwise items in possession of elves are assumed to have been crafted by elves. In addition you receive a +2 racial bonus to identify the properties of magical items. This bonus stacks with the usual elven racial bonus to identify magical items.
3: Useful Study (Sp) Your insight into aesthetics of elven life have taught you how to merge the beautiful, magical, and transcendent into your everyday life. Once per week, you can use contingency as a spell-like ability. You can cast this spell using a piece of elven artwork worth 3,000 gp or more as an arcane focus. Unlike the more usual form of contingency you may gift the focus item, and the companion spell, and contingency to an ally. The companion spell's effects automatically fail if the magical effects triggered are meant to be intentionally harmful to the receiver or a receiver of a targeted type. This spell-like ability contingency does not count toward the total number of contingency spells a character can have in effect at one time, though you may only have one spell-like contingency active at a time. You may choose a different piece of elven art every time you use this ability.
Exalted 1: Innovative Crafter (Sp)crafter’s fortuneAPG 3/day, fox’s cunning 2/day, or tiny hut 1/day
2: Elysium Caller (Su) The spirit of the elves guides you, inspiring you and through you your allies to greater heights. You gain the Elysium's call granted power from the Good (Azata) domain if you don’t already have access to it. Use your character level instead of cleric level to determine the power of your artificer’s touch.
3: Literary Ally (Sp) You can summon forth a spirit of elven runic lore specifically to protect the beloved followers of the Guiding Hand. Once per day as a standard action, you can summon an advanced raelis azata bedecked with Findeladlara's holy symbol to aid you. The raelis follows your commands perfectly for 1 minute for every Hit Die you possess before vanishing back to its home.
Sentinel 1: Battlefield Critic (Sp)break 3/day, shatter 2/day, greater magic weapon 1/day
2: Holy Artificer (Su) The spirit of an ancient warrior or artisan guides your hand when you set your mind toward creation, inspiring you and helping you perfect your craft. You gain the artificer’s touch granted power from the Artifice domain if you don’t already have access to it. Use your character level instead of cleric level to determine the power of your artificer’s touch.
3: Home Defense (Sp) Your knowledge of architecture and defense allow to you call upon the blessing of Findeladlara to defend a chosen structure against your enemies. Once per week you can cast guards and wards as a spell-like ability. You can double the overall duration of the effect by investing 200 gp worth of material to "elven-up the place" per 200 square-foot area that is to be warded.
Over-the-top cinematic action combined with good dice rolls override most other rules.
Information on the Noble Houses of Brevoy: (NOTE: THE FOLLOWING SECTION HAS YET TO BE COMPLETELY VETTED BY THE (RELATIVELY) NEW GM AND IS THEREFORE SUSPECT)
Duchy of House Surtova:
The most influential house in Brevoy, House Surtova, is also the oldest, established in Issia centuries before Choral's arrival. The Surtova's were infamous pirates and raiders in those early days, and with the Conqueror's coming were able to parlay captured wealth into lands and titles. What started out as a defensible fortress became Port Ice, a settlement that has been the seat of Surtova power for generations. Nikos Surtova's alliance with Choral secured House Surtova's place at the right hand of the ruling house, and allowed them to move quickly into place after the Vanishing. The Surtova's established a "regency" in the absence of King Urzen, which has quickly become the de facto succession to the crown. King-Regent Noleski Surtova sits upon the Dragonscale Throne, while his sister Natala Surtova reigns as unofficial "queen" as her brother is as yet unmarried. Rumors say Natala enjoys her role (and her influence over her brother) far too much to embrace the idea of a proper sister-in-law. Still, there is considerable pressure for Noleski to choose a bride and produce heirs for his new dynasty.
The Surtova crest is a gray ship against a field of blue below and black above, the upper shield spangled with silver stars. Its motto is "Ours Is the Right".
Duchy of House Garess:
The valleys and lowlands of the Golushkin Mountains are the domain of House Garess, founded on both the defensibility of the mountain terrain and the mineral wealth the house has brought out of the peaks for generations. House Garess once had a profitable alliance with a clan of dwarves living in the Golushkin Mountains, serving as brokers of a sort for the ores, metals, and worked goods the Golushkin dwarves produced. Duke Howlan Garess even took Toval Golka , the son of the clan-chief of the dwarf hold, as his ward (some say more as a hostage than a guest in Grayhaven Castle). This proved fortunate for young Toval, as Grayhaven lost all contact with the dwarf hold of Golushkin during the same winter as the Vanishing. With his own son Bren lost inside the mountains, Lord Howlan, a widower with no other children, has named Toval his adoptive heir. This has earned the dwarf, now a skilled young warrior in his own right, few friends in Grayhaven.
House Garess's crest is a snow-capped mountain peak in gray against a dark blue field like the sky, with a silvery crescent moon in the upper right corner and a black hammer across the base of the peak, head toward the left. Its motto is "Strong as the Mountains"
Nobles loyal to House Garess:
This is not an exhaustive list of all the other noble houses or Lords of the Duchy of Garess but merely a sampling of the most prominent of the lesser houses.
The Lebedas of Lake Reykal are known as the most 'Rostlandic' of Brevoy's noble houses, having inherited a good deal of Taldan blood and tradition, including a fondness for sword fighting and an appreciation of the finer things. Their family seat of Silverhall is one of the grandest castles in Brevoy, its spires rising above the shores of Lake Reykal. The Lebedas earn and maintain their fortune as merchants and brokers between the northern and southern reaches of Brevoy, and control much of the shipping across the lake. Dame Sarrona Lebeda has ruled the house as regent since the death of her husband, but their son Lander is approaching his majority, when he will become lord of the house. His older sister Elanna spends a great deal of time representing their house in New Stetven, and rumors claim the Lebedas are looking to arrange a marriage between her and Noleski Surtova.
House Lebeda's crest is a white swan, serenely sailing across a blue expanse, with the sun on the horizon behind it. Whether the sun is said to be rising or setting depends on the house's fortunes, but the Lebedas' sun appears ascendant at the moment. Its motto is "Success through Grace"
Nobles Loyal to House Lebeda:
This list does not constitute all the nobles or Lords in the Duchy of Lebeda but these are the most prominent.
Whereas House Surtova slowly changed their waterborne ways to focus on their lands and political affairs in Brevoy, House Lodovka has remained strongly interested in maritime affairs. They have steadily grown their fleet of ships in the Lake of Mists and Veils and their influence along their lakeshore lands and the trade routes crossing the waters. House Lodovka claims comparatively little land in the northernmost areas of Brevoy, and much of the land they hold is unsuitable for farming, but the house has many vessels hauling catches of fish and freshwater crabs from the Lake. Duke Kozek Lodovka is at heart a cunning old pirate with a love of the water, looking to do right by his house, his family, and his people.
House Lodovka's crest is a greenshelled crab climbing from the blue waters toward the gray band of shore surmounted by a gray tower-keep in the center, against a backdrop of black. Their house motto is "The Waters, Our Fields".
Nobles Loyal to House Lodovka:
This is not an exhaustive list of all the other noble houses or Lords of the Duchy of Lodovka but merely a sampling of the most prominent of the lesser houses.
The easternmost house, Medvyed claims lands nestled against the Icerime Peaks and the Gronzi Forest, and rules them from the fortress of Stoneclimb in the lower peaks. They are a hardy folk, raisers of mountain goats and sheep, hunters in the Gronzi Forest, and cultivators of what good land can be found on the edges of their harsh territory. The Medvyeds and their people hearken back to the "Old Ways" of worshiping nature in its myriad forms. Isolated forest and mountain shrines to Old Deadeye (and, it is rumored, Lamashtu) are more common than temples of Abadar or Gorum. Duke Gurev Medvyed loves to hunt, ride, and feast with his men, and dotes on his wife and children.
House Medvyed's crest is a black bear, rampant against a red field, with a spread of black antlers above the bear's head. Its motto is "Endurance Overcomes All".
Nobles Loyal to House Medvyed:
This is not an exhaustive list of all the other noble houses or Lords of the Duchy of Medvyed but merely a sampling of the most prominent of the lesser houses.
From Eagle’s Watch on the slopes of Mt. Veshka, House Orlovsky seeks to remain above the conflicts in Brevoy, both figuratively and literally. Unfortunately, the house's role as a staunch ally of the Rogarvias has placed it in an awkward position under the current regime. Thus far, House Orlovsky has refused to acknowledge Noleski Surtova as anything other than Lord Regent in the absence of King Urzen or a true Rogarvian heir, but it is becoming increasingly clear which way the political winds are shifting. Duke Poul Orlovsky will soon be forced to either declare for the man he considers a usurper and opportunist, or seek to overthrow him and claim the Dragonscale Throne for himself (or another he finds worthy). An alliance between Orlovsky, Garess, and Medvyed could divide the nation, and cut the Surtovas' travel and supply routes between Port Ice and New Stetven, but any such arrangement must be cultivated discreetly.
House Orlovsky's crest is a black eagle against a gold field, wings spread, feathers almost touching at the point of the base. Its motto is "High Above".
Nobles Loyal to House Orlovsky:
This is not an exhaustive list of all the other noble houses or Lords of the Duchy of Orlovsky but merely a sampling of the most prominent of the lesser houses.
Looking to secure himself and his progeny as high a place in the new order as he could, Nikos Surtova offered the hand of his daughter, Myrna, in marriage to Choral, binding the house of the Conqueror with his own. Since Choral's final victory in the Valley of Fire, House Rogarvia has ruled Brevoy, until the recent mysterious disappearance. The house built the Ruby Fortress in the city of New Stetven as its stronghold, and Urzen Rogarvia sat on the Dragonscale Throne up until 4699, when the entire family vanished overnight. The Rogarvias were well known as ruthless rulers, determined to hold Brevoy together in the Conqueror's name by whatever means necessary. Still, while their loss was not overly mourned, the stability they represented has been. Loyalists have continued to call for investigation into the Vanishing and make much of the fact that their rule lasted precisely 200 years, but it has become increasingly clear that House Rogarvia will not return soon, if ever.
House Rogarvia's crest is a two-headed red dragon, one head breathing flames, the other bearing an unsheathed sword, representing Choral’s legendary conquest, against a quartered field in white and gold. Its motto is "With Sword and Flame".
Nobles Loyal to House Rogarvia:
House Merhild - led by Count Brandon Merhild. He currently resides in his manor in New Stetven. He has a younger brother, Lord Roland Merhild who resides in and overseas the family estates in Cora. His wife is Jeana Merhild. The family owns several large vineyards south of New Stetven in Cora and their wines are becoming increasingly popular in Brevoy as King-Regent Surtova has recent taken a liking to them.
House Khavortorov - led by Count Eric Khavortorov. His wife is the Countess Maiya Khavortorov. The Khavortorov's are a very old and established family before the founding of Brevoy. Their motto is "We Won't Be Saddled." Their crest is a white dragon with a helmet embedded in its chest. Masters of battle, both on the field and at court, the Khavortorov's are known for their short tempers. House Khavortorov provides security for the city of New Stetven, as well as overseeing the collection of taxes in Reish Landing. They are steadfast in their duty of protecting the city but with House Rogarvia gone they are moving to increase their holdings at the expense of House Merhild.
Count Khavortov overseas a dueling school in New Stetven known as the Company of the Black Cloaks. The men of the Company make up the security for New Stetven and Reish Landing. They are known for their unique fighting style of combining Aldori dueling swords with their black cloaks which work to disguise their bodies an deceive their enemies.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the other noble houses or Lords of the Duchy of Rogarvia but merely a sampling of the most prominent of the lesser houses.
House Barnell - led by Baron Thomas Barnell. Motto "Never Falter". Crest is a portcullis over a red and blue chape field.
House Bartheld - led by Baron Davian Bartheld. Motto: "Joy in Service". Crest is a brown boar running on a black field.
House Dulver - led by Baron Harold Dulver. Motto: "Earth Yields." Crest is a black pickaxe on a copper field.