Doug's Strength of Thousands Campaign

Game Master Doug Hahn

Handouts | Tactical Map | Macros | Chimwemwe's Notes | Loot Tracker


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SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros

Old-Mage Jatembe was the most powerful man in the world. Wherever he went, he spread hope and light to the people around him. All of the good things in the world were awed by Jatembe and came to give him secrets. All of the foul creatures declared war on him, but Jatembe stole their magic and banished them. In this way, Jatembe turned a world of ash into the beautiful land we have today, filled with fish and animals, grains and palm trees, sweet yams and red soil. The foul beasts wailed at their realms of ash and terror being transformed into rich and wonderful lands, but they all feared Jatembe.

One day, a creeping bad-luck spirit inched forth from the grass. It was too young and foolish to know its limits and thought, “I will take vengeance on Jatembe and laugh at his misery.” The spirit crawled into the nearby village and asked where Jatembe was, but no one could answer. It asked then where the riches of Jatembe were, but people said they knew of none. It asked where the spouses of Jatembe were, but the people could not name anyone he had married. It asked where the weapons of Jatembe were, but the old mage’s greatest weapon had always been the knowledge he kept in his head.

Frustrated, the little spirit demanded, “What manner of great man can this Jatembe be, if he has no riches, no wives, no husbands, no weapons, nor any children?”

Yet Jatembe had many children, the people answered, as they showed the little spirit the great city of Nantambu where thousands and thousands of students learned, worked, and helped each other by Jatembe’s words. The little spirit decided that if it couldn’t have vengeance on Jatembe, it would do so upon his children. The spirit listened until it found a voice that told it how to get inside. Following the voice, it crept into the city through the tiny cracks in the buildings’ walls, so small that even an ant would have to squeeze, but Jatembe’s students caught the spirit and tossed it out like a harmless grass snake. The spirit became terribly angry at its treatment but could do nothing on its own, and so it sought out others like itself to creep back inside and strike using the distraction of a celebration...

☀☀☀

This fragment of old legend is written on an illustrated scroll in the Magaambya's archives…


SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros

Nantambu is nestled in a bend of the Vanji River and crisscrossed by canals. When the wind blows the whole city tinkles from the glass charms that adorn every window and door. The smells of rich spices and rare woods fill the city’s open-air markets, while glassmakers and cloth merchants display a riotous array of colors and designs.

This may be your first time in such a glorious city. You are to meet one Teacher Ot on the steps of the Academy for an interview. Today is the day you hope to join the Academy and begin a new life as a student.

Looking up, you catch a glimpse of your new home: terraced gardens, an onyx obelisk, and massive mosaics of Jatembe’s Ten Magic Warriors look across the Song-and-Wind-City. The beauty of the world's oldest and most prestigious magical school isn't even spoiled by the raindrops that begin to patter on the ground… but if you don't hurry, you'll show up to your interview soaking wet!


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NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

Some time ago…

Chimwemwe lifted the lid on the leather box and ensured that the sacks inside were tied securely for the third time. He closed the lid, fastened the clasp, and placed inside his satchel with several other similar boxes. Then he blew out the candle and left his room in the soft blue glow of the bioluminescent orchids on his desk. He had to make it to the river stop on the Olongo by morning.

Not too, too long ago…

The docks were abustle with the morning setup and early trade of impromptu trading stalls and fishermen running their nets one last time as the barge glided into place next to its assigned pier. Chimwemwe yawned as he pulled the straps of his pack over his shoulders and picked up his heavy satchel in one hand and his satchel in the other. The weight of his luggage threatened to tip him into the channel as he stepped from boat to pier. ”Careful, boy!” called one of the deckhands, reaching out a hand to steady him.

”Thank you,” Chimwemwe said with a distracted voice as he regained his balance. His attention was held by the colored glass windows and mosaic adorned walls of the Song-and-Wind City. A brilliant blue butterfly fluttered before his gaze, which made him smile. He watched its wandering flight for several long moments before he took a deep breath and stepped forward toward his new path.

A little while after that…

The weight of his pack threatened to topple him as he bent forward to peer at a furred animal inside a cage within the shop. ”I have always been fascinated by animals,” he answered the shopkeeper’s question. ”We never had any pets when I was a child, so when we moved to the mainland, I was immediately entranced by the variety of life around our village. Then the plants when we moved to Jaha--.”

”Jaha?” the shopkeeper asked with curiosity. ”What brought you down to Nantambu?”

”It was the best place to continue researching my theories,” he said, straightening to look at a long, scaled creature that was certainly not a reptile. ”I am sponsored to study at the Magaambya.”

”Ah. Apologies. It is time to close the shop. Thank you for visiting,” the shopkeeper said, her tone suddenly brusque. Chimwemwe did not think anything of the early closure; the businesses in Jaha kept strange hours due to the reversed sleep cycle that most inhabitants maintained. He shrugged his pack, the straps beginning to wear on his shoulders. Leaving the exotic animal shop, his mind was dizzy with eager curiosity as he continued his exploration of the city and search for temporary lodgings.


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M Gnoll Magus 6 | HP 76/76| AC 23 | F +13 R +13 W +9 | Perception +7, Low Light Vision

Akoril brushes off the last crumbs of elven bread as he carefully folds the thick leaf it came wrapped in and returns it to the side pocket of his backpack next to the note that say Love you -Mom that initially adorned his lunch.

Seeing the rain hit the ground Akoril looks up just in time for a raindrop to hit him square in the eye. Shaking it off Akoril has a moment of doubt I'll never be as graceful as a full elf before a few more raindrops land on his head before he pulls up his dull green Elven Cloak and tries to beat the rain to his apointment.

Horizon Hunters

1 person marked this as a favorite.
NG Fetchling Dhampir Shadowcaster Witch 5 | HP 56/56| AC 20| F: +12, R: +10, W: +12| Perc: +10 | Focus Points: 3 | Speed 25ft | Spell DC: 22 | Active conditions: None

Soomdevi arrives soaking wet.

It was a long trip from Bloodcove and nothing went right. The roads were awful, his fellow travelers were unfriendly, and insects ate his text books. Insects of all things!

Many times he thought of just giving up and going to the Shadow Magaambya after all. Even his familiar, a white mouse named Soot, was unsure. The patron was silent.

Climbing the stairs, Soomdevi takes the tattered gray invitation from his pocket.

I hope they’ll accept this in exchange.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

Very early this morning…

Candlelight reflected off of the polished plates riveted to the long leather jacket the Chimwemwe had laid out across his narrow bed. The flophouse room he had rented was cramped with the many tools, supplies, and vivariums he brought from home. This left him with little room to work on the delicate sigils he was painting onto each plate. He did not need to have it finished before he presented himself to the Magaambya, but a restless nervousness kept him from falling asleep, so he chose to work. It did not help that he was still transitioning to the predominantly diurnal cycle of Nantambu. He dipped the brush into the yellow ink and glanced at the slit in the wall that served as a window. It was still deep dark, and sunrise was a good way away.

Just before now…

Chimwemwe walked down the street tracing geometric sigils that only he could see in the air with his finger. He had repacked everything except his armor, which he now wore, as the dawn broke. Now it weighed heavily on his shoulders, but his excitement kept his attention on the future and not the discomfort of the moment. His other hand held his spear like a walking staff.

He lowered his hand as he stepped into the square before the steps to the academy and thought on the path that led him here. The iruxi elders had convinced leaders within the Soac Cosmology to allow them to sponsor his interview at the Magaambya. This would be the place where, if the stars read true, he would come to understand if his theories on the magic that binds all things in this world and beyond proved true or revealed something else entirely. A raindrop struck his cheek and broke him from his reverie. He inhaled deeply and stepped forward briskly. ”Here I begin,” he whispered with a paradoxical mixture of confidence and fear.


They/Them | N automaton rogue 6 | hp 68/68 | Hero Points 1/3 | AC 24 (25 w/shield); F+9 R+14 W+11 (↺Resist Magic) | Perception +11E; low-light vision | Speed 25ft (30ft when hands free) | Prepared Spells: burning hands, invisibility |Focus Points: 1/1 | Current conditions: | ◆◇↺

.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
N female anadi (polychromatic anadi) bard 5 | HP 58/58 | AC 22 | F +8 R +13 W +12 | Perc +12 | Stealth +4 | Speed:25 ft | Active Conditions: ---

The whole family gathered together to celebrate. Some took their spider forms while others appeared as humanoids. Everyone feasted and shared stories as a pile of presents appeared before one young woman with colorful braids, who grinned and blushed and sometimes cried a little as each member of the family spoke with her.

Her father, bursting with pride, quieted everyone down with a speech. "Curling-Wisps-of Smoke Reliava. You leave us tomorrow for the Magaambya. One member of each generation in our family has attended, going back centuries, and we have known for some years now that you would follow in their footsteps. I know that you will make us proud. Just remember the stories. The stories will always help you figure out what you need to do."

The young woman embraced her father, more tears streaming down her cheeks, and soon the entire family was embracing, arachnid limbs intertwined with fingers.


SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros

Teacher Ot meets you on the steps of the Magaambya. He wears colorful clothing with crisp patterns and carries a wooden staff upon which fruit blossoms. Dangling from his left wrist is a glass trinket shaped like an anteater. He speaks with a soothing timbre. Welcome, and a kind hello. It is my pleasure to instruct all who come to these steps. He smiles warmly at each of you in turn. I hope that this is a good time for you, and that you are ready to consider a lifetime of service and study. If it is not a good time, please know that you will be welcome again later. He pauses for several seconds, giving you time to consider.

Please, follow me. He turns and begins walking up the steps. The drizzle has grown into a torrent, but while you're near Teacher Ot not a drop touches you. You may call me Teacher Ot. We can talk a bit on our way to The Circle, where I will present you with a few small tests. A brave yellow songbird flits through the rain and perches on his staff.

Tell me, who are you?


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NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

Chimwemwe wipes the accumulated moisture from his brow and then looks upwards in surprise as the rain seems to stop above them despite its obvious increased tempo beyond whatever magic wards the instructor. His smile is a bit unpracticed but the accompanying nodding is eager. "Yes, sir. Now is an auspicious time."

He glances at the others who have arrived at the steps near. The overstuffed pack on his back forces him to turn his entire body to see beyond his immediate periphery, which makes the tall, muscled human look awkward and clumsy. He makes a nervous smile at each of those whose eyes he manages to catch.

"My name is Chimwemwe, sir," the young man answers. His free hand slips unconsciously into a pouch and withdraws a puzzle box. He begins to fidget with the puzzle box as he answers, slowly, with rather drawn out pauses between each sentence. "My parents are Lirgeni. I come from Jaha. I have been trying to combine old magics of my people with other theories. I think I have made some progress." His attention drawn to the songbird rather than his path, he stumbles over the ground, which produces a muffled clattering noise from within his many pouches. "Sorry."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
They/Them | N automaton rogue 6 | hp 68/68 | Hero Points 1/3 | AC 24 (25 w/shield); F+9 R+14 W+11 (↺Resist Magic) | Perception +11E; low-light vision | Speed 25ft (30ft when hands free) | Prepared Spells: burning hands, invisibility |Focus Points: 1/1 | Current conditions: | ◆◇↺

Earlier:
A hooded figure steps quietly out of the jungle and onto the road, just outside of town. They walk with a strange gait, and keep their cloak drawn low--perhaps against the rain, but then again perhaps not. They walk slowly, staying as best they can to the far side of the street whenever others pass by, and pause to talk to no one until they reaches the steps of the Magaambya.

--------------

Now:

"I am called Alrinkiri, though I do not believe it is my name" the figure says, in a quiet voice. They keep their hood drawn low, their face in shadow. "I shall follow, if I am permitted."

Horizon Hunters

NG Fetchling Dhampir Shadowcaster Witch 5 | HP 56/56| AC 20| F: +12, R: +10, W: +12| Perc: +10 | Focus Points: 3 | Speed 25ft | Spell DC: 22 | Active conditions: None

Relieved to be out of the rain, Soomdevi follows closely behind.

"I'm Soomdevi, from Bloodcove." His skin is gray, but not unhealthy looking, and his fang-like cuspids are visible when he speaks. "I don't know much about magic, but I met a mouse who's been teaching me."

As if realizing how odd that sounds, he pats down his pockets until a white mouse crawls from under the hood of his cloak. "His name is Soot."

"I got this invitation," he unfolds the letter from the Shadow Magaambya. "It said I'd been selected, but I think there's been a mistake. I don't know anything about this place, so I came here instead."


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SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros

Teacher Ot catches Chimwemwe with a hand. Please do not be sorry. All stumble at the Magaambya, but we pick each other up. One and all, we lean upon the strength of thousands. Those who have come before.

He nods at Alrinkiri. All are welcome here; you need not ask permission.

Teacher Ot plucks a fresh fruit from his staff and offers it to Soomdevi. Would Soot like a treat? He takes the letter and glances at it. Yes, as I said. All are welcome here. You need not have a sponsor. He thinks for a moment. May I keep this letter, Soomdevi?


NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

"Thank you, sir," Chimwemwe says to Teacher Ot, flushing slightly with embarrassment.

He turns to look over his shoulder and past his pack when Soomdevi introduces his mouse. Still fiddling with his puzzle box, he comments to the kayal in a timid, near whisper and an accompanying nod, "You can learn a great deal from the animals and plants."


SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros

Please, call me 'Teacher Ot.' 'Sir' is so formal!

Horizon Hunters

NG Fetchling Dhampir Shadowcaster Witch 5 | HP 56/56| AC 20| F: +12, R: +10, W: +12| Perc: +10 | Focus Points: 3 | Speed 25ft | Spell DC: 22 | Active conditions: None

Soot runs across Soomdevi's shoulders, ignoring the offered fruit, and at first Soomdevi isn't sure if giving up the letter is a good idea. What will his patron think? But then he shrugs.

"I don't need it anymore. Go ahead."

Soot latches onto the fruit with resignation and returns to Soomdevi's hood.

Soomdevi smiles awkwardly at Chimwemwe.


M Gnoll Magus 6 | HP 76/76| AC 23 | F +13 R +13 W +9 | Perception +7, Low Light Vision

Akoril pulls down his hood revealing his gnollish maw.

"Thank you Teacher Ot. I am Akoril, my parents attended as their parents before them. I am honored to carry on their tradition."


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N female anadi (polychromatic anadi) bard 5 | HP 58/58 | AC 22 | F +8 R +13 W +12 | Perc +12 | Stealth +4 | Speed:25 ft | Active Conditions: ---

"I am Curling-Wisps-of-Smoke Reliava. My family has also sent members here for generations. Though they did appear different at times." Curling-Wisps-of-Smoke Reliava grins and performs a gesture with her right hand resembling a spider skittering up a wall.

"Oh!" she exclaims. "The rains listen to you!"


SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros
Curling-Wisps-of-Smoke Reliava wrote:
"Oh!" she exclaims. "The rains listen to you!"

Sometimes the rain listens. Other times, I must listen to the rain… and learn to enjoy being wet! Teacher Ot chuckles.

In the courtyard ahead stands a massive monoloth carved from black stone; it is topped with the visages of ten animals: Leopard, Heron, Hyena, Elephant, Snake, Ibex, Frog, Spider, Hawk, and Bull. Upon it are inscribed thousands of names. Art on slide 1

Akoril and Curling-Wisps-of-Smoke Reliava, written here are the names of Lore-Speakers past. Your own ancestors' names are carved into this stone. They are remembered here. Perhaps you can find them and show me. If not now, then another day.

He reverently touches stone. These thousands upon thousands are the strength of the Magaambya. They are remembered for their service to their community. He turns to each of you. What work have you done to bolster those in and around your own community, before now?


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They/Them | N automaton rogue 6 | hp 68/68 | Hero Points 1/3 | AC 24 (25 w/shield); F+9 R+14 W+11 (↺Resist Magic) | Perception +11E; low-light vision | Speed 25ft (30ft when hands free) | Prepared Spells: burning hands, invisibility |Focus Points: 1/1 | Current conditions: | ◆◇↺

"It has been long since I have truly belonged to a community, if ever I did. The years grind away the memory, like waves upon a rocky shore, until only sand is left. I have come here hoping to remember."


NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

Chimwemwe gazes at the names stacked upon names, following them toward the top of the monolith. The hand holding his puzzle box, which had fallen idle, began to fidget with the slides and gears once again when Teacher Ot questions him. He clears his throat. "When I was young, I learned to help my father repairing the pulley ways and bridges in Hyrantum," he begins his answer. "When my family joined the Jahaxi coalition and moved into Jaha, I was old enough to work on my own. I joined the iruxi archaeologists, clearing the old tunnels." He pauses long enough to make one wonder if he is finished speaking, then he continues quietly. "I spend a lot of time in my rooms experimenting."


M Gnoll Magus 6 | HP 76/76| AC 23 | F +13 R +13 W +9 | Perception +7, Low Light Vision

Akoril nods "I weave the grass into logs like my parents and tend to to arcane mysteries of the world. I have only started on these journeys but am here to learn more."

Horizon Hunters

NG Fetchling Dhampir Shadowcaster Witch 5 | HP 56/56| AC 20| F: +12, R: +10, W: +12| Perc: +10 | Focus Points: 3 | Speed 25ft | Spell DC: 22 | Active conditions: None

Mention of the word community fills Soomdevi's mind with memories of scornful looks from strangers and children chanting, vampire, vampire!

He squares his shoulders and hardens his eyes.

"Even in Bloodcove, I had to show people how different can be just as good and just as worthy. Even my own parents sometimes fear they raised a monster. My father is a shipwormer, but that's not my calling, sorry to say it. I've got a different path."

Soot crawls out onto Soomdevi's shoulder, as if to listen.

"What that path is, I don't know yet, but I've followed it this far."


NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

While one of the other applicants is answering, Chimwemwe moves and leans toward Soomdevi. His overstuffed pack exacerbating the sense of looming that the Lirgeni's tall frame already inspires. "What is a shipwormer?" he quietly asks of the kayal.


SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros

Teacher Ot listens to each of the answers carefully. He pauses before moving on, hoping to hear from Curling-Wisps-of-Smoke Reliava. And perhaps to give Soomdevi a chance to answer Chimwemwe's question too!


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N female anadi (polychromatic anadi) bard 5 | HP 58/58 | AC 22 | F +8 R +13 W +12 | Perc +12 | Stealth +4 | Speed:25 ft | Active Conditions: ---

"Well! I build community at every point that I possibly can. I organize gatherings, I help people meet each other, I make sure that the community assists those in need, everything I can think of! I am also...uh, well, there's a specific word for it in Skitter, but.. One Who Weaves the Stories is the best translation."


SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros

The academy and city have many gatherings, I am sure you can find places to 'weave the stories' here, as well!

Teacher Ot moves further into campus. There are very few people out and about in this rain.

Ahead is a wide glass dome held aloft by pillars of stone, wood, flame, water, air, ice, light, and electricity. Legends say that after Old-Mage Jatembe had gathered the Ten Magic Warriors and defeated his most pressing foes, he turned his attention toward helping his peoples. In the small village of Nantambu, he and Black Heron placed wooden benches in a clearing, so that any who came to listen could sit and be comfortable. When the monsoon season came — he gestures up at the sky — they raised a glass dome and held it aloft with the natural elements, so the people would be sheltered while they learned. Students from far and wide came to seek their wisdom.

What do you seek at the Magaambya?


NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

Chimwemwe's eyes widen as the impossible gazebo comes into view. His free hand--still holding the puzzle box--rises, and he begins to trace invisible shapes in the air with his forefinger. The subtle movements of his lips while he gazes at the elemental pillars suggest one talking to oneself. The question breaks his reverie.

He glances towards Curling-Wisps-of-Smoke and Akoril, flushes, and then looks back. "To learn, sir, hmm, Teacher Ot," he says.


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M Gnoll Magus 6 | HP 76/76| AC 23 | F +13 R +13 W +9 | Perception +7, Low Light Vision

Akoril shakes the last of the water from his cloak "I seek to follow in my parents footsteps and master the blending of magics to protect my community."

Horizon Hunters

NG Fetchling Dhampir Shadowcaster Witch 5 | HP 56/56| AC 20| F: +12, R: +10, W: +12| Perc: +10 | Focus Points: 3 | Speed 25ft | Spell DC: 22 | Active conditions: None

"They de-worm the ships," Soomdevi whispers to Chimwemwe as they walk.

Soomdevi looks in awe at the gazebo.

In response to Teacher Ot's question, Soomdevi says, "Knowledge." But he thinks: The power to evade my doom.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

Chimwemwe starts to open his mouth after the gnoll's answer, but then closes it without speaking. He had a nervous thought that his answer was too short and simple--of course he came to a school to learn--but when Soomdevi gave a similarly succinct and obvious answer, he felt reassured for the moment. However, the second-guessing in his head eventually caught up with him, and he blurts out, "I want to understand the forces underpinning all types of magic." He then flushed and began fidgeting with his puzzle box.


N female anadi (polychromatic anadi) bard 5 | HP 58/58 | AC 22 | F +8 R +13 W +12 | Perc +12 | Stealth +4 | Speed:25 ft | Active Conditions: ---

"I wish to do as my family before me have done. I wish to learn the stories that shape the world."


SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros

And you, Alrinkiri?


They/Them | N automaton rogue 6 | hp 68/68 | Hero Points 1/3 | AC 24 (25 w/shield); F+9 R+14 W+11 (↺Resist Magic) | Perception +11E; low-light vision | Speed 25ft (30ft when hands free) | Prepared Spells: burning hands, invisibility |Focus Points: 1/1 | Current conditions: | ◆◇↺

"I seek to learn of the past, and in so doing learn of myself."


SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros

Once you have attained that which you seek, I wonder what goals you will wish to achieve. Alrinkiri is right, you may learn about yourself along the way. It will be interesting to find out!

Below the dome, a circle of benches are arranged on an ever-shifting mosaic map depicting the Mwangi. The monsoon raging above your head rotates silently at your feet; the borders of jungles, shifting dunes, and paths of rivers crisscross the wondrous tile in vibrant color. Please, be seated. He sits in the center of the ring and lays his staff on the ground; the songbird hops onto his shoulder.

Whether or not you begin a new life at Magaambya, I am glad to know each of you a little better.

I would like to conduct a few small tests, though you need not participate if you do not wish to do so. He places a candle on the tile. Can you light this flame without flint or match?

You may accompany any attempts or ideas with a skill check. You can work together or alone. It’s entirely up to you.


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NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

Chimwemwe removes his pack and sets it and his spear beside the bench as he sits down. When Teach Ot produces the first test, he immediately appears crestfallen and slides his puzzle box back into a pouch. After a moment, though, his eyebrows rise, and he begins untying the cords securing his pack to remove several cases. Then he looks crestfallen again and makes a dejected sound, "Oh." He glances upwards at the cloud covered sky and wobbles his head side to side. "The sun is hiding anyhow."

He places a hand upon one of the cases, seemingly about to stow everything and give up when his eyebrows rise again, and he says, "Ah ha!" Then he grimaces, looks around the gazebo and everyone else, then makes a shrug as if to say, What do I have to lose?

Leaving his supplies by the bench, he approaches Teacher Ot. "May I move the candle? For safety."

Chimwemwe returns to his pack and removes a pint of oil, a stick of chalk, a ball covered in waxed paper, and two more candles. He looks back at the gazebo and begins drawing several diagrams in the air with his finger, his lips moving silently. He goes to the edge of the gazebo, marks one spot well away from any person or bench, paces out five yards and makes another mark. He paces out a few more lines the cross the center until he has delineated a rough circle. "Please stay outside of this circle," he says quietly but firmly.

He borrows the candle from Teacher Ot and walks back to the center of his circle. There he draws his knife and whittles down the candles to reveal enough wick to braid the now-three together. "Three is stronger than one." He unwraps the ball to reveal moist clay and pulls off pieces, which he molds into a casing around the wax sticks and a tiny, shallow bowl at the top. He sets this about a pace and a half away from the center and pours a portion of oil from the flask into the bowl.

Walking back to the center, he says, "I blistered my skin several times discovering this geometry. I have never used it in this manner before. Bird Mother, keep them safe."

He then takes his thumb and swiftly scratches across a line on one of the sigils his armor bears. All the sigils on his armor pulse briefly with light. Before the light fades, he scratches across a line on the opposite side of his chest. Then he and everything inside the circle is enveloped in a burst of orange flame.

◆◆ Explode (fire, manipulate, unstable), Basic Reflex DC 16: 2d6 ⇒ (5, 1) = 6
Unstable DC 17: 1d20 ⇒ 18

The flames evaporate and reveal Chimwemwe unharmed, his eyes clenched shut, and jaw tight as if bracing for something more than the explosion. The sigils on his armor twinkle with light for another moment and fade back to their original appearance. After a long breath, Chimwemwe slowly opens one eye.


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SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros

Teacher Ot claps. The lit flame dances. Ha! Some teachers say the best students often surprise them. I say, the best students often surprise themselves.

He places another candle on the ground. Who is next?


NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

Chimwemwe's smile beams at the words from Teacher Ot. He then swiftly bends down to collect the collect the mess of clay and candles, and he hurriedly dusts away his chalk markings to make way for the next of them. He sits down on the bench next to his pack with a bemused expression. "It worked!"


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N female anadi (polychromatic anadi) bard 5 | HP 58/58 | AC 22 | F +8 R +13 W +12 | Perc +12 | Stealth +4 | Speed:25 ft | Active Conditions: ---

Curling-Wisps-of-Smoke Reliava studies the candle.

She spreads her hands and focuses. The candle gradually grows warmer. Casting Prestidigitation, the 'cook' ability

Once the candle is as hot as she can manage, she changes her focus. She takes a necklace from her neck and holds it close to the candle. The necklace glows brightly, like a lamp in the window during a storm.

"Light...light!" she whispers.

Now taking some liberties with the light cantrip.

Horizon Hunters

NG Fetchling Dhampir Shadowcaster Witch 5 | HP 56/56| AC 20| F: +12, R: +10, W: +12| Perc: +10 | Focus Points: 3 | Speed 25ft | Spell DC: 22 | Active conditions: None

Impressed with his classmates so far, Soomdevi feels a little underprepared. Still, he knows a few things about magic.

He speaks the occult words that Soot taught him and wiggles his fingers. A shadowy hand appears in the air before him. With a gesture, he sends the hand to pick up the candle and then to light it on the pillar of flame. He slowly, so as not to blow out the flame, returns the candle to its place on the ground.

"There's probably an easier way to do that."


M Gnoll Magus 6 | HP 76/76| AC 23 | F +13 R +13 W +9 | Perception +7, Low Light Vision

Akoril conjures up flame in his hand and tries to reach out gently with his hand.

arcana: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21

Produce flame


NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

Chimwemwe leans forward with interest as the other students begin tackling the challenge. He arches his left eyebrow and chuckles quietly to himself as Curling-Wisps-of-Smoke performs her magic. He watches Soomdevi with a thoughtful expression and then nods with collegial appreciation as the man attempts to make use of the immediate environment. The young man flushes as the gnoll makes a vastly more controlled manifestation of fire to light the candle.

He turns to watch the hooded applicant named-but-not-named Alrinkiri with anticipation.


They/Them | N automaton rogue 6 | hp 68/68 | Hero Points 1/3 | AC 24 (25 w/shield); F+9 R+14 W+11 (↺Resist Magic) | Perception +11E; low-light vision | Speed 25ft (30ft when hands free) | Prepared Spells: burning hands, invisibility |Focus Points: 1/1 | Current conditions: | ◆◇↺

When invited to sit, Alrinkiri squats in front of the bench, rather than sitting on it, their hands braced on the ground before them. Though their shape is mostly concealed by their draped cloak, the posture still brings to mind that of an cat or a dog, seated and waiting.

GM:
Stealth: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17

Having no ability to create fire without a day to prepare, Alrinkiri's plan is to stealthily light a rolled piece of paper from Akoril's flame before he light's the candle, then use that to light their own. I'm assuming Teacher Ot sees right through the deception, but I think that roll beats the Perception DC of everyone else but Wisps.


Wisps:
You caught sight of Alrinkiri's movements as they stealthily lit the rolled paper from Akoril's flame, though none of the rest of the group seems to have.

As eyes turn to Alrinkiri, they produce a rolled piece of paper from within their cloak, a flickering flame smoldering at one end. They touch the paper to the candle wick, then shake out the paper and return to their position.


NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

The method of conjuring flash paper from within his cloak was so anticlimactic to the mystique evoked by the deep cloak that it made Chimwemwe even more curious about the person within, but he tried to keep from staring.


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SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros

Teacher Ot smiles as each of you pass your test in your own way. He seems to appreciate the abilities of Chimwemwe and Akoril, and the cleverness of Soomdevi, Alrinkiri, and Wisps equally. Black Heron once said, 'A simple candle is an open door to the study of all great magic.' He nods to himself. Sometimes, there is a magic in how we frame a thing, like a wick in a window. He winks at Alrinkiri. Or, in what our eyes tell us we have seen. He holds a finger above the flame. In all cases, the result is tangible.

He gives the bird a treat. My brave friend will help us with this test; she has offered to. Now. The bird hops to the center of the circle. Can you get a feather from her, without plucking one? The bird cocks her head and watches you, patiently waiting to see what happens.


NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

"Without plucking one?" Chimwemwe murmurs. He begins drawing diagrams in the air with his finger, swiping with his hand as though erasing a board, and drawing again. "I don't want to hurt her. Or sit here a month. Or is that the test?"

He pauses and closes his eyes for a moment to think on his morning's divinations. Afterwards, he resumes tracing his invisible shapes for another several moments until he stops and says, "Wind!"

Rising from his seat, he takes his bedroll and walks behind the bird. He unties the cords, unfurls the roll, and a pulls away a colorfully patterned blanket. He stretches it taught between his arms, and then he brings it up and then down sharply in an attempt to generate a gust strong enough to blow a feather off of the bird.

Soac Astrology: 1d8 ⇒ 5
Athletics (T), Astrology: 1d20 + 6 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 6 + 1 = 14


SoT (Semester 1 Year 3): Tactical Map, Handouts, Macros ⠀Sundered Song: Map & Handouts, Macros ⠀Pallid Peril: Map & Handouts, Macros

The bird hops to a new spot in the sudden wind. A yellow feather flutters to the floor.


NG male Human (Lirgeni) Inventor 6 | HP 74/74 | AC 24 (26) | F +13 R +9 W +11 (resist acid 6 (8), electricity 6 (8)) | Perc +9 | Stealth +4 | 25 ft | Hero 1/3 | 1st: 1 2nd: 1 | LoH 1 | Astrology 3/3 | ◆ | ◇ | ↺ | sHP: 20/20 | Active Conditions: ---

Chimwemwe steps forward, swiftly folding the blanket, and picks up the feather off of the floor. He pauses in thought for a moment. He turns to Teacher Ot and says, ”I have obtained a feather from your friend.”

Once Teacher Ot acknowledges his statement, he smiles then turns and walks to Curling-Wisps-of-Smoke and offers her the feather. ”I gift this feather to you for you to use or pass on as you see fit,” he says with nervous formality.


M Gnoll Magus 6 | HP 76/76| AC 23 | F +13 R +13 W +9 | Perception +7, Low Light Vision

Akoril shakes his head "It would be easy enough with an arrow, but not worth the birds life."

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