About Attoshi Moon-Scarred
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge
* * *
*Note : I’m never good at coming up with notable NPCs without a prompt, though in Attoshi’s case most of the most interesting ones have not been named—his parents, whom he still searches for, the several dozen sub-chieftains and apprentices who revere him on his homeworld, and of course his trusty tiger who has become a sort of legendary creature upon entering the Grand Stair by his side. As for important NPCs he’s met in the Gossamer ways, I’d prefer to either leave that up to party composition or see who the GM has giving us quests and such.
The Khan of Dreams - 1, 3, 4:
The Khan of Dreams stands taller than most men, broad and muscular, clad in ceremonial armor held together mostly by his own magic, and wrought from wood and leaves he himself gathered in Andar’s oasis jungles. Mantras embroidered in curving, golden thread curl across his clothing, bearing snippets of wisdom in Andarian Orcish. Attoshi’s hair falls in long, well-kept braids, his features strong-boned but with a delicate smoothness that belies his Fey ancestry. His hands end in strange, thick fingers that at close observation bear retractable feline claws; his legs bend strangely, allowing him to walk with strength but not speed. Across his back are slung four weapons—a curving bow, a hooked spear, a ceremonial sword and a larger blade nearly the size of his body.
Never quite still, the Dreaming Orc rarely seems to focus on anything in particular. He can frequently be seen turning his head slightly, even during conversation, as though listening to some distant information, as he feels for the pulse of the world and the weave of its magic, sending out subtle arcane feelers through the air and letting the light and shadows around him whisper advice. Behind him, at a distance, a giant gray tiger stalks through the shadows, invisible to all but the most careful observer, its metal lamellar armor clicking softly. This is Whisper, a great predator of the Shadow Plains, whose eyes seem to dart with an intelligence greater than that of any simple animal.
In battle, Attoshi Khan is a raging torrent, tugging at the weave of magic around him as he runs across walls, flies through the air, and pounces on his enemies like a feral beast. While he feels a sort of serene rage on the battlefield, he has no love for killing, and prefers to avoid what fighting he can—with his ceremonial tiger mask and a certain amount of magical presence, he has won most of his past battles by frightening enemy leaders into surrendering in the midst of battle. But when he must kill, he does so quickly, striking and leaping with superhuman speed as his oversized Andarian sword whirls through the air, the tiger at his side a twilit blaze of claws, blood, and animal frenzy.
Attoshi has not spent a huge amount of time on the Gossamer Stair, even since his arrival—unlike many here, he attained much experience, training and fame in his old life, and finds the press of strangers disconcerting, often preferring to spend weeks at a time in quiet meditation among the Caverns of Moonlight. He rarely seeks quarrel, and practices the Shadow Plains customs of quiet deference in the presence of unknown strangers—though he expects to receive the same in return, and a perceived insult can be met with just the quickest hint of rage and a truly intimidating glare. He still searches to learn more of the nature of magic, and the mystery of his parentage, but he has little love for the politics of the Lords and Ladies, and suspects that travel to new worlds may be the best way to find this.
However, he’s also been hearing more and more of the Dwimmerlaik and Shadow. While he is not violent by nature, Attoshi keenly recognizes his own past skill as a hunter, warrior, and leader of armies, and has become a bit curious about the sort of military campaign he might be able to participate in to help defend his new home. And gazing around at the wondrous wrought magic items and artifacts around him, he has begun to wonder what sort of aid he might have to offer to be given such powerful trinkets of his own, as most of the possessions he carries were forged by the most talented mages and smiths of his home world.
And no, he will not tell you how he got those scars.
Under the Light of the Slumbering Moon - 2, 7, 8:
Attoshi was born in the oasis jungles of Outer Andar, one of the oft-maligned Dreaming Orcs—not Orc, Human, or Fey, but something of all three. His parentage was uncertain; one of his parents had been a creature of another place, wandering into his world across Gossamer webs to sing and hunt in the twilit haunts where the walls between worlds grow thin. The child, weak and twisted, was taken in by a wandering Orcish tribe, as the lore of Andar is rife with curses against those who forsake a Dreaming Foundling. But Attoshi grew up feared and unloved, with strange hands and knobbly legs. He learned to withstand pain from the beatings of his crueler, larger peers; he learned strength from the menial labor he was constantly set to. And something in him, a fluidity, allowed him to excel at what he set his mind to, growing tall and strong in his own time.
And, when truenight fell, the blazing sun falling below the horizon at the same time as the Lovers, the Traveler, and the Dancing Moon, the young Dreaming Orc would set off alone to dance below the sole shadowed light of Melak En, even as the rest of his tribe sheltered beneath their fur-lined tents, knowing from their stories that the sole light of the Slumbering Moon could drive anyone to madness and death. Indeed, Attoshi often returned from such nights blistered and burned, though he told stories of dancing with his own shadows that made the other Orcs of his tribe shudder and draw warding signs against evil.
Finally, as he approached manhood, Attoshi set off alone into the Shadow Plains, leaving behind a tribe glad to see him go. In the wilderness, he was alone, but something eldritch in his nature kept the fiercest predators of Andar at bay, and he found sustenance in the jungles themselves, where he soon learned that nothing that moved in the shadows wished him harm. He discovered a natural talent for hunting, learned to listen to the whispers of the moon, and heard the rattling of Gossamer walls as the world itself shook and strained against distant others.
When Attoshi returned to the tribelands of Outer Andar, he had changed. His mangled fingers had become sleek and furred, his twisted nails hardened into retractable feline claws. The wind whispered around his braided hair, and quiet magic crackled at his fingertips. At his side strode a gray tiger the color of tallgrass at twilight, one of Andar’s most feared predators—and this alone was enough to gain him fear and respect from the tribes he met. The Dreaming Orc had gained a certain force of personality during his exile, and men and orcs alike gathered to him, outcasts from the horse clans and half-orc runts in search of a new tribe. Attoshi learned to hunt in the style of the steppe nomads, skirmishing from horseback with a compound bow, and excelled in the martial craft of the orc tribes, backing up swings of curved blade with sudden wooden shield parries, though of the many swords he came to acquire his favorites were those too large and heavy for the hands of weaker men.
Attoshi was well-educated, for a nomad; and wise, for an orc; but it was in force of personality that he excelled, gaining followers and prestige through means he did not fully understand. Gradually, the smaller orcish tribes flocked to his banner, and he found himself Khan of the Spirit Tribe, responsible for the leadership of a whole people. The newly-crowned Spirit Khan had little interest in conquest or empire, though he easily won the few battles that he sought; instead, he appointed tacticians and sub-chiefs to handle such affairs, while he turned towards the study of religion and magic. There are worlds beyond worlds, he would explain, his followers repeating the words behind him even if they could not understand. And gradually, he began to improve life in the Shadow Plains. His acolytes would pray patiently with him beneath the Slumbering Moon, and though they too came away changed and scarred, they also learned something of the magic he taught. While other tribes of Andar guarded their livestock on horseback, the Spirit Tribe tamed wolves and leopards, while even the greatest wild bears and tigers turned aside as the Spirit Khan drew near. With magic and unity a came a greater peacefulness to the Shadow Plains, as Attoshi taught prayers necessary to bring water and healthy crops from the dry and shadowed soil, in words that came to him unexplained.
But as his prestige grew, the young chief turned inward in his thoughts, even as he united much of Outer Andar under the banner of Great Khan. Spirit Khagan Attoshi was no longer concerned with the workings of the world around him. There are worlds beyond worlds, he would repeat in his meditations, as he learned greater and greater secrets of the magic within his blood, willing the doors around him to open—and eventually, one did.
* * *
The Grand Stair and the Caverns of Moonlight - 6, 7:
The act of becoming a Gossamer Lord has a way of… changing creatures, and twisting them in some way. For Attoshi, though, the opposite was true—a door called him home, and he answered, becoming that which his blood had always harkened to. The moment he first set foot on the Grand Stair he felt whole, somehow, in a way that not even the light of Melak En could provide. Some part of his parentage, somehow, had been tied to both Stair and Shadow, and he could feel this instinctively as he gained a new control over his blood and the magic that flowed through him. His legs, no longer twisted, moved with a sort of purpose; his mind cleared, and he found the ability to clearly think and cast spells even during the bouts of blood-rage he had previously attributed to his Orcish heritage. But Attoshi was no Orc—he was a creature of moonlight, and shadow, and deep magic which boiled internally and burst forth in arcane webs around him.
While he had previously been a mystic in a world of warriors, now he was a warrior in a world of mystics. On the Stair itself, Attoshi has been soft-spoken, asking few questions and treating others with the utmost respect—though he expects to be treated the same. He has shown no fear at the mention of Dwimmerlaik and Shadow, something that has begun to earn him a bit of a reputation. And, finally, he has sought out his mysterious parentage, and the world of his ancestors.
While Attoshi has found no true answers there, he has found a sort of peace, spending much of his time in a domain called the Caverns of Moonlight, a place so flowing and insubstantial that those who know its truename claim even this has no fixed form. The Caverns are… a sort of spaces, filled with something like moonlight. There are no weapons there; objects brought from outside worlds soon become etherial or plastic, bending like so much useless rubber when used for their indented purpose. Words behave strangely in such a place, often disappearing unheard into the air, though magic itself, always manifesting in visible colors and shapes, can be a certain form of communication. The Caverns of Moonlight are so named for their structure, which itself resembles the inside of some sort of cloud—the world exists in a sort of network of tunnels of pearly, moonlit stone, which itself bends and wanes and stretches into larger galleries and spaces as thinking creatures pass through. The Khan of Dreams has learned little of the origin of this world or its people, as the faerie-like natives speak only through colors and shockwaves, communicating mostly in a form of strange magical laughter.
While most of the Gossamer folk have written it off as a strange, dysfunctional experiment, Attoshi has found the Caverns a perfect world for peaceful meditation and experimentation on the flow of magic as it weaves into the world.
The world of Nightsong and the Shadow Plains of Andar - 5, 7:
Few worlds name themselves—continents and nations may, but planets as a whole generally call themselves “the world,” leaving it up to outsiders to give them a unique identity. The world of Nightsong is not so different from many others on the Gossamer Stair, save for its extreme axial tilt. While this has little effect near the equator, the Northern and Southernmost quarters of the world experience half a year of constant day and half a year of constant night, leading to cycles of freezing winter and dry summer that render half the world inhospitable. Great civilization of Elves and Men rise and fall across the world, but in the twilit shadow lands that spend most of the year in dawn or dusk, dark-adjusted civilization of Dwarves and Orcs flourish.
There’s actually some complicated meteorology going on here. The basic result of such a tilted world (I think?) is that the polar regions alternate between extremely hot and cold, the equatorial regions function much like temperate climates on our world, and the lands in between spend much of the winter and summer in constant twilight while having more normal day cycles during the spring and fall.
Five moons hang in the sky over Nightsong, though the significance of this number is debated from culture to culture. The Dancing Moon, Denkar En, twirls in an orbit too young to be phase-locked, displaying changing colors and patterns over the course of its orbit. The Lovers, Hidghar En and Melfenna, orbit each other in a swirling dance as they travel through the sky. The Nameless Traveler, small and distant, races from North to South in an erratic pattern that confounds the world’s greatest astronomers and soothsayers alike. And, finally, Melak En, the Slumbering Moon, hovers low in a geosynchronous orbit, visible from Outer Andar as a white disk hanging just above the horizon.
And while the world of Nightsong is vast and complex, it is only the lands of Andar that Attoshi has seen firsthand. The Shadow Plains form a great, grassy sea, dotted with crooked steppes and oasis jungles. To the West sprawls the continent of Haftena and the cosmopolitan Rimean Empire; to the East, the Sunrise Kingdoms and the wealthy Spice Isles of the Laurentian Coast. To the North, the plains give way to less hospitable crackling wastes and ice deserts, while the jungles grow dense to the South, choking out travel and civilization.
For centuries, the hospitable belt of the Shadow Plains formed an important trade route, as goods traveled between Laurentia and Haftena in overland caravans and wagons along the ancient stoneroads. Warlords and city-states fought for territory along the route, profiting from trade and travel, but ultimately disbanding in lean years, as Andar’s low sunlight ever stymied the sort of agriculture necessary to support proper kingdoms. Now, with the Age of Sail come to Nightsong, merchant caravans have been replaced by treasure junks and coastal fleets, the old and slow land trade routes abandoned as the stoneroads and ruined cities of Andar crumble back into the tallgrass they were built upon.
Andar still has its own cultures, and languages, and songs, and people, though you’ll hear little about these in the more “enlightened” societies two thousand miles to the West and East. The Horse Lords of the plains travel the Shadow Plains and fight skirmishes as always, living a nomadic life with their herds of livestock that flourish on the tallgrass, ever vigilant against the wild predators of Outer Andar. Further to the South, orc tribes hunt and gather by jungles’ edges, fearing the mysterious creatures of the deeper forests but reveling in the quiet isolation found at their edges. Even the old stoneroads still attract enough weary traders and travelers to support a modicum of banditry, as well-armed gangs stalk the steppes, collecting tolls from passersby and occasionally fighting.
Race description, background, and effects - 5, 9:
Dreaming Orc (Half Orc with Fey blood)
Abilities: Standard Half-Orc, with weapon proficiency changed to familiarity with Katana and Longbow, abilities changed to +2 Str, +2 Cha (2 RP), plus Flexible Bonus Feat (4 RP), Fey type (2 RP), Dreamspeaker (2 RP), and 1/day Speak with Animals, Faerie Fire (2 RP)
-Also used Sacred Tattoo alternate option
On the shadow plains of Andar, where the winter sun hangs low enough in the sky to hide behind the swaying tallgrass, men and orcs alike swap tales around the fire of the sinister things that grow in the scattered oasis jungles. Andar is a land of secrets, where the walls between worlds grow thin, and faeries, hags and shape-shifters alike slip in and out of its darkest corners, seizing unwitting travelers or ensnaring them with charms.
Aside from the Changelings and Half-Orcs that can be found across the plains, occasionally a child is born—or found—not Orc, Human, or Fey, but something of all three. The Dreaming Orcs, though rare and oft-maligned, possess something of shadow magic and forest charm that adds some distinct otherness in a nomadic land of tradition and superstition.
Racial Traits summarized:
* * *
Speed: 30 ft (lame + fast movement); no AoOs when near companion
Usually also has Haste and/or Fly, though
+1 Furious Courageous Adamantine Nodachi, Greater Magic Weapon, +21/+16/+11 to hit (1d10+10, 18-20/x2)
Bloodrage + Ally + Furious/Courageous: (+3 || +8 / +11)
Defense and Channeling:
Channel Energy: 8/day, 5d6, (DC 22)
(Format: normal/raging/raging near mount)
HP: 200/252/278 (13*maxd10 + 65 con + 52 rage + 26 ally rage + 5 mythic
Note: When Raging, always has either Haste or 50% Miss Chance
AC: 31/33/35 (+7 Cha, +5 Armor, +1 Shield, +3 Magic Vestment, +3 Second Magic Vestment, +0/-2/+0 Raging, +0/+3 Natural, +0/+1 Dodge, +2 Luck)
Fort +24/+28/+30, Ref +23, Will +19/+22
Special: +1 to DC while raging
Spells/Day (after 13-hour buffs are cast):
Oracle 1: 6/8, DC 19/20 (2x lucky number)
Bloodrager 1: 5/5, DC 19/20
Oracle 5: 2
Ability Scores and Modifiers:
Str 18 (20 with items, 28 raging, 32 raging near companion)
Con 18 (20 with items, 28 raging, 32 raging near companion)
Cha 22 (26 with items)
Feats, Traits and Rage Powers:
Mad Magic (Campaign Bonus)
Improved Share Spells
Power Attack (Bloodline Bonus)
Intimidating Prowess (Bloodline Bonus)
Eschew Materials (Bloodrager Bonus)
Mounted Combat (Fighter Bonus)
Escape Route (Fighter Bonus)
Skill Focus: Ride (Fighter Bonus)
Quick Draw (Bloodline Bonus)
Additional Rage Power
Additional Rage Power
Mounted Blade (Racial Bonus)
Wishlist: Escape Route, Dazing Assault, Improved Spell Sharing
Dual Path (Hierophant, Champion)
Divine Surge: Beast’s Fury
Champion Surge: Precise Strike
Power 1: Mounted Maniac
Master of Arcana
Shared with any interested Ally:
Ring of Tactical Precision
“Whisper,” Gray Tiger
(Format: normal/raging/raging near master)
Can never be fatigued from rage (Charger feature)
HP: 117/144/162 (Shield Other)
Fort +11/+14/+16, Ref +11, Will +8/+11
Str 24, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 2, Wis 16
Bite +16/+19/+21 (1d8+7/10/12)
(Power Attack: -3/+6)
40’ speed, Shadow Step at-will; no AoOs when near companion
Acrobatics: +22/+26 to jump (9 ranks, 4 racial, 5 equipment)
Feats: Armor Prof (light, bonus), Armor Prof (medium, Armor Prof (heavy), Power Attack, Dimensional Agility, Dimensional Assault
Class Abilities, Bloodline, Mystery, Curse:
Rage Rounds: 46 (includes favored class)
Improved Uncanny Dodge
Spell DCs: +1 while raging
Confusing Critical (Will DC 21/25/27 on critical or confused 1 round)
Greater Arcane Bloodrage (Displacement or Haste on each rage)
Curse: Lame (-10’, never slowed by armor or encumbrance, immune to fatigue)
Prophetic Armor (use Cha for AC, Reflex)
Primal Companion (Tiger Companion)
Planar Resistance (Resist Cold 20)
Moonlit Script (free Commune every night)
Points: 91 (52 bloodrager, 13 int, 26 campaign bonus)
*Denotes class skill
Format: +normal/+raging/+raging near companion
*Acrobatics +5 (1 rank)
*Climb +9/+13/+15 (1 rank)
*Craft (weapons) +7 (1 rank, +2 tools)
*Diplomacy +12 (1 rank)
*Handle Animal +19 (8 ranks)
*Heal +5 (1 rank)
*Intimidate +31/+35/+37 (13 ranks, +Str, +2 racial, +1 mask)
*Knowledge (arcana) +5 (1 rank)
*Knowledge (nature) +7 (3 ranks)
*Knowledge (planes) +9 (5 ranks)
*Knowledge (religion) +5 (1 rank)
Linguistics +2 (1 rank)
*Perception +13, Darkvision and Low-Light (9 ranks)
*Profession (soldier) +5 (1 rank)
*Ride +30 (10 ranks, +5 magic, +2 masterwork, +6 feat)
*Sense Motive +9 (5 ranks)
*Spellcraft +12 (8 ranks)
*Survival +14 (10 ranks)
*Swim +9/+13/+15 (1 rank)
Use Magic Device +19 (11 ranks)