Deep Below, Another Foe: Githyanki

spider-darkmoon

[This post is never going to get updated, so here’s a bit of lore from last season.]

Millennia ago, a great many of crusades were led by the first angels against demon kind. While these crusade were mostly futile (as truly destroying demons is challenging), many other creatures were caught in this divine wake. Included were the astral Titan Mendacium Obvium. Obvium was the Titan of lying, deception, and selfishness. He tricked fleeing demons into believing that he was an Archdemon, offering them protection in exchange for servitude. Unfortunately for him, this also attracted the attention of the divine crusaders, who soon marked him as a foe.

Astral Titans are incredibly powerful. They are most easily compared to demigods: not invincible, and certainly not all-powerful… but still a force to be reckoned with. Cliche phrase: describe the capability it actually matches.

The Angels took decades to hunt Obvium down. It took months of battle to kill him.
Describe the angel’s successful technique.
 Many dead angels were left behind in the aftermath of his death,  and one of them was Araqueil.
For being holy, why would they disrespect or disavow their dead?
Araqueil was a captain of the angelic forces.
Please introduce Araraquiel before his death. He was instrumental.

He dealt one of the final blows to Obvium, dealt from within his body, for Astral Titans are truly Gargantuan. Araquiel was left for dead inside the carcass of the Titan, and he himself believed he was dead, at least at first.

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(D&D) Fall 2018 Schedule

barrel-headWe will meet downstairs in the Library and meditation rooms. Possibly meeting in the I street hallway if the Library is scheduled. We’re pretty easy to find. Dates are subject to change, please bookmark this post.

  • Sept 2nd
  • Sep 9
  • Sep 16
  • Oct 7
  • Oct 14
  • Oct 21
  • Nov 4
  • Nov 11
  • Nov 18
  • Dec 2
  • Dec 9
  • Dec 16

Please bring lunch and your character sheets. If you do not update your character sheets at home, leave them with Jed in the red folder.

(D&D) At the Pewter Mug

barrel-headAfter Cador, Thardis Hornhelm and Vassas apprehend G’ning-ar, they agreed with Craynor and Blueston that they split the proceeds of the ancient armor they found and dissolve their exploration company. Each of them, about 4000gp richer, upgrade weapons by visiting a half-orc armorer, Ornach Witlin, and a few days later meet up again at a new pub, the Pewter Mug.

Many announcements happen at the ‘Mug. there is an announcement of a wildfire east of Dandilion Spit, and a call to aid the forests and wildlife nearby. Another person offers a bounty to travel to Snail bay. Another offers a tour of the magical library at Pinola cliffs.

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Dandilion Spit

The keen ears of a shy tabaxi, Flys like a Raven, pick up the passing interest of Thadis and Cador about Dandilion spit. ‘Raven, who is from Seleptova, a secluded tabaxi city inland of the spit about a days travel, is concerned that the govenor and his family are in trouble. Govenor Naps in Shadows, (‘Shadows), has a mage who was increasingly distrusted for his study of the planes and magical summoning. ‘Raven approaches Thardis and proposes they journey together.

A ranger, Cexiuh-Juga (ses-you joog-a) offers to lead them with his wagon train to Dandilion spit, since tabaxi and Cador distrust water in general.  Their journey will take almost a week. Hopefully they will arrive in time to help.

(D&D) Tsotur of Witkif

“When the meteor struck inland, no region remained unbent”
–Jena Ogra, before Whitecliff

barrel-headOgre legends persist not just because of oral tradition, no. Oral tradition dies out when all the men die in battle…or all the women are taken by invaders. Ogre legends persist because we hide. Humans, dwarves, giants…they think they are superior by their eyes. We hide in places that dwarves deign no dig, humans dare not build, and giants are too proud to look.

What is now eastern Galentaspar, the cratered land of Rodorax, is the only place dwarves have actually collected adamantium from in two thousand years. Not only was the ground rent by an asteriod, the asteroid was ridden by two battling titans whos burning ends warped the continent with tricks and curses that changed a simple place into an interplanar battlefield for the rest of time. The region was turned from grassy plains to a desert of planar kaleidescopes for a century while ash of impact settled.

Planar Rifts and New Races

The great civilization of humans on the planet suffocated. There were fey in vast bamboo forests…all consumed in flames. Geology was never studied, and gnomes that dwelt in the roots of the great planes…surviing the great fires, organized armies to negotiate the sudden influx of short humanoid called dwarves that popped out of planar gates in the sky and dug up from the ground, gasping for air.

Tzoltiv, leader of Gnomes since the Dawn, formed a band of scouts: Tsildir, Psyden, Ysidril, and Wfoldin, to travel the world, learn, speak and spread hope…if the peoples of the world needed help or hope, head to the plains and join Tzoltiv’s clan. He would help.

Decades passed and Tzoltiv never heard from his band, until a single gnome from afar walked into the town of Tzova’a, proclaiming himself as Vvillin, grandson of Wfoldin  Thus he spoke, “Tall folk, elves, live now in the mountains. Large folks, ogres, live far to the south along a cragged spit, and snakes live below them, fighting everyone they meet, the yuan-ti. To the east, larger peoples bigger than ogres tower over the forest, claming most of the north–they are giants. There are mountains where there were hills–there are islands where there were reefs.” Vvillin did not stay long, his sense of community was lost, and the people of Tzova did nott trust him. But a faction of Tzova’ans followed Vvillin west, intrigued to meet these people called dwarves.

Mitter meets Tsotur

Tzoltiv’s grandson, Mittir, was visited hundreds of years later by a grandson of Vvillin named Tsotur, a gnome bard who lived among the ogres. The ogres, sons and daughters of Tautus of Nuumg, live on the slopes of Whitechalk Cliffs, or Witkif, in ogre slang. They are ruled by matriachs of Eeroi, a line of ogre magi transplanted from their first home to Sing’jar by the starfall.  Ogre magi of Eeroi are secretive, and enslave dwarves to build large tunnels into the Whitechalk cliffs for them.

Aaron Umgar founds Kifskuul

The sons of Eeroi are left to fend for themselves, and are mostly rough barbarians, hunting to survive. Only one of a generation is born smart enough to be a leader–a Nuum’gar. Aaron Umgar is the smartest yet, and is a sorcerer charismatic enough to have enrolled the mothers of junior orge magi to form a school and library on Witkif: Kifskuul.

Farming, ranching, and some mining are all present on the Whitechalk cliffs. Brave outcast dwarves are among the ogres, helping manage the chalk and chalcendony mines. Minotars are uncommon but welcome. Hill giants have never been welcome and have not been seen south of Sing’jar for 1200 years. Elves are very rarely found, only ones brave enough for a specific task.

Hobgoblins of R’rusk

This is peculiar because a population of High Elves lives to the east of the hobgoblins of R’rusk, forming the eastern border of Witkif. R’ruskins trade with the yuan-ti to the south confidently because the hobgoblins built a defensive zone one hundred miles long and three miles deep to defend their soverignty. Dzennin’gen Harfolk is an ancient Hobgoblin paladin that leads the community.

High elves of Innlend

There are thousands of elves in a magically protected community to northeast of R’rusk: Innlend. Mostly wizards and rangers, the borders of Innlend are invisible and manifest as unlucky encounters with wilderness hardships: rockfalls, quicksand, swam creatures, confusion and lost adventurers dead of inexplicable dehydration. This appears to be an invite-only kingdom, and the leadership is hidden. Not even general Feltor of the Sing’jar mountains knows anything of Innlend, being a son of an emmigree.

Zsolissar and the Yuan-ti

The islands to the west and south of the Whitechalk Cliffs (Witkif) are all military holdings of the Yuan-ti. This was a rough region briefly ruled by many rough reptilian tribes, and humans have been considered lunch for centuries. Just getting into the bay requires skillful negotitation of schools of gigantic squids and other sea denizens. The minotar who used to rule the southen shores were roughly beaten back to one island as slaves, the remained having fleed north four hundred years previously.

The Yuan-ti are strict about their secrecy, brief sun exposure, and never relinquishing lands. They expect counter-strikes and rebellions. To meet these threats, they take slaves and other intelligent prisoners as cattle and display them in public suffering labor or as food stock for fesival menus. High preistess Zsolissar presides the festivals and her maiden’s sharp blades turn slaves into cold cuts on the seasonal holiday festivals.

For five hundred years, no pink skinned humanoid has withstood a yuan-ti south of the Whitechalk Cliffs. Whatever deity or power protects Zsolissar or her preistesses, not even the agressive male yuan-ti have  broken or subverted it in many generations.

[D&D] Amroth’s accord with G’ning-ar

spider-darkmoonAmroth Cavepool, a young 70, was a bright miner and good with his fellow dwarves who lived deep below the Sing’jar mountains. Almost since his birth under these mountains, he had been present either defending the clan against the Cult of Ulexnil or repairing dammage to the tunnels from purple worms. Everyone had been busy for years, people were constantly being hurt, but they were saved by two things: the passages between east and west slopes of the mountains that brought trade with the surface, and plentitude of fungus that grew in the old passages left by the purple worms.

Uncle Harnig Ruktite had spent many years leading ore cars up to the elves on the east and out to the humans on the west to trade for game and wheat. On his latest trip he was late, and Agus Cavepool, on patrol, found him slumped against the wall, unconcious from a stab wound in a tunnel on the west side. This was unusual, because the Cult would not have used blades, it would have been magic. The humans were too loud and typically repelled by the traps near the entrances to get so far. Some malicious cavedweller was on the loose!

Amroth, Agus and aunt Elinke stuffed their packs with jars of pickled mushroom slices and salted deer jerky, hefted their picks and set out to find the culprit. First, the connector tunnels between the family areas and the mining viens: normal. Next the ore discard paths that lead east: interesting lone tracks on the gravel. Then the discard paths that lead west: more tracks by the same foot prints and signs of dwarf scat. A new tunnel was found dug to the mushroom grove and it had regular footprints. No one would notice stealing fungus from the back of the cave. The team retreated to watch the path.

A single young dwarf appeared, climbing over a bolder they hadn’t considered had any room behind it, and started walking the path to mushrooms. As he approached, they noticed he was bald with barely a beard. Was he burned? He barely stood out from the darkness as if he was also the color of shadow. Agus signaled and they all jumped down from the walls and surrounded the fellow. Amroth felt a jab below his eye and immediatly fell backwards, but Agus and Elinke both struck him with their picks and he went down.

The prisoner was clearly foreign, and appeared to resent the sight of them. He was gray skinned and had a few spines as wiskers on his chin. This was a Deurgar, but none had been seen in this land…ever. His name was G’ning-ar, and he didn’t now how to get home. He liked how dark it was in the caves, because where he came from it wasn’t dark enough. But wherever that was, he couldn’t find a way back. He was lost from his family and doing fine by himself, thank you. The shook G’ning-ar down and found almost a sack’s worth of daggers, gems, and stolen jerkey from their pantries.

There was no way this Deurgar was going to live among the Cavepools, he was a thief and an unrepentant one. No recognition of good dwarven god was about him…this was a rogue from another world here for no apparent reason. Agus, Amroth and Elinke tied his hands and lead G’ning-ar up a dozen levels, nearly to the surface, and left him there on the floor, without his daggers. “Go any lower,” they said, “and we’ll break your legs and leave you on the surface, you thief!”

G’ning-ar hated the Cavepools. Hated them more than the other wierdo magic using dwarves he met in the south that kept shooting magical arrows and fire at him. That wasn’t comfortable, but at least he didn’t get a chance to be insulted and humiliated. These Cavepools were all dicks. Any chances to steal from them would be welcome!

And for the next 200 years, G’ning-ar make a trip every week to wreck something owned by the Cavepools. Not always successfully, but enought to keep them constantly cautious. No dimwitted knuckle dragging pick swinging dwarf would find a rogue deurgar in a million years, right?

 

[D&D] G’ning-ar’s Long Walk

barrel-headGruuden’kar son of Gnuden’tik, slayer of Shivvek, was always full of stories, and constantly derailing conversations with a “one time, you know…” and a “that reminds me of,” to the point at which granson G’ning-ar son of Pubshan son of Gruuden’kar learned to just say “that’s right, grandpa,” and go on swinging his toy hammer when being toted about on Pubshan’s back.

They, Pubshan and Gruuden’kar, would take G’ning-ar scavenging in the old city Tatus, once home to a hundred-thousand Githyanki. Old buildings would be stacked with abandoned weapons, magic wands, staves and bows decorated in many manners. Not all of them were safe, either. Before touching any appealing item, it would get collected into a blanket and not directly touched until cleric Tru’de-gar could determine if it was cursed.

G’ning-ar, when he was a young thirty or so, decided to wander off while Pubshan grandpa were moving a pile of fallen bricks away from a big door. Duergar are hardy, but any chanse of slipping away and finding some silence always appealed to G’ning-ar. It became very quiet, very suddenly…and he couldn’t hear his clothes rustle, he breath, or his heart beat. He looked down and found himself in a glowing circle of runes.

The next place he saw was nothing but endless sky. In the far, far distance was a floating island that looked like a corpse covered in tiny buildings…just floating in the sky…getting smaller. Turning around, he saw an short, iron banded house floating about twenty steps away. He was twisting to the left, the house was slowly twisting to the right. He waved his legs and started twisting backwards.

This was trouble. Shouting wouldn’t help, he knew. Duergar common sense told him that he was probably doomed. But Gruuden’kar might have told a story about something like this. So he spun and thought. And got more and more hungry. Grandpa Gru once told a story about how he followed a Githyanki through a portal onto a field of air. It didn’t make any sense to G’ning-ar at all at the time. But Gru said he figured out that in the field of air, if you thought in unison with your feet, your intention would wisk you along. Gruuden’kar finally cought up to the Githyanki and stabbed him in the back, stole his purse and satchel of onyx stones that he then threw away becuase they would only be useful to a filthy wizard.

The iron-banded house was slowly rotating into view. G’ning-ar purposefully swung his leg and opposite hand in stride as if we were walking to the house. And he got moved closer. In a few strides he even felt like he was walking on a path. In a minute, he grabbed the handle to the door, swung it open, and stepped through.

And his back smaked as if he fell twenty feet onto a tallas slope. He slid down and crumpled up against a rock wall. Welts and scratches along along his back, arms and legs were stinging madly. And it was much darker than he remembered seeing in a long time. Grampa Gru tended to wander about the city in it’s dim light so frequently that the total dark of a cave was rather rare.

Letting his head spin, his ears ring, and his welts throb…slowly the shape of the tunnel, the rubble, and the pick marks of the mine he was in became clear. This tunnel was crap dwarven work! Their tools were dull, the idgit bastards! They didn’t clear a path on the floor so they could keep clearing. Sigh–he got up, shook himself a bit and found his balance, and decided that he brought this exile on himself. He would miss his dad and grandpa, but clearly, this place was entirely new…

[D&D] Exile of Fluvenilstra

two-mushroomsBefore conciousness ever developed, De’dee-dad’m was whisked as a spore from an explosion of rock chips deep in the Underdark into a planar portal into another world. De’dee stuck to a rock that felt wrong for many centuries until an earthquake, a small breeze and a drip of water gave him the strength to grow.

A century later, after growth and fruiting and emitting De’dee’s own spores, he fosters a circle of myconids in a deep cavern full of violent bipedals that constantly break the rock. This confuses De’dee, because it disturbs the mycelium he and his myconids try to grow. Luckily, a great earthquake broke open new fissures, bringing forth more water and more minerals and even a stream of organics from a distant surface never tasted before.

The circle spread upwards into a chamber with flat surfaces and a magical warmth that De’dee would instinctively cherish. If he went too close to it, he would get sun sick,  but at the correct distance, it brought stories of far away places and news of the surface. Many magical beings existed on this world, and De’dee and the Dad’m circle learned that their heritage belonged to a material plane inaccessable to them. Here there were things such as day-elves, giants and dragons that were foriegn to De’dees fruiting forefathers. There was a personality in the energy they talked to: Eatur-Ima. Eatur was from a place of energy and was continually baffled by the lack of light, wind and energy in this world.

jewelTwenty years ago, the rock sang with foot prints and the Dad’m circle shrunk and hid in the walls of the chamber. Bipedals broke into the chamber and stole Eater-Ima, and with that violation, the circle of Dad’m lost it’s link to the stories of the other worlds.

Since then, the circle of Dad’m strove to grow, expand and learn. They know that there are hundreds of bipedals, thousands of arachnids, and hundreds of spirits in the tunnels below the mountains of Sing’jar. They know the stories of elves, dwarves, devils and even druegar trying to survive in the deep cracks of the earth.

But they miss the warmth and knowledge of Eater-Ima, and would share a hundred stories with the heros who would return Eater to the chamber of Dad’m.

[D&D] Our campaign begins

barrel-headDarian Earthrok, hero of Sing’jar, survivor of the orc invasion, made big news when he registered as an exploration company. He stood on the railing of the mayor’s porch and addressed the gathered people who followed him to the mayor’s mansion, addressing the crowd in a bold voice:

The destruction in the hills has opened the doors to raiders and theives from all directions. The mayors decree to register explorers is fair…her concerns about not letting evil artifacts be freely traded in the city is prudent. But the plundering of the ancient homes of the dwarves is no better than pillaging and defiling the dead!

Dwarves do not break down the doors of your temples and steal your silver…we do not wrench open the coffins of your mothers and fathers to steal their burial gold! Is it this double standard that dwarves must suffer because parts of their homes are unnocupied now? Think! Consider how you want your neightbors to respect your family after you die…act with respect.

I form this exploration company  to learn about our fathers below so as we can appreciate our lives above the more!  Their works in the name of Moradin and the blessed family of the ancients should be curated, not smelted! Help me set an example of how to learn from the old tunnels of my fathers and treat them with repect and honor.

And Darian hired dozens of explorers, paying them 10 gold a week in hopes that they would not be sneaking treasures out and sell artifacts to other agents in town.

Our new party was eager to work:

  • Cador Slatefoot, Dwarven cleric, devoted to Moradin
  • Thardis the Minotar fighter
  • Vazas the Dragonborn sorcerer

They were lead into the North Cavepool tunnels by Craynor Blacklap, an experienced human fighter. This entrance was hidden: covered by a large pile of fallen bolders. An entrance narrow enough that Thardis had to crawl through.

Tunnels lead to very large rooms, very large, with signs of ancient occupation. One room had a statue of a demon whos ruby eyes were clearly attempted to stolen, but  the floor was littered with brittle, rusty tools and scrapes around the eye sockets. A deep fissure would blow cold air with a mournfull trumpet sound. A hallway with shriveled corpses spiked to the walls. Giant rats, eager for fresh visitors. A skeletal snake that projected a nest of jems. A pair of zombees that seemed to wander up from below years previously. A torture chamber littered with rusty surgical tools and human bones. Footprints of some human were seen leading to the second level, as well.

sword-ltr

This few hours of spooky exploring in the entrance level of the Cavepool North entrance definitely took everyone’s minds off their struggles topside. But they returned, having dutifully mbrought back the gems they magically marked to issue to the controller.

But there was no controller back at camp. There was nearly no camp! A sad looking dwarf, Bluestone, spoke with Craynor about how Darian was evicted by the mayor’s tax collectors for not renewing his company license, and word was out that Darian ran out of cash by paying his explorers so much. Darian went on the move that morning and was no doubt lost below the hills somewhere.

Bluestone and Clark set abou

t discussing how to incorporate their own exploration company, the two of them being experienced at it, having been through many tunnels in the Large Entrance. Bluestone explained how the magic marks from the making scrolls they were issued could be expunged, if necessary, but selling items without company markers could be dangerous if you ended up selling to a sheriff’s agent.

As they settled into dinner, sitting around the fire that evening, Thardis noticed movement and pointed it out. Bluestone started talking overly loud, covering the quiet planning of the other members of the party whilst calmly wrapping his war hammer in a burlap bad and pouring oil on it. Behind a small hill, six humans crouched and popped their heads up occasionally, planning a raid on our party.

SteelGreathammer2Thardis met them boldly and swept his glaive madly, chopping and hacking. Craynor stood before the Vazas, who unleashed a thunder wave, crippling most of the bandits. Cador rushed to Thardis’ aide before long, having been felled early in battle. From behind, came Bluestone with his flaming war hammer and beat the remaining bandits to their deaths.

As they recovered from the attack, they all agreed that they fought well together, and they would probably survive better in the tunnels than constantly surrounded by theives on all sides above ground. Craynor and Bluestone agreed to travel to the mayor’s office and register as an exploration company the next morning.

[D&D] Meet Alberich

Dwarf_by_BrokenMachine86-jAlberich Ungart is a mountain dwarf, a cleric.
Why adventure in caverns? Well, I would be interested in finding about the history of the dwarves who lived in the caverns, as it is important to me so understand where I come from. I feel I could be useful to the other adventurers because I am a dwarf and a cleric, I might be able to help navigate caverns and keep everybody calm and alive.
As for working above ground… I am sensitive to the sunlight and prefer to work in shaded conditions.
Yes I think it’s possible there is a beholder within the caverns. As beholders have so many potential powers it makes me wonder if it is somehow related to where the dwarves might have gone that abandoned the caverns.

[D&D] Who buys treasures?

barrel-headIf you dig up treasures from the deep tunnels, how much time do you spend going into town and finding a buyer? Do you spend money on a booth in the market, or do you work with jewlers? Is finding other agents good to protect your time so you can focus on finding more treasures? Liam and I discussed this for a while.

Up and down the Sing’jar shore and out to the Faroth islands, trade is growing. New weath–the neauveau riche–are sprouting, buying land and building mansions around the bay. There would be plent of opportunities for successful traders and bankers to want to invest in a bit of splendor.

And banks. Yes…you can’t really have a large community without banks. Just one bank is not enought. There are banks on each of the Faroth islands. There are multiple banks in Sing’jar. The wealth of the elves is obscure, as is the wealth of the Octran islands. But the high elves in the mountians and the sea elves in the Octrans have a wealth of cultural knowledge and would be the destination for apraisers to visit when they found something out of the ordinary.

Do you keep your coppers and silvers under your bedroll? If you found a set of silver cutlery and gold candle sticks, would you rather melt it into an ingot of electrum? Maybe you need a an agent to buy your winnings at a predictable price.