Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Extended Time Line 40

2190 PA (Post Avatar)
The Temple to Wesa in Cole is found desecrated and all the priests murdered. The Master of the Temple to Wesa in Stormvale asks for the perpetrator to be found. Assassins with concealing magic are assumed and the only clue is a single bloody dagger with a snake upon it.

A dragon appears in Merryweather with the birth of the heir. She blesses the child and reminds the Knights of their vows before disappearing once more.

Jessica of House Gold leaf becomes Leader. Many of the Knight's Council and Leader's Council object. But Jessica is the oldest and her father named her heir. An inquiry begins to see if she can be the legal heir.

The Knights Tournament in Stormvale attracts people from all over the world. Stormvale is packed and people win and lose fortunes betting on events. Nothing bad happens and the Leader's Council calls it a success.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Inn of Storms

The Inn of Storms is a quaint, newer inn, though meant for the average traveler. The owner of this three story inn, Beth Simplestone, is a half-elf who was simply charmed by the place her human mother had come from. She loves to cook and thus the fair is always fresh and delicious, but at a reasonable price. She also loves to talk and thus has all sorts of rumors to share.

The tavern has three fire places, which helps warm the upper levels, and can seat about forty. Beth doesn't usually hire a bard but will allow one to play for tips. Rooms are small, housing two people and their gear, though there is a suite which will house six people.

The stables can house twenty horses and three wagons, food available for purchase. The Firestone brothers, two dwarves who came to Bloodhelm and never left, feel very protective of Beth and won't let anyone push her around. If the two bounces feel she's in harms way their axes might start speaking for them.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Though not someone who comes into my stories until the third book , I personally like Hideo. I picture him as a wise, old Chinese man, right down tot he grey fu-man-chu. He wears highly decorated robes to denote his station and speaks softly and gently.

Sent by the leader of the Janesh to find a suitable place to relocate the Janesh people, he found himself in Ariella studying the people of Ariella long before there was an empire or even the Kingdom of Tridon.

He was the leader of Janesh's friend and right hand man, along with Janesh's official Historian. He loves to study new languages and people, especially their histories.

If the PC's meet him he will have a good conversation with them and pick their brains if he has never met someone of their race.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Imps are small, humanoid creatures no more than a foot tall with scorpion tails. They are red, green, or black in color with big beak noses, large, pointy ears and a vaguely human form. They are very resistant to magic, can cast fire spells and fear their enemies. They can also paralyze a person with their touch if they so choose. Wizards use them as familiars often since they confer their resistances to their partners.

They speak demon languages as well as mortal languages and can teleport themselves short distances, though not others. They also have a poisonous sting they deliver with their tails. They live solitary lives, but come together once a year to mate and exchange information. Imp children are raised by their mothers for about ten years then are full grown adults. These creatures can live up to 5 decades.

The power of the imp is determined by color. The green are the weakest, red the strongest. Length of paralizations and fears, strength of poisons, and the resistances to magic is determined by their colors.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Most temples are set up with the same hierarchy. There is a Master of the Temple and his assistant. Depending on the temple, the titles may differ. Beneath him or her is the Council of Masters, consisting of all the Masters of the temple (which there can be any number of depending on location and size of the temple). Beneath the council are the journeymen who teach the classes and herd the initiates. Usually to become a Master a task is set before a journeyman, dependent on the God the temple is dedicated to. Below them are the initiates who have two years of intense study and devotions.

All the temples of a single god have a Master Council, made up of all the headmasters of that faith's temples. Then the grandmaster, who is picked by all those temples, is part of the Grand Council of Masters made up of all the temples to all the Gods, that meets every ten years.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Extended Time Line XXXIX

During the Winter solstice sightings of Gods in their temples around Martapa are observed. Priests make pilgrimages in hopes of seeing the Gods themselves.

The legendary thief, Lightfingers, the man who stole the crown jewels from the High King's bedroom itself, is caught. His execution is set for Summer solstice and promises to be quite the affair.

The Akicitia come together for a grand gathering int eh sacred location known only to the Akicitia and thought to be where Sarjon and Catiana brought them into being. Thousands make the trip. No outsiders are not allowed to witness such events.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Temple of Sarjon and Shade in Bloodhelm

The Temple of Sarjon and Shade is more a military compound then a temple. The structure is simple, but effective. The columns are uncarved, just smooth marble, the murals of men and women fighting great battles. The building is 3 stories, upper story is the barracks, the basement is for storage, and the classes and temple itself is on the 1st and 2nd floors, with outdoor maneuvers performed in an outside arena of sorts. Each exit is covered by two armed priests who are in full battle regalia. Classes are offered on strategy, arms, and weapon/armor making to both the public and the clergy.

Each priest is required to travel as a mercenary for a year, either alone or with other initiates, before they become a full priest. This is so they can use their worldly experience for better strategy and be a better priest of Shade or Sarjon. Healing is offered to followers of Shade and Sarjon, but to any who have proven themselves in battle as well. Donations are expected, though the amount given is dependent upon the wealth of the individual.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Timothy of Noble House Dumatri

Timothy of noble House Dumatri, the second son, and thus set to be the captain of the guard or the head of the merchant business is a pretty ordinary man. He is certainly handsome, with his dark curly hair and vibrant blue eyes, but he has little ambition to do much, except to marry Chelsea of noble House Merlinous.

He spends most of the time training with sword, learning history and figures and hunting with a select few with Tarkil Bloodhelm. As much as he hates politics he does enjoy these outings as time to let loose, out from underneath their father's thumbs.

Timothy also likes to relax at the Rolling Rooster tavern which Tarkil recommended. If he is there he will happily play cards or share a drink with player characters. He'll listen to tales, hit on any women in the party with abandon, and tell tales of his own.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Extended Time Line XXXVIII

2188 PA (Post Avatar)
Children disappear from a village near Cole. There is no sign of the perpetrator, so magic is assumed. A hefty reward is offered by the Lord of Cole and many come to find the children.

The seas produce a surprise. A giant sea horse, the size that could be ridden, is found in some fishing nets. Mages and scholars rush to the site to study the find.

House Pathfinder opens the Warrior College, mean to not only train Knights and troops, but mercenaries and bodyguards as well.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dragon's Fire Square

Dragon's Fire Square in Devonshire is where the Knights of Tridon made their last stand against Shaniko's minions to be saved by the appearance of Fire Flash, the dragon, and the Chosen. Used as a celebration spot and sometimes as an open air market just near the eastern gate, the square is dominated by a huge platinum dragon statue (made of bronze and overlaid with a sparkling blue paint wash) with it's wings outspread toward the heavens. Children love to clamour over it and pretend he is real, soaring off into the sunset or battling bad guys.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Lee starts my High King's Sword novels and doesn't appear in any more, though her life touches the "Sword" more then once during the novel. A seer from a young age she tried to live a normal life, hiding her talent and marrying her sweetheart. After awhile of living in Devonshire her talent shown, saving the major and his family. As her daughter grew she was visited by royalty and peasant alike so they may know their future.

When her husband died she took to selectively picking her clients, because too much grief surrounded her. When her daughter and son-in-law died and left her their daughter her grief was suddenly eclipsed by the joy of her young granddaughter Margaret so close in her life.

Lee, in her fifth decade, is a tall woman standing five foot six inches. A frail looking woman, she is quite agile and fit. She keeps her grey hair in a bun, wears plain, but serviceable skirts and blouses and loves her knitted shawls. Lee speaks softly and speaks her mind. Her visions come when they want but she can also call the vision forth.

A GM may be able to use her as a plot tool, to turn his players in the right direction, but do so with caution. You never want to tell the players where to go, just guide them softly.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Shapechangers, or shapeshifters, are both a group of people and an ability made possible by magic. The first are comprised of mainly werecreatures, though some magical creatures, such as fairies, can also shift forms. The other is mostly comprised of mages and druids, though Priests of Wesa can change via magic.

Natural shapechangers can do so as often as they wish, though each change takes about 30 seconds, is usually only 1 or 2 shapes, and can be very painful. Magic shape changers must cast a spell or call upon their god to do so. This takes time, has a limited duration, and can only be done so many times a day. This transformation is normally not very painful and can be any living creatures shape, though it can not be a creature more then 3 times their normal size or 1/3 their normal size.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Extended Time Line XXXVII

2187 PA (Post Avatar)
In 2190 the Knight Games will be held in Stormvale. Preparations are already underway. Mercenaries are being vetted for guards, laborers are being hired to build the tournament site near the Temple of the Gods, and bards are being sought for the event.

The nomad problem becomes worse and the Emperor sends mages to the front to take care of the savages. Many tribes are lain to waste. The rest are rounded up and relocated further west.

Unexpectedly a pack of large black and silver wolves appear outside of Varanath. They harm no one but appear to be searching for something. Druids are called, but even they get no answers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

City of Goldleaf

Goldleaf, although the House's main city, is barely a small city. The keep is made from magically summoned stone and there's about 10,000 people who call this place home in frontier type styled housing. There are several permanent trading posts and a temporary fair that sets up in the summer. Boats can come and moor off shore during the summer, but during the winter the bay is completely iced in. Even when open, the long voyage from Calabay is treacherous. Those who live here do not hold nobility above commoners and often marry said commoners. Only a man's deeds determine how they are treated. It's often hard to determine who is nobility, other then they may have a little better equipment on their person.

People wear many furs, beads and feathers in their hair, and have a pale complexion with blond hair. They are friendly, jovial, and will accept a person no matter their birth as long as they work hard and show their worth.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Richard Goldenstern

Richard was my husband through and through. He confused me greatly in college, telling me not 6 months earlier in High School we were just friends. Then we cut to college and he treats me so different. Sorta like the confusion between Richard and Amber Blackwolf who finally fall in love. (For those who wondered my husband and I have been married for almost 13 years after 7 years of dating!)

Richard is six and a half feet tall, broad at the shoulder and a quiet, introspective man. He prefers axe and shield, though the axe he uses one handed is a normal two-handed axe. He wears chainmail, but doesn't like plate. He doesn't like the bulk.

Richard looks the part of the big, dumb brute but he is a very smart and handsome man. He tends to over think decisions, which makes his friendship with Eric odd. When he was little more then a toddler his mother and Father were killed by Shaniko's minions His step-father, Tristan, is an elf who had befriended Richard's parents and was Lord of House Eton, a long story all in itself. Because Tristan doesn't have an heir, at the moment, Richard is heir to both Varanath and Eton.

If encountered by a PC he will seem gruff but patient. But if his honor or that of his family is threatened he will not take that well.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXXVI

2186 PA (Post Avatar)

Clashes between settlers and nomads escalate. The settlers kill a band of nomads and other nomad tribes kill the offending settlers. The Imperial army is sent to disperse the nomads by what ever means necessary.

Calabay makes an official treaty with the Sea Elves. A week of festivities and feasting follow.

The "captured" Winged Elf turns out to be a Black Wizard in disguise and nearly assassinates the High King. Mages search everyone entering Stormvale to stop that from happening again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Calabay, though much larger then the original fishing village of old, is still a relatively small House. Far north, where the bay is frozen three months of the year, few hardy individuals want to live there. The bay, deep enough for the largest ships, is the most important economic feature. The manor is on a cliff over looking the bay, while the city winds its way down from the manor to the bay.

Buildings, from homes to businesses, are log cabin like, with some of the newer ones made of brick. Both men and women wear cottons, leathers, and furs. And both carry weapons at all times, even if just a dagger.

Strangers are welcomed, but watched. Coin is used, but barter is more common. Fishing is the major profession, though it takes all kinds to run a city.

The other major feature is the Bard College, which I will go into later. But any bard who wants to be in court eventually finds their way there.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eric Calabay

Eric was one of those characters who had a little too much influence from my friend. Granted, Eric is a whole lot more lithe and probably better with the sabers then my friend, but Eric's sould is a mirror of my friends.

Eric is a lithe, six foot tall man with blond, shoulder length hair and vibrant blue eyes. He perpetually smiles, loves to woe the women and befriend the men, and is a trouble maker of the first class. He is a master swordsman with two sabers. Most Knights use sword and shield, but it was clear from an early age he was not the big, bulky type.

He prefers fine clothes to leather or chainmail, can talk himself out of any corner and loves his family ferociously.

In my original novels he was brother in all but blood to Richard Guildenstern. Eric is also the reason Richard and Eric are sent off into the world and put on the path of fate.

If during the time of the Chosen, a player might find him in a tavern wooing women, playing cards and/or drinking. He'll brush off all insults and try to redirect any anger sent his way.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Little Break

I'm taking a wee bit of break this week. I have a bunch of First Lego League stuff to do with my TAG kiddos and won't have time for my pursuits. Happy writing everyone and I'll be back next week!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Bloodstones were created by mages as a form of punishment for the very worse. Literally the stone sucks a person's very soul from their body, leaving the body a dead shell. The person is stuck there for all eternity unless certain criteria are met. One, body and stone must be reunited (which unless a priest or mage preserves the body this could get quite messy). Two, a mage of great power must speak the reversal incantation over stone and body. There, the body, stone and words must be brought to a high holy spot to that person's race. And four, the incarnation can only be spoken once and the stone is destroyed, whether the soul was released to its body or not.

Though originally meant as a punishment, those of more evil nature used it for darker purposes, until the practice of using or making bloodstones was banned by all mage guilds and priesthoods.

The stone itself can be anything from a small gem to a runestone carved in bone or wood. It is up to the individual maker as to how they want to fashion it. It take a month to imbue with magic and blood of the caster. The finishing must be done on the night of a full moon, unobscured by any clouds.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXXV

2185 PA (Post Avatar)
Varanath puts a bounty on an elf killer. Someone has been killing elves and leaving them with cryptic notes upon the bridge spanning the Guilden River. Bonded with the elves as they are, Varanath wants the killer caught.

Someone claims to have "captured" a winged elf and is traveling to Stormvale to show the High King.

The Emperor annexes part of western Ariella populated by nomads. Settlers are sent to domesticate the area.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

City of Varanath

Varanath, the 12th House of Tridon, fell to the Wizard Mathanos in the year 3184 PA, the House of Richard Guildenstern sundered. All were lost save one small babe named Noshi Bluecrystal who returned to save the House from darkness 16 years later.

Unlike most other Houses, the keep of Varanath is set up the slope of the great Varanath Mountain and away from the city proper. Walled,with underground retreats, the keep itself is a fortress. The River Guilden is crossed by a single, magically raised bridge which can be collapsed by the same magic. The city, which houses 25,000 people, has a wall and small lake to fish from. Houses are all timber, mostly one or two stories and spaced fairly far apart, especially compared to other major Houses. Roofs are pitched steeply because of the snows that come to this part of Tridon. Roads are wide enough for three wagons on major fares. People wear sturdy clothing and most carry weapons like most northern Houses. Young men are required a one year service in the militia though woman can serve as well. Southerners are looked on with disdain, but other races are welcomed, especially elves.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sebastion Blackthorne

Sebastion was always a cranky man, at least in Noshi's way of thinking. A mercenary since the age of eighteen, Sebastion became a blademaster late in life. At six and foot and change, he is broad shouldered with dark hair and brooding eyes. He is not handsome by any stretch of the imagination, but he has a solid, rugged look. He prefers scale mail or brigand armor and a long sword, though he is well trained in everything from dagger to polearm.

He became entangled in Noshi's attempt to reclaim her House, Varanath, when both were young and he had already become the great Mercenary-Lord Blackthorne. Few know the true story of his rise, but those who do say nothing, but neatly direct them to the legend he killed the last High King.

At the time of the High King's Sword Sebastion is roughly eighty, though in good shape and still a fine swordsman. He is also Lord-Consort for the Lady Noshi of Varanath, a story all in itself.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXXIV

2184 PA (Post Avatar)
Great prides of lions migrate across Ariella. No one is sure of the reason, but the priests of Waya believe they go in search of Waya, as her avatar lion is born in eastern Ariella.

A troop of acrobats, called the Tiny Tumblers, work their way across Taina. This group, made up of woman descended from Tayke, stops in every city they can, wooing crowds.

The price of Winged Elf artifacts soar and many are stolen from collectors at the scion of House Vandez's discoveries the year before.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tender Mercy Healings

Tendy Mercy Healings is a simple healing shrine of Waya. Though the Goddess is the Goddess of Animals, animals need healing too. This place gives healing to animals in need as well as the rangers and hunters who call them friends. Small donations are accepted, but never required for the priests want animals to be well. Plus, a noble of noble House Taladian was a great lover of animals and left the healing temple a small trust which keeps them well.

The temple resembles a barn and smells like one as well. Any sorts of animals may be here, but many are ranger pets and well loved.

Monday, October 31, 2011


This young man has never had a chance at childhood, his mother dying when he was 7, his father a mercenary he never met. At the age of 15 he is a master thief and finder of information. He fashions himself the King of Thieves for Bloodhelm and most of the street urchins see him as their leader.

Shadowdancer is four and a half feet tall with tan skin and black hair which he keeps in a pony-tail like nobles. His outfit is cast off, mismatching pieces, but all in very good repair. He carries only daggers, though he only knows how to marginally use them.

In my novels Shadowdancer becomes Krom's information finder and worms his way deeper into the workings of my novels as children characters seem to do. If in Bloodhelm at the time of the High King's Sword, Shadowdancer can be found at the main gate looking for work as a city guide.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Staff of Ukiah

The Staff of Ukiah, though never found after the Master Mage's death, is an object of great discussion. some say it was no more then a carved walking stick. Others say it was the key to his immortality (no matter that he was killed by Shaniko). Still others believe it made the users more powerful.

The following is a sample of what the famed staff could do. Augment spells. Treat spells as three caster levels higher to determine effect. Limited Immunity. Gives a +10 to saves versus magic and poison. Transformation. Allows users to transform to anything alive from mouse to dragon size. Immortality. Give the user protection against natural and unnatural deaths (a +10 save to save versus death).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXXIII

2183 PA (Post Avatar)
The scion of House Vandez and his expedition make it to the top of Elvenhome and find it completely empty. Nothing is left in the great stone aeries except murals on the walls and gryphon nests.

A cocktrice is seen outside Cole. A reward is set of 100 platinum dragons for the person who brings it in, dead or alive.

Ogres attack the pass at Devonshire. The attack is repelled but a bounty is put on ogre ears of 2 gold ducats a piece.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Southern Outfitters

Southern Outfitters is the end all of adventure and travel gear. New and used equipment can be found here at list price, (80% for used). Everything is in good condition and as long as well maintained will last for a long time.

Everything from camping gear to dependable weapons, rations to armor can be found here in this overstuffed building. The brothers, Seth and George Venture own the store and have six full time helpers, one of which buys used gear three days a week. The two story building made of river rock and hard wood always has some one there, though the night watch sometimes fall asleep midway through his watch.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shadizar Snowbird

This elven seer is not your typical hermit seer. The twin of Miyaca Snowbird, he is tall for an elf, with white hair and bright blue eyes. He is a mage of power and a seer of extraordinary ability. He is constantly researching magic, history, and artifacts. Now that Noshi is firmly the strong leader of House Varanath and his sister remains in Qalataqa training Wolf Warriors and Spellblades he is allowed such pursuits.

Shadizar rarely looks for visions, they come to him in their own time. If asked to "see" the future he can do so with great effort and reluctance. He would rather remain a simple scholar trying to help his people.

If he is accompanying Miyaca he will speak with adventurers and give them advice. He will not take anger directed at him, but will only retaliate if he feels in danger. But to feel his wrath is also to incur his sister's, an expert swordswoman and archer who puts her brother's life above her own.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ancient Elf History

Though the Ancient Elves play little in my High King's Sword series, I originally had one single living Ancient Elf left in the Time of the Chosen. It was a tragic story of the Wizard Shaniko wiping out all the Ancient Elves and leaving only the princess to try to carry on. Miraculous things happen and she is reunited with a small cadre of Ancient Elves at the end of the books.

But time is not kind to my winged elves and by the time the High King's Sword comes around, there are no more winged elves in existence. So what happened? I'd like to think I had this all planned out, but it's been coming to me in bits in pieces.

Step one, the winged elves do recover for a bit. They grow in population for around five hundred years and become part of the world again. Step two, then, unbeknownst to the whole world, a disease is sent at them by some wizard and nearly wipes them out. Targon, the keeper of strays, scoops up the survivors and presents them a group of Tayke survivors that he had secured for his own purposes. Once with these survivors they are protected by magic that only those of Tayke know and begin to thrive again, once more.

Their numbers are still few and the world thinks them long dead, which they find just fine. Their main city, Elvenhome, is abandoned and falling apart, though wild gryphons (descendants of the gryphons the winged elves rode) still nest there. Nothing of value remains, for strangely the whole complex is devoid of anything save the murals on the walls.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Runner Stations

Part of Martapa that is critical, even in this age of magic, are runners, men and woman who run from town to town, House to village to deliver mail and news. These people are trained in combat but chosen for their ability to run great distances every day with ease.

But in order for this to work, these people can't worry about their next meal or shelter. They don't have time for that. So the High King set up Runner Stations. Spread a day's run apart, these small stations have a small cabin which houses two beds, a fire place, and supplies. Each little cabin, usually set off the road in a large clearing (so wagons can also camp here if they need to) is near a water source, whether magical or natural. Wood for the fire is stacked outside and supplies that will keep in the under ground cellar beneath the cabin are restocked when ever a patrol comes through. Runners are asked to chop wood if they have time, but sometimes their messages are vital and they have no time to stop, let alone chop wood.

People in trouble can use the cabins, but few do. To harm a runner or use their supplies and thus cause harm to a runner because they did not have enough supplies, is an offense punishable by death. The cabins on major roads are bigger and better supplied, but locals of off the beaten path roads try to keep the cabins stocked. They love when runners come in with news and want them to feel welcome.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thoughts on Campaigns

Roleplayers are simple people. I don't mean they are dumb, I just mean they crave a few things while roleplaying. A good setting, good people to play with, defined rules, and a great adventure. Some of those things are easy to come by. Defined rules, for one are easy to come by. There are literally dozens of good roleplaying systems, and maybe even dozens of not so good roleplaying systems. Pick one that suits you and your math levels. Some of the older systems (like AD&D and Shadowrun) require some good off the top of your head math skills. While some of the newer ones (I'm thinking primarily Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition) require very little math. Some even have some charts that you just have to look things up on to continue play.

But rules are also meant to be bent. Say you don't know what the saving throw for that save versus poison is. Don't spend twenty minutes trying to find it, think of a reasonable number and go with it. Your players will appreciate not having to waste time looking up a single role. The point is to have fun, not bog down play with rules.

Give your players time to roleplay, especially if that is truly what they want to do. Roleplaying shouldn't have that many rules or guidelines (though boundaries on what is acceptable and what isn't is perfectly fine) and you should give your players as much time as possible to do this, especially if that is what they want to do the most. Battles are fillers and ways to get your players treasure. Sometimes it's just the opposite, where they love the battles and roleplaying is at a minimum. Just be prepared for lots of battles and don't allow the Monty Hall treasure hordes in every battle or you will be in for a world of hard planning. If you have all your players carrying around the biggest, baddest of weapons and armor, your encounters are going to look like World War Three every time.

More thoughts later...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXXII

The scholar/scion of House Vandez and his expedition makes it half way up Elvenhome. He finds murals and sculptures of great beauty. He sends them and field notes home, but stays for another season hoping to get to the top.

Prices of grain plummet after there is a bumper crop of wheat. Many have plenty of food, but farmers are unable to buy other things because of it. There is little demand for other items, because no one can afford them, and this sends certain areas into a depression for a few months.

The Council of Leaders, held in Stormvale, is a ruckus as the younger children of House Pathfinder and Merryweather run off and elope. Many of the younger Knights privately praise them, but the House Leaders are upset at the breech of etiquette.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Location: Dragon's Horde Pawnshop

Dragon's Horde Pawnshop is one of those strange but exciting places that people try to avoid but can't stay away from. This place was started by adventurers after they found a treasure "horde" somewhere (they weren't specific on where). They meant to buy others' items cheap, but sell at a good price. Unfortunately all four owners were killed by something big with claws before they did much.

The next owner claimed a dragon returned for his horde and killed the previous owners, thus named the place as it is so named.

The current owner, Gwen Settler, buys average items at forty percent of list price, a little more for magic items, and less for heavily abused items. She sells items at 80% of list, but can be bargained with. Gwen loves to tell the tale of the original owners and can make the tale quite graphic with word and illusion.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Character: Trent

Though barely mentioned in my stories, Trent is a key point in many of my main character's lives. He is the only person, besides Shadizar Snowbird, to be loved by Miyaca Snowbird so deep his death nearly broke her.

Trent is six and half foot tall, with blue/black hair kept in a long ponytail. His skin is a pale color, though he bares several dragon tattoos upon his arms. His eyes are a platinum blue, his face rugged, yet handsome. He wears an eye patch on occasion, not because he needs one because he enjoys the challenge. He wears scale mail, fights with two long swords of exquisite make, and wears a shimmering blue cloak that can change color at need.

He traveled as a mercenary with Master Flash for sometime and it was on one of these trips Trent met Miyaca. If encountered he has a gruff personality, doesn't ever work for free, but will loosen up after a few dozen ales. He is blademaster quality and never leaves a fight if paid to stay, and may not even leave if not paid.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Flying Flame Skeletons

During the War of the Gods there were many forms of undead created by the Black Wizard Shaniko. One was a flying skeleton shrouded in flame. The membranes of the wings are arching fire between flame stained bones. The eye sockets flash with flames and they speak what ever language the corpse the skeleton came from spoke in life, though they understand their master's language.

They shoot balls of fire and attack with fiery swords. They are resistant to fire, but vulnerable to cold. They can cast spells, but only fire based. Life based priests can destroy them if they call upon their God's powers and have great faith.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXXI

2181 PA (Post Avatar)
The High King and the Emperor of Ariella join forces to help build the translocation circles. The finest materials are used and artisans of all sorts arrive to help they hope to finish the network in five years.

Reports of every single Black Wizard in Last Stand was killed in a single night circulate. No one claims responsibility, though more then one group is pleased at the outcome.

A scholar of the House Vandez mounts an expedition to explore Elvenhome. The trek alone takes six months and bad weather set ins before they can climb the peak, stalling the progress.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

King's Men Guard Posts

A typical guard post along a major road is usually a ten by ten tower, two stories in height. Built in stone (or wood if it is easier to find) the first floor usually holds a table and chairs, along with a fire place. Upstairs has cots, especially if far from a city, and access to the roof where archers can fire from.

If away from a city or village, four to six people will man the station, two on duty at all times. These also have a cellar with supplies for three or four months. They will offer shelter to lost travelers but not forever. Th guards here hunt and gather in their off time to help fill larders. Most know how to repair armor, bows, and clothes. Most come from ranks of country folk because they can survive better in the wilderness if need be.

If near a city or on the edge of a city, the guards usually live in town, and just show up for their 12 hour shift. Most of these guards are drawn from city folk, since little survival skills are needed.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Character: Gladwin

The son of farmers, Gladwin aspired to be a King's Man for as long as he could remember. A large man at six foot tall, with dark hair and a handsome smile he tried to behave as well as he could in accordance to the Tenets of Peter. He trained hard to learn sword and spear and attack while riding, along with reading and writing.

He trained in Midway and was accepted as a King's Man on his 18th birthday. As he grew up he played and became infatuated with Kenna Whiteswan. He would love to earn enough money to marry her and keep her well.

If one goes to Midway he is stationed on the western road from noon to midnight. He is helpful, friendly, but suspicious of any who do not adhere to the Tenets of Peter.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Calander of Martapa

So the calender...which I seemed to as follows:
There are 365 days in a year. This is known thanks to the residents of Tayke.

There are 12 months of 30 days with 5 holy days.

The 5 Holy Days are each of the equinoxes and solstices, as well as Year's Renewal.

Weeks are 5 days long and termed a "a five day". Each month has six. Holy Days are not included in each month. They are separate.

Days are 24 hours long.

The day is broken up into: Sun Rising (6 AM is), Sun High (noon), Shadow Fall (5 pm ish), Dark (8 PM ish) and Full Night (Midnight).

Days of the Week are simply numbered.

Months: Cold Dark (Jan), Deep Snow (Feb), Melting Snow (march), River Rain (April), River Swell (May), Green Planting (June), Warm Sun (July), Sun Scorch (Aug), Harvest (Sept), Leaves Turn (Oct), Leaf Fall (Nov), No Grass (Dec).

So for example if you wanted to do something on the 1st day of the 3rd week of July you would say: On the 1st day in the 3rd week of Warm Sun.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXX

2180 PA (Post Avatar)
The text found of Tayke explain how to make fixed locations to use for translocation. The formulas are high magic and the most capable mages are sought to try making such objects.

Water is discovered in Weathered, a small, abandoned village outside Sunvale, where none had been for centuries. Druids are brought in to encourage flow and the ruins of an old city are found because of it.

Jousting tournaments are held in Calabay as a new tradition to end blood feuds and disputes. Everyone from peasant to noble is welcome.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Terrors in the Night

Terrors in the Night started as a familiar shop, offering cats, bats, rats, and other normal familiars. But after a time mages wanted more exotic and fantastic familiars or just odd pets. Now Terrors holds all sorts of creatures.

Most creatures are small, about dog sized or smaller. But some have been larger then a horse. Griffins and bears have been known to grace the cages of Terrors and even once a basilisk, (though this was killed quickly because it kept turning people to stone).

Terrors sells exotics for absorbent prices and will buy them if available, but only for 20% of the list price. They often hire adventurers to hunt down creatures for them, but only pay when the creature is brought in.

Skylar and Thebes Benshaw currently own the place and have several priests of Wesa on staff to heal creatures.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Character: Raphael Bloodhelm

Raphael is a solid six foot tall, full of muscle and handsome beyond belief. His blond hair is curly, hanging to his shoulders. His chin is chiseled from stone, his blue eyes the color of the deep ocean. He has a handsome face women would die for and he is well aware of the fact.

Though a pretty package, his insides are rotten. The heir of House Bloodhelm loves control and power, and having power over others. He's been known to kill a "lesser" on a whim and expect his father to cover it up. And he expects what he wants to be done at the snap of his fingers.

He wears the finest clothes but is a fine warrior in any attire. He goes through horses like water and women just the same.

The only way player characters would interact with Raphael, unless the player is a noble, is in a duel or being treated badly as he goes about his business. He will feel no hesitation to strike out at the players, who he will immediately assume are lessers. Even nobles, unless he knows they are firmly on his side, will not be treated well. Beware the heir....

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Pegasi are winged horses of all sorts of colors. from white to black, purple to green tinged, depending on the area they are at. They live in herds with one dominant male, a dominant female and three to ten other females and their young. Males older then five years old form bachelor herds until they can take over a herd of their own. Females stay with their birth herds unless run off.

They nest in cliffs, though some nest in meadows. They can fly with passengers,thus are coveted as mounts. The Elven Clan Warriors of the Pegasus clan usually bonded with Pegasi. They are herbivores but bite, kick and trample to protect themselves. They live for up to 100 years, though Clan mounts live quite a long life because of the bond.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXIX

2179 PA (Post Avatar)
Because of the year's previous drought, peasants attack the Imperial soldiers, small villages and outposts for supplies, the Empire sends more troops to quell the uprising and hires additional mercenaries to help.

Riots erupt in many of the major cities on the east side of the Tsalagi Mountains, causing sections of the cities to burn down or be destroyed by magic. The uprisings are forcefully put down by the local authorities and the Wizards.

The Tayke writings found the year before hint at a lost civilization on some flooded island. The civilization seems far more advanced with magic and mechanism s then the current age.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Location: The Golden Rose Inn

The Golden Rose Inn is a faded flower. In the past this three story inn was lovingly built, with painted wood carvings on many of the faces. Stout shutters, a porch with stout tables and covered from the elements, and large, comfortable rooms made her the bell of the ball. But as the city grew, the Rose grew less important.

Situated near the front gate but not on the bizarre of Bloodhelm the place has changed hands many times. Under Selvan the third the place has fallen into disrepair. The rooms are still dry, the food passable, but the ale is watered and private rooms are expensive. Several rooms are saved for local whores who pay Selvan a good cut of their take. Treat the Rose as a common inn, but with prices about 10% higher then common inns. The first floor is a tavern and the top two floors are rented rooms. T here are thirty rooms in all but Selvan tries to shove as many people in as possible.

Two bouncers are in the tavern at all times, most humans. Stables are available but cost 10% then normal and the feed and care are questionable.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Character: Veo Sunstar

Veo Sunstar was tall and lithe, with tanned skin and vibrant, red hair which he kept in a topknot. He wore hunting leathers of blues and green, decorating them with feathers and shiny pebbles. Veo was a ladies man, but also a man of the woods. He was at home in a ballroom as much as he was tracking deer.

Veo was also a trouble maker. He chaffed at rules and boundaries. He saw the Gods as obstacles and when he lost his father, the King, to assassins he vowed to protect those who were important to all the world from harm. Targon heard his vow and took it one step further.

Targon made Veo the father of all the Clan Warriors. He brought together Veo's friends and formed the Warrior Clans. In exchange Targon gave Veo extra long life and the boon that only his line of elves would bare red hair. But, being such the ladies man he fathered the leaders of all the Clans. Though many claim this as a tale, it is oh so true. Thus all Clan Leaders have been of Veo's blood since the beginning.

Most likely the players will only encounter Veo if they are an elf in the time of Veo himself. They might see him in passing, if he is traveling somewhere, but most likely if they are not elves they will not meet. If a PC meets Veo, he should be the utmost gentlemen, especially if the PC is female. And who knows what will happen after that...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Creature: Fairy Dragons

Fairy Dragons are no bigger then two feet tall with a long tail. Their wings are colorful butterfly wings and their scales are so small their skin is actually smooth. Their tails are long and are prehensile.

Their colors vary by region, but their bodies are usually tiger striped. They live in small family flocks, where the males leave when they are old enough.

They are curious, innocently taking off with people's property. They are resistant to magic and have the ability to put humanoids and animals to sleep. They speak telepathically with whom they choose and can speak many languages. Many mages love them as familiars, though they will leave if not treated well.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXVIII

2178 PA (Post Avatar)
This a year of drought. Water becomes scarce on the east side of the Tsalagi Mountains and northern Ariella. Food supplies run low and price gouging occurs.

Writings in the Tayke language are discovered in a forgotten tomb in northern Ariella. Scholars rush to the scene to translate.

Fairy dragons swarm Calabay. They cause no harm, but they just won't leave either, getting into everything and sleeping everywhere.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Place: Myari's Weapons

Myari's Weapons is located near the front gate and the Bloodhelm manor in Bloodhelm. This two story emporium and blacksmith carries all sorts of weapons, both magical and mundane. The current owner, Myari, began the business thirty years before, making her own blades. Now her business is thriving and in her golden years has a staff of blacksmiths and enchanters. She has two blacksmiths, three enchanters, and two apprentices for each staff.

Myari keeps many blades and weapons in stock, but will make weapons on commission. She will also buy used blades, but only if they are good quality. The blacksmith is behind the building, the enchanters work room is above the showroom. Prices here are list price, though commissions do cost 10% extra.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Character: Captain Reed

Captain Johnathon Reed is normally the kind of man who doesn't like to be noticed. Heavy set, not much over six foot and his thinning dark hair beginning to gray at the edges. His face always has a rosy hue to it, as if he's been in the sun too long. He'll look a person in the eye and offer his opinion if asked, but won't put forth an idea if he's not asked.

A faithful man of the militia, he is married to his lovely wife Rose with six children, one of which is nearly ready to be out on his own. He doesn't always enjoy his patrons, the Bloodhelms, but he is loyal. He is particularly fond of Tarkil, simply because Reed finds him a bright spot in the darkness.

He can be found at the gate of the Bloodhelm manor either late afternoon, or evening shifts. He is friendly, helpful, but won't sit and gab for the fun of it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Messing with the Rules

After playing a roleplaying system for awhile, you start to notice where rules fall flat, where they give the players too much play, and where the rules are just too restrictive. This is when an experienced GM should start making calls of their own. In all honesty, the idea of the game is to have fun, so any GM can make the call on rules.

Here are some things to keep in mind, though, if you do want to change or tweak rules:

Is the rule truly broken? My husband is great at finding rules that are giant loop holes to jump through and break a campaign. Spells that are three levels too low, attacks that really should be for a higher level character, etc. Look at these kinda of rules closely. Are they causing your campaign to be unbalanced? Are you killing PC's with these rules more often then naught? This is a good indication if the rule is broken. If the spell is to low level, bump it up. If the ability should be for a higher level character, bump it up. That light spell is 20th level and really shouldn't be any higher then 1st, bring it down.

Are you changing the rule because it's broken or because your players are complaining? I've been known to complain about a rule or two in my time, but the husband always jumps in and says why it's that way. Look at it from both fronts. There is a reason a fireball is third level. Would you want your first level PCs casting a spell that does, on average, 3 points per level in an area when the creatures they are fighting at that level may only have 3 points of health? No, of course not.

Spells, spells, spells. This is where I have to defer to my husband. He is the spell expert, and maybe your group has one too. Listen to them. Making new spells (or tweaking old ones) can be a game buster. Make sure it is balanced for its level. Look at other spells that level to see if they do similar damage amounts or affects (granted if the system is already broken, this may not work.) And if the player has a good reason for it being a certain level, though you don't want it to be that level, make it hard for him/her to research if you don't want it busting your campaign.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thoughts on Writing

This week of school starting has put into perspective just how little time I have to write. With kids, their after school activities and my volunteering for every activity under the sun, I realize I need to give myself some time to do what I like. Here are my suggestions:

Set aside a time. I give myself the hour after I drop the kids off at school to work on my writing projects. No housework, no bills, no yard work. I avoid answering the phone if I can. I put on my favorite music, pop open the laptop and try to write. I don't always use the whole hour, but it's there if I need it.

Don't worry about progress. Some days are better for writing then others. Some days the muse is with me and I whip out a good two or three pages. Other days its simply working on an outline. And yet others it's all editing (which I dread like I dread taxes). Don't worry about word count, sometimes just thinking about your novel or short story is all that you need to do that day, it's still should count as a good day's progress.

Make sure you actually get to write! This is my big tripping point. I spend so much time editing at this point in my novels (I mean 400,000+ words takes times to edit) that I don't always just get to write fresh stuff. So I have a few side projects that just allow me to WRITE. I may never use the stuff I write, but it lets my creative juices flow

Happy writing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Roleplaying Game Aids

So everybody has their favorite things to bring to a roleplaying table. Here are just a few that I like to use.

Maps and Hex boards. As much as I dislike 4th edition D&D (we use the books to prop up our monitor) they did do one good thing with the Dungeon Tiles. These pre-made tiles with everything from pit traps to forest scenes come in really handy for battles and just having a good time at a tavern. We also have an old vinyl mat with squares that fit miniatures that can be drawn on with erasable marker. Both are good to liven up the imagination and show exactly where your characters are during battles.

Music, Music, Music. I don't use this as much as I'd like, but music does set a mood. Classical/instrumental are good for setting up a battle or even a romantic interlude. Even songs with lyrics might be good for a tavern with a bard. I like a lot of John Williams, In the Halls of the Mountain King, and a lot of game music, including World of Warcraft. Believe it or not a lot of video games hire full orchestras to play their sound tracks.

Minatures. My kids love to see their characters represented by miniatures, even if they aren't quite right. Most hobby stores sell the little miniatures and Blood Bowl/Warhammer has some excellent miniatures for use as masses of bad guys.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Items: Banners

Banners, a sign of status and importance, are earned by nobles, merchants, mercenaries and even adventurers. They vary from area to area but there are common threads with them all.

Each has two colors, one dominant, one as a border or interspersed with the dominant color. Colors vary, but usually compliment each other. Colors can be solid with trim or broken into two halves or four quarters with alternating colors.

Most have a picture, either in the center or on one or more of halves or quarters. Borders vary in thickness but that is up to taste (though some nobles insist the thicker the border the more important the noble family). The same House might have different flags over the centuries, depending on the taste of the leaders, changes to status, or in rare instances, changes in Leadership. Colors will stay the same through the years, though.

Noble Houses usually carry a smaller version of their mother House at the top of their banners, as might mercenary groups or adventurers who are allied with a House. It is considered a great insult to have a banner lost or stolen and many will foolishly go after a banner if it is taken. (For those who have an honor system in their game, the loss of a banner should be harsh if your PC's have one and should be imposed until they retrieve said banner).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Extended Timeline XXVII

2177 PA (Post Avatar)
This year is named the Year of the Full Moon. There are many attacks by werewolves and their kin, many people dying, many becoming cursed, whole villages destroyed. Silver becomes in short supply as does belladonna.

An heir to the Emperor, named Titanous, is born. Celebrations are held, hundreds of slaves and beautiful jewelry pieces are given and writs of land are granted.

Lights are seen in the ruins of Tayke, though no one is brave enough to investigate.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Locations: Mint's Herbalist

Mint's Herbalist is a small, but pleasant smelling building near the city garrison and the Bloodhelm's east gate. Run by druids who spend a month at a time in the city, the business has only the best, well dried and fresh herbs. Everyone from cooks and alchemists to healers and assassins come to Mint's for their supplies. Prices are high, ranging from 5% to 20% more then book prices, but merchandise is always of the highest quality.

The druids are always wearing robes of dark green and some sort of animal, from bird to wolf, are present with the druids in the building. Most are men, though a few have been known to be female.

At the time of the High King's Sword the business has been there for nearly three centuries.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Character: Steven Dancingblade

Steven Dancingblade was the author of "Recollections of the Avatar Wars", a history, of sorts, of the War of the Gods. A priest of Catiana, based out of Stormvale, Steven loved to live history. He was human, standing almost six foot tall with dark skin. His black hair was curly, shoulder length, his black beard trimmed neatly, even out in the field. He was jovial and a braggart, to the point he had convinced many he was a Bladmaster, though that was far from the truth. He wore flamboyant clothes, rarely did he wear robes, and always carried a saber though most priests of Catiana bare staves.

Though famous for "Recollections of the Avatar Wars" he did many other works including a "Treatise on Dragons" and "On the Ruins of Tridon". He adventured for a while after the War of the Gods and earned quite the reputation for chronicler, healer and drunkard.

If encountered around the time of the chosen he could offer knowledge of history, healing, or adventure with the party for a while.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Item: Keys to the Temple of the Gods

The Keys to the Temple of the Gods are an interesting item. Two small medallions and one large instead of a normal "key", they are inscribed with words of protection in Ancient Elven. They glow faintly in the presence of evil and offer small protections against magic to the holder. All three have to be used with in moments of each other to unlock the doors of the Temple of the Gods. If not, a guardian of flame, in the shape of a dragon, will attack the user.

Usually the Master of the Temple to Catiana in Stormvale cares for them, but for awhile near the time of the Chosen, they were lost.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Expanded Timeline XXVI

2176 PA (Post Avatar)
Sprites over run the small city of Thimbleberry near Merryweather. A call is sent out to any and all who can rid of the little pranksters, offering a large reward.

Gold is found southwest of Notita near a small village. The village has to be "relocated". Many of the residents disappear and some family far they have been sold into slavery. Many spend good coin to have them found. There is also raids on the establishing mine, though no one knows by who.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Location: The Healer's Guild

The Healer's Guild, in Bloodhelm, is a place many visit. Run by the healers of Tinaka, they take in all who need healing, from richest to poorest, from the most pure to the darkest of heart. They ask for donations to buy supplies and feed the healers, but even the darkest of assassins pay them well. Life is always worth a little extra money.

Though they can heal most wounds, poisons and illnesses, they can not bring people back from the dead and will not try. (Though this may go against a lot of fantasy roleplaying, which has resurrection, this is the one faith in all of Martapa, that will not resurrect characters, unless they are a follower of Tinaka and then it is reincarnation, not resurrection since death is part of life.) If the healers are harmed they will withdrawal treatment altogether.

The building is three stories with a basement for storage. The top two floors are healing wards, while the first floor is for mingling and meals, along with sleeping quarters for the healers.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Characters: Lady Sandara

Lady Sandara is "the" seer in all of Weatherworn. Though Weatherworn has many with magical abilities, Sandara is the most sought after, though most despised, woman. She is a short five feet tall with gray hair braided to her waist. She wears layers and layers of skirts and shirts, along with bracelets and necklaces that jingle. Her skin is pale, for she doesn't go out in the sun often. Her most striking feature is her pure white eyes, for though she can see the future clearly, the physical world has been taken from her.

Her fortunes are always accurate and even the Leaders of Weatherworn use her from time to time. She is expensive, fifty gold per question and she turns away as many as she sees.

Her biggest secret is that she is several hundred years old, even though she is human. Many a god has used her to steer their followers in the right direction and thus she is an asset they do not wish to lose. A Player Character may go to her in Weatherworn and the see if they can find out their future. This is up to the Gamemaster. As a gamemaster you could use her to move a plot a long or if you don't want them to see that far ahead (maybe because that would give them an unfair advantage or you haven't planned it out) she can have the door slammed in their face. She is there around the time of the High King's Sword, but about three hundred years before that as well.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Item: Whetstone of Cleaning

A Whetstone of Cleaning is a simple magic item which many soldiers who fight undead and poisonous creatures like to have. Not only does these whetstones sharpen blades, giving them a nice huen (adding +1 to damage) but also will remove any acid or undead blood which may etch the blade in harmful ways. It also removes poison from a blade, even if purposefully placed. Thus many thieves like this item as well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Expanded Timeline XXV

2175 PA (Post Avatar)
The Vandez heir dies because the priest of Tinaka have not the right magic items to aid in healing to save the heir from a deadly poison. They blame the magic item tax and the Lord rescinds the tax, though for three years he heavily taxes the temples.

A large migration of whales on the west coast supplies a large harvest for the Western Houses. Fall celebrations are large, allowing for large tournaments and feasts.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Location: Spellcasting Inc

Spellcasting Inc was recently put together by five young spellcasters who did not like the confines of the Guild in Bloodhelm. Master Saber gave them his blessing, despite the complaints of others in the guild, and the bunch is now trying to make a living as spellcasters.

The building is new, but mostly river rock and local wood. It has three rooms, a greeting room, supply room, and sleeping room. The five spellcasters will make potions, magical locks, dispel curses, make magically binding contracts, scrolls and spellbooks, and cast spells on request. Prices are usually the cost of supplies plus 20 percent.

They will not knowingly harm others or dabble in necromancy, but some of what they do could be used for such things. Two of their numbers are always there, while the other three are always in the countryside looking for ingredients. They will buy magical components at 50 percent of value and give said sellers discounts on their services if the sellers consistently bring them good components.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Character: Ferid, Son of Gune

Mentioned a few times in my stories, Ferid's biggest contribution is being Guthlaf's father. An average sized dwarf his black hair is now streaked with gray as he reaches his fourth century. Like all dwarves his hair and beard are studded with knick-knacks and beads. There is a small fortune in gems in his beard alone.

Ferid is a master metalsmith crafting axes and fine chainmail which is heavy duty but light weight. Ferid makes most of the armor for the King's men and takes pride in his work. He is frustrated with his youngest, Guthlaf, but figures he'll work through his impulses in a few decades.

If your characters are dwarves, he will most likely be the person to fit their armor if they are in the dwarven capital. The only time he leaves the island is to travel to Merryweather to bargain for supplies he can not find on the islands. Players might meet him during this time and could even commission some armor if they had enough money and don't some how insult good Ferid.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXIX

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News of dragons near Stormvale incite rumors. Some say they have returned from their self imposed exiles. Some say they are upset with the High King. Some say it's the ale talking.

A group of dwarven lords is set upon by ogres ans they travel to Stormvale. A group of merchants lead by Karl Rockcutter save them with little loss of life.

A magic tax is placed upon items of magic brought into Vandez. Mage guilds complain to Vandez and their own liege lord, but find themselves at a stalemate.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Location: Precious Gems

Precious Gems is the gem place in Bloodhelm. Set behind the Temple of Sarjon and Shade, this building is not extravagant, but made of magically sculpted river rock and tight grained cedar. The doors and windows, though they have no bars, are magically trapped. Inside Jessie Rockcutter keeps a fine assortment of gems from the simplest to the most rare.

Jessie's family has had a tight bond with the dwarves and thus always has access to good gems. Rumor goes that a previous Rockcutter saved a dwarven lord and thus the dwarves are repaying the debt by giving him good access to beautiful gems.

Jessie and his apprentices make custom jewelry, everything from peasant promise rings to items fit for a king. Just depends on the money and time a person has. He would love to get his hand on some elven jewelry to see if he can copy some of the styles, and thus would pay well for an example.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Characters: Sunshine

Sunshine is, for all intensive purposes, just a draft horse. A bay colored body with straw blond mane and tail he stands 17 hands at the shoulder. He's docile to the point he needs no leads, unless it's something he truly doesn't want to do. This something usually involves cold weather or rain, thus his name. Duncan's wife, Audry named him, though Duncan thought it was a fitting name. Sunshine became the bright spot in his life after all the fighting with Audry. Sunshine likes most people, though he can sense if someone means him ill will. His other unique trait is his ability to open latches on fences and barn doors. There isn't a barn built that can keep him in, though he is always there to be fed in the morning.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXIII

2173 PA (Post Avatar)
A tsunami strikes the east coast of the dwarven islands and Taina. Many lives are lost and cities are destroyed. The High King and the Emperor both send aid in hopes of winning friends. Many scholars send expeditions to retrieve artifacts and look for anything interesting that may have washed up on shore.

The Emperor takes Melody Thanes, a merchant's daughter, as his wife. Though not from a noble family she is well loved by many Some in the Senate complain, but not openly after rebellion so clear int he Emperor's mind.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Location: The Temple of the Gods

The Temple of the Gods, two days north of Stormvale, was the location of King Peter's home village. After he was crowned, Peter had the temple made to House the great artifacts, honor all the Gods and bring all the faiths together, as he was bringing the country together. For hundreds of years the faiths did meet here in peace until Shaniko, the Black Wizard, tore them apart and the Temple was forgotten.

The temple was discovered again by the Chosen who fought back Shaniko's army there. After the war the temple was restored, housing was added and caretakers were assigned.

Then when the last High King was killed the union began to fall apart. By the time of the High King's Sword series the Temple and grounds are in disrepair and no one resides there.

Originally there was a single temple, round with a golden dome and nine pillars on the outside supporting an overhang. Murals to honor all the Gods adorn the outside and reliefs of the Gods adorn the columns.

After the War of the Chosen housing was added and a marble, cobbled plaza in the middle was also added. On the south side a statue was dedicated the Chosen, a likeness of each one carved from marble.

By the time of the High King's Sword the place is overgrown and abandoned. Only the temple appears pristine.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Character: Nandith

Nandith was training to be a historian, set to copying text, writing commentary on important events, keeping track of genealogies, the like. But that all changed when he came upon some ancient ballads. He longed to put them to voice and song and thus went from historian to bard over night.

His voice is pleasant to listen to and he brings the history ballads alive. He also plays the lute and harp. His travels brought him in contact with Flynn Whiteswan and the two traveled together for sometime. It was Flynn w ho introduced Nandtih to Calius Goldleaf, the hope for Tridon and hopefully the next High King.

Nandith acts as a go between and spy for Calius now, enjoying the intrigue and the attention from the ladies.

Nandith is an elf, lithe and beautiful with bright green eyes and forest green hair. He wears flashy clothes, floppy hats and a rapier he can use quite well. He is quite comfortable in court and commoner situations alike.

A party near or during the time of the High King's Sword could easily find him in any tavern telling a mean tale or spreading rumors. If they party wishes to contact the High King, maybe they find out how to do so through Nandith, after he tests their moral standing a bit, of course.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Item: The Sword of Sarjon

The Sword of Sarjon is both in truth a god-spawned weapon and the symbol of a Master's station in the temples of Sarjon.

Sarjon's two handed sword flames while in battle, shoots lightning when it strikes and sings battle dirges to inspire Sarjon's followers. The sword comes to the aid of the most faithful in their time of need, but foes will burn in pain if they touch the blade.

Each Master of a temple carries a two handed sword which gives them strength, courage and healing so the battle can continue. In game terms the sword gives a Master of Sarjon a +5 Strength. It gives all those in a twenty foot radius who are faithful to Sarjon a +5 save vs. fear. And the blade gives a regeneration of 2hp/round to the bearer. Only faithful of Sarjon may touch the blade. If they are of a faith opposed to Sarjon take 10 points of damage a round until they die or drop the weapon. A person killed in such a way can not be resurrected by any means short a wish.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXII

2172 PA (Post Avatar)
The Great Gathering is held in Stormvale to celebrate the coronations of the four new House Leaders. A month of celebration is planned and bards come from all over to entertain. Competitions for Knights and commoners a like are held. The winner will win 1000 platinum dragons and a Knighthood.

Noble women are wanting the furs of the great white bears of the north. Hundreds of unprepared travel north to hunt the bears, many dying along the way.

The new emperor is looking for a bride. Fathers of the richest families are bringing their daughters to Notita. Many fear bandits and hire protection for the trip.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Location: Qalataqa

Qalataqa, capital of the northern elves, is a mystical city, fairy tale in nature. All the buildings have sweeping lines, are white washed with gold or silver trim and covered in turrets. Most are only three stories tall and all are made from magically shaped wood.

The avenues are broad, cobbled and maintained by ethereal keepers who keep the streets clean. Magical lamps shaped like fanciful creatures which light up on their own when the sun goes down line the roads.

A magical wall of energy surrounds this city of fifty thousand and can be raised at nay time by the Guardians of Qalataqa.

A palace dominates the east end, a grand library and the home of the royals inside. Mages and priests have temples to the north, the Clan Warriors to the south, the market to the west. Houses are spread through out.

Magical smiths make magic items and enchanted weapons here. Though Tsi-wa is the center o Warrior training of old, Miyaca trains many clan warriors here now.

Non-elves are not allowed here, the magical shield redirecting those not wanted, though some non-elves are invited in on occasion. This would be a good starting point if your party consists of nothing but wood elves.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Character: Miyaca Snowbird

Miyaca Snowbird is an elven archer of great renown, known to elves and mercenaries alike. Her snow white hair, braided to well past her waist is as well known as her skill. Mercenaries speculate she will only cut her hair when she finds the man she loves. Elves admire such beauty for it shows her patience. She stands tall for an elf, about five and a half foot tall, her bow just as long. Her frost blue eyes are bright and see everything about her. She bares a saber at her hip, which she could use nearly as well as the bow, and her hunting leathers are comfortable and durable.

Miyaca is also a Wolf Clan Warrior. And more precisely she was the only true Wolf Clan Warrior until twenty years previous to the High King's Sword. She has trained this generation of Clan Warriors and they worship her as their queen though she does not seek such attention. She has a charge, which is also her twin brother, Shadizar Snowbird, Mage and Seer.

I had started a story set in between my original stories and the High King's Sword with Miyaca and her brother, along with Noshi and Sebastion (who do guest appearances in my High King's Sword), but I never finished and there they sat until I need a tie-in. I have to admit she is one of those "favorite" children, even being several roleplaying characters and a World of Warcraft character. What is a person to do when you like a character so much? But in the High King's Sword series she is only a blip, just something to tie in a few background points for my main characters.

Your player characters could meet her as a Clan Leader about twenty years before the High King's Sword. They could meet her as a mercenary before then, or even meet her in Varanath after she helps Noshi save the fallen House. She will not, under any circumstances, help Kin or Wizards. During the High King's Sword she is more likely to be found near Qalataqa or near Varanath.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Expanded Time Line XXI

2171 PA (Post Avatar)
The Senate tries to take over the Empire from the new Emperor. But the army steps in, always loyal to the Emperor. They kill most of the disloyal senators but are searching for the ones who managed to escape.

Vandez, Goldleaf, Pathfinder and Cole's Leaders are killed by assassins,while Bloodhelm and Weatherworn are seriously wounded. Most of the assassins escape but one is killed and it is clear the King and the Black Wizards are behind the whole affair. Parties are sent out to serve retribution.

The ruins of Elven home are found or at least part of the ramp the groundlings can use. Expeditions are sent to see if away can be found to the high aeries.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Describing Your Character

For those who roleplay you probably have a great picture in your head of what your character looks like. But sometimes, even for the best of us, it's hard to let others know what they look like. Here some ideas on how to show what you mean.

A simple way is to write down what your character looks like. "My character has blue eyes, brown hair, and loves to wear plate armor." Not as descriptive as most people would like, but it does give a good start for others to figure out what your character looks like.

Another way is to be a great artist or have one in your group...(Thank you Scott where ever you are :) ) This definitely helps in giving your friends a visual idea of your character.

A new one for me (since we didn't have access to such things when I was roleplaying in college) is video games. What, you say? This is a paper and pencil game what does video games have to do with this. Well for those online games where you have to make characters (or even some non-online games) you will have a picture of your character in the game which you could then screen shot to use as your roleplaying picture. I know in world of Warcraft there are many races to choose from and if you just wanted to make a human or orc with the hair color and facial features and even skin color of your roleplaying character and then screen shot it, there is at least a basic idea of what your roleplaying character looks like in bold colors!

To add to your character a little background helps as well. Give a short background (where is he from, what things in his past shaped your character), what race, height, age, eye color and hair color, he is. How about how he speaks, how he behaves around people, maybe even his best or worst qualities. My favorite is to pick a hobby or little quirk that makes them unique. An example is that Guthlaf (my dwarf in my novel) likes to relax with a good pipe, no matter where he is.

Happy Gaming!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Characters: Myriam

Myriam was another of those characters I threw in as flavor text and suddenly I find her in all four of my books. She was just suppose to be the spokesman for the slaves the party rescues, but suddenly I found her as a vehicle to move my plot along. Crazy how that happens.

Myriam is dark, chocolate colored skin, almost pitch black, her hair a similar color. She was a beauty in her younger years, but at the age of forty she is beginning to show her age. Her hair is starting to gray, though just slightly, her figure is a little rounder in a places, and her face has a few more lines of worry then before. But she is still a beauty. She also has a head on her shoulders. She has been trained in history, politics, math, and strategy. Her father wanted her trained in case he needed to sell her instead of marry her off. (In the empire girls in the middle and lower income levels are not seen as a benefit, but a burden. Thus many of them get sold into marriage or just sold as household slaves. Many fathers will train their daughters so they can get more for them if they have to resort to such things. It doesn't mean they don't love their daughters, they are just being practical for their place in the world.)

Myriam dresses conservatively, feels no pity for herself for what she has been through and takes no guff. She is like a school teacher of old who will look at a person once and know if they are telling the truth or not. She also knows how to make a deal, since her father was a minor lord on the edges of the Empire. Her father loved her greatly and she was married to a man her father thought would be a good match. It turned out he just liked pretty things to look at and when Myriam started to show her age she was sold into slavery by her husband. She had three children, luckily all boys, though she tells no one of this. She doesn't want to think on the past, even if that means forgetting about her beloved children.

In the time of the High King's Sword Myriam can be found at Tarkil's nicer inn, the Rolling Rooster. She will see through any lies, (in game terms she can not be bluffed unless on a natural 20 or the equivalent), but she does know many rumors. Even in her short time running the inn she has made many contacts and might be able to help find something or someone. Alternatively she runs a good inn/tavern and will have fine, clean rooms for a reasonable price.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Location: The Village of Matris

The village of Matris is little more then a farming village. It holds a single inn, which doubles as a meeting hall and raid safe house. The owners are nearby farmers who simply enlarged their house (then built a new one for themselves) and who always have stew ready to eat.

There is a blacksmith, who can make weapons, though it might take a long time and it might be easier to go to Calabay to get one. But he can sharpen weapons and tools, repair armor, and make all sorts of arm implements.

Matris is 120 miles east of Calabay and serves as a resupply post for Calabay patrols upon the road.

Most of the history of Matris involves ogre raids and animal attacks, so everyone able to lift a weapon knows how to use one. Many of the youth join the Home Guard of Calabay for a time before returning to farm so many have their own fine weapons and armor.

Like all those up north the people here love a good tale and reward fresh news with food and drink.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Character: Master Pelish

Master Pelish is a broad man built for battle and devoted to the God of War, Sarjon. Pelish hasn't always been the largest person in the room. He was a scrawny child who could barely lift the sacks of grain needed for his father's horses. After years of being teased he got frustrated and prayed to Sarjon for strength which Pelish promised to use to serve him. Not too soon after he began to grow in both size and strength. Always a man of his word, even at a young age, he took off for Calabay when he came of age and joined the temple of Sarjon.

He enjoys good sword play and the art of war, leaning toward strategy in his older age. His dark hair is graying on the sides and thinning on the top. His eyes are dark blue and his skin pale. He also likes a good tale and a good stein of ale. He prefers half-plate and chain, and a two handed sword, though he can use a long sword and shield just as well.

Pelish worked hard to attain the rank of Master of Calaby. And like all Temples to Sarjon he works hard to retain his rank. everyday is a battle in a Temple of Sarjon, whether with swords or words.

Pelish might meet the party in a tavern and share an ale or two with them if they have a good tale to share. Or even duel them if they so wish. If he is on patrol and happens upon them in their time of need he will heal them, but ask for the tale behind the wounds and perhaps a favor.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Magic Sight

Magic Sight, or mage sight, was originally used by mages and priests to see auras upon people or items of power. They had to call upon the power and not everyone can use it as well as others. Auras can tell if a person is good/evil or powerful/weak in the magical. Or it can tell if an item is powerful/weak and what type of magic an item holds. All items or people have an aura, even rocks (though it would be very faint) for all things hold some bit of magic in them. So for those using the sight, the world becomes very bright.

Master Sinigan, who knew auras was one of the few things his prodigy could see, developed a way to use the magic to see words or runes thus allowing Featherborn to read. Now many mages and priests use this ability to help those who are blind "see" in a limited manner if they harbor any magical sight. This takes practice and some can simply not attain such abilities, but they try hard to gain this limited sight.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Expanded Time Line XX

2170 PA (Post Avatar)
During peace negotiations the Emperor, most of his party, and most of the High King's party is killed, though the High King lives. The Wizards of Shaniko are blamed for the deaths and the High King sends parties to search for the perpetrators. The Empire and the new emperor do not blame the High King but recall the truce party and all hopes for the truce is forgotten.

Gryphons migrate south in the hundreds. No one is sure why, though many scholars and druids go to investigate. Mount trainers try to capture some for it was once said the Winged Elves rode the magnificent creature to battle.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Location: Town of Caelon

The town of Caelon, which sits on the opposite side of the bay from Calabay, has ever been a busy little town. The staging area for the fine ships of Calabay, many fisherman and wood workers abide here. Several taverns and inns have good business, along with a bustling trade with the seas elves. Mages and scholars have a small manor here so they can study the northerners, along with the sea elves.

About five thousand people call this place home, including some shepards and farmers. Even House Calabay has a get away manor here.

People here are mostly fair haired and fair skinned and nearly all know how to operate at least a row boat. They wear strudy clothing, suited for ships as well as the colder climate.

Some rumors here are a ghost fleet can be seen off the coast on stormy nights. Monsters of the four footed variety hunt in the night taking live stock and children alike. And a dragon, tied to House Calabay, sleeps in the bay, waiting to protect the heirs of Eric Calabay.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Character: Priest Featherborn

Featherborn was born in the bay village of Caelon near Calabay. Born to a priest of Catiana and a fisherman, most people assume this happy-go-lucky half elf is half wood elf. In truth his elven half is sea elf, though he looks like most typical half elves. Unknown to most scholars sea elves can breath on both land and water without magic. Even less well known is that Veo Sunstar started a Clan of Warriors among the sea elves, leaving his own mark of red hair, something that amongst all elves shows the Sunstar blood. So no doubt is left that Featherborn is one of Veo's descendants with his red hair (which only his descendants amongst elves have) and thus most believe he is simply half-wood elf.

His most remarkable feature, besides always having a kind word for anyone, is his solid, creamy white eyes. He is blind in all sense of the word, but it never slowed him down. Once he was old enough to apprentice as a Priest of Cataina his mother sent him to the temple in Stormvale. There Master Sinigan and his wife took him in and taught him the ways of Catiana. They were taken by his hard work and Sinigan researched a magical spell for him to "see" with magic, though he usually only uses it to read, not get around.

Featherborn is liked by most in the Temple and is heir apparent to Master Sinigan and the title of Master of the Temple of Stormvale. Characters in the time of the High King's Sword will meet Featherborn first if they are in need to speak with Master Sinigan. He will use his aura reading ability to detect anyone who wishes to harm Master Sinigan, but otherwise will be polite and friendly with any he meets. He will also offer healing if he catches someone in an act of unseen kindness.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thoughts on Adventures

I've been giving you, my reader, a good tour though my world, in hopes you will use my world as your campaign setting. Well that's wonderful, but how about the adventure? How should you go about making a good adventure set in my realm or any other realm.

  • First, know your players. Every player is different. Some like high adventure and magic, while others like intrigue and backstabbing. Hopefully your party is compatable with each other, but even if they aren't make sure you put a little of everything everyone likes so everybody has fun.

  • Take a gander at those characters and their abilities. If your thief never gets to disarm a trap or pick a pocket, they are not going to be having fun. That, afterall, is their strong suit. Don't go out of your way to accomodate every characters special abilities every session, but at least get them in frequently.

  • Pick an area and stick with it. Fleshing out a single area, whether a small forest or a whole continent, is a good idea. This way you can flesh out your NPC's, get good descriptions of locations, and make the players feel like they are there. Here is a bit of tricky spots, some players like lots of "flavor text" (descriptions for those non-roleplayers) and others don't. This goes back to knowing your player. If they like to know what color that building is, you best know.

  • Have a list of names. You have know idea how often we made my husband randomly name his NPC's that he had no intent on actually bringing into the plot. (My husband takes hours to name characters, so we liked to give him a bad time.) At my house we have a book-0-names, just in case. Open it up and randomly pick, it works most of the time. :)

  • If you intend to have the campaign for a while, plot out a main theme or goal. Every session doesn't have to be centered around that goal, but having one gives your campaign life and a reason for being. It could be anything from trying to crown the High King to finding that elusive ruin in some far off place.

  • Be prepared for your players to veer. You don't know how many times my players in our Star Wars campaign went totally off the path I had planned. But don't get upset, the idea of playing is for your players to have fun! Just role with it. I tended to have alternative adventures if not fleshed out, at least outlined so I could always wing things. It takes time and practice to wing adventures on the fly, but don't get frustrated if you have to. Just have those monster books handy and let your players drive the plot for awhile. You can always try and push things back to your plot next session.

  • Most importantly, remember to have fun! No matter what happens make sure you and your players are having fun. Most people say they don't want you to fudge rolls (let the dice fall where they may) but sometimes that heroic leap is only missed by a few points. Let your player have it. Then everyone has fun and its a good story to boot. This is why you should never tell your players the difficulty number so you can fudge if they are very close. I don't suggest doing this often, but sometimes a whole night of fun may hinge on that one roll!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Expanded Time Line XIX

2169 PA (Post Avatar)

The Emperor of Ariella asks for truce with Tridon and asks the High King to meet in the Dwarven Isles. He proposes trade negotiations and peace talks. The High King's advisers say its a trap, but the High King wishes to go. Many adventurers are hired to protect the wagon trains and work on the ships. The prices along the route become very expensive and raids upon the route increase. Merchants hire on more protection.

The ruins of a city are found outside Karoon. Scholars flock to the area to see who might have once lived there. Protection is hired and opportunities for treasure abound.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Saber's Blades

Though not as talented with magic or graceful with the blade work as Snowbird's Spellblades, Saber has made a troupe of his own spellblades. This dozen or so individuals are all good at battle magic, (some better at that then regular magic), and have all learned to fight with weapons. Saber trains them in basic sword play, but mostly in battle magic. He has brought in specialist masters of the blade to help in the training. Each person, regardless of station, is watched by Saber for several years before he offers them a spot.

Saber prefers independent thinkers who he can send out on assignments. He uses his spellblades to recover magical items, lost tombs, and even lost mages. He is working up the courage to approach Miyaca Snowbird about helping him train his own blades so they, too, can be a force for good.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Character: Master Saber

Master Saber was not always Mage College material. Once when he was still handsome, this older gentleman was a young man who used his talent as a mercenary for battle mercenaries and caravan guards. He revelled in the thrill of battle, using sword and magic. He dreamed of being one of Snowbird's Spellblades, but knew he'd never give into the discipline.

He hated study so most of his incredible power was channelled into battle magic, short lived magic with a punch. On one escort mission a mage from the College of Bloodhelm asked to take him on as an apprentice he was so impressed with Saber. Saber shrugged and gave it a go.

Twenty years later he became master of the college, hating politics, loving magic even more and beginning to put his own "spellblades" together.

He becomes Duncan's "master" almost by accident. Saber had met Master Flash as a mercneary and trusted the man's judgement about Duncan. He took in Duncan happily.

Saber, like the God Targon, dresses most of the time like a swashbuckler in blues and grays. He carries a magical enscrolled saber instead of staff. He doesn't put up with politics, but knows how to use it to his advantage.

In the time of the High King's Sword he would be the one to say whether a mage can be accepted to the Bloodhelm College or if they are ready to become a master. He would also be the one to speak to if a mage was needed for something. He takes his job seriously and will not willingly put his people in harms way.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Items: Dragon Dagger of the Gods

The Dragon Dagger of the Gods is a simple affair, meant for a simple boy with platinum blade and dark handle shaped like a dragon with onyx eyes. Etched with blessings of the Gods in ancient elven, the blade was meant to do several things. The first was to give strength to the bearer. The second was to give immunity to poison. The third allowed the blade to be come a broadsword on command.

In game terms I would give a +5 to strength (or what ever gives the equivalant of +5 damage), a Damage reduction of 10 against poisons, and it takes one game round to turn into a broadsword after the command word is spoken.

This blade was only used by Jared Swiftarrow, the blade itself has been lost to time. Some suspect it is around the Temple of the Gods in Stormvale or hidden in some forgotten elven city by now.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Expanded Time Line XVIII

2168 PA (Post Avatar)

The druids of Pathfinder forests clash with loggers. Many die and eventually House pathfinder sends a negotiation team. He druids claim a sacred grove was logged and want compensation.

Some Houses require blood pedigrees for Knights after a low born is accepted as a Knight Captain. Some House bulk, but some are eager to accept. Some of the Knight ranks are purged leaving some former Knights disgruntled against the Knights and Houses

Giant sand storms race across much of Ariella, burying some small towns and villages. Adventures are hired to seek out these lost places and offer aid.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Location: Village of Star's Rest

The village of Star's Rest sets in the middle of the Pathfinder House holdings. Home to a little over three hundred people this small village appears a simple, normal place. But this village is anything but normal. Originally a druid shrine, wood cutters found the grove a lovely place and a nice place to live. They at first feuded with the druids, but the wood cutters eventually said they would protect the grove if they were allowed to cut some trees the druids said they could cut.

For three centuries the bond held until some in the village became greedy. They took more then allowed, enraging the druids. The druids cursed the village stating they would be part of the forest until the souls of the trees were appeased.

Now every member of the village, even those who marry in or are born after this harsh event, are subject to the curse of the werewolf. They seek what they need to do to amend their transgressions, but the druids have yet to release the village. They change shape on nights of the full moon, but also on other holy days of the druids. They discourage visitors at such times because they do not want to be the subject of werewolf hunters. They can not spread their curse, so unlike other werewolves they will not seek to harm other people, they are just cursed with the form.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Character: Jared Swiftarrow

Jared Siftwarrow, or Mouse as he was know to his friends, is a tragic but loved figure in my original stories from Martapa. Loved by none other then the Goddess of Love, one of the Chosen, and a simple seventeen when he "died" he was the glue of the Chosen. He wormed his way into Eric of Calabay's heart, who had just lost his younger sister to the Black Wizard Shaniko. He rescued Aiyana when she was in her avatar form of Beth and she was instantly taken by his boy like charm and chivalry.

Mouse was dark skinned with black hair which hung in his black eyes. He wore Eric's cast offs, for they were better then what he had. He fought with daggers and always bore a long, dark cloak. In his "life" now he wears fine silk clothes befitting a gentleman and always matches the color of outfit with Aiyana.

At his death Aiyana took him from the God of Death himself and gave Mouse eternal life as her concert. He watched Eric, Richard, and Amber live their lives, but never regretted his own rewards.

Those who are likely to see him are those who are devout to Aiyana and are in need of aid. This would be true for any year after the War of the Gods.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Expanded Time Line XVII

2167 PA (Post Avatar)

Magic has become the hobby of the rich and many common mages become tutors, allowing them to research their own magic in their free time and find rich patrons. Many Mage Guilds swell in number because of these want to be mages from the nobility.

An expedition is sent into the wilds near Willowdale to find Master Mage Ukiah's cabin, rumored to hold many elven treasures and magic. The expedition, sent by Varanath, is meant to recover heirlooms of the house, though others want it for the wealth.

It is challenged in Ariella that all mages should serve mandatory time in the army as are all young men. The Mage Council is incensed and withdrawals all magical support for nearly a year.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Place: Soaring Dragon Inn

The Soaring Dragon Inn is three stories tall made of local wood and blessed with magical protection. The bottom floor holds the tavern, the kitchen, baths, and a few rooms. The second floor holds only rooms and a small common area. The third floor houses Joseph Sandturn's family and a large suite. The Soaring Dragon is located about half way into the city from the western gate.

Joseph's wife and oldest daughter cook the food and always have a savory stew simmering. Rolls and bread are always in stock and a small selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables are available.

Ale and wine are available, though dwarven rum does come up for purchase now and again. The prices here are those of a common inn, though Joseph tends to charge merchants from the east more.

Rumors fly here, what with merchants coming and going and the locals coming for a cup of warm brew and talk. A bard might be able to find work here as might someone looking for work in trade for a place to stay. In the time of the High King's Sword Joseph Sandturn is the proprietor. He has a blacksmith/farrier on the grounds, as well as a very nice seamstress.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Character: Joseph Sandturn

Joseph Sandturn is the son of an innkeeper and had big goals. He joined the militia in hopes of seeking a fortune, but instead found fame. His squad held the pass at Devonshire, under his leadership by themselves for an entire day until help arrived. After his time in the militia he returned to help his father at the Soaring Dragon Inn and eventually took over the inn altogether.

At the time of the High King's Sword he is a middle aged, balding man, who's middle is a little more round then it use to be. His arms are beefy, from many days swinging pick axes and sword practice. Even now, that he isn't in the militia, he practices his blade at least three times a week with his friend Chet. What little hair he has is salt and pepper mixed with dark brown. His eyes are brown, with good Merryweather stock in his bloodline. His face is round, his nose down turned, and his ears a little bigger then his head should allow.

Joseph wears good, sturdy clothing, never flaunting that he can afford more, especially since he has six children of his own, some of whom are already grown. He keeps good tabs on his friends, always willing to help them, especially the mother of his friend, the seer Lee.

In the time of the High King's Sword he runs the Soaring Dragon Inn. He is willing to help those down on their luck. He also might hire on extra help or a bard for the night in exchange for room and board. He also is the keeper of many rumors and the underground militia, ex-militia who keep secret stash houses and train incase the Black Wizards attack Devonshire.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

No Excuses

If you haven't noticed I haven't been on for a bit. With the end of school, things have gotten a wee busy and I'll be back on schedule next week. Now off to the next big field trip!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Expanded Time Line XVI

2166PA (Post Avatar)
The gates of Devonshire are closed for a period of two weeks. No one is let through the pass or into the city. Rumors fly it is because of a magical plague or a murder. Magical lights are seen above the city during this span of time.

Gypsies arrive in Varanath and sadly predict a disaster will befall the House some time in the future. Though skeptical, for the time the event will happen is not pinpointable, the Lords of Varanath take the warning seriously and begin looking for ways to stop such a disaster.

A good portion of the Imperial fishing fleet is lost in a hurricane but mages spot survivors with their magic. The Empire puts out a call for aid, even asking via mages any ships from Tridon to help rescue their citizens.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Though mentioned in the first book, Devonshire doesn't really become important until the second book when Duncan and Elly find themselves there. This city is the protector of the only major pass through the Tsalagi Mountains, separating the West from the East, the Knights of Tridon from the Black Wizards. (A disclaimer, there are other passes that people on foot and those on horse can cross, but merchant caravans and large numbers of people would find them difficult to maneuver.)

The gates in the pass are always manned, closed at night and repaired and maintained every day. Mages and Knights, both, along with the common foot soldiers man the gate. Devonshire really didn't start to grow until the time of the Chosen when all the remaining Knights and their armies came here to defend the pass from the Black Wizards. Since then the place has grown. There is a huge market square, businesses of all sorts, and of course the support staff for the people who must maintain the pass.

Every House sends troops to help defend the pass, even Calabay who is the furthest from it. This pass is vital to keeping the Black Wizards out of Tridon and establishing some trade with the east. Mostly humans live here, but elves and half elves come in to trade and the dwarves like to look for minerals and the like in the nearby mountains. Minotaurs are also allowed in the city, though not greatly loved.

Most things can be found here, since it is a trading hub, but items which might be found on the coast cities will be far more expensive then say items from nearby Houses. Any time after the Chosen this city should be huge and bustling, and even before that time it was a very large city for not being the seat of a House. Items should be easy to find, though wait times for items being fixed and made may be longer if not a little more expensive.