Thursday, April 28, 2011

Item: Clan Necklaces

Clan necklaces are a highly guarded but open secret. These necklaces are given to Clan Warrior Charges by the Clan Warrior (though later on it was given in secret and the charge didn't know who their protector was, then reverted to open exchange with Miyaca Snowbird near the time of the High King's Sword). They were worn to show others they were protected by top notch warriors.

Each Clan's necklace was different, usually baring the animal their Clan was named after. Each formed a bond between charge and Clan Warrior so the Warrior knew where their charge was at all times and if they were well. The necklaces were made so only the wearer could take them off. It also gave limited poison immunity and immunity to charm magic. The eye of the animal usually was the color of the Clan Warrior, made from a gem of some sort.

You can use this in your campaign in two ways. One way you could use it is to have one of your characters be a Clan Warrior or a charge. I recommend if someone is a "charge" that both Warrior and charge be PC's. The second way is the party could find a necklace, either on a dead "charge' or a dead Warrior. The party should feel obligated to find the appropriate Clan especially if they are a follower of Targon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Expanded Time Line XI

2161 PA(Post Avatar)
In the western part of the Empire a strange ruin is found. The buildings are nothing like anything in the Empire, made of wood with sweeping roofs and fanciful animals that no one has ever seen. The language is etched on the outside magical wall, but not one that any one can read. The whole ruin, covered slightly by blown sand, is protected by a bubble of magic that won't let anyone in.

In the north gems are found in a new location in the north eastern part of Taina. A rush is on even though the place is ruled by Black Wizards.

Sea elves are seen in Calabay. They offer the ruling family presents, ask for a binding treaty of peace, and are now awaiting the response.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Location: Gunther's Provisions

Probably one of the more important places in Bloodhelm for your adventurers, Gunther's is like the supermarket of the adventuring set. This place is open, with stacked shelves, lots of light to check out the stuff inside and all sorts of fun and exciting stuff. The building is 2 stories with camping gear and the like upstairs, armor and weapons down stairs to Gunther the Third can keep an eye on them.

Gunther the Third is actually the current owner of a long line of owners. It's stayed in his family for the most part and he always tries to sell a good product. Gunther the Third loves to hear adventure stories, and may even give an adventurer a good price if they have a good tale to tell. Born with a crippled leg, Gunther knew he would never be able to adventure on his own so he lives such adventures through his customers. Gunther is human, middle aged, and a little round about the middle. He is happy go lucky and loves to talk! Come with a lot of time to spend when shopping.

All basic starting adventuring gear can be found here, at local prices. Special items can be purchased, because Gunther would be happy to find them if he doesn't have them, but expect to pay high prices for such items. Gunther does not spell magic items, except for simple healing potions.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Character: Tres Silversword

Tres was a farmer's daughter, with lots of brothers and sisters. She hated farm life and the thought of having to be a mother of her own. She left with her five friends to find her way in the world, but all but one died in their first encounter not far from their village. Her friend and her went on to gain training with a group of mercenaries, then founded the Flaming Shield, which she has been running for nearly a decade. She longs for some slow time now and again, because her mercenaries are sought after. They don't back down, they don't leave anyone behind, and they get the job done. She came into Duncan's life when she was stationed in Bloodhelm and he was an apprentice. She treats him like the Grandfather she wished she'd had.

Tres is human and nearly 28 years old. She stands six foot tall and 150 pounds (all muscle). She is broad at the shoulders but still a feminine looking woman. She has a rugged chin with freckles across her nose. Her complexion is pale white (she's from around Calabay). Her eyes are dark green, but get darker when she's angry. Most prominent is her flaming red hair, chopped short and a mass of curls.

Tres wears light clothing, pants and shirt of tan color with black, calf high boots which lace up the front. She wears black leather armor with a rose etched upon the chest with a sword behind it. (Her nickname is the battle rose.) She usually doesn't wear a helm, but she has a thick, woolen cloak, a well worn travel pack and roll, a round shield, and a well taken care of longsword.

Tres curses like a sailor on shore leave and she doesn't beat around the bush. She's friendly and helpful to a point, then it costs. She gets along with most nobles, because Calabay nobles mingle with the common folk. She is particularly fond of old man because she misses her grandfather.

Tres started out as a filler for Duncan's friends, but after a while she just grew. She becomes an important part of the story arc in the forth book. If during the time of the High King's Sword, she may hire the party to help them with a particular job.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Expanded Time Line X

2160 PA (Post Avatar)
A great fire sweeps through the southern Tsalagi Mountains. Vast amounts of forest is charred and much wildlife is lost. Druids go to Willowdale in search of aid. The Lord of Merryweather asks someone to search for one of his work parties of Lumbermen that may have been lost.

Ogres attack House Goldleaf. They are supported by lizard type humanoids which use magic. They ask for aid, unsure of the number of ogres and needing mages to counter the magic using lizards.

Fake gold/silver coins are found through out the realm. After a few days supposed gold/silver coins turn to copper pennies. The High King has posted a bounty on the people responsible.

A gathering of Dragons occurs at Varanath. They discuss territories, laws, and pledge loyalty to Varanath.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Place: The Long Shoreman

This tavern is run down, dirty, and down right creepy. The building is one story and seems crowded, not because it's small, but because the owner has crammed the place with tables in hopes of making some money and keeping fights to a minimum. This building is all wood, with many broken glass windows, (the windows are more cracked then broken. Any that are actually broken out are covered over by wood). Chairs tend to creak under any weight, be lopsided and rock, and tables are not at all level. Some of the walls inside are slightly scorched, from a fire which started by a brawler knocking over a lamp.

Crandor Sayer is the current owner. He won the tavern in a game of cards and has no idea really how to run a business. He hasn't run the business into the ground, but he can't get ahead, either. The person he won it from ran for the hills, almost as if he wanted to lose, and Crandor was left to pick up the pieces. He did discover a small pouch of gold and rings beneath a loose board in the kitchen, but he's not sure what to do with it yet.

Food here is horrible. Crandor can't afford a cook yet so he just cooks the stews he knows. He isn't very good and it is clear this is why he is rail thin. The ale is equally bad because he tries to cut corners by watering down ale and buying cast offs which are cheaper. But people keep coming for they mostly just want to forget the day or problems with their family. Quality doesn't count here.

Your party could find good rumors here because people here want to talk and tell a person everything about themselves. If someone is asked about a place or person someone is bound to know something (not that is always right). There is a 20% right a rumor might actually pan out. Crandor is also very discrete and if paid to not over hear something, he most certainly not hear anything.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Character: Rogan Thatchhammer

  • Rogan is a minor noble of noble House Tatchammer of the House Goldeaf has always been a fighter. When he was born there he had a hammer in his hand. His family has always been loyal to House Goldleaf and he is currently the brother of Lady Goldleaf, mother of Cailus and Helen. Rogan is a blacksmith when he is not fighting along side other Knights of House Goldleaf and is very fond of Cailus and Helen.

  • Rogan is human and forty eight years old. Six foot two inches in height he is around two hundred and fifty pounds of muscle. He is broad in the shoulders and big boned. His face is oval shaped, with pronounced cheek bones and a bulbous nose that is quite prominent. He is pale colored with weathered skin from years of hard work. His dark blue eyes set off his blond hair which he keeps in one big braid with feathers and beads. His braid is also blond with streaks of dark brown hair.

  • He wears leather tunic of deep brown, and a leather lace up pants, an outfit similar to those of the plains people of the east. He spent three years in his youth with the plains people and likes to dress in their comfortable clothes. He also has mid calf high boots of leather. All pieces of his clothing have decorations of bead and feathers. He does not wear armor as a rule, but will wear plate if forced to.

  • Rogan is blunt and to the point. He says what he means, much to the disbelief of his nephew. His voice is deep and rumbling. He is gruff man, rough around the edges, but he is usually friendly with his friends. HE doesn't talk a lot and takes time to develop an opinion about a person. Slow to anger, but when he is driven to anger he is like some hell spawn.

  • If playing in the time of the High King's Sword, he is the man you have to go through to get to Cailus, whether before or after he is crowned High King. He will want to know the caliber of the person and will send them on an errand before letting them see Cailus

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Item: Cloak of Sircarius

  • Magical cloaks are not unheard of, but don't abound in Martapa, either. Most cloaks which hold magic protect the wearer from fire or the elemetns. But one unique cloak is coveteted by thieves and assassins everywhere. The Cloak of Sricarius was originally given to Sircarius most faithful, but it fell into the hands of common thieves at one point in its long history.

  • The cloak is pitch black with elaborate embroidered trim. A clasp, in the shape of a pouch and dagger, is made of platinum and will only open on command.

  • There are several properties this cloak holds. One is it gives the ability to climb walls, no matter how vertical, like a spider. At least two limbs have to be free to use this ability. The second is to be able to disappear into the shadows unseen, muffling all sounds made by the wearer while they are wrapped in it. The third is it gives the wearer immunity to poison. Fourth, it will repair any rips or tears to itself within three days, unless it is burned to a complete crisp.

  • It is rumored only worshipers of Sircarius can wear the cloak and the priests of Sircarius will send assassins after those who possess the cloak to take it back.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Expanded time LIne IX

2159 PA (Post Avatar)

  • Rumors of a dragon attack on a Black Wizard compound near Karoon abound. All there were killed, bodies and wreckage were found, but no one can truly believe that dragons, let alone one dragon, did all the damage. Most figure the compound was attacked by a rival Black Wizard.

  • Several prominent Seers have mysteriously disappeared from the larger cities, including one in Notitia in the Empire. No one can find a trace of them, not even the famed Finder's Guild, and there is no connection between them. Several of the family members of several Seers have asked for help finding their loved ones.

  • A ship washes up on the shores of Vandez with no visible markings, baring strange coinage and even stranger looking people. Mages have been dispatched to discover what they can about the ship and where it came from.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gambling Halls of Bloodhelm

  • Every city has somewhere for people to blow off steam, and money, to help keep the peace in the city. In Bloodhelm the gambling halls go by the names of The Golden Coin, Splendor's Luck, and the Leprechaun. Each serves different levels of play (High stakes/Medium stakes/and those who just have a little to spend). Each also offers certain amenities the others don't. The Coin is meant for the nobles and offers fine food, wine and music while you gamble. The Luck is for the merchant class and does offer food, drink and music. The Leprechaun offers only drink, though food is allowed in for the working class.

  • These buildings are large, windowless (so you don't know what time its), and well protected. They all hire guards who are well equipped and take their jobs seriously. The Monelenders and docks are nearby, so business is always brisk for the gambling hall.

  • Games available are Pezuta's Luck (Basically Craps), Sailors Curse (Blackjack), Thunder's Roar (Texas Hold'em), and Dancing Lady (Poker). There are other various games which are just variations of these. I'll post the names of cards later, but for the most part use the same rules you would for those games.

  • As in real life, the house always has the advantage. Sometimes this is truer then normal. If the house is losing too much, a little magic of trickery and illusion may be used to push the house back to the top. All three keep mages on retainer just for this reason.

  • The PC's may come here for fun, because they have to meet someone, or because they are desperate for money and thought to find it this way. (Good job GM if they're at that point :) ) These places are all run by humans, but the owners switch so frequently that no owner lasts more then a few months before they cash out their profits or just plain cash out because of an angry customer.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Character: Pathfinder

  • Pathfinder is the only person of Peter's original 16 friends who was half-elf. He was the son of a frontier scout and an elf. Pathfinder had the best, and worst, of both worlds. He trained well as a bladmaster, archer, and scout. He was a quiet boy as well as a quiet man. He hunted and traded with local human villages, liking many of those he met. When he found Peter fighting against the ogres in Last Stand he could only add his expertise.

  • Pathfinder was a half-elf, he was two hundred and three when he died, was five foot two inches in height and about one hundred forty pounds. He was modest size, not wide, but not willow thin. His face was narrow with prominent cheek bones, his complexion tan with tattoos. His eyes were violet and oval. His hair was silver with green and violet streaks.

  • Pathfinder preferred hunting leathers of green and brown, soft leather boots that lace on the side, short forest green cloak. Straight forward though his words were musical and flowing.

  • Pathfinder loved to teach people to hunt and use the blade. If the pc's are playing in this era they could be trained by Pathfinder if the offer to help out his House of Pathfinder.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Frithen's and Cresh's Money Exchanges

  • Both of these moneylenders are some of the most despised but needed businesses in Bloodhelm. Both businesses exchange foreign coin for local money, usually at the steep cost of 1 1/2 coin for equal value local coin. Cresh often states better to stiff foreigners then locals. They use the coin to buy foreign trade goods, because they get a better deal then those who use Tridon's money. Then they turn around and sell the trade goods for a sizable profit.

  • The second reason for these businesses is to lend money. The cost here is high, as well. They charge 20% interest and enforce such interest with big, hired thugs. They do brisk business with two gambling houses so near by.

  • Both buildings, which are kitty cornered from each other and the gambling houses, are small, hardly more then a hundred square feet. Each has at least three hired muscles who follow each Frithen and Cresh around to ensure they are not harmed. There are no windows and the buildings are no more then over sized offices. Money is not kept on site, but at each owners home. Cresh actually has an extra dimensional pouch which he keeps on him at all times that holds all his coin.

  • Both Cresh and Frithen are human, and both are fourth generations moneylenders. They share a great grandfather who originally started the business, but his sons argued over it and split the business when he died.

  • Characters might have a gambling habit and need money. Maybe they came upon a stash of old coins that need to be traded in. Maybe they need money to buy equipment as well.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Character: Olaf Cole

  • Olaf is one of the founding members of the Kingdom of Tridon and one of Peter's core friends. The son of a fisherman that left the coast with his family for reasons Olaf never knew, he was new to farming when they came to the village of Stormvale. Peter was the first friend the shy boy had there and Olaf tagged after him from that moment on. He was a fine net maker and loved that Peter gave him a home on the coast when the Kingdom of Tridon was born.

  • Olaf was human, seventy one when he died, five foot eight inches in height and a slim one hundred and fifty pounds wet. He was rail thin and better suited for a ship then a suite of armor, which tended to just slide off him in most cases. His face was oval and long, he wore a long mustache in his older age but never a beard. (They were too itchy for him.)

  • Olaf's complexion was pale with a farmer's tan, his eyes brown, almost hazel. His hair was brown/black which he kept short or in a small ponytail. It grayed as he got older. Olaf wore cut off pants, baggy white shirt of muslin and rarely wore shoes, even as a Leader. Usually he only wore shoes for formal occasions or on the battlefield. He talked with his friends and relatives but was shy with unknown peers. He did love to chat with children and opened up with them freely. He loved fishing and could talk a man's ears off about the subject if given the chance.

  • If the characters in Cole right after Tridon is founded they might find Olaf fishing at the docks or in a small row boat. If they want to talk about fishing, he'll talk with them until the cows come home.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Look Into Names

I don't know about other writers, but naming people and places is always a big chore for me. Not because I don't like naming, but because I'm very particular on how I name characters. I want the name to stand for something, mean something to me or the person who helped me with the character. Because of this I tend to look in many different places for my names.

  • My first is friends. Some of the characters in my stories were characters created by my friends for my roleplaying game or for other such games. I don't worry about the copyright infringements down the road because I asked permission before I started. (Which you really should do.) Everyone was excited about being part of a book that might actually get published (some day, cross the fingers and the like). Some examples of this was Tarkil and Duncan. I would never have come up with Tarkil, but my friend Karl thought long and hard on this character and his name. I didn't want to co-op his character and change the name, it just didn't seem right. And Duncan was my husband's simple farmer, with a simple name. Some flashy name just wouldn't do for him.

  • My second is baby name books. Whether you have kids or not, these are handy things to have. Most name books now have not only the place of origin (which is handy if you are trying to stick with a Tayke for me) and a meaning. The meaning is very important because in a way you are giving a reader a clue into this character, without really shouting it out.

  • Third is other languages. I prefer to look into Native American names. Lucky for me I was enamoured with Native Americans from a young age and have many of mismatch of dictionaries laying around. Plus I'm learning Cherokee to help learn about my Grandfather's people (thank you Ed from the Cherokee Nation!). Some of my Native American names are Tsalagi Mountains (It is pronounced jah-la-gee and means Cherokee), Pezuta (which if I remember correctly means healer in Lakotah), Waya (which means wolf in Cherokee) and Iktomi (which means spider in Lakotah). Latin is also a good dictionary to have as well not only for spells, but magic spells.

  • The last thing I do is make the names up. Just stick some letters together and call it good. I don't recommend this tactic unless you are just stumped, but it works some times. Van would be my best example. Van was not a good proper name for a noble so I added the letters 'dalar' to get Vandalar. Seems like much more of proper name. Vetch, who shows up later in my second book, is also a good example and example of a name that is apparently pretty good. I play World of Warcraft and you can check names on that site to see if you can get that name for a certain realm. Two years ago I made a character named Vetch but wanted to change realms, so I checked. Suddenly I was inundated with page after page of characters named Vetch. I was floored! I made the darn name up and there is was at noisome!

Have a great weekend and keep writing!