Monday, March 31, 2014

Tenda, the Wandering Bard

Wandering between Sunvale and Karoon, Tenda loves to see the sights and people along the way.  So dark skinned, she is often confused as someone from Ariella, she is a beauty to behold.  She is tall, almost six foot, with white blond hair and dark brown eyes.  She swaggers when she walks, mostly to get people's attention, and talks with an ease most people find hard.  She can sing, tell stories, and play have a dozen instruments including a lute.  She knows quite a bit of ancient lore, predating the Time of the Chosen, and loves to learn new and exciting things everyday.

Tenda would be an excellent way to start an adventure, with a bit of lore or a rumor from somewhere.  She could also be the link the party has been missing to find the next step in their adventuring.  She works for know one, is loyal to no one, and works for coin to keep herself afloat and ahead of the law.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Horn of Return

Despite what this sounds like, this horn is meant for farmers and ranchers to gather their livestock without having to chase them.  Made by a mage who had grown up as a rancher's son and hated having to round up the livestock, the mage made sure that as many farmers as possible had them. Though he charged for materials, after awhile they got too expensive except for ranchers who worked for the nobles.  The way it works this small horn, which looks like a curled ram's horn, is blown and all the livestock in the area will return to the blower.  This does cause issues if someone else is grazing their livestock nearby, but for the most part it just returns the blower's livestock.  There have been cases of livestock rustlers using it, but they are usually caught quickly since the horn is loud and most farmers know who should be blowing horns and who shouldn't.  And if they hear a horn they haven't heard before they go to investigate, with weapons and many sons.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Theran Cole's Estate

A half a days ride from Cole, to the northeast, is the small estate of Theran Cole.  It's roughly three hundred acres of both farm and forest land.  The farm has a little wine, some sheep and root vegetables.  The forest land Theran has managed so he can harvest a little bit of timber at a time and replants as he goes.  The manor itself is two stories, with five bedrooms, a huge meeting room, a study, a large kitchen and dinning room, a root cellar and a bath house. The well for the manor is right next to the manor in the courtyard and protected by anti-poison magic.  There are three small, one room houses for the staff, a bunk house for the men at arms and there is a small, stone wall around the whole area.  It is not very defensible, but would give those living there enough time to reach the safe room in the root cellar of the manor.  There are typically four men at arms and three family of servants living here at all times.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Theran of House Cole

Theran is the third son of Lord Cole and expecting to be the lord commander of the Knights of Cole once his uncle retires in a few years.  He loves the thrill of battle, the gait of a galloping horse, the feel of sword against sword.  He is happy that he was not born first, because he wants nothing to do with ruling House Cole, he only wants to protect it.  He has thought about the future and has several grants of land his father gave him and is making sure they are producing something, whether wool or food or wine so even if he can't lead the Knights of Cole forever he will be comfortable in retirement and not have to depend on his brother's generosity when he becomes feeble.  Because of this fear of having to rely on others, Theran likes to find adventurers to sponsor that might find some great magic or other wealth that might help in the future.  He will sponsor promising adventuring groups, though expect a good chuck of the return in exchange.

Theran is blond, blue eyes, heavy set with muscles, not fat, and handsome in a rugged way.  He always wears sturdy clothes, feeling uncomfortable in court dress and thus stays away from court as much as possible.  He is good at what he does and feels kinship with any warrior, not just royals.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gaming Over Time

My family does a "Family Morning" every Sunday...cough, cough...  Okay, we try to do it every Sunday, but with two middle schoolers and all our volunteering, time doesn't always allow.  But when we do, each of us has a campaign that we run an alternating Sundays.  With no consist time between sessions, sometimes things are forgotten, so here are a few ideas to keep things straight.

1) Have your players take notes.  My youngest was doing that on her own, because she liked to keep track of every time she trashed my adventure, but it is a good idea.  Have them keep a spiral notebook or, if they are doing Pathfinder, make sure they take notes on the back of their character packet.

2) As GM, make sure you take notes.  As much as I'd like throw out all those monsters my characters trampled once they do so, I don't until I write in my spiral what happened and what treasure they found.  I also don't throw out treasure sheet until I know they have picked through it. (Though, I do try to keep track who has what magic items and where they got them.)

3)  Do a recap before you start the adventure.  Start with what butt-kicking they did last adventure, (or how they got their butt kicked), and answer any questions your players might have at that time.  My campaign has my characters looking for some lost artifacts from an ancient civilization so I remind them what info they found the last few adventures and what they are up to now.

Happy Gaming!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Eagle Companions and Your Characters

There are many character archetypes that have animal companions: druids, hunters, rangers and mages, for example.  Since we've been talking about eagles here are some things to keep in mind when allowing a player to have an eagle as a companion.

1)  An eagle has a wing span of 6 feet +.  Yes, bigger then a person might be tall.  Cool, huh?  Though they are a bird, they are still quite sizable and have wicked talons. (Though in most monster books normal eagles do very little damage, their talons do as much damage, in my opinion, as a dagger or even a short sword they just don't have the reach.) 

2) Allow the eagle to grow.  In Pathfinder, the druid's pet does actually grow as the druid advances in levels.  This allows for more damage, and if the character happens to be a gnome, they might become large enough to carry their gnome friend.  Even if your campaign system doesn't allow for growth, in either size or power, adjust.  This allows the character to have a cool companion that they won't want to swap out as soon as that cooler, stronger monster comes along.

3) Remind your character's player that eagles, and other flying creatures, do not necessarily like enclosed areas, making dungeon runs hard.  People tend to forget birds do not like caves and such and get mad at their DM for saying their companion doesn't want to follow.  If you remind them up front, they have no leg to stand on.

4) Remind the player to treat the animal right.  If the player forgets about their pets, except during a battle to save their but, perhaps the pet should suddenly not be there...

Happy Gaming!

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Eagle Crest Clan

In Ariella, the Akicitia live in tight knit clans, usually no more then 30 individuals, though some clans can grow larger if they have the resources on the open plains to support more.  The Eagle Crest Clan, while prosperous, has only 28 individuals.  The clan lives in a series of caves near the western coast of Ariella, which is unusual for Akicitia that usually like live in the open. The clan trades with two nearby plains clans regularly and thus the young men and women have plenty of opportunity to meet others their age to begin to court.  The clan fishes and hunts nearby mountain goats. They also trap birds.  They trade in fine shells, wool and fish.  They like to get newer contraptions like metal weapons, iron pots and the like in trade.  About half the village will be at the village during the time, with either the people working on gardens or children having their lessons.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Awohalee is a warrior of the Eagle Crest Clan along the high cliffs of western Ariella.  The Akicitia clan has thirty members, living in caves near the coast of Ariella.  Awohalee is the lead hunter of the clan, teaching the younger members, (three at the moment), how to hunt and how to survive in the wilds without the clan.  Awohalee takes his job seriously, but when he is not hunting he loves to watch the eagles soar around their home.  When he finds feathers he will tie them in his mane or on his clothes to honor them.  Awohalee is currently trying to work up the courage to ask Taladue to be his mate.  In the mean time he is looking for something great to impress her enough that she will want him.  He would be a good guide for this area of Ariella and is able to speak a little common, though not well.  He will not work for coin, but expects trade in more advanced weapons or contraptions form the empire or the north.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

An Overview of the House City of Cole

The City of Cole is a port city, but is a large agricultural center as well.  Cole is the largest producer of grain and wheat in Tridon and thus Cole ships a lot of both around the world.  The city is surrounded by a low wall and a natural river that splits to go on both sides of the city.  The city doesn't go to the banks and the city elders will not allow such things to happen.  They worry that the river will start to undermine the wall or buildings if they were allowed to go out so far.  Cole, itself, is surrounded by fields and fields of wheat and grain.  The farmers own their land, though they still pay taxes to Cole.  The original leaders of Cole thought this would help produce more food and thus more taxes.  For the most part their faith in their people has proven true.  Most buildings in Cole are three or four stories high, with housing in the top floors and businesses below.  Roofs are steeply sloped and bare clay tiles.  Some buildings are brick, while the more expensive houses are made of wood since that has to be brought in from quite a distance.  The House of Cole has a small compound, about thirty acres, and like to actually go out into the city and be with their people.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Shadow Guardians

Tyriel Shadowhunter has always wanted to help people, and to do so he has created the Shadowhunters.  This group of like minded people rescue people from ogres and the like, find lost artifacts and magic to aid in the betterment of mankind and deliver items, (or people), to places they can be better used or protected.  Tyriel started out by himself but has about two dozen people working with him at the moment, as well as a lot of support staff at his headquarters in Cole.  They have a store front in Cole, where they actually sell writing services as well as writing supplies, but this is the contact spot for their other services.  Tyriel will have a person's story checked out before he sends any of his people into danger.  The fees depend on the danger involved, but his services are expensive to begin with.  Adventurers can find some help here if they are looking for a person or place or even an object, but the group will not go into a dungeon to retrieve something for an adventuring band.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Tyriel Shadowhunter

Tyriel has wanted nothing more then to help people.  Though he acts like he doesn't have a care in the world, jumping from one flight of fancy to the next, he wants nothing more then to work for the best of those around him.  To do so he started his own organization, based out of Cole, that helps those who need it but can't afford to.  He hand picks all those people who join to help the unfortunate and raises money by working with nearby nobles, or just wooing them outright to obtain funding.  Tyriel is a handsome man, standing tall and lithe and always dresses in the finest of clothing.  Though he loves the adventure of rescue, he finds himself doing more obtaining of funding then he does going out in the field.  He has dark hair, dark brown eyes and reflexes that few can match.  He cares for everyone in his "employ" and takes any of their injuries or deaths personally.