Metropolis (Chapter 3) - The Heart of the City





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  1. #1
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    ° Ignore Phoenix

    Metropolis (Chapter 3) - The Heart of the City

    This thread is for the characters for the PbP Metropolis. Post all characters and histories here. I may even post some of the NPCs on here as well.
    Last edited by Phoenix; Wednesday, 2nd November, 2005 at 05:19 PM.
    Recruiting for Living ENSuperheroes.

    Spoiler:
    My games:
    Metropolis (The World in Waiting) - Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, OOC, RG
    Metropolis (The Weight of the World (and Found Wanting)) - Chapter One, RG, OOC.

 

  • #2
    Supressive Overlord
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    ° Ignore Bront

    Taran Andrigo, Sewer Shamen, and his Dire Rat Twitchy

    Code:
    Name: Taran Andrigo
    Class: Druid
    Race: Halfling
    Size: Small
    Gender: Male
    Alignment: N
    
    Str: 12 +1 (6p.)     Level: 5        XP: 11200/1500
    Dex: 14 +2 (4p.)     BAB: +4         HP: 39/39 (6d8)
    Con: 10 +0 (2p.)     Grapple: +0     Dmg Red: XX/XXXX
    Int: 12 +1 (4p.)     Speed: 20'      Spell Res: XX
    Wis: 16 +3 (8p.)     Init: +2        Spell Save: +X
    Cha: 12 +1 (4p.)     ACP: 0          Spell Fail: XX%
    
                       Base  Armor Shld   Dex  Size   Nat  Misc  Total
    Armor:              10    +3    +2    +2    +1    +0    +0    18
    Touch: 13              Flatfooted: 16
    
                             Base   Mod  Misc  Total
    Fort:                      5    +0    +1    +6
    Ref:                       2    +2    +1    +5
    Will:                      5    +3    +1    +9
    
    Weapon                  Attack   Damage     Critical
    MW Short Spear(20')      +7(9)    1d4+1       20x2
    Short Spear(20')         +6(8)    1d4+1       20x2
    Sling(50')                +8      1d3+1       20x2
    MW Spear(2H)(20')        +7(9)    1d6+1       20x3
    Dagger(10')              +6(8)    1d3+1     19-20x2
    
    Languages: Common, Halfling, Gnome, Druidic
    
    Abilities:
    Halfling Racial Abilities:
    - +2 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, and Move Silently checks.
    - +1 racial bonus on all saving throws.
    - +2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear: This bonus stacks with the halflingĺs +1 bonus on saving throws in general.
    - +1 racial bonus on attack rolls with thrown weapons and slings.
    - +2 racial bonus on Listen checks.
    Wild Empathy: 6 + 1 + 2 = 8
    Animal Companion: Twitchy, Medium Dire Rat (4th Level Companion)
    Nature Sense: +2 bonus to Knowledge: Nature and Survival.
    Woodland Stride: Mave move through undergrowth unhindered and undamaged.
    Trackless Step: Does not leave tracks and is untrackable unless desired.
    Resist Natures Lure: +4 save vs Fey abilities
    Wildshape: 2/Day
    
    Feats:
    1st: Quickdraw
    3rd: Spell Focus: Conjuration
    6th: Augment Summoning
    
    Spells: May Spontaniously dump a spell to cast Summon Natures Ally.
    L0: 5 (DC 13)
    
    L1: 4 (DC 14) May recall 1 per day (Pearl of Power)
    
    L2: 3 (DC 15)
    
    L3: 2 (DC 16)
    
    Skill Points: 35       Max Ranks: 7/3.5
    Skills                   Ranks  Mod  Misc  Total
    Listen                     4    +3    +2    +9
    Spot                       4    +3          +8
    Knowledge: Nature          3    +1    +2    +6
    Survival                   3    +3    +2    +8
    Ride                       5    +2    +2    +9
    Handle Animal              5    +1          +1
    Diplomacy                  6    +1          +7
    Swim                       4    +1          +5
    Spellcraft                 2    +1          +3
    Heal                       3    +3          +6
    Concentration              6    +0          +6
    Jump                       0    +1    +2    +3
    Climb                      0    +1    +2    +3
    Hide                       0    +2    +4    +6
    Move Silently              0    +2    +2    +4
    
    Equipment:               Cost  Weight
    Heavy Darkwood Shield	 207	2.5
    Pearl of Power L1	1000	
    Leather +1      	1160	7.5
    Efficient Quiver	1800	1
    10 Short Spears  	  10	Quiver
    1 MW Short Spear 	 301	Quiver
    Dagger                     2     .5
    Sling           		
    20 Bullets      	   0.2	5
    MW Spear        	 302	Quiver
    Bedroll         	   1	1.25
    Backpack          	   0.1	0.5
    4 Trail Rations 	   4	1
    2 Waterskins     	   2	2
    Flint & Steel   	   1	
    3 Sunrods        	   6	3
    2 Pots of Cure Light 	 100	
    Leather Barding 	  20	Rat
    Military Saddle 	  20	Rat
    Saddle Bags     	   4	Rat
    11 Phesen                  -     -
    Total Weight:24.25lb      Money: 58gp 15sp 20cp
    
                               Lgt   Med   Hvy  Lift  Push
    Max Weight:                32    64    97    97   485
    
    Age: 36
    Height: 3'4"
    Weight: 36lb
    Eyes: Brown
    Hair: Brown
    Skin: Pale
    DIRE RAT: Twitchy
    Medium Animal
    Hit Dice: 6d8+18 (45 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 50 ft. (8 squares), climb 25 ft.
    Armor Class: 20 (+3 Dex, +5 natural, +2 Armor), touch 13, flat-footed 17
    Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+6
    Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d6+2 plus disease)
    Full Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d6+2 plus disease)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: Disease
    Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
    Saves: Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +6
    Abilities: Str 15, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 4
    Skills: Climb +12, Hide +8, Listen +5, Move Silently +5, Spot +5, Swim +12
    Feats: Alertness, Weapon Focus(Bite), Weapon Finesse
    Alignment: neutral
    5' Long, 85 Lbs
    Disease (Ex): Filth feverŚbite, Fortitude DC 13, incubation period 1d3 days, damage 1d3 Dex and 1d3 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based.
    Devotion (Ex): An animal companion gains a +4 morale bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells and effects.
    Skills: Dire rats have a +8 racial bonus on Swim checks. Dire rats have a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.
    Dire rats use their Dexterity modifier for Climb and Swim checks.

    Combat:
    Taren often rides Twitchy into combat, throwing short spears or using his sling till he gets close enough to charge. In melee, he uses his masterwork short spear to great effectiveness. He also carries a masterwork spear that he uses occasionaly to charge as well as when holding the line when someone charges him.

    Appearance:
    Taran wears somewhat raged clothing, worn and stained from use. He is rather small for a halfling, with short brown hair and brown eyes. He has the look of someone wise beyond his years, and a gentile demeanor.

    Background:
    Taran grew up with a great respect of his natural environment. The increadable echosystem of the Metropolis sewer system was his home. But he had always felt a special connection to the "land" and "nature" that few that lived in his village did. Under the tutalage of Vulgarth, he studdied and learned how to use his connection with nature. He spent time comunicating with the animals, often helping to aleviate some of the notable rat problem in the sewers, and help keep angry crocodiles and other creatures out of the village. He even managed to make friends with a (Croc, Dire Rat, ect) that eventualy began to accompany him wherever he went.

    As he grew, he began to help defend his village, as well as the grove Vulgarth maintained. The sewers were the home to several gangs who fought constantly over teritory. The town had little need for expansion, but defending their crops and their land from these gangs was becoming tougher and tougher. Taran and his pet made for a fearsome image, and made the gangs think twice before they would come to attack. Taran found he could summon the help of other creatures, and often relied on his "army of nature".

    Taran has helped train several others (likely rangers), though they are not as skilled nor as in tune with nature as he is, they respect the land, the animals, and their people, and become central to the defense of the town.

    Taran felt that he needed to explore beyond his home, and try to help set up more trade with the city above. The overlanders are strange to him, apparently many were appauled about where he lived. He'll keep trying though, for his village needs him.

    ---------
    His small village of gnomes and halflings grew what food they could under their magicly crafted light gems (gems that emit sunlight equivilent for 12 hours, then grow dim and rak for 12 hours while they recharge), and the sewers brought plenty of fertilizer. The small well had been carefully dug to draw water from a spring deep under the sewers, and was reinforced to keep other sewage out.
    ------

    Advancement and Edit History.
    Spoiler:

    HP Rolls: 8, 7, 6, 7
    Attribute Bonuses by Level
    4th: +1 Wisdom

    5th -> Druid HP: +5 SP: +5
    Spot +1, Listen +1, Diplomacy +1, Concentration +2

    6th -> Druid HP: +6 SP: +5
    Heal +1, Concentration +4
    Feat: Augment Summoning


    Current spells:
    Spells: May Spontaniously dump a spell to cast Summon Natures Ally.
    L0: 5 (DC 13)
    Detect Magic
    Light
    Light
    Create Water
    Purify Food and Drink

    L1: 4 (DC 14) May recall 1 per day (Pearl of Power)
    Cure Light Wounds
    Goodberry
    Magic Fang
    Produce Flame

    L2: 4 (DC 15)
    Barkskin
    Summon SwarmSummon
    Spider ClimbSummon
    Unassigned

    L3: 3 (DC 15)
    Call LightningSummon
    Neutralize PoisonSummon
    Unassigned

  • #3
    PHP Code:
    NameNaten Keha                     Level-4         Xp6,000
    Class: Urban Ranger                     BAB +4         Hp27
    Race
    Human                             Grapple +4     
    Size
    Medium                             Speed 30 ft.
    GenderMale                             Init. +3
    Alignment
    TN                            ACP0
     
    Str
    10
    Dex
    16
    Con
    :12
    Int
    :12
    Wis
    :14
    Cha
    :12
     
    Armor
    :18 (+5 chain shirt, +3 Dex)
    Touch:13
    Flat
    -footed:15
     
    Fort
    :+(4 Base1 Con)
    Ref:+(4 Base3 Dex)
    Will:+(1 Base2 Wis)
     
    Weapon:
    MW Short Sword: +7 1d6 19-20 x2
    MW Short Sword
    : +7 1d6 19-20 x2
     
    AB
    : +7/+7
     
    Languages
    CommonInfernal
     
    Class & 
    Racial Abilities:
    Favored EnemyHumanoid (human)
    Wild Empathy
    Combat Style 
    (Two-weapon Fighting)
    Animal Companion
     
    Feats
    :
    Investigator (1st Level)
    Urban Tracking (Ranger Bonus)
    Weapon Focus Rapier (Human Bonus)
    Weapon Finesse (3rd level)
    2 Weapon Fighting (Ranger Bonus)
     
    Skill Points56 Spent    Max Ranks7
    Ranks
    :___Mod:___Misc:___Total
    Climb:_3_+0_X_+3
    Concentration
    :_3_+1_X_+3
    Gather Info
    :_6_+1_+2_+9
    Hide
    :_6_+3_X_+9
    Jump
    :_3_+0_X_+3
    Knowledge 
    (local):_2_+1_X_+3
    Listen
    :_6_+2_X_+8
    Move Silently
    :_6_+3_X_+9
    Search
    :_6_+1_+2_+9
    Sense Motive
    :_6_+2_X_+8
    Spot
    :_6_+2_X_+8
    Use Rope:_3_+3_X_+6
     
    Equipment
    :
    +
    1 Mithril Shirt (Equiped2,100G
    MW Short Sword 
    (off-hand) -310G
    MW Rapier 
    (primary) -320G
    Travelers Outfit 
    (worn) -1G
    Hewards Handy Haversack 
    -2,000G
    Climbers Kit 
    (Sack CompA80G 
    Sunrod 
    (5) (Sack CompA10G
    Antitoxin 
    (2) (Sack Comp B100G
    Whetstone 
    (Sack Main1C
    Waterskin
    -full- (Sack Main1G
    Ink
    -potion- (Sack CompB1G
    Soap 
    (Sack CompB5S
    Signet Ring 
    (worn)
    Sledge (Sack Main1G
    Silk Rope 
    (Sack Main10G
    Sealing Wax 
    (Sack CompB1G
    Piton 
    (4) (Sack Comp A1G 6S
    Manacles 
    (Sack Main15G
    Pen 
    (Sack CompB1S
    Hammer 
    (Sack CompA5S
    Grappling Hook 
    (Sack Comp A1G
    Bottle 
    (Sack Main1G
    Crowbar 
    (Sack Main2G
    Bedroll 
    (Sack Main1S
    Trail Rations 
    (20) (Sack Main40G 
    Acid flask 
    (Sack Comp A10G
    Journal 
    (Sack Comp B1G
     
    Weight
    :
    Equiped-24 Lb
    Hewards haversack 
    (Main)-47 Ib
    Hewards haversack 
    (A)- 19 Ib
    Hewards haverscak 
    (B)- 6 Ib
     
    Age
    25
    Height
    6 ft 2
    Weight
    152 Ib
    Eyes
    dim blue
    Hair
    blackshaggy and unkept
    Skin
    pale 
    History and apperance coming soon

    Not perfect, but it's better then it was. HP adjusted.
    ================================================== ==================

    There are no special circumstances regarding the birth, nor the first twenty years of Naten Keha's life. Naten has led the kind of life that could be shared by any citeczen in any other region of the sprawling city-scape of Metropolis. Born a basterd son of a poor adulturing merchant and his mistress, Naten recieved only the lowest of educations available, however still a far cry above that of the ordinary gutter-wisp. Proving himself to be a poor student and an ever increasing problem with authority, Naten left his studies at the age of sixteen to pursue one of the few aveneus of profit left open to someone of his temprament and ability, thuggery. In this at least, he excelled. Naten's held a job as a club bouncer, assistant bodyguard, street tough, and other foot-note positions to noteable criminals. It's very likely that Naten would end up the wrong end of a hero's blade, a footnote to a footnote in history, had it not been for an addiction to Weval dust. The drug, commonly known on the street as whip-head, is a narcotic used commonly, with prolonged use it leads to a weakening of muscle size and eventual mental damage. Although never a "heavy user" one OD was enough to put the young Naten (by then twenty) into an infirmiry for a number of months. The incident left him with little of his natural strength and few not enough memories left over to so much as hold a sword, let alone re-enter his previous position. With his one avenue of employment now a non-issue, Naten's situation was looking closer and closer to completely hopeless.

    That of course, is where they showed up. A consortium of scientists and aristocrats who were rumoured to have a hand in ever low dealing in the city for three districts surrounding Colliseum. Seeing in Naten abit of the natural cunning left untapped, the brotherhood offered to train him properly, provided of course that he sign with their orginization long term. Of course, he took up their offer. Learning from a wily old assassin known only as Vager, Naten learned to compensate for his now greatly reducded strength, relying on agility, cunning, and a knowledge of the city to get him through. After a few months of
    re-learing the ropes, Naten was assigned a place in the Cabal's hunter section, designed to find and return the strange orphans of Metropolis, around whom strange evolutionary currents were beginning to develop, as if the city itself had taken intrest in the survival of the street rats. These assignments went on as business as usual for years before any change in the circumstances came up, and when they did they fell from a abnormal source.

    It was a revolution in Colliseum, an uprising the likes of which had takes place only once every couple of centuries. Somehow, the dealings of the Cabal had leaked into the rif-raff of the slums, a riot had broken out for food, and this had led to yet more riots across the district. As the quarter burned from stone-fire weapons, the fat old men in their golden cities set about the dangerous business of survival, readying airships and flying beasts in pursuit of safer avenues to conduct their dark business. The underlings, those not worth the expense of saving, were left on the ground to deal with the crazed mobs. Unfortunately, this list of undesirables included Naten.

    As the mobs grew ever closer, Naten was tasked with organizing and moving the
    "City-touched" orhpans out of Colliseum, and it was there within the Cabal's labs that he saw the fruit of his labor. Orphans, grime-urchins, children, were hooked into multitudes of great machines, pumped with viscous amber colored liquids and prodded by experimentation devices that looked more appropriate to marcabe dungeouns then the pristine labs Naten had always imagined the orhpans to wind up in. Mortified at his place within the dark machine of the Cabal's lust for awnsers, Naten stood speechless for hours before the cages of the starving wretches as the district collapsed around him.

    It was a two days before an outreach volunteer, a preist of Urbanus, had freed him from the reckage of the labs. The children who had been walled up within the cages were no-where to be seen, despite the best efforts of Outreach. There was then, only two real possibilities for the lack of bodies within the ruin. Either the orphans had escaped through bolt-holes into safer areas of the district, or the Cabal was more thurough in their dealings, and had re-taken possession of their City-touched.

    Naten tried to re-enter his old life, made an honest effort of it. But with the loss of his once opposing strenth the investigator was hardly taken seriously, and despite his attempts at drowning his memories of the assignments within Cabal with whiskey, he could not drown out the last experience within the labs. Guiltridden, and with only a list of names, Naten has set out from the slop-house to find what has been done with the children, and if possible put the guilty members of the Cabal to the sword. At least then maybe he could get some damn sleep.
    ================================================== =======

    Naten has a tall but lanky figure, pale skin and straggly unkept hair. A raiper and shortsword hang on scabbards at his side, at oppisite ends. He wears a dark gray outfit made to match most of the drab landscape of Metropolis, and carries himself with a slow oppressed trudge designed to make him fit in with the locals of nearly any poor district. Gruff, quiet, and unassuming, it would take a careful eye to catch Naten's cunning beneath his common appearence. A dark purple ring lines his left eye, noticeable on the rare occasions when he's without a cosmetic disguise over the mark, is a mark from his overdose with Whip-head. Naten retains contacts over many districts of Metropolis, and is currenlty bar-hopping, looking for rumours of the Cabal or the orphans.
    Last edited by Cathoi; Thursday, 26th May, 2005 at 02:44 PM.

  • #4
    Mistake post.
    Last edited by Ranger Rick; Thursday, 26th May, 2005 at 03:51 PM.

  • #5
    Code:
    Name: Alexis Vaerthi, Priestess of Zsath
    Class: Cleric4
    Race: Human
    Size: Medium
    Gender: Female
    
    Str:  8 -1	  Level: 4	XP: 6000
    Dex: 14 +2	  BAB: +3	HP:  19 (4d8-4)
    Con:  8 -1	  Grapple: +2	Alignment: Lawful Neutral
    Int: 14 +2	  Speed: 30'	  
    Wis: 17 +3	  Init: +2		
    Cha: 14 +2	  ACP: -X		 
    
    	Base	 Equipment  Dex  Size   Class  Total
    Armor:	10        +0     +2    +0	+0 	12
    Touch: XX			  Flatfooted: XX
    
    	Base   Mod  Misc  Total
    Fort:	4	-1		  +3
    Ref:	1	+2		  +3
    Will:	4	+3		  +7
    
    Weapon	Attack   Damage	 Critical
    Morningstar	+2	 1d8+1	 x2
    
    Abilities:
    Rebuke/Command Undead: 3 + 2 = 5/day, +4
    Spontaneous Cast: Inflict Wounds
    Domain: Law (+1 Caster Level to Law spells)
    Domain: Death (Death Touch 1/day)
     Lawful Aura
    
    Spells Memorized
    
    Spoiler:
    Level 0 [5] Read Magic Read Magic Read Magic Guidance Guidance Level 1 [4+1] Magic Stone Magic Stone Doom Entropic Shield -Protection from Chaos Level 2 [3+1] Zone of Truth Desecrate Darkness -Death Knell
    Feats: Simple Weapon Proficiency Armor Proficiency (All) Heighten Spell Brew Potion Languages: Common, Infernal, Elven Skill Points: 28 Max Ranks: 7/3.5 Skills Ranks Mod Misc Total Knowledge(Arc) 7 +2 +9 Knowledge(Rel) 7 +2 +9 Spellcraft 7 +2 +9 Diplomacy 7 +2 +9 Equipment: Cost Weight Bag of Holding I 2,500gp 15lb (6lb) Morningstar 8gp 6lb Signet Ring 5gp -lb Paper(10) 4gp -lb Ink(1oz) 8gp -lb Inkpen 1sp -lb Chalk 1cp -lb Holy Symbol 25gp 1lb Robe of Bones 2,400gp 1lb Total Weight: 16lb Wealth: 64.89 Lgt Med Hvy Lift Push Max Weight: 26 53 80 80 400 Age: 23 Height: 5'6" Weight: 105lb Eyes: Deep-set blue Hair: Black Skin: Pale white
    Background:

    Alexis's family is big. They're rich, well-known, and notorious. They run the largest church to Zsath in known Metropolis, and they abuse it. They control most of the sewer-farms in the area, and have their fingers dipped in nearly every market they can get their hands on. Their temple is a massive, black tower, one that reaches nearly thirty stories into the sky [or higher, depending on the average size of buildings in Metropolis - it should be *very* big.], and just as far underground. Most people despise the Order of Zsath for one primary reason - their abuse of an unfair advantage makes it difficult for others to get ahead. Indeed, the Temple has very few living employees, having hired only clerics and clerks from the ranks of the living. When more employees are needed [which happens to be all the time], a pathetic sum is offered in return for corpses. This gives rise to scroungers who scavenge the city for the dead.

    Alexis is young, and has only recently begun her training as a cleric. She lives in the upper recesses of the Tower, with her mother and father, the High Priestess and Priest of the temple, respectively. She doesn't yet realize how corrupt her parents and their way of life is, and honestly believes what they do is for the best. "We help to keep food on the plates and gold in the pockets of the people!"

    Alexis has lived a sheltered life. Indeed, she's never been alone outside of her home, and she's never seen the reality of life in Metropolis. The few she's met outside of her family have been members of the aristocratic 'upper world' of Metropolis - and she believes that this is how everything is for everyone. She's naive and unknowing - she believes that raising the dead is a common practice, and indeed tends to be more comfortable around her zombie servitors than any mortals she comes across. She was raised mostly by a mentor appointed by her parents, a noteworthy priest in their esteemed order. His name was Vrisse, and he trained Alexis from an infant into her teen years. Most of what she knows of Necromancy comes from Vrisse, who proved to be a very capable tutor. He eventually fell ill, and joined the Ethereal plane as a ghost. His tutelage, however, did not stop, and Alexis still holds court with him regularly.

    Alexis wants to see the world though, now. She's become a Priestess in her own right, and believes it is only best that she spread the Word of Zsath to others. Indeed, she's preparing to become a missionary of sorts, and hasn't the least idea as to what she'll be encountering.



    Zsath
    Lord of Souls, The Ghostking, Spiritbanker
    LAWFUL NEUTRAL

    Zsath is known to commonfolk as 'The Spiritbanker', and it's no err; indeed, Zsath is believed to be in charge of who does or does not enter the afterlife. He has the power to return any soul to the Material Plane, and again the ability to trap them forever. It's believed that he keeps a collection of souls for his own amusement. The secrets of raising and becoming undead are often granted to his followers, more out of apathy than interest. Once a body is no longer in use, it is believed by his followers, there is no reason to leave a corpse to decay. Abuse of souls, however, is considered the highest of crimes by Zsath and his followers - indeed, it's a crime punishable by death in his Temples. This is not to say he opposes any other form of conflict; he believes that any physical damage is fair game. He teaches that extremes are a positive thing - if you are to be good, be good with all of your being, and if you are to be evil, be evil to the farthest extent possible. As such, necromancers and paladins are common among his followers, along with other people with power. Regardless of Good or Evil alignment, Zsath teaches that all agreements should be honored, and does believe that fairness is a most admirable quality. Thusly, lawyers and other people of the law can find a place under Zsath's leadership. Commoners are rare amongst his followers, as the extremes he teaches are often outside of their reach.

    Portfolio: Law, Necromancy, Life, Death
    Domains: Law, Death, Healing
    Cleric Training: Clerics to Zsath are trained at the Temple of Zsath, a massive corporate tower. They're signed into contracts at the beginning of their servitude, and are required to remain with and serve the Temple for a given duration after their training. Although a Cleric may leave the temple at any time, after their training is complete, leaving the Temple and breaking the contract allows the Priests of Zsath to distill justice - usually left open-ended for creative punishment. Zsath approves of this, as those who go against their word deserve punishment in his view.
    Quests: Followers of Zsath are not expected to spread his name, but rather, to do what they do and do it with all of their conviction.
    Prayers: Zsath doesn't require his followers to pray, although it is expected of his priests. Prayer usually takes the form meditative thought, usually about ones own fate. It's important to Zsath that individuals - especially his followers - know what awaits them in the afterlife.
    Temples: Zsath's only temple in Metropolis is the massive tower that is home to the Priests of Zsath. The building reaches high into the sky and deep into the earth. The majority of his followers here lean towards the Death portion of his portfolio, most of whom are Taskmasters for teams of zombie slaves.
    Last edited by RobotRobotI; Friday, 27th May, 2005 at 12:30 PM.

  • #6
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    ° Ignore D20Dazza

    Ghost Hound A.K.A Ghost or Hound

    Code:
    Ghost Hound
    
    Elf Bard 5 (XP 13,100) Alignment: CG
    Height: 5'2" Weight: 93lbs. Age: 130
    hair: white eyes: red skin: white
    Region of Origin: The Apartments (Metropolis)
    
    STR 8 -1 (0 point)
    DEX 16 +3 (6 point +2 racial)
    CON 10 (4 point -2 racial)
    INT 14 +2 (6 point)
    WIS 10 (2 point)
    CHA 17 +3 (10 point, +1 4th level)
    
    HP: 26 
    Init: +3
    
    BAB/Grapple: +3/+2
    Speed: 30ft
    
    +1 Light Mace +7 (1d6+1 damage, X2)
    Composite Long Bow +6 (1d8, X3, 110') - 20 Arrows
    Dagger +6 (1d4, 19-20/X2)
    
    ACP: 0
    AC: 14 (+1 Bracers Armour, +3 Dec)
    Touch/Flatfooted: 14/11
    
    Fort: +2
    Ref: +8
    Will: +5 (+2 vs enchantment spells and spell like abilities and effects)
    
    +2 versus saves against all Undead
    
    Skills:
    Bluff 11 (8 ranks, +3 DEX)
    Concentration 3 (3 ranks, +0 CON)
    Decipher Script 4 (2 ranks, +2 INT)
    Diplomacy 6 (3 ranks, +3 CHA)
    Gather Information 8 (5 ranks, +3 CHA)
    Knowledge (religion) 5 (3 ranks, +2 INT)
    Knowledge (local) 5 (3 ranks, +2 INT)
    Knowledge (arcana) 5 (3 ranks, +2 INT)
    Listen 4 (2 ranks, +0 WIS, +2 Racial)
    Perform (oratory) 10 (7 ranks, +3 CHA)
    Perform (sing) 8 (5 ranks, +3 CHA)
    Profession (journalist) 3 (3 ranks, +0 WIS)
    Search 4 (+2 INT, +2 Racial)
    Sense Motive 5 (5 ranks, +0 WIS)
    Sleight of Hand 5 (2 ranks, +3 DEX)
    Spellcraft 9 (7 ranks, +2 INT)
    Spot 2 (+0 WIS, +2 Racial)
    
    Languages: Common, Elf, Draconic, Goblin
    
    Feats:
    Unquenchable Flame of Life (+2 saves vs Undead - Libris Mortis)
    Weapon Finesse
    
    Abilities:
    Racial
    Immune to magical sleep effects
    Low light vision
    Racial Weapon Prof - long sword, rapier, longbow, short bow
    
    Bard
    Bardic Music
    Bardic Knowledge
    Counter Song
    Fascinate
    Inspire Courage +1
    Inspire Confidence
    
    Spells Day: (3, 3+1, 1+1)
    
    0-lvl spells (DC13)
    Detect Magic
    Message
    Daze
    Lullaby
    Flare
    Read Magic
    
    1-lvl spells (Dc14)
    Cause Fear
    Gryme's (Tasha's) Hideous Laughter
    Hypnotism
    Grease
    
    2-lvl spells (DC15)
    Scare
    Locate Object
    Hypnotic Pattern
    
    Items:
    2 potions cure light wounds (150gp)
    Cloak Resistance +1 (1,000gp)
    Bracers Armour +1 (1,000gp)
    Dust Tracelessness (250gp)
    Universal Solvent (50gp)
    +1 light mace (2,305gp)
    Composite Long Bow
    20 Arrows
    Dagger
    card: "You have been cordially invited to celebrate the 8th birthday of Ms. Stephanie Zimmerman"
    2 x Phesen (cure light wounds and restoration fx)
    Pouch: 18 silver pieces within and a short note from Burke (editor) commending Ghost on his work. It also mentions that the publisher would like to have words with Ghost as soon as possible.  
    
    Utility Belt
    -Flask
    -Bullseye Lantern
    -1 pint oil
    -Scroll case
    --5 sheets paper
    --10 sheets parchment
    
    Belt Pouch
    -5 pieces chalk
    -flint and steel
    -2 vials ink
    -2 ink pens
    -small steel mirror
    
    Cloak, leather
    -Masterwork manacles (cloak pocket)
    -Empty Sack (cloak pocket)
    
    Signal whistle (leather throng around neck)
    Signet Ring
    Dark lensed glasses
    
    Total wt: 20.5 lbs.
    
    Monies: 30gp, 8sp, 2cp
    Appearance
    Ghost Hound is albino, his hair is jaggedly cut to shoulder length. His features are very angular, giving him the appearance of a predatory wolf. His teeth are clean and straight. He wears a light leather trench coat, high leather boots, dark sharkskin gloves, and a dark fur felt grosgrain

    Personality
    Ghost Hound is bright and quick-witted, his appearance can be a little confronting but he is a genuinely warm person. He is trusting and tries to be helpful. He feels particularly benevolent towards those in the lower (or lowest) socio economic bracket.

    Background
    Hound is a journalist and investigator. He rails against the establishment and strives for a better place for the down trodden. More often than not he finds his investigations leave him waist deep in the paranormal. He works for a local rag (The Independant), a self financed operation run by an ideological hard arsed half orc called Burke. Occasionally, to supplement his income, he hires his investigative skills out but, the case has to pique his interest - a cheater stalker his is not. He has been keen to upgarde his job to a more reputable paper for some time now, he has his eyes specifically on working at The Herald for Devyn McGregor.

    He was born in The Apartments, 7 tall stone spires with hundreds of floors and a maze of rooms, corridors and staircases. All interconnected by bridges, tunnels and magical portals. All of the races of Metropolis have legends regarding the creation of The Apartments and no two of those legends is the same. The only thing that is common in the legends is the fact that somewhere in the vertical labyrinth something is hidden. Whether that something is benevolent or malign is unknown but every race has representatives searching for whatever it is. The Apartments are a constant skirmish, a war of attrition. Sure, a race may hold a particular series of rooms or even a floor or two for anywhere from weeks to months. In fact the Killi-kelli-hek, a barbaric, flesh-eating breed of dwarf, have inhabited the same three floors in one of the towers for the last 73 years. Recently the Killi-kelli-hek have become agitated and expansionist. Where as before they would hunt in small groups for meats and goods they are now moving through The Apartments in greater numbers. Hound believes that someone is using the Killi-kelli-hek to further their own ends, there is no other logical reason why they would all of a sudden become more aggressive - is there?

    Hound lost his parents, both Wayfinders, at an early age. Fortuitously for him the first 'people' to wander past the weeping child who sat beside the bodies of his parents were not frenetic nor were they ritualistic, in fact they weren't even hungry. They were a posse of 3 ghouls. The small child, knowing no better, stood and waited. The ghouls, Grym, Gryme, and Grynn, were amazed that the boy had not run screaming from them, he was too young to realise the predicament he was in (and being elven he was immune to their paralytic touch). The ghouls, being not foolish and quite intelligent, decided that they could use the small child. They named him Hound because of the way he trailed after them. The ghouls were careful to ensure that they sheltered their 'child' from the more base, violent, reprehensible side of their nature. The ghouls tutored the boy, taught him how to survive and introduced him to some of the more questionable talents that he uses in his investigations today. Eventually though the gig was up. Hound discovered their true nature and only just made it away from them alive. In fact if not for the actions of Gryme, who had spent the most time teaching Hound, he would surely have been killed. This deception forged Hound into the truth seeker that he is.

    Hound supposes that the reason so many of his cases end up being paranormal is because of his unusual upbringing, maybe somehow his soul resonates to the pulse of the supernatural.

    Hound has been investigating a story involving biomagical engineering on indentured workers on some of the sewer farms. He believes that these biofarms are a front for duplicitous 'God' dealings. The farms he has been investigating abut a religious sanctuary dedicated to the mysterious deity known as Hess Ne-el Il'ithuk . The followers of this somewhat questionable deity have a penchant for violence and experimentation. They refer to Hess Ne-el Il'ithuk as 'God' and anyone daring to invoke another deity or call 'God' by his actual name on their patch is dealt with quickly, brutally and without mercy.

    Game Notes
    Spoiler:

    The Apartments
    The Apartments, 7 tall stone spires with hundreds of floors and a maze of rooms, corridors and staircases. All interconnected by bridges, tunnels and magical portals. All of the races of Metropolis have legends regarding the creation of The Apartments and no two of those legends is the same. The only thing that is common in the legends is the fact that somewhere in the vertical labyrinth something is hidden. Whether that something is benevolent or malign is unknown but every race has representatives searching for whatever it is. The Apartments are a constant skirmish, a war of attrition. Sure, a race may hold a particular series of rooms or even a floor or two for anywhere from weeks to months. In fact the Killi-kelli-hek, a barbaric, flesh-eating breed of dwarf, have inhabited the same three floors in one of the towers for the last 73 years. Recently the Killi-kelli-hek have become agitated and expansionist. Where as before they would hunt in small groups for meats and goods they are now moving through The Apartments in greater numbers.

    The Apartments are sort of dungeon like, although the adversaries are various street gangs. Do you know the movie The Warriors? That movie could happen in The Apartments. There are hundreds of gangs/factions/cults/cabals etc operating in there plus a bevy of treasure hunters. These organisations are based along racial, political, cultural, religious, fun, and plain old survival lines. The Apartments are very fluid with old gangs dieing off and new ones forming constantly. The gangs are always fighting.

    Not all the gangs are looking for the 'holy grail' and not all inhabitants of The Apartments are gang members. The Wayfinders are nomadic, they live a life running from the gangs and treasure hunters. They are not an organisation but are the refuse of the spires that are forced to flee or die. They are called the Wayfinders as they always seem to find a new, unexplored section of The Apartments. It's as though the buildings are making new tunnels, staircases, rooms, arches, bridges etc to assist the flight of the Wayfinders.

    There are several neutral areas in the spires where entrepreneurs have set up operations, everything from flea markets to the black market. Almost anything (except that damn artifact) can be found somewhere in The Apartments. The trick is finding where it is being sold.

    Zimmerman
    Mr Zimmerman is one of the many merchants that are currently partaking of the newest wealthy fad, Family Trading. Purchasing ones own family, or even selling them, in order to fit a social niche has risen in popularity in the past year. Apparently Mr Zimmerman contacted one of the dealers in the Apartments that kidnap street children in order to train them and sell them to wealthy buyers. Mr Zimmerman purchased Stephanie from a black market racketeer called Thylon, .
    His (current?) daughter is Stephanie.

    Thylon
    Thylon is a ruthless trader and gang leader located in the Dyllathan Buildings. He is willing to take advantage of any situation to sell what the desperate or needy require. He sold his own mother to organ farmers years ago, then purchased several of her body parts back under a third party, then sold them a second time for a substantial profit.

    Currently his specialty is Family Trading, a fashionable pastime that has picked up in the last year. Due to the chaotic breeding patterns of the poorer areas of town, as well as the recent craze of nobility slumming that ended under a decade ago (Lord Brant found himself up to his ears in visitors when his peasant 'pals' discovered who his was and where he lived) it was found that several children were being born to illegitimate fathers that could be traced back to nobility.

    Seeing a possible commodity, certain merchant princes purchased a group of children, then paid minor clergymen and wizards to authenticate the birthright, and finally formally adopted them to stake claim to another man's legacy. Showing off such children, and trading them for vast amounts of money, has now become a craze that has blown out of control, and even to own the third son of a merchant prince's cousin is worth something in the world of politics, if you know how to use it of course.

    The Dyllathan buildings
    are a collection of small spires attached to a central tower that is located on the more hospitable sides of the Apartments, closest to the docks to allow outsiders to trade for whatever the ward chooses to export at that moment. It is rumoured that the Dyllathan building was once home to a Dwarven Warlord by the name of Iobold that attempted to force the Apartments to fall under his rule by 'Right of Might'. Iobold went missing several weeks into his campaign, some say he got lost in the network of tunnels and corridors, others say that the buildings chose to swallow him up rather than conform to this method of Law.

    The Hunters
    A small symbol of a sword jutting from the bowels of a dog signifies the Hunters. The Hunters were once a powerful gang of hooligans, thieves and confidence men that slowly grew to establish a large power base within The Apartments. The entire group gathered to oust a local crime lord several years ago, but they had failed to recognize the power that the man held. His magic slew them all too swiftly, and he brought their souls back to their bodies, locking them in eternal undeath. After years of servitude, the necromancer disappeared, allowing what was left of the gang to resume their old haunts, but now their numbers and power had waned significantly.

    Bremmen duGaur
    Bremmen duGuar was once a heavy in the area, selling insurance to established businesses and ridding the Ivory Markets of 'unwanted traders'. Seems that several years ago he hooked up with one of the many religions the dots the streets of Metropolis, the Yellow Cult, and prospered in his business dealings. Now it seems that Bremmen was doing their work for them, he 'oversees' several stalls in the Ivory Markets that deal with herbal extracts, organ sales, and temporal regression*.

    *It seems that some people will believe in anything to stay young and beautiful. Temporal Regression is a process that people with the right money can attempt, though the more educated know that it is folly. Merchants deal in Elf blood, injecting it into the veins of the customer in order to grant a small measure of Immortality. As long as people keep getting the treatments, they would live forever. Or so they say.

    The Yellow Cult
    Ghost had heard of this 'Yellow Cult' before though, crossing them in his dealings investigating the followers of Hess Ne-el Il'ithuk. The Yellow Cult openly provided help to the sick and needy of the streets, but rumour was that they cultivated the organs of the sick and dying for their bio-magical experiments.

    Phesen
    There are many infusions created by the sewer shamans of Metropolis that rarely see the light of day, mainly due to the fact that they are powerful enough to draw the attention of unscrupulous merchants from the surface. Phesen is a more advanced fusion, usually only created my masters of the art. It combines the magic within two minor spells to assist the consumer, that of cure light wounds and lesser restoration.



    Advancement
    Spoiler:
    8 skill points - 3 Bluff, 2 Perform (sing), 2 Profession (journalism), 1 Diplomacy; +4hp; new spells - Grease, Hypnotic Pattern
    Last edited by D20Dazza; Wednesday, 2nd November, 2005 at 09:19 AM. Reason: +2200 xp

  • #7
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    Location Stuff: Deepwater Lake and Ashstone (plus some stuff on Ba'aktar towards the end)

    Spoiler:
    An exerpt from "The Acres of Ash and Stone, and the Creatures who call it Home: A Study by Alec Saad, Honoured Historian and Anthropologist of The Society for Knowledge[1]":

    [ooc: When I say caves in what I've written, these are mostly naturally formed caves underneath anything up to 100 metres of sunken buildings and old sewers that the earth has slowly swallowed and civilisation had built on top of over multiple centuries.]

    As an advisor to me on the orcish tribes who are likely the dominant (perhaps dominant is too strong a word?) species within Ashstone I have brought into my service a former half-orc resident of the region by the name of Ba'akter of the Grimash. He describes himself to be a part-time privateer and part-time security contracter by trade. As he struck me as being far more intelligent than any of his kin I've ever encountered I decided he would be an excellent source of information prior to actually venturing into Aststone and living with the tribes for a period of time.

    At the time of writing Ba'aktar is actually sitting across the room and occupying himself with his orcish war sword[2] which appears to be of surprisingly good workmanship for an orcish weapon. He hasn't allowed me to inspect it yet as he speaks of only warriors being allowed to wield such a weapon, but I will write more of that when I explain orcish society.

    If you asked Ba'aktar where he was from, he would reply 'The Acres of Ash and Stone', which is the more official name of a few suburbs more commonly known as Ashstone. How Ashstone got its name is a fairly well known story, albeit not often in detail, but to truly understand it requires the telling of another story even older again, that of 'The Deep Waters', or Deepwater Lake. Most people know Deepwater Lake as merely some kind of nexus for the canals and thusly for shipping routes, but there is a great tragedy behind their creation, just like that of Ashstone.

    Aproximately 600 years ago it is estimated that there was an underground lake where Deepwater Lake is now. Upon its discovery the people of the region rejoiced for the news of a supply of clean water, so it was that wells and pumps were contructed thanks to the ruling authority at that time, and the people enjoyed better health for a time. News spread though, and others came in search of clean drinking waters, and to find out if the rumours were true. More and more started to come, so the powers that were decided they would levy a fee from people from surrounding districts who would desire to partake of their drinking water, and means of transporting bulk supplies of water were developed through contracting those of arcane talent from the nearby academy. More and more money was rolling into the district, and it flourished, becoming one of the wealthiest and healthiest for as far as the eye could see from the tallest local building. They had failed to notice something though.

    The earth itself acted as a filter, as there is in that area an exceptional adundance of fine porous stone, and over time it had filled the great cavity beneath them with filtered water from the city above. At this point in time though the rate the water was being pumped out dwarfed the amount that was trickling in. Now prior to the region's wealth, the buildings were comparable to those of the surrounding districts, but now they had doubled in height on average, and many people had moved from the surrounding areas in the hopes of getting a piece of the wealth there. Too much weight was being placed on the ceiling of the underground lake, and the lack of water in the cavity created structural weakness.

    All this time, on the edge of this district, resided a school for magic that was about the size of a suburb. They had kept track of events over the years of prosperity, and although they would have been apathetic to an entire district condemning itself to destruction, the school itself resided on the very edge of the undergroung lake. They voiced their concerns to the district's ruling party, who promptly chose to ignore them for the sake of greed, thusly they ensured the safety of the school grounds against the coming event. In order to do this they sent members of faculty to inspect the cavity below. They believed that rather than solely using magic it would be wiser to use quality engineering reinforced with powerful magic. During survey procedures however, the party encountered a vast network of subterrainian caves in the vicinity of the lake which supported a number of orc and goblinoid tribes of varying species. The sudden lack of water had taken a toll on them, many aspects of their way of life had relied on the lake, fishing being one of particular note, and they suffered now due to the lack of resources[3]. The weakened tribes however posed no real threat to the surey party (and after a threat analysis, nor to the academy itself, so they were left alone) and proceedings continued uninterupted to secure the continued existence of the academy.

    The realisation of the imminent disaster dawned over the district, but by then it was too late. Within minutes of the first noticable tremors the whole district had collapsed into the vast cavity of the underground lake, taking with it a huge but untold number of residents. Surrounding districts were crippled as huge tremors collapsed the majority of structures, again casualties were extreme. Those who had survived the district's collapse were now stuck in a huge hole, miles across, which pre-existing canals were now pumping the city's normal filthy water into. Survivors were forced to stay and drown in the filth, or flee into the partially collapsed network of caves inhabited by the orcs and goblinoids. Most were eaten by the surviving tribes of the many caveins, but there was the odd individual who would escape to the surface by managing to avoid or earning the respect/fear of the tribes. Disease and famine were rampant in the wake of the disaster, but it wasn't the end. The gradual filling of the huge hole and the damage to the cave networks surrounding it caused the homes of the tribes to be gradually flooded. Due to the reduction of the orc and goblinoid population the loss of space wasn't felt at first, but soon enough the tribes had to compete for what areas weren't flooded by the foul waters, and the weaker tribes were pushed to the surface of the devastated surrounding districts where they ran rampant.

    The academy however remained untouched. Their preparations were immaculate, and had countered every forseen problem. What helped was that they had managed to forsee every problem, and damage to the academy grounds and substructure was negligible[4]. When the tribes started going wild however they stepped in, as they had planned, and after pacifying the wild orcs and goblinoids made agreements with their leaders to help with labour to reconstruct the areas affected by the collapse, thus securing themselves a niche on the surface. With the academy in charge of reconstruction they had seized control of the approximately six districts affected significantly by the disaster, and ushered in a new age of prosperity.

    When the hole was finally full of water[5], it became a hub of activity for trade and transport via the canals. Of course this only brought in more money again to the academy as it ran the entire area surrounding Deepwater Lake as it had come to be known. In the end though, all this planning and effort on the part of the academy was only in pursuit of improving the practise and study of magic, so the academy itself grew slowly over decades to eventually occupy an entire sixth of a district leaving the oldest academy buildings on a small cape jutting into the lake. The canals were also widened to accomodate more ships coming and going.

    Over time, the increase in wealth also increased the expenditure on experiments at the academy, and with more money in the hands of the researchers they were able to afford more and more risky experiments, which brings us to our explanation of how Ashstone came into existence. The texts which I have used to write the account thus far were from books which were on loan to people who lived considerably far from the academy itself. I hypothesize at least 99% of the literature and knowledge of the arcane accumulated by the academy throughout its existence was destroyed in the second tragedy. As the destruction of the academy was sudden and absolute it is unknown what caused it as there were no known survivors to give any clue as to what may have happened. Nonetheless, some kind of Gate was opened releasing an abundance of monsters, and the three closest districts to the academy were immolated with arcane fire. Fortunately, the fires were prevented from spreading further due to the widened canals. Damage to other districts was minimal in comparison, mostly caused my monsters who had travelled from the districts closest to the academy.

    After a few days or so the fires died down and the Gate sputtered and shrunk to a small tear in reality at the very centre of the old academy's ruins on the cape. It was impossible to go in and try to rebuild as the place was full of various monsters. Noone dared to go to near to the place, and even then mercenaries often had to be hired to watch the borders between the closest districts and the unnamed lands of devastation. The blocks directly on the borders were often abandoned and fortified by mercenaries and militia, afforded by the wealth of the districts from residing on the trading hub. Compications arose however when the Gate would briefly reopen, releasing more monsters into the devastation who would eventually push others into the surrounding districts, so teams had to be assembled to go in and regularly cull monsters. The expenses now required to maintain the security of the trading hub were taking a hefty bite out of the profits.

    It was about this time that strongest of the orc and goblinoid tribes returned to the area where the caves were almost perfectly intact. The caves were packed with monsters, and the fighting was intense, but these were the strongest tribes so the fighting was shrugged off, if not enjoyed. Once the area was cleared, one of their leaders had the bright idea to go to the surface to seek mightier tests for his or her tribe. And so it was that the strongest of the tribes came to live under a place they started to call 'The Acres of Ash and Stone' where they would send hunting parties and conduct trials of warriorhood[6] because of the abundance of strong creatures there. Trophies would often be brought back and converted into weapons or trinkets. Of particular note is Ashwood[7]. The substance is wood that has survived the immolation of the academy and the surrounds and has been hardened and lightened by the fires. It's very popular amoung the tribes for making shields from, but I'll get further into orc and goblin society later.

    It didn't take the surrounding districts long to notice they didn't have to handle as many monsters any more for some reason. Culling teams often returned with reports of finding dead monsters and seeing orcs and goblinoids in the area. So an effort was made to get in contact with the tribes, and after many failed attempts, they established communications with one of the stronger orcish ones (which, incidently, was Ba'aktar's tribe). That tribe was the first of only a few who to this day maintain friendly relations with the surrounding districts [8]. Through relations with the Grimash tribe a name was adopted, and as the direct translation of 'The Acres of Ash and Stone' was too long, it became abbreviated into Ashstone.

    Now, I move on to describe the lifestyle of the Grimash tribe, based off what I already know and what Ba'akter has told me. I will spend most of my time with the Grimash tribe while in Ashstone, but will also gather information on the other two (more or less) friendly tribes. The Shattered Fang tribe is largely composed of bugbears, and the Iron Hand tribe is largely composed of hobgoblins. The Shattered Fang is not a large tribe but is feared for the might of their individual warriors, and quality of their weapons. The Iron Hand however is likely the most powerful tribe in Ashstone, with a well-organised military and high population. More on them will be written later. Though not the most powerful tribe, the orcs of the Grimash tribe are feared for their ferocity and brutality (an impression reinforced while in the presence of my half-orc advisor), and their shamans are wiley and shrewd tacticians, having in their possession information inaccessable by other tribes.

    Now do not misunderstand me, though the tribes are on good terms with the districts surrounding Ashstone, they themselves are generally savage and spiteful beings, as befitting the general nature of orcs and their kin. In this instance though I am blessed as Ba'aktar is not as sinister as his kin nor does he find offense at what I am writing, and since he views it as a simple statement of fact then I have slightly better hopes of my odds of survival amoung the tribes. It took many long periods of negotiation with representatives of the three tribes before I was granted opportunity to study their societies, and even then I cannnot be terribly sure of my safety. Nonetheless I do expect things to go far more smoothly than my experiences as described in 'Saad's Analysis of the Lizardfolk of Gefernum'. Never again will I be able to look at cheese in quite the same way as I used to, but I digress.

    There is a very simple caste system within the Grimash tribe, there are the warriors, the peons and the unproven. This category is occupied by children, as they are considered too young to prove themselves until their 15th year when they are given opportunity. Outsiders like myself from the other Deepwater districts, who are visiting temporarily, are considered to be on the same level as the unproven but need not actually prove ourselves at any stage. The tribes' opinions of those who live in the Deepwater districts is based upon the wars for living space back in the wake of the colapse. The weakest of the tribes were pushed to the surface where they eventually integrated themselves with the general humanoid populace, thus they consider most surface dwellers to be weaklings who could not withstand the same hardships as them. They're probably right.

    The Test of Proving, initially performed during a tribe member's 15th year of age, is purely voluntary but defines which caste the tested individual will become part of. Should they decide not to prove themselves, they become a part of the peon caste, and are destined to perform menial tasks, serve the warrior caste and take care of unproven children where required. Should they become tired of serving others though they are welcome to take the Test of Proving. For those who take the Test of Proving, there is a periodic gathering for which the exact time is dictated by the tribe shamans to coincide with when the Gate will open[9]. At that time, those who are taking the test are assembled into parties of about a half-dozen, with an experienced observer, and sent up into Ashstone. They spend the next twenty-four hours trying not only to survive but to kill as many monsters as they can before returning below ground. Those who bring back trophies of satisfying quality are permitted to enter the warrior caste, but for those unable to bring down big enough game just surviving grants them another chance during the next Test and an extension to their unproven period.

    Almost directly after the celebrations of the Test of Proving, the Long Hunt is held. It is where the experienced warriors of the tribe organise themselves into small teams, accompanied once again by impartial observers, and venture above ground to slay the mightiest of the beasts released during the latest openning of the gate. It lasts anywhere up to a week. It is not necessary for those who had only just proved themselves to go along, but those who do earn a lot of respect. Champions of the Hunt is a title bestowed to the team with what is agreed to be the best kill of the hunt, and members of the tribe will often compare themselves through how many times they had received the title.

    Outsiders also have the potential to earn a place among the tribe, and it's not unknown for the most hardcore of warriors from outside of Ashstone to seek out one of the Ashstone tribes in order to join their ranks and become a more powerful warrior through the intense training and lifestyle they go through[10].

    The distinction between the roles of males and females within the tribe is very small, and is based upon parenting situations. The Grimash tribe has a fairly informal mating system, where couples are usually arranged by the village elders[11] and if the two of them get along then their equivalent of a marriage is held. No distinction is made in regards to caste for the purposes of mating. When a child is born it is expected for the mother to care for it, often with the assistance of the elders[11] and peons. When the mother is part of the warrior caste she is not expected to do as much as a mother of the peon caste. She commands much more respect and is given more assistance from the peon cast, and when her children come of sufficient age to be cared for by elders[11] or members of the peon caste she is allowed to resume warrior caste activites if she so wishes. Should she not choose to resume warrior activities she is expected to continue looking over her children and taking a more active role in tribe politics. Once someone has proven themselves a warrior, they are always considered a warrior.

    Religion within the Grimash tribe is monotheistic, with worship of Humus, a male orcish deity associated with strength, conflict, and the subterrainian evironment they live in. While Shaman is the title of any kind of spellcaster within the tribe, there are unofficial differences in the types of shaman. There are basically two kinds of shaman, those whose civilised equivalent would be considered clerics, and those of natural arcane talent, otherwise known as sorcerors. Incidently, those of sorcerous talents weren't terribly common until the destruction of the academy. There's obviously a link there but I lack sufficient knowledge of the arcane to take the liberty of explaining it. There are a few other kinds of shaman, but they are understandably rare. Of the rare varities, the most common (but somewhat rare) is the shaman who summons magic from the caves themselves. Since Humus is so closely related to the environment the tribe lives in (earth, stone, caves and more recently, ash) it is understandable for a shaman's worship and source of power to occasionally be what Humus is associated with rather than Humus himself, but failing to also acknowledge Humus' conflict and strength aspects in that regard makes them rare. Somewhat more rare are those shamans who manage to evoke magic through music. The arts, though not discouraged, are not of terrible interest to the tribe. And on top of that, orcs generally lack the interpersonal capability to make good performers. The most rare is the variety shaman who studies and draws spells from the few tomes recovered from the academy ruins, effectively orcish wizards. An almost laughable concept had it not actually happened on a few occasions before.

    Leadership of the tribe is also a simple matter, and the mark of office is a massive maul made from stone of apparently immeasurable age. The direct translation of its official name is 'Blackened Rock of Countless Deaths', which is a pretty accurate description, but for most orcs that name is a tad too formal and long, and the direct translation of its nickname is 'Basalt' simply because that's what it looks like. It's not a spectacular looking weapon, but the Grimash tribe doesn't seem to have much love for aesthetics so it doesn't bother them. Basalt just looks like a huge, roughly rectangular prism shaped block of basalt mounted on an ashwood shaft and bound with leather cord of unknown origin. The leather cord is always a popular topic for debate, some saying it's made from the hide of a dragon, some saying the hide of a demon, and some even say the hide of a fallen enemy tribal lord when the original creator of the weapon and a rival fought over the stone that would make the weapon's head. On that subject, the head is said to be from directly below the Gate in the ruins of the academy, which is sufficient enough reason for this researcher as to why it possesses the awesome power it does. [2d8 damage, 20/x3, 60lbs; enchantments at the DM's disgression, recommended strength of minor artifact]

    The process of determining the chief is basically that of might is right, with some slight adjustments. Generally, when a tribal chief steps down or is killed, their eldest proven child will be the next in line. Should the chief not have any proven children, the elders[11] will elect a warchief for military duties but will rule themselves until one of the former chief's children is proven. Should the chief not have any children, a new chief is determined through testing applicants for the position of leadership. Since there would normally be many applicants, those who pass the test take part in a single battle royal where the last man standing is the new chief. Because so many of the tribes best warriors compete, killing one another only creates problems and competitors are encouraged not to, unconciousness or surrender is sufficient. In such a situation as the chief makes a poor decision and ends up significantly failing their duties, or if they come to be generally disliked, it is acceptable to challenge them. The challenger will first be tested by the elders[11] and if they meet the approval of the elders[11] they are allowed to enter single unarmed combat with the tribe's chief. The fight goes until one of them is dead, and the winner is the declared chief.

    Ashtone itself is a maze of scorched stone building remains and ash, and it is within that place that the tribes of Ashstone conduct most of their activity. The ash itself can come in just about any shade of monochrome, and thusly is popular in the production of warpaint. Designs are kept simple but unique to each orc. For example, Ba'aktar's design is a pair of white ash stripes going from his forehead to his jawbone and passing over his eyes, a design he inherited from his father. Ash is also used for styling the hair of the warrior caste. Ash is mixed with blood, wax, fat, and a number of other components then applied to hair to cause it to maintain the desired shape. Also placed in the hair are ingots of melted glass and metal found among the ruins, coloured glass and precious metals are particularly prized. Ba'akter, being the handy example that he is, has a hairstyle he refers to as 'dreadlockes', one of many hairstyles within the tribes. His hair is divided into many separate braid-like 'dreads', bound with the special hair mix, and within each of the braids is usually bound a few pieces of glass or metal.

    Trophies within Ashstone are not only limited to what can be retrieved from monsters either, and relics from the academy which inexplicably survived the fires can be found about the place. As you get closer to the old academy ruins you'll find more powerful relics, but conversly the closer you get the more powerful the creatures are that you must deal with. Risk is very proportional to the kind of trophies a hunting party will bring back.

    But now I move on to a brief description and biography of my assistant, Ba'aktar of the Grimash. Ba'aktar is a respectably tall half-orc fellow, with probably sufficient muscle to crush a man's head in his hands should he desire it. His hair is black, his eyes are amber, and his skin is a light olive green. He keeps himself clean-shaven and presentable, trying to be a good representative of his tribe outside of Ashstone. He leaves his warpaint on at all times, an indicator I believe of his ever-readiness for battle. He wears a chain shirt of high quality, much like most of his equipment, under a set of furred leathers stitched together from beasts out of Ashstone. Of particular note are the thick leather pauldrons he wears. He claims they're made from the leather of the same wyvern his bow is from.

    Ba'aktar was the second child of a human and orc couple, and like the child before him he was raised with the intention of becoming a member of the warrior caste. When the time came for his Test of Proving he and his party succeeded with flying colours, but at the cost of half the party. This didn't phase the remaining members as it just meant more trophies for them. But then on top of that, since he had proven himself, Ba'aktar took his first opportunity to take part in the Long Hunt. Rather than just tagging along and trying to stay out of the more experienced hunters' way, he actually significantly contributed to many of their kills. Incidently this brought him close to death a couple of times, but the party's healer had no trouble fixing the young warrior's injuries. He earned a number of trophies from his first long hunt, including his bow, pauldrons and the magical ring he currently wears. He was given the pauldrons and bow namely for the fact that he had landed the killing blow upon the wyvern they were made from, and the ring was simply something the party came across and decided that he had earned. Ba'aktar was widely respected for his potential after that.

    A few years and Long Hunts later, Ba'aktar came to the decision that he would seek opponents outside of the Ashlands[12]. So as a representative of his tribe he left to seek even greater challenges and prove himself to Humus and his tribe. Travel via the canals presented itself as the best means of transport, so Ba'aktar took on the form of work that seemed most suitable to him. In no subtle terms he is a pirate and a mercenary, but he only ever cares about getting paid and fighting the biggest foe he can find. Seeing as I doubt he would find a worthy challenge within my humble office I'm assuming he's here because I'm paying him a consultant's fee in exchange for his, well, consultation.

    Speaking of paying fees and the like though, I move onto economy... (End of excerpt)


    Events of note in Ba'aktar's Life:

    Spoiler:
    Ba'aktar's Personal History (The kinda things he didn't want published, thus are mentioned here):

    Ba'aktar's escapades after leaving Ashstone contain a couple of significant adventures in amoungst all the killing, mercenary work, travelling, killing for money, working as a canal pirate, and killing. The first he was involved with was the sinking of the Grey Rose, an incident of piracy gone terribly wrong on Deepwater Lake, and the second was the Siege of The Fallen Cathedral, when a small mercenary army was hired to quash a rapidly growing cult.

    The Grey Rose was a large armoured vessel, made for transporting valuable or volatile cargo (sometimes both). Because of this it was often targetted by ambitious and inexperienced pirates who, in the confines of the canals, were unable to take on a ship like the Grey Rose. Their fate was often to have their ship smashed asunder by the Grey Rose's armoured hull, and anyone who managed to actually get aboard the much taller were swarmed under by the veteran crew of royal guard. Deepwater Lake had stories but have never actually been witness to this vessel, as the Grey Rose was owned by a royal family who ruled over a district far, far away. It was almost fairytale material.

    On one fateful day though, the captain[13] of the privateer vessel upon which Ba'aktar served caught wind of the legendary ship making its way here, and it held no small portion of valuables within its belly. The captain was a woman of exceptional cunning who was always in the know, and as one of the finest pirates of the Deepwater region it was no surprise she had better contacts then anyone else. She had heard stories of Grey Rose before however, and realised that if they wanted to plunder its innards they'd need more information, to say the least.

    The captain spared no expense in straining her contacts for information on the Grey Rose, and the measures taken in regards to security during the transport of goods. The information she obtained was extensive, apparently one of her contacts had been lucky and managed to find and bribe an engineer who had a role in its original construction. At this point, the captain was the only one with knowledge that the Grey Rose was even headed towards Deepwater Lake, let alone the ship's specifics. A plan was taking shape. Of less importance, but still of value for interest's sake, was the reason for Grey Rose to even bother passing through Deepwater Lake. As the story would have it, a young prince had left home and was exploring the vastness of Metropolis during his youth. His travels took him far and wide, eventually bringing him to a district of huge distance away from Deepwater Lake. It another place so far away that it was often spoke of in stories that were almost fairy tales. About the same distance from Deepwater as the prince's home, but in the opposite direction. Thusly, Deepwater Lake was a midpoint in the great ship's journey. Apparently someone in that distant dictrict's government had discovered the young prince was indeed a prince, and was holding him to ransom[14]. The prince's family could do little but pay what was demanded of them to have the kingdom's heir returned to them. The huge ransom was loaded aboard the Grey Rose, and sent on its way.

    Although the maneuverability granted to their ship on the open water was a big help, Ba'aktar and friends still couldn't hope to bring down the Grey Rose. The captain realised that taking the main deck of the Grey Rose then fighting their way down would be too difficult so she organised her toughest fighters, Ba'aktar included, into a team to take the main deck and then just hold it. At that time she would somehow breach the ship at an easy point of entry into the cargo hold, and have another few teams take the cargo. To breach Grey Rose's thick shell would take a lot, and all the spellcasters the captain had access to just didn't have what it took, so she enlisted the assistance of a slightly mentally unbalanced dwarf who took great pleasure in blowing things up through non-magical means. This dwarf currently had in development a device which could do the job they wanted, or at least had reason now to create one. In the captain's eyes, this still wasn't enough though, and she was right. At this point, to have their ship take on Grey Rose would still be suicidal, slightly less suicidal but being slightly less dead was still too dead.

    The captain's final move was spreading a little information. The rumour spread around Deepwater Lake that Grey Rose was coming, weighed down so heavily with gold that she couldn't even carry a full crew, and was almost defenseless. All around the lake, pirates' ears perked up (even some non-pirates decided to give the trade a chance at this news), and ships started readying themselves for when the time would come, which was somewhat soon. Even canal pirates from nearby districts came for a shot at the prize. The captain had stirred up a hornet's nest. It was a blatant lie though, Grey Rose had never compromised security for any reason, and this time security had been increased. The Grey Rose was flanked on either side of the canals by two units of royal mounted cavalry. For the trip across Deepwater Lake they would tranfer into two smaller combat ships in order to continue protecting the Grey Rose.

    The Grey Rose had never seen anything like it before, Ba'aktar and his colleagues hung well back from the conflict intially. Pirate boats swarmed the Grey Rose and each other, greedy for the prize even though it seemed what they heard had been a bit of an exageration. The guard ships performed poorly against the mass of pirates, they were soldiers before sailors, and so were quickly overrun. Grey Rose on the other hand turned aside any attempts to board her, and royal guard swarmed like ants onto any boat that tried. The captain brought her ship in closer now that numbers were thinning, and any pirate ships that came them near were reduced to smouldering wood by the dwarf's fire-inclined devices [15]. She abused the Grey Rose's tactics, and when royal troops counterboarded a group of surrounding pirate ships the captain circled and dropped a rain of fire on each of them with the dwarf's creations, killing many royal guards and removing competitors but leaving Grey Rose more or less unharmed. The Grey Rose smashed through burning and non-burning ship alike, but now was the captain's chance. A smaller canister of fire (mostly nails, glass fragments and other little sharp things) was launched onto Grey Rose's prow. An isolated fire and much shrapnel damage caused the Grey Rose problems, but then Ba'aktar and his teams were aboard, reeking havoc amoungst the depleted royal guard. Once the assault team had made a foothold it was time to breach the hull, so the captain maneuvered the ship to the right spot and the dwarf fired the other device. It misfired and exploded.

    With the explosion of the second device, the abundance of ammunition for it and the other devices also exploded, and the ship was basically erased from existance. It was said you could hear the explosion on the shores of the lake itself. On that note however, Grey Rose was sitting directly beside it, and was subject to a blast which almost tore a third of the ship off. The jig was up, and now the only objective was to get off the now doomed Grey Rose. Ba'aktar and two of his colleagues, a dwarf and a half-elf, were the only survivors of their ship. The Grey Rose and most of its crew sat at the bottom of Deepwater Lake, lost amongst all the other riches lost in the Collapse.

    [ooc: Took some liberties by including the Apartments in my story for purpose of proximity of locations and stuff, and tying what I've created in. If it isn't kewl I'll edit it out.]

    The Fallen Cathedral is said to be a strange, haunted place. It's name does not come from a falling from grace by the temple (whether the temple had 'grace' at all seems irrelevent and forgotten through the passage of time) but rather through literally falling as an effect of gravity. It's unknown what purpose the temple served prior to its fall, as it contained no religious icons whatsoever, nonetheless the mood within the temple is solemn and religious. The mood is very strong and unnatural, falling upon people as soon as they pass within its walls, and some describe the place as haunted although noone's ever seen anything. The place is empty of anything which isn't part of the structure itself, but it isn't for the expected reason of citizens of Metropolis stealing the contents over time despite the oppressive feeling within the place. It simply appeared that way, barren of any contents. Some say that it fell from the top of one of the nearby Apartment buildings, and that's probably the best explanation there is. How the temple could fall from the top of a building as tall as one of the Apartment blocks and not smash and collapse is unknown, but it happened, and it's the most easy to believe and/or comprehend of all the excuses for its existence.

    The temple really does look as though it fell from the sky. It sits on a large slant (about 10-15 degree), as though one corner of the building struck the ground first and dug deep into the street below it. The building itself appears to have fallen across a street, and being a huge building, crushed many houses on either side. As luck would have it, its main entrance is level with the ground around it, but positioned in the centre of a house half-crushed by the temple's landing. The inside is spacious and gothic in design (and notably undamaged from the fall), but exceptionally clean and devoid of any evidence of previous occupation. The outside seems much the same, although being exposed to Metropolis and its weather denies it being described as clean, minor damage also seems evident from the passage of time.

    It was a year or so ago that a cult that had based itself around the temple started gaining strength at an alarming rate. Apparently, people of the region were being convinced by the cult's leader[16] that the secrets of the Fallen Temple were a means to gain enlightement and immortality. Borders were rarely diputed in the area, mostly because it didn't quite matter where the lines were drawn because one way or another the number of people within a district's jurisdiction was incredibly high and a street's difference failed to change that significantly. This time though, because the Fallen temple resided on the 'border' as it were, between a couple of districts, there was a dispute as to who was going to be responsible for getting rid of the cult as it was rapidly becoming a thorn in the side of both ruling parties. Neither wanted to expend the effort it would take to use their own equivalent of a military to deal with the problem, so they went halves in funding a mercenary army to make a gruesome example of the cultists.

    The current mob that Ba'aktar was in the company of[17] was easily lured by the scent of coin, and hurriedly made their way to where the army was being assembled. A sizable force was assembled, easy enough to slaughter a larger group of peaceful cultists. There was no real organisation to the assault, they informed the massed rabble they'd be payed for each cultist icon they brought back, presumably torn from the garb of slain cultists. Then they set them loose in the direction of The Fallen Temple. Of course, the mob's definition of cultist and bystander were somewhat blurred and a tad overlapped, so many a civilian in the area was victim to the wrath of a misguided mercenary. When the mob drew closer to the temple itself, the cult was alerted by the screams of innocents being butchered about a block away, so they had opportunity to organise themselves. Those incapable of or unskilled in combat fled into the safety of the temple, and looked on as those capable of resistance took up arms. The cult leader had a position surveying the field of the coming battle, and was shouting inspirational verses to his loyal militia. According to him now was the time of 'ascendence' or somesuch, and those within the cult would now receive their immortality, either through dying while protecting the defenseless or by the ordained means that would happen within the walls of The Fallen Temple.

    The cultist militia was steeled and ready for the mob when it arrived, and though the militia was outnumbered the mob had tired itself by carving a path of destruction through the area to The Fallen Temple. Spells were slung back and forth, and then the forces clashed. The cultist militia took many with them but they were ultimately wiped out to the the last man. Their leader couldn't be found though, the main entrance was locked (despite there not appearing to be a lock on it prior to this point) and all the other cultists had retreated from near the windows to deeper into the temple. The temple was spacious, but was six stories tall, and contained an abundance of room for hallways and hiding places. It was effectively a fortress. The windows were narrow and set in deep stone walls which resisted all forms of punishment, so the only way to get in was to force the main entrance open. The mob took to it with a primitive battering ram, cycling teams for a full three hours before the doors swung open as though they were never locked at all (and there still wasn't a lock on them either). They spewed forth into the temple and searched the place from top to bottom, butchering every living thing they found. The one problem they encountered was that they couldn't find any other living things in the place. It was empty, and devoid of any signs that it had ever been occupied. Once the mob was back outside, there was a fight amoung the remaining mob members over who would get the small number of cult icons off the dead they could actually find. As a result of this fight, the cult militia was buried under more mob corpses. The victors of the battle, the strongest 20% of the mob, however were unable to find any of the cult militia corpses once the battle was over. It was as though they too had disappeared without a trace. The mob dispersed some time later, and over a coupoe of months life resumed as per usual in the area surrounding the The Fallen Temple.

    Ba'aktar returned to his privateering, and is currently in the vicinity of the Apartments, looking for a new crew to join up with.


    What the numbers in square brackets refer to:

    Spoiler:
    [1] The Society for Knowledge - Just another group seeking the history, origins and even just the layout of Metropolis, albeit better funded and more widely respected than some, or so we'd like to think.

    [2] An orcish war sword, known as a khora in their native tongue (uses the same statistics as a dwarven war axe, except slashing and piercing). It is a heavy, single bladed sword, rectangluar in shape (2.5"- 3" x 3'6"-4')-save for a single, occasionally curved, spike (1"-1.5") at the end of the blade (perpendicular to the blade itself) for inflicting greater damage on flesh and armour through ripping and tearing. Favoured by the more skilled warriors of Ashstone who are capable of wielding it in a single hand. Warriors without advanced training would need to use both hands, and in cases like that greataxes or the khora's big brother, the ha'khora makes a more attractive option (uses greatsword stats with minor changes, instead of 19-20/x2 it is 20/x3 and weighs 12lb, size comparable to a greatsword but longer handle for warriors to handle additional blade weight).

    [3] These findings validated rumours of orc and goblinoid raids on the slums of nearby poorer districts, where they would steal food and sometimes kidnap locals to eat.

    [4] Of particular note was that the section of the caves below the academy, which had managed to remain intact, were hotly contested territory among the tribes when the time came. Ironicly enough they were soon abandoned because the victors could not dispose of all the corpses created by the massive conflict. It's worth mentioning that this and the disaster in general was (not considering the terrible loss of life) a great boon for the necromancy research department of the academy, who offered food and medicine to survivors in the nearby districts in exchange for corpses.

    [5] The large, deep expanse of water had a kind of purifying effect in that heavy impurities within the water would fall to the depths of the lake. Particularly intelligent citizens were in the habit of collecting water from about a meter under the surface (to avoid impurites lighter than water) and then boiling that to get water of quality getting near to what the cavern had contained. A small trade in the stuff even established itself, like a pale ghost of the previous water market. It was mostly run by 'water barons' who had been middle men in the water trade to the distant districts prior to the collapse.

    [6] Note that it is warriorhood and not manhood like tribe practises elsewhere (eg. the troglobytes of Gefernum Deeps - refer to my previous book 'Saad's Analysis of the Lizardfolk of Gefernum'), the tribes of the region generally seem to allow equal rights for both males and females.

    [7] (Uses the rules for darkwood.)

    [8] The other two being a tribe of hobgoblins and a tribe of bugbears, the trio are often varying between neutral and good relations but have forged a lasting alliance which has kept the three of them the dominant tribes of Ashstone.

    [9] It is unknown how the shamans of the Grimash manage to predict the openings of the gate, but it is a carefully guarded secret, and one of the key reasons why the alliance of the three most powerful tribes has lasted so long. The other two tribes value the information greatly, and the Grimash goes to great effort to make sure their allies get the information when it is needed.

    [10] An interesting sidenote: Ba'aktar's father (a mighty warrior thus presumably still alive, he claims) is a human who used to be a labourer at one of the Deepwater Lake docks. He has some orcish blood in him from one of his ancestors being an orc of one of the weaker tribes that were pushed to the surface back during that period. Apparently his orcish heritage was more prominant in him than any of his siblings, so he took a bit of interest in his orcish family history. Finding out that his ancestor was pushed to the surface in defeat he decided to become a warrior and make amends for his family's past weakness by proving himself to the strongest orc clan remaining. His orcish blood was strong so the warrior ways came naturally to him. He soon became a member of the warrior caste and eventually father of six children, of which Ba'aktar is the second.

    [11] The elders are the wisest of the warrior caste who survive to into old age. There are exactly a dozen and new members are voted in by the existing members whenever one of them dies. Elders are usually, but not always, older shamans or warrior caste mothers who didn't return to fighting.

    [12] In more recent times, he has been pondering Metropolis, in all its philosophical glory (don't get me wrong, it's not sarcasm, there is quite a lot to ponder!). The key question to his pondering is: If Ashstone is but a location within the greater entity that is Metropolis, what is Metropolis part of? Apparently the thought struck him one evening during a drunken tavern brawl. After giving the idea snippets of time now and then, he resolved that eventually he would find out what is 'outside' of Metropolis, if there is such a thing, and defeat the mightiest of foes he can find there.

    [13] Krystal the Shrewd as she was known. The much feared female halfling captain of an agile ship called Pretty Boy. The dwarven inventor was known as Boomer.

    [14] In truth the prince hadn't so much as left as fled home. He was angry about something or other, and sought out an ally to take vengeance upon his family. Siding himself with a particularly sinister bunch ruling over a far, far, far (add to taste) away district, he sent back the story that he had been kidnapped by the region's rulers whom he agreed to split the sizable ransom with were they to help him. However, since the ransom never arrived they killed the prince out of anger anyway, which seems somewhat ironic.

    [15] To the dwarf's credit he had invented two devices for use, although he only created the second because the captain disapproved the use of the first on anything they actually wanted to seize cargo off. The first one basically lobbed a canister of fire that would explode on an enemy ship and hurl what could be described as burning honey everywhere. Despite explaining what she wanted in very clear terms this was exactly what the captain didn't want (but was quite useful nonetheless), so he developed a second. The second could be described as bucket full of explosive powder and sharp, heavy objects. It was for use when the ships were practically next to one another, and would demolish a sizable hole through which boarding parties could easily move.

    [16] A glib half-elf named Yaladnel Gelfner, known to have done some swindling in days past, ran the cult (called 'The Dwellers of the Empty Halls') with the claim that he was now a redeemed man through the secrets of The Fallen Temple. Whether he actually believed what was coming out of his mouth was an entirely separate matter, but he was doing a convincing enough job to include 50% of the immediate area's population amoungst his followers.

    [17]The Karnelby Thrashers, not the normal kind of crowd Ba'aktar would hang with, but there were such silimarities between him and the gang of street thugs that he couldn't resist running with them for a while. After a month or two with them, there was the Siege of The Fallen Temple. That was the defining point when he decided to return to privateering.


    Finally, Ba'aktar's stats:

    Ba'aktar of the Grimash; 2nd lvl Rogue, 3rd lvl Barbarian
    Medium Humanoid (half-orc); CN
    Hit Dice: 2d6+3d12+5 (38/42hp)
    Initiative: +2
    Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
    Armor Class: 19 (+2 dex, +4 armour, +3 shield), touch 12, flat-footed 17
    Base Attack/Grapple:+4/+8
    Attack: +9 melee (khora[2], d10+4, 20/x3), +8 melee (punch dagger, d4+4, 20/x3), +7 ranged (composite longbow, d8+4, 20/x3)
    Full Attack: +9 melee (khora[2], d10+4, 20/x3), +8 melee (punch dagger, d4+4, 20/x3), +7 ranged (composite longbow, d8+4, 20/x3)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: rage 1/day, sneak attack +1d6
    Special Qualities: evasion, fast movement, uncanny dodge, trap sense +1
    Saves: Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +1
    Abilities: Str 18, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 8
    Skills: balance 8/5, climb 11/8, escape artist 6/5, intimidate 4/5, jump 17/8, listen 3/3, profession (sailor) 3/3, spot 5/5, swim 10/8, tumble 8/5, use rope 7/5
    Feats: exotic weapon prof. (khora[2]), endurance
    XP: 10550/15000
    Weight: 288.5lb(total) = 205lb(char) + 83.5lb(gear)
    Height: 6'4"
    Languages: Common, Orcish, Goblin
    Age: 23

    Equipment: 197.88gp
    ring of sustenance
    masterwork khora[2]
    masterwork wyvernbone[7] composite longbow +4
    40 arrows
    punch dagger
    masterwork chain shirt
    +1 ashwood[7] shield
    backpack
    bedroll
    crowbar
    flint & steel
    whetstone
    2 explorer's outfits
    cold weather outfit

    And a description of Ba'aktar for those who can't be bothered sifting through what I've written:

    Spoiler:
    An exerpt from "The Acres of Ash and Stone, and the Creatures who call it Home: A Study by Alec Saad, Honoured Historian and Anthropologist of The Society for Knowledge[1]":

    But now I move on to a brief description and biography of my assistant, Ba'aktar of the Grimash. Ba'aktar is a respectably tall half-orc fellow, with probably sufficient muscle to crush a man's head in his hands should he desire it. His hair is black, his eyes are amber, and his skin is a light olive green. He keeps himself clean-shaven and presentable, trying to be a good representative of his tribe outside of Ashstone. He leaves his warpaint on at all times, an indicator I believe of his ever-readiness for battle. He wears a chain shirt of high quality, much like most of his equipment, under a set of furred leathers stitched together from beasts out of Ashstone. Of particular note are the thick leather pauldrons he wears. He claims they're made from the leather of the same wyvern his bow is from.

    Ba'aktar was the second child of a human and orc couple, and like the child before him he was raised with the intention of becoming a member of the warrior caste. When the time came for his Test of Proving he and his party succeeded with flying colours, but at the cost of half the party. This didn't phase the remaining members as it just meant more trophies for them. But then on top of that, since he had proven himself, Ba'aktar took his first opportunity to take part in the Long Hunt. Rather than just tagging along and trying to stay out of the more experienced hunters' way, he actually significantly contributed to many of their kills. Incidently this brought him close to death a couple of times, but the party's healer had no trouble fixing the young warrior's injuries. He earned a number of trophies from his first long hunt, including his bow, pauldrons and the magical ring he currently wears. He was given the pauldrons and bow namely for the fact that he had landed the killing blow upon the wyvern they were made from, and the ring was simply something the party came across and decided that he had earned. Ba'aktar was widely respected for his potential after that.

    A few years and Long Hunts later, Ba'aktar came to the decision that he would seek opponents outside of the Ashlands[12]. So as a representative of his tribe he left to seek even greater challenges and prove himself to Humus and his tribe. Travel via the canals presented itself as the best means of transport, so Ba'aktar took on the form of work that seemed most suitable to him. In no subtle terms he is a pirate and a mercenary, but he only ever cares about getting paid and fighting the biggest foe he can find. Seeing as I doubt he would find a worthy challenge within my humble office I'm assuming he's here because I'm paying him a consultant's fee in exchange for his, well, consultation.(End of excerpt)
    Last edited by Festy_Dog; Tuesday, 27th September, 2005 at 11:24 PM.
    Festy_Dog - Schweppe's Traditional Ox's Blood, the official drink of your dark masters!

  • #8
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    ° Ignore Phoenix

    NPC - Ulam Delago

    Code:
    Name: Ulam Delago
    Class: Rogue
    Race: Halfling
    Size: Small
    Gender: Male
    Alignment: CE
    
    Str: 12 +1      Level: 4        
    Dex: 16 +3      BAB: +3         HP: 21 (4d6+4)
    Con: 13 +1      Grapple: +0     Dmg Red: XX/XXXX
    Int: 10 +0      Speed: 20'      Spell Res: XX
    Wis: 8 -1      Init: +3        Spell Save: +X
    Cha: 6 -2      ACP: 0          Spell Fail: XX%
    
                       Base  Armor Shld   Dex  Size   Nat  Misc  Total
    Armor:              10    +3    +0    +3    +1    +0    +0    17
    Touch: 14              Flatfooted: 14
    
    Weapon                  Attack   Damage     Critical
    MW Dagger(10')      +8(6)    1d4+1       19-20x2
    Dagger(10')         +7(5)    1d4+1       19-20x2
    
    
    Languages: Common, Halfling
    
    Abilities:
    Halfling Racial Abilities:
    - +2 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, and Move Silently checks.
    - +1 racial bonus on all saving throws.
    - +2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear: This bonus stacks with the halflingĺs +1 bonus on saving throws in general.
    - +1 racial bonus on attack rolls with thrown weapons and slings.
    - +2 racial bonus on Listen checks.
    
    
    Feats:
    1st: Quickdraw
    3rd: Two-Weapon Fighting
    
    Equipment:              
    Studded Leather Armour
    Masterwork daggers x4
    Daggers x4
                            
    Age: 30
    Height: 3'2"
    Weight: 34lb
    Eyes: Green
    Hair: Black
    Skin: Olive
    Last edited by Phoenix; Saturday, 16th July, 2005 at 09:35 PM.
    Recruiting for Living ENSuperheroes.

    Spoiler:
    My games:
    Metropolis (The World in Waiting) - Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, OOC, RG
    Metropolis (The Weight of the World (and Found Wanting)) - Chapter One, RG, OOC.

  • #9
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    ° Ignore Phoenix
    Code:
    Name: Lesser Yellow Cultist
    Class: Fighter/Sorceror
    Race: Human
    Size: Medium
    Gender: Male
    Alignment: CE
    Deity: ??
    
    Str: 12 +1      Level: 1/2      XP: ??
    Dex: 14 +2      BAB: +2         HP: 18 (1d10+2d4+3)
    Con: 12 +1      Grapple: +3     Dmg Red: XX/XXXX
    Int: 13 +1      Speed: 30'      Spell Res: XX
    Wis: 11 +0      Init: +2        Spell Save: +X
    Cha: 14 +2      ACP: -0         Spell Fail: 5%
    
                      Base  Armor Shld   Dex  Size   Nat  Misc  Total
    Armor:              10    +1    +0    +2    +0    +0    +0    13
    Touch: 13              Flatfooted: 11
    
    Weapon                  Attack   Damage     Critical
    Rapier                   +4       1d6+1       18-20x2
    Dagger                 +4        1d4+1       19-20x2
    
    Languages: Common, Abyssal.
    Feats: Display Spell*, Dodge, Skill Focus: Heal.
    
    Equipment:      
    Leather armour
    Masterwork Rapier
    Dagger
    
    Spells Day: (6, 4+1)
    
    0-lvl spells  (DC 12)
    Daze
    Touch of Fatigue
    Mage Hand
    Detect Magic or Read Magic
    
    1st lvl spells  (DC 13)
    Magic Missile
    Sleep or Shield
    Spoiler:
    *Display Spell [Metamagic]
    Benefit
    You may choose to delay the effect of a spell you ahve just cast by 'holding' it in your hand. The hand must be free at all times in order to delay the spell and the caster must make a Concentration check (DC 15+spell level) every round to maintain the spell without it dissapaiting.

    At any time after the casting of the spell, the spellcaster may loose the Displayed Spell as a standard action. Only one spell may be Displayed at a time even if the caster has multiple hands free.
    Last edited by Phoenix; Friday, 29th July, 2005 at 05:17 PM.
    Recruiting for Living ENSuperheroes.

    Spoiler:
    My games:
    Metropolis (The World in Waiting) - Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, OOC, RG
    Metropolis (The Weight of the World (and Found Wanting)) - Chapter One, RG, OOC.

  • #10
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    ° Ignore jkason

    Ru Brike, Mafia Monk

    Code:
    Name: Ru Brike
    Class: Barbarian 1 / Monk 4
    Race: Human
    Size: Medium
    Gender: Male
    Alignment: Lawful Neutral
    Deity: ?
    
    Str: 14 +2 (6p.)      Level: 5        XP: 11,500
    Dex: 10 +0 (2p.)      BAB: +4         HP: 42
    Con: 14 +2 (6p.)      Grapple: +6     Dmg Red: -
    Int: 10 +0 (2p.)      Speed: 50'      Spell Res: -
    Wis: 15 +2 (6p.)      Init: +0        Spell Save: -
    Cha: 14 +2 (6p.)      ACP: -0         Spell Fail: -
    
                       Base  Armor Shld   Dex  Size   Nat  Misc  Total
    Armor:              10    +1    +0    +0    +0    +0    +2    13
    Touch: 12              Flatfooted: 13
    
                             Base   Mod  Misc  Total
    Fort:                      6    +2          +8
    Ref:                       4    +0          +4
    Will:                      4    +2          +6
    
    Conditional Saves: 
    * +2 bonus vs. enchantment spells and effects
    * +4 bonus on Endurance conditions
    
    
    Weapon                  Attack   Damage     Critical
    Unarmed...................+6.....1d8+2.........x2
    Unarmed (flurry)........+4/+4....1d8+2.........x2
    Quarterstaff..............+7.....1d6+3.........x2
    Quarterstaff (flurry)...+5/+5....1d6+3.........x2
    Kama......................+7.....1d6+2.........x2
    Kama (flurry)...........+5/+5....1d6+2.........x2
    
    
    Languages: Common
    
    Abilities:
    
    --Barbarian--
    
    * Fast Movement (+10 base racial)
    * Simple and Martial weapon proficiency
    * Light/Medium armor proficiency
    * Shield proficiency
    
    --Monk--
    
    * Flurry of Blows +0/+0
    * Wisdom bonus added to AC
    * Flurry with special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham)
    * Evasion (reflex save for 1/2 = no damage)
    * Fast Movement (+10)
    * Still Mind (+2 vs. enchantment spells and effects)
    * Ki strike - magic (unarmed attack overcomes DR for -/magic creatures)
    * Slow fall 20 ft.
    
    
    Feats: Endurance, Persuasive (bonus human), Improved Unarmed Strike (Monk), Stunning Fist 4x/day (1st level Monk), Deflect Arrows (2nd level Monk), Track (3rd level)
    
    
    Skill Points: 40       Max Ranks: 8/4
    Skills                   Ranks  Mod  Misc  Total
    Climb......................5....+2..........+7 (+9 with kit)
    Intimidate.................5....+2....+2*...+9
    Jump.......................8....+2..........+10 
    Survival...................5....+2..........+7
    Ride.......................4....+0..........+4
    Bluff (cc).................3....+2....+2*...+7
    Sense Motive...............5....+2..........+7
    Spot.......................2....+2..........+4
    Diplomacy..................0....+2....+2**..+4
    
    * +2 bonus from Persuasive feat
    ** Synergy bonus (Sense Motive)
    
    Equipment:               Cost  Weight
    
    Bracers of Armor +1...1,000gp....1lb
    
    MW Quarterstaff.........600gp....4lb
    MW Kama.................302gp....2lb
    
    Belt pouch................1gp....1/2lb
    Signal whistle............8sp....--
    
    Traveler's outfit.........--.....--
    
    Handy Haversack........2,000gp...5lb
    
    --in haversack (weight total reduced to 5lb)--
    Potion CLW (x3).........150gp....--
    Caltrops..................1gp....2lb
    Scroll case...............1gp....1/2lb
    Chain (10 ft.)...........30gp....2lb
    Flask.....................3cp....1.5lb
    Flint and Steel...........1gp....--
    Ink (1oz. vial)...........8gp....--
    Inkpen....................1sp....--
    MW Manacles..............50gp....2lb
    Manacle Lock (amazing)..150gp....1lb
    Parchment x5..............1gp....--
    Sealing wax...............1gp....1lb
    Waterskin.................1gp....4lb
    Smokestick x2............40gp....1lb
    Sunrod x5................10gp....5lb
    Thunderstone.............30gp....1lb
    Tindertwig x5.............5gp....--
    Climber's kit.............80gp...5lb
    Universal Solvent.........50gp...--
    
    
    Total Weight:12.5lbs      Money:* 19pp, 268gp, 47sp (25gp in belt pouch, remaining in haversack)
    
    
                               Lgt   Med   Hvy  Lift  Push
    Max Weight:                58   116   175   350   875
    
    Age: 20
    Height: 6'2"
    Weight: 230lb
    Eyes: Brown
    Hair: Black
    Skin: Tan
    
    *Note: Ru has given his family 287gp, 7cp in "emergency funds" for their own support should he ever prove unable to provide in the manner he has thus far.
    Appearance: Perhaps to distance himself from his childhood in squallor, Ru's grooming is notably exact. His hair is cropped close and even. He's fostered a close-trimmed goatee, as well. Despite the tailoring difficulty his size and width of shoulder provide, he's made sure his clothes all fit him well, a fact that tends to show off the wealth of muscle he sports.

    Background:
    Spoiler:
    Ru Brike just wants to make his life better. His family squatted in a condemned tenement, picked through garbage for dinner, scampered away from the corrupt city guard they couldn't afford to pay "taxes" to. So when Ari Turbul saw the potential bruiser Ru could be and offered him a place in his gang, Ru jumped at the chance.

    Protection money paid for a legal--if small--apartment for Ru's family. Daily trawls of the marketplace fed them all well. Ru especially thrived once he had some real nutrition, his broad shoulders filling out, muscle and mass and a growth spurt making him look a man when he was still just a boy. This was defintely better.

    Ru took Ari's orders. His hearty laugh charmed those he was meant to protect, his powerful muscles hurt those who threatened him or his new allies. Ari greased the right palms, and everyone got what they wanted. Ari's gang became entrenched and established, and Ru was one of his favorite bruisers, usually reserved for when people really needed to ... learn a lesson. The last thing a person wanted to hear was that Ru was on his way.

    That is, until Teram Gis showed up.

    Everyone thought Gis was just another cowering merchant. A few well placed threats, maybe a broken table or two, and he'd fall in line and pay up like everyone else. However, The only thing that seemed to be breaking was Ari's messengers, sent back with one limb or another shattered and no protection payments.

    Ari didn't take it well at all. He'd have no wiry little fishmonger making him look a fool. He sent Ru to tear the place apart and offer his special brand of incentive. Ru never relished doling out punishment, but he was good at it, and Ari was good to his family, so he went.

    Gis was half Ru's size, scrawny and unimpressive to look at. He also blocked every blow Ru threw at him. Again and again, turning Ru's building rage aside without breaking a sweat. As he fought, Ru saw something in the man's eyes. Power, certainly, but something else. A clarity, a focus that channeled that power, that told Ru he would never best this man despite his own raw strength.

    Ru couldn't explain why he stopped. He knew what kind of consequences there would be. Still, he had to. He halted his blows, took a step back, and bowed to his better.

    Gis returned the bow, saying, "You are the first with the wisdom to yield. It is a gift your cohorts lack. One you will never hone in their company."

    Ru cocked his head and smiled. "But you could teach me."

    Gis returned the smile. "Wise again."

    He and Gis struck a bargain. Gis would never yeild to Ari's demands, so Ru ran interference with Ari's men, "personally overseeing" collection (actually, he's making the protection payments for Gis out of his own pocket), steering them clear of his storefront. Gis, in turn, is teaching Ru the discipline he lacked, focusing his power and speed. The balance is precarious, but Ru sees it as part of his training: working the angles hones his mind as his other training hones his body.

    And if it's sometimes a strain, it's once again better than what came before, so Ru shrugs and goes on.


    Adventure Notes:
    Spoiler:
    ~Contact: ConstantineTroll proprietor of "The Throbbing Vein," a Dwarven brothel in the shadow of The Apartments.
    ~Wealth: 20pp, 100gp, 50sp from Ari for expenses related to dealing with the Killi-kelli-hek incursion into Ari's expanding territory.
    ~1gp to send a message to the Troll proprietor at the Vein
    ~15gp to secure mercenary services
    ~Contacts: Scrab and Wos, half-ogre mercenaries.
    ~Contacts: The Ysnek twins, Twilit and Daan, half-elf twins, mercenaries and all-around rogues.
    ~15gp for mercenary services rendered
    ~Contact: Gerry, gnomish Loremaster at the temple of Zsath
    ~Contact: Burke McGregor, half-orc Editor-in-Chief of The Metropolis Herald


    Level Change Log
    Spoiler:
    4th level Monk (5th char. level):

    BAB +1
    Saves all +1
    Ki strike (magic)
    Slow fall 20 ft.
    Stunning Fist +1 time per day
    Unarmed damage now 1d8 base
    Skill Points (5): Jump +2, Spot +2, Sense Motive +11
    HP +7


    Temp Stats:
    Spoiler:
    Stunning Fist uses (used/available): 0/4
    Last edited by jkason; Monday, 14th November, 2005 at 06:05 PM. Reason: Updates for leveling, added level change log

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