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  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabidBob View Post
    Brilliant.

    I have to say, as a huge Clive Barker fan, I'd love to be playing in this game!
    Wish us luck that this all works as well in actual play as it does on (virtual) paper... we start in a week!
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

 

  • #72
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    A few remarks about naval personnel, both current and former:

    • Saul Invictus is the Grand Admiral of the Armada. He is nearing 60 years, bald as an egg yet fit as a man half his age. He is stern, given to drink, and known for making any necessary sacrifice, so long it involves others. He hasn't taken his flagship, the Delicate Needle of Inquisitive Purpose out into the deep waters of the Aster in nearly twenty years, even though it is a rebuilt Black Ship, made out of hell-forged obsidian from the Infernal Isles. Nowadays he rarely sails it out of the port.

      This wasn't always the case. It was a young and fearless Captain Invictus who discovered the wreckage of a Black Ship, cut evenly in two as if by some titanic butcher, on some nameless island in the Aster Sea. It was he who towed it back to the port, found engineers and occultists of sufficient skill to make her whole once more, and was subsequently made admiral of the Armada for it, claiming the black glass vessel as his flagship.

      During the Needle's maiden voyage, far out on the Aster, Admiral Invictus met that titanic butcher who originally split his ship in two. It was the God or the Devil of that star-tossed sea that men call the Kraken.

      Let's just say the Delicate Needle of Inquisitive Purpose acquitted herself slightly better that time around. Saul Invictus managed to flee, with only half his crew maimed or killed. To this day he won't brave the deep sea, for fear of meeting the Kraken again.


    • Ishmael Flyte once was promising young officer in the staff of Admiral Invictus, serving aboard the Needle. Fortunately, he survived the Kraken's attack. Unfortunately, he was maimed. Unlike the Admiral, he swore revenge. Flyte was eventually drummed out of the navy for 'obsession and madness', but nevertheless managed to both become an accomplished aeronaut and, later, a father.

      Flyte now hunts the Kraken from the skies, a pursuit which has earned him the nickname 'the Man Who Wages War With the Sea', since the sea is, to this day, the only thing hes scored a reliable hit upon.


    • Arachnae Flyte is Ishmaels grown daughter. She is the 2nd woman to become an aeronaut, behind Ingenue Santos, and, like her father, has a host of serious personal issues. She is known as the Black Widow of the Air.
    Last edited by Mallus; Monday, 25th August, 2008 at 04:45 PM.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #73
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    Here is email that's going to kick things off. I have it on good account that the first live session will begin with the words 'roll initiative!'.


    "Just before the bell of Thrice-A-Day's Tower struck ten this morning, there was a rain of blood over the Shambles that lasted nearly fifteen minutes. Fat red drops fell from a cloudless sky, leaving puddles that evaporated moments after the rain ceased.

    In the Rumcastle district, at fifteen minutes after eleven, a child was born who had a hole in his chest where a heart would normally be found. The baby was in no way discomfited by the missing organ, and otherwise seems entirely healthy. His parents have not yet decided on a name.

    At thirty-five minutes past noon, a brown dog leapt atop the rim of a fountain in Five Fathoms Market and recited a quatrain in an unknown language, vanishing back into the crowds before anyone could succeed in laying hands upon it.

    There were doubtless more omens --there always are -- but they have passed unseen and unremarked. There is no question in anyone's mind, however: another god washed ashore sometime today.

    That might be why someone is screaming for help now, here in the Stagger, as midnight approaches. Probably not; murder is far more common than apotheosis, even in these degenerate days. But one never knows."
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #74
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    Mallus,

    Just wanted to say (again) that this sounds like a great setting.

    RC
    No longer associated with this site

  • #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven Crowking View Post
    Just wanted to say (again) that this sounds like a great setting.
    Thanks again RC. We've had a lot of fun writing it up. Hopefully things will go as well as we actually run the campaign.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #76
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    This is my starting PC:

    Sir Yatagan Fracas (pronounced British-style, 'fra-ka') is a Dragonborn paladin and poet residing in the Shambles. He prefers to live in the past, like most of his kind. He does this primarily through the writing and performance of classically-styled Dragonborn love poetry, a mode famed for it's combination of lyric romanticism and veiled threats of violence. It was this study of ancient Dragonborn poetry that led him to religion, a belief in the 'Dragon Within', and eventually, to take the oath of paladinhood. While Yatagan shares his people's fascination with the past, frankly, he's none too smart, which might explain why he's a poet and not a historian.

    Yatagan is an odd combination of charming and revolting, at least by human and fae standards. While he's very charismatic, literally dressed in shining armor, he's also uncomfortably reptilian. His breath weapon is his toxic, bacteria-laden saliva, a la a Komodo dragon. His paladin's 'marking' ability involves him passing his sword under his cloaca, spraying it with his semen, and then flinging it foes. This, naturally, humiliates and enrages them. In addition, Dragonborn semen also has some mildly hallucinogenic properties, like the skin of certain frogs.

    Scholars believe that this unorthodox combat technique has it's origins in Dragonborn reproductive biology. They conjecture that chemical agents in Dragonborn ejaculate sicken 'marked' females if they attempt to mate with, or even approach, other males.

    Yatagan is also overweight.

    He's also in --involuntarily-- chaste love with a 'young' elven woman named Dulsynada. She's a tavern server and a nihilist, a member of the Cult of That-Which-Is-Not.
    Last edited by Mallus; Tuesday, 2nd September, 2008 at 08:06 PM.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #77
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    Some remarks on the Other Side from my collaborator Rolzup:

    THE OTHER SIDE

    • The realm of the Dead is coterminous with that of the living; it's *here*, but a different here than the one that the living know. The Other Side looks not dissimilar to this one -- buildings are different, or more dilapidated, but generally if there is a structure on one side there will be a corresponding building on the Other. The Eternal Bureaucracy, for example occupies an enormous building on the same patch of land that houses the Governor's mansion in the land of the living.

      There are differences, of course. The Other Side is in a perpetual state of dim twilight, with neither sun nor moon visible. The air is heavy, leaden even, and devoid of the rich scents that flavor the living Port. Curiously, the smell of the living is particularly strong on the Other Side, and carries a great distance. This is even more true of freshly spilled blood, which can be smelled literally miles away.


    • The Dead wander about, on errands of their own, rarely bothering to speak to or even acknowledge their fellows. Among them are the Spring-Heel Jacks, servants of the Bureaucracy, moving in great leaps through the crowds as they hunt the spirits of the freshly dead. The Spring-Heels also function as the de-facto police force of the Other Side, enforcing the will of the Bureaucracy and punishing those who violate its numerous (and nebulous) laws.


    • The Spring-Heel Jacks look and act much like Hopping Vampires. Their names comes from both their unusual stride and the matte black truncheons they carry, whose blows are capable of stupefying even the incorporeal dead..

      When they find such a soul, likely confused and disoriented from their passage, the Spring-Heel Jacks set upon him and use their claws to carve a sigil into his forehead. A single glance at this mark will tell the bureaucrats and their servants all they need to know about the sprit. Name, time and method of death, karmic balance, and so forth.


    • Having been marked, the dead are left to their own devices. Most seek out the Bureaucracy, located on the same piece of land that the Governor's mansion occupies in the living world, and join the seemingly interminable line of those waiting to be processed. When they finally get the chance to see a bureaucrat (a wait that can take years), their ultimate destination is determined and a scrip is issued for their voyage upon the black ships.


    • This passage might be scheduled for next week, next year, or the next decade. Or it might be four hours ago, and you're already out of luck. Some few are denied passage at all; these unfortunates, along with those who lose their scrip or miss their scheduled ship, have the option of appealing to the bureaucracy for reconsideration. It will come as a surprise to none that this is not a quick process.


    • Some try to swim the Aster, or to build their own boat. Nothing good ever comes of such attempts.


    • Of course, the ones who die in the Port are the lucky ones. Those who die elsewhere need to make their way to the offices of the Bureaucracy, which generally entails a long and very hazardous journey. There are many predators on the Other Side, and they will consume their victims entirely if they catch them.


    • Most of the souls in the Hereafter are waiting. Waiting to be seen, waiting to take passage, waiting for their loved ones to join them. Some few have duties; working for the Bureaucracy, helping to re-unite families, or even working in one of the many brothels. These are the exceptions, though...most simply lack the energy.


    THE UNDEAD

    • The undead fall into several sorts....

      Souls which could not or would not pass over. These are ghosts, specters, and similarly incorporeal undead. Many are quite mad.


    • Reanimated corpses. Zombies and skeletons; mindless shells animated by simple spirits, with no connection to the soul that once occupied them.


    • Revenants. Corpses occupied by their own souls; they possess the full memories and intelligence that they had in life. Vampires, or the crew of the Momento Mori. Most of these sort are in the world of the living with the permission of the Bureaucracy; they, or a living relative, were able to present a successful petition for a return to semi-life. Those without the blessing of the Bureaucracy are hunted down and dragged back to the Other Side, after their body has been torn to pieces.


    • The half-dead. Shadar-kai and Ghouls, primarily -- neither fully dead nor fully alive, they are native to both worlds and can pass between them with relative ease.


    • And then there are the resurrected, the ones who are pulled fully back to life through powerful magic. Such individuals are out of the Bureaucracy's jurisdiction, but they're never entirely free from the other side. Anyone who has been marked with a sigil, for example, bears it in life...and these people also lose the ability to see their own reflection. Mirrors, pools of water, your lover's eyes...any reflective surface will act as a window to the Other Side. It's an unsettling thing, to say the least.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #78
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    You should make a pdf of this setting and charge me money for it.

    It frickin rocks.

    PS
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  • #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storminator View Post
    You should make a pdf of this setting and charge me money for it.
    If we'd have known people would pay for this stuff we wouldn't have given (most of) it away for free. In case anyone is interested, here is the complete list of PC's for the inaugural port campaign...

    • Captain Artichoke: a human warlord who failed at soldiering only to find success as a motivational speaker/pamphleteer. He's "the son of a greengrocer with a sadly literal name and a woman with an unfortunate liking for military men". "Captain" is his actual first name, not his rank. He's played by our resident tactical genius and Pratchett fan.


    • Mister Odanais Dare: a Byronic young dandy of a human wizard who was carrying out an incestuous affair with his sister until she was captured by air-pirates. He seeks her rescue, revenge, and a brandy of suitable complex flavor, in precisely that order.


    • Heyoka Jumps-Off-Mountains: a Longtooth Shifter fighter from a small town near the Interior whose enthusiasm is only rivaled by his gullibility. He's described as a "puppy with a bastard sword".


    • Penelope Pindar, aka The Black Burqa: a young female human ranger clad in head-to-toe clothing whose deadliness with a bow is only rivaled by her body-image issues.


    • Asarlai: an elderly half elf whose novel approach to retirement was to a) decide his life up until that point was meaningless b) resume his incomplete warlock training and c) make a pact with the entities Beyond-the-Sea for the powers required to live out his remaining days as an adventurer. BTW, his curses are all variations on 'get off my lawn'.


    • A Nameless Dwarven Cleric: he's still being worked on, but we're trying to convince his player to worship the Sphere of Annihilation.


    • Sir Yatagan Fracas: a Quixotic Dragonborn paladin and poet who sometimes goes by the name of poetic alter-ego, Onan Ruckus. His paladin's "mark" involves the spraying his sword with hallucinogenic semen from his cloaca and flinging it at opponents.


    Together, they fight crime!
    Last edited by Mallus; Monday, 15th September, 2008 at 05:12 PM.
    "You should probably put your bandit hat on now. Personally, I- I don't have one, but I modified this tube sock." - Ash, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

    The Chronicle of Burne, and Some Others of Lesser Importance: Updated 05-17-2009! Current episode: Flight of the Philip.

    The Port on the Aster Sea
    Our 4e setting. It's a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!

  • #80
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    Onan...that's great. Heheheh.
    Hundreds of tons of armor and guns
    Making its way through the sand
    Our warjack battalion is back for revenge
    Artillery sweeping the land!

    First strike is ours, no mercy is shown
    There's rivers of blood in our track
    Breaking their ranks of defense with our 'jacks
    Infantry watching our backs!

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