Defenders of Daybreak, The Early Years.

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If I remember correctly, it went something like this:

- Enter Academy of Flamecraft by placing lit torch against wall. Teleport to center bridge, somewhat broken, spanning a huge central pit. Derro (and flying cats) emerge from the pit. fight derro, using the wand of conjuration to cleverly place prismatic walls. Explore academy; the place has clearly been trashed by an angry red dragon. Find a library where a cleric was sealed in for decades by molten stone, able to create food and water but not to escape. Read fascinating equations; Glimmer is drained by the cleric's undead form when he gets greedy and doesn't show respect.

- Explore more. In one fight, Cadrienne (ie Mirata) surreptitiously casts a magic missile to kill something; Arcade is unclear how come he cast magic missile and eight missiles appear! Find a staff of the elements and completely ignore it. Explore classrooms, etc, including an illusion-cloaked testing gauntlet for new students. Find Mirata's bedroom, complete with iron golem servitor. Follow an "endless" hallway through the plane of fire to find what will eventually become the mirror room. "Cadrienne" reattunes herself to the mirror. Find a destroyed wall leading to the underdark, where the red dragon that destroyed the academy the first time went. Leave.

- Cadrienne leaves. Sialia gloats. Party panics. Dylrath assigned to Alix as a punishment.

- Everyone heads back to the Academy, trying to catch Mirata/Cadrienne before she's finished preparing spells. Fight formorian giant; in Dylrath's first combat, with his first swing, he crits. Find Mirata. Much business with prismatic sphere, iron golem, intelligent ruby known as the Cascara. Destroy Mirata, rescue Cadrienne, Dylrath attunes himself to the mirror before Alix has a chance to.

Ring any bells? :)
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First Post
It wasn't Arcade--it was Kestellan, one of Mirata's former students who had been trapped in the mirror, who cast the 'eight' Magic Missiles. I remember him gloating about it, and how cheesed off Arcade was about Kestellan having found a way to raise the limit on number of Missiles but not being willing to share the secret.

Ah, Kestellan.

How we loathed him. Even Mirata loathed him--especially as she discovered that her former pupil had been violating Academy rules even while she was still in full command of the Academy in all it's glory. How a Lawful Evil despises a Neutral Evil!

And how we suffered him to return to the Academy to restore it to its former glory I can't recall, except that he was somehow still alive at the end of the adventure, and we didn't have a solid excuse to kill or arrest the snivelling, posturing git, or invalidate his claim to the site.

And then all his mincing politics and playing the hero that made him popular with the Crown of Kindric while we were out saving the world and didn't have time to help the King out with all his domestic disputes . . . that made us loathe him even more.

I know a ghoulish Academy of Flamecraft isn't something anyone would wish for, but it would give the Defenders all the excuse they needed to wipe him and his students out once and for all.

I hope at the very least that keeping the White Kingdom out of his living room is giving him ulcers and hemroids.

Although I'll bet the poser has had them in for tea and made deals as rotten clear through as the company present.

He would.

Also, now that my memory is jogged, I recall that Mirata swiped a bunch of Cadrienne's magic items and saddled her body with a bunch of cursed ones before dumping it.

If anyone is ever exploring the Academy ruins --may it soon be returned to ruins-- again and comes across a small golden girdle, Cadrienne sure would like it back. Not that anyone's made a go at her Virtue in quite some time, but it was helpful with the Monthlies.

Kid Charlemagne

I am the Very Model of a Modern Moderator
Sialia said:

Well, anyway, the next adventure involved a lot of Dopplegangers, and I have to let P'cat tell that story, 'cause it was gorgeous and I'll butcher it. The politics of Gaunt suddenly became very complicated. For the first time, the Defenders found themselves facing deadly foes, nearly stark naked and in chains. The Defenders, that is, not the foes.

I would personally love to hear that story! I love the old doppleganger-plot-politics thing. Can never have enough shapechangers mucking about.

As for Dylrath, I have had the same experience with PC's I've played. I have an old grumpy British major that I play in a Victorian England D&D game currently, who was supposed to be an annoying, patriarchal, over-bearing, gullible, pro-crown boor.

Instead, he's turned out to be like one of those lovable goofs in an Agatha Christie mystery. You know, the one who won't give his alibi even though he looks guilty, because he thinks he 's saving a lady's honor, only to find out the lady conned him long ago and is the actual killer...
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First Post
Si, do you still have the latin palindromes you had researched for Mirata? That's preparation, ladies and gents. Not only had she decided that Mirata (due to her relationship with the mirror) cast her spells with palindromes as the verbal components, she actually went and found fire related palindromes in Latin.

I stand in the presence of genius, all humbled and stuff.


First Post

Translation: By night we gather in spirals and are consumed by the flames

I don't remember all the rest of the top of my head. There was a Japanese one that said something to the effect of "Lo! The bamboo shop has burned!"

It was frighteningly easy to find palidromes about fire. I'm not sure why.

Curiously, Dylrath has never developed any fixation with palidromes. He just accepts that things are backwards from Htarlyd's point of view, speaks backwards when he has to, and gets on with it.

He's managed to avoid thinking about the fact that Htarlyd's room exists at the conjunction of the planes of magma, fire and smoke as well and never meddles with elementalist magic.

He's been using Mirata's braziers for a hibachi, hung hats and wigs on the statues of the Masters of the Academy that control the elemental gates, used the plane of magma as a trashcan, and installed a parquet floor over the summoning circle.

Astonishing, really, when you consider the things he WILL meddle with.
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First Post
Can we expect this thread to continue dispensing Defenders story hour goodness?

I hope so... These old stories are fantastic... Though I'm worried there will be no more after hearing about the end of Arcade's journal...

But for the most part, this post is a *bump*...


First Post
Actually, it doesn't surprise me at all that Rath has done these things. Magic has always been a tool for him, not a performance art. Mirata was VERY into the trappings, that whole "Lo, I am mighty!" thing. Rath views magic as a means to achieve his ends, just one of a set of tools at his disposal. Plus Rath's much of Rath's schtick involves flying in under the radar. No surprise that he takes the mirror seriously, but not reverently.


First Post
Well, Dylrath was the first person he'd ever met who bothered to write spells for purely entertainment purposes, but it wasn't "performance art" per se. More like video games. Maybe I'll post some of his specials here at some point.

Anyway, in response to requests from Piratecat's Story Hour, here's the story about how Dylrath got his Special Talent.

(PS: This thread will continue to be used to fill in long digressive bits of backstory like this, as long as folks keep asking for them and letting me know which stories they want to hear and aren't particular about what order things happened in. If we ever get enough notes together to begin a new chronologically accurate backstory, we'll start a new thread. This one is long enough as it is!)


In the days of the Comet Cycle, the Defenders were being hunted by a whole lot of high level Unholy Assasins of Toraz (ptooie.) And the little jerks were spying on us ALL the time. It was really irritating.

Um. And Dylrath had this rock.

Dylly actually had a whole lot of rocks. He liked collecting little souvenirs from places we'd been. Since he also carried a sling, having a pocket full of nice round stones was always handy, in case you ran out of sling bullets. (Dylrath had a large collection of those,too, mostly magical and all unlabelled and randomly jumbled together with his bits of string and seashells and fish skulls and other oddments. But I digress.)

Dylly was sent to deliver a message. I've long since forgotten who he was delivering it to, or what it was about. Odds are, he barely remembered those things while he was tasked with doing them. Anyway, as he was walking across somebody or other's estate to find whoever he was supposed to talk to, he passed a small stone well with a chalked sign that said "Ye Olde Wishig Wel" It was scrawled in the kind of handwriting a child might use during a game of make beleive. It was obviously bogus.

So Dylrath flipped a copper in and said "I wish I had a pencil-thin mustache."

Ok--before you get on my case--you should just briefly consider the horrific possibilities of what else I might have said. Really surprisingly little harm done, all things considered.

In any case, Dylly --about twelve years old at the time as I recall--immediately sprouted the most perfect pencil-thin mustache imaginable.

This bore some thinking about, and he returned to the Defenders in a rather excitable state, trying real hard to look cool and nonchalant and hoping they wouldn't notice.

Their reactions were about what you might imagine. "You wasted a Wish on what?" "You look damned silly!" "Shave that off this instant young man."
Sheesh. Some people.

Also, there was rather a lot of "WHAT wishing well? Take me there THIS INSTANT!!"

Anyway, it was useless taking folks back to the Well, and the leprechaun hunt was a total waste of time, because Dylly already knew that it wasn't the well. The moment he had made his Wish, one of the rocks in his pocket started thrumming. It pulsed a few times before the mustache sprouted.

And, here's the scary thing, Dylly had been carrying that particular rock for MONTHS.

Piratecat had been waiting and waiting for Dylrath, just once, to slip and say "I wish" anything. Piratecat didn't know how incredibly paranoid I am about using that particular construction. Especially in gametime. Finally, in frustration, he conned me into slipping with that goofy sign. I really am that much of an idiot sometimes.

Anyway, since I suspected the pencil-thin mustache wasn't going to be quite what he had hoped for, I took a wild guess that I might have a second chance and that there might be one more Wish in the rock.

But dammed if Dylrath was going to tell the Defenders that he had a wishing rock. Half the team would have wanted it for themselves, and that half were all the kind of chaotics that would stoop to almost anything to get what they wanted, and they were all higher level and all of them were trickier or stronger than Dylrath. The other half were the sort of benevolent lawful despots that would have deemed it a Sin to use a Wish for Personal Gain instead of for the Greater Good. And they would be sure to know what the Greater Good was better than Dylly.

Dylrath kept his mouth shut and enjoyed the Leprechaun hunt.

That rock damn near burnt a hole in his pocket. He couldn't think about anything else for DAYS. He was afraid to open his mouth to talk.

Dylrath wanted to be a Mage. More than anything. But he was afraid to wish to be a mage, because he knew the reason he wasn't a mage was that he wasn't smart enough. He didn't want to get stuck being a dumb mage. And he was afraid to wish to be smarter, because then he still wouldn't be a mage, and furthermore, then he'd be smart enough to know what he should have wished for and spend the rest of his life kicking himself. And so on. And so on.

It was awful. Worst of all was not being able to ask anyone for advice. Dylly really wasn't used to doing his own thinking. At some point during the leprechaun hunt he tried to get the others to talk about what they would wish for if they did find a source of wishes, and they all said pretty much exactly what he expected. Stuff for themselves, stuff for the Greater Good, nobody especially suggested anything that would be for the Greater Dylrath.

And then the assasins started popping up from nowhere. Some business with having irritated Toraz, the God of Murder (ptoo) and having a contract on our heads and the End of the World and all that.

And finally Dylly thought to himself "If only we knew who they were. If only we knew when they were coming. If only we knew who was watching us at all times."

And then, he got smart all by himself. He said "I wish that I will always know, when someone is watching me, who they are well enough for me to scry for them with Htarlyd."

And it was so.

The rock thrummed and then crumbled away, revealing a large emerald at its core. It's magic was spent.

It was pretty overwhelming at first. Every time anyone so much as glanced at Dylly, he knew them. Walking down a crowded street was dizzying. Being surrounded by an ambuscade of 200 hundred elves almost made him pass out. He developed a terrible fear of public appearances for a while.

He went to great trouble to learn how to make people not want to stare at him. He even gave up careening around on his beloved Outgrabe for a bit, since that always made people stop and stare. He put a couple of serious sessions in on improving his hide in shadows skills.

But eventually, he got used to it.

For a rogue, knowing when you are being watched is a really handy skill.

For a rogue with a magic scrying mirror, it is an open portal to almost anywhere. Dylrath became vastly skilled in the art of "made ya look." He began keeping notebooks full of details about people he'd met and developed a sort of shorthand for describing the soul signatures.

Previously, if he'd wanted to scry for someone, he had to really know them to have any reasonable chance. Now, he could locate almost anyone almost anywhere after the briefest of encounters.

Except a few classes of folks. For example, folks protected against scrying.

Like Vindusites, such as Claris.

And . . .you guessed it . . . Torazites (ptah.)

What God of Murder wouldn't protect his assasins from scrying? Dylrath didn't specify anything about wishing Torazites weren't immune to scrying.

Sigh. Ya can't blame a kid for trying.


First Post
Sialia said:

In the days of the Comet Cycle, the Defenders were being hunted by a whole lot of high level Unholy Assasins of Toraz (ptooie.) And the little jerks were spying on us ALL the time. It was really irritating.

Good story. I have one question though, would you mind explaining the Comet Cycle a bit? Thanks.


Overlord of Chat
Sialia said:
(PS: This thread will continue to be used to fill in long digressive bits of backstory like this, as long as folks keep asking for them and letting me know which stories they want to hear and aren't particular about what order things happened in. If we ever get enough notes together to begin a new chronologically accurate backstory, we'll start a new thread. This one is long enough as it is!)

You do realize that there will not be an end to our questions until you all sit down and figure out everything that can be remembered and write it all down?

Speaking of which.... you keep mentioning the being buried in sand bit.... so explain? :p

Negative Zero

First Post
Sialia said:
...nobody especially suggested anything that would be for the Greater Dylrath. ...

now that line is just PRICELESS!!! awesome story. the more i read aout you guys the more jealous i am of your game! *sigh* ;)



First Post
Ok, it's definitely getting way too late for this. I'm beat. I don't think my brain can hold any more, guys.

Damned if I know whether I'll pass that exam, but you did the best you could with what you had to work with. Let's call it a day.

I owe ya' one. What's your pleasure? You want something simple tonight, or something extravagant after I've passed the exam and had a chance to sleep it all off? Look, Htarlyd's snoring in his frame, maybe we oughta wait until after. You know I'm good for it.

A what? A story? You're kidding, right? Stories aren't payment, they're practically free. I gotta million of 'em. Most of the time I gotta buy somebody a couple of rounds before anyone wants to sit through one of my yarns. Sure. How about the one about Claris and the Tree full of Ravens? No? The Auction in Sigil? No?


That one.

Look, truth, I've never had any contract with the Bard's Hall. I get caught selling stories, I could be in a lot of trouble. Whaddya say we just wake Htarlyd up and go check in on the ladies dressing rooms at the Legerdemain and call it square, hey?


All right all right, deal's a deal.

"Buried up to the Neck in Sand." Sheesh. How does word of this stuff get around? Fine. But if I don't pass this test, everybody's gonna know who prepped me for it.

Right. We were walking. We walked a lot in those days, don't ask me why. We got ambushed a lot, too, in those days. Part of the fun of walking. And there was this girl--I don't remember her name. Clit, or something like that. Honest, we hardly paid any attention to her. A bunch of thugs attacked us, we fought 'em off, Master Deltarion got nailed with some kind of rod that sucked some of the life outta him, and we dealt with the lot of 'em.

I dunno who killed her--Nolin, maybe? I remember she went down headfirst in the stream . . .right, right--Nolin nailed her with one of his insatiable thirsts, only, when she hit the water she was too wounded to swim, and we let her drown and figured good riddance.

And we squashed the rest of the crew, too, but I don't remember how they died. Apart from the soul sucking rod, it was pretty routine.

Skiltor--that's right--a mage named Skiltor Rhun we'd pissed off sent them after us. A buncha flunkies. She was one of them. The frog headed mook was more interesting really, and Nolin got this great wand offa him that had the coolest activation word ever, but nobody thought twice about her. She just picked the wrong day to be an assasin for hire, that's all.

Arcade really had his nose out of joint about that combat for the longest time. Said the damned rod took ten years off his life. Said there wasn't anything anybody could do about it, even Velendo. Yadda yadda whine whine.

Anyway, a while later, we chased a Super-Dopple-Mimic to Oursk--you sure you don't want to hear the story of the Great Showdown with Ambassador SuperDopp instead? Greatest death of any of Tao's dogs ever, really, really gory . . . right, another time then.

Right right, I'm getting to the buried in sand part. All this background stuff is important, really.

There was this list of stolen books and instructions we got out of the saddlebags of Ambassador SuperDopp, after we pulped him and he drizzled away into the ground.

And that list was really important.

We didn't know what the Brotherhood of Night were up to, in those days. We knew they wanted to eradicate the sun, but we figured they were a bunch of psychos and we weren't taking them real seriously.

We had this list, "Top Ten Ways to Get Rid of the Sun: 1. Put a bag over your head. The sun will go away. 2. Stare at the sun without blinking for ten minutes. The Sun will go away."3. Place a sharp object into the center of each of your eyes. The Sun will go away . . ." and so on. So sue me. It seemed funny at the time.

Anyway, the stolen books were all kinds of prophecies and astrological crap. "My duck, his beak is as wide as a riverway!" and a whole lot of other nonsensical ravings.

But the list also had an itinerary, and some notes about a rendezvous point, passwords, contacts, and stuff like that. And a really disturbing little list of some of our friends and relations.

So we decided to look into it. Keep the Ambassador's appointment's for him, as it were.

And then there was all that business with losing Htarlyd in the Wild Magic Zone--yeah, and the room, too and everything in it--which included all our backup supplies and stuff . . .


Busted holy bricks, it's late. Tell you what. How 'bout I finish this tomorrow? It got kind of complicated from here and I'll want to check my notes when I can see straight again . . . you know I'm good for it, right? Cut me a few hours slack so I can get some sleep in before the exam, and I'll throw in some audio visuals, free.

Some of them visuals, they're worth seeing.
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First Post
Interlude. A few spells Dylrath worked up for his midterm exams.

*Dylrath's Blatant and Irresponsible Misuse of Magik
Creates a little illusiory lady (about three inches high) who dances on a floor or tabletop. If you can tag her without squashing her, she exposes anatomy, briefly and then starts dancing again. Lasts a few rounds. You can tag her lots of times, but if you squash her, the dweomer ends. No limit to number of players permitted. She moves faster as the spell nears duration.

* Gotcherfoot
Grabs target by one foot and hauls that foot to a height of six feet. May be laid as a glyph or cast directly onto a target.

* Spelly Watermelon
Requires one piece of fruit as a component, prefereably a melon. When cast the spellcaster decides on a time delay up to 1 day per level of caster. When time expires, the fruit explodes. Messily.

* Glomp
Spellcaster makes a gesture like blowing a kiss. A small magical dweomer with the texture of a fleshy object flies to target and affixes itself over the target's mouth, or nose and mouth, preventing breath, speech, or the passage of objects through the orifice.

* Locate Eggplante
Replaces one random spell in target's memorized arsenal with a spell that tells them the location of the nearest eggplant

* Rain of Fish
Causes 100 pickled herring to fall out of the sky onto target.
Actually, 100 of anything, but the caster has to swallow the prototype item whole without chewing. Chewed items are too nasty. The conjured items last a couple of rounds and then vanish.

* Dylrath's Bucket
Cast the spell on a bucket (or similar object--kettle, cauldron, chamber pot, etc.) and leave the item lying somewhere (such as in a room where folks aren't supposed to be snooping).
When someone steps into a five foot radius of the object, they become unaware of the item's existence until they have inexorably been compelled to place at least one foot (or other limb) into the bucket, whereupon the item sticks. It hangs on until a dispel magic or remove curse is cast, or the bucket fails a structural strength check. There is no reason the bucket has to be empty at the time of casting. Makes one hell of a mousetrap if you bait it with peanuts.
Also works fine falling from on top of a half-opened door onto someone's head.
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First Post
I would looove it, but you have to post it somewhere and stick a link to it here, ok?

I didn't post alll the doodads about the spells, 'cause I wrote 'em back in second ed, and haven't a clue about 3rd ed spell design reqs. Your 3rd ed translations would save me a lot of work.

Hey, and time I don't spend doing my own spell resarch is time I can spend spinning yarns, right? So it's right in the spirit of things.

Also, if you get to use 'em in gametime, I wanna hear about it!

More story to come soon.

Maybe more spells, too, if there's interest. I got a million of 'em!


First Post
I've always liked Rain of Fish. Much better than Reign of Fish, which is icky.

Hmm, but the question is can one swallow a poodle whole?


First Post
Hey! I've got an Arcade style verbal component for one of my spells. It just came to me in a flash:

"Spelling melon,
Melon dwelling.
Melon swelling ,
Rebelling, propelling, expelling, shelling.
Melon smelling."

Whadya think?


First Post
Sialia said:
Skiltor--that's right--a mage named Skiltor Rhun we'd pissed off sent them after us. A buncha flunkies. She was one of them. The frog headed mook was more interesting really, and Nolin got this great wand offa him that had the coolest activation word ever, but nobody thought twice about her. She just picked the wrong day to be an assasin for hire, that's all.

Other memorable events in the ambush were: Tom Tom with the metal pot glued to his head, Nollin getting possesed by a weapon, Tao kissing Nollin to stop his casting while being possesed, and this battle is where Rule #2 comes from "No gloating before striking".

I don't remember what type of weapon it was but Nollin was Bye-Bye. He tried to attack the party with and Tao grabbed him and head-butted him, when that didn't work she planted a big kiss on him so he couldn't say his verbal components.

Back in 2e Psions couldn't use thier powers through metal so putting a pot on Tom Tom's head was the "flunkies" idea of taking him out of the combat. Which is also the situation that caused us to stop gloating before attacking. One of the "Bad guys" had Tom Tom flat on his back with single diget hit points and had something taunting to say before he attacked....and fumbled horribly.

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