3.5 Kulan: Knightfall's Crisis in Bluffside Game [OOC]

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
@Knightfall, The Talangrán Empire sounds just right for having a secret, slave-freeing organization :)
Here's more on how slavery is viewed in Bluffside and some of its neighboring states.

DM's Note: Slavery in Bluffside
It is generally known that slavery in Bluffside is illegal. Those caught selling slaves will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The enslaved are always freed and offered amnesty. The Bluffside Regulars are always hunting slavers, but the guards rarely go into the worst parts of the city — the Undercity and Sordadon. It is believed that there are slavers in Sordadon, but the groups are so well hidden and fight to the death to hide their pits.

Bluffside's view on slavery puts it at odds with many of its neighbors, especially Montresor and Talangrán to the north. The land known as Montresor is a nasty place where slavery is rampant and the lives of its people are cheap. However, its vileness pales in comparison to the evils of the Empire of Talangrán. All demihumans (dwarves, elves/half-elves, gnomes, and halflings) and goblinoids (including orcs and half-orcs) who live within the boundaries of the empire are considered slaves, even if they were born free elsewhere. The slave masters of Talangrán have been known to hunt down escaped slaves well beyond the borders of the empire. These slavewrangers ("Cazadores de Esclavos") have often entered Bluffside in disguise, and the Bluffside Regulars HATE THEM with a passion!

Relations with Novarum are better since that Imperial land is an enemy of Talangrán. However, clandestine slavery has been known to be tolerated in Novarum. As long as it isn't flaunted openly, it isn't strictly illegal.

Bluffside's best ally in the Northwest Region regarding slavery is the city-state known as Tânger, which sits on the southwestern coast south of the cities of Scopula and Barcino. It is a haven for escaped slaves and there are groups in Bluffside who work with the Tângerese to help freed slaves flee south to Tânger.


dulsi said:
(Hmm... Talangrán slave masters come here for lost slaves. Maybe Gralf made a poor choice stopping here.)
While the Cazadores de Esclavos have been known to hunt for escaped slaves in Bluffside, the city is one of safer places for escaped slaves. Tânger is safer simply because it is further away from Talangrán (and Montresor). The Cazadores de Esclavos have lost many of there agents in Bluffside in the pursuit of slaves. They are steadfast about what they perceive as a divine duty in the name of the empire. The slave hunters have been known to pursue escapees to Bard's Gate (in the north), Tânger, Sharn (to the south), through the Dragon Sands, and even as far as the regions known as the Southwest and the Center Lands. A few of the worst of them — insane fanatics — have gone beyond this but never returned.

After reading through a bit more of the Twin Crowns campaign setting that I've borrowed Novarum from, I can say that slavery in that empire is unique in that the slave trade is illegal, but the owning of slaves isn't illegal. Slavery exists in Novarum as a form of legal punishment. Novarese Magistrates use this sentence when a criminal cannot provide the proper restitution to the victim or pay the associated fine. The proceeds of the sale goes to the victim or the victim's family. Indentured servitude to the victim, instead of outright slavery, can be agreed upon by all those involved.

Purification is reserved for the worst crimes in Novarum, including slave trade (the leaders only). It is a type of death sentence that leads to spiritual resurrection. (It is unique to Novarum [and Falia], for now.)
 
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Neurotic

Adventurer
Ok, nice. Can I change the details of the story so that it happens in Talangrán. And akos moved from searching for freedom fighters to joining them and now in Bluffside is one of the not-slaves, but still occasional target of The Cazadores? That way, the background story remains relevant, but not 'in-your-face-still-in-the-city' immediate.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
@Tellerian Hawke: Reminder, more information that Big Tim learned alongside the previous group of PCs.

Librairies in Bluffside
These libraries are known and open to the general populace. It wouldn't be hard for your PCs to learn about them. The other libraries aren't generally public knowledge.

Old City
Theater on the Bluff (Open)
Confirmed, Specialized (Performing Arts)
Number of Books: 70

Temple District
The Exploratory (Open)
Confirmed, Contents Vary from Month to Month
Number of Books: Anywhere from 10 to 60

Teacher's Library (Open, heavily guarded)
Confirmed, General Knowledge
Number of Books: Too many to count. :rolleyes:

New City
Bluffside Crier (Open [normally], currently closed, guarded)
Confirmed, General Knowledge
Number of Books: 85 (pre-disaster); now unknown

Undercity
Cavern Harbor (Open, if you can find it)
Confirmed, Specialized (Seafaring [primary]; Architecture and Engineering and Geography)
Number of Books: 30 to 40.

The Bard's Tale (Open)
Confirmed, Specialized (Performing Arts in Bluffside)
Number of Books: 5 to 10

Temple of the Miner (Open but you have to be a dwarf, gnome, or a miner)
Confirmed, Specialized (Mining only)
Number of Books: 15

Sordadon
Naval Academy (Open, heavily guarded)
Confirmed, Specialized (Architecture and Engineering, Geography, History, Local, Nature)
Number of Books: 100+

Old City
Dragori Embassy (Rumored)
A very new rumor that is being whispered by those visiting the Teacher's Library.
Number of Books: Unknown

Palace (Rumored)
If there is one, it likely is only available to The Five.
Number of Books: Likely 100+

Tribunal of Review and Retribution (by appointment, guarded)
Confirmed; Specialized (Law)
Number of Books: 50 to 60

Museum of Sem La Vah (Semi-Restricted, appointments take a minimum of 6 months, heavily guarded)
Confirmed, Specialized (Ancients)
Number of Books: 50 to 60

Mining District
Adamantine Security Council (Restricted, heavily guarded)
Confirmed
Number of Books: Unknown

Miners & Burrowers Society Guildhouse (guild membership required, guarded)
Confirmed, Specialized (Dungeoneering)
Number of Books: 10

Temple District
Castle of Purification (Rumored)
An old rumor that is scoffed at.

Conflagration of Life and Succor (Restricted, heavily guarded)
Confirmed, Specialized (Religion)
Number of Books: Unknown

Holy Sanctuary of Peace and Protection (Rumored)
No one is sure how this rumor got started.

Military District
Bluffside Regulars Barracks (must be a Bluffside Regular to have access; it is rumored that the library is always open to The Five, however)
Confirmed, Specialized (Architecture and Engineering, Geography, and Local)
Number of Books: 100

House of Flesh (Restricted, guarded)
Confirmed but rumored to be in transition to be bought out by a private citizen
Number of Books: 25

Wizard District
Obsidian Tower of the Unknown (Rumored)
Number of Books: Anywhere from 10 to 1,000

Academy of Arcane Arts (Restricted, must be an instructor, heavily guarded)
Confirmed, Contents are unknown but likely Arcana only
Number of Books: 90+

Library of the Magical and Mundane (Restricted, must be an instructor or a student, heavily guarded)
Confirmed, General Knowledge (main area), Rare Tomes (back area).
Number of Books: Unknown, likely 300+

Wizard Council (Rumored)
Number of Books: Unknown

DM's note: Each of the specialized guildhouses is rumored to have libraries. If true, they are restricted to guildmembers only.

New City
Asylum (Rumored)
If true, the contents would likely be... disturbing.

Trader's League Guildhouse (guild membership required, guarded)
Confirmed, Specialized (Architecture and Engineering, Geography, History, Local, and Nature)
Number of Books: 75

Sordadon
Port Authority (Restricted, guarded)
Confirmed, Specialized (anything related to Seafaring)
Number of Books: Believed to be anywhere from 30 to 80

Stormrite Ship Yards (Restricted, guarded)
Confirmed, likely specialized
Number of Books: Unknown
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Ok, nice. Can I change the details of the story so that it happens in Talangrán. And akos moved from searching for freedom fighters to joining them and now in Bluffside is one of the not-slaves, but still occasional target of The Cazadores? That way, the background story remains relevant, but not 'in-your-face-still-in-the-city' immediate.
So, the idea is he was born in Talangrán or is Várad still going to be his homeland? If the former, that would change a lot of the background. Talangrán is Castilian Spanish in flavor (but twisted and evil). If he grew up there, you'd have to change all the character and place names. Let's not do that at this point.

You can still integrate The Cazadores into the story if you like, but they would be invaders in his homeland (which would be okay). The Cazadores don't care about borders.

Think of them as NE inquisitors.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
The primary deities worshiped in Talangrán are as follows: Atarrabi (NG), Bhaal (LE), The Fisher King [known as El Rey Pescador] (TN), Mikelats (CE), Orcus (CE), The Snake [known as La Serpiente] (CG), and The Unmaker [known as El Deshecho] (CE), as well as archdevils and other demon lords. This group of gods doesn't constitute a true pantheon. The Emperor of All ("El Emperador de Todos") is the true state religion.
 

Neurotic

Adventurer
So, the idea is he was born in Talangrán or is Várad still going to be his homeland? If the former, that would change a lot of the background. Talangrán is Castilian Spanish in flavor (but twisted and evil). If he grew up there, you'd have to change all the character and place names. Let's not do that at this point.

You can still integrate The Cazadores into the story if you like, but they would be invaders in his homeland (which would be okay). The Cazadores don't care about borders.

Think of them as NE inquisitors.
Everything stays the same except after his clan was raided he was brought to his uncle (thus avoiding slavery) and trained to serve as a spy. Except the life took him...this probably affects location names (monastery in particular), but the rest remains unchanged.
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
So, how are everyone's PCs coming along? Who needs more time? And how much?

I'd like to get going by Thursday or Friday of this week.
I'm hoping to finish my character today, otherwise it may take me some more time. I'll be on holiday starting Thursday, which means I'll post as often as I can but making a character on a phone is less than optimal...
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
QUESTIONS:
Do you have objection to trading a familiar for a feat (a flaw that I often request), that is, Practiced Spellcaster)?
I never make players use that class feature, if they'd prefer to swap it for something else. As long as you realize you won't be able to get a familiar later on, I'm okay with it.

Aust Thale said:
Also want to trade Trap Sense +1 (3rd level Rogue) for Penetrating Strike (Dungeonscape p. 13 top of page right side (ACF)) Is that allowed?

Alternative Class Feature:
Penetrating Strike
Level: 3rd.
Replaces: If you select this alternative class feature, you do not gain trap sense.
Benefit: Whenever you flank a creature that is immune to extra damage from sneak attacks, you still deal extra damage equal to half your normal sneak attack dice. This benefit does not apply against creatures that cannot be flanked, nor against foes that are otherwise denied their Dexterity bonus to AC or flat-footed but not flanked.
You've picked one of the few v.3.5 books I don't own anymore. I got rid of that one like I did Libris Mortis. Regardless, it is also listed online here, as part of of the Lightbringer Rogue variant, so I'll let you use that version. (It seems like its the same ACF.) Just link to the Lightbringer class page so I can refer to it.
 
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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
So, I think I'm at a point where I know enough about your PCs to create an In-Character thread. My first post will set the scene for Big Tim, Relgar and any of the other PCs that are already in Oakfirst Manor. I'll leave it up to you guys to decide if you either want to be there already or arriving at the manor soon. I'm assuming your PCs have been in Bluffside a while, if not Old City itself. At the very least, your PCs should be arriving in Old City or be in the district already.

The first post may go up today, but I do have dinner out with my family later.
 
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Envisioner

Explorer
I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to make the jump to this new forum, and after several days, I have finally tipped over the line to "yes". Relgar Aspergim, Paragon Abjurer and Level 0 Geometer, at your service.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to make the jump to this new forum, and after several days, I have finally tipped over the line to "yes". Relgar Aspergim, Paragon Abjurer and Level 0 Geometer, at your service.
Wow, I was sure you weren't going to make the jump here. I'm glad to continue to have you on board for this game. Make sure you copy Relgar's character sheet over to this thread: 3.5 - [Kulan] Kanpur: The Ancient Lands

If you want to make any tweaks to him, now would be the time.

FYI, I sent you another PM on The Piazza.
 
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Envisioner

Explorer
hmm, there is a lot of arcane power in this group. Should be interesting.
Given who we're fighting, we'd probably be screwed without most of the characters being arcana-competent (enough so to at least avoid reading any strange glyphs we might encounter).

(Also...for the love of God, "Montresor"?) :ROFLMAO:
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
So, I haven't begun writing the first post yet. Working out some details with Envisioner regarding Relgar plus a small family crisis has me delayed. I'll try to get it up tonight, but it might slip to tomorrow.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
The In Character thread has been created and the intro post is up...

 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
And then some...

You know pretty much every use for the prismatic crystalline flower, which is a rare mineral bloom called a Iridescent Zunsum. It only grows on the coast near Bluffside and originated in the ruins of Sem La Vah. It is a rare manifestation of magical energies. When it blooms, it usually means there has been a great magical convergence. In its inert state, it looks similar to a gemstone wrapped in vines. In its current state, it is one of the most beautiful sights that magic and nature create together.

However, it's beauty rarely leads to peace. It is indeed used as a planar key and can be used to help strengthen a weak portal or create a new one from scratch, if enough of the Zunsum is collected and gathered together to form a catalyst. Since you found no historical evidence that a portal ever existed in this spot before (see below), it's very likely that this Phelix person used the bloom to create this portal. It would have taken some time to perform the rituals, and the effects on him would have been painful without the aid of a supernatural being.

Zunsum is valued for its ability to enhance the crafting of magical items, and can strengthen a new items caster level by as much as 50% if the caster is willing to give up part of his life force in the process. (In game terms, this is temporary ability score damage [1d8+1/bloom] based on the caster's magical leanings. So, for a wizard, Intelligence, but for a Sorcerer, Charisma. This temporary damage lasts twice as long as usual and if the caster gives up too much, he/she starts losing Constitution, permanently.)

The one bloom on the table is worth nearly 25,000 gp, but the sale of it is restricted by the Wizard Council. They would never let anyone sell it in Bluffside. It's value increases significantly in other lands (nearly twice as much).

Neurotic said:
Neurotic said:
<-- local gossip, history, area details
Old City is where the origins of Bluffside were forged. Early archaeologists and treasure seekers plumed the region including Sem La Vah. The first lord mayor of the city was known as Jarmine the Wise. The descendants of the original settlers still call Old City their home and families known as The Five are the most important of these merchant-nobles. You know well the story of the Goblinoid War and that when the goblins came, the bridges of Old City were raised. This left the rest of the new city to burn under the torches of the krugs. This has left a lasting divide between Old City and the other districts.

Today, Old City is one of the most patrolled and protected districts in the city, which makes the current murder spree in Old City quite troubling to its citizens. Add to that the knowledge that the renegade sorcerer who caused the disaster in New City is now loose in Old City has the people on edge. The wealthier displaced citizens of New City, taking refuge in Old City while their home district is under martial law, shout loud for justice and that Old City be turned upside down in order to find the sorcerer. The high-ups in Old City want the man found too, but mainly so he can be hanged publicly and the New City citizens can get out of Old City.

Most of the current gossip about the district has more to do with the daily lives of its citizens than Phelix. You do know that he attacked Big Tim, Relgar, Custodio, and their old companions in the inn known as the Golden Lantern, yet the renegade wasn't actually there. Somehow, he set a magical trap for them keyed to saying his name out loud. Thus, why Tim and Custodio are hesitant to say the man's name out loud (just in case). They and their old allies nicknamed the renegade, Waldo. Rumors surrounding the Golden Lantern speak of another assassination plot against one of remaining members of The Five, but why would one of them go to that inn after what happened there already?

The main information you're learned about the Gardens is that the dragori-fehr servant of the Great Mother, Sylemis, who helps tend the Grove of Peace and Harmony has come down with an ailment that even he can't cure. Normally, he can brew almost any potion for any need, but he's able to cure himself. It is whispered that he may be cursed due to his past failings in the Dragori Empire.

http://roll.coyotecode.net/lookup.php?rollid=229709
Neurotic said:
Planar: 1D20+11 = [3]+11 = 14 <-- it doesn't go to Feywild
When the Wizard Council first asked you to take a look at the Growers' Tower (and then the portal), you were quite surprised by maddening, runic writing in the tower and the planar map that existed on the bottom level of the tower's interior. Those writings are not normal; it's as if the person who wrote the markings at the top of the tower's interior wasn't the same person who wrote the insane markings at the bottom of the tower.

The planar map shows all the standard planes (as they exist in the Mirrored Cosmology), but the map seems focused on finding a connection to the Far Realm. The council had warned you of this ahead of time, but seeing it was still unnerving.

The portal itself was nearly invisible to the naked eye, and if the council hadn't had it outlined it black chalk, you would have missed it. The portal itself seems quite plain in comparison to the tower, and you couldn't see any evidence that it would go anywhere other than the Ethereal or a demiplane that coexists alongside Kulan. Note that the portal isn't in the tower. It's on the district's outer wall that connects it to the Gardens.

http://roll.coyotecode.net/lookup.php?rollid=229709
Neurotic said:
Gather Info: 1D20+8 = [6]+8 = 14 <-- whatever he found out from the mobs
I assume you're mainly interested in learning the latest rumors about Phelix, the Growers'
Tower, and the portal.

One of the Elite tower wizard guards of Wyndlasmere House, Finnola Jardine, has gone missing. It is believed that she stumbled into one of Phelix's plots and was murdered, but her body hasn't been found.

The citizens living near the Gardens whisper that they've seen a man matching Phelix's description walking along the top of the wall that divides Old City from the Gardens.

There is talk that Master Gervas Rosenberg might close down the Golden Lantern in its current location and move it to the other side of Old City, if the renegade isn't found soon. Phelix's name has been bad for business, and he seems really nervous when inside his inn. (He was almost killed by the fireball trap.)

A fist fight broke recently out on the street near the primary gateway that connects Old City to the Gardens. The troublemaker was none other Carl I of the Temple of the Ooze. He has been spouting mad doctrine that Phelix the Renegade is actually a prophet of the Great Ooze and that he should be praised for his actions. Carl I was taken into custody and hasn't been seen in Bluffside since.

The latest rumor about Old City's serial killer is that he's an assassin working for a foreign power and is trying to disrupt Bluffside's trade and security.

A drunkard who was stumbling through the Sublime Bazaar late last night, ran screaming from what he believed was the ghost of the murdered Lord Mayor. The Regulars caught him this morning and dumped him in a cell at the barracks to dry out.

A new inn has appeared in the Undercity below part of Old City, seeming out of the blue. No one is sure who built it, but the new business is called The Shady Dragon Inn. The local miners are avoiding it like the plague, while a handful of young adventurers recently visited it and came out very excited. Perhaps there is some new type of exotic entertainment? If so, Glamor Glitterod of the Black Boudoir won't be happy.

Someone saw a weird creature in the street near the Tribunal. It looked like it had tentacles and it was horrific to behold.

http://roll.coyotecode.net/lookup.php?rollid=229709
Neurotic said:
History: 1D20+13 = [2]+13 = 15 <-- what happened last time the portal opened
No matter how hard you looked, you could find no evidence, in any of the libraries open to you, that a portal exists where one does now. Your research into the history of portals in Bluffside was frustrating since the walls of Old City are specifically warded to not allow portals or gates to be created on them or even near them.

You had to go look a the place where the Wizard Council found the portal just to make sure in your mind that hadn't made a mistake. They didn't; it's there; it shouldn't be there. That revelation sent a chill down your spine. Mortal magic did not create the portal alone.

http://roll.coyotecode.net/lookup.php?rollid=229709
Neurotic said:
Bardic Lore: 1D20+11 = [10]+11 = 21 <-- secrets of this particular portal or grove
Sylemis of the Gardens was once a bodyguard for an important dragori noble in his homeland, but he was disgraced after he was discovered asleep while that noble was assassinated. It didn't matter that he wasn't on duty at the time, and he was forced to leave the empire in shame. (They cut off his tail.) He wandered in the Dragon Sands for years before eventually finding his way north to Bluffside. The druids of the Gardens took him in and he has healed much of his soul. Most of the populace don't know his origins, but regular visitors to the Gardens have come to respect him greatly.

Wyndlasmere House is known for many legends about its construction, but you've learned that most of them are false. (The one true one is a doozy.) Regardless, the guard house is one of the more prestige postings in the entire city of Bluffside, but most of those postings go to young Elite guards who are members of the more influential families in Old City. One of the main exceptions is the current leader of the house, Towermaster Alel Monderand. The grizzled old kindred dwarf came up from within the Regulars to eventually become one of the Elite. He is highly respected for his role in the Goblinoid War. He helped defend those outside Old City after the bridges were pulled up to seal off the wealthy district. His appointment to Wyndlasmere House has pissed off many of the old guard, but the Regulars and Elites under his command would fight to the death for him (and he, them).

Wyndlasmere House was once the home of a powerful cleric named Roxana Tryphosa who was one of the last surviving heirs to the Imperial Throne of Ticinum. She lived in Bluffside over 100 years ago and disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Her identity wasn't known to the peoples of Old City until after she disappeared and her house was seized. She left behind so much priceless art from her homeland that filled half of the treasure vault of the Palace. Rumors abound that not everything was found and that there are secret passages under the house that lead to the Underearth. Towermaster Monderand simply laughs when he hears these rumors.

http://roll.coyotecode.net/lookup.php?rollid=229709
Neurotic said:
OOC: Crit on the arcana and yet rolls under average :) Good start! ;)
FYI, for my campaigns, I treat crits. on skill rolls as if you rolled a 30. So, you're 33 is actually 43. ;)
 
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