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Level Up (A5E) (+) Project Chronicle: Adversaries and Allies

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
The world is fraught with peril, friend. You may find yourself in battle with great beasts and lashed by terrible storms, but the greater danger comes from those who have a mind and a will to do harm. Whether this is a tempter seeking to draw you into lustful debaucheries and lotus fueled hazes, wardens following your steps, cultists of twisted godlings, or those who look to flesh of any variety as sustenance.

But also among those of will you will find allies in any cause you pursue, no matter how great or terrible. Within these pages I will tell you of those I have known as both enemy and ally. Friend and foe. And let you pick your own path, your own comrades. But know that if you join my foes, all that I have shared with you in these chronicles will not prepare you for my wrath, or the wrath of my allies.

-The Chronicler-

So obviously we need groups of people to help flesh out the world and give people positions to oppose, or ally themselves with. Villains, cults, and the like. So that's what this thread is going to be for. Here's what we've got so far:

1) Moadi's Hammer. Slavebreakers in service to the legendary Moadi, who killed his masters with his hammer and fled into the mines of Achelb to gather other slaves to his cause. Does he still live in the mines, or has someone else taken up his hammer and his name? How do they live in the caves? What is their main goal going forward?

2) Secret Keepers. An organization mostly made up of Rangers, probably, who scours the deserts of Annam for treasure-hunters and tries to steer them away from places where their foolish footsteps will unleash terrible evils... Or failing that, kill them, to hide what remains in the sands. Some of them know terrible truths, all of them know legends.

3) Atorkhan and his Seventy and Seventy. A band of rogues and thieves in the Scorpion Lands, lead by the bandit king Atorkhan. No one has seen Atorkhan in a hundred years, though. And many bands of thieves in the Scorpion Lands claim to be a part of the Seventy and Seventy. Is there really a band, or is it just a bunch of people benefiting from a long-dead bandit's reputation?

4) Cult of the Dreamer. In service to a "God of Dreams", this cult does it's best to spread the use of Goran Powder, an addictive drug that induces intense hallucinations, visions, and dreams. It's said that some who fall into the sleep of Goran Powder may even channel this fallen god into the world by allowing him to waken in them.

5) The Coven of Widowghast, a Neasc witch coven who rule many small villages through fear while remaining in the forests themselves. They demand tributes from the places they terrorize in exchange for keeping the horrible curses and beasts at bay.

6) The Tower of Maray. Near to Qesh, it is one of the few Mage Towers in the world It is also one of the strongest and most well known. It's master, Maray, is said to be a thousand years old and is only ever seen once every five years, standing on a high parapet, declaring graduates and his acceptance of new students into the tower. Not every student graduates... and those who do not are never seen again. His mages travel on his behalf, serving the interests of those they contract with, but ever Maray's purpose above all others.

 
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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Oh, I got a magic item for you, from my LARPing days:

Throne Breaker
Unique Light Hammer, requires Attunement.

The legendary miner's tool used by Chainbreaker Moadi while working in the in mines. While attuned with it, all weapon attack rolls and damage rolls receive a +2 bonus. Furthermore, you and all allies within 10 yards (30 ft) have advantage on ability checks to escape a grapple.

You can spend 1 charge to cast Freedom of Movement on yourself with a duration of 10 minutes. The hammer has 3 charges and regains 1d4 charges at dawn.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Definitely like the idea of a "You can't hold me down" hammer for Moadi's legacy item. Could also grant the Enchantment Bonus to persuasion and intimidation checks made while the hammer is visible.

Make it Persuasion for those who are against slavery, and Intimidation for slavers.

Might want to stat out the various characters from the short-story excerpts as their own figures in the lore for enemies and allies. Could be fun?
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Make it Persuasion for those who are against slavery, and Intimidation for slavers.
Is it a little too vague? I dont recall if L-U has ability checks that specific, but if so, that be a nice touch. It'd be nice if slavers (or other ''shadow-touched'' NPC) add a specific Humanoid subtype.

Like:

Bandit Lord
Humanoid (Slavers)

or

Cultist
Humanoid (Sorcerer)

This way you could make the weapon a +1 weapon, +3 against creatures with the Slaver subtype and 1 expertise dice on Intimidation checks against creatures with the Slaver subtype.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
That's not a bad idea.

And no, LevelUp/A5e doesn't get that granular by default. But it's meant to be more Flavorful than Useful. Something interesting tied to the item, independent of the system's standard method of working.

The DM knows whether some NPC is a slaver or not, and can adjust accordingly.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I'd maybe add a feature that boost Renown for both Slavers and Slaves by the enhancement bonus.

And: On your turn, if you use the Help action to help an ally resist a situation causing them to Grappled or Restrained, the enhancement bonus of the weapon increase to +3 for 1 hour.
 

GuyBoy

Adventurer
The Sacred Band : An Ellenic group of warriors who travel as mercenaries seeking the immortality of battle. They do not necessarily serve the highest bidder (though they do expect payment) but the one who offers the greatest glory.

The Hunters of the Dead: A group led by the ranger Teerka following the death of her half-sister Xrione, who was raised as a revenant. The group offers it services to any threatened by the undead, particularly sentient undead.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
The Hunters of the Dead: A group led by the ranger Teerka following the death of her half-sister Xrione, who was raised as a revenant. The group offers it services to any threatened by the undead, particularly sentient undead.
This is absolutely awesome, I was about to post my own:

Pilgrims of the Last Dawn: A group of disciples who gather sentient undeads to allow them to atone and seek forgiveness before walking one last time under the cleansing, burning sun to reach their final death. To them, undeath is a curse that can be removed to allow safe passage of the souls, and if you kept your sentience while undead, it means that your will to be something better was greater than the curse, thus showing the possibility of using that willpower to reach salvation.
 

GuyBoy

Adventurer
The River Snakes: A smallish band of river pirates led by a person (or maybe something inhuman) known as Slith the Venomed. They hide their small canoes in reed beds along the Cobra River, attacking vessels at night, when they set anchor to sleep. Trade goods are stolen, all crew are murdered and left with tongues cut out for whatever reason. The unfortunate boats are then set free to drift downstream with the current.

The Beasts of Men: A cult out of the wild forests of Neasc, these savage warriors file their teeth to points and then hunt captives through the dark forests to kill and devour. In doing so, they gain aspects of the Beast deity (think combination of lycanthropy and Wendigo legend). There are legends of heroes who have survived these hunts, some who even turned the tables on the Beasts of Men......
 


GuyBoy

Adventurer
Abn Awaa: she is an ancient witch who is said to have power over all the jackals in the Scorpion Lands. The cunning and ubiquitous canids bring her information about pretty much everything that is going on, as well as stealing items she desires. Abn Awaa is said to have a guard of 13 jackalwere warriors. She is malicious and cruel, but is strangely protective of children in danger, and is often willing to aid (or give information to) heroes who are battling those who would harm the young, such as slavers.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
The cult of Remula: A debased cult worshiping the charismatic Remula of Many-Teeth, a fiendish abbot said to have survived 170 years by eating only the flesh of mummified stone giants from their towering twin stone catacombs. The cult believes that consuming specific parts of monstrous creatures allows one to gain its power. The monsters are considered the pinnacle of creation, living aspect of the gods on this barren plateau. By partaking in horrific feasts, the disciples seeks to devour the ''divine spark contained in each Blessed One''. The stronger the monsters, the most deserving of adoration the creatures are, the most desired is their flesh.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
The Birthing Waters: Created and now protected by a disparate band of warriors, the river keep called the Birthing Waters is actually the resting place of Uhmalshira, Daughter of the Typhoon. She was a powerful storm giant warrior princess, feared by desired by many pretenders. Married by force by her father to a distant cousin with a dark heart, she fled to the dry lands once she found out to be pregnant. The legends says that she died in childbirth, her waters giving birth to a small river where her retinue built her a tomb that now serve as the fort for the guardians. It is said that the twins she had that day still walk the land, seeking to shatter the throne of their devious father and grandfather. The Spirit of Uhmalshira inhabit the river itself and the keepers of the fort shelter all lost daughters hunted by men of darken hearts and the orphans born each days in this unforgiving land.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
I love what you two have been throwing out, here. Let's see...

Teerka of Khufu, born of the waves, daughter of Kyran and Ellenici, with skin as gold and hair dark and twisting as Cobra's Soil, guides the Adrash Ka-tep, the Seekers of Death. In the chronicles of her life she fought the Sorcerer-King of Kletos, The Necromancer Tzo-Staag, beside her sister, Xrione, who fell to the cruel sorceries of their foe. It took years to recover from the loss, to put her sister's animate corpse to rest, eternal. And to raise her army.

Born of the sands of Annam, the Adrash Ka-tep are drawn from the Secret Keepers, the fallen cities of the Desert, from Pirates of the Khufu, and even Scorpion-Lands bandits indebted to Teerka of Khufu. Together they rose up and smote the armies of the dead under Tzo-Staag's command, and set their remains to dust in the sands of Annam. But Tzo-Staag was not so swiftly defeated, and retreated to Kletos, fled the Annam.

The Adrash Ka-tep continue to fight against the dead in the deserts, upon the seas. Their numbers grow with each passing season. And it will not be long before they set sail for Kletos in the Ellenici isles, to raze Tzo-Staag and all he holds to the afterlife.

-The Chronicler-

Kind of putting her victories later in her life, after a fashion. I also like the idea that she was born at sea, somewhere between Ellenici and Kyran, as her parents traveled. She does her tomb-raiding with, and loses, her sister. Tries to build up a new life. Fights and slays her sister's corpses, and turns around to build an army from the friends she made from Musarra to Il'sha-ah in her journeys to battle against Tzo-Staag's encroachment in the deserts near Arat-Shi, including Secret Keepers who work with Teerka to keep the Necromancer from unearthing terrible things within the desert.

In personal combat, she defeats Tzo-Staag, but can't -quite- get the kill on him, probably because of Lichdom, so he flees back to his homeland in the Ellenici Archipelago. Teerka can't field enough of a force to take him on at his own isle, so she keeps building her army in Annam and points East, gathering bandits and merchants and so forth...

Maybe a part of an adventure could be heroes helping to slay Tzo-Staag, leaving Teerka the throne of Kletos as a culmination of her story? Could be fun.
 


Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Remula, High Priest of Odira, The Harvest, whose bounty once yielded endless plenty to the lowlands of the lone stretch of sand which now lies between Qesh and Musarra, called to a Fallen God. To one slain in the great war of the gods an age ago. It is said that he lived eight score ten and eight years, blessed as he was in consuming the flesh and essence of powerful beasts, monsters, and it is said even the flesh of the Harvest, herself.

The Cult of Remula was birthed from his foul atrocities, the Eaters of the Dead, the Remulites. They hunt and seek out powerful beasts, monsters, and people to consume, hoping to steal some of the power within those unfortunate enough to be captured for themselves. The longer they transgress, the more ghastly they become. With sunken eye, skin like papyrus, and both fang and claw grown long. Their hunger, however, only grows with their slide into monstrosity, growing deeper and harder to sate, until they are bloated and corpuscent, fed by hand by other Remulites when they can no longer move.

Beware the symbol of Red Grain. And beware their sickles.

-The Chronicler-
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Remula, High Priest of Odira, The Harvest, whose bounty once yielded endless plenty to the lowlands of the lone stretch of sand which now lies between Qesh and Musarra, called to a Fallen God. To one slain in the great war of the gods an age ago. It is said that he lived eight score ten and eight years, blessed as he was in consuming the flesh and essence of powerful beasts, monsters, and it is said even the flesh of the Harvest, herself.

The Cult of Remula was birthed from his foul atrocities, the Eaters of the Dead, the Remulites. They hunt and seek out powerful beasts, monsters, and people to consume, hoping to steal some of the power within those unfortunate enough to be captured for themselves. The longer they transgress, the more ghastly they become. With sunken eye, skin like papyrus, and both fang and claw grown long. Their hunger, however, only grows with their slide into monstrosity, growing deeper and harder to sate, until they are bloated and corpuscent, fed by hand by other Remulites when they can no longer move.

Beware the symbol of Red Grain. And beware their sickles.

-The Chronicler-
Oh wow, I love you so much. This brings tears to my eyes :D
I'll work on something and bring it latter today!
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Abn Awaa, the Jackal-Witch, prowls the canyons and plateaus of the Scorpion Lands, her pack ever at her side. It is said that her home, a mystical cave of ancient power, travels with her. Closing in one location, only to blink open like a great eye of stone leagues away from it's starting place. Within her cave are thirteen Jackal-Men, her children, birthed not from her loins but through foul sorceries. Each to each is a cunning warrior, a feral foe, and a laughing rogue.

Those who are alone in the canyons may hear the laughter of children, the call of a loved one far away, or their own voice calling out to them in the desert. Those fool enough to stray from their firelight die a cruel and grisly death... save children and one parent. Abn Awaa spares them, and no jackal under her command, nor any of her sons, would dare to harm a child for fear of her wrath. If a child is lost in the night, their parents may hear cackling. One may go, to retrieve the child at perilous cost. But if both venture into darkness, neither and no child returns.

None knows why this is, only that it is so.

-The Chronicler-
 


Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Uhmalshira, the Birthing Waters, the Daughter of Tempest, was a minor godling. In an earlier age she was known as the Mother of Multitudes. For from her waters sprang peoples and beasts whole-formed and fine. In Grisia, some still hold to her worship, still honor her as the Mother of Multitudes. But the Beast fouled her waters with blood during the War of Transgression, and what was once multitudes became monstrosities.

Her cult, now, is a hidden one in Grisia. One which seeks out monstrous beasts and implacable foes to rescue their children from a life of torment, madness, and horror. For while the Birthing Waters are still used by midwives, often members of her cult seeking to aid life into the world, they are also the cult's greatest tool in training their acquisitions.

It is said that to bathe an innocent child in the Birthing Waters is to ensure it's good fortune and kindness throughout it's life. But an innocent beast, a monstrous egg, or the foal of a horror, can be controlled with the water's magic. Some go so far as to say that the wicked may be baptized in the Birthing Waters and have their will broken by the Cult of Uhmalshira.

-The Chronicler-
 

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