Son of Krauss Greyhawk Age of Worms Game (OOC)

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Raging Epistaxis said:
And Purty Pictures!

Thanks B O
You're welcome. There will be more coming.

Edit: I've also added a picture to the my first IC post: the intrepid (yet somewhat nervous) young adventurers entering the Whispering Cairn.

Further edit: I've also added a list of characters you'd be familiar with in the town of Diamond Lake. Can you tell I'm trying to expand this game past the small cairn you are currently exploring? ;)
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So are there any other opinions as to which "color" corridor to attempt to turn the platform toward? Just wondering. I haven't acted on Azten's post as I was giving folks the holiday weekend to be away.

Branding Op

In a (hopefully) continuing effort to more deeply integrate your characters into this campaign setting, I will try and write little private messages to each of you. These storylines/suggestions/questions can be incorporated as you see fit.


Azten/Raging Epistaxis:[sblock]So where did our Mr. Azten actually come from? Is he from one of the neighboring dwarven communities, or did he come from a more integrated background, such as the Free City of Greyhawk? Or is he from a distant dwarven community? I don't know how familiar you are with the Greyhawk setting, but I could certainly help you some in this regard.

The wasting disease that disfigured Azten and almost took his life was called the Grey Death. It is a disease which comes around every few decades and sweeps through mining communities affecting almost any type of humanoid. In fact, it briefly swept through Diamond Lake about 20 years ago and even though Azten did his best, there were many locals he could not save. Because of it is so easily communicable it is difficult to effectively identify and quarantine those affected by it. It always begins with intense weariness followed by dark-grey splotches which appear in a sick person's armpits or in their groin area.
The dwarven healer who tended to Azten gave him a special talisman to help him through the most difficult part of the illness. It is a well-made if simple leather strap, adorned with a cluster of tiny, transparent glass globes, each filled with a mix of colored powders. A dwarven rune symbolizing healing or restoration marks each sphere and emits a distinctive, soothing aroma. Well, at least to a dwarf it smells soothing.
Azten kept this token with him all throughout his life and discovered something interesting a few years back. It was during a mine fire in which many of his fellow mine employees were severly hurt. He had absent-mindedly wrapped the talisman around his hand as he ran to the mine to help the injured. No one had ended up dying as a result of the smoke inhalation or from their burns and he attributes this partially to the dwarven healer's gift. Now, whenever Azten attempts to administer first aid to stabilize an ally and the token is wrapped around his hand, he receives a +1 sacred bonus to your Heal check. Having it with him gives him a sense of calm and focuses the dwarf on the life or death task in front of him.

In the last few months Azten has noticed that Ragnolin Dourstone has been on edge. Something is bothering him, and not just a little bit. Non-dwarves may not be able to detect this, but since Azten have known him for almost forty years now it is quite clear to him. Dourstone does his best to hide it, but the dwarven cleric can see through him fairly easily. He has not broached the subject with the mine manager, as that is generally considered extremely rude among dwarves. They are not big on "talking about feelings" especially feelings that make them seem weak or incompenant.[/sblock]

Thanee:[sblock]Since both Lazare's (the cultured nightspot in town run by the dragonchess enthusiast Lazare) and The Emporium charge a cover, Alexi makes most of her money in the Feral Dog, the watering hole frequented by the large majority of Diamond Lake's poor. She has been able to barely make a living there, bilking the miners out of their hard-earned cash, or lifting a purse or three from a passing merchant. Every once in a while she will strike it rich, such as when she "found" the moonstone, but most weeks she just makes enough to pay for her room and board at Jalek's Flophouse.
About a year-and-a-half ago a member of Kullen's gang observed her while she was "working" and reported her to his boss. The albino half-orc made a personal visit to Alexi's sleeping quarters that night and let her know in no uncertain terms that the Feral Dog was his show, and that if she wanted to "perform" there she would have to pay an "artist" fee like everyone else. To reinforce how serious he was, Kullen left her with a few bruises that didn't properly heal for weeks.
Not wanting any trouble from the easily upset half-orc and his coterie of cuthroats and bullies, Alexi began paying about a quarter of her earnings to the gang on a weekly basis. Even though the Feral Dog was a pit, it seemed the only gig in town for her.

In the last week, Alexi met an elven woman named Tirra who has made quite an impression on her. Exuding sophistication and confidence, and bedecked in well-fitted blue and red leather this woman claimed to have traveled here from the Free City of Greyhawk. When asked her business, she generally claims to be "an explorer". She arrived in town with two humans who dressed in a similar fashion to her, but has been spending evenings on her own at the Feral Dog challenging anyone to a knife-throwing contest. Stakes are generally high and no one has beaten her so far. Even Kullen and his gang have left her in peace, even if they have been obviously keeping a close eye on her.[/sblock]

Mista Collins:[sblock]All of this is merely a suggestion. Use as much or as little as you like. Drugs are obviously a touchy subject.

After years of living in abject poverty in Diamond Lake, Owen has recently been making a pretty decent living selling kalamanthis. This drug is the town's most notorious claims to fame. It is a potent narcotic cultivated somewhere locally (exactly where he is not sure, although he has his suspicions). Parts of the kalamanthis plant can be prepared and used in three seperate ways: the raw root can be chewed, the leaf can be dried and smoked, and the sap can be boiled into a concentrated paste and injected. All of the processing occures in Diamond Lake, in an old, abandoned warehouse on the lake.
Use of kalamanthis, mainly in its dried and injected forms, has spread like wildfire in the past year, as the potent hallucinogen causes the hard-working miners of Diamond Lake to forget about their wretched existence for a little while. Dried kalamanthis is generally sold in 1 sp bundles, although the highly-concentrated form has been known to sell for as high as 10 gp a dose.[/sblock]

jeremy_dnd:[sblock]To note: it is up to you to decide how much of what I write below you want to incorporate into your character background. Pick and choose to your heart's content.

Kenneth made quite a few friends growing up at the Emporium. The most stunning of these is Zalamandra, the self-styled "Queen" of the Veiled Corridor. Her establishment is frequented by the community's elite, including the governor-mayor, sheriff, most of the mine managers, and several prominent merchants. Zalamandra does not tolerate blackmailers among her staff, but nonetheless is known to keep a mental file of the predilections and preferences of all of her prominent customers, silently wielding this knowledge as an anvil over the heads of potential political enemies. That she has not yet been assassinated is a tribute to her considerable political skills and to the shielding influence of the Emporium's motely assortment of other employees.

Although Professor Montague Marat who founded the Emporium ten years ago (before then it was simply called Zalamandra's) abandoned Diamond Lake under mysterious circumstances three years ago, nearly a dozen of his former employees remain at this establishment, making more moeny here than they ever did traveling with him on the road. Foremost among these nonesuches is the affable Shag Soloman, an aristocratic, shaggy quaggoth "wild man" from the distant Burneal Forest. Solomon's vicious teeth and jagged claws contrast with his stylish gentleman's garb imported bi-annually from only the finest shops in the Free City of Greyhawk, and his cultured demeanor. When not on display in the "Gallery of Science", he frequents the kalamanthis (a potent local hallucinogen) lounge upstairs, where the wealthier patrons adore his clever stories and buy him shots of miner's milk (a syrupy whiskey brewed in several makeshift stills behind the Thirsty Gar). Other attractions include the misshapen boggle contortionist Tom Shingle, the combustible halfling magician Ariello Klint, a two-headed calf named Esmerelda, Jr., and the alluring female human, Chezabet, who reads fortunes.
It was Chezabet who taught Kenneth how to focus his innate magical skills and use the power of his voice to affect the people around him. She herself is also quite an accomplished singer of saucy ballads and sea chanties, having grown up among the gynarchs of Hardby, and her knowledge of these song in encyclopaedic. She generally accompanies herself on an old, yet well-made squeezebox, decorated with maritime motifs.

The Emporium offers several rotating games of chance, with the most popular being dragonfire (an ante-based cared game most often run by the flirtatious human woman Daria Angel), norbonne (a polyhedral dice game run by the no-nonsense half-elf woman Nurelle), and a contest known simply as the Rat Game, run by the sardonic, male human Natalo Bask. In it four rats scurry to be the first through an open-topped maze. When the winner reaches the labyrinth's central chamber, Natalo injects it with a serum that immediately triggers a rabid frenzy. At this time, for doors built into the sides of the maze slide open, revealing four tiny spear-wielding jermaline. Patrons wager on all aspects of the ensuing melee.[/sblock]

Raging Epistaxis said:
Gee, it's just like being back in school again, only fun! :heh:
Well, none of the background reading is mandatory. Some people just enjoy understanding the environment their characters are in, and I like helping them with this.

More background info to think about if you so choose.

silentspace:[sblock]There is a community of folks who worship Obad-Hai and the Old Faith who live in a place called the Bronzewood Lodge, located a few hours travel from Diamond Lake. As a worshipper of Ehlonna, Majakilar has traveled there a few times, curious to see how they live in apparent harmony with the natural world but has always recieved a mixed reception. While most of the rangers, druids and woodsmen there don't want anything to do with Majakilar due to his association with the despicable mines, a few try to encourage him to further explore his faith in the goddess and come to a more full understanding of the message that she preaches. They try and show Majakilar that it is not good or natural for men to work under such horrible conditions underground, despoiling the beauty of nature. They also teach that no man should be as tightly controlled as the miners of Diamond Lake, and that all free peoples deserve to live without the threat of tyranny.

Majakilar certainly has much first-hand knowledge in the depraved conditions in which miners in Diamond Lake live and work, and the intense control the mine managers hold over their employees. Life in Diamond Lake for the poor is generally short and brutal, and the mine managers have done nothing to alleviate this, although some are fairer than others. The only reason the miners haven't revolted is because there is little other source of income in the area. People who end up in Diamond Lake generally come here because they can't go to places like the Free City of Greyhawk, either for legal or monetary reasons.[/sblock]

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