Sunday, February 24, 2013

Isle Imperium 1.40 -- The Black Number?

As AUDEN, CINELIS, TERENTIUS, and the Ninth arrive in support, the First learn that VEDA has come not to abduct them, but to return mounts of the Diamond Red that she has managed to rescue and bring with her, in the form of her tears. The three ruling warders attempt to speak to Veda, but she departs quickly, leaving the swiftly-growing ‘tears’ in the Diamond Grey’s hands. Through KHIMERE’S obsidian glove, CATALINA is able to break the tears open, revealing the unsharded but living forms of BARTOLOMUS, CLEMENS, JERENUS, TORRENCE, URSULA, INEA, and NICOMEDES.

The night passes while these individuals are tended to and observed by the first tier. In conversation with their colleagues from other numbers, the First learn that:
  • PIEZO attained the eighth rank of squire in the Silver Legion (and that ROGELIO reviles him).
  • Inea was recruited directly into the Circle of Ten from the 17th number, due to the fact that shards vied to mount her. Further, she was in the 17th with OLIVERUS, whose simultaneous elevation she made a condition for her agreement. Ollie declined the offer and the two are known not to have been speaking since.

Nearly everyone stays awake into the wee hours of the morning before MANTIUS realizes that most of the remaining people are forcing themselves to wait until VARIAN turns in for the night.

Ian hastily retires to their dormitory, and speaks to DIONES about making the latter the pride shard of the Diamond, thereby learning that:
  • Diones and Canar “hid knowledge within” the Prodigious Scholar’s (Iya’s) scholarship.
  • The Diamond needs to build a certain minimum of impressive structures in order to attract legendary shards, which will be particularly needed since the Blight Speakers are only the outriders of the legion’s opponents.
  • Canar must be part of a number, otherwise he is liable to lose his mind.
The next morning, ARCTURUS goes off to pray with SER ORLANDO, who tests and confirms his theory that Arc is one of the Elect, extremely rare mounts that are capable of bearing any shard. Arc is thereafter bombarded by offers from various shards, led off by the Ascendant Champion. Desperate to avoid yet another battle of wills with a shard, Arc removes the Ascendant Champion, leaving him shardless until sunset. He shares the information revealed with his number, and they agree to keep the matter among themselves for now.

Updated by Ian and Mantius, ALECTO attempts to convey the warning regarding Canar to Cinelis, but their conversation is once again preempted by a disturbance outside the dome. The First go to investigate, and soon find themselves escorting ISAACUS (mounted by the Deviant Scholar), BENJAMINUS (mounted by the Eminent Soldier), and the very elderly and irascible LADY SOLACE (mounted by Master Mirage of the late Steel Grey Legion) into the dome so as to meet with the ruling warders.

This is scheduled to occur after the general call at noontime, during which it is announced that:
  • The returned mounts, although still in custody for the time being, will most likely be reintegrated into the Diamond, but no numbers will be displaced as a result.
  • The dome currently surrounding Peerdin will soon be lowered, with a network of less costly defenses, arranged in cooperation with the Peerless Warder, put in place instead.
  • Payment of reward will now be issued every seven days, instead of the previous monthly schedule. (Yes, everybody loves Kenjiro.)
Following the general call, Terry and Auden escort the trio of new arrivals into the shadow corridors. Most of the First go to the Undercity for various reasons (including Ian’s examination of the plans laid out by ERASMUS, mounted by the Pinpoint Architect) and Aly goes to leave word with Cinelis before trysting with KENJIRO and then rejoining the troupe.

The visit to the Undercity is interrupted by a scream from Cinelis, over warder communications. Everyone rushes back to the shadow corridors, where, as Cat learns through ideation, a disagreement between Nicomedes, Inea and PATRICUS--since only one of the former two can be placed in the first tier—has led to the pair acquiring and assembling available mounts and shards as follows:
  • Nicomedes: Renegade Warder
  • Inea: Grey Speaker
  • Bartolomus: Torrent Academician
  • Jerenus: Daughter of Sorrow
  • Torrence: Fellmind
  • Ursula: Flesh Scourge Harrier
  • Clemens: Fell Paladin of Ash
thereby possibly forming the Black Number of Vindar’s vision. Cat further sees that, notwithstanding Ursula’s protests, the newly-formed number then proceeded to attack the shadow corridor and its inhabitants, leaving fire and chaos in their wake.

The First respond to the crisis in their respective fashions.
  • Cat plunges into the inferno of the shadow corridors, controls the flames left by the Grey Speaker, and, having helped free Kenjiro from the Torrent Academician’s imprisonment, works with him to locate and rescue the injured within.
  • Ian takes Mantius to ensure the safety of the Diamond Writ (successfully defended by JUDEA), assigns the Eighth to assist the incoming Fifth (injured due to encountering the Renegade et al on their way in), and gets the shardless personnel evacuated.
  • Mantius works with the Bleak Soul Alchemist Master Orinus to undo the ability-crippling circumvention left by the Renegade Warder, and pinpoints still-living individuals in need of aid.
  • Aly organizes the numbers onsite, heading up the healing and resurrection efforts. (She is helped by Ben to revive LADY ADRIA, killed trying to rescue Leontes the Younger, who was kidnapped by the Renegade’s number.)
  • Arc calms the distraught and confused, directing them to where they can be of use and managing the disposition of injured personnel.

Fortunately, Erasmus arrives from the undercity to prevent the complete destruction of the shadow corridors, and matters are eventually brought under control. There are only thirteen casualties—all shardless serving staff—but Patricus and Cinelis are both in prolonged shock and obviously traumatized from the events that occurred.

Days of recuperation follow, during which Kenjiro leads the legion, as the only ruling warder in adequate health (despite having been blinded throughout the crisis). (Oh, and Cat and Terry finally do it.) On the fifth day, the First are summoned for a caucus with the first tier, in order to decide the new roster of ruling warders. (Auden nominates Terry for oversight and Ser Orlando for strategy, but is outvoted in both cases).

The new lineup is announced on the sixth day, immediately after which ARSELUS ARTILIAN once more blindsides Ian with the announcement that the new pride shard is to be revealed then and there. Nevertheless, Ian acquits himself respectably—in front of attending dignitaries TEL TIN TOR of the Ivory Legion, SER ILDANE of the Silver, and M. RASELDAN of the Ruby—and all appears stable, if far from ideal, again.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Isle Imperium 1.39 -- Operation Wildflower Debriefing

Once various parents and refugees are somewhat settled into the Undercity (entry to and exit from which is announced to be restricted past midnight), the First has dinner with BREGAN, at which they learn that he has been permitted to remain with the legion, but is forbidden to bear shards for a probationary period of six months, during which he has been advised to find employment in the Undercity. Bregan seems out of sorts and less mentally astute than previously; however, he has fared better than Maxilius, Brigit, and Teregan, who were forcibly retired to the extreme extent of having their very capacity to slot abilities removed. Bregan posits that this is due to one of the ruling warders’ frustration that Bregan himself was not harshly sentenced.

The First are then summoned to successive debriefings with the first tier, during which they meet the juniors of the latter and:

  • They report on communication during the mission in general, and in particular, the occurrences with the Renegade Warder, Grey Speaker, and Brother Sun. Cinelis confiscates the aforementioned shards for examination and advises them to share the relevant information only with Patricus, Ollie, and Terry.
  • They learn that the shard responsible for the ambush on Canar’s number is most likely the Renegade Scholar.
  • They learn that SER ORLANDO was formerly the Pride of the Silver Legion, having been in that legion for 12 years, encompassing 11 in the Circle of Ten and 8 in the First. He also bore the Renegade Scholar for 3 years.

  • They report everything except the Bone Collector’s ability to convert bones into bright light, which Terry worms out of them anyway and advises them to share only with Kenjiro.
  • They learn that there were previously a total of 12 legions, all the pride shards of which at one point changed into renegades and left their legions—among these is the Contemptuous Martial, which Kenjiro is known to have encountered. Renegades are said to be able to operate as if they had their own sort of writ.
  • CATALINA and Terry read letters to each other and make up from their prior disagreement. The entire legion seems to get wind of this, which leads to an interesting rumor about LADY ADRIA and Lord Hanor.

with FIDA
  • The First are simply congratulated by the seemingly disinterested Diamond Midnight Cloak Warder.

  • They report on all matters concerning finance, at which Kenjiro directly greets Mr. Potior and assures him that his abilities will not be abused. Overall, Kenjiro is satisfied, if not quite impressed, by the First’s performance.
  • They learn that the chained ivory dragon allows the Ivory to convert energy from ability use into bright light.
  • ALECTO (who has “the honor of being the Warder of Finance’s woman”) tells Kenjiro about Tel Tin Tor’s advances, the news of which annoys the Diamond Obsidian Couter Warder greatly.

with AUDEN
  • They are congratulated for their achievement, particularly for the evacuation of Salermo, which Auden sees as an opportunity to recruit new potential mounts.
  • Some confusion ensues, in which MANTIUS and VARIAN attempt to report the matter of the Renegade Warder. Auden subtly tests the number, after which he returns the scroll bearing the information to them, saying that it is not a matter under his purview.
  • For ‘passing’ Auden’s test, Aly is selected for special training under the Diamond Coal Greave Warder.
  • The First report the matter of the Renegade Warder, with the understanding that Ollie will be privy to the general report concerning the rest of the mission as well.
  • They learn that Senator Patricus negotiated the exchange rate to 100:1 from 250:1 during his time as Pride.
  • Cat warns Ollie about Kenjiro’s possible reaction to Aly’s report.

  • The First report the matter of the Renegade Warder, with the understanding that Patricus will be privy to the general report concerning the rest of the mission as well. He congratulates Varian in particular.
Cinelis then sends the First, through Aly, to check on a disturbance outside the dome to the Northeast. There, they find a blue-skinned VEDA, who first asks for help before blocking Cat and Aly’s actions and then saying, “I have them.”

Big Damn Heroes: Firefly, Serenity and Weis

Holy cow! According to this Margaret Weis Productions press release... there's a Firefly RPG, taking the place of the Serenity RPG. Check out this excerpt:
February 22, 2013 – Margaret Weis Productions is thrilled to announce a
partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products to publish tabletop role-playing products based on Joss Whedon’s fan-favorite television series, Firefly. Initial releases are expected as early as spring of 2013 with print and digital releases based on MWP’s award-winning Cortex system.

The adventures of Captain Malcolm Reynolds and the crew of Serenity continue to attract new fans a decade after the television series first aired. Fresh from recent success, MWP’s own crew of seasoned designers and creators of licensed role-playing games, stand ready to develop an all-new series of pick-up-and-play games and game supplements. Based on much-loved characters, stories, and locations, every Firefly RPG product will be designed to be accessible, authentic, and as innovative as fans have come to expect from MWP.
And we hope that this announcement about toys and games may lead to neat figurines and toys to use in for the RPG!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Isle Imperium 1.37 to 1.38 -- Operation Wildflower

-- report begins --

Aly and Master Kenjiro, unsharded.
TO: Master Fida, Diamond Midnight Cloak Warder; and Master Terentius, Diamond Shadow Bevor Warder

Concerning the Implementation of Operation: Wildflower by the First Number of the Diamond Grey Legion

prepared by M. ALECTO of the First, mounted by the accomplished Devoted Warder

Upon arrival at the insertion point (6 hours by horseback North of Fort Huldon), the First were met by a waiting escort from the Ivory Legion, comprising 6 fragmentary shard bearers, including and led by RAL TIN TOR, son of the Ivory Legate TEL TIN TOR. These individuals rode and brought with them a total of 13 horses, likewise embedded with fragmentary shards.

The entire area en route to Fort Huldon was observed to be permeated with a fine dusting of red ash, and the horizon was similarly stained red, most notably to the South, in the direction of the nearby front. Through abilities of the White Mage, M. Alecto determined that the ashfall would increase to hazardous levels (comparable to the environmental conditions preceding the catastrophe in the region of Koros) within 2 weeks; at current levels, the environment already proved deleterious to the health of M. KHIMERE, though she did not allow this circumstance to impede her performance. M. MANTIUS also detected, in his capacity as the accomplished Bone Collector, an undead creature of enormous proportions, located an unquantified distance far to the South.

Travel to Fort Huldon proceeded within the expected time span without incident, except for 3 items of note:
  1. a wave of energy that passed over and was universally sensed by the party some 2 hours from the insertion point, but had no apparent effect. M. CATALINA elicited information from one of the escorts that this phenomenon is termed a “dark flash”, which has proven fatal to non-fragmentary animals;
  2. a region some 3 hours from the insertion point that was covered with animal bones, and stretched on for a distance measurable as 1½  to 2 hours’ travel by horseback. Information on the provenance of the region was not forthcoming;
  3. collection of tribute or “contribution” from the town of Digiena, approximately 1 hour’s ride from Fort Huldon. Two of the escort party were sent to deal with a representative of the town; this man—and later a woman who emerged from behind the town walls to go to his aid—was whipped for failing to provide the required two cartloads of food.

Fort Huldon was found to be a low edifice situated on a high promontory, with a sheer cliff facing toward the South. A low wall with a standard gate surrounds a tent city on the northern embankment, while a more formidable wall with a ponderous gate of stone operated by an unseen mechanism surrounds the formal fort itself. M. Mantius was able to determine a population of over 1,000 individuals within the formal Fort Huldon (of which 400 to 450 are estimated to be fragmentary shard bearers), and under 8,000 throughout the community, including representatives from the Sapphire and Silver Legions, respective camp followers, refugees from the countryside, servants and slaves, and of course, the members of the Ivory Legion themselves. (Please refer to the attached sketches by M. Varian, detailing the interior of Fort Huldon—including locations of probable officials at the time —the domicile assigned to the First, and a partial layout of the tent city.)

Notwithstanding necessary delays for the opening of gates and so on, the First was immediately escorted into the fort, in the first antechamber of which was found an ivory-colored Oriental dragon, bound with white chains to an enormous stone plinth. The dragon appeared to have suffered some damage around the neck and limbs from the restraints, and seemed quiescent although aware of its surroundings. Both dragon and plinth are assumed to be responsible for the restriction of shard ability use (below).

Tel Tin Tor’s arrival was heralded by much stamping of feet and banging of spears by his subordinates. He was accompanied by 2 docile young girls of Caucasian descent, approximately 14 or 15 years of age, who walked several paces behind him and were attached to his person by chains, one for each. The Ivory Legate and M. VARIAN exchanged greetings, and the First were invited to a welcome feast, after a sufficient span of time for rest and refreshment. The First were therefore escorted by Ral Tin Tor back out of the formal fort area, to the house that had been assigned to them in the tent city.

It was while waiting for the stone gates (which are closed without fail as soon as passage through them has been accomplished) to reopen that M. Catalina attempted to use an action to alleviate M. Khimere’s physical discomfort. This resulted in a flash of ivory-colored light emanating from within the fort structure, followed by tendrils of white light that appeared to be drawn from M. Catalina toward the greater light source. The action did not take effect, and Ral Tin Tor explained that such were not permitted within the vicinity of the fort. However, M. Varian was able to utilize warder communication and Spycraft within said confines, implying that support and reaction abilities remained viable.

The domicile assigned to the First was a 2-storey house which was large, clean, and well-provisioned (particularly with preserved fruit), in considerable contrast to the deficit of space, hygiene, and food characterizing the encampment outside. Members of the First discovered that a single preserved fruit represented a valuable commodity for transactions with denizens of the encampment; it may reasonably be assumed that fresh food would be even more so.

The individual assigned to watch over the number at the domicile was a man named GALTUN, who was fairly easily confused in the matter of prioritizing his responsibilities when mounts Alecto, Catalina, and SER ORLANDO split from the main group to explore the township. This concretized the impression that information dissemination among the Ivory Legion is jealously hierarchical, and thus a potential avenue of vulnerability.

The promised feast followed as scheduled, at the very inception of which Tel Tin Tor ordered M. Mantius to be seized by his guards. Potential hostilities were averted by M. Mantius offering to graciously accept the Legate’s “hospitality”. M. Mantius was then led away by Ral Tin Tor and several others. Dinner proceeded without further incident, save for Tel Tin Tor’s possible attempt to insult M. Varian by inviting M. Alecto to take the place of honor beside the former, and making overtures of an intimate nature toward her, which were endured in the interest of continued harmony. Upon return to the First’s domicile following dinner, M. Catalina found at least 1 listening device planted on M. Alecto, and M. Khimere secreted both this ornamental clasp and a pearl necklace likewise given to M. Alecto within an elemental of her summoning.

M. Mantius was taken to the apparent dungeon level of the fort, where his shard was immediately demanded of him. Upon his refusal to turn it over, he was stabbed in the back by an unidentified assailant, but quickly found himself succored by several of the other prisoners being held there, led by M. BENJAMINUS of the Diamond Red Legion. The fragment-bearing Ivory guards quickly departed, there being an apparent stalemate in that area between captives and captors. M. Mantius discerned that, including himself, there were no less than 16 inmates of the prison, including M. Benjaminus and M. ISAACUS, both of the Diamond Red; M. AVISHA, a flagbearer of the Sapphire’s 8th; and 2 mounts presumably hailing from the Emerald Legion.

In conversation with M. Benjaminus and M. Isaacus, M. Mantius learned that support and reaction abilities could indeed be activated within the confines of the fort, but were likely to result in death except with an expenditure of Ivory bright light equivalent to the initial purchase cost of the relevant ability (as learned by mounts Isaacus and Benjaminus through the death of their companion, M. Gatruda). He also learned that the front is constantly shifting, and that Fort Huldon moves with it, bringing it to its current location at the former temple of Ares within the region of Rusqius in the Imperium.

Mounts Isaacus and Mantius were then able to pool sufficient funds to enable contact with the rest of the First and convey information. This resulted almost immediately in what was termed an “incursion”, during which general panic appeared to seize the population and the First were commanded to remain in quarters; however, the disturbance did not appear to have been traced either to the First or to M. Mantius. Communication from M. Mantius and the resultant incursion were repeated the following morning; by then, however, security had apparently been increased and resulted in M. Mantius’s death, though fortunately he had prepared a contingency that alleviated this occurrence.

Thus assured of M. Mantius’s well-being and armed with information previously unknown, mounts Varian, ARCTURUS, Catalina, and Ser Orlando opened formal negotiations at breakfast on their second morning at Fort Huldon, with mounts Alecto and Khimere left behind at the domicile as both backup and implied threat. After presenting a gift of territory (provided by the First), M. Catalina, supported by M. Varian, managed to attain not only a finalized exchange rate of 75 Diamond to 1 Ivory, but an invitation for M. Catalina to attend an upcoming economic caucus as an official delegate.

Once negotiations were complete, Tel Tin Tor evinced contrastingly cordial behavior, to the extent of releasing M. Mantius—who declined to make complaint on the matter of the earlier assault on his person—and granting formal ownership of the domicile used by the First to the First. As a return gesture of good will, M. Varian informed Tel Tin Tor of the upcoming increase in ashfall, which the Legate postulated to be the second phase in the ongoing regional catastrophe, likely to be characterized by the arrival of courtiers to establish a bulwark.

Tel Tin Tor also extended the assistance of Ral Tin Tor toward the accomplishment of the First’s secondary mission, during which escort duty M. Mantius informed the latter separately regarding the ashfall, learning in the process that Ral Tin Tor has a son of his own. En route to Salermo—which fortunately proved to be outside the tribute territory claimed by the Ivory Legate—M. Mantius also discerned that the number of large undead creatures to the South had by then increased to 3.

Travel to Salermo proceeded without incident for the expected time period of 4 hours, and M. Alecto scaled the surrounding wall to assign and explain the gate fragment to community leader LUCIUS, who was physically beleaguered by a dark flash that occurred in the midst of the population’s passage through the gate, but was sustained by abilities activated by various members of the First. In an effort to further secure Ral Tin Tor’s loyalty as a potential future ally, M. Varian appointed him and his family caretakers of the First’s new domicile prior to the latter’s return to Fort Huldon, after which the First then exited the region along with the evacuees of Salermo.

-- report ends --

-- report begins --

TO: Master Kenjiro, Diamond Obsidian Couter Warder

Concerning Matters of Finance that were Discovered During the Implementation of Operation: Wildflower

prepared by M. Alecto of the First Number of the Diamond Legion, mounted by the accomplished Devoted Warder
  1. Shard actions were found to be blocked within the confines of Fort Huldon (an Ivory Legion outpost in the region of Rusqius in the Imperium), said blockage apparently enforced by the combination of an ivory-colored Oriental dragon and the large stone plinth to which it is attached (by white chains, in the first antechamber of Fort Huldon). The lung appears to have suffered damage around neck and limbs from the restraints, and seems quiescent although aware of its surroundings and possibly responsive to direct address.
  2. While in prison at Fort Huldon (Please see ‘Concerning the Implementation of Operation: Wildflower by the First Number of the Diamond Grey Legion’.), M. Mantius learned from fellow inmates M. Benjaminus and M. Isaacus (of the Diamond Red legion) that support and reaction abilities could be activated within the confines of the fort, but were likely to result in death except with an expenditure of Ivory bright light equivalent to the initial purchase cost of the relevant ability (as learned by mounts Isaacus and Benjaminus through the death of their companion, M. Gatruda).
  3. M. Mantius then discovered that the shard mounting him, the accomplished Bone Collector, is capable of transforming the remains of certain undead creatures (He theorizes that these must be bones of blue-infested undead which have been “collected” by means of a specific shard action) into currency appropriate for the region in which it is currently located. M. Mantius was then able to convert a “skelter bone” in his possession into 500 units of bright light, and a thigh bone in the possession of M. Isaacus into 10,000 bright light.
  4. Later negotiation with the Ivory Legate gave the impression that while the Ivory Legion is aware that there is a non-standard means of producing unauthorized bright light, they remain uninformed as to the specifics. To the best of our understanding, this knowledge is currently confined to M. Isaacus, M. Benjaminus, the First of the Diamond Grey, and no doubt certain members of the Bone Legion (referred to by M. Isaacus as “ossiarchs” or “boneys”.)
-- report ends --

-- report begins --

TO: Master Cinelis, Diamond Smoke Vambrace Warder

Concerning Certain Occurrences Immediately Preceding and Concurrent with the Implementation of Operation: Wildflower

prepared by M. Alecto of the First Number of the Diamond Legion, mounted by the accomplished Devoted Warder

Concerning the Grey Speaker
During the day of the First’s departure on Operation: Wildflower, M. Arcturus was directly addressed by one of the shards assigned to his keeping, though not at the time active on his person—namely the Grey Speaker. The shard expressed distaste both at M. Arcturus’s choosing to bear his current shard, Brother Sun, and at his physical action of sitting in the sunlight, citing Brother Sun’s excessive “radiance”. The Grey Speaker then proceeded to in some manner alter the nature of Brother Sun, such that the latter shard’s abilities, name, and taxonomy were all substantially changed. The shard was functionally “Brother Night”—a commander, dragoon, empath, hero, martial, and minder, visually distinguishable from Brother Sun by the black coloration of raiment—well into the succeeding evening, when M. Arcturus received a plea for help from the apparently beleaguered sentience of Brother Sun and was able, with assistance from Ser Orlando, to return the shard to its previous status. No attempt has been made to communicate with the Grey Speaker since, and M. Arcturus has been advised to avoid doing so.

Concerning the Renegade Warder
During transit from the Diamond Midnight Cloak Warder’s office to the insertion point 6 hours North of Fort Huldon, M. Mantius experienced a triggering of one of his reaction abilities, Elusion. Faced with the possibility of separation from his number in mid-transit, M. Mantius elected to decline the opportunity for activation. Upon arrival at the insertion point, he found himself in possession of the shard of the Renegade Warder, visibly damaged and still warm, presumably from contact with its last known bearer, Nessus. Aside from sharing the information and determining that the shard could not immediately be repaired, further investigation was rendered impossible due to the presence of an escort party detailed by the Ivory Legion. The shard will of course be submitted to the Diamond Smoke Vambrace Warder’s office for examination.

Concerning Warder Communications in Fort Huldon
Although certain safeguards (Please see ‘Concerning the Implementation of Operation: Wildflower by the First Number of the Diamond Grey Legion’, submitted to the Diamond Midnight Cloak and Diamond Shadow Bevor warders.) restrict the usage of most actions within Fort Huldon, warder communication was found to continue unimpeded throughout the vicinity, at least for durations not exceeding 3 minutes.

-- report ends --

Note! The portion ‘Concerning the Renegade Warder’ will also be submitted to Terry, and Aly will submit copies of everything to Kenjiro, because she thinks people are keeping him in the dark, hmph.

things Aly either doesn’t know or doesn’t think official people need to know:
  1. the bearded schmuck with ‘intuition’ and ‘break shard bond’ abilities, along with dead dragoon girl and yucky girl-boy vs. our total hero, the Paladin of the Second Hour. Scholar’s mount is killed and she tells Canar to run; schmuck shatters Scholar’s talisman; Nessus sends Canar away; Feylight Pathmage is wrecked; and the Saint of Talons joins the schmuck by killing the girl-boy.
  2. Cat meets five-year-old ALIA, who turns out to be her forgotten daughter!
  3. Diones tells Ian that he has or will have the ability to fix Canar’s shard, and that Ian should find Diones’s former mount Sharandin, “if she doesn’t hate us”.
  4. Funded by Kim, Manatee buys LYSIDA and her fourteen girls from Ral Tin Tor. Ida wants to start a ‘house’ in Peerdin.
  5. Arc’s dark night of the soul, featuring a conversation with Aly, a brilliant speech from Ser Orlando, and Brother Night’s claim that there are two of them within the shard
  6. Aly gets her da Lucius and mother AGRIPPA back, yay! and tells Da about Tisi, Baklava, and Kenjiro.
  7. MEGAERA has a boyfriend, which could be important, who knows?
  8. Arc finds his cousin JERENAIS, along with Jerenais’s wife MICA, in Salermo.
  9. Ian and GWYNETH kiss!
  10. The under-city is well under way, and Diones is itching to build something.
Aly also didn’t tell about the Grey Speaker threatening Ser Orlando’s life because Arc didn’t tell her, thus she is not as freaked as she would be.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Not all that matters is monstrous..."

The rationale for many an adventure is that the party has discovered a rumor / been assigned a quest to some mysterious out-of-the-way place where terrible monsters guard a fabulous treasure, or perhaps to destroy an slowly stirring ancient evil.

But some adventures can start because the location itself is the target of the interest of the dominant civilization -- which might clash with the longtime residents.

Three ideas along these lines:

  • defending the borderlands;
  • there's gold in them thar borderlands;
  • oh, how lovely the borderlands are this time of year.

Defending the Borderlands

The forces that are assigned here (or happen upon it, or are rescued by it) are tasked with standing against any incursion of enemy forces. These could be hordes of rabid elves, barbarous halfling hordes, or even cunning, well-disciplined orc legions.

Short of actual mass combat, adventures here could be scouting sorties, raids into the wilderlands, or even assassination attempts on key leaders of the enemy.

There's Gold in them thar Borderlands

This is less about some underground complex, but a discovery that valuable resources -- like gold, or orichalcum, or hard-to-find magical reagents -- is located adjacent to the current country's land holdings in some unclaimed or contested area.

Adventures here could be about adventurers helping the country lay claim to the land, clearing out stubborn pockets of local residents or integrating them into the society, discovering the secret to the land's wealth, or claiming a small slice of the land for themselves or their patron.

Oh! How Lovely the Borderlands are this Time of Year!

In this scenario, the value of the land is its breathtaking vista. Perhaps there's a striking feature of the landscape that makes of a nice view, or an lovely old ruin from a past civilization (supposedly long cleaned out). There could be interesting restaurants with mouthwateringly good local cuisine that showcase the view, nice little trinkets (that came from the old ruin over there, completely safe). There could be festivals that re-enact old tribal rituals in more conqueror-friendly, tourist-friendly ways.

Adventurers of all alignments and all levels come to this new darling of the travel scene; what could possibly go wrong?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Playing with the FATE dice

I was revisiting the result distribution of the FUDGE / FATE dice for the 4d6 option, when I thought about applying a variant of the classic Hero System BODY roll to reading the dice. In this option:

1 = -
2 through 5 = 0
6 = +

This results in this distribution (courtesy of

In essence, the chances of a +4 or a -4 are 0.16% combined. This means that the modification to someone's basic ability rating is more or less likely to take place between the -3 to +3 range. There's a chance that there might not be enough variance in the rolls during gameplay, but we'll see. Certainly not as varied as the range for the standard FATE roll below:

It makes me think that perhaps the standard FATE roll is better, but I want to tweak it because -- in the absence of actual FATE dice here in the Philippines, it may be easier to just explain that 1 is -1 and 6 is +1 and all the other dice faces are 0.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Court Adamantine: Preview 2 -- The Final Nine

Our group is fond of casting actors and celebrities in the various roles of NPCs and PCs in our game. With the final showdown with Twilight in Unspace, I can share a small bit of our overall cast for this season of Isle -- The Court Adamantine.

A quote from the episode:

"No; ours is a world where great things are possible-- and great things are demanded. Sometimes greatness is forced upon us, and we must rise."

- Varian Drusus Scipio