Tuesday, February 24, 2015

modes of dress in the dwarven city

Smiths: long felt robes in muted colours. Few ornaments but highly crafted, often bangles. For headgear they wear tallish fez-like caps colour coded to their clan.

Stone workers: leather aprons with miscellaneous straps and chains often accompanied by a zinc breastplate emblazoned with a lucky rune. Staffs with measuring notches are carried at all times.

Beaurocrats: cotton turbans and fur-trimmed caftans, often bespectacled with braided whiskers.

Academics: black and white striped hoods, close cropped beards with long mustaches, starched bonnets and golden earrings.

Priests: tall fur hats and linen robes the arms and neck of which are embroidered with interlaced snakes of blue and gold.

Civic Guards: Patchy beards, geometric tattoos and oilskin breeches, brass helms and often seen smoking long stemmed ivory tobacco pipes.

Sealed letter to Zalberth

Esteemed college and fellow scion of the All-Mother, salutations from the frontier. I hope this message finds you well and that you will assure the safeguarding of my messenger raven Hosszu-Uldon.
My post as field-councillor and sorcerous liaison has drawn to a close, and I write to you not knowing my immediate fate. Within days news will likely reach Vali of the proposed closure of the mine. It will surely be put to the guild archons and clan tongues whether continued operation is feasible. I have seen some odd things, tampering with records, unreported gains, somebody is making the mine look less profitable than it is. In fact, in the early watches of the night, I've seen good ore thrown in the slag pools and gems thrown in the aqueduct. Would that I had the wherewithal to bring my suspicion forth but alas my kinfolk have summoned me. And so, back to the hill-country I set my face. Only if you take an interest should you pursue my misgivings. You know as well as I, that the Delvers are not lovers of our matron but only buy us for our sagacity and the deftness of our tongues with words of  magery and goetia. Curse their avarice, truculence and mercurial humour!
Be well Uncle 
All hail ghosts of our pride!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

NPC: Magnon Roash

This noble of the blue tower canton went missing while on a diplomatic journey to Vali. Some might speculate that there are sinister workings afoot. Magnon is best described as cool, aloof but surprisingly cruel when it's neither necessary or useful. His folk are spice growers to the north and occasional raiders of the Sister Hills Mines. 
As is not uncommon among the aristocracy in the Yaswan regions he has some Abbysal ancestry. This is most clearly manifest in his prominent ox horns. To many Yaswan nobles their Abbysal mark is of little concern beyond the vain matters of outward appearance but, as his attendants confirm, to Magnon Roash they are of utmost interest. Magnon has spent years mastering the feondish  tongue and is a competent conjurist in his own right. If only his abilities could take him to that plane of ruthless order where chaos marries hierarchy in bizarre manifestations. But alas even the ancients could only open a door one way, to allow those creatures into our plane but not out.

Treasure: Lepta's Leaden Dagger

This is the peculiar blade carried by the aspiring young fiend-magician Lepta Ironstone.  The hilt is beautifully ornamented with brass and electrum depicting a tusked creature breathing fire. In contrast to the hilt the lead blade is rather dull and short. She keeps this piece on her person while doing abyssal rites for blood-letting and, as a last line of defence, against her conjurings lest things go awry. Though of uncertain origin Lepta found it amongst the belongings of the Gnomish warlock Carnelian and kept it for herself along with his collection of scrolls.

vs non-fiend d4-1 damage
vs fiend +1 to hit, d6 damage

10 gold bits as a curiosity

Saturday, February 7, 2015

NPC: The venerable Pjok of the Apple-goose clan

An academic from the Vali school of cosmology. His primary area is the history of the third aeon with special interest in northern border diplomacy. Of course, this means that he has a cursory knowledge of abyssal matters which is actually his passion. He has a modest collection of Yaswan artifacts which reflect this interest: a miniature fiend carved from onyx, a tooth with a bas relief of an abyssal scene and a bag of lead arrow tips which he explains are specifically crafted against fiendish creatures. From Pjok the players can learn about fiends' vulnerability to lead weapons and their resistance to all others as well as their poisonous attacks, also that they are vulnerable to sunlight and tend to gravitate to the highest ranking fiend or summoner in the area (being creatures of strong lawful alignment and little to no individualism).

Pjok's physical description: a fashionable dwarf with the incongruously close cropped bear in the fashion a scholar.  He has a hare-lip and eyes the color of tarnished pewter. His voice is fairly high pitched but he speaks with a thoughtful measured cadence.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Neck Ornament With Concealed Scrolls

Amulet Containing Magic Scrolls

When squeezed these silver cylinders release tiny scrolls bearing incantations which bring forth the spell effects of "bears' strength" "cats' dexterity" "serpents' guile" and "polymorph into a mangy dog for d6 hrs"

Considering the craftsmanship and precious materials  this piece is valued at 50 gold bits, slightly more to a collector of Oamnoi artifacts.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Silver Hoard

Silver Hoard, Tumulus Trap Trigger
Within a dusty tumulus there can be found various items that the deceased owned in life. The items are all arranged neatly along the walls of the low ceilinged chamber and at the end is a panel carved in low relief depicting a hunting scene, a ritual involving a giant tree, and some sort of civic looking ceremony (perhaps an induction to public office). Without difficulty a player will notice that the panel is covering a niche which houses the silver hoard containing a number of silver rings, bars, armbands and coins. A careful player will notice that there are a number of coins laid in a geometrical shape to the fore. Detect-magic will show glowing lines connecting the coins in the front. If their arrangement is disturbed the spirit of the deceased will be roused (use poltergeist stats from the 5e monster manual). The primary attack of the poltergeist will be to throw things so be sure to have already described lots of heavy grave furnishings.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Enchanted Head-Vessel

The Head of Olnaxle
This magical lead vessel has as its primary use a very powerful seal. The lid will only open when the name of the person whose visage it bears is spoken. The fact that its construction is of lead should be a tip to players that its contents are of a magical nature as lead is often used in magic resistant materials. This particular lead head contains most likely Saurian Pitch which leaches poisonous gases (con save 15 or contract Saurian flu) and may be used in abyssal rites. It value to the right magic user (one with an abyssal pact or a Saurian adept) could be as high as 1000 gold bits whereas to anybody else it would fetch no more than 200 silver bits as a collectors item.

The name belonging to the visage could either be revealed by having a separate piece of ephemera in the compound with it, the face could appear in a scroll in a library in a different location, or  there could be a rebus scribed onto the bottom of the head somewhere. 

A detect magic won't penetrate the lead unless the magic user is of a higher level (say 5 or higher e.g.) but an aura of enchantment will appear around the ears as a residual of the magic locking system.