Monday, December 29, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 46

Charon, Horacio and Thriatos soon learn that the gremlin council has agreed to a trading agreement. But Gorn inform them that two of the council members want to speak to them in private, to which the mages agree.

Znoot first takes them through the winding corridors to see the master merchant Harishbal, who wishes to learn more about the people with whom he is to trade. Realizing there might be a thing or two they do not want to share about their past the mages set out to tell three quite different stories. Further, when asked about the wares and preparations already undertaken it becomes quite clear that this is parts of the plan which has not yet been addressed. Needless to say, Harishbal is not very impressed and Znoot hurriedly takes them to the second council member, lady Besbemati.

Lady Besbemati represents one of the churches housed within the city and she is more concerned about the mages' relationship with Gorn. She expresses a fear that their interference shall tip the balance of the city in particular and the world in general if their aim is to give more power to Gorn and his god. Again the three fail to present a united front as Charon and Thriatos promise their goal is trade and trade alone, while Horacio doesn't want to hide his religious convictions and that he hopes for a spread of his religion with the aid of the trade agreement. Besbemati's reaction is not clear and long discussions among the wizards ensure as they throw accusations and debate their future diplomatic position long into the night.

As a small notion is added to the trade agreement, forcing the mages to deliver 10 cartloads of goods within two months, they leave the city on the following day. A bad and sour mood keep them quiet for a few hours before they compulsively start to plan ahead. They decide that their best option is to journey north to the city of Kemdun to try and establish some trade partners there.

The climate and terrain makes the journey arduous yet uneventful and due to some odd chance they find themselves in the same native village which Charon and Thriatos passed through on their journey south several months earlier. While not hostile the natives treat the party with strong suspiciousness and while they are allowed to camp outside the village they discover the following morning that all the natives have gone into hiding. Confiscating a couple of canoes they continue their journey and thanks to some more friendly tribes further down the river they manage to reach Kemdun after a full day's travel. The beds of a decent inn seems like heaven on Earth.

The first morning in the city they head towards the merchant district to try to find a guild or merchant house with which to do business. At the White Barrel Goods & Trading they find mister Bocco. The mystery deal offered by the wizards seems strange but yet appealing to the merchant, who agrees to invest 1,500 gold of the mages do the same and that this would grant him 50% of the profits. As the main item for sale are the gremlin crossbows Bocco promises to set up a meeting with the city's most influential characters on the arms market.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 45

With their new base established, the three undead decide to send Kael to bring some of their undead minions into the city to aid them with digging a secret tunnel out of the city as this will greatly influence their ability to operate secretly within the city. Zantana and Azela thus stay behind to learn more about the city of Sunn, its inhabitants and their business.

Kael takes the short route by passing through the tribal lands south of the Pantor river, but soon finds himself followed by two riders. Managing to lay an ambush, she scare off the horses and kill the two tribals in a short fight. Claiming their clothes and weapons he continue his journey towards the mountain pass. After three days and nights journey he reaches the pass and has a quick conversation with the captain he left to guard it. The captain informs no one has detected their position but do mention that a Black Robe, one of the Zhengdi mages, has passed through from their homeland into human lands about two weeks ago. Kael gather siz of his undead minions and begin the journey back to Sunn without further delay.

Azela and Zantana have acquired a good understanding of the city during Kael's absence, but as he returns they still have trouble getting their minions unnoticed into the city. Waiting until nightfall they walk them across the riverbed and quickly move through the largely empty warehouse district. Despite a few close calls they are confident no one spotted them as they enter their base.

Back together, the three move on to the next phase by establishing themselves as traders in the city. Their business plan is to by cloth and clothing for Zhengdi in return for gold, while their cover story is that the goods are shipped to Sarinia in the west. Zantana tries to set up a deal with her contact Merga back in Aztoth and they try to establish some contacts in the city while waiting for a reply.

A knock on the door to their secret base take them all by surprise and when a tall stranger, seemingly lacking in social manners and survival instinct, walk straight into their establishment before anyone can react to stop him. However, he turns out to be the Black Robe mentioned by Kael's captain, presenting himself as Gamaral and claiming to be "a messenger from a common friend" and that "their business proposal has been accepted". He also offers to spare the group from sending caravans back to Zhengdi as he is able to teleport a certain amount of wares directly to their destination. While loaded with questions in abundance, the group decide to accept the offer for a start and set out to acquire some goods from the city and also a new warehouse to be their public front and office.

For three weeks they work together with Gamaral and manage to establish a successful business, although a less satisfying communication. Gamaral proves to be a very excentric and secretive individual and it is only the flow of gold that keeps him in the good graces of the group. At least he isn't asking any more questions than he is answering - apart from an odd request or two for a seemingly random selection of objects. As Azela, Kael and Zantana begin to establish their routines Kael discover some men keeping watch over their new establishment. While acting unaware he informs Azela who manage to trace one of the spies to a tavern going by the name of 'The Blooded Squire'. Discussing how to handle this turn of events, Zantana recollects her living days as a spy and suggest they dress themselves for a visit to the tavern to learn what is going on...

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 44

Charon and Thriatos return to the mountain cave, not much wiser about the demon but fairly confident that Osayla was still standing when they left. Horacio debriefs them about what he has learned from the gremlin, Znoot, and they decide to act on his advice to travel to the gremlin city and attempt to secure an alliance. They intend to travel light, meaning they leave most of their belongings for Jamal and Mergus to carry.

The journey takes them three days and is uneventful beneath the scorching sun. They travel west and eventually make camp in the shadows of the mountains. According to gremlin customs no outsider is allowed to know the path to the city, so Znoot ventures on ahead on his own to prepare for their arrival. Within a few hours they are approached by gremlin guards and blindfolded before being taken further up the mountain side. They soon find themselves underground and the sound of flowing water is clear. The gremlins inform them that they will be taken onboard a raft after which their blindfolds will be removed. Thus their first vision is of an underground tunnel, carved by the river they're traversing, dimly lit by the torches of the guards. A stone platform extrudes from the cave wall, partially lit by stronger lights coming from a carved corridor leading into the mountain itself. A small group of gremlins in strange but elaborate clothing await their arrival.

They are greeted by an elderly gremlin with a thin beard who introduces himself as the Keeper of the Halls in fairly understandable hara. The rest of the group seems to be guards or scribes and as they are taken through the winding (and rather low ceiling-wise) tunnels and open caves the Keeper tells them of the name and history of each place. They pass through a large market square which gives a taste as to the numbers living in the city, with hundreds of gnomes bustling about their daily business. The mages attract quite a lot of attention, but most are too busy to observe them for very long and as they leave the market most onlookers stay behind.

Eventually they find themselves in the Council Hall - meeting place of the gremlin elders. The hall resembles a theater and they are seated on one of the rows as the council spokesman begin to present them to the elders. As this is done in the gremlin language Znoot translates for them, remarking that the spokesman is not very friendly to their cause and needs to be convinced of the benefits of an alliance. As the initial introduction is completed the mages ask about who actually do suppot their cause and Znoot says it is time for them to meet his father: high priest Gorn. Gorn is shown to be an elderly, yet vigorous gremlin with a large, red beard. He informs them of the politics of the city - that most have forgotten about the God and need to be reminded. He suggests they leave the Council Hall and go to the shrine of their deity.

After a brief opportunity for prayer Gorn informs them that they are expected to hold a speech in the following day before the elders of the city. Spending some time discussing and preparing their arguments they decide Horacio should be the one to deliver it. As a thorough man, Horacio ask Znoot to assemble some devotees on which he can practice the speech. Encouraged by this the young gremlin, to the surprise of the mages, manage to fill the shrine with over a hundred attenders. After the initial chock and surprise Horacio decides to rise to the challenge and delivers an excellent performance. The crowd disperse and soon rumors about the strangers and their persuasive arguments begin circulating in the city.

The rest of the day the mages spend wandering the city with Znoot as their guide. They are shown the massive forges and the city bathouse provides a welcome chance to remove weeks of dirt and sweat (disregard for the other guests are not really considered an issue...). While day and night really doesn't exist in the underground city the mages go to bed early, not wanting to miss out on the opportunity of a good nights sleep in proper, if rather short, beds.

In the morning they are woken by Znoot who offers them the chance to join the city's morning ceremony, which they accept. The ceremony have all the residents of the city, in their thousands, walk through the city to a giant cave with an opening providing a panoramic view of the mountains. Through the cave the gremlins then observe the rising of the sun before returning to their Daily chores. Charon, Horacio and Thriatos finds this fascinating and intriguing, but eventually return their focus to the speech which is to be held within a few hours.

As the hour approaches the mages enter into a full Council Hall - hundreds of gremins staring as they enter the center of the hall. With Charon and Thriatos doing what they can to lend weight to Horacio's arguments they deliver their speech to the expecting audience. A few questions are raised by those who do not share their political agenda, but they are swiftly answered before they are asked to leave as the elders discuss the proposal behind closed doors.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Don't miss the Centuria Generator!

A small update for the Centuria Generator has just been released (you'll find it linked from the dropdown menu in the upper right hand corner, hidden under Resources, or by following the link).

So basically the Random Name Generator and Random Business Generator has become more prominent features by prompting a select option from the start page (don't miss out on the Age option!). While character generation hasn't changed both the random generators have been updated. The Random Business Generator has recieved a major addon in the form of businesses for the Age of Information - look at the site banner to know for which age you are currently generating!

There should be enough combinations for a couple of thousand businesses in there, and add the fact that abbreviations are randomly created you're unlikely to get the same result very often. Of course, the abbreviations can produce some amusing results but at least the most common curses and filtered words have been excluded...

Moving on to the Random Name Generator the only addon is a "nickname" option which is available only for the Age of Information. Checking this option adds a nickname to each character name generated - the combinations are slightly limited at the moment but will surely grow with time.

And that was all that was new this time, please enjoy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 43

Azela, Kael and Zantana start to lay out their plans for the future, but they are disturbed by some commotion from downstairs. Zantana head to investigate and discovers a group of city guards asking for two persons matching the desciptions of Azela and Kael. She confronts the guards in the stairs leading to the rooms and they ask her to step aside as they have come to search the Place for two suspected murderers. Playing out her role as a noblewoman, Zantana admits that the descriptions matches her two servants but that they certainly aren't involved in any such matters. While the guards clearly do not want to make enemies among the nobility they nevertheless insist that Zantana and her servants accompany them to the court house to clear the matter.

As the time is late much of the city is quiet. The guards take them to a side entrance to the court house and introduce them to the constablos - the local judge. Zantana is quick to complain about the late hour and the lack of subtlety in the proceedings, accusations which the judge seems unprepared for and makes a rather poor excuse by blaming it on the guards. They learn that Fusus - the merchant who tried to swindle them of their goods - has been found dead in his home, and witnesses has placed two persons matching Azela and Kaels descriptions at the scene. The judge wants them to remain in the city until it can be arranged for a diviner to discern their innocense, but having a mage examine their minds is perhaps the last thing any of the three want at the moment. Zantana thus convinces the judge that they have urgent business in Miramasa and, as not to delay them further, she offers to visit the court there as soon as they arrive. The judge eventually agrees and after some paperwork is cleared the three leave, but they do not head for the inn but rather decide to immediately try to find who is behind the slander.

Kael ventures alone back to the house of Fusus to try to look for clues there, while Zantana and Azela head back to the court house to see if the judge has any files on the source of the accusations. The two manage to silently enter the building and finds the judge sleeping in his chambers next to his office. Going through his papers, Zantana finds the descriptions rather formal - details likely dictated and memorized rather than seen in person. However, there is no reference as to who made them and given the only person likely to know is sleeping in the next room they decide to act fast. They sneak into the bed chambers and place a dagger at the throat of the sleeping man. Removing heir veil, the judge finds himself looking into an undead face and with his life as stake he readily reveals that the case is a personal favor to one Barbuca, a powerful crime lord within the city. After stating that he better leave the business be the two women head silently into the night.

Meanwhile, Kael is making his way to Fusus' house, but realize he is being followed. An attempt to ambush his stalker fails and he ends up chasing the person through the streets. With his undead fortitue and tactical cunning Kael eventually catch the man who quickly realize fighting is futile. A small bribe from Kael ease his worries and he helpfully explains he's been hired by a man called Barbuca and agrees to show Kael to his residence. Satisfied Kael release the man and after a quick but fruitless search of Fusus' home he returns towards the inn.

Zantana suggests the docks would be a good place to look for more information about Barbuca, but she is badly dressed for such an excusion and thus Azela go there alone. However, a lone woman in the middle of the night can attract the wrong attention and three large men, presumably sailors, take an interest in her. She tries to put them to good use by offering them money for taking her to Barbuca, to which they agree. Not very surprisingly, they prove to be less than trustworthy and attempt to overpower her as they walk through a silent alley. Her undead condition make her insusceptible to damage so despite suffering a knife in her tigh she easily outruns her opponents and decides returning to the inn is her best option.

Meeting up, the undead discuss their findings and conclude that to be able to work unhindered in the city they need to change their disguises. They intend to leave the city in the morning to switch clothes somewhere along the road and then return again and purchase a secluded warehouse to use as a base of operations. At sunrise they set their plan in motion and after successfully acquiring a suitable location next to the city walls they set out to learn more about the city, its defences, wizard house and, not least, Barbuca and the underworld.