Monday, April 28, 2014

The Bounty Hunters

Great thanks to the testing crew of "The Fringe Bounty", completing their mission Sunday 27/4.

Good playing and thanks for the evaluation; here's a liberal interpretation of the characters as you presented them (with an added South Park-touch).

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 20

The night continues with celebrations and it is very late when the group returns to their rooms at the embassy. A late breakfast follows the next morning and a letter arrives by messenger from Kanadir, informing that they are invited by the new grandmaster when it suits them. They start making plans for the day but soon all experience severe stomach ache - it appears the food has been poisoned!

Meanwhile Horacio is making his way to Lao-Din after a meeting with consul Quadrata. Not finding the others at the wizard house he heads towards the embassy.

Using magic to purge the poison, the mages and Maladir have recovered and while Charon goes to find the chef they send a servant to start an investigation. Horacio arrives in time for a discussion between the guests and the imperial ambassador turning sour and tries to mitigate the situation. The ambassador agree to run an investigation and leave the company to their own affairs.

Sarissa head out to have their food analyzed by the mages but notices a spot of blood on the ground. Following a vague track she notice what she believe to be human feet in an alley. She hurry back to fetch the seneschals and together they explore the alley to conclude that a man has been murdered by a dagger and that he, the victim, was probably a mage. They immediately send for Kanadir who quickly arrive with a dozen mages. Apart from healing the group from some lingering effects of the poison they conclude that the dead man is the Messenger Kanadir sent to them in the morning. It is however not the same person that delivered it, so the question as to how they were poisoned seems to be solved.

The group split up as Charon and Thriatos follow Kanadir back to the wizard house to discuss the events, while the others follow Maladir who thinks that the city's underworld might know a thing or two about it all and head towards the city docks.

The meeting with the grandmaster is short and they all agree to lay low with their personal agreements until Kanadir has strengthened his position and, of course, that the morning's events must be thouroughly investigated. As they intend to leave the city shortly they visit the teleporting mirror only to find its keeper absent. According to a note he has left to purchase alchemical ingredients so they leave a note of their own stating they want to travel to Sunn later in the day.

In the docks Maladir manage to spot a familiar face - one of the men who attacked him the day before. Horacio quickly ruins any hope of a discreete chase by catching the man in a forcefield. Surrounded by mages the man agree to take them to Varvara, the most powerful crime lord of the city. They arrive at a tavern where the bouncers start to make trouble but Horacio utilize the same trick as before to convince them they shouldn't. The inside is poorly lit but they head towards a staircase in the back of the room.

Meanwhile Charon and Thriatos have also arrived in the docks and pick up the trace of magic. As they track a second spell, Thriatos sends a message to Horacio asking what is going on.

Horacio is however not able to respond at the current time, aso two men waiting at the top of the stairs have charged them with drawn weapons. After taking a slight injury, Horacio respond with thunderbolts while Maladir protect the mages with his sword. Sarissa summon a small earth elemental while Ignatia heals the party. As the clients of the tavern join in the fight they are inevitably surrounded.

Horacio and Maladir clear the top of the stair just as Charon and Thriatos arrive at the scene. Thriatos sends a massive flame into the crowd while Charon summons a wraith to join with Sarissa's earth elemental in the mayhem. The lowlifes start to flee the scene and face no resistance as the group heads towards the door at the top floor. As they break through the door they suprise a woman in her thirties who is looking out the window at the fleeing thugs. The woman, identified as Varvara, find herself surrounded by the mages and the distant sound of clanking armor lets know the city guard is on route as well. As Charon head to explain the situation to the guards the others start questioning Varvara. They learn that the seneschals have a price on their heads at 1000 silvers, according to rumors placed by the governor himself. Also a famous assassin, Mergus, has apparently arrived in the city a few days ago. Content with this they are prepared to hand the tavern over to the city guard which, at the sight of the carnage, has waited outside at Charon's suggestion.

The mages head back towards the wizard house to discuss what they have learned while Maladir head to the marketplace to try to learn more about the poison used. They come together later in the evening and after piecing together the parts of the puzzles they now possess. They conclude that given what has transpired it is likely that Mergus is hiding somewhere within the wizard house, disguised in the robes of the dead mage they found earlier. Maladir, who managed to gain a description of the assassin, gets help from Assabi to produce some magical images to identify him. At this time the seneschals are reached by the word that the keeper of the magical mirror has returned and they decide to discontinue the inquiry for now and head towards Sunn. Sarissa sends a magical message to Maladir to inform him of this as the others head out.

But their journey is halted as they discover the mirror to be hexed and the keeper attack Sarissa with a dagger as they do so. The group manage to disarm him after a short fight and Thriatos hurries away to find Kanadir.

Maladir is about to leave the house to catch a boat to Sunn when he spots a mage matching the description of the assassin. He shadows the man abut while it appears he was misstaken he timely arrives to see Thriatos getting attacked by another mage with a dagger. Together with Kanadir, who just arrives, the three manage to defeat the assassin and hurry back to get Charon to interrogate him. However, the man is dead when they return but Charon decide to trap his soul inside the dagger to allow them to question him at a later date.

The deception of the mirror keeper requires the collective wisdom of the house to solve, but it appears the man have been killed and later raised as a revenant. As this requires a powerful necromancer Horacio, Charon and Thriatos head towards Femala's appartment only to find it empty and Horacio suffering a curse by opening the door. They return to the others but don't get time to invent a plan as a novice arrives shouting "Fire, fire!".

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 19

Arriving back at the embassy, Horacio informs his colleagues that he must make a short trip back to the capital but that his fellow seneschal will arrive shortly to continue his mission. The following morning Charon and Thriatos therefore meet with seneschal Ignatia who has Sarissa as a companion. Sarissa excuses her intrusion and informs the seneschals that she has learned that someone is out to kill them. Inquiring as to how she has learned this and who means to kill them, Sarissa can only tell that she got the information from her former mentor; a man she trusts without a doubt. The seneschals realize there is much about their proteg√©e that they do not know. Before they can continue any further another familiar face appears. Maladir Dircha, the messenger they met in Khamlira who mysteriously disappeared, arrives with further news. These also concerns threats towards the seneschals' health, of which Maladir has learned by following a rumor in Pantoria's underworld. His involvement and personal loyalties questioned, Maladir eventually reveals he is an agent working for consul Seneca who sent him to keep an eye on them while they're in the province.

As there are other matters to attend to Charon, Thriatos, Ignatia and Sarissa travel to the city's wizard house while Maladir visit the city's marketplace to continue his investigations.

At Tono Ken's wizard house Charon and Thriatos start preparing a grandmaster election as they have decided to back Kanadir as a candidate. Ignatia is annoyed by not being introduced to the situation and ventures off to get her own appraise of the situation. They eventually inform Kanadir about their decision and gratefully he informs he will have the house organize an election.

Meanwhile Maladir searches for information  and after getting a few names from a untrustworthy informant head off to more distant parts of the city. He is attacked in an alley by three men and the situation is looking critical when he manages to severely wound one of them and the others flee. As the wounded man eventually come around Maladir learns that it is one of Lao-Din's crimelords, named Varvara, who sent them to end his inquiries.

As the mages of Tono Ken gather for an election Ignatia has a runthrough with Kanadir concerning his customary speach to the house, while Thriatos is preparing an opening speach for the ceremony. As the procedure starts everything goes as planned and when archmage Gan Krish arrive and put his lot in with the seneschals it feels like a win. The result is then counted by Lin Mao and while Kanadir is clearly the winner by number of votes he has not yet gained a majority and a new grandmaster therefore cannot be elected. Charon and Sarissa, both keen on house protocol, are quick to request a second election as they feel more will join their cause after the results have been made clear.

As the voting goes on Maladir maintains a low profile while he speak to many of the city's merchants. Apart from what he already knows - that an assassin has been sent to deal with the seneschals - he learns that it may be the governor himself who tries to keep imperial agents out of the business of his province. Maladir decides this is important enough to inform the others and head towards Tono Ken, where Lin Mao is about to complete his second counting of the votes. This time the balance has shifted enough and Kanadir can now be proclaimed new grandmaster of the house.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Pain, oh, the Pain!

The damage table of the Core Rule Book has been updated to dish out some more Pain. Check out the updated version at the download page!

LinCon adventure - The Killswitch

"As the darkness disperses a new scene emerges: a run-down hospital room with mint green walls, disused equipment stacked against the sides of the room. Others are here as well, each awaking on a sunky hospital bed - all looking confused. But before anyone can talk a screen at the far side of the room comes to life. A voice, distorted by some device, begin to speak:

'You are surely wondering what you are doing here, and why. You have all been selected for a job. Some of you may not like it, and that is something that must not interfere with the mission. Thus you have all been fitted with a killswitch. Turned on, it will start to kill you from inside. Trust me, you do not want the details.' "

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 18

As the seneschals arrive in Lao-Din they quickly learn that the grandmaster of Tono Ken is not at all well. In fact he is so ill that the seneschals cannot have a meeting with them but rather meet with his assistant, Lin Mao. Lin explains that the grandmaster is too fragile to handle the burden of his job and he himself has not the authority to be of much help to the seneschals - especially since the house is locked in a stallmate as they debate over a candidate to replace grandmaster Jaccarin. The most obvious choice, the house's only archmage Gan Krish, has refused the post outright.

The seneschals look around and by accident meet with Assabi, one of the candidates for the post, in the dining hall. Assabi has good experience from politics as she is related to the local ruling family. She has much to say about the current politics in Pantoria and strongly recommend that if the seneschals intend to aid in the grandmaster elections they do so in an official manner by speaking to the other candidates as well. She gives them directions as where to find them.

Such directions are not necessary to find the second candidate, Kanadir, who find the seneschals himself as they discuss their plans in the house library. Introducing himself, he joins them for a conversation to answer their questions concerning his view on the current situation. He claims to be the more diplomatic of the three candidates and points out that he, unlike Assabi, doesn't have any political connections which will affect his decisions as a grandmaster. He also argues that his social skills make him far more suitable than the third candidate, Femala. He is not above trying to bribe the three however, as he offers Charon access to the restricted library should he gain the title as grandmaster.

After this meeting the seneschals go to find Femala, who is in her private laboratory. They quickly realize why Kanadir considers himself the more social of the two as her quite disfigured appearance is unsettling. Femala is straight to the point with the seneschals: she claims that chosing her as the grandmaster is the logical choice given that archmage Gan Krish is not a candidate and she has the highest rank of the three candidates left. She also offer the seneschals a key to a graveyard city South of Lao-Din in exchange for their support. She does not try to argue this to be anything but a bribe and explains this is her offer and that she will answer no further questions. She does however let slip that another powerful mage lives nearby - a man named Karachen. Thriatos knows the name but says nothing to his fellow seneschals.

To have space for thinking the seneschals rent a room at the lokal imperial enclave where they can discuss uninterrupted. They quickly agree that the next step would be to meet with the archmage Gan Krish to ask his opinion about the candidates. As he lives out of town they send a messenger to tell of their arrival.

Gan Krish's manor is located a few kilometers outside the city so the seneschals rent camels and depart on the following morning. The journey is uneventful but as they arrive at Gan Krish they are greeted by demonic servants - which they all find most intriguing. The archmage seems a bit annoyed over their visit and explains that his absence from the house is due to he himself being all too busy to take the role as grandmaster and that he has seen no reason to support any of the candidates. He recommend the seneschals to support the candidate who has given them the best offer as that is what it will come down to in the end. Realizing he's being a rather poor host, he invites the three mages to dinner before they return to the city. Served by the archmage's demonic servants the four mages discuss many topics over the dinner table. Accidentally, Gan Krish reveals that his research is not entierly within the boundaries of the mages' charter, which is the reason for his remote location. Realizing his blunder he offers the seneschals a spell of his before they leave, hoping them to remain discrete about what they have learned.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 17

Another week passes until the seneschals are once again summoned by the Mages' Council. They are introduced to seneschal Horacio, who serves consul Quadrata from Leupthia. The three are tasked with investigating a possible insurgency in the wizard houses of the province of Pantoria, where Horacio is supposed to evaluate the work of Seneca's seneschals.

The seneschals are then introduced to a set of secret artifacts owned by the council: teleporting mirrors which allows fast travel between the Empire's wizard houses. The secrecy is due to the possible dangers involved in using them, as the mirrors could kill a traveller if not properly prepared or if someone would manage to tamper with them. Assured that they currently are safe, the seneschals depart immediately for the Pantorian capital of Miramasa.

Arriving at the wizard house bearing the same name as the city, the mages seat themselves in the open library to discuss their plans. After a short meeting with the grandmaster Hanalam they have a basic grasp of the politics enacted by the current governor which have caused a rebellious attitude among the rural population. Hanalam urges the Mages' Council to take a firm stance in the question as he believes the situation can quickly deteriorate and there are those within the house who Think differently.

Charon and Thriatos continue their inquiry in the library where they use a pretext as looking for books on biomancy. Horacio takes it a step further and manage to schedule a meeting with one of the house's archmages on the following day. Apart from this not much work to the seneschals' favor and they travel to a nearby hotel to sleep through the night. They overhear some discussions and come to the conclusion that the citizens appear loyal to the governor while the countryside population has a different opinion.

The following morning Horacio heads to his scheduled meeting while Charon and Thriatos attempt to gather information at the local arena. The two are not very successful in their task, but Horacio has a bit more luck with his meeting. Archmage Fordina paints a rather different picture from the grandmaster, accusing the latter of causing more trouble than necessary by opposing the governor's policies. She even suspect the grandmaster of having his own political motives for doing so, but do not elaborate further on what they might be.

As the Three seneschals meet up later they decide to leave Miramasa for now and travel onwards to Tono Ken, the house of Pantoria's Eastern-most city Lao-Din.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 16

Another day at the estate and the seneschals receive an urgent message from consul Seneca that their services are required. The consul also requests that Sarissa and Julius accompany them, but makes no further mentions about what it is that they should do except that it somehow involves undead opponents.

When te consul arrives a few days later he is pleased to see that everything has been prepared. As they set out he explains that they are heading to Haomas' Grave to return an artifact which was accidentally removed from the site. He gives a short description of the graveyard city and tasks them with handling any resistance as he must preserve his Powers until they reach their destination.

It takes the group the better part of three days to reach the graveyard city and once there they set up camp to plan their approach. They decide to use a path cleared by the Temple and then head straight for the Royal Mausoleum, which is their goal. Seneca declares that he needs to do his own preparations and that he should only be disturbed if they require his advice.

As the sun rise on the following morning they enter through the half-open gates of the city. Undead wander aimlessly at the streets but protected by a magical barrier they ignore them and continue. Eventually they arrive at the Royal Mausoleum to find it surrounded by a large horde of zombies, requiring them to clear a way through. Charon uses his illusion skills to accomplish the task and after reaching the relative safety behind the mausoleum's walls Thriatos and Sarissa turn the pursuing zombies to ash. This goes well until Sarissa manage to set fire to herself, prompting Seneca to use a healing spell and Julius to destroy the last of the undead in melee combat.

The undead seems to be everywhere but again Charon creates a distraction by commanding one of them and having it turn on its peers. They find a hidden staircase and decend into the tomb.

In the dark corridors they encounter a mummy as they are searching for light, but as it is unarmed it poses little threat to them and is set ablaze. The mummy has injuries from a previous engagement and they manage to find traces which they follow deeper inside the tomb.

Here the corridors and chambers are dark and silent, except for a rythmic pounding echoing among the walls. They follow it until Seneca declares that they have found their goal: an empty pillar on which he places a magical armor he had brought along. But the task is not yet complete as they discover the pounding was made by a group of zombies attempting to break through a nearby wall. Seneca tells his companions to prepare themselves as there is a creature below which he must combat and he expects them to handle its minions.

Accompanied by a wraith and two earth elementals they continue down a dimly lit staircase. At Seneca's command they rush the last few steps and find themselves in a vault with a sarchophagus on a platform ahead of them. Five creatures are visible in the room: a tall and extravagantly dressed character holding a staff, surrounded by four warriors in dark robes wielding two-handed swords. They recognize the character as a lich and its servants as ultors - all powerful undead.

As Seneca engage the lich the others must deal with its body guards, which prove hard to destroy. Neither Seneca nor the lich appears to be anywhere near a decisive blow. Eventually one of the ultors is consumed by magic fire and as the others are gravely injured the lich makes an attempt to escape. But a telekinesis spell misfires and the creature only partly teleports away, leaving its right arm and part of its torso still on the scene. Without the lich the ultors are quickly dispatched and Seneca searches the room. Seneca asks them to retreat as he restores the room after the lich has defiled it. He grants the seneschals the lich's staff to return to the estate and tells them a reward will be waiting.

The group return home without the consul to find Constance waiting for them. On the consul's behalf she thanks them for their services and lets them know the estate will now belong to them, provided that its current residents are allowed to stay and continue their duties.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A New Start

While "The Necromancer's Legacy" will go on for some time here at Centuria, the real life campaign is nearning an end. It will however be followed by a new one, set in the Age of Knowledge, with the goal of providing some thorough test playing of this second setting and - of course - to be fun for all those involved.

The players of the previous campaign will have the option of playing their old character (who will then be very old...) as the lords and ladies of Aladron wrestle for power and prestigue. But they will not be the only ones to scheme and as technology advances the social rules established in the previous age begin to dissolve...