Thursday, April 14, 2011

The first adventure, part six

The soldiers surveil the situation at the top of the outer fountain. They are still shrunk to the size of small insects, have traveled for days to get from the way station, the people under the step, the haypeople,  the rose bushes, the people of the tree, and the mudpeople, while fighting a running battle from a mindflayer attacking their minds again and again.

The Weretiger is particularly upset about the fact that they are at least ten stories above the height of the fountains vast sea,  miles away by Koi infested waters to the middle fountain, then yet another long climb to the actual center fountain. They camp.

The Gryphon rider scouts ahead, and finds that the central fountain has no water.. flying closer she spies the water is going directly through a hole in this fountains basin, a magically created hole exactly as large as the waterfalls output. Behind this vast waterfall, the Gryphon Rider spots a tower, made by a mage, as well as a large garden,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Megalos church structure

On the shard of Megalos, the primary religion is a form of Catholicism. All other religions are barely tolerated at best.

The Religion was transplanted via banestorm about 700 AD. When the pope was still in Constantinople, and many of the saints had yet to be canonized. It has developed mostly out of touch with the original religion ever since... with many beliefs and practices completely unlike the original version. The biggest and most obvious differences are the Megalos fact of magic, other races, and the shattered world itself.

The highest rank in the Church hierarchy is that of Pope. He is always male, and human. He resides in a very small but well guarded town near the center of the Megalos empire known as Remula. The only citizens in Remula are church officials... even the street sweepers are monks. The pope has absolute power in religious affairs... His word is doctrine.

The Knightly Orders

These Orders cater to the sons of nobility, providing training in the arts of warfare, and chivalry in general. There are a few women among them, mostly Caithness and the non-human knights. It is considered a badge of status to be a knight.

The lance, crossbow, broadsword, chain mail,  plate mail, and morningstar are all considered weapons only for those with noble blood. It is not at all uncommon for members of the church, to leave their vows to become knights. Most of these knights are sponsored by the church, but are not considered priests, and do not need to take any of the vows.

The three primary orders are the knights of Megalos, of the Stone, and of the Hospital representing the empire, the nobility, and the church... respectively.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The First Adventure, part 5

Having been woken by the brawl between the Jaegermonster and the Golem, the soldiers break camp. After deliberating on their options:

  • They can climb a forty story sheer marble wall.

  • Or head south where the water in the fountain has drained out and been replaced with silt and tunnel through there.

  • Or head north to where the fountain has a break, and deal with the mud people village that has formed at the base of the waterfall.

The Soldiers head north.

On the way there, the Were tiger is the first to notice that a fly is following them. This fly, about the comparative size of a St Bernard, is staying well out of bow shot, but is most definitely tracking their movements. They communicate with the Gryphon rider, and have her circle around in an attempt to either kill the fly or drive it into range of the rest.

Her ability to sneak is untrained, however, and the fly spots her well before she gets into range. The Illithid is mind controlling it, and as the Gryphon dives down to the fly, The Gryphon is controlled, and simply folds its wings closed, and falls in an uncontrolled spin to the ground!

Frantically the Rider maintains her seat onto the Gryphon, the rest of the soldiers watch, too far away to be helpful as she begins to fall to her death. At the last moment, she manages to tug on the ears of her beloved Gryphon, causing enough pain to shake the mind control off, and with that the Gryphon pulls out of the death dive. The fly remains in view, but stays on the wall of the fountain, far to high and distant to be attacked.

Darkness comes before they reach the village, The shield that covers the entire shard slowly sealing up and going dark.   They decide rather than camp to continue to travel by night. The firemage ignites weapons for most of the group, creating light and heat, without damaging them. The Gryphon hates to fly in darkness, so spends its time walking with the rest of the group, audibly protesting once in a while. The Golem offers to let the Gryphon ride on his shoulders, but the Gryphon is not even slightly interested.

At least this way, the fly does not seem to be following them.

As the shield covering the land begins to lighten the next day, The Soldiers have traveled to the village of the Mud People. A few dozen adobe Yurts, resembling upside down turnips, with the pointy bit sicking straight up. Domesticated beetles all over the place, rooting around for intents and purposes as pigs, or maybe dogs.

As they stand there, taking this scene in, An orc crawls out of one of the yurts, and stands there scratching himself and watching the soldiers. He is completely unconcerned that a well armed group of mostly human warriors is near his home. He grunts a bit, and soon enough, other orcs begin to come out, some of the yurts holding a dozen orcs apiece.  Soon hundreds of orcs surround the soldiers, Most of them larger than the humans, but smaller than the golem, some of them holding sticks and such, but not in a particularly threatening manner. Eventually the biggest orc of the group, clearly the leader shows up, and the chief stands there, waiting.

When the firemage makes the universal gesture of "octopus mouth" by wiggling her fingers under her chin like they were an animated braided beard, and the orcs repeat it  without understanding, it becomes clear that communication is going to be a problem

Soon enough, the Jaegermonster realizes that many of the words these orcs speak are the same as his own language, heavilly accented. Soon he is able to translate enough to be understood. After a few moments, the group are able to explain to the orcs that they want to climb the waterfall in order to kill an Illithid. The orcs see this as a good reason, but won't let them go until they pay the chief.

The orcs don't care much for money, and soon the group each comes up with a gift. The weretigers gift is the best received,  a hand held assassin's crossbow and several bolts. After explaining how to use it, the Chief is shooting the crossbow over and over, aiming mostly at smaller orcs, with a cheer going up whenever the chief succeeds. The mace gifted by the Michaelite also goes over well... orcs take turn hitting each other with it all day long.
The golem has nothing to give, so offers to arm wrestle one of them. the Orcs LOVE this idea, and soon a call goes out. a Tugolith emerges, walking on its hind legs. (A tugolith most resembles a large talking rhinocerous, but is considered a domesticated draft animal by most races.) The contest is over soon, with the Tugoith winning. The Orcs are disappointed that the golem kept his arm.

Once all gifts have been exchanged, the Orcs refuse to let the soldiers go, happily herding them into a yurt, and keeping them there all day, feeding them well, even supplying live aphid-like insects for the weretiger to eat, the equivalent size and taste of a chicken. The orcs treat them as guests but are not letting them leave.

Only the next morning does the group manage to sneak out of the yurt and start their climb. Its at this point that the Illithid finds them again, and several of the orcs get controlled and start to head towards them. The firemage uses all her reserves to create a thick flaming wall on top of the mud, and completely blocks the mind flayers attack.

The rest of the orcs are curious as to why several of them are deliberately zombie-walking through a wall of fire, but not enough to repeat this behaviour. The zombified ones aren't coordinated enough to climb, and stand there watching, on fire, as the solders ascend. eventually the Illithid releases its control, and the orcs loudly and comically extenguish themselves to the laughter of the hundreds of others now watching this event.

During the climb the Illithid tries again and again to control the soldiers, but they are either too intelligent, stubborn or stone-headed for it to be successful.The Jaegermeister was able to resist all the efforts of the Mind flayer during the climb, and the entire group makes it to the flat top of the outer ring of the fountain. The Weretiger is controlled breifly, but this is banished instantly when he is touched by Githyanki. She is wearing a gods tear amulet, and its power completely banished the mind attack.

And that's where they are, On top of the outer ring, overlooking the water of the fountain. They can see they must cross this koi filled vast lake, where they must climb a second, taller sheer wall to the middle ring, and possibly an even longer climb to the central top.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Arcadia, A land ruled be elves.

Arcadia is the shard of the elves. Roughly the size of Madagascar or France. It is ruled completely by the two elven cities... Everbright, and Utterdark. Unlike most shards, Arcadia is disk shaped, and both sides are completely inhabitable.  Most non-elves consider it a myth.

Everbright lies at the center of a large mountain on one side, while on the opposite side, directly underneath, in a deep bowl shaped vally, lies Utterdark. A magical sheild around the shard keeps the Utterdark side in perpetual night, and the Everbright side is always well lit. There are many magical gates, tunnels, and shafts between the two sides, and travel between them is frequent and common.

The landscape on both sides shows a great deal of care and cultivation... the forests, hills, mountains, lakes, and rivers all have a sculptured look about them. Magical efects are common, singing trees, fireflies that form pictures in the air, rivers with wondrous beverages instead of water, grass that forms comfortable chairs when you stoop to sit, these are simply part of the land itself.

The twin cities of Everbright and Utterdark are inhabitted by elves. Not the light and fancy elves of wonder from Tolkien, but something a bit more sinister. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

An Illithid tale.

"And he walked away, slowly shaking his head."

"Good story old man, I liked the man who was not from Gotham the best." A single coin flashed through the air, before vanishing somewhere near the old man's nimble hand. "Do ya know any stories 'bout them bastard Illithids and their mind tricks?"

"of course I do, warrior. I wouldn't be able to sit by this warm and wondrous fire and get old Spider to give me free drinks if I only knew one or two stories, now would I? Speaking of free drinks... Ahem, speaking of free drinks..."

"Heard you the first time, Dugan. Hold your belly, one's coming up." The tavern owner sat with his chair in a corner, the spider tattoo on his cheek dueling with the glow from the fire. He turned to speak as the tavern girl handed a great leather jack to the old man in the favored seat. "what do you know about Illithids, Dugan, were you around when they ruled Megalos?"

" Ah... thank you lass, thank you. Was I around when the ‘Lithids ruled? No, of course not." The old man took a sip, settled back into his chair, scratched the end of his nose and waited for silence. It didn't take long "They were long since driven from the shard when my father was a child, and he sired me at the ripe old age of seventy-two. Remarkable man, my pa, remarkable.

"So anyway, if you want another story about the Mindtwisters, then I suppose I must oblige you, empty pockets or not. 

Who did you say was paying for my tale then?" The little bowl that the old man had put out was quickly passed around. Dugan's eyes gleamed as it came back, but he did manage to act disappointed that the bowl wasn't quite full. 

He shifted in his seat again, working the chair from side to side, until he was satisfied that it was in the absolutely warmest, most comfortable position possible. Once he was absolutely sure that he had irritated Spider as much as he safely could, he began.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

known shards

Known Shards

The shard of Megalos has had little dealings with other shards until relatively recently... thanks for the most part to the goblin explorer Vespucio... Who travelled off the shard in a very odd and dangerous craft known as a wind ship. Vespucio returned years later with a small fleet of ships, carrying thousands of marvels and wonders from dozens of shards... Since then trade routes have been established with several of the new found shards. Explorations continue constantly, mostly funded by both the Order of St Thomas, and House Ariadne (the spell weavers). The following is a list of those shards now known to the people of Megalos.

Tejas shard is the best known of the other shards, populated mainly by giants (Tejans), with a large goblin population as well. This shard is primarily grasslands and sagebrush desert. The Primary economy is the raising of dragons; not the intelligent kind of course, but rather the brainless Dragon cows (brontosaurus like) and Dragon bulls (a much smaller, winged version, something like a Wyvern). Tejas is also famous for its powerstone mines... The biggest and best stones in the shards come from Tejas. Heck, If you ask a Tejan, the biggest and best of everything comes from Tejas!
The average Tejan stands eight foot, nine inches tall, and tends to dress in dragon leather clothes, with large shade hats. Their most common personal weapons are hand held crossbows, short, heavy scimitars they call Bowies, and lariats. Tejans are famous far and wide for their love of brawling.