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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 23 Nov 2021 :  00:28:03  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Anathaen "Greatshield" (LN HM F/P of Torm)
Considered the highest-ranking Waterdhavian priest of the God of Guardians ("The Voice of Torm"). Very devout, very pious, very stern in nature. Strong and stocky. Square face, hook nose, close-cropped grey hair. Owns a prized suit of heavily-engraved and darksteel-inlaid platemail +2 and a gull-winged helm of free action. Can often be found at either the Palace, consulting with the Lords and the blackrobes; or at the Castle, engaging and attending to the guardsmen there. It is commonly held that it was his grevious blows that killed the malignant dragon turtle "Old Greengnaw," during the Battle of Waterdeep Harbor.

Appleharp Stillhearth
A halfling civilar of the Watch. Stout, firm of speech, no-nonsense. His parents named him Appleharp in honor of Andamar, the legendary Hin "Bard of Apples" (who ate an apple of the gods, raising their ire, strung it's core as a mouth-harp, and performed a jig that got them all dancing and made good his escape, and had other adventures afterwards). Despises his given name, prefers to be called Rorst (which he considers a good, strong, "human" name). A devout follower of The Triad.

Belastra
Peripatetic owner of the colorful Castle Ward push-cart whose sides and top sailcloth-cover are both labelled "Belastra's Welcome Expeditions" (hand-pies hot and piping, and a merry tune to boot goes un-labelled, but not un-said, as part of a very enthusiastic sales-pitch when making her rounds). Always makes sure on her circuit to bow her head and murmur to the little alcove-altar enclosed inside the iron-railings of the front yard of what is now called the House of Shyrrhr – that alcove being dedicated to Aelúnaskra, The Autumn Flame, who sang songs "wondrously beautiful and bittersweet" and who fell here, in 936DR, beset on all sides by orc raiders (as she fell to the earth it is said that Holûvhh Third-Born, of the Blood of Lurue, came forth and touched his horn to her, and her spirit rose, "flashing like a star out of the twilight," and drove the orcs away from the Hold of Nimoar, and has looked after residents of what is now this part of Castle Ward ever since, one of many local spirits of the city).
        Belastra believes that that "beautiful and bittersweet" song has accompanied her and protected her her entire life, and she holds Aelúnaskra and Lurue as her most favored of the many benevolent powers of Faerûn.

Glaeftamm Gledden
Hammer-Hands. Last of the great Moonshaen warrior-priests of the Earthmother. "Golden Gledden" and his crew of raiders were finally laid low by an alliance of the warchieftan Haelaur and the sea reavers of Ruathym. His vitals were claimed by the reaver Tholgos Black-Blooded (and are said to have been used in the enchantments that created the Green Library's famed Sages Font), while Haelaur commanded the equally grisly trophy of Glaeftamm's azure-tattooed right arm. The (magically-preserved and enchanted) "Hammer of Gledden" (functions as a war hammer +3 which can cause an effect similar to a Power Word, Stun on a natural 20) is currently in the possession of the House of Heroes.

Myndalan "Sevensigils" (LN HM Div13)
An ex-apprentice of Khelben Arunsun and member of the Red Sashes. Myndalan was personally recommended to Durnan by the Blackstaff. While initially suspicious of the diviner and wary of potential conflicts of interest, Durnan has since come to rely heavily on Myndalan and his ability to uncover information otherwise unavailable to ordinary means. Durnan was about to promote him into a more influential role in the Sashes, but the recent troubles surrounding the Blackstaff have made him cautious once more.
        Originally trained as an initiate of Deneir, Myndalan learned early on the merits of information and lore-gathering. As noted, his role in the Sashes organization is sussing out information unvavailable to conventional means, including magically scrying and eavesdropping on Sash targets. Myndalan knows that Durnan is the One, and suspects him of being one of the Lords as well (like most citizens of the City of Splendors, Myndalan once kept his own personal list of potential Lords suspects – he was especially suspicious of, and attempted to scry on, both Durnan and the merchant Sammareza Sulphontis, but an informal visit by the Blackstaff quickly taught him to beware of foolish prying into such matters).


AJA
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2021 :  00:32:19  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

MISC'LLANEA
Every night, Oghma had a thought. And every night before bed, Oghma took that thought and swallowed it, keeping it locked deep within his great belly.

And every night the insolent Lathander crept down the Binder's snoring gullet and stole that thought, and brought it forth upon the dawn and whispered it into the ear of the Sun, so that the Sun might then rise and shout it forth across all Faerûn.
        -Excerpted from The Chondathan Book of Tales, various authors, compiled by Elskedra of Teziir, 1236DR)

==================================================


Nondéaskor
The Celestial Fisher who, in the whispered and unfathomable ages before even the elder gods had yet learned to crawl, roamed dutifully across the night skies in his coracle and, upon those magic tides, gathered up every third star in his trailing net as was his due, until glitter'd Selûne, risen newly proud and protective and shining-bright, joined hands with her ever-shadowed sister Shar, and together they cast him out from The Great Sea of Night into The Void That Is Neither Dark Nor Light. And then the sisters took up his burgeoning catch, and proceeded to place the many bright orblings as it suited their whimsy, much as gleeful children painting upon a blank wall, and it is said that this was the last time that woeful Shar ever laughed aloud in glee, and thus there came to be what is now known as the consternation of constellations, or the concert of heavenly concourses, that curious parade of animal and man and dragon and other merry marcher that endlessly advance through the ever-moving tapestry of the heavens.
        But some of those bright baubles obtained from Nondéaskor's net caught the Moonmaiden's eye, and she greedily drew them forth and hid them in the folds of her robes, only later releasing them as foremost of her servitors, celestial servants with names such as Asshak the Flanged, Tarnra the Bright, Fateful K'Thoutek (The One Who Bows With Blessings and Banes), Red-Roaring Gommur (the King's-Killer), and The Celestial Weaver (later reborn as the all-seeing Savras). And upon discovering these thefts Shar was ill-pleased, and it is said that thus did the original rift between the First Sisters first open. But of the former and the latter, and the other many, many tales that have already been told, they will not be repeated here.
        Meanwhile, that ancient fisher, bereft of coracle or catch, but still strong of pride and gained of hatred and long-sought revenge, is now called Olrandaskar instead, the Lone Wanderer, companionless, with fearless gaze and long streaming trail, horribly flaming with wrath and portents, fated to one day to return from his long exile and fall upon Faerûn as a great red dragon, a borrowed moon of the darkest hue, or a celestial torch, tossed devastatingly upon the driest of tinders, and from such horrible vengeance none shall survive.

==================================================

"To command others is to first submit yourself. This is the inescapable Divine Order of the Lord of Tyranny. There is only one Tyrant and all others are his vessel or his slave. All that is commanded by you, you shall first have it commanded unto you. This Bane demands!"
        The First Lesson In Obedience
        Tothund the Ever-Lurking, Dreadful Danger of Bane
        The Year of the Necropolis, 641DR

"Finding out that exact instance when 'I won't' becomes 'I want' is still, to me, the greatest moment of sublimation into the embrace of the goddess."
        Of The Habits of Obedience
        Andreleene "The Whip of Soft Whisperings," Lasting Bite of Loviatar
        Year of the Tardy Guests, 1146DR

"But now, dear friend, my right to ask
How fares thy lowly murd'rous task?
It seems to me, your path lies clear
Thwarted only by friendship dear"

        – The merchant-lord Jondrus Glarygaunt, spoken to the youthful apprentice Andelar
        Excerpted from the play Deft Dances In the Moonlight
        Year of The Lion (1340DR), penned by Tarsakh Munder

"If you continuously think and long for a certain object you are almost sure, eventually, to obtain that which you desire. If not, don't despair – after all, such situations are what adventurers are for."
        Murrester the Over-Bold, Golden Fool of the Twelfth Royal Court of Saoyaster
        Illuminated Thoughts
        Year of the Dying Dwarf, 750DR

"oum tar rahkla" ("come and find out")
        famed challenge of Iutzae the Spur-Shelled, Last Queen of the Thurrokh
        said in response to the demand of surrender by the gnome commander Rarsen Deepenglow
        during the Gnome-Kobold War of 1123DR

==================================================

"An Evening Walk In the Undermountain"

It was but some few nights ago
I wandered down this loathsome floor
I pray that I may never know
The fate of those who passed before

The shadows pressing all about
The risen bones and claws were springing
I heard the Curate's strident shout
And my companions anguished begging

I was not dulled, my mind was clear
All horrid sights and sounds to hear
My eyes could see, my ears did peal
And in my heart, there grew such fear

And yet that I still stand here so
A coward, yes, I say within
Those friends now lost that I did know
My fault, they're now entombed therein



AJA
YAFRP

Edited by - AJA on 27 Dec 2021 01:13:25
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sleyvas
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USA
11169 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2021 :  12:58:08  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


MISC'LLANEA
Every night, Oghma had a thought. And every night before bed, Oghma took that thought and swallowed it, keeping it locked deep within his great belly.

And every night the insolent Lathander crept down the Binder's snoring gullet and stole that thought, and brought it forth upon the dawn, and whispered it into the ear of the Sun, so that the Sun might then rise and shout it forth across all Faer#251;n.
        -Excerpted from The Chondathan Book of Tales, various authors, compiled by Elskedra of Teziir, 1236DR)




And lo, the roosters heard the idea best and would crow it upon the wind for all to hear who might be less inclined to listen with a pillow over their eyes. Thus its said that the best inventors wake up early with the cock crows and Oghma is made secretly pleased.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 20 Dec 2021 13:00:02
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2021 :  01:15:22  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by AJA


MISC'LLANEA
Every night, Oghma had a thought. And every night before bed, Oghma took that thought and swallowed it, keeping it locked deep within his great belly.

And every night the insolent Lathander crept down the Binder's snoring gullet and stole that thought, and brought it forth upon the dawn, and whispered it into the ear of the Sun, so that the Sun might then rise and shout it forth across all Faerûn.
        -Excerpted from The Chondathan Book of Tales, various authors, compiled by Elskedra of Teziir, 1236DR)


And lo, the roosters heard the idea best and would crow it upon the wind for all to hear who might be less inclined to listen with a pillow over their eyes. Thus its said that the best inventors wake up early with the cock crows and Oghma is made secretly pleased.

Among the finest of 'Just So' stories.


AJA
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2021 :  01:31:36  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

NONSENSE (once more unto the babbling breach, dear friends)
"If the narrative seems to ramble at times, well – that's the way Elminster talks, and I've never quite dared to cross swords in earnest, verbally or otherwise, with him."
(Ed Greenwood, Polyhedron Magazine #57, p.20)

==================================================


"The Way to the Wonderful Sun"
Final excerpts of the journal of the ranger Tammer Trail-Hound, penned c.1312DR
Recovered in part from a goblin-den of the eastern High Forest, and salvaged as best possible
by Mintiper Moonsilver, 1345DR

"Starting at the village of Highbranch, astride the Trade Road (dominated by caravan-grounds and the way-stop of The Fine and Fiddle (simple, standard rush-strewn floor, wooden benches and tables, side-booths with hanging lamps and the option of woven reed screens for a bit of privacy; beetroot cheese-tarts a specialty of the house, thanks to the halfling hearth-cook Wheyburr "Master Whistle" Whistlethistle), the eastern peasant's path takes one through the closely-gathered homes, down past Laurund's Peat-Pond and the vibrant heath-bell and indolent bracken of The Staggards, over the low rise where the rotting potatoes, rutabegas and forage-beets mark the dead farmhold of Winter-Over (killed to a person by unusually-rapacious troll raiders just a season ago), and then on through the hamlets of Leafshorn (where they wear yellow caps and never brown) and Barleymorn (where they sport brown caps and never yellow) and the independent steading of Nevermaiden (whose sons are all daughters, and dance beneath trestles of high-wreathed honeysuckle and thousand-starred wild twine)...

...the way then narrows into a darkened, overhung and moss-underfoot trail leading on towards Merry Robin (a house of lovely spirits, opened to all by the gnomish greeter Whelrae "Well-Whistle" Whetwhistle, joyous next to the old graveyard, grey and chill), the abandoned cottage and way-marker of Yellow Post (where pixie and fire-fly play), and Old Knight Oak (wreathed in ground ivy and cloaked in fern and...

...would seem any pretense of trail ends here, swallowed into the same overwhelming foliage that swaddles the great arboreal eminence, accented by the rusted blades and silent skeletal remains that fit snugly into the dusky bole and bark of the great tree. But local hedge-witches have long swore that venturers who push forward here, along the same stilted cardinal wind, will eventually lose sense of both diurnal and seasonal passing but may press forward...

...and then onto Deepen Hollow (half-hidden in green ivy ruin but always aglow and marked by sunbeams of pale yellow, orange, and deep-red), Stranger Dreamings (whose cadence rises and falls, singing of old times, old faces, old wonderings), The Silent Stair (spiraled downward from the starlit skies), Wanderhome (where discordant voices cease, and slumberous moonbeams hush all, even the whistlings of elder days)…

...will find respite and clarity, however brief, beneath Elendethil-Over-Way (the massive, skeletal, high-branched white-oak eminence, which guards the purpose of what comes next), before arriving at the mirrored, sun-seared penultimance of The Whettlebones (twin, twined arches formed of the gleaming vertebrae of wyms long gone), and, finally, if one dares far enough, The Land of the Wonderful Sun (where unnamed rivers wend through cradles of flashing silver and bright buried gold, and the steady star-lights of the overarching heavens ripple in an unseen wind, and a throne sits, empty, amid the cold whistlings of a grand hall, awaiting one bold enough to simply come and claim it).


'If one is bold enough to come claim it'. And so, there it is. Is that me? I believe I am. I know I am. As I sit here, beneath the bones of Elendethil, I hear it call to me. Whisper – no, whistle to me. I will not fail. I will press forward and…"


==================================================


Other passages from Maglas's Chronicle of Years to Come (translations not guaranteed to be correct)

"where the king-fishers of old cast their lowly runes on the sun-dappled banks of the Oceans four
and so dictated the flow of tide and battle

when upon the rebellion of Lath Llerian, he who opened the Golden Door (and Golden Dooms) of the Dawn *
they were met in the high gallery forest and entreated to choose a side

and so the king-fishers of old did cast their lowly runes, instead, in succor of the First Men and the Nentoriel **
but their efforts were doomed to fail, spurned by both gods and elves

disgraced and exiled to The Tears of the Spring ***
enchained in silence

where they watch and brood and dream of return
and touch Faerûn nevermore, but for those seven days and nights Where Sorrow Has Laid No Scar ****

then they come, still proud in blue silk and bright embroidery,
and burnish the sun, in the hues of a hundred fading flowers and the blood of the moon-white lady *****

and sing song of those long-ago days on the sun-dappled banks of the Oceans four"



* according to Maglas, a Personage of Sun and Song, Father of Inspiration and Invention, The First-Born of Faerûn-land; obscure and often relegated to the most esoteric of sagely discourse, but still claimed and co-opted by faithful of the Morninglord whenever it suits their purposes
** the Half-of-Elves, first of the race born of man and faerie
*** that eldritch nightmare where the sorrows of every green shoot that fails to peek above the frost, and every kit that is snatched up by overhead wings, and every child suddenly expected to make the leap from adolescent to adult but falls short, come to linger and echo
**** upon the general occurrence of the Winter solstice
***** Selûne, who inlumined them to the other gods and waiting elves as she was bound to, and sorrowed then of her deed for-ever after



AJA
YAFRP
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11169 Posts

Posted - 27 Dec 2021 :  20:39:15  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


and the independent steading of Nevermaiden (whose sons are all daughters, and dance beneath trestles of high-wreathed honeysuckle and thousand-starred wild twine)...





Note to self: Do not even enter the confines of Nevermaiden, lest one find oneself in the midst of a theft of a particularly ingenious and cruel nature.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2021 :  02:05:49  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Anafandar "Fearless Fann" Dahzoun (N HM T4/F6)
Riotous black beard and curling mustache. Soft-spoken and quick-witted, with an easy grace and disarming smile. Always guarded by his companions, the scowling cinammon-maned brute Unskar (CN ½OgM Bar8) and the thoroughly-tattooed wizard Zelrûnae (NG HF Inv8). Master (captain) of the Lissome Wend, a flying merchantman out of the Great Shining South. The Wend is powered by "bound elemental animal spirits of air and sky" and, when the aquamarine sails billow and the suns' rays hit it just right on its' passage through the clouds, great roiling, snorting horse-heads can be seen alongside, and ghostly undulating feathered serpents' tails trail out from behind.*

Elsk (Elskanar) of Ilmater
White, wide-sprayed hair and beard, heavily-rouged cheeks and forehead. Dark eyes. Unbowed despite impressive years. Soft-voiced and soft-mannered, as befits one of the Order of Soft Silences (Ilmataran monks, Stoicists; utter neither shouts of rage nor cries of pain). Commonly found in white robe tasselled on all ends like teardrops, sturdy high-laced white sandals, and blue girdle embroidered with red rosettes. When not engaged in conversation, frequently fiddles with a number of differently-sized orbs of carved jasper fished from a pocket. Plagued by persistent rumors of once having been an agent of Bhaal (even said to keep a scarlet assassins' neck-cord wrapped round beneath his girdle).

Hannold "Hanno" Airubuck
A newly-arrived Lord's Court personage. Dissolute, seeking patronage; late of Baldur's Gate. Curling blonde hair gone to flowing white. Red-rimmed, watery blue eyes. Easy, bitter, dismissive laugh. Spent much of his youth as the Pip (flute-pip, piper: flute-player sat at the upcurved prow of every hin fishing vessel, prompting the oars and sails onward and encouraging the tired arms of netters and line-casters alike) on countless halfling fishing scows off the Sword Coast; later roamed the Western Heartlands for many years as part of The Green Feathers adventuring fellowship. Had a voice that could once mimic the singing of the thrushes and the wafting desert breezes, now dulled by age and misuse and dungeon miasma; his passions now lie in painting canvas scenes of river and land, in jarring colors of gold, silver, scarlet, blue; red-walled farmhouses, cone-shaped terraces, wide beds of pearlescent flowers, wicker boats and serpent-oared barges. Prefers purple tunic, leather vest tooled in foam-eddy style, belt of gold chains and a single great topaz, low boots of crimson leather; his two constant companions are a short sword in an agate-inlaid sheath and an ever-inflated wineskin slung at his side.

Maist Belachos (LE HM F16)
Grim-Eyed, Lion of Anhur. Legendary Chessentan swordsman. Shorter than his legend claims. Close-cropped greying hair, strong chin, wary grey eyes. Has the flat, hard, emotionless "sword-stare" that so many of his ilk achieve after too-long periods of delving the darkness and facing horror and death as a matter of course. Light and graceful on his feet. Wields The Incalescent Blade of Zalagha ("The Light More Red Than Flame" – a flametongue sword said to have been forged on the infernal plane of Phlegethos at The Pit of Flame by the god Anhur himself). Has assembled around him the elite mercenary Grim Band (immediately identifiable by the rattling chains affixed to the outside of their shields and dangling from the crowns of their full helms), currently under retainer to the city-state of Luthcheq.
        Maist was recently met under the night-darkened eaves of the Chondalwood by a moon-splashed horse of faerie, whose tendrils ran up and ran through him, and whose light, musical laughter revealed herself as the fey goddess Selûne, a transformational encounter which has him pondering a change to his blood-soaked ways.

Wolevaé
Alchemist Without Accident and Deliverer of Distant Delights. An expert vendor of fireworks and faerie-works, well-known in the courts and temple squares on festivals and high holidays, where she sets forth her purple-spangled stall and her coin-cry; "Flutter-flames and uni-caroms and bizzleburrs and Besker's Delights! Bingers, bangers, gobbo-bongers! Shoops that go bsst, and sharps that go brrst! Hand-fanners, pave-snappers, cheery-cherries, wyrm-dancers, caryatid columns! Fantastics of flame and fun and signifiers of sound and fury! Rattle the Heavens, rattle the windows! Rare devices from Lands of Elf and Lands of Gold and Lands of Gond!" Slender, dark-haired and dark-eyed, as willful and spirited as a loosed will-'o-the-wisp. Knows her craft and will not hesitate to gainsay any presumptuous mageling who comes to her preaching the superiority of the prestidigitations of The Mother of All Magic.


==================================================

* On Airships
It takes a lot of elemental spirits and a lot of binding spells to convince boats to go against their very nature and fly instead of float. The helmsman, especially, finds themself continually wrestling against not only the vagaries of air currents and the deviancies of rogue air elementals and the very impossibilities of 3D movement, but also the contradictory pulls of gravity itself. Some say this is also compounded by divine interference from Umberlee, who is loath and wroth to let the little boats – and the fervent prayers of the men aboard them – escape her briny grasp (some say this is also due to restraint from the goddess Selûne, who is happy to help sailing-men find their way across the darkened seas, but not so eager to allow them unfettered access into her celestial boudoir, where they might make inappropriate glimpse of her). In addition, the sails and the rigging on airships are mostly the same, yet also completely different in purpose, from their seaborne cousins, and so require a highly-specialized crew who are best-served starting as veteran sea tars, and then spending great amounts of time being retrained back up from the absolute basics.

(but what about using a simple Fly spell?)
There is no fly spell known to Man powerful enough to lift something the size of a true sailing vessel. Some mages with more magical ability than modesty have indeed enchanted small skiffs or sleighs, or ostentatious one-man thrones, with custom spell variations, but anything larger requires elemental input. It should be noted that elemental spirits are not full-on elementals, being instead minor creatures of the Elemental Planes – easier to bind and control, but requiring more of them to power a true flying ship. Actual air elementals themselves are quite powerful and, once unfettered by resting contact with the opposing elements of earth or water and embraced by the open skies, grow quite ferocious and unruly under even the best bindings. The Halruaans seem to have mastered the art of controlling such creatures and thus have some of the most powerful airships known to Man, but most other attempts at such things have ended with the flying ship faltering and crashing down to Faerûn sooner rather than later. The elves seem to have their own reliable methods of buoyance and propulsion enchanted into their own gossamer skyships, but what that is remains unknown (some have begun to theorize that it may align with the strange forms of pluma magic newly-unveiled from the Far Lands of Maztica, currently a fervid branch of magely experimentation and discourse).

Finally, there are persistent rumors of the Shou and other denizens of the East, located across the desolate wastes of The Hordelands, having armadas of skyships of their own, but Faerûnian sages well-versed in such matters decry these stories, and say that such things are not true constructed craft, but rather eastern skywyrms tamed and harnessed with bit and bridle and man-made towers upon their backs, much as the grounded elephants and howdahs of Mulhorand and lands still further south.

Whether that idea is more or less comforting to the reader seems to be an open question.


AJA
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sleyvas
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11169 Posts

Posted - 31 Dec 2021 :  20:29:16  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On your notes regarding skyships, I have heard that not just any giant sea turtle shell will work towards the creation of skyships. In fact, the giant sea turtles whose shells can be used on skyships seem to have ties back to breeding with dragon turtles. While that would make most think that this would make their shells inclined to water travel, not air, it in fact makes these shells "elementally inclined", and the use of levitation spells works on the shells in a way that others would call a form of "metamagic".... taking the natural inclination of the shells and changing them from water oriented to air oriented. There have in fact been some wizards who have been rumored to have applied these same theories to turtle shells to allow them to sail on pools of lava unhindered or even sail across the earth by "metamagically enhancing" them with fire shield and stoneskin respectively.

On the Shou and their ships, I have heard similar rumors, in that the reason they were able to get so many "helms" in such a short time was that they worked a deal with an arcane group of beings to "bind" dragon spirits found in the spirit world to their dragonships. There are those who say that in doing this, the emperor of Shou Lung angered the dragon spirits, and they may have begun to work towards removing him from power for the betrayal. There are those who say that the Shou Emperor went to such extremes because he had learned of the empire of Wa developing their tsunami's using ki helms made from giant bamboo gathered from the isle of Machukara and its balsa wood locust vessels using rudders of propulsion created by binding the spirits of giant flying grasshoppers into them. Some say that the arcane individuals that helped the Shou in turn hoped that the Shou Emperor would crush competitors entering their market.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2022 :  01:47:51  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
On your notes regarding skyships, I have heard that not just any giant sea turtle shell will work towards the creation of skyships. In fact, the giant sea turtles whose shells can be used on skyships seem to have ties back to breeding with dragon turtles. While that would make most think that this would make their shells inclined to water travel, not air, it in fact makes these shells "elementally inclined", and the use of levitation spells works on the shells in a way that others would call a form of "metamagic".... taking the natural inclination of the shells and changing them from water oriented to air oriented. There have in fact been some wizards who have been rumored to have applied these same theories to turtle shells to allow them to sail on pools of lava unhindered or even sail across the earth by "metamagically enhancing" them with fire shield and stoneskin respectively.

Interesting. Most interesting. I had an acquaintance down Veldorn way, who told tale of a wizardly cabal which harvested the living lungs of a red wyrm and installed them into the lower hold of such a vessel. His correspondence claimed that the ship then managed to achieve flight in the same way as those utilizing elemental propulsions. He also swore that the timbers of the airship constantly flexed and bowed, as if in macabre imitation of drawing and exhaling breath as it soared through the skies. And that the rudder was fashioned of dragonspine running up amidships, and even entwined into the bow (I did not dare to ask him what, if anything, was utilized of the brain!).


AJA
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AJA
Senior Scribe

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675 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2022 :  01:50:28  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Azurardham (N DM F6)
Son of Thoros, Blood of Khorddham. A princeling of the gold dwarves of Stonendror's Crag in the southern Shaar. Named for the draconic cohort of his grandfather, the blue wyrm Azaurdhaeghrul of the Thousand Thunderings. An avid hunter and gamesman. He has made himself no friends amongst the wemic tribes of the Shaaran grasslands, as they are currently his favorite prey. Travels with the Bold-Bloods, a coterie of young dwarven nobility, fellow huntsmen, overly-dramatic bardlings, and hard drinkers.

Baruskar
Born in Unther; has spent most of his adult life accumulating power in neighboring Chessenta. Gaunt, haughty, darkly-glittering. Hair of white-streaked blue-black, carefully curled and styled; thick dark beard. Deep voice, as penetrating as his stare ("he mutters incantations as others mutter swears"). Said to have a heart "as cold as the northern ice." Never found without his long-twined walking-staff, topped by a winged lion carved of living ruby ("a summoner of tooth and talon and roaring louder, ever louder, once enraged"). An adventurer of undeniable prowess; survived the siege of The Bireme Towers, the assault on The Vermilion Garrison, the extra-planar Cages of Bronze, and the personal enmity of Torusk of the Ingenious Chains (a Naer-Talun [Master of the Host] of the demon lord Graz'zt; handsome and vulgar; bathed in scents of rose and lily and drippings of scarlet pomegranate; gold chains in his ears, gold chains about his neck, gold chains linking his beringed fingers). Not a member of the Cimbaran Senate, but still one of the highest (and mightiest) among the Sceptanar's inner council. Quite willing to sell access to the ear of the Sceptanar; please beware of what payments he may ask in return.

Erlogar Sarhawk "The Curator of Unmasked Lords"
A Trades Ward sage with a very specific focus, that being the carefully-curated names and histories of known Hidden Lords of the past, their social stratus, public personas and recorded statements, and meticulous examination of what picture that forms of how the Lords traditionally choose to add to their ranks. Has the merchant Sammereza Sulphontis high on his list of current Lords (which few believe), as well as the powerful, outspoken and conservative noble Maskar Wands (which most seem to).

Orando the Well-Watcher
Fat, short, half-haired. Cheerful, amiable, a lover of gossip. A peripatetic seller of rush and floor-straw (along with the fragrant herbs commonly used to scatter among it). Well-known among the commonfolk of the Lower Wards. The communal wells and water pumps of Waterdeep are tied only with the city's taverns and tankard-houses as gathering spots for the exchange of gossip, slander, and salacious rumor, and Orando makes sure to frequent them all. Hears things, sees things. Reports back to Surrolph Hlakken, his contact among the Red Sashes. Occasionally sells a juicy morsel of information to other, less enlightened power brokers, but only if doing so won't imbalance the general status quo. Plus, a man's got to eat, after all.

Riorsk the Bull-Lion
A champion of the Thousand Thunders pride of the Western Shaar; enjoys the delights (and brawling challenges) of the festhalls and taverns of the cities of Ormpur and Shiertalar as much as the hunts and boundary skirmishes of his native lands. A great, cheerful wemic brute; powerful, rippling muscle, stout, of bright chestnut-sorrel, with cream-colored calves and tail and flowing mane, the latter of which he keeps dyed a vibrant blood-red. Everpresent in panoply of tawny lion's-mane cloak (lined inside with diamond-patterned cloth of gold and red), Calishite damasked-steel breastplate and bracers, and his accumulated scars of sword and hot irons. Legends claim at the dawnbreak celebrations before The Battle Beyond the Sunset ("where the red glow of the setting sun was long outshone by the awful crimson tide of blood on the starlit field of battle") he trod on the shadow of the goddess Reskurédra (Red Knight), and in so doing gained great control in battle (the psionic wild talents of danger sense and adrenaline control). Wields a massive glaive of ebony and crimson steel which he won at the battle that gained him his fame but is of a much older, Ilythiiri design.

==================================================

&Addendum;

Azaurdhaeghrul of the Thousand Thunderings
(AHZ-aur-DAY-gruhl) Aided the wemic, allowing them to settle comfortably into seasonal camps and amass great herds of meat on the hoof, from which the wyrm would then come and dine at his pleasure; he aided the dwarves as well, who gave him gifts of precious metals and pretty things in return; and, when he caught wind of something he wanted, he would then send the wemic (on the surface) and the dwarves (down below) to raid and retrieve it for him. But then he died (in battle with enemies unhappy with his raids and with his political consolidation of the area) and the dwarves and the wemic were found with no real use for each other, and so here we are.


AJA
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sleyvas
Great Reader

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11169 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2022 :  01:03:53  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
On your notes regarding skyships, I have heard that not just any giant sea turtle shell will work towards the creation of skyships. In fact, the giant sea turtles whose shells can be used on skyships seem to have ties back to breeding with dragon turtles. While that would make most think that this would make their shells inclined to water travel, not air, it in fact makes these shells "elementally inclined", and the use of levitation spells works on the shells in a way that others would call a form of "metamagic".... taking the natural inclination of the shells and changing them from water oriented to air oriented. There have in fact been some wizards who have been rumored to have applied these same theories to turtle shells to allow them to sail on pools of lava unhindered or even sail across the earth by "metamagically enhancing" them with fire shield and stoneskin respectively.

Interesting. Most interesting. I had an acquaintance down Veldorn way, who told tale of a wizardly cabal which harvested the living lungs of a red wyrm and installed them into the lower hold of such a vessel. His correspondence claimed that the ship then managed to achieve flight in the same way as those utilizing elemental propulsions. He also swore that the timbers of the airship constantly flexed and bowed, as if in macabre imitation of drawing and exhaling breath as it soared through the skies. And that the rudder was fashioned of dragonspine running up amidships, and even entwined into the bow (I did not dare to ask him what, if anything, was utilized of the brain!).





I had heard of that too. It was supposedly the Black Flame cabal of Unther, whose teachings would go on to inspire the red wizards in their uprising against Mulhorand. One of its members reputedly made this airship, eventually settling in the shaar. Over time, his spellbooks and other notes made it to the city of Peleverai, and some say that he even survived and was there on the day of the dragon attacks over eight centuries later. Further stories relate that the cult of the dragon either recruited him, killed him, found his books and studied them, or destroyed his books as sacreligious. Of course, that all kind of sounds like some bard's tale if you catch my drift, even though sometimes bards have a whiff of truth in their tellings.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 16 Jan 2022 01:05:56
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11169 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2022 :  01:24:40  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


Azurardham (N DM F6)
Son of Thoros, Blood of Khorddham. A princeling of the gold dwarves of Stonendror's Crag in the southern Shaar. Named for the draconic cohort of his grandfather, the blue wyrm Azaurdhaeghrul of the Thousand Thunderings. An avid hunter and gamesman. He has made himself no friends amongst the wemic tribes of the Shaaran grasslands, as they are currently his favorite prey. Travels with the Bold-Bloods, a coterie of young dwarven nobility, fellow huntsmen, overly-dramatic bardlings, and hard drinkers.

Baruskar
Born in Unther; has spent most of his adult life accumulating power in neighboring Chessenta. Gaunt, haughty, darkly-glittering. Hair of white-streaked blue-black, carefully curled and styled; thick dark beard. Deep voice, as penetrating as his stare ("he mutters incantations as others mutter swears"). Said to have a heart "as cold as the northern ice." Never found without his long-twined walking-staff, topped by a winged lion carved of living ruby ("a summoner of tooth and talon and roaring louder, ever louder, once enraged"). An adventurer of undeniable prowess; survived the siege of The Bireme Towers, the assault on The Vermilion Garrison, the extra-planar Cages of Bronze, and the personal enmity of Torusk of the Ingenious Chains (a Naer-Talun [Master of the Host] of the demon lord Graz'zt; handsome and vulgar; bathed in scents of rose and lily and drippings of scarlet pomegranate; gold chains in his ears, gold chains about his neck, gold chains linking his beringed fingers). Not a member of the Cimbaran Senate, but still one of the highest (and mightiest) among the Sceptanar's inner council. Quite willing to sell access to the ear of the Sceptanar; please beware of what payments he may ask in return.

Erlogar Sarhawk "The Curator of Unmasked Lords"
A Trades Ward sage with a very specific focus, that being the carefully-curated names and histories of known Hidden Lords of the past, their social stratus, public personas and recorded statements, and meticulous examination of what picture that forms of how the Lords traditionally choose to add to their ranks. Has the merchant Sammereza Sulphontis high on his list of current Lords (which few believe), as well as the powerful, outspoken and conservative noble Maskar Wands (which most seem to).

Orando the Well-Watcher
Fat, short, half-haired. Cheerful, amiable, a lover of gossip. A peripatetic seller of rush and floor-straw (along with the fragrant herbs commonly used to scatter among it). Well-known among the commonfolk of the Lower Wards. The communal wells and water pumps of Waterdeep are tied only with the city's taverns and tankard-houses as gathering spots for the exchange of gossip, slander, and salacious rumor, and Orando makes sure to frequent them all. Hears things, sees things. Reports back to Surrolph Hlakken, his contact among the Red Sashes. Occasionally sells a juicy morsel of information to other, less enlightened power brokers, but only if doing so won't imbalance the general status quo. Plus, a man's got to eat, after all.

Riorsk the Bull-Lion
A champion of the Thousand Thunders pride of the Western Shaar; enjoys the delights (and brawling challenges) of the festhalls and taverns of the cities of Ormpur and Shiertalar as much as the hunts and boundary skirmishes of his native lands. A great, cheerful wemic brute; powerful, rippling muscle, stout, of bright chestnut-sorrel, with cream-colored calves and tail and flowing mane, the latter of which he keeps dyed a vibrant blood-red. Everpresent in panoply of tawny lion's-mane cloak (lined inside with diamond-patterned cloth of gold and red), Calishite damasked-steel breastplate and bracers, and his accumulated scars of sword and hot irons. Legends claim at the dawnbreak celebrations before The Battle Beyond the Sunset ("where the red glow of the setting sun was long outshone by the awful crimson tide of blood on the starlit field of battle") he trod on the shadow of the goddess Reskurédra (Red Knight), and in so doing gained great control in battle (the psionic wild talents of danger sense and adrenaline control). Wields a massive glaive of ebony and crimson steel which he won at the battle that gained him his fame but is of a much older, Ilythiiri design.

==================================================

&Addendum;

Azaurdhaeghrul of the Thousand Thunderings
(AHZ-aur-DAY-gruhl) Aided the wemic, allowing them to settle comfortably into seasonal camps and amass great herds of meat on the hoof, from which the wyrm would then come and dine at his pleasure; he aided the dwarves as well, who gave him gifts of precious metals and pretty things in return; and, when he caught wind of something he wanted, he would then send the wemic (on the surface) and the dwarves (down below) to raid and retrieve it for him. But then he died (in battle with enemies unhappy with his raids and with his political consolidation of the area) and the dwarves and the wemic were found with no real use for each other, and so here we are.





I like the dwarf / dragon / wemic tie ins. Oh, and pardon me, but a certain sai wants to speak, and I've learned its easier to let him than to try and shut him up.

An adamantine sai, its monouchi pointing downward and its tsukagashira with its embedded blue gem acting like its "head" to a degree floats forward. It briefly "coughs" as if clearing its "throat" to speak before saying, "Hello, forgive me, my name is Lorey Hisstory, psion sai cyclopedia, and I come with a query about the aforementioned staff of Baruskar with the "living ruby" of a "winged lion" atop it. Given my own nature, I have an extreme interest in living magic items, and I wonder how much you've had a chance to study this living ruby? I was perusing some lore in a treatise on the crystallization of the blood of magical creatures, and I quite wonder if the living ruby wasn't the blood of a sphinx. Do you think this might have been possible?


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2022 :  03:46:43  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
An adamantine sai, its monouchi pointing downward and its tsukagashira with its embedded blue gem acting like its "head" to a degree floats forward. It briefly "coughs" as if clearing its "throat" to speak before saying, "Hello, forgive me, my name is Lorey Hisstory, psion sai cyclopedia, and I come with a query about the aforementioned staff of Baruskar with the "living ruby" of a "winged lion" atop it. Given my own nature, I have an extreme interest in living magic items, and I wonder how much you've had a chance to study this living ruby? I was perusing some lore in a treatise on the crystallization of the blood of magical creatures, and I quite wonder if the living ruby wasn't the blood of a sphinx. Do you think this might have been possible?


Oh! Oh gracious my! First of all! – good saer sleyvas, yes yes, I'm sure 'it has a mind of it's own' and all that, but, Good and Lawful Gods Above, you don't just whip it out like that! Have a care, man, that thing could take an eye out!


Ahem...On if I know anything more on these matters....unfortunately, no. Are such things as have been mentioned possible? Surely! – after all, what are the strange and myriad Realms Afar but endless possibilities!; and, as we both know, blood-magic and living bindings do become more common the further South-and-East one travels. But, I regret to admit that is about my sum of it. Lore from the East may be my occasional curiosity, but it is by no means my main area of expertise – that, of course, I leave to you; and in that manner I have felt that our collaboration has been most rewarding.

...I forget if it is specifically in Unther or Chessenta (or both) that you are a bit.... 'mage-assassin non grata' at the moment, but I trust that you still have your contacts and your methods. If you (or your, err... 'sai'), should uncover anything else on the subject, let it be known that I would be most interested in hearing whatever you have managed to come up with.


Bright Magic and Mystra Forfend,


AJA
YAFRP

Edited by - AJA on 21 Feb 2022 03:55:02
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2022 :  03:51:51  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

PAGES OF MAGES AND OUTRAGES (AND ALSO, PROBABLY, ROTTEN CABBAGES)

==================================================

Eneskûl, The Book From Which No Words Might Escape
(Save By Invocation and Bewailing)


A bound and hard-spined tome of dark, tooled nagahide, mother-of-pearl inlaid metal edge-caps, and a circular cover-inset of white soapstone, etched with simple elder-runes for weavings, weirds, gladness, and sorrows. On the first interior page is written nothing but the word Eneskûl; probably fashioned from the Talfir enaer askûl, or meanings/declarations of dominance/bindings.

Spells of unexpected obstacles, bewilderments, disillusionments, and inexplicable ways. Believed to be crafted, written, and collected, at least in part, by Taldnir, "The Buried King Who Walks," during the first of his reigns. Known to contain the forgotten Talfir enchantments Dorelmandur's Burning Words (as burning hands but vocal; target only affected if in hearing range and can understand caster's chosen language), Izbuscra's Shadowy Seemings (distracting shades leer and leap out at the edges of vision causing -2 to hit in combat, -2 to morale checks, save to avoid instant failure during spell casting), Izbuscra's Utter Darkenings (combined blindness and ray of enfeeblement), Nasklur's Sickened Thinkings (target must save v. spells or psychologically manifest sickness; random roll on disease table for affliction; only curable by dispel magic, cure disease, or heal), and Jiljixsar's Nerve Spiders (target sustains massive dead-nerve ["pins-and-needles"] sensations in all extremities. All to hit and physical action rolls and all DEX-based checks made at -1, and personal movement speed reduced by -2 for duration of the spell); as well as the lesser-known Netherese invocations Yûlustyry's Cheery Prospects (+2 to morale checks, +2 to saves vs. fear or panic-inducing effects – including dragonfear) and Eljedra's Stormy Passions (grants save v. death to avoid CON loss upon ensuing casting of any permanency spell; also +3 on any NWP check and +10 on any potion miscibility checks for spell duration; however, castor and/or castee suffers -2 to CON/WIS for 2d10 hours after end of spell).

The book first resurfaced in modern Faerûn in the possession of the acrobatic, occasionally bat-winged thief Isilthûnra "Dare-and-Do-All," but she is soon recorded in the annals of the Gallery Majesta of Calimport as having agreed to a (many-hundred-gold) lawful transaction with the adventurers of The Fellowship of The Storm ("The Fellowship of the Storm-Greyed Eyes, Formed-For, and Dedicated-To, She Who Bears Them," if you really must know), who claimed afterward to have made copy of most of its contents; but who also, not more than a year after, forfeit and voluntarily relinquished it in a rousing game of the tavern favorite Asleep's the Wyrm, to the dark and embittered heretic priestess of Lliira, Anniskaé "The Merry Nothing," who went on to make especial use of the spell Dorelmandur's Burning Words – and would always make sure to accompany it with a (completely unnecessary) trademark curtsy.
        Niskaé was slain some years after, in a falling-out with her erstwhile business-partner, Hoskras the Under-Dweller (guildmaster of The Hate-Fauchards – or, more colloquially, Them's What Hides Behind The Draperies – a derro thieves cabal long driven out from fallen Phalorm and come to new-found prominence in Scornubel); and the tome claimed by him, before fire and force-of-arms rousted them from their comfortable lair back into the deep warrens under Secomber that were once part of the ancient kingdom of Athalantar.
        Eneskûl itself disappeared during the chaos of those battles, only to suddenly re-appear mid-1337DR, in the shop of the gnomish butcher and bellycheer Estesker, Son of Glusk, of The Deeproots, proprietor of Stesker's Sweetmeats and Sweetbreads (located in The Comfortable-Coin's Market, hard to the south-west of The Manytankards), a since-exposed contact for the lamia noble Talathtra of the Wicked Delights. It was found there, on a high shelf alongside various accounting scrolls and yellowed jars of preserved meats of uncertain age and provenance, by the mage Braedos of Daggerford. According to entries in Braedos' personal journal, Estesker was unaware of exactly when or how he had acquired the tome, yet seemed curiously reluctant to entertain offers for it.
        Regardless of that, at some point the book made its' way out of Scornubel and into the wilds, where it presumably rested for a time until coming to light in the hands of Jandrasco Sashenstar, a nephew of the legendary explorer Dabron, who snuck it forth from the unearthly eminence of the Isilthorn (a druids' madness, formed and supported by rough hardstone and columns of red porphyry, where faithlessly awakened souls, enflamed by strange wild-fire, danced above great unsettling mosaics either brightly-illumined or very dark). Jandrasco was later lost in an ambush by orcs in the foothills of the Unicorn Run, and the book along with him; no doubt destined to be spirited away, to the desolate ruins of some goblin warren in the nearby Ebonmallows, to never be heard of again – but it is instead, thanks to the little-read broadsheet Vardalbar's Eye-Opener (An Accounting of Such Things That Should Be Noted And Commented Upon), that dutiful sages now know that Eneskûl was later confirmed to be in the possession of the adventurer – and rumored Harper – Selûne-Splashed (an Ice Hunter runecaster; great, noticible mottles of bone-white randomly scattered across her dusky skin; considered a child of the moon, blessed in divination, luck, and the seeing of things unseen [except under the light of the pure moon]), who is then said to have taken the book northward into the icy wastes, and who has – thus far – not returned.


AJA
YAFRP
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11169 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2022 :  14:40:51  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJA

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
An adamantine sai, its monouchi pointing downward and its tsukagashira with its embedded blue gem acting like its "head" to a degree floats forward. It briefly "coughs" as if clearing its "throat" to speak before saying, "Hello, forgive me, my name is Lorey Hisstory, psion sai cyclopedia, and I come with a query about the aforementioned staff of Baruskar with the "living ruby" of a "winged lion" atop it. Given my own nature, I have an extreme interest in living magic items, and I wonder how much you've had a chance to study this living ruby? I was perusing some lore in a treatise on the crystallization of the blood of magical creatures, and I quite wonder if the living ruby wasn't the blood of a sphinx. Do you think this might have been possible?


Oh! Oh gracious my! First of all! – good saer sleyvas, yes yes, I'm sure 'it has a mind of it's own' and all that, but, Good and Lawful Gods Above, you don't just whip it out like that! Have a care, man, that thing could take an eye out!


Ahem...On if I know anything more on these matters....unfortunately, no. Are such things as have been mentioned possible? Surely! – after all, what are the strange and myriad Realms Afar but endless possibilities!; and, as we both know, blood-magic and living bindings do become more common the further South-and-East one travels. But, I regret to admit that is about my sum of it. Lore from the East may be my occasional curiosity, but it is by no means my main area of expertise – that, of course, I leave to you; and in that manner I have felt that our collaboration has been most rewarding.

...I forget if it is specifically in Unther or Chessenta (or both) that you are a bit.... 'mage-assassin non grata' at the moment, but I trust that you still have your contacts and your methods. If you (or your, err... 'sai'), should uncover anything else on the subject, let it be known that I would be most interested in hearing whatever you have managed to come up with.


Bright Magic and Mystra Forfend,





The sai "nods" the blue crystal towards AJA and adds, "Ah, I see that hanging around with that red book, which can turn into a weapon mind you, has gotten a little confusing. That being said, I can entirely understand it, especially since he's floating over there invisibly snickering at me. But, that being said, I will note that he is non-grata in Thay, his home of birth, for actions that involved the saving of his wife with the aid of some Durthan witches, and a certain indebtedness to a sage of Shadowdale to hide his wife even from himself. Of course, this was only after he pulled some chicanery to "trick time" and recover her from the dead, for he felt he had wronged her when she was younger. He quickly learned that giving up everything that your heart cared for just to protect it, still wasn't the answer, but he dared not seek Melarra for fear that he put her in danger.
Afterward, he did spend some time as a mercenary in Soorenar, during which he became enamoured with the church of the Red Knight. He aided a young mage-priest of that religion, providing minor magics and spellbooks in exchange for time spent playing games of strategy. Around the time of the start of the Thayan civil war, he discovered that his son by another woman had left behind a lover, unaware that she was pregnant, and that he was in fact now a grandfather. It was then that he travelled to Waterdeep, so that he could seek to meet his grandchildren and their mother, Lady Jillian Doncastle of Neverwinter, mage-priestess of Deneir, clandestine editor of The Waterdhavian Herald and detective of no small skill. That is of course, when he met me, Lorey Hisstory, Psion Sai Cyclopedia, companion of Lady Jillian, and tutor to her children in all matters historical, arcane, and psionic. Many things happened in the intervening years prior to the spellplague, including his granddaughter once meeting Lurue and developing a talent for nature magic, and his grandson proving a burgeoning pupil in the arts of mind and arcane magics. That all came to a close however whenever Lady Jillian got it in her head to find out where that fool Mirt had gotten himself too, yet another mystery to uncover in her little rag. She got herself captured, but I was able to escape and I came to get the aid of that nefarious bounty hunter and his theurgist of the Red Knight friend. We managed to rescue her from a lich, and we were scrying on that overfat lord using a cooperative spell of Sleyvas' own development that required the aid of his two compatriots to stabilize it. The fat one was surrounded by three liches while another lich performed some ritual which was seemingly destroying them, when suddenly magic went awry. You would know this to be the spellplague, and it was this that entrapped Sleyvas in his present form, as well as turning the Lady Jillian into a weaveghost. We found ourselves in Abeir as well, and well, the strange doings that we were involved with over the last century, well, that's a story for another time.

But as to the living ruby, I must say we may have a special interest in this item. There are stories of the Wakanari Highlands of Katashaka with its leaders being the Council of the Reborn Phoenix. Sayaed, a former androsphinx who placed his spirit into a phoenix egg before it rehatched, was once said to have been attacked by someone seeking his blood in particular..... I do wonder if the blood of the Phoenix-born Sphinx might not have been used....

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 21 Feb 2022 14:49:02
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
11169 Posts

Posted - 21 Feb 2022 :  18:52:11  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AJA


PAGES OF MAGES AND OUTRAGES (AND ALSO, PROBABLY, ROTTEN CABBAGES)

==================================================

Eneskûl, The Book From Which No Words Might Escape
(Save By Invocation and Bewailing)


A bound and hard-spined tome of dark, tooled nagahide, mother-of-pearl inlaid metal edge-caps, and a circular cover-inset of white soapstone, etched with simple elder-runes for weavings, weirds, gladness, and sorrows. On the first interior page is written nothing but the word Eneskûl; probably fashioned from the Talfir enaer askûl, or meanings/declarations of dominance/bindings.

Spells of unexpected obstacles, bewilderments, disillusionments, and inexplicable ways. Believed to be crafted, written, and collected, at least in part, by Taldnir, "The Buried King Who Walks," during the first of his reigns. Known to contain the forgotten Talfir enchantments Dorelmandur's Burning Words (as burning hands but vocal; target only affected if in hearing range and can understand caster's chosen language), Izbuscra's Shadowy Seemings (distracting shades leer and leap out at the edges of vision causing -2 to hit in combat, -2 to morale checks, save to avoid instant failure during spell casting), Izbuscra's Utter Darkenings (combined blindness and ray of enfeeblement), Nasklur's Sickened Thinkings (target must save v. spells or psychologically manifest sickness; random roll on disease table for affliction; only curable by dispel magic, cure disease, or heal), and Jiljixsar's Nerve Spiders (target sustains massive dead-nerve ["pins-and-needles"] sensations in all extremities. All to hit and physical action rolls and all DEX-based checks made at -1, and personal movement speed reduced by -2 for duration of the spell); as well as the lesser-known Netherese invocations Yûlustyry's Cheery Prospects (+2 to morale checks, +2 to saves vs. fear or panic-inducing effects – including dragonfear) and Eljedra's Stormy Passions (grants save v. death to avoid CON loss upon ensuing casting of any permanency spell; also +3 on any NWP check and +10 on any potion miscibility checks for spell duration; however, castor and/or castee suffers -2 to CON/WIS for 2d10 hours after end of spell).

The book first resurfaced in modern Faerûn in the possession of the acrobatic, occasionally bat-winged thief Isilthûnra "Dare-and-Do-All," but she is soon recorded in the annals of the Gallery Majesta of Calimport as having agreed to a (many-hundred-gold) lawful transaction with the adventurers of The Fellowship of The Storm ("The Fellowship of the Storm-Greyed Eyes, Formed-For, and Dedicated-To, She Who Bears Them," if you really must know), who claimed afterward to have made copy of most of its contents; but who also, not more than a year after, forfeit and voluntarily relinquished it in a rousing game of the tavern favorite Asleep's the Wyrm, to the dark and embittered heretic priestess of Lliira, Anniskaé "The Merry Nothing," who went on to make especial use of the spell Dorelmandur's Burning Words – and would always make sure to accompany it with a (completely unnecessary) trademark curtsy.
        Niskaé was slain some years after, in a falling-out with her erstwhile business-partner, Hoskras the Under-Dweller (guildmaster of The Hate-Fauchards – or, more colloquially, Them's What Hides Behind The Draperies – a derro thieves cabal long driven out from fallen Phalorm and come to new-found prominence in Scornubel); and the tome claimed by him, before fire and force-of-arms rousted them from their comfortable lair back into the deep warrens under Secomber that were once part of the ancient kingdom of Athalantar.
        Eneskûl itself disappeared during the chaos of those battles, only to suddenly re-appear mid-1337DR, in the shop of the gnomish butcher and bellycheer Estesker, Son of Glusk, of The Deeproots, proprietor of Stesker's Sweetmeats and Sweetbreads (located in The Comfortable-Coin's Market, hard to the south-west of The Manytankards), a since-exposed contact for the lamia noble Talathtra of the Wicked Delights. It was found there, on a high shelf alongside various accounting scrolls and yellowed jars of preserved meats of uncertain age and provenance, by the mage Braedos of Daggerford. According to entries in Braedos' personal journal, Estesker was unaware of exactly when or how he had acquired the tome, yet seemed curiously reluctant to entertain offers for it.
        Regardless of that, at some point the book made its' way out of Scornubel and into the wilds, where it presumably rested for a time until coming to light in the hands of Jandrasco Sashenstar, a nephew of the legendary explorer Dabron, who snuck it forth from the unearthly eminence of the Isilthorn (a druids' madness, formed and supported by rough hardstone and columns of red porphyry, where faithlessly awakened souls, enflamed by strange wild-fire, danced above great unsettling mosaics either brightly-illumined or very dark). Jandrasco was later lost in an ambush by orcs in the foothills of the Unicorn Run, and the book along with him; no doubt destined to be spirited away, to the desolate ruins of some goblin warren in the nearby Ebonmallows, to never be heard of again – but it is instead, thanks to the little-read broadsheet Vardalbar's Eye-Opener (An Accounting of Such Things That Should Be Noted And Commented Upon), that dutiful sages now know that Eneskûl was later confirmed to be in the possession of the adventurer – and rumored Harper – Selûne-Splashed (an Ice Hunter runecaster; great, noticible mottles of bone-white randomly scattered across her dusky skin; considered a child of the moon, blessed in divination, luck, and the seeing of things unseen [except under the light of the pure moon]), who is then said to have taken the book northward into the icy wastes, and who has – thus far – not returned.





Butcher and Bellycheer.... love that...

Is it true that that book attracts Wendigo?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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AJA
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Posted - 06 Mar 2022 :  02:48:33  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
Butcher and Bellycheer.... love that...

Is it true that that book attracts Wendigo?

Not that I've heard, but I certainly would be receptive to your reasoning. Given your quote, I suspect you may be giving too much weight to the description of a singular gnome, out of the many hands that have held the tome through the ages; but, then again, we are talking of the Talfir and their ways, which remain strange and largely unexplored to this day, so, who can say? I encourage your investigations into this matter and look forward to whatever you ascertain; my only condition on this being, anything involving the subject of GNOMISH WENDIGOS you come up with, please present to forums user 'Eric L. Boyd' first. I would very much like to hear of his reaction.




AJA
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AJA
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Posted - 06 Mar 2022 :  02:55:41  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Remember when I could rustle up a handful of NPCs without an accompanying truckful of thesaurus-worthy descriptives? Yah, me neither
(If only I could master punctuation as well as the use of obscure adjectives of the 19th Century)

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Faendar "Brown-Burn"
Stout, dark-skinned, pensive. Black eyes, generous black mane held back by multiple colorful bands. Square and scented beard. Has two of the three painted forehead dots which mark him as a native of Far-and-Fair-Rimmed Turmish. Proprietor of The Leather-Brown Lodge, a hearth-house (fine-coin lodging; less inn and more bed-and-breakfast) in Sea Ward (about half-way on The Rising Ride, follow local's directions towards the sign of The Salted Boot). Their rooms are decent and nautical-themed and their beds are bug-free and mostly soft enough. As for the menu, they specialize in silver derrings (herrings), and offer salt-kip (both plain and mashed with mushroom and wild-onion in hand-pies) and selsk (stewed tomato-onion-and-herring) and a house-special of cleaved-eggs and pickled vrisk, topped with generous shreds of milk-white cheese and smoked herring. Beware the owners' proclivity to over-lade stone-spice (mustard) on any dish presented when he's in the kitchen (hence his common-name).
        Other than that, there is a peculiar great leathery silver-derring mounted firmly above the common-hearth, which grows and lessens in luster with the waxing and waning of the moon, and whose teeth – now long-pried out – were once said to be quite adularescent, and to also shift in size and sharpness (it is rumored that the sword Swiftsting, a shortsword of quickness +2 once in the possession of the Hin adventurer Fletcher Linklyn, was fashioned from one such tooth); and a quiet study, of rosy lamps and alabaster, unchanged from the days when the author Ildrae Roaringhorn (harpist and Harper, now better known as Ildrae "Fairflanks" of Berdusk) once sat and wrote, when this was her own private residence – a copy of her The Leather-Browns, an ode to the herring-fishers of the Sea of Swords, as well as one of The Anticipations of Delight (a risqué tribute to the irresistible and mystical joys of both the faiths of Sune and Lliira), are available here to guests at all times.

Merendulph
Publisher of numerous short-lived and failed broadsheets, across Castle, North, and Trades Wards (Saremon's Morning Mutterings, Saremon's Sweet-Voice, Saremon's Events of the Day, Saremon's Plain-Speakings, and Saremon's Wry Whispers – for those curious, Saremon was his daughter, who was quite inquisitive and curious, and who would have made a first-rate broadsheeter herself, but for her untimely and tragic death in the Bubbling Plague of 1347DR). His two younger sons Melsk and Doran still carry on the family broadsheet tradition, the former as a typeset for The Anklet broadsheet and the latter as a credited voice-of-the-street contributor (and circumspect Red Sash contact) for the Waterdeep Herald (which itself grew out of the foundations of the Morning Mutterings).
        As for Merendulph himself, he fought valiantly against the first sahuagin raider through the door, allowing his family to escape their Dock Ward domicile, but fell right thereafter to the massed fish-men, during the Battle of Waterdeep Harbor. His wife Celastra, a former acrobat and stage-performer, is now an instructor at Amthalae's Finer Points mageling school, where she tutors young spellcasters in such things as the proper foot-patterns to gracefully navigate the inscriptions of a growing summoning circle, and the correct hand-and-wrist movements required to precisely command and re-position the varied forms of the dancing lights and Tenser's floating disk spells.

Qerzerloun the Vorpal Ooze
[KER-zer-LOON] Which actually is not vorpal at all (and also may not be a true ooze, being far more more mobile and cohesive to the gelatinous cube in form), but still quite intelligent, and quite malicious, and, also, quite acidic, and – coincidentally – has a preference for skulls (and all contained therein) and thus dissolves those bits as delicacies first, and – perhaps less coincidentally – can grow forth multiple agile pseudopods when under attack, each one firm and razor-edged, and of quite deadly aim and quite capable of decapitation. Seems to have the knowledge of how to transverse from the Undermountain below to the city above at will, as evidenced by decades of stories and lore from commonfolk, numerous members of the Cellarer's and the Dungsweeper's guilds, and divers adventuring fellowships returned from the depths. When in Waterdeep itself, tales often place Qerzerloun as a-hunt in the side-alleys ringing the Dancing Court and the Moon Sphere.

Shandralassra "Eagle-Mother" Brost (LG ½EF Exp6/F14)
A Wing Civilar (commander) of the Griffon Guard (North Wing). Rides the griffon named Blue Ruin. Practical, determined, gentle, just. North Wing is where all griffon riders called up from the training ranks start their careers, and Shandralassra has ably borne the responsibility of rearing every one of them (hence her epithet). Short silvered-black hair, focused green eyes, high cheekbones and puffy cheeks. Slender, athletic build. Has random scars and random-er tattoos, neither which she will discuss the meaning, or significance of, to anyone not in her innermost confidances. She has already long-decided on her final words, and has had them engraved on porphyry, and delivered them into the care of the church of Torm (in the hope that they one day rest within the hallowed confines of the Heroes' Garden), and they read; "outlasted / outlived / out-fell her enemies, in the end." Is entrusted, and quite proficient with, the artifacts of her office, The Whelk-Shield of Nembûril, and the radiant, spiralling long-lance Elvomiir (more commonly remembered as Torch-Light-Blinding-Bright, thanks to the flowery, enduring affectations of the bard Shusharra "Woadfoot," foremost chronicler and songstress of the Second Trollwar.

Uladruné [YOO-la-DROO-NAE] of The Bramble-Stumps
Gnomish Speaker (contact) for (and also, former Commander of) The Crows of Calamity (The Black-Feathered Brethren), a rather successful mercenary band continually – and alternately – employed by Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate and Luskan, among others. Has austere chambers and well-appointed receiving parlor on Simple's Street (marked by the sign of the Three Black Feathers and the Three Gold Coins). Shrewd, circumspect, trustworthy, reliable. Has spent several decades honing a poker face and knows how to use it. Loves sticky-sweets, especially honeypots, gold-brittles, marmalade squares, and the fluffy, multi-colored fancy-clouds the baker Lunlûne [Lun-LOON-ay] down Drover's Street in specializes in. Commonly found dressed in gold-embroidered robes of scarlet and cloak of green and vermilion, clasped loose around the throat by chain of topaz and rose quartz. Rumored to have one or more wands under her cloak and robes that may cause grevious injury to any foolish would-be attacker. Always seconded by her bodyguard, Qulglor [KULL-glor], a half-orc veteran of the Crows (black-browed and solemn, and obviously evil-hearted but, when not in – honest and bloody – performance of his duties, loves skipping-ropes and littlestones [marbles] and dressed-up dolls of all manner); as well as her feline companion Tolaska, a shoon-cat (a breed once and properly called djalbra, natives of the Calim desert; short-haired, tawny and banded, with tufts of hair crowning ears and tufts of hair between toes. Folklore claims that when no one is looking they fluff and fan their tails out in an arch that shades their bodies from the noonday sun, and that their golden eyes shimmer cold and blue when lesser genie-kin are about). Uladruné is great friends (and more, some say) with the dwarven sellsword Uladrûne [OO-la-DROON] the Bold.

==================================================

Dathantar [ Source: A 11/14/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

Handaramatur [ Source: A 11/14/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

Huldeth Brassfeather [ Source: A 11/08/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name (as "Huldeth Brossfeather")/Description given ]

Malkur [ Source: A 11/14/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]

Selvur [ Source: A 11/14/21 Twitter reply to @TheEdVerse by Ed Greenwood. Name/Description given ]


AJA
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AJA
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Posted - 20 Mar 2022 :  02:34:11  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

HOW THE SEASONS CAME (AND HOW THEY CAME TO BE)
(god-tale, common to the lands east of the Inner Sea)

==================================================

...In The Beginning of All Things the sun sat in the middle of the great hut that was the heavens, and the Two Lands of Toril were left huddled in a corner.

The serene gods of the sunlit side, warm and comfortable in their land of jade forests and bearded dragons, were quite fine with this state of affairs, but the young gods of Faerûn, ever chaotic and disobedient, were left to face the dark corner in punishment, and they grew most unhappy. And so they came together in conference and agreed to ask Chauntea, eldest and wisest of their number, to find some way to turn the face of their land so that it might look to the sun as well.

Chauntea, ever fertile, agreed that this neglected land of Faerûn should enjoy the warmth of the sun as well, and so she set about her task in the logical fashion for which she was known. And Chauntea thought; in all things there is a cycle, and a cycle comes a-round like a circle, or a plow-path, and so to oversee the cycles of the seasons she drafted four great heavenly horses, who would each take turn pulling Faerûn on a path around the light and warmth of the sun. To manage the first pass she chose the sprightly colt Sarantur; next, the energetic charger Aumbril, then the dappled mare Shabruin and lastly, the proud white courser Dunthast. And for this deed she claimed as her payment her favorite, the horse Sarantur, which she would then ride upon, and whose prancing hooves would deliver great furrows to Faerûn, through which her verdant essence would then spread.

And matters came to pass exactly as she had planned, and the Two Lands of Toril were pulled from their corner and whisked around the great hut of the heavens, and the sun for the first time fell across all of Toril, and Chauntea, proud and happy upon her perch, spread green and living things across all Faerûn, and grew powerful. But the young gods of Faerûn, chaotic and ambitious as ever, saw opportunity for themselves in this new arrangement, and they soon fell to scheming ways to take the great horses for their own, and then it was not long before they put their plans in motion.

First, Talos threw his storm-thorns at Aumbril, who leapt nimbly over the lightnings but was staggered before the accompanying thunder and stumbled too close to the great hot sun at the center of the heavenly hut, and and so the lighted days grew long and Faerûn knew great waves of heat, which lengthened days, but withered some crops.

Then, Moander grabbed the reigns of Shabruin, and through his touch rot and decay spread across the sunlit lands, and the trees turned crimson and gold and the fruits of Chauntea's fields withered on the vines.

Third, and worst of all, the courser called Dunthast was imprisoned by Bhaal and Auril in jealous tandem, who then forbade anything to grow in their winter, or suffer the harsh cold. But Bhaal soon grew discontent in winter with no living thing to kill, and so he conspired secretly with Chauntea to foil Auril and allow Dunthast to continue on his way, slowed and manacled, so that some meager amount of animal and plant would continue though the bleak snows.

And finally, and most treacherously, Lathander, youngest and most brash of the gods, then sought to claim the remaining horse Sarantur for himself; but Chauntea was by now forewarned, and hastened to remind the gods of her promised due. Some gods Lathander drew in with whisperings of shared power, and some honored their oath to Chauntea, and so lines of battle were formed, and a great Cataclysm arose, and so many gods died there before Lathander's ambition was quelled and Chauntea rode proud upon Sarantur once again.

...And that is why, today Faerûn has seasons, and why Spring is for growing and Summer is terribly hot, Fall is waning and drear, and Winter will always face the wrath of Auril and the death of growing things.


AJA
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