Posts Tagged With: liandar

A Short Synopsis & Minor Treatise On the History & Nature of Creation (Part 4 – The Classical Era)

There is a great Lord coming.
He will both walk in the Darkness and be one with it.
The Blood of gods flows in his veins.
Blood and Fire surround him.
His coming has been fortold, but not it’s manner.
He is the Unforseen, the Unheralded, and the Unexpected, a lambent ebon flame that burns within the Night.
Angels weep at the sight of that which he bears, and the Daemons fear it’s touch.
He is the last remnant of an older time, and his understanding is insanity.

 

The Prophecy of the High Lord

Many viewed the Tearing of the Veil as the final culmination of the Wars of Binding, but it was almost immediately revealed that it also set the stage for a resolution to a problem which had plagued the Mortal Realms, the Shadowlands, and even Faerie. All across Creation, a prophecy came of the coming of great Lord, a remnant of an older time bringing destruction in his wake. Collectively, across the Realms, forces began to gather and prepare, and equally old powers began to awake and return, woken by the sound of that Lord’s footsteps.

Dara Hannan, Countess-Palatine of Morrow, Kin to the Dragon, and Consort to the High Lord

Witness to the Tearing of Veil, Dara was steeped in sorrow, having lost the love of her life in that great and terrible crime. Already a potent mage, with the spirit of a dragon bound within her, Dara along with her companions and kin was instrumental in defeating Alkenzamier the Dark – though she lost many of those  closest to her in the fight. Rewarded with the lands and titles in Albion, Dara retreated to grieve her losses, found the second great love of her life, and then soon found herself embroiled in the coming conflict. Rebuilding the tattered remnants of the Circle to stand against the coming storm, Dara also built the bridges between the Shadowlands and both Albion and Silverveil, creating the foundation for the firm footing that the High Lord’s return needed.

The Mad God’s War (1043 R.A. to 1046 R.A.)

The Mad Gods War started when Valerius, the Founder and Warlord of Tierna, awoke after his long slumber to continue his war against the Witch-King, thought long dead, but in his opinion the coming Lord who was foretold. In his insane search for power to assume his place as Ilhiedrin’s Heir and thwart the Witch-King he slew many Godlings, disrupting the order of Creation. In response the High Queen of Albion invoked the Grand Alliance and called for aid to combat the swiftly growing theat. The call was answered in more ways than she ever expected as the Mad Gods War was seen as a crucial gambit in War Without End by players who had been maneuvering since the Invoked Devastation. And on the Plains of Furlaith the forces of the Grand Alliance met the forces of the Mad God, and ground near unto destroyed themselves until the High Lord of the Shadowlands met the Mad God in single battle, broke him, and threw him into the Abyss.

The Phoenix King

In Faerie, a promise made in ages past by a Queen who sacrificed herself for her people, finally came to pass. The heir to the Great Throne of Faerie finally came again, the Phoenix King. He took up the Blade of the Empty Throne  where it had sat since the Sundering. Calling the Elven Host for the first time since before the Sundering, drawing forth kin that had retreated to the far reaches of Faerie and the Mortal Realms, the Athamae of the Great Houses were loosed in the War Without End once again.

The Grey Elves

In what should have been nearly as great a moment of joy, the lost heir to the Great House of Elastrin appeared on the field of battle, bearing the equally as lost Athamea of the House, drawn in battle for the first time since the Wars of Binding. A rogue and a scoundrel, he heard the call of his liege lord and answered – and stood at the High Lords back against the vanguard of the Knights of Dearth. It was a battle that was not without cost, for that which could not be broken was, the Athamea of the Great House of the Elastrin was shattered – and the Elastrin were left without a center. The greatest of the Warrior Houses, the Elastrin found themselves broken swords, elves in twilight, lost in Faerie but unwilling to join their kin the Sundered in the Shadowlands.

The Peace of the High Lord

Standing on the Plains of Furlaith, the High Lord of the Shadowlands, the Immortal King of the White Empire reborn called a council of the gathered rulers and nobles, from the greatest to the smallest, as sovereign lord. Proclaiming his new reign over both the Shadowlands as well as the old lands of the White Empire, the High Lord declared his authority absolute in standing  in opposition to the Lords of Dearth and the Five Demon Emperors in combination with his supreme disinterest in ruling the Mortal Realms. He also declared his support and friendship for the new King of Albion, raised up by the Old Faith upon the passing of the Queen during the battle just passed.

The Shattering

The Mad Gods War shattered what the Heartlands knew of the order of things. The realms of Tierna and Albion both greatly suffered from the loss of land and people, and other countries suffered in similar ways. Tierna lost much land to the newly created Scarlet Sea, and the breakaway of what is now known as the Grand Duchy of Sohac along what had been it’s northern border. Albion suffered the breakaway of many of it’s northern duchies into a series of independent kingdoms. Elsewhere, Kistath saw a great deal of political upheaval as many tried to take advantage of the new balance of power with the High Lord while Ith and Thule were mostly unaffected by the changes.

Boon Companions

Following the Mad Gods War, with all standing in both awe and fear of his power, the High Lord returned to the Shadowlands with his troops, taking up residence in Ebionstark. Though few understand it, a quick friendship grows between Albion and Shadowlands, even if tensions remain with the shattered remnants of Tierna as old hatreds and habits remain deeply embedded in both cultures. Albion also maintains a distant stance to the creatures of the Shadowlands – holding true to both the letter and spirit of the Compact. The only race that has been become accepted in Albion, or even the rest of Uerth are the near-human sh’dai and they are eyed suspiciously more often than not.

Founding of Mystvale (1132 R.A.)

With the blessings of Albion and under the leadership of Ilian Half-Elven, a large number of Half-Elves and others move into Lorewood and build a new city, Mystvale. They have the tacit blessing of the High Lord and the open blessing of the Consort Dara, as well as close ties to the Phoenix King, with many elves joining them from the start.

Retreat and the Night of Ebion Fire (1197 R.A.)

In what is now known as “Retreat” the High Lord disappears for a generation, and in the coming years this becomes an unexplained mystery of the High Lord. In this case, the Consorts, Anakim, and Sha’Achtar managed to keep the peace until the city of Golath, north of the Martyr Mountains, rose up in open defiance of the High Lords decree, violated the Compact, and began to make open war on their neighbors. Before the Anakim or the Sha’Achtar could react the High Lord returned during the Night of Ebion Fire. Though different in appearance, and appearing as a young man, the High Lord bore the blade Deathkiss and wore the Ebion Crown on his brow. He scoured the city to the ground, slaying all within, save children under the age of majority, without mercy or cruelty. The children were fostered out among the Heartlands and beyond and held blameless.

Colonies Founded (1311 R.A.)

After years of searching, the new continent of Acadia was discovered by windships out of Zymora. Covered by a series of forests and plains ripe for settlement many of the countries of the Heartands (and elsewhere) sent ships and people, forming a series of colonies. At this point while travel of goods via windship is common the majority of people travel there via Navigator.  The wind passage is long and dangerous, and not a few ships go missing in the area, but it is much cheaper for moving goods and supplies.

Rise of the Petty Kingdoms (1327 R.A.)

As much of the Heartlands focused on Colonies, the Petty Kingdoms experienced a period of growth – taking advantage of deficiencies in trade. An area that had often been ignored for the most part, the Petty Kingdoms had been primarily at the mercy of the Nomads of the Tawill Plains and the Deep Ones of the Crimson Reef instead of the Goblins or the Trolls that plagued the main Heartlands of Avalon. In spite of this, the Petty Kingdoms had been intimately involved in the events

The Tauri Republic (1388 R.A.)

Though originally founded over a century previously by idealists from Albion, starting in 1388 R.A. the Tauri Senate voted to invade nearby kingdoms over the next nineteen years either by force or after instigating rebellions and “offering aid” to a country in dire straits. Bringing democratic reforms and  a keen intellectualism to their lands, the Tauri Republic accidently positions itself well for the coming problems, being less dependent upon magic or psionics then many of their neighbors.

 

“Behold the Witch Who Screams in Silence and Darkness, Firstborn of the Void, Forsaken, and Oracle of the Eighth Essence!
Behold the Life-Giving Sword Reforged in Blood and Shadow, The Solitaire, The Unforseen and Unlooked For Childe of the Storm and Crown of the Shadarin!
Behold the Passing! Behold the Meeting! Beware the Gathering!
Beware the Choice between Star and Shadow! The Sword! The Sword is Come!”

 

The Great Balance

The wise say that the multiverse exists in a state of equilibrium, constantly seeking a state of balance but never achieving it. This was illustrated in the twin kings of the Phoenix King of the Fae and the High Lord of the Shadowlands each coming to the fullness of their power at the same time. They also point to the rise of the Shadarin and the Cataclysm as another example of this, though a darker one.

Ashanden n’Dai Sa’J’asamyn kel Elastrin n’Hai Diablen

The son of the Witch J’asamyn and the self-exiled, disgraced, and un-seated head of the House Elastrin, Lord of the Great House of the Phoenix, “Ash” was ultimately a child of multiple worlds, multiple races, and always alone. Despite this, when he was faced with the reality of the War Without End, he was able to find the strength to stand and fight against the Dearth, with the remade sword of his House in hand. In doing so, he chose to stand with the Sundered, not with the Fae, and became the first of the Shadarin – those Forsaken to Shadow. Thus forcing the proud members of that Great House to choose between Shadow and Twilight and throwing the Court of the Phoenix King into disarray.

The Cataclysm (1507 to 1561 R.A.)

With Creation rocked upon it’s axis, distracted, the Lords of Dearth took this opportunity to put long-laid plans in motion. A seed of corruption, long hidden in the mountains southern Heartlands, blossomed and the madness grew in the minds of the infected until it exploded in a frenzy of blood and gore that spread across the Heartlands. It took three generations, but finally the spread was stopped, reversed, and even somewhat contained – though the effects and the danger remain to this day.

The Blight

The mountains south of Albion had long held secret pathways to the Realm of the Great Waste, in much the same way that there are hidden pathways between all the Great Realms that are known to the wise. The Lords of Dearth helped that realm of poison and destruction spill out into the Mortal Realm, leaving a Blight on the Heartlands that remains to this day. Encompassing much of what had been the Petty Kingdoms and Albion, the Blight does not just corrupt the creatures that live within it’s bounds but also poisons the minds of those who enter it or who dwell within it.

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Spiritual Blade (Mage Spell) (1e)

Spiritual Blade (Evocation)

  • 5th Level Mage Spell
  • Range: 30′
  • Area of Effect: Special
  • Duration: Special
  • Components: VSM
  • Casting Time: 5 Segments

This spell is similar in effect to the Priests Spiritual Weapon spell, but it is significantly more versatile and powerful. The mage may choose one of four effects when casting the spell:

  1. The caster selects a single target within range. The spell lasts for one round per level, and is able to strike once per round (as the caster), for 2d4 damage, striking as if from the Rear (no Dexterity, no Shield, and +2 To Hit), and furthermore gaining a +1 To Hit for every three levels of the caster.
  2. The caster selects multiple targets within range, up to a limit of the casters level. The spell is instantaneous, and each target is struck once, as above.
  3. The caster selects a single target within range. The spell is instantaneous, and strikes a single time, as above, save the damage is 2d4 per level of the caster.
  4. The caster casts the spell upon an actual sword that they then wield, this sword gains a +1 To Hit for every three levels of the caster, does an additional +2d4 damage per strike, and the spell lasts either one round per level of the caster or a number of strikes (successful or not) equal to the level of the caster, whichever comes first.

This spell is a favorite of mages who belong to the Society of Light, being found in the Cherev Enoch, though the Grey Elves have their own version as well that supplements their puussant combat magics. It should be noted that the spell is not unique to the Society or the Liandar.

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Grey Elves, the Liandar (1e)

“Two Ages and two-hundred of your generations ago the Lord of Blades, High Prince of the Great House of the Sword, passed on the blade of his father, the athamae of our House, to his bastard half-elven son. Whether it was out of despair or out of anger we do not know but since then we have been leaderless, abandoned by our brethren in the Golden Woods and scorned by our kin in the Great Vale. Unwilling to join our sundered kin in the Shadowlands, we have made our way in the Mortal Realms, for we are the Elves of Twilight, wardancers, bladesingers, the Grey Elves. We are the Broken Swords who fight in the darkness when all hope is lost.” – Neysylkentarien, Noted Duelist and Rogue

The Grey Elves are the most commonly encountered of the Fae within the Mortal Realms aside from the Gnomes. A proud and passionate people, they still resent thier second-hand status in Elvish society due to the loss of their House’s athamea but aren’t yet willing to give up and swear fealty to the High Lord of the Shadowlands in response to it. But after a double handful of elven generations, they have become something less and more than what they once were. Pragmatic, they have created thier own enclaves, own kingdoms, and own society in the Mortal Realms and have ended up becoming a mediator between their kin in Faerie and the Shadowlands. It is not uncommon for children to be fostered with either set of kin, though all things being equal, at this point the Grey Elves get along better with thier equally pragmatic cousins in the Shadowlands, the Sh’Achtar – and thier cousins in the Golden Woods generally consider them of the same ilk.

Appearance: Male Grey Elves stand 72″ tall, +1d12 or -1d12, and Weigh 160 lbs, +2-24 or -2-12 while female Grey Elves stand 70″ tall, +1d12 or -1d12, and Weigh 150 lbs, +2-24 or -2-12. They are generally slim in build, and somewhat light complected (though some are quite dusky in tone). Thier hair tends to blacks and dark browns, while thier eyes are often green or grey. Through intermarriages with thier kin there are occasional blonde and white-haired Grey Elves, as well as silver and violet-eyed ones – red hair, as always, is very, very rare but is considered less of an ill-omen among the Grey Elves than among any of thier kin.

Lifespan: Grey Elves are young adults at age 75, considered mature adults at around age 150, and can live up to 1300 years of age. They generally begin play at 70 + 5d6 years of age.

Common Alignments: Neutral Good, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, Lawful Good, Lawful Evil, Chaotic Neutral.

Common Character Classes: Fighter, Duelist, Shaman, Witch, Rogue, Assassin, Minstrel, Mountebank, Mage, Alchemist, Illusionist, Sorcerer, Tantric.

Common Professions: Mercenarys, Spellblades and Battlemages, Rogues of all sorts, Duelists, Tantrics and Courtesans. Grey Elves tend to avoid common trades, but have been known to work as “Fingersmiths” – any skilled profession that involves high levels of manual dextery like jewelers, locksmiths, clockwork enginners, etc. In general though any trade that does not involve some sort of skill-at-arms is considered somewhat déclassé if it does not involve magery or magic.

Common Religions: Grey Elves invariably follow the same philosophical path or personal spirituality as the rest of thier kin, Liavikor or “Ruling Passion” combined with a healthy appreciation of their living ancestors, the Elvandar though they have much less contact with them due to thier residence outside of Faerie. That said, Grey Elves are increasingly following the example of thier kin the sh’achtar and making various and sundry pacts with powerful spirits and beings outside of the traditional purview of the Fae.

Statistic Bonuses: +1 Dexterity, +1 Talent, +2 Power, +2 Comeliness, -1 Constitution

Languages: Faerie, The Dark Tongue, Trollish, Kens, Fingerspeech, Two Human Languages (Int15 +1, Int 16 +2, Int17 +3, Int18 +4)

Special Abilities: +1 to Hit in Combat; Detect Secret/Concealed Doors (1-2/6, 3/6); 90% Resistant to Sleep & Charm; Ultravision 60′; +2 to Surprise; Cantrips as a Mage; Noble Spell Abilities at 1st Level: Enchanted Blade, Noble Spell Abilities at 4th Level: Weapon Bless, Noble Spell Abilities at 8th Level: Spiritual Sword.

Special Vulnerabilities: Grey Elves suffer from the usual stigma and fears of the Faerie Folk as other elves and are often the first target in any hostilities (-20% to Reaction Rolls with non-Fae). Unlike other elves they must use material components for their spells (commonly having analogs for wands as part of rings or other jewelry). Grey Elves must also save vs. Death Magic or take double damage from weapons made of Cold Iron.

Character Class Limits: Entertainer – 10th, Mage – 11th, Priest – 7th, Psychic – 10th, Rogue – 10th, Warrior – 7th, Warrior-Monk – 3rd. As always, this is for Prime Attributes of 15 or less, 16 is +1 level, 17 is +2 levels, 18 is +3 levels, and 19 is +4 levels before the XP penalty is doubled from -10% to -20%.

Psionics: They are Minor Psychics with a Natural Thought Shield; Minor Disciplines: Rapport, Lights.

Additional Proficiencies or Skills: Proficiency in one type of sword, no matter what class. Noble Grey Elves are granted one free proficiency towards the study of Bladesong. Elven warriors are granted one extra weapon proficiency.

Rogue Bonuses: Slight of Hand: +5%, Open Locks: -5%, Find/Remove Traps: No Bonus, Stealth: +10%, Climb Walls: No Bonus, Acrobatics: No Bonus, Tumbling: +5%

Perception/ Hear Noise: Base 15%

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