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Zaghoul's No-Reload Asylum."75 Roll/ No Resurrection/ SCS/ RP'ed Challenge" runs:



  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,122
    Nice little Watership Down reference there.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited December 2017
    @ThacoBell Heh, ya picked up on that. Thanks :) I never thought of using that with rabbit familiars til this run. Funny bit is it took a combination of Lovecraft and Adam's WD to kick in the imagination. ;) A partial Lapine dictionary and all. WD has does have some dark moments in it though, not the standard cute and fluffy bunny stuff for darn sure.
    Probably time for a 'no resurrection' talley of the dead folk so far.
    Ishlilka (Neira again )
    Khalid (ettercap surprise)
    Jaheira (wanted to take on a pack of flinds single handed)
    Tiax ( Sermons put Xzar right off)
    White (attacked one of the brethren after being warned- lost to the ghoul)
    Tenya (killed by the witch that took and used her bowl against her)
    Neera (blew herself up with a fireball wild surge at first meeting)

    HP's are being kind to me on this run. About all rolls have been above average at least.
    I have decided to rely only on undead summons as befits this characters background.
    NO ring of charisma/influence used. I see it's magic weaker than that of the death and the bodily changes that surround this character. Hocked it.
    Spell Revisions broadens the selection of spells. Sticking mainly with necromancy, cold, noxious/acidic like vapor spells, and spells that have a negative effect on mental capabilities (no charms, but confusion,despair, or feeblemind acceptable). No fire based spells as of yet.
    Uses wands of frost, fear, and paralyzation, not fire or summoning wands. Chemical fire bombs acceptable.

    I find that when I restrict things voluntarily, based on character background it forces me to try new spells and tactics, making the game seem a little fresher.

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited July 10
    5. Zaghoul - Durlag's Tower, Following the Trails, Death is not the end

    Durlag's turned out to be more of a test than anything else. It seemed designed as if it was a game meant to destroy me.

    I met many of the brethren, fellow ghouls that had lost their sanity long ago, down in it's depths. I did happen upon one that I thought there was hope for, Grael. He at least spoke to me when I approached him but his as we talked he to let the taste of flesh get the better of him. Unfortunately I had to put him down like the rest of the brethren.

    By the time I met the demon knight at the bottom of the tower I'd had my fill of killing my fellow ghoul-kind. The demon seemed to think he could weld power over me by some magical mirror. I used it against him, summoning his twin, and mine as well. Death came to them both and it was time to leave the place. Maybe one day I could visit again and try to speak some sense to the ghouls that remained. This idea came after I read a book that I had found there, giving me a little more insight into how I might attempt such a task.

    The demon carried the dagger the dwarf from the Beard was wanting, and not seeing any other use for it I decided to head north and return it for the reward he promised. As soon as I got to Ulgoths Beard I was ambushed by a group that stole the dagger. They did not however steal my life that they attempted to take. For that they all paid for with their deaths. I tracked the group to a basement in one of the buildings where they used the dagger to summon their demon lord Aec'Letec. They learned the error of their ways, as did the demon. I had another of the protective scrolls that I had used to protect myself from the magic of the demon in Durlag's. As the last cultist fell I commanded that his bones arise, shed their flesh and fight the very creature he had summoned. It was then that I learned that my power to do this could pass through the magical barrier I had surrounded myself with.
    Again, the demon fell and I prevailed. My power was growing ever strong, my body becoming even more like the ghouls that I had first met in Candlekeep, and tough as bone itself.


    Bummer, been trying out DSotSC and ran into a bunch of elves. On a whim I decided to keep exploring the area. They did not like me exploring the area for THAT long and peppered me with so many arrows I was dead before I could react.
    Somebody is gonna pay for that crap. :)
    May Mordiggian and the faithful take my body back into the great fold of Death.
    CHARNAME voice response was fitting for a palemaster.

    Perhaps Inle's vision of the Black Rabbit that night was an omen after all...

    "Death is not the end".


    Tougher than all get out to roll characters for the challenge that have many or high minimums.

    What I really need is a program to drop in or change the ability score rolling process that changes the max total of ability scores to 75 but still keeps it random. On high minimum classes the 75's are fewer and easy to pass over.

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    Starting a new run, finally. Going back to my humanoids again as I miss the thudding footsteps of my ogres and all round feeling of playing one of the 'bad monsters'. Shoot, humans win that contest hands down, TBH.
    A slight change to the challenge as the max I can have as an ogre is a 73 total (so it gives max in everything easily). Wisdom is normally 12 for other shamans but ogres are allowed to have a 9(their max) in order to be shamans in the Complete Book of Humanoids).
    Ogres also have slower movement rate like kobolds so is an additional challenge. He gets his base ac of 5 and +4 HP at starting lvl only.
    Max ogre stats
    Str 20
    Dex 8
    Con 20
    Int 8
    Wis 9
    Chr 8
    73 total

    Will be running a shaman I have only tried a little in the past and been meaning to give a better test. I like sitting out on the porch in storms watching the lightning and hearing the thunder so it's been calling me. Like the cold, it makes me feel more...alive I guess is the best way to put it, and focuses my attention.
    This time will be the Storm Caller.
    STORM CALLER: Unlike other shamans the Storm Caller focuses his attention on harnessing and mastering the powers of the storm. With their ability to conjure up terrible storms and call down lightning on their opponents these shamans make powerful foes and allies even though they are less versed in the ways of the spirit world than others of their kind.


    – May only wear leather, studded leather, and hide armor.
    – May not equip shields larger than bucklers.
    – May only use the following weapons: dagger, club, spear, axe, quarterstaff, dart, sling, and shortbow.
    – May only become Proficient (one slot) in any weapon class.
    – May only become Proficient (one slot) in any fighting style.
    – May cast druidic spells.
    – Does not automatically learn all spells of a given level as Druids do. Instead, Shamans select new spells to learn at each level, which they can cast daily without memorization.
    – Does not gain immediate access to the following number of Shaman-specific spells: Spirit Ward, Spiritual Clarity, Spirit Fire, Recall Spirit, Spiritual Lock, and Ether Gate.
    – Gains immediate access to the following Shaman-specific spell, which can be cast like any other: Writhing Fog.
    – Gains use of the Detect Illusion skill with 20% points as a base and an 4 points per level, up to a maximum of 100% at level 20.
    – A Storm Caller's 'Shamanic Dance' does not summon spirits but instead calls down lightning strikes from the elemental plane of air on his opponents.

    SHAMANIC DANCE: Storm Callers can summon lightning storms from the elemental plane of air by performing a ritualistic dance. While dancing, the Shaman takes a -4 penalty to Armor Class and cannot move, attack, cast spells, use items and special abilities, or perform any other activity. Each round while the Storm Caller dances, opponents within a 30' radius have a 12% base chance plus 2% for each level of the Shaman to be struck by lightning, up to a maximum of 50% at level 20. The lightning strikes become more powerful as the Shaman gains additional levels:
    Level 1: 2d6 electrical damage
    Level 6: 4d6 electrical damage
    Level 12: 6d6 electrical damage
    Level 18: 8d6 electrical damage
    Level 24: 10d6 electrical damage

    – Gains 'Storm Aura' as a special ability at level 12.

    STORM AURA: Once a Storm Caller has become powerful enough he can conjure up a small storm on the spirit plane which follows him around and occasionally strikes out against the Shaman's opponents on the material plane. While Storm Aura is active opponents within a 30' radius have a 5% chance each round to be struck by lightning and take 10d6 electrical damage.

    – Can not be of lawful alignment.
    – Does not gain bonus spells per day from high Wisdom.
    – May not dual-class or multi-class.
    – Ineligible for any stronghold. (This affects only the Shadows of Amn campaign in Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition.)
    – Hit Dice: d8

    The kit comes with two unique HLAs (Lightning Master: +10% Elect. Resistance +5%Elect. Dmg, can be picked 5 times. Improved Storm Aura: Hit chance increased to 20%.) which replace Globe of Blades and Aura of Flaming Death. The other HLAs are the vanilla shaman ones.

    This kit does not get Recall Spirit so fits nice with the No Resurrection part of the challenge.
    Spell revisions will boost the weather related spells I will focus on.

  • RangeltoftRangeltoft Member Posts: 67
    Been following this thread will workng my nightshifts, very good stuff!

    Now to my question, where can i find that shaman kit?! Sounds perfect for my next round ( was considering a Storm Drummer from Bardic Wonders, but since im currently running a Dirgesinger from S&S i might need a bard break)

    /Cheers Rangeltoft

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited May 29
    1. Voltog .

    The calm of the storm. For me, however, the calm means the strike of lightning, booming thunder, and the howl of the wind that is the storm. It is when everyone else goes indoors to get away from the most beautiful displays I could ever imagine. Storms gave me my alone time more than anything else. I would climb to the top of Candlekeep's walls and contemplate the mysteries of lightning. Those in Candlekeep seemed to think there was more lightning in the sky whenever they saw me outside during a storm. Perhaps there was.
    Where did it come from? The gods, nature, or something else? I did not fear it, but embraced it. The only things I feared was sickness or becoming weak, well, other than the Destroyer, the god of all ogres.
    Some of the monks were a little more accepting of me as I craved knowledge about the things outside of Candlekeep. As I had never learned to read I listened to their stories intently. I think they enjoyed having an eight foot tall ogre that was wider than the door frames sit and listen to anything they cared to tell me about. They told me about an ogre kingdom that used to exist maybe a thousand years ago in far away Thar. Gorion had told me that my mother was an ogre shaman from the borders of Thar, also known as the Great Gray Land, a rocky, broken moor stretching for hundreds of miles with a harsh climate north of the Moonsea.

    He said they were friends but from all I was told about my kin that would be highly unusual, but then again, an ogre living within the great library fortress of Candlekeep was probably even more unusual. He never offered more information than that and said nothing of my father.
    I suppose it was natural that people looked at me differently. I was 8 feet tall, a little shorter than most ogres of the area as I understood, but the strongest, and tallest by far of my home in the library. My skin, instead of being the dead yellow of most, was a lighter blackish brown, with hair a dark blackish blue, eyes of purple with white pupils, and teeth and nails of obsidian black. Although most ogres have a scent similar to curdled milk, over time I seemed to loose that and have an odor closer to that of the scent of a thunderstorm after a lightning strike (ozone). It crinkled a few noses for certain.
    Yes, I stood apart and at most times, alone, other than a few of the monks and scribes that read me stories. I was usually given chores that included loading and unloading wagons or moving equipment, but my favorite thing was helping the scribes retrieve books or moving library furniture about. It gave me the chance to see all of the pictures and drawings they made, even if I could not read them. One of the scribes, Camryn, had been trying to teach me to read but I just couldn't quite grasp the skill, at least not yet anyway.
    I grew up in Candlekeep knowing I was different because everyone made sure I never forgot that I was different, that I was an ogre, and they were not. These humans are strange creatures. They can act friendly and have a look of fear and hatred at the same time.
    Once, a barbarian shaman visited the keep, taught me her ways, and helped me develop what she said was an usual power. Although I could only barely sense invisible spirits as most shamans do, I seemed to have a highly developed ability to attract lightning from the elemental plane of air, as she called it. If I wanted to it would appear without a storm and even inside. As my power grew I could often be seen outside in the storms, calling to the lightning, making more than normal appear and having it 'dance' for me, as I thought of it. Even when the harshest storms blew in from the sea, with wind that gave most humans in the keep trouble just standing upright in it, I stood firm and unmoving, facing the storms without fear.

    This did not do much for my relations to the others in the keep, especially the guards and priests, even though they still tolerated me. I often heard it whispered that the Gods of Fury must be watching me, Umberlee, Auril, Malar, and most especially, Talos. Although I have heard of them from the stories read to me, and from the pictures I have seen in books, I do not think so.
    There always seemed to be something just behind the lightning, but I could not ever seem to make out what it was (or who it was). I have kept calling lightning and looking but as of yet am still unsure as to what this means.
    This morning I awoke to Gorion telling me we were leaving Candlekeep, but he would not say where. He gave me a little gold to get what I would need for a journey. I started to make my way about the keep when I was attacked twice. Both men seemed to think they would be rewarded for the deed. Nether succeeded, as I bashed them both in the head with the large club I always kept with me. I made it from a tree that was stuck by lightning just outside the keep. Nothing like a nice piece of hickory.

    I met Camryn again in the way up to the library steps to meet Gorion. He gave me some quills, ink, and parchment to practice my letters with in the future. He also gifted me with a special book bag as he knew I liked to collect books. Maybe even one day I could learn to read. Maybe, but there is no time for that now, Candlekeep has become too dangerous. The last thing I got was a few old books that had long been forgotten about on the shelves in the lowest level of the library. The pictures on the outside cover had caught my attention. I doubt they would be missed.
    As we left, Gorion told me to head to the Friendly Arm Inn if we became separated. I guess I trusted him enough, he at least, had always treated me fairly.

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085

    Been following this thread will workng my nightshifts, very good stuff!

    Now to my question, where can i find that shaman kit?! Sounds perfect for my next round ( was considering a Storm Drummer from Bardic Wonders, but since im currently running a Dirgesinger from S&S i might need a bard break)

    /Cheers Rangeltoft

    @Rangeltoft Thanks :) Storm Caller is here:
    Hard for me to go the same class twice in a row myself. Dirgesinger is a nice kit, especially with what @Tresset has done with override dropin song radius tweaks. B)

  • RangeltoftRangeltoft Member Posts: 67
    Thanks for the link :)
    Will check it out when I get home from work.

    oh, an song radius tweak? must look into that aswell.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    Good stuff here, and simple over ride fixes. Bard song is one.

    @Artemius_I has another version of the dirgesinger as well, The Nightsinger. Devoted to Shar and her Shadow Weave magic, and has a song similar to the one on S&S. I have not run that bard as it is fairly new but played a Shadow Adept and found the magic to be quite an interesting change from the regular arcane magic.

  • RangeltoftRangeltoft Member Posts: 67
    @Zaghoul cheers for the link :) Aye, that Bard looks interesting, would also be nice to try out some new spells.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited July 16
    Well that figgers...
    That run didn't last long. Death at 1st lvl from one hit by that punk Greywolf. Shoot. Can't do the same type character again for a bit as it put me right off. That slow movement did me in again as I took off running.

    Back to the drawing board again but I have had something in the back of my mind (or out of mind?) I have been trying to develop over the last week. I think I have it sorted now. B)
    0. Elkfein prep work. Back to my favorite bard, the gypsy. Ran one before but not in the 75total/no reload/no res. challenge I seem to be addicted to now.
    None of that 99 plus score crap like before. Spell revisions will help again, as usual. RR is installed 2nd so ifin I ever get there the revised bard HLA will be from that.
    Tougher to get unedited scores for a bard 75er but came across a set I think will fit in. I had to choose from a few interesting rolls, none were optimum but chose one finally. I've never run a bard with lower str, int, con, and wis (especially str-lowest ever, and wis.) (lore will be zippo for a few lvls) but should be ok. Carrying things and weapons limited but I do like my daggers so that will help.
    Unedited roll:

    Gypsy bard:
    GYPSY: Gypsies are often called "travelling people" or "forest nomads," typically wandering the lands in caravans comprising of brightly painted carts or wagons. These people are well-known for their strange music and dances, typically surviving in their wandering lifestyle by entertaining villagers and folk in the places they roam. Gypsies wander the land, experiencing life as they go. They travel until they find something of interest, where they establish a temporary camp and remain until the urge to see more of the world overpowers their desire to stay. Adventuring gypsies may be on a personal quest to locate some unique place or thing or may simply be out to experience the great wonders that appear along the adventuring path.

    Gypsies are often misunderstood by others, who classify them as thieves, beggars, carnival people, nomads, or any number of other erroneous names. They are also very open and welcoming to those who seek to learn their ways and join them in their wandering, garnering for them a reputation for stealing children in the night and then spiriting them off into the wilderness. It should be noted that not all Gypsies are bards or have bardic abilities; Gypsy bards, known among Gypsy clans as "rawuns," function as the chief storytellers, lore-keepers, fortune tellers, and spiritual advisers of their Gypsy clans.

    - Song charms enemies unless they save vs. spells at +2, with a -1 penalty per 5 levels of the bard
    - Has a +1 bonus to saves vs. spells per 8 levels
    - Can cast Curse once per day. The opposite of a Bless spell, this gives foes a -1 penalty to THAC0 and saves

    - Cannot learn mage spells from the schools of Conjuration, Invocation or Transmutation


    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited October 22
    1. Elkfein -

    For thirteen years the music never stopped, not once. I heard it when I was awake and I heard it when I went to sleep, if the fitful rest periods of lying in my bed could indeed be considered sleep. The dreams I had only contained sounds, the music I heard, and nothing else but blackness.
    When I asked others about Candlekeep, my home, if they heard it as well, the answer was always no. My foster father was unable to give me any answers as to why I heard this. Many others about the keep referred to me as 'that crazy half breed', making reference to my drow heritage on my mother's side. A half drow gypsy woman Gorion had said.
    I had heard the beating of drums and the monotonous piping of flutes for as long as I could remember, whether awake or if I was dreaming. After a while the line between awake and dreaming had become so thin I was not sure what was real and what was not. It was maddening at times, so much so that the only way to drown it out was to try and replicate what I heard with my own flute, that I had made myself when I was little. I eventually learned to replicate those sounds, but when I did it seemed to makes things worse for me about the keep. Both guards and scribes complained about loosing concentration, just staring at me when I played, or doing things unusual to their normal routine, so much so that Gorion came to me and told me I would have to stop. He took away my flute, and when I made another, and I always did, they would take that away as well.
    When I was about ten, Ulraunt finally demanded that I be kept supervised at all times, and when not, I was to be confined to my room. It was finally decided that under no circumstances would I be allowed to play that.. my, music.
    I was never very strong but I was good at drawing so I was left to help the scribes and illustrators with their work for the most part. As I was given the duties of returning and retrieving books it also gave me the chance to explore the library when I could sneak away from the busy eyes of the scribes . I pieced enough knowledge of drow words that I came across amongst the various books to learn what my name given to me by my mother meant. Elkfein seemed to a combination of two different words, 'mad' and 'minstrel' I. I wonder why she chose that name? It was not the easiest to read with the music with me at all times in my head, but I managed a little at a time.

    I often escaped at night from the close confines of that little room, to play outside under cover of darkness, for as long as possible until I was found again. I had learned to make a flute pretty quick by that time as I knew I would not be allowed to keep it for long as soon as I was heard.
    I started to despise this room, this prison, and this life. I yearned to be free of this place, to be free and roam the land, to go anywhere, at anytime I desired.

    When I turned thirteen the dreams changed, and I began to see.
    It was the dreams that actually made sense now, as wild as they seemed. The inhuman shapes and beings half shrouded in darkness, that seem to be piping the same music I have heard all my life. Beings that looked, I don't know, sometimes part frog and at other times octopoid in appearance, or both. It strained my mind in part as I had no frame of reference or experience to go by.

    Is this real? Does the music really come from here? Where is here, my head, someplace far away, or both? It certainly did not seem to be outside my head, or someone would have heard it. Or was it just that only I was able to hear it?
    I started to hear voices as well, but the voices were within the music itself. It was as if the music spoke to me in a way that I could hear words within the notes.
    The beings I saw would play something, and then it would ask me within the music "Do you hear?"
    "Yes, I hear."
    It would play more "Do you see?"
    "See what?" I would say.
    "Play more and you will see" it said.
    A flute appeared in my hands, a dark bluish olive colored flute with inlaid bands of black obsidian. The colors swirled around slowly on the flute when I looked closely, as if it were alive in some fashion.
    I played, repeating the sounds I had heard over and over again my entire life, I felt my mind stretching until it hurt, but I kept playing that same old song. The scenery started changing again until I saw the... I don't know what but it was beyond huge, seemingly taking up just about everything, all space within my mind, slowly moving, no, writhing about.

    It was then that I heard sounds in my head that while almost like a voice, became painful to hear, it did not make any sense. It felt like my mind was being pulled apart. I started to move, to float toward that humongous shape and as I did it began to change. A great maw appeared in the middle of the that shape, changing the entire thing into a great rift sized mouth.

    It felt as if I was being torn apart as I was taken within.
    Changing again...
    It was then it felt as if I was looking at myself as if I was someone, some thing, else, piping away at that flute. What I saw was disturbing, but no longer so much so that I felt pain in my head. Perhaps my mind was rewriting parts of itself in order to accept the inhuman and otherworldly.

    I am twenty now, years later and I am still here at Candlekeep. I only hear the music now when I am sleeping. Between my confinement and my light duties I did not get much hard work. I felt different as well from that wild dream when I was thirteen, it left me weaker in body but when I talked people could not help but listen.
    It has come to the point that I don't know what to feel, or if what I feel is a dream, or real. Maybe numb is the word I seek. But if it is numb I feel for things then why do I have this weight upon my chest? Why does it feel hard to breath sometimes, hard to catch my breath? When I look at the world about me, as small as it seems within Candlekeep, something feels, off. No, maybe that's not right. I don't feel or react to what I see or hear the way that I think perhaps I should. At times when I am talking to others or playing my flute it seems like it is not me, as if I am watching myself. That said, I don't remember now if I ever did feel differently.
    Ulraunt's orders to keep me confined when I am not being watched still stand. I have heard him and Gorion arguing sometimes about me. Gorion says something about hope, but about what I never hear the rest.
    Sometimes I am startled when passing the mirror in my room. As first it seems like I am seeing something for just a moment from my dreams.

    But then I realize the figure is moving as I do, miming the playing of a flute, and I see it is really just me all along, and not the flautists from my dreams.
    After a while I stopped trying to escape my room and play my music. I played enough in my sleep, if sleep indeed it was. I thought perhaps if I did not play where others could hear I might get out of this confinement. All I would need to do is convince them I was not a threat with my music any longer.
    A few days ago Gorion came to tell me I could roam about the keep.
    He told me then that I should be careful with the knowledge of what information I read, as he thought I did not have the best sense when it came in deciding what to believe in or what to accept as truth.
    It felt good to go where I wanted to within the keep once again. I started combing the back shelves of the library looking for something, anything that might help me know more about what I see, both awake and asleep.
    I found nothing like what I think I should have been looking for, at least not at first. After more searching though, I started finding some disjointed information written on newer scraps of paper in books so old they were almost illegible. I wondered if the disjointed ramblings of a monk called Abdul Alhazred were relevant. Somehow I thought they might. He wrote the following that appeared to be a prophecy:
    "Ye blind idiot, ye noxious Azathoth shal arise from ye middle of ye World where all is Chaos & Destruction where He hath bubbl'd and blasphem'd at Ye centre which is of All Things, which is to say Infinity....(AD)"

    I also found another mention of this being (god?):
    [O]utside the ordered universe [is] that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity—the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes (HPL).

    In both instances when I read the words I felt a slight pain in my head at first but it quickly passed. Perhaps this was a good find after all. The most interesting thing that happened though was when I read the words I heard music in my head, like that piping of flutes from my dreams, notes that I knew the words to and the corresponding musical notes to replicate them myself. I can't say that I can explain what this all meant, not yet anyway. "Be careful of what you read" Gorion had said. But he did not, or did not think to mention, if what I read seemed relevant to my dreams and waking life both at the same time. Maybe time would tell. Sometimes thinking back over what I read I am not sure if I actually did see it in the first place, at least not while awake.
    I also came across some interesting, though more mundane information on gypsies, giving me some knowledge at least on what my mother may have been like as a gypsy. It seemed to be a first hand account of a gypsy lady that was recorded and copied by one of the scribes here. It certainly did not totally fit me but I found the part about ownership made sense.
    : I'm known as Madraime, and I'm a Gypsy lady. Oh, I'm not what most people would call a typical Gypsy. Within the society of gypsies, there are many different types of individuals. I am what is known as a Gypsy-bard, performing Gypsy, or dancing girl. I travel with my father's caravan, performing for the locals of a region as we pass through. When I'm not singing and dancing for the outsiders, I often entertain those of my caravan in the evening hours. There is nothing as lovely as spending an evening among my own kind, dancing, singing, and enjoying the company of those who understand the world. Like all Gypsies, I realize that humans, elves, dwarves, and others were meant to lead lives of inner discovery, peaceful joy, and association with nature. I know that many people distrust Gypsies, calling us thieves and worse. This occurs because we Gypsies are misunderstood. Our beliefs are so pure and so natural that they are hard for outsiders to understand. For example, as a Gypsy, I understand that ownership of an item exists only so long as the item is not ignored or forgotten. If I lay down my magical dagger, walk away, and one of my brothers should find it, the dagger is then his. If1 want it back I must trade him something in exchange. How can anyone claim to own something that they aren't using or aren't holding? What gives a king the right to say that he owns the land of a country? The land was there before he or his family ever lived, and it will be there long after they are all dead. Likewise, how can a farmer claim that he owns the sheep that feed upon the land? These sheep exist because they eat the fruit of the land, and the land belongs to no one. The ways of outsiders are very odd indeed. We Gypsies are a peaceful folk who wish only to travel upon the good earth, laugh, sing, and live the ways of life. (excerpt from CBH)

    I started gathering materials for another flute, special, like in my dreams. No one was the wiser or missed anything for very long. I f caught I would always talk myself out of it while still making away with whatever I took.

    This morning Gorion comes to my room and wakes me early. I bolted straight out of bed, thinking it was someone else at first, someone about to attack me. I knew it was Gorion but at the same time he did not seem real. Why was he here? What was the matter? Was it really him?
    A few seconds later, disoriented, I thought yes, it is him.

    He says we are to leave Candlekeep as soon as possible. He gave me a little gold to get what I thought I might need for a journey and asks that I meet him later on the library steps. When I approached Winthrop's a young girl forced and old brass lamp into my hands. She said she had another and did not need it anymore. Before I could ask her more about it she disappeared around a corner. It was old and smudged but the strangest thing was that I could not set it away from my body.

    It was if it was cursed in some fashion. There was no time to look into it anymore at that moment as I needed to prepare to leave. I had been busy with making my flute and now it was finished. I pulled it from beneath a hidden panel I had made in the small bookcase near my bed. It was a dark bluish olive colored flute, with inlaid bands of black obsidian, just as I had within my dreams. I also gathered a few books that had gotten my attention during my explorations into the older bookshelves of the library.

    I was attacked twice when I was going about the keep getting things here and there, as well as being asked to run some last minute inconsequential errands. When I played the tune I have played so many times before my attackers seemed to change. They were enthralled by my song, and after, by the words I placed within the music itself as I had learned in my dreams, seemed as if they would do anything for me. I asked one to put down his weapon and walk to the far side of the room before I threw a dagger, hitting him square in the chest, standing at ease and facing me as if he knew me, the real me. The other I asked to stand in the corner, facing away from me before I chucked a dagger at his back.

    Interesting sounds they made when hitting flesh as opposed to wooden targets. I wonder if I can repeat the sounds through music?

    Why do they have to listen to me? What I wanted from them at the time though was simple, only for them to be quiet and not to disturb me. Nothing they had I needed, other than to be left alone, and have the chance to get out of this place alive. For that I needed their lives, well, not really, but for them to leave me with mine that's what it took. I can't say that I felt bad about what happened, to be honest I did not feel much at all. Again, it seemed almost like I was watching myself watching something else happen that was not quite real. Still, somehow I was able to know that it was.

    It was time to meet Gorion, time to be free. No one had the right or would confine me again, for I shall play and the world shall listen, whether it wants to or not. Some part of me seems to feel compelled to show others what I have seen, what is out there. They will see what I have seen through my music. I wonder if what I have seen can be conveyed through sound?

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited July 16
    Whelp, I got off to a good start anyway, played my gypsy a bit, but restartitis hit me like a ton of bricks.
    He is just as strong game wise with 75 points as he was with 100. Now that I have the Charlatan kit for Eldoth that I am very happy with I want something other than a bard for my PC. I can highly recommend that kit.
    I'll need to work up a new plan as I got distracted and disinterested in the run itself for some reason.
    I got to thinking bout other classes I want to run again, using this challenge, that I never finished before.
    I swear every time I see a thread about running as a humanoid race (gnoll thread) I think about running another kobold or ogre. Not this time though, as I still need a break from them for a bit longer, so not yet anyway. Will see. I gotta get my imagination kick started again but have some ideas starting to flow again. Been a rough week.


    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited April 23
    1. Zaggen'endith - Chaos Sorcerer: Life in Candlekeep
    My foster father has just told me we are leaving Candlekeep, my home for some 20 odd years or so.

    I don't even know what my birth date is, not that it really matters. I wouldn't have minded knowing my who my mother and father were, just for the sake of curiosity. Gorion has said nothing of my father, and very little of my mother, who he apparently knew but has said little of. The only thing I do know from Gorion is that I got my coloration from her. Well, I say coloration, but as pale as my skin has always been, I should say lack thereof. It is usually my eyes though, that catch people off guard, eyes Gorion said were just like my mothers, one a pale blue and the other a bright amber color. Something inside me has always thought he knows more than he lets on.
    When Gorion left my room I started to gather a few things and then headed towards Winthrop's Inn to get a few other items. He did not say where we were going. As I left my room in the corner of the library, and started passing by the seemingly endless rows of books, I remembered how things were when I was younger, and knew nothing of magic.
    "No, I said! I'll have no more of these books with those chicken scratch like symbols you call magic." That's what I said to Gorion many years ago, when he tried to teach me magic his way, the accepted way. He had looked hurt by that back then, as if he had lost a battle with an ogre or something. He finally stopped trying to guide me in magic altogether, but my intuition told me that he was probably still looking in on me sometimes, secretly, when he thought I was not looking. I had gotten so tired of the constant research, and Gorion trying to make me emulate his style, that I came to regard sleep as my sanctuary from magic. I even stopped trying for a while. If I would learn magic it would be my way, and in my own time. I would make magic bend itself to my very presence, by will alone.

    After a while though, the dreams began, strange horrible dreams, of creatures, places, and things I could never have imagined or had ever seen in books. When I would wake, I often got the feeling that I was being watched, and not by Gorion. These places I saw were so full of color, and swirling, ever changing landscapes, that my waking life took on a rather dull appearance compared to that.

    Things looked muted in a way, after the dreams. I suppose nothing could really compare to them in real life. I began to find myself drawn to my dreams so much so that I found myself hurrying through the more mundane tasks of living that I was assigned to by various grown ups about Candlekeep. I wanted to be done with such useless chores in order to sleep more. This was not well received by those about the keep but I found I had a way of getting others to see things my way. I was not particularly strong or fit by far, but this only worked to my advantage in getting out of those mundane tasks.

    Although I had already had my fill of the so-called books of magic already, I started looking for other books that might tell me something about what I had seen in my dreams, the creatures and the places. I did not find anything at all. I did find one very old book, in a part of the library that was neglected. It seemed to be the ramblings of some poet called Abdul Alhazred. He thought there might be a way to travel to other dimensions through the use of magic in combination with places that had been built with odd angles or something. It did not make a lot of sense at the time but I ended up looking all through the keep for oddly angled rooms. I gave up after a while but then it was one night that I found myself staring at a corner of my room where the ceiling and walls met at a point that just did not look right. Try as I might though I could see nothing other than just a corner.
    Over the course of a few nights I kept waking up, thinking that I heard voices in my room, only to find no one was there.

    I was determined though to find out what was going on, maybe it was one of the monks playing a trick on me. I started pretending to be asleep after a while, and though it left me tired during the day I finally found out what it was. Perhaps I had actually drifted off into my dreams again, but I felt something crawling up onto the bed and then onto my bedside table. Playing as if I was still asleep I heard a little voice.
    "Go in, go in, go in. Go in and sign the book. You must sign the book."
    I slowly opened my eyes and saw what I first thought to be a little brown rat. If it was a rat, it was like no other that I had seen before. It had a face like a person, with ratlike teeth, and little human hands in place of feet.

    I was startled somewhat, but after all of my dreams, felt no fear.
    "What do you want, go where?" I asked. "Who are you?" He answered me in his raspy little voice. "Not that it matters but if you wish you may call me Jenkin. It's not what I want, it's what He wants. I'll show you where. Look in that corner you keep staring into. He has been watching you."
    A bluish olive type glow caught my eye from the corner I had kept staring into.
    "Yes, that's it, go in, you must go in." As he said that the corner started to widen into a large hole of sorts. I could feel myself being drawn in, pulled almost, but I did not resist. I wanted to see. As I entered the... space in between the walls, I don't know what or where I was, it seemed nothing like Candlekeep at all. There were not really any walls, just swirling colors like those in my dreams.

    There was a table in the space, like the kind the scribes used to copy books on, and on it was an open book. The rat climbed up onto the table and said again, "Sign the book, sign the book." I walked up to the book and as I did a black figure approached, towering over me. I say black, but it was more than that, he seemed to suck all light into himself and devoured it.
    In a voice that dripped like honey he said "You want magic and power, and in that you shall receive, for you have garnered my attention. There is a magic from a place that is many places at once, that is known by very view, but in time will be known by more. You shall be given a glimpse into Chaos itself, and you will learn, or you will die trying. But first you must sign this book, His book."
    "Who are you?" I managed to ask. "All you need know is I am the servant of he who slumbers. He dreams about you and for that you must be special."
    I looked down at the book, already open but just a blank page. In fact, as I looked through it, every page was blank. There was a writing quill next to the book but no ink.
    "Ok, I'll sign it, but how, there is no ink?" I said.
    The figure replied "Here is a glimpse of the power you seek." And with that he disappeared and the dark ever changing veil of the walls about me started to change, and then I saw. It was Him.
    I was not prepared for the size and scope of what I saw. He seemed to be at the center of the realm of Chaos itself.

    My head began to throb as I heard, unearthly sounds and a voice that seemed to bore into every fiber of my being.
    I tried to look away from a being that seemed more a star than anything else, but one in which had tendrils reaching outward, connected to more than one dimension or plane of existence.
    The pain in my head became a burning, my eyes and ears started to burn. At what I first thought were tears rolling down my face I found to be blood, dripping from my eyes and down onto the blank pages of the book in front of me.
    The rat like creature said "Sign the book, you must sign the book, or die now."
    I picked up the quill and signed my name in the book, written using my own blood. As I did so the pain seemed to increase until I could no longer stand it, but at the same time I thought I saw other markings and pictures appear alongside my name. I could see the same colors in the walls begin to pulse through the veins under my pale skin. It felt as if something was inside my head, molding my brain, that, or cutting bits of it up. That was the last thing I remember before hitting the floor as I passed out from the pain.
    My life changed after that night as it was not just a dream. Gorion seemed concerned when I woke the next morning, as one of the scribes had mentioned seeing me washing the blood from my face. I put him off, saying that I must have hurt myself in my sleep. He was not the only one that could hold back information. Although I would never again be able to find that opening in the corner, I did see the little rat, Brown Jenkin one last time. He came to me late one night, dragging along a package from wherever he had come from. In it was the book I had signed, The Book of Azathoth, he said it was. In it were pictures and writing that made my head ache just to look at them. This time however I felt the pain was not quite as great, and in a way, made me feel almost drunk with both excitement and the prospect of power. Gorion eventually saw that I had learned magic after all, but he was still concerned that I was just winging it own my own. Pheh, he could keep his rules and research.

    I fell asleep thinking that while others might be afraid to tap into the realm of elemental chaos, to call forth that energy and to shape it as needed, I was, I would not, be afraid. When I awoke the Book of Azathoth was gone. That was the only chance I got to see it, to see what lay beyond our realm. Brown Jenkin never appeared to me again. I thought perhaps his job was done. Maybe there were others out there, somewhere, that would learn what I have. As of right now though, they mattered not, I had what I desired, a magic of my own, to learn as I saw fit, and to shape into whatever I desired.
    Much has changed in me since I was a boy, I think. Really though, I can't remember being any different than I am now, it has been so long. I never regret the decisions I made back then, as now, the very power of chaos itself shall avail itself to my every whim. Pleasure and power are not that far apart, at least not in relation to magic and myself. No one has the right to tell me how I should act, behave, or what to believe in. If I decide to do something, it will be because I want to.
    I made my way about the keep, visiting people for the last time. I did not really see most of them as friends, but more as people I had just grown up around. I met a odd young girl who gave me an old lamp. Later I found I could not even put it down when I tried, but that would have to wait. I imagine Gorion was getting impatient by now.

    I met one of the scribes that had taken an interest in me as far as helping me seek out old knowledge went, Camryn. He knew I had developed an interest in things most did not even care about, or know, for that matter. He gave me a special book bag to carry whatever I came across that I wanted to keep with me, given I was leaving my home for I know not how long.
    The old dwarf named Reevor asked me to kill some rats in the storage barn, but I opted not to. After knowing about Brown Jenkin, I could not risk angering the powers that be From Beyond, just in case.
    I was attacked by two men on opposite sides of the keep. I am not sure why they thought I would be visiting the priests quarters, but as I did, I guess they made the right choice. They mentioned something about a price on my head, for what I don't know. I did not take kindly to that, and just for all the trouble they went through to find me I gave them both a gift, a couple of daggers to the chest. While not very strong I was good with my throwing daggers, so perhaps they chose unwisely after all. I noted afterwards that I felt a kind of satisfaction with their deaths. As to whether it was the satisfying thunk the daggers made as they hit them, the relief at surviving the attempts on my life, or just plain enjoyment I am not sure which, maybe it was some of all three.

    After I killed the 2nd of the two men I went to meet Gorion at the library. I said nothing to him about the two incidents and he did not ask. I was more than ready to be out from under the watchful eyes of those in this place.

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited July 16

    Mannnnn, I was just gettin into playin again after 3 wks of thinking about it and BAM, right in the kisser :o :s . Everything was going well, getting ready to write up the next bit on my sorcerer, even got to 9th lvl with 42 hp and an 8 CON (familiar bonus) before the Nashkel mines,a wild surge stinking weakened me, then killed me.
    I guess it went down lower than my 6 STR could take and resulted in death. Well, at least I got to see my wyvern movie again, pre cow drop (right on top of my kitty), from my use of Classic Movies. Even my cat survived THAT, for crying out loud.
    As usual, surge control first, then chaos shield on top of that. Needed to cast another surge control for safety and got wasted.

    Of all the bag over the head, punch in the mouth, kick in the guts things to happen, jeeze. :(

    Got to come up with a new idea, not sure if I am ready for the paladin thing yet though. Humanoid again maybe. Regardless, it all got me to playing BG again, needed it.

    At least I got myself up to writing again as well, after the last few rough weeks, so not all bad.

    Did I say want a load ah crap that that deal was yet? ;) B) Perhaps I woke Azathoth from his dreaming slumber for just a second, and his big dream of the universe all disappeared.

    Well, the wind is really howling like a freight train up on the mountain tonight. Hmm, makes me think of something storm related maybe. Will see.
    Will have to get my fill of chaos from Neera I reckon.
    Back to the drawing board.
    Final words: Chaos Sorcerer in this 75 total unedited stat roll, no-reload is begging for disaster, esp. with low stats that can be drained with a surge,beggin.
    ***EDIT: Two wild surges result in a -6 penalty to strength, which with a 6 str was what did me in, as a 0 stat=death.

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited July 8
    Kroll - Feralan: Trapped in Candlekeep.
    I have not lived the life of one free to go where I pleased. I was raised in this cage of stone for as long as I could remember. It has never felt right, this house of stone. I have felt the call of the wild for a long time now. The need to be among the animals and plants of the woods is strong in me. I got along better with the creatures about the keep more than the people within, especially the cats, the little hunters that they were. I do remember hunting for rodents with them when I was very little on more than one occasion. These people were not like me, no one here was. It was not just that I looked different, but my outlook was different as well. They had very little hair on them for one thing. Oh, I had heard the names cat or dog boy applies to me on more than one occasion, but to be honest, that was more of a compliment than an insult, at least to me.

    Gorion and the rest had been trying to tame my wild nature ever since I was locked away here. They didn't think of it as locking me up of course, but it felt that way to me. Gorion had said he brought me here after my mother died giving birth to me. He said she was from the east, and lived in the forests of the Dalelands. He called my kind beastmen. He said we lived in very basic treehouses, made from vines and branches, living a hunter/gatherer type of lifestyle. He called us primitive, which I later learned to mean simple. What's wrong with that I thought. He said nothing of my father. Not many knew of my kind other than Gorion, and he didn't talk about us much. I wonder if they were still there, living free and as they pleased. I think they thought to raise me like any other child, to do whatever I was told to do, to believe whatever they told me. I wanted none of it, and lashed out at them in anger, fear, and frustration many a time. Something just did not feel right about the way they wanted me to act. All of my instincts told me this was not my place, and theirs was not my way. I spent many a day looking at the forests and ocean beyond the walls. I envied the freedom of the birds in the sky and the creatures outside the walls. They had no keeper, and certainly not what felt like a leash about my neck. I was made to where so many clothes, even things on my feet. More often than than not I took them off when I could. I had a fine double layer of fur that kept me quite warm. It was olive green with a black layer underneath. When they were trying to teach me the language people spoke around there, I often made up different sounds, sometimes even different growls and gestures to go along with the words. The growls seems to make them uncomfortable for some reason, especially ol Winthrop.

    I think what surprises people most when I speak is how my fur changes appearance when I talk, or if my mood changes. My black undercoat often moves in ripples, or makes strips or spots, just as if I am using it as part of my communication. It helps me to hide as well. They learned pretty quick to know when I was mad, or was surprised, as my fur stood on end, similar to the smaller cats about the place.
    I never learned to read their language, it just seemed off somehow that they only used little scratchings to make books talk to them. I did often look at pictures in the many books though, especially ones that showed lots of animals and forests. Gorion and Camryn would read me tales of the outside world and as much as I enjoyed some of them, they only made my confinement feel worse sometimes.

    Over the years I began to feel that people mistreated the land and animals both. There were even people that hunted animals just for the thrill of killing one. If, no when, I get out of here, I will be the one that does the hunting of those that think killing is just a game. The cities I see in books seem so big. They must have to cut down so much forest and the of the homes the animals live in to make those. I learned about druids and rangers that tended to the land as it should be, and not mistreated. That is when I decided I would do the same. First I had to leave though. I had also grown to be more antagonistic to the people here. Old Ulraunt wanted me gone for good. I heard him tell Gorion more than once that he needed to throw that wild child out with the beasts where I belonged, that I would never be like one of them, never learn their culture. Pheh, like I wanted to stay anymore, anyway. At least Gorion was protective enough to say he would never do that without knowing I would be ok. Even if misguided, I guess in his own way he cared for me. But still, it was time to let me go.
    When I dreamed, I dreamed of being free in the forests, running with others like me or even hunting with other animals like wolves or the great cats. I was scared at first, as I would wake up and be back in the Keep. Gorion said they were just my minds way of thinking about things I had seen or thought about, so I got used to them after a while. I explored places in my dreams that I had seen outside the keep or in books. My curiosity to be free and explore fed my dreams even more I think. Later, I often felt a little sad when I woke, as I would only find myself in those stone walls again.
    I was told stories of magic, gods, ghosts, spirits, and all other sorts of supernatural tales. I really found any of that hard to believe. As I saw things, unless I could see, hear, smell, touch, or taste it, it was not really real. I had never really seen Gorion do any magic, even though he called himself a mage. Maybe I would one day, but until then it doesn't really matter, so who cares. The longer I stayed here the more uncomfortable with the trappings of so-called civilization I became. More often than not I was withdrawn and irritable.
    Something new is happening today, finally. Gorion came to tell me we were finally leaving this place.

    He seemed worried, but that he would explain why later. Good enough for me. Come to think of it, something seemed off with the place the last few days, I couldn't explain why, it was just a feeling. I got a few things from ol Winthrop. Winthrop was a little wary of me. It didn't take him long to realize when I was younger , that it was better not to try and take a drink or food away from me before I was finished. I think he finally understood what a low growl meant at those times. I got a few weapons that I had trained with, like darts, daggers, axes, and a stout club. I needed no armor, but I did buy a little steel cap, just for my head. I got a bandolier for my darts and a vest just to have a few pockets for things I might need or want for the journey.

    As I made one last round about the Candlekeep, I stopped to say goodbye to a few that had been kind to me, well, as kind as one can be when even they ignored my being locked up here all my life. Camryn, the elven scribe that had tried to teach me to read gave me a satchel, just in case I got in the mood to try human words again. I saw my friend Alec and Imoen, who I had known since I was little. That was about it really. The ol dwarf Reevor wanted me to kill some rats for him. I went in the barn but did nothing. Two of my cat friends were in there eyeing them already, but not bothering them. That was good enough for me, as they didn't bother me either. Oh, I did help one of Dreppin's cows that was sick. She seemed to feel better after given an herbal mixture of some sort. A couple folks gave me bottles of some sort. I gathered they were some kind of healing herbal drink.
    It was right after that I was attacked, twice even, on opposite sides of the Keep. I knew something was in the air, I knew it. For the first time in my life I had to kill others to keep from being killed myself. It seems they had been hunting me. Years of frustration came out in those fights and I had no regrets in doing so.

    I don't think they expected that, but it doesn't really matter anymore what they think. So they wanted a hunt then, so be it, I'd give them one. Survival of the fittest it would be then.

    I went to meet Gorion on the steps of the library after that, it was time to leave this cage of stone for good. As far as I am concerned, good riddance. I don't think I particularly like the idea of coming back here again, as twenty years was long enough. The forest and freedom awaits me.

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited July 16
    I put my feralan on hold for a bit. I'm playing him strictly by the book, which means that although he has 80%MR, the ONLY magic items he can use are weapons (beastmen). An option to make MR block beneficial spells as well would be welcomed to make it fit even better. We'll see which I'd rather play, heh.

    Since I seem to have a thing for shamans, and knowing myself, I already had a backup plan I had written before the beastman ranger experimental idea hit, so...

    I'm gonna see if I can properly test this SC shaman kit again, as I did with the ogre (the spiritwalker kit fit him better I think). On humanoids I sometimes have to edit a score down to it's maximum for race (like the old 1st edition rules did), but in those cases I don't raise any other score higher to compensate. As this roll had an 18 CON to begin with, but kobolds are limited to a 15, my total score ends up a 72 instead of a 75. Meh, I'll run with it. The slow gait of the kobold is the toughest to overcome anyway.

    1. Atmos - Storm Caller- A kobold in Candlekeep.

    This morning I was awakened by Gorion, long before it was time for me to get up. He said we were leaving Candlekeep on a journey. He did not say to where, and I did not bother to ask.

    Gorion , as far as I was concerned, had never been the most forthcoming with information. He had nothing to say of my father, and very little to say of my mother. The most I had ever been able to get out of him was that she was from the forests around Silverymoon. He has said that she was a friend of his for a long time. From what I had read about my people in the books in the library though, that was unusual enough as it was. Kobolds were not particularly friendly towards the big peoples of the land, and fearful of spellcasters in general. For that matter, she might not have even been my mother in the first place, as my kind are often raised by more than one in the tribe from the moment we hatch from our egg, in a communal fashion. Regardless, I suppose for a human, and a mage at that, he had been fairly kind to me, and I was grateful. I cannot say the same for the others about my home. I was treated with disdain by pretty much all about the keep, well, except for Deder, a halfling about my size. His folk were more open to being friendly to other races more than anyone else. It was he that taught me about weapons, and about the value of hiding when in danger, especially when big folk were up to no good. At about 3 feet tall, everyone was big as far as I was concerned.
    I was a bit nervous about traveling out into the big wide world, especially without the comforting walls of Candlekeep about me. Even so, I was ready to leave this place and all of these big people and their condescending ways behind me. I began to gather a few things together and to make my way around the keep one last time. I reflected on my life here, the changes that occurred in me, and most importantly, the knowledge I had learned from a visiting shaman of an Uthgardt barbarian tribe from Icewind Dale. He performed the initiation ceremony that helped me realize the nature of my powers, to truly understand the unusual way I had with spirits. Was it just chance that he happened to be delivering an ancient scroll to my home, or was their more to it than that? I did not know and perhaps I never would.
    As a young child I had been fearful of the storms that blew in from the sea.

    I would often run and hide, under my bed in my room or in a rarely visited section of the library. It was during these times that I began reading all I could about my people. We were seen as no better than rodents by these big people I was growing up around in Candlekeep. I was not the smartest, but I had enough common sense to know that given all I had read of my people was written by big peoples, not all of it could be trusted. It was all I had to go on though. I got picked on often by just about everyone around me. Other than Gorion ,only a few did not, Deder the halfling, Alec, and Camryn the elven scribe. Alec was studying to be a priest of Oghma, so perhaps the human god of knowledge made him more open to seeing me as I was, and not who everyone else saw as a little monster. Camryn was most helpful in providing me with books I might not have had access to otherwise. It was from he and Gorion that I had learned to read. I would have liked to have learned the language of my own people, but as it was, all I knew was what it sounded like. YipYak it was called by the big peoples, but as it seems no one had ever bothered to try and understand it, there was very little in books to go on.
    I knew I was different, as one could not help but notice. My skin was covered with small, very fine scales, almost as fine as hair. Both my tail and my long ears were remarked upon and tugged or stepped upon more often than I cared for. I vowed to myself that would stop one day, no matter what it took. My eyes, sensitive to the light as they were, gave me leeway to keep nighttime hours for the most part. I would often surprise both the scribes and the watchers who would pass me in the night. My eyes glowed a bright red, unmistakable in the darkness. As to the two small horns atop my head, I didn't much care for them being touched as well.

    Storms are a brewing:
    Howling Wind shares some great sounds

    As I grew older, I surprisingly became less fearful of storms. Even more surprising was that I could often predict when they would occur. I was not sure why at first, but I began to stay outside and watch the fury of the storms more often than not. There seemed to be something about them, or perhaps even in them, that I could see and others could not. The first I stayed out in thunderstorm the entire time it lasted was when I knew I was seeing something more than just a storm. I could see vaporous figures within, cavorting and dancing about in the clouds and even the lightning.

    I also noticed that before the storms began, and even after they ended, I could see the same shapes getting ready to enjoy what was to come, or what had already been. I eventually decided that storms to, must have spirits of their own, as did everything else in the world. Not many believed that, but being able to actually see it with my own eyes convinced me.
    After a while, many in the keep saw me as a harbinger of storms. They would prepare to take cover and start closing windows and doors about the keep if I started gazing intently at an overcast sky. This seemed to give me a sort of respect, but also of fear. Gorion seemed greatly concerned about my newly developing abilities. I think perhaps it did not fit neatly into his box of magic that he so greatly depended on. I just don't think he understood, but nevertheless, he did nothing to dissuade my actions of looking further into the depths of a storm.
    It was not long after I started seeing what was invisible to others that the shaman from the north came to Candlekeep. It was during one particularly powerful thunderstorm, as I was high upon an outer wall of the keep looking out over the sea, that a man approached me.

    As he stood there I could see that he too saw the spirits dancing about in the storm. At first giving me that same reviling look that most did, the moment he knew that I saw what he saw in the storm, his look softened and changed into one of surprise. A human, he went by the name Bolt-From-The-Blue, a name he told me that was given him by his tribe for his ability to call lightning out of no where. It was from this man that I learned I would always have a special way with storms, weather and particularly, with lightning. In the short time he spent at Candlekeep, he taught me more about the spirit world, and the powers we both held as Storm Callers..
    The night before he left, Candlekeep was again in the middle of a powerful thunderstom. He told me that if I truly wanted to walk with storms, to gain a connection to the Elemental Plane of Air, and to gain the power to bargain with them, I would first need to be accepted by the spirits from within. Many try apparently, but not all live. He thought I was ready though, as I had learned all I could at the time. Bolt-From-The-Blue taught me the Dance of the Storm. More than just a dance, it was both an ecstatic form of mental and spiritual preparation, as well as a self-transcendence of myself into the storm and the spirit world both.

    As we both stood high atop those walls we garnered the attention of a powerful elemental spirit. The spirit struck me with an energy that felt like it was tearing me apart, but I did not flinch, only welcomed it into my own spirit. I could see more clearly than ever into the storm and spirits that played within it.
    I do not know how long I stood there in the storm, but when it passed and I came out of my reverie, Bolt-From-The-Blue had gone. The last thing I remember him mentioning before we began the Dance, was to be careful of how far I looked into the realm of spirits and storms, as on very rare occasions we might get the attention of something we are not prepared to deal with, or even understand.
    I know not where he went, but maybe that is just the way of a Storm Caller, to come unannounced and to leave unexpectedly.
    After that, my ability to call lightning directly from the Elemental Plane of Air without a storm present, gave me something that would give those against me something to remember. I began to learn more and more of storms and spirits both. Many thought storms and lightning strikes were totally random. I learned they were not. I could read the signs in the air and in the ground, even the very activity or lack thereof by the storm spirits themselves. I had heard it mentioned more than once, that after that last big storm, a little strand of electricity would dance back and forth between my horns, both when a storm was near, and whenever I began the Dance of Storms.

    Usually when that happened, the big peoples moved away from me. To the few friends I had though, I mentioned in private that any lightning I called down would not be upon those of a friendly disposition. I saw storms and weather as unforgiving and impersonal for the most part (spirits can be tricky though), but with a little soft bargaining, the right partnership, and a little spiritual connection, it or perhaps even they, can perhaps be persuaded to provide aid and protection in return for staying out of it's role as all powerful of the land.
    As I made my way about the keep for the last time, visiting the few people I had gotten along with. Outside of the inn I was hastily given an old lamp by a young girl. For what reason I know not, as she disappeared quickly.

    I was attacked twice, both times by humans, once in the bunkhouse and once in the priests quarters. They mentioned being rewarded for my death, but in reality, I was the one to reward them with their deaths.

    No wonder Gorion had wanted to get out of Candlekeep. I don't know if he realizes that danger has already found me but I was most definitely ready to leave.

    The only non alligator like pictures of the old model kobold I could find were by Lucas Parolin. I think it's pretty awesome how he describes the use of materials in combination with describing the art. Not many do. Little dog men with non prehensile rat tails, crook legs, big ears, and that lay eggs ta boot, heh. Strange and wonderful little survivors they be for sure.

    Another he does showing the scale vs the big peoples, heh.

    Storm Caller:
    STORM CALLER: Unlike other shamans the Storm Caller focuses his attention on harnessing and mastering the powers of the storm. With their ability to conjure up terrible storms and call down lightning on their opponents these shamans make powerful foes and allies even though they are less versed in the ways of the spirit world than others of their kind.


    – May only wear leather, studded leather, and hide armor.
    – May not equip shields larger than bucklers.
    – May only use the following weapons: dagger, club, spear, axe, quarterstaff, dart, sling, and shortbow.
    – May only become Proficient (one slot) in any weapon class.
    – May only become Proficient (one slot) in any fighting style.
    – May cast druidic spells.
    – Does not automatically learn all spells of a given level as Druids do. Instead, Shamans select new spells to learn at each level, which they can cast daily without memorization.
    – Does not gain immediate access to the following number of Shaman-specific spells: Spirit Ward, Spiritual Clarity, Spirit Fire, Recall Spirit, Spiritual Lock, and Ether Gate.
    – Gains immediate access to the following Shaman-specific spell, which can be cast like any other: Writhing Fog.
    – Gains use of the Detect Illusion skill with 20% points as a base and an 4 points per level, up to a maximum of 100% at level 20.
    – A Storm Caller's 'Shamanic Dance' does not summon spirits but instead calls down lightning strikes from the elemental plane of air on his opponents.

    SHAMANIC DANCE: Storm Callers can summon lightning storms from the elemental plane of air by performing a ritualistic dance. While dancing, the Shaman takes a -4 penalty to Armor Class and cannot move, attack, cast spells, use items and special abilities, or perform any other activity. Each round while the Storm Caller dances, opponents within a 30' radius have a 12% base chance plus 2% for each level of the Shaman to be struck by lightning, up to a maximum of 50% at level 20. The lightning strikes become more powerful as the Shaman gains additional levels:
    Level 1: 2d6 electrical damage
    Level 6: 4d6 electrical damage
    Level 12: 6d6 electrical damage
    Level 18: 8d6 electrical damage
    Level 24: 10d6 electrical damage

    – Gains 'Storm Aura' as a special ability at level 12.

    STORM AURA: Once a Storm Caller has become powerful enough he can conjure up a small storm on the spirit plane which follows him around and occasionally strikes out against the Shaman's opponents on the material plane. While Storm Aura is active opponents within a 30' radius have a 5% chance each round to be struck by lightning and take 10d6 electrical damage.

    – Can not be of lawful alignment.
    – Does not gain bonus spells per day from high Wisdom.
    – May not dual-class or multi-class.
    – Ineligible for any stronghold. (This affects only the Shadows of Amn campaign in Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition.)
    – Hit Dice: d8

    The kit comes with two unique HLAs (Lightning Master: +10% Elect. Resistance +5%Elect. Dmg, can be picked 5 times. Improved Storm Aura: Hit chance increased to 20%.) which replace Globe of Blades and Aura of Flaming Death. The other HLAs are the vanilla shaman ones.

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,122
    Kobolds are great. I wish we had them as a proper race in BG.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited March 16
    ThacoBell said:

    Kobolds are great. I wish we had them as a proper race in BG.

    Yup. It would be nice to have more humanoid options. At least we have half of one in our half-orcs. Humanoids are the goto guys for the part of the boogeyman for sure. It's really nice to see a goblin NPC in SoD. I enjoyed interacting with the ogres in SoD as well. Shoot, for that matter, anytime we have the option to talk rather than only kill, it is a pleasant surprise. Without EEkeeper we'd really lose out, PC wise, heh. :)

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited March 17
    Well that didn't last long. :* Bummer.
    Lawd, I ain't having any luck with kobolds and storm callers. The lil guys need to have some dad burn hiding skill to have better chances. Perhaps another thief of sorts. Snipe did pretty well until I got to acting a little to risky with him.
    I was kinda in a funk anyway, and taking those restartitis kinda chances, if ya know what I mean.
    At least I've got my imagination flowing into words a little more lately. I went through a dry patch for a while.
    It's back to the drawing board and time for another re-think, on an unfinished run possibly. B)
    At least the gym trip was feeling strong today.

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited March 23
    (New play through challenge re-started.)
    As my last go at this a while back was interrupted by a blown hard drive and loss of the game, I am going to give it another go. I'll keep a bit of the background but change it up somewhat to get into it again.Mainly it helps me see and keep the flow of the story better, and my imagination.
    So with that out of the way. "Back oh ye gibberlings of Restartitis, back to the realm of confusion from which you emanate." B)
    1. Lazarus - Alchemist of Candlekeep

    Lazarus's Workshop
    Please knock before entering
    and close door behind you
    Experimentation in progress

    I posted that sign on the door to an unused part of the basement just under the outer edge the library.
    A young man of not so many years, but advanced for my age in the art of alchemy, or so I am told by the monks in the great fortress library of Candlekeep. I am interested in magic as well but it is second to my more important work in discovering new and useful concoctions (well to me anyway). One day I hope even to find the right mixture to cheat even death itself.
    Alchemists are mages who dedicate their lives to the study of chemistry and potion making. Some use their talents to sell potions and tonics, some turn their skills to adventuring, and others are motivated solely by the pursuit of truth. Alchemists are always searching for new ingredients to fuel their businesses and laboratories, and when the local economy falls short of their expectations, the Alchemist must set out on foot. Alchemists excel at making valuable brews and dangerous explosives out of whatever ingredients they can cobble together.


    Alchemical Genius:
    - Can create potions and grenades at any time outside combat. Alchemists get additional benefits from their own potions.
    - Can use Poison Weapon once per day at level 1. Gains an additional use of Poison Weapon every 4 levels after.

    Alchemical Resilience:
    - Immunity to poison
    - 10% acid resistance per level
    - 5% fire resistance per level
    - Gains 1d6 hit points per level
    - +1 to save vs. death and polymorph every 3 levels

    - Can memorize 1 fewer spell per spell level compared to a generalist mage (an Alchemist cannot cast spells until level 2)
    - -1 penalty to casting time
    - -2 penalty to caster level
    - Cannot gain most normal mage High-Level Abilities

    CONCOCTIONS: Given the right ingredients, an Alchemist can concoct any manner of potions and brews. The process is similar to purchasing goods at a store, but the Alchemist can manage ingredients much more efficiently, making his or her concoctions much less expensive than a conventional apothecary's.

    More experienced Alchemists can brew a broader variety of potions and manufacture stronger explosives. There is no limit on how many potions and grenades an Alchemist can create, provided he or she has the resources to make them.

    POISON WEAPON: The same skills the Alchemist uses to create potions to soothe pain can also be used to inflict it. The Alchemist can apply a thin coating of poison to a weapon, directly injecting the toxin into the victim's bloodstream. Multiple strikes can further poison the target, but only one dose of poison can be applied to the weapon. Alchemists can develop deadlier poisons as they become more experienced.

    For the next 2 rounds after using this ability, any creature the Alchemist attacks must make a saving throw or suffer poison damage for the next 5 rounds. The effects stack and vary based on level:

    Level 1: 1d2 poison damage, plus 1 damage per round on a failed save vs. death at +4.
    Level 4: 1d3 poison damage, plus 2 damage per round on a failed save vs. death at +3.
    Level 7: 1d4 poison damage, plus 3 damage per round on a failed save vs. death at +2.
    Level 10: 1d6 poison damage, plus 4 damage per round on a failed save vs. death at +1.
    Level 13: 1d8 poison damage, plus 5 damage per round on a failed save vs. death.
    Level 16: 1d10 poison damage, plus 6 damage per round on a failed save vs. death at -1.
    Level 19: 1d12 poison damage, plus 6 damage per round on a failed save vs. death at -2.

    The poison cannot be applied to a grenade.

    High-Level Abilities:
    - Use Any Item
    - Regeneration
    - Resist Magic
    - Purity of Body
    - Business Connections
    - Extra Level 6 Spell
    - Extra Level 7 Spell
    - Extra Level 8 Spell

    - Hit Die: d6

    I cleaned the little room up and adapted it to my purposes. Old book storage it was used for in the past, for minor material having already been copied by the scribes above and deemed no longer of worth, or that were not able to be deciphered and deemed useless to the main collection above. I kept the stranger looking books and chucked out the mundane. Gorion had arranged for me to have a secluded spot for my 'dabbling' as he called it. I had made quite the setup over the years and was proud of my little room that I spent as much time as possible, when not doing more mundane chores.

    It had a little window that was about ground level to the outside. Good for ventilation as my work developed a little fume and smoke at times.
    Well, accidents do happen. I may not always make the best choices but I learn from every mistake and attempt to improve upon it.

    I often got a chuckle as a face would peer through the bars of the window and I would hear coughing. Heh, guess I was just used to all that and was developing an immunity of sorts after working with so many different and often hazardous materials.

    The scribes say I mix the best inks and colors for their work of endless recording and cataloging. I was not the best with people, preferring my workshop to the company of others. The apothecary I visited quite often, looking for ingredients and such to work with. For my inks and such I got a little allowance and the right to get whatever I needed at the time. The monk that ran it gave me some of my first lessons on mixing herbs and whatnot, so was used to seeing me around.

    I also learned pottery and glass blowing from the monks, which helped me develop and improve upon my lab and containers for various brews. Everyone has said at one time or another that I don't have the willpower to really push myself and learn. I suppose there is some truth to that in more mundane things but when it comes to alchemy I put everything I have into it. It doesn't hurt that I learn fast.

    So far I had quite a few concoctions that I had developed and meticulously recorded in my books.
    One of the first things I learned was that even the waste products I had left over could be useful in their own way.
    Waste sludge:

    A grenade I developed with some nice little pottery containers. The ground outside the keep has a few scorch marks where I have tried them out. The watchers had gotten a bit worried about that and ended up digging a little pit for me outside and away from the base of the keep walls that I could use for a testing area. Whenever they heard "Fire in the Hole", they got used to covering there ears around that part of the wall. The two resident dwarfs, Reevor and Arkanis, thought it was pretty interesting though.

    A special perfume ( helpful as I was not the most pleasant smelling to others at times (I guess, from the wrinkled noses I often saw):

    A special rainwater brew:

    A smoke bomb( I was really proud of this one):

    A sweet elixer:

    And my latest discovery, Bonemeal Eyedrops: (this one took a little discretion on my part for ingredients but everything was fair game as far as I was concerned in the search for knowledge.

    I have been having unusual dreams of late. Dreams of distant lands, different people with strange styles of clothing, of monstrosities so alien in appearance that when I wake in a sweat, I'm ready to flee or fight. Sometimes it seems like I hear my name being called, like a whisper in the wind.
    They started after I had been sorting out some old books left in my lab, ones not deemed necessary, or in good enough shape to read everything. I started reading as much as I could of them, or least what I decipher from their condition.

    Cultes des Goules: a book on the uses of the dead. Hmm, this is interesting as I just started using the eyeballs from birds of prey in one of my concoctions. I was beginning to think there may be something to this necromantic type of magic.

    On the Sending Out of the Soul:The first seven pages of the pamphlet contain vague mystic writing; however, the eighth page details a formula for effecting astral travel. Among the required ingredients are a brazier and the plant c. inidca(?). The formula is always successful but has an unforeseen side effect (could not make this out).
    Thesaurus Chemicus: Some most interesting ideas regarding alchemical formulae.

    A book entitled the Necronomicon, by Abdul Alhazred: This book was probably in the worst shape of any of them but it had some very interesting parts that were still intact.

    It mentioned group of Outer Deities, once worshiped before humankind, but pushed back into another plane by the Elder Gods of Toril. Many seek a way back, and a few are even partially trapped there and in this world at the same time.
    The one that caught my attention most was Yog-Sothoth, a being that transcends all time and space but is still partial blocked from fully being here on Toril. It is said he offers knowledge of all kind to those willing to help him break the great seal left by the Elder Gods.

    One passage read: Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread (HPL).

    The last book I found, and perhaps the most interesting of all, De Vermis Mysteriis.

    It was written by Ludvig Prinn, who appeared to be an alchemist and necromancer,. In it he wrote of many discoveries in his travels about the land. He mentioned he'd had contact with beings from other planes of existence, such as djinn. From what I gathered, it was written quite some time ago. He had found what he thought was perhaps a recipe for the elusive Elixir of Life. His wording was a little strange, but I managed to read it.
    "The essential Saltes of Animals may be so prepared and preserved, that an ingenious Man may have the whole collection of man and beast in his own Studie, and raise the fine Shape of an Animal out of its Ashes at his Pleasure; and by the lyke Method from the essential Saltes of humane Dust, a Philosopher may, without any criminal Necromancy, call up the Shape of any dead Ancestour from the Dust whereinto his Bodie has been incinerated."(HPL)
    Criminal? Not if it advanced the art of alchemy and science. Unfortunately the actual formula itself had been erased somehow, like many others were. But the ideas behind the discoveries were good enough to begin with. I would most certainly like to continue that experiment. No one had the right to stop my work and learning.
    There were various other things of interest as well: " something that told you how you could compound aconite and belladonna and draw circles of phosphorescent fire on the floor when the stars were right. Something that spoke of melting tallow candles and blending them with corpse-fat, whispered of the uses to which animal sacrifices might be put. It spoke of meetings that could be arranged with various parties most people don't...even believe in...[with] cold deliberate directions for traffic with ancient evil...."(RB)

    Yes! It contained a phrase that could summon Yog Sothoth, of whom I read about in the Necronomicon. I decided I would try it that night in my workshop.

    As I spoke the words my head began to ache, and the ache became an almost unbearable pain. It felt like a hand had wrapped itself around my mind and was rearranging it with some sharp instrument. What happened next it is even now hard to recall. A swirling pattern of lights appeared in the workshop, as if a gateway of sorts was forming. A figure appeared, vague and hard to make out it's features.

    In a voice that was a harsh whisper, that tugged at my very sanity, it spoke:
    " I am Umr at-Tawil, you are not yet ready to see my true form. I know of what you seek, and many other mysteries as well, for I exist in the past, present, and future, all at once, and in may places at the same time. Learn your chosen craft well and you shall be rewarded, in time. Do not presume to call upon me again unless you are given the call. To do otherwise, before you are ready, could mean your end."
    With that, he disappeared. Yes, I thought, finally my path is to knowledge might be long, but I shall learn more secrets than I ever thought possible. Discipline will be rewarded with study, and study will allow me to hear the call again.

    Morning has come at last. As usual I got up and went about my more mundane chores until Gorion came hurrying up to me.
    "Prepare your self young Lazarus, we leave this place today. Gather your things and meet me at the steps of the library"
    He would not say as to where we were going but would figure it out on the way,

    Gorion noticed I seemed somewhat 'off' and told me I shouldn't have spent so much time in my lab room. He thought the noxious fumes were getting to my eyes, giving me a rather peculiar appearance.

    I often had a peculiar odor as well, being in my lab most of the time, "Boy, you stink worse than a threatened skunk that has dined on stink weed sometimes". Guess I just didn't notice anymore, or enjoyed it, one.
    Well, it doesn't bother me and I can see just fine (even though I get some startled looks at times, heh). Just the price of progress I suppose.

    I made my final rounds of the keep, said a few goodbyes, to Imoen, who wanted to come with me, to Alec, who was studying with the priest of Oghma, a god of knowledge (pheh!). One of the monks, Camryn, gave me a special book bag, unusual in that it could hold much more than it appeared to. He knew I collected books on various subjects and thought it would be of use.
    I asked Reevor to watch after my pet ferret, Igor. He said not to worry, there was plenty of work for him to earn his keep by catching rats in the barn. I shall miss that little critter. He had become a constant companion in my lab. He seemed to find great interest in sniffing my different concoctions. Maybe one day soon I would find another.
    I was attacked as I made my way around the grounds of the keep. Two men had weaseled their way into Candlekeep with the idea of collecting a bounty that had been put on my head. They did not say why, and I gave them no chance to collect upon it. I burned both with some of my leftover sludge mixture, made for just such an occasion. The bottles I had made broke just as I thought they would, splashing and eating away at both of them, right down to the bone. No one stops my research, no one.

    The place was dangerous, and to be honest, it was high time to leave. Someone wanted me dead and I did not care to oblige them.
    I gathered all my notebooks, old books, and as many bottles and 'tools' as I could safely stash in the bag. I would miss my little lab, but I shall endeavor to set up another somewhere. A couple of travelers to the keep greeted me as I was leaving, Gregor and his charge, a young girl name Rijali. She handed me an old brass lamp as they passed and said she had another.

    It couldn't hurt to have it for the nights I would spend studying.
    Time to go.


    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited July 19
    Not a bad run in the making, but mannn, restartitis has hit again. Like the bards, I think I can be happy with the alchemist being an NPC. All the mages have the dex needed for the class. I enjoy shaman and sorcerer picking spells to fit with a character idea (divine worship or cult sorcerer), as well as having all spells available for use. It feels weird now whenever I don't have that style of spell use.
    Running an old attempt again, as it fits the ideas that came to me (just plain ol 'human'? this time). Like my last, this will have some similar background and experiences to start with. I'll be working in some voluntary non-use of a few items to fit background. Still going with standard rules that I enjoy.
    - You must use a non-edited roll of 75
    - You can re-roll as many times as you like
    - You may not min/max any stats or edit any abilities at all
    - You may not resurrect any party members
    - Core rules
    - No reloading
    - Random HP's
    - Random Chances To Learn Spells
    - Weather and Gore On

    Roll I went with:

    1. Khammoz: The Dreamlands & Candlekeep.

    Gorion has just awakened me unexpectedly during the middle of the day, interrupting my dream, a dream that upon waking, had me noticing a book beside me I had never seen except in my dream. I have always reserved some time about noon to take a short nap, trying to gather enough strength just to continue the day and visit my dreams. He knows that by now after 20 years. He also knows that to awaken me like that is not always the safest, as it takes me a few seconds to realize where I really am. Today though, we are to leave Candlekeep as soon as I can ready myself.

    I instinctively grabbed one of my hooded robes, with a dark, deep purple color to it, to feel hidden both within myself and my thoughts.
    He was clearly agitated and did not say as to why we were leaving. I am to make my last rounds of the keep and buy whatever supplies I might need with the gold he has given me. It figures he would wake me in middle of one of my most enlightening journeys to the Dreamlands ever. As I began to pack, I took the book that was given to me in my most recent dream, although I didn't understand how it could have come back with me from a dream. My head hurt though, more than normally, like some invisible hand was inside there moving things around. I thought back on some of what I had been through and had just learned, to get where I am today.
    As far as I know, according to Gorion, my mother was a friend of his that died while giving birth to me. He did say said she was from near a place to the north called Silverymoon. He never mentioned my father at all, and whenever I asked, he just looked off into the distance, and then would turn away from me. Even before I began to read I would look at the pictures of different places contained within the thousands of books in the library. One of the elven scribes, Camryn, was always more than happy to show me pictures of where Gorion had said I was from. I looked like nothing in the pictures at all.
    "Your just human, like everybody else", Gorion would say. Some of the other people in the keep would be a little less, reserved, in their opinions.

    "Boy, your the ugliest kid I ever saw in my whole life." I heard that more than once, from more than one person.

    When I was about ten, I started having the dreams.
    Gorion became concerned about this when I brought up what I was dreaming about, but did not offer up much in the way of an explanation. I decided that I would have to find that out for myself. As I could read now, I started looking through as many books as I could about what I saw when sleeping. My dreams, disturbing as they were, weighed heavily on my mind before I went to sleep.

    Time passes.
    I found my dreams were not like what I heard others about the keep talk about when describing their own dreams. I found myself going to the same place, over and over again. The place seemed like one huge never ending cemetery, covered with passageways, rooms, and crypts of varying sizes.

    It was vaguely lit by glowing fungi and phosphorescent algae in a multitude of colors.

    The place appeared to be in a massive cavern complex with hundreds of rough hewn tunnels leading to where, I know not. The tunnels and many of the rooms under the mounds were lined with various human like bones and skulls, thousands and thousands of them.

    I would see stone statues of creatures I had never seen before, but at the same time, some seemed somewhat familiar. Even in all the books I had looked through in the great library of Candlekeep, alot of what I saw was not in them.
    I could feel I was always being watched. I heard voices speaking, in a language I knew not; weird sorts of gibbering, lisping like noises that seemed to come from all around, but from nothing that I could see.
    When I first started to dream of this place I felt something pushing me away from some of the larger gated crypt entrances. As time passed and I grew more familiar with the dreams, I found I could begin to make out some of the language. It seemed to me that I was being discussed in some fashion, at least that's what my instincts told me. I began to refer to the place as the Dreamlands.

    Time passes.
    My dreams continue to evolve. I was exploring the endless cemetery one night in my dreams and came upon a disturbing sight.

    Several humanoid, somewhat canine like creatures, with pale rubbery looking skin, had lifted the top off a grave site and were eating the corpse within, human by the look of it. From the smell, dead for some days. The creatures saw me but did not seem to care. One of them later held up what looked like a femur bone in my direction, the flesh half chewed off, the rest covered in, well, it seemed to be crawling with something.

    "Sssome?" It said, in that strange language I had been hearing.

    I didn't understand what he/it, wanted of me. My reaction to the whole thing woke me, covered in a cold sweat. I was disgusted by what I had seen, at least at first. The most interesting, if disturbing part to me of the whole experience was, that after I woke I could still smell that awful stench of death emanating from the corpse. For just the briefest moment, I seemed to forget all about my sickness, feeling stronger. It quickly passed, however, and my weakness returned. What-and who-am-I ???
    I tried not to dream as hard as I could, as I was wrestling with the potential meaning of it all, but found myself back in that place every night. I also found myself drawn to the building in Candlekeep where they cared for the injured and very ill. I did what I could to aid the priest in caring for the dying. It was mainly my interest in knowing what those facing death were feeling and thinking. There was talk from the priests of the power to raise someone from the dead, but it seemed that was only done on a very rare occasion indeed, and not without possible consequences. I gathered their gods were not very keen on the idea. It kinda made sense to me, as life and death were both as natural as anything else, but, I did not want to die. I often helped what little I could when it came to burial.

    For some reason I noticed myself not as weak as usual during those times. After a while I was asked to leave those duties to others. It seemed that my fascination with death, an ability to sniff out decaying flesh, combined with my appearance and odd questions, made people uneasy. Well, that and the fact that I was often heard talking to the deceased at the grave sites. At least the dead made better conversation partners. They never mentioned my appearance, and always let me talk about whatever I wanted, and for ever how long I wanted.

    Time passes.
    My sickness grows, now even my skin seems to be drying out and becoming tough, giving me skin that looks closer to one that's died. Sometimes I get nosebleeds that are hard to stop. I often find it difficult to eat, the smell of food itself often making me sick. What is happening to me?
    I decided then that if there was an answer, maybe my dreams would be the place to look. The creatures I saw in them... I can almost start to see something of me in them.
    Then, a dream comes to explain some of my questions, but at the same time to raise more. I found myself again in that cemetery in the Dreamlands, and the creatures I had seen many times before now seemed to want to approach me. One in particular, the one that had held up the leg bone to me before, cautiously walked up to me, in that hunched over like gate they walk with. I didn't move a muscle for fear he might hurt me. As he got right up to me he took a deep breath in through his nostrils and sniffed at my face. He had another bone with him, half cracked open with just the barest amount of flesh still on it. They were always eating here, and as far as I could tell, it was always bones or flesh from humans dead for some time.

    He laid it down at my feet, and as he did I could smell the decay, another human, dead for some time it seemed. As he began to leave again I pushed the bone away, disgusted, and as I did he turned and looked back at me.

    "You sssick. Mussst eat if him want to getsss better."

    With that he left. What he suggested both horrified me and gave me hope at the same time. I sat down and leaned back against one of the crypts, just staring at that bone he left. The smell of it made me feel...stronger, I think. When I could stand it no more I picked up the bone and took a deep breath in. The smell was almost intoxicating and I felt compelled to try it. It felt as if I was watching myself do what came next. I closed my eyes and gently touched my tongue to it. All of a sudden I found myself almost forgetting even to breath. A surge of strength ran through me so fast it seemed like I had been struck by lightning. I just about forgot my sickness altogether. With my strength returned I cracked open the bone even further to get at the decaying marrow within. The scent of that piece of half rotten bone was too much to ignore. After I had finished, I slumped back against the cool stone of the crypt, both satiated and disturbed, and fell asleep, within my dream itself. I could then even see myself sleeping there, and then nothing at all.

    When I woke I was still in the Dreamlands, just as I had been. There was a musty old book propped up against my side. It appeared to be bound in human flesh and hinged with carved human bones for it's spine, and was titled The Ghoul's Manuscript. I started to leaf though it and although the light of the phosphorescence fungi was not quite bright enough, I found I could make it out well enough to read it. The script was barely legible, written in a script I had never seen before. It spoke of creatures called ghouls, a place called Midian, being cursed by Elder Gods, the Dreamlands, and a being they worshiped called Mordiggian, an impersonal force akin to the elements, a consuming and cleansing power, like fire, but represented death. According to the book, he was possibly one of the oldest entities in existence, and one of the Great Old Ones, whoever they were. From what I had read about ghouls in the library of Candlekeep, no one really seemed to understand them at all, given the knowledge this book seemed to impart to me. I saw pictures in the book that I was not yet really able to understand what was going on.

    Some kind of ritual? Purple robes? Huh. I wanted to read more but I started to hear my name being called, and felt myself being shaken, but no one was around. I felt myself being pulled back into the waking world of Candlekeep. I woke to Gorion calling my name and shaking me awake.
    I finally drifted back into the present again.

    While making my final trip around the keep, two fools attacked me, and considering what they said to me, someone wants me dead.

    After that, I decided I'd better get to Gorion at the library steps so we could be on our way. On my way I happened upon Imoen, who approached me in one of her 'I know something you don't' little moods.

    "I'm surprised that stuffy ol' Gorion let you away from your studies and chores. That ol' fiddle faddle. I snuck off too. Old Puffguts Winthrop was looking for me, but I've got all day to do his chores. You have time for a story today? No, I can tell you don't. What have ya been up to?

    "I am sorry child, but I am not to tell anyone what I am doing. You should not tarry about either. Winthrop will want all the beds turned down after you are done in the stables." I really didn't need this girl following me around today.

    "Child? You are only a few seasons older. Hmph! I didn't care where you were off to anyway. Nope. Not at all. You just run along on your little errand." Yeah right, my little 'errand' as she had called it had already resulted in two people trying to kill me today.

    I clutched at The Ghoul's Manuscript under my robe to make sure it was still there. Knowledge indeed.
    It was just now that I began to realize after that last dream, this waking world seemed less real than that of the Dreamlands. Having to defend myself against those two left me feeling, I'm not sure, numb maybe, about the whole event. I suppose it's no wonder he had been agitated and wanting us to leave. I hope he has a good plan as to where we are going. He mentioned heading to the Friendly Arm Inn if we got separated. We left a little before nightfall, a time I had become very comfortable walking about in. My eyes seemed to adjust to darkness faster then most. Even after the attempts on my life, all I could think of was how much I wanted to get back to the Dreamlands. I also needed much more time to read more of The Ghoul's Manuscript, but as to having the time to do so, we didn't seem to have at the moment.

    PALE MASTER: Necromancy is usually a poor choice for arcane spellcasters -- those who really want to master the deathless arts almost always pursue divine means. However, an alternative exists for those who desire power over undead but refuse to give up their arcane craft completely. Enter the pale master, who draws on a font of special lore that provides a macabre power all its own.

    - 1st level: Gains Boneskin.

    BONESKIN: The pale master's tough, cadaverous flesh gives them a +1 to AC (+2 at 7th, +3 at 13th).

    - 2nd level: May use Animate Dead once per day.

    ANIMATE DEAD: As per the mage and cleric spell, summons an allied skeleton warrior to serve the caster.

    - 3rd level: Gains Deathless Vigor.

    DEATHLESS VIGOR: The pale master’s body becomes more akin to the undying flesh of his undead associates. Gains infravision, immunity to sleep and +1 to saves vs. death (+2 at 8th, +3 at 13th).

    - 6th level: The pale master gives in to terrible necrophiliac urges. He cuts off his arm and replaces it with an undead prosthetic, which may be skeletal in form or preserved flesh stitched in place like that of a flesh golem. May use Undead Graft twice per day.

    UNDEAD GRAFT: The pale master touches a target with a ghoulish hand. Target must save vs. death or be held for 5 rounds.

    - 10th level: Undead Graft saving throw at -1.
    - 12th level: Gains Tough as Bone.

    TOUGH AS BONE: The pale master becomes more and more like one of the implacable undead. Immunity to hold, stun and poison.

    - 14th level: Undead Graft saving throw at -2.
    - 15th level: May use Create Skeleton Abomination once per day.

    CREATE SKELETON ABOMINATION: Summons a powerful skeleton abomination to serve the caster for 2 hours.

    - 16th level: The pale master's touch becomes deadly and can instantly kill a target. May use Deathless Master's Touch twice per day.

    DEATHLESS MASTER'S TOUCH: The pale master touches a target with a life-snuffing hand. Target must save vs. death with a -3 penalty or die instantly.

    - 18th level: Undead Graft saving throw at -3.
    - 20th level: Gains Deathless Mastery.

    DEATHLESS MASTERY: The pale masters are practically undead creatures themselves. Immunity to death magic and level drain.

    - Hit Die: d6

    - May cast one fewer spell of each level per day.
    - Alignment restricted to non-good.
    - Incurs a -2 penalty to Charisma.

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited July 19
    2. Khammoz - The Hunted

    We left Candlekeep right before nightfall.

    "If we ever become separated, head for the Friendly Arm Inn. There you will find Khalid and Jaheira. They have long been my friends and will help however they can".

    I had been trying to read a little more of The Ghoul's Manuscript when I heard Gorion calling for me to hurry up. It was getting too dark to read that rough script anyway. We approached the old stone circle, lit by moonlight.
    Gorion had stopped suddenly, and just as we did I noticed figures in the moonlight.
    "Prepare yourself child, we are in an ambush."

    A rather dangerous looking fellow in ornate full plate armor, and a helmet that looked like the maw of some great toothy beast appeared. he was followed by two huge ogres, a couple of archers, and another smaller figure in armor that did not reflect the light of the moon.

    "You're perceptive for an old man. You know why I am here. Hand over your ward and no one will be hurt. If you resist it shall be a waste of your life."

    "You are a fool if you think I'll trust your benevolence. Step aside, and you and your lackeys will be unhurt.

    "I'm sorry that you feel that way old man."

    Gorion turned to where I was standing at his side.

    "Run child! Get out of here!"

    I am not sure why I did, but I did, and as fast as my sickened body would allow. I could hear the crack and boom of lightning and fireball behind me. Gorion was fighting them. Given the screams I heard, killing them as well. Just as I had reached the woods I heard Gorion call out in pain, and then an ominous laugh. I heard nothing after that and I just hid, not moving, until morning came.

    As the sun rose I began to make it to the road to Candlekeep not far off. Gorion had been leading us cross country before, but that had not exactly worked out for us. As I approached the road I was greeted by Imoen.
    "Heya, It's me, Imoen!"
    She had always thought herself some great adventurer but was in reality no more experienced than myself.

    She must have snuck out after us and followed. I told her I did not want her around , but she insisted in going back to Candlekeep with me. I had to hear for myself as to whether they would let me back in. They had rather strict rules regarding that. One had to have an extremely rare book to gain entrance. There was no way I would offer The Ghoul's Manuscript to them.
    When we made it back to Candlekeep it was just as I had expected, no entry. The keeper of the gate did offer me a little gold though. I asked if they would take Imoen back in. They said they would but she insisted on following me to wherever anyway. That figures, as they never liked me anyway. So be it then. I wanted to make my way back to Gorion and give him a proper burial. If it had been anyone else I might not have bothered.
    He had a letter on him penned from someone only signed as E. It mentioned two of Gorion's friends located at the Friendly Arm Inn that might be willing to help. I had no where else to go so we set out for there at once. We met a wolf and gibberling that tried to kill us, but made it past with out any other incidents. Well, there was some old man that accosted me, asking about my mental state. I didn't trust him so we moved on, eventually reaching the Inn. Right before we got there though I once tried to clean the little brass lamp I was given, and when I did a scantily clad, quite beautiful woman appeared, seemingly from inside the lamp. She thought at first I was someone named Rjali, but then said I was her new owner. She was a dijinn and had been tied to the lamp by a necromancer in the far past. She did not talk long before disappearing back into the lamp but seemed quite friendly. Regardless, I was stuck with this cursed lamp.

    Just as we had passed through the gate some girl picked my pocket and got away before I could catch her. She looked familiar but I could not quite place her. Of course Imoen had something to say about it.

    Yeah right Imoen, call me a weirdo yet again. I need to drop that girl off somewhere soon. Right after the pickpocket, I noticed a warrior training with her spear over in the corner. As I might need the protection, I introduced myself and she did indeed agree to join me. Ishlilka she called herself, and a hunter of mages. I did not really consider myself a mage but we sure drew upon the same arcane forces. I would have to be careful around her, but decided to take the chance regardless.

    As we approached the entrance to the main inn, a man asked me where I was from and who I was. I did not tell him where I was from but he seemed to know me regardless as he attacked us. Between the three of us we put him down for good. This particular hunter of men even had a bounty letter offering a reward for my death. Now I know I am hunted, from the inside of Candlekeep until now. I would have to be on the lookout, as I would imagine there are probably more of them.

    Inside the inn I met Jaheira and Khalid, waiting for me apparently. Jaheira was particularly rude in her introduction, so I to forego any aid from them at this time.

    I met a dwarf upstairs that reminded me of the abuse I suffered back at Candlekeep growing up. Everyone has just got to make a comment.I long to be alone for a while.

    We left the inn after that, deciding to follow a lead on some problems down south in Nashkel having to do with brittle iron. Seemed a good enough place to head to next, given the number of bounty hunters and killers after me here. Right before the next town we came across a caravan, looted, and everyone killed. We rested there for the night, and while we did, I kept smelling the dead folks near the caravan. It was almost too much to bear, my desire to taste what I had in my dream. I was still not comfortable with that idea, and as weak as I felt from our travel, just decided to go to sleep, wrapped in the solace of my robe, the look on my face hidden from the others.

    We stopped on the way in Beregost for a short rest and a visit to the armorer. I was also pick pocketed again, and it looked like the same girl as before. Again, she was too quick to catch.

    In town, and at the temple there, we heard a number of rumors, from a great mage to the west, madmen with rewards for there capture, and basilisks to the east. The last I only heard because I by chance bought a scroll that returned stone to flesh at the local temple. We ran into a woman that had been turned to stone by basilisks. She was grateful enough to tell us where they were but had no interest in going with us. I might have checked that out but decided to head to Nashkel first to, if nothing else, drop Imoen off. She did not need the risk of my assassins killing her as well. Before we left the area we visited the mage nearby, Thalantyr, and bought a protective bag for potion bottles and a scroll that would allow me to summon a special helper for myself, a familiar. In preparation for the spell I wanted to be alone, so decided to wait a while before using the scroll.
    We made it to Nashkel safely.

    Unfortunately, so had my persistent little pick pocket, getting away again as usual. I was starting to get tired of that. I also heard a man cry out by the bridge just before he died. He mentioned being poisoned by someone named Seniyad, from whom he had stolen some special herbs from. Well, they were my herbs now, perhaps one could be made to help with my sickness.

    Just as we approached the bridge going into town, it seemed as if I saw a movement over next to one of the farmhouses that seemed, unusual.

    We found no sign of what I had seen earlier by that farmhouse. We did however find the local herbalist, She could indeed make quite a few things from the herbs I found. I had told her that normal healing potions were not really effective on me, so she made a special gel that felt cool on my dry,tough skin. and would close up a wound, much better than those typical healing potions I had been given in the past.

    We heard of a faire nearby and decided to check out what they had to offer, including I thought, a place to drop off Imoen. They had a few merchants with some interesting items that were of use to me, and after I finished with them, dropped off Imoen near a gaming tent. I am sure she could find something interesting to do there. I ended up leaving Ishlilka there as well, as I wanted to be alone for a while. I went to sleep that night under a large evergreen tree, and had a dream of a type I'd never had before. This was not The Dreamlands, but something else. After my dreams growing up, this one, though different, was not really that disturbing. It did however make me wonder on the power of dreams, my dreams at least.

    When I woke I went back to Nashkel to see what information I could dig up. I found there was a bounty out on a couple of townsfolk (not me), a mother morning the grave robbing of her daughter, and a story about ghosts that had been in town for a long, long time. The ghosts I found near a bridge. They were eager to talk to me as everyone else usually avoided them. They had drowned trying to help each other long ago and could not escape reliving that over and over again, cursed with never being able to be with each other again. I managed to help them reunite with each other and depart Nashkel for good. They rewarded me with a little magic stone of protection. I don't really know why anyone could not help them before. They were scared of the condition of un-death I suppose.
    My sickness is getting almost unbearable, I barely eat and am feeling weaker by the day. I must try something, anything. Even the herbalist Juoma has not been able to help me. I know what I have to do, as disturbing as the idea sounds to me. I say disturbing but a part of me wants to try, especially now as my ability to concentrate is getting harder and harder. I headed back up just north of Beregost, where I had found that caravan off the road a little distance into the woods, looted, with the people killed.
    On the way there I was attacked by two kobolds on the road. I killed one with a well thrown dagger. As the other approached I realized I had no time to throw another and just held up my held, wishing that he would stop. The next thing I knew a small dark ray of energy flew from my hand to the kobold. When it hit him he seemed to wither away, while at the same time I felt a little stronger. The feeling did not last long but was something I did not know I could do. I wonder if that last dream at the faire had anything to do with it.
    I made it back to the caravan after that.

    It was still there untouched. Some crows were picking at the bodies, the stench of death still quite strong in the air. As I was very tired and weak from the journey I made a little spot to lay down under part of the wagon. As I laid there contemplating what to do, I noticed the smell of death and decay in the air was having an intoxicating like effect on me, just as it did in The Dreamlands. Eventually I decided to read the scroll that would summon a familiar. I didn't know what would come to me, as I had no real control over it as far as I know. After I cast the spell I started waiting for something to show, but nothing did. After a little more time past I fell asleep, and started my journey into The Dreamlands again.

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited July 19
    3. Khammoz: Heritage, Health and a Test.

    It was almost a relief to be back in the familiar territory of The Dreamlands. The waking world has proven to be even more dangerous than I had ever thought. Over time I had become much better at navigating this land within my dreams, I had learned the language spoken there from my constant immersion in the place and from being among it's inhabitants for so long now. One thing I had never gotten better at, and that was feeling better. I felt as weak and sick here as I did in the waking world, well, except for that one time. This time I decided to make the best of the opportunity and read more of The Ghoul's Manuscript.

    I find it interesting that the book travels with me to and from the waking world. It almost seems as if I have been entrusted with it as a loan and it is tied to this place. Was this really just a dream? I found a smaller cavern off the main area that seemed to have more light than most, as well as a small stream flowing through it.

    I could hear what I know now as ghouls speaking with each other from various directions. As they had never harmed me in the past I did not pay them too much attention. They would come to me on their own if they desired to do so, without any prompting from me. Occasionally one would approach me, as in the past, but after what appeared to be a 'sniffing' of me, would lope off again. What was it they saw or smelled in me?
    The Ghoul's Manuscript was a wealth of knowledge about their whole existence. It had several sections and various drawings throughout:
    -"The Beginning of Days" - the Ghoul "creation myth", described their fall from grace in the Garden of Midian.
    -The nature and worship of Mordiggian.
    -A most surprising section that serves as a sort of "sacred cook book" for the preparation of the dead for consumption, including the ideal conditions, times, and places for performing the ghouls' elaborate ceremonial feasts.
    I read that at one time, ghouls were a race very much like humans, and lived in a land of paradise, called Midian, watched loosely over by their Elder God creators. In 'The Beginning of Days', as it is called now, a great dragon visited the the ghouls in their paradise, and taught them the powers of black magic and necromancy. He also taught them of the older, Outer Gods, and Great Old Ones to worship. When the Elder Gods discovered this, they rose up and slew the great dragon, or at least they thought. It was vaguely rumored that perhaps he lay sleeping somewhere, and not dead. They punished the ghouls by changing the very essence of their beings, and hurling them from their paradise down to the earthly world of Toril, in a scene that resembled hundreds of falling stars filling the night sky. It was there that the ghouls found another place to live, deep under the earth in a place unreachable except through the dreams of one descended from the original ghouls, or from under a grave itself (huh). It was accessible by hundreds, if not thousands of these tunnels, leading to every grave in which a human was buried.

    Only ghouls could see these openings, and only ghouls could pass through, by the power of Mordiggian. It was here that the ghouls were found by Mordiggian, who continued to instruct them in the powers of necromancy. They show their defiance to the Elder Gods through the corruption of human flesh, as they themselves became corrupted, and await the day that they might rise up in rebellion against the Elder Gods to reclaim Midian.

    Mordiggian is akin to the elements, just as the air, earth, fire, and water, but he is death itself. It is unknown even to the ghouls how old he is, some say as almost as old as life. It is the dead flesh left after life ends that concerns Mordiggian. He pays little heed to the living, unless they get in his way of claiming the dead. Once Mordiggian engulfs a body, it is gone forever. He is served by the cult of Mordiggian, a select group of ghoul priests, sorcerers, and necromancers, that through the power of Mordiggian, retain more of their intelligence and body from their 'Pre-Fall' days than most ghouls do.
    Although Mordiggian dwells within the Dreamlands, he may also enter the waking world, using the same grave-tunnels and tombs as his ghoul followers. They perform rituals dedicated to the appeasement and honor of Mordiggian for the chance to once again return to a Midian of their own. This Midian is nothing like the last, before the fall, but a new paradise that befits their new diet and practice of magic.
    This new Midian is described by the cult of Mordiggian as a world like Toril, but without daylight, a vast graveyard full of all the corpses of all the humans which have ever lived for the Ghouls to gnaw upon, lit only by the moon, which is always at it's fullest.

    Midian is a future paradise to be found on Toril, when the Stars are Right and the great dragon of old rises up from its grave, and the spells of the cult of Mordiggian subdue humanity and overthrow the hated Sun. To the Cult of Mordiggian, Midian will be a gift and reward to come at some time in the future, to be worked toward now and enjoyed later, if the Ghouls succeed in their work against the gods and the world, and if each Ghoul should live long enough to reap his or her rewards. Only Mordiggian can be trusted, any of the Elder Gods cannot, along with any other gods that might have assisted them on Toril, pursuing ghouls along with most of humanity everywhere in order to destroy them once and for all.
    The section on preparing the dead for a sacrifice to Mordiggian was most interesting. The Cult did not kill those prepared for Mordiggian, but they or their less intelligent feral ghoul servants brought them only those humans recently departed from life of natural or unnatural causes. There were those ghouls however that had traveled so far from the original ghouls mindset and body, that did indeed stalk the living. Even these more degenerate creatures were given the chance to come back to the full worship of Mordiggian. All ghouls instinctively honor him, as he represents their necrophagic impulse. Often though, their minds are already broken from an unrestrained diet and total transformation, giving themselves over to instinct alone. Other than ghouls, he is deeply hated and feared by all other corporeal undead, as he will not suffer them to escape his hunger, the last journey of the flesh from the dead.
    This next part was of particular interest to me.
    It was written that only the flesh of the dead, and only after some time had passed to season said flesh, that was deemed suitable for consumption. This is what would allow ghouls to survive and thrive. Any other type of food would cause a slow sickness leading in time to death.

    As I read more and more of the book, I finally found what just might be the answer to who, and what, I am.
    It did not say exactly why, but it was alluded to in the book that there were humans on Toril that had interacted with ghoul's not long after they fell from the original paradise of Midian. The result of this was that some of the original ghoul bloodline has been passed down through the ages in a small number of families. Some of these families would eventually lose that bloodline over time, but in others it was still strong enough to alter them into ghouls themselves. The result of this being either partial insanity and a full conversion to the more common feral undead ghoul as known commonly in Toril or a partial cross between the two. It was these partial crosses that excelled in necromancy and made up the cult of Mordiggian. They were personally sought after by the cult and given use of The Ghoul's Manuscript as an aid in gauging their possible candidacy for being asked to join the elite of the cult.

    I felt so excited after reading that, I must have woken up, and when I did, I found I had a large white rabbit staring me right in the face. The sun was starting to rise and I'm not sure how long I had been asleep. I did know that I felt weaker than ever before. It was almost all I could do to stand up and get my bearings again.
    He yawned and said: "Well, are you or aren't you?"

    He nodded over to one of the dead caravan people.
    That was it, without even hesitating I slowly walked over to one of the corpses and cut a bit of the decaying meat (did I just call it that?) off, put it up to my face, and inhaled deeply. A shock literally ran through my entire body and gave me more strength. I downed it in one bite, feeling a surge of strength and health like I never had in my entire life. I straightened up to my full height and forgot all about the many pains I had always known. I took another bite, then another. The little rabbit joined me, tearing into the flesh with his teeth, which were definitely not like that of any rabbit I had seen before. As he did not have a name, I decided to call him Biter, of which he nodded his approval to.

    I looked to the new day with renewed hope, a strong body, and a strong drive to continue my knowledge of the necromantic arts to the best of my abilities. I saw that the book was laying right where I had left it but with one difference, the cover had changed.

    Beside the book, however, was something new. It was a mask of what seemed like tarnished silver, just as i had seen ghoul cultists wearing in the book the first time I ever saw it.

    I put it on over my robes and decided to head out, with new purpose and a new strength.


    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited September 6
    Arrggg! Me and my mind ;) . Khammoz is moving along very well but will be on pause for a bit (mmmhmm, ok). This would be a good spot for it , to get back on track later (I can tell myself that). I want to work with something new that came to me a few nights ago (can't help myself when it comes to new ideas for a shaman). Being that I put so much into dream sequences with all my characters anyway, this fits very nicely (plus, having weird dreams myself anyway, it has a tendency to inspire me to explore them in a more in-depth fashion). I kinda had a hankering for another humanoid inspired run anyway after all the recent discussion about them.

    Same rules as usual:
    - You must use a roll of 75
    - You can re-roll as many times as you like
    - You may not min/max any stats or edit any abilities at all
    - You may not resurrect any party members
    - Core rules
    - No reloading
    - Random HP's
    - Random Chances To Learn Spells
    - Weather and Gore On

    I'm using 'old skool' 2nd edition AD&D H/O stats for min/max and adj.'s: +1 str. +1 con. -2chr
    Str 6/18
    Dex 3/17
    Con 13/19
    Int 3/17
    Wis 3/14
    Chr 3/12
    Rolled using H/O race and just switched the chr & int modifiers (-2 (this str combined with a H/O are definitely new to me)):

    Let's get started now.
    1. Vh'aajh'kos

    Gorion has just left after interrupting my chores this afternoon. We are to leave Candlekeep as soon as possible. He would not say as to why, and I knew from experience not to bother asking. He noticed the fresh cut on my face and gave me one his usual concerned looks, the same one he has given me for many years now. I wiped the sweat off my face again, as it still stung a little from another deep, scarring cut I made this morning upon awakening. It's just a minor flesh wound though to me by now, after all these times. Another failure last night. I am not sure what I worried about more, the idea that I might not be courageous or strong enough to have the chance to look, or the idea of what or who might actually lie beyond the edge of the Region of Dreams itself.


    Candlekeep for me had always felt more of a prison than anything else. I was different not just in my dreams and sightings of invisible spirits, but in body as well. I do not know too much about my heritage, for Gorion has never said much. He never knew my father, and as for my mother, has said very little. She was apparently an orcish caravan guard from the far away city of Waterdeep, and had been a friend of his. I was told she died giving birth to me. From that at least, I gathered that as I was only of partial orcish ancestry, my father must have been human. I do not have the usual greenish pigment to my skin as the rest of my kind though, it is closer to a grayish white tint. My pale, steel blue eyes are another difference from orcs as well. Most in Candlekeep have been polite at least, although there has been many a suspicious look over the years. Orcs were not the most welcome guests in the land, and many see me as such regardless of my human side. Many orcs I had learned from my reading, would see me as half-human, just as humans would see me as half-orc, with neither fully comfortable with that. As to orcs, I even read that is was speculated that orcs were perhaps non-native to here on the world of Toril itself. Yes, maybe serious and brooding I seemed, but I had my reasons. Pheh, anyway, my dreams were where I went to travel, to feel welcome and free, and they kept me going all these years.

    I made my way to ol Winthrop's to get a few things for my journey to wherever, I already had a couple hatchets, but a few more would not hurt. Just as I was about to enter, a young girl new to Candlekeep passed by and said a quick hello. In passing she also quickly handed off an old brass lamp to me before I even got to say I did not need one.

    Regardless, she left quickly mentioning she had another. I chucked it in my bag anyway. After Winthrop I visited a few people that had been closer to me than most, Alec, training to be a priest of Ohgma, and the elven scribe Camryn. I was surprised that Camryn helped, particularly when it came to helping me to find books about my orcish kin, even more so when I read about the feelings between elves and orcs. He gave me what he called a special book bag, an old one of his to keep up my reading and interest in the history of my people. He mentioned it would hold more than it appeared to. He said he put some of the better books on orcish history in it for me to keep, as he himself had just scribed new copies of. In return, I told him I would keep an eye out for an old love of his, Tamah, from twenty some years ago. Imoen I saw as well, but I had never thought of myself as really being that close to her, well, not the way she made it out to be.
    The place was getting dangerous, as I was attacked by two men while making my rounds about the Keep. Both seemed to think they would be making money off killing me. Common sense would tell me that would mean somebody else is calling the shots in order to pay my bounty. Fortunately for me, they were not as tough as they made out to be, at least compared to the sharp edge of my hatchet.

    After that, I decided it best to make my way to the library to meet with Gorion. After I told him what happened we left right away. Even though darkness was approaching, he still thought it best to leave regardless. Not that it bothered me, being able to see better than he could in darkness, but he was not as young as he used to be once. Hopefully the journey to wherever would be less eventful than this day was.

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 1,106
    It makes me glad to know Ishlilka finds a place in some of your adventures, even if she tends to die a horrible death.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited April 12
    @WarChiefZeke Man, I'm tellin ya. I have been in a real rut with her luck on the last several runs. I'm hoping this time will be different as I'm wanting some fellow H/Os to travel with (shared 'monstrous' humanoid heritage and all that B) ).

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,122
    Shoot, now you're making me want to run with her again. Those poor vanilla npcs.

  • ZaghoulZaghoul Member, Moderator Posts: 3,085
    edited April 12
    @ThacoBell Heh, yeah. I think she's an especially good fit for the humanoid types we're fond of running. @WarChiefZeke included some great orcish religion background with her that was right on the money in terms of the hierarchy of their deities.

    This was an article I read, right after I started playing H/Os in the early 80s, from Dragon Magazine #62 June 1982.
    Half-Orcs Dragon #62 by Roger Moore

    Half-orcs, as everyone knows, are what you get when you cross orcs and humans. They are not uncommon in the world of the AD&D™ game, and they do not enjoy good reputations among most populations. One well known authority describes most half-orcs as “rude, crude, crass, and generally obnoxious.”
    Why do half-orcs seem to turn out this way? What makes them tick?
    To better understand half-orcs, one needs to understand the non-human aspect of their nature. Orcs are probably the most common sort of humanoid creatures. They vary widely in physical appearance, but generally seem to retain a vaguely human look, tinged with a hint of something . . . else.
    In nearly all orcish societies, the social philosophy is the same. Orcs are the ultimate social Darwinists; only the strong and the clever survive, and the strongest and cleverest orcs are the ones who manage to reach the upper social levels of their cultures: Orcs have no respect for those weaker than themselves, and are quick to step-and-fetch for those stronger than they. They distrust all overtures of friendship and love, seeing these as a cover for other, baser intentions; if they discover feelings of friendship to be quite genuine, they immediately attempt to manipulate events to take the best advantage of them and gain the upper hand.

    Orcs are like this because of the influence of their deities (discussed in the companion article to this one) and because of their own past. Sages have uncovered much evidence showing that They're rude and crude, and so's their point of view. Orcs developed in regions generally hostile to life; survival was difficult, and only if a group worked closely together could it hope to collect enough food to get even a part of its numbers through the year. While the group would have to work together to collect food, distributing it was another matter. The strongest orcs got the most food, and the weakest ones got none at all. (They were probably going to die anyway, right?)
    The very toughest orcs managed to receive more than just the bare minimum of nourishment, enough to make life more comfortable for them and give them a certain degree of personal security. This also gave them the chance to explore more intellectual occupations than food-gathering, like figuring out how to get more food and living space. The easiest opportunity to be realized was to take food and/or living space away from other folks, and these other folks were usually other orcs. Inter tribal competition became fierce, and over the centuries many of these conflicts have "evolved” into what seem to be eternal states of war between various tribes.
    Orcs are nocturnal by nature. They prefer to catch prey when it is asleep and less able to escape. Orcs have done this for so long they’ve developed infravision, the ability to see living objects in darkness by their body heat. The development of infravision was assisted by the orcish habit of living in caves for protection. Orcs tend to live in wilderness areas where the sky is heavily overcast and direct sunlight is non-existent or rare at best. In magical universes such regions are frequently found, their twilight perpetually maintained by the forces of magic cast by mortal or godling. In these places orcs will be much more active than is customary in the daytime, even to the point of conducting raids and hunting, but it is at night when orcs really become dangerous.
    Though such lives of hard work and danger have made most orcs rather strong and tough constitutionally, the race has a short lifespan. A 40-year-old orc has reached the virtual end of its natural life; the average orc lives for 12 to26 years.
    As might be expected, orcs have a very high rate of reproduction, but their infant mortality rate is quite high, too. Barely one orcish child in three will see adulthood, and fewer still will see old age. None of this is any surprise to non-orcs who have made even the briefest study of the race. But what shocks the casual observer is the degree of acceptance, even preference, orcs express for this situation.
    "How could we feed so many hungry little mouths?” retorted one orc prisoner to a curious paladin. “If you have lots of brats and some of them die, so what? They were the weakest . . .the strongest ones will live and work for you, make you proud of their strength. Who wants weak sons? Your enemies will kill you in your sleep if they see you are protected by weaklings.”
    As can be inferred from the above comments, orcs prefer male children. Though females are born only slightly less often than males, much fewer of the females survive to adulthood. Other demi-human races with sexual imbalances have that property because of natural reasons; orcs (and certain other humanoids as well), however, are more likely to practice selective infanticide, or otherwise forcibly adjust the ratio of males to females.The emphasis in orcish society is on fighting ability to gain status and well-being; since they have less muscle than males, females generally lose out. Orcs believe that the only value female orcs have is in bearing children (as many as possible) and keeping the cave clean.

    Orcish religion is interesting, too, because of the great extent to which the orcs’ way of life mirrors the tenets of the religion they follow. By and large, orcs do not well appreciate the consequences of their actions beyond the immediate present (a byproduct of their low wisdom). What they do, they do for the here and now, occasionally with some (but not much) consideration for the future. This is probably due to the necessities of their harsh life; one does not have time to think of the future when one must worry about just getting through today. For orcs. however, this reasoning applies even when times are comparatively good and food is plentiful. They continue to worry primarily about now, not later.
    This attitude is reinforced in their religious ceremonies; no mention is made of the future beyond the statement, oft repeated, that orcs shall rule the world, someday. It is interesting to note that Gruumsh, the major orcish deity, is one-eyed; this means he has a narrow field of vision and no depth perception at all. The many tales about Gruumsh reveal that, indeed, he too appears prone to act first and think about it later. When he meets another godling who appears to fail to notice him, or to give him proper respect, he doesn’t ask why; he attacks. When Gruumsh’s moronic (and twoeyed) son Bahgtru stubs his toe on a huge rock, Gruumsh curses the rock and tries to wrestle it. After breaking it into small pieces with Bahgtru’s help, he proclaims a victory over the forces of nature. Never mind that he and Bahgtru had their feet cut by rock fragments, or that they are so tired from breaking the rock that they have trouble later fighting giants. The point had to be made, then and there.
    While Gruumsh will usually act with some forethought and planning, his rage is easily ignited, and it inevitably clouds his judgment. With only one eye, he has but one view of the world: his own. Orcish shamans and half-orc clerics imitate Gruumsh by plucking out one of their eyes, hoping to gain Gruumsh’s perspective.

    With a background like this, it is hardly surprising that half-orcs are as they are. Produced under questionable circumstances at best, half-orcs will usually retain some properties of both species, human and orc, wherever they are raised. Those brought up in orcish society (the male ones, at least) will be immersed in the previously described orcish social philosophy. Though orcs have some degree of dislike for “half-humans” among them, they are also aware that such beings generally possess more adaptability and cunning than a full orc, and have the potential to be stronger than the average orc. Unless rivalry between the half-orc and his peers ends his life at an early age, the half-orc will usually achieve a quite respectable position of power and influence in his tribe. Aware that he is not a full orc, the half-orc will probably feel much superior to orcs and assume added arrogance and pride—thus successfully mixing the worst of human qualities with the “best” of the orcish. These sorts of leaders are exceptionally dangerous, possessing enough foresight and intelligence to lead their tribes on much more widespread raiding, banditry, and warmaking than is usual for orc bands.
    Life is not all rosy for this type of leader, of course; rivalries, jealousies, and intrigues will probably continue within the tribe against him unless he becomes powerful enough to command immediate obedience at the risk of swift destruction. A few cases are known of half-orc females rising to positions of power within a tribe; usually this female is either a warrior disguised as a male (who must flee or die if her deception is discovered), or a cleric for one of the few orcish religions that permit female shamans or clerics. In no known cases have female half-orcs become as widely feared or powerful (personally or politically) as male half-orcs, though this is not through any fault of their own. Orcish sexual prejudice is deep and strong.

    Half-orcs raised in human society, usually without the orcish parent present, have a greater likelihood of adopting a variety of non-orcish attitudes and lifestyles, but even then will have some less savory aspects to their nature as well. The average human has a dislike for orcs and anything with orcish ancestry; halforcs will find themselves the objects of prejudice in most human communities. Many half-orcs react to the level of expectations of them in predictable ways (incidentally reinforcing those expectations). In other words, treat a half-orc as if it were dangerous and bad, and it will probably become dangerous and bad if it wasn’t already. Yet there have been examples of neutral-aligned halforcs and even a few of good nature; most of these retain an unnatural (to many humans) affinity for lawfulness and obedience, but are otherwise acceptable company. Half-orcs raised in a human community are very unlikely to be able to speak orcish unless they have had formal study in it.
    Half-orcs have a variety of careers open to them, in whatever society they inhabit. Obviously, and most commonly, they make good fighters; orcish tradition strongly emphasizes personal combat and physical strength. Half-orcs are fairly good at thieving and banditry, but suffer from relatively poor physical coordination and have some difficulty in applying themselves constantly to improving their skills. Halforc thieves generally steal for the same reasons as anyone else does, but tend to feel that they are especially justified in what they do by one of their laws of survival: he who cannot hold onto what he has, does not deserve it. They regard their actions as necessary for their own existence, stealing because they have to, not just because they want to.
    The assassin’s skills, by contrast, come most readily to the half-orc. By virtue of their casual regard for the lives of others, even of their own kind, the art of killing has a certain appeal to those with orcish blood. Half-orc assassins often come to believe their actions are for the benefit of the world in general; they are culling out the unfit in the most direct way possible, which brings out another of the orcish laws of survival: if something can be easily killed, it did not deserve to live. Who can resist the urge to be the one who wields the scythe, who decides the fates of others, who has the power of almighty death in his hands? With their preference for a retinue of underling , half-orc assassins can create powerful guilds to support them, and may end up spreading their influence into many a court or government.
    Half-orcs who become clerics will usually combine their clerical practices with another career, most commonly as a fighter or assassin. This is because half-orcs cannot advance very far in experience as clerics, and they will eventually require another set of skills to keep them on even terms with increasingly tougher adversaries. Half-orc cleric/assassin types are invariably death-worshipers, and strive to put themselves in better favor with their awful gods by personally bringing death to as many beings as possible, within their religion and outside it.

    Orcs and half-orcs generally dislike and avoid beings larger than themselves, unless (as in the case of ogres) the orcs feel they can manipulate them sufficiently, with promises of shared treasure and food, to make them useful to the orcish community as guards and/or heavy infantry. Orcs and half-orcs dislike smaller humanoids because they are inevitably weaker, and these races are usually employed only as slaves. Goblins, who are only marginally weaker than orcs and can hold their own against them at least some of the time, are afforded more tolerance than other small humanoids. But it is not other humanoids that orcs hate worst of all — it is other orcish tribes. The roots of hatred run deep between conflicting tribes; the original cause of friction, if there was one, has long since been lost to antiquity. Intertribal conflicts are maintained by religious bigotries; each tribe worships a particular orcish patron god with interests that (naturally!) conflict with those of other deities. Even so, all tribes usually pay some homage to Gruumsh, the king of the orcish gods.

    Another question concerning orcish and half-orcish personality should be addressed: Why do orcs hate elves so much? Superficial examination of the question reveals little overt cause; orcs and elves do not frequently compete for the same living space or for the same foods. But a slightly deeper examination shows that in terms of personality, probably no two races could be further apart. For example: Elves are able to see many sides of a problem; orcs see but one. Elves carefully examine the long-range consequences of an action, usually before undertaking it, while orcs could care less for anything but the present. Elves are very long-lived, while orcs have one of the shortest lifespans among the humanoid races. That list could be longer, contrasting many other aspects of the races’ lifestyles, but a point has been developed. Orcs and elves are opposites in nearly every way, and orcs resent the advantages elves have, especially their long lifespan. While elves do not particularly like orcs, they think of them as a short-term problem not worthy of prolonged consideration.
    Orcs, on the other hand, are consumed with hatred for elves, and will slay them out of hand whenever the opportunity presents itself. Orcish mythology has several tales of battles between elven and orcish deities. The most famous one occurs between Gruumsh and Corellon Larethian, the chief elven deity. The story goes like this, according to the orcs:
    Gruumsh ambushes Corellon in hopes of slaying him and drinking his blood, so as to inherit his special powers; Gruumsh fails, of course, through his own shortsightedness, and Corellon shoots an arrow at Gruumsh’s eye. Though the arrow failed to blind Gruumsh, apparently it was not intended to. Elven stories of the same event (much briefer than the tedious orcish versions)say that Corellon meant the arrow as a warning to Gruumsh of his vulnerability —a hint that it would only take the loss of his eye to break Gruumsh’s power as a god, and that some being might be capable of bringing this about if he were not more careful. Though Gruumsh rails and curses the elven gods through many later stories, he never again tries to directly assault them, and spends his fury on mortal elves instead. Obviously, he took the hint.

    In summary, half-orcs are often bound to take on some of the less desirable characteristics of their orcish parents, especially if they are raised in an orc tribe. Half-orcs are generally tough, respectful of power, and seek to have power themselves. They tend to measure one another by the number and quality of their followers, and they work within a group setting rather than on their own. Like orcs, half-orcs often act before thinking about the results of their deeds, and appear somewhat stupid to other more foresighted individuals because of this. They dislike the weak, follow the strong, and quarrel with their equals. Again, this is not true of all half-orcs. But at least a vestige of these characteristics is present in nearly every one, regardless of their individual makeup.

    Information for this article was taken
    from the AD&D rule books, the Players
    Handbook, the Monster Manual, and the
    Dungeon Masters Guide, as well as the
    DEITIES & DEMIGODS™ Cyclopedia.
    Some additional comments and insights
    were found in Master of Middle-Earth, by
    Paul H. Kocher. Though this latter book
    concerns the world of J. R. R. Tolkien,
    much of the information therein is quite
    usable in an AD&D setting, and the work
    is highly recommended to the serious
    student of role-playing.

    -Roger Moore, Dragon Magazine #62

    Post edited by Zaghoul on
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 1,106
    edited April 12
    I did so much research into everything orc-related in the realms to make her. I even uncovered a decades old article which was the only official source of orcish language syntax I could find. If you like orcish lore and culture, you will like part 2 :)

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