You all reside in the Abbey of Azer's Flame, a monastery within a small city in the Abbor-Alz hills known as Durgeddinvale, so named after the famous dwarf who mined Stone Tooth Hill. Stone Tooth Hill, true to it's name, resolutely stabs the western horizon like a great incisor. Its reddish rock seems blood-stained by the wound it jabs each evening into the setting sun as flame-burst clouds trickle from it across the darkening sky like rivulets of boiling blood. But even the shadow Stone Tooth Hill casts shrinks away in deference at the glorious image of the burning monument of Grandmaster Fargrim Dóteagmháil the Flame-Hand, founder of the Abbey of Azer's Flame. Twenty feet tall and limned in an ever-burning fire, the monument greets all visitors and recruits at the foot of the cloister with its silent, stern visage and imposing form.
But once inside the courtyard of the monastery, it's easy to see that its glory has faded over the years. Grandmaster Fargrim left a legacy that was not matched by the two sequential successors of the title and the monastery has suffered greatly from the weak leadership. A new era has begun however, with a new Grandmaster, Brottor "Ironhead" Balderk, who has invigorated the strength, pride, and tradition of the Abbey and has begun to restore hope to the Monks who reside therein.
A History of Fargrim Dóteagmháil:
Nearly two centuries ago, Fargrim Dóteagmháil (LN Male Azer Expert/Monk) left his beloved home in the great City of Brass, in the Elemental Plane of Fire to lead an excavation team that would lay claim to a newly discovered mine, rich with exotic gems that could give the advantage to his kin in the trade war against the Efreet.
But the Efreet sought to claim the mine as well and had already sent their slaves to the site, where they met the Azer in battle before either could even begin setting camp. Fargrim and his team of miners fought heroically against the slaves' overwhelming numbers, and managed to gain ground in the skirmish, until he encountered one efreeti who cast a spell that sent him reeling through a fissure in the mine and hurling through the planes, where he came crashing down on the Material Plane of Oerth near the rolling hills of Abbor-Alz. Barely alive and shivering from the comparative cold of the Material Plane, he survived the night by sleeping on a bed of burning tinder, not knowing or caring that one day it would be the central altar of the temple that celebrated him.
His monastery fosters an ideology of toil, discipline, and self-sacrifice.
A History of the Abbey:
The abbey has lost much of it's former glory under the rule of the consecutive, weaker leadership of Grandmaster Engong "Nine Kicks" (Half-Orc Monk) who turned it into a den of mercenary thugs, and then Grandmaster Elchar Rothchild (Human Psion/Monk), who nearly destroyed its honored heritage of physical discipline in exchange for trade agreements and political treaties, running it more like his own personal piggy bank than a monastery. But with the ascension of the newest Grandmaster, Brottor "Ironhead" Balderk (Dwarf Monk), the Abbey is rising again in strength and influence, returning at last to its former glory. The Abbey is funded by its rich mining industry, due to the valuable gems and ore found within the Abbor-Alz Hills as well as the various military services it provides to the city that houses the abbey, Durgeddinvale. But this also puts the abbey under constant threat of invasion from raiding bandits, and enemy provinces, as well as usurpation or land seizure from Durgeddinvale itself.
Facts about Durgeddinvale:
Population: 1018 (Small City) integrated: 37% human, 20% dwarf, 18% gnome, 10% halfling, 7% elf, 5% half-elf, 3% half-orc
2 Days march south of Pontyrel in the Abbor-Alz Hills
Power Center: Conventional NN
Lord Jason Scott- (Human Aristocrat/Fighter) sustained an injury in combat against an orc raid when he fell off his horse, leaving his back stooped as if he were crouching. His face seems dark and brooding, but this is mostly due to the constant pain he is in due to his many injuries and increasing age. He is actually a good-natured man who seems to do what is best for his people.
Captain Landon Silverstream- (Half-Elf Warrior) A notoriously lazy and flippant soldier who, through charming flattery and well-timed demonstrations of bravery has afforded himself the comfortable position of Captain of the Guard. He is well liked among most of the influential citizens of Durgeddinvale, but not well-respected by his own men, though whether he is aware of this fact, or simply unconcerned remains unknown.
Standard laws in the city, as well as standard corruption. 10% tax for all residents not living within the confines of the abbey. Those that live in the abbey are expected to contribute to it's growth and development in some way though, either by tithing a portion of his/her found wealth when on missions for the abbey or by working the mines a certain number of hours per week. Failure to comply to tax laws could result in imprisonment. Failure to comply to monastic policy could result in reprimands of varying degree or excommunication from the order. Traitors or deserters from the monastery are put to death if captured.
Upper Class- takes up the smallest percentage (less than 5%) of the population, since it's largely a mining town. Those with wealth prefer to live somewhere more cosmopolitan, like Pontyrel.
Middle Class- More than half of the population (55%) is middle-class and account for the most racial diversity in the city.
Lower Class- The second largest group of the population. Most of these people are miners or laborers
Slaves- a few citizens of Durgeddinvale keep orcs and goblins who attempted to raid the city as slaves as a way for them to repay their debt to society. This practice is also shared by the monastery who take in criminals or monstrous raiders as indentured servants as a method of reformation and restitution for crimes committed. Some fallen monks who disgraced the monastery serve as indentured servants in the mines below the abbey. Once they are deemed properly reformed, they are set free to live their lives as they chose.
Magic: uncommon in the region, but not unheard of. (Analogy: magic users are about as rare to the people of Durgeddinvale as Ferrari owners are to us. You see one once in a while, but it's not like there's one on every block.)
Master Caramip:Gnome Female Sorcerer/Monk, LN: Taught the group in this campaign.
Grandmaster Brottor: Dwarf Male Monk, LG: Headmaster of the Abbey
Master Yama: Human Male Monk, LG: Next in line to be Headmaster of the Abbey
Libby: Human Female [Class Unknown], [Alignment Unknown]: Mysterious girl dropped off by a mysterious armored man.
Kevin: Human Male, Commoner, [Alignment Unknown], Farm boy, and possibly last surviving member of the quaint village of Cliffside Vale
Ur-Agal: Human Male Wildshaper Ranger/Monk, LN: A strange recluse from a distant land, possesses extensive wilderness survival knowledge and special training against fey types. Struggles with a narcotic addiction to a rare alchemical wine.
Rassaphore Godwin: LG Half-Elf Expert/Monk: Shopkeeper and bookkeeper of the monastery's equipment and other tools.
Raime Momaan: A powerful wizard residing within the halls of the abbey to help them enchant their weapons and defenses.
If you have any other questions, please ask. I'm willing to assume that since you live here, you have a pretty in depth knowledge of the layout of the Abbey and Durgeddinvale as well as its residents.
Coanacoch, who like an emerald boa of his home will be SeaGreen.
Combined Backstory for the Amedians
Necahual (22) and Coanacoch (19) are brother and sister monks that served a temple to Quetzlcoatl in their home of the Amedio Jungle. They were trained at an early age. Their family has long served the Feathered Serpent, and was blessed many generations ago with the ability to survive without air or need of breath. Though not an evil deity, there was a feud at the time between Quetzlcoatl and Cihuacoatl (N goddess of earth, birth, and death), and the latter cursed their family with weakness against any of her minions or of the power of earth itself.
Necahual is built entirely unlike a woman. She is 5’8", and a very stocky, burly 181 pounds. She is very strong and hardy, and her martial focus takes advantage of her high stamina and ability to endure punishment. She always had to protect her little brother and help him along. Coanacoch, though a little better than the average person or warrior, didn’t really show any incredible talent as a temple warrior. Though taller than his sister, he is slighter of build (5’11", 170 lbs). For such a combat-focused profession as temple warrior, the relatively weak young man studied under those that focused on a much more mobile fighting style, for fear that he me might be laid low too easily.
Both of them have spent many, many long hours training together to be better in hand-to-hand combat than a like member of their peers. Necahual, specializes in standing firm and giving brutal, crushing assaults, though when she is planted her keen mind actually helps her fend off attacks, and to deny advantages sought by multiple skirmishers. Coanacoch is an extremely defensive combatant, focusing on quick strikes. He moves past the enemy deftly, and strikes a middle or back line, often setting up a more fluid but equally capable defensive wall. When the opportunity presents itself, he will then move out of line to a different target. Where his sister focuses on powering through defenses, Coanacoch uses the speed of a flying serpent to bypass an opponent’s skill to strike its target.
Han was the only son of 2 ruthless merchants. His parents were really in it for the money, and always tried to squeeze the last Bronze piece out of their clients. As a young child, Han already knew he didn't want to be this way. As he grew up, he became more and more repulsed by the way of working of his parents. And at the age of 16, he fleed his home, swearing off his life of luxury he was living in for the last 16 years, and becoming a beggar in the streets.
After a few months, he became intrigued by the monks who sometimes visited the village to get some supplies. At first, he didn't dare to approach them, but a few months later, they saw him looking at them and they came up to talk with him. Soon after, he joined the monastery, where he learned the ways of the monk.
Now, 9 years later, he has grown up and is ready to explore the world, while still keeping the promise he made when he was 16 to swear off all kinds of luxury and to help the poor and innocent in the back of his mind.
He was once a young man with weak psionic powers, who was kidnapped by Yuan-Ti and undergona failed transformation, losing his memory and becoming a Broodguard. Having new name, Vir-Sashi, given to him, he had become one of many front line warriors. After group of adventurers destroyed their nest, his masters ran away and he got separated from them and left alone in alien and strange land. He spend some time wandering around, attacking farms to steal food, until one day he was found by travelling master monk, Yago, who had beaten him effortlessly. Vir was sure he is going to die, but Zon started talking to him. He asked if he lives a good life. Does the service of his snake masters made him happy? Does hiding in the forest and terrorizing people to steal a chicken? Master Yago explained to him, that he won't find happiness in his life, until he will embrace the justice. He felt a psionic talent in him, just like his only weaker and undeveloped. If he would sharpen his skill and willpower, he could become real hero - a "Friend of Justice", living to bring order and happiness to the world. Having convinced Vir-Sashi to change his life, Yago had send him to a monastery managed by Yago's old friend, where he can seek help on his path to surpassing his violent nature and becoming true "Friend of Justice".
I'm a mapper, so they'll come up a lot in relevant situations. Combat will be done on a numbered grid, which is the closest thing I can get to a map and miniatures. If you have a nifty avi you'd like me to use to represent the starting point of your character in a combat grid, please send it to me, and I'll use it.
Keep it simple so that it's easily visible on the map. Images like this:
may look cool, but a lot gets lost in translation when I have to fit it into a 1"x1" square.
Quick question, did anyone else's version of the map I sent glitch out when you download it?
For the map of the abbey, I stole a floor plan of an already existing irl abbey and over-wrote my own names. Oddly, the old names re-appear unless you attempt to scroll down, wherein the new names pop up. At first, I thought it had printed two pages, but it's showing up as a 1 pg document.
I guess I'll convert future maps to jpg before uploading to eliminate hidden layers. In the meantime, if your map has page numbers written on it under the name of each room, you're looking at the wrong layer. Try scrolling down until the text is replaced with story-relevant names like "Stairway to Dóteagmháil Mines and such.
Ok. I've put together some images that fit the description of your character as well as I could. Please note, none of this artwork is original. I don't deserve the credit, I just edited color and size where appropriate.
I apologize for the cheesy coloring job on the Air Humans. It's my first time using GIMP. Still, let me know if you approve, and it'll be your character on the combat grid.
I was intending to test it out in ritual, but I see we've gone past that while I was busy making pictures. No biggie. Its your sandbox; play as you please.
Anyway, in order of appearance in the OOC:
When searching, I emphasized the pouty pretty boy look to play up the inferiority complex he seems to suffer from.
You've no idea how hard it is to find a mannish woman on the internet... especially one drawn for fantasy themes. This is the closest I could get that wasn't in a battle-bra and chain mail thong.
Han Chun Li:
Easiest one to find. The imagery of your character just screamed Shaolin Monk. The hard part was finding one with a simple enough background.
I've got to say... that is one ugly character you are playing. I thought you were playing the guy behind him with the snake. This opens up a whole new avenue for RP that I never even considered.
I feel that, of all the PCs, I failed you the most. I found this guy, who was cool looking, covered in scars, and fit your stealth based fashion sense and grim motif, and then I found another guy who actually was a Monk with a long braided ponytail, but was a bit of a flashy pretty boy. I went with this one, because I thought it covered more bases than the other guy.
If you already have an image in mind that you'd prefer me to use, please link to it here. If you don't like anything that you've found or anything that I've found, then I'll just use your GITP avi for simplicity's sake.
Average height and weight (for a halfling), but better toned than the typical happy-go-lucky members of his species. Dressed in a green robe with yellow trim, he carries no other objects - not even shoes. His only adorment is a tattoo on his right shoulder of a green shield depicting a ram's horn filled with fruit.
Through both natural disposition and years of training, Ulyono has a cautious and considering curiosity rather than the impulsive curiosity of most halflings. He is, for the most part, not very social or quick-witted, and though slow to form relationships, the bonds formed run deep. Nothing is more important to him than protecting his family - especially halflings, but also including his adopted family at the monastery.
Ulyono lost his blood family to disease during adolescence, and was only saved himself by the just-in-time arrival of a Wayard Warden (a halfling priest of Yondalla, a wanderer dedicated to the protection of halfings) named Pelfin. During the recovery process, the priest took the time to get to know Ulyono and noted that his personality, while not comfortably fit for the care-free life of the typical halfling, was ideally suited fit for the role of protector.
After his recovery, Ulyono was ready to swear his life to the service of Yondalla and the protection of other halflings, but Pelfin, in his wisdom, decreed that he was not ready, and that he should first seek peace of mind and purity of body in preparation for receiving and channeling the divine spirit of Yondalla. He brought him to the Abbey of Azer's Flame, where Unyolo swore a vow of poverty to avoid all distractions beyond the joy of the moment and the potential for future happiness for others.
His one trait that could be considered a vice (though he does not see it so) is his love of food. Though the disease that ravaged him left him with a sensitive stomach, he delights in preparing delicious meals from even the simple ingredients found in the monastery - occasionally to the stomach-grumbling annoyance of some of his fellow monks who perceive the enjoyment of good food as a distraction on par with that of wealth accumulation, an association that has never quite struck Ulyono as sensible.
He also delights in gift-giving, seeing his vow of poverty as an opportunity to better the lives of others more than as a charity obligation or form of self-sacrifice.
With regards to my comment about turning invsible in the IIC thread, since ya'll have been training with me in the monastery, you're all aware that I can actually do this. It's an alternative class feature for Monks from the 3.5 sourcebook Exemplars of Evil called Invisible Fist. Instead of getting Evasion at 2nd level, you get the ability to become invisible for one round as an immediate action, but then must wait three rounds before doing it again.
I was worried that you dropped out, and I was particularly excited about a poverty halfling, so I'm glad you're here.
Anyways, to all of you, I should confess that my knowledge of eastern monastic traditions is limited to what movies would tell me, so I'm blending my more in depth knowledge of western orthodox monastic traditions and rankings with cinematic interpretations of eastern traditions as I see fit. Why not? It's fantasy. For ranks that fit somewhere between Novice, Master, and Grandmaster, I'm using Rassaphore and Stavrophore.
At level 3, you guys are at the tail end of Novice, and ready to become Rassaphores. Basically, after Stavrophore, you become a Master. From there, there is only Grandmaster in the hierarchy of this temple.
And it's cool, odigity. Her actions were kind of supposed to be interpreted that way. She's a weird cross between keenly focused and not-all-there, which is part of what has made her ascension to Master a bit of a mystery to many monks in the Abbey. She is effective and highly talented though, but no Monk in their right mind would want her to become a Grandmaster. She takes more pleasure in life and in her job than is typically acceptable in the perceptions of the typically stoic, even solemn, monks of the temple.
Sounds fine, Man on Fire. Holidays should be spent with family. Enjoy! We can take a small break and I can work a bit on the campaign.
I'm sorry to hear that PSinger. I hope he gets better soon. If he's too sick to play, then I'm holding the campaign over the weekend anyway so those who have plans don't have to worry about getting left behind. If he's still not feeling well after that, then just PM me with some instructions. Either you can post for him, I could post for him, or we can have his character be working the mines, or off fasting on a mountain for enlightenment, Guatoma-style.
I hope the show goes well. If it's allowed, I wouldn't mind it if you posted pics, or a link to the pics on the OOC! I used to have the worst stage fright back when I performed live with my band, so I'm a little jealous that you two can be so professional about it. Perhaps we would've gone further if I could've just calmed down and gone through the motions. Que sera, life on the stage isn't for everyone, I suppose.
Ha! Life on the stage is not for me. LOL! No lost is the performer. I'm the lighting designer. Nope, not a performer. (That's what my last boyfriend said, too! .... Oh, no he di-n't!)
Talking with lost, we didn't know what to think about blue skin ... seemed more water for us. We were thinking that we're actually pale-skinned, like a cloud. I like Necahual's pic, though ... no (or at least minimized) fantasy sexism.
Current Games The Jackal - Kalti Rise of the Runelords - Dušana Essert,
Ah... another case of What I saw, what the DM saw, and what I played.
Yeah, I re-read the Air thingumy in the book and wondered how a got so way off base. For some reason I was picturing the whole attribute as blond hair, blue skinned, like Baywatch, Smurf Edition. But after re-reading it I realize it is pale skin, white hair. Easy fix. My wife is super good at GIMP and may be able to help me redo the images tonight. Also, if your character to be unattractive, then that's an option. Pretty people can be socially awkward (low CHA) too, but it's all in how you want him interpreted.
I can look for a more plain (homely) looking character, this time one with lighter hair, if you'd like.
Ok. As agreed, I'm going to halt campaign progress for Easter weekend. I'll still post in OOC, and if you want to, you can post in IC and I'll RP any NPCs you choose to encounter at the Abbey, but I don't want anyone getting left behind just because family is in town, so the plot won't progress any further until Monday.
At any rate I hope everyone has a great weekend and finds lots of eggs... or chocolate. Or both.
My son made out like a bandit on the Easter Egg hunt. We painted his belly to look like an easter egg as a reward. We had lots of fun, and are still going at it. I love Easter. Then again, I also really love eggs.
We're having eggs benedict with a side of scrambled eggs for breakfast. For lunch, deviled eggs and for dinner fried egg sandwiches with a side of boiled eggs. Toss a steak in there somewhere and I will confuse this place with heaven.
The eggs are killing me. I love everything you mentioned ... but all in one day is more egg-cholesterol than a person should have in 2-3 weeks. Wow. But, yes ... steak makes everything better. (Porterhouse is my favorite cut.)
Current Games The Jackal - Kalti Rise of the Runelords - Dušana Essert,