Wonderful! It draws a whole new aspect out of the dragon mentality. This is really nice and succintly written. Genius Dossta. Real Genius. 5/5
The only piece missing is that dragons like to live in scary, hard-to-reach places. I would want to wedge a challenge in Act II before the parlay. Here's what I'm thinking:
Zaulphiria the Vain lives in a fantastic and beautiful abandoned dwarven mine. The players would have to battle cave monsters and traps to parlay with her, and she would be even more upset if they were to damage her lovely home trying to reach her.
Shadrevaen the Artistic lives in a forrest that holds several elven shrines. Though most of the elves were chased out, the beauty and inspiration of nature keeps a few artistic elves around. The players would have to convince the elves to let them pass and maybe even fight a few elven spirits to parlay. Shadrevaen may be upset if the players carelessly harm the talented bardic elves she has grown to appreciate.
Tjamaladara the Mighty lives is a mighty keep that she took by force. She has raised many war dogs and a few trolls to guard her home and scare off visitors. She would think very little of someone who did not show their might by facing her guardians in fair combat. She would likely think very little of anyone who approached her by sneaking around.
This extra challenge gives the players something to think about and plan in advance. I'm sure you could think of a better lair for each dragon to match your setting and power level, but you get the idea.
A unique take on a gnomish subclass, and can make for a refreshing change in the usual wilderness encounter.
Perhaps giving them some type of musical related magic would help fill in the missing gap? Perhaps they have found a way to combine bardic magic with that of regular mages?
A song of burning passion may possibly set a target on fire, or one of a raging river make those enemies in ear shot feel as if they are drowning?
Giving them a little bit of offensive power (which they learned so they don't suffer the same fate as their ancestors) could make the odd group who looks at them as little push overs rethink their assumptions rather quickly. (Having a group of singing gnomes come to the rescue from a bandit ambush would also make for a fun encounter.
Inspired by this old thread: Dark Gnomish Evil or how to improve a hopeless race
I still feel as though these guys are missing something, but can't think of what to add at present. Please feel free to suggest improvements or add ideas.
I love the different take on gnomes, the setting, the flavor, and the language used to paint the whole picture. This is the kind of submission that keeps me coming back for more and gives me something to aspire to. Thanks for the link back to my own submission (and I wish I'd read this one before I updated it).
That was a beautiful early morning read, I feel as if I will go about my day hearing the music in all the things i pass. Lovely, but I do have to agree with Redgre that such detail, stunning as it is, isn't really given a purpose in this submission. That's fine for writing a novel (have you considered that?) but the little things like this can be lost and forgotten if not given a reason to exist. Be it something to fight, or a rare remedy. The only two that stood out at me, as to having a character influencing purpose, were the Singing Crystal and the Humming Birds. Don't get me wrong, this is an amazing work to detail a world with. But, I have to ask a question: Why would my campaign go here? Detail pieces are fine, but if you can answer that for me I would be given a reason to steal it as more than a name drop. Still, good stuff.
There are two varieties of Keyed Mushrooms. The most common is a patch of typically five or six individual mushrooms of varying height and girth. The patch contains a variety of bright fungi with solid, basic colors such as pure red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and white. Each one produces a slightly different sound, each a cross between a drum-beat and the hit of a mallet on a xylophone key. There is an obvious scale to them, like a child's toy, and they can be used to produce simple melodies.
It is said that there is magic in the music, however. And if you play a certain pattern of notes individual to the mushroom patch, you will be rewarded with a shiny little gem as a thanks from this variety of Keyed Mushrooms. You can learn the song by simply, or not so simply, getting in touch with nature. This was be simple for a Druidic spell caster or a talented musician, but prove quite difficult for the average street-bred people.
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The second variety of Keyed Mushrooms is only one mushroom. It is the Grand Mushroom of The Woods, and it large enough for several men to stand upon it without damaging it. It has a rainbow's hue of swirling, flamboyantly-colored dots that will produce sound when stepped upon. This mushroom is a gate-way to the Realms of the Fey, but to open it, you will need a gem from six other, smaller, Keyed Mushroom patches, one of each color, and then to play the correct tune. An incorrect tune, or miss-step will result in a loud trombone-like blast and a puff of narcoleptic gas, rendering everyone in the area asleep. When you awaken, the mushroom will be gone. As that is the nature of music, it can evolve and change through the experimentation of sour notes.
Even the lowliest of plant life comes alive with music in this forest of sounds. We have all held a piece of grass length-wise between out thumbs as a child, and blown across its surface to make a shrill whistle. It is much easier with the Whistle Grass of this forest. Simply plucking a strand of grass from the soft earth will cause a slight high-pitched sound, like that of a alarm whistle.
A pulp, made of this grass, finely mashed, and mixed with the waters of a Tinkling Stream, can be used to make an impromptu alarm system. As, once prepared and spread of a surface, friction of the mush slipping, from being stepped or or similar, will cause a loud ear-piercing sonic alarm. Guaranteed to wake up everyone nearby.