This material looks like fine-grained black basalt and shares many properties with that rock. However, it has a few interesting properties:
It is ductial and can be worked much as can be copper. It can be beaten thin and easily shaped. It is very heat resistent and can be used to make vessels capable of holding molten metals. It cannot be used in alloy with normal metals.
The material is hostile to organic materials, causing such substances to mineralize over time. Flesh will stiffen and insoluble salt crystals will being to grow within. These will cause mechanical damage, irritation and infections. Wood and bone will be gradually splintered by the growth of the mineral salts. The salts can be dissolved with acid, so vinegar would be usable treatment. The condition will stop advancing once contact with the material is discontinued, but the area will remain senstive to such contact furthermore, with the symptoms advancing more rapidly on future contact.
This material has a very high ratio of Earth to other elements and appears to be created through a special purification process of normal Basalt.
This unearthly crystal has several intresting properties:
1. It has the same density as air, but does not expand/contract greatly in response to temperature changes. As a result, it sinks lower when air temperature decreases, and rises when the air is cold.
2. It is very sharp, and very fragile.
3. It resembles diamond in it's effects on light.
4. It also refracts and scatters magical energy which touches it, seperating the enrgy into its components and scattering them about the area. The effects are very much random unless one has an extraordinary understanding of magic, in which case the effects appear quite logical. Go to Comment
Captain Vakhtin was known as the rudest and most impaitent officer in the entire Banhoesea Navy. His men hate him because of the many unjustified floggings that he ordered, his junior officers loathed the way he insulted them, and even the senior officers above him in rank could sense that not all was well.
One afternoon when trying to get into the harbour in the teeth of a storm, he cursed the all the Acquan gods and goddesses and swore that he would sail on until Judgement Day if he had to. His ship was wrecked and went down with all hands and the wreckage blocked the harbour for weeks. Soon afterwards the ghost ship appeared.
Ever since then in Banhoesea to do a "Vakhtin" means to be rude and get in the way. Go to Comment
On the isolated isle of Harp Rock, the ancient liche Dalan Bahngrin continues the magical researches that occupied him while he was alive. Not a seeker of worldly power, nor of wealth, the ancient undead labors patiently at his endless magical studies. He prefers the solitude and privacy to be found on the storm-tossed island, where no man disturbs him. Occasionally, however, the undead magus requires something from the lands of men. His needs may be as modest as a few drams of quicksilver or as elaborate as a score of expendable slaves, but he prefers to fetch items from the mainland himself, rather than send the undead servants that attend his few needs on the island.
Dalan Bahngrin’s vessel is a decayed wreck, drawn from the briny mire and enmeshed in a field of magical power. A sickly reddish glow of unnatural magic plays over its hull. The ancient barque’s sails long gone, phosphorescent sheets of ectoplasmic residue flicker in their place. Phantoms of the ancient crew haul upon the lines and shout commands with voices that can barely be heard by the living.
The villagers that work the sea know that master of the burning ship will not be gainsaid. Whatever his demands, however strange or unreasonable, they must be obeyed, for his anger is as terrible as is his chilling visage. He offers gold and jewels to those who serve him well, but few accept, for all men know that to accept the gifts of the dead draws a man closer to death itself. Go to Comment
Two things come to mind. The first is that I like this 30, it has a good mixture of humor, makes for an interesting cros-section of merchantage, and my favorites are the superstitious magic-seller, the potion maker who cuts people off, and the paranoid cobbler.
The second thing is THANK YOU! I had 30 Merchants penciled down on my to write list. Marked off now. Go to Comment
There are two major (read feuding) provinces in the kingdom. The Lord of one is secretly a mad, power-hungry despot, constantly plotting against the king. The Lady of the other is secretly an ancient silver dragon.