These critters have wonderful elements and a good write up. I find it missing in a couple of areas. The most important one is: what can they do, in general... besides be shadowy... what does that mean in reality. Are they hard to hit, can they go anywhere... can we get guidelines as to what you think it should be. A little bit on how they are organized or communiate with the Shadow would be nice. (are they independent, do they work in teams, are they directed from on high?).
Still very nice all around. and bonus .5x for being part of something greater Go to Comment
Ok this is one for the books for me. I was thinking Myrdrrall when you started describing how it looked and BAM! Good deal. I would like information though on "the big list of immunities and kewl shadow powerz". What more can they do?
They seem to be a perfect antagonist even at younger ages, or levels respectively I assume, that can lead up to a pretty big conflict with the bad guys. I read this out of order but I wanted to find out what the Haint were before I finished. I'm glad I did.
Being a wise, and benevolent leader, the Queen of Chiaroscuro made it a habit to plan for the worst, and hope for the best. As it was, she distrusted the thing that her husband had summoned to protect their land from the rays of thesun. She herself had said that new pacts should have been made with the golden eagles to once again grasp the winds in their claws and bring the rains. While her husband summoned the cthonian horror that was the Swollen Shadow, she herself worked to make a method to control the shadow.
Her final effort was a jewel, a star ruby the size of a child's upraised fist. Into this she poured moonlight and starshine, sunbeams and the warmth of flame. Once the jewel was completed, she hid it away, for safe keeping. In the beginning, the pact with the entity of murk was good, and the city was spared the brutal heat of the sun. The King, being generous more than wise, ordered a statue built to commemorate his wife's magnanymous acceptance of the pact with the Shadow after her protest before.
The Queen's Gem is a repellant that drives shadow minions away from its light. Should a lesser shadow be subject to its radiance too long, the shadow will dissolve into nothingness, never to return to the Swollen Shadow. Against Haints it is as potent as silver to a werewolf, or garlic to a vampire. Its presence causes them pain, and they cannot bear its light. The Swollen Shadow itself is terrified of the Gem as it believes that should the right person take the jewel, they would rightly be able to destroy it (the Swollen shadow, not the gem!). Go to Comment
The flower produces a blossom several inches wide that is almost the color of flame along the edges of the petals, and darkens to a midnight shade of blue or black in the center. The stalks are thin and hollow, and the plant grows from a small seed.
It is not known where the Shadowmaster came from, only that it appeared roughly around the same time that the Swollen Shadow was summoned. The flower grows in wet and boggy soil, and can grow in full sunlight, but grows best in half light or less. The only things that can prevent them from growing in wet climates is freezing temperatures or alkaline soils.
The flower is an effacious defense against shadow minions, with a blossom working in the same fashion as a bulb of garlic to a vampire (assuming said vampire is repulsed by garlic). Vars raises beds of the flowers around his home on the edge of the Umbral Fens, and often wears a blossom or three in his hair or beard. A distillation of the plant's juices can be used in a manner similar to holy water, destroying shadow minions, and burning haints. Against the Swollen Shadow itself, the flower has negligible power, if any at all. Go to Comment
A black iron hooded lantern with red tinted glass panels.
A last tool of the queen, these iron lanterns are closed in with a special pane of red tinted glass, created by the queen herself. She made as many of these cressets as she could during her last few years of life. It is whispered that between how much of her power that went into the Gem, and the grief over her slain husband, her years were cut painfully short.
This glass when illuminated has the same effect as that of her gem, albeit much weaker. It wards shadows away, rather than destroy them. These lanterns number around two dozen, and are precious treasures that have made certain parts of the Western district safer. The Shadow itself has claimed and destroyed a few of these, but most remain in Sihl hands. Vars himself has a cresset that he uses when he goes out stalking chamugra or shadowmaster lillies. Go to Comment
A hand-and-half, or bastard sword with a heavy blade. The crossguard is fashioned of a golden metal.
The sword of Lord Nayer, the captain of the adventuring band of the same name, is a semi-legendary sword. The giantcraft sword was created by the hand of an unnamed giant smith who imbued the weapon with power over metal, stone, and wood.
With sheer will, the sword could be used to cleave almost any natural substance in half. Stone pillars would fall, shields would shatter, swords would snap like twigs. (In game terms, this power requires an expenditure of willpower or related attribute to use, and can only be used by a warrior/barbarian class character). This power made the sword very powerful in Nayer's hands, but served him poorly when facing the shadows, as they lack substance and thus cannot be cloven in half. Go to Comment
Originally one of the 'Eight Implements' of the gods, the Farsmoke Thurible is an artefact of a bygone age. Few wizards or sages understand the true nature of the device and its original purpose is clouded in myth and lore. Fewer still, know that the original Farsmoke Thurible, a huge bronze and silver censer which perpetually oozed sickly-green and purplish vapors, is now long lost, and what adventurers, scholars, and mages research and search for, are actually the so-called 'Fragments of the Thurible'. These half-dozen relics were suposedly created during the 'Shattering of the Thurible', by an antediluvean Lich-Lord named Arprat N'Moomzi, who broke apart the Farsmoke Thurible into six miniature replicas of minor power. Admittedly, this legend is vague even among those historians who dedicate their lives to unravelling the origins and secrets of the Eight Implements.
What little is known can be read about in the olden texts. According to the known lore, Arprat N'Moomzi not only broke the FT into six parts, but sundered himself as well into six inferior lich-like aspects! Each of these new creatures, the Six Lichlings, had impressive wizardly abilities in their own right, hinting as to the fearsome power of their sire, Arprat N'Moomzi.
Each of the Six Lichlings took a Thurible Fragment, and used the powers of the apparatuses to transport themselves through myriad worlds and planes, each settling into a different realm of their choosing. Little beyond that is known.
A thousand years later, during their travels, Nayer's Slayers, that irreverent band of companions, came upon one such Lichling Lair, and after an awful confrontation with the atavistic horror, vanquished it, and discovered one of the Farsmoke Thurible Fragments in its vault. The rest, as they say...is History. Nayers Slayers experimented with the insidious device, and helplessly propelled themselves into one of the countless demi-planes of existence, they came to the City of the Swollen Shadow.
Presently, due to the aforementioned calamity which ensued when the Slayers discovered this new Shadow realm, specifically the confrontation that led to their ignoble demise, the Farsmoke Thurible Fragment, now lies in the vaults of the Swollen Shadow. Not ignorant of its presence, the SS cannot yet grasp how to activate the Thurible's world-travelling powers, but it is experimenting....(bwahaha)
For such a potent device, one crafted by the gods themselves, and later used by one of the most powerful liches to ever walk the earth, surprisingly nothing is known about the actual powers of the original artefact. The powers of the individual Six Fragments however are thus: Each of the six Thuribles allows inter-planar and inter-dimensional travel. Through the efforts of Abroin and more powerful mages he had enlisted to study the object, what was learned was fairly simple. Two types of smoke issue forth from the Thurible. This smoke seeps of its own accord, and cannot be controlled in any way. When the sickly-green smoke is acivated, stepping through its vapors allows safe worm-hole like travel to an unspecified realm of existence, chosen at random apparently by the Thurible itself. When the purplish smoke ensues, it allows return to the original plane from whence the plane-travellers came from. Each period of smoke-travel lasts an unspecified (and uncontrollable) amount of time. You can explore the far reaches of reality, but when that purplish smoke oozes, you had better get back to the Thurible.
Nayers Slayers learned this the hard way, as only Gazzo Sleep-Eye, managed to flee through its mists, before the purplish smoke expired, stranding the remainding Slayers forever! Go to Comment
Among the assortment of organized criminals who live in the great city, few command greater fear the Moonbeard Order.
They of course do not call themselves that, but have earned the moniker from their fashion of dying their large beards with lye to produce a distinctive crescent shape running from earlobe to earlobe. This is meant as a taunt for their enemies, for it clearly outlines their throats.
They also wear garb similar to the northern tribesman, carefully tooled leather and showing multiple, colourful glyphs.
They are feared due to the intense discipline that their group maintains, due to their origins as a warrior-sect.
They serve as paid thugs, enforcers and assassins within the city, with the client simply ordering a service from the organization, not hiring an individual. Apart from making the request and providing payment in full in advance, the order completes the assignment themselves.
Their order has many moles through the organizations of the city, and more than a couple of nobles. As such, no organized move has been made against them since their chief activity is directed against other members of the crime world. It is said that their services have been useful for those in power as well, further protecting them from persecution.
Their religion holds that their time in this world is vanishingly brief, and largely unimportant except as training for the Great Battle.
The order is very utilitarian with weapons choice - they simply use the tool needed for the occasion, though not without having trained extensively with it beforehand. Daggers, garrottes, swords, bows, battle axes, polearms, wagons, even siege engines have been used to carry out their contracts.