Outpost Gazettes, 10/9

Are We Beyond Redemption?

As a test, we were requested by our allies of the sea, the Hafsin, and personally by their leader, the Fury, to suss out who had been attacking them. Our only clue was a marking on one of the undead that attacked, which the story tellers of the Hafsin were able to tell us was of the Raptor King – Ramiro Marin, also known as the Sea King – and his wife, the Raptor Queen Valencia. Using scrying, I was only able to locate Valencia, who was captaining a boat in magical glowing chains near some large black spires. For this quest, the Fury gave us a fully manned ship named the Salty Maiden, captained by Jotnar Alfhild of the Sea Urchin Clan. Skald Ranveig of the Otter Clan came along to document our adventure. We sailed to the black spires. Ariella and I flew up into the air to check if we could see their ship[ we barely saw the sails of the Tammeraut heading NNE from our location. We trailed behind the Tammeraut until we finally got within range. Using my staff, we teleported onto the ship only to be greeted by a bunch of undead, fiends, and unholy ground. As the group did battle, my first instinct was to dispel the magical chains affecting Valencia. With a hint of luck, I was able to temporarily disable the chains. As she came to her senses, at Dara’s request her undead stood down, but the fiends had other plans and had to be dispatched. After the battle both our ships needed to be repaired. As they were, Valencia told us her story.

The Sea King seems to have been a warlock before the Fall. His patron induces extreme paranoia and as a result, he became a coward. He didn’t stand along the others in the great battle against the Titan, but Valencia betrayed her husband and attempted to join the battle. This didn’t go unnoticed by the Sea King, so full of paranoia as he was. Using a pact object given by his patron, he bound her to eternal service and to follow his command. His last command was to gather more men for his army – in this case, undead. She told us that her people’s souls were cursed to be sentient undead as long as this pact object existed and the Sea King lived. She also said that after the Fall the Sea King lost contact with his previous patron, but a new one came to him and warped him and the pact object, allowing him to mold the very sea and land into a realm of despair, home to fiends. She believed that we could get through to the Sea King, that if he were to destroy the pact object he could redeem himself and his soul. A1 instilled some skepticism as to if such a man was worth redeeming, or if it was even possible. I wonder if Endurance can be redeemed, or if conflict is the only solution as well. Even if we win the war, will its people follow us? Will they see us as irredeemable if we kill the Mistress?

-Wolfgang Boneguard

A Letter to Saphara

Hey Saphy,

I know you were looking forward to seeing me home. Hells, I was looking forward to seeing you. But I’m going to need to ask you to be patient for just a bit longer. Nothing is wrong, I promise. But my visit with the Hafsin has been extended for a bit.

I can’t wait to tell you about the negotiations. The stories of these people, the battles we fought at their side. They are a good people, and with their assistance I firmly believe that we will be able to fight Endurance back. But as part of our alliance, there has been an exchange of guests. Revel and Luna were specifically requested. And I volunteered as a political guest. It is… not ideal, I was looking forward to seeing everyone again. But I could not in good conscience volunteer others for such a duty when I was capable.

I have so many gifts, however! And I bought a new cloak! It lets me teleport like you and Assistant One do! I’ll show you when I do get home.

Tell everyone that I’m OK. And that I’ll be back soon. These are good people, and they won’t betray our trust. We have to show them the same regard. I’ll be counting the days til I’m able to see your smiling face again.

Love,
Dara Halestorm of the Eagle Clan
P.S. They adopted us into their clans! I am now part of the Eagle Clan!

A Letter to the Wardens

Mission: Travel north east of Greenhome, scout where Calypso’s tribe resides and assist if needed to.

On the fourth day of our travel, we encountered a scouting party from Endurance. Two scouts were captured and are currently retained within Greenhome. A sending stone of some sort was acquired and in the party’s possession. Upon identifying the item, we discovered it is only able to send one message to an unknown source before the magical effect fades.

We took a total of six days to reach the cavern. But we were too late. Less optimal decisions were made, costing us valuable time. The tribe had already been slaughtered by the passing troop of Endurance three or four days ago, and their corpses were twisted by the storm to the point of no return. We did not find any survivors, but those that have met the tribe before pointed out that the total number of bodies found were about a quarter of their entire population. We did not find Calypso’s body either, so there might still be hope.

Greenhome have been made aware that the army is fast approaching. Given their travelling speed, they will be reaching Greenhome within two lunars.

-Arrow Dirhael

A Letter to Captain Paymon Dread

Captain,

The war approaches. It has been a difficult few months for me. I have made mistakes and failed friends, and I question myself near-constantly. There is barely a minute that goes by where I do not think some cruel words about my oversights.

I fear now for my companions at the Outpost, for how can I trust myself to keep them safe? I feel unworthy of their time and support. And of course, I cannot help but think of how I failed you, and how thankful I am for your forgiveness.

All I may do is dedicate myself to protecting our homes, the Frontier and Solace, and thus to protecting my companions and you, for the army of Endurance is brutal. I have seen what they can do myself, how brutally they slaughtered a tribe of innocent people on the coast. I will not allow that to happen here until the last of my blood is staining the ground.

When all of this is done, visit, won’t you? I am not ashamed to say that I miss you, and that I dearly wish to see your handsome face again. I swear to you that I am far merrier in person, it is the act of writing that makes me face such introspection as to be melancholy.

As always, I wish you well and send my tenderest affection,
Aevaris

Outpost Gazettes, 9/12

A Letter

Addressed to Alassë Dirhael, sent 75th Hippogriff A.G., along with a vial containing a single dead worm.

Mamil,

I went with Saphy on a mission to ensure the safety of those conducting experiments for Professor Edelwop of the University for her stay in the area. It was not pleasant, but we all returned to the Outpost safely. It’s an island that has a beautiful garden; the condition of the soil is so excellent that even the grass from the roadside could be Blue Ribbon worthy. However, under the earth came a beautiful but malicious melody that never seem to come to a rest. We also came across some undead controlled by parasitic worms. There were hundreds of them in each corpse, and any damage dealt to them would result in a spray of worms blasting back to our faces. Some of those things squeezed through my armor and bit me, but Wolf helped me get rid of those pests.

We defeated this worm-infested person, and Saphy disguised herself by wearing its mask before we rested and continue further. There was this undead “Director”, as he called himself, that actually told us to escape the moment he realised we were ‘living creatures’. Guess not all undead are bad. He was smart, too, and he briefly told us about the history of the place. The area was a Pre-Fall underground theatre called The Stellaris, renowned for its talented star opera singer named the “Diva”, who had as difficult a personality as she was talented. A thousand years ago, the result of the Fall killed most of the people here and mutated the Diva into a terrifying worm creature. She had been singing for her ‘audience’ ever since. Occasionally, she would request that the Director go out and look for more corpses to fill the spectator seats. All of her choir members were worm-controlled undead creatures. She was also the one responsible for the worms dancing and moving in such a way that they actually helped fertilize the soil of this island.

After some convincing, the Director reluctantly brought us to see the Diva… Well, let’s just say it’s a sight to behold. She was a massive worm-like creature easily 50 feet in length, with tendrils with faces in various expressions, all caked with melting makeup, filling it’s gigantic mouth… or the place where a mouth should be. She was singing her song for the dead audience, and immediately turned to us when Saphy applauded. A short exchange was made to make the Diva not immediately hostile to us, but the fight was inevitable. She went straight for Saphy and ate her, because as she was the one who tried to deceive her. Then Minerva and A1 also got swallowed and puked out, but Saphy didn’t, and I didn’t know where she went. All I knew was I had to kill it, and eventually we did. We found Saphy had teleported all the way to the back stage and was fighting another worm person there. I’m glad she’s okay.

I know I always have confidence in her. But she got hurt and I felt angrier than that time Theo got hurt. Not being able to do a thing until everything is over sucks. She talked about going back to Solace, so she doesn’t have to endure this anymore. She is so strong, yet so fragile. I wish for her to be here, but I can understand why she wants to leave. Mamil, what do I do? I don’t know what to do.

-Thea

Team F Scouting Report 1:

The calls of war from Endurance are finally being brought to a head. With Bastion’s manpower being spread in preparation of the oncoming war, the most available personnel from the Outpost were contracted to act as scouts for the sake of our united front. The composition and preparedness of a scouting group was a bit lacking… with no spyglass, or covert familiar scouting. According to our contractor in Bastion’s Keep, Endurance has been sending forward scouts along with contingent forces to test against the defensive capabilities of the Keep with little success. We took note of the last recorded sightings of the scouting parties to the North-East of Bastion Keep and simply started combing the forested areas for signs.

Aside from the local wildlife, it wasn’t till we reached the eastern coast that we of the peninsula that we got a better understanding of our current situation. Without understanding their intent, we witnessed an a regiment of Endurance’s forces numbering well into the thousands, equipped with a multitude of folding boat sets to allow them to board. Where they found an incredible surplus of magical boats is a question for our leaders and merchants. They were sighted sailing down along the river with no indication of making landfall close to Bastion’s Keep.

Aside from the large forces, our scouts detailed that they seemed to be led by two figures: an elven woman and a man of some humanoid race. He wore the insignia of a fist clutching an arrow and gave an incredibly imposing aura about him. In a serendipitous turn of events, we also got to witness the strength of the leading commander as a gold dragon attempted to attack an entire fleet of boats. As it flew down, lighting struck the dragon out from the sky and as it fell to the ground, he took his maul in hand and split the dragon’s skull in two. This is clearly a sign. Not of a man, but potentially a God-king.

As we retreated in fear of meeting the same fate, another scouting party of Endurance set to ambush us but was quickly dispatched due to our perceptive vision and quick reactions. This potentially means that all coastal locations are currently in jeopardy of their defenses and information being led back to the main fleet. Any additional information or details can be ascertained from any of the contracted scouts.

Max Tybalt

To the Members of the Senate and the House

I only pray that you will take this Paladin’s request seriously. I am Dara Halestorm, Paladin of Renown, a Warden, and Defender of the Outward. I am certain that you have heard the dire need of the Outposts that have formed in the last year. The threat of Endurance has only become more pronounced as we have learned more about them. That we have received word that a God-king may very well be marching against us as well only increases the urgency of this request.

We have found a third civilization out in Otera. One led by a being known as the Howling Fury. Little is known about her, but that she commands the respect of at least one powerful creature of the Ocean leads me to believe that she may be yet another God-king. If this is true, I pray that you might see the value of establishing diplomatic relations with her. In this vein, we have already arranged for several of us to meet with her and her people. This is where my request comes in: I dare not speak on behalf of the People of Solace if it is not the people’s will that I do so. As the chosen representatives of Solace, I beg that you heed this plea. Give me and mine the sanction needed to speak with the weight of the City. Allow us the latitude to deal fairly and come to agreement with each other.

In case it is necessary, I have enclosed documentation regarding what we know of the forces of Endurance to this point. If all that we have built here is to survive, we will not be able to do this alone.

In the Name of the Four,
Paladin Dara Halestorm

Outpost Gazettes, 8/31

Mission Report? The Road.

I think we went out to the road, but I don’t know how we got there.

I’m not sure when it appeared, and I’m not sure when we started running.

I’m not sure what it is and whenever I try to remember it, my head hurts.

I remember arms. And I remember legs. And I remember mouths. And I remember not remembering. And I remembering it being everywhere, and mostly remember it not being there.

I remember the grass, the fucking grass, fuck that grass. The grass was bad. The grass can fucking die. The grass when stood on did weird things to my head, or, did weird things to me, i’m not sure, I’m not sure about much from this fucking excursion. It did things to my legs, it grabbed me, it yanked me out of the air. Fuck that grass.

There were undead, I smashed some skeletons, there were lots of these shadow spirits that sapped my strength, sucked ass, fuck those guys too. My arms are some strong magic, so I could thankfully punch those asshole ghosts, but they were still total cunts.

The thing chased us I don’t know how long, we killed so many ghosts, ran so far, I looked after Strid, he looked after me.

Something happened, and we found a house, and the road was gone, and the thing appeared and. We woke up in the outpost and, I don’t know if it was a collective dream or not, but there was money and essence and –

Conscript Beatriz Ynez

The Trial of the Sea King

Captain Paymon, at Dara’s request, agreed to ferry us across the seas to reach seas uncharted since the recession of the Maelstorm. To the Boneyard we sailed to retrieve the Jade Eye and return it to the Torrential Sepulcher. The trip went smoothly, aside from the minor spat of plague that infected most of the crew and that weird marks appeared on our foreheads. We arrived at a coral reef. The waters were very clear down below and we could see a graveyard of ships. As we rested so Norin could sync up his sleeping schedule with ours, I decided to fish to see what types of fish could be caught here. I felt a tug and began to reel a large fish until suddenly another creature cut my line. We weren’t the only sentient beings in this reef.

The fish got impaled on the jagged coral around the area, at which the Gigantic Water Elemental exclaimed in anger and pain. He must have been the one who cut my fishing line. I immediately became one of his targets throughout the entire fight. The combat was rough, but in the end we came out victorious. It stopped attacking us and apparently Dara and it became friends. Dara told us his name was Seasmoke, and he said we passed the trail and told us to go obtain the Jade Eye from the ship. We entered the previously locked room to find a chess game in progress. We masterfully solved this puzzle and definitely didn’t trigger a swarm of poison needles to shoot out at least six times. Afterwards, the chess board opened up with the Jade Eye inside. This also made the marks on our foreheads to turn green. We returned to Paymon’s ship and told him of what we learned down below. Then we returned home to rest and prepare ourselves to travel to the next location.

-Wolfgang Boneguard

A Letter

Discovered in Corzin’s Room, visible tear stains on the paper.

Yllastra will pay. She has made me question my path. She has belittled me at every point. And now, she has killed my traveling companion. Oogie Will Be Avenged.

We walked right into a trap. It wasn’t even the real Yllastra. It was a scrapping SNOW COPY of her. And after I put so much effort into our diplomancy, and held my tongue when she talked about the terrible things Endurance does to its people, for the sake of trying to make some peace, she betrayed us and killed my friend.

She will pay.

She questioned my strength. She made me feel small, for a time there. And she’s wormed her way into my thoughts, made me second guess myself and what I know. And I can’t take it anymore. I can’t rest until she’s dead, and Solace is safe.

Yllastra Will Pay. I will be the one to remove her myself.

But, I’m going to do it in fair combat. I’ll show her my strength, that’s not borne from status, but from my own hard work.

Oogie… I wish you could have been there when I put her down. But, you’ll just have to hear the news in your next life.

Recycle in peace, dear friend. I hope to see you again.

An Impassioned (and slightly singed) Letter to Paymon Dread

Greeting Revered Reaver of the Open Seas Mr. Dread,

I have a great respect for those who take pride in exploring the world, to strive to encounter the unknown, to see that which has yet to be seen, even to acquire and revel in treasures long lost to the world. It is for these reasons I feel we may be kindred souls, but the last of them for which I am penning this letter. It has come to my attention you have come into possession of a bell with quite the interesting properties that I happen to share an interest in the potential it contains. Such properties to clear fog are undoubtedly useful for a seafarer in those conditions, but I entreat you, as an engineer with aspirations higher than the sky, to consider the potential usage, nay FULL usage such an item would have when borne aloft to the high skies, where clouds abound in troves, once obstacles or risks, now only clear skies. And the potential integration of effects, imagine a properly shielded housing potentially of essence infused steel, redirecting the effext, tunnels of clear clouds, or even a pillar of clarity to safely land, the potential is limitless. But I ask this not freely, I would like to offer to muster a group of adventurers from our Outpost to potentially assist you on a venture, for someone as traveled as yourself surely has a few tasks that would benefit from a selection of rather talented companions we are uniquely qualified to provide.

I await your response with fevered anticipation,
Minerva
Airship Aspirer, Skyfarer, Fun-geneer, Inventor, Planeswalker, Arcanist, Adventurer, Engineer, Tinker, Smith, Miner

A Note (dropped in a discreet location)

Decided to have a drink at the tavern. Some cloudy eyed guy wandered in and dropped and envelope in front of then proprietor.

Guy snapped to as soon as he dropped the envelope. Had no idea how he got here.

Contents of the envelope were from Ylastra, an agent of the Veiled Mistress asking to speak to Revel (the proprietor) for peace talks between Solace and Endurance.

I tagged along in case things went sideways.

A ring in the envelope transported us to some ruin. A sacrificial altar, apparently.

Revel discussed the social order of Endurance with the priestess. Sounds like a shitty place to live. Apparently since I’m not running farms like my folks, then I’d be tried for treason.

I wanna punch her. Hope she gives me a reason to.

SHE GAVE ME A REASON! It was a fucking setup!

Fun time.

Riders came in on Gloomstalkers from 3 directions.

She’s gonna catch my fist. Something stole my memory…..but I got it back!

The camel died…that sucks.

It was a simulacrum. Fuck those things. We’re gone. Apparently the Outward is south of here.

We crossed a town built into the side of a mountain with an army across the river.

Looks like they are waiting for them to do something…..

Fuck. I just wanna get back home. Fastest way appears to be through this mess.

Aevaris transported us straight home. There’s a war coming. They’ll be here within four weeks.

Spread word.

-Urneal

Outpost Gazettes, 8/13

Notes on Magic

– The act of casting magic requires specific actions to perform. This usually includes the writing of magic symbols called runes or certain specific movements, providing either specific items called components or focusing through a universal “magic focus” like a crystal or certain minerals, and sometimes the incantation of specific words. Combining these methods produces a certain magical effect, and most of the study of magic is experimenting with these combinations of actions.

– There are two general types of magic, though the lines between them tend to be more blurred than I had originally thought: there is magic that is produced through faith, which I like to call Faith magic, and magic produced through study, which I like to call Reason magic. Certain people possess powers innate to their being; this type of magic is something I wish to study more, as it seems to be a fascinating mix of both Faith and Reason magic. Those who call themselves “Warlocks'” are also a mystery, though the only one I know is also one of the aforementioned innate types.

– Essence is pure magic dust. I don’t know too much about it, but you can infuse it with certain materials to make those materials produce interesting effects. Such an example is my Mithril Glaive; even though most materials are too cumbersome for me to wield effectively in Glaive form, this material is so light when infused with essence that I could wield it. Artificers are masters of this essence infusion, using it to produce various magic effects in different items. NOTE: MAGIC ITEMS ARE DIFFERENT FROM ARTIFICER MADE ITEMS. MAGIC ITEMS ARE MADE FROM A LONG LOST ART OF MAGIC INFUSION THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE ESSENCE. (The recreation of this method seems to be incredibly interesting, and figuring out how to make this work again would be a great asset to our Outpost.)

– Considering the above information, I believe that I am most suited for Reason magics, as they are based off of study. I have considered Faith as a potential form, but I have found that my belief in myself does not hold fast enough to allow me to access such forms of magic. Reason mages usually have to use a spellbook to keep notes on their magic spells; I believe I’ll need to memorize those spells instead, since using my Glaive is difficult otherwise. This means I will have less spells available at any given time; whatever spells I leaned need to count.

Corzin

Expedition Notes

From the journal of Chigu Townsend Caprincheo, Alchemist and Apothecary to the Outpost

Some time ago, I enlisted in my first expedition out to explore the frontier, and it was as fruitful as I could have imagined. We traveled east for three uneventful days before reaching Greenhome; my skills and knowledge in herbalism proved very useful in foraging for food along the way. Our stay there was also uneventful, though I was intrigued by the guard who challenged us at the gate. I believe he was some sort of magitech automaton, though I didn’t bother taking a closer look. Our storm badges served as identification as Outposters, and we were allowed in.

Shortly after leaving Greenhome, though, things became much more eventful. First, we came to a mountain. A mountain which others who had been out that way before assured us had never been there before, and which indeed appeared on no maps. At its top was a strange almost-certainly-unnatural silo-like formation of cones; we chose to go around the mountain rather than over it to be past it quickly, so I did not get a closer look at its structure or indeed the material it may have been made of. I have since come to regret this oversight. Hopefully(???) the mountain is still there (???) the next time we venture out that way and we can take a closer look.

We then came upon a beach of glass. And when I say glass, I mean that it was covered in sharp shards of glass, under which water flowed. Very precarious. I was able, however, to spill acids on the glass and dissolve areas so that we could pass somewhat more safely and, more importantly, forage for food. I made a fascinating discovery here: some of the fish I found here appeared to be partially herbal in nature, with plant matter growing from them. They also tasted delicious. Pre-seasoned fish, a fascinating concept! I salted and preserved a few small ones to bring back, though experiments quickly made it clear that there was no alchemical secret to be gleaned here, only the maelstrom’s touch yet again.

Shortly after the glass beach, we encountered a crab-person and were challenged with threats, though this was merely his sense of “humor.” Sebastian, the “hilarious” scout, invited us into Calypso’s cavern where we met a young red-haired crabgirl named Ariel and Calypso herself, matron of the cancerites. The people there expressed some concern that our early contact had not yet led to established relations, so I spoke for the people of the Outpost and officially offered our cooperation and friendship. They offered mutual benefit and trade, and it seemed like a useful thing to do. In poking around the cave then and later, some algae I found growing there caught my eye; Acting on a hunch, I collected some samples and brought them home to examine for their possible alchemical properties.

We were offered a feast, and were also informed of a problem that Calypso’s cancerites had been facing. To the east—which is also where we were heading—they had been having trouble with local beasts that moved and acted as one. They suspected something or someone was in control of these beasts, as they moved with preternatural surety, even across species. Eagles, wolves, and feral hogs in great number moving together as one, surrounding their scouts in a few short minutes. We agreed to help and went to investigate. I brewed an entangling infusion potion that Rasselkopf added to the trap they made, and we set out to capture one of these beasts and learn what we could.

What we learned was that the cancerites were right: these beasts were extremely dangerous. For one, they were huge, easily twice the normal sizes. We succeeded in trapping a feral hog, lashing it to a tree and entangling it in vines. But within seconds, the eagles watching us uncannily from the trees turned on us, and wolves arrived with even more feral hogs. Several of us had hidden in trees, but climbing is not my strong suit. David was swarmed and nearly overcome until he walked into the pond and held his breath underwater until able to make a mad dash to the tree. I entangled some wolves and ran to another tree, but other wolves tackled me and nearly had me; luckily I was underneath Arrow, who helped me climb into the tree and hide. Another eagle attempted to attack us but I bravely showed him what-for with my spear. After killing the eagles and hiding safely in the trees from the other animals, they seemed to recognize this as one and leave.

We harvested quite a bit of essence from these unusually-magical beasts before limping back to Calypso’s Cavern to report. On our way back, we were given a soggy but stately official offer of treaty and alliance to bring back to the people of the outpost, which we hope to develop soon. The cancerites are very nice and it would be a shame to leave them hanging. Especially if that algae proves useful.

So despite a near-death experience, which was certainly less than ideal, my first foray into the wilderness offered one possible alchemical discovery and at least two more curiosities, a discovery of a possible malignant sentience in control of many gigantic feral beasts, and new updates to the local geography and an expansion of our map. A very productive expedition, if I do say so myself. However, I think I must work on formulating a wolf-repellent if I am to survive the next.

A (Private) Journal Entry

Times like this make me miss you a lot, sir. I think I found the perfect woman for myself, and I don’t know what to do. I really wish I could come to you for advice, to make sure I was doing right by her. But you aren’t here right now; like you haven’ been for four years now. It really has been four years, hasn’t it? And it’s been … ten years since you found me.

So I’m doing what you taught and trained me to do: adapt. I think you would like her, sir. Kai is smart… way smarter than me, full of life, and stunning. And her eyes with those tattoos… (you can tell the ink dries before writing resumes) sorry. She’s a fighter, I can tell. And I get the sense that if I say something patently stupid, she won’t hesitate to correct my fool self. I hope I can avoid those situations; I feel like finding her has been a direct act of the Architect, and I’m going to make damn certain I don’t push her away. She’s far better than I deserve. Anyone who can put up with me is special, and anyone who can care for me? That’s… unique.

I can hear the Architect laughing, though, if she read this. She’d probably cuff me upside the head, and tell me to stop being a damn fool. Something something, “there’s someone for everyone.” Well, I never thought it would happen, yet here I am. And … I’m happy. It’s the first time in my life I can honestly, genuinely write those words. Dara and Revel were right. They usually are. Speaking of, I need to introduce them. I have the utmost certainty she and Revel will get along famously.

On to more somber things, I am genuinely concerned about Saphara. Her first death was likely quick and painless, I imagine. That’s likely to leave minimal scarring on her psyche. But this most recent one, she was eaten while conscious… and digested. I can’t imagine that memory being burned into her mind is doing her any good. I want to help her, but she’s keeping people at arm’s length. It’s a totally natural disposition, but I’m not sure how I can help her.

One more thing I wish you were here to help me address. She’s a good friend, and I don’t want to push too hard. But I am worried she’s going to withdraw into a recluse, and that will only cement that traumatic experience. We both saw it on the wall, but somehow you were able to get them to open up and get past their experiences. I think I will need to talk to Dara about that, when she gets a free minute.

Well, Kai is coming this way, so I’m gonna end it here. Wish me luck.

Rest in Peace, sir.
-Norin

Outpost Gazettes, 7/30

Even the Sky Isn’t the Limit

A Submission to Magewright Monthly

While to my avid readers it may seem my writing hand has gone idle, this fevered researcher can assure to you that is NOT the case, for this talented tinker has been working fervently to bring you exciting results of my latest development. My years of working in the world of airships and the recent months of far more intense hands-on experimentation have borne fruit – fruit that, when properly calibrated, can find one borne aloft, breaking free the chains of gravity, taking to the skies in pursuit of freedom in a way not thought possible with such small machination devoid of a spell’s blessings.

This esteemed engineer, through many failures and even more burns, can finally, proudly, share the designs and specifications to allow this goal to be spread far and wide. I now challenge YOU, dear reader, to take the included documents and strike out, strike UP on your own and join me in the Personal Skyfarer’s Salute! For the next we meet may it be above in the bright-blue sky, where dreams are no farther than the clouds.

Until next time, remember: Use the Flames of your Heart to Burn your Mark into this World!
Minerva
Skyfarer, Fun-geneer, Inventor, Planeswalker, Arcanist, Adventurer, Engineer, Tinker, Smith, Miner

Dear Mr. Ranne,

I told you I would make it to the Outpost! You and the others at the smithy might not have believed that I was really coming out here, but I did! Don’t be worried, though. My weaponsmithing might not be quite as good as yours, but I make up for lack of finesse with the magic I devised. And the best part is, the people here are willing to help me learn even better ways to put it to use!

In fact, all of the people I’ve met here are very nice. Mr. Norin reminds me a lot of you, and A1 seems nice (if not a little strange). Someone even took the time to make sure I knew what was going on around here! They even told me that if I worked hard, I would be able to be as strong as they are one day.

Thank you for everything you did for me back in Solace, Mr. Ranne. I wouldn’t be even half the bladesmith I am now if it weren’t for you, and I wouldn’t have had the courage to come all the way out here to improve more. So don’t worry about me! Keep working hard, and maybe one day I’ll come back to visit.

Until the next letter!
–Kai Corallis

A Notice

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

It would appear the frontier is as dangerous as ever: one of our people here have suffered a soul injury, making it her second. From what was able to be discerned, she was eaten by a large creature, and only her skeletal remains were able to be recovered. It’s a stark reminder that there are truly dangerous things in this world, even when Endurance is not threatening to kill or enslave us all.

Work in the outpost continues apace; buildings are being constructed, armor is being crafted, and research continues. We have a pending mission in approximately eight lunars, taking us beneath the waves of the ocean. We are working to make preparations before the mission, but it is quite uncertain what we will encounter. I do hope to avoid a repeat of my first underwater mission.

I will keep you apprised of any new developments as it pertains to the upcoming missions. Please contact me if you have further questions.

Architect’s blessings be upon you.
–Arrow Cassal

Superb Slam 19 ™

It’s that time of year again. Time for the annual Superb-Slam! The greatest contest of Might, Magic, Wit and Guile! This year is sure to be the biggest tournament yet, as many of Solace’s “Heroes of the Frontier” have vowed to compete! Will they be able to outwit and outplay previous Champions and crowd favorites? Only time will tell! 

This years challenge, sponsered by Klünder & Associates Inc., has finally been revealed, folks, and boy we’re in for a treat! This year’s arena has been carefully planned and designed by the ever-elusive creator of the notorious, ever-changing, ever-shifting Blue Alley! That’s right folks, the vogue rogue himself, Manksy!

In this masterpiece of malice, groups of three will enter a maze laced with all sorts of Manksy’s trademark surprises at opposite ends. Their goal, besides surviving of course, will be to reach the center, where a pre-Fall relic is being kept. Their goal will be to retrieve this relic and place it in their team’s goal. The first team to score or the last team standing will win the match.

But “Mr. Announcer,” you say, “won’t the first person to touch the relic just teleport away?” Well, my sweet innocent fan, we’ve thought of everything. Each contestant will be equipped with this year’s latest and greatest magitech device, the “NOT TODAY Mark I.” This little baby is capable of not only counterspelling magical effects, but also shielding its user from incoming harm. Fall into a trap? Get blasted in the face by a flame-breathing baddie? Or maybe that pesky wizard just won’t mind his own business… with the “NOT TODAY Mark I” you can finally tell these nuisance-y everyday problems, “NOT TODAY!” At the push of a button, you can reap the benefits of the device’s Legendary Resistance   or engage its famous Nullmagic ™ effect.

Don’t miss a minute of this year’s Slam. We have more surprises in store, and the games haven’t even started yet! Get your tickets now!

A New Breed of Mage

Before two years ago, you were either born with your magic or you learned it somewhere.  Before two years ago, no one in all of Otera had ever heard of creatures who called themselves fey, or fiends, or celestials. Before two years ago, there was no such thing as a warlock.

Then all of that changed, almost all at once.

With the partial receding of the Maelstrom, certain powerful entities—some transformed beyond recognition by the raw power of the storm—began to appear, or to awaken, or were simply able to reach out for the first time in a thousand years to call allies to their aid. A few such entities turned their eyes toward Solace as a beacon of industry, life, hope, and untapped potential, seeking to rally those citizens suited to their kind of magic to their individual causes.

Some of those in Solace who heard such a calling recoiled in horror at the intrusion. Others followed the call, drawn along like so many moths to a flameless light in the darkness, and finding others like themselves in the process. The latter soon sought to organize themselves, delving into the shared mysteries that had brought each group of them together. And so were born the Great Houses of Solace, each one dedicated to a shared set of values and goals, and populated by groups of warlocks empowered by the same types of entities.

Mechanically, each Great House corresponds with a specific type of otherworldly patron (i.e., Undying, Fiend, Hexblade) and can include warlocks bound to different specific entities of that type. Those entities who makes pacts with citizens of Solace do so because they seek to ally themselves with the great city, sharing a goal or cause in common with a large part of the populace. Archfey, for instance, have a strong affinity for much of the work done by the Greenhands; Seeker patrons, on the other hand, tend to naturally align themselves with the Conservators.

Those warlocks who heard the first wave of callings two years ago and were involved in creating the Great House to which they belong are known as the First Generation. They are accorded modestly greater prestige among their kind and known by the title of Zenith. Any who heard a later calling and joined a Great House after the fact are referred to as Latter Generation and granted the title of Azimuth. If you choose to play a warlock associated with a Great House, you may select either of these ranks, but playing a Zenith requires DM approval and a commitment to heavy RP.
It should be noted that the vast majority of warlocks in Solace belong to the Great House associated with their type of Otherworldly Patron, and with good reason—since access to allies, shared information, and the resources of their House (including quest hooks) are a valuable commodity. That said, you may choose to play an outlier warlock who is currently unaligned with their respective Great House if you wish, though be forewarned that you are giving up a great deal by doing so. In any case, if you are playing a warlock, you must choose from among the available patrons listed for each Great House according to your warlock subclass. A handful of new patrons are likely to be added by the DM team in time, at our discretion. Player-generated warlock patrons are not permitted for this game.

The Calling

Get up.

You open your eyes. It’s cold. Colder than it has any right to be. Shivering, you sidle closer to the rusted steam pipe running through your tiny bedroom. The flaky metal is warm to the touch. You curl up to it, shift into a more comfortable position, pull a threadbare pillow over your head. Morning comes all too soon, not that any sunlight penetrates down to Echo Bottom, and with morning comes another day of repetition, reprimands, and regret.

Get up!

You start upright, hand sliding under your pillow for the paltry little knife you keep there. It’s scant comfort, here in the pitch dark, but scant comfort is better than none.

Did one of Gristle’s lads get in? You had two weeks yet on your debt. Or a sharpsweet addict? You struggle to still your shuddering breaths, your rapidly beating heart. No sound, none beside the blood pumping in your ears.

Move.

You brandish the knife toward the shadowy bedroom door, shout a threat to whatever invader has forced their way into your home. Then, slowly, you realize that the voice didn’t come from outside. It came from within your own head.

Are you mad? Did you finally snap? You aren’t surprised, but you always figured madness would, you don’t know, feel different. As it is, you feel rather the same.

Move!

Somehow, you can’t help but obey. Your bare feet touch the chilly cement floor, sending another ripple of shivers up your spine. Maybe there’s time to get shoes? No, you know there isn’t. You stop, puzzle as to how you know there’s no time. The brief delay leaves you anxious and tingling, like a thousand tiny needles driving into your scalp.

You leave your little shack. You don’t bother to lock the door. The streets are as close to empty as they get, beggars and pickpockets and the occasional twitching addict. You ignore them. Something more important calls you, drives you, pushes you toward an unknown goal.

As you walk, silhouettes melt from the shadows, fall in time. A handful, a score, a hundred. More, perhaps? You can’t stop to count.

Up, up, up, out of Echo Bottom, through Elftown, to the top of the Greenhouse just as dawn peeks pink over the horizon. All at once, the men and women around you seem to sigh, and the world sighs with you.

Make it whole.

The voice in your head sounds… sad, almost. Its sorrow fills you to the brim. Tears brim your eyes. You repeat the phrase under your breath, roll it around your mouth, over your tongue, repeat it again. You stand up straighter, fill your lungs with the fresh morning air. It’s cleaner than that in Echo Bottom. Funny how you’d never noticed before.

Around you, the vastly diverse crowd does the same. Dark-skinned folk from Vault, dagger-ears from Elftown, bespectacled magicians from the University—all the city is represented here, in their bedclothes. Somehow, you’ve never felt closer to anyone in your life.

And you know, somehow, it’s up to you, all of you, to make it whole.

DiceCloud

Anyone who has played on Dawn of Change knows that lag in Roll20 is a constant problem. As we move to Godfall we’ve decided to start trying to combat that by having each DM create their own Roll20 game. This however creates it’s own issues, namely how to manage character sheets. The Roll20 character vault can be leveraged to easily move characters between games, but this means DMs have no visibility into someone’s character sheet until it’s moved. It also means that if there is a Discord event you could be left scrambling trying to import your sheet into a Roll20 game somewhere just to see your stats.

This is where DiceCloud enters the scene. While this can be a lot of extra up-front work on the part of the player, the payoff is huge. Lag on Roll20 can be kept to a minimum, your sheet will be safely backed up, you and the DM team will have quick access to your sheet even over Discord, and lastly it interfaces with our new dice bot Avrae which means you’ll be able to roll attacks, checks, saves and whatever else without even needing to open your sheet to see your modifier.

I know DiceCloud may seem overwhelming at first, but if set up correctly it will be a huge boon to you as a player. For those that want to start playing around with it, here is a handy-dandy cheat sheet for DiceCloud. I also recommend going through their tutorial and reading their guide.

If you want to see an example of a Godfall character using Legacy, a Homebrew Class and Background in DiceCloud, you can check out my character Cecil, the Infusionsmith.

I am also looking at ways of leveraging DnD Beyond as an alternative to DiceCloud, as Avrae can use that as well, but I’m currently struggling to get the Legacy system to even sort of function over there.

As always, we want to hear your feedback, questions and concerns!

Gathering

With the rough draft of the new gathering system out for player feedback I wanted to provide some visibility into how we got where we are. When I started the new gathering system I told myself I was going to get rid of the chance of failure as that’s been one of the biggest complaints. I played with probably a half dozen different systems and ultimately landed somewhere very different from where I thought things were going.

The primary issue with gathering, and crafting in general in this game, is that you need to make the high end stuff scarce but attainable. Otherwise everything else becomes pointless. The old d100 system did this by limiting how often those items are even available to be acquired. This wasn’t a great system and got a fair amount of negative feedback so I wanted to do away with it completely. My goal was to make a system that still kept rare materials scarce enough to be cool, encouraged group play, was significantly less random, and felt like a living part of the world that could be engaged with.

After a bunch of ideas (mostly based on farkle and re-rolling d6s trying to get three of a kind or better), I switched gears. I put the idea that failure wasn’t an option to the side and asked myself: “Is failure such a bad thing if you can just retry.” I think the big issue with the old system is that you’d only get a shot at very rare materials once a month or so, and if you failed you had to spend CP for probably another month just for the chance to try and get that material. This randomness is what was really killing the system. Failing only felt so bad because you knew you’d spend another month rolling a d100 every day until you got another chance.

“How can I make a gathering system that isn’t random, but doesn’t end up with a bunch of ignored materials?”

Make it story driven. I decided that if I can put the reins in the players hands to tell us what they are interested in, not only does that give us free plot hooks into missions and faction quests but it solves almost all our issues. By creating these time sensitive locations and including lots of ways for players to interact with them outside of just gathering resources we can have a gathering system that feels alive, that engages players and that can create a diverse list of materials that players are actually interested in.


You can check out the new gathering rules in Downtime and Crafting linked to in the right hand menu.

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