Steel Realms – Meargensdale Politics making characters

level? Starting lvl 3
type of characters?
hack-n-slash or story based?

Here’s my thoughts
Mostly don’t want you all to instantly die
Type of characters. I’m okay with all the classes and races. Except the Dragonborn or Tiefling. If you come up with a good reason to play them. I’ll let you, but I’m not sure how the world would act towards them. Partly because I do still have the incarna taste.

Setting hmmm I don’t have much of a time frame because I have lack of one but it will similar to with what we have now in your group. Although I may go full on D&D world depending on what Information I have in the books.

I would call it hack-n-slash with a progressive story. There is a reason for everything happening, even though life is cheap and sometimes bad things just happen to good people. Our party is involved in a plot knowing it or not depending on how the players find and put the clues together.

Ability Generation: Point generation (Player Handbook); No Sanity
Setting: Steel Realms (Starting Area: Heartlands… ) Based in Meargensdale
Gods: Merkaine and others? Lords of Light and war
Gritty Realism: Yes (short rest is overnight, long rest is week of rest)
Magic: Not prevalent; got to have a reason for things like ranger.
Alignment: No restrictions
Class Restrict: None
Race: No dragon born, no teifling
Starting Level: 3 levels
HD: Max at 1st; choose avg or roll – locked in

STR 10
INT 15
WIS 10
DEX 11+2
CON 10
CHA 15+1

Warlock 2
Wizard (illusionist) 1 – meet some deep gnomes and became interested.
Outcast – warlock = deviat from Lolth; wizard marked so Drow can see – kill on site
Wizard took him in, adventured and came upon him as a group, he offered to help, they escorted him out of the underdark.
female – passes as male
lawful evil
betrayed party, took item
extra study

cantrip to change self as a reaction – done it so often!
sold out party, took a magic item when went to powder room and set sign in the window for autheorities to arrest the party nd their untaxed goods. illusionist good.

faith – devout servant of ____ dark gods(divine channeling)
code of conduct (evil) –

river leads to oerdney
succession of power; senior nobleman dies
land only familes struggling for power vs. hereditary
bandits more brazen because land owners hired mercs and are getting into fights – in toewn is diversion, goods flowing are more vulnerable
high kings guards are thin here – there are few.
For years they have relied on a local wizard and the high king’s guards… the wizard recently died.
Merchants vs. minor land owners vs. hereditary
Resources: orchards – grapes, barley, hay, figs, fishing,
Raids: few, bandits not orrish

Gaevana was a member of House Despana, and grew up on the edges of the Feywild in the twilight realm of Haerzovina. She was born Fey, a member of the midnight race of the Drow. All her family and ancestors for three thousand years has taken on the mantle of the priesthood of Lolth (also called Lolithnia), and she was groomed from an early age. However the twilight realm had many secret warrens and tunnels, and she was a loner. Once on a sojurn by herself, she was vexed by whispers in the darkness she could not uncover. Strong and bull headed, she returned each week for a full dozen cycles, seeking the source of the whispers, following them through the warrens that skirted The Deeping.She was thwarted time and time again… finally, exhausted one night, she stopped and listened to them. And they spoke to her of the faerie realm, and its lures. The teachings of Lolth forbid her followers to seek solace in the Feywild, and when she asked her mother superior, she had her mouth sewn shut and was scouraged for a week. This infuriated her more, and when she was free she sought out the darkest places on he edge of her realm and sought to call forth the whispers. After years of tirelessly hearing them, she was finally able to converse with them. By then, she was considered an outcast of her society. She did just enough to keep them from banishing her, or killing her, but became a loner, and was often beaten and ridiculed by others – even males.

At least, after years of searching she could ask and the dark whispers would answer. At first it was meaningless conversation, but slowly it took shape. The dark whispers goaded her to violence, against the many that had wrong her. It told her what to do and what to say, and soon she was following the precepts of her mother’s demon goddess as if she was born to it… but the litany of deciet was always in the back of her mind, and the ultimate betrayal and revenge was her goal. The tenents of her ex-faith became a reflection of the dark loyalty she was developing… and the priests of Lolth did not seem to notie that her benedictiosn and oaths of fealty were false… her new patron, the master of lies was more powerful than the old fools who fawned over the spider-altars. She had them well decieved. And upon her special day, when she was to become a preistess herself, she prepared the bitter drink of revenge. The dark whispers had for years told here were to find a special funcgus… cave mana that was toxic, but looked normal. The whispers told her how to prepare it, and little by little, she became resitant to its effects. She was sick from it, and teased by her peers again and again because she was so sickly, beaten when she was weak. Each leer, each blow, each harsh word was marked in her brain and ga ve her the focus to continue her plan.

On the day or ordination, she prepared the sacred offering that all of her fellow noviates would eat and drink from. She sprinkled the poison she had been preparing for years liberally in the sacrament. For hours they went through the motions of the ritual, prayer, and swearing of fealty to the traditional demon goddess of Lolth. Finally, the time to consume the sacrament was nigh. She, along with all of her peers, consumed and shared in the libations together. A sacrifice of a human male, and elven male were made as they drank…. the drow women mixed the blood of their racial enemies and chanted their prayers to the demon goddess. The women began their orgy of death, with Nurth servants made to run gauntlets as the drinking continued and the chains of sanity were slipped. Thats when the drug began to take hold. The screams of pain and rage mingled with those of ecstacy and orgasm. From beyond the chapel, it sounded as if it were a normal night of excess in the generation’s indoctrination to the spider queens faith. She marked each moan, each scream, every toetured spasm from her peers as the drug took hold. She reveled in her own cunning, and orgasmed as each one of her hated enemies died in agony. She has consumed so much herself that she even lay on the verge of death… but even lying on the floor, wracked with agony as the drug coursed through her, she locked the eyes of those next to her and whispered the terrible truth as they died ever so slowly… that she was the instrument of their demise.

At the cycle end, the doors to the temple were opened and the carnage revealed. She alone was alive, in agaony, but alive. They took her to be a victim and rushed her to the infirmary. They believed that she would di to. She kept up the act, and in the course of the reverend mothers discussing next to her, heard once again their disregard for her… “why could not one of the other, more promising ones have survives?”, “of all to live, why her?”, she was stupid, a vapid wench, and all that she lacked in their opinion was revealed. She marked every word. The full force of her House and the realm was brought to bear, and they sought out the source of this death. An entire generation of preistesses had been wiped out, and they would learn the truth eventually. She had to make alternate plans… she originally had planned to slip away long before now, but the drug had affected her too much. It was clear of her system quickly though, and they assumed she was just going to die eventually… she kept up the appearances they expected. As the House and enclave were called to the central altar to pray to their patron and reveal the cause of this destruction, she slipped out the ungaurded passages. The empty halls were daunting to slip through, she kept expecting to get caught but all were at worship. Passing the kitchens, she took some fare to survive on the run. Her plan had not dealt farther than her revenge… living and running was an afterthought. Through the barraks she crept, gathered her meagre belongsings, and stopped when she saw yet another opportunity. When she saw the barracks, all of priestesses had already had theor holy symbols made for them by the high priestess. Consecrated holy symbols to the demon goddess… Her hate and anger boiled over and she saw red. She collected them up and in a fit of deepest hate she emptied all the braacks chamber pots on them, and lit the entire set on fire.

Now she had to run, for the smoke would soon set off alarms. Instead of running to the nearest gate, she sought the most dangerous route beyond the Deeping. The Glass Eyed gate lierally lived up to its name. The eyes of those who sought entry from deep under the earth were all encased in glass and and enchanted to watch those coming from down the Ferring Tunnel – the tunnel leading to Cryetia’s Den (a Nurth priestess) and the Ragnatva of Melatar (a goblin shrine and last place before the tunnels lead up into a river cave and the lands of The Blood of Saemon. The only thing barring her path was a single male fighter… Aduvar was his name, and he was in thsi place because she had shamed him with her wit and duped him into repeating a heresy to Lolth. Aduvar never spoke to her, but he could tell she was running, and hear the far off alarms. He drew his shortsword and came in for the blow to kill her. It was a merry dance, for long minutes she could not afford… but dance they did. She fought defensively, and he was hyper agresive. A few times she was wounded, but the dark whispers had taught her well… and she bided for her opportunity. Silently she prayed, and swore that she would hold the darkness close if she could but see as he saw. Suddenly, the luminescent glow of the fungus faded into black. And she was able to see as if out of all the eyes posted to ward off enemies of the Drow. In pure darkness, she taunted him – whispering his name and his family’s in the darkness. She could “see” what he was planning and she expected the perfect counter. Ragged of breath he lunged, trying for a killing blow. Her many eyes of perspective allowed he time a riposte perfectly. He never knew what hit him as the dagger pierced his left eye and went into his brain – where she left it embedded. At the drop of the body, the light returned and she could hear the whispers leading her away. A strange energy passed through her, and she felt part of the life force she had just taken enfusing her and regained a portion of her vitality that she had lost to small wounds in combat. An angry mob sounded oppositethe whispers. Desperately she took all she could from the fighters body and smashed the dozens of eyes in glass. She took one though, fo rsome reason, and placed in a black sack and climbed the walls, slipping silently out down the ancient passage.

Realizing now that she could see in absolute darkness, she followed the whispers. She ran until she was weak, and she knew she would have to deal with the nurth guards when she came to them. She had the manic endurance of the hunted, and came to Creyetias Den. It was an outpst of Nurth guarding the passage to the drow enclave. When she arived, she knew she had only an hour or so before her persuer would arrive. She demanded to see the seeress, and her brashness and race got her what she wanted. Immediately the seeress knew their was danger and the stench of death hung about her. There were no small words, and well-wishings. She hoped to play on the nurths hatred, and told her what she had done. The seeress was not moved visibly, but silent. When asked what she wanted, “only a chance to live” was her reply. The Seeress took her before the nurth mother’s shrine and chanted for several minutes. “You will go to the lands of light, the old blood of the surface dwellers is the only place where you will find a home. Even now, the evil spirit of Lolth seek you out, a messenger of those you betrayed with words that will brand you traitor. This you cannot escape without leaving behind everything. Your sould will not know peace. You were reborn in death and violence and this will follow you. Do you accept this exile?” her only answer was the affirmative. The old woman said to that her penalty would be death for helping her… but her time had come and she was ready – vengeance of her own she seemed to mutter. The Seeress asked for a token, and all she had was the eye in glass – which seemed to be perfect for the ritual she had in mind. “Follow the whispers in the darkness, and they will lead you to your destiney, but behold! You must face the agent of your past!” With that a presence stole into the religious chapel. She could not see it, but could sense it. It circled around and around, edging closer each time. Finally the aged seeress spoke words in her native tongue, invoking her strange mother-goddess. In the mean time the seeres has enacted a ritual, cutting her hands and smearing the blood with her staff of power, etching a symbol in blood around the eye encased in glass. “Watcher of the depths, aid your mother now! It comes, those that would seek to destroy your altar. Take my life to make them see the error of their ways and turn them back. Let them see not that which their agent has found, and let its prey see the agent of her enemy. Eye of the watcher, be forever vigilant to she who freed you and for her now cast your revealing gaze!” Upon uttering the last sylable, the eye rose, spinning into the air. The seeress screamed in pain, and clutched her left eye, falling to her knees. The attendants all ran for the shadows, and the eyes began to spin around the altar. She could feel the presence in the room halt, and focus all its attention on the magical eye. Around and around, weaving a strange pattern it weant. Her eye happened to be drawn to it and glanced at the altar pieces laid out where she was hidden behind. On one fo them was a sacrificial dagger. She grabbed up the weapon and once again felt the darkness about her. Looking around she knew the area had been covered in magical darkness. She could see the cube, bobbing in the air and felt the movement of the evil presnece. Gathering her strength she pushed away, stood up and ran across the altar, leaping to snatch the eye from its position. A dreadful hissing sound followed her as she sailed through teh air and she felt a terrible rending across her gut. Crying out in pain, she grasped the cube of the eye and the creature she could not see before was made visible! The creature lunged for her, but was distracted by a crackling bolt of energy. The Seeress had joined the battle. Togehter thry fought the creature, invisible as it was to the nurth attendants, they tried to attack it at their mistresses command. After a minute of solid fighter, several nurth lay dead and she and the seeress huddled behind the altar. The creatures was bloodied and beaten, but not dead. A hissing sound grew in crescendo as the beast was, in its own way, releasing some sort of magic upon its enemies. A shadow formed not more than an arms distance from them – a terrible shadow with eyes like empty pits to the void. The seress last light, upon which everyone’s sight was lessened, and the shadow creature was blasted into near nothingness for a moment. “The seress leaned to her… “You must kill me. Do not let either of these creatures take me. I know the master you serve, and what you are even if you know not yourself. Strike now, while you can.” with a blood covered hand, she grasped the hand holding the cube and her hand holding the sacrifical dagger from the altar. Guiding it to her heart, it was thrust into her and Gaevana felt the rush of vitality again, filling her reserves. Briefly, she registered that the eye in the cube was no longer a withered, putrid thing but an eye full of vitality. She felt the divine power of the cave dwelling nurth mother-goddess flow from her follower into the sacred dagger. The blood that pumped from the seresses heart ran down her arm, dripping on the eye. The wizened old woman croaked out a final curse or belssing – who knows… but the creature of shadow seemed stunned by it, and the candles on the altar sprang to life with red flame, the red of blood. The serpent like entity which had snuck up on them while the exchange was happening hissed definatly and reared back – burned by the newly alight candles. In a last sacrifice, it lunged at the pair and grabbed the dead seeress in it maw. Seeing it perfectly through the power of the eye, she performed the same maneuver against the beast, sending the sacrificial dagger into the serpent assassin’s left eye. It pierced the eye, and Gaevana bore down for all she was worth, driving it in so that her hand, up to her wrist was embedded in it seye. The serpent shuddered in place, vibrating and shaking, making her teeth rattle and one of them break. She left the dagger in the beast, taking everything she could of any value and throing it into her pack, sack, and she took the priestesses robes and shoes. The Nurth had scattered in all directions, their warrens going off in all directions. With her sandals, and her small size, she blended in and would be dificult to track. Not far away she could hear commands in her Drow tongue. She made her way by following a few nurth who she heard mutter the name of the place to the Ragnatva of Melatar.

By stealth and the sheer number of warrens to search she managed to elude her drow pursuers. She kept hearing distant whispers and followed them down dark tunnels until she knew she was close. What she landed in was beyond her wildest dreams. Just as the Drow were arriving, angry and exhausted, an adventuring party from the surface had attacked the Ragnatva shrine! Probably seeking its riches for treasure, there was a battle of epic proportions. A priest of the hated god Ikribu had called forth burning light. The Drow brought down curses of darkness, and in their near homeland, it took great power to withstand them, but withstand them he did. Like molten lava he burned away the darkness as his companions tore into the goblins. It would have been slaughter, were it now for the drow. Explosions rocked the air as a Dwarven commander – seemingly the leader of the adventurers, cast ceramic jugs that caused stone and bodyparts to go flying. In the shadows he watched a pair of theives pry the rubies from the goblin shrine, only to be swarmed and have one of their number stabbed to death, and the other make it away with the loot and his life – but barely. Two strong warriors with axes fended waves of goblins, and one was taken down by the unepxected Drow before the wizard of the group was able to neutralize them and their poison by using summoned creatures – later she would learn it was all illusion. After 30 minutes, and many deaths, the priest of light was finally laid waste to by the curse of darkness and the Drow. In the confusion and blood, a voice came out of the shadows, clear and crisp: “Gaevana thou art cursed. Outcast, betrayer, liar, and murderer you are branded. While her power still holds stay far from the light i mark you forever more. All of the Fey Born are obliged to kill you upon sight. Whatever happens, you will never have a home with your own kind!” The world went white with an agonizing fury. She felt held down by some invisible force, and as if a brand were thrust upon her head and knew she had been marked by the spider queen deomon goddess of her people. The surge of divine power left the entire area ringing. she recovered as fast as everyone else, faster even and it gave her a moment to assess the area. She saw this as an opportunity and in a lull approachem them, pretending to be nothing more than a wounded drow “servant”. She managed the deception well enough and offered to lead them out of the dark, in exchange for protection on the surface world. She briefly told a story that portrayed he as a sacrifice that was going to happen and the party interrupted. IT explained hte presence of drow, their hatred of her and on the surface seemed plausible. Hsastily, the party agreed. She could see in totla darkness, even the magical on the curse had brought down and guided the party back along the path they had come in on. It was very easy – she just followed the trail of bodies. The Drow were greatly wounded and had little left to give chase with. The goblins were terrified and the party managed to stagger back into the lands of light. It burned. Beyond all belief it burned and rendered her nearly immobile. The warriors called her a wretched thing, the remaining theif even maligned her. PErhaps they were only coping with death – the priest, 2 mena at arms, a theif, and a holy warrior (the preists best friend) had all died, along with a shield man and some servants… they all made fun of her. Only the wizard said nothing. They cast her out into the back alley of some crowded urban area, and began their bragging and mourning of the dead. As the sun fell, and the party raged on, the events of past 2 days finally caught up. She sobbed unctrollably, and loudly, and that was how the wizard Kormaril found her. She was covered in blod and filth, and the wizard ferred to her has a “he”, and she knew that males had a more dominant positionon the surface so she never corrected him. He took pity on her, and offered him a job – an arrangement until he could get on his feet to clean and tend to his place for room and board.

The money that the group had amassed from teh shrine’s treasure was enough to nearly retire. Kormaril was sought out, wined, dined, and played the fool when needed and powerful mage when moments called for it. Soon the truth of her gender was revealed, but Kormaril said nothing. He continued to refer to her as a “him” in all other company. They exchanged training in languages and Kormaril asker her if she would apprentice with him. She agreed. She had had plenty of exposure to magic in observing the males of her House, but the priesthood was what she was destined for. She proved to be a very quick study. IT turned out that Kormaril’s last apprentice had died on the attack on the shrine, so she inherited all of his gear, maked with an “K” and Kormarils sigil. Diligently she worked, 16 hours a day, for an entire sun-scycle of the surface world throwing herself int the training. As an apprentice she served as his barrier to entry, she had access to several minor magic items that were used to assess the intent of visitors, and she was taught to disguise herself. The surface dwellers were not kind to the dark ones – Fey Tainted the wizard called her. On the surface, her kind often went stark raving mad. He had never seen anyone so focussed though, so immersed… and he attributed that to keep her focussed on contemplating the horrible searing orb in the sky that caused such a distraction. She was there at many a feating, joined by his friends who were amused at teh “Pet Fey” he had taken. Many lewd comments about her status as “pool boy”, being house broken or potty trained and such things were made. He never joined them, but he never defended her either. After a year she began to wonder hwo he supported himself. There were visitors from other practicioners of magic, and politicians, and local celebrities seeking his advice and counsel. Finally, a year and ahalf later she had learned anough of the laws, customs, and society of the surface dwellers to put it together. All the loot from the shrine had never been taxed. All the proceeds they kept for themselves and woudl sometimes laugh at having “hoodwinked” the tax agents. In the mean time too she had discovered her master’s proclivity for young men (not boys) and realized he had a relationship with this apprentice that died. Compared to the world of depravity she had come from, this was tame, and he soon felt safe with her, in talking about romance and sexuality. She did once overhear the rogue (“Tommy”) refer to him as a “poof” – the rest of the party obviously though that her master and she (still a “he” for all they knew) were in a relationship. Really, she began to dread the constant parties – aside from her master she was learning wizardry from, they were all cude, crass, and base. No denying though, they were good at their jobs. This familiarity however, soon caused Kormaril to drop his guard. She would prepare personal things for him, get his desk ready, ensure supplies where kept up and had the run of most of the place.

She saw an opportunity in this. Masking herslef with magics, she began to go offer to venture out for minor errands for Kormaril. He thought it excellent to get used to the light, and would send her to fetch parcels and drop off letters and groceries, etc. AS a “servant” he learned where many teamsters and laborers usually gathered together after hours. She would dally in these places learning the vernacular and customs of the folk. Using her keen powers of observation she singled out one person in this group who as mostly at the fringes, and seemed to play close attention to everything being said while contributing very little (except buying rounds and small talk). She began to lay hints of the lavish lifestyle her “master” lived and how unfair it was for “we” folk. She spent a month gaining the trust of this individual and then using her illusory powers made it look like she had been beaten and was trying to hide it. She claimed she knew a terrible secret of men who had cheated the law, and ran riot on servants and prostitutes all the time, bragging about how they had “:stiffed: the magistrate and king out of taxes from some massive “score” they had gotten. She kept a close watch and one night she knew she was being followed. She was able to lose them in a place she had designed for just such a thing, but it was then she knew she had the informants attention. She packed things as unobtrusively as she could at her home iwht the wizard and kept up the charade. A week later she was leaving the place when she was stopped by militia guards and taken in for questioning. She made a good show and told told the excise agent of the adventuring group and how they had plundered an ancient shrine, faught the Fey Born to stand still, and even fleeced the priesthood out of borrowed money – claming the party used cheap immitation goods for the funueral instead of gold and precious stones on the sarcauphagus. Behind closed doors the debauchery was constant, they were all rich beyond their dreams. He tried to paint a picture or rampant evasion of taxes, disregard for the law, and insults to the local lords and ladies. Playing the hurt servant, he agreed to leave a door unlocked for a raid by the Lords taxman and men at arms.

On the night of the ambus, it was a gathering of the adventuring band just as planned. There was to be much drinking and ironically it was to be this night that the group was to decide its future course. The food and wine was the best she had ever sampled… and she got the shock of her life when she was offered a place in their adventuring band! Even though they had hazed her greatly, Kormaril had convinced them that she would make a useful ally. The dwarf seemed to be the only one who was truly reluctant. The arrangement had been to send the signal when they were all good and drunk, so she ate and drank with them as the evening wore on. She was given a a bracelt of much value, where each of their names were incribed on unique siver tag – a charm bracelet of some worth. She was given 10 gold coins, presented with an Arcane Focus for her wizardly magics, a potion of healing (“hey – you’re gonna need it!” gag gift, and the cloak, hat, staff and goods of her masters previous apprentice. She made the appropriate speech, drew out many causes for toasting (and therefore drinking) and dodged around the issue of becoming one of the party but made it seem as though she was saying yes… In reality she had no problem setting the group up for an ambush. The hazing always had an elements of truth in it. She knew her race was despised,. She knew that they would never go for the idea were it not for being an apprentice, and she knew she was really just grist of the mill – the second string sent in to soften up the enemy at the cost of their lives. She made her excuses to go to the garderobe. She had already planned things… and piled her recent presents with her day-to-day gear and let them drop out the back window to another confidant she had arranged things with (she used a different disguise with this person, and used her real gender to allure him). She went and left a back servants entrance unlocked and came back to the party. A few more toasts and and she could tell, even drunk her master knew something was amiss – she was far too evasive. Just as he was about to pull her aide and ask what the deal was, the signal was made by waving a candle in the window. The raiders burst in and while there was a serious fight it was inevitable. Several wounded men at arms and they were all captured. She had used 2 of her masters potions to make locked doors appear barred from the inside. She, along with ehr “companions” were gathered up. The ruse had worked, and they followed along with the plan. She was allowed to go free in exchange for the information and the setup. It was a simple matter to collect what was set aside. The guards had set off all the wards and alerts the wizard had. She did not take anything major, just enough to get a head start on her own career. Using illusion magics she worked her way out of the houseleaving behind a perplexing escape puzzle with no solution. “He” seemingly had go through locked and barred doors and halls and vanished after being interrogated.

Meeting up with her dupe “lover” she cast an illusion tomake ser ugly and hideous. She showed up with a limp and a hideous countenance saying the wizard had cursed her – but they loved each other so it would be ok. He fumbled with his words as the strolled down the street, away from the street mansion under lock down, appearing to have a lovers quarrel while he carried a small chest. It looked the picture of a recent engaugement and she played it up saying what was in the trunk was dishes, napkins, finry for their wedding. He tried to get out of the “running away together” plan, abd she made hin feel terrible. In the end, he walked her to a stable, helped pay for a horse and saddle, and used her excuse (“the strs spoke, we were meant to be togehter”) to weasel hsi way out of running away together (“gosh, do you think the stars said something diferent? I’m not a reader of fortunes or anything…”). She hits the road well equipped and well armed, with a bevy of acouterments and money.

Gaevana goes by the nickname her master gave her “maybug” (so named because he did notice how she was able to put the ‘bug’ in peoples ear and get them thinking how she wanted -‘he could make pople think it may when its snowing out’). Without magic or makeup she looks as if she has gone to hell and back. There is a depth to her look that makes it

someone slipped up – overheard her being released

Remembering the view of the eyes, she watched in her minds eye the battle replay itself. From so many perspectives she studied and studied, replaying the footwork, the subtle shifts in balance.

Repisot in the darkness
holy symbol