Archive for April, 2018

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A to Z – Giant Bone

9 April, 2018

Bone“Weapons made of bone,” Voddick shook his head.  “I cannot help but find them distasteful.”

“Understandable,” said Gollaon inspecting a dagger carved from bone.  “Using what was once an animal, or a person, as a weapon has a stench of necrourgy to it.”

“Agreed,” nodded Voddick.  “I will stick to steel and bronze.”

Giant bone is a prized material, as hard as metal, it can be shaped and it easily accepts enchantments aligned with the elemental nature of the giant it was harvested from.  The larger the bone, the larger the giant and the more elementally powerful the giant was, all play into the value of the a piece of giant bone.

Since the aftermath of the Gods War, the number of giants has declined precipitously and new giant bone has become increasing rare, though some Draconic Houses are said to retain a considerable stockpile of giant bones.

One of the rarer classes of sky ships use alchemical treated bones, usually the ribs, of the sky giants incorporated into the hulls to provide lift.  Their magic has proved very potent and many of these ships still travel the skies even today.

Notes: Many, many years back I remember reading an article, I think it was in Sorcerer’s Apprentice magazine, that discussed giants and if a humanoid was as large as a giant, it would have to have bones like structural steel and blood like acid.  This has always inspired my thinking about giant bone.  Additionally, in the RuneQuest book of treasures, there was a legendary lance carved from the thigh bone of a giant (because giants in Glorantha are really big).

Image cropped from “Bokeh Bone” by Al King is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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A to Z – Fantastic Foods of the Sea of Stars

6 April, 2018

The Sundering and the release of strange magics in the aftermath of the Gods War has produced many odd things to mix with the many foodstuffs that existed before.  Most anything sort of food that exist here in Earth can be found in the Sea of Stars.  Additionally, there are many stranger and more unusual edibles to be found, such as:

  • Food!Eternal apples from the Stone Forest of Vut, while their fruit is grey, and the flesh slightly grainy, they keep indefinitely (or at least for centuries).
  • Self-cooking barley from the Sulfur Hills, the grain tossed into water boils the water and cooks itself but it does taste of mildly of sulfur.
  • Fish from the Fish Trees of Malabar, packed and salted in barrels.  Their wooden bones can serve as toothpicks.
  • Blue honey from the giant sapphire bees of the Karulean mountains.  It is said that the mead brewed from it can provide the ability to fly.
  • Rat steaks, and other cuts, harvested from the giant rats of Tikk Most, where there are raised like pigs.  Sadly, the merchants of Tikk Most have not been able to convert rat meat into much of an export commodity.
  • Rainbow wheat from the fields of Khelm are extremely colorful, though it takes considerable work to sort the grains by color.  Chickens, or other foul, fed the grain produce eggs with shells of the same color.
  • The glowing shrimp netted in the waters off the Pearl Cities, cooking in the proper spices will adjust the color of the glow from yellow to orange, pink or even lavender, the most difficult color to obtain.

There is more, much more, but that is all I have for you today.

Notes: Image “Food” by Ray_LAC is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

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A to Z – Enigma of the Sea of Stars

5 April, 2018

This is a collection of unanswered, perhaps unanswerable questions about the Sea of Stars:

  • Shattered and sunderedWhy did the Sundering happen?  Was it a final act of spite of the Gods?  A miscalculation on behalf of the Empress?  An end result of the titanic energy unleashed during the Gods War?
  • Where did the Visse, the race of small humans that serve the dragons, come from?  Where they always around and never noticed?  Did the Empress somehow create them?  Were they once other being transformed as a reward or punishment?
  • How has the Moon escaped death at the hands of the Dragons since the Gods War?  Especially as the Moon Sect is the source of such chaos and disruption.
  • How did the Wash survive?  And how did it become Petrichor?

Notes: Busy day and and thus a short A to Z entry.

Image  “Shattered Glass #2” by Ben Becker is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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A to Z – Dragon’s Blood

4 April, 2018

It only takes a dropThe very essence of dragons is magic, no where is this more apparent then in their blood which is a potent magical enhancer . . . and addictive to any magic user who partakes of it.

This is the real thing, the blood of a dragon, alchemically refined to keep its potency. (Though fresh dragon’s blood has the same effects, it must be drunk quite soon after it is spilled or the magic is lost.) The appearance of the dragon’s blood depends on the type of dragon it came from.  It also carries a ‘taste’ of sense impressions which give a sensorial clue to the personality, elemental alignment and soul of the dragon it was drawn from.

Consuming dragon’s blood fills one with power and confidence, heightening natural magic use and washing away cares.  However, the users is filled with a overwhelming sense of power and desire and the consumer may indulge in actions and activity they would normally consider unthinkable as it also washes away inhibitions.  Unfortunately, it also burns through the body’s energy reserves, leaving the user tired and weak when it wears off (though a good meal will help recovery).

Using actual dragon’s blood as a base, alchemists have developed a substance that is close to dragon’s blood, though not as potent. To those who have not tasted the real thing, the synthetic is sweet and potent, but to those who have tasted the true blood, it seems bitter and incomplete.

Those unfortunates who have tasted and become addicted to dragon’s blood often turn to the use of the synthetic to satisfy their cravings for power.  The synthetic requires a trace of dragon blood or a larger amount of blood from one of the dragonkine or false dragons as a base.

A small number of debased dragonkine sell their blood to alchemists for such uses.  Some true dragon consider the manufacture of synthetic dragon’s blood (or even the refining of true dragn’s blood) an insult and will destroy the laboratory and maker of such.

Notes: Dragon’s blood is an interesting lot device which I have only rarely used in my campaign.  Dangerous to use but some will pay any price for power.

Image “Blood Hibiscus” by Kryziz Bonny is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Cobra-Cat Chain

3 April, 2018

Cat Chain“I would not get too close,” cautioned Golloan as Voddick stepped closer to the long bodied cat.

“I will not, I do not have much like with such beasts,” Voddick replied, keeping his distance.

“Good as I suspect this cat is more than it appears.”

Cobra-Cat Chain

These items are made in pairs, a chain collar for the pet and a bracelet or necklace for the owner.  Almost always made of precious metals, silver being the most common, and occasional having suspended baubles.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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A to Z – Cobra Cat

3 April, 2018
White Cat

One of these and . . .

A long-bodied cat with a longish muzzle. It weaves it way through the legs of a chair and eyes you quizzically.

Cobra-Cat CR 1
XP 400

N Tiny magical beast (chimeric)
Init +7; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +5

DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+3 Dex, +1 Natural, +2 size)
hp 11 (2d10)
Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +1

Cobra

. . . and one of these.

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee 2 claws +7 (1d3–2), bite +7 (1d6–2/ x3 + poison)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Defensive Abilities Immune to consumed toxins

STATISTICS
Str 6, Dex 17, Con 11, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 7
Base Atk +2; CMB -1; CMD 11 (15 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative [B], Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +7, Climb +7, Perception +5, Stealth +15; Racial Modifiers +4 Climb, +4 Stealth
SQ Familiar, Pleased by Poison

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Familiar (Su) The master of a cobra-cat familiar gains a +1 bonus on Initiative checks and a +4 bonus to saves against consumed toxins.

Immune to consumed toxin (Su) Anything poisonous or toxic consumed by the cobra-cat is ingested with no ill-effect. If the poison consumed has a higher DC than the cobra-cat’s poison, the cobra cat gains a +1 bonus to its poison DC for 24-hours.

Pleased by Poison (Ex) The cobra-car will consume poisons and poisoned food preferentially, gaining a +4 bonus to perception checks to notice such.

Poison (Ex)
Bite—injury; save Fort DC 11; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Con; cure 1 save.

The origin of the cobra-cat is unknown but they have become very popular as pets for nobles.

While primarily mammalian, the cobra-cat lays eyes from which its kittens hatch and are nursed by the mother cobra-cat.

For D&D 5E:

Description as above. Read the rest of this entry ?

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A to Z – Ba’aikire, the Unkind Ones

2 April, 2018

Dance of warVoddick shuddered and quickly turned back from the doorway to the tavern.

“Trouble?” asked Gollaon, his hand falling to his sword hilt.

“Harvesters, a whole flock of ’em,” said Voddick.  “You can smell the death on them.”

“They must think there will be a battle on the morrow.”

“Truth.  We had best cut our night short and prepare.”

Ba’iakire (Darkwings, Harvesters)

The Ba’aikire are the surviving daughters of the slain goddess of war, death and carrion and their descendants. For reasons that are obscure to this day, the Dragon Empress did not order them slain following the death of their mother but allowed them to continue to exist and roam the Sea of Stars in their bloody quests. Read the rest of this entry ?

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A to Z – Armor in the Sea of Stars

1 April, 2018

The level of manufacturing technology in the Sea of Stars ranges from late stone age in some isolated pockets to nearly industrial levels with wind, water and magically powered machinery at the other end of the spectrum.  So a wide variety of types of armor can be constructed but what sorts of armor are useful?

Buff CoatFirearms and gunpowder artillery are not a factor but battlefield magic is.  This means that just choosing the heaviest armor is not always the best choice as mobility can be as important as protection, so most seek some sort of middle ground between defense and maneuverability.  Thus the humble buff coat, a think leather coat that other armor can be worn over as needed, is often the basis for many a warrior’s defensive gear.  Inexpensive but versatile while providing a foundation for heavier armors, it is popular across all social classes.

For those wearing heavier armor having it forged from Dragonsteel is the pinnacle of light weight yet protective with Dragonsteel mail and breastplates common among the nobility but rare among most soldiers.  For those who cannot afford that, dwarven wrought steel is prized and most of the dwarven holds export armor.  A full suit of armor is still considered to be the mark of the martial nobility in many lands and remains a common sight in war.

More exotic armors exist but with increasing rarity, the elves and nature cults make suits of living vines and wood, the dwarves work living crystal, wizards craft bloodstones and bracers to magically guard their wearer.  There is even armor made from salt and the legendary god-forged armor which is not in the claws of the dragon.  There is something for every taste and purpose if one searches hard enough or has a deep enough purse.

Notes: The A to Z Challenge begins!  You can help me decide what to post, go here to read more.  Armor is always an interesting subject in a fantasy world.  What do you think about about how armor and magic interact?

Image “Buff Coat” by European via The Metropolitan Museum of Art is licensed under CC0 1.0.

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A to Z Metapost – Aims, and asking for your help

1 April, 2018

A to ZIt is the start of April’s A to Z Blogging Challenge, which I have participated in on and off since its second year in 2011, today.  This post is a little about my aims for the A to Z Challenge, where one does twenty-six blog posts over April, one for each letter of the alphabet.

While this is an “A” post, it is not the actual post for today, that will come later and be on the theme of armor, this one is about my Aims for the challenge this year.  My aim is to fill in missing odds and ends in the background and structure of the Sea of Stars setting.

So, if you have any questions about the Sea of Stars, please, please ask!  While I will find things to fill the alphabet as the month goes on, I would much rather be providing things that are useful for you.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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