Character Portrait – Thelisn

Elven Archer src: YamaOrce on DeviantArt

The above image is a good representation of what Thelisn might have looked like. Source: YamaOrce on DeviantArt

Next up is Thelisn. I wanted to play a character who was completely different from any others I’d played to that point. One class I’d never played before was a rogue. Enter Thelisn. 

Thelisn was an outcast from the Elven homeland of Evereska. Well, not so much an outcast as one who rejected all things of his family, people and heritage and left of his own accord vowing to never return. He came across a band of refugees fleeing Cormyr. Their destination was the fabled city of Silverhall, on the Pool of Yevin in the Dalelands. There, in service to the Silver Queen, he would eventually find a home.

During their travels towards Silverhall, he came across a black sword called Darkfire, one of nine dark weapons known as the ba’althrils. These weapons, forged of an unusual black metal, are things of darkness and trouble throughout the Wyrmfang Chronicles campaign. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to use these weapons to destroy the Wyrmfang dagger, an evil weapon forged of a dragon’s tooth.

The ba’althrils, however, are dark and evil things themselves. Thelisn, like the swords previous owner Lief, fell sway to the weapon’s dark influence and turned against the party as they were arriving at Silverhall. Thankfully Thelisn was subdued and the weapon destroyed. And in time, with the help of the Silver Queen and the healers of Silverhall, Thelisn was restored to himself.

Eventually, the time arrived for the party to travel west and use the ba’althrils to destroy the Wyrmfang. His journey was cut short, however. When the party met a bodak Thelisn was slain by the undead beast. As happens with the bodak, Thelisn rose into undeath and became a bodak himself in the service of Gulthias, the vampire master of Nightfang Spire.

Instead of turning to evil, however, magics of protection that had previously been cast upon him by the Silver Queen to help free him from the influence of Darkfire allowed Thelisn to keep in control of himself and not turn to evil. He abandoned Gulthias and rejoined the heroes of Silverhall. He used his bodak powers in their service as they sought to destroy the vampire.

Unfortunately, being undead he had no means to repair his wounds in battle. He eventually fell once more to the servants of Gulthias in Nightfang Spire.

 

Getting Started on the DMs Guild – World Builder Blog

Fantastic article on getting started creating content for the DMs Guild. Definitely going to refer to this as I go forward with the world I’m building and other content I have in mind.

Due to a recent (and now taken down) job posting for a Dungeons & Dragons designer job that required an applicant have three published products, I’ve had many folks ask me for advice about publishing content on the DMs Guild. Publishing a product is super rewarding, but it takes a lot of time and it…

Source: Getting Started on the DMs Guild – World Builder Blog

Worldbuilder – Geography

Continent Quick Sketch

As I mentioned initially, the focus of this campaign setting will be one of four main continents that occupy this world. This continent consists of coastal regions along the western, southern and eastern regions which are separated from the inner main continent by long mountain ranges that are mostly impassable.

Continent Quick Sketch
Continent Quick Sketch

The inner continent inside the mountain ranges is 3500-4500 feet above the coastal regions. There are a number of passages through the mountains, though most of them are typically snowed in or otherwise impassable most of the year.

There are several river valleys that pass through the mountain ranges from the inner plains to the coastal regions. Most of these, however, are not easily traversed. They have numerous narrow passages and high waterfalls. There are few who brave these routes, even in the dry seasons. 

Along many of those rivers are quite a few lakes. There are also 4 inland seas. Three of them are in the inner plains. The fourth is in the center of the southern coastal region.

Little is known about the inner region of the continent. There are vast regions of rolling plains and flat lands. Not much is known about the inner regions now. While it was once inhabited, a great catastrophe befell the continent and most of the inner continent was decimated. Few who venture into the inner region now ever return. Those who do bring wild tales of strange beings, nomadic tribes and ruined cities. A few have told of a massive mountain that sits near the center somewhere, but none who speak of it have gone anywhere near it.

The northern edges of the continent are tundra wasteland and the temperature remains below freezing all year round. They are sparsely populated by strange nomadic tribes who have little interaction with anyone else. 

There are a number of large islands off the eastern and western coasts. Once part of the main continent itself, they were separated out during the great catastrophe. Some are a part of a mainland nation while others are their own kingdoms. Many of the islands are inhabited, though a few have been left wild or allowed to return to a wild state.

The eastern and western coastal regions are mostly temperate in nature, though each has a minor desert/arid area. Forests are common and vast between the regions of farmland surrounding the cities. Animal life is plentiful and both hunting and farming are common ways of life.

The southern coastal region is more jungle and tropical in nature. Farming is much less common. The inhabitants rely mostly on hunting, fishing, or trade with the other nations. 

Due to the great catastrophe, there are still quite a few ruins to be found in the coastal regions and the islands. These will be more likely to be lower challenge rating in nature. This is due to being located in easier to reach areas that have been patrolled by government authorities. Inner region ruins and locales are much higher in challenge rating, having been long abandoned and unexplored by anyone. The southern coastal region is host to ruins and dungeons of all levels due to much of it still being wild jungle areas.

 

Character Portrait – Storinthalasin

Not Actual Storin

Note: Not the actual Storin mini. I don’t have any surviving images of Storin, so I’m substituting this random generic elf adventurer mini

When I first joined the Wyrmfang Chronicles, my character was Storinthalasin. Storin was a Silvanesti elven fighter/magic user from the world of Krynn. He was assisting his master with a magical experiment and it went horribly awry. He ended up in the misty realms of Ravenloft. There he wandered for several years before coming across the party of adventurers. Not having found his way back to his own world of Krynn, he threw in his lot with this band of heroes.

He didn’t have a particularly long life. The party came afoul of dark magics that separated their spirits from their physical forms. When he found his physical form, it had been possessed by one of the Forsaken named Gohrn, who was using it to rule over a band of orcs (I believe. It’s been a lot of years since these events), keeping his physical form hidden from these elf haters. 

While he fought valiantly to try and regain his form, it was a battle he eventually lost. He did, however, have the satisfaction of denying his body to the Forsaken, as his form was revealed during the battle and the orcs ripped it apart. His soul was last seen entering a new domain of Ravenloft being formed about the priestess Selena.

Character Portrait – Qen

Qen - Mini by Chris Fry
Qen
Qen – Source: HeroLab

The mini above is Qen. Painted and assembled by Chris Fry. Thanks Chris!

I’ll start with my current character because he’s the freshest in my memory. A year or two ago, we decided to move our ongoing campaign from Faerun to Golarion. The current arc is based in the deserts of Osirion, running through the Mummy’s Mask and related modules. 

Qen is a Suli cleric of Ra, the old god of law and justice. He’s descended from the djinn mistress of an ancient pharaoh of Osirion. Which one exactly his mother has declined to share with him. Qen rather believes the true identity has long been lost to passage of time.

His ancestors have always been loyal and faithful to the old gods, worshiping as they may in secret and dismissing the current pantheons as pretenders and usurpers. Once Qen completed his training, after many days of meditation in the desert, he came to the belief that it was time to restore the faith of the lost gods.

Leaving behind his mother and sisters in Sothis, he followed the guidance of Ra. Soon he found himself in the city of Wati, at the crook of the Asp and Sphinx rivers. There he began teaching among the poor and destitute of that ancient city. While his upbringing among the merchant classes of Sothis would be termed middle class, he holds no wealth himself.

In Wati, he quickly learned to despise those of the wealthy classes. He saw them abandoning their moral obligations to aid those in need in favor of their own comfortable lifestyles and protections. He began to lay plans for the eventual overthrow of that city’s corrupt government, beginning with bringing organization to the street gangs of the docks district.

While he gathered some followers to the true faith, there came a day which changed his path. It was announced that the pretender pharaoh was opening the walls ancient burial grounds of the Necropolis to adventurers. Seeing an opportunity to possibly find ancient relics of the true gods, Qen joined himself to a band of adventurers and went with them into the Necropolis. During those forays into the Necropolis, the band found a mask that held a part of the soul of an ancient ruler called the Sky Pharaoh. Thus began the adventures that have brought him to where he is now. 

From Wati, the adventurers were led to Tephu. There they spent many a day wandering and studying within the ancient libraries of that city. And from there, they set out for Ipec and the deserts beyond. The party is pursued by a band of cultists seeking to restore the Sky Pharaoh to life and rule. Currently, the band is wandering the sands of the Parched Dunes. They seek the secrets needed to lay the spirit of the Sky Pharaoh to rest once and for all. 

Qen firmly follows the path of Ra, being a lawful neutral cleric that epitomizes everything the true faith of Ra stands for, especially the rule of justice and order. While he accepts the flaws of his companions, he has no compunction about turning one of them over to the proper authorities should their actions warrant arrest. 

Everywhere he has gone, Qen has left behind a few souls brought to true enlightenment. Qen seeks not gain for himself. Much of his earned treasure has gone to building up the true faith and bringing justice to all. He looks forward to the day when the pharaoh of Osirion is brought back to the true gods. Failing that, he has no problem with replacing the pharaoh with a true believer.

 

The D&D 30 Day Challenge: Day 30 – Best Playing/DMing experience

Hmm, there have been so many that I have a hard time narrowing it down to one. Some of my favorites as a player include:

  • When Aeduin threw himself into a pillar of fire to save someone (thus becoming the Smoke-Eye, changing from bard to Cleric of Occipitus)
  • When Thelisn became a bodak PC and adventured for a time in that form
  • When the Gogun, my dwarven cleric, learned how to cast a fireball spell in White Plume Mountain, pissing off the party wizard. Of course that led to him becoming one of those believing himself to be Keraptis…
  • Playing Raistlin and facing off against Khisanth in Xak Tsaroth
  • When my barbarian, Strom, one shot killed the enemy wizard with a critical hit during their first encounter, completely derailing the DM’s plan for the next 4 sessions.
  • Finally, when Delban used a whisper spell to taunt Lord Soth in Ravenloft in trying to raise him from his stupor long enough to save Sithicus.

As a DM, I’ve had a few, but I’ve covered most of those in earlier posts and I’ve blathered enough across these 30 posts, don’t you think?

WorldBuilder – Start

Earth

I’ve had something brewing in my mind for a couple years now and I’ve decided to go ahead with it. I want to create my own RPG world. And I’m going to document the process on here as I go, sharing my thoughts and the reasons why I made certain decisions. So, here a few of my initial thoughts.

  1. It will be a world of high fantasy and magic. In many ways will follow in the footsteps of many worlds before it: Faerun, Krynn, Greyhawk, Golarion, Ravenloft, and so forth.
  2. It will be generic enough to easily be adapted to any of the common rule-sets, especially d20 based sets.
  3. I want to do something a little different with divine magic. I’ll elaborate a bit more on that as I go, but while the standard 9-square alignment grid will apply, the deities won’t quite follow that exactly.
  4. Races will interact quite a bit differently than the norm. While most settings seem to emphasize racial divisions, in the modern times in this world interaction and even intermarriage will be quite common. While the standard races will exist (human, elf, dwarf, etc), societies will be extremely diverse. Characters (and NPCs) will often have mixed heritage and be able to draw from racial abilities from any of their family tree. I’m not sure how the rules for that will work just yet, but I’ve got a few ideas. There will be one or two exceptions in their society to the mixed heritage which I’ll detail as things go.
  5. The geography of the world will consist of 4 major continents. The setting, at least initially, will focus on the “New World”. It’s a continent that was discovered by explorers from the other three continents thousands of years ago. While the original continents were, and still are, very divided racially, over time the New World has grown into it’s own societies, breaking from the old worlds and intermingling.

Much more to come. We’ll see how it grows.

Character “Portraits”

Qen

Over the years of playing in the Wyrmfang Chronicles, I’ve been through a LOT of characters. We’ve been playing nearly once a week for more than 20 years. Most of them have ended up dead, or worse….

So about once a week starting this Thursday, I’ll post a little blurb about each of the characters, their experiences, background and current status