It was London, 1963. I remember that. I remember the lemonade sky above the Thames, the smell of smoke from countless chimneys. Horse-drawn carriages were still the norm, back then, but the first automobiles were appearing among the rich. Oh how people stared at them!
It was in London that I first met Glory. That’s what she called herself when we met, in the market on Hampstead Heath. I thought she was just another girl with too much money and time on her hands and not enough common sense. Her fae nature was not immediately apparent. By the time I realized what, and who, she was, it was too late. I was hopelessly smitten, and I like to think she was fond of me as well.
Not that it mattered.
It was just a few days in London.
Eventually, I returned to Atlantis, buffeted by good investments and pleasant memories. She burned bright in my memory for some time, before being eclipsed by my dear wife.
But Adelaide is gone now and, in these gray twilight days, I look less toward the future and more to the past. To those handful of days in London, laughing with a fae girl on Hampstead Heath and stealing cherry-flavored kisses from that same girl.
That was over fifty years ago. The world is a different place. The last time I was in London, I barely recognized it. Its streets are choked with clockwork vehicles and strange folk from foreign worlds. The London air smelt like cardamom and fresh asphalt.
Glory is still there, but most people know her as Gloriana III, great-granddaughter of Oberon and Elizabeth. She hasn’t aged a day since our rambles on the heath. She’s still as young and lovely as a spring flower.
I wonder if she remembers me?
I wonder if her lips still taste of cherry?
Saturday, February 18, 2017
The sun does not shine past the trees.
The ground is dark, the domain of night.
And we stand in that darkness, looking up,
hungry for a glimpse of light.
Light that never comes, until the wind blows.
Branches sway and bend, and the long night gives way
to an oh too brief dawn.
Then the wind moves on, the branches grow still.
Endless night returns and we return to our vigil,
waiting for a glimpse of light.
Friday, February 17, 2017
The Great Hall was filled with guests. The good and great of the land had assembled at the Master Artificer’s invitation, to witness the unveiling of his latest and greatest creation. Lodevic Arno waited behind a velvet curtain, tapping his fingertips together and smiling in anticipation of the crowd’s reaction to his latest work. Behind him, the nine-foot tall metallic figure seemed pensive. Lodevic lay a calloused palm against blood-warm metal and smiled.
“Soon,” he murmured to his creation. “Soon.”
Artificers do not exist in many worlds, but in the worlds they do inhabit, people quickly learn to give them a wide berth. Not because they are inherently dangerous, but because no one knows exactly what will happen when an artificer empowers her creation. Most of the time, the artifact works perfectly fine. The rest of the time? Well, there are rumors that Atlantis sank because of an artificer. Artificers don’t do anything by halves.
In most worlds, artificers live difficult lives. Bridging the divide between the arcane arts and the physical sciences as they do, they are often rejected by practioners of both. That’s why they so often wind up working alone, becoming eccentric at best or mad at worst.
What they lack in physical power, artificers often make up for with intelligence and wisdom. Many of them are also walking arsenals, and a high-level artificer with a handful of coins can be more dangerous and unpredictable than an arcanist or a scientist.
Just ask Atlantis
As an artificer, you gain the following class features.
Hit Dice: 1d8 per artificer level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per artificer level after 1st
Armor: Light armor, Medium armor, Shields
Weapons: All simple weapons
Tools: Tinkers’ tools
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Skills: Choose any two from Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Nature and Medicine
As an artificer, you have the ability to imbue things that you create with magical properties via rituals. Each ritual takes five minutes per Spell level to complete. Therefore, a 1st-level spellcrafting ritual will take five minutes to complete, while a 5th-level spellcrafting ritual would take twenty-five minutes to finish.
The Sorcerer table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level or higher. To imbue an object with a spell, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expanded spell slots when you finish a long rest.
Spell Slots Known at 1st Level
You know two 1st-level spells of your choice from the sorcerer spell list.
The Spells Known column of the Sorcerer’s table shows when you learn more sorcerer spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 3rd level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.
Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the sorcerer spells you know and replace it with another spell from the sorcerer spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
You cast all of your spells as rituals. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your spells. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a wizard spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell Save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
Spell Attack Modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
At 1st level, you gain proficiency with one type of artisan’s tools of your choice.
When you reach 2nd level, you can attune to more than three magical items at once. You can attune to a number of magical items equal to your artificer level plus your Intelligence modifier.
By the time you reach 3rd level, you can use imbue an item you have created (such as a rag doll or a clay pot) with a spell. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier. When you have exhausted all uses, you cannot use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Ability Score Improvement
At 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th-level, you can increase one Ability Score by two, or two Ability Scores of your choice by one. As normal, you cannot increase an Ability Score above 20 using this feature.
Beginning at 6th level, choose two of your skill proficiencies. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies.
Starting at 10th level, you have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.
At 14th level, you have three luck points. Whenever you make an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw, you can spend one luck point to roll an additional d20. You can choose to spend one of your luck points after you roll the die, but before the outcome is determined. You choose which of the d20s is used for the attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.
You can also spend one luck point when an attack roll is made against you. Roll a d20, and then choose whether the attack uses the attacker’s roll or yours.
If more than one creature spends a luck point to influence the outcome of a roll, the points cancel each other out; no additional dice are rolled.
You regain your luck points when you finish a long rest.
When you reach the 18th-level, you no longer need to create an object to empower it. You can now empower any object you touch with a spellcrafting ritual. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier. When you have exhausted your uses, you will not regain this feature until you finish a long rest.
At 20th level, you can actually endow your creations with sentience and free will as detailed in the awaken spell’s descriptor. You can do this a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier. Once you have exhausted all your uses of this feature, you cannot regain this feature until you finish a long rest.