Monday, February 27, 2017

Lux Tenebris: The Unseen

Humanoid (any race), any alignment

STR     10 (+0)
DEX    13 (+1)
CON   12 (+1)
INT     13 (+1)
WIS     10 (+0)
CHA   13 (+1)
HP       34
AC      12 (Leather armor)

Languages: any two languages
Saves: Dexterity +3, Intelligence +3
Senses: Passive perception 12
Skills: Deception +2, Insight +2, Investigation +3, Perception +2, Persuasion +3, Sleight of Hand +3, Stealth +3

Skulker.

You are expert at slinking through shadows. You gain the following benefits: you can try to hide when you are lightly obscured from the creature from which you are hiding; when you are hidden from a creature and miss it with a ranged weapon attack, making the attack doesn’t reveal your position; dim light doesn’t impose disadvantage on your Wisdom (Perception) checks relying on sight.

Multiattack.
The Unseen make two melee attacks.

Dagger. Melee. +3 to hit; reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target; deals 1d4 +1 piercing damage.

Hand crossbow. Ranged, 30/120 ft; +3 to hit; deals 1d6 +1 piercing damage.


The Unseen are the intelligence operatives of the Masked King of Darkwater.
  Whereas the Marked Men are chosen in childhood, the Unseen are recruited as adults. They are chosen for their intelligence and self-interest or loyalty.  The Unseen come from all races and levels of society. Anyone can be Unseen, which tends to make the average citizen of Darkwater somewhat uneasy if not downright paranoid.

Lux Tenebris: The Marked Men

A Marked Man
Medium humanoid (any race), any lawful alignment

STR     11 (+0)
DEX    14 (+2)
CON   12 (+1)
INT     10 (+0)
WIS     13 (+1)
CHA   14 (+2)
HP       37
AC      13 (Leather Armor)

Languages: Any one language (usually Common).
Senses: Passive perception 11
Saves: Dexterity +6, Intelligence +4
Skills: Intimidation +6, Insight +5, Investigation +4

City Secrets.   
When not in combat, Marked Men can travel in Darkwater twice as fast as their speed would normally allow.

Intimidating Presence.
While in Darkwater, as an action, a Marked Man can cause each creature within a 10-foot cube, originating from them, to make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. The creatures that fail their saving throw are either charmed or frightened by the Marked Man until the end of his turn. Creatures that make their saving throw are immune to this effect from all Marked Men until they finish a short or long rest.

Unphased.      
While in Darkwater, Marked Men cannot be charmed or frightened.

Multiattack.
Marked Men make two melee attacks.

Shortsword. Melee. +6 to hit; deals 1d6 +2 piercing damage.

The Marked Men are the special agents of the Masked King of Darkwater. They are chosen as children, given special training and run through a gamut of grueling tests. Those who survive earn the complicated tattoos that cover their faces and are endowed with special abilities while within the city walls.
Within Darkwater, Marked Men rank directly below the Masked King and answer only to his authority. They can go where they please and are empowered to command both the City Watch and the City Guard.
Interfering with, assaulting or murdering a Marked Man is a death penalty offense.

Lux Tenebris: Darkwater

Known as the Pearl of the North, Darkwater is one of the largest, most influential cities on the continent of Nur. Founded centuries ago by wandering humans, the city earned its name from its unusually deep harbor.  Eventually, the original settlement was overrun and conquered by a tribe of wandering barbarians led by a powerful warlord.  The Warlords of Darkwater ruled the area for almost a century before they were overthrown, in turn, by the being known as the Masked King.
The Masked King
The Masked King built his tower stronghold at the heart of the small city. His edicts and decrees were carried out by his agents, individuals known as the Marked Men because of their elaborate facial tattoos.  Under the Masked King’s rule, Darkwater’s power and influence grew.
Two hundred years after establishing his rule, a group of ambitious merchants sought to seize control of Darkwater from the Masked King. The so-called Merchants Revolt failed spectacularly. The conspirators and their families were rounded up and executed by the Marked Men. Some of the executed returned as vengeful undead, bound to their place of death, an area that became known as the Gravemound.
A hundred years later, the Masked King’s rule was again challenged. This time by followers of Abasha, goddess of justice.  Known as the Temple War, the Abashites sought to free Darkwater from the rule of the Masked King, suspecting he was some form of evil undead. Their actions drew other temples and gods into the conflict. Most of Darkwater was laid waste, the populace rallying around the Masked King and the Marked Men against the temples. The Temple War ended with the execution of the Abashite high priestess and the expulsion of all the temples who took part in the war.  It also lead to the creation of the Unseen, a secret police force answering only to the Masked King, operating within and beyond Darkwater.
Darkwater’s influence was so great that when the Draconic Empire began its invasion of Western
Nur, the conquest of Darkwater was considered essential. The empire laid siege to the city, but was unable to overcome its defenses.  This led them to devote resources to conquering Darkwater that might have been better deployed elsewhere. Eventually, the Draconic invasion collapsed and the Siege of Darkwater came to an end.


Today, Darkwater is the most influential and powerful city in northwestern Nur. The city has seen an influx of new residents – refugees from Mountgate and Swordhold, dwarves from Fallen Baramir, elves from Goldsun – that have brought new life and energy to the Pearl of the North, and new problems as well.  Criminal organizations like the Veil and the Black Glove have established enclaves within Darkwater, Abashite zealots infiltrate the city seeking to destroy the Masked King, the Gravemound’s undead stir themselves to new levels of action, pirates harry the coast and bandits raid caravans.
Nevertheless, Darkwater endures and thrives, often making a profit off of its troubles.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lux Tenebris: Myka

MYKA, L11 Mountain Dwarf Barbarian

STR     18 (+4)
DEX    10 (+0)
CON   14 (+2)
INT     11 (+0)
WIS     10 (+0)
CHA   08 (-1)
HP       105
AC      14 (Unarmored Defense & Shield)

Traits:
Darkvision
Dwarven Resilience
Dwarven Combat Training
Tool Proficiency
Stonecunning
Dwarven Armor Training
Languages: Common, Dwarvish, Giant

Proficiencies: +4
Armor: Light, Medium, Heavy
Weapons: Simple, Martial
Tools: Drum
Saves: Strength, Constitution
Skills: Athletics, Survival

Feats:
Wanderer
Rage
Unarmored Defense
Reckless Attack
Danger Sense
Primal Path: Berserker
- Frenzy
- Mindless Rage
- Intimidating Presence
Extra Attack
Fast Movement
Feral Instinct
Brutal Critical (1d)
Relentless Rage

Equipment:
Battleaxe. Melee; +8 to hit; deals 1d8 +4 slashing.
Mace. Melee; +8 to hit; deals 1d6 +4 bludgeoning.
Spears (2). Melee; +8 to hit; deals 1d6 +4 piercing; Versatile (1d8); Ranged, 20/60 ft; +4 to hit; deals 1d6 piercing
Shield. Armor. AC +2.

The members of Lux Tenebris met the dwarf barbarian called Myka through unpleasant circumstances. A deal made with Sister Vynos to save Kip Iceheart placed the group in the sister’s debt.  She called it in by sending Lux Tenebris north, to kill Myka. 
Bound by their debt, and compelled by an implied threat against Kip, the group had no choice but to travel north. They soon discovered that Myka was a prominent warrior in a roving barbarian band, that had been plaguing the region for the last few weeks. The group attempted to fulfill their bargain, but their plan fell through when Kip Iceheart learned why they were going after Myka. The group withdrew, but not before making a dangerous enemy out of Myka and her band.

Lux Tenebris: Sister Vynos

SISTER VYNOS, L11 Human Monk

STR     11 (+0)
DEX    16 (+3)
CON   12 (+1)
INT     11 (+0)
WIS     14 (+2)
CHA   12 (+1)
HP       77
AC      15 (Unarmored Defense)

Traits:
Languages: Common, Dwarf

Proficiencies: +4
Armor: None
Weapons: Simple, Shortswords
Tools: Disguise kit, Flute, Thieves’ tools
Saves: Strength +4, Dexterity +7
Skills: Insight +6, Sleight of Hand +7, Religion +4, Stealth +7

Feats:
City Secrets
Unarmored Defense
Martial Arts
Ki Points (11)
- Ki DC: 14
Unarmored Movement
Monastic Tradition: Way of the Long Death
- Touch of Death
- Hour of Reaping
- Mastery of Death
Deflect Missile
Slow Fall
Extra Attack
Stunning Strike
Ki-Empowered Strikes
Evasion
Stillness of Mind
Purity of Body

Equipment:
Darts (10). Ranged, 20/60 ft; +7 to hit; deals 1d4 +3 piercing.
Shortsword. Melee. +7 to hit; deals 1d6 +3 piercing.
Dungeoneer’s pack.

The woman called Sister Vynos grew up an orphan on the streets of Darkwater. At some point in her youth she fell in with the followers of Rovelek, the God of the Dead, and joined one of his more militant temples.  She encountered Lux Tenebris when they sought an artefact in one of the catacombs beneath her temple. Although the group got the better of Sister Vynos that time, later, when they needed Rovelek’s help to save Kip Iceheart, Sister Vynos demanded the group agree to fulfill a future request from her with no questions asked. Lux Tenebris agreed and Sister Vynos sent them to kill the dwarf barbarian, Myka.  The group reluctantly complied with her request, but failed to kill the barbarian. Instead, they earned the enmity of an entire barbarian tribe, which may have been Sister Vynos’s plan all along.

Lux Tenebris: Shiv Ashak

SHIV ASHAK, L13 Human Rogue

STR     10 (+0)
DEX    18 (+4)
CON   13 (+1)
INT     13 (+1)
WIS     10 (+0)
CHA   16 (+3)
HP       83
AC      15

Traits:
Languages: Common, Draconic.

Proficiencies: +5
Armor: Light
Weapons: Simple wpns, hand x-bows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords
Tools: chess set, disguise kit, poisoners’ kit, thieves’ tools
Saves:  Dexterity +9, Intelligence +6
Skills: Acrobatics +9, Deception +13, Investigation +6, Persuasion +13, Sleight of Hand +14, Stealth +14

Feats:
Criminal Contact
Expertise
Sneak Attack (7d6)
Cunning Action
Roguish Archetype: Assassin
- Bonus Proficiencies
- Assassinate
- Infiltration Expertise
- Imposter
Uncanny Dodge
Evasion
Reliable Talent

Equipment:
Daggers(2). Melee. +9 to hit; deals 1d4 +4 piercing. Range, 20/60 ft.
Shortsword. Melee. +9 to hit; deals 1d6 +4 piercing.
Rapier. Melee. +9 to hit; deals 1d8 +4 piercing.
Leather armor. Light armor. AC 11 + Dex modifier.
Burglar’s pack.
Thieves’ tools.

Shiv Ashak met Ibrius Winterdoom several years ago. What began as a purely professional working relationship, soon turned into a passionate, but unrequited, love for the young woman. She is completely devoted to Ibrius, acting as one of his bodyguards and his primary assassin.
Shiv and Hazard don’t really get along but they work well together, which has earned the tiefling a modicum of respect from the assassin.  Nevertheless, she dislikes Hazard’s sense of humor and is curious to find out just how dangerous the tiefling really is?

Lux Tenebris: Hazard

HAZARD, L13 Tiefling Fighter

STR     20 (+5)
DEX    12 (+1)
CON   14 (+2)
INT     10 (+0)
WIS     10 (+0)
CHA   11 (+0)
HP       119
AC      17 (Chain Mail + FS: Defense)

Traits:
Darkvision
Hellish Resistance
Infernal Legacy
Languages: Common, Infernal

Proficiencies: +5
Armor: Light, Medium, Heavy, Shields
Weapons: Simple, Martial
Tools: dice set, land vehicles
Saves: Strength, Constitution
Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Intimidation, Perception

Feats:
Military Rank
Fighting Style: Great Weapon Fighting
Second Wind
Action Surge
Martial Archetype: Champion
- Improved Critical
- Remarkable Athlete
- Additional Fighting Style: Defense
Extra Attack
Indomitable

Equipment:
Greatsword. Melee. +10 to hit; deals 2d6 +5 slashing; Heavy, 2-handed.
Handaxes (2). Melee. +10 to hit; deals 1d6 +5 slashing. Ranged, 20/60 ft. +6 to hit; does 1d6 + 1 slashing.
Chain Mail. Heavy Armor. AC 16. Disadvantage on Stealth.
Dungeoneer’s Pack

The early life of the tiefling who calls himself Hazard is unknown. At some point, he joined a mercenary company serving the Draconic Empire. Eventually, he found himself assigned as bodyguard and dogsbody to the dragonborn warlock, Ibrius Winterdoom. Hazard found working for Winterdoom a pleasant change of pace, mainly because Winterdoom found him amusing. When Winterdoom elected to remain in Darkwater, after the failed siege, Hazard remained with him, acting as aide and confidant to the charismatic dragonborn.
Hazard has a dry, wicked sense of humor that often gets him into trouble. Thankfully, his skills as a fighter usually get him out of those same situations. He genuinely likes Ibrius and is deeply amused by his comrade, Shiv’s, unrequited love for the dragonborn.
Hazard suspects that, one day soon, he and Shiv will cross swords. It’s an encounter he’s looking forward to, almost as much as he’s looking forward to his rematch with Lux Tenebris’s Nadix. The half-elf fighter is one of the few opponents Hazard has met who bested him in a straight up fight; the tiefling is itching for a rematch.

Lux Tenebris: Ibrius Winterdoom

IBRIUS WINTERDOOM, L16 Dragonborn Warlock

STR     11 (+0)
DEX    10 (+0)
CON   14 (+2)
INT     12 (+1)
WIS     10 (+0)
CHA   18 (+4)
HP       101
AC      11 (Studded Leather Armor)/12 (Mage Armor)

Traits:
Draconic Ancestry: White
Breath Weapon: Cold
Damage Resistance: Cold
Languages: Common, Draconic, Infernal

Proficiencies: +5
Armor:             Light
Weapons:        Simple
Tools:              Chess set
Saves:              Wisdom +5, Charisma +9
Skills:              Arcana +6, History +6, Investigation +6, Persuasion +9

Feats:
Position of Privilege
Otherworldly Patron: The Fiend
- Dark One’s Blessing
- Dark One’s Own Luck
- Fiendish Resilience: Piercing
- Hurl Through Hell
Eldritch Invocations : Agonizing Blast, Armor of Shadows, Devil’s Sight, Eldritch Sight, Fiendish Vigor, Master of Myriad Forms, Whispers of the Grave
Pact Boon: Pact of the Blade
Mystic Arcanum: (L6) Circle of Death, (L7) Finger of Death, (L8) Feeblemind

Pact Magic:
Spells Known: 13
Spell DC: 17
Atk Mod: +9
At-Will (4): Chill touch, Eldritch blast, Prestidigitation, True Strike
L1: Armor of Agathys, Arms of Hadar, Expeditious Retreat
L2: Enthrall, Invisibility, Suggestion
L3: Counterspell, Dispel Magic, Fear
L4: Blight, Dimension Door
L5 (3): Hold Monster, Scrying

Equipment:
Daggers (2). Melee. +5 to hit; deals 1d4 piercing. Ranged, 20/60 ft.
Quarterstaff. Melee. +5 to hit; deals 1d6 bludgeoning; Versatiles (1d8).
Rapier. Pact Weapon. Melee. +5 to hit; deals 1d8 piercing.
Light crossbow. Ranged. +4 to hit; deals 1d8 piercing.
Studded Leather armor. Light armor. AC 12 + Dex Mod.
Arcane focus.
Dungeoneer’s pack.

Ibrius Winterdoom is a member of a moderately influential clan within the Draconic Empire. Although an ill-fit withini the Imperial Legions, Ibrius excelled among the Imperial spymasters.  He was assigned to destabilize the situation within Darkwater, prior to that city’s siege. It was at this time he encountered Lux Tenebris, who not only defeated the dragonborn warlock, but left him humiliated. When imperial forces withdrew from Darkwater, Ibrius remained behind, determined to avenge himself upon the members of Lux Tenebris. To that end, he has created an unusual group called the Poisoned Thorn comprised of criminals, draconic deserters, unscrupulous mercenaries, and others.
Ibrius’s closest allies are the tiefling fighter called Hazard and the human assassin known as Shiv. He appreciates Hazard’s grim sense of humor and is completely unaware that Shiv is enamored with him; if he were to realize it, he would be quite disgusted.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lux Tenebris: Aila

AILA, L16 Half-Elf Cleric of Hanali Celanil life

STR     10 (+0)                       
DEX    10 (+0)                       
CON   16 (+3)
INT     10 (+0)                       
WIS     14 (+2)                       
CHA   12 (+1)
HP       108
AC      17 (Half-plate armor & shield)

Traits:
Darkvision
Fey Ancestry.
Languages: Celestial, Common, Elvish, Sylvan

Proficiencies: +5
Armor: Light, Medium, Heavy, Shields
Weapons: Simple
Tools: None
Saves: Wisdom +7, Charisma +6
Skills: +2, Insight +7, Religion +5

Feats:
Shelter of the Faithful
Divine Domain: Life
- Disciple of Life
- Blessed Healer
- Divine Strike (2d8)
Channel Divinity: Turn Undead, Preserve Life
Destroy Undead (CR 3 or lower)
Divine Intervention

Spellcasting:
Spells Known: 18
Spell DC: 15
Atk Mod: +7
At-Will (5): Guidance, Light, Resistance, Sacred flame, Spare the dying
L1 (4): bless, cure wounds, healing word, shield of faith
L2 (3): lesser restoration, spiritual weapon, lesser restoration, prayer of healing
L3 (3): beacon of hope, revivify, Mass healing word, Spirit guardians
L4 (3): death ward, guardian of faith, Banishment, Locate creature
L5 (2): mass cure wounds, raise dead, Greater restoration, Raise dead
L6 (1): Heal
L7 (1): Resurrection
L8 (1): Holy aura

Equipment:
Mace. Melee. +5 to hit; deals 1d6 bludgeoning.
Quarterstaff. Melee. +5 to hit; deals 1d6 bludgeoning; versatile (1d8)
Half-plate. Medium armor. AC 15 + Dex Mod (max 2)
Shield. Armor. +2 AC
A priest’s pack.
A holy symbol.

Aila is the twin sister of Nadix, although she jokingly tells him that she is older than him because she was born a few minutes earlier. A kind, thoughtful child, Aila had already expressed an interest in a cloistered life when the war began. Her mother dead, her brother forced to fight, Aila sought refuge at the local Temple of Lukrym.  She joined the church and rose quickly through the hierarchy, eventually becoming a Cleric of Lukrym. After the war ended, Aila was kidnapped by a local warlord and eventually freed by her brother and his comrade, Lavic. The trio relocated to Darkwater, where they encountered the other adventurers who would become the nucleus of Lux Tenebris.

Aila loves her brother, but is ready to return to the Temple of Lukrym. The war has left the world deeply scarred and divided, as evidenced in her twin’s experiences. It is all a bit much for Aila, who feels overwhelmed by the world’s problems.  She spends a fair amount of her time in prayer, seeking some sign from her god that now is the day she should return to the Temple. Until she gets that sign, Aila will remain with the group.

Lux Tenebris: Nadix

NADIX, L16 Half-Elf Fighter

STR     18 (+4)                       
DEX    11 (+0)                       
CON   20 (+5)
INT     10 (+0)                       
WIS     10 (+0)                       
CHA   12 (+1)
HP       148
AC      17 (Chain Mail + FS: Defense)

Traits:
Darkvision.
Fey Ancestry.
Languages: Common, Elvish

Proficiencies: +5
Armor: All armor, shields
Weapons: Simple, Martial
Tools: Smith’s tools
Saves: Strength +9, Constitution +10
Skills:  Animal handling +5, Athletics +9, Intimidation +6, Persuasion +6, Stealth +5, Survival +5

Feat:
Rustic Hospitality
Fighting Style: Two-Weapon Fighting
Second Wind
Action Surge
Martial Archetype: Champion
- Improved Critical
- Remarkable Athlete
- Additional Fighting Style: Defense
- Superior Critical
Extra Attack
Indomitable

Equipment:
Hand axes (2). Melee. +9 to hit; deals 1d6 +4 slashing. Ranged. 20/60 ft. +5 to hit; deals 1d6 slashing.
Battleaxes (2). Melee. +9 to hit; deals 1d8 +4 slashing; Versatile (1d10)
Chain mail. Heavy Armor. AC 16. Disadvantage on Stealth.
Dungeoneer’s pack.

Nadix and his twin-sister, Aila, were born of a human mother and an elvish father.  Their mother was a baker, reduced to whoring to support herself. They never knew who their father was. Their mother raised them as best she could, but life was not easy for the small family. When the war began, the family was shattered. Nadix’s mother died during an enemy attack. The youth was pressganged into the army, and served on the frontlines for most of the war. It’s a time that Nadix still doesn’t like to talk about. When the war ended, Nadix returned home to find that his sister had been kidnapped and was being held for ransome by a local warlord. Nadix met the human bard, Lavic, and together they freed Aila and put route to the warlord. Afterwards, the trio relocated to Darkwater where they eventually formed Lux Tenebris with other adventurers.

Nadix is a man struggling against inner darkness. He cannot forget what he did during the war, and refuses to speak of them to anyone, but it is obvious to all that his guilt is overwhelming. He is slow to anger, but utterly ruthless when forced to fight. Nadix is extremely protective of his twin sister, Aila, but somehow does not register the gnome barbarian, Kip Iceheart, as any kind of threat.  He has a combative relationship with the half-elf rogue, Thylik, and considers Lavic a ‘blood brother.’

Lux Tenebris: Nalasc

NALASC, L16 Forest Gnome Druid

STR     10 (+0)                       
DEX    13 (+1)                       
CON   16 (+3)
INT     13 (+1)                       
WIS     16 (+3)                       
CHA   14 (+2)
HP       106
AC      14 (Leather armor w/wooden shield)

Traits:
Darkvision.
Gnome Cunning.
Natural Illusionist.
Speak w/Small Beasts.
Languages: Common, Druidic, Gnomish, Sylvan

Proficiencies: +5
Armor: Light, Medium, Shields (no metal)
Weapons: Clubs, Daggers, Darts, Javelins, Maces, Quarterstaffs, Scimitars, Sickles, Slings, Spears
Tools: Herbalism kit
Saves: Intelligence +6, Wisdom +8
Skills: Animal Handling +8, Medicine +6, Religion +6, Survival +8

Feats:
Healer*
Wild Shapes
Druid Circle: Circle of the Land
- Bonus Cantrip
- Natural Recovery
- Circle Spells
- Land’s Stride
- Nature’s Ward
- Nature’s Sanctuary

Spellcasting:
Number of Spells: 19
Spell DC: 16
Atk Mod: +8
At-will (5): Druidcraft, Mending, Produce flame, Shillelagh, Thorn whip
L1 (4): Animal friendship, Cure wounds, Healing word
L2 (3): barkskin, spider climb, Beast sense, Lesser restoration, Pass without trace
L3 (3): call lightening, plant growth, Daylight, Dispel magic, Plant growth
L4 (3): divination, freedom of movement, Blight, Grasping vine
L5 (2): commune w/nature, tree stride, Antilife shell, Greater restoration
L6 (1): Heal, Wall of Thorns
L7 (1): Fire storm, Plane shift
L8 (1): Control weather, Earthquake

Equipment:
Scimitar. Melee. +6 to hit; deals 1d6 +1 slashing.
Leather armor. Armor. AC 11 + Dex mod.
Wooden shield. Armor. AC +2
Druidic focus.
Explorer’s pack.

Nalasc grew up in the Northlands, in a remote gnomish community called Lonelystone. As a child, Nalasc was drawn to the forests and the mountains, so when he was called to embrace a druidic path, no one was truly surprised.
As a servant of nature, Nalasc became a formidable warden of the forests around his home. When the war began, he offered protection and safe conduct to any good creature that wished to pass through his wood. Tha was how he met the goliath ranger, Gorg, and, later on, the gnome barbarian called Kip.
When the Draconic Empire took the Northlands, the trio moved south. Nalasc accompanied Gorg and Kip to look after them. In Darkwater, the trio encountered other adventurers and would form the group known as Lux Tenebris.
Of all the members of Lux Tenebris, Nalasc is probably the most at-peace. Although he would like to return to the Northlands, he is content to make his home in the south. The world has been badly treated by the war and the druid knows he can use his powers to help restore the natural order wherever he may be.
Also, he’s curious to see what will happen with Gorg and Thylic.

Author's Note: Although Nalasc has the Hermit background, instead of Discovery as a feature, I swapped it out for the Healer feature as detailed on page 167 of the Player's Handbook.

Lux Tenebris: Kip

KIP ICEHEART, L16 Rock Gnome Barbarian

STR     14 (+2)                       
DEX    12 (+1)                       
CON   18 (+4)
INT     11 (+0)                       
WIS     10 (+0)                       
CHA   09 (-1)
HP       147                                         
AC      17 (Unarmored Defense w/shield)

Traits:
Darkvision.
Gnome Cunning.
Artificer’s Lore.
Tinker.
Languages: Common, Giant, Gnomish

Proficiencies: +5
Armor: Light, Medium, Shields
Weapons: Simple, Martial
Tools: Tinker’s tools
Saves: Strength +7, Constitution +9
Skills: Animal Handling +5, Athletics +7, Nature +5, Survival +5

Features:
Wanderer.
Rage
Unarmored Defense
Reckless Attack
Danger Sense
Primal Path: Totem Warrior
- Spirit Seeker
- Totem Spirit: Bear
- Aspect of the Beast: Eagle
- Spirit Walker
- Totemic Attunement: Wolf
Extra Attack
Fast Movement
Feral Instinct
Brutal Critical (2d)
Relentless Rage
Persistent Rage

Equipment:
Battleaxe. Melee. +7 to hit; deals 1d8 +2 slashing; versatile (1d10)
Mace. Melee. +7 to hit; deals 1d6 +2 bludgeoning.
Sling. Ranged; 30/120 ft;  +6 to hit; deals 1d4 +1 bludgeoning.
Shield. Armor. AC +2.

Southlanders find the idea of a gnome barbarians somewhat funny. Northlanders know that they are anything but amusing.
Kip Iceheart grew up, wandering the slopes of the Tarcevol Mountains. When the Draconic Empire invaded, Kip’s people were largely unaffected thanks to the remoteness of their homes. Sadly, that isolation would end, drawing the gnomes into the war. Kip would meet the goliath ranger, Gorg, and his friend, the druid Nalasc. The trio would become fast friends and when the Draconic armies forced them out of the mountains, they traveled south to Darkwater. There, they encountered other adventurers and would help form Lux Tenebris.
Since the war’s end, Kip has had a strong urge to return to his homelands. The only thing keeping him in the south is his affection for Nalasc, his loyalty to Gorg and his romantic interest in Aila.
Eventually, though, Kip knows he will return home.What will happen after that? He has no idea.

Lux Tenebris: Lavic

LAVIC, L16 Human Bard

STR     10 (+0)                       
DEX    12 (+1)                       
CON   12 (+1)
INT     11 (+0)                       
WIS     11 (+0)                       
CHA   20 (+5)
HP       96
AC      17 (Breastplate w/shield)

Traits.
Languages: Common, Elvish.

Proficiencies: +5
Armor: Light, Medium, Shields
Weapons: Simple, Martial
Tools: Disguise kit, Mandolin, Flute, Drum, Fiddle
Saves: Dexterity +6, Charisma +10
Skills: Acrobatics +11, History +10, Intimidation +10, Performance +15, Persuasion +15

Features:
By Popular Demand
Bardic Inspiration (d12)
Jack of All Trades
Song of Rest  (1d10)
Bard College: College of Valor
- Bonus Proficiencies
- Combat Inspiration
- Extra Attack
- Battle Magic
Expertise
Font of Inspiration
Countercharm
Magical Secrets

Spellcasting:
Spells Known: 19
Spell DC: 18
Atk Mod: +10
At-Will (4): Blade ward, Dancing lights, True strike, Vicious mockery
L1 (4): Bane, Cure wounds, Detect magic
L2 (3): Blindness, Hold person, Invisibility
L3 (3): Bestow Curse, Dispel magic, Nondetection
L4 (3): Confusion, Greater invisibility
L5 (2): Animate object, Dominate person
L6 (1): Eyebite, Otto’s Irresistable Dance
L7 (1): Mordenkainen’s sword, Teleport
L8 (1): Dominate monster, Feeblemind

Equipment:
Daggers (2). Melee. +6 to hit; deals 1d4 +1 piercing. Ranged. 20/60 ft.
Rapier. Melee. +6 to hit; deals 1d8 +1 piercing.
Breastplate. Med Armor. AC 14 + Dex Mod (max 2)
Shield.  Armor. AC +2.


The human bard called Lavic grew up in an isolated southern city called Moontree. The fourth son of the local lord, Lavic was ‘surplus to demand.’ He was left to his own devices, which led him to embrace the arts. He liked music and song, but loved the stories of famous heroes. When he was fourteen, Lavic’s father sent him to the College of Bards in Darkwater to study (and get him out from underfoot). Lavic was in the college when the Draconic Empire attacked, and was lucky to escape. During the war, he used his bardic skills to keep up morale and demoralize the enemy. He met Nadix and helped him find and free his twin, Aila, a partnership that would lead to the creation of Lux Tenebris. Recently, Lavic learned that Moontree had been decimated during the invasion, his entire family wiped out. Moontree is waiting for him to return, to formally claim the title of Lord Moontree, but Lavic is hesitant to do so, fearful that his friends won’t understand why he was leaving.

Lux Tenebris: Thylik


THYLIK, L16 Half-Elf Rogue

STR     10 (+0)                       
DEX    18 (+4)                       
CON   12 (+1)
INT     11 (+0)                       
WIS     10 (+0)                       
CHA   13 (+1)
HP       96
AC      15 (Leather armor)

Traits:
Darkvision.
Fey Ancestry
Languages: Common, Elvish, Draconic, Thieves’ Cant

Proficiencies: +5
Armor: Light
Weapons: Simple, Hand x-bows, Longswords, Rapiers, Shortswords
Tools: Thieves’ tools
Saves: Dexterity +9, Intelligence +5
Skills:  Acrobatics +14, Athletics +5, Deception +6, Investigation +10, Perception +5, Persuasion +11, Sleight of Hand +9, Stealth +14

Feats:
Ship’s Passage
Expertise
Sneak Attack (+8d6)
Cunning Action
Rogueish Archetype: Swashbuckler
- Fancy Footwork
- Rakish Audacity
- Panache
- Elegant Manuever
Uncanny Dodge
Evasion
Reliable Talent
Blindsense
Slippery Mind

Equipment:
Daggers (2). Melee. +9 to hit; deals 1d4 +4 piercing. Ranged. 20/60.
Rapier. Melee. +9 to hit; deals 1d8 +4 piercing.
Shortsword. Melee. +9 to hit; deals 1d6 +4 piercing.
Leather Armor. Light armor. AC 11 + Dex Mod.
Thieves’ tools.
Explorer’s pack


Thylik’s father was the leader of the Ring of Fire, a cult that served evil powers from the Elemental Plane of Fire. Thylik was conceived by her parents to be a sacrifice to those powers, but the Draconic invasion disrupted the Ring of Fire’s plans. Thylik’s mother fled with her, but her mother died during the Siege of Darkwater. The orphaned Thylik grew up on the streets of Darkwater, and she grew up fast. As she grew older, she gravitated towards the docks where she became a favorite of certain old sea salts. They tought her to sail and fight and put her on the path to becoming an adventurer. Eventually, Thylik met the group that would become Lux Tenebris. She has found herself drawn toward the sombre goliath ranger, Gorg, and has developed a combative relationship with the half-elf fighter, Nadix.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Lux Tenebris: Gorg

GORG, L16 Goliath Ranger

STR 12 (+1)
DEX 16 (+3)
CON 16 (+3)
INT 09 (-1)
WIS 13 (+1)
CHA 10
HP 126
AC 15 (Chain shirt)

Traits:
Stone’s Endurance
Powerful Build
Mountain Born
Languages: Common, Dwarf, Giant

Proficiencies: +5
Armor: Light, Medium, Shields
Weapons: Simple, Martial
Tools: Flute
Saves: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Athletics, Survival

Features:
Wanderer
Favored Enemy: Giants, Orcs, Monstrosities
Natural Explorer: Mountain, Arctic, Forests
Fighting Style: Archery (+2 Ranged Atk)
Alert (Instead of Spellcasting; see p.165)
Ranger Archetype: Hunter
- Colossus Slayer
- Steel Will
- Volley
- Superior Hunter’s Defense: Evasion
Primeval Awareness
Extra Attack
Land’s Stride
Hide in Plain Sight
Vanish

Equipment:
Longbow. Ranged. +10 to hit; deals 1d8 + 3 piercing.
Shortswords (2). Melee. +8 to hit; deals 1d6 +3 piercing.
Chain Shirt. Medium Armor. AC 13 + Dex Mod (max 2)
Explorer’s Pack.

Gorg is the last survivor of his tribe. The others were wiped out when the Draconic Empire invaded. Gorg fought a one-man guerrilla war against the invaders and retains an intense hatred of dragons and dragonborn to this day. He and Nalasc are close friends, the small dwarf having saved Gorg’s life. Eventually, the two fell in with the other members of Lux Tenebris and have become well known adventurers.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Lemonade Memories

LEMONADE MEMORIES

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

Waiting for a Glimpse

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

Artificers

ARTIFICERS

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

Class Features
As an artificer, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points
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

Proficiencies
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

Spellcrafting
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.

Spell Slots
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.

Spellcrafting Ability
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

Additional Proficiencies
At 1st level, you gain proficiency with one type of artisan’s tools of your choice.

Expanded Attunement
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.

Empowered Creations
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.

Expertise
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.

Focused Mind
Starting at 10th level, you have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.

Artificer’s Luck
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.

Empowered Object
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.

Wondrous Creation

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.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

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Cthulisa


Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Barrens


Picture a landscape of rock and sand, where almost nothing grows. Ancient, weatherbeaten trees stand, here and there, like silent, disapproving witnesses of a bygone age, just waiting to die. The lonely winds blow across the stony hills, kicking up dust storms so thick that they can obscure the sun. Scattered across this empty landscape are the ruins of old villages and towns, their names forgotten, their histories lost to the ravages of time and the elements.
Welcome to the Barrens.
Although life is possible in the Barrens, reproduction is not. A thousand years ago, the kingdom that existed here earned the ire of a goddess called Desmidora. She cursed that kingdom, so that no new life would ever begin within its borders. Within a generation that nameless kingdom was undone, its people scattered to the neighboring lands or beyond. Some became gypsies, roaming the West and the South, recounting the cautionary tale of the Barrens.
To this day no life can germinate within the Barrens. No seed will sprout. No bud will blossom. No
animal can conceive. The reason for the curse, the causitive issue remains unknown. Desmidora, like the kingdom she cursed, has fallen on hard times and is all but forgotten except by a few esoteric scholars. Despite her fall from grace, Desmidora's Curse remains in full force.
The Barrens are a quiet, almost empty region viewed with superstitious dread by the neighboring countries. Nevertheless, some people do live in the Barrens.  Scavengers prowl the ruins, looking for anything of value they can resell. Theologians, scholars, sages and priests make the long trek to the Lonely Chapel, trying to divine the cause of Desmidora's Curse. In the Fallows, silver is mined by small groups of prospectors. Merchant caravans cross the cursed kingdom, rather than travel around it, and boatman travel regularly along the Tearful River. Misanthropes and hermits make their homes in the wilderness, as do outcasts and fugitives. Those of a more social bent gather in the region's two settlements, Stillwater and River's Edge.
Stillwater lies in the west, near the lake that bears its name. It is little more than a trading post, offering travelers simple accomodations and a chance to resupply before traveling deeper into the Barrens. Its population is transitory, thriving to several hundred in the hot summer months and dwindling to a couple of dozen in the winter.River's Edge is the largest community in the Barrens. The town is built along the western bank of the Tearful River. Trade is its lifeblood. In River's Edge you can find food and shelter, as well as guides to the region and a variety of services.
The inhabitants of the Barrens are mostly there by choice. They are hardy and self-sufficient. Some are mad. Most are odd. None should be dismissed out of hand.