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Messages - Spritelady

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I have finally got around to writing up some of the DnD game I am currently playing in. It's our DM's first time as DM and he's doing a great job! My character, Alandriel, is the queen of alliteration, being an aasimar artificer armourer (who mostly uses acid splash in combat...). So without further ado, the introduction to our campaign! I'll likely continue writing this as the game goes on, but I've written 1000 words now so it works very well as my March bit of writing. Any and all thoughts, comments, constructive feedback etc welcome!

March: Lost Mine of Phandelver
As the cart trundled along the road, Alandriel Denmilon Pheonie Midivar, heir apparent to the High Seat of Helimbrar, Bearer of the Flame of Gadroth, glanced over at her two companions. Though they had been travelling together for more than two days now, Ali still felt as though she knew very little about the others that Gundren hired for this job.
     The man, Ero Brut, was quiet and imposing. Ali didn’t think he’d said more than a few words since she met him in Neverwinter two days ago. His dark hair was cut short, giving him a military appearance, and from what little he’d said, Ali had gathered that he used to be a soldier. Ali was more than a little curious about the strange scar she could see peeking out of the collar of his leather armour but the man seemed too intimidating for her to just come out with it.
     Her other travelling companion was a woman named Avri. She resembled an elf, but her skin was ashen and her hair was a vibrant red that almost seemed unnatural to Ali. Her eyes were unsettling, completely black with no iris to speak of and she had a scar over one eye. Ali had seen her before, she was a performer that had sometimes danced at parties her family threw at the keep. Ali didn’t know much more about her than that, though in the brief conversations they had shared while travelling together from Neverwinter, Ali had got the distinct impression that Avri was laughing at her somehow.
     The journey had been strange for Ali. It was her first venture outside of Midivar Keep without her family, and without the family coach and the guards. But she had known this was coming. Ever since her abilities had manifested, she had understood that she would be required to go out into the world, to help those who needed it. So when one of her father’s business associates had mentioned needing guards for supplies on their way to Phandalin, it had been decided that this would make a good first pursuit for Ali.
     Her father’s associate, Gundren Rockseeker, was known to be a bit of an eccentric dwarf, frequently coming up with some scheme or other to make money. This time, he claimed to have discovered ‘something big’ near Phandalin. Phandalin was a small mining town, only a two day journey from Neverwinter. Ali wasn’t especially surprised that Gundren had been pulled into the rumours and intrigue of Phandalin. There were many families who thought that the legends of treasure in the ruins around Phandalin would provide riches and fortune. Every year, a few set off to pursue the myths.
     Gundren had chosen to travel ahead of his supplies, with a human escort whom Ali did not know, Silda Holwinter. Ali, Ero and Avri had been instructed to guard the supply wagon on the road from Neverwinter to Phandalin, and deliver the contents of the wagon to Barthen's Provisions upon arrival at the town.
     Ali pulled herself from her thoughts as Ero slowed the oxen pulling the wagon. Up ahead, something was lying across the road. Two vague shapes that Ali couldn’t quite make out at this distance. Ero pulled the oxen to a complete stop and the three of them climbed down.
     “I’ll go see what that is,” Ali said. As the most heavily protected of the three of them, in her coat of thick scale armour, she was probably best prepared to handle anything untoward ahead. It wasn’t unlikely that they would run into trouble – there were frequent reports of bandits in this area. And she was eager to prove her worth. As well as Avri’s strange manner, which gave off an air of superiority, she suspected that the somewhat grizzled, older Ero had a lot of experience on the road. Ali was keen to prove that she could hold up her end when it came to protecting the supplies and making sure the journey went smoothly.
     Ali padded cautiously up the road, her armour clinking softly as she moved. As she approached, she could see that the shapes that had halted their journey were horses. They were dead. They lay across the road, with gaping slashes cut across their bodies. Arrows with black feathers protruded from the two corpses in several places. As Ali moved closer, the smell hit her and she paused, nausea rising in her stomach. The horses had clearly been dead for at least a day and flies were crowded on their eyes and around the edges of their wounds. Ali could just make out a mark on each horse, identifying them as belonging to Gundren Rockseeker.
     “It’s Gundren’s horses. They were cut down on the road,” Ali called back to her companions, glancing back in their direction. As she did, she caught sight of something lying in the road beside the horses. It was an empty map case. Ali knelt down to pick it up, noting Gundren’s mark as she tucked it into her backpack. Behind her, Ero paced forwards, apparently intending to join her by the horses’ corpses.
     Before he could reach her, movement flickered in Ali’s peripheral vision and she jumped back with a shout as an arrow with black fletching suddenly thudded into the road beside her. Looking up, she could see two goblins standing under the trees, barely visible in the thick undergrowth that stretched away from the road. She let out a shout, “It’s an ambush,” summoning a drop of acid between curved fingers before flicking her wrist, hurling the burning liquid at one of the goblins. It dodged to the side, dropping its bow and charging forwards, drawing an ugly-looking scimitar as it ran.
     Ali flinched as a bolt of seething shadows blasted into the ground by the goblin, clearly startling it but not managing to strike it. Glancing behind her, Ali noticed that Avri had apparently decided to climb into a tree and was launching bolt after bolt at the oncoming goblins. Ero had engaged two more of the creatures in the woods, harrying them with his shield and rapier. A fourth goblin had emerged from the other side of the road, heading for Ali. She whirled around, darting to avoid the fierce swings of her two attackers. One landed a glancing blow along her ribs, and she gritted her teeth in concentration as her armour reverberated, retaliating against the blow with a blast of telekinetic energy. Ali grunted as the goblin collapsed at her feet, adrenaline fuelling her movement as she spun to face the remaining goblin. She lunged forward, burying her dagger in its ribs. The goblin slumped against her, dead weight pulling her arm down until she drew back, removing the dagger from its body with a sickening sound.

Sorry - been a while since I checked in here!

The first book in the series is about a plot to overthrow the Lord Ruler, who rules over the world and is thought to be a living god. A group of people with special skills come together to dethrone him, in order to try and improve things for the skaa - the peasantfolk who are thought of as little more than unintelligent slaves by the nobility who own them and use them for labour.

That's a very very basic summary but I can't get into too much detail without giving away some of the more interesting plot elements. The magic system is incredibly interesting though, it's all based around allomancy, where you consume and then internally burn metals to produce different effects.

On a related note, I discovered Sanderson's Rules of Magic, which are his guidelines to creating and writing about magic systems in fantasy worlds. They're really interesting and well thought out in my opinion!

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Word Association
« on: April 05, 2022, 08:59:38 PM »

Has anyone read the Mistborn series? I'm currently reading the third in the series and it's sparked a lot of interesting thoughts for me from the perspective of someone worldbuilding for writing projects and for GMing RPGs

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Word Association
« on: April 05, 2022, 08:33:45 PM »

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Word Association
« on: April 05, 2022, 07:53:37 PM »

According to the lore made by the creator of the class, illriggers are closer to devil aligned paladins, with a focus on spellcasting to afflict their enemies.

Essentially they're intended to function as knights and leaders of the armies of the hells. They receive abilities from whichever archdevil they're aligned with (the class option has three possible choices, Asmodeus, Dispater or Moloch) and when they're on the mortal plane they're expected to help gather souls for the hells and further the agenda of their aligned archdevil, as well as potentially leading forces of devils if needed.

The below excerpt is from a book that one of my players possesses, which is one of a set of nine chronicles about the hells. This excerpt is from later in the book, so by the time this section is read, the reader has already learnt quite a lot on illriggers generally. As a standalone piece of writing, I probably should have included some more context!

Ooh I've heard good things about the Wheel of Time books, although I'm disappointed to hear that the tv series wasn't particularly engaging.

I think I actually have the first book somewhere, as I received a lot of books over Christmas and am slowly working my way through them. If not, I may have another entry on my enormous 'to buy' list of books!

I finished the Final Empire yesterday and have now begun (and got quite far into) the first Thomas Covenant book, Lord Foul's Bane. This is a really interesting book that features a very unwilling (and indeed rather unworthy, at least based on first impressions) 'hero' who is taken from our world, where he is a bitter, angry leper who has been outcast from society because of his disease, and is thrust into a fantasy world that he believes to be some sort of extended hallucination designed to drive him mad. This is mostly because he appears to no longer be a leper, but he can't accept that reality, because if he hopes its true and it turns out not to be, he knows it will crush him. It's got a very interesting and well thought out world (at least so far), with what I think are quite original concepts (I say original...this was published in 1977 I believe).

It does however have some quite disturbing content, although it's not presented in a hugely graphic way so I would caution a potential reader to establish what trigger warnings may be needed for the content (happy to give some myself if people are curious but would like some precognition of the slightly darker subjects that come up).

I've read several books recently(ish) that all had markedly different systems for magic, a topic I find generally interesting since I like getting into the detail of how magic works when worldbuilding for DnD settings and the like.

I read 'A Darker Shade of Magic', which I received for Christmas in fact, and is an intruiging book about a man named Kell, one of the last people able to use magic to travel between different versions of London that exist on different planes. Each is a copy of the same city but found in a completely different world, and each is named after the colours primarily associated with the world, which each have different levels of magic available to its citizens. The magic in this book is very elementally focused, with magicians able to manipulate the classic elements, and rare magicians, Antari, able to use blood magic.

I am also currently very close to finishing the first of the Mistborn books, The Final Empire. This magic system is based on magic users 'burning' metals that they ingest to achieve different effects. Most magic users are only able to burn one particular metal to achieve one particular effect but the Mistborn are able to burn all 8 'basic' metals as well as two others (that the book has only briefly gone into detail on). The metals are grouped into pairs, one which 'pushes' an ability and one which 'pulls' - for example, burning iron allows you to 'pull' metal towards you (literally through the air towards you, or you towards it if you pull something that doesn't want to move) and burning steel allows you to 'push' metal away from you (or you can push off it) and a mistborn can fly through the air by pushing and pulling sources of metal around them to fling themselves about the place, which is quite fun. Not all the abilities are external, for example burning bronze allows you to Soothe - calm and influence the emotions of those around you. The plot itself is also quite fun and has some great characters, including a main character also frequently called Kell, in a strange coincidence with the first book I mentioned.

This year, I set myself a challenge to write something creative every month. I thought that posting my pieces of writing here might well help keep me accountable to doing one every month and also provide some entertaining reading for anyone interested in my bits and pieces of creativity.

My January piece was my submission to the Exilian Creative Competition which I hope some of you read and enjoyed and I won't repeat it here but if you haven't seen it, you can find it here: It was a piece of mythology based in the world of the DnD campaign that I'm currently running.

My February piece of writing was based in the same world as my January piece and was some lore I'm working on for one of the players as part of their character backstory. It gives some details on devils and the hells in our DnD world as well as some common knowledge/mythology surrounding imps in particular (not all of which is accurate, but my players don't know that yet!).

A lot of it is based on classic DnD lore (from Wizards of the Coast) and the homebrew illrigger class (created by Matt Colville), but I'm tweaking and editing as I go to fit it to my campaign world and in places coming up with new ideas, so I still count it as a piece of creative writing for the purposes of my challenge, especially when it came to creating the myths/stories/false information for my players. Let me know what you think the false/misleading information might be!

It's still a work in progress and I'll likely continue working on this information throughout the year, but I've put my current version below.

If anyone finds this interesting/has any ideas for me that spring from what I've written or questions or anything at all really, please let me know because I'd love to chat about the world I've created, its lore and my future writing plans!

Illrigger information
The armies of Baator’s ranks are filled with devils, led by the Illriggers. An illrigger is expected to journey through Baator to swear their allegiance to their archdevil commander before they are granted the full might of Illrigger powers. Asmodeus, Lord of Acheron, grants powerful abilities to those who swear him fealty. Once this oath has been taken, infernal knights are considered part of the nobility of Baator.

While in service, whether they have completed their oath of fealty or not, illriggers are expected to further the acquisition of mortal souls, to replenish and expand Baator’s armies. To do this, it is important to understand the hierarchy that defines Baator’s society and have working knowledge of the various devils, how they are created and where they are found.

Obedience is a key tenet of life to those who dwell in the levels of Baator. Those at lower levels in the hierarchy obey their superiors without question, knowing that obedience is rewarded. Chaos would ensue should the citizens of Baator choose not to obey their superiors and Asmodeus does not tolerate chaos. To this end, Asmodeus has appointed archdevils to run the nine layers of Baator, some of whom choose to grant particular illriggers abilities beyond those they receive as knights of Baator. Likewise, Asmodeus enforces contracts made by the citizens of Baator, whether it be with other devils or those from other planes. Any mortal creature that breaks such a contract forfeits their soul, which comes to dwell in Baator.

Souls constitute the main currency of Baator, exchanged for power and boons between devils and mortals. Souls are often confined to Baator at the end of a mortal’s lifespan, where they assume the form of a lemure.

Imps naturally appear as small humanoids with dark red skin, bat-like wings and stingers. They are primarily used to send messages, complete tasks and spy for their more senior masters in Baator.

In Amphictyonis, imps are often blamed for small items going missing, as they were thought to be mischievous thieves and they can become invisible at will. It is also thought that they are repelled by charms made of the fytus plant, a common herb across most of Amphictyonis. It is known that they do not come out in winter, being susceptible to the cold.

Common knowledge in Apophismet holds that imps are capable of shapeshifting into normal animals and are often found in the form of a rat or a raven. They trick and corrupt mortals, and attempt to make deals for their souls.

Storbreigard has several stories about imps, many of which tell that holy water and silver can harm imps. As infernal beings, they are immune to fire and poison and resistant to many magical effects.

Imps can be summoned as familiars by some spellcasters. When this occurs, the imp is completely subject to their master’s will and unable to act on their own impulses.

Forum Games - The Beer Cellar! / Re: Word Association
« on: March 15, 2022, 11:00:00 AM »

General Gaming - The Arcade / Re: Fallen London
« on: March 15, 2022, 10:59:34 AM »
I've sadly not had too much time to play lately, although it is open on my phone whenever I open my Chrome app and it really shouldn't be that hard to click onto it and play every now and then.

Hearing about the various exploits that I've yet to get involved with has certainly rekindled my interest though!

Ooh which dragon fight did you get stuck at in Neverwinter Nights? I remember being very frustrated by one in one of the games, then going back much later and loading with a very advanced character, just so I could absolutely wipe the floor with the dragon in revenge!

I've always loved Neverwinter Nights, my dad and I used to stay up late and play it every summer when I was off school or home from university. Sadly, it's become much harder to do non-local multiplayer now, so that's rather come to a halt.

Where can one acquire Baldur's Gate? I've heard a lot about it but not had a chance to play it yet.

I'm likewise absolutely thrilled to have been chosen as a joint winner! I'm so pleased to know my tale was interesting to someone, and I may integrate the lore I came up with into my DnD campaign, as that's the setting it's based in  :) I'm trying to do a little piece of writing every month this year so this was a nice start to that trend (February's piece is some lore for my DnD world on devils and the hells)

The other entries were all so interesting and I'd love to read more about Azerlathes and Venmaros, as well as Amelie and her dresses!

I find it a little fascinating that both Medievalfantasyqueen and I found inspiration in the idea of a winter sunset that led to similar concepts of immortals looking at our fleeting lives! I definitely think that our characters would find meeting one another interesting.

Thanks so much to the judges and organisers - I look forward to the next competition!

General Chatter - The Boozer / Re: Cyril & Methodius Day 2022!
« on: February 14, 2022, 07:46:45 PM »
Happy Cyril and Methodius Day!

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