Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Lovebot of Lady Blue

My friend Sam, has been posting some material regarding Stars Without Number.  His work reminded me of an idea I had a while ago for a scifi world and an adventure to be had there.



Enter the Freehold of Atlas.  The Freehold is an ultra-libertarian super society.  Sounds fun right?  Its inhabitants seem to think so.  The gene-forges of Atlas produce all kinds of incredibly advanced biomechanical goods.  Freeholders zip amongst the stars in ships made of muscle and chitin.  They create android servants, ala Blade Runner replicants.  They manipulate their own bodies into all kinds of outlandish colors and shapes.  More often than not, Freeholders make themselves incredibly beautiful, dye their skin, and implant bioluminescent cells into their bodies that dance across them as though the whole planet is constantly engaged in a freakish rave of movie stars and supermodels.

Their aesthetic is the love child of a threesome between lava lamps, coked-out raves, and Finding Nemo.  Everything is organic in appearance and often in reality.  Buildings rise from the planet like coral.  Hovercars swim through the air like fish.  Fleshy orbs shed multicolor light onto every street.  People ascend buildings in elevators that look like lava lamps, lifting up their occupants on bubbly cushions.  Parties are happening all the time.  Drugs are being sold by the megaton.  Everywhere you look, there is an exuberant celebration of everything fleshly and bright.

Not all is neon and bright, however.  Sometimes, things are neon, bright, and morally ambiguous.  There is some debate over whether the androids created as servants are truly human.  Are they sentient?  Should they have rights?  On top of that, the merits of this libertarian system are hotly contested.  Most inhabitants are patriots, but other planets are always watching for signs of human rights abuse or corporate tyranny due to the nonexistent regulations.

The adventure would have our party summoned by a Freehold resident only known as Lady Blue.  They call her Lady Blue because her skin is almost always dyed an electric blue color.  The party has likely worked with her before, doing quasilegal activities to bypass the bothersome regulations unjustly imposed by other planetary governments.  She sits in her lava lamp chair, wearing a revealing dress of white gold thread, spotted by round bubble-like gems of purple and blue.  Her hair bobs atop her head in a shape only made possible by hover nanites in her skull.  Her irises are imprinted with drifting neon bubbles.  Her pupils are shining like stars with their diamond implants.  Floating diamonds rotate slowly near her earlobes, acting as earrings.  Rings of light expand and collapse across her azure skin, like ripples in the sea.

One of her androids has been stolen by someone on the Freehold and she wants them to take it back.  This, despite appearances, turns out to be anything but a simple task.

Can romance bloom on the World of Love?

Can humanity thrive on this planet of frenzied capitalism?

Find out in The Lovebot of Lady Blue!

I am actually probably going to run this adventure at some point so I dare not say more.  Thank you, dear reader, and enjoy a complimentary dose of Faerie Web.  I'm telling you, man, this stuff will have all your neurons firing in the best of ways!

Graylands Season 2 Finale: The Fate of Aphenaeus

The main campaign has taken us through some incredible twists and turns.  My players have done things that I was in no way prepared for and spun a conclusion to the story of Mr. Aphenaeus.  If you have been following along, you know Mr. Aphenaeus is our first quest giver.  He allowed the PCs to create the adventuring guild that would act as a home for the Main Party and some side characters.  He has helped them in their time of need and required them for his purposes.  His story, along with this season, has come to an end.  I think this season finale requires us to tell the tale of Aphenaeus from the beginning to the end and then take a look at what his life will have on the future. Much of this information has not even been revealed in its entirety to my players.  The picture here is what I thought Mr. Aphenaeus ought to look like.



The Story of Mr. Aphenaeus:

Jacob Aphenaeus was born into the prestigious family of Aphenaeus, a wealthy noble family whose ancestral home is in the Gold District in Phaidecia.  At a young age, he bore witness to his father sexually assaulting a young servant.  He became aware that this was his father's common practice, indeed, this is what most of the lords of the high houses of Phaidecia do with most of their servants, even bragging about it at their parties.  He allowed this to go on until his father tried his hand at Stacey.  Stacey is from a long line of bodyguards that have been assigned to the sons of House Aphenaeus since time immemorial.  She was assigned to protect Jacob, but it was Jacob that protected her when the time came.  Stacey is beautiful and for a servant, this is more often a blessing than a curse.  When Jacob's Aphenaeus' father cornered Stacey, he killed the rapist with a knife to the back.  From that day on, Stacey was bound to Mr. Aphenaeus with cords stronger than duty.  She loved him with a kind of love that was not romantic or sisterly or even motherly.  She fell in love with what he stood for: respect for the humanity of all people.

After that, Aphenaeus could no longer associate himself with the corrupt houses of the Gold District.  He sold his family's ancient home and took up residence in the Silver District.  He would have simply spent his days attempting to lobby for the rights of the downtrodden before the Court of Coins and continuing his education as a wizard if he had not met Thenifus.  Thenifus, at this time, was a wealthy merchant and the secret head of the Cult of the Fingercounter.  Thenifus convinced him of the radical ideals of the Cult and brought him in as a leading member.  Thenifus told Aphenaeus that Law was inherently oppressive.  The Civilized world only oppresses the poor and the Chaotic.  True equality will only be reached once Law has been extinguished.

It was not too much later that Thenifus gave up his sanity for power from the Fingercounter.  His sacrifice opened up a passage through which enough of the Fingercounter's power could enter the mortal realm to make the finger bone charms that allow cultists to communicate over long distances and travel through mirrors.  After Thenifus became too unstable for the role, Aphenaeus took up the mantle of leadership.  The sharp mind of this wizard allowed the cult to grow and pull off the killings of several nobles.

It was around this time that Aphenaeus decided that he would need muscle to truly enact his revolution.  He knew adventurers made useful tools, retrieving magical items and becoming fearsome warriors.  He also had heard of an artifact called the Black Candle that was kept on the Forbidden Island in the middle of the Saint's Blood lake.  He believed that this Candle would allow him to blur the lines between the worlds enough to give full passage of the Fingercounter into the mortal realm.  He hired some people he likely thought would not survive but just might pull off a miracle and find a way to win the day.  Then he hired some more.  And then he hired some more.  And then he settled on a group consisting of a dwarf that complained about his wife a lot, an idiotic farmboy with a demonic sheep, and a strangely buff bard that was looking for adventure.  They managed to conquer the island but not to free the Candle.  Thinking that this new company of adventurers would still be very useful if he could turn them to his cause, he consented to turn the Forbidden Island of the party's base.

Some time later, Aphenaeus heard word of a group of mad scientists who had been kidnapping many of the homeless, including one of his comrades.  He took some of the new adventurers from the Forbidden Isle base to save his friend and put an end to the work of these mad men.  He was unfortunately too late to save his comrade from being horribly mutated.  He ended up putting down his friend and drawing on so much power that he ended up corrupting himself and disfiguring half of his face.

Meanwhile, at the Cathedral of Steel, word had been circulating of the Cult's actions, prompting the Lord High Inquisitor to dispatch a group of Inquisitors into the area, led by the infamous Inquisitor Ezekiel Blackthorn who had burned Old Amadecia to annihilate the widespread heresy there.  He would be distracted, though, by the coming of the Legion of the Raven to Thrandhelm.

The Legion's crusade against Thrandhelm became an opportunity for Aphenaeus.  He left the Forbidden Isle base to find an artifact: a mask holding the soul of the demon, Karamak.  With this mask, he was able to become the leader of the Legion of the Raven.  Karamak also promised Aphenaeus the knowledge of how to free the Black Cadle from its magical containment if he were to succeed at conquering Thrandhelm in the name of Chaos.

Around this time, the founding party of the guild decided to see what was happening there.  They met Aphenaeus and he told them about another artifact that he intended to use to take the city.  The party decided to take up the quest even though they were not all sold on what Aphenaeus wanted to do with this artifact, however, while they were away the defenders of Thrandhelm gained the upper hand and overwhelmed the Legion.  Aphenaeus fled from there back to the Forbidden Isle where he wrested the information of how to break the Black Candle from Karamak in a battle of wills.

He was prepared to finish his ritual, sacrificing his own life to free the Candle, out of madness, the control of Karamak, or our of his own devotion to his radical ideology.  It is hard to say whether Aphenaeus was in control of his actions at the end, so the party decided to stop him from completing his ritual.  They managed to trick the Inquisitor that was chasing Aphenaeus so they could keep Aphenaeus prisoner.  During their interrogation of Aphenaeus, Dimitri asked what he would be willing to give up for his goal.

Aphenaeus said, "Anything.  Equality is worth anything."

Dimitri asked, "Would you sacrifice Stacey?"

Aphenaeus, for all his fervor, could not answer.

Dimitri repeated his question.

Aphenaeus reluctantly breathed, "Yes."

Stacey was standing right there and she pulled out her sword. "You are not the man I knew."

She stabbed him in the chest, ending Aphenaeus right then and there.  For the purposes of their deception, they left his body where the Inquisitor could find it.  Ezekiel Blackthorn is not so easily evaded.  The Inquisitor brought him down to the dungeons beneath the Clocktower Cathedral telling the priests to bring him back.  The last thing we heard as we faded out was a single gasping breath.

Lessons and Thoughts:

I had wanted to reveal Mr. Aphenaeus as a dangerous ideologue a long time ago.  I had thought that the players would want to explore his story more sooner but other things took up center stage.  I think this extension actually made this story more interesting.  They trusted Aphenaeus.  They actually liked him from time to time.  He felt like my character within the story.  The revelation of his dark intent was all the more impactful as a consequence.  This is a great example of why letting characters do what they want and allow the to impact the world and feel the consequences is the best way to go.
Another lesson is that simplicity can be better than complexity.  We had one fight in the finale and it was a fun fight that didn't provide too much challenge but gave plenty of opportunities for comedy.  The contrast with the serious story that this provided gave the events of the story more gravity.


I have enjoyed this season tremendously and I hope that you. dear reader, have enjoyed reading about it.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Graylands: Alternate Campaign

Sorry for the irregular posts.  I know "News from the Graylands" hasn't happened for a while but I did have a good reason!  Finals have been particularly difficult this year.  On top of that, we have begun to run the Graylands game quite differently.

Recently, we have begun alternate characters for when the whole original cast is not available.  These new characters are:

Tora, Noble Daughter turned Drunken Thief: She's not much for talking, but she can swing a greatsword and down a pint!  Tora responded to some rumbling in the hills by Midlough (Our new spelling for Middleof in the Valley of Nowhere) and nearly rode her horse into an army of animated clay soldiers marching from an ancient tome.  After nearly dying (but for the grace of her magnanimous GM) she managed to help the party put an end to the deadly remnants of an ancient warlord.  She discovered a magic greatsword in the depths of a magitech tree-spaceship and was bestowed a magical bow by the spirits of dwarven smith-monks.  She is also the only one to own a horse and is quite proud of it.

Astrophel, Mysterious Wizard of Goblin Racial Slurs: This wizard, draped in an exotic looking carpet, has some errand that he must perform that no one knows but him.  When he was but a shaman, he nearly died on an adventure to a tomb in the hills bestowed by alien creatures to a barbarian-sorcerer king of old.  He helped an alien dryad held against her will by her own sentient tree-spaceship to transfer her consciousness to a brain encased in amber.  He looks to the day when he can create a body for her to once again walk amongst the living.  Amongst the ruins of a dwarven settlement where they kept the mighty Oracle Forge, he discovered a magic ring that allows him to make tiny golems that take on personalities akin to the materials they are made from.  They have been pretty cute so far, but we shall see what happens when he tries to make one from Phaidecian garbage.

Dick, the Curious Beadle: A friendly traveling preacher or scholar, he is very interested in people with stories to tell.  He learned how to turn the magical technology of the aliens that bestowed their power on the barbarian king against the tome's guardians.  He managed to crush a clay soldier beneath a great stone that he pushed down a hill.  He is really just an inquisitive guy that wants to see how this story goes.

Nightshade, Feral Child of the Forest: This elf was raised by wolves in the hilly forest of the Eldwood.  She has fairly rudimentary language skills and a whole lot of pluck.  She mainly was just scoping out civilization, getting a pretty poor introduction from Midlough, when she thought it would be a good idea to go on an adventure suggested by the first person she had ever met, an elven herbalist who she had seen gathering herbs in her forest.  This elf, Albert, unfortunately, perished in the tomb of the barbarian king. She has grown up some and become a fearsome warrior.  She may look cute but if you step between her and her pack, beware, for her bite is worse than her bark.

Harold Flint: This dwarf stonemason went into adventuring because stone masonry is not hugely profitable in Midlough and he has an ailing mother who needs to be taken care of.  He was drawn into adventure with the exploration of the dryad's tree but was mysteriously sucked away into a world of dark insanity before shortly being spat back out.  He found his people's ancient enemy, goblins, in the Oracle Forge settlement, and stole from them a suit of armor and a superior blade of dwarven craftsmanship.  This blade was reforged by the spirits of dwarven smith-monks, devoted to the Seer Lord of Creation, Choranus and Daenthar, the Mountain Lord of Industry, to give him the ability to channel the powers of his ancestors.  Let goblins beware, for this son of the Iron People will not fade into the ashes of the past without a fight!

Titanus/Janus, the Great, Terrible, and Short: this halfling beggar was swept up into adventure from his begging spot in Phaidecia.  He survived many mad horrors from the other world but managed to return alive blessed with the King of Shadows with a new name: Janus, all while talking to his coonskin cap like it was a living creature.  This insane little man claims to be Toro's brother, though this would seem to be physiologically impossible, considering Toro is a human.  He also claims to have some grudge against the human thief, though the whole story has yet to be revealed.  He is quick to point out how things made for tall people are racist and quick to anger.  May the big people tremble before the might of Titanus!

The adventure of the Alternate characters started with "The Portal Beneath the Stars," the adventure that comes with the DCC Core Rulebook.  In that aventure, the party finds the treasure room along with a message from alien beings who have meddled with the fate of mankind in the past.  The odd goatlike creature offered the PCs power if they could only find the second half of the Rod of Rulership.  The first half was there in the tomb.  They had to burn the bark of a dryad's tree with a living flame in a brazier provided in the tomb to uncover the second half's location.

They did so revealing the second half deep in a great pit in the earth, lying in the hoard of a slumbering dragon.  The next season for the Alternate character will be called "The Pit of the Dreaming Dragon" as they brave the Chaos Wastes to get to the pit and then delve into the ancient dungeon to steal their treasure from a dragon, the first dragon the Graylands has seen.

This means that our Alternate campaign will be going down the path of a classic quest.  This will make it different, as we shall soon see, than the main campaign.  The next post on this blog will be regarding the season finale of the main Graylands campaign.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Wastes of the West Pt 3: Cities of the Shallow Desert

Cities dot the desert, interrupting the savage wilderness with savage civilization.  Though the desert is deadly, the cities may very well be more dangerous.  These are places of tyranny, crime, and mystery made all the more treacherous for their beauty and appearance of safety, and these are only the ones you will find int he Shallow Desert.  The Deep Desert has stranger and more sinister places yet.

Tyre: The Golden City, the City of Devouring Sands, the City of a Thousand Lanterns, all these are names for Tyre.  This is a beautiful city, made of up shining minarets with countless lanterns flying from their towers.  Tyre is ruled over by the beautiful Goddess Queen Delila to whom worship is mandatory.  She is a powerful sorceress and self-proclaimed deity.  The city's inhabitants are inclined to worship her anyway because those born in the city stand under a curse.  The sands surrounding Tyre devour the souls of those born there upon their death, trapping their souls within creatures of burning sand.  Delila's magics bind the souls of the departed in the lanterns around the city to save them from the curse.  Few who are born in Tyre leave for fear of leaving the protection of Delila's lanterns.  It is said that those who commit a crime in Tyre are thrown into the cursed dungeons below the city where they become inhuman beasts.

Carain: The peculiar city of the Thrall Masters stands in a volcanic crater.  Its monolithic buildings are made of gray-black volcanic stone and in their shadows walk the Thrall Masters and their terrible Thralls.  The Thrall Masters of the Carain School are experts in stitching together parts of different creatures into servants of their liking.  The Thrall Masters are notoriously amoral, using life, sentient and otherwise, in their experiments without a qualm.  They are terribly stuffy men in odd box-like hats except when they go to the Arena.  It is said that a long time ago, outsiders came to the city and began the Arena where the Thrall Masters would do battle with their most horrific monstrosities.  This is a place of wanton cruelty and sinister mystery.  Travelers, beware making business arrangements in Carain, for some deals might truly cost you an arm and a leg.

Jagged City: The Jagged City lies in a great canyon.  The city hangs on the rocky walls of the canyon, crisscrossing over the gap with latticed wooden causeways.  This is a city with no law.  No one really founded it and no one really rules besides the occasional gang leader that rises up above the rest.  This is the place for all kinds of sin mortals might indulge in.  Prostitution, gambling, arenas, and slavery are all big-ticket industries here.  Thieves wait around every corner and everyone wants you to pay for protection.  So put on your best "hardened criminal" face and prepare to brawl because, like most jagged things, this city won't let you out without cutting you up.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wastes of the West Pt 2: Major Religions of the Wastes

What is a good place to begin an exploration of a new world?  I would argue a good place is with the fundamental beliefs of its people.  Yes, I know it is terribly Platonic of me, to begin with high concepts, but bear with me.  A few of these religions are not totally original but I have delivered my own twist on any real world or fictional religion that appears here.

Daevanism:

Daevanists believe in one God, who they call Daeva or Eli Daeva.  Daeva might be translated "god," "celestial," or "angel."  Capitalized Daeva usually refers to Eli Daeva which is best translated "Supreme God," "First Celestial," or "Lord Angel."

Daevanists are monotheists that believe in the existence of other divine beings but that none of them are to be worshiped but Eli Daeva.  Those celestials that are subservient to God are called daeva or angels.  Those that defy God and demand worship from mortals are called baala or devils.

Daevanist belief stresses the insurmountable distance between God and Man.  They believe that Man is incapable of grasping even a fraction of the mind of God.  God must come to them through the daeva, who reveal the divine will through their chosen prophets and priests.

There is only one place where one might truly stand in the presence of God.  This place is the Temple, that cyclopean megastructure deep in the desert.  There, in the Holy of Holies, may one who is ritually clean stand in the very presence of God.  It is here that each new acolyte comes to be inducted into the Priesthood.  They beg the Almighty to try their very souls to determine their worthiness.  Those that can face the terrible truth of their cosmic insignificance without immediately going permanently insane are attended by a daeva that gives them their holy powers.

Daevanist priests will prefer spells that have to do with divination and knowledge as they are continually trying to come to understanding the will of God without ever becoming certain of any understanding, but it heavily depends on the kind of daeva that attends them.

The Cult of Set:

The cabal of necromancer-priests that worship the Overlord of the Outer Dark is the Cult of Set.  Set, may His Unending Darkness consume the world, gives his servants power for the continual sacrifice of mortal souls.  These cabalists are mostly concerned with their own ambition and terror of their dark master.  No ritual is too foul, no magic is too forbidden, no atrocity is too horrendous for a truly ambitious cultist.  They plot in secret to take control of whole empires and will not be satisfied until there is no light they cannot extinguish.

These cultists ultimately believe in the absolute domination of the weak by the strong.  They believe that there is no real truth and that even their Overlord is just the largest fish in our part of the cosmic sea.  They believe that there is no meaning in life but that which the strong create.  Their rituals make a mockery of innocence with utter defilement.  The greatest ambition which all the cultists share is to eventually become a god and replace Set.

Cultists of Set work primarily with necromancy and mind control magic, in their effort to dominate all life.

The Ayla Sae Sisterhood:

This mysterious sisterhood of sorceresses is bound together by a common religious code that dictates, "Man must evolve to survive!"  They try to place themselves in places of power to be able to drive along man's development.  They commonly place themselves at the head of various pagan cults and find demonic remnant of the old worlds and use them as livings gods for people to worship.

They are pragmatic and devious in pursuing his beliefs and can be found whispering into the ears of powerful figures everywhere if not just replacing them. They are distrusting of male leadership and often consider men to be primitive is not just utterly inferior.

Mind control magic and healing magic are the kind of magics that the Prophetesses of the Sisterhood.

Kekism:

The Cult of Kek is the brotherhood of Jester Preachers that openly mock overly restrictive or chaotic institutions in service of their smirking Frog God, Kek.  The Preachers believe that Kek is a god of darkness that will bring the light.  They bring about chaos so that a brighter tomorrow can come.  The brothers often look insane and stand on street corners to tell jokes at the expense of any number of institutions and paint graffiti on walls and in alleys. They don't much like the Daevanists, or the Cult of Set, and they really don't like the Ayla Sae Sisterhood.

They use magic that makes them more like their slimy green master and that helps them mock the decaying institutions of this world.  They claim that they all hail from Kekistan, no matter where they actually came from.  They await the coming of the God Emperor that will destroy the Ayla Sae and bring about an Age of Greatness.  Praise Kek!  Kek wills it!


Many other small cults exist around the Wastes but these are some of the major religious bodies that belong specifically to the Wastes.  Other religions come from other worlds and PCs may bring characters with religions from their home Planes and even try to proselytize.  If they gain a significant following they might even begin to be mocked by the Jester Preachers of Kek or start being opposed by the Daevanists or attempted to be seduced by the Ayla Sae.

What other faiths in other settings might fit in the Wastes?  How do you think your favorite cleric characters would behave in such a situation?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Wastes of the West Pt 1: An Introduction

Let's be honest, the Graylands is not an original setting.  It was born out of a need for a quick generic setting that made use of the bits of setting already built into the core DCC rulebook.  One of the most interesting parts of the setting for me, the take on alignments, came out of a need to make sense of what were odd alignment rules in DCC.  Graylands is great and a lot of the concepts that were born out of necessity are pretty awesome and I intend to carry them over to other works, but it just isn't an original setting.

I'm going to continue making content for the Graylands because I still have a game going there but I also want to start work on another setting that I thought of a while ago that I would like to bring to life here.

Enter the Wastes of the West.



"What are you here for?"  Asked the musician between sips of his ale.  

I looked up from by sludgy drink and shrugged.  "Adventure."

He looked out at me with obsidian eyes beneath his wide leather hat, "There are better places to die than this and often dying is a privilege reserved for the lucky.  Looking for adventure here is like diving into a raging sea for a gulp of water.  I see what you're thinking.  You think it won't be that bad.  You think you've been through some adventures before so this shouldn't be too hard."

He absently strummed a few notes on his guitar. "Out here, the only constant is the endless dunes.  Out here you get to burn all day beneath the tyrant suns and freeze all night beneath the changing moons.  You'll never really know solid ground and even the sky will change on you.  You will never be safe and likely you will never be able to go home.  Out here, the desert sneaks into you.  The alien moons change you.  You'll find before too long that you aren't even human anymore and that home is like a rapidly fading dream."

I looked at the bard and set my drink down.  "Should I leave?"

"Leave?  You ought to run.  You ought to leave here back for hearth and home as fast as your legs can carry you.  Run before the moons starts watching you from your dreams.  Run before the song of the desert winds become all that you crave.  Run before the sparkling expanse of the starlit dunes stains your eyes forever.  Run before the Wastes grab hold of your soul and you hate even the notion of getting free."

The Wastes of the West is an endless desert that links to many worlds.  The sky changes each day, showing suns and planets and moons of alien worlds.  Adventurers from any world may find themselves there and that makes the Wastes so diverse and so dangerous.  Civilizations have risen and fallen in the Wastes for such an extended period that the "natives" say, "There is no sand in the desert, only the dust of fallen empires."

The point of the Wastes is to take the adventurers away from the familiar and confront them with the weird.  This creates a space to confound your grizzled players with the bizarre.  It also offers an opportunity to blend science-fiction in fantasy in creative ways with the Wastes being a convergence of worlds.  I intend to make the Wastes a mixture of Conan the Barbarian, Dune, and Lovecraft with magical super-tech reminiscent of Wheel of Time.

What do you all think?  What system would you suggest I use for this setting?  I have run something similar to this with 5th ed but I want something really OSR that will be deadly with interesting but balanced magic-users and fun to play warriors.  I also prefer something rules-lite but that is negotiable.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Knights of the Divine Lady

It is said in the elder days when the gods ruled from Ma'at that Klazath ruled while the Seer Father dreamed.  Klazath was in charge of the glorious armies that drove back the formless shadows of Chaos as Choranus' dreams shaped the world, but Klazath's zealotry made life in Ma'at oppressive for its people.  Gorhan, his brother, pleaded with Klazath to let up in his driving of the men, but Klazath would do no such thing until every last ounce of foul Chaos was destroyed.  Gorhan was saddened.  He despaired at the soldiers' lives, fighting forever without purpose or rest.  He looked into the crystal pond that surrounded the sleeping Choranus and saw his own reflection.  Before his eyes, his image was transformed into the very picture of infinite beauty.  She was a woman like none he had seen but as he reached in to touch her, his hand pulled out a marvelous golden helm.  From then on Gorhan knew what must be done.



Somewhere out there, his Lady watched him.  Somewhere among the chaotic maelstrom was her fathomless beauty.  He gathered the dreamers, the poets, and the artists.  He named them his Knights of the Divine Lady.  So Gorhan and his knights-errant charged into the darkness, seeking his Lady above all else, cutting a great swath through the minions of evil.  Their quests were not so efficient as Klazath's crusade, but their magnificent bravery gave hope to all the people.  They learned to sing songs again, telling stories of their remarkable triumphs.  The crusaders of Klazath were strengthened by the hope the knights-errant created and so the grand Quest was begun.

The Knights of the Divine Lady are an order that persists to this day.  They quest for holy artifacts, slay mighty creatures, and seek beauty above all else.

Here is some inspiration:


At some point, the Knights of the Divine Lady came to especially hate the Fae.  It is said that a particularly beautiful Fae Lady convinced him that she was his Lady, and after he discovered her treachery, he declared eternal war on the Fae.

Any Lawful non-Wizard or Elf character may join the Knights but clerics may only cast the spell.

The Quest:

A knight-errant may at any time, declare that they are embarking on a Holy Quest.  The knight must declare what would constitute the Quest's completion.  The Quest must involve retrieving a holy artifact, destroying a specific monster, taking a specific place, or rescuing a person of good character in distress.  While on the Quest, a knight errant gains many powers that are detailed below.  A knight-errant may not regain these powers until he has completed his Quest.  Any knight that abandons a Quest loses access to all powers and spells from this Order until they are given absolution by another member of the Order.

What Matter Wounds?:

A knight in pursuit of a holy Quest gains a pool of d6s equal to double his level.  A knight-errant may use any number of these as an action to heal himself.  A knight that is affected by a spell that would put them below 1 HP may spend one of these dice to immediately nullify the damage.

Woe to the Wicked:

A knight-errant on a holy Quest gains a bonus to their attack roll and damage equal to their level against Chaotic characters.

Vengeance of the Helmed One:

A knight-errant gains +1d6 to all attacks, damage rolls, and saves when battling against Fae and cannot be affected by Fae Mind Control Spells.

Spell Casting:

A knight of this Order gains a Spell Casting bonus equal to their level.  Clerics cast these spells with their usual bonus. All casters take Disapproval as a cleric would.

Summon Steed:

Level 1     Range: N/A   Casting Time: 1   Action  Save: N/A

General: The caster reflects on his eternal quest and repeats whatever creed was used to swear them into the Order, causing a magic steed to arrive from realms unknown that will obey the caster.  A knight on a Quest gains a +2 to this check.

Manifestation: Roll 1d4: (1) The horse emerges through a shining portal, (2) The horse forms out of mist, (3) The horse gallops down from the sky, (4) The caster simply finds themselves atop the horse.

1-11: Failure
12-13: The steed is a superior example of his kind but is otherwise just a mundane horse.  The horse remains until dismissed.
14-17: The steed can never be exhausted and the rider gains +2 AC and immunity to Magic Missile whist on the steed.  The horse remains for a day.
18-23: The steed, in addition to all previous benefits, may run up impossible inclines without difficulty and leap great distances.  The horse remains for 1 day.
24-27:  The steed, in addition to all previous benefits, may walk on water and pass from plane into another.
28+  The steed, in addition to all previous benefits, may fly and the rider gains +4 AC and immunity to all offensive magic.  The horse remains for a day.