Iron

Iron and Steel

Iron and steel are quite common in Atheles. Iron and Steel are both used to ward against magic.

Iron and steel cause damage to magic users and magic creatures in Atheles.

Magic and metal:

If casting magic, these metals cause these effects:

Iron – On skin 1d6 per mana, in skin 2d6 per mana, on body, but covered (wrapped, leather bound, etc) – slight irritation.

Steel – On skin 1d3 per mana, in skin 1d6 per mana. On body, but covered (wrapped, leather bound, etc_ – no effect.

Elves:

Iron – On skin 1d4 damage per hour, in skin 2d4 per hour, on body, but covered (wrapped, leather bound, etc) – slight irritation.

Steel – On skin 1d2 damage per hour, in skin 1d4 per hour, on body, but covered (wrapped, leather bound, etc) – no effect.

Elfling:

Iron – On skin slight discomfort, in skin moderate discomfort, on body, but covered (wrapped, leather bound, etc) – slight irritation.

Steel -No effect.

Feral Elfling:

Iron – On skin 1d4 damage per hour, in skin 2d4 per hour, on body, but covered (wrapped, leather bound, etc) – slight irritation.

Steel – On skin 1d2 damage per hour, in skin 1d4 per hour, on body, but covered (wrapped, leather bound, etc) – no effect.

Jarin Plainswalker

As one of the chief chroniclers in the Druidic Conclave of Culture and Antiquity, I’ve gained a broad view of the world and its cultures – not only as it exists today, but as it has existed through the Ages.  Yet, despite my learning, there is but one fact that I can say here with certainty – that the only constant in this world is change and uncertainty.  This change occurs in all aspects of life and the environments in which life resides . . . and this is the great challenge of the historian.  Climates, flora, fauna, populations, cultures, the stars, civilizations, the seasons, and even consciousness – all of these exist in a state of continuous flux.  Some change is cyclical; some is so slow that it is imperceptible; some is predictable while some is not.  Some change occurs so rapidly that the lives affected have no time to prepare.  And in many cases, no record is left of this change other than nebulous clues from which we can infer the past with varying degrees of accuracy.  Sometimes it’s merely a few scattered bones, turned to stone over the millennia.  Often we’ve found entire cities buried beneath the earth, found evidence of cultures lost long ago to the sea, or newer civilizations merely left in ruin by inhabitants who either migrated, fled, or perished.

Long ago, the Druids had vast libraries of historical books and tomes, chronicling ages past, but during the Great War these depositories of knowledge were lost or destroyed. Before our small circle of historians began compiling historical records, evidence, and accounts into a new central library, people throughout the world knew little more than the sliver of knowledge available to one’s own culture – usually passed down orally through generations.  Today, this is still the case for most.  I find that if I talk to three different people from three distinct cultures, I feel as though I’m hearing of three different worlds altogether, with very little thread to pull them together beyond the same passing of celestial bodies overhead – even even in that regard, interpretations vary.  We all agree there is a sun that rises on one horizon and falls beyond the other, but I’ve found very little agreement on the nature of the sun.  And those interpretations of basic nature have changed even within cultures with the passage of time.

The desert people of Jaldur once believed, according to their elders, that the sun was merely a tear in the veil of darkness, and that if one could get beyond the veil, all would be ablaze.  In other words, we are protected by a perpetually rotating cocoon which protects us from the infinite fire beyond.  The hole, they believed, was like the beginning of a bird hatching from an egg, and eventually the world itself would be born into a world of infinite light.  There were even very precise predictions.  When these predictions failed to become reality, the sun’s nature evolved.  Noting the arc that a thrown object takes as it ascends into the sky and then descends back to the earth, they realized that the sun’s movement is very similar – as if someone were throwing an enormous flaming ball into the sky from one direction, and it was falling in the other direction.  So now they’ve come to believe in giant deities, large enough to throw this flaming ball.  Within this single culture, there is disagreement about whether the thrower is benevolent, playful, or at war.

This is the greatest challenge of the historian.  It would be tempting to merely compile all that we are told into the annals, but we must take into account the unique perspective of the storyteller.  We must consider that time changes stories, and after generations, the stories may bear no resemblance to the reality of the past.  The story belongs more to the teller than to reality itself.  The story becomes infused with the teller’s own ambitions, imaginations, prejudices, preconceptions, misconceptions, mythologies, fears, hopes, and dreams.

And this is equally true of my own telling, here.  As I recount my tale of Elvish encounters, I will be honest and forthcoming.  And yet, despite my best efforts, this work will certainly remain imperfect – colored by my own narrative, and limited by my own narrow perspective, and my own prejudices.  Forgive me if I seem to have a particular fondness for the elves of the woods, as they treated me with utter kindness.  Equally, forgive me if I fail to hide my personal distrust of Oredhel, as they spared no affection for me or my kind, and demonstrated ghastly and unjust brutality before my eyes, laughing as I wept.  I know the reasons for the sharp edge to their culture, and yet I cannot possibly entirely hide my contempt.

And with that, I shall begin my tale.

There are many myths about the elves of the western lands, and in my travels I have collected much of their history and culture.  Given the great mystery surrounding the elves, and the fact they had not been seen by any credible source in generations, I most wanted to see their perspective.  How do they seem themselves?  How do they believe they fit within the massive social constructs of Uteria?  What is their place, and what could be their place in the future, so that we might all coexist in relative peace?

This has been difficult.  Most, myself included, have been taught fables of elves rather than honest history.  These fables are often of a god-like race, with impossible virtues.  Other times, the fables take a much darker tone, designed to scare children into following directions, lest an evil elf kidnap them and cook them into a stew.  The one thing I’ve never found in these fables, however, is accuracy.  We have only just begun to learn the truth of the elves as they once again began to emerge from their forests and plans, becoming once again a part of human culture.

So hopefully these stories, myths, and histories of the elves will help us to gain some insight into one of the most secretive and powerful races in Uteria.

Jarin

5704 Common Era

Jarin Plainswalker – NPC Guide

Jarin Plainswalker is a druid who wanders the lands collecting knowledge and artifacts of the fey races. He is a human from the city of Bordon, though after joining the Druid Council he has spent much of his time on the road. His spheres of magic specialize in healing and earth elements, and his knowledge focus is that of the ancient fey races.

He can be used as a loremaster in your campaign, or a companion for your players to fill in a healer role. His knowledge of ancient races surpasses many, and he is valuable in identifying old items, or deciphering ancient scripts.

Introducing Jarin into your Campaign

Jain plays a large part in the world of Uteria. He is the current chronicler of the Elves and has left the Council in Bordon to travel the roads for seven years while he researches the current cultures of the elves.

In your campaign he can be found anywhere, from a city tavern to a camp along a remote river. His specialty is the fey, and his studies will allow him to help the players if they need lore of the elves.

Jarin is very charismatic and when he passes through he often makes many friends with his animated stories and jokes. He has built a wide network of friends who are willing to help Jarin or anyone named his friend. If Jarin has a flaw it is also in his stories, in that his love for getting all the facts correct can lead to some feeling he is a little long winded when a short answer might be preferred.

Beginnings

Origins of Jarin – From the files of the Druidic Library of Seahaven

Letter from the Druid Council of the West to ArchDruid Erlwyn, of the Grand Council of the North

5707 Fourth Age

In Regards to the newly formed Conclave of Culture and Antiquity,

I am writing to ask that we assign Jarin Plainswalker as the fifth and final member of the Conclave. I have done much thinking on who would complete the group and add different perspectives to our goals. Jarin is a unique individual among the Druids and one of the first of the next generation who will lead the Council into the future. I will provide a brief description of his person and upbringing to illustrate my desire to have him in the Conclave.

He was born near Bordon among the small farms in the plains to the west of the Swordspyne Mountains. When he was the age of 13, a goat on his farm was severely injured and his parents found him nursing the small animal and crying. When they tried to take the animal away for slaughter, he screamed out and as his parent described it a blue light shot forth from their son into the animal. When they regained their sight, the animal’s leg, which had almost been torn from its socket by a wolf, was completely healed. Luckily for young Jarin his parents were not as superstitious as most and they contacted us about their son. We here in Bordon were fascinated to find such a young person possessing the innate ability to heal. He was brought to the Grove here and started his tutelage immediately.

Though he showed immense talent, he was also very headstrong and often was found exploring the mountains and wilderness around Bordon rather than attending to his studies. After he graduated from apprenticeship, he immediately took to the field studying the Westlands for ancient sources of magic. This made him rather unpopular among the Arch Council here, though his devotion to finding out about the past drove him to continue. During his middle twenties, he spent much of his time near the Town of Byrn, exploring deep into the swamps to the West of Kaelnor forest, looking for the “Keep of the Mages”, which according to most myths existed there in the past Age. With Byrn’s relative proximity to the Vale, Jarin became very fond of the Elflings, which lead to his many inquiries up North to you of past writings about the other races of Uteria. Since the Elflings are one of the few others races to have open and friendly contact with humans since the last Age, Jarin hoped to find a way to open relationships with the other races. He was especially interested in the Elves, seeing their connection to magic and the past Age.

I hope to assign him to look deeper into the stories behind the elves and bring us more concrete knowledge of who they are and what they have been doing since they shut themselves away in the different corners of Uteria.

Even the formation of this Conclave has been difficult due to the Arch Druid Council here, and adding an outsider to what they consider a dangerous avenue of research, has led me to a dead end.

If you were to send word to the Council here, it would go a long way in allowing me to form the Conclave as would best suit its needs, rather than the Arch Council’s needs.

May Arias Bless you,

Irphazan

A Brief History of Jarin

Jarin spent his childhood as the middle child on a farm, uneventful until his bond to magic was revealed. Once accepted into the Druidic Order he spent his adolescence studying in Bordon. He was a difficult student, often spending more time outside the city walls exploring than with his books. As his teachers learned about his personality and adjusted his studies to be less academic and more hands on, he excelled in classes and was sent into the field as an apprentice to Master Ensin. Ensin was a druid who shared Jarin’s wanderlust and together they spent a few years exploring the dangerous swamps in the west. After Ensin’s untimely death to a Unman’s arrow, he was admitted to a special group who were to try and unlock the mysteries of the last age.

Though many welcome Jarin when he is around, he has no true home. All he owns he carries with him, though he often leaves copies of his journals and sketches in various hiding places along the road.

Description

Jarin is a thin man, slightly shorter than normal, though fast and quick witted. He has a contagious smile, and his eyes have had laugh lines since he was a young adult. He is just as quick to tell a story as he is to sit and listen for hours. He has little use for expensive belongings, but he loves well crafted and artistically intricate items. One belonging he holds dear is a bone handled dagger given to him by his old Master, Ensin.

Becoming Friends with Jarin

It is quite easy to win over Jarin, though to really gain anything besides surface information, Jarin must trust the players not to misuse the information.

Encounter with Jarin

Willow Tree Inn – Byrn

Jarin is sitting by the fireplace telling a story of the swamps to the northwest. His has a small gathering of patrons listening intently.

“The mud seeped into our boots, and pulled at them as we stepped. Bloodflies swarmed around us, their incessant buzzing making this miserable place even worse. But somewhere out here, somewhere there is the Keep of the Magi.

Kaelvari

The Kaelvari, the Forest Elves

The Kaelvarian Elves are the basis for much of the lore that humans cling to about the elves of Uteria. They are tall and exude strength, but dislike confrontation and aggression. They live deep in the woods, a solitary culture that is self-sufficient and peaceful. They revere nature, and despite my initial impressions of power, they believe deeply in being in harmony with the world around them rather than its masters. Music and art are very important to the Kaelvari and this is reflected in all facets of their culture.

They have lived in the same part of Uteria for centuries, their settlements based around the deepest regions of the Kaelnor forest, in groves of the largest Ergan trees. Very few outsiders over the long years have been allowed to visit these hidden cities.

The Lands of the Kaelvari

The Kaelvari elves live in the center of the Westlands, residing in the dense Kaelnor forest, south of Ferryport. There are many superstitions and stories about the forest, with only two paths that travelers frequent to head south. One runs through the center of the forest, following a valley which is bare of trees and foliage. I, myself, had traveled the forest extensively looking to contact the elves. This was before the liberation of Ferryport and the Kaelvari had not yet emerged from the forests to make contact with our kind. The locals claimed that the eastern part of the forest was the residence of the elves, while the western part, which turns to swamplands, was inhabited by twisted monsters.

Kaldrath

Kaldrath was an eldar who lead a genocide against his own people for their abuse of the peoples of Uteria.

The Story of Kaldrath

Kalrath’s father, Jariaan, was of high birth in the ranks of the eldar. He did not believe if the eldar’s practices of keeping the elves as slaves and servants. Later in his life he fought the rulers of the eldar to free the elves and to consider them as equals. The eldar kicked him from their society. The eldar felt they were doing him a great justice by not outright killing him. He sought refuge among the elves and their independant smaller city, but he was stoned and ran out of the city. There he died alone in the wilderness, forsaken by his race and those he tried to help. Kaldrath never forgot this. His hatred of of the eldar grew until he left to form his armies to destroy them all. He kept the elves as slaves, feeling pity enough to not kill them, but wanted to punish them forever for what they did to his father.

He fought among the high courts of the eldar to try and free the elves, but they reminded him of the fate of his father. He left the eldar cities and created a refuge high in the mountains of the north. There he built his army, from recruited elves or summoned creatures from the beyond, he plotted the war against his people and the freeing of the elves.

Kaldrath was defeated by the elves and imprisoned in a magical tomb. The tomb is in the limbo between the Navirim and Uteria.

Kowal

Kowal is a city in the Eastlands. It is an independent city state separate from Endamas and Uthgard.

The city of Kowal has reigned over its own barren lands in the East since the end of the Great War. Ruled by the Zadeku family for years beyond memory, the city has been content with its own business for hundreds of years.

The City of Kowal

  • Statistics: Crime 6; Danger 5; Economy 3; Law 5; Knowledge 3; Magic 1
  • Highest Stat is 10, lowest 1
  • Size: City, Seat of Barony
  • Government: Aristocracy
  • Economic System: Feudal capitalist
  • Population: 10,800

Places of Interest

  1. The Walled Tower
  2. Darkwinter Tavern
  3. Sascha’s Storehouse
  4. The Den (Wanderer’s Guild)
  5. Ash Cloud Theatre
  6. Factory District
  7. Dwarf Town
  8. Melgrin’s Warehouse
  9. Shen’s Mansion
  10. The Broken Chip
  11. Marn’s Refuge
  12. The Cat’s Herbs
  13. Bizarre Bazaar
  14. M Bar
  15. The Kowal Library
  16. Kowal Barracks
  17. r
  18. The Greystone

The lands surrounding Kowal

 

Organizations:

  • Wanderer’s Guild
  • The Companions – Thieve’s consortium
  • Sons of Silence
  • Melkowski Family – Crime Family
  • Edge Company – Mercenaries
  • Red Dagger – Thieve’s Guild (new)
  • Children of the Light

About:

  • 2/3 population died in first plague.
  • low population since.
  • magic is punishable by death.
  • mass graves all along outer border.
  • war with tyr hurt city
  • ghul raids make trade hard

Laws

  • People own property, but must pay the lord a tax on land and income.
  • Magic is forbidden and punishable by death.
  • Thievery is punishable first by loss of a finger, second two fingers, and third by the loss of a hand.
  • Gambling is legal, but in a house of gambling there is a 50% tax on winnings.
  • If accused, both the accuser and the accused are treated the same until the trial. The accused must prove innocence, not be proven guilty.
  • For witchcraft, older methods of torture may be used.

There is the Steel Guard for the Baron’s household, City Guard for people, overseen by the Sheriff, and the Red Guard, a church-backed organization. Magistrates rule the court system and are appointed or dismissed by the Baron.

Landscape

Weron River to the south. Lesh Forest to the East. Urtgen forest to the North West

Kowal Library

The Kowal Library is a public library that allows any citizen access to books. They are always looking to purchase or find new or old books.

It is also home to the Society of Librarians.

Lesh Forest

A large forest to the south east of Kowal.

Living Campaign Rules

The SagaBorn living campaign is a bit different then your normal TTRPG campaign. This is based on a West Marches style game (see more from Matt Colville https://youtu.be/oGAC-gBoX9k). We want to have many players, like 20-30. Players, when they want to adventure, form a group of six, picking from any of the other SoS players to form a 3-6 person group. They then decide where they want to venture, or what quest they want to fulfill off the Task Board. The group then petitions one of the GMs (Mike in the first couple of months) to make an adventure and they all schedule a time.

Rule One:

You are an adventurer because you feel a strong call in your bones to adventure. The boredom of a calm life doesn’t appeal to you – you are driven to leave behind the safety of civilization and explore the wilds to make your name. Regardless of what drives you, you are driven. You choose where to go and what to do. There will be a handful of obvious choices, but you don’t by any means need to take them. The adventure is in your hands.

Other “rules”:

  • Players can suggest or join sessions on an at-will basis. There is no assumed set party – characters can adventure in many different groups.
  • Each session is presumed to be self-contained. Players venture into the wild, find or are found by adventure, and return home each session.
  • New characters start at level 1. Characters keep whatever gold and XP they earn from session to session, and characters may (until further notice) group with other characters of any level.
  • Every character starts each session in Kowal. If characters have not returned home by the end of the session, they automatically return after play has ended.
    • Exceptions from this rule can be made to accommodate longer adventures spanning over multiple sessions.
  • The players decide where to go and what to do in advance.
  • There is a shared world map, that’s potentially unreliable.

Lord Jim’s

Lord Jim’s is a small tavern right in the heart of the Fish Town market. It is a popular tavern in the area and is known for its cheap drinks and rot gut liquor. The proprietor, Jim, is a gruff man who doesn’t take kindly to any nonsense in his bar. Overall, the smokey, worn bar is welcoming to all, if a little on the rough side.