Monday, November 19, 2012

Ptolus Campaign Journal--Episode 1.1

As it turns out, the rumours weren't quite true.  A group of adventurers did give their lives fighting the would be assassins of young Dullin Balacazar at the Cloud theater, but not all of them.  The gnome bard Farland Dane survived.  During the course of the melee Farland ended up under the crushing weight of one of his dead adversaries.  Not wanting to let any opportunity pass unexploited, Farland rifled through the thug's pockets.  He came up treasure empty, but with a bloody piece of paper with nothing more than a name scrawled hastily upon it: "Phon Quartermain."  Farland managed to extricate  himself out from under the thug, and seeing that the theater was on its way to being engulfed in flames decided to exit stage left.

Days later, while walking the streets of Ptolus he chanced to overhear a street vendor refer to a young woman as "Phon."  He surmised that she might be the Phon mentioned in the note and asked her if she were, indeed "Phon Quartermain."  It turns out that she was, and that she was a bit spooked by a random gnome asking her questions and telling her that "bad men" were out to get her.  Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, Farland decided to do no more to freak out the poor girl and simply, well... stalked her instead.  (With good intent!) He determined that she worked at Saches, a Midtown dress shop, and lived near Delver's Square, where she frequented St. Gustav's Chapel, (Lothian).  Thereafter, nothing much happened for a few days....

Meanwhile, the barbarian paladin Draygon arrived in the city.  He sought his cousin Crom at the Ghostly Minstrel (one of Midtown's most storied Inns) where they had previously arranged to meet, but to no avail. No one there had seen or heard of Crom.  Draygon visited St. Gustav's Chapel to try to learn more about his chosen deity.  There he met Brother Fabitor who agreed to instruct him in the ways of the faith (and, incidentally, to provide discounted potions and healing services--should Draygon need them).

Meanwhile, meanwhile... two other new arrivals to the city, the half-elf sorcerer Bogan, and the gnome cleric Tzakarac come across one another while indulging in a low stakes game of chance in one of the city's seedier establishments.  Tzakarac, as a cleric of The Lady, a deity of chance, has luck on his side.  That doesn't always sit well with the types of people that frequent places like The Cock Pit, and Tzakarac narrowly avoided a confrontation with a hulking half-orc and a less than savory human who surely had blades secreted upon his person when they felt that perhaps more than luck was contributing to the skinny gnome's winning streak.  Never one to miss a chance to tell people about the Lady, Tzakarac explained some of his beliefs to the two and managed to avert an undoubtedly painful confrontation.  Afterwards, Bogan and Tzakarac engaged in a philosophical/theological discussion about the nature of chance, the universe, and the vicissitudes of humanoid existence.  Leaving together, they decided to go to Delver's Square, and get a drink at the Ghostly Minstrel.

Meanwhile, meanwhile, meanwhile... the nimble and acrobatic Harumi searched the city for a profitable place to engage in her street performance.  She earned a few coppers for her trouble, and as night began to fall, she found herself on a corner, just across from St. Gustav's Chapel, on the edge of Delver's Square.

Meanwhile, well, you get the idea... Grace, a mace wielding fighter with an obvious passion for justice found herself passing by Delver's Square.  A fine mist was falling, just at twilight, and the streets were almost completely empty of people.  Ahead of her, a skinny gnome and his half-elf companion were engaged in a long and monotonous conversation about philosophy.  Ahead of them, a young, dark haired woman in a gray dress exited St. Gustav's, followed shortly by an enormous, barbarous looking man in hide armor with a frightening great sword slung across his back.  Nearby Farland Dane walked towards the Minstrel, where he is known to often bed down in the dog bed behind the bar curled up with his good friend Scabies the terrier.

The young woman, Phon Quartermain as it turns out, turned a corner into a narrow street just off of Delver's Square.  Soon after, a frightened scream pierced the twilight mist.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The City by the Spire

Whether you approach by land, sea, or most unlikely, air, the first thing that strikes you about the city is the unnatural and unnerving Spire. A towering shaft of stone that rises high above the city, it is clear that it was formed by no natural process.  One need look no further than the Spire to know that Ptolus is a place of magic and mystery.

At street level, it is also clear that Ptolus is no ordinary city.  While humans are the predominant race they share the city with a elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and a smattering of even more unusual creatures, the leonine Litorians, half-orcs, even the occasional civilized troll, minotaur, or lizard-folk.  You immediately notice that weapons are more casually carried here than in other places you are familiar with.  This is hardly surprising though, since the lure of adventure is probably one of the reasons that you, yourself came to Ptolus. Perhaps you have heard of the vast treasures that still await discovery by intrepid "delvers" in the seemingly endless tunnels below the city--known to locals as "The Dungeon."

As you enter the city, it is likely that you find your way to The Ghostly Minstrel, in Delver's Square.  In any event when people get the inkling that you might be an adventurer, they point you in that direction. You pick up tidbits of gossip, of things stirring in the dark-- unusual things even for Ptolus, of evil cults and dastardly plots, of political machinations and widespread corruption.  One story has a ring of truth to it, and (if you can read) it is confirmed by several of the "broadsheets" that circulate in the city.  Only two weeks before your arrival a group of adventurers was slaughtered in a melee at the Cloud theater.  Though unconfirmed in the press, rumor has it that they were killed attempting to protect the star of the show that night "The Boy Who Could Sing."  As it turns out that boy (who rumor also has it, couldn't actually sing), was none other than one Dullin Balacazar.  While this name doesn't mean much to you at first, a helpful townsperson explains that the Balacazar family are one of the most powerful and feared crime families Ptolus.  As such, whispers of an impending street war are frantically spread through the city as the citizens wonder who would be foolish enough to so brazenly attack the Balacazars. 

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The New Ptolus

Since we have a date set for our first session of actual gaming with our new characters, do we want to set ourselves the task of creating character back stories like we have in the past to create motivation, personality, and the like?