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Drowning Pools

They are Old

There are many of them, countless hundreds. Any that are known are kept guarded. Despite their ubiquity, the art of making them and linking them has been lost. Usually found in small stone structures akin to mausoleums, they are deep circular pools of icy water. Many have been forgotten, many more have decayed, the thick stone that surrounds them not enough to stand against time.

All is not lost

But many are not lost, and the method to use them is still known. First, you must submerge yourself in the water. Completely. It is not recommended for the weak or aging as the icy water can easily sap the warmth from your body entirely. Then, a covering is laid across the pools entrance. This is anything from a metal grate to a stone slab. There must always be a gap between the covering and the water, however. This is for when you come out the other side.

Then, you hold your breath. You have to hold your breath up to the last possible moment. If you time it correctly, as you take your final desperate gasp for air you will appear at the exit pool. Well equipped drowning pools will have someone waiting at the other end with warm blankets and a fire. Less reputable pools leave you to take your own chances, though you still have to pay the fee of course.


If you go up for air too soon, the pool rips your soul from your body. This happens because the soul is transported much faster than the physical self, so as you push up for air you ground your body in the entry pool while your soul has already passed fully into the exit pool. This results in immediate death. A soul cannot survive for very long without a body, but given the right circumstances they will become ghosts. Many poorly maintained exit pools are haunted. Any professionals will keep a trained exorcist on the pay roll.


The Emperor Feyus, a confident swimmer, made regular use of drowning pools to travel between the bedrooms of his twin palaces that ruled the East and West of Dran. When Empress Direnz in West Dran discovered he also had an Empress in East Dran, she boarded up the exit pool on her side. It is generally considered unwise to use a Drowning Pool regularly, especially as a public figure.

Shady characters have also used Drowning Pools as a simple, more deadly alternative to highway robbery. After all, if your victim ends up drowned halfway across the continent it will be a long time before your reputation gets back to you.

Posted on September 18th, 2017 by RhysComments (0)

The Crepuscular Wall

'Do you know the purpose of the Crepuscular Wall?'
'It separates good from evil. It holds the shadows in so that we may walk in the light.'
'And the town we marched through earlier? Every man, woman, and child slaughtered. The houses all ablaze. Had not evil been committed there? Under the banner of a human lord who has spent his entire life on this side of the wall? No. The Crepuscular Wall does not separate good from evil. It keeps the evil we can kill separated from the evil we can't."

- Sergeant Gared preparing his new recruits for a foray beyond the Crepuscular Wall

The Crepuscular Wall divides the Land of Man and the Twisted Lands. It reaches all the way to the sky, a vast inky black expanse that whirls with shadow and emits a low unsettling hum. As day fades, so too does the wall. The wall melts into the nighttime as though it were merely a slice of night that refused to go away when the day came.

For ages past, despite blending into the night like this it retained its solid, impenetrable form and continued its duty of keeping out the things beyond. But no magic is eternal. The wall is weakening. No one can be sure why, but formless horrors and mutated demonspawn have been able to push their way through from the Twisted Lands during the night when the wall fades.


Nightfall in the context of the Crepuscular wall is thought to be a result of the walls decay. Every now and then vast cracks will form in the surface of the wall and collosal splinters of night will shard off the wall and plummet to the ground. Despite this the wall appears unmarked after the splinters have fallen off.

Being caught in such a fall does not crush a person. In fact it feels like nothing more than a strong wind. However, most who are caught suffer a far worse fate. The falling night strips the light out of a person. They become blind and invisible. Most who suffer such a fate die of thirst, or if they are unlucky they stumble onto a body of water and die of starvation instead.


Travelling through the Crepuscular Wall is only possible from dusk til dawn. It takes a nights worth (8 hours) of travel to make it through the wall. This is irrespective of how fast you are actually travelling, so long as you are moving forward. The wall's depth cannot be measured traditionally, it is the depth of one night.

You need a Sunlamp to make it through without the darkness permeating your skin. There are 23 of these lamps, each with a sliver of sun inside them and most kept in the castles that border the Crepuscular Wall. They were gifted to the Vathadi by the Sun, who they befriended by banishing the moon to the night time in ages long past. The number 23 is regarded as a lucky number, though noone is quite sure why exactly 23 lamps were created. Much analysis has gone into the special properties of the number 23, but no convincing results have come from these.

Without a sunlamp you will catch Nightsickness, a disease that can be cured through exposure to the light of the sun. Nightsickness makes you weak during daylight reducing your movement by half, granting disadvantage on all rolls, and requiring a will save to willingly go into sunlight.

The Wall Is A River

Strange creatures live within the wall. Creatures of bright white like starlight, pale blue like moonlight, or the black of darkest night. The strange creatures that live inside the wall are not like the weird ones in the Twisted Lands. The creatures here are beautiful, apathetic, and hungry. They swim through the night on unseen currents. If you're lucky they will ignore you. If you're not, you will discover that they kill with grace and beauty.

Crepuscular Wall Creature Templates



Starlight: +1d6 radiant damage, Star-streak: move 30ft through a target 2d6+4 damage once



Moonlight: Sleep spell



Night: +1d6 necrotic damage, Will save against blindness on hit



Sword that Burns the Dark

The Sword of the Vathadi, kept in Vathadi castle just east of the wall, is said to keep the darkness at bay and give power to the wall. All who touch it burn. Perhaps if one could wield it the weakening wall could be reinforced and the Twisted Armies driven back.

Beyond The Wall

Beyond the wall lies the Twisted Lands of the Wizard Kings. Their armies are gathering in warcamps at the Crepuscular wall. Some parties of monstrous horrors and mindless thrall have made it through the wall, but the full force of the Wizard Kings is still kept back by the fading enchantment of the Crepuscular Wall. Dark things do not live long in the light.

Plant a rose at day,
Love comes your way.
Plant a rose at night,
Death takes its flight.

-Commonly recited extract of an old nursery rhyme thought to be about the wall

Posted on September 8th, 2017 in RPG by RhysComments (0)

Cage Wizards

Cage wizards, erroneously referred to as bird magi, are a rare breed:

They are created when wooden cages made from oak, ash, or thorn tree wood are exposed to magic radiation for prolonged periods (for example the cage of a wizard's pet bird). The innate life-magic present in the wood interacts very slightly with the arcane magic radiation. This low level interaction between the two magics is amplified by the cage itself as the bars of the cage begin to magically resonate with each other. The resulting positive interference creates a magical effect strong enough to spark life in the wood of the cage.

Waking Up
Their first impulse upon creation is typically to fashion a body construct. This occasionally takes the form of a rudimentary skeleton, but is most often just a "skin" consisting of animated clothing that the cage floats atop. They are often very particular about trying to make their clothing appear as though it is covering a body, and without physically handling a Cage wizard it can be difficult to tell if they do have an artificial body or have merely animated their clothes believably.

Their second impulse is to find a bird. This is a survival impulse. Most who try to kill a Cage wizard will mistake the bird for the wizard, and think nothing of the cage. Cage wizards are excellent at playing dead. Like their clothing choice, Cage wizards are very particular about the bird that they choose. Different Cage wizards have different preferences, and many scholars believe a Cage wizards choice of bird is indicative of their personality as a whole. The only known necromantic Cage wizard kept ravens in its cage, for example.

Cage wizards display their status within Cage wizard society (which is, admittedly, quite small) by the decoration on the cages themselves. Precious metal filligree and coating of the cage indicates a higher status. It is unknown how this status is determined, and could merely be an individual Cage wizard's own idea of themself to be acknowledged or discarded by other Cage wizards. 

Most Cage wizards are docile, eccentric, and quaint. They cannot speak but will communicate simple ideas in gestures or more complex ones in writing. They are most commonly found trying to create an intricate magical garden, exploring the world searching for pretty stones or rare fungi, or tending to an avery. They are also very shy, and will startle easily.

Cage wizards behaviour is often heavily influenced by psychic remnants in the arcane radiation that helped birth them. That is, the wizard or wizards whose magic caused the radiation. The most noticeable of these behaviours is dress preference (which is why they are most often found sporting robes), but they inherit certain gestures and tics from the wizards as well. The druidic associations of the wood they are made from is also thought to influence their personality.

Due to this influence, some Cage wizards can be more aggressive than others. Also, if the arcane energy that birthed them comes from many many sources, the resulting Cage wizard will act erratically and be dangerously unstable.

Magical Ability
Unlike wizards of other races, Cage wizards are not compelled to gain power for powers sake. They are mostly content with hedge wizardry, and small practical spells. Due to their natural curiosity for the world, however, they are some of the most innovative wizards when it comes to the creation of spells. Many will know at least one unique spell that is especially useful in the environment they are in, or for their particular hobby. They might be tempted to teach the spell to someone, but they will no doubt have an unusual favor to ask first.

Wensel Oken
Cage: Oak - no adornment, papers covered in maths at the bottom
Bird: Owl
Hobby: Mathematics
 Calculate - Performs simple mathemetical operations written on a piece of paper and writes the result. Requires ink.
Wensel travels to wherever mathemeticians gather. Every time Wensel is seen, they solve some theorem that had eluded the mathemeticians there for years, or present a new theorem that takes years for the mathemeticians to understand.

Veren Aish
Ash - coated in silver
Bird: Gull
Hobby: Fishing by a stream
Spell: Depth Sound - Detect fish and geography of the ocean floor including any anomalies such as shipwrecks or ruins, though not so precise is that. Requires a string and a humming stone.
Veren is not well known. Veren keeps to themself, lazing by a pond or river and hauling in catch after catch. Veren fancies themself quite the charmer, and will gesticulate as though engaging in hearty conversation with anyone that approaches in a friendly manner. They will also invite anyone they meet to dine with them for an impressive meal of excellently prepared seafood. Veren does not get to eat the fish they prepare, but derives much pleasure from watching others do so. Veren's gull will also take part in the meal of course.

Oros Black
 Blackthorn - detailed with gold filligree
Bird: Crow
Hobby: Fortune telling
Spell: Tomorrow - Answers truthfully if a particular thing will happen tomorrow. You must ask whether a specific event will occur, it will not tell you what events occur. Requires one diamond sharp enough to draw blood, which it will do tomorrow somehow.
The oracle to see for all the elite in North Dandon. Very vogue, mysterious, a true thrill for the gentle people of the city. Oros mostly uses tarot cards to make predictions, but collects all manner of fortune telling apparatus from the travellers that pass through the city. Oros is far less solitary than other Cage wizards, though will still withdraw when startled.

Posted on August 29th, 2017 in RPG by RhysComments (0)