Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ambur: The Counties of Skyglint & Stardust


This dominion, at the northernmost point of Ambur, is as much versed in the rational observation of the firmament as it is immersed in the mystical decryption of fate written in the stars. Prominent Skyglinters devote themselves to the study of planetary alignments and the secret patterns of stars which, when paired with one’s exact date and place of birth, determines auspicious and inauspicious days in one’s life. Their accuracy is reputed throughout the empire, and the majority of Alphatian aristocracy seeks their guidance.

Mystara Alphatia Ambur Hex Map
County of Skyglint -- Map Scale: 8 Miles per Hex


This small dominion lies by the Town of Grand Conjunction (3,200 inhabitants, plus 100 troops). It is Ambur’s second busiest port and a key stop of seagoing vessels rounding the tip of Alphatia from the Sea of Zebulon to the Strait of Yannivey. Low sandstone cliffs edge the county’s coast, except for Grand Conjunction’s vicinity. Two important lighthouses and several smaller ones near the port’s inlet help guide ship traffic to the harbor. The area is prone to violent storms, due to its position at the edge of two seas. Though current is strong off the coast, ice may build up outside the harbor during the coldest months. Wizards regularly descend upon the inlet, shooting balls of fire to melt the ice. These events draw throngs of curious and awed townsfolk and result in impromptu festivals in the port area. Many a wizard will adorn the mighty displays with faerie fires and other arcane fireworks for the pleasure of the count and the good people of Grand Conjunction.

Skyglint Astrology: Grand Conjunction supports a learning center teaching techniques which originate from fundamental approaches devised by Lady Alathazam. Students there learn about the celestial topography surrounding the sun but also the arrangement of stars and nebulae in faraway galaxies. Sidereal movements caught their attention. Masters of the Craft unveiled patterns among the stars corresponding to fateful events on Mystara. Arcane rituals provide the necessary divination tools to locate and identify meaningful alignments among asters. Sages then resolve complex calculations to determine how these stellar patterns affect individuals or large numbers of people. Predictions are never absolutely accurate, but over time, they tend to prove their value. This justifies the common habit among aristocrats of using astrological charts. These horoscopes are unique for each individual and, therefore, they require correct and precise information about one’s birth.

Mystara Alphatia Ambur Heraldry
Since long ago, astrologers have made the use of birth divination spells to determine the exact place and time of one’s birth rather than take people at their words. Early on, it became apparent that some shady individuals used someone else’s birth information to acquire personal knowledge about them—usually with nefarious intent. Birth divination magic supports privacy and accuracy, and all resulting information is destroyed after charts are drafted. Amburians have become adamant about not revealing their birth information for this reason. Asking a woman about her age is twice as offending in this kingdom as anywhere else in Alphatia. Impersonating an astrologer is a breach of the Queen’s Law, and is punishable by permanent, non-regenerable blindness.

Charts are normally generated for a week at a time. The greater the period covered, the more expensive their prices. A single week, the one following the date of purchase, costs 100gp. Each additional week increases the basic cost as shown on the right, or (100 gp  + [10 per extra week]) times the number of weeks. A human lifetime’s worth drafted all at once would fetch an astronomical price. By law, therefore, only one year at a time may be drafted.

A typical weekly horoscope is listed below, with possible effects.  Roll on the chart to find the predictions' first day and the following six, carrying over into the next Decan as needed.  After a week, purchase a new horoscope and roll again.

Weekly Horoscope
Roll 1d6
1-2
3-4
5-6
1st Decan
2nd Decan
3rd Decan
First Decan
Roll 1d12
Daily Influence
1
+1 AC: the Crown of Stone prevails in House of Dragons. Fear not the mighty but beware the hidden one, for your heel is weak.
2
-1 to Hit: the Dark Nebula obscures the North Star. Avoid romantic endeavors as you may miss the mark and earn a partner’s eternal scorn.
3
+1 Con Checks: the Mark of the Troll dawns in the east. Do not fear the unhealthy and purulent today, for your blood flows strongly.
4
-1 save vs Poison: the Black Sting sits at the zenith. Beware of liars and traitors. Do not seek promises today as they may prove disastrous.
5
+1 Str Checks: the Hammer of Steel rests in the west. Your mind is clear and your attitude is positive, but beware of illusions and false prophets.
6
-10% hit points: the Red Worm squirms in the House of Alphatia. Stay clear of red robes and unclean meat. Purple is your auspicious color today.
7
+1 Dex Checks: the Breath of the Quicksilver Dragon blows from the south. Be bold, as good fortune awaits in high places.
8
-1 save vs Dragon Breath: the Deathly Comet hurtles before moon and sun. Avoid pipeweed and all things fiery today, as weakness lies in your chest.
9
+1 Wis Checks: the Eye of Razud gleams upon you. Make new friends and seek lasting business relations today, for they bring wealth and felicity.
10
-1 Dmg per Attack: Valerias vanishes behind the moon. Today, seek restful repose and meditate about your achievements in life.
11
+1 Initiative: the Celestial Archer stands at the zenith. Go forth and seize the day. Everlasting Glory will come to the quick and the bold.
12*
-10’ MV Bonus: the Wing of Pegasus rests upon the Southern Star. Do not trust your instincts today and take stock in defensive values.
Second Decan
Roll 1d12
Daily Influence
1
-1 Con Checks: the Death Cloud edges past the House of Razud. Avoid water and all things cold, as weakness befouls your blood.
2
+1 save vs Spells: the Eternal Sentinel watches from the north. Today is a good day to visit the Royal Library. Good things hide under the dust.
3
-1 Cha Checks: the Shadow of Yag sits upon the face of Matera. Her other side glares. Beware of secrets whispered behind your back.
4
+1 save vs Poison: the Black Sting wanes past Palartarkan’s Robe. Today is a good day for house cleaning—fear not spiders, vipers, and scorpions.
5
-1 Int Checks: the Great River in the Sky stirs billows of stardust. Do only small things today, clip your nails, and meditate on your strengths.
6
+1 save vs Wands: the Celestial Chorus echoes in the ether. If a mage has a beard, pull on it three times and throw salt over your left shoulder.
7
-1 Str Checks: Angry is Azurnatham of the Crystal Shards. Stay inside today as an inauspicious wind may blow across your path. Do not use a broom.
8
+1 save vs. Paralysis: Hali-Kunant dances from Star to Star. An opportunity will come to pay homage to the dead at the Royal Cemetery.
9
-1 Wis Checks: the Celestial Pearl sits in darkness. Today is a good day to burn incense at the temple, ring the bells, and be mindful of a friend’s advice.
10
+1 save vs Dragon Breath: Fierath Major pursues Embrillion Minor. Fear not noisome exhalations, snores, and snorts. Felicity will breathe from them.
11
-1 Initiative: Deihaux the Blue is depressed. Do not cross busy streets today or tickle woolly aurochs and narwhals. Drink wine and eat grasshoppers.
12*
+10% Dmg (sustained): the Black Kinigitt stands on both his legs. Visit the Royal Hospital today and show kindness to the maimed and the infirm.
Third Decan
Roll 1d12
Daily Influence
1
+1 to Hit: the Great Ixion soars in the Third Decan. A good game of hardball is best on this day, but beware of overexerting yourself.  Shun zzonga.
2
-1 save vs Spells: the Celestial Chorus is dissonant under the Hammer’s influence. Stay in bed and cover your head with a pillow. Drink more wine.
3
+1 Cha Checks: Haven’s Muses shine upon your path. Today is a day for love, business, sweet little lies, and lasting friendships. Brush your teeth twice.
4
-1 save vs Wands: the Tree of Life shades you from Eye of Thanatos. Do not push your luck, for one with a bigger stick hides past the next tree.
5
+1 Int Checks: the Scroll of Duryan unfurls at dawn. The Flying Fickle Finger of Fate will not point your way today, but do not inhale foul things.
6
-1 save vs Paralysis: the Iron Cockatrice roosts at the Zenith. Today eat healthy portions of pickled jellyfish, eel, frogs, worms, or snails in garlic butter.
7
+10% hp: The Bulbous Belly of Boolbadrahma is replete with goodwill. Thump your chest three times today, spit over your shoulder, and be brave.
8
-1 AC: Alphatia pricked her toe on the Holy Pepper Bush of Narah. Do not sneeze today, for a precious item might fall at your feet and become lost.
9
+1 Dmg (per AT): the Stone Golem sits in the Hunter’s House. Strike hard today, and your efforts shall be rewarded. Beware of the envious.
10
-1 Dex Checks: the Star Jester rides the Wyrm. Leave unto others what they would leave unto you. Better them than you. Rub ashes in your hair.
11
+10’ MV Bonus: the Lightning Bearer fled from Sursax the Stolid. Seize the day, sally forth when the time is right, and tattoo the balls of your feet.
12*
-10% Dmg (sustained): The Skyshield gleams before the sacred firmament. Tell off the priests today if you wish, for the asters protect you.

(*) Grand Conjunction: on this day, planets have a 10% chance of being aligned in a most meaningful way. In addition to the current day’s influence, roll once on the next two Decan charts (ignoring any other Grand Conjunctions) and triple their influences.

This dominion stretches from the mouth of the Ambur River to the center of the kingdom. Some fishing takes place from Aphelion, and intensive farming borders the great river. Docks and hamlets enable passing vessels to stop for the night and enjoy a plethora of taverns and inns. The grasslands of the backcountry are reputed for the raising of draft horses.

Mystara Alphatia Ambur Hex Map
County of Stardust -- Map Scale: 8 Miles per Hex
Optomantics: But the real center of interest in Stardust is Apastron (4,000 inhabitants, plus 50 troops). Where other dominions concentrate on a particular specialty in grand astronomy, Apastron wizards delight in their creativity, taking pride in their skills as tinkerers and inventors in the field of arcane optomantics. If anyone needs a unique and bizarre device, it’s likely to be found in one of the myriad shops selling occularia of every imaginable sort, and specialized telescopes. On a busy day, one can observe mages going about their businesses along popular streets, wearing the most peculiar arrays of colored lenses mounted on articulated frames. The better models are enchanted in such a way to automatically switch lenses to respond to their owners desires. At what they happen to be gazing and at any one time remains beyond anyone’s imagination, since many of these devices are custom-crafted on demand. An occasional malfunction flings a lens or some pesky spring straight up in the air, provoking colorful curses from their owners for not having purchased an adequate warranty—another type of business usually handled by what would count as a money changer in Ambur. Warranties are as optional as they are ubiquitous, considering the fragile and temperamental nature of arcane optics.

Here are examples of what sorts of lenses and frames are available. These types of items, if they require charges (indicated by the icon), can hold up to ten. Charges cost 1/10th of listed lens values.

Lenses

Effects

Charm-o-Rama
This bright yellow lens with silver glitter reveals the presence of beings subjected to a charm spell or a charm-like effect. Range: 60’.
3,000 gp. Duration: 1 Turn.
Disinvisi-bulator
This lens and its frame are invisible. When activated the lens enables the viewer to detect invisible creatures or objects, as well as those in the ether or others intently hiding.
2,000 gp. Duration: 1 Turn.
Dweomancer
This pale green lens enables the viewer to analyze enchantments cast upon an object. Uncommon, outlandish, or enchantments with more than four different effects may incur a chance of error equal to 10% plus the total number of magical effects times three.
1,500 gp. Duration: 1 Analysis.
Evilsnitch
This dark purple lens enables the viewer to detect evil within a 60’ radius. The item comes with charges. One such charge can be used to switch the device to its resident mode, which allows it emits a slight vibration if something evil comes within a 30’ range, alerting the viewer. Resident mode lasts an entire day. Viewing through the lens will use a charge, whether evil is present or not.
2,000 gp. Duration: 1 Turn.
Footlocator
This brown lens identifies foot prints in a simple manner (such as “boot-dwarf, shoe-elven female, fox, elephant, etc) provided the footprint silhouette exists within the enchantment’s basis of lore. For monsters, the odds of a footprint being correctly identified are 100% minus the monster’s HD times four (hence 96% for an orc or 12% for a huge red dragon). Identification requires a charge. Once a footprint is identified, the lens’s magic remains active and searches for a match. If the corresponding appendage or footwear comes within 30’, the lens projects against the viewer’s retina an image showing an outline flashing around the searched item.
4,000 gp. Duration: until dispelled.
Gazeguard
This non-magical device includes multiple oversized blue lenses reflecting whatever is being observed so that the viewer’s eyes do not look directly at it. The device is particularly effective against basilisks, cockatrices, medusae, and other enchanted creatures with deadly gazes.
Set for both eyes: 5,000 gp.
Gearmaster
This medium-blue lens analyzes non-magical devices (such as traps and machinery) and identifies their intended function. Several charges may be required to understand a complex contraption and how to operate it.
2,500 gp. Duration: 1 Analysis.
Ghostaway
This red lens enables a viewer to observe a red aura over beings that do not generate heat. Range 100’. Each use burns a charge.
4,000 gp. Duration: 1 Hour.
Kaleidoscope
This multicolored triangular lens confers pure satisfaction to the viewer. In an odd way, it is soothing and helps its user discard extraneous worries in order to better meditate. Once a charge is used, the effect lasts until an Intelligence Check (or a Wisdom Check, as appropriate) is required. The kaleidoscope-enhanced psyche provides a +1 bonus to the ability check (or a 5% bonus to perform a feat based on Intelligence or Wisdom).
1,000 gp. Duration: until a check is triggered.
Magictattle
This dark green lens enables the viewer to detect magical items within a 60’ radius. The item comes with charges. One such charge can be used to switch the device to its resident mode, which allows it emits a slight vibration if a magical item comes within a 30’ range, alerting the viewer. Resident mode lasts an entire day. Viewing through the lens will use a charge, whether magic is present or not.
1,000 gp. Duration: 1 Turn. 
Moodminder
This strange lens appears as a spinning spiral. It enables the viewer to observe the moods of sentient beings within 60’. Color auras surrounding people reflect their states of mind. An ESP-like dweomer conveys to the viewer their meanings.
2,000 gp. Duration: 1 Turn.
Ooglemax
Pale blue, this coin-sized disk enables the viewers to pinpoint their locations on a geographical map, generally displayed using simple symbols on a hex grid. Map scales include 8 or 24 miles. In addition to the lens, a map enchantment must be purchased to function with the lens. Maps cover areas 100 miles radius from the capitals of most Alphatian kingdoms (not including Sundsvall or Blackheart). Other areas have yet to be enchanted and require extensive on-site surveys. Opportunities for competent mages are presently available at Garmayne’s Optomantics Ltd.; salary negotiable—travel required; full benefits.
3,000 gp + 1,500 gp per map.
Organoscope
This milky white lens enables the viewer to look through mineral or organic material, such as stone, wood, leather, or living flesh. Denser objects, like stones, bones and various organs, appear as gray shadows. Metallic objects appear as black silhouettes. Basic range is 30’.
2,000gp (basic), or 4,000gp (deluxe, 60’ range).
Peepingtom
This vaguely pink iridescent lens enables the viewer to eliminate some or all textiles entirely from the line of sight within a 30’ range. Although not illegal, use is generally not accepted in public. It is more commonly found in certain theaters in the red district or in healing shrines. Users can often be spotted from the silly smiles on their faces. An entrepreneurial sorceress has begun selling enchanted charge-based rings as a response to the unfortunate device which causes offending lenses within a 30’ range to shoot up into the air and burst in a small purple malodorous cloud.
2,500 gp. No warranty available.
Phantasmal Memorizer
This black lens records all within sight up to 150’ and for up to 1 Turn. The vision can be summoned later and observed in a three-dimensional form, allowing the viewer to rotate the image and focus on small details up to an inch across.
6,000 gp. Duration: 1 Turn or until dispelled.
Raybanning Shades
Usually sold in pairs, these black lenses provide protection from solar light and general enchantments such as light spells and other blinding devices. When worn, they automatically disengage any other lenses in order to shade a viewer’s eyes from any such attack. Most popular among skyship captains, the deluxe model provides a +1 bonus to Charisma checks.
Pair of Lenses: 3,000 gp (basic), 4,000 (deluxe), +250 gp for mirror-like finish and other vanity details.
Retroscope
This mirror-like lens enables the viewer to see behind his/her back. The effect does not require a charge and prevents a foe from acquiring an attack bonus when performing a back attack.
1,000 gp. Duration: Permanent until removed.
Scrollshop
This amber lens projects on the viewer’s retina a map of the area within a 30 yard radius. The mapping function does not extend past doors and windows unless the viewer actually looks into or enters a building. The basic enchantment can record a square surface up to 100 yards across, in a 5’ or 10’ grid scale.. Recorded material can be summoned, displayed, or deleted.
2,000 gp (basic), 4,000 gp (deluxe; 200 yard square), 6,000 gp (limited edition; 300 yard square).

Headgear: A proper non-magical headgear on which an array of lenses is mounted costs 100 gp (basic leather and iron model), 200 gp for an ornate silver model, or well above 300 gp for a golden version with precious stones. This type of headgear requires lenses to be switched manually (except for Raybannor shades which have their own enchantment), and can accommodate no more than ten lenses. Enchanted headgear costs ten times the prices quoted above, but can accommodate as many lenses as the viewer desires and automatically switch to a desired combination based on an ESP-induced command. Double the magical headgear’s price if it is invisible. Installing additional lenses to those initially sold with the headgear costs 10% of the value of the extra lenses, 20% if the headgear is magical. A padded case is normally included with the headgear. For a fee, various enchantments can be added to help secure this container. A magically-controlled switch does not count as an action during a combat encounter, but a manual switch does.

Mystara Alphatia Ambur Heraldry
Warranties: Headgear and lenses are very fragile contraptions. Sustaining a direct hit to the head will randomly destroy as many lenses as hit points of damage were inflicted. Switching lenses manually can be tricky and may result in a broken mount (3% chance). Magical switches are better but not perfect (1% chance instead). Malfunctioning or damaged mounts usually cause the affected lens/lenses to spring loose and land 1d6 feet away in a random direction.

Basic enchanter warranties usually last 6 months and cover the replacement (if damaged components are returned) and mending of damaged parts. Magical charges, theft, damage resulting from neglect or combat, and lost components are not covered under an enchanter’s warranty. Premium warranties are similar, except they last 3 years. Insurance can be purchased from money lenders. Yearly premiums range from 10% to 20% of the total value of the headgear and its lenses. Deductibles range from nothing to as much as 20% of the damage to the insured object. Coverage may not include theft, and never includes the cost of magical charges or, under the Queen’s Law, damage/loss resulting from illicit usage of the insured object.

Loop-head” Caliostrim, Private Loremaster

Mystara Alphatia Ambur Heraldry
Old Loop-head is an eccentric Amburian of good repute, a right and honorable member of Alphatian wizardly society. Certainly from the point of view of non-wizards or foreigners, all mages in the arcane empire must indeed be rather strange to fit the established norm, therefore in this respect, he appears to be abnormally ordinary. Caliostrim’s nickname came from his headgear, which he wears most of the time. No one ever saw him without it, and some conjecture he sleeps with the thing strapped to his head. The magical contraption supports an array of lenses of all sizes, shapes, and colors. Whirring and clicking with occasional twangs, spring-loaded mounts constantly flip and switch optical appendages to provide answers the loremaster seeks. He is known for unfortunate bouts of delirium and, even by Alphatian standards, his usual demeanor remains on the odder end of the behavioral spectrum. In fact, despite his encyclopedic mind and uncanny talent at unearthing obscure legends, those closest to him do believe poor old Loop-head to be quite loopy indeed.

During his decades of research, day after day using lenses bearing tainted enchantments, the loremaster experienced visions rooted in unsolved issues with Lady Alathazam’s fundamental teachings. Like so many Amburians before him, Caliostrim ignored these manifestations to the point they drove him to the brink of utter madness. In a way, his prevailing insanity both protects the loremaster and enables him to witness what human eyes ought never behold: bone-chilling, intellectually-rending emanations of an outer world embodying ungodly denizens filled with wicked, repulsive, and unfathomable purposes. At times, he dreams of a dark temple and, despite his instincts to recoil in horror, he joins a multitude of faceless followers, chanting with them an odious hymn. During moments of relative lucidity, old Loop-head is aghast. He cannot explain the heathen elation he feels deep inside, and yet he senses an inexorable doom approaching.

The loremaster knows full well that unveiling his experiences would get him locked up for good. Abandoning his craft remains too inhumane an option to contemplate. Yet, he seeks answers to his dilemma. His uncanny skills and the ubiquitous usage of the odd lenses led him to suspect several other people of being linked to his predicament. He doesn’t know quite how they are connected, but made it a goal for the rest of his troubled life to unveil the disturbing truth and inscribe his knowledge in a compendium. Somehow, it is a cultural trait of Alphatians to believe that if something is written in the ancient script of wizards, it must be inherently true. Caliostrim counts on this and hopes that someone will read his work and continue his mission. As irrational as his behavior might get, his search for answers and a way to end the madness keeps him focused on his quest. The loremaster has no known relatives.

Appearance & Personality: Loop-head is an old man, no one knows exactly how old. His long face is mapped with wrinkles. Silver-white hair stands straight out from his scalp anywhere his headgear allows. Translucent ears of unusual size also poke beyond hair and headgear. His eyes are pale faded blue, and have a perpetually startled look to them. One often crosses to the center as his magical lenses change. His full mouth is often pursed behind a thick white beard desperately in need of trimming. Caliostrim ’s hands are bent and swollen at the joints: his thumb and the first two fingers of his right hand are always stained with night-blue ink. He is thin and appears somewhat sickly because he is so often mesmerized by emanations or the visions given by his magical lenses that he forgets to eat.  Caliostrim mutters and snickers in his beard, twitches, and groans randomly.  He also suffers from a pathological terror of batrachians and invertebrates.

Master Caliostrim: MU12, AC5, hp26, MV 90’(30’), AT magical claw, Dmg 1d8+1/1d8+1 or by spell, Save MU12, ML6, AL C; St10, In18, Wi10, Dx11, Co 12, Ch13. Magical Items: limited edition loremaster headset with custom options, quill of introspection, robe of scrolls, talisman of monstrous talons, and ring of freedom.

Limited Edition Loremaster Headset with Custom Options: This magical device features all of the lenses described earlier plus a few others. Custom Dreamcatcher Lens: identifies a real-life being or an object connected to a dream or a vision experienced within the past month. Custom Outer-Planar Monitor: identifies objects or beings connected with outer-planes (they either came from or visited an outer-plane within the past month, or used magic of outer-planar origins during that time). Mad Eye Lens: identifies people who’ve experienced optomantic delirium. Caliostrim ’s headset will teleport to a hidden receptacle if removed from the loremaster’s head. His compendium and spellbook are also located there. In the event of his death, Caliostrim has already bequeathed this wondrous item to the Royal Gallery in Starpoint.

Quill of Introspection: When activated, this large quill puts into words the owner’s thoughts and feelings, transcribing them in wizardly script to a scroll or a tome lying underneath. It moves as if held by some invisible hand. The loremaster uses this magical item to log his dreams and bouts of delirium. The quill is able to flip pages of a tome as needed. Its range is no more than the chamber in which it rests.

Robe of Scrolls: This garment provides the owner with a basic AC of 5. It also features a score of tiny bags of holding intended for individual scrolls. The openings are concealed among the robe’s ornamental embroidery. Sewn inside the robe, these dimensional spaces protect any carried scroll from outside damage. The loremaster carries 1d20 scrolls levels 1-3 at all times.

Talisman of Monstrous Talons: On command, this talisman enables Caliostrim to produce two spectral talons he can control with the motion of his hands. Each talon either attacks as a 12HD monster, or automatically blocks one physical attack. The talons emulate +1 magical weapons as regards their ability to hit enchanted monsters, and enable the owner to make two attacks per round, up to 60’ away. The talisman bears 2d4+2 charges. When summoned, talons last for one combat encounter or 1 Turn, whichever is longest. When all charges are spent, the talisman is destroyed.

Ring of Freedom: As the potion of freedom (Rules Cyclopedia, pg. 233).


Bobaldiggan, Cesspit Cleaner

Mystara Alphatia Ambur Heraldry
This unsavory denizen of Ambur’s lowest class professes the most unenviable responsibility of emptying or unclogging the earthly receptacles of urban civilization. Dressed in tones matching his work environment, capped with a leather bonnet of dubious salubrity, and smudged up to his eyebrows, no one can tell what he really looks like or observe his swarthy complexion. For fear of somehow becoming soiled, those among whom he dwells stay well clear of him and can’t suffer to behold his presence, let alone experience his smell. The more observant might think him of Yanifey stock, a penniless vagrant from the islands in the nearby east in search of a meager living in Ambur. In truth, the humble muck-digger dabbles in much more than the lowest of muds. Bobaldiggan is an expatriate from the wild and mysterious mountains of western Frisland, an Ogam shaman well versed in the ancient lore of his people.

This peddler of wicked beliefs came to Ambur in search of wizards who’ve become adrift amid the psychic spheres of his outer-worldly masters. He sought employment from those he identified as suffering from acute optomantic hallucinations, visiting as needed to perform his sanitary service within the very depths of their private dwellings. Somewhat like a demonic spirit seeking entry into a house, he was willingly bidden entry, which enabled him some power over the occupants. As he endeavors to fulfill the task for which he was hired, he intones working chanteys in his native language. These are slightly modified versions of the odious hymns Master Caliostrim finds himself obligated to repeat during bouts of delirium that invariably happen during the shaman’s visits. The event is traumatic enough to repeat itself well after Bobaldiggan’s departure.

As he monitors his victims’ descent into utter madness, the shaman eventually seeks to gain complete control over their minds. When this happens, their madness ends, but the victims become quiet fanatic followers of the shaman’s mystic practices. They perpetrate and promote the ancient rituals that established the basis for Lady Alathazam’s teachings. This vicious circle is aimed at creating a strong movement among Amburian high-born, one fully devoted to the Ogams’ other-worldly masters. Bobaldiggan does not carry magical items at work, but does hide a few in his room, in the slums of Apastron.

Appearance & Personality: Bobaldiggan seems brown all over, from the top of his bonnet to the bottoms of his filth-encrusted boots. No one remembers seeing his hair, which is either tucked under his close-fitting cap or covered by the muck in which he works. Occasionally, however, a flash of intelligent dark eyes is caught by an astute observer who can brave the stench long enough to apprehend that rare occurrence. Beneath the streaks and clumps of drying filth, his face is wide, with long flat cheeks, a prominent flared nose, and a forward-thrusting chin. His mustache sags from beneath his nose into two long braids on either side of his mouth: these get lost in the scraggle of his unkempt beard. Bobaldiggan is short, swarthy, and single-minded regarding his task: muck-shoveling seemed the best way for him to find at least a reluctant welcome into the abodes of his victims. With immense patience and determination, he will persevere until his mission is accomplished.

Bobaldiggan: C9, AC4, hp40, MV 120’(40’), AT sting, Dmg 1+4 + poison or by spell, Save C9, ML11, AL C; St16, In14, Wi17, Dx13, Co 15, Ch8. Special Abilities: as a wiseman of the Ogam can create a phantasmal force once a day. Magical Items: amulet of good health, ring of human control, bracers of quickness, and sting of wickedness.

Amulet of Good Health: provides the owner with immunity to non-magical diseases and a +2 bonus to saving throws against magical diseases (mummy rot, lycanthropy, etc).

Bracers of Quickness: as a ring of quickness (Rules Cyclopedia, pg. 238). It also provides a basic AC of 5.

Sting of Wickedness: this metal device fits within Bobaldiggan’s fist, and features a small leather pouch with a sting protruding just past his knuckles. It is a +2 magical weapon bearing a poison. The pouch contains enough poison for 6 successful attacks. A victim must save vs. poison or sustain 1d4 pts of damage at the beginning of each round for 2d4 rounds. While the venom is in effect, a victim suffers hallucinations, as if affected by a wizard’s fourth-level confusion spell.

To be continued. . .

Special thanks to Geoff Gander for the gracious permission to use his intriguing Ogam-Orzafeth history and background. Thanks to Janet Deaver-Pack for character appearances and editorial contributions.