View Full Version : Narrowlands fluff

2007-04-13, 06:05 PM
Posting this so as not to bloat the fluff assistance thread.

Here's a bunch of the fluff I already have written I'll try and divide it up into sensible bits. There's a lot so don't feel obligated to read it all in one go.

If you'd like to see a map PM me your e-mail addy and I'll send one to you and if you like the word document versions of this stuff.

Here's the Order things are posted in:
World Theme:
Allowed Core Classes
Fate Point Explanation
Species Info:

Fey Elf
Grey Elf

Short History

Religion Info: (what I have anyway)


Part of a story I've written in the world to give more thematic ideas.

World Themes:
Low magic high fantasy: This means that their are numerous fantastical and magical elements to the world they are not under player control or NPC control. The magic is mostly just a part of the world. So you see werewolves and elves that can slip into the spirit world but you don't see wishes, time stops, common magical items, ect.
Gritty: Bad things happen. Life isn't always pleasant and the farther down on the social ladder the worse things get. In the humans lands slavery is common.
Ambiguous Alignment: There aren’t set rights and wrongs. Your alignment is determined by what the group your most identified with thinks of your actions.
Uncertain Gods: Each race typically has its own set(s) of religious belief(s) that are frequently mutually exclusive of others beliefs. Still just because you can't prove your god(s) exists doesn't mean you shouldn't be willing to die for the cause.

Core Classes
Fighter, Barbarian, Ranger, Paladin, Rogue, Bard, Marshal and Adept (*NPC classes from DMG), Warrior, Expert, Commoner.

Fate Points: You get 1d4 at char creation and that’s it unless you spend a feat to get one.
These are your wild cards these let you go beyond the status of hero to that of legend. They allow you to do something heroic and those actions will stand out. They allow things like: Auto Hit and crit for max damage, +30 to one skill check, Survive with 1hp when you shouldn't have, and craft magic items.

Dwarves are unique in the world for they are born from the world itself. Every Dwarf is carved from the mountain and is given life by the earth. They live long lives and are resistant to change and as immutable as the earth itself. The greatest kingdoms of the dwarves are high in the mountains who’s deepest halls are secrets the Dwarves reveal to no others.
Personality: Dwarves are slow to show any emotions be it friendship or hatred though they are in general untrusting of the other races. They value skill in working stone, metal, and above all else gems. They are loath to lie and see honor as more important than life. When crossed they are implacable foes and if the insult or crime against them is great enough will not stop until their foe is dead.
Physical Description: Dwarves tend to grow only to about four feet tall; though the dwarves of Belegost grow almost half a foot taller. Their weight however is normally half again as much as a human. Dwarves are fond of long and intricately braided beards they often adorn with gold and gems. Their hair can range from silver and gold to browns and red however the most common color is gray. Dwarves, along with petty-dwarves, are unique in that they are genderless. Dwarves live on average 400-500 years of age.
Relations: Dwarves are untrusting of all the other races though they truly hate only Orcs and Petty Dwarves. Long in the past Dwarves have warred with men and elves over the lust felt by those races for the dwarves handiwork. Though the humans have forgotten and the elves for the most part forgiven to the dwarves these wars are still strong reasons to distrust the other races. Of all the other races Dwarves are most likely to get along with the, Rean Elves, Western Humans, and Yaun-Ti. Both the Rean Elves and the High Humans share the dwarves love for crafts and the making of fine items. Dwarves have both taught and learned a great deal from those races though their “friendships” tend to be very cool.
Many areas know little of the Dwarves and if they have had experience with Petty-Dwarves tend to confuse the two races. This normally leads to those races having a very unkind view of Dwarves.
It is with the Yaun-Ti that the dwarves greatest allies can be found. The common threat of Orcs to both races has necessitated alliance after alliance between them. The Dwarves also find much merit in the Yaun-Ti’s honor and sense of clan. Yaun-Ti and dwarvish realms often overlap but there is normally little conflict as the Yaun-Ti’s burrows and warrens tend to be much shallower than those of the Dwarves.
Alignment: Dwarves tend strongly to both law and neutrality. It is rare to find a dwarf who has strayed more from their alignment than one step toward either chaos, good, or evil.
Dwarven Lands: The dwarves bones are carved of stone as are their homes. Deep under the mountains of the world are found the Halls of the dwarves. These halls are mysteries to the other races for all but the very topmost chambers are off limits to those not of dwarvish blood. Most trade between dwarven lands occurs at the borders where dwarves have setup small trading posts.

Dwarves need eat only ½ the normal food for a creature their size.
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison.
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects.
+1 racial bonus to attack rolls against orcs and goblinoids.
+4 dodge bonus against giants.
+2 racial bonus on Appraise checks that are related to stone or metal items.
+2 racial bonus on Craft checks that are related to stone or metal.
-4 racial penalty to swim checks.
Automatic Languages: Common and Dwarven.
Bonus Languages: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, Undercommon, and Yaun-Ti.
Favored Class: Fighter.

They can also take up to three levels in Dwarf which gives them the following special abilities:

Skin of Stone: Once per day you can gain damage reduction x/- for a number of rounds equal to your constitution modifier where x equals your con modifier.
Sense of Stone: You gain tremor sense 10’. Once per day you can extend this out to 120’ for 1 minute/5 levels.
Body of Stone: For up to a number of rounds equal to your constitution modifier a day you are considered to have moderate fortification this means you have a 50% of ignoring critical hits and 50% of sneak attacks fail and are treated as normal attacks.
Heroic Strike: Spend a Fate point every hit this round is a crit.

Fey Elf
More than any other race the Fey elves hear and feel the music of Torvagus. Small and elusive the Fey Elves are closely tied to both the world of the seen and unseen. Their forest kingdom can be a perilous place if the Fey Elves take a disliking to you.
Personality: Of all the player races fey elves are probably the hardest to understand. They see everything as notes in a great song that fills and creates the world. They are also the most likely of the player races to slip into the unseen world where the unquiet dead can most commonly be found. To the Fey elves lives are minor notes in a greater them of music and they feel no real sadness for those whose notes end as they realize that in all music some notes must fall in order to make room for others.
Physical Description: Fey Elves stand between 2.5 and 3.5 feet tall and are almost always whisper thin. Their skin is as smooth as porcelain and is commonly alabaster in color with a slight silver or occasionally a golden sheen. Their hair is most commonly silver or light gold though an occasional Fey Elf is born with hair as dark as jet. Fey Elves are immortal however Fey older than an age or two are extremely rare as they tend to slip into the world of the unseen.
Relations: Relations between Fey Elves and others tend to be short, confusing, and frustrating for both sides. The Fey elves view of everything, all existence, as a who’s glory is in the whole rather than in any one note is confusing to even the other races of elves. The younger Fey elves are the most likely to interact with outsiders

-4str, +2cha,
Size small +1atk, +1AC, +4 hide, Weapon restrictions, ¾ carrying limit
Move 20ft
Low light vision
Immunity to sleep spells +2vs Enchantment
Fey Elves with a 13 or higher cha can cast the following 1/day Fairies Fire and Ghost Sound 3rd level caster.
Fey Elves with a 16 or higher cha can cast the following 1/day Sleep and Invisibility, self only, as a 5th level caster.
Favored class Bard

Fey Elves can take 3 levels in Fey elf which gives them the following abilities:
Song of Hiding: A number of times per day equal to the Fey Elfs charisma modifier they may turn invisible with a successful, DC 10, perform singing check. They remain invisible as long as they keep singing and make a check successful perform singing check one a minute with a DC of 10+1/minute they have been invisible. A fey elf must sing at least as loud as a normal speaking level when using this ability.
Song of Death: Once per day per 5 levels a Fey Elf may make a perform singing check, DC 10, and her spirit leaves her body. This check takes 10 minutes to make. The spirit should be considered an ethereal creature. The Fey Elf’s body is completely comatose and the Fey Elf can not feel anything that affects the body while her spirit is away from it. The Fey Elf’s body is immune to any effect that require a will save but automatically fails any fortitude or reflex saves. In order to renter her body a Fey Elf must make a perform singing check with a DC equal to 10 +1/10 minutes spent ethereal. The song to reenter ones body takes 10 minutes to sing so a Fey Elf may only try once per 10 minutes. If the DC for the check is higher than 20+ the Fey Elf’s skill ranks in Perform Singing they Fey Elf’s body dies and they are trapped forever within the spirit realm.
Song of Crossing: Once per day per 5 levels a Fey Elf may make a perform singing check, DC 20, and she physically enters the spirit realm. This check takes 1 hour to make. The Fey Elf should now be considered an ethereal creature. In order to renter the normal world a Fey Elf must make a perform singing check with a DC equal to 20 +2/hour spent ethereal. The song to reenter the material world takes one hour to sing so a Fey Elf may only try once per hour. If the DC for the check is higher than 20+ the Fey Elf’s skill ranks in Perform Singing they Fey Elf is trapped forever within the spirit realm.

Grey Elf:
Grey Elves share a natural bond with nature that few of the other sentient races can truly appreciate. Grey Elves typically spend much of there lives wondering through the ancient forest of there homeland. The few Grey Elf cities that do exist are typically built down into the ground so that the buildings do not disturb the wildness of the location.
Physical Description: Grey Elves are shaped much like humans though normally several inches taller and thinner. There skin and hair tends toward the colors found in there forest homes with varying shades of brown and red being the most common. Grey Elves love to ornament there bodies in ways that are both pleasing to the eye and blend in with natural surrounds. As such most Grey Elves bear a number of tattoos across there bodies. These are normally motifs inspired by an animal or location the Grey Elf feels a certain connection to.
Relations: Grey Elves are typically little interested in dealing with any of the non elven races though they do appreciate the reverence for the native world that the Estoladians have and a few men with the skill and desire have managed to live amongst the Grey Elves. Perhaps the biggest thing that holds Grey Elves back from a closer relation ship with another race, other than Rean Elves, is death. Grey Elves being immortal tend to group together everything into mortal or immortal categories and defiantly judge mortal creatures to be less valuable. Of the immortal creatures Grey Elves consider themselves to be of one race with the Rean Elves who where once Grey Elves long ago. They view the spirits that inhabit the Narrowlands as fellow immortals and thus equals but pay them no special reverence.
Alignment: Grey Elves are independent and while not necessarily good do not take pleasure in causing suffering amongst each other or the mortal inhabitants of the world.
Grey-Elven Lands:
Grey-Elven Traits:

+2dex, -2con
Move 30ft
Medium Size
Low light vision
Proficient with short bow and composite short bow
+2 listen, search, spot, wilderness lore in the wild
Animal Friendship 1/week. Caster level is equal to ½ character level. Animals gained with this ability do not count against the animals gained from the spell Animal friendship.
Animal Messenger 1/week. Caster level is equal to ½ the characters level.
Favored class Ranger

Humans: There are three races of human so this blurb is important:
Human Genealogy: When creating a human character it is important to understand what racial make-up your character has. Each human character has 3 “chits” to represent her heritage. Each chit is filled in with a W, E, or S to represent how much Western, Eastern, or Selk’nam background your character has. The format to display this information is:

Species: Human _ _ _ with each blank containing a W, E, or S.

Kingdoms of the West: W, W, W
Estolad: W, W, E or W, E, E
Easterners: E, E, E or E, E, W or E, E, S (southern areas only)
Selk’nam: S, S, S

By far the most populous race humans rule the majority of the Narrowlands. Though all of a single race they are a fractious group and spend much of their time warring against each other. There are three different human races.
Personality: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Description: Humans can very widely from one another though each of the races has a distinct look.
Westerners: Western men are descendents of humans who arrived in one of two emigrations to the Narrowlands. The first emigration resulted in the eventual overthrow of the Yaun-ti empire and the establishment of the Estoladian empire. The second wave of emigration resulted in the “Kingdoms of the West”. Westerners are the tallest of the races of men and tend to have dark reddish brown skin, dark hair and eyes.
Easterners: Easterners are natives of the Narrowlands and are moderately tall. They typically have brown hair and eyes and their skin ranges from red almost as dark as that of Westerners to nearly as fair as that of the Selk’nam. Easterners are considered to be the strongest of the races of humans.
Selk'nam: Southerners tend to be short, stocky and fair of skin. Their eyes also tend to be of lighter colors with blues and grays being the most common. Due to the cold nature of their homeland many Southerners have substantially more hair over their entire bodies than Western or Eastern men. Southerners hair is typically blond or light brown and grows in very tight short curls. Due to their appearance many believe that at some point in the past Southerners cross-bred with Dwarves.
Relations: Human relations with the other races of the Narrowlands very dramatically depending on which group of humans you’re dealing with. In general though humans typically see the other races as manifestations of what ever religious beliefs they have.
Alignment: Humans while having a great deal of variation in their alignments they tend toward both good and law though numerous exceptions on both an individual and societal level exist.
Human Lands: Human lands are distinct based on which race lives there:
Kingdoms of the West (Western): The Kingdoms of the West are Feudal societies ruled by powerful nobles who are ruled by a central king.
Estolad (Western): Estolad is an Empire with a strong central authority and offices, other than Emperor, normally granted based on merit.
Eastern Lands: Easterners are found through out the Empire of Estolad and to a lesser extent the Kingdoms of the West. They are most common in the hills of Rhudower and the lower slopes of the Dwarven Mountains these populations are theoretically ruled by Estolad. In any area where Easterners are common they tend to form tribal societies. Each tribe has a specific spirit bear that they believe guide and guard it.
Selk’nam: The Selk’nam are inhabitants of the frigid southern lands beyond the Aer Lina. There they live primarily in the great marshes formed by numerous hot springs that bubble up from under the frozen earth. The land away from the hot springs is a wide tundra covered in snow most of the year.
Names: Names for humans are taken from real world languages. Note that while the names follow real world languages the actual cultures of the Narrowlands are only very loosely based on cultures that spoke the languages.
Kingdoms of the West: The Kingdoms of the West use Persian or Arabic names.
Estolad: Names for Estoladians are typically Byzantine.
Easterners: Easterners names are typically Celtic.
Selk’nam: Names for the Selk’nam peoples should be based on South American Indian names especially from the Chon or Mapuche language families.
Human Traits:

Medium: As Medium creatures, humans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Human base land speed is 30 feet.
1 extra feat at 1st level.
Humans gain 2 extra fate points in character creation.
4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at each additional level.
Automatic Language: Common. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Speak Language skill.
Favored Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass human takes an experience point penalty, his or her highest-level class does not count.

Again each race of Human can take as many racial levels as they have "chits" in that race. Here's what each race gets:
Western: 1st level (Skill Focus (any), Long Life (extra 4d4 years) / 2nd level +1 fate point, Skill Focus (any), Long Life / 3rd lvl Sharp Eyed (You gain low light vision, +4 to sense motive, and either +4 to intimidate or diplomacy.), +2 Wis, Long Life

Eastern: 1st Improved Grapple / 2nd lvl +2 Str / 3rd Bear's Ferocity (Each round you may subtract a number of points from your AC and add them to your Atk role. You may not remove more points from your AC than your strength modifier.)

Selk'nam: 1st Winters Child (bonus feat) / 2nd Weapon Focus, Great Fortitude / 3rd +2 Con, Heroic Effort (1 extra move action a day)

Viewed by true Dwarves as abominations fit only for destruction and by most others as dishonest, sneaky, cheats Petty-Dwarves don’t initially look like they have a lot going for them. That is until you consider the fact that they are about as hard to kill as a cockroach.
Personality: Petty-Dwarves are in general touchy, inconsiderate, annoying, and rude. The primary concern of almost every Petty-Dwarf is survival pure and simple. They are not ashamed of any begging, pleading, or betrayals that keep them alive for one day longer.
Physical Description: In many ways Petty-Dwarves appear as a poor imitation of the true dwarves. They are in general 6-12 inches shorter than true Dwarves though normally even stockier. Most Petty-Dwarves where there beards significantly shorter than true Dwarves and both their beard and hair tends to be disheveled no mater how much time they spend on it.
Relations: Petty-Dwarves have never been common in the world and so most races as a whole don’t have an opinion about them. The one exception is Dwarves. Dwarves and Petty-Dwarves have a deep abiding hatred of each other and will never be found in each others company. In almost all cases of Dwarves learning of the location of a Petty-Dwarf the Dwarf will make hunting it down and killing it a top priority. If a Petty-Dwarf learns of Dwarves near by they will kill them if possible and flee if they think the Dwarf is likely to have the upper hand. In areas where Dwarves are more common and respected Petty-Dwarves are generally outlawed though not necessarily hunted down with any enthusiasm. In areas where Dwarves aren’t common it’s unlikely the general population is sufficiently well informed about either race to know the difference.
Alignment: Petty-Dwarves tend to lead mean and chaotic lives so they lean heavily toward chaos and evil. Considering the requirements to sustain their existence any Petty-Dwarf more than 100-150 years old is extremely unlikely to be good.
Petty-Dwarf Lands: Petty-Dwarves are few in number and secretive so they have few areas they openly claim as there own. It is much more common for Petty-Dwarves to live as small clans hiding in underground halls on the outskirts of other races civilizations.
Names: Petty-Dwarves are very secretive of their language and names. They typically adopt use names that are common to what ever race or region they are around.

Petty-Dwarf Traits:

+2con, -2wis, -4cha
Improved Toughness (Bonus Feat +1hp/lvl)
As Small sized creatures Petty-Dwarves gain +1 attack, +1AC, +4 Hide, Weapon restrictions.
Cary loads as medium creature
Petty-Dwarves have a base movement of 20ft
Darkvision: Petty-Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and Petty-Dwarves can function just fine with no light at all.
Petty-Dwarves need eat only ½ the food for a creature their size.
+2vs poison
+2vs spells and spell like effects
+2vs enchantment/compulsion effects
+1 to all saves
+1 racial bonus to appraisal and craft checks with metal or stone.
+2 move silently
Favored Class Rogue

Petty Dwarf levels get you:
False Death: when you are hit you may drop to the ground and pretend to be dead. Unless your opponent succeeds in an opposed bluff roll (heal or sense motive vs bluff) they believe you have died.
Life’s Blood: Petty-Dwarves are immune to any ability that causes HP loss over time due to blood loss and automatically make any stabilization checks.
Cling to Life: When a petty-dwarf would be reduced to 0 hit points or less by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), the petty-dwarf can attempt to shrug off some of the damage. She makes a fortitude saving throw (DC = damage dealt) and, if successful, takes only half damage from the blow.


One important call out here is that Yaun-ti are all females except for one of imense power who shattered thier empire in the past and now rules a forest of monsters. Since that time no Yaun-ti have chosen to have male off-spring and where any to have a male off-spring it would be killed. The male Yaun-ti are much much larger (huge size).

The Yaun-ti are an enigma to most of the other sentient races in the Narrow Lands. Though they appear, at least initially, as nearly human their long lives, reptilian heritage, and fascination with the creation of strange elixirs and brews give Yaun-ti an outlook on life that separates them drastically from the other races.
Personality: Yaun-ti believe, deeply, that they are superior to the other races in nearly every way. The Yaun-ti see themselves as holders of secret knowledge and of a history that stretches back into the dim depths of time before all others races besides they fey elves. It is only in the Dwarves that some of the Yaun-ti find companions that they consider equal to themselves.
Physical Description: The Yaun-ti have three distinct phases to their growth. As Purebloods they look almost identical to human females though their skin tends to be free of any blemishes besides a few very small patches of scales. (Normally these are found at the base of the neck or lower back) Once they under go the rights to become a HalfBlood the Yaun-ti change drastically. Either the Yaun-ti’s head or legs become those of a snake and they develop more prominent scales across their bodies. The transformation completes when the Yaun-ti undergo a final ritual to become Abominations and they develop into large serpents with human arms.
Relations: There are two major factions of Yaun-ti with very different outlooks on the other races. The necromancers of Dorengaur look upon all other races as slaves and fodder for their cruel experiments. They ally with other races only long enough to gain some advantage they can use against their one time allies. The Yaun-ti of the Elphel Erad are much more willing to treat with other races however they have a deep suspicion of Western Men, especially those of Estolad. The Dwarves and mountain Yaun-ti are staunch allies and have fought and lived together for centuries. It is because of the calming influence of the Dwarves that these Yaun-ti have begun to see the other races as more than just slaves or fodder.
Yaun-ti Lands: The two lands of the Yaun-ti are Dorengaur and the Ephel Erad mountains. Dorengaur is a dark wood filled with foul creations of the Yaun-ti who have blighted that forest. The Yaun-ti of the Ephel Erad are friends of the Dwarves and indeed many of their houses and cities have been built by the Dwarves. This has resulted in a style of construction that has a very dwarvish look to it though everything is sized for larger creatures than dwarves and none of the delvings go as deep.
Yaun-ti traits:

+2cha, -2str
Move 30ft
Medium-size: As Medium-size creatures, Yaun-ti have, no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Low light vision
Exclusively female.
Master Alchemists: +4 Racial bonus on Alchemy checks. Alchemy is always a class skill.
Poisonous kiss: A Yaun-ti may choose to poison someone it is kissing. The Fort save has a base DC of 12+con modifier. Vicitim’s that fail their save suffer 1d2 points of wisdom damage. After 1 minute they must make a second save; failure results in unconsciousness for 30 minutes. A Yaun-ti may also extract there venom and place it in someone’s food or drink but this lowers the save DC by 4.
Fascinating Gaze: As a standard action a Yaun-ti who maintains eye contact with a target may make a bluff roll opposed by their targets sense motive roll. If the Yaun-ti succeeds the target is considered dazed and unable to take actions for as long as the Yaun-ti maintains the eye contact. In order to maintain eye contact the Yaun-ti must have line of sight to the target and spend a standard action each round maintaining the contact. A target who is in combat or has been attacked by the Yaun-ti within the last 24 hours receives a +10 bonus to their sense motive roll. The subject of the Yaun-ti’s gaze is immediately freed if it takes damage from any source. The subject must make a will save with a DC equal to 10+the difference in the opposed bluff/sense motive roll to remember anything that occurred in the time they where under the effects of Fascinating Gaze.

Yaun Ti levels get you:
Half Blood: When a Yaun-ti undergoes the rituals to become a Half-blood they change from a nearly human form to one with obvious reptilian scales and either there head or legs become similar to those of a snake. Those who develop a snakes head gain the ability to bite as a secondary natural attack that inflicts 1d4 points of strength and can inject poison (Sv DC 10+con mod d4/d4 dex) as well as Darkvision. Those that develop a snake’s tail gain the ability to constrict a creature of it’s own size or smaller (1d6 + str damage) and a swim speed of 20 ft. In addition the Yaun-ti gains a natural armor rating of 2.
Poison Immunity: The Yaun-ti becomes immune to all non-magical poisons and toxins. Magical poisons and toxins still affect the Yaun-ti but they gain a +10 to their save.
Abomination: A Yaun-ti that has progressed to the rank of Abomination changes and becomes a large snake like creature with humanoid arms. An Abomination has a number of new abilities.

Full snake form: The full snake form gives a Yaun-ti access to the abilities of both the snake headed and tailed half-bloods.
Hissing Fear: All non Yaun-ti must make a will save DC 15+cha mod or become shaken
Improved Grab: The Yaun-ti gains improved grab with it’s bite attack.
Size increase: The Yaun-ti becomes large and gains +4str.

And finally here's how the races age and die:
Dwarves: Every 90 + 1d20 years dwarves suffer -2 to their dexterity and gain +1 natural armor. When a Dwarf’s dexterity reaches due to ageing 0 it turns to stone. After 100 + 3d100 the Dwarf remerges from stone but with no memories of his past life.
Fey Elf: Every 250 years DC to enter spirit world decreased by two and to exit spirit world increased by 2.
Grey Elf: Grey Elves are immortal and do not age.
Human: Per PHB
Halfling: Per PHB
Petty-Dwarf: Once every 5d10 years a Petty-Dwarf must imbibe a specially prepared potion created from the heart of a true Dwarf. Petty-Dwarves that fail to do this suffer a permanent -2 penalty to there dexterity. When their dexterity reaches 0 they turn to stone. Petty-Dwarves who turn to stone this way are forever dead and can in no way be brought back to life. A second application of the alchemical mixture used to create Petty-Dwarves does bring the stone back to life but it is inhabited by a wholly new spirit.

2007-04-13, 06:27 PM
History and Religion


Here's a broad overview of the history.

Yaun-ti establish an Empire across the middle of the Narrowlands enslaving the eastern humans.
Western Men (Estoladians) arrive in a huge fleet of ships from the across the sea. They carve a small but thriving state out of the southern Yaun-ti Empire.
Yaun-ti Slave revolt and Civil war: The Yaun-ti king goes mad and using alchemy creates monsters out of Yaun-ti and humans alike in a bid for ultimate power. Most of the males side with the king while the females side with the Eastern Humans in over throwing the male dominated Yaun-ti empire. Estolad attacks during the civil war and takes over the Yaun-ti empire. All male Yaun-ti, except the mad king, are killed. The females retreated to the ancestral Yaun-ti homelands in the mountains. The king maintains a realm of terror in the forest that was once his capital.
Second Wave of Western Men: 680 years have passed since the first wave. The new comers declare the Estoladians heretics and traitors of the faith. War breaks out and Estolad loses all of it's territory along the eastern shore. This land becomes the foundations for the Kingdoms of the West.
Spiders appear in the southern forest kingdom of Tishtrya (one of the kingdoms of the west). Within 25 years that kingdom falls and the holiest spirit of the Kingdoms of the West is lost.
1st Dwimmerdilk war: Orcs poor out of the cliffs between the kingdoms of Mormegil (black sword) and Gorthal (Dragon Helm) in the north. At the time of it's greatest need of unity Mormegil enters into a civil war. By the time the dust settles Mormegil is lost, the black sword is lost, a new terror that can shape shift and eat the minds of men to gain their knowledge has been unloosed, and several of the other Kingdoms of the West are deeply hurt.
2nd Dwimmerdilk war: The start of this war is the "present time".


Dwarves: This could be made better
In the beginning there where two “brothers” Stone and Air who sat together in the vastness of space alone but for each other for nothing had yet been crafted. After ages spent in the darkness the two “brothers” began to discuss the creation of things other than themselves; new things with which to fill the empty void around them. So the two “brothers” each took council within himself and crafted the first parts of the physical world. Air desiring light, heat, joy, and warmth crafted the first flame. It burned bright, clean, and with out fuel. Earth thinking about the future creations he had in mind saw that the first thing needed was a foundation on which all else might rest. And so it was that stone was first brought into being. Stone that all the rest of creation may have a place of safety and strength at it’s base.

As time went on the two “brothers” continued creating new wonders to there own delight. It was in this first furry of creation that the earth was created, the oceans where filled, and the starts, moons, sun, the veins of precious ore, and the great fire deep within the stone. where put in there permanent positions. It was also in this time that Earth created the first, and fathers, of all the Gems that reside in the earth now. He created the lapis luzi, the emeraled, the diamonds, tigers eye, and all the other precious stones within the earth.

As the two brothers walked upon the boundaries of the domains of air and earth they could see the sparkling stars above them and the multicolored glimmerings of the Gems below. As they walked Air talked with his brother about a new idea he had. A new thing to craft that would be independent of themselves Things that could share in the beauty of all that had been created so far. These ideas where strange to contrary the way Earth thought and so he watched his “brother” as he crafted all the races of the surface world. In some, such as the Yaun-ti, Earth helped his brother and blessed his creations. After watching and helping his brother Earth retreated long into thought and took council with his own heart. In the end Earth to decided to create a new race who would share his love of stone, metal, and Gems. Earth took bits of his spirit and placed them within a new type of Gem that was as hard as the earth and blazed like the brightest of the stars. These he placed deep in the mountains and other strong places. These stones lived within the earth and when they find themselves on the edges of the earth they gazed out into the domain of Air and wishing to see the domain of their master’s brother they step slowly out of the stone and in doing so become Dwarves.

Western Men:
Kingdoms of the West:

The Kingdoms of the West (KotW) worship Ahura Mazda who is the creator who has always been.

Ahura Mazda created spirits in his own form to keep him company and so that he could teach them. Over time though the greatest of these spirits souls became twisted and turned on Ahura Mazda. The spirit, known as Angra Mainyu, seduced many of the spirits Ahura Mazda had created. Angra Mainyu and those spirits he seduced twisted there forms and attacked Ahura Mazda. These spirits are now known as Asha.

In defense Ahura Mazda created a trap that would bind and immobilize Angra Mainyu and his Asha followers. The trap he created was the physical world with the land and seas at it's center and the sky and stars surrounding it. Ahura Mazda sent many of his faithful servants, the Drauga, to act first as a lure for Angra Mainyu and then as jailors once he became trapped within the physical world. In support of the Drauga Ahura Mazda created men.

Upon becoming trapped Angra Mainyu and the Asha began at once to try and break free of the prison they found themselves in and started corrupting the prison. This is evident in all the violent aspects of nature and in the diseases that afflict the physical world.

The world and matter itself is to be considered a corrupting force and it is only through piety, and good deeds that the soul can be set free after death to rejoin Ahura Mazda. In fact is to do good deeds that men where placed on the world. By doing good deeds men’s souls strengthen the jail that holds Angra Mainyu and reduces the corruption he has caused. In the end the battle will be won by the creation of a single nation that covers the entire world and brings order and peace.

Views on the world:
Nature: Nature is in general corrupt and it is only by subjugating it and bringing order and making it productive that the corruption can be driven out.

Life and Death:
Life and health are seen as symbols of following closely to the teachings of Ahura Mazda. Disease, insanity, and abnormalities are seen as assaults by the Asha upon the spirits of men. While someone is sick they need to pay special attention to there souls lest they fall from grace.
After a man dies Ahura Mazda judges his spirit and the actions he took while alive. Those that are judged to be lacking are imprisoned with the Asha inside the world. Those who pass the judgment are allowed into paradise.

Elves are normally seen as lesser Drauga.

Rean Elves are the most holy.
Grey Elves are viewed with some suspicion because of there ties to nature.
Fey Elves are unknown enough to not have a common opinion.

Dwarves are also seen as Drauga who job it is to bring order to the world below the surface.

Petty-Dwarves are considered to be identical to Dwarves.

Halflings are unknown.

Yaun-ti are unknown. If they where known though they would be viewed as Asha and considered evil.

Spiders are Asha and evil through and through. They currently represent the greatest threat to the world.

Empire of Estolad - The religion espoused by the empire is a corruption and trap laid by the Asha. If the religion where to spread it could well mean the escape of the Asha imprisoned by the world and the triumph of Evil.

Drauaga: The KotW know of several specific Drauaga here in the East and in the West.

Western Drauga: The western Drauaga are remembered in the religion and stories however lying across the sea they have not had direct contact with any of the KotW since they sailed east.

Anitar The Lord of Gifts: Anitar was one of the two powerful Drauaga who has for long ages worked with men. It was with his help that men advanced to the highest levels of skill with metal and stone works. The students of Anitar could forge metal so delicate and thin it appeared to be glass and yet was nearly unbreakable. With the assistance of Tor’Demonath, Anitar helped men build Dawn, the westernmost and most beautiful of all the cities of men.

It is said that the swords and spears created by the students of Anitar are the sharpest in the world and the armor and shields they forged provide unmatched protection and strength.

At the time of the sailing of the KotW Anitar dewlt on the shores of the great lake.

Tor’Demonath The Herald of Dawn: Tor’Demonath, with Anitar, appeared first to men walking down out of the mountains of Dawn. While Anitar provided men with gifts of knowledge and skill Tor’Demonath taught men about matters of the soul and of spirit. It was Tor’Demonath that first truly lifted the eyes of men up from themselves and showed them the glory and power to bring order to the world that could be theirs. At the time the KotW sailed forth Tor’Demonath sat in stewardship over the city of Dawn.

Drauga in the East (Narrowlands)

Thirita of Nairyosanha: Thirita is undeniably one of the Drauaga and her home is the holiest and most important under control by the KotW; however she is one of the least understood as well. In her form she appears to be a woman of unsurpassed beauty made out of ice. Thirita lives deep inside the waters of an icy cold spring while she sometimes comes close she never breaks the surface of the water.

Thirita is a healer who is widely renowned for her ability to cure diseases and ailments of almost any kind. Any who seek healing from her must, while naked, enter the pool and cast a golden coin into the center of the pool. If the supplicant meets Thirita’s requirements a rime of ice spreads out from around the supplicant and they find their malady disappear over a week’s time. If the supplicant does not meet Thirita’s requirements then the coin sinks slowly to the bottom and nothing happens. It is unknown what qualities Thirita checks for when deciding on who to heal. Indeed just because an initial request for healing fails doesn’t mean Thirita won’t heal the same person on the next day.

The spring that Thirita calls home is a perfect circle fifty feet across and surrounded by a pillared walk way and colonnade that’s been standing since before the Estoladians first arrived. From the walkway there is a short series of stairs that lead down into the water. The stairs, indeed the entire bottom, are covered in a vast mosaic that shows scenes of heroes from the distant past mixed amongst a myriad of sea life and tangled sea weeds.

The majority of the spring is shallow reaching no more than four feet in depth; though it is all icy cold. In the very center of the spring though is a bore that descends straight down over 70 feet before piercing the roof of a large chamber whose floor is another 40 feet below.

There have been a few men who weighting themselves with stones or iron have descended into that first chamber. They report seeing the entrance to a massive temple palace whose stairs are lined with exquisite marble statues of Thirita. At the top of the stairs stand two guards with terrible eyes that promise death to any who would intrude and spears in there hands that seem to be made of solid ice. It is also rumored that beyond those guards is the court of Thirita which is filled with her handmaidens of such loveliness that they shame even the queens of the Rean Elves.

Vayu the Warrior: Tishtrya is lost now to all but the spiders. His home is in the great southern forest and is the holiest site to the Kingdoms of the West on this side of the ocean. Vayu appears as a man though 16 feet tall. He remains dressed always in armor and girded with his sword. Vayu’s armor appears to be full plate made from silver with streaks of gold running through it. His sword, Vayunesuma, is in the shape of a long sword and is made from the same strange metal. His shield is emblazoned with a gust of wind.

When the men of the Kingdoms of the West arrived they landed on the coasts of the southern forest and quickly found Vayu’s sacred home. The Westerners honored Vayu in all ways they could and expanded his shrine into a gleaming city at the heart of the forest. Vayu in return taught the new comers much about the narrow lands between the sea and the great mountains that the westerners now found themselves in.

It was with the guidance of Vayu that the new Westernmen launched their war against the Empire. His planning and tactics proved invaluable and resulted in numerous victories.

In addition to serving as a strategist Vayu trained a new order of Knights, named Vayunesuma (translation the Sword of Vayuesuma), who proved themselves time and time again to be the hardiest and most firm of all the men in the Western army.

Seventy five years ago however disaster struck the Vayu and, the Western Kingdom of Vasuviana that had grown up around that first city. Giant spiders of a type not seen before on this side of the great ocean began appearing within the southern forest. They quickly grew numerous and the southern forest became a place of danger and horror. Still for a quarter of a century Vayu’s shrine and the city around it remained open and free. Then with the appearance of the breed of spiders known as Queen’s Followers the last links between Vayu’s shrine and the outside world where cut. Over 10,000 men still lived in Vayus’’ shrine when that last life line was broken. None have appeared since and no man has gone more than a dozen miles into the southern forest and returned alive.

There are still some members of the Vayuesuma that where not lost to the spiders. Their base is in Mormegil and though they are a shadow of there former strength they still form a key component of that cities defenses.

The Kingdom of Estolad:
Ahura Mazda created a spirit world of perfect harmony and populated it with lesser spirits of all types who for the most part took on the shapes of animals. He also created the undying spirits of men and elves. In this idyllic world men lived in perfect harmony in a continual spring. The world provided all the sustenance that was needed with out toil and no more was taken than what was needed.

One of the greater spirits though, known as Angra Mainyu, grew jealous of the spirits of men and elves who he saw as the favorites of Ahura Mazda. Spreading lies and influencing jealousy Angra Mainyu poisoned the minds of many of the spirits against Ahura Mazda. These spirits, known now as the Drauga, secretly left the spirit world Ahura Mazda had created and in the dark surrounding it plotted and planned. They threw off there natural forms and took on the shapes of men and then attacked.

Ahura Mazda though was not surprised by Angra Mainyu and while he was in the dark plotting had created a trap for him and the Drauga. He created the trap as a duplicate of the spiritual paradise and placed in it his most trusted spirits that remained loyal as well as the best of the spirits of men and elves. These spirits are known as the Asha. When Angra Mainyu and his followers stormed into what they believed to be paradise they found themselves trapped.

Ever crafty and seeking to ruin anything good and pure the Drauga began at once to corrupt all they could. They hid themselves amongst the men and whispered lies and caused chaos. It was at this time men and elves became distinct. Men forming from the spirits who where swayed more by the lies of the Drauga. This was especially effective amongst men. They also sought out the Asha where ever they could and slew or corrupted them. The Asha confused by the forms the Drauga had taken on believed that men and elves had joined the Drauga.

The taint of the Drauga lies most heavily on men and it is unwise for them to spend much time around the Asha as the taint has a way of spreading from men to the pure spirits of the Asha.

The battle against the Drauga will only be won once harmony can be brought to the world. It is said that if the Asha, elves, and men can bring the physical world and spiritual world in line they will combine and a new age of paradise will begin.

Views on the world:
Nature and the physical world is a reflection of paradise and can in fact join with paradise if the taint that stains it is cleaned. The natural world should be protected and cared for. It is only by good deeds and care for Ahura Mazda's creation that paradise can be achieved.

Life and Death:
Long life free from disease is thought to be a sign of purity. Those who are frequently sick or who die young are believed to have been more heavily affected by the taint of the Drauga. It is considered especially bad luck if many members of a family all die young. People killed in battle are not considered to have died young.

It is believed that after death Ahura Mazda judges each soul of man and depending on how closely he followed the path of righteousness determines his placement in either paradise or the darkness.

Elves are not seen as a separate race than men. They are simply considered to be men who fell less under the sway of the Drauga. It is commonly believed that if a person could remove the taint he was born with then he would become an elf.

Rean Elves while seen as the most powerful of elves they are also seen as the closest to men and the most tainted.
Grey Elves are believed to have been only lightly affected by the taint of the Drauga and are considered to be an ideal to which men should aspire.
Fey Elves are believed to be men who never listened to the Drauga and are free of any taint. This is clearest in the ability for Fey Elves to still pass from the physical world and glimpse the paradise of the spirit world.

Dwarves are seen as Asha who have become slightly tainted by the Drauga. They are still much closer to purity then men however. It is believed that when an Asha realizes it has been tainted it locks itself away from the taint in a gem and then animates the stone around it so that it may continue it's work with out the risk of slipping further. Locking itself in within a gem though greatly reduces it's power.

Petty-Dwarves are considered to be abominations of the Drauga and are physical representations of the murder of an Asha. They are to be killed on site.

Halflings are believed to be a race of men who have begun to remove the taint staining all men under the guidance of the fey elves.

Yaun-ti are seen as Asha who have either fallen almost to the level of the Drauga or Drauga who have risen almost to the level of the Asha. These are spirits who stand on the fulcrum between good and evil and could and have fallen either way. The greatest of the Yaun-ti that embraced evil is now thought to reside within Dorengauer as it's terrible ruler.

Spiders: The intelligent spiders that have arisen recently are being hotly debated by the top clerics of the Empire. They are clearly spirits and most likely Asha but they are taking a much more involved role than any Asha has in the past. While they are certainly a scourge to the heretics who have arrived from the west certain practices of the spiders are troubling.

Kingdoms of the West: The new comers from the west are seen as men twisted by the Drauga who have fallen victim to the lies and have changed there support from Ahura Mazda to Angra Mainyu. They must be either shown the error of their ways or sent to Ahura Mazda for judgment.

2007-04-13, 06:30 PM
Story I'm writting in the Narrowlands:

I find myself spending a lot of time thinking about what makes a decision an important one. Sure there are the obvious things out there like who you marry or if you decide to move. Even those ones though I don’t think are the really important ones. It’s the ones that you don’t expect to be important that seem to have the biggest impact on your life. Things like leaving a few minutes early or late.

The most important decision I ever made was to go for a walk. It’s unfair that was the most important choice in my life.


The chittering voice of my companion skitters across my mind coalescing into words. “We’ll feed well today, won’t we.” Ignoring my companion I glance through the grasses. A knight rides slowly down the road escorting a middle aged noble woman and her children. His attentive gaze scans for any sign of trouble.

The chittering continues “These heathens never seem to notice what’s right in front of there face. All that training and they still can’t see their death coming. It makes me wonder how they stole your lands away from you.” Glancing down at the multiple glistening eyes staring at me a sigh escapes my lips.

“Look let’s just get this done. The food is yours and we’ll split the spoils fifty fifty.” An exaggerated bow with one of his myriad legs held low indicates Shariltal is ready… mocking but ready. As I pull up my crossbow and take aim Shariltal creeps through the grass as only his kind can.

Suddenly the knights lance drops and the knight is charging. Then the screams of the woman and her children start. I know they have just caught sight of Shariltal’s multi-legged form suddenly emerging from the grass a thirty feet farther down the road. Thundering hooves take the knight down the road in a breakneck charge to skewer the my companion on his lance. I debate holding my shot and letting him do just that but as he draws even a squeeze of my finger, not more than an inches movement, decides how this fight ends and blood flies everywhere as my bolt shatters the horse’s skull.

The knight tumbles from the dead horse just as Sharitals leap brings his body smashing into him. By the time my second bolt is loaded he’s already being trussed up in webbing. I step out of the grasses along the side of the road and turn my eyes to the woman and her children who have fallen to the ground in terror. She is yelling at me pleading and begging with me to let them live. I can see the terror in her eyes as she hides her two children behind her. No doubt she’s heard of Sharitals kind and their unique appetites.

My eyes start to water. To me this has always been the hardest part. The fight is done and now my actions are taken in cold blood with no excuse of battle to offer absolution. I feel the woman’s fear and pain; that desperate fear of not being able to protect your children. That is a feeling I know only to well. My crossbow recoils again as I see her mouth open in sudden surprise. At least I can save her the horror of seeing her children die while she watches helpless. It seems a small mercy but one I feel is important. She slumps slowly to the ground with a crossbow bolt centered in a red flower that grows slowly across her chest.

“You know they keep better alive.”

“Yah, I know. I’m not a monster like you are though.” Two more bolts and the screaming ends.


Every eye turns my way and every had reaches for a blade as I walk into the circle of firelight. Eight weary faces stare at me as they allow there hands to slowly relax.

Alcibiades, the oldest and leanest of us, holds my gaze longer than the others. “Is that cursed creature still with you or did it met the end it deserves this time?”

Staring straight back at him I smile slightly. “No Sharital is just having two little snacks before he joins us. He knows how much you dislike veal and would feel horrible if he made you uncomfortable.”

Setting my gear down I pull out four crossbow bolts and carry them with me to my seat near the fire. If it wasn’t for the dark brown stain soaked into them three would be in perfect shape. The one that hit the horse though that one split in half when the horse plowed into the ground. Each represents a life I took today. Slowly I feed them into the flames one by one.

I know some men reuse arrows and bolts when they can or grab the valuables of those they kill and leave the arrows behind where they struck. I’ve never been able to do that though. Every arrow I bring back with me. Every arrow I slowly feed into the fire one at a time and watch as it burns. Life can be so fleeting over so quickly… someone it seems should take a moment to remember.

I can see Alcibiades and several others hands raised in supplication asking for absolution for the sins committed today. I don’t think it’s that easy though. Absolution should take more it should take real sacrifice, pain, guilt, something more than a few words and some beer. I’ve made plenty of prayers myself and have seen nothing from it. I’ve drunk myself to a stupor plenty of times as well and didn’t like what I saw from it.

“They are wrong you know.” come low clicks as Shartal, standing just outside the fire light, speaks to me. “The gods they pray to don’t listen to them or to any others.”

“You’re one to talk. I’ve seen you praying as well. It seems rather brazen to criticize them when you do the same thing.”

“Different gods. Yours don’t listen. Yours don’t do anything. Yours leave you fighting your own kind your own coreligionists. Ours listens. Ours lives and breathes and consumes.”

“So you say but I’ve never seen any evidence of it and you’ve never said much more than that. If your god listens then why are you out here with me?”

“I never said our God was kind or fair. Only that it does listen and we listen to her. As for telling you more about her I don’t think even you would find comfort in that. You may have rejected the Gods of your land but our God still isn’t for you.”I hold the last bolt in my hand. “I don’t think she was more than eight. Eight years is a blink of an eye.” Reaching forward I slowly feed the bolt to the fire. Watching the smoke I can see her soul rising up out of the fire. Just like all the rest though I can’t see if she’s at peace or still screaming in terror. I hold up my fingers half an inch apart where Shartal can see them. “That distance. That tiny distance and she goes up in smoke and flames while we sit here and watch. I could have just not pulled the trigger and we’d be the ones riding in the smoke tonight.”

“I told you they didn’t listen. If a God can’t change something that small why call them a God?”

“You claim your God would have done something more?”

“I have a full gullet tonight and the husks of four more “heathens” lie on the ground. I’d say my God did affect that half an inch. My prayers today where answered. Some how I doubt that woman you shot today woke up and prayed that she and her children would be dead tonight.”

It takes me a long time to reply tonight. “I need to get to sleep. I’ll see you in the morning.”


Abruptly I’m awake. I can hear the sound of several horses slowly approaching. Eyes still closed I listen carefully. Three horses, no metal barding, no screaming or cursing as Sharital leaps out of the grasses spreading death… must be someone from our side. No knight of Calenderhon would be willing to travel out this far from their walls with out the heaviest armor they can put between us and there flesh.

“Relax” I think “back to sleep back to the oblivion of sleep”. Still it’s not to be. Our guard has just given the signal that intruders are approaching and to ready weapons. I can hear the camp quietly, almost silently, rousing into action. Whispers from men awaken in surprise, whispers of blades leaving sheaths, whispers of movement; then the expected hand on my shoulder nudging me to “wake” me.

A whisper in my ear “We’re under attack get ready to fight”. My eyes stay shut. Another nudge another whisper.

“I’m still sleeping I’m sure you can take care of this one with out me.”

Whispers of cursing as the man moves away. Maybe it’s the fact that Shartal shows me what he kills sometimes in the night while we sleep that keeps me from being worried.

“Alcibiades …. Alcibiades where are you.” I hear suddenly shattering the stillness of the morning. “It’s Asopios come out we have news.”

“Ha you almost had an arrow through your throat today my old friend.” I hear Alcibiades respond. “I don’t know how it is you and your men move so quietly even on horse back.”

“I’ve brought news from the Stratopedarches. You’re men have done there job well it’s time to move this fight forward. Also I’ve got some special orders for Celsus and the holy Asha Shartal.”

It’s obviously pointless to try and sleep anymore so I rise up just in time to see Alcibiades spit before replying. “Shartal is a deamon. There is nothing about that Asha that’s holy. If the rest of the spiders are like her I’m not so sure they should be counted as Asha. Drauaga, deamons, evil and accursed seems more fitting to me. Since you’ve sent me out here I’ve seen it up close when it kills men. Burns them right up from the inside out it does. Flames actually spurt forth from its damned poison. Worse part though is that chittering she makes when she kills a man. I asked Celsus about it once… why she made that noise. You know what it meant. He told me that’s how she laughs. Apparently there is something very funny about watching a human die.” I can see him eyeing me over Asopios shoulder as I walk up. There’s mistrust and fear in those eyes. That look always makes me glad I don’t share more of what Shartal tells me. That I didn’t share what exactly what funny when she kills.

I keep my gaze steady as I approach the two men. “Asopios what orders do you have for me? I think I’ve overstayed my welcome here.”

“What nonsense” beams Asopios as he spins around “any of our troops would be honored to have you and the Asha with them.” Glancing back his voice drops an octave “To do otherwise would be heresy.”

Alcibaides face darkens and his brow furrows as he stands silently for a moment before turning away. “Don’t worry about him Celsus he and I go way way back. He’s just been under a lot of stress lately and it’s getting to him. Hasn’t been back to see his family” I flinch at the word though Asopios doesn’t notice “in eight months. That’s tough on a man.”

“None the less I think we should move on as quickly as we can. Even the priests agree it’s not wise for mortals to spend to much time around the Asha.”

“True, true. Look this next job is going to be tough. We’ve found out that Surena has managed to convince Atash to allow him to marry one of his daughters. Needless to say a royal bride will greatly increase the support Surena can call on and the last thing we need is more Ghazi rallying to his banner.”

“Where do I fit in this?”
“Stratopedarches Elias would like her captured…”

I raise an eyebrow. “Captured and what?”

Asopios sighs heavily and his words come out slowly. “Captured and despoiled… as many times and by as many men as we can until she’s with child. Then we’re to return her to Surena.” As the last of the words drip from Asopios lips Shartal starts laughing from within the grass. It’s a dry and almost silent series of clicks.

Asopios glances around nervously looking for the source of the noise. “Is that the Asha? What’s she saying?”

I catch a glimpse of one of Shartal’s eyes and hold her gaze steady with my own. “She says it’s a sin we go to do and she prays for absolution.” Shartal’s clicking grows louder and I can see her two front legs rapidly tapping with barely contained amusement.

“A sin… is that what I said. That’s why I like you lost man. You know how to tell a joke.”

Asopios eyes open with panic hearing the Shartal finds our latest mission a sin. “Tell her… tell her will you that I agree. That if she wants I’ll go back to Elias and tell him Shartal will withdraw her blessing from our plans. If she objects we’ll stop.”

“That won’t be necessary. Shartal knows that sometimes you can’t avoid sin in war.” Shartal at this point has all her legs tapping in a full out laughter.

“Look let me give you the rest of the details I’ve got and you can be on your way” Asopios says rummaging nervously around his saddle bags. “Her name is Vashti she’s fifteen years old…”