by Eric Jwo
Deep within the lava-drenched bowels of the turbulent city of Sanction, a great power grows. Always in the shadows, this mysterious force is unknown to even the most knowledgeable and powerful on Krynn. Palin Majere. the Master of Wayreth, the Dragon Overlords, even Hogan Bight does not know of the powerful forces stirring beneath his city. Even the Herald, the most renowned bard of all time, knows only fleeting glimpses of this powerful order. Yet, there is no denying that the force known as the Obsidian Order does exist. However, their motives, their powers, and their very existence is shrouded in shadows. For, in the Herald's own words:
The Obsidian Order is faceless, emotionless, and merciless. It is an enigma, shrouded in a mystery, and covered from the light of day. To know of its existence, is already know too much . . .
The Obsidian Order is a Narrator's tool. Players should immediately exit this page and perhaps inform your Narrator of this organization. The Order can easily be used in a Campaign of Intrigue, or even in a standard Fifth Age game. They are, however, not to be used as glibly as other organizations, such as the Knights of Takhisis. Rather, they are elusive, yet always oppressively near. They are rather like the US Government in the X-Files. They are always lurking in the shadows, never allowing themselves to be drawn into the light of day.
Narrators are encouraged to use the Order any way they want to. The Order can be the heroes ally or enemy. In fact, the Order's designation may even change from adventure to adventure. But above all, the Order is supposed to be mysterious and dark. The Order is loyal to their Mission, and will accomplish their Mission at any cost. If the heroes happen to help them, then that's all the better. But if the heroes get in their way . . .
The Obsidian Order is a clandestine order of sorcerers. Created by a powerful shadow dragon named Shaydroverllyx, or Shade, who was originally from the demiplane of shadows, this order seeks to bring Krynn to its former level of magic. By opening a gate to the Realm of Shadows, the Order believes that they will be able to permeate Krynn with the flow of magic from the demiplane of shadows. The Order also seeks to enhance the power of sorcery in Krynn, by supporting and enhancing the magical art. While people don't realize it, shadowmages, as they are members of the Order are called, have been implanted in key positions around Ansalon. Many shadowmages are studying magic in the Academy of Sorcery or the Tower of Wayreth. Many have infiltrated the Knight's of Takhisis and Legion of Steel. Some even work actively for Dragon overlord's in order to learn their magical secrets. However, the Order as a whole does not support the Dragon Overlords. While many members believe that the Dragon Overlords should be overthrown, the Order does not want to attract attention. Therefore, while many shadowmages may independently fight the Dragon Overlords, the Order does not as a whole.
The Headquarters of the Obsidian Order
The headquarters of the Obsidian Order is nestled beneath the violent Lords of Doom that surround the city of Sanction. Not far from the turbulent city, the Order's inner sanctum connects with the tunnels beneath the city itself. The Order has no official name for their headquarters, they simply call it "the Dwelling." Some also call it the "Lair of Shaydroverllyx" or "Shade's Lair" because Shade makes his lair within the Dwellings cavern walls. The underground compound of the Obsidian Order lies about two hundred feet below the surface.
The Shadowpeople that originally inhabited the tunnels beneath Sanction have been driven back by the Order. They inhabit only a few square miles of underground close to Sanction's fiery harbor. Using Shade's magic, the Order has carved huge caverns beneath and just to the north of the turbulent city. The entire Dwelling is nearly the size the city itself.
The Dwelling itself is highly magical. If pressed, one could even say that the entire compound is a powerful artifact in its own right. For shadowmages, the entire Dwelling acts as a magical reservoir of unimaginable power. Obviously, it would be suicide for any to attempt an attack on the Dwelling.
The Dwelling also has many other magical features. The walls are made of a strange compound that Shade created. It resist the effects of sorcery, successfully dispelling all powerful spells cast upon it. Attempting to overcome or bypass this effect requires an impossible Reason (Perception) action against Shade. Shade will immediately know when some one is attempting to bypass the dispelling effect of the Dwelling. Magic cast within the Dwelling and outside of the Dwelling is unaffected.
Every room has a small globe that emits a bright white light. This light can be turned on or off with a single word. Since Shade has made a habit of studying Krynn's famous sorcerers, the words are Shirak for light, and Dulak for darkness.
There is also any number of more obscure magical powers that the Dwelling possesses. Most are linked to Shade, and his magical experiments. Shade also does possess a small skull totem, which he uses to exert his control over the Dwelling. Currently, Shade can open any light or door in the Dwelling, as well as sense intruders. Soon, the shadow dragon will be able to control the very walls of the mighty structure.
The Dwelling encompasses nearly a quarter of the underground tunnels beneath Sanction, and runs deep beneath the Lords of Doom. There are many different entrances in the mountainside around Sanction. Those hidden entrances reveal long, winding steps that lead hundreds of feet into the earth. Any who access the tunnels beneath Sanction can also find the Dwelling. All entrances to the Dwelling are usually heavily guarded and blocked by a massive steel door. Only high ranking members of the Order possess the key to open these doors. Although, shadowmages who dwell out of the dwelling are typically given he means to magically return to the Dwelling. Other attempts at entering the Dwelling through magic are blocked, as the very walls are coated in a magic resisting substance. Only through the wishes of the Order can those with magic enter.
Physically forcing one's way into the Dwelling is also impossible. The entrances are tight and narrow, forcing even an army to march in a line, thereby cutting effectiveness. Traps both mundane and magical line the pathways to the Dwelling, and powerful shadowmages keep constant watch over the entrances to the Dwelling.
The inside of the Dwelling consists of twisting hallways and large chambers. The Dwelling is made up of four "quadrants", the Shadow Zone, the Abyss, the Armory, and the Lair. Each has its own distinct purpose and design. The Shadow Zone consists of many private and public laboratories. Here, mentors and teachers instruct novices in the way of magic, high-ranking officers experiment with new forms of sorcery, and here is where all mages can mingle freely. In the center of the Shadow Zone, is large auditorium. This cavern can hold three times the number of members in the Order. Once every month, Shade calls a meeting, and every member who can must attend. Usually, though, the shadow dragon masks himself in illusions. Members only get the impression of dark eyes in a the midst of shadows. Members on the surface on important missions need not attend these meetings, but usually they get word of what happened through courier or other magical means. Usually, the High Council (made up of the Grand Master and the Lords of Obsidian) holds weekly meetings to settle and discuss trivial matters.
The Abyss is the residential area of the Dwelling. Despite its cheery name, all members have a room here. Rooms for typical neophytes are spartan, 15' x 10' x 10' rooms. Higher members attain plush, luxury apartments. Cafeteria's and entertainment centers are also set up here. Shade realized the need for the Dwelling to remain a self-contained environment, so he ordered the setting up of game rooms and the like. Shadowmages usually spend their free time in these entertainment centers.
The Armory is where the Order keeps all of its weapons, tomes, components, magical creations, etc. The armory is the smallest area of the four. Most rooms link to each other. There's a room for swords (with the magical and non-magical separated), a room for spell components, a large library, etc. Only a high ranking official can enter the Armory alone. Other members are accompanied by a superior. The Armory is heavily guarded at all times, and requires a magical key to enter.
The Lair is the home of Shadroverllyx, a shadow dragon of the venerable class. The Lair is composed of a maze of huge composed of a maze of huge caverns and large tunnels. Shade's primary lair is a large cavern more than a thousand feet wide, and more than four hundred feet all. The entrances to the Lair aren't barred or guarded. However, only high-ranking officials can enter alone. Other members are reprimanded and punished for disobedience (note: the Order is not evil. Therefore the punishment would probably be more like confinement for a period of time, or some temporary demotion. For traitors or severe crimes, they will use death). Shade stores his vast treasure hoard in several caches around the Lair, and has a large personal collection of tomes, scrolls, items, and weapons from before the Second Cataclysm.
Food is usually bought from outside and magically imported into the Dwelling. The Order sells its magical services in the form of wandering magicians, or dealers in the arcane. Several rare captive deepspawn have also been captured, and are set up in the Dwelling. They provide an ample supply of food for all of the members of the Order. Several hot, flowing springs run through the Dwelling, supplying the Order with fresh water. Some particularly innovative members created a waterway system that gave most rooms in the Abyss running water for baths and even showers. Many steam rooms, baths, ponds, and pools are scattered across the Abyss for all to enjoy. The flowing water has also been used to power some magically enchanted machines to help the Order become more efficient. The entire Dwelling has become a taut and fragile maze of life.
The Obsidian Order has two objectives. The first is the continued study of sorcery. Shade is curious about sorcery, and believes that it might prove more powerful than High Sorcery. The Order is experimenting with creating magical items, and have had tremendous success. Shade believes that combining this new sorcery of Krynn's with the old and familiar High Sorcery might prove to be very powerful. Therefore, the Order strives to learn and study sorcery. Many agents have been placed in key areas of sorcerous study across Ansalon. Many shadowmages currently study sorcery at the Academy of Sorcery and at the Tower of Wayreth. Magical items protect such agents from divinations and the like.
The Order's secondary objective is it's primary one. The Order's primary objective is to create a gate from Krynn to Shade's home dimension. Shade came from another realm and was trapped on Krynn when the gods departed. Cut off from his source of magic, Shade is unable to open a gateway back to his home plane. He is now trying to learn enough about sorcery to re-enter his home plane. By opening a gate to the demiplane of shadows, Shade will be able to return home and replenish his powers. The gateway will also, so Shade believes, permeate Krynn with magic. This will bring High Sorcery back to Krynn. Shade plans to remain in Krynn even after such a portal is created, so that he may continue to oversee the Order. Shade has not planned past the opening of the gateway, so he would not know what to do next should he open a gateway.
The Obsidian Order doesn't do much to interfere or support the Dragon Overlords. All they really care about is accomplishing their objectives. Once the Order finds out how to open a gate through to Shade's plane, they will establish a gateway. This will permeate Krynn with magic, and raise the level of magic to that of High Sorcery, and beyond. All shadowmages uphold their Mission. They are taught that they may pursue their own agendas, so long as they do not interfere with the Mission. To shadowmages, the Mission always comes first. The Mission is the most important thing to think about. The Mission is all.
During the Summer of Chaos, Shadroverllyx found a portal from his plane to Krynn. Curious, the shadow dragon entered the portal and arrived on Ansalon near the end of the Chaos War. He arrived near Sanction and spent some time observing the inhabitants of the new world before him. Not wanting to be seen, he discovered an abandoned Kal-Thax near the Lords of Doom, and sought refuge. Content with his new life, Shade began to build a lair deep within the smoking Lords of Doom. When the gods departed, Shade was cut off from his home plane. His valuable source of magic cut off from him. While Shade still possessed much magical might, the shadow dragon wasn't nearly as powerful as he used to be. He was trapped on Krynn with no way to re-establish the magical connection with his home plane. He searched for a way to re-open a portal, when he discovered sorcery. Knowing that this magic would take a lot of effort to refine, he began gathering those with the potential to tap Krynn's innate magic.
Secretly, Shade contacted former sorcerers of High Sorcery. His powers intrigued many, and they flocked to his lair in Sanction. The fledgling Order began to experiment with sorcery, and they developed the Mission. Soon, the number of sorcerers in the order grew and swelled. As the Order began to grow and flourish, no one suspected a thing.
The original shadowmage, Jonas Whalis, experimented with magical items as soon as he mastered the school of Enchantment. Jonas believed that the key to success with the Mission was in magical weapons. Instead of trying to gather the magical powers of sorcery, one could store the energy for later use. However, the permanency of an Enchantment spell eluded him. In 9 SC, when the Order was just beginning to flourish, Jonas experimented on a dagger. The dagger had a large orb of obsidian embedded in the hilt. After numerous failures, Jonas attempted to enchant the obsidian orb of the dagger. To his amazement, the spell worked. However, the enchantment was still to weak to stay on forever. With Shade's magical aid, the dagger became permanently magical.
Amazed with Jonas' success, Shade immediately ordered every shadowmage to research the miracle. After months of analysis, the Order determined that the obsidian orb held the enchantment, which affected the entire blade. Obsidian was much more receptive to Enchantment, which allowed sorcerers to enchant things. However, none were powerful enough to enchant a magical item by themselves. With Shade's help however, magical items could be created.
Inspired, Shade named the Order the Obsidian Order.
Soon, the numbers of the Obsidian Order swelled. The Order began to search out and approach more and more people as sorcery began to flourish once again upon Krynn. The Armory began to grow with all of the new magical items the Order created.
In 17 SC, a group of shadowmages were caught in an ambush by bandits. The shadowmages were killed, and their magical items stolen. This breach in security opened Shade's eyes. He realized that a group of mages should not and could not be placed in the front lines in a battle. He realized that the Order needed to benefit from everyone. Inspired, Shade create the Outer Rim. These special agents served the Obsidian Order, without knowing enough to be a liability.
In 22 SC, the Order decided to expand the Dwelling. More room was needed. Shade gathered all of his magic, and completely re-shaped the entire structure. He created a rough sketch of the four areas, and geomancers and miners delved the details. Brief skirmishes with the shadowpeople that resided under Sanction alerted Shade to a possible security risk. Huge compliments of Kargayat shock troops slaughtered many of the bat-like creatures. However, the shadowpeople retreated, and Shade allowed the survivors to live.
In 24 SC, the Order sent highly trained sorcerers to the Tower of Wayreth to learn more about the elusive Tower. With magical pendants, the mages true natures were masked. The sorcerers were really there to learn magic, but their knowledge of the Obsidian Order was masked from probing.
In 29 SC, the Order sent several shadowmages out to help with the construction of the Academy of Sorcery. Amazed with their powers, Palin immediately enrolled them in the Academy. Now, many shadowmages are in powerful positions. Many shadowmages are also enrolled in the Academy just to learn.
In 31 SC, the Obsidian Order decided to implement its plans. Since its conception, the Order has been waiting and plotting on how to achieve their Mission. They never had the magic or the strength to make a move. Now, they do. Hundreds of members have been stationed in key positions. The amount of magical items at their disposal is staggering. Their forces are strong, as is their magic. Now is the time for action.
Few people know of the existence of the Obsidian Order. Malystryx, Khellondros, and Sable know of their existence, but not their goals. Only Khellondros paid special attention to them, because the might be a potential ally to open a gate to the Gray. Now that Skie has departed Krynn, Gale, his heir, does not seem particularly interested in the Order.
Palin Majere and the Academy have heard rumors of a secret society of powerful, black-robed sorcerers, but have no evidence. While Palin believes that their supposed ability to create permanent magical items bears investigation, he dismisses it as veritable gossip. Unknown to him, the Order has several of its members residing in the Academy. Their orders are to observe and learn from the Academy's techniques and discoveries, and to steadily help the growth of magic.
The Knights of Solamnia and the Legion of Steel know nothing of the Order. The Knights of Takhisis know only that there is a clandestine order of mages operating near Sanction. This is one of the reasons why the Dark Paladins want to capture Sanction. The Knights of the Thorn are watching the Order very carefully.
Fewer people know of the existence of Shade, the Order's leader. Few shadow dragons exist on Krynn. Even most members of the Order do not know that Shade is a shadow dragon. Shade's existence is a well kept secret.
There are many circles of the Obsidian Order working towards the Mission all across Ansalon. All of these circles are secret and protected. Every major open city on Krynn has a circle. The Obsidian Order has even infiltrated many governments, and is secretly manipulating the ruling parties of many areas. All this is done to service the Order and fulfill the Mission. Several important circles are listed below for the Narrator's reference.
Palanthas: One of the largest circles that the Obsidian Order has is located in Palanthas. Although the once-famous city of splendors now resides under the yoke of the Dark Knights, the Order has still managed to infiltrate the city. A large Order secretly works with the Knights of the Thorn, under false guises, and works to develop the finer points of magic. The Order also makes very good profit in Palanthas selling their magical items to the Dark Knights and other people of interest.
The Order also continually surveys and searches the sight where the Tower of High Sorcery once stood. Many in the Order believe that the spot could be a powerful source of magical energy usable by the Order. Currently, no plans of actions have been formulated, but the Order is just biding its time.
Solace: The Order has a very large interest in the Academy of Sorcery. Many members have been sent to the Academy to study and report the progress the Academy has made with the art of sorcery. Some novice shadowmages have even been sent to the Academy for serious study in unorthodox practices and applications of the Art. So far, Palin Majere and his fellow sorcerers do not suspect a thing. In fact, many shadowmages have befriended the Academy Students. However, as always, the Mission comes first. The Order has made many contributions to the Academy. In return, the Order has also been introduced to many new ideas and concepts regarding sorcery. While there is no immediate plan to act, Shade believes that one day, the Academy may do better under the control of the Order. For now, the shadow dragon is content to allow Palin Majere to run the Academy.
Gunthar: Although the Knights of Solamnia abhor sorcery, the Order has managed to plant a foot in Gunthar. In many villages and strongholds, the Order has entered simply to observe and record occurrences of interest to the Order. Many do not even suspect the magical powers at the disposal of such agents. Only a few agents have been sent to Gunthar, because too many would be a security risk. Here, the agents have little help, and no hope of immediate back up should they be caught. So far, no agent has been caught. No plans have been made to do anything but watch.
Ergoth: The Emperor of Ergoth has made every effort to introduce sorcery back to his nation. This allowed the Order easy access to the island nation. A large circle of shadowmages works quietly, teaching many peasants and nobles alike to wield the powers of sorcery. A small council of high-ranking shadowmages also served the Emperor, and directs many of his moves. Shade believes that with Ergoth is an important asset, and needs to be controlled by the Order. So far, the circle has managed to gain partial control of the land. However, their grasp is subtle and completely unknown.
Neraka: Although the Dark Knights don't know it, the Order has indeed infiltrated their nation. Many shadowmages have even joined the Knighthood as Thorn Knights, although their allegiance is entirely fake. The Order believes that the Dark Knights may hold the best promise to new breakthroughs in sorcery. Although cruel and merciless, these traits are excellent when results are needed. Therefore, a large circle oversees the Dark Knights every move. Many shadowmages have even attained high positions in the command. Although access is limited now, the Order has gained a foothold in Neraka. Their control over the Dark Knights is weak and extremely limited, but Shade believes that it will grow in time.
Wayreth Forest: Several shadowmages have come to study sorcery in the Tower of Wayreth. The Tower has many magical items as well as tomes and lore detailing High Sorcery. Many shadowmages have come to study at the Tower, although just as many have come to observe and report back to the Order. Magical pendants mask these shadowmages' true thoughts, and keeps the Master from discovering their secret.
The Ranking System
This is the ranking system of the Obsidian Order, and has the basic requirements to advance. Positions among the Lord Warlocks, and Lord of Obsidians are fleeting, and they usually last for a lifetime. When a position is empty, Shade picks a candidate. He picks a Warlock to become a Lord Warlock, and a Lord Warlock to become a Lord of Obsidian. The only way for a person to lose is job is to die, to become a traitor, or to move up. Shade picks the Grand Master from the thirteen Lords of Obsidian.
Description: Human aged adult male
History: Jonas was once a powerful Red Robe. In his youth, just before the Second Cataclysm, Jonas was extremely powerful dedicated to the Art. Many whispered of his eventual succession to the Leader of the Red Robes. Almost ruthlessly, Jonas had climbed the magical ladder to success. On the way, Jonas made many enemies, but none dared to challenge his magic. Jonas knew that one day, he too might lead the Conclave of wizards. However, this was never to be. With the departure of the gods, Jonas' powers fled him. His countless enemies struck then, at his hour of weakness. However, Jonas was crafty, and managed to flee from his tormentors. He fled to Sanction, where he disappeared from the public eyes.
Jonas loathed his new existence, and longed for his precious magic. He spent his days wasting away his life in despair. Then, one day, a mysterious figure approached him. The enigmatic figure asked him if he was a wizard. Bitterly, Jonas replied that he wasn't. To his surprise, the figure asked if he wanted to be one again. Taking the stranger's hand, Jonas was led to the immature Dwelling. Shade revealed his true nature to Jonas, and told Jonas of his plans. After overcoming dragonawe, Jonas readily accepted.
Jonas became the first shadowmage, and helped Shade recruit many more potential members to the fledgling Order. It was Jonas who discovered how to enchant magical items using obsidian. It was because of Jonas' experiment that the Order got where it is today, and how the Obsidian Order got its name.
Jonas now serves as the Grand Master. He oversees the everyday operations of the Order, and is the closest to the elusive Shade. Still vital even in his late sixties, Jonas never leaves the Dwelling, and can usually be found either in the Shadow Zone working on new magical formulae, or in the Lair, conversing and plotting with Shade about the future of the Order.
Appearance: Jonas is a man in the twilight of his life. He is in his late sixties, although he is still vital and strong. His hair has turned completely white, and he cuts it short around his ears. He has no beard or moustache, and few lines mar his hard face. Standing around 6 feet tall, with a grim determination set in both his face and his stance, Jonas is a commanding person.
Jonas always wears the customary black robes of his office. Many silver runes and obsidian flakes have been sewn into the robes, giving them a slight aura of protection. Jonas also always wears a pendant. The pendant is a spherical disk made of bright platinum, with gold and silver inlays. In the center, is a large orb of obsidian. The obsidian orb is the from the first item he ever enchanted, which led to the growth and naming of the Obsidian Order. The Amulet also exudes an aura of protection.
Jonas also always carries a wizened old staff carved of a mysterious wood as dark as the obsidian that the Order takes its name from. The curious staff gnarls upward into a functionally straight pole, but near the top, the wood becomes thin, and loops and spirals upward as if the wood were protecting something. The empty space at the top of the staff seems fit to hold some magnificent gem or orb, but the space is curiously empty.
Game Statistics: As a shadowmage, Jonas gets a Trump bonus to any spell cast from the school of Enchantment. Because he is getting old, Jonas' eyesight is not what it used to be. His eyesight is diminished. Jonas knows the schools of Enchantment, Spectramancy, and Divination. Jonas also knows the sphere of Mentalism. Because of his high status as Grand Master. Any Presence action with a member of the Obsidian Order is always considered Trump.
Few know the existence of the wyrm called Shaydroverllyx (Venerable shadow dragon male, mysterious demeanor). Those who have sighted this elusive dragon have simply equated the dragon with the shadow dragon present at the fantastic battle at the would-be ascension to godhood of Malystryx. However, Shade, as he is called, is completely different from the shadow dragon that opposes Malys. Since shadow dragons are extremely rare on Krynn, it is not surprising that many people discount the existence of another separate shadow dragon.
Legends have also been passed down. Tales of a wyrm of shadows dwelling among the lava drenched mountainsides of Sanction have been passed down from peasant to peasant since the dawning of the Fifth Age. Some say that this must have been the large shadow dragon threatening Malystryx the Red. Others say that it was a new type of chaos creature, one composed of a shadow wight and a fire dragon. Many, however, dismiss this legend as simply a rumor by gossips.
However, Shade does indeed exist. This venerable shadow dragon is elusive to the point of paranoia. He is nearly three hundred feet in length, and has a wingspan of nearly four hundred feet. His body is nearly translucent, and he looks like a mass of shadows. Shade's face is shadowy, and is lit only by his large, white, luminous eyes. While many do not know of the wyrm, he is the leader of the most influential and clandestine organization on Krynn. Shade is the leader of the Obsidian Order. Shade is said to have high regard for mortal life, which is curious of a dragon of any hue. However, he is highly intelligent, and will sacrifice lives if necessary.
Shade is very honorable, and expects all he deals with to be the same. However, this often leads to trouble, and Shade's anger can be very great. Overall though, Shade appears to be very genial, which is also strange for a dragon. Always willing to converse on any magical topic, Shade is, perhaps, the foremost authority on magic on Krynn. However, he did not originate from Krynn. During the end of the fiery Chaos War, Shade entered Krynn through a magical gate linking Krynnspace with the demiplane of shadows. Curious, Shade decided to investigate the new world before him. Shade arrived in the lava drenched city of Sanction, where he prowled among the Lords of Doom. He encountered the peasants living on the side of the mountain, who would later on tell of the great shadow dragon to their descendants.
However, the Second Cataclysm changed Shade's plans. With the leaving of the gods, Krynnspace was cut off from the rest of the Multiverse. Bereft of his powerful magic, Shade was trapped on Krynn. Magic was Shade's lifeblood, and the shadow dragon immediately pursued any way to regain his former magical might. Deciding that he needed a lair, Shade burrowed deep within the Lords of Doom, and carved himself out a deep cavern hundreds of feet beneath the earth to serve as his lair. This crude lair would later serve him well and be renamed the Dwelling.
For the first few years, Shade traveled secretly across Ansalon to search for ways to regain his magic. It was during this time that the Dragon Purge began. The great Dragons from the East began to flood Ansalon like plague, and the titanic wyrms battled each other ferociously for domination. Shade ignored all of this, as he was already a massive wyrm in his own right, and simply continued to search for his answers.
On one such foray, Shade was attacked by a vengeful green dragon on the outskirts of Qualinesti. They fought a titanic battle, and both were seen cartwheeling across the sky in a thundering ball of bloody talons and fangs, but in the end, Shade ended the fighting with a sharp bite to the other dragon's neck. Shade detested the grim absorbing ritual of the Great Dragons, but did it anyways to increase his powers. He hurriedly flew towards his lair in Sanction.
However, Shade was attacked again and again until he was nearly dead from the exhaustive battles. Two reds, a white, and a brass dragon all lay dead by Shade's own hand. However, Shade was horribly hurt, and retreated to his lair deep beneath the Lords of Doom. While he was healing from his grievous wounds, Shade remained active. Digging deep within himself, Shade kindled the spark of magic left in his breast. He fanned the sparks into a roaring flame, and discovered the secret of sorcery. Ecstatic over his discovery, Shade still discovered that the new magic was fragile. The wyrm realized that he needed help to unlock the secrets of sorcery.
He reached out and secretly contacted former sorcerers to help him in his quest for magic. His first real recruit was one Jonas Whalis. This former red robe was bitter and distraught over his loss of magic, and he was willing to do anything to regain his former power. Jonas and Shade worked together, forming an almost symbiotic relationship. Eventually, the two magical geniuses came up with a solution. If a gate could be opened between Krynn and the demiplane of shadows, then the magic would drift through the portal, and in a process similar to diffusion, the magic would permeate Krynn. Coupled with his newfound sorcerous powers, Shade believed this to be an excellent idea.
Shade and Jonas began to recruit more and more sorcerers. All of them were transported to Shade's lair deep within the Lords of Doom. This area was soon renamed the Dwelling. Shade kept his gathering of sorcerers a secret, because he feared the now emerging Dragon Overlords would notice and destroy him.
In 9 SC, Jonas Whalis discovered a way to enchant magical items permanently. Shade was facing the problem of storing the magical energy needed to open a gate to his home plane, and Jonas solved it. Using a piece of obsidian, Jonas was able to enchant a dagger permanently, with Shade's help. Since Shade was a conduit for magic, the process worked. Immediately, Shade ordered all of his mages to research this process and to create more magical items. Inspired, Shade named his new Order of mages the Obsidian Order.
In 17 SC, Shade began to release his agents to the world. Secretly, his shadowmages, as they were called, spread across Ansalon to observe the people of Krynn. Shade wanted to take political control of some nations in order to get better access to magical items and magical writings. The Order also began to sell off some of its magical items in order to raise money for further experiments. However, several shadowmages were killed in an ambush. Saddened by this loss, Shade decided that his Order needed more than just sorcerers. While the shadowmages were the important backbone of the Order, people needed to protect the shadowmages. And some things needed to be done that the studious mages just couldn't do. So, Shade started the Outer rim of the Order, and began to recruit potential members.
In 22 SC, there were several hundred mages living in the Dwelling, and Shade decided to expand his lair. In conjunction with the powers of his gathered sorcerers, Shade carved a mighty underground fortress beneath the Lords of Doom, and even into the underground tunnels beneath Sanction. This led to a short conflict with the shadowpeople living in the tunnels, but the awesome powers of the sorcerers drove the elusive folk back.
Shade rarely leaves the Dwelling. His whole life is the Order, and he rarely takes a sabbatical. However, the ever-seeing Herald has remarked on the doings of the powerful shadow dragon. As Shade is not from Krynn, the Herald has no idea who the shadow dragon is, and is very flustered on the matter. However, he has commented that "the sheer magical power of this wyrm is unbelievable. While not the greatest wyrm in size, he must surely be the most powerful in magic. The fact that I do not know who or what this dragon is, frankly, scares me."
However, Shade is very paranoid. In his early days upon Krynn, an itinerant Knight of Solamnia ambushed him near his lair. Evidently, the knight was wielding a magical sword, as the blade bit down deep and hard into Shade's flesh. In agonizing pain, Shade had no choice but to retreat back into the recesses of his lair. The foolish knight followed him in, when Shade promptly ended his life. This encounter, however, has given Shade a healthy dose of paranoia. He trusts no one unless they have proven themselves. The only person who he trusts explicitly is Jonas, who has been by his side for many years. Of course, Shade is also wary of inducting new members into the Order. In recent times, Shade has ordered that only young men and woman should be inducted, as their minds are easier to mold. One time, when Shade was meeting with a new member, the sorcerer turned out to a powerful sorcerer. The foolish human hated all dragons, and launched a powerful fireball at Shade. Thankfully, Shade always cast illusions of himself when meeting with lower-ranking members. He had appeared as a snarling green dragon. The fireball burst right onto the illusion, but did the Shade no harm. As the sorcerer reeled from the shock, Shade dove down and clamped his jaws around the sorcerer's body. Shade is a lot more careful about new members now.
Today, Shade and his Order are at their peak in power. Shade wants to act now, while the Order is strong. The Order has many members, and many of the members have infiltrated governments and important organizations. The Obsidian Order is ready to strike, and nothing may be able to stop it.
By opening a gateway to the demiplane of shadows, Shade hopes to raise Krynn to its former level of magic, and beyond. He hasn't really planned farther than that, as magic is his life. However, Shade will succeed at any cost, even if it means sacrificing some lives.
Shadroverllyx makes his lair deep within the Dwelling, which lies several hundred feet beneath the lava drenched sides of the Lords of Doom. The Dwelling is huge, almost as large as the city of Sanction itself. The Dwelling even extends beneath the city and into the secret tunnels lying their since before the War of the Lance. His lair is one of the four quadrants of the Dwelling, and is referred to simply as "the Lair." The Lair is actually a maze of unkempt tunnels and huge caverns. Shade likes to roam in these caverns, all of which can easily allow his massive body to enter. His main cavern is nearly a thousand feet wide and five hundred feet high. A vast pile of his personal treasure lies heaped and strewn about carelessly. Magical artifacts from other planes as well as from Krynn lie among Shade's personal treasure pile. Shade enjoys rolling around in his wealth and feeling the sensation of gemstones and coins rolling off of his skin.
There are also several laboratories that Shade works in. These are specially stocked caverns with everything that Shade needs to research sorcery. He even possesses a massive library with countless tomes on both sorcery and High Sorcery. His collection rivals any other collection on Krynn, and it is all owned by Shade. He sometimes allows trusted members to enter his Lair and research or flip through his countless tomes. Shade himself had a large "couch" made of silk and satin made for him to recline in while soaking up magical knowledge. However, Shade usually uses his magic to change into a humanoid body when reading in his library.
Any creatures that previously lived in the caverns that now make up the Dwelling are gone. All have been wiped out by the shadowmages as they expanded their headquarters. Several captured deepspawn, however, do provide an adequate food source for both Shade and his shadowmages. Regular forays are sent into the wilderness above the Dwelling for food, and food is also bought and magically transported to the Dwelling on a regular basis. Several hot springs run through the Dwelling, providing all within with hot running water. A particularly ingenious sorcerer weaved the networks of hot water to supply nearly every room with hot baths. These water currents also power various magically-enhanced machines. Shade himself has a large steaming pool that he may bathe in whenever he feels like it. A separate, cooled stream provides him with water to slake his thirst.
Several earth elementals also patrol the Lair. Animated by Shade, these creatures are actually infused into the very floors, ceilings and walls of the Lair. Should an intruder force his or her way into the Dwelling, the earth elementals will form themselves from the earth of the walls, ceiling and floor to stop the intruder. Up to a dozen elementals can be summoned in this manner in one instance.
The heat from the Lords of Doom does not enter the caverns. The magical composition of the very walls protects the inhabitants of the Dwelling. This same magical substance also makes it nearly impossible for anyone to magically enter the Dwelling. Normal entrances are secretly hidden doors that reveal long winding steps that lead hundreds of feet into the earth. Shadowmages always guard these entrances, and prevent intruders from entering. Shadowmages and Shade have the power to enter the Dwelling through magical means. Also, at the top of one of the Lords of Doom, there is a large open gap in the mountainside. Accessible only by air, Shade uses this to access his lair when he wants to. This entrance is also protected with various traps, both magical and mundane. The entrance is also concealed with a permanent illusion. The mountainside looks completely normal to the wandering eye.
Shade actually has no domain. Or rather, his domain is larger than any other dragon's on Krynn. The Obsidian Order has subtle control over many parts of Ansalon, as well as over many important groups of Ansalon. These controlled areas are being controlled with the upmost secrecy, and so none know of it. However Shade does not consider these areas his "domain."
However, if one means what areas Shade will defend with his life, then the answer is the Dwelling. Should any intruder attack or invade the Dwelling, Shade will surely fly into a rage age launch his full arsenal of magic at him or her. However, Shade is extremely intelligent and cunning, and will probably use all of her tricks and traps to her full advantage.
The Deeds of Shaydroverllyx
Shade is devoted to two things. First, he wants to study and further the use of sorcery. This new magic intrigues him, and Shade wants to delve into its deepest secrets. He has yet to uncover all of its secrets, but Shade believes that the order is coming close. The second thing is to restore to himself and Krynn the power of High Sorcery. With both magicks at his command, Shade believes that he will become the most powerful creature on Krynn. This isn't, however, what truly interests him. Shade simply lives for magic, and would do anything to increase his powers simply for the magic.
The recent progress of the Order has boosted his confidence. The Obsidian Order is close to accomplishing both objectives. The Order knows has the might and the magical power to open a gateway. Currently, Shade just needs a plan of how to open the gateway. His mages are still searching the ancient texts for an answer, but Shade knows that he's close.
Shade is a very potent magic-user. He discovered sorcery long before Palin Majere and the Last Conclave did. None know how many schools of sorcery Shade knows, but his knowledge is surely immense. Observers have noted that Shade does know the schools of Geomany, Enchantment, and Spectramancy. Shade surely knows of more, but there has been no conclusive evidence yet.
Shade has unleashed some very effective spells over the years. These are listed below:
This spell is especially effective when combined with Shade's own shadow-like powers. This makes the casters body appear to be a swirling cloud of dark shadows. The spell lasts for up to 15 minutes, although the caster may will it to end. The spell can be resisted, and if successful, then the casters true nature is revealed, and the spell is wasted. The resulting shadows are large and billowing, filling up a large house or cavern nicely. The shadows may also be made inconspicuous. This allows the caster to remain unseen while observing. This form of the spell causes the resulting shadows to appear ordinary in every way.
Shade often uses this spell when he wants to greet potential members. This form is meant to frighten them a little, as well as conceal his identity. At every public meeting within the Obsidian Order, Shade always uses this spell to cloak his true nature. Although Shade no longer makes frequent forays beyond the Dwelling, this spell served him well just after the Second Cataclysm when the shadow dragon began searching for ways back home.
This spell is often used by Shade when being confronted by a potential threat. This spell casts a thin, wispy shadowy figure, resembling a shade a few feet from the caster. The Nightshade has glowing red eyes and speaks in a rasping voice. Anything that the caster says will also be said by the Nightshade. The caster may also direct the limited motions of the Nightshade until the spell expires, when the Nightshade fades from sight.
Shade often employed this spell during the early years of the Obsidian Order. In order to recruit the sorcerers who would help him, Shade needed to be extra careful not to reveal himself. Therefore, this spell was perfect. It relayed his message, and if the sorcerer became hostile, he wouldn't be hurt.
This spell bypasses the rules for Permanency presented in Heroes of Sorcery. This spell allows a caster to permanently imbue an item with magical powers. The catch is that the item needs a piece of obsidian to hold the magical energy. Heroes are discouraged from using this spell. However, when this spell is cast, no one loses any magic points due to permanence as detailed in Heroes of Sorcery. If the obsidian portion of the item is destroyed, however, then the item forever loses its magical powers. Shade and Jonas developed this magical spell which would propel the Obsidian Order into a new era. The fact that this spell required a piece of obsidian was what gave the Order its name. Every novice who wishes to move up in rank must come up with an idea for an original magical item. Shade assists with this spell, and creates it. So far, hundreds of these magical items lie in the Armory deep within the Dwelling of the Obsidian Order.
Shade's fate is decidedly uncertain. He and his order of powerful sorcerers are a force to be reckoned with. It seems unlikely that they will be discovered anytime soon, and even if they are, the Obsidian Order is perhaps, a deadlier enemy than the Dragon Overlords could ever be. Then again, many sorcerers would whole-heartedly agree with the Order's goals, if not their tactics. If the Dragon Overlord's were to turn their attention to this emerging power in their midst, then perhaps a titanic battle would decide Shade's fate. However, this venerable shadow dragon has many tricks up his sleeve.
More likely, Shade will go through with his plans to accomplish the Mission. By securing his magical energy, he will undoubtedly come up with some scheme or another that will help him. And with his legions of sorcerers and even nations under his subtle control, who will be able to stop him?
As Brael Loresmith, the Silver Sage (as the Keeper of the Word of much renown is known as), has remarked on the subject, "we should not fear the dragon with open flames and jaws to our throats as much as the wyrm waiting in the gathering shadows, to stab us in the back."
The shadowmage is a member of the Obsidian Order. They don't refer to themselves as "shadowmages", but people who see them do. Shadowmages are always dressed in black robes (note: this does not denote any devotion to the black robes of High Sorcery or Nuitari). Members of the Obsidian Order have access to some of the greatest sorcerous power on Krynn.
Only those who are serious about studying sorcery, and have the aptitude to control magic are admitted to the Order. The Order finds and teaches such men and women from youth. Every member is expected to devote himself to the research of sorcery, and to help Shade in his plan. Only someone who is dedicated to magic is chosen.
Shadowmages are very serious about sorcery. They will not stand to see it abused. They have devoted their entire lives to discovering more about it, and take their jobs very seriously.
There are two types of shadowmages. One stays deep in the Dwelling, the Order's underground headquarters. There they spend their time experimenting with magic, creating enchanted items, and helping Shade open a gate to his home plane. The second goes out into the world to further the Order's knowledge of sorcery. Whether they have specific missions, or are just told to further the Order's cause, any information gathered on sorcery or portals should be immediantly relayed back to members in the Dwelling. Heroes with this role must keep two things in mind, and follow them above all else: 1)furthering the knowledge and use of sorcery on Krynn, and 2) opening a gate to Shade's realm. Personal feelings need not be thrown away, as long as they do not hinder the two goals. Therefore, a shadowmage may oppose the Dragon Overlords and champion the oppresed as long as it does not interfere with his primary goals.
Shadowmages are very secretive, and never let anyone, even close friends, or other heroes know that they are shadowmages, or even that the Obsidian Order exists. The Order has forbidden a shadow mage to tell anyone.
The Order only recruits men and women with high sorcerous potential. To be a shadowmage, a hero must have a Reason score of 6 or higher, and a Reason code of "A." Those who don't are overlooked.
Any race can join the Obsidian Order, with the obvious exceptions of races who can't wield sorcery at this level. A shadowmage must have the school of enchantment, as that is the first school that the Order teaches an Initiate. As the Order recruits at an early age, a hero cannot acquire this role during play.
As master enchanters, a shadowmage has an automatic Trump bonus whenever he casts a spell from the school of Enchantment. He also gets a magical trinket (see: Magical Items of the Obsidian Order) upon beginning of play.
A shadow mage never gains a Trump bonus when he casts a damaging spell. Because of a shadowmage's strange manner, he never gets a Trump bonus to Presence actions (except when resisting mysticism) against anyone except fellow shadowmages.
Magical Items of the Obsidian Order
The Obsidian Order has and continues to make many magical items. The process is similar to the casting of a spell by a dragonmage. Shade himself is a link to his home plane, and can draw and infuse magic from that plane. When a member wants to create a magical item, he makes a request to a Lord Warlock. If he's approved, the sorcerer meets with shade, and they combine their magicks to create an enchanted item. No one loses magic points permanently because the magic infused into the item comes from Shade's plane. For some strange reason, for an item to be enchanted in this fashion, it must have some obsidian in it. That's why all magical items made by the Obsidian Order are either made of obsidian, or contain obsidian. If the obsidian in a magical item is ever destroyed, then the item loses all of its powers. Here is a list of some of their magical items.
Wand of Shocking
This wand was one of the first magical items to be created by the Order. Usually, Novices and Apprentices are given one to protect them. A wand is about a foot in length, with a shard of obsidian at the end. If this shard is destroyed, then the wand loses all of its powers. A wand typically holds 36 magic points, and casts an 10 point, 5 dmg. lightning bolt. Here's the spell: Invocation 5 Instant, Range 1 Personal, Duration 1 Instant, Area 1 Individual, Effect 2 5 dmg.
Dagger of Light
This is another enchanted item that is usually given to apprentices and Novices. A Dagger is just like a regular dagger except that the blade is made out of obsidian. Every Dagger is a dagger of distinction, or dagger +2. Upon command, the dagger will emit a bright, blue light, effectively illuminating a 20' radius. If someone attacks with a Dagger of Light, and gets a mishap, the obsidian blade shatters, and the Daggers powers are lost.
Marble of Seeing
This enchanted item is usually only given to members of sorcerer rank or higher. A marble is usually between 1 and 2 inches in diameter. It is made of crystal, with flecks of obsidian mixed in. Each marble typically holds 64 magic points, and casts an 18 point spell. The spell allows the user to scry into various places or people. To scry into a place or person, the sorcerer needs to know the place or person well, or have an object that has recently been at that location, or in the possession of the desired person.
Amulet of Frost (Unique)
The Amulet of Frost is a diamond, shard-shaped amulet with an obsidian sphere in the center. The Amulet of Frost is in possession of, and was created by the current Grand Master. This amulet holds 100 magic points, and has the following abilities:
The Outer Rim of the Obsidian Circle
The Obsidian Circle is composed primarily of two circles. The Inner circle consists of the shadowmages. These mages are full members of this clandestine association, and wield the true power of this organization. The second circle, or the Outer Rim, as it is called, consists of applicants, apprentice shadowmages, honorary shadowmages, and covert agents working for the order.
Mages who are deemed worthy are approached by a member of the Inner Circle, and if deemed applicable, they join the Outer Rim. Mages who further the cause of the Obsidian Order without joining are considered members of the Outer Rim. Apprentice mages learning the secrets of the Obsidian Order are also considered members of the Outer Rim until they become full-fledged mages and are able to wield their sorcerous power wisely. The Order also has numerous contacts wit non-mages. These include spies, mercenaries, mystics, and fighters. These join the Outer Rim, and are completely loyal to the Order. They are paid well, and usually report to a member of the Inner Circle.
Members of the Outer Rim know little about the Obsidian Order. They know that the Order is dedicated to the study of sorcery and that they are looking for a way into realms beyond, but that's it. They don't know o the existence of the Dwelling, or even Shade. However, these members of the Outer Rim will still follow any orders their masters give them. Members of the Outer Rim who wield sorcery can advance once they have proven themselves worthy, and capable. Once they join the Inner Circle, they advance normally. If a Narrator wants to give a hero a chance to join the Obsidian Circle, he can initiate the hero into the Outer Rim. Members of the Outer Rim rarely know each other; usually they just report to a member of the Inner Circle. Even non-sorcerers can join the Outer Rim. After a hero has been in the Outer Rim long enough (he/she has raised his/her Reputation Category by one), he/she can opt to join the Inner Circle and learn the full plan of the Obsidian Order.
Members of the Outer Rim are considered expendable, so if a member messes up the Order will withdraw its hand, and leave the person to their fate.
The Factions of the Outer Rim
The Outer Rim consists of four factions, each containing members drawn from each of the four areas of adventurers. Each faction has its own leaders, agendas, and operates separately from the other factions unless ordered to work together by the Inner Circle. These factions are only privy to some of the secrets of the Obsidian Order, because they belong to the Outer Rim. However, these factions have secrets of their own, and are actually secret societies operating under the Obsidian Order's protection. One important thing must be noted, however, unless otherwise stated, the agendas and secrets of any given faction will and cannot overrule the factions' loyalty to the Inner Circle. Members of each faction will still take the orders of a full-fledged, high-ranking Shadowmage above the orders of their officers. However, usually, the Inner Circle operates through the various factions' leaders. As always, the mission of these factions is to study and promote sorcery, and find ways to break out of the crystal sphere surrounding Krynnspace. As members of the Outer Rim know little about the details of the master plans of the Obsidian Order, they usually obey the word of the Inner Circle. The will of the Obsidian Order and the Inner Circle come first; each faction's agendas and issues come second. It is crucial to remember that members of the Outer Rim know little or nothing about the machinations of the Obsidian Order and the Inner Circle, and as such, the Inner Circle will usually make little effort to retrieve or silence a rogue or captured member of the Outer Rim. However, the faction to which the member belongs to will intervene, and either silence or rescue a member depending on the circumstances.
Below are the four factions within the Outer Rim. Every member of the Outer Rim is part of a faction. These factions are patterned after the roles presented in Heroes of Steel, Heroes of Defiance, Heroes of Sorcery, and Heroes of Hope.
This faction contains members whose roles are depicted in the Heroes of Steel boxed set. All warriors who belong to the Outer Rim belong to this faction. There are many Adventurous Warriors, Archers, Mercenary Warriors, Rogue Knights, Warrior-Sorcerer and Warrior-Mystics in this society. There are few Barbarian Warriors, Cavaliers, Legionnaires, or Yeoman. Knights of the Lily and Knights of Solamnia are non-existent. Some members of the Knights of Takhisis have forged an agreement with the Obsidian Order, but are not members of the Outer Rim, while Knights of Solamnia have a reputation for disdaining sorcery, and are not aware of the existence of the Obsidian Order.
The Karagartayne are ruthless in their work, and serve as the Obsidian Order's private army of henchmen. Most members wander around Ansalon until needed, at which point they will drop any current projects and devote their services to the Order. Members, called Kargayats, are paid well for their work, and some are permanently stationed in various strongholds around Ansalon. One such stronghold is nestled deep in the Khalkist Mountains just north of Thorbardin. This massive fortress holds nearly 900 members awaiting the orders of the Inner Circle. Another fortress is stationed in Ergoth just north of Daltigoth. The emperor is unaware of the stronghold, which holds a little more than 600 warriors ready to attack or withdraw at the whim of the Inner Circle. The Kargaratayne also has its own agendas. Many bitter Kargayats remember the Dragon Purge and the friends and loved ones who died in it. Because Malystryx was the Great Dragon who initiated the Dragon Purge, they have targeted Malys for doom. The Kargaratayne know that their numbers and resources are too weak to defeat Malys, and they know that the Inner Circle will never help them on such a violent path. Therefore, they subtly try to thwart her plans, and infuriate her at her every move. Some members have begun to speak heresy towards the Inner Circle, saying that they are weak sorcerer's who cow behind weak magics. These radicals believe that the Obsidian Order should use its vast resources and power to topple Malystryx, and eventually the other Dragon Overlords. These care little for the Order's quest for magical knowledge. So far, the Kargaratayne have remained under the Inner Circle's control, and have been loyal, but that could change at any moment as these radicals are secretly gaining support. Brandon Daggerwell(human adult male, courageous demeanor, Champion), a Cavalier is the current leader of the Kargaratayne. The only reason why the radicals haven't been quelled is because Brandon has sheltered them and hid them from the Inner Circle. While he is still loyal, he sympathizes with the radicals, and looks for a peaceful resolution. His second-in-command is Jayla Glitterstar(Silvanesti young adult female, determined demeanor, Adventurer), who is a Warrior-Mystic. The leader of the radicals, a Rogue Knight, and a high ranking general is Joran Quinten(Half-elf adult male, rash demeanor, Champion).
For heroes who want to become part of the Kargaratayne, just impose this Kargayat template role onto the already pre-existing role of the hero. The heroes' role need not be changed, but next to his/her current role, should be "Kargayats" in parentheses.
The Shadow Hand
The Shadow Hand is the faction that contains the members who specialize in subtlety and nimbleness. More specifically, rogues whose roles emulate the ones found in Heroes of Defiance. There are many thugs, Spellfilches, Healer, Displaced Nobles, Ambassadors, Thieves, as well as assassins and bounty hunters in the Shadow Hand. There are fewer Legionnaire Scouts, Qualinesti Rebels, Bards, Handlers, Displaced Nobles, Con Artists, Merchants and River Pirates in this faction. Healers, Barmaids, "Loyal Servants", Street Performers, Street Urchins, Fops, and "Staunch Supporters" are nearly non-existent in the Shadow Hand.
The Shadow Hand is the subtle faction. The members of this faction are called upon to kill someone who knows too much, to steal important documents, objects, or magical items, and to serve as connections to the Ansalon underground. The Shadow Hand has no true dwelling, instead preferring to meet in secret, and in variable locations. The Shadow Hand maintains good relations with the Thieves Guild of Palanthas, the Elven resistance, the Legion of Steel. While none of these organizations knows the true goal of the Shadow Hand, they still help them in various ways. The contacts in the Shadow Hand in no way know about the Obsidian Order, and think that the Shadow Hand is just an independent organization.
The Shadow Hand is rife with intrigue and power clashes as members try to oust each other for more power. The Inner Circle pays little attention to this, however, they do step in if the faction's "civil wars" seem too much out of hand. When someone wrests power away from a previous leader, the Inner Circle doesn't care as long as the Shadow Hand continues to provide its services. Some members of the Shadow Hand have grown suspicious of the members of the Inner Circle. They speculate that the Inner Circle is privy to magical wonders and fabulous riches. These greedy members are secretly plotting against the Order, and want to take control of the entire Obsidian Order. As of yet, only a small percentage of the Shadow Hand belongs to this traitorous bunch, but their numbers are steadily growing.
Cyran DeBergerae (Human middle-aged male, crafty demeanor, Master), a retired thief, is the leader of the Shadow Hand. He reports directly to the Inner Circle, and is very loyal to them. However, he is not above lining his own pockets with steel if the opportunity arises. Brack Ironsmelt(Daergar middle-aged male, plotting demeanor, Champion), a thug, is the leader of the movement to overthrow the Obsidian Order. However, his traitorous status is a well guarded secret and he will kill anyone who discovers it.
For players that want their rogue heroes to join the Shadow Hand, they only need to add the Shadow Hand template role to the heroes' already existing role. The player need only add the Advantages and Disadvantages of this add-on role to the hero, and put "Shadow Hand" in parentheses next to the hero's role.
The Brahumman is a faction composed of members who wield the might of mysticism. That is, people who have roles pertaining to the Heroes of Hope dramatic supplement. There are many Independent Mystics, Monks, Mystic Sorcerers, and Rogues in the Brahumman. There are fewer Centaur Shapechangers, Dwarven Earth Mystics, Kagonesti Shamans, Kender Nightstalkers, Knights of the Skull, Legionnaire Mystics, and True Believers in the Brahumman. Barbarian Shamans, Knights of the Sword, and Knights of the Rose are non-existent in this faction.
The Brahumman have a few various schools located around Ansalon. One growing school is located near Solace, although the Brahumman is considering shutting it down as Palin Majere and Goldmoon have become suspicious. A very large school is located in Southlund of Solamnia, housing nearly 100 disciples and mystics. Another school is located in Ak-Khurman, where a growing number of Legionnaire Mystics is joining the Brahumman. The Brahumman is nearly never called upon by the Inner Circle. In fact, the members of the Brahumman are the most free of the factions. THe Inner Circle just decided that they needed to also control myticism to counteract any threats. Some members work diligently with shadowmages of the Inner Circle to produce mysticism/sorcery hybrid techniques. They are currently working on a way to enchant an item with mysticism-like powers. Currently, the Brahumman is the smallest faction in the Outer Rim.
While the Brahumman is technically under the beck and call of the Inner Circle, in reality, the Brahumman pursues its own agendas. Most of the time, the Brahumman is spreading the word of mysticism, as well as trying to fully develop and understand the power of the heart. In a way, the Brahumman is doing exactly what the Obsidian Order wants to do, only they want to develop mysticism. Sometimes, it looks like the Brahumman is a completely separate organization from the Obsidian Order, but the Inner Circle does command the Brahumman, and the members are extremely loyal. Ashari Fireflight(Kagonesti adult female, inspiring demeanor, Champion), a Kagonesti shaman, currently runs the Brahumman. Like a select few powerful mystics, Ashari is working in conjunction with several high-ranking shadowmages to produce magical items enchanted with mysticism. She does not yet know about the Obsidian Order's master plans, or about Shade, but the Shadow Dragon is seriously considering making her an honorary member of the Inner Circle. Brukt Axefell(Minotaur adult male, belligerent demeanor, Champion), a minotaur necromancer, is Ashari's second-in-command. He helps her run the ordinary affairs of the Brahumman when she's experimenting with magic.
For players that want their heroes to be member of the Brahumman, just add the details of the Brahumman mystic template. This template does not replace the existing role of the hero. Add "Brahumman" in parentheses next to the hero's role to indicate his membership in the faction.
The Initiates Circle
This faction is unlike the other three, and it doesn't even have an official name. It's often referred to as the Initiates Circle. Unlike the other factions, members of this faction do give up their previous roles. Members of this role are all characters with magic-using potential, who are training to become full-fledged shadownmages. Therefore, they are shadowmage aspirants, as detailed in the Heroes of Sorcery dramatic supplement.
These beginning shadowmages are taught in various schools of magic around Ansalon. Most however, are taught within the Dwelling. This is a crucial difference between factions, because aspirant shadow mages learn of the Dwelling, and many of the Obsidian Order's secrets, including knowledge of the master of the Order Shade, even though they are members of the Outer Rim. However, these neophytes still don't know the specifics of the Order's master plans. A small school is located Duntol, where many aspirant shadowmages are taught the secrets of Enchantment. Another is located in Gwynned on the isle of Northern Ergoth. This school boasts nearly 500 students, as well as a formidable (and secret!) collection of magical items created by the Obsidian Order. There are no secret agendas of the Initiates Circle mainly because the aspirant shadowmages are nearly fully inducted into the Order. They dedicate their heart and souls to the Orders cause, and strive for nothing else. As aspirant progresses, he/she learns more and more about the master plans, and will play a greater role in fulfilling it. Every shadowmage, from the newest aspirant to Shade's personal retinue of sorcerers is vital to the master plans.
Korish Toryl (Half-elf young-adult male, inspired demeanor, Adventurer) is nearly ready to become a full member of the Inner Circle. He has mastered the schools of Enchantment, Geomancy, and Summoning. He is currently working on a way to create a magical bracer that absorbs magical energy, and upon completion, he will be brought before Shade. There, he will create his first magical item, learn the full truth of the Order, and become a shadowmage.
Players who want to join this faction must take up the shadowmage aspirant role. Starting players can begin play as full-fledged members of the Obsidian Order and the Inner Circle, and can begin play with the role of Shadowmage.
Kargayat Role Template
The largest and the most powerful faction of the Outer Rim, the Karagatayne is composed of warriors and fighters. These shock troops and elite mercenaries are called the Kargayats, and they ruthlessly complete their missions. The Karagatayne have members in every corner of Ansalon (including the realms of the Dragon Overlords), as well as several massive strongholds and fortresses containing hundreds of ruthless Kargayats.
None know about the Obsidian Order, or the Karagatayne. Tales of mighty warriors on a dark mission are rampant in large towns and cities, but no substantial proof has been given. Few link this rumor with the rumor of a clandestine order of dark sorcerers. Members of the Karagatayne approach potential members, not the Obsidian Order. Potential members are first hired on a trial basis, and if they prove worthy and loyal, they can be inducted into the faction. While the Obsidian Order does not bother to deal with rogue members of the Outer Rim, the Karagatayne hunts down its rogue members with unrelenting tenacity. Once someone joins the Karagatayne, he/she never leaves.
Members of the Karagatayne tend to have brisk, foreboding demeanors when dealing with non-members or enemies. THe Karagatayne is a strict, militaristic organization, and Kargayats reflect this. They are not bloodthirsty, savage killers, but rather they are professional warriors who achieve the goals of the Order through the utmost efficiency. Kargayats are instructed to be loyal to the Inner Circle. Most Kargayats must give up their individual lives once they join the faction. Many don't even know that the Karagatayne is controlled by the Inner Circle of the Obsidian Order. However, several "sleeper" or under cover agents retain lives of their own in order to promote the illusion of being normal.
Most Kargayats reside in strongholds belonging to the Order. This saps time for adventuring, so most heroes are "sleeper" agents. These members live normal lives, and do whatever they want until the Order calls upon them. However, a "sleeper" agent must still work to further the goals of the Order, and the faction if he or she can.
A Karagayat must be of a warrior role to join the Karagatayne. Examples of these roles can be found in the Heroes of Steel dramatic supplement. A hero of any race can adopt this template role. Heroes can attain this template role during play if the Narrator allows it.
A Kargayat must be physically fit, therefore, the Karagatayne usually only approaches warriors with Strength and Endurance scores of 6 or higher. The Karagatayne also want their warriors to be skilled in the art of war, so a Kargayat must have Strength and Endurance codes of "B" or better, and Agility and Dexterity codes of "C" or better. Exceptions have been made, as some warriors specialize in other areas of combat (i.e. the Archer, the Rider, etc.).
A Karagayat starts play with a weapon of distinction or a minor trinket from the Inner Circle. The Karagatayne decides what the hero gets.
A Kargayat can also call upon the resources of the Karagatayne. A hero Karagatayne can call up one card's worth (random draw) of Kargayats to aid him/her. However, a Karagayat must have a legitimate reason for calling for such aid (such as his or her life is in danger, or he/she is trying to further the goals of the Order), and he/she must be in an area where the Order is particularly prevalent. In small, secluded area(small villages, plains, etc.), have the hero succeed in a challenging Presence action to find aid. In areas controlled by Dragon Overlords, or is impossible to traverse (such as Silvanesti, Icewall Glacier, etc.), the action is daunting, and the number of Kargayats summoned is reduced by one-half.
Every time a Kargayat hero boosts his Reputation rating by one, he must add one to his demeanor score, and choose a new demeanor to reflect this change. Also, Kargayats owe at least 60 days of direct service to the Karagatayne and the Order, even if he/she is a "sleeper" agent.
Adventure Ideas for the Obsidian Order
Campaigns involving the Obsidian Order are dark and mysterious; keeping the heroes from knowing what is really going on until the heart-wrenching end, where all is revealed.
The basic ideas and concepts of the Obsidian Order were already laid out in previous works. However, I neglected to show how to integrate this clandestine order of mages into a campaign. Although any good Narrator could easily find a way to integrate the Obsidian Order into an Adventure, I decided to introduce some Adventure Ideas to stimulate a few ideas. Who knows, perhaps these ideas could blossom into an entire campaign.
One of the hard things about running an Obsidian Order campaign is the level of secrecy that must be maintained. A good Narrator should try to keep the existence of the Order hidden from the heroes, while giving them the sense that they are being manipulated by a powerful, unseen force. And when the Order is finally discovered, the heroes should not know much about it. Perhaps they learn of the secret society, but they might not know their plans, their abilities, or even the fact that they are sorcerers. And the leader of the Obsidian Order, the Shadow dragon, should be a well guarded secret.
One of the hardest things in an Obsidian Order campaign is to have a hero be a Shadowmage. In my own campaign, one of the players (Jay Yao) plays a Shadowmage named Will. Everyone in the game thought that Will is just an ordinary Academy Student. However, it does cause tension in the game when I throw in the Obsidian Order, because Will has a moral crisis. Once, Will had to violate a direct order to save his companions from certain doom. However, other shadowmages need not have moral issues. Another shadowmage hero might obey all orders, and leave the other heroes to die if they are ordered to. However, this isn't going to make that player all too popular with the other players, so watch out.
Campaigns involving the Obsidian Order are dark and mysterious; keeping the heroes from knowing what is really going on until the heart-wrenching end, where all is revealed. The heroes should not have a clue what is going on. However, subtly, over the course of the adventure, a clever Narrator can supply the heroes with enough clues to keep them going. If the heroes discover the existence of the Order, they should still be wary. After all, the heroes shouldn't know whether they should stop or help the Order. And in some cases, the position of the Order is entirely ambiguous. However, at the end of the campaign, the heroes should finally have a sense of who to fight. Their knowledge of the Obsidian Order should still be incredibly limited, however, but they should still know whether to fight or help them.
Below, are a few scenarios that I have developed. I would have written them in the standard Fifth Age Adventure format, but 1) I figured that Narrators could just take the basic ideas presented here, and re-work them to suit their needs; and 2) I'm too lazy. So here are some Adventure ideas to help get your Obsidian Order Campaigns off and running!
The Circle of the Silver Stair
In the Age of Might, when Istar stood tall and mighty in land, and the Knights of Solamnia championed the cause of Good with a righteous blade, there was a clandestine sect within the Knights of Paladine. To protect against the threat of Takhisis and her minions from escaping the Abyss and returning to Krynn, the Kingpriest of Istar ordered four Rose Knights to band together. He gave them swords forged of dragonmetal, that could send them to the stars and back, and charged them with the duty of guarding the planes. These four Knights formed the Circle of the Silver Stair. Together, these valiant paladins could open a gateway to other planes, and battle the forces of darkness. Thusly was Takhisis kept at bay. They were led by Argetimus Dargeth, a valiant knight of powerful convictions. He led the Knights wisely, and under his leadership, the Circle kept Krynn safe from the claws of Takhisis.
Sir Dargeth possessed a special star sword. Without his sword, none of the other star swords could travel across the planes. His sword, called StarFall, was the key to the powers held by the Knights of the Silver Stair.
However, another coveted Sir Dargeth's position and his sword. Krogunard uth Matar he was called. This knight longed for the chance to lead the Circle. Takhisis had found the chance she had been waiting for, and she whispered dark words into his ear, until his heart was blackened with rage and hate. Secretly, Krogunard began to plot against his leader. He corrupted another Knight, and they began to move on Sir Dargeth.
And then the Kingpriest made a tragic mistake. In his arrogance, the Kingpriest called upon the gods of Good for divine power. He ordered them to help him. And because of his arrogance, the gods smote the world with a fiery mountain.
However, the Circle was charged with stopping the Kingpriest. Their mission was to protect Krynn, and they reacted immediately. However, filled with dark intent, Krogunard and his Knights attacked Sir Dargeth before the Knights could save Krynn. As the two sides fought, the fiery mountain hit Krynn. Instantly, all four knights were killed, their essences destroyed. However, their swords all vanished.
Some believe that the swords were lost forever, sent into random planes because of their planar abilities. Others believe that they were destroyed along with the Circle of the Silver Stair. And some believe that the swords were scattered throughout Ansalon. No one knew what really happened to the four swords. Until now.
A few weeks ago (before to the start of the adventure), the Obsidian Order discovered one of the star swords. The sword they discovered was not StarFall, so they could not activate its power. Also, they discovered that one sword could only transport a human-sized organism. The Order needs all four swords in order to send Shade back to the demiplane of Shadow.
Now the Obsidian Order has sent nearly all of its resources to search for the remaining three swords. Once all three swords are found, then Shade will activate them, and teleport back to his native plane. There, he can direct the activities of the Obsidian Order, and even grant his minions more power.
The heroes can get involved in many different ways. If any hero is part of the Outer Rim, or is a shadowmage, then he/she can compel his/her comrades to help in the search for the swords. The Order also hires mercenaries to help search for the swords. If this is the case, then the heroes are only told that they are searching for magical swords for a rich baron in Palanthas. Other ways can be if the heroes accidentally stumble onto one of the swords (this way is my favorite!). After that, agents from the Obsidian Order try to kill the heroes and recover the star sword.
At every site where a sword rests, there is a clue to the next sword. For every Narrator who doesn't want to make up all that stuff, below is key to where all the swords rest. Feel free to have Obsidian Order agents pop up whenever.
There is one drawback to using the blades. Without the gods to stabilize the crystal sphere surrounding Krynn, any attempt to bypass it will result in a total collapse. This means that any one seeking to exit Krynnspace and enter other planes will cause Krynn and its neighboring planets to implode. Space will fold in on itself until Krynnspace is no more. It is vital that the heroes realize this.
A way to suck the players into the story is to have a mysterious informant. A shadowmage who realizes what's going on can help them after the heroes have stumbled onto a star sword (this is the method I used). He can urge the heroes to find the remaining swords, and serve to keep the heroes on track. He should appear and disappear whenever prudent (he may have the school of Summoning), and serve as a helper in some cases. When the heroes are trapped by Kargayat shock troops, he suddenly appears and helps them through a secret door. However, he should keep the heroes in the dark as soon as possible. Think of those informant guys on the X-Files. Finally though, he should let slip that a powerful force is searching for the blades. He can later tell the heroes the Legend of the star swords, and what will happen once they are activated. After that, of course, he should die. While he is alive, the heroes should still be wary of him, and not trust him too much.
For those who don't wish to make up their own informant, here's the one I used. By the way, my guy never mentions his name, and he keeps his cool the entire time. Even when his fellow shadowmages caught up with him, he just said, "So, you found me out. Checkmate." Then of course, the heroes got to watch him die. And just when they were about to learn about the Obsidian Order too!
Description: Male middle-aged human (civilized)
The informant should be enigmatic, and seem to always know a lot more than the heroes. While it is advisable that he dies and that he doesn't give out too much info, Narrators can customize him to suit their purposes. He should however, show up periodically to give them a helping hand, and to tell them about the star swords and their danger. He knows the schools of Summoning, Enchantment, and Electromancy. He also knows the sphere of Mentalism. He has keen hearing.
It should also be noted that Shade doesn't care what happens to Krynn. Getting home is the most important thing to him, and if he has to sacrifice the Order and Krynnspace to do it, he will.
In the end, the heroes should find some way to recover StarFall. They can destroy it like they would destroy anything else. Creative ways such as tossing StarFall into the Lords of Doom, should be rewarded by Narrators.
For the final fight, the heroes should face must opposition. A few angry, spell-hurling, high-ranking shadowmages, as well as a few members from each of the factions of the Outer Rim should start things off. Then perhaps, increase the amount of Kargayats and shadowmages. A successful challenging Reason action allows a hero to read the inscription on the blade. If no one seems to examine the blade, then the Narrator should make a point of mentioning the inscription. Whoever reads the inscription transforms into a silver dragon of young adult age. This lasts for 24 hours, regardless of whether the sword is destroyed. This should even the odds for a while. Using this approach, a group of heroes can toss the sword into some lava, and then fly away on the dragon's back. The heroes should not face Shade, or even learn that much about the Obsidian Order. They should come out of the adventure with a sense that there is something out there, watching them.
The Genesis Project
After years of trying, the Obsidian Order has managed to alter life. Years of working with the Brahumman in order to combine mysticism and sorcery have paid off. With the ability to create permanent sorcerous effects, as well as mysticism's ability to affect living creatures, the Obsidian Order has created a new life form.
They call it, "Genesis." Genesis is a small, black puddle of oil-like material. A genesis creature is about the size of someone's fist. It has no organs or anything of the sort. In fact, it should be classified as an ooze or a slime. However, a genesis does only three things, it eats, it reproduces, and it syphons off magical energy. The purpose of the genesis creature is evident. The Order releases these creatures across Ansalon, and they attach themselves to hosts. They then begin to feed off of a host. In about a year, the host will die. However, during that time, the genesis creature gathers all of its host's sorcerous potential, and releases it. Then, it reproduces. These new genesis creatures then find new hosts, and begin the process anew. The released sorcerous energy is collected by a magical artifact called the Shadow Gate. Once the Shadow Gate has absorbed enough energy, it will open a stable gateway to the demiplane of Shadows.
To get the heroes involved in this adventure, I recommend that they observe a man who dies from the genesis creature. Then they can get a glimpse of the creature. Later, have a mysterious informant contact them. Use the same stats as the last adventure, but make sure to let the heroes know that the informant is not the same guy. However, he is also a shadowmage who is disgruntled with the Order's policies. He should let the heroes know that the creature is dangerous, and hint that something larger is taking place.
For every day that the adventure takes place, flip over a card from the Fate Deck for every member of the party. If a dragons card comes up, then that person has contracted a genesis creature. That hero loses 2 magic points each day until he runs out and dies (if the hero does not have a sorcery pool, give him the amount he would have if he couls cast spells). On a successful challenging Perception action, a hero can tell if another person has a genesis creature.
By the way, this is the stats for the genesis creature:
Co 4 Ph 2 In 0 Es 0
The Story Continues
The informant will instruct the heroes to take the genesis creature to Palin Majere. From there, any good Narrator can take over and decide what goes on. Eventually, the informant will tell the heroes that they should go to Palanthas to find the source of these creatures. He will lead them to an abandoned warehouse on the docks. It's up to the heroes to decide whether they want to go in, or even how to get in. Any creative ways that they can think of could work. A good Narrator should be fair, and evaluate all of their plans according.
On the map, several things should be noted. The table in the Southeast room contains several documents. These scrolls talk about the Genesis project, as well as mentioning the Shadow Gate and the anti-Genesis creatures. Heroes should get a good look at this. This room, as well as the room that houses the Mutant Genesis creature are protected by an anti-magic enchantment. Obsidian was embedded into the rock to achieve this feat. That means that no one can teleport into or out of these two rooms.
Once it becomes clear that the heroes are winning, the people in the warehouse will release the Mutant Genesis creature, and flee. The creature will fight until dead. All secret doors require a successful challenging Perception action to find.
Note: Once the heroes have escaped the warehouse with the information, it should be set on fire and burned down via a pyromancy spell. The heroes should not see who cast the spell.
The stats for Kargayat Guards, Novices, and Shadowmages are further below.
Mutant Genesis Creature
Co 4 Ph 20 In 2 Es 2 Dmg +10 Def -8 SA Regenerate
From there, Kargayat assassins will be sent after the heroes, so have them dodge assassination attempts for a while.
Then, the informant should once again meet up with the heroes, preferably in a tense moment. Ideally, the informant should tell the heroes to destroy the Shadow Gate to get back everyone's magic, and to release the anti-genesis creatures. He will give them a magical wand, tipped with an obsidian stone. He uses it to transport the heroes into an underground lab. Where the lab is, the heroes don't know. To learn how to use the wand, one of the heroes needs to succeed in a challenging Reason action. After that, the heroes can teleport at will. However, the walls of the lab are laced with the same enchanted obsidian as the warehouse trap. Therefore, they cannot use the teleportation wand. Only Room J doesn't have this enchantment.
If the heroes make it to Room J, their mission is to destroy the Shadow Gate, and release the anti-Genesis creatures. Even just breaking the container will do, because the anti-Genesis creatures are air-borne viruses that only affect genesis creatures. Ideally, a hero should have learned what to do with the wand, and then teleport the heroes out of the lab. Where they go is up to the heroes.
In the next few weeks to come, the heroes should notice the populace feeling better. Also, the Narrator should continue to send a few assassins out periodically. All heroes or characters lost magic points regain them.
Here's the key to the Underground Lab:
Room A: This is where the heroes arrive when they teleport. The wand spent all of its magic breaking through the anti-magic barrier embedded in the walls. it only has enough magic for one more teleportation. This room is cold, and paved, yet neat and orderly. There is no furniture, the room is completely bare. If the heroes search the southern areas, they can find a secret door with a successful challenging Perception action.
Room B: This room holds two Kargayat guards. They will attack intruders on sight. There is a small table in the Southeast corner. On it, is a pouch containing 15 steel pieces and a ruby worth 50 steel.
Room C: In this room are three Kargayat guards. One will flee through the Eastern door into passage K to warn the others should the heroes charge in. If the heroes don't stop him, he will draw the forces from Room K and H into Room C. There is nothing else of intrest in this room.
Room D: This room contains a Novice and a Kargayat guard. The guard will protect the Novice at all costs. The Novice will hang back and try to enchant the guards sword for him. The Novice will fight hand to hand if necessary. The Novice carries a dagger of renown with him, and will use that in attack.
Room E: This room serves as the Kargayat's armory. In it, are three longswords of renown, two broadwords of fame, four spears of distinction, one battle ax of glory, and three kite shields of fame. All have obsidian buried somewhere in the weapon. The two Kargayat guards will fight to the death, and even arm themselves with the magical weapons.
Room F: In this room there are three Kargayat guards, and one Novice. The guards will all try to protect the Novice. The Novice will try to enchant the weapons of the guards. In the Southeast corner, there is a secret door. Any hero who searches for one, and succeeds in a challenging Perception action will find it.
Room G: In this room, there is a shadowmage and a Kargayat guard. The guard will try to keep the heroes from reaching the shadowmage, while the shadowmage will hurl spells at the heroes. In the Northern wll, there is a secret door. Any hero who searches that area and succeeds in a challenging Perception action will find the door. The shadowmage carries a staff of fame that hurls a lightning bolt (melee range, 8 dmg.) 3/day. The staff is topped with an obsidian orb.
Room H: In this room is a lone Kargayat guard. He will try to retreat and alert others of the heroes presence.
Room I: This is the private lab of the overseer of the lab. His name is Azrael, and he is working on a new spell. His Reason score is an 8, giving him 64 magic points. He will attack the hereos with all of his spells. Azrael also carries a wand of fireballs (near missile range, 12 dmg.) 2/day.
Room J: This is the room where both the Shadow Gate and the anti-Genesis creatures are called. The gate rests in the Southeast corner. It is a made of metal, and arches. It looks like a wide mirror. The anti-genesis creatures are being stored in a metal container. "Anti-Genesis" is printed on the side. Dealing 8 dmg. to the container will rupture it, releasing the creatures. Dealing 20 dmg. to the Shadow Gate will destroy it. However, the room is filled with adversaries. The Kargayat guards will defend the Anti-Genesis creatures, while the shadowmage and the Novice protect the Shadow Gate. This is the only room that is not protected against magic. Therefore, once the heroes job is done, they can use the teleportation wand to get out of the lab.
Room K: This id a side passage. Nothing much here. The Kargayat guard will fight the heroes, instructing the Novice to flee. Then, the shadowmage and the Novice will fight the heroes with spells.
Room L: This is the treasury for the Underground Lab. Three Kargayat guards protect it. Inside, there is a total of 2000 steel pieces, and several gems worth at least 100 steel apiece. There are also numerous magical items, which the Narrator can make up. Take care however, to not let the heroes get away with too much, as no hero can carry 2000 steel and still fight normally!
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