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Author Topic: creation chain: people & groups  (Read 10651 times)
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smeagol
Bane of Legates
****

Spell Energy / Taint +9/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 635


Hiding from Shadow


« on: August 09, 2006, 02:36:44 PM »

I thought it would be a good idea to keep this thread (and have it stickied?)

First poster: Dirigible

You may be familiar with this concept from the Wizards boards or ENworld. If not, it works like this: someone gives you a name, and you create a short description of a site, tale, character, organisation, spell, magic item, creature or other bit of material that might be of use to your fellow Midnighteers from that name. At the end of your post, you put down a name for the next person to work off, and the process continues unto infinity! You can't respond to your own post, of course.

This thread is for NPCs, PCs, background characters, foes, foil, friends, family, resistance groups, divisions of the Shadow's forces, unaligned factions and secret societies.

You don't need to include full stats or rules for whatever you create, but you are welcome to do so if you wish. Alternatively, something you see here might spur you to create a new crunchy thing to submit in its own thread elsewhere.

Have fun! Let the creative juices of AtS flow like some vast, slimy torrent into our collective bowl!

The Wolfword

In the first days of the Last Age, Graf Longtooth of the Kurgun clan wandered the North, slaying orcs and men that associated them with patient fury. The dwarf was a wildlander of legendary skill, and the tales of his say that Aryth itself spoke to him through its soil, and that every beast of the earth heeded his command. His warpick was responsible for puncturing the skull of both the Butcher of Chereg, an oruk of vast and brutal repute and Oerra Baivhen, a daughter of House Falon that gave herself to the legates mind, body and soul. He met his match at long last under the breath of Zardrix, who had been dispatched to hunt down Graf and the humans that sought to imitate him. As the dwarf lay in a quiet glade by the river, burnt head to toe, his Dornish allies came upon him, but he was far beyond their meagre skills to heal. With his dying breath, Graf spoke to the humans he had previously spurned, whispering 'corahg', the Kurgun word for wolf.

In the years that follow, the unbowed Northmen that followed Graf's inspiration have become a painful thorn in the Shadow's side. Operating in the eastern Northlands, they roam from Riismark to Gasterfang to Davindale to the foothills of the Kaladruns; the Ishensa is the heart of their territories. Consummate wilderness fighters, the men of the band that calls itself the Wolfword in honour of their patron specialise in attacking columns of orcish troops heading south. Like their favoured weapon, the pick, they focus all their effort on a small part of the enemy formation, crushing it decisively, and flee before retribution comes. because the area they operate in is overgrown and sparsely settled, other humans rarely suffer for their actions.

The Wolfword number somewhere between two and five hundred warriors. The number varies greatly, because Dorns from the surrounding lands consider it a mark of honour to join the Wolfword for a season or two, lending their bodies to the cause in return for food and training, and then to return home harder, prouder and better able to defend their families. The group tends to operate in two to four bands, each led by an experienced Wolfwordsman who commands the feudal loyalty of his men. These 'packs' are unstable, fusioning and fissioning frequently as they gain new recruits, move to new regions or run low on supplies. The overall leader of the Wolfword is the 'dor-corahg' (a term that they mistakenly translate as Father Wolf).

The Wolfword survives thanks to 'tithes' of food they extract from the neighbouring Dornish settlements (read, brigandage; it's one thing to send young men and women to fight with them, but giving up food is quite another thing in the Last Age) and their considerable skill at hunting and foraging. They also trade heavily with the Kurgun of the hills, offering pelts, timber and orcish trophies for dwarven weapons and access to tanneries to make armour for themselves. Gnomish smugglers leave gifts of food, clothing and medicine in chaches in the woods, but the Wolfword are unaware of this; like most people, they believe the riverfolk to be traitors, and tend to persecute them on sight.

Rules: Men of the Wolfword tend to be commoners, warriors and wildlanders, with a fair number of barbarians. Almost all are Dorns and Erenlanders, though dwarves are treated with the greatest esteem if they join the Wolfword. Even if they have to take it as a cross-class skill members of this group invest at least a few ranks in Handle Animal, and the band keeps quite a few tame wolves and battle-trained hounds with them at all times.

Wolfwordsman PrC can be found HERE.

Next: Fienella Broken Keel
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"Il n'est pas besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre ni de réussir pour persévérer" - Devise de la famille d'Orange
smeagol
Bane of Legates
****

Spell Energy / Taint +9/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 635


Hiding from Shadow


« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2006, 02:37:46 PM »

Fienella Broken Keel

(by MrCharm)

Fienella is young gnome, once full of derring-do, but now believes she is going insane. Fienella lives in Fallport, trying to tend to the trading needs of her clan. A few months ago, Fienella was part of an ambush of a ship on the Pellurian that was carrying a legate. This legate was the last to die, and cursed her with his dying breath. With this curse, Fienella is filled with unreasoning terror when viewing any body of water more than 3-4 feet across. She does not fully realize that this is a magical compulsion, thinking that perhaps the death of her companions and/or the brutality of the fight caused her to have this reaction. She was locked in the hold to calm her, and put out at the nearest port. Most gnomes try to stay far from her, being uneasy with anyone that is so fearful of water, and perhaps fearing that this insanity is catching.

Her daily routine is to stay inside the warehouse/shop, which has the shutters closed at all times (the glass is broken anyway). When she must go out, she hires a local beggar to guide her about, blindfolded. She can hear the constant crash of the waves, hear the creak of sails and rope, and wishes with all her heart that she could be free of this insanity. She is slowly becoming listless, and likely will commit suicide if something doesn't change. All her rebel contacts recognize this depression, and have slowly begun to stop all contacts and move all contraband away from her.

Finella is a 3rd level gnome rogue.

Affliction: Finella must make a DC20 Will save each time she sees a body of water more than 4' across or suffer the effects of a Fear spell.


Next: Dagnar the Silent
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smeagol
Bane of Legates
****

Spell Energy / Taint +9/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 635


Hiding from Shadow


« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2006, 02:38:35 PM »

Dagnar the Silent

(by kilgore)

Dagnar is a middle-aged Saracen who in his youth had been a troublemaker, a rogue with the gift of the gab, and was always trying to con something from someone. He had managed to establish an extensive information network that spread across the southern planes, and sold the information to the highest bidder.

Everything was going well for Dagnar till the day his information network got him in to deep. His network had discovered information vital to the defence of the Elven realm, but one of his men got careless, and the Legates closed in to shut his operation down once and for all.

Dagnar had realised the importance of his information and was brokering a deal with the resistance for the information, and paid little attention to the occasional operative going missing, as he sore it as a hazard of the job. Dagnar’s failure to act now cost him dearly, as the net tightened around him.

The Agents of the Shadow waited until the exchange was about to take place before striking. This allowed them to not only capture Dagnar, but several high-ranking members of the resistance as well. The resistance members where put to death and their head adorned pole in Badens Buff.

Dagnar has a special punishment reserved for him. The High Legate of Badens, Cerano, took special pleasure in their prise, and ordered his tongue to be removed before braking him mind and retrained him into the belief that he was a dog, and now keeps him as his favourite pet.

Yet it is Dagnar who has had the final laugh as he tricked the Cerano, Dagnar’s mind is not broken at all, and he now spies from within the Legates chambers, but only for the resistance now, and feeds his information directly to the Baden underground in coded messages.


Dagnar Saracen lvl 8 rogue, lvl 2 Avenging Knife

Mute: Dagnar is a mute, and can only be spoken to in Dagar's Code (a form of simple sign language), this can be tought as an additional language by anyone who knows its and the players gain the trust of.


Next: Olag the Wanderer
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smeagol
Bane of Legates
****

Spell Energy / Taint +9/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 635


Hiding from Shadow


« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2006, 02:39:14 PM »

Olag the Wanderer

(by Dirigible)

Once, their towers pierced the highest clouds and their halls could house ten thousand horsemen in spacious comfort. But the giantmen of Eredane fell under the Shadow as a result of selfish bargains struck in dark places and the fear of the slow decay of their civilisation. Now little more than beasts, they are enslaved to the orcish hordes as supply bearers and living siege machines, or squat deep in caves or the ruins of their castles in filth, ignorance and squalor.

Though the Shadow cares little for the petty cruelties of mortals, his Night Kings are not without a sense of vicious irony. Once, Ardherin was given the services of a band of giantmen warrior-slaves, which he used in his first campaigns against the Erunsil at the very end of the Third Age. With their size and terrible wrath, they laid waste to many elven settlements and thrust a barbed wedge into the heart of the Fortress Wall, weakening it for the orcs that followed in their wake. Only one of the four dozen giantmen survived the campaign to return, bleeding from a hundred knife gashes and arrow wounds, to the Shadow Sorcerer's tower. The corrupted elf was pleased with the dumb loyalty of the creature, and gave it a poisoned 'reward'. This boon was the gift of memory: the giantman, in a flash, recalled all the forgotten glories of his people, everything they once were. Struck with shame and rage, the giantman fled back to his home in the Kaladruns, and tried to unify his people and rebuild their civilisation. But his kin were too stupid and degraded to reclaim their destiny, and at last the enlightened giantman, Harhkas, fell into despair.

But the knowledge he brought did not die with him. The curse remains. Into every generation, a few giantmen are born remembering their once great culture. They call themselves the Heirs of Harkhas, bearers of the Curse of Memory or the Blessing of Ardherin. They are cleverer and more clean-limbed than the rest of their kin, but few survive long: grief drives them to suicide, or their kin grow tired of being constantly belittled for their ignorance and kill the Heirs.

Olhurgaraghand is one of the few of these enlightened giantmen born in recent years that has lived to see adulthood. He is forty years old, making him a hale young man in his race's terms. Nearly twelve feet tall, he carries himself with a proud spine, but his shoulders sometimes slump in weariness. His features are smoother and more regular than the brutish norm, but his thick hair and beard are prematurely grey around a far-sighted, noble visage. He carries a longspear suitable for his height and dresses in simple if well crafted leather armour with thick bronze plates across the shoulders and forming a gorget.

During his youth, the memories of the old ways came back to him in dreams and unaccountable memories, and he rapidly accelerated beyond his peers in wits and wisdom. His intelligence gave him an edge over his brutal kin, and for some time he was a great leader of his tribe. But time and time again, their stupidity and the long-standing degradation worked into their very bones by the Shadow thwarted him. Despair grew in Olhurgaraghand's heart, and he left the mountains.

Going by the name of Olag, he now wanders Eredane without purpose. As a giantman, he finds it fairly easy to sell his strength to the Shadow as a mercenary in order to secure food and permits to travel from place to place. He bears legates and orcs no love at all, however, and gladly aids the Resistance when the fancy takes him. Being offered trinkets of his ancient kin is usually enough to grab his attention, but his wrath can be terrible if he feels he is being cheated or manipulated by little folk. On occassion, he is seized by manic energy and focuses on some obscure quest relating to his memories of the elder days of giantman culture, such as finding a lost tomb or cleansing an old, sacred place of the abominations that lurk there now.

Rules: Olag is a Giantman (hill giant) Aristocrat 1 / Wildlander 3 with a much higher Int, Wis and Cha than usual for his kind.

Next: Gambler Soren
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smeagol
Bane of Legates
****

Spell Energy / Taint +9/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 635


Hiding from Shadow


« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2006, 02:39:55 PM »

The Gambler Soren

(by kilgore)

Soren is a Dwarrow in the prime of his life. In his youth Soren had easily mastered simple slide of hand tricks was soon plying his trade in card games up and down the Eren River. In one such game he won a ship called the Crimson Eagle, from its decks he proceeded to conduct a smuggling operation up and down the river.

This Soren continued until he lost the ship in another game of cards to a scoundrel of equal cunning called Olos, who continued to smuggling up and down the river. Destitute Soren returned to his old ways determined to win back his ship. This he perused until he obtained the trading rights for Shallow Tied, a small outpost on the Eren River. These rights have allowed Soren to become the outpost’s leader, and is now runs the outpost entirely.

Under his rule Shallow Tied has started to thrive, as his old smuggling contacts use it as a place to broker deals, and trade away from the watchful eyes of the Shadow. Each year Soren runs a large card tournament in which the best, worst and most hopeful player enter. The smugglers use this tournemant as a distraction from the grim reality of the world that they live in, however Soren main goal is to entice Olos back to allow him the opportunity to win back his lost ship.

Soren Dwarrow lvl 6 rouge lvl 3 expert Soren has maxed out his profession gambling, and Bluff skills and relies upon his charisma to get him through life.


Next: Pyrial The Fallen
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smeagol
Bane of Legates
****

Spell Energy / Taint +9/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 635


Hiding from Shadow


« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2006, 02:40:33 PM »

Pyrial The Fallen

(by Galieo)

“What does the cripple want, Norbe,” whispered the Halfling sotto voce, just loud enough for the young man to hear as he limped by. The other Halfling guffawed, then joked, “Perhaps he needs a leg up?” The handful of youths all laughed at Pyrial and his misfortune. If only they could see the young man’s face darken with clouds of hatred.

Like many of the agrarian Halfling in the south, Pyrial lived a quiet life in his youth. Working the land with his father and siblings, the Mosely family was no different than their neighbors in this stolid farming town; although Pyrial, himself, was an indifferent farmer and often spent (or wasted) time on frivolous errands that took him far and wide from the farm when the heaviest and hardest work was to be done.

The springs were filled with cultivation, planting and rain; the summers were filled with weeding, watering and heat; the falls were filled with the Harvest. The most important time of the year, the village of Mill-over-the-Brook celebrated the Harvest with a week of celebration. The brightest time in any villager’s life, the Harvest was a time of story-telling and courtship, games of skill and chance and bonfires that lasted all night and into the early morning hours. So long as the half of the village’s produce when directly to the region’s ruling legate and another portion was used as bribes, the village was ignored for the most part. True, the bribes had grown with time, yet the villagers of Mill-over-the-Brook somehow still were able to find a way to satisfy their overlords and retain some semblance of freedom.

During the final day of the Harvest, three years ago, Pyrial Mosely was intent upon wooing one of the local girls, Frannie Stampton. Entering the apple picking contest, Pyrial sprung up a tree and positioned himself for the start. Frannie promised the winner a walk under the Harvest Bower and a peck upon the check; such a prize was enough to enlist a company of young Halfling lads. With a shout, the competition began. Pyrial picked as quickly as he could, but he was not quite as strong or agile as his competitors. Nor did he choose the best tree, but rather he chose one of the easier trees to climb. To his everlasting regret, most of the apples were up upon the higher boughs of the tree. Climbing and swaying, Pyrial continued to pick apples and watch his competition out of the corner of his eye. As he peered at a nearby apple-picker, Pyrial lost his grip and plummeted to the ground. Unconscious and with broken legs, he was rushed to the Mosely house. For weeks he was believed to be on death’s window, but in time, Pyrial’s body healed. But his spirit was broken.

Twisted, this young Halfling looked to blame his injuries upon the other lads. Then his hatred turned to Frannie. Then as he lay upon his sickbed, Pyrial grew to despise the Harvest, his village, their traditions and Halflings in general.

With the coming of the next spring, Pyrial was able to limp about with the aid of a crutch; no longer did he need to avoid work, he was completely unable to aid his family in their tasks. In fact, Pyrial became something of a charity, though the taunts of the calloused fed the hatred of this twisted and dark young Halfling. Nursing these perceived wrongs in silence, he maintained the outward appearance of a grateful, almost obsequious, villager. However, Pyrial began to reach out to the only source of power that he believed could heal his broken frame and visit revenge upon his village. In the dark abyss of his mind, the young Halfling began to worship Izrador in his own way. Left to his own devices, Pyrial would have merely soured the town of Mill-over-the Brook with his evident spite, but as is wont of the dark god’s servants, Pyrial was “discovered.”

During a delivery of grain to the local legate’s stronghold, the legate noticed young Pyrial sitting atop the wagon and the hatred that radiated from him. Masal deBoalt was no stranger to this hatred, for in it, he sensed the workings of his dark god. Masal tested Pyrial with questions about his home and hearth and the legate overlord was pleased to witness the obvious dislike the Halfling held for such. But just as Masal plumbed Pyrial depths, the Halfling began his manipulation of the young legate. With practiced guile, the young Halfling became the fawning servant of the legate; he betrayed several bands of resistance fighters to Masal deBoalt’s patrols and continually performed every increasing service to the legate. Finally, Pyrial was able to convince his patron that the town of Mill-over-the-Brook was a hive of resistance sympathizers and could serve only one purpose, slavery.

Pyrial savored his moment of “victory” as he watched his entire village chained and led off to the mines. Now, Pyrial Mosely, Pyrial the Fallen has begun to serve his legate master in other, equally evil ways. Now, Pyrial, a lackey to his master, spends his time assisting the legate in bloody rituals, overseeing the network of slave and "free" halflings, and plotting his own rise to power.

Pyrial has begun to journey down the path of the Collaborater Prestige Class.

Next: The Scion of Clan Ur-Geddon
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smeagol
Bane of Legates
****

Spell Energy / Taint +9/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 635


Hiding from Shadow


« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2006, 02:41:13 PM »

The Scion of Clan Ur-geddon

The last survivor of a kurgun dwarves clan, the Scion was only a child when all his family was slain by a roving band of orcs.

None know for sure, but actually the crying baby somehow managed to be unnoticed by the savage invaders, who were shortly all destroyed in an unpredictable rockfall while leaving the village.

It was soon to be discovered that a local rock spirit called Ur-geddon had taken pity of the child and decided to protect it. Soon, the Scion would become a very naturally-talented spiritual channeler, some would rather say druid, who has an unbelievable connection to the earth and mountain spirits. He can also hear the Dorogin wherever he goes.

Ur-geddon has great plans for the young kurgun dwarf. The spirit understands that the dwarves need to fill the mountains with their own version of the Whispering Wood. The Scion has now made it his mission to find bands of dwarven warriors, help them whenever he can with his powers, and bind the dead ones' souls to the mountains, so that they can become its guardians. The "protectors" tell the knowing of coming dangers, help them resist the cold of th emountain, help them hide from orcs, and can sometimes trigger rockfalls or avalanches on bands of orcs.

Unfortunately, the young Scion still has not figured that he is not like all other dwarves. He is actually a dworg, which makes it all the harder for other dwarves to trust him. His reputation has slowly waned among the kurgun clans, some of which have begun to trust him, but it can be pretty sure that any Clan dwarf would have a very hard time, even hearing what he has to say.

Next: the mysterious Waylander
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smeagol
Bane of Legates
****

Spell Energy / Taint +9/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 635


Hiding from Shadow


« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2006, 02:42:33 PM »

The Sisterhood of the Saddle

Back to the early Third Age, the Sarcosans were a Caste-based society which strongly encouraged performance, regardless of social origins or sex.

When the Shadow's grasp grew firmer, the Sarcosan caste system grew less and less respected. Usurpers would gain ranks just because they had the right connections or were blackmailing their sussar. And most importantly, sexism, a long forgotten plague of sarcosan society, came back.

Many women were forced to keep to their homes, feeding the children and the husband's horses, even though they were good warriors in their own right.

It was then that a young and brash woman beeshi named Naadiya al-Mansour, after escaping her household and swearing she would never come back, created an outlaw band of female riders called the Sisterhood of the Saddle.

They began pursued by the Sussars' best knights, as they were accused of almost every crime committed in Sarcosan lands. But soon the truth was revealed, and their motley band was given knight status by the Kalif himself a few years only before the Last Battle.

Ferocious cavaliers, they were reputed for their harsh ways even in the Shadow's army. They were called the Amazons by foreigners.

All were crushed at the Last Battle.

During the Last Age, they were not forgotten, though. As sexism is now a staple of the day in Sarcosan society, many women are not much more than slaves in their own household. MAny managed to flee, and a few recreated the Sisterhood's spirit, if not its true ways.

They soon became renegade, pursued by the puppet princes' troops .

Freeriders rejected them because they think it is not the place for a woman to live an errant life, hunted by Shadow.

So they were left to live a life of banditry and misery, until a legate managed to capture their leader and promise her that they would gain noble status if they joined the fight against the freeriders.

Blinded by hurt feelings and pride, the current leader of the Sisterhood, Samiya el-Kebir, convinced most of her fellow female freeriders to join the Shadow (she also became the legate's mistress, but this is another story). The Sisterhood now works mainly for Sameal the Eel, and has successfully killed many a band of freeriders, pretending to be women on the run seeking protection from the freeriders.

A few Sisters refused to join the Shadow. Although most were slain, a handful managed to flee and survive. They are now on their own in the wilderness, trusting neither their ex-Sisters nor the Freeriders. They live by attacking Shadow convoys, and have quite a few hard misconceptions about males, whom they distrust.
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smeagol
Bane of Legates
****

Spell Energy / Taint +9/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 635


Hiding from Shadow


« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2006, 02:43:40 PM »

(by N_E_O_Thing)

The "High King of Asmadar" is the cruel nickname given to a wandering madman living between the taverns and back alleys of Landfall. When not in a drunken stupor the "High King", as he was dubbed by a frustrated tavern keeper, alternates between gibbering terror and militant insistance that Izrador will be attacking the city soon.

Most people who meet the High King simply assume that he comes from somewhere east of the mountains and has simply been driven to lunacy by his experiences. Unfortunately, amid their complacency, they simply cannot comrehend how much the High King is right.

Years ago, the High King was something of a hedge-mage who helped people rid themselves of minor malicious spirits, sprites, and gremlins. While conducting research to extend his abilities his mind accidentally brushed that of Izrador. In that brief instant he was driven irrevocably mad, and the dark lord gained yet another pawn. Since that time the High King has been plagued with nightmares, both waking and asleep, he looks upon the world and sees destruction, death, and decay. Even so, little does he realize that his nightmares are caused by an occassional contact and dream interrogation by Izrador. Everything he hears, everything he sees, it all goes to the ears and eyes of Izrador.

And soon, very soon, the city of Landfall will be under a siege of the shadow because of careless talk by those who deem a crazy drunken fool, jokingly dubbed "The High Kind of Asmadar", as below their notice.

Next:
Bjorn Sharptongue, Skaald of the North...
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toymaker
Disembodied Spirits


Spell Energy / Taint +1/-0
Posts: 1


« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2007, 03:46:16 AM »

Leamath Dorcaril, the Bane of the Shadow Demon

Appearance
Leamath has the appropriate height and weight for an wood elf of his age, but seems to be somewhat gaunt and paler than his cousins. He has flowing long black hair and dark blue eyes. His finger nails have become hardened, dark and pointed, and his skin is covered with mystical tattoos in pitch black, showing the spirits he has bound to himself and the demons whose powers he has usurped. His voice is controlled and softly and can become sharp and commanding if angered or under pressure. He wears inconspicuous robes and hooded cloaks when travelling. Sensitive and good-aligned people often feel somewhat discomforted when encountering him the first time (if he allows them to encounter him), as do animals. (In game terms, this confers a –2 circumstance penalty to all charisma-based checks upon a new encounter with a person and animal on the first check.) However, his confidence and eerie appearance and his reputation as the Bane of the Shadow Demon of the Caraheen can be quite shattering. He often makes defeated Legates understand the meaning of the word fear before he kills them, and his personal aura enhances his dealings with the countless demons and spirits of Eredane. (In game terms, he gets a +2 morale bonus to any Intimidate checks against Legates who know him by his name and deeds, and to any Charisma-based checks when dealing with outsiders.) 
 
Personality
Leamath is best described as driven by his motivations: to gain magical power at nearly all costs, and to defeat the agents of Shadow at their own games. To these ends, he searches for clues and information regarding the fabled Aradar Nexus, travelling all over Eredane for the last three decades. He also looks out for a special person, though not being able to work magic, empowers and strengthens sorcery. ( In game terms, this person would have the “Spellsoul”- Heroic path.)
Leamath knows of the Black Schism and uses it to sow distrust and suspicion, so that more often than not one faction accuses the other when someone of their own ranks has been found dead. He sometimes allows Legates to hunt him to lure them into traps and ambushes, to spread fear among his enemies, his name to be whispered in terror when they learn that he is coming for them. And when he is finished with them, he often raids their weakened strongholds, to achieve his true goal, like obtaining secret information, certain artefacts he can study and use, or eliminating competition in his hunt for the Aradar nexus.   
His further plans are that once he has found and travelled to Aradar, he wants to create ormelacs, magical receptacles normally used by legates to drain the energy of a power nexus and then sacrifice it to their master, Izrador. Then he wants to create a living white mirror, a special person  dampening the legates’ magic in their presence and reversing the life- and magic-draining effects the zordrafin corith have. Lastly, he intends to summon an army of  spirits and demons, binding them to him, and returning to Erethor once he is finished with the nexus.
He sees the defense of Erethor as an valiant but useless effort. Each day, more of the forest is lost, and more of his brethren have become one with the Whisper. Since the Naelyngard Holocaust, he has refused to participate in or to command any organised military action. Some of the queen’s generals see him as a deserter, so many envoys and spies returning with empty hands and a cynical answer. But the truth is that should the wizard had to draw upon the full extend of his powers too often (i.e., turning into the Shadow Demon to shred through the invading armies), he would succumb sooner or later to the powers that he has gained, and thus becoming a greater danger to Erethor than any orcish legion.   
Leamath does not share the reverence that of most of his people have for Queen Aradil. He respects her for her mundane and magical power she has, but does not see himself as a “loyal subject” of the Arbour and sometimes shows his contempt for the religious personality cult that has build up around her .
He is not above manipulating or sacrificing people who trust him, but will never do it unnecessarily. In the end, he wages his own war on the Order of Shadows, and in times of war people die or are betrayed. If nothing is sacred to your enemy, than neither may it be to you.
If Leamath Dorcaril has a weak spot, then that that he can remember those times before the war, and that he recognises  that he has become a monster by himself, cold, manipulating, cynical. Then his heart is filled with sorrow about the losses of the past century, not the least that of his conscience and mercy.

Background History
The Bane of the Shadow Demon not always was a remorseless, jaded and calculating person. Born 165 years ago, Leamath had a joyful and peaceful youth at the elven city of Eisin-, at the banks of the Felthera river. His parents were successful merchants, and his older brother was part of the city watch.
Leamath showed a promising talent for channelling and a yearning for knowledge. He learned together with students of other races, forging friendships to Halflings and Erenlanders- alike.
Then the Shadow fell.
While he was evacuated together with his mother in a boat travelling upstream, his father and brother were part of the militia trying to hold the town as long as possibly and were subsequently slaughtered by the Great Host of the Night Kings.
When the elves retreated, it came like a shock to Leamath that anything that he had known would change. He saw the smoke of burning Eisin and other river settlements on the horizon. He saw the crying mothers who hold out their children to the fleeing elven ships, and argued more than once with the boats captain to take them into safety. And, as he would in later years refer to, he saw the beautiful
cara-nira-- the last time in his life, great colourful butterflies. 
His mother never recuperated from the loss of her husband and her son. She died of grief and hopelessness a few years later and became one with the Whisper. Leamath retook his magical studies and doubled his efforts, to subdue the sorrow, to be able to take his revenge on his enemies. He soon became a capable battle-mage and joined elven- army forces.
In that time, something changed in his heart. All kindness was consumed by his drive to take
revenge, and many friends died on the battlefields or turned away from him. He grew unpopular with his superiors for eagerly sacrificing his troops just to be victorious. Shortly before Naelyngard, the Queen’s generals bade him to go.
With no one left to care for, Leamath decided to leave Caradul and wandering Erethor. He visited any of the great schools of magic in hope to gain more knowledge to defeat the enemies of  the last free peoples of Eredane. In particular, he remembered the old ballads of Aradar, the Wellspring of  Magic. What once was not much more than a fanciful children’s tale now became the focus of his obsession. He visited the fell-infested, demon-ridden ruins of the former temple fortress of Kassundaja and found some old scrolls regarding to it.
When he returned to Caradul-, it was word that a powerful demon was rampaging through some villages in the central Caraheen. Leamath left again, this time with a different plan on his mind. He laid traps and snares that the demon would notice, and then follow. Leamath tricked the demon into follow him into the deepest woods, to a place only known from myths: a grand circle of stones inscribed with runes of power. When the demon rushed in to capture what he thought was easy prey, the trap sprung. Leamath activated the runes, and the great Nudorkaal, Shadow Demon of the Caraheen-, was himself the captured.
At first the beast remained confident and offered promises of power he did not intend to keep. But then Leamath made him suffer. Soon, the beast offered to leave Erethor and never to return.
Again he suffered. At last, the demon  begged to Leamath to demand services from him.
The wizard used the time to study the creature, to learn those awful powers that Nudorkaal had possessed. One by one he stripped his  secrets and his powers from his body and transferred them to himself. Finally, the Great Nudorkaal was nothing more than a seething mass of misery when Leamath decided that he had learned enough and finished him of.
The next three decades he embarked on a tour of what  he later would call “my personal little war.”  He left Erethor and travelled through the occupied human lands, finding bits and pieces of valuable and also useless information dealing with his search, all by the way creating havoc in the ranks of the Order of Shadow. Only the inquisitor known as the Laughing Man of the Harrowers so far was able to avoid his tangled webs and nearly captured Leamath twice.
Meanwhile, the wizard has gathered much information about the Wellspring of all Magic, but still lacks tangible evidence. He is currently on the hunt for a person with the Spellsoul Heroic path, which he intends to transform into a living white mirror. He also looks out for an opportunity to lay his hands on an ormelac, one of the vessels the Order of Shadows uses to siphon off the magical energies of a power nexus.     
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2008, 04:03:39 PM »

Since there isn't a prompt, I'll just post something and put one at the end.


Ivon the Trebuchet

Also called Ivon the Giant, or Ivon Tree Tosser, this massive man has become an icon and source of morale for the defenders along the Burning Line. His background is mostly unknown, for he himself has a hard time remembering things, and an even harder time describing them.

Background
What is known is that he once traveled as a bodyguard to a Gnomish trader who was in league with the resistance. The Gnome was his provider for a number of years, and was eventually tasked with escorting an elven spy back to Erethor. Both the spy and the gnome were captured. They managed to give Ivon the spy's communications and told him to run to the elves. Somehow, he managed to do just that. When this giant of a Dorn came staggering wounded, confused and scared into the north edge of the Caraheen, he was intercepted by an elven patrol and nearly killed. The Elves quickly saw that there was something wrong with this confused man, and revealed themselves. Ivan gave them the papers he had been carrying (which he could not read) and sat down, beginning to cry, for now that he was done, he did not know what to do. The elves brought him to Caradul, and told him that the information he had brought would save many lives. They gave him a home and food, and told him he would be safe.

He became employed by an elven carpenter who was working wiht the human refugees to build homes which would not damage the forest. Ivan quickly became a recognisable figure due to his stature, and became a friend of many elven and human children due to his gentle nature. It wsa quickly recognised that Ivon was stronger than any man ever seen or heard of. When not working, Ivon would spend much of his time along the river, seeming meloncholy and restless. The children would flock to him trying to come up with ways of cheering up their giant friend. One day they started a rock throwing competition, which eventually degenerated into a contest of "let's see how big of a thing Ivan can throw." An Elven scout picking up supplies for the front watched a medium sized fallen tree go flying through the air in front of the trail he was coming in on, he rushed to see what was causing such danger. To his surprised he found a group of laughing children cheering for a giant man who had just picked up an even larger tree.
The scout quickly realized that such strength was being wasted here, and asked if Ivon had ever seen combat. Ivon simply nodded. When asked if he would like to help fight for the freedom of the children, his answer was "You want me to kill?" The scout reluctantly said yes. Ivon simply answered "Ok."
The scout asked an armsmaster to train and test the giant. It was then that the elves discovered that Ivon was a warrior of phenomenal skill. Belying his simple nature, he was a talented and eficiant warrior who seemed to instinctually grasp many higher principals of warfare. When they tried to talk to him about the way he fought, he quickly became confused, saying little more than "I don't like being hit, so I hit them first." At that point the armsmaster gave up, and sent him with the scout.
Over the course of the next year, the massive man was instramental in many victories. The orcs were quickly demoralized by the sight of the firey projectiles they had launched into the forest somehow being launched directly and precicely back into their seige weapons. They also quickly came to know and fear the stories of the Giant of Erethor, who swept Orcs aside as thopugh they were Goblins, and was said to have killed an Ogre with one mightly blow of his fist.

Appearance and Personality
Ivon looks like a classic mountain man, writ large. He has thick wavy brown hair which falls around his shoulders like a mane, and a full unkempt beard. Some patches of his hair have been burned off, and he would probably shave his head and face, but it has not occured to him to do so. He is just over 8 feet tall, but he is also quite stocky, even for his height. He has taken a set of fire-resistant leathers from a felled Ogre, which he does not like, but wears because he likes fire even less. He has also been given a True Charm which protects him from all but the hottest fires. He wears a pair of thick but supple gloves which have been crafted and enchanted by the elves in such a way that they cannot be burned or peirced. This allows him to pick up nearly anything, and with Ivon, if he can lift it, he can throw it. The Elven channelers he fights with enjoy casting Enlarge Person spells on him and turning him loose among thier enemies.
Ivon is a simple man, some might even call him stupid. He is aware of this, and mostly at peace with it. He has learned to rely on the judgement of those that he trusts and follow thier lead. His Gnomish friend once told him to be careful of those who would take advantage of his good nature, and he took those words to heart. He does not trust easily, but once earned he follows without question. He has a soft spot for children, and seems unable to tell the difference (or even grasp that there is a difference) between halflings and children. Strangely, dispite his good nature, he is a fearsome warrior who is almost passionless about inflicting death on his opponants. Those closest to him fear he may not actually understand what death is. To him it is simple. Pain is bad. It is bad when people hurt him or his friends. He is able to stop others from hurting him or his friends by killing them, so he does.

Additional information
Ivon is a Hulking Hurler (from the Complete Warrior). He also has Fighter and Defender levels. He is a fearsome grappler, and has a habit of simply reaching out and grabbing enemies, beating on other enemies with them and eventually tossing them as far as he can, preferably into other enemies.
It is uncertain how Ivan came to be the size that he is. It is rumored he may be part Ogre, or be blessed by a Dornish spirit of strength.



Next:
Kel'sorak the Skin Thief
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 04:06:16 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged

Jack Chick, Abdul Alhazred, and Aleister Crowley walk into a bar...
Sholano
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2012, 09:57:46 PM »

Kel'Sorak the Skin Thief

Background
Many milennia ago, before the Shadow fell, the servants of the ancient gods of light would exert their influence on the mortal plane. There were angels, archons, and many others, and among the greatest of these was a servant of law; the Solar, Cael'sorika. She was a being of boundless wisdom, unmeasured kindness, and ancient power. Her pure celestial form was seldom allowed to traverse the way to Aryth proper, however, and so the clerics of the time had another way to commune with their guardian. With the proper blessings and ritual, she would speak to the clergy through one of their number, aided by a powerful relic.

This artifact was known as the Titan's Mask, and with it, Caelsorika's essence could enter one of the priests and bring her light to the masses. Although none knew it, the rituals to bring forth the angel were unnecessary, however. Their complexities were merely a vehicle for the gods to determine when mortals truly needed their aid. Once invoked, the mask would fade from its wearer, and the angel would serve as a silent guide and subtle aid for the chosen bearer. In this manner, many a hero was made known to the world with the power of a Solar behind their eyes.

And then, perhaps ten thousand years ago, in an age of relative peace, the ancient diviners began to receive warnings of a dire event to come, worse by far than anything that had befallen the world before. In such a crisis, they reasoned, when better to call their guardian down from the heavens? As the ritual began, however, something was clearly wrong. The comforting light that had filled the ritual chamber in times past first faltered, and the flared up painfully bright, as if from a flame in a wind. Finally, however, the eyes of the Titan's Mask glowed, just as the sacred texts indicated they would when the angel was ready to join with the avatar. Their champion stepped forward, and picked up the Mask. He began to don the artifact, and at that very moment, all of Eredane - in fact, Aryth itself - trembled.

The Sundering had begun.

Confused, not understanding what was happening, the priests urged their champion to continue. Whatever might be happening, they said, surely they would face it better with Caelsorika's wisdom and might. Nodding, he placed the Mask to his face - and screamed. A long, high pitched, soul-rending wail of terror and pain like nothing anyone there had ever heard. It was not the voice of their chosen one, but rather, a voice that most of these holy men had hoped all their lives to hear. It was the voice of the angel Caelsorika, violently cut off from the celestial plane from which she had sprung at the beginning of time. Suddenly, the screams came to an end, and the Mask melted into their champion's face. He looked around, a flickering light behind his eyes, and stepped forward.

Not one of the priests would ever leave the chamber alive.

In the Ages to come, the Mask and its passenger would pass out of knowledge. From time to time, an unfortunate would take it up, caught by the mesmerizing beauty of an angel's face and the silent call from behind its golden eyes. Whenever such a person would prove foolish or weak-willed enough to put it on, then for a time, a power unknown to mortals since before the Veil came down would walk Aryth again, maddened by the loss of her ancient home and furious at the mortals who trapped her here.

For centuries, she would haunt Aryth. Eventually, she came to the jungles of the Aruun, moving from body to body like a virus, leaving death and madness in her wake. Over the ages, even her name was distorted, through her insane, garbled memories and the fearful cries of the possessed for the brief moments they broke free of her control. The Danisil of old came to call her Kel'Sorak, the Skin Thief. Through a combination of luck and guile, the last group ever to encounter her trapped the demented spirit within the ancient trap known as Spirit's Twilight.

To this day, the angel waits there, frozen within a Mask of her own face, calling out to anyone foolish enough to take her out once more into the world.



Mechanics
Kel'Sorak is constantly calling out to anyone who passes near Spirit's Twilight. Although nearly all her power is trapped within the Mask, and dampened further by Spirit's Twilight, she still maintains some empathic ability, which allows her to sense nearby sentient beings and their basic intentions. The nexus weakens her call to less than a mile, but spirit channelers or beings otherwise attuned to the spirit world can feel the pull from some way farther out. It manifests as a wordless call for help, until the listener is actually within arm's reach of the Mask itself, at which point the angel within begins to implore the listener to pick up the Mask and put it on, using any tactic that she thinks will appeal to the listener based on her empathic impressions of them. She will start by imploring to their higher nature, then offer material rewards, power, glory, or anything else they might desire. The angel's malicious intent is not readily apparent, and she is highly skilled at disguising it, requiring a Sense Motive check of 30, or 20 if the adventurer has been previously warned about the Mask. If continually refused, she will attempt to lash out with the little power still at her disposal, requiring a Will save of 16. Upon failure, the listener will immediately fall for the angel's tricks, effectively falling under the effects of charm person. Upon success, the listener is aware of the psychic attack, but unsure of its source or purpose. If she is still refused, due to a successful will save or other means, the angel will began to rant and rave, threatening pain and death upon the listener, eventually revealing her madness.

(Note: What follows is only a suggestion, and may be more complicated than some GMs want to use, in particular the stages of possession. As far as the storyline is concerned, the angel attempts to take control of anyone who puts on the Mask, and if they're possessed too long, their soul will leave their body.)

If the Mask should be put on, the angel immediately attempts to possess the wearer, and within the confines of the Mask, her power is undampened by the nexus. In ages past, she would gladly share residence with the wearer, offering advice or bursts of power as needed, but today, she attempts to completely suppress, and eventually annihilate, the other soul within her new body. Over the coming minutes, the Mask will absorb itself into the wearer's body. Until this process is complete, or the Mask is removed, the wearer cannot move, as they are wholly consumed with the fight within the Mask. The Mask cannot be removed by outside forces without a break enchantment effect and a dismissal or banishment effect (or similar effects, subject to GM discretion). If the Mask is fully absorbed, it cannot be removed by anything short of a greater planar binding, soul bind, or similar effect (again, GM discretion), which, rather than its usual effect, succeeds in removing the Mask, and thus Kel'Sorak, from its wearer.

As soon as the Mask is worn, the wearer becomes immediately aware of Kel'Sorak's full intentions, and begins to fight her for control. If the wearer is of good alignment, this struggle is actually more difficult (increasing the Will DCs by 2), because despite her madness, Kel'Sorak's heavenly nature, and the Mask's original purpose, make it easier for her to attune to such a being. There is a series of five Will saves of DC 22, made over the course of the five minutes the Mask is being absorbed into the wearer's body. For each failed save, Kel'Sorak will take further possession of the wearer.

Once the Mask is fully absorbed, there are six possible stages of possession.
1) All Will saves successful: Kel'Sorak has lost the fight to control the host's mind, and now finds herself trapped within a new prison: the host. The possessed is aware of Kel'Sorak's continued presence and influence, but maintains complete control over their waking body, except for the distraction of a mad celestial that you cannot stop hearing. Once a week, the angel may attempt to influence your actions, as per suggestion, with a will save of 16. The wearer gains a +2 to any harmful mind-affecting effects not originating from Kel'Sorak herself, as the angel is jealous of her possession and will aid her host to resist outside influences. However, the host must attempt a save against any mind-affecting effect, regardless of if it is beneficial or not. The possessed also gains a +2 to Knowledge (the planes) checks, and may attempt to gather further knowledge from Kel'Sorak - although the angel is unlikely to cooperate without some recompense. Also, once a week at a time of her choosing, Kel'Sorak may attempt to gain control again - and will patiently wait to do so until the victim is most distracted. If the wearer fails a DC 22 will save, then the battle to control the body begins again, exactly as when the host first put on the Mask, except that the host may act normally while the battle goes on. Regardless of how many times she fails at this last attempt, Kel'Sorak will never fade from the host's mind unless the Mask is successfully extracted.
2) One save failed: Although beaten for now, Kel'Sorak has not yet given up the fight. As the first stage, except that Kel'Sorak may attempt to regain control once a day. If the host succeeds in seven such attempts, then Kel'Sorak is weakened by the repeated failures, and the possession is reduced to the first stage.
3) Two saves failed: The host's will has proven the stronger - but only for the moment. As the first stage, except that Kel'Sorak may attempt to regain control once per hour. If the host succeeds in seven such attempts, then Kel'Sorak is weakened by the repeated failures, and the possession is reduced to the second stage.
4) Three saves failed: Kel'Sorak has succeeded in dominating the host's mind, but only barely. As stage three, except that Kel'Sorak is in control and the host is attempting to regain his/her body.
5) Four saves failed: The mad angel has taken over, but the host still has some fight left. As stage two, except that Kel'Sorak is in control and the host is attempting to regain his/her body.
6) All saves failed: The Skin Thief has won, and for the host, oblivion is all but assured. As stage one, except that Kel'Sorak is in control and the host is attempting to regain his/her body. If Kel'Sorak maintains this level of control for a full month, then the host's soul is driven from their body, never to return without extraordinary measures being taken.

If she gains control of a body, Kel'Sorak gives that body the physical attributes of a Solar (unless the original's are higher), but also has full access to all the at-will abilities, feats and skills of a Solar, although with the Veil in place, she no longer has access to any cleric spells. Additionally, she may, at will, manifest wings of light that grant her a fly speed of 150 (good), and her land speed increases to 50. For all her power, however, she is terrified of being returned to her prison within the Mask, and in particular the idea of the Mask being left in Spirit's Twilight once again. Therefore, she will go to incredible lengths to avoid this fate. When she first gains control, she may attempt to convince her host's companions that she is benevolent, or perhaps even that the host is sharing control with her, until she has taken their measure. If she comes to believe that she is capable of destroying the party outright, she will do so as soon as they leave Spirit's Twilight. Otherwise, she will bide her time and kill them off whenever possible without suspicion falling upon her.

Kel'Sorak has no compassion or allegiance to anything on the surface of Aryth. As far as she is concerned, this world was abandoned by the realms of light eons ago, and everything and everyone on it should be made to suffer as she has. This means that she is content to play along with any PCs who may encounter her, but only until the moment she thinks that she can inflict more suffering on them than on their enemies.

There is some possibility, although incredibly slight, that Kel'Sorak can be redeemed, but her long milennia as the Skin Thief makes this task unbelievably difficult, if not outright impossible. The only hope that could be harbored may lie far to the north, in a place once known as the Glass Castle. There, one known as the Herald slumbers on as he has for years untold, and if any on this broken plane could understand her plight and return Caelsorika to her former glory, then he could.



Totally borrowing from Doomed Hero's "The Paladins Reborn" for that last bit on her possible redemption. Seemed fitting, hope nobody minds. For more on the Herald, go here.

For more info on Spirit's Twilight, go here. For more info on the Titan's Mask, go here.

Next: Nine-Lived Korten.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 05:18:52 AM by Sholano » Logged

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Dorin's combat data | Dorin's character sheet
Sholano
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 02:35:11 AM »

I hope somebody else jumps on this pretty soon, 'cause I still want to keep this thread alive. The concept is too neat to let die.
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Dirigible
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Oh, the humanity!


« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2013, 11:08:36 PM »

Nine-Lived Korten

If e'er you've walked the roads on the northern coast of the Sea of Pelluria, 'twixt Fallport or Highwall, White Cliff or Port Esben, you'll no doubt have heard tell of Nine-Lived Korten.

An Erenlander, so the telling goes, tall as a tree, skinny as a snake. Tan as a Sarcosan's saddle, gold-haired as a Dorn, with a ginger-furred cat at his heel. Walks the roads right in the heart of the Traitor Princes' holds as carefree as a nightingale, if you believe it! And bold not just where he walks, aye. If there was ever a man unafraid to tweak a legate's nose or spit in the Shadow's eye, it was Korten! He was a blessing to those poor folk who live within the power of the Enemy, the turncoats and the priests. Many a family would tell tales of Korten bringing them a bag of grain to get them through a harsh winter, calling off a patrol of orcs with a hulloh and a cheeky spring in his step – even fetching back children taken by the legates as oblations, to be trained into the Order!

Oh, and they hated him, they did. Hated him and hunted him. Caught him, too... not once, but nine times! How'd he escape? Ahhh, there's the trick of it. He didn't! Each time they hung him, hacked him with a vardatch, fed him to possessed hounds, drowned him in the Pellurian, burned him up in a fire... but never did it take! Next day, next month, next year, there'd be Korten, walking the roads with a jaunty whistle on his lips, a smile for the folk, and a rude gesture for the Shadow!

Still, I suppose nine lives is enough for any man. Ain't see old Korten around much since the last time they caught him. I wonder if he's gone for good, or just resting up for the wickedest caper of all?

Who or What is Korten?
  • A wildlander with a cat companion and exceptional luck, which may have just run out.
  • A folk tale obscuring the identities of a band of Resistance fighters operating in the Highwall area.
  • Nine different people with a covenant item, the Ring of Seeming, that disguises them to look like one man. Each time one has perished, the Ring of Seeming has slipped away to find another suitable bearer.
  • A Pathwalker with a Heroic Path granting exceptional regeneration or resurrection capabilities.
  • The hapless companion of a powerful spirit (a ghaele eladrin), disguised as a ginger cat, which uses him as a vessel to spy on the forces of the Shadow and help the needy folk under their bootheel.
.
Next Up: Mother Helm
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 11:11:07 PM by Dirigible » Logged
TwiceBorn
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2013, 11:25:26 PM »

Awesome, Dirigible! I may need to make use of that one… merci!
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