Aptchi the Chef

This story is the background of a new Pathfinder character I came up with, who I may use as an NPC in my Meier setting.

Aptchi hatched about seven years ago.

Aptchi’s mother’s name was Eustela, and she was very unusual for a white dragon. Of course, as any dragon scholar knows, there are ten dragon breeds, and white dragons are the stupidest, weakest, and most pathetic of the bunch. Of course, that’s not saying much, since they’re still dragons who can bite your head off or freeze you into ice with their frost breath. But still, the other dragons look down on them. And white dragons themselves, seizing every opportunity to claim some kind of superiority, look down on those members of their tribe who show any kind of frailty or oddity. So when I say Eustela was an unusual white dragon, I mean that the other white dragons all laughed at her.

Eustela liked living in the warmest parts of Kamto, the frosty kingdom which white dragons rule with an iron fist. Already that was strange for a white dragon. She prefered the meat of unintelligent beasts to that of humans and other intelligent creatures – also odd. And she had been known to trade away part of her hoard, something almost unheard of in white dragons. For even though she got more valuables out of her trades, to part with any part of one’s hoard was considered un-dragonly.

Being so odd, Eustela was belittled and dishonored by her peers. She had no intention of changing her ways to  fit in, but she desperately sought any way to show the other dragons that she really was great. Her chance came when she caught a small group of human interlopers in her domain one day, and captured them all. As I mentioned, though they are stupid and weak by dragon standards, mature white dragons can still beat the stuffing out of humans who aren’t prepared, and Eustela wasn’t going to compound her dishonor by letting these intruders get away with their lives. But, lording it over the few creatures she could for this brief moment, she allowed them to beg for their lives.  Continue reading

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Nanofiction: Character Bios

Here are some short (very short) bios of a few characters I’ve made up.

The Master (?) Chymist

January the elf was born a slave. Sold from master to master until an alchemical guild purchased him to be a janitor and test subject. They treated him cruelly. One day he found himself running away from the guild’s flaming wreckage, but couldn’t remember how it happened. Alchemy can do funny things to a mind…

I Turned My Teacher Into A Spoon

Ashley is a girl of eight. She has uncombed black hair, a lovely red dress, a pewter cauldron, and an imp familiar. When her parents died, they left her their mansion – but they forgot to leave the mansion. Tired of living in a haunted house, she struck out on her own. Friendless, evil, but redeemable.

Fearsome Friendly Dragon

Bosarius, or Boltrider, is a youngish bronze dragon. He breathes lightning. Bosarius took it upon himself to watch over a small, helpless port town. His goal: guide it over the years to become a thriving metropolis. But can the townsfolk survive having a brash, easily angered (but good-hearted) dragon as “protector”? Time will tell.

Secret Agent Woman

Tara is an agent of a shadowy agency – can’t tell you which. She was assigned as “handler” of a rather bumbling mayor, whose administration must be a success – for classified reasons. Using her elite skills, Tara covertly seeks out and eliminates threats to His Honor – when she’s not covertly saving him from his own mistakes.

The Wizard Who Did It

Jackiv. Once, an eccentric wizard who liked having fun with magic, never mind the consequences. One day he found an unholy artifact that rubbed him the wrong way. He unmade it, absorbed its power, and became a god. Now a divinity, he still futzes with magic for amusement. Unexplained obstacle? Bizarre phenomenon? Probably his fault.

More Campaign Ideas

Everyone Loves A Succession Crisis A small kingdom is experiencing a succession crisis. It is a vassal of another state, which has declared that it will recognize the second son as the next king. But the law of the land states that the eldest son must become king. A civil war is brewing, and all nations have a stake. Will it remain a state under the dominion of another? Will a neighboring country step in, expecting influence and power in return? Or will the small kingdom rise to become the next great power in the world?

The Truth Is Out There In the middle of what used to be a featureless desert, a strange tower made of iron seems to have arisen out of the sand. Inside, adventurers find a terrible secret: It didn’t grow out of the earth. It fell from the heavens, along with the strange invaders inside. This was just a scouting party… it’s up to the adventurers to prepare the defenders of this world, and fight back against the aliens!

Turnabout Dragon The princess of the kingdom has been kidnapped. Heroes from all over are preparing to assault the local dragon… who denies everything, and hires some heroes of his own. Can they dig up the trail of false evidence, prove the dragon’s innocence, unravel the conspiracy, find the real culprit, and rescue the princess? Or must the poor dragon pay a terrible price for a crime he didn’t commit?

Those Damn Gnomes A small gnome village is discovered to sit atop the world’s richest adamantine deposit. Just about everyone, including the evil human baron, the greedy duergar, and the heartless dragon want to get those damn gnomes out of the way so they can start digging. Are there a band of gnomes with the guts, smarts, and sheer old gnomish whaddaya-call-it to keep the mine in gnomish hands? (Could work for any race other than human.)

Angels vs. Demons vs. Devils vs. Inevitables vs…. Thanks to a recent schism in the boundaries between planes, a number of extraplanar beings have started appearing in the mortal world. Mortal heroes need Continue reading

New Campaign Ideas

My semester is more or less over now, so I can get back to things that are important, like writing this. In particular, it seems there is a reasonable chance that I’ll be running a campaign next year. So of course I’ve got to think of a great idea for that campaign, and I find myself having too many. In particular, I find it hard to think of how the campaign will actually get started, and I may treat that as a separate issue. Anyway, here are some of my ideas.

First, I don’t think the time travel thing makes for an excellent campaign anymore. Now I think it’s basically an idea for a story where I don’t know who the main characters are yet. But it’s still a theoretical option. I have several new ideas, though, that I think I’m more inclined to do. And here they are:

Trust No One! The party members all meet, not in a tavern, but just outside one. They’re all about to step in for a drink, or just passing by, when suddenly, the whole tavern explodes. From the remains bursts an angry fire elemental, who the adventurers take down. At some point during the fight, one of them (or more than one) bumps into someone invisible or hears them cast a spell. Now, at this point, there’s no good reason for the adventurers to stay together, so they go their separate ways. But later that day, they each get a message (either via message spell, or someone slips them a piece of paper) enticing them to come to a specific building that evening. As soon as they get there, they are ambushed by assassins, and the next day, pursued by town guards wanting to arrest them on suspicion of causing the tavern explosion. At some point, they’re contacted by an underworld group offering assistance and an explanation. Basically, by bumping into the invisible person, they discovered a secret they were not meant to know, and are now the targets of a coverup. It evolves into a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of government and threatens to Continue reading

Gigas’ Tale: Topsy-Turvy

Picking up Gigas’ Tale again! Going to try doing shorter, more frequent installations this time.

Gigas bent down to tighten his shoes, again. They were really more like slippers, but it was all the same to him. As a halfling, he was just unaccustomed to footwear, and was deathly afraid they would fall off. Satisfied they wouldn’t, he straightened up again and walked a few more paces, coming to a stop before a stalactite as tall as he was. “This is so awesome,” he grinned, staring up at the bronze dragon a good 10 yards above him. The dragon, resting comfortably in his cave, smiled back. Gigas stepped gingerly around the rock so that a ray of sunlight from the huge cave opening reflected off a heap of dragon gold and lit him from above. “And it’s going to make getting back here way easier.”

“Yes, I hope so,” said Bosarius the dragon. “Although you may not wish to walk along the ceiling the entire way.”

“True enough,” Gigas called from the cave ceiling. He looked around at the cavern, seeing mounds of treasure high above him, not to mention the Continue reading

Awesome D&D Idea: Timey-Wimey

I got a great idea for a D&D campaign in class today, and I totally intend to do it if I get the opportunity. Don’t want to make all the details public, but the basic idea is: time travel. The idea would be something with the same feel as Chrono Trigger (a great Super Nintendo game), but not the same setting or rules or any of that. The players would start out in a medieval setting, but then find portals that lead to other time periods, including a prehistoric age where dragons reign, a era with a Romanesque empire ruling the world, and a Diablo-like post-apocalypse where the world is nearly overrun with demons and monsters. There would be only 5 or 6 eras that it’s possible to travel to, and time generally moves along in all eras at the same rate as the party experiences. In other words, if the party takes a portal back 1000 years, spends a week there, and then takes a portal forward 1000 years, they’ll find they’ve been missing for a week.

Time travel would replace planar travel in pretty much all ways, for both gameplay and plot reasons. So, for example, the spell Plane Shift would instead be Time Shift. It would work the same way as the portals, however, and would allow travel in time but not in space. That means you couldn’t use it to go to anything but the 5-6 time periods I’d have planned out, and time would still pass as I explained before. You couldn’t use it to, say, go back a few rounds and give yourself some advice.

There would be some threads that weave through the time periods. For example, dragons are presumed extinct in all except the prehistoric age, but action taken by the party to save two dragons might change that. A legendary lost sword supposedly owned by Emperor So-and-So might be obtainable by the party if they go back and ask him to lend it to them. And the party’s involvement in a historical battle might change the balance of power in the future. You know, those sorts of shenanigans.

I also have an idea for a character that I don’t know yet what he is, but he sounds awesome. Basically, it’s just a faceless man. He never says anything (for he has no mouth), but would be a recurring character who keeps running into the party even though they’re traveling through time. That should puzzle them. It’s got me puzzled too, but I think the plainest answer is that he’s immortal, although I still don’t know what he is yet.

There’s no Lavos (the sleeping monster at the world’s core in Chrono Trigger), but there is an evil older than time itself. That should be fun. Not that the party will even find out about it at first. That comes once they’ve gotten a feel for the world and its different eras. In order to get people used to the world, time travel shouldn’t be something that happens to the party every day. I’m thinking something like every level or two they should time travel, that should be the goal. At least at first, the party should get a chance to do a couple of quests per time period, and then shift again. I’d mostly enforce this by having portals at the end of dungeons, say, or else having portals show up where they party happens to already be. This would involve more railroading than I normally like to do, but I think I can make up for it by letting the party do as they like the rest of the time.

Anyway, this is an excellent idea and I’m totally doing it if I can. I need to get some people together.

Gigas’ Tale: Hobbitania’s Dragon

Read the previous chapter here.

“Of course,” said the man with a deep bow. “My name is Bosarius. I am a dragon.”

Gigas  just stared at him, skeptically. “I… see,” he said, adjusting his feathered hat awkawardly. This was a bizarre sort of claim, and it seemed worthless to point out that the man looked nothing like a dragon. If it was a lie or a joke, and Gigas accepted it, he would look like a fool. If it was the truth and he denied it, he could have an angry dragon in front of him. He decided his best bet was to play along, without looking too serious. “I’ve never met a dragon before,” he said in a tone of mild interest. “How do you do?”

The strange man gave the young sorcerer the same skeptical look. “Quite well,” he said dismissively, “but it was you we were speaking of, was it not? I could teach you to create such wonders with your magic, especially now that you are getting such a nice start on your magical career,” he nodded in the direction of the cooper’s shop, site of the spell Gigas had cast. “Why have you never come to visit me? I would have welcomed you any time.”

“Well… I would have liked to visit,” improvised Gigas, “but you know how hard it is to travel by ship nowadays. The security checks are such a hassle, and they charge all kinds of fees, especially when your destination is a dragon’s—”

“You’ve never heard of me at all, have you?” interjected the one who claimed to be called Bosarius.

“Nope!” said Gigas, brightly. He could be good at deception if it were necessary, but it was hardly necessary here. “Actually, I hope you’re not offended, but so far, I have only you’re word that you’re a—”

He was cut off again. “Come with me,” said the man, grabbing him unceremoniously by the hand and Continue reading