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  • Him Draug (pronounced: Heem Drowg. translation: "Frost Wolf")
  • D&D Lore Point: Lolth was called Araushnee before her fall.

Midnight SPOILERS - 10 Steps to Save the World

"No Captain... Battle formations."
"Give them NOTHING, but take from them EVERYTHING!"

"We can't always choose our circumstances, but we can choose how we handle them."
"sometimes, what matters is not that you made the right decision, it's that you made any decision at all. If the choice falls between certain death and possible death...well, that's not much of a choice, is it?"
"War is our imperative...payback."
"she will lead the human race to its end....She is the herald of the apocalypse"

The Priest of Shadow is chagrined that his dark master has not exposed the coiling serpents in the Order’s midst, but dares not ask for aid in this matter for fear of appearing weak. Rumors among the Devout speculate that the Cabal is led by a council of the most ancient legates, greater legates long ensconced in undeath, and some even suggest that Beirial himself guides this inner circle from the depths of some black crypt. If the order’s founding father does indeed still walk upon Aryth, he has not been seen in two and a half thousand years, and his tomb lies empty not far from the ruins of Bandilrin. The crumbling monastery and its attendant catacombs are haunted by hordes of the Shunned Mother tribe and by twisted spirits and foul demons summoned by a dark and nameless force that has been master in the birthplace of the Order of Shadow for over a century. Sunulael suspects that Beirial does still exist and worse, has formed an alliance with his greatest rival, Ardherin, Sorcerer of Shadow.

Since its beginnings in the First Age at the remote monastery of Bandilrin, the Order of Shadow has spread like a poisonous cloud through the lands of Eredane: in its touch was corruption and where it passed suffering and death followed. During the First Age, the legates, led by Beirial the Betrayer, marshaled their forces in the secret places of the Highhorn Mountains and desolate wastes of the Northern Marches. They explored new vistas of power granted by the returning strength of their dark god, and their ranks were swollen with those who felt the call of evil in their blighted souls and followed its siren song into the north. In the war that ended the age, Izrador’s legates wielded his divine might to terrifying effect and the lands were scorched and defiled by black magics. Yet despite his dark power, their god was defeated at the Battle of Three Kingdoms and the order was fractured, the survivors fleeing into the hinterlands to rebuild their strength.
Beirial: It is rumored that the original founder of the Order of Shadow lairs in the ruins of Bandilrin as a lich. Ardherin believes that the first legate would make an excellent ally against Sunulael, and so has dispatched a contingent of powerful agents to scour Bandilrin and contact any Trapped or Lost there in an attempt to locate Beirial. Information leading to Beirial’s exact location would be strongly rewarded, and if contact can be made with the ancient priest, there are few prices Ardherin would not pay to bring the lich into his fold.
Keepers of Obsidian
Masters of the Zordrafin Corith; Keepers of Forbidden Lore Grand Master of the Mirror:
Guardians of the oldest grand mirrors, the Black Five have served Izrador since the time of Beirial and watch the clumsy machinations of their inferiors with cold amusement. The Black Five are amongst the most powerful of the Cabal and periodically purge the lower ranks of Devout infiltrators. The control of the grand mirrors in Cambrial and Sharuun by greater legates outside the Keepers of Obsidian is a source of concern for the Five, particularly as these high priests are of the Devout.

This is Red and this is not.




  • A Quickened Sarcosan Sword-Brother Fighter/Legate. (11th level) Once one of the good guys (a Pathwalker even), gave into despair and inevitability.
  • A Hulking Hurler Death-Mask Giant (ECL 12) who carried around a Caber made from Icewood bound in Black Iron, enchanted with cold.
  • An Orcish Legate (Level 10) from the order of the Grey Hand (a rare sect of Orc legates made for my campaign. Basically combat medics for the orc army.)
  • A pair of Sniffer Goblin Wildlanders (both 5th level) (both kept on a chains like dogs and led by the Sword Brother. Both played by the same player.)
  • A Dreadguard (ECL 10) (another creation for my campaign. Basically, it's the animated corpse of an Oruk, with super heavy plate that's been nailed into the hardened flesh. The body acts as a vessel for a powerful bodiless spirit.)


Salting the earth refers to the practice of spreading salt on fields to make them incapable of being used for crop-growing. This was done in ancient times at the end of some wars as an extremely punitive scorched earth tactic.
A scorched earth policy is a military tactic which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. Apparently a translation of the Chinese phrase jiao tu (焦土 jiāotǔ), the term refers to the practice of burning crops to deny the enemy food sources, although it is by no means limited to food stocks, and can include shelter, transportation, communications and industrial resources, which are often of equal or greater military value in modern warfare, as modern armies generally carry their own food supplies. The practice may be carried out by an army in enemy territory, or by an army in its own home territory. It is often confused with the term "slash-and-burn," however, that is not a military tactic but rather an agricultural technique. It may overlap with, but is not the same as, punitive destruction of an enemy's resources, which is done for strategic rather than tactical reasons.
The Harrowing of the North - The death toll is believed to be 150,000, with substantial social, cultural, and economic damage. Due to the scorched earth policy, much of the land was laid waste and depopulated, a fact to which Domesday Book, written almost two decades later, readily attests.
Area denial weapons are used to prevent an adversary from occupying or traversing an area of land. The method does not have to be totally effective (and usually isn't) as long as it is sufficient to severely restrict, slow down, or endanger the opponent. Most area denial weapons pose long-lasting risks to anyone entering the area, specifically to civilians, and thus are often controversial.
Sea denial is a military term describing attempts to deny an enemy's ability to use the sea (usually with naval blockades or port blockades)[1] but at the same time making no attempt to control the sea itself. It is a far easier strategy to carry out than sea control because it requires the mere existence of a navy. The downside of sea denial is that fleets may become over-stretched as constant hit-and-run tactics can erode unit strength, leaving them unready for direct action in main fleet combat.
A blockade is any effort to prevent supplies, troops, information or aid from reaching an opposing force. Blockades are the cornerstone to nearly all military campaigns and the tool of choice for economic warfare on an opposing nation.
Blockades can take any number of forms from a simple garrison of troops along a main roadway to utilizing dozens or hundreds of surface combatant ships in securing a harbor, denying its use to the enemy, and even in cutting off or jamming broadcast signals from radio or television. As a military operation, blockades have been known to be the deciding factor in winning or losing a war.
Blockades are planned around four general rules:
  • Value of thing to become blockaded: First, the value of the item being blockaded must warrant the need to blockade.
  • Blockading strength is equal to or greater than the opposing force: Second, the strength of the blockading force must be equal to or greater in strength than the opposition. The blockade is only successful if the 'thing' is prevented from reaching its receiver.
  • Suitability of terrain to aid in the blockade: Third, in the case of land blockades, choosing suitable terrain. Knowing where the force will be travelling through will help the blockader in choosing territory to aid them. For example, forcing a garrison between a high mountain pass in order to bottle neck the opposing force.
  • Willpower to maintain the blockade: Fourth, willpower to maintain a blockade. The success of a blockade is based almost entirely on the will of the people to maintain it.


Name, Actual Name (spell), Description, Effect (paragraph), Caster Level, Arcane or Devine, Origin (where it was found), picture, Book/Page Reference

Name, Actual Name (spell), what language, Description, Effect (paragraph), Caster Level, Arcane or Devine, Origin (where it was found), picture, Book/Page Reference

Name, Type (True/Greater/Lesser/Minor), Description, Effect (paragraph), Origin (where it was found), picture, Book/Page Reference

Need UPDATING[edit]

  • Nycoptic Manuscripts from Vrolk's tower. What is this item?
  • Travelling papers for Zal (scroll) Authority Mark
  • "wanted" posters for Krell for Zal
  • Goblin Mark from Lakz for Zal
  • month day planner
  • item cards


  • Plate armor, breastplate and greaves, 'The Caustic Plate'
  • Open-faced plate helmet, 'Vanguard'
  • Spiked steel mask, 'The Veil of Hell'
  • set of enchanted blacksmith tools


  • Benaedan's Pelt (updated to 8th level)
  • (True) Silvered Acorn necklace (needs updated by GM)
  • Swallows Regret (10 uses) (what is this? I can't remember)
  • Nifty telescope (needs updated by GM)


  • Splinter Steed Dirk 'Soul Splinter' (Adam, can you note all

the details I've given so far on this that you remember please. needs updated by GM)

  • The Journal of Ardherin (needs updated by GM)
  • Pouch containing drugs (Adam - I want suggestions on this, then

I'll make the list - needs updated by GM)

  • Pouch containing poisons (Adam - I want suggestions on this,

then I'll make the list - needs updated by GM)

  • Enchantment Save Penalizing Flower given to him by Eranon

(what is this? I can't remember)

  • Copper signet ring (what is this? I can't remember)
  • A Hearthstone in the shape of a large brass skeleton key (what

is this? I can't remember)


  • Seludonym's Folly (updated to 8th level)
  • Occulus of the Spine (updated to 8th level)
  • Harvester of Souls (updated to 7th level)
  • Echo's Splinter
  • True Charm - "Cap of Spiritual Awareness"

Bluebook Updating[edit]

RANK & FILE[edit]


Random NOTES[edit]

KILLING the PCs... err... challenging the PCs[edit]

Killing Kyuad[edit]

  • If the bad guys aren't prepared to fight powerful undead (like Kyuad) they will never reliably pierce his DR except with magic. If they know a lich is in play on the PCs side, however, and they prepare at all for dealing with one, the DR is pretty easily overcome.
  • A disintigrate by itself is a lich killer, and coupled with some anti-undead spells that any channeler with necromancy or legate can cast, and there are some big holes in Kyuad's defence.
  • even huge numbers of mooks will never pose him a threat (Unless, of course, they grapple him and tie him up. A few will die, be paralyzed or run away in fear, but if ten mooks tackle Kyuad, he is done.)
  • Any and all Elemental damage (Fire, Cold, Acid, Electricity and Sonic) will ignore it straight away.
  • Most other magical damage is either Force or Untyped Magical damage and would affect him fully as well.
  • Undead have a HUGE exploitable weakness; they are immune to attacks requiring Fort saves UNLESS the attack also effects objects (i.e. Disintigrate). But, since they have ' - ' CON, they have crap fort saves.
  • Legates and Channelers: anti-undead spells;
  • Heal deals 10 damage per caster level to an undead
  • command undead is a short duration dominate
  • undeath to death (my personal favorite) turns 1d4 HD/caster level of undead back into regular dead.
  • A good number of natural weapons are considered bludgeoning, including slams, tramples, tail slaps, tentacle attacks, and, most importantly, BITE attacks.
  • Any natural weapon can be made magical with a Magic Fang or Greater Magic Fang spell, and any druid or other animal using caster type would cast those spells anyway.
  • it is generally assumed that a creature with /Magic DR counts its natural attacks as magical for the purposes of overcoming DR
  • a baddy a magical mace, morningstar, flail, etc.

ITEMS and CHARMS[edit]

  • Covenant Items
    • Seludonym's Folly a.k.a. The Scarf of the People
      • appears as a scarf made of woven bark. 1 lb.
      • 3rd Level: This illusion-creating scarf alters the appearance of the wearer as the disguise self spell. The wearer appears to be a person common to the local surroundings. When the scarf is removed all affected by the illusion forget the person was wearing it and treat them as if they've just arrived, forgetting the illusionary person. Anyone knowing the scarf is in use is allowed a DC 15 Will save to avoid forgetting wearing the scarf. The glamor lasts for 1 hour. (Faint illusion; CL 6th)
      • 4th Level: The wearer can see as though affected by a true seeing spell. This ability can be used for as long as 30 minutes a day, divided up into periods of minutes or rounds as the user sees fit. Wearer may make a Will Save to resist beginning at DC10.
      • 8th Level: The wearer is protected from all devices and spells that detect, influence, or read emotions or thoughts. Seludonym's Folly protects against mind-affecting spells and effects that seek information gathering. The Scarf of the People even foils limited wish, miracle and wish spells when used to gain information on the wearer.In the case of scrying that scans an area the wearer is in, such as arcan eye, the effect works but the wearer simply isn't detected. Scrying attempts that are targeted specifically at the wearer don not work at all.
        The wearer is affected by "the Folly" effect. Wearer may make a Will Save to resist beginning at DC20.
      • 11th Level:  ???. Wearer may make a Will Save to resist beginning at DC30.

Seludonym's Folly begins to affect the wearer's mind with it's power. The wearer begins to become confused, unable to remember themselves, items held, their past, family, friends and enemies (all but skills/abilities). Roll on the following table to determine the wearer's state of mind.
d%: Behavior
01-10: No memory loss
11-20: Do nothing but ask questions about to determine lost memories.
21-50: Wearer Full Attacks most threatening creature, if none are available wearer begins argument with nearest friend due to the confused state.
51-70: Flee away from surrounding friend or foe due to confused paranoia.
71-100: Full Attack the nearest creature (familiar counts as another creature) due to confused fear state.
The wearer that cannot carry out the indicated action does nothing but babble questions to themselves regarding who they are. Attackers are not at any special advantage when attacking the wearer in a confused state. The wearer will not make attacks of opportunity against any creature until attacked by that creature.



  • Azamyr's sword {Falknar}
  • Kursu is Courtier for “Lightning”. This ancient weapon was brought to Eredane during the Sarcosan invasion in the early years of the Second Age. The original pommel, a globe of Pellurian star crystal, was smashed when its then wielder, one of the generals leading the war against Erethor, was assassinated by Elven mages in 318 S.A. The sword was later reforged and formally returned by the Elves as part of the alliance with the newly formed Kingdom of Erenland.

Kursu is a bastard sword, the blade of white Pellurian steel, the pommel (a replacement) made of steel from Eredane with its characteristic blue tint.

  • 3rd level: Lightning Path: 1/day the wielder may call Kursu to her as a free action, causing the sword to instantly move into the wielder’s hand at lightning speed or if the wielder has no hand free, fall at the wielder’s feet in her square. Kursu must be within 30’ of the wielder and not held or wielded by anyone and a clear (not necessarily straight) path must exist to the wielder, or the call attempt fails.
  • 5th level: Lightning Dances: +2 luck bonus to Reflex saves.
  • 7th level: Lightning Shock: Upon command the weapon is sheathed in crackling electricity. The electricity does not harm th wielder, and the effect remains until another command is given. Upon a successful hit Kursu deals an additional 1d6 points of electricity damage.
  • 9th level: Veil of Lightning: For up to 5 rounds per day (can be spread over several uses), as a free action the wielder can surround herself with a veil of flickering, humming electricity, providing her with concealment for a 20% miss chance to any opponent using sight or hearing.
  • 11th level: Edge of Light (always active): Kursu gains a +1 enhancement bonus.
  • 13th level: Glorious Lightning: Upon command for up to 5 rounds per day, Kursu is sheathed in bright, crackling lightning that sheds light equivalent to that of a daylight spell and grants a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls, weapon damage rolls and will saves to all allies within 30’. Glorious Lightning can not be used while Veil of Lightning is active and vice versa. Once the Glorious Lightning ability is unlocked, the concealment bonus conferred by Veil of Lightning increases to 50%.

  • [{Midnight covenant item: Cloak of Elvenkind|name???] aka the Cloak of Elvenkind: This cloak of neutral gray cloth is indistinguishable from an ordinary cloak of the same color. However, when worn with the hood drawn up around the head, it gives the wearer a +5 competence bonus on Hide checks. Faint illusion; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, invisibility, creator must be an elf; Price 2,500 gp; Weight 1 lb. on command its magical properties distort and warp light waves. This displacement works just like the displacement spell and lasts for a total of 15 rounds per day, which the wearer can divide up as she sees fit. Moderate illusion; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, Extend Spell, displacement; Price 50,000 gp;Weight 1 lb. +5 competence bonus on Spot checks. offer magic protection in the form of a +1 to +5 resistance bonus on all saving throws enable the wearer to move quietly in virtually any surroundings, granting a +5 competence bonus on Move Silently checks.
  • [[Midnight covenant item: Scarf|Scraf??] ??? affected as if by a disguise self glamer, with the individual who sprinkles the dust envisioning the illusion desired. An unwilling target is allowed a DC 11 Reflex save to avoid the dust. The glamer lasts for 2 hours. Faint illusion; CL 6th; Craft Wondrous Item, disguise self; Price 1,200 gp. enables the user to see as though she were affected by the true seeing spell. A gem of seeing can be used for as much as 30 minutes a day, divided up into periods of minutes or rounds as the user sees fit. allows its wearer to alter her appearance as with a disguise self spell. enables its wearer to appear to be part of his surroundings. This allows him a +10 competence bonus on Hide checks. The wearer can adopt the appearance of another creature, as with the disguise self spell, at will. All creatures acquainted with and friendly to the wearer see him normally. Moderate illusion; CL 10th; Craft Wondrous Item, disguise self; Price 30,000 gp;Weight 1 lb.
  • Bracelet of Friends: This silver charm bracelet has four charms upon it when created. The owner may designate one person known to him to be keyed to one charm. (This designation takes a standard action, but once done it lasts forever or until changed.) When a charm is grasped and the name of the keyed individual is spoken, that person is called to the spot (a standard action) along with his or her gear, as long as the owner and the called person are on the same plane. The keyed individual knows who is calling, and the bracelet of friends only functions on willing travelers. Once a charm is activated, it disappears. Charms separated from the bracelet are worthless. A bracelet found with fewer than four charms is worth 25% less for each missing charm. Strong conjuration; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, refuge; Price 19,000 gp.
  • Backbiter aka Demondeath of the Abandoned
  • Anathema, the staff of snakes
  • Gringold's Bounder ring
  • Quarrion's Spike
  • Cur's Ichorous Blade, the Fang of Shadow (sentient weapon)
  • Agon's Reprieve - Ring of the Guardian


  • tarnished bronze metal ring (Lesser: purifies 1 cubic foot of water)
  • a wrist bracelet of woven grass (True: +4 Will SV vs. Compulsion Effects)
  • 4 in. straight twig (Minor: +2 Will SV)
  • a statue head of a smiling man (Minor: +2 Bluff check)
  • barbed Sarcosan arrowhead (Minor: +2 Heal check)
  • small piece of bark charred by lightning (Minor: +2 Fort SV)
  • small rubbing stone (Lesser: +1 AC for 1 min.)
  • a flattened purple/green flower (Minor: +2 Will SV)



  • Walden's cloak of elven-make


  • a scarf, colored as treebark (True:  ?? ) {Thorton}

the world's cosmology[edit]

In particular, I’m quite interested in the idea that Izrador's fall to Aryth and his deception of the Gods is not and has never been what it appears to be. Rather, I see it as the old fey gods cutting their losses and casting out the black sheep of the family. Aryth is Izrador's prison, and while the veil is his own work and his own idea, it is not for his benefit (and it is not for his gain).
Having just re-read the divine comedy, i find this idea incredibly appealing. The players really are on their own, since the gods have no intention of ever returning to Aryth. At an extreme, the fey gods are in fact the player's enemy, since they are ultimately responsible for the war.
I also wanted to address why Izrador has not pursued the genocide of mankind: Mankind is not Izrador's enemy, the fey are. As a nod to Grial's back story, he really does intend to eradicate the fey by taking advantage of the Orcs hatred of their distant cousins to perpetuate genocide. Izrador believes that the fey are the only thing sustaining the power of the old gods, so if he can destroy the fey races he will cripple them more completely than he believes he already has. Once he breaches the veil, the elder gods will be easy prey.
But this isn't his ends, merely a means. More than anything else, Izrador wants to return to heaven (again, back to the divine comedy); to do this, he needs an army that the fey gods do not control. The humans are the only non-fey sentient race on Aryth. This is why the church of the shadow is dominated by humans, and why he has not sought to eradicate mankind ... it is also likely to be why he has not waged war on the rest of Aryth.

Izrador needs mankind to storm heaven.

So this is the quandary I intend to throw my players: Izrador doesn't want to rule Aryth, he doesn't even want to be there. In fact, Izrador wants to elevate the entire human race. Izrador might also not have begun evil (at least he doesn't think so), just arrogant and powerful, but it's been a long and subtle trip downhill. He wants out, and he will leave once the fey are destroyed. If the players want an ultimate end to the war, they have the option to help Izrador discover a way to pierce the veil.

Really, once you think about it, it might not be such a hard sell. The fey were toast to begin with. Human expansion and aggression, combined with a low birth rate would seal their fate. Even without the war, the fey wouldn't have had much time left. They are (in Izrador's opinion) the fractured and degenerate remains of the final creation of the gods that abandoned Aryth to shadow and flame. Remember, we're not just talking elves and dwarves here, but also the Orcs. No matter what their birth rate is, the Orcs cannot sustain the kind of losses the elves and dwarves are inflicting.
Humans are, by contrast, the natural product of Aryth. Humans evolved on the planet and it is their birthright. Once Izrador retakes heaven, he will leave Aryth to its proper owners. No more gods, no more elder races keeping secrets from you like condescending parents, and no more war.

It's the classic deal with the devil: everything you want, but in return you must turn against [the] God[s]. This of course, assumes that the party is entirely human.

This line of discourse may be Izrador's most potent logical tool for enslaving humans to his will as Legates for their entire lives. If the goal of the dark god is to breach the Veil and regain the heavens, who wouldn't support him? Doesn’t the world suffer so in its isolation? Wouldn't it be better to support an attempt to regain the heavens for the world, even if that attempt is being led by a being of evil?

I'd certainly agree that Izrador has no real interest in ruling Aryth, and that all his energies are focused on breaching the Veil and gaining freedom. I'd also agree that the Sundering was a form of damage control, and as such arguably an act of extreme callousness by Aryth's deities, who certainly would NOT want to see the PCs breach the Veil, even to beg intervention and redemption for Aryth. In fact, destroying the Grand Mirror or otherwise delaying the Shadow's plans for a century or so is about all the PCs can do in such a scenario, since the only beings capable of freeing Midnight from the Shadow are likely the gods, who have a strong interest against doing so.
In fact, I may allow the PCs to discover this on the verge of implementing a potentially successful scheme to breach the Veil and look for help in the heavens. The solar Anuviel may track them down and tell them why the Veil is really there, and why it, as a truly selfless servant of good, has accepted its imprisonment as a small price to pay for keeping the Dark God chained. The PCs will then have to face a new level of despair. (Of course, I'll be letting them off the hook in a different way, but they'll have to destroy the world to do it!)

It seems to me a great spin from the Shadow. It pits the humans against the fey. It justifies the means for a questionable end. It's exactly the kind of thing the voices of shadow will be shouting in the streets of Baden's Bluff and every where else they go. Perfect!

the Shadow's Hour & the Twilight Hours[edit]

The world used to only have 25 hours. The 26th hour was added the end of the Third Age, when Highwall fell.

They will also discover that Aryth used to have 24...before the Veil. On an Earth-like world, twilight is the half hour before sunrise and after sunset. Also called the Fading Time, my Aryth has both twilight times extended to a full hour each -- extra half hour towards daylight and an extra half hour towards darkness. Under this preternaturally long twilight, things get confusing. Solutions are unclear, trails are lost, and memories grow faint. The stars, too, are dimmer and more difficult to make out. Like viewing stars today in the modern world: unless you're far from cities, you will never see the evening or morning stars as crisp pinpoints of fire. They should be at least partially visible, but even the brightest are barely seen until the sun's light is mostly gone. In the morning they nearly vanish as soon as the horizon begins to light.

During the 26th hour, the Shadow's Hour, Legates pray. The stars slow their movements across the sky and grow faint, but they do still move, and they are still visible. Even the beasts of the wild are still for fear of drawing attention. If the moon is visible, it is small and distant, providing little light. This is also when the Lost are most likely to stir. It is said that should the stars ever completely stop, they will fall. And if the sky loses all of its stars, Izrador has won. Some say it is the prayers of Legates that empower the Shadow in slowing the heavens, each nigh trying to rip them apart with his hatred. For PCs travelling at night, I make this time creepy as hell.

All invoked for dramatic impact, not frivolously or all the time. More like superstitions that sometimes come true.

I have allocated the time in a single equinox day -- when the times of darkness and daylight should be half and half -- to have an extra hour of twilight (30m evening, 30m morning) and an extra hour of darkness due to the 26th. The sun struggles to be free of the darkness as it rises, and as a child avoids bedtime and fears what may be under their bed, the sun fears and fights and cries against descending into darkness. When the sun is farthest from the waking world, the Shadow rules. The heavens grow distant, and all are consumed...even light itself.

So, on a day that should have been 12 hours of light, 11 of hours darkness and 1 hour of twilight with 2400=0000:

  • 0530-0600: Morning twilight
  • 0600: Sunrise
  • 1200: Midday
  • 1800: Sunset
  • 1800-1830: Evening twilight

We now have 12 hours of light, 12 hours of darkness and 2 hours of twilight, with 2600=0000:

  • 0500-0600: Morning twilight
  • 0600: Sunrise
  • 1200: Midday
  • 1800: Sunset
  • 1800-1900: Evening twilight
  • 2500-0000: Shadow's Hour

Daylight remains constant, the in between times are extended, and the darkness grows in strength.


Different spells were more powerful/weaker depending on the time of day. Different arcs are associated with different schools. Or, if it's hours... necromancy for midnight, illusions or enchantments for the Fading Time (perhaps one for dawn, one for dusk), transmutation for midday, lesser conjuration for early morning (healing light of the new day)...

Illicit Activities[edit]


There exists a place outside the boundaries of mortal eyes. A world, layered on top of our own. To the Dorns, it is the Middle Land where spirits dwell for a time after death, awaiting the test of valor which will allow them into the great paradise beyond. To the Sarcosans it is purgatory, where the souls of the outcast or the unworthy are forced to remain instead of being allowed to ride into the sky with the great heroes and gods of old. To the Halflings it is the Spirit World, the original home of the Wogren. To the Dwarves it called Dol Kraggen Khor, the Skin the Land. In their stories it is the place where the Father Sun and Mother Moon sleep when they are away from the sky.

Perhaps closest to the truth are the elven legends. The Elves refer to this place as Eltharyth, the Old World, at one time it was accessible to them by the Old Ways, ancient gateways which bridge the world of Aryth with it's ghostly twin. Elven scholars believe that the Old Ways were originally built by the Elthedar, and that the First Fae may have actually lived in both worlds, crossing between them at their leisure. The oldest stories describe the old ways as something of a buffer or middle ground between the world of the living and the lands of the dead. It was a place where the living could go to speak with the dead one last time, and a place where the dead could continue to observe their former home. It was once described as a bright and timeless place, uncluttered by the problems of the mortal realm, where things shown brightly and clearly with the light of their spirits.

Everything changed with the Sundering. With the doors to the heavens firmly shut, Eltharyth became a place of madness as the spirits of the dead began to pile up with nowhere to go. Ancient priests, cut off from their gods sought answers from the Middle Lands. Though warned against it, the zealous and frightened priests would not listen. With powerful magics they projected their spirits into the Middle Lands and traveled the spirit realm trying to find some trace of the Lost Gods. Their efforts proved fruitless. Some ancient scholars believed that it was the spirits of those priests returning to their bodies, carrying the infection and hunger and madness of the Old World, who became the first Fell.

The last record of a physical journey to the Spirit World today exists in the library of Five Towers. It is an ancient scroll which has been translated and transcribed dozens of times. Now only a few know of its existence. It was originally written by the apprentice of a powerful magic-user who took it upon himself to enter Eltharyth bodily to look for clues as to the nature of the Sundering. The spell he used to open such a portal has been lost, and lucky too, for the images projected to his apprentice through a crystal ball showed visions of horror. Where once the world was clear and bright, all was now shrouded in mists. Color seemed to be leached from the land, leaving everything muted and dull. Sound was dampened, and muffled. The great wizard described hearing moaning and screaming in the distance all around him. The air was cold in a way which seeped in through any and all protection, including the magical warmth the mage shrouded himself in. It sapped his strength by the hour. He occasionally saw what he believed to be the spirits of the dead wandering through the swirling mists, those that noticed him became hostile.

Note: perhaps when ethereal a being could exist in the Eltharyth without suffering madness or the coldness that this mage suffered.

The Mage's wards held them at bay, but the mists themselves continued to drain his strength. Just when the great mage was thinking that his endurance was about to fail him and that he should cast the spell to return home, he cried out and dropped the crystal he was using to communicate. The poor apprentice watched as his master was attacked by some unseen force which caused his master's skin to shrivel to leather, bleaching and cracking in areas shaped strangely like bite marks. Twisted bodiless faces seemed to be outlined in the mists swirling around the mage. His magics and wards failed him, and in the end the mage's whitened, desiccated body collapsed to the ground without a visible wound on it.

Note: These could be the first astiraxes, or maybe wraiths as the following might suggest.

The mass of faces began to fade back into the mists, but the apprentice swore that before they vanished, he saw his master's tortured face swirling among them. The apprentice continued his vigil at the crystal, shaking with sadness and terror, but hoping to learn something from watching the area where his master's crystal had fallen. Some time later he watched in horror as a spirit made of smoke and shadowstuff came upon his master's corpse. With a motion that the apprentice described as steam escaping a teapot, only in reverse, the shade entered his master's corpse. It then rose smoothly to it's feet, leaking dark smoke from it's eyes and from the cracks in it's skin. The creature then looked directly at the crystal, picked it up and spoke to the apprentice. What was said is not written, but the apprentice has written that the crystal was destroyed for the good of the world.

The apprentice's account also coined the term which is now used among spirit adepts to describe the spirit world. He called it the Grey Lands, describing the colorless, foggy place of sadness and cold.

The Elves quickly realized that Eltharyth was not the place it had been. They closed or destroyed the Old Way portals to keep the spirits from pouring back into the mortal world. They told themselves they would worry about this trouble once the others had been dealt with. Much time passed.

Today the Grey Lands are a place which most have only heard of in ancient legends. Even fewer know that the place described in the Halfling tales of the First Wogren is the same place that the rituals of the Dorns call to in order to honor their ancestors.

The ways to travel to this place are barely remembered, and the dangers for doing so are many, but should any brave soul find the way, travel in the Grey Lands may not be any more dangerous than other forms of travel in the Last Age, and while the danger of getting lost in the mists would be great, the old stories say that the Old Ways were the fastest form of travel ever conceived. To some, the speed may be worth the risk.

The Spirit Reflection[edit]

Everything has a spiritual reflection in the Grey Lands, but not everything is around long enough for the reflection to "solidify". It seems to be that the longer a thing is in one place the more "real" it's reflection becomes. Living creatures move around too much for their spirit reflections to be anything more than faint outlines, which dissolve into nothing when they move quickly. Ancient structures or trees may be nearly identical in the Grey Lands as they are in the mortal world. Newly erected buildings may be translucent, and even able to be walked through. In some cases, structures which have been destroyed still maintain their spirit reflection long after they are rubble. Long ago, scholars believed that because time passes differently in the Spirit World, it simply takes longer for it to "catch up" to the rapidly changing mortal realm.

Additionally, things which are normally hidden are plain in the Old World. Magic is visible to everyone, and emits a muted haze of a color which corresponds to the kind of magic it is. Living things as well emit a dim light. When observing from the spirit world, all living things seem to glow faintly from within. This illumination seems to be the only light which can illuminate their form and features to an observer in the spirit world. Some people's glows are brighter than others, though why has never been understood. This glow is almost always a pale whitish blue, and is referred to as 'Spirit Light' by those who can see such things. Strangely, living things appear to those in the spirit world almost exactly the way spirits appear in the mortal world. When they can be seen at all they are only specters.

It seems that Izrador's taint is reflected in the light of the spirits of his worshipers. To the truly pious, their light is dimmed and nearly invisible, it also can become stained with red or deep purple. To those who receive His gifts, such as Legates, their inner light is replaced by a spreading darkness which fills their Spirit Reflections from within like oil in water.

Demons and other Outsiders glow brightest of all, but never with the pale light of mortals, and never from within. Outsiders appear as solid creatures of one single color, as if they had been covered from head to toe with paint. Their Spirit Reflections are always in the shape of their true selves, never the forms they often take in the land of the living. Any traveler would do well to avoid such creatures, for many of them seem to be able to see clearly in both worlds at the same time.

Spirits which dwell in the land of the living, such as ghosts or astiraxes, always have a spiritual thread which connects them to the Grey Lands. Most often this appears as a tiny prick of light or darkness leaving a slight trail as it travels. To those able to see clearly into the mortal realm from the Grey Lands, they might see this trail disappearing into the creature's form. Were it ever discovered how to cut this spiritual tether, it may destroy the spirit utterly. It may also free it completely.

Corporeal undead creatures, including Fell, have no Spirit Reflection, and are all but undetectable from the Spirit World. One of the theories as to why is that their souls are actually cut off from the spirit world. They exist fully, and unnaturally, in the mortal realm. This causes their spiritual energy to slowly dwindle, requiring replenishment. Different undead have different means of doing this. For vampires, blood is the conduit for their spiritual sustenance, for Fell it is living flesh. For creatures like Mummies which seem to have no need of outside sources of spiritual energy, it is theorized that they simply absorb small amounts of energy from their surroundings. Normally this sapping is not enough to effect the world, but over long periods of time this may cause devastation to the surrounding lands. This theory was once popular due to the fact that most mummies were found in areas mostly devoid of life. The exception to this rule is the lich. Somehow, the liching ritual separates the body and soul, attaches the soul to an object which acts as an artificial conduit for their spiritual replenishment and also allows the soul to inhabit it's former vessel. In regard to it's spiritual nature, a lich is far closer to a ghostly spirit than a corporeal one.

Note: the energies required to sustain beings like mummies and liches likely are drained from the surrounding area the way that a tree drains life from the air. The excess energies of life produced by Aryth flow like a mist throughout the world, and sustenance for these creatures is absorbed from this mist at all times, though in minuscule amounts. This mist of universal energy is rendered as the gray fog in the Eltharyth. The amount of flesh needed by a Fell in order to remain sustained for a week would be roughly equivalent. If this were separated out into the 10,920 minutes in the week, would each piece be large enough to see? And much of the flesh eaten by a Fell is likely to be filler material existing only to encase the essence of life for which they hunger. Might Kyuad's new powers allow those around him to ventilate or absorb universal energy?

Strangely, a living traveler in the Grey lands bears many things in common with corporeal undead in the mortal realm. While the corporeal undead is a creature who's spirit (and body) exists fully in the Spirit World, a living traveler is a creature who's spirit and body exist fully in the Spirit Realm. Where the undead require a way to replenish their spirits, living travelers find their bodies being slowly drained of strength while in the Spirit World. They too mush find a way to halt or replenish their lost strength if they are to have any hope of survival.

Creatures capable of seeing normally invisible spirits, see such creatures only if they exist primarily on the mortal world. The spirits which live in the Grey Lands are invisible to all but the most powerful Spirit Adepts, who tend not to want to delve that deeply. When you look into the abyss, it may look back into you. This means that living travelers are undetectable by nearly all means while they are in the spirit world. That does not mean that the two places cannot effect or detect each other, it just means that the effects may not be immediately obvious. For example, if a living traveler were to cut off a branch of a tree in the spirit world for use as a torch, it's real world counterpart would slowly wither and die. If a building is burned down in the real world, it's spiritual counterpart would slowly fade away to nothingness. When a creature dies in the real world, it's Spirit Reflection is temporarily caught between two worlds. Most of the time it is pulled fully into the Grey Lands where without an afterlife realm to go to it is doomed to an existence of perpetual madness, and eventually will lose it's consciousness and be sucked into the pull of the Maelstrom. Should it go the other rout and manage to remain in the mortal realm, this spirit becomes cut off from it's source of spiritual recovery and is doomed to some fashion of feasting on the living. In some rare cases, the soul is being pulled to the Grey Lands, but it's will is strong enough to resist this pull. In these cases the poor creature is caught between the two worlds, existing in perpetual torture and in danger of being pulled apart. Usually these rare creatures have some object or person which is the anchor for their drive to remain, and this can make them quite powerful, but unable to stray far from their spiritual focus. We call these creatures Ghosts.

Black Mirrors are strong visible presences in the Grey Lands. Normally the landscape is a thick pea-soup fog. As one approaches a Black Mirror, the fog begins to darken, turning more to smoke. Eventually it becomes so thick and dark that only the strongest, brightest lights will shine at all, and even then only a few feet of illumination is possible. Within this gathering darkness, entropy seems to be greatly increased. Wounds taken will bleed more, metal will begin to rust in minutes, hunger and thirst begin paining the stomach and even simple breathing becomes harder, like a heavy weight has settled on the chest. There are dangerous creatures which live in this darkness that no living person has seen. Spirit Reflections touched by this darkness begin reflecting terrible versions of themselves. Stone appears cracked and seeps black, oily ooze. Trees and plants appear dead and rotten. Metal turns red with rust, leather and cloth rots away leaving only the framework of what it once was. Spirits (and mortal travelers) begin to appear how they be once death has taken them. It may be that this twisting of a thing's Spirit Reflection may actually cause a change in the mortal world, somehow corrupting from within a thing's very essence.

If a traveler could somehow clear the mist far enough to be able to see the sky, they would not see the stars of sun they left behind. Instead they would see the Maelstrom. The swirling mass of crazed spirits which completely surrounds the whole world. In the mortal realm, only the most powerful spirit adepts are able to see this terrifying sight. In the Grey Lands, it is plain to see where the fog is driven back.

Effects of the Grey Lands[edit]


Mortal creatures are not meant to travel in the Grey Lands, and the mists quickly take their toll. A cold seeps in which cuts through all protections and immunities. It saps the strength and spreads a debilitating numbness. After an increment of time equal to 1 hour x a character's Con modifier, they take 1 point of Str and Dex damage. Nothing is able to counter or heal this damage other than total rest.

Unfortunately, rest is also impossible in the Grey Lands. The cold mists seem to stop natural healing entirely, and no matter what a creature does it will find itself unable to sleep. This means that while a creature is in the Grey Lands, they are unable to heal naturally or recover lost spell points.

To make things worse, magic is also effected. All magic which channels light or Positive Energy (such as any Cure Wounds spell) automatically fails as if the caster had failed a concentration check. Spells which channel darkness, shadows, or Negative Energy (such as and Inflict Wounds spell) are automatically Empowered (as the Metamagic feat.)

Within the effected area of a Black Mirror, spell points are lost as normal, but there are additional effects in the Grey Lands. Should a character take any physical damage, that damage is increased by an amount equal to the amount of additional spell energy that the mirror drains from casters. Furthermore, objects and equipment begin to break down. Every hour an object must succeed at an Object Saving Throw (as described in the DMG) at a DC equal to the amount of spell energy the mirror normally drains + the number of hours the object has been in the mirrors area of effect. (maximum of a +25 DC increase.) Lastly, living creatures must succeed at a Will saving throw every hour as well. This Save is identical to the one required by objects. Failure indicates that the creature has become Fatigued. A second failed save indicates the creature is now Exhausted. A third failed save causes the creature to collapse into a sleepless, staring coma-Like state which it will only wake up from if it is returned to the mortal world and receives a Remove Curse spell and one full day of rest.

Travel in the Grey Lands is extremely rapid. The actual amount seems to vary, but over time it seems to average roughly 10 times as fast as travel in the mortal world. This speed increase is difficult to notice due to the fog, and the fact that a creature does not seem to be visibly moving any faster than normal.

Lurkers in the Mist

Although the Grey Lands themselves are extremely dangerous by nature, there are things worse yet that dwell in the churning mists. The most common are the Lost Souls.

Lost Souls

This is a dead creature existing in the Grey lands that has not yet succumbed to the pull of the Maelstrom. They are almost never aware of their surroundings, too caught up in their own madness and internal struggle. If left alone, they are mostly harmless, but should they be roused or confronted, their crazed minds will only see other creatures as the source of their suffering. Sometimes this takes place as a delusion, with the poor soul thinking that the creature confronting it is some person or thing from their past life, other times it may be an incoherent violence. Lost Souls are incorporeal, even to other incorporeal creatures and will often wander directly through each other (or any other creature) without even noticing. Their icy strength draining nature and their ability to project their memories into the minds of mortal creatures that they come into contact with makes even accidental contact with these creatures dangerous.

This is a Template that can be added to any sentient creature that is not an Outsider, Undead or Aberration.

Lost Souls use all of the statistics of the base creature, except where noted below.

Initiative: Same as base creature -2, a Lost Soul's weak grasp of reality causes them to be slow to react.

Special Qualities: Same as Base Creature; plus Undead traits.

Improved Incorporealness: Lost Souls have no physical form. They are able to pass trough solid objects, and even other Incorporeal creatures. They have no way of effecting a physical object, barring some special ability possessed by the Base Creature or their Touch of the Lost ability. There is some danger to physical creatures that come into "contact" with a lost soul, but this is in no p[art due to any conscious effort on the part of the Lost Soul. It's damaging effects are purely accidental, and often unrealized by the Lost Soul itself. The Ghost Touch ability effects Lost Souls normally.

Touch of the Lost: Whenever a Lost Soul comes into contact with a physical object (usually the Spirit Reflections of ancient buildings or trees, they pass through them. Where they pass through becomes frozen to the touch, as all warmth is leeched out of the object by the Lost Soul's passing. This often appears as a spreading frost across the effected area. Water will freeze, metal will chill, and living creatures may be greatly injured. Living creatures which come into contact with a lost soul take Cold damage equal to half the Hit Die of the base creature x1d6. In addition, creatures touched by a Lost Soul take 1 point of Strength damage. (This attribute damage is not based on the cold, but something more of a spiritual leeching. Cold Resistance will not protect against it.) Any metal which comes in contact with a Lost Soul is affected by a Chill Metal spell fo a number of rounds equal to the Character Level of the Lost Soul.

Gaze of the Lost: A creature making eye contact with a Lost Soul may be overcome by a flood of fragmented, tortured memories projected by the creature. Treat this as a Gaze Attack which causes it's victims to make a Will Save (DC is 1/2 the base creatures Character Level+ their Charisma modifier.). Failure indicates that the victim is affected as though they were under the effects of a Confusion spell for a number of rounds equal to the Lost Soul's Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

The Lurking Madness

None are sure where these creatures come from or why they exist, but they seem to be a conglomeration of the remnants of Lost Souls which have given into their own madness and become creatures of pure rage and suffering. They swirl together in a seething mass of spirits feeding off of each other's tortured memories and projecting their own into the chaotic cacophony. Though it seems to be made up of many individuals, these creatures behave as one entity, much like a swarm of locusts. The creature's soul desire seems to be to feed on the souls and memories of creatures they encounter, and in doing so, collect even more souls into their hopeless throng. Is seems as though these creatures should spread like a plague throughout the Grey Lands given their abundance of Lost Souls to feed on and thier strange way of breaking into smaller masses once they have reached a certain size, but they are actually quite rare. They may dimply disintegrate over time, like a dust devil on the plains, or they may actually be the source of sustenance for an even more dangerous creature.

The Hearts of Darkness

Everything has a Spirit Reflection. Even things that we wish didn't. In the mortal world, Black Mirrors are one of the greatest sources of suffering in existence. Their Spiritual Reflections may be even worse. In the Grey Lands the heart of every Black Mirror pulses with a malevolent, quasi-sentiant creature of pure evil. If one could make them out in the dark miasma that surrounds them they would appear as a seething, inky cloud of darkness with psudopod like extensions which occasionally writhe out from it's center grasping at the air around it. They are basicaly immobile, which is lucky, but they have a surprising reach and are able to draw creatures, objects and energy towards themselves with a powerful gravitational pull. They exist to feed on life and magic, and pursue that goal with a single-minded ravenousness. These entities vary in size and power depending on the strength of their Mirrors. The hearts of newer mirrors might not be any more than 2 feet across, while the Heart of a Grand Mirror, such as the one in Highwall may be as wide as 30 feet.

The Waykeeper An ancient construct who's purpose has long since been lost. It is one of the few things that exists physically within the Grey Lands that has never had a reflection in the Mortal Realm. It seems to be made of a translucent smoked glass, mostly dark grey in color, and harder than steel. A glowing red spark illuminates it's chest, somewhat like the glow which emanates from the Spirit Reflection of Living things.

The Revenant

The Faded

The Skin Thief There are those creatures which have been deprived of form since before the time of the Sundering. Once they were imprisoned within the Spirit World for some ancient crime against the gods. With the Sundering they became loose in the Grey Lands ever searching for a physical form. To the living, they are weak and easily rejected. Corpses have no such resistance. Should a creature of flesh and blood die while in the Grey Lands, their bodies may become the vessels for an unfathomably evil creature. Able to wear the dead like a glove, and greatly empowered once they have a body, their goal at that point becomes finding a way into the mortal world where their presence alone may cause incredible suffering. Luckily to this day this has not occurred.

Crossing Over

There are not many ways of reaching the Grey Lands. The primary one in history was by casting spells or enacting rituals which would allow a person to transfer their consciousness to their Spirit Reflection and range away from their body like a ghost. many cultures had such practices, often called a Spirit or Vision Quest.

Other ways include the great mystical gates called the Old Ways. Nearly all of them have been destroyed or cut off from their sources of power, but should a working one be found, or a way found to re-power a deactivated gate, this would provide an individual to travel physically to the Grey Lands.

Other, more powerful spells are rumored to have once existed which were capable of creating a temporary rift between the two worlds which would allow passage from one to the other. If any still live who are capable of such a feat they are keeping it to themselves.

Other legends tell of places where the two worlds join or overlap. In the tales, such places are only accessible when certain conditions are met, such as a rare alignment of heavenly bodies, or the right person bringing the right object to the right place at the right time. In such places it may be possible to simply walk across the boundary between the worlds, perhaps without even noticing the change. Halflings believe that such a place was how Wogren came to the world of mortals.

Some extremely rare creatures seem to be able to cross the boundary naturally. If one of these creatures had the capacity to bring others with them (and be convinced to do so) or if such a power could be stolen or duplicated, it may provide a way to the Grey Lands.

In any case, getting to the Grey Lands would be extremely difficult and dangerous, but more dangerous and difficult still would be surviving once the journey had been made, and then getting back again.

The Old Road:

The air is heavy and still, bringing no relief from the oppressive heat. Overhead, the clouds dip low and are menacingly dark, filtering out most of the sun’s life giving light. What little solid ground there is, is covered in marsh grass or the tangled roots of cypress and mangrove trees. Carefully picking their way across the morass is a small well-armed group that bears signs of recent combat.

“Eoawan, Tani’s not going to be able to go much farther and that hunting party can’t be more than a few hours behind us.”

The leader of the group, a slight dark haired warrior turns toward the rest of the group, “Just a little further and we’ll be safe. They won’t be able to pursue us once we get to the next hummock. Keep moving; it’s not far.”

The party pushes forward toward a small hill, dominated by an ancient cypress tree. With effort they climb the hill and collapse at the base of the tree. While the other warriors rest, the leader Eoawan hacks at branches and vines that cover two small stone pillars, pitted and cracked with age. With the excitement clear in his voice, he says, “It’s here, just as they said, our path to sanctuary.”

The statement draws stares from the other warriors and one stands to get a closer look. “What path, there’s only water as far as I can see. We’re trapped if that hunting party finds our trail, which is likely. The wargs will have Tani’s scent from his blood. “

A slight smile appears on Eoawan’s face, “we aren’t trapped. Our distant ancestors left us a priceless gift, a path to sanctuary.” The Danasil places his hands over matching symbols on the two pillars and whispers words in a language that is strange but stirs memories buried deep in the other Danasil.

Eowan stiffens like he was lifting an incredible weight. The two stones start to glow and the swamp goes silent. To the south of the small hill, the water froths as if something massive were rising from the depths. Moments later, where there was once water as far as the eye could see, there is now a perfectly straight causeway of cut stone, covered in algae and mud.

Eowan, clearly weak, turns to his warriors. “We have to move quickly, raising the road took far more from me that I thought and it wanted more. I don’t know how long it will stay above water. By the time the hunting party gets here we and the road will be long gone.”

The Old Road is the remnants of the eldethar roads that crossed much of the Erethor and parts of Eredane. In past ages, before the coming of the modern fey, when the swamp began to expand, the eldethar built the rune enchanted pillars that could lift the road up from the swamp and provide safe passage. The runes require a key phrase in ancient eldethar and at least 12 spell points. The amount of spell points expended determines how long the road remains above water. Most of the old eldethar roads have not survived the ravages of the centuries, but a few are used by the fey to access isolated portions of the Druid’s Swamp.

I've always pictured the Old Ways/Space Between/Shadow World/whatever-you-want-to-call-it place as being a lot like Silent Hill. Basically the same, but empty, quiet, cold and foggy. Easy to lose your way, and hard to see what might be closing in around you. All light sources would be reduced to half, sound would be dampened so that even those next to you sound like they are far away no matter how loud they speak. The cold would seep into the skin no matter how many layers were worn, making simple rest and recovery nearly impossible, and even making the players loose points of Strength or Dexterity the longer that they stayed (No save, one point a day, or a week or something). Positive energy magic would automatically fail, but negative energy magic would be automatically empowered.

3) The effect area of a Black Mirror might be a visible thing. A deepening darkness, like smoke. An area where the haze went from white or grey to black. Light would be even further reduced. Maybe the reflections of real world objects would show dramatic signs of entropy, or even look corrupted somehow. (again with the Silent Hill thing. I think rust and chains and burnt scorches when I picture this) Fallout, like after a nuclear blast comes to mind.The areas where black mirrors are could look like a bomb had been dropped. Complete with ash-fall, rubble and flash-casts of objects on the walls behind them. In the real world, black mirrors drain soul-energy (magic). In the shadow world, they might actually drain physical energy the same way. When the characters take HP or attribute damage, it is amplified as if it was a spell cast in the mirror's range.

4) I have a monster that I use in my game called a Fade (not the one from this site). They are the source of the Sarcosan superstition about fog and mist. A formerly human creature which is able to instantly become fog, step into a haze and come out in another place, throws lighting from it's fingers, drains energy with it's touch and is generally nasty. I've always thought that when the fog lifts, a Fade is forced back into another place, or at least it is able to go to that other place for quickened travel. It stands to reason that a creature like that would live primarily in the place which your character's spell will take your players, but come into the normal world to feed (or just sew pain and suffering). Were it's prey to be in it's home territory, it would probably be pretty happy, and perhaps even empowered. If nothing else it would have home court advantage.

5) There may be certain Nexus that cross over the boundary, or are only able to be accessed in that other place. Maybe the shadow world itself is some kind of Nexus.

The Master in Grey

He wears a simple grey hooded robe tied at the waist by a black cord. Beneath the hood is a faceless grey mask with the horned skull of Izrador lacquered across the front. The mask has no eye, mouth or nose holes, but the mysterious legate never seems blinded of caught unaware. His voice is a hollow sounding with a slight rasp, and is slightly muffled by the mask he wears.

He is rumored to be one of the founding members of the Order of Shadow. Many high ranking members of the order remember having him as an instructor during their days as an acolyte. None are sure how old he is in truth, or even if the current Master in Grey is the one they recall. What is known is that he is a master Diviner and ruthlessly intelligent. His grasp of the subtleties of the shifting politics within the order have left him unchallenged for as long as any can remember. Strangely, he never seems to take sides in any conflict. His neutrality has often been respected, primarily out of fear that he might take a dislike to a petitioner simply for asking him to take any side at all.

His goals are simple and fairly well known. He seeks out powerful magic for study in hopes of creating new weapons to use against the fae. He is single minded in this pursuit, but strangely passionless. He is almost clinically detached from his life's work.

He spends much of his time lecturing new acolytes and is remembered by nearly every current member of the order as being an extremely relaxed teacher who's subtle wrath is terrifying to behold. It comes without warning or preamble, often with no indication that a student has done anything to upset the Master, but should he be unsatisfied he is known to cause a student to lock up with total paralysis. There seems to be no cure, and the Master is known to inflict this punishment against any who attempt to aid other victims of his wrath. Those that are unworthy in the Master's eyes are left to stand a terrified vigil, alive but unmoving until they starve to death.

He is rumored to be able to travel vast distances extremely quickly by some unknown trick of magic. A secret which is coveted by many other legates, but one that is as yet undiscovered. He also has a large entourage who dress in similar garb to himself, only without the lacquered skull on the mask. He calls them his "students" and rarely addresses them in public. He will often use them as messengers or errand boys when he cannot attend to a matter personally.

Records within the order show that he was killed by another legate over 70 years ago. It was witnessed by many. two months later he returned to the High Temple without a word to anyone. The next day, his rival vanished, never to be seen again. He has never answered any questions about this strange return from death, but many speculate that he is in the high favor of the Dark One himself.

The reality:

The Master in Grey is an extremely clever Lich. When he completed the research necessary to become undead (over 200 years ago) he was a prominent Legate within the Order of Obsidian. He had made a number of enemies and was becoming well known. He realized that should others learn of his deathless nature he would be at a disadvantage. So he waited. He actually created the persona of the Master in Grey, and fabricated a history for him. He claimed to have transfered to the High Temple as a pilgrimage from Sharuun. He began to make public appearances as both his true self and as his newly created alter ego, and began playing them on opposite sides of the political spectrum. In an elaborate plan involving such powerful spells as Clone and Magic Jar, he managed to create a faximally of himself, dominate it's mind and have it publicly destroy his original body. (little did the masses know that this was actually the last step in his Liching ritual. He maintained his control over his simulacrum and at the same time created a number of fail-safes should his ruse ever be discovered. Two months later he destroyed his simulacrum, and with that his former self was gone. Only the Master in Grey remained, powerful and enigmatic.

His students are actually other undead who see without the need of eyes. No real students or acolytes are a part of his entourage, though many of his "students" are intelligent undead who serve his intrests. The Master in Grey is able to project his mind into undead he has created, even over vast distances, and often keeps them stashed in important locations in case he needs to make a public appearance. This projection is taxing, but he finds that encouraging confusion as to his whereabouts and his true capabilities benefit him greatly. Even if his secret were discovered, it would be extremely difficult to tell if one was speaking with the true Master in Grey or a simple skeleton which is being used as a mouthpiece. A simple switch of a mask, or mental projection allows him to act mostly unnoticed by taking on the role of a lowly servant.

His main project these days is the use of an ancient factory in the Kaladrun mountains he discovered which is capable of creating Stone Golems. he has created a fortress above the factory and spends much of his time there, though his doubles keep up appearances in other key locations. he has a force of orcs, a company of human mercenaries who act as his scouts, informants everywhere, a coven of Shadow Adepts who serve him, a small family of Black Blood dwarves and a growing force of Stone Golems at his disposal, but his favorite servants are intelligent undead. He offers eternal life to his most favored servants, but into the ritual he weaves magics which allow him to usurp their bodies, see and hear through their eyes and otherwise control them easily. most are unaware of this, but a handful of his most trusted lieutenants are a quartet of Orc Death Guards who feel that being possessed by The Master in Grey is akin to being touched by the Dark One himself. One even believes that the reason the Master wears his shroud is because he is secretly an Orc.

He is currently sending a lone golem in the company of his "students" across the continent to Grial the Fae Killer's army. He hopes to strike a deal with the legendary general for use of his golems against the elves. Should he acomplish this, he will have gained a powerful ally.

His Phylactery is hidden inside a secret compartment built into a Stone Golem. nearly every golem built has such a compartment, and he fills them with boxes identical to his phylactery, enchanted with terrible curses and contagions to condemn any that open or destroy them. He hope is that anyone who discovers what he is, where he is and where his phylactery might be would be slain by the decoys.

The Master in Grey is best described as a creature of layers. He creates deceptions and stacks others on top of them. His ultimate goal is simply to live to see the resurrection of his god. he does that by being incredibly careful, secretive and trying not to draw attention to his exploits. He has no ambition for power and no particular enemies within the Order, mostly because anyone who asks the wrong questions simply vanishes, or dies in a tragic accident.

From his fortress in the Kaladruns, he reaches out with masked decoys and manipulates the whole of the occupied lands, as well as the minds of the next generation of Legates. If any knew the true extent of his influence, it is likely he would be hunted down and destroyed.


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Midnight: North & South Portal