Domain of the Month
Hazlan Info in 3E: RL3E / RLPH, Gaz 1
Wiccy of the Fraternity
Over the years since Julio fell victim to one of Hazlik's many failed schemes (see The Glass Man in Tales of Ravenloft for details), he has found that while he is doomed to remain incorporeal, he is neither dead, or alive and can still manipulate the material world through cheer force of will. While he may only manipulate small object, he continues his attempts to enter the corporeal world again, as futile as they may be. While he goes on with this practice, a large number of stories detailing poltergeist activity have risen in the area. Many attempts have been made to exorcise this unseen, mischievous specter but all have failed, not knowing that their target is not truly one of the undead.
If contacted by a psion, Julio may attempt to possess the person, if his attempt is successful he will immediately seek to make the most of his opportunity, continuing his old profession as a thief and acquire what he needs to claim revenge on Hazlik for his own dismal existence. This possession will last one a few hours, so Julio will act quickly in his attempts of obtaining his revenge, as futile as it may be.
During the time that Hazlik repressed magic, many amateur spellcasters met gruesome ends at his hands. Two of them were a married couple with a small child. Before Hazlik caught and killed them, they wove a spell of vengeance into the very body of their infant son and hid him away with relatives. Hazlik never knew of the child's existence and went on with his existence.
Now, eleven years later, Hazlik's policy change has brought a great many new students to his burgeoning wizard academy. Unknown to Hazlik, one of his child prodigies is a ticking time bomb waiting to happen, and when he detonates both of them will die. The PCs enter the scene when the brother of one of the long-dead wizard couple - one of the few to know the truth - asks that they find his nephew and get him away from the school before he can fulfil his destiny of destruction. The uncle wants the chance to raise the boy as his parents would have wanted, not twisted by Hazlik's ambitions.
If Hazlik discovers the truth, he would have the boy killed just to be sure, from a safe distance of course. The boy, for his part, loves magic and does not want to leave the school, but if he knew what had happened to his parents he would gladly give his life to kill Hazlik. Worst, the boy's uncle only knows that somewhere on the boy's body is an arcane mark representing the lethal spell he bears, and that he is between 11 and 14 years old, nothing else about him.
Once in Toyalis came a fugitive. A darkclad fey who would only go out at night. The Iron Inquisition search for this blasphemous stranger, who claimed to have the power to reveal the face of our Grand Black Lord. Always with him, a mysterious staff, so black thats if it was carved out of sins, with a 2 ruby-eyed twisted diabolical face at one end. This staff is known as the Scepter of the ShadowLord.
The fugitive wasn't able to hide from the supervision of the Gudkaedes Abhar Al Jezhib and his enforcers. So he was caught and accuse of blasphemy in a moonless night. They readied a stake to burn away is sins at the rising sun, but before it was set alight, the fugitive burned by himself as the first golden rays appeared in the sky. The staff was kept until then in the citadel-fane of Toyalis for further analysis.
Years later, a young, coward, rogue by the name of Santo nearly got caught for is last thievery. As he always almost get caught in each dirty jobs he'd done. So he begin to realize that the true wealth was not living in gold and stolen things, but was living without fearing the law. To luck who brings him so far was maybe a sign : justice was calling for him to be by its side, not under its punishment. So he joined the Iron Church and start a life of righteousness...at least he tried hard. Other acolytes and priests begun to make fun of him, the little redeemed so-called thief. No one ever believed that Santo will become someday a priest worthy of the Iron Tyrant, he was far to weak, in spirit and in body. As months passed, Santo had is share of whipping, of cleaning the temple with a small piece of rag, of being mocked. But in his heart, he knew that for once he was on the right side. Suffering takes place of fear and Santo was the wealthier than he could have ever been. But months turned into years, suffering led to hatred... hatred against his colleagues, cause he knew that he was worthy of the Black Lord. Maybe the priesthood broke is spirit and mauled is body, but his heart remain strong. One day he dare to call a harsh superior, "infidel". That was is last mistake. They beat the hell outta him in the great black chapel. No one should have survived the wounds...but he did and ran away.
In a dark and dry cave, shaking in agony, The Black Lord start talking to him in his dreams. He tells him that his heart was strong as iron, but others priests were weak and unworthy. For that Santo knew the divine truth and the others came blind. He should now teach the priesthood in Toyalis to fear the wrath of the Iron One. Show them that the real faith is best served with passion... Somehow between consciousness and unconsciousness, Santo found one day a dark and heavy book lying in the cave. For it was surely a gift from the Lord, he start reading him, and learn the secrets of arcana. In barely 9 months he mastered the art and felt ready to take up his divine mission still his wounded body hurt him like hell.
One day by noon, he goes by the church's doors, claiming to hold to truth and that he must punish the unworthy. The priests laughing out loud go outside to see the little Santo, barely holding on his feet, threatening the whole clergy. Still with is new the arcane potential, the priests overcome Santo by their number and encourage the townsfolk to punish this arrogant infidel. Then fear finds its way back to Santo, all against him, alone in the world. This time Santo did not make it, they killed him with fists, whips and thrown stones. They dumped his body in the city mass grave.
The Dark Powers granted undeath to Santo, to let him wreck vengeance against the priests and the citizens of Toyalis. He return to his cave to plot his revenge. Santo heard about some kind of highly magical staff that was property of the Citadel-Fane to be sent in Immol. Santo intercept the staff to enhance his magical powers. Now the time is near for his vengeance...
*Santo is now a Zombie Lord, Rogue 1 / Cleric 5 / Wizard 6 with the feat : Hive of Bodies. For now he would never be outnumbered. His priority : to destroy the Church of the Lawgiver in Toyalis, and teach the citizens the true meaning of loneliness and suffering. Santo still is a coward and a good allergen to fight him would be the treat of a whip*
*The Scepter of The ShadowLord is a fey-forged Lawful Evil Aligned Quaterstaff of Spellstoring, it grants :
The players can be lead into this quest by the citadel-fane wanting information about the staff that didn't reach destination. Or the House of Ramass in Immol wants to know why the staff isn't yet arrived. Or a shadow fey in disguise may hire the pc to recover a long lost artefact.
(What follows is the memories of a reincarnated PC in one of my games who gained more memories as he leveled up in wizard, thereby unlocking his old life as a student at Ramulai.)
1st level wizard
As if remembering scenes from a childhood buried by adult responsibilities, you recall your life as a mage in Hazlan. At first it was just familiar names, places, ideas, but soon they began to merge, like a song that you try to remember that suddenly returns when you least expect it.
Hazlik...Hazlan, Rashemani, Mulan...Ramulai...Qalba...Toranga, Eleni...Toyalis...Carnephal...Tantramm...Xopache...Nargan....
You remember Hazlan, your country, and Ramulai, where you were trained in the arcane. Rashemani and Mulan were the classes, and you remember your pious prayers every day to the Lawgiver, intoning thanks for having been born male and Mulan.
The Lawgiver was your god; THE god--the only one worth worshipping. He put Hazlik at the head of the state, and allowed all others thier place in things. Let those peasants in Barovia scrape and murmur against their lord while praying to a Morning Sun that would never rise, at least in their lifetime. The Lawgiver gave you your wealth and your position, and you prayed not to beg for more, but simply to give thanks, and to ensure that what you had was not taken away. You loved a god who loved you first.
The Lawgiver was kind. Your family was wealthy, and when you were twenty years old, your father traded many favors with other nobles to see you accepted into the newly-built academy at Ramulai. Your acceptance was a major coup for your family; there was a feast for three days where you met the men your father had sealed bargains with, and other gifts were accepted with further promises that you would use your talents to secure riches and power for your family and theirs.
Your memories of the academy are blurred; you remember lectures, laughter, arguments, and one student was stabbed. You remember a girl whose eyes promised incredible pleasures, and you even kissed her, or maybe you just dreamed of doing so many times that it became real.
2nd level wizard
One blue eye, one brown. Tattoos on his forehead and chest, and a sparse goatee that curved around his chin like a perpetual smile. He was Hazlik, your instructor, your mentor, patron of the university who only saw a few students at a time, leaving the rest of the instruction to the second-rate teachers who only years before had been imprisoned for the crime of being wizards. Nobody knew what caused Hazlik's reversal and allowed others to learn his craft. You learned so much from him and yet there was so little you truly knew.
One thing was certain, his teaching style was laden with competition against other students. Some said he liked to watch you all destroy each other, while others said it was a necessary evil, sifting the best and most cunning wizards for the community as a whole. Whatever the reason, you took to it well. It was easy enough to find a few petty rivals, the ones your father's patrons had named, and arrange accidents. There were six of them in all that first year. You befriended two of them on the first day and poisoned their ears against the other four, goading them into doing most of your work for you. Only one of the four put up any fight, but it was easy to goad your two comrades into more daring stunts against him, to "put him in his place." When they were caught in an accident that broke both of the other man's legs, they immediately took to blaming you, but by then it was too late. One fled back to his family estate, knowing he had been bested. The other challenged you to a duel, which you won, mostly due to true strike, mage armor, and daze.
You delivered his body to his parents with a note that said your family was willing to forgive the insult of his accusations, but would not be so kind to the rest of the family if the parents continued their affrontery. They backed out of the slave auction for almost a year, and your father presented you with two excellent manservants as your part of the "profits." In all, your father was pleased. Six of the students had been ejected from the academy for a year, three before they learned any spells, one was dead. You had pleased him.
3rd level wizard
"Almighty Lawgiver, before whom all other gods bend the knee, who gave kings their blood and breathed obedience into the lowly, sorter of souls before birth, let us remain fit for the role that you gave us, safe from the uprising and the weakness of complacency, ruling the land that you gave us as you have ruled us."
Throughout the summer months, your fellow students and their parents carefully unraveled your web to study it for themselves. While nobody had suspected you of such intrigue all through your first year, before the second year had started you had been credited with far more than your share of harsh deeds. It never reached your face, but if it had, you would not have denied it. Let them hate you, let them fear you, your father had said. Hate and fear are the weapons of a ruler, wielded skillfully to keep his people obedient and his enemies cowed.
Upon returning to school after summer, you quickly found your place in the order of things. While you had been eliminating your father's chosen enemies, others had taken more direct measures and were scrambling for the approval of the teachers. The ranking system the students had secretly established was now openly displayed at the school, and you were eighth among the twenty-one second year students. While a few were shocked to see you so low, you were surprised to find yourself so high; you had not sought such placement all last year. It must have been awarded strictly by virtue of your accomplishments. You smiled when you saw it; your father had said that greatness was your destiny.
He had also warned you about the two great dangers of power: those below you who would try to take it, and those above you who would resist you taking your rightful place. You had learned of this ranking system and the infighting among students during the long summer months. When you arrived at school on the first day, you came prepared to give your fellow students a great surprise.
His name was Karcyn Wilhaven, and he was your surviving "friend" from the year before, who had been expelled for the stunt that broke another student's legs. Despite school policy, here he was, asking to be admitted again. While everyone else laughed, you stood up and offered to sponsor his readmittance. Amid stunned silence, you delivered two vouchsafe letters to the Magister, vouching for his obedience to the school and the teachers. Karcyn was readmitted on your word.
If anyone was confused why you had vouched for Karcyn after destroying his life, they weren't wondering long. Dependent as he was upon you for his education, Karcyn was determined not to let anything happen to you. He might have looked out for you on his own, but you took no chances. Within one of those two letters to the Magister was another sealed envelope, to be opened only upon your early removal from the school. It confessed that your sponsorship of Karcyn had been solicited through extortion, and it implicated his entire family in the threats. You let Karcyn read it before you sealed it, and while his face blanched whiter then the paper you explained that he need only protect you from students below you in rank, with special focus on his fellow first years. Of course, even if someone above you managed to get you expelled, he would be hearing the words "pauper" and "prison" for a long time, so he kept on his toes for anything.
With Karcyn helping to watch your back, maintaining your position was easy, and you even climbed the ranks a little. You tried hard not to draw attention to yourself, and many times you simply sat back and watched as those above you destroyed themselves. Within another three months, you were fifth, and you decided to settle in and watch things even more carefully. You had seen far too many people caught fighting openly, which was grounds for expulsion for both sides, and the teachers were now working harder to catch people using the school for a battle ground. There was a rash of new rules passed, some of which seemed downright arbitrary to those who didn't know the unwritten rules.
Amid and between your classes, you carefully studied the teachers (who were known to have their own biases) and the few students who were a threat to you. You knew right away you didn't want to be first; it meant everyone would be after you. Too much unnecessary precautions, and you wouldn't have time for anything fun. You wanted second, or even third, and you wanted to rise into the position slowly so that you could amass enough power to protect it.
4th level wizard
Kangarl Xopache...Irias Melchom...Malya Vrosasio...Astavo Gunacino.... How could you have forgotten those names? They were your superiors in ranking, your rivals in all things public and private, whose plots wove tightly around you even as you wove your own around them. It was a tangled web that bound you together, tightening, strangling, chafing as it closed in upon you. It was years before you learned that those strands needn't be fought against, but were actually weapons you could use against enemies; when one chafed, you didn't pull against it and make it hurt more. You pulled on it, giving you slack as the person on the other end learned not to threaten you.
Astavo was directly above you, so of course you needed to worry about him first. There was no need to seek him out, even if you wanted to. You threatened him by your very ranking and your reputation, and he wove plots every day that threatened to ensnare you. After he failed to poison you with a spoiled potion and a powerful curse summoned a banshee (nearly killing one of your professors), you decided it was time for a counterattack. The first thing that you did was alert the teachers. You couldn't come out and say he was after you, because they seemed to think that built character--they wouldn't interfere unless you gave them something specific. If you knew what he was plotting you would be able to tell them about it, so they could catch him in the act, but you knew nothing of his plans. Instead, you used an illusion to look like Astavo, and complained to a few of the teachers about someone plotting against "him." "He" gave them great details of your supposed plan, which included your entire schedule.
They watched you over the next few days, as you followed through with your "plan." Through entirely innocent actions shrouded in suspicion, you managed to hold their interest for five days, during which they inadvertently foiled two attempts to get you expelled, including one that would undoubtedly have worked and another that might have killed you outright. At the end of the five days they discovered that your "plot" was actually working on a birthday gift for yor father. Furious at having been used in this way, one of them approached Astavo and berated him for wasting their time, imposing a penance upon him according to the school rules. Astavo was furious and demanded to know what the man was talking about. Within moments, two things happened; the teacher realized he had been deceived, and a crowd gathered to watch the confrontation, which prevented the teacher from admitting his mistake. Instead, he pressed the issue furiously, with all the anger at whoever deceived him coming out against Astavo. The result was remarkable, as Astavo's punishment was first doubled and then tripled, all for an offence the teacher now knew he never committed. When Karcyn reported it to you later, you laughed and said, "Not bad for a first-level spell, eh?"
Indeed, the result was greater than you had ever imagined. Astavo was severely punished, had a personal feud brewing with a teacher, and was now working fruitlessly to discover who had set him up. On top of that, your original desires had been achieved, having five days of restful study and a little help from your teachers in ferreting out some of Astavo's methods. With what your teachers discovered, you and Karcyn began tracing Astavo's plots. It appeared that his authority in the school was built from two sources--a small gang he had assembled within the school itself, and the nearly limitless money that his family had from trading in Nova Vaasa and Kartakass. It appeared that this money was the sole reason his gang was loyal to him, with each person being paid generously for their services. It was actually a simple way to earn trust here in the school, because everyone needed money. It was the beauty of this scheme that made you back off and take a larger look at things.
You didn't just want Astavo gone. You wanted his money, and the gang that went with it.
It seemed an impossible undertaking, but the benefits would be incredible. If you could arrange not just for Astavo's downfall, but for his sources of power to fall into your hands, you would become practically impervious here in the school. When most people fell, their schemes went with them, but what you designed for was simply to take Astavo's place atop his little pyramid. But how?
It was Karcyn that actually provided you with help, unwilling though it was. During a week-long break where you traveled home, you accidentally discovered that Karcyn had secretly ingratiated himself into Astavo's gang and was trying to convince them of his desire to be rid of you. By the time you had discovered his involvement, he had already told them about the letter and convinced them that destroying it would ensure his help against you. They planned to steal it during that break, when all the students and almost all of the teachers wouldn't be there.
It was difficult planning a countermeasure with so little time, but you managed to think up a few things while you were following them back to Ramulai. You followed closely enough to take advantage of little things, such as when one of the first years ran off into the woods to relieve herself. On her way back, you met her, charmed her, and told her she was going to help you play a prank on the others. She begged for details, but you told her to just keep them slow enough so that you could keep up, and you would tell her the rest later. She rejoined the rest of the group dutifully just as you cast another spell, this one to enhance your speed.
While she was carefully (or clumsily) slowing the group down, you sped up, and shot ahead of them for over a mile before stopping to rest. You wanted to make the best use of this spell before it wore off, but you weren't up to prolonged physical exertion. Still, you were far enough ahead of them for your purposes, and managed to stay that way all the way to Ramulai.
You almost botched the timing, but you lucked out--just after entering the campus, the three hour duration on the charm ran out and the first year pulled them all into a classroom and confessed everything. Naturally, everyone was furious at her, and she tried to expiate herself by offering them everything she knew about your plans, plus a little more she dreamed up from somewhere. Convincing Astavo that you were following them (instead of ahead of them), she promised to go find you and pretend to still be charmed, so that she could turn the tables on you. He agreed, and sent a couple of his stealthiest gang members to follow her and ensure that you didn't interfere. So it was that your dupe provided you with one of the longest delays of all, as she and the others dodged the dogs and the teachers to go find you, only to come back empty handed.
After almost twenty minutes of searching, the band concluded the girl was lying and forced her to leave, whereupon they proceeded to break into the office where the documents were kept. At least, they tried. Upon breaking in, they found a teacher waiting for them, letter in hand. As Karcyn, Astavo and the others watched, horrified, he opened the letter and proceeded to read portions of it aloud. Of course, Karcyn had not told the others the exact contents and nature of the letter, so he was duly mortified to hear it publicized for his compatriots. Within the next few minutes, the teacher proceeded to extort every penny of Astavo's pay he had promised the gang in exchange for his silence, and went on to demand a promissory note from Astavo for more money in exchange for the destruction of the letter, which he destroyed in front of them. Astavo and the rest left, much poorer, but feeling they had accomplished their mission.
This was, of course, exactly what you wanted them to believe. As you revealed a week later to Karcyn, the "teacher" was you, having broken into the office while they were searching for you. The letter you destroyed, of course, was nothing more than an illusion, hence the real letter was still in the office, unopened and unread. As proof, you reminded him that you knew the text of the letter well enough to quote it, quoted the selected passages for him again, and showed him the promissory note. As he stared at the note with eyes nearly popping from his head, you congratulated him on infiltrating Astavo's group, even at the expense of so much gold and mistrust. To cement him in the group, you offered him the gold that you had taken from the gang, so he could "pay them back for their expenses on his behalf." Ashen-faced, he shook his head and said his family wasn't wealthy enough for the boys to believe he had that much money.
"In that case," you offered, "I guess you'll have to offer them some of the money, and pocket the rest."
He stared at you.
"I hope you've learned more while working with me than just that crossing me can prove deadly, Karcyn. I can also be generous to those who please me. Don't try and betray me, and that letter will never be read--I guarantee it. In return, you'll get protection, training, and even money from time to time. It's really a fair offer, when you think about it."
Karcyn continued staring at you, then smiled and shook his head.
"I suppose my family could afford to recompense them for about half their expenses," he said slowly, smiling as things began to dawn upon him. Hastily, he added, "You were right of course. My only intention was to infiltrate the gang and tell you what they were doing."
"I expected as much. You served me well, and you will be rewarded."
The two of you smiled at each other, and then began laughing until your sides ached. You learned many things that day. First, you learned that the crucial variables in any endeavor were time and information. Second, because of the importance of information, you were going to be a diviner. Third, your father was wrong: forgiveness wasn't a weakness. Even when selfishly motivated, it could inspire great loyalty in people, even in people who hated you.
Bob the Efreet
I had a PC in the last Ravenloft game I ran who was a wild mage from Hazlan. His backstory (which he couldn't remember at the time) was that Hazlan needed some objects from the black spire in his domain (I can't recall its name right now and I'm away from my books... see Gaz1 though) to execute his grand plan against the Mulan. Well, when the PC arrived, there was the unfortunate effect of lightning striking the aforementioned spire. In his resulting power gain and insanity, he killed his companions and found his way to where the campaign was starting (the House of Lament, as it happened to be).
A wealthy Mulan patriarch hires the PCs to rescue his kidnapped daughter from a group of Rashemani bandits. He cannot afford for this matter to become public knowledge; it would hurt his standing with the other nobility for them to know that his own daughter could be so easily snatched out from under his nose.
In truth, the girl ran away with her Rashemani lover, a former serf who turned to banditry to avoid starving. The lovers, both basically good and misguided individuals, face greater hardship now that the bandit leader, a true scoundrel, is beginning to lean on the young man to "share" his woman. The two dare not reveal the truth to the girl's father, and Hazlani society has no place for them, but the bandit life certainly does not suit them. Nothing is ever easy.
An adventure hook inspired by Jason's article about fiendish pacts in the QtR about fiends.
A half-fiend enters Ravenloft in Hazlan. He is very charming and a powerful spellcaster. He grants magic powers to people that commit crimes just to seal the pact. Many oppressed Rashemani (with a twist to evil) flock to him in order to learn magic and break the bonds of their masters. Orphans, widows and Loners are his first targets.
At a second stage, the fiend creates a cult around him under the guise of a normal thorp with 30 - 40 people. The thorp has an RMR of 4. About a dozen more people swayed by his promises are spread to the rest of Hazlan. Once a few months the half-fiend asks from his subordinates to kill a few good people as a sacrifice. Not doing so will result in loss of their magical powers and later to disease and death.
The PCs make a good deed and kill something evil in the vicinity of the thorp (a vampire, a ghoul-lord or an evil bandit etc). The fiend takes notice of them and asks from the cult to kill them. People from the cult approaches them and ask them to help them in a big problem. They ask them to come to the thorp, show them the lack of small children and pretend that a few years ago, a hag cursed their parents. From there on, women bear less and less healthy children and those born, died quickly from disease, mishap or attack. They are the few survivors of the next generation. They pretend that the last child died a few weeks ago.
Since there are no children in the village and there are many empty houses (the cult members don't have families, but for the time they pretend to be wed or families, so they moved in with other members) the PCs will probably believe them. The villagers will let them rest in an empty house. At night, they will attack en-masse attempting to capture at least on PC. If they see they are having heavy loses in the battle, they will retreat. The half-fiend doesn't get involved in the battle! He doesn't give a copper for all his cult members. He watches the battle from more than 1500 feet distance. If the battle turns against his followers, he will make a show of magic (he will throw a fireball on the air, summon wolves or something flashy) from his position, just to remind them that he watches them. This will make his followers to join battle again with renewed vigor. He won't approach the PCs in any case. Even if he could overpower them along with his followers. He likes watching them die, even if that means that the PCs will survive.
The PCs will probably be forced to retreat against these odds. After a chase in the woods, the PCs will have to figure what happened, learn from captives about the fiend, find and kill him and find the rest members spread throughout the domain. The half fiend is a sorcerer, 2 levels higher than the average party level. His stats are str 12, dex 12, con 12, int 15, wis 12, cha 20. He has more spells known than the typical sorcerer of his level. He has an extra spell known/ spell level. He certainly has the charm person spell, Summon monster II or higher and a few powerful evocation spells. He doesn't have any item creation feats (except scribe scroll).
Also he has the ability to grant magic to those that sign a fiendish pact with him. A commoner can trade commoner levels for sorcerer levels with this pact. More powerful classes, just take spellcasting abilities like a sorcerer equal to their level at the time they signed the pact, but they have one spell/day less than a sorcerer of their level. For example a 3rd level warrior that signs the fiendish pact retains his hit points, saves, base attack bonus, skills etc. and also has the spellcasting abilities of a 3rd level sorcerer. However while a 3rd level sorcerer can cast 6 1st level spells in a day, the warrior can cast 5 1st level spells.
All the followers of the half-fiend has lost At least one power check. The most depraved of them have lost two or three. A couple of them are under transposition with powerful fiends. These two, the Half fiend has sent away. The PCs will have to find them before they "reach their potential" as they believe.
The 1st power check for the followers is that they lose their shadows. Their charisma is considered 2 higher than normal for the purpose of casting spells (for example, a man with 13 cha is considered to have 15 for the purpose of casting spells that means he gets a +2 to the DCs of his spells instead of +1, a bonus 2nd level spell when he reaches the adequate level etc.) The villagers say that this is a manifestation of the curse.
Feat: Fiendish Pact
You have signed a pact with a fiend to earn spellcasting abilities. At the sealing of the pact (meaning you have done an act of ultimate darkness to seal the pact) you gain the spellcasting abilities of a sorcerer at your level at the time you signed the pact. You can cast one spell/ day less of every spell level you can cast than a sorcerer of your level.
You get a +1 caster level bonus when casting spells with the evil descriptor or that force the caster to make a powers check.
You must take at have at least one spell known that casting it forces you to make a powers check. The DM has the final word on what spells are available to you to choose from, and they must be spells close to the nature of the fiend that gives them to you. For example a succubus or a devil can grant charm spells while an efreeti can grant fire spells. While an efreeti could also give charm spells, it couldn't give cold spells, while no fiend can give protection from evil spells etc.
Examples of actions you must make to seal the pact is to violently kill your brother and eat his heart, to sacrifice an infant to the fiend etc. At the moment you complete your part of the pact, two things happen immediately. First you lose a powers check and second you gain the agreed upon spellcasting powers.
Here is an idea I had while re-reading the AMAZING ''Starman'' series from James Robinson. (Anybody who wants to read great storytelling and characterization (sp) has to read this.) In the story, there is the ghost of a pirate who has been wrongly accused of the murder of his own son (because the son was a torn in someone's plans). The pirate is hung for this, but his last words are a curse to the people of the city: Until his innocence is proven, he shall walk in Opal City (for us Ramulai in Hazlan) and its citizens shall see him from the corner of their eye or within the flame of a candle, and the souls of everybody in Opal will never leave the city either when they die.
The ghost asks Starman (our PCs) to help solve the mystery. They will run into Hazlik or his minions. So this city is full of all the souls of everybody who ever died in Opal. They are not ghosts, except for Jon Valor, the pirate, but they are present. (Obviously, there could be a few more ghosts since this is RL.) Then, the villain, Culp (or in this case, Hazlik) uses the energy of the ghost to cut off the city from the rest of the world with shadow (for Hazlik: Fire). Culp's goal is to destroy Opal (long story), Hazlik's goal is to destroy the Mulan and take possession of Eleni. Throw in the strange designs of Ramulai (from Gaz I), Hazlik needs the spirit of a ghost to activate his device / city.
The heroes get stuck in the closed off city and have to stop the rite which will destroy the Mulan, and then the last one which will allow Hazlik to take possession of Eleni before he leaves(?) RL. It's a long, convoluted story, but go buy the trades they are worth it!!!! This could be moved to another domain I guess, but the Mulan / city thing seemed like a good idea...
The Iron Flask of Tuerny
Champions of the Mists wrote: [Brother] Dominic found himself pulled away from his new home by forces he could not resist. Stepping into the Mists, he emerged in the domain of Hazlik. There, he discovered a powerful artifact called the Iron Flask of Tuerny the Merciless. Recognizing the danger that this evil relic posed, especially if it should fall into the hands of Hazlan's wicked ruler, he claimed it for his own. Traveling into the wilderness of the southern Core, he established a small monastery similar to the one that had stood in Markovia. Thus, another branch of the Order of the Guardians was born. Because of the item it guarded, the wardens who lived there call this monastery the Iron Sanctum.
Giamarga asked: The Iron Flask of Tuerny is in Ravenloft? Is this monastery mentioned in any of the adventures that happen in Hazlan?
Joël's note: yes, on page 42 of Gazetteer one.
Steve Miller's comment: It was supposed to be a major location in the product that eventually became "Die Vecna Die."
The Giamarga: So is the flask still supposed to be in Ravenloft? Wasn't it mentioned in some Greyhawk product? How did it end up in Ravenloft? Or are there more than one of those flasks?
He adds: Tuerny the Merciless is originally an evil wizard/conjurer?/thaumaturge? NPC from Oerth who crafted the Iron Flask of Tuerny long time ago. Tuerny died and rose through demonic ranks quickly being as of RotE a Nalfeshnee with wizardly powers. The flask is a minor artifact that can capture outsider beings. It's 1E stats are in the 1E DMG p158, BoA p45, and Return of the Eight. The 3E stats are in Arms & Equipment.
Not sure if the following is canon:
"Tuerny was once a human wizard, one of the greatest in all history, and a feared personage in the ancient Kingdom of Aerdy. He was born over 900 years ago in the region now called Ahlissa. An archmage, fiend summoner and conqueror, he slew his own king and founded a militant, expansionist tyranny" Subsequently he created the artefact that bears his name and was eventually captured in it himself (thus disappearing from history)
This long building of pale brown stone and sloped trapezoidal walls, screened from the road by a jaundice-colored wall, is an inexpensive block of residences set aside for Sly-Var's caliban population. Designed with the goal of hiding and segrating the city's "unsightly" population of magical-tainted unfortunates, Lřnigbrün Hall has 44 apartments, each with three rooms - a main room, a bedroom, and a kitchen that allows access to the walled court that surround the building. The corridors and rooms of the hall are bare-stoned, high-ceilinged and unadorned affairs, giving the building the feel of a empty tomb; further, Lřnigbrün is windowless and poorly ventilated, causing smokes and odors to become trapped within, making heating and lighting problematic. Additionally, the building houses more inhabitants than it was intended, due to Hazlan's ever-growing number of calibans; apartments sometimes house several families crammed together, split rents between them, and both the courtyard and roof boast the lean-tos and tents of those who cannot fit into the hall.
Despite all this, the residents comport themselves with dignity and pride, forming a self-supporting community despite the resentment of Sly-Var's human population. Since Lřnigbrün Hall was built by the city's government to remove calibans from the city's main residental areas, the caliban residents do not face heavy rent payments - each resident or family pays what they can and some cases (orphans, the elderly, cripples) live rent-free. Maintenance is covered by a stipend from the city and a small degree of charity. Not infrequently, unwanted caliban babies are left at the front gate; these unfortunate foundlings are quickly adopted by the families of Lřnigbrün Hall.
Near the front gates, a communal garden is maintained, while at the far end of the courtyard, privies can be found (these drain into a sewage channel leading to the Saniset). A hut housing a small shrine, taking the place of the communal windmill shrines of rural Hazlan, is also at this end of the courtyard.
Cengis Pazcur (LG male caliban Exp3) - The manager of Lřnigbrün Hall is Cengis Pazcur, who takes care of rents, repairs, and the general well-being of the buildings residents. His appearance is ferocious, with his hulking figure, jumble of tusks, and leonine mane, but Pazcur is a thoughtful and gentle soul who requires eyeglasses when working on the hall's accounts. He and his wife, Oydet (NG female caliban Com3), do have one secret though - they belong to a small group seeking to overthrow Hazlan's Mulan ethnocracy. This group, calling itself the Broken Yoke, meets at a small boatshed on the far bank of the Saniset every other week. The members of the Yoke do not realize that their group has been infiltrated by an agent of Eleni of Toyalis, and that she and Hazlik intend to use the Broken Yoke as pawns to fuel their genocide of the Mulans. The Pazcurs have two children, Adelet (8) and Kubilay (4).
Sobehat Yahtep (NG female caliban Exp2/Clr1/Adp1) - This grandmother is Lřnigbrüns unofficial teacher and patroness of orphans and foundlings. In addition to her own four children and ten grandchildren, Yahtep has taken in more than a dozen foster children over the years, caring and nuturing each as though they were her own. Each day, she rounds up the complex's young ones and holds classes, teaching her pupils letters, sums, useful information and skills, and a solid dose of good sense. Together with a few other women, she prepares a communal lunch for her charges and other residents who need the assistance (generally, this is mamliga with whatever meat and vegetables are handy mixed in). Yahtep is a minor cleric of Hala with some herblore, providing healing and medicine to the hall's sick and injured. In this capacity, Yahtep knows some of the witches of Hala that reside in Hazlan, as well as the mysterious Rashemani sisterhood known as the kethran. From her caliban heritage, Yahtep's skin is a deep slate gray, her eyes livid green, her nose broad and squashed, and her fingers and toes all have an extra joint.
Ragap the Proud (NE male caliban War4/Rog1) - A dockhand on the riverfront by day, Ragap is a rabble-rouser and thug for both crime lord Kemen Kerbasi and smuggler Duygu Izmir. Ragap believes that calibans are superior to regular humans, a up-coming race that will supplant and erase weak and flawed humanity; he sees this as a continuation of a great cycle that has included the El Koth, the Duruun, the Quelshar, the Yath, and the Vossath Nor among others. Thus, in the backrooms and watering holes of Sly-Var, Ragap has been championing his ideas, passing his hateful rhetoric on to other calibans, who due to their second-class and oft brutal existances, have been surprisingly receptive. After the last several years of this, Ragap has developed a fair following and caliban throughout Hazlan have heard his call. The individual Ragap has most focused on swaying is Kemen Kerbasi, whose power as crime lord and thieves' guild leader makes him perhaps the most influental caliban in Hazlan. Unfortunately, Kerbasi is actually Vraylok Helenah Kerpatis, who is until recently has merely laughed at Ragap behind his back. But with Ragap's growing influence, Kerpatis has decided to silence the nuisence before his ideology becomes a problem.
Kerpatis has informed a Mulan cabal she belongs to of the problem. This group, the Rising Whip, is dedicated to bringing back one of the great traditions of Hazlan's glorious past - slavery. They hope to convince the Red Wizard and the Mulan leadership that the return of slavery with increase the wealth and glory of Hazlan and place the majority of the Rashemani population in shackles (despite this, Kerpatis remains good friends with Eleni of Toyalis, herself a Rashemani; Kerpatis hides her membership in the Rising Whip from her friend and considers her one of the few exemptions from her society's general goals). The Whip cultivates ties with Falkovnian slavers through the trade colonies in Toyalis and Sly-Var, and forments racial tensions, engineering violent incidents to prove that the Rashemani do not deserve their (limited) freedom. Ironically, Ragap would be better off recruiting Izmir to the cause, who might join if he were convinced there were opportunities to profit, but Ragap pridefully disdains working with a "hateful human," even though Izmir gives Ragap more work (Ragap's job on the docks helps facilitate smuggling) and pays better than Kerbasi.
Ragap lives at Lřnigbrün Hall with his lover, Gunay Lisblai (CE female caliban Rog2). This who meet Ragap say that he somewhat resembles an eel, with his slick brown skin, small sharp teeth, long neck, slighty webbed digits, darting, twitchy mannerisms, and viscious temperment.
The Ragged Resident - This mysterious person rents two of the upper floor's apartments, paying for them in gold (and at a substantially higher rent than usual) and is rarely seen by residents. When the apartment dweller does emerge, it is a tall figure made shapeless by the layers and layers of rags and tatters is swaths itself in; the Ragged Resident has never spoken to anyone at the hall save manager Cengis Pazcur. Sometimes strange lights, noises, and odors issue from the stranger's rooms. The residents of Lřnigbrün Hall believe the tenant is some sort of mage, possibly an exile from the Red Academy. However, no one as ever come looking for whoever this person may be and the resident causes no trouble, so most residents don't pry. Those who ask Pazcur are told that the renter is definitely a caliban, pays well, and doesn't cause problems, so they should be left in peace. Thus the Ragged Resident remains the greatest mystery of Lřnigbrün Hall.
The truth of the matter is that the Ragged Resident is an outlander, one of the mysterious and ill-reputed folk known as binders. Actually a woman known as Kallireiko (N female half-elf Bind9), she was drawn into the Mists after contacting the vestige known as Kas the Bloody-Handed. Always aloof, scholastic, and a borderline hermit, Kallireiko has become obsessed with finding out what the vestiges known of the misty realm she is now trapped in. She was able to pass off her pointed ears and marks of binding as caliban deformities, and has since spent her time summoning voices and visions from the vasty deeps to reveal their secrets to her. As time passes, it is increasingly likely that one of her ceremonies will go disastrously wrong wreaking tragedy upon the blameless residents of Lřnigbrün Hall. Further, the nightmare eye of the vestige of Kas is firmly fixed on Kallireiko, and hopes to use her as a means to return to the realms of reality.
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