Sage of Shadowdale has something to say about pretty much everything.
Despite having pages in Dragon Magazine, Dungeon Adventures, and Polyhedron
Newszine, the Old Mage still has more to speak of the Realms. Not wanting
to anger an archmage, we decided it would be best to give him a weekly
column from which to discuss the finer points.
well, young one...
Temple Deeds, Darker Doers
of Voonlar has no less than three dozen hired "whisperers" (mainly
traveling Sembian merchants and Moonsea peddlers) who do only one service
for him: spreading false rumors as he directs, in return for handsome
payments (typically 30 to 50 gp/month). A select few are paid more to
be his eyes elsewhere, usually (so as to keep suspicions to
a minimum) reporting only on specific things upon request, rather than
his Dark Blessed, Gormstadd professes to be actively committed to rebuilding
the decaying temple, but this is becoming a source of increasing embarrassment
for him as repairs take longer and longer--and its clear that Gormstadd
is keeping coins in reserve for something else.
of the Blessed are privy to what that other purpose is, however. Gormstadds
great secret is that he wants to build himself a fortified villa somewhere
secluded in northwestern Sembia, among the hunting lodges of wealthy Sembian
families, where he can run to if events go against him in Voonlar, or
if he falls out of favor in the faith of True Darkness (and he believes
that another sacking of the temple in Voonlar by adventurers or anything
less than a whelmed army would bring him disfavor in the eyes of high-ranking
to anyone else in Voonlar, three of Gormstadds "answering holy
summons" to moots in various luxury country inns outside Ordulin
(which serve many merchants and trading cabals as regular meeting-places)
were false--no such moot had been called, and the Dark Patriarch of Voonlar
was actually on land-buying forays.
years hes purchased two parcels of land: Twilight Gate Farm, a run-down
turnip farm reclaimed by the surrounding woods and now sporting only a
hunting lodge and a well-stocked fishpond; and Owlsklar Wood, a wild and
deep staghunting forest that once belonged to the prominent but now nearly
extinct Sembian family of Blacklock. Gormstadd has done nothing to these
lands except to hire (in Yhaunn) and install a steward, Aldamair Galashar
(an oily and obsequious man possessed of the remains of good looks and
the enmity of many cuckolded husbands), at Twilight Gate.
has been happily using the lodge as a storehouse for stolen goods (hes
long been part of a cabal active in many Inner Sea ports, that steals
material from warehouses, replaces what theyve looted with garbage,
and then burns down the buildings), and Gormstadds been happily
ignoring these activities. Soon he hopes to begin the huge expense of
building a fortified manor in the very heart of Owlsklar--and has engaged
the Landlook, three half-elven brothers who from a base in Ordulin survey
lands for fees, reporting back on beast lairs, water sources, caverns,
valuable timber, and the like, to examine Owlsklar.
has also spent time tracing who actually owns what in and around Voonlar,
with an eye to selecting a loner who happens to own valuable land who
could be magically coerced into donating such holdings to the temple just
before an unfortunate and fatal accident happens to them--but as he feels
this stratagem had best be used only once, and he wants to keep his machinations
secret even from his two Dark Hands, he wants to select just the right
victim. No one is yet in his mind as a good candidate.
Str 16, Dex
18, Con 15, Int 14, Wis 11, Cha 12
Fort +5, Ref
+11, Will +3
Sneak attack +5d6, uncanny dodge, crippling strike, proficient with club,
crossbow, dagger, dart, mace, quarterstaff, sap, shortbow, short sword,
and light armor
Bluff +14, Climb +7, Disable Device +9, Disguise +10, Escape Artist +10,
Forgery +7, Gather Information +15, Hide +16, Innuendo +11, Intimidate
+5, Listen +5, Move Silently +13, Open Locks +9, Pick Pockets +10, Search
+8, Sense Motive +9, Spot +6, Use Rope +8
Ambidexterity, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility