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...
Dark Heart to Lead Voonlar
Voonlarrans fear and obey the clergy of Cyric, and some even regard worship
of the Dark Sun as a road to power. Nevertheless, they have the infuriating
habit of referring to the Lord of Three Crowns as "Lord Bane."
Gossip (which travels swiftly to Cyricist ears) includes reminiscences
about the "good old dark days" when the Banites up at The Dark
Lords Hand, as the temple was then known, "really knew how
to be proper tyrants . . . not clumsy brutes, like this lot. Silken menace,
and not shouting and the clumsy bludgeon."
talk is both infuriatingly accurate and almost inevitable, given the arrogance
of the master of The Dark God Reformed, whos openly disdainful of
folk of Voonlar, whom he refers to simply as "the common rabble"
or,to distinguish them from rabble elsewhere, "the local filth."
At the same time as he delivers himself of such unflattering forms of
address for others, Dark Patriarch Gormstadd the Rerisen likes to be himself
addressed as "Most Dread Holy."
evil human cleric who rose to be the head of The Dark Lords Hand
over the bodies of his betrayed superiors, Gormstadd is a brawny man with
a small, narrow face and two flint-hard eyes. He has thick brown hair
all over his body, brown eyes so dark as to appear almost black, and thick
eyebrows that meet in a severe bar across his face when drawn down in
to rough-and-tumble fighting, the tripwire and "accidental"
fall down long stairs for rivals, and even the false rumor or fake incriminating-of-rivals
letter, Gormstadd enjoys several interests. He likes his wines (the ambitious
are warned that he can recognize many poisons by taste, and has built
up a resistance to most of them by selectively poisoning himself with
very small doses). He also enjoys the policies of his new faith involving
dealing heavily and enthusiastically, in falsehoods, and the feeling of
power he gets when he walks among folk who fear him too greatly to ever
lift a hand against him, even when goaded.
has a very good memory for tastes, smells, and faces, but is terrible
at names, dates, amounts, and the wordings of specific agreements--about
all of which he keeps copious notes, trusting in no scribe or assistant.
He also has an eye for muscular women, and dreams of siring a family of
warrior-maids who will glory in the service of the Dark Sun, and win him
such favor in the eyes of Cyric as to be granted immortality and special
powers as a trusted servant. Thus far, however, Gormstadd hasnt
found a worthy mate wholl consent to his advances . . . and he doubts
an unwilling consort will be acceptable to the Dark Sun.
meantime, until his eye should fall on the right woman, Gormstadd fills
his days with indulging his cruelties on those unable to defend themselves,
enjoying wine and seized riches, spreading fear and the dark influence
of the temple, and spying on neighboring rulers and rival Cyricists. Hell
steal any wealth and valuable non-perishable goods he thinks he can get
away with (entire wagons have disappeared from encampments within reach
of the temple), and try any dastardly deed that he can blame on someone
Strifeleader of Voonlar
10th-level Cleric of Cyric
Str 14, Dex
11, Con 15, Int 14, Wis 18, Cha 13
Fort +9, Ref
+3, Will +11
AC: 26 (+3 Full
Plate of Blending, +3 Large, Steel Sheild)
+11/+6 (+2 longsword, nine lives stealer)
Abilities: +1 on saves vs. illusion or phantasm, can cast black talon
once/day, can summon an aerial servant that will fight for him, can create
a dark aura or skull of secrets once/day, can cast phantasmal killer once/tenday.
Concentration +13, Diplomacy +13, Knowledge (arcana) +13, Knowledge (religion)
+13, Spellcraft +13
Brew Potion, Craft Wand, Craft Wondrous Item, Silent Spell, Spell Penetration
6/5+1/5+1/4+1/4+1/2+1 (spells listed after the + cannot be swapped out
for healing spells): 0-level: cure minor wounds, detect magic, guidance,
inflict minor wounds, resistance, 1st-level bane, cause
fear, command, cure light wounds, detect good, doom, + protection from
good, 2nd-level: aid, bulls strength, hold person (x2),
spiritual weapon, + desecrate; 3rd-level: dispel magic, prayer,
protection searing light, speak with dead, +magic circle against
good; 4th-level: cure critical wounds, divine power, freedom of
movement, spell immunity, +unholy blight; 5th-flame strike, insect
plague, +dispel good.