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Against the Tide of Darkness

Campaign Brief

The Ancient tales tell...

When the world was young the gods quarreled among


themselves for the future of Arda. Soon, squabbles turned to
war. The fate of the world and it's people hung in the balance
as the gods of light clashed against the gods of evil. The war
was long and costly. Many fledgling civilizations fell prey to
hellfire and the machinations of the wicked and cruel. The
gods wept for the loss the witnessed.

Fueled by blind rage, the goddess Arda led the gods of light in
a furious campaign against the gods of evil. One by one the evil
gods fell. Each stripped from the memory of the world and
it's people; for without followers the evil gods were without
their divine power.

The Evil gods fell until but one remained. Ba'al. Only the
god of corruption remained to oppose the gods of light. Even
weakened by loss of worship, Ba'al proved too strong to
destroy.

Arda, feeling no other option remained, ordered the crafting


of a powerful sanctuary to hold the imprisoned Ba'al. As a
key the gods crafted a divine rod and used it to seal Ba'al
deep below the Barrier Mountains. After sealing the sanctuary
the rod split itself into seven parts and scattered itself among
the cosmos.
The Current Situation
The Current Date: 15th day of the Lamb Moons (Mid March), 3862 AR.

It is early spring and the unusually cold winter is finally receding. A cold wind occasionally blows down from the
Barrier Mountains but the bright sun and warming breeze coming in across the Wild Sea is making for a lovely start to
warmer weather.

You are a member of the Shieldmeet. The only officially organized militia/military organization in the region known
as The Dales. The Dales is collection of loosely affiliates city-states that occasionally come together to discuss trade
and commerce in the region. The Shieldmeet is the only example of constant collaboration between the cities and this
is only out of necessity. Despite this the Shieldmeet is a serious military organization and is treated as such.

As mentioned The Dales is a collection of loosely affiliated city-states that occupies a wide strip of land between the
Barrier Mountains (tallest point: 29,141 ft) and the shores of the Wild Sea. In the last few years The Dales has grown
from a sleepy little seaside commonwealth into a bustling demi-kingdom. This is attributed to the recent settlement of
points beyond the Barrier Mountains. Due to the high elevations and the harsh conditions the caravan trails through
the Barrier Mountains do not open until the beginning of the month of the Mist Moons (May) and by this point in the
season merchants must get their merchandise to the frontier towns beyond as quickly as possible. The most direct
route is to ship the merchandise across the Wild Sea and carry it by caravan through the mountains.

To protect the merchant's interest in the caravan trails The Dale's Council has commissioned the Shieldmeet to
dispatch a scouting team to venture into the mountains and ascertain the conditions of the mountain passes and any
damage that might have occurred during the winter. When these scouting missions first began they met with dire
effects. The various giant tribes that make their homes in the Barrier Mountains took the initial scouting parties as
advance scouts for an invasion and retaliated. The toll on the region was high but eventually a sole frost giant by the
name of Khrysaor emerged as an uncharacteristically diplomatic leader. Khrysaor seized control of the various giant
tribes, naming himself Grand Jarl and commenced negotiations with the humans of The Dales (and in doing so formed
Arda's first functioning giant nation). Since the peace accord between The Dales and the Grand Jarl there have been
no further hostilities in the Dales. As of today, the annual scouting party is three weeks overdue for their scheduled
return.

Dales Census
The region is made up of the following ten cities (listed by population):
• Gadric's Hollow (13030)
• Cederdale (6735)
• Elmdale (4994)
• Birchdale (4271)
• Willowdale (3972)
• Mapledale (3816)
• Hickorydale (3444)
• Pinedale (2586)
• Oakdale (2012)
• Dogwood Hill (1085).

For the most part The Dales is made up of humans from various regions gathered together. There is a strong
community of Dwarves that take up residence in the Northern Dales, miners by trade, they traveled north from their
homeland to escape the Githyanki persecution. The region also possess a small gnomish population, most of whom
make their livings through mining inovations. The rest of the kingdom's population is a vast array of beings drawn
from all over Arda and due to it's recent population growth almost any sentient creature in the cosmos can be found
wondering the streets.

Gadric's Hollow, being the largest of the Dales cities, also functions as the capital and the seat of Dale's Government.
Notable Dale's Folk
People worth knowing around the Dale's region, be they for good or bad reasons.

Lord Stargel Branrick


Lord and elected leader of the Dales. He has sat in office since his early 30's. As a man of more than 70 winters he has
held the position for far longer than any of his predecessors. This has been accomplished through just and fair ruling
practices. However, with his age and his health beginning to wane talk around the dales has turned to who will be
elected to replace him should he choose to step down. As of yet there has been no statement to that effect and the
people continue to rally behind him; labeling him as the greatest ruler the Dales has ever had.

Thuldrin Kreed
Thuldrin oversees the Kreed lumber concession, the largest and most powerful lumber concession in the Dales. The
Kreed concession owns more than 2/3rds of the lumber harvesting writs procured from the Merchant council and
employees more the three quarters of the lumberjacks of the dales. Thuldrin himself is a true weasel of a man, but a
powerful weasel. Though he ranks rather low on the Kreed hierarchy he strives to gain favor among his family by
turning what was once a pathetic excuse of a lumber milling endeavor into what it is today. And he did so through the
toil and sweat of his many employees. Kreed and the concession compound reside in Birchdale where Kreed can
personally oversee the day to day tasks. The Kreed compound is also home to the largest private set of Docks on the
Wild Sea.

Sendra Telraven
Kreed's chief lieutenant and rumored lover. She is a native of the Valaah region and carries the nickname Ash-Shaulah,
which roughly translates to The Scorpion's Tail. Despite her exotic beauty she is a vicious and cruel woman who's sole
purpose seems to be meting out Kreed's punishment to those that fail him. When she's not at the Kreed compound she
is often found in one of many local taverns throughout the dales.

Sirollus Kealgren
As Head of the Dalelands Merchant Council Kealgren also holds a high seat on Lord Branrick's council. Despite his
station there is no love loss between the merchant leader and the Lord of the Dales. Kealgren sees Branrick as a tired,
dusty old fossil of a bygone age. He feels that higher taxes should be leveled on the native dalesfolk and that the
merchant costars should be given more rights and power. The merchant council requires all merchant costars and
concessions to pay heavy dues to the organization on top of fees and penalties it levies on mining/woodcutting writs.
Publicly Kealgren and Thuldrin Kreed are personal friends. Behind closed doors however Kealgren is completely in
Kreeds pocket, receiving large sums of gold for the freely obtained woodcutting writs Kreed has received.
Character Creation
Stats: 4d6 six times drop the lowest. Re-roll any stat lower than a 10.

Level: All characters will start at 1st level. Characters that come into the game at a later time will start at the average
level of the party.

Hit Points: Double maximum at first level, roll for each additional level.

Races: Characters with a level adjustment of no more than a +1 are acceptable without penalty.
Classes: All Classes are allowed. Prestige classes cannot be taken until you meet the prerequisites and are at least 5th
level. (This is subject to DM approval of course)

Gold: Max starting gold.

Alignment: The general party alignment should be good or at least neutral. An evil character may be accepted if the
player can provide a convincing argument as to why an evil character is traveling with mostly good alignments.

Books: I am very open on sources and have access to a huge wealth of sourcebooks. Therefore I am allowing all
appropriate options to the players. However, do to the simple fact that their are SO many source I will need book and
page references for all Feats, Spells and Equipment used. These will be added to your character sheet. Other Sources:
I am allowing other sources from both online and off-line to be included in the game. However, all materials must be
submitted and approved before being used.

Rank: All characters begin play at the rank of Private. One character will be chosen by the DM to be a Senior officer.
All players will be told the Senior Officer's identity at the same time.

Equipment: All character begin play with the following items for free:
x01 Backpack
x01 Flint & Steel
x01 Bedroll
x01 Winter Blanket
x10 Trail rations
x01 Waterskin
x01 Simple or Martial Weapon of choice (Non-Magical)
x01 Suit Light or Medium Armor of choice (Non-Magical)
x01 Hooded Travel Cloak (Sheildmeet embroidery)

Requisitioning of Equipment and Supplies: As a part of an established military organization you have the ability to
requisition equipment and supplies from a ranking Master at Arms of the Shieldmeet.

As a general rule of thumb, a unit of soldiers can requisition up to twice the unit's average level x 1000gp in magical
or non-magical equipment and supplies once per week. Requisition orders must be submitted to the Master at Arms in
writing before they can be filled. Requisitions are based on the availability of items at any given location.
Pertinent House Rules
Favored Class: Instead of instilling an XP penalty to multiclassing I have decided to make it a bonus. For ever level
your character takes in their favored class they gain 3 hp.

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Action Points: Each character receives 5 Action Points at 1st Level. Character's starting above first level begin with
Action points Equal to 5 + 1/2 their character level. Each time a character gains a level he gains Action Points equal to
5 + 1/2 his new character level.

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Reputation: Reputation may effect character interaction with NPC's on and off the battlefield at the DM's discretion.
All character's start off with a reputation of +0 and will build up from there.

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Massive Damage: If damage is dealt (or received) in excess of 50 hit points from a single blow, the struck creature
must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or be instantly killed regardless of remaining hit points. The same applies if the
striking creature rolls three twenty's in a row. In this instance not fortitude save is allowed.

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Psionic Class Bonus Feat: All psionic classes, psionic races, or any character that possesses a power point reserve of
2 points or more gains Sense Quintessence (MM V, pg: 110) as a bonus feat even if you do not meet the prerequisites.
This ability functions like Detect Magic cast by a wizard of your character level.

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Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB): This value represents how skilled a creature is at performing a combat maneuver
(ie. Trip, Disarm or Grapple). When attempting to perform a combat maneuver, this value is added to the character's
d20 roll.

CMB Formula: CMB = Base Attack bonus + Strength Modifier + Special Size Modifier*

* Special Size modifiers: Fine -8, Diminutive -4, Tiny -2, Small -1, Medium +0, Large +1, Huge +2, Gargantuan +4, Colossal +8. Some
feats and abilities grant a bonus to your CMB/CMD when performing special maneuvers.

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Combat Defense Bonus (CMD): This score represents how hard it is to perform a combat maneuver against a
creature. A creature's CMD is used as the DC when performing a maneuver against that creature.

CMD Formula: CMD = 10 + Base Attack bonus + Strength Modifier + Dexterity


Modifier + Special Size Modifier*1

* Special Size modifiers: Fine -8, Diminutive -4, Tiny -2, Small -1, Medium +0, Large +1, Huge +2, Gargantuan +4, Colossal +8. Some
feats and abilities grant a bonus to your CMB/CMD when performing special maneuvers.

1 A creature can add any Circumstance, Deflection, Dodge, Insight, Morale, Profane and/or Sacred bonuses to AC to it's CMD. Any
penalties to a creature's AC also apply to it's CMD. A flat-footed character does not add it's Dexterity bonus to it's CMD.

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Alternate Disease Rules: Diseases now have higher frequency but longer onset times. The onset time can be variable.
Most diseases can be cured by a number of consecutive saving throws of by spells such as Remove Disease. Below is
an example of a common disease.

= Filth Fever =
Type: Disease, injury; Save: Fortitude DC 12
Onset: 1d3 days; Frequency: 1/day
Effect: 1d3 Dex damage and 1d3 Con damage; Cure: 2 consecutive saves

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Alternate Poison Rules: Poisons are treated much like diseases with a set onset time and frequency. Poisons can be
cured by successful saving throws and spells such as Neutralize Poison. Contact, ingested and injury poisons
generally contain enough poison for one dose or enough to coat a single weapon one time (a double weapon counts as
two separate weapons for applying poison). Most inhaled poison contain enough poison to fill a volume equal to a 10-
foot cube.

Unlike most afflictions, multiple doses of the same poison stack. Poisons delivered by injury and contact cannot inflict
more than one dose of poison at a time, but inhaled and ingested poisons can inflict multiple doses at once. Each
additional dose extends the total duration of the poison (as noted under frequency) by half its total duration. In
addition, each dose of poison increases the DC to resist the poison by +2. This increase is cumulative. Multiple doses
do not alter the cure conditions of the poison, and meeting these conditions ends the affliction for all the doses.

Applying poison to a weapon or single piece of ammunition is a standard action. Whenever a character
applies or readies a poison for use there is a 5% chance that he exposes himself to the poison and must save against
the poison as normal. This does not consume the dose of poison. Whenever a character attacks with a poisoned
weapon, if the attack roll results in a natural 1, he exposes himself to the poison. This consumes the poison on the
weapon. Characters with the poison use class feature do not risk accidentally poisoning themselves.

Poisons can be made using Craft (alchemy). The DC to make a poison is equal to its Fortitude save DC. Rolling a
natural 1 on a Craft skill check while making a poison exposes the crafter to the poison. Crafters with the poison use
class feature do not risk poisoning themselves when using Craft to make poison. Use of poisons is NOT an inherently
evil act. Below is an example of a common poison.

= Drow Poison =
Type: Poison, injury; Save: Fortitude DC 13
Frequency: 1/minute for 2 minutes
Initial Effect: unconsciousness for 1 minute; Secondary Effect: unconsciousness for 2d4 hours; Cure: 1 save

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Contacts: PC's may gain contacts throughout their careers. Characters may have a total number of contacts equal to
their Charisma bonus (minimum of one). Characters who are members of an organization gain a bonus contact. This
bonus contact must be a member of the same organization as the character. NPC's are not gained during character
creation. Contact gain is done through character interaction IN GAME.

Gaining Contacts: A PC wishing to gain a contact must first select an NPC. If the NPC's attitude toward the
character is worse than helpful, the first step is to adjust the NPC's attitude to helpful by making a successful
Diplomacy Check. Once the NPC's attitude is helpful, the player simply declares his intent to make that NPC
a contact for his character.

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