Volume #3, Issue #3. (Feb 1, 1995)

Subscribers: 158
Contributors: 8
Delivery Man/Publisher:agl1@le.ac.uk
Genesis Man/Founder:digdug@iastate.edu
Hack and Slash Man/Editor:msphil@birds.wm.edu

World Index

  1. Forgotten Realms
  2. SpellJammer
  3. Mystara
  4. Ærth
  5. Original
    1. Unknown
    2. G.U.R.P.S.

Other Interesting Stuff

  1. Campaign Journals

Reporters this issue:
    Matt Brooks, (mcbroo@infotech.ts.wm.edu)
    Vincent Gray, (vince@sscl.uwo.ca)
    Richard J. Pugh (rjpugh@aol.com)
    Daniel Goncalves (dlr@vision.inesc.pt)
    Mike Phillips (msphil@birds.wm.edu)
    Mike Knudsen (knudsenm@ohsu.edu)
    Tim Loud (jloud@gamma.is.tcu.edu)
    Andy Merritt (amerritt@armltd.co.uk)

Forgotten Realms

An adventuring company which had gone north with a caravan to look into what was causing the disappearance of some wagon trains has returned, and the story they are telling has some questioning its validity. However, the teamsters who accompanied the caravan are not contradicting them.
The group claims that, a scant four days outside Waterdeep, the clouds turned dark, and greenish lightning began to flash all around them. Two priests not affiliated with the adventuring band began to set down powerful wards to protect the caravan from attackers. As the sun set, fiends and demons appeared, and began to assault the caravan, but the wards held. Some of the people accompanying the caravan had remained outside the barrier to battle the fiends. A group of undead marched onto the battlefield, and threatened to overwhelm the barrier with sheer numbers. Faced with allowing in the minor undead, or the titanic demons, the priest who had remained inside the wards, Adominus, chose to allow the undead in.
The adventurers fought them furiously, and although some were wounded, managed to defeat the undead. Soon after they put to final rest the undead warriors, the female priest who was outide the wards was knocked unconscous by a fiend. Kantal, a paladin of Ilmater who was leading the caravan charged to her defense, but was forced to stop to battle the demons who had felled Delsonora. Tintagel, one of the adventuring band, raced out to carry Delsonora back in, but on his return, was noticed by a demon, who turned to attack the burdened dwarf. Before the monster could reach Tintagel, Tyl'Gain an elf, shot an arrow into the fiend, causing it to lose its stride, and that gave Tintagel time to get back behind the safety of the wards.
By the next morning, the fiends were gone, and the caravan proceeded on its way. Here the tales grow uncertain, as the group claims to have met a creature the like of which are unknown on Faerun. The female humanoid was described as being about as tall as a dwarf, but with elven ears, and an innocent face like that of a young human. She claimed to be a mage, but the Moonshaen of the group, after a few ales in the Dripping Dagger, was heard to say, "If tha's how reliable and uncontrollable magic is, I'm gla' I dunna use it!" Unfortunately, the person in question remained in Leilon and did not accompany the party back to Waterdeep, so none of this can be confirmed.

Matt Brooks: mcbroo@infotech.ts.wm.edu

Pre-time of troubles: Waterdeep

The adventuring group SVG (generally known as the Silly Vicious Goons), departed Waterdeep in the middle of winter, stating the city of "none of your d*mn business" as their first destination. Our usually "reliable" party source, the gnomish illusionist Ora, was unusually reticent, but did mention plans to sell vast quantities of gems in a caravan city, and then to proceed to a distant, vast, abandoned elven city near a Harper stronghold ... Precise details, were, regretably, unavailable.
The ranger Abel did not accompany them: as he has been recruiting servants, low-level fighters, etc., it is assumed that he has opted to become the castellan for the party's stronghold near Silverymoon. The party appears to be planning on establishing a co-operative operation at that site, with the mages, clerics, and fighters all setting up their high-level operations there.

Vincent Gray: vince@sscl.uwo.ca

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Official Press Statement from the Imperial Elven Navy

Waterdeep- Admiral Gidion Stardawn, chief admiral of the Evermeet Imperial Elven Navy, has offered a substantial reward for information leading to the capture and/or recovery of two Elven Armada Ships.
One of the fugitive ships is the IEN Wanderer, commanded by Rear Admiral Resika. The IEN Wanderer is a Monarch-Beta class Armada that was returned to service about a century ago as an exploration craft. Resika has been an outspoken opponent of Stardawn for quite some time, and according to records, has cast his loyalty with Admiral Leafblower, Stardawn's primary opponent. However, since the allegance of Admiral Resika has not been determined at this time, Stardawn is anxious to reach him.
Admiral Leafblower, for his part, is supposed to have given Resika special orders to travel to a special base somewhere beyond the known spheres. Leafblower and Resika have been long friends, and if the rumor of these special orders are true, then it is likely that Leafblower is attempting to field a new fleet to oppose Stardawn in the growing civil war.
There has been no recorded sighting of the IEN Wanderer in almost six years.
The second missing armada is a Swallowtail-Gamma class battleship, named the Cecropia Dawn. The craft was last seen in Solaris, where it served as a flagship for Rear Admiral Falconbane. The craft was assumed destroyed when the Mosaic citadel was destroyed (as reported in the last issue of the FNN-TAJ), but recent inteligence has proven that this is not the case. The Cecropia Dawn was sited in Delcospace, apparently after being torn through a phlogistin vortex. The citadel appeared damaged beyond repair, but the primary hull looked to be in perfect order. In fact, it is reported to have been recently repaired of extensive battle damage. Several days later, the same armada was seen leaving Delcospace, sporting a new citadel. The Elven Navy has been known to remove the citadel sections of armadas during upgrades and drydock. This new citadel is assumed to be a restored hulk, fitted to the existing primary hull.
The current operators of the Cecropia Dawn are unknown, but they have painted the ship a dark blue with gold and silver trim. Anyone seeing this armada is requested to bring it to the attention of the Elven Navy without delay. Full schematics of this renegade ship are available from the navy.

*** Response ***
From the Spelljammer's aid society.

In light of the recent actions by the now shattered Elven Navy, the Spelljammer's aid society encourages everyone reading to *NOT* report either of these missing ships to admiral Stardawn, or anyone in his command. The fact that they are asking for help in locating these ships indicates that they are no longer able to keep their own fleet commanders in line, and that they are no longer worthy of trust. The Spelljammer's Aid Society will double any financial reward offered by the navy regarding the wherabouts of these two ships.

Richard J. Pugh: RJPugh@aol.com

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Kingdom of Karameikos: Specularum

Diplomats from the clans of the elven refugees from Alfheim were received by King Stefan Karameikos today. It was found that the nature of the ensuing discussion was to request military help in order to go to what once was the luxuriant Canolbarth forest, now Aengmor, and retrieve some of their clan relics from the Shadow Elves. The elven diplomats claim that there still are many secret places of worship the Shadow Elves didn't have the time to find yet, and in those places there are a lot of sacred objects that have passed from father to child in those clans.
It was the diplomat of the small Clan Aerendil, one of the few survivors of that clan, that more vehemently defended a military incursion into Shadow Elven territory to retrieve those relics. It would seem that the Tree of Life of that clan remained behind, when all that defended it were killed by the Shadow Elves.
Kingdom of Karameikos: Threshold

A mage and his friends that were rescued a few days ago form an undead raid in the Altan Tepes, organised a meeting with the local authorities, including both the military and clergy. Retameron Antonic himself attended. They had an explanation for the recent undead raids that have been taking place in Karameikos and the neighbouring countries, for quite some time. According to their story, some ancient evil was released from a crypt in Esterhold a few months ago. The release caused great devastation to the surrounding areas, and the party was unable to stop the creature from escaping. It was not like anything they had every seen! All the attacks made, magical or otherwise, didn't seem to affect it in any way.
The creature was clad in black and the darkness covered it's face, giving no clue to it's nature, although the body appeared human. Some of the party's hirelings died a few days after confronting the creature from a strange rotting disease they were not able to cure. Since then, the party has been chasing the creature, and it would seem that it has great power over the undead, perhaps being one itself. The party has no doubt, due to the increase in power and organisation from the raiding undead, that the raids are the creature's doing. Its goals are not yet known, but, by the way it travels, it seems that it is looking for something or someone.

The Hollow World: Alphatian Neatharum

Attacks from the Neathar tribes have increased in number. The attacks are now very different from what they used to be. Instead of random, scattered, raids, the attacks are becoming more organised and, thus, making far more damage and victims than they used to make. There is undoubtly someone organizing the attacks.
Meanwhile, the new floating continent that appeared some weeks ago over the skies of Haldemar remains unexplored, since all skyships that approach it loose control and no one has been able, so far, to fly above it.

Magic use has been increasingly dangerous, since the sinking of Alphatia. The effects of even the most common spells are got very unstable, probably due to the enormous amount of magic energies released during the sinking. Damage has been unadvertedly made to people and buildings. However, some mages seem to begin to understand the changes to the arcane laws, and are using it to their advantage.

Kingdom Ierendi: Ierendi City

Sailor merchants that just arrived from the Savage Coast through the Sea of Dread reporting disturbing news. During the voyage, they were intercepted and attacked by a ship whose only crew were undead of several types, mainly skeletons, and ghouls. After that, they spotted two more ships of the same kind but were able to outrun it. Both were heading the same direction, in the middle of the Sea of Dread.

Daniel Goncalves: dlr@vision.inesc.pt

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Vargaard: Grandmark: Tremayne

Markthegn Tarrant, the ruler of Grandmark, has offered rewards for the delivery of magickal items of any kind, and he has standing offers of employment for those skilled in the magickal arts.
Although his call has so far netted items of only minor sort, his officials have expressed hope that Items of Power might find their way to his country. Some dissidents, typically Kellts with family in the country of Wildedge, to the northeast, have expressed concern that such a call may result in artifacts of great power which would be used to subjugate Wildedge.
Falcondonia, the nation to the south, has indicated through diplomats and embassies that the acquisition of items of great power, in direct rivalry with their own possessions, may be considered an act of war. There have been hints that the Forbidden Scrolls of Grosapis will be unfurled again, and Falcondonia may attempt retribution against the upstard Grandmark.

Afrik: Ægypt: Keshi Oversight

A distant relative of Pharaoh, Nefer-amun-re, previously involved with the Ægyptian delegation to Keshu, has been named the Governor of the Keshi Oversight. Unrest continues in the broad expanses of plains which make up most of Keshu, and the Ægyptian hold is tenuous at best.
However, with the timely completion of two of the planned lines of fortresses, Ægyptian forces are solidly entrenched in the cities. Pharaoh has expressed sorrow over the necessity of the action, but he maintains that the border had become unstable, unsafe, and Keshi incursions into Ægypt had increased to an intolerable point.
Meanwhile, the new governor has announced his intention to start a small school of Dweomercraeft as a remote campus of one of the schools in Ægypt (which one is unknown at this time). He hopes that the Keshi will be positively influenced by the Ægyptian rule, and that the temperament of the oversight calms down.

Mike Phillips: msphil@birds.wm.edu

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Original: Unknown

A war party of mountain dwarves attacked the village of Valdwin last week. They had come into the village stating that they we're on a quest and merely needed supplies but in the dark of night they destroyed Bagmoors trading shop and killed Bagmoor and twelve of his relatives. The knight Comralain subdued them and they are currently being held in the stockade.
I've heard that the Githyanki are warring with the Drow. A slave merchant told me that the Drow holy city of Tristnic has been put under martial law after some mysterious calamity befell it. There's word that Drow all over the world are coming to the surface to recruit humanoids for their war. Oddly though, their raiding in Westchester has all but ceased.


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Time Travel/Cross Worlds: Magpsi
Personal log with unanswered questions by exploration team members (in parenthesis) and [GM notes in square brackets]
    Cross Worlds Travel. Civilization Encyclopedia.
    Entry 2/16/93 - 6:50 pm.
    Alternate Earth. Located Q7. Class: Weird Parallel. Year: 1988. Major Difference: "Magic and PSI suddenly appeared this year" [GM note: Magic from Basic Set only; PSI powers limited to power 5]. Name: Magpsi (mixing of magic and psionics).
    Current date: January 8, 1988 (8 days since Magic/PSI emerged in all people [Normal Mana]).
Changes so far:
Law: Reading an Aura is like getting a fingerprint and is admissible in a court of law. Elementals and their evidence is not admissible unless a jury consists of at least 3 different, disinterested magis can "monitor" responses. Mind Reading is infringement of Freedom of Speech, Civil Rights, and may only be done in Law Enforcement after Miranda Rights are addressed. Mind Reading requires at least 3 different PSIs to "monitor" responses. Drug use to "encourage" growth of PSI and/or magic is controlled to research only.
Society: The Rule of Three (3 magis and/or PSIs) pervades nearly all society (commercial business, especially). Divination and other Future Seeing (Clairvoyance) powers are required to register by law with local authorities (this is controversial). Since ANYone is liable to have some power (magic and/or PSI) active or latent, that power is considered benign until PUT TO USE. (This, of course, is hard to detect if a person has a high skill of hiding it. And what do you do with active powers that can't be controlled? This is merely social custom? More research is needed.)
Transportation: Teleportation is common enough to have effected all transportation; airlines are especially hard hit, while motor companies count on Teleporters to use cars for longer trips (since such a lower power is available, all areas of transportation has seen a leveling out instead of a decline).
Communications: Telerecieve and Telesend is revolutionizing the computer industry; but again, such a low power has had a leveling effect on telephones. Letter writing is down.
Culture: new art forms are emerging (clay shaped by random thoughts,) while Psychometry and other Past Seeing has revealed the answer to a few mysteries.
Warning: There are some places of such strong Psychosometric Auras (death camps, for example), that they are avoided. [Power 5 means only 5 years back can be read, so many older mysteries remain unsolved.]
Among highly skilled segments of the population, there are areas in the cities where like-minded powers will converge. One example is a Food Creating area (no more starvation), which is overseen by the FDA. Universities almost always have magis or PSIs in research. So will Law Enforcement.
Religion: magic and PSI are viewed as neutral, it is how it is put to use that defines its evil or good intent. This is the "standard" in more open countries.
All religions accept Higher Powers ("they've always been here, just not to this extent" to "this is a gift from Allah") and are not threatened by them. What is harder to do is explain them in some workable scheme. Current theology holds that Powers were within us all the time, but are not a sign of Divine Grace (this is hotly debated).

Other notes: - simultaneous transmission of an obscenely pornographic "novel" by Telesend (letter writing down but self publishing up) resulted in a high demand for research into Mind Block Electronics.
So far, no luck; PSI power seems to be unconnected with non- living circuitry (can't produce the strangeness that a human brain can).
But some drugs can "scatter" thoughts; these are being researched.
This means no disembodied brains or beings of pure energy in such a low-powered world because PSI depends on living brain tissue, consciousness, intelligence.

More research needed on:
Question: will a MAGICAL mind block affect PSI?
Magic is channeled through the soul, will, body in this Alternate. Are there others where it is more of an X+Y=Fireball Alternate Earth?
Dedicated powerstones "magic resistance -- but will it affect powers of the mind? ....... yes."
[GM questions: in this campaign Magic and PSI both depend on body, IQ, intelligence, but there IS a difference, so perhaps MR resists a PSI mind blow of, say -6.... but not as a generic default. PSI resistance will stop your body heating up, not a fireball thrown at you? Magic Resistance won't stop a PSI from heating your body (or air around you?) but might stop a mental blow?]
PSI is quicker, but magic is more powerful.

More research needed on: