Lake of the Burning Spear
At the headwaters of the Far Anhoi, near the Great Glacier, is a vast wetland. It freezes solid in winter, ice drifts in the channels in spring and late autumn. Only in high summer do the waters flow freely through the endless reed beds. The area that directly feeds into the Anhoi, however, stays warm all year around.
Legends say that a terrible monster was slain here by the East Sun (before he became the Celestial Emperor). There was a mighty battle where mountains were crushed and the land was trampled down, but eventually the Sun God struck the monster down with his burning spear, with a blow so forceful that the creature was driven deep into the ground and pinned there. Its blood gushed up, but the fire of the heavenly spear embedded within it purified the blood to water, and thus the Outer Anhoi was born. The legends say that the monster is trapped, in a kind of stasis, pinned by the heavenly spear that still burns with celestial fire and warms the land around it.
South of the bayou, where the Far Anhoi becomes a true river with a single channel lies the settlement of Tibra's Crossing. It was originally a supply post during the Empire's punitive raids into plains tlaxu territory, and subsequent ill-fated attack on Mopendor. A pre-fabricated wooden palisade fort stood on the hill but this has long since been taken down. The name stems from the quartermaster, Tibra, posted at the fort during the invasion. To most soldiers he was a more important figure than the commander, and so it was his name that stuck.
After the war, the Far Anhoi regions were given as land grants to returning veterans. For one thing they were the only land the Empire could (or wanted to) spare. For another, having a high concentration of military trained folk on the frontier provided a useful buffer zone. Tibra's Crossing became a handy market point.
These days it is run by the Merchants League, and guarded by a detachment of mercenaries from Beltavia Keep, including a squadron of hetmen cavalry. Some of the more 'advanced' tlaxu tribes come here to trade for metal items. Officially the League frowns upon supplying weapons to the tlaxu. Unofficially it appreciates the income, and hopes that by showing the plains tlaxu the benefits of civilisation they can be 'tamed'.
The Swamp Dwellers
The Burning Spear wetlands are a drab and desolate place, with chill winds blowing down from the continental interior. The sole human inhabitants are a morose lot, considered backwards and inbred by the folk of Tibra's Landing and Beltavia Keep, who are about the only people who know of their existence.
These swamp people live in reed huts built on rafts that slowly drift in the sluggish current. Some rafts are made from woven rushes, others are made from gigantic water lily leaves. The people live on a diet of fish, frogs and swamp plants. Some show signs of physical degeneration and appear a bit frog-like themselves, with bulging eyes and webbed toes and fingers.
Using the Burning Spear Wetlands
Most people have little reason to visit the wetlands, but there are rumours of mysterious ruins deep in its heart, and some of flora and fauna have magical properties that can be exploited by alchemists and crafters of magical items. There are signs that the purifying effects of the Flaming Spear may not be total; apart from the degeneration of the swamp people, there are legends of giant eels that live in the waters, large enough to swallow an elephant whole, and other strange monsters lurking in the cold grey waters. Evil cultists, particularly the Followers of Vuul, seek to locate and remove the Burning Spear, freeing the nameless monster for nefarious ends.
Tibra's Crossing is the last outpost of Imperial-style civilisation. Beyond, to the north, are endless reed beds swept by icy winds. To the east, across the river, the tlaxu plains. To the west, the highest of the Three Sisters Mountains. Although passable to Kronlordan and Tibrafes, these are not roads travelled easily.
Law is rough and ready, where it exists at all. There are no fine bath-houses, colleges or theatres out here, just traders, mercenaries, prospectors and fugitives. Not for nothing has some humourist daubed "Welcome to the End of the World" next to the stockade entrance.
Votar Kemp is a fugitive from the law of the Merchants League, wanted for multiple murders, destruction of property and grand larceny. He has come to Tibra's Landing to evade justice, and found that his talents as a master of the Crane Style of fighting are much in demand in this lawless town. He has set himself up as a lawkeeper, of sorts, although with more than an element of protection racket about it. His men can be identified by the red headbands that they wear.
Kemp is a grizzled Anhoin man with years of street-fighting etched in his face. He carries himself with a strange calm and dignity, and his habit of quoting the works of Manrupashnar have earned him the nickname of The Red Preacher. Whether he is truly a reformed character or this is an act, only Kemp knows, and some say even he isn't sure if he has repented of his past life or not.
Votar Kemp, The Red Preacher
Human Male Ftr8/Mnk2: CR 10; Medium Humanoid (human); AL NE
Abilities Str 15 (+2), Dex 13 (+1), Con 14 (+2), Int 10 (+0), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 10 (+0)
Initiative +1; Speed 30 ft.
Armour Class 14 (+1 Dex, +1 Wis, +2 armour) touch 12, flat-footed 13
Saves Fortitude +11, Reflex +6, Will +6
Hit Dice 8d10+2d8+20; hit points 73
Base Attack/Grapple +9/+11
Melee Glaive +12/+7 (1d10+3, crit. x3)
Melee Unarmed strike +12 (1d6+2)
Ranged Dart +10 (1d4+2, 20 ft.)
Full Attack Unarmed flurry +10/+10/+5 (1d6+2)
Full Attack Glaive flurry +10/+10/+15 (1d10+3, crit. x3)
Special Attacks Flurry of blows
Special Qualities Evasion
Skills Balance +5, Bluff +10, Gather Information +9, Hide +3, Intimidate +9, Jump +11, Move Silently +4, Ride +10, Swim +11, Tumble +4
Feats Armoured Monk (Light)+, Crane Strike*+, Dodge, Improved Sunder*, Mobility*, Power Attack*, Sidestep Charge, Spring Attack, Stand Still, Weapon Focus (glaive)*, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)*
Languages Low Imperial
Possessions Leather armour, glaive, 4 darts
+New feat: see below
Combat Kemp uses his glaive to keep foes at reach, and his mobile fighting style to evade attacks. His Crane Style training enables him to use his monk abilities with his glaive, whilst wearing light armour.
Crane Style actually covers a range of styles, mostly focussed on the use of pole-arm weaponry or staves, with a characteristic flamboyant leaping and tumbling movement style.
1st level skill bonus: Jump +2
Bonus Feats: Armoured Monk (light), Armoured Monk (medium), Armoured Monk (heavy), Crane Strike, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus (any of club, glaive, longspear, quarterstaff, ranseur, shortspear, spear). At of 1st, 2nd and 6th level a Crane Style monk may choose one of these feats as there monk bonus feat.
6th level bonus ability: If the character has at least 9 ranks in Jump and 6 ranks in Tumble he may perform a leaping strike, giving the same effects as a charge but without needing to move from his current location. This counts as a standard attack.
Armoured Monk (light)
Prerequisites: student of Crane Style
This feat allows a character to use monk abilities even when wearing light armour. Armour penalties still apply to skills.
Armoured Monk (medium)
Prerequisites: Armoured Monk (light), student of Crane Style
This feat allows a character to use monk abilities even when wearing medium armour. Effects of the armour on movement and armour penalties to skills still apply.
Armoured Monk (heavy)
Prerequisites: Armoured Monk (light), Armoured Monk (medium), student of Crane Style
This feat allows a character to use monk abilities even when wearing heavy armour. Effects of the armour on movement and armour penalties to skills still apply. They do not gain any benefit from their class bonus to armour class whilst so armoured, but retain their Wisdom bonus (if any).
Prerequisites: student of Crane Style, Weapon Focus (any Crane Style weapon)
When this feat is chosen, a character must select one weapon from the Crane Style with which she has the Weapon Focus feat. This feat allows a character to use her flurry of blows class ability with that weapon. This feat may be taken multiple times, selecting a new weapon each time.
Morgessa the Fen Witch is an ambiguous figure amongst the marsh dwellers. Although she lives among them and protects them, she does not seem to be one of them, and they are in awe of her, tinged with an element of fear. Rumour in Tibra's Crossing is that she is a spirit being, an elemental of the marshes with her own mysterious agenda. Rumours also say that she sometimes walks amongst the people of Tibra's Crossing and Beltavia Keep in disguise, and that she can vanish like mist.
Morgessa The Fen Witch
Human Female Sor8/Bloodline (River)3: CR 11; Medium Humanoid (human); AL N
Abilities Str 10 (+0), Dex 13 (+1), Con 9 (-1), Int 14 (+2), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 16 (+3)
Initiative +5; Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
Armour Class 11 (+1 Dex) touch 11, flat-footed 10
Saves Fortitude +2, Reflex +6, Will +8
Hit Dice 8d4+3d8-11; hit points 25
Base Attack/Grapple +6/+6
Melee Shortspear +6 (1d6)
Ranged Shortspear +7 (1d6, 20 ft.)
Ranged +2 seeking net +9 (special, 10 ft.)
Special Attacks None
Special Qualities Speak with fish, water affinity, water breathing
Skills Bluff +13, Concentration +7, Diplomacy +8, Heal +4, Hide +4, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (arcana) +10, Listen +3**, Profession (fisher) +4, Sense Motive +4, Sleight of Hand +3, Spellcraft +12, Spot +3**, Survival +4, Swim +8
Feats Exotic Weapon Proficiency (net), Improved Initiative, Persuasive, Silent Spell, Water Magic*
Languages Burning Spear Dialect, Low Imperial, Tlaxu
Possessions Reedwhisper (+2 seeking net), shortspear, amulet of invisibility (as the ring), toad familiar
4th level (3/day, Save DC 17) - black tentacles, control water.
3rd level (6/day, Save DC 16) - gaseous form, stinking cloud, water breathing.
2nd level (7/day, Save DC 15) - fog cloud, summon swarm, web, whispering wind.
1st level (7/day, Save DC 14) - cause fear, chill touch, disguise self, endure elements, grease, obscuring mist.
0th level (6/day, Save DC 13) - dancing lights, daze, detect magic, ghost sound, prestidigitation, ray of frost, resistance, touch of fatigue.
*New feat: see below
**Skill when Roarp is within arm's reach.
Roarp, Male Toad Familiar: CR -; Diminutive Animal; AL N
Abilities Str 1 (-5), Dex 12 (+1), Con 11 (+0), Int 9 (-1), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 4 (-3)
Initiative +1; Speed 5 ft.
Armour Class 19 (+4 size, +1 Dex, +4 natural) touch 15, flat-footed 18
Saves Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +9
Hit Dice 1/4 d8; hit points 12
Base Attack/Grapple +6/-11
Melee Touch spell +11
Special Attacks Deliver touch spells
Special Qualities Empathic link, improved evasion, link, low-light vision, share spells
Skills Bluff +7, Concentration +8, Diplomacy +2, Heal +5, Hide +21, Intimidate +1, Knowledge (arcana) +7, Listen +4, Profession (fisher) +5, Sense Motive +5, Sleight of Hand +3, Spellcraft +9, Spot +4, Survival +5
Languages: Burning Spear Dialect, Low Imperial, Tlaxu
Prerequisites: ability to cast spontaneous arcane magic
You have a strong affinity with the element of water. Add the spells from the clerical Water domain to your list of known spells. This feat effectively grants a bonus known spell at all spell levels 1 through 9th.
(c) 2010 The Creative Conclave.
Anhoi River States
The Empire of Splendour
Followers of Vuul
Queendom of Mopendor
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