The Chyrsanthemum Garden
Llazan club where all is for sale
Of all the dingy bars and places of lost hope that can be found amongst the cramped alleys of Llaza's Wester Isle, The Chrysanthemum Garden is perhaps the worst. Unlike Serene Lil's, where the inside is an escape into hedonistic revelry, The Garden is just as bleak inside as it is on its frontage onto Embalmer's Way. It is a place where those who have embraced the essential meaninglessness of their hollow lives go to blunt the pain, or to stare into the darkness of their souls.
The Garden is run by one Kalog, 'The Knife', who claims that his moniker is a result of his quick wit rather than his skill with a blade. Those who cross him learn that it is the opposite. Kalog is a sallow-faced Nekuuese man who nevertheless dresses well given his surroundings. It is an open secret that Kalog has Black River Society connections but a combination of bribes and threats keeps the authorities from acting against him.
The front of the Garden is a dark, smoke-stained wood-panelled series of small rooms and snugs. Here the patrons drink potent jinka rum and inhale the fumes of golden yaama. These are dangerous but legal intoxicants. In the rear of the Garden, accessible only to those in the know, it is possible to buy the stronger and more dangerous black yaama, and here also deals are made whereby illegal goods change hands - slaves, red jade, goods that have avoided the League excise-men.
There is a third part to the Garden, reached through a series of underground tunnels. No-one is entirely sure where this complex lines up with above ground and it seems to have no entrance other than via the Garden. It is known as The Pit, and it is the site of gladiatorial fights. These are not always to the death, but often death is unavoidable. Kalog runs a considerable betting racket around the fights in the Pit. All are welcome to try their luck in a fight, unarmed, unarmoured and without the benefit of magic. The undefeated champion is Kalog's own fighter, a furred, fanged, hulking creature known as The Beast. No-one knows if The Beast is a man altered by magic, a half-spirit or some feral throwback. Rumours say that Kalog keeps him in a cage and feeds him raw meat between bouts. Rumours also say that Kalog has a tenured magician who uses his magic to modify creatures like The Beast, for sale to others who wish to raise prime Pit-fighting warriors.
Kalog's greatest strength is in his associates. As a prominent member of the Black River Society and a heavy-hitter on Wester Isle, he has a wide range of back-up he can call upon and a wide range of people who owe him favours. His most feared associate is known only by the nickname The Pokan, after a race of small goblin-like spirit creatures from the Netherworld. The Pokan is known by name and reputation only as one of the most dangerous assassins in Llaza (a city where paid killers are in plentiful supply). A known modus operandi of The Pokan is to strike using weapons treated with black yaama. The intent is not to kill, and wounding is incidental. The intent is to addict the victim to the drug so that Kalog can then control his life through controlling his supply.
Kalog The Knife
Male human Ftr7 (thug): CR 7; Medium Humanoid; AL NE
Abilities Str 11 (+0), Dex 15 (+2), Con 11 (+0), Int 13 (+1), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 18 (+4)
Initiative +2; Speed 30 ft.
Armour Class 14 (+2 Dex, +2 armour) touch 12, flat-footed 12
Saves Fortitude +6, Reflex +5, Will +3
Hit Dice 7d10; hit points 38
Base Attack/Grapple +7/+7
Melee Silent sword +8/+3 (1d8)
Melee +1 Dagger +8/+3 (1d4+1)
Ranged Masterwork throwing knife +10/+5 (1d4)
Special Attacks Sneak Attack +4d6
Special Qualities None
Skills: Bluff +14, Climb +5, Gather Information +16, Knowledge (local) +13, Profession (gambler) +5, Sleight of Hand +12, Swim +5
Feats: Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, Quick Draw, Streetwise*
Languages: High Imperial, Low Imperial, Oksan, Orrian.
Possessions: Silent Sword (masterwork longsword made in Fnoi Province), +1 dagger, +1 pentesh (padded armour), 2 masterwork throwing knives, +1 cloak of resistance, 3 potions of neutralise poison, 3 potions of cure light wounds, resources of Black River Society.
*Streetwise. This feat grants a +2 bonus to the skills Gather Information and Knowledge (local).
Kalog is a deeply unpleasant individual who may be the mastermind behind any number of plots that the PCs try to foil. Alternatively he can act as a patron to a party with few scruples, perhaps acting as a dark mirror to their actions. PCs may hear of The Pit and decide to chance their hand in fighting The Beast. Kalog tends to try to bluff his way out of trouble and prefers an unfair fight and a knife in the dark (preferably by someone else's hand) than out of acting himself.
Kalog was created using a combination of the 'Thug' and simple alternative fighter rules in the SRD. He gets 4 skill points per level and a wider range of skills, plus a sneak attack progression at the the expense of bonus fighter feats.
Male creature: CR 5; Medium Monstrous Humanoid (Augmented Human); AL N
Abilities Str 24 (+7), Dex 16 (+3), Con 20 (+5), Int 3 (-4), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 5 (-3)
Initiative +3; Speed 40 ft.
Armour Class 17 (+3 Dex, +5 natural) touch 13, flat-footed 15
Saves Fortitude +7, Reflex +9, Will +6
Hit Dice 8d8+40; hit points 76
Base Attack/Grapple +8/+15
Melee Claw +15 melee (1d6+7)
Full Attack 2 claws +15 (1d6+7) and bite +10 (1d6+3)
Special Attacks None
Special Qualities Low-light vision, scent
Skills: Climb +10, Jump +13
Feats: Improved GrappleB, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (claw), Power Attack
B Bonus feat.
Using The Beast
The Beast is a killing machine, plain and simple. It may have been human once, but twisted magic has converted it to a monster. The Beast likes to grapple opponents because this makes the fight last longer than simply slashing with claws and bite, and the crowd enjoy it. Somewhere in the Beast's mind is the desire to please Kalog and the audience.
|Type||Price||Craft (Alchemy) DC||Addiction Rating|
|Golden Yaama||Inhaled (DC 13)||5 sp (50 yen)||25||Low|
|Black Yaama||Ingested (DC 15) or Injury (DC 16)|| 10 sp (100 yen) to 100 gp (10,000 yen) ||25||High|
Golden Yaama is a yellow powder, taken by gently warming it and inhaling the fumes. It produces a sense of mild euphoria and raised self-worth at the exclusion of worldy matters. It causes 1 point of Wisdom damage and a +1 alchemical bonus to Charisma. There are no side effects or overdose effects.
Black Yaama is a dark resin that can be ingested (since its fumes, unlike golden yaama, are acrid and unpleasant). It is often injected beneath the skin using small needles, and this more direct application has a higher saving throw. It causes 1d6 points of Wisdom damage and increases Charisma by the same amount (alchemical bonus). As a side effect, black yaama dulls reactions, causing a -2 penalty to initiative. More than 2 doses in a 24 hour period causes 1d3 Constitution damage.
(c) 2007 The Creative Conclave.