Ruins of Adventure

New Phlan Public Training Hall Faculty

Name: Aumry of Umber
Professions Taught: All manner of wizardly spellcasters
Average Training Time: 2 weeks
Weapons Taught: Two-handed Weapon Style, Quarterstaff
Non-weapon Proficiencies Taught: Agriculture, Chaos Shaping, Direction Sense, Display Weapon Prowess, Planar Sense, Planar Survival, Reading/Writing (Common), Spellcraft
Magical Paths Taught: Aberrant Path, Apprentice’s Road, Archmage’s Road, Black Road, Path of Doors, Path of Staves, Path of the Beholder, Road of Pentacles, Silver Road

  • This portly wizard claims to be from the Dales, though his outrageous accent places him as coming from somewhere much farther afield. His primary interest is in planar studies, and many of the students suspect that he is not of this world. While a good and efficient teacher, he seems to have little patience for slower students and often complains that his job is taking him away from doing real research.

Name: Manabu of the Burning Mind
Professions Taught: All manner of wizardly spellcasters
Average Training Time: 4 weeks
Weapons Taught: All Blades
Non-weapon Proficiencies Taught: Alertness, Ancient History (tribes of Thar), Arctic Survival, Etiquette, Information Gathering, Languages (Ogre, Orc, Goblin), Spellcraft
Magical Paths Taught: Aberrant Path, Firesight Path, Giant’s Path, Jeweler’s Road, Path of the Bandit, Path of Counterspells, Path of the Mind, Path of Swords, Path of Smoke, Road of Seals and Wardings, Road of True Names

  • One of the first teachers to work at the academy, Manabu comes to Phlan by way of Glister in the land of Thar, and is very well connected with the Council. Manabu looks very old, in the way that only a wizard can be, and is very versatile as an instructor—even teaching some basic swordplay classes. In addition to his interest in history and politics, he is also very well versed on the cultures of the monsters occupying Old Phlan, and teaches a variety of monstrous languages.

Name: Gerrin Wheelbarger
Professions Taught: Rangers, Fighters
Average Training Time: 2 weeks
Weapons Taught: Two-handed Swords, Axes, Two-handed Style, Avalanche Style
Non-weapon Proficiencies Taught: Animal Rending, Astrology, Leatherworking, Hunting, Psionic Detection, Survival, Tracking

  • Exiled by the Yuan-ti rulers of his home city of Hlondath, the Council of Phlan has offered Gerrin political asylum in exchange for his help in training the adventurers and soldiers that protect the town from its many monstrous neighbors. Gerrin has a distinct dislike of all reptilian and snakelike creatures, but yuan-ti and lizardmen especially. Regardless of his contract, he refuses to offer training to any reptilian races.

Name: Hammond of Hillsfar
Professions Taught: Warriors (all varieties)
Average Training Time: 8 weeks
Weapons Taught: All Blades, All Crushing and Cleaving weapons, All Crossbows, Weapon and Shield Style
Non-weapon Proficiencies Taught: Ancient History (Military History), Armor Optimization, Land-based Riding
Special Classes: Hammond offers a special 1-month course that will teach anyone proficiency with the Broadsword. This grants a bonus proficiency to members of any class (doesn’t take a slot, but priest characters are still limited to those weapons allowed by their faith). This is included in the cost of tuition.

  • Hammond is a captain of Hillsfar’s Red Plume mercenary company, on loan to the Council of New Phlan to train their troops. Like many Hillsfarran’s, he has little love of those from neighboring cities, and a strong dislike of spellcasters and non-humans. On top of his prejudices, Hammond iis actually a very poor leader and a horrible teacher, but the Council will put up with him until they can find someone better. While his contract prevents him from outright refusing to teach non-humans, his dislike of the students increases the training time by 1 week for characters with spellcasting ability or 2 weeks for non-humans (these stack).

Name: Shanal
Professions Taught: Runecasters
Average Training Time: 2 weeks
Weapons Taught: Two-weapon Style, Dagger
Non-weapon Proficiencies Taught: Dwarven Runes, Close-Quarters Fighting, Herbalism, Mining, Poison Use, Toxicology, Venom Handling
Special Classes: While such practices are frowned upon by the Council, Shanal offers courses in the creation, identification, and use of poisons. He can teach the Poison Use, Toxicology, and Venom Handling proficiencies, but these are only taught in one-on-one tutoring sessions, costing 500gp per class, and are not included in the normal tuition to train a level. Likewise, the Disease rune must be learned in this way as well.
Runes Taught: Accuracy, Berserk, Binding, Death, Disease, Dream, Hawk, Triumph

  • This dwarf is the newest faculty member at Phlan’s Public Training Hall, teaching classes on herbology, underground survival skills, and rune-based magics. While his morals are questionable, and the Council dislikes some of the subjects he offers on the side, he is a very effective teacher and well-liked by those students who have taken his courses.

Name: Taleah Loughgren
Professions Taught: Clerics, Druids, Mages, Diviners, Runecasters, Bards
Average Training Time: 5 weeks
Weapons Taught: Dagger, Quarterstaff
Non-weapon Proficiencies Taught: Administration, Artistic Ability (painting), Crowd Working, Gaming, Gem Cutting, Grooming, Haggling, Local History (Phlan), Musical Instrument (harp), Reading/Writing (Espruar), Religion, Singing
Runes Taught: Blinding Light, Coyote, Fox, Healing, Love, Wisdom
Magical Paths Taught: Bard’s Road, Enchanter’s Path, Servant’s Path, Stormy Path, Veiled Path

  • Despite rumors that she is actually a were-fox, Taleah is an accepted member of the clergy of Sune in Phlan and serves as a teacher and administrator at the Public Training Hall, where she teaches classes for Bards, Clerics, Diviners, Mages, and Runecasters (thanks to her highly diverse skillset). While beautiful, she is haughty, arrogant, and greedy. She has a particularly spiteful relationship with Hammond, who runs the fighter’s school.

Name: Francis Urslingen
Professions Taught: Clerics, Monks, Fighters, Swashbucklers
Average Training Time: 2 weeks
Weapons Taught: Fencing Blades, Clubbing Weapons, Slings, Single Weapon Style, Fencing Style, Punching
Non-weapon Proficiencies Taught: Ancient History (religious history), Blind-Fighting, Calligraphy, Dancing, Dark Lore, Folklore, Healing, Heraldry, Law, Style Analysis, Tumbling

  • “Brother Francis” is an oddity among Tyrran monks, the second son of Lord Urslingen, he chose to study fencing rather than other martial arts. While has certainly stands out from his brethren, Francis is an excellent teacher, both of arms and of doctrine, and has been teaching at the Phlan Public Training Hall since it was founded. Unlike many of the other instructors, Francis prefers a “hands on” approach to teaching martial skills, and often leads forays into the uncivilized portions of town. His students tend to be extremely loyal and are always impressed by his great strength and skill with a blade. Despite (or perhaps because of) his vows to the contrary, he is well-liked by the ladies.

Name: Swindon Lype (“Swipe” to his students)
Professions Taught: Thieves, Spies, Psionicists
Average Training Time: 3 weeks
Weapons Taught: Bows, Scimitar, Knife, Single-Weapon Style
Non-weapon Proficiencies Taught: Animal Handling, Animal Lore, Animal Training, Appraising, Bureaucracy, Cerebral Blind, Direction Sense, Hunting, Land-based Riding, Languages (Elvish, Orcish), Lock Smithing, Rejuvenation
Special Classes: Swipe can teach up to Mastery level skill with a knife (for those characters able to achieve such). He will perform Psychic Surgery to unlock psionic wild talents, for a flat fee of 100gp, but takes no responsibility for any negative side-effects.

  • This ‘crazy old gypsy’ from the Dalelands teaches courses in safe-cracking, trapfinding, advanced techniques for putting a knife in an enemy’s back, and other skills useful for ‘professional treasure hunters’. He also teaches students to unlock the potential of their minds—either in the form of psionics or just critical thinking skills, and offers classes in animal husbandry for those settlers who are new to raising livestock. Some merchants have complained that his courses in thievery are a little to ‘practical’, but he has thus far escaped any significant retribution.

Name: Sarush Sevenspears
Professions Taught: Crusaders, Clerics, Fighters
Average Training Time: 9 weeks
Weapons Taught: Pole Weapons
Non-weapon Proficiencies Taught: Agriculture, Animal Lore, Battle Command, Direction Sense, Land-based Riding, Orienteering, Prayer, Religion, Storytelling

  • A devout soldier in the service of Tempus, god of war, and a superb leader, Sarush quickly became a local hero in his hometown of Scardale after he helped overthrow the tyrant Lashan. When the locals of Scardale asked him to take leadership of their community, Sarush fled north, unwilling to take on such civic responsibilities. He traveled to Phlan, where has has helped establish a strong following for Tempus, mostly among the soldier he teaches at the Public Training Hall. Despite his leadership skills, he has turned down several offers from the Council of Phlan to command their troops, preferring to teach.

Name: Ankbunkra Arpengast
Professions Taught: Tinkers
Average Training Time: 2 weeks
Weapons Taught: Crushing and Cleaving Weapons, Crossbows, Arquebus
Non-weapon Proficiencies Taught: Artistic Ability (sculpture), Blacksmithing, Carpentry, Cartography, Clockwork Creation, Charioteering, Debate, Engineering, Gem Cutting, Glassblowing, Haggling, Lens Crafting, Languages (Gnomish, Dwarvish, Halfling, Goblin, Kobold, Elvish, Jermlaine), Metalworking, Musical Instrument (harpsicord), Numeracy, Pottery, Research, Smelting, Survival (all terrains), Weaponsmithing

  • A wandering crafts-gnome from Neverwinter, Ankbunkra has taken up residence in the city of New Phlan, where she teaches all manner of crafts and trades, as well as linguistics and critical thinking skills, at the Public Training Hall in exchange for the Council funding her research (mostly in the field of advanced optics)…so far she hasn’t invented anything too dangerous. Ankbunkra is quite attractive, even by non-gnomish standards.
Chapter 1: Arriving in New Phlan: Part 2
In which we are introduced to the rest of the characters and a party is formed.


The sound of clattering dice followed by a loud whoop are heard from the back of the ship. Everyone looks back to see one of the farmers leap up from his seat and punch the air. “That’s it Leitch! Tymora has spoken! You lost!” The other farmers also stand and join in the hollering, “Aye, Donovan, you lost, give us a song!”

“Alright, gimme some space.” The crowd of settlers parts to reveal a plainly dressed man of middle years sitting staring at a pair of dice showing snake-eyes. He brushes the dice aside with the back of his hand, then pulls a large bag towards him from the stack of luggage. He unpacks a thing that looks like a fiddle with a keyboard mounted on the neck and a handcrank attached to a wheel on the soundboard. He begins to turn the wheel, creating a drone like a set of bagpipes and begins to sing. (Playing this)

By the end of the song, all of the settlers have fallen asleep, slumped wherever they were listening, sprawled over crates, sheep, and each other. The man, Donovan, packs up his wheel-fiddle and begins riffling through their pockets for loose change. The captain glowers at Donovan from his perch above the taffrail, but seems used to this sort of thing and goes on about his business.


Shuddup watches Amara’s doll, “What type of power source does your doll use? Something that compact could have a wide variety of applications.”


Done retrieving his “winnings”, Donovan wanders forward to where the girl and the gnome are talking. Overhearing them, he laughs. “Come now Sir Gnome, that doll is clearly no device, but a work of arcane artifice. It looks to me like one of the Bisque dolls popular in Halruaa. Notice the realistic, skin-like, matte finish. Clearly you are not familiar with the thaumaturgical novelties of the deep south.” He smiles and kneels down to be on their level. “Where did you get such a lovely doll, little girl?”


The deckhand stands looking distastefully at the performance, then walks to the rail, presumably to fiddle with some other ropes, or perhaps just to look at something other than the passed-out farmers. As he gazes out at the sea he suddenly coughs, sputters, then shouts, “Man overboard!”

Everyone watching the lizard-man at the prow rush to the rail to see a tall, slender man with the head of a bull floating on a piece of driftwood a good thirty or forty yards off the starboard bow. The lizard-man stops his soliloquy and dives over the rail, vanishing under the water only to resurface next to the floating minotaur. The two are quickly hauled onto the ship and the deckhand gets to work stripping the rescuee of his waterlogged and rather brightly coloured doublet and pantaloons, checking his breathing, and calling for blankets and towels.


Nat wraps the minotaur in a towel and shakes his head, muttering to himself again, “Lizard poets and minotaur fops. What’ll they think of next.” He bends an ear near to the thing’s nostrils to check its breath, then, satisfied, walks away. Ss’thek’niss, the lizard-man,climbs back up on the rail over the sleeping minotaur and perches there, gargoyle-like, looking a bit peevish at having been interrupted by the old man with the hurdy-gurdy.


The minotaur begins to stir, snorts a few times, then opens his eyes. He jumps slightly on realizing that all he is wearing is a towel, pulls the thing tighter about himself and starts looking around wildly for his belongings.


There is an audible pop, a thunk, and a slight yelp of surprise as an elven woman and a pretty, half-elven teen appear on the deck. Or rather, very slightly above it. The copper haired elven woman in a simple grey traveling cloak rolls up the paper she was holding and tucks it into the scroll case held in the crook of her elbow as she looks about the ship.

Meanwhile, the girl rushes to the railing, leaning over and heaving violently.


The minotaur startles the rest of the way awake and jolts to his feet, forgetting the towel. Standing there in his altogether, he isn’t bad looking, from the neck down at least. He makes a couple quick steps towards the young women who has suddenly appeared, forgetting that he is a stark-naked, 7-foot-tall, bull-headed monstrosity. “Are you alright miss?”


Still holding on to the railing, she brushes a strand of hair caught by the wind behind her pointed ear. “Mother thought a spectacle would make it easier to attract students. But I’m far better than if we’d appeared IN the deck. Or a crate. Or one of the … cows.” She trailed off as she turned towards him. The minotaur. And turned bright red. “OH GOD I DIDN’T MEAN IT LIKE THAT I’M SO SORRY.” As she nervously stared at her feet, she also realized what the minotaur was wearing, or rather, not wearing. She was now red to the tips of her ears.


Eddies mother makes a scandalized tsking noise and turns away, shielding the boys eyes from the minotaur’s nakedness. “SIR! There are children present. Please do cover yourself!”


The minotaur looks down at himself, looks around frantically for his clothes, then begins pulling on his still-wet hose with the speed and agility of someone who has clearly had to vacate a lady’s apartments in a hurry on more than one occasion. He pulls a dripping satin shirt over his head, “So sorry miss. I didn’t realize my state…” He grabs a doublet and begins buttoning it up. “Last thing I remember I was falling off a ship.” He reaches down and pulls a pair of ballooning pantaloons over his hose. “Now I wake up and find myself naked, on a completely different boat, with beautiful women appearing out of the sky…” He grabs a belt with a once fine scabbard, now rotting from the moisture, hanging from it and buckles it on. “You can imagine my shock…” He carefully draws the sword from the scabbard, a beautiful basket-hilted sabre with a silver-chased blade, being careful not to appear too threatening, and dries it off with the towel before re-sheathing it. “I meant no disrespect by my ill-garbed appearance.” He gives the maid a sweeping bow, almost skewering her with his long, bovine horns.


Amara looks at Shaddup and Donovan and gives them the stink eye. Susalia is NOT a device! She’s a real person! She leans down and whispers to the doll. It nods, shimmers like heat rising from the desert, and disappears.

She walks over to the girl who just appeared, puking by the rail. She holds up a piece of chocolate. “Here, eat this. It helps you feel better after you teleport.”


“What’d I say, Sir Gnome, that doll is clearly a magical device…”

Donovan looks after the girl as she walks off then turns back to the gnome, “Kids these days! Someone needs to teach that little girl some manners.” He shakes his head. “This is what comes of giving children too much autonomy. When we get to Phlan I’m going to give that girl’s father a piece of my mind!”

His eyes scan the deck, taking in the naked minotaur, the puking girl, and, more interestingly, the elven woman who has just appeared out of thin air. He smiles broadly and practically skips over to the woman. “Madam! That was a truly impressive display of the science of thaumaturgical, transdimensional transitory transubstantiation. Landing aboard a moving ship, quite the remarkable feat.” He reaches into his bag and pulls out a pencil and a thick tome. He rifles through the book until he finds an empty page, then begins to babel out questions, his pencil hovering over the paper like an eager grad-student in a lecture. “Tell me, how did you do it? What was the incantation? How did you manage to anticipate the target location? Have you ever read the Elminster of Shadowdales discourses on Astral Travel?”


The half-elven maiden gracefully sidesteps a horn as the minotaur bows, revealing a simple dress the color of good wine, a black belt, and black boots with the telltale outline of a knife sheath under her hooded grey cloak. She’s slender, and a full two feet shorter than the minotaur.

She smiles warmly and accepts the chocolate from Amara. “I thank you for your concern—both of you. I am Lyrathwen Alethiel Beragaion.” Her name was in lilting Elven, but judging by her common accent, she hails from one of the cities along the Sword Coast. “But really, no one but Mother calls me that. You can call me Lyra.”

The elven woman regards Donovan thoughtfully for a moment. “It seems that I did not err in my estimation of demand for quality thaumaturgical education in Phlan. The calculations to safely arrive at a a moving destination are rather complex. One must account for not where the it currently is, but where it will be at the time of arrival. If you wish for more detail than that, perhaps you should come by once we are settled in.”

Both mother and daughter seem to be traveling lightly compared to the other settlers’ sacks and packs and crates stuffed to overflowing with their worldly possessions.


The minotaur stands up. “Pleased to meet you. I’m Gendry, son of Teldar the Pirate King.” He pauses and cocks his head in profile, raising his chin a little as if silently saying ‘perhaps you’ve heard of me.’ When no answer to his unspoken question is immediately forthcoming, and it becomes disappointingly clear that he has no reputation at all outside of his hometown, he looks around again, and asks, to anyone within earshot. “Say, what ship is this and where are you headed?”


Nat, the dwarven deckhand, bustles down from the taffrail with a clipboard and over to where the new arrivals have congregated. “You three,” he points a stubby finger at the the minotaur, elven woman, and her daughter. “Welcome to Valkur’s Wake. We’ll be making port in the city of New Phlan tomorrow morning. So long as you disembark in New Phlan, you will not be charged for your, albeit short, voyage.” He extends the clipboard. “If you would be so kind as to sign our passenger registry? Just your mark on the line here. Captain Donal will fill in the other necessary details.”

“Oh, and as for you, mister ‘my dad is the Dread Pirate Teldar.’ I’m not gonna ask how you got them horns on your head or why you were in the drink. Your dad is wanted in every port from Cormyr to Thay, and is none too popular around here either. You’d best keep your patrilineal to yourself, or you’re likely to be shipped back to your ‘ol dad on a Zhentish freighter in a pine box. Lucky for you the New Phlan Council offers universal amnesty. When we make port, make sure to present yourself to the Council and I’m sure you’ll be fine. Just don’t go making any trouble on this ship or you’ll be swimming back to daddy…”


The elven woman takes the clipboard and signs Faelana Beragaion in precise Elven script before handing it to her daughter. The girl has a more flowing signature with an artistic flourish.

Lyra glances sidelong at the minotaur pirate and holds up the clipboard for him to take.


Amara look at the minotaur’s horns and asks, “Are those real? Can I touch them?”


Gendry takes the clipboard and scrawls a rather wobbly looking ‘G’ on the remaining line—well, mostly on the line—then hands it back to the dwarf. “So how does this amnesty thing work?”

Seeing the little girl, he replies, “Yes they’re real, I guess, and they’re stuck as far as I can tell.” He kneels down and lowers his head, trying to cock it so that the girl can reach one of the tips. His horns are nearly three feet long, as big around as his forearms, and slightly recurved. Very short, white hair covers his head, face, and shoulders, and the back of his neck and shoulders has a large muscular bulge (to help hold up the horns). A mane of thick, white hair tops his head and hangs slightly over his eyes, looking like it would be naturally curly if it weren’t so wet.


Donovan leans on the rail, watching the sunset and looks around at the other passengers, trying to gauge their reactions to the sudden new arrivals.


You look around to see the captain sitting in his spot above the taffrail, one hand on the rudder, the other shielding his eyes against the late-afternoon glare on the water. Below him the livestock bleat and low in their enclosure and the settlers still lie asleep, whether from boredom, or tiredness, or the magic of Donovan’s song matters little. The Beshaban priestess has apparently given up on converting the passel of teenagers, and has seated herself back by the sleeping farmers where she is now praying over and “blessing” Donovan’s loosing dice, her wig falling slightly askew as she bows her head.

The teens now stand against the port rail, still near the mast, the five of them surreptitiously taking swigs from a very large wineskin one of them has brought—the two girls especially look like this might be their first time drinking. One, a boy wearing a pair of heavy overalls who looks like his hair has been burned off, stands a little away from the group and watches the newcomers intently, his attention seeming split between Gendry and the elven woman.

The two elven ladies, Rietta and Teldicia, have seated themselves on the starboard rail across from the teens. Unlike the boy, They seem to be actively avoiding looking at or otherwise acknowledging the presence of Faelana. The two red-cloaked, chainmail clad soldiers have moved to a position where they have a clear view of Lyra’s backside, without being clearly visible to the girl, and are talking, grinning, and staring (you can easily surmise that most of their conversation consists of phrases like “I’d tap that” and similar appellations), apparently not picky about whether their lewd gazes are directed at full or half-breed elf-chicks.

The lizard man and his spectators have returned to the prow. Eddie sits by himself, watching Amara with unconcealed envy as she courageously touches the minotaur’s horns. The adults (his mother, father, the lizard-man, the halfling, the gnome, and her girlfriend) sit in a circle staring at something the white-armored elven man is drawing on the deck with some chalk and speaking in hushed tones. You can hear Eddie’s father occasionally make rather sharp objections to whatever they are discussing.


Looking over the passengers, Donovan thinks to himself:
This herald gig doesn’t pay nearly enough, but the council shell’s out piles of cash for adventurers. BUT they only give commissions to groups of three or more. AND I’d probably get killed if I went into the ruins alone anyways. So I need to recruit. Who’s available?

The guys in the front of the boat are clearly already a group. As are yonder teenagers. I might be able to hook up with one of them, but that seems unlikely, and I probably can’t convince one of them to bail on their groups to join me. Might have to try those options in a pinch.

The farmers are out. The simple fact that so many of them fell for the Sleep spells I cast means that they are way too weak to be of any use.

Who’s that leave?

The Beshaban—seems like she wants to hook up with the pimple-squad, also not sure I want to have a priest of bad luck following me around.
The two elf girls (hey, that one has a nice rack)—they’re recruiting, and the one with the mace looks impressive.
The two soldier-boys—might be an easy hire if I can get the elf girls first.
Nat—he’s due for some shore-leave, right, and I know he’s good in a bar-fight.
The minotaur fop—if nothing else he’s big and brawny, and he has to go fight anyways if he wants to take advantage of the amnesty.
The gnome—for all that he seems quiet, unresponsive, and easily distracted, he talked a good game.
The little girl? Nah. She’s definitely more than she looks like, but I’d hate myself for even toying with the idea of taking a kid into a dangerous situation like that.
Faelana? If she can teleport to a moving ship she’s waaaaaaay out of my league, but if I can talk her into it…WIN!
The daughter maybe? She’s got a weak stomach. Would probably feint at the sight of blood. But maybe she inherited some of her mother’s magical talent.

It seems like Minotaur-Pirate boy and the two elven ladies are my best bets. I’ll start there.

Having seemingly come to a decision, Donovan walks over to Gendry. “You were asking about the Amnesty, right?” He extends a hand, “My name is Donovan Leitch and I’m a herald for the Council of New Phlan.” He uses his ‘herald-voice’, projecting so that Faelana and her daughter can hear him clearly as well, “The Amnesty is actually quite simple. The Council is looking for able-bodied people to help fight against the goblins, orcs, and the like that have taken residence in the ruins of Old Phlan. They offer full political asylum, a promise from the clergy of Tyr to ignore all past misdeeds, and large cash rewards as well, to any individuals who take up this cause. Anyone seeking employment with the Council in this capacity must present themselves to the Clerk of the Council promptly upon their arrival in New Phlan. However, adventuring contracts, licenses, and commissions (and therefore the legal amnesty) are only given to groups numbering three or more…for reasons that the Council has not bothered to tell me, though I suspect its to limit the traffic of possible lone spies or saboteurs into and out of the city gates.” He smile wryly. “Speaking of which, I was hoping to take on one of the Council’s commissions and would be more than happy to stand witness to your good character. If you get my drift?”


Gendry shakes the man’s hand, then shakes his head as the man lays out the situation. “So, this city that you’re all headed for is so overrun with monsters that the church of Tyr, old Mr. Grimjaws, God of Justics, is offering full pardons?! Wow.” His hand instinctively goes to his sword. “So my options are to get off the boat at Phlan and become an adventurer, get off the boat in Phlan and probably get arrested by Tyrrans for crimes my dad committed, or get thrown off this boat? Not much of a choice is it?”

He removes his hand from the sword hilt and extends it to Donovan again. “So, Mr. Donovan, exactly how large are the cash rewards involved?”

“Also, it looks like we’re going to need a few more swords.”


You can feel the disapproval radiating off of Faelana as her daughter begins to speak.

“Don’t look at me like that, Mother. YOU’RE the one who picked Phlan. And you’ll have no shortage of research assistants after today.” Lyra looks back to Donovan and Gendry. “I may not have a sword, but I can help, really. Even if it’s just scouting for now.”

Faelana does seem to relax a bit at that. She, a bit grudgingly, trusts her daughter’s ability to see to her own safety.


Shuddup finishes a detailed schematic of the ship or rather how it would look were it stream powered running multiple paddle wheels and looks around, slightly overwhelmed by the sudden arrival of so many new passengers. He stands up depositing a small charcoal stick in his pouch and wipes his forehead absentmindedly leaving a long black smear.
Shuddup walks over to where Donovan and Gendry are conversing. “Hi! My name’s Shudrigan Nishal Aribostos McPillflup, but my friends call me Shuddup. Did I hear you say that your the son of the Pirate King? I remember the battle of the Long Cay when the old pirate king was killed. I mean I was really young at the time, working as a deck hand. My Uncle, Gond rest his soul, was the pilot of the ship that sank the old pirate king’s, the explosion could be seen for miles.” Shuddup finds himself smiling reminiscing, before his eyes widen as realization appears on his face. “Er… You may not appreciate that story like I do, huh…. Well what’s something 19 years, 4 months and 7 days ago among shipmates, eh?”


“Well, it’s been nearly two months since I’ve been back to Phlan, so I can’t be sure of what the Council might be hiring for right now, but most jobs pay several thousand, usually in gems for ease of transport. When we reach port we should check in with the clerk. There are also usually jobs posted at the Training Hall.”

Donovan turns and shakes Lyra’s hand. “Excellent, that makes three.”

He turns to the gnome. “Mr. McPillflup, what business do you have in Phlan? Could we possibly interest you in joining us in taking on some profitable commissions of a militant nature?”


Shuddup grins excitedly producing a hand bill that with a very loose interpretation could be interpreted as a party invitation, “I received an invitation to a party in one of the guild halls and I was hoping to acquire patronage for my research there. I’ve discovered that by altering the diet of orcs you can change the chemical properties of their emissions which can then be further refined into chemical accelerant for combustion engines more efficient than simple steam engines. I’ve currently got several prototypes I’ve been working on, all utilizing this technology.” He pauses seeming to realize he’s rambleing. “I typically consider violence to be wasteful, but considering the costs of my prototypes, not to mention anything in a production line and free field testing…. I’m in.” He proffers a small soot covered hand to seal the deal"


Donovan shakes Shaddup’s hand, apparently not at all bothered by the soot stains. “The four of us then.” He looks around the ship, then back to the gnome. “You’ve had a chance to chat with the other passengers, do you think any of the others might be interested in joining us?”


Shuddup thinks for a moment, “Well, I’ve been helping on deck so I haven’t spoken to everyone. Nat is the good sort, hard worker salt of the earth type. Súrion is kinda creepy and antisocial, and he hasn’t spoken to anyone since he climbed the mast. There are the two enthusiastically cursed elven women but they make me nervous. Then there’s the little girl, Amara, She’s traveling unescorted, well except for her clearly magical doll. I’ve told her that until she finds an appropriate responsible adult I’ve informed her that it’s unsafe for someone who hasn’t reached their majority to travel alone so I’ve insisted on continuing to escort her… but she’s not listening to me, probably because she’s taller than I am. Either that or it’s adolescent girl thing. I’ve been told they can be ‘complicated.’ Kind of like my old partner, Hengus, he didn’t appreciate reapropriating his ale casks for my research. I mean he was fine emptying them out until he tried to drink one that I had refilled with my rendered orc urine. But we didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, he was always renaming my prototypes. Like my field medic’s self cautarizing bone saw he always called it that ‘flaming chain sword.’ I don’t know how much that helps, a lot of the people on the boat behave illogically, but those are the ones I’ve directly interacted with.”


Gendry looks down at the little girl, Amara, then looks around. “Are you on this ship alone? Who’s looking after you?” He sits down on the deck beside her, putting his horns back in reach. “You’re definitely a brave little girl, to be sailing by yourself, and also for not being scared of me, but where are your parents?” He sounds genuinely concerned. “Are you an orphan? Or are your parents just jerks like mine?”


Donovan looks over at where Gendry is sitting, trying to talk to the child. “Then we’ll make sure the girl gets wherever she’s going safely. Who knows, maybe her parents can offer some kind of reward for her safe arrival” He gives another look around the deck, then plops down with his back against the gunwale, arranging his bag as a pillow. “As for the rest, it sounds like it’s probably just the four of us then. Probably good, we won’t have to divide the profits too much that way. We can always hire more in town if a job seems particularly tough.” He leans his head back and begins humming quietly to himself. “If you three end up staying up later than me, can you make sure to give me a shake if the bumpkins in the back wake up before I do? Thanks.”


Shuddup, looks quizically at the sleeping, “bumpkins,” shruggs and makes his way aft positioning himself to where if any of them were to move to the fore deck they would have to disturb his resting place. Then curls up and begins muttering his nightly prayers to Gond.


Lyra kneels with her back against the railing, and sets her simple sack backpack, seemingly containing little more than a book and a few small items, next to her. Chin down and sitting demurely with her hands on her knees (not all that far from the knife sheath in her boot), she settles in for the night.


As all of the passengers begin to bed down for the night, Nat and Captain Donal begin securing the ship. The captain sets the rudder and locks it in place with a chain, then comes down to the deck to help Nat untie the sail and haul it up. The two then throw a large anchor overboard. The ship gives a hard lurch as the anchor catches, then settles, rocking slowly on the waves.


Gendry looks at the fading sun and everyone getting ready for sleep and shrugs, “Whatever little girl. Parents suck. Stick with us and we’ll make sure you’re alright.”

He watches Nat and the captain struggling to cast off the anchor. He walks over, lifts the anchor in one hand, and drops it over the rail. “Hey dwarf, what’s all this for? Didn’t you say we’re supposed to reach Phlan by morning?”


“Thanks for the help, Mr. Gendry.” He points to a smaller anchor, “Mind helping with the kedge too?”

He finishes hauling in the brails and trices them off.

“As to your question,” He points to a black spot on the horizon, maybe a mile off the port side. “See that? That’s Thorn Island.” He practically growls the name and spits over the rail for emphasis. “Phlan is right around the sound side, and has a great harbor, but there ain’t no lighthouse and that island is a plague. That cloud over the island makes these waters blacker n’ Phlegethos, even when Selune is at her brightest. If the shoals and rocks around the island don’t get you, the pirates will. If neither of those get you, the walking corpses of all the ships that sank there before will. So, we always put to a few miles out and make for the channel at first light. You all get a good night sleep and we’ll have you in New Phlan in time to break your fast.”

He and the captain wave to the last few passengers still awake, climb up on the stern deck, and start rolling out their bedding.


Donovan sings himself to sleep…

“Thrown like a star in my vast sleep
I open my eyes to take a peep
To find that I was by the sea
Gazing with tranquillity.
Twas then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love,
Then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man…Snoooooooooooore”


Lyra shifts slightly as the ship lurches to a a halt, not quite awake and softly mumbling “S’posed … keep moving …. safer.”

Chapter 1: Arriving in New Phlan: Part 1
In which we are introduced to three of our heroes.

Archivist’s Note: Logs from the PBM game will be arranged as a digest of all the posts made (mostly for the sake of keeping everyone’s individual voice and not trying to reformat things to read as cohesive prose).


It has been a few days since you boarded Valkur’s Wake. You are glad that you got on at the last stop, and that the voyage should be short, as the old flat-bottomed, single-decked, single-masted cog is quite crowded. The stern of the eighty foot ship has been fenced off and converted into a stable, carrying four horses and a handful of other livestock, with a small, raised deck above the taffrail where the captain or his one assistant man the rudder and sleep. The deck was already filled with people when you boarded, and no one disembarked at your stop. At least the trip is free. The captain, an old, gray-bearded, dwarven merchant named Donal Stormhammer, informed you that as long as you disembark at New Phlan, the council will be paying him ten times his normal passenger fee, so you get a free ride as long as that’s your destination and you give a hand with the lines if a storm blows up.

The thirty-odd other passengers are a motley mix of treasure hunters, monster slayers, a few farmers brave enough to settle in a city known to be plagued by orcs, and those exiles from distant lands with no where else to go. Everyone, at least everyone who’s talking, has their own story of why they are traveling, but they all have one common theme—the promise of free land, fame, and riches in the ancient city of Phlan. During the night, everyone spreads out communally on the well deck, sleeping together cheek-to-jowl. During the day there is a little more space, with people standing most of the time, or else sitting on one of the crates or barrels of stores cluttering the deck or perching on the gunwale.

It is a bright day and the ship makes good speed ahead of a brisk southerly wind. Tomorrow morning, Donal has informed the passagers, you will reach the port of New Phlan. A pod of dolphins splashes alongside the cog.

Chatter on deck today is more lively than usual, with the promise of landfall tomorrow. Near the bow of the Wake, half a dozen people stand about listening to a surprisingly articulate lizard-man doing a dramatic recitation of some poetry, or perhaps a monologue from a play—judging from the spectators’ dress, there is a direct correlation between the number and quality of weapons the passengers are carrying and their level of racial tolerance. Abaft of the performance a pair of elven women—one has pale green skin and bearing a large mace strapped across her back, the other is much taller and more curvaceous than your typical elf and dressed in a simple peasant’s shift—stand watching the dolphins at their play. Across from the elf-girls, a pair of human men in chainmail stand watching their backs, talking in low tones and making the occasional lewd gesture. Near the mast, a woman wearing the stark-white wig of a priestess of Beshaba stands talking to a quintet of teenagers in peasants’ garb, trying to convert them to the worship of the Maid of Misfortune—judging from their wide eyes you suspect that this is their first time away from the farm, though their makeshift-looking weapons set them apart from the actual farmers and settlers who are all huddled in the stern playing a game of chance.


A flustered deck hand passes by you followed by the faint scent of oil and singed hair. as you look down you see that the deck hand is being trailed by a gnome with tussled blond hair and slightly singed eye brows. “…If you would just put the ship in dry dock I know that I can.”

As he passes you he pauses and turns eying your gear appraisingly. After a moment, when he realizes you are staring at him, he looks up at you, smiles, rubs a grease stained hand on his shirt and thrusts it out to you. "Hi I’m Shudrigan Nishal Aribostos McPillflup, but my friends call me ‘Shuddup’ I couldn’t help but notice that you are a prime candidate for my services.

“Looking over your gear suggests to me that I could make improvements for you in some very valuable ways. Obviously I can’t do as much as I could in my shop but thus are the perils of taking your business on the road. I love to travel though always new places to see and people to meet and there are so many people who could use upgrades to their stuff. Yeah, I’m excited. Criers came to Lantan inviting people to join a great party here in New Phlan. One came into my shop and gave me this one. I hope I can find someone to fund my research….”


Súrion Belaralas is roughly 175cm in height and dressed in a thick Dark cobalt robe with a hood. A large seven string lute is strapped across his back. Despite the seas, wind, sand, and aggregate multifarious passengers, about him is the distinct smell of sweet cinnamon-like spices. He takes no notice or concern of the gnome rambling on; playfully tossing the past week’s meat (which was mostly gristle) overboard to the deilf-cairde and looking over the vast waterway. “So much water…”, he thinks. He had tried three times to toss the meat to the ships bitch but each time the bitch’s hackles raised and she retreated to Donal’s cabin.


The flustered dwarven deckhand, perhaps more flustered for being the ONLY deck hand, turns and stiff-arms the gnome. “Ok, Mr. Shaddup, could you please shut up. I’m working here.” He reaches behind Shaddup and grabs the mainsheet to frap the sail. As he ties the rope off, he gives a stern sideways look at Súrion. “And you there. Mr. Creepy. Them dolphins have plenty of fresh fish, they don’t need your stinking leftovers. You don’t want it, Ratcracker don’t want it, them dolphins certainly don’t.”

He hauls one more time on the mainsheet to make sure it’s secure, then turns to the shrouds and martingales. He begins untying one of the lines and then looks back at the two of you. “Hey, you don’t look busy…If you don’t like your food, how ‘bout you give me a hand and I’ll buy you a pint when we make port tomorrow.”


“Old salt ties the hawser that seek to bind the wind… but wind has no master.” Súrion gives a notably distant and disdainful look that indicates only displeasure, but whether that is toward the mention of alcohol or toward the suggestion of helping is unclear. Súrion continues to stare at the dwarf perhaps waiting for an explanation.


The gnome cocks his head quizzically at the dwarf and begins untying a line. “Would I please what? Anyway this system is horribly inefficient. If you would put in a steam jenny you could use it to run a master cog into a gear transfer box and with a few pully systems you could run all the lines from one central location. That would make you much happier in your work.”

Despite his constant prattle the gnome appears to be a compitent hand on deck. “My uncle Horatio, Gond rest his soul, made an entire trireme run from one steam engine and a bank of cams. …”


The dwarf braces a foot against the strake and hauls hard on the shroud before tying it off. He pauses again in his work to give Súrion a hard look. “Ok, Mr. Creepy, I’m thirty-seven, I’m not old by any stretch. If you want to wax poetic about me, the names Nat, and if you want to go anywhere, we’d best be mastering that wind.”

He gives an approving look at the gnome’s knotwork. “From Lantan, eh? I’ve heard ’bout you Gondsmen. Captain Donal could use someone like you. Especially once the port gets opened up for real…”


Súrion smiles and moves up the dolphin spar to check the cordage.


The sound of less-than-enthusiastic clapping comes from the fore of the ship. You look to see the crowd shuffling a bit as the lizard-man leaps up on the prow and begins gesticulating grandiosely with his tail, his hands clenching a roll of parchment. In a booming voice, surprisingly clear of the sibilant lisp normally expected of his kind, the creature begins to exposit:

Be collected:
No more amazement: tell your piteous heart
There’s no harm done. No harm.
I have done nothing but in care of thee,
Of thee, my dear one, thee, my daughter, who
Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing
Of whence I am, nor that I am more better
Than S’thek’niss, master of a full poor cell,
And thy no greater father.
’Tis time I should inform thee farther.

Wipe thou thine eyes; have comfort.
The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch’d
The very virtue of compassion in thee,
I have with such provision in mine art
So safely ordered that there is no soul—
No, not so much perdition as an hair
Betid to any creature in the vessel
Which thou heard’st cry, which thou saw’st sink. Sit down;
For thou must now know farther.

The hour’s now come;
The very minute bids thee ope thine ear;
Obey and be attentive. Canst thou remember
A time before we came unto this cell?
By what? by any other house or person?
Of any thing the image tell me that
Hath kept with thy remembrance…

The two elven girls turn to watch and Nat, the deckhand, shakes his head and mutters, to no one in particular, “Reptilian play-writes? If that’s the best that’s coming along, I weep for Phlan…”


For the first time, Súrion catches notice of the elf girls and stares
awestruck at them.


Súrion looks around and notices 36 people on the ship, excluding himself of course. Nat, the deckhand, and Shaddup the gnome stand nearby, making some small adjustments to the ship’s rigging, while Captain Donal stands in the aft-deck, manning the rudder, with the bitch, Ratcracker, sleeping at his heel. Near the mast, a woman wearing the stark-white wig of a priestess of Beshaba stands talking to a quintet of teenagers in peasants’ garb. Just fore of the mast are the two elven women, and the pair of red-cloaked warriors watching them. At the front of the ship the performing lizard-man is being watched by an elf in brilliant white scale armor, a halfling in a tunic that seems to change colors with his mood, a gnome woman holding hands with a human woman in a way that makes him feel a little uncomfortable, and a woman in the robes of a priest of Lathander with her arm around a man in shepherd’s garb on one hand and an eight-year-old boy on the other. In the stern, near a section of the deck converted to serve as a stable, are a number of humans in peasant’s garb, eight men and six women. The men are presently engaged in some game involving several dice and a bottle of schnapps and the women seem to be spending most of their time casting concerned looks at the Beshaban chatting up the teenagers and even more concerned looks either at the lizard-man or the gnome and her girlfriend (its hard to tell which disturbs them more). Súrion distinctly remembers seeing a young girl on the ship as well, but she seems to have made herself scarce somehow.


A petite young girl sits on a box, swinging her legs and playing with a doll painted a deep cerulean. She wears a blue dress with white lacy frills. A piece of grey slate hangs around her neck with the smudged red handprint of a child on it – perhaps hers. Her hair is elaborately braided down her back. “I hope father is at the dock when we get there Susalia.” She hums a soft tune to herself and brushes the doll’s fine white hair with a small brush.


As the girl sits there, the boy watching the lizard-poet peeks over his shoulder repeatedly, stealing sheepish several glances at her. Finally seeming to have made some decision or screwed up his courage sufficiently, he lets go of his mother’s hand and walks over to where the girl sits, stumbling only once on the gently rocking deck as he makes his way. Barely raising his eyes from the deck, he addresses her “Hi!” The greeting comes out as a startled squeak, and there is an awkwardly long pause before he continues in a rapid tumble of words. “I’m-Eddie-I-like-your-doll-what’s-your-name-where-is-your-family-I-like-your-dress-and-what’s-that-handprint-mean-oh-I’m-Eddie…” He stops for breath and looks ready to bolt.

As the boy wanders off, the lizard-man continues his exposition. You notice a few stifled yawns from those watching, but they keep listening to the rather broken poetry, in the way that only good friends are want to do.

By what? by any other house or person?
Of any thing the image tell me that
Hath kept with thy remembrance.
Thou hadst, and more. But how is it
That this lives in thy mind? What seest thou else
In the dark backward and abysm of time?
If thou remember’st aught ere thou camest here,
How thou camest here thou mayst.

Twelve year since, twelve year since,
Thy serpent was a Duke of Hlondeth and
A prince of power.
Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and
She said thou wast my daughter; and thy father
Was Duke of Hlondeth; and thou his only heir
And princess no worse issued.
By foul play, as thou say’st, were we heaved thence,
But blessedly holp hither.

My clutch-mate and thy uncle, call’d Extaminos—
I pray thee, mark me—that a brother should
Be so perfidious!—he whom next thyself
Of all the world I loved and to him put
The manage of my state; as at that time
Through all the signories it was the first
And S’thek’niss the prime duke, being so reputed
In dignity, and for the liberal arts
Without a parallel; those being all my study,
The government I cast upon my brother
And to my state grew stranger, being transported
And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle—
Dost thou attend me?

The elven girls quickly loose interest and begin to wander aftwards, speaking in low tones, easily drowned out by the canting lizard and the lapping waves. They shiver noticeably as they pass Surion and cast him quick glances that are equal-parts curiosity and fear before determinedly moving to the other side of the deck.


The girl looks up, her chestnut hair elaborately braided in a wreath around her crown, allowing the rest of her hair to flow freely. “I’m Amara”, she says softly. She holds up her doll, “This is Susalia.” She then adds, “We’re not supposed to talk to strangers.”

Amara slides down from her perch, and walks over to the elven women. “Excuse me,” she says to them, “Does that man scare you too? Susualia here will protect you too if you want.” She holds up her doll to show the women.


The boy, Eddie, his worst fears apparently manifest at being thus rebuffed, walks back to the front of the ship crestfallen.

A shiver travels up Amara’s spine and she feels a distinct sense of foreboding as she approaches the two elven women. At her question, the taller of the women laughs and speaks in beautifully lilting Common. “Yes little girl, he does scare my friend here, but in a way that seems all too common for travelers on this craft.” She waves a hand at the green-skinned woman. “Rietta and I were just discussing the self-selecting nature of travelers on this ship, and the unusually high concentration of freaks,” she cocks a meaningful eyebrow at the lizard-man, “would-be heroes,” she waves a hand at the group of haphazardly armed teenagers, “and cursed individuals such as ourselves…”

At this, the green-skinned women, Rietta, breaks in with a sharp laugh, unusually deep for an elf. “Aye. Just before you came up here, Teldicia was inquiring as to which category you fell into?”


Shuddup finishes tying the last line and turns to observe the ither passengers. Upon noticing the young girl speaking with the elven women he approaches the girl, “Excuse me, young miss, but you appear to be human. Judging from your appearance you haven’t reached your age of majority in any of the human cultures I’m familiar with. As such I have to ask, where is your responsible adult? It is unsafe for someone of your age to travel unescorted, therefore I must insist upon escorting you until a more suitable adult is found.”

He pauses for a moment apparently deep in tuought before continuing, " I’m Shudrigan Nishal Aribostos McPillflup. I was just thinking if we can find a hand crank, billows, a cam and a steam whistle we could make you a personal alarm should you find yourself in peril."


Amara cocks her head, considering the question posed by the elves, “You were cursed? I’m just meeting my dad in New Phlan. My mother put me on the boat. He owns a shop!”

As the gnome comes up, the eyes of her doll seem to track him. Amara looks at the gnome and holds her doll up. “Susalia is my protector. Mother gave her to me to keep me safe.”


Rietta laughs again, “Not were cursed, child, are cursed. A good curse is not the kind of thing one gets over. Even our kind suffer unfortunate side effects when delving too deeply into the magical arts.” She smiles and looks very closely at the doll. “If you’re dad is bringing you to Phlan, then I think you must be in the latter category as well.” Her eyes drift to the boy, Eddie. “No sane parent would bring their children to Phlan…and a parent willing to put his children at risk is its own kind of curse. You’re best off not setting a foot off this boat, plopping yourself up by Captain Donal, and taking the first available trip back where you came from.”

The other women gives you a condescending pat on the head and your stomach clenches up. “If you don’t believe us, take a look over there.” She points in the direction you are heading, and you see a small island in the distance, a speak of utter blackness in the otherwise clear, sunny sea, with no light touching its shores.


Amara’s eyes widen at Rietta’s comments. Then she says, “Daddy and Susalia will keep me safe!” She nods her head firmly at her doll, and it nods its head back in return.


Nat the deckhand steps up to the rail, keeping well away from Teldicia, and spits over the side. “Don’t let these elf-wenches scare you, little girl. Thorn Island might look scary, and the Council talks about it being a problem, but nothing scary ever set foot off the island to trouble us. Now the river, that’s another matter.”


Shuddup looks wide eyed at the deckhand, “What comes out of the river?”


“That rivers as black as the island and twice as foul-smelling. Nothing grows on its banks and the only fish that come out are huge things just as likely to eat you as be eaten. The Council’s been offering a hefty pile o’ coin to anyone that can find out why the river’s like that. Won’t do no good though. No one could sail up the river even if they wanted to. The waters’d eat yer planking right out.” Nat steps a bit farther away from the elves and spits over the rail again. “If Valkur was paying any attention I’m sure that he’d be right pissed.”

He pulls Shaddup aside and lowers his voice. “I know you’re here for a party, but keep your wits about you. There’s a lot of money to be made in Phlan, but the Old City is a dangerous place. You don’t want to go sticking your neck under an orc’s axe, if you know what I mean,” he casts pointed glances at Surion and the elven women, “…and you want to be careful about who you take along to watch your back.” He raises his voice. “Besides, I still owe you that drink when we go ashore tomorrow.”

Rietta gives the doll a double-take. Teldicia grabs her elbow and the two walk towards Surion. “Hey, half-breed…” she starts. Rietta interrupts her, “No offense sir. We just had a proposition for you.”

Teldicia starts in again, “Word from the Captain is that the Council has rules about not giving adventuring charters to groups of less than three. Something about keeping spies out. If you haven’t already linked up with someone, we could use another sword-arm to round out a charter, and you smell like the right kind of creep that wouldn’t mind being seen with the two of us.”

Rietta rolls her eyes, “Again no offense intended. What do you say? You wanna hook up?” She gives another backwards glance at the girl, and in a somewhat mocking tone says over her shoulder. “You too Susalia. Care to join us when you’re done babysitting?”

Súrion turns away from the girls, climbs up the rigging, and broods by himself.


Amara replies, “We’ll have to ask Daddy when we get to the city,”

Amara runs to the rail and leans over the side. “Is that the city? I can see the dock!”


The two elf girls shrug and walk off, resuming their hushed conversation. Nat the Deckhand walks over by the little girl, “Strange folk,” he mutters. “Sorry little girl, that’s just the Island. We won’t be in sight of the city until we cross the sound tomorrow.” He mutters something under his breath about unaccompanied minors and this being no place for children, then speaks up again. “So, who’s your father? Given how few ways there are to get into the city, I’m pretty sure I know every shop-keep in Phlan.”

The Council of New Phlan
A brief synopses assembled by Donovan, Herald of the Council.

Current Councilmembers

  • Ulrich Eberhard: An ancient-looking man, head of the council at this time. He is mean-spirited and hard, not likely to win friends. He handles most money negotiations and is a very hard bargainer. Eberhard’s wealth is largely tied up in selling arms manufactured in Melvaunt and Thentia to the more militant city-states to the south. He hopes to reclaim the old Eberhard Mansion in the wealthy district.
  • Werner von Urslingen: A middle-aged man, is a retired captain of the Hillsfarran Red Plumes and represents their interests in the city. He shares many of the prejudices stereotypical of Hillsfarrans (disliking both non-humans and wizards of all kinds). If contacted away from the council chambers, he can offer advice on the actual planning and fighting aspects of a mission.
  • Bishop Braccio: The head of the church of Tyr in the Moonsea region and leader of the religious community in Phlan, he generally has little to say in council meetings. In addition to the political clout afforded by his station, he has become quite rich off of the parochial holdings of the Phlan bishopric, and stands to become even wealthier if the old temple and its associated lands are restored.
  • Karistos Mondaviak: A wizened old man, near to death, but an extremely wealthy vintner and wine-merchant nonetheless. The Mondaviak family once owned considerable lands along the Stojanow, but most of Karistos’s wealth derives from his vineyards in Elmwood and northern Harrow Dale. He only shows up at the most important council-meetings, usually attended by his youngest son Markos or his lawyer Bennudius. The heir to his council seat is his estranged elder son Rudolfo, said to be studying alchemy in Mulmaster.
  • Aldron Folbre: The Folbres, headed by the young and very handsome Aldron Folbre, have been in the Moonsea region for a mere 20 years and are still considered newcomers in some quarters, but they are very rich. Aldron is a serious and ambitious businessman, a combination that has brought him considerable profits since he took over the family business on his father’s death. Though some say his wealth is coming too easily, he is a very likeable person and is on friendly terms with members of both the Mondaviak and Cadorna families. One of his best friends is the young heir, Markos Mondaviak, and the two are often seen together hunting, hawking, or engaging in any of the other activities that amuse rich fops.
  • Porphyrys Cadorna: The dilletante son of one of the old families of Phlan, he is the least influential member of the council. Most of his family’s wealth was tied up in deeds to lands and factories in Old Phlan. While he still holds the deeds, they are basically worthless until the old city is reclaimed—and he thus has a much higher stake in the city’s success than some of the other councilmen. Having be raised in Zhentil Keep, he tends to come across as spiteful and unpleasant (as do most people from that most-evil of cities).
  • Elissa Bivant: A seat on the council is reserved for House Bivant, the last extant noble house of Old Phlan. The last surviving heir of House Bivant is Elissa, a girl of fourteen years and ward of Ulrich Eberhard. She stands to inherit considerable wealth (House Bivant owns several gem mines in Damara and Vaasa) when she comes of age and has been actively courted by both Markos and Rudolfo Mondaviak, and by Porphyrys Cadorna. For now Master Eberhard has command of House Bivant’s resources and has been tapping them heavily to pay the many adventurers operating in New Phlan.
Treasure by the Pound

Remember when your character found his or her first platinum coin or that chest of 500 gold pieces? Then there were the hundreds of thousands of coins in the dragon’s hoard. At some point in your character’s career, coins become more of a problem than they are worth. Large numbers are difficult to transport, and a significant fraction of a coin’s weight could be lesser metals.

When large values of metal are needed for trade or crafting, something besides coins is essential. Ingots, quantities of nearly pure metal cast into a variety of shapes, are a common solution.


Value of Metals: The standard exchange rates of 100 cp = 10 sp = 1 gp = 1/5 pp are still valid.

Purity of Coins: Coins are assumed to be an alloy with 20 percent worthless metal. The value of a pound of gold coins is 48 gp. The value of a pound of gold is 60 gp.

Rounded Weights and Dimensions: Weights and lengths are rounded to be easier to use in play.

Ingot Shapes

Roughly rectangular or trapezoidal bricks are the most common form for ingots, and these bricks are created by pouring the molten metal into a mold. A standardized mold is better for a variety of reasons, including ease of use and transport, but a campaign setting might have variations in the molds to serve world-building purposes. A mark of the ingot’s purity, manufacturer, or ownership is sometimes stamped into the top. Ingots of denser, or more valuable, metals will tend to be smaller.

The value of an ingot is its weight in pounds multiplied by the value per pound of the metal. Table 1 shows the values of precious metals commonly found in fantasy settings.

Table 1: Metal Values


Value per Pound

Iron 1 sp
Lead 2 sp
Copper 6 sp
Silver 6 gp
Gold 60 gp
Platinum 300 gp
Mithral 1,000 gp
Adamantine 10,000 gp


Trade Bars: In civilized lands, copper and metals such as lead and tin are often poured into a common mold that is about 3 inches x 5 inches x 12 inches. These trade bars are used to transport and exchange metals for use in craft and industry. Trade bars of different metals will have different weights; a lead trade bar is 70 lbs., while a copper one is only 55 lbs.

Bullion: Bullion ingots are smaller than trade bars and are intended as currency rather than crafting. Because of this, bullion is measured by gp value instead of weight.

Bun Ingots: These squat cylinders, flat or slightly concave on one end and rounded on the other, are not unusual. This is because they can be made easily by pouring molten metals into depressions dug in sand.

Hacksilver: Perhaps the most expedient way to distribute loot is to take an axe and hack the jewelry, utensils, and other items into portions of equal weight. Historically Vikings left many hacksilver hoards behind and at least one Saxon “hackgold” hoard has been found.

Oxhide Ingots: These ingots get their name from their distinctive shape: They are large, flat rectangles with a “handle” sticking out of each corner, resembling a spread out ox skin. Researchers have speculated these handles make it easier for two or four people to carry the ingot. They could also offer lashing points to attach the ingot to a camel or donkey’s packsaddle.

Rods: The high melting point and small quantities of adamantine make traditional ingots impractical. Adamantine can be drawn into a thin rod that has a 1/8-inch diameter. Decorative finials are sometimes applied to the ends of the rod to show who owns it or to indicate from where it came.

Many of the above ingot types have a historical basis, though standardized trade bars and decorated rods of a rare metal are fictional creations. Table 2 shows some common fantasy ingots with their values, weights, and dimensions.

Table 2: Common Ingots


Value (GP)

Weight (lbs.)

Size (in.)

1 gp Copper Bullion 1 1-2/3 5 × 2 × 1/2
5 gp Copper Bullion 5 8-1/3 7 × 3 × 1-1/4
Large Copper Bun 11 18 6″ diameter and 2″ thick
Copper Trade Bar 34 58 12 × 5 × 3
Copper Oxhide 50 84 24 × 11 × 1-1/2
Iron Trade Bar 5 51 12 × 5 × 3
Lead Trade Bar 15 74 12 × 5 × 3
5 gp Silver Bullion 5 3/4 5 × 1-1/4 × 1/4
Small Silver Bun 36 6 4-1/2″ diameter and 1″ thick
100 gp Silver Bullion 100 16-2/3 9 × 4 × 1-1/4
100 gp Gold Bullion 100 1-2/3 5 × 1 × 1/2
100 gp Platinum Bullion 100 1/3 4 × 1/2 × 1/4
500 gp Platinum Bullion 500 1-2/3 5 × 1-1/4 × 1/4
1 oz. Mithril Bar 63 1/16 2 × 1/2 × 1/2
Adamantine Rod 600 1/16 6″ long and 1/8″ diameter

In Your Game

Given the convenience of ingots when dealing with big values, characters should see them in any large treasure hoard. This is particularly true of treasure collected from merchant caravans or trade ships. Even humanoid tribes will hack looted jewelry up to allocate shares or melt it down into crude buns for bartering.

Characters with metalworking skills could readily buy the material they need. In contrast, those characters with magic item creation feats will need to acquire rare and expensive metals. These metals are available only in cities where you can buy magic items that are worth the cost of one pound of the metal. As a result, characters may have to travel to a larger city or go on specific adventures to acquire the raw materials for their latest project.

It is possible to cheat and make ingots out of alloys or use a core of a lesser metal. Anyone trading in improper ingots would have to be stopped. Additionally, the characters might get annoyed if the creation of an expensive magic item failed because the mithral they used wasn’t pure.

Further, don’t forget mines aren’t the only source of metal in a fantasy setting. Melting the coins from a dragon’s hoard into bullion not only reduces the weight by 20%, it would also help mask where it came from in the first place. A small boomtown might even spring up around the entrance to a particularly large hoard, as the gold and silver are carted out and processed for trade.

Proclamations and Laws of the Council of New Phlan

Proclamation I

Be it here by known that the parties of Ulrich Eberhard, Werner von Urslingen, Karistos Mondaviak, Porphyrys Cadorna, and Bishop Braccio of Tyr do hereby formally claim ownership of the city of Phlan and all its attendant lands and districts, on this the 21st of Eleint, The Year of the Turret, 1360 DR, and do hereby appoint themselves as the Council of New Phlan, and apportion to themselves the power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay the Debts and to provide for the common Defense.

Proclamation IV

Be is here known that the Council of New Phlan, finding it necessary to hire and retain exceptional talent in the fields of murder, magic, and the acquisition of property, do hereby agree to ignore and expunge all records of misdeeds from all jurisdictions outside of New Phlan for all individuals who, hereafter, shall become citizens of New Phlan. Likewise, let it be known that no citizen of New Phlan shall be extradited on charges from any jurisdiction outside of the bounds of New Phlan.

Proclamation V
Be it hereafter known that the following offenses shall constitute capital crimes against the City of New Phlan, punishable by confiscation of all property and banishment from the limits of New Phlan by method of being thrown from the walls of New Phlan between the hours of the Second Dog Watch and the First Watch, regardless of the jurisdiction under which they were committed:

  1. The killing, be it willful or accidental of any member of the Council of New Phlan, its clerks, its agents, or its soldiers. This shall be read to include all members of the Red Plumes of Hillsfar operating within the walls of New Phlan, all members of the Church of Tyr operating within the walls of New Phlan, as well as Councilmembers, Clerks of the Council, and Council-appointed agents operating either within or without the walls of New Phlan.
  2. Maliciously causing bodily injury to another by any means with intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill, and knowing or having reason to know that such other person is a member of the Council of New Phlan, a Clerk of the Council of New Phlan, or a Soldier or Law-enforcement officer in the employ of the Council of New Phlan as defined under article 1.
  3. Any “Act of terrorism”, defined as any act of violence as committed with the intent to influence the conduct or activities of the Council of New Phlan through intimidation.
  4. Penetrating the walls, gates, or harbors of the City of New Phlan without express written charter issued, registered, and notarized by the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan. Accepted charters for passage into and out of the City of New Phlan are limited to the following: (i) a document of citizenship in the City of New Phlan issued by the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan, (ii) a Charter of Adventure issued by the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan, (iii) a Charter of Passage issued to a ship in the service of the Council of New Phlan and passengers thereon, or (iv) a Writ of Diplomacy issued by the Council of New Phlan to a foreign dignitary. If the document be not in one’s possession, or be not notarized by the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan, the bearer shall be in violation of the Law Capital.

Proclamation VI
Be it hereafter known that the following offenses, when committed within the walls of New Phlan, shall constitute capital crimes, punishable by confiscation of all property and banishment from the limits of New Phlan by method of being thrown from the walls of New Phlan between the hours of the Second Dog Watch and the First Watch:

  1. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any citizen of the city of New Phlan, as registered with the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan.
  2. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any human by another for hire.
  3. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any human under the age of 14.
  4. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any witness in a criminal case after a subpoena has been issued for such witness by the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan, when the killing is for the purpose of interfering with the creature’s duties in such case.
  5. Participation in a mob. A Mob shall hereafter be defined as any collection of non-humans, assembled for the purpose and with the intention of opposing the will of the Council of New Phlan, or committing any act of assault or a battery upon any citizen of the city of New Phlan, as registered with the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan.
  6. Abduction of (i) any citizen of New Phlan with the intent to extort money or pecuniary benefit, (ii) of any human with intent to defile such person, (iii) of any human child under twelve years of age for the purpose of concubinage or prostitution.
  7. Use or display of a deadly weapon (see Weapons for a list of devices legally considered deadly weapons) by any person not in possession of a Charter of Adventure issued, registered, and notarized by the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan, unless said person is a Member of the Council of New Phlan, a Clerk of the Council of New Phlan, or a Soldier or Law-enforcement officer in the employ of the Council of New Phlan as defined under Proclamation V, Article 1.
  8. Having sexual intercourse with a complaining witness, whether or not his or her spouse, or causing a complaining witness, whether or not his or her spouse, to engage in sexual intercourse with any other person and such act is accomplished against the complaining witness’s will, by force, threat, or intimidation of or against the complaining witness or another person, if said complaining witness is a human or a citizen of New Phlan as registered by the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan.
  9. Burning, or by use of any explosive device or substance (i) destroying, in whole or in part, or causes to be burned or destroyed, or (ii) aiding, counseling, or procuring the burning or destruction of any dwelling house whether belonging to himself or another, or any occupied inn, hostel, hospital, or mental health facility, or any occupied church or occupied building owned or leased by a church that is immediately adjacent to a church.
  10. Breaking and entering the dwelling house of another in the nighttime with intent to commit larceny.
  11. Commiting larceny from the person of a citizen of the City of New Phlan of money, goods, or chattels of value of 5 silver pieces or more.
  12. Stealing or fraudulently secreting, or destroying a public record or part thereof, including a copy thereof, unless one be the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan.
  13. Cutting down, pulling up, girdling, or otherwise injuring or destroying any tree growing in any public square or grounds of the City of New Phlan, nor willfully and maliciously injure the fences or herbiage of any such square or grounds, including, but not limited to the City Hall, Council Hall, Training Hall, Justice House, the Temple of Tyr’s Waiting, and Valhegen Park, without the consent of the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan.
  14. Maliciously shooting, stabbing, wounding, or otherwise causing bodily injury to, or administering poison to or exposing poison with intent that it be taken by a dog, horse or other animal owned, used, or trained by the Council of New Phlan, the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan, or any Soldier or Law-enforcement officer in the employ of the Council of New Phlan as defined under Proclamation V, Article 1.
  15. Any person knowingly preparing any obscene item for the purposes of sale or distribution; or having in his possession with intent to sell, rent, lend, transport, or distribute any obscene item; or possession in public or in a public place of any obscene item, as defined by future statutes or by writ of the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan.
    • Obscene items shall include:
      • Flutes, including but not limited to fipple flutes, transverse flutes, penny flutes, skin flutes, whistle flutes, bamboo pipes, coronets, gemshorns, ocarinas, pipes, recorders, and thelarrs. By order of Priestess Joy of Sune. See Writ of the Clerk of the Council of New Phlan w.CLXXVII

Proclamation XI

Be it here known, that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Council of New Phlan, its clerks, its agents, and its soldiers are not liable to pay punitive or exemplary damages in any action brought directly or indirectly against it by any injured party or third party that is not itself a Councilman of New Phlan. In addition, no public official of New Phlan is liable to pay punitive or exemplary damages in any action arising out of an act or omission made by the public official while serving in an official executive, legislative, quasi-legislative or quasi-judicial capacity, brought directly or indirectly against him by any injured party or third party.

Free New Phlan!

The New Phlan City Council is leading the fight to free their captive city. Heroes are retaking the city block by block from the evil hordes.

The council is looking for soldier and rogues, mages and clerics, heroes of all kinds, to come to New Phlan. The wealth and land of an ancient city away those willing to reach out and take it.

Legends will be written about the heroic struggle to free New Phlan! Ships to New Phlan depart twice monthly. When you arrive, see the New Phlan City Council for the latest news and information.