Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thom Ecke

Thom Ecke (Born Tom FitzMowbray) was a bastard son of Thomas de Mowbray, the rebellious Earl of Norfolk in northern England He spent a rootless early childhood passed around the houses of many relatives while his father was away at court.

When he reached sufficient age, he apprenticed to a wealthy wool merchant in York and crisscrossed the cold northern moors learning the trade and exploring old Roman ruins. His master would often jovially chide him for wasting his time amongst old broken stones, but one day Tom's expeditions paid off handsomely when he found a stash of a hundred Denarii's in a clay pot wedged in to a crack beneath a "Chi Ro" on the remains of a wall. He saved this stash in the hope he might outfit himself, serve his father and brother at war and eventually to be knighted and settle comfortably with a couple of cozy manors of his own.

It was not to be, his father fell out of favour at court (in a dispute over precedence with another noble) and foolishly joined other northern barons in revolt against the King.

So young Tom buckled down resolving to learn the wool trade and so earn a comfortable living as a merchant. He remained unable to quell his wandering spirit and this in the end was the undoing of any plans for a comfortable life. While traveling south to trade, the tranquility of the open moor was forever spoilt for him when one wet day he had the misfortune to be struck by lightening. Thoroughly fed up with the a sodden island that seemed to frustrate him at every turn, he set off for the continent with no better plan than to earn money as a sell-sword and perhaps strike at the Turk. In time he fell in with the rootless young men who made their home in the Bayerischer Wald. His exotic background as a foreigner more than outweighed any possible disadvantages as an outsider and his many tales to tell beside the winter fireside soon saw him warmly welcomed into their brotherhood.

Thom was accustomed to hire himself as a mercenary with southern companies (hoping to one day emulating the fortunes of his illustrious countryman Sir john Hawkwood) and it was on one of these stints that he encountered Seighard of Zurich. Seighard might be a sometime boor, but he was well-connected and intelligent and shared Thom's background as a dispossessed noble. When Seighard set forth for Prague in the summer of 1419, Thom decided to join his comrade and see what opportunities that famed city had to offer.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Victual Brothers


A network of Privateers that preys upon merchant shipping and coastal trade in the Baltic and North Sea. Though the mortal enemies of the Hanseatic League and the Teutonic Order, they impartially raid all shipping. Their famous battle cry is "God's friends and enemies of the whole world". Despite at times challenging whole kingdoms and occupying Gotland as their personal fief (until expelled by an invasion of the Teutonic Knights), their most remarkable trait is their ability to persuade the masters of almost any port to give them harbour and trade with them. Numerous strident threats by the Hanseatic league are so far unable to end this "support of piracy" and this gave the Victual Brothers free range across the sea and ready markets to sell their gains. Their captains are remarkable for their ingenuity, in one case trapped by ice in a Danish harbour and under attack, a Victualer Captain had the ice immediately around his ship broken up to create a moat and defended the ship like a fort until spring.

Skills: Athletics, Melee arms or ranged arms, Nautical arts, Persuasion, Stealth.

Secret Masteries:

A safe berth and a ready market (Nautical arts (Seamanship) Mastery) The Privateer is appointed first mate or lieutenant and is the trusted representative of his or her Captain in many dealings as well as being well known in the brotherhood at large and by their usual contacts. The Victual brother is able to find safe haven in any coastal or riverside town, or failing that, quick warning of an enemies approach and a little help getting a hard start to make their getaway. Merchants and town officials in these towns will also be more than willing to take and good, no questions asked.

God's friends and enemies of the whole world (Nautical arts (Seamanship) Mastery) The Victual Brother is recognised by his or her brothers and the other Captains and made a full Captain, with their own ship and crew and only bound by the responsibility to give fair shares to their brothers.

Hans Vohrberg

Hans speaks little of his past. Piecing together what scraps of information that do exist, it seems he was born to the life of a serf on the lands of a new-made nobleman in the Ordenstratte. Given odd comments about the preparations of each nights meal, he most likely worked the kitchens when grown enough to make himself useful. The most remarkable event of his brief time in this low condition seems to have been his discovery of some secret artifice and his parleying of that information in exchange for his freedom from servitude. Hans then joined the Order of St Lazarus as a Man-at-arms, fighting as one of the formidable Christian heavy infantry tasked to anchor the line while the noble-born knights maneuvered to win battles through the shock of their mounted charge.

He was never troubled by the brothers' role as carers and companions to the misseli and indeed accounted himself most fortunate that the Order's great skill at medicine protected them from the great disaster of the black plague at the end of the 14th Century. Often the brothers would go out to rescue those who could be saved from the deadly plague and as a Man at arms, it was often his place to go those places the nobleborn knights dared not tread. Their timidity was their great loss as Hans one day discovered a potent relic in the ashes of a wealthy plague victim's home. He did not share this bounty with his brother's reasoning God had sent it to him in recompense for his humble station.

Hans at came to be "separated" from the fellowship of his brother knights at some point before Yuletide 1419 and took up residence with Gunther Schwarze in the heights of the Bayerischer Wald on the Czech border. Gunther had garnered a reasonable fortune and secured the title of Imperial Knight along with a comfortable manor. It's not entirely clear how Gunther came to shelter Hans. Hans as a rule says nothing about his past and the subject never came up while Gunther was around to be asked.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Sword of Lucius Vorenus

This finely wrought antique was recovered by Seighard from the tomb of a Centurion in old ruins beneath the Jewish Quarter of Regensburg. Despite the supernatural nature of the denizens of the ruins, the sword itself is imbued with no unnatural or otherworldly essence. Rather, it is 'merely' finely balanced and well honed, made of an alloy that betters anything even the swordsmiths of Paderborn can produce. Aside from it's high standard or workmanship, the blade bears only one distinguishing mark, the number "XI" embossed upon it's pommel.

The blade is a Gladius wrought of a blue steel. It does 2D10 damage, +1 to hit (Acc) and to damage (Pwr) and is light and finely balanced, -2 to Weight.

The Brand of Tigrius and Eutropius

This appears to be an unprepossessing stick the length of a man's forearm with one burnt end. However, if the brand is clasped in both hands, the end springs into burning flame. This will occur under any conditions, miraculously requiring neither air nor dryness to ignite and consuming no air while burning. It will even burn underwater. The wood is said to be part of the charred remains of the old Cathedral in Constantinople and is smooth, dark and always warm to touch.

Igniting the torch immediately drains 1 ESS from the wielder and it will burn burn under any conditions for one minute unless voluntarily extinguished. If there is air and the wood is still dry, it will continue to burn past this point without consuming itself but it will begin to consume air. The brand can be employed as a weapon (range 1), in which case it either cause 1d10 LP damage from it's combined weight and fire, or for a further 1 ESS per use, it may set a target alight (the target may attempt to evade or block the blow as normal) in addition to it's normal damage on a successful hit. Just attempting to use the brand in this fashion leads to ESS drain, whether the burning end actually connects and ignites the target or not.

How the brand came to be in that nobleman's cellar is a complete mystery. Perhaps all knowledge of the brands previous history died with that man and his family.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Seighard of Zurich

Seighard grew up in the Swiss capital of Zurich, the eldest son in a family of three surviving children. His father was a Count from an old noble family, but under pressure from the Zurich Commune, he sold and relinquished his Baronial rights and was reduced to the status of a rich landowner. His father did not oppose the new regime in the Acht Orte (Eight Places) as strenuously as others, reasoning it was best to keep good relations with leaders of the Cantons as long as their continued military successes made the return of the Hapsburg dukes a distant prospect.

While he retained his title, the Count had scant hope that his family's political fortunes would be reversed. He had Seighard apprentice with a rich merchant friend of his, Paschal Ecke of Augsberg On the overcast morning Seighard left to apprentice in Augsburg, his father pressed a smooth pewter ring into his palm. The proud man tearfully told him that while he might yet be denied his public birthright, his families secret inheritance would be his.

Seighard was outwardly content learning the merchants trade in Bavaria, but inwardly chafed at the situation his family found themselves in back in Switzerland. While in Augsburg he was introduced to Bernard of Trévisan, an Alchemist, who was journeying with companions to meet Henry (A priest in Germany) who claimed to possess the secret of the Philosophers stone. Henry was a fraud and a disillusioned Bernard traveled back to Padua via Augsburg when he fell afoul of a zealot from the School at Basel, who so incited the town Burghers against Bernard that he was forced into hiding. Seighard had been intrigued by Bernard's tales of mystical knowledge and arcane experimentation, not to mention the promise of the legendary Philosopher's Stone and used his contacts amongst the merchants to have him smuggled outside the walls. Young Seighard had found a more exciting calling than a merchant and soon followed Bernard south to Italy, learning from one of his friends while purporting to work as a military engineer. His skills were much in demand on both sides of the Alps and he traveled working as a mercenary, firstly with Giocomi Hawkwood his teacher and then on his own as a journeyman engineer, all the while secretly furthering his Alchemical studies.

A chance encounter at a banquet before a round of political meetings in Augsburg saw Seighard somehow impressing none other than Albert, son of Ernest, Duke of Upper Bavaria. Albert found the slightly older Seighard (despite his retiring personality and lack of charisma) a ready ear for his tales of his father's overbearing nature and the young heir took a great liking to the exiled noble and an ongoing interest in his career.

At Albert's urging, Seighard made the journey to the University of Prague in 1419 in order to learn from a couple of Eastern teachers Albert had heard of. It was rumored that these teachers had a thorough grounding in the natural Philosophy of the Greeks, new scientific ideas form old Persia and even, so it was said, the know-how to create the legendary Byzantine Fire.

St Reinhold's Anchor

This is a simple pewter ring. Smooth and lacking in ornament or inscription. When worn on the finger it does nothing but if suspended around the neck by a leather thong, it permits the wearer to freely sink to the bottom of a body of water and walk about as if on land, even in the strongest current. It also permits the wearer to see any distance through a body of water, no matter how dark or muddy. When used upon shallow wooden bowls of clear water, it instead grants visions of the goings on upon the Rhine near the city of Koln.

The ring is pewter poured around a ring of the Saint's own hair, plucked by a Mason while his body was being prepared for burial. The Masons took the hair and made the ring for reason's known only to themselves. A further property of the ring, it's intermittent ability to inspire a feeling of profound envy in any who see another wearing the ring upon their finger, manifested itself at a Masonic banquet when a new inductee stole the ring and fled. Bandits took the life and belongings of the hapless journeyman on the road to Mainz. The ring came, after a time, to the Robber Knight August Speyer, who dangled it in front of a group of young Knights who had boldly requested to come to his table. The knights slew the Raubritter and took the relic, not knowing it's origin, along with the rest of the hoard. One of those Knights was a brother to a certain Swiss count, a vassal of the Hapsburg Dukes. That line of Count's has kept the ring in their family ever since, discretely learning of it's origin and hiding it from the Mason's of Koln, who seek it still.

When the Ring is worn in anyway, it drains three Essence from the wearer which do not regenerate until it is removed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Palatinate Zweihanders

Louis III, the Elector Count Palatine of the Rhine, is a forward thinking political planner. In addition to recently joining the Parakeet society (a league against Louis the Bearded, Duke of Bavaria) and forming close links with the new Burgundian Duke, Philip the Good, he has sponsored the formation of several mercenary companies under the leadership of his bastard son, Sir Henry of Koln. These companies act to provide regular skilled forces to support the Elector's activities against his enemies and lessen his reliance on the Swiss for regular infantry. The companies employ a range of weapons but are most known for their use of two handed swords which can be employed to sweep aside enemy pole arms and unhorse enemy cavalry.


Melee arms or Ranged arms, Athletics, Maneuvering, Military Arts +1 LP

Secret Masteries

Sweeping Blow (Melee arms (Swords) Mastery) This grants the character the title of Sergeant of Mercenaries and when armed with two handed sword they gain first strike against any enemies in melee with them.

Wall of Steel (Melee arms (Swords) Grand Mastery) The Character is granted the title of Commander of Mercenaries. He or She gains +1 LP and additionally, gains +1 PL only when wielding a two handed sword.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Teutonic Knights

The Teutonic knights are a German military order modeled on the Order of St John. They have a similar rule and structure and follow those practices regarding the required lineage of knights and high officers. The Teutonic Knights played an important part in the holy land, controlling the major port of Acre and had holdings from the low countries to the Balkans. After the crusaders were pushed from the holy land, the Teutonic knights next aided the Kingdom of Hungary against the Pagan Cumans on the borders of Transylvania but were expelled by force by the king after attempting to place themselves and their possessions under solely papal authority. They next undertook a crusade against the Pagan Prussian tribes and it was this that created their current power base on the Baltic. In addition to the manors and commanderies of Knights, the order maintains hospitals and almshouses in order to carry out their duty of Christian charity.

The knights are efficient fighters and excellent tacticians and have bested forces many times their numbers and now control vast lands, with the wealth and levies to maintain formidable military forces. However, the Christianisation of pagan Lithuania and the ascension of Lithuania's Grand Duke to the throne of Poland put the order in a vulnerable position and they suffered a crushing defeat at Tannenburg in 1410. Though the Emperor-elect wished to support the order, he was prevented by the Electors of the Empire who are jealous of the Order's power

The Order has lost a large number of it's Knights at Tannenburg, but the subsequent peace at Thorn is the more ruinous. The indemnities that must be paid to Poland and Lithuania mean that the Order's lands must be taxed hard, increasing resentment amongst their subjects and drawing much attention away from the crucial task of rebuilding the Order's power. Mercenaries now form an important part of the Teutonic Knight's forces and local nobles now enjoy important roles in these forces as semi-lay brothers in the order.

Devices and colours: White surcoat with a Black Cross. Brothers are forbidden to incorporate this into personal coats of arms.

Skills: Military Arts, Melee Arms, Maneuvering, Animal Handling, Theology.

Secret Masteries:

Warrior Monks (Theology (Meditation) Mastery) Through devotion to their holy cause and observance of the vows of their order, including regular prayer and meditation, the Knight gains the ability to use their Theology (Meditation) Skill to resist arcane, pagan and satanic influences. They also gain knowledge of St Mary.

Holy Knighthood (Military arts (Command) Mastery), the novice is Knighted (if of sufficient station or deed) and the accorded the right to command his own Gleve (Lance) of lesser soldiers. If he is unable to attain the rank of knight he will be styled "Sergeant" and hold the same position of command. He will be granted a sword of good quality along with armour and horses appropriate to his station. His sure presence will give +1 to defense rolls for his Gleve (any party may act as a Gleve outside of battle) when in formation.

Bulkwark (Military arts (Command) Grand mastery) The Knight attains one of the Order's high offices: OrdenMarschall (Order Marshal), Gross Hospittler (Hospitaller), GrossTressler (Grand Treasurer), OberstTrappier (Quartermaster), or Landmeister (provincial Master) and in addition to having a Commanderie of Knights (not to mention the associated Gleves) under his direct authority, he also may requisition resources and other Gleves anywhere in the Order's possessions.

Knights of St Lazarus of Jerusalem


These are an order of Hospitaller monks, like those of St John. However, unlike the Knights of St John, the care they provide is not the transitory succor of pilgrims but the long term housing and care of those holy unfortunates, miselli, afflicted with leprosy. Their oganisation differs markedly, being a loose order of fairly autonomous houses, the majority of members being the leper patients themselves, who are required to bring their wealth into the order when they join. They are full brothers and often rise to the rank of prior or preceptor (the order maintained no overall command like the other orders). Despite their focus on the care of lepers, they are a military order, having prominently featured in many of the major battles in the holy land. They still maintain their military character in the numerous houses that remain in Europe and their role in society (Popes have ordained that lepers be consigned only to their houses) and requirements for entrants have ensured they are a wealthy order.

Devices and colours: The symbol of their order is the eight pointed green cross of St Lazarus.

Skills: Animal handling, Melee arms, Maneuvering, Medicine, Theology.

Secret Masteries

Holy Knighthood (Melee arts (Bladed weapons) Mastery), the novice Hospitaller is Knighted (if of sufficient station or deed) and the accorded the right to command his own Gleve (Lance) of lesser soldiers. If he is unable to attain the rank of knight he will be styled "Sergeant" and hold the same position of command. He will be granted a sword of good quality along with armour and horses appropriate to his station. His sure presence will give +1 to defense rolls for his Gleve (any party may act as a Gleve outside of battle) when in formation.

Hospitaller (Medicine (Healing) Mastery) Through the ongoing care of the miselli and devotion to the healing arts practiced by the order, the monk gains Philtrology and Dominion at lvl 1, as well as one variant from the curatives formulae of Philtrology, they are restricted to these formulae alone.

Holy works (Medicine (Healing) Grand Mastery) The Hospitaller attains the rank of Preceptor and oversees one of the rich independent houses of the order. Due to his station, he will be welcome in any religious house in Christendom and has the finances of his house at his disposal. More significantly, their long years of faithful care of societies holy unfortunates has given rendered them immune to all disease.

Knights of St John Hospitallar


The beginnings of the Order of the Knights of St John are to be found in the year of our lord 1048 when Merchants from the ancient Marine Republic of Amalfi obtained from the Caliph of Egypt permission to build a church, convent and hospital in Jerusalem. The knights arose from those who prayed, gave care and defended these places. In the course of the crusades, then the defense of Cyprus and finally Rhodes, the Order to took up arms to defend the sick, pilgrims and the crusader territories and then came to maintain a significant naval force to protect the Christian world.

At this time, the Moslem threat looms large to the East of Christendom and the Hospitallers fight in her defense to protect the faithful as they always have. Along with the central base at Rhodes the order maintains its regional organisation of "Tongues" and in German speaking lands they have Priories of Bohemia, Upper and Lower Germany, Dacia, Sweden, Poland, and Hungary. Since the heretic followers of Jan Hus have taken up arms all across Bohemia, led by that damnable blind devil Zizvka, the Grand Priory there has become beleaguered of late. However, the Auberge remains secure in the main lands of the Empire and even now the Emperor-elect is leading a Crusade to crush these Hussites.

Devices and colours: Their Symbol is the eight pointed black cross which they display as their badge on a white field. In battle they are arrayed in a red surcoat with a white cross. Brothers are forbidden to incorporate these into a personal coat of arms.

Skills: Military Arts, Melee Arms, Maneuvering, Animal Handling or Medicine or Nautical arts, Theology.

Secret Masteries

Warrior Monks (Theology (Meditation) Mastery) Through devotion to their holy cause and observance of the vows of their order, including regular prayer and meditation, the Hospitaller gains the ability to use their Theology (meditation) skill to pray over a companion (or for themselves) healing 2LP PDL, staunching their wounds and draining all QP. They also gain knowledge of John the Baptist.

Holy Knighthood (Military arts (Command) Mastery), the novice Hospitaller is Knighted (if of sufficient station or deed) and the accorded the right to command his own Gleve (Lance) of lesser soldiers. If he is unable to attain the rank of knight he will be styled "Sergeant" and hold the same position of command. He will be granted a sword of good quality along with armour and horses appropriate to his station. His sure presence will give +1 to defense rolls for his Gleve (any party may act as a Gleve outside of battle) when in formation.

Defenders of Christendom (Military arts (Command) Grand Mastery) The Hospitaller has advanced to a senior role in his order and if worthy by lineage according to the rule of the order, he will be either a Prior or Grand Prior. For hundreds of years, in the holy land and beyond, The Hospitaller have given their whole lives to the defense and succor of the faithful. They are regarded as loyal sons of the church and are held in high esteem in every court in Christendom. A Knight Hospitaller will be given access to any lord, no matter how high, they may simply demand instant access to lords and officials of non-royal rank. No one may inhibit the passage of such a senior Knight and their word is sufficient to act as bond for prisoners before the courts. Rights of hospitality will be everywhere extended to them without question and the common folk hold crusaders in awe still after all these years.

Religious Knights

All knights in the religious orders are monks as well as warriors. All land is held in common in accordance with a vow of Poverty and every manor and Abbey gives directly to the central treasury of the brotherhood. In addition to the overriding mission to give both defense and succor to Christians, they must also meet obligations as monks, laid out in the rule of the great St Augustine. All members of the order, whether they fight, care for souls of others or maintain our holdings, must also read the offices (or pray the proscribed amount of Paters if they are not lettered) at the ordained hours every day unless prevented by great need. Dress, food and days of feast and abstinence are all laid down in the rule of the order and this rule must be conformed to as the central part of the discipline of religious life. As confirmed by his holiness the Pope, the orders are independent of all authority, both religious and secular, except that of the Pope himself.

The orders maintain four ranks, two of combatants: “Men at Arms” and “Knights”; and two non-combatant: “Chaplains” and “Casaliers”. It is laid out in the rule of each order that only those of suitable station can be admitted to the rank of knights, in accordance with the natural order here on earth and only those of better lineage may aspire to hold high offices. Accordingly, those who join the combatants of each order will join either the Knights or Men at Arms according to their birth. They will receive similar training and will differ only in their outfit and position in the hierarchy of command. Those of sufficient lineage and exceptional deed may be Knighted by the order but will remain ineligible for senior offices.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Order of the Dragon (The Order of the Defeated Dragon)


As a result of the religious tumult brought about by three men laying claim to the authority of St Peter at once, the authority of the Roman Church had been dealt a grievous blow. Following the Church Council of Constance in the year of our lord 1418, King of the Romans and Emperor elect Sigismund, announced a new Chivalric order dedicated to the defense of Christendom against heresy. This Order was duly approved and Chartered by the new Pope and adopted the symbol of the defeated dragon of Paganism

This new Order was based on the old Order of the Dragon of St. George and incorporated one of it's members, the Despot of Serbia, into it's initial twenty four inductees (including Sigismund himself).

The Order of the Dragon has the most select membership of any in continental Christendom. It's membership consists of Dukes, Princes and Kings and is as much a political league as it is a military force. Membership in the Order enhances the prestige of powerful nobles while strengthening their ties to the Emperor-elect and enhancing his power base.

It is rumoured, though unconfirmed, that all is not as it seems with this Order. The rumours claim the secret rites of the Order are fundamentally pagan in nature and it's members seek to gain supernatural power through them. It is possible these rumors are malicious embellishment of the Orders rites rites and rituals by Sigismund's political opponents, lent credence by the legends of Templar depravity and demon worship. Certainly the Order has Papal sanction and it's members are great Christian Princes. It is precisely due to the orders membership that it's detractors are reduced to sly whispers and rumour mongering and the veracity of these claims are unlikely to be tested openly.

Devices and colours: The Order's members incorporate Dragon motifs (with the cross of St George etched onto the beast's back) into their personal heraldry.


Animal Handling, Melee arts, Maneuver, Military Arts, Statecraft.

Secret Masteries

Draconists (Statecraft (Ruling) Mastery) Simply being amongst so august and exclusive company is cause enough for renown. Membership of an order formed with Papal sanction to crush heresy can even be enough to quell political opposition in the short term. The Draconist gains +2 PDL to influence rolls when attempting to have their view prevail at councils of war and other political meetings in times of emergency.

The Second principle (Military arts (Command) Mastery) Through the secret rituals of the Order, men can unlock hidden strengths and become mighty warriors. The character gains the Shen and Dominion skills at lvl 1. As long as this remains the only source of their ability in Shen, they may only use variants from the path of conflict.

The Dragon and the Cross (Statecraft (Ruling) Grand Mastery) It is claimed that it is God, through the agency of Papal sanction that grants the Draconists such uncanny abilities on the field of combat. Not often do such mighty princes enter the fray, but when they do, they fight as if the Almighty himself aids them. The Draconist is able to employ Shen (path of Conflict) variants that usually require them to be unarmed while wielding a sword, the symbol of the Christian warrior. When doing so, they do not gain any additional damage from the weapon, but do gain the weapons' enhanced reach in melee.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ensifiri, the Sword Borthers of Livonia


The Sword Brothers were once an independent order, based on the Crusading Knights Templar and established to pursue the Crusades in the north. Their order was founded in the year of our lord 1197 by the first Bishop of Riga, Albert. Though a Crusade in the north had initially been pursued with some vigor by good Christians, that commitment waned and it became obvious that an order should be formed to continue the Crusade on a permanent basis, as the other knightly orders did in the holy land.

The rule and symbols of the order were those of the Knights Templar and their badge was a sword, from which came their name. The bull approving their order (Innocent III in 1202) was notable in that, unlike the other knightly orders, there was no stipulation as to the birth or station of the brother knights and membership was open to all. This new order pursued their mission only short time, with only two Grand Masters. The first was murdered by his brother knights and the second fell in battle along with many of his brother knights when the order was almost wiped out by the combined pagan forces of Lithuania and Semigallians (Latvians) in 1236.

The surviving knights were incorporated into the Teutonic Order as an autonomous unit, retaining all their lands, symbols and the right to govern themselves under the nominal authority of the Teutonic Grand Master. The Ensiferi remain a potent force on the Baltic, having to avoid much of the losses suffered by the rest of the Teutonic Knights. They are organised differently to the other crusading orders and do not keep so closely to their vocation as religious, being almost totally military in orientation. Having never fought in the holy land, they also do not share the high esteem in which the Knights of St John, and to a lesser extent the other orders, are held.

Devices and colours: White surcoat with a red cross. They have a red sword as their symbol and bear a red bordered shield with a red cross on a white field as their coat of arms.

Skills: Animal Handling, Melee arts, Maneuver, Military Arts or Theology, +1 LP

Secret Masteries:

Swordbrother (Melee arts (Bladed Weapons) Mastery), the novice Ensifiri is Knighted and the accorded the right to command his own Gleve (Lance) of lesser soldiers. He will be granted a sword of good quality along with armour and horses appropriate to his station. His sure presence will give +1 to defense rolls for his Gleve (any party may act as a Gleve outside of battle) when in formation.

Crusader (Melee arts (Bladed Weapons) Mastery), the Veteran Ensefiri is accorded the rank of Preceptor and command of a chapter. His order will grant him a sword of exceptional quality as badge of his high office. He will also have the right to lodging and aid anywhere in the Ordenstratte.

Sappers of Urbino


The Montefeltro Dukes of Urbino were a perfectly Italian combination of patrons of art and learning and hard nosed soldiers, not to mention that many of their family were wont to ply their trade as Condottiere. In the early 15th Century a small group of military engineers gathered around a few leaders, notably Giocomi (one of Sir John Hawkwood's bastards) and Francesco of Naples, a half sotted former Dominican, who escaped the clutches of a life of the cloth by faking his death in a bridge collapse. The Montelfeltro's support and encourage this "school" as it provides a useful resource for the defense of their beleaguered lands in the ongoing struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines in the Marsche region. The Sappers don't just study military science, gunpowder and engineering, they also actively try to piece together Alchemical knowledge in order to figure out how to best turn it to military ends. They do this with the Duke's full knowledge, but none other's. If word got out, not only would the Duke's "edge" be spent, but for one reason or another, most of the warring factions in Italy, not to mention the Church itself, wouldn't rest until the Sappers and those associated with them were burnt, beheaded or strung up.

Skills: Alchemy, Arcane Arts, Dominion Lvl 2, Craftsman, Military Arts.

Secret Masteries:

We've got Explosives! (Craftsman (Engineering) Mastery) Once the Sapper has been out in the world a bit and had a chance to apply their "diverse" skills to all sorts of different problems, whether on a battlefield or not, they are ready to learn the "tricks of the trade". Their skill, ingenuity and understanding of the engineers' secrets wins them the coveted title "Master Sapper" and the right to wear the striking blue and yellow striped sash that sets them apart in any room. They also get taught one of the schools best kept secrets, how to turn a simple combination of household items (Vinegar, a little yeast, flour, sand or grit and guano) into good honest gunpowder. It's a messy process taking a full hour and a lot of smoke and bad smells, but out of it enough gunpowder to create a solid blast it created. Labour all day and night... and enough to demolish a house is created.

Demolitions (Craftsman (Engineering) Grand Mastery) Counter artillery work is painstaking and dangerous. Learning the precise ways to get this task done is the core of a Military Engineer's art and the Sapper's of Urbino pride themselves on their flawless execution. However, if you know how, it's much better to bring the while bastion down and cause as much commotion and cover as possible for the breach to be stormed and the garrison overrun before they can even muster a defense. With a little black powder (say enough to blow up a house or two) and a lot of stealth, Giocomi or Francesco have ended sieges that were expected to take months, both beating reinforcements and pocketing hefty bonuses. A lot of smoke and commotion in a public place could also be turned to all sorts of other useful purposes creating confusion and opportunities in an urban setting.

Fior di Battaglia (Flower of Battle)

Fiore dei Liberi is the greatest living Italian Master. Ten years ago he produced several illustrated manuscripts outlining his fighting style under the title "Flos Duellatorum" or "Fior di Battaglia" meaning aptly: "The Flower of Battle". These manuscripts teach defensive and offensive techniques for swords, daggers, pole arms and cudgels as well as those for wrestling. Both unarmoured and armoured combat are covered and it is said that old Fiore has perfected techniques for besting the new heavy armour now becoming popular.

In these troubled times, skill at arms is a valuable commodity and the famous Fiore has never lacked for ready pupils. Though not so swift or hearty as once he was, he still maintains a keen eye and now supervises a school of fencing and arms based around (and named for) his manuscripts. There skilled instructors pass on the Fiore's teachings under the old Master's watchful eye. The core of his fighting philosophy comes from a life of single combats where he could trust only to "God, himself and his blade" Thus, he teaches his students to master their skill at arms, keep their bodies in peak condition and have their wits about them at all times.

Skills: Athletics, Melee arms, Maneuvering, Perception, Performance

Secret Masteries

Spada en arme (Sword in Armour) (Melee arms (Bladed Weapons) Mastery)
Heavy armour has become commonplace amongst those who can afford it's protection. However, one who has begun to truly master Fiore's techniques need not turn to specialist weapons in order to handle such foes. A true graduate of the Fior di Battaglia can trust in himself and his skills alone. Using peerless "halfswording" techniques, all melee weapon attacks with a sword gain the AP characteristic.

Four virtues (Perception (Detection) Mastery)
The four virtues of the Swordsman are: Audatia (Courage) Celeritas (Swiftness), Fortitudo (Fortitude) and Prudentio (Perception). In addition to skill at arms, cultivation of these virtues and mastery of the inner self allows a Master of the Fior di Battaglia to begin to tap the power within. The character gains the Shen and Dominion skills at lvl 1. As long as this remains the only source of their ability in Shen, they may only use variants from the path of conflict.

Sette Spade (Seven Swords) (Perception (Detection) Grand Mastery).
At the centre of the techniques of the Fior di Battaglia lies the Seven Swords, representing the seven guards employed by skilled warrior. The seven guards are no great secret and are known across many fencing styles. However, Fiore teaches that the four virtues lie at the root of true mastery of their guards. This mastery is simply the understanding that the blade does not matter, only it's wielder. Once this understanding has been attained it becomes possible to ignore penalties in combat due to IL's, though they still must pass WILL checks to remain fighting once they reach the final IL and will still die if their damage exceeds that IL.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fighters, Dwarves and Thieves

Fighters and Dwarves must be tough and hardy to succeed in their front-line role. Their Hit dice will be 1d6+2 rather than 1d8

Thieves are a funny creature in OD&D, they were not in the original rules and there are some that remain ambivalent toward them. However, there is something to like in them and they will be kept in the game. I just can't find a satisfactory way to have lock-pickers and trap-disarmers without them. The real issue is their sheer weakness with only a d4 HD so we will make the following changes:

1. They use their 'Save vs Spell' column to save vs Wands and Breath Weapons as well. This gives them very good saves across the board.
2. Should they survive to the heady heights of 5th level, they will gain the ability to evade Breath Weapons as well as Wands and Spells that damage HP. On a failed saving throw, Thieves will take only half the damage received, rounded down.


My favourite time waster recently has been to browse OD&D blogs. While I don't necessarily agree with what is sometimes an unnecessarily fetishistic approach, I think they make a lot of good points.

I've decided to run a game in my D&D world using an OD&D clone, "Labyrinth Lord" (LL hereafter). It can be found here: http://http//

However, while it avoids the pitfall of wanting to be too 'Old school', I am going to be making some minor changes to chargen, minor I say. I will also be adding a 3rd Edism, because it will be fun.
LL uses this basic scheme:

3 (-3)
4-5 (-2)
6-8 (-1)
9-12 (0)
13-15 (+1)
16-17 (+2)
18 (+3)

And "Swords&Wizardry", which wants to be as much like the first D&D as it can, ( found here: uses:

3-8 (-1)
9-12 (0)
13-18 (+1)

We will be using my own version:

3 (-2)
4-8 (-1)
8-12 (0)
13-17 (+1)
18 (+2)

Having easy +1s and the possibility of +3s just overdoes the stat inflation right there in chargen. A +1 should mean something. However, I also want an 18 to mean something. This applies to Con, Str, Dex and Wis bonuses. Cha is fine already. Int is a particular case, the table is in general fine but I will be giving a bonus spell to those magic users and Elves of very high (15+) Intelligence.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Here is the intro here is the rest

Monday, December 8, 2008

Great Cities of the Empire

Great Cities of the Empire


First founded in BC as a garrison by the Roman Emperor Augustus. Home to the wealthy Fugger family of Bankers, this rich city lies atop the major overland trade route leading from north to south between Imperial lands and southern Europe. It's major crafts are textiles, cloth and woven goods. It first emerged into importance in the Imperial period as the site of Otto's (the King of the Romans), decisive victory over the Magyar hordes. They never seriously threatened Europe again and were eventually Christianised becoming the Kingdom of Hungary. It was first chartered as a city commune in 1156 by Frederick Barbarossa and it has the status of Imperial Free City, granted in 1276. It currently lies in the throes of the black plague, which is killing citizens in their thousands.

A major centre of the European overland and shipping trade, the Imperial Free City Imperial Free City of Hamburg lies near the river Elbe. It had it's original origins as a Saxon village and fortress but as the German eastward colonisation pulled the Elbe into the heartlands and spurred economic development, it became a major trading centre. In 1189 Frederick Barbarossa gave the city Burghers the right to levy tolls on the Elbe and the status of Imperial Free city. With Luebeck, it is a major Hanseatic league city and North Sea port forming one end of the busy overland route between the two Hansa cities. It ships grains, cloth, furs, herrings, spices, timber and metals, as well as it's most important export, beer.
Koln, regarded as the foremost city in the Empire, originated as a settlement of Roman Veterans established in AD 50 who mingled with the local Germanic tribesmen. It is situated on the banks of the lower Rhine in an area of flat lowlands. In the 12th and 13th centuries Koln became prosperous due to straddling both east-west and north-south trade routes in the emerging European economy. Koln was famous for it's skilled armourers, goldsmiths, clothiers,, swordsmiths, wool drapers and dyers. The Cathedral school and the cloisters also fostered learning and philosophy and at one time or another some of the great minds of the middle ages, Duns Scotus, Albertus Magnus and Caesarius of Heisterbach, amongst others, lived and taught there. It's famed university was established by the Burghers in 1388. Alongside it's wealth and intellectual stature, religion figured heavily in the life, fortunes and ultimately politics of the great city. It was rich in churches and relics, including those of the three magi and in the past had been known as the "northern Rome" and a great centre of pilgrimage. It's great Cathedral, "Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria" began construction in 1248 and is still not completed. While Koln had a bishop as early as the 2nd century, it was not until the time of Charlemagne that the city was made an Archbishophoric. The Archbishops of Koln had a troubled relationship with their flock, with an uprising in 1074 and a bloody battle with in 1288 that saw the Archbishop ejected form the city retaining only the right to administer justice. Free of their Archbishops, the people of Koln prospered during the economic takeoff during the the 13th Century when they joined the Hanseatic league and in the 14th Century when the were made an Imperial Free City. Patrician rule was replaced with wider "Democratic" (the franchise only extending to the Burghers) rule near the end of the 14th Century. In the 15th Century Koln's Archbishops still figure heavily in it's affairs with a number of attempts being made to retake the city, the most recent being last year in 1419.

The centre and "Queen" Hanseatic league, Luebeck is an Imperial Free City and a rich and populous centre of commerce. In addition to it's role as trading and political centre, it is also home to the most skilled shipbuilders in the North sea. It is notable for the heavy use of brick in it's construction. It was as a jumping off port for colonists to lands newly conquered by the Teutonic knights in the 12th century that Luebeck began to gain prominence. In 1226 the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II "Stupor Mundi" proclaimed Luebeck an Imperial Free City. In 1375, Emperor Charles IV hailed Lübeck as one of the five "Glories of the Empire", along with with Venice, Rome, Pisa and Florence. The city is famous also for it's high steepled churches including the famed Lübecker Dom and Marienkirche.

Accounted the unofficial Imperial "Capital", this great city lies on the Pegnitz river in upper Bavaria. Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II "Stupor Mundi" proclaimed Nurnburg an Imperial Free City in 1219. Along with Augsburg, Nurnburg lies on and is enriched by, the major north-south trade route to Italy. According to the "Golden bull" in 1356, each Holy Roman Emperor was obliged to convene an Imperial Diet (Parliament) after his ascension. This obligation reinforced the long tradition of Nurnburg as the site for important events in Imperial politics. The city also housed the site of frequent Imperial courts at Nurnburg castle, where every Emperor from 1050 has dwelt, at least for a time. In addition to the great churches, including St Lorenzthe, the city is home to the Heilig-Geist-Spital (Holy Spirit Hospital) for Lepars founded in 1332. the City lies in a rich mining region and it's guilds were famed as the best armourers in the Empire.Princes from far afield will have Nurnberg plate custom built and imported at great cost and Nurnberg is the main destination of all those who wish to be outfitted with the best to be had.

Prag is the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia, with the assistance of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, it has become a centre of culture and learning with one of the greatest universities in all of Christendom. Bohemia became part of the new Holy Roman Empire (it had previously been more closely aligned to the east than to the Saxons) when Otto I first established it in 962. Bohemia became a Kingdom under Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and the Prag emerged from the town that grew up around the royal castle. Prague had been Charles IV's capital when he was Emperor, he raises the city to an Archbishophoric and rebuilt the castle and many great buildings were constructed along with the university in 1348. However, controversies and tensions between the German and Czech speaking "nations" (essentially the groupings of foreign and native students and faculty) led to the mass walkout of German students and faculty and the establishment of the rival university in Leipzig. Jan Hus, burnt at the stake as a heretic at the council of Constanz in 1415, taught at Prague university and had a great following amongst the Bohemians. When Sigismund took over as King of Bohemia after his brothers death, (he had promised Hus safe passage to Constanz but Hus was tried and burnt in his absence) these tensions exploded into full blown rebellion and the Bohemians had royal officials Defenestrated and rose in revolt. Fierce fighting between forces led by the Regent Sophia and the rebels wrecked areas of the city but a truce was called in November and the city has been quiet over the Christmas feasts, however, Sigismund is said to be gathering his forces to end the truce, retake the city and crush the rebels.

As a result of it's place at the intersection of the Rhine and overland routes, there has always been a settlemtn at this site since the bronze age.. In 12 BC, this settlement became a fort of the Roman empire named Argentoratum. It became part of the Empire in 923. Under the Holy Roman Empire, the city grew, enriched by it's trade routes and centers of learning. It's importance was enhanced by construction of a large bridge over the river Rhine. It is another city with a long history of conflict between the wealthy families and it's Archbishops and In 1262, the town broke free from the ruling bishops becoming an Imperial Free City. Duties levied on traffic over this bridge and down the Rhine enriched it greatly. In order to gain the support of this wealthy city, the Holy Roman Emperor granted it tax exemptions and privileges. The great Cathedral has been under construction since the 1100's and is still uncompleted, though it's tower is surely the tallest in all Europe.

The great fortress-city is situated on the left bank of the Danube, in a fertile plain at the foot of the Swabian Alps. The city is mentioned first in 854, as the scene of several Carolingian assemblies. It became a town in 1027, and was the leading city in Swabia until burnt to the ground by Henry the Lion, it rebuilt and was awarded the status of Imperial Free City in 1155. It continues to be the leading city in Swabian affairs. The city is situated at the northernmost navigable point of the Danube, making it a key transshipment point for overland to river trade and travelers. This link is doubly important due to Ulm's proximity to the passes north of the Schwarzewald (Black Forest) and thence to the headwaters of the river Rhine south to the low countries or west into France. The city is famed for it's barley, beer, pipe-bowls and sweet cakes (Ulmer Zuckerbrot). as well as bleaching, brewing and brass-founding. Brass founding, previously important only to the creation of bells for Europe's many churches, has achieved new significance with the slowly increasing popularity of guns. Notable buildings in the city include a great Commandery of the Teutonic Order and the Dom (Cathedral) which began construction in 1377.

Fugger Agent

The Fuggers first attained wealth in the weaving trade in Augsburg, but when a branch of their family moved into banking they attained new prominence as financiers across the Empire. The successful bankers are known as "the Fuggers of the Lily" after their coat of arms (a lily on a gold and blue background) granted by the Emperor. With wealth comes a prominent role in affairs of the realm and agents of the bank keep a close ear to the ground and maintained relationships with all the right people. In a time where money could buy armies, lands, finance expeditions, fund crusades, buy titles and even grease the palms of the Electors, wealthy bankers are sought after men.

Skills: Commerce, Linguistics, Perception, Persuasion, Statecraft.

Secret Masteries

Networks (Statecraft (Etiquette) Mastery) The Agent can draw on the influence and contacts the Fugger posses to accomplish any goal within a bureaucracy. She can have prisoners released, gain dispensations from local laws, gain appointments, find out about hidden persons etc.

Broker (Statecraft (Etiquette) Grand Mastery) The Agent is granted the title of Broker in the Banking Family and takes a leading role in steering the external and internal affairs their financial empire. He is has safe lodging in friendly houses across the Empire, a fine house in Augsburg, extensive lines of credit and a considerable income.


The law in the Empire is a mass of ancient customs, Imperial decrees, canon law, cherished privileges and arcane precedents, but most of all it is a tight web of overlapping jurisdictions. Sorting out this tangle and arguing a successful legal case is a worthy challenge for the most cunning educated minds in Europe. Where once the practice of formal law was confined to Churchmen and secular judgments were the provenance of Feudal lords, now university trained legal experts ply their profession before appointed magistrates. However, most judgments in a noble's demesne are still subject to that nobles fiat. But the overlapping levels of control in the Empire, the relevance of much church law and the recourse to disputation in the great law and theological schools provide ready grounds for appeal.

Skills: Lore, Perception, Persuasion, Statecraft, Theology

Secret Masteries:

Precedent (Persuasion (Influence) Mastery) Masterful argument and knowledge of arcane legal history (combined with a little creativity) can convince the magistrate that the Advocate's client should have all charges dropped and be released, though often with a recommendation that they quit the locality. Grants +2 PDL to attempt to sway the court to release the client. There is always a danger the local lord with exercise their privileges and intervene and the often illiterate nobles are less open to convoluted defenses and mistrust cunning words.

Appeal (Persuasion (Influence) Grand Mastery) Through no fault of the Advocate, a case may go against them. While that would be the end of the matter for a lawyer with little prestige or knowledge of the system, a skilled and famous Advocate can prevail upon any court to have the matter heard at a superior jurisdiction. That might be the Church courts, the Imperial court, the disputations in the Universities of Europe, or if necessary there is always appeal to the Pope in Rome! The process could be endless and it creates more time and opportunity to discover new evidence, influence the correct people or if the case is otherwise hopeless it can at least be dragged out in the hope that a new Emperor or Pope may pardon the defendant.

Ranged Arms (Gunpowder) Speciality

Ranged arms (Gunpowder Weapons)
This specialty includes, the firing, maintenance and repair of all types of gun powder weapons. With this specialty, the gunner has +5 on order rolls to shoot with an already loaded weapon.

Penetration (Mastery) The sheer velocity of a gun can bypass any armour if aimed correctly. The target's PL is ignored when damage is calculated.

Sniper (Grand mastery) A gun is never going to be able to be loaded rapidly, however a master gunner can make every shot count. Re-roll one failed accuracy roll to hit the target per shot made.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fragments from the other world

In the darkness before the bright dawn the great amongst the south people came into contact with the golden herald, he who gives with many hands. When he came down from mount Sirat, Loknar brought with him the keys to greatness. He said it was only our way of knowing things that chained us to mortal drudgery, those who had the will and intellect could transcend this and so seize control of destiny….

… every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its force (--its will to power:) and to thrust back all that resists its extension. But it continually encounters similar efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an arrangement ("union") with those of them that are sufficiently related to it: thus they then conspire together for power. And the process goes on—

-Loknar, “first words to the four companions”, as related by Arcturus to those about to die so that the North could be free.

It was Menhsa Afrikane, the foreign born king who argued for an end to Northen law, sometimes called the Teresan code or the ‘slaves creed’ as he referred to it. Why should mankind strive for the betterment of all by holding itself back? Yes this was a new world but mans nature remained the same…

We succeeded in explaining our entire instinctive life as the development and ramification of one basic form of the will--namely, of the will to power, as my proposition has it... then one would have gained the right to determine all efficient force univocally as--will to power. The world viewed from inside... it would be "will to power" and nothing else.

A man which is a living and not a dying body... will have to be an incarnate will to power, it will strive to grow, spread, seize, become predominant - not from any morality or immorality but because it is living and because life simply is will to power... 'Exploitation'... belongs to the essence of what lives, as a basic organic function; it is a consequence of the will to power, which is after all the will to life.

-Afrikane, “Exhortation to be free”


Still alive, but of currently unknown whereabouts, Ashimar is the founder and nominal head of the mighty guild of Artificers. He is said to have gained both great power and the enmity of a mighty Anatani Demon from an artifact known as "The Deck of Many Things". After defeating the last Garish threat to Armanthor by rousing the "Wading Mountain", he disappeared. Some claim this was to evade the increasingly more persistent efforts of the Demon to consume him. The Servitors at the top of his tower still refuse all who wish to enter on the grounds that only Ashimar, or once he has died, his heir, may enter.

Fletcher's Blade

While stuck around waiting for the damned rail pass to get stamped by one of Oakley’s grimey lackeys when we fell to listening to an old Ulati warrior. The guy was some sort walking fossil and his face was one big scar, except for the hammer and thunderbolt tattoos on either cheek. Aaanyway he was holding forth on the exploits of some dead Raven…

His way of telling it was kinda interesting, and let’s face it none of us had ever heard of a cleric made out of Brass and Adamantite before. What really got our attention though, was when he started talking about the guys first blade, PURE TRUE SILVER, the old Ulati saw our interest too, we had to buy him another jug before he would carry on talking….. Turns out the sword had ended up not far from here, past the old Amral Portal, stuck through the chains holding back a Black Drake!

The functionary still hadn’t come through when we went to the Clock tower the next day so we resolved to buy the old guy more mead… Thing is, the barkeep said the wind had taken the old warriors soul before the dawn and his fellows had already come for his boots and great hammer.

So we never did get to ask how big a Drake it would take to get an old warrior to take his time going in to fetch that sword.


Epic speakEveryday "game speak"
BonusesStat Value:1 (-4), 2 (-3), 3 (-2), 4 ( -1), 5 (0), 6 (0), 7 (+1), 8 (+2), 9 (+3), 10 (+4)
GuideIn almost every system this is referred to as the "GM" (game master)
Vitality and Build (VIT and BLD)I get the impression that (since the cost of attribute points isn't scaled) BLD is a far more useful stat than VIT. BLD affects damage, HP, carrying capacity as well as making you harder to knock around with some combat options. VIT affects HP and makes it easier to resist some diseases and poisons. If you can do the resistence and healing thing with Philtrology or the Medicine skill, then is the HP from VIT worth the "opportunity cost" to BLD? (any comments?)
What Bonuses doModify damage, modify athletic actions, modify life points. That's it. (note: open to correction, I am new to this)
Decision rollDice roll, just roll both d10's and add them. Double "1's" = very bad, double "0's" = very good.
1d5Lets all agree 1d10/2 rounded down (like you would 1d3) is simpler eh? So 1-2 =1, 3-4 =2, etc.
How rolling works. Aside from the exceptions above, you will be rolling either plain old "skill (specialty)" or stat (VA) when you want to do something. Skills matter the most.
Skill (Specialty) MasterySkill = the basic skill, Specialty = a cheap upgrade for the skill that only works for a narrower set of actions, if you don't have the specialty, just use the plain skill. Mastery/ Grand Mastery = special perks or abilities that you can buy when you reach higher skill levels.
+1 to VA Mastery/ Grand MasterySome skill (specialties) give the opportunity to increase physical and mental stats when you buy the Masteries and Grand Masteries, you can get a total +3 to stats this way.
Life points, LPA simple "wounds" system. You have 6 boxes on your character sheet, your LP = how much damage it takes to fill a box, every filled box is a wound and gives a -1 penalty to actions (not damage).
Protection level, PLArmour points, AP.
Accuracy rollTo hit or attack roll
Order of actions, order rollInitiative, rolling for initiative.
Quintessence Points, QPMagic points, MP
VA's, Vital attributesStats, Attributes
PDL"Per Difficulty level", the effects scale depending on how high you roll: at 5, 10, 15, 20 etc
"Talent"An ingenuous Epic concept that means that any character needs to make double sure that the mental stats relating to their important skills are good, or they will never be able to afford to advance. Talent in a skill is one, plus the linked stat bonus. The Talent is the interval for each +1 Exp cost for skills (starts at 1). Untalented characters have bonuses that set the talent to 0. You are only getting 3 Exp every 2-3 sessions or so, make sure you have a good talent in important skills.
Critical Table, Fumble tableSee "0's" and "1's" above, this Epic concept is happily in plain English, I just wanted to single it out because I just love a critical table. Lovely work.

Feast of the Birth of St John the Baptist

June 24

Birth of St John the Baptist

John the Baptist, was the son of Zachary and Elizabeth, members of the Jewish priestly caste and kinsmen to Mary and Jesus. When he reached his early thirties (he was older than Jesus) he began to preach the coming of Christ on the River Jordan, offering Baptism for the forgiveness of people's sins. He attracted many followers and Jesus himself came to him for baptism, the John initially refused saying he it was he that should be baptised by Jesus. He is considered by the church as one who prepared the way for Christ as part of God plan and has an important part in several events of the liturgical cycle. He was eventually imprisoned by Herod and beheaded when Salome requested his head on a platter in return for dancing for Herod. Requirements: Ten minutes prayer, douse oneself with water, drains full QP, must tithe to the next rural church or mendicant friar encountered Effects: Duration, one hour. +2 per Virtue Skill level to Persuasion (influence) rolls, +1 PDL to PL. Heals 1 LP PDL.

St Michael the Archangel

May 8

Michael the Archangel

His name means "Who is like God?" and is the battle cry of the heavenly hosts, of which he was the leader in driving Lucifer and his fallen angels from heaven.

Requirements: Drains full QP, a quick prayer, in full communion. Effects: Duration, one battle +1 PDL to Melee arts (Swords) rolls. Inspires the petitioner and companions within 1 yard PDL giving them +1 PDL to resist fear due to Pagan or Satanic magic or the supernatural fear created by dragons and demons.

St Reinold

March 7

St Reinhold

Was related to the first Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, he supervised the building of many important works including St Pantaleon Abbey in Koln. Out of jealousy some of the other Stonemasons threw him into the Rhine and his body was only recovered due to a vision. Requirements: In communion, Ten minutes prayer, drains full QP. Effects: Duration one hour. Gives +1 PDL to Athletics (Climbing) rolls and Craftsman (Masonry) rolls. Increases reputation in Koln.

Saints of January


January 1

St Mary the Mother of Christ
St Mary is the most widely venerated of all the saints. It is said that if St Peter himself were to bar a soul from heaven, the kindly St Mary would find a way to let them in. Mary is the most widely known of all the Saints and has a number of other days that honor her in some way. All Catholics start with knowledge of St Mary and she give the benefits of a Saints day on any of the feasts that involve her. Requirements: Drains full QP, a quick prayer. Effect: Gives a bonus of +2 to the next role to accomplish any non-violent objective and a prayer to her wipes away all combat fatigue and restores 1 LP.

St Eugendus, abbot, confessor.
Fourth abbot of Condat, near Geneva, Switzerland. Eugendus was never ordained, but he was a noted Scripture scholar. Requirements: Ten minutes prayer. An additional donation requiring the petitioner to double the normal fee paid for kloster access (where applicable), Drains full QP. Effect: when a player learns from a Saints life, they gain the knowledge of two saints.

January 2
St Basil the Great

Basil is accounted one of the greatest figure in the history of the early church. Though not an imposing man, and not long at the centre of the violent world convulsions than Christianity was experiencing he left an indelible mark on Church history. He is noted for his personal virtue, regard for the poor and aescetic lifestyle. Requirements: Full Communion, all day fast, reciting the offices. Effect: Duration, next day. A successful prayer to St Basil grants +2 PDL to Persuasion (Influence) rolls when interacting with Churchmen and Religious.

January 3
St John the Evangelist, apostle
John, was one of the original apostles of Christ and a leading shepherd of the early Christian Church who is credited with the authorship of several letters in the new Testament including the book of the Apocalypse. Even amongst Christ's closest followers, he is noted for his close relationship with his master and is present many times where the other disciples deserted Jesus as well as taking over the responsibility of caring for the mother of Christ. Requirements: Ten minutes prayer, drains full QP Effect: Duration: next interaction/combat. Grants the petitioner an inspiring presence giving +1 PDL to all Persuasion rolls or +1 PDL to all accuracy rolls for all allies within three yards during combat.

January 4
The Holy Innocents, martyrs
These were the children killed by a fearful King Herod, who believed the infant Jesus was going to supplant his crown. They are accounted to be the first to die for Christ. Requirements: Drains full QP, Requires a full tithe of a tenth of all wealth donated to an Orphanage at the earliest opportunity. Effect: Allows the petitioner and his or her companions to completely elude immediate pursuit by legitimate authorities as long as there is a potential escape route.

January 5
St (King) Edward the, confessor.

King Edward ruled England immediately prior to the Norman conquest and his reign was marked by peace and prosperity. He is the patron saint of kings and rulers as well as difficult marriages. Requirements: A quick prayer before an audience or over the recipient of healing, drains half QP. Effect: Grants +1 PDL to all Persuasion (Influence) rolls when interacting with nobility or +1 LP PDL damage healed if prayed at the soonest safe opportunity after damage is inflicted.

January 6
Feast of the Epiphany
St Wiltrudis, widow and abbess of Bergen

St Wiltrudis was the wife of the Duke of Bavaria. After the Duke died, she founded an abbey near Neuberg on the Danube. She was a widely accounted a kind woman and a skilled artisan. Requirements: In Communion, ten minutes prayer. Grants +1 PDL to next Craftsman roll.

January 7
St Valentine, bishop of Passau

This 5th century Martyr was patron of Epileptics and first bishop of the town of Passau. Requirements: In communion, ten minutes prayer, drains full QP. Effect: +1 PDL to next Medicine (Healing) roll and increased reputation for the next week in the town of Passau.

January 8
St Erhard, Bishop of Regensburg

A seventh Century Bishop of Regensburg, in the Rhineland. He was born in Ireland and went to Germany as a missionary and with St Hilduf founded seven monasteries. He baptised St Odilia, curing her blindness. Requirements: A full day's prayer, have been an ordained Priest. Drains full QP. Effect: Cures blindness from one individual.

January 9
St Julian and Basilissa, chaste couple, martyr

Were a couple forced to marry by their families, they kept to a vow of perpetual chastity and along with other Christians endured many persecutions until eventually Basilissa dies a peaceful death. While both were alive, they shared their home as a hospital for the sick. The governor of Antioch Martyred Julian by beheading. Requirements: Petitioner must be married or have sworn vow of chastity, must tithe a florin for care of the infirm. Effects: +1 PDL LP healed to one individual.

January 10
St Paul, the first hermit.

Was born of a wealthy family but gave up his property and lived a simple hermits life in the desert. He died of natural causes and his grave was dug and guarded by lions. Requirements: Fast on only bread and water for a day (-1LP for that day), tithe a full tenth of all wealth. Effect: +1 PDL to Animal Handling (Animal Training roll) to domesticate a wild animal.

January 11
Death of the Three Kings
St Paelamon

A desert hermit, the mentor of St Pachomius. He helped create the first true monastic communities. Requirements: Drains full QP, a quick prayer. Effect: grants +1 PDL to next Persuasion roll when interacting with those in a monastic community.

January 12
St Tigrius and Eutropius, martyr

Both vocal supporters of St John Crysostom. They were accused of attempting to set fire to the Cathedral in Constantinople. Tigrius was banished after the ensuing torture but Eutropius was martyred. Requirements: Drains full QP, ten minutes prayer. Effect: Duration: next interaction. Grants +1 PDL to all persuasion rolls when speaking in support of a friend or ally. Alternatively, can cause any building to catch fire.

January 13
Octave of Epiphany
St Godfrey, Count of Cappenburg

He gave up his inheritance of a noble title to follow St Norbet and care for the sick and needy. Enraged nobles assaulted the donated castle but St Godfrey endured all trials and became a monk. He eventually made peace with his family. He died peacefully only five years later. Requirements: Must subsequently tithe a tenth of all wealth for the care of the poor and sick. Effect: Duration, a siege. Grants +1 PDL to all Military Arts rolls in a battle to defend a fortress.

January 14
St Felix of Nola,

A third Century Saint, who was ordained a Priest by the Bishop of Nola. During persecutions, that bishop was forced to flee and St Felix was taken prisoner and tortured. During the night an Angel appeared and told him to go to the Bishops aid, he agreed and the Chains fell from him allowing him to bring food and water to the Bishop. Another time St Felix was able to hide from his persecutors because a spider wove a web over his hiding place. When the persecutions ended, he tuned down the position of bishop and lived frugally off the land, devoting what he could spare to the poor and died peacefully in an unknown year. Requirements: In communion, a quick prayer, subsequently tithe a tenth of wealth to care of the poor. Effect: Duration, one day. Grants +1 PDL to all Stewardship (Domestic arts) rolls. Or Can grant a miraculous escape of petitioner and companions (who must also tithe) from prison.

January 15
St Peter of Castelnau

Was a Cistercian Papal Legate and Inquisitor noted for his intelligence. He was sent to convince the heretic Albegensians to repent and rejoin the church. However, an ambitious Count incited them to murder the legate and this act sparked the crusade against the Albigensians. Requirements: In full communion, ten minutes of prayer, drains full QP. Effect: Grants +1 PDL to next Theology or Lore roll.

January 16
St Tatian Dulas and companions, martyrs

Was arrested, along with his companions, during persecutions in Cicilia. He refused to worship the Pagan god Apollo and was tortured and killed. Requirements: In Communion, a quick Prayer, drains half QP. Effect: Duration one hour. Grants a +1 PDL bonus to all attempts by petitioner and companions to resist the effects of Pagan magic (Theurgy).

January 17
St Severus bishop of Bourges

Was born in Gaul in the fifth century. He went to England with St Germanus to aid him in fighting The heresy of Pelagius there. He then worked to spread Christianity in Germany before taking up the Bishophoric of Bourges in Gaul where he eventually died peacefully. Requirements: In communion, drains half QP. Effect: Grants +1 PDL to next Persuasion (Influence) roll. Prayer gives a boost to reputation if in a French town.

January 18
St Ulfrid, martyr

Born in England he was one of the missionaries that brought Christianity to northern Europe. He was martyred by Pagans for cutting down one of their idols to the god Thor. Requirements: A full hours prayer, drains full QP. Effect: Completely sanctifies a Pagan or Satanic alter, nullifying its effects forever.

January 19
St Pontianus, martyr

A church leader exiled by the Emperor Maxianus to Sardinia where he eventually died as a result of the harsh treatment. During his time as Pope he was able to heal a deep schism within the church. Requirements: In communion, ten minutes prayer, drains full QP. Effect: Grants +1 PDL to the next persuasion roll to settle an argument between two quarrelling parties.

January 20
St Mary and Martha

Mary and Martha were sisters of Lazarus, the one Jesus raised from the dead. When Jesus visited their home, Martha was busy working to provide hospitality and in frustration, chided her sister Mary for simply sitting at Jesus' feet listening to what he had to say. Jesus gently corrected here and told her that Mary had made the correct choice to listen to his words while he was still on earth. It is Martha who later goes to Jesus and beseeches him to raise her brother from the dead. Requirements: A day spent reading scriptures and in prayer. Effects: Duration, one day. Grants +1 PDL to all Stewardship (Domestic arts) rolls.

January 21
St Agnes, virgin, martyr
When she refused to marry the man her family chose for her, her father wished to have her put to death but could not legally do so while she was still a virgin. He had her dragged through the streets naked toward a brothel, but her prayers caused her hair to grow and cover her. Those who attempted to rape her were struck blind. They attempted to burn her, but the wood did not catch fire, so she was eventually beheaded. But her body was recovered and a chapel was built on her grave. Requirements: Ten minutes in prayer, drains full QP, petitioner must be a woman. Effect: Renders petitioner invulnerable to all attacks for a single round.

January 22
St Vincent, deacon, martyr

He was ordained a Deacon and took over the Bishop's preaching responsibilities as that man had an impairment of speech. He suffered greatly under the persecutions of Diocletian, being tortured in innumerable ways, until they lay him on a soft bed to break his resolve. Instead he died upon the bed and his body was first cast to the vultures, but a raven protected it, then he was cast into the sea, but his body washed up on the shore and was retrieved and buried by a widow. A Chapel was built on the grave. He is often called on by wine-makers, craftsmen and sailors. Requirements: In full communion, a quick prayer, a small donation to the nearest church. Effects: Grants +1 PDL to one of: next Craftsman, Stewardship (Foodcraft) or Nautical arts (Seamanship) roll.

January 23
St John the Almoner, Bishop of Alexandria

He was of noble birth and married for a short time but entered church when his family died. He was known to give generously to the poor and also defended Christians from the Persians in the East. He predicated the time of his own death. Requirements: A quick prayer. A tithe for the care of the poor. Full communion. Effects: Duration 1 PDL rounds. The petitioner gains knowledge of his enemies intentions (they get to see their declared actions) in the next combat round and also gain +1 PDL to one evasion per round.

January 24
St Timothy, Apostle, martyr

St Timothy was the trusted companion of St Paul and accompanied him on many of his journeys and undertook a a number of tasks on his behalf. When St Paul was martyred he became the first bishop of Ephesus but was stoned to death for opposing the pagan festival of Diana. Requirements: In full communion, drains full QP, a quick prayer. Effects: Allows petitioner and companions to force march for that day with no negative effects, grants +1 PDL to next Persuasion roll.

January 25
Conversion of St Paul the apostle

St Amarinus, martyr
A Benedictine martyr, companion of St. Praejectus. Amarinus was bishop of Clermont, France. The valley of Saint Amarian in Alsace, France, is named in his honor. Requirements: In full communion, drains full QP. Effects: Duration one hour. Grants +1 to all Persuasion rolls when interacting with Clergy. Gives a boost to local reputation when in the Rhineland and Burgundy.

January 26
St Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, martyr
Polycarp is one of the earliest church leaders whose writing service. He knew St John the Evangelist and was a leading church figure in the period immediately after the passing away of the last apostles. He conflicted with Rome over the changing of the holy day to Sunday (Polycarp and his congregation kept to Saturday) though is highly regarded by the Roman church. He was martyred in the arena, the crowd screaming for his blood. Requirements: Drains full QP, ten minutes of prayer. Effects: Allows the petitioner to escape sanction by religious authorities over a minor infraction against canon law.

January 27
St John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church
Chrysostom means "Golden mouthed" and he was famed for his speeches interpreting scripture. He was highly educated, though often troubled by stomach complaints. He unwillingly took up the post of Bishop of Constantinople and his preaching there soon earned him the ire of nobles and senior clergymen, whom he chastised for not sharing enough with the poor. He was twice exiled from that city as a result of these tension. Requirements: Tithe a full tenth of all wealth to the poor. Effects: Grants +1 to all Persuasion (Influence) rolls for the next day and also grants +1 PDL to next Theology (Philosophy) or Lore (Religion) roll.

January 28
St Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church

Sometimes called the "Angelic Doctor" for his theology. Born of a noble family, he secretly joined the Dominican Friars. When his family discovered this they kidnapped him for a year in an attempt to force him to change his mind. He did not and rejoined the Dominican, eventually earning a Doctorate though his studies and teaching in several universities. He was called to the university of paris by the King himself and then later to Naples, where he worked on his masterpiece the "Summa Theologica". Upon receiving revelations, he abandoned this work saying that mere written words could never compare to divine glory. He died soon after of ill health on the way to the church council of Lyons. Requirements: Drains full QP, In communion, an hours prayer. Effects: Gives +1 PDL to all Theology and Lore (religion) rolls for the next hour.

St Margaret of Hungary
Daughter of the King and Queen of Hungary and Granddaughter to the Byzantine Emperor. When Hungary was saved from the Tartars, she was pledged to a convent in thanks. Her father later arranged a marriage for her, but she refused and took holy vows. She is known for her penances and kindness to the common people. Numerous miracles are attributed to her. Requirements: A quick prayer, Drains full QP. Effects: Restores fatigue during combat. Gives a +1 Bonus to next persuasion roll when dealing with nobility and gives a bonus to reputation while in the kingdom of Hungary.

January 29
St Anastasia, widow, martyr

Not much is known of this Saint except that she was a Roman noblewoman who was married to a Pagan and was martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian. Requirements: In communion, a quick praye, Drains full QP. Effects: Gives a bonus to reputation when in Italy. Grants +1 PDL to rolls to evade or resist pagan magic for the next hour.

January 30
St Adelgundis, virgin, abbess at Mauberge

She came from a family of Saints, being the daughter of Saint Walbert and Saint Bertilia; sister of Saint Waldetrudis and was the aunt of Saint Madalberta. She lived as a hermitess at Mauberge and the cell of followers that formed around here formed the core of a Benedictine monastery, of which she was the first abbess. She was accounted to be a visionary. Requirments; Spend a full day and night in fast, Drains full QP, one hour in prayer. Effects: Grants visions of nearby Pagan or heretical activity.

January 31
St Mark the evangelist, martyr

He is believed to be the young man in the New Testament who is reported to have fled when Jesus was captured. He often accompanied St Peter and is the author of one of the four Gospels. He founded a famous Christian school in Alexandria. representations of this saint often incorporate a lion. Requirements: In communion, a quick prayer, drains full QP Petitioner must tithe to the nearest church. Effects: Will rescue petitioner form wild animals when invoked, gives a bonus to reputation when in Venice, gives a +1 PDL bonus to next Lore (Religion) roll.