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The

Black Iron
A Grimdark RPG

J. Lasarde
The
Black Iron
A Grimdark RPG
Disclaimer
The Black Iron explores adult themes in a world of harsh realities and death, no part of this game is designed or has been created to
reflect real people or real life historical moments, disasters, experiences or successes. The Black Iron is a work of fiction and does
not reflect the belief of the creators in anyway.
Credit
Written and Designed
J Lasarde

Additional Writing
Richard August

Artwork
Chris Cold
Tan Nguyen
Marck James
Nahe Doon
Satoshi Kamanaka
Erick Efata
C. Nambiatooran

Maps
Phil Bate
Niki Lasarde
August Hahn

Layout
J Lasarde

Editing
J Lasarde

Art Direction
J Lasarde

Proof Reading
Phil Bate
Ian F. White
Gareth H. Graham
August Hahn
Niki Lasarde

Special Thanks
To all the Backers, to everyone that supported me on this journey, To my wife and my two cats Max and Louie for
keeping me sane. To John ‘Mr Mean’ Polock for the reviews, cheers bud.

Dedicated to my Mum who always encouraged and will never be forgotten.

The Black Iron is copyright FeralGamersInc Ltd, all rights reserved 2020
Chapter 1 The Claws
The Last City
24
25
Introduction Crime & Punishment 31
The Gray Order 32
The Book 12 The Black Fort 32
The World 12 Novices 32
Above 12 The Sun Spires 33
Below 12 The Pale Lands 34
The Players 12 Cults and Threats 34
The GM 12 The Relic Knights 34
NPCs 12 The Remnant 34
The Rules 13 The Known Cities of the Pale 35
Dice 13 The Land Below 39
Rule Zero 13 Roads in the Darkness 39
The Core Mechanic 13 Landmarks & Places 39
The Law of 6’s 13 The Ruling Families 40
The Law of 1’s 13 Cults 42
Target Numbers (TN) 13 Faith 43
Modifiers 13 Threats 43
Opposed Rolls 13 The Dispossessed 46
Aiding Others 15 The Guilds 46
Corruption 15 Mythic Artefacts 47
Combat Basics 15 Discovering an Artefact 47
Melee 15 Artefact Locations 47
Ranged 15 Using Artefacts 47
Magic 15 The Blood Lords 53
Skills 15 Who are they? 53
Special 15 What do they want? 53
Aiming and Called Shots 15 Should you face them? 53
Surprise 15 Axas - The Lord of Blood & Vein 55
Damage 15 Barston - Lord of Salt and Rust 56
Armour 15 Kial - The Lord Chirurgeon 59
Wounds 16 Laidon - Lord of Depravity 61
Hit Locations 16 Nicran - Lord of Death and Rot 62
Stress 16 Xertin - Lord of Conflict and Murder 65
Abbreviations 16
Survival Horror 16
Example of Play 17 Chapter 3
Mechanics
Chapter 2
Attributes 69
The Pale Body 69
Agility 69
Beginning 20 Using Attributes 69
The Land Above 21
Attribute Abbreviations 69
The Southern Ash Plains 22
Body Skills 70
The Western Lands 23
Agility Skills 70
The Eastern Shore 23
Mind Skills 71
The Last City 24
Will Skills 71
People 24
Instinct Skills 71
The Shackles 24
Rapport Skills 72
Skill Rankings 72 Stamina 129
Performing Actions 73 Wounds 129
Target Numbers (TN) 73 Stress and Courage 129
Modifiers 73 Armour and Toughness 129
Modifying the Difficulty 76 Character Creation Step by Step 130
Modifying the Ability 76 Gear and Trade 132
Levels of Success and Failure 76 Barter 132
Cooperation 76 Item Quality 132
Rolling without a Skill 77 Crafting 132
Choosing a Different Attribute 77 Upgrades 133
Attribute Tests 77 Wear and Tear 133
Normal Actions during Combat 77 Crafting Weapons 133
Opposed Actions 77 Encumbrance 135
The Casting of Spells 77 Gear Descriptions 135
The Brewing of Potions 77 Expendable Items 135
Downtime 77 Cost 135
Rare 135
Guild Costs 135
Chapter 4 Value 135
Characters Transportation 135
Use 135
Base Attributes 81 Resistance 135
Base Skills 81 Armour Points 137
Derived Stats 81 Break 137
Optional Choices 81 Repairing Armour 137
The Iron Die 81 Shields 137
Choosing a Species 81 Modifiers 137
Movement Distance 81 Rare 137
Guilds and Cults 102 Relic Knight Armour 137
Recruitment 102 Weapon Descriptions 139
Membership Ranks 102 Melee Weapon Damage 139
Benefits 102 Modifiers 139
Roles that must Join a Guild 102 Break 139
Choosing a Guild 102 Preparing to Attack 139
Choosing a Cult 102 Cost 139
Joining Both 102 Range 139
Guild and Cult Descriptions 102 Ranged Weapon Damage 139
Relic Knight Armour 141
Specialisation List 126
Role Specialisations 126
Guild Specialisations 126
General Specialisations 127 Chapter 5
Advancing & Derived
Character Points & Advancing
128
128
Exploration
Earning Experience 128
Travel across the Pale 144
Guild Cost 128
Travelling the Below 145
Spending Points 128
Survival 145
Buying Specialisations 128
Stamina 146
Derived Stats 129
Weather 146
Corruption 129
Food and Water 147
Damage Bonus 129
Foraging 147
Initiative 129
Sleeping 147 Spell Levels 163
Disease 147 Spell Cost 163
Dangers and Obstacles 147 Casting 163
Corruption 148 Creating Items and Scrolls 164
Gaining Corruption 148 Necromancy 165
Location 148 Dangers of Necromancy 165
Attacks 148 Necromancy Spells 165
Items 148 Necromancy Rituals 165
Using Corruption 149 Spell List 165
The Cure 149 Spell Descriptions 165
Corruption Effects 149 Pyromancy 172
The Iron Die 149 Dangers of Pyromancy 172
Combat and Injury 152 Pyromancy Spells 172
Turn Order 152 Pyromancy Rituals 172
Combat Actions 152 Spell List 172
Close Combat 153 Spell Descriptions 172
Ranged Combat 153 Sorcery 177
Range 153 Dangers of Sorcery 177
Mounted Combat 154 Sorcery Spells 177
Levels of Success 154 Sorcery Rituals 177
Cover 154 Sorcery and the Iron Die 177
Damage and Healing 155 Creating Spells 186
Armour and Toughness 155 How to Create Spells 186
Wound Track 156 A Note on Shamanism 187
Weapon Damage 156 A Note on Blood Magic 187
Healing 156
Dying 156
Other Injuries 156
Fear and Stress 157 Chapter 7
Using Courage 157 Guidance
Levels of Success 157
Levels of Failure 157 At the Table 190
Injuries from Failure 157 The GMs Role 190
Limiting Fear 157 Improvise 190
State Changes 190
Be Impartial 190
Chapter 6 Fudge Rolls 191
The Pale 191
Arcane Encounters 191
Obstacles 191
How Magic Became 160 Mapping the Pale 192
Magic is Dangerous 160 The Below 194
The Magical Paradox 160 Cities in the Dark 194
The Black Fort 161 Dangers in the Dark 194
Becoming a Novice 161 Mapping the Dark 195
Learning by Doing 161 Creating Adventures 195
The Agenda 161 The Feel of the World 195
Not Declaring 161 There will be Deaths 195
Using Magic 163 NPCs 196
Disciplines and Spheres 163 Experience 197
Learning Spells 163 Optional Rules 197
Luck/Fate Points 197 Character Sheet
Advantage and Disadvantage 197 Tome of Heroes

Chapter 8
Bestiary
Meanwhile... 200
Where and What 201
Fear Ratings 201
Threat Abilities 201
NPCs 201
Threat Description 201
Ash Nomads 203
Bandits and Villains 205
Blood Lord Knight 209
Cultists 211
Fanatics 213
Greater & Lesser Abominations 215
Lich 217
Marsh Wraith 218
Pale Ones 221
Rot Golems 223
Ruin Dwellers 225
Shrike 227
Tribals 229
Non-Player Characters 230
Trader 230
Militia 230
Civilians 231
Noble 231

The Anvil - Scenario


GM Intro 232
Game Intro 232
The Anvil 232
Getting the Characters Involved 232
Optional Side Missions 233
The Smith 233
Journey to the Spires 233
Journey Across the Pale 234
The Old Forge 234
Return to the City 236
Follow up Adventures 236
1 Introduction
The war came.
It left behind it only blood,
ice and a world, ridden with a
cancer that was slowly eating it
alive.

Some seek solace in the


remnant wisdom of the beings
who doomed the world.
The disillusioned scrabble
amongst the frozen corpse of
old battlefields, seeking honour
and some form of hope.

Others build their power with


magic, steel and blood because
— better to rule the ashes than
nothing at all.
Most wait for the end they have
realised they cannot escape.

Welcome to the world that is


left, a world of blood and ice, of
murder and blind faith.
T Below
he Black Iron RPG takes you to a land ravished
by war and corrupted by evil. A world where
It is said that centuries ago dwarves lived in vast cities
you will struggle to survive but survive you
beneath the ground that their mines and tunnels
must. Where you will pillage great ruined cities,
spread for hundreds of miles. For a long while these
fight foul beasts twisted by sorceries, discover cults
ancient tunnels and ruins were considered cursed,
worshipping horrifying gods and unveil plots and
haunted places, and to some, they still are. But as the
twists that will bring down kings.
Black Iron fell and the earth was beset by volcanic
eruptions and other natural disasters any who could
The world is a frozen and dark place, and that is only
passed through the ancient doors to these dwarven
on the surface, those that fled to the ancient dwarven
mines and fled below ground for protection. The cities
cities below ground have their problems, with dark
found there were reoccupied, and after 25 years, the
uncharted mines and caves that unveil dwarven
cities are now rebuilt and are being defended, against
treasures or horrifying beasts with wars between
the beasts that prowl the darkness.
wealthy families that control the cities inhabited by
those that fled the surface.

Guilds, factions, and corrupt nobles’ rule over the


survivors who have already thrown off the yoke of one
The Players
master just to discover another. The Black Iron is a game, and a game needs players,
we suggest that a group of 4-5 players make a good
number, but any number of players can be involved.
The Book
Character Creation
starts on pg 77.
Each player must make a character so they can walk
the land both above and below. These characters
This book is made up of eight main chapters; these will
are the avatars; they will often be different from the
guide you through an understanding of the mechanics
players, have skills and abilities most players do not
of the game, onto character creation, understanding
possess, wield magic and strange powers. Creating a
the skills, how to deal with combat and running the
character is describe in more detail in the Character
game as a Gamemaster (GM). A list of monsters and
Creation chapter.
NPCs, along with adventure plots and campaign seeds,
these will allow you to play and create adventures for
years to come.
The GM
The World Along with players the game also needs a referee an
adjudicator, someone that decides the difficulties,
GM chapter starts responds to the questions, has the answers and has
on pg 184 In Chapter 2 – The Pale, we will go into much more
the final say in disputes. This person is often called a
detail regarding the people, places, and background to
Gamemaster, or GM.
the world of The Black Iron, but to truly understanding
the world an important fact must be understood, the
world is divided into two parts, the land above and the NPCs
land below. The GM controls all the people, monsters and
creatures not controlled by the players; these others
are called Non-Player Characters or NPCs for short.
Above If you question a blacksmith, threaten a bandit or
The surface of the Pale Lands is a frozen wasteland, a
interact with a monster, the GM will be the one that
never-ending volcanic winter. Nothing much survives
responds.
beyond the lands of the Last City. To the north, in the
shadow of the mountain range called the Claws the
mages had constructed magical sun spires that have
kept the lands around the last city temperate, this is
where food is grown, and animals kept, supplying
food to the city and those below ground. Keeping this
small piece of land free of ice takes a lot of energy, and
new solutions will need to be found before the whole
world succumbs to the eternal winter.

12
The Rules
In every game, there are rules and The Black Iron is no The Law of 1’s
exception; what follows is a look at the core mechanic If at any time the result of your roll is all 1’s then this
and how to play. Combat will have extra rules as will is a Fumble and a major catastrophe has happened,
Combat rules start on
certain other actions like magic and survival etc. the result of this catastrophe and how to deal with it is
pg 146
And these will be covered in later chapters, but the covered in the Exploration chapter.
following is all you need to understand to play.
Target Numbers (TN)
Dice A Target Number will determine how difficult the
The Black Iron uses dice, and these are mainly six- task is and what you need to roll in order to succeed.
sided dice, but it will also use four-sided, eight-sided Modifiers are never used to adjust a Target Number as
and ten-sided. These will be abbreviated as d4, d6. often modifiers can change whereas the difficulty of
D8. D10, with the d indicating dice and the number the task will always stay the same.
indicating the number of sides.
Difficulty TN
Rule Zero Easy 3
The most important rule is to have fun if a rule doesn’t Average 5
work change it or remove it. Only roll dice when it is Difficult 6
really necessary or when failure or success can change
the course of the game. Hard 7
Very Hard 9

The Core Mechanic Extremely Hard 11


The Black iron uses a simple system for resolving Near Impossible 12+
tasks. You roll the number of D6 that the skill has and
only keep the highest result, you then add to this any
modifiers and the Attribute and remove any penalties
and if the result is equal to or higher than the Target
Modifiers
In the Black Iron the result of your dice rolls can be
Number you succeed.
modified by bonuses and penalties, these can come
from the characters Attributes, the gear they are using,
Example help from others, adverse weather conditions, injuries
Niki is attempting to jump a crevice the GM says and other factors like stress. The modifier only affects
that the Target Number is a 7, Niki has 3d6 for the roll never the Target Number.
her Athletics skill, so she rolls these and gets a 2, 4
and a 6. As the 6 is the highest number Niki keeps More information on Modifiers and the Modifier
this, she adds her Dexterity modifier of +2 which Table can be found in the Exploration Chapter
gives a total of 8 and a success, Niki reaches the
other side safely.
Opposed Rolls
An opposed roll happens when you are in competition
either with another player or an NPC, this is most
All the following rules will be explained in greater likely going to happen during combat. Opposed rolls The Exploration
detail in the Exploration Chapter. involve both players or the player and GM rolling the Chapter begins on pg
dice as they would normally with the highest result 138
winning. In the case of a tie then the in goes to the
The Law of 6’s one with the highest skill or attribute, if it is still a tie
For every 6 the you roll beyond an initial 6 you add +1
then the player wins.
to the result so if Niki had rolled 2, 6 and 6 then her
result would have been a 7 (6 and a +1 for the extra 6)
if Niki had rolled three 6’s then the result would have
been 8 (6 and +2 for the extra two 6’s).

Introduction 13
14
Aiding Others Special
Others can aid you as long as their character has the Some characters may have special talents or items they
skill you are attempting at the same or a higher level wish to use during combat; they will always fit in one
than your own character. By giving aid they will add a of the above categories, for example talents will be
+1 to the roll result. Not all tasks can benefit from aid. treated as skills and so forth

For more on combat, see the Exploration chapter. The Corruption


Corruption Pools and effects
The Pale is corrupt, and some places are more corrupt of Corruption are
than others. The characters corruption is measured in Aiming and Called Shots explained on pg 142
a pool. This pool starts at 1, what this means is that all You can spend your time aiming a ranged weapon and
characters start the game with their corruption at one, for each round spent aiming you can add a +1 to your
there is no way to avoid it or cure it to zero. roll, this also allows you to state a particular location,
item or body part that you are aiming at. A successful
Combat Basics aim will indicate that you have hit the location. Aiming
is only used for Ranged or Thrown attacks
As we have stated the Pale is a dangerous place and Called shots are not aimed but are attempts to hit a
with danger comes combat, whether this is a bar- particular item, location or body part, doing this will
room brawl or a fight against a horde of corrupted. give a penalty to the roll based on the size of the target.
Combat involves several actions which the character The range of penalties can be found in the Exploration
can choose to make. chapter along with the other Combat Modifiers.

Melee Surprise
Melee covers both the attack and parry and involves Surprising the enemy gives you a whole round of
the use of any hand-held weapon such as a sword, actions in which to act before the enemy can respond,
axe, sturdy branch or assassins dagger in one hand or and even then, the response will be an Initiative roll. The Exploration
even both hands and a shield, second weapon etc. In Surprise is often achieved through ambush or stealth, Chapter begins on pg
the other hand. Parrying or Blocking an attack acts both of which is an opposed roll, in regard to ambush 138
as an opposed roll, we will go into more detail in the the target is rolling against the success of the ambush
Exploration Chapter. and with stealth this would be an opposed roll vs. the
targets perception.
Ranged
Ranged is the use of Bows, Crossbows, and Slings, Surprise and its many benefits will be gone into more
these weapons take both hands to use and during their detail in the Exploration chapter.
use the character cannot use a shield or parry, but they
can dodge. Ranged weapons need ammo which is
supplied separately. See the Exploration Chapter for
Damage
All weapons inflict damage if the attack is a success.
more on ranged combat and using ranged weapons. This damage is a combination of weapon damage +
Attribute. All damage is modified by the armour worn
Magic by the target.
Casting Magic on the battlefield will take time, and
this can often leave the mage open to attack. Mages
cannot defend while casting, and rely on their fellow
Armour The Arcane Chapter
begins on pg 154
Armour protects the wearer against damage inflicted
explorers for protection whilst casting complex spells. by weapons. When a successful attack happens, the
Spells come in various forms and will be discussed attacker reduces the weapon damage by the armours
further in the Arcane chapter of the book. protection level So, someone wearing armour with a
protection level of 5 who is attacked by someone who
Skills does damage of 8 will reduce the number of damage
You can attempt to use a Skill during combat, often done to only 3.
this is healing but can also include unlocking a
door to escape, brewing a poison, or even sneaking
into a better position on the battlefield. Characters
performing a Skill will not be able to block or parry
an attack.

Introduction 15
Wounds
All characters begin with a base Wound level of 10 and Survival Horror
added to this is your characters Body Attribute and
any bonuses from Talents or Advantages. Taking a lot The Black Iron RPG emphasises survival, and the
of wounds can affect your attempts to succeed in tasks characters will find themselves in a situation where
as the more wounds you take the more penalties you they are struggling against the elements as much as
will receive. they are against abominations and cultists. The GM
should make this clear to the players before they
start, that this is not a game where you go from
Hit Locations room to room killing and looting (though there may
Your character also has a number of Hit Locations be elements of that) but a game of hard decisions,
which is where what armour is worn is made a note desperation, cruelty and of death.
of including that armours penetration level, this is
mainly for called shots or aimed shots. Those parties that plan ahead, equip themselves well,
do their research and work together will survive the
longest.
Fear and Stress is
Stress
Your character has a stress level which is affected by
discussed on pg 151 The Black Iron is also a game of horror, of terrible
exhaustion, hunger, thirst and extremes of weather,
visions, fearful encounters and situations which
magic also effects your stress levels and some spells
many may find gross and unnecessary, but this is the
can reduce stress significantly. Stress us a gauge of
world of The Black Iron, those that survived the fall
how well your character is managing in the current
crawled over the bodies of the weak and dying so they
situation and a low stress will affect your characters
could survive and rebuild, this is the way of things, so
ability to deal with not only tasks but danger and fear.
beware.

Abbreviations
The Black Iron uses several standard abbreviations
found in most Tabletop RPGs. For those new, to
the hobby, we explain these below along with an
explanation on dice and some of the symbols you may
find within the game.

Abbreviation Meaning
GM Games master
PC Player Character
TN Target Number
NPC Non-Player Character
RND Round
AP Armour Points
DMG Damage
RNG Range

16
Example of Play
The party is moving through a forest of dead trees, up ahead they see a hut, one side has banked up snow the
other a lean to for a horse. This is a Rangers hut, before the fall these were scattered throughout forests and large
wooded areas, but few survived the fall. The hut is a place of safety and warmth but judging from the smoke
rising from the clay pipe protruding from the roof someone is already there.

Ian is playing Borlan a Human Sell-sword from the Last City with no Guild Affiliation
Phil is playing Jenfa a Half Elf Vagrant Thief from Below with a Rank 1 in the Guild of Silence
Niki is playing Tornee a Human Monster Hunter with no Guild Affiliation
Chris is Playing Fade a Human Novice of the Black Fort studied in Pyromancy
GM: The area is quiet, and no snow has fell for an knives grafted onto the fingers of their left hands,
hour, the wind has died down and the only thing these are Axas Cultists, loyal to the Blood Lord. Tied
You can read along as
moving is the smoke curling up and out of the clay to a cot is a woman, she is bloodied and bruised, semi- Niki creates Tornee on
chimney on the huts roof. You can see light emanating conscious. pg 126
from beneath the door and from its flicker the light is Tornee: Bastards, ok we need to kill these horrors and
of an open fire. Suddenly from within you hear a slight save the woman. I will signal to the others to get ready
whimper of pain. and then draw my bow and kick the side of the hut
Tornee: Are there any windows? three times, preparing myself.
GM: Yes on the side of the building with the banked- Borlan: I am ready to leap out as soon as one gets
up snow you can see wooden shutters. close.
Tornee: Ok I want to sneak over to the shutters so I Fade: I will stop my Fireball, with the woman in the
can peer in. hut it could be too dangerous, I will wait to see what
GM: Ok what is everyone else doing? happens.
Borlan: I will wait here and tackle anyone that comes GM: Ok from inside Tornee everything goes quiet,
through the door. then you hear shuffling and you sense someone
Fade: I will stay with Borlan. peering through the shutter, I need another Stealth.
Jenfa: I will also sneak to the hut but will move to the Jenfa you hear the latch on the door lift with a clack.
other end with the lean to. Tornee rolls Stealth and gets a 1 and a 2, not good her
GM: Ok so Tornee and Jenfa I need stealth rolls, you agility of +2 increases this to 4. The GM rolls for the
each gain +1 due to the snow, this is more about noise Cultists Awareness and gets 2 and a 6 making an 8 the
than reaching the hut without being seen. Cultist spots Tornee and yells an alert.
Jenfa has a Stealth of 3d6 and an Agility of +2 whereas GM: You all hear a yell from inside the hut, but the
Tornee has a Stealth of 2d6 and an Agility of also +2. door is already swinging open and one of the cultists
Jenfa rolls 1,2, and 5, meaning Jenfa gets a 7 (5+2) with steps out, both Jenfa and Tornee have the surprise
the bonus +1 this gives a total of 8. Tornee rolls a 2 and so you can act first. Tornee you are using ranged so
6 which is a total of 8 and with the +1 this comes to 9. attack.
The GM rolls the for the highest Awareness of the people Tornee rolls her Ranged skill and gets three 6’s a Critical
in the Hut versus the lowest Stealth result of the two Success and with the +2 this makes and 8, but her bows
characters which was Jenfa’s. The GM rolls a 1, 5 and 6 quality reduces this by one to a 7. The Cultist can still
with the NPCs +1 Instinct this comes to 7 (6+1) and no attempt to dodge so they do the GM rolls a Attribute
one hears the characters. Test for the Cultist and rolls a 2 and 5, taking the lowest
GM: You both reach the hut without alerting anyone result this gives the Cultist a 3 and a fail.
inside. Tornee rolls her damage her bow does 1d8 +2 (Agility)
Tornee: I will see if I can see through the shutter. she rolls 4, but because Niki rolled a Treble the damage
Jenfa: I will draw my dagger and crouch down is doubled giving a total of 12 (4+2x2) the arrow pierces
preparing for the hut door to open. the Cultists neck killing him outright.
Borlan: As I see them both reach the hut; I will draw GM: With a gurgle the Cultist drops to the ground his
my sword. blood painting the snow red. The door to the hut is
Fade: I will begin to create a fireball. open and light from the fire spills from the hut. No
Borlan: I will also move slightly away from Fade. movement is heard, and the two remaining Cultists
GM: Ok so Tornee you peer through a crack in the are not leaving the hut.
shutters and inside the hut you see three men, heavily
scarred, there teeth filed to points and long metal To be Continued...

Introduction 17
2
The Pale
I’ve seen many pass the spires
never to return.

All piss and vinegar strapped with


iron and the confidence of the
stupid.

They never come back, and if they


do well, their often
Mewling like a new-born, their
minds broken, and their guts
turned to water.

This is not a game; you better be


ready if you plan to face the Pale.
I
t gets called a lot of things. The great war. The war to end all wars. Some even called it the last war,
which should make anyone who has seen the world laugh until they choke. Whatever name you want
to give it was almost the end of us all. Almost.

The Elves fled the suffering and corruption. Used their foul sorceries to damn the world they fled; black-
hearted cowards to the end.

That was a long time ago, of course. Long enough that people pretend not to remember. Long enough
that there are children who don’t remember what the world was like before the black iron fell. Before the
eternal winter, before the sun was blinded, before the dust consumed the sky. The lucky ones went below to
the abandoned cities of the Dwarves. The Dwarves were the first victims of the elves. Poor bastards. They
all burned down there. All of them.

Those who were quick enough, or lucky enough, to get to the Last City can scrape something approximating
a life upon the earth if you can call being crammed into a crumbling city a life. They cling on, barely, for as
long as the walls and the magic hold. Then there is the black fort and its pyromancers…the way you hear
the children talk about them. As though they were heroes. Immortals. Not men, tiring and breaking a little
each day. The magic was draining just a little more of them — the corruption eating away at muscle, and
brain, and skill. And the ice is waiting. The walls won’t hold forever. It’s much safer underground, not that
we’ve long left down here either.

Oh! You want hope, do you? You want assurance that we’ll find some way out of this…out of the creeping
shadows. I have nothing. There are some who’ll tell you the ruins of the past have some way of staving
off the end. The Mages send out parties of brave lads and lasses to seek out the things that the elves left
behind. Maybe, they say, they left a means of turning back the corruption. Fucking idiots. I’ve seen them
drag back the survivors…not that there was much left. Skin shrivelled over bones that were turning to ice.
Eyes hardening to crystal. And that was the best of them. Do you think the elves would leave us any means
of saving ourselves? They burned the Dwarves. They’ll freeze us to death. The world will consume itself,
like ice worms spewing from the guts of a corpse. And then, wherever they are, they’ll laugh; that laugh
like a handful of sand sliding through your fingers — a laugh like snakes hissing.

Beginning
They say that giants once walked upon the earth, That is what the legends say. The legends do not say
stripping the land of life and turning the oceans into how the Dwarves were created, and the Elves scoured
No one is really clear stagnant pools. The Old Gods, called the Yazata by their writings and records from when they wiped the
on what happened to
those few priests who still keep the old wisdom alive, Deep Peoples from the earth. Such is their way. For
these old gods, did they
become the new gods or
made war on their children. the Elves looked upon themselves, in the dawning of
did they just fade away. the new world, and saw that they were better. As man
The fact is that after this The Giants lost, though few of the Yazata survived to gradually formed thought and learned to use fire and
war with the giants the glory in their triumph. tools, the Elves had built a civilization. As man began
old gods seemed to just to invent the plough and to use the land to sustain
disappear. The corpses of the vanquished were left to rot upon himself, Elves had mastered the arcane arts, divined
the earth, where the blood of a savage conflict the ways and mysteries of the universe, had become
gradually seeped into the ground. The blood of the masters of whatever they chose to examine. And,
giants, steeped in their corruption, warped the soil as men aged and died, the Elves remained perfect,
It is believed that the itself. The blood ate away at the roots of the trees, unchanging and ageless.
Elves formed first and and, when finally, spring returned to the land, the
evolved much quicker buds which appeared on the branches contained the Elvish immortality was both boon and bane. Blessed
than humanity essence which eventually became the elves. The blood with physical perfection, immunity to disease and old
of the Old Gods seeped into the mud and clay of the age, the ability to learn without the mind degrading
wilderness. From this, eventually, the rough forms of or time dissolving, they were able to make the world
humanity eventually crawled forth. into a paradise. But why should a species who were

20
as gods deign to communicate with those who had world entire — conceiving new worlds they might
only just begun to build crude houses from stone? make in the aftermath. Seeing that mankind intended
As the ages wore on, the Elves became increasingly their obliteration, the Elves opened a gate to a new
distant, increasingly alien, increasingly unconcerned world. Then, in a final act, a combining of sorceries
with anything beyond their own preoccupations. The and ancient words, the elven witches fractured
other species of the world simply became another the moon before departing this realm forever. The
resource, to be reshaped to suit the aesthetics of the moon, as it split apart, disgorged a core of Black Iron
Elves. The flesh-magic, the rituals of the unmaking, which plummeted to the earth, immolating entire
the sorceries of the scattered bones…all of these the civilisations and splitting the crust apart. Dust and
Elves devised, to make those who lived in their world debris filled the atmosphere, choking out the light of The claim is that the
beautiful, according to their bizarre standards of the sun, and the contents of the earth spewed to the Dwarves were all destroyed
beauty. Why should they recognise pain or suffering surface through the rent, sending forth tidal waves of but recent believe is that
of any kind, they wondered, after all, were they not magma. Once this had finally settled, as the ash began they were only pushed
rendering the world better through their actions? The to rain from the sky, the ice moved in to claim the deeper underground, but
world existed for their pleasure; all things existed to world for its own. this is just a theory and has
be refined through their artistry, through their genius. yet to be proved
They performed the rites to call ancient gods down
to the earth, binding them into service too, carving
the hieroglyphics of mastery into divine flesh. After The Land Above
endless experiments, they finally concluded that
the Dwarves could not be rendered beautiful. Their The blasted land, this world of ice, was once abundant
bodies stunted in growth but broad and muscular in life. Now it is a barren, frozen waste. From the
could not be sufficiently reshaped. Their minds were vast poisoned forests in the east to the ash plains in
too limited to provide the Elves with any amusement. the south, and the frozen sea in the west, all compass
They were too like the stone they lived among; their points harbour death.
thinking too rigid. And so, the Elves excoriated the It is now believed that word
halls of the Dwarves with fire and strange creatures As for the north, the north is an endless mass of had got to some Elven
creeping snow and ice and cold death. A hardy lords that the humans were
built from the vestiges of those species the Elves had planning to revolt, but the
determined to make better. Nothing survived in those few seek to survive in the endless tundra, forging
uncertain paths lead through the snow used by those ego of the lords caused
ancient subterranean halls. them to not consider the
traders, slavers and bandits who travel between the
warning as important.
Eventually, the dominion of the Elves became too small communities that attempt to endure in the ice. What would the world
onerous for any to endure and the realms of men, be now if those lords had
which had grown in strength throughout the long years A scant few of the human cities still stand, though acted sooner
of Elvish depredation, united to cast them down. Had they are shrouded in white now, and most are
the Elves cared at all for any species save themselves, abandoned. Those that do, house those few Ice Tribes
they might have noticed the preparations the cities of which remember the old ways, and what cities were
mankind were undertaking; they might have heard built for. Others provide shelter for bandits or worse
the endless hammering of smithies, tempering swords — the abominations crafted by the Elves, or by cults
and arrow heads. They might have seen the gathering dedicated to things best left unnamed. Some of the
of armies and the coruscating magic’s which mankind tribes are willing to trade with outsiders, exchanging
had learned, while the Elves had simply continued to the results of their hunts for barter. Others don’t
treat the world as an object to be played with. At last, bother trading with those travelling the ever-shifting
the armies of men readied themselves and marched pathways of snow; instead, they trade for them. Selling
upon those who had spent millennia pre-dating upon them to the fighting pits or simply as food. The tundra
them. They left a wake of blood as they destroyed is an unremitting place and cannibalism is often the
their elven torturers, masters and enslavers; city only way to survive.
after gleaming city was butchered as the elven forces,
who for centuries had merely sought to ensure their Scattered along the way old signs stand crooked and
armour was beautiful and their skin flawless, fought will point towards what once existed, these signs now
the downtrodden they had tortured and toyed with. are mostly rotted or broken, but some are decorated
with dead animals nailed to the frozen wood to warn
Cruel, the Elves may have been, lacking in any qualities those that travel the roads that danger lies nearby and
which made them human, but never stupid. They had they best beware.
long studied those worlds which existed beyond their
own and long contemplated the destruction of the

The Pale 21
The Southern Ash Plains eruptions, have been rebuilt, communities grow, some
even prosper, and trade has been attempted. Contact
Home to the Ash Nomads who serve the albino god,
with the Last City is impossible except by magic or by
the ash plains have managed to keep the ice at bay and
Raven, though it is rare that the messenger survives
replace it with the ash from the twin volcanoes that
the journey. Those that have attempted the journey
smoke and spew forth their venom in the form of lava
south in the hope that it would offer an opportunity
flows. An endless stretch of the grey desert, the Ash
or a better way of life must first navigate the ice of the
Plains are punctuated only by the faint, umber gleam
northern lands and then the heat of the grey desert.
Many believe that
of the cinder forests and ash encrusted ruins of cities.
It remains uncertain whether any have survived the
the Ash Nomads are The cities are fossils, petrified remains of the places
journey.
formed from the very that once offered shelter to thousands. The streets
ash itself. are now populated by the still-screaming shadows of
The Ash Nomads hunt the cinders for sacrifices to
those that once called the city home. Few venture into
their god, daubed in the dust from the dunes they are
the morgue-cities as they have become known; those
known to ambush caravans and travellers by leaping
few that do report that strange things, now call the
from within the very ash itself. Other dangers are the
places home; flickering shapes shift between the once-
Pirates who sail the dunes in their land ships, powered
living statues, lurking, always just unseen.
by the heated air that fill their ship sails or the slaves
that work to turn the wheels, they bear down on
Out in the grey desert, some form of civilisation is
victims swiftly and without mercy.
beginning to establish itself. Small towns, many built on
the rubble of places which did not survive the volcanic

22
The Western Lands Rot God, their limbs becoming studded with buboes
and their flesh sloughing away from the bone. Others
To the west lie the Dragon Tail mountains, and in their
shadow, the forest once called Arbren or the Great have become strangely decadent, their consumption
Wood. Now the forest is a poisoned, decayed thing of human flesh leading them into ever darker and
and partly marshland, populated by abominations stranger behaviours. It is considered fortunate by
and marsh wraiths who worship the God of Rot. The many that the constant warfare stops them from ever
Dragon Tail Mountains themselves are home to a series becoming a threat; but should the Rot God ever gain
of degenerate tribes, constantly warring for control of sway over all the tribes in the west, the world would
whatever fertile land is left amongst those crags and surely tremble at their coming.
outcrops. Some of the tribes opted to move north, now
living upon the claw itself, at a greater distance from The Eastern Shore
the Rot God and his suppurating corruption. These Once home to the twin cities of Chain & Sail, along
tribes are more civilised and will trade with the last with several smaller villages and towns, who grew fat
city that stands at the base of the mountains, their with the wealth from fishing, the Eastern Shore now lies
minds untainted by the sinister oozing song of the rot entirely abandoned. The sea, from which these empty
which seethes in the heart of the forest. places once feasted has now frozen over entirely. Pack
ice swarms the streets of the coastal conurbations, a
The majority of the Dragon Tail tribes, however, have thickening hide which conceals everything it covers.
lost themselves to the joy of war and savagery. Others Those few continuing to live upon the shores worship
have given themselves utterly to the service of the strange beings, the things they say they have found as

The Pale 23
they plumb the ice for anything to help them survive. maintain some of the traditions of the world as it used
to be. This does not stop them, however, regularly
Beneath the ice, things lurk waiting and watching. carrying out the Wild Hunt, plunging across the
Frozen wrecks poke frost-buckled mastheads through mountains on their horses, stalking the wild beasts
the ice, fuelling rumours of treasures lost to the depths. and monsters which call the jagged passes of the
It takes the bravest or most foolish of souls to risk the Claws their home. It is also here, nestled in the shadow
cold and whatever horrors lurk beneath the ice. of the claws, that the Last City can be found. Trade
has been established between the city and the tribes,
Amongst the wrecks the Raiders thrive, once fishermen mainly the tribes bring skins and ores, and in return,
and whalers now driven mad by the corruption from the city provides corn and steel.
deep beneath the sea ice, these raiding bands seek out
any that stray to close with net and spear, so they can Though tribal members are seen within the Last
harvest the fat and oils. city, they are still eyed with suspicion, their strange
appearances and beliefs can make them stand out
amongst the more ‘civilised’ people. It has been known
The Shackles for tribal members to be accused of crimes often
A small, insignificant set of islands off the eastern coast, unfounded and the result of fear or mistrust of the
considered haunted in the past due to its abandoned mountain people.
castles and deserted villages. It soon became a haven
for pirates, who uses its coves and caves to hide their
ships. The elves quickly took the island wiping out the
pirate threat in a welter of bloody violence. It soon
became apparent that the Elves had chosen to occupy
The Last City
the island, precisely because of its isolation. ‘The Last City is held between two claws’ goes the
saying. In the northern mountains, lies the final
As the uprising against the Elves reached its bloody surface redoubt of mankind. The final place where
climax, the forces of mankind launched an invasion of human beings live, dwell and flourish above ground.
the Shackles, what was discovered on the islands drove Home to over half a million people, the Last City, is
Smoke still rises from
several soldiers to fling themselves from the cliff-tops. unique.
the Shackles even after
so many years and those
The Shackles had been used by the Elves as an artist
that have braved the ice might use their studio — to experiment, to attempt The city is a hub of trade providing food and other
to hunt or salvage claim that which might yet yield new, beautiful results. The resources, both to the cities below ground and the
that things still crawl melding of beast and humans was attempted, rituals barbarian tribes inhabiting the nearby mountains.
and thrive upon the of dark blood magic and terrible torture in the name Those hired by the Black Fort or the City’s many
island, dark corrupted of healing took place within the walls of the various Guilds are often found within the constantly defended
things. island’s citadels. In the end, the place was scourged walls. Sell-swords seeking fame and wealth, hunters
with fire and steel, though the survivors of the process who track down both man and abomination and Relic
would say only that the islands themselves should Knights looking to redeem the fallen of the past, all
have been drowned beneath the waves. Only then congregate here, waiting to pass beyond the Final Gate
could the stains upon existence be truly cleansed. and reclaim the world. It is said that many even believe
that this is actually possible. Such is the vanity of the
The fires did not cleanse everything as many thought Last City’s populace.
and the citadels and towers often went as deep below as
they stood tall above. Deep dungeons held the prized
possessions of the Elves, the Chimeer, those successes People
of the melding. As the fires ravaged and weakened As is to be expected in a city so vastly overpopulated,
the stone, and the ice came making the gates of iron the city is extremely diverse. Though mainly human, it
that held them brittle, many of these chimeer crawled is not uncommon to see Vri-Dael (Half Elves) stalking
from the ruins and their human memories drove through the streets or catch the smell of a Chimeer in
some to seek out others, caring little or not mindful of the dank avenues. The city is always awake, and the
the reaction they would receive. streets are constantly busy, with everything in short
supply — most of the citizenry is unemployed, and
food and other basic necessities are never available in
The Claws abundance. This results in regular bouts of significant
The northern mountains are called the claws; they are unrest, with the City Watch and the Council constantly
home to the more civilised barbarian tribes, who struggling to keep control and the people fed.

24
Key
1. Refugee Camps
2. Merchant District
3. Administrative District
4. Temple District
5. Slums
6. Market District

3
6 4

The Last City

The Pale 25
As refugees continue to arrive from the frozen All goods from the outlying farms and the below
wastes, the city has been forced to expand in order to are transported here to be catalogued and stored in
accommodate them. Bit by bit, buildings growing out order to make sure the people of the city are fed, but
of other buildings, walkways now criss-cross the streets sometimes this system falls down and there is not
metres above the ground, rope bridges extending from enough to go around and thousands will go hungry
towers to platforms, hundreds of feet above the streets for days while new supplies are delivered and checked,
below. The city swells and splits, metastasising like a but is this always the case? The council and even the
tumour. Brothels, taverns, gambling dens and fighting Malice have been investigating corruption for years
It is believed that pits have all sprung up in the city, and with them a amongst the merchant class and their ties to the
dozens of cults infest thriving criminal underground. The underworld criminal underground, often supplies are stockpiled
the city, as more
doesn’t simply consist of thugs and gangsters. Hidden and then ‘lost’ only to appear on the tables of the
and more people
cults use the chaos of the City, and particularly its wealthy or the storerooms of the Silent Guild.
disappear from the
streets or gross totems slums and refugee camps, as a cover for their activities,
are found hanging performing the most hideous of rituals to the Blood Though criminal activity is almost definitely going on
from the bridges and Lords. These, it is considered, pose the greatest threat the merchant district is the safest part of the city with
roofs of the city to the integrity and longevity of the City itself. Guild militia and the City Watch patrolling the streets
and guarding the warehouses and homes of those that
control the food.
1. Refugee Camps
As the world turned to ice thousands flooded to the
Last City, the city quickly became overwhelmed and Commerce
the gates were finally shut, those that failed to make Coin is rare but is used still, in forms which existed
it inside built shelter under the protection of the city before the fall. No new coins have been minted in a
walls and the refugee camps were formed. long time and those returning from exploring the
wastes having uncovered an old cache of coins hand
The camps now expand outward and have become a it over to the Merchant’s treasury in return for a
thriving, living organism, many live within the camps promissory note of the same value they can use with
peacefully and some have even created a trade offering traders, rather than having to establish the relative
food, basic crafting services and goods to barter or worth of the obscure coinage they find. Most of the
exchange, but deep in the heart of the camps crime has coins in circulation are of so ancient a style that none
taken a hold and gangs rule with fear, running taverns truly know what they are worth, judging chiefly by
and brothels, gambling shacks and even fencing goods size and weight, and the metal they are cast in. Copper
and food stolen from the city itself. coins are the most common, with silver being much
rarer. There is, however, no consistency in availability
As time has gone by The Silent Guild holds sway and keeps many of the or exact value, with coins of bronze, brass and gold
many refugees have criminal activity to a minimum, but murders happen being used.
left the camp to return nightly, people are forced from their homes on a daily
to their homes in the Barter is often the more efficient form of commerce,
basis and many are forced into prostitution or become
Pale, risking what is especially for small or travelling traders, as those still
out there in order to
dependent on drugs.
trying to survive outside of the City do not have access
avoid the gangs and
The City watch have designated men to watch the to the continual oversight of the Merchants Guild. The
crime. This has led to
some small villages to roads leading through the camps in order to protect value of barter is often based upon their rarity, with
reappear close to the traders from the outlying farms or from below and the more sought-after items able to command higher
spires. the mountains, but few of the watch travel into the prices.
camp proper as those that have in the past often never
returned. The Guilds
The guilds are the most powerful organisations within
the Last City, behind only the Council in terms of
2. Merchant District direct power, though most believe that it is the Guilds
A walled city within a walled city and unlike the rest of who truly control things. The most prominent of
the city the merchant district has kept itself similar to the guilds are the Guild of Merchants, the Guild of
how it was before the fall. To enter through the gates, Expeditions and the Guild of Armourers. There are
you would not be remiss to forget the world outside also a number of smaller guilds, usually linked to
as life seems to go on as usual, but underneath this their larger brethren. Rumours, at least amongst those
charade of normality is a dark heart. who study the strange and arcane past of the Last City
claim that there are a number of other, more secretive
guilds whose very existence is still to be determined.

26
Guild of Merchants could rest and restore. During this gradual emergence,
By some distance the largest and most prosperous of the Finders soon noticed something else — that all
the guilds, the Merchants hold considerable political goods brought into the city as the possession of an
and public power within the City. The guild of individual came under the purview of the Merchants.
Merchants deals with the trade and distribution of food But this did not count if the individual left the City
and other goods as their name indicates. This includes with nothing and returned having found something.
exerting tight control over the growth of grains, This arcane loophole provided the Finders with a
fruit and vegetables, the keeping of livestock and the new way to procure money and power, and it soon
manufacture of bread, beer and wine. The Merchants seized on it, petitioning the Council to provide them
also control the influx of goods into the City; while with full sovereignty over anything salvaged from the
they may not have the power to prevent an individual’s waste. While the Merchants were initially incensed,
entry to the City, they can rightfully claim everything the additional protective services which the Finders
that an individual possesses. Unsurprisingly, this provided meant that there was little opposition
right has ensured that they are both loathed and so (though a few assassinations on both sides indicated
wealthy that being loathed doesn’t really concern the the general feeling). Since then, the Finders have
Guild at all. This wealth is further supplemented by become the second guild in the city, forming one
the fact that all the trade stores within the precinct half of the bloc which ultimately rules the Last City.
of the City are managed by guild members, who pay Where the Merchants control the politics of the City,
extortionate taxes from the sale of goods. This has led the Finders have much of the manpower. The Finders
to a flourishing black market which the Merchants offer regular and well-paid employment to many of
expend a great deal of effort tracking and destroying. the mercenaries and soldiers who live within the City
The punishments for being caught trading without or pass through. The Finders are less punitive about
Guild Sanction are…brutal, to say the least. It is said those operating outside of their influence…anything
that the great ledgers of the Guild are bound in human they find can be seized at the gates, goes the reasoning,
flesh, taken from the backs of those who attempted to and the Guild has not had to pay anything for armour
avoid paying their tithes. or resources…a perfect arrangement.

The Guild’s activities are not limited to the Last Guild of Armourers
City, though their power is less inviolate elsewhere. The fall of the world made it difficult to find the ores
Merchants representatives also operate in the needed to create new weapons and armour, so the High prices are offered for
subterranean Dwarven tomb-cities, and there are armourer’s guild now concentrate of repairing and the Black Iron and weapons
even a few who travel to the barbarian citadels. Most reforging what gear is available or can be found. and armour built from the
travelling traders at least pretend to belong to the material is highly sought
The Black Iron which now lies scattered across the
and priced. It is believed
Guild, banking on the slim measure of protection land has become a much sought-after commodity, that the armourers are
which such a membership conveys. The Merchants capable of containing potent magic while retaining working with the Black
protect their own. Those, however, who would seek its strength and sharpness far surpasses that of even Fort to create a device that
to stand on their own, without the interference of the finest and carefully wrought steel. The Armourers can detect energies from
the Guild, are rarely so fortunate. There have many have spent decades carefully studying the substance, the Black Iron making it
sudden and unexplained fires in the houses of those defining its properties and uses. The Guild trains and easier to find.
who refused to pledge their loyalty and money to the supports smiths and armourers in the City, and those
Merchants. Family members are known to disappear, who operate beneath the earth’s surface. The demand
leaving behind only traces of blood and the odd for Black Iron goods has ensured that the Armourers
severed ear. The Guild of Merchants is a powerful have a continual and impressive income, more than
friend. And a deadly enemy. enough to secure their ongoing survival and influence.
The Armourers are a far more insular guild than
Guild of Expeditions either the Merchants or the Finders, but they are only
Begun as a way of finally extorting some money marginally less influential. As they often remind those
back from the Merchants, the Guild of Expeditions who would deny them their requests — who will you
supervises all travel from the Last City which seeks to turn to when the hordes of abominations reach our
explore and exploit the wastes. Initially, the Finders (as gates? The Merchants?
members are often called) was a group of mercenaries
who offered protection to the Merchants who left Other Guilds
the city regularly. This proved sufficiently lucrative
that the Guild soon established itself as a permanent
Mages Guild – A small, unassuming building close
organisation, determining the safest routes through
to the gate of the City houses the Mages’ Guild. While
the tundra, establishing a few outposts where travellers
the building is opulent and carefully attended, it does

The Pale 27
not truly house a Guild. Instead, those Mages who disappears and reappears in the assassin’s drop points.
make it to the City are tended to here, before they Any assassin may accept a contract, placing their
begin their next journey to the Black Fort. The Guild sigil on the contract to indicate acceptance. Multiple
also acts as an embassy for the Black Fort, ensuring assassins might accept the same contract, with the first
communication remains swift and effective. to succeed receiving the payment. It is not unknown
for small scale assassin wars to break out in the gantries
Mages Guild and suspended walkways of the City, as killers seek to
claim an especially profitable reward.

Assassins Guild

Silent Guild – The Silent Guild (or the Thieves Guild,


as it is referred to, in whispers) does not exist officially,
but there is no denying that there is a certain level of
organisation amongst some of the criminal classes in Warriors Guild – More a mercenary guild for sell-
the city. Those thieves entering the city must follow swords, pit fighters and bodyguards than anything as
the marks that grace door frames, hitching posts and reputable as the name guild implies. Its quarters are,
other places to one of the many locations the guild in essence, barracks — training halls and sleeping
control, before announcing their arrival and intent. quarters, along with a rough space in which business
Thieves operating within the city without the say-so of can be conducted. There is no training facility
the Affiliation are usually deprived of their hands. The here; those who join the Guild must be sufficiently
unluckiest are deprived of other appendages as well. competent with the blade to justify their position.
Or else, they are likely to be quickly killed. There is a
Silent Guild forge and armoury, where those who are able to pay
can have their gear repaired or upgraded.
The Sisters of Stone do
not really operate in
the Last City and it is Members of the guild are expected to act (relatively)
believed do not involve honourably, fulfilling any contract they take on and
themselves in the cities ensuring the safety of their clients. Guild membership
guild politics, or so is revoked if the masters feel that someone has brought
they claim, evidence dishonour to the guild.
has been found that
the Sisters are very Warriors Guild
much involved with
the Assassins and Silent
Guild. Assassins Guild –More a network than a guild,
each assassin (and there is no agreement on how
many actually reside within the City) acts as a private
enterprise, earning contracts based on their reputation
or on their particular specialties. This system keeps
the Assassins protected, as none are known to another,
and so no one can betray or influence the whole.

Assassins receive their contracts at hidden drops


across the cities both above and below. No one knows
who places the contracts within the drops.

Those who wish to place a contract leave the name


of the target and their intended price at an empty
table in a tavern — The Iron Hand. The commission

28
3. Administrative District of the long dead Dwarves, the secret language of Elves
The beating heart of the city, home to the council and the guttural words of the Giants, all await to be
and the voiceless King. The militia barracks and Grey deciphered and studied.
Ranger headquarters can also be found here along
with the jails and gallows park. Though one of the Amongst the stacks sit those, who would perform
more secure areas of the city it is still a place where this duty: the librarians. The librarians are known
crimes are committed openly, beggars can be seen, for the strange, trance-like state in which they wait
crippled and diseased praying and crying out to now to be approached; none can say how such a fugue
dead gods and those that would try to bring the city is achieved, though many whisper of strange drugs
to its knees attempt to destroy the council and the or incantations learned from the books all around
Remnants that called the district home. them. Others claim that simply being able to read at
all induce such reveries. Those who would know the
Those that wish to leave the city on ‘official businesses answer to a question must present a librarian with
congregate here at the militia barracks for council a suitable offering (usually food). The librarian will
warrants allowing them access to and from the city then wander to one of the hundreds of shelves and
and beyond the sun spires or through the dwarven select, apparently at random, a tome, before reading
gates to the below. The warrants have a seal and allow the answer to the supplicant. Other visitors to the
the bearer various legal rights within and beyond library extract a book from the shelves and bring it to
the city walls, these warrants are valuable and much a librarian, simply to hear language read aloud. Each
sought after and the council do not hand them out librarian is fluent in all of the languages contained
easily. within the various books under their charge. This is
achieved through the Remnant — one of the most
mysterious and obscure beings in creation. A series of
The Grand Library tentacles extend from the bizarre contrivance which
Once a cathedral to now-dead gods (whose names is connected to the mosaic ceiling of the Library. The
have been carefully removed from all statues, books central element of the creature is a mass of scaly flesh
and works of art that once bore them), the grand and bone. From this central point extend a series of
library is now a vast archive. Here, all that survives sinuous tentacles, spread throughout the building and
of human writing, poetry, science and magic is kept plugged into a librarian’s cranium, through a single
and endlessly copied, in the hope that the memory of hole at the base of the skull. Through this strange
what once was will never be lost. It is also a repository creature, the librarians are able to share ancient
of any and all written works found beyond the walls; knowledge, communing with the past, so that others
anything retrieved from the Pale lands which might can unravel its various mysteries. Strangely, it is not
contain knowledge of the past is brought here. Books, the connection with the Remnant that grants the
scrolls, notes, maps all find a home within the walls of librarians the dreamlike lack of focus.
the library. Many of these works are in tongues ancient
and lost, alien or esoteric. The untranslatable tongue

The Pale 29
The Council the city is home to a number of religious orders of
The city is ‘ruled’ by a council which decides upon varying sizes and influence. The following are the
laws and the day-to-day issues that the city faces. more prominent orders, but the variation and number
The council is made up of twelve members, one of of different religious beliefs are extensive.
which is always a representative of the Black Fort.
Five are merchants, two are from the city guard and Children of the Old Gods
the military arm of the city, and the final remaining A small order, made up of mostly scholars who believe
But what of the members represent the three largest guilds. that the gods never died. Instead, they merely went
Voiceless King? Many
into solitude until such times the people of the land
claim that the City
has no King that it is a
The Council is often accused of corruption, with can prove themselves worthy of their return. The
lie told to sustain the various decisions being challenged or railed against order is rarely seen on the streets of the city preaching.
power of the council, by the masses, as laws are passed that only benefit They prefer to sequester themselves in the library,
others say that the a handful, or ration cuts are enforced for all but composing eloquent homilies, which attest to the need
King lies in a state the wealthy few. Despite this, in the 45 years that for man to curb their sinful ways, in order to entice the
of near death kept the council has existed, there have only been two gods to return. Few bother to read these verbose texts,
alive by magic. Many successfully completed assassinations. Many roles in though the closeness of the Children to the Remnant
rumours exist, but the city carry much higher mortality rates. is enough to convince many that they are keepers of
one thing is certain
some form of truth.
there is a King, but
what power he holds 4. Temple District
and what voice he has Established religion crumbled after the fall when Order of Bones
is unknown
those that had fled to the Last City or the below Even more rarely seen in the City, the Order of Bones
began to place their faith in the Mages (in particular only make the perilous journey to the Last City when
the Pyromancers) of the Black Fort to hold back the in desperate need of supplies. Part of their doctrine,
encroaching ice, which they did and continue to do and faith, requires the order to make their home within
with the Sun spires. The Temples at first called this the bones of the dead giants, still scattered across the
faith in magic blasphemous, but as time went on land. As to what the Order of Bones actually believes,
and the gods did not return or even seem to care the few are able to say. Paranoid about the importance
temples became quiet. of preserving the secrecy of their beliefs. At some
point in the last two centuries, the order developed
It has been said that the Many priests were killed after the fall mainly for their own language. The language is indecipherable
Order of Bones has sold to any without access to the order’s inner mysteries.
their willingness to allow the elves to perform their
itself to the Blood Lords The order claims it has access to the most ancient and
that it masquerades as atrocities, people began to ask difficult questions when
the temples opened their doors for the refugees, why insightful of all religious texts — those that are etched
a pious religion and
had the priests and the gods not intervened against the into the bones of the giants themselves. Whether this
that it is the Order that
has aided the growth of elves, where was their help when it was needed? It was is true or not is really unknown; what is known is
cults in the city. believed that greed had silenced the temples that and a that the Order of Bones is split into two sects. One,
lack of faith in their own teachings. the Unfallen, believe that the texts were written onto
the skeletons of the giants at the moment of their
The Temple district is now mostly free of the original creation. The other, the Remainders, believe that the
religious beliefs, but the area is still considered a words were engraved after the giant’s death. While
holy place and many new religions and cults can be the sects are theologically opposed, they tend to work
seen there. Doom-sayers hawk their prophecies and together without a great deal of animosity. Or at least,
warnings from atop the temple steps, seers blind and this appears to be the case when they visit the City; in
chained still beg for food and pity on the street corners their homes, within the temples of nude bone, brutal
and refugees still fill the temples. At night strange conflicts are routinely fought.
rituals take place and it is not unknown to see a Relic
Knight entering the district after the midnight bell to Disciples of the Daer
hunt heretics, abominations and disciples of the Blood The Disciples of the Daer are outlawed within the City
Lords. limits, as they worship the Elves that fractured the
moon. What their actual beliefs are, none have, as yet,
troubled to find out. Their religious practices, however,
Faith
are horrifyingly easy to discern. They perform strange,
With the death of the gods — or at least their
crude surgeries on themselves, scarring their flesh and
disappearance — faith and worship is either non-
making clumsy attempts to graft the limbs of wild
existent or has been warped, distorted. Besides the
animals onto themselves and others. The Disciples
cults, performing their sinister work in the shadows,
were discovered after a number of people had gone

30
missing in the slums, and witnesses told stories of hunting down those that are deemed a danger to the
strange creatures stalking the alleys. The order had people and safety of the city.
established itself in a temple of the Old Gods, long
since abandoned, where they had been experimenting
on themselves and others. The explanation for these
6. Market District
The central market centre of the city, this was once
peculiar experiments, extracted under torture, was a
a thriving square catering to the needs of many but
twisted attempt to learn the secrets of Elvish science.
now is a mere shadow of its former self. Hunters trade
The order officially no longer exists in the City but
their skins, bottles of fat and carved bone gewgaws Noticeboards and even
sightings and the number of missing people, stolen
to whomever shows an interest, crafters sell weapons vendors have sprung up
from the slums, suggest otherwise.
and armours of an often-low grade beside tools for offering jobs to any that
farming or re-purposed objects of interest. The odd would care to accept. For
5. The Slums enterprising scavenger may offer items from below or many adventurers the
As with all great cities, there are those that have and found out beyond the spires. market is the hub of the
city and the place o find
those that have not. In the Last City, such a divide
fortune and the odd rare
is impossible to miss and, there are very few who The more popular traders are those selling ingredients
item.
have anything. When the moon fractured and the or potions that claim can cure corruption, keep away
world responded with devastating volcanic upheaval, horrors or magically makes one wealthy, but often
earthquakes and tidal waves, thousands fled north to guards from the Black Fort either shut these down
the Last City and the gateways to the land below. As or strong-arm the trader to the Mages never to be
the gates to the forsaken Dwarven burrows were shut, seen again. It is also not unheard of to find people
thousands still clamoured for safety. There was little selling their skills, scouts, smiths, navigators and even
within the City to sustain them, but there was, at least, novice mages have been known to sell their particular
space. Within the open areas of the Last City — those expertise to those planning on entering the Pale or
places which had once been the pleasure gardens exploring the lost roads below.
and plazas for the wealthy — crude houses and
streets began to grow, built from whatever could be
scrounged or stolen. Over time, the slums continued
to expand, becoming a sprawling morass of crumbling
Crime &
Punishment
tenements and swaying, toppling edifices, in which
thousands live and die. Ramshackle houses piled one
upon another, narrow streets like open sewers and
a population which has given up on being anything Crime is rampant in the City, and as more and
other than tired and oppressed. Murder, rape and theft more refugees arrive, the more overcrowded the
are the only real currency in the slums. City becomes. Desperation, hunger and dwindling
resources has led to an increase in murder, rape and
These quickly extended to the refugee camps outside theft. A City so overcrowded has no space for cells and
the city walls, a vast field of tents, huts and ramshackle so other punishments had to be decided upon. Petty
hovels. Those that cannot get through the city gates crimes typically lead to banishment from the city or
end up here at the mercy of criminals, disease, cold being sent to the Gray Order. More serious crime
and hunger. leads to death or dismemberment — murder or rape
results in hanging or beheading. Lesser crimes like
The Rot Within theft lead to the removal of a hand or ear.
The overflow to the refugee camps from the slums
has created issues with security and the integrity of The slums deal with crime in their own way, not
the walls of the city, with sewers running beneath the bothering with the city watch or the guilds. Trials
streets and into the rivers, many that now have dried and legality take much too long a time to provide a
up these tunnels now provide a way into the city from resolution to crime. It is not unheard of for mobs to
the outside. This has led to many threats entering the burn or impale criminals on the streets as a warning
city via the slums. to others. The only exception to this are members of
the Thieves Guild who, if hunted, are protected by the
Many of these threats come in the form of cults and guild. The thief council simply steps in and ‘pays’ their
spies for the Blood Lords, other threats are corrupted respects to the family of the victim, making it all go
individuals seeking shelter or to satisfy some need or away.
desire. These infiltrations have made the slums even
more dangerous and it is not unheard of for hired With all things, the larger guilds seem to be above
swords to enter the slums on guild sanctioned ‘purges’ the law, avoiding the consequences of their crimes

The Pale 31
whatever they may be. This has caused significant including the reattachment of severed limbs and the
disputes and a number of active calls to restrict resurrection of the dead. These activities fell within
the power of the guilds. The guilds, however, have the areas of permitted study, but the experimental
managed to suppress many of these claims. Such are processes used to achieve the ideal magical method
the advantages of money and influence. were far less salubrious. Many Necromancers within
the Black Fort kept corpses which they continually
killed and reanimated, trying each time to restore the
The Gray Order dead to full life, rather than to a state of shambling
An order of criminals given the task of patrolling the movement. Other experiments were conducted on
border of the ice and to maintaining the sun spires, those whose brains had deteriorated to the point that
the Gray Order are those unfortunates press-ganged they were mindless slaves to the Necromancer. When
into protecting the City they are excluded from. They discovered, such practices were violently repressed,
are often seen marching along the few roads leading though rumours insist that such practices continue
to the city, protecting travellers and refugees from the today. These same rumours make claims about other
depredations of bandits…and much darker things. directions the Necromancers explored, and there are
The Gray Order is composed of two parts the first tales recounted by refugees who reach the City of
being the Militia — those condemned to walk the golems, prowling the night attacking livestock and
ice border. The second are the Rangers who search person alike. There are even accusations of the use
the forests and fields for criminals and bandits whilst of recovered Elvish texts to guide magical research,
keeping the roads safe. though the Mages angrily refute such insinuations.

The Black Fort Novices


Every year dozens of men and women, boys and girls
attempt to earn the rank of novice in order to join the
Two leagues west of the last city stands the Black Fort, Mages and enter the walls of the Black Fort to study
true home to the Mages. Home to those who hold the various forms of magic taught there. Some of these
the ice back, for as long as they can. The Fort itself
Many fear the Black Fort is, as the name suggests, a dark and brooding place;
and the Mages, fearing a fortress-built centuries before to protect the north
they will become like from barbarian tribes. The Black Fort teaches those
the elves and begin to with the innate ability to wield magic, inculcating
dominate the people of those talented few who survive long enough to receive
the cities, experimenting tutelage of the arts of Pyromancy, Necromancy and
on them and forcing
Sorcery.
them back into slavery,
but these fears are
unfounded though not With the coming of the ice, Pyromancy becomes the
completely. most vital of the Arts. Without it, the Last City would
cease to exist, and the surface would be surrendered to
the ice and to the Blood Lords. Pyromancy is also what
lights the roads Below, preserving that civilisation and
ensuring that it does not tumble into anarchy, and
it has been wielded as a weapon against corruption
for decades. Those that study the flame do so in full
knowledge of their fate; they will eventually become
flame themselves. The fire gradually consumes those
who wield it, but it is a future many are willing to
accept.

Necromancy’s place within the Black Fort remains


controversial. For an age, the study of the art of death
was forbidden. When the prohibition was eventually
relaxed, those who practiced the art did so under
strict guidelines, demanding that the art only be used
for the healing of others. This led to extraordinary
advancements in medicine, with Necromancers
able to perform miraculous surgical operations,

32
do indeed become novices, some are sent away, and claim that the Mages twisted Elven sorcery to act
others are never heard from again. against itself which is how those created by the elves
cannot cross.
The role of a novice is hard and can take many years
before they become recognised as a fully fledged mage The Black Order checks on the spires during their
of the particular art they are instructed in. Study patrols as often they have been attacked in order to
within the Black Fort covers a multitude of skills push them over and quench the flames in ice or have
including the healing arts, alchemy, academia and been daubed with blasphemous text in an attempt
history. Novices are encouraged to see the world and to nullify the magic’s within. But the magic’s are
experience the threats it offers, this is a dangerous woven tight, with threads like a web criss-crossing
instruction to enforce as many novices have died in each one, and nothing will extinguish the flame of a
the wastes, but many mages in the Black Fort believe Pyromancers heart.
that it is necessary to understand the dangers of magic.

The Sun Spires


Created by the Pyromancers of the Black Fort these
spires keep the ice at bay and allow the Last city to grow
food and the many refugees to build shelters outside
the city walls. It is said that twelve pyromancers gave
up their lives to build the spires and that their burning
hearts lie at the centre of each one.

The Spires also have sorceries etched into their


structure which repels abnormalities from crossing
the border of ice, these dark powers are ancient and
are said to be the words created by the giants, others

The Pale 33
The Pale Lands
Between the border of the lands surrounding the Last endless songs, poems, and paintings. The little joy
City and the Ash Lands in the south lies hundreds left to those who inhabit the slums of the Last City,
of miles of ice and snow, dead forests and ruined or congregate in the Land Below, are the stories of
cities. These lands are hazardous in so many ways it is the Knightly Orders. The greatest and most terrible
hard to pinpoint one above the other, but if the cold, of mankind’s warriors. Always in the vanguard when
starvation, or dehydration doesn’t kill you the bandits, battle was joined, none survived the Elves’ final trick.
corrupted wild beasts, cultists and abominations to There were only corpses to attest to their valour and,
name a few surely will. soon after, these two vanished beneath the endlessly
falling snow. And so, they wait, encased in ice.

Cults and Threats The order of the Relic Knights began with the belief
that the return of the Orders was the only means by
which mankind could be saved. Those who wish to
High levels of the The wasteland beyond the Last City is a land of become a Relic Knight must search the battlefields of
Warriors Guild are danger; wild beasts hunt the forests and snow plains, the past, digging through the snow to find the bodies
where those that aspire abominations hide in the dark places, bandits and of their forebears and take from them their armour.
to be Relic Knights can slavers make life hard for travellers and those trying
be found though the Once a complete suit of knight’s armour has been
to survive in the wastes. When the Blood Lords rose, assembled, the owner is ready to be inducted into the
road to such a claim can many saw them as new gods, created in the image
be long and dangerous. Order. Though small, the Relic Knights are widely
of those deities long dead. The power and ferocity loved and supported; few of them pay for food or
with which the Blood Lords forged themselves, struggle to find accommodation, so long as they are
fiefdoms quickly drew believers, who saw, in their new seen to conduct themselves as Knights should. Such
masters, salvation. And, where there is a belief, there behaviour — protecting the weak, warring against
is someone to take advantage of it. Cults dedicated to tyranny, offering mercy — is unconducive to a long
the Blood Lords quickly sprang to ugly life. The cults life, after all, and those who follow such codes are to
themselves are brutal things, predicated on a ruthless be rewarded.
commitment to their respective Blood Lord and the
infliction of punishment on any who do not believe. There are many that believe the knights have long
gone and should be left in peace beneath the snow,
The Cults have spread, plague-like, throughout the that those that seek out to revive the order are deluded
world. Some have claimed old cities as primitive or in some way corrupted. That these so-called Relic
houses of worship. Others have made their temples Knights are mere shadows of what was and that those
beneath the granite like bones of dead Giants. For that rummage in the ice seeking the armour of the
many, the Cults of the Blood Lords pose the biggest dead are not only stealing but committing sacrilege.
threat to those travelling the wastes. A bandit simply But to enter a battlefield and risk the danger of the
robs you. A cultist robs you and then forces you to carrion eaters and the abominations that wander those
join the cult or have your heart cut from your chest. dark places in order to revive a once honourable order
The fighting pits in the west are a huge sacrificial is seen by many as bravery itself tempered with a sense
ceremony to the Blood Lords, where many unwary of justice and conviction that should be respected.
travellers have found themselves facing a beast or
abomination for the delight of the ravening masses.
In the arena, champions of each Blood Lord compete
to prove themselves the strongest and their Lord the
most powerful in an orgy of violence.
The Remnant
The Remnant are an anomaly, totally alien and able to
speak and exert powerful control, via telepathy. They
The Relic Knights have never explained their sudden appearance or their
motivation, yet without the knowledge and guidance
they provide, mankind would almost certainly be
As the Black Iron fell, in screaming shreds from the extinct.
sky, the armies of man died in their thousands. These
killing fields are all now covered by snow. Those who Were the Remnant disturbed by the Elvish madness,
rode forth against the Elves are commemorated in awoken from some aeons long slumber by the

34
falling Black Iron? Those few who have confronted
the Remnant with sword and flame scream that the
Remnants are memories of mankind’s sins incarnated
The Known Cities
to punish us. Others, those who have spent long hours
studying the surviving ancient tomes have a radically of the Pale
different thesis. The Remnant are watchers, guardians,
placed in the earth by the long dead gods, to preserve With the Black Iron came destruction and the loss of
humanity and keep the darkness at bay. They are said knowledge. Some of this knowledge included the maps
to be ancient and all knowing, guardians of those that that were held in noble houses of the known lands and
came from the fall. It is unknown how the Remnant the cities that could be found there. For many, these
sustains themselves, but many have claimed it is from maps were invaluable, but to others, they were a fancy,
the dreams and thoughts of men, but access to their an indulgence of the wealthy, and all they knew were
power offers so much, even this is acceptable. the roads and the direction to travel in. Now with the Study of the Remnant have
ice and snow, even these are not reliable. revealed a few intresting
theories, the first is that
It is said that there are six Remnants. The one that when the Black Iron fell
resides within the grand library is unique, living on the Those that choose to travel beyond the protection of
it did not fall alone, that
thoughts and dreams of the librarians. The librarians the city and the Sun Spires enter a wasteland without
with it came life. This
claim it is, for this reason, they are able to commune form; the snow has covered most roads and landmarks theory has led to the belief
with it, their energy does not infuse and sustain it but less than the size of a town or city have become buried. that the Remnant and the
instead act as a catalyst, awakening some other form Road markers are lost, and roadside taverns deserted Blood Lords are linked,
of being within the Remnant itself. It is also said that or torn down. Travellers are asked to keep records of that they are two parts of
another Remnant resides within the chambers of the their travels and to mark locations of cities or even a whole, that whole being
features of the landscape that can aid other travellers whatever fell when the
council, although this has never been proven; the fact moon cracked.
that almost no successful assassinations have ever to navigate their way, and maps of this kind are highly
prized by the Grand Library and others. If this theory is correct
been carried out against any member of the council then mankind are pawns
does, however, indicate some measure of protection in some war between
for its members. A third is placed in the city below. A What follows is a list of cities that are known and a whatever alien life infest
fourth is said to have been aboard a ship when the ice rough location of where they can be found along with the Remnant and the
arrived, consuming the sea and that both the Remnant any landmarks that will be seen nearby. Blood Lords, a game
and the ship that bore it, lie lost on the ocean of tears, of chess played out by
godlike beings. This would
trapped in frozen waters. The fifth and sixth are lost,
but alive their life force is felt by the known Remnant, Varsara – City of Sails explain the obsession each
has with the Black Iron
within the Library. The Library, with the assistance The city had the largest harbour on the Eastern coast
and why the Remnant
of the Council, has sent a number of expeditions to and was a bustling merchant city before the fall, now are desperate to find its
recover these lost creatures who may prove pivotal to it stands desolate and ice bound. The harbour is a missing Brethren.
man’s survival, but without success. graveyard of rotted hulls and broken masts, caught
in the frozen waters. Inhabited by the ice tribes who
The Remnant are presumed to have their own agents, guard the city against the Reavers further out who
who act on their behalf directly. While few truly worship the Blood Lord Barston.
know this to be the case, most assume it must be.
And they are right. Called the Malice, the Remnant Location – Eastern Shore
selects their pawns from among the Chimeer and
those corrupted by darkness. Why they choose such Distance from the Last City – 40 Leagues
broken and degenerate beings to pursue the Remnants
goals is unknown; speculation amongst those few
sufficiently well-informed to recognise the Remnants
Old Lighthouse
The lighthouse juts from an outreach of rock a few
plans presume it is dictated by some strange, alien
miles off the eastern coast. The lower levels encrusted
sense of pity or they are simply easier to control. The
in ice and the light that once guided ships to the
Remnant never speaks of the Malice, but continue to
harbour of Varsara now dark. Some say the lighthouse
send their agents on deadly missions, to find tokens
is occupied, that strange lights and sounds have been
and talisman of the world before, or to spy on cities
heard by the tribes as they hunt the frozen sea, many
under the sway of the Blood Lords. The Malice allows
of whom see the old lighthouse as haunted.
the Remnant to stretch forth across the land, pursuing
their increasingly obscure goals.

The Pale 35
Lortumia – City of Chains There is trade in the cities, but this comes with a tax
that must be paid and often prices items outside the
The twin city to Varsara and itself a bustling trade
port, Lortumia became famous for its trade in slaves. reach or beyond that of other trade cities.
The city was the scene of a major battle before the fall
and the fields outside its gates are said to be littered To travel the Ash Plains, a visit to the city is a must if it
with the dead. The elves trade in humans was a major is only for supplies to get you to your final destination.
factor behind the war that led to the long winter. The
city is now home to the Blood Lord Laidon, and the Location – Southern Lands
trade in flesh continues.
Distance from the Last City – 230 Leagues
Location – Eastern Shore
Crimson Citadel
Distance from the Last City – 90 Leagues Called the Crimson Citadel for the amount of dead
and dying that grace its walls, and can be found
The Forest of Wrecks crucified along its many roads, the citadel is home to
The forest of wrecks stretches across the eastern shore, Axas, greatest of the Blood Lords.
Those determined to
continue to live in the 10 leagues from the coastline, it moves up the coast and
Pale still fish the Ice encompasses the Shackles and ends 10 leagues beyond The Dead Marsh
lakes and sea. Drilling the city of Lortumia. This is the home to pirates and Where the ice begins to melt stands the dead marsh, 30
holes in the ice and reavers, killers and worshippers of Barston. When the leagues of bog and swamp that stretches the boarder of
dropping lines to catch war began, and the Black iron fell, many tried to flee the ash fields and acts as a natural border (warning) to
the fish below, the fact via ship, and these met their fate facing tsunamis and all those travelling to the desert of dust beyond. The
that fish still thrive is marsh is the domain of Nicran, lord of the Wight’s that
ice.
a wonder to many and
infest this marsh.
a sign of corruption to
others. Barche – City of Arenas
The city that held the grand arena that entertained The Holy City
the elves with gladiatorial battles, beast slaughter and The largest city and the second to fall during the war,
various other cruelties. The city is now home to Xertin the holy city was the hub of elven science and belief,
and his pallid; the arena’s still function as Xertin’s and it was here that the black iron was summoned.
Worshippers scour the land for victims to be flung in Outside the walls is the league of the dead, a mass
the pits for the blood lords entertainment. battlefield of corpses buried beneath the snow and
ice. The area is filled with carrion, scavengers, corpse
Location – Eastern Lands eaters and those that wish to take up the mantle of the
Relic Knights. The city itself is said to be cursed, home
to dark magic’s left unchecked, ghosts of the vile elves
Distance from Last City - 120 Leagues
and huge sentries said to be formed by sorcery and the
bones of those that died on the chirgeon slabs.
The Great Wood
In the west close to the mountains of the Dragons
Distance from the Last City – 50 League
Tail is the Great Wood, once a vibrant forest used for
hunting and the gathering of herbs. It is now poisoned
and rotted, home to abominations and bandits. The Bone Field
South East of the last city can be found the field of
bones, a vast graveyard of giants, now just bone. These
Antria – City of Gems granite-like protrusions have become the temples and
For those that brave the Ash Plains, the first city they
bastions of strange cults and bandits. Deep within
find will be Antria, built on trade from gem mining,
where the corruption is at it’s strongest is the cathedral
Antria was once the wealthiest city in the land. Now
to the flesh and home to the Blood Lord Kial. The
the city is home to bandits and slavers who describe
abominations that serve the Blood Lord search
Antria as a free city, but it is far from free, gripped in
amongst the bones for victims and ancient devices to
the thrall of crime and corruption.
aid the blood lord in his experiments.
Travellers can stay in the city, but they do so at their
own risk, the city has laws, but these are very flexible Distance from the Last City – 90 Leagues
and often ignored depending on the circumstances.

38
Vorne – City of Spires
The city began as a single tower, a construction of Landmarks &
Places
vanity by a wealthy elf, and it soon became a thousand.
Also called the city without walls the people of Vorne
lived in the clouds, or as close as they could. The spires
connected by glass and steel that lit up with alchemical The Pale is littered with old temples, ruined roadside
globes at night which could be seen for hundreds of Inns and villages and even small towns. Those
leagues in all directions. Access was from glass boxes exploring the Pale may also find Ranger huts, Bandit
lifted by chains operated by slaves. camps or even cultist covens. Travelling along the
roads will bring its own dangers with slaver caravans,
The spires still stand, some of the bridges that ambushes and even soldiers of the Blood Lords.
connected one to another are broken or buckled, the
glass boxes that once ascended the spire powered by Small forests, marshes and other natural dangers will
the sweat of the oppressed now stand dormant and be encountered, and as you travel closer to the sea,
unusable. It is said that much wealth and knowledge thin ice can often drop the unwary into an estuary
lies unreachable far above, but as yet no one has or river bringing about death very quickly in the icy
managed to gain entry. waters.

Distance from Last City – 30 Leagues Travelling the mountains is often safer in regards
to some environmental threats, but there are many
other dangers that will replace them, barbarian tribes,
cannibals, wild animals and corrupted horrors stalk
the cliffs and falling is a serious hazard.

The Land Below


As the moon fractured and the land tore itself apart, and fester in the hidden regions of the Land Below
many fled the surface for the ancient world below, has rendered the population increasingly insular
home of the long dead dwarves. This was a perilous and reserved. In the early years, regular expeditions The death of the Dwarves
choice none had ventured into the Dwarf holds for a through the tunnels were carried out. Now, almost thousands of years earlier
long time. No one knew what lurked in the darkness, no new ground is examined or explored. Instead, the has never been verified
and whether the potential death which awaited them defences of the cities are reinforced and perfected, and the only evidence of
in the Land Below was any better than the certain with the dwarven technologies augmented. Tunnel this is what was written in
Elven documents. Noises
death which would come to them on the surface. spanning doors, moats and collapsible bridges prevent
heard by Vagrants from
Many were consumed by fell things in the unexplored the unwanted from entering, and many are content deep below ground may
passages beneath. More, however, survived and found to stay in the cities or to only walk the protected and indicate that the Dwarves
the dwarven cities intact and magnificently built. The illuminated routes, desperate to believe that nothing may still inhabit their
dwarves may have died thousands of years ago, but exists beyond the light. cities.
their cities remained, along with many of the unusual
technologies created to secure them.
Roads in the Darkness
The social order which had existed on the surface The cities are linked by roadways, many of the cities
quickly imported itself to the Land Below; the first have had these roads patrolled and lit with help from
to establish themselves in the dwarven cities were the Black Fort. The roads are still dangerous and travel
the wealthy families, able to hire guards and workers, from one city to the next can take days. Often, shorter
to create well defended and protected estates, routes are available but require the use of roads
cannibalising the existing architecture and using these leading through crumbling passages, or places which
positions of power to assert authority over those who the dwarves walled off.
elected to live nearby.
The roads are also home to the vagrant camps; even in
Despite the decades spent by man in the Land the Land Below, there is not enough space for all to live
Below, there are many dark places and tunnels still in comfort. Those who fled the world above and were
unexplored. Fear over the strange things which wait not part of a noble family or had nothing to offer their
new rulers have been forced to subsist, as they can,

The Pale 39
within the labyrinth beneath the earth. These camps Trade exists between cities, but this remains subject
are typically set up in old dwarven mining complexes to the whims of the ruling families; a careless word
or way-stations. Many are off the roads and are at in a letter can result in all mercantile activity between
constant threat from the creatures that live deep in two cities stopping immediately. A trader may carry
the caves and mines. These vagrants offer themselves their wares for days to only discover that there is
as guides for those wishing to risk the quicker routes now an embargo and they must return to where they
to the cities, exchanging their hard-won expertise came from. Trade with the Last City flows more freely
for food. With little edible in the Land Below, food between all the cities — in part because all the Cities
is always scarce for those who have no place in the Below rely on this trade equally, and in part, because
cities. Such guides are however, rarely entirely reliable. the incurring the wrath of the Merchants Guild by
Sometimes, their charge reaches their destination denying their representative’s entrance and care would
safely; sometimes, they enter the dark never to be seen effectively constitute suicide for the city. Even the
again. A vagrant family often eats well on such days. Merchants Guild has lost goods in the Land Below, to
vagrants and to the shapeless things which hunker in
The ruling families act As a road gets closer to a city patrols will appear, gates the abyssal darkness.
unhindered by the laws and doors barring the way and requests must be made
for the way to be opened. Each city has its different
of the Last City above
and this has led to many laws, and tolls for entry. Traders are usually known The Ruling Families
criminal enterprises. and possess a Merchants Guild license, allowing swift Each city is controlled by a family and the laws within
Also small wars have access. Messengers and explorers are usually hirelings, each location are determined by and passed down
broken out between retained by a family, carrying their seal to show they by that family. This system is frowned upon by the
cities in the past and have permission to pass. Obviously, depending on the Council in the Last City, who dislike it for its inherent
this is more dangerous
city, possession of such a seal may be a hindrance as instability. For some on the council, the Land Below
for the vagrants and might as well be ruled by crime gangs — fitting, some
travellers caught in the much as a boon.
might say, for the underworld.
crossfire.
Most roads are well made and easy to travel on and in
some areas taverns and inns have been set up; these Each city is named for the family who controls it, and
are still rare but have begun to be more widespread any who bear that name are treated as effective royalty
as families do not want to seem less benevolent than — which in many ways, they are. The true dwarven
others. Such rivalries run deep as the dwarven mines, names of the Dwarven cities have either become lost
dating back to the first years after the fall. or indecipherable.

Dresen – The Holy City


The Lost Cities Dresen was once a city of Dwarven gods, a place of
knowledge and harmony. Its fountains were arranged
There are currently five occupied cities in the Land to create exquisite melodies, in the sacred musical
Below, each with a population in the hundreds of language of the Dwarves; its temples stretched
the thousands. The cities, being of dwarven build are everywhere in perfect alignment, honeycomb
strong but built for smaller people, which means that structures of sacred geometric infallibility. Now it is
many of the doorways force people to duck in order overcrowded, noisy and home to the Sisters of Stone
to enter, that windows are lower than normal, and nunnery. Dresen is the northern most city and was
ceilings often have to be raised for comfort. discovered by Taris Dresen, a trader and merchant.

A dwarven city is built like a fortress and utilises the Paxtim – The City of Coals.
stone around it, meaning that many are built into Once the hub of the dwarven forges, its soot blackened
the very earth, with corridors, halls and whole areas walls are now home to 40,000 survivors. The city is
going deep into the rock. Thermals from lava deep considered the capital of the crime families as it was
underground keep the cities temperate, and the little discovered and first occupied by the Paxtimian clan,
food which can be grown in the Land Below (or founders of the Grey Rat Thieves Guild. Claims by
food suitable for humans, at least) is as a result of the the descendants that the family now only deal in
climate which this heat enables. Most cities have farms legitimate business is considered, by most, to be a
dedicated to the production of edible fungi and moss, joke and recounting it, with a straight face, is the most
a few have even begun to experiment with the keeping certain way of getting a laugh in Paxtim. Paxtim lies to
of some livestock. Rivers can also be found stemming the east and was the most recent city to be discovered
from natural mineral springs, and some of those are and claimed. Some rumours insist that it was first
home to pale, blind fish which are, at least, edible. discovered by vagrants, who attempted to render the

40
conurbation a haven for the dispossessed and broken.
Instead, they were forced to divulge its location. Cults
Though not as numerous as on the surface, there are
Karalk – The Great Gate a number of hidden cults conducting their pernicious
Less of a city and more a fortress built to hold back work in the Land Below. These are relatively small
something now entirely forgotten, this dwarven and hold little power within the cities themselves,
bastion was the first of the cities to be discovered. Its where the ruling families deal with them quickly and
vast towers and gate lead downwards, down to the viciously. Beyond the gates, on the roads and in the
deepest of the dwarven territories and all must pass dark, however, the cults thrive. The wretched state
beneath its walls in order to reach the other cities. in which many vagabonds are forced to live makes
This places the city of Karalk in a position of power as them an ideal breeding ground for the Cults, who
it controls the flow of trade into the below. Carefully use their desperation to secure loyalty. Many believe
suppressed whispers state that something still lurks the Cults infiltrate the Land Below in search of old
in the tunnels near Karalk, waiting to return to the sorcery or clues to replicating the technology of the
surface. Dwarfs. Others assert that the elves crawled up to
the surface from the Below and that the Cults seek
Kazadim – City of Iron to breed new elves or to make themselves in the elves
The ancient dwarven city of kings can be found to the image. Whatever the truth, the threat from the cults
west of the great road; its iron towers reach up to touch continues to grow, as they traverse the darkness and
the roof of an enormous cavern, bridges link together head deeper into the Below, who knows what they will
vast stalactites hanging from the ceiling, leading to find?
curving staircases and walkways eventually leading
Many Scavengers are
secret members of the back to the city below. Seekers of the Long Dead
Seekers and will offer As the cities settled and life ‘normalised’ deep
there more valuable and The city is home to the grand palace of the last dwarven underground many became curious of who built
old finds to the ‘cult’. This king, a building that has managed to thwart all attempts these cities and many academics and students began
has pushed the knowledge to enter it. Huge iron doors locked by mechanisms, to examine the murals, the writings and architecture
of the seekers into strange entirely unfathomable to the new occupants of the of the old dwarves. This led to discovery of secret
directions which they city, bar the way into the palace, but speculation of doors that there was no obvious ways to open, strange
guard from any outsiders.
what wonders and treasures must lie within keep the mechanisms that seemed to have no purpose and the
workers and the thieves guild occupied with attempts discovery of paintings that told of an advanced race
to unlock the secrets. of builders and inventors who had developed new life
from the iron and stone they mined. These discoveries
created a movement of scholars determined to find
Beremholme – City of Bridges out everything they could, but the risks were high
To the southeast stands Beremholme — once a great
and very soon after a number of deaths the families
mining city. Beyond its southern borders lie the
outlawed the pursuit of knowledge outside the gates of
gateways to dozens of mines, through which metal
the city, for safety reasons.
tracks snake their way deep underground. Many
of these gateways have been barred or locked up,
This law pushed the movement into the shadows and
some by the original occupants and others by the
soon it was branded a cult by many as the members
recent occupiers. The city itself is criss-crossed with
were fanatical. Hiring dubious Vagrants that often
underground rivers created by a number of natural
ended in robbery or in some cases injury and death the
springs. It is said that the rivers eventually end at a vast
members would travel deep into the old mines or dark
underground lake but as of, yet no one has found it.
roads as yet unexplored, in the hope to find marvels,
artefacts and documents of this presumed dead race.
Elaborate iron bridges cross the rivers connecting the
Many expeditions never returned but those that did
different wards of the city, many with the iron tracks
spoke of the noises of metal upon metal, forges still
found at the mines. It is believed that the tracks once
burning and more cities full of wonders, of course this
led to all the cities and may lead to many more if only
could all be lies to justify their beliefs, but who knows.
they could follow the tracks for long enough.

The Seed
Many have heard the tales that the Elves were born of
the ancient giants and that the roots of the trees fed
on the magic and blood of fallen giants and from this

42
spawned the elves, though many believe these were of the Deep Church. Many suspect that the families
just lies told by elves in order to power some fantasy of have learnt a lot about dwarf skills from the Church,
dominance the tales persist and some who prospered whose dedicates spend much of their time studying
or loved their elven masters no matter the cruelty they the ancient books of the dead race, supporting their
endured believe them fully and hope to bring about faith through the wealth earned from the family’s
the time of the elves again. patronage.

The seed are a cult of worshippers that hope to bring The Church has recently begun to hire explorers, Many have wondered if
about the elves return to the world mainly through sending those brave enough out to tackle the dark there is any connection
finding the very roots that birthed them and reigniting pathways leading deeper into the earth, all in the hunt between the more
that spark. The Seed search the dark places for arcane for more knowledge and other dwarven artefacts. respected Deep Church
magic’s and secrets left by the elves. This is often a and the Seekers, though no
connection has been found
fruitless endeavour and many of the cult have now
gone missing or were found dead. The cults number Sisters of Stone similarities do exist.

have diminished so now only the true believers When the city of Dresen was discovered, it was evident
continue the search and these are often insane and it had been a holy place of the dwarves. The centre of
rambling shells of humanity, denied entry into city or the city consisted solely of an enormous stone temple.
camp alike. Surrounding it were hundreds of intricately carved
statues, of dwarven heroes or gods, standing watch
around the temple perimeter. Within, the walls were
The Banished adorned with paintings and mosaics of battles and Though the ruling families
The Black Fort is not free of troubles and many holy ceremonies. Many scholars believe the whole state they actively condemn
mages, mainly from the Necromancy school have and seek out signs of rogue
history of the dwarves is etched upon the walls, though mages many believe that
strode from the path and the laws of the Last City dwarven script remains indecipherable.
and the Mages guild itself. Experiments outlawed by a few of the families have
offered deals in return of
common decency, the study of ancient magic’s that The temple was soon occupied by a holy order declaring magical ‘favours’ and have
are declared banned or the inflicting of corruptions itself the Sisters of Stone; the sisters converted the been known to overlook
upon the innocent however low on societies ladder temple into a kind of nunnery. Young girls are taught or turn a blind eye to The
they stand are all illegal and those that are caught are to read and write, schooled in the history of mankind Banisheds activities.
often banished to the land beyond the spires, but some and given the skills they need to serve as healers and
come back and travel the below. teachers.
These Banished Mages seek out scrolls and knowledge The sisters also learn other skills, and, it is for these
of the past deep below, in the hopes to find where the alternative teachings that the temple has now become
elves first formed their arcane lore’s. It is believed that famous. Most of the temple has been converted into
enclaves and covens have been formed, dark places vast training halls and alchemical laboratories. Here
in ancient underground ruins where the nefarious the sisters are schooled in the way of the blade and the
and heinous experiments and studies of the elves explosion, the bow and the use of poison, deception
can continue, a place of torture and the forming of and shadow, warfare and butchery. The Sisters of Stone
abominations from flesh and iron that send the echoes are reckoned the most potent fighting force in the
of screams even to the cities above. Land Below and many from the Last City and beyond
send their daughters to be taught at the temple. It is
Both the Black Fort and the Families have vowed to said that there are other branches of the sisterhood,
seek out and destroy these sanctuaries of death and spread throughout the world, though they remain
the Mages that form them, but this has been with little entirely secret. Only those few who have become true
success. initiates are taught their locations and how to enter
them.

Faith
Some below have adopted the religion of the
Threats
Dwarves, worshipping the stone and marvelling in the Many things scurry in the dark in the tunnels and
architecture that inspired the worship. These people roads uncharted by those that now live below. Secret
are considered harmless, and some cities have even paths into cities are often utilised by smugglers and
allowed the order places to hold their ceremonies and assassins, but these paths are fraught with danger, and
religious teachings, ultimately resulting in the creation many rely on the knowledge and guild trust of the
Vagrants that live in the dark places.

The Pale 43
When the elves destroyed the dwarves and looted what roads between the cities has become marginally safer,
cities they could, it is said that they sent expeditions payments for guides has increased but this is a small
into the deeper mines to discover if any dwarves had price to pay for safety.
survived. The expeditions mostly failed, but those that
did survive spoke of cities and wonders not seen before,
of vast libraries of knowledge and treasures that filled
vaults the size of small towns. Forges were seen fuelled The Guilds
by dragons which could form items of pure magic and
bend the mightiest of ores to the smith’s will. Why the The Families hold most of the power below but
elves never explored these wonders are anyone’s guess, the guilds do have some sway, the merchant guild
but many presume it is what they do not tell us that organises food and other materials to be delivered to
scared the elves and why so many expeditions failed. and from the cities and in the past disagreements have
halted this until a amicable outcome was achieved, to
An aspect of the below that is not spoken of or even many this showed that the merchant guild had power
acknowledged by some are the deep rumblings heard over the families but this belief was quickly crushed
by many emanating from deep within the earth. Also, when many of the merchant guild top members were
the bizarre lights seen by vagrants and scavengers or arrested by the city militias and ceasing deliveries
the strange writings scrawled on walls, often in blood were outlawed for the good of the people.
and always in the common tongue. These rumours are
frowned upon and even dismissed by many, especially One guild that has prospered even more than the Silent
those that are at risk of losing the most if these Guild has been the Explorers, a minor organisation
rumours ever began to be taken seriously. in the Last City but below it has some standing. It is
believed that this could be due to the fact that many
believe that it is safer to explore the old roads and

The Dispossessed mines of the dwarves then the cities and ruins of the
Pale, a belief that is unfounded and in many ways
wrong, something that many scavengers and explorers
Living along the roads, within the old mining camps have discovered too late.
and outside the gates are those that have been denied
access, the unwanted, the useless and the corrupted. There is currently no power struggle between the
The families have been harsh upon those they see as families and the guilds but it is only a matter of time
burdens or undesirable, removing them from the cities when it could happen, all it would take would be a
and any protection offered. Many would ask why these discovery of something that disrupts the status quo or
Vagrants just return to the Last City above, and many a shortage of food and materials that would place the
do but those that have discovered that the situation control in either one or the others hands.
was not much better. Some went off into the Pale to
meet their doom from the cold or by other means.

As time passed, these unwanted created their own


laws, designed positions for themselves as guides or
thieves, killers and smugglers, anything that would
allow them to survive. Also, some had families who
needed shelter and food, and these were provided
often from some feckless traveller or gullible trader.

Life on the outside is harsh and many of those pushed


to the edge have found ways to survive, ways often
seen as criminal or against nature.

The Silent Guild has attempted to monopolise on these


unwanted vagrants recruiting many in a guild within a
guild, a house of beggars if you will, this is denied by
the masters of the Silent Guild and no evidence has
proven it to be so, but the Guild is known to commit
very little to paper and those that tell tales are often
found hanging from bridges or dead in alleys. This
recruitment has changed things and travel on the

46
Mythic Artefacts
Throughout the ancient books studied by the mages and the librarians in the Last City, there has been mention
of artefacts wielded by gods and ancient heroes, or elven sorcerers and Dwarven artisans. These treasures have
become lost in time, but with the help of the Remnant, many may have been located, or a place found marking
the artefacts last known location. Too many, including the Remnant, the finding of these ancient relics, could be
the key to turning back the fall or the discovery of secrets buried centuries ago.

Unbeknown to these scholars is the fact that the Blood Lords also seek these items and have sent their own
agents to scour the ruins for clues to where they may be hidden, but for what purpose is unclear, also what is
strange are reports of ghosts seen near the deserted cities and towers of the elves. The remnant stir and warn
caution but when pressed, say no more.

Discovering an Artefact Using Artefacts


Artefacts are rare and to be honest the only reason The use of an artefact should be both unknown and
anyone knows they exist is from a few pages in old dangerous; these items do not come with instructions,
books, in fact there could be hundreds of these relics and any related nearby text will be in an unknown
out there being overlooked or shoved in some box and language. Attempting to use the item could result in
no one knows. injury or some other disaster or an actual success. It is
suggested that you apply a target number of at least 10
Mythic Artefacts are said to be once used by gods or to the use of the item without knowledge with fumbles
heroes of renown, but like all thing’s history is not leading to serious negative results. Characters will
always accurate and relies on the perspective of the need to use Arcane or Lore to attempt to use the item.
author, a hero or god to one person is often a villain or
demon to another. To gain instruction in the use of an item will involve
a journey to the Black Fort or to a Remnant or some
The mythic artefacts listed here are those that are other scholar of the ancient world.
known of but there are many more and you should
use the guidelines offered here when creating your 2d6 Artefact State
artefacts. They should not be easy to find, not easy to
wield by mere mortals and should often have a cost 2-5 Artefact is dusty but seems to emanate power,
to owning. They be found broken or lacking any real which appears to twist and simmer the air
power, what appears as a mighty sword in the books around it
may be but a mere butter knife in reality, and of course 6-11 Artefact seems dormant and shows no sign of
these could just be works of fiction, children’s tales of being in any way powerful.
adventure and mystery 12 Artefact is broken in some way.

Artefact Locations
The locations mentioned in the text is the last location
the artefact was seen and so that does not mean they
will be there still, but maybe a clue to where they were
moved to or maybe hearsay of such an item being seen
elsewhere could be a clue to another location. This
will make finally getting to find one of these relics a
challenge and be part of a more extensive campaign.

The creator and wielders of these artefacts were


cunning and creative so secret doors, traps, magic and
other challenges can be included, dark ancient arcane
sorceries can be woven around a location in order to
protect or hide the relic.

The Pale 47
The Blade of the Archmage
Forged from steel and tempered with the blood of the dwarves, this elven blade was created as a gift for the
Archmage Daelias for his work conquering the dwarven capital of Fenkos and halting the defence of the lower
tiers.

The sword is said to be just over 3ft in length, the hilt made of dragon bone and wrapped in the cured skin of
the king of Fenkos. At the centre of the cross guard sits the holy jewel taken from the king’s crown and said to
be formed from the blood of the first of the dwarves.

The sword itself is highly magical and absorbs energy from the blood of those that it cuts and transfers some
of that to the wielder. The blade can slice through any material and the energy it absorbs adds to the blade’s
strength and sharpness, making this a devastating weapon it the right hands. Also called Dwarf Bane as it is
rumoured to be able to kill a dwarf in a single strike.

Last known location: Vorne: Home of an Elf noble

Iron Crown of the Crow God


Krawn the God of Crows was gifted the crown from the master of the god forge Towat Yagin to reward the god
for his destruction of the twin giants Vog and Xerta, it is said that the crown is forged from the iron derived from
the twin giants blood, and that within the crown the hearts of Vog and Xerta still beat.

The crown is said to make the wearer immune to mind attacks and to bless them with mental powers beyond
that of mortal and god alike. It is claimed that the crown has regeneration powers and that Krawn still lives but
is asleep being kept sustained by the power of the crown.

Last known location: The Holy City

48
Crowders Axe
The axe of Crowder Elf slayer last The axe called Elf Bane and Earth
hero of the Dwarves, crafted Shaker is known to send a wave
by Kaerdin Gato and blessed of pure energy that would strike
by the rune smiths of the last those 100ft from the wielder
dwarven city. Crowder held of the axe, it can cut through
the gates of Fenkos for 30 days multiple foes and heal the
and nights and is said to have wounds of the user. It is also
killed so many elves the pile of claimed that the axe was melted
corpses he stood upon lifted the down and used to forge the Blade
dwarf above the walls of the city. gifted to the Archmage Daelias, but
these rumours are unfounded.

Last known location: Lortumia: Grand Cathedral

Bow of the Sun


Formed from the rays of the sun by the god Herrick to kill the giant champion Bandoro during the battle of the
Dragons, it is said that the velocity of the arrow caused earthquakes that formed the Dragon Tail mountains.

The Bow is of simple wood but is endowed with the power to create magical arrows as hot as the sun that will
burn through any substance they pierce, and that the bows range is infinite. The stories claim that Herrick need
only whisper the name of his foe to the bow and the arrow it launched would seek them out no matter where
they hid.

Last known location: Unknown

The Pale 49
Long Reach of the Daur

Wielded by the elven skirmisher Lorjen Ferrik during the conquering of the surface realm
he would often make references to cutting down humans like they cut their wheat ‘in great
sways’. The pole axe was forged in the dying embers of the great fire that destroyed the
dwarven capital city and burnt to death 3000 dwarven women and children, the last of
the dwarfs.

It is said that the pole axe screams as it cuts and gathers the souls of those harvested
transferring the essence of its victims to the wielder imbuing them with power both to heal
the body and to enhance the magical capabilities, as well as to give strength and endurance, the
more the pole axe kills the more the wielder can kill.

Last know location: Antria

Visage of the Daur


Worn by the dwarven assassin Herik Kranork to
enter the palace of the elven lord Yelon Faressian
and assassinate him, the mission was a success and
considered the first great blow against the elven
destroyers. Herik was hunted down by elven rangers
and executed, his body nailed up on the great road
as a warning to others, it is said that magic kept the
Herik’s corpse repeating the elven phrase ‘Sada Daur
usan ur torajak’ which translates to Our Elven Masters
are Merciful.

The mask is said to make you appear in every way


like your target and was created specifically for the
purpose of the Elven Lord, which many believe means
that it can only take on the appearance of elves. The
Sisters of Stone have offered a sizable reward to anyone
that finds the artefact.

Last known location: Holy City

50
Iron Shaper

Given by the gods to the dwarven craftsman Kaerdin Gato as a gift and to aid him on the
crafting of the weapons of the gods. The weapons and armour crafted by Kaerdin were paramount
in the destruction of the giants.

This simple hammer looks like any other except for a small mark of a horseshoe and the initials
KG inscribed in the haft. The hammer allows the wielder to craft magically powerful weapons
and items and it is believed that many of the artefacts were created using iron Shaper.

Last known location: Unknown

Towat’s Fists

Master of the God Forge and quartermaster of the armoury Towat was the
strongest of the gods, he built many of the weapons and armour they wore and
is said to have taught the dwarves his secrets. Towat was also a lover of
brawling and fist fighting and was known to enter many dwarven prize
fights disguised as a humble blacksmith. Many would consider this
unfair as who could beat a god and it is true Towat rarely lost a fight, and
eventually this irked him, he needed a challenge so he crafter Towats Fists.

These unassuming leather gloves give the wearer an increase in strength and
endurance allowing the wearer to fight harder and longer, they also increase the
toughness and coordination of the wearer. These were given to the only person
to beat Towat by Towat himself and legend has it that as Towat was knocked
from the sand circle he vowed never to fight again.

Last known location: Barche

The Pale 51
Cloak of Gallows

Once worn by the Executioner Valis, who dealt with those that the
gods condemned to die the cloak was designed to not only disguise
the executioner’s true identity but also to give him the strength to
strike true and with a single blow.

The cloak is made from silk and a fine mesh of an unknown metal
all woven together with the hair of Loranda the most beautiful
of all the gods. The cloak changes the appearance or cloaks the
appearance of the wearer and increases the wearers strength.

Last Known Location: Unknown

Blood Gem
A fine silver necklace that holds a red gemstone, it is said this piece
of jewellery was the final item ever created by the last master crafter
of the dwarves before being killed by the elven hero Jarith Torrel.
Jarith presented the item to his bride to be on their wedding day and
the day before the elven armies entered the surface world for the first
time.

The gem is said to hold the soul of the ancient dwarven craftsman
and will enhance the abilities of the wearer as well as allow them to
know the secrets of crafting held by that ancient master.

Last Known Location: Crimson Citadel

52
The Blood Lords
After the fall and the long winter began many of those regarding the Blood Lords they are vague, but some
that had fled to the Last City to avoid the destruction mages have mentioned that it seems uncanny that
began to make their way back to their homes in the when the Remnant discover or request that a relic be
hope to rebuild, thinking that the cold and storms found that the Blood Lords also seem interested in
would eventually diminish and life would return to that exact same relic, is there a link between the two?
normal. What they discovered was a new horror in the The other connection is that both the Remnant and
form of the Blood Lords, these demons had taken up the Blood Lords appeared after the fall, what does this
residence in the abandoned cities and began to gather mean? The instructions from
the Remnant on how
disciples to their cause, and it quickly became clear
to deal with the Blood
that returning home was not an option.
Should you face them? Lords has been seen as
further proof that what
To face a Blood Lord is death and discussion on the
Who are they? subject has concluded that it is wiser to whittle away at
is in fact happening is a
power struggle between
No one is really sure who the Blood Lords were, a lords power, cut off the head of the snake, because it the two, and the fact that
some claim they are elves left behind and effected by is the disciples of the Blood Lords where their power six Blood Lords exist and
the very magic they used to corrupt and destroy the rests, or so it is believed. it is believed that an equal
land, others believe they escaped the Shackles and number of Remnant exist
were experiments there, humans twisted by arcane It is from the Remnant that most knowledge of the indicates a connection.
chirurgeons. Many rumours and theories exist, what Blood Lords come and from the interrogation and
is unquestionable is that before the fall the Blood torture of the cult members. The Remnant are vague
Lords did not exist. stating that taking away the source of power in the
form of disciples who sacrifice offerings, seek out the
The Blood Lords seem connected, they recognise relics and protect the cities will be the way to strike
each other’s authority and no conflict over land or back, some Mages of the Black Fort have claimed that
cities have been heard of, they each rule the land they this makes us no better than the corrupted as are we
seem built for, almost as if this has been planned. This not just killing those controlled by evil, and hence
knowledge of the Blood Lords connection has sparked being controlled ourselves by what we presume are
many of the rumours that this was the last act of the benevolent beings, the Remnant.
elves to continue to control even after they fled.
Whatever your belief or reason facing a Blood Lord
What is known is that they appeared after the fall and will bring corruption, insanity and death and it is
the Black Iron froze the land and this makes many advised that you avoid at all cost.
of those that worship the Blood Lords claim they are
gods, knocked from their thrones in the heavens and
who now rule from their earthly thrones.

What do they want?


Power seems to be the obvious answer but power
through fear as many that have faced them have died,
they seem to send corruption out and those affected
return as disciples to their lord. But, there is a method
to their madness and an agenda, the Blood Lords seem
intrigued by past artefacts and have sent out their
disciples, cults and killers to seek out the lost relics of
the past, they also seem determined to continue the
depraved experiments of the elves and many of the
lords have a good grasp of arcane magic beyond that
of the Black Fort.

There has been talk of a connection between the Blood


Lords and the Remnant, neither has made a move
against the other and if the Remnant are questioned

The Pale 53
54
Axas - The Lord of Blood & Vein
Axas is the cruellest of the Lords and is known for the Followers
gifting blood magic to his priests. He is said to reside within The worshippers of Axas are a craven people often drinking
the Crimson Citadel, 80 leagues to the south of the Last the blood of their victims or eating the flesh. They travel
City. Those who have been unfortunate to stumble onto the the wastes in flocks preaching to towns and travellers alike,
single road that leads to that dreaded place whisper that the demanding a tithe or sacrifice to the Blood Lord, falling
Citadel’s walls are covered with freshly crucified sacrifices to upon any who deny them in a frenzy of murder and slashing.
Axas, flayed and perpetually suspended in some kind of vile Often, they are said to wear the faces of those they have
unlife. Even as crows pluck their eyes from their sockets, or killed or of a fallen comrade as a homage to them, and
flies lay eggs in exposed strands of muscle, they scream Axas’ many a traveller has been found dead upon the road their
name, over and over again from ruined throats. face removed, and the Sigil of Axas burned into their flesh.

The Citadel itself was once the home to an elven mage The sickly smell of burnt flesh follows the worshippers
renowned for his experiments and construction of horrors as they travel as many carry and wave censers containing
formed from flesh. It is believed that the citadel fell along human flesh and hair or have them hanging from carts. They
with the Black Iron as many claimed to have seen the place carry knives and razor-sharp sickles, which are used to attack
sundered by a piece ‘as big as a hut’, evidently this was untrue. and skin their victims. Most wear robes or armours made of
cured skins (often human).
GM Note
Approaching the Citadel is very dangerous and will lead
to attacks from both abominations and worshippers of the GM Note
blood lord. Reaching the citadel and entering its walls will Travelling worshipper bands are easy to avoid as the smell,
place the characters in a situation of dire danger, facing and their chanting is often heard before they are seen. Roads
Axas will lead to either insanity or death. where crucified remains or smoking pyres often indicate a
route travelled by the worshippers of Axas. Closer to the
citadel settlements will be forced to hand over crops and
livestock to feed those within the citadel’s walls, with the
Description threat of taking children or settlers if the demand is not met.
The Lord of Blood and Vein, High King over all the Many of the people who live within these settlements are
other Blood Lords, Axas is said to be elven in appearance, underfed, mutilated or branded as a warning to others.
though others insist he is a corpse reanimated, strips of
flesh hanging from ruined features. Of course, both may be
true. It is known that he walks the land where death lays, To Face Him
feeding off the blood of the slain, drawing it towards him Axas is a sorcerer and master of Blood Magic; he is surrounded
in great crimson ribbons. He demands blood sacrifice, and by his devoted followers and an aura of corruption which is
his followers happily oblige, stabbing, skinning and slicing able to turn most who set eyes upon him insane. Facing Axas
their victims with tainted blades, pledged to the Blood Lord. is folly but it is believed that he controls all other Blood
Wherever he appears, and whatever visage he wears, vein- Lords in the Pale, so face him one day you must.
like appendages extrude from his arms, moving with sinister
intelligence, seeking out the freshly dead to drain.

Few have seen Axas and survived leading many to believe


that the Blood Lord does not exist or is a story told to scare
people away, but these are lies told to those with no intent on
leaving the relative safety of the last city. Many hunters have
witnessed the worshippers and seen the aftermath of their
rituals, and some even claim they have seen the citadel itself.

Introduction 55
Barston - Lord of Salt and Rust
The forest of Wrecks which lies ten leagues from
the western coast and includes the shackle isles is GM Note
home to Barston and his reavers. The bones of their The western coast is still home to many small fishing
victims hang from the broken masts of ships frozen villages struggling to survive, many of these ‘Ice
into the ice around them. Tribes’ have no connection to Barston and cast a
wary eye towards the Forest of Wrecks. But further
off the coast it soon becomes clear that corruption
The Shackle Isles was once home to pirates before
spreads beneath the ice, and no friendly locals will
the elves forced them out and turned the islands
be seen.
and into a charnel house of dark surgeries. The war
and the subsequent invasion of the shackles turned Description
many of the villages on the isles into ruins, but some The Herald of the Blood Lords, the agent of their
believe that this is where Barston calls home, in one coming, Barston is the Lord of Salt and Bone. It
of the many abandoned castles on the islands. is said that Barston was once a Pirate captain and
scourge of the waters around the Pale Lands and

56
Followers
The seas around the pale lands are littered with the wrecks
of ships frozen to a standstill, and here, amidst these wrecks
jutting forth from pack ice, Barton’s followers hide and
wait. Pirates, Raiders, reavers and wreckers — all worship
and align themselves with the Lord of the Preserved Dead,
dragging their victims out from the shore and hunting them
through the maze of split-open wooden hulls and toppled
masts. Once they are caught, as they inevitably are, the
victims have their throats slit, and their bodies packed into
salt. Over time, the withered flesh is removed from their
bones, perfectly preserved by the salt. The meat is eaten in
tribute to the Salt Lord, and the bones are suspended from
the masts above the dozens of ruined ships.

To many of the ice tribes, Barston is the fish god that exists in
the legends and myths, and these have continued to worship
him as such. Barston relentlessly drives his followers on to
attack travellers and traders, a lord of pirates and reavers
would be amiss if he did not.

GM Note
Many of the Ice Tribes became corrupted and fell under
the sway of Barston; these are recognisable by the totems
of human bones they wear, the signs of corruption and the
often-filed teeth. From a distance, they are indiscernible
from the normal Ice Tribe’s, carved fish holes in the ice or
attacking seals and other creatures that roam the ice.

To Face Him
Barston sits upon a throne of crabs and barnacles deep inside
a rusting, rotting hulk. Like most of the other Blood Lords,
his appearance causes discomfort and fear. A stench of decay
and rotted fish emanates from his skin and blood is tinged
with bacteria.
that his ship was struck by a piece of the Black Iron causing
it to sink. From the wreckage, he crawled changed, twisted
bearing the marks of corruption. He was hailed as the fish
king and lord of the oceans by the ice tribes and those that
lived their lives on the sea; he quickly gathered followers
whom he twisted to his insane whims.

Barston is believed to be the first Blood Lord to appear, and


his preachings foretold the others, some say that the words
of Barston gave form to the corruption which whence came
to the likes of Axas and Xertin. He has since been known as
the Herald.

Due to Barstons appearance on the Shackles, many have


presumed that he is, in fact, a Ghul, but one that went
terribly wrong as it seems that his merging was with a crab
or Lobster.

Introduction 57
58
Kial - The Lord Chirurgeon
The great granite like bones of giants protrudes from the blackened the ice around itself with corruption and rancid
snow for as far as the eye can see. These vast monuments to blood. The screams of the tortured of whatever dark sorceries
dead gods are now home to the abominations, skull temples are performed in that foul place fill the air, a cacophony of
of corruption and death and rib cages of chirurgey and suffering, pleasure, chanting and pain.
melding. Walls created by pelvis and clavicle surround the
cathedral in the centre of this vast field. This is the home to Kial himself is said to be truly twisted, a mass of corrupted
the Blood Lord Kial. flesh that has melded and grown into tumours and cists, a
rotting mass of disease erupting with feelers and tentacles
that writhe and exude purple globules of sweet-smelling
Description sludge. Below this is still the form of the man he was, still
It is said that Kial lived on the Shackles, performing
dressed as a Chirurgeon the only clue to who he truly was.
ancient chirurgie’s on the people sent there and that he was
instrumental in the techniques of melding species together
which eventually formed the Chimeers. His work was Followers
noticed by the Elven high lords, which led to him being Those that follow or worship the Blood Lord are twisted by
transferred to the Holy City to continue his work there, his promises of immortality or physical improvement; they
among the elite of Elven sorcerers and chirurgeons. hunt down any that stray to close to the Giants’ bones and
drag them to the cathedral for experimentation. The more
When the war came to the city, Kial was deep in its bowels worthy of the followers eventually become the abominations
amongst the screams and smells of torture and progress, and that now scour the lands spreading corruption and death.
was unaware that the human armies stood at the gates and
assaulted the walls of the city above. It was the thunderclap It is not clear whether the Order of Bones has any connection
of raw magic that finally alerted him enough to raise his to Kial and his followers, as they do share an interest in
head from the abomination he was creating upon his table. the bones of dead giants. Some believe that the Order of
This sound of a thousand realms tearing and the subsequent Bones is a front or an acceptable public face for the Lord of
cracking of the cities stone, made Kial leave the caverns and Corruption which allows him access to the Last City and
cells and venture upwards to the surface, in time to see the Below, but this has never been proven.
Black Iron fall.

From there time stands still as nothing was written in ink or


To Face Him
To see the Blood Lord is to be sickened and fearful, Kial
blood, and the world changed forever.
oozes so much corruption that any who get to close will
begin to twist and change internally and mentally within
It was amongst the bones of the fallen gods, the giant’s
hours of being in the Blood Lords presence. Those brought
graveyard as it had become known, that whispers of a Blood
to him become his new fascination and are quickly adapted
Lord with skills of a Chirurgeon began to be heard. They
and reconstructed into an image of awful beauty by the lord
passed from ear to ear and tribe to tribe until eventually the
chirurgeon.
Remnant in the Grand Library of the last city shuddered
and declared the birth of a new threat. The malice was sent
to see. Hunters watched from the hills above, and the people
wondered if the spires would be enough, before going about
their day.

Reports of activity were confirmed, and that at the centre of


the graveyard a new edifice had been constructed from the
bones of those fallen. A cathedral of cartilage from which
poured forth abominations and a creeping darkness that

Introduction 59
60
Laidon - Lord of Depravity
The harbour city of Lortumia was often referred to as the city being used for lewd acts of depravity. It is said that where
of chains due to it’s thriving slave market and transportation Laidon steps the ground blackens.
of slaves by the elves. The cities purpose made it a focus when
the war began; many humans had seen loved ones dragged
away, or had experienced the whip and chastisement of
Followers
Those that follow the commands of Laidon travel the coast
slavers to allow the city to stand any longer. The number of
capturing slaves to fulfil the appetite of the Blood Lord and
slaves contained in the city were subsequently freed as the
his baying maniacs that amass at the city gates to watch the
armies surrounded the walls, assured that the city fell quickly
fights in the pits, indulgence in the perversities available
and that the slavers were the ones that now wore the chains.
in the brothels and join the debauchery, the murders and
unspeakable acts seen on the cities streets.
Description
Laidon had been a human it is said, a slave trader and The alchemists of the Vapour Guild concoct drugs that
degenerate that bowed and scraped at the feet of his masters can kill or create pleasure, cause hallucinations or murder
to earn favour at the cost of other humans. His depravity, it frenzies, these drugs are pumped into the streets from the
is claimed, knew no bounds. Brothels that catered for any royal palace at the cities centre, and a permanent smog
tastes, slaves slaughtered for the entertainment of the elven hangs above the city to join with the wails and screams from
aristocracy, displays of mother eating child, father killing son within the city walls. The smog confuses and removes the
enforced the belief that humans were nothing but animals. inhibitions of any that inhale it, and those wishing to enter
the city should beware spending to much time in the sweet,
Laidon prospered as others suffered, rewarded for his sickly smoke may mean they will never leave.
debauchery and decadence he lived in splendour and wealth
despised by other humans if he ever felt remorse for his GM Note
actions or shame for the wealth he acquired it never showed. Entering the city unnoticed would be simple, but finding
anything without instructions or an idea where it could be
As the Black Iron fell, the city lay unscathed, but the tidal would be difficult. The city has changed a lot since the fall.
waves that followed and then quakes that followed those Robed worshippers loyal to the Blood Lord will patrol the
brought half the city to rubble, and then the ice covered the streets, grabbing people for the arena or just killing them in
rest. Laidon survived the destruction, but the corruption the streets. The city is truly madness and depravity, and this
had eaten away at his mind and as the destruction settled should be made obvious to the characters before they enter.
and the winter crept in Laidon convinced those that had The thick smog that hangs over the city and the smoke that
survived to aid him in rebuilding. Those that listened were floats through the streets are toxic, and any character not
hopeful that he meant their homes and lives soon discovered covering their mouth and nose must make a resistance test
that Laidon cared little for those things, and Lortumia once against level 2 poison or become disorientated and begin
again became the city of chains. to lose their inhibitions, to much time spent breathing the
fumes (1 hour) will make it difficult to leave the city (Will
As the years have passed Laidon has become more twisted by test vs. TN 10).
the Blood Lords corruption, spending time in the presence
of Barston and Axas has burnt his mind and curdled his
veins, driving Laidon to deeper and darker acts of depravity
To Face Him
To view Laidon is to be both repelled and enticed, though
and fuelling a lust that is now almost impossible to quench.
his visage is bruised and syphilitic, coated in a thick layer
With the help of Kial, he has mastered the art of keeping
of greying makeup and rouge to give the semblance of life
severed heads alive and now many of these adorn the city
he exudes an aura that makes any that face him become
walls and the palaces, silently screaming or
attracted to him, entering into a depraved orgy of corruption
and physical pleasure.

Introduction 61
Nicran - Lord of Death and Rot
Before the Southern Ash Plains lies the Dead Description
Marshes, a 30 league strip of swamp and bog. No one knows from where Nicran came; some
Once a great forest that joined with sweeping believe he was a hunter that was in the forest when
grasslands that led to the city of Antria and the the Black Iron fell, others that he was a Chimeer
many mining ventures created by the elves, the fall from the shackles that was washed upon the shores
turned the grassland into a marsh when the snows of the marsh before the sea turned to ice. Either
met the volcanic ash. Corruption seeped in from way, Nicran became a Blood Lord and master of
underground rivers, and the marsh became the Wraiths.
home of the dead and their Blood Lord Nicran.
This marsh has now been creeping slowly, spreading The idea that Nicran was a Chimeer comes from
further out and will soon connect the Dragon Tail multiple sightings of the Blood Lord and his wings,
mountains with the Sea. a trait brought about from the melding of man and
beast, in this instance a bat of some kind. Others

62
the mainland when the Shackles were hit with the Tsunami
after the fall. Surviving on corrupted meat and poisoned
waters of the Marsh he soon changed into what he is today.

Followers
The marsh has a quality that seems to bring back those that
die within its waters and bogs as wraiths and living dead.
The rivers that formed the marsh do pass by the holy city,
and many presume that whatever powers were used there
infected the rivers and lakes nearby, whether this is true or
not the fact remains that the marsh is corrupted in a way that
brings back the dead.

The inhabitants of the marsh are part of a living, corrupted


organism; each relies on the other to exist and acts like
anyone entering is an invading parasite.

GM Note
The Marsh blocks the way south if the party takes the land
route. It is considered haunted by many but also a place of
many mysteries, mysteries of which, the Mages guild and
others are intrigued to discover. The marsh is dangerous,
not just because of the living dead that wander its swamps
and forests but also because of the natural dangers,
quicksand, marsh mud, and various insects that carry the
corruption. Entering is a dangerous decision to make but
may end up a lucrative one if you survive.

To Face Him
No one has ever claimed to have seen the Blood Lord in the
flesh and the closest there has been to an actual sighting is of
an enormous bat flying above the marsh, but this could have
just been an enormous bat.

more loyal to the Blood Lord say he was an angel sent by


the gods to protect those he feels worthy or to give a home
to the restless dead.

Nicran seems not to venture far from the Marsh he calls


home and is content to allow his wraiths free reign to guard
their home from intruders and to deal with them as they
see fit. Unfortunately, this includes any travelling to the Ash
Plains via land and have to pass through the marshes. Also
in recent years, it is rumoured that the marsh holds secrets,
towers and forts once occupied by the elves, and these
places have become of interest to both the mages guild and
scavengers alike.

The truth is that Nicran is himself dead in some way and


relies on his wraiths to gather victims from which he can
feed. He was also indeed a Chimeer that was washed up on

Introduction 63
64
Xertin - Lord of Conflict and Murder
Barche was once a city of cruelty, men and women were Followers
pitted against wild beasts and each other in the grand arena They are called the pallid, pale skinned and hairless,
or the numerous fighting pits throughout the city. The heads cannibalistic and insane the pallid worship Xertin as a god,
of those that lost were placed upon spikes that adorned the scarring their bodies or piercing their flesh with bones and
arena walls. Slaves transported from Lortumia were cut thorns. The Pallid hunt the land around the city of Barche
down in mass executions by the more popular gladiators. seeking victims for the arena or to eat. Hunting in packs like
This is what passed as entertainment in the city of Barche, beasts and moving faster than any normal human should
the city of Arenas. the pallid are a fearsome sight to behold and horrifyingly
dangerous opponents.
After the fall the city was left relatively untouched, the arena
stood intact, and even some of the population survived, but Many of the Pallid came from the barbarian tribes to the east
they had become corrupted, ravenous and raging, scarring and Xertin seems to have sway over those tribes with many
themselves and eating the flesh of any they captured, the city worshipping him as a god. Anyone walking the mountains
fell to horror and chaos until Xertin appeared. caught by these tribes loyal to the Blood Lord will be taken
to the city and forced to fight or become food for the Pallid
Description hordes.
Xertin was a gladiator, one of the arena’s greatest fighters, his
cruelty knew no bounds, and it was said that he even killed In recent months reports from hunters and scavengers state
for pleasure outside of the pit, suggesting he was corrupted that they have seen the pallid miles outside the borders of
and broken before the fall. the city in hunting parties. Fearing that the Blood Lord has
begun to extend his reach and maybe even as far as the Last
When Xertin reappeared in the city, no one knew who he City, bounties have been placed on the heads of the pallid in
once was; he had been twisted so much by the elven sorceries the hope to discourage them ranging too far.
that kept him strong and the corrupting power of the Black
Iron that many thought him a demon come to punish those GM Note
that had survived. But all Xertin wanted was to kill and be The Pallid have been spreading themselves further from
praised and that is exactly what happened. the city, and the region has become more dangerous as
a result. Travelling in the area will have a chance to run
Xertin is said to stand 8 feet tall, towering over many of his into a hunting party of pallid and the party may be best
followers, he resides at the grand arena, and insatiable lust avoiding them unless the bounty offered is too much to
for death and murder is forcing his pallid to bring more and resist. Entering the city is dangerous, and those thinking
more victims to the slaughter. Often content to watch as his of entering to compete in the arena should be ready for a
champions cut down their victims and feast on their flesh; it tough fight.
is known for Xertin to wade in armed with axe or club to kill
all that stand before him, victim and pallid alike. To Face Him
Xertin is a fighter and a killer and to face him is to face
Xertin has also exhibited knowledge of dark sorceries even death. Xertin never turns down a challenge and his corrupt
though before the fall he was known to illiterate and had enhanced strength and stamina means that any who
no interest in arcane matters. A sigil etched into Xertin’s challenge him really should have something planned or it
gut could explain these new found powers, but no one that will be a very short fight.
has managed to hear a description of the mark recognises
it, and many have presumed that it symbolises some type of
barbaric shamanism.

Introduction 65
3 Survival
It was Vena that made me shift that few inches to
the left, point up at that damn tree. Arrow missed
me by a hair, didn’t miss Vena though, straight
through the eye. Vena screamed until I slit his
throat.

I liked Vena...
A
s you rise from your catharsis and decide now is the
time to fight back you will need to learn how the world
works and how to operate within it. This is done by
learning the mechanics for day to day survival and how to The world beyond the spires or deep within the dark roads are a
overcome tasks. dangerous place, darkness, weather, foliage, and the animal life
are not your allies, and those that walk the roads are more often
Learning how to use skills and how your attributes, gear choices enemy than friend. Plan your journeys well and your comrades
and the environment around you influences the result and use of better.
those skills is paramount to success and getting to live another
day. Teamwork and knowing each other’s weaknesses is also
important, along with understanding your own shortcomings
and when to back away from a challenge you cannot possibly
win.

68
Attributes
You are made up of six attributes that describe you as
a being, each will determine how others may see you
Mind
Your intellect, memory, and knowledge. Your ability
and will influence the skills that are linked to them. to remember details or information, how much you
Each attribute will have a value of between -1 to 5, know of the world and your logic and reasoning when
with 0 being the average human attribute. As someone dealing with situations. Skills like Lore, Academics
that has risen up to fight back some if not all your You can make attribute
and Arcane are linked to the Mind. tests when no skill is
attributes will eventually be above the average.
available, this is done by
rolling 2d6 and keeping
Each attribute starts at 0 and you receive 4 points to Will the lowest result, and then
increase them, this can be four attributes at 1 or two Your mental strength, dominance, and perseverance. adding the attribute total.
attributes at 2, your choice, you can also reduce one This can influence your courage when facing terrors,
attribute to -1 in order to gain an extra point. your ability to control others and to avoid being
controlled. Skills like Command, Deception and
Meditation use Will.
Body
Your Strength, health, and toughness. Your ability to
carry heavy loads, to fight off disease and poisons and Instinct
how well you can take a hit before falling. Body is linked Your perception, survival, and Initiative. Your ability
to those skills like fighting with or without weapons, to sense danger, to know where to find water or what
Athletics like climbing, jumping, and swimming, plants to avoid, plus your ability to recognise intent
Body also determines Wounds and Resistance. or to understand body language. Skills like Awareness,
Search, and Navigation use Instincts, along with
Survival and Hunting.
Agility
Your nimbleness, speed, and reflexes. Your ability to
manipulate small items and use hand eye coordination, Rapport
how quickly you can react to situations and how Your charisma, diplomacy, and communication. Your
flexible and fast you are. Agility is linked with using ability to convince others or to barter for a lower price,
ranged weapons, dodging, and using skills like stealth. to negotiate with administrators or bandits and to use
both commands and even signals to communicate
with others. Skills like Barter, Info Gathering and
Charm will use Rapport.

Using Attributes Attribute Abbreviations


Each skill will have a Attribute linked to it, the
linked attribute will just be the most common one Bod - BOD
used for that skill. On the character sheet it will Agility - AGL
look like this: Mind - MD
Athletics (BOD) Will - WILL
This will also be used in scenarios when a task Instinct - INS
is mentioned and a skill is recommended to Rapport - RPT
overcome the task.

Survival 69
Body Skills Agility Skills
Athletics Acrobatics
This skill covers climbing, jumping, swimming, This skill is used to dodge and tumble to avoid
and sprinting, any action that involves strength and damage, swing on ropes or use parkour moves to
stamina. Climbing a rock face or the side of a building, escape situations. Some acrobatic actions can replace
leaping across rooftops or chasms, fleeing from the Athletics such as climbing and jumping as long as it is
enemy, or trying to catch your target all use Athletics. done in a flashy way.

Levels of Success will allow you to perform Levels of Success will allow for more daring actions
superhuman feats or succeed at what seems to be such as leaping from branch to branch whilst dodging
impossible tasks. a hail of arrows.

Brawl Crafting
This skill covers the ability to engage in unarmed This skill will allow you to repair and create armour
combat and wrestling, this does not necessarily and weapons as long as you have the correct tools at
include any actual fighting knowledge or martial arts hand. Also, you can build traps and smaller items like
training. Used for punching, kicking, and grappling jewellery, carvings and sculpt ornaments from bone
the opponent, also blocking unarmed attacks. and clay which could be sold.

Levels of Success will allow the you to perform knock- Levels of Success will allow you to repair and create
outs or crippling bows, block blades or ranged attacks. more complex or enchanted items which will offer
modifiers to protection and damage.
Force
This skill is used to bend bars, lift gates, throw heavy Ranged
items like barrels or large rocks. Can be used to barge This skill allows you to use Ranged weapons such
down doors and break crates and locks. as bows, spears and slings, also to cast ranged spells
and throw missiles. This skill would be modified for
Levels of Success will allow you to break down walls, aiming and called shots.
throw carriages and heavier items.
Levels of Success will allow you to hit distant or small
targets, cause more damage or attempt a particular
Melee action such as disarming or crippling shots.
This skill is used to make Melee attacks using hand-
held weapons both one handed and two handed, also
for parrying and using shields. Stealth
This skill will allow you to move silently, hide in
Levels of Success will allow for counters and ripostes, shadows and even attack foes whilst hidden. Use this
shield bashes and other exotic attacks. to avoid guards or patrols, hide from pursuers and
attack from the shadows.
Ride Levels of Success will allow you to blend into crowds,
This skill will allow you to ride animals, drive carts
move silently over broken glass or remove targets
or carriages, sail boats and use devices like skis and
from groups without alerting the rest of that group.
sledges.

Levels of Success will allow you to perform actions Thievery


whilst riding, like shooting from a horse, navigating This skill is used to pick locks, pickpockets and conceal
dense forests and taking actions during chases. stolen goods or weapons, also to discover the easiest
way to enter somewhere or something locked and to
disarm traps.

Levels of Success will allow you to steal more


effectively, to disarm magical traps or pick magical
locks.

70
Mind Skills Will Skills
Academics Animal Care
This skill is used to show proficiency in reading and The healing and training of animals applies to mainly
writing and basic math. Allows you to understand domesticated animals.
the common tongue in written form, to fill in ledgers,
understand laws and the reading of maps. Levels of Success will allow the calming of wild
animals or any animals that are exhibiting aggression
Levels of Success will allow you to understand other or fear.
languages, deal with complex math.
Command
Arcane The ability to command groups of people, to calm
The use and understanding of magic, spell forming crowds or get crowds ‘fired’ up. Targets will be able to
and casting, Sigil’s and alchemy. Taught in the Black attempt to ignore you with a Will roll.
Fort to all novices.
Levels of Success will allow you to gain temporary
Levels of Success will allow for the understanding of followers or disperse an angry mob.
ancient magic and magical theory, an increase in spell
power or potion strengths.
Deception
The ability to deceive others by lying convincingly, the
Healing use of disguises or forging papers and notes.
The healing of wounds using herbs and potions,
includes recognising the symptoms of disease and Levels of Success will make it harder for anyone to see
poisons and also frostbite and corruption. through your deception and for you to deceive more
effectively.
Levels of Success will allow surgery on more serious
injuries, the purging of diseases and poisons and
recognising injuries and weaknesses in others. Meditation
Allows you to be fully rested in half the time sleeping
would but can only be used a three times before actual
Legend sleep is needed. Quickens healing, the rejuvenation of
Knowledge of myths and legends, old tales, and stamina, and magical power by double.
rumours. Also includes knowledge of the gods before
the fall. Levels of Success allows more healing to be done or
more stamina earned.
Levels of Success will allow the remembrance of
obscure stories and or places of interest that have been
long forgotten.
Instinct Skills
Lore Awareness
Knowledge of the land, customs, and people both
before the fall and in more recent years. Tribal Noticing threats and dangers, spotting hidden things
markings of the barbarian tribes, superstitions of and traps. This is also used to spot surprises before
coastal people and knowledge of the languages and they happen.
accents of the Pale.
Levels of Success will allow you to react against
Levels of Success will allow you to recognise old surprise attacks quickly and spot details others may
markings or to know from what region a person came not whether that be a smell, sound, or sight.
from.
Hunting
The hunting of man or beast by tracking, setting traps,
recognising signs of illness in spoores. Also includes
the skinning and curing of skins and meat.

Survival 71
Levels of Success will allow you to hunt something
in any environment, to notice weaknesses and to earn
Info Gather
Knowing who to talk to in order to gain information,
extra from furs or meat that you have to sell. this is normally related to the criminal classes but
can also include how best to talk to scribes and
Search administrators to gather important information.
Allows you to search for hidden items, or to search
areas from above for camp-sites or hidden caves, is Levels of Success may lead to more info than expected
enhanced by telescopes for distance. and even regular information exchanges.

Levels of Success will allow you to find more than


expected, extra clues or items.
Negotiate
The ability to negotiate business deals with high level
people or negotiate your freedom or the freedom of
Survival others with criminals. Knowing what someone wants
Foraging, building shelters, dealing with extremes of and knowing what they will accept.
weather, and finding water. Also helps you recognise
poisonous plants, rotting foods and unclean water. Levels of Success could lead to better deals and
Characters may not outcomes.
start with a load of skills
Levels of Success will allow you to find more food or
but they can gain more
water, to recognise more obscure poisonous plants.
through advancement
see pg 124. Skill Rankings
Rapport Skills Skills have five ranks which determine how many
dice you roll and at what level you are considered at
in that skill. Your Species and Roles will give starting
Barter Rankings in some skills and often these will crossover
Allows you to barter for a good price on buying and (See Character Creation Chapter). Having no ranking
selling, and to recognise when you are being ripped in a skill indicates no knowledge of it.
off by a trader.
Rank Dice
Levels of Success will help get better prices and even
loans from those that may not be forward about Known 1
offering them. Trained 2
Adept 3
Charm Expert 4
The ability to charm the same or opposite sex in order Master 5
to get them to agree to you or act more favourably
towards you, also to entice attraction and to win over
potential enemies. Being a master in a skill is the highest you can become
at which point the only way to improve is to find
Levels of Success could lead to gaining potential allies, master work equipment.
to win arguments and even gain riches.

Etiquette
Understanding of customs and cultures, how to act
within certain societies or groups. Being polite and
humble in certain ‘high class company’

Levels of Success will allow you to blend into any


function and feel like one of the crowd.

72
Performing Actions
Not all actions should rely on a dice roll, and those
actions which are considered routine or easy should
just be allowed to succeed, the only time dice should Example
come into play is if the action has a consequence to Niki’s result is a 7, her characters Body attribute
failure such as injury or missing something important. is a 2 and this she adds to the dice roll giving Niki
Combat is one area where rolling is a must due to the an overall total of 9. The Target Number Niki had
dangerous nature of the actions involved. to beat or equal was a 9 and because Niki’s result is
exactly 9 her character has succeeded.
A GM could call for a dice roll when the situation is
tense or dangerous and an action that would seem
simple in a normal circumstance may suddenly
become more difficult because you are being chased Target Numbers (TN)
or injured. Every action has a Target number that you must equal
or beat in order to succeed, this target number can
When called to roll dice you will have a pool of D6 be influenced by environmental and circumstantial
(six-sided dice) equal to your skill rank to roll, once factors which could change the difficulty
rolled you choose the highest dice as your result, for
example: Target Numbers are based on how complex the action
is deemed to be and this complexity goes from Easy to
Near Impossible as shown on the table below.
Rolling three dice with this result 3,2,5
would indicate that 5 is the highest number.
Difficulty TN If you plan on using a
number between two
Easy 3
Rolling three dice with this result 1,1,2 Average 5
difficulties, for example
8, then it is suggested
would indicate that 2 was the highest number
Difficult 6 that you use it as if it
is for Very Hard task,
The rolling of a 6 will always be the highest result but Hard 7 rather than just a Hard
rolling a number of 6’s would increase the result by 1 Very Hard 9 task.
for each extra 6 rolled, so for example
Extremely Hard 11
Near Impossible 12+
Rolling three dice with this result 2,6,6
would be a total of 7, the highest result of 6 plus a +1 The above numbers are examples and can be adapted
from the extra six rolled. by the GM as they see fit, but they should work fine
for all situations.
Example
Niki has a rank of Expert in her Athletics Skill Modifiers
which means she rolls 4 dice, Niki rolls her dice Certain circumstances can affect the difficulty of a
task by making it harder or easier, climbing a rock face
and gets the following result 2, 4, 6, which may be easy on a dry day will be harder on a
day of rain or snow, picking a lock will be much harder
6. The highest number rolled is a 6 which when you are trying to get it open before the guard
becomes the result but Niki has rolled two, so the returns.
second 6 becomes a +1 and makes the total of the
roll 7 (6+1=7) Modifiers come in two types those that change
the difficulty of the task and those that change the
Once the dice have been rolled you then add your
characters ability to do the task.
attribute number and any other modifiers or penalties,
the end number is your total which you then compare
to the Target Number needed.

Survival 73
Modifying the Difficulty Levels of Success and Failure
The GM should only modify the difficulty of a challenge Often you will roll much higher than you need or
because of environmental or outside influence, such as much lower and these will then begin to give levels
weather or danger, situations the characters cannot of success or failure. Combat actions have different
control. Below are examples of how a difficulty could results regarding levels of success than non - combat
change due to these external factors. actions and these will be gone into more detail in the
Exploration chapter.
The Exploration Situation Modifier
Chapter starts on pg For every two levels you are above the target number
Wet or Icy surface +2 you gain a benefit and for every 2 levels you are below
140
Darkness +3 the target number a drawback. These benefits and
Fog or Smoke +2 drawbacks can be consequences such as triggering an
Wind and Rain +2 alarm, or a trap, gaining more information or a bonus
to your next action. The benefit or drawback should
Mud +1 relate to the circumstances and is ultimately up to
Danger +1 the GM, though offering it up to the other players to
Immediate Danger +2 choose can sometimes be fun.
Partial Light +1
The number of levels above or below should also
affect the severity, someone that rolls 2 levels above
The modifier would be added to the Target Number of
the target number should have a lesser benefit than
the challenge.
someone that rolled 4 or 6 levels above and vice versa.
Levels of success and failure are a good way to make
Modifying the Ability the characters feel they have succeeded amazingly or
The characters ability can be modified by injury and failed horrendously.
the use of specialised tools and equipment, also by
help from others (see Cooperation below). Example
Niki is attempting to unlock a door before the
For information As you become more injured you will receive penalties guard returns, the Lock is pretty simple and only
about Wounds and to your skills from -1 to -5, these penalties come off has a TN of 6, but with the imminent approach
Fear see pgs 152 the dice roll result, so for example if your highest dice of the guard this adds a +2, making the TN an 8.
and 153 was a 6 and you have a -3 penalty than the result is Niki has a Adept Rank in Thievery so she rolls 3d6
reduced to a 3.
and rolls a 5, 6 and 3 . Niki’s Agility is 3
Fear can also cause a penalty to your abilities causing and she is using a lock-pick which is +1, altogether
the character to become stressed and flustered, and Niki gets a 10 (6 + 3 + 1 = 10).
these can range from -1 to -3. Hunger, dehydration, A result of 10 is 2 points above the TN of 8 so the
and sleep deprivation also places penalties on your GM decides that Niki not only unlocks the door
actions with the longer you go without food or sleep but also gains a +1 to her next action.
the harder it is to concentrate on tasks.

On the bright side some items will offer bonuses to


actions, climbing gear, lock picks and even healing kits
Cooperation
A character can aid another character with certain
will make the task simpler by giving a +1 to +3 bonus
actions, this will be determined by the type of action
to the roll.
and whether more than one person can be involved,
all crowding around a lock in order to try and pick
Ability modifiers will be gone into more detail in
it is unlikely to work, but aiding in healing or giving
the Injury and Survival sections of the Exploration
someone a boost over a wall are totally feasible.
Chapter.
When attempting to cooperate the helping character
will give a +1 bonus to the character performing the
action which then can be added to the dice roll to
help beat the target number. Of course, even during
cooperative actions levels of success and failure are
still in affect.

76
Rolling without a Skill The study of spells and the learning of spells cannot be
If you have no rank in a skill, then you still get to roll
two dice but instead you take the lowest number rolled done during combat but can be done whilst traveling
on the two dice as your result, you still add an attribute and resting.
and any of modifiers and you also receive the same
penalties. The Brewing of Potions
You cannot brew or mix a potion whilst in combat,
Choosing a Different Attribute but you can use a ready-made potion. The mixing or
brewing of potions are a skill and can only be used
Sometimes a skill is used in a way that does not seem
to fit the attribute it falls under and this is fine, just during resting or travelling. The mixing and brewing
choose the most relevant feeling attribute and use that can take time and are subject to the same modifiers as
The rules regarding
instead, for example Healing may involve intricate any skill used in the same way. normal/spells etc actions
surgery to remove an arrowhead and you might feel being performed during
that Agility would be better instead of Mind, or you The finding of ingredients for potions can be done combat are a bit loose,
could use Thievery to stake a location out and this during combat and will be subject to the danger or the GM should ultimately
might use Mind or Instinct rather than Agility. stress modifiers applied to all skills. make the call. If the
character has cover such
as being besieged in a
If you feel a particular use of a skill calls for a different Downtime house then the brewing
attribute, then bring this up with the GM and work Your downtime is often when you rest or take a break of a potion could be
together on deciding which would be best. and can only be done in safe locations, such as cities, possible, the learning of a
camps or Ranger huts etc. During downtime, the spell or even performing
surgery, as long as the
Attribute Tests passing of time is different and so you can accomplish
a lot during these breaks, brewing potions, learning
right tools are at hand.
Sometimes an attribute test is needed, this will not
happen very often but will be needed to resist poisons spells, repairing gear and learning new skills or
or disease. When a test is called for you roll 2d6 improving skills to higher ranks.
choosing the highest result and add the attribute. As
long as it is equal to or higher than the target you
succeed.

Normal Actions during Combat


You can choose to perform a normal action during
combat rather than perform a combat action. Normal
actions that are performed during combat should
receive a modifier for either danger or stress based on
the situation.

Opposed Actions
Opposed rolls are rolls that involve either a character
versus an NPC or character versus another character,
example would be arm wrestling, chases or holding
a door to stop someone entering and so forth. With
opposed rolls each player or a player and GM rolls
the appropriate skill, adds the appropriate attribute
and any modifiers and the highest result wins, it is
as simple as that. Some opposed rolls are a forgone
conclusion based on factors such as attribute total etc
and this should be a judgement call by the GM.

The Casting of Spells


The use of non-combat-based spells works the same
as using any skill and still are prone to the same
modifiers. Some spells may take a certain amount
of time to perform and this does not change in non-
combat situations.

Survival 77
4
Characters
They say that once there
were more species,
centuries ago, not sure if
that is true and I guess it
doesn’t matter now either
way. Bloody cities are over
crowded with what we
have so more would just
add to the problem, and
besides the damn elves
would have probably done
away with them anyway.
Behind the Grand Cathedral in the Last City, out of ear shot of the
chained priests and the howling preachers, is a crypt to the Last Knight, the one
that led the first charge against the elves and took back the city. The corpse was
allegedly dragged from the battlefield before the ghouls and the corpse robbers
flocked to pick at the bones and returned here to the cathedral to be a monument
of human bravery and strength.

The crypt was built using the stones from the house of an elven lord, and what a
marvel it is, adorned with a fresco of the famous uprising, marching soldiers led
by a shining knight, no images of screaming, missing limbs, or soldiers shitting
themselves as they die, all very heroic and now after so many years weathered and
worn.

Over the last decade skulls have begun to appear here, said to be an epitaph to
those that brave the Pale that seek to drive back the corruption, the ‘heroes’ of
the people, this macabre monument placed beside the crypt of the first knight is
visited often by someone because the pile of skulls forever grows.

Could this be your last resting place, will your skull grace the pile, or will you be
the one that makes a difference that pushes back the corruption and strikes down
the Blood Lords?
I
n order to explore the Pale, you will need to create This skill rank ‘stacking’ only happens during character
a character, and this is done through character creation and once the game begins skills can only be
creation. There are a number of steps to creating improved by experience.
a character some of which we will do now and others
that happen during the game and when your character
has earned the experience or fulfilled what they need Derived Stats
to advance. Each character has a number of Derived Stats which
detail the ‘behind the scenes’ mechanics such as
The Black Iron RPG is designed to be hard, to make wounds, stress, Initiative etc these are Derived from
you feel like death awaits around every corner and the attributes of the character and so will be detailed at
in every ruin. The world is trying to kill you and that the end of character creation so that they can be done
is just a reality. As a player you must work with the and finished quickly.
A character can choose to
other players and your GM to build a party that will join a guild at any time and
complement each other and survive. Optional Choices as long as they can match or
Once you have chosen a species and a Role you can beat the pre-requisite than
Base Attributes call character creation complete, choosing a guild or
cult is optional and the character can spend their lives
they are in. Alternatively,
the character may never
The six attributes all begin at 0 this is an average; you join a guild and though this
then receive 4 points to spend on your attributes as only ever being the Role they chose for themselves. A
could limit them in certain
you wish so this can be 1 point on four attributes or party of characters can be made up of guild and cult
ways it will make them free
2 points on just two attributes. You can also choose members as well as characters that are neither. agents.
to reduce an attribute to -1 and by doing this you will
gain a point to spend on another attribute of your The Iron Die
choice. Every character receives an Iron Die, a D6 which
For more on the uses of the
can be rolled in order to change a result or to check
Iron Die turn to pg 145
Example whether a spell has attracted the corrupted. This dice
By reducing an attribute to -1 you will recieve an has many uses and we will go into further detail in the
extra point to spend elsewhere, but remember that Exploration chapter.
the attributes -1 total will be deducted off skill rolls
that use that attribute, so reducing it now may offer
more points but could be something you regret Choosing a Species
later. No attribute can be reduced to -2. There are only 3 species to choose from in The Black
Iron, with more coming in the future. Your choice There are plans for more
of Species will offer you attribute points, a number species options in future
of skills and a list of Traits that can select from. Your source books for the Black
Your choice of species will also give you attribute choice of species will also determine how others act Iron.
boosts, and you will be able to increase your towards you and in some cases where you will be
attributes and Skills by using experience earned, see allowed to go and what cults and guilds you can join
Advancement Section. as well as what Roles you can take on.

It is a good idea to have a party with a good selection


Base Skills of species within it and the GM should restrict the
Everyone receives the following skills at known, Melee choosing of non-human options as Half- Elves and
or Ranged, Survival, and Barter, all other skills are at Chimeer are rare due to low numbers.
unknown. If you receive the skill again then it moves
up one rank.
Movement Distance
Example All characters have a base 30ft movement rate, this
Clever planning could make a character strong doubles for running and triples for sprinting. Being
in certain areas. Skills stack so receiving the crippled in the legs will reduce this to half.
skill Survival numerous times will indicate that
you are gonna be pretty good at surviving. It is
recommended that the players spend a bit of time
checking out their options before deciding on what
to play, and making a plan of action to get the best
out of character creation.

Characters 81
Chimeer
Half human, half beast hybrids created by
the elves on the Shackle Isles. Shunned by
many as corrupted monsters you must hide
your animal side in order to survive amongst
‘civilised’ people and not be sent out beyond
the spires to fend for yourself.

Starting Attributes
Animal Attribute +1
Wolf INS+AGL
Bear BOD+INS
Lizard BOD+AGL
Wild Cat AGL+INS
Rat AGL+MND
Boar BOD+ INS

Starting Skills
Animal Skills at Known
Wolf Athletics. Brawl, Stealth,
Awareness, Hunting.
Bear Force, Athletics, Brawl,
Awareness, Stealth
Lizard Athletics, Acrobatics, Brawl,
Healing, Survival
Wild Cat Hunting, Awareness, Stealth,
Acrobatics, Survival
Rat Athletics, Awareness, Stealth,
Survival, Search
Boar Athletics, Force, Brawl,
Search, Survival

Traits
Once the animal is known this will give you
a unique Trait.

Appearance
You can choose to have your character
appear more animal like or more human,
with difficulties in communication and with
civilised areas stemming from the more
animal option. These difficulties could be
penalties to Rapport and Bartering.
You can choose to have physical animal
traits such as hair colour, eye types and skin
discolouration or scaling depending on the
animal.
A small island called the Shackles lies off the eastern Most Chimeer will not remember their childhoods
coast of the Pale, originally the home to pirates it was with the average age in game play being around 20-25.
invaded by a large elven force sent to eliminate the
pirate threat to shipping and fishing. The elves quickly
took control of the island and the pirates were either Appearance
killed or fled. What the elves found were fortresses and Chimeer who bear more human traits than animal will
small towns all thousands of years old and presumably still have signs of their animal side, whatever that may
built by the dwarves. be, they may not be obvious, but they should be there.
The eyes are often a give away as are the hands or feet.
The elves spent decades on the island experimenting Signs could be subtle like hair colour or slight scaling
and testing magical powers and effects, some of these to skin (which can be covered up), elongated canines
experiments involved humans in one form or another or a stub of a tail under clothing. Other signs could be
and it is now known that the fortresses of the island a keen sense of smell, night vision or excellent hearing.
held vast dungeons converted into cells and torture
rooms. These experiments were mostly barbaric as the The player should decide how obvious the signs are of
lives of the humans were seen on par with animals to the characters animal side, how much they wish to tell
the dominant elves meaning that nothing was left off the party and how much they wish to embrace or cast
the table, and the Chimeer are the result of some of away that side of themselves.
these horrifying practices.
Creating a Chimeer
Chimeer Characters The first step to creating a Chimeer involves finding
out what your animal half is derived from, this is
The Chimeer are the result of elven experiments
involving the melding of humans and animals through done randomly as a Chimeer has no control over the
magic, originally it is believed the elves were planning process. The player rolls on the table below which will
on building vast armies of melded and it is believed determine the animal they were melded with and the
they had limited success at this as one of the cities sent Trait they receive.
out beasts that seemed strangely human in movement
and even intelligence against the armies of humans D6 Animal Trait
during the war before the fall. But it seems the elves 1 Wolf Sense of Smell: +1 Awareness
took these experiments much further and the result of rolls using smell
this are the Chimeer.
2 Bear Strong: +1 to Strength based
tasks like barging doors etc
Each Chimeer has been melded with a wild animal
which animal It was can sometimes be obvious on 3 Lizard Regeneration: Character heals
those Chimeer that are more animal than human twice as fast as normal
and on the less animalistic not so clear. This can be a 4 Wild Cat Dark Vision: Character can see
problem when travelling the Pale as many towns and well in darkness
villages and even guards of the Last City and the below 5 Rat Strong Gut: Poisons and Disease
will see Chimeer with more animal like features as are at half potency.
being corrupted and will either attack or at least refuse
6 Boar Tough: Character has a tough
entry through the gates.
hide which adds +2 to armour.
Chimeer characters should fall into the lesser animal
The player chooses two attributes that gain a +1 and
bracket mainly to make life easier and to be able to
5 Skills that begin at Known, this should be discussed
function like the human members of the party. For
with the GM and should reflect both the animal and
those that choose to have their Chimeer look almost
human sides of their character, for instance by rolling
like a normal human they will have an option to
Wolf you may begin with Agility and Instinct and +1
share their heritage with the party or not and likewise
with the skills Athletics, Awareness, Hunting, Stealth
party members may have suspicions of the Chimeer
and Search at Known.
character and how that is played out should be part
of the fun.

Chimeer tend to have short lifespans naturally, with


the average Chimeer living to about 35 to 40 years, on
the flip-side they tend to mature quicker than a normal
human with maturity being reached by the age of 12.

Characters 83
Half Elf
Born of an elven father and a human
mother you are the last memory of the
elven race and their cruelty. You are either
more human or more elf, what you decide
can change your life and how others see
you.

Starting Attributes - Elven


+1 Agility, +1 Mind

Starting Attributes - Human


+1 Body, +1 Agility

Starting Skills - Elven


Athletics, Acrobatics, Arcane, Survival
and Awareness.

Starting Skills - Human


Athletics, Survival, Barter, Hunting and
Arcane.

Elven Traits
Night Vision
Balance
Conduit

Human Traits
Courage
Conduit
Resistant

Appearance
If you have chosen the Elven Heritage
option, life will be tougher when mixing
with others, -1 Social interactions.
If you have chosen the Human Heritage
option than you can disguise your elven
side will, but some may see though it.
Otherwise you are treated as if you are
human.
Born of an elf father and human mother the half elves Those half elves with more human features will be
are the last memory of the elven race and their cruelty. treated as any normal human would and their more
During the final years of elven rule, the elves began agile movement or being more attuned magically can
experimenting on human females to discover whether be easily explained away by training or other reasons.
they could procreate with the elves and if the result
would lean more to the dominant elven gene or the Appearance is linked to how human or elven you want
lesser human. The humans had always been stronger the character to be, there are benefits to both and the
physically than the elves and fear of an uprising by the world the GM decides to create, what laws, prejudices
humans led the elves to attempt to create a hybrid, a and fears they emphasis will affect you more in one
race which had the strength of humans but the magical way than the other.
aptitude and higher mind of an elf.

Human females were impregnated by elves, always Creating a Half Elf


against their will and placed in birthing rooms, cells The first step is choosing which ancestry will be the
were the pregnant female would spend the entirety of dominant one, once this has been decided just take the
her pregnancy. On the day of the birth the child would benefits and penalties that apply.
be examined and if the child showed more human
than elven traits they would be disposed of in various Elven Ancestry
ways, the mothers returned to their cells and allowed You have the dominant elven gene
to recuperate for 14 days before the experiments
would begin again. Starting Attributes
+1 Agility, +1 Mind
Those children showing elven features indicating the
purer gene were kept and brought up by elven parents.
These are the half elves of today. Starting Skills
Athletics, Acrobatics, Arcane, Survival and Awareness
all at Known.
Half Elf Characters
Like Chimeer Half Elves are rare and find it difficult Traits choose one
to fit in. Many half elf children that survived birth Night Vision - You can see in natural darkness
because of their prominent elven looks changed as without penalty.
they grew taking on more human traits, and this can Balance - You receive no penalty moving on narrow
vary from person to person. Those that look more ledges or branches.
human have an easier time in the cities and towns Conduit - Casting Magic takes less effort only using
whereas those that exhibited strong elven features half the stamina to cast.
tend not to last very long amongst humans, this has
led many half elves to cut their ears or scar themselves
in order to look like their elven fathers.
Human Ancestry
As a half elf you can choose to have more human or You have the dominant human gene.
more elven traits, this doesn’t mean appearance but
what you have taken genetically from your parents.
Starting Attributes
+1 Body, +1 Agility
Appearance
Those half elves that have more elven features will Starting Skills
try to hide the fact in various ways, the less extreme Athletics, Survival, Barter, Hunting and Arcane all at
solutions are often growing their hair long or wearing Known.
hoods and hats in public but even then, that often
does not work. In game terms those characters that Traits choose one
have the elven trait selection will have the more elven Courage - You gain +1 to Will rolls when facing fear.
appearance and this should be dealt with however the Conduit - Casting Magic takes less effort only using
player wants. The GM may be less harsh on half elf half the stamina to cast.
characters allowing them to just have a harder time Resistant - You are more resistant to disease and
than normal by adding penalties to social tasks, but poison with the potency of each being 1 less.
this should be discussed.

Characters 85
Human
The most prevalent and diverse race in the
Pale. They control the Last City and rule
the cities below.
Humans are adaptable and survivors,
they can be loving and cruel, poets and
warmongers.

Starting Attributes
+1 Body, +1 Instinct

Starting Skills
Lore, Crafting, Hunting, Barter and
Survival.

Traits choose one


Courage
Resistant
Ambidextrous

Appearance
Humans differ wildly in appearance from
tall to short, fat or thin. hair and skin
colour can go from white to black. often
their appearance will indicate from what
part of the Pale they are from.
Formed from the blood of the gods the humans only affected others. But when the war ended, and the
became the master of the surface world, learning Black Iron fell, the corruption spread and it was the
to grow and build and eventually the first city was tribes and their indifference that were infected first.
created, but unbeknown to the humans a war raged Those tribes that could attempted to flee and some
beneath their feet and it was a war they would suffer ended up in the mountains north of the Last City and
the outcome of. safely behind the Spires.

The humans had thrived in the Pale for hundreds of Many humans fell to war and then later to corruption
years before the elves arrived, and they had thrived and the lure of the Blood Lords, these are what make
pretty well. Built to adapt the humans could survive up the largest part of the cults, bandits and slavers,
in most environments and this had spread them not not to mention the corrupted that plague the Pale. But
only across the land but into the mountains and the behind the walls of the Last City and deep within the
seas. Cultures sprung up as did regional accents, dwarven ruins humans continue to thrive and many
religion became important to many and altars and have begun to fight back.
temples could be found in many towns and villages.
Life was harsh but good for most. Of course, there was
still crime, still those that would take from others, the Appearance
world was not any kind of paradise. Humans vary vastly in appearance from short and
tall, to thin and fat, dark hair to light hair, dark skin
This all changed when the first elven scouts emerged to light skin. Accents vary, customs are unique, and
from the gate. The gate had always been a mystery clothing goes from rags to well made and expensive.
but after a while it had become more of a feature, What makes you different is often your attitude and
something that people would give a sideways glance at how you see the world, the way you treat others and
as they passed, or others claimed was the door to the your moral codes.
crypt of the dead gods. When it opened that surprised
everyone. The first ones to see what would emerge People of the north tend to have fairer hair and paler
were the worshippers, the believers. Cries of the gods skin, whereas people from the Ash Lands in the south
returning were heard throughout the streets and many will have darker skin, with those living on the coast
rushed to see this miracle, but all they witnessed were ruddy complexions. Because of the refugees the Last
the slaughter of dozens of priests and believers at the City is a metropolis of cultures.
hands of the elves, and so it began.
Creating a Human
The elves control of forces completely alien to the Creating a human character is the easiest of the all as
humans and their warlike attitude took the people of you only have one set of stats to choose from.
the surface by surprise, they had not expected a war so
suddenly, they had fought wars amongst themselves
Starting Attributes
but often these were ended with discussion and
+1 Body, +1 Instinct
agreements, but these new people from beyond the
gate had no empathy, were not interested in diplomacy
just slaughter and control, and within months the Starting Skills
surface, burning and bloodied belonged to the elves. Brawl, Crafting, Hunting, Barter and Survival all at
Known.

Human Characters Traits choose one


Humans are the most common species in the Pale, Courage - You gain +1 to Will rolls when facing fear.
most towns and villages are human, the Last City is Resistant - You are more resistant to disease and
mainly human, and your party will be at least 80% poison with the potency of each being 1 less.
human. When the last war began many humans, who Ambidextrous - You can use both hands equally and
had not joined the army fled for safety to the last city receive no penalty for duel wielding weapons.
or walked the roads as refugees, fleeing the elven
lords and their revenge. This movement disrupted the
cultural differences of the humans as they all mostly
ended up in the Last City which was ironically the first
city to fall to the humans.

Those barbarian tribes in the mountains were mostly


untouched by the war and to many it was news that

Characters 87
Roles
Fighters

90
Born to fight whether it be with blade, fist or club,
you are the front-line of every conflict and the heroes
that storytellers speak of, but those are pretty tales
of princesses and vanquishing evil the truth is much
grimmer and much more shit stained. To be a fighter
is to have a life of glory and defeat, soaked in blood
sometimes your own often that of others, it is to face
your fears with a grin and deal with whatever is out No job is unworthy or dishonourable, as long as they
there in the darkness. pay or there is a promise of wealth and fame at the
end of it then it’s worth doing, but the reward has to
With bloody Axe I reap, match the danger, reputation is everything and your
With sharpened blade I cut, profession hinges on your reputation.
With torn fists I strike
And with my dying breath I curse. Skills
Melee (Swords), Negotiate, Acrobatics.
Primary Attribute - Body 2+
Specialisation
Wounds +5 Dirty Fighter (Melee) - During combat you
Initiative +2 can attempt to use Dirty Fighting rather than a
normal attack. This will involve an attack to stun or
Base Skills. disorientate the opponent for d3 rnds if successful.
Melee/Ranged, Healing, Force
Warrior
Brawler You are the weapon, the avenger and the wall holding
back the horde. You go where you are needed and kill
Your strength and size made you almost perfect
for the pits, slugging it out with other brawlers for what needs to be killed. You have trained with the
wealth and reputation. The pits are not place’s for most brutal of weapons. walked miles in the heaviest
weakness, many die in the bloody sand of the pit armour and spat in deaths eye.
floor, and many others are injured beyond repair of
the Necromancers. But that is the risk you take in the You are a killer there is no denying it, you have no
pits. interest in heirs and graces, don’t care if someone is
noble or a beggar, they all die the same. If something
You are a Brawler, your fists and feet are your needs to be killed or someone needs protecting you
weapons, often leaded gloves are allowed, or back- are sent, you do not fear death you embrace it and up
breaking wrestling moves will win the day, in the end, to now it has not been you that death embraces back.
whoever is left standing wins.
Skills
Skills Melee (2 handed), Athletics, Command.
Brawling, Awareness, Athletics.
Specialisation
Specialisation Sunder (Melee) - During combat you can choose to
Iron Fist (Brawl) - When using just your fist you do sunder the opponents shield if they have one. On a
+1 damage. successful hit the opponents shield is either broken or
ripped away making it useless.

Sell Sword Starting Gear


They call you a mercenary, killer, adventurer and
sometimes even bandit, but you are just trying to Weapon of choice, light or medium armour, Pack,
survive in a messed up situation, there are things out Healing Herbs pouch, winter clothing (common).
there in the ice and darkness that want to kill us and
it is often up to the few to stop that from happening,
asking for payment seems like a small inconvenience.
They say join the Militia, why would you do that?
Taking orders, patrolling streets, risking your life for
just enough to feed yourself is a fool’s game, you’re
better than that.

Characters 91
Hunter

92
The Hunters have become a lifeline for many town and
village, braving the wastes to bring back food, skins
and other valuable crafting materials. Even the cities
above and below rely somewhat on those willing to
venture and hunt. But this is only one aspect of what
many that call themselves hunters do, some hunt
more dangerous prey, namely corrupted monsters and
criminals. The wastes are dangerous, and for many, the
only protection they have is a good hunter or two that
are willing to face the threats to protect the people.
handy to have around, for this reason, more than any
other.
Primary Attribute - Instinct 2+
Skills
Wounds +3
Hunting, Ranged, Lore.
Initiative +2
Specialisation
Base Skill Marked (Hunting) - +1 damage against a particular
Awareness, Athletics, Survival
type of threat.

Bounty Hunter Survivalist


You are hired to hunt down criminals and bandits
You hunt to survive, wild animals that are not
both inside and outside of the cities. Bounty hunters
corrupted in some way are hard to find but in order
are given licenses to ply their trade allowing them to
to feed yourself and provide food for others you must
ignore certain rules, such as killing in public, damage
find and hunt them. Sometimes when hunting is
to property laws etc. Outside of the city you track your
sparse you will offer to guide travellers or be a scout
prey across the pale, often facing dangers you have not
for an adventuring party, it,s good to spend time with
been paid to kill, but often there is a nearby village or
others, but not too much time.
town that will show their appreciation known that the
monster is dead.
You have trained on how best to survive out there
in the cold and you are the best equipped to do so,
Bounty Hunters have become more popular as the
travelling the Pale without you is a death sentence,
cities have become more overpopulated, both above
but still many try it. But eventually you will find their
and below the guilds have relied upon Bounty Hunters
corpses and sell what you can, it will keep hunger from
to deal with annoying criminal threats and ridding the
the door for a while.
city of undesirable problems.
Skills
Skills Crafting, Ranged, Hunting.
Hunting, Ranged, Stealth.
Specialisation
Specialisation Forager (Survival) - Choose above or below, and
Tracker (Hunting) - You receive +1 to Hunting when
when foraging for food you gain a +1 to the Survival
using it to track a human.
Skill.

Monster Hunter Starting Gear


As hunters go you are unique, you do not hunt for
Bow + 20 arrows,, Pack, Healing Herbs, Rations,
food or materials, and you are not licensed by the
Winter Clothing, Light Armour.
guilds instead most of what you do is for the glory or
because some village or town has hired you to kill the
monster that threatens their lives.

Monster Hunters often join parties heading into the


pale, as this is where the monsters are, they have faced
horrors and seem to be less to run when faced by some
of the corrupted terrors of the pale. Monster Hunters
have a good knowledge of their prey and are often

Characters 93
Novice

94
A student of the arcane and the mysteries. You spend
your days in the grand library or one of the many
guild houses established by the Black Fort that tutor
and select Novices. To become a member of the Black
Fort is not an easy task, and the work is hard and
dangerous with Novices leaving or dying before they
reach evaluation.

Novices are expected to not only know their histories


but also to have knowledge of the world outside the
guildhall doors and the city gates, and many are sent lesser rings of the art. The responsibility placed on
on tasks to test their resolve, temper their knowledge these mages is high, and the Black Fort select very few
and measure their ability to avoid corruption. Novices to take on the role.

Primary Attribute - Mind 2+ Skills Novices are sent out by


Arcane, Healing, Ranged. the Black Fort to learn
Stress +5 about the real world
Initiative +0 Specialisation and face many of its
Heat Immunity (Meditation) - Whilst meditating dangers, this practice
Base Skills you cannot be injured by fire or heat of any kind. has been questioned as
many Novices have never
Academics, Lore, Meditation
returned, but the Mages
Sorcery Guild has prospered as
Necromancy Sorcery is the darkest art taught by the Black Fort and only the strongest Mages
protect the cities.
Novices often start as students of local healers before one that is frowned upon by many of the guilds and
beginning the study of Necromancy and joining a Lords of the cities both above and below. Sorcery is
guildhall. The Black Fort is very aware of the power very much linked to the elves and their experiments.
and misuse of that power that Necromancy is often Though the art of Sorcery is older than the elves
associated with and keeps a close eye on the Novices. and was first used, and many believe created, by the
The art of Necromancy is the study of healing through giants, much of the study of the art comes from elven
the study of death and what causes death, and this manuscripts and research.
includes poisons, disease, and death by other means.
You aspire to be a sorcerer and have studied the first
You aspire to be a Necromancer and have studied levels of the art. Many sorcerers are feared, and those
the lesser rings of the art. The study of Necromancy that study and practice the art are often refused entry
is thwarted with problems mainly related to the elves to cities and towns, this is more about prejudice
and their studies of death that gave Necromancy a bad against the elves than an actual understanding of the
name. The Guild tutors keep a close eye on students art though.
and what they are studying.
Skills
Skills Arcane, Ranged, Force.
Arcane, Healing, Crafting.
Specialisation
Specialisation Ancient Tongue (Arcane) - You can read and
Battle Medic (Healing) - You suffer no penalties understand ancient languages.
when administering healing in a combat situation.
Starting Gear
Winter Clothing (Common), Writing gear, Scroll
Pyromancy Case, Weapon of choice, Light Armour.
The Fire Mages are highly respected throughout the
Pale as those that hold back the ice. Fire is a highly
destructive force and has been the one element that
has been consistently beneficial against the corruption
and that which it spawns. But the life span of a mage is
often short unless they use their powers with caution.

You aspire to be a Pyromancer and have studied the

Characters 95
Scavenger

96
Searching through the ruins of the past can be a
dangerous past time, but it can be highly rewarding,
which is the only reason anyone does it. Scavengers
travel those paths others fear, and many join with
parties for safety in numbers.

Scavengers exist both above and below ground, with


those below travelling the ancient unmapped dwarven
roads and those above going to the ruins of the elven
cities to find artefacts, knowledge and wealth. Those
that return are sometimes hailed as heroes and The understanding and knowledge of a relic are
become well known amongst the guilds others have not just recognising it’s worth but also the possible
been blamed for several issues due to their unearthing implications of handling such dangerous artefacts.
of knowledge that some feel was best left lost.
Skills
Primary Attribute - Mind 2+ Barter, Legend, Search.

Wounds +3 Specialisation
Stress +2 Archaeologist (Legend) - You know the ancient
Initiative +0 myths and tales and gain a +1 to Legend to recognise
a relic from the legend it has.
Base Skill
Athletics, Awareness, Lore
Treasure Seekers
Wealth and profit is the only law, and what you search
Knowledge Broker for has to be worth something to someone. Old books
Seekers of knowledge and lore, you search the ancient and scrolls are hard to shift, and who knows what an
libraries of the dwarves the ruined cities of the elves artefact looks like? Give them gold, silver and famous
and unearth those secrets wanted by Mages and pieces of art and they will find a buyer.
rulers alike. The value of lost cartography, forbidden
incantations, and damned experiments is high as long Treasure Seekers are rare amongst Scavengers as
as you know the right people to offer it too. money is really no longer a recognised currency,
and often what they find is exchanged for favour and
The Knowledge Broker is not just someone that finds reputation.
the knowledge but is often the one that also has access
to knowledge, many keep the most important finds to Skills
themselves or study their discoveries before passing Legend, Search, Barter.
them on.
Specialisation
Skills Evaluate (Barter) - You know the value of what you
Academics, Negotiate, Legend have and gain a +1 to barter to get the best price you
can.
Specialisation
Decipher (Academics) - You know your Dwarf from Starting Gear
your Elven and you know the many important shields Climbing Gear, Pack, Weapon of Choice, Winter
and sigil’s, +1 Academics to decipher text. Clothing (Common), Chalk, Lantern, Light Armour.

Relic Hunter
The elves are known for their powerful magical
artefacts, and the dwarves created mechanical wonders
that still operate in the cities today, finding more of
these relics is the goal of the Relic Hunter. Dealing
with unknown magic’s and ancient contraptions is a
dangerous job, and each Relic Hunter must understand
the risks and prepare themselves for all eventualities.

Characters 97
Tribal

98
The mountains were safe they said, the corruption
would not enter the passes and climb the cliffs, and
Hunter
You hunt animals for food and skins and what you
with this life went on. Hunting, fishing and growing
catch feeds and clothes the tribe. You were taught
food, life was good until the other tribes started to
to respect the animal and to make its journey to the
change, they became more aggressive, some reverted
afterlife as easy and painless as possible. Many of these
to eating their dead or killing other tribes for food.
so-called civilised people do not respect the kill and
The very thing the elders said would not happen did,
leave carcasses lying around to rot; those people do
corruption spread, and many tribes changed.
not understand how to hunt.
A few of the tribes, yours included headed north
You went on your first hunt as a child and since then
through the dragon tails to reach the Last City and the
spend most of your days and nights in the mountains.
protection of the mages in the Black Fort, this is now
You can track an animals for miles and have learnt
where you live, in the mountains overlooking the city.
to be patient. Recently you have also found yourself
Some of the tribes have set up villages and farms and
hunting and killing monsters, not for honour but to
have integrated until now they are not of the tribes
keep the tribe safe.
any longer, but you and your people still follow the old
ways and stay in the mountains.
Skills
Hunting, Ranged, Search.
Primary Attribute - Body 2+
Specialisation
Wounds +4
Skinner (Hunting) - You are trained in skinning and
Stress +2
curing; you get twice as much and a 10% better price.
Initiative +1

Base Skill Shaman


Animal Care, Awareness, Survival You were chosen along with a few other select
children to be taught by the Shaman; this is a great
honour in your tribe, and one day, you will lead
Brave a tribe yourself. You spend your time in study,
You protect the tribe from dangers that wish to take
gathering herbs, understanding the mountain, and
what you have or destroy the tribe altogether. This is
how it changes, how the animals move when danger
your calling and what the ancestors chose for you and
is close also speaking with the ancestors.
you are proud to be the tribe’s strength. You trained
with the other Braves and as you came of age were
You have knowledge of the land and can commune
sent out to seek your first kill, in your case this was a
with nature, some of you can speak with spirits and
mountain cat that had killed a hunter of the tribe. You
see the animal totems worn on the aura of others.
sought out the cat, and with your spear, you slew it
You sense things others do not and can sometimes
and returned with its head, from that day you became
perform what some would call magic, but you know
a Brave.
as gifts from the earth.
There are bigger dangers in out there than mountain
Skills
cats, and you will do what it takes to protect the tribe,
Arcane, Legend, Lore.
even if that means travelling to the city and joining
with teams to hunt down the corrupted monsters that
live on the ice. One less monster is one less danger to Specialisation
the tribe. Ancestor (Arcane) - Once per session you can call
upon an ancestor for aid, this aid comes in the form
of answers to a specific question.
Skills
Melee, Athletics, Ranged.
Starting Gear
Specialisation Weapon of Choice, Light to Medium Armour, Pack,
Strong (Melee) - You can use a two handed weapon Tribal Gewgaws, Herbs, Rations, Water-skin,
in one hand.

Characters 99
Vagrant

100
When the Black iron fell many fled to the Last City
or the cities below for sanctuary and safety, this led
to overcrowding which in turn led to many people
being forced to sleep on the streets or in the case of
the below, outside the city gates. Any that could not
find a home or a role within the city would eventually
become part of the vagrant classes, and as the year’s
pass, these people grew a society of their own. Many merchants wish to get to their destination
quickly and without bother, and this is where you
Not all the vagrants are criminals, but most are, come in. The number of refugees that flooded in
mainly out of necessity rather than being that way changed the landscape of the city and made the roads
inclined. The vagrant society has been treated badly dangerous for travellers and many now rely on guides
by the cities, and this has created more tension and to find where they need to go. As an honest guide, this
more criminals and in recent years criminal guilds can put food in your belly and even a roof over your
head, a dishonest guide can gain even more benefits.
Primary Attribute - Agility 2+
Skills
Wounds +2 Survival, Lore, Legend.
Stress +1
Initiative +2 Specialisation
Navigator (Survival) - You can find your way in
Base Skills almost any environment and in darkness. +1 to
Awareness, Search, Stealth survival when used to navigate tunnels and paths.

Basher Thief
You protect the camp from unwanted attention and to Very few thieves work outside the guilds, but some
make sure other camps don’t try to take over and steal have no choice, guilds are only established in the
what little food the camp has. Bashers are also known larger camps or certain areas of cities and working
to wait in ambush for caravans or travellers to take outside the guild’s protection is often dangerous. You
what they want from those that have more. can work for or outside a guild this is a choice, you do
not have to share what you steal with anyone.
Many Bashers become the strong arm of the guilds
that have grown in the larger camps to protect the You could be a cut-purse, mingling with the crowds
leaders of the guild and to stop any disputes from in the market squares cutting the purses from belts, or
turning to violence. It is also known that Bashers you could be a burglar breaking into the homes of the
enter fighting pits under instruction from guilds wealthy (though compared to you everyone outside
to challenge Bashers from other guilds as a show of the camps is wealthy), stealing whatever you can sell
strength. or trade. The work can be lucrative but holds a large
price for those that are caught.
Skills
Brawling, Force, Negotiate Skills
Acrobatics, Deception, Thievery.
Specialisation
Intimidate (Force) - You receive +1 to using your Specialisation
strength to intimidate others. Pickpocket (Thievery) - You are extremely good at
picking pockets and gain a +1 when doing so.
Guide
You offer yourself as a guide to help others to navigate Starting Gear
the dangerous streets of the Last City or the roads and Weapon of Choice, Lock Picks (1), Pack, Rope,
tunnels of the below. You are of your knowledge of Crowbar, Pouches.
the dark places and know many short cuts and secret
places. Many Guides work for the criminal guilds, and
it is their job to lead people into ambushes or dead
ends, where Bashers await.

Characters 101
Guilds and Cults
Since the fall there has been a rise in Guild and cult To make things simple it is advised that characters
activity both in the Last City and the cities below, and only attempt to join the guild their role is designed for.
many have joined one or the other for the benefits
they bring, especially those wishing to expand their
roles and influence in the world. Choosing a Cult
Cults are different than guilds as they are often based
Characters can join either a Guild or Cult suited to upon faith or a belief rather than laws and profits.
Many more Guilds Any Role can join a Cult but there are not as many to
and Cults will become their role as shown in the Recruitment section of
the guild or cult, once joined they must follow the choose from as Guilds, (we will be creating more in
available as more future Black Iron source books).
Source Books are organisations rules for membership.
released for the Black
Iron. Some Cults tend to look for specific requirements
Recruitment in recruitment, even though every role is accepted
Each Guild and Cult will only accept those they feel best that doesn’t mean that every species or gender is also
suit their purpose and agenda. These requirements are allowed, and the two cults listed here will show that
listed within the Guild and Cult and can be as simple they only accept certain people.
as only accepting those that play a particular role or
more detailed such as Skill levels and attributes.
Joining Both
A character can in theory join both a guild and a
Membership Ranks cult, there is no rule against it, though they may find
Each of the Cults and Guilds have five ranks of themselves in situations when what you have been
membership, each rank will offer a specialisation asked to do may conflict with each other at which
and other benefits, but often in order to gain a rank point a choice must be made which may end up with
that will be doing something for the guild or cult, your dismissal from one or both.
sometimes this may be counter to what you want or
the rest of the party.
GM Notes
A guild or cult may ask the character to perform
Benefits certain tasks and often these tasks may be connected
Benefits to joining can be access to better gear, to an adventure the character is involved in or about
contacts, information, specialisations, more respect, to become part of, these tasks can often go against
and access to areas that would be considered out of the adventures original purpose and may jeopardise
bounds to many. the adventure. The character can choose to ignore
the guild or cults wishes and this will obviously
delay any rise in rank they would otherwise receive.
Roles that must Join a Guild This choice should be down to the player and they
There are certain roles that have to join a guild the most can choose to inform the other players or not.
obvious of these is the Novice. The Novice begins at
Rank 0 of the Mages Guild which is based in the Black Also, sometimes a number of players may have
Fort. Vagrants are also encouraged to join the Guild of opposed tasks, again the characters can share their
Silence as operating within cities as a thief without the instructions if they wish but this could make for
protection of the guild will lead to an untimely death, some interesting role-play and possible conflict
of course if you feel you are good enough without the which should bring up questions of loyalty etc.
guilds protection than that is your choice.

Choosing a Guild
Guilds are very obviously linked to certain roles and Guild and Cult Descriptions
they will accept characters that have adopted that Each Guild will have their mark and whether they are
role as long as they fit the criteria of recruitment. A based above S or below A or both, these markings
character does not have to join the guild (except for are important as they indicate where the guilds main
Novices) and consider the benefits of not joining such influence lies.
as not having to do the guilds bidding, keeping all
your findings, and so forth.

102
The Black Fort
The Mages Guild can be found both in the Last City
and the cities below, with much more sway in the Last
Recruitment
The guild recruits only those they feel are worthy and
City. They accept anyone that claims to have some gifted. Those that have chosen the Novice Role will
form of magical ability as Novices and also those that be at Novice Rank within the guild immediately. The
have experience in research and ancient languages as guild has been known to accept membership from
scribes. Scavengers that follow the Knowledge Broker and
Relic Hunter Paths.
The guilds houses are often unassuming buildings in
the city, it is claimed they send out a magical marker The recruits Mind or Will must be at least 2 or higher
which only those with some ability will be able to
recognise. Otherwise the administrative centres of the
cities will have a representative that will test scribe and Guild Member Ranks
recruit academics they feel would benefit the guild. There are two forms of membership within the guild.
The first is the administrative which covers the scribes,
The Black Fort is responsible for the sun spires that librarians, and Scavengers. These play an important
hold the ice and corruption at bay and this has allowed role in the day to day workings of the guild and also
the guild to dictate and hold power over the Last City the acquiring of certain items. These members have
and the down below, as both would be overrun without restricted access to the Black Fort and limited benefits.
the spires. In the past the guild has threatened to cease
maintaining the spires because of some law that was The second and most important members are the
passed that the guild did not agree with, laws that have Mages themselves. Once the student has chosen their
been quickly changed due mostly to the guild’s threats. path, they will be sent to fulfil their purpose with
study and experimentation, only those that survive
Being part of the guild comes with a certain amount and show themselves with potential are given Novice
of power and the further up the ranks you move the status within their chosen field. Each of the three
more power you receive, and this is legal power rather fields of study then give benefits as the Mage climbs
than magical. Mages cannot be arrested by the militia the ranks.
of cities they must be handed over to the nearest guild
house and the mage will be dealt with by the guild
once it is determined if any crime is committed. It is
Gaining Ranks
To move up ranks you will be asked to accomplish
safe to assume that as a mage this will often mean at
tasks, retrieve items, show aptitude in your abilities
the worst demotion to a lower rank and at best a stern
and to obtain information. Once you have achieved
word not to do whatever was again, at least in sight of
what was asked you will them be assessed and your
the militia or witnesses.
new rank approved, with this will come the benefits
of that rank.
Guilds Purpose
The guilds purpose is the study of magic and the The following pages goes into detail regarding the
corruption, this is the most basic explanation, but the ranks of the different paths you can study, what is
guild does more than this. The Black Fort which is needed to obtain each rank, and what benefits you will
only accessible by guild members is home to a small receive by doing so.
hospitable, various research areas, a large library, a
number of dungeons, large herb garden and many All Novices no matter the path receives the Alchemy
other safe areas for the study of ancient magic. Specialisation for the Arcane Skill.

Due to restrictions to the Black Fort to non-guild


members many believe that much more goes on
within its walls, and this is true. Laws that restrict the
study of elven texts or the practice of elven magic and
research do not apply to the Mages Guild, meaning
they can and have dabbled in dangerous and some
would consider evil practices.

Characters 103
Necromancer

104
The study of life, disease, and death. Much of what you will learn as a Necromancer
involves the healing of the wounded and sick, and the study of these unfortunate will
aid you in your magical studies also. The three R’s of Necromancy is what you strive for
Resurrection, Regeneration and Reanimation.

Rank 1 - Novice Rank 4 - Re-animator


Prerequisite: Prerequisite:
• Show Aptitude • Fulfil five tasks for the guild,
• Mind at 2 • Healing at Expert,
Benefit: You receive the Alchemy specialisation for • Arcane at Expert,
the Arcane skill which adds a +1 to all Arcane rolls • Mind at 3,
when using Alchemy. • Will at 3.
Equipment: Novice robes, Ashes of a Past Master • Reanimate a corpse and control it.
which give +1 to casting enough ash for 5 castings. Benefit: You have access to the guild hospitals and
research labs. You can now advance the Arcane Skill at
the guild cost, you can also advance the Will attribute
Rank 2 - Medicae at guild prices. You are welcome at all guild houses
and will be offered a bed and food.
Prerequisite: Equipment: Re-animator robes, Staff of Control
• Fulfil two tasks for the guild. gives a +2 bonus to control corpses.
• Arcane at Adept
• Mind at 2.
• Successfully diagnose a Disease. Rank 5 - Necromancer
Benefit: Your advancement costs for improving
Mind is now at guild prices. You receive the Purge Prerequisite:
specialisation in Healing which gives a +1 when • Arcane at Master, Healing at Master,
dealing with disease and corruption. • Mind at 4,
Equipment: Medicae Robes, Staff of the Dead Wood • Will at 4.
which gives +1 to ranged casting, Scroll on common • Fulfil seven tasks for the guild,
diseases and there symptoms and cures. • Enlist three new Novices
Benefit: You receive the Guild Seal which allows you
to speak for the guild in all matters and you are given
Rank 3 - Chirurgeon control of a guild house. You receive the Advanced
Casting specialisation for Arcane which adds a +1 to
Prerequisite: all casting tasks. Healing spells heal by +2 wounds or
• Fulfil three tasks for the guild. can reduce Corruption by 1 point.
• Resurrect a recently deceased person. Equipment: Necromancer Robes, Staff of the Master
Benefit: You gain access to the Guild Store for which acts as a seal of office. Guild House.
reduced prices on herbs and other paraphernalia. You
receive the Surgery specialisation for the Healing skill
which adds +1 when performing Surgery tasks.
Equipment: Chirurgeon Robes, Surgery tools +1 to
Surgery tasks, Herb pouches for brewing potions.

Characters 105
Pyromancer

106
Called the burning heart of the Pale, Pyromancers are considered heroes to some and
corrupted lunatics to others. The manipulation of flame that eventually engulfs the mage
will allow the pyromancers charred heart to power the sun spires that surround the Last
City.

Rank 1 - Novice Rank 4 - Inferno


Prerequisite: Prerequisite:
• Show Aptitude • Fulfil five tasks for the guild,
• Will at 2 • Arcane at Expert
Benefit: You receive the Alchemy specialisation for • Meditation at Expert,
the Arcane skill which adds a +1 to all Arcane rolls • Mind at 3,
when using Alchemy. • Will at 3.
Equipment: Novice robes, Ashes of a Cremated • Summon a Fire Elemental and control it
Heart which gives +1 to casting, enough ash for 5 Benefit: You have access to the guild workshops and
castings. research labs. You can now advance the Arcane Skill at
the guild cost, you can also advance the Will attribute
at guild prices. You are welcome at all guild houses
Rank 2 - Spark and will be offered a bed and food.
Equipment: Inferno robes, Staff of Flames gives a +2
Prerequisite: to ranged fire attack rolls.
• Fulfil two tasks for the guild.
• Meditation at Adept
• Mind at 2. Rank 5 - Pyromancer
• Summon Fire Spirit
Benefit: Your advancement costs for improving Will Prerequisite:
is now at guild prices. You receive the Cleansing Flame • Arcane at Master, Meditation at Master,
enhancement which gives a +1 damage when using • Mind at 4,
Pyromancy against corrupted. • Will at 4.
Equipment: Spark Robes, Staff of Ashen Wood • Fulfil seven tasks for the guild,
which gives +1 to ranged casting. • Enlist three new Novices
Benefit: You receive the Guild Seal which allows you
to speak for the guild in all matters and you are given
Rank 3 - Flame control of a guild house. You receive the Advanced
Casting specialisation for Arcane which adds a +1 to
Prerequisite: all casting tasks. Fire spells deal +2 damage or can +3
• Fulfil three tasks for the guild. against Corrupted
• Arcane at Adept Equipment: Pyromancer Robes, Staff or the Master
• Erect a Sun Spire - Obtain a charred heart and which acts as a seal of office. Guild House.
build a spire out in the Pale.
Benefit: You gain access to the Guild Store for reduced
prices on herbs and other paraphernalia. You take no
damage from fire. Advancement costs for improving
Meditation now at guild prices.
Equipment: Flame Robes, Globe of Eternal Flame
an ever-burn lantern acts like a standard lantern but
needs no oil.

Characters 107
Sorcerer

108
Students of the past and the forbidden, the most controversial and dangerous of the
magical paths. Sorcerer’s are considered a necessary evil by the few and just evil by
the many. Called witches, devils, and servants to the elves, they are feared and eyed
suspiciously by many of the other guilds and the nobility.

Rank 1 - Novice Rank 4 - Archmage


Prerequisite: Prerequisite:
• Show Aptitude • Fulfil five tasks for the guild,
• Mind at 2 • Arcane at Expert
Benefit: You receive the Alchemy specialisation for • Academics at Expert,
the Arcane skill which adds a +1 to all Arcane rolls • Mind at 3,
when using Alchemy. • Will at 3.
Equipment: Novice robes, Staff from the Heart Tree, • Learn the Third Circle
the roots of the heart tree’s were said to have been Benefit: You have access to the guild workshops and
corrupted by the blood of the giants, and gave birth to research labs. You can now advance the Arcane Skill at
arcane magic and the elves, +1 to Arcane Magic Tasks. the guild cost, you can also advance the Will attribute
at guild prices. You are welcome at all guild houses
and will be offered a bed and food.
Rank 2 - Adept Equipment: Archmage robes, Ring of Purity will
protect against corruption adding +1 to resistance.
Prerequisite:
• Fulfil two tasks for the guild.
• Arcane at Adept Rank 5 - Sorcerer
• Will at 2.
• Learn the First Circle Prerequisite:
Benefit: Your advancement costs for improving Mind • Arcane at Master,
is now at guild prices. You receive the Read Elven • Academics at Master
specialisation to the Academic Skill which gives a +1 • Mind at 4,
to read Elven script. • Will at 4.
Equipment: Adept Robes, Scroll of Discovery, when • Fulfil seven tasks for the guild,
cast will highlight ancient magic, can be inscribed in • Learn the Fourth and Fifth Circles
your personal Grimoire. Benefit: You receive the Guild Seal which allows you
to speak for the guild in all matters and you are given
control of a guild house. You receive the Advanced
Rank 3 - Mage Casting specialisation for Arcane which adds a +1 to
all casting tasks. Spells deal +2 damage or +3 against
Prerequisite: Corrupted
• Fulfil three tasks for the guild. Equipment: Sorcerer Robes, Staff or the Master
• Academics at Adept which acts as a seal of office. Guild House.
• Find an Artefact of Power
• Learn the Second Circle
Benefit: You gain access to the Guild Store for
reduced prices on herbs and other paraphernalia. You
are surrounded by an aura of power that can cause fear
in corrupted creatures (-1 to resist fear rolls per Mages
Rank). Advancement costs for improving Arcane now
at guild prices.
Equipment: Mage Robes, Pendant of Protection
gives +1 defence against magical attacks.

Characters 109
The Guild hires many that are not followers of the path, these are mostly scribes, librarians,
herbalists, and minor workers, but amongst these are others that can gain favour from
the guild and rise up within the ranks. These ‘associates’ of the guild are often scavengers
that will seek out relics and artefacts, or warriors that protect the mages from those that
would wish to do them harm.

Characters can choose to join the Black Fort as an associate, they will have a rank and
could gain some favour and prestige within the guild, though not to the same level as a
Novice. Below the ranks for associates based on their deeds and the benefits they would
receive.

Rank 1 - Associate Rank 4 - Confidante


Prerequisite: Prerequisite:
• Show Usefulness • Perform three tasks for the guild
Benefit: You gain access to the guilds outer rooms. • Find or retrieve two artefacts
Equipment: Seal of association will show you are • Protect a Guild Member
aiding the guild and are on guild business. Benefit: You are a confidante of the guild, you sit
upon its council as a neutral voice, you will sometimes
be sent to guild meetings in the city as a representative
Rank 2 - Friend of the guild. You have access to the guild stores, and
one attribute advancement costs are at guild prices.
Prerequisite: Equipment: An item of your choice enhanced to +1.
• Perform a task for the guild
• Find or collect items for the guild
Benefit: You gain access to the guilds outer rooms. Rank 5 - Master
Can stay at guild houses for a maximum of 2 nights
Equipment: None Prerequisite:
• Perform five tasks for the guild
• Find or retrieve three artefacts
Rank 3 - Trusted •

Dedication to the Guild
Protect the Guild
Prerequisite: Benefit: You are given control of the associates in
• Perform two tasks for the guild a guild house, you command the guards, scribes,
• Find or retrieve an artefact merchants and assistants. One skill of your choice can
• Give 10% of wealth to guild be advanced at guild cost. You can call upon the guild
Benefit: You are considered a trusted associate of the to aid you.
guild and come under guild protection. You can use Equipment: A seal of your office within the guild,
the guild seal to aid in info gathering and negotiation one item of your choice enhanced to +2.
with a +1 to both skills when seal shown.
Equipment: Ring of Warning, will grow warm or
vibrate when corruption is within 50ft.

110
The Gray Order
Originally started as an option for criminals who had
deserted or committed serious crimes to earn back
Recruitment
The Gray Rangers of the Pale tend to recruit those that
some honour by patrolling the border between the already have a knowledge of tracking, and hunting
Sun Spires, the Gray Order other time developed into and this has led to a lot of Hunters joining. The guild
a small guild of hunters and other adventurers who offers a sort of deputy status where a hunter can
dedicated their lives to protecting those still trying to continue their role but also be a representative of the
survive in the ice or travelling the roads. guild without committing to the order fully, this does
not allow the hunter to earn the benefits of ranks but
The order is split into two parts, there is still a large those offer them the benefits of being associated to the
number of convicts that patrol the borders around the Ranger, which is often shown by food and a place to
Last City, and as long as there is crime this will never sleep.
ever change, but now the order also has a Ranger unit.
These Rangers are mostly made up of non-criminals
wishing to do their part, though a small number
of Rangers are still criminals. The Rangers have
become an extension of the cities military and are
considered the law in the Pale. They patrol the roads,
guide travellers and merchants and protect the small
outposts and villages still found in the Pale, their job
is dangerous, but they have helped keep the northern
lands free of many threats.

In the below the Gray Order has started a small unit of


Rangers willing to risk the darkness and tunnels. The
members come from Scavengers, some Hunters, and a
few Vagrants, who some believe join up for the clothes
and meals. At the moment the order is struggling in
the Below due mainly to the families who are reluctant
to have some outside source patrol their roads, but
time will tell if this changes.

The Gray Order is a guild in structure, they have


ranks, guild houses in the cities and a Master but are
not recognised by the city council and have no say in
matters of importance. This is due partly to the fact
that many still see the order as a group of convicts.
Amongst the citizens though it is a different story with
the Rangers being hailed as heroes and protectors, and
many people would take the word of a Ranger over the
word of a city administrator any day.

Guild Purpose
The Gray Rangers main purpose is to patrol the roads
and lands of the Pale, but they have been known to
act as scouts for travellers and explorers. The lower
Guild Ranks
For those that commit there are five ranks within
ranks are encouraged to join up with groups to learn the guild each offers benefits and reduced costs to
the land as best they can and to be seen by the people advances.
that still exist out there.

Characters 111
Gray Ranger

112
Rank 1 - Recruit
Prerequisite:
• Show Aptitude
Rank 4 - Tracker
• Ranged at Trained
Prerequisite:
Benefit: You receive the Badge of the Recruit showing
• Take on and complete five jobs for the guild
you are a member, a good quality Bow along with
• Hunting at Adept
good quality light armour in Ranger colours.
• Survival at Adept
Equipment: As above plus Flint & Steel, Pack, 5 days • Instinct 3
of Rations, Water Skin, Healing Pouch.
Benefit: You receive the Tracker badge. You receive
the trackers knife a high quality steel hunting knife,
Rank 2 - Scout this is a symbol that you represent the guild and can
be trusted. Advancement for Hunting is now at guild
cost. You also receive a 20% Ranger discount with
Prerequisite: traders.
• Range the Pale for a month
Equipment: As above.
• Hunting at Trained
• Instinct 2
Benefit: You receive the Scout Badge allowing
you to take on scouting jobs. You gain the Forage
Rank 5 - Ranger
specialisation which adds +1 to Survival when
Prerequisite:
foraging. You also receive a 10% Ranger discount with
• Take on and complete seven jobs for the guild
traders.
• Ranged at Expert
Equipment: None. • Hunting at Expert
• Instinct 4
Rank 3 - Forester • Agility 4
Benefit: You receive the Rangers badge and the
Tracker specialisation which adds +1 to hunting when
Prerequisite: tracking. Also the Quick Aim specialisation to Ranged
• Take on and complete three scouting jobs which allows you to make a ranged attack as if you
• Ranged at Adept have spent a round aiming.
• Agility 3
Equipment: The Rangers Blade, high quality steel
Benefit: You receive the Forester Badge. You gain dagger, Rangers Band a unadorned simple steel ring
the Trapper specialisation which adds +1 to Hunting that allows the Ranger to move without leaving tracks.
when placing and disarming traps. Advancement for
Instinct is at guild cost.
Equipment: High quality bow and high quality light
armour in forest colours. Three animal traps, salt and
skinning knife.

Characters 113
The Silent Guild
Before the fall there were a number of small thieve
gangs that controlled particular areas of a city, this was
a risky business as the elves would often send patrols
to find and hang the thieves publicly, dismantling the
gangs and any that supported them. When the humans
fought back against the eleven oppressors many of
the thieves showed their support to the uprising by
using their skills to gather information and even to Blood Lords or the elves and they have been known to
assassinate those that could be troublesome to the actively seek out cults or corrupted from their districts.
rebels. Once the cities started to fall to the human Thieves from other cities need make themselves
liberators and the thieves were hailed as heroes, but known before acting within that city otherwise they
like all things it did not last. will be punished, and any thief known to have killed a
child will be publicly killed themselves.
As the sea’s began to freeze many pirates fled landward
and continued their piracy amongst the chaos of the Many thieves are recruited or join explorations as
fall, profiting from the refugees that fled to the Last their unique skill set can be an advantage, and having
City and stealing from those that fled the city for the someone well versed in the ways of stealth and silent
below. As the months passed the thieves became more murder comes in handy when facing bandits or
organised and took on a Pirate democracy, creating a cultists (the guild does not recognise those bandits
council of thieves and mimicking the guilds by having or criminals that operate within the Pale, often seeing
ranks, laws, and a hierarchy. With bribes and threats them as corrupted or depraved).
the guild gathered allies from the other guilds both
above and below, and with this came influence and Guild Recruitment
power. Recruitment is done differently in the guild with
possible candidates being approached by a member
The Silent Guild got its name because it never talks, who sees the value in that person to the guild. This has
it does not sit on city councils it does not make led to many Vagrants being recruited and occasionally
public speeches, but it does have a say, either by a Sister of Stone being approached with unfortunate
speaking through the other guilds, or via threats and results.
assassination. Many laws have been passed that has
benefited the Silent Guild, many deals made funded
by thieves’ gold. They may not speak but their voice Guild Ranks
is heard. Members do not have to climb the ranks, and many
are happy to be taught what they need and never
The guild is made up of a number of houses each has climb any higher. In order to become a house, boss
their speciality, House of Blades, House of Beggars the member does need to understand and study every
and the House of the Cat, all have masters that sit aspect of what the guild does, and this is reflected in
upon the council of the Guild, each house abides by the ranks.
the laws and each donate a percentage of their profits
to the guild master which in turn allows the guild to
invest in legitimate businesses and pay bribes.

Guild Purpose
The guilds purpose is not as clear cut as you may
think, yes it is a guild of thieves but rarely do these
thieves steal for any that cannot afford it, the assassins
tend only to kill those that threaten everyone with
their beliefs or actions, and the spies often spy for the
other guilds and even the nobility. The guild does not
harbour corrupted or cults that worship either the

114
Thief

Introduction 115
Rank 1 - Beggar
Prerequisite: Rank 4 - Assassin
• Find a Guild House
• Swear Loyalty to a Boss Prerequisite:
• Thievery at Trained • Take on 6 jobs for the guild
Benefit: You receive permission to act within the • Hand over 30% of earnings
bosses district, you are taught the symbols of the guild. • Will at 3
Equipment: Five common quality lock picks, • Agility at 3
crowbar. • Stealth at Adept
Benefit: You receive the Poison specialisation to
Crafting which gives a +1 to making poisons. You
Rank 2 - Cut purse have access to a Alchemical Fence who will sell you
ingredients etc at a 20% discount. You gain a contact
Prerequisite: either amongst the administration, city guard or
• Take on 2 jobs for the guild another guild.
• Hand over 50% of earnings Equipment: You receive a Poisoners kit and good
• Stealth at Trained quality black clothing (+1 Stealth). You also receive a
Benefit: You gain access to a fence to sell on stolen good quality steel dagger and hand crossbow.
goods and to buy at 10% discount. You also can buy
advancements to Thievery at guild cost.
Equipment: You receive common quality light guild Rank 5 - Capo
armour, receive a common quality palm knife, and
five good quality lock picks. Prerequisite:
• Take on 8 jobs for the guild
• Hand over 10% of earnings
Rank 3 - Blagger • Will at 4
• Agility at 4
Prerequisite: • Stealth at Expert
• Take on 4 jobs for the guild • Thievery at Expert
• Hand over 40% of earnings Benefit: You become a Capo of your own gang, you
• Rapport at 3 can recruit members who all follow the Ranking
• Thievery at Adept system, you still have a Boss that you answer to. You
Benefit: You receive the Disguise specialisation to can buy advancements to Deceive at guild costs. You
Deception which adds +1 when wearing a disguise. have three contacts who can be administrators, militia
You can buy advancements to Stealth at guild cost. or from another guild.
Equipment: You receive a Guisers kit and have access Equipment: You receive high quality light armour,
to the guilds wardrobes. access to your own fence, a good quality hidden blade.

116
The Malice
Not a guild or even a cult but more an agency that The most loyal and trusted Malice speak for the
does the bidding of the Remnant and was established Remnant and often a Malice will be seen off to the
within a year of the Remnant setting up home in the side during guild meetings, not saying anything but
Grand Library. The Malice are all Chimeer and it is making sure that it is known that the Remnant is
believed that only Chimeer are excepted, why this watching. This has led many guild masters to fear the
is no one knows but maybe the Remnant feels some Malice and to start rumours that the Remnant may
affinity with the hybrids. not be all they seem.

The Malice are a secret group, if you are a Malice


you never speak of it and deny it if asked. Orders are
received via either note or telepathy and often these
orders will coincide with what the Malice is currently
doing.

Though the group are secret it is not unknown for the


Remnant to insist that a Malice join a group openly
in order to lead the group or to look for something
specifically whilst with the group. The Remnant will
hire parties to seek out relics and have a Malice go
along as security or as the Remnants eyes and ears.

Joining the Malice has allowed many Chimeer


the freedom they would often not be privy to, the
protection of the Remnant allows them to walk
the cities freely without arrest or banishment, this
freedom has sickened more of the less tolerant guilds
or noble families that see the Chimeer as aberrations Agent Recruitment
or corrupted elven experiments, but the power and the Agents must be Chimeer and they must be loyal. Often
knowledge the Remnant has forced these prejudices to a Chimeer is approached by a Malice or sometimes
remain unspoken or acted upon. the Chimeer will speak directly to the Remnant in the
Grand Library.
The Purpose of the Agents
The Remnant are not able to travel, or so it is believed Agent Ranks
and hence some form of trusted agent was needed in The Ranks of an agent are based on trust, aptitude and
order for the Remnant to move about in places they loyalty with the Remnant bestowing gifts upon those
could not. Also, the hunt for specific information, most in favour. There is no real hierarchy amongst the
relics or even other Remnant could not be left to hired Malice but a respect for deeds done.
swords as often the value of what they sought was
more tempting then fulfilling the job, so the Malice
were created.

The Malice are loyal to the Remnant and will do


whatever is bid, they will dispose of any that get in the
way of performing their service. The Remnant make
sure that the Malice are equipped well and are trained
by the best. If injured the Malice are healed, they are
housed and fed and though their needs are low they
are catered for.

Characters 117
Malice

118
Rank 1 - Seed Rank 4 - Trusted
Prerequisite: Prerequisite:
• Pledge loyalty to the Remnant • Fulfil four missions for the Remnant
• Must be Chimeer • Instinct at 3
• Survival at Trained • Agility at 3
Benefit: You are an agent of the Remnant and cannot • Rapport at 3
be touched by the laws of any city • Info Gather at Adept
Equipment: You receive the mask of the Malice • Awareness at Adept
Benefit: You receive the Two Weapon specialisation
for Melee which allows you to strike twice per round
Rank 2 - Proven at the same or different targets. You can now buy the
Info Gather skill and Rapport Attribute advance at
Prerequisite: guild cost.
• Fulfil two missions for the Remnant Equipment: None
• Mind at 2
• Awareness at Trained
Benefit: You receive the Lip Reading specialisation to Rank 5 - Voice
Info Gather which adds +1 when reading lips from a
distance. Prerequisite:
Equipment: You receive good quality light armour • Fulfil five missions for the Remnant
and the cloak of the Malice. • Instinct at 4
• Agility at 4
• Rapport at 4
Rank 3 - Loyal •

Info Gather at Expert
Awareness at Expert
Prerequisite: Benefit: You receive the Talent to send telepathic
• Fulfil three missions for the Remnant messages to others across a distance of 200ft. You also
• Rapport at 2 receive the Spot Artefact specialisation for the search
• Info Gather at Trained skill which makes artefacts glow. You also speak for
• Awareness at Trained the Remnant when it is unable to speak for itself.
Benefit: You will now receive telepathic instruction Equipment: You receive the True Blades of the
from the Remnant. You can buy the Awareness Malice two high quality daggers of unknown metal
advance and Instinct Attribute advance at guild cost. that ripples with a strange force and does +2 damage
Equipment: You receive the blades of the Malice, or +4 against corrupted.
two good quality steel daggers.

Characters 119
Sisters of Stone
It is said that the founder of this holy order was a itself, she began to put phase two into action and this
pirate that fled the frozen seas, that this pirate was was to create a school of assassins and spies that would
so overcome by the beauty of the temples in the City effectively place the power in Dera’s hands. Along
of Dresen that she fell to her knees and wept vowing with the cooking classes and sewing was training in
to no longer pillage and steal but to devout herself to weapons and stealth, with herbalism was the creation
the stone gods. The story tells of the pirate using her of poisons. The girls learnt how to manipulate
wealth to establish the holy order called the Sisters of through both mental and physical means in order to
Stone, and this is partly true. gather information or learn secrets. Soon the hidden
elements of the temple were sent out to learn, kill and
The founder was indeed a pirate by the name of Dera steal not just wealth but knowledge.
Val Gayet, and she had fled with her ships to the
pale as the seas froze. Dera had been invited to help The Sisters of Stone is considered the most holy of
build the thieves guild in the Last City which many orders and many are proud to send their daughters
of her pirate comrades felt was ripe for the picking, to study the important life lessons. Amongst the
but instead, with no intention of sharing her ill-gotten underworld the order is feared and envied, the Silent
gains with a bunch of drunken sailors, she went below Guild tolerates the Sisters either because of fear, due to
to see what that had to offer. the sharing of profits or for as long as they stay away
from each other’s territories. It has been known for
Dera found herself one of the first to enter the city of each to show mutual respect for the other and even to
Dresen and was indeed overwhelmed by the statues work together.
and temples of the dwarves, this had a profound effect
on her and with this a plan was hatched. Dera decided
to create her own thief ’s guild posing as a holy order. Purpose of the Order
At first it was easy to establish herself as a priestess The order seems to have a two purposes the public one
amongst the chaos and she had enough money to bribe which involves the education of girls and the hidden
the family members who questioned her venture. purpose of assassination and spying. Not all girls are
taught the hidden skills and only those that show
As time went by it become obvious that what Dera aptitude and often have no family connections are
had started was slowly becoming a place for lowlifes ever taken into the inner sanctums of the temple, this
and drunkards that felt that with a woman in charge means that only the best are chosen and that outsiders
they could do what they liked. Fights would break out can never tell what type of sister they are dealing with.
in the temple halls and Dera was ignored or laughed
at when she tried to regain control, something had Recruitment
to change. Dera called together some of the most Sisters are recruited as children mainly with many
ambitious female criminals she knew, gave them a having normal lives outside of the Temple once they
large bag of whatever they wanted and instructed reach a certain age, though still recognised as Sisters.
them to kill everyone in the temple, which they did. This was done in order to add another layer to the
deception.
Soon after with the aid of the same female assassins
that had helped clear the temple the Sisters of Stone Only females are recruited.
was formed, a holy order of women that would offer
healing, prayer, and meditation to any that needed it.
They would train girls in the arts that many families Order Ranks
valued, such as sewing, cooking, herbalism, and other The orders ranks start once the sister begins to become
wholesome activities, and offer a spiritual education. active in the orders various missions. Those that stay
Many of the noble and merchant families began as priestesses do not acknowledge a ranking system
sending their daughters to the temple to become but instead use seniority, and are the ‘front’ of the
educated. Dera and the other sisters would take in order, administering comfort and healing, as well as
orphan girls or approach Vagrant families offering a offering prayers and listening to confessions.
better life for their daughters and the temple grew.
After a few years and once the order had established Those sisters that are trained in the various secret arts
have five ranks.

120
Sister of
Stone

Introduction 121
Rank 1 - Initiate Rank 4 - Oracle
Prerequisite: Prerequisite:
• Must be Female • Perform four Assassinations for the Order
• Agility 2 • Learn two secrets for the Order
• Stealth at Trained • Thievery at Adept
Benefit: You enter the temple and start your training, • Charm at Adept
you receive the Poison specialisation for Crafting • Instinct at 3
which adds +1 to the skill when crafting poisons Benefit: You have access to two contacts which can
Equipment: You receive the Robes of the Initiate. be from nobility, militia or merchant in any city Below.
You have access to the Temple stores for healing or

Rank 2 - Acolyte poison supplies.


Equipment: You receive the Robes of the Oracle,
these robes are your badge of office and will mark you
Prerequisite: as a priestess of the order, you will be allowed access
• Crafting at Trained to most places without question and you will speak for
• Thievery at Trained the order.
• Will at 2
Benefit: You receive the Back Stab specialisation for
Melee that allows you to use Agility rather than Body. Rank 5 - Sister
You can now advance Athletics and Stealth at guild
cost. Prerequisite:
Equipment: You receive the Robes of the Acolyte • Perform six Assassinations for the Order
and the Dagger of Stone, good quality dagger. • Learn three secrets for the Order
• Stealth at Expert
• Acrobatics at Expert
Rank 3 - Daughter • Crafting at Adept
• Instinct at 4
Prerequisite: • Agility at 4
• Perform 2 Assassinations for the Order Benefit: You receive the Wall Run specialisation for
• Learn a secret for the Order Acrobatics allowing you to run across or up vertical
• Stealth at Adept surfaces. You can now advance Charm and Acrobatics
• Agility at 3 at guild cost.
Benefit: You learn the Shadow Stalker specialisation Equipment: You receive high quality light armour of
for Stealth which gives +1 when using shadows. You the guild (+1 to Stealth).
can advance Thievery and Agility at guild cost.
Equipment: You receive a good quality light armour
and good quality hand crossbow.

122
Fighters Guild
Many believe that the Fighters guild began after the and protectors by many. Unfortunately, there is a
fall as a way for sell swords and fighters to find work, large section of people that blame the guild for the
but that is not quite correct. The truth is much more fall, claiming that life may have been hard under the
interesting in that it was a secret guild of fighters that elves but at least there was food and less dangers from
started the uprising, they protected the blacksmiths as disease and monsters.
they forged the weapons and armour and they trained
those that wished to fight, all in secret and under
threat of discovery by elven militia. Purpose of the Guild
The guilds overall purpose is to train those wishing to
The guild was formed in the capital, now called the learn in the martial arts, this ranges from pit fighting
Last City and it was the first city they captured, cutting to archery, fencing to pole arms. It also acts as a place
off all communications of the elves so that the next where warriors can be hired for guard work, fighting
two cities fell without warning. Because the guild was bouts, tourneys, and exploration
already established, the city fell quickly as those taking
it were already inside the walls with key members in Recruitment
positions of trust or with help from the thieves’ guild. Anyone is welcome into the guild, but they do ask for
an annual payment of metals and ores in order for
The strongest of the guild were the knights that rode them to forge and repair new weapons and armour.
at the vanguard of the ever-expanding human forces,
moving across the Pale collecting volunteers from
farms, towns and villages as the elven forces were Knights Armour
pushed back or eradicated on the spot. It was the To become a Relic Knight you must find and return
greatest moment in the guilds history and one that a set of knights armour, these are only found on the
assured that the guild, once re-established after the battlefields from the last war. To retrieve the armour
fall, would receive a place at the table. you must scour the battlefield defending yourself
against ghouls and other threats that can be found
The guild is now the largest one next to the merchant’s picking at the dead or stealing what valuables can be
guild and the guilds master is currently head of the found there. This should not be an easy task and can if
city council. Below there is a fighter’s guild in each of not careful cut short the guild career of even the best
the cities and they command the militias and guards fighters.
that patrol the roads and walls. The guild has a lot of
influence and members are seen as heroes by some

Characters 123
Relic Knight

124
Rank 1 - Squire Rank 4 - Sword Master
Prerequisite: Prerequisite:
• Melee at Trained • Fulfil five contracts for the guild
• Ten Barter Chits value in metals • Win a Sword fighting competition
• Body 2 • 20 Barter Chits of metal
Benefit: Access to the training halls and the choice • Melee at Adept
between One Handed or Two Handed specialisation • Athletics at Adept
which adds a +1 to Melee for that type. • Agility at 3
Equipment: None Benefit: You do +1 extra damage with Melee attacks
and you gain +1 to initiative. You can advance Body
and Force at guild cost. You gain access to the guild
Rank 2 - Pit Fighter forge and traders for discounted weapons and armour.
Equipment: You receive the blade of the guild, a
Prerequisite: good quality melee weapon of your choice and also
• Fulfil two contracts for the guild good quality medium armour.
• 20 Barter Chits of Metal
• Win a Pit Fight
• Brawl at Trained Rank 5 - Relic Knight
• Agility at 2
Benefit: You receive the Knock-down specialisation Prerequisite:
for Brawl which allows you to knock an opponent • Find a suit of Knight Armour on a Battlefield and
down rather than cause damage. You can advance return it to the guild
Melee at guild cost. • Fulfil 7 contracts for the guild
Equipment: You receive good quality iron gauntlets, • Melee at Expert
and the seal of the guild. • Ranged at Adept
• Body at 4
• Agility at 4
Rank 3 - Archer Benefit: Once you have found and returned a suit
of Knights armour it will be repaired and returned to
Prerequisite: you. As a Relic Knight you will be a hero of the realm
• Fulfil three contracts for the guild with all that it brings. The armour is full plate and
• Compete and Win in an Archery tourney you will receive the Armour Trained specialisation to
• 20 Barter Chits of Metal Athletics which cancels out any penalties to wearing
• Ranged at Trained full plate.
• Body at 3 Equipment: You receive a full set of Relic Knight
Benefit: You learn the Full Draw specialisation for Armour.
Ranged which allows you to use Body rather than
Agility for Ranged damage. You can advance Ranged
and Agility at guild cost
Equipment: Good quality bow.

Characters 125
Specialisation List
Role Specialisations Skinner (Hunting) - You are trained in skinning and
curing; you get twice as much and a 10% better price.
Ancestor (Arcane) - Once per session you can call
upon an ancestor for aid, this aid comes in the form of Strong (Melee) - You can use a two-handed weapon
answers to a specific question. in one hand.

Ancient Tongue (Arcane) - You can read and Sunder (Melee) - During combat you can choose to
understand ancient languages. sunder the opponents shield if they have one. On a
successful hit the opponents shield is either broken or
Archaeologist (Legend) - You know the ancient myths ripped away making it useless.
and tales and gain a +1 to Legend to recognise a relic
from the legend it has. Tracker (Hunting) - You receive +1 to Hunting when
using it to track a human.
Battle Medic (Healing) - You suffer no penalties when
administering healing in a combat situation. Guild Specialisations
Decipher (Academics) - You know your Dwarf from Advanced Casting (Arcane) - Adds a +1 to all casting
your Elven and you know the many important shields tasks.
and Sigil’s, +1 Academics to decipher text.
Alchemy (Arcane) - Which adds a +1 to all Arcane
Dirty Fighter (Melee) - During combat you can rolls when using Alchemy
attempt to use Dirty Fighting rather than a normal
attack. This will involve an attack to stun or disorientate Back Stab (Melee) that allows you to use Agility rather
the opponent for d3 rnds if successful. than Body for damage and to hit.

Evaluate (Barter) - You know the value of what you Cleansing Flame (Arcane) - An enhancement to fire
have and gain a +1 to barter to get the best price you based spells which gives a +1 damage when using
can. Pyromancy against corrupted.

Forager (Survival) - Choose above or below, and when Disguise (Deception) - Adds +1 when wearing a
foraging for food you gain a +1 to the Survival Skill. disguise.

Heat Immunity (Meditation) - Whilst meditating you Forager (Survival) - Choose above or below, and when
cannot be injured by fire or heat of any kind. foraging for food you gain a +1 to the Survival Skill.

Intimidate (Force) - You receive +1 to using your Full Draw (Ranged) - Allows you to use Body rather
strength to intimidate others. than Agility for Ranged damage.

Iron Fist (Brawl) - When using just your fist you do Knock-down (Brawl) - Allows you to knock an
+1 damage. opponent down rather than cause damage

Marked (Hunting) - +1 damage against a particular Lip Reading (Info Gather) - Adds +1 when reading
type of threat. lips from a distance

Navigator (Survival) - You can find your way in almost Poison (Crafting) - Gives a +1 to crafting poisons
any environment and in darkness. +1 to survival when
used to navigate tunnels and paths. Purge (Healing) - Gives a +1 when dealing with
disease and corruption.
Pickpocket (Thievery) - You are extremely good at
picking pockets and gain a +1 when doing so. Quick Aim (Ranged) - Allows you to make a ranged
attack as if you have spent a round aiming

126
Read Elven (Academics) - Gives a +1 to read Elven Free Climb (Athletics) - You can climb as if you are
script using a climbing kit.

Shadow Stalker (Stealth) - Gives +1 when using Guild (Lore) - You know Guild Lores and structures
shadows for stealth. and receive a +1 when using or recalling the
knowledges
Spot Artefact (Search) - Artefacts glow when a
successful search is achieved. Healing (Animal Care) - You have learnt how to
diagnose and heal animals and gain a +1 when doing
Surgery (Healing) - Gives a +1 to tasks involving so.
healing by skill rather than potion.
Herbs (Healing) - You have a basic understanding of
Trapper (Hunting) - Adds +1 when placing and Herbs and there uses and receive a +1 to recognise and
disarming traps use herbs.

Two Weapon (Melee) - Allows you to strike twice per Mounted Combat (Riding) - You receive no penalties
round at the same or different targets for fighting or using ranged weapons whilst riding a
horse or travelling in a wheeled vehicle.
Wall Run (Acrobatics) - Allowing you to run across
or up vertical surfaces. Mountain (Lore) - You have a knowledge of the
mountains and the flora and fauna. You receive +1
when recalling or using this knowledge.
General Specialisations
Nautical (Lore) - You have knowledge of the sea, ships
Barge (Force) - Adds +1 when forcing down doors or and the fauna and flora found there. You receive +1
other barriers. when using or recalling this knowledge.
Blacksmith (Crafting) - Allows you to use crafting fro Rappel (Athletics) - You receive a +1 when using rope
repairing weapons and armour. to rappel down buildings or mountains.
Blind-fighting (Melee) - You do not receive penalties Seduce (Charm) - You receive a +1 when trying to use
for fighting in pitch darkness. your natural charms to persuade another person.
Calm (Negotiate) - You can calm down a potentially Sense Corruption (Awareness) - You get a tingling
dangerous situations. sensation when corruption or a corrupted creature is
within 15ft of you.
Cartography (Academics) - Your map making
skills allows you to revisit locations easily, gain +1 Spoor Analysis (Hunting) - You can tell from the
to Navigate when using map, and sell the maps you spoor of the creature what physical condition it is in
make. and receive +1 damage against it.
Conceal (Thievery) - You can conceal items on your Throw Voice (Deception) - You can throw your voice
person, anyone trying to find the item is at -2 to Search. to deceive others.
Distract (Stealth) - You receives +1 to stealth when Tinker (Thievery) - You get +1 to disarming or setting
attempting to distract a guard or dog. traps in devices such as locks, boxes etc.
Dwarven Tales (Legend) - You know legends and Tribal (Etiquette) - You are knowledgeable on tribal
tale of the Dwarves, and will recognise dwarven customs and know how to act amongst tribes. You
architecture. receive +1 to dealing with tribes and tribals.
Focus (Meditation) - You can spend 4 hrs.. meditating Tumble (Acrobatics) - You can break falls and only
on a skill and the next day receive a +1 to that skill. receive half damage from falling.

Characters 127
Advancing & Derived
Once you have chosen a species, role, and guild you
are on to the end section, which is where you get to
Guild Cost
Guild Advancement costs only come in effect after
spend your character points, work out the Derived character creation has ended and once your character
stats and learn how advancing your character works. has reached that Rank in the guild.

GMs can if they like Character Points & Advancing Spending Points
offer more Character For this section, your Character Points will act You can spend your points on both Skills and
Points in order to give remarkably similar to experience points and so by Attributes, but in order to by a new level in a skill or a
the characters a boost at combining these two systems will not only help you new attribute total you must own the previous levels.
the start, below are some improve your character now, but also teach you how Any unspent points are lost.
guidelines. this will work in the future. The only difference is that
at this stage you can only advance a character’s skills to
Standard - 100pts Example
Adept and an Attribute to a max of 4.
Survivors - 130pts The player decides to advance her characters
Adventurers - 160pts Athletics, she already has athletics as Known so she
Heroic - 200pts You have 100-character points to spend and in order
could advance it to Trained for 30 pts, if she had
to spend them you must follow the table below.
wanted to advance Athletics to Adept, she would
The game is designed to have to advance to Trained first.
be tough and the easier
you make it the less that

Advancement Table
becomes a evident.

Skill Attributes
Advance Cost Guild Advance Cost Guild
Unknown to Known 20 10 0 to 1 20 10
Known to Trained 30 20 1 to 2 50 30
Trained to Adept 40 30 2 to 3 70 50
Adept to Expert 50 40 3 to 4 100 70
Expert to Master 70 60 4 to 5 150 100

Earning Experience Buying Specialisations


You earn experience playing the game and the GM can
award experience for the following reasons: Characters can buy Specialisations with experience
points, and the cost will vary based on the type of
• Succeeding or failing a task Specialisation.
• Playing your character well
• Completing missions Type Cost
• Discovering Relics or Artefacts
Role 50
• Destroying Corruption
• Exploring a new area Guild 100
General 25
The experience given should vary from 10 to 20 points
per session, this experience can be spent on advancing Each skill can hold up to three specialisations.
the character, unspent experience can also be saved
and will carry over from session to session.

Characters only gain ranks in the guild by fulfilling


guild prerequisites.

128
Derived Stats
Every character has a number of Derived Stats that
determines the number of spells they can cast before
becoming exhausted and tracks damage from mental
attacks
can be completed once their Species and Role has
been decided and the 100-character points spent. Physical Stamina = 10 + Body Attribute
These Derived Stats are determined by the characters Mental Stamina = 10 + Will Attribute
Attributes and so may change throughout the course
of the game as the attributes change.
Wounds Read more about
Corruption on pg 144
You have a wound track that deals with damage from
Corruption physical attacks, falling, burning and so forth. The
Every character begins with 1 Corruption point and Wound track starts at 10 and is increased by the Body
this is a permanent point so it can never be removed. Attribute up to a total of 15.
This permanent corruption of one indicates how
everything is in some way corrupted. The character Wounds can be reduced through certain poisons or
can gain up to 10 corruption points with each point disease as well as increases in corruption. As the tracks
earned having a different effect on the character and deplete the character will receive penalties to all rolls.
how others view them. Corruption will be gone into
more detail in the Exploration chapter.
Stress and Courage
You can also experience Stress from shocks and fear
Damage Bonus and this is indicated by a Courage rating that works
Damage from attacks can be affected by the characters via Levels of Success and Failure. Your Courage is
attributes with Body adding to Melee and unarmed your Will + Instinct Attribute divided by 2, round up.
attacks and Agility adding to Ranged attacks. .
Armour and Toughness
Initiative Your Armour Points are found in the armour section
There is more detail on
Before combat, all characters roll Initiative to of the Gear section. Armour Points reduce damage.
Armour and Toughness
determine in what order they act, this is done by on pg 151
rolling a D6 + Agility or Instinct Toughness is equal to your Body Attribute and can
also help in reducing damage, it represents your ability
to shrug off damage that is minor.
Stamina
Stamina has two tracks, the first (Physical Stamina) Both Armour and Toughness is discussed further
represents the characters ability to survive without in the Combat section which can be found in the
food, water, or sleep, and the second (Mental Stamina) Exploration Chapter

Characters 129
Character Creation Step by Step
This is a break down of the steps on making a character and to Step 5: Guild (pg98)
help with this we will join Niki as she creates Tornee a Human Niki is not to fussed about joining a Guild as she likes the idea
Monster Hunter. of Tornee being a bit of a loner, but she skims through the
selection and decides that at some point Tornee may join the
Step 1: Attributes (pg77) Gray Rangers as they seem to be a natural fit, or maybe she may
Niki starts with spending her attribute points Niki wants a become a Sister of Stone, this would be a secret membership
character to be good with a Bow so she places 2 points of the where she can assassinate people as side job. But at the moment
four she receives into Agility, Niki then places a point in Body Tornee will be Guild free.
and the final point in Instinct, this give her an Attribute spread
of Agility 2, Body 1, Instinct 1, Mind 0, Will 0 and Rapport 0. Step 6: Character Points (pg124)
Niki gives it some thought and decides that her character will Niki now has 100 points to spend on Tornee which sounds like
be a bit antisocial and reduces Rapport to -1, this gives her a a lot.
point to spend elsewhere and she places that in Will, so now
her spread is: First Niki decides to give Tornee a Melee skill and spends 20
points on improving Melee to Known, not great but it will do
Agility 2, Body 1, Instinct 1, Mind 0, Rapport -1, Will 1 as she never intends to get to close. Niki bearing this in mind
decides to increase Ranged from Trained to Adept which costs
Step 2: Base Skills (pg77) 40 points, also as a Monster Hunter Tornee will need a better
Niki’s chooses the following base skills, which all begin at Hunting skill so with the final 40 points Niki increases Tornee’s
Known. Ranged, Survival and Barter. Niki is thinking some Hunting from Trained to Adept.
kind of Hunter would be cool.
With all the points spent Niki moves onto the final step.
Step 3: Species (pg78)
Niki has decided that she wants Tornee to be Human. As Step 7: Derived Stats (pg125)
a human she receives a +1 to both her Body and Instinct Tornee’s Attributes are now Body 2, Agility 2, Instinct 2, Mind
Attributes and receives the following skills at Known: Lore, 0, Rapport -1, and Will 1, these will affect her Derived Stats, so
Crafting, Hunting, Barter and Survival. Niki already has Barter Niki begins to quickly work out what she has.
and Survival at known which means these increase one step to
Trained. Tornee starts with 1 Corruption point like everyone else.

Niki then chooses her Trait and decides to go with Courage Tornee’s Melee Damage is +2 and her Ranged is +2
which gives a +1 to her Will when facing monsters.
Initiative will be a D6 +2 with either Agility or Instinct which
Step 4: Role (pg85) is good.
Niki knows she wants Tornee to be a hunter so turning to page
89 she checks on her options and goes for Monster Hunter. But Tornee’s Physical Stamina is 12 and her Mental Stamina is 11
first as a Hunter Tornee receives the following skills at Know,
Awareness, Athletics and Survival, but Tornee already has Her wounds are 12 which is above the average.
Survival at Trained so that now increase one step to Adept.
Tornee’s Courage is 2 (Will 1 and Instinct 2) but Tornee has the
The Monster Hunter also gains some skills these also start at Courage Trait which increase Will by +1 for this but because
known, Hunting, Ranged and Lore, again Tornee already has all her Will is only 1 it makes no real difference. Niki makes a
of these at Known so they all move up to Trained. metal note to improve Tornee’s Will, she is going to need it if
she intends to hunt monsters.
Tornee also receives a specialisation of Marked which means
when that she does +1 damage against a chosen threat, so Tornee’s Toughness is 2 which is not too bad.
Tornee chooses Fanatics. Once done Niki copies the starting
gear, she has on to her character sheet. Niki has completed her character and is ready to venture out
into the Pale

130
Character - Tornee
Species - Human
Role - Monster Hunter
Guild - None

Attributes
Agility 2, Body 2, Instinct 2, Mind 0, Rapport -1, Will 1

Derived Stats
Corruption - 1
Wounds - 12
Physical Stamina - 12
Mental Stamina - 11
Toughness - 2
Initiative - D6 +2

Courage - 2
Damage Bonus - Melee +2, Ranged +2

Skills
Athletics - 1d
Awarness - 1d
Barter - 2d
Crafting - 1d
Hunting - 3d
Lore - 2d
Melee - 1d
Ranged - 3d
Survival - 3d

Trait
Courage +1 to Will when facing Monsters

Specialisation
Mark +1 Damage against Fanatics

Starting Gear
Good Qaulity Bow + 20 arrows,, Pack, Good Qaulity Hunting
Knife, Healing Herbs, Rations, Winter Clothing, Good Qaulity
Leather Armour.

Characters 131
Gear and Trade
After the fall and the sun went out, not much was Traders can be found both on the road and in villages
left. The cities lay either destroyed or under a sheet and the Last City and the cities of the below, Traders
of ice and those that survived fled to the last city or on the road will often be reluctant to carry lots of trade
to the below. As things slowly went back to normal goods unless they have a cart or mules, but often these
the opportunity to rebuild arose, and it was soon traders will have more exotic items.
discovered that many of the crafters that once built the
tools and temples had perished.
Item Quality
The cities of the Pale and the Below lack quality Low-quality items are knocked together with low-
crafters, some did survive and are sought after, but quality materials by barely skilled crafters, so, for
along with the lack of armourers and weapon-smith, example, a low-quality sword would be a sharpened
tailors and builders is the lack of materials to build piece of Iron with some leather wrapped around an
In the upcoming Last what is needed. end section for a grip, a low-quality bow will be a
City supplement there flexible stick and some catgut.
will be more detail This lack of skill and material is reflected in the quality
regarding traders and
of items available to the characters, many characters Good quality will indicate a bit more time spent and
smiths available to the maybe better materials used. A sword will look more
characters.
start with either low or good quality items, but these
definitions on quality is based upon what is available like a traditional sword with a discernible hilt and a
at the time. cross-guard, whereas a bow will be more sturdy and
may come as short or long.

Barter When you begin to get into High Quality the rules
Everything is bought through barter; this is done in begin to change, many crafters cannot forge a high-
two ways straight exchange or Chits. quality sword but can repair one, so many of the high-
quality items available are built from various items
Straight Exchange – This involves bringing items to a found and brought to the crafter. Finding a broken
trader and exchanging those items for different items sword in the wastes should not be discarded, bringing
that the trader has, this is often dependent on what that sword to a crafter will allow them to mount your
is available and what is needed by either or both the current blade into the hilt, improving the weight or
trader and character. balance of the weapon.

The value of an item will change from place to place Master-work items are the rarest find of all and are
and from time to time, so just because you got a good often magical in some way, again most master-work
deal on some rabbit furs last week with a trader, does items are found in the wastes, stories of lost master-
not mean that this week that trader would offer the work items have spurred many an adventure-seeking
same deal. these legendary swords or artefacts.

Chits – Traders can give Chits for the value of items Master crafters do exist but are very expensive or live
bought to them that are cannot exchanged due to out there amongst the ruins, fabled masters of the
lack of goods or lack of any thing that is needed by forge contemplating the grand design while sitting
the character. These chits are either metal stamped cross-legged on a mountain top is a romantic view
coins, a sealed letter of value or sometimes engraved that many crafters have of these mythical characters.
pottery or wood. All traders accept Chits in exchange Finding a master crafter will lead to the creation of
for goods and services. truly wondrous objects if you can afford the price.

Barter always indicates some form of deal being


struck, and this is definitely the case, with characters Crafting
attempting to get a better price. Barter is the obvious Any character with a crafting skill can create a low-
way to do this but Negotiation, Charm and Deceive quality item or repair one as long as they have the
could all work depending on what you are attempting materials to do so. The GM should set the difficulty
to obtain and how you wish to obtain it. based on what the character is trying to accomplish.

Repairing armour or a weapon would involve finding

132
a material that can be either sewn or welded on in the
case or armour or welded or replaced with a weapon,
Wear and Tear
All low and good quality weapons will suffer from
often a repair could lead to an upgrade. wear and tear, becoming blunt, falling apart or just
plain breaking is always a risk. Rolling levels of Failure
Upgrades can indicate that the weapon or item has either broke
Upgrading a weapon or piece of armour can only be or become less efficient in some way.
done by someone with the Blacksmith specialisation
and access to a forge. To upgrade the character must
first have the pieces they need to do the upgrade, so Crafting Weapons
a worn chain mail shirt will allow the blacksmith to The crafting of weapons requires two things the
repair it to make it wearable, all parts of a sword will materials and the skill, neither of which is easy to
allow a blacksmith to rebuild the weapon. acquire.

A low quality sword of iron will be heavy and do less Materials


than damage, but replacing the blade with one of steel When we talk of materials we are not talking of Iron
with make it lighter and sharper, or replacing the ore or Trees but more broken versions of what you
low grade hilt with one made of better materials will would like to make, though the raw materials can be
improve the handling. found it is much easier to use or repair what is already
available like old armour and weapons found in ruins,
A character can start with a low quality weapon and taken from enemies or traded for from tribes and
rather than obtain a new sword just keep improving villages in the pale.
the one they have, meaning that they may only buy
one weapon their whole life. Often one item can be used to repair another; two old
steel swords could be melted down to reforge a new
The same applies to armour though finding the parts one, whereas scraps of chain mail could be linked
to improve that could be more difficult. together to form a shirt. The haft from an old iron axe
could be used to hold a better quality steel or obsidian
Difficulty based on axe head and so forth.
Quality
Tools and Materials LQ GQ HQ Current Material Improved by
Available Iron blade Steel Blade
Bare minimum of both 8 10 14 Birch Wood Haft Hickory Wood
Bare minimum tools, 7 9 13 Leather Cured Leather
plenty of materials. Pine Wood Yew Wood
Plenty of tools, bare 8 10 14 Steel Obsidian
minimum materials
Obsidian Black Iron
Plenty of tools and 6 8 12
materials
Black Iron
Skill The chunk of rock and Iron that was called down by the There are smiths that can
Characters with the Crafting skill can repair weapons elves scattered as it hit the land causing pieces of it to work with Black Iron but
and armour and sometimes based on the Level of be sent all across the pale, these pieces can be reforged they are hard to find and
success could turn a low-quality item into a common and are highly sought after by master craftsman as the may ask for a lot in return.
Iron is said to be unbreakable and magical in nature. This will be explored in
quality item as long as they have the materials.
Of course, others claim that the corruption seeped future supplements.
Characters that wish to forge or reforge new weapons
and armour will need the Blacksmith Specialisation. from the Black Iron and spread, causing the rise of the
Blood Lords and the foul beasts that now prowl the
The GM should decide the difficulty of what the ice.
character is attempting to do based on materials and
tools at their disposable, the above table is a suggestion. Finding chunks of this metal will allow you to forge
new weapons and even armour, as long as you can find
a smith capable.

Characters 133
Worn Gear
Items Cost* Descriptions
Clothing 5/7/10 Standard Clothing
Climbing Spikes 5 Attached to boots to aid climbing. Adds +1d to climbing rolls
Packs 4 Adds 6 free slots
Pouches 2 Adds 1 free slot and up to 5 can be worn
Sack 1 Adds 3 free slots
Ski’s 5 Used to move quickly, increases movement by 5
Snow Shoes 4 Cancels movement penalties for deep snow
Snow Goggles 8 Used to avoid snow blindness
Warm Clothing 8/10/12 Used to travel the Pale, furs, hoods, gloves

Carried Gear
Items Cost Expendable Slots Description
Animal Traps 2 - 4 Used to trap animals
Bedroll 5 - 3 A padded blanket with a tarp.
Candles (5) 2 Lasts 3 hrs.. 1 Candles will light a 5ft area
Chalk (3) 1 - 1 Used for marking paths
Clay Bottle 2 Holds 1 pint 1 Can hold 1 pint of fluid
Compass 10 - 1 Rare. adds +1d to navigation attempts
Excavation Kit 20 - 7 Shovel, pick, bucket and trowel
Firestone 12 - 1 Small stone that when rubbed heats up
Flint & Steel 2 - 1 Used for lighting fires
Grapple 3 - 2 Attached to ropes. Will add +1d to climbing
Lantern 4 Lasts 2 hrs.. 2 A Lantern will light a 20 ft area
Lantern Oil 2 Has 3 uses 1 Used in the lantern lasts 2 hrs..
Leather Ties 1 - 1 Used for tying objects together securely
Lock Picks 5 - 1 Will add +1d to Picking Locks
Oil Cloth 3 - To wrap items to stop them freezing or getting wet
Rations (5) 3 Has 5 uses 2 5 Days of food
Repair Kit 20 - 3 Everything needed to repair armour and weapons
Rock Salt 2 Has 3 uses 1 Used to preserve meat and grit ice
Rope 2 - 3 50’ of hemp or fibre rope
Scroll Case 3 Holds 5 scrolls 2 Can hold up to 5 scrolls securely
Skinners Kit 6 - 3 Kit for the skinning of animals
Spyglass 20 - 1 Rare. Allows user to see distant objects
Tent 5 - 5 Will hold one person comfortably
Tinderbox 3 Lights 2 fires 3 Used for the starting of fires
Torches (3) 1 Lasts 1 hr. 3 A Torch will light a 10ft area
Trophy Hook 3 - 2 Allows hunters to display their kills
Water-skin 2 Holds 1 gallon 2 Holds 1 gallon of liquid
Writing Kit 9 - 3 Contains pens, paper and ink
* Cost is for Low/Good/High Quality

134
Encumbrance exists. Rare items should not be available everywhere
and should turn up only occasionally. Characters
Each character has several free slots equal to their
Body x 3, for every slot used above this the characters cannot have rare items at creation.
Stamina is reduced by 1 point. Buying Backpacks,
Pouches and Sacks will increase the number of Guild Costs
available free slots. Most of the items, weapons and armour listed can be
bought from Guild stores once the option becomes
Gear Descriptions available. The Guild cost is 50% of normal trade cost.
Guild stores cannot be bartered with.
Equipment comes in two kinds Worn (w) and Carried
(c). Worn items do not take up slots whereas carried
items do, and each carried item takes up a different Value
number of slots Items that are sold to traders are valued at half their
sale cost rounded down, so if an item costs 5 Barter
Pouches, Packs and Sacks – These allow you to Chits to buy that same item is valued at 2 Barter Chits
carry more gear without costing too much more to sell back to a trader.
encumbrance. Each will add several extra free slots.
Up to five pouches can be worn.
Transportation
Lanterns, Torches and Candles – These are used to Travelling across the pale can be dangerous not just
light the dark places, each one lights a different radius because of the bandits and monsters but also the
and lasts a different length of time to the others. ice and cold. Animals like horses and dogs are also
affected by the cold and also need to be kept warm Some vehicles come
Snow Gear – Used for travelling the Pale, will aid in and fed regularly, using the Animal Care skill, the GM with a set of spare skis
must be aware of whether the characters feed and take that can be switched out
survival
by removing the wheels
care of any animals when they camp.
of the vehicle and
Fire-Stones – Stones harvested from the below, replacing them with
expensive and rare these stones when rubbed heat up Vehicles like the Wagon and Carts come wheeled, but the skis. Using skis on
warming the user and warding off the cold. for an extra 20bc, they can be fitted with skis which roads, gravel and rock
will allow them to travel across dangerous areas of ice will damage the skis
Tools and Kits – Used by those with the skills to as well as frozen lakes and rivers easier permanemtly.
understand their purpose, Low-Quality tools and kits
will give a -1d penalty to the skill.
Use
There are two ways to use Potions, Poisons and Salves
Expendable Items and these are shown under the Use column, the first
Some items are expendable such as candles, torches way is Applied, this means that it needs to be either
etc. Unlike other items like food and drink which the applied directly onto the wound in the case of healing
character can control, it is much harder to regulate items or applied to a weapon in the case of poisons.
how quickly a candles burns or lantern oil is used up, Ingested means exactly that the item must be eaten or
so when these items are used they last several hours, drank to gain the effects.
the GM regulates this and decides when the time has
passed.
Resistance
All poisons and diseases can be resisted by rolling
Out in the Pale, some items can freeze up causing them
higher than the potency with a Body Attribute Test.
to degrade faster, this is up to the GM, but items that
are not wrapped in oil clothes can freeze or become
wet and useless.

Cost
All costs are in Barter Chits. Costs can be adjusted to
emphasis different locations if the GM wishes.

Rare
Some items are rare; this is mainly because they are no
longer made or the means of creating them no longer

Characters 135
Transportation and Lodging
Type Cost Description
Lodgings
Low quality Inn 1bc per night Often found in villages
Average quality Inn 3bc per night Standard city Inn
Good quality Inn 6bc per night High end city Inn
Transportation
Cart 30bc Open box on wheels pulled by a horse
Horse 70bc A good quality riding horse
Sled 40bc One or two person sled pulled by 6 dogs
Sled Dogs 15bc each A dog trained to pull a sled
Wagon 85bc Closed box and insulated, pulled by a horse

Potions, Poisons and Salves


Type Cost Use* Potency Effect
Potions and Salves
Frostbite Salve 18 Applied - Will heal the effects of Frostbite
Healing Salve 20 Applied - Will heal 1d6 Wounds
Healing Potion 35 Ingested - Will heal 1d10 Wounds
Purge 50 Ingested - Will purge poisons and disease from system
Barrier Weed 100 Ingested 10 Blocks magical ability in mages for d10 rnds
Poisons
Blindness 35 Ingested 8 Will cause blindness for 1d6 rnds
Lung Rot 45 Ingested 9 Reduces Stamina by 1d6 per rnd
Paralysing 60 Applied 8 Causes paralyses for 1 day
Slow Rot 30 Applied 7 Does 1d4 wound damage per rnd

Diseases
Type Potency Cause Effect
Marsh Shakes 3 Leeches or Ghoul bites Uncontrollable shakes with a -3 penalty
and death within two days if untreated
Gut Rot 3 Eating rotten or corrupted food Vomiting and Diarrhoea. Victim is
unable to act, will cause death if untreated
Black Boils 4 Bite from Carrier either human Black Boils appear on the body, if not
or animal treated victim will day within a week.
Running Death 4 Tainted Water Victims inside turn to water and run
from their orifices, Victim will die in two
days.
Corpse Sweats 3 Undead or digesting corpses Victims starts to sweat and eventually
collapses. Left untreated death will come
within a week
Red Fever 2 Animal bites Victim becomes feverish and begins to
hallucinate and become aggressive

136
Armour and Shields
Type Cost AP Break Modifiers Availability
Low Quality Armour & Shields
Hide 15 2 4 -
Layered Hide 20 3 5 -
Plated Hide 35 4 6 -1 Stealth
Wooden Shield 30 - 10 +1 Parry
Good Quality Armour & Shields
Reinforced Leather 35 4 5 -
Plated Leather 75 5 7 -1 Stealth
Chain 150 5 9 -2 Stealth Rare
Reinforced Shield 75 - 15 +2 Parry
High Quality Armour & Shields
Reinforced Chain 225 6 12 -1 Stealth
Scale 300 7 15 -1 Stealth
Half Plate 200 7 20 -2 Stealth Rare
Full Plate 500 8 25 -3 Stealth Rare
Relic Knight - 10 30 -3 Stealth Very Rare
Metal Shield 100 - 25 +2 Parry

Armour Points Modifiers


Your armours AP reduces the damage caused by Some armours will effect stealth because of there bulk
weapons by the amount of the AP, so wearing Chain or materials, this effect is shown via a modifier which
armour will reduce any damage by 5 points. will give a penalty to the roll by the player from -1 to
-3 depending on the armour type.
Break
When the maximum is rolled on the damage dice, Rare
this will effect the armour’s integrity, and for each Some armours are rare; this means they are either hard
maximum rolled the armours break level is reduced to have made unless a qualified Blacksmith is found or
by 1. Once the armours Break reaches 0, it no longer they have to be discovered by the person wishing to
protects the wearer and must be either repaired or wear them and often this will lead to them having to
discarded. be repaired.

To repair a rare item would be a difficulty of 10 at the


Repairing Armour minimum depending on available materials and tools.
For each break level that the armour has dropped to
adds another -1 penalty to repair it, so if the armour
has dropped five break levels the player would receive Relic Knight Armour
a -5 penalty to repair it. A character can opt to just Finding the armour of the Knights that freed the world
‘Patch’ up the armour which will only repair a certain from elven tyranny is difficult to do and the armour is
number of break levels rather than all of them. considered rare. This is not armour that can be bought
hence there is no price marked but if the GM wants to
give the characters a chance to buy Relic Knight Plate
Shields then the cost should be double to triple that of Full
Shields are used to parry attacks, and with each Plate.
successful parry they are used for the break level of the
shield will drop by 1 point. It is much harder to repair See Relic Knight Armour on pg 137
a shield, and they must be repaired someone with the
Blacksmith specialisation and a workshop, often with
low or good quality shields, it is cheaper to buy a new
one.

Characters 137
Melee and Thrown Weapons
Type Damage Modifiers Throw Hand Break Slots Cost
Low Quality
Axe, Hand 1d6s -2 to hit x2 Body in ft 1h 10 3 5bc
Club 1d6b -2 to hit - 2h 8 3 2bc
Dagger 1d4s -2 to hit x2 Body in ft 1h 5 1 2bc
Hammer 1d6b -2 to hit x1 Body in ft 1h 8 2 5bc
Spear 1d6p -2 to hit x5 Body in ft 2h 6 4 3bc
Staff 1d4b -2 to hit - 2h 6 4 2bc
Sword 1d8s -2 to hit - 1h 8 4 5bc
Good Quality
Axe, Hand 1d8s -1 to hit x3 Body in ft 1h 15 2 7bc
Axe, Battle 2d6s -1 to hit - 2h 18 4 10bc
Club 1d8b -1 to hit - 2h 12 3 4bc
Dagger 1d6s -1 to hit x4 Body in ft 1h 10 1 3bc
Hammer, Hand 1d8b -1 to hit x4 Body in ft 1h 15 2 6bc
Hammer, War. 2d8b -1 to hit - 2h 28 4 10bc
Spear 1d8p -1 to hit x7 Body in ft 2h 10 4 5bc
Sword, Broad 1d10s -1 to hit - 1h 15 4 7bc
Sword, Great 2d10s -1 to hit - 2h 18 5 10bc
Sword, Short 1d8s -1 to hit - 1h 13 3 6bc
High Quality
Axe, Battle 3d8s - - 2h 25 4 20bc
Dagger 1d8s - x8 Body in ft 1h 15 1 9bc
Halberd 3d6s - - 2h 20 5 18bc
Hammer, War 3d8b - - 2h 25 4 20bc
Hatchet 1d10s - x6 Body in ft 1h 20 2 12bc
Spear 1d10p - x10 Body in ft 2h 15 4 12bc
Sword, Broad 1d10+2s - - 1h 25 4 15bc
Sword, Great 2d10+2s - - 2h 35 5 25bc
Sword Short 1d10s - - 1h 20 3 12bc
Master work
Axe, Battle 4d10s +1 to hit - 1h/2h - 3 500bc
Dagger 1d10s +1 to hit x8 Body in ft 1h - 1 200bc
Hammer,War 4d10b +1 to hit - 1h/2h - 3 500bc
Spear 2d6+2p +1 to hit x10 Body in ft 2h - 4 400bc
Sword 2d10s +1 to hit - 1h/2h - 3 600bc
Unarmed Attacks
Head-butt 1d6 - - - - - -
Kick 1d6 - - - - - -
Punch 1d4 - - - - - -
Iron Gauntlet d4+3 15 2 6bc
Leaded Glove d4+2 12 1 2bc

138
Weapon Descriptions Like armour, weapons can be repaired as long as
the correct skill and repair kit is available to do so.
Low Quality Weapons – Made from low-grade Otherwise, the character can take the weapon to a
materials like stone, bone and untempered irons, smith and pay for the repair to be made.
these weapons are often heavier and harder to use due
to their rough design. Leather is sometimes wrapped
around the lower part of a weapon to serve as a grip.

Good Quality Weapons – Made using better materials


but often still heavy and difficult to wield for long
periods. They will be built with good quality materials
and often come with grips and a hilt with cross guards
etc. Good quality weapons look like the weapons most
people expect to see.

High Quality Weapons – made with durable and


lighter materials like steel, and fired wood, these
weapons are the top end for most people in the pale.
High-quality weapons are not easy to come by, and a
skilled armourer is needed to repair or build them.

Master-work Weapons – Extremely rare and sought


after weapons made with a variety of materials from
ancient steel, obsidian and Black Iron, these weapons Preparing to Attack
are rarely made and are almost always magical in A Bow can be nocked as a free action but a crossbow
nature. These weapons must be found with the prices will take 1 round to load, meaning that when using a
on the table just being a presumed cost. crossbow you get to attack every other round.

Melee Weapon Damage Cost


If the attack with a Melee weapon is rolled with The cost represents the average cost in barter chits;
certain number of Levels of Success they may do extra this may change to reflect the location that the weapon
damage, this can be linked to the damage letter seen is bought. Master-work weapons cost is a low amount,
next to the dice damage on the table. and most weapons will cost a lot more if they can be
found, it is much easier to find these weapons out in
Stabbing/Slashing (s) – Weapon either stabs or the Pale then with a trader.
slashes or even both, this can cause bleeding damage.

Bludgeon (b) – Weapon causes Bludgeoning damage,


Range
Both thrown and ranged weapons have a range. For
which can stun a target. thrown weapons, the range is in feet and is related
to your Body. For ranged weapons, the distance is in
Piercing (p) – The weapon pierces the target which yards. The range given is the furthest range possible,
can also cause bleeding damage. and GMs can offer modifiers to characters who
attempt to hit such extreme ranges.
Modifiers
The weapon modifiers represent the weight and
quality of the weapon and how those factors will affect
Ranged Weapon Damage
Damage from ranged weapons can be increased by
the use of the weapon. extra levels of success being rolled by the player.

Break Ammunition
Weapons like armour will break or become unusable Bows and Crossbows can be used with different
over time; this is shown in-game with the break ammunition but often these more unique and
number. Each time the character rolls a 1 for damage dangerous ammunition types can be rare and
with the weapon, the break number is reduced by one. expensive.
Higher quality items take longer to break.

Characters 139
Ranged Weapons
Type Damage Modifiers Range (yds) Break Slots Cost
Low Quality
Bow 1d6p -2 to hit 50 6 4 8bc
Sling 1d4b -2 to hit 25 5 1 2bc
Good Quality
Bow, Long 1d10p -1 to hit 200 10 4 12bc
Bow, Short 1d8p -1 to hit 80 12 3 10bc
Crossbow 2d6p -1 to hit 150 15 5 15bc
Sling 1d6b -1 to hit 50 20 1 4bc
High Quality
Bow, Hunting 2d6p - 200 20 3 20bc
Bow, Long 2d10p - 300 20 4 25bc
Bow, Short 1d10p - 100 25 3 20bc
Crossbow, Hand 1d8p - 100 15 2 45bc
Crossbow, Light 2d6p - 150 15 3 60bc
Crossbow, Heavy 3d6p - 300 25 5 75bc
Sling 1d8b - 60 30 1
Master-work
Bow, Hunting 3d6p +1 to hit 300 - 3 400bc
Bow, Long 2d10+2p +1 to hit 500 - 4 600bc
Bow, Short 1d10+2p +1 to hit 150 - 3 400bc
Crossbow, Dwarven 4d6p +1 to hit 500 - 5 1000bc
Sling 1d10b +1 to hit 75 - 1 200bc
Ammunition
Arrows Cost
Standard 0 10bc for 20
Armour Piercing -2 Ignores Armour 20bc for 10
Broad-head +2 Causes Bleeding 15bc for 20
Bolts
Standard 0 12bc for 20
Armour Piercing -2 ignores Armour 30bc for 10
Broad-head +2 Causes Bleeding 25bc for 20
Stones
Standard 0 0
Sharpened +1 10bc for 50

140
Guild Weapons and Items
Weapon Damage Slots Special
Guild Daggers
Palm Dagger 1d6s +1 1 Concealed
Rangers Blade 1d6s +2 1 None
True Blades of the 1d8s+2 1 each +4 damage vs.. Corrupted
Malice
Guild Staffs
Ashen Wood 1d8b 4 +1 Ranged Casting
Control 1d8b 4 +2 to Controlling Undead
Dead Wood 1d8b 4 +1 to Ranged Casting
Flames 1d8b 4 +1 to Magic Fire Attacks
Heart Tree 1d8b 4 +1 to Arcane
Master 1d10b 4 +2 to Arcane
Guild Gear
Type Slots Effect
Globe of Eternal Flame 2 Everlasting Lantern
Guisers Kit 4 Needed to use the Disguise Specialisation
Pendant of Protection 1 +1 Defence against Magical Attacks
Poisoners Kit 4 Needed to use the Poison Specialisation
Rangers Band - Ranger leaves no Tracks
Ring of Purity - +1 Resistance
Ring of Warning - Grows warm when corruption is within 50ft
Surgery Tools 4 Needed to use the Surgery Specialisation

Guild Weapons and Items are only available via the Guild and cannot be bought from a normal trader, though
they could be taken from a dead or alive guild member.

Relic Knight Armour


When the armour was crafted for the knights many
were built using the same design as old plate armour.
The elves never used heavy armours and so the art
D6 Effect
of making the chain and plate armours had almost
been forgotten by human blacksmiths. This lack of 1 Nothing
knowledge means that Relic armour is much more 2 +1 Body when wearing the armour
sought after as only the best smiths worked on it. 3 +2 Magical Resistance
4 Light - Stealth modifier removed
It is rumoured that some suits of armour had been
crafted with magical elements, or in this case anti- 5 Healing - Heals d6 wounds once per day
magical runes etched into it, along with other effects, 6 Strong +2 AP and Break
making the armour much more valuable and desirable
by those seeking it. Magical Resistance is described in more detail in the
Arcane Chapter.
When a suit of relic armour is found the player must
roll on the following table to discover if any magical
effects had been etched into the metal.

Characters 141
5
Exploration
I once heard that a whole party
of people just disappeared
once, got up, stripped camp,
and moved on, then splash! The
whole lot just disappeared.

Ice lake they tell me, weight made


it crack and before they knew it,
they was dead. Only survivor was
a Hunter, had the mind to mark it
on a map they were keeping. Damn
good Hunter that.
T
he world is a place of cruelty and horror, those with sense stay behind the city walls and accept their fate,
produce the food, keep the ores coming in and serve the guilds and their betters. But, there are some
among the people who feel the need to venture out, to risk their lives beyond the spires. They try to
resurrect a dead land, try to recapture the world before the fall and carry on. Sadly they often are found staked
out guts hanging, impaled upon spikes, or if they are blessed dead in the snow, frozen.

There are those amongst us that are destined to face the Pale, to walk the tunnels of the Below or the ice of the
Above. Those that face the horrors and try to fight back. Every day the ice gets closer and the corrupted howl
at our borders, our cities have become breeding grounds for cults of the Blood Lords recruiting those that feel
left behind or hopeless. This infection, this creeping pestilence needs to be cut out and burnt, and often it takes
those willing few to do the deed.

The cities are the safe havens, places with high walls of unnatural sounds of chanting coming from deep
and armed men walking the streets. Administrators below, encounters with strange creatures and even
and Guilds are making sure that supply lines stay open rumours of missing people are whispered throughout
that even the poorest are fed, and to some real degree the cities and have even reached the Last City above.
Some parts of the cities
this is true, (though few see the machinations behind
just feel like at any
the walls of the guild houses and the assassinations of
Travel across the
moment they could
explode, this is not only dignitaries). But as the years have moved on since the
due to resentment but fall, and the Pale has become more and more under

Pale
also poverty and fear. This the control of the Blood Lords, some of the rot has
should be made clear to seeped in. The mass of refugees that flooded the cities
the players that they feel brought with it chaos and those that supported the There are few ways to travel across the pale if you stick
watched and in constant rule of the elves, that harboured resentment to their to the roads you can use wheeled vehicles like carts
danger of attack as they fellow humans for bringing the world to its icy knees.
pass through the city. and carriages, mostly the roads stay clear from years
This resentment and anger grew and became a threat. of use, but it is not unheard of for roads to become
blocked with snow or ice making wheeled vehicles
Travelling through the Last City and the cities below useless. Many travelling traders have fitted sledges
is relatively safe during the day, there are dark alleys to their vehicles, dispensing with wheels altogether.
where murders may lurk, and the overcrowding does This allows the traders to travel fast across open land,
allow the petty thieves to pick their targets easily. though passing the sun spires suddenly make the
But generally, the streets are safe. The merchant and vehicle harder to use, at least it is safer.
administration districts tend to have larger patrols of
better armed and better-trained men, but that is to be Horses and riding animals can be more straightforward
expected. for groups but then comes the extra care needed for
the animals when resting, a horse will freeze just as
After dark, especially in the Last City, it becomes quickly as a person in the ice, extra food needs to be
much more dangerous. The cults hold their secret brought and finding food for yourself, and the horse
rituals and some, mainly in the slums, will openly making foraging more difficult and time-consuming.
hunt out victims or parade their beliefs without fear
of retribution. The night is also when the corrupted Walking the Pale will take time and journeys will
walk the streets. be longer, food will run out, and the dangers of
hypothermia, frostbite, snowdrifts and other natural
In the Below the problem of cults and corrupted is not threats will need to be considered. Those that choose
so bad, the families hold a tight rein on who they allow to walk can obtain snowshoes which makes travel
to enter the cities, and this has helped limit the reach by foot slightly more accessible and faster as shown
of the corrupted and the Blood Lords. Unfortunately, opposite.
this does not reach as far as the tunnels and Vagrant
camps that have been built upon the roads and
caves. Reports of strange noises are reported daily

144
Leagues Per Day*
Travel via Roads Snow Ice Mountains
Walking** 8 5 4 3
Snowshoes 7 8 7 -
Mounts 16 12 10 12
Wheeled 14 5 5 5
Sledge 16 12 10 5
Dog Sledge 14 14 14 8
*League = 3 Miles
** Walking Pace is 30ft per round

Travelling the everything changes. Travelling the tunnels can often


be hazardous and narrow passages can become more
extensive and then disappear to nothing. Keeping
Below
The dwarven roads that connect the cities are wide
track of direction can be difficult without a map or
someone with good direction sense. Darkness is An upcoming source book
absolute except for those chambers that are home to a on the below will go into
and well made, making travel easy both on foot or strange fluorescent fungus, but these are rare. more detail regarding the
using vehicles or mount. Closer to the cities they are politics, crimes and lore of
patrolled and the main issue many will face will be It should go without saying that once you leave the the cities. Also what lives
the gates and gaining access as some cities restrict this roads that vehicles and mounts will become useless below will be revealed and
to traders, residents or those with passes supplied by what can also be found
and travel by foot will be the only option, as climbing hidden there.
either a family or guild. and manoeuvring through small crevices and areas
will not allow for the luxury of transportation.
The mines, tunnels and caves lead deep underground,
and many have never been explored and can become Food and water are not as much of an issue below
hazardous the deeper you go, but the lure of ancient as they would be above, with natural springs, small
treasures and more abandoned dwarven cities is, for creatures and edible fungus easily found as long as you
many too much of a temptation to not try. Vagrants know where to look. But other dangers will exist, cave-
have discovered roads that will shorten a journey and ins, unknown poisons or creatures, traps set hundreds
even secret ways into the cities that bypass the gates, of years ago and monsters that crawl from the depths
and they will offer their services as guides to those or have wandered the mines and tunnels unaware of
wishing to avoid the scrutiny of the guards. This has the world above.
led to a few problems, and the many feel the reason
why corrupted or cults even exist in the well-guarded
cities.

Scavengers in the pay of the Guilds or the Mages will


Survival
It is the cold that can be the first threat to your survival.
venture downward often because of some passage in a Living in the Last City can be cold, though the Sun
dusty tome that speaks of an ancient artefact hidden spires keep most of that at bay, they cannot hold back
in a yet to be discovered dwarven city. What they have the wind or the ice storms that can tear through the
found has been vast cave systems, more well built city and rip those not quick enough in reaching shelter
dwarven roads that stretch to unknown locations, to shreds. Beyond the city, there are the swamps,
narrow mines and tight tunnels. Claims of voices poisoned forests, corruption and disease, and of
speaking in an unknown language. Constructed course the ice and snow. Lakes and rivers may appear
chambers filled with pipes that hum and rattle, and to be solid ground to the ignorant, but one wrong step
the sounds of terrible monsters from deep below are and you can plunge to an icy death. Knowing how
discovered. to find food, water and shelter can be the difference
between dying in the snow or returning safely.
On the roads, travel can be made at a good pace,
and they are wide enough for wagons to travel two,
sometimes three abreast. Most roads are well lit and
free of problems, but once you step off these roads,

Exploration 145
Stamina When wearing poor quality winter clothing, you will
lose 2 stamina points every two hours of travel.
Your Stamina reflects your endurance and the will to
go on. Hunger, thirst, tiredness and some diseases can
weaken your stamina, and this will have a knock on When wearing good quality winter clothing, you will
effect when attempting tasks or engaging in combat. lose 1 stamina point every three hrs.. of travel.
For every 2 stamina you are reduced by you will
receive a -1 penalty to all task rolls. When wearing high quality winter clothing, you will
lose 1 stamina for every four hours of travel.
GMs can if they want Resting for 4 hrs.. will restore half of the stamina lost,
ignore the weather whereas resting for 8 hrs.. will restore all lost stamina. A fire stone will adjust the above as shown below
issues if it becomes too
much like paperwork, With a fire stone and wearing poor quality winter
this would reduce some Weather clothing, the stamina loss is 1 for every three hours
of the danger but it is The area around the Last City is cold, but it is not cold of travel.
optional.
enough to stop the growing of food and the breeding
of livestock. The mountains behind the city provide With a fire stone and good quality winter clothing, the
both shelter and fresh water; many thrive within and stamina loss is 1 stamina for every four hours of travel.
around the city reasonably well without much issue.
With a fire stone and high quality winter clothing, the
Once you step beyond the Sun spires, everything stamina loss is 1 for every five hours of travel.
changes, the cold hits you like a hammer and if you are
not prepared, hypothermia can quickly follow. Warm
clothing must be worn at all times, and the warmer
and better made the clothing the longer it will keep
away the cold.

146
Food and Water The GM should adjust the above table based on the
Grittiness of the world they have created, or how
Food and water are sparse both above and below
ground, but many have learnt to find both in the desperate the situation is.
harshest of environments. Obtaining provisions is a
good start for long journeys, but you can only carry Sleeping
so much and rations and water-skins only last so long, You can go for two days without sleeping, but for
and often you can be days away from anywhere that every day after that, your physical stamina is reduced
can provide what you need unless you learn to forage. 2 points. You can go each day with 4 hrs.. of sleep, and
this will sustain you for a week or more, after which Ruins, caves, ranger huts,
Water – Melting snow and ice can help with keeping you will need 8 hours of undisturbed, comfortable old roadside taverns and
your water rations high as long as you have a pot to sleep or start losing 1 physical stamina per day. so forth can all be used
boil it in. You should drink at least a pint of water per for shelter, and this can
day; otherwise, you will lose two physical stamina be found pretty easily, the
points for every day you do not drink. Disease only issue is when they are
Some of the dangers you will face as you explore the already occupied.
Food – You must eat at least one meal per day, but pale are diseases; these can take many forms and be
caught in many ways. Most common diseases in the Other travellers can also be
you can go for two days without eating before losing met on their way to the Last
any stamina points. If you do not eat for two days, you pale are those found in rotten food or tainted water,
City, most often these will
will lose 1 physical stamina point per day until you above ground this is a growing threat as more and
be traders but sometimes
eat again. more rivers, and animals become infected, below it is they may be refugees fleeing
less common. their home. Many people
thought they could resume
Foraging Bites from animals and undead are another hazard their lives after the fall and
Below ground, it is much easier to find water in the encountered by those exploring the ruins both above returned to their towns and
form of streams, and underground lakes, those that and below with the Marshes to the south being a villages only to face fanatics
have made their homes in the mines and tunnels have cesspit of infected leeches and marsh wraiths. and cults or worse dangers.
cultivated many of the fungi that can be found there
into food. The cities below still rely upon the farms Every disease has a potency, and it is this number that
that have been encouraged to thrive around the Last you will need to equal or exceed with a Body Attribute
City above for much of their meat and grains. Test. The purge potion can be used to eradicate the
disease in the early stages, but if that is not available a
Those travelling the tunnels will benefit from having good Necromancer should be able to help.
someone that knows the best places to find water and
the safest fungi to eat, as many of the mushrooms
and moulds can be highly poisonous. Issues can also Dangers and Obstacles
arise as you get deeper underground as many of these As you travel through the world, you will encounter
tunnels have never been explored, and this can lead to threats and obstacles. Below is a list of the most
the discovery of new fungi or creatures that could be common based on region.
as edible as they could be deadly.
Location Threat/Obstacle
The table below shows modifiers to the Forage roll. Rivers and Lakes Thin Ice
Coastal Ice Raiders/Thin ice
Location Food Water Ruined Cities Cultists/Corrupted
Forest -1 -1
Marsh Wraiths/Swamps/Leeches
Ice Waste -3 -2
Open Road Bandits/Cultists
Frozen Lake -3 -
Tunnels Corrupted/Cave ins
Marsh -3 -3
Mountains Tribals/Cultists
Ash Wastes -3 -3
Forests Bandits/Corrupted/Poison
Mountains -2 -2
Mines Bandits/Corrupted
Tunnels -3 -2
Old Mines -2 -3
Ruins -2 -2
Last City Region -1 -2

Exploration 147
Corruption •


The Shackles and many of the wrecks that
surround the island.
The Great Wood has many patches of corruption
When the world fell, ripped apart by the Black Iron within it, the fact the Great Wood is not wholly
something was released, from where no one is sure, corrupted is some what of a mystery.
but with the corrupted came the corruption. It is • The Crimson Citadel has a strong corruption
thought by many of the Mages of the Black Fort that it presence; this includes the battlefields and torture
was an experiment by the elves that was released when gardens that surround it.
their laboratories were destroyed or the magic that • The Dead Marsh just oozes corruption.
contained whatever foulness they had created faded,
but none of these theories have ever been proven. Below ground seems to be less infected from the
corruption that festers above, but maybe that is because
There are two facts that are known the first is that many that live below are reluctant to delve deeper and
everyone has corruption, this cannot be undone just search out what can be found in the darkness.
controlled, and the second is that with the corruption
also came the Remnant, what connects the two no one Failing a Body Attribute Test check will always give
knows or even knows if there is a connection, but the 1 point of corruption to the character and for every
Remnants importance and the fact that many revere point of corruption you have is a penalty to the
them as the last of the gods means that maybe that resistance test.
question will never be answered.

Every character begins with one corruption point; Attacks


this cannot be removed and is part of the DNA of Being attacked by a corrupted monster or carrier
that character. Unfortunately, that one point will of corruption is the fastest way to gain corruption,
become the foundation that corruption can build it is also the only way that it cannot be resisted as
upon, meaning that you are very susceptible to being the corruption goes directly into the bloodstream.
corrupted further. Wearing thick clothing and armour will help lessen
this risk as they will protect against tooth and claw,
another option is to remove the area of injury through
Gaining Corruption amputation quickly. Many also believe that the
Unlike diseases, corruption does not have a varying corruption can be slowed by a tourniquet slowing
potency that can be resisted, that is not to say it blood-flow, but this has never been proven.
does not have a potency at all or cannot be resisted.
Corruption has a persistent potency of 8 across Other Rumours
It is recommended that the board, no matter the way it was transferred or • Drinking the blood of the beast that infected you
GMs allow players to map encountered. will cancel out the affects (False)
out how they see the Pale • Ghuls cannot be infected (False)
and make note of key • Breathing in the smoke from a burning corpse
features like Corruption Location will stop corruption (False)
hotspots etc. There are a number of locations throughout the • Being bitten a second time by a different carrier
pale where a miasma of corruption hangs, these will cancel out corruption (False)
pits cannot be seen, or smelt or heard which makes
them extremely dangerous. Often the first signs that
corruption is present will be in the wildlife, and any Items
foliage, twisted, weeping trees, grass that tears and Strangely enough, some items are known to carry
shatters like glass, animals deformed and rabid are all corruption, more often than not, these items are
indicators of corruption. magical in nature and are the artefacts of the elves.
This has led many to believe that the corruption is in
The Sense Corruption specialisation can be invaluable some way magical and linked to the ancient sorceries
when exploring certain locations in the Pale. used by the elves, why they are linked cannot be
determined, speculation has been made that the
There are a number of known locations of corruption corruption was not deadly to the elves or they had
that are best avoided if possible, and the Grand Library found ways to control or even cure it, this idea that
are always appreciative of anyone informing them of the elves had created or found a cure has led many
more or drawing maps showing there locations. The adventuring parties to their doom as they search ruins
known locations are: under the orders of the Black Fort.

148
These ancient artefacts are very sought after not only player. It will not be like a Ghul as these are merged
by the Mages but by other guilds, in the misguided with animals, but more twisted. This change will go in
belief that they will offer power of some kind and the stages with the final stage horrifying to look at with a
Remnant who wish to collect these items for their own Fear Rating.
reasons, reasons they have yet to share.
Rage – When in a rage, you will attack anyone nearby
When discovering an artefact, it will not be obvious friend or foe, you cannot be directed and you cannot
at first if it is corrupted, often the corruption will only target one person in particular. Rage will last until you A resourceful GM could
manifest once it has been used, activated by the magic succeed in a Will test, you are dead, or everyone else have a lot of fun with
held within the item. Once this happens, you can resist is dead. the various corruption
using the guidelines above (corruption potency 10). effects and have them
This resistance must be made each time the item is creeping up on the
Voices – Voices will whisper in your mind, calling for character slowly.
used. you, telling you to do things against your nature. This
will not happen all the time, and the GM should bring
Using Corruption them forth during stressful times or whenever they
feel appropriate.
Corruption can be a benefit, albeit a benefit with
a twist. You can call upon the corruption coursing
through your veins to push you that bit further, Language – You will be able to speak, understand
by using a corruption point you will gain a single and read the ancient language of the Giants, this will
total success. This can be done once per session, the be handy as there are a lot of ancient tomes in the
corruption does not disappear it just cannot be used library or in the Black Fort needing translation, if only
in this way again. they could keep you lucid long enough.

Using a corruption point will allow you to succeed at The Iron Die
all types of challenges, but at a cost, each time you use Every character receives an Iron Die, this six-sided
a corruption point you open yourself up and become dice has two purposes, the first is to allow the character
a beacon for further corruption, this means that for to improve their chances by adding the Iron Die to a
each point spent, you receive two back, the one you roll and adding the result to the total.
used and an extra one. So that one point of corruption
you had has now become two. Example
Your opponents rolls 9 for their attack but you
The Cure only managed to roll a 6 for defence, you decide to
use the Iron Die and the result is a 5, you add the 5
So is there a cure for corruption? Probably yes, but
to your 6 which makes 11 and you parry the attack.
not for the genetic foundation the single point all
characters begin with, that will always stay there. The
Mages believe that somewhere out there are clues
or writings on a cure or at least a defence against A player can only choose to use the Iron Die once per
corruption this would have been made by the elves in session, but the Iron Die has many other uses, it is used
during magic casting to determine if the spell attracts When using the Iron Die
order to protect themselves and at least protect those to improve a roll this can
humans loyal to them. any corrupted, it can be used by the GM to determine
only be done once per
how lucky you are in those life and death situations. session and those not
Finding this cure or preventative is one of the great include the use of the Iron
challenges facing the Black Fort, everyday the The Iron Die is very versatile and should be used to Die for magic or Luck etc.
corruption creeps ever closer to the Last City, everyday determine situations that normal dice or decisions
victims are brought in from the wastes suffering from cannot make, a 6 should always be a success and a 1
various effects caused by corruption. a fail.

Corruption Effects GM Note


As your corruption increases, you will start to change You can decide to use the Iron Die as a luck dice
both physically and mentally. The table opposite shows as well, calling for a Iron Die roll when a character
this with a list of explanations below. has failed an important roll that could either lead to
their deaths or a major complication to the party or
current mission. The Iron Die can have many useful
Appearance – The character’s appearance can change
applications.
in various ways, and this is the decision of the GM and

Exploration 149
Corruption Table
Corruption Effect
1-2 There are no physical or mental effects from the corruption evident.
3 You will start to show physical signs of corruption, this could be yellowed eyes, slight
scaling of the skin, black blemishes and so forth. This will have no adverse effects.
Positive: Your resistance to poisons and disease will increase by +1
4 The physical symptoms become worse and more noticeable, your skin will become greyish,
your eyes bloodshot, your veins will thicken and become darker, hair may begin to fall out
and speech slurred.
Positive: You are now immune to Poison and Disease
Negative: All social interactions are at -1.
5 The first of the mental symptoms will manifest in a form of rage, you will burst into fits of
anger at the slightest provocation, attacking, verbally abusing and spitting at everyone near
by friend and foe alike.
Positive: Your Brawl modified by +1
Negative: To suppress the rage is a Will Attribute Test vs.. 8
6 Your Physical symptoms worsen as you become hunched and begin to exude a
overpowering stench.
Positive: Your Body increases by 1.
Negative: All social interactions are at -2
7 You will start to have physical ticks and verbal outbursts which will be uncontrollable, you
begin to hear whispers and strange voices summoning and goading you. You have urges to
walk off into the pale, but when asked will have no idea where you are intending to go.
Positive: You can now sense other corrupted.
Negative: A Will Attribute Test vs.. 8 is needed to stop yourself following the whispers
8 Your skin thickens and your ability to talk is almost gone and what is left of your hair falls
out. Entry into the cities will be forbidden and you will be attacked by militia and other
people, as they see you for what you are.
Positive: You can now see in the dark clearly. Your wounds increase by +2 and your armour
is +1.
Negative: You will be attacked on sight by ‘civilised’ people, other corrupted can sense you.
You have a Fear Rating of 7
9 You will begin to think and talk in an ancient language, no one other than the Blood Lords
and the Remnant will be able to understand you. You will be able to read ancient scripts but
not be lucid long enough for it to benefit anyone. By this point you are no longer in control
of your rage or mental state and only have a basic understanding of self.
Positive: You have use of the ancient language of the giants and can read the ancient tomes.
Negatives: You will burst into rages more often and attack anyone near by, this requires a
Will Attribute Test vs.. 10 to suppress.
10 You are a monster fully corrupted and deformed, the Blood Lords call for you. The GM will
take control of your character and you will either attack the party or flee into the pale.
Positives: None
Negatives: You lost your character and have a Fear Rating of 9.

150
Combat and Injury Movement
You can move a short distance as a free action, and
you can move a long distance by using up all your
Exploring the ruins and dark places above or the actions.
tunnels and caves below is a dangerous occupation,
and you are going to face things that wish to kill you, Distance is measured in Touch, Near, Short and Long:
other than the weather or disease. Combat is a fact of
life, and you will need to be prepared before leaving
Type Distance
the relative safety of the cities.
Touch Arms Length
Near 5 Yards
Turn Order
Before entering combat, a turn order needs to be Short 25 Yards
determined; this should be done before any other roll Long 100 Yards
is made. Extreme 200+ Yards

Initiative Act
It is suggested that Agility Each combatant involved in combat must roll their You can perform one action during your turn; you
be used for Initiative when Initiative, this involves rolling a D6 and adding cannot perform a non-attack action if your last action
the characters are aware of the Agility or Instinct Attribute to the result. If two
an attack whereas Instinct
was a melee attack and you are still engaged with your
combatants roll the same Initiative, then it is decided opponent
is used when they are not
and walk into an ambush.
in various ways, as shown below.
Attack – This includes either a melee, brawl, throw or
Both Combatants are PCs then the character with the ranged attack. These will be gone into more detail later
highest skill goes first. in this section.

If one of the combatants is an NPC, then the PC Use Item – As long as you are not currently engaged
The GM can also decide always goes first. in a melee or brawl, you can use your action in order
to completely miss out to use an item.
rolling for Initiative Ranged always goes before Melee if both are prepared.
allowing the characters
Skill – You can choose to use a skill as long as you are
to always act first and The GM rolls for the NPCs and can opt to roll for the not engaged in a melee or brawl action; this can be
Ranged or long weapons NPCs as a whole if there are more than 4 of them,
to always strike before any skill. Be aware that using a skill means you cannot
rolling for each would be time consuming. react to an attack.
melee.

Weapons Ready – If the party is weapon ready, Healing – You can perform healing on yourself or
meaning they already have their weapons drawn and someone else as long as they are a short distance away,
arrows nocked, then they always go first. healing will cancel out your react opportunity.

Surprise – If the party is surprised then the attacking Casting – You can cast magic during your action
party receive a free round of attacks on the party and depending on the type of spell will act either as a
before Initiatives are rolled, once the round has ended melee or Ranged attack or as a skill.
Initiative is rolled as normal.
Reaction – You can also react to the actions of another
Hesitation – By hesitating, you give the opponent combatant, as long as you are aware of the action.
the advantage, meaning that for the initiative they get Often a reaction will be a defensive action such as
to roll 2d6 and choose the highest roll. parry or block, other times it may be a dodge or diving
into cover.

Combat Actions The reaction is unique in that you can react even if it
During combat, many actions become restrictive is not your turn.
as you attempt to avoid injury and flying missiles.
Combat is hectic, confusing and fast, and this is Defence – You can defend against an attack by
reflected in how you can act during it. parrying, dodging or blocking the attack this is an
opposed roll. You would use Melee for a Parry or
You can move and act during your turn, and you can Shield block and Athletics to dodge or dive into cover.
react during someone else’s turn.

152
Parrying
Example Parrying is done with a weapon, normally a sword or
You have entered what appears to be abandoned dagger. To parry you make a melee opposed roll vs..
shack on the side of the road, the shack does show the attacker’s melee roll.
signs of habitation, a fire pit has been laid, and
an old blanket lies in the corner. From the ceiling,
strange totems have been fashioned from bone, and Shields
looking at them makes the you feel strange. As you Shields allow you to block an attack and will add a
search the shack you makes an awareness check, bonus to the Melee skill when used to block. Using a
the GM also rolls and declares that you have heard shield means that you can only carry a single handed
a noise from outside, someone is approaching the weapon. In order to use a two handed weapon or
shack stealthly. You draw your sword and step to ranged weapon, you must drop the shield.
the shack door. Peering through a crack between
the boards you see two men approach, each is Stealth Attacks
heavily scarred and are clearly cultists. The important part of a stealth attack is the stealth,
managing to reach your target without being spotted.
Not wishing to be boxed into the shack you pull This is done with a Stealth vs.. Awareness opposed roll,
open the door and step out, the two cultists clearly if successful, the attack is considered a success.
were not expecting to see you and hesitate, giving
you the advantage if you want it, you do. You roll If the stealth roll generates more Levels of Success than
2d6 for initiative and get a 3 and 5, you take the the Awareness roll of the target, the extra successes
5 and add your Agility of 3 giving you a total of 8, count as +1 extra damage done per extra Level of
the GM rolls for the two cultists, and they get a 6 success.
and a 5. You go first.
Successful stealth attacks ignore armour.
You move the short distance to the first cultist and
attack, your Melee is Adept and Body is 2, so you Two Weapon Combat
roll 3d6 and get a 3,4,1. You take the 4 and add Using a weapon in each hand is possible and will allow
your Body of 2 making 6. The cultist can attempt for two attack actions per turn, but the off hand attack
to parry but must roll 6 or more to succeed, the is at -2 unless you have the Two Weapon Talent.
first cultist has a Melee of Trained and a Strength
of 3, the dice come up 2 and 1, taking the 2 and Stance
adding 3 means that with only a 5 the Cultist fails You can choose to use a Stance, this will be either
to parry and takes 5 points of damage. defensive or offensive. A defensive stance will increase
your Parry by +2 but decrease your attack by -2,
whereas an offensive stance will increase your attack
by +2 and lower Parry by -2.
Close Combat
Close combat includes any attacks made at Touch
range and uses either the Melee or Brawl skills. Ranged Combat
The use of Bows and thrown weapons fall under the
Attacking purview of Ranged Combat. Shooting bows etc. works
Attacking is an opposed roll and includes both melee in the same way as Melee and unarmed combat the
and brawl. You roll to attack, and the opponent must only real difference is how the target can react. Thrown
roll to defend with the highest result winning. If the weapons and Arrows cannot be parried so the target
result with levels of success has extra options (see can either block the attack with a shield or attempt to
Levels of Success). dodge the attack using Acrobatics as an opposed roll.

A Bow can be nocked as a free action, but a crossbow


Disengaging
will take 1 round to load, meaning that when using a
You can disengage from close combat by stepping
crossbow you get to attack every other round.
back, this will mean that you can no longer attack
unless you step back into close combat.
Range
Ranges are in feet for thrown weapons and yards
for ranged weapons. The range shown is the longest
possible range for that weapon to be accurate and

Exploration 153
cause the amount of damage listed. Ranges beyond The difficulty for making attacks would normally be
that which are listed, accuracy and damage become an opposed roll but for instances when the target is
lower. unaware, then a Target Number comes into affect.

Modifiers are to the attack roll. • Head or Arms – TN 10


• Body or Legs – TN 9
Situation Modifier
Darkness -1
Magic
Magic that acts as a ranged attack will be treated as
Fog -1 one with the same rules for cover and line of sight.
High Wind -1 Some magic acts differently depending on the spell,
Beyond Range -1 and this will be described in the spells description.
High Ground +1
Low Ground -1 Mounted Combat
Unlike Bows, Crossbows Attacking from a horse or vehicle will apply modifiers
can also be braced or as the motion and ground that is being moved across
Aiming
rested against something can effect aiming and balance.
in order to make the shot
You can make an aimed shot; this will increase your
even more stable, if this skill by +1 for each round you spend aiming, and if
is allowed then bracing a successful, you hit what you aimed for. The target can Melee
crossbow will add +1 to still attempt to block or dodge the attack. Attacking with a melee weapon whilst riding a horse
the roll. or inside or on top of a moving vehicle will reduce your
attack by -1, it will also reduce Parry by -1, dodging
Called Shots
will be impossible.
A called shot differs from an aimed shot as they are
often done instantly without spending time to focus
on a target. To make a called shot, you must declare Ranged
what your target is, and this can be a small item to a Shooting from horseback or whilst inside a moving
specific body part, which will give a modifier. Called vehicle will reduce your attack by -2, aiming will not
shots are great when you don’t have the luxury of time be allowed but called shots can still be made.
to aim but want to make a precision shot.

• Head -2 Modifier
Levels of Success
During combat you may roll more than you need to
• Arm - 2 Modifier succeed or less than you need to succeed these are
• Legs - 1 Modifier called Levels of Success (LoS) or Levels of Failure
• Hand - 3 Modifier (LoF). For skills these will create special circumstances
that can help or hinder what you are attempting to do,
Cover whereas in combat they can have a much more deadly
With Ranged combat line of site is important and this outcome.
can be obscured by cover. To shoot at someone in
cover applies a penalty to the shot based on the type Levels of Success
of cover. For every two points you are above the TN (you need
8 and you roll 10 for example) you gain an effect, this
• Quarter Cover -1 will be determined by the numbers of levels with
• Half Cover -2 every two points equalling a level. You and the GM
• Three-Quarters Cover -3 can decide what the effect will be based on the current
• Full Cover - No Shots situation or what you were attempting, below are a few
suggestions:
Stealth Ranged
Many ranged attacks can be described at stealth attacks • Lvl 1: Extra damage, Shield Bash, Second Shot.
as often the opponent is not aware they are happening, • Lvl 2: Counter Attack, Knock Down.
where the attack is coming from and not prepared to • Lvl 3: Second Attack, Stun, Third Shot.
block or avoid the attack. Any attack made against an
opponent who is unaware of either your presence or Levels of Failure
that the attack has been made cannot attempt to block Combat can also take a less than favourable turn and
or dodge the attack. Armour is still in affect. drawbacks can appear through failures, like with

154
successes for every two points you are below the TN
you have a Level of Failure (you need an 8 and you roll
a 6 for example). Like with levels of success the failure
Damage and
should be discussed with the GM what that would
mean based on the current situation. Healing
GM Note Getting injured and even dying can feel inevitable in
I suggest that however badly they fail characters the Pale, but as long as you are careful, stay protected,
should never die on a level of failure, unless they you should be able to keep the wounds to a minimum.
were attempting something stupid or it was clearly If you are prepared, there is no reason for your
obvious, they would die. character to die or suffer irreversible damage.
Rolling a Treble may also
lead to a level of success,
Below are a few suggestions of what a Level of Failure Armour and Toughness for balance it is suggested
could look like: You have both Armour Points and Toughness Points; that the player chooses one
your Armour Points represent how much damage or the other, but if the GM
• Lvl 1: Staggered, +1 armour damage the armour negates and can be found listed with the allows it and maybe for
• Lvl 2: Dropped Weapon, Snapped Bowstring armour type. Your Toughness is equal to your Body situations which may call
• Lvl 3: Stunned for a rnd, +2 damage Attribute and will also reduce damage, but in game for it both effects can be
used.
terms the Toughness is reducing the effects rather
Trebles than the wound itself.
Rolling Trebles is a critical success if they are treble 6’s
and a critical failure if they are treble 1’s. A critical with Damage that is lower than either the armour or
double damage and ignore armour, whereas a failure toughness is considered to be either minimal or has
will result in a injury or broken weapon. The GM been deflected in some way, minor cuts and bruises
should match the effect to the task being attempted. are not considered life threatening.

Exploration 155
Healing wounds removes any penalties the injured
Example person may of received.
You are facing off against the cultists and one of
them manages to hit you, they are using wicked Wounds can also be healed with rest, for every 8 hrs..
looking axes and the attack does 2d6 + 3 damage of rest and relaxation you will receive back 1 wound.
the GM rolls and inflicts 11 damage. You are Resting like this will involve a soft bed, food and safety.
wearing good quality reinforced leather armour
which has an AP of 4, this reduces the damage to
7, your Toughness is equal to your Body of 2 which Dying
reduces the damage again to 5, meaning you take 5 If you lose all your wounds, you will collapse and be
wounds from the attack. unable to act; this will continue until you are healed
or you take further damage which will result in your
Wound Track death. Bleeding will continue to reduce Stamina and
reaching zero in stamina whilst collapsed will be
The wound track starts at a base 10 + Body Attribute
instant death.
and is decreased by taking damage. The track on the
character sheet shows what penalties you receive the
more you are wounded, and these penalties effect all Other Injuries
rolls made by you whilst at this wound level. Below are a few other situations where you may
become wounded, the damage of each is weighed
When a critical strike is
achieved and maximum Weapon Damage against your Toughness.
damage is inflicted Weapons can do different types of damage based
the limb is considered on the type of weapon they are. Heavy weapons like Crippling
crippled, if this is a leg, hammers and clubs will bludgeon, whereas weapons Injuries from Critical strikes can cripple which
movement is halved. An will reduce movement and use of limbs. When this
like daggers will slash or stab. These types of attacks
arm will limit use for two happens instead of offering modifiers the character
handed and most ranged can have extra effects.
will lose the use of the crippled location.
attacks, and a head will
cause unconsciousness. Bleeding – Weapons that stab, pierce or slash can
Chest criticals reduce cause bleeding. Whenever an injury is suffered, the Falling
Physical Stamina to half. target will begin to bleed and lose 1 Stamina per round For every 3 yards that you fall you will take 1d6
until the bleeding has been staunched. damage. Using the Tumble specialisation will half the
damage taken.
Stun – Weapons that Bludgeon can stun the target,
causing them to become disorientated and even Frostbite
unconscious for a short time. If an Injury has been Frostbite affects the extremities like fingers and toes
achieved, then the target is stunned for 1d3 (1d6/2) and is slow acting and will drain 1 wound per day
rnds during these rnds they will be unable to attack until treated. Once the Frostbite has removed half the
and will be at -2 to parry, block, or dodge. wounds of the PC that appendage will fall off.

Healing Drowning
Once wounded, you must heal in order to survive You can hold your breath for a number of rounds
not only the harsh environments of the Pale but any equal to your Body Attribute x 3 after which you will
further conflict you may face. lose 1 Physical Stamina per rnd until you either drown
or are rescued.
Wounds
The healing of wounds can be done by either using Fire
the healing skill, Magic or healing potions. Potions Fire will do an initial 2d6 damage and then an extra
will heal back a number of wounds equal to the total 1d6 per round until extinguished. Armour and
rolled on a 1d10, healing salves are used mainly for Toughness will effect damage.
burns and will heal a number of wounds equal to the
number rolled on a d6. Some spells will heal, and Armour and Fire
like the healing skill, the target number that must be Leather, Hide, and quilted armours will be reduced
equalled or beaten is derived from the wounds taken. to half AP after being set alight. Metal armours such
For every wound the TN to heal is increased by 2, so as chain and Plate will exacerbate the problem by
healing someone with 3 wounds will be a TN of 6. increasing the damage each round to 2d6.
Success means that you have healed d6 wounds.

156
Fear and Stress
You will face moments of stress during your journeys • Failure: You retreat backwards unable to act for
across the Pale or the tunnels below, and this stress 1 rnd
can affect you in different ways. You have a Courage • Lvl 1: You flee until you can no longer see the
Rating which is treated similar to an Attribute test, threat
the Courage Rating is your Will + Instinct Attribute • Lvl 2: You collapse in shock for d4 rnds
added together and divided by 2 and rounded up. • Lvl 3: You suffer a heart attack taking 2d6 damage
(armour and Toughness have no effect)
Example
You have a Will of 2 and an Instinct of 3 added
together makes 5, this number is then divided by 2
Injuries from Failure
You can suffer from failing a Courage roll as your mind
and rounded up to make 3 (2+3=5/2=2.5 rounded
ceases to comprehend what you are seeing and retreats
up). The result is your Courage Rating (CR).
to protect itself you will suffer shock and collapse, or if
the stress is just to much for the body and shuts down
causing heart failure.
Using Courage
Monsters and threats will have a Fear rating similar Shock is not permanent but can be dangerous as you
to a TN, when you face this threat you must roll effectively collapse unconscious for up to 4 rnds unable
your Courage which acts similar to an Attribute test to move or defend yourself, other party members can
(2d6+CR) if the result is equal to or higher than the defend you or drag you away but there is not cure for
TN than you succeed, if it is less than you fail. it.

Heart Failure can kill, your body will basically shut


Levels of Success down causing massive system shock, damage from
A simple success means that you are unaffected by the this will hit you directly and internally causing up
threat and can act normally but as with using skills to 12 wounds, which could kill. Your toughness and
and combat the better your success the more you can armour will not help you with this, and again this
do. With every two points you are above the TN you could floor you.
are at a higher Level of Success and you and the GM
can discuss what that means based on the current To avoid this happening enter areas carefully and
situation or choose from the list below. try to be aware of your surroundings, avoiding nasty
surprises could be the difference between life and
Every two points you are above the TN equals 1 Level death.
of Success.

• Success: You Face the Fear Limiting Fear


• Lvl 1: You face the fear and gain +1 to your next Monsters are scary but there will come a point when
action. they stop becoming as scary, and this is done by
• Lvl 2: Your courage encourages others and those lowering the Fear of a monster by 1 every few times
around you gain +1 to their next action. the characters come across them. This does not
• Lvl 3: You are bolstered and will be at +1 to included the Corrupted who vary so wildly from each
Courage rolls when facing that same threat in other that everytime one is encountered it is like the
the future. first time.

Levels of Failure
Like with combat and skills you can also have a
Level of Failure when facing horrors. When you fail
discuss with the GM what that will look like or use the
examples below.

For every 2 points under the TN you will have 1 Level


of Failure.

Exploration 157
6
Arcane
The gods listened
to the watcher’s
observations and
prepared for war.
W How Magic Became
hen giants walked the Pale, they formed
sorceries, twisted nature and corrupted It was the elves that introduced magic into the world,
the forces that bind the cosmos. This they had sorcery running through their veins, and
interference sent a tremor through the realms, which they had quickly sought out the artefacts of the giants,
eventually reached the gods. Watchers were sent increasing their power in order to dominate the
to discover the nature of the disturbance, and they world and those that lived upon it. For decades the
quickly travelled to the Pale and the realm of the humans marvelled in the power of the elves, saw them
giants. as gods, feared their magic and felt helpless before it.
But what the elves had discovered very quickly as they
The giants had corrupted everything, oceans had experimented on the humans was that every human
turned black, the forests became twisted and diseased, had an untapped well of power deep inside them, a
and the animals that had once thrived now were dead power so strong that it could destroy the elves in a
or mutated. The experiments and sorceries of the blink of an eye, a power akin to that of gods, and this
giants had tainted everything, and their greed was secret the elves held close for fear that the humans
immense. The watchers knew that soon the giants would rebel.
would turn their corruption to the other realms and
that their insatiable need to devour and infect would Many of the experiments conducted by the elves on
never stop. their human victims were to see if this power could be
Magic is rare and hard to tapped, could be utilised by the elves to enhance their
The gods listened to the watcher’s observations and own abilities, almost like human batteries, and even
do, it is also dangerous. prepared for war.
Very few non-mages have though they had learnt to drain this power from the
ever seen magic being human the power itself was too pure and would kill
used and when it is it can With heavy losses, the gods finally defeated the giants the elven host.
be loud, bright and scary. and left their carcasses to rot upon the earth, and with
Players should remember that, the gods declared the world dead, removing the It was by mistake that the humans discovered their
this when using their sigil’s and wards and closing the gateway to the world potential.
magic in public. forever or so they thought.
The first sign of power came from a small child in
Centuries past and the blood of the giants slowly a village by the sea, or so the story goes. The boy’s
seeped into the earth, feeding the roots of the mighty dog had become injured whilst running through a
forests deep underground. These corrupted roots small wooded area and the child so upset by this and
gave rise to new life, a twisted corrupted being that unwilling to leave the injured pet managed to heal the
declared itself Daur, or nature, this first of its kind, dog through magic. Some at first claimed that the boy
who would eventually become the Elves. Clawing had called upon the gods and they had listened, but the
their way through the earth, they encountered the child had insisted that he had touched the dog and the
dwarves; the Daur were imbued with the power of the injury had healed. This revelation began investigations
giants; sorceries ran through their veins and with this, into other claims of magical power being used by
they first enslaved and then burnt the dwarves within humans, and this began the era of enlightenment.
their cities.

Eventually, the elves reached the surface world and Magic is Dangerous
saw that it was beautiful, where the blood of the All magic has it’s dangers, no one can wield such power
giants had seeped into the dark places and corrupted without either paying the price or taking a risk, and as
the below, the blood of the gods that had fallen had you develop and start to use more powerful magic’s,
instead nurtured and renewed the above and had the risks and costs will also increase. Depending on
formed new life of its own, the people that called what school of magic you choose, it will determine the
themselves Human. The elves saw potential in this dangers that you could face if you attempt to cast spells
world without a roof, where the below was cramped that sap too much power. Many mages from the Black
and dark the above was open and light, and the power Fort have regulated their usage and never exceeded
that ebbed through the land and the oceans was of the their reach and have lived with very little danger but
purest kind and was powerful. there are those that wish to push the limits, and these
mages soon reap what they sow.
So began the era of domination.
The Magical Paradox
The unspoken truth, or magical elephant in the room
is that magic is the cause of so much horror and

160
death, when the elves wielded it they did so in order
to control, experiment, torture and gain power, it
The Agenda
The Mages Guild has an agenda, a secret purpose that
was magic that brought down the black iron, which is only ever told to those novices that have earned the
turned the world to ice. Magic created the corrupted right to represent the guild in the world. This agenda is
and even, possibly the Blood Lords. Many realise the to make the guild powerful to the point of control over
paradox in knowing that the very power that almost all other things, this is not calling for outright uprising
destroyed the world Is the very same one that many but slow methodical revolution, a coup to place the
rely on to save it. Black Fort on the throne whatever the cost.
Mages are not loved and some even look upon them
with suspicion and hatred, but for many they are
a necessary evil, and to others the next phase of the
world’s evolution.

The Black Fort


The Black Fort is the name of the Mages Guilds main
guild house, the building itself is an old fort used
before the fall by the elves to patrol the roads leading
to the Last City which was then the capital city of the
North. The building itself is large but squat and those
that have been inside claim that most of the Fort is
deep underground.

When you approach the Black Fort for the first time
you will get a feeling of tightness in the chest like
the very air has been sucked out of your lungs, your
skin will begin to prickle and a feeling of anxiety will
come over you. Some say this is a warning others that
Not Declaring
There are those that have powers that never declare, In a future supplement
this is the magic from the Black Fort seeping out and keep themselves hidden from the guild, and this is there will be an option
affecting the very land around it. possible to do. To deny your power is to never use it to play as a rogue mage,
and these fall into two categories the first are those hiding from the guild.
Becoming a Novice that are not aware they have power or have never felt
Anyone that shows any affinity to magic must declare it within themselves, the guild states that this would
themselves to the guild and become a Novice, this describe most people as everyone has the ability with
involves living and training at the Black Fort until a little nudge to discover their power.
such times as they deem you ready to re-enter the
world, this training can take 5, 10 and even 20 years The second are those that feel the magic coursing
meaning that Novices come in many ages, though it through their veins but deny it any release, this can be
is said that mages that never progress beyond Novice from fear of the power, or of the guild. You may not
are expected to offer themselves up as aid to the guild wish to become a novice or be tested by the guild, and
and this means that they either become servants or you would think this would be your choice, but the
test subjects. guild seeks out these hidden mages, claiming it is for
the safety of all.

Learning by Doing
Once the guild has decided that you can return to the Note
world outside the Fort you will then begin moving The hidden mages will be a subject in a future
up the guild ranks. Mages learn by doing, using what source book for the Black Iron, where we will delve
they know in real life situations, seeking out relics and further into how to play as a hidden mage and the
knowledge and aiding others is expected. The guild enclaves that have sprung up in direct opposition to
needs always come first. the Black Fort.

Arcane 161
Using Magic Spell Levels
Each spell has a number of levels of complexity and
power, basically the more complex a spell the harder
Whatever school of magic you practice, you will learn it is to cast and the bigger impact it will have on the
a number of spells, these spells are given a difficulty world. In game terms this means that the difficulty
number to indicate the complexity of the spell, this is number for higher level spells is a larger number often
the number that must be beaten or equalled by rolling making it impossible for Novices to even contemplate
the Arcane skill casting such powerful magic.
Mages can increase their chance by using props or
items like herbs, but this depends of the type of magic Spell Cost
and the spell being cast. Every spell has a cost, not just to the world but also to
the caster. Magic wears away at a mage physically and
Like all skills Magic uses Levels of Success and Levels mentally and can lead to death if not monitored and
of Failure but the results of each can vary from spell used responsibly. It can also be dangerous to others,
to spell. and this means those that are not often a target of a
mage.
Disciplines and Spheres Most spells will absorb Mental Stamina, exhausting
There are three disciplines a mage can choose from the mage mentally. Reducing the mental stamina of a
Necromancy, Pyromancy and Sorcery, these three mage to zero will have two effects, the first being the
disciplines are then separated into Spheres of study temporary effect of collapse, reaching zero in mental
(the Sorcerers call these spheres circles). When stamina will cause the mage to fall unconscious, this
choosing the spells you learn as a Novice you can take will act as sleep and the stamina will replenish over
the spells from each of the spheres of your discipline time. The second effect is physical, each discipline
or from just one, it is your choice as you will be taught has a point when the magic will take you over in one
all spheres of that discipline. way or another, and each mage has 5 chances to avoid
this. Each time the mage pushes themselves too far
Learning Spells and collapses from mental exhaustion they need to
As a novice you will learn a number of spells equal to cross off a catalyst, these are 5 boxes under the mental
your Mind Attribute, these can be any spells from your Stamina track, once all 5 catalysts have been crossed
chosen disciplines list. Each time you go up a Rank in off the mage has become the magic and no longer
the Guild you are taught one new spell of your choice. exists.

As a mage you are expected to go out there and The catalyst is different for each discipline with
discover and study new spells or devise your own sorcerers becoming arcane energy, Pyromancers
based on what you have learnt. Magical books and will slowly become a living flame and Necromancers
scrolls will hold spells that can be learnt by the mage shrivel and eventually fall into dust.
and this takes a number of days of study based on your
Arcane Skill level and your Will. Casting
There are various methods for casting, and each will
Will Attribute have its benefits and drawbacks. All casting no matter
Arcane 1 2 3 4 5 the source involves an Arcane vs.. Spell DN roll.
Known 10 9 8 7 6
Casting from Knowledge
Trained 9 8 7 6 5 Each mage will have learnt a number of spells from
Adept 8 7 6 5 4 the spheres within their discipline and this will allow
Expert 6 5 4 3 2 them to cast these spells from memory, this is the
quickest way to cast magic but is limited by what the
Master 5 4 3 2 1
mage has learnt. Casting from memory can be done
each round on the Mages turn.
Once you have learnt the spell it is presumed that you
are able to attempt to cast each level of that spell.
Casting from Scrolls
The mage can create or obtain scrolls which have
magical spells inscribed upon them, this allows the

Arcane 163
mage to carry a number of spells they have not learnt.
Scrolls do not disappear once used or turn into a puff Example
of smoke; they can be used repeatedly but casting Your mage has discovered a spell in an ancient
from a scroll will take two rnds to do. tome, but instead of carrying the large book
around you decide to grab some parchment, ink,
and inscribe the spell onto a scroll. The spell DN is
Casting from Books 9 so in order to copy the spell onto the scroll you
There are many ancient books that hold formulae for
would need to make an Academic roll Vs.. a DN
spells, and these can be read and utilised by the mage
of 9, you would also lose the Mental Stamina cost
either by taking the time to copy the spell from the
of the spell.
book to the scroll or learning the spell and committing
it to memory. Casting directly from a book can take
time and to do so will take 3 rnds to do.
Once the spell has be inscribed the scroll can be used
Casting from Items as often as you like.
Some items hold magical spells, how this works is to
first transfer power into the item and then whispering Creating an Item
the spell to be stored. The spell still costs to cast but Spells can also be stored inside items, these are
instead of leeching the stamina of the mage it will take normally jewellery, weapons, or staffs. In order to
the power from the item. Casting from an item is like create a magical item first you need to empower it, and
casting from knowledge, it can happen within a single this involves transferring mental stamina to the item.
round for as long as the item has power. As the mage leeches their own stamina it will enter the
item at a one to one ratio, so for four points of stamina
Rituals the mage leeches four points of power enters the item.
Some disciplines have ritual spells, these are spells of
power that take a lot of preparation and time to cast. Once the item has been charged the mage must then
The alerting the A ritual can take days to complete but some do have whisper the spell into the item, this is similar to
corrupted to your quick alternatives, but these often have a higher rate casting, it has the same difficulty number that needs to
presence through the of failure or more drawbacks for the mage, so think be equalled or beaten and takes up the same stamina.
use of magic often Once this has been done the item can cast that spell as
carefully when performing a quick ritual.
means cultists and the long as the power exists.
Corrupted monsters
like abominations. During a ritual, the mage cannot be disturbed and
must have the relative items and props to perform the Items do not have a limit to the amount of power they
ritual. can hold, a mage could spend weeks sending power
into an item every day, replenishing their stamina
Dangers through sleep or meditation, and then sending more
All spells can attract trouble and sorcery is the most power the next day and so on. Once the spell has
dangerous, but even Pyromancy and Necromancy can been transferred no more power can be added until
alert the corrupted to your presence. Each time a spell the current power is exhausted and then the whole
is cast of either Pyromancy or Necromancy an Iron process starts again.
Die is rolled and on the result of a 1 something stirs
The Danger of Items
Items can be unstable and each time an item is used
Creating Items and Scrolls there is a chance it will backfire or just explode. If the
A mage can create ways of making spell casting and Level of Failure for casting the spell is ever 6 or more
storing easier by using scrolls and items which they the item will explode, with the current power level
have created during their downtime. determining the damage and radius of the explosion.

Creating a Scroll Stored Power Result


Scrolls allow mages to carry spells they have not
memorised; a scroll has no real power it is basically an 01-25 d10 damage in a 5ft radius
easy way to read and cast a spell then carrying around 26-50 d10 +3 damage in a 10ft radius
a large grimoire. To create a scroll the mage writes the 51-75 2d10 damage in a 20ft radius
spell on the scroll precisely as it is spoken when cast,
76-100 4d10 damage in a 30ft radius
this does involve a roll of the Academic skill and will
have the same difficulty as the spell would be to cast
from memory as well as the same mental stamina loss.

164
Necromancy
The art of Necromancy sprung from the study of death illegal within the Last City, and the Below, the creation
and healing, the surgeries performed by the Black Fort of golems, the raising of the dead and the draining of
on the corrupted and on those unfortunates consumed health are all considered against the laws of the Black
by the ice helped build the skills of the budding Fort.
necromancer. It is also said that those instructions
and books discovered in some of the elven prisons
and towers used by their own surgeons have aided the Necromancy Spells
Black Forts understanding of the melding of flesh and Necromancy spells are listed with a Dark or Light or
iron as well the reanimation of dead tissue. Neutral Descriptor; this will indicate how the spell will
be perceived by anyone seeing the Mage performing
The Black Fort hold their studies and resources close the spell. Spell cost will not only be in stamina but in
to their chest, and it is forbidden for both novice health if applicable and will state whether the loss is
and mage to speak of their training and some of the temporary (t) or permanent (p).
more secretive practices of the guild, but it is strongly
believed that the Fort breaks the laws and have begun Necromancy Rituals
to dabble in more dubious research. Some magic used by necromancers is more akin to
rituals, long drawn out processes that require various A break in concentration
Dangers of Necromancy items and hours spent either working upon the subject
or weaving the necromancer’s life force and magical
during rituals will mean
the loss of progress and
Every necromancer must understand the risks of
their art and that these risks can be deadly or at least energies. These rituals can take days to complete, materials with the Mage
and the necromancer will need to have their full having to start over.
can wear the Mage down over time if they are not
careful. The art of healing can involve transferring concentration on what they are attempting to achieve,
of the mages vital essence into the patient, the art of this means that rituals are often performed during
purging diseases and poisons can cause the Mage also downtime.
to become infected or poisoned. Those necromancers

Spell List
dedicated to aiding others have died at a young age
after giving their all to their patients.

Necromancy is what many consider a tainted art, Below is a list of Necromancy spells separated into
one which can be used for both good and bad, but the three spheres of learning. Novices can choose a
unfortunately, the Mage cannot learn the good without number of spells from any sphere equal to their Mind
also understanding the bad. But whichever path you Attribute.
decide to travel the effects on your health and mind
will be the same.
Spell Descriptions
Increasing the effect of a spell or exerting yourself Each spell will have a description of what it does, how
will come not only from your stamina but sometimes much stamina it will cost to cast, the difficulty number
your health, this can be temporary, but often it is for casting and the effects from Levels of Success and
permanent. Permanent loss of health will affect your Failure.
wounds. Purging a disease or poison will force you
to roll resistance against that same disease or poison Abbreviations
although at one potency level less, if you fail, then you
have cured the patient but have now inflicted yourself. • STL - Mental Stamina Loss
• POT - Potency
Restoring temporary health that has been lost is • AoE - Area of Effect (Ft)
as simple as a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, a • LoS - Level of Success
permanent loss cannot be reversed, and you will begin • LoF - Level of Failure
to suffer the more health you lose until eventually, • Prop - Item used to enhance
you will literally die for your art, some feel this is • DN - Difficulty Number
acceptable. • WL - Wound Loss

The flip side of Necromancy is what is considered

Arcane 165
First Sphere - Healing Spell: Healing Aura (Light)
All necromancers learn healing and the ability to Casting TN: 7, STL: 5 WL: 1 for 1
Purge poisons and disease. Many necromancers never Prop: None. Type: Ranged, AoE
deviate from the healing sphere and spend their lives
in the service of others. The necromancer sends out an aura of healing that
will encompass anyone with a 6ft radius of the
Some spells will cost the necromancer wounds as they necromancer. The necromancer decides how many
transfer their own life force into the patient. wounds they will heal if successful.

Spell: Cure (Light) LoS


Casting TN: 5+POT, STL: 1+ POT 2 - Necromancer heals +1 wound
Prop: None, Type: Touch 4 - As above and spells AoE expands by 4ft
6 - Necromancer loses no Stamina and heals +2
The necromancer draws disease from the victim, wounds.
taking it partially into themselves. This spell will work
on all diseases. If successful, the necromancer must LoF
roll resistance against the disease, albeit it with a -1 to 2 - Spell fails necromancer loses the stamina and
the disease potency. wounds.
4 - Spell fails and everyone with 6ft takes 1 wound
LoS 6 - Spell explodes and everyone with 6ft takes d6
2 - Disease POT -2 for resistance wounds.
4 - Necromancer does not need to resist disease
6 - Necromancer gains a +1 immunity to the disease Spell: Purge (Light)
permanently Casting TN: 5 + POT, STL: 1 + POT
Prop: None. Type: Touch
LoF
2 - Spell fails and necromancer must resist disease The necromancer draws out any poisons from the
at full POT victim taking the poison partially into their own body.
4 - Spell fails Necromancer must resist disease at The necromancer will need to roll a resistance against
full POT and also loses +1 stamina the poison but at a -1-potency level.
6 - As above and the patient takes d6 wounds.
LoS
2 - Poison POT -2 for Resistance
Spell: Heal (Light) 4 - Necromancer does not need to resist poison
Casting TN: 6, STL: 3 WL: 1 for 1 6 - Necromancer gains a permanent +1 when
Prop: None. Type: Touch resisting the particular poison.

The necromancer transfers his own life force into the LoF
target to heal the target’s wounds. This is as simple as 2 - Spell fails necromancer must resist poison at full
laying on of hands on the wounded area. POT
4 - Spell fails as above and the necromancer loses
LoS +1 stamina
2 - Necromancer heals +1 wound 6 - Spell fails as above and necromancer takes d4
4 - Necromancer loses only half the wounds they wounds.
would normally.
6 - Necromancer loses no Stamina and heals +2
wounds.

LoF
2 - Spell fails but necromancer loses +1 wound
4 - Spell fails and patient takes +2 wounds
6 - As above and the patient takes d6 wounds.

168
Second Sphere - Death Spell: Shatter (Dark)
To understand the discipline necromancers must Casting TN: 7, STL: 5
also learn those spells that are considered forbidden. Prop: Bone Shards +1 to roll. Type: Ranged
Necromancers that focus fully on this sphere are often
seen as evil mages. The necromancer can shatter bone inside the body of
the target, this will cause d10 wounds and also crippling
Spell: Drain (Dark) effects to movement and using weapons (reduces
Casting TN: 6, STL: 1 + Stamina Drained movement and skills to half). The necromancer
should declare the location that they wish to shatter.
Prop: Piece of rancid meat +1. Type: Touch Uses called shot modifiers
The necromancer can drain the life (Stamina) from a
LoS
victim using that life to heal their own stamina . The
2 - Bone Shatters and causes +2 wounds
stamina can come from any living creature that is
4 - Bone Shatters and target is down and out.
within 10ft of the necromancer. Draining all stamina
6 - Bone Shatters and cannot be healed.
will kill the victim.
LoF
LoS
2 - Spell fails and is directed at a nearby ally.
2 - Necromancer receives +1 stamina more then
4 - Spell fails and rebounds onto caster
they attempted to drain.
6 - Spell fails boosting targets toughness by +3 for
4 - Necromancer can transfer the drained stamina
six rnds.
into another being, this will involve casting Heal
but with no Wound loss. (they can only replace up
to what they have drained) Spell: Sensory Death (Dark)
6 - As above but necromancer does not need to cast Casting TN: 7, STL: 4
the Heal spell, just touch the injured party Prop: None. Type: Ranged
LoF The necromancer destroys the targets senses, the caster
2 - Spell fails necromancer transfers 1 stamina to must choose the sense they wish to destroy, be it sight,
the target. hearing, smell, or taste (touch cannot be destroyed).
4 - Spell fails necromancer transfers d6 stamina to On a success that particular sense is removed and
target modifiers to the target set. Affect lasts d10 rnds.
6 - Spell fails as above and the necromancer loses
and extra d4 stamina. LoS
2 - Targets loses sense for an extra 2 rnds
4 - Target also loses a second sense, necromancers
Spell: Wound (Dark) choice.
Casting TN: 6, STL: 2 per d4 wounds 6 - Target loses the sense permanently
Prop: Bloody dagger +1 to roll. Type: Ranged
LoF
The necromancer can cause physical wounds to open 2 - Spell fails and targets senses are instead improved
up on the target these will not stun or stagger the target 4 - Spell fails and rebounds on caster for same effect.
but will act like wounds in every other way, modifiers 6 - Spell fails and affects everyone within 6ft of
etc. Spell ignores armour. caster both friend and foe.

LoS
2 - Necromancer inflicts +1 wound
4 - Necromancer inflicts +2 wounds
6 - Necromancer inflicts + 4 wounds

LoF
2 - Spell fails necromancer takes 1d4 wounds
4 - Spell fails necromancer takes 1d6 wounds
6 - Spell fails everyone within 6ft of necromancer
takes d4 wounds.

Arcane 169
Third Sphere - Rebirth Necromancy Rituals
Ultimate goal of every Necromancer is to beat death Rituals take time and effort compared to standard
and decay and this is often done in the sphere of spells, the necromancer needs total concentration for
Rebirth. This is an extension of the Healing sphere, sometimes days at a time and a number of props and
but can if used in certain ways also extend within the other items in order to complete the ritual. At any
Death Sphere. point the ritual is disturbed or stopped everything
must start afresh and everything used up to that point
Spell: Corpse Tongue (Neutral) is lost including stamina and wounds.
Casting TN: 6 + Age, STL: 3
Prop: Grave dirt +1 to roll. Type: Touch Ritual: Create Golem
Time: 36 hrs.
The necromancer can commune with a corpse, ask Casting TN: 10. STL 1 every 5hrs, WL: 6
the corpse a single yes/no question on a subject they Props: Body parts, corpse ash, surgery tools,
would know or have some knowledge of. The corpse skinners kit, 8 pints of fresh blood.
age affects the DN.
The necromancer must arrange the body parts on a
1-5yrs +1 table or flat surface before beginning the ritual. Once
6-10yrs +2 the ritual begins the necromancer must slowly empty
11-50yrs +3 the corpse ash and blood over the parts after stitching
51 to 100yrs +4 each part of the body together all done whilst reciting
the ritual at all times.
LoS
2 - Corpse will answer a second question As long as no mistakes were made the golem can
4 - Corpse will answer a third question then be empowered by the necromancer’s own
6 - Corpse will answer a fourth and fifth question vitality (WL) after which the golem should awaken.
in detail The success of the ritual will determine the abilities
of the golem, but a basic golem will follow out simple
LoF orders (go there, lift that, follow me) but will need to
2 - Spell fails Corpse answers but it may not be be refreshed each day with 2 pints of blood and 1 WL
true, roll a d6 1-4 it is a lie, 5-6 it is true. of the necromancer.
4 - Spell fails but corpse answers with a lie
6 - Spell fails and the corpse curses the caster, the LoS
necromancer is at -2 to all skill checks for d6 days 2 – Golem can follow more complex commands,
drive a carriage, recognise items and so forth
Spell: Regenerate (Neutral) 4 – Golem is as above but can also communicate in
Casting TN: 9, STL: 7, WL: 4 a basic way with caster.
Prop: None. Type: Touch 6 – Golem is as above and only needs 1 pint of blood
per day, without close scrutiny golem looks alive.
The necromancer can attempt to regenerate a lost
limb or organ. The process takes up to 2 hours of LoF
concentration by the necromancer with each ten 2 - Body parts are ruined and will need to be
minutes calling for a new skill roll to continue the replaced.
spell. The stamina and wound loss is for completing 4 - Golem stutters into life but it is a drooling,
the spell, you should adjust the loss if the spell fails. corrupted thing that will attempt to flee.
6 - Golem lives but is insane, it will attack caster
LoS and anyone nearby (see Flesh Golem).
2 - Spell Success and stamina loss only 5
4 - Spell success and wound loss is halved
6 - As above and patient is +1 for actions involving
regenerated limb or organ

LoF
2 - Spell fails stamina loss +1
4 - Spell fails wound loss +1
6 - Spell fails stamina and wound loss +2

170
Ritual: Reanimate Ritual: Remove Corruption
Time: 2 hrs. Time: 1 hr. per Corruption Point
Casting TN: 8. STL 4, WL: 4* Casting TN: 8. STL 2 + 1 per corruption
Props: Corpse ash. Props: None
The necromancer reanimates a nearby corpse that is The necromancer can remove the corruption gained
controlled by the necromancer for a short amount of from attacks or other means; corruption can never
time (d4 days). Reanimated corpse continue to keep be reduced to less than one. For the corruption to
any physical abilities but lose all mental function with be removed, the necromancer must either absorb
these being supplied by the necromancer. it, adding it to their own corruption or transfer the
corruption to another living thing.
*For every corpse above the first that is reanimated the
WL and STL increases by 1. To transfer corruption the target for the transfer must
be within reaching distance, and the corruption will
LoS use the necromancer like a conduit.
2 – Corpse has +1 wounds
4 – As above with a +1 to attack LoS
6 – As above with +2 wounds and +2 attack 2 – Ritual success
4 – Ritual success caster receives no corruption
LoF from the transfer
2 - Ritual fails and caster loses +1 stamina 6 – Ritual success as above and stamina cost is
4 - Ritual fails corpse/s animate and turn on caster halved.
6 - Ritual fails as above but corpse/s have +2
wounds and +2 to attack. LoF
2 - Ritual fails
Ritual: Resurrect 4 - Ritual fails the corruption fails to transfer and is
Time: 24 hrs. added to the casters pool.
6 - Ritual fails as above but the corruption doubles.
Casting TN: 10. STL 6, WL: 6 + 2 perm*
Props: Four pints of blood, all corpses belongings

The necromancer can resurrect a recently deceased


target to a point where they can accept normal healing
to repair any injuries. The target must have died
within 12 hrs. in order for it to return to its normal
self. A Target will often return with memory loss of
the last d6 days.

*To return target to 1 wound will cost the caster 2


wounds permanently.

LoS
2 – Target awakens with 4 wounds and only d4
memory loss
4 – As above with no memory loss
6 – As above and caster only lose 1 wound
permanently.

LoF
2 - Ritual fails target cannot be resurrected.
4 - Ritual fails caster loses 3 wounds permanently
6 - Ritual fails as above but caster also loses 2
stamina permanently.

Arcane 171
Pyromancy
Considered the noble art by many and this is due
mostly to the fact that Pyromancy is what keeps
Pyromancy Rituals
There are no pyromancy rituals as trying to harness
the ice and corruption from the gates of the city, flame for long period of time would cause a massive
pyromancy is the hardest and most devastating of the build-up of energy that would eventually become
three magical disciplines. unstable and erupt. Many rooms and areas were
destroyed in the early studies before this was
Pyromancy began out of necessity with the considered a bad idea.
encroaching ice the Last City needed to find a way to
protect itself, discoveries found in the dwarven ruins
indicated a form of magic that used the energy of fire
that would allow a mage to channel that energy and
release it in a different form. After months of study
Spell List
it was discovered that the energy that fuelled fire was Below is a list of Pyromancy spells separated into
not much different to the energy coursing through the three spheres of learning. Novices can choose a
living things and pyromancy was born. number of spells from any sphere equal to their Mind
Attribute.
Early experiments resulted in the Pyromancers
pushing themselves too hard and this led to early
death, this was unfortunate as those that could harness
Spell Descriptions
Each spell will have a description of what it does, how
the energy were rare, but when it was discovered that
much stamina it will cost to cast, the difficulty number
the heart of the Pyromancer continued to burn after
for casting and the effects from Levels of Success and
death the sun spires were invented and the barrier
Failure.
that kept the Last City safe was erected. Unfortunately,
the sun spires need replenishing, and this relies of
sacrifices by the Pyromancers. Many Pyromancers Abbreviations
who suffer injury or become too old will offer their
hearts for the city, and because of this pyromancy is • STL - Mental Stamina Loss
the most respected discipline taught by the Black Fort • POT - Potency
• AoE - Area of Effect (Ft)
• LoS - Level of Success
Dangers of Pyromancy • LoF - Level of Failure
Children are taught not to play with fire and for • Prop - Item used to enhance
good reason it will burn and engulf you, and this is • DN - Difficulty Number
something every novice learns during the study of
Pyromancy. Apart from the obvious dangers of trying Many Pyromancy spells have a type and often this
to control huge amounts of fiery energy the use of fire type is Ranged with a number, the number indicates
will slowly engulf the mage, starting as a ball of heat the range that the spell will travel at standard stamina
in the stomach and blossoming out to slowly turn cost, any extra points spent will extend this base range
the mage into a living flame and then finally energy
itself. Over the years this immolation has been slowed
and a careful Pyromancer can live years studying and
practicing the art.

Pyromancy Spells
All pyromancy spells are performed using stamina
to determine how many spells can be cast and how
frequently they can be used. Many spells are area of
effect spells and these can be dangerous not just to
the mage but to those are around them. Fire is an
uncontrollable force that the mage is trying to control,
and it takes a lot of effort to stop it raging out of
control.

172
First Sphere - Heat LoF
Pyromancy is about temperature as much as it is about 2 - Spell fails and caster loses double the stamina
flame, and every Pyromancer novice learns to control 4 - Spell fails and caster takes d6 damage from their
their own temperature as well as the temperature own blood boiling.
around them. 6 - Spell fails and everyone within 10ft of the caster
takes d6 damage as their blood boils.
Spell: Absorb
Spell: Burn
Casting TN: 6, STL: 1
Casting TN: 6, STL: 2+
Prop: None. Type: Ranged, AoE 10ft+
Prop: None. Type: Touch
The pyromancers can absorb all the heat in an area,
causing the location to freeze. The amount of stamina This allows the caster to burn what they touch, damage
loss is 1 per 10ft area. The Pyromancer must expel the inflicted is equal to number of stamina points used by
heat elsewhere and can do this by casting melt, Jet, or the mage, with a d4 for each point. Items like wood,
Ball. For each round that the heat is not expelled the paper, and foliage will burn as expected, wet items will
caster loses 1 wound. take +1 stamina to burn and items soaked in oil will
take -1 stamina to burn.
LoS
2 - Stamina loss is halved (rounded up) Targets wearing metal armour will not burn but they
4 - Heat can be held for 2 rnds without wound loss will begin to boil within their armour with affects
6 - Caster can cast either Jet or Melt immediately similar to the Boil spell. Leather armours will burn
without a need to roll. causing 2 breaks per rnd.

LoF LoS
2 - Spell fails and stamina cost is doubled 2 - Stamina loss is halved.
4 - Spell fails but heat is absorbed causing 2 wounds 4 - Damage increases to 2d4 per round
per round. 6 - Burn targets will also receive the effects of the
6 - Spell fails heat is absorbed and explodes from Boil spell.
the caster causing d6 damage per stamina used to
everyone within 10ft. LoF
2 - Spell fails double the stamina lost.
4 - Spell fails casters clothes catch alight, d4 damage
Spell: Boil 6 - Spell fails as above with 2d4 damage
Casting TN: 5, STL: 1
Prop: None. Type: Ranged, AoE 10ft+ Spell: Melt
Casting TN: 5, STL: 2
The Pyromancer can boil any fluid nearby, this will
include everything from water to blood, the distance Prop: None. Type: Ranged, AoE 2ft
of the fluid can delay the process. Fluids within 10ft of
the Mage will boil within a round and for every 10ft Pyromancer can melt any substance from ice to iron,
beyond another round is added. Sustaining the boil stamina loss will vary from 1 to 5 depending on what
will cost 1 stamina per rnd of boiling. Boil is also an the mage is attempting to melt, (Ice covered watering
AoE spell with a standard casting covering a 10ft area. hole 1, Iron Bar 3, etc). Metal armours can also be
melted with anyone wearing the armour taking Boil
When boiling blood or some other bodily fluid all damage
targets within the A0E take d6 damage per rnd as long
as the spell is sustained. LoS
2 - Stamina loss is halved
LoS 4 - Mage can reshape Iron
2 - Range increases to 12 ft and AoE increases to 6 - As above but AoE is doubled
15ft.
4 - Target will take 2d6 damage per round LoF
6 - As above plus the AoE doubles 2 - Spell fails double the stamina lost
4 - Spell fails any metal on caster melts
6 - Spell fails as above but effects everyone or thing
within 5ft of caster.

Arcane 173
Second Sphere - Flame LoS
The control of fire and how to form and manipulate it 2 - Diameter increase 2ft for no extra cost
in order to turn it into a tool and a weapon. 4 - Damage is increased 2d6 for no extra stamina
6 - Both diameter and damage is doubled
Spell: Ball
LoF
Casting TN: 6, STL: 1+ 2 - Spell fails and double the stamina is lost
Prop: None. Type: Ranged 10ft, AoE 4 - Spell fails and spell explodes in front of caster
6 - Spell fails and ball expands to double the size
The Pyromancer can form a ball of fire and then throw and damage then explodes in front of caster.
it as a weapon. This spell will absorb heat around the
mage temporarily and can be combined with the
Spell: Ignite
Absorb spell. The more heat absorbed, and the more
stamina used the larger the ball of flame and the more Casting TN: 5, STL: 1+
damage done. Prop: None. Type: Ranged 10ft

For every stamina point used in the spell the The Pyromancer can make a flammable object nearby
damage increases by d6 damage. ignite. Candles, torches, dry bushes even trees can
be forced to burst into flame. Objects doused in oil
will burst into flame with less effort (-1 Stamina). The
For every 2ft area of heat around the mage range can be increased by exerting more stamina, but
absorbed the ball grows an extra foot in diameter, the standard range is 10ft for every stamina point
which in turn affects the AoE of the spell. Creating used.
a 20ft diameter fireball will need to absorb heat
from a 40ft radius, and if it does 10d6 damage
that will cost 10 stamina.

174
LoS LoS
2 - Spell costs less to cast 2 - Range and damage is increased one step for no
4 - Caster can ignite two extra objects in the area extra stamina cost.
6 - Caster can ignite four extra objects in the area 4 - Only half of the stamina needed is used
6 - Cone of jet extends outward for 20ft and does
LoF 2d6 damage to all it engulfs.
2 - Spell fails and caster loses double the stamina
4 - Spell fails as above and the object burns out LoF
6 - Spell fails and caster ignites nearest party 2 - Spell fails and casters hand bursts into flame
member. causing d4 damage per rnd
4 - Spell fails as above but d6 damage
Spell: Jet 6 - Spell fails and reserves engulfing anyone within
20ft of caster in flames and causing 2d6 damage per
Casting TN: 6, STL: 1+
round.
Prop: None. Type: Ranged 3ft x 2ft

The Pyromancer launches a jet of fire from their palm,


Spell: Wall
this follows the same rules as the Ball spell with the Casting TN: 7, STL: 1+
amount of heat absorbed and the number of stamina Prop: None. Type: Touch 3ft x 3ft x 1ft
used to determine the length and damage of the jet.
The Pyromancer creates a wall of flame, this can be
For every 1 ft of heat absorbed the jet extends an extra straight or curved, thick or thin. Anything passing
2ft from the casters palm, and with every 1 stamina pt through the wall will take fire damage.
used damage is increased by d6. The end of the jet can
be made to cover a wider cone by expanding a further The wall starts as a 3ft tall, 3ft long and 1ft thick wall
point of stamina per 1ft spread. of flame with each dimension being expanded 1ft per
stamina point used. The walls thickness will take time
to pass through causing more damage to any that does.

LoS
2 - Wall burns extra bright and causes 2d6 damage
to anyone passing through it per round
4 - Wall can be moved by the caster
6 - Wall will stand for d6 rounds without any
stamina use by the caster (effectively allowing the
caster to place it and walk away).

LoF
2 - Spell fails and caster loses double the stamina
4 - Spell fails caster transfers 5 stamina to nearest
corrupted horror.
6 - Spell fails as above and caster gains one
corruption point.

Arcane 175
Third Sphere - Combust Spell: Heat Seeker
The ability to cause the very air to burst into flame
or intense heat is to manipulate the very laws of the Casting TN: 8, STL: 1+
universe and to risk a misfire or self-immolation. Prop: None. Type: Ranged

Spell: Explode The Pyromancer sends a spear of energy at a pre-


selected target, this bolt of energy will follow the target
Casting TN: 7, STL: 1+
for as long as it has stamina charging it (1 stamina per
Prop: Fire. Type: Ranged 2 rounds of travel) or it strikes the target causing 5d6
damage. The spear will only travel in a straight path.
The Pyromancer causes any nearby flame to explode
outward, causing damage to anyone nearby. As the
LoS
caster forces more stamina into the spell the explosion
2 - Spear will travel around corners
becomes larger and more intense. To the point when a
4 - Spear can now pass through walls and doors
simple candle could blow apart a building.
6 - Spear will pass though living beings causing d6
damage to each.
Source STL AoE Damage
Candle 1 1ft 1d4 LoF
Torch 1 3ft 1d6 2 - Spell fails and double stamina lost
4 - Spell fails spear targets innocent NPC
Camp-fire 2 6ft 2d6
6 - Spell fails spear targets member of party
Burning Building 4 15ft 5d6
Spell: Trap
Extra stamina will increase AoE and Damage by 1
step.
Casting TN: 7, STL: 2+
Prop: Sigil. Type: AoE
LoS
2 - Spell increases 1 step without extra stamina cost The Pyromancer marks an area of a floor, wall or door
4 - All flames in the area explode spontaneously. with a sigil that when passed by anyone other than
6 - Spell increase 2 steps without extra stamina cost the caster will detonate causing 3d6 fire damage, by
spending twice as much stamina the caster can choose
to have a delayed detonation or a double detonation
LoF
with each detonation doing 2d6 fire damage.
2 - Spell fails and caster loses double the stamina
4 - Spell fails and flame nearest to caster explodes
6 - Spell fails as above with double damage LoS
2 - Only half stamina lost
4 - Sigil detonates with double damage
Spell: Flash 6 - As above but with 1 extra detonation
Casting TN: 5, STL: 1+
Prop: None. Type: Ranged, AoE LoF
2 - Spell fails double stamina lost
The Pyromancer throws an orb of light which flashes 4 - Spell fails and explodes causing damage to caster
after travelling a number of feet based on stamina 6 - Spell fails as above but with double damage
spent (1 per 5ft). The light when activated stuns
everyone in a 20ft radius for 2d6 rnds.

LoS
2 - Radius increases to 30ft
4 - As above and stun lasts 3d6 rounds
6 -As above plus all stunned take d6 damage also.

LoF
2 - Spell fails lose double the stamina
4 - Spell fails and casters party are stunned d6 rnds
6 - Spell fails and caster party are stunned 2d6 rnds

176
Sorcery
The art of sorcery leads back to the arcane magic To practice sorcery is to accept and be open to
studied and created in some part by the elves and corruption, more sorcerers fall to corruption than
passed on to them by the death of the giants. The elves mages of the other two paths combined, and this
had used sorcery for decades to experiment, torture alone speaks of how dangerous the study of sorcery
and enslave humans, so the study of it by the Black can be to those weak willed or morally flexible. It is
Fort is considered dangerous and the following of a also believed that Cultists will actively tempt sorcerers
dark path. The mages guild has attempted to justify to join their cause offering power and knowledge in
this study by claiming that to understand the elves and exchange for giving themselves to the Blood Lords.
what they did involves studying how they did it and
maybe once understood gain the ability to reverse it.
This explanation may appease some but not everyone. Sorcery Spells
The study of sorcery teaches five circles of power and
The Black Fort pay highly for elven texts and relics it is said that each one takes the mage closer to the
in the hope of expanding their knowledge and use ancients, many presume that the ancients refers to the
of sorcery, after all it was sorcery that created the Giants that first created the discipline, but in recent
Chimeer, the corrupted and possibly even the Blood years study has shown that maybe the Remnant are
Lords, and imagine what the mages could achieve by also linked in some way.
fully understanding the magic and rituals involved in
the art. All sorcery spells use stamina for casting, and they
vary from touch to ranged. Due to its ancient roots
The worries of many is not just what the mages many spells will skirt what some would consider ‘light’
intend this power for but what have they already magic and the sorcerer will face corruption as a real
attempted in trying to learn and harness it. Tales have threat as the use of sorcery can attract the corrupted
come from the Black Fort of diabolical experiments, and the corruption.
strange noises and weather patterns that seem to
emanate from the Mages fortress, and the strange and Sorcery can both alert and invite corruption, to alert
sometimes disorientating feeling that many get as they means that any corrupted monsters nearby will sense
pass by the Black Fort. the spell and move towards it. To invite means that the
very spell itself can corrupt the caster and a resistance
Being a sorcerer is to be both feared and despised, few roll must be made to resist it.
sorcerers are seen as heroes or saviours but are often
viewed to be as dangerous and untrustworthy as the Sorcery Rituals
elves themselves and every novice that follows this There are a few rituals that can be performed but mostly
path is warned that the path is not easy. these are long winded and ultimately destructive both
to the caster and the target and should be performed
Dangers of Sorcery with caution.
The study of sorcery is dangerous and is possibly
the most dangerous path of all, it is also the study of Sorcery and the Iron Die
something that is truly ancient. The origins of sorcery Because casting arcane magic is linked to corruption
begins with the giants and their sorcery tainted blood the mage may attract the attention of corrupted
is what formed the elves, or so the stories say. monsters this can be determined by an Iron Die and
within the text of each spell, we will indicate an Iron
Sorcery is linked to the corruption and in some way Die opportunity by this symbol a, on a roll of 1 or
to every living thing in the Pale, including the Blood 2 something has sensed the magic and is coming, for
Lords who practice a darker and more dangerous form this the use of the Iron Die does not fall into the single
of the art themselves, called Blood Magic, and many use per session rule.
of the Warlocks that control the cults will be fluent in
this dark magic. What is unspoken is the similarities Regarding corruption from casting then the mage
between Blood Magic and Sorcery, and how often would need to make a resistance check and the Iron
they cross paths. Die would act as per the rules in that instance.

Arcane 177
Abbreviations Spell: Push
• STL - Mental Stamina Loss Casting TN: 6, STL: 1 per 50Ib/5ft
• POT - Potency Prop: None Type: Touch
• AoE - Area of Effect (Ft) Corruption: Alert a
• LoS - Level of Success
• LoF - Level of Failure The mage converts their stamina into kinetic energy
• Prop - Item used to enhance and pushes away the object or opponent, without
• DN - Difficulty Number touching them. For every 1 stamina used the caster
• VS.. - Opposed Will roll can push back a target of up to 50 Lbs five feet back,
• Corruption - Either Alert or Invite the more stamina converted the heavier the target and
• Symbol a - Use the Black Die the further the distance.

LoS
First Circle 2 - The spell pushes back the target an extra 5ft
The first circle is the discipline of protection and 4 - The spell effects two targets
defence, most sorcerers learn at least one spell from 6 - The mage can choose to lift the target up to the
this circle in the beginning in order to prolong their push back range.
lives against attacks from both friend and foe alike.
LoF
Spell: Protection 2 - Spell fails and mage loses double the stamina
Casting TN: 6, STL: 2 per rnd 4 - Spell fails and mage is pushed back instead
6 - Spell fails and everyone within 20ft of the mage
Prop: None Type: Self is pushed back.
Corruption: Alert a
Spell: Shield
The mage creates an invisible force that surrounds
themselves and protects them from all damage both Casting TN: 5, STL: 1 per 10pts of damage
physical and magical. The spell lasts for as long as the Prop: None Type: Self
mage has stamina to keep it active. The mage cannot Corruption: Alert a
cast or take any actions whilst sustaining this spell.
The mage creates a shield in front of themselves
LoS or someone else. Unlike Protection this spell only
2 - The stamina cost is halved protects the caster or target in one direction, it does
4 - The Spell allows the mage to move and will not surround the user. The shield can protect against
move with them 10 points of damage per 1 stamina used, once it has
6 - The mage can perform actions but not cast deflected the max amount of damage it protects
spells. against the spell shatters.

LoF LoS
2 - Spell fails and double the stamina is lost (4) 2 - The shields protection increases by 5 pts
4 - Spell fails and the shield explodes with an AoE of 4 - When the shield is hit the attacker takes d4
5ft and causing d6 damage damage.
6 - Spell fails and explodes with an A0E of 10ft and 6 - As above but attacker takes 2d4 damage
2d6 damage
LoF
2 - Spell fails and double stamina lost
4 - Spell fails and random enemy receives the shield
at 10pt protection
6 - Spell fails and two random enemies receive the
shield at 10pt protection.

180
Spell: Warding Spell: Levitate
Casting TN: 5, STL: 1 +1 per 25ft Range Casting TN: 7, STL: 1 per 5ft rise/1pt per rnd
Prop: Chalk Type: AoE Prop: None, Type: Self
Corruption: Alert a Corruption: Alert a

The mage creates a sigil and places it on a wall, floor, The mage can levitate up to 5ft above ground per
or entrance. If anyone other than the mage passes the stamina point used and can travel horizontally up
sigil the sorcerer will be alerted. The range of the Ward to their movement base, crippling has no effect on
is 25ft per stamina used and placing the ward costs 1 levitation. Mages can perform actions whilst levitating
stamina to do. and the effect will last one round per extra stamina
point used.
LoS
2 - Range of the Warding is doubled LoS
4 - The Warding does d6 damage against any 2 - Stamina loss halved
trespassers within its range 4 - Mage can double their movement base
6 - The warding does 2d6 damage to any 6 - Mage can triple their movement base
trespassers and the range is doubled
LoF
LoF 2 - Spell fails and double stamina lost
2 - Spell fails and double stamina lost 4 - Spell fails and mage loses the use of their legs
4 - Spell fails as above and a roll of 1-3 on the Iron for d4 rnds.
Die will alert nearby corrupted 6 - Spell fails as above but extends to 2d4 rnds
6 - Spell fails as above except a roll of 1-4 alerts
nearby corrupted. Spell: Spirit Path
Casting TN: 9, STL: 6
Second Circle Prop: None, Type: Self
The mage learns to control forces which will allow Corruption: Invite
them to move themselves and others.
The mage can enter a spirit world that runs alongside
Spell: Kinesis their own and bypass locations in the real world. The
Casting TN: 6, STL: 1 per 25Ib and throw 10ft spirit path is often seen as a silver path in a world of
Prop: None, Type: Ranged darkness. The mage must have a clear idea of their
destination in order for the spirit path to form. This
Corruption: Alert a Is often used to avoid dangerous locations or even
armies, allowing the mage to reach their chosen
The mage can lift distant objects and either move destination safely.
them or throw them. This spell will not allow delicate
manipulation of an item such as placing a key in a
LoS
lock. This spell works similar to Push and with every
2 - Stamina loss is halved
1 stamina used the mage can lift and move up to 25Ibs
4 - Mage gains +1 corruption resistance
in weight and move or throw it 10ft.
6 - Mage gains +2 corruption resistance
LoS
LoF
2 - Stamina loss is halved
2 - Spell fails and double stamina lost
4 - Throw distance is doubled
4 - Spell fails and player rolls an Iron Die, on a roll
6 - Mage can suspend object in the air for d6
of 1-2 nearby threats are alerted.
rounds without stamina loss.
6 - Spell fails as above and if corruption resistance
fails the mage gains +2 corruption
LoF
2 - Spell fails and double stamina is lost
4 - Spell fails and the mage takes d6 damage from
strain
6 - Spell fails and mage is unable to move for d10
rnds, can take no actions and feels rooted to the
spot.

Arcane 181
Spell: Teleport LoS
2 - Stamina loss is halved
Casting TN: 10, STL: Varies 4 - The mage can make a single attack which will
Prop: None, Type: Varies break the spell causing them to lose ghost form
Corruption: Alert a 6 - The mage can choose to make an attack or
prolong the spell for an extra rnd.
The mage can teleport themselves and others to a place
they can either see or know of. The stamina cost varies LoF
based on distance and how many are to be teleported, 2 - Spell fails Stamina lose is doubled
see table below. 4 - Spell fails and mage begins to glow brightly, this
will last d4 hours
6 - Spell fails mage receives an instant corruption
Range Number to be Teleported
point.
in Miles 1 2 3 4 5
<1 3 4 5 6 7 Spell: Telepathy
1-2 4 5 6 7 8 Casting TN: VS, STL: 1 per 10ft
2-3 5 6 7 8 9 Prop: None, Type: Ranged
3-4 6 7 8 9 10 Corruption: Alert a
4-5 7 8 9 10 11 The mage can send messages or speak to someone
5+ +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 mentally, the range is determined by the amount
of stamina used. Targets can attempt to resist the
telepathic link with an opposed Will roll. Once linked
LoS the mage can communicate fully with the target for as
2 - Stamina cost is halved long as they are within range.
4 - No corrupted are alerted
6 - As above LoS
2 - Stamina cost is halved
LoF 4 - Range is doubled
2 - Spell fails double stamina lost 6 - As above
4 - Spell fails all teleported roll an Iron Die for the
alert. LoF
6 - Spell fails but mage and whoever was chosen 2 - Spell fails stamina cost is doubled
take 5d6 damage as forces attempt to rip them apart 4 - Spell fails Mage is struck with terrible head pains
causing them to be stunned for d6 rnds
6 - Spell fails mage loses their mind literally, they
Third Circle stand and drool, unable to talk, move or take any
The mage can control the spirit realms and manipulate action. The mage can be led and fed but will not
it in various ways. do so for themselves, this will last d3 days.

Spell: Ghost Form Spell: True Vision


Casting TN: 9, STL: 4 +1 per rnd after the first Casting TN: 7, STL: Varies +1 per rnd
Prop: None, Type: Self Prop: None, Type: Self
Corruption: Invite Corruption: Alert a
Mage becomes ghost like for 1 round allowing them to The mage can spend stamina to enhance their vision
pass through walls and suffer no damage from physical for 1 rnd as shown on the table below.
injury. When in ghost form the mage will not be able
to touch or manipulate anything or one and no one
will hear the mage if they speak or shout out. Cost Vision Type
1 Night Vision - See clearly in moonlight
2 Dark Vision- Can see clearly in darkness
4 Infrared - Can see heat signatures
6 All of the above, switching between each

182
LoS LoF
2 - Stamina cost halved 2 - Spell fails stamina cost is doubled
4 - Visions lasts an extra rnd 4 - Spell fails damage is reverted back on Mage
6 - Vision lasts 2 extra rnds 6 - Spell fails damage is reverted back on anyone
within 5ft of mage.
LoF
2 - Spell fails stamina cost doubled
Spell: Paralyse
4 - Spell fails mage has permanent red eyes
6 - Spell fails mage goes blind Casting TN: VS., STL: 2 per rnd
Prop: None, Type: Ranged
Corruption: Alert a
Fourth Circle
The mage learns how to use their power offensively
The mage causes the target to become paralyzed for
and can attack their targets either close up or at range.
a number of rounds based on the amount of stamina
used. The target must be in line of sight for the spell to
Spell: Crush take effect. The target can attempt a Will opposed roll
Casting TN: 7, STL: 2 per d6 crush dmg against the spell.
Prop: None, Type: Ranged
Corruption: Alert a LoS
2 - Stamina loss halved
The mage uses their power to crush the target, be it a 4 - Mage can paralyse target outside of line of
living thing or not, the more stamina used the more sight.
pressure exerted on the target which translates into 6 - Target is at -2 to Will roll
damage. The mage can very easily crush stone into
power or a person to death. LoF
2 - Spell fails stamina cost is doubled
LoS 4 - Spell fails mage is paralyzed for the number of
2 - Stamina loss is halved rnds.
4 - Damage is increased 2d6 6 - Spell fails mage an those close to the mage
6 - Mage can choose two targets (within 5ft) are paralyzed for the number of rnds.

LoF
2 - Spell fails stamina loss is doubled Spell: Strike
4 - Spell fails Sorcerer stunned for 1 round Casting TN: 6, STL: 2 per d6 damage
6 - Spell fails bones in the sorcerers hands are
Prop: None, Type: Ranged
crushed (1-3 Left, 4-6 Right) and crippled.
Corruption: Alert a

The mage strikes out with an invisible force to attack


Spell: Pain the target or targets. The damage caused depends
Casting TN: VS., STL: 1 per d6 damage upon the stamina used to power the force. The range
is a maximum of 5ft from the mage.
Prop: None, Type: Ranged
Corruption: Alert a LoS
2 - Stamina cost is halved
The mage inflicts pain upon the target, this pain is 4 - Range extended to 10ft
internal and will not cause any scars or visible marks 6 - Mage can strike everyone in a semi circle in
on the targets body, the more stamina used the more front of them.
damage inflicted or the more targets affected.
LoF
LoS 2 - Spell fails and stamina cost is doubled
2 - Stamina cost halved 4 - Spell fails and mage strikes out at those around
4 - Damage increased by d6 them both friend and foe.
6 - Damage increased by 2d6 6 - Spell fails and the mage is wrapped in energy
causing 2d6 damage per rnd.

Arcane 183
Spell: Tendrils Fifth Circle
Casting TN: 8, STL: 2 per Tendril The mage learns how to influence and manipulate the
Prop: None, Type: Ranged senses and minds of others.
Corruption: Invite
Spell: Control
Black tendrils erupts from the hands of the mage, Casting TN: VS., STL: 4
lashing out at the target (range 5ft) and burning them. Prop: None, Type: Ranged
The mage can decide the number of tendrils that Corruption: Alert a
appear by spending more stamina. Each Tendril will
do d6 damage against the target. The mage attempts to take control of the target and
make them act or say things that are against their
LoS nature or belief. The target can attempt a Will opposed
2 - Stamina cost halved roll to avoid the control.
4 - Range is increased to 10ft
6 - Target bursts into flame and takes fire damage. LoS
2 - Stamina cost halved
LoF 4 - Target is at -1 Will to resist
2 - Spell fails stamina cost doubled 6 - Target is at -2 Will to resist
4 - Spell fails and the mage gains 1 corruption point
6 - Spell fails Mage bursts into black flames LoF
burning anyone nearby with 2d6 damage. The 2 - Spell fails and stamina loss is doubled
mage burns for a rnd per stamina spent. 4 - Spell fails target is aware of the attempt
6 - Spell fails and severe head pains stun the mage
Spell: Waste for d4 rnds
Casting TN: VS., STL: 2 per rnd
Prop: None, Type: Ranged Spell: Invisibility
Corruption: Alert a Casting TN: VS., STL: 5
Prop: None, Type: Ranged
The sorcerer chooses a target and attempts to drain Corruption: Invite
them of stamina (2pts per rnd), slowly wasting away
the targets mind and body. The loss of stamina will The mage fogs the mind of the target so that they
affect the target as usual and the sorcerer can choose can no longer see the mage, effectively making the
to either discard the stamina or absorb it, renewing mage invisible, though they can be heard and felt.
their own stamina pool. The target can resist with an The stamina points spent will increase the number of
opposed Will roll. targets affected, targets can also attempt to make an
opposed roll.
LoS
2 - Stamina loss halved LoS
4 - Targets resistance at -2 2 - Stamina loss is halved
6 - Targets resistance at -4 and they lose an extra 4 - Mage cannot be heard
d6 stamina if they fail to resist 6 - As above and mage can attack whilst staying
Invisible
LoF
2 - Spell fails and stamina loss doubled LoF
4 - Spell fails sorcerer stamina reduced by 1 2 - Spell fails stamina loss is doubled
permanently. 4 - Spell fails and effects mage instead but mage can
6 - Spell fails and sorcerers stamina reduced by 2 attempt to resist.
permanently. 6 - Spell fails and effects mage but mage cannot
resist.

184
Spell: Stun Spell: Terrify
Casting TN: VS., STL: 3 adds +1 to roll Casting TN: VS., STL: 5 +1 per target
Prop: None, Type: Ranged Prop: None, Type: Ranged
Corruption: Invite Corruption: Alert a

The mage freezes the mind of the target effectively The mage fills the mind of the target/s with terrifying
stunning them, the target can resist with a Will images causing the target or targets to become scared
opposed roll. The more stamina used the stronger and fearful. Targets need make a fear resistance check
the effect and the longer the stun lasts. The target will or flee the area.
stand frozen unable to move or speak for the duration
of the stun. LoS
2 - Stamina loss halved
LoS 4 - Target is at -1 to fear check
2 - Stamina is halved 6 - Target is at -2 to fear check
4 - Duration of stun is doubled
6 - Target dies LoF
2 - Spell fails stamina loss doubled
LoF 4 - Spell fails and sorcerers own mind is filled with
2 - Spell fails and stamina loss is doubled horror, they must pass a fear check.
4 - Spell fails and mage becomes stunned for the 6 - Spell fails sorcerer tempts corruption and they
duration. are inflicted by 1 corruption point.
6 - Spell fails and mage is drained of mental
stamina

Arcane 185
Creating Spells
The spells shown here are just a selection of spells that pool of blood, an open fire etc, and the environment
are possible for a Mage to conjure, and it has been the character is in.
known for mages, in particular, elven mages to create
spells on the fly, based on knowledge they have learnt. Any spell created by the mage can be transferred to a
Many more recent mages have started attempting this grimoire, scroll or item and can also be taught to others.
often with good results. As long as the GM agrees the spell will act as expected
but will be also determined by the Levels of Success
and Failure like all other spells and these should also
How to Create Spells be decided by the GM based on the complexity, power
A player can opt to use the following rules to create and effect of the spell being attempted.
spells for their mage to cast, this must be done with
the agreement and help of the GM. The spell must also The table below shows the difficulty of a spell based on
fall into the chosen discipline of the mage so basically a number of effects and the stamina this would cost
Necromancers will not try to create Pyromancer spells the mage to cast. The table will give examples of effects
and so forth. and the GM should feel free to change this or even
increase the difficulty based on the situation. Also
To create a spell the player needs to have an idea of what some spells will allow the target to oppose the spell
they wish to do before anything happens and discuss with a Will resistance roll This is done similar to an
with the GM the possibility of the spell happening, Attribute roll.
this is based on the difficulty of the spell, the stamina
it will cost and the effect. Other factors for creating The GM should also decide whether the casting of the
unique spells could include nearby sources such as a spell will invite or attract any corruption to the mage.

Spell Creation Table


Target Number Example Spell Effects Stamina
Loss
Easy (3) Light a candle, boil a pot of water, heal a single wound, drain a 1
small rodent of stamina, deflect a missile, lift a small item.
Average (5) Light a bonfire, boil a barrel of water, heal a few wounds, drain an 1-2
animal of stamina, create a shield, lift a table.
Difficult (6) Set fire to a house, boil a pool of water, purge diseases, drain 2-3
stamina from a person, Throw a person, create a protective layer.
Hard (7) Burn a stone tower, boil a lake, heal a group, drain stamina from 4
range, levitate or teleport short distances
Very Hard (9) Burn a village, cast a huge fireball, resurrect the dead or regenerate 5
a limb, create a force wall or teleport miles
Extreme (11) Burn a large town, turn an army to ash, create a golem, create an 6
undead army, push back a large force or cause a tornado
Near Impossible (12+) Burn a city, boil the blood of an army, resurrect an ancient corpse, 7
create an army of golems, instant kill a god, travel to other worlds.

Mages can only create spells from their own school of magic.

186
A Note on A Note on Blood
Shamanism Magic
The tribes that live in the mountains along the western The Black Fort has investigated reports by mages and
edge of the Pale are known to believe in a form of others that have returned from the Pale that various
shamanism, these beliefs and rituals differ from tribe cults have shown signs of using magic, though these
to tribe from burning particular plants and breathing reports are few and far between they have been
in the smoke or painting themselves with the ash to frequent enough to indicate that the cults do have
full on sacrifice of enemies and the consuming of magical knowledge.
hearts and other organs.
To presume that only the mages trained in the Black
This ancient tribal rituals existed even before the fall Fort have access to magic is to make the same mistake
and it seems from writings that the elves allowed that the elves did when they presumed humans could
these practices to exist as they were of no threat or not use or even manifest magical abilities. The Black
significance. There is no evidence to suggest the elves Fort are fully aware of ‘renegade mages’ that refuse to
in any way tested the beliefs of shamanism or the join the guild and have created enclaves in the dark
herbs and other props they use to see if they did what places below, so a belief that some of these renegades More on Shamanism and
the shaman claim. may have entered the Pale and offered or were forced Blood Magic will be found
to share their talent and knowledge with servants of in future source material.
Since the fall created a need to understand those that the Blood Lord is valid and somewhat worrying.
would threaten the survivors existence has become
more important the Black Fort has investigated Study by the guild has concluded that as many of
claims by tribes and their shaman of their beliefs, these renegades have raw untrained talent what they
mainly as a way to discover if it was something that are teaching is only what they know and may have no
firstly threatened the Last City and second if it was a knowledge on how to tap into their mental wellsprings
discipline that had merit enough to study within the of energy. This could lead to the use of so-called Blood
guild? What was discovered is a bit of a mixed bag, Magic, where the cults are gathering energy from
it would appear that the shaman and other members sacrifices, cutting themselves or others and storing
of the tribe can indeed contact ancestors and these that energy within items rather than casting directly
ancestors will answer questions and offer advice, but from an inner talent. Reports would confirm this as
beyond that there is no evidence that the shaman many cults carry symbols and items of their faith such
show any magical ability. as staffs, bells, skulls, bones and so forth.

What is not said within the study and has been held Witnesses who have seen this cultists perform magical
back by the guild is what the ancestors are and where acts and know the disciplines (i.e. Mages) have
they are communicating from, some mages believe that confirmed that in all cases it is Sorcery that is used or
it could be a combination of certain herbs and a part of at least a version of it and as of yet no cultist seems to
the participants mind acting together, but many more have grasped the use of Necromancy or Pyromancy.
mages feel that these ancestral communications are in These would confirm that many of the Blood Lords
some way connected to the Blood Lords and explains are either elven in nature or where created by the elves.
why so many tribes accepted and now worship them
very same Blood Lords. Mages and all entering the Pale are advised and
indeed ordered to eradicate these practitioners of
The guild encourages caution by all Novices and mages Blood Magic whenever possible, and any remains or
alike when dealing with tribals and in particular those evidence returned to the Black Fort for examination.
that practice shamanism or communicate with their
ancestor spirits, it may not be what it seems.

Arcane 187
7
Guidance
Further south
you go the worse
it gets, if the
cold don’t kill ya
then some other
bastard will.
To take on the role of a GM in any RPG is a big step, by surprise and for this you have two options to look
your players will have expectations and you will be the ruling up or improvise (see below) you should
required to prepare in advance. The job of running choose whichever option you are comfortable with
games can be fulfilling, exciting, rewarding, and and you feel the group would be ok with.
frustrating, players that disrupt or tell you where
you went wrong are abundant and can break the As a GM you will also be expected to have something
immersion and fun for everyone else. prepared whether that be a short adventure or a longer
campaign. With an adventure I would recommend
The following guidelines are designed to help you out that everything you need is in place, maps, NPCs,
in preparing and running an adventure, I will also threats, and locations, with a campaign have at least
share secrets that only you will know and give you the first couple of sessions set up and ready to go.
options and adventure seeds that you can use.
Make sure you have extra dice, pencils, and scrap
The important part of every RPG is for everyone to paper, if you are playing virtually this step is not as
have fun, and hopefully this chapter will insure this important and for conventions this will be in some
happens at your table. ways expected.

At the Table Improvise


In recent years, the gaming table has become virtual Learn to wing it, to think on your feet. An
for many people, and this has allowed many to play understanding of the rules and experience will help
with others outside of their friend list. This is also the with this, if something comes up that you did not
case with conventions where you will meet people expect (and it will) then be prepared to react almost
from not only all over the country but sometimes the instantly with a solution or ruling.
world.

When playing with people that you play with regularly State Changes
you will know what they will or will not enjoy, groups Also make clear to the players any rules changes or
that play a lot of fantasy RPGs may not be to open to optional rules you are using, this way you will bypass
playing Sci-Fi and so forth. Also friends tend to be a any confusion or disagreements later.
lot more forgiving and more open to speak up as well
as accepting of any mistakes. This is not often the case Be Impartial
with virtual or convention games. If a character makes the wrong decision then let
them deal with the consequence of that decision, if
Playing an RPG with people you have never met something bad happens because of dice then allow the
before and may never meet again means that running character the opportunity to come up with a solution.
and playing may be more difficult, as you, and they
attempt to gauge personalities. An RPG like the Black Example
Iron has many adult themes and can be very dark, The character attempts to jump a crevice, they have the
and sometimes people may not like that. I would skill to do it and make a run up, but the player rolls
recommend that you state before play begins that badly, and the jump has failed, should the character fall
the game will have adult themes, horror themes and to their death? Probably not, have the character grab
some situations that may offend some people. Make hold of the edge, or grab a branch jutting further down.
this clear from the start, because there is nothing more
annoying than someone employing some kind of x The character attempts to jump a crevice and the player
card mechanic in order to derail the adventure half knows that they do not have the skill to make that jump
way through, your party is made up of a number of and they fail, should they fall to their death? Yes, the
individuals not just one, if after you state the intent of player was relying on the GMs good nature to survive,
the game someone throws an x card, then you warned maybe give the character a chance grab that branch but
them and they should leave the table, you should not only if the character is important to the adventure.
be forced to change the adventure.
The Black Iron is a game of danger and survival, not
The GMs Role a game of heroics where gods intervene to save the
characters even when they are stupid.
As a GM you are expected to know the rules to a
decent level and understand the world in which the
game is based. Some rules or situations may take you

190
Fudge Rolls The Black Iron is a game of survival and horror
There has been many discussions on whether GMs and this is best shown by making the threats that
should fudge rolls, basically state a roll was different characters face rare but deadly, use sounds to create
than what is actually was. This is up to you and as tension, have characters find indications of danger
arbiter of the world and judge then you must do what such as ravaged wildlife, large prints in the snow or
is needed to keep the players engaged and to move the blood flecks. Sounds such as a bell could indicate a
fiction forward. If a roll you have made you feel will cult nearby, don’t ever explain just let the players guess
halt the game in its tracks then I say fudge, if it kills off and use their imaginations.
half the party, I say reveal the roll and let the players
come up with solutions. Below is a table of encounters that can be used when
the characters are travelling the Pale, the table is split
into two parts actual encounters and signs of threat,

The Pale you can roll on each separately to keep the characters
on the edge of their seats.

The world of the Black Iron is a dangerous place, it


is covered in ice and snow and filled with corrupted Obstacles
monsters, dangerous cults, and cannibalistic tribes to With most of the land under snow and ice many
name a few. As a GM you will need to manage this dangers are hidden from travellers, lakes may not be
through encounters and obstacles. as solid as they seem, hidden roots or holes can injure
horses and walkers alike. Climbing and jumping ice
covered surfaces and crevasses becomes more difficult
Encounters as a single slip could see you plummeting to your
Though the Pale is full of dangers not all encounters death.
lead to a fight or running for your life, some can
actually be useful or lead to further adventure. As the Weather can be a killer, with snow storms not only
GM you will need to plan out the encounters well and freezing you but also obscuring vision, hail stones as
how often they will happen. Characters should not big as rocks can kill instantly, freezing rain and even
be facing threats around every corner and a certain just the damp penetrating clothing and boots can lead
degree of common sense should be used, for example to frostbite and ailments that could see the lose of
the average bandit will be far from a lair of a beast or limbs, finger, toes and other extremities.
the temple of a cult, likewise cults will avoid other
cults and also beasts.

Encounter Table
2d6 Encounter 2d6 Signs of Threat
2 A camp-fire with a trader and his son 2 A splash of blood in the snow
3 A group of refugees hiding in a cave 3 Smoke rising in the distance
4 A wagon stuck in the snow 4 The sound of a bell on the road ahead
5 A bandit camp, with d6 bandits 5 Chanting coming from within a cave
6 A temple of a blood cult, d6 cultists 6 A dead horse and upturned wagon
7 A holy man and his apprentice walking the road 7 A discarded pack full of wares
8 An injured grey ranger 8 The sound of screams coming from nearby
9 A corpse field, ghouls feast on the remains 9 Dismembered corpse and drag marks
10 A travelling trader heading to the city 10 A still warm camp fire
11 A Scavenger seeking a nearby ruin 11 A bloodied sword stuck into the earth
12 Cannibals searching a hut 12 An arrow embedded in a sign post or tree

See Mapping the Pale for more detailed tables that can be used.

Guidance 191
Travel will need to be planned and shelter marked out Snow Blindness
for possible resting spots as the weather can change Whilst outside snow blindness can happen, the glare
instantly, causing you to stray off the road, or worse. from the snow can have an actual affect on certain
As the GM you will need to decide when weather actions. Snow Blindness is an optional rule that a
patterns change, how much the cold will affect those GM can use if they want, this will apply modifiers to
without adequate clothing or gear, especially at night aiming and attacking whilst in snow during the day.
as temperatures drop. A snow storm can divert people I would suggest modifiers of -1 or -2 to rolls. These
from a path, it may even reveal something that was modifiers can be cancelled out by snow goggles.
once hidden like a building or a marker of some kind.

Frostbite
For every two days of travel in the Pale the characters
Mapping the Pale
must make a body attribute roll vs. a difficulty that
Before the Pale there were maps but not many, maps
starts at 3 and goes to the next difficulty level for every
took time and were expensive, so they were only
extra two days spent travelling the Pale. The clothing
found in the Palace of the capital and the holy city.
that the characters are wearing will modify the roll as
Some sailors had basic maps of the coastline but
shown below.
nothing in any way detailed. Most people followed the
roads, knew their local area and new where the nearest
• Poor Quality will modify roll by -1
city or large town was and the direction of many of
• Good Quality will modify roll by – 0
the other cities, but pointing to them on a map would
• High Quality will modify roll by +1
have been beyond the knowledge of most.
Characters that find shelter and remove their clothing
After the fall this did not improve, most of the maps
and dry it will start the process from the beginning, so
that did exist were lost, the ice and snow changed
if the characters have travelled for 6 days and then rest
the landscape and the destruction got rid of many
and dry and repair their clothing, then once they start
landmarks and some locations, meaning that even
travelling again the DN is reduced back to 3.
those that knew their area were now not really too
clear on where anything was. Attempting to create
Example new maps would be time consuming, dangerous, and
The characters have been travelling the Pale for 2 expensive, and the chance of finding a cartographer
days and the GM calls for a Body Attribute Roll with that level of skill almost impossible.
Vs. a DN of 3, each character is wearing good
quality clothing and they each roll with successes Those venturing out into the Pale are asked to make
across the board. Two days pass and the GM calls maps of their journeys, noting landmarks, length of
for another round of Body Attribute rolls this travel times and dangers. Librarians and academics
time against a DN of 5. If any of the characters would then compile these maps to gain an overall
had been wearing poor quality clothing their picture of the land. This has not worked out to well as
rolls would be with a -1 modifier. the dangers to travellers often either means they are
never seen again or mapping their journey takes last
place to survival and just reaching some kind of safety.
If the Body Attribute test fails, the characters will have
The map opposite is the only known map of the Pale
developed frostbite and will lose 1 wound per day
from before the fall of the Black Iron and this is what
until it is healed. Healing frostbite will involve finding
most journeys are based upon.
a warm and dry location and healing the infected area.
If the wounds from frostbite ever reduce the wound
You should encourage the players to map their
total the infected area will need to be removed.
journeys, a piece of white paper would be apt, mark
out the Last City to the north, with the mountains
Hail above the city and heading down the western side, and
Being caught in a hail storm can be dangerous and that is all the people are currently sure of. Hex paper
characters should reach shelter as quickly as possible. would be great as then each hex could be a League of
For every minute (round) that the characters are in travel (League = 3 Miles). Below is a location table that
the storm they are hit by 1d6 hail stones doing 1d4 you can use to add major locations to the map ahead
damage each on the head and shoulders, characters of time or in preparation of the characters travelling
not wearing helmets will not get the benefit of armour. there.

192
Environment Threat
2d6 Environment Threat Ruin 2d6 Threat
2 Forest Yes No 2 Corrupted Beast
3 Frozen Lake No No 3 Bandits
4 Marshland Yes No 4 Cultists
5 Small Wood Yes Yes 5 Slavers
6 Ruined Village Yes Yes 6 Lesser Corrupted
7 Old Tower Yes Yes 7 Ice Raider
8 Crossroads No Yes 8 Wraith
9 Snow Field No Yes 9 Lich
10 Battlefield Yes No 10 Greater Corrupted
11 Crater Yes No 11 Ash Raider
12 Ruined Town Yes Yes 12 Ruin Dweller

Roll once for the Environment and then based on the This table is optional and should be used also for many
result of the Threat and Ruin roll on those tables. You dangerous random encounters.
can make three rolls, one for each column in order to
mix up the results and keep the party guessing. Re-Roll if original rolls makes no sense.

Guidance 193
Ruins Cities in the Dark
Unlike the Last City, the cities Below do not have a
council or even a King, they are run by the families
2D6 Ruin of the first people to settle the city after the fall. These
2 Old Shack families have held on to power by bribery, assassination
3 Blacksmith Forge and intimidation and are little more than dictators. As
4 Castle the years have passed the Guilds have had more rights
and say in how the cities are run, trade and some laws,
5 Old Mine but as many of the trade guilds are as corrupt as the
6 Shrine families, these changes often only benefit those that
7 Roadside Tavern profit from them.
Restrictions and 8 Noble House
Each of the families are suspicious of the other and
embargoes can happen 9 Tower
at anytime and GMs
this has erupted in skirmishes between the cities
should roll a D^ to 10 Village Hall on more than one occasion, also embargoes, the
determine if the city 11 Temple barricading of roads and restrictions to the citizens of
that the characters one city entering another have happened, and in fact
12 Old Fort
are travelling to has it is often the case that a trader will be denied entry to
currently any issues a city on the basis that they also traded with another
or if any conflict has city which is run by a family that is currently in some
broken out. Rolling a 1
The Below
kind of dispute or conflict with this cities family, it can
on a D6 would indicate
become very petty and often deadly.
some issue.

To the north of the Last City rise the Dragon Claw Each family is constantly on the watch for anything
mountains they sweep from the sea in the east and join that would reinforce their position, or give them the
the Dragon Tail mountains to the west. The city stands edge over another family and this has led to funded
in the mountains shadow and in fact the city was built expeditions into the dark areas deeper below in the
from stone quarried from the mountain itself. As the hope to find artefacts or knowledge that would raise a
city walls grew workers unearthed a great iron door. family above another in standing.
Sometimes Vagrants
and Scavengers will
The door stood 29ft high and was elaborately carved
mark the roads to in glyphs and images unrecognisable to the humans.
What lay beyond the door no one knew and all
Dangers in the Dark
indicate that hidden Many of the roads that connect the cities are patrolled
supplies are near by, a attempts to open the door failed, for decades it was
and lit by lanterns, this is done under agreement of the
good ambush spot or attempted by many, but the door stood firmly shut.
cities and is mainly for the traders that move from the
a location of interest
is close. There are also
Last City above and between the cities below. These
As the Black Iron fell and those that survived fled
claims from some roads which are well made often have caves or smaller
north towards the Last City and the protection of the
scholars that the roads less well-made roads branching off into the darkness.
mountains the great door opened. Many tried to enter
themselves hold secrets Some of these less patrolled areas have been explored,
the city, but as more and more people arrived for refuge
to the Dwarves, but as and the caves are often used to house Vagrants that
yet these secrets have the city had to close its gates and those left outside cast
have been either denied entry to a city or banished for
not been found. their eye towards the now open great door.
crimes.
The door revealed tunnels, mines and road ways
The dark roads will sometimes lead to dead ends and
crafted by unknown hands, and beyond these stood
are thought of as mining tunnels as ancient tools have
cities carved from the very mountain itself. As the
often been found there, but many go down deeper,
refugees poured in through the great door those in
lead to more doors, stairways or just the edge of vast
front pushed forward along the ancient roads and
deep holes. Those that have ventured deeper claim to
eventually began to populate these cities and the
hear sounds ranging from weird animal like growls
Below was formed.
and cries to strange metallic clanging, some have even
claimed to have heard voices speaking in a strange
language.

All the families, the Black Fort and even the other
Guilds have mounted expeditions into the Darkness in
the hope to find wealth and knowledge, many of those

194
expeditions have returned with little but some have • A Trader never arrives at the Last City
returned with strange devices and ancient books and • Cult activity is found outside the Sun Spires
scrolls. All have said that the roads go much deeper • Vagrants are being snatched from the streets/
and that many become well-made and broad, leading Dark Roads
some to reason that with well-made roads could come • An anvil must be reclaimed from a village in the
more cities. Pale
• Travellers are being killed along the Dark Roads
Many horrors live down below, creatures never seen • Strange magical markings in blood are found on
by humans anywhere in the Pale, and some tell of the walls of the city
devious and intricate traps, metal horrors that belch • A guild has found and is hiding a corrupted
hot smoke and other terrors. artefact
• The location of an elven library has been
The Below Source Book will be coming soon from discovered
FeralGamersInc. • Ice raiders have attacked a small village
• The family wish to have someone removed
• Strange noises are heard deep underground along
Mapping the Dark with cries for help
Like the Pale no one has attempted to map the Below • Slavers are hunting and capturing Rangers
except for the Vagrants that will attempt to force their • Corruption is spreading in the slums
scrawls to whomever is willing to pay. The maps they • The vagrants whisper of a shadow creature
offer are often just of the roads and the positions of haunting the dark roads.
each of the cities and any important locations in
between. Maps of the tunnels and dark roads are yet
to be produced and it is known that both the Guilds
and the Families will pay good money to anyone
producing such a map.
The Feel of the
World
Creating The Black Iron is a Grim-dark Roleplaying Game, the
characters live in a harsh world where most everything
Adventures is trying to kill them, they are often not heroes, heroes
are not needed just survivors and those willing to go
to the places or do the things other people are not
Creating adventures be they one shot scenarios or willing to do. Those that do not take care to know
week long campaigns are never easy and can be harder their surroundings, think they can just take anything
when you are either new to RPGs or new to a setting. on or do not prepare themselves well will die, it is that
Read the background section, know the rules, and simple, and players need to understand that going in.
try to imagine the world, adventures can start with a Every adventure should be a challenge so when the
Guild or a Family, can be an NPC who is injured or characters are triumphant it will mean so much more
missing, or could just be curiosity. and the rewards so much greater.
One shot adventures should be completed in one
or two sessions, these are often ‘go to and fetch that’ There will be Deaths For many death is a way of
missions or ‘go to and kill that’ missions. Campaigns Characters will die, not may, will, which is why life, the world is a terrible
build up, they have many layers, what may seem preparation and working together is so important. But and harsh place to live and
obvious often isn’t, when the characters arrive at the what do you do when a character dies? You move on or many characters will have
location maybe someone got there first, or the object/ if they have a Necromancer at hand, they can attempt seen friends, family and
threat/hostage/person is not there, where could they to resurrect the dead character. Characters should loved ones die before their
time. This realisation will
be? really only die due to their actions or the actions of
eventually hit new players
others not because of dice rolls, if the characters quickly and hopefully
Below is a number of seeds that could start a short or attempt something and they are perfectly capable of lead to more thought out
long adventure. achieving that thing but the dice roll terribly, play it adventures.
out, have them hanging from their fingertips, slowly
bleeding to death, ignored by the trader or whatever
the outcome but never allow a die roll to determine a
characters ultimate fate.

Guidance 195
Characters should die when their player makes a
stupid choice ‘my character who has just picked
up a sword for the first time will take on the master
swordsman’ they will die, ‘my mage is near death and
exhausted but will attempt to create a huge fireball’,
they will probably die along with everyone else nearby,
‘I am crippled in one leg but I will still attempt to jump
the chasm’ yeah they’re dead. Everyone has limitations
If you are confident as and understanding that is key to survival.
a GM and have a small
party you could allow If a character dies never allow a player to just appear
each player to have with a new character, wait until they reach a town or
more than one character a city and then have the new character enter, having
active, so that if one someone just arrive from nowhere is unrealistic. If
does die the other is the party is less likely to survive due to the loss of a
already in the party. This
party member then maybe they will come across the
would mean more work
especially during combat
new member in a ranger hut sheltering from the cold,
but could fix any issues or held captive by cultists and begs the party to free
with a party becoming them, never allow them to just appear from nowhere.
underpowered.
NPCs
As GM you run the Non-Player Characters or NPCs,
this includes the monsters, traders, bartenders,
farmers, cultists and the guild leaders, anyone or thing
that is not controlled by the player is controlled by you.
How an NPC acts towards the characters should be
determined by what they ultimately want, those that
want nothing could be curious or indifferent, those
that want trade would be more friendly and agreeable,
those that want to stop or kill the party are always
aggressive and cunning.

Some NPCs may look down on the characters because of the NPCs social standing or power, others may revere
the party for their bravery and deeds. Base your response on what the characters have done recently if they have
anything of value or if they come across as scary or kind. Try to see the party from an outsider’s perspective.

NPC Attributes
NPC Type Ave Attribute General skills Combat Skills Arcane Skills Wounds
Vagrant +1 2d6+1 3d6+1 None 11
Trader +1 3d6+2 2d6+1 None 11
High Ranking +2 3d6+3 2d6+2 1d6+2 12
Commoner +1 2d6+1 2d6+1 None 11
Militia +2 2d6+1 3d6+3 None 13

Vagrant - Those from the slums or the Dark Roads


Trader - Those that sell and create
High Ranking - The administrators and Guild Master
Commoner - The labourers and workers
Militia - The soldiers that enforce the laws and guard the cities

196
Experience Characters should receive between 1-5 experience
per session based on their performance and what was
achieved.
Unlike some RPGs the Black Iron does not reward
characters for the amount of loot they have or for just
killing things, this we feel creates a game of murder
hobos when the only thing that matters is the chant Optional Rules
of ‘kill it and search the corpse’. Instead experience is
given for succeeding in tasks, completing missions, Luck/Fate Points
fulfilling Guild goals, and learning something new. As It is possible to create a luck or fate point mechanic
the GM you can hand out experience for the first-time that characters can use to re-roll a fail or to cancel out
encounters of a creature or other threat but not every damage and so forth. This can be implemented very
time that same threat or creature is encountered. easily by stating that each character has one luck or
fate point per session and once used does not return
The amount of experience should reflect how well the till the start of the next session.
character achieved the task etc. And this can be done
in three ways.
Advantage and Disadvantage
1. Individual experience for each character. Instead of using modifiers for certain tasks you could
2. Group experience that the party shares say that a character is at an advantage or a disadvantage,
3. Less individual experience per character and a this would work by saying that the player rolls the Iron
small group experience that the group can share. Die with the roll and adds the result to the total for
an Advantage or minuses the Iron Die result from
the total. This would make the game flow quicker but
would be inconsistent with modifiers.

Guidance 197
8 Bestiary
There are some strange stories told by those that travel the
dark places, whether they can be believed or not who knows!
I’ve heard that Bears the size of houses roam the snow, that
people that you can see through live deep underground and
horrors formed from the remains of living people scream
through the night.

If even half of what I’ve heard is true you ain’t getting me out
there, I’ll stay here where the ale is and all I have to worry about
is a knife in my back or dying of some plague or other.
Meanwhile...
The party has approached a hut in a dead forest, they soon discover Axas Cultists have taken shelter in the hut
along with a prisoner, a woman tied to a cot bleeding and unconscious. The party decide to rescue the woman
and put an end to the cultist. Tornee the parties Monster Hunter managed to attract the cultists forcing one to
leave the hut, but Tornee was spotted. Tornee kills one of the Cultists with a shot through the throat, but the
other two cultists are hiding in the hut.

GM: The Cultists are in a good position in the hut and Borlan: I will go outside and see what the problem is.
they have a hostage, what are you planning? Jenfa: I will stay here and untie the woman.
Fade: I will cast a Flash inside the hut, which should GM: So everyone outside hears the sound and soon
stun everyone inside, at which point the others should the air is filled with a strange smell, a mix of rot
be able to go in and clean up. and sulphur, as the sound gets louder the smell gets
Borlan: Sounds good, as soon as it goes off, I will run stronger.
in. Tornee: I will back up and scan the trees.
Jenfa: I will as well. Fade: I will ready a fireball.
Tornee: I will wait outside for anyone that tries to Borlan: I will use the hut as cover.
make a run for it. GM: With a strange buzzing noise and a crash, a
GM: Ok so Fade I need a roll, the hut is around 30ft Greater Corrupted bursts from the trees, it has homed
away. in on Fade as his magic attracted the Corrupted. I
The Flash spell cost 1 Mental stamina plus a further 1 need everyone except Jenfa to roll courage against a
for every 5 ft the spell needs to travel, so altogether the fear of 8.
spell will cost 7 Mental Stamina to cast. Fade rolls their Borlan’s Courage is 2 so he rolls 2d6 and gets a 3 and a
Arcane and gets 4, 6 and 6 adding his mind this comes 3, which altogether makes 5 and a fail, this Is one level of
to 9 (6+3) which is also 2 levels of success (DN of spell failure and Borlan backs up stunned for 1 rnd
is 5). This increases the spells radius to 30ft and stuns Tornee’s courage is 3 and she rolls 5 and a 6 with a total
everyone inside for 3d6 rounds. Fade then rolls the Iron of 9 which is a success
Die and gets a 1, oh no. Fade also rolls 3d6 for the stun Fade has a courage of 1 and rolls a 2 and a 6 with a total
and gets 10, so the cultists are stunned for 10 rounds. of 7 this is a fail, but Fade decides to use his Iron Die
Borlan: I’m going in roaring a battle cry. and gets 6 which increases the total to 13, success.
Jenfa: I dive in as well. Tornee: I’m gonna shoot the abomination. She rolls
GM: Ok so you both burst into the hut, the cultists are her ranged and gets 2,5 and 5 her agility makes this an
blinded and waving their sword around, they will be 8, she also has a -1 for her bow quality so a total of 7.
able to hear you but are at -2 to dodge or parry. The greater Corrupted is ponderous and slow to move
Borlan: I will attack one of them. so has to make an attribute test and rolls a 5 and 5, but
Borlan attacks and gets 1,3 and a 4 Borlan’s Body its Agility of 0 means it fails to dodge and Tornee has
Attribute is +3 but his weapon quality reduces this by hit with a level of success, Tornee goes for an extra d6 of
-1 so altogether he rolls 6 (4+3-1) the cultist attempts damage. She rolls a 6, 5 and adds her Agility and gets
to parry and rolls a 5 and 6 with a Body of 1 this would 14 total.
have parried Borlan’s attack but the -2 reduces it to 5 Fade absorbs the heat from a 10ft radius creating a
and Borlan strikes. Borlan’s sword does d10 +3 damage 5ft diameter fireball and uses 4 Mental stamina to do
(+3 for Body ATT) he rolls a 7 which comes to 10 3d6 damage. Fade rolls his Arcane and with his Mind
damage, great hit the cultist drops to the floor. Attribute gets an 8 which is 1 level of success, the fireball
Jenfa: I will throw a dagger. is now 7ft in diameter. The fireball hits doing 12 damage.
Jenfa’s Ranged is 3d6 and he rolls a 2.2 and a 5, with Burning, the Corrupted lashes out at Tornee the nearest
Agility 2 this makes 7, weapon quality reduces this to a target, its attack roll is a 2,4 and 6, and with its Body
6. The cultist can’t dodge as he cannot see it coming so that is a 9, Tornee needs to beat 9 to avoid. Tornee has
Jenfa hits doing 4 points of damage. Acrobatics at only 2d so she rolls and gets a 2 and 4 but
GM: Ok so one cultist is down and the other has a with her Agility of 3 this is only a 7 a fail and a 1 level
dagger sticking out of him, Tornee roll Awareness. of failure, Tornee stumbles and takes damage of 10 pts,
Tornee has a 2d6 Awareness and rolls a 3 and 4, her her armour reduces this to an 8. Tornee has to roll for
Instinct is 3 which gives a total result of 7. corruption resistance and beat 10, Tornee rolls a 3 and
GM: You hear something coming through the trees. a 4, her Body is only 1 which makes 5 and a fail, Tornee
Fade: Oh dear this could be my fault states she will use her Iron Die and rolls a 5, with a sigh
Tornee: I will ready my bow and shout out to the of relief Tornee fights off the corruption.
others. GM: New Round
GM: Borlan and Jenfa you both hear Tornee shout a Borlan: Good, I’m ready to kill this thing.
warning

200
As you travel the Pale and the Dark Roads you will Corrosive Blood/Mucus
encounter threats, these can range from Bandits trying The threats blood/Mucus is corrosive and will eat
to survive and banished from the cities, to slavers and away at metals and skin equally. When struck with
cultist gathering disciples and slaves for the Blood a slashing or piercing weapon the weapon will take
lords or monsters from Corrupted horrors to twisted 1 Break damage, arrows will be unusable after being
beasts the result of elven experimentation and the fall used against the threat. Slashing can cause splash back
of the Black Iron. and when attacking this threat with a melee slashing
weapon roll the Iron Die and on a roll of 1 the attacker
What follows is a selection of threats you could is hit by splash back which will cause 1 wound per rnd
encounter during your travels, there are many more until washed off.
horrors infesting the world both above and below and
these will be discussed in later source books. Corruption
The threat is corrupted and when they successfully
Where and What attack with a claw, bite, or tentacle the target must
make a resistance vs. 10 check or gain 1 Corruption
Each threat will be marked by either an a or s to
Point.
indicate if they can be found in the Pale or below in
the ancient cities and dark roads. It has been known
Natural Armour Each sourcebook and
that certain threats mostly seen in the Pale have been supplement released for the
found on the dark roads and sometimes those horrors This threat has natural armour and has no need to
Black Iron will have a mini
that infest below have been spotted wandering the ice wear armour to protect itself. bestiary within, adding
and snow, but it is rare. more monsters and abilities
Natural Weapons to what is listed here.
The threat has claws, pincers, teeth, or other natural
Fear Ratings weapons and has no need in carrying a weapon.
Most threats have a fear rating which acts like a
difficulty number. When faced with such a horror you
must roll 2d6 plus your courage and beat the threats
Poisonous
The Bite of this threat is poisonous, with the potency
fear rating. Multiple sightings of the threat will lessen
and effect of the poison varying by threat.
the fear rating of the threat until eventually they no
longer scare you.
Resilient
The threat is resilient, either immune to poisons, or
GM Note has regenerative powers.
It is suggested that the fear rating of a threat
goes down by 1 each time they are faced by the
Transformation
character, and also that when travelling with
The threat can change its form in order to either
someone that does not fear the threat others will
confuse, travel or attack, this will differ amongst
gain a +1 to their courage due to that person’s threats.
confidence.

For more on Fear and Stress check out page 151. NPCs
There will be a selection of NPCs at the end of the
Bestiary that lists the most common people that the
characters will encounter, these should be adjusted to

Threat Abilities indicate whether they are important personalities or


not by the GM.

Some threats will have unique abilities, and these will


be described within the description. Abilities that fall
under the same title may differ drastically from one
Threat Description
another so each entry should be read carefully.
The following pages describe the most common
threats that the characters will encounter in the Pale
Aural Attack or the Dark Roads. There are many more.
The threat screams or makes a noise that can
disorientate, stun or call others for aid. This will vary
amongst threats and the effect will differ.

Bestiary 201
202
Ash Nomads
They appeared as if from nowhere, formed from the very ash The characters are approached by a member of the Mages Guild
itself. Three of them, their grey blades held out as they moved who asks if they are willing to travel south and capture one of
like dancers around us, what was their intent? Fennin loosened these ash demons they have heard live amongst the dunes, he
an arrow but it seemed to pass straight through its target claims that these demons can turn to dust and that is when it
without any sign of injury, what unholy horrors are these. should be imprisoned within this container, they then pass a
large earthenware jug with a wooden stopper to the party, the
jug has been engraved with strange Sigil’s designed to trap the
From Dust demon inside and stop them from reforming.
Many claim that the Ash Nomads that plague the southern
ash plains are what is left of the people that once inhabited the
towns and villages that once stood there. With skin the colour
of burnt sand and faces that are featureless it is clear that these
Stat Block
are abominations formed from magic’s.
Attributes
What makes the Ash Nomad truly frightening is there ability to Agility +4, Body +3, Instinct +3, Mind +3, Rapport +0, Will
turn into the very dust they live upon, this strange ability allows +2
the Nomad to appear as if from nowhere and to travel through
Skills
the very ash itself. This unique aspect of the physiology also
acts as a form of protection as it has been stated that blades and Acrobatics: 4d, Melee: 4d, Stealth: 5d, Awareness: 3d,
arrows will pass through them without any obvious physical Hunting: 3d, Survival: 4d
harm. Fear Rating
Ash Nomads have a Fear Rating of 6
Slavery Abilities
The Ash Nomads travel the ash plains moving from city to
camp, and from stronghold to market selling their wares and
Transformation - Ash Nomads can transform into dust
at will, this allows them to travel through the dust plains
slaves, slaves that were once unwary travellers. Nomads will
undetected. Whilst in dust form they cannot be injured,
attack caravans and traders as they cross the plains, stealing
cannot attack and travel at twice normal speed.
their goods and enslaving anyone they feel would collect a
good price on the slavers block. They will fight and kill anyone Derived Stats
that resists and becomes to much of a threat but generally the Wounds: 13. Initiative: +3, Toughness: +3
Nomads seek to capture.
Armour
Armour: A collection of leather, cloth and metal armour
No Loyalty which seems to be part of the Ash Nomad. AP 3
It is not clear whether the Nomads are beholden to any Blood
Lords, but it is presumed they are not as the Ash Plains have Weapons
managed to resist their influence, though cultists and fanatics Type Damage Range
have been known to explore the plains. It is known that Sword 1d8s +3 -
somewhere in the plains can be found a piece of the Black Iron
and many at the Black Fort has pointed to this as the source of Dagger 1d4s +3 6ft
the nomad’s strange powers, though the location of the piece of Spear 1d6p +3 15ft
rock is yet unknown.

Adventure Seeds
The most likely place the characters will encounter the Ash
Nomads is when they travel the Ash Lands to the city of Antria.
As they walk across the grey dunes, the City of Gems in the
distance, they are suddenly surrounded by faceless humans that
erupt from the dust around them. The nomads surround their
prey, moving in formation, almost dance like, wielding ancient
weapons. The characters may have been travelling to Antria,
but they presumably would prefer to get their as free folk and
not victims for the slave markets or the fighting pits that now
fill the city.

Bestiary 203
204
Bandits and Villains
We saw the cart first, turned over on its side, the horses dead Bandits can also be encountered in the poorer parts of the Last
their bodies riddled with arrows. As we drew closer a man City or any of the cities below, often if there is a character in the
appeared, he had not seen us as he bent down and drew his party who is part of the Thieves Guild this may prevent bandits
dagger and commenced to cut of the finger of the corpse on the attacking, but not all bandits are in the guild. Bandits can also
ground. We then knew the cart and its driver was a victim of be hired, sent out to harass or attack the party by persons
bandits, scum that prey on the weak to fill their own bellies. unknown, or someone that has a vested interest in stopping the
characters achieving their goals.
The Unwanted The deeper you enter the Pale the more corrupted the bandit
As the refugees flooded into the city to escape the turmoil it gangs will become; no bandit settlements will exist beyond a
quickly became clear that the walls would not contain everyone certain point and likewise below many bandits will stay close to
and soon the gates were closed, many fled underground to find the roads. This means that the further the party travels motives
refuge there but what most found where ancient strongholds will change, bandits will be more aggressive, sometimes they
ruled by criminals and opportunists and those that could not will be slavers and will attempt to capture rather than kill, and
pay or trade for a place within these ruins were denied access. their attacks may include a corruption element.
Many of these unwanted found a home in the refugee camp
outside the city walls, gaining employment in the farms that
quickly sprung up, others returned to the Pale in the hope to
Stat Block
find their homes intact, this was not the case.
Attributes
Desperation, anger and just pure greed and evil intent led many Agility +2, Body +2, Instinct +1, Mind +0, Rapport +1, Will
to become bandits, and villains. Most bandits close to the Sun +1
Spires or to the patrolled roads of the below only steal and rarely
Skills
kill, others with hatred will kill and steal, sometimes taking it
one step further and selling their victims to the fighting pits or Acrobatics: 2d, Melee: 3d, Stealth: 3d, Awareness: 2d,
as food for the cannibal cults. Hunting: 3d, Survival: 3d, Ranged: 3d
Abilities
Civilisation Anew Packs - Bandits tend to travel in packs of up to 5
The Grey Rangers have reported that large permanent camps individuals and will have ways to communicate quietly,
are appearing in the Pale, groups of rejected rebuilding the animal noises etc.
towns and villages, these places are home to organised groups
Derived Stats
of bandits or as many now refer to them liberators or providers.
These camps and new villages have opened their gates to Wounds: 12. Initiative: +2, Toughness: +2
anyone that would wish to join them and some have heed the Armour
call, an option of life on the city streets with an empty belly or
Armour: Mainly animal hides and leather. AP 2
life in the Pale with three meals a day has tempted many to take
up the call of banditry. Weapons
Type Damage Range
Adventure Seeds Sword 1d8s+2 -
Bandits can be encountered anywhere and often via an ambush. Dagger 1d4s+2 4ft
The characters could be following a trade road through the
Spear 1d6p+2 10ft
pale when they come to a road block placed by Bandits. They
could be travelling the dark roads and bandits appear from Bow 1d6p+2 50yds
the shadows. The bandits encountered do not always have to
be killers they may outnumber the characters and just demand
their supplies or a ‘tax’, some bandits will just attack, no
discussion, no demands they just attack and take.

Bestiary 205
206
Beasts
Our Hunter stopped and went silent, holding up a hand for us
to be quiet. I strained my ears but heard nothing, seconds passed Stat Block
and then I heard it, a slight noise, a snuffling, then a scratching
against wood. As I listened I heard the sharp crack of a branch, Attributes
it echoed through the dead trees and almost instantly our Hunter Bear
was running, we followed, what were we running from, I could Agility +2, Body +5, Instinct +3, Mind +0, Rapport +0, Will
hear it crashing through the trees behind me, heard the panting +1
growls, I thought I was dead. Up ahead was a hut, the Hunter Wolf
held the door wide yelling for us to hurry, as the last one burst into Agility +4, Body +2, Instinct +3, Mind +1, Rapport +0 Will
the hut the door was slammed and the Hunter told us to be silent +1
once more, how long we sat there listening I do not know, but soon
the darkness descended and we slept. That was my first encounter Skills
with a Blight Bear. Bear
Athletics: 3d, Melee: 4d, Stealth: 2d, Awareness: 2d,
Hunting: 3d, Survival: 4d
Description Wolf
Many of the wildlife died off after the fall, unable to survive
Athletics: 3d, Melee: 3d, Stealth: 4d, Awareness: 3d,
the harsh cold and corruption, but some survived and adapted.
Hunting: 4d, Survival: 4d
Predators such as Wolves, Bears and Wild Cats managed to
survive by feeding off the remains of the species that perished Fear Rating
and continue to hunt smaller creatures like Rabbits and Birds. Beasts have a Fear Rating of 7

In a similar way to bandits the beasts become more corrupted


Abilities
the deeper you get into the Pale, this is not to say that the Wolves Corrupted: Can transfer corruption to target
and Bears that hunt near the Sun Spires are not dangerous just Natural Armour: Thick skin and fur adds towards
that if you get bitten by one it will hurt but it will not spread Toughness and armour.
corruption. Natural Weapons: Will use Claws and Bite
Closer to the cities it is common to see Wolves especially and Derived Stats
sometime even Wildcats close to farms or in the mountains Bear
hunting and in recent years as food has become more scarce Wounds: 15. Initiative: +3, Toughness: +6
encounters with Wolves have risen. In the below it is rare to Wolf
encounter any of these animals as they tend not to do well in Wounds: 12. Initiative: +3, Toughness: +3
the confines of the tunnels and against the many vagrant camps. Armour
Armour: Both have Natural Armour of AP2
Adventure Seed Weapons
Encountering Bears and Wolves will happen often, closer to
the city they will be hungry, and this may make them more Type Damage Range
aggressive. Bears tend to be loners but are dangerous and Bear Claws 1d8s +5 x 2 -
wolves will travel in packs. Most of the predators will be more Wolf Claws 1d6s +2 x 2 -
prevalent at night but a good fire should keep them at bay unless
Bear Bite 1d6p +5 -
they are really desperate.
Wolf Bite 1d4p +2 -
The deeper into the Pale the more corrupted the beasts will
become, and these are true Blight Beasts, corrupted and
mutated versions of Bears and Wolves, driven insane by the
corruption which has made them fearless and more aggressive.
The characters would encounter these in wooded areas or close
to the few pockets of civilisation that still exists. Finding a cave
which could be shelter for the night may be the home to a
Bear. Camping at night may entice wolves especially if you are
cooking a recent hunt.

Bestiary 207
208
Blood Lord Knight
As we watched the group of fanatics spread out across the road If a Blood Lord is watching they will summon other Knights to
digging with their hands in the snow and ice, their skin was confront the characters.
almost blue from the cold, but they did not seem to even notice.
Behind then stood a huge figure, covered in scars, a dead look
in its eyes, this was a fabled Knight of the Blood Lords, said to Stat Block
be created with dark blood magic. The knight snarled at the
fanatics, whipped and kicked them to work faster, whatever Attributes
it was they were digging for I will ever know cause as I we
watched the knight seemed to turn its baleful gaze towards Agility +3, Body +3, Instinct +2, Mind +1, Rapport +0, Will
where we were hiding, at which point we ran as fast as the ice +2
would let us, we ran for how long I cannot say, but my skin still Skills
itches just remembering that gaze. Acrobatics: 2d, Melee: 4d, Stealth: 2d, Awareness: 2d,
Hunting: 2d, Survival: 4d
Unto Death Fear Rating
It is said that the Sorcerer’s of the Blood Lords have an endless
Knights have a Fear Rating of 7
supply of body parts taken from the arena’s and these are used
to create golems of flesh and corruption. These golems become Abilities
the Knights and commanders of the fanatic hordes. It is said Resilient: Knights are immune to poison.
that these Knights are the ears and eyes of the Lords and that Undead: Do not feel pain and ignore most injuries, this gives
when a Knight speaks, he speaks with the tongue of his master. them increased Toughness and can only be killed with fire or
beheading.
Rare and Deadly Derived Stats
Knights are rare, they stay close, within a 10-mile radius, to the Wounds: 13. Initiative: +2, Toughness: +5
cities of the Pale, the reason for this is the connection they share
with their Lord. They will send out orders to their fanatics and Armour
sometimes travel with them to command order but often they Armour: Chain AP 5 or Plate armour AP10
are rarely seen.
Weapons
Knights are deadly, retaining the memories of the warriors they Type Damage Range
were created from they can be brutal opponents, hard to kill Sword 1d10s +3 -
and lacking any fear. They are often armoured, and sometimes Dagger 1d6s +3 6ft
this is with the armour of the human knights that led the armies
against the elves.

Adventure Seed
As the characters get close to cities the chance of encountering a
Knight will increase. They are always leading a group of Fanatics
and will allow them to attack first only getting involved at the
end where they will wade in and kill fanatic and enemy both.

Facing a Knight should be a major encounter, they are brutal


and will not stop until the target or they are dead, they will call
for reinforcements which will mean another group of fanatics
will appear. If the knight is within 10 miles of a city, they will also
have a direct link to the Blood Lord who may react or suddenly
pay an interest in the characters, which may be something they
do not want.

It is rare to face two knights and this would only happen if the
characters are unlucky enough to meet at a crossroads with two
fanatic groups, or if one knight falls they will sometimes, like
wasps, send out a signal to warn and call upon other knights.

Bestiary 209
210
Cultists
It was the bells, the strange smell of a pungent incense on the these are scattered all over the Pale which characters can stumble
air that alerted us that a cult was drawing near. We quickly upon, what adds confusion is that other cults not aligned to the
moved to the side of the road and hid behind the fallen trees Blood Lords also exists within the Pale and the characters will
and debris of what I presumed had once been an inn. The bells have to decide which one they have just encountered as on the
got louder and soon we saw them, two walked in front ringing surface they are often similar.
bells and dancing in some kind of trance, their lips forever
speaking the name of their Blood Lord. Behind these came a Characters will often hear a cult before they encounter them, or
larger figure, I would say man but it was more beats than man, they will find totems and symbols of the cult scattered around,
it dragged behind it a cart filled with bodies, the stench of the these should be used as a warning that they are about to face
rot from these corpses eclipsed by the incense that burnt in the something very dangerous.
holders that were being swung by the final two cultists that
followed behind.
Stat Block
Worshippers and Lunatics
After the fall, many cults appeared, at first, they worshipped the Attributes
dead gods or the Black Iron, some even prayed for the elves Agility +1, Body +1, Instinct +2, Mind +2, Rapport +1, Will
return, misguided and lost fools desperate for another to solve +2
their problems or give them purpose. These cults grew and were
Skills
quickly subverted to the worship of the Blood Lords, whether
they were offered a boon or they were lied to and convinced Acrobatics: 2d, Melee: 2d, Stealth: 3d, Awareness: 3d,
that what they seek could be found in praise of the Lords, who Hunting: 2d, Survival: 3d, Arcane: 3d, Lore: 3d
knows. Abilities
None
Since these early days, most cults are now just vessels to spread
the corruption and lies of the Blood Lords. I say most as there Derived Stats
are still cults that pray to the dead gods or the Black Iron, Wounds: 11. Initiative: +1, Toughness: +1, Stamina: 12
but these are rare and hard to find. The cultists walk the pale
Armour
offering salvation to those they meet, promising lies to the small
settlements that still exist. Those they can not convert they Armour: A collection of leather, hide and cloth AP2
destroy and curse. Weapons
Type Damage Range
Temples of Blood Sword 1d8s +3 -
Many cults have made their homes in the calcified bones of the
Dagger 1d4s +3 6ft
dead giants, or in the old temples of the elves. They often offer
these as places of sanctuary and healing in order to entice those Spear 1d6p +3 15ft
in need, this always ends badly for those enticed. Magic
Sorcery: Some Cultists will have access to sorcery spells of
These temples are controlled by priests and these are best
various types. This should only be available to 1 out of every
avoided as they have been blessed with sorceries by their Lords
10 Cultists
and are able to wield blood magic, their cultist brethren are all
too willing to sacrifice and bleed to power their priests magic,
plan your strategies before attempting the destruction of such
a temple.

Adventure Seed
Cults can appear in many different guises, from places of
sanctuary where they offer healing, safety, and food, to places
of ritual and sacrifice, where your blood will power their priest.
All cults have only one purpose and that is to guide you to the
Blood Lord and to accept corruption.

Cults adopt old temples ruins and the bones of dead giants and

Bestiary 211
212
Fanatics
We were being hunted, at first none of us had sensed it but as most dangerous, cannibals, mutilators, debaucher’s, and rapists,
we travelled further south the air seemed to change, became they are the lowest humanity can stoop. Often dressed in the
oppressive, almost marsh like, even though we were surrounded skins of victims, their genitals exposed and often disfigured
by snow and it was bitterly cold. The night was drawing in and to appear engorged and weeping, the fanatics are insanity
good sense told us to rest, build a fire, eat, because with night personified and should be destroyed whenever encountered.
comes the real cold, the ice. But as we stopped to contemplate
this it was clear that none of use wanted to stop, it was then Nicran – The Blood Lords commands no fanatics but does
we knew, we were being hunted. No words were spoken but we control those that have arisen from death in the marsh he calls
all scanned the ruins and frozen trees around us, each gave a home, the Liches, Wraiths and undead that defend their home
pleading look to the others to keep moving, escape this place, from invaders. They like their Blood Lord never leave the marsh
find somewhere we could defend, then the howling began. and are content to feed on whatever washes through.

Blood Hunters and Slavers Xertin – The Pallid are a dangerous force to face, often Tribals
Every Blood Lord has their army, and these are made up of that have fell under the sway of the Blood Lord they are further
the fanatics, hordes of slavering, insane killers that will throw twisted by dark magic’s to become faster and stronger than
themselves into flames in reverence to their master. Berserker’s normal humans. They cover their skin in white pigments or ash
and corrupted they pour across the pale in bands, hunting, to make them appear pale like their master and will mutilate
killing, and enslaving depending on the desires of their lords. themselves with bone and iron hooks. Those they capture are
brought back to the city to either feed the population or be
Each band of Fanatics are led by a Knight, these will occasionally thrown into the arena.
travel with the band but will never stray to far from their Lords
throne, but instead will unleash the band with instructions. The
fanatics are fodder, abused and used by both the Knights and Stat Block
the Priests, goaded, murdered, sacrificed, and unleashed all in
the name of the blood lords. Attributes
Agility +3, Body +3, Instinct +2, Mind +0, Rapport +0, Will
Colours of Hate +0
Fanatics try to emulate their lords, and this can be seen in how Skills
they appear, you can tell which Blood Lord the fanatics belong
Acrobatics: 3d, Melee: 4d, Stealth: 3d, Awareness: 2d,
by their scars, mutilations, and clothing.
Hunting: 3d, Survival: 4d, Ranged: 3d
Axas – The Fanatics of Axas graft slivers of metal onto their Abilities
fingers, carve the symbols of the lord onto their skin and None
shave their heads, they keep trophies. The more blessed of the
Derived Stats
fanatics carry strange globes that have a miasma of corruption
emanating from it and can be used to strike down their enemies. Wounds: 13. Initiative: +3, Toughness: +3
Armour
Barston – The Reavers or the Blood Lord are found amongst Armour: A collection of leather, cloth and hide armour. AP
the wrecks of ships and upon the shackle islands. Sometimes 2
they leave the ice for the Pale, but this is rare. The Reavers
mutilate themselves and replace their limbs with large crab Weapons
claws fashioned from bone and iron, they stink of fish and rot. Type Damage Range
Life on the ice is harsh and many Reavers are cannibals. Sword 1d8s +3 -
Dagger 1d4s +3 6ft
Kial – The followers of this blood lord have all been victims to
the torture and mutilation of the his knives, many are corrupted, Spear 1d6p +3 15ft
unrecognisable fusions of beast and human, and it is said that Bow 1d6p+3 50yds
many of the corrupted were once followers of Kial, victims of a
chirurgeon that enjoyed his role too much.

Laidon – The depraved fanatics of the lord of perversion are


the most insane of all the followers and are seen by some as the

Bestiary 213
214
Greater & Lesser Abominations
Product of Experimentation
Of all the horrors created by the elves, the corrupted were the
Abomination Abilities Table
worst, not just because they are deadly, horrifying to look upon
or the sounds they make, but because of the knowledge that this
2d6 Ability
thing used to be a person, or persons. 2 Corrosive Saliva - +3 damage from bites
3 Sense Heat - Can sense body heat +2 Awareness
When the elves fled their experiments ended also, no longer 4 No Pain - Feels no pain cannot be stunned
were people going to be rounded up to be cut up, stitched
together or changed by magic, this would be the end of the 5 Corrosive Blood - Will dissolve metal weapons
atrocities, and much more immediate threats were encroaching 6 Sense Vibrations - Can sense movement +2
upon those that had survived the war. Awareness
7 Bone Weapons - Limbs are dagger sharp
Now almost a decade later with life returning to normal as
8 Shape Change - Can change shape to fit environment
best it can the Blood Lords arrive to continue where the elves
left off. More travellers and Rangers are reporting sightings of 9 Venom Spitter - Can spit Venom 30ft (d8 damage)
corrupted, more twisted, and viler then anything the elves ever 10 Resilient - Has +2 Toughness and +2 Wounds
created, and everyday these sightings get closer and closer to 11 Regenerate - Will regenerate 1 wound per rnd
the Last City.
12 Aural Attack - Will scream (2d+2) causing stun for
d6 rounds
The Shape of Horror Lesser Abominations roll 3 times, Greater Abominations roll 5 times
The abominations come in all shapes and sizes and are generally Re-roll duplicates or increase abilities stats
broken down into two types, the Lesser and Greater. The Lesser
are smaller less developed of the two, though still deadly they
tend to be easier to kill, and fewer enhancements and can look Stat Block
more human. The Greater are always larger, are fully developed
and have much more abilities. The Greater are tougher and are Attributes
much more aggressive.
Greater Abomination
Agility +2, Body +5, Instinct +4, Mind +0, Rapport +0, Will
Abominations are created by Chirurgeons with most being
+1
formed by Kial, a Blood Lord, it is known that the Blood Lords
Lesser Abomination
fanatics will hunt the areas around the lord’s cities looking for
Agility +3, Body +3, Instinct +4, Mind +0, Rapport +0, Will
victims to bring to the operating table. Due to this created
+1
aspect, abominationss vary, with no two looking the same or
even having the same abilities, this can make them extremely Skills
unpredictable and dangerous. Athletics: 2d, Melee: 3d, Stealth: 1d, Awareness: 2d,
Hunting: 3d, Survival: 4d
Abominations are loners they are rarely seen in groups or pairs;
they are either sent out to do a specific task or discarded by Fear Rating
the creator to just roam around freely and survive. Whatever Greater Abominations have a Fear Rating of 10, Lesser
mind their once was in the individuals that were fused together Abominations have a Fear Rating of 9
to create an abomination has long since disappeared into Abilities
madness, but some have claimed that finding the face of a loved
Corrupted, See Table Above
one peering out from the mass of an abomination they have
witnessed a spark of recognition, but this is just considered Derived Stats
wishful thinking. Wounds: 13. Initiative: +3, Toughness: +3
GM Note Armour
The Corrupted can appear in any form and with a number Natural: AP 3
of unique abilities, no two corrupted is the same. If the
party does encounter a corrupted then decide whether it Weapons
is Greater or Lesser and then roll on the table below to Type Damage Range
determine unique features. d6 Bone Limbs 1d8s +5 -

Bestiary 215
216
Lich
It rose from the marsh, rotted vegetation and slime hanging have no real martial skill and these are the most common.
from its limbs, it seemed to stand there for a short time almost The bite of a Lich is infected and will cause corruption or
like it was gathering its bearings and then others rose up at the least some kind of disease, their claws are long and
alongside it. As one they shambled through the marsh, with sharp, and they feel no pain. The only way to kill a Lich is to
one purpose, one mind. If a noise attracted one it attracted remove the head or burn.
them all, as one moved, they all moved. We watched as they
shuffled past their corpse stench washing over us, but we did
not move, we could not, if just one of these living dead heard us Stat Block
we would have to deal with all of them, and something told us
these things were relentless, unforgiving and hungry. Attributes
Agility +2, Body +3, Instinct +2, Mind +0, Rapport +0,
Relentless Dead Will +1
As the battle against the elves raged it left a road of dead Skills
behind it, many of these rotted into the earth some ended
Athletics: 2d, Melee: 3d, Stealth: 2d, Awareness: 2d,
up in the rivers and streams, cast there to pollute the water of
Hunting: 3d, Survival: 2d
villages and towns or just to stop wild animals from seeking
out the carcasses. Those undead that ended up in the many Fear Rating
rivers that once flowed washed up in what would eventually Liches have a Fear Rating of 7
become the great marsh that separates the Pale from the Ash
Abilities
lands and is now the domain of the Blood Lord Nicran.
Corruption, Resilient: Immune to Poisons,
When the Black iron fell it sent a wave of arcane magic that Derived Stats
corrupted everything it touched, the following quakes and Wounds: 13. Initiative: +2, Toughness: +3
eruptions finished what the war had begun and turned the
world to ice. With this new world came the Blood Lords Armour
and their domains, and with Nicran came the undead. Armour: A collection of leather, cloth and metal armour
AP 3
As the marsh expanded so did the undead that populated Weapons
it, fuelled by ancient magic the corpses of the armies that
Type Damage Range
marched against the elves marched again. At first, they
roamed the Pale seeking blood to feed upon until Nicran Sword 1d8s +3 -
reigned them in and took control, now they roam the marsh Claws x 2 1d4s +3 -
and its banks seeking out travellers and the unlucky.

This has made the Ash Lands harder to reach as to do so


involves a journey through the marsh of up to three days.
There are ruins of towns and villages that still stand on the
banks and shallow parts, which lay unexplored but deadly
and many have said that they can be used as shelter, but only
if the dead are not aware of your presence.

Rotted and Armed


It is said that some of the Liches seem to retain the
knowledge they had in life, at least the last few days of life
and as most were part of the armies that fought in that final
war, these Liches have been known to still use weapons and
even still wear the armour they died in. Many Liches are
farmers or townsfolk who got caught up in the fighting and

Bestiary 217
Marsh Wraith
At first, we thought it was a pile of detritus, of old rags and bones washed up and caught on a branch or lodged in the bank. As
we drew near the smell was of ammonia and rot, damp, and vinegar, we decided to avoid it for the stench alone it was then we
heard the sound, a low keening, that rose to a scream, we became disorientated as this pile of waste suddenly move and became a
terror beyond words, a living thing of bones and jellied flesh, white and glistening pus like. The whole pile was the Wraith, and
it began to move, almost drifting towards us on the foetid water of the marsh. Tiny frail bone-like arms, dozens of them reached
out, its talon like hands grasping at the air, but we were stunned we could not move, and it was getting closer…

Living Marsh
Appearing as a pile of leaves and mud on the banks or islands of the marsh the Marsh Wraith is a deadly killer that will
attempt to grab anyone that wanders to close. They are known to scream loudly to disorientate their prey and this is also
known to summon Liches who have learnt that a Wraith scream often leads to food.

The Wraith can drift on the surface of the marsh and has control in where that drifting takes them, though it was once
believed they had no control, this has since been disproved. This ability to drift can allow them to get close to their victims
who will often overlook a pile of leaves and mud or will not even notice the slow movement towards them.

218
Against multiple foes they will always scream to give them It is believed that a Wraith begins as a single corpse like a
the edge and allow them to grab at least one victim, Wraiths Lich that gets caught up in the vegetation of the marsh and
are surprisingly strong and once grabbed they drag the gets stuck, unable to move just collect anything that floats
person into their body of mud and moss and slowly devour by, corpses, sticks and other detritus, until eventually they
them adding the bones, hair and clothing to its structure. become a Wraith

A Thousand Corpses
Marsh Wraiths are loners and can grow to immense sizes as
they digest and expand with new victims, what may start as a
Stat Block
small pile of flotsam against the bank of the marsh may, years
down the line become and island of bone and other remains
Attributes
covered in moss and marsh grass. Agility +2, Body +4, Instinct +3, Mind +0, Rapport +0,
Will +1
Skills
Athletics: 0d, Melee: 3d, Stealth: 5d, Awareness: 2d,
Hunting: 1d, Survival: 4d
Fear Rating
Marsh Wraiths have a Fear Rating of 7
Abilities
Corruption, Aural Attack (3d +2) causes stun for d6
rounds, Natural Weapons
Derived Stats
Wounds: 14. Initiative: +3, Toughness: +4
Armour
Armour: A mass of debris which has accumulated over
years makes them well protected with an AP 6
Weapons
Type Damage Range
Aural Attack D6 Stun 100ft
Claws x 2 D4s +4 -

Bestiary 219
220
Pale Ones
We had hit another road, the torches seemed to flare into life
whenever we reached one of these main routes almost as if
Stat Block
some magic made everything brighter. The road was as well
made as you would expect from its ancient dwarven architects Attributes
and we all knew that it would lead somewhere, hopefully not Agility +3, Body +5, Instinct +3, Mind +1, Rapport +0,
just another road that led to a cave in or one of them doors with Will +0
no way to open. We picked up the pace, and even spent time
Skills
studying some of the statues and carvings that lined the walls,
its strange how the brighter the light the more confidence it Athletics: 4d, Melee: 4d, Stealth: 3d, Awareness: 3d,
creates. Up ahead was another tunnel that disappeared into Hunting: 3d, Survival: 4d
the darkness, we had long since stopped exploring these as Fear Rating
they either led to dead ends, labyrinth’s, or large caves, and we Pale Ones have a Fear Rating of 7
had neither the time nor the provisions to explore every dark
hole. As we drew near one of us heard what they described as Abilities
breathing, we stopped and looked and what peered back was Natural Armour, Natural Weapons, Corrupted, Huge
pale, multi-limbed and disfigured, it stank of corruption and grows as tall as 10ft, Multi-limbed has four arms, Dark
age. It moved backwards into the darkness and was gone, we Vision.
hurried on and for the rest of the journey through those dark Derived Stats
roads felt we were being watched.
Wounds: 15. Initiative: +3, Toughness: +5
Armour
Born in Darkness Armour: Natural with an AP 3
The deeper you go the stranger things become and the more
surreal the carvings and devices are. Those narrow twisting Weapons
tunnels dug out by the ancient dwarves are now home to Type Damage Range
bizarre monsters that have been born to the darkness, Claws x 4 1d6s +5 -
whether they existed before the pale no ones knows.

Are they what remains of the dwarves, did the elves


experiment before reaching the surface or did the blood of
the ancient giants create more than just the elves?

Of all the weirdness that exists below the most dangerous


and unusual are the Pale ones, large hulking, multi-limbed
ogres, hairless and as pale as snow. It is known to tear its
own skin off as a way to allow it to grow larger and then its
flesh hardens and becomes the new skin of the creature, this
is why many sightings have shown the Pale Ones to have
gashes or cuts.

A Pale One will not actively attack a party but will follow
and watch, waiting for an opportunity to snatch a character
that falls behind, or is injured. They are solitary creatures and
so facing a party is often a bad idea, though they will fight
if cornered.

Pale Ones will eat what they catch whether that be rodents
or characters and they do not negotiate or communicate in
anyway, as of, yet no one has heard a Pale One make any
kind of sound accept for a deep breathing growl.

Bestiary 221
222
Rot Golems
It was the stench that hit us first, it was overpowering, then as
we got closer, we heard the wheezing, we had found what we
Adventure Seed
Rot Golems can appear anywhere but thankfully due to their
had been seeking. Two days ago a Ranger had been killed, the size can be heard, smelt, and seen coming more often or not. The
hut they had been staying in smashed to tinder, and only large first signs that a Rot Golem is in the area should be destruction,
tracks and blood smears were left heading into the forest. Our buildings, trees etc should all appear as if a rock just rolled
Hunter, a Guild member of the Grey Rangers and had been through. Tracking the Rot Golem is simple and the Last City as
tasked to find the missing Ranger. Though we all knew there well as a few of the Cities Below have placed bounties on proof
was no chance our hunter had to believe that the Ranger could of kill.
have survived, she had to find out and we agreed, she was on
point for this one, we would take her lead. Now after two days Rumour has it that the elves had a way to control Rot Golems
of trekking through the snow we had found the beast. It stood and if this could be found it would save a lot of time and
maybe 15 feet and was almost as broad, the stench washed of maybe even create a new force to protect against the Blood
it in waves, there was no sign of the Ranger, but either way the Lords, though many feel that using corrupted monsters to fight
monster had to die. corrupted monsters is just asking for a disaster to happen.

Created from Dirt


Originally created by the dwarves and then corrupted by the Stat Block
elves the golems are monsters of pure magic. Once linked to
their creators they are now abandoned and insane, roaming the Attributes
Pale and the dark roads destroying and repeating their orders
Agility +2, Body +5, Instinct +2, Mind +1, Rapport +0, Will
given centuries before.
+1
The dwarves created many wonders and some of these were the Skills
various golems they designed for specific roles, Iron Golems to Athletics: 1d, Melee: 3d, Stealth: 3d, Awareness: 3d,
protect the great dwarven houses, Stone Golems to mine the Hunting: 2d, Survival: 4d
tunnels and carry the loose rock away and the Earth Golems to
destroy the monsters sometimes discovered in the darkness, it
Fear Rating
is these Earth Golems that become the Rot Golems. Rot Golems have a Fear Rating of 6
Abilities
Many Earth Golems were sent ahead to clean out tunnels and
Corrupted, Natural Weapons and Armour, Resilient will
caves, making the areas safe for mining or habitation and this is
regenerate 1 wound per rnd.
where the elves trapped and corrupted them, turning them back
against their creators, driving the golem mad as it went against Derived Stats
its purpose. Once the golem had acted out its purpose the elves Wounds: 15. Initiative: +2, Toughness: +5
would ignore it and allow it to wander, killing indiscriminately
and destroying anything in its path. Many dwarves died not
Armour
realising that the Golems were now an enemy. Armour: Combination Natural and worn with an AP 5
Weapons
Released upon the Surface Type Damage Range
When the elves eventually entered the world above then sent Claws x 2 1d8s +5 -
the golems out first to destroy any threat or opposition, and
Club 1d10b +5 -
once again were left to just wander off in this new confused
world. Most were killed and those that managed to avoid Stomp 1d8b +5 -
the hunters eventually died off. The elves experimented with
building golems and the Earth Golems were their best success,
fuelled by corruption they would be used to destroy resistance
or ‘criminal’ groups that the elves wanted disposed of.

After the fall many survived but once again without purpose
or a master and these ended up wandering the Pale completing
their purpose on auto pilot until instructed otherwise.

Bestiary 223
224
Ruin Dwellers
We pushed through the trees and came to an old ruin; we situation. Dwellers will protect their homes to the death and the
would not have spotted this place from the path which goes party should quickly realise that, and the creatures speed and
to show it pays to explore. Our Scavenger had a ‘good feeling’ aggression should make it clear that it will not be an easy fight.
about this ruin and she quickly moved into what she described
as the main hall. The whole area was open to the elements
and most of the wooden walls and furniture had rotted over Stat Block
the years and snow cover. The west end was still covered by a
part of the roof and we could see the remains of a tapestry, our Attributes
scavenger said that this had been a temple of sorts, and that
the tapestry would have shown some god or other, this was a Agility +5, Body +2, Instinct +3, Mind +2, Rapport +0, Will
good place to find precious metals she claimed as she began to +2
make her way towards the tapestry. Suddenly she stopped, held Skills
her hand up to stop us and indicate silence. Then we heard it, Acrobatics: 4d, Melee: 3d, Stealth: 5d, Awareness: 3d,
a strange snuffling, gnawing noise. From behind a low wooden Hunting: 3d, Survival: 3d
wall appeared a being, covered in rot and fungus, stinking of
corruption, this was a Ruin Dweller, a rare and dangerous Fear Rating
creature to behold. Ruin Dwellers have a Fear Rating of 6
Abilities
Trapped by Time Corrupted, Natural Armour, Natural Weapons, Poisonous
It is said that Ruin Dwellers were once people and that they from Spores, Dark Vision.
inhabit the ruins which were most important to them when
Derived Stats
they still had some kind of humanity, whether that is true or
not, no one has ever discovered, but it is a fact they tend to find Wounds: 12. Initiative: +3, Toughness: +2
certain locations important and will defend them to death. Armour
Armour: Fungus and wood like protrusions act as armour
The Black Fort on studies of Ruin Dwellers have discovered that
giving the Ruin Dweller an AP 3
time moves differently for them, which is why they are so fast
and that this displacement of time is due to interaction with a Weapons
piece of the Black Iron, how this is possible no one can say, but Type Damage Range
it would explain the rarity of the monsters.
Claws x 2 1d6s +2 -
Spore Pods d6 Pot 8 10ft
Monsters in Name Only
Ruin Dwellers are not aggressive, in other words they do not
actively seek out conflict and it seems that they are only violent
when protecting their homes, those that have come across one
of these creatures have found that if they back away slowly and
create distance the Ruin Dweller will ignore them.

The option most people take when facing a Dweller is often


aggressive and that is when they often regret that decision, what
appears to be a fungal encrusted and skeletal figure suddenly
becomes extremely fast and dangerous very quickly, striking
with bone like claws, spores that burst forth from the pods
that form from the creatures body and the ability to jump and
dodge at terrific speed makes the Ruin Dweller a threat worth
avoiding.

Adventure Seed
Any ruin can be home to a Dweller and often the party may
stumble upon one without knowing. At this point what is
left is what knowledge the characters have of these monsters
and how they will use that knowledge to best deal with the

Bestiary 225
226
Shrike
The light from the our torches seemed never to light more than Shrikes will shy away from light, hiding in the dark places until
a few feet around us and this alone made travel through the the light goes out and then striking from the shadows either as
tunnels more dangerous, if we were to be ambushed we would ambushes or stealth attacks. They are not effected by magical
not know before it was too late to react, it made everything light and seem not to even notice this form of illumination.
much more tense than it should have been for just a well-armed
and well trained group. I heard a hiss and stopped, our Hunter
had moved ahead, and the hiss indicated we needed to slow Adventure Seed
down and be quiet. We had reached a rather damp part of the Anywhere there is darkness there could be a Shrike, the deeper
tunnel and I was up to my knee’s in stagnant, stinking water. the party goes the more likely they will come across Shrike.
Wading on I practically bumped into the Hunter who gave me Shrike will set ambushes and even follow a party just waiting
an annoyed stare and then pointed. Up ahead was what at first for an opportunity to strike. They never use weapons or armour
glance seemed to be a glowing skeleton until it shifted, whatever but are immune to magic in every way, so they will not be
the thing was its skin glowed and was translucent, probably from discovered, damaged, or weakened by magical means, magical
living underground for so long. Its arms ended it sharp blades weapons will act as standard weapons against them, and they
and its feet were tendrils that waved and probed the ground, in ignore magical defences used by their targets.
fact these tendrils grew from the things back and face, stroking
the rock around it, leaving slight luminescent trails like that of a
slug, it was truly horrific. Stat Block
Attributes
Bones that Glow
It is believed that the Shrike were created by absorbing arcane Agility +4, Body +4, Instinct +3, Mind +1, Rapport +0, Will
residue from when the elves ruled the below and that many of +1
the Shrike were once elves themselves, banished from the cities Skills
for crimes or other slights against the elven lords. Centuries of Acrobatics: 4d, Melee: 4d, Stealth: 3d, Awareness: 3d,
living underground, absorbing magic, and evolving to match Hunting: 2d, Survival: 4d
their environment is what has made the Shrike what they are
today. Fear Rating
Shrikes have a Fear Rating of 7
Shrikes thrive in the darkness and those that have observed
Abilities
them have notice that they seem to seek out pockets of old
magical energy trapped in veins of ore in the rock or weird Corrupted, Natural Armour, Natural Weapons, Dark
luminescent fungi. Shrike also feed off the small animals that Vision, Immune to magical attacks, Corrosive Mucus.
also live below, bats, rats, and other rodents. Derived Stats
Wounds: 14. Initiative: +4, Toughness: +4
Shrikes are loners and it is rare to see two Shrikes at the same
time, they are also territorial and stories do exist of scavengers Armour
witnessing Shrikes fighting as one gets to close to another’s Armour: Natural armour gives them an AP 2, Corrosive
area, but how territory is set out is unknown by anyone but the Mucus covers their bodies see Corrosive Blood/Mucus.
Shrike themselves.
Weapons
Type Damage Range
Killers in the Dark
Shrikes are aggressive and will attack anyone or thing they see Arm Blades x 2 1d8sp +4 -
as a threat, and even though they look weak they are far from
it. It is known that Shrike can absorb magic and are unaffected
by magical attacks, in some cases even deflecting the spell back
at the caster. They are also fast and can squeeze through the
smallest of cracks or holes.

The other element of the Shrike is the mucus they exude from
their tendrils which have formed from their backs, faces, hands
and feet. This mucus is acidic and will corrode metals and
woods and this fluid is often coating their territory making
passing through those areas dangerous.

Bestiary 227
228
Tribals
The Last City had become home to some of the tribes that still remembered the raids from Tribals, of the fear and hunger
had fled to the northern mountains, through either trade or forced upon them by these fearsome wild folk, and this created
safety, and it was lucky for us to have a member of these tribes suspicion and even anger towards the tribes, giving many that
amongst us to help navigate through the mountains of the had lost everything something to direct their anger at.
west. It is said that the mountains lead to another land free
of the corruption, but this is just rumour. The journey we had It was the merchant guild that changed everything. The guild
taken had begun in the Dragon Claws at the tribes village and had secretly decided to send a delegation to the tribes to talk
we had travelled westward from there, the journey had been and negotiate, by this point the tribes had over the months
hard but no real danger approached us and those few days found life hard, living on little to no food and constantly
had been the safest I had ever felt, surrounded by stone, with watching from attacks from the tribes to west and from the Last
someone that had been born and raised amongst them boosted City, the delegation was treated with suspicion. Eventually deals
the parties confidence. This all ended on day four when the were struck, food like grains etc in exchange for skins and furs,
first totems were encountered, these were marks bordering and the Tribes would be welcome in the City for as long as they
the territory of the Tatua Tribe, man eaters and flayers, from agreed to protect the city from the other tribes and dangers
this point onward the journey would get much harder and coming from the north.
confidences would fray.

Of the Mountains Stat Block


The Dragon Tail mountains have always been home to the
tribes and they have always been problematic, even the elves Attributes
had attempted to wipe out or control the many settlements Agility +3, Body +3, Instinct +3, Mind +2, Rapport +1, Will
without much success. +2

There is no way to know how many actual tribes exist, but they
Skills
range from groups of 20 families all the way up to hundreds, Acrobatics: 2d, Melee: 4d, Stealth: 3d, Awareness: 3d,
from small camps of tents to towns with stockades and Hunting: 4d, Survival: 3d, Ranged: 4d
dedicated militia. Before the fall the tribes would occasionally Abilities
send raiding parties down into the farms and small towns that
Aggressive, Cannibals, Corrupted.
stood at the foot of the mountains, often to steal food and
livestock, this would lead to hunters and town militia entering Derived Stats
the mountains to retaliate, or calls for the elves to respond in Wounds: 13. Initiative: +3, Toughness: +3
some way, often leading to nothing actually changing.
Armour
After the fall many did not pay much thought to how the Armour: Armour can vary from animal hides, leather and
disasters and other upheavals would affect the tribes and they no chain with an AP 2 - 5
longer seemed a threat. Years passed in the Pale as the Last City Weapons
rebuilt and expanded, and as the cities below established their
laws and borders, surviving the best they can in this new world Type Damage Range
of ice and snow. In the mountains it was a different story. With Sword 1d8s +3 -
the changes came starvation and disease, and with this came Axe 1d10s +3 -
conflict as tribes invaded one another, some unified against
Dagger 1d4s +3 6ft
a common enemy and others were eradicated completely, for
those that called the Dragon Tail home the world changed in Spear 1d6p +3 15ft
more than one way. Bow 1d6p +3 50yds

Acceptance or Cannibalism
As the snow fell and the corruption leaked in cannibalism
became the new norm for many tribes, others accepted aid
in return for praise from the Blood Lords, throwing in their
lot and becoming Fanatics. Some tribes fled, traveling north
towards the Dragons Claws that shadowed the Last City in the
hope they would gain protection or at the least acceptance.
Though years had passed and life had been traumatic many

Bestiary 229
Non-Player Characters
What follows is a selection of characters that the players may
interact with during their journeys into the darkness or across Militia
the Pale. These are for use by the GM if they are ever needed for
Barter, Diplomacy or even conflict within the game. They guard the gates, patrol the streets and keep the rabble and
criminals in check, some are corrupt others withhold the laws
fervently.

Trader Every city has a Militia, most are paid by the councils or the
guilds and this payment is often in the form of a roof, three
Traders will be the main NPC most characters will interact with square meals and a little bit of power and respect. Not all Militia
during the game, many have set up shop in the cities but some are good and some will commit crime or take their authoority
still walk the roads both below and in the Pale, though travel to far.
through the Pale has become more dangerous of late. Traders
are hardy and cunning, those that live in the cities will have Any issues to occur, fights breaking out, disputes with price,
trade stores selling various items, but those that travel will someone caught stealing or other more serious crimes will
only carry the most valuable or most needed stock, and do not often involve the militia being called who will then attempt
mistake value with wealth, a spade to a farmer is as valuable as to either sort out the problem, arrest someone or investigate
a diamond to a jeweller. further. Every city will have cells to hold prisoners and some
form of court to enact sentencing if needed. Public executions

Stat Block are common.

Stat Block
Attributes
Agility +1, Body +2, Instinct +1, Mind +2, Rapport +3, Will Attributes
+1 Agility +2, Body +2, Instinct +1, Mind +0, Rapport +1, Will
Skills +1
Barter: 3d Melee: 2d, Academics 3d Awareness: 3d, Skills
Charm: 2d, Survival: 3d, Negotiate: 2d. Athletics: 2d, Melee: 3d, Awareness: 2d, Search: 3d,
Abilities Survival: 3d, Command: 2d
Courage Abilities
Derived Stats Courage
Wounds: 12. Initiative: +1, Toughness: +2 Derived Stats
Armour Wounds: 12. Initiative: +2, Toughness: +2
Armour: None to Light AP 2 Armour
Weapons Armour: Often a Uniform AP 3
Type Damage Range Weapons
Sword 1d8s +2 - Type Damage Range
Dagger 1d4s +2 6ft Sword 1d8s +2 -
Spear 1d6p +2 15ft
Bow 1d6p +2 50yds

230
Civilians Noble
These will be encountered in every city both above and below, The guild masters, the administrators, the heads of families,
they are the farmers, the beggers, the serving folk and the the spoilt sons and daughters, the teachers and the merchants.
fisherman, often in need and always around. these are the people with wealth that can buy allegiance and
sometimes innocence. Often corrupt, sometimes pompous
Civilians can often be the background hum in a city or a key always in need of someone willing to do the dirty work, whether
part of an adventure. They can be witnesses, victims and even that is lifing crates in a warehouse or dispatching a rival.
antagonists. Many civilians will have no opinion just wanting to
get on with their lives, but others may form mobs to hunt down The characters will have dealings with nobles, especially if they
the corrupted in their city, or become the witless members of are in a guild. Offers of work will often come from the wealthy
underground cults lured in with the promise of food or revenge. members of society and even some of the problems will lead to
nobles and their daliance with cults or search for power which
Civilians are a great resource and can be used for most situations often leads them into the arms of the Blood Lords.
and even adventure seeds, never underestimate civilians.

Stat Block
Stat Block
Attributes
Attributes Agility +2, Body +2, Instinct +1, Mind +2, Rapport +2, Will
Agility +0, Body +1, Instinct +2, Mind +0, Rapport +1, Will +2
+1 Skills
Skills Athletics: 2d, Melee: 3d, Awareness: 3d, Academics:
Crafting: 2d, Brawling: 2d, Awareness: 1d, Hunting: 2d, 3d, Hunting: 3d, Survival: 3d, Ranged: 2d, Negotiate:
Survival: 3d, Barter: 2d, Legend: 1d 2d, Etiquette: 3d, Riding: 2d, Lore: 2d, Command: 2d,
Abilities Deception: 2d

Resistance Abilities
Derived Stats Courage
Wounds: 11. Initiative: +0, Toughness: +1 Derived Stats
Armour Wounds: 12. Initiative: +2, Toughness: +2

Armour: None or Light Armour AP 1 Armour


Weapons Armour: Good Qaulity Light
Type Damage Range Weapons
Dagger 1d4s +1 6ft Type Damage Range
Sword 1d8s +2 -
Dagger 1d4s +2 6ft
Bow 1d6p +2 50yds

Bestiary 231
The Anvil
A Starting Adventure for the Black Iron

GM Intro The adventure should not be long enough to worry too much
about starvation or dehydration, but injuries and rest should be
The following adventure is for starting players and GMs to help
get into the world of the Black Iron. The adventure will have a factor, finding shelter other than the forge should be hard to
Info points and links to page numbers for rules and information do and unless the party has healing herbs injuries can become
so that the GM can learn or look them up quickly. serious fast.

As the GM take your time and prepare for surprises as players The party must make sure they have everything they need; they
will almost never do what you are expecting, have them draw a will receive a cart and horse which they must return if possible,
map with markers if they like, maps are valuable. Bear in mind the employer may stretch to throwing in snow shoes and a
the cart that the characters have and the animals that are pulling bundle of arrows but everything else will need to be supplied by
it, they can also be targets for food etc, and losing the animals the characters themselves.
will make their journey much slower and harder going.
Getting the Characters Involved
Game Intro There are a number of ways you can get the characters involved
with this adventure which will feel natural and not forced. The
The adventure is set in the Last City and the Pale beyond
following are examples of adventure prompts.
Setting the adventure in the Last City will see the characters
travelling to the spires and the edge where the temperate meets • The characters all see the job offered on a notice board in
the ice, here they will need to switch the wheels on the cart to the city square.
skis and head out into the wilderness to find the old forge with • A character is approached by the smith whilst browsing the
the Anvil. Risks of Blight Beasts, Bandits and Cults attacking smith’s wares
the party is high as well as dangers of hidden lakes and thin ice, • The guild has been offered priority work by the smith if
ravines, and ice storms. they can arrange for the Anvil to be collected.

232
Optional Side Missions If the party has any questions now is the time to ask and the
smith does not mind being interrupted, but if no one does he
• Rangers have spoken of a pack of wolves in the area moving
closer to the Spires. will continue.
• Recent attacks on farms have been traced to an area of
the Pale close to where the Anvil is supposed to be found. ‘If you want the job I can provide a cart with some skis and a
(Small Bandit camp) horse, but I will need them back, and besides it will be hard to
• Strange sounds have been reported by the Grey Watch shift that Anvil four miles without it, the job pays 100 barter
(Cultists this close to the spires is a major threat) chits and once I get everything in place I will happily do some
free work or give a discount, if that all sounds good then no
time like the present’.
The Smith
The smith who has posted the job has a small shop in the street The party could try to negotiate which would be an opposed
of coals the main location of many of the smiths in the last roll versus either Negotiation or Barter, the smith has both skills
city. The buildings in the street are blackened from the soot at 3d, and his Rapport is +2. Otherwise the party should accept
produced from the forges and the clanging of metal on metal the job and arrange when to collect the cart and horse.
is almost deafening. Entering the street the characters are hit
by a warm blast of air that becomes hotter and more stifling the
further down the street they travel. Journey to the Spires
The journey to the spires should be uneventful, as the
The street itself is home to many beggars that sleep here at night characters leave the city they will pass through the refugee
and line the streets to beg during the day this is done for the camp, depending on the time of day they will either be ignored
warmth and for the barter chit that many looking to repair or (daytime) or possibly approached by one of the criminal gangs
buy weapons and armour will be carrying on their person. (d6) that run the place and may attempt to steal the horse for
food or just bully the characters into handing over some stuff,
Many smiths who fled to the city after the fall failed to bring how the players handle this is up to them, they can threaten or
all of their tools with them and forges and anvils were often Negotiate either way the highest Rapport is +2 and the Highest
either part of the building or too heavy to carry. Wooden and Barter is a 2d, if they attack then the gang is pretty weak more
stone blocks are now used by a few smiths, hastily made forges bark than bite with Melee skills of 2d and Strength of +1, after
are better than nothing but most of what is done is repair, a couple have been dropped the others will run into the camp
hammering out dents, re-knitting chain and stitching together and disappear. No militia patrol the camps and the gangs have
leather as well as hasty and basic repair to weapons. Very few free reign. The other option would be that the characters hear
smiths have Anvils or even quality tools. a scream coming from the camp and it will be up to them to
either investigate or not with the gang above being the issue.
When the party reaches the smiths shop, they will find him
hammering away at an old bent sword on a large piece of granite, After leaving the camp area the land is mostly farms and
chips of stone and sparks fly everywhere. The man looks up as orchards. The road here is patrolled but very rarely is there
the characters arrive. trouble. Eventually after an hour of walking the party should
reach the sun spires. The view is strange as within the border
‘I have limited supplies right now, so as long as it ain’t grass grows and the world seems fertile but looking out beyond
complicated I can get it done’ he states loudly. If the characters the spires there is just a white waste, snow has built up against
explain why they are there the smith will perk up, put down the what seems to be an invisible wall of magic, and the effect is
hammer, and after wiping his sweaty hands walks over to the surreal.
party.