Istar's Nightmare

Welcome back traveler...

It’s been more than two whole years since the Colosseum closed when the first tournament’s champions had exposed the corruption within the Colosseum’s management. The Criminal Organization known as Arachnos had been exposed by the champions but it had cost them one of their own. Jean Vitalis was struck down in that last battle, and Cindro Waffloris had disappeared shortly thereafter. Olorin and Khaine each traveled to far off lands, trying to distance themselves from Istar. With over half of the team gone, the rest of the champions fell into obscurity. After six months no one was talking about them anymore…

This was only the beginning… Arachnos did not die that night. The organization still operates in the seedier parts of the city. Many of the townspeople blame them for the disappearances that have been plaguing the town for the past few years. The Mage’s Tower just outside the city is still largely unapproachable, yet some say that some nights, you can see candle light escape from the highest window within the tower…

But you can’t be thinking about any of that. The Colosseum re-opens tomorrow, and you’ve signed up to be one of its first combatants…

Welcome Back to Istar!

Little has changed since we were last here, and most of what has changed has only been for the worse! Two years ago the Colosseum was shut down due to corruption in its management. Since then crime has been on the rise and General Brax has had his hands full. Captain Charlie has taken over the City Guard while Brax has taken over Istar’s military. Korina has taken over as Charlie’s second in command. The heads of the Mage’s Guild; Qel’Thanas, Chandra, and Liliana are still in charge, and High Priest Varyn is still leading the Clergy.

Your character will start at level 4, and have a starting gold total of 4,000gp. As per usual, 1 trait from the Ultimate Campaign book, an additional bonus trait with a backstory, and yet an additional bonus Istar Trait (found on the Obsidian Portal) if your backstory ties into Istar. For those counting that’s 3 traits in total! 15 Point Point-Buy.

There are no restrictions on character class (as long as the can be found on Paizo’s PRD).

• Guns are not known about, so Gunslingers will need to be able to craft their own ammo and weapons. Do not expect guns to be found as loot, or be purchasable from stores/vendors.

I will be lenient on race choice as Istar is in fact an open city, but anything outside of the Core Races must be ran by me for approval. As far as character ideas and concepts go, if you’re not sure, just ask me. I would rather we figure everything out ahead of time than be surprised in the middle of the game and have to pause the session just to ‘run the numbers.’ I will be less lenient in these types of situations.

Rule #1 is, as always, to have fun! So I would like to keep these games light spirited and less about the number crunching of combat, but if that’s what the group is into then we can head that direction, but keep in mind that there are other players with their own interests so try to keep this in mind while we’re in game.

Good luck out there… Gladiator…

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Hogger

Kavak Birdcruncher sat outside the Bag of Holding. Fonix Vondarian the Bardarian sat in his cart which was pulled by Wolfgang, Kavak’s trusted wolf steed. The two contemplated going into the shop but were dismayed when they remembered they didn’t have much money. Speaking in Kavak’s native tongue of goblin the two discussed how they might come up with some gold pieces. Shortly thereafter two red robed mages, a gnome and a human, came up to them and began speaking goblin as well! As the four became acquainted, surprised to come across others speaking in goblin, the subject of the recently posted bounties quickly became their topic of discussion. After some short deliberation The four decided to head off to see Lieutenant Charles for the details.

Along the way to see the lieutenant, the group came across a half orc and another black robed mage. Thinking that the group would need their abilities they joined them on the way. Outside of the town barracks they found a human archer who was seeking companions for the very same bounty that the group was intending on collecting.

The now group of 7 adventurers were confident that they could collect on the reward, having such a formidable force. After exchanging pleasantries the group was established…

Kavak Birdcruncher Goblin Cavalier.
Fonix Vondarian Halfling Bardarian
Cindro Waffloris Human Magus
Oloron Gnome Sorceror
Oroku Saki Half Orc Samurai
Khaine Black Robed Human Elementalist
Jean Vitalis Human Archer

The seven adventurers set foot into the Barracks and met with Lieutenant Charles. Charles was short and to the point, informing the group that there were in fact two separate bounties that could be collected, 7,000 per bounty, and that another group had already set off after Hogger.

Deciding that the gold was rightfully theirs and not the “other” groups, our adventurers set off towards the forest the gnolls were known to occupy. After battling through numbers of gnolls, the group eventually came upon Hogger’s camp. At the camp the adventurers found Hogger had already imprisoned the other group of adventurers. Going to work, our heroes swiftly eliminated the enemy threat but Hogger would not die so easily. The other group broke out of their wooden cages and went to the group’s aid, reviving an unconscious Jean Vitalis. After a fierce battle and many an injury, Hogger finally was slain.

The other group, calling themselves the “Sword of Iomedae” were members of the clergy and resided at the Grand Catherdral in Istar. In exchange for saving their lives, the Sword offered their services in healing, and told the adventurers to seek them out at the Cathedral should they be in need…

Victorious, the group set back for Istar, with Hogger’s body in tow…

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WANTED!

Strolling through town you happen to come across some guards posting up a wanted poster to the side of a building…

WANTED!

Belladona Vetrano & Hogger

Reward 7,000 gold dead or alive.

See Lieutenant Charles for detials.

You seem to recall talk you have heard rumors around town regarding bandit and gnoll raids occurring on the outskirts of the city. Maybe it might be worth seeing Lieutenant Charlie about those details…

Or it might just be time for another pint at the Weary Wizard.

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The City of Istar

The City of Istar has an approximate population of 9,000 people. 20 years ago it only had about 1,000 people living within its limits. This small city is well on its way to becoming its own Kingdom.

Istar is ruled by Lord Mayor Daedrin the Lightbringer, who once saved the town in its younger years from certain destruction. In his time as ruler over Istar, the town has grown into a bustling city, open to all travelers.

Istar has had many renovations and improvements that Daedrin has implemented.

Places of Interest

Mage’s Guild
Istar is host to a Mage’s Guild. The guild hall has many services, most of them exclusive to members of the guild. The guild is organized and broken into 3 divisions, otherwise known as “robes.” White Robes are good aligned casters. Red Robes are generally neutral, and most often follow Nethys, the god of magic himself. Black Robes are generally considered to be evil, but have been permitted to operate within Istar due to Daedrin’s policy of neutrality and acceptance of all citizens.

The Mage’s Guild is split up into 4 buildings on their grounds, one building for each of the Robes, and a tower where the Trials take place, as well as general meetings are conducted.

When the masters of the school feel an apprentice or student is ready, they will be invited to take the “Trial.” Each trial is different for every student, no two trials are ever the same however in the end, the mage learns something about himself, and something about magic.

Not every mage in Istar is part of the guild, but the guild does not pursue these “Rogue” Mages either.

Grand Cathedral
Being a man of faith, Daedrin spent a good amount of the city’s wealth on its massive church. All of the deities have a shrine representing them here, even Asmodeus, whom not everyone in town is approving of. Many of the townsfolk have heard rumors of a Kingdom in a far off land called Talingarde that was able to ban the worship of gods like Asmodeus. Daedrin has argued that this would simply cause more trouble than good.

High Priest Varyn is the head of the Grand Cathedral, and is a long time friend of Daedrin, having traveled with him in his younger years as an adventurer. Varyn does not share in all of Daedrin’s beliefs, but trusts in his wisdom.

Barracks/Garrison
As Istar grew in size, Daedrin knew it had to grow in strength as well. He established a barracks across from City Hall. The City now has its own small army that doubles as the town guard. Led by Captain Brax, the town guard has been stretched thin by all of the things plaguing Istar, newest among them, a new drug on the streets that people have taken to calling “elf pudding…”.

Brax is a very intimidating man standing nearly 7 feet tall, and carries a small arsenal of weapons with him.

Market District
Istar’s Market district is filled with nearly any commodity you need. Merchants from all over travel to Istar’s market to barter and trade products from many lands. Notable and long standing shops include, “The Bag of Holding,” a shop specializing in magic items, “The Hammer of Kharas,” a blacksmith shop that forges the finest of mortal weaponry and armor, and “The Weary Wizard Inn and Tavern,” Istar’s premier inn.

Tower of High Sorcery
Some say as many as 100 years ago, the tower just outside the town was filled with magi. A dispute broke out amongst them and a Black Robe cast a curse upon the wondrous tower, and cast himself from its peak, impaling himself upon the gates below. His skeleton and robes still hang from the gates to this day, a grim guardian of the tower. An eerie mist now permeates the tower, those who were inside at the time, never came out. None have been able to shake the fear of approaching the tower, let alone mustered the courage to actually enter it. The tower has been long since abandoned. Lately however there have been rumors that candle light can be seen emanating from one of the windows near the top of the tower at night…

The Colosseum
The Colosseum has re-opened after the mishaps of two years ago. The blood and gore are real, and Daedrin has asked for High Priest Varyn’s cooperation in making this vision a reality. The combatants are all willing participants, the fights are very real. Priests and Clerics from the Cathedral are on hand to heal and revive any combatant that were to sustain heavy injury. Any combatant that kills another has the medical costs deducted from his or her winnings. Sign ups for new combatants are not being accepted at this time, but will be soon after the colosseum’s completion…

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Istar Traits
Traits Available by tying your background into Istar!

Local

(Free Trait! Seriously, if you wrote a backstory for your character, and you’re looking at this list, you have this trait, because if you didn’t it wouldn’t make any sense.)
You know Istar well, as you should, as you’ve lived here for quite some time… You gain a +1 trait bonus to Knowledge (local), it is always a class skill for you, and you can use it untrained.

Good Samaritan

You grew up in Istar, maybe you were born here before or after Daedrin saved the town from hobgoblins. Regardless, the people of this town know you, and they remember you fondly. You’ve helped people in their day to day lives and they are thankful for it. You may not be a household name, but you’re as close as it gets. You gain a +2 trait bonus on diplomacy checks when dealing with the citizens of Istar.

Fearless

You have spent much time venturing to the Tower of High Sorcery. Something about it just drew you in. Although you have never mustered the courage to travel close enough to the gate, you are used to dealing with your own fears. You gain a +2 trait bonus on will saves against fear effects.

Passed the Trials

You have passed the trials to become an official member of the Mage’s Guild, and are bestowed all the perks that come with it. You gain +1 caster level to the spell of your choice, changeable every level.

Scarred by the Trials

You have passed the trials but did not walk away unscathed. Something went horribly wrong during your trial, and you almost did not survive it. Chose a physical stat (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution) and reduce your ability score by 1 point. The desperation for survival awakened power within you that you did not know was there before. You cast all spells of the school of your choice at 1 caster level higher.

Merchant Family

One or both of your parents were merchants that traded with the travlers who would come through Istar. As such you have picked up on a few of their tricks when it comes to bartering. Whenever you sell items you sell them at 10% above their normal sell value.

Stable Boy

You worked on one of the numerous farms on the outskirts of the city since you were a little child. They have been so thankful that they decided to give you a horse (or other appropriately sized riding animal) and gave you a place to stable it. You also gain a +1 trait bonus on Ride checks, and Ride is always a class skill for you.

Soldier Boy (Tell’em)

One of your parents (or both) were members of the City Guard. They taught you the ins and outs of basic fighting. This training improved your ability to recognize an enemy when you see one. You gain a +2 trait bonus to your initiative.

Student of the Light

You were pretty much raised in the cathedral. This is either literal, or figurative (you spent most of your time there) and listened to many of Varyn’s teachings. The light of Sarenrae fills you, whether you realize it or not. Whenever you cast a spell that heals hit point damage, you heal 1 point more (does not include spells that grant temporary hit points like Virtue).

If none of these traits appeal to you, have no fear! Simply contact me and we’ll see if we can come up with something more suited to you.

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Trouble on the Horizon

Bandits, monsters, and things going bump in the night… Who will rise up and save the City of Istar from the perils that face it?

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