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Prepared!: The Forgotten Assistant

Alchemist SymbolIn great laughter, wonder, loss, and grief it is there—water at the corner of eye.

—Archdruid Naqua of Tellwood

Dungeon delvers discover that an abandoned alchemist’s lab has one remaining assistant in today’s elementally imbued scene.

The Forgotten Assistant

Your footsteps echo off the crude stone walls as you proceed down the corridor. Here and there strange fungus grows, and everywhere you hear the persistent drip of water striking stone. Rounding a corner, you find the floor littered with broken bits of clay and glass. Ahead, at the edge of your vision, a wooden door stands slightly ajar along the right-hand wall. A faint bubbling noise can be heard emanating from the room beyond.

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Howling Tower: A Need for Speed

Idylls of the King“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in.”

―Napoléon Bonaparte

A combat turn in most RPGs represents 5 to 10 seconds. If you spend much more time than that deciding what to do on your turn, you’re wasting time.

That doesn’t mean your turn can’t take more than 10 seconds. It means you should answer the basic question, “what am I going to do this turn?,” in 10 seconds or less. Figuring out specifically how your character performs the chosen action within the allowances and restrictions of the rules can take substantially longer than that, especially if a fancy maneuver, an unusual weapon, or a complex magic spell is involved. But the basic question—”What am I going to do this turn?”—should be made quickly.

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Grand Duchy: Adulterine Castles of the North

Claude Gellee - The Enchanted CastleA persistent, even nagging, feature of the Imperatrix’s reign has been the presence of adulterine castles, fortresses without royal license or outside the crown’s control. Across the great northern kingdom are scattered hundreds of castles, fortresses, and towers. These adulterine strongholds are something of an incongruity in a kingdom that is otherwise stable and secure.

Ancient Ruins

A few of these castles are ruins of the Great Retreat and the Mage Wars, imposing relics of a darker age, all thought to house things sinister and wicked. Many of these sites also feature a secondary fortification—a counter-castle erected outside bow range by opposing forces to establish a competing base or as a platform to launch siege attacks.

Lost and Forgotten Baronies

Far more common, though, are freestanding bulwarks that became forgotten and abandoned in the constant shifting and rearranging of Dornig fiefdoms and lesser holdings, all part of the land’s changing political landscape.

While these more numerous strongholds may lack the dark lore of their older brethren, they also have reputations as haunted places or serve as lairs for the fell races, bandits, and outcast sorcerers.

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Prepared!: The Ever-Burning Shrine

Fires of creation, fire in the soul, a fiery heart—why do we so often evoke flame when we speak of the essential?

—Archdruid Naqua of Tellwood

Travelers meet and discover the truth behind an unending blaze in today’s elementally imbued scene.

The Ever-Burning Shrine

Recent rains have made the road muddy and pitted. Traveling along it is a chore, and the gloomy mist settling over the area does little to ameliorate the situation. Further up the road, you see a column of smoke rising into the clouds. As you draw nearer, you hear the sounds of a crowd and, turning a bend, you discover a strange scene. A dozen local farmers and travelers have gathered in the mud and are watching fire consume a roadside shrine. “It’s been like this for three days,” says one oafish looking fellow. “Ain’t natural—what’s left to burn?” asks a severe woman dressed in an apron.

The shrine consists of three simple columns of stacked stones holding aloft a shallow bronze brazier. The charred remains of wooden roof lay smoldering on the ground. The flame is centered in the brazier; the heat makes it uncomfortable to approach closely. For a moment you think you see a face in the flames before it disappears into the smoke.

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