The Search for Al Mudim

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Background
Al Mudim (al moo'DEEM) was once an artifact whose very name would strike fear into the hearts of mages and priests alike. Old even during the Shaping Wars (-4,212 Avard), the artifact was one of the most sought-after items of that entire era. The One, first among elementalists, Argunas, the Demon God, and many others sought to find the fabled artifact, and use it to their own ends. Just what Al Mudim did, or even looked like, was lost to the vagaries of time even before the Storm Wars (762 Avard).

The Shaping Wars lived up to its name, and the world itself was reshaped by the powers-that-be of that era. The Storm Wars further tore the lands asunder, and all clues to the location of Al Mudim have been lost, save one.

One language remaining on Gaeleth most closely approximates the language of Al Mudim's creators -- Al Fahiman. 'Al Mudim' translates literally to 'of the blood spinners' in the Al Fahiman tongue. A number of tomes in the great library to Galanus in Al Fahim make reference to Al Mudim, but none offers a clue as to what Al Mudim might be, or where to find it. The senior scholar in the library, Ye'amen al Sharral, discovered a curious referend to an item known as the 'Spin Stone' in the ancient scrolls of the library -- and clues to its location. Reading through prophecies hidden in ancient books of Brigain, and clues from the older texts of Galanus, when he was God of the Dead, Ye'amen thinks that the Spin Stone can unlock the location of Al Mudim.

There was once a map of ancient Gaeleth that pin-pointed the location of Al Mudim in exquisite detail. The map was made of stone and marble, malachite and corundum. Measuring fifteen feet across, it's turqoise flakes denoted ocean, and its sapphire gems showed lakes, it's topaz flakes were rivers. Emerald flakes and shards showed lush forests, and green dioptase were the jungles. Deep brown garnets showed mountains, and citrine dust were the deserts. In short, the map was a priceless work of art. The map was broken into three pieces, and then shrunk down to the size of a tiny mite, and then embedded inside a perfectly cut diamond. The three diamonds -- and the Spin Stone designed to find them -- were scattered to the four corners of the world. Whomever found the Spin Stone could find the diamond maps, and the diamond maps would, in turn, lead to Al Mudim.

Ye'amen al Sharral managed to piece that much together from the old tomes, but a full discription of the Spin Stone was missing -- or never made. Ye'amen's insights into Al Mudim languished for twenty years in the searing heat of the Gintala Desert. The port city of Aboris was a way-stop for many travelers, and many tomes flowed through the city on their way elsewhere, or on their way to Tanel and one of the largest of the libraries of Lul. Just recently, Ye'amen came across an older book written by the monks of Samis. The book detailed a place known as Shir Amanod, which had once been a vacation palace for the sultans of Al Fahim. When it lay abandoned for centuries, it was refurbished by the Church of Samis, and used as a monastery. The monks abandoned Shir Amanod during the War of the Undead because it was too remote to properly defend. Somehow, one of their tally books made it to Aboris -- and to Ye'amen al Sharral.

Illustrated in charcoal and ink, the book details a reserve stored beneath Shir Amanod, should the monks ever return to the monastery. The stores include raw timbers, crocks of dried food and water, and a small treasury with magical and enchanted items. The treasury was drawn in wonderous detail, to include a bracer of strange design. Ancient design. Ye'amen somehow made an intuitive leap -- he knows that the bracer is the fabled Spin Stone. Fourteen books written in ancient Desthariol described what the Stone Spinner could do, and how it worked -- but never what it was. The bracer might be a wild goose chase, but it is the first lead he has had in far too long.

Having searched for Al Mudim as a private hobby for so long, Ye'amen has acquired one of the three diamonds -- with which he can test the Spin Stone. Now all he needs is a willing band of mercenaries to accompany him on his quest to find Al Mudim -- and destroy it. Towards that end, he has procured five potions of geas, and a number of magical items, to outfit a small party.

Leaving his family in the care of the sheik, Ye'amen has set out to find a crew willing to take the potions of geas. Sailing first for Kur Maeth, and then for Teras, Ye'amen al Sharral hopes to find men of character that are willing to risk everything for the right price.

Unbeknownst to Ye'amen or the sheik, Argunas, the Demon God, is stirring. He will retake his quest to find Al Mudim. Xemitar, dread knight of Brigain and former servant of The One, has also learned of Ye'amen's quest. Watching and waiting from the shadows, the dread knight will stop at nothing to discover Al Mudim. Worse, both Argunas and Xemitar know what Al Mudim is, and what it is capable of -- and no one else.

Ye'amen al Sharral
Ye'amen is an older man nearing sixty. He wears a white and cream turban, with matching robes. About his waist is a large brown girdle of weathered leather, and his sandals look to be cut from the same beast. Ye'amen stands tall for one of his age, though his eyes have a permanent squint to them from many long hours reading by candle-light. His vision is remarkable at long distances, but he must wear fragile spectacles to see things close up nowadays. His iron gray beard flows down to his girdle, and his head is nearly bald, save for a pony-tailed fringe. His red-brown eyes carry quite a bit of intelligence in his weathered face.

Born to wealthy merchants, Ye'amen went to work for the Sheik of Garalus in Aboris when he was thirteen, working his way up through the ranks as a well-disciplined scholar. His hands are permanently ink-stained from his nearly four decades as a scribe, scholar, and diplomat of the Church of Galanus. He has travelled over a good deal of Gaeleth on dealings for the church, and acquired a small amount of wealth. Ye'amen has six sons and four daughters, among his two wives, and he treasures all of them greatly.

A seasoned traveller and experienced diplomat, Ye'amen has seen and done much in his years. Quiet and gentle, he never-the-less has a strength of purpose that often outstrips younger men. Being from Al Fahim, Ye'amen sees women as equals before the gods, but he feels that each has its own role -- and adventuring is a masculine role for the Al Fahimans. Ye'amen keeps many secrets -- some of them state and church level -- though he carries them well. Vigorous and powerful in his persona, Ye'amen is quite capable of defending himself from the usual bandits and back-alley cut-purses. He feels, though, that his quest to find and destroy Al Mudim will bring him into contact with things well beyond his abilities.

He cannot tell the church of this matter, for fear it will either pursue Al Mudim, or tell another god's church, so that it might pursue Al Mudim. Whatever it is, Ye'amen is convinced that Al Mudim is too powerful to continue to exist. Prophecies of Brigain hint that The One will resume his search for Al Mudim, and possibly discover it. The very fact that The One might return is enough to make the whole of the Inquisition worry -- for this reason, he has sought aid beyond the Inquisition, in Rakore.

Ye'amen al Sharral al Arak, male human Exp8/Nob2: CR 8; Size M (5 ft., 8 in. tall); HD 8d6+8 + 2d8+2; hp 53; Init +3 (+3 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (+3 Dex); Attack +8/+3 melee (quarterstaff, 1d6, crit20x2), or +10/+5 (+11/+6 w/in 30ft) ranged (dagger, 1d4, crit19-20x2, range incr 10ft); SV Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +14; AL LG; Str 10, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 16. Languages Spoken: Common, Al Fahiman, Desthariol. Skills and feats: Appraise +11, Balance +6.5, Concentration +3, Escape artist +6.5, Forgery +11, Gather Information +10, Handle animal +4.5, Hide +3, Knowledge +14, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (religion) +12, Listen +5, Move silently +3, Perform (magic tricks and non-magical prestidigitation) +6, Pick pocket +5, Ride +8, Scry +7, Spellcraft +13, Spot +10, Use magic device +5; Alertness, Iron will, Point blank shot, Skill focus (knowledge (religion)), Skill focus (knowledge). Possessions: Heward's handy haversack, 5 potions of geas, diamond map-pendant of Al Mudim (valued at 110,000gp), 7 potions of cure light wounds (50 gp), sea-sickness medicine, golden rings with inset gems (totalling 467gp in value), and one jewel-encrusted, curved dagger (worth 104gp).

Ye'amen's potions of geas are potent, special things that he has procured through his many years of work with the Sheik of Galanus. The geas he intends to lay upon whomever imbibes them is, "Work with me to find -- and then destroy -- the artifact known as Al Mudim."

Unfortunately for the stalwart scribe, he has sea-sickness horribly. Whenever he sets to sea, he must take his medicines to be even partly cognizant. It usually goes away with the first week or sailing, but can sometimes last the entire voyage.

Starting the Quest
Ye'amen has travelled thousands of miles from Aboris and Al Fahim, to reach Teras, Rakore. There, he hopes to find five individuals of high quality to aid him in his search for Al Mudim. A cautious study, and skilled at information gathering, Ye'amen is well-prepared to put together whatever kind of group he needs based off of what is available. He claims to be a wealthy Al Fahiman merchant in search of a long-lost, magical family heirloom, and is interviewing mercenaries for the position.

Claiming the title of Huzar, Ye'amen already has a carrack lined up to take him back to Aboris, through Kur Maeth, and then on to Chisin Island. The carrack, named The Green Maiden, is commanded by the slate captain Yoseph Komsoloph, originally of Vridara. Captain Komsoloph and his crew of twenty-five have been paid half in advance, and have a written contract with Ye'amen for the journey, plus transportation back to Aboris after a week on Chisin Island. The contract sold for nearly 2,000 golden Vridaran chits.

Masts: 2
Maneuverability: Fair
Maximum Speed: 22knts (223ft/rnd)
Cruising Speed: 15knts (152ft/rnd)
Minimum Crew: 20
Maximum Crew: 80
Night Ops: Yes
Cargo: 80 tonnes
Provisions: 50 tonnes
Sea Time: 8 weeks
Day Range: 207mi (414 w/ night ops)
Sea Range: 11,600mi (23,200mi w/ night ops)
Length: 60ft
Width: 20ft
Draw: 10ft
Arms and Armorment: Carracks have eight ballistae to each side, plus one swiveller each aft and forward.
Special Notes: The Green Maiden has twin secret compartments that can carry twenty tonnes worth of hidden goods, built into the sides of the hull along the water line.

Huzar Ye'amen al Sharral al Arak draws plenty of attention, and only he seems to know why he turns away certain mercenaries out-right, and tells others that he will get back with them. In fact, Ye'amen is being very shrewd, searching body language and words for individuals who might be willing to join his crusade to rid the world of Al Fahim, even if the potion of geas fails.

The huzar also draws the attention of a gang of thieves in Teras. Young humans, they hope that picking Ye'amen's pockets -- or perhaps relieving him of his jewel-encrusted dagger and rings -- will make them rich enough to... They haven't thought that part out, yet, but they hope to get rich quick off of the huzar, if they can catch him in a back alley. Greedy enough to try it alone, they could become quite violent as a gang.

Nasser, male human Rog1: CR 1; Size M (5 ft., 11 in. tall); HD 1d6; hp 6; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 10; Attack +0 melee (dagger, 1d4, crit20x2), or +0 (+1 w/in 30ft) ranged (dagger, 1c4, crit 20x2); SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +0; AL NE; Str 10, Dex 11, Con 11, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 11. Languages Spoken: Common. Skills and feats: Appraise +4, Forgery +4, Handle animal +2, Hide +0, Innuendo +2, Intuit direction +4, Jump +2, Listen +0, Move silently +0, Perform +4, Sense motive +4, Spot +4, Tumble +4; Combat reflexes, Point blank shot. Possessions: nothing.

Steinkel, male human Rog1: CR 1; Size M (5 ft., 7 in. tall); HD 1d6; hp 6; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 10; Attack +0 melee (dagger, 1d4, crit20x2), or +0 ranged (dagger, 1c4, crit 20x2); SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +0; AL NE; Str 11, Dex 11, Con 11, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 10. Languages Spoken: Common. Skills and feats: Balance +4, Forgery +4, Hide +0, Innuendo +4, Intimidate +4, Listen +2, Move silently +4, Open lock +4, Pick pocket +4, Profession +4, Spot +2, Swim +4; Alertness, Run. Possessions: nothing.

Gorm, male human Rog1: CR 1; Size M (5 ft., 7 in. tall); HD 1d6; hp 6; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 10; Attack +0 melee (dagger, 1d4, crit20x2), or +0 (+1 w/in 30ft) ranged (dagger, 1c4, crit 20x2); SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +0; AL NE; Str 10, Dex 11, Con 11, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 10. Languages Spoken: Common. Skills and feats: Balance +2, Climb +2, Diplomacy +4, Escape artist +2, Hide +4, Intuit direction +4, Jump +4, Listen +0, Move silently +0, Profession +4, Search +2, Sense motive +4, Spot +0, Swim +4; Point blank shot, Precise shot. Possessions: nothing.

Glum, male human Rog1: CR 1; Size M (5 ft., 8 in. tall); HD 1d6; hp 6; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 10; Attack -2/-4 melee (daggers, 1d4, crit20x2), or +0 ranged (daggers, 1c4, crit 20x2); SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +0; AL NE; Str 10, Dex 11, Con 11, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 10. Languages Spoken: Common. Skills and feats: Bluff +4, Craft +4, Diplomacy +4, Disable device +4, Escape artist +4, Hide +0, Intuit direction +4, Listen +2, Move silently +0, Pick pocket +4, Profession +2, Sense motive +2, Spot +2, Swim +4; Alertness, Two-weapon fighting. Possessions: 1sp.

Once Ye'amen has a small group of mercenaries he's willing to bind to his quest, he'll try to set sail as soon as the next tide permits, telling them to meet him at The Green Maiden at dawn. Once aboard, he'll use the potion on each of them, individually, below-decks and out of sight of Captain Komsoloph and his crew.

The Green Maiden should have no difficulties making it to Kur Maeth, though a bad storm will hit her in the Straits of Sloph, threatening to run her into the rocks the whole voyage. Once clear of the straits, it should be smooth sailing to Aboris, and from there, to Chisin Island.

Shir Amanod
Shir Amanod is a strong mountain fortress on the northern end of Chisin Island, a few hundred miles south of Al Fahim. Once used as a royal vacation spot, it proved too expensive to maintain on the remote and unsettled island -- an island reknowned for its fierce beasts and nasty creatures. The Church of Samis took over the buildings some centuries later, and refurbished them as a monastery behind the stout walls of the fortress. Located half-way up one of the mountains of the Tinibrana cluster, the narrow path to the monastery leads down to some old stone jetties that served as a primitive port.

The mountains themselves are rather scrubby, commanding an excellent view of the Aboriac Sea and the Al Fahiman straights. The mountainsides provide scant forage for rabbits, goats, mice, and the like. Several hawks have made the abandoned monastery their home, as well as a pack of wolves.

The fortress mainly consists of four towers abutting one another, each crafted of enormous stones that were precisely fit together. The Al Fahiman royalty had several decades in which to build the estate, and they did so with good craftsmanship. Motifs of scorpions, coyotes, spiders, and other desert animals are common in the stone interior. Massive wooden beams support much of the weight of the towers, and at one time, wooden causeways linked the upper parts of the towers. The causeways were damaged during the War of the Undead, and some have fallen.

The towers themselves are enclosed by a twenty foot tall wall of massive stone blocks, and a sheer cliff side at its back. The heavy wooden gates of the wall have fallen in, and show signs of scorch marks on the outside, from where the wall was breached by fire. The walls are otherwise intact.

Several cellars interlock with catacombs for the dead, beneath the towers. The catacombs also contain an underground stream that surfaces briefly.

Near the underground stream is a priest of Brigain gone made with Prophecy. Artan Coalson was given a glimpse of the power of Al Mudim, and has several hints for Ye'amen. Unfortunately, his madness has rooted him to the spot, and he will likely kill Ye'amen out of hunger. The priest has turned cannibalistic, eating anything or anyone that ventures near enough to the spring. Piles of bones from wolves, bears, and even humans surrounds the gaunt man of forty-five years. His slate contenance is pasty white from too long underground, and the whites of his eyes can clearly be seen in any light. His holy amulet -- a lightning bolt in alabaster-- remains around his neck, but he wears no other clothing. Coalson himself gives off a faint blue glow from his bioelectric field -- as a Brilathe of Brigain.

Artan Coalson, male human Clr7/Brilathe2: CR 9; Size M (5 ft., 6 in. tall); HD 7d8+7 + 2d8+2; hp 57; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 11 (+1 Dex); Attack +8/+3 melee, or +7/+2 ranged; SV Fort +9, Ref +3, Will +15; AL CN; Str 14, Dex 13, Con 13, Int 5, Wis 20, Cha 16. Languages Spoken: Common, Druidic. Skills and feats: Appraise +0, Concentration +11, Diplomacy +7, Hide +1, Knowledge (arcana) +3, Listen +5, Move silently +1, Spot +5; Combat reflexes, Extra turning, Extra turning, Iron will, Two-weapon fighting. Possessions: necklace of an alabaster lightning bolt (valued at 35gp). Cleric Domains: Destruction, Travel. Cleric Spells Per Day: 6/6+1/5+1/4+1/3+1/2+1. Brigain's Wrath: 2d6 lightning bolt, twice per day.

Ye'amen's death will seal the party in their quest without guidance, and with only his travel book as a guide -- a travel book written in the event of his prophecied death at the hands of the mad priest.

The Catacombs
The hidden catacombs are located near the underground stream. Within them are the storage bunkers that contain stone-working tools, raw lumber, bolts of cloth, travel rations, gourds of fresh water, and more. Everything is heavily trapped with silken cords, tensioned to poisoned barbs and blades (Search vs DC 16, Disarm Traps vs DC 14). The poison used to be stronger, but time has decayed it into a mild paralytic (1d4 points of damage, and Fort save vs DC 14 or be paralyzed for 1d4 marks).

Within the hidden catacombs, the underground river thunders, making conversation difficult (-5 penalty to Listen checks). The walls are slick with moisture, and nearly impossible to climb (DC 24).

General Equipment: Cisterns of water, 4 crates with 24 glass flasks of aged bourbon (worth 25gp per flask) each, casks of bitter wine, stacks of building-grade lumber, 600 wax-sealed dry rations (worth 1sp each), one chest of various weapons (conventional swords, axes, and daggers in various states of repair), scrolls and books sealed in chests -- and already eaten through by bookworms and moths, 4 chests with 8 bolts of black wool (worth 15sp per bolt) each, and 4 chests with 8 bolts of black cotton (worth 25 sp per bolt) each, and 4 chests of black silk (worth 20 gp per bolt) each.

In the back of the catacombs, where the noise from the river is so loud that conversation can barely be heard (-10 penalty to Listen checks), there is a hidden chamber (Spot check vs DC 18). The chamber has a weakened bottom, so that if too many people stand upon it, the bottom will collapse and throw all the contents -- and the people -- into the underground river. It's a good ways to the ocean, where the river opens up, and would require nearly ten rounds of breath-holding to complete. Of course, the items in the chamber would be probably be lost forever. If the load remains light in the chamber (250lb max), then the contents are free for the picking -- after the traps are disarmed, of course.

Hidden Compartment: the Spin Stone, two light rings, potion of cat's grace (300 gp) [scarlet-colored, fruity odor/taste, watery, layered appearance], small steel shield +1 (1,159 gp), scroll of Hold Person (l2, cl3), scroll of Chill Metal (l2, cl3), scroll of Spiritual Weapon (l2, cl3) and bracers of armor (+2) (4,000 gp). There is also a chest with 5 sacks of gold (20gp each), 5 sacks of silver (20sp each), and 1 sack of assorted gems (worth approximately 1,000gp).

The Spin Stone -- known in Al Fahiman as Gibbel En -- is a bracer made of some ever-burnished bronze. The bracer appears to be made of three bands of bronze, and there are small tic marks along the edges of the bands that border the inside. When worn and held up level to the ground, the Al Fahiman phrase of, "Gibbel En svath," activates the Spin Stone, and the middle band begins to spin -- quite rapidly at first, but gradually slowing, until it stops. As the wearer turns about, forearm still level with the ground, the middle band spins just a bit, indicating how many degrees off of direct the forearm is held. If the forearem is turned the other direction, the band spins in the opposite direction, until 180 degrees from the direction of the nearest map-diamond for Al Mudim. The middle band will immediately reverse direction until the tic marks are identical to however many degrees off the forearm is pointing, and then continue turning slowly as the wearer turns. Interpretting the tic marks takes practice, but becomes second-nature. Gibbel En can only track the map-diamonds of Al Mudim if it is within 142 miles of one; outside of this radius, the Spin Stone remains lifeless when the command phrase is used. "Gibbel En shuk," deactivates the Spin Stone. Both command phrases are inscribed on the inside of the bracer.

Unknown to the party -- or even Ye'amen -- one of the pirates has stolen the map-diamond that Ye'amen wore about his neck. In all his sea-sickness, one of the more corrupt of Captain Komsoloph's men took the old man's diamond for himself. If the party uses the Spin Stone before they part ways with the ship, then they may find it on one of the sailors. Captain Komsoloph would have the man keel-hauled, if the party does not fix the situation themselves.

Sigvaldi: male human Rog1; CR 1; Size M (5 ft., 10 in. tall); HD 1d6; hp 6; Init +3 (+3 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (+3 Dex); Attack +0 melee (fists, 1d2, crit20x2), or +3 ranged (daggers, 1d4, crit20x2, range incr 10ft); SV Fort +0, Ref +5, Will +1; AL N; Str 11, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 11. Languages Spoken: Common. Skills and feats: Balance +5, Escape artist +5, Hide +7, Innuendo +5, Jump +4, Listen +3, Move silently +7, Profession (Sailor) +5, Search +4, Spot +5, Use magic device +2, Use rope +7; Alertness, Combat reflexes. Possession: diamond map-pendant of Al Mudim.

The Search Continued... or Back to the Campaign



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