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Topics - Stranger

#1
Correspondence / Clementine Hill
December 20, 2023, 07:33:03 AM
Herald on the Hill,

While I certainly do not object to reporting the statements of the Priory as given, I do not appreciate how you have characterized them. I am puzzled that you would open with "a confession by the Astronomers" and then follow up exclusively with quotes by Acolytes and Sisters.

Quote from: Loops on December 20, 2023, 06:59:05 AMHowever, despite the benevolence of the Sisterhood, a confession by the Astronomers leaves a dark shadow in its wake.

No such "confession" features in the handbill. It is immediately followed by a comment from Imizael Volkov.

I would ask that the situation be appositely described as allegation and accounts presented by the Cinquefoil Rose, rather than some admission of fault or folly in the part of the Astronomers.

Apothar Cosine Mevura
#2
Correspondence / Letter to Hamdan al-Hamdan
December 08, 2023, 07:48:37 AM
Subat 7th,

I am told there is a reward for this.

REDACTED

Best regards,

Apothar Cosine Mevura
#3
Suggestions / Soup Kitchen
December 07, 2023, 08:31:18 PM
I believe that the setting would benefit from a soup kitchen run by the White League or by the Scribes, distributing a disgusting but nutritious worm stew for 1gp.

Hasheema's Hope, the League of White office, the Drifter's Stockade, the Tablet, or similar locations with a theme of poverty or catering to the Voiceless masses would be perfect places for this vendor.
#4
For the benefit of posterity, and in reverence to Izdu, Father of Civilization, presented herein is a record of notable events for each day of the Imperial Year 7787. As the author only arrived in Ephia's Well during the month of Iyar, this shall necessarily exclude the month of Nisah and any happenings therein.

It is my sincere hope that this chronicle shall go on to serve the public good, illuminating a path into the future with the lantern light of the past.

If you wish to bring forward any disputes, propose any corrections, or nominate any additions, you are encouraged to address a letter to me at the Tower of Q'tolip, and I would be glad to correspond with you.

May wisdom guide our hands,

Cosine Mevura
#5
Correspondence / Letters to Estellise
November 09, 2023, 02:07:44 AM
Subat 8th, 7787 IY,

The Citadel has been quiet without you to keep me in trouble. Worse, it has been lonely. Even when I am surrounded by crowds or among familiar faces, I feel empty, uneasy, isolated. My heart has been aloof from the duties in front of me. I go through the motions. But I don't go with them. There is no feeling, no excitement. Even a long, soaring cruise into the gathering dusk has awakens nothing but a dreary impatience to return to bed.

I pressured Marcellus to purchase the doll that he promised you. I'll hold onto it until you return.

The Janissaries got me some of the Priory's brewing byproduct for you to study. And they'll be going back down in the depths with us soon, as we search for the analysis module.

Your apprentice,

x = a / b
#6
Kanon Hray 21, 7787

Janissaries,

It has been repeatedly asserted by the Scribes that License Administrator Maddicus Abalom engaged in reckless malfeasance throughout his custody of the Archaeology License. No records exist of the licenses he sold and, if such records did exist, they have seemingly disappeared or have been destroyed. Further, when authority over the Archaeology License was transferred to care of the Astronomers, it is broadly known that Maddicus continued to sell as many of these licenses as possible (both at his desk and in remote locations under the pseudonym "L") for weeks after the fact.

We need your help repossessing these licenses. We need you to search various archaeologists and destroy their revoked licenses. We will provide a list of valid licenses that will be excepted from this process.

Every time an archaeological application has been approved, we will add it to this list.

Thank you,

Apothar Cosine Mevura
Astronomer of Q'tolip
#7
Suggestions / New Damage Types
October 11, 2023, 08:46:41 PM
      This is a comprehensive list of suggestions where the new damage types can be implemented in various spells, attacks, and creatures in-game. Everyone is more than encouraged to contribute ideas.


Ballistic
  • Barbarian Damage Immunity: Should include Ballistic.
  • Barbarian Perks: Gladiator, Huscarl, and Nomad perks should alter Ballistic immunity.
  • Sorcerer Perks: Bouldermancer should gain Ballistic immunity. Scion should gain Ballistic resistance. Hematologist should gain Ballistic immunity.
  • Fighter Perks: Man-at-Arms, Executioner, and Dual-wielder perks should also gain Ballistic immunity. Man-at-arms activated feature should also include Ballistic.
  • Rogue Perks: Thugs should gain Ballistic resistance.
  • Entropic Shield: Should also grant 20% immunity to Ballistic damage.
  • Stoneskin: Resistance should include Ballistic damage.

Poison
  • Beings who are immune to poison should be immune to Poison damage.
  • The poisoned status could inflict Poison damage every round. 1d6?
  • Healing Sting: Should be changed from Negative damage to Poison damage.
  • Quillfire: Should be changed from Piercing damage to Poison damage.
  • Cloudkill: Should be changed from Acid damage to Poison damage.

Bleed
  • Beings who are immune to critical hits/sneak attacks should be immune to Bleed damage.
  • Dying: Should be changed from Magic damage to Bleed damage.
  • Resting: Automatic HP adjustment on canceled rest should be changed from Magic damage to Bleed damage
  • EFUSL: Automatic HP adjustment on login should be changed from Magic damage to Bleed damage
  • Wounding: Should be changed from Physical damage to Bleed damage.
  • Drowning: Should be changed from Magic damage to Bleed damage.
  • Executioner Fighter Perk: Level 8 bonus should be changed from Slashing damage to Bleed damage.
  • Keen Edge: Could grant +1 Bleed damage.
  • Drown (Spell): Should be changed from Magic damage to Bleed damage.
  • Extract Water Elemental: Should be changed from Magic damage to Bleed damage.

Astral
  • Starblight: Should be changed from Magic to Astral damage.
  • Stellar Blade: Should be changed from Magic to Astral damage.
  • Burst of Radiance: Should be changed from Magic to Astral damage.
  • Star Shard: Should be changed from Magic to Astral damage.
  • Lunar Bolt: Should be changed from Magic to Astral damage.
  • Solar Circle: Should be changed from Magic to Astral damage.

Psychic
  • All summoned creatures in the Astral theme should have their bonus Magic damage and bonus Sonic damage replaced with Psychic damage.
  • Sorcerer Perks: Nightmare should be changed from Magic to Psychic damage.
  • Curse Song: Should be changed from Sonic to Psychic damage.
  • Vicious Mockery: Should be changed from Sonic to Psychic damage.
  • Wounding Whispers: Should be changed from Sonic to Psychic damage, especially the GSF Evocation benefit.
  • Clarity: Could provide absorption against Psychic damage, akin to Protection from Elements, ending early if overwhelmed.
  • Illykur's Mantle: Should also provide 10/- Psychic damage resistance.
  • Phantasmal Killer: Should be changed from Magic damage to Psychic damage, for both partial effect and death effect.
  • Mind Fog: Should inflict vulnerability to Psychic damage on a failed save.
  • Feeblemind: Death effect should be changed from Magic damage to Psychic damage.
  • Lesser Mind Blank: Could provide absorption against Psychic damage, akin to Energy Buffer, ending early if overwhelmed.
  • Mind Blank: Should provide immunity to Psychic damage, akin to Negative Energy Protection.

Crushing
  • Failed Climbing Checks: Should be changed from Magic damage to Crushing damage.
  • Failed Boulder Lift: Should be changed from Bludgeoning damage to Crushing damage.
  • Gust of Wind: The GSF Evocation benefit should be changed from Magic damage to Crushing damage.
  • Heart Clutch: Should be changed from Negative damage to Crushing damage.
  • Evard's Black Tentacles: Would make sense, but would be massively overpowered due to Crushing damage penetrating immunities.
  • Future's Pain: Should be changed from Bludgeoning damage to Crushing damage.
  • Gravity: Should be changed from Magic damage to Crushing damage.
  • Collapsing Void: Should be changed from Bludgeoning damage to Crushing damage.

Earth
  • Earth elementals should have On Hit: Earth Damage, akin to the damage bonuses of other elemental types. This might require a proportionate adjustment of other stats for balance.
  • Djinn of Earth and Flesh should have their Acid damage replaced with Earth damage, where relevant.
  • Endure Elements/Resist Elements/Protection from Elements/Energy Buffer: Should protect against Earth damage, like it does other elemental effects.
  • Sand Splash: Should be changed from Piercing damage to Earth damage.
  • Sand Pillar: Should be changed from Piercing damage to Earth damage.
  • Call Lightning: Cavern effect should be changed from Bludgeoning damage to Earth damage.
  • Cone of Stone: Should be changed from Bludgeoning damage to Earth damage.
  • Sand Storm: Should be changed from Piercing damage to Earth damage.
  • Earthquake: Should be changed from Bludgeoning damage to Earth damage.

Everything
  • Commander Rogue Perk: 1% damage immunity should include Ballistic, Poison, Psychic, Crushing, and Earth. Intentionally not including Bleed and Astral.
  • Glass Doppelganger: Should be resistant to Psychic, Poison, Bleed, Earth, and Ballistic, but vulnerable to Crushing damage.
#8
Suggestions / Scroll Homogenization
September 28, 2023, 07:36:02 PM
I've encountered many scrolls in the module that are the exact same spell but don't stack.

It would be distinctly helpful if scrolls could be homogenized in the same way that potions are.
#9
Suggestions / Combining Wands
September 28, 2023, 07:32:34 PM
Throughout the module, there are many "stub" wands with only a handful of charges. In previous chapters, these were fun little trinkets. But the current limit on wands in the inventory makes it very punishing to hold onto these stubs. It would be a major quality-of-life improvement if we were able to combine charges of the same spell, perhaps up to a total of 30 charges, draining the uses of one wand to fill up another.

This would make it easier to replace old, nearly-spent wands with fresh purchases.

This would create a market for stub wands collected from low-level quests and from trash drops.

This would should make the wand limit itself a more interesting dilemma for resource management, as each wand slot becomes more valuable.
#10
Correspondence / Sergeant Radislav Ludovich
September 10, 2023, 05:44:46 PM
One of our Ashfolk insisted on clarifying the exact terms of the document we filed for the Zenithar's satisfaction. Rather than put you through the ordeal of another lengthy, meticulous scribing session, I ordered him to prepare the final contract himself, and have attached it to this letter.

Quote from: Immunity ContractSolemnly agreed before the eyes of the Wroth, the Janissaries of the Fourth Legion formally grant immunity and protection to the Astronomers of Q'tolip against any form of legal procedure, punishment, or prosecution, against any extralegal retribution, and against any form of libel or slander, regarding to the following concerns:

  • All events that transpired during the Qdim 19th Incident, as well as any similar expeditions into the depths below Ephia's Well (such as the upcoming joint expeditions of the Astronomers and Janissaries).

  • All events that pertain to the research, construction, targeting, and activation of the magical artillery commissioned by the government of Ephia's Well (such as "the Gravity Slingshot" ordered by Legate Marcellus Saenus).

This immunity is conditional and predicated on the Astronomers of Q'tolip being a primary participant in the neutralization, destruction, capture, or containment of a terrible threat which currently plagues Ephia's Well, colloquially known as "the Gutter Beast," or as "the Tormented," or as a "Devil of Thirst." Upon the success of an operation against this creature, the conditions of this contract will come into effect.

This should match up with the particular boundaries of the agreement you sought to make with us.

Sign, keep a copy of your records, and send it back to us.

Apothar Mevura
#11
Suggestions / Doorbell
September 05, 2023, 06:37:53 PM
The exterior/interior doors in player housing properties aren't connected and don't allow a visitor to "knock." Some properties are also large or separated enough that a knock wouldn't be heard anyway. I think that it would be a good, useful feature for homeowners to have some kind of bell system attached to their property signs, that alerts the owner to a potential guest trying to reach them.

This would have a secondary benefit of facilitating meetings with homeowners, which would then presumably happen inside the pertinent home.
#12
Suggestions / Spell Recovery
August 29, 2023, 05:10:10 PM
I propose a gradual spell recovery script. In addition to regaining all spell slots on rest, I think it would be interesting for spellcasters (and reduce the feeling of helplessness on long journeys) to regain spells over time.

I'd suggest for this to be conservative, a long interval timer that refreshes a single expended spell slot each time it "ticks," up to the unmodified capacity of that character's class levels or whatever limit is convenient to script; it could just be a flat maximum of "one" recovered spell, for all it matters, use it or lose it.

Each spell level should have its own concurrent timer. This script could refresh a level one spell slot after 15 minutes, a single level two spell slot after 30 minutes, a level three spell slot after 45 minutes, a level four spell slot after 60 minutes, etc.
#13
Suggestions / Crafter's Insight: Engineering
August 14, 2023, 10:12:30 PM
I think that the Crafter's Insight spell should also provide a bonus to Engineering.
#14
Correspondence / Legate Zaniah Almirah
June 08, 2023, 07:30:08 AM
Honored and Venerable Legate,

The Zenithar Council has punctually reviewed your potential commissions. They are, as ever, pleased to be of service to the executive leadership of Ephia's Well.

Shade for the Tablet
  • It appears that I did, indeed, guess the correct number of pylons required for the expansion. 50,000dr will be sufficient to fund the project. However, the Zenithars would like to remind you that the independent spirit of the Tablet remains a major political obstacle; they will view your gift as a trespass upon their autonomy. Any casualties they suffer from the Ash Storms are considered a fair price to pay for their liberty; they do not want to live in our shadow, they do not want to live beneath our Shade. It will be up to you to convince them to change their minds.
Airship Commerce
  • This project has been judged infeasible at this time. We currently cannot fulfill your requirements, for any amount of money. There are not enough engineering Apothars adequately rated to sustain a gravitational barge of such long range and rigorous activity. Unless the Astronomers expand significantly, we cannot help you achieve your stated goal.
Anti-Teleportation Wards
  • This can be enacted immediately. 10,000dr per region.
Please feel encouraged to reach out with any other developments you might like us to effect on your behalf. It would be our distinct honor to help realize your vision for Ephia's Well.

Faithfully,
Apothar Cosine Mevura
#15
Rennik,

I've consulted with Zenithar Gaius Abael, one of our calmest and wisest archmages, going over my actions in contrite detail. He has concluded that the charges against me are "absurd," that the declared components of your plan are a "short-sighted" folly that places you as the catspaw of Sol Auk (who is himself decidedly toxic to the interests of the Sultan), and that he does not look forward to the "particularly tedious interruption to academia" that will arise if you continue to advance (intentionally or not) that Stonefolk's naked thirst to foment civil war. You should be more wary than you are of finding yourself on his side in this, even if it is what you say: a self-driven initiative.

For my part, I continue to reckon with myself.

I have found myself particularly haunted by the battle. When my colleague, Apothar Azimi, returned to her body, she screamed at me about how it was all my fault, yelling about how Lojir and Pirouette were never coming back, because I didn't join them, because I wasn't there. I know that there was nothing I could do. I know that I was prevented from pursuing her. But I know that it was traumatic experience. Their souls suffered the touch of unspeakable horror, and where was I to protect them? Worse still, I have begun to learn sickening things about the fate of my apprentice, twisting the knife of regret. I do not know why they did not tell me sooner. I do not know if it would be better if they did.

Wearing me down in a different way, some in this Tower vocally believe that I was wasting my time trying to rebuild the Purple League, that I was naive to think that its Voices would ever truly accept an Astronomer of Q'tolip as one of them, let alone as their candidate. It is true that I found Crown Princess Faziima to be an inspiring presence, welcoming, gracious even, that it was Apothars of all possible people who were invited to the coveted privilege of the Ecstatic Terrace. However, it is equally true that Rashid al-Rashid is far from an exception in the Purple electorate, that there are many who dream of a world without us, or who have already decided that reconciliation is impossible.

And it remains true that, beneath my outrage at perceived treachery, I do want more vigilance in matters of djinn. It is such an emotionally confused thing to be attacked on the very ground I normally advocate for. Of course, it is preposterous to be charged with treason on such a thing. Of course, there is no proven harm or risk. But of course, why shouldn't we want to be extra sure, just in case? If you had come upon it with another tactic, an explicit demand rather than a politicized trap, I would have been in your corner. Even now, I find myself stressed over fighting a cautionary premise, but my only alternative seems to be to allow a corrupt logic to prevail over the rule of law. It unbecomes a servant of Izdu to leave a tainted jurisprudence unchallenged.

Reflecting on our conversation, I find myself parroting your own words. Are you really going to judge these individuals on what they might do? You had a pact-marked brooker in your hands and you let him walk. Meanwhile, there's no direct proof at all that any of these targets have been corrupted, but you are still going after them. Because they might win the election? And might do something untoward with their position? Is there justice is that? Could you look the Wroth in the eye and say that your actions were righteous?

There is already someone misusing the title of Legate to hurt Ephia's Well.

And if you have your way, there will be even less to stop him.

Regardless of what you choose to do, my attention in the near future will be preoccupied by my work as an Astronomer. There is a Great Storm currently passing near the Rampart Nusrum and it needs to be monitored closely; it is unlikely to diverge toward Ephia's Well, but there is no reason to take chances with that. Let us hope it doesn't spur the Thousand Clans to do anything foolish.

M.v.
#16
Maribeh 8th, 7787,

I've spoken to my colleagues at length. It was about as productive as our own conversation. We seem to agree that the air between our organizations has become too poisoned to entrust to you something as sensitive as the topic I alluded to. Although I yet believe it is important to share with you, for the security of Ephia's Well, there is a reticence among the Astronomers, an anticipation that the scarabs will immediately burn us if we entrust any vulnerable details. That our work will be sabotaged. That we might lose human assets, traced from their reports, when the next tide rolls in and rinses away whatever bridges we've built between our sand castles.

In particular, there seems to be a surprising unanimity in negative expectations regarding  the Janissary I named. And there are not any soldiers that have distinguished themselves as particularly trustworthy. There's only you, and our relationship with you is strained and complicated at the best of times.

If you have a suggestion for putting old hatches to rest, I will hear you out. Because I am more concerned about this problem than I am angry with your recent decision.

But I do not see a way forward at this time.

M.v
#17
Suggestions / Faction Accounts
February 28, 2023, 06:34:43 PM
Are you able to make current financial reserves for each faction viewable in their quartermaster area, either by speaking with the NPC or interacting with a special book placeable?

I think this will help motivate faction members to keep their reserves high, to be mindful who and how much they recruit, and otherwise engage with the political struggle for resources. This will be especially true if there is an in-game description explaining that faction wages come from this finite reserve. Additionally, I believe that the Astronomers should have a deposit for academic donations and private grants, that is to say, a direct line to bring contributions back to the faction war chest.

Any further analysis on recent expenditures, such as wages, research, equipment, etc, would also be interesting to note. But that might be too much trouble to implement, and possibly not worth the time investment.

It might also be interesting for there to be lists of prospective funding goals that further faction interests (e.g. long-term, non-urgent plot investments) if there's enough money to spend on such things. Off-map outposts. Distant expeditions. Debt payments. Building repairs. Reinforcements from Baz'eel. More scouting parties for the Chalice. Redundant mechanisms for the Shade. Et cetera.
#18
Correspondence / To the Janissaries
February 23, 2023, 05:57:05 PM
Exemplary Janissaries of the 4th Legion,

I have been made aware, now by a shocking number of independent sources, that you have targeted me in some sort of personally motivated investigation. I have been told by many of these contributors that you intend to act "soon." This is all very concerning, of course, as we had known such a cordial relationship as colleagues and contemporaries; I would hate to see those bridges burned by a rash, emotional decision.

Through a few well-placed gifts, I have reviewed your case files. I am much concerned by what I have seen; concerned by how humiliating it would be for you to raise charges against a fellow servant of a Sultan and have every single claim dismissed. The damage to the reputation of the Janissaries would be bleak indeed. Could the public still trust the Misfortune to protect us?  Should state funds continue to support the garrison? Is it time for the Cinquefoil Rose to take a greater role in maintaining order? All questions that, as a loyal reporter of truth and justice, I would become duty-bound to raise in the Empty Gallows newspaper. And as a faithful subject of His Sublime Grace, I would deeply mourn the emergent need for such reporting.

Certainly, I do not need to state the far-reaching consequences of marring the Palatial Pyramid with a swarm of soldiers or a public arrest; particularly not one thinly justified by the normal business of the Scribes! It is a vast, necessary bureaucracy that runs our Citadel. A pall of regret would hang for months, perhaps years, over any action that leaves its thousand Scribes hesitant to interact with the Fourth Legion.

And then there's the timely return of Constantine Diakos! Such a boon to our settlement! Such an eminent statesman! Such an icon of wisdom! How wonderful that he has come back to us! Don't you think so? I certainly do.

Are you very sure that you want to do this?

Are you very sure that raising hollow, empty charges is worth the fresh tides of bad luck which would surely follow?

If you are, then I suppose I'll see you in court. I feel quite prepared to meet you there.

Humbly yours,
Shane Gallows

Fully Voiced Citizen
Scribe of the Sublime Gardens
Advocate in the Halls of Jurisprudence
License Administrator for the Palatial Pyramid
Editor-in-Chief to the Empty Gallows Printing Press
Liaison with the Political Leagues of Ephia's Well
... and a Perfectly, Distinctly Innocent Man
#19
Hey there, town. It's Shane Gallows, man of many hats! In this time of tragedy and uncertainty, I'd like to draw attention to a good friend of mine: Hadrian Berengarde, a soldier's soldier, a man committed to the Citadel, who has his heart set dearly on becoming a Janissary. I think we could all use more Janissaries we can count on, to help restore the people's faith in our local troops. And so I think we need men like Hadrian, despite any personal vendettas some officers of the Legion might hold against him, which have thus far prevented him enlisting.

Don't believe the lies of his enemies! Support Hadrian today for admittance to the Fourth Legion!

If you are a Voiced Citizen that would like to support this man's lifelong dream of serving in the Sultan's army, please add your name below!


Empty Gallows Printing Press not responsible for any consequent intimidation, violence, or death that may result from participation in this petition.
#20
Books and Publications of the Desert / The Empty Gallows
February 13, 2023, 09:14:55 AM
The latest productions by a sorcerer gifted in all things ink...