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OOC: http://www.bzpower.com/board/topic/17473-underdark-rising-ooc/ Undermountain. A vast, ever changing labyrinth of monsters, traps, death and dead ends, but with nearly limitless rewards for the intrepid adventurer. Ruled over by the Mad Mage Halaster, it has successfully survived assaults by dark elves, the wrath of the Hero of Waterdeep, and even the forces of ###### itself. But now, 70 years after the defeat of the Armies of the Eighth Circle, Undermountain has gone quiet. Halaster’s disappearance does not bode well– last time he vanished, an archdemon attempted to dominate the world of Faerun. Adventurers have gathered in the Yawning Portal, an inn located above the only entrance to Undermountain, in an effort to find the Mad Mage– or what’s left of him. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of an artifact thought long gone: The Relic of the Reaper, the object that allowed the Hero of Waterdeep to cheat death long enough to defeat the dread Mephistopheles, ruler of the Armies of the Eighth Circle, and last known to be in the Hero’s possession. How this bodes for the fate of Faerun… Remains to be seen. Background knowledge guide: 70 years ago, the city of Waterdeep was under attack from forces of drow traveling through the huge, magical dungeon of Undermountain built under it. Ordinarily the dungeon was controlled by the mage Halaster, who was as powerful as he was insane, but Halaster was conspicuously absent. Investigation by an adventurer only remembered as the Hero of Waterdeep revealed that Halaster was being held captive by the drow and forced to allow squads of raiding dark elves through to the city, though he refused to open the main portal and let armies through. Eager for revenge upon being freed, Halaster cursed the Hero and teleported him and his companions, a rebel drow and a dragonblooded kobold, to the Underdark, the underground realm that the drow resided in. Under Halaster’s hex, the Hero was forced to oppose the Valsharess of the drow and her armies, eventually raising an army against her forces and defeating her in a last stand effort at the rebel encampment of Lith My’athar. The Valsharess’ forces were pushed back to her fortress, but before it could be stormed she revealed her final weapon: The archdemon Mephistopheles, ruler over the Eighth Circle of ######, bound to her command. Mephistopheles had a trick of his own, however. When ordered to slay the Hero of Waterdeep he refused, revealing that the artifact that had allowed the Hero to cheat death numerous times was a part of his own flesh, and that by ordering the demon to attack the Hero the Valsharess had violated their covenant. He freed the Hero from his magical bonds and set him against the Valsharess, a fight that the Hero won. Mephistopheles, finally totally free, banished the Hero to the Eighth ###### and began a war on the Underdark and surface world alike, using the souls in his realm to reanimate the dead of his enemies to fight against them. In the Eighth ######, the Hero revived in the Gatehouse between life and death, a place the artifact had taken him many times before… Only now he could not return home. Venturing into the frozen wastelands of Cania, he gathered the spirits of his companions and sought the Knower of Names, the only person who could give him the power to dominate the Reaper that controlled the gates. Fighting his way through countless enemies, the Hero found the Reaper’s true name and used it to escape, he and his companions meeting Mephistopheles on the battlefield that Waterdeep had become. After a long, hard battle the dread Mephistopheles was defeated and banished back to Cania, leaving the people who had defeated it heroes. Deekin Scalesinger, the kobold bard and dragonblood who published his account of the adventure, is still famous today. But the Hero and the rebel drow did their best to become nomadic adventurers again… And faded into obscurity, taking the Relic of Reaper with them. In recent times, however, the Hero and the drow were rumored to be seen in Waterdeep again , possibly investigating the second disappearance of Halaster. The reappearance of the Relic of the Reaper in the Yawning Portal inn certainly seems to corroborate that rumor. But the Relic wouldn’t part from the Hero’s hands willingly. The implications of both Halaster Blackcloak and the Hero of Waterdeep vanishing in the space of a few months is immense, and as adventurers answer the call to venture into Undermountain to investigate, an atmosphere of foreboding descends over the town… Setting: The continent of Faerun is a large and varied one, but this story takes place primarily in two certain locales, though a third is extremely important to the story. The Yawning Portal: An inn built by the first adventurer to ever successfully return from Undermountain, on top of the well he used to enter the dungeon. While a relatively basic inn in terms of quality and price, the clientele is anything but ordinary. The tavern on the ground floor is full of a diverse and often rowdy crowd of adventurers from all over Faerun, and a room on the second level is devoted entirely to useful gear and weapons available to dungeon crawlers– for a price, of course. The inn is managed by the original adventurer’s daughter, Tamsil, whose half-elf heritage has kept her looking young far past the death of her father Durnan. Undermountain: A legendary, massive dungeon ruled over by the mad mage Halaster. Maps are useless in Undermountain, as its corridors and rooms are bound to Halaster’s will– he can reshape and reform them whenever he wishes, though he doesn’t do it often. Ordinarily, the monster inhabitants of Undermountain are kept in check by Halaster’s presence. With his disappearance, Undermountain has fallen into chaos, with warring factions of monsters and creatures fighting in the halls. Rooms that are known through songs and tales of returning adventurers are few, but they include the Hall of Sleeping Kings, a large throne room that serves as the tomb for the greatest warriors of a past age, and the Maze, a nearly completely empty room with only a few magic pillars in it. Invisible traps line the floor in certain patterns, waiting for the unwary adventurer to take a wrong step and suffer the wrath of a magic missile storm. The Underdark: While not playable at the beginning of the RP, the Underdark is a subterranean world where a large population of the dark elves know as drow live. The only way to get to it from the surface world is through Undermountain, on the deepest level. Character Creation: Blank profile form, with necessary information following it: Name: Species: Age: Class: Alignment: Abilities/Skills: Gear: Spells: Personality: Biography: Name: Species: See Races of the World. Class: See Classes. Alignment: Alignments are done along two axes, good to evil and lawful to chaotic, with neutral being in the middle. Abilities/Skills: This is where you detail what your character is good at and can do naturally. Incredible skill with a sword or a natural affinity for casting illusions would go here. Gear: List your relevant items such as armor and potions here. Any magical item must be listed, its effects detailed, and staff approved. It isn’t such a big deal if you have a set of ordinary gloves that isn’t stated in your profile, but if you spontaneously have a cloak that ignores all physical damage… It’s a problem. Spells: See Magic, the World, and You. Personality: How your character acts. Appearance: How your character looks. Biography: How did your character come to Waterdeep? How did they get involved? This is their life story until now. The Races of the World: Base playable races include humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings, along with hybrids. Custom races are acceptable, though they will have to be described in your profile if they aren’t in Forgotten Realms/D&D canon. Humans: The most adaptable and the shortest lived of the common races, humans have spread like wildfire across Faerun. They can be anything from magical to martial arts masters, and anything in between. Elves: With lifespans reaching into the millennia and legendary beauty, many other races look upon elves with something approaching awe. Shorter and more slender than humans on the whole, an ordinary elf can’t take a punch as well as a human can, nor are as resistant to disease and poison– but they are more nimble and can see in almost complete, nonmagical dark. Dwarves: The underground craftsmen of Faerun, dwarves as a whole are a hearty, hardworking sort, though that is by no means a universal trait. Shorter than elves but built far sturdier, a dwarf is far more robust even than a human against physical trauma, and their innate familiarity with caves gives them an edge underground. Halflings: The shortest and smallest of all races, halflings tend to be masters of trickery and thievery, though many will claim that is an “offensive stereotype propagated by the elven rulers of society”. No matter what the opinion of their mannerisms, however, the facts about their biology remain: Humans, elves, and especially dwarves are far stronger than they are– but nobody’s fingers move as fast or with as much skill as a halfling’s. Classes: For the sake of simplicity, the class system has been condensed into six basic classes, three martial and three magical. You are not bound to explicit definitions of these– they are merely guidelines so the staff and other players know what to expect from your abilities. A combination of two is okay. Fighter: The most combat oriented of the classes, fighters are not necessarily the tanks of any adventuring group, though they often are. Combining skill with weapons and shields with the strength to wear armor, a tough fighter can brutalize nearly anything in a straight, no tricks fight while suffering minimal damage themselves. Monk: Specializing in the control of a subtle inner energy known as Ki, powerful monks are ridiculously fast and can do rapid, brutal damage with their unarmed strikes, sometimes even becoming speedy enough to block arrows. But wearing heavy armor and using all but a few weapons distracts them from the inner calm that they must maintain to use their Ki to its utmost potential, causing them to lose their focus and thus their abilities. Rogue: The technical fighter of the lot, Rogues combine speed and skill to aim strikes at their opponent’s most vital regions, but cannot take as much punishment as a fighter’s rigid discipline and skill allows them to. Most rogues are stealthy, and experts at dealing with mechanical devices like traps and locks. Wizard: Wizards are followers of the arcane, casting spells using their own power, ancient words, and certain gestures. Wizards have the widest range of spells of the three magical classes, but since they rely on their own ability and very specific words and gestures they are more suspect to exhaustion and spell failure than clerics and druids. The movement restraining properties of heavy armor, for example, can contribute to spell failure for spells that rely on gesture. Cleric: A blanket term for any spellcaster that relies on the power of a higher being or deity, clerics are usually extremely good at casting the spells relevant to the being they follow. A follower of Torm, the patron deity of divine warriors, would be very good at turning undead and healing– but would not be able to throw rays of ice or fireballs. There are compensations, however: Since clerics are calling upon the power of another being, they are not subject to spell failure, and spells won’t drain their energy as much. Druid: Druids call upon the natural world for their magic abilities, so their spells mostly fit into manipulations of nature: Animal enchantment, weather manipulation, and even shapeshifting fall under the abilities of a druid. Arcane spell failure does not apply to druids, but being indoors makes their abilities suffer. Magic, the World, and You Magic works quite a bit differently in this game than from classical NWN or D&D. You do not have to rest before casting spells to charge them, though physical exhaustion is a factor for a wizard who has cast a lot of powerful spells recently. What is required for the magic section is a listing of the spells your character knows and how often they can cast them, along with any reagents necessary if applicable. Custom spells are okay, but if they are not canon to D&D or NWN, you must detail their effects. Magic that causes instant death, like “Power Word: Kill” is ineffective. Clerics must list their patron in this section. Rules: (READ THESE) 1. All BZP rules apply. 2. Listen to the staff. 3. Your posts should go something like this, with IC for “in character” and OOC for “out of character”: IC: A mad gleam in his eyes, Halaster advanced on the captured drow with a bolt of magic forming in his left hand. OOC: I LOVE DIS PART 4. Arguments/debates may go on for 3 posts in the main thread. After that, take it to PM or the discussion topic. 5. No godmodding. Dodging unavoidable attacks, ignoring injuries, etc. HOWEVER, this rule also applies to the attacker. Autohitting is not permissible. 6. This fits under godmodding: No metagaming. Knowing things your character didn't learn, magically crashing another player's party without a good IC reason. 7. Don't kill another player's character without permission from him/her. Make sure to write that you have permission in the post where you kill the character. 8. IN THE EVENT THAT DEATH SEEMS UNAVOIDABLE: Your character may be killed to avoid breaking rule 5. Only staff can do this. This isn't a punishment, just realism. If you have a good way to get out of it after your character is dead, please PM Joseph Cooper or another staffer. 9. NPC autohitting is permitted as long as you play realistically. 10. No bunnying. That means taking control of another person's character without permission. 11. Double posting... Nah. 12. Have fun! Your staff are: Nick (Joseph Cooper) Basilisk Staff NPCs and example profiles: Name: Only remembered as the Hero of Waterdeep Species: Human turned Outsider Age: He was twenty-one at the time of his legendary adventure, but he’s 90 now. His nature as a being not quite of this world would have postponed his aging immensely. Class: Monk Alignment: Lawful Neutral Abilities: Legends still tell of the Hero’s speed and his ability to dodge even the fastest of attacks. While no doubt exaggerated, the Hero was an extremely powerful monk who routinely wore boots that enhanced his already incredible movement speed. The normal immunities of monks to mind spells, poison, and disease were all powers of the Hero, and master monks still try to imitate the deadliness of his unarmed strikes today. Appearance: For a legend, the Hero was very plain looking. He was a tall, muscular individual with a shaved head and a well-trimmed brown beard. In fact, the most remarkable things about him were his originally brown eyes, which began to glow purple as he grew in power. His normal outfit was a plain-looking yellow tunic and pants, relaxed in fit to allow for free movement. Gear: That plain outfit, however, coursed with magical power, deflecting small weapons and attacks. As mentioned before, the boots he wore doubled his speed, the belt he wore at his waist giving him strength of mythical proportions. Songs tell of how he stood up to the hottest flames Mephistopheles could conjure– a resistance to fire granted by a ring he wore. Finally, he was known to carry the Relic of the Reaper, a device that pulled him back from that gates of death at the cost of a Rogue Stone. The artifact was rendered powerless when Mephistopheles was defeated. The Relic reappeared in the room where the Hero stayed the night before his first ingress into Waterdeep a few months ago, on the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Mephistopheles. While entirely defunct, a strange sense of power radiates off of it– alien to this plane, but not entirely unfamiliar. Spells: None. Personality: The Hero’s deeds have been exaggerated and retold to the point that no one is able to tell if he was a saint or a scourge… Biography: See background information. Name: Deekin Scalesinger Species: Dragonblood kobold. Age: 90– A little above middle aged for an ordinary Kobold, though most don’t survive to this age. Class: A combination of Wizard and Rogue, Deekin is very good with both a crossbow and arcane spells. Alignment: Neutral. Abilities/Skills: As a dragonblood, Deekin is immune to fire and can breathe it at maximum effectiveness once every few hours. His draconic heritage has also made him immune to poison and disease, as well as making him stronger, tougher, and more imposing than others of his species. Appearance: A relatively ordinary looking Kobold, apart from the red draconic wings sprouting out of his back. Gear: An enchanted light crossbow capable of creating and firing electrically charged arrows at a normal rate of fire, a horn that opens a small portal to the Plane of Pandemonium when blown, and leather armor enchanted to be as tough as steel. Spells: Deekin’s normally prepared spells are Sound Burst, Fireball, and Invisibility, though he is known to have others on hand if necessary. Personality: Deekin is intensely eager, loyal and devoted, to the point of almost puppylike admiration for those he follows and knows well– though he’s a bit egotistical and snooty with those he doesn’t. His success in the art world after his publishing of an account of the Hero of Waterdeep’s adventures has not helped his ego at all. Biography: Raised by a white dragon who alternately tutored and tortured him, Deekin was one of the Hero’s most loyal companions from the very beginning, after the Hero freed him from the dragon’s clutches. Though they were split up after the Hero found the Relic of the Reaper at the end of his first journey, they were reunited before the descent into Undermountain– and Deekin went to ###### and back with his “boss”. Since Mephistopheles’ defeat, Deekin has achieved huge success in the literary world for his account of the tale. Now, he has been drawn back to Waterdeep, worried about the disappearance of the Hero. Name: Halaster Blackcloak Species: Human, though how much of him is magic and how much is still flesh is debatable. Age: At least 1000 years old. Class: Extremely powerful Wizard. Alignment: Neutral evil. Abilities/Skills: Perhaps most unique in Halaster’s vast repertoire of magical abilities and skills is his innate connection to Undermountain, allowing him to reshape and reorder it at will. If Halaster dies, Undermountain will collapse. Additionally, his millennia of experience with magic items have left him with the ability to reflect spells, though they must be targeted at him. Appearance: An old man in rich, purple robes with a mad gleam in his ice blue eyes, Halaster looks the part of a mad priest. His white hair and beard are long and unkempt, though clean. Gear: As he’s a walking dynamo of magical power, Halaster does not often use armor or weapons. His cloak, however, protects him from all spell damage except acid, which he’s still trying to work out the kinks on. Spells: As an Archmage, Halaster can alter and bend spells to suit his purposes– but that takes vast amounts of energy. His less taxing lineup is fireball (which he can alter into any element), Isaac’s Greater Missile Storm, and Arcane Fire, the lattermost of which allows him to throw pure, devastating blasts of magical energy. Personality: Simply put, Halaster is insane and reclusive. His paranoia and insanity have led him to confine himself in a dungeon where no one can reach him unless he wants them to– and that never happens. Biography: His legend reaches far back into the mists of time, but certain things are known. At one point he had several apprentices, but after his move to Undermountain he killed two and drove the rest mad, only one escaping. For the rest of his relevant biography, check the background knowledge guide.