Jeff Rients' "twenty questions" approach to fleshing out the Bladed Earth campaign:
6. Who is the richest person in the land?
Magner Vokensivian, guildmaster of the Loyal Company of Money-Lenders, based in Glygon, is reputed to be the richest man in Cosk. Indeed, his name is often used as a synonym for unimaginable wealth, as in the phrase "rich as old Magner".
7. Where can we go to get some magical healing?
Some adherents of Law, including priestesses, paladins, and clerics, are capable of magically healing others. The ranks of the Lawful in Cosk are fairly small, but growing, as increasing numbers are drawn to lance the boil of Chaos swelling there. Some are dispatched directly from the island of Ghoor-Ampava, the so-called Throne City of the Iconess, but these warriors have no set base of operations on the isle of Cosk as of yet. Thus, it is expedient to be on friendly terms with the Lawful.
For those who have sworn themselves to Chaos, or who are otherwise refused aid from the clerics and their brethren, there are other sources of healing. Cultists of Chaos are said to be able to heal the Chaotic. Shamans, most of whom dwell east of the Spires of Sloine or south in the Shandawood, are known to be capable healers as well. It is also rumored that there are old gods and master spirits that can impart knowledge of healing magic to mages, but the location of such patrons is not freely given. Finally, alchemists are able to brew healing draughts, but these often come at a hefty price.
8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
Poison and disease are relatively easily managed by practitioners of the trades mentioned previously, but reversing many of these magical afflictions requires powerful cures that are beyond the ability of most. Clerics, shamans, and the like that are capable of such restorations are difficult to come by. Often, those seeking such aid must travel deep into the untamed mountains or forests, or to the Throne City itself.
9. Is there a magic guild my magic-user belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells?
The mages of Thamsh once had colleges in which the secrets they wrested from their slain gods and spirits were taught to those found worthy. Today, mages more often share knowledge in exchange for rare items or complex favors (or, very rarely, simple coin). Though now often reduced to little more than hedge witches and cunning-men, some of the Coskar priesthoods share old spells once learned directly from the master spirits among each other. Mages may seek out these supernatural patrons themselves, and attempt to convince (or perhaps even force) these creatures to personally instruct them in their sorcerous ways -- indeed, this is said to be one of the purposes of Zaar's Grand Excursion. One might also seek to gain knowledge of charms from the hill-dwelling elfin clans (or even the arts of illusion from the twisted creatures called gnomes) but these are risky propositions in many more ways than one.
10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC?
Adventurers seeking a skilled alchemist in Fulcrum are well-advised to employ the services of Culmoush & Thrayseeder, who find the availability of otherwise obscure ingredients due to their proximity to Stonehell a boon to their practice. The pair are not as risk-averse as many of their colleagues, which can occasionally yield unpredictable results, but often at bargain prices.
The interests of sages in Fulcrum tend to be of somewhat narrow focus, specifically on the local lore of the region and the history of Cosk. Experts in other disciplines are more easily found in Glygon.
An Interview with Sean Bircher
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