On Ophir, The City of Slaves – Part 4

The first three parts of Ophir can be found here, here and here. For information on the pantheon of Ophir, click here.

F. The Souk
This diagonal street of reddish clay is shaded by wooden slats and numerous striped shades hoisted on wooden poles. It is always thick with activity and hosts dozens of stands selling fruits, vegetables, foodstuffs, cloth, tools, trinkets, exotic animals, copper pots, crockery and other items. Smugglers and fences are common, as are beggars, street urchins, entertainers and common trollops. The guards work their way once every twenty minutes, extorting as much coin as possible from the peddlers and their customers (especially foreigners). Three idols of Melkarth, god of merchants among other things, line the street. It is common for large business deals to be consumated by spitting in the hands and shaking them beneath one of these statues.

27. Guardhouse: This building is constructed of limestone blocks. It rises three stories and is really more of a tower with a crenelation on the roof to protect archers. The building houses fifteen men-at-arms of the royal guard and their commander, Karba. On the ground floor there is a small cell with an iron door, and outside there are two pillories. If there has been a recent execution, the body or head will be displayed from the top of the tower. A secret trapdoor in the cell leads to the catacombs below.

Karba is a woman with long, raven-black hair held back in a thick braid whose beauty is only marred by the ever-present sneer on her face. She dresses in a chainmail hauberk over a scarlet tunic and wears a yellow scarf wrapped around her helm. She carries a red shield decorated with bronze studs and wields a curved long sword and dagger. Her soldiers wear crimson ring mail and helms circled with yellow turbans. They carry pole arms, short swords, short bows and five arrows each. Karba is a swaggering, rakish woman, an insult always on the tip of her tongue and her cold, appraising stare capable of making veteran warriors sweat. While her men patrol the area, she can usually be found at the Inn of One Thousand Delights [7] or the gambling hall [54], her feet on a table and a goblet of spiced wine in her hand.

• Karba: HD 5 (29 hp); AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8); Move 12; Save 12; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Men-at-arms are +1 to hit under her command.

29. Temple of Astarte and Adonis: Astarte was once the patron deity of Ophir and she had a magnificent temple dedicated to her on a hill overlooking the city-state. The temple was sacked many decades ago, and Astarte fell out of favor. Her temple fell into ruin and her priesthood was forced to purchase and renovate a smaller structure into a shrine dedicated to the goddess and her consort, Adonis. The new temple is constructed from limestone blocks with a few horizontal bands of green marble as decoration. It is topped by a green marble dome. Within the temple there is a large space with a high ceiling dominated by idols of Astarte and Adonis. Behind are apartments for the priests, the largest belonging to Jumaga. Jumaga’s bed is draped with four leopard skins (worth 25 gp each). Outside the temple there is always a place for worshippers to remove their footwear and cleanse their feet before entering. Two guardsmen, Hayad and Alahm, guard the temple at night. Offerings of fruit, grain, flowers and money (4d6 gp) cover the altar in the daytime.

The temple’s priest is Jumaga, a youthful man impeccably dressed in white robes and well-spoken. He has two assistants, Iamir and Hada. Iamir, a gnome, looks younger than his master, and is opinionated and rash. Hada is quite young and only recently left his work as a shepherd. He is servile and friendly. The temple guards, Hayad and Alahm, are both young and foppish (baggy trousers, red sashes, velvet fez, curled mustachios and always annointed with fragrant sandalwood oil), and have only taken this job until something better comes along. Hayad is trusting and egotistical, and Alahm is a blustering fool. Jumaga has become popular in Ophir for his parables and generosity toward the poor. He is often out of the temple tending to the peasantry. A small vault is hidden beneath the temple and does not connect to the catacombs. Here, the priests hide escaped slaves before moving out of the city. The temple’s treasure, kept in a locked chest guarded by a spell that creates an invisible, deadly gas when the chest is opened without saying the magic words (“Quick Brown Fox”), consists of 400 gp and a garnet worth 1,000 gp.

• Jumaga, Adept Lvl 6: HP 23; AC 7 [12]; Save 10; Special: Adept spells (2nd); Leather armor under pristine white robes, winged sandals, sickle (treat as hand axe).

• Acolytes, Adepts Lvl 2: HP 2d6; AC 7 [12]; Save 14; Special: Adept spells (1st); Leather armor under white robes, shepherd’s crook, 1d100 cp in alms for the poor in a leather sack, small skin of ale for medicinal purposes.

• Hayad, Swashbuckler Lvl 1: HP 8; AC 8 [11]; Save 14; Special: Move 13, stunning attack 1/day; Long sword (scimitar), silver dagger, pouch of snuff, purse with 1d6 sp.

• Alahm, Swashbuckler Lvl 1: HP 5; AC 8 [11]; Save 14; Special: Move 13, stunning attack 1/day; Long sword (scimitar), silver dagger, silk slippers with curled toes, purse with 1d6 gp.

34. Chandler: Obna is a hedge wizard with a nasally voice and squinty eyes. Chivalrous and cultured, he can always be found with a clay pipe clenched in his teeth, blue smoke curling around his balding head. While Obna makes a living as a chandler, and is capable of enchanting his candles with spells that he knows. An enchanted candle releases its spell when the candle has been burning for 1 minute and lasts as long as the candle lasts, usually 1 hour. Enchanted candles sell for 100 gp per spell level. Obna lives with his wife Esther, a matronly woman of great beauty, wit and kindness. He has twin thirteen-year-old sons, Nabo and Onab, who are his apprentices. While Nabo is content to take over his father’s business one day, Onab longs for the adventurous life. Obna’s town house has four stories, the first containing a workshop, the second a living room and library, the third living quarters for the twins and the fourth a bedchamber for Obna and Esther. Obna’s workshop is protected by a second-hand homonculus called Tatty Tom that he received as a wedding gift from his former master. Tom’s actually shares his bond with Esther, and is goodhearted if a little mischievous. Obna’s treasure, kept in a locked chest hidden in his workshop, contains (beneath ratty blankets and bits of candle) 1,000 sp, 500 ep, 100 gp and a smoky quartz worth 4 gp.

• Obna, Adept Lvl 3: HP 11; AC 8 [11]; Save 13; Special: Adept spells (1st), skilled as a chandler; Dagger, darts (3), spellbook, snakeskin turban. Obna knows three spells, charm person, protection from evil, sleep.

• Nabo, Adept Lvl 1: HP 3; AC 9 [10]; Save 15; Special: Adept spells (1st); Dagger, darts (3), spellbook.

• Onab, Magic-User Lvl 1: HP 5; AC 8 [11]; Save 15; Special: Magic-user spells (1st); Dagger, darts (3), spellbook.

• Tatty Tom, Homonculus: HD 2; HP 18; AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 bite (1d3); Move 9 (Fly 18); Save 16; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Poison (unconscious for 5d6 minutes.

36. Vigilante: Jumog is a vigilante and a neurotic, opinionated loner. As a half-orc, he can pass for human, but has a pock-marked face and entirely too much bristly hair on his body. By day, he maintains an unkempt appearance as a freighter working on the docks. At night, he skulks about town in blackened chainmail, his face hidden by a scarf, waylaying the evil and wicked (especially the predatory priests of Lotan). His home is eqally unassuming, being a simple stone structure with a flat roof and a wood door covered in peeling white paint. A secret trapdoor allows quick access to the roof, and another inside leads into the catacombs. This trapdoor is covered by a heavy chest and locked. Jumog has very little treasure, giving most of what he takes to the Temple of Shedu [56], but he does have 100 gp, a rock crystal worth 5 gp and a bronze ewer worth 95 gp. His primary nemesis is the Black Orchid, the most skilled assassin in Ophir.

• Jumog, Half-Orc Fighting-Man Lvl 2: HP 13; AC 3 [16]; Save 15; Special: +1 strength bonus; Flail, chainmail, shield, brass holy symbol of Shedu (135 gp).

37. Warehouse: This mud brick warehouse contains stolen goods owned by the Thieves’ Guild. It is guarded by a jackalwere called Hadep and his pack of four. Inside the front door there is an empty desk. A loft on the east wall serves as the jackalwere’s lair. Their treasure consists of 2,000 sp, 2,100 gp and a moonstone worth 800 gp hidden under soiled cushions. The moonstone is coated in a contact poison that deals 1d6 dexterity damage each hour until neutralized or until 6 hours has past.

• Jackalweres: HD 4; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 bite (2d4); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Sleep gaze, only harmed by silver or magic weapons.

39. Monastery of Melkarth: This monastery is a fortress-like structure of three levels. The first level holds a reception hall, a chapel of Melkarth and a large training chamber for the monks. The second level holds storage chambers, living cells for the monks, a kitchen and a dining hall. The third level holds living quarters and office space for the abbot and his officers. The abbot is Diyab, a mature man who is quite altruistic and courteous. His monastery is attended by fifteen monks. The monks of Melkarth go bare chested and wear loose pants and white turbans. They maintain long, curly, square-cut beards and full mustaches. When not in training, they either wander the city looking for good deeds to perform (especially against the cult of Lotan or the machinations of Ob [22]) or stand outside their monastery, demonstrating feats of strength and agility. The monks keep their treasure in a limestone sarcophagus. It consists of 4,000 gp, 2,000 sp and a chalcedony worth 1,550 gp. They are hording their funds to construct a larger monastery overlooking the city, provided they can get permission from Prince Zargo.

• Diyab, Monk Lvl 11: HP 69; AC 4 [15]; Save 4; Special: Move 24, unarmed attacks deal 1d10 and 1d6 damage, stunning attack 11/day, deflect missiles 2/rd, harm creatures only harmed by +3 weapons, slow fall, still body, fast healing.

• Monk: HD 2+2; AC 8 [11]; Atk 1 fist (1d6+1); Move 14; Save 13; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Stunning attack 2/day.

40. Animal Trainer: Zarda is a smallish woman with a piercing eyes and a pointed nose. She has red hair and bronzed skin and always dresses in clothes of deep scarlet. Zarda runs a kennel where she trains hunting and guard dogs for the nobility. At any given time she will have 1d10 animals in her care (and under her command). The kennel is located on the ground floor of the building, with living quarters on the two floors above. Zarda is middle-aged. She is cruel and antagonistic, and quite unstable mentally. She loves animals, and uses them to punish those who cross her. Zarda herself owns a large, red wolf named Jaza. Zarda hides 290 gp in a leather sack buried in the floor of her kennel.

• Zarda, Barbarian Lvl 1: HP 7; AC 6 [13]; Save 15; Special: Superstitious; Leather armor, curved long sword, dagger.

• Jaza, Wolf: HD 3 (14 hp); AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 bite (1d8); Move 15; Save 14; CL/XP 6/400; Special: None.

41. Healer: Nokin is a young man with an impressive physique and perfect smile. A skilled healer, he can be antagonistic towards patients who ignore his advice. Nokin is often involved in arguments with Alsha [43] and Zarda [40] over the noise produced by their establishments. At any given time Nokin will have 1d4 patients in his establishment undergoing some treatment (leeching, cupping, induced vomiting, etc). Nokin’s building is built of limestone with porphyry detail around the entracne, a thick wooden door painted white and bearing a painting of the caduceus. The ground floor chamber contains several tables and chairs, a single bed, cupboards filled with jars of leeches, medicinal herbs and cloth for bandages and a shrine to Asclepius decorated with fresh flowers. A locked iron chest holds more expensive tools (saws, needles, silk thread, etc). Nokin’s second floor contains a living room, dining area and small library. The third floor contains his bedroom and his treasure, 45 gp, 43 sp and 70 cp in a locked chest.

42. Leatherworker: Muam is quite a sight; missing an eye, his other eye has a nervous twitch, squeaky voiced, introverted and often morose. He has lived a life of great misfortune and loss. Muam is skilled at his craft, but works slowly. He is not capable of manufacturing leather armor, although he can repair it. Muam lives with his elderly mother in a two-story adobe building with a flat roof. Muam and his mother live on the second story, with the first given over to his workshop and supplies. His treasure consists of 12 gp and a silver medallion worth 10 gp that he lifted off a drunk.

43. Blacksmith: Alsha is a round, middle-aged woman with cropped black hair and large hands and arms. She usually has an unkempt appearance and is known to be rather arrogant. Alsha can make any type of metal tool as well as arrow- and spearheads. She employs five journeymen and three apprentices, the apprentices sleeping in the workroom at night. The upper story of her building is given over to living space for herself and her family. Her husband, Kobar, is a member of the royal guard (and disgruntled at its corruption under the command of Karba). She also has two daughters, Sifar and Alshada. A locked iron chest in their living quarters contains 122 gp. Alsha’s building is built of rough-hewn flint, with a yellow door and several shuttered windows on the ground floor.

• Alsha, Fighting-Woman Lvl 3: HP 25; AC 8 [11]; Save 16; Hand axe & chainmail (packed away), light hammer, 5 sp.

G. Street of the Ancestors
This street of hard-packed red clay is lined by several tall buildings. Small, clay idols line the sides of the street in little niches. These are ancestor idols, and even the most criminal Ophirian leaves them and the offerings made to them alone. Offerings include flowers, small loaves of bread and copper pieces.

48. Bakery: This large, adobe brick bakery is run by Sarah, a mature halfling woman who once lived the life of an adventurer. Sarah is trusting, outspoken and a bit tongue-tied around handsome elves. She runs a bakery and coffee house that is popular with foreigners in Ophir. The ground floor is divided into a bakery (five brick ovens), kitchen and coffee house. Sarah bakes pita bread (and serves it covered in savories on request), loaves of wheat bread and fruit and nut breads daily. She also serves cold meats and cheeses and dark coffee sweetened with honey. She employs several assistants and has two apprentices, both humans. Sarah is very popular in Ophir, especially with sailors, who refer to her as their “Little Mama”. Sarah and her apprentices live above the kitchen. Aside from an ample supply of flour, cheese and other edibles, Sarah keeps 300 gp and 500 ep in a locked iron box in her bedroom.

• Sarah, Halfling Fighting-Woman Lvl 5: HP 29; AC 9 [10]; Save 12; Chemise, head scarf (all clothing covered in flour), dagger tucked into the ribbon around her waist, short sword in her room.

49. Woodcarver: Muma the woodcarver has a collection of fetishes from the jungles of Cush and most of his business is in carving idols and holy symbols. An old, pot-bellied sinner, Muma has a beautiful young wife called Mara that most believe to be bewitched. The area outside his shop is littered with wood flakes and sawdust, but the inside is very neat. Muma can be found in the center of his shop sharpening his blades or carving an idol, his wife flitting around tidying up or serving him sweet coffee. Muma is very jealous concerning his wife, and usually sends her away when people enter his shop. He and his wife live above the shop in a lavish bedroom (rugs, silk curtains, bronze braziers, a cedar chest of clothing with a false bottom holding 20 gp, 110 sp and a sapphire worth 400 gp). Muma is perceptive and well-spoken, but not to be trusted. He is a devotee of Baal-Zebub, and makes sure that holy symbols carved for the gods of Law are tainted, giving the clerics that use them a -1d4 penalty to rolls made to turn the undead.

52. Excisewoman: Zita is an excise-woman (tax collector). She is youthful, capricious and rash, with the appearance of someone with little taste who has come into money. Zita is a cunning and overconfident tax collector. She is engaged in a little graft, and hoping its not enough to draw the attention of her superiors. Her ultimate plan, when she has enough money, is to buy a merchant galley and leave Ophir forever. Her home has three stories and is constructed of pearly white stones. There are two balconies on the second floor and the front door is constructed of wood and clad in greenish copper. Zita’s treasure (200 gp, a pearl worth 125 gp, a piece of coral worth 115 gp and a panther skin worth 15 gp) is hidden in a leather sack stuffed inside the wall behind her wardrobe. She is usually encountered making her rounds through the city accompanied by 6 to 8 men-at-arms. At night, she can be found carousing and on the hunt for male companionship, favoring the Inn of One Thousand Delights [7] and the Bloody Bones Tavern [10] as her hunting grounds.

[Referee Note: When Zita appeared in my campaign, for some strange reason her voice turned out to be that of Dr. Girlfriend from the Venture Brothers. She also seduced the party’s dwarf. Do with this information what you will.]

53. Scribe: Ho’am is a youthful scribe with an imposing height. Cautious and modest, he is a devotee of Lotan and quite wicked. Ho’am employs ten scribes, sending them to work for others or keeping them in the scriptorium to finish more important jobs. The scriptorium consists of a ground floor filled with writing tables and second story living quarters. His desk is adorned with a bone paperweight worth 20 gp. Ho’am has a strained relationship with Lathba the sage. The man is a good customer, but he is patronizing. Ho’am would act against the old man, but he has seen his prowess with a sword.

• Ho’am, Magic-User Lvl 2: HP 5; AC 9 [10]; Save 16; Special: Magic-user (1st); Dagger, spellbook, writer’s kit, 7 gp.

54. Gambling House: Evil Gladiator 6; braided hair, interrupts others, serious and dull. Mulla, an ex-gladiator with braided hair, runs a gambling house that specializes in “pit fighting”. The building is two-stories tall and made of masonry with a slate roof. The ground floor is dominated by a 20 foot tall cage in which combats occur. The back of the main floor features a long bar stretching from one end of the room to the other. A loft circles the main floor about 10 feet above the ground and leads to offices and Mulla’s apartment. Gladiators enter from a back room seperated from the main floor by a thick, stone wall.

When a fight is imminent, three clarks position themselves around the cage and the challenger is brought into the room and put inside the cage. When the champion enters, the spectators begin placing bets with the clarks. For most fights, the house has a limit of 25 gp on a bet, with odds determined by comparing the XP value of the contestants. Higher bets must be approved by Mulla, who keeps 600 gp on hand for losses. He also owns a scroll of invisibility that he would like to unload on a magic-user capable of paying 300 gp for it.

Contestants cannot wear armor heavier than leather and may not carry weapons larger than a short sword. Contestants can be determined by rolling on the charts below.

• Mulla: Evil Human Gladiator 6, HP 43, AC 16, MV 12, ATK short sword +10 (1d6+5) or spiked gauntlet +8 (1d3+3) or both +6/+4, SA +1 to hit and +2 to damage with unarmed strikes, SV 13, AB Str 18, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 11.

Contestant
1. Beastman Barbarian, Lvl 1d4+1
2. Human Barbarian, Lvl 1d4+2
3. Elf Swashbuckler, Lvl 1d4+1 (1 in 6 chance of magic-user spells)
4. Mechanical Fighting-Man, Lvl 1d4+1, studded with spikes
5. Dwarf Fighting-Man, Lvl 1d4+2 in gladiator gear
6. Human Fighting-Man, Lvl 1d4+2 in gladiator gear
9. Human Monk, Lvl 1d4+2
10. Bugbear
11. Ogre
12. Minotaur

• Beastman Barbarian Lvl 3: HD 3d6+12; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 axe (1d6+1) or fists (1d2+1); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 4/120; Special: Cannot be flanked or back stabbed, fears magic, berserk (+2 to hit and damage, -2 to AC). Wears leather armor and carries hand axe.

• Human Barbarian Lvl 4: HD 4d6+12; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 sword (1d6) or fists (1d2); Move 12; Save 11; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Cannot be flanked or back stabbed, fears magic, berserk (+2 to hit and damage, -2 to AC). Carries shield and short sword.

• Elf Swashbuckler Lvl 3: HD 3d6+9; AC 8 [11]; Atk 1 short sword (1d6) and 1 dagger (1d4); Move 15; Save 12; CL/XP 4/120; Special: Stunning attack 3/day, deflect arrows 1/rd.

• Mechanical Fighting-Man Lvl 3: HD 3d6+6; AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 flail (1d6+1) or fists (1d3); Move 12; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Mechanical man abilities.

• Dwarf Fighting-Man Lvl 4: HD 4d6+8; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 short sword (1d6+1) or 1 net (entangle); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 4/120; Special: None.

• Human Fighting-Man Lvl 4: HD 4d6+8; AC 5 [14]; Save 13; Short sword, leather armor, shield.

• Human Monk Lvl 4: HD 4d6+12; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 fist (1d6); Move 16; Save 11; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Stunning attack 4/day, deflect missiles 1/rd, harm monsters only harmed by +1 weapons.

• Bugbear: HD 3+1; AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 bite (2d4) or 1 weapon (1d8+1); Move 9; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Surprise on 1-3 on 1d6.

• Ogre: HD 4+1; AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 weapon (1d10+1); Move 9; Save 13; CL/XP 4/120; Special: None.

• Minotaur: HD 6+4; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 head butt (2d4), 1 bite (1d3) and 1 weapon (1d6); Move 12; Save 11; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Never gets lost in mazes.

56. Temple of Shedu: The temple of Shedu is quite old. It resembles a Greek temple, with columns on the outside and an inner sanctum containing a marble and gold idol of Shedu. Behind the inner sanctum are sparse living quarters for the priests. Entrances to the catacombs have been bricked up to prevent entry by the Lotanites and other strange creatures. Unbeknownst to the priests, a bedlam has taken up residence in the catacombs beneath the temple, and it is slowly driving the priests of Shedu mad.

The temple is overseen by Hoda. Hoda is an aging cleric who keeps his grey hair and beard properly oiled and curled. Once a towering figure, he now leans heavily on his staff. He is assisted by Balhad, Ib, Hama, and Saysnah. The temple’s treasure now consists of only 1,000 sp. It is kept in a locked chest protected by a glyph of warding (a thunder clap that deals 6d6 points of damage and deafness for 4d6 hours).

• Hoda, Cleric Lvl 8: HP 42; AC 1 [18]; 7; Special: Cleric spells (4th); Mace, chainmail +2, shield, holy symbol, potion of healing. Hoda is mature, unkempt, neurotic, inquisitive and antagonistic.

• Acolytes, Adept Lvl 3: HD 3d6; AC 3 [16]; Save 12; Special: Adept spells (1st); Mace, chainmail, shield, holy symbol. All are trained in the healing arts.

57. Public Baths: The public baths are one of the oldest finest buildings in Ophir. They are built in the Roman style (pillars, painted stone), and consist of a reception chamber, dressing rooms (one for men, one for women), steam rooms (using the old Roman furnace concept), two pools fed by natural springs (no medicinal qualities) and an exercise room (with weights and massage tables). A day at the baths costs 10 gp, paid in the reception area. Massages cost an additional 10 gp. Attendants wait on customers in each chamber. Two guards (sergeants, 15 hit points each, armed with pole arms and short swords) are present in the reception hall and two more guard the owner’s chambers.

Above the reception area are the living chambers of Ubago, the old deviant who operates the baths. He is attended by young men (eunuchs) with shaved heads and bodies who wear only loin cloths. Ubago’s living chambers include a feast hall, a lavish toilet, an office decorated in antiquities dating to the days of the Purple Kings (such antiques are a hobby of Ubago, and people will find him as competent as any sage on matters of the history of the Wyvern Coast) and a large bedchamber. Ubago is a loud man with an aquiline nose. He is madcap and sensual, and sneezes frequently, especially around dwarfs. It is difficult to truly like Ubago, but almost impossible to hate him.

58. Wine Merchant: Saybee is a bald, gap-toothed man who runs an upscale wineshop purchased with funds he earned adventuring (mostly in the Klarkash Mts, a subject he will speak on endlessly). The shop consists of a long counter, behind which stands Saybee with a look of eagerness on his face. He is quick to greet customers and does his best to steer them to a proper wine and vintage. He stocks his shop with bottles and casques of wine from as far away as Lyonesse and Nomo. He sells the local spiced wine, but believes it an inferior product; he’ll even suck his teeth and roll his eyes slightly when a customer insists on it. Saybee is addicted to the black lotus. Because of this, there is always a 15% chance that his shop will be closed while he’s on a “trip”. Saybee lives alone. His treasure consists of 1,500 ep, 300 gp, 10 pp and a oval piece of polished lapis lazuli worth 95 gp that he uses as a focus for meditation.

• Saybee, Psychic Lvl 6: HP 10; AC 9 [10]; Save 10 (8 vs. mental); Special: Sixth sense, powers –mesmerism, mind thrust and telekinesis. Leather armor, curved long sword scimitar, dagger, crimson sash in which he keeps a packet of black lotus, three darts and 20 gp. Cautious and sympathetic, he touches people while talking to them.

59. Astrologer: Hobeah is a hedonistic and aloof worshiper of Marduk (he has a large, wooden idol in his parlor) and is an émigré from Ishkabibel. He has bronze skin, thinning white hair and a long, sparse, white beard. Hobeah dresses in colorful robes embroidered with images of shooting stars. Hobeah has three wives, Isha, the oldest, being his favorite. His only son, Juba, is his apprentice. Upon entering Hobeah’s shop one finds themselves in a plush parlor with expensive, though worn, mahogany furniture, the aforementioned idol of Marduk and several tapestries depicting astrological events. Beyond the parlor there is a kitchen and dining area. Bedrooms are on the two floors above. The attic has been transformed into an observatory, with a telescope, astrolabe and shutters that open to reveal the night sky. A table here is covered in star charts, and shelves covered with almanacs and books and scrolls on astrology line the walls. An iron chest locked with a superior lock (-3 to open) contains 262 gp. Hobeah is capable of producing star charts at a cost of 50 gp that have a 1 in 6 chance of simulating a scroll of augury in its overall effect (i.e. it contains knowledge that a person can later use to make a tough decision).

Augury
Level: 2 (cleric)
Range: Personal
Duration: Instantaneous

An augury can tell you whether a particular action will bring good or bad results for you in the immediate future. The base chance for receiving a meaningful reply is 70% + 1% per level, to a maximum of 90%; this roll is made secretly. A question may be so straightforward that a successful result is automatic, or so vague as to have no chance of success. If the augury succeeds, you get one of four results: Weal (if the action will probably bring good results), Woe (for bad results), Weal and woe (for both) or Nothing (for actions that don’t have especially good or bad results). If the spell fails, you get the “nothing” result. A cleric who gets the “nothing” result has no way to tell whether it was the consequence of a failed or successful augury. The augury can see into the future only about half an hour, so anything that might happen after that does not affect the result. Thus, the result might not take into account the long-term consequences of a contemplated action. All auguries cast by the same person about the same topic use the same dice result as the first casting.

60. Den of Thieves: This is a four-story, nondescript building of adobe. The doors and windows are always kept locked, and one might spot a shadowy figure on the roof from time to time. The first floor is a maze of corridors, dead ends, secret doors and lethal traps. The second floor is a crawlspace of trapped vaults containing the thieves’ treasure as well as supplies of water, iron rations, rope, torches and weapons. The third floor contains living quarters for the lesser thieves and training rooms, and the fourth floor has larger living quarters for the superiors.

The den houses eight footpads, including a gnome and halfling. The leader of the thieves is called Katya. Her lieutenant is Bors Turmudgeon, an immigrant from Lyonesse, and her sub-lieutenant is Kaffa. Ketta’s den of thieves is co-operative with Zargo’s assassins, but opposed by those merchants that do not deal in slaves.

The guild’s treasure consists of 11,000 sp, 5,000 ep, 1,000 gp, 100 pp, a jasper worth 6 gp, a +2 lance of polished oak with a steel head chased in silver runes and a recently heisted cargo of 100 coconuts that are worth 10 gp/coconut.

• Katya, Thief Lvl 10: HP 35; AC 5 [14]; Save 5; Special: Back stab for quadruple damage; Leather armor +1, brown robes with many pockets, short sword, three darts with silver tips, earrings worth 700 gp, jeweled dagger worth 900 gp, vial of acid, burglars’ tools.

• Bors, Thief Lvl 4: HP 12; AC 7 [12]; Save 11; Special: Back stab for double damage; Leather armor, short sword, dagger, burglars’ tools, 7 gp, polished quartz pebble that can be used as a magnifying glass.

• Kaffa, Thief Lvl 3: HP 9; AC 7 [12]; Save 12; Special: Back stab four double damage; Leather armor, daggers (3), burglars’ tools, 12 gp. Kaffa fancies himself a contender for guild leadership and Katya’s bed. She finds him an insufferable ass, but keeps him around as a potential fall guy should things ever go wrong. His presence in the guild also keeps Bors on his toes.

• Footpad: HD 2d6; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 weapon (1d6); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Back stab for double damage. Have short sword, light crossbow, leather armor, burglars’ tools, 2d6 gp.

On Ophir, The City of Slaves – Part 3

The first two parts of Ophir can be found here and here. For information on the pantheon of Ophir, click here.

Before I continue, I should mention that this work presents the concept of slavery as it has often appeared in pulp fiction. Slavery was fairly common in the ancient world, and thus appears often in fiction. The slave girls, gladiators and galley slaves of pulp fiction and sword & sandal movies, however, do not do justice to the suffering of real life slaves. Unfortunately, the crime of slavery and human trafficking is alive and well in the world. For a more serious take on the subject, you might want to visit this wikipedia page or this website. I hope nobody takes this work of fiction as belittling the plight of actual slaves. I know I promised no politics on this website, but I don’t think taking a stand against slavery is too controversial.

D. Avenue of Lost Souls
The streets that surround the Temple of Lotan are paved with basalt tiles, several bearing brass holy symbols of Lotan (in the shape of an eel wound around a trident). They are usually quiet, people avoiding the temple whenever possible, and they are never profaned with laughter or other loud noises.

At night, the streets are all but deserted due to the priests being about, hunting for sacrificial victims. The streets are patrolled by wary guardsman during the day and servants of the nobles who live near the temple going about their business.

3. Beggars: A band of seven beggars dwell in this ramshackle, two-story brick building. Once a fine townhouse, it has fallen into disrepair, missing wooden shutters on the windows and its entryway, tiled with blue marble, now cracked and dingy. The beggars are lead by Jumbi, a mischevious and secretive young man with a scruffy beard and a crescent shaped scar on his cheeck (made by the signet ring of an aristocrat who meant to teach him humility. The building was left to Jumbi by his maternal aunt. Jumbi and his friends are religious beggars of Shedu who have taken a vow of poverty. They are less obnoxious than the average Ophirian beggar, but no less wily. They keep no treasure, spending all of their money on food for themselves and giving the remainder to the Temple of Shedu [56]. They are aware of the change that has come over the priests of the temple, and are on the lookout for adventurers who might be able to help. As religious beggars, they are capable of blessing those who give them coins. The blessing, once made, can be invoked by the blessed at any time, and then acts as the cleric spell of the same name. They are likewise capable of cursing those who abuse them or commit blasphemies in their presence.

4. Tapestry Weaver: Alulla’s work hangs in the palaces and temples of Ophir and other city-states. An elderly woman with a small, wrinkled face, long silver hair and a hunched back, Alulla is well read in history and mythology and has a 1 in 6 chance of answering obscure questions on these subjects. Her building is two stories tall and built of dark grey stone with a flat roof. The arched windows on her second floor are covered from within by tapestries, and two fine tapestries for sale (100 gp each) hang outside during the daytime. Alulla owns a pair of intelligent, talking ferrets (Zim and Yip) who keep her up-to-date on the goings on of the city-state. Alulla’s home is simple and neat. She keeps her loom near the window and her treasure (135 gp) under the floor boards. Most of her earnings go to the Temple of Shedu [56]. Alulla has a long-standing loathing of Hogo [8], whose family stole her father’s fortune and may have murdered him long ago.

6. Temple of Lotan: Lotan is the demonic god of the sea of the Ophirian pantheon. His temple is a large structure built of black stone and topped with a roof of grey slates. The entrance is barred by an iron gate night and day. During the day, a priest stands behind the gate to accept offerings to the temple and give Lotan’s blessing (a dab of blue paint on the bridge of the nose). At night, when the priests of Lotan hunt for victims, the streets around the temple are deserted.

The interior of the temple is covered in plaster and painted an amber color. A thick, purple carpet leads from the entrance to the great idol of Lotan, which appears as a massive merman with a curled, black beard, stern countenance, golden crown and trident (plated and too large to remove) and gem-encrusted breastplate (three sapphires worth 3,000 gp each, twelve garnets worth 500 gp each). To the left of the entrance is a thick, wooden door that leads to a four-story tower that contains the apartments of the priests and an observatory. Behind the idol there is a trap door that leads to a series of catacombs that run beneath much of the city, connecting (via secret door) to a number of cellars. The catacombs nearest the temple of Lotan house treasure vaults and tombs of former priests. Further away, the catacombs are used for storage of supplies. The very far catacombs are haunted by monsters and avoided by even Lotan’s grim priests.

The high priest of Lotan (and pontiff of the city-state of Ophir) is Aralla, a stately woman with pale, clammy skin and large, glassy eyes. Aralla is a sorcerer whose mother had congress with the demonic servants of Lotan. Aralla is served by Mugo, Harah, Jumbi, Says, Ibiq and Farba.

The temple’s treasure is hidden in multiple vaults in the catacombs. Each vault is locked and guarded on the inside by an iron cobra and (10%) a mummy of a former priest. In total, the treasure consists of 500 ep, 2,300 gp and a lapis lazuli dolphin worth 125 gp.

• Aralla, Cambion Adept Lvl 7: HP 14; AC 9 [10]; Save 9; Special: Adept spells (2nd); Purple robes, golden torc (300 gp), silver dagger, potion of human control.

• Acolytes, Adepts Lvl 2: HP 2d6; AC 5 [14]; Save 13; Special: Adept spells (1st); Ring armor, shield, black robes lined with crimson, light mace.

7. Inn of One Thousand Delights: The best inn in town, it features two taverns (one for wine, one for dark ale), a restaurant specializing in goat cheese, spices and ground lamb on flat bread. The taverns consist of long tables and booths hidden by thick, velvet curtains. Besides the booze, one can shop for prostitutes and hookahs (black lotus is extra) in the taverns. They also have dancing girls and musicians most nights, and games of dice run by employees (usually assassins) of the inn.

The inn is owned by Ophir’s brotherhood of assassins, who occupy the top floor. The innkeeper, Hood, is in their employ. He is a wicked man, malevolent and overbearing, but unskilled in fighting or assassination. The rooms in the inn are sumptuous and expensive (5 gp per night). The inn has its own stables, and baths and a laundry service can be purchased.

The top floor consists of apartments and meeting/training rooms. The assassins are ultimately led by Prince Zargo, but day-to-day operations are overseen by Joram, his lieutenant. The assassins’ most proficient killed is the Black Lotus.

• Joram, Assassin Lvl 4: HP 16; AC 5 [14]; Save 12 (11 vs. death); Special: Cheat death, decipher script, diguise, sneak attack for double damage, stealth, poison; Short sword, dagger, darts (3), leather armor, black mask, 4d6 gp.

• Black Lotus, Assassin Lvl 8: HP 37; AC 4 [15]; Save 8 (7 vs. death); Special: Cheat death, decipher script, diguise, sneak attack for triple damage, stealth, poison; Short sword, +1 dagger, leather armor, disguise kit, vials of poison (2), vials of acid (2), burglars’ tools.

• Assassins: HD 2d6; AC 9 [10]; Atk 1 dagger (1d4 + poison) or 1 dart (1d3 + poison); Move 12; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Sneak attack. Dagger, darts (3), black mask, 1d6 gp, vial of acid.

8. Noble: This is the manse of Hogo, an old, haggard-looking hedonist. Hogo lives in a large, two-story building of exposed brick. Ornamental metal works adorns the entrance and the windows. Hogo is a minor nobleman who lives by the old ways. He is cruel and sadistic and given to indulging his lusts. He keeps a small harem of five women (all slaves) and a small staff of slaves to cater to his every need. Hogo throws lavish orgies that are widely attended by the chaotic and evil aristocrats of the city-state. Hogo employs a large bodyguard from Lyonesse called Morgo the Black. Morgo guards the entrance to Hogo’s domicile when his master is in, and accompanies when he is out (usually carried by slaves on a sedan chair). Morgo is tall and lank, with thinning hair and a drooping black mustache. He is as wicked as his master, and would turn on him for the right price. Hogo keeps his treasure in the bank, though he is suspicious of the banker. Hogo has set his eyes on Ramma the dancer [18]. His entreaties have so far fallen on deaf ears, so he is planning to send Morgo and some thugs around to kidnap her.

• Morgo, Fighting-Man Lvl 3: HP 14; AC 4 [15]; Save SV 14; Chainmail, two-handed sword, dagger, 10 gp.

10. Bloody Bones Tavern: After a few years in the army, Nosir retired and purchased this tavern with his plunder. The walls of the tavern are decorated with weapons and shields (gifts, mostly) and is frequented by soldiers, guardsmen, mercenaries and fighting-men. Nosir is a cruel man and always on the lookout for an opportunity to profit off of another’s misery. He has lost three wives (the last under mysterious circumstances) and the wenches he employs would probably leave if they didn’t enjoy the protection of their clients. Nosir allows them the use of the back room to entertain for a cut. He has chambers above the tavern, but can no longer make it up the stairs. He now sleeps in the back room. He keeps his treasure (36 sp, 180 cp) in a locked strongbox under the bar.

• Nosir: Evil Human Fighting-Man 1, HP 10, AC 10, MV 9, ATK falchion +2 (1d6+1), SV 18, AB Str 10, Dex 9, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 7, EQ falchion, buckler (kept behind the bar). Wavy hair, birthmark on right arm, lewd and miserly.

E. Square of Ineffable Damnation
Named for the many slaves that travel through this square weekly from the harbor to the slave pens [16]. The alleys here are reddish dirt and overgrown with weeds, but the square itself is tiled with reddish marble. The southern part of the square has a large fountain, and it is believed to be lucky to throw a copper coin in (retrieved by the priests of Adonis and Astarte each night and used as alms for the poor).

Crowds here consist of prospective slave buyers and those who wish to watch the auction, laborers moving from one place to another and peddlers selling bits of roasted meat on kabobs (often rat), salted dates and clay pots of beer.

14. Slaver: Muta is a wicked elven slaver. He is a mature elf, remembering well the days when the Purple Kings still ruled the coast. Muta is immaculate in dress, loquacious in speech and forceful in personality. His home is built of white stone and has a green door covered with brass tracery. Muta has been a member of the Brotherhood of Slavers for several decades, rising up through the ranks as a slave driver. He has a keen intellect and expects that he will one day run the show (which is highly unlikely). Muta employs a ogrillon bodyguard called Jaroom. Jaroom has purple skin and flaming red hair, and dresses in a black leather jerkin and mail kilt. He carries a curved two-handed sword called a zulf-i-khar and wears a necklace of rat skulls. Muta’s household is run by an old slave called Mumba. He suspects Ramma the dancer [18] of being involved in sneaking slaves out of Ophir, but does not feel ready to move against her, especially because he fears the involvement of the Temple of Shedu. His treasure consists of 10,000 cp, 1,000 sp and 100 gp.

• Muta, Elf Slaver: HD 3 (12 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 long sword (1d8); Move 12; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Elf abilities. Chainmail, curved long sword, dagger, 3d6 gp.

• Jaroom, Ogrillon: HD 2 (8 hp); AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 sword (1d10+2) or 1 dart (1d3+2); Move 12; Save 16; CL/XP 2/30; Special: None.

16. Slave Market: This mini-fortress contains the city-state’s slave pens. The building consists of three stories of barred cells along the perimeter, with an empty space in the middle that serves as a barracks and stables for the slavers. The building has a flat roof that is patrolled by archers in azure cloaks.

In front of the fortress is a broad plaza and a large wooden platform shaded by a blue tarp. Every day, 4d6 slaves are auctioned off here by Aliq, the auctioneer. Aliq and his unfortunate charges are always under the watchful eye of the archers and their amazonian Cushite commander, Hova.

• Aliq, Talking Weasel (treat as halfling) Thief Lvl 3: HP 9; AC 9 [10]; Save 13; Special: Back stab for double damage; Thick saffron robes, dagger, darts (3), platinum ring worth 100 gp, ring of keys, 3d10 gp. In play, Aliq ended up sounding like Joe Pesci. This struck one of my younger players so funny that I got requests to “do the weasel voice” almost every session.

• Archers: HD 3; AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 long bow or curved long sword (1d8); Move 12; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: None. Chainmail, shield, long sword, long bow, 10 arrows, 1d6 gp.

• Hova, Fighting-Woman Lvl 5: HP 32; AC 5 [14]; Save 12; Special: Immense strength (+1); Two-handed sword, longbow, 10 arrows, ring armor, gold hoop earrings worth 50 gp, 5d6 gp.

Random Slaves
1-5. Bearer (20 gp)
6. Courtesan (60 gp)
7. Entertainer (60 gp)
8. Eunuch (40 gp)
9. Gladiator (60 gp)
10. House servant (40 gp)
11-19. Laborer (20 gp)
20. Specialist* (600 gp)

* Specialists may be animal trainers, sages, etc. or adventurer-types, in which case the price is per level.

17. Barber: Visits to the barber should be relaxing, but such is rarely the case with Lathiq. Lathiq is a rough looking customer with thick eyebrows and several chins, but he is also a skilled storyteller and surgeon. The ground floor of his shop is given over to his operating room, where he gives haircuts, bleedings and tooth extractions. The second floor consists of living quarters for himself and his two “wives” (Gala, a raven-haired beauty, and Aneth, an elven slave girl). He keeps his money in a locked chest trapped with a poisoned needle. The chest contains 700 gp and an onyx worth 30 gp.

• Lathiq, Bard Lvl 8: HP 43; AC 7 [12]; Save 9; Special: Decipher, inspiration, legend lore, fascinate; Leather apron stained with blood, silver dagger, three darts, razor, shears.

18. Dancer: This is the home of Ramma, a beautiful dancer who plies her trade in the Inn of One Thousand Delights. She has caught the eye of some dangerous folk, but feels herself capable of handling them. Ramma lives in a one-story, flat-roofed, adobe building near the Slave Market. She is a member of the “underground railroad” in Ophir. Her treasure consists of 85 gp kept in a locked iron box. If things get too hot in Ophir, she may try to join a band of adventurers on their way out. She has two small caches, large enough to hide humans, hidden beneath her home’s tiled floor.

• Ramma, Bard Lvl 1: HP 8; AC 8 [11]; Save 16; Special: Decipher script, inspiration, legend lore. Costume jewelry worth 25 sp, long sword, dagger. Seductive, whispery voice, joking and sociable.

20. Alchemist: Nabe’ is a true alchemist. He is a middle-aged man with a paunch and thinning black hair. He is clean, obsessive and forceful in personality, a bachelor with a penchant for the bordellos and gambling dens of Ophir. Nabe’ keeps a shop and small laboratory on the ground floor, a larger laboratory and study on the second floor, and his bedroom on the third floor of is adobe building with its scattered blue tiles and blue doors and latticed windows. A failed experiment (a synthoid) is locked in the attic and fed through a small hole in the ceiling of Nabe’s bedroom. Nabe keeps his treasure in a lead-lined wooden chest. It consists of 1,000 sp and 200 gp.

• Synthoid: HD 2+2 (8 hp); AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 slam (1d4); Move 12; Save 16; CL/XP 2/30; Special: None.

21. Sage: Lathba the sage specializes in the subject of molds and fungi. He has an extensive collection of molds and oozes (including green slime and black pudding) kept in hermetically sealed glass globes displayed around his library. Lathba’s home is three stories tall, with a reception area on the ground floor, a library and den on the second floor and a bedchamber on the third. Lathba is currently single, but he has a penchant for elven men and is a terrible flirt. He has an impressive wine collection that he keeps in an old sarcophagus propped against one wall of his reception area. Several other artifacts, including a stone seal bearing the elder sign, hang from the walls of his reception area, which is also decorated with a soft couch covered in lion hide, an oak chair with blue cushions embroidered with star patterns, two wicker chairs that have seen better days and an amberglass globe with a permanent light spell cast on it (kept under a black velvet throw when not needed). In his youth, Lathba was quite the rake, and he still retains some fighting ability.

• Lathba: HD 3 (12 hp); AC 9 [10]; Atk 1 short sword (1d6+1); Move 9; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: None. Crisp speech, extroverted troublemaker, argumentative.

22. Renegade Monk: Ob once served the Monastery of Melkarth [39], but was cast out when his cruel, violent nature was revealed. He now works as an enforcer for the den of thieves [60] and as a part-time adventurer-for-hire. Ob’s house is a two-story affair and constructed of grey stone. The bottom floor is a patio of sorts, with vine-covered pillars and a small fountain. The upper floor consists of a living area and simple bedroom. Ob keeps no treasure, for the guild sees to his daily needs. He has a +1 shield (projects an aura of darkness once per day with the command word “F’taghn”) hanging over his mantle.

• Ob, Half-Orc Monk Lvl 5: HP 33; AC 7 [12]; Save 10; Special: Move 17, unarmed strikes deal 1d8 and 1d4 damage, stunning attack 5/day, deflect missile 1/rd, harm creatures only struck by +2 weapons, slow fall; Jade pendant of a coiled serpent worth 155 gp.

23. Boardinghouse: Ib is a wretched man with greasy, thinning hair, a bushy beard and lazy eye (right). He is flatulent, insensitive and irresponisble, and runs this decrepit three-story boarding house. The building is in disrepair and sparsely furnished. Rooms cost 1 sp for a night or 5 sp per week. Food is not served on the premises, and the smell that pervades the place would make it an unappetizing place to eat. A number of secret corridors exist between rooms, with secret doors and spy holes that allow Ib to do some business as a spy for the guild. Ib is married to a harridan called Zora. He has three children, all very shy girls between the ages of 5 and 10. Zora despises her husband, but remains with him for her daughters sake. Given the opportunity to move on (or throw him out), she would happily take it.

• Zora, Barbarian Lvl 2: HP 13; AC 9 [10]; Save 14; Special: Cannot be flanked or back stabbed, fears magic; Meat cleaver, 1d6 sp. Fat, imposing, crooked nose, wears too much make-up.

25. Ibhad the Mason: Ibhad is the finest mason in Ophir, though his appearance would mark him as a simple laborer. He owes much of his success to a +3 light hammer that he stole from a drunken dwarf many years ago. His home is a masterpiece of the mason’s art, the stone being unplastered to display Ibhad’s prowess. The interior is a mess. Ibhad’s has two wives, Lahi (age 38) and Ima (age 16), a maiden of Zinj purchased from a slave trader. Ibhad’s home is three stories tall, with a kitchen and work area on the ground floor, a den on the second floor and living quarters on the third floor. At night, Ima is kept chained in the kitchen when not entertaining her husband. Ibhad’s fortune in a stone chest. It consists of 100 gp and 10 pp. He knows of several secret entrances into the catacombs, including one that leads into the treasury!

One last part tomorrow.

On Ophir, The City of Slaves Part 2

As mentioned in a previous post, I only detail a small part of a city-state. This gives the players a “home range” that they understand, and tends to make the various NPCs more important and meaningful because they are interacted with more often. Naturally, if an entire campaign were to be set in a city-state, I would detail more of it.

Most of the inhabitants detailed below do not have combat statistics presented for them. In these cases, use one of the following sets of statistics:

• Academics: HD 1d4; AC 9 [10]; Atk 1 fist (1d2) or weapon (1d4); Move 12; Save 18; CL/XP A/5; Special: Skills depend on the academic’s profession.

• Aristocrats: HD 1; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8); Move 12; Save 17; CL/XP 1/15; Special: None.

• Commoner: HD 1d6; AC 9 [10]; Atk 1 fist (1d2) or weapon (1d4); Move 12; Save 18; CL/XP B/10; Special: Skills depend on the commoner’s profession.

A. Purple Street
Named for the old Purple Kingdom, of which Ophir was once the capital. The Purple Kingdom was named for the purple dyes that the people of the Wyvern Coast once specialized in. Purple Street has the look of a fancy street that is showing its age. Most of the entryways are set a few feet below street level. The street is paved with prophyry tiles (a purple stone) and lined with limestone troughs filled by water bearers in the employ of Zargo.

Crowds along this street include foreigners just arriving to the city (including adventurers), street walkers, citizens going about their businesses, noisy fishwives, sailors looking for a good time, urchins practicing their pick pocketing (1 n 6 chance adventurers lose a purse or other small item while on this streets) and guardsmen. Priestly processions also move up and down this street, as do herds of animals purchased in the Beast Market and headed for a merchant galley or cog.

Following this street north, one eventually reaches the Palace of Zargo and the manor of his grand vizier. To the south, the street reaches the banks of the River Asphodel and the quays and warehouses that line them.

Grand Vizier: Lathta is Prince Zargo’s grand vizier. He is a youthful cousin, dandyish and pessimistic, but completely honorable. His four-story manor abuts the palace and connects to it with secret tunnels that also, via trapdoors, connect to the catacombs. Lathta does not like Zargo, but fears to act against him, though he does his best to intercede for victims of the Prince’s cruelty. Lathta’s wives, Jamila and Hasda, live on his country estate with his seven children (all sons). Lathta keeps his treasure (150 pp, 580 gp, 480 sp, a large red garnet worth 400 gp) in a locked vault in his cellar. His manor is always under the guard of twenty men-at-arms (chainmail, shield, battle axe, light crossbow, 10 bolts).

• Lathta: HD 3 (14 hp); AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8+1); Move 12; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: None. Masterwork long sword, masterwork chainmail, shield, silver dagger, torque of office (gold studded with amethysts, worth 800 gp).

Palace: The palace of Prince Zargo dominates the center of Ophir. Composed of six-foot thick grantie walls, it is five stories tall and features two onion-shaped domes covered in beaten gold. The palace’s courtyard features gardens and fountains and leads to the prince’s stables, which house his twelve racing stallions.

The palace is under the constant guard of thirty men-at-arms under the command of three sergeants, a lieutenant called Galim and Elektra, the captain of the palace guard. The entrance to the palace is guarded by Korvos, an ogre. Korvos is virtuous and honorable, and much beloved by the children of Ophir. He is known to be loyal to the prince, and has never been known to be derelict in his duties.

Zargo keeps most of his treasures in the Treasury, but he keeps numerous art objects (15,000 gp worth) spread throughout his palace. Zargo has a harem of twenty wives and 43 children. Zargo’s older children live outside the city-state on his manors. His younger children (fifteen of them) live in the palace with their mothers. Zargo’s harem is protected by five eunuch bodyguards (HP 13, 11, 10, 10, 10), all wearing chainmail hauberks and armed with curved two-handed swords.

Zargo is advised by his grand vizier (see above). His court magician is Jamala, a necromancer with access to the catacombs beneath the city-state and a laboratory in which she experiments with re-animating dead tissue. Zargo’s chapel, dedicated to Lotan, is overseen by Taru the Black, a rival and ex-lover of Aralla, the pontiff of Ophir and high priestess of Lotan. He still bears the scars of their romance.

• Elektra, Fighting-Woman Lvl 6: HP 38; AC 1 [18]; Save 11; Platemail, shield, curved long sword, silver dagger, longbow, 20 arrows, 5d6 gp, ring of spell turning, a gift from Jamala to seal a secret deal. She wears a full helm with a brass wyvern crest and a red tunic emblazoned with the gold sea wyvern of Ophir over armor.

• Galim, Fighting-Man Lvl 3: HP 13; AC 1 [18]; Save 14; Platemail, shield, curved long sword, dagger, longbow, 20 arrows, 3d6 gp. He wears a red tunic emblazoned with a gold sea wyvern over his armor, and a helm topped by two leather horns painted yellow.

• Jamala, Magic-User Lvl 9: HP 32; AC 10 [9]; Save 7; Special: Magic-user spells (5th); Silver dagger, spellbook, chime of opening, 9d6 gp. Jamala’s laboratory is protected by six zombies. She wears crimson robes traced with golden runes and flashy (but mostly brass) jewelry worth 50 gp. Jamala walks with a limp, one of her feet being mauled once by a chimera and replaced in a semi-successful experiment with the foot of a dead dancing girl.

• Korvos, Beastman Fighting-Man Lvl 7: HP 43; AC 2 [17]; Atk 1 two-handed sword (1d10); Move 9; Save 10; CL/XP 8/800; Special: Tremendous strength (+2), only surprised on 1 in 10, fights blind with no penalties, can detect invisible creatures and discern lies on a 1-22 on 1d6; Chainmail, shield, two-handed sword (used in one hand), 5d6 gp.

• Taru, Cleric Lvl 4: HP 24; AC 3 [16]; Save 11; Special: Cleric spells (2nd); Plate mail, shield, heavy mace, holy symbol of Lotan, scroll of cure light wounds, 4d6 gp.

• Zargo, Assassin Lvl 11: HP 40; AC 3 [16]; Save 5 (4 vs. death); Special: High dexterity (+1), cheat death, decipher script, disguise, sneak attack for quadruple damage, stealth, poison; Dagger of poison (save or +1d6 damage and searing pain), silver darts (5), elven chainmail, periapt of proof against poison.

B. The Market of Braying Beasts
At the intersection of Purple Street and the Processionary is the racous animal market. Temporary pens fill the center of the square and hold goats, sheep, cattle, horses and camels (and occaisionally more exotic and dangerous creatures). Surrounding the pens are numerous merchants selling the beasts, almost always in large lots, to other merchants, who might then march them down Purple Street to an awaiting galley on the river. Animals are never moved north from the market, as this is forbidden. They enter the market in large, noisy herds from the Processionary, either from east or west. The assassins of the city conduct most of their business here in the din and cover of the crowds.

C. The Processionary
This is the main street between the gates of the city -state. It has considerable cart and camel traffic, and is thronged by peddlers, tinkers, sailors, prostitutes and cutpurses. It is paved with limestone cobbles, which are in poor repair and present a hazard to those who would engage in a fight (save each round or fall prone). Following the Processionary east leads to the Garrison, and to the west leads to the Chancery and Royal Treasury.

Chancery: This is the manse of Riba, the Chancellor of Ophir (meaning she is in charge of the city-state’s finances and tax collection). Riba is the prince’s aunt and holds her office despite her stated distaste for many of his actions and methods. She is an old woman, moody and blustering and feared by her tax collectors. She suspects that Zargo is the leader of the assassins and would dearly like to expose and destroy him and take the throne herself. She is served by several servants who are led by her valet, Horak. Riba is tall and stately, with long, braided silver hair and thin lips often turned down in a scowl. She dresses in robes of dazzling colors and keeps her jewelry simple and understated (gold, 300 gp worth).

Royal Treasury: This building is a fortress of limestone blocks with a single entrance protected by an steel portcullis. It is guarded by thirty men-at-arms (fifteen archers with ring mail, shield, light crossbow, 10 bolts and hand axe and fifteen heavy footmen with chainmail, shield, pole arm and curved short sword). The treasury’s commandant is Balulla, a Cushite with sharpened teeth and an absolute dedication to duty. Balulla is assisted by two sergeants, Jali and Hasif.

The treasury contains the following treasures in locked (and poisoned gas trapped) iron strongboxes. The sum total is 13,000 sp, 500 ep, 12,100 gp, 20 pp, a silver aquamanile worth 4,800 gp, 15 ingots of gold (45 lb, 100 gp/lb) and 30 pounds of purple dye in terracotta pots (worth 3 gp/lb).

• Balulla, Barbarian Lvl 3: HP 21; AC 7 [12]; Save 13; Special: Cannot be flanked or back stabbed, fears magic, berserk; Battle axe, throwing irons (treat as hand axe), leather armor, necklace of polished bone and quartz crystals worth 150 gp, 3d6 gp.

• Jali: HD 3 (14 hp); AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8); Move 12; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: None. Longbow, curved short sword, ring armor, shield, 1d6 gp.

• Hasif: HD 3 (10 hp); AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8); Move 12; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: None. Chainmail, shield, pole arm, short sword, 1d6 gp.

Garrison: The garrison is a large keep of limestone with five tall towers. The commander of the garrison is Lord Amiral. Amiral has chiseled features. He is mysterious and philisophical and worships the Ogdoad, agents of Chaos. He has five wives, the eldest handling the day-to-day affairs of his house and, truth be told, his command. He has twenty children (12 sons, 8 daughters) ranging in age from 3 to 26. Two of his sons, Zarkon and Farim, serve under him. His eldest daughter has received extensive training as a magic-user. His treasure consists of 10,000 cp, 10,000 sp and 1,100 gp kept in a vault in the keep protected with a fire trap (4d6 damage). Amiral makes no bones about his religion. He devoutly worships the chaotic Ogdoad. This has raised the ire of the Temple of Lotan, but worship of the frog gods has spread among his soldiers.

• Amiral, Fighting-Man Lvl 5: HP 31; AC 0 [19]; Save 12; Masterwork platemail, shield, masterwork long sword, silver dagger, masterwork lance, golden holy symbol of chaos worth 100 gp.

• Zarkon, Fighting-Man Lvl 2: HP 12; AC 0 [19]; Save 15; Masterwork platemail, shield, long sword, dagger, lance, ring of protection +1.

• Farim, Fighting-Man Lvl 2: HP 7; AC 2 [17]; Save 15; Platemail, battle axe, pistol (treat as light crossbow), 10 shots, dagger.

• Kelara, Magic-User Lvl 3: HP 10; AC 8 [11]; Save 13; Special: Magic-user spells (2nd), can maximize one spell per week; Staff, silver dagger, spellbook.

Tomorrow I will finish up the denizens of Ophir (well, not all of them, I have to save something for NOD #2). I’m then going to post some ideas on wilderness campaigns and strongholds and then delve into the Nabu desert sandbox to the east of the Wyvern Coast. Somewhere along the line I’ll post the druid and illusionist and do some previews for PARS FORTUNATM.

On Ophir, The City of Slaves – Part One

  • Size: Town (5,000 citizens)
  • Race: Human
  • Temples: Lotan; also Astarte, Baal-Zebul, Kothar-wa-Khasis, Melkarth, Shedu, Tangadorn
  • Ruler: Prince Zargo (Human Assassin Lvl 11)
  • High Priest: Aralla of the Temple of Lotan (Human Cleric/Magic-User Lvl 7)
  • Guildmaster: Ketha (Human Thief Lvl 10)
  • Theme: Barbary Pirates, Swords & Sandals
  • Accent: Vaguely Middle Eastern
  • Vistas: Towers, raised highways, remnants of an ancient city, worn and weathered walls, tarnished domes, lazy citizens, humanoid soldiers
  • Cuisine: Lamb, mutton, oysters, fish, squid, gamebirds, flat bread, rum, spiced wine, ale, short beer
  • Common Names: Aida, Aliq, Ama, Balma, Diyulla, Far, Haba, Hakin, Hasmila, Hoob, Ibrah, Jumnah, Kar, Ketha, Lath, Muhad, Naam, Nabee’, Nood, Rasha, Riha, Says, Shad, Ubaamir, Wasir, Zargo, Ziyad
  • Strange Customs: Never look a person in the eyes, only whispers after sundown (tongue sliced on first offense, removed on second)
  • Monetary Unit: Shekel

Ophir is a city of corsairs and cut-throats, slave markets and crowded bazarres, opium dens and danger around every corner. It is the great black market of the Motherlands, where anything is for sale.

Ophir is a center of the slave trade and a black market for stolen goods, especially magic items. No questions are asked in Ophir, so long as the guild and the prince get their 50% cut. Most nearby city-states keep factors in Ophir to hunt for desired magic items.

The archetypal Ophirian has blue-black hair, brown eyes and tanned skin. Citizens wear colorful robes over tunics and sandals on their feet. Turbans are common among the men, while women wear silk scarves or tie their hair up with ribbons, strings of pearls or golden chains. It is common for people to anoint their hair with scented oils, and guests in Ophirian homes always have their feet washed and anointed with oils when they arrive.

Ophir’s men-at-arms wear distinctive red scarves around their pointed helmets. They are equipped with chainmail, shield, short sword (falchion), light crossbow and 10 crossbow bolts. One guard in ten carries a heavy crossbow. Every group of more than three soldiers is accompanied by a sergeant-at-arms, and there is always one sergeant for every ten soldiers. Groups of twenty or more are commanded by a captain.

The people of Ophir speak with a rough, earthy dialect. Many are wanted by the authorities of other city-states and are kept in line by their fear of Prince Zargo’s assassins and the might of the guild of thieves.

Random Punishments
1. Chain Gang (1-6 days)
2. Fine (10-100 gp)
3. Lashes (5-20, 1-4 subdual damage each)
4. Loss of Hand
5. Pilloried (1-4 days)
6. Prince’s Dungeon (1-4 weeks)

Gambling is a common past time in Ophir, usually using dice. The locals also enjoy pit fighting (to the death). Horse and camel races are conducted in some of the dry river beds near the city. The city-state boasts two champions of the Herculean Games held in Guelph.

Ophir’s economy is based on the slave trade and the black market. Ophir’s domain is composed mostly of dry, volcanic soil. The city-state is surrounded by a cedar forest and a few pleasant meadows that support goat and sheep herding. Most commoners make their living from the sea as fishermen or sailors.

Next, a map of the “adventurer’s quarter” and I begin to detail the folks who live there.

On the Gods of Nod: Ophir

What follows is the pantheon I worked up for the city-state of Ophir on the Wyvern Coast. The gods and goddesses are based, more or less, on Phoenician and Levantine deities. Each of the deities has a cult spell for his clerics and/or druids. For the neutral deities I list some sacred animals that their druids may turn into with their shape-change power. The portions in italics are open game content.

Adonis
Also called Lord
Deity of youth, beauty and rebirth
Wields a club
Served by nymphs
Symbolized by a boar
Aligned with Neutrality
Druids may learn the spell Lamentation (see below)
Sacred animals are the boar, bull and ram

Adonis is the god of youth, beauty and rebirth. His mother, Myrrha, was turned into a myrrh tree by Derceto to protect her from her father. Adonis was born from the tree when its bark was rent by a boar’s tusks. At birth, the boy was so lovely that Derceto hid him in a chest that she gave to Kore for safe keeping. But the goddess of death was so taken with the youth that she would not give him up. Ultimately, it was decided that Adonis would spend six months with Derceto on earth and six months with Kore in the Underworld.

The cult of dying Adonis belongs to women. They celebrate a two day festival at midsummer. The first day is spent in mourning, with worshipers uttering lamentations and beating themselves. The second day, celebrating his rebirth, is spent in feasting and merriment.

LAMENTATION (Druid Level 1)
Range: Earshot
Duration: 1 round + 1 round/druid level

By uttering loud lamentations to Adonis, a druid can cause all humanoids in earshot to fall into tears for the duration of the spell. While overcome with sorrow, creatures cannot perform any action beyond self defense.

Asclepius
Also called The Eighth
Deity of healing
Wields a short bow
Served by angels
Symbolized by a caduceus
Aligned with Law
Clerics learn the spell Soothing Touch (see below)

Asclepius is the god of healing. He was fathered by Zadok with one of the seven Titanides after he had already fathered seven other sons. Asclepius was once pursued by Astarte to the point that he castrated himself and died. Seeing the error of her ways, Astarte restored him to life with the warmth of her body and made him a demigod.

Worshipers of Asclepius make votive offerings of statuettes of people healed by him, especially babies and children. Asclepius temples may be carved into the rock of the earth or built atop massive limestone pedestals measuring 230 ft wide, 160 ft long and 70 ft high. They often include paved pools, sculptures of sphinxes and lions and bas-relief sculptures of hunting scenes.

SOOTHING TOUCH (Cleric Level 2)
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 minute

This spell temporarily restores 1d4 points of damage per level of the subject. These temporary hit points disappear after one minute.

Astarte
Also called Face of the Lord, Queen of Heaven
Deity of fertility, love and war
Wields a spear
Served by angels and the fey
Symbolized by a pentagram
Aligned with Neutrality
Druids learn the spell Crown of Stars (see below)
Sacred animals are the antelope, lion and horse

Astarte is the goddess of fertility, love and war. She is depicted as a naked woman, enthroned, flanked by sphinxes and holding a bowl beneath her full breasts. Her symbols include the horse, sphinx, dove and circled star (pentagram).

Astarte is the daughter of sky and earth, the sister-wife of Shedu. She has seven daughters, the Titanides, and two sons, Pothos (Longing) and Eros (Desire).

At Astarte’s festival, worshipers bake small cakes, burn incense, pour out drink offerings and raise sacred poles in her honor.

CROWN OF STARS (Druid Level 5)
Range: Sight
Duration: 1 turn/cleric level

With a word, a crown of stars appears above the druid’s head. Lawful (or benevolent) creatures that view the crown must succeed at a saving throw or be unable to attack or otherwise harass the druid. Neutral creatures (including animals) who see the crown must succeed at a saving throw or fall under the control of the druid. Chaotic (or malevolent) creatures who view the crown must succeed at a saving throw or be struck blind.

Baalzebub
Also called Lord of Flies
Deity of disease and falsehood
Wields a whip
Served by demons
Symbolized by a fly
Aligned with Chaos
Clerics learn the spell Infestation (see below)

Baalzebul, the Lord of Flies, is one of the fallen spirits who reigns in Hell as second in command to Lucifer. He is the patron of disease, falsehood, flattery and death. Sacrifices, sometimes of children, are made to him to bring relief from plagues. Baalzebul and his worshipers work to undermine and ultimately control civilization. His priests are silver tongued and crafty, tempting princes and the priests of other gods to do their work for them. Baalzebub appears either as a giant fly or a fly-headed man.

INFESTATION (Cleric Level 2)
Range: 20 ft
Duration: 1d6 rounds

The cleric causes one creature per level (up to 10) to feel the sensation of maggots crawling beneath their skin. Subjects who succeed at a saving throw see through the illusion but are still harassed by the sensation and suffer a -1 penalty to all actions for 1 minute. Those who fail their saving throws fall to the ground, tearing and rending their flesh, inflicting 1d3 points of damage to themselves for 1d6 rounds. Fortunately, the poor souls will pass out before they kill themselves.

Derceto
Also called Lady Goddess of the Sea
Deity of the sea and fertility
Wields a spear or mace
Served by the fey
Symbolized by a mermaid
Aligned with Neutrality
Druids learn Derceto’s Transformation (see below)
Sacred animals are the dolphin, hawk and lion

Derceto is a mermaid goddess of the sea and fertility. She is the inventor of useful tools, patron of astrology and mistress of destiny. She usually appears as a mermaid with two tails or as a naked woman riding atop two lions or riding in a lion-drawn chariot. Her symbols include the lion, crescent moon, scepter and fish-spear.

Derceto is a strict mistress. Her cultists are beggar-priests who must emasculate themselves and are forbidden from eating fish. They carry copper coins bearing the likeness of the goddess.

DERCETO’S TRANSFORMATION (Druid Level 4)
Range: Personal
Duration: 1 hour

The druid takes on the form of abilities of a merfolk for 1 hour. In addition to gaining the lower torso of a fish and the ability to breath water, the druid grows fierce claws on his hands, gaining an attack that deals 1d6 damage.

Kothar-wa-Khasis
Also called Skillful-and-Wise, Deft-with-both-hands
Deity of craftsmanship, smiths, magic
Wields a war hammer
Served by elementals
Symbolized by a hammer
Aligned with Law
Clerics learn the spell Perfect Object (see below)

Kothar-wa-Khasis is the god of craftsmanship. He is the patron of smiths, engineers, architects and inventors. As the creator of sacred words and spells, he is the patron of sooth-sayers and magicians. Besides crafting the weapons of the gods, Kothar also built Shedu’s magnificent palace of silver, gold, lapis lazuli and fragrant cedar wood. When Shedu sends rain to earth, it is Kothar who first opens the window of his palace.

PERFECT OBJECT (Cleric Level 2)
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 hour

An object touched by the cleric becomes perfect in composition and construction. Armor will have a +1 bonus to AC, weapons a +1 bonus to hit, etc. The items are not magical, and perfected weapons cannot be used to strike creatures only harmed by magic weapons. This effect lasts for one hour.

Lotan
Also called Lord of the Land
Deity of the sea and chaos
Wields a spear
Served by demons and water elementals
Symbolized by a scourge
Aligned with Chaos
Clerics learn the spell Seven Deadly Stings (see below)

Lotan is the god of the primordial seas. He rules storm and destruction, and was cast out of Heaven because of his evil temper. Lotan is the brother of Shedu, Melkarth and Astarte. He has had occasion to war with both of his brothers. He can take the form of a powerful merman with a curled, blue-black beard or that of a seven-headed sea serpent. His palace is in the deepest depths of the oceanic Abyss. Lotan’s consort is Belatu.

Lotan’s temples are often built near the sea. They are black buildings, imposing and terrible. His priests wear black robes and hunt the streets at night for sacrificial victims to quell the primordial rage of their master.

THE SEVEN DEADLY STINGS (Cleric Level 4)
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 round/cleric level

By anointing a staff with sea water, the cleric can bring forth seven serpentine heads from its tip. In battle, the staff strikes once per round for 1d6 points of damage. Creatures hit by the staff must make a saving throw against poison or suffer one additional point of damage per level of the cleric.

Melkarth
Also called King of the City
Deity of sailors, warriors, traders
Wields a sickle-sword
Served by cherubim
Symbolized by a murex shell
Aligned with Law
Clerics learn the spell Whirling Death (see below)

Melkarth is the god of sailors, heroes, the fighting arts and traders. Melkarth is invoked in oaths and contracts. He is known to send visions to warlords and kings. Most importantly, he is the inventor of the rare and expensive purple die that is the basis of his worshipers mercantile success. His worshipers can be seen leaping in the air and falling to their knees, on which they spin like tops. He is celebrated each February in what is called the “Awakening”. His temples are large affairs and always feature two pillars of bronze or gold.

WHIRLING DEATH (Cleric Level 1)
Range: Personal
Duration: 1 round/cleric level

The cleric begins spinning wildly, gaining an additional attack each round and a +1 bonus to AC and melee damage.

Moloch
Also called King
Deity of fire, evil
Wields a mace
Served by demons and fire elementals
Symbolized by a golden calf
Aligned with Chaos
Clerics learn the spell Consuming Fire (see below)

Moloch is a wicked spirit cast out from Heaven who is worshiped as the god of fire. He is depicted as a man with golden skin and the head of a bull or oxen. Great brazen idols of Moloch are constructed like ovens, with sacrificial victims placed inside to be burned to death. During these sacrifices, priests beat drums to drown out the cries of the victims. Moloch is a revered by those who worship power over all things. His priests and worshipers are warlike, overbearing and violent. Sacrifices to Moloch are made to ensure victory in war and to call down rain.

CONSUMING FIRE (Cleric Level 5)
Range: 30 ft
Duration: See below

This spell lasts for one round per cleric level, up to a maximum of five rounds. During the first round of the spell, the target suffers 1d4 points of damage and feels searing pain in his hands and feet. He must succeed at a saving throw or drop whatever he is carrying. During the second round, the victim suffers 1d6 points of damage and feels the lick of flames on his arms and legs. He must succeed at a saving throw or suffer a -1 penalty to hit and to AC. In the third round, he suffers 1d8 points of damage and feels that his torso is on fire. If he fails a saving throw, he is compelled to strip off his armor and douse himself with water. In the final round, he suffers 1d10 points of damage and feels as though his face and hair are aflame. He must succeed at a saving throw or be stunned for 1d4 rounds.

Shedu
Also called Bull God, Patriarch, Creator of Creatures
Deity of creation, the sky, rainfall, fertility
Wields twin clubs
Served by angels, shedu and lammasu
Symbolized by a human-headed bull
Aligned with Law
Clerics learn the spell Blinding Light (see below)

Shedu is the supreme deity and creator of human beings. He is the lord of the sky and sun who governs rainfall and thus the growth of crops. Shedu is the protector of life whose absence results in famine, death and chaos. His brothers are Melkarth and Dagon (his terrible rival) and Astarte is his sister-wife. Shedu either appears as a golden skinned man wearing a horned helm and bearing twin clubs or as a human-headed bull. His earth-bound servants include androsphinxes, shedu and lammasu.

BLINDING LIGHT (Cleric Level 4)
Range: See below
Duration: 1 round/cleric level

The cleric’s head is surrounded by a halo of bright light. Those within 60 feet must succeed at a saving throw or be blinded for 30 minutes. While the spell lasts, creatures are unable to directly look at the cleric, giving them a -5 penalty to hit him in combat.