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Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Journal of Artificer Zilta Varsek
« on: February 12, 2019, 12:38:54 am »
Second Entry

Politics, a matter in which I hesitate to place in the journal as it is intended for the future artificer’s of Skettus to see the various experimentations and achievements I have obtained along with research to improve their ability to take what I have done farther in service to the house, though I suppose that an introduction to my methodology in such things will be useful for the future artificers to succeed in maintaining their position.

First, an overview. Everyone has desires, something that they want to see in a person they interact with along with things that they want deep down. The true goal of anyone who is forced to engage in such things is to ensure that you are seen as someone who can provide both of the above to those you wish influence over while internally remaining completely objective and viewing matters without emotion. Showing care to some, cruelty to others, security to one, and kindness to another, whichever obtains you the most reward for the minimal amount of effort after objectively weighing the options and acting in a manner that the one you wish to manipulate or gain the favor of most responds to without being swayed by foolishness like emotional decision making. Through this you can gain a clear understanding of how the cogs in the machine of people you build all work together and can allow yourself to anticipate the actions of others and move to take advantage of such a thing for yourself. The issue has arisen that one of these people has acted in a manner completely out of expectation throwing off the calculations that I have made about how to go about engagement.

The players in this situation should be first introduced with the problem character first. Lady Natassa Skettus is the sister of our Lord Jarren Skettus and the only member of Skettus to have a noble title outside of the lord himself. As of now she is in charge of the Skettus enforcers and has proven extremely effective at such things, coolly evaluating all consequences of her actions and acting with precision to ensure that problems to the house are taken care of or appropriate agents are assigned to take care of such things. In every interaction with her up to recent events she has displayed a calm and confident demeanor with just a bit of casualness to those who have proven themselves to be effective at furthering the cause of Skettus and the empire as a whole. Recently however, she made a decision which represents a departure from this previous attitude and raises a disturbing number of possibilities and actions that I have to choose from to solve the issue of this malfunctioning cog.

The second important member of this situation is head slave three. Head slave three is a gnome, something that perhaps future generations will not understand the significance of but in the current state of things this makes her enslavement important and means that she represents significant value both financially and status wise for Skettus to have. In addition to the significance of her race she also has trained in mind magics and the manipulation of others which allows Skettus to use her as a secret trump card in situations where danger arises, and a slave will not be considered as something to watch. Furthermore, the loyalty that this slave has shown to Skettus is extreme along with the meritorious service provided which includes but is not limited to Capturing a minotaur for our recently introduced menagerie, assisting in an expedition to another plane in exchange for the plans to the golems mentioned in the previous entry, entering dangerous battles to heal Skettus members at the risk of her own life, and being well liked enough amongst the various power brokers in Hadrian to be both a way of gaining favor with them and allowing for further manipulation of them.

With both the players introduced I shall state the problem succinctly as possible. According to the seeker of whispers head slave three refused a direct order and acted in a manner that was insulting and above her station as a slave to him. Given that leeway has been provided for slave three to offer constructive criticism of plans in the past this is perhaps an inevitable consequence of offering her too much freedom. Looking at the matter logically and taking into consideration her value the best option would have been to internally punish her with a lashing carried out by the seeker of whispers. This would succinctly solve by focusing the slave’s frustration on the one who reported the matter against her, a lack of availability of Skettus leadership could also further direct frustration at the Seeker of whispers and a such limit the frustration at providing what she believed to be in the interests of the house to a single man while using the rest of the house to provide a soothing hand to her after punishment to not only teach her to avoid abuse of freedoms given but also to increase loyalty to the house as a whole as a result of the kindness showed after, a simple manipulation that would succinctly solve the issue with minimal fuss.

The Lady Skettus chose a different path that was out of character for her, this is in addition to the conversation I had with her after the punishment which disturbed me. Lady Skettus had the slave tied to a pole in the town square while a hired whip publicly lashed her fifteen times. The issues arising from this knee jerk reaction are nearly uncountable. The first and most obvious issue is that by doing this publicly we imply that Skettus is unable to control its slaves, something that reduces the prestige of the house. Second, every organization that viewed head slave three as a friend has now found itself questioning whether it should support Skettus as the member used as our primary method of friendship and manipulation was harmed. Third, as this was public and viewed by all and directly ordered by Lady Skettus the slave will feel as though they were punished by the house for attempting to serve the house in the best manner they could, causing a reduction of loyalty in the slave. Fourth, this reduction in loyalty coupled with the control the slave has over the minotaur for the menagerie allows for the possibility of an emotional act of vengeance that would result in unacceptable resource losses for the house. Fifth, a seeker with a close relationship to the slave will be angry at this and have a reduction in loyalty to the house as well.

Furthermore, after conversation with the Lady Skettus afterwards she seemed livid and unable to accurately asses the consequences that her actions would have on the house and threatened to have the slave’s head mounted over the fire should such a thing happen again and tasked me with ensuring it does not as “I pull her strings” as she put it. I do pull the strings, and I pulled the strings further by acting as a friend to her after the lashings and helping her heal, at the very least I increased her loyalty to me personally which through my loyalty to Skettus can make up for some of the issues arising from the situation though this is little more than a thin bandage. Furthermore, I am the artificer of Skettus, I spend my days researching how to properly contain and guard the house, wasting my time with ensuring that a slave acts the way they should is a massive misuse of my abilities and house resources.

All of this has led me to three possible conclusions for the lady Skettus. First, she was hiding her personality the entire time and now for some reason sees no reason to conceal herself, I find this particularly unlikely given the timing and lack of reason for such a thing. Second, she has come across a situation that has made her emotionally compromised and is affecting her judgement to a significant degree for some reason, this is plausible, but I have no triggering event to determine the truth of the matter. Third, she has been adversely affected by one of the artifacts Skettus has found resulting in manipulation of the mind, this is plausible as well though I cannot do anything about it if so unless her brother allows for a thorough examination of her mind.

Thus, we come to the crux of the matter, do I report her behavior to the Lord Skettus in the hopes that it can be corrected or does that represent an unacceptable risk to my position through either her or his retaliation for my concern? I have no answer at the present though I shall monitor the situation while continuing with my other plans and repairing what damage I can from this event.

Take this as a lesson future artificer, failure to remain objective and emotionally detached only leads to problems, problems that in all likelihood you will have to clean up whether you wish to or not.

Journals & Backgrounds / Journal of Artificer Zilta Varsek
« on: February 06, 2019, 01:08:00 am »
1st entry

   I have decided to begin a chronicle of my experiments and experiences for use by arcanists and artificers in the future having been given the position of Artificer of House Skettus. I must first admit that the promotion was a shock to me, with the former artificer Robertus Reffas taking leave of the position to head up the creation and containment of creatures within newly created Skettus menagerie of animals. I understand that arcane talent within Skettus is at a moderate level and I am one of the greater practitioners of the house, but I still wonder if I am going to be able to live up to the expectations regarding the position.

   First and foremost, I must deal with properly securing the Hadrian estate now that it has been expanded, warding in the new areas will be the first task but in the meantime, I have set up alarm spells to supplement the normal wards in addition to laying down further alarms in the newly constructed basement levels of the house. While I must admit that attacks from below are unlikely, I refuse to allow any possible security threat to go without being dealt with. The Hadrian estate may not have the number of artifacts that the Valstiir vault does the house does contain a few of the items of lesser power and serves as a stopping place for artifacts before transportation to Valstiir proper.

   I believe I shall take advantage of what was gained from the Puppetmaster after the trip to what is existence? The place I shall not write of (for future artificers know that the record of the trip has been sealed for a reason, there is some knowledge not worth pursuing). Mass production of iron golems of lesser power to guard the lower levels should be enough, even if not as powerful as a normally constructed one. Based on the plans I have seen they can be created far swifter than normal and quality can be made up for with quantity. I shall have my apprentice assist me in this, it should prove to be an excellent learning experience for her and prepare her for my true experiments.

General Discussion / Re: Improved Expertise
« on: November 08, 2018, 12:20:18 am »
Spellcasting IMO should cancel expertise as from my understanding expertise is related to specifically trying to attack while maximizing defense, by definition a spell with a somatic component would require hand/body movements that would likely prevent any focus on defense.

Netherese Library / An Abridged History of the Battle of Soutbank
« on: September 27, 2018, 01:45:27 am »
Submitted to the librarian for viewing

         I pen these words now as a historical account of some of the various important events I have directly been involved with in Hadrian and the surrounding lands in the hope that a

more talented historian can make use of this for a more complete accounting of what has happened in this corner of the Empire. I have often considered where to start, as so many events in

have happened so swiftly, but given the current conflict against the forces of Roz’dha I believe the most appropriate place to begin is when Valstiir and Hadrian first realized the level of threat

Roz,dha represented.

        For several days, a red dot had appeared in the distant sky and appeared to get larger and larger with none in Hadrian or Valstiir being quite sure of what it was. Some believed it was a star

slowly falling from the sky, others believed it was massive dragon, I myself ignored the dot in the sky as I felt no need to concern myself with it unless it proved dangerous…It did.
The first sign of Roz’dha’s danger came when adventurers came to the Southbank after a disturbance where a small train of refugees claiming to be fleeing the calamity brought forth by the red

dot demanded to be let inside of Southbank for safety. Things became heated as the Dukarrus guards rightfully felt that letting even this small amount of refugees into Southbank would only

cause problems and possibly bring the same force that they were fleeing to Southbank’s gates. I arrived with several adventurers and attempted to moderate negotiation between the

adventurers and the guards, though what I remember most of the refugees was their claim that they started with nearly 500 and were now down to almost a dozen. Such a threat could not be

taken lightly and it disturbed me that none in the area seemed to have any idea of what was following them.

        The question was rendered academic as a circle of arcane energy appeared on the ground from which poured forth negative energy. The arcanist Cashand, being more experienced in necromancy

than I attempted to discern the cause and source of such a circle while I assisted as I could. Ultimately we could not find a way to immediately seal the portal, a problem that became far more

dangerous when an outpouring of powerful undead began appearing from it. Several vampires of considerable skill and wraths appeared, driving myself, the adventurers, and the Dukarrus

guards to their limits. Eventually, the foul creatures were slain with a combination of arcane magics and enchanted steel. The main issue was still the active portal though and still we had no idea

of how to close it.

        I find it difficult to accurately describe on paper what happened next, as while I can see it clearly in my mind’s eye the words are difficult to find. The portal closed itself after using the remainder

of its power to bring froth the single most powerful and horrific type of undead creature I have ever seen. It was known as a “Mass Grave”, a massive creature created by the fusing of hundreds

of thousands of corpses slain in pain and suffering, each component body retaining enough awareness to know what they had been forced to become. A chorus of voices screamed forth from the

beast, children begging to be saved, others begging for death, some begging not to be harmed. The creature had an aura of death and fear surrounding it like no other, spells were nearly useless

against the monstrosity. Most adventurers scattered, Dukarrus slammed the gates shut and hid behind them, ineffectively as the creature could have simply smashed through them like they

were twigs. In truth I believed that we would all be slain and added to the creature, suffering eternally as it made its way through Southbank.

        It was then that I witnessed one of the most heroic acts I have ever seen and am convinced ever will see. Knight Koznacks of the Swords of the Lady stood before the beast, braving the negative

energy washing over him and conquering the unnatural fear it exuded he stood tall before it, holding it in place and trading strikes with it. This was the moment that the battle turned, the

adventurers rallied upon seeing his bravery, warding’s against fear were cast and those that once fled turned and faced the creature together. The battle was fierce and more than a few lives

were lost, but in the end, Knight Koznacks slew the creature, its form falling back into negative energy.

         I say now that without Knight Koznack’s bravery at that point, all of Southbank and perhaps Hadrian would have fallen to the creature. This marked the first taste of Roz’dha’s power that

I know of and the first time I actively fought against his creatures, though not by any means

0, level 15 wizard

Netherese Library / Historical Research
« on: July 25, 2018, 06:04:59 pm »
Zilta Varsek goes to the library in search of historical records of arcanists who experimented with enchanting magical items instead of creating new spells.

General Discussion / Re: Joining Factions
« on: April 21, 2018, 10:58:06 pm »
Standard task is to obtain 5 bear asses, you will be penalized if you bring back the entire bear

General Discussion / Re: ProTips!
« on: April 10, 2018, 12:06:12 am »
If you are a mage and you are trying to solo, Summons are your best friend, summon a monster, use invisibility on yourself and let the monster do your work for you.

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