Monday, February 4, 2013

The Artificer and the Repository

The adventure "Living Legends" introduced a shadowy organization known as the Cabal, a group of occultists operating out of London. The following article presents one agent of that entity, a man with an interest in the legendary weapons of history who also seeks to create new ones. This will be the first in a series of articles developing the Cabal.


The Artificer--Morisson Kearns Fairmont

Fighter 6/Wizard 6; CR 12; Size medium; HD 6d10+6d4+24; hp 76; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 13 (+1 dueling jacket, +2 Dex); Atk +11 (1d8+2, longsword) or +10 (ranged); SQ details; AL N; SV: Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +9; Str 14, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 17, Wis 14, Cha 8.
Background: Military (Survival 2 ranks).
Skills: Climb + 10, Concentration +12, Craft (weaponsmithing) +21, Jump +10, Knowledge (arcane) +15, Ride +9, Spellcraft +15, Survival +4, Swim +10.
Feats: (10) Cleave, Combat Casting, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Great Cleave, Improved Critical (Longsword), Skill Focus (Knowledge: arcane), Power Attack, Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Craft: weaponsmithing), Weapon Focus (Longsword), Weapon Specialization (Longsword).
Fortunes: Superstitious.
Equipment: Dueling jacket, magical longsword (GM's discretion), pouch with spell components, spellbook.
Spells per Day: 4/3+1/3+1/2+1. Spells Known: (0) All; (1) Identify, mage armor, magic weapon, shield, true strike; (2) Bear's strength, cat's grace, fox's cunning, locate object; (3) Arcane sight, dispel magic, greater magic weapon, heroism, keen edge.

As a boy, Morisson Fairmont loved to read stories about the heroes of old, imaging himself as the doer of those great deeds. Because he was strong and healthy, with a good deal of coordination, it was not unrealistic for him to imagine such valorous deeds. To that end, he enlisted in His Majesty's army, eventually working his way up to the rank of Lieutenant. All the while he was different from many of his comarades, however; whereas they were sociable and outgoing, he tended to spend his time alone, reading.

What nobody knew is that he also spent his time studying the art of magic. Indeed, his focus was on the history of, and ultimately the creation of, magical weapons. For that reason he sought out other members of the Cabal, and eventually apprenticed himself to one of them. At the same time he began studying metallurgy and weaponsmithing, and then combined the two pursuits into one glorious craft.

Using the Artificer in a Campaign
There are many ways in which Morisson Fairmont could be incorporated into Skull & Bones adventures; a few of the possibilities are detailed here.
  • First and foremost, Fairmont could serve as a buyer if the PC's should ever acuire a magical weapon. In that case, they could research his background and connections, thus affecting their decision about whether or not to sell it.
  • If he received reports about a desired item, he could hire the PC's to undertake acquiring it. At the GM's discretion, he could also accompany them.
  • Another options is that Fairmont hires the PC's to recover material components necessary for a project, such as an onijegi's tears, the fangs of a sea serpent or a bit of fur from a hairy man.
  • Should the PC's find an relic that he covets, but not wish to sell it, he might hire a band of thieves to steal it.
  • If the PC's were in the Cabal's good graces, Fairmont could be hired to create magical weapons for them, and might even do so as gifts following a job well done.
  • Alternately, a rival organization such as the Inquisition could hire the PC's to spy on Fairmont, or perhaps to acquire an item from the Repository (see below).

The Repository

In 1753, Hans Sloane--a noted naturalist who at one time resided in Port Royal, Jamaica--donated his collection of oddities, curiosities and writings to an organization in England that would become the British Museum. Although this act would harken the establishment of one of the world's foremost assemblages of cultural material goods, what many don't know is that this kind of gathering of artifacts had already been underway for quite some time in a building run by the Cabal and known only as the Repository. This two-story, plain-looking stone building in London now hosts what is perhaps the highest number of relics and lore since the Library of Alexandria itself.

1. Front Door
The exterior walls of the structure are built from eignteen-inch blocks of granite; a broad flight of stairs leads up to the front doors. Those are of thick, iron-banded oak, secured with high-quality locks (details). The windows are covered by wrought-iron bars.

2. Entrance
Inside, however, the Repository is a failry comfortable place. Although the interior has the wide-open, somewhat cold feel common to museums, the walls are paneled with mahogany and the place is well lit. Two desks stand inside the front doors, where guards are ready to greet members of the Cabal, and to deal harshly with those who are not supposed to be here.

3. Sitting Area
Nicely upholstered, overstuffed chairs, along with side tables, provide a place for visitors to sit and read or chat.

4. Stairwells
Three sets of stairs allow movement between floors, an uncommon precaution in case of a fire.

5-11. First Collection
Gathered in various sections are items from around the world. For ease of reference and examination, they are gathered int sections based on provenance; those on the lower floor are from closer to home.

5. British Isles
6. Northern Europe
7. France/Spain/Italy
8. Greece
9. Scandinavia and Iceland
10. Eastern Europe
11. The Middle East

12. Atrium
This area on the main floor is open to the sky above; on the upper floor it has a balcony that allows light from the overhead skylights to reach both levels.

13-20. Second Collection
These items hail from further afield, gathered by the various agents who travel the globe while serving the Cabal.

13. North America
14. China
15. Japan
16. India
17. Sub-Saharan Africa
18. The Middle East
19. Oceania
20. South America

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