Well, here is info that you would find out in the “downtime” between runs:
GM After the incident in the World Serpent Inn where Maximus bested Hilda of the Valkyrie, whenever you go back to the Inn, it is mostly empty except for wait staff and a few other adventuring parties (10 to 12 at best) . If you ask the staff what is going on, the staff just say that business is tough right now. Folks don’t feel safe with the rules not enforced and therefore they are taking their business elsewhere. Only mortals come here now and only the very competent ones.
The only real exception is that Seymour still is there reading his book. And occasionally you see a few other figures. Most of them wear full cloaks with deep hoods on them so as to make it hard to see their face.
I recommend that you hire a sage to give you some info on Fate and see if that can give you any leads.
AL I do believe that Al knows a sage or two, including one who interviewed him. I’d like to have Al talk to him and see what he can find out
GM The sage that Al knows is based near Questor in Geoff. His name is “Alisarn” and he specializes in regional area politics and magics. He knows very little about the concept of Fate but will share what he knows.
In the western lands, she is called Istus and her domains are Fate, Destiny. She is most associated with fortune tellers. Towards the north in the desert lands, she also adds in the concept of Honesty. She is called "The Lady of our Fate and sometimes the “Colorless and All-Colored”. Her symbol is a golden spindle and 3 strands. She is a Baklunish deity but her worship has spread across the entire Flaness (which is the word used for the lands in the Octant that we live in).
She is seen as very aloof and never deals with mortals or immortals directly. Its rare for anyone to truly encounter her at all, even as an avatar. She only is concerned with the Fate of the Universe (i.e. the big picture). She is usually depicted in three different ways:The first as an old crone, the second as a mture and haughty noble dame and the third as a cold and unfeeling young maiden.
Istus dwells within the Web of Fate, which is thought by some to be a realm in the Outer plans and by some to be a pocket unierse beyond our known cosmology or perhaps a demi-plane within the Astral of Ethereal plane. All times and places are opent o Istus as long as she holds her spindle. If she loses it, she must return home immediately. The followers of Rudd do not get along with Isus as their patron, Rudd, has a BIG program with the idea of predestination.
In the strange metaphysics of the worshippers of Istus, the multiverse is conceived of as an intricate mesh of interconnected threads, with everything connected to everything else. They are believers in predestination, although the threads of fate are sometimes slack enough that destiny can be altered in some small way. Because the future is for the most part foreordained, it can be permitted by those with the skills to perceive how the threads are linked. Clerics of Istus teach that acceptance of one’s fate is the only honest approach; those who strive too hard against Fate will only meet their own foreordained ruins.
Because Fate is callous and often unkind, only cynical and unfeeling people tend to make Istus their patron. Centers of Istus’ worship are in Dyvers, the Free City of Greyhawk,Rauxes, Rel Mord, and Stoink. She is also worshipped in Bissel, the Bright Lands, Ekbir, Ket, the Plains of the Paynims, the Tiger Nomads, Tusmit, the Wolf Nomads, and Zeif.
Istus has few true followers and her clerics tend to be stoic and cynical, having seen all the extremes of mortal destinies. They use divinations to discern what fate will bring, and are called upon by nobles and other important people to make predictions about the future. They hold honesty as a virtue, and teach the importance of accepting one’s destiny and role in the world. Eighty percent of them are female.
Clerics of Istus wear gray or black robes. Higher ranking clerics have formal vestments with weblike patterns. They must wear their holy symbols openly and allow their hair to grow at least six inches in length.
Al A temple in greyhakw, seem’s Al’s found the next leg of the investigation. Al will go to the Greyhawk temple, tell them the truth of what we know and see if they can help any_
Maximus Since I was at the library in Greyhawk, can I look up any information on Fate?_
The Greyhawk Library is magnificent and one of the top 10 libraries in the Flaness. For the low low fee of 10gp you can bcome a
Cornerstone member and have better access to resources there. For the not so low fee of 1000 gp you will be assigned an assistant to help you find things there. Maximus has already paid these fees for other things he was investigating so I’m assuming that is what you are using.
The Greyhawk Library talks about Istus being a force for change as well as stability. She weaves the lives of all living things and makes sure things happen they way they should. She is a patron to Diviners as she is able to see how things will go and then make sure that she weaves enough slack into the pattern that things do go that way but with a bit of room for deviation. But even Fate must follow fate. As the different ages of the world go through cycles, so does Fate. And since Fate is a living thing, there is some slack in her pattern as well.
Periodically, Istus will for lack of a better word, regenerate her form to better suit the new age she is operating in. Traditionally, she will pick one of her three forms to be her “base” form for that age.
Anatoli: And is one of those base forms ever a gnome?
GM: Istus always appears to be the either the sex of the observer or a human. So technically, yes.
Maximus : When last we saw her, it qualifies as young & maiden. The cold could be associated with the re-fit of the loom into a machine. This is a match for her M.O.
I say we give Samshee a coin and she use her “womanly wilds” to ask Boocob (the God who knows everything) where she’s gone and why did she leave?
GM Samshee didn’t have much success with Boccob the last time. But who knows what a second try might do.
Maxiumus Perhaps we could use the Eye of Thera to wind back time and see what happened just before she left. Normally this would be impossible or a really bad idea… But…
GM The Eye of Thera only works for someone that is both a cleric and a magic-user. But its from a different Celestial Sphere. Perhaps you need to get it looked at by another magic-user or a bard to see if they can figure out how to get around that requirement.
Anatoli Oh, so you want info from Boccob, eh. Well why didn’t you say so. Anatoli’s on semi-close terms with the ever-livin, ever-lovin, ever-knowin Ja don’t ya know! :}
More to the point, he knows from practicing the religion that getting secrets back out of the guy is extremely difficult. But there is a famous disciple who was more successful than most, the Z-man. But finding the guy who can get the answers out of Boccob can be an interesting chore…
On a hunch (and I may or may not be way off here) Anatoli is going to pull out Maxx’s rack of carpets for some study. If anyone had some sort of secret information or location on either Fate/Istus from the World Serpent Inn, Boccob, or Zagyg, it would have been Maxx.
Coincidence is that several of those countries/city states that you named as centers of Istus worship were places Maxx was known to frequent. Dyvers in particular we already know Maxx had at least one carpet to.
Put them up on looms all around the room so they can be rotated, etc. Look for symbols associated with either Zagyg, Boccob, Fate, or Uncle Grizzain
GM You find some symbols for Fate. But they seem to be standard ones that cartographers use to ask for good luck when making and using maps. Nothing for the others.
Examine them in moonlight (which of Oerth’s moons are up, by the way)
Examine them in infravision
GM Nothing unusual
Examine them in ultravision (if I can borrow Tarl’s helmet lens)
GM Nothing unusual
Examine them using Pattern Designate to learn more about patterns associated with them
GM You can tell that the maps were all created by someone that understood the same pattern. Specifically these maps are meant to form a larger map at some point. There are still some missing maps based on the coordinate system used but they are definitely intended to be part of a much larger picture.
And lastly, gulp, examine them using Maxx’s True Sight
GM And this is where things get interesting. Apparently there is definitely a weird set of symbols that are woven into the maps. And the symbols deal with astral and ethereal travel. As best you can tell, the maps change when they are taking to different planes. You just can’t figure out HOW they change. You also see a LOT of glowing spots on the maps but there is no legend. Since you have a high Intelligence, you can eventually figure out that the brightest glowing spots seem to be locations that were extremely significant to Maxx or were the locations of suspected extremely powerful magical le lines.
If all else fails, Anatoli will call it a night, cast Dream, and come back to look at the carpets in the morning with a fresh mind (specifically thinking of finding the gnomish incarnation of Fate he last met in the World Serpent Inn)…
GM With a fresh dreamy set of eyes, you see that the primary temple of Istus overlaps a location that Maxx has on his maps in Dyvers that glows a lot. One of the larger bardic colleges also also has its main guildhall there.
Anatoli Huh, I wonder if there’s any kind of legend in Max’s Diary? I seem to have that written down on my sheet that Beodar gave that over to us sometime around the adventure in the Aboleth tunnels.
GM Why yes, that is exactly where Max kept the legend. Apparently only a Thief can read it as well. with the legend you can decode most of the maps symbols. What specifically are you looking for? There is a plethora of information on these maps.
Maximus A question for Aldeberon: Is the Stone of Teleportation that you gave me (by the way, I’m going to need another one) able to work across planes?
Aldeberon : Yes, the stone will work across planes; however, it only works as a normal teleport. So there’s a chance of coming in low and dying even if you know the place well.
You’ll have to give Al a little time to make one. Have to use Enchant an Item since I’m throwing a 7th level spell in there, can’t use Spell Stone.
Alderberon We do know a bard/librarian in Ravens Bluff who’d help us. And he’s already familiar with the situation ;-)
GM If you go visit Vijay in the library he is downstairs in his office. Its HUGE, like 40×60. Near the entrance door way are a few coat racks. One has the weapons harness and swords that you saw him most recently carrying hanging from them. There is also a satchel and camping equipment/adventuring gear. Its all well worn but still appear to be functional. Apparently he has a 40×60 room that is dedicated to him and his research. Every square inch of his walls is covered by booshelves. He has a huge conference table covered in maps. His maps are of a quality that you have rarely seen. He has dozens of knick knacks and other trinkets hanging on the wall. and sitting on shelves and such.
He is quite excited to see you. After his little “jaunt” with you he has been doing tons of research into the World Serpent Inn as well as who GroundZero are. He had no idea that your members consisted of the famous (or the infamous) Iuzbane. Before Iuz’s departure from his lands (Vijay doesn’t appear to know that Iuz is dead), Vijay has been doing a lot of research into Iuz’s parentage and some of the possible ancient Oerdian artifacts that he might have been using. One reason he accepted the position here is that he knew of New Critwall’s connection to the Iuzbane (apparently LJ was fairly tight lipped about the Iuzbane/Groundzero connection). Vijay had tried to get a position in Greyhawk but none were available. Critwall is looking for new blood and was more accommodating.
If you show the Eye of Thera to him, he will immediately be amazed and want to examine it further. He scrambles around for various looking glasses and cloths that he uses to polish and examine the Eye. After a while, he tests it with various liquids from a small potion case. After about 20 minutes, he says that its definitely a variation of a crystal ball but he isn’t quite sure that he can get around the requirements of a cleric/mage classes. As he is explaining how the class components work together to activate the device, the device suddenly starts working for him! It startles him so much that he drops the Eye. Luckily, a feather fall from Aldebaron saves it. Vijay is more shocked than you and assures you that he is not multi-classed and has no idea why the thing works. He is more than happy to examine it in more detail to find out at your discretion. He does confess that he has a lot of dubious items in his office of ancient origin and one of them might be interacting with the Eye to make it work.
Al Of course, while Al is waiting for his initial analysis, he can’t help but admire the bookshelves and even rifle through a few of the books on the shelf – professional curiosity. Al let’s him know to examine to his heart’s content, but do make it a priority since were trying to find Fate before things get worse. Al let’s him know he’ll be back in a couple of days, after checking out some other leads, and will even help him rifle through books and do some research if he needs.
GM Wow. Either Vijay is a sage himself or he collects books the way you collect parts for making potions and scroll inks. A few books present you have in your own library. You retrieved them during the Ravenloft adventurer. A few other books are easily hundreds of years old. Over 50% of the books present deal with extremely old topics such as the creation of Oerth, the great schism between the Drow and Other elves, etc. What does seem odd is that he doesn’t seem to have any books that he has written himself. Perhaps he just doesn’t take the time to sit down and write books. Another odd thing is that you do find a few sets of low level magic-user spell books there as well. They are quite dusty and apparently aren’t used. They are each bound with a small band of cloth stating the level of the spells inside and the name of the Magic-User they belonged too. A few names stick out. “Math” (there are only 3 spell books here and they are 1st/2nd/3rd spels) and Zagig (1st and 2nd level spell books). There is a single travelling spellbook that is labelled “CMUT”.
Vijay is happy to look at the Eye for longer but admits he would feel uncomfortable with such a valuable item being left alone with just him. He would prefer to work with a member of your group since it belongs to you.
Aldeberon Al laugh’s a bit and heaves a sigh when he sees CMUT. “Fine, you’ve convinced me,” Al says, “I’ll stick around for a couple of days and help. I doubt the church of Fate is going anywhere anyway and figuring this thing out is important to our mission. After that, we’ll see how things have progressed and figure out what to do then.”
Maximus While I am researching Fate in the Greyhawk library I’d like to have the assistant help me with some specifics:
Does Fate have a destiny?
GM Not one that is mentioned in any references that you can find.
Has there ever been a circumstance (past or future) that would take Fate away?
GM Fate is Mother to the Endless, a series of entities that embody powerful forces or aspects of the universe: They are Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Despair, Desire and Delirum. It is known that Mitchifer is the current incarnation of Destiny.
Do clerics of Fate get spells from her?
GM Clerics of Istus get spells in general. But her clerics are fairly close-lipped and we don’t know of any personally to verify that. Istus is called, Our Lady of Fate.
What type of spells are they?
GM Same as any other cleric. Their primary sphere of influence is Divination of course. They rarely memorize attack or defense spells but then again they rarely are adventurers and therefore rarely get high level.
Are there any clerics of Fate near by?
GM There is a temple to Istus in pretty much all of those cities I listed before. They may be hard to locate though or be more of a layman’s temple.
Are they able to get spells?
GM At the moment, we don’t know. We will have to travel there to verify. And they might not be forthcoming. No cleric in their right mind would ever confirm that they can’t get spells from their god. Its inviting trouble.
Why would Fate go away?
GM There is no reason for Fate to state in the World Serpent Inn. The Inn may not be functioning as before but the rest of the world seems just fine.
How would her departure affect the Gods & mortals connected to her?
GM Jet has often theorized that Istus/Fate is what helps adventurers find adventures that match their level. If she were gone, then really bad things would happen to the lower level folks.
Does Fate have any children?
GM Yes, The Endless. See above.
Does Fate have any enemies?
GM Rudd, a fellow god, hates her. Rudd is the goddess of Luck and doesn’t like the idea of predestination. Also, just about anyone that has had something bad happen to them might blame it on Fate in some way.
Are clerics of Fate currently conducting any special ceremonies?
GM Not that we know of. But again, her clerics are rare and rarely advertise their status.
Anatoli Hey Maxximus, there’s one thing we may have forgotten. Not too long ago we made a deal with Iggwylv (Iuz’s mother) to give her the Doormat to the World Serpent Inn which had evidently been hidden and masquerading in Max’s stack of Carpets. Iggwylv had also shown a lot of interest in the Inn and specifically Fate during the adventures directly before that. Just after giving her the carpet is when Fate changed to the gnomish personna.
So for your question whether Fate has any enemies, it might be worthwhile looking at Iggwylv very carefully.
Maximus WE GAVE IGGWLV WHAT!!!!!
You’re right I completely forgot about that….
Let’s scry for that Bitch!!!
Or look for a patten in the maps that matches the floor mat we gave her.
Let’s ask some Fate clerics if they are still getting spells and set a course for the God Trap!!
Maximus-to-Anatoli Is there a way to verify the authenticity of Fate’s Loom at the World Serpent Inn??
Anatoli-to-Maximus To Maximus:
Not really sure. One way to verify may be to check what it “isn’t”. In the past every time we’ve been able to view the Loom, it’s been extremely difficult to make out. It’s a very complex pattern with an infinite amount you can zoom down to. So one thought would be take a look at it and see if it has that same level of detail. Otherwise, I have no idea how you tell if it’s authentic or not.
Maximus I am jumping to conclusions, but..
Iggwylv has God-napped Fate and Mitcheford and her Loom and has Fate weaving her and her grandson into Gods.
I’m basing this conclusion on pure paranoia…
Anatoli Here’s the Adventure Log that summarizes the adventure where we gave her the doormat Aftermath of Iuz’ Death
Maximus Iggwylv has God-napped Fate and Mitcheford and her Loom and has Fate weaving her and her grandson into Gods.
GM Istus herself doesn’t control fate. She just weaves what will happen. She does have a little leeway into HOW some things will happen but she can’t change the outcome completely. Istus can’t make Iggwilv and Hexus into gods unless they were already destined to be gods at some point. The best she could do would be to clarify that it would happen. At that point, letting Fate go would be in their best interest.
This might be something you can ask the bard and sage you are both employing. Is there anything in their research that talks about the doormat to the World Serpent Inn or even the origins of the Inn itself. It seems possibly that what we are dealing with may be a problem with the Inn itself.
GM The World Serpent Inn exists primarily in the Northern parts of the continent near barbarian cultures. Its actually quite rare for most individuals to be able to visit there there. You also find out that it is 100% unheard of for individuals to be able to use any doorway to visit the location. Traditionally, there are only a few doorways that will work and even then, they aren’t consistent. Something is HIGHLY unusual that the Iuzbane seem to be able to go there at will.
Anatoli One thing to note. Way back during one or more of our adventures we made our way inside the Inn to an observation deck to look down outside the Inn. It’s a gigantic tree house sitting in the World Tree, Yggdrassil. I don’t know if we’ve ever asked this question, but why is there an incarnation of Yggdrassil as such a prominent place for Oerth? Yggdrassil is part of Norse mythology (aka Odin’s pantheon). There ain’t a huge Norse following on Oerth outside of the Barbarians.
GM The World Serpent Inn obviously touches many planes and locations. Other documented encounters show that its possible that it takes on different forms at different times. It is often described as an Mansion/Inn with an infinite number of rooms and hallways.
Samshee Which makes one wonder how Samshee got in the world serpent inn the first time and how she can duo the invoke Sim’s name trick to return despite not having had all the past weird mojo run ins that y’all of Iuzbane have had….
But even then, Samshee didn’t even know about the world serpent inn before ending up there.
I thought anybody who knew about the World Serpent Inn and had been there before could use any doorway…
Maximus isn’t Iuzbane…
:-( my head hurts.. :-(
Aldeberon My brains have already started oozing thru my ears on that! There is WAY more here than we thought… mmm gray matter…mushy
Tarl I believe it was stated that the inn takes on characteristics that are expected. Both dwarfs and elves have contact with the Norse view and we know that a certain ranger is becoming quite involved, also I can’t imagine any druid not using a tree for symbolism. I imagine that if we had a centaur and a priest of the Greek pantheon we would be on a river bank.
Istus of greyhawk, 3 fates of greece, norns of nordic pantheon, … We are worried about a portfolio and answers might be forthcoming from other sources besides Istus.
As I recall Iggwilv wanted the rug and offered to fix Beodar, We were all suspicious and went and found out that it was a rug of welcome from the world serpent inn. Someone detected Iggwilv’s aura on it and Jet used the pristine power from her cleaning harnes on it and the extra stuff “went away”. Whether Iggwilv used the rug for tracking who was in the inn or used it to crack
the security, she wanted what ever personal item was on the rug. Remember the godtrap and the simulacrum of her in there, she probably did not want a repeat of that situation. I may be mistaken but the rug was left with Mitch.
Aldeberon Wonder in having one of our party members having the Welcome rug has anything to do with our being able to get in all the time.
anatoli Between that and the trouble with the Nordic pantheon you guys got into last time (which after reading still doesn’t seem to be fully settled) it points to upheaval in the Nordic pantheon. Also, do we really trust this Veejay guy? According to the log we weren’t able to learn anything about him on True Sight. Seems a little too convenient.
GM If I recall, once Vijay relized that you couldn’t read his alignment, he confessed he was wearing an ancient oerdian artifact that acts as an amulet of proof against protection/location/dectection. He took it off and you were able to see that his alignment was True Neutral.
Anatoli-to-GM You said:
“Because Fate is callous and often unkind, only cynical and unfeeling people tend to make Istus their patron. Centers of Istus’ worship are in Dyvers, the Free City of Greyhawk,Rauxes, Rel Mord, and Stoink. She is also worshipped in Bissel, the Bright Lands, Ekbir, Ket, the Plains of the Paynims, the Tiger Nomads, Tusmit, the Wolf Nomads, and Zeif.”
Are any of those perhaps centers of Nordic pantheon worship as well? Tiger or Wolf Nomads maybe?
GM The Nomads have some worship of some aspects of the Nordic pantheon. Zeif, Ket, and Ekbir are known locations of Istus worshippers.
Do any of those cities also have temples to Odin? (Rudd sure does sound a lot like Loki)
GM Not that you can find documentation for.
Do any of the places shown on Maxx’s maps show symbols of the Nordic Pantheon?