Seth's Ansalon

The Story So Far: The Puncture
What happens when cosmos collide?

One night, Seth had a dream in which an owl guided him and his party through a deep forest into the Zaradene town square, where they saw balls of fire raining upon the town. In the dream, Seth identifed the owl as Zivilyn. Seth awoke to the sound of screams and rushed outside to find that indeed, demons were falling from the sky and setting upon the town. Seth, Morden, and Rilla defeated the wave of demons – in spite of Seth’s sudden realization that he couldn’t seem to use some of his spells, while his party members’ abilities had changed completely. The three likewise defeated the wave of angels of Sargonnas that came upon their heels. A pale-faced Mayor Chance pled with Seth’s party to fetch help from Goodbay, and they set off without delay as fires burned behind them.

On the way to Goodbay, the party discovered a tower that had never been there before. Creatures like elves, but nobler and with higher bearings, emerged from the tower and menaced the party. These were eladrin, a race never before seen on Krynn. After a brief standoff, both parties stood down and Seth went on his way, wondering what was going on.

The party arrived at Goodbay too late. Demons had already overrun the city and Seth and his friends were vastly outnumbered. But just when it looked like the game was up, the party found itself elsewhere, confronting an aging man in a flowing green robe. This was Archmage Zephyrus Raptorr, and the party recognized him from their dream.

Though perhaps Archmage was a misnomer, for as Raptorr explained, neither he nor as far as he knows any other wizard on the plane has been able to use spells since the previous night. He had summoned Seth with a magical item after seeing him in the dream, and was dumbfounded to learn that Seth could still use his magic. After explaining his idea about what had happened – the Puncture – Raptorr gave Seth a magical staff and took the party to the storm-tossed Astral Sea on his spelljammer, the Zephyr.

The sea was in turmoil and Raptorr had never sailed it before: the metaphor of the Astral Plane had changed completely. After an accidental stop in a wight-infested basement and an attack by foulspawn on the high seas, the party finally arrived at Toril. Here, Seth and his friends attended the Conclave of the Planes, a meeting place between five of the most powerful mages of the multiverse. Only four were present: Elminster Aumar, who hosted the event; Mordenkainen, delegate from Oerth; Kojiro, representative of Eberron; and Raptorr himself. All were bereft of magic. Secrecy forgotten, they quarreled about why magic had disappeared, how to get it back, and the extraplanar attacks on the Material Planes. One thing they could all agree on was that finding allies would be crucial. Seth was the most powerful mage in the room – perhaps anywhere – so he and his party were dispatched as diplomats. They chose to contact the mysterious shadar-kai, and entered the Shadowfell with the help of a Nameless One – a dancer of shadows from Eberron whom Kojiro had brought with him.

The Shadowfell was a strange place. After fighting with the lurking natives, Seth was brought to Lord Veritas, regional commander and chief of the Palace Duhr. He explained that the Puncture was the result of overweening human ambition: humans from the world of Kadderash in the old multiverse, he says, created a hole between the worlds that led to the disappearance of the Material Planes. This upset the shadar-kai greatly, for these souls had not been delivered to their Raven Queen. Seth had to prove that the humans of the new multiverse were different by proving he had the favor of the Raven Queen; in practice, this meant slaying some shadar-kai champions in arena combat. His party made surprisingly short work of them and Veritas pledged an end to hostilities. While Veritas does not speak for all shadar-kai, he said he would spread the word.

Seth returned to Elminster’s tower triumphant and was rewarded by the wizards there. Later that day, a few shadar-kai adepts showed up at the tower and began re-teaching the great wizards their trade. Soon Seth will depart for Krynn again – but what has happened while he was away?

The Story So Far: Intermezzo
Before the Puncture.

After returning from Solamnia, Seth tooled around Zaradene for a while, collaborating with Rilla on a magical longsword. His party tracked down a wyvern in order to gather material components for the enchantment ritual, like old times. All seemed well, and Rilla began work on forging the sword. Meanwhile, Seth admired the newly built library annex to his house (thanks to the architectural prowess of Biltz) and began considering whether to join the Alchemists of the Eye or the Alchemists of the Golden Dawn. He also undertook a side quest to his mountain library to retrieve his books, only to find that the mountainside had been reoccupied by an ettin served by a group of kobolds. Seth and the party took out the ettin with the kobolds’ help and carted the books and alchemical apparatus back to Zaradene.

At the suggestion of Mayor Chance, Seth then entered the Grand Tournament of Skill, a variant on the Zaradene staple that catered to more experienced adventurers. Seth competed with five other adventurers, of whom the two most memorable were the noble Ergothi barbarian Coronaeus and the reluctantly righteous Morning Dew rogue/cleric Maryam Fulani. Seth was the first to grab the prize at the center but was immediately assailed by a very unimaginary umber hulk. The contestants, their curiosity piqued, followed the umber hulk’s tunnel to find a forgotten tomb buried beneath the stone. The brash swordswoman Trina Callas and the silent rogue Gray Wolf disappeared into the tomb ahead of the others.

Upon investigation, Seth learned that this was the tomb of King Clement I, called the Wise. The outer tomb was empty and looted, but the party discovered a secret room full of unexplained human remains. Cautious, they proceeded into a large dark room that could be crossed only by a narrow catwalk. Here they encountered a pit rusalka – the ghost of a concubine of Clement who was buried alive with him. This malevolent ghost led Maryam through a portal that dropped her naked in a prison cell near the entrance. Before the rest of the party could follow, Trina reappeared, clad only in rags, to warn the party about the portal. She had fallen for the trap as well, but fortunately, her prison cell had a hole in the floor that led here. The party quickly rescued Maryam, minus her equipment, and managed to stay one step ahead of the angry pit rusalkas to reach the inner tomb.

In the inner tomb, Seth learned that Clement I was the son of a powerful magic-user of the same name. Seth saw through the fake treasure room left by Clement to deceive robbers and discovered the true tomb, hidden beneath a hatch set into the bottom of a treasure chest. Fighting the pit rusalkas all the way, the party absconded with a trunk of holding full of goodies, then dealt with a reemergent and greedy Gray Wolf; Coronaeus tossed him to the rusalkas, but Seth, wanting to see him brought to justice, fished him out again. The party later returned to the tomb briefly to put the rusalkas to rest by taking their last remains beyond the tomb’s gate.

Seth not only won the Grand Tournament but also made an important archaeological find that scholars will study for a generation.

The Story So Far: The Lupine Wars
Solemn in Solamnia.

As Zaradene’s savior and senior hero, Seth was frequently called upon by Chance Aldym to give advice in the town hall situation room, and Chance frequently asked for Seth’s party’s help on behalf of the city. When the eastern province of Solamnia came under attack by a horde of werewolves, or “lupines,” Chance saw an opportunity to curry favor with the Solamnics and dispatched Seth, Lutesinger, and Rilla to give aid. Thus did Seth and his party become embroiled in the Lupine Wars.

When they arrived, Seth and his comrades reported to Sir Marcus Omnial, Solamnic Knight of the Rose, in the eastern capital of Vogler. Progressive for a Knight of Solamnia, Sir Omnial had no qualms about accepting these unusual candidates – a wizard and two women, one an elf – into his ranks. Seth and Rilla were assigned to Corps A, Silver Division, Squadron 2: a group of eight offensive fighters. Lutesinger was put in Squadron 3, the defense team. After mopping up some skulking lupines outside Vogler, Corps A marched to the hard-up city of Kalaman, which Omnial’s intelligence indicated was under siege.

On their way to Kalaman, Seth and Rilla got to know their commanding officers and comrades. The leader of the squadron was Sir Hedox Crivett, a Knight of the Sword who unfortunately was much given to drink and abuse of power. His second-in-command was the affable but troubled strategist Luther Crownguard, who like the rest of the squadron could not abide Hedox’s incompetence. Less seen were Sir Unther Lanthanaum, the head of Corps A, and Sir Ulane Noire, the administrative leader of Silver Division.

Upon arrival at Kalaman, the corps discovered that the city was not under siege at all! But the local lord, Sultan [[Ja-el]], was acting a little suspicious – and after a couple lupines waltzed into a bar where Seth and his party were eating, Luther quickly inferred what was going on. Ja-el has already surrendered the city to the lupines. The altercation between the Solamnic Army and the lupines in the tavern broke Ja-el’s agreement with the shadowy leader of the lupine mass, and the lupines attacked Kalaman hours later. Silver and Gold Divisions fended them off with no deaths, but sustained several bites. Also spotted was a strange creature that looked like a violet wolf with human hands and an unsettling, almost human head; this would later prove to be a barghest. Seth and the others were unable to take the creature down before it retreated into the woods.

The troops spent the next few days fortifying Kalaman. Seth got to know some of Squadron 3’s soldiers, including Edmund Malthus, an Alchemist of the Eye. One day Seth received a letter from a Palanthan sage named Sirrus Chaid, who Seth had written to by pigeon regarding the timing of lupine transformations. In the letter, Chaid revealed that Nuitari, the moon governing the transformation, would next be full that very night! Seth and Luther ran to organize the men against the secret lupines in their midst. In the process Seth ran across Mira Choral, an Alchemist of the Golden Dawn from Gold Division. Seth and Luther finished their preparations in time to prevent widespread carnage inside the city, but the lupines attacked from outside the city as well. Thanks largely to Seth’s magic, the combined forces of the uninfected soldiers were enough to hold off the lupine threat and take the transformed soldiers captive. Rilla was among those afflicted with the virus but was cured by the administration of belladonna.

Soon after this episode, Seth was recruited by Silver’s Squadron 4 (the black-ops team) to join them in going after the barghest. Contacting Seth by night, the group set out for the marshes of Estwilde. After a close call when the group’s ranger refused to rescue his compatriots from quicksand because “claiming those unworthy of its secrets is nature’s way,” the group finally tracked the lupines to their subterranean den. The cave complex was almost completely dark and it took some hack-and-slash and some genuine caving for the party to find its way to the center, where the evil sorcerer Raskadim waited. It is Raskadim who was behind the attacks, commanding two barghests to organize the lupines and do his bidding through geas. Seth used a scroll to banish the barghest in the room, and then the party took Raskadim down, at which point one of their own – rogue Loras Demisol – transformed into a lupine himself! He revealed that he had been using the party as tools to take over leadership of the lupine army. Fierce melee ensued, but the barghest returned to battle on the PCs’ side just in time to even the odds, and Seth and his party won the day.

With Raskadim gone, the lupines dispersed and Kalaman and Vogler were saved. Seth and his friends received plentiful thanks and reward from Marcus Omnial before shipping back home for a well deserved rest.

Sadly, the story has an unhappy epilogue. Luther Crownguard had disobeyed orders repeatedly, effectively seizing control of the squadron from the incompetent Hedox Crivett. At a Solamnic trial in Solanthus, Seth testified against Luther, as well as Hedox and Marcus Omnial, who stood accused of besmirching Solamnic honor by allowing undesirables into the ranks. All three were convicted and sentenced to prison terms. Luther and Seth remain on good terms.

The Story So Far: That One Ring
Transitioning to 3e.

Seth got his first plot arc after defending Zaradene from a hobgoblin attack with the help of his friend Gage from Goodbay and Zaradene’s town militia. On one of the bodies, the militia discovered a magical ring that could polymorph its wearer into the form of a sparrow. Seth and a forgotten militiaman both laid claim to the ring and agreed to settle the dispute with an arm-wrestling contest. Seth astonished all onlookers by defeating the burly fighter and claimed the ring for himself, flying home on sparrow wings.

His jubilation was short-lived, however, for that very night a wizard called Mestari engineered the theft of Seth’s ring. An outraged Seth pursued Mestari to his tower near North Keep, where he befriended local wizard Praxis. Unfortunately, in trying to enter Mestari’s tower Seth was taken captive and forced to undergo a set of lethal challenges to escape. Escape he did, but not in time to stop Mestari from defeating and killing Praxis and absconding with the ring. Bad DMing decisions abounded during this arc, but give me a break, it’s the first time I’d tried to run a plot.

Seth returned empty-handed to Zaradene, only to be sent away again by the ruler of the town, Lord Hristol. Hristol shipped Seth to Despair, a town in southwest Blode, saying that Despair had offered reinforcements to secure Zaradene’s borders. Seth arrived, however, to find that Despair’s mayor knew nothing of the agreement and the entire bellicose town wanted him and his party dead. Without a ship, they had to hoof it back to Zaradene. (Seth stopped to see an old friend from mage school, Argoa sith Jainad, at the City of Morning Dew.) Upon their return they found the city overrun with ogres! The corrupt Lord Hristol had struck a deal, accepting their treasures in exchange for selling out the town, and sending Seth’s party away so they could not interfere. Seth would have none of this and invaded Hristol’s mansion, driving Hristol out and breaking the ogre occupation. For this act of righteousness in the face of authority his alignment changed to neutral good.

Not long after installing Chance Aldym as the town’s new leader, Seth was approached by a fighter named Biff to help him solve a mystery. Biff’s magical ring of the ram had disappeared the night after he’d shown it off to a few friends from the militia. Seth gathered clues pointing to Mestari as the culprit and found a mysterious note from his nemesis that sent him back to North Keep. Mestari wasn’t there, but Seth did find a secret dungeon beneath Praxis’s home that contained treasure willed to its discoverers. Mestari had been there first and lifted a magical ring from the booty, but he left the rest untouched. Why did he lead Seth to this place? And why did he leave Biff’s ring in plain sight there for Seth to retrieve?

Perhaps someday these mysteries will be resolved. But it wasn’t long after that that Seth was sent off to Solamnia under the brand new 3.5e rules, and the modern era had really begun!

The Story So Far: Prehistory
Seth's time-obscured past.

The recent story of Seth Mase, like that of a couple other heroes I could name, roughly begins with his discovery of a magical ring. That’s not what this post is about. This post is about the before-time.

Little is remembered about Seth’s adventures as a very low-level hedge mage fresh out of wizard school, way back in the 2e days. What we do know is that he has always had very strong ties to Zaradene, where he was born, and he has been adventuring with Morden Mase and Lutesinger fen Branchala since time immemorial. Rilla Tordeñas would also join the party during this period. Seth’s first adventures found him roaming the countryside and sometimes penetrating monster lairs to defeat kobolds, goblins, and other menaces to the town’s safety. The details of Seth’s Test of High Sorcery are likewise shrouded in time, but he definitely fought some variety of slime. He was taken into the Order of the Red Robes by Justarius.

Perhaps the single most important event of Seth’s prehistory was his discovery of the abandoned library of an ogre mage hidden behind a secret door in a hobgoblin lair in the mountains near Long Ridge. He quickly adopted this library as his own and would eventually transport much of it to his home in Zaradene.


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