One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
How does one interrogate a dragon?
Oerth year Coldeven 21st, 596.
The Suel sat sipping some fine Keoish wine while pondering his fate. Maybe Hassan’s people had a point in worshipping Istus as their greatest deity. So far, nothing has turned out like he thought it would. Maybe Fate has taken a special interest in torturing him. When he was a young boy he never thought he would ever be asked to interrogate a capture dragon. No scratch that, he was never a young boy. That was Uncle. MannMarzoon didn’t exist back then. At least today he was in his own lavish apartment in the keep at Hollow Haven instead of facing down some slavering, raging monster looking to have his extremely valuable brain for dinner.
I really don’t spend enough time enjoying the fruits of my labor, thought Mann. Maybe I’ll go and see if Gnorman can make me a permanent magical fire or something for the room to chase away the winter chill. A nice cheery fire would offset this wine just beautifully. I could probably find a pleasant lass among the villagers to pass the night as well. No, that won’t help. The problems will still be there tomorrow and his friends are counting on him. Strange to have friends that know about his abilities and don’t treat him any different. Even what few memories Uncle allows him to get access to rarely included anyone like that. Now Mann has over a dozen BorderWatch members willing to lay their lives down for him in friendship and him for them. Now that is the kind of joke the gods love to torture us mortals with.
“You look like you need something stronger than wine Mann.” Said Yeremis as he walked into the room. “Do you want me to ask one of the dwarves what foul brew they have available?”
<Sigh> “No that’s fine Yeremis. I’m just thinking deep thoughts.”
“That’s a pretty dangerous statement coming from someone in your Order.” Said Yeremis with a sarcastic smile only an elf can pull off.
Mann almost spits out his wine as he bursts out laughing. When he gets control of himself, he looks up at Yeremis. “Come sit with me and share some of this fine wine and I can give you a status of where I am.”
“Are my thoughts that obvious?”
“It doesn’t take a mentat to know that everyone in the keep is curious to know how I will extract information from the dragon.”
“Are you going to enlighten us or leave us in suspense?”
“As you know we made off with a substantial amount of information from the Sea of Dust and I was able to find some memory crystals with quite a few new spells and mention of others that exist. There is one spell in there that could help us out quite a bit called Mind Scan. It is quite powerful but I can probably manage it.”
“So it sounds like you have everything sorted out then. But if that were the case, you wouldn’t be in here drinking wine and pondering heavy thoughts.”
“You are correct my esteemed colleague. That is why you are the council member and I but a mere soldier in this rabble.”
“Spare me your acts of humility Mann, we both know you are one of the smartest guys in BorderWatch. So quit trying to divert the conversation and tell me what you are thinking.”
“One of the smartest guys? I beg to differ, I always viewed myself as without peer!” exclaimed Mann.
“I remember Orin beating you quite handily in the last Shah match. If I recall you had to carry his books for him for a full day after that loss.”
“He cheated. I think he channelled Boccob during the match.” Stated Mann.
“No he didn’t, and quit digressing. I will ask you again, what do you need to be able to get this Mind Scan spell to work?”
“It is not so much a question of it not working as it is of me not having it handy.”
“Mann, you are trying my patience. What. Do. You. Need.”
“Well, Uncle closed off access to certain areas and one of those is that spell. I just don’t know it. So I need to get it on a memory crystal and learn how to cast it.”
“Ok, so what is the problem then? I have plenty of funds, go to Greyhawk and buy it.”
“It’s not that simple. You can’t buy that spell in the reputable mage shops of Greyhawk. This spell allows you to read people’s minds and delve into their deepest thoughts. Nobody will admit to having access to that spell.”
“So where do you go to get that kind of spell?”
“The Tilvanot Peninsula – where the Scarlet Brotherhood resides.”
“Tough mission but your squad the Azure Band have handled worse. Why haven’t you left then?”
“It will be risky and I haven’t asked them to put their lives in jeopardy to get me a new spell.”
“Ah, so it would be better if a Council member asked them to do it for the good of BorderWatch instead of the evil and manipulative Suel for him to gain a spell for himself?”
“You read my mind boss.” Said Mann with a smile on his face. _________________ Richard Di Ioia (aka Longetalos)
Well, now. That was an interesting read, Longetalos. I enjoyed that 3rd person account that read almost like 1st person. Now I have several questions for you.
First, is Mann a psion or a spellcaster? There is a bit of a thread in the Discussion forum debating the appropriateness of psionics in Greyhawk at the moment. This short story seems quite fortuitous at this moment.
Is this story about your own PCs? They brought a captured dragon back to Keoland from the Sea of Dust? The Azure Band seems vaguely familiar. Where might I have heard that name before?
Now, if you wish to submit this article (and others) for inclusion in the Oerth Journal or Canonfire Chronicles, there is a specific thread with a link stickied at the top of this forum for doing so. Check it out. Otherwise, this would have been an excellent story to submit to Canonfire Articles via a similar link.
It's great to see new blood posting such great articles here on Canonfire, Longetalos. Hope you'll introduce yourself over in the Welcome to Greyhawk forum so we all have a chance to say 'Hello!'
Last edited by SirXaris on Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
Mann is a mentalist. He commands spells that affect the mind. Since I don't use D&D as a rule system, he doesn't fit the psionicist mold. Basically he has all the usual mind spell effects; ESP, hypnotism, read minds, but he can also manipulate minds, take over bodies, make people forget things or remember things that never happened, etc.
Mann is one of my player's PC. His backstory is pretty interesting. The player decided to be lazy and said his character could not remember his past .. big mistake to tell the GM :)
Mann is a mental creation of the Scarlet Brotherhood. They had a powerful mentalist assassin (Uncle) that would create "fake" identities for himself using his mental abilities and infiltrate a location. He would then "awaken" at the right time and assassinate the target. Unfortunately on the last job, something happened and Uncle wasn't set free so Mann became the dominant personality. But Uncle is always in the background trying to take back his body.
The dragon was captured in Furyondy actually. But they did some adventures in Keoland and the Sea of Dust -- bringing back trophies and loot. Mann got hooked on Keoland wine at the time.
The Azure Band came from the Players. They named their party that after they killed a Blue dragon and made themselves each a pendant with a scale. _________________ Richard Di Ioia (aka Longetalos)
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