13th Age: Guild Mistress, An Alternate Icon

All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. Read previous entries in the series: the Usurper, Deposed Heir, Fleshcrafter, Herald, and the Wandering Spirit. This month we thought we would bring you a second icon, one that fights for better working conditions for crafters and artisans all the while taking a crippling cut of each sale: the Guild Mistress.

The Guild Mistress fights for better wages and better training for talented workers. From smiths to glass blowers, caravan masters to slave trainers, spellcasters to sellswords, they all have a guild to train them, hone their skills, and have a place to meet others of their kind. They all give a cut to the Guild Mistress whether they can afford it or not.

Quote

“Everything is for sale. The only question is what is the price.”

Frequent Location

Goldport, better knows as the Hub, sits where the largest river meets the ocean. It is the center of all trade traffic throughout the land.

Common Knowledge

The Guild Mistress controls all commerce in the land. The flow of good and services can be shut off at her whim.

The Icon and Adventurers

The Guild Mistress frequently works with adventurers, hiring them for additional security or as investigators to put down troublesome actors that threaten the guilds, even if they are guild members. However, she only goes so far with individual adventurers, cutting them off from guild employment if they do not join a guild themselves.

Allies

Allies is a strong word for Guild Mistress. As long as they do not disrupt business, she can work with them. While the Usurper’s actions caused business to come to a halt while seizing power, trade quickly returned once the political instability subsided. The Fleshcrafter relies on a constant flow of fresh spare parts. Both the Herald and the Deposed Heir’s forces need arms, armor, and supplies to address wounds.

Enemies

Today’s allies can be tomorrow’s enemies if the price is right or the other disrupts business. The Deposed Heir attacks trade caravans that supply the Usurper’s forces. The Usurper attacks crafter that harbor loyalties to the rightful monarch. The Herald attacks shop keepers that are secretly houses of worship for the Mad Cultist. All of these earn reprisals from the Guild Mistress, until these icons pay for their actions in gold.

Being insubstantial, the Wandering Spirit requires nothing from the Guild Mistress. Add to that a not-insignificant amount of the suffering the Wandering Spirit has returned to avenge has been caused by the Guild Mistress, and these two icons are forever enemies.

History

Starting her career as a slave trader, she organized the merchants into their own guild and got independent guilds to sign onto an organizing agreement. Through considerable blood, swear, and other people’s tears, she rose in power and influence throughout the known world.

The Reason to Fear

If you do not make the Guild Mistress enough money, she is only too happy to sell you to someone else.

Like the Wandering Spirit, one who has nothing to buy or sell to the Guild Mistress is the Mother, the equal and opposite of the Great Druid. Read all about this hag icon of the fey world next month at the JBE Blog.

Looking to play 13th Age while social distancing, Download Book of Heroic Races: Age of Races at the Fantasy Grounds Store. You can also find it at the JBE Shop and DriveThruRPG.

13th Age: Wandering Spirit, An Alternate Icon

All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. Read the first ones in the series: the Usurper, Deposed Heir, Fleshcrafter, and the Herald. So now we present to you the Wandering Spirit, is the equal and opposite of the of the Lich Queen.

The Wandering Spirit was a living icon in a previous age. They were thought to have been at peace over a century ago, but the cries of pain by the living roused them from their eternal slumber to wreak havoc among the living.

Quote

“Dealing out justice after death may have less timely but no less necessary.”

Frequent Location

The Ashen Fields, the scene of a terrible battle in a previous age. To this day, the ground is ash grey and plants still refuse to grow there. However, the Wandering Spirit can show up anywhere.

Common Knowledge

While it is said that the Wandering Spirit meters out justice, no one is exactly sure what draws their attention in the first place or how heavy-handed that justice will be. Even worse, no one knows how small of an injustice a person commits before the Wandering Spirit hands out justice. The question everyone is afraid to ask is if injustices committed by their ancestors will come back to haunt them.

The Icon and Adventurers

The Wandering Spirit frequently communicates with adventurers personally, showing up in dreams or in unperson and asks for certain jobs to be completed. These jobs range from carrying out the death sentence the Wandering Spirit has pronounced on someone to finding a lost toy for a child. Most often, the instruction are vague, requiring adventurers to investigate and find a hidden source of a problem and make a judgment call on what should be done. It is rare for adventurers to turn down the Wandering Spirit if for no other reason than the icon knows where ancient magic items are hidden away or entombed and is happy to share such knowledge for carrying out such assignments. If anything, adventurers are the only true ally the Wandering Spirit possesses.

Allies

Unlike most icons, the Wandering Spirit has no true allies. Emissaries from other icons frequently return, unable to find the Wandering Spirit. The few emissaries return having met the icon carrying a message to the icons warning them to stay away. Some simply do not return. Most believe them dead, their souls devoured by the Wandering Spirit. Other rumors about such missing emissaries tell of them serving the ghostly icon, willingly or otherwise.

Some icons that the Wandering Spirit would form alliances with see the Wandering Spirit as some sort of abomination. The Herald sees the Wandering Spirit as another unholy undead. The Deposed Heir has ordered the execution of enough of the Usurper’s agents to fear the wrath of the Wandering Spirit. While it is true that agents of these icons may have to work with the Wandering Spirit, that day has not yet come.

Enemies

While few icons are stupid enough to try a direct attack on a powerful spirit who can appear in dreams, that does not mean they do not work against the Wandering Spirit either. Waylaying someone working on behalf of the ghostly icon that is interfering in their plans may not earn a reprisal, one hopes. Of course, if the offending agent of the icon dies in their sleep or is killed by some adventurers, was it the Wandering Spirit’s doing?

In his quest for power, the Usurper has sought the aid of the Wandering Spirit; those emissaries seldom return. The Fleshcrafter is both afraid of a confrontation with the Wandering Spirit and hoping to trap them. A spirit that powerful under the Fleshcrafter’s control joined to a golem would make for an unstoppable creation.

History

All anyone knows for sure about the Wandering Spirit is that they appeared out of seemingly nowhere approximately 5 years ago, telling adventurers to handle situations that no one else will. In fact few would even know of the Wandering Spirit’s existence were it not for adventurers carrying out such acts in the Wandering Spirit’s name. Whether the Wandering Spirit has any agenda beyond sowing chaos in the name of justice is not something widely known or demonstrated.

The Reason to Fear

Every living person should fear the Wandering Spirit, never knowing if the next judgement the Wandering Spirit pronounces will be upon their head.

One who professes to fear nothing, not even the Wandering Spirit is the Guild Mistress. Read all about this leader of organized labor as the next alternate icon we will be describing right here on the JBE Blog.

Support the series by sharing it on social media and by downloading 13 Rogue Talents and Powers at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

13th Age: The Herald, An Alternate Icon

All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. Read the first ones in the series: the Usurper, Deposed Heir, and Fleshcrafter. This month’s entry, the Herald, is the equal and opposite of the of the Diabloist.

The Herald wields the power of Heaven and the gods. Not only that, the Herald leads an army of paladins, fighting to keep an army of unspeakable horrors from entering our realm. Agents of the Herald move throughout the Empire, watching to see if some untold nastiness slips into our realm unnoticed.

Quote

“By the gods’ will, we live to fight another day. May we be so fortunate again tomorrow.”

Frequent Location

Fort Divinity, the last piece of inhabitable land before entering the Blighten Lands and the Rift beyond.

Common Knowledge

The Herald is one of pure heart. Those that bear her symbol and work in her name are believed to be one of pure heart, even if they are only mortals.

The Icon and Adventurers

The Herald frequently works with adventurers because those that would cause destruction and pain everywhere. The Herald gladly works with those she disagrees with when directed to do so by the gods, trusting the deities know more than she.

Allies

The Herald and the Deposed Heir are allies but have a complicated relationship since he frequently asks where was Heaven and the gods when his family was slain. The Great Gold Dragon and the Herald have their difference but put them aside and work together since they share common goals. The Usurper wants the support of the Herald since it will help secure his claim on the throne. As such he works with the Herald, even if the Herald does not trust him.

Enemies

The Fleshcrafter rejects the gods, believing that trust should be placed in mortals and in their eldritch studies, pitting himself against the Herald. The Great Druid feels that the Herald’s people take what they want from the land in their pursuit of their aims and that this disrespect has gone on too long.

History

There was only one survivor of an attack by unspeakable horrors that slithered out of the sea that devoured much of a small coastal town, the one later knows as the Herald. Since that day, the Herald has worked tirelessly to that that never happens again. While she doesn’t always succeed in rescuing everyone, she always saves some and drives the horrors away.

The Reason to Fear

Those that deal with things so terrible that they will shatter a person’s sanity should fear the Herald for all the justice she will bring down upon them.

The Deposed Heir is not the only one that has a complicated relationship with the Herald; the Wandering Spirit is one that would join the Herald’s side, if the forces of Heaven did not find his very existence repugnant. Read all about the equal and opposite of the Lich Queen soon.

Support the series by sharing it on social media and by downloading 13 Cleric Domains and Spells at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

13th Age: The Fleshcrafter, An Alternate Icon

All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. We started this series off with the Usurper and continued it with the Deposed Heir. This month we continue the series with the Fleshcrafter, the equal and opposite of the Archmage.

In some ways the Fleshcrafter is just like the Archmage: they both seek knowledge and arcane power and want their followers to learn and educate themselves. That is where the similarities end, however. Where the Archmage wants lift many up with magic, the Fleshcrafter wants to suppress the masses with magic. The Archmage’s power comes from the living mastering eldritch power, while the Fleshcrafter’s power comes from a few crafting an unthinking army of the dead and various constructs. Where the Archmage thinks of the good of the many, the Fleshcrafter thinks only of the desires of the few.

Quote

“You displease me. Run fast or my hoard will devour you.”

Frequent Location

Bone Hill, a city that built around the Fleshcrafter’s tower.

Common Knowledge

The Fleshcrafter’s source of power centers around his mounds of dead bodies that he turns into his undead hoard. Such creations unerringly and unquestionably follow his orders.

The Icon and Adventurers

New adventurers seeking missions from the Fleshcrafter receive missions frequently involving disruptions in the flow of dead bodies to Bone Hill. He has also been known to hire adventurers to retrieve some new type of undead creature so he can study it. He may disguise these for those with a conflicting relationship as helping the people bringing corpses to the tower or by helping the local population by ridding them of some uncontrolled undead and bring it back to study.

Adventurers that the Fleshcrafter knows better and has more experience with are sent to find unique and exotic components to craft new golems and undead.

Allies

The Usurper supports the Fleshcrafter’s experiments like no other. In return, his undead armies keep the masses from rising up against the unlawful successor to the throne.

Enemies

The Lich Queen sees the Fleshcrafter as competition, stealing bodies that she can use to create for her undead army.

While the Dwarf King respects the Fleshcrafter’s skill in golem crafting, he finds the use of dead bodies, especially dwarven bodies, to form his creations as utterly repugnant.

History

Few considered the Fleshcrafter a person of consequence until his army of undead and golems marched upon the land. Before then, he was an overlooked wizard that the Archmage ignored. He was chased from town to town when the locals discovered what his creations involved. Now he is looking for payback for perceived wrongs.

The Reason to Fear

The Fleshcrafter believes that anyone not subservient to him is against him. He sends his creations after them.

The icon that opposed the Fleshcrafter more than anyone is the Herald, the one that knows how to call upon the power of Heaven and even bring angels into a fight in desperate times. Read all about this alternate icon next month.

Support the series by sharing it on social media and by downloading 13 Wizard Cantrips and Spells at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

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