Episode 34: Where’s My Elf?

Welcome to the Wonders of Thedas Podcast, your one-stop-shop for all your Dragon Age RPG needs!

You can hear the episode above, or you can listen on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud!

We’re on the run with this one, as we’re joined once again by special guest host Andy Klosky of Blackfall Press! This time we talk about the Escaped Elven Slave background, and how you and your fellow escapees may be in for a harsh time in their adventures! We get Andy an answer to his question, and get passionate about fellow gamers and their character’s romantic entanglements!

If you’d like to follow Oz Mills’ Twitch stream you can find it here!

If would like to submit a question or some custom content for the Dragon Age RPG, you can send it to us through our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Soundcloud! You can email us at wondersofthedaspodcast@gmail.com or send a private message to Kot the Protector or Healerpuff on the Green Ronin forums, or Kot or Lisse on the d20 Radio forums!

Thanks for listening, Thedosians!

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Episode 33: Riches and Renown

The reward schedules a GM selects for their players sets a mood for the rest of the game, so we try to take some time to count the coins!

Welcome to the Wonders of Thedas Podcast, your one-stop-shop for all your Dragon Age RPG needs!

You can hear the episode above, or you can listen on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud!

We reward you for your patience, as we dive into the rich topic of rewarding players. The reward schedules a GM selects for their players sets a mood for the rest of the game, so we try to take some time to count the coins! We also take plenty of time to talk about animal companions and training them, and talk about other podcasts and Youtube channels, Dragon Age or not!

If you’d like to follow the exploits of the Fateswain, the Bloody Stags, or the Kestrals, you can follow these links!

If would like to submit a question or some custom content for the Dragon Age RPG, you can send it to us through our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Soundcloud! You can email us at wondersofthedaspodcast@gmail.com or send a private message to Kot the Protector or Healerpuff on the Green Ronin forums, or Kot or Lisse on the d20 Radio forums!

Thanks for listening, Thedosians!

Episode 32: What Discipline Achieves

Submit to the Qun, and you will find purpose.

Welcome to the Wonders of Thedas Podcast, your one-stop-shop for all your Dragon Age RPG needs!

You can hear the episode above, or you can listen on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud!

This episode satisfies several demands of the Qun, because we are talking about the Qunari Beresaad background! We give a quick and dirty look at the duties, philosophy, and trials of submitting to the Qun. We also have some juicy listener questions and we share our lovingly crafted campaign setting within Dragon Age: Brecilia!

If you’d like to take a tour of Brecilia, you can find it on top of our blog page, or here in this document!

If would like to submit a question or some custom content for the Dragon Age RPG, you can send it to us through our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Soundcloud! You can email us at wondersofthedaspodcast@gmail.com or send a private message to Kot the Protector or Healerpuff on the Green Ronin forums, or Kot or Lisse on the d20 Radio forums!

Thanks for listening, Thedosians!

Dossiers of Thedas: Brecilia (Fan-Made)

The elves have been without a home for too long. In your Dragon Age campaigns, that need no longer be the case. Welcome to Brecilia, third home of the elves.

Welcome to Dossiers of Thedas, where we talk about the people of Thedas working together for greater causes!

Today we’re touching on something from my home campaign, Dragon Age: Faith Misplaced. This is the new nation of Brecilia; the new home of the elves of Thedas!

(For your listening pleasure, we often use this track to portray the new home of the elves! The track comes from the video game Nier, which we also recommend you check out!)

Brecilia is the youngest of Thedas’ national powers, but it is also growing the most quickly. It is known throughout Thedas as a place where elves need no one’s permission to do anything. They can find jobs, learn the old ways of the Dales, and be accepted as full citizens for the first time in more than 700 years.

History

Brecilia as a nation would be nothing without its legendary founders, the High Keepers. A trio of elves who have made names for themselves as heroes of Thedas and beyond, they were Dalish and city elves long before Brecilia was even conceived. These are the heroes who built a revolutionary new nation:

Ashalla, Alora, and Kallian were all simple elves who either lived in or traveled through Ferelden at the wrong (or right) time. Circumstance saw them become honorable patrons of a Ferelden noble house, and their heroics only continued to spread as they visited towns and villages to right wrongs and save hundreds of lives.

These three were also not the only ones to travel among this group. An elven Grey Warden named Thelriel, a human thief named Jack, a Ferelden knight named Leona, and a Tal-Vashoth named Venak were all once companions of the High Keepers, but they have all left the public eye for one reason or another.

Few details are known exactly about their early adventuring days, but what came after them is well-documented.

In 3:33 Dragon, a Grand Tourney was held in Cumberland, and these three heroes participated. Taking a few small awards in early competitions, two of them took part on the Autumn Falls, the tournament combat competition. They competed against fellow Dalish, mercenary captains, noble dwarves of Orzammar, Legion of the Dead members, and even a Chevalier. After the dust cleared, Kallian was crowned the Master of Blades and given the grand prize: an ancient dwarven forge hammer, Anvilbreaker.

This victory would be overshadowed by the events that unfolded next.

As the fights had been waged, the weather had grown more turbulent. As the final battle began in the tourney grounds, it was discovered that a strange cult of elves had stolen qunari explosives and planted them around the stands of the tournament’s battlegrounds. As Kallian fought in the final match, Alora and Ashalla found allies among the Grey Wardens, the Circle of Magi, and even the Ben-Hassrath, if reports are to be believed, to disarm the gaatlok before hundreds of people were wiped out in what would soon be discovered to be a blood magic ritual.

Crashing down in a bolt of lightning was the one who would become known as the nemesis of Brecilia: a powerful elven figure called Kotin. Claiming to be the elven god of vengeance and promising to bring ruin to the people who had wronged the elves, Kotin and his close allies sacrificed dozens of his own followers to fuel the ritual that was supposed to use the spectators of the Tourney, as well as his greatest foes, to cast a great spell. This spell sent a message to the ears of every elf in Thedas- possibly, in the whole world:

“Thedas has stood on the ashes of everything we were for too long. The humans have taken everything we are and told us to be grateful for the pittance they have thrown at our feet. They stole Arlathan from us; then, they stole the Dales. Join me, and we will take it back. Join me, and the humans will know what it feels like to be nothing. Join me, and Thedas will be ours, like it used to be.”

Just like that, Kotin vanished into a bolt of lightning, careening into the sky and leaving Thedas dumbfounded.

After this, a chain of events took place that would end up creating the nation of Brecilia. In their campaigns to turn the elves of Thedas away from Kotin’s regime, Ashalla, Alora, and Kallian were inspired by a broken ruin in the Brecilian Forest to give all those who turn from Kotin somewhere to rally with their fellow elves. After some negotiation, Ashalla would receive the blessing of King Alistair to build within the forest that Ferelden had no real use for.

She would build somewhere for the elves to live.

First, the Dalish joined them. An emergency Arlathven was called, a meeting of all clans, to discuss what this message could mean. While some Dalish saw that they had a chance to reclaim was what long-lost from their people’s history, the three who would become the High Keepers convinced them that the cost was too high. A small army of rage demons assaulted the Arlathven, and all the clans of the elves fought back, clear in their intent to oppose Kotin.

These elves would begin what many would call the Second Long Walk; the several dozen clans who attended the Arlathven took everything from the Dales, across Ferelden, into the Brecilian Forest and settled into what would become the first permanent elven settlement in centuries that wasn’t an alienage. These clans were the first Brecilians.

This was when the nation that would become Brecilia truly began to grow. Small settlements were built, and Ashalla and her companions had begun to rediscover lost artifacts and magical techniques of the Dales (and, potentially, Arlathan itself). Magic was used to grow trees into buildings and tools. Halla were corralled in larger farms than had ever been attempted. The clans began to share more crafting secrets and ideas than they had ever had time for at an Arlathven. Some of the Dalish who could not reach the Arlathven came straight to Brecilia, weeping with joy as they crossed the gates into the new home of the elves.

It was about this time that the High Keepers had heard that the hahrens of several of the largest alienages in Thedas were going to meet in Val Royeaux’s alienage to discuss what the city elves of Thedas would do in the face of Kotin’s offer. They were rightfully angry, having had the Dales taken from them centuries earlier, only to be offered “mercy” in having slums to live in and scrape by on the humans’ kindness. The High Keepers rode into the alienage in a magically grown carriage, stepping from the vehicle as impressive but familiar legends of the elven people.

They spoke with Briala, servant to the Empress of Orlais, about the situation. Briala pointed out that no country, certainly not Orlais, would appreciate most of their cheap or free laborers disappearing overnight to leave for a mythical elven homeland. However, it was also known that the Empress’ new year’s ball was going to take place soon, and this would be an excellent opportunity to show that Brecilia was a national force to be reckoned (and, more importantly, negotiated) with.

The High Keepers joined the party as exotic emissaries of a place that almost seemed impossible. While they were expecting judgmental glances from the humans, the High Keepers began to notice strange looks from some of the elven servants, as well. These servants were, in reality, servants of Kotin and his cult, who intended to poison the party food with a dangerous disease called the “Amber Rage”. The High Keepers had dealt with this disease before and quickly moved to remove the contaminated food before the Rage caused the high-profile humans to tear each other apart in a blind fury.

With this scheme foiled, Kotin sent a small gift of his appreciation: a demon-possessed dragon to assault the Empress’s Winter Palace. With the Empress’s life on the line, the High Keepers displayed their unique heroics, slaying the dragon in the palace’s courtyard for all of the Orlesian elite to see.

The Empress was quick to praise them, reward them with titles, and even grant the city elves of Orlais the opportunity to migrate to Brecilia slowly, so that labor forces could be compensated appropriately. The High Keepers promised that Kotin, and the great threat he posed to Thedas, would be dealt with personally.

This event inspired movements from other nations, and city elves began to pour in from all across Thedas. Every nation had caravans of city elves traveling to the legendary Brecilia, home of the elves.

All nations would send some, except for the Tevinter Imperium.

The High Keepers visited Tevinter, knowing full well that most of the elves in Tevinter were slaves who would have heard Kotin’s message and would want to take revenge on their masters. Tevinter would be loath to part with their slaves, as they represented not only their workforce, but much of their trade. The High Keepers knew they would need to be careful and politic in this diplomatic mission.

Tevinter’s Archon expected the Brecilians, and invited them into the Imperial Senate to state their case to the Magisters of the Tevinter Imperium. The High Keepers would find machinations of Kotin’s cults very active in the Imperium, where resentment against humans was at a particular high. While the Keepers struggled to contain the actions of Kotin’s cult cells, they would fight to make friends with several of the magisters of Tevinter. After finding some support, they finally made a fateful visit to the Senate. Their entrance was made into a parade where the High Keepers were publicly celebrated as guests of honor, and privately be used by the Archon to draw out the stronger elements of Kotin’s rebel cells. The Archon’s plan worked, and the High Keepers fended off the attack, crippling the rebel cell’s leadership.

The rain began to pour as the High Keepers entered the Senate to discuss with the Magisterium their proposal: We can protect you from Kotin, if you periodically release slaves who wish to leave for Brecilia. The debate was heated, but the High Keepers remained resolute. The Archo brought the subject to a vote, and the High Keepers suggestion was put into motion by a slim margin.

Just then, the unthinkable happened, and Kotin himself struck the Senate building. The Magisters were distracted by planted servants throughout the Senate and were distracted by the storm gathering overhead. The High Keepers fought Kotin of top of the Imperial Senate, with the help of the Archon, and managed to defeat him.

The Archon quietly made sure that their actions would not be forgotten, and their plan to slowly release slaves to Brecilia was cemented.

Brecilia’s population swelled, and the small forest nation began to grow into a proper country- one that would soon have many children who would grow up without knowing the hardships of previous generations.

Kotin would make a final effort to crush Brecilia, tearing open the Veil in the Blackmarsh to summon an army of demons, but the High Keepers met him one last time, in his domain within the Fade itself and banished him forever.

Brecilia has only grown since that fateful battle. Elves from alienages as far as the Anderfels have made the Second Long Walk to the newest home of the elves, and the mages of Brecilia slowly uncover more magical secrets and artifacts from long ago.

Things seemed idyllic for the elves of Brecilia, until the world erupted into the Mage-Templar War. After the rebellion in Kirkwall, Brecilia received many uncomfortable requests of their mages and templars. As the restrictions on mages increased elsewhere, the Brecilian Circles were slow to enact any restrictions. Most could tell that mages were surprisingly free to do what they wished in Brecilia; they even ran the nation. Some of the more conservative Templars warned that Brecilia could become another Tevinter, with mages ruling over the mundane. Had the Kirkwall rebellion not taken place and distracted the Templars, it is likely that they would have cracked down harder on Brecilia and its lenient Circle.

The Templars of Brecilia were recruited from within, and their Knight-Commander was already friends with the High-Keepers. Their military also heavily benefited from ancient elven techniques of nature magic, concealing them from intruders and allowing deadly ambushes by the highly trained border guards, the Emerald Knights. These facts, in the face of the sudden restrictions on mages in nearly every other Circle, made Brecilia a considerable threat in the minds of the more conservative Templars. The situation was further complicated by the fact that Brecilia’s rulers had saved the world once and that they were very clever diplomats. Many favors were owed by powerful individuals like Archon Radonis, King Alistair, and Empress Celene I. When Divine Beatrix was replaced with Divine Justinia, her desires for reform also ended up distracting the Templars. No attacks could be officially mounted, which barely kept the Brecilians safe from an Exalted March.

Both sides of the Mage/Templar conflict requested aid or shelter from Brecilia. Rebel mages wished to take asylum or even support, and the Templars requested aid to fight the mages within Ferelden. Brecilia’s leaders officially claimed that they would not be aggressively joining the fight unless it was brought to them; that said, Brecilia’s support of mage rights was overt, and they provided a great deal of healing, shelter, and support to rogue mages during the conflict.

The Templars could not distract themselves with fighting an additional conflict, and as the Circles dissolved, and the Templars broke from the Chantry itself, the fighting continued without much interference from Brecilia. Refugees still crossed Brecilia’s tree lines. Some agents had to remove innocent elves from the crossfire, bringing them back to Brecilia. Some Brecilians did have to fight and defend their borders, but overall, Brecilia managed to remove itself from the fight quite well until the Divine called for the Conclave.

In a move that few people understood, Brecilia did not send any delegates to the Conclave, despite their large mage population. Even less understood was that one of Brecilia’s agents still attended without authorization, sneaking into the Conclave to report the situation to the High Keepers. This was Sinclair Lavellan, and this poor sod became the Inquisitor for his troubles.

Having the Inquisitor be a Brecilian agent has only made Brecilia’s situation more precarious. With people calling a Dalish elf the “Herald of Andraste”, Brecilia received an unwelcome amount of attention from the fractured Chantry, with many claiming that the Breach may have been set up by Brecilia itself. With the War of the Lions in Orlais, and Tevinter preferring to let the south deal with its own problems, Brecilia can only look to Ferelden as an ally.

Brecilia stands firm but ready, waiting to see what else the Dragon Age has in store for it…

(The above timeline includes an elven Inquisitor ((Reyn’s Inquisitor)) as part of Brecilia’s story, but you could very easily swap him out for your own. A non-elven Inquisitor would likely reduce tensions, but may be less appropriate for campaigns that include Brecilia in the Inquisition storyline.)

Organization

These are the stat blocks for Brecilia during the year that the Dragon Age: Faith Misplaced campaign ended. The stat block following that is the kingdom during the time of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Feel free to use or adjust these as you need!

Brecilia (9:34 Dragon)

Abilities (Focuses)

Might 4 (Garrison)
Wealth 4
Influence 5 (Elves)
Intrigue 6 (Secrets)
Magic 5 (Lore, Mages)

Combat Ratings

Structure Stability Scope Troops
8 51 World 1300
Special Qualities
Stunt Bonus: May perform the Equip, New Focus, New Assets, Rebuild/Expand (gaining it once for free) Growth Stunts for -1 SP, and the Bolster (gaining it once for free), Devastate, Embarrass, Surgical Strike, Undermine Plot Stunt for -1 SP

 

Brecilia (9:41 Dragon)

Abilities (Focuses)

Might 7 (Garrison, Specialty Troops: Emerald Knights)
Wealth 7 (Goods)
Influence 8 (Elves, Foreign Power: Ferelden)
Intrigue 7 (Counter-Spies, Secrets, Spies)
Magic 8 (Lore, Mages)

Combat Ratings

Structure Stability Scope Troops
8 350 World 11000

Special Qualities

Stunt Bonus: May perform the Equip, Greater Assets, New Focus, Rebuild/Expand (gaining it once for free) Growth Stunts for -1 SP, and the Bolster (gaining it once for free), Devastate, Embarrass, Surgical Strike, Undermine Plot Stunt for -1 SP

Mighty: Brecilia has come a long way, and its people are fervent in its defense.  Stability is at least 350, and troop number is multiplied by 5.

Notable People

The following are important figures in Brecilia who can be used in your campaigns if you wish!

Hearthkeeper Ashalla

Ashalla of the Brightmores was the First of her clan; she set out to see the lands of Thedas before taking the responsibility of Keeper from her mother. She is a talented mage who calls upon spirits to keep herself and her allies alive, and she has incredible diplomatic skills, even earning herself an honorary induction into the Circle of Magi. She supposedly had many humans who loved her, but she eventually chose a handsome elven scout of the Emerald Brotherhood named Varel, who captured a rare red hart alive as his mating gift. Ashalla stands today as the Hearthkeeper, in charge of diplomatic relations and domestic administration. She is kind, caring for her people, and bold to most sensibilities, feeding her newborn during meetings without batting an eye and daring anyone to challenge her. She is a strong proponent of tolerance and diplomacy between races and factions, but she has little patience or mercy to offer those who intentionally threaten her people or her loved ones.

Hearthkeeper Ashalla (9:41 Dragon)

Communication 8* (Animal Handling, Etiquette, Leadership, Persuasion), Constitution 5 (Stamina), Cunning 6 (Arcane Lore, Cultural Lore, Healing, Historical Lore, Natural Lore, Religious Lore, Writing), Dexterity 3 (Stealth), Magic 9 (Creation, Primal, Spirit), Perception 0 (Seeing, Empathy), Strength 0, Willpower 6** (Courage, Self-Discipline)

*Because of her items and “High Keeper” title, add +1 to all Persuasion and Seduction tests, +1 to Persuasion tests vs. dwarves, and +3 to all Communication tests vs. elves.

.**Because of her “Unbent by Misfortune” title, add +2 to all Willpower (Courage) and Willpower (Self-Discipline) tests.

Steelkeeper Alora

Alora of the Goldenhawks was a hunter in service of her clan. Trained to fight and hunt, she protected her allies from danger in their early days, only to lose her mate to a demon’s clutches. Another of her clan, Eshara, the clan’s lorekeeper, became her new lover and mate. Alora has felled dragons, demons, and blood mages, only to walk away unscathed and determined. She now stands as the Steelkeeper, in charge of Brecilia’s growing military and defense projects (which may include a captured dragon). Alora is strong and no-nonsense, seeking results, but never at anyone’s expense or detriment. She pushes her soldiers because she knows what they must face, and she would never have them suffer loss like her people already have.

Steelkeeper Alora (9:41 Dragon)

Communication 5* (Animal Handling, Leadership, Seduction),Constitution 6 (Climbing, Drinking, Stamina, Swimming), Cunning 5 (Cultural Lore, Military Lore), Dexterity 4 (Acrobatics, Bows, Initiative, Ride), Magic 3 (Spirit), Perception 3 (Empathy, Hearing, Seeing, Tracking), Strength 6 (Climbing, Heavy Blades, Intimidation, Might), Willpower 4** (Courage, Self-Discipline)

*Because of her “High Keeper” title, add +3 to all Communication tests vs. elves.

**Because of her “Unbent by Misfortune” title, add +2 to all Willpower (Courage) and Willpower (Self-Discipline) tests.

Wealthkeeper Kallian

Kallian was an elf who grew up in Denerim’s alienage, with a hard-knock life just like any in a large city alienage. Despite this upbringing, she was noticed by a charitable human girl who desired to do some good. To this end, she taught Kallian swordplay until her father caught her. Kallian barely saw that young girl again, but she was more than prepared to take on anyone foolish enough to cross her or her friends. Joining the other High-Keepers as allies was through strange circumstance, but she keeps them close. She is openly known as the Wealthkeeper, in charge of the trade and businesses of Brecilia, but in the secretive underworld of Brecilia she is known as the Shadowkeeper. In this mysterious underworld, she runs spy networks, many of whom are clever children who can slip out of danger fast but remain unaccountable with innocent faces. Her lover is a former enemy, a powerful mage named Safina, known to be skilled in blood magic. It is rumored that she makes passes at any attractive personas who cross her path, but so far she seems to have remained loyal to Safina.

Wealthkeeper Kallian (9:41 Dragon)

Communication 5* (Deception, Etiquette, Investigation, Persuasion, Seduction), Constitution 3 (Running, Stamina), Cunning 5 (Cryptography, Evaluation, Healing, Poison Lore), Dexterity 8 (Acrobatics, Bow Group, Dueling Group, Initiative, Legerdemain, Ride, Stealth**, Traps), Magic -1, Perception 5 (Hearing, Searching, Seeing, Tracking), Strength 2 (Climbing, Intimidation, Jumping), Willpower 3*** (Courage, Self-Discipline)

*Because of her “High Keeper” title, add +3 to all Communication tests vs. elves.

**Because of her specialization and items, add +3 to all Dexterity (Stealth) tests.

***Because of her “Unbent by Misfortune” title, add +2 to all Willpower (Courage) and Willpower (Self-Discipline) tests.

Varel

The current de-facto head of the faction known as the Emerald Brotherhood is a handsome elven scout named Varel. While the current Emerald Keeper is away on expeditions, Varel remains to keep things running. He grew up in Denerim’s alienage as a city elf, but when he met a Dalish elf who claimed they were of the Emerald Brotherhood, he found his calling. He works long hours to ensure that new elven artifacts are well-cared for and catalogued. Most people do not know how he gets sleep, as he seems to work around the clock. He is quiet and polite, firm but kind. He is very protective of his home and family (particularly his mate Ashalla and their growing number of children), and his ability to disappear into the shadows is legendary.

Varel (9:41 Dragon)

Communication 2 (Deception, Persuasion),Constitution 4 (Stamina, Swimming), Cunning 5 (Cultural Lore, Natural Lore), Dexterity 7 (Bows, Initiative, Legerdemain, Light Blades, Stealth*), Magic 1, Perception 3 (Hearing, Tracking), Strength 3 (Climbing), Willpower 4 (Self-Discipline)

*Because of his specialization and items, add +3 to all Dexterity (Stealth) tests.

Lorekeeper Eshara

As Brecilia continues to reclaim much of the lost lore of the Dales or even Arlathan, the primary Lorekeeper is Eshara, a spunky and excitable Dalish historian. She works closely with Emerald Brotherhood agents to reclaim etchings, writings, or art from elven artifacts and temples discovered across Thedas. She is slowly attempting to create a timeline of elven history, but progress is difficult and sluggish. She is always ecstatic to find new recruits for her slowly emerging Lorekeepers faction, a group dedicated to the history and culture of the ancient elven peoples. She is delightful when working, but wilts when there is a lack of new information coming in. Fortunately, her mate Alora keeps her going when they find time to visit.

Lorekeeper Eshara (9:41 Dragon)

Communication 2 (Deception, Persuasion), Constitution 3, Cunning 6 (Cultural Lore, Historical Lore, Research), Dexterity 6 (Bows, Dueling, Light Blades, Stealth, Traps), Magic 0, Perception 4 (Seeing, Tracking), Strength 2, Willpower 4 (Courage)

Keeper Safina

Safina is one of the many elves in Brecilia who claims the title of Keeper, but she had lost her clan to Templars years ago. She attempted once to sway the Dalish elves to join Kotin’s crusade against Thedas, but now she fights for her new home. Very skilled in magic, even by Keeper standards, she provides much useful insight to magical theories and developments in Brecilia. It is somewhat known that she can use blood magic, and the fact that she attacked the Arlathven with an army of demons has kept her reputation sour. Only the High Keepers truly trust her, but she nevertheless is open to questions about magic, and assists the other Keepers with various magical experiments and projects. She has no formal title as of this moment, but is still considered an expert of note. She is reserved and slow to open to new people, preferring to remain indifferent until she knows that she can trust someone. She is disarmingly open to her lover, Kallian, and friendly to the other High Keepers.

Keeper Safina (9:41 Dragon)

Communication 4 (Persuasion), Constitution 3 (Stamina), Cunning 4 (Arcane Lore, Natural Lore, Poison Lore), Dexterity 2, Magic 7 (Arcane Lance, Blood, Entropy, Primal), Perception 2 (Tracking), Strength -2, Willpower 5 (Courage, Self-Discipline)

Thom

Thom is a young human mage with the gift of dreaming. He spent his early childhood as an orphan in Denerim; in 9:32 Dragon, however, he was kidnapped by a demonic cult and would have faced certain death, had the High Keepers (then simple adventurers) not intervened. In the weeks that followed, Ashalla visited him frequently, taking a shine to his sweet, calm demeanor and artistic skills, and she decided to adopt him shortly thereafter. Not long after that, Thom’s unique magical abilities began to surface; he could travel the Fade in his sleep and unerringly sense the presence of spirits and demons. These abilities, along with his artistic skill, have made Thom an invaluable asset to the Brecilians in spite of his heritage. Now a sixteen-year-old boy, Thom is a beloved member of his community; he has honed his skills significantly, and it was his warning that kept his adoptive mother from attending the Conclave.

Thom (9:41 Dragon)

Communication 1, Constitution 1, Cunning 3 (Arcane Lore), Dexterity 2 (Calligraphy), Magic 4 (Arcane Lance, Spirit), Perception 2 (Empathy), Strength 1, Willpower 2 (Self-Discipline)

Brecilian Magic

Thanks to the tireless efforts of their mages, Brecilians have begun to unlock some of the more esoteric and ancient magical traditions of their ancestors. To represent this, consider allowing your Brecilian mage PCs access to the Wood Arcana talent tree from page 76 of the Fantasy Age Basic Rulebook.

In addition, while working with a friendly human mage in Tevinter, the High Keepers successfully developed a unique spell known as Spirit-Breaker. This spell, which allows a mage to drive out demonic and spiritual influences, has grown in popularity amongst Brecilian mages, due in no small part to its extreme usefulness in areas where the Veil is thin.

Spirit-Breaker

Magic School: Spirit

Spell Type: Utility   Mana Cost: 15 MP

Casting Time: Major Action    Target Number: 15

Test: Magic (Spirit)    Requirements: Spirit Magic (Journeyman)

You tighten the Veil around a possessed target, cutting any spirits inhabiting the subject off from their victim. This spell only works on targets who have spirits or demons inhabiting their physical form, including but not limited to abominations, spirit healers, and spirit warriors. The possessing entity makes a Magic (Spirit) test against the caster’s own Magic (Spirit). This is an opposed test that is in addition to the test required to cast the spell. If the caster wins the opposed test against the possessing entity, the entity is expelled from their victim/subject and banished back to the Fade. If the possessing entity wins the opposed test, the spell has no effect. This spell can reverse the transformation into an abomination if the spell is cast within 24 hours of possession. Restoring the subject to their full original self may require more than this spell is capable of.

The Brecilian Elf Background

(For games that include Brecilia, especially campaigns in the Inquisition years or later, you can include the following background to simulate an elf who is among the first in several hundred years to grow up among their own kind and in relative comfort and freedom!)

In the year 9:33 Dragon a trio of elven adventurers changed the world. With great wealth, political power, and diplomacy, they established the first home that the elven people have had in the last 700 years: Brecilia, named after the forest that was granted to them by the Ferelden crown. Though it is young, Brecilia has grown quickly, finding new immigrants from elven slaves in Tevinter, the downtrodden city elves, and the Dalish who originally settled the area. All of these and more have shared their various expertise to create a unique society of capable individuals whose parents fought against oppression and now fight to make sure their children never see that same struggle.

The people of Brecilia are fiercely proud of what they have built, and it shows. While most elves of Thedas tend to keep their heads down when in the company of other races, elves born in Brecilia never avert their eyes from outsiders. They are taught that the elves have been reborn in a sense, and they should feel proud to be elves. This does breed some isolationist resentment of other races, but education is heavily encouraged for all young peoples of Brecilia. Any hate to be found in Brecilia is usually from the older generations who remember what it was like before Brecilia existed. All Brecilians can agree on one thing, however: the elves are free, and never again shall they submit.

You do not have to have been born in the small gap of time between 9:33 and 9:41 to take this background. You could have been born before then but your formative years were spent walking the streets of Brecilian towns and cities, learning about the past and seeing a bright future ahead.

If you choose to play a Brecilian Elf, modify your character as follows:

  • Add 1 to Dexterity if you plan to play a Rogue or Warrior, or add 1 to Magic if you plan to play a Mage. Brecilia trains you with the best.
  • Pick one of the following ability focuses: Dexterity (Stealth) or Willpower (Self-Discipline)
  • You can read and speak Trade Tongue. You can speak Elven.
  • Choose a class. You can play a Mage, Rogue, or Warrior.

Roll twice on the Brecilian Elf table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the result together. If you get same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.

 

Brecilian Elf

2d6 Roll

Benefit

2

+1 Perception

3-4

Dexterity (Traps)

5

Cunning (Cultural Lore)

6

+1 Willpower

7-8

+1 Cunning

9

Cunning (Arcane Lore)

10-11

Willpower (Courage)

12

Weapon Group: Bows*

*If you already have this Weapon Group, roll on the table again.

Adventures in Brecilia

Despite Brecilia often coming across as a mythical place where elves can live in peace, such is not always the case. With vastly different life experiences coloring the perceptions of its inhabitants, unrest exists within the tree-lines of Brecilia.

  • Brecilia’s population is sometimes split into four groups: Dalish, city elves, former slaves, and born Brecilians. These four social groups tend to congregate in their own sections of settlements and, despite the leaders’ best efforts, they don’t always mix well. The Dalish generally consider themselves the “true” Brecilians, as they settled first and taught the survival skills of living in a forest to the immigrants who came later. The city elves and the former slaves usually find the most in common, surviving lives of hardship and toil, finally finding some respite in their new home. They also brought many trade skills that the Dalish lacked that were necessary for establishing trade with other nations. Sadly, the city elves often seem to pity the former slaves, and the former slaves often criticize the city elves as having it easy before Brecilia. The slowly emerging group of born Brecilians come from all these walks of life, and many of them take the views of their parents. A growing number of them advocate for more unity, as this is what Brecilia is supposed to be about. They have some difficulty convincing their bitter seniors, and this unrest can sometimes calcify into bitter feuds between the proud Dalish and the city elves or former slaves. There is little violence, as the guards are well-trained to council unrest before locking anyone up, but sometimes these are unavoidable steps.
  • The Brecilian Forest is not everyone’s first choice of places to settle a people. While it was a somewhat natural fit for the Dalish settlers, some of the city elves and former slaves have begun to wonder loudly why this forest seemed like a good idea to live in. The verdant forest provides plenty of cover for bandits, assassins, and thieves to prey on the Brecilians who are ill-prepared to live in the woods. The Veil in the Forest is notoriously thin, and large predators like giant spiders, bears, or even the occasional dragon are often lesser concerns than spirits who dwell in the wood. Some animate the trees and attack travelers, and some lure lone elves into becoming lost. Tears in the Veil are also places where demon-summoning becomes a bit easier, and some dangerous mages have been known to sprout cults in the deeper parts of the wood. Despite this, many still try to explore the Forest further, as explorers are often turning up artifacts or temples of old elven make, and the Emerald Brotherhood and the Lorekeepers offer bounties for good finds.
  • Brecilia has an emerging upper class that helps govern the new kingdom. These leaders are the Keepers, Hahren, and skilled former slaves that are elected to speak for the needs of the Brecilian people. The needs are many, and this Council of Elders is always in need of good agents to to help enact the wills of the people. This upper class has created some gaps between the Council and the people they serve, and while it is far less of a gap than the established nations of Thedas, they are slowly starting to look down on the masses of clans, alienages, and slave groups that make up their charges. This can mean that some requests take long to be answered, and Keepers may end up “forgetting” to create projects to benefit neighborhoods where former city elves and slaves now live. Hearthkeeper Ashalla is always on the lookout for diplomatic individuals to help her ease tensions and promote more peace. Talented agents may find themselves representing the Council of Elders as diplomats to other nations.
  • As any nation starts to grow in prominence, so do its secrets grow with it. Lead by Kallian, publicly known as the Wealthkeeper, is a swiftly growing underworld of Brecilia known to some as the Dark Roots. This collection of shadowy figures doesn’t prey on elves, but on hostile foreigners and intruders, robbing them or even assassinating them in defense of the nation. Kallian secretly leads as the Shadowkeeper, the mysterious fourth High Keeper, and she maintains a powerful network of intelligence gathering, sabotage, and crime that not only keeps Brecilia safer, but richer. In Brecilia, it is generally accepted that these Dark Root agents are not harmful to the elves who live there, and they should be left alone if discovered for the good of the kingdom, although these are the few who whisper of their existence. Some accidentally stumble into this web of shadows and secrets, and often find themselves with a choice: join us and bolster Brecilia with intrigue and guile, or never find the Dark Roots again.
  • The Brecilian military is something to behold…if you can find them. Brecilia’s silent scouts and swift vanguards are all well-trained fighters, but what sets them apart is their magical aid: the Verdant. These war mages are trained in many forms of deadly nature magic, but also receive training in unique elven techniques of old, using them to hinder oncoming foes and hide their allies in the forest for easy ambushes and guerilla warfare. Nature magic conceals the approach of Brecilian forces, dropping during an assault, but causing them to fade back into the wood when they back off. This creates not only a very effective physical defense, but a psychological one as well. Few are brave enough to try to sneak into, let alone invade, the Forest when an elven war party could burst from the foliage at any moment. Training to become a Verdant is difficult, but some consider them to be Brecilia’s greatest defense.
  • The military has many posts that need filling, and are always looking for new blood during their semi-annual festival-like recruitment drives. Physical challenges are set up involving climbing trees with heavy armor, taking turns trying to appeal to ornery halla mounts, and some mock combats with training weapons.
  • Those who show not only great physical ability but a connection to the spirits of the forest are often inducted into Steelkeeper Alora’s personal platoon: the Emerald Knights. Based on an old border patrol tradition of the Dales, the Emerald Knights have truly become something new. Alora became a Spirit Warrior during her adventuring days, and she has passed on the secrets of calling spirits for aid in combat to her elite knights. They prove invaluable in battles against both demonic foes and more mundane threats. These exceptional warriors have been compared to the Legion of the Dead and even the Chevaliers, creating some tensions and suspicion that Brecilia practices dangerous magic to get an edge. Quite the opposite is true, however, as they are what keeps Brecilia safe from the more vile residents of the Fade.
  • The elven kingdom is always in need of good help, and none exemplify what Brecilia is meant for like the Justicars. After a successful mission helping Orzammar establish trade and also helping drive out the Carta, the agents who took the mission were called the Justicars, and now the name has stuck. Justicars of Brecilia are now a collective of exceptional agents who perform missions for Brecilia’s benefit. They go on diplomatic visits, clear out dangerous entities in the Brecilian Forest, drive off bandits, and even explore dangerous tombs of supposedly elven make. They are some of Brecilia’s most celebrated heroes, representing how far the elven people have come in a short time. When a Justicar steps into a room, Thedas stops to steal a glance. This means that many try to join the illustrious adventurers. Recruitment is grueling, and few make it in, but those who succeed have gone on to do much good for the elves.
  • There is an on-going project alongside Orzmmar to assist them in clearing out the Deep Raods to help them reclaim lost thaigs. Agents and volunteers are always needed, and paid quite well for the dangerous work of clearing out tunnels that the darkspawn have ruled for centuries.
  • Immigration is difficult for most of the elves of Thedas, who were usually poor to begin with. To aleviate the situation, Brecilia has a program called the Branch. Members of this organization are called Branches, and it is their job to scout new immigrants in other countries for Brecilian citizenship, and to assist those who are having trouble immigrating to Brecilia itself. They have their hands full organizing caravans, smuggling out elves who are being held in place against their will, and negotiating with foreign leaders about the elves making the move to a home that welcomes them with open arms. They must also separate families at times when some of the elven population of a settlement makes the move while other stay.

Thank you for reading, and tell us about your adventures in Brecilia any time!

Special Episode: AetherCon VI

Welcome to the Wonders of Thedas Podcast, your one-stop-shop for all your Dragon Age RPG needs!

You can hear the episode above, or you can listen on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud!

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We have a surprise episode today, where we bring on some of the staff from the online gaming convention AetherCon VI, to tell you all about how you can join this free and easy-access convention come November! Reyn is joined by Stephen, Ed, and Pete of the AetherCon staff to talk about where this convention got started, what events take place, what games are being run, how you can participate, and all the lovely PRIZES they have for folks who come to play some games!

I’ll be running some Dragon Age games at this convention, and if any of YOU would like to run some Dragon Age and get this game spread around the world, you can still sign up to GM games! There’s no physical space to worry about, so anyone and everyone can get on and play or run some Dragon Age! (Of course, if you want to run Fantasy Age, Blue Rose, or anything else, you can run that too!)

If you’d like to learn more about AetherCon, you can click here!

You can also keep up to date with AetherCon through their Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube!

If would like to submit a question or some custom content for the Dragon Age RPG, you can send it to us through our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Soundcloud! You can email us at wondersofthedaspodcast@gmail.com or send a private message to Kot the Protector or Healerpuff on the Green Ronin forums, or Kot or Lisse on the d20 Radio forums!

Thanks for listening, Thedosians!

Episode 31: Elementary

In this EXPLOSIVE episode we talk about Primal magic! We also have exciting announcements!

Welcome to the Wonders of Thedas Podcast, your one-stop-shop for all your Dragon Age RPG needs!

You can hear the episode above, or you can listen on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud!

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In this explosive episode we have a few announcements! We have joined the wonderful gaggle of podcasters known as d20 Radio! d20 Radio is a collection of podcasts who support each other and promote on each other’s shows. We’ll be plugging some of the solid podcasting talent available in this network, and we hope that our listeners can find something new while new listeners enjoy what they find here!

In addition, the Wonders of Thedas Podcast will be getting its own forums, so you can discuss episodes, ask questions, post build and adventure ideas, and talk all about Thedas!

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We also are announcing that we will be attending AetherCon VI, coming this November. I’ll be running a few games during the online show, and we’ll even have some of the folks who are putting on the convention here on the show! We’ll ask them about online gaming, what the con has to offer, and how you can make the most of it!

In the meat of our show, we answer some burning questions from our listeners, and we put the freeze on Primal magic. In one of our more heavily-researched episodes, we talk about each element, its pros and cons, and how you can make Primal magic work for you!

You can get to d20 Radio’s website here!

You can check out our show’s forums here!

If you’d like to learn more about AetherCon, you can click here!

If would like to submit a question or some custom content for the Dragon Age RPG, you can send it to us through our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Soundcloud! You can email us at wondersofthedaspodcast@gmail.com or send a private message to Kot the Protector or Healerpuff on the Green Ronin forums, or Kot or Lisse on the d20 Radio forums!

Thanks for listening, Thedosians!

Episode 30: An Honorable Death

Prepare to die, as we talk about the hearty and unstoppable Legionnaire Scout specialization!

Welcome to the Wonders of Thedas Podcast, your one-stop-shop for all your Dragon Age RPG needs!

You can hear the episode above, or you can listen on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud!

Prepare to die, as we talk about the hearty and unstoppable Legionnaire Scout specialization! This stalker of the darkspawn is a master of survival, and the Deep Roads is their home! We also answer some questions from loyal fans and plug our own creations now that they are done!

If you’d like to read or use What Chains Are For, you can find it here!

If would like to submit a question or some custom content for the Dragon Age RPG, you can send it to us through our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Soundcloud! You can email us at wondersofthedaspodcast@gmail.com or send a private message to Kot the Protector or Healerpuff on the Green Ronin forums!

Thanks for listening, Thedosians!