You are on page 1of 34

A PLAYERS GUIDE TO

BY MONTE COOK

The City of Ptolus. A place where the supernatural


is expected and treachery lies around every corner
or is it that the supernatural lies around every
corner and treachery is expected? Either way,
Ptolus is a city of danger, magic, intrigue,
and above all: adventure.

This 32-page guide is designed to introduce you to


the fundamentals of Ptolus and help you create and
run a character with plenty of knowledge about the
setting. The guide includes a map of the city and an
introduction to its districts, as well as sections on
campaign look and feel, the various noble houses,
organizations, history, NPCs, religion, the larger
world, character creation, magic, equipment, and
more. All this material also appears in the full book
Ptolus: Monte Cooks City by the Spire, which
builds from the foundation this players guide
provides. Keep the guide handy as a reference
while you play in the Ptolus Campaign, and use
it as a preview of the deluxe Ptolus hardcover.

Requires use of the Third Edition rules

2006 Monte J. Cook


Sword & Sorcery is a trademark of White Wolf Publishing.
Malhavoc is a registered trademark and Ptolus is a trademark
of Monte J. Cook. All rights reserved.

www.ptolus.com

PDF Version 2
BY MONTE COOK
October 2008

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 87.194.1


A PLAYERS
GUIDE TO

By Monte Cook

WWW.PTOLUS.COM

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


2 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction The Undercity Market . . . . .10 Outside the City Walls . . . . .18
The Look of Ptolus . . . . . . . .11 Customs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
A Players Guide to Ptolus Noble Houses . . . . . . . . . . . .11 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Welcome to the City . . . . . . . . . .4 Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Two Emperors . . . . . . . . . . .19
Campaign Feel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Balacazar Crime Family . .12 Life Under the Empire . . . . .19
The City of Ptolus . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Brotherhood of The Empire Today . . . . . . . .20
Rulers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Redemption . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
The Authorities and the Law .6 The Conciliators . . . . . . . .12 Creating a Character for the Ptolus
The Forces of Light . . . . . . . .6 Delvers Guild . . . . . . . . . .12 Campaign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
The Dark Side . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Dreaming Apothecary . . . .12 Common Races . . . . . . . . . .22
The People of Ptolus . . . . . . . .6 The Fallen . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Minor Races . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Districts of the City . . . . . . . .7 Fate Weavers . . . . . . . . . . .12 Other NPC Races . . . . . . . . .24
The Docks . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 The Forsaken . . . . . . . . . .13 Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Guildsman District . . . . . . .8 Healers of Sacred Heat . . .13 Character Background . . . . . . . .24
Midtown . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Inverted Pyramid . . . . . . . .13 Character Classes . . . . . . . . .25
The Necropolis . . . . . . . . .9 Keepers of the Veil . . . . . .13 Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Nobles Quarter . . . . . . . . .9 Killraven Crime League . . .13 Magic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
North Market . . . . . . . . . .9 Knights of the Golden Spells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Oldtown . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Cross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Blessed Children . . . . . . . . . .26
Rivergate District . . . . . . .10 Knights of the Pale . . . . . .13 The Wintersouled . . . . . . . . .26
South Market . . . . . . . . . .10 Longfingers Guild . . . . . . .13 Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Temple District . . . . . . . .10 The Malkuth . . . . . . . . . . .13 Firearms and Technology . . . . .27
The Warrens . . . . . . . . . .10 Order of the Fist . . . . . . . .14
Pale Dogs . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
The Shuul . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 City Map
The Sorn . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Districts of Ptolus . . . . . . . .1617
Sisterhood of Silence . . . . .14
The Vai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Viridian Lords . . . . . . . . . .14 Character Sheet
Religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 For Ptolus PCs . . . . . . . . . . .2829
The Church of Lothian . . . . .14
Important Individuals in Ptolus .15
People From History . . . . . .18 Appendix
The World (and Beyond) . . . . .18 Legal and Open Game License . .30

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 3

INTRODUCTION
Ptolus is meant to be the d20 System in microcosm. It embodies all that is fundamental to the game, but it does so
in the space of a single city. That means there are dungeons to explore as well as townsfolk to interact with.
There are strange magical mysteries to discover, demons to fight, and even dragons. Ptolus is truly
a city of adventureplayer characters dont have to leave it to embark on amazing adventures.

CREDITS

P
tolus is the union of some aspects of real-world medieval Europe (as real as is fun) with the rules
and flavor of the d20 System. When I wrote in the Third Edition DMG that merchants might WRITING:
hire wizards to use detect thoughts and see invisibility to deter crime, and that bars might post Monte Cook
signs forbidding detection spells so the patrons can relax, I was thinking of Ptolus. EDITING AND PRODUCTION:
The Ptolus Campaign is the d20 rules with the volume turned all the way up. I created this world Sue Weinlein Cook
with the game rules in mind. The conceits of the game were the conceits of the setting. The feel of the COVER ART AND LOGO:
rules was the feel of the city. If the rules suggested that something might happen a lot, then in Ptolus, it Todd Lockwood and
happened a lot. The effects of 1st-level spells come as a surprise to no one here. Tanglefoot bags, rings Ed Bourelle
of protection, and a druids animal companions are taken for granted. CARTOGRAPHY:
I loved it when one day a player of mine said, I polymorph myself into a troll and run out into the Ed Bourelle
street after the thief.
ILLUSTRATIONS:
Another player said, Dude, you cant go out there like that!
Jason Engle, The Forge
And the first player replied, Dont worry about it! This is Ptolusthey see this stuff all the time.
Studios (Maciej Zagrski and
I knew then that the first player really got Ptolus. Pawel Dobosz), Michael
Wed talk about how a City Watch patrol that found an entire city street blocked by a web spell Komarck, Eric Lofgren,
wouldnt be mystified but instead annoyedthe guards knew from experience what a pain it was to Howard Lyon, Michael
hack through the stuff. (The risk of fire is too great to burn the webbing.) In the end, unless it was a Phillippi, and Arne Swekel.
busy or important street, the Watch most likely would just let the spells duration run out. COVER AND INTERIOR
The people of Ptolus have seen this kind of magic all their lives. That doesnt cheapen it or render PAGE DESIGN:
spells humdrummagic was never so common as to make Ptolus feel like a modern setting with magic Lisa Chido
in place of technology. The players just learned to understand that the folk of Ptolus lived in a world
GRAPHIC DESIGN:
where the Third Edition Core Rules governed their lives. Even if fewer than one in a hundred people
Brian Rasmussen
were spellcasters, by the time Ptolus natives grew to adulthood, theyd have seen spells cast, monsters
summoned, and so on. PROOFREADING:
Carrie Bebris
Player characters, having spent their lives in Ptolusor at least in the same world as this city
certainly know a fair bit about the place. Whether you are a player or a DM, this Players Guide is PTOLUS RESIDENTS:
where you start getting to know Ptolus and the world of which it is a part. The guide is pulled straight Michele Carter, Andy Collins,
from the pages of the forthcoming Ptolus: City by the Spire book to give you a quick overview of what Sue Cook, Bruce R. Cordell,
the city has to offer. Of course, it doesnt go into any of the secrets of the setting: Those are for the DM Jesse Decker, Erik Mona,
Christopher Perkins, Sean K
to reveal as time goes on.
Reynolds, and Keith Strohm
All the material in this guide represents common knowledge available to city residents or visitors to
Ptolus. Every player should have a copy of this guide to learn about the place and get a good feel for VISITORS TO THE CITY:
the setting. This Players Guide is required reading for a player creating a character for the Ptolus Steven Stan! Brown,
Jeff Quick, Keri Reynolds,
Campaign. DMs should read it, too, as it summarizes much of the general information about the set-
Charles Ryan, Ed Stark, and
ting. Everything in the full Ptolus: City by the Spire book (August 2006) builds from the information
James Wyatt
found in this guide. After reading it all at the beginning, players will want to refer to this material
throughout the campaign as well. HEROES OF
Those who seek to delve even deeper into Ptolus can check out the full book or the PDF excerpts ANCIENT PRAEMAL:
Michele Carter, Bruce R.
being released online at <www.DriveThruRPG.com>. (See the last page of this guide for details on the
Cordell, Christopher Perkins,
full book.) In addition, you can find out more about Ptolus and download free game material at the
John Rateliff, Teresa Reid, and
official website <www.ptolus.com>. Sean K Reynolds
In the meantime, welcome to Ptolus!

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


4 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS


A city of mysteries, secrets, and dark histories, Ptolus lies forever in the shadow of a towering stone spire reaching
impossibly high into the sky, itself an enigma and a reminder of evil long past. In Ptolus, the supernatural is
expected and treachery lies around every corneror is it that the supernatural lies around every corner and
treachery is expected? Either way, the city of Ptolus abounds with danger, magic, intrigue, and above all, adventure.

T
FROM MY CAMPAIGN his guide is designed to introduce you as or not it has toppled. Three different emperors
TO YOURS a player to the fundamentals of Ptolus, so claim the throne, and portions of the once great
that you can create and run a character realm cleave off like icy shards from a melting
In my original Ptolus Campaign, with plenty of knowledge about the world. The glacier. This decaying society looks upon previous
the characters started out not city is rich enough in detail that its difficult to centuries and sees grander, more civilized, and
as Ptolus natives, but as a absorb it all at once, so keep this information certainly better days. Progress seems on the
group of unrelated people wait- handy as a reference while you play in the Ptolus declineskills and lore that people possessed just
ing in line to gain entrance Campaignand be prepared to discover that the a few hundred years ago are lost now.
through the city gates. information you learn in these pages is only the But this is not a time to lose hope altogether.
very briefest overview. This civilization, older than our own real-world
cultures, is more sophisticated than our own in
WELCOME TO THE CITY some ways, but less so in others. A myriad of
You are a native of a port city called Ptolus, or races and peoples have come and gone, creating
you have recently arrived there. Native or not, an intricate (and sometimes confusing) amalgam.
you know a few things about this cityit is not Good struggles against evil, and law against
without a reputation, to say the least. To call chaos. But the shadows only threaten the light
Ptolus a dynamic place with a strange and varied they do not yet consume it.
identity is to understate the situation greatly. Not so long ago, the first men and women who
Only now are explorers truly discovering how would one day be called delvers returned from
ancient the city really is and unearthing details of exploring the catacombs below the city of Ptolus
its varied history. Ptolus is where that strange laden with gold and magical treasures. Today,
breed that calls itself adventurers congregates. hundreds of new would-be delvers pour into the
Its a place where people are as concerned with city each month, hoping to strike it rich like oth-
what lies below the ground as they are with ers before them. Most never crawl up from the
whats above. This is like no place else in the realms below, but adventurers keep arriving with
world. dreams of gold and fame. Those who do emerge
Ptolus lies in the world of Praemal within the back into the light bring with them tales of sur-
bounds of a very old Empire unsure of whether prisingly vast reaches of natural caverns and

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 5

ancient hewn passages, perhaps dating back to the strolling down the street rub shoulders with elves,
dark days when this area lay in the thrall of the dwarves, halflings, gnomes, half-orcs, and even
terrible Skull-King, Ghul, and the region was stranger beings.
pocked with winding warrens and subterranean In a way, this campaign is the d20 System
chambers created by his dark armies. They also rules with the volume turned all the way up.
tell of the horrors that dwell outside the life-giving Creating this city did not involve building a
reaches of the sun: unknown monsters and devi- fantasy world first, then adapting the rules to
ous demon-minded things with a cunning make it work. Just the opposite, really. As a set-
unknown to human-, elf-, or dwarfkind. In the ting, Ptolus has been under the influence of the
city, entire industries have evolved quickly to serv- Core Rules for a long, long time. The things that
ice the needs of these adventurers. In the shadow make d20 fantasy uniquethe prevalence of
of an unnaturally tall, ancient spire with a very magic (including the specific spells we all know),
dark past, a whole new form of economics, poli- the ever-increasing power of individuals, and the Some place needs to be the
tics, and social structure struggles to be born. creatures of the MMhave shaped the reality of worst place in the world.
Creatures and individuals (good, evil, and oth- Ptolus. And because I used this setting as a Why not here?
erwise) that normally remain in the shadows are playtest backdrop as I worked on the design of Brusselt Airmol, well-known
drawn to this large gathering of adventurers and the Third Edition Core Rules, Ptolus influenced rogue adventurer
magic. The needs of the delvers prompt renewed the d20 System rules as well. This is a setting
devotion to magic, science, and religion. As the steeped in game history and significance.
Empire of Tarsis dies, Ptolusfor years a back- That doesnt mean Ptolus contains nothing
water town on the edge of civilizationis quickly new, however. As the city developed, new material
becoming the center of something much larger grew out of the process. The firearms, creatures,
than itself. Omens and prophecies of children spells, races, and foreboding atmosphere all came
born with strange birthmarks surface in the city very naturally.
with increasing frequency. No one yet knows The Ptolus Campaign is a fantasy that some
exactly what, but something is happening in would label dark, although its as much about
Ptolus. Something new stirs in the city and that rising up out of the darkness as living within it.
something is very, very old. It is clearly an urban fantasy, for the campaign
takes place entirely within or beneath the city of
CAMPAIGN FEEL Ptolusa place with a vast history of dark secrets
Ptolus is an urban campaign setting. However, it waiting to be discovered. Ptolus was created to be, first
is also one that deals with dungeon delving and and foremost, a place where
subterranean exploration. In your own Ptolus THE CITY OF PTOLUS characters could have interest-
Campaign, you can probably expect about a fifty- Ptolus is a major city of about seventy-five thou- ing and exciting adventures. Its
fifty split between dungeon adventures and urban sand people. It is located in the land of Palastan designed to accommodate both
adventures. The latter involve a surprising array near a large bay on the southern end of the urban- and dungeon-style
of organizations and of individuals that live in Whitewind Sea. The place was established to serve adventures. The citys back-
this less-than-typical fantasy city. as the port for an important fortress built at the ground provides a foundation
As a setting, Ptolus should prove a somewhat time of the Empires foundation, a citadel called for political intrigues, monster-
realistic interpretation of a place in which dun- Dalenguard. More significantly, however, it lies in bashing adventures, treasure-
geon explorers really do plumb the depths of a the shadow of an impossibly tall (almost three hunts, and even adventures
gigantic underground labyrinth filled with treas- thousand feet) and thin pinnacle of rock known involving demons, angels, and
ure, monsters and traps. As much as possible, simply as the Spire. The Spire and its surroundings other outsiders.
many standard tropes of fantasy adventures, seethe with mysterious legends and rumors. These
including dungeons, are presented in a fashion tales tell of ancient battles waged and cities erected
that makes sense. on the site, of demons and dark lords, of forgotten
While late medieval culture provides one build- kings and mighty wizards. Many such stories might
ing block of the setting, its not the focus that you be at least somewhat true, for recent developments
might think it to be. The Core Rules are that have revealed vast complexes beneath the city.
focus. So, while Ptolus is based strongly in histor- Of late, Ptolus has become a city of adventur-
ical reality, many notions from real-world history ers. Treasure-seekers flock there to explore and
that often hold true in other campaigns (most plunder the labyrinthine structures beneath the
adults dont believe in monsters, everyones bewil- streets, which they call the Dungeon. If the
dered by magic, you never see lizard men walking stories are correct, these catacombs include:
down the street) are not present here. Instead, 1. The sewers of the city.
Ptolus is a campaign where the Core Rules and all 2. Vast stretches of subterranean passages and
that they imply hold sway. That means mon- chambers created by Ghul and his minions
sters are common. Wizards are everywhere. Lots (see Timeline, page 20).
of people walk around in plate armor. Humans 3. The remains of an even older city.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


6 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

4. An abandoned underground dwarven settle- However, neither the city guard nor the
ment called Dwarvenhearth. Sisterhood of Silence is willing to go down into
For more on House Vladaam, 5. And levels that plunge incredibly deep below the Dungeon and fight monsters. Nor are they
Sadar, Khatru, and the other the present urban area. likely to help against well-known and influential
noble houses of Ptolus, see noble families such as House Vladaam or House
page 11. Ptolus lies in a cool, rainy coastal region with Sadar, or powerful groups like the Church of
harsh winters. It serves as an important port on Lothian or the Shuul (see page 14). Of course,
the Bay of Ptolus off the Whitewind Sea and those groups would never break any laws, so
belongs to the Empire of Tarsis, although a grow- theres surely nothing to worry about. . . .
ing faction in the city feels that Ptolus should
declare itself independent. THE FORCES OF LIGHT
Aside from the law-enforcing authorities, both offi-
The Commissar of Ptolus, Igor RULERS cial and self-appointed, Ptolus benefits from the
Urnst, is a war veteran and a The city is ostensibly ruled by a council, at whose presence of various forces of munificence. Orders
military man. Even though head is the Commissar, a representative of the of knighthood like the Keepers of the Veil, Order
Ptolus has not been threatened Empire of Tarsis. The other main council members of the Dawn, and Knights of the Pale uphold such
with attack in centuries, he has are Kirian Ylestos, the Prince of the Church, and concepts as benevolence and nobility. There are
a very defensive-minded the Mother Superior of the Sisterhood of Silence even angelic beings in Ptolusmore than anyplace
approach to running the city. (see below). Other City Council members (with else in the worldfrom aasimars to half-celestials
However, at the same time, he less influence) include guildmasters, the heads of to true angels. Many of these beings congregate in
is wise enough to know that the the noble houses, and a few wealthy merchants. a place called the Pale Tower and call themselves
residents of Ptolus are not sol- People of the town often refer to this body as the the Malkuth. Paladins and clerics of good deities
diers and that sometimes he Council of Coin, because money is a powerful like Lothian, Gaen, and Navashtrom help Ptolus
needs to give them what they and influential force among its members. stand against the darkness as well.
want to make them happy. This Guildmaster Delver Sorum Dandubal, also a And in Ptolus, the dark is deep.
understanding makes him both council member, is quickly becoming another
efficient and fair, and he is force to reckon withalmost a fourth main THE DARK SIDE
extremely well liked. memberbut the three forces controlling the Like every city, Ptolus has a dark side. Here, crim-
council dislike and oppose him. inal lords command veritable armies of rogues
Truth be told, the real ruler of the city is the and assassins, and war amongst each other as
Commissar, Igor Urnst. The City Watch operates well as against the law. These criminals deal in
under his direct command from Dalenguard, a extortion, smuggling, gambling, usury, and prosti-
historic fortress that still stands in Oldtown. tution. Chief among these criminals are Menon
Urnsts group of advisors in charge of the citys Balacazar, leader of the oldest criminal syndicate
defense and protection is called the Twelve in the city, and the newcomer Kevris Killraven.
Commanders. These include Lord Dorant Khatru They are bitter enemies. Depraved assassins called
of House Khatru, Aoska (a half-celestial), and the Vai hunt victims for money and to fulfill their
other local luminaries. own bloodlust.
But worse things lurk in Ptolus than simply
THE AUTHORITIES AND THE LAW criminals. Dwelling among the crypts of the citys
To police the streets, the Commissar of the city graveyard are the death-loving Forsaken, so
commands a force of more than eight hundred called because the rest of society finds them so
troops and City Watch guards, including a few abhorrent. Worse still, chaos cultistsin league
dozen elite individuals (captains, mages, clerics, with terrible inhuman thingsplot the citys
etc.). While the constables in many of the Empires downfall and, in fact, the annihilation of the
The City Watch approaches any cities are considered glorified street-sweepers with entire world to sate their lust for destruction.
given situation with an appro- little competence or desire to actually enforce the Lastly, and strangest of all, Ptolus is home to
priate response. To handle a law, this is not true of the experienced and well actual demons from the lower realms: Some are
bunch of rowdy drunks, the equipped guards of Ptolus, particularly those merely demon-blooded tieflings, but others are
Watch captain sends some low- known as the Commissars Men. full-blooded fiends that call themselves the
ranking guards. However, to Nevertheless, this well-trained and well-paid Fallen. These beings dwell alongside the Forsaken
deal with a rampaging monster force has its hands full maintaining order in the in a place called the Dark Reliquary.
or a group of unruly adven- city. Helping to enforce the law is a special order
tures, the captain sends well- of monks called the Sisterhood of Silence. These THE PEOPLE OF PTOLUS
equipped fighters supported by nonspeaking female monks patrol the streets and Ptolus is primarily a trade city, serving not only as
multiple spellcasters. apprehend criminals, even though they are not a major port but also as a link between the north-
strictly speakingsanctioned to do so officially. A west and the central portions of the Empire of
male eunuch always accompanies a small unit of Tarsis. About two-thirds of the population is
the Sisters of Silence to speak on their behalf. human, with the remaining third being (from

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 7

most populous to least): Shoal elves, Stonelost leading into the area of the city known as Crimes in Ptolus
dwarves, halflings, litorians, Grailwarden Oldtown. Another bridge stretches across the
dwarves, gnomes, half-elves, centaurs (aram), chasm to join Oldtown with the Rivergate While obvious offenses such as
orcs and half-orcs, and otherslizardfolk (assari), District. Although Oldtown is higher, the differ- murder and theft are illegal in
ogres, and far stranger things. (Some of those ence in elevation between these two districts is Ptolus, so are compulsion spells
races might sound unfamiliar. Read on.) not steep, so the slope of this bridge seems far less cast upon citizens (locals frown
noticeable than that of the other. on charming shopkeepers to get
DISTRICTS OF THE CITY a better price) and spells of
Ptolus lies between the Spire and the sea. The The Docks mass destruction cast within
highest portion of the city, the Nobles Quarter, is Far below the level of the citys streets, the Docks the city proper (no fireballs or
built on the base of the Spire. From there, the rest at the bottom of the citys eastern cliffs on a disintegrate). Any spell with the
level of the city drops down a sharp cliff to narrow strip of land. The wooden buildings here evil descriptor is also illegal; in
Oldtown, and then down again into Midtown. sit slightly askew from one another, because the particular the authorities hate
The final cliffs at the edge of Ptolus drop into the entire small district is built upon slowly sinking animate dead and other spells
bay, with the only area of dry land at the bottom sand. Even the streets are sand. A dozen or more that bring more undead to the
of those cliffs occupied by the citys docks. Well- ships moor in the deep waters here at any given city. They also prosecute people
worn paths connect the various elevations and time. This is a particularly rough area of the city, severely for doing anything that
help make Ptolus very defensible (although the thanks to the influx of sailors and its isolation spreads diseaseincluding
city has never been attacked). from the other districts. A single winding road casting contagion. These and
The Kings River flows through the city, spilling provides access up a steep incline to the city other crimes can be reported at
into an eroded chasm in the northwest corner and proper. the districts Watchhouse.
flowing down to the Bay of Ptolus near the docks. The Docks area is full of warehouses, ship-
The bottom of the chasm, called the Kings River yards, hostels, and taverns, all catering to sailors
Gorge, is eighty feet below the level of the ground and merchants. Isolated from the rest of the city
on the north side, but more than two hundred by the cliffs, sometimes it seems as though the
feet below on the south side. The south side still Docks area has had to become its own little com-
holds the old city walls and fortifications. A munity. Many Ptolus residents live their whole See the map on pages 1617 for
bridge built atop two massive pillars, themselves lives without going therebut, of course, they a good look at the citys layout.
erected atop natural rock columns, stretches probably havent been to the Nobles Quarter,
across the Kings River Gorge at a steep angle, either.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


8 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

Buying Magic Guildsman District Midtown


Ptolus teems with guilds. Every type of artisan, As the central area of the city, Midtown is both a
People looking for magic items smith, or other professional belongs to a guild of commercial and a residential hub. It is also where
could do worse than come to similarly trained and employed individuals. These one finds many local entertainment offerings, in
Delvers Square in Midtown. guilds enjoy a strong voice in the City Council. the form of pubs and taverns as well as theaters,
In the square, one can find This district in the south end of the city holds dance halls, gambling dens, and more. Visitors
Myraeths Oddities, a shop that many tanneries, smithies, foundries, textile houses, looking for a place to stay usually find themselves
buys magic items of all kinds grain mills, paper mills, brickmakers, bookmakers, directed here, as most of the temporary lodgings
and resells them. This is a good woodworkers, and other production facilities, as in the city are found in Midtown.
place to acquire miscellaneous well as warehouses, granaries, coalhouses, stock- Midtown is home to both Tavern Row and
items, as well as potions, rings, yards, and similar storage sites. Delvers Square, where many employers seeking
wands, and scrolls. However, Not surprisingly, this district has a distinct odor. to hire adventuring parties can post their
Myraeth doesnt sell weapons Unless one works here, a local rarely finds a announcements. It also has a few shops and plen-
or armorfor those items, try reason to visit, although this district sports a few ty of residential areas, such as Emerald Hill,
Rastors or the Bull and Bear, taverns and other businesses catering to the work- where most elves choose to live, and Narred, a
also in Delvers Square. Like ing class. The Guildsman Districts rough reputa- centaur neighborhood.
Myraeths, they may have used tion prevents most people from frequenting the Besides the Delvers Square shops that adven-
magical equipment to sell. area at night. Those who live there often join a turers frequent (Rastors Weapons, the Bull and
Just a few buildings down is guild for protection. Bear armory, Ebberts Outfitters, and Myraeths
Danburys, a tavern in which Just a few of the guilds in this district include: Oddities), those in the know also appreciate
one can find a representative of Drapers Guild, Goldsmiths Guild, Herbalists Saches clothiers on Yeoman Street and, of course,
the Dreaming Apothecary, an Guild, Ironworkers Guild, Masons Guild, the Row Bathhouse. Potions and Elixirs offers a
organization that makes new Silversmiths Guild, Tanners Guild, Weapon- large stock of potions for sale.
magic items (see page 12). smiths Guild, and Woodworkers Guild. The most popular adventurer hangout is the
Across the street you can also The Sages Guild, Shipwrights Guild, a war- Ghostly Minstrel tavern and inn in Delvers
visit St. Gustavs Chapel, a riors guild (called the Order of Iron Might), and Square. Many folks seem leery of both the Onyx
great place to obtain healing a few others are headquartered elsewhere in the Spider (on Tavern Row) and the Black Swan
potions and holy items. city. (which is mainly for dwarves). Danburys, also in
Delvers Square, caters to spellcasters.

DELVERS SQUARE
Rastors Weapons (Runihan Square)

The Ghostly Minstrel

Danburys

Watchhouse

Ebberts Outfitters

Myraeths Oddities St. Gustavs Chapel




Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 9

The Necropolis and pickpockets from running rampant. Rumor Ptolus Architecture
A city several centuries old tends to have a large has it that the guards employ sorcerers to patrol
graveyard, and Ptolus is no exception. The vast the area invisibly, using spells to keep an eye out Visitors to Ptolus will discover a
Necropolis in the citys northeastern corner sits not only for traditional thieves, but for magically melange of architectural styles.
on a few rolling hills, now completely covered aided ones as well. They watch for invisible rob- Many of the buildingsespecial
with mausoleums, crypts, and graves. The entire bers, overt use of charm or compulsion magic, official Imperial structures
Necropolis is surrounded by a wall, with guards and similar tricks. represent traditional Prustan
posted at each of its four gates. These guards If youre looking for tasty baked goods, try designs from the east: imported
primary duty is to warn people not to stay in the Tavohs Bakery; a good clothier, try Endles marble facades, tall columns,
Necropolis after nightfall and to watch for grave Finery; for a fair weapon shop, go to Mitorens and grand entrances. On the
robbers. Most people know that undead roam the Blades, although Rastors Weapons in Delvers other hand, local Palastani
Necropolis, but various churches and holy orders, Square (in Midtown) is probably better for tradi- influences are visible on nearly
such as the Keepers of the Veil, do their best to tional arms. A small firearms emporium called the every street. Characteristics
contain the menace. Smoke Shop opened recently as well. include much simpler and more
practical designs, use of local
Nobles Quarter Oldtown stone and wood, and insulating
Ptolus has no shortage of wealth or wealthy Ptolus was founded three centuries ago as a siding materials.
people. Technically outside the citys walls, the small community surrounding a fortress called
Nobles Quarter, with its row upon row of manors Dalenguard. The fortress original purpose was Of course, the predominant
and estates, climbs the citys western cliffs abutting to keep the area clear of evil creatures drawn by style changes from district to
the Spire itself. Travelers can enter the area only the power of Jabel Shammar, the citadel at the district, and even from block to
via a single avenue up from Oldtown that runs top of the Spire. It also sought to watch over block within the same area. But
through the fortress of Dalenguard before reach- Goth Gulgamel, the fortress halfway up the Spire overall, Oldtown and the
ing the Nobles Quarter. The heights where this built by Ghul, the Half God. Dalenguard was Nobles Quarter appear heavily
district now sits were easily defensible in the citys constructed more than seven hundred years ago, Prustan, while the markets,
younger days; originally, all Ptolus residents could just after the defeat of Ghul, to serve as a symbol Rivergate, and the Guildsman
gather here in times of emergency, secure behind of the union of elves, dwarves, and humans in District are generally Palastani
Dalenguards stout gates. However, as time passed that war. in style. Midtown is a good
and the city grew, members of the elite class Over time, the community grew into an impor- example of a blend of styles,
claimed these enviable heights for their residences, tant port, and the need for Dalenguard as a plus some more exotic architec-
leaving the less wealthy to expand into the lower wilderness bastion waned. Today the old fortress ture of elven, gnomish, and
quarters. is still used by the Imperial-appointed ruler of the halfling design.
The largest estates in this section of town city, the Commissar, and the area surrounding it
belong to the ten noble families that have held on the citys near west side is known as Oldtown.
power in the areato one degree or anotherfor It sits atop a ridge higher than most of the rest of
centuries. In addition to the homes of the wealthy Ptolus, but still lower than the Nobles Quarter.
and the services that cater to them, this district The stone and marble buildings of Oldtown
houses the Holy Palace, where the Prince of the reflect a grander, earlier age. Graceful columns,
Church lives; lately he is joined by his father, the majestic entrances, tall stone towers, and build-
Emperor of the Church, visiting from his eastern ings of three or even four stories are common
capital. The Nobles Quarter holds the Crown sights here. Yet all bear the signs of age and
Theater opera house, the Imperial Academy of wear. Today many of these buildings house the
Music, fabulous eating establishments, a floating bureaucracy the Empire forces upon the city. Still
apartment building, and other luxuries and sites others are museums or homes for the wealthy This structure shows a blending
of interest. (those not quite wealthy enough to live in the of Prustan style (soaring facade,
Nobles Quarter). There are wonderful theaters, tall windows, prominent entry)
North Market auditoriums, and even a grand Arena in this large with Palastani influences (local
When one enters the city from the north, one district of the city. The Arena provides a spot for brickwork, economical design).
is greeted with the sights and smells of a busy tournaments, fairs, and sporting games of all
marketplace. Well-worn cobblestone streets are sorts. Nearby, the Inverted Pyramid mages guild
packed with vendors occupying wooden booths, sponsors a magical ball sport simply called the
pushing carts, or simply hawking wares they tote Mage Game, held in an indoor coliseum in
in massive baskets on their backs. Fresh foods of Oldtown.
all kindsfish and shellfish from the sea, fruit This is where citizens go to get licenses, like
from the orchards to the north, and breads and those needed to carry a firearm. The City Courts
pastries from the city being favoritesare available are located here, and as are the City Councils
in any quantity. Other goods are for sale in small meeting chambers. Both the Delvers Guild
shops, tents, or from the backs of wagons. The Library and Maproom (but not the guilds main
City Watch patrols this busy area to keep thieves office) and the City Library are here. Oldtown

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


10 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

Imperial Identification has a fair number of parks, monuments, and are the most common representatives of the many
Papers and Citizenship other touches of class and beauty. gods, a number of temples support monks and
paladins as well. The Temple District has a single
The Empire of Tarsis requires Rivergate District bar, Taggerts, which is also a temple to Ollom,
all citizens and noncitizens to Strictly a residential area, the Rivergate District is god of the keg.
carry identification papers. as close to a middle class neighborhood as
Display of these papers, which Ptolus gets. It is located on a rise of land, sur- The Warrens
the Empire issues to all resi- rounded by cliffs on all sides except the north- The Warrens in the eastern part of town is a
dents, is required for purchases east, where a steep slope mostly free of buildings terrible slum sick with poverty and crime.
over 100 gp. Guards and other and covered in trees rolls down to the North Rumors say that the City Watch wont go down
officials also can demand to Market and the main North Gate. Its residential into the Warrens. The streets here have no
see ones papers at any time. cul-de-sacscalled burrows by those who live names, and most of the buildings arent
Identification papers include hereeach boasts its own unique architectural markedthe place is not friendly to outsiders.
a persons name, race, place identity. Some visitors may have experienced a little theft
of birth, current residence, or crime in the city, but its nothing compared to
occupation, and a general South Market what goes on in this district. Some place the
physical description. Forgeries To locals, the North Market is simply the headquarters of the Vai within the Warrens.
are fairly common. Market, while this area is the South Market. Others whisper of a crime lord named Jirraith
Unlike its counterpart, the South Market is not an and his gang of young thieves called the Pale
Almost all humans within the open-air marketplace. It has fewer vendors deal- Dogs who really run the place.
Empire automatically become ing out of carts and more established shops and
citizens at birth. This is also places of business. Goods usually cost more in the THE UNDERCITY MARKET
true of most dwarves and South Market, but a buyer is far more likely to Although not actually a district of Ptolus, the
many elves. It is more difficult, find trustworthy and reliable salespeople here. Undercity Market, accessed by a wide staircase in
but not impossible, for mem- This is also where one finds the citys commodi- the middle of Delvers Square, is the place to go
bers of other races to gain ties markets and the headquarters of large mer- for most adventuring gear (although Ebberts
citizenship status; they are chant organizations, such as the Rogue Moon Outfitters in Delvers Square is a handy one-stop
not automatically citizens. Trading Company. As in the North Market, many shop with good prices). Looking for potions? Try
Citizens enjoy legal rights that of those who work here also live here; the district Urnst, Alchemist. For scrolls, try the gnome wiz-
noncitizens do not, as well as has substantial residential sections. ard Neridoc Bittersong, who runs a booth in the
greater protection under The South Market is newer than the North market under the sign Arcane Scribe.
the law. Market and has more artisans and industry than Also located here is the Delvers Guild, an asso-
its counterpart. Youre more likely to get some- ciation that provides assistance in the form of
thing made to order in the South Market, as the maps, reference material, and equipment to explor-
store selling leather goods, for example, is proba- ers of the ancient dwarven city, Dwarvenhearth,
bly also a leatherworkers shop (such as Donnels, and other areas below the streets of Ptolus.
a friendly dealer in leather goods). Nonstandard Nearby are entrances into the sewers as well
races or those with special physical needs when it as tunnels leading into the Dungeon, as adven-
comes to clothing should check out Marans Odd turers call it. The Chamber of Longing is a near-
Sizes. Navaens Bowcraft is a fine place to buy by landmark that features a strange statue of a
bows or arrows, and those looking for a real huge hand and serves as an occasional meeting
treat should stop by Ramoros Bakery. place for adventurers, because everyone knows
where it is. One can access the profoundly mys-
Temple District terious and magical Mirror Maze from the mar-
Although the worship of Lothian, the official ket as well.
Imperial deity, is the dominant religion of the city, The presence of the Delvers Guild makes the
Ptolus cosmopolitan residents revere hundreds of Undercity Market a center of employment relating
other gods as well. to Dungeon exploration. Those looking to hire
Temples, churches, shrines, and small monas- adventurers frequently post bills in the guilds
teries fill this district in the north central part of meeting hall (much like the post in Delvers
town, with the Street of a Million Gods (a bit of Square). A number of market establishments hire
an exaggeration) running through it all. Even the out scouts, guides, porters, and guards, as well as
Blessed Bridge across the Kings River here has skilled labor to pick locks, cast spells, and per-
small shrines built upon and into it. form other necessary services.
The district stretches east and west from the As the city grows, more people have begun to
Street of a Million Gods. Notable sights include live in and around the Undercity Market and
St. Valiens Cathedral for worshippers of Lothian throughout the underground levels. This is partic-
and the Priory of Introspection, where the ularly true of races not always welcome else-
Sisterhood of Silence is based. Although clerics whereminotaurs, lizardfolk, orcs, and so on.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 11

NOBLE HOUSES
Ptolus has ten noble families, all of whom enjoy
special status by ancestral right. Although the House Abanar is unique among
Empire does not officially recognize their titles, the ten noble houses in that it
Ptolus is far enough removed from the heart of allows wealthy citizens to buy
Empire that local traditions and beliefs still grant their way into House member-
the noble houses hereditary seats on the citys rul- ship. A minor noble title costs
ing council. Plus, most of them are quite wealthy, 10,000 gp. The other houses
and with affluence comes influence. The noble look upon this practice
houses were once the seats of real power in the with disdain.
area, serving a dynasty of kings that ruled the
entire region of Palastan before the Empire took
over. (Thats where the Kings River gains its
name.) The noble houses are as follows:
Abanar: A mercantile house, Abanar is very
wealthy but not well regarded. Dered Abanar is
the very old head of the house. There is much
controversy now among his many children as to
who will take control when the elder Abanar is
gone.
Dallimothan: Often called House Dragon,
the members of this house dress in dragonscale
armor, use dragon regalia, and are said to even
truck with dragonkind. House Dallimothan, led
by Kirstol Dallimothan, remains a powerful and
THE LOOK OF PTOLUS wealthy force in the city. The folk of Ptolus love to gossip
Ptolus looks a little like a Germanic city from the Erthuo: Scholars and gentlefolk, House Erthuo with each other about the
late medieval period. The buildings usually have normally avoids confrontation and rarely gets nobles and their activities and
stone first stories with wooden upper stories. The involved in squabbles between other houses. A intrigues, and to read about
main exception is Oldtown, where many build- family of elves and half-elves belong to this the latest high-society affairs in
ings are more classical in design, with impressive, house, headed by Peliope Erthuo, a half-elf. the various broadsheets avail-
Roman-style facades and marble columns. Kath: A wealthy house, Kath is known for its able about town. For example,
It rains more often than not in Ptolusat least, talented, glamorous, and attractive family. Devina there is speculation that
thats the way it seems. Winters are cold, grey, and Kath is the head of the house, which patronizes Peliope Erthuo has taken up
wet, but summers are dry and mild. Occasionally, the arts. with some mysterious new love
a cold, razorlike wind comes off the Bay of Ptolus, Khatru: Famous for its military leadership and interest and that the half-mad
but usually its quite calm. The smell of sea salt martial prowess, House Khatru is made up of members of House Vladaam
fills the air, when its not overpowered by the arrogant boors and self-righteous warriors. scheme to destroy House
stronger odors of such places as the leatherwork- Dorant Khatru is the current master of the house. Nagel once and for all.
ing shops, slaughterhouses, and breweries of the Nagel: This old, charitable, and altruistic house
Guildsman District. has recently fallen on hard times. Fransin Nagel is
One always feels the presence of magic in mistress of this rather minor house. She and her
Ptolus. A spellcaster flies over the city, a mephit family are the enemies of House Sadar.
scurries down an alleyway bearing a message, or Rau: Foes of House Khatru, the Rau have a
some adventurer walks down the street followed reputation as rogues, pirates, and scalawags. The
by his manticore companion. house has a fair number of spellcasters as well.
The touch of the technology that built the The head of the house is Verrana Rau.
Empire of Tarsis is found here as well, although its Sadar: Known for its long line of mages, this
influence wanes with each year as fewer people housewhich some call the House of Shadowsis
rely on its comforts or remember its secrets. Still, quite powerful. Its leader, Lord Renn Sadar, has a
aeroships, some with steam-powered engines, fly strong association with the Inverted Pyramid
overhead from time to time. The City Watch arcanists guild and shadow magic. They are ene-
employs firearms, and local defenses include mies of House Nagel. After painting this portrait
cannons watching over the harbor and within Shever: Known for its skill with machines, of the Vladaam family
Dalenguard. Leaflets printed on presses with mov- House Shever made a great deal of gold long ago, (see next page), local artist
able type distribute news and information. In a but until recently was fading in influence. Now Tulian Kremps disappeared
few places, steam-powered pumps help clean out with strong ties to the Shuul organization of mysteriously, leaving behind
the sewers, while in others clockwork machines technophiles, the house is on the rise again. a notebook filed with
power heavy doors that protect wealthy estates. Thollos Shever is the head of the house. indecipherable ravings.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


12 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

Vladaam: An evil house, and very ancient, Members receive passwords that allow them to
House Vladaam seems to have lost much of its access secret chambers within the underground
power and influence in recent times. Iristul regions. These secret chambers, called waysta-
Vladaam is the current master of the house, tions, are stocked with food and simple supplies.
although he has not actually been seen in the city High-ranking members gain retrieval insurance,
for years. Most people whisper that demonic which guarantees that, if they should die while
blood runs through the familys veins. exploring, guild members will retrieve their bod-
ies and have them raised if possible (retrieval and
ORGANIZATIONS raising paid for out of a special guild account
Ptolus teems with various factions that all have funded by the insured).
Menon Balacazar is one of the their own agendas and secret goals. In brief, these The guilds membership hovers around eight
most feared men in Ptolus include (but are not limited to) the following hundred. In addition, there are said to exist at
not for his personal power, but groups. least four hundred delvers not affiliated with the
because of the might of his guild. At any given time, about one-fifth of this
criminal organization. Balacazar Crime Family total (about two hundred fifty people) is explor-
Probably the most powerful crime family in the ing the Dungeon.
city, the Balacazars are certainly the oldest. Menon It is estimated that for every ten delvers who go
Balacazar is the aging head of the organization, down each week, one does not come back. About
with his son, Malkeen, serving as his second in one hundred new adventurers come to Ptolus and
command. Other siblings include at least two some twenty-five are raised from the dead every
daughters. Arkhall Vaugn, an infamous wizard, week. Since the Delvers Guild began keeping
works with the family. records three years ago, approximately eight
The family funds a number of criminal endeav- thousand adventures died permanently while
ors, gaining profit from theft, extortion, smug- exploring the Dungeon. Another two hundred
gling, illegal gambling, assassination, and trade thirty have permanently retired, either in the city
in slaves, drugs, and evil magic items. or elsewhere.

Brotherhood of Redemption Dreaming Apothecary


An order of monks who believe that no evil is The Dreaming Apothecary may be more legend
irredeemable, the Brotherhood of Redemption than fact. Those in the know claim that a secre-
Adventurers weary of dealing seeks to give any evil creature a chance to repent. tive group of spellcasters crafts magic items for
with the What do we do with Its members do not believe in inherent evil. people, making transactions with them magically
the prisoners? situation can Specializing in rehabilitation, they operate in the in their dreams. Darker rumors accuse these pow-
simply take their monstrous Dungeon out of the Fortress of the Redeemed but erful mages of keeping others in the city from
captives to the Brotherhood of maintain a surface headquarters in the Guildsman making magic items for profit by coercion,
Redemption. Not only will the District. They make it known that they willingly backed up by their formidable magical might.
Brothers attempt to rehabili- accept any prisoners who are not of the major Potential customers can reach the group at
tate the captives, but they will racesin fact, theyll pay a small bounty (5 gp Danburys in Delvers Square.
pay a reward, too. Urlenius the per Hit Die) for evil creatures with a modicum of
ogre-mage was brought in by a intelligence (in other words, an Intelligence score The Fallen
group of delvers years ago and of 3 or above). The Fallen are fiends also known as the young
now is a well-respected priest demons, though few people care to dwell long
of Navashtrom. The Conciliators on the question of who the old demons might
The Church of Lothian runs an organization be. The Fallen live in the Dark Reliquary of the
called the Conciliators, which consists of inquisi- Necropolis with their allies, the Forsaken, and
tors dedicated to converting infidels, destroying a follow the leadership of two demons whose
People of Ptolus do not bring power called chaositech (which resembles both names are only whispered: Raguel and Lilith.
up the Fallen or the Forsaken in magic and technology), and stamping out evil. The Most people wish the Fallen were not in Ptolus
polite conversation. Most think group is headquartered in the Temple District. but, for demons who dwell within the citys walls,
of them like a nearby hive of they actually cause surprisingly little trouble. Few
wasps, hoping that if they dont Delvers Guild speak of them, but when they do, they often
disturb these undesirables, the For the last five years, the Delvers Guild has claim these demons are either waiting for some-
dangerous groups wont threat- grown in influence, becoming both popular to join thing or quietly looking for something.
en them. Certain stalwart and wealthy. The Delvers Guild offers its members
orders, such as the Keepers of information about job opportunities and events Fate Weavers
the Veil and the Knights of the pertaining to the exploration of regions below The Fate Weavers are a small group of prophets
Pale, believe Ptolus. The guild also maintains the citys most and seers who claim the ability to tell peoples
otherwise. extensive collection of maps of the underground fortunes. Locals consider the group a front for
realm and an impressive library for research. prostitution.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 13

The Forsaken remained on their own side of the great veil of


Those who value death and undeath more than death. Occasionally they ally with a smaller group
life are called the Forsaken. Necrophiles, called the Knights of the Pale.
necrophages, and necrophiliacs, these disgusting The Keepers of the Veil possess a fortress, the
people worship dark gods and consort openly Siege Tower, on the edge of the Necropolis. They
with undead and the Fallen. They base their strive to eradicate the curse of the undead from
activities in the Necropolis. the world forever. Their co-leaders are Sir Beck Its fairly well accepted that
The Forsaken are the sworn foes of the valiant Von Tibbitz and a Lothianite priestess named Kevris Killraven is not a mem-
Keepers of the Veil. A smaller subgroup within Phadian Gess. ber of one of the major races.
their ranks called the Licheloved carry out the But as to what she really is,
will of dark death gods in ways thatits said Killraven Crime League opinions vary widely. Folks
even the other Forsaken find difficult to stomach. Kevris Killraven arrived in the city only recently, presume her to be perhaps
Another subgroup, the Torrens, are specifically but in that short time this mysterious woman has a medusa, a particularly
anti-Lothianite. created the second most powerful criminal organ- intelligent harpy, or
Some of the Forsaken are living people who ization in Ptolus. The league deals in extortion, even a female giant.
consort with the undead, while others are actually prostitution, and illegal drugs. A number of non-
undead themselves. They particularly revere humans work for Killraventroglodytes, ogres,
ancient undead called the Wintersouled, who and many other creatures.
reportedly built the Dark Reliquary. If any of the Although early on Killraven was rumored to
Wintersouled still exist, no one in the city knows have ties with the Shuul technophiles and the Sorn
about it. mages, most now dismiss such tales as nonsense.

Healers of the Sacred Heat Knights of the Golden Cross


Healers, physickers, and surgeons who use a mag- An ancient order, the Knights of the Golden
ical process involving heat to heal wounds, the Cross, has remained alive through the extreme
Healers of the Sacred Heat base themselves in the devotion of its members and their descendants.
Temple District and offer inexpensive healing. Its They oppose evil in all its forms, although they
said to be painful, however. Theirs is not a place have a particular hatred for the wicked House
known to appeal to adventurers (who look for Vladaam. They also revere the mysterious Elder
instantaneous and painless healing and have the Gods and serve as a focal point for the pantheons
gold to pay for it), but rather to locals for treat- re-introduction into society. The knights have a
ing various chronic ailments. citadel in Oldtown. Their leader is an elf named Characters interested in pursu-
Kaira Swanwing. ing careers with the Knights of
Inverted Pyramid the Pale should consider taking
The Inverted Pyramid is a mysterious and ancient Knights of the Pale the Knight of the Pale prestige
guild of arcanists. Their membership roll remains The Knights of the Pale are a small order dedicat- class. Most members of the
shrouded in mystery, but it most likely includes ed to combating supernatural threats, particularly order are fighters or paladins,
the most powerful mages in Ptolusand probably demons and spellcasters. Although not an official none of less than 7th level.
the world. For years they have wielded consider- organization of the Church of Lothian, they focus
able influence in the city. Their headquarters is their whole organization on the veneration of
said to lie somewhere hidden from normal sight Lothianite saints. Their leader, Dierna Hiller-
by powerful spells. chaun, bases the order out of her home, a manor
In days past, the Inverted Pyramid was a great in Oldtown called the Bladechapel. The knights
foe of the Church of Lothian. When the Edict of work with the Keepers of the Veil and the angelic Characters thinking about
Deviltry was issued centuries ago proclaiming all Malkuth. joining the Longfingers Guild
arcane spellcasting to be an evil act, a number of first must find the guild head-
mages gathered to form a secret society dedicated Longfingers Guild quarters. This task involves
to preserving themselves and their lore. Within This thieves guild has enjoyed a long tradition in either a lot of exploration
the Inverted Pyramid, the members of this guild the city, but many say its day has passed in light below the city or a good deal of
meet, store their valuable books and supplies, of the growing power of other, broader criminal networking above the city.
and craft magic items and other creations. The organizations. Its headquarters is said to lie deep Obviously, most members of
Inverted Pyramid concerns itself with preserving below the city. the guild are rogues, but
magical lore and all things arcane from those it not all of them are.
believes would eradicate such knowledge. The Malkuth
The Malkuth are a mysterious group of celestials
Keepers of the Veil and half-celestials who live in the Pale Tower in
The Keepers of the Veil is an order of holy Oldtown. Little about them is known, as they
knights dedicated to the destruction of undead, keep to themselves and rarely come out of their
specifically free-willed spirits that should have impressive abode.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


14 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

Order of the Fist Viridian Lords


Calling themselves the Order of the Fist, a small The men and woman calling themselves Viridian
band of monks and fighters believes in action: set- Lords are powerful, twisted rangers who haunt
ting a goal and doing whatever it takes to achieve the wilderness of Palastan. These rangers have
it. Although members may differ in their particu- learned a way to fuse themselves with plants to
lar goalseven in their outlooks on the world grant themselves greater power and a stronger
they all agree on the importance of going for affinity for nature and the land.
what you want in life. Their leader is Wynn
Rabinall, a male human. RELIGION
In Ptolus, there is one religion and there are many.
Pale Dogs While the Church of Lothian remains the official
A gang of young thieves based in the Warrens, the religion of the Empire, tied closely to every aspect
Pale Dogs paint their fingernails black and often of Imperial government, many other far smaller
The Viridian Lords were keep- wear double rings. They follow a mysterious fig- and less popular religions exist as well. These faiths
ing the peace in this region ure named Jirraith and may have connections to worship gods like the chaotic good Ahaar, Lord
long before the Empire arrived, the Balacazars or the Vai. of the Air, a minor elemental sky god; the chaotic
and well be doing so long after neutral Fifty-Three Gods of Chance, deities of
the Empire dies. The Shuul chaos and randomness; Gaen, Goddess of Light, a
Rechel Pattemon, Once a simple organization created to uphold the popular lawful good deity; and the lawful neutral
Viridian Lord concept of order, the Shuul has grown over the Teun, Mother of All Machines, goddess of tech-
years into a powerful force attempting to restore nology. And these are just examples. Your DM
the prominence of technological devices such as can provide you with a full list, or you can work
firearms, clockwork devices, and steam technology to create your own with the DMs help.
in the city. Despite a predilection for machines, the
Shuul do not reject magic, as one might expect. THE CHURCH OF LOTHIAN
Instead they embrace it and see the union of magic Lothian was a mortal who lived about fifteen
and machine as the ultimate accomplishment. hundred years ago. He ascended to godhood
Most members of the organization are humans based on his own good works and strength of
and dwarves, particularly Grailwarden dwarves. spirit. Lothian today is the lawful good god of
The Shuul maintain close ties with the Temple justice and purity. His followers usually take one
of Teun, the Mother of All Machines, as well as aspect or the other (justice or purity), focusing on
with House Shever. either Lothians lawful or his good qualities. In
his lawful aspect, Lothian is the Lawgiver. In his
The Sorn good aspect, he is called the Daykeeper. In either
Rumors say this quasi-legal spellcaster organiza- case, he remains a staunch foe of cruelty and
tion maintains a close association with the Shuul. destruction and harbors a particular hatred of
Others say its real backing comes from Kevris undead. He promotes peace, harmony, and safety.
Killraven. Its members favor the use of technology His symbol is an ankh crucifix.
Most people in the city are and mechanical devices to supplement their magic. The Church of Lothian is the most powerful
Lothianites, and most religion in the Empire, and thus in Ptolus. So
Lothianites attend religious Sisterhood of Silence closely tied are the Empire and the Church of
services every Theoday. This Founded in Ptolus more than two hundred years Lothian that the head of the religions hierarchy is
means that the various churches ago, an all-female order calling itself the Sister- known as the Emperor of the Church. Alongside
in Ptolus hold services all day hood of Silence established itself as a major force the traditional secular Emperor of Tarsis, he rules
long to accommodate all the for law and defense. While the order has since over all Imperial lands and citizens. The Emperor
faithful. Many of the devout spread to other cities, the Priory of Introspection of the Church normally lives in the far-off capital
attend services because, if they in Ptolus remains the central headquarters of the city of Tarsis but of late has been in Ptolus stay-
dont, their employer may entire Sisterhood. ing with his son, the Prince of the Church.
make them work on Theoday As their name suggests, the Sisters of Silence do When it initially spread its influence across the
piety means getting a day off not speak. Instead, they employ a cadre of devout growing Empire, the Church was far less tolerant
from work. eunuchs to speak for them. Among themselves, they of divergent beliefs and even of arcane magic than
use a complex set of signs, postures, and expressions it is today. The Church of Lothian released the
to convey vast amounts of information quickly. Edict of Deviltry centuries ago, proclaiming all
arcane spellcasting to be an evil act. (The more
The Vai enlightened modern Church rescinded the Edict.)
The Vai is a wicked assassins guild in Ptolus. In Ptolus, many different chapels throughout the
Each member takes an oath to kill an intelligent city are devoted to Lothian. The Church main-
creature every day. They are tied to almost every tains its headquarters in St. Valiens Cathedral in
evil organization in the city in some way. the Temple District.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 15

A knighthood called the Order of the Dawn Kirian Ylestos. The Prince of the Church.
serves the Church of Lothian as elite defenders of Kirstol Dallimothan. Lord of House Dallimo-
the faith. While low-ranking members are war- than. May be a dragon or half-dragon himself.
riors and fighters, the higher ranks include pal- Malkeen Balacazar. Son of the crime lord Menon.
adins and a few martial clerics. Menon Balacazar. Crime lord who also deals in
In general, the Church of Lothian seeks to con- necromancy and black magic, the trade of forbid-
vert the heathen and protect and nurture the den items, demonic slaves, etc.
faithful. Far more than typical organized reli- Myraeth Tuneweaver. Elf who owns Myraeths
gions, the Church of Lothian remains involved in Oddities in Delvers Square. Sells odd trinkets,
day-to-day government administration and the adventuring souvenirs, and minor magic stuff
making (and sometimes enforcing) of laws. recovered from the Dungeon. Sheva Callister is a well-known
Lothians priests serve as judges and officials in Peliope Erthuo. Head of House Erthuo. adventurer in Ptolus. She is
the government of the Empire. Phadian Gess. A cleric of Lothian and one of retired, however, and has sold
Lothian grants the following domains to his the leaders of the Keepers of the Veil. most of her equipment. She still
clerics: Good, Law, Protection, and Sun. His cler- Rastor. Litorian who operates a weapon shop frequents places like Delvers
ics normally wear white and blue, although on in Delvers Square. Square and the Undercity
high holy days they wear golden garments. Savane. Leader of the Shuul. Market, though, and she still
Lothians favored weapon is the longsword. Sorum Dandubal. Guildmaster Delver and carries her infamous magical
council member. greatsword.
IMPORTANT INDIVIDUALS Steron Vsool. Human champion of Gaen. His
heart glows so brightly that you can see it within
IN PTOLUS his chest.
As a player in the Ptolus Campaign, you may find Tagel Unergart. Paladin of the Church of Daersidian Ringsire is a friend
that your character has occasion to meet some of Lothian and head of the Order of the Dawn. of Shevas and a fellow adven-
these important citizens. Tarin Ursalatao. Male human bard, uncanny turer. He is never seen without
Aoska. One of the Commissars Twelve in his charm. his adventuring partner, the
Commanders. A Malkuth woman with a unicorn Thollos Shever. Head of House Shever. halfling rogue Brusselt Airmol
horn growing out of her head. Urlenius, Star of Navashtrom. Ogre-mage cleric (see page 5). These two have
Beck Von Tibbitz. Paladin and one of the lead- of Navashtrom, God of Harmony. Bears many made names for themselves
ers of the Keepers of the Veil. ioun stones. Major representative of the with such diverse adventures as
Daersidian Ringsire. Well-known elf battle Brotherhood of Redemption. stopping an entire tribe of hill
mage who rides a wyvern. Verrana Rau. Head of House Rau. giants from raiding small com-
Dered Abanar. Head of House Abanar. Wynn Rabinall. High-level monk and leader of munities outside of Ptolus, and
Devina Kath. Head of House Kath. the Order of the Fist. infiltrating the manor of House
Dierna Hillerchaun. Leader of the Knights of Zade Kenevan. Human bartender at the Sadar looking for an artifact
the Pale. Lives in a manor house called the Ghostly Minstrel. Bald, thin, and gruff. called the box of shadows.
Bladechapel in Oldtown.
Doraedian Mythlord. Elven master of Iridithils
Home, an elvish sanctuary. Very influential in town.
Dorant Khatru. Head of House Khatru. Shibata is a well-known
Ebbert Boltcrafter. Dwarf who operates an out- minotaur priest of Niveral,
fitters shop in Delvers Square. god of secrets.
The Emperor of the Church. Holy Emperor
Rehoboth, who claims to be the rightful temporal
Emperor as well.
Renn Sadar. Head of House Sadar.
Fabitor Thisk. Cleric and pastor of St. Gustavs
Chapel, which caters to adventurers. The city map on the next two
Igor Urnst. The Commissar of Ptolus. pages contains many important
Iristul Vladaam. Head of House Vladaam. locales within the districts of
The Iron Mage. Rarely seen in public. Its said Ptolus. However, your DM has
that the Iron Mage is the most powerful wizard in access to many, many more
Ptolus (he notably does not belong to the Inverted locations discussed in the full
Pyramid). Ptolus book. If your character
Jevicca Nor. Human member of the Inverted seeks a particular service or
Pyramid. Powerful sorceress. shop, or wants more details
Jirraith. Crime lord operating out of the about the ones marked on
Warrens. Runs the Pale Dogs. the map, your DM can tell
Kevris Killraven. Female crime lord. you what you need to know.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


Nobles Quarter 9 Swordthrowers Oldtown 24 Arena 30 Barbarian Balloonists 36 Zarat
1 Rau Estate 10 Imperial Academy of 17 Citadel of the Golden 25 City Courts 31 Center Circle
Music (Conservatory) Cross
2 Sadar Estate 26 Citadel of Might 32 Finelles Pleasant Necropolis
11 Abanar Estate 18 Pale Tower Diversions
3 Castle Shard 27 City Library 37 Hall of the Valiant
12 Shever Estate 19 Clock Tower
4 Kath Estate 28 Yarrow Street Forum 38 Clasthamus Isle
13 Khatru Estate 20 White House North Market
5 Erthuo Estate 39 Siege Tower
14 Holy Palace 21 Dalenguard 33 Red Stallion Pub
6 Nagel Estate Rivergate 40 Deathguild
15 Soaring Idyll 22 Imperial University 34 Mitorens Blades Headquarters
7 Dallimothan Estate 29 Jangave Leshs Training
16 Vladaam Estate 23 Administration Building Hall 35 Smoke Shop 41 Dark Reliquary
8 Rosegate House

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


Temple District 48 Hall of Heroes Midtown South Market 70 Spice Market 77 Herbalists Guild
42 Conciliators 49 Temple of Ahaar 57 Iridithils Home 63 Exotic Market 71 Blackstock Printing 78 Foundry
Chapterhouse
50 Temple of Navashtrom 58 The Griffon 64 Star Crossing Plaza 79 Midden Heaps
43 Temple of Teun
51 Temple of Gaen 59 Delvers Square 65 Rogue Moon Trading Guildsman District 80 Masons Guildhouse
44 Celestial Conclave Company
52 Blessed Bridge 60 St. Gustavs Chapel 72 Ironworkers Guildhouse
45 Temple Observatory of 66 Golden Tooth
the Watcher of the Skies 53 St. Valiens Cathedral 61 Onyx Spider 73 Skull and Sword The Docks
67 Mahdoths Asylum
46 Temple of Asche 54 Priory of Introspection 62 Fish Market 74 Stockyards 81 Savage Shark
68 Fabric Market
47 Order of the Fist 55 Temple of Excellence 75 Longdraught Brewery 82 Dockmasters Tower
69 Welcome Inn
Compound 56 House of Sacred Heat W Watchhouse 76 Darkbirth Madhouse

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


18 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

PEOPLE FROM HISTORY demons live right in the world, however, hiding in
Abesh Runihan. Defeated the lich Kagrisos as he the shadows.
rose to cast a spell that would spread a plague You will find no references in myths or legends,
throughout the city. Runihan died in the process. let alone in history, to people traveling to these
A statue of him stands in Delvers Square (also realms beyond (except the Ethereal Sea). However,
known as Runihan Square). demons and angels do live in the world, clearly
Danar/Eslathagos Malkith. Creator of the having come here from beyond. That such mystic
People today still do not say Banewarrens and Jabel Shammar, the citadel atop places as the Heavens and Hells exist is beyond
the name Eslathagos Malkith the Spire. Also known as the Dread One. question.
aloud, but refer to him only as Delian Von Tessel. The first Emperor of Tarsis.
the Dread One. Ghul. Creator of Goth Gulgamel, the fortress OUTSIDE THE CITY WALLS
halfway up the Spire. Also known as the Half God Although the campaign takes place entirely within
and the Skull-King. Claimed to be the offspring of the city of Ptolus, there are, of course, lands
Eslathagos Malkith. beyond the city. Knowledge of these places may
Parnaith. Wife of Danar and creator (along prove useful for designing your characters back-
with the Wizard-Priests of Ni-Gorth) of the Seven ground, if you are not playing a Ptolus native.
Jewels of Parnaith: small demiplanes associated Your character might be from Tarsis, the oldest
with the Spire and Ptolus. and largest city in the world and the heart of the
Tacheron Kint. Famous delver and explorer. Empire. Or you might run a barbarian from the
Yrkyth Vladaam. Mad wizard who attempted Eastern Hordes beyond the Grey Mountains to
to destroy the world by gaining access to power- the east of Tarsis. Your arcanist character might
ful magic below the city. hail originally from the mysterious land of Kem
along the Southern Sea.
THE WORLD (AND BEYOND) The land surrounding Ptolus along the
Two moons hang in the night sky. Lunas is a large Whitewind Sea is Palastan, an ancient realm that
bluish-white orb, while Rogue is the smaller, more stands on the verge of breaking away from the
erratic satellite. Most people are well aware that Empire. Its capital is Trolone. The people who
the world is round and that the moons orbit founded the Empire, the Prust, hail originally
around it, while the world circles the sun. (They from the Prustan Peninsula to the east. This is
do not, however, have any concept that the stars also where Grail Keep, home of the Grailwarden
are suns or that other worlds might circle about dwarves, lies.
thembut then, whos to say thats true?) These are only examples. Your DM can show
Learned folk know the world is made up of you a map of the world beyond the walls of
Players wishing to have charac- matter and energy (the essence of both of which Ptolus and can tell you about all the interesting
ters from lesser-known lands can be expressed as air, earth, fire, and water) and and sometimes exotic lands.
might choose Kem, a place still that matter is made of particles smaller than a
reeling from ancient magical person can see. Magnetism, lighter-than-air gases, CUSTOMS
wars, or Ren Tehoth, a land and other basic aspects of science are not Below is a small sampling of cultural customs
thick with ancient ruins and unknown, either. widely observed throughout the setting.
mysterious stone circles. Players Most people know that the Ethereal Plane Brightfathers Day: This longstanding holiday is
wishing to create characters (called the Ethereal Sea) is a magical place that still observed every Fourteenth of Blessing,
outside of Ptolus with more shares the same space with the world but remains although its exact origins are now lost. Most reli-
mundane backgrounds might apart from it or out of phase. The Elemental gions have adopted it as a high holy day to revere
hail from Rhoth, a remote Planes are conceptual places based around the an important god. All look upon it as a day of
realm of farmers and ranchers, fundamental building blocks of matter and ener- feasting, family, and making peace with enemies.
or nearby Palastan, whose gy. The Upper Realms, Upper Planes, the Dreamspeakers: Since ancient times, religious
inhabitants are mainly herders Heavens, the Celestial Realmthese are all names people have attempted to interpret the dreams of
and fishermen. for the place of ultimate goodness where angelic others, thinking they represented some sort of
beings rule and good people go when they die. sending from a divine source. Today, dream-
Most do not believe this to be the realm of the speakers are minor fortunetellers or wise women
gods, howeverthe gods dwell in secret places who, for a small price, tell one the meaning of
To the vast majority of Ptolus within the world or high in the sky. ones dreams. Many do not take these oracles
residents, all good outsiders are The Heavens opposite, the Hells (or just Hell), seriously, but even believers admit that some
simply angels, and all evil out- the Pit, the Abyss, the Dark Realms, the Lower dreamspeakers just make up their interpretations.
siders are demons. More specif- Planes, or the Nether Realms, exist in a similar Only a select few actually have any preternatural
ic distinctions seem pointless to metaphysical state. They are a place of demons affinity with dream meanings.
anyone but a sage. and devils, where the evil go when they die to Friendship Bands: Long ago, it became a custom
face eternal torment (or get their deserved reward, to write ones name on a thin strip of cloth and
according to some). Plenty of evil gods and wrap it around the index finger of an ally. This

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 19

Even though a mug of ale in a


tavern is cheap, most Ptolus
locals still cant afford to
frequent drinking houses.
Neighborhood parties, in which
everyone pitches in to buy a
keg of cheap ale, are common.
These parties usually involve
a lot of dancing, music, and
storytelling.

sacred bond of trust displays your feelings of close ual has never held the two seats of power and, in
friendship. Its said that in older times, kings used time, they have built very different infrastructures
the bands as a way to demonstrate their support to around themselves.
their vassals (and, in turn, lesser nobles gave them Although he controls no lands the way the
to their liege to show loyalty). Essentially, the giv- Emperor of Tarsis does, the Emperor of the
ing of a friendship band means, Ill work with Church governs the spiritual lives of all citizens.
you/follow you/help you because I respect you. The Holy Emperor has his own court, his own
House Gifts: Although not everyone adheres to army, and his own vast treasuries. He has the
the belief behind the giving of house gifts, its prac- power to pass laws and issue edicts, although
ticed widely. It is held that every home develops a they must involve spiritual matters, such as the
spirit, sometimes called a luritas. When coming to Edict of Deviltry, issued in the year 560 IA to ban
someones home for the first time, or when invited the use and practice of arcane magic.
formally, people bring the luritas a little gifta
shiny bauble, a coin, a tiny icon, or anything simi- LIFE UNDER THE EMPIRE
lar. The small object is placed upon a shelf always Unlike many empires, the Empire of Tarsis gained
found near the entrance on an inside wall. little of its dominion through conquest. A thousand
years ago, the evil lord Ghul waged war against the
HISTORY rest of the world, his armies comprised of demons,
History, as it was taught to your character, cen- undead, and horrible monsters. At that time, a
ters about the formation of the Empire of Tarsis group of humans called the Prust occupied the area The Lion-Guarded Throne sits
and the establishment of the Lion-Guarded around the city of Tarsis far to the east. When the in the center of the Imperial
Throne, its hereditary seat of power. However, be Prustan forces from Tarsis came westward to the Palace in the capital city of
aware that history stretches for thousands and help defeat Ghul, they stayed, helping to rebuild Tarsis. Its craftsmen used
thousands of years before thatnot that the and establish order. Following their terrible defeat 25,000 gp worth of gold and
Empire, in its arrogance, believes anyone should in the Ghulwar, the folk west of Tarsis welcomed other precious metals in its
care about such primitive times. not only the Prusts help but also their advances in construction and spent
science. The Prust (and the Grailwarden dwarves collectively over one thousand
TWO EMPERORS of the same area) brought with them firearms, man-hours on its relief work
To understand the Empire is to understand that clocks, printing presses, and even steam-powered and ornamentation.
there are truly two Empires: a spiritual one and a engines. They built roads, waterways, and well-
temporal one. When Delian Von Tessel became ordered cities with running water, sewer systems,
the first Emperor, he also named himself Holy and postal services. Their laws were codified in a
Emperor of the Church of Lothian, which became book called the Vast Codex rather than arbitrary. The Emperor of the Church lost
the official religion of the Empire of Tarsis. After In short, life under the Empire seemed good. the bulk of his army during the
his death, his nephew Radlov Von Tessel took The Empire, however, also brought with it strict barbarian attack on Tarsis and
both positions, but quickly abdicated the role of controls. Various freedoms suddenly vanished in now keeps only his Knights of
Holy Emperor. Since that time, the same individ- the name of maintaining order. Official citizens of the Dawn and bodyguards.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


20 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

the Empire achieved rights denied noncitizens, such of a thousand years agobut not without many
as permits to own firearms. The Church of Lothian indelible scars left behind.
became the official religion of the Empire, and
eventually the only allowed religion. Other faiths TIMELINE
were persecuted, and ultimately arcane magic was BE = Before the Empire of Tarsis
demonized, restricted, and finally outlawed. Life IA = Imperial Age
became very complicated.
For hundreds of years, the Empire of Tarsis 350 BE The dwarves of Dwarvenhearth observe
The fact that the Empire is expanded its domains and influence. The Church that someone has moved onto the Spire
coming apart at the seams only of Lothian, or simply the Church, became near their city and has begun building
shows that totalitarianism is an omnipresent within society. Emperors and a fortress. Their spies reveal it to be
outmoded and inefficient empresses came and went. It seemed that the Ghulthe Half God, the Skull-King
means of governance. Lion-Guarded Throne was destined to rule the who claims to be the son of Eslathagos
Helmet Itlestein, known world forever. Malkith, an evil lord from the distant
republican leader But slowly the pillars supporting the Empire past. Ghul calls his fortress Goth
began to decay. The Edict of Deviltry was over- Gulgamel and builds it by the labor of
turned, and arcane spellcasting became legal once orcs he created (the Toruk-Rul tribe,
again (even before that, times passage had whose name means closing fist).
brought with it more and more safe havens for 319 BE Ghuls forces drive the dwarves from
the practitioners of magicincluding the city of Dwarvenhearth.
Ptolus). Other religions practiced fairly openly, 292 BE The Skull-King begins the Ghulwar, an
and the Church of Lothian was no longer organ- invasion to conquer the surrounding
ized or powerful enough to stop them. Education lands. His forces include Toruk-Rul
worsened. Complex Prustan and dwarven devices orcs, dark elves, tribes of evil men and
wore down and were forgotten rather than dwarves, and monsters.
repaired. If anything, the last two hundred years 291 BE Palastan falls to Ghul.
have seen a decline in science rather than its fur- 290 BE The Sea Kingdoms fall to Ghul.
ther advancement. 289 BE Eastern Rhoth falls to Ghul, cutting off
Cherubar to the far west from the rest
THE EMPIRE TODAY of the continent.
The Empire teeters on the brink of disintegration. 288 BE Ghul conjures forth a vast magical
Barbarians from the distant east have defeated darkness called the Utterdark, which
Tarsisan armies and ransacked Tarsis itself. Three covers the lands he has conquered.
different people claim the Lion-Guarded Throne, 285 BE The elves of the northern Moonsilver
including the current Emperor of the Church, Forest fall to Ghul. They are taken to
Rehoboth Ylestos. Goth Gulgamel and filter out again
The secular Empress Addares XXXIV is the slowly as the Harrow elvesthe
cousin of the previous Empress Addares, who blighted ones.
died with no children or siblings. No one current- 282 BE The Elder Elves of Theridae stop the
ly holds the title Prince or Princess of Tarsis, advance of Ghuls armies near the River
therefore there is no heir apparent. Segaci Fellisti, Tonam.
a powerful and aged councilor who has survived 281 BE The Cold Quiet begins. Few pass into
six Emperors, now claims that only he is fit to or out of the Utterdark.
rule in these trying times. Despite his non-Prustan 152 BE The Cold Quiet ends. The armies of
heritage, his followers believe he has more right Ghul issue forth from the Utterdark,
to rule than the Empress, whose blood ties to the composed of Toruk-Rul orcs, the even
original Von Tessels are convoluted at best. mightier Sorn-Ulth orcs (whose name
It doesnt matter to a fellow Addares now holds court in Dohrinthas, the city means bleeding breath), ogres, trolls,
like me whos in charge. I still she has proclaimed as the new capital, while giants, undead, and other monsters.
gotta work six days a week and Segaci apparently has returned to Tarsis following 150 BE The Elder Elves, now allied with the
break my back to support my its sacking. Meanwhile, the Emperor of the Stonelost dwarves (descended from
family, no matter what. Church, now residing in Ptolus, claims to be the those who fled Dwarvenhearth), drive
Harris Ralston, only true ruler with the title Emperor. back Ghuls armies.
delivery man But outside of Tarsis, some see the fall of the 87 BE The elven wizard Khelaeson banishes
Empireif it has indeed fallenas a good thing. the Utterdark.
The hereditary monarchies, long disenfranchised, 86 BE The elves and dwarves invade the realm
now return to power as Imperial governors lose of Ghul.
their influence. Like a disease overcome, the 85 BE The invaders take back the Moonsilver
Empire is fading and life is returning to its state Forest and most of Palastan from Ghul.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 21

84 BE Ghul calls forth the Squirming Horde, small port city on the edge of a large
also known as the Shrieking Horde, bay off the Whitewind Sea. It is built
and defeats the elves and dwarves. The near the fortress of Dalenguard and
horde, composed mainly of minor eventually will encompass it.
demons, lycanthropes, fiendish mon- c. 500 IA The demigod Raguel arrives in the
sters, and incorporeal undead, follows world with a demonic host, seeking his
the Elder Elves back to their homeland divine parents. They find a home with
of Theridae and razes it. the undead-loving Forsaken in the Dark
71 BE The Stonelost dwarves, Shoal elves, Reliquary.
halflings, and gnomes forge the Pact of 560 IA The Edict of Deviltry is issued, adding
Brightfathers Day with eastern forces strict laws prohibiting arcane magic to
the Grailwarden dwarves and the the Vast Codex.
Prustan humans of Tarsisto ally 562 IA The First Inquisition terrorizes the
against Ghul. They also gain allies from Empire. The Days of Blood begin.
among the aram and the Cherubim elves, 564 IA The First Inquisition ends. The Ghulwar
as well as a few select individuals 598 IA The Second Inquisition begins, in par-
giants, unicorns, lammasu, and others. ticular looking for a group of arcanists The Ghulwar, which began
61 BE The dark hordes of Ghul, weakened called the Inverted Pyramid. more than a thousand years
from a battle with an unknown foe, 609 IA Despite tortures and horrible mas- ago and lasted for three cen-
fall to the combined forces of the sacres, the Second Inquisition ends in turies, both shaped and scarred
Brightfather Pact, bringing an end to failure. The Edict of Deviltry falls into the present-day world. It was
the Ghulwar. disfavor. The Days of Blood end. the unification of the races to
59 BE Goth Gulgamel falls in the harrying 615 IA The leadership of Ptolus declares the oppose Ghul under the com-
that follows the war. Ghul flees to a city a safe haven for arcane spellcasters. mand of the Prustan armies
mysterious place known only as Orr. 641 IA The Edict of Deviltry is officially over- that paved the way for the
55 BE The Great SevenUthegos (a dwarf turned. Empire of Tarsis to form and
fighter), Saerth (an elf wizard-rogue), 657 IA In a surprising move by the Church of spread. Schoolchildren are all
Runshallot (a human cleric), Yllistro Lothian, the Prince of the Church takes taught the history of this time,
(a half-elf sorcerer-ranger), Kam (a up permanent residence in the fairly even though it was so long ago,
halfling monk), Dionys (a human fighter- remote city of Ptolus. because these events are con-
druid), and Eriskal (an elf rogue)hunt 706 IA The Empire is in chaos, with three sidered vital to todays society.
down Ghul and destroy him in Orr. different people claiming the Lion- Even the uneducated know that
50 BE With help from Tarsis, the people of Guarded Throne. Empress Addares the world came very close to
the once dark lands begin to rebuild. (Von Tessel) XXXIV attempts to move falling into eternal darkness.
43 BE Construction of Dalenguard, a fortress the capital to Dohrinthas, her longtime Those who took part in defeat-
the dwarves built for the Tarsisans, home. ing Ghul are still discussed in
begins near the Spire. 708 IA The mysterious and ornately armored reverent tones.
41 BE Tarsisan outposts and garrisons dot the Urthon Aedar begin to appear in
landscape, providing security and main- Ptolus, prophesying doom. A similar but far more ancient
tenance on the roads. 710 IA Tarsis is overrun by barbarians from struggleagainst the Dread
40 BE Construction of Dalenguard completed. the Eastern Hordes. Holy Emperor Oneis all but forgotten. Were
9 BE Delian Von Tessel becomes ruler of Rehoboth of the Church of Lothian it not for the presence of Jabel
Tarsis. He christens his seat of power flees to Ptolus to stay with the Prince Shammar atop the Spire, most
the Lion-Guarded Throne after his of the Church, his son Kirian. people likely would never have
family symbol. 713 IA Explorers plumbing down into ancient heard of this long-ago foe.
1 IA The Lion-Guarded Throne proclaims Dwarvenhearth discover great treasures
Imperial control over the lands around and begin bringing them to the surface.
it. The Age of the Empire of Tarsis 714 IA The barbarians leave Tarsis. Emperor
begins. Segaci attempts to re-establish the
110 IA Despite magical aids, Delian Von Empire from its traditional capital.
Tessel, first Emperor of the Lion- 717 IA Ptolus becomes the center of much
Guarded Throne, dies. attention as more and more would-be
386 IA Following the assassination of her hus- treasure-seekers plumb the depths
band, Empress Addares (Von Tessel) X below the city. Activities of so-called
makes it illegal to own a firearm with- chaos cults increase. The potential
out an official Imperial dispensation. for both greatness and danger has
413 IA Ptolusnamed after fragmentary facts never been as intense.
from the distant past discovered by the 721 IA Today.
loremaster Gerris Hinis founded as a

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


22 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

CREATING A CHARACTER FOR Elves


Their ancient name aduel deaistorm refers to the
THE PTOLUS CAMPAIGN seven Races of Chaos, for once there were
You will find the following information especial- many more types of elf than one can find today
ly useful when creating characters for the Ptolus (although the dark elves and Harrow elves are
Campaign. Unless otherwise mentioned, use the technically additions). Today, the Elder Elves are
Core Rules for all other character creation thought to be extinct. Elves have always preferred
details. As always, your DM is final arbiter of the deep woods or the open sea to the mountains
what is allowed in the game. or cities, magic over the mundane, the moon and
stars over the sun.
Humans make up around 70 COMMON RACES When non-elves simply say elf, theyre prob-
percent of Ptolus population. All of the following races are available as player ably referring to the Shoal elves, or simply the
Elves are the next most com- characters. Theyre also the most common NPC Shoal. Generally dark-haired, these elves are
mon race, but constitute only races. prevalent in the Sea Kingdoms, for they love
10 percent of the populace. the sea and ships. Some can be found in the
After that come dwarves, Dwarves Moonsilver Forest along the Whitewind Sea as
halflings, litorians, gnomes, Although most call them dwarves, their own well, but they care less for the cold, and so are
half-elves, centaurs, orcs and name for their race is Haurdir, the Stalwart Kings fewer in number than those in the south. Shoal
half-orcs, and lizardfolkin of Order. There are two great overclans of elves use the standard Core Rules for elves, plus
that order. dwarves in the known worldthe Stonelost and they enjoy a +2 racial bonus to Profession
the Grailwardensbut rumor claims there was (sailor) and their favored class is sorcerer, not
once another. wizard. The other exception is that elves in the
world of Praemal need sleep, like humans and
Dwarves, Stonelost other races.
These are the children of the dwarves of Unlike in the Core Rules, halflings and
Dwarvenhearth, said to be the greatest of all gnomes are technically distant elven relations.
dwarven cities. Although their small villages lie In fact, they were once considered elven sub-
scattered about the north, since the evil lord races.
Ghuls forces drove them from their glorious city,
they no longer have the centralized focus they Gnomes
once did. Hence the name Stonelost. Frequently mistaken for halflings (or the other
When Ghul fell and Dwarvenhearth was liber- way around), gnomes are the rarest of the major
ated, influential dwarven leaders would not allow races, particularly in Ptolus. Unlike halflings,
their people to repopulate the city. No one knows they are more likely to consort with elves than
why. Instead, the city was sealed. with humans. They favor song and magic over
Physically, the differences Use the standard rules for dwarves when creat- just about anything else, often combining the two
between Stonelost dwarves and ing a Stonelost dwarf. (in fact, some call them loresong faen). They
Grailwarden dwarves are so dwell throughout the lands of Cherubar, Rhoth,
slight, they are recognizable Dwarves, Grailwarden Palastan, and the Sea Kingdoms.
only by dwarves. However, Deep within the mountains of the Prustan Use the standard rules for gnomes with this
Grailwarden dwarves usually Peninsula, the Grailwarden dwarves build large race.
dress more formally and are far underground cities devoted to industry. Their
more likely to wear spectacles name comes from their stewardship of the White Half-Elves and Half-Orcs
than their Stonelost cousins Grail, one of three powerful, linked magical arti- Although understandably rare, these races are
(although not necessarily more facts (the Black Grail and the Unseen Grail are more common in Ptolus than in many other
likely to need them). Grail- the other two). places in the world. Half-elves are always half
warden dwarves hold them- While the Stonelost dwarvesand the Shoal elf, while half-orcs usually come from the
selves to high standards as Stonemight dwarves of Dwarvenhearth before Ornu-Nom tribes of Palastan and Rhoth.
regards their physical appear- themdeveloped stalwart fighting skills by
ance, whereas the Stonelost warring against evil humanoids and dark elves, Halflings
dwarves are not as concerned the Grailwarden dwarves focused their attention Although members of this race were originally
with their looks and dress. on science, craft, and even magic. When creating called quickling faen, humans named them
a Grailwarden dwarf, use the standard rules for halflings due to their stature, and the name
dwarves except that they enjoy no special bonuses stuck. They are small, fair, and nimble, but their
versus orcs, goblinoids, or giants. Instead, they childish size does not carry with it a childish
gain a +2 racial bonus to Profession (engineer), demeanor. Although originally considered a type
You can find a blank character Craft (machines), Knowledge (machines), and of elf, they do not have much contact with other
sheet on pages 2829 of this Craft (alchemy) skill checks. Machine-based skills races of elvesin fact, they interact more with
book. are introduced in Ptolus, Chapter 29: Technology. humans. Nomadic halflings often move about in

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 23

roaming tribal caravans throughout the nearby graceful even by elven standards. They live main- Months of the Year
lands of Rhoth and Palastan. ly in Cherubar, a land named for them. They are
Use the standard rules for halflings with this aloof (again, even by elven standards) and rarely Newyear, Birth, Wind, Rain,
race. travel outside their homeland. Bloom, Sun, Growth, Blessing,
Elves, Harrow: The parents and grandparents Toil, Harvest, Moons, Yearsend.
Humans of these very rare individuals were tortured and
According to the elves and dwarves, the humans changed by the dark lord Ghul almost a thou-
are the youngest of the common races. Despite sand years ago. Once Elder Elves, they now are
this fact, they are the most prevalent of all intelli- misshapen and cursed, often displaying perverse Days of the Week
gent peoples. magical powers. While not strictly evil, most
seem continually besieged by some darker nature Theoday, Kingsday, Airday,
MINOR RACES within, tugging at them to do wrong. Waterday, Earthday, Fireday,
Far less numerous than the common races are the Litorians: Once masters of the Plains of Queensday.
following peoples. You should not have more Panish to the east, the golden-maned, feline lito-
than one of these races represented in the PC rians were scattered in the Wars of Fire thou-
group at any time. The DM can provide you with sands of years ago. Small prides hunt here and
game information regarding any of these races. there in the wilderness, and occasionally a litori-
Aram: The Dwarvish name for these folk is an attempts to fit into a human culture.
centaur. These half-horse, half-human people Lizardfolk (Assari): More common in the While Ptolus was designed to
are boisterous, arrogant, and boorish, yet many lands to the south, these saurians attempt to fully support the play experi-
find them likable nonetheless. They live in both keep out of the affairs of other races but often ence as derived from the Core
Palastan and Rhoth. Many have found their way fail. Their own myths say they originated in a Rules, it also offers everything
into human communitiesbut usually as individ- vast, swampy forest that once covered most of needed to play variant races
uals rather than groups. what is now the Cold Desert, Palastan, and the as well, such as the minor
Elves, Cherubim: More common in the west- Whitewind Sea. Sages indicate there are reasons races described here.
ern mountains, these winged elves are frail but to believe this is true.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


24 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

Ptolus is a very humanocentric OTHER NPC RACES NAMES


city. However, compared to While by no means comprehensive, the follow- Since the dawning of the Empire, surnames have
other cities in the world, it ing list of races includes some of the more pre- become popular, because the Prust have long
seems very cosmopolitan. dominant nonplayer character races involved in used them. Prustan (Imperial) names sound
Creatures like orcs and mino- the Ptolus Campaign. These races are unavail- Germanic or even Prussian. Other human names
taurs, which would be consid- able as PC race choices without permission from descend from such diverse cultural backgrounds
ered monsters anywhere else in the DM. that they can be almost anything. Some halfling
the Empire, actually make their Aasimars: Graced with celestial blood in their names sound a bit like non-Prustan human
homes right here in the city. It veins, these fortunate scions of blessed creatures names, while others hearken back to the races
should be noted, though, that have a representative of Heaven as part of their distant elf ancestry.
such creatures are by far the heritage. Dwarvish names are short and somewhat
exception and face daily Elves, Dark: One must delve deep into elvish harsh, often using diphthongs like au and
prejudice, discrimination, and history to trace the origin of this splinter race of ou. Elvish names are long and grand, using
hostility from other residents. elvenkind. Mostly subterranean, dark elves are diphthongs like ae ai and oe. Both
Even far more common crea- rarely seen, although the Stonelost dwarves say dwarves and elves often use surnames that are
tures, such as litorians (which their people fought great underground wars with Common tongue translations, like Stonemate or
make up 2 percent of the citys them before Ghul drove the dwarves from Hammersblood for dwarves and Moonshadow
population) frequently face Dwarvenhearth. Sadistic and cruel, they revere or Wavesong for elves; many gnomes have a sim-
similar reactions. evil gods who urge them toward conquest and ilar practice. Some elvesparticularly those
dominance. from the southkeep the Elvish translations of
Minotaurs: Although most of them are quite their surnames, like Lorenci or Vaenarum.
bestial, some minotaurs are intelligent and
civilizedalbeit bloodthirsty by most peoples CHARACTER BACKGROUND
standards. Most of these intelligent individuals You are either from Ptolus or have come to the
are outcasts, although sometimes they become city from elsewhere. If you are a city native, think
leaders. They often become powerful sorcerers about what district you grew up in and where
or clerics as well. you live now. Think about some of the organiza-
Orcs: Orc myth contends that these creatures tions involved in the city, and decide whether you
were birthed by an evil demon god, although have any affiliation with them or, more likely,
some ancient texts claim they were created by an aspire to have one (your DM may wish to have a
evil wizard. It is impossible to dispute, however, say in this). If you are not a Ptolus native, the
that the orcs who dwell in the area around DM will help you create your background by
Ptolus were modified and bred by the evil lord providing details about the lands that surround
Ghul. The Toruk-Rul orcs are large, bestial, and the city. You should think about why youve come
ferocious. Their name means closing fist and to Ptolus.
they typify everything that people think of when It also is the responsibility of the players to
they say orc. The Sorn-Ulth (bleeding decide how the PC group forms. Some ideas:
breath) orcs are dark skinned and smaller than Youve all come to Ptolus looking to strike it
the Toruk-Rul orcs, bred for evil magic and rich (or for other reasons), and you meet on
stealth. Both of these greater orc tribes live the road and decide to work together.
along the coast of the Whitewind Sea. Two or more people in the group are family
The orcs who call themselves Ornu-Nom members or long-term friends already.
(howling axe) never suffered Ghuls manipula- Two or more of you met recently and discov-
Every day, more eager young tions. They dwell in the wilderness throughout ered that your goals coincide enough to band
treasure-seekers come through Palastan and Rhoth. The Ornu-Nom have a together for mutual support.
the city gates hoping to find sense of savage nobility to them, but they remain Some major patron has gathered you together
adventure and riches. Most of the deadly enemies of humans and most other for a specific task.
them leave Ptolus in coffins, yet races.
still they keep coming. Tieflings: These individuals have fiendish You can even work out a couple different rea-
Zade Kenevan, blood in some small but measurable quantity sons to join together into two or three small
bartender at the flowing through their veins. Tieflings are a rare groups, then leave it to the DM to throw the
Ghostly Minstrel but significant force in Ptolus. groups together once youre in the city. In that
in Delvers Square The Unwanted: The city also is home to gob- case, at least some of your initial meetings will
lins, ratmen, and other undesirable elements. occur in-game, and youll know some of the other
Most people consider these creatures more of an PCs better than others.
infestation than true inhabitants, though. These Your DM can give you access to a larger map
creatures contribute nothing to Ptolus, but they of the city of Ptolus than the one in this book, as
prey on its populace, stealing what they need well as a calendar to help you keep track of time
to live. passage, and various other visual aids.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 25

Player Character Backgrounds


Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you create your Ptolus player characters.

Background Most Likely Classes Benefit Home District


Alchemists apprentice Bard, cleric, sorcerer, wizard +2 Knowledge (alchemy) Guildsman, Midtown, either market, Oldtown, Rivergate
Arena fighter Barbarian, fighter, monk, Special contacts Oldtown, Rivergate
paladin
Artisans apprentice Any +2 Craft skill of choice Guildsman, South Market
Carriage driver Bard, fighter, rogue Special contacts Guildsman, Midtown, either market, Oldtown
City Watch guard Fighter, paladin, rogue Special contacts Any but Nobles Quarter
Clerk in office Bard, cleric, monk, rogue, Special contacts Guildsman, Oldtown, Rivergate, South Market
wizard
Clerk in shop Any +2 Profession Any but Warrens
(shopkeeper)
Conservatory student Bard, sorcerer +2 Perform Nobles Quarter
Gang member Barbarian, fighter, rogue +2 Gather Information Guildsman, Midtown, Warrens
Gardener Druid, fighter, ranger, rogue +2 Knowledge (nature) Midtown, Nobles Quarter, Oldtown, Rivergate
Imperial soldier Fighter, paladin, ranger, rogue Special contacts Oldtown
Laborer Any but sorcerer or wizard +2 Gather Information Docks, Guildsman, Midtown, either market, Oldtown
Messenger Any Special contacts Any
Sailor Fighter, rogue +2 Profession (sailor) Docks
Servant Any Special contacts Nobles Quarter, Oldtown
Squire Fighter, paladin, rogue Special contacts Nobles Quarter, Oldtown
Stablehand Any +2 Handle Animal Any but Docks
Temple acolyte Bard, cleric, rogue, sorcerer, Special contacts Midtown, Temple
wizard
University student Bard, cleric, monk, rogue, +2 Knowledge skill Oldtown
wizard of choice
Wizards apprentice Sorcerer, wizard +2 Knowledge (arcana) Midtown, either market, Oldtown, Rivergate

Background: This was the occupation the character had before the game started.
Most Likely Classes: Although any class can have any background, these classes are the most appropriate for the given background.
Benefits: As an option, the DM can award characters a benefit that reflects their background. Bonuses are competence bonuses. Special
Contacts are people the DM creates related to the background; the PC can consult them for information or even assistance. If nothing else, using
these contacts provides a +2 circumstance bonus to Gather Information checks made in the contacts area of knowledge.
Home District: This is the district that a Ptolus native with the given background would call home (although not necessarily the district where his
family lives or where he was born). If more than one is listed, the player may choose. The Necropolis is never considered a home district, even
when it says any.

CHARACTER CLASSES ture and politics). You can work with the DM to
Here are a few notes regarding how various char- choose a deity appropriate to your needs. Ptolus offers specific organiza-
acter classes fit into the Ptolus Campaign. Druids: A long time ago, there were many tions that various character
Barbarians: Human barbarians likely come more druids in the area than there are now, and classes can join. These groups
from the recent invasion from east of the Grey they belonged to a group called the Circle of have backgrounds, goals, and
Mountains (known as the Eastern Hordes). There Green. No major druid organizations exist any- connections geared toward
are no elven or dwarven barbarians (unless youve more. Druids are mostly loners now, andtruth particular PC classes: the
got a really interesting backstory). be toldarent often found in Ptolus. They are Inverted Pyramid for wizards
Bards: This being an urban-based campaign, almost certainly the least common character class. and sorcerers, the Knights of
bards fit in very well. Minstrels with talent are Fighters: The campaign includes a number of the Dawn for paladins, etc. Ask
well received in the city, where the taverns are orders of knighthood that you may wish to join your DM for more information
outnumbered only by the temples. An organiza- one day. There is also the warriors guild, the about groups that might
tion of martial bards called the Knights of the Order of Iron Might, to consider. Many fighters be appropriate for your
Chord dwells in Oldtown. get their start in Oldtowns combat arena. character to join.
Clerics: Clerics are, not surprisingly, among Monks: The monk tradition, it is said, comes
the most respected people in society. Clerics of originally from the far south. Now it is very per-
Lothian have some political clout (but in turn vasive, and orders of monks are quite common
have to cope with the Churchs byzantine struc- usually dedicated to a particular cause or belief.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


26 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

Unlike the way they are presented in the Core most people have seen many other types of hor-
Rules, many temples treat monks as religious fig- rible creature in their lives. Theyre just far too
ures. In this way, they become like very different common for locals to remain unfamiliar with
sorts of clerics, but remain representatives of a them.
deity and a belief system.
Paladins: The campaign includes a number of SPELLS
orders of knighthood that you may wish to join In a world this old, with magic having been com-
one day. Also, look at the clerics discussion mon throughout history, there are literally thou-
above regarding religion, as most paladins in the sands of magical traditions, theories, and meth-
campaign have a close connection with a specific ods. To reflect this heritage, all players with spell-
deity. casting characters should name their own spells
Rangers: Rangers are uncommon but certainly and be able to describe the appearance of their
not unheard of in Ptolus. Human rangers are like- effects fairly freely. One wizard might know
ly to be from the Viridian Lords of Palastan. Elves magic missile as Inoris slap of retribution and
are very often rangers, particularly elves from the cast it as a slapping hand made of energy, while
Moonsilver Forest north of the city. another calls it daggers of death and causes it
Your Arrival in Ptolus Rogues: While there is a major thieves guild in to manifest as white-hot daggers flying through
Ptolus (the Longfingers), remember that as a the air.
If your character is not a native rogue, thief is just one option. Rogues make Further, players creating spellcasting characters
of Ptolus, you arrive at the city excellent scouts, spies, and even merchants and should be aware that a few spellsmostly of a
either through one of the main artisans, due to their skillfulness. This may be the planar nature, such as astral projection or banish-
gates or by ship at the Docks. most common PC class in the city. ment, function a bit differently in Ptolus. Your
At the main gates, the City Sorcerers: Sorcerers were the first mages, born DM can provide you with details, should you
Watch will ask to see your with magical abilities innate within their very need them.
papers and will demand an blood. They command great respect. Many sor-
entrance toll of 2 cp. At the cerers aspire to join the Inverted Pyramid mages BLESSED CHILDREN
Docks, youll also be greeted by guild, although no character can begin the game Blessed children are the opposite of undead.
the Watch, as well as by a low- with such an affiliation. They are the spirits of people not yet born. Just as
ranking Imperial official who Wizards: Wizards, as opposed to sorcerers, evil clerics call upon the undead, good clerics can
likely spends a little time are extremely scholarlythey look upon magic call upon the blessed children for aid. In the
looking over your belongings. as a science and attempt to learn its rules and Ptolus Campaign, the various summon monster
Again, youll be asked to pay a utilize its loopholes. Because people acknowl- spells make blessed children available for sum-
2 cp toll, and you also might edge and respect their power, wizards often fig- moning.
face other taxes or tariffs, ure into the military, City Watch, etc. Elves are
depending on what you have only very rarely wizardsthey become sorcerers THE WINTERSOULED
with you. instead. A surprising number of Grailwarden Once, long ago, there were no undead in the
dwarves are wizards in Ptolus. Many wizards world, or so it is said. But through a great act of
Once in the city, youll find the aspire to join the Inverted Pyramid mages guild, villainy, the veil between life and death was rent
streets bustling with a stagger- although no character can begin the game with asunder, allowing the dead to enter the world of
ing array of individuals going such an affiliation. the living. The first of these are called the
about their business. If youre Wintersouled, and they remain among the most
hungry or thirsty, youll find LEVEL powerful of all undead. A small handful of them
numerous vendors and estab- The scope of the Ptolus Campaign is much like is said to dwell within the world to this day.
lishments clustered close to the that suggested in the Core Rulebooks. Most peo-
entrances to the city. They will ple are commoners, and low level at that. At 4th EQUIPMENT
be more than happy to take to 5th level youve started to make a name for Characters can buy and sell equipment costing
your coin. Since youre likely an yourself. By 9th or 10th, youre somebody. By up to 100,000 gp in the large city that is Ptolus.
adventurer, anyone you meet 15th, you truly stand among the elite of the elite. Standard gear is available throughout the city,
can direct you to Delvers Beyond that, you join the ranks of those the bards although Ebberts Outfitters in Delvers Square is a
Square, which lies near the still sing songs about. popular spot for adventurers. One can buy and sell
heart of the city. There youll magical gear in Midtown at Myraeths Oddities
find places to stay, gear to MAGIC a shop run by an elf wizard named Myraeth and
purchase, an entrance to the Not surprisingly, magic is prevalent in the Ptolus guarded by powerful wards and a couple of ogre
Undercity, and lots of other Campaign. Its as common as the Core Rules sug- fighters. Myraeth also buys other valuables (gems,
adventurers who can help you gest. That is, magic remains beyond the reach of the jewelry, artwork, and so on) for a fair price and
get started in your new delving common man, but certainly well within his observ- offers spell components and similar wares as well
career. able world. One can say the same of monsters as resale magic items. The DM should determine
while not everyones seen a dragon, theres cer- at any given time what magic items Myraeth has
tainly no one who disbelieves in them. And on hand. For 100 gp per item he also can identify

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 27

LIVING IN PTOLUS
What does the average Ptolus resident know
about his or her community? Here are some
basics:
Humans are by far the most common
race in the city. As an adventurer in Ptolus,
The Ptolus year has 364 days, with your first mission might very
twelve months and a seven-day week. well deal with the humanoid
The Ptolus climate is cool, with many ratmendiseased ratlike
overcast or rainy days. thieves that live in the sewer
Commoner men typically wear white that plague the city. Even as
shirts and vests, sometimes with a wide- you prepare for your first
lapeled coat. Hats are frequently worn. adventure, you might look
They usually keep their hair short and upward to the very top of that
their faces clean shaven. three-thousand-foot Spire rising
Commoner women wear dresses, often covered with an apron. They wear their hair long, above you. What dangers, what
sometimes styled up. treasures, might still lie in the
The typical commoner earns 1 to 3 sp per day. A silver piece is often called a shield or a fortress at the top of the Spire?
shiny. Will you ever be so powerful as
There are no banks, as such, but you can rent out a small personal vault to store your valu- to find out for yourself ?
ables at places such as Hammersong Vaults in Oldtown.
Buildings have glass windows that hinge open.
Most buildings, but not all of them, have indoor plumbing, including privies that pump water
in via hand pumps and drain it away into the city sewers.
You can hire a messenger to carry notes and packages anywhere in the city. This typically
costs 1 sp per delivery. There is also a magical messenger service.
Carriages are widely available for hire to take you wherever you want to go. This service costs
about 1 sp per trip.
While no stranger to magic or monsters, the typical Ptolusite fears the undead rumored to stir
in the Necropolis. Even more real, however, are fears of thieves, fire, and plague.
The Ptolus City Watch is extremely competent. Despite this fact, the city has a terrible crime
problem.
Ratmen live in the sewers.
Rumors speak of Cults of Chaos finding new members about the city these days.
Imperial law requires that everyone carries identification papers. Written law favors citizens
over noncitizens, but practical law favors the upper classes over the lower.
Spells that make people do things they normally wouldnt, like charm person, are illegal in
Ptolus. So are spells that create undead or spread plague.
Most shops and places of business stay open as long as the sun is up, which means that busi-
ness hours are longer in the summer than in the winter. Many are open seven days a week.
Using firearms requires a
dedicated exotic weapon
items brought to him, with a twenty-four-hour considered early medieval. This includes firearms, proficiency feat. Those who are
turnaround. For custom-made permanent magic most commonly known as dragon pistols and particularly interested in
items, people sometimes speak of the Dreaming dragon rifles (although there are other types as technology will want to take
Apothecary, but characters just starting out do well). It also includes spyglasses, pocketwatches, ranks in Craft (machines) or
not know how to contact this group. spectacles, and powder bombs. In the city, player Knowledge (machines).
A place called Potions and Elixirs, also in characters will find printing presses, hot air bal-
Midtown, has a large stock of potions for sale. A loons, and even steam engines.
number of arcanists offer scrolls for sale all over However, all these devices are rare and steadily
town. A few other places sell potions as well, and becoming more so. Such advancements in science
most temples sell divine scrolls and potions to helped forge the Empire, but as the Empire
help fund their religion. declines, so too does the knowledge of how to
create and maintain these wonderful devices. It is
FIREARMS AND TECHNOLOGY often difficult to purchase such items these days
Unlike the Core Rules, in Ptolus characters have although rumors abound of a place in the North
accessalbeit extremely limitedto a slightly Market called the Smoke Shop where they are
higher level of technology than what would be available.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


28 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO PTOLUS 29

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


30 MONTE COOKS CITY BY THE SPIRE

Legal Open Game License, Version 1.0a creation and/or You have sufficient rights to grant the
rights conveyed by this License.
Malhavoc is a registered trademark and The following text is the property of Wizards of the
Ptolus is a trademark owned by Monte J. Cook. Coast, Inc., and is Copyright 20002006 Wizards of the 6. Notice of License Copyright: You must update the
Sword & Sorcery and the Sword & Sorcery logo
are trademarks of White Wolf Publishing, Inc. All Coast, Inc. (Wizards"). All Rights Reserved. COPYRIGHT NOTICE portion of this License to include
rights reserved. 2006 Monte J. Cook. All rights the exact text of the COPYRIGHT NOTICE of any Open
reserved. The mention of or reference to any 1. Definitions: (a)Contributors" means the copyright
company or product in these pages is not a
Game Content You are copying, modifying or distribut-
and/or trademark owners who have contributed Open
challenge to the trademark or copyright con- ing, and You must add the title, the copyright date, and
cerned. This edition of A Players Guide to
Game Content; (b)Derivative Material" means copy-
the copyright holder's name to the COPYRIGHT NOTICE
Ptolus is produced under version 1.0a and/or righted material including derivative works and transla-
draft versions of the Open Game License and of any original Open Game Content you Distribute.
tions (including into other computer languages), pota-
the System Reference Document by permission
of Wizards of the Coast. Subsequent versions tion, modification, correction, addition, extension, 7. Use of Product Identity: You agree not to Use any
of this product will incorporate later versions of upgrade, improvement, compilation, abridgment or Product Identity, including as an indication as to com-
the license and document. other form in which an existing work may be recast, patibility, except as expressly licensed in another, inde-
Designation of Product Identity: The fol- transformed or adapted; (c) Distribute" means to repro- pendent Agreement with the owner of each element of
lowing items are hereby designated as Product duce, license, rent, lease, sell, broadcast, publicly display, Product Identity. You agree not to indicate compatibili-
Identity in accordance with Section 1(e) of the transmit or otherwise distribute; (d) Open Game ty or co-adaptability with any Trademark or Registered
Open Game License, version 1.0a: Any and all
Malhavoc Press logos and identifying marks Content" means the game mechanic and includes the Trademark in conjunction with a work containing Open
and trade dress, such as all Malhavoc Press methods, procedures, processes and routines to the Game Content except as expressly licensed in another,
product and product line names including but extent such content does not embody the Product independent Agreement with the owner of such
not limited to A Players Guide to Ptolus, The
Night of Dissolution, Ptolus, and Monte Cooks Identity and is an enhancement over the prior art and Trademark or Registered Trademark. The use of any
City by the Spire, any specific characters, mon- any additional content clearly identified as Open Game Product Identity in Open Game Content does not con-
sters, creatures, and places; capitalized names
and names of places, artifacts, characters,
Content by the Contributor, and means any work cov- stitute a challenge to the ownership of that Product
countries, creatures, geographic locations, ered by this License, including translations and deriva- Identity. The owner of any Product Identity used in
gods, historic events, magic items, organiza- tive works under copyright law, but specifically excludes Open Game Content shall retain all rights, title, and
tions, and abilities; any and all stories, story-
lines, histories, plots, thematic elements, and Product Identity; (e) Product Identity" means product interest in and to that Product Identity.
dialogue; and all artwork, symbols, designs, and product line names, logos and identifying marks
depictions, illustrations, maps, and cartography, 8. Identification: If you distribute Open Game Content
including trade dress; artifacts, creatures, characters,
likenesses, poses, logos, or graphic designs, You must clearly indicate which portions of the work
except such elements that already appear in stories, storylines, plots, thematic elements, dialogue,
that you are distributing are Open Game Content.
final or draft versions of the System Reference incidents, language, artwork, symbols, designs, depic-
Document or as Open Game Content below tions, likenesses, formats, poses, concepts, themes, and 9. Updating the License: Wizards or its designated
and are already open by virtue of appearing
there. The above Product Identity is not Open graphic, photographic, and other visual or audio repre- Agents may publish updated versions of this License.
Game Content. sentations; names and descriptions of characters, spells, You may use any authorized version of this License to
enchantments, personalities, teams, personas, likenesses, copy, modify, and distribute any Open Game Content
Designation of Open Game Content:
Subject to the Product Identity designation and special abilities; places, locations, environments, originally distributed under any version of this License.
above, the following portions of A Players creatures, equipment, magical, or supernatural abilities
Guide to Ptolus are designated as Open Game 10. Copy of this License: You MUST include a copy of
or effects, logos, symbols, or graphic designs; and any
Content: the Creating a Character for the this License with every copy of the Open Game Content
Ptolus Campaign section, the Character other trademark or registered trademark clearly identi-
You Distribute.
Background section, and anything else con- fied as Product Identity by the owner of the Product
tained herein which is already Open Game 11. Use of Contributor Credits: You may not market or
Content by virtue of appearing in the System Identity, and which specifically excludes the Open Game
Reference Document or some other Open Content; (f ) Trademark" means the logos, names, mark, advertise the Open Game Content using the name of
Game Content source. sign, motto, designs that are used by a Contributor to any Contributor unless You have written permission
Some portions of this book which are Open identify itself or its products or the associated products from the Contributor to do so.
Game Content originate from the System contributed to the Open Game License by the 12. Inability to Comply: If it is impossible for You to com-
Reference Document and are 19992006 Contributor; (g) Use," Used," or Using" means to use,
Wizards of the Coast, Inc. The remainder of ply with any of the terms of this License with respect to
these Open Game Content portions of this book Distribute, copy, edit, format, modify, translate, and oth- some or all of the Open Game Content due to statute,
is hereby added to Open Game Content and if erwise create Derivative Material of Open Game judicial order, or governmental regulation then You may
so used, should bear the COPYRIGHT NOTICE Content; (h) You" or Your" means the licensee in terms
A Players Guide to Ptolus 2006 Monte J. not Use any Open Game Material so affected.
Cook. This material is protected under the of this agreement.
copyright laws of the United States of America. 13. Termination: This License will terminate automati-
Any reproduction, retransmission, or unautho- 2. The License: This License applies to any Open Game cally if You fail to comply with all terms herein and fail
rized use of the artwork or non-Open Game Content that contains a notice indicating that the
Content herein is prohibited without express to cure such breach within 30 days of becoming aware
written permission from Monte J. Cook, except
Open Game Content may only be Used under and in of the breach. All sublicenses shall survive the termina-
for purposes of review or use of Open Game terms of this License. You must affix such a notice to tion of this License.
Content consistent with the Open Game any Open Game Content that you Use. No terms may
License. The original purchaser may print or 14. Reformation: If any provision of this License is held
photocopy copies for his or her own personal be added to or subtracted from this License except as
use only. described by the License itself. No other terms or condi- to be unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed
tions may be applied to any Open Game Content dis- only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable.
This document is a work of fiction. Any simi-
larity to actual people, organizations, places, or tributed using this License. 15. COPYRIGHT NOTICE
events is purely coincidental.
3. Offer and Acceptance: By Using the Open Game Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 20002006,
Check out www.ptolus.com. Content You indicate Your acceptance of the terms of Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
this License.
d20 System Reference Document Copyright 20002006,
4. Grant and Consideration: In consideration for agreeing Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; authors Jonathan Tweet,
to use this License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins,
worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license with the exact David Noonan, Rich Redman, and Bruce R. Cordell, based
terms of this License to Use the Open Game Content. on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
5. Representation of Authority to Contribute: If You are A Players Guide to Ptolus Copyright 2006 Monte J.
contributing original material as Open Game Content, Cook. All rights reserved.
You represent that Your Contributions are Your original

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8
IMAGINE . . .
. . . THE MOST DELUXE ROLEPLAYING GAME BOOK EVER.

WHATS IN IT?

adventures from one of the industrys greatest designers.
Almost 700 pages of all-new fantasy source material and

Glorious full-color art.


OFFICIAL TIE-IN PRODUCTS:

COMIC BOOK SERIES


FROM DB PRO

Ptolus: City by the Spire
Comic Book Series
Follow the adventures of Sheva

a CD-Rom packed with bonus materialand more!
Double-sided poster map, two dozen player handouts,

Callister through the streets of Ptolus


in this six-issue series written by
Monte Cook and illustrated by
Caanan White and Inshield. Monte Cooks
MAP PRODUCTS
FROM SKELETONKEY
City by the Spire
GAMES
Years in the making, Ptolus is the
Ptolus Adventure Tiles and More! biggest roleplaying product ever
Award-winning cartographer Ed written by a single author. And
Bourelle offers downloadable maps
from the book in fabulous detailand when that author is Monte Cook,
at battle mat size, for easy use with you know youve really got some-
miniatures or counters. PDF exclusives!
thing. This high-quality book has
ACCESSORIES AND production values matched by few
ADVENTURES
FROM FIERY DRAGON
other roleplaying titles and a
PRODUCTIONS unique design that makes it the
most DM-friendly tome on your
Ptolus Counter Collection
For All Levels shelf. This is the campaign created
A great accessory for any Ptolus by one of the architects of 3rd
gaming group, the Counter Collection
contains hundreds of counters for Edition for gaming professionals.
members of organizations like the NOW IT CAN BE YOURS.
Sisterhood of Silence, the Vai assas-
sins, City Watch, and more, as well
as lots of specific NPCs.
August 2006 ISBN 1-58846-789-9
Queen of Lies Adventure WW16114 672 pages, deluxe hardcover
by Monte Cook
This adventure for 11th-level charac- The full-color Ptolus book also includes three
ters, part of Montes original cam- bound-in fabric bookmarks, four cardstock
paign, is now fully compatible with bookmarks, a two-sided poster map, 24 DM
the new Ptolus setting and features a sheets and player handouts, and a CD-Rom
new introduction. PDF exclusive! featuring 400+ pages of additional material
including an all-new 96-page adventure, The
Night of Dissolution. Only a package this
lavish can do justice to such an original and
intricate fantasy setting. Coming in August.
Preorder at www.ptolus.com for extra benefits.

Free bonus material weekly at www.ptolus.com


2006 Monte J. Cook. Malhavoc is a registered trademark and Ptolus is a trademark owned by Monte J. Cook. All rights reserved.

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 8


A PLAYERS GUIDE TO

BY MONTE COOK

The City of Ptolus. A place where the supernatural


is expected and treachery lies around every corner
or is it that the supernatural lies around every
corner and treachery is expected? Either way,
Ptolus is a city of danger, magic, intrigue,
and above all: adventure.

This 32-page guide is designed to introduce you to


the fundamentals of Ptolus and help you create and
run a character with plenty of knowledge about the
setting. The guide includes a map of the city and an
introduction to its districts, as well as sections on
campaign look and feel, the various noble houses,
organizations, history, NPCs, religion, the larger
world, character creation, magic, equipment, and
more. All this material also appears in the full book
Ptolus: Monte Cooks City by the Spire, which
builds from the foundation this players guide
provides. Keep the guide handy as a reference
while you play in the Ptolus Campaign, and use
it as a preview of the deluxe Ptolus hardcover.

Requires use of the Third Edition rules

2006 Monte J. Cook


Sword & Sorcery is a trademark of White Wolf Publishing.
Malhavoc is a registered trademark and Ptolus is a trademark
of Monte J. Cook. All rights reserved.

www.ptolus.com

PDF Version 2
BY MONTE COOK
October 2008

Huw Jones (order #2469344) 87.194.174.69

Related Interests