The Obsidian League

the obsidian league

THE OBSIDIAN LEAGUE

FOR LOVE OF MONEY

The Obsidian League represents the inherent profitability of the planes, the various means by which a savvy and powerful organization can make money off the ability to travel between worlds. While they appear little more than a mystically inclined merchants’ guild on the outside, the amount of power they wield across the worlds makes the League a true force to be reckoned with.

ATTRIBUTES OF THE OBSIDIAN LEAGUE

Size: Medium (50–100 members), but directly or indirectly employs multiple thousands of agents and workers across various worlds.

Alignment and Purpose: LN (gradually leaning toward LE); Increasing the wealth and power of the Hadren family and other members of the League, dominating kingdoms and governmental structures through financial, mercantile, and political pressure.

Approximate Class Breakdown (members only, not employees): Aristocrat 40%, Expert 20%, Wizard 15%, Cleric 10%, Sorcerer 10%, Other 5%; (25% Obsidian League Executive prestige class)

Resources: Multiple governments, merchant guilds, trading concerns, self-contained industries, and raw-materials mines and manufacturers on dozens of worlds. The value of the Obsidian League’s total resources is practically immeasurable in gold pieces.

Central Headquarters: The Hadren family itself moves around frequently, but their familial estate is located on a small island off the coast of the nation Evaslon on a world of nearRenaissance- level development called Midonere.

Known Enemies: The Obsidian League’s subsidiary organizations have many enemies in the form of local merchants’ guilds and governments on specific worlds, but the League itself has few adversaries, as most organizations powerful enough to challenge it are either unaware of its existence or have incompatible and non-competing interests.

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A GENERAL OVERVIEW

The Obsidian League is a mercantile consortium the likes of which most merchants’ guilds could only dream of. From its start as a simple family operation on the world of Midonere, it has become an enormous, multi-planar entity. Through the use of planar travel, the League is capable of providing enormous amounts of raw materials, unusual items, finished products, enchanted goods, and even rare and wondrous creatures. All this at substantially lower prices than more traditional merchants, who must make do with the resources available to them in a limited geographical area and transport them via mundane means. The Obsidian League makes use of its wealth and multiple connections to influence the course of kingdoms and even entire worlds, and its machinations have grown more sinister and more abusive with each succeeding generation of Hadrens.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE OBSIDIAN LEAGUE

Balthus Hadren, Patriarch and Master of the Hadren Family Trading Concern, had an unusual problem. For well over a decade, his small family-owned business had been losing vast amounts of trade, customers, and income to the larger merchants’ guilds that emerged in the later years of Midonere’s Medieval period. This in itself was a problem, but it was hardly unusual. To date, the Hadren Family Trading Concern was just barely surviving by relying on its few loyal and regular customers. Among those customers was a man called Thorenil, an old wizard of no small power and learned in much ancient lore. This in itself was unusual, but it was hardly a problem.

No, Balthus’ unusual problem was that he was a scrupulously honest man in an environment with no room for such quaint notions. A business the size of his could never have compet

ed with the larger guilds, true. But he could certainly have done better for himself, his wife, his children, and his employees had he been willing to bend the rules, cheat an occasional buyer, steal information from his competitors, artificially inflate markets by pretending shortages, and in general engage in the same sorts of immoral (if not downright illegal) behavior that most of the other merchants and concerns had practiced for years. Balthus, however, was cut from a different cloth, and preferred to fail honestly than succeed immorally.

It was an attitude that threatened to cost him more than his business, as his family was understandably not thrilled at the idea of permanent poverty. His wife was miserable, and spent every available moment making certain Balthus knew, in no uncertain terms, just how miserable. His sons would barely speak to him, furious that he would impoverish the family — and worse, destroy the business before they could inherit — for so nebulous a notion as honor or morality. Most of his workers had already quit, save for a few very loyal family friends and cheap, unskilled labor who would work for the pittance he could afford to pay.

Thus it was an old, miserable, nearly destitute man who, on a seemingly normal afternoon, reigned in the old nag who drove his wagon and jerked to a halt outside the door of Thorenil’s large stone manse. Balthus had for the wizard a shipment of all manner of odd things, sulfur and powdered gems and behir dung and other curios that only a mage would find useful. As was their normal arrangement, since Thorenil was away from home as often as not, Balthus walked to the door — enchanted to recognize him as an acceptable guest — and ordered his laborers to begin unloading the wagon while he stepped inside to ensure the wizard had left his payment.

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The stone walls, the threadbare carpeting, the old oak table that groaned and creaked under the weight of hundreds of scraps of parchment and dozens of half-finished experimentations… These were as they had always been, as Balthus expected they would be. What he had not expected was the strange, swirling palette of colors that occupied that center of the room, nor the strange, alien landscape he saw in the center of that vortex, as though looking through a window into some other place.

Balthus knew nothing of magic, but he was a highly educated man from an upper class, if not wealthy, upbringing. He recognized almost immediately that the strange hue of the sky in the scene he viewed, the odd tinge to the grass, the scent of the wind that wafted into the wizard’s room, none of these could possibly originate anywhere on Midonere. No, this could only be a doorway into an entirely different world from the one he knew.

One he managed to tear it from the swirling image, Balthus’ gaze fell upon a large black rod — little more than a fat wand with numerous lumps and protrusions — lying on the table, half-hidden behind a precarious stack of the ever-present parchment. The very tip of the rod, which pointed directly at the phenomenon in the center of the room, glowed and flashed with patterns of colors that perfectly mirrored those of the vortex.

No matter how ignorant Balthus may have been in the ways of magic, it wasn’t hard to figure out what the rod did, and the old merchant’s mind was flooded with possibilities. Imagine what he could do with such an item! No need, now, to pay such heavy prices for the materials and the goods he would then sell to others, not if he could find other worlds on which they were more plentiful and thus cheaper. How grateful would a king be for a below-market price on enough fine steel to equip an entire legion? How much would car

penters pay for the secrets of darkwood, heretofore kept only by the elves and the druids?

Even better, could he find worlds in which goods that were common here, on Midonere, would fetch wondrous prices? What would a desert world pay for easy access to water, or a metal-poor world for iron and tin?

Once more, the Hadren Family Trading Concern could compete, could thrive, could perhaps prove more profitable than even the greatest guilds. His family need not be impoverished, his workers need not search for other employment, his heirs need not be stripped of their inheritance.

All he needed… Was the magical rod created by, and belonging to, his oldest and most loyal customer, a rod that he could not conceivably afford, even were it for sale.

And for the first time in his life, Balthus fought a war with himself, and lost.

By the time Balthus’ workers trundled through the door with the first load of boxes balanced on their backs, the room looked perfectly normal. They never knew about the interplanar portal they had almost witnessed, nor about the obsidian rod their employer had stuffed, with sweaty palms, under his tunic and into his belt.

Balthus never saw Thorenil again, a fact for which he was profoundly grateful. Given his ignorance of magic, it didn’t occur to him until many years later that the old wizard might have actually traveled through that portal, and that Balthus might have closed his only route home by deactivating the rod.

For months, the Patriarch of the Hadren family experimented with the rod, never realizing how many times he came to bringing disaster on himself, his home, perhaps even his world. Yet against all odds, Balthus made the rod work. He learned quickly that, while he could not pick and choose his destinations — at least not

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with his limited abilities — he could control what sort of world the rod took him to: The more buttons he depressed before activating it, the less like his own world the destination would be.

And with that, Balthus went to work. He was cautious, careful never to reveal the secret of his techniques. He turned to hiring laborers on a job-by-job basis, never employing the same workers twice in a row. He would often lead them in sealed wagons, or even blindfolded, to the places they would work, mining a rich vein of ore or transferring goods from a truly odd- looking ship onto waiting carts. None of them ever knew they had walked or driven through the barriers between worlds, and if any ever guessed, the substantial fees Balthus Hadren was suddenly offering were enough to keep their mouths shut.

With this new advantage, Balthus was suddenly competitive again. He found worlds where valuable metals were far more common than on Midonere, worlds where crops grew more easily and more lushly, worlds where valuable pelted animals were far more easily found and captured. Because he no longer had to compete with the other local guilds to acquire his goods, and because he could do so more cheaply than they, Balthus was able to provide greater amounts of product and raw materials for far less cost. In only a few years, the Hadren Family Trading Concern was not only solvent, it was competing with guilds many times its size. His wife no longer harried him, his sons happily and enthusiastically participed in the business. In short, Balthus’ life had completely turned around.

But Balthus Hadren was still a moral man, and he knew all too well what sorts of abuses the obsidian rod might lend itself to, in the hands of someone less ethical than he. For his remaining years, he kept to himself the secret of his newfound success, refusing to tell even his wife or

his sons how he managed to turn things around. He knew that his children, so wrapped up in their quest for ever increasing wealth and status, might misuse the power of the rod, and so he had determined to take the secret with him to the grave.

He did not. Even as he lay on his silk-sheeted deathbed many years later, his determination wavered. Would his family be able to maintain their position without the magic of the rod? Or was his silence condemning them to another slow decline into eventual poverty?

And so, as he breathed his last, in the presence of his eldest son Hurich, Balthus Hadren revealed the secret of the obsidian rod.

Hurich, as his father had feared, was not content to continue using the rod as Balthus had. The new Patriarch of the Family Hadren hired numerous wizards to study the rod, to replicate it, to improve upon it. It required years, as well as the lives of several more careless mages, but in the end Hurich had access to multiple rods, all of which were far more precise and easier to control than the original. No longer were they forced to choose worlds randomly, hoping to take advantage of any precious materials they found. Now they could target specific worlds of which they had previously learned, and return to those worlds time and again with the mere pressing of a handful of buttons. Entire caravans moved through these interdimensional portals, crewed by workers who were all subject to geas and other spells of secrecy and loyalty laid upon them by the spellcasters in the Hadrens’ employ.

This, then, was the true birth of the Obsidian League, as the Hadren Family Trading Concern came to be called over the following generations. Beginning with Hurich, each succeeding Patriarch proved more ambitious than the last. Hurich, who hired hundreds of workers in place of his father’s dozens, used the resources of multiple worlds not merely to undersell his competitors on Midonere but to completely

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undercut the market, driving many of the guilds out of business. His own successors (all of whom kept their familial name, regardless of which of their parents hailed from that family) flooded entire nations with excess amounts of gold, thus devaluing the currency — but only after buying up an enormous portion of the nation’s silver mines and coins, which became the primary coinage of those kingdoms. The next generation expanded still further, under the leadership of Gretta Hadren. The League sold goods on other worlds besides Midonere, buying items that were nearly worthless in one world and selling them on another where they were far more valuable. It was Gretta who first decided that the Obsidian League should operate behind the scenes, financing and supporting local merchants’ guilds and houses native to those worlds in which they were active, rather than operating openly. By now, the League, though still dominated by the Hadren family, had dozens of true partners, and employed thousands of workers and laborers on numerous worlds.

It was Gretta’s great-great-grandson, Gregor Hadren, who took the next logical, albeit dangerous step. For years, the Obsidian League had, through various front and puppet organizations, served as the primary supplier to entire nations on many different worlds. Vital foodstuffs, weapons and armor and the materials to make more, great and powerful beasts to be trained as mounts — all these and more were provided, at substantial but still worthwhile cost, to kings and emperors across the cosmos. The League had, in fact, made many a fortune by supplying first one side of a conflict with weapons, then the other with even greater arms, then the first with enchanted weapons, and so forth. It’s probable that many wars were extended long past their natural durations, that many thousands of people died, by the actions of the League in supplying opposed warring parties.

But Gregor wanted more. He realized that many of the nations he had supplied had come to depend upon him, and he determined to exploit that power. He sent emissaries to many rulers, emissaries who demanded that they be given an active voice in the governance of the kingdom! Should the king refuse, his country would suffer. His food and weapons would cease to arrive, sent instead to the enemy. His markets would be flooded with gold, rendering the metal near valueless and causing inflation on a massive scale. Ores and raw goods would cease to flow. Mercenaries and bandits could be hired to harass the borders, and farmers and laborers could even be paid not to work, all without causing so much as a visible dent in the finances of the League. No, the only way for such a kingdom to continue to function, and to prosper, was to accept the addition of a “Financial Advisor” to the ruler’s court. For the most part, he would remain uninvolved, allowing the king to rule as he saw fit. Should something arise that might influence the economy of the kingdom — and thus the opportunity for profit or loss on the part of the Obsidian League — the Financial Advisor would make his opinions known, and woe to the king who failed to heed his words.

This new practice has gained the Obsidian League and its front organizations a substantial amount of enmity and a number of new enemies, but to date none have been able to directly oppose it. So far the League has extorted only smaller countries in this manner, but Gregor, now an old man but ambitious as ever, seeks to expand his power into some of the greatest empires and kingdoms of the various worlds. Assuming nobody finds a way of stopping him without destroying themselves, and assuming his heirs do not drastically change the way the organization operates, the Obsidian League can only grow ever more powerful. It may be only a matter of time before entire civilizations dance at the ends of the Hadren family’s strings.

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INSIDE THE OBSIDIAN LEAGUE

The Obsidian League may very well be one of the most powerful organizations in the known multiverse, despite its almost complete lack of any real military might, other than units of hired mercenaries and bodyguards. The influence they wield over multiple governments on multiple worlds is truly astonishing, and the ruling partners — Gregor Hadren, his family, and others — are not at all averse to using that power.

Although the League’s methods are touched upon in the history section above, it’s worth exploring them in greater detail.

Financial Manipulation

By far the Obsidian League’s greatest power lies in its financial control over numerous markets. By cheaply purchasing items that are common on one world and selling them on other worlds where such goods are far more rare, the League generates vast amounts of revenue, while still keeping their prices well below those of any mercantile institution whose resources are restricted to a single plane. The League, through its subsidiary and front organizations, deals in just about anything and everything imaginable: raw goods such as iron, gold, and mithril; foodstuffs such as grains, fruits, and cattle; finished products from works of art to tools to weapons and armor; basic necessities of life such as water or salt; magic items of various sorts; rare beasts valuable either as pets, entertainment, or for the mystical properties of their body parts; and even slaves on those worlds where such practices are accepted.

Not content simply to take advantage of existing markets, the Obsidian League creates new ones and destroys old ones. The League is more than happy to introduce a new luxury — for instance, an incense made with herbs

unavailable on a particular world, one that induces a mild feeling of euphoria and virility in those who breathe it — into an upper-class population for almost no cost at all. They have flooded markets with too much of a particular product or even too much currency, so as to devalue the goods in question and, almost by definition, drastically increase the value of some other competing product. Alternatively, they have been known to flood markets when doing so gains them no profit at all, if it means destroying the economic base of a competing organization.

As mentioned above, the Obsidian League takes a particular interest in wars, as few things are as profitable as selling arms and equipment to all sides of a conflict. Agents of the League have reaped obscene profits not only by selling weapons, but by accepting payments from countries not to sell to their enemies. In fact, the Obsidian League has even used its growing political clout to instigate and extend wars, solely for the purpose of profiting off the ensuing chaos.

Political Power

Under the current Patriarch, Gregor Hadren, the Obsidian League has experienced a substantial growth in political and governmental influence. By insinuating its agents into the courts of kings and forcing them to bow to the League’s pressure, the organization directs the policies of entire nations. Of course, such blatant extortion is not always the most efficient manner of operation, and to date the League has attempted it only in smaller kingdoms with weaker kings. When dealing with more powerful empires, the Obsidian League prefers to trade favors, rather than make demands. By providing specific goods and services for a substantially reduced cost, or even for free, the League can almost guarantee a friendly and receptive ear when it begins to make “suggestions” as to a kingdom’s best course of action.

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To date, the League has used its political clout exclusively for financial ventures: convincing a king to grant their subsidiary organizations favored trading status, creating markets or inflating demand, claiming mines or valuable lands, taking advantage of royal wizards and clerics in locating or creating enchanted items, and encouraging governments to take harmful actions against competing interests. The governing members of the League are, however, considering the advantages and disadvantages of expanding their activities. Would it be a worthwhile endeavor to rule a kingdom absolutely? Would a nation’s taxes make a viable additional source of income to the League’s already overflowing coffers? Would they be able to accomplish even more if they had their own military, or a supply of prisoners and serfs who could be worked far more cheaply than hired laborers?

And if the Hadren family and its supporters indeed decide that complete domination is a profitable move, are they already too powerful and fully ingrained to be stopped?

Customs and Practices

Although not a religious organization in any sense of the word, it would be impossible for the League to remain active on so many different worlds without at least acknowledging the presence and power of the many gods of those realms. To avoid giving offense, and thus potentially damaging the League’s fortunes, every meeting of the Obsidian League’s governing members begins with a session of prayer. These rites are devoted to the gods — particularly those of fortune and finance — of whichever world they happen to be meeting on. These prayer sessions often last upwards of an hour, given the number of deities who must be invoked, but the Hadren family and partners believe in hedging their bets. A tiny percentage of the League’s yearly profits (which still translates into a vast sum of

money) is handed out in “charitable” contributions to various temples and religious sects across the worlds, all the better to curry favor among the gods and their servants.

Beyond that, the Obsidian League has four ceremonies they conduct on a semi-regular basis. The first, used when a new member is initiated into the League, begins with the same prayers as above. The prospective member takes an extended oath of loyalty, to the gods, to the organization, and to the Hadren family Patriarch. During this ceremony, the member is subject to a mark of justice spell, which takes effect should he ever work against the interests of the League as a whole (though competition with other League members is acceptable, so long as it doesn’t damage the organization’s overall interests). The subject is then considered a provisional member, and has one year in which to prove that he can acquire profit and advance the League’s agenda.

At the end of that year, should the individual prove incapable of handling his tasks, he is dismissed from the organization. Those who pass the tests are promoted to full partnership. Said promotion involves its own ritual, again with prayers to the appropriate gods, followed by a repetition of the oaths of loyalty. At this time, the other members also swear oaths to accept the newcomer as one of their own, and to grant him the respect he is due as an equal.

A provisional member who is found wanting, or a full member who violates the precepts of the League and is judged guilty by the remaining partners, is stripped of his rank, position, and membership in a somber ceremony. No prayers are uttered here, no thanks given. The Patriarch ritualistically reads the crimes of which the condemned has been found guilty, and proclaims him outcast from the League. He loses all power and authority, all his resources and possessions gained while a

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member are confiscated, and he is returned to his home world. The mark of justice preventing him from acting against the League remains in place, and operatives watch over him for the rest of his life, to ensure he does not compete with the League, attempt to spread its secrets, or have the mark removed. The Patriarch has been known, on extremely rare occasions, to orchestrate the assassination of former members who are deemed especially dangerous. Such an act is undertaken by the Patriarch alone, without the official consent of the other members, although many of them are unofficially aware of it.

Once a generation or so, the Obsidian League holds a massive ceremony to celebrate the ascension of a new Patriarch (or Matriarch) of the Hadren family. In addition to prayers of thanks and a great feast with enough food to feed entire communities, each of the League’s members renews his oaths of loyalty to the new Patriarch at this time.

Strictures and Requirements

Few requirements exist for serving as a simple employee or laborer for the Obsidian League — or, more accurately, for its subsidiary organizations. As almost none of these common workers know the first thing about the Obsidian League, and believe they labor for just another merchant guild or trading house, no reason exists for being particularly choosy or restrictive.

Becoming a true member of the Obsidian League is an entirely different story.

The League only offers membership to select individuals, those with intelligence, skill, and financial, societal, political and/or mystical connections. The League observes potential recruits , sometimes for years, before approaching them. First the individual is offered a “business proposition” to advance his position. Then he is introduced to several “valuable contacts,”

granted inside information on competitors, and otherwise slowly exposed to the advantages of membership. Only after the subject’s appetite has been whetted and, more importantly, the League has had the chance to observe his reactions and ethical behavior when provided with such opportunities, do the Patriarch and his closest advisors decide if he is to be brought into the fold.

Once someone has become a true member of the Obsidian League, he is bound to follow the organization’s guidelines and obey certain restrictions.

• No member of the Obsidian League may reveal its secrets to those outside the guild, even under pain of torture, death, or the failure of a League operation, without express permission of the Patriarch. • No member of the Obsidian League may engage in any activity, financial or political, that can reasonably be foreseen to have a negative impact on the organization, its goals, or its profits. • Individual members may pursue their own agendas and their own profits, so long as doing so does not detract from their ability to perform their duties to the League. The Obsidian League is entitled to one-quarter of all profits earned by its members’ outside interests, in exchange for their access to League resources. • Members of the League must not fail to honor all the appropriate gods of luck, money, merchants, and other relevant portfolios on whichever world they happen to be operating. Failure to perform a required ritual risks angering the deity and harming the fortunes of the League. • No member of the League will fail to report to the Patriarch the discovery of any financial, political, or mystical advantage that might aid the organization. The Patriarch will 46

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decide if the member may pursue said discovery on his own, or if it should be assigned to others in the League.

• No member of the League will be permitted to abuse his position within the League for his own benefit. Members may access League resources, but misusing League authority for personal use — such as advising a local king to take specific actions, or manipulating one of the League’s puppet organizations — is a crime against the League and ones’ brethren. Violation of any of the above precepts is grounds for expulsion at the least, and assassination in extreme circumstances.

Influence and Outside Connections

The League employs literal armies of laborers, merchants, builders, couriers, and mercenaries. Any attempt to describe the “influence” of an organization that can chart the course of nations, of markets, possibly of entire worlds, would be a futile endeavor. Suffice it to say that an enterprising DM can easily insert the Obsidian League, or its agents, into any society in almost any campaign world.

It is worth noting that the Obsidian League does have occasional dealings with several other interplanar factions. Subsidiary guilds of the Obsidian League occasionally come into conflict with the Steadfast Order of the Shapers of Earthen Splendor, should both organizations compete over certain crafts or constructions. Then again, the League has occasionally employed the Shapers as local workers, and the Shapers have sometimes turned to the League’s front organizations when purchasing raw materials. To date, the members of the Obsidian League do not have a clear idea of just how much the Shapers know of them or their true nature.

Although such contact is even less frequent, the Obsidian League also engages in sporadic dealings with the Twilight Empire, usually when

the League needs the Empire’s assistance in acquiring goods that are illicit or downright illegal on any known world. So far as the League knows, the Twilight Empire has no knowledge of the League’s true nature, but believes its front organizations to be nothing more than the merchant guilds they appear to be.

THE OBSIDIAN LEAGUE EXECUTIVE

Completely unique to this organization, the Obsidian League executive prestige class evolved over the generations as many of the members of the League sought to augment their financial and political acumen with mystical abilities learned from their magically inclined brethren. As they exist now, the Executives are perfectly suited for an organization of this sort. Their spells and innate abilities make them experts at manipulating others into doing their will, and for discovering even the most closely guarded secrets.

Hit Die: d6.

Requirements

To qualify to become an Obsidian League executive, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any lawful

Abilities: Intelligence 10

Skills: Appraise 5, Diplomacy 8, Sense Motive 8, Spellcraft 4

Special: The character must be a member in good standing of the Obsidian League.

Class Skills

The executive’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information

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(Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Int) (each taken individually), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Int), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Obsidian League Executive prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Executives gain no proficiency in any weapon or armor.

Spells: Beginning at 1st level, an executive gains the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells. To cast a spell, the executive must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the spell’s level, so an executive with an Intelligence score of 10 or lower cannot cast these spells. Executive bonus spells are based on Intelligence and saving throws against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + the Executive’s Intelligence modifier (if any). When an Executive receives 0 spells of a given level, such as 0 2nd level spells at 2nd level, the Executive gains only bonus spells, if any. An executive without a bonus spell for that level cannot yet cast a spell of that level. The executive’s spell list appears below. An executive prepares and casts spells just as a wizard does.

The Obsidian League Executive

Fort Ref Will Level BAB Save Save Save Special

Mathematic Savant (Ex): Executives are especially skilled, almost to the point of the supernatural, with numbers. With a DC 12 Intelligence check, an Executive can instantly estimate the total number of any collection of items or creatures she can clearly see, with a margin of error of only about 10 percent. For instance, she might look at a pile of coins and instantly know it contained approximately 2,500 coins, or she might view a charging army and instantly be aware that it was made up of approximately 10,000 soldiers. The DC of this check goes up by 1 for every 10 feet of distance beyond 30 feet; by anywhere from 2 to 5 if the executive’s view is somewhat obscured (by mist, for instance); and by anywhere from 2 to 5 if the items viewed are moving in multiple directions.

Skill Mastery (Ex): At 2nd level, and at every other level after that, the executive may choose to master a single skill from the Obsidian League Executive class skills list. From that point on the executive may take 10 on that particular skill, even under stressful circumstances.

Font of Knowledge (Ex): At 3rd level, the executive has studied and traveled sufficiently that he has a small chance of knowing something about anything. He may make use of the bardic knowledge ability as though he were a

—Spells per Day— 1 234

1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Mathematic savant 1 — — — 2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Skill mastery 1 0 — — 3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Font of knowledge (3rd) 1 1 0 — 4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Skill mastery 2 1 1 0 5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Strength of mind 2 1 1 1 6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Skill mastery 2 2 1 1 7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Traveler of worlds 3 2 2 1 8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Skill mastery 3 2 2 2 9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Font of knowledge (6th) 3 3 2 2 10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Skill master, strength of mind 4 3 3 2

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3rd-level bard. At 9th level, he may use the Duration: Instantaneous

ability as though he were a 6th-level bard. If he has levels in the bard class, these levels stack.

Strength of Mind: At 5th and 10th level, the Executive’s Intelligence and Charisma increase by 1.

Traveler of Worlds (Su): At 7th level, the Executive can communicate with any intelligent, living creature. This is identical in effect to the tongues spell, but it is a permanent, supernatural ability.

Obsidian League Executive Spell List

Executives choose their spells from the following list:

1st level —charm person, command, comprehend languages, detect magic, hypnotism, message, sanctuary, sleep

2nd level — augury, calm emotions, detect thoughts, enthrall, hold person, hypnotic pattern, misdirection, suggestion, tongues, undetectable alignment, zone of truth

3rd level — charm monster, clairaudience/ clairvoyance, confusion, crushing despair, geas, lesser, glibness, good hope, locate object, obscure object, scrying

4th level — arcane eye, detect scrying, discern lies, dominate person, hold monster, locate creature, modify memory, sending

NEW SPELL

Jheric’s Mystical Money Changer

Transmutation

Level: Sor/Wiz 3

Components: V, M

Casting Time: See text

Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)

Target: 1,000 coins/level, none of which may be more than three feet away from another coin

Saving Throw: Will negates (object)

Spell Resistance: Yes (object)

The caster transmutes almost any type of coinage into a monetarily equivalent amount of different coinage. This can turn copper pieces to a lesser number of gold, platinum pieces to a greater number of silver, gold pieces to the equivalent value in iron (if iron happens to be used as currency in a region), and so on, in various combinations. The caster must have at least one of each type of coin the spell is intended to produce, each of which must be examined for one full round. At the end of this time the sample coins disappear, and the spell takes effect. The spell turns as many coins into the single most valuable target coin as possible, then as many into the next most valuable, and so on. Excess coins — the “change,” as it were — remain unaffected.

For example, a 7th-level wizard has come across an enormous pile of mixed gold, silver and copper coins. He wishes to transform it all into platinum and gold, so as to make it more portable. He produces a platinum coin and a gold coin, and spends two full rounds in contemplation. At the end of the two rounds, the hoard is transformed. The DM has already determined that the pile of coins is worth 75,463 copper pieces, so the pile transforms into 75 platinum pieces and four gold pieces, with 6 silvers and 3 coppers remaining.

This spell can be also be used in “reverse,” transforming platinum into gold, gold into copper, and the like. The procedure is the same; the caster selects the type of coin into which he wishes to turn the target coins and contemplates it for a round. Thus, a hoard of 7,500 platinum coins could be transformed into an enormous pile of 7.5 million copper pieces.

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the obsidian league

Metals other than copper, silver, gold and platinum are viable with this spell, so long as the caster has a coin minted of the appropriate metal. Remember that the value of the coins never changes, merely the form they take. Further, the metals must be pure. This spell can neither effect nor create alloys, nor can it create metals with any inherent mystical value such as mithril or adamantine.

The caster must be able to see the coins to be affected. Any coins in the possession of a living being receive a saving throw, as normal.

Material Component: One coin of each of the target metals.

NEW MAGIC ITEM

Obsidian Rod

Based on the design of the wizard Thorenil’s original rod, this is the tool used by the Obsidian League to send agents and even caravans between the planes. The rod is approximately 3 feet in length, and covered with a bewildering array of studs and buttons. By depressing a combination of the studs, the wielder may open a gate to other planes. Randomly depressing buttons opens a gate to a random world: the more buttons pressed, the more distant (in planar terms) the world. It requires a DC 26 Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (the planes) or Spellcraft check to learn how to use the rod with more precision. From that point, the wielder may seek out a world with specific properties, or return to a world with which he is familiar.

The rod functions for a total of 30 minutes per day; this time can be broken up into increments as the wielder prefers.

Strong conjuration, CL 17th, Prerequisites: Craft Rod, gate; Price 220,320 gp.

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