I have decided to switch the rules set in my fantasy game from Mongoose's Legend to Pelgrane Press' The 13th Age. The Legend rule set does not work for the game I am trying to run. If I wanted to run a straight combat game, it would work just fine. However, I need something more robust than that. I picked up The 13th Age at GenCon, read half-way through it the first night, and promptly decided this was the system I should utilize for my game. I have already developed the setting, the conflicts, and the current story line. So, I will not be using the Icons or realm from The 13th Age core book. Instead, I am converting my materials to their rules and ideas.
On Icons in the 4th AgeThe Icons in my game represent differing ideals and personal characteristics. They may manifest themselves as certain individuals or through various followers.
Some denizens of the realm view them as gods. This is most often true of those not represented by the Icons. For example, the modern Elven Lord and Lady are said to reside in the forests of Lanark. Most humans will never make it to Lanark and thus not have the opportunity to meet the Lord and Lady. Yet, to those Tuathanas dwelling in or around Lanark, the Lord and Lady can be seen presiding over court.
The Icons change with the Ages. Some continue from Age to Age. Others die out and are eventually replaced by new Icons born for the new Age. The Nathair-Sgiathach (Dragon) is one who has died out, but has yet to be replaced. The Tuathanas kept the Icon around as a bogeyman to use against their human and dwarf slaves. Because of this, the human and dwarf view of the Tuathanas from the prior Age have been folded into the Dragon Icon. Even though the races of dragon and elf were enemies in Ages past, what they have come to represent in the current Age is one in the same.
The Icons are presented here in a manner displaying their primary aspects. However, each Icon may have other aspects or lights in which they can be seen or worshiped.
Heroic Icons: The Baron, The Dwarven Ally, The Hero
Ambiguous Icons: The Elven Lord and Lady, The Wisest Wizard, The Librarian, The Wanderer
Villainous Icons: The Prince of Demons, The Warlord, The Nathair-Sgiathach
If they were given D&D alignments, they would appear something akin to the following chart.
- The Baron
- The Dwarven Ally
- The Hero
- The Elven Lord and Lady
- The Wisest Wizard
- The Librarian
- The Wanderer
- The Prince of Demons
- The Warlord
- Nathair-Sgiathach (The Dragon)
Icon: The Elven Lord and Lady
Quote: We are your past, but also your future. You cannot hope to rule the land without the knowledge of time and strength of arms.
Symbol: Lightning bolt crossing an arrow over a tree
Usual Location: It is thought the Pair wanders the forests near Lanark, but they have not been seen since the start of this Age.
Common Knowledge: The Tuathanas Lord and Lady are grouped together as one Icon. They represent a dualistic way of looking at life and the world. The Lord represents (overbearing) strength, the wild, and directness. The Lady represents order, intelligence, and subtlety. The Lord is the ruler of summer, the predators in the forest, and the forgers of steel. The Lady rules the winter, court, and chantries. They are never seen without one another, even by those who portend to only follow one of the Pair.
Adventurers and the Icon: All Tuathanas follow the ways of the Lord and Lady. The Tuathanas of the current Age, elves, understand the need for both light and dark, good and bad, elf and non-elf in the modern world. They seek to establish a balance in the world where the knowledge of the Tuathanas of old can be combined with the modern sensibilities wherein humans and dwarves are counted as friends and allies.
Not all elves follow the ways of both Icons within the Pair. Some are more likely to follow the Lord or the Lady, somewhat disregarding the other. Still, the need for both the Lord and Lady's abilities are understood, if not utilized.
Allies: The Baron, The Prince of Demons
Enemies: The Dragon
History: The Pair have always existed in one form or another throughout the Ages. Tuathanas Icons from other Ages were simply absorbed by the pair, allowing them to continue representing the Tuathanas people. It is unknown what will happen at the end of this Age. Will they combine into one or will one simply disappear?
The True Danger: Everything will be all right as long as the Pair exist together. If one exists without the other, the power held by the Pair becomes the power held by only one of the Pair. This could bring forth war of steel or of magic.
Icon: The Dwarven Ally
Quote: Look, I know you think you know what happened when Luthais the Hero conquered the old Tuathanas Lord. Why don't you sit down, drink some of this good beer, and listen to the story I heard about it.
Usual Location: Wandering the halls of Stonehaven, sharing stories, brews, and helping his friends.
Common Knowledge: The Dwarven Ally is the tie that binds. All good things in life are held together by other good things in life and he makes sure they stay together. His people believe in community and that strong communities are safer, better places to live, than places where individuals trample over each other for a chance at power. The Dwarven Ally is a brother in arms to all who believe in helping their fellow man survive another day.
Adventurers and the Icon: Adventurers following in the footsteps of the Dwarven Ally are usually not leaders. They believe in taking a vote and going with the flow of the group they travel with, as a whole. The Dwarven Ally will come to the aid of those who aid others.
Allies: The Baron
Enemies: The Warlord, The Prince of Demons
History: The Dwarven Ally grew out of the mining work gangs assembled by the Nathair-Sgiathach. These gangs worked as a team to ensure their masters' desires were achieved while keeping everyone in the work gang alive.
The True Danger: Everything will be all right provided the Dwarven Ally never runs out of Iconic allies. The moment he is all alone, he will crumble upon himself.
Icon: The Warlord
Quote: These fools think they can rule us as the Tuathanas once did. Pity them, for we shall crush them!
Symbol: Barbed sword
Usual Location: The Warlord can be found wandering the halls and campfires of those who gather for ill-gained power. Of late, rumors state he either resides in Cambria or Polworth.
Common Knowledge: The Warlord seeks power for power's sake. He takes no prisoners and asks for no quarter. The Warlord hates the Baron, Dwarven Ally, and the Hero. He is the iconic villain.
Adventurers and the Icon: Adventurers seeking power, glory, and monetary wealth follow the Warlord. They know they must rise in the ranks to become the Warlord, else another follower will strike them down and claim the title for himself. Adventurers with a more criminal bent also seek the Warlord's approval.
Allies: The Warlord has no allies among the Icons. Followers of the Dwarven Ally or the Elven Lord may align themselves with the Warlord's followers out of a feeling of mutual purpose. In the end, the Warlord will always reveal his true colors and betray them for his own gains.
Enemies: The Baron, The Dwarven Ally, The Hero
History: In prior Ages, the Warlord was an aspect separate of the Elf Lord. It was thought the Tuathanas Warlord Icon had folded into the Elf Lord with the rise of man and dwarf. However, that is now thought to not be true. Some believe the Tuathanas' Warlord became part of two Icons: The Elf Lord and The Warlord.
The True Danger: As long as the Warlord faces multiple opponents, he will never gain enough power to claim the world. However, if he can gain his own allies or defeat two of his three enemies, he may yet make that claim. . .
Icon: The Baron
Quote: The people deserve a place to sleep, a farm to supply food, and a warrior to protect them.
Usual Location: The Baron can be found throughout the realms of benevolent leaders. He is most often seen in the lands of Leone, Tamaris, and on occasion, Navea.
Common Knowledge: The Baron is looked upon as the protector of the people. It is his duty to ward against the evils wrought by the Warlord and the Dragon. Most also think it his duty to protect against the Prince of Demons. In truth, the Baron and the Prince rarely cross paths.
Adventurers and the Icon: Adventurers who seek to better the realm work for the Baron. They understand the need to bring light to darkness and sword to monster's gullet.
Allies: The Dwarven Ally, the Hero
Enemies: The Warlord, The Dragon
History: The Baron was born into the current Age. He is descended form the generals who lead the Hero's army at the end of the prior Age. They, in turn, are descended from the slave household leaders who looked after their common slaves, trying to make everyone's lives a little more better and safer.
The True Danger: Everything will be all right , as long as the evil forces in the realm do not attack the Baron as one force.
Icon: The Wanderer
Quote: Have you ever seen the sun setting on the sea? How about the fishing villages along the shores of Leone? Not even the water flowing around the Chantry in the Falls?
Symbol: A pair of boots
Usual Location: The Wanderer is most often found on the roads of the realm or within an inn at the crossroads.
Common Knowledge: The Wanderer represents all those who travel in the world and their worldly knowledge. The Wanderer is generally seen in a goodly light, as he brings news and entertainment to the Baron's followers. The Wanderer likes to travel with the Hero, as the Hero often goes to new places, causing adventure and creating stories to share.
Adventurers and the Icon: Bards, wandering minstrels, diplomats, and spies are among the adventurers who follow the way of the Wanderer. Many believe the tribes of Sleat to all follow the Wanderer. This is a gross generalization showing a misunderstanding of the tribes.
Allies: The Baron, The Hero
Enemies: The Dragon, due to an ages old transgression which led to the downfall of the Nathair-Sgiathach.
History: The Wanderer was brought to the realm by the gnomes.
The True Danger: The Wanderer has a goal and a purpose in this realm. However, he is often distracted by new finds along the roads he travels. As long as these distractions continue, the Wanderer will continue to wander. When the distractions end, the Wanderer's true purpose will be made known – for good or evil.
Icon: The Prince of Demons
Quote: You know the cost of doing business with me. Souls.
Symbol: A pair of spiked wings
Usual Location: The deepest level of Hell.
Common Knowledge: The Prince of Demons is fighting to increase his power in the realm. The ties that once bound demons into servitude, the old compacts, and the agreements are not in use as much in the current Age, as prior Ages. This has lead to a decrease in the amount of contact the Prince of Demons and his followers have with the realm.
At the same time, an increasing number of demons are finding their own way into the realm. This is partially due to the inability of humans to master summoning magics as well as the Tuathanas of old. This contributes to demons altering compacts or performing “side quests” while summoned to perform bidding. Both of these will eventually bring more power to the Prince of Demons.
In prior Ages, the Tuathanas Lord and Lady were counted upon as allies. In the current Age, the formerly allied Icons have much less contact.
Adventurers and the Icon: Wizards and those wishing to use the powers wrought by demons most often follow this Icon. The compacts and agreements of old still function and those with the greatest power still use the Prince of Demon's minions to accomplish their goals.
Allies: The Wisest Wizard, The Elven Lord and Lady
Enemies: The Baron, The Hero
History: The Prince of Demons has existed since time began. He arranged the first compacts and first taught the Tuathanas how to perform magic. In the past, he was satiated by the souls fed to his realm from the Tuathanas. With the decreasing sacrifices, he searches for a new source of power.
The True Danger: Everything will be all right as long as the compacts and agreements are not lost to time and the Prince of Demons does not find a way to enter this realm.
Icon: The Hero
Quote: As long as I still wield this sword, no monster shall harm you.
Symbol: A simple, lone shield
Usual Location: The Hero has gone quiet since the start of the current Age. There has not been a need for him to show his face in the realm. It is said when his time is needed, he will return to the realm to, once again, free people from oppressors.
Common Knowledge: The Hero is the manifestation of hope for the oppressed. He understands his role is to sacrifice his wants and needs for the people he represents. He represents that lone individual, making a stand against all who would do wrong. The Hero's manifestation in the prior Age was a human, but was still seen as an ally by the dwarf communities.
Adventurers and the Icon: Adventurers walking the path of The Hero represent the good in the world. They know they will stand on the edge of the world and face down evil. They are the rally point against raiders.
Allies: The Baron, The Dwarven Ally
Enemies: The Dragon, The Warlord, The Wanderer
History: The Hero is a product of the prior Age. He manifested as a human named Luthais and led the human and dwarf army in their defeat of the Tuathanas. With the aid of the Wanderer, he was able to reach a deal with a fifth columnist group of Tuathanas who would eventually become the Lanark Elves. The Hero does not consider the Wanderer a friend due to the Wanderer's habit of not choosing a side.
The True Danger: Everything will be all right , unless the Warlord or the Dragon finally defeat the Hero.
Icon: The Wisest Wizard
Quote: Vasago, Saminga, and Barbaras, I beseech you remember the compacts of old and send me a servant worthy of your name. Let him bring forth the power I seek!
Symbol: Circle of power
Usual Location: The Chantry at the Top of the World
Common Knowledge: The Wisest Wizard is the grandest of all spell-casters. He has existed since the First Age and none may know than he. The Wisest Wizard once sat upon the many councils of the land, lending his knowledge to all. He spurred the creation of the different chantries across the land and led the defense of the Tuathanas people against the Nathair-Sgiathach. It was against his council that humans were taught magic. Yet, it was with his council that the magic of the Nathair-Sgiathach and their dwarf servants was learned and mastered in ways the Nathair-Sgiathach may not have ever dreamt. . . or so they say.
Adventurers and the Icon: Adventurers in the service of the Wisest Wizard are often, themselves, spell-casters. They search for lost tomes of knowledge, the unknown places of the world, and the lost magic items of the world. They understand the need to master the ability of summoning demons is both the most powerful and most dangerous of all magics.
Allies: The Elven Lord and Lady, The Prince of Demons
Enemies: The Dragon, The Hero
History: The Wisest Wizard has always been a male Tuathanas, until the current Age. It is said the current Wisest Wizard is actually a female half-elf.
The True Danger: Everything will be all right, as long as the Wisest Wizard never goes mad. There are those who fear the change of sex and species may be signs of a weakening Icon.
Icon: The Nathair-Sgiathach
Symbol: Dragon skull
Usual Location: none
Common Knowledge: The Nathair-Sgiathach, or Dragon, is a deceased Icon. When the Tuathanas destroyed the last dragon, this Icon fell in to a deep slumber. When the human and dwarf alliance overthrew their Tuathanas slave owners, the slumbering Icon died. There are scattered locations of dragon graveyards throughout the world. The Wisest Wizard and the Librarian are said to be the only ones who know of said locations and they are not sharing them. The dragon bones can be used to fuel powerful magics and craft items of wondrous abilities.
Adventurers and the Icon: There are no adventurers following this Icon. Those that would are following something else far more sinister and unknown to the world at large. There are occasional rumors of someone trying to resurrect the Nathair-Sgiathach or summon the soul of one to this realm. Thus far, no one has made any contact with any Nathair-Sgiathach or their souls.
Enemies: The Elf Lord and Lady, The Baron, The Dwarven Ally
History: The Nathair-Sgiathach are the age old enemies of the Tuathanas. The dragons lost the war with the elves. The Elves systematically hunted down all dragons and slaughtered them.
The True Danger: The true danger is not in the Nathair-Sgiathach returning, but in what has replaced them in the world. . .
Icon: The Librarian
Quote: The knowledge you seek may be found within a library found on the other edge of the world. Once you reach that library, I will aid you in locating the book.
Symbol: An open tome
Usual Location: One of the five chantries.
Common Knowledge: The Librarian is one part historian, one part sage, and one part hermit. The
Adventurers and the Icon: Those adventurers following the path of this Icon are those seeking knowledge. While these people strike close to the same anvil as those following the Wisest Wizard, followers of the Librarian concern themselves with more than just magically related quests. They seek the knowledge gained by the Wanderer's wanderings, the historical knowledge held by the Elf Lord and Lady, and realms never gleamed from the Wisest Wizard.
Allies: The Wisest Wizard, The Wanderer
Enemies: The Warlord
History: Historically, the Librarian is the weakest of the Icons in terms of physical power. The Librarian's wealth of knowledge more than makes up for this, making her on-par with the summoning abilities of the Wisest Wizard. While the Librarian often sits among those abstaining from good and evil, she falters to the side of good when pushed.
The True Danger: Everything will be all right as long as the libraries of the world are not destroyed and knowledge lost.