Portals of Thay
By By Robert Wiese
The Slave Underground
Not all slaves are cooperative and accepting of their situation in Thay. Some try to escape, and most of the time they are caught and punished as an example to others. So many slaves are in Thay that the Red Wizards have to keep iron control, or they risk a slave uprising that would destroy their economy.
A very few slaves work not for their own freedom, but for the freedom of all slaves and the end of the slave-based economy. These few, led by Ramosa Albionin, are the slave underground. They arrange for a few slaves to escape Thay, through the use of a portal discovered in the basement of the Cracked Glass tavern in Amrutlar, but a widespread disappearance of slaves would bring more attention than the underground wants at present. So, slaves are recruited and sent back to work at their own homes so that they can assist in bringing about the uprising.
Currently only 220 or so slaves are part of the underground, and most of them live in Lapendrar. Whether the underground can achieve its great ambition or not remains unclear, but anyone wagering on it would probably have to put his money on their failing, given the current odds.
The portal in the tavern is not known even to the owner, Mirlat Kimd (NE male human Rgr4/Rog4). He has owned Ramosa for a long time, and his father before him owned her as well. She is vital to his business, because, in addition to the tavern, Mirlat runs an herbalist shop in the adjacent building and secretly has alchemical concoctions made for Red Wizards who are in need of them. Ramosa discovered the portal in an empty wine cask in the basement some 25 years ago, and that is when she started the underground. She does not know where the portal leads, except that it leads out of Thay. In fact, it leads to the basement of a tavern called the Cracked Toad in Ravens Bluff in the Vast.
Ramosa Albionin: Female gnome Ari 2/Exp 7/Rog 6; CR 10; Small humanoid; HD 2d8+4 plus 7d6+14 plus 6d6+12; hp 91; Init +9; Spd 20 ft.; AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 16; Atk None at present, or +11/+6 melee (1d6, quarterstaff), or +16 ranged (1d8/19-20, light crossbow); SA sneak attack +3d6, spell-like abilities; SQ +1 bonus on saves against energy drain and death effects, evasion, gnome traits, traps, uncanny dodge (Dex bonus to AC; can't be flanked); AL LG; SV Fort +7, Ref +12, Will +13; Str 11, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 10. Height: 3 ft. 4 in.
Skills and Feats: Craft(Alchemy) +11, Bluff +11, Climb +4, Craft (poisonmaking) +11, Diplomacy +11, Forgery +8, Gather Information +13, Heal +11, Hide +18, Intimidate +2, Knowledge (nature) +9, Listen +17, Move Silently +21, Profession (herbalist) +9, Search +9, Sense Motive +12, Spot +15, Survival +14; Alertness, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Bluff), Skill Focus (Craft [poisonmaking]), Strong Soul, Trustworthy*.
Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day -- dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation, speak with animals (burrowing mammals only; 1 minute). Caster level 1st; save DC 10 + spell level.
Evasion (Ex): If exposed to any effect that normally allows a character to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, Ramosa takes no damage with a successful saving throw.
Gnome Traits: Ramosa has low-light vision (can see twice as far as a human in low-light conditions). She has a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusions, a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against kobolds and goblinoids and a +4 dodge bonus against giants. She also has a +2 racial bonus on Listen and Alchemy checks (already included in the statistics above).
*Feat from Song and Silence.
Ramosa, the daughter of a gnome noble from Lantan, was captured on the Sea of Fallen Stars and taken into slavery in Thay. She received training as an herbalist and alchemist, and developed her rogue skills in secret. She always planned to escape and return home, but the plight of the slaves touched her heart. She formed the slave underground and keeps it going through her own efforts. She is very careful to observe potential members for an extended period so that no Thayan infiltrator is taken in. So far she has been lucky in this, chiefly because she has been so successful in keeping the existence of the group a secret. She is determined to free all slaves and break the Thayan economy, whatever the cost.
How to Incorporate the Slave Underground Portal Into Your Champaign
- The characters learn of the underground by some means and get embroiled in Thayan politics as a result. Their knowledge of the underground could help them free some slaves who suffer cruelly, but at risk of the greater plan. What do they choose?
- The characters come through the portal into the Cracked Glass and have to explain their presence if caught. Once there, they can adventure in Thay or just return, depending on what you have in mind for them.