Dragon 390 - Groups & Guilds: The Circle of Smoke and Whispers

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DnDi_Large.png  Dragon 390
Groups & Guilds
The Circle of Smoke and Whispers

By Daniel Jones

The war between Bael Turath and Arkhosia isn't over.

The Dragonborn may have "won" the war, but such is but a minor setback to the hellish masters who manipulated the Turathi armies.  During the last years of the war, a Druid circle was targeted by the Devils, contrary to the interests of Bael Turath.  With only a single contact of the lone survivor of that initial attack still fighting the battle against them, The Circle of Smoke and Whispers was born: a secret, nearly unknown society dedicated to rooting out the devils pulling the strings of the events around the world.

Will you become a member of this Circle?  If you do, you'll have access to a new skill power, as well as a Paragon Path dedicated to stealth and the three virtues of the organisation: Elusiveness, Unflinchingness, and Vigilance. 

What does this amount to?  Powers and features for your Wisdom or Charisma-based hero to get him/herself and his/her party into stealth mode, and then go critfishing from hidden or invisible states. 

For a decade, her secretive opponents assumed they’d dealt with Haziah and her efforts to bring their plots to light. Not all of Haziah’s allies had been killed, however. A ferocious dragonborn warden named Rhagash, longtime friend and confidante of the fallen druid, harbored thoughts of vengeance within his calculating breast. Having bitterly learned from Haziah’s forthrightness, he instead watched and planned throughout the long years. He carefully marshaled his resources, mustered what allies he could from among those he trusted, rigorously prepared his response, and then struck.


Talk about this article here.
390_gg_smoke_whispers.jpg

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Out of curiousity, is that sword going through that guy's neck? Judging by the angle of the blade, it doesn't look like the blade could be in that position without being lodged somewhere nasty.
Out of curiousity, is that sword going through that guy's neck? Judging by the angle of the blade, it doesn't look like the blade could be in that position without being lodged somewhere nasty.

He's part of their crack suicide brigades. (I think he's resting the blade against the back of his neck, so no Artfoul except for the eyebrow-quirkin' perspective.)

Flavor: Eh. All over the place.

Crunch: Huh? All over the place.
D&DNext: HTFU Edition
Out of curiousity, is that sword going through that guy's neck? Judging by the angle of the blade, it doesn't look like the blade could be in that position without being lodged somewhere nasty.

He's part of their crack suicide brigades. (I think he's resting the blade against the back of his neck, so no Artfoul except for the eyebrow-quirkin' perspective.)



No, something there is definitely messed up. Compare his hand holding the hilt of the blade to where it is laying flat against his chest, and where it then comes out behind him. We've got an almost Escher-esque change in its positioning in different areas of the painting.

the various zones in the article are interesting in that they do not impart upon the caster any special ability to see within them, as more often is the case.
(I think he's resting the blade against the back of his neck, so no Artfoul except for the eyebrow-quirkin' perspective.)

No, something there is definitely messed up. Compare his hand holding the hilt of the blade to where it is laying flat against his chest, and where it then comes out behind him. We've got an almost Escher-esque change in its positioning in different areas of the painting.

I'm not saying that it's not weird. The misuse of perspective makes much of the composition wacky. I just don't see him decapitating himself due to too-big blade/too-small head/normal blade/too-huge hands.
the various zones in the article are interesting in that they do not impart upon the caster any special ability to see within them, as more often is the case.

Yeah, the mechanics are a mixed bag of bemusement.
D&DNext: HTFU Edition
(I think he's resting the blade against the back of his neck, so no Artfoul except for the eyebrow-quirkin' perspective.)

No, something there is definitely messed up. Compare his hand holding the hilt of the blade to where it is laying flat against his chest, and where it then comes out behind him. We've got an almost Escher-esque change in its positioning in different areas of the painting.

I'm not saying that it's not weird. The misuse of perspective makes much of the composition wacky. I just don't see him decapitating himself due to too-big blade/too-small head/normal blade/too-huge hands.



Oh sure - I agree that it doesn't actually look like its going through his head. But the fact the blade looks like the edge is facing his skin down by his hand, and then looks like the blade is flat against his chest farther up... that's just careless.

Art-wise, I'm a little more curious as to why there's a second picture (of a goliath holding a hammer and dagger) hidden behind that one.
There is?

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Yes - unless someone's put up a new version without it. If you click around in the lower section of the 'surface' picture you'll get its highlight box and can copy-paste it into paint or some other tool.

I only noticed this because, the first time I loaded the file, it loaded the 'hidden' image a second before it loaded the 'surface' one, and I wondered at the change and clicked around to find it.

I don't think there's anything sinister going on here - it was probably just an earlier piece of placeholder art that wasn't properly removed.