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[ Illuminator Background ] Official Seanchan Background ] Tinker Background ]

Illuminator Background (by Brian Zednick - this background originally appeared at The Tower Library)

Illuminators are a very secretive group of Taraboners who hold the secrets of creating illuminations, or fireworks. Every single member is a Taraboner, and only those born into the guild possess the knowledge of creating fireworks. On very rare occasions, a guild member will marry someone not inside the guild.

Personality: Illuminators are very secretive, and aside from those that perform their displays or sell the smaller fireworks, are rarely seen outside their chapter houses. Illuminators, even rogue ones, never reveal their secrets.

Physical Description: Illuminators appear like Taraboners, only they rarely mask their faces. Many women wear their hair with a multitude of tiny braids.

Relations: The Illuminators a highly secretive. They sell smaller fireworks, and perform displays with larger ones, but all are expensive and if items are sold they come with warnings not to try and open the objects because they might go off (which is true, but highly unlikely). Illuminators and their displays are highly sought by nobility, and small villages try hard to get a few fireworks for a display maybe once a generation. Due to the rarity of the items they sell, Illuminators tend to have the potential for a lot of political power and favors. Anyone caught on the grounds of a Chapter house has a very large chance of being killed, and any Illuminator that goes rogue is considered to have a death sentence on him by the guild.

Lands: The Illuminators have two chapter houses, the main one in Tanchico and a second in Cairhien. The Cairhien chapter house was destroyed when Rand al'Thor first went through the city, and the Tanchico chapter house was destroyed during the fighting following the Dragon being reborn and the Seanchan invasions. Rumor has it that they are looking to establish a new chapter house in Amadicia, however they have as of yet been unable to do so.

Taraboner illuminatorAdventurers: Illuminators are rarely adventurers. They few that are lean towards the Armsman (for guards) and Wanderer classes.

Bonus Skills: Craft (Fireworks), Knowledge (Illuminations), Diplomacy, Innuendo

Background Feats: Artist, Cosmopolitan, Master Illuminator, Mercantile Background

Home Language: Common (Tarabon)

Bonus Languages: Common (Arad Doman), Common (Illian), Common (Cairhien), Common (Tairen)


Cairhienen illuminatorEquipment:
Artisan's tools, bag of gunpowder, firecracker
Short sword, dagger, leather armor
Illuminators Rocket


Illuminator Knowledge:
Must be married to an Illuminator.
   Benefit: Craft (fireworks) and Knowledge (Illuminations) are class skills
   Normal: Craft (fireworks) and Knowledge (Illuminations) are cross-class skills, and may only be learned through specific instruction.

Master Illuminator:
Illuminator background, Craft (fireworks) 6 ranks, Knowledge (Illuminations) 6 ranks
   Benefit: +2 to Craft (Fireworks) and Knowledge (Illuminations) checks, as well as +1 to Diplomacy checks for guild matters (including arranging for displays and selling fireworks).


Craft (fireworks)
You are trained in the creation of fireworks
Check: Fireworks are different than normal crafting skills. Guild members can obtain the materials for creating an object from the chapter house, or from natural surroundings. If they have to obtain materials themselves, raw materials cost 1/4 the selling price (instead of 1/3 like normal items). Like normal craft skills, there is a -2 penalty if artisan's tools are not used.


Firecracker 15
Fireworks 20
Illuminator's Rocket 30

If the craft check fails, the item is useless. If it fails by 5 or more, a mishap occurs and the object explodes. A firecracker causes 1d4 damage to the crafter, a firework causes 1d8, and an illuminator's rocket causes 2d6. Splash damage occurs for a firework (1d4) and an illuminator rocket (1d6). If there are other fireworks in the area, there is a 10% chance that they will go off as well.
Special: This is a cross-class skill for all non-illuminators, and may only be learned through specific instruction from a guild member. Only a rogue guild member would even consider it, and then it would be extremely rare. If the guild finds out that a non-guild member knows how to make fireworks, they will attempt to kill both him and the person who taught him.


New Equipment

Cost: 50 mk
Effect: Firecrackers cause a loud bang, and are commonly sold by the guild. They are small, colorful tubes, wrapped at both ends, with a short fuse. A firecracker can be used as a grenade-like weapon, causing 1 point of damage if it hits its target and giving anyone within a 5 foot radius a -4 penalty to listen checks for one hour.

Cost: 75 mk
Effect: Fireworks are like firecrackers, except that they have a colorful display of light along with their bang. They are similar in appearance, but are larger and not as commonly sold. They can be used as a grenade-like weapons, causing 1d4 points of damage if one hits its target and offering a -4 penalty to listen checks for one hour to anyone in a 5 foot radius and a -4 penalty to spot checks for 5 rounds to anyone within 15 feet looking in the direction of their explosion.





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