Loudwater

Loudwater

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Faerun North-West & Sword Coast





























From the north down, the indicated territories along the coast are:
Ten Town Confederation in Icewind Dale - Good/Unaligned, pop. 15,000, Council of Ten.
Viklund, Ruathym Norse coastal Jarldoms - Unaligned, pop. 40,000, Seven Jarls.
City of Waterdeep, including Neverwinter - Unaligned, pop. 800,000, Open Lord Dagult Neverember, Masked Lords. Known Portals: Grove of Silvanus Portal east of City. Moon Portal in Temple of Selune. Blackstaff Tower portal.
Duchy of Daggerford - Unaligned, pop. 55,000, Duke Haskar Tyndal, Guild Council. The new Duke's Castle is sited south of the river, with the Akanul Portal lying west of south Daggerford. Magister Ilyrio governs old Daggerford, called Northdock, aided by Customs Officer Sathira, a black woman of Chultan ancestry.
City of Baldur's Gate - Unaligned/Good, pop. 975,000, Grand Duke Portyr Balduran, Parliament.

The major inland territories are:
Kingdom of Luruar (Silver Marches) - Good, pop. ca 375,000, High Lord Methrammar Aerasumé
Shield Dwarf Holds (various) - Lawful Good, pop. ca. 50,000 total, Lord Battlehammer et al
Empire of Netheril - Evil/Unaligned, pop. ca 3.5 million, Telamunt Tanthul, Most High of the Twelve Princes of Shade
Serpent Realm of Najara - Evil, pop. unknown, the Dark Naga Najant 'King of Snakes'
Zhentarim Darkhold (east of Najara) - Evil, pop. 100,000, "The High Commander"
Kingdom of Elturgard - Lawful Good, pop. 560,000, King Pyvim I Kyatt (1480-)
Kingdom of Cormyr - Lawful Good, pop. 1.45 million, King Foril Obarskyr (b. 1409)

Dominions of the Gray Vale Region:

Graywood Elves pop. 600 - Elf-King Cirallon Swan-cloak
Tigerclaw Uthgardt/Direwood pop. 3,000
Halfling Shires of the Heartblood pop. 1,200 - Upwater & Downwater Sheriffs
Loudwater pop. 12,000 - Lady Moonfire, High Lord of the Vale. Amarindar Portal in Southwood. Includes
Secomber pop. 1000+ - 'Lord Baldhead'
Southwood Goblins/Korzzbad pop. 15,000 goblins ("five thousand blades") - vassal to Llorkh
Orlbar pop. 3,000 - Queen Valeris Mistress Emesha, leader of the Light of the Sun Order
Llorkh pop. 8,00? inc Timbervale, Irondawn - Queen Esmerelda. 'Zhent Portal' (locked) in Temple of Bane.
inc Loagrann pop. 2,000? - The Mountain King, Oro Loroth 
Frost Giants of the Graypeaks - north of Loagrann, number unknown, raid Loagrann
Adakmi pop. 400 - Citadel Council
Vale of Naurogloth/Glintshield Dwarves pop. 850?
Vale of Naurogloth/Severed Eye Orcs pop. 2,000+? (dec'd M9 1480 DR)

Following the ravages of the Hand of Naarash 1474-1479 DR, the valley of the Upper Delimbyr along the Black March is now almost entirely abandoned by civilised folk.

Knight Old photo KnightOld.jpg
Pyvim I Kyatt, King of Elturgard, Duke of the Westmarch

1480 DR M2 - News from Elturgard


News of upheaval in Elturgard to the south – following a major gnoll raid on Scornubel, there comes the revelation that the High Observer had allowed the Reaching Woods to become infested with the brutes over twenty years. The High Observer is forced to resign in disgrace. Nobles and common folk have come together to demand  a secular ruler to balance the power of the Theocracy. Following favourable auguries, the new High Observer of the Order of Torm has anointed the popular Duke Pyvim Kyatt of Westmarch as King Pyvim I of Elturgard, coronated new year's day 1480 DR. The new King has promised to deal effectively with the various threats to the Realm, most pressingly the Gnolls of Reaching Woods that had been allowed to grow unchecked through the dereliction of the previous High Observer.
Pyvim also promises to deal with whatever evil the old High Observer left sealed within Fort Morninglord.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Graywood Elves & Southern High Forest

King Cirallon Swan-Cloak
Elves of the Graywood 
population. ca. 600
South-west of the Star Mounts and west of the Unicorn Run river, in the far south-west of the High Forest, there lies the small Wood Elf realm of the Graywood. The Graywood elves are believed to number only a few hundred, but they defend their borders (around three hundred square miles, ten deep by thirty wide) well against Uthgardt savages, Dark Elf slavers of Phaervorul, forest Gnolls, Orcs, and other foul beasts.
The Elves are ruled by the elf-king Cirallon.

King Cirallon Swan-cloak (1288-, Lvl 18 Defender), a powerful Sword-Mage, rules from his seat at Nordhaeril. He knows Arcane rituals to 18th level. Cirallon, a wood elf of sombre and regal demeanour, is married to his gorgeous half-elven Queen Avaranme.

Queen Avaranme Aerasumé 'the Healer' (1420-, Lvl 16 Leader), half-elf grand-daughter of Queen Alustriel of Silverymoon; her half-elven mother Lydia Aerasumé (1360-1472 DR) was sister to Luruar's current High Lord, her uncle Methrammar. Avaranme is gifted by Hanali Celanil (Sune, Goddess of Love & Beauty) with considerable powers - both as a healer and as a Paragon Heartwarder of Sune. Avaranme's stunning beauty is more sensual than ethereal; it is said that the mere sight of her can drive mortal men mad with desire. Avaranme can create Potions of Vitality, Keoghtem's Ointment, and other healing items to 16th level at 1/5 standard cost, and knows Religious & Healing Rituals  to 16th level. The royal couple have three young children, two daughters and a son, but King Cirallon is rumoured to be exasperated by the Sunite doctrine that 'love should be shared', and now keeps Avaranme away from non-elven males. The royal couple's eldest child Princess Moonshadow will soon come of age.

Queen Avaranme the Healer, Heartwarder of Sune
Recently (M2 1480 DR) the Wood Elves have been troubled by signs of fire giant activity in the region of the Endless Caverns, among the headwaters of the Unicorn Run. The famous 'Stronghold of the Nine' on the west bank of the Unicorn Run marks the eastern border of the Graywood, and is currently used as a bastion and patrol base for twenty elven Rangers of the Graywood. The "Rangers of the Nine" are currently commanded by Captain Quen Harrowleaf (Ranger, lvl 15), brother to Captain Viylir't'thin Harrowleaf of Loudwater's Guard Patrol. The elves had good relations with the affable Grimnosh, the 'Riddling Dragon' of the Endless Caverns. Grimnosh perished M4 1480 DR, killed by two Chimerae lured to his lair by greedy Phaervorul drow.

Captain Quen Harrowleaf
Level 15 Artillery
Medium natural humanoid (elf)
XP 1,200
HP 84; Bloodied 42
AC 28; Fortitude 27; Reflex 28; Will 26
Speed 6
Initiative +14
Perception +16
Low-Light Vision
Standard Actions
m Short Sword (weapon) • At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +20 vs. AC
Hit: 3d6 + 5 damage.
r Longbow (weapon) • At-Will
Attack: Ranged 20/40 (one creature); +22 vs. AC
Hit: 2d10 + 12 damage
R Rapid Shot (weapon) • At-Will
Attack: Ranged 20/40 (two attacks); +20 vs. AC
Hit: 2d10 + 5 damage.
Minor Actions
Hunter’s Quarry • At-Will
Effect: He designates the enemy nearest to him as his quarry. Once per round, he deals 2d6 extra damage to his quarry with an attack. This effect lasts until the end of the encounter, until the quarry is defeated, or until he uses this power again.
Skills Dungeoneering +16, Nature +16
Str 16 (+10)
Dex 25 (+14)
Wis 18 (+11)
Con 20 (+12)
Int 17 (+10)
Cha 14 (+9)
Alignment good     Languages Common, Elven, Giant
Equipment leather armor, short sword, longbow, arrow x30
At full strength the Rangers of the Nine number twenty men, all experienced archers and scouts:
Ranger of the Nine
Level 15 Minion Artillery
Medium natural humanoid (elf)
XP 300
HP 1; DT 17/8
AC 28; Fortitude 27; Reflex 28; Will 27
Speed 6
Initiative +11
Perception +14
Low-Light Vision
Standard Actions
m Short Sword (weapon) • At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +20 vs. AC
Hit: 10 damage.
r Longbow (weapon) • At-Will
Attack: Ranged 20/40 (one creature); +22 vs. AC
Hit: 12 damage.
R Rapid Shot (weapon) • At-Will
Attack: Ranged 20/40 (two attacks); +22 vs. AC
Hit: 9 damage.
Skills Dungeoneering +14, Nature +14
Str 13 (+8)
Dex 19 (+11)
Wis 15 (+9)
Con 14 (+9)
Int 14 (+9)
Cha 14 (+9)
Alignment good     Languages Common, Elven, Giant

The thirty-strong Kingsguard defend the persons of King Cirallon and Queen Avaranme:

Graywood Kingsguard
Medium fey humanoid
Level 15 Minion Soldier
HP 1; DT 17/8    Initiative +11
AC 31, Fortitude 28, Reflex 26, Will 27 Perception+15
Speed 7 Low-light vision
Traits
Wild Step
The elf ignores difficult terrain when it shifts.
Standard Actions
 Spear (weapon)  At-Will
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +20 vs. AC
Hit: 11 damage.
Effect: The elf marks the target until the end of the elf’s next turn.
Triggered Actions
Elven Accuracy  Encounter
Trigger: The elf makes an attack roll.
Effect (Free Action): The elf rerolls the triggering attack roll and uses the second result.
Skills Athletics +14, Nature +12
Str 15 (+9)                Dex 15 (+9)                Wis 16 (+10)
Con 18 (+11)                Int 11 (+7)                Cha 13 (+8)
Alignment Good        Languages Common, Elven
Equipment: chainmail , spear, large shield, longsword .
Published in Dungeon Magazine 200.

King Cirallon is also advised by Merath Anuvias, a veteran wood elf Silverstar of Selune:

Merath Anuvias, male Wood Elf Silverstar
Medium fey humanoid
Level 15 Controller
HP 64; Bloodied 32; Healing Surges 10; Surge Value 16 Initiative +9
AC 30, Fortitude 27, Reflex 27, Will 30 Perception+11
Speed 7 Low-light vision
Traits
Wild Step
Merath ignores difficult terrain when he shifts.
Standard Actions
 Moon Touch (charm)  At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +19 vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d8 + 11 damage, he can slide the target 1 square, and the target cannot make opportunity attacks until the end of  his next turn.
 Silver Ray (radiant)  At-Will
Attack: Ranged 20 (one creature); +19 vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d10 + 11 radiant damage, and he is invisible to the target until the end of his next turn. In addition, the target is considered to have been hit by a silvered weapon.
 Glorious Presence (charm, radiant)  Encounter
Attack: Close burst 2 (enemies in the burst); +19 vs. Will
Hit: 3d6 + 11 radiant damage, and he pushes the target up to 2 squares.
Effect: Merath and each ally in the burst gains 9 temporary hit points.
Triggered Actions
Elven Accuracy  Encounter
Trigger: Merath makes an attack roll.
Effect (Free Action): Merath rerolls the triggering attack roll and uses the second result.
Lingering Magic  Encounter
Trigger: An effect Merath imposed on an enemy would end on his current turn.
Effect (Free Action): The triggering effect instead ends at the end of Merath’s next turn.
Skills Arcana +15, Bluff +16, Diplomacy +16, Insight +14, Nature +11
Str 12 (+8)                Dex 14 (+9)                Wis 15 (+9)
Con 17 (+10)                Int 16 (+10)                Cha 18 (+11)
Alignment Good        Languages Common, Dwarven, Elven
Equipment: robes, holy symbol of Selune.
Religious, Healing & Arcane rituals to Level 15.

Material below in italics adapted from 'The North' by TSR.

Nordahaeril pop. 100 (Wood Elf Royal Court)
Nordahaeril, the main settlement of the Graywood elves, is a small tree-city west of the Stronghold of the Nine. King Cirallon holds court here with his Queen, Avaranme. It is a series of houses built around and in the trunks of the massive trees at the forest’'s heart. Consisting of approximately 20 trees and 30 individual buildings or huts interconnected by swinging vines, branch roads, and rope bridges between the trees, this settlement is typically home to about 100 sylvan elves. There is only one entrance to this colony from the forest floor, and it is a heavily guarded winding stair that ascends 100 feet up the interior of a massive oak to the lowest of Nordahaeril’'s outbuildings.

Stronghold of the Nine (Caerilcarn in Elvish) pop. 20 Elf Rangers of the Graywood

This fortress/cavern complex is shrouded by tall trees, and hard to find without an elven guide. A former Ammarindar dwarfhold once rebuilt by the Nine, a famous adventuring band led by the female archmage Laeral. Long-since abandoned by that group of heroes, it was taken over by wood elf Rangers of Graywood in service to King Cirallon who claimed the title of “Rangers of the Nine” as their own—, apparently with the blessing of Laeral.

Unicorn Run River
This clear, pristine river begins at the very heart of the High Forest, right at the base of the Star Mounts. Sacred to Mielikki, it is known for its purity, excellent fishing, and slow-moving current, as well as the fact that it'’s a gathering place for unicorns. Although the water does not detect as magical, something draws unicorns to its banks. 

The Sisters
South of the Star Mounts lie a series of escarpments and gorges created by the flow of the Unicorn Run called the Sisters. Considered the most beautiful and idyllic of locations by all who 

ever gaze upon them, the many multi-leveled waterfalls of the Sisters show the beauty that results from unspoiled nature. The mists and waters of the falls provide the moisture that allow scrub grass and vegetation to grow on the high plateaus and cliffs around them. These plateaus are home to a large number of centaurs, nereids, naiads, sylphs, pixies, and leprechauns. To see the moon rise over the Sisters and spot a unicorn atop a cliff is considered a blessing of good fortune from Mielikki.
Ancient elven legend of Eaerlann says that this sacred place is the Womb of the World; the Earth-Mother Chauntea calls the new races of Faerun into being here.

The Endless Caverns 
At the edge of the Sisters, the broken lands south of the Star Mounts, numerous caverns dot the cliffs, and most are unremarkable. However, a northern fork of the Unicorn Run flows from a huge opening in the cliff face, and the cave it creates is the entrance to what Harper rangers and druids know as the Endless Caverns. These are a series of deep-reaching cavern and tunnel complexes that the elves of Eaerlann (as do the elves and centaurs of the High Forest today) believed had connection points with the Deep Realms of Underearth. In the ancient days after the abandonment of Eaerlann, Grax Rekaxx, an ancient green dragon, made the mouth of the Endless Caverns his home. His moss-covered bones decorate the outermost cave chamber, where the river falls a short distance to join the Unicorn Run. However, no trace was found of his vast dragon hoard after his slaying at the hands of elven adventurers from Evereska ca 950 DR. For the past two centuries (ca 1300-1480 DR), Grimnoshtasdrano, the “Riddling Dragon (Large adult green),” made his residence in the ancient lair of Grax. He had quite an old and substantial hoard for a dragon of his relatively young age; he was simply the first to uncover the remains of Grax’'s hoard and absorb it into his own. Despite some distaste, Grimnosh left the bones of Grax in place simply as a warning to those who would test his patience. Grimnosh had good relations with the wood elf Rangers of the Nine. He fell to Chimerae in 1480 DR.
A human ranger, Skimmerhorn of Secomber, once reported evidence of illithid activity here on his investigation there in 1356 DR. Returning within a year’'s time with a band of adventurers and fellow rangers, they ventured into the Endless Caverns, flushed out an encampment of illithids and drow slavers, and went deeper to collapse the tunnels used to reach the surface. No word of their success— or survival— ever reached Secomber.

The Star Mounts
The majestic Star Mounts rise far above the forest canopy, usually shrouded in clouds or mist, making the view of the peaks impossible but for a few weeks  out of the year. Two rivers, the Unicorn Run and Heartblood River, claim headwaters from these mountains. The elves of Eaerlann first named the mountains, giving them the same names as stars in the northern heavens. Most of the original names are forgotten, only their rough translations survive: Bard’s Hill, Mount Vision, and Hunterhorn. Yet, a few are remembered: Y’tellarien (the Far Star), called Far Peak; Y’landrothiel (Traveler’s Star), called Mount Journey; and N’landroshien (Darkness in Light), called Shadowpeak. The forest south of the mountains hides a gnarled surface that might be called a badland were it not so densely thicketed. 
To the north, the land is unusually smooth, as if leveled with a woodworker’s plane. The mountains are also known to be rich in metals, including remarkably pure iron and nickel. But since the end of Eaerlann, no one mines there. The Star Mounts are an unapproachable curiosity. The ancient elven names hint at some unfathomable mystery, though most suspect the elves know the truth of it. As far as anyone knows, no flying creature less powerful than a dragon can land there due to constant and usually fierce winds. Huge crystals dot the surface of the mountains, many as large as small houses. There are several tower spires in the mountains with walls made of fractured crystal shards. When moonlight strikes the crystals, it creates webworks of reflected light across the surface of the mountain. On a spire at the heart of the Star Mounts during the full moon, the crystals' patterns of light are rumored to generate a gate to another plane (Arvandor?), and/or the light has the ability to resurrect anyone laid within the cairn of standing stones at its top of the spire.
Deva are known to incarnate here, and to return here when called.
Kenku wardens dwell here, guarding the crystal towers, and do not welcome visitors.

UTHGARDT

Black Dog Clan Uthgardt pop. 240+
This small Uthgardt clan dwelt towards the south edge of the High Forest, east of the Dire Wood and north of Castle deTrevani. They include the young half-elven Druidess Arael or 'Fires of the Heart' (Dru), formerly one of the Burning Hand adventurers with Esmerelda of Llorkh.  In M4 1479 DR their sacred oak was burned by the renegade Tiefling Morthos of Luskan, but they have since recovered, not least thanks to Arael's magical powers. As of M4 1480 DR the Black Dog Clan are believed to have withdrawn to the north, beyond the Heartsblood River, in search of a new Sacred Oak deeper in the High Forest.

The Dire Wood
The Dire Wood is about 20 miles across, ca 1400 square miles, though some say that within distance is oddly distorted, that it's larger within than without. It's marked by an outer ring of frozen, petrified white oak trees. Strange beasts unknown in the outside world are commonly encountered there. At the heart of the Dire Wood lies a redstone butte embedded with green crystals; legends say this was once a flying city of Netheril. The ruined city of Karse is built at the northern foot of the butte, with the waters of the Heartblood River lapping its crumbling quays.

Tigerclaw Uthgardt pop. ca 3000, with around 1,000 warriors.
Prince Konn, Son of Scargash, Tigerclaw Tiger Rider
In the winter of 1479-1480 DR, a large band of roaming Uthgardt barbarians unaffiliated with the  northern Tree Ghost Tribe crossed the frozen Heartsblood River and entered the Dire Wood. Some of the Tigerclaw are Shifters, with the blood of tigers in their veins. Reports from elven scouts and the river-halflings of the Heartsblood indicate that the Tigerclaw are searching the ruins of Karse. They have numerous snow tiger companions, and there are reports that a large white dragon has been seen accompanying them. The Ranger Jorah Blackthorn reported that the Uthgardt have referred to the dragon as Bitterstrike, and that it (she) has only one eye.
1481 DR: The Tigerclaws under Prince Konn (Level 16 Striker) are friendly but distant to Loudwater to the south.

The River Halflings of the Heartsblood River pop. ca. 1,200
Some 1,200 halflings have long dwelt in well-hidden burrows along the banks of the Heartblood river, with the exception of the central run where it dips into the sinister Dire Wood and laps the ancient stone quays of ruined Karse. They are a goodly folk, though reclusive and tight-lipped. In olden times they often ventured south to trade with the folk of Loudwater, but the fall of Castle deTrevani to the Hill Orcs made that trip too dangerous for any but the boldest. The River Halflings are said to be divided into two Shires, Upwater and Downwater, bisected by the northern thrust of the Dire Wood. Each Shire has its own Shire-Reeve, an elected headman, currently Will Oakshot is the Downwater Sheriff. Most halflings travel miles overland rather than take the water-route past Karse; many rash souls who dare the water-trip are never seen again.
The borders of both Upwater and Downwater are protected by the Bounders (MP1 pg 28), an elite cadre of halfling warriors under Tal Goodfellow (Level 14 Defender).
Update: The restoration of deTrevani Barony by Amara deTrevani & Ashara of Akanul from M2 1480 DR onwards has opened up the Heartblood River and the River Shires to trade with Loudwater once more.
 22/6/1480: Night has fallen when you spot the bluebell trail down to the hidden dell where nestles the Halfling village of Downwater. Approaching you are met by Bounders, the Halflings' elite guards, who escort you to the Shire-Reeve's hillside estate/halfling-hole. You are taken to an antechamber (Lirael ducking) to wait while your leter of introduction is presented to the Shire-Reeve. After a short time Shire-Reeve Will Oakshot, a bewhiskered middle-aged fellow, enters and greets you. With him is a lean, weatherbeaten Halfling with a warrior's look - Tal Goodfellow, leader of the Bounders. Will greets you cordially: "Any friend of the Baroness deTrevani is a friend of mine!" Tal is more taciturn., You ask about the Tigerclaw. Will: "They passed through Upwater Shire last winter on their way in to Karse. The Bounders monitored them..." Tal nods: "We count them as three thousand, with a thousand warriors, hunting cats and sabretooths in numbers too. And the dragon of course. They've claimed the Dire Wood for their own; drove out or killed every orc and goblin they find. We avoid them, and as far as we know, they don't know we exist."
 Tal: "We didn't want to take a chance, so we told the Folk to hide from them. They've kept very tight within the Boundary Line of the Dire Wood, and we don't go in there, so no trouble - they've harmed none of us directly. We had some trouble with Frost Goblins fleeing the Dire Wood though... took us a couple days to hunt 'em all down, and a couple of my men were wounded." Will nods: "Aye, but now they've cleared the Dire Wood I'd say they're about as good neighbours as one could expect, for a place like that. From what you were telling me, Tal, looks like there's not a single Orc or Goblin clan left south of the Heartblood now, from here to the Star Mounts. First time I could say that in a hundred years - perhaps forever." Will Oakshot lights his pipe and puffs contentedly. "So far, they've been good news for us. But we didn't want to risk approaching them, just in case..."
Shire-Reeve Will Oakshot offers Dunstan and Lirael smoking pipes, then continues: "If I were a religious man, I'd say Lady Yondalla - that's yer Mielikki/Chauntea, Miss Lirael - had sent them Uthgardt as a blessing to us. I feel it in me bones - good times are coming to the Shires, and the Vale." The Bounder captain Tal Goodfellow smiles wryly as he lights his own pipe. "Perhaps, Will, perhaps. But I'll be keepin' up my prayers to Arvoreen the Defender, just in case..."
Upwater: Will Oakshot: "Upwater folks are a little queer, if you ask me... Tattoos and hair-braids - why, they're half-Uthgardt themselves! But Tal knows them well and seems to get on with them, don't you Tal?"

Karse (ruin)
In the center of the Dire Wood are the ancient ruins of Karse. In older days, religious Netherese emigrants built this city at the northern edge of a tall butte of red stone, dotted with green crystals said to be the blood of Karsus. The crumbling redstone docks of Karse lie on the south shore of the Heartblood river, within the Dire Wood perimeter which extends a few miles north of the river at that point.

Like Eaerlann and many places, the town of Karse was abandoned after the fall of Ascalhorn and left to ruin. Both normal forest and black, petrified oaks have grown throughout the ruins. The only building that weather the centuries without scars is an eerie black pyramid that pulses and flickers with a sickly green radiance - the ancient Temple of KarsusThe Netherese lich Wulgreth, whose infamy is legendary as the fool whose meddling demon summoning led to the fall of Ascalhorn, Eaerlann and Ammarindar in 882 DR, made Karse’'s ruins its home after fleeing Ascalhorn/Hellgate, until finally destroyed by the Shadovar Prince Melagaunt of Netheril immediately prior to the Shadovar's return to Faerun in the year of Wild Magic.


Mhiilamniir (ruin)
Mhiilamniir is the most complete reminder of Eaerlann’'s civilization outside of Tall Trees. Less than two days’ travel from the end of the Old Road (or three days’ travel east from the Lost Peaks) puts travelers among the overgrown ruins of the lost temple city of Eaerlann. At the height of Eaerlann’'s civilization, Mhiilamniir was the location of a number of major temples and seats of power for elven clergies of the North. Not one building in Mhiilamniir today is not thoroughly covered by mosses, undergrowth, shrubbery, or small trees. The largest building was the central temple, once dedicated to Corellon Larethian, that sits at the hub of the small grove-enshrouded ruins. With its central dome long shattered and fallen, its jagged edges of stone are the only easily sought suggestions that a city once stood here. Unfortunately, Mhiilamniir is no longer safe for elven pilgrims, since Corellon'’s temple is the lair of an Elder (Huge) green dragon female named Chloracridara (since ca 1350 DR?). Chlora is rabidly paranoid about protecting her not-inconsiderable hoard— from raiders, and she attacks anyone she finds within the ruins of the temple city. Chlora is known to have mated with Grimnosh the riddling dragon, who paid much of Graxx Rekax's hoard for the privilege in dowry, and they have several offspring, young adult green dragons who roam the High Forest and beyond. As of 1480 DR two of her daughters are said to still dwell with Chlora in the ruins.

Reitheillaethor pop. ca. 200-400?
Reitheillaethor is a newish (ca 1360 DR), well hidden wood elven settlement east of Karse, a few miles north-east of the Heartblood River and west of the eastern edge of the High Forest where it rises to the valley of the Upper Delimbyr . Unlike Nordahaeril, this is a colony on the forest floor, still primarily using huts and tents. Many of Reitheillaethor'’s inhabitants are nomads within the forest, coming to this site only during the winter. The few permanent buildings are wooden lodges, and they all seem to have grown out of the entwining roots and bark of the surrounding trees. Reitheillaethor is a circular encampment around one huge, central lodge with four great oaks as its four corners. Seven smaller lodges and a ring of trees form a perimeter around that center, and the remainder of the settlement tends to be individual tents, lean-tos, and temporary cabins. While the sylvan elves of the High Forest are all hunters and gatherers, the elves of Reitheillaethor are also accomplished fishermen and craftsmen. In fact, the graceful yet sturdy pottery they create from the red clay along the banks of the Heartblood River is a valuable trade commodity both within and outside of the High Forest. 



Monday, 17 December 2012

Session 32 Demonic Incursion 2/2/1480 DR

Ashara of Akanul and her apprentice Amara deTrevani return to Loudwater after 6 months in Akanul, only to find themselves in the midst of a demonic invasion...

Amara deTrevani











2/2/1480: After several days' rest at the Tower of Treona, Lirael Halvath Jareth and Palias ride the 14 miles back west to Loudwater. Leaving their horses at the Stables they head north towards the docks to book transit on a ship downriver, entering the open market square in front of the Moonfire Mansion. There Lirael meets Ashara and Amara deTrevani, newly arrived in town via phantom steeds. Having completed her apprentice training, Amara plans to use her powers to retake Castle deTrevani from the Orcs and restore her family fortunes.
Meanwhile a Bard, Quinn, has newly arrived in Loudwater by boat. Passing through the gate from the docks ward he enters the square, and senses a twisted portal opening below 'him', somewhere nearby. Meanwhile a local doomsayer, Malineus Bleak, has ascended the stage in front of the mansion and is haranguing a small crowd with warnings of DOOM!! - certainly true in his case, for suddenly he screams and is consumed in fire. Standing on the stage is a roaring pillar of flame and blackened bones - an Immolith demon! Quinn notices too late as flaming zombies disgorge from the open storm drain behind him and attack. The Immolith orders them to seize the Ring, and attacks Jareth.
The Immolith Appears

A fierce battle ensues, the crowd flees in panic and Quinn is hard pressed. Malineus Bleak stands back up, now a flaming zombie, and is engaged by Palias. After a fierce fight the heroes are triumphant, Ashara leads the way down into the sewers, seeking to close the demonic portal before it can open further. But more demons lies in wait...

Demon Toad Minions are Lurking!
Toad demons in the water, Mezzodemons on the pathway and a hideous sleep-inducing Chasme fly demon scurrying on the walls attack the party, but ultimately prove no match for the heroes' power. Ashara and Amara press on and find a glowing demonic portal, about to disgorge the enormous form of 20' tall Carnage Goristro. Focusing their arcane powers, they close the Portal before it can disgorge the brute.
Flies & Toads
Demon Horde vs Ashara
In the aftermath, Ashara and Amara bid farewell to the others, heading east to Trevann to raise a force and take back Castle deTrevani from the orcs with fire and sword. In the smoking ruins of the castle they plan to establish a Conclave and train a new generation of Fire Wizards.
Lady Moonfire approaches Lirael and thanks her for defeating the demons and saving Moonfire from having to unleash the power of Karsus the Failed God to save Loudwater from the demons. Moonfire implies that would have been a Bad Thing.
The group reach the docks and book passage to Daggerford with Tollun, a river merchant Lirael knows (Esmerelda once helped him bargain with an Orlbar trader over some cheap wine). The group plan to go to Wyrmscrag Fortress and loot the wealth of Emerald Dawn before taking the Ring of Nemeia to Hallomak Stromm in Waterdeep.

XP
Courtyard: Immolith & 5 flameborn zombies, inc Malineus Bleak: 3700
Sewer: Chasme, 3 Mezzodemons, 4 Canoloth Harriers: 3600
Closing the Portal on the Carnage Goristro: 1200
Total: 8500/6.5 = 1308 + 21,132 = 22,440
26,000 for Level 11 (Paragon Tier)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Session 31: Reach Lvl10 - Fall the Dawn 29/1/1480 DR.



29/1/1480 DR
The group are rested after a day at the Shrine of Mielikki. Waking that morning, Lirael finds her bow has been granted a Thunder boon by Mielikki, the forest goddess, Lady of the Gray Vale.

Arya the Wizard arrives from Loudwater; Lirael fills her in on the situation. The Ring speaks with Arya, telling her that her destiny is to free Thay from Undeath and its 'false god' Szass Tam. The group depart Brownstone, reaching Loudwater at lunchtime. They luncheon at the Green Tankard; Halvath visits Father Halvath visits his friend Brother Griffon at the Temple of Silvanus, while Lirael takes several others to see Lady Moonfire, leaving the Ring of Nemeia behind Lirael tells Moonfire about the Ring, and asks why it is seeking her. Moonfire reveals a shocking secret - that she is drawing on the dark energies of Karsus, the Failed God, to protect Loudwater. Lirael confers with the others and informs them of this.

The group leave Loudwater that afternoon and ride east, reaching Treona's tower at dusk. Just before sunset Lirael and Tassan spot a large draconic shape approaching from the south-west, flying over the South Wood. Treona examines the Ring and says she lacks the power to destroy it - only her old friend Halamak Stromm, the demon-hunting Savant-Sage of Waterdeep, might be able to do so.  But she can cast a Ritual of Non-Detection that might shield the ring.
Treona

With a thunk, a large green dragon, Emerald Dawn, lands on the roof. Jareth goes up to negotiate with it, but an epic battle soon ensues. Lirael, Halvath and Tassan are all brought near death before Jareth's glaive and a magic missile from Arya finally slays the beast.

XP:
Roleplay XP: 150 each.
Defeat Emerald Dawn: 6000/7 = 857 each.
Total: 1,007 + 20,125 = 21,132
LEVEL 10 REACHED
26,000 for LEVEL 11 (PARAGON LEVEL)


PCs reached Level 5 in Session 11, the first session of 2012, and reached level 10 in Session 31, the penultimate session of 2012.

2011: 10 sessions, 3 level-ups (2, 3, 4) = 1 per 3.33.
2012: 22 sessions, 6 level-ups (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) = 1 per 3.66.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Session 30: Blood on the Snow 27-28/1/1480 DR



27/1/1480 DR
Lirael & Halvath arrive back at the dell at dusk, and discuss taking the Ring to Treona the Wise-Woman. They have not been there long when an Ettin attacks the camp from the cliffs above. Jareth of Orlbar hurries back to assist the others, and they defeat it after a fierce fight.
With the temperature falling, the group decides to head north to Brownstone, using sunrods for illumination as they travel through the night. On the way through the woods, passing a ring of standing-stones they are ambushed by a group of five fire-breathing dragonborn warriors - skilled combatants, but they prove no match for the heroes. Four are slain, the last surrenders - Jareth wants to slay him, but he promises to leave the service of the 'Emerald Dawn', his green dragon mistress, and is granted quarter. He leaves, heading south.

28/1/1480 DR
The group reaches Brownstone before dawn; Halvath has the guards open the palisade gates and they repair to the shrine of Mielikki for a well-earned rest, waking that afternoon.



XP
Gulthog the Ettin 2500
5 Dragonborn Warriors 2500
Total: 5000/6=833
833+19,292=20,125
Need: 20,500 for 10th.

PCs
1. Lirael Sirocco, Half-Elf Archer Ranger
2. Jareth of Orlbar, Human Slayer Fighter
3. Dunstan Ironforge, Dwarf Knight Fighter
4. Halvath, Human Cleric War-Priest of Mielikki
5. Palias, Elf Archer Ranger
6. Tassan, Elf Monk

7. Not present: Arya, Human Mage Wizard

Monday, 5 November 2012

Session 29: The Ring of Nemeia 26-27/1/1480 DR


26/1/1480 DR
Descending the steps, the heroes battle a zombie hulk, flame braziers, reanimating skeleton archers, and their Draconian Necromancer master, a sort of Lizardman/Dragon crossbreed. Victorious, on the dead Draconian is a silver ring with the symbol of Asmodeus, Arch-Devil of Hell. They recognise the Signet Ring as the Ring of Nemeia, 'Demon Empress of Netheril' said to be buried deeper in the cairn.
The party return across the High Moor to the forested dell where they left their horses; the horses have been scattered and need rounding up - Lirael finds the tracks of a large Ettin. The Ring speaks in a silvery female voice to the mind of each hero who holds it, tempting them with promises of power, and punishing them with green Necrotic energy when they refuse. It tells them that  "The Scaly Ones are Coming" which proves true a few hours after nightfall, as two Yuan-Ti hunters find the camp, but are spotted by the elven Ranger Palias. Despite their speed and power, both are slain.

27/1/1480 DR
Next morning Lirael leaves the others in the dell with the ring and heads north alone to Brownstone, where she recruits Halvath, the local priest of Mielikki, and brings him back south to the dell to examine the ring. 

XP:
Draconian Necromancer, Zombie Hulk & skels: 1650/5=330 each
Yuan-Ti Abomination & Malison: 2300/5=460 each
Environment, Interaction with Ring of Nemeia etc: 200 each
Total: 990+18,302=19,292
Need: 20,500 for 10th.


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Session 28: The Empress Cairn 25-26/1/1480 DR

After weeks of heavy snowfall, the last few days have been cold but bright and clear. In Loudwater's Green Tankard Tavern, Lirael Sirocco is having a drink with the High Forest elf Ranger Palias and a dwarf Fighter, Dunstan Ironforge.
The old white-bearded hunter Trapper John enters, covered in scratches and bony shards. He reports that the Empress Cairn west of Highstar Lake has been broken into, he followed tracks and when he entered he was attacked by exploding skeletons. He asks Lirael, his old friend Dunstan, and Palias to check it out - there are old tales of a curse that will arise should the resting place of the Netherese Empress Nemeia ever be violated. Palias tends to John's wounds, then he goes to get a hot bath and a nice rest.
Palias talks with local man Sunsteen Urbeth about rumours of Najaran Serpentfolk; last year Sunsteen's niece Penny Tavistock was among those rescued from human slavers in the ruins of Zelbross by Lirael and the Burning Hand adventurers. The slavers were aided by a snake-headed lizardman shaman or adept. The Orlbar Royal Guard Jareth turns up and joins the group.
Lirael purchases horses for the group, they ride west to the stockaded village of Brownstone where they spend the night at the villa of the local knight, Sir Halvard Brooke. Brooke seems worried by rumours of 'frost goblins' in the woods. He seems to keep his attractive daughter Amanda under close watch. Lirael has private quarters, the other three sleep in the main hall with Brooke's retainers.

26/1/1480 DR
Next morning the group ride south from Brownstone through a snowy landscape, Lirael following a trail. They ride up through leafless woods to the edge of the High Moor, where they leave the horses in a hidden dell, then treck for four miles across knee-deep snow to where the Empress Cairn rises on the west shore of Highstar Lake. They reach the Cairn at dusk, as the sun is setting behind the distant ruins of Wyrmscrag Castle to the west. Clear tracks show a group matching John's description - a humanoid reptilian, an ogre, and human-sized tracks, some with bony prongs, approach the cairn. John's tracks can be seen approaching the tomb, then fleeing.
The tomb's stone door has been forced and broken. Inside, undead guards await - wights and boneshard skeletons attack fiercely. When they are defeated, the urinous Dunstan activates a gas trap in the entrance chamber. The group skirt the gas. Down a sloping passage are more guards, burning skeletons and frost zombies, but these are swiftly defeated. Palias uses his Fey Step to pass a portcullis then open it from the far side, while the rest of the group jump over a sheet of weird glowing ice. They stand at the top of a long flight of stairs leading downwards. From below can be seen a baleful red gleam...

XP:
Roleplay & Travel 100 per PC
Boneshards & Wights: 1000/4 = 250 per PC
Blazing skeletons, chillborn zombies & ice: 1300/4=325
Total: 675 each + 17,627=18,302
Need: 20,500 for 10th.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Dragons of the Gray Vale

Dragon Typical Level Range (Solo)
Young: 3-8 (Large)
Adult: 9-16 (Large)
Elder: 17-23 (Huge)
Ancient: 24-30 (Gargantuan)

Central Gray Vale (2)
Bitterstrike (f): This Mature Adult (Large) White dragon entered the Dire Wood from the north, ca 1/1/1480 DR. Commands the Tigerclaw Uthgardt clan.

Tyristix: (f) Elder (Huge) Verdigris Dragon (Copper/Green Cross): ca 600 years old, approachable, dwells by hot springs in the ruins of Kiris Dahn, on the north side of the Southwood. 1479 DR handed over the Slaying Stone to Ashara the Genasi. Rumoured to be a daughter of Grax Rekaxx. Copper mother unknown.

Emerald Dawn - The Wyrmscrag Dragon: (f) An Adult (Large) Green dragon of Najara, seen hunting in the northern High Moor around the ruins of Wyrmscrag Castle and into the western Southwood. Served by Yuan-Ti and Draconians (Lizardfolk Dragonborn). RIP 29/1/1480 DR. May have been a daughter of Tyristix.

Grimnoshtasdrano (m), the “Riddling Dragon" (Large adult green), ca 200 years old, made his residence in the ancient lair of Grax Rekaxx (m), an Ancient (Gargantuan) green dragon (slain by elven adventurers from Evereska ca 950 DR), in the Endless Caverns where the river falls a short distance to join the Unicorn Run.  Grimnosh is rumoured to be the offspring of Tyristrix, making him 1/4 copper and perhaps explaining his unusual temperament. That might also make Grax Rekax his grandsire. RIP M4 1480 DR: Grimnosh is reported slain by a pair of Chimerae, who seize his treasure.

Eastern Gray Vale (3)
Ice Fang: (f) Adult (Large) White Dragon, dwells atop Stonefang Mountain between the Gray Vale and Bleached Bones Pass. Considers herself mistress of the mountain. Ward Pact with Severed Eye Dragonskull clan Orcs; the deva paladin Shawna Carter persuaded her not to attack.

Nightshade: (f) Adult (Large) Black Dragon, former leader of the Poisoned Shadows gang of Shadar-Kai assassins. Last seen in the sewers beneath Llorkh 1479 DR - killed three heroes in battle including Karvol; Arya & Lirael narrowly escaped. 1480 DR: Rumour places Nightshade in service of the Mountain King.

Azaegal: (m) Huge (Elder) Red Dragon. This great red wyrm lairs somewhere in the Graypeak mountains far to the north or north-east, but has occasionally been spotted flying over the lands of the Mountain King, as far south as Wyvern Mountain. Centuries ago Azaegal and his father, the legendary Xhitigal (m) (Gargantuan two-headed Red, near Luruar), united to slay the Elder White Dragon Slevyas (f) that had claimed Wyvern Mountain in the aftermath of the fall of Ammarindar.

High Forest
Elaacrimalicros (m): Gargantuan (Ancient) Green Dragon. By far the eldest living dragon of the High Forest, this ancient green wyrm has a cavernous lair among the highest peaks of the Star Mounts. He sleeps for decades at a time, but when awakened his hunger drives him to devour widely before returning to slumber. Possibly brother to Grax Rekax.

Chloracridara (f): Huge (Elder) Green Dragon. She came to the High Forest from the Far Forest around 1360 DR. She has had several children by Grimnoshtasdrano the Riddling Dragon ca 1370-1430 DR, some of whom have survived to adulthood and departed to seek their fortunes elsewhere.  Her lair is located among the ruins of Mhiilamniir, between the Lost Peaks and the Nameless Dungeon. She is known to attack non-dragons on sight.

Deathsleet (m): Huge (Elder) White Dragon. The mate of Bitterstrike, Deathsleet is particularly large and powerful male. He lairs high atop the Lost Peaks, descending to the High Forest to search for game.

Young Dragons: Adventurers have occasionally reported encountering young Green dragons in the Southwood, young Red and White dragons in the Graypeak Mountains, and young Black dragons in the High Moor. Typical Level range 3-7.

Hunting Range: Typical range for an adult dragon is around 700 square miles, a 15-mile radius around the lair. Young dragon ranges are much smaller, around 7.5 mile radius or 175 square miles, while Elder dragon ranges are vast, around a 30 mile radius or more than 2800 square miles.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Session 27: Death in the Sewers 24/10/1479 DR

In the sewers beneath Llorkh, the party finish off two Shadar-Kai warriors; the Paladin Calloway hacks his way out of the massive gelatinous cube in the sewer intersection. After a short rest, Karvol hacks a hole in the iron grate of the inflow pipe that the Oni fled through in gaseous form, beyond which a faint blue phosphoresence can be seen.
Karvol leads the way past the grate down the pipe to a large chamber lit by lumescent moss upon the ceiling. A barrel bobs in the sewer intersection. There is an acrid stench. Karvol emerges from the pipe - and spots the enormous black dragon hiding under the water. Battle ensues, the Oni emerges from the far side of the chamber and blasts the party with sleep-breath, while the black dragon scorches them with acid. Lirael fells the Oni with an arrow to the throat, but the dragon Nightshade proves too much for the heroes. Karvol, Calloway and Dardalion are slain. Desperately, Arya drags Lirael's unconscious body down the pipe, pursued by the dragon. Somehow Arya dodges Nightshade's bites and gets Lirael back through the hole in the iron grate, which blocks the dragon long enough for Arya to get a healing potion into Lirael, restoring her to consciousness. The two survivors flee round the corner as clouds of acid-breath from the angry dragon fill the sewer behind them. 
Lirael and Arya flee back to the surface.



Party XP
Start:16,947. 
8-2: Defeated 2 shadar-kai, gelatinous cube, & Maiko the Oni: 1,900/5=380.
8-3: Fight and defeated by Nightshade, Adult Black Dragon: 1,500/5=300
Total: 680+16,947=17,627
Need: 20,500 for 10th.

Lirael:
Lirael, quite chastened by her near-death experience, has had just about enough of Llorkh. As Esme has retired to rule the land along with her doting Pig King hubby, she wonders if she and Arya can take their share of the spoils from Llorkh's treasury (including that Rod of Hope Triumphant--just in case) and move on. She does not mention it to Arya, but she is convinced that they need to find some trustworthy companions. While she feels confident she can protect herself in the wild, it is easier to move quietly about the countryside by herself than with a (rather squishy) companion like Arya, who she would never desert...especially after Arya risked her own life to drag her out of the very maw of the dragon. She ponders where best to find some...as "trustworthy" is not something one associates with the people who frequent Llorkh. ...
Lirael also sends word to Calloway and Dardalion's (sorry if I spelled that wrong) superiors letting them know what happened to the brave warriors and including a subtly worded suggestion that if they wish to continue their hunt of the dragon Nightshade they can damn well do it themselves.

Llorkh:
Kitana and most of the Banites return from a glorious victory over the Severed Eye Orc outpost to the south, west of Stonefang Mountain. They surprised the orcs and killed dozens of orc warriors, cornering and slaying their leader, the human female alchemist Dreus Matrand - who Lirael might remember sent a Severed Eye Orc party into the ruins of Kiris Dahn after the Slaying Stone, months ago. Only one senior Banite, Oskim, fell in the battle, further convincing the Banites that they enjoy the Blessing of Bane and that the Banechild, Esmerelda, is truely the Chosen One to usher in the Age of Bane. 
Esmerelda in her wisdom sends the Banites back south again to man the southern frontier, fortify the orc caves, and defend the Victoria Mine from any renewed Orc threat.

The twelve men who Esme sent east after ex-King Boris do not return. Word soon comes from the village of Irondawn east of Llorkh that Boris apparently convinced the twelve to join with him (OOC: rolled a 31 on his Diplomacy check! [:D]) and they re-equipped in Irondawn before heading east over the Dawn Pass into the Fallen Lands.