Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

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Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby Zeromaru X » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:42 pm

:ugeek: Yeah, Great Geek of Nentir Vale trying to connect the Vale to Eberron.

In this new setting my players do not know much of the wider world of its story. They only know that the setting is new, and that I've replaced Nerath with another powerful nation in this new world (Galifar). Arkhosia did exist (because there is canon lore of a dragonborn empire), but I've no mentioned Bael Turath yet (as my player's haven't explored parts of the Vale dealing with Turathi ruins). Of the "new world", my players only now that there is a train station in Hammerfast, but they haven't seen the Lightning Train yet.

So... what part of Khorvaire do you think is a good place to put the Nentir Vale?
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby enderxenocide0 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:02 pm

Any information on Nentir Vale that might help us (for those that are unfamiliar with it :P )?
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby Zeromaru X » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:16 pm

The Nentir Vale is an isolated place in the north (or in a place with cold climate), but sees relatively little snow. It was in the most remote frontier lands of a powerful empire that fell a few years ago (Nerath, that can be easily replaced with Galifar), but ruins of more ancient empires do exist in those lands (ruins from the empires of dragonborn and minotaurs, mostly, but there are few ruins from the ancient tiefling empire as well). Is surrounded by two large forests in the north and south, and two mountain ranges in east and west. The lands in the east are plagued by orcs, giants and other such savage races (but I remember orcs are less savage in Eberron).
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby enderxenocide0 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:46 pm

Do you like Dwarves? Because you could place it in the Mror Holds. In general, I think Karrnath would be a good location for it, or possibly isolate it on an island in the northern Lhazaar Principalities. If you're looking for "savage races", Droaam is a nation of such creatures, but that's further south and not particularly cold. Also, if you're going for Eberron canon, perhaps swap out the Tiefling empire for the Dhakaani Empire.

ADDENDUM: Having looked up some more info, here's some more specifics. Place Hammerfast at the base of the Karrnath side of the Ironroot Mountains, maybe making it Krona Peak (or a smaller town that acts as a buffer between Krona Peak and Karrnath). Lake Nen becomes Lake Dark and the Cairngorm Peaks can either be the Ashen Spires or you could move the Icetop Mountains a bit west. Winterbole Forest could just be a conglomeration of the Karrnwood and the Icewood forests. The Harken Forest would have to be your own addition to the area, or you could move/expand the Shadowmount Forest.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:07 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:So... what part of Khorvaire do you think is a good place to put the Nentir Vale?


How about inserting Nentir Vale (or the locations from Nentir Vale) into Droaam? The Points of Light locations could represent the civilisations of Breland (which Droaam was once part of).

You might even want to roll back the timeland of Eberron to 986 YK, when the Daughters of Sora Kell started to unify the races that eventually kicked out the Brelanders and created a separate nation. Or maybe you might want to move slightly before that. I'm not sure of the exact part in the timeline, but Nentir Vale could work very well as the part of Breland that was about to be overun by monsters.

:)
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby enderxenocide0 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:27 pm

Related: Dungeon 155 has an Eberron conversion for Keep on the Shadowfell and places it in Karrnath. Here's the relevant text:

Dungeon #155 wrote:Where in Khorvaire is Winterhaven?
The village of Winterhaven is located in northeastern
Karrnath, about 200 miles west of the Ironroot
Mountains. Sitting on the southwest edge of the
Icetop Mountains—called the Cairngorm Peaks by
locals—Winterhaven is a lonely town in the remote
highlands of the Gardbury Downs.

Although the Icetop region is frigid through most
of the year, Winterhaven remains temperate due
to a mixture of volcanic springs and the sheltering
heights of the Icetop mountains, which grant the
region respite from the harsh winds and blizzards.
The adventure assumes the PCs start in the town
of Lakeside and travel northwest along the King’s
Road toward Winterhaven.

The rest of the conversion is... questionable, in my opinion, but the placement makes a fair amount of sense.
Last edited by enderxenocide0 on Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby Zeromaru X » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:18 pm

Thanks!

I want to know why you find the conversion questionable, but I guess that is a question for another topic.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby enderxenocide0 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:27 am

Zeromaru X wrote:I want to know why you find the conversion questionable, but I guess that is a question for another topic.

I mean, it fits in here as well as anywhere else, I figure. So let me just break a few things down from the conversion:

What is the Shadowfell?
Eberron has a Shadowfell, just as the core world of the D&D game does. Also called the Plane of Shadow, the Shadowfell encompasses both Dolurrh, the Realm of the Dead, and a region of shadows and despair called Mabar, the Endless Night. Once every 20 years, on the nights before the new moon that precedes the winter solstice, Mabar draws near to Eberron and its presence is felt more strongly: shadows grow colder, undead and creatures of shadow emerge to stalk the night, and the wards guarding rifts between the world and the Shadowfell weaken. These dark nights are commonly known as the Winterhaunt, and they begin just as the adventure starts.

Okay, this is my personal bias creeping in, but lumping the Plane of Shadow, Dolurrh, and Mabar in as part of the Shadowfell never sat right with me. Forcing Eberron's cosmology into 4E's standard cosmology was always a bit upsetting. That's more an issue with 4E's handling of Eberron than the conversion's issues. That said, that line about the nights before the new moon preceding the winter solstice? Just use the nights of Long Shadows at the end of the year. It would fit perfectly.

A Cult of Orcus in Eberron?
Orcus, like other demons, was sealed in Khyber by the couatls and dragons, yet not all of his champions met the same fate. Hundreds of years ago during the time of Galifar I, a powerful exarch of Orcus named Doresain was sealed away in the Shadowfell after he tried to raise an undead army to free Orcus. This prison is secure except during the Winterhaunt. For a few days, the seals keeping Doresain in his shadowy tomb weaken, and he and the foul forces he has amassed through the centuries try to break free.

We're off to a rocky start here. We really don't need Orcus, here. You want a demon Overlord of undeath? We have Katasha who has already been used for a stand-in for undead deity-like entities such as Kyuss. I get they want to use the adventure text pretty much as-is without renaming things, but that seems a little silly if you're going to change a whole bunch of other setting material anyway.

The Blood of Vol: Although Kalarel purports to be a disciple of Orcus to his goblin and kobold minions, in reality he is an agent of the Blood of Vol. His masters in the Crimson Monastery sent him to unseal the rift to Mabar. Kalarel hopes to gain Doresain as an ally to acquire power for his organization and increase his own position within the cult.

I don't have a huge problem with this, but I'd directly associate Kalarel with the Emerald Claw and not simply perpetuate the belief that the Blood of Vol is evil.

Cult of the Dragon Below: The goblins and kobolds have worshiped Orcus for centuries, believing him to be an aspect of the Dragon Below. The cult’s persistence over the decades and the role of the strange and terrifying dolgrims and dolgaunts suggest a beholder or daelkyr hiding somewhere in the shadows.

*sigh* That's not... guys... did you even read... I just... I don't. Cults of the Dragon Below don't worship Khyber herself. They are varied in their beliefs, but united thematically in that they tend to worship things from Khyber. No one really believes there's just an aspect of Khyber that roams around (well, I mean, you *could* have a cult that believed that). If you want the kobolds and goblins to worship this Orcus, maybe have them worship the Shadow and have a Lord of Dust manipulating them, pretending to be "Doresain". And why would you ever lump the Daelkyr and their aberrations into this?!

Church of the Silver Flame: Although this religion is not as powerful in Karrnath as it is in neighboring Thrane, active agents of the faith do reside in the area. Prompted by an augury from the Voice of the Silver Flame in Thrane, the church might send heroes to confront the threat and protect the people of Winterhaven.

Sure, you can do this. It's not terrible. But maybe just use paladins of Dol Arrah, because Karrnath has a fine history with the Sovereign Host.

King Kaius III of Karrnath: Even before he restricted the influence of the Blood of Vol, King Kaius made it his business to spy on the cult and respond to their activities. Although the mummy cleric, Malevanor, has tried to conceal Kalarel’s mission from the king’s spies, Kaius has learned that the cult has an interest in Winterhaven. The monarch has already dispatched one agent to disrupt the cult’s activities, and he might send more.

This... seems perfectly acceptable and, actually, kind of natural.

The Setting (Page 2)
Orcus created the rift to Mabar during the Age of Demons as a tool for bringing undead into the world. After Orcus was banished to Khyber, the rift was then sealed by the dragons and couatls. Millennia later, during the time of Karrn the Conqueror—the founder of what would become Karrnath—the rift was almost breached through the actions of the exarch, Doresain. However, the heroic efforts of Sir Keegan and his paladins of Dol Dorn kept the rift sealed and also bound Doresain in the Shadowfell, where he has remained for 1,000 years.

Orcus as an Overlord doing that? Yeah, sure. Banished to Khyber? I say "trapped in a Khyber shard prison". Paladins of Dol Dorn in the time of Karrn? I don't know enough about the era to really have a position on this. But Doresain being trapped in the Shadowfell? I'm really starting to think that Doresain should definitely be one of the Lords of Dust and this Sir Keegan was influenced by a couatl in a manner similar to Tira Miron to enact some path of the Draconic Prophecy.

The Threat (Pages 2-3)
The goblin and kobold tribes in the area have always venerated a figure they call the Winged Demon, which they believe is an aspect of the Dragon Below. Though they have called on this being for protection and power, no goblin or kobold shaman knows that the Winged Demon is in fact Orcus. When Kalarel showed up, his power and his knowledge of their god gave him the leverage to gain dominion over the tribes. Now, kobolds and goblins work together in the service of Kalarel, believing he is the Winged Demon’s prophet. With their help, Kalarel could soon free Doresain, releasing the powerful exarch into the world and giving Orcus the foothold he needs to escape Khyber and enter the world as well.

This is salvageable with the aforementioned alterations to the foundation. Doresain is a Lord of Dust manipulating both the kobold/goblin tribes and the Order of the Emerald Claw. Naturally, he wants Katashka-Orcus released and is using these two groups as puppets to do so.

Random snippets that could use some work:

According to auguries from the Voice of the Silver Flame, the activity involves demons, undead, and a ritual that hopes to unleash both upon Eberron.

Er... the Keeper of the Silver Flame. The Voice would be Tira. And she's only talking to the Keeper.

Delphina is not what she seems—she’s actually a doppelganger (sometimes called a changeling by the folk of Khorvaire) named Sil.

Maybe this is a 4E thing. Did doppelgangers = changelings in 4E? Because they weren't in 3.5 and are distinctly different in Eberron lore.

The stoic elf hunter is actually a dusk hag in Kalarel’s employ.

Wat.

“The keep was built and abandoned long before the reign of King Kaius I, probably around the time of Karrn the Conqueror. Its location seems to be of little strategic importance. Maybe, long ago, dangerous creatures roamed the Cairngorms in greater numbers. Obviously, the keep outlived its usefulness. It’s been a ruin for as long as anyone can remember.

Okay. The Keep on the Shadowfell is obviously a Dhakaani ruin. Moving on.

Valthrun is an old man who fears death, so he’s biding his time until an opportunity comes when he can serve the Blood of Vol and hopefully earn the boon of undeath.

This may be another instance of authors misunderstanding the Blood of Vol. Undeath really isn't a boon to them, but a sacrifice. It can be forgiven as the NPC may be under the very same misunderstanding.

A PC identifies the trinket as a symbol of the Cults of the Dragon below—a diverse group of sects that revere the power of the subterranean realms, often including the worship of demons.

This can't be the same author that wrote the sections above about the Cult of the Dragon Below (note the earlier text was a singular cult).

The kobolds are not led by a goblin named Irontooth, but instead are commanded by a dolgrim named Ironteeth.

No.

Although Dolgrims were created by the lords of Xoriat to obey daelkyr and dolgaunts, they are also found in the services of the Cults of the Dragon Below and other perverse organizations. They make excellent minions, taking to their tasks with feverish enthusiasm and loyalty.

Stahp.

The Ruins of Shadowfell Keep (pages 34-35)
The history of Shadowfell Keep and the plight of Sir Keegan are similar in this conversion; only a few details have changed. The keep was built in the time of Karrn the Conqueror and was guarded by paladins of Dol Dorn. After Doresain was sealed in Mabar, he reached out from beyond the rift to take vengeance upon Sir Keegan. He possessed the knight, forcing him to slay his family and friends. Eventually, Keegan regained control of himself, but by then, it was too late.

I'm still of the belief that the ruins should be Dhakaani and have just been occupied by Sir Keegan thousands of years later.

Area 19: The Shadow Rift – Replace the skeletal warriors with dolgaunt warriors (see below).

I SAID STAHP.

So anyway. Those are my thoughts. I don't know the actual adventure that well, but the conversion notes struck me as a bit thoughtless (but then, most conversion notes do, except for the Age of Worm conversion Keith did). I'm sure Keep on the Shadowfell could be converted to Eberron better if a full overhaul was done on the plot so that it fit better into the setting and wasn't a case of square peg, round hole.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby ThePurple » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:23 am

enderxenocide0 wrote:
Delphina is not what she seems—she’s actually a doppelganger (sometimes called a changeling by the folk of Khorvaire) named Sil.

Maybe this is a 4E thing. Did doppelgangers = changelings in 4E? Because they weren't in 3.5 and are distinctly different in Eberron lore.


Yerp. It's kind of annoying, but they did.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby Zeromaru X » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:31 am

Yeah, there was no real difference in 4e between dopplegangers and changelings.

And don't worry, that adventure is pretty bad even for the Nentir Vale setting... I'm tempted to do that conversion (full overhaul), but my Eberron-fu isn't that strong. :P
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby enderxenocide0 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:19 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:And don't worry, that adventure is pretty bad even for the Nentir Vale setting... I'm tempted to do that conversion (full overhaul), but my Eberron-fu isn't that strong. :P

Would you like some help? I've heard mixed things about Keep on the Shadowfell, but I very much enjoy The Alexandrian's Analysis and Remix. If you really want a full conversion, where it feels like an Eberron adventure instead of just a generic one in Eberron, I'd be happy to take that as a challenge. I've done it for other adventures I've run.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby Zeromaru X » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:26 pm

Well, I was searching for an adventure to start our Eberron campaign... so, this can be the one.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby enderxenocide0 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:44 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:Well, I was searching for an adventure to start our Eberron campaign... so, this can be the one.

What system are you running and what's your timeframe (as in, when do you plan to start)?
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby Zeromaru X » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:37 pm

Planing whether to run 4e or 5e (it all depends on the artificer, as one of my players wants to play as one... if the 5e class is viable, it will be 5e).

The fluff will be drawn from the 4e books, as are the ones that I have access to.

As for the timeframe? Do you mean within the Eberron timeline? Either after the end of the Last War, or right before the final battle.

If real life time, in about a month.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby enderxenocide0 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:25 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:Planing whether to run 4e or 5e (it all depends on the artificer, as one of my players wants to play as one... if the 5e class is viable, it will be 5e).

The fluff will be drawn from the 4e books, as are the ones that I have access to.

As for the timeframe? Do you mean within the Eberron timeline? Either after the end of the Last War, or right before the final battle.

If real life time, in about a month.

If 5E, I can help. If 4E, I don't have experience with the system. But I can say that Beoric does. As for timeframe, I did mean real life, just thinking about how long until you would need some converted material.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby Beoric » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:06 pm

Did I hear my name?

In using the Nentir Vale in Eberron you can either use the map or the lore, but not both. Anywhere the map fits, its pretty tough to use the lore without a lot of changes. But if you discard the map, there are a lot of places you can slot in the lore.

If I wanted to shoehorn both in somewhere, I would put in Sarlona, not Khorvaire, just south of the Tashana Tundra, where there are mountains, dwarves and shifter barbarians in the right place. Making Markelhay and Padraeg chosen would be an interesting twist on the setting.

You could also rotate the map 90 degrees and put it between the Icewood and the Ironroot mountains if you wanted to put shifter barbarians in the Icewood. On the 3e map (which is bigger) you might be able to squeeze it between the Ironroot Mountains and the Icetop mountains. In either case you would put orcs in the Icetops.

When I ran Keep on the Shadowfell I ran it in the Shadow Marches. In place of Orcus I used a daelkyr who was interested is the undead (deathgaunts and dolghasts need to come from somewhere). The keep was a Dhakaani outpost; it was taken over by the daelkyr in question because of its proximity to a manifest zone to Mabar. The daelkyr was eventually imprisoned in Khyber beneath the keep, and reoccupied by Dhakaani with disastrous results.

The kobolds, goblins and hobgoblins I refluffed as humans belonging to the same Marcher clan; Kalarel was a priest and warlock drawing power from the imprisoned daelkyr. The ritual was to release the daelkyr, not Orcus. I replaced some of the monsters with deathgaunts.

Winterhaven (renamed) was a Tharashk prospecting village near the western border of the Bonetree clan, which you can find in Bassingthwaite's first Dragon Below book. Padraeg relied on the PCs because he was worried about an attack by the Bonetree and didn't want to spare the forces.

I used nothing from the conversion. I agree with most of Ender's comments, but the conversion sucked because it sucked, not because of 4e lore. There are minor mechanical and major lore differences between 4e doppelgangers and changelings. 4e does NOT conflate Mabar and Dolurrh, and the author of the conversion should have just picked one.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby Zeromaru X » Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:44 am

I dint consider just using the lore... that is an interesting alternative, yeah. But I will play ender's conversion of KotS, so for now, I will locate only Winterhaven in Karn. We will be playing 5e.

As for KotS, the adventure is pretty bad... the conversion is just most terrible than the original adventure, though.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby Beoric » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:40 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:As for KotS, the adventure is pretty bad... the conversion is just most terrible than the original adventure, though.


Yeah, I ended up removing about a third of the combat encounters, and had the hobgoblins (which in my version were humans and part of the same clan as the kobolds and goblins) willing to talk peace after the PCs slaughtered the rest of the clan. They ended up abandoning Kalarel and the dungeon.

I also had two other plots going on at the same time: a modified version of Dead by Dawn in which the emanations from the Necroshard were affecting the PCs' family's health, and a plot where the Emerald Claw was showing interest in the PCs' family. KotS itself has no agency built in for players, but there was real agency outside the dungeon as the PCs had to decide which threat needed to be dealt with first. I also linked Kalarel to the Emerald Claw plot, so the PCs had a reason to keep him alive, which complicated things nicely.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby AvonRekaes » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:49 am

If you're looking for a good artificer conversion to 5e, there is the one in the Unearthed Arcana article here.

And if I may be so bold, I have converted the 3.5 version to 5e as faithfully as I could. You can find that on my website here.
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Re: Where to place Nentir Vale... in Eberron?

Postby Zeromaru X » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:08 am

Thanks! I guess this settles, then. Will be 5e (that are the rules we are using for our current NV campaign). Since I'm already using Hammerfast, I'll located it in the Karrnath side of the Ironroot Mountains (it makes sense, since Winterhaven is 200 miles near). I guess I can even transform Lakeside into Fallcrest, or make Fallcrest a nearby town.
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