The Comeback Inn throughout the centuries

Dave Arneson's original fantasy campaign; as compelling, gritty and enigmatic as ever.
The Book-House: Find Blackmoor products.

Moderator: Havard

Post Reply
ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3211
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

The Comeback Inn throughout the centuries

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:04 am

BC 5000: In this era Khoronus (possibly known in his mortal days as Kargas Dolunt) creates a device that allows him to travel through space and time. It isn't yet an inn, and it isn't as useful as the Comeback Inn will one day be. It likely takes the form of an unadorned gateway.

BC 4000: Fredigar Cripps ("the Fat Man") discovers a vast fortune during his one and only adventure and uses it to build the Comeback Inn, commissioning mages from as far away as Mohacs to weave unique spells into its construction. The spells make the inn effectively immune to damage and prevent those who enter it from leaving unless aided from people outside. A gateway is constructed in the cellar, leading to other times and places. During his adventures, the still-mortal Khoronus discovers a device more advanced than his own that aids him in his quests; this turns out to have been created by his Immortal future self. It seems possible that this was the Comeback Inn.

Further speculation: Fredigar Cripps discovered his fortune after venturing through the portal created by the mortal Khoronus, which might have manifested in the ruins beneath Castle Blackmoor.

The Iron Duke, Taha Marcovic, sought to use the Comeback Inn in his scheme to rid himself of King Uther Andahar. DA1 implies that they discovered a wizard, one of those who had helped create the Inn, who gave up its secrets voluntarily and was betrayed and killed for his trouble (by Marcovic's personal wizard, identified elsewhere in the module as the Green Man, Tamis Azkanikin). My suggestion is that the wizard who was killed was Kvale Dram, mentioned in ZGG's The Wizard's Cabal as being a High Spellwise of the Wizards' Cabal, recently assassinated. During the Vestfold Revolt, a cadre of sorcerers took over the Wizard's Cabal headquarters in Vestfold, slaying some of the wizards there. Perhaps this was staged by Taha Marcovic in order to abduct Kvale Dram and bring him in for interrogation.

Besides Khoronus/Kargas Dolunt and Kvale Dram, for additional flavor I suggest some extraplanar mages helped lay dweomers on the Inn. Dragon #351 names a mercane, Ilyndele, and an illithid, Sharth, as among those rumored to have helped in the creation of the World Serpent Inn, but for a "purer" Mystara campaign perhaps Ilyndele should be a planar spider and Sharth a neh-thalggu. With the other builders on other planes after the Inn's creation, only Kvale Dram was vulnerable to Taha Marcovic's and Tamis Azkanikin's machinations.

BC 3731: Apocryphal ZGG sources name this as the Age of the Wolf, a time when Blackmoor City is in ruins. Adventurers who use the Comeback Inn to travel to this era are likely to find monstrous creatures in and around the inn: dragonborn, tieflings, beastmen, ash goblins, death priests, and ash goblin brood mothers. The innkeeper could be an ash goblin brood mother.

BC 3000: These are the last days of the Blackmoor civilization. Blackmoor City is a vast metropolis, one of the most important cities in the world. Adventurers who travel to this era using the Inn will find it looking remarkably old-fashioned in a cityscape of neon, crystal, and chrome, unless you decide its form changes with the times. DA1 has the Comeback Inn's magic powerful enough to allow it to survive the Great Rain of Fire, but it was sank beneath the sea for the following 200 years, was encased in a glacier for another 800 years, and spent the following millennia in what are now the Broken Lands.

However, if you'll recall, Wrath of the Immortals has Khoronus sending both his original device and the greater artifact he discovered (speculated here to be the Comeback Inn) into the future. If my speculation is correct, Khoronus could have snatched the Comeback Inn out of time moments before the cataclysm and sent it to Brun, where the Broken Lands would one day be.

BC 2800: According to DA1, the Comeback Inn is underwater from BC 3000 until this date. Having aquatic races frequent it in the submerged, radioactive ruins of Blackmoor City might be interesting. Imagine merrows and tritons forming a community in the ruins around the Inn, defending it from the aquatic minions of the Egg of Coot. At some point, though, Khoronus moves the Inn to Brun.

BC 2300: In this era, I believe what will one day be the Broken Lands is part of the giant kingdom of (Northern) Grondheim. Travelers to this era will find themselves in a land of giants, trolls, and fey. One possibility is that the Comeback Inn on a trading route between giant and fey communities, which seems more interesting than having it imprisoned in a glacier until BC 2000. A village of mixed humans, elves, dwarves, fauns, pixies, and trolls could have formed around the inn, offering shelter to travelers on their way to the court of the Troll Queen. Travelers from further nations might stop here as well on their way to treat with the giants.

BC 1700: The future Broken Lands are settled by elves in this time. Originally, the premise was that the Broken Lands were created by the Blackmoor explosion, the Great Rain of Fire, and therefore the Comeback Inn, located as it was in Blackmoor City, would have been at the center of it (though DA1 suggests the inn is somewhat south of "the volcanic heart of the land," suggesting it wasn't at the very center). This was retconned so that the Broken Lands was instead the result of a later explosion caused by elves, but it seems reasonable to think it was still near the center of the disaster.

Accordingly, consider the possibility that the Comeback Inn is located within or near the fortress of Atziann (which I called Atzavalon in this thread). Atziann might even have recovered the Blackmoor device that doomed his people from the portal in the Comeback Inn and built his fortress around it to prevent others from accessing its secrets. Or it might be located outside, a place where travelers hoping to trade with Atziann's clan can stay before entering the fortress proper. Atziann's clan is made up of outcasts, warlocks and witches attracted to his promises of arcane secrets and power, opposed to the elven mystics dwelling in what will one day be called Glantri City to the north.

AC 1000: According to DA1 and DA2, the Comeback Inn is located a week's journey from Corunglain and two weeks from Glantri, though DA2 says it would only be a week's journey from Glantri if the journey weren't so circuitous. Locating the Inn somewhere in the middle of the Broken Lands makes sense, then. DA1 describes the surrounding terrain as a "broken desert of rock and scree... the wilderness of rock and sun..." a "tortured land" with "rocky peaks... sandy-bottomed canyons..." with twisted rock formations. The Inn is near a chimney of rock of crumbly sandstone, on a ledge of igneous rock similar to that found "further north in the volcanic heart of this broken land."

The description of the terrain is probably most similar to Orcus Rex. If you wanted to put it exactly midway between Glantri and Darokin you could place it near Khyr on the border between Orcus Rex and Ogremoor. On the other hand, the Plateau of Zyrd in High Gobliny to the east is also approximately halfway between the two bordering nations. Zyrd is south of a volcano and has a forest of petrified trees and has a flat area where Rock of Oenkmar used to be, "rumored to be haunted." If time travelers occasionally emerged from it, that could certainly give rise to rumors of ghosts, and the fact that Zyrd is off limits except to goblin shamans would explain why humanoids don't regularly make use of the Inn.

The Future: Adventurers using the Comeback Inn to explore a dark possible future in which magic has been utterly drained from the world are likely to discover a city of oards. Oards are likely to try to quarantine the inn, wary of the fact that magic apparently still works here due to the inn's connection to other times (if it didn't, the PCs wouldn't be able to use it to travel to this future). Adventurers seeking to explore the world beyond the inn would likely have to make their way past oard checkpoints and security systems. They may be aided by rebels plotting against the oard government.

An alternate future: Another creature rumored to be from the far future is the reflecter. Reflecters could be from further along on the oard timeline, representing some hyperevolved descendant of the oards, or they could be from an alternate timeline where magic never died, determined to prevent the oard timeline from coming to pass. Travelers to this future are likely to find it largely incomprehensible, a world of organic silvery forms and museums filled with artifacts collected from other times and worlds.

Other worlds: Aelos from Where Chaos Reigns, versions of Blackmoor on Oerth and other worlds, and the World Serpent Inn (and/or its known destinations, including Arabel, Greyhawk, Irongate, and Sigil) are other possible destinations of the Comeback Inn's portal.
Last edited by ripvanwormer on Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Zeromaru X
Scion of Arkhosia
Posts: 996
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:24 am
Gender: male
Location: Bogotá, Colombia
Contact:

Re: The Comeback Inn throughout the centuries

Post by Zeromaru X » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:21 am

This is really interesting.
ripvanwormer wrote:BC 3731: Apocryphal ZGG sources name this as the Age of the Wolf, a time when Blackmoor City is in ruins. Adventurers who use the Comeback Inn to travel to this era are likely to find monstrous creatures in and around the inn: dragonborn, tieflings, beastmen, ash goblins, death priests, and ash goblin brood mothers. The innkeeper could be an ash goblin brood mother.
Oh, god, no. This would be BAD for business. :lol:

I'm interested in the Oard timeline, though. So, Mystara's future is to be devoid of magic?

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3211
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: The Comeback Inn throughout the centuries

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:39 am

Zeromaru X wrote:So, Mystara's future is to be devoid of magic?
Potentially. The Immortals Rules said that the D&D game took place in a period called the Age of Magic, and that the solar system's most distant planet "will remain undiscovered until the solar system can be re-explored by use of technology, many thousands of years after the passing of the Age of Magic."

Gaz 3, The Principalities of Glantri, said that beneath Glantri City lies an artifact known as the Nucleus of the Spheres, which generates an energy called the Radiance that wizards use to gain strange powers and ascend to Immortality in the Sphere of Energy. The Immortals of rival Spheres put a curse on the artifact to punish the Immortals of Energy for "cheating" in this way: the curse slowly drains magic from the world of Mystara as the Nucleus of the Spheres is used. In that text, the Immortal Khoronus is quoted telling "an outer-world visitor"
Khoronus wrote:"Later in mankind's history, magic may vanish, along with the object and the motive for Energy's crime. 'How could we?' do you say? Magic is indeed a precious power, but a power not to be foolishly wasted. It must remain in the spheres of those who truly understand it. There will be a time for mankind when magic will yield to the coming of technology. Mortals shall then learn to tame their own universe by powers that are truly that of their plane. Magic and Immortality shan't stand in their way. Such is the Law of Immortals."
Later in the book, there's an outline for a time travelling campaign in which the PCs discover that the only way to prevent magic from being drained from the world is to travel back in time to the Blackmoor era and destroy the Nucleus of the Spheres before it became an artifact (it was originally the engine of the Beagle, A.K.A. The City of the Gods). The price paid for that is that the Principalities of Glantri never existed: the Radiance was the reason they were originally settled, so the area is trackless wilderness. The Flaems who originally settled the region went somewhere else instead, perhaps some other world with promises of secret magic to exploit.

The unmagical future might have been averted by the events of Wrath of the Immortals, when the Nucleus of the Spheres was altered so that it drains negative energy instead of magic (in order to punish the Sphere of Entropy), though there's still a week when magic ceases to function.

Oards first appeared in Where Chaos Reigns, where they were a time-traveling race of cyborg clones interfering with various events in a world's history to bring about a future without magic where they could come into existence.

User avatar
Yaztromo
The Real Nowhere Man
Posts: 1024
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 10:55 pm
Gender: male

Re: The Comeback Inn throughout the centuries

Post by Yaztromo » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:54 pm

ripvanwormer wrote: Oards first appeared in Where Chaos Reigns, where they were a time-traveling race of cyborg clones interfering with various events in a world's history to bring about a future without magic where they could come into existence.
Do we have Oards in any other official product, apart from Where Chaos Reigns?
I'm the Real Nowhere Man, sitting in my Nowhere Land,
making all my Nowhere plans for Nobody.

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3211
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: The Comeback Inn throughout the centuries

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:59 pm

Yaztromo wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote: Oards first appeared in Where Chaos Reigns, where they were a time-traveling race of cyborg clones interfering with various events in a world's history to bring about a future without magic where they could come into existence.
Do we have Oards in any other official product, apart from Where Chaos Reigns?
They're in AC9 Creature Catalogue. Not reprinted in DMR2, interestingly.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18019
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: The Comeback Inn throughout the centuries

Post by Havard » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:50 pm

This is awesome!

Great work, well researched and creative as always Rip! :)

I might add something like:

BC3500: Blackmoor City has been rebuilt. It is now the spear head for the ongoing Beastman Crusades. The first Dragonlord uses Comeback Inn to obtain the armor of the Blue Rider as his secret weapon in the fight against the Draconic masters of the Beastmen.

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3211
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: The Comeback Inn throughout the centuries

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:14 pm

Great addition!
Havard wrote: BC3500: Blackmoor City has been rebuilt. It is now the spear head for the ongoing Beastman Crusades. The first Dragonlord uses Comeback Inn to obtain the armor of the Blue Rider as his secret weapon in the fight against the Draconic masters of the Beastmen.
Or maybe he hires the PCs to do this. Or maybe the dragons (led by Chamber?) hire the PCs to use the Inn to steal the armor from the Dragonlord...

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18019
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: The Comeback Inn throughout the centuries

Post by Havard » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:16 am

ripvanwormer wrote:Great addition!
Havard wrote: BC3500: Blackmoor City has been rebuilt. It is now the spear head for the ongoing Beastman Crusades. The first Dragonlord uses Comeback Inn to obtain the armor of the Blue Rider as his secret weapon in the fight against the Draconic masters of the Beastmen.
Or maybe he hires the PCs to do this. Or maybe the dragons (led by Chamber?) hire the PCs to use the Inn to steal the armor from the Dragonlord...
Indeed, leave toom for the PCs! Lots of potential for adventure here! :)

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Yaztromo
The Real Nowhere Man
Posts: 1024
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 10:55 pm
Gender: male

Re: The Comeback Inn throughout the centuries

Post by Yaztromo » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:16 pm

ripvanwormer wrote: An alternate future: Another creature rumored to be from the far future is the reflecter. Reflecters could be from further along on the oard timeline, representing some hyperevolved descendant of the oards, or they could be from an alternate timeline where magic never died, determined to prevent the oard timeline from coming to pass. Travelers to this future are likely to find it largely incomprehensible, a world of organic silvery forms and museums filled with artifacts collected from other times and worlds.
I noticed this just now: what are reflecters in this context?
I'm the Real Nowhere Man, sitting in my Nowhere Land,
making all my Nowhere plans for Nobody.

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3211
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: The Comeback Inn throughout the centuries

Post by ripvanwormer » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:56 pm

They're a monster from AC9 Creature Catalogue. There's a 3e conversion at the Vaults of Pandius: http://pandius.com/reflectr.html

They resemble living statues of reflective metal. The Creature Catalogue states that "these odd creatures are rumoured to be creatures from the far future, 'time traveling' to collect valuables."

User avatar
Yaztromo
The Real Nowhere Man
Posts: 1024
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 10:55 pm
Gender: male

Re: The Comeback Inn throughout the centuries

Post by Yaztromo » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:14 am

Thanks for the interesting info!
I'm the Real Nowhere Man, sitting in my Nowhere Land,
making all my Nowhere plans for Nobody.

Post Reply

Return to “Blackmoor”