[Thorn's Chronicle Crunch]The Hinlands

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RobJN
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[Thorn's Chronicle Crunch]The Hinlands

Post by RobJN » Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:31 pm

Posted on the blog, but thought I'd share here, as well. As always, I welcome feedback, thoughts, and hope this spurs some discussion....

Thorn's Mystara: The Hinlands, part 1
“Best be sure you’ve been invited, and not just welcomed, when traveling the Shires.” -- Darokin Diplomatic Corps Relations Guide, Chapter 7

The Five Shires of Thorn’s Mystara function a great deal as outlined in Master Greenwood’s The Eighth Gazetteer. There are a few refinements to the history and magics sections, though.

The “Gentle Folk” of which the early settlers of the Shires were so enamored were actually anything but. The last vestiges of an isolated elven tribe, they had no Tree of Life under which to shelter from the demons’ magical corruption. They knew there time was to end, and they presented a kindly facade to the small folk, but as they fell to the corruption, they made their way not to golden-winged steeds which would carry them away to their Final Migration, but into the deep caverns beneath the Black Peaks, where they thought they could do the least amount of harm.

But the demons’ influence was not to end there. Still they came to the Shirelands, borne by power hungry orcs and dwarves and men, who would conquer and enslave the hin time after time. And where orcish blood spilled, the demon’s taint seeped into the land.

Driven to ground by maddened marauding orcs, pursued into the maze of tunnels beneath the Black Mountains delved ages ago, all her companions slain, severely wounded, Eiira Casplardaun was desperate when she splashed into the cold waters of the subterranean lake -- not to save her own life, but those of her unborn twins.

The lake, though vast, only came to waist-height on a hin. It gave the orcs pause, though, and so Eiira made her way across it. The cavern was not completely dark: traces of shadowlight flickered from the facets of several veins of gems that snaked across various walls of the cavern. The source of the illumination was a tiny tongue of blackflame, dancing on the tip of a twisted spire crystal so black as to nearly seem like a hole in the darkness itself.

The hin girl’s feet tangled in something at the bottom of the lake, and she went under. She tried to catch herself on the crystalline column, but instead wound up cutting her hand on one of the many sharp edges. Scholars now think it was this, and then her catching herself on the rim of the Seal below the surface of the water that may have finished the work the elves began in their madness 250 years before.
Rob
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch]The Hinlands

Post by Chimpman » Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:21 pm

This is a very interesting take on the Gentle Folk - one I like quite a bit actually. For what it's worth I already consider Kogolor society in the HW to be infected with some amount of demonic taint, and extending that to the Gentle Folk makes for much more exciting adventures in those lands. I never really understood the draw to populating a land with a gentle, peaceful, melancholy people who really had no problems (other than their own depression). Who want's to go there?

Your story also got me thinking about the Dark Shires that (I believe) our own Seer wrote about years ago. I'm thinking that with a little work, the two versions of the Shires could mesh together quite nicely - or at the very least we could cross-pollinate ideas from both versions.
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch]The Hinlands

Post by RobJN » Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:29 pm

Chimpman wrote:This is a very interesting take on the Gentle Folk - one I like quite a bit actually. For what it's worth I already consider Kogolor society in the HW to be infected with some amount of demonic taint, and extending that to the Gentle Folk makes for much more exciting adventures in those lands. I never really understood the draw to populating a land with a gentle, peaceful, melancholy people who really had no problems (other than their own depression). Who want's to go there?

Your story also got me thinking about the Dark Shires that (I believe) our own Seer wrote about years ago. I'm thinking that with a little work, the two versions of the Shires could mesh together quite nicely - or at the very least we could cross-pollinate ideas from both versions.
Peeking at a link to the Dark Shire material from another thread really got me kick-started on a Thorn-ized version of the Shire. There is definitely material there from which I'd like to draw, though it's not quite as far as I'd take things with Thorn's version of the Shire. Much like Karameikos and Alfheim are demon-haunted wildernesses, so too are the Shires, but with their own... twists, as will be explored in further bloggage ( and, depending on how the Wake arc pans out, possible future installments of the Chronicle...)
Rob
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch]The Hinlands

Post by RobJN » Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:08 pm

Added a bit more on my musings about the Hinlands of Thorn's Mystara.....

Thorn's Mystara: The Hinlands, part 2
The hin girl had unwittingly cracked one of the Seals laid down across the planet’s surface in the Age Before, in the final centuries of the Empire of Blackmoor. The power of Andahar’s Engine radiated around the planet, riding the natural causeways and contours of magical energies that permeated the world. Where two or more of those pathways crossed, great vortices of magical energies erupted, creating weaknesses in the planar and dimensional boundaries. Blackmoor University scientists capped as many of these nexuses as they could find. The particular Seal placed in the cavern beneath the Black Spires became known as the Seal of Shadows, due in part to the darkness of the caves, but also the nexus’ proximity to the Plane of Shadows and the Dimension of Nightmares.

While amethysts once grew in several veins around the cavern, exposure to the magical radiations leaking from the Seal caused the stones’ matrices to realign, twisting them into dracosilicus noxis, more commonly known as black dragonstones. It is one of only three places such dragonstones can be found away from the drowned and blasted lands of Blackmoor.

The tongue of blackflame offered the girl the chance to defend herself, an offer which she gladly took up. The shadows of the orcs can still be seen today, burned into the walls of the cavern, dimly glowing patches of light amidst the flickering darkness, brief flashes of purplish light deep within a cluster of a dozen or so dragonstones.

It is unclear whether the blackflame itself is of demonic or Immortal origin. What is known is that it reacts favorably in concert with the binding properties of black dragonstones, bypassing the need for harmonics (and thus, the voice of a siren) to seal away a being’s soul or essence.

Like the use of the Radiance, overdrawing blackflame widens the fissure on the Seal. It is thought that a sudden spike in blackflame use by another older culture in the past triggered the reshaping of the Brunian costline in 1700s BC.
Rob
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch]The Hinlands

Post by Chimpman » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:53 pm

RobJN wrote:Like the use of the Radiance, overdrawing blackflame widens the fissure on the Seal. It is thought that a sudden spike in blackflame use by another older culture in the past triggered the reshaping of the Brunian costline in 1700s BC.
:twisted: Very nice! I like the potential tie-in with Blackflame. Did you have any thoughts on which culture might have been drawing power from that source? The Taymorans might make a good fit - and they were in the general area. It seems like Blackflame might lend itself to use by the undead.
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch]The Hinlands

Post by RobJN » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:36 pm

Chimpman wrote:
RobJN wrote:Like the use of the Radiance, overdrawing blackflame widens the fissure on the Seal. It is thought that a sudden spike in blackflame use by another older culture in the past triggered the reshaping of the Brunian costline in 1700s BC.
:twisted: Very nice! I like the potential tie-in with Blackflame. Did you have any thoughts on which culture might have been drawing power from that source? The Taymorans might make a good fit - and they were in the general area. It seems like Blackflame might lend itself to use by the undead.
Not knowing as much as I'd like about that particular time period, I've left the details rather vague, for DMs to fill in as they see fit. Take the ball and run with it!
Rob
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