I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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Chimpman wrote:The BC 2874 event might be especially interesting to you, since that details Lugett's writings (much of which might actually have been done in ancient elvish despite the fact that the dwarf himself didn't know the language).
Re-read that passage (and then a few pages of the Shimmering Lands thread)...I think Hrothgar's books likely are derivations of Lugett's original writings (edited over the centuries by others for their own purposes - some perhaps drawn by the same mysterious call). This actually got me thinking about yellowdingo's Bel-Lendh monandry map, and the abandoned dwarven cities he placed there, which in turn gave me another idea:

What if some dwarves stayed down with the deep elves, after that 20-year period, and built their own settlements? They would have embraced the deep elves' ways to an even greater extent, but would have lost all contact with their cousins in the Shimmering Lands. They may have co-existed peacefully with the deep elves, or become isolationist, but at some point something happened, and they were either forced to flee, or were destroyed.

I'm thinking Hrothgar's party found one of these abandoned dwarven cities (which had been sealed from the outside with the runes of all the known Immortals...and a few they didn't know - which would be odd because there are no records of that tunnel or cavern existing)...and they discovered something horrible. A few stayed to fight it, some fled, but the survivor and a few others went deeper, where they found the Sunless Sea...

...and other horrors.

How does that sound?
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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RobJN wrote:Hmm. This sounds a bit like a certain process performed at a certain facility, but with a body made mostly of flesh, rather than stone.... And we've seen just the beginning of what happens when a presence other than the intended one takes up residence inside the shell...
It does doesn't it! :twisted: Oh! This idea may be just what I was looking for a while back when I wanted to tie in some BC 2300 villains with Thorn's Mystara. Could the World Mountain/Balck Sands area be a facility housing Shrikes and Sirens? If it is, then perhaps this is where the dwarves pry loose the secrets of creating the Soulforged in the first place. This could be the set for my first Shimmering Lands based adventure! :mrgreen:
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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Chimpman wrote:Now that I think more on the subject, such Deep Elf involvement could find its way all the way back to Corunglain... perhaps engineered by some Shadow Elf who has fallen back into the ancient ways (pre Rafiel) of his people.
Hmmm...maybe, in Lugett's time, a deal was made between the dwarves and the deep elves - something that would , ultimately, have been bad for the dwarves (like, I don't know, handing over the souls of thousands to the OBs so that a handful of dwarves could not only be immune to the Wasting, but tap into limitless amounts of Radiance energy, all the time). The dwarves who returned, however, were not about to destroy their own people (they were desperate, but not that desperate), so they didn't live up to their part of the bargain.

The OBs (or demons, or whatever patron you want to imagine) still insisted on getting their due. The deep elves (who had plans of their own, and were counting on the dwarves to contribute) had nothing to fall back on when they got the bill. End result: No more deep elves, or at least much fewer (this could be how the deep dwarves in my other post got wiped out - the deep elves managed to avoid complete annihilation by sacrificing their unwitting neighbours).

Needless to say, this made the surviving deep elves (who, like other elves, have long memories) very, very angry at the dwarves. Enough so, that a shadowelf who got some old time religion might either come into contact with the deep elves (physically or in spirit), and become a pawn in their scheming for revenge, or contact the OBs themselves, and be offered a similar deal.

Either way, the dwarves of Corunglain have been targeted for a shafting, and if a few other mortals get killed by Wasting or other sickness, well, them's the breaks.
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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Seer of Yhog wrote:Either way, the dwarves of Corunglain have been targeted for a shafting, and if a few other mortals get killed by Wasting or other sickness, well, them's the breaks.
Yay! :twisted:

...I'll add more in a bit, but just wanted you to see my initial reaction ;)
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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Chimpman wrote:
RobJN wrote:Hmm. This sounds a bit like a certain process performed at a certain facility, but with a body made mostly of flesh, rather than stone.... And we've seen just the beginning of what happens when a presence other than the intended one takes up residence inside the shell...
It does doesn't it! :twisted: Oh! This idea may be just what I was looking for a while back when I wanted to tie in some BC 2300 villains with Thorn's Mystara. Could the World Mountain/Balck Sands area be a facility housing Shrikes and Sirens? If it is, then perhaps this is where the dwarves pry loose the secrets of creating the Soulforged in the first place. This could be the set for my first Shimmering Lands based adventure! :mrgreen:
I've started a threadover in the Mystara 2300 forum about this so we can stop squatting in Geoff's thread. (Sorry Geoff!) :oops:
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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Seer of Yhog wrote:Re-read that passage (and then a few pages of the Shimmering Lands thread)...I think Hrothgar's books likely are derivations of Lugett's original writings (edited over the centuries by others for their own purposes - some perhaps drawn by the same mysterious call). This actually got me thinking about yellowdingo's Bel-Lendh monandry map, and the abandoned dwarven cities he placed there, which in turn gave me another idea:
The more we talk about these ideas, the more I start to think we need a detailed map of the Shadowdeep. I think dingo's Monandry map is a great first start. IIRC he had some Were would you place the Sunless Sea, and how large of an area is it. Based on the description I'm assuming that it occupies a fairly large cavern somewhere in the upper Shaodowdeep (above the World Shield layer).
Seer of Yhog wrote:What if some dwarves stayed down with the deep elves, after that 20-year period, and built their own settlements? They would have embraced the deep elves' ways to an even greater extent, but would have lost all contact with their cousins in the Shimmering Lands. They may have co-existed peacefully with the deep elves, or become isolationist, but at some point something happened, and they were either forced to flee, or were destroyed.
I'm thinking that many of the Yardrak and their allies might have fled to the depths after loosing their civil war with the followers of Kagyar circa BC 1800 (just before Kagyar changes all the dwarves). Those that surrender (and are subsequently changed) may have gone on to become the Mordriswerg, but those that fled may have escaped Kagyar's notice all together. Regardless I agree that there could have been several deep dwarven cities established in the BC 2800 to BC 1800 time frame, and I also like the idea that they would have either lost or cut off contact with their surface brethren.
Seer of Yhog wrote:I'm thinking Hrothgar's party found one of these abandoned dwarven cities (which had been sealed from the outside with the runes of all the known Immortals...and a few they didn't know - which would be odd because there are no records of that tunnel or cavern existing)...and they discovered something horrible. A few stayed to fight it, some fled, but the survivor and a few others went deeper, where they found the Sunless Sea...
I like this a lot. Have we talked about the Sunless Sea before? I definitely think I need more information on that topic. Not to pile more work on you, but it sounds like the perfect location for a mini-Gaz. Dark elves, deep dwarves, carnifex spawn, Azcan offshoots, and maybe even others living around a diseased, festering sore of a sea in the heart of Mystara's crust. And what dark horrors might plague them all...?
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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Chimpman wrote:I like this a lot. Have we talked about the Sunless Sea before? I definitely think I need more information on that topic. Not to pile more work on you, but it sounds like the perfect location for a mini-Gaz. Dark elves, deep dwarves, carnifex spawn, Azcan offshoots, and maybe even others living around a diseased, festering sore of a sea in the heart of Mystara's crust. And what dark horrors might plague them all...?
Image

Sorry, had to get that out. But seriously, this is a good idea, and something I'll need to do as the campaign warms up (we're playing again in 90 minutes).

I raised the idea of a Sunless Sea (like the underground Sea of Valusia mentioned in some novels) around the time I posted that short piece on the Deep Carnifex realm of Vassek. Basically, I'm envisioning a huge cavern filled with a sea/small ocean, filled with the survivors from the time of Hallucinogenia - all those crazy Cambrian life forms swimming around, doing god-knows-what. Some of them would be pretty horrific on their own, but if they have a rudimentary intelligence they could be even more dangerous.

At the other end of the ocean is a passage to the HW.

[edit - here's a link to the post in question
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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Seer of Yhog wrote:
Chimpman wrote:I like this a lot. Have we talked about the Sunless Sea before? I definitely think I need more information on that topic. Not to pile more work on you, but it sounds like the perfect location for a mini-Gaz. Dark elves, deep dwarves, carnifex spawn, Azcan offshoots, and maybe even others living around a diseased, festering sore of a sea in the heart of Mystara's crust. And what dark horrors might plague them all...?
Image

Sorry, had to get that out. But seriously, this is a good idea, and something I'll need to do as the campaign warms up (we're playing again in 90 minutes).
You realize this is the exact response I was looking for, right ;) :lol:
Seer of Yhog wrote:Hmmm...maybe, in Lugett's time, a deal was made between the dwarves and the deep elves - something that would , ultimately, have been bad for the dwarves (like, I don't know, handing over the souls of thousands to the OBs so that a handful of dwarves could not only be immune to the Wasting, but tap into limitless amounts of Radiance energy, all the time). The dwarves who returned, however, were not about to destroy their own people (they were desperate, but not that desperate), so they didn't live up to their part of the bargain.
I think we're thinking along very similar lines. Actually Lugett and his original expedition never return to the surface - that's an adventure hook I'd like to use in BC 2300 for a dwarven campaign. What ever happened to Lugett? His son's expedition does return however (which is how that forbidden knowledge makes its way into dwarven society). Anyway, this means that there are indeed at least a few dwarves living down there with the Deep Elves - learning their ways, and plumbing their secrets, and quite likely being set up by the elves to take some horrendous fall. The original expeditions probably wouldn't be numerous enough to sustain an entire dwarven society, but others could have followed throughout the years, and eventually there would be enough dwarves to establish their own community separate from the elves. I actually wanted to use Lugett (or whatever he has become at this point) as some villainous foil in a Shimmering Lands campaign.
Seer of Yhog wrote:The OBs (or demons, or whatever patron you want to imagine) still insisted on getting their due. The deep elves (who had plans of their own, and were counting on the dwarves to contribute) had nothing to fall back on when they got the bill. End result: No more deep elves, or at least much fewer (this could be how the deep dwarves in my other post got wiped out - the deep elves managed to avoid complete annihilation by sacrificing their unwitting neighbours).
This actually provides some motivations for a Deep Elven campaign - I could see a group of elven PCs fighting against the overwhelming power of their OB masters as they try to sever their society from its unspeakable overlords. It also provides a good reason for why the Deep Elves would have died out (like so many other BC 2300 societies, the end should really be in sight for these guys). Those that do manage to survive will go on to find a much kinder patron in Rafiel. All he asks them to do is abandon their own children....
Seer of Yhog wrote:Needless to say, this made the surviving deep elves (who, like other elves, have long memories) very, very angry at the dwarves. Enough so, that a shadowelf who got some old time religion might either come into contact with the deep elves (physically or in spirit), and become a pawn in their scheming for revenge, or contact the OBs themselves, and be offered a similar deal.
I really like this idea, and it generates images of some poor Shadow Elf stumbling upon an ancient vessel containing the souls of a multitude of Deep Elves. Although Soul Crystals don't actually contain the souls of elves, the idea may have taken root because somewhere down in the depths there is indeed such an item. Unfortunately the souls it contains aren't very nice and probably want everyone in the living world to come to a horrible end. :mrgreen:

EDIT: Isn't there an artifact called the Crown of Corruption? I need to re-read the entry for that item, but I wonder if it could tie into some of the ideas we've had here?
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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The players started their first quest today! Rescue a dwarf and an elf who have mysteriously disappeared while en route to Favaro. The elvish and dwarven communities in Corunglain are blaming each other - cue the outsider PCs!

The first combat took place - a roadside ambush by four kobolds, armed with crossbows, sitting in trees. One of the players was reduced to 1 hit point, but in one round they managed to disarm one and kill two of the attackers. The remaining two failed their morale check and opted to jump out of their trees and flee for the lair, rather than stick around. Unfortunately, they were more than 10 feet up, and falling damage being 1d6 per 10' fallen, well...

All's well that ends well!
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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Dug up the relevant passages:
Chimpman wrote:EDIT: Isn't there an artifact called the Crown of Corruption? I need to re-read the entry for that item, but I wonder if it could tie into some of the ideas we've had here?
Gaz13 wrote:What has happened here? An evil magical artifact, the Crown of Corruption, has long been buried in this awful place. Recently, it was found by a shadow-elf wizard, Shallatariel, and the foolish wizard thought to study and investigate it. He has become its helpless puppet, his mind stripped away, but his magical skills now used by the malign intelligence of the Crown. If your PCs move in powerful social and political shadow-elf circles, Shallatariel should be known to them as a mage of Losetrel and his sudden disappearance should be rumoured some months before this adventure takes place. Wizards this powerful don't just vanish without anyone noticing!
...
The Crown of Corruption: This malefic gold crown is set with four huge rubies, which can be treated as soul crystals (two of 6th, two of 7th level, with 5d10 souls in each). No Radiance spells can be cast from it, however. Once per 48 hours, the Crown can cast a charm monster (saving throw at -4) at one PC and, if the saving throw is failed, the PC will do all he can to put the Crown on--with all the terrible benefits and penalties this implies. The wearer of the Crown gains the following benefits: a natural base AC of -4; complete immunity to all charm, hold, sleep, paralysis, death magic (including disintegration) and gaseous attacks; and the ability to radiate both fear and curse (reverse of bless) within 20 feet (separate saving throws needed). The wearer can also cast animate dead three times per day. The wearer of the Crown at once becomes a Chaotic Undead, subservient to the Crown, but retaining all class-based abilities.
This sounds just like an artifact that could be inhabited by the souls of the Deep Elves!
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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This is perfect. The Crown could easily lure some otherwise well-meaning shadowelf (perhaps a Wanderer). At first the voices inside the Crown were friendly, which was wonderful because the Wanderer hadn't spoken to anyone for years, but very soon the Wanderer became its pawn.
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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Seer of Yhog wrote:The players started their first quest today! Rescue a dwarf and an elf who have mysteriously disappeared while en route to Favaro. The elvish and dwarven communities in Corunglain are blaming each other - cue the outsider PCs!
So... what really happened to the elf and dwarf? Can you tell us here, or do you think your players are reading this?
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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Chimpman wrote:So... what really happened to the elf and dwarf? Can you tell us here, or do you think your players are reading this?
I don't think they are, even though both of them are pretty hard-core Net users.

What happened is that a bugbear has dragooned a small mob of kobolds into working for him. Rather than loot and pillage, the bugbear has decided to use a run-down inn as a base of operations, and have his cronies nab lone travellers on the road. He torments them for a few days until he grows bored, then eats them. The fact that he came up with this idea shows that he's brighter than the average bugbear, but he hasn't thought things out fully - people will notice a pattern of disappearances. He's been operating for about a month, and four people have disappeared so far.

The kobolds use a variety of tricks to snag the unwary: nets, lassos, crossbow bolts dipped in a mild poison that paralyses the muscles. Once the victim is captured, he/she gets dragged to the inn.

The elf and the dwarf were heading to Favaro for their own mundane business, and they have each made the trip often enough that they never thought that travelling alone would be dangerous. Their races, and their prominence within their own communities, are what made their disappearances stand out. They're both still alive.

The inn is partly ruined (I have a rough map), but the bugbear has claimed the upper floor (a loft) for himself - and his toys.
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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I ran another session last night, this time a solo with the third player, who has just made her character and hasn’t yet met the rest of the party. I’ll be going back and forth for a bit until the meeting can finally happen (I hardly ever just have the PCs meet up right at the beginning, because I believe everyone should have a backstory, and I prefer to have the players roleplay parts of it).

Anyhow, the third player is Peregrine Braithwaite, a 23-year-old man from the Elstrich Vale region of Darokin (from the village of Reddelton – a great place to be from, in his view, but that’s about it). His father was the local priest, and his mother comes from the hill country a bit further north (north of Skyrake Peak, where they’re a bit “fey” in some ways by local standards). He has one sibling (a sister – Albertine), with whom he is very close.

When Peregrine was around 17 or so, he decided to leave home. He headed down to Elstrich and worked odd jobs, but before long the lure of Darokin City was too great, and he joined the flow of people there. Although he was a fast learner, Peregrine didn’t have much in the way of trades training, and soon enough he fell in with a bunch of rougher sorts who lived in the dodgier West Side of the city (he became a thief). Around this time he also attracted the notice of a Mr. Bergmore, an older, distinguished gentleman who admired Peregrine’s seemingly natural ability to strike a rapport with people, regardless of their social station (he’s a social chameleon, mixed with a strong desire to be liked). He trained Peregrine in etiquette and honed his rougher, rural edges, and in exchange the young man was given packages and messages to deliver (“with the utmost discretion”), and instructions to “retrieve” certain things. Mr. Bergmore gave Peregrine a modest allowance, and the years passed.

One day, Peregrine awoke to the realisation that his youth was starting to slip by. The bright and hungry lads entering the city were getting noticeably younger, and he looked to the years ahead, and saw many dreams that had been set aside. He decided to roll the dice, and strike out for someplace where he could see more of the world and really make something of himself. But where to go?

Athenos beckoned, with its intrigue and its status as the gateway to the southern seas. But, if he went down there he might never come back, and he wanted to at least explore his own homeland before he went further afield. Besides, his former boyhood friend, Mallory, had headed down there, and they hadn’t parted on the best of terms.

There was Selenica, but from what he had heard most of the jobs seemed to be soldiering at Fort Hobart, or guarding caravans. He wasn’t much of a fighter, and he decided he’d rather live.

Lake Amsorak, now that was an interesting place, too. The twin cities of Akorros and Akesoli would be worth seeing, but then he thought about Sind, and the last time he’d tried Sindhi takeaway at that little hole-in-the-wall (“Ranjit’s Table”) near his flat, and, well, the less said of the cuisine the better.

That left Corunglain. Wonderful. A man he’d met once had served a few years as a guard up there. He’d said there was no shortage of action, and a man could really make something of himself up there. He’d also lost both of his legs. He must have seen the look of apprehension on Peregrine’s face, and he mentioned that there was more to do than soldiering. It was known as a major hub for adventurers, and there would be no shortage of work for an enterprising lad like himself.

With a slightly heavy heart, Peregrine turned north.

The journey upriver was fairly quiet. Peregrine passed through Ansimont (which looked far too built-up, at first glance, to be a town), and Favaro, stopping in the latter at a rather run-down establishment by the river called “The Rookery”. The handful of customers in the place were hunched over bowls of stew or mugs of steaming black liquid (which Peregrine guessed was supposed to be coffee – all the rage in Darokin - though he would hardly have called it that). Perhaps against his better judgement, he tried the stew (gristle and potato), and thought to entertain with patrons with some flute-playing. There are good performances, bad performances, and monumentally bad performances. Peregrine’s was the latter [player rolled a natural 20 on her skill]. Having little to do after he was kicked out of the establishment, he went back to the barge, and completed the journey to Corunglain.
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Re: I think I might be setting up a new Mystara campaign!

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Wow, it sounds like you have another wonderful character background to mine for plot ideas!
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