[Nation] Grondheim

Rebuilding the world in the wake of the Great Rain of Fire.

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[Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:52 pm

Below is an excerpt from the Mystara 2300 BC Campaign Setting Overview that details Grondheim. With a few other threads bordering on the subject, I thought it might be a good idea to copy this here to facilitate further discussion on this nation.

Grondheim
Location: Continent of Brun, and portions of the Fey Court in Fairae
Area: XXX sq. ft. (XXX sq. m.); additional notes if any
Population: Estimated XXX (X% frost giants, X% fire giants, X% other giants, X% trolls, X% fey).
Languages: The Fey language is the official tongue of the Troll Queens, but Antalian, several dialects of giantish, and even smatterings of ancient Blackmoorian are commonly spoken.
Coinage: Coins minted by the giants of Grondheim are very large and would be considered metal ingots by normal sized peoples. The most common denominations are the XXX (25 gp), XXX (50 gp) and XXX (100 gp), which are often subdivided by weight to make up desired amounts. In the frozen lands of the Frost Jarls, scrimshaw is also an accepted form of currency.
Taxes: Agents of the Troll Queen collect 10% to 20% of the value of a noble’s holdings on an annual basis. In addition any and all iron tools, implements, or scraps are confiscated whenever they are found.
Government Type: Matrilineal Monarchy (with magocratic tendencies)
Industries: Changeling children, fey magic, artifacts, trickery
Important Figures: The Troll Queen


Overview
The last of the giant kingdoms, the nation of Grondheim clings to its tenuous position among the upstart nations of the lesser races. Frost jarls, fire chieftains, and stone hetmans all pay homage to the Troll Queen and her cadre of wizards who rule Grondheim with terror and magic. Driven to desperation by nations encroaching on their territory since the Great Rain of Fire, Grondheim is poised to strike back at its enemies, both ancient and new. What magical retribution the trolls are cooking up remains to be seen, but whatever its cause, its effects are sure to be terrible.

Geography
Grondheim comprises a vast area stretching from the Icereach Mountains in the north all the way south to the Altan Tepes bordering Taymora. Most of the terrain is mountainous and inhospitable, with many of the icy peaks being snow laden even during the summer months. Those lands in the waking world wind through Antalia, Intua, the Shimmering Lands, and even parts of Mogreth and Taymora, but those are not the only lands of Grondheim.

High up in mountain passes, secret valleys lead to a lush green realm populated by spirits and fey. The land of Fairae, far beyond the eyes of most mortal beings, is the real seat of the Troll Queen’s power, and that is a land more akin to dreams than anything else.

Flora and Fauna
Because the nation of Grondheim stretches across almost the entire length of Brun, nearly any creature and any environment can be found within its borders. Boreal forests of the north slowly turn more temperate the closer they creep toward the shores of the Sea of Dread.

Creatures adapted to mountainous dwelling are most common. Dragons ranging in color from white, black, green and red roam the skies of these lands, as do their lesser cousins. Their primary prey are goats, deer, and moose, but they are not above attacking herd animals, or those who shepherd them. Beasts from the Fairae Realm are also common here, including fauns, satyrs, centaurs, treants, and all other manner of fey.

History
In the centuries following the Great Rain of Fire, the giantish races saw an explosion of prosperity. Of all the mortal races on Mystara, they (along with the beastmen of Urzud) seemed to be immune to the worst effects of the Rain and the Wasting disease that followed it. Frost giant Jarls and fire giant Emirs reclaimed much of their ancestor’s glory from the ashes of human civilizations around the globe. The nation of Grondheim was a shining example of this giantish rebirth.

Their luck was not to last however. The smaller races recovered quickly from the disaster and once again began rebuilding their kingdoms. Grondheim was beset by tribes of dwarves and gnomes to the north and east, by elves and humanoids to the west, and by humans to the south. Slowly all of their hard won gains were being eroded.

Then the troll Queen came. Strong in the ways of magic, the Queen and her fey court promised to help the giants reclaim their lands in return for their fealty. Since consolidating her control, the Queen has begun looking outward, towards neighboring lands held by the other mortal races, ready to devour them at a moment’s notice.

Peoples
Giants of all types live within the boundaries of Grondheim, with the frost and fire giants serving in most roles of authority, and keeping their lesser cousins in line. Stone and hill giants are fare more numerous and many make their living in the borderland territories of the nation. These, along with any half-giant kin, form the backbone of Grondheim society, as well as its military.

Since the coming of the Troll Queen, fey creatures have become more common in Grondheim as well. Centaurs, satyrs, fauns, and all manner of pixies and sprites roam the forests, intent on keeping them free from unwanted incursions.

Less savory, and more aggressive, fey form the bulk of the Queen’s retinue, along with her troll mages and warriors. Male trolls are tall brutes, with greenish rubbery skin and oily black hair, and their vicious animalistic behavior makes the fit for little else than combat. Troll females however are almost like an entirely different species. Masters of the arcane arts, it is rumored that they can take any form though their true form is just as ugly as the males.

Another rumor, though one that seems to bear fruit, is that changelings live among the trolls. Snatched at birth from their rightful parents, these humans, elves, and dwarves, have been raised by the trolls and taught all of the customs and arts of the Troll Queen’s court.

Customs
Trickery and intrigue are the wheels that keep Grondheim society running, and making a deal with the Troll Queen’s court can be a very dangerous prospect – even when all requests are granted. Many troll mages will offer their services to foreign dignitaries in return for some slight favor that ends up being more than they bargained for.

The Troll Queen is the absolute ruler of Grondheim, though many giants chafe at the idea, and her court of troll wizards act as her proxies throughout the nation and beyond. In addition she has installed many fey servants in positions of power, especially in the larger more prominent giant communities. Smaller communities retain their traditional rulers as long as they pay lip service to the Queen.

The practice of switching out troll offspring for mortal children has become widespread in the past several decades, and many of these “mortals” have grown up in the Queens Court under her parentage. These children may be sent out as agents of the Queen, completely loyal and ready to do her bidding. Likewise, her own children, disguised to look like the mortals they replaced, may exist anywhere in the Known World.

Greed and lust drive the Queen and her court, and their ultimate goals are to consume as much of the mortal world as they can, pulling it into the Realm of Fairae to be trapped for all time.

Religion
During the last few decades the giant immortals have been slowly supplanted by those worshiped in the fey realm. Faunus is chief among these with Terra and Ordana following a close second. The giant immortals still retain worship among devout followers, especially those with a militant bend that chafe under the rule of the fey. Zugzul is popular among fire giants, with Zalaj and Gorrziok being more popular among frost giant tribes.

Settlements of Note
Iron Hill (pop 0): Pure rumor, some speculate that Iron Hill does not really exist, which is exactly what the Troll Queen wants folk to think. This secret location, deep in the realm of Fairae, is where the Queen stockpiles all the iron and steel that she has acquired over the years. Weapons, ingots, tools, and even utensils of every shape and size intertwine to form a gigantic mound of iron. Inimical to fey creatures, the Queen has secretly been removing the substance from her kingdom for decades. Rumors among the fey also exist that she uses Iron Hill as a prison for those fey who oppose her will.

Abbadh (pop. XXX): Built around the caldera of an active volcano by fire giants centuries ago, Abbadh is now one of the chief weapon producers in Grondheim. Many of the bronze weapons forged here find their way into the armies of the Troll Queen. The city’s ruler, an XXX named YYY mistreats the native giants to the point that they actively speak of sedition.

Appearance and Dress
Trolls can appear human or giantish, but their real form is that of an ugly green monster with exaggerated facial features, warts, and oily black hair. Many choose to appear as an attractive member of the race they are dealing with, at least until whatever agreement they are seeking has been struck.

Giant and fey nobility wear the finest silk or linen cloth, dyed in bright brilliant colors. Often they adorn themselves with jewelry made of gold and silver and inlayed with finely cut gems. Some giants have taken to wearing iron jewelry in defiance of their new fey masters. Commoners dress simply, and it is readily apparent at the amount of hard manual labor they do.

Weapons and Armor
Iron weapons are outlawed by the Troll Queen’s decree, although a few of the older giant families manage to retain an ancient family heirloom or two in secret. Most other weapons fall into the category of stone clubs and axes. Several of the fire giant emirs craft swords and spears of bronze, but those tools are highly prized and only rarely traded. Much of this weaponry ends up in use by the troll army.

Armor among the giants of Grondheim varies depending upon giant clan. Frost giants typically wear furs supplemented by chain mail and bronze breastplates. Fire giants tend toward banded bronze mail or hardened leather cuirasses. Most other giantish folk (including stone and hill giants) make due with what they can find and piece together.

Foreign Relations
Mention of Grondheim can send shivers down the spines of even the hardiest battle worn adventurers. With the coming of the Troll Queen that nation has earned an aura filled with terrors and mystery, and few wish to embroil themselves in Grondheim’s politics.
In the north, Antalian tribes are traded with as well as made war on, although as of late more tensions are arising between these two nations. The beastmen of Urzud value and respect troll magic, and the Troll Queen sees them as an excellent source of resources and labor. For now there is relative peace with the beastmen, but that may change as more and more of them fall under the Queen’s sway.

With the lizardfolk of Mogreth there is an uneasy truce, although this could change at any moment. The dwarves of the Shimmering Lands constantly raid giant territories for slave labor, and are subsequently reviled. The giants of Grondheim take every opportunity to instigate retaliatory conflicts with the dwarves, but so far have fallen short of declaring outright war.

Grondheim becomes more aggressive in the southern lands where their forces are constantly engaged with those of Taymora and Intua. There is little love for the humans from either the giants or their fey allies. In territories like the Frontierlands, the fey are extremely active, and it is in this land that the practice of switching out changeling babies is most common. The Troll Queen knows about the deep elves and there may be some secret interactions between these two groups.
Names

Language
Troll (a dialect of the fey language) is spoken by the nobility of Grondheim. Most others speak various giant languages and are semi-fluent in Antalian and dwarvish. Many fey speak other languages fluently as well. Those living near Intua and Taymora pick up those tongues easily in order to better blend into those societies.

Character Classes
Giants tend to gravitate more toward martial carriers, with many being proficient warriors in addition to practicing a peacetime craft. Defending one’s community is a top priority in Grondheim. Skilled hunters and trackers are almost just as reveared, especially when they specialize in bringing down creatures such as dragons and their ilk that often terrorize giants whenever the opportunity arises.

Storytelling is also a skill highly prized, and some giants hone it like they would any other craft. These folk often travel from village to village as merchants and bards, and help keep society in Grondheim unified. Few giants are granted powers by the immortals, though such shamans do exist. With the coming of the Troll Queen and her fey court, many have turned to druidic rites in the hopes of appeasing their new ruler.

Few giants practice the arcane arts, for that is the realm of the fey. Wizards and sorcerers are common among their ranks, with many receiving their training directly from the Troll Queen’s court. Fey also pride themselves on being tricksters and sneaks, and many make their living through intrigue.

After 2300 BC
Though the borders of Grondheim expand little over the next few centuries, the presence of the nation introduces a general state of instability in surrounding nations. Children, lone travelers, and sometimes even entire villages disappear over night, never to be seen again. Some theorize that the lost find themselves deep in the heart of the fey world, but few will ever know the truth or be able to tell it once discovered.

Grondheim is shattered in BC 1700 when the greed of the Troll Queen backfires and she and her court are transformed into ravenous beasts. Some theorize that the transformation was caused when a Blackmoorian device was set off in the Broken Lands and the magical backlash of that explosion interfered with the Queens own powerful spells. Regardless of the cause, the effects were devastating, and waves of giants, trolls, and other creatures fled from Grondheim and into Antalian lands.

With the power of the Troll Queen in pieces, Grondheim’s fate is sealed. Antalian tribes and bands of humanoids from Urzud annihilate its outlying settlements. Abandoned by their fey allies, the giants retreat back into the mountains where they remain in scattered villages and strongholds until modern times.


Grondheim Table of Contents
DM's Guide
History
Peoples
Society
Geography
Secrets
NPCs
Immortals
Monsters

Player's Guide
History
Calendar
Races
Classes
Arms and Equipment
Backgrounds
Organizations
Faiths
Last edited by Chimpman on Tue May 28, 2013 7:07 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby RobJN » Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:37 pm

Awesome stuff! Lots of pieces here to play with for Thorn's Mystara. Most notably, tying the transformation of the trolls in with the events of the Lesser Rain of Fire.... :twisted:
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:28 pm

I love it when a plan comes together :twisted:

Anyway, the discussion that prompted me to start this topic is in GP's Lords of the Cruth Lowlands thread.

I'm starting to think that maybe a Grondheim civil war is brewing circa BC 2300 to BC 2200 - driven by a dispute between fey in the south, and the Troll Queen (who is firmly entrenched in the northern lands). Of course the giants, many of whom might chafe under the Troll Queen's rule, would jump right on that bandwagon. In the end though, either the rebels will be crushed (leaving Southern Grondheim vulnerable to attack by Taymora) or they will drive the Troll Queen and her minions from their lands (leaving Southern Grondheim vulnerable to attack by Taymora). :twisted:

Either way, these fey (and whatever mortal allies they care to keep) will be licking their wounds, and desperately eager to pay the Troll Queen back for her role in their decline. That might mean they act in secret for the next few hundred years, waiting for the chance to disrupt the Queen's magic (and sending her and all of her kin into savagery and barbarism ) - something that happens about the time of the LRoF ;).
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby RobJN » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:48 pm

Chimpman wrote:I love it when a plan comes together :twisted:

Anyway, the discussion that prompted me to start this topic is in GP's Lords of the Cruth Lowlands thread.

I'm starting to think that maybe a Grondheim civil war is brewing circa BC 2300 to BC 2200 - driven by a dispute between fey in the south, and the Troll Queen (who is firmly entrenched in the northern lands). Of course the giants, many of whom might chafe under the Troll Queen's rule, would jump right on that bandwagon. In the end though, either the rebels will be crushed (leaving Southern Grondheim vulnerable to attack by Taymora) or they will drive the Troll Queen and her minions from their lands (leaving Southern Grondheim vulnerable to attack by Taymora). :twisted:

Either way, these fey (and whatever mortal allies they care to keep) will be licking their wounds, and desperately eager to pay the Troll Queen back for her role in their decline. That might mean they act in secret for the next few hundred years, waiting for the chance to disrupt the Queen's magic (and sending her and all of her kin into savagery and barbarism ) - something that happens about the time of the LRoF ;).

On Thorn's Mystara, the LRoF is triggered by tampering with the Seals of Fire (beneath what will become the Broken Lands) and Shadow (in the Cruth Mountains, just north of what will become the Five Shires). I wonder if this could have something to do with the trollish vulnerability to fire? Regeneration could be what is left of the fey immortality in the ruined descendants of the Troll Queen, and the susceptibility to fire a legacy of the curse that claimed their beauty and grace?
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:58 pm

RobJN wrote:On Thorn's Mystara, the LRoF is triggered by tampering with the Seals of Fire (beneath what will become the Broken Lands) and Shadow (in the Cruth Mountains, just north of what will become the Five Shires). I wonder if this could have something to do with the trollish vulnerability to fire? Regeneration could be what is left of the fey immortality in the ruined descendants of the Troll Queen, and the susceptibility to fire a legacy of the curse that claimed their beauty and grace?

Ohhh.... :mrgreen: I like the sound of that!

Given the above... it kind of makes me wonder how much of Grondheim would have been left in the area by the time the dwarves of Kurest Hurgon moved in...
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby RobJN » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:10 am

Chimpman wrote:
RobJN wrote:On Thorn's Mystara, the LRoF is triggered by tampering with the Seals of Fire (beneath what will become the Broken Lands) and Shadow (in the Cruth Mountains, just north of what will become the Five Shires). I wonder if this could have something to do with the trollish vulnerability to fire? Regeneration could be what is left of the fey immortality in the ruined descendants of the Troll Queen, and the susceptibility to fire a legacy of the curse that claimed their beauty and grace?

Ohhh.... :mrgreen: I like the sound of that!

Given the above... it kind of makes me wonder how much of Grondheim would have been left in the area by the time the dwarves of Kurest Hurgon moved in...

Another thought... Perhaps the Queen made some sort of deal (or pact...) to rid her people of their vulnerability to iron, seeing as its use still hadn't been stamped out after the Fall of Blackmoor, (as she'd originally hoped...). And, well, you know what they say about being careful what you wish for... :twisted:
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby agathokles » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:33 am

Chimpman wrote:I love it when a plan comes together :twisted:

Anyway, the discussion that prompted me to start this topic is in GP's Lords of the Cruth Lowlands thread.

I'm starting to think that maybe a Grondheim civil war is brewing circa BC 2300 to BC 2200 - driven by a dispute between fey in the south, and the Troll Queen (who is firmly entrenched in the northern lands). Of course the giants, many of whom might chafe under the Troll Queen's rule, would jump right on that bandwagon. In the end though, either the rebels will be crushed (leaving Southern Grondheim vulnerable to attack by Taymora) or they will drive the Troll Queen and her minions from their lands (leaving Southern Grondheim vulnerable to attack by Taymora). :twisted:

Either way, these fey (and whatever mortal allies they care to keep) will be licking their wounds, and desperately eager to pay the Troll Queen back for her role in their decline. That might mean they act in secret for the next few hundred years, waiting for the chance to disrupt the Queen's magic (and sending her and all of her kin into savagery and barbarism ) - something that happens about the time of the LRoF ;).


I'd go for the second option: the Giants and the "seelie" Fey manage to drive the Troll Queen, but are then too weak to repel the Taymorans and their elven mercenaries, undead legions, lycanthropic slave armies, etc.

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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Havard » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:04 pm

agathokles wrote:I'd go for the second option: the Giants and the "seelie" Fey manage to drive the Troll Queen, but are then too weak to repel the Taymorans and their elven mercenaries, undead legions, lycanthropic slave armies, etc.


This makes sense to me. It is pretty interesting to imagine how this area was before it ended up becoming a Taymoran outpost and then a Hutaakan Valley.

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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:37 pm

RobJN wrote:Another thought... Perhaps the Queen made some sort of deal (or pact...) to rid her people of their vulnerability to iron, seeing as its use still hadn't been stamped out after the Fall of Blackmoor, (as she'd originally hoped...). And, well, you know what they say about being careful what you wish for... :twisted:

Yeah, I like this idea a lot. I'm sure we could tie this into the "Iron Hill" location above as well - which I am starting to see as a very sinister place. Perhaps the Troll Queen is capturing mortals and fey and performing experiments on them, trying to breed the vulnerabilities (ie like to iron) out of her own people.

agathokles wrote:I'd go for the second option: the Giants and the "seelie" Fey manage to drive the Troll Queen, but are then too weak to repel the Taymorans and their elven mercenaries, undead legions, lycanthropic slave armies, etc.

I agree that the second option would be the more desirable outcome (at least for PCs playing in a Grondheim campaign. The nice thing about setting this up as a campaign plot though, is that it doesn't really matter what the outcome is. The PCs can succeed or fail... but whether they do or not isn't going to have an impact on other historical events (things that must take place afterwards).

Havard wrote:It is pretty interesting to imagine how this area was before it ended up becoming a Taymoran outpost and then a Hutaakan Valley.

I agree. I'm starting to think that some of these locations - The Turnwood, Kosti Kopec/Koskatep/Krystallic - would have a significant value to the Troll Queen as well. One area of interest for Grondheim is the idea that the Troll Queen fosters Changelings - mortals switched at birth with some fey child. The idea of shape changing comes to play here (I was actually thinking of including Eberron type Changelings as a PC option) and the Turnwood definitely has properties that could be used by the Queen to create such creatures.
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:59 pm

Here is a question (mostly for GP, as I know in his Taymoran timeline, the Taymorans conquer fomorian giants in the area, but if others have thoughts please voice them): How much do we know about the fomorians and their culture? How did fomorians in the area come about (do we have some creation myth for them or not)?

My general thoughts on the giantish population of Grondheim are thus:

Northern Grondheim
- Frost giants
- Stone giants
- Fire giants (in a few secluded volcanic areas)
- Hill giants

Southern Grondheim
- Stone giants
- Hill giants
- Fomorians

Other giants may also exist, but those are the most prominent. Anyway, I'm not sure what the back story of the fomorians in the area is. Any thoughts?

Here is a link to the Specularum thread, listing Specularum as a Fomorian homestead circa BC 2500.
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby RobJN » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:13 pm

Is there a source for fomorians in RC/BECMI D&D? I know I've seen them in 2ed AD&D, but I didn't see them listed in the RC monster chapter. Maybe one of the Gazetteers? :?
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby agathokles » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:26 pm

There isn't much about Fomorians in my Taymoran age timeline: I didn't detail them a lot, except that they have the same role as the RW fomorians to the Tuatha De Danann (note the parallel between the Taymorans -> People of the Night and the Tuatha -> People of the mounds).

What I did write can be found in my old website. Also, there's some more material about Taymor.

Note that in my view, the fomorians are not a species but a culture developed by Giants and Giant-kin (e.g., Cyclops). The only AD&D species I used were the Verbeeg.

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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:04 pm

Ahhh... thanks GP, that clears some of my questions up. So when you reference Fomorians, it's a cultural title, and not a reference to a particular giantish race.

Here's another question - did you base the Fomorian Culture on any particular real world cultures?
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby agathokles » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:07 am

Yes, they are (albeit vaguely) based on the Etruscans -- my Taymor is partially based on Carthago and partially on Sardinia, so the whole area has a mediterranean feel. For example, the name I used for Wayland in the Fomorian lands is "Sethlans", the Etruscan Hephaestus.

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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby RobJN » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:10 pm

Does the stretch of mountains between those labeled "Curacanti Mountains" and "Kuuromaresha Mounts" (the section to either side of the Lost Valley obelisk marker) have a Grondheim/Glittering Lands name?
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:41 pm

RobJN wrote:Does the stretch of mountains between those labeled "Curacanti Mountains" and "Kuuromaresha Mounts" (the section to either side of the Lost Valley obelisk marker) have a Grondheim/Glittering Lands name?

I've moved the reply to this to the mapping thread.
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:14 pm

Races
For now most of this is just placeholder information - to be expanded upon later. I wanted to start getting an idea of the playable races that would exist in Grondheim. All of this is subject to change.

Fey Races
Troll (Male) - Tall, green, brutish creatures, male trolls make excellent warriors. They lack the magical prowess and innate shape changing abilities of female trolls, but make up for it through brute strength and cunning.

Troll (Female) - Female trolls are renowned enchantresses with a dual nature. Their fey aspect is a hideous green monstrosity, but many prefer to take on more pleasing forms - designed mostly to set whoever they are dealing with at ease.

Sidhe - ??? Need to look at PC1 to get some ideas for these guys

Wooddrakes - Anti-technology fey who oppose the Troll Queen's activities in the Broken Lands region (where the Queen has found an ancient Blackmoorian artifact).

Gremlins? - Perhaps half-fey gnomes, perhaps an entirely different kind of fey altogether? The Gremlins of this era as even more masterful than gnomes when it comes to working with Blackmoorian technomancy. Upon Grondheim's destruction (and the Troll Curse), gremlins will be transformed into the technology hating creatures known in the modern era.

Wood Imp Ancestors - Evil leprechaun-like creatures that are tasked with managing the mortal population of changeling babies living in Grondheim.
[It's possible that the Wood Imp Ancestors and the Gremlin Ancestors are one in the same.]


Half-Fey Races
Changelings (From Eberron, re-skinned as fey) - These half-fey creatures are switched with their mortal counterparts at birth, and many grow up as mortals without their true nature ever being recognized by their "adoptive" families. Those who reach maturity begin to understand who and what they truly are and can begin to master their shape changing abilities in order to blend in with most mortal populations.


Mortal Races
Giants (Stone and Hill) - Many of these giants grow up chafing at the rulership of the Troll Queen, and her designated taskmasters the Frost and Fire giants.

The Stolen (Dwarf, Gnome, Human, Elf) - Switched with changeling babies at birth, these mortals were taken back to Grondheim and raised there within fey dominated communities. Though many often wonder about their mortal parents, they know no other life but that which the fey have provided for them.
Last edited by Chimpman on Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:33 pm

I did a little reading in PC1 last night and stumbled across a few tidbits that could be really useful in fleshing out Grondheim's fey population.

Wood Imps have a nice little history about them. Supposedly they were once evil leprechaun-like creatures who watched over mortal communities. Eventually they were shunned by the fey and degenerated into wood imps (themselves now mortal creatures). This has a lot of potential ties into Grondheim. Perhaps these fey creatures are in charge of the Troll Queen's changeling program - taking mortals at birth and replacing them with changeling babies. The mortals are then brought back to the fey realm and raised by the ancestors of the Wood Imps.

Of course there are pieces that don't quite fit (at least not yet). The Wood Imps are tied in closely with the Alfheim bad magic zone called Stalkbrow (which might not exist in this era). Of course that doesn't prevent the ancestors of the Wood Imps from living in the immediate area (or somewhere nearby). Perhaps it's only after Alfheim is formed (circa BC 700) that the evil leprechaun-like creatures start morphing from fey into the Wood Imps.

One thing I would need to do is take the Wood Imps and work backwards, trying to figure out exactly what kind of fey their ancestors were like (and I'd need to come up with a name for them - they couldn't be called Wood Imps at this stage).


Wooddrakes are another race that might fit into Grondheim fairly well, although I suspect that many of them might actually be opposed to the Troll Queen's machinations rather than supporting them. I think they would be especially drawn to the area around what will become the Broken Lands, and the ancient Blackmoorian artifact that rests there.

The struggle between the Wooddrakes and the forces of the Troll Queen may even spill over to the time when elves inhabit this region, and may in fact play some role in eventually triggering the catastrophe that happens in BC 1700.
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Gecko » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:33 pm

Chimpman wrote:Races
...
(snip various fey & half-fey creatures)
...
Giants (Stone and Hill) -
...
Mortals (Dwarf, Gnome, Human) -
...
(snip more various fey and half-fey creatures)


I haven't kept up with all the 2300 BC stuff, so I apologise if this is covered elsewhere, but are you implying that Giants (or at least those 2 varieties) are either fey, part-fey, or in some-other respect "not-Mortals"? Or is that just a terminological/categorization oversight?
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:14 pm

Gecko wrote:I haven't kept up with all the 2300 BC stuff, so I apologise if this is covered elsewhere, but are you implying that Giants (or at least those 2 varieties) are either fey, part-fey, or in some-other respect "not-Mortals"? Or is that just a terminological/categorization oversight?

No problem. I'm going pretty fast and furious with my notes and scribbles at the moment ;) but the answer is no. Grondheim was originally a land ruled by a kingdom of giants (who are indeed mortals). With the ending of the ice age (circa BC 2500) Grondheim starts to fall apart, mostly thanks to aggressive neighbors and increased infighting.

At some point (exactly when I haven't determined yet) the Troll Queen and her fey court move into the area and "offer to help", eventually consolidating power over the giants. I'm thinking the power grab is gradual - the Queen comes in, offers to help the giants stabilize their government and fight off foreigners encroaching on their lands, and before they even know it the giants aren't really in control anymore.

So we have the original inhabitants of the area who are giants (mortals), their new fey overlords, and eventually other mortals that the fey capture over the years (all those changeling babies they stole have to grow up somewhere :twisted: ). So that note about dwarves, humans, gnomes, etc being mortals was really just meant to remind me that these are the stolen changeling babies.

EDIT: I'm going to go back through that post and see if I can add some categories in to make it less confusing. Thanks for speaking up :)
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:19 pm

Moving some ideas over from the Taymora thread so as to not loose track of them:

Sturm wrote:In the meantime, I need some clarifications about the people living in this area of Brun:
Fairies: they should have live here since the dawn of time, so they didn't come from somewhere else, right?

Chimpman wrote:This is a good question - I think the answer is going to depend on how you view the pre-GRoF world in this location. For purposes of the BC 2300 setting we've been working under the assumption that Ethengar was the former north pole (right or wrong, this is the stance we've taken). If that's the case then the area would have been pretty cold. That's not to say fairies wouldn't have lived there... but I don't think they would have been the same kind of fairies who live here now.

I would say that many of the fairies in the Queen of Grondheim's Court are newcomers to the area. They were summoned by the giant kingdoms to help them fight the encroaching humans... and the giants have regretted that decision ever since.

I think there might be some ancient (pre-GRoF) fey sites scattered throughout the area, many of which have probably been "re-claimed" by the fairies living here now. Hmmm... this actually brings up a very interesting question... how did the axial shift of Mystara affect links and portals to the Fey Realm? For example, I'm assuming that cold loving fairies would have portals from their own cold fey world to the pre-GRoF north... but what happens once the north pole is shifted and the climate becomes warmer on the Mystara side of the portal? Not sure :D but there is a lot here to think about!


Sturm wrote:Giants: where do you think it was their original homeland?

Chimpman wrote:Again, going back to a pre-GRoF world where Ethengar is the north pole, there were probably several frost giant kingdoms scattered throughout the mountain ranges in what is currently the known world. I'm also envisioning the Isle of Dawn as a big giant stronghold (probably with several giant kingdoms of its own). The area of Grondheim encompasses now is probably the core of their territory, but it stretched over the Shimmering Lands and probably up into the Wyrmsteeth Mountains, and then down all the way to the coast of Brun (covering portions of Taymora).


And in response to that:
Sturm wrote:- About fairies I'd like the idea of an "Ice Court" living in the area before GroF, being later slowly replaced by Oberon and Titania's "Summer Court".. so Grondheim could have a struggle going on between the two fairy factions... Also the descendant of the Queen "Ice Court" could be in Norwold now, in 1000 AC, and still enemies of the southern fairies...
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Sturm » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:41 am

Hi, something more that could be useful for Grondheim.. about the B8 module, that canon placed north of Threshold (see here http://pandius.com/thrshld.html where there is Tuma). According to most fan ideas, the city should not exist yet in 2300BC (see http://pandius.com/tuma.html, http://pandius.com/traldhis.html, http://pandius.com/tumacity.html and viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3163&p=41114)
Oldest Taymora works used the city as a taymoran one (http://pandius.com/landdead.html, http://pandius.com/taymtim2.html), but I suppose that no longer fit with your idea as it would be in Grondheim territory (just north of Aterok mountains).
What's interesting in B8 is that PC's to get to Tuma cross places inhabited by harpies, brutemen and chameleon men. The latter in particular have a leader named the Lord of Shadow and Hue.. It could be interesting to place a "Land of Shadow and Hue" in this area of Southern Grondheim inhabited by harpies and other fairy folks, but mostly by chameleon men and brutemen, one of the last haven for these two races in the Known World..
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:55 pm

Sturm wrote:Hi, something more that could be useful for Grondheim.. about the B8 module, that canon placed north of Threshold (see here http://pandius.com/thrshld.html where there is Tuma). According to most fan ideas, the city should not exist yet in 2300BC (see http://pandius.com/tuma.html, http://pandius.com/traldhis.html, http://pandius.com/tumacity.html and viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3163&p=41114)
Oldest Taymora works used the city as a taymoran one (http://pandius.com/landdead.html, http://pandius.com/taymtim2.html), but I suppose that no longer fit with your idea as it would be in Grondheim territory (just north of Aterok mountains).
What's interesting in B8 is that PC's to get to Tuma cross places inhabited by harpies, brutemen and chameleon men. The latter in particular have a leader named the Lord of Shadow and Hue.. It could be interesting to place a "Land of Shadow and Hue" in this area of Southern Grondheim inhabited by harpies and other fairy folks, but mostly by chameleon men and brutemen, one of the last haven for these two races in the Known World..

Thanks Sturm!

You're correct about the existence of Tuma in BC 2300 (eventually the area will fall under Taymoran rule), but I love the idea about a Land of Shadow and Hue. The Lord of such a land may also be some kind of fairie - perhaps one opposed directly to the Troll Queen (or at least competing with her). I love using these semi-obscure canon references to build up a richer history of the area.

Anyway... I think Lord of Shadow and Hue is going to make it into the NPC section ;)
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby RobJN » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:49 pm

Hmm.... Does Grondheim have a capital city? It being divided North and South, are there, perhaps, two capitals/seats of power?
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Re: [Nation] Grondheim

Postby Chimpman » Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:18 pm

RobJN wrote:Hmm.... Does Grondheim have a capital city? It being divided North and South, are there, perhaps, two capitals/seats of power?

Hey Rob, I responded to your e-mail, but I think it's probably useful to gather some of our previous Grondheim thoughts here as well.

As for North and South, I do see the north as populated more firmly by giants, while the south has a higher concentration of fey.

I've also always thought that while the Troll Queen may have power bases in the mortal world, her original power base would be somewhere in the Fey Realm. I think she would view her "capital" as being there (in the Fey Realm), but there would definitely be a need for a mortal realm location just so she could maintain control over her subjects. Krystallac strikes me as one possible location of power for the Troll Queen. Another in the north might be somewhere near where the Broken Lands would form (yes... somewhere close to the artifact that the elves will eventually blow up). I'm especially fond of the idea that BC 2300 "power" locations are destroyed horribly in some way :twisted:

Anyway, I think it might also be useful to compile some links to former discussions we've had. I'll do that below:
[Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara - there are several posts following the topic of Grondheim, the Queen, and the Progeny here
[Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara - some ideas by GP and Havard that may tie the Hags of Dymrak to the Troll Queen of Grondheim
[Mystara 2300 BC] Alphatia - The Troll Queen in Alphatia and the Well of Shadows
Where did they go? - Some early thoughts on the Troll Queen
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