Reading Nentir Vale novels.

The civilized world has been reduced to a series of points of light in a great wilderness of danger and monsters.
The Book-House: Find Nentir Vale products.

Reading Nentir Vale novels.

Postby Zeromaru X » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:12 am

Since I started this pet project of mine of compile all the information I have of the Nentir Vale setting, I wanted to re-read those novels. Now that I've finished the book I was reading (the third book of the Wheel of Time series), I will take a break of that saga and read the Abyssal Plague.

The first entry on the Abyssal Plague is "The Gates of Madness", a short-story that tell us how the Voidharrow came to life, the beginning of the Abyssal Plague and the backstory of Demascus (a character that is part of the Forgotten Realms setting). This story is free and is still available for download in the WotC website, you can download it here.

The Gates of Madness takes place some years before the fall of the empire of Nerath (it mentions the goblin problems in the Dragondown Coast), meaning some 300 years before the events of the Mark of Nerath, the prologue novel of the Abyssal Plague trilogy.
Last edited by Zeromaru X on Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Tim Baker » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:19 am

Zeromaru X wrote:The first entry on the Abyssal Plague is "The Gates of Madness", a short-story that tell us how the Voidharrow came to life, the beginning of the Abyssal Plague and the backstory of Demascus (a character that is part of the Forgotten Realms setting). This story is free and is still available for download in the WotC website, you can download it here.

Thanks for the heads up!
Image My Google+ RPG-related posts. | Image Escalation! fanzine for 13th Age.
User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
 
Posts: 842
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:51 am
Location: United States

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Havard » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:38 am

Thank you for doing this! I will be following this thread for future reports!

I find it interesting that this novel describes the setting 100 prior to the published setting. Does it offer alot of detail on what was different back then compared to the "present" time?

How many novels were part of this series?

-Havard

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
Havard
Dragon Turtle
 
Posts: 17105
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Zeromaru X » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:17 pm

Sadly, no. The focus on Nera only last for the first episode, in the second the characters are in the ruins of Bael Turath (the ruined capital city of the tiefling empire is called that way in this story, even when in the official materials is called Vor Kragal). However, the first chapter mentions stuff like Nera having problems with elemental cults, the problem in the Dragondown Coast with the goblinoid tribes (that will trigger de War of the Infernal Bastion, that is officially the last war of Nerath before the invasion of the Ruler of Ruin), and the the undercity of Nera, a place for outcasts and the downtrodden in the great human empire.

As for how many novels, there are 2 introductions (the Gates of Madness and the Mark of Nerath), the main trilogy, and three books that deal with the effects of the plague in Dark Sun and the Forgotten Realms, but I don't have those.

To the review:

I will not spoil to much of the Gates of Madness because you can get it for free :)

Finished reading it and I forget that this story also gives us the origins of Nu Alin, one of the main antagonists of the Abyssal Plague series, as well as the wizard Sherinna, that it will have a role latter in the main trilogy.

Now, I reading the Mark of Nerath, an unrelated book that also serves as the starting point of the Abyssal Plague novels in the Nentir Vale. God, this book is awful. But is important because is introduce us the main characters of the series.

In the prologue we have Uldane, a halfling rogue who reminds me a lot of Taz from Dragons of Autumn Twilight (it even has his "curiosity problem"), and the red-haired warrior Shana. Both are iconics from the Heroes of Fallen Lands supplement. They are the only survivors of a group of dragon hunters trying to chase down the green dragon Vestapalk (who appears in Threats to the Nentir Vale). The group included both, Shana's father and boyfriend, she will spend most of the novel trying to get her revenge from the dragon.

In the first chapter we are introduced to the death knight Kalaban, who remembers the last day of Darani, now a domain of dread, as well as how his brother, the legendary hero Krondor, killed the evil first emperor of Nerath, Magroth. Subsequently, Emperor Magroth (now the dread lord of Darani) will broker an alliance with a priestess of Orcus. In exchange for being able to leave his domain of dread for a year and a day, he have to complete three tasks: recover an ancient, unholy artifact; open the evil ruins known as Andok Sur; and finally, kill any surviving member of Nerath's royal bloodline, meaning, his own descendants.

Now, reading chapter 2.
Last edited by Zeromaru X on Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby ripvanwormer » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:26 pm

The deva Demascus, the Sword of the Gods, starts out in Gates of Madness and moves to the novel Sword of the Gods by Bruce Cordell. In Gates of Madness Demas is pushed through a portal into "whatever world lay beyond." In Sword of the Gods he's in the Forgotten Realms, and he's been there for over a hundred years.
ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
 
Posts: 2959
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Zeromaru X » Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:37 am

I find odd how this book is divided. A chapter per scene... but every scene is too short, that you can read a lot of chapters in a few minutes. Also, the scenes jump in a weird way between characters, with chapters interrupting other chapters, so is a little bit confusing. Every chapter is written in the point of view of one of the main characters.

There are three different plots in the story of this book:

The first plot is about Falon and Magroth. As mentioned before, Magroth has to kill his descendant to free himself from the domain of dread. Magroth has also his own sub-plot (killing an ancient vampire and opening Andok Sur).

The second of plot is about Shara and Uldane, the survivors of the dragon hunting team, as well as the revenant Erak. They have to deal with Vestapalk, who is searching for signs of the Elder Elemental Eye's will.

The third plot is about Nu Alin (the "demon" from the Gates of Madness), searching for the Voidharrow, while Albanon, Rhogar and Tempest (three of the 4e iconics) try to stop "him".

I will point out relevant stuff I found while I was reading.

Chapter 3


Nothing important here, but the scene of Erak's revival and the description of how the shadow powers work can be useful for rp.

Chapter 4

There is a mention of the Order of Vigilance, a guild tasked with safeguarding powerful relics, such as the Necropolis Stone (an amulet made of kelonite, jet-black crystalline stone from the Shadowfell) Orcus want Magroth to get, and the Voidharrow itself.

Chapter 5

Darrum, a dwarf ranger and one of the main characters, was part of the Imperial Shields, members of the Imperial Guard. One of the dwarves in the tavern recognized him and blamed him for the fate of the last emperor, Aldoran (that maybe is another name for King Elydir, or just conflicting lore, that's the norm with Nentir Vale stuff). I guess this scene is good just for this. While the empire had fallen 100 years ago, and humans and other short-lived races didn't even care about it, people like old dwarves and elves were first-hand witness of the fall of Nerath and are still affected by that event. Something to use in my campaigns.

Chapter 8

There is a mention of an old dwarven kingdom that stood in the Nentir Vale before the Nerathi settlers came to the area: Shatterstone.

Chapter 18

Falon's mom had the Sword of Nerath, a magic sword with Erathis' symbol on its pommel named Arande. The Threefold Crown symbol (a crown with three stars floating above it in an arc) is also the birthmark of Magroth's descendants.

Chapter 19

A little description of "current year" Nera. The ruins and that stuff. There is a small community of people living there, in a section called the Warrens. Is also mentions a Rogues' Guild led by a halfling called the Jolly Man.

Chapter 20

There is mentioned that, before the construction of Kalton Manor, there was a military outpost in that region, with a teleportation circle connecting directly to the Imperial Palace in Nera. Kalton Manor was constructed over its foundations, and the teleportation circle still works.

Chapter 22

This scene takes place in the ruined imperial palace, in Nera. The palace is underground, and its mentioned that was because some kind of disaster unleashed during the last battle of Nerath. Not all the palace is a rubble of ruins, and there are still treasures and such in the intact passages, and monsters from the Underdark dwelling there.

Chapter 24

Again, conflicting lore here. The Ghost Blades article from Dragon Magazine says that the last survivor of the royal family was a girl, born in the night Nerath fell. While, this novel says the survivor was a boy, 15-16 years old when the battle happened.

According to Falon's mom, Argent is near Nenlast, meaning it can be located in the Nerath official map.

Chapter 25

The Stoneguard were golems created to protect the imperial family. There are some of those still functioning.

Chapter 27

There are a lot of rumors about how Nerath fell. Along the ones I already posted in the history threat, there are rumors of a band of assassins sent by the Emperor's brother, a natural disaster or a powerful spell.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Zeromaru X » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:36 pm

There are some NPCs from official materials set in the Nentir Vale making cameos. I didn't mentioned this in the previous post:

-Salvana Wrafton appears in chapter 3. She is an NPC from "Keep on the Shadowfell" adventure.

-Sergeant Gerdrand, the Lord Warden of Fallcrest, and Nimozaran the Green and his apprentice, appear in chapters 38 and 40. Those are Fallcrest's NPCs mentioned in the DMG.

-Brugg and the Ordinator Arcanis appear in chapters 41, 46, 53, and 56. Those are NPCs from "Thunderspire Labyrinth" adventure.

-Sylish Kreed and his Wolf Runners gang appear in chapters 44, 47, and 48. They are enemies from Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale, and "Wolf Runners of the Trade Road" adventure.

-Erra Halfmoon, in chapter 56. She is also an NPC from "Thunderspire Labyrinth".

There are some subterranean ruins of Bael Turath in the Wicthlight Fens, where Magroth battles an ancient vampire lord tiefling named Sareth. This can be used to create some dungeon or adventure site.

Ok, with that out, I'll continue pointing out relevant, non-so much spoilerific stuff from the novel.

Chapter 49

There is mention of a mystic from the second century of Nerath Empire, known as the Felish Oracle, who predicted many things about the future of Nerath, including its fall. There is a prophecy that maybe can useful for a campaign: one of the descendants of Nerath will set the stage of Orcus's downfall. Obviously this is the story of Falon in this novel, but I guess we can connect this to the story of the H/P/E adventure path, as Orcus dies in the final battle of those adventures.

The book containing the prophecies is in Magroth's hands in the novel, but that doesn't have to happen in a campaign.

Also, this seer predicted the Abyssal Plague as well.

Chapter 56

NPC of note: Andral the Sage, historian. Albanon had read books of this guy, so maybe he is dead in the current age.

Chapter 83

It is revealed that Emperor Magroth sold his soul to Orcus at the age of fifteen. That means, before he founded the empire of Nerath. In fact, Nerath was consecrated to Orcus in Magroth reign. Somehow, that was changed by Magroth descendants (and maybe Magroth wife, the eladrin Amphaesia). By the time of the fourth emperor of Nerath, the empire was consecrated to the goddess Erathis.

Chapter 85

Krondor, the human hero who killed Magroth and ruined Orcus's plans in the world, was a champion of the Raven Queen. By using the Shadow power source he was able to overcome the protective magic Orcus has granted to the Mad Emperor. After his death, the Raven Queen claimed his soul, that's why he didn't ended up in Darani.

This can be useful in a campaign involving the H/P/E adventures.

Finished the novel (I'm an avid reader). Next book will be the Temple of Yellow Skulls.
Last edited by Zeromaru X on Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Havard » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:00 am

Zeromaru X wrote: the revenant Erak


What is known about this character? In Gary Gygax' orginal campaign, there was a PC called "Erac's Cousin", played by one of Gary's sons IIRC (Ernie maybe?). There is also a town called Erak in Dave Arneson's Blackmoor which I always suspected could be connected to whoever that cousin was.

Do you know anything more about this?

-Havard

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
Havard
Dragon Turtle
 
Posts: 17105
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Zeromaru X » Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:36 pm

So far I have re-readed, he is a champion of the Raven Queen, one of her more prominent agents in her struggle against Orcus (that is a main point in the Nentir Vale setting). In life he was Krondor, one of the most powerful knights under Emperor Magroth in the first years of Nerath. When he discovered Magroth was a worshiper of Orcus, he defeated the Mad Emperor and saved the world from a future under Orcus's domination. That way, Krondor became one of the most legendary heroes of the Nentir Vale setting, even if now nobody remembers his name.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:46 am

Well, the adventure continues (?) and this time I'm reading The Temple of Yellow Skulls. This one is really good. I've read Don Bassingthwaite is well regarded thanks to his Eberron novels, so I guess this novel will don't disappoint anyone (unlike Mark of Nerath...)

A brief summary:

After defeating Magroth and Vestapalk in the ruins of Andok Sur, Albanon finds himself bored. While most of his companion left upon returning to the city of Fallcrest, the remaining find themselves in a desperate search for adventure. The problem is that everything seems to be quiet for the time being. While Albanon, Shara, and Tazle... I mean, Uldane, pass the time by in one of the local taverns, a man comes up to the three and offers a job. After introducing himself as Hakken Raid, he tells the three of his plan, very little of the plan. However, Shara isn't convinced and tells him to leave, but due to that the three get in an argument. As Albanon heads home, he finds that someone is waiting for him, a cleric of Ioun and former friend of Albanon's mentor named Kri Redshal. Kri is looking for the container of the Voidharrow, but Albanon informs him that it was taken. Kri is determined to get it back and demands Albanon's assistance. However, as morning comes, Shara and Uldane don't show up. After tracking down Shara, the three learn that Uldane has left with Hakken in search of adventure. However, by Kri's insistence, the three go off in search of the Voidharrow instead of tracking down Uldane. After finding the last place the two saw the container empty, the three begin to worry. Unfortunately, it isn't good news for Uldane either, as his adventure with Raid turns out more that is was expected...

Again, I will point up interesting stuff that might be of use in a Nentir Vale campaign, as well as trivia stuff.

-Maldrick Scarmaker is mentioned in chapter two. He is the leader of the gnolls in "Thunderspire Labyrinth" adventure.

-Kri is from a city named Abermare "the Sweet City". According to dialogue, is located in the Nera region (I have to update the regions topic)

-The Temple of Yellow Skulls in the Nentir Vale is one of the many "Temples of Elemental Evil" Tharizdun made his followers erect around the world in ages past. So, there is no need to leave the Nentir Vale region if you're looking for epic and really deadly adventures.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Zeromaru X » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:16 am

I finished the Temple of Yellow Skulls. There are my notes about it:

-Kelson Farwanderer and his books are mentioned.

-The Order of Vigilance was founded by the survivors of the Gates of Madness story. A member of the Order named Dravit Nance, maybe influenced by the will of Tharizdun, released the Voidharrow and unleashed an Abyssal Plague prior to the one in the novels, that was also difficult to purge. Most of the information on how the plague works and the anathomy of plague demons was taken from this first outbreak.

-After this event, the Order dissolved, and to avoid an event like that in the future, the remaining Voidharrow was divided into two vials: the one that eventually came into Moorin's library, and one that went into the distant east (Selduria, I guess) with its keeper. A third one, maybe unrelated to the ones of the novels, ends in Gardmore Abbey, as seen in Madness at Gardmore Abbey super-adventure.

BTW, that means that a Voidharrow incident can be placed in Karkoth and is canonically accurate.

-It seems the gods, and their servants, are quite reserved about the Voidharrow. Divining magic or rituals to commune with gods or angels do not produce answers on that topic.

-The Temple of Yellow Skulls is in ruins, both in the surface and the underground chambers. A lot of monsters are living in those ruins. The mechanisms for doors and deactivate traps in the Temple of Yellow Skulls are designed to work in two ways: for normal humans hands and for rakshasa hands. Obviously, the right mechanisms are the ones activated by rakshasa hands (or devices crafted to imitate them). Using the normal hands mechanisms only activate the traps and that nasty stuff.

-In the novels, the Yellow Skulls are protected by elementals and illuminated by green witchlight. To defeat the elementals, one needs to turn the skulls, so that they end watching the walls.

In the novels all the skulls are stolen by Raid and the demon essences inside them eaten by Vestalpalk to quicken its ungodly Voidharrow transformation and given him energy to create more exarchs. The essences sealed in the Yellow Skulls were of Demon Princes.

-Sergeant Murgeddin is featured in chapter 14.

-The History of the Frontiers of Nerath, is a book with maps and that stuff of the Vale and other frontier regions.

-Albanon has lived seven years in Fallcrest.

-Vanamere's tower is mentioned (though, not by name) in chapter 15.

There is mentions of Colmane, that maybe is a region or a settlement (never clarified).

In the end, Tiktag (Vestapalk's kobold wyrmpriest) died, transformed into a Plague Demon exarch. He help the heroes in the end, because he denied what Vestapalk had become.

Kri ended being a Voidharrow lover as well. Maybe he was the one who killed the surviving members of the Order of Vigilance.

Plots left out in Mark of Nerath, that can be useful as adventure hooks:

Kalaban, Magroth's personal death knight, was left to his own devices and survived the final battle. He now wanders the world. For an undead, he have a sense of honor. So, he can be used as a non-heroic ally or a worthy villain.

Likewise, Erak the revenant is still alive and doing the Raven Queen's quest of destroying Orcus stuff.

Maggroth philacthery was never destroyed. So, he is still alive, thought likely trapped in the domain of dread known as Darani. Or not (as his philactery was left in the material plane). I guess, this depends on the DM.

The cult of Orcus is never dealt with in this saga. Barana Strenk, the priestess and leader, was trapped by Orcus and sent to the Abyss (or the Shadowfell), but we don't know if she is currently alive, dead or undead. I guess this cult of Orcus can tied to the cult that appears in the H/P/E adventures, or even used as the same cult.

The fate of Falon and Darrum is left uncertain. They leave for Nenlast and don't appear neither are mentioned again in the novel. They're still alive, but we don't know what is Falon going to do now that he knows he is the last heir of Nerath.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Zeromaru X » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:04 am

Novel 2: Oath of Vigilance:

Brief summary:

After have witnessing Vestapalk's apoteosis and the spread of his abyssal plague, our heroes face the totality of the destructive and pestilent forces presented by the Plague. The disease of the liquid crystal Voidharrow spreads throughout the Nentir Vale, transforming unsuspecting creatures into plague demons. Shara, Uldane, and the unlikely drow hero Quarhaun (a drow they saved from Vestapalk's evil plans) join forces with the tiefling Tempest and the dragonborn Rohgar from The Mark Of Nerath, and together they set out in search of Vestapalk, or the creature Vestapalk has become.

Meanwhile, Albanon and the mysterious cleric Kri Redshal—the last remaining member of the Order of Vigilance—went to the Feywild in search of answers to the disease that sweeps the land. The went to the tower of the wizard Sherinna, from the Gates of Madness, who is the grandmother of Albanon.

Again, I will point up interesting stuff that might be of use in a Nentir Vale campaign, as well as trivia stuff.

-The Voidharrow betrays Tharizdun. It doesn't want Tharizdun to be released, only wants to spread the Plague. The Voidharrow creates its Plaguedeep dimension in a volcano in the Stonemarch.

-The novel starts in the town of Moonstair. This town isn't in the Nentir Vale, but in the Barony of Therund. It was featured in P2 King of the Trollhaunt Warrens

-Celduilon is the city on the Feywild equivalent to the town of Moonstair.

-Magic in the Feywild is too easy to cast. That's why some eladrin wizards, like Albanon, train in the mortal world, where magic is hard to cast, so they can master magic properly.

-The Stony Gaze is an inn in the city of Nera. It's renowned for its excellent cook.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:29 am

Finished the second novel of the main trilogy. That means the fourth novel in the series at all. This was better than the previous one in fact, and focused mostly on Tharizdun trying to returning to the world. It was interesting, seeing one of the protagonist descending into madness and evil. I presume, the sort of stuff you see in the Book of Vile Darkness.

BTW, more of my notes for adventures and trivia stuff:

-Albanon is the son of the archfey known as the Prince of Thorns.

-Roghar and Tempest first chapters are set in Nera. Those chapters deal a lot with an "undercity" of sorts, a maze of tunnels and ruins of houses and manors from before the destruction of the city. This undercity was created by the cataclysm that destroyed most of the city near the Imperial Palace (the palace is underground, as it was revealed in Mark of Nerath). Those chapters have a lot of ideas for adventures set in the former capital of Nerath.

-The Order of Vigilance preserved a shard of the Living Gate. They used it as the focus for a teleportation circle. That would be useful for any adventures.

-From chapter seventeen onwards, Fallcrest has been destroyed by the plague demons. There is a human woman captain of the guard, named Damar, who is in charge of the militia (she wasn't used in any adventures).

-Wintermood is the farthest farm outside Fallcrest to the south, following the Nentir River. There is a custom in Fallcrest that in a reunion or some meeting is about to start, they will wait until the Wintermoods will arrive, because the live so far from the town that any person willing to participate will have enough time to arrive at the meeting before them.

-The Dembran Family, minor nobles that established in Fallcrest since the settling of the Vale.

-Halflings have rituals to depose of raft they do not use. Like doing long farewells and that. Well, Nerath's halflings, at least.

-Aerin's Crossing is the group of farms to the south of Fallcrest that form the beginning of the town proper. The Old Fort Road is the road that crosses Fallcrest from the Knigts' Gate to the Wizard's Gate. They can be seen on the map, in fact.

-Aranda Hill is a hill north of Fallcrest, from were you are able to see the town. I guess is named for Aranda Markelhay, the town's founder.

-In the novels, it seems it was Nu Alin, or other Tharizdun worshipers, the ones who "haunted" the Tower of Waiting in Fallcrest since at leats 200 years ago.

-Radiant energy, whatever from the gods (divine magic) or from the baleful stars of the Nentir Vale (pact magic) its very powerful against the Voidharrow and the Abyssal Plague. So not only clerics or paladins are good against the Voidharrow, but also warlocks with the Star/Old One pact. That also means that the powers of the Far Realm can affect the Voidharrow as well.

I've updated the regions post with a few more places from this novel, as well.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Zeromaru X » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:25 am

I started the last novel of the Abyssal Plague. Today is a festive day on my country, so I will read it all day. Maybe I'll finished by dusk. Here we go:

The Eye of the Chained God.

In the aftermath of the plague demons' attack on Fallcrest, Roghar's inspiring optimism has played a significant role in the rebuilding of the town. Albanon, meanwhile, has not recovered so well. Even as they defeated Nu Alin, the first plague demon, he is being tormented by his experiences and his near-transformations, first by Vestapalk then by Kri, and he has retreated to Moorin's tower, where he immerses himself in books. He is the last member of the Order of Vigilance, touched by both the Voidharrow and Tharizdun—he feels as if he stands on the brink of madness.

However, the Abyssal Plague spread quickly around the world. The Nentir Vale and the lands beyond has been ravaged by the plague and the plague demons. The vale is lawless and suspicions run rampant. Shara and Quarhaun also left their friends before the battle for Fallcrest, and nobody know about their whereabouts. Only safe as long as they hide, the heroes scout as close as they dare. But with Vestapalk growing ever-stronger and plague demons on the rise, they know they have to act soon. The world cannot afford to wait any longer.

Notes:

-After the death of Nu Alin, Churr Ashin, another of Vestapalk exarchs, turned against it, because Churr sensed Vestapalk fearing the heroes. Churr didn't survived, however.

-The shield is enough for many —proverb of Bahamutans.

-Effects of the plague in the World (or at least in Nerath region): Nera is closed to outsiders. There are riots and that stuff. The Nerans burned people suspected of having the plague. The dwarven citadels are totally sealed. The town of Moonstair is full with refugees, and the Moon Door is sealed from the Feywild. Immeral (one of the protagonist) feared Moonstair didn't survived the plague after he left the town. In some places tieflings are blamed of bringing the plague, in others, even people with redhead is blamed.

-The Shard of Pure Evil came trought the Living Gate. That was the reason Tharizdun opened the Gate a second time (so, I have to update the history document. Well, I will update it nonetheless, because I got some new info I've read in Madness at Gardmore Abbey and the Book of Vile Darkness now that I have those books).

-Betrayed, now Tharizdun opposes the Voidharrow as well. He is actively helping the protagonist against Vestapalk and the Voidharrow. That will be really the plot twits in an adventure (maybe I'll focus on this on my next Abyssal Plague campaign).
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Re-reading the Abyssal Plague novels

Postby Zeromaru X » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:46 am

Finished the last book, here are my notes.

More notes:

-The Yellow Skulls seems to be "replenishable". That is, the demon princes inside can recharge their energy if they aren't used for a time. However, they will die if they're used too much.

-The new party of heroes is composed by Albanon (and Splendid), Roghar, Tempest, Uldane, Belen (a human guard from Fallcrest) and Immeral (one of the eladrin feyknights of the Prince of Thorns).

-It takes from morning (before the sun rises) to early afternoon to get from Fallcrest to the Cloak Wood, at a normal pace and using the King's Road. It takes two days, at a normal pace and using the King's Road, to go from Fallcrest to Winterhaven (by discard, just a day from Winterhaven to Gardmore Abbey). This will be useful to calculate distances in the Vale, because Fallcrest is on the center of the map.

-Belarn seems to be a town or region. It was mentioned in one of Roghar's songs.

-The Voidharrow is connected. All the demons share a collective mind, and the Plaguedeep is a "command center" of sorts.

-Prime numbers seen to be keys to unlock unlimited arcane power in the mind of a wizard. But only if the wizard is able to calculate numbers large enough.

-There is an abandoned watchtower in the road between Gardmore Abbey and Winterhaven.

-Ninaran is still alive in Winterhaven. That means by the time the novels take place, Kalarel group was not defeated (or Ninaran never blow up her cover). Alternatively, seeing the state of the Vale, maybe the cultist just fled or the plague demons already killed them or infected them. Anyways, this is why I didn't take events of the novels (current events, well) into account for the timeline. It changed too much to Vale, in a way that is not recognizable anymore.

-Vestapalk was able to create an avatar, named Vestagix, from one of his talons (appropriately, the name means "Claw of Vesta", in Draconic)- I guess it could be a good sub-boss in an Abyssal Plague campaign.

-Immeral and Splendid died battling Vestagix. Many npcs from Winterhaven died in the battle as well.

-There are some dwarven ruins somewhere in the Cairngorm Peaks that were formerly a citadel dedicated to Tharizdun. The dwarven citadel is inside a mountain with a face chiseled in one of their sides. The peak is full with peryton's nests.

-A deva (aasimar) called Hania was another member of the Order of Vigilance, with Kri and Moorin.

-Tabisha was another member of the Order. She was Kri's apprentice, a rogue, but the novels don't reveal her race (maybe human, by default).

-During the first Abyssal Plague incident, the Order had to destroy a temple of Pelor. Kri and Tabisha visited those ruins, and it was there where Kri discovered his portion of Voidharrow (the last remnants of Nance's Voidharrow). Kri left Tabisha to die trapped in the ruins.

-There is a encampment of Tigerclaw barbarians in the novels. Their culture is somehow similar to that of native americans. The clan in the novels is called the Thornpad clan, and their leader is a male shifter named Turbull.

-When dealing with Tigerclaws, is better to be honest and straightforward. Sneaking their camps is not recommended. If one has good intentions, they will let you pass without problem. Guess are treated with courtesy, and even are invited to dinner. Tigerclaws took hospitality seriously, a boon of hospitality from the leader cannot be denied by other members of the clan. Likewise, cannot be denied by guests, either. However, Tigerclaws are extremely wary of strangers.

-Belen is the daughter of a hunter from another Tigerclaw clan. That clan was lead by a male shifter named Asheye. The Tigerclaws don’t look kindly on anyone who leaves the clan, calling them Riven and shunning them. That extends to their descendants, that's why Belen didn't wanted anyone know she was the daughter of a Tigerclaw Riven.

-Shifter's teeth look more predatory (and disturbing, for non-shifters) than that of tieflings.

-Kri was still alive, and knew how to destroy the Voidharrow: dispelling Tharizdun's will from it. As the Voidharrow is a fusion of Tharizdun's will and the Progenitor's essence, and the Progenitor is a substance alien to the natural world, without Tharizdun's will to hold it together all the Voidharrow incarnations on the world will be rejected by the laws of the world (the Primal Ban, maybe?) and will disappear.

-Vestapalk created another exarch, this time by using his wings. It was a green dragon with two heads. The heads were called Vestausan and Vestausir (from draconic ausan and ausir, firts wing and second wing. Decomposing the words, au is wing in draconic, san and sir, one and two).

-Cariss, one of the Tigerclaws shifters, joins the group for the final battle.

-As they reach the Plaguedeep, they saw the world around them changed. Not just the terrain, but also the geography of the Ogrefist Hills. The land was alien, like if that part of the world had became a landscape of another plane.

-The fused will of Tharizdun formed a powerful object that was called the Eye of the Chained God. I guess that could make a powerful artifact for adventures and the like.

I guess I'm going to re-purpose this topic for the other novels.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Reading Nentir Vale novels.

Postby Zeromaru X » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:03 am

The Last Garrison

This is a standalone novel I found on Amazon. It was a light reading, I finished in a few hours, and it felt refreshing after the dark and complicated Abyssal Plague (at least to me, I have to mentally translate all that I read, lol).

It's set in the Nerath world, but it doesn't indicate the exact location of were the town of Haven (the place were the protagonist live) is located in relation to the Nentir Vale. The novel only mentions that is located to the northeast to the Raven Queen's holiest temple. Since the town was part of Nerath, however, I guess we can locate it in the montains northeasth to the Vale.

The story began with an old warlock known only as the Old Stargazer who, as his nickname implies, made pact with the stars of the "Nerathspace" for power and longevity to protect his town. It seems he has lived since the fall of Nerath. But know, he is old and the elder evils had come to claim their due: he have to allow the beings form beyond the stars to possess him and manifest in the mortal world. The Raven Queen wanted him death to avoid that, and that is the general plot of the story. There are a few sub-plots, like Nergei's origins and Sten past, but I will not spoil that (this topic is for ideas to enhance roleplaying).

So, according to the Old Stargazer the stars "are suns". So, Nerathspace stars are like the ones in real life, unlike the stars of other Spelljammer settings, I guess.

One of the protagonists, Sten, was a child when his father died in the final battle of Nerath. Sten is an old man in the story. That means the story of this novel is set at least two generations before the Abyssal Plague trilogy. I'll set the story in CY-50 in the history document, just for convenience.

The revenant who appears in this is story is named Erak. Seems to be the same one from Mark of Nerath.

According to common belief, kenkus were created by the Raven Queen. The kenkus that live in the northern mountains (called the Grand Spire Mountains), are fanatically devoted to her. They thrive in cold climates, and their shamans, called "winter bringers", can magically create unnatural winter conditions on any battlefield, if given enough time. They dislike other races, but dislike even more kenku that aren't from their tribe.

The Raven Queen holiest temple is located in the Dusk Peak Mountains, in a place consecrated to Death even before the ascension of the Raven Queen.

Rivershoal is one of the remaining cities of lost Nerath.

Grandmoor is a region or city of Nerath. One of the final battles of the empire was fought there. It seems that eladrin killed their humans allies in the battle, though the novel doesn't explain the reasons. Humans still resent elves of all kinds for that (or least, still resented them by the time the novel takes place).

Haven was an old garrison of Nerath before the fall of the Empire. The Old Stargazer and his adventurer's friend from old Nerath went to live there after the fall of the Empire, to safeguard the old ideals of Nerath. When the others died, the Old Satrgazer re-purposed the garrison as a town in his grief. He protected it, though, because it was the legacy of his friends.

The equivalent region to Haven in the Shadowfell is called Gloomhaven.

More cities: Wardgate, Redstone, and Middlenight. All fallen, it seems, by the time the story takes place.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Reading Nentir Vale novels.

Postby Havard » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:22 pm

Nice summary Zeromaru! The author of The Last Garrison, Mathew Beard, is actually a member of The Piazza. You might try to give him a ping and maybe he will drop by to comment? :)

How much do we know about Erac after these two novels where he appears?

Is the idea that Kenku's are created by the Raven Queen something that was invented for this novel, or do other sources use this background for the race? I rather like this idea.

CY-50 in the


Sorry, this means 50 years before the standard Nentir Vale products?

Are any of the other locations given in the book locations that appear elsewhere or are they all new? Except for Nerath, and the Shadowfell of course.

Are there further connections between this book and Mark of Nerath?

-Havard

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
Havard
Dragon Turtle
 
Posts: 17105
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Reading Nentir Vale novels.

Postby Zeromaru X » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:09 pm

Havard wrote:How much do we know about Erac after these two novels where he appears?


In life he was Krondor, the hero who sacrificed his life to kill Magroth the Mad, first Emperor of Nerath, before the evil emperor could re-purpose Nerath for Orcus's glory. The Raven Queen exalted his soul because of that, reviving him as a the revenant known as Erak. She speaks directly to him and that stuff and he carry on missions on her behalf.

Is the idea that Kenku's are created by the Raven Queen something that was invented for this novel, or do other sources use this background for the race? I rather like this idea.


An article dedicated to kenkus in Dragon 411 also mentions the same and expands on the idea (the Raven Queen creating kenkus and the demon lord Pazuzu corrupting them), but that issue is from 2012, while this novel was published in 2011. That means that the idea was created first in this novel, and the article just expanded on it.

CY-50 in the


Sorry, this means 50 years before the standard Nentir Vale products?


Yeah. It's a fanmade term. There is no official timeline on Nentir Vale products, so the "CY-" stuff was created by the guys of the WotC forums to measure who far in the past events in official products happened in relation with the start of the Nentir Vale campaign (that is whatever year a DM chooses to start his campaign on the Vale). CY stands for Current Year. I adopted the reference for my timeline document.

Are any of the other locations given in the book locations that appear elsewhere or are they all new? Except for Nerath, and the Shadowfell of course.

Are there further connections between this book and Mark of Nerath?


Beyond the gods? I saw no more connections. The sites on the Last Garrison are all new, related to the Mark of Nerath and the Abyssal Plague novels only because they were part of Nerath. I do hope to see a few connections between this novel and The Seal of Karga Kul, novel that I'm re-reading right now, but is unlikely, because the novel takes place in the south.

The Seal of Karga Kul

Another standalone novel this one is set in the Dragondown Coast, a region to the south of the Nentir Vale (easily located in the official map: were Sarthel is). The plot is about Remy, a courtier who was sent to deliver a mysterious box to another city, and by chance meets Biri-Daar, a female dragonborn paladin of Bahamut and a member of the Knights of Kul, the last knightly order from old Arkhosia. Biri-Daar mission is to go to the ancient city of Karga Kul and avoid a demon incursion on the mortal world, and Remy gets involved in that because the demons want the box he carries. There is no way to know in what period of time the events in this novel happens in relation to the Abyssal Plague novels.

I've read this novel before, but now my english is better. So, since I'm searching for stuff for my document, I'm taking the chance to re-read this novel as well.

Remy is from Avankil, a port city located on the southern side of Blackfall River Estuary, and the river is located in the southern part of the southern region of the Dragondown Coast as well. Avankil is the second largest city of the region. The other is Karga Kul, an ancient city that dates back to Arkhosia.

The Keep of Avankil is the seat of power in the city. A wizard named Philomen is the vizier. He was the counselor of kings of old times, but now he rules Avankil unchallenged. Rumors said that he spent a hundred years researching how to create magical clones, and that he lived on in those clones, moving his spirit from one to another as each body aged beyond its prime.

Avankil waters are contaminated by alchemical and magical substances, and mutated fishes and similar stuff live on them.

Avankil is one of the few cities of the Dragondown Coast that have a permanent clan of dragonborn living there.

Most of the southern region of the Dragondown Coast is an unforgiving, monster infested desert. Clans of hobgoblins control most of the desert (this is also mentioned in the adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey, and in the Gates of Madness novella).

The Crow Fork is a crossroads in the southern section of the Dragondown Coast. Any land route in the region passes the Crow Fork at some point. The three main roads are those to go to Avankil, to Toradan (a coastal city to the east of Avankil, in the southern section of the Gulf of Kul), and the North Road that goes to the Draco Serrata Mountains and the northern Dragondown. According to Kerevel (a human cleric of Erathis and member of Biri-Daar's party), the North Road dates to the time of Bael Turath (and maybe also most of the constructions and ruins of the southern side of the Dragondown Coast).

I guess I didn't mentioned this when I did the summary of Oath of Vigilance, but this novel and Oath of Vigilance both have characters saying that followers of Bahamut and those of Erathis tend to work together, because both gods view the world in similar ways.

The Crow Fork Market is a walled fortress near the Crow Fork. Around the keep inside the walls there is a big bazaar. All kinds of stuff can be found, bought and sell there, even rare magical items. Since the Crow Fork Market stands amid a desert, caravans come and go from the Market everyday. There is a passage to the Underdark near, as well. The Crow Fork Market it is also a bastion against the hobgoblin raiders that plague the desert, and a neutral ground for the races living in the region: no conflicts of any kind are allowed inside its walls, on pain of death for the transgressors. The Market is ruled by a Council, although the novel don't say much about it.

At night, the Market is lit by magical lights as well as natural fires.

According to legend, the Crow Fork Market is older than even Arkhosia and Bael Turath, build around an oasis. It eventually growth into the citadel described in the novel. Over the years, armies and factions of many races had tried to conquer the Market, but all failed.

Demon's Eyes are magic items that can be keyed to locate certain individuals. If the item is destroyed, its maker knows when, who and how it was destroyed.

Spiretop drakes are considered pest in some cities.

The Mage Trust is a powerful cabal of magic users of the city of Karga Kul.

At the time the novel takes places, the current fashion in Avankil for the rich was to hire tieflings bodyguards.

The sewers of the Crow Fork Market are labyrinthine and connected to natural caves, some leading to the Underdark. Good place for city-adventures.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Reading Nentir Vale novels.

Postby Zeromaru X » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:27 am

More notes on the Seal of Karga Kul:

On the fringes between southern Dragondown and the Draco Serrata Mountains, the desert slowly becomes a green plain. There are monoliths of no mortal's work dotting the landscape.

People avoid the Crow Road, believing (with good reason) that the place is a demon-infested region.

The Solstice War, one of the many wars between ancient Arkhosia and Bael Turath, was not really a war. But people called it one because of its consequences. Many blame the conflict a plot between Corellon, Melora and the Raven Queen. According to legend, the Raven Queen, furious that the battle had stopped (both sides were on truce because winter) and her ravens were starving, went to Melora and plotted with her the destruction of a bridge the Arkhosians had constructed in the Gorge of Noon (amid the Draco Serrata Mountains). The bridge had been created by the arkhosians many years before the imperial wars, with help of the dwarves who lived in the mountains, and was a marvel of the world. Iban Ja, the greatest of the dragonborn wizards, confident of the Arkhosian emperor himself, casted the magic that maintained the bridge bound to the mountains. Over time, the bridge became a symbol of Arkhosian civilization. In time, when Arkhosian frontiers meet those of Bael Turath, the bridge became a sort of frontier line between the two nations.

Before the Solstice War, the Turathi attacked the dwarfholds of the Draco Serrata Mountains, killing or enslaving the dwarves, in a failed attempt to uncover the secrets of engineering and magic used to build the bridge.

Melora went to Corellon and convinced him to create an unnatural spring for thirteen days in the middle of winter, and soon the armies were fighting again across the southern Dragondown Coast. The most violent of those battles was fought in the Gorge of Noon.

In the legend, Melora is described with teeth of stone and hair made of vines.

According to one legend, Iban Ja was never been born. Instead, ten powerful dragonborn wizards fused to create him. He was, according to other legend, a thousand years old when the Solstice War happened.

A detachment of the Knights of Kul, the elite of the Arkhosian forces, were able to cross the bridge and gain a foothold in the Turathi side of the gorge, and it seemed the Arkhosians were winning the battle. However, at some point the Turathi were able to destroy the bridge, killing most of the Arkhosian troops and trapping the Knights of Kul on the Turathi side of the bridge. The wizard Iban Ja sacrificed his life to magically reconstruct the bridge—that now carries his name—to allow the rest of the Arkhosian army cross the gorge and save as many of the Knights as they could. Against all odds, Arkhosia won the Solstice War, driving the Turathi out of the Dragondown Coast.

There are five big cities in the Dragondown Coast, called by most the Five Cities of the Gulf. Karga Kul is on the northern extreme of the Dragondown, and Avankil in the southern extreme. Between them, north to south, are the cities of Saak-Opole, Furia, and Toradan. Of the five, only Avankil and Karga Kul are real cities. The others had shrunken after the fall of Nerath, and by the time of the novel, were more like glorified big towns.

The current age Bridge of Iban Ja is a group of stones of varying sizes floating in mid air, sustained only by magic like floating platforms in an invisible river. The gaps between the stones also vary in length. A group of stones tied together with ropes form a path (created by the few travelers that dare to cross the bridge), but still crossing the bridge is no small feat. The stones move with air currents, making difficult to move between them. The gorge below (the Gorge of Noon) is two thousand feet deep, so failing to cross the bridge is insta-death if you can't fly. Perfect for skill challenges.

The Raven Queen is still interested in the Bridge, and her sorrowsworn patrol the bridge. Clans of hobgoblins and tieflings live in the former holds of the dwarves of the noon, as well. Possibly descendants of Bael Turath loyalists.

The forest beyond the northern side of the bridge is connected to the Feywild. A group of elves and eladrin lives there, making sure the denizens of the bridge didn't go to the north. They are led by the Lord of the Wood, possibly an archfey.

All dragonborn carry a bit of the shell of the egg from were they born, as talismans or that stuff. The dragonborn of Karga Kul carry it as earrings.

As a side note: reading this novel I learned about the difference between raven and crow. In spanish, both are called "cuervo", and there is no difference between the two species.

The Crow Road —a road that crosses all the way from the Draco Serrata Mountains to the Whitefall river in northern extreme of the Dragondown Coast— was built in the time of an empire older than even Arkhosia and Bael Turath. The road was ancient when those two nations were founded. About the ancient empire, nobody knows nothing. Surviving records from both Arkhosia and Bael Turath tell only about the construction of the Crow Road. According to those records, ancient beliefs had that crows and ravens had commerce with all realms in the mortal world and the planes beyond. The Road Builder (his name forever forgotten), taught crows and ravens how to talk human tongues in hopes that, in exchange, they would help him to build a road that could go everywhere. But the birds didn't helped him. In fury, the Road Builder made the people of the empire to kill many crows and ravens in hopes of learning their secrets from their deaths, but this also proved futile. As his last resource, the Road Builder began the construction of his road, and buried the crows and ravens under every tenth stones, earning the hatred of crows and ravens forever. If a worker died while building the road, he or she was also buried beneath the road. The Road Builder also ordered a lot of exotic beasts from other planes to be killed and buried beneath the road. All this he claimed, would make the road to become like the path across the worlds. When the Road Builder had buried his last bird, he called the road the Crow Road and made a tomb for himself, the Inverted Keep, near the end of the Crow Road, were he was buried after his death.

The trees near the Crow Road are home to all kinds of crows and ravens. Even Shadowravens (ravens from the Shadowfell) can be found near the Crow Road. That is because they go to the road to honor those of their kind buried there.

The archipelago in the Gulf of Kul is called the Kraken's Gate.

Karga Kul is a really ancient city. It existed before the Crow Road was built, so its even older than Arkhosia and Bael Turath. An ancient civilization, now forgotten, built the city of Karga Kul in the northern Dragondown Coast. Seven different civilizations inhabited the city over the years, and its inhabitants expanded the borders of the city not in the surface, but below the earth all the way to the Underdark, where they found a rift that connected the mortal world and the White Kingdom, the abyssal layer of Doresain, exarch of Orcus.

Bahamut himself went to Karga Kul and used Moidan’s Quill, a powerful artifact, to create a magical barrier to seal the rift. This magical barrier is known as the Seal of Karga Kul. A clan of dragonborn warriors was tasked with the protection of both the seal and the artifact. They founded the order of the Knights of Kul.

Clerics of Erathis are forbidden by their oaths to use bladed weapons.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Reading Nentir Vale novels.

Postby Zeromaru X » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:26 am

The Seal of Karga Kul ins't eternal. Some few hundred years it grows weaker, and the members of the Knights of Kul have to recharge its magic. The only way to do it its to use Moidan's Quill or another artifact specially tunned to the Seal.

The crows on the Crow Road are descendants of the one buried beneath the stones. Members of clans watch over the sections of the road where they ancestors are buried. Interesting, crows have families...

The Inverted Keep is a floating estructure, hanging in the air, hundreds of feets over the Whitefall river. It isn't the Road Builder tomb proper. The tomb is a subterranean estructure. But both are magically connected, and the tomb sustains the magic of the Keep. The only way to get to the Keep is through the tomb.

The Monastery of the Cliff is a holy order of monks located in Toradan. However, it seems that by the time this novel takes place, the order had forsaken their holy vows.

Making Erathis symbol (folding the fingers like the upper half of a gear), and then touching the heart and forehead is a warding symbol used by followers of Erathis.

North of the Draco Serrata the terrain becomes the Lightless Marsh. This swamp region is obscure even in the day hours and inhabited by yuan-ti and undead. The part of the Crow Road that traverses the marsh is underwater.

The Whitefall halfling clan speak a dialect of Common that is not that common in the Dragondown Coast. By the way, canon confirmation that dialects exists in the Nentir Vale setting.

A port town named Iskar's Landing is located in the Karga Trace, one of the tributaries of the Whitefall river. It its near the second terminus of the Crow Road, the Southern Fork.

The region between the Whitefall and the Lightless Marsh is named the Whitefall Highlands.

The Crow's Foot is a part of the Crow Road where the Lightless Marsh ends and the road is in dry terrain again. North of there, the Crow Road divides again. The Tomb Fork splits the road northeast to Karga Kul and northwest to the Road Builder's Tomb.

The Crow Road ends in the Road Builder's Tomb. The Road Builder's Tomb is a place where each rock is engraved with runes. In the center of the place there is the entrance to the subterranean tomb.

Rumor says that at the southern end of the Crow Road there was another place like the tomb, but it was destroyed during the Arkhosian-Turathi Wars. The dragonborn carried the rocks back to Toradan.

The tomb is a chamber full with treasures and representations of the Road Builder achievements and deeds (stuff from the road building and sorcery, made of precious metals and gems; it has murals depicting the history of the Crow Road, a map of Dragondown Coast on the floor, made of gemstones, and stellar maps on the ceiling, made of diamonds). Is guarded by the last workers who built the Crow Road, who were buried in the walls of the tomb instead of in the road. The magic that sustain the undead also compels them to maintain the tomb in perfect conditions. They repair even minor damage when it happens.

The Road Builder's sarcophagus is empty. There is a pit of pitch black darkness and uncertain deep inside of it. That pit in fact is a magical portal that connects to the Inverted Keep. When you go down the pit, the vertical surface eventually becomes an horizontal drain in the Inverted Keep.

Rangers of the Nentir Vale practice shamanic traditions.

The lower section of the Keep is full of dungeons and torture rooms and mechanical traps.

Time in the Inverted Keep doesn't flow at the same rate than in outside the Keep. The garbage in the pits is still fresh, though it was discarded thousands of years ago. Yet, living beings who died there decomposed normally.

The Inverted Keep, as its name implies, is an inverted castle. Gravity was magically inverted, so people can walk normally and that, but if one sees to the ceiling of the Keep, can see the Road Builder's Tomb and the Whitefall river and the rest of the region upside.

The upper levels of the Keep were a garrison of sorts. The gardens are still green and that, sustained by the magic of the Road Builder. All plants are undead, though.

The actual tomb of the Road Builder is in the central tower of the Keep. The Road Builder is a lich in the novel.

Moidan's Quill is cut from the tail feather of a phoenix. In the novel, is also the phylactery of the Road Builder.

There is a portal some meters "below" the Inverted Keep, that connects to the end of the Crow Road.

There is a portal to Sigil in Avankil. Is hidden in an unassuming apartment in the quays.

Vagnir's Ledge is a dwarf town in the shore of the Whitefall.

Philomen of Avankil is a servant of Orcus. He commands an army of death knights that includes former members of the Knights of Kul, betrayers to the order who pledged themselves to the Demon Lord Orcus.

The Striped Bank is a region near Avankil where the tributaries run down from the steep hills on either side of the Blackfall river, and the hills were horizontally streaked in fantastic shades of green.

The order of the Knights of Kul became corrupted by worshipers of Tiamat after the Solstice War. Since then, Bahamut and Tiamat have fought for the souls of the dragonborn knights. A few Knights betray the order every now and then.

The entrance of Karga Kul is so crowded, that some merchants prefer to pay expensive wares to enter the city by using an alternate route in a cave instead of waiting for their turn to enter using the main gates.

Only few lucky ones can enter into Karga Kul. Only merchants and people that have legitimate business with the Mage Trust or the city's authorities, or those who are sponsored by the Knights of Kul. Other petitioners have formed a shantytown of sorts outside the city gates, waiting in vain for an opportunity to enter the city.

The last emperor of Saak-Opole lived 500 years before the time of this novel. That means, Saak-Opole was an empire by the time Nerath was a young nation. Possibly was absorbed into Nerath in that time.

Karga Kul is a clean city. That cleanliness is enforced by the militia by orders of the Mage Trust.

The civilization that founded Karga Kul was known only by its obsessive repetition of the numbers six and seven, always together. In the Palace, for instance, there were six floors and seven rooms on each. The stairs between each floor numbered thirteen. The Palace itself was hexagonal in shape, with seven windows on each side of the hexagon. And so on.

During the wars after the fall of Nerath, Saak-Opole and Toradan fought against the forces of Karga Kul and Avankil.

The Black Mirror of the Trust is a powerful scrying mirror made of obsidian, used by the Mage Trust. Depends on its position, it has different uses.

In the novel the Mage Trust is all but destroyed by the demon incursion. Again, another stuff I'm going to left out of the my document.

The labyrinthine path to the Chamber of the Seal is protected by fake doors and magical traps.

The Chamber of the Seal is decorated with statues of ancient heroes who protected the city. The portal to the Abyss is a circular stone door, set into the floor and without visible hinge or spring. The seal is a rectangular stone the size of a coffin lid and two feet thick, laid over the narrow gap between portal and bedrock floor.

Reinforce the Seal requieres the mage who is doing the magic to sacrifice one of his/her eyes using Moidan's Quill, and then using the blood to write the sigils.

Karga Kul rest in Cape Kul. Likewise, Toradan is located in Cape Toradan.

The novel ends with two appendix, one the myth of the blood of Io (Io's death in the Dawn War), and other about the psychological choices of dragonborn. Both of them were re-used in the book "Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn".

---
With this, only the stories in the anthology book are left.
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am

Re: Reading Nentir Vale novels.

Postby Tim Baker » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:48 am

I'm envious of how much reading you're able to do. And English isn't your first language, if I remember correctly. Impressive.
Image My Google+ RPG-related posts. | Image Escalation! fanzine for 13th Age.
User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
 
Posts: 842
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:51 am
Location: United States

Re: Reading Nentir Vale novels.

Postby Zeromaru X » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:43 pm

Reading books in English serves to help me improve my english. :P And I'm an avid reader. One of the things that made me play D&D and became a DM was that it like to read.

BTW, I have started the anthology book-

Untold Adventures

This is an anthology book that recopiles few stories published in Dragon Magazine. Those stories were set in the Nentir Vale setting, Forgotten Realms, Eberron and Dark Sun. In this topic, I will address only the ones set in Nentir Vale.

Under the Plains of Rust

The story stars in Fallcrest, with the dead of Sernos (or Revenge, his tiefling name), a warlock that was known in the Nentir Vale as talented magic user.

Kraik the Necromancer was the wizard rival of Sernos, who lives in Fallcrest.

Armos Kamroth wife is called Telia. Armos is one of Fallcrest NPCs mentioned in the DMG.

Ermlock’s Grip is a curse that traps a person in their armor, and then squeezes them to death. It takes seven days to kill a person, and using mundane means to remove the armor will kill the poor one that is doing that.

Glorysade is a legendary colossus created by demons during the first stages of the Blood War. As it happens in real life, the legend of Glorysade got distorted with the passing of time, and people began to believe that Glorysade was a realm of order in the Abyss. According to that legend, an angel created a powerful artifact that could "create order in the chaos", and as devils wanted that artifact for themselves, the angel hid it in the Abyss. If, according to the legend, someone of good heart could get the artifact, could be the master of Glorysade, "the Realm of Order in the Elemental Chaos". I could make a good adventure with this hook.

In one of the sarcophagi of the Tombwood, in Fallcrest, there is a ladder leading to a Tharizdun's buried temple. There is portal in that temple that leads to the Elemental Chaos. (and I'm worried about the many locales dedicated to Tharizdun in the Vale...)

The Plains of Rust is an abyssal layer where devils built a series of garrisons during the first battles of the Blood War. Some demon lords created noxious vapors from the swamps of the layer, that rusted the strongholds, that became rust dust. Hence the name of the plane.

The Steel Princess

This story starts in Hammerfast.

There is a inn named Crackkeg Ale. The innkeeper is a dwarf named Norgen.

The protagonist is Ruhan Bijendra, a rakshasa Dhanesh (a noble caste of rakshasas). Also, it is a ranger, that seems to be an unlikely calling among rakshasas of the Nerath world.

The swords of the Sword Barrow are masterwork magical weapons, and even if they are ancient, they are still fully usable.

Bijendra's magic sword is called Furcleave.

There is a keyhole in the Sword Barrow whose key can be any magic sword. Using this keyhole unlocks the magic of the Sword Barrow.

The Steel Princess is the mistress and wardress of the old blades in the Barrow. She has the power to command any bladed weapon in the world. She is made up of blades, swords and daggers.

The Steel Princess was originally an eladrin princess named Jiriyel. She was cursed by a witch of the hillclans that lived originally in Nentir Vale. The curse made her guardian of the Sword Barrow. According to Jiriyel, the curse cannot be broken by any means, magical or mundane, but in fact a kiss can destroy the curse (you will be badly cut if you kiss her, though: her tongue is an scalpel).

Giriraj Keep is a rakshasa keep located in the mountains beyond Nentir Vale.

The Foundling

This story takes place in the Witchlight Fens.

There is a githzerai enclave in the fens.

The Witchlight Fens are an inestable place, full of planar doors. This novel mentions doors to the Elemental Chaos, while Threats to the Nentir Vale mentions doors to the Shadowfell.

The foundling of the story is a githyanki baby found and raised by a githzerai woman. She was exiled from the enclave because she was raising a hated githyanki. When she dies due to the plots of the githzerai leaders, the githyanki boy becomes so powerful that obtains god-like powers and is filled with a powerful desire to avenge his surrogate mother. The ending of the story is really interesting...
User avatar
Zeromaru X
The Elder Wizard
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:24 am


Return to Nentir Vale

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests