Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

The civilized world has been reduced to a series of points of light in a great wilderness of danger and monsters.
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Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:02 pm

Hello Everyone - I am embarking on a personal pet project to create an Encyclopedia of the Nentir Vale. The finished product I envision will be cross-referenced and cross-linked as much as possible. In order to accomplish this, I will be re-reading all D&D 4e products that take place in the Nentir Vale, including regular production releases as well as Dungeon Magazine, Dragon Magazine, Worldwide D&D Day adventures, D&D Game Day Adventures, novels, and D&D Encounters seasons. I have a complete collection of Nentir Vale products, so I am ready to go - I'll be reading these in order of release based on month and year. I am also cross-posting this encyclopedia on RPGGeek as a geeklist, so if you see it over there, that's me doing that one too. I do not know what sort of file the final document will be, I want something that offers database searchability and ease of use, but I haven't nailed down that detail yet.

Before I get started, you may be wondering why I am doing such a thing. Here is my reasoning:

1) I want to document how a setting developed over a system/edition's lifespan, exploring how the setting changed and grew through the years.

2) I like the Nentir Vale - it's one of my favorite settings - and I do not foresee any new development of the setting in the future, so what better way to celebrate it than to create something that doesn't exist - an encyclopedia that includes all mention of all heroes, villains, and NPCs in the published products of the setting.

3) Because 4e D&D was such a short-lived edition, the Nentir Vale also has a limited (relative to other D&D settings) number of products that address the activities, locations, and people found in the setting. It is a finite setting, which makes it perfect for my experiment.

4) The Vale is also a small region of a grander world. The majority of the material released for the setting takes place directly in the Nentir Vale itself, with only a few products or articles addressing the wider world. So not only is the setting limited in time, but also is spatially constrained - making it doubly fitting for this experiment. There are many other settings I could choose, but they are either too large and expansive, or have been subject to development for too long, or, frankly, already have encyclopedia-style products or wikis* about them, to make this a viable or useful experiment.

*Yes, I know there is a Nentir Vale Wiki, but it is woefully lacking in fine details for what I want to do.

*Zeromaru X, one of the primo NV setting gurus, has compiled a great History of the Nentir Vale document and a set of threads with a ton of NV info, and this is great work... but I still want to do my own pet project, and this will be more encyclopedic in nature vs timeline/history in nature.


So... feel free to chime in and offer criticism or support or questions - I love to talk about the setting and I would love to hear your feedback. I know that the 4e preview books (Races & Classes and Worlds & Monsters) were actually published first, but I am skipping those for now since they offered preview material. Therefore, the first entry will be H1: The Keep on the Shadowfell.

Here is the proposed list of products, minus the magazine issues (which I will do in order as well):
Year, Month, Title
2008, May, H1 Keep on the Shadowfell
2008, June, Player's Handbook
2008, June, Monster Manual 1
2008, June, Dungeon Master's Guide
2008, June, Treasure of Talon Pass
2008, June, Into the Shadowhaunt
2008, July, H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth
2008, August, H3 Pyramid of Shadows
2008, September, Adventurer's Vault 1
2008, October, P1 King of the Trollhaunt Warrens
2008, October, Blue Box Starter Set
2008, November, Martial Power 1
2008, November, Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons
2008, December, Manual of the Planes
2008, December, P2 Demon Queen's Enclave

2009, January, Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead
2009, February, Dungeon Delve
2009, March, Player's Handbook 2
2009, March, P3 Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress
2009, March, One Dark Night in Weeping Briar
2009, April, E1 Death's Reach
2009, April, Arcane Power
2009, May, Monster Manual 2
2009, May, Journey Through the Silver Caves
2009, June, E2 Kingdom of the Ghouls
2009, July, Divine Power
2009, August, Adventurer's Vault 2
2009, September, Revenge of the Giants
2009, September, Dungeon Master's Guide 2
2009, October, E3 Prince of Undeath
2009, October, Primal Power
2009, October, Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons
2009, December, The Plane Below

2010, January, Underdark
2010, January, Dragonborn
2010, February, Martial Power 2
2010, March, Player's Handbook 3
2010, March, Hammerfast: A Dwarven Outpost Adventure Site
2010, March, Beneath the Lonely Tower
2010, April, Player's Strategy Guide
2010, April, The Plane Above
2010, May, HS1 The Slaying Stone
2010, June, Tieflings
2010, June, Monster Manual 3
2010, July, Vor Rukoth: An Ancient Ruins Adventure Site
2010, July, HS2 Orcs of Stonefang Pass
2010, July, Demonomicon
2010, July, Tomb of Horrors
2010, July, Gates of Madness (serial release, compiled)
2010, August, Psionic Power
2010, August, Mark of Nerath (novel)
2010, August, Fell's Five Issue 0 (D&D Comic by IDW - 3 related adventures, 16 issues total produced between 8/2010 and 2/2012)
2010, September, Rules Compendium
2010, September, Heroes of the Fallen Lands
2010, September, Red Box Starter Set
2010, September, Sunderpeak Temple
2010, September, Keep on the Borderlands (encounters season part 1)
2010, October, Dungeon Master's Kit
2010, October, Seal of Karga Kul (novel)
2010, October, Keep on the Borderlands (encounters season part 2)
2010, November, Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
2010, November, Monster Vault
2010, November, Keep on the Borderlands (encounters season part 3)
2010, December, Keep on the Borderlands (encounters season part 4)

2011, January, Keep on the Borderlands (encounters season part 5)
2011, February, March of the Phantom Brigade
2011, March, Temple of Yellow Skulls (novel)
2011, April, Heroes of Shadow
2011, May, Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond
2011, May, Dark Legacy of Evard
2011, June, Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale
2011, June, Domain of Dread: Histaven
2011, June, Untold Adventures (short stories)
2011, August, Oath of Vigilance (novel)
2011, September, Madness at Gardmore Abbey
2011, September, Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium
2011, September, Beyond the Crystal Cave
2011, November, Heroes of the Feywild
2011, December, Book of Vile Darkness
2011, December, The Last Garrison (novel)

2012, February, Heroes of the Elemental Chaos
2012, April, Eye of the Chained God (novel)
2012, May, Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:44 pm

**SPOILERS**

This is obviously a big entry - it was the first 4e adventure produced and was released before the core books, so it came with a quick-start 4e ruleset and a set of pre-gen PCs. And it has a TON of lore in it, but some things are only mentioned and not explained/described (e.g. Avandra). You'll notice I am putting page notations at the end of each entry - this is so that I can cross-reference more easily when the products and information starts piling up (these page numbers are from my print version of the product, page numbers from the updated pdf of KotS are in curly brackets - in general, the numbers are roughly 10 pages apart because the updated pdf removed 10 pages of quick-start rules).

----------

Aecris: Longsword given to Sir Keegan by King Elidyr upon being granted Knighthood. Aecris is inlaid with platinum, has three white diamonds set into the flat of the blade and a pommel carved into the shape of a noble dragon head. Mechanically, the sword is a +1 Longsword (add +1 to attack rolls and +1 to damage rolls) with a daily power that grants the user a healing surge when it drops an undead enemy to 0 HP. [KotS 52, 53] {42, 43}

Agrid: Gnome cultist taking orders from Kalarel. His job is to excavate the Dragon Burial Site and find an ancient mirror that belonged to one of the Nerathi wizards tasked with sealing the rift. Agrid captured Douven Staul as he was attempting to excavate and explore the Dragon's Tomb. [KotS 30] {20, 21}

Avandra: Goddess of luck and change. [KotS 20, 22, 23] {10, 12, 13}

Bahamut: a.k.a. The Platinum Dragon. God of justice, protection, and honor. [KotS 43, 50, 51, 71, 80] {33, 40, 41, 42, 43, 61, 70}

Bairwin's Grand Shoppe: General equipment supply store in WInterhaven. [KotS 20] {10}

Balgron the Fat: Goblin chief of the tribe pressed into service by Kalarel. [KotS 3, 36, 38, 44, 45, 55] {3, 26, 28, 34, 35, 45}

Bloodreavers: A group of Hobgoblin Slavers. The Bloodreavers sent two hobgoblin emissaries to Shadowfell Keep to request an audience with Kalarel the Vile. The emissaries offered to pay Kalarel for any captured slaves he would like to have them take. He was irritated at them and ordered his minions to kill them, awakening a blue slime with unquenchable hunger in the cistern of Shadowfell Keep. This development scared the hobgoblins and they began to secretly sell captured travelers to the Bloodreavers without Kalarel's permission or knowledge. The Bloodreavers are in league with Duergar slave traders based out of Thunderspire Mountain. [KotS 58, 59, 68, 69] {48, 49, 58, 59}

Cairngorm Peaks: Mountain Range located just North of Winterhaven. [KotS 4, 19, 21] {4, 9, 11}

Cathedral of Shadow: Place of worship dedicated to Orcus, located in the lower levels of Shadowfell Keep. [KotS 62, 76] {52, 66}

Chief Krand: Chief of the Bloodreavers. [KotS 59] {49}

Clovermarsh: This distant town once visited by Bairwin Wildarson was beginning to be over-run with kobolds. No other location information is given. [KotS 22] {12}

Coalstriker, Thair: Dwarven smith who owns the Smithy in Winterhaven. [KotS 20, 22] {10, 12}

Cranewing, Parl: A scholar interested in Nerathi lore and artifacts. He possibly hires the player characters to locate the old Keep North of Winterhaven and map what remains of it. [KotS 4] {4}

Cult of Orcus: a.k.a The Death Cult. This cult is led by Kalarel, a Scion of Orcus. The cult consists of hobgoblins, goblins, several cowed kobolds pressed into service, a few humans, a gnome, a halfling, and an elf, who all take orders from Kalarel. [KotS 2, 3] {2, 3}

Gardbury Downs: Forested hilly region to the East of Winterhaven. [KotS 4, 23] {4, 13}

Dragon Burial Site: (Winterhaven) An ancient dragon tomb or burial site purportedly located south of Winterhaven. [KotS 3, 21, 23, 30] {3, 11, 13, 20}

Dragon Statues, small: These small figurines are made of silver or platinum and are shaped like Bahamut. They are found in the base of an ancient altar to Bahamut in Shadowfell Keep. [KotS 51, 80] {41, 70}

Eilian the Old: Local farmer who frequents Wrafton's Inn. [KotS 19, 21, 22, 33] {9, 11, 12, 23}

Forest Cliff Lair: Clandestine lair of kobolds with an entrance behind a waterfall. The lair is South-East of Winterhaven and due East of the Dragon Burial Site. [KotS 23, 26] {13, 16}

Gate, Inner: (Winterhaven) Winterhaven has an inner wall separating the Lord's Manor and the Barracks from the rest of the town proper. This inner wall is broken by a gate in the middle, constantly guarded by two Winterhaven Regulars. [KotS 20] {10}

Gate, Outer: (Winterhaven) The outer walls of Winterhaven have one main gate leading East out of town. The gate is closed and barred at night and monitored by two Winterhaven Regulars. [KotS 19, 21] {9, 11}

Graveyard: (Winterhaven) Burial area tended by Sister Linora. [KotS 20, 60, 61] {10, 50, 51}

Irontooth: Goblin thug who oversees the cowed kobolds at the direction of Kalarel. [KotS 3, 18, 22, 23, 26, 28, 29] {3, 8, 12, 13, 16, 18, 19}

Kalarel, Scion of Orcus: a.k.a. Kalarel the Vile. Leader of a Death Cult of Orcus currently active in the Winterhaven region. His main goal is to re-open the Shadow Rift in the lower levels of the Keep on the Shadowfell. [KotS 3, 4, 20, 23, 29, 30, 33, 34, 36, 46, 47, 48, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 64, 72, 74, 76, 77, 78, 80] {3, 4, 10, 13, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 36, 37, 38, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71}

Kelfem, Rond: Human Captain of the Winterhaven Regulars and leader of the Warrior Guild in Winterhaven. [KotS 20, 22, 23] {10, 12, 13}

King Elidyr: King who knighted Sir Keegan and gifted him with the sword Aecris. [KotS 53] {43}

King's Road: Main East-West road in the Nentir Vale. This ancient road was built and maintained by the Empire of Nerath when it was at its height of power and was expanding into the region. [KotS 4, 5, 16, 19, 22] {4, 5, 6, 9, 12}

Manor House: (Winterhaven) Lord Padraig's grand home built when Winterhaven was an outpost of the Empire of Nerath. This is the only stone building in Winterhaven. [KotS 21] {11}

Market Square: (Winterhaven) Every other day a small market is hosted in the Market Square area of Winterhaven. Once a week a large market is hosted and people come from all around the region to buy, sell, and socialize. [KotS 19, 20] {9, 10}

Marla of the Great Church: Young priest of Pelor who has been studying the history and activity patterns of death cults. Possibly hires the player characters to investigate death cult activity in the Winterhaven region. She knows the name Kalarel and that he is a dangerous cultist, and she suspects he is performing unholy ceremonies. [KotS 4] {4}

Mirror of Un-named Nerathi Wizard: This mirror was a relic owned by one of the Nerathi wizards tasked with sealing the Shadow Rift over 200 years ago. The mirror made its way to the dragon's horde now being excavated by Agrid the Gnome, and consequently, also Douven Staul. The mirror can purportedly help Kalarel break the ancient seals keeping the shadow rift closed. [KotS 30] {20}

Moongem, Delphina: Elf florist who lives in Winterhaven and is often seen at the Market Square selling her wares. [KotS 20, 21] {10, 11}

Necklace of the Wyrmpriest: Necklace of an obsidian dragon figurine. The bottom of the figure has the outline of a skull with ram's horns etched into it. This etching is a well known representation of the Demon Lord Orcus. This necklace can be found on a kobold wyrmpriest in the Forest Cliff Lair South-East of Winterhaven. [KotS 25, 32] {15, 22}

Nerath, Empire Of: The last major human empire to control the Nentir Vale region. It collapsed nearly 100 years ago (from current year). Before the collapse the empire sent a group of legionnaires to close and seal the Shadow Rift. [KotS 2, 4, 21, 30, 33, 34] {2, 4, 11, 20, 23, 24}

Ninaran: Elvish member of the Death Cult of Orcus run by Kalarel. She stays in Winterhaven and reports to Kalarel on the comings and goings of the residents there, including newcomers. [KotS 3, 20, 22, 23, 26, 33, 60, 61, 64] {3, 10, 12, 13, 16, 23, 50, 51, 54}

Orcus: The Demon Lord of Undeath. His cultist followers attempt to open rifts between the material world and his temples in the Shadowfell. The rift under Shadowfell Keep is one such place. [KotS 2, 3, 25, 29, 32, 33, 34, 48, 53, 76, 78, 80] {2, 3, 15, 19, 22, 23, 24, 38, 43, 52, 66, 68, 70, 71}

Padraig, Lord Ernest: The current ruler of Winterhaven, Padraig is descended from the noble family that ruled the region way back in the time of the Empire. His father ruled Winterhaven before him. He is also the commander of the Winterhaven Regulars. Padraig has a wife (un-named) and 4 sons (also un-named). [KotS 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 33, 60, 80] {9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 23, 50, 71}

Pelor: Good aligned deity. [KotS 4] {4}

Raven Queen: God who accepts sacrifices, according to Eilian the Old. [KotS 22] {12}

Rift: a.k.a. Shadow Rift. The name for a location where the border between the Shadowfell and the material plane has been opened. One such place is located in the bowels of Shadowfell Keep, and was opened nearly 200 years ago. [KotS 2, 3, 19, 29, 33, 34, 36, 46, 48, 52, 53, 62, 74, 77, 78, 80] {2, 3, 9, 19, 23, 24, 26, 36, 38, 42, 43, 52, 64, 67, 68, 70, 71}

Ritual of Unsealing: a.k.a. the unholy ritual, the evil ritual, etc. The dark ritual Kalarel is using to re-open the Shadow Rift. [KotS 3, 30, 34, 62, 77, 78, 80] {3, 20, 24, 52, 67, 68, 70, 71}

Shadowfell: A realm that borders the material plane. While not inherently evil, the Shadowfell is dangerous and the border between the two worlds can be fragile. [KotS 2, 3, 19, 33, 34, 35, 36, 48, 49, 52, 53, 54, 58, 59, 60, 62, 77, 80] {2, 3, 9, 23, 24, 25, 26, 38, 39, 42, 43, 44, 48, 49, 50, 52, 67, 70, 71}

Shadowfell Keep: a.k.a the Keep on the Shadowfell, which gives its name to the adventure. The Nerathi Leggionaires sent to close and seal the rift build Shadowfell Keep on top of the rift so that they could maintain the seal. [KotS 3, 33, 34, 35, 36, 48, 50, 52, 53, 54, 58, 59, 62, 80] {3, 23, 24, 25, 26, 38, 40, 42, 43, 44, 48, 49, 52, 70, 71}

Sir Keegan: Paladin and commander of the soldiers stationed at Shadowfell Keep. Sir Keegan was charged with keeping the Rift sealed, but went mad, due to the taint of the Shadowfell and Temple of Orcus bleeding through the rift. In his madness he murdered his wife, children (Drystan and Ceinwein), the captains of the legion, and several soldiers. Eventually he fled into the deep passages of the Keep, which were sealed behind him. When the madness faded and he realized what he had done, he took his own life by ingesting poison. [KotS 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 52, 53, 58, 7, 80] {22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 42, 43, 48, 61, 70}

Sister Linora: Priest of Avandra. Serves as priest at the Temple in Winterhaven. She cares for the people inside and outside of the town walls, is responsible for the graveyard outside Winterhaven, and holds services in the temple three times a week. [KotS 20, 21, 22, 23] {10, 11, 12, 13}

Smithy: (Winterhaven) Basic mundane equipment fabrication occurs here. Commissions for superior grade weapons can be requested. [KotS 20] {10}

Splug: Con artist goblin with an extremely high charisma. He was thrown into a jail cell by his own tribe after he conned one too many of his tribe-mates. [KotS 36, 40, 41] {26, 30, 31}

Stables: (Winterhaven) Basic housing for horses, mules, donkeys, and market wagons. The stables have a 10% chance of a riding horse or wagon for sale. [KotS 20] {10}

Staul, Douven: Possible friend and mentor of the player characters. Left on an expedition to explore the ancient ruins of a dragon burial ground south on Winterhaven. Douven has an un-named wife who may act as a patron to the player characters - she may possibly hire them to track down Douven Staul and ensure his safe return home. [KotS 4, 21, 23, 30] {4, 11, 13, 20}

Staul Family Amulet: This amulet has a locket containing a picture of Douven Staul's wife. This was taken from Douven when he was captured by Agrid. This piece is also an amulet of health. Mechanically speaking, it grants the wearer +1 to FORT/REF/WILL and Resist poison 5. [KotS 30] {20}

Temple: The Winterhaven Temple has room for the worship of several deities. The current priest is a Priestess of Avandra. [KotS 20] {10}

Tenements: (Winterhaven) Large apartment building for residents of Winterhaven who do not own farms or small houses in town. [KotS 20] {10}

Terror Runes: Fear inducing alarm runes etched into the floor and walls of the Keep on the Shadowfell. These are meant to cause fear and retreat, or to serve as alarms for enemies entering certain areas of the Keep, or both. [KotS 46, 47, 48, 50] {36, 37, 38, 40}

Thunderspire Mountain: Tall mountain in the East of the Nentir Vale between Fallcrest and Hammerfast. [KotS 59, 80] {49, 71}

Valthrun the Prescient: Sage and scholar who lives in the tower in the middle of Winterhaven. Knows about the Rift under the Keep. [KotS 19, 20, 21, 22, 33] {9, 10, 11, 12, 23}

Valthrun's Tower: Tallest building in Winterhaven. This 5 story building is rumored to be over 300 years old. Valthrun the Prescient lives and works/studies in the tower. [KotS 20] {10}

Warchief: Head of Kalarel's hobgoblin troop. [KotS 62, 68, 69] {52, 58, 59}

Warrior Guild: (Winterhaven) This guild is open to all villagers who desire training in basic sword and shield skills. The captain of the Winterhaven Regulars, Rond Kelfem, oversees the Warrior Guild. [KotS 20] {10}

Wildarson, Bairwin: Opened Bairwin's Grand Shoppe in Winterhaven a decade ago. Before that it is rumored that he traveled the world. [KotS 20, 22] {10, 12}

Winterhaven: Small town of approximately 1000 people, most of them human. Winterhaven is a walled village surrounded by farmland. It is located along the King's Road just South of the Cairngorm Peaks mountain range and West of Gardbury Downs. [KotS 19]

Winterhaven Barracks: Home to the Winterhaven Regulars, this military style building is inside the inner wall compound of Winterhaven. [KotS 21] {11}

Winterhaven Regulars: Group of 10 soldiers who perform guard and police duties in and around Winterhaven. They patrol in pairs. An extra group of 50 civilians can be mustered into service with 24 hours notice. [KotS 19, 20, 21, 33] {9, 10, 11, 23}

Winterhaven Siege Supplies: Storage building inside the inner wall compound of Winterhaven. It contains supplies to protect and feed the villagers if the town is under siege. [KotS 21] {11}

Wrafton's Inn: Large inn and tavern owned by Salvana Wrafton. [KotS 19, 20, 21, 22, 32, 33] {9, 10, 11, 12, 22, 23}

Wrafton, Salvana: Human Proprietor of Wrafton's Inn. She employs several townsfolk as waitstaff, cooks, and janitors. [KotS 19, 21, 22, 32, 33] {9, 11, 12, 23}

----------

Pass Phrases:
"And life fails in the dark" - Phrase used to gain entry to the second level of Shadowfell Keep as told to PCs by Balgron the Fat.

"From the ground, some magic was found" - False pass phrase used to gain entry to the second level of Shadowfell Keep, as told in a note to Ninaran from Kalarel. This is a false clue meant to mislead the party.

----------

Idioms:
"As sure as Spire Drakes roar at Dawn" - Idiom meaning I agree with your assertion, or what you say is true.

----------

Praise to the Gods:
"The Platinum Dragon is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer. He is my stronghold, my refuge, and my armor against the foes of life - I need only kneel and offer him my praise." - inscribed on the base of an altar to Bahamut in the Keep on the Shadowfell

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Riddles:
A wondrous treasure,
Valued by all, sought by many.
Found bin both victory and defeat,
Yet never at the bottom of a treasure chest.
It marches before you like a herald,
And lives long after you are gone.
Of what do I speak?

Answer in hidden tags:
Answer: Honor or Reputation, or any synonym of either, as the DM sees fit

----------

Creatures Encountered in The Keep on the Shadowfell Adventure:
Kobolds (slingers, dragonshields, minions, skirmishers, wyrmpriest)
Drakes (guard)
Humans (rabble, berserker, underpriest)
Gnome (skulk)
Halflings (slinger)
Rats (swarms, giant)
Goblins (sharpshooters, warriors, cutters)
Hobgoblins (torturer, soldier, grunt, archer, warcaster)
Zombies (rotters, gravehound, corruption corpse)
Skeletons (warriors, decrepit)
Ochre Jelly
Kruthik (hatchlings, young, adults)
Blue Slime
Elf Archer
Deathjump Spider
Gelatinous Cube
Ghoul
Clay Scout (homunculus)
Vampire Spawn
Dark Creeper
Deathlock Wight


NEXT ENTRY: PLAYER'S HANDBOOK
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by Zeromaru X » Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:45 am

This seems to be quite the task! I'm eagerly awaiting other entries.

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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by Tim Baker » Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:22 am

Awesome job!

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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:24 pm

DMSamuel wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:02 pm
Hello Everyone - I am embarking on a personal pet project to create an Encyclopedia of the Nentir Vale. The finished product I envision will be cross-referenced and cross-linked as much as possible. In order to accomplish this, I will be re-reading all D&D 4e products that take place in the Nentir Vale, including regular production releases as well as Dungeon Magazine, Dragon Magazine, Worldwide D&D Day adventures, D&D Game Day Adventures, novels, and D&D Encounters seasons. I have a complete collection of Nentir Vale products, so I am ready to go - I'll be reading these in order of release based on month and year. I am also cross-posting this encyclopedia on RPGGeek as a geeklist, so if you see it over there, that's me doing that one too. I do not know what sort of file the final document will be, I want something that offers database searchability and ease of use, but I haven't nailed down that detail yet.

Before I get started, you may be wondering why I am doing such a thing. Here is my reasoning:

1) I want to document how a setting developed over a system/edition's lifespan, exploring how the setting changed and grew through the years.

2) I like the Nentir Vale - it's one of my favorite settings - and I do not foresee any new development of the setting in the future, so what better way to celebrate it than to create something that doesn't exist - an encyclopedia that includes all mention of all heroes, villains, and NPCs in the published products of the setting.

3) Because 4e D&D was such a short-lived edition, the Nentir Vale also has a limited (relative to other D&D settings) number of products that address the activities, locations, and people found in the setting. It is a finite setting, which makes it perfect for my experiment.

4) The Vale is also a small region of a grander world. The majority of the material released for the setting takes place directly in the Nentir Vale itself, with only a few products or articles addressing the wider world. So not only is the setting limited in time, but also is spatially constrained - making it doubly fitting for this experiment. There are many other settings I could choose, but they are either too large and expansive, or have been subject to development for too long, or, frankly, already have encyclopedia-style products or wikis* about them, to make this a viable or useful experiment.
It's going to be great to have two Nentir Vale schollars around, who can double-check each-other's research. :)

Hopefully your "Let's Read" will also help me work out which Nentir Vale products would be most useful for me to buy. :cool:
DMSamuel wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:02 pm
*Yes, I know there is a Nentir Vale Wiki, but it is woefully lacking in fine details for what I want to do.
Have you considered talking to the people who run the Nentir Vale Wiki to see if they would take you on as an editor? That would allow you to "fix" their wiki, rather than force you down the route of building something else that competes with it.
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:32 pm

DMSamuel wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:44 pm
This is obviously a big entry - it was the first 4e adventure produced and was released before the core books, so it came with a quick-start 4e ruleset and a set of pre-gen PCs. And it has a TON of lore in it, but some things are only mentioned and not explained/described (e.g. Avandra). You'll notice I am putting page notations at the end of each entry - this is so that I can cross-reference more easily when the products and information starts piling up (these page numbers are from my print version of the product, page numbers from the updated pdf of KotS are in curly brackets - in general, the numbers are roughly 10 pages apart because the updated pdf removed 10 pages of quick-start rules).
That two version thing really confused me, back when I was first trying to learn about Nentir Vale.

Are there any changes other than the removal of the quickstart rules?

Are there no mentions whatsoever of Nentir Vale/Nerath elements in the quickstart section?

Did they add any errata or other information to the second version of H1?
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:23 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:24 pm
It's going to be great to have two Nentir Vale schollars around, who can double-check each-other's research. :)
Yay! The more the better. I say!
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:24 pm
Hopefully your "Let's Read" will also help me work out which Nentir Vale products would be most useful for me to buy. :cool:
If it does, then that is a great use!
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:24 pm
DMSamuel wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:02 pm
*Yes, I know there is a Nentir Vale Wiki, but it is woefully lacking in fine details for what I want to do.
Have you considered talking to the people who run the Nentir Vale Wiki to see if they would take you on as an editor? That would allow you to "fix" their wiki, rather than force you down the route of building something else that competes with it.
You know, I hadn't considered that - it's a good idea, maybe I will do so when I get a couple more posts under my belt. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:46 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:32 pm
That two version thing really confused me, back when I was first trying to learn about Nentir Vale.

Are there any changes other than the removal of the quickstart rules?
There are a few changes:
1) They updated the stat blocks to reflect the current (at the time) way that stat blocks were presented. This basically amounts to removing a spot for a description at the bottom of the block and putting equipment there.
2) They changed the names of some of the stat block creatures to increase clarity - for example: In the original Agrid was listed in the text as Agrid but in his statblock as Gnome Skulk, but in the updated one they list him as Agrid the Skulk in the statblock.
3) They added a couple of creatures - for example they added an apparition/spirit of Kalarel to one of the encounters so that the adventurers will get exposed to him and his attitude, making the final encounter more meaningful.
4) They added a skill challenge to the end-stage encounter so that the group can close and reseal the shadow rift, not just stop Kalarel's unsealing ritual.
5) They changed the way information was presented in the Sir Keegan encounter so that the DM can more easily address the results of player/PC actions. Really this is just a re-presentation of the same original info, but rewritten to give a clearer picture of what is happening.
6) Probably something I'm not thinking of at the moment :D

Overall the changes are good - they don't substantially change the story, but they offer more clarity and more ways for the party to interact and hear about Kalarel - this is work that the DM had to do themselves in the original, but the updated one does a bit of that for you. It probably doesn't go quite far enough (i.e. I did more to bring Kalarel in as a main villain when I DMed it) but the changes are fair and don't contradict anything in the original.
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:32 pm
Are there no mentions whatsoever of Nentir Vale/Nerath elements in the quickstart section?
Nope - it is quite literally just a shortened rules section, including how to read a monster stat block, how to make a skill check, etc. It was also printed in the second little booklet of the original print release (sans the monster stat block part) along with the pre-generated PCs, so that new players would have a rules reference. Remember that this was released a bit before the 3 core rulebooks, so they had to have something. But by the time the updated version came out the core rules had been available for a while, so the quickstart rules were completely unneccesary.
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:32 pm
Did they add any errata or other information to the second version of H1?
I have no idea if official errata was incorporated into all the changes - I assume so, but there is no official errata document for Keep on the Shadowfell, and they did not put a written statement in the updated book, as far as I see, that details what has changed. So it's hard to answer that question.

I did notice that they failed to correct at least one typo (mis-spelling of Nerath as Nareth LOL). :o
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by RichGreen » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:25 pm

Looking forward to reading the next instalment, Sam! :)

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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by Zeromaru X » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:30 am

Other change in the second version of Keep on the Shadowfell was that they revised the stats of the pregen characters to optimize them. I mean, the original characters were not mechanically optimal, the second ones were optimized.

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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:31 am

The Player's Handbook was released in June 2008 - just how much Nentir Vale information was actually in the PHB? Let's find out...

----------

Standard Entries:

Abyssal: (language) Base language spoken by Demons, Gnolls, and Sahuagin. It uses the Barazhad script. [PHB 25]

Arkhosia: Ancient Empire of the Dragonborn which fell after decades of conflict and war with Bael Turath. [PHB 35, 49]

Asmodeus: Evil god; ruler of the nine hells. Worshiped by tyrants and patron to the powerful. Asmodeus’ official areas of influence are power, domination, and tyranny. [PHB 23, 47, 62, 130]

Astral Diamonds: Used as currency when very large amounts of money are traded. One astral diamond is equal to 100 platinum pieces, which is equal to 10,000 gold pieces. [PHB 212]

Astral Sea: Plane on which the deities reside, in countless dominions there. It emanates divine power. [PHB 20, 100, 187]

Avandra: Good aligned god of change and luck. Worshiped by Halflings, merchants, and all types of adventurers. Avandra’s official areas of influence are change, luck, trade, and travel. [PHB 21, 45, 62]

Bael Turath: Ancient Empire of the Tieflings which fell after decades of conflict and war with Arkhosia. [PHB 35, 49]

Bahamut: Lawful Good aligned god of justice, protection, nobility, and honor. Worshiped by paladins, metallic dragons, and monarchs. Bahamut’s official areas of influence are justice, honor, nobility, and protection. [PHB 21, 24, 37, 62]

Bane: Evil god of war and conquest. Worshiped by militaristic nations ruled by Humans or Goblins. Bane’s official areas of influence are war and conquest. [PHB 23, 62]

Bright City: City on the Astral Plane that accepts astral diamonds as currency. [PHB 212]

City of Brass: City in the Elemental Chaos that accepts astral diamonds as currency. [PHB 212, 223, 256]

Common: (language) Base language spoken by Humans, Halflings, and Tieflings. It uses the Common script. [PHB 25]

Copper Pieces: Standard form of coin currency accepted in the Nentir Vale. Copper is the smaller denomination accepted as currency in the Vale. It takes 10 copper pieces to equal the value of one silver piece, and 100 copper pieces to equal the value of one gold piece. [PHB 212]

Corellon: Unaligned god of spring, beauty, and the arts; patron god of arcane magic and the fey. Worshiped by artists and musicians, and spellcasters who see their manipulation of arcane energy as an art. Corellon’s official areas of influence are arcane magic, spring, beauty, and the arts. [PHB 21, 39, 62, 90, 171, 194]

Deep Speech: (language) Base language spoken by Mind Flayers (Illithid), Githyanki, and Kuo-toas. It uses the Rellanic script. [PHB 25]

Demispell: The ultimate arcane formula which has a hyperplanar existence encompassing all the lesser spells that have ever or will ever exist. [PHB 173]

Draconic: (language) Base language spoken by Dragons, Dragonborn, and Kobolds. It uses the Iokharic script. [PHB 25]

Dragonborn: Race of humanoids with scales and other dragon-like features (scales, dragon-like heads, and claws with talons). Their body-plan is typical humanoid: bipedal with two arms and two legs, and they grow to as tall as 6 feet 8 inches. The lifespan of the Dragonborn has them living roughly 75-90 years, but they grow quickly, reaching adult size by the age of 3, and considered an adult at age 15. They also have the added ability of producing a dangerous breath weapon of acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison. They organize into a clan-based society. There are many fewer living Dragonborn clans in the current time than there were in the past, when they ruled an expansive empire (Arkhosia) that contended for worldwide dominion. Their Empire fell after decades of conflict with the Tiefling Empire of Bael Turath. Typical characteristics associated with Dragonborn include driven, honorable, noble, perfectionistic tendencies, proud, reliable, reserved, and rooted in ancient history. [PHB 34, 35, 49]

Drow: Race of evil humanoids who would have a stable society were it not for the chaotic influence of the evil god Lolth. Drow are despised by both Elves and Eladrin. At the dawn of creation, Elves, Eladrin, and Drow were all one race, but a segment of the population (now called the Drow) rebelled against their kin due to the influence of Lolth, causing a break in the race and leading to the current classification of Elves, Eladrin, and Drow as distinct races. [PHB 23, 39, 41, 256]

Dwarf: Race of humanoids with short, stocky stature and a love for geometric shapes and natural gems. Though they only grow to approximately 4 feet 6 inches tall, they are very wide and present an imposing figure. Dwarves live 150-200 years. Like Dragonborn they organize into a clan-based society. Dwarves revere their gods and their ancient ancestors. They have long memories and never forget those who caused harm to their clan. They hold particularly strong grudges against the Giants (and Titans) who formerly enslaved all the Dwarves, and against Orcs who inhabit the same mountainous areas that Dwarves call home. They harbor pity and a sense of disgust for Dwarves still enslaved, Azers, and Galeb Duhr among them. Typical characteristics associated with Dwarves include acquisitive, brave, hard-working, loyal, organized, stern, stubborn, tenacious, and vengeful. [PHB 36, 37]

Dwarven: (language) Base language spoken by Dwarves and Azer. It uses the Davek script. [PHB 25]

Eladrin: Race of humanoids with slim builds, medium length pointed ears, and grow to a height of approximately 6 feet. They have long, straight hair (usually of a light color) and blue, violet, or green pupil-less eyes. Eladrin, often called High Elves or Gray Elves, live to be over 300 years old. Though they are considered close cousins to the Elves, the Eladrin favor the Feywild and arcane arts more than Elves, but both despise the Drow. Noble Eladrin, considered the Feywild’s most powerful Eladrin, become so infused with magic that they transform into entirely new creatures, often taking on the characteristics of natural phenomenon (e.g. the seasons). Typical characteristics associated with Eladrin include aesthetic, deliberative, detached, free, graceful, magical, otherworldly, patient, and perceptive. [PHB 38, 39]

Elemental Chaos: A realm of elemental power. [PHB 173, 181, 212, 223]

Elf: Race of humanoids with slim builds, elongated and pointed ears, and a maximum height of approximately 6 feet. They have long, straight hair (usually of a brown, green, or earthy color) and blue, violet, or green. Unlike their cousins, the Eladrin, Elves eyes DO contain pupils. Elves live to be over 200 years old. Elves prefer the primal power of nature to the arcane magic favored by the Eladrin. Elves never cut living trees, instead they grow and weave living plant tissue into architectural structures to build their homes in the forests. Typical characteristics associated with Elves include agile, friendly, intuitive, joyful, perceptive, quick, tempestuous, and wild. [PHB 40, 41]

Elven: (language) Base language spoken by Elves, Eladrin, and Fomorians. It uses the Rellanic script. [PHB 25]

Erathis: Unaligned god of civilization. Worshiped by rulers, judges, pioneers, and devoted citizens. Erathis’ official areas of influence are civilization, invention, and laws. [PHB 21, 62, 195]

Far Realm: The realm beyond the stars, wherein lies great power. [PHB 131, 181, 183]

Feywild: Twilight realm that is home to the Eladrin. The powers of the Feywild are amoral, and they include earth spirits, wood spirits, sky spirits, water spirits, incarnations of the seasons, and natural forces that roam the faerie realm. [PHB 14, 21, 38, 39, 41, 115, 130, 141, 171, 181]

Forests, Ancient: Where did the oldest forests come from? The god Corellon planted the most ancient forests. [PHB 21]

Giant: (language) Base language spoken by Giants, Orcs, and Ogres. It uses the Davek scirpt. [PHB 25]

Goblin: (language) Base language spoken by Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Bugbears. It uses the Common script. [PHB 25]

Gold Pieces: Standard form of coin currency accepted in the Nentir Vale. One gold piece is equal to 10 silver pieces, or 100 copper pieces. [PHB 212]

Gruumsh: Chaotic evil god of destruction. Worshiped by orcs. Gruumsh’ official areas of influence are turmoil and destruction. [PHB 23, 62]

Half-Elf: Race of humanoids with slim, athletic builds, short pointed ears, and height reaching 6 feet 2 inches. Half-Elves are created by the joining of Elven and Human blood, but the combination creates an entirely new race, not just a simple combination of Elf and Human. Half-Elves usually take on the clothing and social customs of whichever race they were raised in/near, often seeking out small articles of jewelry that signal their dual heritage. Half-Elves are gregarious and mingle freely among the variety of races often found in larger cities. Half-Elves have life-spans influenced by their Human ancestry, but like Elves they show very few signs of aging. Typical characteristics associated with Half-Elves include accommodating, adaptable, charming, confident, gregarious, and open-minded. [PHB 42, 43]

Halfling: Race of short humanoids that stand at most 4 feet 2 inches tall. Unlike the similar height Dwarves, Halflings are thin and narrow. Halflings have a lifespan of 75-90 years. Halflings were created by Melora and Sehanine working together, imbuing the race with extreme stealthy-ness and a love of nature. When Melora and Sehanine lost interest in the Halflings, Avandra was struck by their resourcefulness and became a patron God of the Halflings, imbuing them with luck. Typical characteristics associated with Halflings include brave, curious, determined, down-to-earth, friendly, good-natured, optimistic, practical, resourceful, and warm. [PHB 44, 45]

Human: Race of humanoids that stand approximately 6 feet and live 75-90 years. Human myths offer no conclusive creator myth, so they worship the entire pantheon. Some rumors say that the gods worked together to create Humans with a mixture of traits from all other races. Some rumors persist that the god who created Humans was killed in the War Against the Primordials, or perhaps was assassinated by another god (Asmodeus and Zehir are both implicated in the telling of these stories). The last great world power, the Empire of Nerath, was a human-run empire, but it united many different races. Even now, so many years after the fall of Nerath, other races often flee to Human settlements when in need of protection. Typical characteristics associated with Humans include adaptable, ambitious, bold, corruptible, creative, driven, hardy, pragmatic, resourceful, territorial, and tolerant. [PHB 46, 47]

Infernal Pact Devils: A forgotten race of Devils who taught ancient Tieflings a secret pathway to power in order to weaken the Tieflings’ fealty to Asmodeus. In retribution, Asmodeus destroyed the Devils utterly and struck their names from the memory of all beings. [PHB 130]

Ioun: Unaligned god of knowledge, skill, and prophecy. Worshiped by sages, seers, and tacticians; patron of the study of arcane magic. Ioun’s official areas of influence are knowledge, prophecy, and skill. [PHB 21, 62, 198, 223]

Kord: Unaligned god of storms and battle. Worshiped by fighters and athletes. Kord’s official areas of influence are storms, strength, and battle. [PHB 22, 37, 60, 62, 198]

Lolth: Chaotic evil god of shadow, lies, and spiders. Worshiped by Drow. Lolth’s official areas of influence are spiders, shadows, and lies. [PHB 20, 23, 41, 62]

Magic: The arcane energy or power that is wielded by some spellcasting creatures. Where did magic come from? The god Corellon seeded the world with arcane magic. [PHB 21]

Melora: Unaligned god of wilderness and the sea. Worshiped by rangers, hunters, elves, and sailors. Melora’s official areas of influence are wilderness and the sea. [PHB 22, 45, 62, 199]

Moradin: Lawful Good aligned god of creation; patron of artisans. Worshiped by Dwarves, miners, and smiths. Legend holds that Moradin made the first suit of godplate armor, which was copied by ancient dwarves imperfectly and is the plate mail design in use currently. Moradin’s official areas of influence are creation, artisans, and family. [PHB 22, 37, 62, 199, 213]

Nine Hells: The nine realms inhabited by all manner of devils and ruled by Asmodeus. [PHB 23, 98, 138, 140]

Pelor: Good aligned god of summer and the sun, lord of agriculture; keeper of time. Worshiped by humans, paladins, rangers. Pelor’s official areas of influence are sun, summer, agriculture, and time. [PHB 20, 22, 61, 62, 199, 258]

Platinum Pieces: Coin currency minted by ancient empires, still accepted by most merchants in the Nentir Vale. Common in treasure hoards in ancient ruins. One platinum piece is equal to 100 gold pieces, or 1,000 silver pieces, or 10,000 copper pieces. [PHB 212]

Points of Light: The world is shrouded in a dark age, with no ruling empire to bring the civilized peoples together. Each small village and town appears as a point of light in the darkness. Each of these small pockets of civilization is seen as a haven in the wilderness. Beasts and monstrosities are abundant in the darkness and they prowl the spaces between points of light. Magic is everywhere, but those who know how to wield the most powerful types of arcane energy are rare. [PHB 7]

Primordial: (language) Base language spoken by Efreets, Archons, and Elementals. It uses the Barazhad script. [PHB 25]

The Raven Queen: Unaligned god of death; patron of winter and spinner of fate. Worshiped by mourners. The Raven Queen’s official areas of influence are death, fate, and winter. [PHB 22, 62, 200]

Residuum: The end product of disenchanting a magical item. It is a fine silvery dust and has a value roughly one-fifth of the item’s value. Raw residuum is sometimes traded as currency and can be transported easily because one gold-piece-weight container of residuum is worth 10,000 gold pieces in value. One pound of residuum is worth 50,000 gold pieces and can fit into a belt pouch. Residuum can also be used as a ritual component. [PHB 223, 225, 300]

Sehanine: Unaligned god of the moon and autumn; patron of trickery and illusions; god of love. Worshiped by Elves and Halflings, scouts, and thieves. Sehanine’s official areas of influence are trickery, moon, love, and autumn. [PHB 22, 45, 62, 200]

Sigil: City with a market that accepts astral diamonds as currency. [PHB 212]

Silver Pieces: Standard form of coin currency accepted in the Nentir Vale. One silver piece is equal to 10 copper pieces. [PHB 212]

Supernal: (language) Base language spoken by Angels, Devils, and Gods. It uses the Supernal script. [PHB 25]

Tiamat: Evil god of wealth, greed, and envy; patron of chromatic dragons. Tiamat’s official areas of influence are wealth, greed, and vengeance. [PHB 23, 37, 62]

Tiefling: Race of humanoids who are infernal in appearance (large horns on their heads, long tails, pointed teeth). They stand approximately 6 feet tall and have pupil-less eyes of black, red, white, silver, or gold. The Tielflings are descendants of Human nobles who made pacts with devils to retain their power. This pact caused them to exhibit infernal qualities which they now pass down to all of their descendants. The Empire of Bael Turath was expansive, ruling half the world, but eventually fell due to conflicts with the Dragonborn Empire of Arkhosia. The conflicts led to decades of war and the ruin of both empires. Tieflings are still close enough to Humans to be able to create offspring, but the product of a Tiefling-Human mating is always a Tiefling. Typical characteristics associated with Tieflings include cunning, disquieting, imposing, mysterious, proud, rebellious, self-reliant, sinister, sly, and unconventional. [PHB 48, 49]

Torog: a.k.a. The King that Crawls. Evil god of the underdark; patron of jailers and torturers. Torog’s official areas of influence are the underdark and imprisonment. [PHB 23, 62]

Vecna: Evil god of the undead, necromancy, and secrets. Vecna’s official areas of influence are undeath and secrets. [PHB 23, 62]

War Against the Primordials: Ancient mythic war between gods and primordials. Some rumors indicate that the god who created the Humans perished in this long-ago war. {Note: this is not referred to as the Dawn War in the PHB, but that is the war being referenced here} [PHB 47]

Zehir: Evil god of darkness, poison, and assassins. Worshiped by the Yuan-ti. Zehir’s official areas of influence are darkness, poison, and serpents. [PHB 23, 47, 62]

----------

Lore from Powers, Magic Items, and Rituals
This section includes lore implied by the name or descriptive text found in the powers, magic items, or rituals found in the Player’s Handbook. I am adding these as if I have never heard of the items before, so am only writing details mentioned in the actual text of the book. Most of these are locations in the universe (i.e. stars or magic realms) or people known on other material planes (e.g. Bigby and Mordenkainen) and therefore, by implication, must be known in the Nentir Vale, if only by arcane scholars.

Acamar: A dark and distant star. Wrath of Acamar Warlock Level 19 Daily Spell [PHB 138]

Agathys: A dark realm of ice. Armor of Agathys Warlock Level 1 Daily Spell [PHB 132]

Avernus: Realm strongly associated with eruptions of orange flame. Avernian Eruption Warlock Level 5 Daily Spel [PHB 134]

Bigby: Bigby’s Icy Grasp Wizard Level 5 Daily Spell; Bigby’s Grasping Hands Wizard Level 15 Daily Spell [PHB 161, 164]

Delban: Frigid star of deadly light. Doom of Delban Warlock Level 29 Daily Spell [PHB 140]

Dis: Realm in the infernal regions. Iron Spike of Dis Warlock Level 9 Daily Spell [PHB 135]

Drawmij: Drawmij’s Instant Summons Level 12 Ritual [PHB 304]

Evard: Evard’s Black Tentacles Wizard Level 19 Daily Spell [PHB 166]

Fey King, The: A mighty Fey Spirit. Curse of the Fey King Warlock Level 27 Encounter Spell [PHB 139]

Hadar: Realm of shadow. Hunger of Hadar Warlock Level 5 Daily Spell [PHB 134]

Keoghtom: Keoghtom’s Ointment Level 12 Wondrous Item [PHB 254]

Khirad: Star of dire importance. Summons of Khirad Warlock Level 9 Daily Spell [PHB 135]

Leomund: Leomund’s Secret Chest Level 6 Ritual [PHB 307]

Malbolge: The sixth of the nine hells. Minions of Malbolge Warlock Level 19 Daily Spell [PHB 138]

Mordenkainen: Mordenkainen’s Sword Wizard Level 9 Daily Spell; Mordenkainen’s Mansion Wizard Level 22 Daily Spell [PHB 163, 167]

Nether Planes: Realm associated with deafening thunder and cyclones. Harrowstorm Warlock Level 13 Encounter Spell [PHB 136]

Otiluke: Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere Wizard Level 15 Daily Spell [PHB 165]

Phlegethos: A realm of liquid fire. Flames of Phlegethos Warlock Level 1 Daily Spell [PHB 132]

Tartarus: Realm associated with a prison of iron and shadow. Tartarean Tomb Warlock Level 25 Daily Spell [PHB 139]

Tenser: Tenser’s Floating Disk Level 1 Ritual [PHB 312]

Thuban: Star of frozen emerald seas. Tendrils of Thuban Warlock Level 15 Daily Spell [PHB 137]

Void, The: A remote and terrible corner of the cosmos. Banish to the Void Warlock Level 27 Encounter Spell [PHB 139]

----------

Lore from Explanatory Text and Examples
This section includes lore implied by examples or explanations used in the text of the Player’s Handbook. By implication these items are part of the lore of the default setting, but they may have no other mention anywhere else in future products. I am including them here in the interest of having a complete record.

Adamantine Scepter: Artifact whose return might be the goal of a quest. [PHB 258]

Caldanis Fortress: Fortress said to have impenetrable walls. [PHB 310]

Cliffs of Desolation: Possible encounter area. [PHB 258]

Crimson Wolf Clan: Clan with intricate burial rites. [PHB 302]

Duke Kerlerren: Possesses an ancestral broadsword. [PHB 314]

Followers of Thoon: Dangerous faction. [PHB 312]

Fortress of the Iron Ring: Possible quest goal or character background information. [PHB 258]

Gate of the Black Drake: A gate with glyphs that must be activated in order. [PHB 303]

Havoc Hall: These bleak ruins could be an encounter location, and possibly contain a magic orb. [PHB 260]

Katerran Dynasty: Dynastic line ended 1000 years ago by an usurper. [PHB 302]

Kharathas: Red dragon whose slaying may be the goal of a quest. [PHB 258]

Lord Ambrose: Has an audience chamber you might want to go to. [PHB 313]

Orten the Rager: Infamous barbarian. [PHB 309]

Princess Katria: A princess you may want to find. [PHB 313]

Ruins of Solitronia: Ancient ruins that may be explored. [PHB 306]

----------

Next Up: MONSTER MANUAL 1
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:45 am

You must read very quickly. :)

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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:57 am

Tim Baker wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:45 am
You must read very quickly. :)
LOL - the majority of the PHB I can skim through since it is mostly rules based on not lore-based. I didn't read every single word, but it was close. :cool:
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by Zeromaru X » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:24 am

Good work. I have a few new details for my history document, so thanks as well!

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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:36 pm

I'm about half way through the MM1 - and I am adding a lot of creature based lore. I had to make a decision about whether I would add basically everything, or if I would only note things that are directly related to the Nentir Vale. I decided to err on the side of caution and just add everything because - well, these creatures are in the core monster book for 4e and the core setting is the Vale, so therefore the history and lore of these creatures is, by extension, also a part of the Nentir Vale lore. So... it's taking me a bit longer than it took for the PHB.
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by Zeromaru X » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:47 pm

I know how time consuming can be this (as my pet projects are also about lots of reading). So, I thank you for the hard work.

Are you thinking to compile this into some sort of word or pdf document.

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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:29 am

Zeromaru X wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:47 pm
I know how time consuming can be this (as my pet projects are also about lots of reading). So, I thank you for the hard work.

Are you thinking to compile this into some sort of word or pdf document.
I think the easiest thing is a fully bookmarked and searchable pdf with an extensive table of contents.

Eventually I want to have it as a searchable database in true encyclopedia style.

Luckily the reading is extremely enjoyable, so the work, while time consuming, isn't too onerous :D
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by Big Mac » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:03 pm

DMSamuel wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:36 pm
I'm about half way through the MM1 - and I am adding a lot of creature based lore. I had to make a decision about whether I would add basically everything, or if I would only note things that are directly related to the Nentir Vale. I decided to err on the side of caution and just add everything because - well, these creatures are in the core monster book for 4e and the core setting is the Vale, so therefore the history and lore of these creatures is, by extension, also a part of the Nentir Vale lore. So... it's taking me a bit longer than it took for the PHB.
How is this coming?

I can imagine that the number of creatures makes this a bit of a time-sink.
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by JoeNotCharles » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:17 pm

Just caught up on this thread. It is very relevant to my interests. :-)

One note: you have entries for languages that say things like "Written in the Davek script" but it would be useful to also have an entry for Davek.

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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:37 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:03 pm
DMSamuel wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:36 pm
I'm about half way through the MM1 - and I am adding a lot of creature based lore. I had to make a decision about whether I would add basically everything, or if I would only note things that are directly related to the Nentir Vale. I decided to err on the side of caution and just add everything because - well, these creatures are in the core monster book for 4e and the core setting is the Vale, so therefore the history and lore of these creatures is, by extension, also a part of the Nentir Vale lore. So... it's taking me a bit longer than it took for the PHB.
How is this coming?

I can imagine that the number of creatures makes this a bit of a time-sink.
Yep, and the semester started, so my time went down to almost zero (I'm a biology professor). I will be getting back to this, hopefully, on a regular schedule this weekend.
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:39 pm

JoeNotCharles wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:17 pm
Just caught up on this thread. It is very relevant to my interests. :-)

One note: you have entries for languages that say things like "Written in the Davek script" but it would be useful to also have an entry for Davek.
That is a good point... I will make adjustments and add that to relevant entries.
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:52 am

FYI - I'm working on this again.... YAY... first 1/2 MM entry tomorrow! So glad to be back to this.:)
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by Tim Baker » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:55 am

DMSamuel wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:52 am
FYI - I'm working on this again.... YAY... first 1/2 MM entry tomorrow! So glad to be back to this.:)
Glad to hear it. Welcome back!

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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:09 am

MONSTER MANUAL 1:

Released in June 2008 – There is a ton of lore in this book, and the real task here is distilling it down to items relevant to the Nentir Vale itself. I am not going to describe powers, tactics, or encounter groups unless they directly affect the lore of the setting. I am also doing this piecemeal - a few letters of the alphabet at a time. At the end, I'll go back and edit and add a few things...

----------

Standard Creature Entries - Aboleth to Doppelganger (skipped dragons and dracoliches for the moment)

Aboleth: Amphibious creatures that reside on the underdark but have their origins on the Far Realm. These creatures are evil and specialize in using their telepathic powers to infiltrate minds and dominate others.
Creature Type: Aberrant Magical Beast. [MM 8]

Angel: Vaguely humanoid-shaped sentient bits of energy that came into being at the first moments of creation of the Astral Sea. Angels are literal manifestations of celestial vocations and during the Dawn War they offered their services to the gods who most closely matched those vocations. These expressions of pure energy now act as mercenary forces.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid (Angel). [MM14, 15, 16, 17]

Archon: Militaristic manifestations of the Elemental Chaos. These creatures were brought into existence by the primordials who learned how to reshape the chaos into soldiers during the Dawn War. The goal of the Archons, even now, is to return the world to the rule and whim of the primordials.
Creature Type: Elemental Humanoid (Fire or Cold). [MM 18, 19, 20, 21]

Astral Stalker: Abominations created by the gods in their effort to defeat the primordials during the Dawn War. These creatures live in the Astral Sea and often serve as bounty hunters or assassins.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid. [MM10]

Atropal: Abominations that are unfinished godlings who have transformed into undead.
Creature Type: Immortal Magical Beast (Undead). [MM10]

Azer: Dwarves corrupted and transformed into fiery beings by the masters who enslaved them. Though a few lie free, the majority are still enslaved by giants or titans.
Creature Type: Elemental Humanoid (Fire). [MM 22, 23, 27]

Balhannoth: Creatures that travel along the rocky ceilings and walls of the underdark, teleporting close to its unsuspecting prey. These beasts are sometimes raised from birth and trained by Kuo-toa, a practice used less often by Drow, Grimlocks, and Minotaurs. Mind Flayers and Aboleths can capture adult Balhannoths and tame them.
Creature Type: Aberrant Magical Beast (Blind). [MM24]

Balor: Fearsome in their own right, these demons only answer to demon lords or other extremely powerful creatures.
Creature Type: Elemental Humanoid (Demon). [MM 52, 53]

Banshrae: Fey humanoid shaped creature with insectoid features. They have telepathic powers because they cannot produce sound via vocal cords; as a collateral effect they enjoy singing and music.
Creature Type: Fey Humanoid. [MM 25]

Barlgura: These demons are favored by the Demon Prince Demogorgon. Their presence is often a sign of a cult devoted to the Demon Prince in that region.
Creature Type: Elemental Beast (Demon). [MM 53]

Basilisk: These creatures are Drakes that evolved into something new – a reptile with 8 legs and a gaze that can either poison or petrify its prey. Their Drake-based ancestry imbues them with the ability to be tamed and trained, and some humanoid creatures have done so.
Creature Type: Natural Beast (Reptile). [MM 26]

Bat: Fearsome predators that attack and eat just about anything. Fire Bats originated in the Elemental Chaos and are frequently domesticated by Azers. Shadowhunter Bats live in or near the Shadowfell and sometimes have undead masters.
Creature Type: Shadow or Elemental (Fire) Beast. [MM 27]

Battlebriar: Battle trained plant creatures often used to guard Fey strongholds or Elemental homesteads.
Creature Type: Natural or Elemental Animate (Plant). [MM 28]

Bear: Generally forest and cave dwellers, even non-dire bears can be formidable opponents. Some large humanoids (e.g. Ettins and Hill Giants) keep the dire variety as pets and guard-bears.
Creature Type: Natural Beast. [MM 29]

Bearded Devil (Barbazu): Fierce combatants often used as guards and assault troops by powerful devils. Though among the weakest of the devils, these creatures are savage and dangerous.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid (Devil). [MM 60, 61]

Beetle: Carrion eaters with thick chitin shells that can be used as shields or to make armor plates. These creatures also have glands that are ripe for harvesting since some produce a sticky saliva and some produce a fiery glow.
Creature Type: Natural or Shadow (Swarm) Beast. [MM 30]

Beholder: Floating creatures with ten eye-stalks, each of which are able to fire a ray of a different power. Two of the most common Beholders are the Eye of Flame, which is the less egotistical Beholder, and the Eye Tyrant, which sees itself as a singular perfect creation, leaving no room for respect for any other living creature.
Creature Type: Aberrant Magical Beast. [MM 32]

Berbalang: Humanoid creatures with devilish features and leathery wings. They consume the flesh of dead humanoids and absorb the memories of those corpses, reliving the memories as they sleep. Rumor has it that some small towns make a deal with a Berbalang and rather than bury their dead they give them to the Berbalang willingly. If the Berbalang doesn’t have enough to eat a sacrifice must be made.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid. [MM 34]

Boar: Wild cousins to farmhouse pigs. Boars come in two basic types, the large and dangerous Dire Boar, and the even more dangerous Thunderfury Boar. Dire Boars can be, and often are, domesticated by humanoids. Thunderfury Boars cannot be domesticated but are sometimes captured and spurred into violence by Fey creatures at war.
Creature Type: Natural Beast (Mount) or Fey Beast. [MM 35]

Bodak: Undead humanoid creatures with strong ties to the Shadowfell. The horrible visage of these creatures can kill a mortal. Bodaks themselves are created by Nightwalkers using necromantic rituals in the Shadowfell.
Creature Type: Shadow Humanoid (Undead). [MM 36, 197]

Bone Devil (Osyluth): Mid-ranking class of overseers and monitors that watch over lesser creatures and ensure their obedience. These nasty devils are sometimes found in the service of mortal tyrants. These severe taskmasters are universally reviled by lesser devils.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid (Devil). [MM 61, 62]

Boneclaw: Undead creatures that have been magically constructed to hunt down living creatures. The roughly humanoid shaped creatures have long boney claws that extend and retract from the tips of their elongated fingers. Liches, Death Priests of Orcus, and Shadar-Kai Necromancers have been known to use Boneclaws as guards. Rumors tell of the origin of the Boneclaws as a function of a Liche’s duty to Vecna. The real story is that a coven of Hags, led by a powerful Night Hag named Grigwartha, created the first Boneclaw over a century ago. The first Boneclaw was a combination of flesh and bones from Ogres and the soul of an Oni. The exact ritual is a closely guarded secret among the few Liches and necromancers in the know, but Grigwartha trades her knowledge for fealty and debts she can call in later.
Creature Type: Shadow Animate (Undead). [MM 37]

Blood Fiend: Abominations rising from the Elemental Chaos, these unpredictable creatures feed on the blood of living creatures.
Creature Type: Elemental Humanoid. [MM 11]

Bloodspike Behemoth: Large reptiloid with a long pointed spikes on its tail.
Creature Type: Natural Beast (Reptile). [MM 31]

Bulette: Large burrowing beasts that live in earthen cysts underground. Frequently called landsharks.
Creature Type: Natural Beast. [MM 38]

Cambion: Offspring of a Devil and a mortal. These creatures often serve as lieutenants or advisors to pure Devils of great power.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid (Devil). [MM 39]

Carrion Crawler: Large bulbous worm-like creatures that eat carrion. These creatures may also attack living creatures, using poisonous tentacles to paralyze their prey. Carrion Crawlers lay eggs in corpses or mounds of garbage. These worms are sometimes used as waste disposal units and, more rarely, as mounts. Rumors attest to the origin of the Carrion Crawler as a mad wizard’s experiment gone wrong.
Creature Type: Aberrant Beast. [MM 40]

Chain Devil (Kyton): Sadistic tormentors who savor their roles as jailers and enjoy capturing their victims alive so as to draw out the suffering for days. Some chain devils cast rituals to animate chains not attached to their bodies.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid (Devil). [MM 62]

Chimera: Three headed flying menace – one head is a ram, one a dragon, and one a lion. The front legs are as a lion, the back as a goat/ram, and it has the wings and tail of a dragon.
Creature Type: Natural Magical Beast. [MM 41]

Choker: Secretive creatures that use camouflage and long tentacle-like arms to surprise their prey.
Creature Type: Natural Humanoid or Fey Humanoid. [MM 42]

Chuul: Crustacean creature that hides in murky pools and shallow swamps. Chuul’s eat every piece of their prey except the brain, which is poisonous to them. Chuuls are occasionally found around Mind Flayer colonies, where they conveniently dispose of corpses the Illithids already de-brained.
Creature Type: Aberrant Magical Beast (Aquatic). [MM 43]

Colossus: Enormous animated statue. An epic ritual is required to breathe life into these constructs, such power as wielded by Demon Lords and Exarchs.
Creature Type: Immortal Animate (Construct). [MM 44]

Crocodile: Certain varieties of this formidable reptile (e.g. the Feymire Crocodile) can grow roots and stem-like tendrils and draw nourishment from the surrounding environment. Lizardfolk are able to tame Crocodiles.
Creature Type: Natural or Fey Beast (Reptile). [MM 45]

Cyclops: One-eyed giants originally from the Feywild. These creatures usually act as servants of powerful masters, and are the willing servants of Fomorians. Cyclopses are master craftspeople who toil in the underdark to create items of immense power. Cyclopses make war with Elves, work to destroy Eladrin holdings, and sometimes ally with Drow. There are rumors of an ancient agreement, the Declaration of Eschatos, between Fomorians and Drow. Cyclopses came into being as Feywild echoes of Ogres formed and taught by their Fomorian masters, similar to titans influencing giants.
Creature Type: Fey Humanoid. [MM 46, 47, 48]

Dark One: Sly creatures who favor black clothing and hail from the Shadowfell and live among the Shadar Kai. Also living in the Underdark, Dark Ones often act as assassins and spies for Shadar Kai and intelligent Undead.
Creature Type: Shadow Humanoid. [MM 49]

Death Knight: Once powerful warriors who, with the help of a ritual created by Orcus himself, became skeletal warriors. They retain the intelligence and skills they had in life, but their souls are bound to the weapons they wield. These powerful foes often command undead armies.
Creature Type: Natural Humanoid (Undead). [MM 50, 51]

Destrachan: Large beast resembling a bipedal dinosaur. This blind dungeon dwelling creature relies on its other senses to detect prey and attacks with a thunderous wave of sound. Destrachans can imitate sounds they hear frequently and use this to cover their own noise and trick their prey.
Creature Type: Aberrant Magical Beast (Blind). [MM 59]

Devourer: Created from the souls of murderers lost in the Shadowfell. They feed on living humanoids and use their life energy to heal.
Creature Type: Shadow Humanoid (Undead). [MM 68, 69]

Displacer Beast: Native to the Feywild, these magical creatures are veiled by illusion.
Creature Type: Fey Magical Beast. [MM 70]

Doppelganger: Shapechanging creatures that can take on the form (but not duplicate apparel or carried items) of an similar sized individual humanoid.
Creature Type: Natural Humanoid (Shapechanger). [MM 71]

Evistro (Carnage Demon): These demons often travel in hordes across the planes, wreaking havoc where ever they go. Summoning rituals known to cultists and certain wizards can summon these creatures, but they are notoriously hard to control and often turn on their summoners.
Creature Type: Elemental Magical Beast (Demon). [MM 54]

Glabrezu: These demons are highly intelligent and use their wits to manipulate allies into acts of depravity. When a Glabrezu lingers too long in the world, its corruption spreads. Crops are stunted, animals die, people sicken, and the sky itself seems to darken. Natural order can be restored by driving off or slaying the demon.
Creature Type: Elemental Humanoid (Demon). [MM 54, 55]

Goristro: These demons are the favored servants of the Demon Lord Baphomet (Horned Lord and Demon Lord of Minotaurs).
Creature Type: Elemental Humanoid (Demon). [MM 55]

Hezrou: These voracious demons are numerous and powerful, but considered expendable by many demons that control them.
Creature Type: Elemental Humanoid (Demon). [MM 56]

Ice Devil (Gelugon): Hail from the frigid wasteland of Cania, the eighth layer of the Nine Hells. They respect power and have no tolerance for weakness or frailty.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid (Devil). [MM 63]

Immolith: Created when the spirits of deceased demons falling back into the abyss fuse together. These demons despise the living and are often in the company of the Undead, especially powerful undead such as liches and vampires.
Creature Type: Elemental Magical Beast (Demon, Fire, Undead). [MM 56, 57]

Imp: Act as spies and emissaries for more powerful devils. These devils are knowledgeable about magical subjects. Mortals often make bargains with Imps to help them find new spells or locate powerful items, but the Imp’s loyalties lay with the Lords of the Nine Hells and they often lead their mortal “masters” to perform evil acts.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid (Devil). [MM 63]

Legion Devil: These devils make up the armies of the Nine Hells and are regimented soldiers. They always follow orders and follow a strict hierarchy.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid (Devil). [MM 64, 65]

Macetail Behemoth: Large reptiloid with a mace-like growth on the tip of its tail.
Creature Type: Natural Beast (Reptile). [MM 31]

Marilith: Six-armed, sword-wielding, serpentine bodied demons who are obsessed with martial prowess. They sometimes take trophy weapons from impressive opponents and hide in a secret cache.
Creature Type: Elemental Humanoid (Demon). [MM 57]

Mezzodemon: Insectoid demons with a lust for treasure, these are the most likely demons to create lairs and sell their services as mercenaries.
Creature Type: Elemental Humanoid (Demon). [MM 58]

Phane: Abominations made of coalescent mist that are able to manipulate time.
Creature Type: Immortal Magical Beast. [MM 12]

Pit Fiend: These Nobles form the elite ruling class of the Nine Hells, only outranked by the archdevils (Lords of the Nine Hells). Each Pit Fiend rules a large domain within one of the layers of the Nine Hells and serves as a vassal to one of the Lords. Each Lord of the Nine commands no more than a dozen Pit Fiends (with the notable exception of Asmodeus).
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid (Devil). [MM 65, 66]

Spined Devil (Spinagon): The scouts and sentries of the Nine Hells.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid (Devil). [MM 66]

Succubus: Tempt mortals into performing evil deeds by appearing as attractive men and women. IN their shapechanged form they seduce, betray, spy, and assassinate as they please.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid (Devil, Shapechanger). [MM 67]

Tarrasque: Abominations created by the primordials in their effort to defeat the gods during the Dawn War. These horrific beasts are bound to the world and sleep within the world’s core. They embody wanton destruction and occasionally burrow up to the surface and attempt to obliterate all life.
Creature Type: Elemental Magical Beast. [MM 13]

Vrock: These demons have a reputation for disloyalty, sometimes leaving their posts and forsaking one master to join another, more powerful one.
Creature Type: Elemental Humanoid (Demon). [MM 58]

War Devil (Malebranche): Champions of the Nine Hells, these devils obey only Pit Fiends and Archdevils.
Creature Type: Immortal Humanoid (Devil). [MM 67]

----------

Non-Creature Entries

Abomination: Living weapons created during the war between primordials and gods (the Dawn War). [MM10]

Astral Sea: Plane usually referred to as the home of the gods. [MM 10, 12, 14]

Behemoth: Humongous reptiles that have an omnivorous diet (i.e. they eat everything). Behemoth is the generic term for large dinosaurs. They are territorial and some types live in herds. Hobgoblins, Troglodytes, and other humanoids domesticate Behemoths for use as pack animals or as war beasts. [MM 31]

Cania: Eighth layer of the Nine Hells. [MM 63]

Declaration of Eschatos: A rumored ancient, secret agreement between Drow and Fomorians. This agreement is cited when Cyclopses are seen aiding in Drow raids. [MM 48]

Elemental Chaos: Plane of energy that is home to archons of many different forms which all freely associate with each other. [MM 11, 18, 27]

Far Realm: A distant and unfathomable plane. [MM 8]

Shadowfell: The plane of shadows. [MM 27]

Soul Weapon: The ritual used to create a death knight causes the mortal soul of the warrior to become bound to weapon used in life. These weapons are powerful and, when broken, can be restored by a touch from the death knight. If the death knight loses possession of the soul weapon, they are weakened, but not destroyed. Anyone possessing a soul weapon without having destroyed the death knight will become weakened. [MM 51]

Thundertusk: Name for a domesticated Dire Boar used as a mount by Dwarves.[MM 35]

Underdark: Area of the world under the surface. [MM 8]
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Re: Let's Read the Nentir Vale in Order of Release!

Post by DMSamuel » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:11 am

I probably should have skipped the monster manual for the sake of speed, but there is so much foundational Nentir Vale lore hidden in here and the creatures have some interesting changes, so I didn't want to skip it.
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